Chapter 1: The Talking Troll

Zeus                                                              Troll Cave
Zeus TrollCave

Prologue


     Our story begins in a medium sized town called Zeus, The god of the sky. The city is small enough to be home to two hundred citizens, who all know each other quite well. Zeus is commonly visited due to it's reputation for having the largest airfield on the continent, and frequents ships from all over the plane. The airship field can hold about twenty ships, but so far only fifteen have landed. Some airships are the size of a battleship, while others can be the size of small boats, holding about eight people. The town is set in a dusty area, with dust storms at least once a month. Given their location close to sea, rain and thunderstorms help keep the dust damp and collected, and the soil can be collected and plants can be grown. However, farming is not the way of life for this town, as many work as mechanics for the ships. Those who do not work set up shops, such as a bakery, a blacksmith, two rival traders, a hunter/tamer, and other places that those new to the continent would be interested in. The buildings in town are usually houses constructed from stone and sealed with clay. Other buildings are set with finer craft, such as brickwork, on the larger buildings like the blacksmithy, the library, the town hall, and the tavern.
     The town suffered damage over the years, causing a few uninhabited buildings on the edge of town to be left vacant and crumbling apart. The town's streets are not paved, or perhaps they once were but years of dust storms covered them. Clay dust settles over the streets, and it is very common for dust to be tracked indoors. The town is smart enought to invent and maintain airships, but when it comes to tracking dust... taking your shoes off at the door seems to be the only solution.

Tharyn Qul'Wrath


     As the sun stands at it's zenith, a large airship flies in and lands. The ship carries close to fifty people, but there are only three travelers worth noticing. A woman, wearing a black cloak over a set of fitted black clothes with leather boots that go up to her shins: Tharyn Qul'Wrath, a Moon Elf Necromancer from Vle'Anos. A man walks next to her, clad in a long brown robe with black shapes, his brown hood pulled up: Durhnoghma, a Warlock whose only recognizable feature is his copper mask and golden eyes. Below the deck, climbing out a window is a woman clad in a black cloak set with silvery threads, with a pattern similar to a spider web: Spider, the Shadow Monk who snuck aboard the ship before it took off from Vle'Anos. She wears a black suit, that stretches and shrinks to her movements, and her cowl fits over her face with a mask, disguising her features.
     Tharyn and Durhnogma walk off , taking a ladder off the ship to collect their gear from the ship's cargo area. After they collect, they walk towards town, passing a ship where a captain struggles to hold a caged crow, as the small bird keeps pecking his hands.
     "Ah, look mates! I caught me a raven! A good bird ofcourse, a sign of fortune to come!"
     Tharyn takes notice upon the trapped bird, who flutters about and rages against it's captivity, however escape is futile for the poor bird. Tharyn, being crude and sour at the captain's happiness, laughs at him.
     "That is not a raven, you idiot! What you have there is a crow. I don't know if they are common here, but back where I come from... nothing good comes from Crows. The only fortune you have brought yourself is a quick death, should you choose to keep it."
     The crow kaws at the captain, in a manner that resembles communication, like it understands Tharyn and is saying "That's right! I'm bad! Free me!"
     As the crow kaws annoyingly, the captain smacks the cage to quiet it. He sets it down upon a crate, and carefully opens up the cage, a scowl upon his face. He reaches in, grabbing the cursed bird, and throws it into the air, where it flies off and lands between two airships.
     "I'll find me a good ol' bird" The captain says.
     Durhnoghma, with words smooth like honey and flowing like water, speaks. "Excuse our interruption, good captain. This nice lady and I are in search of the Great Chasm and what may have lied there before. We are writing a book, and any information or assistance you have would be richly rewarded, should you be of service."
     The man, hearing the sound of gold coins, turns to look the man in the eyes. Before him stands a copper masked individual, clad in brown robes etched with black symbols. His eyes, barely visible under the mask, are the purest yellow one could ever lay eyes on, bringing a sense of wonder and joy to any who look in them. His eyes are so captivating that no one really notices the black that surrounds the golden circlets in his eyes. "My name is Durhnoghma, perhaps I should repeat myself?"
     The captain shakes his head, shaking himself out of the childish curiosity that had taken him. "Oh no, no ofcourse not!" The captains says, continuing. "The Great Chasm happened long before I was born. However, I think I might know something, but my memory is weak and my stomach is empty..."
     Durnoghma touches the man's shoulder, a faint glimmer of green magic can be seen in his palm as he places it. "Well, anything you know should be shared among friends. After all, it is your ship that will take me there once my research here is complete." The man's face, beguiled by the magic words of Durnoghma, pulls into a forced smile. The man can't help but feel anything but pure trust in Durhnoghma. "Well, from what I've been told, The Great Chasm had been that way for just about full century. The only person in this town who might be old enough is that crazy hag Marg, who runs a shop called The Wild Trade, in the center of the city." The captain's smile becomes even more painful to look at, but Tharyn and Durhnoghma take their leave of the man. He shouts at them as they walk away, "just... don't buy her potions, right? She spits in her stuff, and I swear it's piss in half of them."
     "That was a little bit too much, don't you think?" Says Tharyn. Durhnoghma stops walking and turns towards her, looking her dead in the eyes.
     "The only thing that is 'too much' is the lack of information we have on that damned chasm. I'm done dealing with peasants for the day: your turn. I'm heading to the library. Check out that Wild Trade and come find me when you're done." Despite his pleasantries, Durhnoghma is never nice on purpose.

