Hell's Rebels @ Mercenary

Silver Ravens, Week 5
Imps and Faerie Dragons

Silver Ravens, week 5

Epilogue: Leonin and Amitael caught one of the Ravens’ street performers, Morgur Manthai, drawing directions to the Wasp’s Nest on walls in the neighborhood of Villegre. Questioning him, they found Morgur to be surly and confused, but he admitted to writing the letter to the dottari because a voice told him to, and most recently drew the graffiti because a talking rat in the Wasp’s Nest told him to. Getting the cadre together to give the “base” another thorough inspection, they successfully unmasked an imp. The party declined to accept the imp’s surrender and offer of parley and smashed her back to Hell, recovering her pipes of the sewers, a wand of acid arrow with only a few charges left, and a couple of scrolls.

To compensate for attrition, the party decided to spend one action this week Recruiting Followers, and the other two to upgrade the Peddlers to Merchants and then Earn Gold. Broad success, with 25 followers for the moment; Rexus reduces Notoriety to 7 and has had to sell a second pearl to fund ongoing operations, but the treasury is still well-supplied. No Event again, effects of Dangerous Times have subsided this week.

Determined to check on Clenchjaw’s at last, the party made a rousing evening of it, complete with backflips through a ring of fire, used as cover to inspect the rafters, where a small hoard of jewelry and expensive liquor was found. The party pocketed it and walked out the back door, to be confronted with a spitting angry faerie dragon. Once the matter of hoard ownership was settled, the conversation was surprisingly civil, with Vendalfek (the faerie dragon) perfectly willing to accompany them. They took him to the Distorted Lens, because Amitael was adamant about not taking a fey creature into Laria’s home without Laria’s express prior permission; a midnight conversation with Hender (and Ahaskin, and Vendalfek) settled things for the night.
There isn’t an obvious path for week 6. In some respects you’ve been improbably lucky to date. I’m going to prepare a couple of reactions, but I intend to start by asking the Ravens to act rather than react. What will you do to undermine Barzillai Thrune and weaken his grip on the city? What do you not know that you think you ought to? Anyone you want recruit or recover? (I’m gonna keep bringing up Strea Vestori since Valeria and Zea have shown interest in her).

Silver Ravens, Week 4
Sallix Salt Works

Silver Ravens, week 4
Sorry this is so late, but yeah, you were all there, more or less. After resolving a search of the coffee house by the dottari which managed to keep them out of the basement, the Ravens concluded there was a traitor in their midst. A glance at the letter indicated it had been written on a page torn from one of Laria’s ledgers, but as the dottari kept the letter, it is not available for analysis or comparison. The Ravens studied the help carefully, but only Caddo seemed to be stressed by the raid, and his fears seemed aimed at the guards rather than the Ravens – he must have some reason of his own not to want them around.

Feeling indebted toLaria for providing them a base of operations, the Ravens decided to give her request priority, and raid the Sallix Salt Works. They bought some alchemical glue, studied what records were available in the city planning office, and hid nearby until after dark. Gluing the side building closed, they went in through the back, quickly found the prisoners being housed in what used to be the manager’s office, but also alerted the night shift guards. A quick pitched battle followed in the hallway, with Leonin leading the prisoners (three humans and three halflings, led by one Forvian Crowe) back out the way they came. Something smashed its way out of the sealed side building, and the Ravens decided not to find out exactly what, running out through the front door. A short run to the water and a short swim south had everyone watching the sunrise from the shanty outside the Silver Gate, Crowe giving his effusive thanks, and the Ravens slipping back inside the city when the Gate opened, paying the toll and spinning some story about who they were and what they were doing (which I’d like to know, actually).
Since the operation went off without injury or loss (a first!), the Ravens decided to follow up immediately with an attempt to stop the torture going on in Aria Park. Disguises, of a sort, were made up for
Amitael and Valeria to pretend to be dottari, and a cease and desist order forged; the rest of the ravens circulated among the crowd in case it went wrong. It went mostly right; the CCG thugs were uncertain, and opted to take the “I dunno what you’re talking about officer, I was just standin’ here mindin’ my own business” approach. Those slavering mastiffs aren’t ours, honest. The mastiffs attacked and were put down while the thugs slunk off rather than fight. Many in the crowd remarked on nonstandard dottari loadout and behavior (“why is that one in half-plate with a battle-axe? Why is the other one singing?”), but Leonin and the other Ravens in the crowd quickly spun a story about a “special weapons and tactics squad” that at least prevented things from coming apart in real-time. The one in the “doghouse” (a cage designed to be impossible to either stand up or sit down in) turned out to be none other than Zea. Unconscious at the beginning, Zea was awakened and almost fully healed by Amitrael’s channels in combat, but Valeria insisted on carrying her out of the park, back to the coffee house, and having her fully checked over and healed before escorting her back to the Devil’s Nursery.
For the organization – Supporters has declined to 12,
Rexus has reduced Notoriety to 8, and the cities’ population has reduced by 1 ( an elf woman who died of privation in the “doghouse” before you got there). No Event was rolled for the week, but the effects of Dangerous Times were still in play. A crew of Sneaks and a crew of Peddlers were successfully recruited.

