Lane's Campaign

The Road to Riches

The three adventurers, Alec, Murdoch, and Bruce the Mad, were hired by O’Malley to guard a caravan bound for Bayside. It was supposed to be an easy job – “strictly for insurance purposes,” O’Malley had said. And it was an easy job, right up to the point where O’Malley’s men tried to stash the loot in the wilderness as part of an insurance scam and murder their escorts. The party defended themselves and were able to make short work of O’Malley’s men, though a stray arrow slew one of the caravan’s horses in the process. Leaving the caravan driver tied to a wagon, the party headed to the cave where O’Malley’s goods had been hidden. While exploring the cavern, they discovered a hole leading further down into the cave. Upon climbing down, they found a small band of goblins, who promptly attacked. The party fought their way through the goblins’ lair, eventually slaying their leader, King Tork. Returning to the wagons with O’Malley’s crates, they found that the driver had escaped his bonds and fled. Murdoch took chase and Bruce took the remaining horse to Bayside for supplies, leaving a wounded Alec to guard the loot. However, Alec was attacked by a group of goblins out to avenge the death of their King, nearly killing Alec and returning to their cave with all the treasure and barricading themselves inside. Meanwhile, Murdoch eventually caught up with the driver and grilled him for information regarding O’Malley’s scheme. When it became apparent that the driver didn’t know anything, Murdoch slew him. Bruce, upon returning from Bayside and finding an unconscious Alec bleeding to death, took Alec’s body back to Bayside and left him in the care of healers there, then returned to the caves to try and dismantle the goblins’ barricade. When Murdoch arrived, Bruce sent him back to Bayside to fetch the now-mended Alec. After several unsuccessful attempts to re-enter the goblins’ lair, Bruce was set upon by a band of brigands. Despite killing two of them, he was beaten unconscious and left to die. Meanwhile, Murdoch, upon finding himself unable to pay for Alec’s care, set fire to a tavern in downtown Bayside to serve as a distraction while he and Alec made a daring escape on horseback. They returned to the cave to find the dying Bruce, and decided to cut their losses, returning to Sachsport with the remaining wagon. After hiding the wagon outside town and taking Bruce to a healer’s ward, Murdoch arranged a meeting with O’Malley, where he explained that they were attacked by goblins who had stolen all of O’Malley’s goods and pledged that the party would assist him in recovering them if they received his support. When O’Malley demanded proof, Murdoch informed him of the wagon hidden nearby and promised to take O’Malley’s men to it in exchange for his aid in defeating the goblins. O’Malley agreed, on the condition that if any deception were uncovered, the party’s lives would be at stake.

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Into the Pit

Leaving Alec’s Freeman’s Sigil with O’Malley as collateral, the group returned to the cave with a group of O’Malley’s men and a team of horses to seek revenge on the goblins. After using the horses to pry the barricade loose, they climbed once again into the goblins’ lair. However, upon searching it, they found it deserted. After searching the cave thoroughly and finding no clues, Murdoch noticed something peculiar: an egg he had found among King Tork’s belongings had changed from its previous blue color to a bright yellow. After some experimentation, he noticed that the egg grew brighter the closer he got to a large chest in King Tork’s chambers. Acting on a hunch, he smashed his boot into the bottom of the open chest. The bottom gave way, revealing a set of crude stairs leading further down into the depths of the cavern. As the party entered this secret chamber, they were greeted with a sight that might have been amusing in less dangerous circumstances: the band of remaining goblins were busy piling their newfound treasure before what the party presumed to be their deity – an obese but still quite deadly-looking dire wolf. Goblins not being the smartest creatures, the party deduced that they had probably confused the words “god” and “dog,” but had little time to appreciate the goblins’ ignorance before they turned to attack. The goblins and the wolf were a formidable match and several of O’Malley’s men were slain in the ensuing battle, but the party eventually overpowered them and reclaimed the stolen goods. They loaded up the treasure and headed back to Sachsport, where they returned it to O’Malley. They explained that most of his men had been killed, but O’Malley seemed much more concerned with his horses, which had remained unharmed. Satisfied, O’Malley returned Alec’s Sigil and offered his expertise in the rare goods trade to the party should they ever require it.