Stormdrake


     As Tharyn heads inside the Wild Trade, she takes in the scene: a cluttered shop, set with tables on the sides and displays in the middle. Several items are set about, such as tonics with questionable ingredients inside. Several items, such as the pelt of a mountain lion, lie in the displays. At the counter stands a tall brass Drake, clad in chain mail with a mighty brass swordspear on his back. He is speaking to the clerk at the counter, his voice resonating through the air like thunder. Despite the rumble of his voice, his accent is quite distinguishable of one raised as a priest.
     "Good day, m'am. What is your name? I am here to-" The woman stands up from her stool, shouting at the man and spitting words towards him. Spit does fly as she speaks.
     "Name's Margaret! You, you have come to BUY OR LEEEAAAVVE! No bargaining! No discounts! No-"
     The Drake interrupts her, his voice rolling politely but impatiently at her. "M'am, this is the most well stocked store I have seen all day. Much nicer than that slum dealer up by the town hall."
     The elderly woman smiles at him, her disposition towards him peaking. "That is because all of my goods are hand made! See.. *she pulls up a bottle filled with blue tonic. It looks appetizing*...Here! Raptor Repellent! Good against birds and the Cockatrice! My pee!"
     All of a sudden, the blue tonic does not look good. The man doesn't flinch at hearing this, but the moment she opens the bottle, he plugs his nostrils. "That is... a very wonderful odor. Perhaps someday, I will have need of this... just not today. Do you by any chance know of Prag'tar, of the Iron Tusks? I am in need of assistance..."
     The woman looks around, pulls up three lesser healing potions and slaps them on the counter. The potions swirl in a vile manner, with red and yellow substances sloshing about. "Buy these for one hundred fifty gold! And for the low, low price of one hundred gold, I'll even throw in FIVE DRAGON'S SPIT! FIRE BOMBS! Strong enough to blow a limb off from the husband killing ogre piece of-"
     "I'm afraid I don't have the gold. Perhaps I could collect some ingredients for you, in exchange for two of each?"
     Marg looks confused and flabbergasted. Her eyes squint, peering into the man's soul as if, and then she begins to blush. Shouting commences from the elderly woman.
     "TWO OF EACH! BRING ME HIS HEAD! He bit off me husband's head, and I want the debt repaid! VENGEANCE! Also, bring me ogre tusks. Grounded up, they make fine powder. Good ingredients. GOOO!!"
     "By the thunder of Talos, by the power granted to me by lightning, I will avenge him!" The Drake turns around, nearly walking into Tharyn. She steps off to the side, getting as close to the table behind her as possible, looking with disgust at the healing potions, and then smiling awkwardly at him. As he walks out the door, his voice can be heard "Aggggh! Fresh Air! Thank Talos!" Tharyn walks up to the counter, avoiding any bottles laying around. She approaches the woman, who is still blushing.
     "Are you-"
     "Marg! Haven't seen a Moon Elf in some time, not since me husband was eaten! Can I collect a sample of your hair?" Marg pulls out a pair of clippers, snipping them as she extends towards Tharyn. Tharyn steps back sharply, grabbing her long white hair.
     "NO! I mean... no, sorry. I am here to ask about the Great Chasm. I'm writing a book, you see, and the town's people say such great things about your remarkable memory. Do you remember?
     "Ohhh! I remember only that is used to be such a nice arbitrarium, with fine and rare ingredients. So many scholars would collect the flowers, as did I, to make potions! Pluck!" Marg makes plucking motions with her hands.
     "Do you still have any of these flowers or potions?" Tharyn asks the woman, who scratches her armpit, then sniffs her scratching hand.
     "No, dear! That was one century ago! Nothing left! All faded or rotted to dust. Nothing remains! Only a black void that goes on for all eternity!"
     Tharyn pays no more attention to Marg, and heads towards the exit of the shop.

Paladin Warsch


     Inside the blacksmith's shop, a wizened man with graying hair hammers at a piece of iron, shaping it into a cutlass. As he hammers, the ringing in his ears deafen him to the sound of his door opening. As the door closes, a man with short-lengthed white hair turns around, revealing his light blue skin and silver eyes. The chain mail, his shield, and his mace all have markings of Talos upon them, however he wears a blue tunic that fits over his chains, revealing a silver flame sewn onto the chest. Around his neck is similar symbol, secured to thin chain around his neck. Many who look upon this man see an Angel, however that is not what he is. He is no taller than a human, standing at six feet tall. His frame is neither muscular nor slim, but the pain of his past can been seen not just from the scars that expand across his face, but from the sound of his voice, which is serene, humble, but the words are spoken with valor. "Hello, blacksmith? Can you hear me? What is your name?"
     The blacksmith, unaware of a visitor, turns around, his hand firm on his hammer. "Didn't hear ya. Name's Haggard, blacksmith." He begins hammering upon the metal again.
     "Haggard. I am Paladin Warsch, on a quest to find Prag'tar and bring him to justice. Have you heard of him?"
     H: "Nope."
     W: "How about the Iron Tusks?"
     H: "Bastards! What about them?"
     Warsch is looking mildly annoyed. "I'm going to stop them, but I need help. Do you have anything that would lend aid?"
     H: "Five javelins for twenty gold."
     The blacksmith motions over to a barrel in the corner of the room by the door. Warsch pulls out a javelin, inspects the tip, and nods. "Make it fifteen gold, and you have yourself a deal." Warsch looks over at the blacksmith, who is holding a pendant, which opens up. Inside is a picture of woman and a child, and the smithy looks saddened by the picture. He tucks it back inside his shirt.
     "Fifteen it is. Off with ye, now. I haven't got any more words for ye."
     Warsch heads out from the blacksmith, and meets up with Stormdrake.
     W: "I've got ten javelins total now, that blacksmith just gave me five. What did you get?"
     Stormdrake, with a look of great pain on his face, speaks to his friend. "I've got regret and memories that will haunt me for years to come. However, I did secure these two healing potions and two 'firebombs' as the lady put it. She was off her rocker, for sure, but we should be set for our journey. I've noticed there is a guild for hire, maybe we could talk them into helping out?"
     Warsch nods his head, but as the two walk towards the guild of mercenaries, the door breaks open. A figure, clad in a crow mask and wearing a black-feathered cape, is tackled by a man, who wears simple leather armor under a red tunic. The story of the crow is a long and controluded one, but the tale of this masked individual begins with a crow.