Translation update: Rexus has decoded the early portion of the document which details the individual exploits of Jackdaw, who set herself up as a hero of the people and champion against authority in Kintargo even before the Civil War and the death of Aroden. It is clear Jackdaw is a female elf.

Silver Ravens, Week 3.1- Decryption Update
Decryption Update

Decryption update: Rexus has uncovered many references in the documents to “the song of silver”, which the Silver Ravens used to “drive their enemies away from Kintargo”. Surrounding references are vague – it seems to assume everyone knows what the song is. Rexus would like you to be on the lookout for any more references or clues to this “song”. He has also identified the proper names referring to the old Silver Ravens’ leadership – Jackdaw, a secretive swashbuckler; Amyreid, a female half-elf cleric of Milani (and it appears most of the Ravens were Milani worshippers); Ba (a male Halfling enchanter), Kyda (a human diva and sneak) and Brakisi (a human man of the city and fighting type). Rexus also rejects the conclusion that his parents died in the fire at their estate, with a fairly solid argument: one of the bodies, based on char marks, was of an enormous, fat man – and that does not describe his father, any of the servants, and very, very few worshippers of Irori.
Now, a bit of metagame. The intention seemed to be for you to use teams to Gather Information to unlock new adventure hooks, but in my opinion this party has now done things to logically unlock three more plot threads through its own actions. So I’m going to present them to you now: 1) Laria comes to you with a plan to assault the Sallix Salt Works. Barzillai Thrune has been rounding up people left and right, the backlog to get a trial tends to be significant, and people are being used as slave labor before their trial. The SSW uses some of this slave labor now, and Laria believes they could be recruited to the cause (or, failing that, freed at least – she is, after all, willing to risk her life to free slaves). She argues it’s a good initial target because it technically isn’t the property of the government or the Church of Asmodeus, and as such retaliation will not be a priority. 2) Clenchjaw’s, where Amitrael has been drinking, has gone violent and weird. Fortunately, it still serves amazing oysters, a step up from most bar food. Rinston “Clenchjaw” Jon often falls asleep around curfew (which is odd for a bar owner) and then a full scale riot breaks out two or three times a week, with people afterwards claiming mistaken identity (they thought they were punching their boss, their ex, an Asmodean, someone they knew and loathed, and it turned out to be just the schmuck sitting next to them). If it isn’t resolved somehow, Thrune agents are bound to shut the place down, and that would be a major blow to city (and Ami’s) morale. 3) the Chelish Citizen’s Group is starting to torture people in public in Aria Park. This seems…somewhat misguided, as any legal torture would be conducted by government or church agents, and they are technically a private sector nonprofit….but that’s of little help to the people being “doghoused”, now is it? They seem to prefer female elves and tieflings, since there are rumors of both as enemies of the state at large. Kindly let me know if you intend to follow any of these threads next; I recall Amitrael also wanted to investigate the fall of the original Ravens, you may have active plans to look for Vestori, et cetera.
I intend to give you details on the coffee house staff, and wondered if you might have ideas for the team of street performers you recruited; the trap construction implies you have a traitor in the house, after all. And I wondered if you might be interested in devoting this next session, or a large part of it, to role-playing. I’m curious what you’re doing about hygiene, since Laria has a bathtub but it’s Halfling-sized. Rexus sleeps in the room Laria has given for you, showers at the Alabaster Academy and flatly does not undress in your presence. There’s also Val’s roommates, Zea her ‘follower’, the Red Jills, Hender and his ‘staff’, the question of what you will do when Barzillai Thrune is no longer Lord-Mayor…lots of meat to chew.

