Ties that Bind

Hey, Let's Rob the Mayor!
a solstice to remember

After having returned to the city of Maidenpool with a week to spare before your previous mission’s deadline, Each of you spent your time in the city as you saw fit.

Tyne and Godot, during a night of drunken revelry, somehow found their way into the headquarters of the Gray Magpies, the most illustrious (and hidden) thieve’s guild in the city and county.

Selene and Laila took in the various opportunities around the city to shop, visit famous locations, and generally get to know the city and its people.

Ave spent most of her time with the hired workers preparing for the summer festival, chopping trees and even hunting down and striking the killing blow against the festival’s main course: a Dire Boar.

Helios perused Maidenpool’s great library, pouring over various scrolls and tomes containing a variety of topics such as the history of Castrellon, Maidenpool, and even your new employer.

Two days before the festival, Walgrim summoned you to his office in Faganheim Plaza where he asked that you help in providing security and public peace during the festival, which has been known to get rowdy. Along with this general charge, he asked that any suspicious activity that did not fall under the level of pick-pocketing or drunken disorderliness, be reported to Walgrim directly, as he would be the de facto leader of the festivities this year. As he dismissed you, Walgrim mentioned that women traditionally wear flowers in their hair during the festival, which brought a grin to many of your faces (for one reason or another) As you were leaving, Helios and Ave noticed that the apparent doodling that Walgrim had been working on through much of their discussion, looked like the beginnings of a boat frame.

The two days interim passed quietly for the city, though not for you. The next morning, Godot and Tyne, with Helios in tow, made their way back to the Gray Magpies with a… half a plan to steal the best flowers in Maidenpool for use at the festival. You were met with some hostility at the door, having been to drunk the previous time to recall a password, but when you stated your goal you were rushed inside, and introduced to a woman by the name of Zania, who offered to let you come with her on a heist to liberate as many flowers from the private garden of Maidenpool’s mayor, the honorable Jerome Donte, as was possible. Each of you was promised an equal share of the spoils, provided you didn’t get caught, and providing that Zania received all the mayor’s orchids. You would meet the next night to sneak into the mayor’s courtyard and liberate the garden to decorate Crescent Square.

While three of you were planning burglary of a city official, the other three of you spent the day and evening enjoying the city, taking in dinner at the prestigious Lily Everlasting. While conversing and enjoying a wonderful meal, Laila suddenly noticed a woman sitting in the corner of a restaurant. She recognized this woman and immediately began to act nervous. Selene and Ave, noticing this, leaped to aid their friend. Ave left the restaurant with Laila, covering her from the view of the woman, and Selene complained to the management claiming that the food had made her friend sick, oblivious to the woman in the corner. Returning to your rooms at the Lamb and Lion, Laila began to explain her sudden apprehension and fear concerning the woman in the restaurant, admitting that she had run away from home against her mother’s wishes and those of her fiance. The woman in the Lily Everlasting was in fact one of her mother’s trusted handmaidens, no doubt sent to try and track her down. Ave agreed to help aid Laila in her continued efforts to elude her mother and her fiance. Ave then alerted Selene to the need to keep Laila safe, which was misconstrued slightly as being shaken up from eating a bad dinner. Laila cleared the air with some embarrassment. Selene hopped into guard mode to best repair the situation, and they all vowed to tip well the next time they visited Lily Everlasting.

Later that night, under the eaves of the Badger’s Cellar, Tyne, Godot, and Helios met Zania. The four of you sneaked through the back alleys of Maidenpool to the manor of Mayor Donte, meeting no obstacles along the way save for the estate’s garden wall, which was quickly dispatched with a clever tool of Zania’s. With a bag of holding for each of you, and a surprising lack of hitches for such an improvised and slapdash plan, thanks primarily to Helios’s use of a Cone of Silence spell, you… liberated the entirety of the mayor’s flower garden, orchids and all, without so much as waking the guard dogs. You parted ways with Zania, and spent the remainder of the night decorating Crescent Square with the stolen shrubs and flowerbeds, and weaving loose flowers into crowns to hand out the next morning.

In the morning, the party joined together again, half of you reeling from lack of sleep, having spent the night… gardening. Meeting briefly with Walgrim and the city guard to review your duties, you were then let loose to both protect and enjoy the festival.

