Shackels, Snakes & Spiders
Gratius arrives, many things meet their end

Gratius, a folk hero of great melancholies and gigantic mirth, arrived in Chanceway just as a heavy rain broke. A “barbarian” of the more wild lands of the Gathering, he was unaccustomed to city life, but as his legend spread around town he found commoners more welcome. One such welcoming face, a former wealthy merchant named Bertolo whom Gratius met at the Moon and Blade, asked him to help by getting back at the Green Flame who he was certain was behind a recent burglary at his home and shop that had left him destitute. He asked only for the return of his obsidian box, and would let the Gratius keep anything else of his they could recover, said to be quite a treasure.

At the next table over, Nix’s ears perked up at the mention of the Green Flame. Hungry for opportunities to impress Vanheim Grechiel, he was keeping his (pointy) ears down for news of Chanceway’s underworld. Before anyone could make a move, however, two Orc mercenaries burst in with a man in shackles and gagged. On a closer look, Nix spied that they shackles were actually pure gold bracers that seemed stuck together. Then, three Red Guard made an entrance and, as the mercenaries displayed their Guild Contract, the man made a run for it, colliding with Gratius and Nix and suddenly teleporting them to the rooftop.

The man made a run for it. When Nix tried to stop him he discovered that the shackle had transferred to his left arm and Gratius’ right – these two unlikley compatriots were now linked to one another!

Escaping as the Guard searched for them, they reached Ongrin’s hideout where they met with Gresby. Piecing together some clues, and after a visit to the Guild Hall to speak to a Dwarf there, the heroes established that the shackles belonged to Godrey san Montrose, who had given them to the Guild to use on a contract he had taken out on mage-cum-theif named Alecyne of Urthusia.

At his estate, Montrose explained that he had wanted Alecyne to rob a Dwarven temple of a special artifact, but when Alecyne failed to return, Montrose suspected a doublecross and put a bounty out. Montrose has one of his kept mages unlock the shackles and the heroes left.

Not wanting to get caught up in Montrose’s schemes, they decided instead to investigate the Green Flame and the matter of the obsidian box – Gratius for adventure and to help a downtrodden man, Nix to gain favor with Vanheim.

At a bar acting as a front for their operations, the two managed to clean out the entire place – some 10 bandits – in a few short seconds. Nix’s stealth and Gratius’ strength was a powerful combination, in deed. Upstairs, NIx had dispatched a bandit who was working on correspondence, much of it concerned with the actions of “snakes” and “spiders.” A quick search revealed an underground passage beneath the kitchen hearth which led down to a secret undercroft.

The two thieves found not a thieve’s treasure store, but instead a kind of temple full of books and a prayer room. They took out a Green Flame Lieutenant and travelled down a stone-hewn passageway that led to a chamber containing a golden brazer with a talking Green Flame atop it giving commands to two acolytes and the obsidian box. Gratius grabbed the box and the Flame was immediately sucked into it, screaming. All light went out and as the heroes fled, a giant spider emerged chasing them through the complex. Defeating the spider, Gratius smashed several supports, brining the undercroft down, the bar above it and several neighboring buildings, too.

Escaping, the heroes pondered just what a gang of thugs was doing worshiping an anthropomorphic Green Flame, what the box was, and just why a poor merchant might have such an object.

Ever thus to prophecy
Horton and Fenix and a strange old monk

Horton caught up with Fenix over drinks at the Moon and Blade, while Walde filled the two in that a Senectic Prophet had come to Chanceway. Thinking that the gathered throngs would make easy takings, the two headed to the Halls of Order where the Prophet was to give proclamation.

Horton sweet talked his way into a balcony with some fine ladies, including Baela Nielson, daughter to Lord Rikard Nielson. He managed to snatched her very fine necklace while the ladies tittered over his jokes and fussed about the heat. Fenix managed to cut a purse or two before the Prophet took that stage. Hushed anticipation soon turned to sighs of disappointment when the very confusing prophecy was revealed:

“A bird with two heads will fly over the city. A great wave will bring a great flame. A stone will sit on the throne of Erthwylder.”

Dejected, the crowd broke up with folks either ignoring the prophecy completely or debating the possible interpretations. Later that night, Nix and Horton heard of a high-stakes card game some nobles were throwing at the Heather-in-Winter and head there to fleece some more rich dummies.

En Route, the collide with the very same Senectic Prophet fleeing from some attackers who he claims killed the Red Guard ordered to protect him. Horton grabbed the prophet while Nix ran another direction just as two goons in Red Guard outfits unleashed hounds upon them. Fenix threw them off his trail while Horton got the Prophet to the river. They hired a ferry but as it pushed off the goons caught up to them. Fenix charged into them and knocked them down long enough to buy the ferry time to push off. He then took off running.

A little later on the Strand, Nix and Horton hooked up again and begin walking the Prophet to Maylin’s Anchorage where his ship was waiting. There they found four men – two with swords, one with a bow and a mage – who battled them for the Prophet. Hastily dispatched with a crushed larynx, two cleaved torsos and a crushed skull respectively, the heroes boarded the ship, untied the Prophet’s crew and sent him on his way with a gold piece each in their pockets.

No sooner did they begin crossing Shipper’s Green when they were surrounded by actual Red Guard and charged with kidnapping and assault of the City Watch.

The next day on the gallows, Nix and Horton were saved from execution when the Prophet showed up suddenly with elven archers and rescued them, clearing their names. The Guard apologized, the Prophet asked for help in tracking down his attackers and the people of Chanceway were once again denied a good show.

Trouble in the House of Grechiel
The Legend of Fenix the Hanged, part 1

Fenix the Hanged – Nix to his friends – got a tip from Walde, tavernhand at the Moon and Blade that Ongrin, an agent of the Grechiel family was putting the word out for work. Apparently Kristoff, patriarch of the infamous crime syndicate, had died suddenly leaving his middle son Bertold in charge. His eldest, Reginald seemed to have little ambition and is content to serve as a major domo under Bertold. In the meantime, the youngest son, Vanheim, is not pleased and wishes to take over the Grechiel or at least break out on his own.

Nix spoke to Ongrin and got the details. The orders were simple: Vanheim has put an open mark on Bertold’s operations. Anything that weakens Bertold, shames him or makes him look incompetent will signal to Vanheim that the agent is serious.

Taking a couple days to ask and scout around, Nix located a couple docks and a large warehouse being used by Grechiel men. He waited until night, when most of the workers had left, and snuck in. He spied two humans and elf sifting through cargo and removing wrapped blades, smuggled into Chanceway. An office overlooking the warehouse held a man torturing another man chained to a chair. Nix broke in and killed the torturer, freeing the man who revealed he was Gresby, a tough-looking man loyal to Vanheim, captured for his brother’s insolence. Nix also grabbed a ledger and some manifests before setting fire to the office with his lamp and oil.

Gresby fought from the ground, injured though he was, while Nix covered him with arrows from the rafters. Gresby finished off the elf with brutality after Nix nearly cleared him with an arrow. The two humans were allowed to escape, one with Gresby’s meat clever still in his side.

Outside the warehouse, Gresby revealed that he grabbed some of the smuggled blades on the way out. Nix took two finely crafted Dwarven short swords (+1 Damage, may have some RP benefits) and the two took their leave.

The next day, Nix met with Ongrin and turned over the ledger and papers, explaining his role in the fire, which Gresby had already shared. Deeply impressed, Ongrin took the ledger and promised to be back in touch soon with more work.

Just then, Horton walked in …


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