Crow Lord


     Trapped by a net and placed in a cage, the crow was freed by Tharyn and flew off to revert back into a man; wearing a cloak of black feathers, a mask of a crow, and torn clothes pulled over leather armor. After his escape, the lord of crows sulked over to Brolaf's Tavern.
     He sat at the counter, slapping down a copper coin and hoping for whiskey. However, the bartender did not speak bird, but with good intentions he pockets the copper. He speaks with a young voice, sounding very hip and careless. "This here is Brolaf's Tavern, Bird-Man! Ha... Water for the bird, as kindly requested!"
     Brolaf is some form of hippy or something, with long blonde hair, sleek with all natural oils. He sets down the glass of water in front of our bird guy, who slips up his mask to drink it, then leaves. The bird heads over to the guild of mercenaries, walking through the door into the gaze of two men, who assess him head to toe, smirks upon their faces. He pulls out a piece of paper, writing upon it and handing it to the man at the counter. The other man, sitting in a chair next to the counter, looks t the other man. "Name is Crow Lord. Looking for Cao Cao, who killed my father. Hiring heroes to find him. 50 gold. Will pay for travel."
     The man at the counter, parting his black hair from his face, laughs as he finishes reading the note. He crumples it up, and tosses it into Crow Lord's face. He then slams his hand down upon the counter. "We stay local. No crazy bird adventures!" He extends his pointer finger, and pointing and pressing down upon the counter to indicate 'here.' Wearing a mask, is is difficult to notice Crow Lord's anger, but the slant of his shoulders makes Crow Lord look pissed off.
     Crow Lord leans off from the counter, and prepares to leave. The man at the counter is caught off-guard as he is kicked in the chest by Crow Lord's foot. The man flies back about five feet, into and over the table behind him. The other merc, a man in a red shirt, charges Crow Lord, is surprised by but not off-guard. Red charges Crow Lord, grappling and tackling him through the door, which snaps off the hinges. As the man continues forward, he trips and slides forward, landing on the ground on top of Crow Lord.
     Crow Lord places his hand over the man's mouth. Strange, druid magics can be seen emanating from the palm, and the odor of skunk fills the man's lungs and mouth, causing extreme nauseau. The man gets up, staggering back. Crow Lord charges, performing a flying kick, but just as he gains air, the man falls to his knees to catch his breath. Crow Lord is sent flying over Red, where he lands in front of the merc who he kicked over a table. As he lands, Crow Lord casts his druid magic again, producing a golden orb which floats from his palm over towards the merc. The merc is somewhat distracted by the orb, but collects himself and swats his hand, passing through the golden orb, dispelling it. He then runs forward and swings at Crow Lord, but misses. The other merc, collecting his breath, deals a flanking punch on Crow Lord, which knocks him foward onto the ground. As Crow Lord rises up from the ground, the guard show up in two groups of three.
     After a very quick, one sided query, the guard arrest Crow Lord, who cannot speak to defend himself, only "Kaw! Kaw!" as the guard haul him by his feet to jail.
     Crow Lord is thrown in a cell after a cleric heals his bruises.
     "A day in these cells ought to clear ye mind. Fucking bird!" says a guard, who turns to walk away.
     Our story leaves the cell of the once again trapped crow, back to the woman calling herself Spider.

Spider


     Clad in a black, silky cloak, the woman wears a silk mask which covers her face. None of her skin is exposed, preventing any descrimination the dark elf might have in these lands. Her black cloak is enchanted, with silver webs across the fabric, granting her the ability to climb walls like a spider. she climbs out a window from the ship, and jumps down, avoiding contact and sight with all individuals. With great stealth, she makes her way down to a medium sized boat held in port 11. As she climbs with spider-like ease, she notices the crew exits the ship, but a lone child remains to mop the deck.
     She climbs alongside the ship, behind the kid, who says "Man, I wish my life involved something more adventurous." Feeling a pang of sorrow for the poor child, Spider punches him in the back of the head so hard that he lands face first into the bucket, flipping over, and landing on his back. Unconscious, the boy begins snooring.
     Spider makes her way to the cabin on the back of the boat, approaching a locked door. Spider looks at her satchel, which contains a set of Thieves' tools, perfect for picking locks. She then looks back at the door, and with great strength she kicks the door wide open, revealing a small trove of finery: the captain's quarters.
     She takes the silk sheets from the bed, pockets three bottles of rum worth 10 silver each, and finds a really nice hat with the plume of a raven on it. "Gotta be worth close to 50 silver" she states, as she packs it loosely in her satchel. As she exits the cabin, she looks back one last time, noticing a chest. Unlocked, she opens it's heavy case, revealing 12 silver. Disappointed, Spider exits and returns with the boy, who she leaves in the bucket, then leaves.
     Outside, the sound of fighting can be heard! As she looks with concern to the source, she sees Crow Lord being knocked down, filling a man's mouth with some kind of green odor. The crew from the ship she landed with are seen taking bets while running towards the fight. Spider leaps over to the next airship, the one she had previously snuck aboard on. The front door to the captain's chamber is unlocked, due to the hustle towards the fight, no doubt. As she enters the cabin, she notices a piece of paper for a bounty on Zack the one handed, 200 gold reward for the pickpocket if found alive. The rest of the cabin is quite simple: simple cloth sheets, cheap rum, no cool hats. But there lies a chest, with silver engravings and mahogany casing, and locked with a very strong steel. Despite its strength, Spider easily picks the chest open, finding a medium-sized bag of silver and a small coin-purse of gold.
     More fighting can be heard, not the sound of a brawl but actual weapons hitting armor. As she looks through a window, a pack of Graz'blins and Wargbons are assaulting the town. Thinking fast on her feet, Spider leaps from the cabin, running to the mast of the sail and using its spin to launch herself to the largest boat. She lands without making a single noise, as assassins are trained to do, and prepares her fists for combat. She kicks down a door, leading to the captian's cabin, and in front of her lies a large golden urn with the ashen remains of a loved one inside.
     Spilling its contents out, she places the golden urn into her satchel, turns, and beholds a cutlass on the wall with a ruby in the pommel, two ornamental daggers, and a very large chest unlike anything she has ever seen before. Spider breaks a pick trying to open it, then grabs the daggers and tries to pry the chest open, damaging the chest slightly but not effectively. Harnessing the art of dark elf Jitsu, Spider prepares a flurry of punches that, when executed, can knock the torso clean off a man. She executes, and cracks the top half of the chest open, revealing 1 potion of diminiation and seven twenty-five gp art pieces.
     "Now that I've been paid to fight for this piece of crap town, it's time to earn that wage." She exits the cabin, and standing on its edge, sees the town struggle. She grabs a rope hanging off the boat, and falls with grace to the ground. She pulls out several darts, holding them between her fingers, and charges off into town.

Graz'blins!


