In a dingy corner of the Black Hawk bar in the city of Braxis Steve and Pros haggle over the cost of getting new supplies shipped in and out of port in Braxis. “With the recent pirate activity, it is becoming harder and harder to sail to and from Taurens” Pros states. Just as Steve is about to retort, he notices a man walk into the bar and post a piece of parchment on the job board. His attention is immediately drawn to it as he notices a raised red wax seal of a guild he has never seen before. Noticing that his associate is distracted, KanKan continues the argument and Steve leaves the table.
Steve walks up to the man who posted the ad as he is about to leave. “Sir, who is this job for?” Steve asks. “Why it is for my employer, The Thay Company. They own a guild on the edge of town.” He replies. “I’ve never heard of them” Steve says.”They’re New.” The man retorts and walks out. As the man leaves Steve tears the not off the job board and reads…….
Wanted: 4-8 sturdy persons to escort a caravan of merchants across land to the city of Taurens.
Pay: 5 gold per day per person.
The Thay Company
Meanwhile Havoc and Malus are intently listening to a bard tell a tale about the Minotaur of Ridge mountain. “This is no ordinary minotaur, mind you. He is a towering giant even among his own kind. He guards the ancient labyrinth beneath Ridge Mountain. A dear friend once told me that buried deep within the labyrinth is a city, a city that has been abandoned by all but the foulest beasts and at the heart of that city is The Sword of the One True King. Legend says the sword was destroyed during the madness, but my friend believes it still exists.” The bard takes a slow breath for effect. Now, local custom states the any man who wields the Sword of the One True King is considered king of all mankind, this is why the local governor is only referred to as a Barron, even though he holds all the power a king would. “Just imagine if someone were to find the sword, the riches they would gain……the power…..”
As Steve finishes reading this he calls over to his table “Guys, our money problems have been answered.” He hastily takes the note over to show his friends and they agree to take the job and head to the Thay Company tonight after the fight. Avid announces” speaking of the fight, I have entered to fight. You guys are betting on me right?” A murmur of agreement occurs around the table and the troop head to the bar and cast their bets for the first and second round. As the betting continues to build the excitement on the match, Oldrem spots a noble sitting alone and orders two drinks and puts a sleeping potion in one. He walks up to the man and asks if he can join him…..the noble refuses at first, but after being offered a free drink, he reservedly accepts. Halfway thru the wine, the noble starts to get more comfortable and tells Oldrem about the quest he is about to embark on. He is headed to Routhin to meet with the prince of that city. The Barron has asked him to do this on behest of Braxis. Word from the city of Routhin has it that the people are being brutally oppressed and enslaved to work in the royal court. The noble is to meet with the royals and discern the truth of the matter and bring it back to the Barron. That is when the sleeping potion takes full effect and the noble passes out cold. Oldrem looks over the noble and decides he has nothing worthy of his talents in taking and heads off to the arena to see the fight.
The crowd is fired up with excitement. The announcer moves into the arena and announces “I am pleased to bring you two excellent fighters this night first, Avid, the master of the sword and our second fighter, Titus, the master of the spear.” “Let the fight commence!” Titus runs forward with a thrusting stab, Avid ducks low and is missed by inches. Avid lunges back striking out twice in rapid succession. The second swing catches Titus off guard as it tears into his shield arm. He swings back with the spear at Avid missing once more. Avid strikes again, but Titus ready for this double back swing dodges and strikes down on the leg of his foe. As the fight continues it becomes more and more brutal. Finally with a massive downward thrust Avid finishes off his opponent and is declared the first round winner and is taken back to the healers to prep for the second round, the round he will face the arena champ! After being fully healed Avid heads out again. The announcer moves into the arena and announces “I am pleased to bring you the main event. First, I bring you Avid, the master of the sword. Second The Arena Master, Klrutch.” “Let the fight commence!” Avid holds his ground measuring up the champ, but his hesitation will cost him this night. Klrutch moves forward and slashes his great axe across the chest of Avid. Avid strikes back with a stab to the shoulder of the champ, but all he does is enrage him. Klrutch turns the wicked great axe and brings it straight up with the flat of the blade connecting to the chin of Avid. The hit is so intense that it knocks Avid off his feet and he falls to the ground unconscious. About an hour later Avid wakes up in the healer’s tent, a little bid sore and a lot more impressed with the arena fighters.
