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Chapter 28: The Quagmire - 24 Sypheros, 999
With the contract signed between Xulox and house Cannith, all that was left was finding a way to get the party back together; a daunting task that ultimately proved easier than expected.

Cronos, while still angry at Melody's recent transgressions, chose to forgive and move on, rather than continue their feud. His actions made it much easier to bring along Crudak, and the party was reformed. Before they could head out in search of Boril's corpse, however, Melody wanted to further investigate the accusations against Bren ir'Gadden.

The party carefully planned their trip into the Cogs. None wanted a further encounter with Daask, especially without Boril and Falkruun in tow. The plan with Growmsh was simple, though; do a quick interrogation and find out if Grimgore acted alone or with Brellish orders.

Before they could enter Growmsh's trading post, a black-clad figure emerged and made a quick exit down an alleyway. The building exploded in arcane fury immediately afterward. Cronos leapt into action, chasing down the figure, only to witness it teleport away before he could strike. The others made a mad dash to save the orc proprietor, suffering some minor burns and one badly damaged leg in the process.

Despite their best efforts, Growmsh succumbed to his wounds shortly after being rescued from the fire. He was only alive long enough to give one cryptic explanation of the orders, "...ordered to kill...." and "...Marks..." It was clear to Meloday, and all involved, that Growmsh was under the belief that Grimgore was under orders, and that Marks likely meant either dragonmarks or aberrant marks. Melody had also confirmed the explosion was caused by explosive runes, though none had any idea who the arsonist was. The answers would have to wait, however, as the airship was ready for departure.

A few days later, the heroes were resting above the bog where Boril's body would be found. Due to an incoming storm and limited solid ground in the bog, the party was dropped a few miles from the location of the corpse. The ship would scout about while avoiding the storm and the four would hike through the bog to recover Boril.

Cronos used his mastery over storm to ensure the inclemate weather was mostly ignored and the party was off. After an hour or two of backtracking, they come across a bridge, showing signs of civilization in the area. As they began to cross, Crudak spotted two humanoids heading toward them, apparently attempting to escape a group of Stirge harrying them. Cronos, however, saw it differently. The rot grubs falling from the faces of the creatures, along with the bloated, putrid look of the stirge confirmed his fears.

The zombies, for lack of a better word, attack relentlessly, while the deathhusk stirge spewed a rotten blood all over the party. What appeared to be a quick skirmish quickly took a turn for the deadly when Cronos destroyed one of the zombies, only to find the body was animated purely by the rot grubs inside, who were now trying to infest him!

After a prolonged struggle, the heroes were able to survive and finish off the creatures. They were significantly humbled, though. Cronos and Melody were realizing that their rash actions with Boril's body lead to the deaths of innocent villagers. If they were going to succeed, they'd have to be more cautious next time...
Session: Chapter 28 - Sunday, Oct 16 2011 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
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A Solitary Walk in the Rain (I'll be right back/Curtain Call)


No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies


"...in return you must fulfill the contract on Bren ir'Gadden's life."

Melody scoffed, "Of coarse."

"I will not kill an innocent man!" roared Cronos.

Thora blankly responded, "No one is innocent, no one."

Melody only nodded sadly.


But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you


"...until you fulfill your end of the bargain, the remains will not be returned."

A look of surprise crossed Melody's schooled features, "Af-after all these years, all my loyalty, my word is not good enough?"

Xulox started to argue with the man, but Melody knew that it was pointless, words would not change their minds, "X, don't worry about it...I-I'll do this on my own. I'm sure that if I...well even if I don't make it, there would be no reason for them to hold that over your heads anymore."

"Melody..." Xulox understood what was left unsaid. Melody knew that she wasn't prepared for this. This was not how she normally operated, but time seemed to be pressing in and she had every intention of keeping her promise to Cronos.

With a sad smile Melody turned on her heels, "Tell everyone that I have this handled. You'll, you'll have Boril back soon..." without waiting for a reply Melody was out of the bar, walking off into the spires with purpose.


No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free


The rain had really picked up since Melody returned from trying to case out the ir'Gadden residence. He was up in Skyway now. Melody knew she should be able to get close enough to make an attempt, but now her chances of escape were gone. This would be the last act before the curtains fell for Melody.