Throughout the day you nabbed several ner-do-wells, including eight pickpockets, four thieves, a dozen odd drunks in various states of consciousness, two ragamuffins who thought it’d be fun to paint the statue of Saint Alamar purple, and a horse who had been let out of its pen. Despite these tasks, you were able to enjoy the festivities, capping off the afternoon with the dressage contest, which Godot and Molloy swept with apparent ease, and were presented with not only a ribbon and honor dress, but a prized orchid from the mayor. Unbeknownst to anyone but him and the tired half of the party, it was his last orchid.

The evening portion of the festival consisted of the town banquet in Crescent Square, and speeches by the mayor and Walgrim. Walgrim, you all noted, had not only donned elaborate robes for the occasion, but a crown of flowers as well. He had even woven flowers into his beard. He addressed the crowds thanking the townsfolk, the guards, and lastly mayor for his contribution of flowers and shrubs to the square, and began the feast. You all ate, drank, and partied with the other townsfolk. When all had eaten their fill, the tables were cleared from the square, and the last dance of the solstice began.

While dancing amidst the crowds, Tyne and Helios noticed a figure cloaked in rags and shadow. He carried a staff and wore no flowers, and watched the dancing. Helios detected an evil aura around the figure, and went immediately to inform Walgrim. When he received account of the figure, he Helios to Fagan, who after hearing the description booked it into the crowd, telling Helios to not do anything further. When Tyne and Laila tried to find the cloaked figure again, after losing track of them for just a moment, all they could find was the diretionless scent of earthy decay. Meanwhile, Selene happened to notice a woman with fair features and simple clothes dancing by herself, away from the crowds. Ave noticed that every once in a while, a crow would fly past her or perch, as though it were keeping an eye on her. Selene offered to dance with the woman, which she politely declined, and noticed the crow was now watching her. After some time dancing, The woman left, and several of you followed her curiously. She displayed a surprising agility that made it difficult to keep up with her. When you finally catch up to her, she begged to be left alone. When you asked if anything was wrong, both of her and the crow that had followed everything, clearly the woman’s familiar, neither gave you any information, and only asked to leave in peace. You let her go, feeling slightly confused and worried for the nervous and strange pair.

With nothing more to do, you all returned to Crescent Square to watch the two moons converge together creating the celestial Godseye: the vision of a great eye with a purple iris hanging in the night. Walgrim joined you all for one last set of thanks, and asked about any other things needed to report. When you recounted your encounter withthe cloaked figure, he informed you that the figure was likely Devras Kevrill, one of Castrellon’s most wanted criminals, wanted for crimes against the state. That was all he’d say at that time.

When he heard about the woman, particularly the behaviors of her bird. Walgrim was simultaneously flabbergasted and elated. All he would say before bidding you all a good night and a good job was a few half-vocal musings and…

“The Green Lady has come back to Maidenpool”

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Congratulations on Your New Job
rules for workin' stiffs

Each of you signed one of these contracts after returning to Maidenpool. With it, you received a small badge that can be carried on your person, or in a container, which is the symbol of your employment.

Contract for Employment at Faganheim Crafts Inc.

I, the undersigned, do hereby take notice that I have accepted employment to the Faganheim Corporation as a Future Functionality Consultant and will comply with all regulations and duties as stated below and in the company charter.

As a member of Fagaheim Crafts, I shall:

- Maintain a professional appearance for all company affairs
- Perform my duties in a timely and efficient manner
- Not be charged with crimes involving company property or prospects
- Not steal company property or property of Faganheim partners
- Provide adequate services for all clients and associates contracted

As a Future Functionality Consultant, my duties shall include
- Accompanying company staff on missions of trade and negotiation
- Acting as proxy for company executives
- Assessing and tracking changes in company policy, outlook, and prospects, and making corrections where needed
- Acting on behalf of the company in matters of state and trade
- Performing such actions as deemed necessary by company executives, or by a majority of the Office of Consultants.

All consultant’s report directly to the chief executive.
Failure to complete assignments and/or charges is grounds for immediate dismissal and possible legal ramifications.
Faganheim Crafts and all associated persons will not be held responsible for damage, injury, death, enchantment, imprisonment, or reconstitution (magical or alchemical in nature) of property or persons employed under this contract.