     After the guards hauled Crow Lord off, Stormdrake and Warsch decide to visit the bakery, while Tharyn heads to the library. The bakery is a large shop, filled with glazed breads, donuts, bagels, cakes, and several different kinds of dough. Neither the Cleric nor the Paladin had ever eaten a delicacey in their lives. After all, their lives were meant to serve the gods, not eat in finery. As each of them prepares to offer coin for a vanilla donut, sprinkled with chocolate shavings on top a strawberry icing, several small green Graz'blins burst into the room, led by an orange Graz'blin-Graz'blin. The Graz'blin grabs the bakery, carrying him off by his feet, while the five Graz'blins fight the Paladin and Cleric. With the decisive moment in battle being the first, Warsch and Stormdrake charge. Warsch calls upon the spirit of his mother to protect him, and an Animated Shield pops up, hovering over him. Warsch pulls out his hammer and shield, and swings out at a Graz'blin, hitting it right in the skull, snapping it's head into an unnatural angle. Stormdrake two hands his magic swordspear, and slices down upon a Graz'blin, cutting clean through its torso at an angle, causing the Graz'blin to split in half. Two Graz'blins try to attack Warsch, but neither of them can get a solid hit past his shields. The third Graz'blin throws a firebomb at Stormdrake, missing by inches but setting fire to a rack of donuts.
     With great anger at the destruction of those fine donuts, Warsch swings at a Graz'blin, but misses it by inches. Stormdrake uses his Thaumaturgy to cause his voice to become even louder, booming like lightning.
     "YOU FOOLS! YOU HAVE DESTROYED THE ONLY SOLACE IN THIS WORLD! FLEE, OR BE SMITTEN WITH TALOS' THUNDER!"
     The Graz'blins, noticing that two of their friends are already dead, stand strong! Their faces form into strong grimaces, their will become fire, and they prepare themselves for a battle of honor. However, one of the Graz'blins screams out in fear "Flee! They'll kill us all!" He takes off running, going out the back end of the shop. The other two, seeing that they are equal numbered but out classes, try to flee, but Warsch and Stormdrake throw their weapons, hitting each creature and killing them.
     The duo bolt outside through the front door of the baker's shop, where they see the town beset by numerous Graz'blins, Graz'blins, and several Wargbon. Tharyn runs out from the library, joins them. As they group up, Warsch begins running down the alley towards the back of the bakery, but a lone Wargbon stands in his way. Tharyn, Warsch, and Stormdrake stand in a formation against a Wargbon, forming a line in the alley.
     Warsch stands in front, with his hammer and shield out, and calls upon an Animated Shield to protect him. As Warsch charges the Wargbon, the animated shield flies out, opening up into a large blue shield. Warsch brings his hammer down upon the Wargbon's head, whose skull is thicker than a human's. The Wargbon swings with his club, but the blow is stopped by the Animated Shield.
     Stormdrake moves behind Warsch, calling upon his God Talos to bring Sacred Flame upon the Wargbon. A bright light is summoned above the Wargbon, and glowing fire and liquid pour down upon the Wargbon, who fails to get out of the way. The Sacred Flame melts away the Wargbon's fur, revealing scarred and burnt flesh. Tharyn hops upon her bloom, and soars overhead, launching a firebolt right into the Wargbon's face, causing even more burns and knocking him on his back.
     "This.. this is not a fair fight!" It states. It gets up to run away from the party, but is struck in the back by Tharyn again, who took the opportunity to prepare a second firebolt spell. As it is struck again, it makes it way away from Warsch, who swings but misses with his hammer, and a Graz'blin jumps in front of the party. Stormdrake calls upon Sacred Flame on the Graz'blingolbin, who is roasted by heavenly flame. Warsch swings at the new foe, but misses as the fire singes the flesh of the Graz'blin. The Wargbon pulls out a javelin, and throws it in the direction of Warsch and the Graz'blingoglin. Warsch's Animated Shield blocks the blow, and the javelin falls to the ground, rolling off to the side.
     As Stormdrake stands facing toward combat, a Graz'blin flanks him from behind, knocking an arrow into its Bow. Just as it lines up a shot, a dart hits it in the shoulder! The Graz'blin turns with great pain to fire at its assailant. Spider, with great reflexes, dodges the arrow, which was about to find its home in her chest. With great speed, Spider moves towards the Graz'blin and prepares a flurry of blows. She misses her first few strikes, but her last two hits connect. As her punch twists the poor things head around, she lifts up with her foot and sends the poor bastard flying into the air, landing as a corpse with several broken bones.
     Stormdrake, completely unaware of the fight behind him, melts the Graz'blin in front of Warsch with Sacred Flame. As the poor thing melts away awfully, creating the stench of singed meat, the Wargbon leaps forward, catching Warsch offguard and smashing him in the jaw with its club. Tharyn moves forward on her broom, then casts soul trap and wrests the Wargbon's soul from his body, which flies towards her into a small stone.
     The fight is going poorly for the town, as several of the guard have been killed. Warsch snaps his broken jaw back into place, noticing his broken bones, and the group of four help the town clear out.

Crow Lord: Jail Bird


     As Crow Lord sits in his cell, he hears the sound of battle and the bloody gurgles of death. Casting Thorn Whip, Crow Lord pulls the cell keys off the wall, along with a small chunk of the wall itself. He unlocks his door, and comes face to face with a Graz'blin, who is currently smashing in the head of the guard who called him a "fucking bird." Crow Lord doesn't feel any remorse for the man, but death is never just. Crow Lord, realising the confines of the great indoors, assumes the form of a Direwolf. As a great white wolf, twice the size of any ordinary wolf, Crow Lord easily rips apart the Graz'blin, crushing its torso in his great maw.He turns towards the door, unopenable by wolves, but chomps down upon the door handle. He rips the door off its hinges, he witnesses the two mercenaries he was fighting with earlier fighting a Wargbon. As he gets ready to chow down once again, the Wargbon smashes in the shoulder of the merc whose mouth he filled with skunk odor.
     Crow Lord has never tasted anything as foul as a Wargbon in his life, but before he could even get his jaws down, the rank taste of fur entering his wolf mouth foiled his attack. The other Mercenary stabs the Wargbon with a javelin, but while stabbing, the Wargbon swings out with its mace, snapping the javelin, and then punches the merc in the face with its shield. The Wargbon is profusely bleeding, but that isn't slowing it down!
     Both Crow Lord and the mercenary miss their attack, but the surprise of a giant wolf behind it causes the Wargbon to miss its attack on the mercenary. Crow Lord leaps on the Wargbon, getting past the awful taste and crushing its head inside his jaws. Tearing off what he can, Crow Lord turns towards two Graz'blins: One shrieks in absolute fear, taking off out of town. The other Graz'blin doesn't even notice, and begins visciously stabbing a guard in the stomach, pulling out bits of his intenstines with several stabs.
     The Graz'blin is severely wounded, and the merc who got shield-bashed in the face pulls out a throwing dagger, and while prone throws the dagger. The Graz'blin is impaled by the dagger, which sinks hilt deep into its neck.

