Cutthroats in Felac'Delb

Chapter 1: Character Assassination

Aldebaran and Amos hang out in a tent in Creythia territory after successful murder of Ilirith Nurkanis. Triona shows up and recommends that they take a job from Thranten Ias in Jera. They are reluctant to leave without up-front pay, but when she mentions that Gjagk Mercy is around, they venture out without hesitation.

Upon arrival, Aldy makes a power-play posing as the merchant “Sebastian Anderstein” with Amos as his bodyguard, “Ludan.” They ask Ias to appraise Aldy’s jewel collection, as he was once a jeweler. Aldy convinces Ias that the gems had been stolen from Ias’s own collection, which prompts him to freak out and leads to Amos pulling a knife on Ias’s guards. Aldy diffuses the situation by revealing that it was all a ploy to convince Ias that he and Amos were up to the job.

The job is the humiliation of Boss Fajo, ideally to be coupled with destablization of the Blue Suns who support him. Ias knows of a fortified retreat house in which the Boss has his promiscuous daughter hidden away from the public eye and guarded by Blue Suns. Ias hires the Cutthroats to “defile” Fajo’s retreat.

He also asks them to look into the matter of a smuggler’s boat which is heading up the River Jara toward Kalashek lands. The payment for each job is a healthy portion of “low-quality” gems, which are marvellous by Aldy and Amos’s standards.

Somehow, Aldebaran gets inside the retreat and is able to drape a tapestry down the outer wall to indicate where the weakest spot in the night watch is. Amos exploits this and goes Batman on the outer guard; he throws a few down the wall and knifes others before they can call for help. He then takes his time to line up a perfect shot on the Blue Suns’ leader in the area, whom he kills with a crossbow bolt to the neck.

Unfortunately, Amos hesitates wheh he sees the leader’s young squire approach the body, and their eyes meet in the shadows. After this, an alarm is raised, and the guards mobilize to hunt down an elusive Amos to no avail. Aldebaran and the daughter come running out of the latter’s chambers naked, and after making a rude gesture to the dumbfounded guards, the gnome and his prize slide down the tapestry to safety.

Aldebaran sends Siobhan, the daughter, back to Ias’s estate on horseback. Then, though he did not really ask about its location, he makes a rough guess about the location of the boat he and Amos were meant to track.

They barely spot the boat from their vantage point on the river, but are able to intercept it before it makes its drop or they lose track. Aldy distracts the crew—three orcs and a goblin—while Amos swims underneath. The surprised crew is helpless against the brutal manhunter’s axe and vicegrip, and after a quick change into the guise of Filthshank, Amos and Aldebaran have stolen the boat and its crew’s identities.

The Cutthroats ransack the boat’s contents and find a dessicated, noble-looking elf corpse hidden amid exotic spices. Neither recognizes the body. They see a number of elves following them through the bushes alongside the river; hoping to incite them to show themselves, Aldy convinces Amos to cut off the corpse’s left hand and cast it in the direction of the elf party.

After a day or two they make it to the drop point, where they rendezvous with a Kalashek river skiff. Upon discovering the mutilation, the Kalashek are very angry, but Aldebaran confuses them enough about his and Amos’s motivations that they drop the issue and make do. Amos suggests to Aldy that they not lose track of the corpse, but the Kalashek won’t let them aboard.

It as just as well—once the Kalashek have the body, Creythia society forces (the same elves as before) burst from the water and bushes and assault their ship. At this point, Amos and Aldy take off running alongside the river, Amos dragging “Filthshank” behind him.

They get confronted in a thicket by twelve Blue Suns, three of whom are elite, who are out looking to bring Amos to justice. “Filthshank” maniacally injures himself on thorny bushes, distracting and confusing the mercenaries long enough for Amos to slip into the underbrush. Three of the men restrain Aldebaran while six look for Amos. The remaining three stand vigilant.

Amos shoots, stabs, and strangles the six who futilely search for him, but in doing so ultimately reveals himself to the three elite warriors. Aldebaran struggles against the Suns restraining him and mires them in the river muck, preventing them from aiding their brethren. When they still hold him, he bites fingers, gouges eyes, and kicks groins until they lose their will to fight.

Amos is losing the stand-up fight against the tougher warriors until he finds himself backed into the underbrush. There, he causes the Suns to trip over each other, and uses their fumble to savagely cut them down with his axe.

Though Amos and Aldy leave the poor fools who attempted to restrain “Filthshank” alive, a number of elves arrive and stab the survivors to death before they can be questioned.