Silver Ravens, Week 3
Dangerous Times- Thieves guild takedown

Silver Ravens, Week 3
A bit of a disastrous week from an organizational perspective. Dropped from 23 to 18 supporters; All recruiting checks failed. The Event this week was Dangerous Times; people are out on the streets spoiling for a fight, both “our sorts” (undesirables) and “their sort” (Asmodeans). The Silver Ravens chose to mitigate this through Intimidation, making it clear that the Ravens do not approve of random violence and will Do Something about it (only +5 to Danger Rating instead of +10); unfortunately, between that and the bad recruiting efforts (and the fight with a major gang, detailed later), the Ravens are now a blip on Thrune’s radar (Notoriety increase from 0 to 9). For those keeping score at home, the population of Kintargo has dropped by 3 so far (the killing of thugs is assumed to be normal business, replaced with migrants; the loss is from the slow response to the tooth faeries).

Epilogue to last week: returning from the fight with the tooth faeries, Valeria became progressively more disoriented before finally passing into a vegetative state; the others carried her back to the coffeehouse. No one questioned why you were bringing an unconscious female tiefling into Villegre across the bridge, but they were very clear that you had to pay the toll for her, as still legally a person. It was concluded that she had been poisoned with id moss and that she would eventually make a full recovery, but the next week was gonna be bad for her. The poison was found laced in the healing potions bought from The Newt; revenge was tabled when explosions in the Newt Market, investigated by Leonin, indicated that The Newt had fled after a confrontation with Chelish Citizens’ Militia types which resulted in him blowing them, probably literally, to Hell. During a trip down into the Wasp’s Nest, a section of wall collapsed abruptly, and investigation revealed a deliberate attempt to rig it as a trap, and only lack of skill on the trapmaker’s part caused it to collapse prematurely. Small tools were found hidden near the site.

The Ravens decided to look into the fires from the Night of Ashes, prompted in part by Rexus finally receiving the ashes of his parents from the Temple of Asmodeus and his being suspicious. Despite it being a month ago, Leonin was able to reconstruct the scene fairly well, showing five people dead, sulfur without soot (implying hellfire) and a blank spot that suggested a person and a large dog standing within the burning building, apparently unharmed, and then both of them walking out once it was truly starting to collapse. Leonin attempted to find a keepsake for Rexus and rolled well, but there’s nothing obviously salvageable; I think I’m going to say it’s some of the silverware and china, since that’s about all that could possibly have survived. In the ruins of the Silver Star, they found a firesafe, and were apprehended by a team of Asmodean redactors; they successfully bluffed their way through it without violence, saying the relevant paperwork was left in Leonin’s office. They stashed the safe and checked out the ruins of the Thrashing Badger, finding nothing of special interest but concluding that there had been a shrine to Milani under it. Returning to check out the firesafe, it turned out to contain several scrolls and potions, all clerical in nature; Valeria took a couple of the potions of lesser restoration immediately to bring her Intelligence back up to operational levels. A small human boy gave Valeria a dozen roses in the Greens, with a card in them allegedly from the Rose of Kintargo, counseling patience but dangling the prospect of an alliance before them. A few inquiries revealed that the Rose was a priest of Milani.
Returning to sort out his office, Leonin encountered a gang of extortionists shaking down Hender, five tieflings in matching red cloaks indicating their membership in the Red Jills. Leonin attempted to intervene diplomatically and, while he made a good impression overall, there were still five of them, and ultimately they walked away with Hender’s
petty cash box. Hender asked Leonin to get his money back and teach them a lesson – an annual ‘donation’ after Crystalhue was the price of keeping his secret, but this was excessive. The party was assembled and began trawling the Devil’s Nursery again, looking for people in red cloaks. They found some, trailed them, and ducked inside a building near curfew to find themselves with a crew of Red Jills – not the ones who stole from Hender – and over a dozen tiefling children. Awkward, forced conviviality ensued, including the sharing of large amounts of low-quality beer. The conversation went rounds until one of them lunged for Janun and Val and Leonin took him down. Threats and forceful conversation revealed that 1) the one with the money was named Figdak, and he wasn’t here, and 2) this was above their paygrade and should be kicked upstairs to the boss. Directions were given to the boss’ nest, an abandoned orphanage and shrine to Aroden on Temple hill. Traveling at night across two major streets was tense, but ultimately they were not discovered. The boss turned out to be Scarplume, a fire sorcerer strix nesting on the top of the building, and the PCs knocked her out despite the difficulty of the damaged rooftop terrain and their limited ability to damage her in the air as she rained fire down upon them, nearly killing Irmah in the process. The PCs looted her nest thoroughly, which included quite a bit of cash, and negotiated an agreement that Scarplume could live, and go about her business, if she left Hender alone (and surrendered her cash and amulet). She readily agreed. Valeria asked if she knew where Strea Vestori was, missing since the Night of Ashes; Scarplume did not, but seemed intrigued and promised to forward any information she found.