Cleaning Up The Streets


     Stormdrake rushes off from the group to lend aid to a guard, who is fighting two Graz'blins at once. Warsch drinks a vial of Marg's healing potion, restoring the small fractures in his jaw. Tharyn practically vomits in her mouth, and so does Warsch, who states that "This thing heals alright, but there is a foul aftertaste!"
     Tharyn gets her mind off the vile healing potion and flies over to Stormdrake and the guard, while Warsch and Spider run off to fight a Wargbon and a Graz'blin, who are beating the crap out of two guards.
     Spider casts web as she is moving at the Wargbon and the Graz'blin, however the Wargbon leaps to safety, encasing only the Graz'blin in web, preventing it from moving in any manner. Out of a nowhere, a large direwolf places its jaws around the Wargbon, its breath reeking of Wargbon and Graz'blin blood. As it chomps down on the Wargbon's side, it lifts up and swings the Wargbon off its feet, knocking the Wargbon prone. Warsch, Spider, and the two guards literally stab, kick, and hammer the unfortunate beast to death. As the Graz'blin frees itself from the webbing, Warsch kicks it back into the web, knocking it prone and stuck.
      "Wait! Mercy! P-p-p-please!" It shrieks.
      "Why do you attack us?" Warsch interrogates.
      "Because the beast must be fed! Chief wants to make friends with it, feeds it, earns it trust.
      "Where is your Chief?" Warch pulls out a javelin and pokes the Graz'blin in the gut.
      "That direction! Takes a long walk! Greeldo counts! counted to ten, several ten times! And then... again! Again! You will find a cave, with many bones around its hole! In the mountains, the *he counts on his fingers* three mountains in! Just please, spare Greeldo! we would be friends and-"
      Crow Lord pounces on the Graz'blin and rips its face off. The meat is torn from its skull, and its eyes are looking everywhere in pain as blood runs over them. Then it stops, its eyes gone lifeless and the color fades from them.
      While all of this goes on, Stormdrake and Tharyn deal with the two Graz'blins alongside the guard, who is just a young boy, recently joined. Stormdrake is fighting with his shield and swordspear out, striking one Graz'blin in the chest, but not killing it. Tharyn fires at it from above, but misses. The Graz'blin swings out with its sword, striking Stormdrake across the chest and drawing blood, but Stormdrake thunderously rebukes the sword, causing the blade to crack into many small pieces, and the Graz'blin is blasted full force away, flying into a building. With several of it's bones broken, the Graz'blin falls forward, motionless.
     The last Graz'blin stabs the boy in the knee, causing a lifetime of severe trauma, but as it does, Stormdrake throws his swordspear into it, flying through its torso like parchment paper, cleaving it in two. The Graz'blin crawls over to its lower half, trying to put the pieces together, but dies in a matter of seconds.

State of Emergency


     The towns people come out from their homes, and everyone flocks towards the town hall. The Judge shouts, trying to calm the frantic townspeople. "Everyone who was wounded should report to the chapel of Zeus for healing. I have worse news: several of our townspeople have been taken! I have sent word to King Thalumend about the missing villagers, but in the meantime I want everyone to remain calm. The Graz'blins took my daughter, but that won't stop me from doing my duty! I will see to your safety! I promise!" Several of the townspeople begin talking amongst themselves, and then begin to scatter back to their homes.
      Warsch and Stormdrake get their wounds healed, and meet up with Tharyn, Spider, and Crow Lord.
      "Those people are going to be fed to great beast, as a Graz'blin told us. We need to head north to a set of three mountains, find a pile of bones near a mouth of a cave, and save those people!" Says Warsch. Stormdrake reports that he still has one more healing potion, and the two firebombs. "Dealing with the Graz'blins shouldn't be too much of a threat, but we need more than what we got. I'm going to find Marg again, see if I can procure some more ailments."
      Crow Lord begins kawing in random bursts, trying to make sense by acting out a scenario. His actions basically translate to: "As I crushed the skull of a Wargbon in my jaws, a Graz'blin ran off. His tracks should be easy to follow and will take us right to the cave, alongside the tracks of those captives! But the winds change; the clear skies turn to a howling wind, and I fear we may lose our way if we do not hurry; a dust storm is coming!"
      Warsch looks at Crow Lord, acting like he understands what the bird man is saying. Tharyn, with her eyes rolling, brows raised, and face slack with annoyance, says that "My friend is busy with research, so I guess I got free time to kill more Graz'blins. However, I do not understand why we even care about this town. Its a poor little hamlet, its airship captains are all alive and the life of these people will continue."
     Warsch looks very concerned at Tharyn. "We have the power to protect ourselves, however these people do not. Somewhere, out there in the wilds, are helpless individuals being cut and bitten by fiendish little creatures. If we can help, it will only make us stronger to do so." Warsch looks over at Crow Lord, with a look of complete understanding. "Crow Lord is right: we need to spend some time gathering supplies, spend time to come up with a good strategy, and head straight for those mountains!" Crow Lord throws up his arms, looking like he is in complete disarray as no one understood his actions. Warsch see his arms fly up, and looks at the sun. "Crow Lord's concerns regarding the sun are well placed. We need to gather what we can, and head out before dark.
     Spider isn't really paying attention to the group, and is spending her time thinking about where to take her stolen goods. After all, selling back to the traders in this town will only stir trouble with the locals. As she thinks this, a captain of one of the ships she robbed yells out "Ay boys! Me quarters have been robbed! The door kicked and me chest plundered! This aint no Graz'blin work! We have a thief!
     Spider speaks up to the party. "We need to move quickly. The Graz'blin that Warsch and I met said the creature was hungry. I'll be over inside the chapel, looking for assistance." Crow Lord kaws, snapping his fingers like a great idea hatched in his head and follows Spider.
     Stormdrake heads over to Marg's Wild Trade while Warsch checks out the other trader in town. Tharyn goes to the library to speak with Durhnoghma quickly, then moves over to Brolaf's Inn, where she stands outside, waiting for everyone else. Spider and Crow Lord head over to the chapel, where Spider hides inside a confession chamber and Crow Lord approaches the Mercs.
     The merc who had his shoulder crushed is alive, but barely breathing. Luckily, it was his right shoulder, however it looks like even divine healing will not restore the use of his arm. As Crow Lord approaches, the merc who helped Crow Lord fight the Wargbon picks up his weapon.
     "Oh no! No more crazy bird fights today, guy!"
     "Crow Lord holds up his hands in peace, and pulls out a piece of paper and writes on it: "Help fight the Graz'blins. Your friend will live. We are outmatched and only your help will change the tide."
     The merc reads it, but shakes his head no. "This here is my brother, my partner, my shield. He swore to protect me, and look at him. Leave me be, Crow. No crazy bird adventures."
     Crow Lord understands the man's pain, and leaves him be, meeting back up with the gang. Spider, keeping an eye on Crow Lord, follows him out, but peeks inside the tavern and sees a majority of the sailors slumped over tables. Upon further inspection, with fear of foul murder, she discovers that the sailors are just passed out drunk. "This explains everything," she says. "No wonder the fight went so poorly! Drunken bastards!"
      Stormdrake heads back inside Marg's shop, who is cowering in her shop, packing up as much as she can and preparing to leave. As he is noticed, she shrieks.
     "Ahhh! Leave me be, you vile Graz'blins!" She throws a jar of yellow liquid, which misses Stormdrake but the odor of bodily fluids can be faintly detected.
      "It's... ugh... I, Stormdrake. I was here earlier about Prag'tar? Anyways, the local clergy needs some healing herbs and potions for the wounded. Many are suffering, your help is needed."
      "You've had enough from me, no more!"
     Stormdrake, smelling piss and feeling disrespected, channels divine power, making his voice boom like thunder and his eyes flicker with lightning.
     "Listen here, hag! The town's people are injured or dying! Help them! Do not act selfishly!"
      Marg looks completely concerned with Stormdrake's appearance and voice, and throws a fresh vial of piss at stormdrake. She grabs a vial of water, set with a holy cross on its front. Stormdrake begins moving out of the shop, cursing the wench, and is hit by a vial of holy water in the back of the head. He controls his rage, and leaves.
     Warsch heads into the other Trader's shop, where he finds the trader slumped over the counter. As he investigates, a town guard enters to see Warsch inspecting a dead body. The guard recognizes Warsch as one of the town heroes, and gives him the benefit of the doubt.
      "What do we have here, sir?"
      Warsch turns quickly to the guard, who wasn't expecting a quick reaction.
      "This man was murdered, but..." Warsch pulls out the blade, inspecting it for craftsmanship. "the blade is man made, with a steel blade set in a copper handle, wrapped in leather. The blade itself is quite odd, with a hollow core running out through the pommel. I do not believe a Graz'blin could have done this."
      "If the blacksmith had not been kidnapped, I would say that you should take it to him. However, you could always run that over to another town."
      Warsch handles the blade carefully, examining the entrance wound site between the spinal columns. "No... I will save him from the Graz'blins. However, would it be alright if I grabbed a few things from this shop? I'm heading out to that Graz'blin cave, and could use some potions. Also, he won't be coming back for them."
      The guard looks around. "If you are going to solve Ian's death, it would be best to save the blacksmith I suppose. By order of the guard, and on behalf of the Judge of Thalumend, Chosen of Skoraeus, I grant you access to the wares. Take only what you need, and do not be greedy."
      Warsch nods, grabbing several 1d8 potions of healing and a potion of flying. As he walks out with the guard, he sheaths three more javelins, and grabs a belt containing five throwing daggers.
      The party meets up near the tavern. Warsch hands Spider the throwing daggers, and tells them about the inventory he collected. He includes that he thinks a member of the town had been murdered, showing everyone the dagger, but no one can make sense of it. Stormdrake states that "Marg hated the guy, but there is no way she managed to force a blade like this through a man's spine. The blade is too thick to easily pierce, and would require extreme strength to force in."