When they make it back to the Ias Estate, Triona is waiting, Ias and Triona compliment the Cutthroats on a job well-done; they have decimated Fajo’s organization and helped the Creythia Society recover the body of Archon Yukanis. Aldy takes the opportunity to flaunt his new affair with the halfling girl in Triona’s face, while insisting that Amos be the one to discuss payment.

Finally, Amos rests his bones after the week’s brutal fighting, and washes himself in Ias’s bathroom. He’s getting too old for this shit, but he still cracks a nasty, missing-toothed smile.

Chapter 2: Business Concluded

The Jaran Countryside
Amos and Aldebaran have been enjoying their money from Thranten while staying in a small town called Waymark. Amos drinks and peruses wares at the market and Aldebaran buys whatever drugs he can get his hands on and takes them with Siobhan. Five days after they got their money, a halfling messenger gives Amos a note written in True Kalashek, which Amos recognizes but cannot read. He goes to find Aldebaran (who can). Aldebaran is in a pile of filth passed out, and Amos wakes him and gives him the note. Aldebaran reads it: it’s from thranten, who says that he has another job for them and that it will pay 10 times more than the last one. They grab Siobhan and head back to the mansion.
When they arrive at Thranten’s they’re very eager to hear about this new job. Thranten gives them a downpayment, and says that he’s going to Jera because Boss Fajo has summoned him. He sees it as an opportunity to take out some of Fajo’s guys from under him, so he is bringing AA with him. They agree and head out that day.

The City Jera
AA marvel at the size of the city. Not half as nice as Bastion (according to Aldebaran), and filled with a healthy mix of all the races. The target they get from Thranten is a Polaris ambassador, Elim Reiltar, so they start making plans to take him out. Aldebaran knows that he’s generally a good/upstanding guy, has consort in the city, and has a thing for exotic liquors. Fortuitously, they pass a group of dwarves talking about a shipment of almond liquer, and they spring into action.
Aldebaran adopts the character of a halfling cobbler and starts talking to the dwarves about their terrible shoes while Amos sneaks into their storehouse/shack to take shipment. He gets it, but one of their guys walks in, and Amos takes him out with his knife before he raises the alarm. Later he dumps the body down a sewer grate.
Aldebaran blends into the crowd and leaves Amos on his own to take out the ambassador. While Amos is planning the attack, he runs into a guy that says he’s from the Crimson Lancers, a Jera-for-Jerans gang that wants foreign influences out. They’ve been plotting to take down the ambassador, but are willing to have Amos be the trigger man to distance themselves from the murder. With their intel, Amos sneaks in through a servant’s entrance and avoids detection the entire way up to the ambassador’s room. The door is ajar, and he hears snoring. Inside, the ambassador and his consort are unconscious with a bottle of the almond liquer Amos and Aldebaran stole half-empty beside them. It was Aldebaran’s handywork, so Amos gets out his knife to finish the deed.
Amos goes to a divey tavern to lay low for a few hours. Amos his on one of the human tavern wenches and really hits it off with her. Amos buys a room and some potent orc drinks with the money he got from Thranten, then heads upstairs with the willing human woman.
His post-sex nap is interrupted by a knock on the door, which he answers grudgingly. It’s Commander Shran, who asks Amos about Aldebaran. Amos says no, and Shran says that they’ve been summoned by Thranten. Amos goes with him to Thranten’s apartment, but Thranten is with Boss Fajo (and a squad of Blue Suns), who is accusing him of murdering the ambassador. Thranten smiles at Amos, points at him, and says that he’s responsible. Thranten says that Amos and his cohort are working for the Creythia Society and that he’s lured them with the promise of gold into the city to answer for the defiling of Fajo’s daughter and estate. Fajo knows that Thranten is bullshitting, but takes has his men take Amos into custody. The Blue Suns put him in a dungeon within the city.
Amos chills in the dungeon for a few hours, then he gets taken out and brought before this guy who calls himself Seeker Gillen. The Seeker asks Amos some philosophical questions about purpose, which Amos answers sarcastically. He then starts talking about how Amos is obviously guilty of murder, but that his crime is irrelevant when he and his “small friend” have a higher purpose. At that point, Aldebaran walks into the room getting out of a Blue Suns uniform (he was listening in as one of the guards). The seeker is caught off-guard by Aldebaran’s entrance, but resumes, saying that they were destined to be brought before him so that they could attend to a matter of blood. He elaborates on the matter of blood, by naming Hrabkuk, and says that he must be found, and that they are to assist him in something of cosmic importance. Aldy gets pissed that the Seeker is talking about destiny and cosmic stuff, so he flips out and bites him, but the Seeker launches a brick from the wall and clocks Aldy in the head.
The seeker asks if they agree to locate and aid Hrabkuk if the Seeker assists in their escape, which they do, since dungeons suck. The Seeker closes his eyes and the air gets really still, then rattles off a list of directions and times which together form a timed guide that will allow them to simply walk out of the dungeon. Before they go, he says that they will run into Dodros, Fajo’s right-hand man, and vengeance will be on his mind. Amos and Aldebaran follow the guide and get out without being noticed.
Aldebaran is really pissed that Thranten betrayed them, so he wants to send a message before they leave the city. They look around for Commander Shran, and find him walking towards Fajo’s palace. Amos drags him into an alley, then Aldebaran sets to breaking his mind. He tells Shran that he and his boss have crossed the wrong men, and that Thranten is in for some serious pain and suffering. Then they knock him out, break all the fingers on one of his hands and carve “TRAITOR” into his chest to send a message to thranten.
They walk out of the alley, but someone calls to them from behind. It’s Dodros, and he’s coming out of the alley. He asks if they were the ones that mangled Shran’s body, and they admit to it. He looks horrified, then asks why. When they tell him that they’re going to come after Thranten, he changes his attitude and agrees to let them leave this once. Dodros has it out for Thranten too, and doesn’t want to hinder Amos and Aldebaran since they seem very motivated to take him down. Aldebaran says that Thranten also has the Boss’ daughter, and that he is the one who hired them to kill the ambassador. While Dodros is angered by their part in the murder, he lets them go with the warning that they better get to Thranten before he gets to them. They smile and walk away.