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Shopping, Violently

Armed with a bit of newfound wealth thanks to their findings in the goblins’ hoard, the group decided to head to Sachsport’s merchant district. Alec was surprised to discover that a ceremonial dagger he’d found in King Tork’s chambers was worth a large sum of money, and decided to sell it in order to commission a splint mail from the local blacksmith. Meanwhile, Murdoch headed to the library to learn more about his egg, the various mushrooms they’d gathered in the cave, and a small model castle he’d looted from the dog-god’s stash. Bruce spent some time haggling with the wainwright and procured a small horse and cart, which he proceeded to paint jet-black and dub “The Danger Cart.” Later on when the group reconvened in the middle of town, they decided to check out the local bounty board to try and earn a bit of extra cash. As they examined the postings, one jumped out at them immediately – two crude characatures that, despite being almost offensive in their depictions, were unmistakably Alec and Murdoch, posted above a note that read “WANTED FOR ARSON, BAYSIDE: 500 gold dead, 1,000 gold alive.” Around this time they also noticed a large blonde man and woman whom they’d seen several times that day, and quickly realized that they were being followed. Bruce managed to create a distraction allowing them to slip out of sight, but the pair later caught up with them again at the city gates. With nowhere to run this time, the group prepared to fight as the couple advanced on them. Murdoch shouted to the city guards for help, but as they approached the man pulled something from his pocket and showed it to the soldiers. Upon seeing it, the guard turned their attention to the party. In the ensuing fight the group managed to incapacitate the man and woman as the guards attempted to subdue them, but stopped to think twice before turning their weapons on the guards. Sheathing their weapons, they explained that they had been attacked and were only defending themselves and meant no trouble to the guards themselves. The guards placed them in shackles and explained that they had just attacked two of Sachsport’s licensed bounty hunters, Grog and his wife Berth, as proven by the badges they had produced earlier. As the guards prepared to take them to jail, Alec demanded to speak with his former master and Viscount of Sachsport, Lord Voldoff. The guards agreed to take him, but refused to allow his friends to accompany them. It was at this point that Bruce revealed a secret he’d been keeping up his sleeve and pulled his own bounty hunter’s badge from his pack. He managed to convince the guards that he had infiltrated the party with the intention of collecting the reward himself, and the guards agreed to take the entire group to Voldoff’s estate to sort things out.

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Alecamania and Soup

The party was escorted to Lord Voldoff’s estate and brought into his chambers. Voldoff dismissed the guards, and Alec explained the situation while Murdoch and Bruce set their sights on the various expensive liquors within the room’s wet-bar. Upon hearing their predicament, Voldoff made Alec a proposal: an alleged witch had recently been sentenced to death by combat in the arena, but none of his gladiators were brave enough to volunteer for the job. Seeing the vast amount of revenue he would generate by bringing his most popular champion out of retirement for one final match, Voldoff offered to make the party’s trouble with the law disappear if Alec would agree to enter the arena one last time. Alec agreed on the condition that his friends be permitted to fight alongside him, and Voldoff consented. He told the party that the trial would occur one week from that day and suggested that they make preparations, as the rumors about their opponent – if true – were many and ominous. After leaving the estate the party decided to follow a map they’d found among King Tork’s possessions, which led to a small cluster of mountains a few hours from the outskirts of Bayside. Finding a path winding up into the hills, the party began their ascent. After a few hours, the path broke into a small clearing, where the party found a solitary hovel made mostly of animal skins and bits of unfinished wood. As they examined the property, its owner returned dragging two fresh deer carcasses behind him. The party prepared for a fight, but the startled man ignored their drawn weapons and greeted them warmly, inviting them in for dinner. Seating themselves on stumps inside the sparse hut, the party learned that the man’s name was Zeke, and that he’d been alone on this mountain for decades, living off the land and keeping to himself. He made small talk with them as he prepared stew from the deer he’d killed that day, and although the party was cautious when he served it to them in bowls made of rough tree bark, they quickly found that it was the most delicious meal any of them could remember. Feeling invigorated, Murdoch drew the map from his pack and showed it to Zeke, asking him if he knew anything about the place marked on it. Zeke suddenly grew quiet, then said that he had something he wanted to show them. He took them out behind the hut and showed them what could only be graciously described as a woodworking shop. The ground was littered with roughly hewn stumps, upon which had been chiseled many names. Zeke explained that at the top of the mountain was a massive graveyard, and beyond the graveyard, a small cabin. One day while exploring the cabin, he found a book filled with thousands of names. He began matching the names in the book to those on the gravestones, and found that there were still hundreds of people unaccounted for. It was then he decided to make it his life’s work to provide grave markers to those who had none – he had been hauling his makeshift tombstones, one at a time, up the mountain for years and placing them in the graveyard. The party asked why he didn’t use stone instead, and Zeke replied that, while there was more than one peculiar thing about the area, one in particular stood out to him – any wood in the area quickly became petrified, turning into solid stone within days. They then asked him why he didn’t bring the book back to his hut to expedite his work, at which point Zeke simply shook his head and stated that he sensed great evil in that place and didn’t wish to bring it into his home. After placing a few of Zeke’s most recently completed grave markers in their cart to carry with them, the party thanked him for his kindness, and continued their trek up the mountain.

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