The Troll's Cave


      The party heads north, finding the trails of Graz'blins and human prisoners. They enter a cavern, laid with cleanly picked bones and smelling of death. As they head in, they see three bridges running underneath one another, suspended over a large dark chasm. Even with her dark elf eyesight, Spider cannot see the bottom of the chasm.
      Warch sees a tunnel to the left, stating that "over there lies a better path. That bridge will not hold all of us, unless we go one at a time. I say we head right!"
     Tharyn hops on her broom, and begins flying alongside Crow Lord, who motions for the party to split up and heads across the bridge. Spider follows Stormdrake and Warsch to the right, ready to take the tunnel. As they near the tunnel, Tharyn notices a figure step out from a hidden door way three floors down, barely lit and unnoticed until now. She instinctively fires a firebolt at the target, hitting a Wargbon in the chest, who manages to fire an arrow at Crow Lord before being hit. Spider runs down the wall and punches the foe twice, cracking one of his shoulders and shattering a rib.
     Crow Lord notices the figure just in time, lifting up his wooden shield, which blocks the arrow. Crow Lord conjures up a Thorn Whip, and lassoes the Wargbon. With great strength, Crow Lord pulls it off the edge, screaming as he descends "I'll be back! I will have... REVEEEENGE!!!" He falls into the bottomless depths of the cave and is never seen again.
     As if nothing had happened, Crow Lord continues crossing the bridge, which takes him to a sloped tunnel that descends to the third floor, and leads across another bridge to the cave that the Wargbon came from.
     Spider takes a peek inside the doorway, seeing a larger Wargbon with two hostages: a man in leather armor, and a young girl. "The Judge's daughter!" she whispers, motioning for Crow Lord and Tharyn to come closer.
     The scene changes to Warsch and Stormdrake, who head on through the path they were taking, ending up near a small alcove, where they smell the roast of a large boar being plated in front of three Graz'blins. "More!" The Graz'blins scream, throwing things at the baker. Warsch and Stormdrake recognize the man immediately. As Warsch and Stormdrake enter, they see one of the Graz'blins pick up a sword and begins sulking over to the baker.
     Acting fast, Warsch and Stormdrake load up javelins, and take fire at the brute, but their throws fly high of the targets, alerting them to their presence as the walls of the cave are hit.
     One of the Graz'blins rushes Warsch, pulling a sword out from underneath the table and taking a swing, however Warsch blocks the strike with his shield. Warsch calls upon his Animated Shield, and swings his hammer sideways, knocking the Graz'blin in the right elbow, cracking the bones. Stormdrake calls upon his deity, Talos, to protect Warsch with a Shield of Faith, giving him another magical flying shield to protect him. With his defense nearly impenetrable, the other two Graz'blins fire at warsch, but like waves against a shore of stone, the arrows are ineffective.
     Stormdrake pulls a javelin out of Warsch's pack, throwing it at the nearby Graz'blin, but fails to throw between the small gap created by the wall of shields. The narrowness of the caverns, the wall of shields, and the armor class of both parties leads to an exchange of ineffective blows. Stormdrake pulls out his holy symbol, calling for Sacred Flame to rain upon the Graz'blin infront of Warsch. The Graz'blin actually falls into the path of the radiant flames, dissolving it's face along with most of it's body. The other two Graz'blins could tell, on the spot, that he was dead.
     Shrieking in a frenzy, one of the Graz'blins casts aside its bow and pulls out a longsword, two handing it for efficiency. The Graz'blins attack Warsch; the sword finding itself blocked by the Animated Shield, but an arrow sneaks by and finds it's home in Warsch's hip.
     Warsch shrieks in pain, and swings down with his hammer, knocking the Graz'blin in the head down to the ground, where it finds itself sitting underneath a blob of Sacred Flame raining down upon it, killing it.
     The archer backs up towards the Baker, and attempts to grapple him, knocking the baker to his knees and pressing a dagger to his neck. "Let me run or else he will be baking in hell!"
     Warsch and Stormdrake, nodding to eachother, step to the side, allowing the Graz'blin to leave.
     The Graz'blin feels nothing but surprise, but then feels joy and relief as it steps over its fallen comrades. For the first time in years, he smiles and a tear flows down his face. Perhaps, maybe he doesn't have to be so primitive. Maybe it's time for the Graz'blins to- Bam! Bam! A swordspear carves him from his lower half, but the pain was short-felt as a javelin pierces through the back of his head, sticking out his mouth.
     The baker, slightly disturbed at the barbaric display of the two holy men, is oddly pleased with its death.
     "Well, that's one less rodent to worry about! But my friends, there's no time! My brother, the blacksmith, was taken to the western cavern, across the bridge over there. The Judge's daughter is being prepared to feed a troll, and the town's tamer, Inarius, is with her! A chieftien wants to offer her to a troll, that much I know. That isn't going to work, just not right! You don't have time to reach both of them!"
     Stormdrake smirks at the baker, "There's nothing a Cleric and Paladin can't do. Mark my words, they will all live!" The baker smiles at Stormdrake, believing in their combined strength. As Warsch and Stormdrake head to the bridge, they see the main party head inside the chief Wargbon's chambers. The bridge they must cross is very unstable, and it is unlikely they will both be able to cross at once.
     "The heavier one of us should drink this potion of flying! Not to be stereotypical or anything, but you ARE a large dragon. Take it." Warsch hands Stormdrake the potion of flight, who consumes it and lifts off the ground.
     Their travel across the bridge goes smoothly, until Warsch is halfway across. The bridge holds well, but Warsch's foot cracks through a plank, causing him to tumble off the bride. Stormdrake flies down, gaining on Warsch as he tumbles further into the darkness. Both men are screaming, Warsch in fear and Stormdrake exertion. As Warsch plunges towards a stalagmite, his eyes turn bright orange and for a second, his body is surrounded by a radiating orange aura. His fall is slowed,giving Stormdrake the opportunity to grabs onto his arm, preventing Warsch's impalement. Stormdrake, with much effort and a slow ascension, carries Warsch up to safety, back towards the end of the bridge that they hoped to cross. They both let out a long breath of air and begin nervously laughing.
     The duo travel further into the tunnels of the cave, coming to a split: The left leading upwards to the sound of clanking metal and the right leading to shadow. They head left, the sound of a shouting Wargbon and the hammer of studs into leather.
     As they get up, they see the blacksmith outfitting a Wargbon in chainmail, a steel shield, and a sword. Unnoticed, they each throw javelins at the Wargbon; the first flying wildly through the air into the kneecap of the blacksmith, who screams out in unholy pain. The Wargbon turns around, and the second javelin hits him right in the chest, barely piercing the chain mail. A small trickle of blood exits the wound as the Wargbon pulls out the javelin and throws it back at Warsch, who smacks it aside with his shield. Running forward, Warsch pulls out his hammer and calls upon his Animated Shield. Warsch rushes the Wargbon, swinging down with his hammer, but missing it completely. As it laughs at Warsch, a glob of fire rains down upon it from Stormdrake, who has now earned the Wargbon's hate. It turns to pull the javelin out of the blacksmith's knee cap and Warsch takes the opportunity to strike again at it, barely smacking its back.
     The Wargbon throws the javelin at Stormdrake, but misses. Stormdrake pulls out his Swordspear, and taking flight, rushes at the Wargbon and slices through the chain mail, into the gory bits of the Wargbon, who isn't phased by his mortal wounds. Warsch swings again with his hammer, but his blow is matched by the Wargbon's shield as it turns towards Stormdrake, deflecting the blow.
     In a wrathful swing, the Wargbon slices through Stormdrake's chainmail in a similar manner. Stormdrake falls to the ground, bleeding out and unable to fight agains the Wargbon with Warsch. As Stormdrake falls, Warsch can see the extent of his wounds: blood gushes from a deep wound, which broke several ribs and pushed into the lung.
     In its attack, the Wargbon does not defend itself against Warsch, who brings down his hammer on top of its strong skull. The skull cracks downwards, causing both of its eyes to pop out. Warsch then swings the hammer up in a full circle around his shoulder, hitting the Wargbon in the jaw, smashing its skull upwards, breaking its frontal teeth into its skull.
     Warsch pulls out the vial of red and yellow healing potion, giving it to the blacksmith, who spits it out the first sip, then forcefully drinks it to restore his wound. "Yuck... this is Marg's crap, ain't it? Well, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Thanks lad! But my brother, the tamer, and the Judge's daughter! They're in danger of-"
