Bellingham Adventurers' Guild

Departure from Ubersreik
The Adventure Begins

peop010.jpgFate works in mysterious ways. Three adventurers from wildly different backgrounds found themselves alone at the Dead Horse Tavern in Ubersreik when a monstrous thunderstorm (and the tavern’s leaky roof) drove the other patrons away. One of the three, a high elf envoy named Gorian Rothkin, struck up a conversation to pass the time. The others introduced themselves as Salix (a wood elf mystic) and Ryxx Zannad (a human mercenary with a mysterious hand weapon). United by their idealistic natures and their sense of justice, they agreed to join together as traveling companions.

Later that evening, they heard a rumor that a strange malaise was decimating the nearby mining town of Hugeldal. Black filth spouted from once pristine mountain springs, many citizens were dying of disease, and strange Chaos beasts roamed the land. The newly-founded party could not stand by while innocents perished, and decided to leave for Hugeldal the next morning to begin their investigation.

On the road to Hugeldal, the intrepid adventurers noticed the sounds of battle in the distance. Rounding a bend in the path, they came upon a group of bandits attacking a caravan, lead by a mighty man in black. Gorian noticed a bandit near the edge of the woods who looked eerily similar to the bandit leader. He disappeared into the woods upon noticing the adventurers. Gorian attempted to pursue him, but the way was blocked by the bandit leader, who came rushing forward wildly swinging an enormous sword. Supported by Gorian and Salix, Ryxx engaged the bandit leader in fierce combat and eventually overcame him. The party’s combined efforts drove the remaining bandits off. Though they were unable to save some members of the caravan, they successfully saved two Shallyans from the temple in Hugeldal that had joined the caravan, along with a couple of traveling merchants. Most impressively, they managed to take the bandit leader prisoner.

What happened next raised more questions than it answered. (to be continued…)

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Arrival in Hugeldal
The Mystery Deepens

Woodcut_Engraving_of_Rhodes_Citadel_Mediaeval_Period.png Upon further interrogation, the bandit leader revealed that his name was Tarwin, and his brother’s name was Max. He explained that he had been hired to kill the Shallyans from the caravan and disguise it as a goblin attack, but refused to divulge anything further. The heroes, showing mercy, allowed Tarwin to live and he begrudgingly expressed gratitude.

With a little more information about the bandit attack, the adventuring party investigated the situation. They explored the area around the battle site and found the bandits’ encampment along with the corpses of two goblins, seemingly lending credence to Tarwin’s explanation. En route to the encampment, Gorian spotted a suspicious object on the path. Salix examined it carefully, revealing it to be a tripwire set to trigger a filth-smeared caltrop trap. Thanks to their quick thinking, the adventurers avoided a gruesome fate. Further exploration of the bandit camp uncovered a trail leading to Hugeldal and markings suggesting a horse and rider had recently taken that path.

As they emerged from the woods, the adventurers spotted the palisade surrounding Hugeldal. After discussing the situation with two rather unpleasant and sickly guards, they entered the town. Since it was getting late, they decided to stay at the local inn, known as the Bucket of Blood. The proprietor offered them his best room, but something seemed off. As the party rested, they set a watch at the door. Salix left the room to assess the situation, and sighted three hooded men sneaking around the inn. She followed them silently, taking care to remain invisible. They attempted to enter the room, but they noticed Ryxx and Gorion standing ready and tried to make a retreat. With their path blocked by Salix, they had no choice but to run out the side door. The party gave chase, but by the time they got outside the three assassins had ridden off on the horses tied up at the front of the inn.

All was not lost, however. After examining the area where the assassins had fled from, the party found a dagger coated in a mysterious substance along with a letter connecting a prominent doctor in town with the attempt on the life of the heroes. They reasoned that the doctor (affiliated with the Order of Physick) might have something to do with driving the Shallyans out of town as well. They went on their way to the former Shallyan hospice where the doctor had set up his clinic, but they were stopped by a mysterious grizzled stranger.

The evidence he held might be the key to the mystery of Hugeldal (to be continued…).

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The Investigation is Underway
More Evidence Comes to Light

thacker_1_web.jpg The mysterious stranger proved to be a powerful ally. He possessed an item that could be central to unraveling the mystery of Hugeldal. Though the party was initially suspicious of this strange figure, he quickly demonstrated that he was on their side (for now). He produced a strange vial that bore traces of the same uncommon substance that coated the dagger that was recovered from the assassins at the inn. He explained that he found the vial in the town’s well, and he suspected it was central to the plague that infected the entire town.

Spurred on by this development, the party began their investigation in earnest. The party spared no time in examining the now abandoned Shallyan hospice, where it was rumored that the Guild of Physick would soon be establishing their hall. They found some basic equipment and medical supplies, but as they were about to leave, a flask shattered and a strange green vapor filled the hospice. Gorian and Salix’s acute senses saved the adventurers from a sickening demise, as they recognized the threat. They were not able to escape the temple entirely unscathed, however. The flask contained a particularly virulent strain of the Ghoulpox, and while spared the full brunt of that horrific plague, the heroes still contracted a weaker case of the disease.

Undeterred, the heroes sought audience with Lady von Jungfreud, the ruler of this remote mining town. She seemed to have something to hide, and she expressed a rather unusual hatred of the Shallyans who once called Hugeldal their home. However, when she was presented with the evidence of Doktor Verfullen’s betrayal, she became more sympathetic to the party’s cause. Though she had no intention of turning against the man that had saved her life and that of her son, the case in front of her was overwhelming, and she gave the heroes leave to pursue their cause. Unfortunately, the Ghoulpox they contracted still proved to be an obstacle.

Clever as always, the party managed to turn even this unfortunate circumstance to their advantage. Their diseased state enabled them to enter the surgery of Doktor Verfullen himself, who seemed to stand at the center of the mass of problems plaguing Hugeldal, without a trace of suspicion. As the rest of the group waited, Ryxx acquired a vial of medicine from the Doktor. Though they possessed one more piece of the puzzle, the full picture was still unclear…

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The Chase
Pursuing the Doktor

By this point, Doktor Verfullen looked like the most likely suspect behind the affliction ravaging Hugeldal. The heroes wanted to confront their quarry, but they wanted to keep the element of surprise. They decided that the best plan was a stakeout. Salix hid in a tree near the Doktor’s surgery, while the others waited in and around the inn.

After several tense hours, there was movement in the surgery and the lamp was snuffed. Salix gave the signal to advance toward the surgery. By the time the Doktor left through the back door, the party was prepared to pursue him. He moved quickly into the back alleys of the town to avoid attention.

Eventually the alleys narrowed, and Doktor Verfullen ducked into a space between two buildings. The adventurers prepared to follow him in, but their plan was stopped by a sudden ambush. Nine men in black clothes and hoods appeared from all sides. The leader of the group readied his crossbow and pulled back his hood.

It was Max Fleischer, the bandit leader who had escaped the massacre in the woods. With a bellowed command, he and his men loosed a volley of crossbow bolts. The battle was joined.

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