Chapter 3: Family Reunion

Hrabkuk fights through thugs and gets info from Mogh: Rahgot the Furious has taken an oracle of some kind captive, and he might be able to help him in his pursuit of eoric deepsong. They can be found at Fort Bloodspike.

Amos and Aldebaran travel towards Nanlaq per instructions, have to make a break for it when they run into bandits. Aldebaran has to ditch his disguise kit. Seeker Gillen finds them in the jungle and gives them more precise directions to a village.

Amos and Aldebaran come across a village named Teg Aral, which is run by Guidefather Gjosefv, who leads the Ursine Brotherhood. Amos and Aldebaran try to gain entrance, and Hrabkuk shows up in the attempt, who vouches for them. There’s a father-son moment, then they explain how both of them got there. Hrabkuk tells them about his current target, Fort Bloodspike, and they make preparations to infiltrate it to retrieve the oracle. Aldebaran takes a bunch of green pigments from the Brotherhood and goes into Filthshank mode.

Amos and Hrabkuk sneak up to Fort Bloodskpike, but it looks abandoned. They see some markers left by Aldebaran, so they continue in. They see a lone man kneeling in the middle of a circle, and when they approach him, he reveals himself to be YaTrug The Summoner, and he thinks that Hrabkuk and Amos are Gjekrat scouts, so he unleashes his trap then teleports away. His trap consists of a shitstorm of demons, and Hrabkuk and Amos put them down hard with magic and brutality. They look around some more and find a note from Aldebaran that says “Burovedk”, which they know to be a Fvavalk fort further from their border with the Gjekrat Alliance. They set out.

Hrabkuk gives up on stealth, and runs to their main gate babbling about YaTrug’s demons being behind him, then launches into a Haxitumite doomsday speech. In the background, Amos sneaks in right behind them and locates the oracle, who turns out to be Tanasi named Ian Glung. He frees him and they make an awkward escape.

Not too far away from the fort, Amos and Hrabkuk meet up, then start questioning Ian. He says to Hrabkuk that “The King of the Dwarves can be found where The Beginning ended”. They are about to head off, but some soldiers and a Dumati war priest roll up on them because they thought that Hrabkuk’s actions were bizarre. They attack, but Amos and Hrabkuk take them out pretty easily. When only a few of the dudes are left, Rahgot shows up and starts kicking their asses. Eventually, Amos discovers that he’s in a berserk state, so Hrabkuk assaults his mind and puts the fear of Haxitum in him. Meanwhile, the oracle has run off, so Rahgot calls for more dudes to chase him down and help with Amos and Hrabkuk. They decide to peace out, and Rahgot lets them flee.

Chapter 4: Homefront

Amos and Hrabkuk run down Ian Glung after their fight, and find him being accosted by two elves. They get them to back off, then talk to Ian some more about where he’ll go. They mention Seeker Gillen, and Ian says he’ll just wait to be found. With no sign of Aldebaran, Amos concludes that he was killed, and simply moves on. He and Hrabkuk leave for Dharz’Dan so that they can visit the family and so that Hrabkuk can deliver his report to the church.