     Warsch moves over to Stormdrake. "We know. The baker is safe, and the others have the situation under control."
     Warsch pulls out three potions of 1d8 healing, and plugs those suckers into Stormdrake's mouth. Stormdrake's damaged ribs, cut lungs, and lacerated flesh closes and heals partially, allowing him to at least stand. Warsch supports both the blacksmith and Stormdrake, and all three slowly begin walking down into the shadowy tunnels before them.
     Tharyn, Crow Lord, and Spider listen to the conversation within the chamber: "You damn Wargbon! I'll rip ye head off and eat your skull! I will suck the marrow from your bones!"
     They find a grisly troll chained to a wall, yelling at the Wargbon,. The chamber is an oval shape, with a large chair set with trinkets and jewels on it. Three wolves are in a pen, starving, with their ribs pressing against loose skin underneath their fur. The chief ignores the troll, holding the Judge's daughter and yells at Inarius.
     "See, tamer! It speaks smart, unlike most trolls, but will not obey me! Torture, feeding it Graz'blins, even throwing shinies will not satisfy it! How do I get it to be friend!?"
     The tamer, shaking his head, speaks up to the chief. "Well, it's a troll. Troll have base needs, such as food, shielter, and a proper dwelling. You killed it's parents in front of it, and left the bodies sit there. How do you think it will ever like you?"
     "Work your ranger magic... or the girl will get eaten! BY TROLL!"
     The girl tries to shake herself from the Wargbon's grasp, but is held too tightly. She tries to bite it, but the taste of the chief is enough to make her gag, almost puking..
     The Wargbon slaps the tamer across the face, sending him a few feet closer to the party. The Wargbon sees them.
     "Graaahhh!! How did you get here!?"
     Tharyn, normally very uncaring, challenges the Wargbon. "We're with the Kalrosh Postal Service. KPS. You ordered a firebolt, correct?"
     The Wargbon looks very confused. "I never ordered a fireb-"
     Tharyn lets loose a Fire Bolt, but instead of targeting the chief she aims for the gate on the wolf pen. The gate crashes open, and the three wolves walk out, very slowly, observing the chambers. Anger towards the chief, their master who starved them, the wolves begin circling towards the Wargbon Chief.
     Spider chucks a throwing knife, but misses the Wargbon chief, her knife landing near something in the back of the chamber.
     Due to the size of the cavern, Crow Lord transforms into a Direwolf again, charging the Wargbon and chomping down on its left arm. The Chief looks about him and at the wolves, shocked as his wolves turn on him.
     "Evil fluffies!? No! Bad dogs! Back to your pen!" As he shouts at the wolves, he clubs the Direwolf Crow Lord in the side, snapping a rib.
     Spider rushes out from the shadows where she threw the knife from, ending up behind the Chief. She throws two martial punches, but only one connects, making a sickening sound after it connects with a kidney, squishing and rupturing the Wargbon's Organ. The three wolves follow the lead of the Direwolf Crow Lord and begin chomping down on the chief. The wolves are weak and not as strong as a direwolf, but they manage to rip off pieces of fur and skin off. The Chief howls in pain, but clubs one of the wolves alongside the head. A sick snapping sound can be heard, and the wolf is knocked away, falling to the ground and remaining still.
     Tharyn lets loose a Firebolt, singing the hair off his shoulder and scorching his flesh. The Chief is knocked backwards, staggering too close to the Troll. The Troll sinks its claws into the chief's hide, and chomps down on his head. Blood begins pouring from the Chief's eyes and ears, and then Wam! Spider throws a dagger into the Chief's throat, sinking in and putting the poor Wargbon out of its pain. The Troll opens its jaws even wider, chomping down and scraping it's teeth against the eyes and then sinking in. A sickening crunching sound is heard as the top half of the Wargbon's head is crushed and torn off in the Troll's jaws. The troll picks up the Chief's large club, and smacks the wall where the chain is connected, breaking a large chunk off the wall.
     "Now... your turn! Feed... I must eat! Haven't had a decent meal in weeks dammit!"
     Warsch enters the cave, with Stormdrake and the Blacksmith. They see the gruesome death of the chief, and see the Troll free itself.
     Spider rushes towards the Troll, and begins punching it with a flurry of blows. Unlike the Wargbon, her punches do not snap bone and rupture organs. Minor bruising can be seen forming on the impact sites, which slowly begin to heal. The bruises turn purple, then black, and begin fading. Tharyn lets loose a firebolt at the Troll, but her bolt misses and strikes the wall.
     Crow Lord howls, and the two wolves remaining howl with him, and charge with him towards the troll. As he pounces at the Troll, Druidic Magics can be seen forming on Crow Lord's rib, snapping the bones back into place, healing him. He chomps down on the Troll's shoulder, his fangs tearing a chunk of flesh away. The Troll grins at the Direwolf, and the wound stops bleeding quickly, and begins to close. A wolf charges at the troll, leaping up to chomp down around it's throat, but the Troll opens up its jaw, pretty much fitting the wolf's entire head in its jaw. Chomping down, the wolf goes still, and then the Troll chomps down even further and bites the wolf's head clean off.
     Tharyn launches a bolt of flame, which sets the entire Troll ablaze. When the flames diminish, it's flesh is scarred, but does not begin healing. Spider takes this chance to launch another series of blows against the Troll. This time, her punches snap multiple ribs.
     Stormdrake stands up, away from Warsch, using Stormfury to prop himself into a good position. He takes the swordspear, holding it like a javelin, ready to throw it. He shouts "THUNDER!" aiming towards Crow Lord and the Troll. A large bolt of lightning begins flowing from the spear, making its way down the handle. However, a sharp pain shoots out from Stormdrake's side, causing him to fall to one knee and clutching his chest. The lightning launches itself from his spear, into the ground at his feet. The explosion launches him across the cave, flying full force into a wall. Stormdrake lands with a deafening thud, unconscious.
     Warsch takes up a better position, and begins throwing javelin at the Troll. The javelin flies forward, connecting with one of the Troll's eyes. The Troll rips it out, snarling at the party as it's eye is pulled out from it's skull. Despite the Troll's healing, the eye does not heal.
     The third and last wolf, angered at its dead friend, chomps down on the Troll's leg. Despite the difference in size between the two, the wolf manages to drag down the troll, knocking it prone.
     Crow Lord runs up and bites down onto the Troll's right arm, catching a bone in his jaws. The Troll bites down onto Crow Lord, but cannot get its arms up to slice him to pieces. As a fireball hits it square in the chest, a little too close to Crow Lord, but just enough to only affect the Troll.
     Spider begins punching its head with a flurry of blows, her arms appearing like blurs to the rest of the party. As she punches, the Troll's head slowly begins to crack in. It's ears begin to bleed, and then gray matter flows
     from each ear, spilling out onto the ground.
     The Troll is finally dead, and the hungry wolf begins to eat the corpse. The Animal Trainer, Inarius, states that "should you all not mind, I will try to tame the wolf. We have fought besides it, gaining its trust."
     "He is a good boy..." states Warsch. As he touches the wolf, however, it leaps onto the tamer, trying to bite him. The tamer forces his arm under the beast's neck, it's maw inches away from his face. Crow Lord reacts, and as a bigger wolf he chomps down onto the back of its neck, lifting it off the tamer and tossing it about. As he tosses it away, the snapping of its neck can be heard and the wolf whimpers. It lands motionless and bloody.
     Crow Lord reverts his form. Using the last of his magic, he heals Stormdrake, who rises ready for battle.
     "I will rage like the the storm! I am the... oh, the battle is over. We won? How did I end up here?"
     Spider tries her best to soothe the shaken Drake, stating that "there was a trap, and you were standing right on it. it launched you across the cave, and you fell unconscious."
     "Blast!"
     The party loots the cave, pocketing about 2000 gold worth of trinkets and gems from the Chief's throne. The chief wore nothing important on his person, however the Troll was wearing an odd necklace shaped in the emblem of a Hell Hound, set with a red gemstone. The Amulet, later identified as the Amulet of Hell's Tongue, increases its wearer's charisma to 18. Warsch debates with the party about who should get to wear it, but ends up possessing the artifact and wearing it.
     The blacksmith, with is his injured knee, is set upon Tharyn's broom, who flies him back to town.

