Solace

When Push Comes to Shuvv

Shuvv joins the adventure…

“Another dead end,” Shuvv swiped his ratty black hair away from his eyes, muttering to himself. Comparing the symbols carved into the side of yet another street merchant’s cart with the family crest burned into the rod slung across his back, he already knew the symbols would not match. “Damn street urchin.” Shuvv glanced up the alley to his right, watching the small figure who fed him the bad lead slip away nervously into the crowds.

A sense of hopelessness momentarily coursed through him as he recalled this last year since moving to Solace: the endless hours of combing the streets and the painstaking research through Arcane archives, all the time desperately seeking answers.

Shuvv pulled the black hood of his cloak over his dingy mane leaving the old marketplace to make the long walk home. Clenching his hands tightly across his chest, ice crystal clouds formed out of his breath as an unpleasant chill gripped him: an unnatural cold. His half-elf eyes swept quickly across the cobblestones, noting the location of several puddles of water intertwined through the handfuls of people still in the market, instinctively knowing to stand clear.

Spying a small party across the market of two heavily armored humans and a halfling tensely conversing with a man with ghostly blue skin, he discretely readied his rod in anticipation, “Something is not right here.” Straining to glean their words, Shuvv eyed the blue skinned man as he stepped into puddle, vanishing. From across the square, two bristly bearded men issued war cries, erupting the market in battle, one smashing open a barrel full of fish oil.

“This is not my fight,” Shuvv kept his head down, “and besides, this hardly seems like the right moment to first test my training.”

Movement on his flanks sent his heart into pounding as two black-robed, tattooed women drew wands, creeping in behind. On their belts, daggers with ominous markings hung. “Devil Worshippers,” Shuvv grimaced, an uncontrollable rage quickly building within him. A flash of fire ignited behind his eyes, and without thinking he raised his rod shooting bolts of dark energy and bursts of fire.

The battle is a blur in his mind, with sounds of exploding crates ringing in his ears and images of a Halfling repeatedly prostrating himself in fish oil stuck. Shuvv’s heart pumped madly, the battle concluded, as suddenly as it began. He scanned the marketplace, tallying the smoking charred carts, barrels, and stone walls. Crumpled bodies of devil worshippers lay strewn about. One of the heavily armed humans approaches Shuvv, “Are you in need of healing?”

“No thank you…although,” Shuvv focused on the frozen face of death on one of the devil worshippers.

“Yes?”

“Nothing. It’s just… well, its just that I have never killed anyone before.”

The other two members of the human’s party drew near as the inquirer set a heavy hand on Shuvv’s shoulder. “Take heart, young warlock, as I witnessed the entire event and am quite certain you still haven’t…”

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An Elf In Need: Roj Joins
Raj joins the adventure...

Roj looks down at his newly acquired leather-trimmed doublet. He had intended to wear it on his upcoming date; she hadn’t seen it before and he was certain she’d fancy it. And him wearing it. He smiled at the thought, then gave a resigned sigh. Although he usually reserved that day for dates, he knew he should help this Lhossagalos fellow instead. And if others heeded that call, they would certainly need his leadership to overcome the undead.

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An Elf In Need: Invitation
Time to jump back into the wonderful world of Solace...

An elf by the name of Erith Lhossalagos from a small communal village a few hours outside of the city has come to find worthy folk to aid him. Fellow villagers have disappeared, and the few survivors have reported attacks by the undead.

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At The Water's Edge: Roj's Report
Report by Roj Hamlin

Caleb Marsh was sitting at his desk when Roj entered his small office. Roj was wearing nice clothing - very nice - and is somewhat self-conscious as he greets his friend.

“Hoy Cal, I’ve got that report that you wanted. And for what it’s worth you were right.” Roj handed a carefully folded piece of parchment to Caleb as he spoke.

Caleb leaned back in his chair, unfolded the parchment, and began to read the report. “Right about what?”

“That Deryck Thacker adept. He wasn’t quite balanced and the ritual…” Roj paused, trying to gauge Caleb’s reaction. ”...went awry. Oh, the ritual was successful, in a way, but it had some unintended consequences. You see, the elements took issue with the unnaturalness of it all and awoke some ancient evil nearby. Some of the weaker folks nearby succumbed to that power and turned against us, including Thacker himself.”

Caleb looked up, “I hear he’d been killed.”

“Didn’t have a choice on that one,” replied Roj. “Somehow, he grew more powerful than the others and would’ve killed us all; I imagine he’d been promised more from the evil than the others. Folks shouldn’t go messing with things like that, if you ask me.”

Caleb nodded, sharing his distaste. “And what of that evil?”