All the above guarantees the consultant signed below compensation for services of four (4) silver per day of work plus commission set on a by-contract basis, as well as lodging during extended stays within the city of Maidenpool, and options for company investment. I hereby agree to all the above,

Signed [INSERT NAME HERE]
Witnesses: Walgrim Faganheim
Walgrim Faganheim Jr.
Validated Walgrim Faganheim, Executive Officer

Rights and Privileges as a Future Functionality Consultant, hereafter referred to as Plaza Guard:
The badge provided with the contract above qualifies you for the following:

Public Amenities/Institutions

- Access to Faganheim Plaza at all times, including after hours
- Room and board at the Lamb and Lion when staying in the city, or credit at another choice of lodging if that is preferred.
- 10% discount on all Plaza purchases.
- Access to city guard resources including training barracks and city law archives
- Open permission to carry weapons and keep public peace within city limits
- Official county citizenship, guaranteeing ease of travel between cities and friendly countries (County citizenship also includes voting rights, right to due process, and inclusion in census counts and tax reviews. Citizenship can be resigned or revoked

Private Institutions

- Access to company secrets on a need-to-know basis
- Access to private information stores
- Free reign of duties when not on hired assignment
- Limited Gate License, permitting use of dimensional magic in extreme circumstances, and permitting action against use of dimensional magic in an illegal manner when regular Gate law enforcement is not present 

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The First Job
hunting for a necromancer

The six of you exited Faganheim plaza as the guards closed the portcullises and saw to the removal of those decorations that had not escaped the robbery without charring, intrigued by the meeting you had just come from, and the impromptu job you have just been assigned. You searched for a place to eat and found the Lamb and Lion, a bright tavern on the opposite side of the square. Here you dined on fine food and good wine and beer and got to know one another better. Ave perplexed Selene and Helios with her description of her heritage while Godot and Tyne sloshed back tankards of rotgut and grilled Laila about her family. You joked and caroused until the tavern closed, some of you taking a room in the inn while the rest returned to their own inns.

In the morning the majority of you (Tyne and Godot were having trouble sleeping off the Lamb’s rotgut) met Faganheim Jr. at the plaza, where he gave you the compiled information on the thief who stole the necrotic items from the plaza. Isaiah Dailen, so he was called, a necromancer from Xiuula had commissioned Faganheims to create for him various apparatuses for raising large numbers of undead, as well as partner with him in business deals, all of which were declined. Most likely this burglary was his attempt at availing himself of such items without interference, and his escape route meant he was likely fleeing the country either through the Blackburn Mountains into Tyndahl, or across the border into Siperene. Your goal was to track him down, retrieve the items and bring them back to Maidenpool before Faganheim Sr. returned for the solstice festival. Whether or not Isaiah was captured was left up to your discretion. With dossier and train tickets in hand, you left the city by way of the new marvel of Castrellon: Railcar.

The train took you across the country to the southern hub known as Bardford, a colorful cousin to Maidenpool and home to a large barding college. Here you split up in search of information regarding Isaiah’s whereabouts.

Selene and Helios asked the town’s merchants if any of them had done business or seen the tall man in a dark cloak, with a few saying they might have seen such a person moving through the city in the evening. They also procured a map of the area.

Tyne and Ave grilled gamblers and low-life’s in the less savory parts of town, eventually bribing out a memory of a black clad individual making their way out of the city under cover of night while most folks were at the concerts at the college.

Godot and Laila ended up traveling all over town for several hours delivering letters and packages, eventually ending up at Zindello University, the bard college. At that time the rest of the group had met at the prescribed meeting point, exchanged information, and gone searching for the mail carrier and magus figuring that both, once again, were lost.

