Ghost Wolves

Excerpt from Ambrose's Journal
Buried Alive

As we delve deeper and deeper into these twisting and winding passages that form the Earth’s bowels I find myself admiring the ingenuity and adventurous spirit of the Dwarven people.
I also finding myself awed by their insanity! This place is a maze of tunnels that all look alike. Were it not for my ancestors granting me the gift of flight, we would have surely died by now. Kilja almost took a dive into the hard ground below her when we were climbing back up our ropes. Good thing I was able to stop her before she hit the ground.
What do the dwarves do to avoid this? Is it just easier for them to dig down until they reach the floor? They are sturdy, but not study enough to constantly fall tens, if not hundreds of feet and keep going.
On top of the pitfalls of spelunking, why would they keep going after encountering such horrors as these morloks, and the troglodytes? They are both foul creatures, that I’m sure aren’t edible. The group of Morloks that we encountered seemed like feral men that would sooner bash our heads in than develop a culture.

We finally managed to get back to the encampment where our guide left us, but not after taking his share of our gains. We are going to head back into the depths once we’ve recouperated from the trials of the caverns so far.

Perhaps the dwarves of old and us are not so different. After all, we are going back in knowing full well that we have only scratched the surface of the evil we are sure to encounter…

Excerpt From Ambrose's Journal
Depths of Dezkeden

It’s been a long time since I had written in my journal.

This last month in Highgate has been very busy. We’ve hardly had time to sleep it feels like. We managed to take out the Jarl, and reinstate the Duke’s rule.

Almost immediately we headed off to Drezkeden, but some of our less respectful members felt the sudden urge to pillage a burial cairn. Needless to say it was full of undead horrors. At least we cleared them out. Perhaps my ancestors will forgive me that trespass considering I helped eliminate some abominations.

Acclimating to Drezkeden isn’t easy. I don’t mean just because the air is thin. We are definitely the outsiders in this town. I really miss the warm welcome we get when we go to Colm. Here everyone is icy… again not just because of the climate.

Bran managed to infiltrate the Dwarven elders and with the help of Kilja, they let us know where the tomb of the Broadhammers.

What we found was not a welcome sight…or smell. It appears that a fissure in th earth led to the need for us to find the treasures within the tomb, but it is deep in troglodyte territory. The smell is sickening and omnipresent. I am not looking forward to a prolonged delve into this cavern of eternal stench. At least there are plenty of hearty dwarves to help us on this expedition, even if they do charge exorbitant rates. I hope we get what we pay for.

Report from Highgate

What follows is a report of the Broken Sword adventuring company and our works within the town of Highgate.

We were instructed to enter the town as anonymous wanderers and attempt to make connections with any supporters of the Duke we could locate. It was of utmost importance to appear unattached to Colm, and to only reveal ourselves to the right people. We had one clue: the Sprig and Ribbon.

We entered the city disguised as merchants, and took up residence at the Stonebough Inn, convenient in location as well as services; they had a fine stable and a rousing ale house in the common room. The proprietor of the Stonebough (Hamish Stonebough, appropriately) appears kind, welcoming, and even more importantly, amenable to our cause.

Our first connection within Colm was Bennic Cumberbatch, an alchemist that had the sigil of a sprig and ribbon on his store front. He revealed himself as a Duke supporter and proved invaluable as a source of information. He connects us to a cleric at the Templestone bailey, and gives us the name of one of the guards. He also tells us that he has been making large amounts of alchemists fire for the Keep. He knows little about it, except that as fast as he makes it, it is picked up by members of the Harl’s guard. He also tells us of a legend he knows, about tunnels that lead under the city and end at the Keep. Sadly he doesn’t know where they start, or whether they are real.

The Wolves worked around the clock searching for information, and we had soon made connections with the cleric, Roland. Ben discovered where the stash of alchemists fire was being kept, Kilja and Zadok gained intel on a huge shipment of arms, and Ambrose learns from the cleric that the Harl is indeed mounting an attack. Troops are being dispatched to a training camp outside of town. He also knows some facts about the tunnels. It seems they lead from a basement in the Keep to a kennel in the middle of town.

Next we connected with Kerrick Summerhall, a member of the Keep’s guard. He confirms Roland’s story about the training camp in an abandoned mining camp south of the town by about 6 leagues. He gives us a sense of the feeling about Highgate under the Harl’s rule. Fear seems to rule this town. The town is clean and devoid of the usual poor and hungry that gather around towns such as these. While quiet and pleasant, it is eerily so. It seems the Harl has outlawed any but those that have proven to be worthy to live in Highgate. While Kerrick doesn’t agree with the Harl’s ideas, he isn’t sure how many people in town agree with him. An uprising may not be possible when so many fear the consequences of rebelling against the Harl. He warns us to avoid Janus Blackmoor, the head of the garrison guard, and the large, possibly Drakish, emissaries that have been guarding the Harl.