“Right,” said Roj, “we went in and killed it. Well, killed it again, I guess, because it was already dead. That’s how we got the bodies back. Well, the body. The other folks, we managed to save—but I wouldn’t trust them just yet. They’ve been tainted, after all.” Roj looked away, then added, “and anyone who tastes that kind of power will seek it out again.”

“What would you know about that?” Caleb folded the report and tucked it into his desk.

“Not me,” replied Roj, “but I knew a man once who followed that path. A great man.”

“You’ve got some mysteries of your own, Roj.”

Roj nodded. “Anything else I can tell you?”

To that, Caleb grinned and asked why he was all dressed up. “You have a date?”

Roj just smiled at his friend as he walked out the door.

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At The Water's Edge: Adventure

View the full adventure summary.

Treasure: Ka-hau-lani took a Harsh Songblade +1. It was found in the bullywugs’ treasure room in the sanctuary below the lake.

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At The Water's Edge: Ghazee Joins
Ghazee joins the adventure...

Dust lingered in the hot afternoon air after the recent bout between Ghazee and Roj. The two had only been using practice swords and they were both skilled enough to not actually harm each other—but as they walked to a nearby well for a drought of water, they were both noticeably sore.

“You still leave that opening on your left side,” critiqued Roj. “I knew a man, many summers ago, who did the same thing. Saddest story ever…well, one of the saddest at any rate. Man said he had a brother and the two of them fought side-by-side for years. After his brother was killed, he had the same opening you’ve got.” Roj paused to drink from the cup before passing it over to Ghazee. “He was killed a short time later.”

Roj smiled and clasped him on the shoulder, promising to help make sure such a fate doesn’t befall the dragonborn. Then he explained how some other poor soul was recently killed in battle, no doubt through some similar weakness, by some of those devil-creatures they fought a few days back. It was an elf named Able Truesense.

“And some adept is trying a Raise Dead ritual on him, of all things.” Roj shook his head in a clear gesture of distaste. “His name is Deryck Thacker, and I’m meant to meet with him in the morning. It all doesn’t feel right to me – devils, demons, dead bodies, and all – I thought it might be good to have you along, if you’ll come.”

He took the cup back and dumped the rest on his head to cool himself off and wash away some of the dust. Then he winked:

“Just be sure to keep the bad guys on your right side, for now.”

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At The Water's Edge: Roj Joins
Roj joins the adventure...

“Roj, I congratulate you on your dealings with the Dragonborn!” Caleb Marsh greets him with a tremendous slap on the shoulders. It has become a habit to meet with him at Pauvel’s Grotto every week’s end. You each enjoy a couple of drinks while looking over Pauvel’s mercenary chalkboards and checking out the new set of hopefuls in town. Caleb doesn’t have the eye of a captain of warriors like Roj, but he has an intuitive sense about people that seems to serve him well. Tonight though, he quickly moves from his congratulatory greeting to a dismissive “harrumph” of the gathered toughs to a slightly uncomfortable tension. He has something to share. It’s obviously a bit more than the usual city politics, the trials of the watch or the mundane crimes the two of them often talk about.

He looks up over his ale and grins. “Ah, I see you figured it out. I do have something to talk to you about.” He picks up his mug and drains it. He lounges back into his chair and folds his arms behind his head. “Ok. Here’s the deal. I know you faced a coupl’a people that you called Devils. You figured out their dumb logic puzzle and killed a bunch of their minions. Well, another group of folks apparently found some more of these devils and didn’t do as well.”

He looks a little disapproving at you. Roj believed he didn’t so much as smirk, but Caleb has a knack for seeing inside of people. “Any way…” he draws out, “one of these folks was actually killed by some devil minions. It was an elf by the name of Able Truesense. Nothing too special about this guy, but apparently someone disagrees with my assessment.” Caleb leans forward again. “Look, Roj. I’m a little concerned about this adept by the name of Deryck Thacker. It seems he’s coordinating a Raise Dead ritual for the dead elf. I’m not sure why, but this whole things seems a bit off for me.”

Caleb raises his hand to flag down the wench for another beer. He shrugs. “Look, this adept is looking for folks to help out with a ritual. I think he plans to have it outside of town. I want you to volunteer. Maybe bring a friend to watch your back. I just have a funny feeling and I want to have someone on the inside to notice anything that needs noticing. I’d like to know what gets noticed, if you understand.”

After a bit of discussion, he agrees that Ghaazee, the dragonborn fighter, might be a good to have along. He advised Roj to brag a bit about your recent adventures against the Devils and the Demons who stole the Dragonborn clutch to this adept. Unsurprisingly, Caleb’s advice works perfectly: Deryck Thacker agrees to use both Roj and Ghaazee, in the ritual. Roj agrees to meet with him in the morning.

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At The Water's Edge: TaSyr Joins
TaSyr Mavenor joins the adventure...