At the college the group wondered where to go from there. The trail was cold with only a vague sense of where the necromancer might be headed. Fortune seemed to smile when a passing bard student, one Elijah Bosk, overheard the word ‘necromancer’ and asked whether or not any of you were one. After denying such and clarifying you were searching for one, the young student offered his knowledge of necromancy. As a student of stories and legends of such mages and their art, he knew a great deal about both Isaiah Dailen and the area he was likely travelling through. The necromancer was an up-and-coming Xiuulan politician originally from Castrellon who was trying to worm his way up the ladder of power through use of illegal magic such as high level necromancy and gate spells, and his choice of escape route only made such information more believable. The southern regions of Castrellon were once major battlefields during the Abeyance and the more recent War of Tears between Siperene and it’s neighbors. As such, the land was home to more graves and ghost stories than nearly any other place in the country, and would be the perfect place for a necromancer to go about raising undead if they were so inclined. You all rushed out of Bardford on horseback as soon as you could, heading for the low mountain in the distance that Elijah had said was home to a heroes mausoleum.

It took several days of travel, during which you each continued to feel each other out, still not fully sure how to handle each other member of the group. When you came upon a small village close to the mountain, you heard screams of panic. Each of you rushed into the village to see what was causing the ruckus to find a hoard of zombies making their way through the town. Helios made short work of the majority of them, and while everyone else dealt with those that remained, she asked the villagers what had happened. The village elder, an old woman, told you that the undead creatures had been roaming around the village for a couple days, and had gathered en masse to march through the village. She thanked the gods that you had arrived to save the village. Thankfully, no one had been hurt.

You all continued to ask for information on Elijah, knowing that he must have been through the village and tested his stolen magic on the village. Some had seen the black cloaked figure making his way through the village, stopping at the cemetery, and making his way towards the mausoleum. the zombies had appeared shortly after. as night fell, you made your way to the mountain, refusing all repayment from the villagers save for food for the journey.

Upon reaching the mausoleum, you saw the entrance alight with a pale green glow. As you entered, weapons drawn, you saw the necromancer standing amid the stone sarcophagi of fallen heroes, his stolen staff drawn and emitting the green light that shined over a hoard of zombies clad in armor, and more numerous than the one’s you had seen in the village. With a single glance and not a word, the necromancer pointed at you, and the hoard attacked. You each fought diligently despite the instantly obvious superiority of these undead from the one’s before. Bad luck seemed to follow you into the tomb as Tyne was slammed against a wall and Ave lost her grip on her axe and lodged it in a coffin. The battle continued slowly with only a few undead falling to your attacks. Something didn’t seem right, and as Selene, Helios, and Laila sought answers in bodies of the fallen, it became clear. They zombies were not in fact zombies. They emitted no evil presence or necrotic energy. The only place such magic was felt was near the necromancer himself. Were these live men enchanted to do Isaiah’s bidding? What were they? As you made your way through the hoard to face Dailen himself, you determined that the zombies were in fact some kind of constructs: mechanical in nature and under his control. As soon as you all realized this, the battle ceased. The zombies froze, Isaiah deactivated the staff, and began laughing. As he removed his hood, he revealed himself to be a Warforged. His laughter died out and was replaced by a yet unseen voice. With a flash of light from behind a corner coffin, a dwarf with wiry hair streaked with gray emerged.

His name, he revealed, was Walgrim Faganheim Sr. and it was he who had orchestrated the both the burglary of the plaza and the subsequent chase as a means of testing potential candidates for a company of individuals that he hoped would be able to change the world for the better, both with their strength and his patronage. None of you was pleased with this news at first, considering the strange dwarf nothing short of mad. Walgrim carefully explained that these tests had been taking place for several months now (suddenly the cryptic musings of the plaza guards made sense) and that nobody had ever been in any true danger, though admittedly some of the effects might have gone too far this time. The plaza thieves were only to have caused a disturbance, no real graves had been desecrated, the zombies had never been ordered to attack anyone beyond self defense, and Isaiah, for that was in fact the Warforged’s name, had seeded rumors of a necromancer and provided the suspicious persona as a favor to Walgrim for helping him escape from Siperene. Though these lengths were above and beyond crazy, his intentions were clear, and you all decided to accept Walgrim’s offer of becoming contracted adventurers for Faganheims.

Walgrim offered transport back to Maidenpool so that you could finalize your contract and enjoy the festival. He offered a ride back on the railcars, or through teleportation. Eager to experience the rare and heavily regulated magic for yourselves, you all joined hands and found yourselves instantly at the gates of Maidenpool. Walgrim bid you a good rest, greeted the guards at the gate, and disappeared into the busy streets.