Silver Ravens, Week 2
Croc in the cellar

Silver Ravens, Week 2
Prologue: determined to flush out the thing in the water before things went any further,
Laria gave the crew a string of sausages (“are you sure you don’t have anything a little more, I dunno, rotten?” “NO I don’t have rotten meat lying about my kitchen!”), nearly half of which were still extant by the time Leonin, Valeria and Janun made it to the flooded room. Valeria waved the sausages in the water, and well, it was a successful lure: 19 points of damage, grabbed and tripped in a single action as an enormous, pale reptile lunged out of the water. It was defeated without any deaths, and Leonin cut open its stomach to find a strangely undigested boot. Its mate was found on the corpse of Nan. Determined to be thorough, Valeria waded through the water trailing sausages and her own blood to try and smoke any more out, but to no avail. Leonin found a secret compartment in the statue containing papers, a holy symbol of Calistria and a +1 whip; the papers were water-ruined, alas, but they surmised this place had once been a shrine to Calistria. They spoke with Laria about the boots, who felt that she had given Nan permission to use her space to hold smuggled fabrics and he had used it to hold violent criminals instead; thus, he owed her. And she claimed the boots for herself.
Organization: A natural 20 on the Attrition roll meant that you actually gained followers during upkeep. Thus, the organization is now level 4 (pretty good for week 2); everyone gets 1 skill point, 1 potion worth 300gp or less (cure moderate wounds is a popular choice), and one Feat from a short list (Alertness, Deceitful, Persuasive, or Sneaky). Concluding that they had enough supporters for the moment, it was decided to try and recruit two teams, with Street Performers being the priority and Peddlers being the second choice. The Performers were successfully recruited; the attempt to recruit Peddlers failed. The event this week was Sickness; much of your organization, and possibly the city, is ill with something nasty. Attempts by the Ravens to improve the situation failed. Fortunately, no Security-related actions were planned or undertaken.
Valeria stayed bedridden for two days, as the crocodile had pretty seriously fucked her up; the second of those days was a Day of Fire, a quarterly holiday in Cheliax marked by gladiatorial contests and, well, burning things. ‘Taur-baiting is always a crowd favorite, in which forty halfling slaves are turned loose with a minotaur. It’s generally assumed the halflings will take it down eventually, and any who survive win their freedom – the betting is on how many halflings the ‘taur kills before it goes down. Grumblings this year suggested Kintargo couldn’t get a real minotaur and it was a doppelganger or the like mind-controlled into being a “minotaur”. Most of the “games” feature lots of burning obstacles, and victory by heat prostration rather than fatality is the norm. Tieflings thus do well in the more matched events. Janun made a bit of coin as an “obstacle” during the fights; Leonin went to the Alabaster Academy while the crowds were at the bloodsport to meet with professor Nifflin Sludgescrawl about the serial killer operating in the Devil’s Nursery. Nifflin hadn’t even heard of it, but together they worked out a psychological profile that gave them a very narrow target area where the killer could live. Leonin revealed that he was a Silver Raven, likely a high-ranking one, to Nifflin; Nifflin was vaguely positive about this development.
By day three, Valeria couldn’t take sitting on her ass waiting to heal any longer, so it was determined to find some sort of magical healing for her; and so the party found itself at the Newt Market, talking with The Newt. Healing potions were purchased with a variety of lies and negotiations (‘sweetie, if you only have two dying grandmothers here you’re not even trying”) and, much improved, they set out to find the serial killer. Within the Devil’s Nursery, it turns out Valeria is much liked and perhaps even respected and missed, and people (especially a little thief named Zea) practically fell all over themselves to show her the body that hadn’t been cremated yet, the places where the bodies had been found, and even an eyewitness turned up describing a host of small flying creatures and the direction they took off in after tearing a guy apart. The players found it trivially easy to find the relevant building, a tavern boarded up and nominally uninhabited, invaded the root cellar, and killed a swarm of tooth fairies. They found the summoning rite that had brought them over from the First World – the corpse of a tiefling child, bound in sinew taken from another with inscription on it in Aklo. Valeria smashed the whole place up thoroughly and Janun burned it down. An examination of finger-marks at the scene indicated the rite was performed by a human female; spellcasting ability is unnecessary for this, but how many Aklo-speaking human women are in Kintargo? One set of gold and diamond dentures was found among the teeth, and Leonin kept it as revolution treasury.