It is most unfortunate that the elf, Able Truesense, died during the combat with the devils in the caverns that may once have served as a well. Like many elves, he seemed both young and old at the same time. A quality some find charming; others find it annoying. Nonetheless, he was a decent investigator, a capable combatant, and a citizen of the city. Apparently he was nearly a century in age and had spent much of that time in Solace.

In a responsible manner, you and the others return his body to the city for cremation. The pretty Pelagian, Ka-hau-lani, seems rather insistent in taking the body to the Holy Citadel and dealing with the situation with compassion and concern. Some find this a weakness; she probably sees it as a virtue of her personality. Regardless, an adept by the name of Deryck Thacker meets with you all. He will deal with the elf and shows an interest in your story. Once you’ve covered the facts of the elf’s death, the capture of the crazed Jon Chasteen, and the devils’ puzzle, you return home.

A day or so later, you receive your great aunt, Lady Syrana Mavenor. After serving her white tea and scones, she explains that she has committed your services at the request of an adept from the Holy Citadel. Lady Syrana has always been very spiritual and boastful of you, her namesake. Whatever the circumstances, you now must participate in a Raise Dead ritual. You are to stand for Water. You have been asked to find where you can be malleable and to look for the connections between the Water in his death and the Water in his return to life. It doesn’t take you long to surmise that the ritual must be for Truesense. And so, tomorrow morning you will meet with some others at dawn for the ritual which is to be held about five miles outside of town.

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At The Water's Edge: Ka-hau-lani Joins
Ka-hau-lani joins the adventure...

The fight with the devils was devastating. The elf, though young in appearance, was clearly over a century old. He was full of curiosity and wonder like a small child, but still seemed well versed in methodology and investigation. You only knew him a few hours, but he died while fighting with you against extra-planar fiends. His death has shown you what a serious threat this rumored “Blood War” truly is. When you brought his body to the Holy Citadel for cremation, an adept by the name of Deryck Thacker took a lot of interest in your story of the devils. He seemed to understand immediately when you tried to explain the complexities and inhumane puzzle the devils presented. He was also very compassionate in regards to the scholar Chasteen. And, in a gesture that gave you much comfort, he was very sympathetic about the death of Able Truesense, the elf.

You were a bit surprised when Deryck came to you a couple of days later. He explained that arrangements are such that a ritual of Raise Dead will be done for Able Truesense. He explains that the manner of his death among the devils could be crucial to the city’s fight against the encroaching Darkness of Chaos. “It is obvious that the Spirits have more in mind for the elf, as he has been marked for many years.” Deryck smiles politely as he explains. “As you were there at his death, I believe it would be beneficial if you could participate in the ceremony. I would like you to represent Love. Your part is simply, but you must have a compassionate heart full of good will towards Able, the others who aid him, and the people he will aid. “

Deryck goes on to explain that he would like to hold the ritual at a spot about five miles from town near a small lake that is special to the elf. He asks you to meet him and the others tomorrow around dawn.

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At The Water's Edge: Leofwin Joins
Leofwin Halifax joins the adventure...

A few weeks ago, a large section of the eastern vineyard went foul. The mess has taken all of Morwyn’s time and much of his good humor. Aside from the various business and political issues that he must address, you’ve begun to suspect there is something arcane to the event. Ever since Deryck Thacker asked you to aid him and “others with a similar purpose”, you’ve kept an eye open for something exactly like this. However when you approached Deryck, he has another urgent issue he’d like you to address.

An elf by the name of Able Truesense has been slain. Those who brought his body to the Citadel for cremation insist that he fell fighting devils outside of the city walls. With such an obvious manifestation of the planar rifts, Deryck did some research. The elf was older, perhaps a century. Records indicated that his destiny lie within the element Water and he was blessed with a Spirits’ Mark, yet all his life up until this point has been quite mundane and uneventful. Deryck has decided to perform a Raise Dead ritual on the elf to see if he can aid the cause, in any way.

Deryck has enlisted the aid of those who were present at Able’s death, along with a couple others that will complete the Octogram. He needs you to represent Fire. Your part in the ritual will be straight forward; you must bring your best weaponry, a fierce attitude and a hatred towards those who stand against what you know is right. Once the ritual is complete, he is hopeful that you can connect with the elf to determine if his experiences with Death and Water can provide any clues or assistance in the fight you will all soon be facing as the Blood War continues to manifest.

Deryck also shares with you that he has discovered some old texts that indicate a conjunction of ley lines strongly associated with Water existed nearby. He admits that the timeframe of the references is difficult to ascertain and there are no recent reports of such activity. Nonetheless, he is hopeful this small lake will be conducive to the ritual. He asked you to meet with him and the others early in the morning.

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