When they’re close to the city, they run into Mogh Lionhide, who greets them and offers the hospitality of his home to them for when they’ve finished their official business. While they’re walking through the city, some upper-crust orc boy points and laughs at Amos, so he takes him into an alley and scares the crap out of him. Hrabkuk goes into the church office to deliver his report to Lord Overseer Walter Antilles, and Amos waits in the lobby. Before he makes his report Enforcer-Errant Uvengk the Sanctioner is talking to the Lord Overseer about the slaves that they brought in thanks to some goblin. The goblin shows himself, and he creepily introduces himself to Hrabkuk, then leaves. Hrabkuk makes his report to the Lord Overseer, who is displeased by the vagueness, but says that he will pass the message up the chain of command.

Downstairs, the goblin reveals himself to be Filthshank, and he and Amos rendezvous with Hrabkuk. Filthshank reverts to Aldy, who tells them that he was gone on a quest to recover his disugise kit from the bandits, which ended in him luring them into a trap/enslavement. With all things seemingly in order, they go to visit Mogh.

Mogh lets them in and gives them some of the dwarven ale he’s been brewing as part of the new business venture. He hands them a note that he was given “by two elves”, and they read it: it’s a death threat on Amos/Hrabkuk’s family from Gjagk Mercy, and everyone is stunned. Amos and Aldy start talking about moving the family, and Mogh says that they should show some muscle against Gjagk and not run from him. They say nope, and leave.

Aldebaran disappears while Amos fills Hrabkuk in on the specifics of Gjagk Mercy and how force is simply not the answer. When they arrive at the family home, they see that the door is open and that there are signs of a struggle (but no blood). They freak and Hrabkuk starts running toward the church.

When they get outside, there’s a weird noise and people are looking up, so they look up too and see some Pjotlkraft about to make a pass over the city. They run faster, but the kraft make it over the city and drop sacks made from corpses, from which demons emerge and begin to wreak havoc in the city. Amos and Hrabkuk face down some dretches, nasty, mangy, werewolves, and orcs that looked like they’ve been crossed with demons. Somehow aldebaran bursts out of one of the dretches and joins their fight. They make it out after taking a beating, then get to the safety of the church. The attack is pretty much over, and Uvengk and Antilles both give Hrabkuk crap for running off to attend to his family instead of aiding the church in the defense.

As they walk out wondering what the hell just happened, an arrow with a note on it whizzes by and sticks in the wood of the door between Amos and Hrabkuk. They take it off and read the note, which is a taunting message about how Amos has revealed the location of his family to Gjagk Mercy in his panic. Amos looks up and sees one of the elves from the jungle, and runs after him. They meet in an alley, Amos with his crossbow up and the elf with another arrow notched and aimed at Amos. To break the stalemate, Amos takes cover and hides, so the elf goes running. Amos sneaks around and snipes him in the street.

He and Hrabkuk break him, and get the information about where the other elf is. He also reveals that Gjagk Mercy was never with them, and that they did this on their own to remind Amos that he can run, but he can’t hide. Aldebaran cuts his throat.

They sneak up to the other elf’s location, and take him down. He tells them that he didn’t get a hold of the family, but that the were taken by thugs, but returned later. The three are confused, but kill him just to be safe. They see that he was writing a letter to Gjagk Mercy to inform him of the update on Amos Silenthowl. Amos crumples it up and tosses it in the campfire. They head back to Dharz’Dan to see the family.

Chapter 5: Partners

Amos, Aldebaran, and Hrabkuk knock on the door of Hrabkuk’s home, and are greeted by a spear, held by Garza. She quickly puts it down and greets her son and her absentee husband. They exchange awkward greetings, then Hrabkuk is interrupted by a messenger, who hands him a letter from Lord Overseer Antilles, which requests his presence at the church ASAP, and mentions word from Haf about his endeavor to find Eoric Deepsong. Hrabkuk cannot ignore it, so he leaves.

Garza asks Amos to justify himself, so he explains that things went bad with Lord Urrax, and he got on the bad side of the The Unholy Fvavalk Kingdom, which lead him into partnership with Aldebaran. He explains how he tried to find Garza and his family after escaping, but their home town lay in ruins because of a battle in the Orc Civil War. With nowhere else to go, he stayed with aldebaran and became a mercenary, which eventually lead him to Hrabkuk. She accepts his answer, and invites him in.

Graza, Amos’ daughter, guardedly asks him questions about what he’s been up to, and Aldebaran heaps praise on Garza for her well-maintained home and her lovely daughter. While Garza is finishing cooking dinner, she asks Amos exactly what kind of work he’s been doing. He and aldy exchange a look, and aldy asks Graza to give him a tour of the house. Amos explains that he’s a manhunter and that he and aldebaran have left a substantial trail of bones to earn their pay. Garza says that she’s okay with that, as long as his work doesn’t lead any trouble to her home.