Silver Ravens Week 1
Getting the Band Together

Silver Ravens, week 1

The PCs, Rexus Victocora and Laria Longroad decided, in Laria’s office, to reconstitute the Silver Ravens and overthrow the government of Kintargo. Awkward questions about what sort of government and city they wanted in its place were sidestepped for the moment. The focus of the group was made Loyalty (recruiting and influencing public opinion) as opposed to Secrecy (clandestine action) or Security (direct terrorism, basically). Officer posts were assigned – Demagogue (morale and loyalty of recruits): Janun. Partisan (field leader for direct actions): Valeria. Sentinel (reserve officer and Jill of all trades): Amitael. Spymaster: Leon. Strategist: Imrah. Recruiters: Rexus and Laria. The bag of pearls from the cache was declared organization Treasury; Rexus has taken one of the pearls and sold it to fund immediate recruitment activities (he’s the child of a great house that just burned down, him selling gems for cash isn’t conspicuous right now). For week one, it was decided to focus on Recruit Followers; Teams can come later. Rexus hangs about either the coffee shop or the Alabaster Academy, using his Silver Raven (he got the sixth one) to spread seditious messages and convince college students the Ravens are back. Laria mostly stays in the coffee shop and chats up the nobles who drop in, or their servants. Results are good (20 followers before attrition check). No Event was rolled.
With three open threads before them (investigate the fires from the Night of Ashes, investigate the serial killer active in the Devil’s Nursery, find out what the hell is in the basement), the PCs opted to focus on the basement. Laria admitted that she has a secret basement she uses to smuggle slaves to freedom in Varisia; it was dumb luck that she didn’t have a basement full of them when the curfew was declared. While this goes on she intends to lay off, but told a human smuggler friend he could use the space; he said he was smuggling fabrics. Then he went down into the space and didn’t come back up. The food and wine she sends down each night disappears. The laughter she hears is definitely not human.

The PCs found his body soon enough, in a large flooded room with a statue of an elf woman rising out of the murky water; examination revealed it had been stabbed and had its throat cut, then dumped in the water. (Leon’s an investigator, and Valeria knows a fair bit about wounds). After it was in the water, something ate about half of it. No sign of whatever did that, the PCs elected not to go into the water and if something is in there it elected not to come out.
They’re attacked from behind by some sort of maniacal bird thing; they beat it unconscious easily enough and manacle it. At that point they’re confronted by a flock of tengu angry about their daughter-sister-whatsit…but the PCs manage to avoid a fight by hastily pointing out that one does not manacle a corpse. A tense standoff and negotiation ensues; the Fushi sisters (the tengu) were smuggled out of Riddleport after Chough (the thing that attacked the PCs) ripped out the wrong throat in a fit of boredom or frustration. Korva Fushi decided to become mother to an egg she found but, after it hatched, it became clear this wasn’t actually a tengu; Chough grew to full adult size in only 3 years and doesn’t seem to have ever mastered language. She also kills, a lot, with her bare talons. Korva still thinks of Chough as her daughter or something like it and refuses to abandon or forsake her. The PCs gave the Fushis vague directions to a tengu gang called the River Talons in the city, and they departed, with Chough. This ought to be interesting.

There actually was a lot of cheap, water-damaged cloth down there; Amitael wrapped and sewed the corpse up. I look forward to hearing the next step in that process. Laria was informed, and the Wasp’s Nest, as she calls the basement, is now the PCs to use, it seems.

Loose threads: corpse disposal. Serial killer. Fires from the Night of Ashes. Imrah’s dog? Amitael suggested researching the old Silver Ravens to see how they failed or were destroyed. Leon also has some work/research projects that I really need to put some time into. I appreciate it if you tell me which threads you wish to pursue most actively. I also figure I should toss some more NPCs at you, presumably the baristas and regulars of the Long Roads Coffee House.

Welcome to Hell's Rebel's @ Mercenary
A blog covering the Adventures of the New Silver Ravens

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips: h4. 1. Invite your players Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username. h4. 2. Edit your home page Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you're serious and not just playing with the system. h4. 3. Choose a theme If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image. h4. 4. Create some NPCs Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign. A quick tip: The "+" icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it's a new character or adventure log post, or anything else. h4. 5. Write your first Adventure Log post The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light "story so far" post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night's adventures. One final tip: Don't stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you're using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn't always up to date or your characters don't all have portrait pictures. That's it! The rest is up to your and your players.


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