We headed to the kennel master to see if we could sway him to our side, or at least find the entrance to the Keep and sneak past him. We met the man and purchased a dog named Daisy for Zadok in an attempt to befriend the kennel master, but it was no use. Tarn, the kennel master, seemed staunchly in favor of the Harl, or at least staunchly against poking his nose where it didn’t belong. We thought we would be able to sway his assistant, Dogboy, though. He was a large, slow fellow. And we did see something interesting: the pen next to Daisy was clean and unused, and seemed to be built of a different stone than the others. This was a good a place as any to look for the entrance to the undergound tunnel. We would have to return under the cover of night, to be sure.

Now was the time to send the precious Scroll of Sending off to Althus. We would infiltrate the Keep through the tunnels and find the Harl. We also let Althus know the exact location of the training camp that Terk had so cunningly located for us. They returned our message that they would be about a week and a half out. But we all agreed there was no time to lose. The plan would begin that night. While we snuck through the kennel, Ben and Ambrose would light the alchemists fire. Our hopes were that the guard would be so distracted by the blaze that fewer guards would be available to stop us as we entered the Keep to look for the Harl.

We left for the kennel with a sleeping potion concocted by Bennic to slip to Tarn, hidden in a skin of wine. He drank the wine gratefully and was soon asleep. As Zadok distracted Dogboy, I found the secret catch that unlocked the doors to the tunnels, but before we could slip inside unseen, Dogboy caught on to our plan. There was no choice but to tie him up along with the kennel master. We left our Highgate allies, Roland and Bennic, to guard the entrance and followed the tunnel.

The tunnel was a maze of dead ends and secret doors. it led through the dungeons of the Keep, then up through a secret staircase. Finally we broke out into a lavish room with tapestries on the walls, a 4 poster bed and a fine wardrobe opposite. A man sits in the room, dressed in fancy clothes and armed with a sword. He called out, “who’s there?” just as the alchemist fire blew in an echoing explosion that shook the foundations of the Keep.

A battle ensued between the Harl, his guards, and the large ogreish emissary, but though they fought wickedly, they were no match for the Broken Sword. We cleverly mixed magic and might to chip away at the enemy and finally took down the Harl. Ben insisted on bringing the head.

We snuck out, back the way we had came but found the exit blocked by Janus Blackmoor and some of his troops. He pulled out a gigantic magical sword, but before he could swing it, Ambrose blinded him with a burst of lightning, and extinguished most of the guard (along with Dogboy who turned out to be an ogre) and knocked Blackmoor to the ground. The party disagreed about what to do with him, half were insistent on killing him, while half of us were resigned to let him live. He might prove useful after all. In the end, he was allowed to live as our prisoner and Ambrose and I were allowed to try and persuade him to our side, though he would be given over to the Duke in the end.

Though we tried, Janus never became the Duke’s man, though we found him to be civil. He is staunchly loyal and a Harl’s man to the end. He would have made a valuable soldier, but it seems he would rather die than go to the other side. I can’t understand it completely, but I admire his courage.

The rest of the week passes, and Kerrick Summerhall is put into a position of power. Hamish, Roland, and Bennic gather together any supporters of the Duke that are willing to come out into the open, now that the Harl’s power has been extinguished. Althus arrives as expected and led a small contingent of soldiers into Highgate to establish order and give us our due reward. He has a rough battle ahead of him-the Harl had nearly bankrupted Highgate to fund the army and the uprising. Kerrick is promoted to Captain of the Guard and we take our leave, our work finished.

We stock up, with some highly prized items that we were able to buy with the fine money that the Duke supplied us, and headed off once again. Adventure and glory awaits us!!

—Bran Harvish

Highgates and low aspirations

As we prepared to leave for Rosie approached our breakfast table with a map of Highgate and news of an ally under the sprig and ribbon. The party leaves 馬(uma) and myself in town to tie up a few loose ends with the enchanters and to finish enchanting my sash of grace.

On the ride I pushed 馬 too hard and began to notice flecks of blood and foam around his mouth so I dismounted and walked with him for a bit as I discussed the possible glory of the upcoming battle with laurelyth. My stomach fluttered with the anticipation of battle and I feel laurelyths lust for blood rise to match my own. Thank the gods for this vengeful spirit who has come to be my closest companion.

Entry of Highgate proves anticlimactic as we are disguised as merchants. Highgate is a tiered city, separating the nobility from the rabble (as it should be) I intend to meet with the tailor to the Harl to learn more of the craft I love, and perhaps to find access to the harls chambers.

