Waning Fortunes

H10 The Grande Lottery

Silvershoal’s efforts to construct the Great Western Road have met with trial and tribulation, and the city may run out of funds for the project. In desperation, a young but popular noble (Baron Ember) proposes a city wide lottery to raise funds. The party immediately begin plans to undermine the lottery, preferably by stealing both the revenue raised and the prize money.

With an inner circle of the thieves’ guild the party plan the robbery. Using the doppelgangers Staligo and Hark, as well as a few hats of disguise purchased especially for the task, the party kidnap and replace Baron Etrimus Ember and his retainers (with the assistance of the Baron’s new best friend – Lord Baleish). They then infiltrate the Ember family manor house where the lottery money is being held. A night time burglary goes wrong mid heist, and the party are forced to flee the keep while restraining the Barons family and fighting off members of the Wyrmguard. In a desperate cart chase through the city, the party manages to get away with all of the lottery takings and the prize money.

In order to keep up appearances that the robbery was perpetuated by fleeing Baron Ember, the Baron becomes a casualty of the plot. His body is buried deep within the sewers under the city.

When news of the robbery reaches the public the citizens of Silvershoal are furious. Not believing that his son could possibly be the culprit, but forced to save face (and quell a riot in the Shellflats) Ember Senior pays the prize money so the lottery can conclude, impoverishing his family and heralding the doom of the Great Western Road.

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H9 Raiders of the 50 Mile Marsh

The party have returned to the city of Silvershoal much richer than they had left. They promptly go on a spending spree for the thieves’ guild; buying a warehouse, recruiting more thugs and paying a substantial bribe to the watch to leave them alone while they do business.

Aurellia grows bored with city life and again returns to the 50 Mile Marsh. Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, her guerrilla war with the Silvershoal construction teams has escalated to the point where adventurers are being called in to protect the workers.

At this point Aurellia comes clean with the others, and seeks out their help. The party begin to seriously undermine the construction of the “Great West Road” in a number of ways;

  • The party pose as adventurers who are hired to “protect” a work crew. A series of unfortunate accidents and attacks leave only one of the crew left alive.
  • The party track down the Lizardfolk which are native to the marsh, and they agree to support the party’s efforts with supplies and information.
  • The party raid work gangs and engineering crews when opportunities present themselves.
  • The party work with the lizardfolk to lure adventuring parties into areas where the largest monsters of the marsh dwell. They kill of two other adventuring groups this way.
  • The party ambush the most powerful adventuring group that enters the marsh and kill them all.
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H8 Hunting for Dragons

The newly established guild is suffering a serious cash flow problem, and what better way to get some quick gold is there than taking a dragon’s hoard? Consulting a map of the underdark they once took from some defeated dark dwarves that notes “dragons”; the party make their way back underground in the hopes of finding riches.

What they find is a dark dwarf conspiracy to spread the Wrymplague – a particularly nasty magical plague that only effects dragons. The party intercept the delivery of diseased mountain goats, and instead deliver them as a tribute themselves. Some fast talking convinces the dragon that the party is a little too devout, and (long since sick of his puny goblin minions) forces the party into a fight to the death with his existing followers. The party easily win, and are forced into menial chores while the dragon, gorged on plagued goat, grows sicker every day.

The party, not content to let the plague take its course, find increasingly vile things to feed the dragon. It devours troglodyte corpses with out complaint, but finally succumbs to meat laced with enough hallucinogenic mushrooms to kill an elephant. The dragon commands the party to take a message to his sire to seek aid, but the party instead finish him off and steal his treasure.

Not content with a dragon’s hoard, the party go off to raid a troglodyte city, stealing the gems from the eyes of their dragon skeleton idol. They barely make it out alive, but with a king’s ransom in treasure they decide to call it a day and return to Silvershoal.

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H7 Gaining Control

The party have defeated Jack and usurped his power in the Shellflats, but now must work hard to gain control of the streets. They quickly beat rampaging thugs into submission, and over the next month patrol the streets at night to make sure the area at least gets back to a semblance of safety. During these patrols they come across the old prisoner from the Crimcooper Mines; Muddy, and his doppelganger companions Stilago and Hark. They have recently escaped the mines and are down on their luck, so quickly agree to join the party’s new order.

Paddy, having been found beaten and tortured in Jack’s Lair, agrees to help act as a fence for the party, but no longer wants to run things due to the danger involved. Six elven waifs are trained up to competent standards in the first month, and also join with the party. They occasionally get sent out on capers with Muddy acting as the brains behind their efforts.

Despite all of the organisation going on, the party realise that money is coming out of the coffers far faster than it is coming in. What they are going to do about this remains to be seen.

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Jack's Lair Part 2

The party fight their way deep into Jack’s hideout, and after facing heavy resistance find an unlikely ally. A letter attached to an arrow reveals that “The Scav” thinks that he is on the losing team, and he is prepared to betray Jack for a place in their new operation.

If the party withdraw, the Scav will convince Jack that his hideout is no longer safe, and that they should withdraw to his ship, the Windskipper. Here they can attack Jack with his guard down. After a quick discussion the severely wounded party decide to leave and give the Scav a chance.

Soon after the party perform a midnight raid on Jack’s ship (with the aid of Shucker Bill) and the Scav is as good as his word. He even manages to backstab Jack before swimming to safety. The fight is quick and bloody, with the resulting fire sinking the Windskipper. Although severely burned and trapped below decks, Jack manages to escape by smashing a hole in the ships timbers.

The party have destroyed Jack’s organisation, but do they have what it takes to build their own in its place? Only time will tell.