When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes


Even as she sat in front of the mirror, fixing her hair to be just right and making sure that she looked every bit the sophisticated high-society woman she so desperately wished she was, the silent tears wouldn't stop. After everything she had seen, after everything that she had done, after everyone she had let down, Melody was waltzing right up to her certain death. "I suppose this is what I get for letting some stupid, stubborn, smelly, unsophisticated dwarf be my friend! Stupid dwarf, why did you have to finally be the one that didn't make it. Weren't we a team!? Who goes off and leaves someone like me all alone with those fools!?"



The sudden lightning flash lights up Melody's tear stained cheeks as she carefully brushes the tears away and steels her heart. Walking to the door her hand automatically goes for the rain cloak and umbrella, but she stops mid way through the motion and just leaves them. Walking out into the driving rain Melody tries to take up a song to keep her focused, but even her song seemed to have abandoned her.

"Where to miss?"

"Skyway please. I have a very important meeting to make..." Melody's deep green eyes have dulled as she mechanically prepares herself for the inevitable.

"Must be some meeting to get you out into this weather."

"I guess you could say I am meeting fate..."

I don't feel a thing
and I stopped remembering
The days are just like moments turned to hours

Mother Used to say
if you want, you'll find a way
Bet mother never danced through fire shower

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Is it right or is it wrong
and is it here that I belong

I don't hear a sound
Silent faces in the ground
The quiet screams, but I refuse to listen

If there is a hell
I'm sure this is how it smells
Wish this were a dream, but no, it isn't

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Am I right or am I wrong
and is it here that I belong

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Why do I feel so alone
For some reason I think of home


Seeing everyone who had come to stop her, Melody was silently glad that they had. Nothing scared Melody more then death, and death is exactly what Melody knew she had been walking towards. It was the price she would pay to keep her promise.

A slight smile tugs on Melody's porcelain features, "Fine, lets see if we can't talk to this Scarface fellow...I really would rather not have to go grave robbing..."
Session: Chapter 27 - Rudderless - Sunday, Oct 02 2011 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
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A High Ranking Representative
I'll admit, I would normally leave a meeting with some unknown warforged to one of my associates. This one, however, intrigues me. A psi-forged coming out of a lost creation forge near Cyre? This is much too good to leave to a lesser.

"Greetings, Xulo X, is it? I am Merrix d'Cannith, the head of House Cannith here in Sharn. I hear you have information on a supposedly lost creation forge. If that is true, you have come to the right place. Cannith has suffered greatly in the wake of the Last War. Sanctions keep us from helping to maintain and improve forgekind, and the schism between the house, though minor, has not helped us heal."

The patron of house Cannith is a thin, unassuming man. He spends much of the ensuing meeting asking all manner of questions, most pertaining to Xulox's creation, his functions, and to the various workings of the lost forge.

When all is done, he has agreed to fund a return expedition to the forge, provided it is secured for house Cannith. All artifacts and mechanisms will be the property of house Cannith when complete, save for anything the so-called Kech Sharaat have brought with them.

Merrix d'Cannith also provides Xulox with some of his personal warforged guards to accompany the party on the expedition. Payment will be $1,500 per person (offering to Xulox, Melody, Crudak, and Cronos).
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Aftermath
Report

21 Sypheros 999

The objective, to recapture the forge, currently has a poor chance of success. All options at returning the dwarf mercenary, and enlisting the aid of mercenaries in recapturing the forge have been exhausted. The two remaining members, Melody and Cronos, sought out resurrection at the aid of the Sovereign Host. En route, we were met by a local private investigator. A half-orc thug, who wields a bola, likely to capture his intended target. Words were exchanged, with the threat of violent force. The situation was resolved, the investigator informed of our situation, he escorted us through the city to our destination.

At the religious establishment, it's member hobgoblins were quick to dispel any ideas of their ability to resurrect Boril. Matters were not improved by the damage done to their door, by the head and horns of Cronos. Some coins of monetary value were left by Melody, but the hobgoblins did not find this a fair trade.

The next attempt was to utilize the local contacts of Melody. This turned out poorly, as she seems to be part of a vicious crime organization. A deal to assassinate an-ex officer of the Brelish army, in return for the resurrection was not an option at the moment. Melody and Crudak remained to speak with Melody's contact. Crudak then attempted to use his local contacts to his advantage. In the end, if both Cronos and Melody turned themselves in voluntarily for a statement, they would not be charged.