Return to Town


     Everyone who was taken captive was rescued and returned to town safe and sound. The Judge approaches the party.
     "Egad! My daughter... but how?" He says, his daughter walks away with him to privacy. AFter several minutes pass, the Judge returns to the party. "Thank you for saving my daughter! She told me everything, including your heroics. Who are you people?"
     Crow Lord begins kawing rapidly, but Warsch speaks up for him. "We were just doing what we can. Circumstance has given each of us powers; We protect those without. That is who we are."
     The judge, most impressed by the party and their performance of protecting the town, speaks with a smile on his face.
     "Hm... Heroes! The Protectors of Zeus! Troll Slayers! I am honored to bestow this title upon you. Also, I would like to reward each of you; a free round trip to anywhere via airship. And here, this coin was collected recently for taxes, but you five will have need of this. And, as Protectors, I give you free access to roam the city! The same access granted to guards is bestowed upon you! At least, in this town. Should you have any further need of me, please come find me in the town hall. I will be attending my daughter for the next few days. The guard reported to me about the death of Ian, the town's trader. Marg has gone missing; I would ask each of your to look into it! I hope there is no connection, however I think it best that she and her... excretions leave this town."
     The heroes take their leave of the Judge, and head to the chapel of Zeus to be healed.

Proceed to Chapter 2: Bloody Business