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H6 Jack's Lair

The party has abducted Madame Jade and begins her interrogation, during this time they discover that Jack has an underground lair beneath the Fairwinds Playhouse. The party search the nearby sewers for an entrance to no avail, but instead are hunted down by two hired assassins – A mage named Artak and his barbarian companion Grok Bloodhunter.

A bloody fight ensues that sees Grok pieced through and only Jinx and Artak left standing. Artak asks to parley, and swears that he will leave the city with Grok and never take a bounty on them again if they spare Grok’s life. The parties agree and go their separate ways, but not before the heroes take some of the hired killer’s most precious items.

In the days that proceed, the party lick their wounds and continue to interrogate Jade. Remembering a handkerchief that they recovered from Jack’s coach many weeks ago when they robbed it, the party show this to Jade and get their first lucky break – the item belongs to Jade’s second in command and Jade immediately becomes furious, thinking that Jack has been seeing her behind Jade’s back (which happens to be true). The party play on her suspicions, making her believe that Jack has not mounted a rescue effort to save her because he has replaced her with the younger, more comely Carlotta. Eventually Jade does a deal with the party to help them enter Jacks Lair if they let her go. She is true to her word, returning to the Playhouse and clearing the way for them to go down below.

After navigating the subterranean passages beneath the Playhouse’s kitchen, the party fight there way into Jack’s Lair.

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H5 War in the Shellflats

After springing an ambush set by Jack Fix the party hide out under a pier south of the Docks District. They are soon found by Shucker Bill, who tells them of an old stormwater drain that he cleared out in his adventuring days that may serve as a place to hold up and lick their wounds. After a battle with the bugbear inhabitants (and taking mercy on a baby bugbear)the party have gained a new safe house.

The Cudge and his men recover with the party, while “Snotface” Jimmy Woodborn and Raggedy Annie bring them supplies and feed them information on what is going on in the city.

In the next few days a number of things happen. The party discover that Jack’s men are on a rampage… any elf seen on the streets near the Shellflats is beaten and questioned. Many elves have fled fr their lives, but the poorest and most desperate have nowhere to go, so are eventually delivered to the party through Shucker Bill. Who tells them since it is their fault the elves are now homeless it is their responsibility to take care of them.

In the next few days the party are informed that Lord Baleish’s house has been burnt down and he has disappeared. It seems that Jack has eventually made the connection that “Mr Gold” was posing as Baleish’s manservant while visiting the Playhouse.

Once the party has recovered they decide that it is time to avenge Baleish, and so plot to kidnap Madame Jade to undermine Jack’s prostitution racket. After the Cudge and his men pose as the party and feign an attack on the Playhouse, the party sneak in though the upper floor and flee with the portly madam.

What they can trade for Madame Jade remains to be seen…

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Gaining a Foothold Part 2

While laying low from their recent raid on Jack’s safe house, the party attempt to recruit some local elves into their cause. While searching for elves they discover Snotnose Jimmy Woodborn and Raggedy Annie Woodborn two urchins that agree to be the party’s eyes and ears for a price. They also lead them to recruiting Rufus The Cudge Woodborn and his offsiders Freddo, Lox and Shivvy With the aid of their new recruits the party continue to undermine Jack Fix’s operations; deciding to take out the muscle of his operation, a brutal and sadistic half orc by the name of Borkham Hamhands they are successful, but repercussions are swift and “The Cudge” and his crew are ambushed and left beaten nearly to death. When the party go to visit their allies they are in turn ambushed and after a bloody fight barely escape with their lives.

Although the party have scored some major victories against Jack, the last fight left their identities exposed, nearly half the Shellflats would now know them by sight. They have publically declared war on the crime lord of the Shellflats and the Slippery Slope.

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H4 Gaining a Foothold

The party have thrown in their lot with a Halfling named Paddy Sackville who is eager to overthrow a local criminal kingpin by the name of Jack Fix. They have already made their first moves; stealing a valuable set of armour from the crime lord and killing one of his protection money collectors.

They next decide to undermine Jack Fix’s drug operations. Posing as drug addicts, the party purchase a large quantity of Jack’s merchandise over a few weeks, and begin to sell in more up market parts of town for a much cheaper price. Although this quickly drains the party coffers, it also makes the more wealthy (and influential) citizens of Silvershoal complain loudly to the usually ineffectual watch that their parts of the city have been flooded with drugs and the scum that this attracts.

The corrupt watch are forced to take action, as they know full well who runs the drug trade, but have been paid off to turn a blind eye as long as Jack keeps his business restricted to the Shellflats and the Slippery Slope. They put pressure on Jack Fix’s territory while cleaning up the richer areas. While Jack looks for a possible leak in his drug supply, the party take the opportunity to raid his stash house, killing his guards and stealing a hefty supply of drugs and gold.

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H2 Escape from the Underdark

After choosing to be lost in the Underdark over returning to the Crimcooper Mines, Ariethlan, Jinx and Argus delve further underground. Following the trail of the Duergar party they come across a decimated Kobold village infested with Carrion Crawlers (where they find a map… unfortunately with directions in Dwarvish) , flee a rampaging Purple Worm, meet with an opportunistic Duergar trader named Castagar and visit glittering crystal caverns before running into a Duergar hunting party.

During the fight, the party is aided Auerelia, an elf ranger who has been captured by the Duergar but has manages to break free in the confusion. Her and her panther companion join the party in their quest to reach the surface.

After days more of navigating tunnels the party reach the surface, but not before ’Arry breaks his leg in a fall and the party are forced to fight an enraged Cave Bear.

Exiting a cave overlooking the Ramswood below, the party decide to make their way to the city of Silvershoal where they hope that criminals and exiles such as themselves can go unnoticed.

At this point Argus leaves the party, saying he has a score to settle with the noble who cheated him out of an inheritance and got him thrown in gaol.

NPCs met Castagar: Duergar Merchant

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