The authorities also pledged their support to help with the resurrection. This alternative plan was halted due to the loss of the remainder of Boril himself, a requirement to the ritual. Melody had chosen to leave it with her contact, who now was bargaining it for the deal to assassinate the-ex Brelish officer. Melody was prepared to attempt the ploy, in order to free the piece of Boril from the criminal organization. This attempt was uncovered by local authorities, after Crudak provided poor misinformation.

Status

This group of misfits has failed at resurrecting their leader, Boril. This was a requisite in order to recapture the forge itself. Speaking frankly, after failure in ambushing the goblins that inhabit the forge, it has become apparent that this group would not be capable in accomplishing the objective. In order to do so, outside assistance will be required. This also brings into question the fate of the forge. It's fate should lie in the hands of those that would use it as intended. It seems that there is only once choice that I have. The aid of House Cannith must be sought.

Personal Log

The objective remains. The forge cannot be lost. It is home, to me at least. I may reside elsewhere, but my rebirth was there. Thus I am bound to it, like a son to a mother. The 'family' I once had is long lost. My new found companions are indeed alike my old family. Scarred by the war and the experiences that go with it. I have decided to seek out House Cannith. They were the makers of my kind, and I have no doubt that they would show interest in this.

...Later on...

You there. Tell me where the guilds reside in this city.

A startled local looked up.Your assistance is appreciated. Regrettably I have no coin of monetary value.

Arriving in the Dragon Towers district, the location of the House Cannith establishment became apparent. Two large warforged stood out front, posted as guards. Walking up, Xulox exchanged glances to both. One stepped forward, opening the door for Xulox, glancing inside to another guard. Attached to this warforged was a circlet of command, an honorable distinction from the war. Entering the establishment, the appearance threw Xulox off. Not expecting a business establishment, but rather a workshop, he took his time observing the interior.

I was known as Sl... I am Xulo X. I have some information that would serve House Cannith. Can you provide a meeting with a high ranking representative?

As the employee turned to stand up, two warforged exited a door in the main foyer. One bore the same distinction as the guard outside. Peering into Xulox, communication was established via telepathy.

Come with us.

I believe I have located the assistance I need, thank you.

Walking in with the warforged, Xulox pondered his new objectives. They were not passed down, nor a duty taken. Cronos and Melody had inspired Xulox. One to set a goal, and the other to make the decision, for himself. He sought two items.

First, to find Boril's body and resurrect him. Second, to get the forge operational. To produce more forgedkind with a free will to choose their own destiny in this new world.
Session: Chapter 27 - Rudderless - Sunday, Oct 02 2011 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
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Chapter 27: Rudderless - 20 Sypheros, 999
Boril is dead. Anders is dead. Pock is missing, likely dead. Cronos & Xylox are wanted for the assault and kidnapping of Melody, who has been outed as having an aberrant mark.

Without their leader, their anchor, the party drifts aimlessly, seeking out any possible solution to bringing Boril back. The host wouldn't assist without manipulation from a powerful source. House Tarkanan offered to handle the task, but only if the party agreed to assassinate Lord Bren ir'Gadden. Melody agreed, but the rest of the party declined.

Crudak, the half-orc inquisitor, sought to apprehend the party for their bounty, but quickly fell into their aid when he learned of Boril's death. He says it's purely for the money. He was able to secure aid from the Citadel, but only if Cronos, Xylox, and Melody turned themselves in. After disagreements and subtle berayals, they agreed. Unfortunately, Tarkanan would have none of that.

Because Melody left the remains of Boril with house Tarkanan, they chose to use that as leverage to ensure Melody finished her task. Reluctantly, the eladrin made the journey to Skyway to complete her mission. Unbeknownst to her, Crudak had informed Captain Kalaes of the impending hit on Lord ir'Gadden's life, making it impossible for Melody to finish the job.

After three days, the party found themselves no closer to their goals. Trust was broken, and new wounds festered above old ones; they were rudderless...
Session: Chapter 27 - Rudderless - Sunday, Oct 02 2011 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
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