That evening the Majority of the party (as is their typical plan) goes off to find the guards and drink with them while I remain at the Inn and ask the bartender of the history of Highgate and of its people as well as some of the arcane mysteries which Ambrose and I have in common.

As dawn breaks I leave for Bethas(the tailor) shop and arrive well before it opens to wait patiently as any apprentice should. upon Bethas arrival I persuade her to teach me of her craft, and she reluctantly agrees offering me some smaller tasks within the shop. This road appears to lead nowhere however and at the end of the day I thank her for the lesson and leave, eager to find out the news from the rest of the party.


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lucid nightmares

The CCC’s flop house provided to be an interesting experiment indeed. Our groups agreement on the utter destruction of these lawless cretins seemed to dissipate when extended to the drug addled flunkies of the front room. Their disgusting reek and lack of any desire for reality or self control made them less than animals in my eyes; however I was disallowed by my compatriots to offer them the mercy of death.

Through the course of ridding this foul den of chaos of its foolish inhabitants Zaddock bumped into a table of their potent dust filling my air and space with it. Insanity attempted to overcome me as edges I knew to be straight blurred and creatures of Komori legend began to ooze forth from the walls to just to vanish as quickly as they had come. This was a bad day, even the glory of battle could not clear my head and I left for the compound as the party finalized the sweep of the building.

Sleep was not for me this night as the visions intensified Laurelyth spoke with me and attempted to help ease the distress but it was of no avail. Visions dripped from the edges of the room, and corners gave way to doorways to other realms as I tried to shut my eyes only to find the darkness teeming with nightmares and memories so vivid….

Breaking the fast of a particularly rough evening I came down stairs to see a particularly disheveled halfling eating at our table. “they brought another stray” I thought to laurelyth as I attempted to restrain my ill temper(poorly I might add) in greeting this new recruit to the broken swords.

Another mission from the Duke has been delivered, it is good to see this lull come to an end. We are off to Highgate to with any luck eliminate the Harl. Battle is again on the horizon, and I am ready to greet it sword drawn.


A new companion and a new task

While scouring the CCS’s drug house we found many dirty hoboes and one room that reeked of foul living, yet was trapped with flying darts containing a mild poison. Obviously we had found something of interest here. We found many fine treasures within this room (including a mithril vest!!) and clues that someone had been entering and leaving this room through the window. We laid in wait for whoever would come in through that window, and late at night, a halfling pokes his nose in and finds the sword waiting for him.

Luckily for this unfortunately smelling halfling, he is not associated with the Covenant. He had simply made his hideout among them. He uses his small stature and his disguise of a thick layer of filth, to blend in among the crowds and makes his money with secrets. I have a feeling he could be a good member of the Swords! I bargained him to give up the mithril vest in exchange for some honest work and a decent pay, he accepted with pride and I am proud to call him my new friend, Terk.

That night at home the loveliest Rose in all of Colm (perhaps in Aerne) came to see us and we gave her the list of names that we found in the CCS’s house. She was shocked to see that one of the clerks working in the Duke’s office, right alongside her, was listed as an informant. She looks so cute when she’s angry…

Nearly a week went by before Rosie returned and this time she brought along our “friend” Althus. This could only mean a new propositon from the Duke! Though we have our fingers in a lot of pots, the Duke’s service is our number one priority. Without his charter and his backing, we would just be a wandering band of miscreants, no better than the Silver Horns!

This new mission is right up my alley. This adventure will be strongly based in information and secrets. The Duke wants us to return to Highgate and try to connect with the Duke’s supporters who are living there in secret. There has been word that the Harl is planning to go to war against Colm and it is our duty to find out all we can and report back. We have been given a precious Scroll of Sending that will alert the Duke when it is time to attack. However, were we to stop the plan by taking down their leader, we could avoid the nasty business of war. Once more into the breach!