It had been a long and confusing week-and-change of work, and as you entered the city for the second time, it could not be said how much longer and confusing life might become.

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Well... That Was Unexpected
a day in the city

As each of you made your way into the city, you found yourselves by chance or by choice in the center of Maidenpool’s commerce and character: Crescent Square. Here you all sought out indulgence, knowledge, or work and found yourselves at the gates of Faganheim Plaza, a massive fort-like structure that revealed itself inside to be a beautiful tiered shopping complex. Taking in the sights of this marvelous reinvention of a marketplace, you all set to your tasks.

Tyne took to the top of the plaza holding a recruiting flyer for “Strong, Adventurous, Industrious Individuals for exciting lucrative position”, with Godot right behind her carrying a package for the man who’s name graced the plaza itself.

Selene and Helios wandered the plaza excitedly, seeking to undo the promise that the plaza did indeed offer everything, and learned from a young fruit seller that such a promise was upheld by the plaza’s proprietor: Master Faganheim.

Laila searched for the greatest magic items she could, searching through tomes and scrolls of a haggard old woman at the top of the plaza.

Ave searched the square and shops for a hint of where to find a craftsman willing to take her as a client.

As each of you shopped, waited, or strolled, suddenly the plaza was attacked. Four figures in dark cloaks caused great mayhem and diversion, throwing the plaza into a panic. Through the thick of it, each of you found a chance to help quell the insurgence and save the shops from damage, disarming and incapacitating every cloaked figure save for one. As you followed his shadow up the stairs at the top of the plaza you found yourselves in the office of the proprietor, the cloaked figure standing over a beaten man and carrying a sack of stolen goods and a staff. With a wave of the long black stave, each of you was overcome with fatigue and lethargy, and despite a last attempt to stop him from Laila, the figure leaped out the window and vanished.

As you helped the beaten dwarf to his feet, he introduced himself as Faganheim Jr., the son of the plaza’s creator and proprietor: Walgrim Faganheim. He explained that this robbery had been anticipated by his father, but unfortunately not properly prepared for before his departure for another business venture. He asked each of you, having leaped into action to help him and all the customers and shopkeepers in the complex, to help him yet again and retrieve the items stolen, particularly the staff they had seen, for each item was likely linked to the summoning and control of undead creatures. For this they would be handsomely compensated, provided they make it back with the items before the solstice festival in 2 weeks and 3 days time, when Faganheim Sr. was scheduled to return to Maidenpool. Each of you accepted (after Godot’s paperwork was signed, of course) and left as the plaza was locked down for the night, assured all the information you’d need would be supplied in the morning. After receiving the thanks and tokens of appreciation from a grateful fruit merchant, you exited into the night air in search of supper, talking amongst each other as any other group would at the end of a day at market.

What happens next? only the dawn will tell.

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And So It Begins
the start of the journey

The sun rises on a new day, and as it rises into the sky, outshining the light of the two moons, it’s rays cast down upon the roofs and windows of the city of Maidenpool. The sprawling city, nestled in the hills next to the small lake from which it takes its name, is already awake; its forges burning, its markets preparing for a day of business, and noise can be heard even at a distance. The city is preparing for the upcoming summer solstice festival taking place in just a few weeks, and special care is being taken for this year the solstice coincides with the Godseye celebration; a rare calendar convergence that many across all of Tenera are taking as a sign of great things to come in the new year. As the morning business comes to a head, the gates of the city open. Farmers, hunters and craftsmen leave for the fields and forests while traders and travelers make their way into the city.

Among them are six individuals.

Two Gray Elves approach from the north, having crossed from the Fey Wilds, on a mission they discuss only between themselves.
An elf makes her way to the southern gate, coming over the low hills of the Gildlands, armed to the teeth, and seeking something new.
A Wildren comes over the hills in the east from lake country, eager to earn new glory in a new place.
A Spirit Folk comes south from the northwest from the border of Karamen, yearning to see the crown jewel of the country that neighbors her own.
A Human rides in from the west on a wide trade road, her horse and her bag laden with letters and packages of great importance, but of what importance she has yet to know.

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