As the crowd leaves and heads back to the bar our trepid band heads off to the Thay Company guild shop. They find a door at the address they were given with a sign over it stating “The Thay Company…..under new management”. As they open the door, a bell jingles, and they find a poorly lit room with a warm fire and a dozen squishy arm chairs surrounding a coffee table. A moment later a middle aged man in a dressing gown enters the room and asks “can I help you?” “Yes” states Pros, “we are here about the ad in the bar, I would like to speak to whoever is in charge here”. “Yes, yes” the man states. “I am Bigby, the Co chair of this organization. My boss is not in at this late hour, is there anything I can assist you with?” “Yes, we would like to accept the job; we have a boat and can get the goods to Taurens much faster.” “Oh, but you see there is the pickle, the job requires us to provide the delivery over land you see. This is due to the extreme amount of piracy on the seas at this point. If we can provide over land services, we will be able to avoid them forever.” Bigby explains. “Then you will need to pay us more…..it will take over a month to get there and back. Since there is no route over land, we will need to cut one. These services are difficult and expensive.” Steve exclaims. “Fair enough, how about this. I will offer you 600 gold now and 600 gold upon your return. We will provide drivers and horses for the carts. If this is amenable, we will have the supplies ready to leave in the morning” says Bigby. Steve and Pros discuss this with the rest of the group, it is more money for a month’s work than they could earn in a year. They agree and head home to prep and make a plan for their travels.
Morning arrives and the team goes back to The Thay Company. Outside, horses are being attached to carts and drivers are being given instructions by a man in a formal outfit. He sees the group arriving and heads to them. “Greetings, you must be here to escort these fine men to the city of Taurens. I am The owner of the Thay Company. I look forward to working with you. If this goes well, I may have more work when you return.” The group looks over the carts and talks with the drivers, explaining their plan to stay close to the coast and away from the dense jungle and mountains for as long as possible. As the group heads out of town, they start to talk of how they will be spending their money upon their return.
For the first few days the group heads out across the scattered farms and homes that make-up the countryside of Braxis. The tropical breeze off the ocean and the beautiful palms entrance them as they travel. As the third day ends they reach the end of the countryside and start to embark into the land beyond the reach of Braxis, into the wild. Still attempting to skirt the coastline, the team makes camp at the edge of the jungle and the beach. Our perilous band is a little jumpy this night as they take turns at watch, only Havoc is used to life outside the city. In the final hours of the night Steve and Malus notice something……..Kobolds, surrounding their camp…..Steve screams and the camp comes alive as 8 Kobolds rush into the camp. Avid rushes forward and squares off with two. Pros sets his sights on the nearest and fires. The shot rings out through the night as a Kobold falls. Oldrem throws a smoke potion and obscures the fight between Avid and his quarry. Havoc attacks one of the Kobolds and another as the first drops. In the intense heat of battle one of the Kobolds sneaks around a wagon and kills the driver and horse. As he moves forward to attack Oldrem, he realizes he made a bad choice. The smoke from around Avid clears and the Kobolds are all dead. On closer inspection the party finds the dead driver and horse. Angered by this, Havoc and Avid race into the jungle. They hope to find the Kobold den and destroy it. Meanwhile the party decides to cut up the horse and keep the usable meat and bury the dead driver. As dusk breaks Havoc and Avid find an ancient ruin filled with entrances and exits from catacombs below. They decide that getting the cargo to its destination is more important than killing a rather large Kobold nest and head back to meet up with the others. Once they return, the party makes hast and heads out again.
Over the next few days the party spots some pirate ships, massive attack ships that would have certainly sank their keelboat. They are grateful that they decided to stay on land and decide to stay just far enough into the jungle so the boats do not spot them or their precious cargo. As they break for camp at night they keep their fire low and their watch high as to be ready in case of more attacks from the pirates on the sea or from the creatures that lurk in this unknown jungle.
On the 8th day of their travels, the party runs into an issue. The mountains have run up to the coast making it impossible to travel by the coast any longer. Steve sends his bird out to scout for a way around. When it returns the bird tells him of a valley between the mountains that may work. The party heads inland to search for a safe route to travel to the city of Taurens. As they go further and further into the valley, the bottom of the valley becomes swamp-like and murky. While traveling along Malus notices some caves in the mountains and points them out to Havoc asking if he thinks they are the caves of the Minotaur of Ridge Mountain. Havoc shrugs and states that they need to keep traveling to get to Taurens and that we can worry about crap like that later. As the days go by Oldrem and KanKan point out that the cave entrances are starting to look more and more sculpted and less cave-like. On the 11th day as the party breaks for a short afternoon rest, KanKan and Steve see something silver moving off in the distance, it is a mithril snake. As the party senses trouble, they set-up a fortified area and prepare to fight. 4 mithril snakes emerge out of the swamp and engage the party. They are easily dispatched before the party notices the real threat, a large mithril golem. As the golem attacks, it smashes our heroes with savage attacks and it seems as if all their attacks do little to no damage to the monster. Just when it seems all hope is lost; Steve reaches out and touches the golem. He curses it and causing devastating damage in the process. With the massive creature staggered; the party vigor is renewed. After a few minutes and one impressive gunfighter hit, the enemy falls. The group slices up the pieces of the monster. The value is immeasurable to them. Onward they head. Finally, on the fourteenth day the intrepid band of heroes make it to the city of taurens.