—Bran Harvish

Sgt.s Log

Today, Zadok and Bran are trying to convince Diedro Talidrin to heed my threats to get out of town so I can report back to those slimy drug peddling assholes that he is gone so we can end this shit show once and for all. The plan is to keep him safe at HQ while we take care of the threat. We are successful in evacuating him from the city and we are now set up to complete the plan.
All went well and as planned as I entered the shit hole to report to those chumps that I was able to run Diardo out of town, and that set everything else up for the rest of the squad to execute the rest. Just as I am turning to leave, Ben kicks in the door, katana bloody as hell. Oh yeah, it’s on! As Ben enters, I turn and hurl that shit bag of coin right at that shit bags face. BINGO! Broken nose! As Zadok is in the midst of doing his crazy jumping, flipping shit, he bumps a table and knocks a bunch of that foul drug into the air. As one of the cowardly deals tries to run and leave, Bran lets loose his magic and holds that fucker in place. We take care of the rest of the fools in the room, including the coward who tried to flee. Ben, who is not in his right mind, suggests we kill the remaining addicts in the smoking room. I cannot abide killing helpless, sorry people and successfully appeal to his sense of honor by pointing out it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
We continue on into the basement, where, given the information the dealer gave me, is where the ringleader of this operation is hiding out. Zadok bungles by falling straight into the basement on his ass. No worries, this shit doesn’t stand a chance. Kilja is wailing on the POS that runs this shit and Ben comes in and finishes the deal and drops him cold, dead. After a thorough inspection of this basement, we find a valuable assortment of paper and a contact who’s name is Holden Frye. Ben hands me a list of people who have been bribed by this outfit, some of the names are people tied to the Duke. We will investigate this further. We still have the top floor of this shit hole to clear.

Attack on the CCS

The Covenant had given Sparrow a task: to kidnap a Half-Elf salesman in the marketplace and run him out of town. We used this excuse as her way in, though we took care to ensure the salesman’s safety by hiding him with Captain Desario and Crumple. The Covenant believed Sparrow’s ruse and allowed her into their house once again. Meanwhile we snuck through the back alleys and got ready for the attack

Ben killed the guard at the door of the Covenant’s hideout, then kicked the door down and we rushed in, ready to attack. Inside we found several of the Moondust dealers and tables piled high in the green dust that glowed weirdly in the lamplight. One of them tried to escape down a trapdoor, but I cast a spell that caused him to freeze in his tracks. We killed the rest before they could run away.

Beneath the trapdoor we found more tables with Covenant of the Coming Storm propaganda leaflets. It appears this may have been a room for scribes. Also on the desks we find some very useful information concerning the people who have accepted bribes. When we turn this into the Duke we can stop this Anti-Elf sentiment once and for all.

—Bran Harvish

Excerpt from Ambrose's Journal
The Setup

We are set to run the Covenant of the Coming Storm out of town. Sparrow has successfully infiltrated them and has passed along information for us. Apparently they are planning on driving out an elven heritage shopkeeper, Diedro. They aren’t friendly with him so we are going to inform him of their intents.
Zadok has a way with words… what kind of way, we’ll never define. He began by asking to see the most expensive thing he owned. Normally this would be a lead in to a robbery, which it seemed Diedro thought it was. Fortunately he finally understood our intent. We warned him that Sparrow and some of the Covenant’s boys are going to come by to “run him out of town.” We have set up for him to stay with us as we deal with the Covenant.
When the time came, all went according to plan. The guards were informed to let it happen and they did. Diedro left town and we scooped him up.
That night we let sparrow get in and once she gave us the signal we blitzed them. They were hardly ready for a battle. Most of them were out of their mind on an alchemical compound. I’ll have to take some for further study.
Now that we have a name and a list of people involved, we can kill this movement at the root.

Research and Recon

Ahhh, since dealing with the Horn has taken up so much of my time, I feel as though I haven’t had time to sit and reflect for 2 weeks! It feels good to take up ink and parchment once again. After defeating the Silver Horn crew we took some time in town to see if there was any word on where Belloc may be hiding now, as well as a closer look into the Covenant of the Coming Storm. We hoped we may be able to find a way to discern their hideout.

We met at the Wheel House in the poorer side of Colm and Sparrow went in alone to see if she could shake up any pro-human sentiments. We found a few of the CCS’s at a table, and she joined them for a drink. Zadok stirred up some trouble (as always) but it worked in our favor, as they felt the feigned kinship that Sparrow was exuding and gave her the address to their meeting place.

Some good news for the Broken Sword! While following up our successful mission at the Wheel House, we met a bright eyed young man, hoping to join our party. His name is Conrad and he looks to be a good fellow! A bit shaky and nervous, but anyone could feel that way locked in a bear hug by Zadok, or staring into Kilja’s eyes while she up-ends a horn full of ale. We have recruited him, and Ben is taking on the responsibility of his training.

Sparrow managed to gain some information on the CCS’s misdeeds. Apparently they are dealing in Moondust. They must be stopped immediately. I did some research of my own while she was away, and found more information on the Well of Stars. Apparently there are “Books of Power”-the repository of knowledge for Dal Riadan power. I would give my crossbow to spend an hour in that library!

Rosie visited headquarters to report and inform the rest of the Sword that she is indeed a part of the Duke’s intelligence operation. We let her know about our intentions with the CCS and she said that the citizens of Colm would be grateful if their anti-Elf drug operation was shut down. The Covenant had better keep an eye out for us!

—Bran Harvish


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