Hrabkuk arrives at office of Lord Overseer Antilles, who asks him to take a seat. The Lord Overseer looks annoyed, and accuses Hrabkuk of delivering his message to someone else (above the Lord Overseer), since the response letter from Haf is signed by Lord Executor Maximilian Kirk, and demands that he come to the capitol for a debrief. Hrabkuk says no, but Antilles tells him that he must take Enforcer-Errant Uvengk with him as an escort (/spy). Hrabkuk bows to the will of Haxitum, and goes to find Uvengk. He’s downstairs, and already knows that he’s accompanying Hrabkuk to Haf, but not why. Uvengk hands H the crumpled letter that was fired into the door by Emile, and says that H needs to keep his personal affairs in check while there’s real work to be done. There’s a few shots fired back and forth, then they get their horses and gear together, and head out.

Back at the family home, Aldebaran is making out with Graza and has a hand in her shirt, who’s about 65% okay with that. A voice from behind yells “HEY”, and aldebaran turns around to see a young orc with long black hair about Graza’s age. Graza gets up and runs to embrace him, but he pushes her out of the way and goes for Aldebaran. He beats him hard, using the environment to leave some bloodstains. It turns out that it’s Hijdar, Graza’s boyfriend. Graza says that she had no attachment to Aldebaran, which is why she didn’t stop Hijdar. That is sufficient for him. They go back inside.

While Hrabkuk is on the road, Uvengk tries to pry details out of him about the letter and Hrabkuk’s mission. Hrabkuk keeps his mouth shut throughout the taunting, and manages to out-quote Uvengk on Haxitumite scripture, which deeply shames him. They arrive at Haf, and go directly to the Iron Manor, the seat of power of the Church of Haxitum. Uvengk disappears, and Hrabkuk is shown into a conference room with the Lord Executor and a guest, who he introduces as Courvan the Undrinking, a powerful wizard who is the political figurehead of the Gjekrat Alliance. Hrabkuk is debriefed on the recent developments of the mission, and when he mentions Tanasi involvement, Courvan speaks up. They press him on the “where the beginning ended” phrase, then call a recess. Hrabkuk doops about while they converse. A few minutes later, he’s called back in, and Uvengk is seated. He tries to protest, but Uvengk has somehow convinced them that he’s an equal partner in the matter, so he’s there for good. Courvan says that he feels that the evidence points to Ekwa, and that Hrabkuk is to take a ship there at once. The Lord Executor provides him with his seal so that any purchases H makes will be charged to the Church. He and Uvengk are show out.

Hijdar and Garza exchange greetings, then he introduces himself to Amos, who gives him a knuckle-crushing handshake. Hijdar says that he wanted to check up on them after the attack, since things just settled down at his house. Amos sizes him up as they engage in small talk, and he decides that Hijdar reminds him of his eldest son, so he’s inclined to like him. Hijdar starts talking about fighting and how he wants to be a Dread Knight (juggernaut-type footsoldier), which Amos tells him is imprudent. Aldy, quite drunk from the arak they’ve been drinking, launches into an explanation of how there are many different reasons to fight: honor, money, victory, the joy of the kill, etc. He then goes on to explain how when someone like Gjagk Mercy is trying to kill you, you have to do some extreme things in order to prevent that. Aldebaran reveals how he had mercenaries capture Garza and Graza to keep their location secret when they learned that Gjagk Mercy was coming to kill them. Everyone is silent for a moment, then Garza, enraged, throws her cup at Aldebaran, which breaks on his head. She demands that Aldebaran leaves at once.

Sensing the tension, Graza takes Hijdar outside to say goodbye. Garza gives Amos an earful about how he’s a liability and that if he wants to show his face in her home again, he needs to be clean: nobody can be looking for him. Amos understands and apologizes, then goes to leave. Garza grabs his hand and tells him that it was good to see him again, in spite of everything that happened. When he steps outside, Graza ambushes him with a hug, then goes back inside. Amos stalks Hijdar, then pulls him into an alley and gives him the protective father speech. Hijdar understands and says it was good to meet him. They go their separate ways.

When Hrabkuk and Uvengk exit the meeting room, Uvengk explodes into a tirade about how Hrabkuk should not be entrusted with such an important mission, and how Hrabkuk is in general, incompetent. Hrabkuk fires back about how he’s made it this far, and that Uvengk is a bitter old man. They continue to exchange words, but Hrabkuk gets fed up and blasts Uvengk with Haxitumite force. Uvengk’s magic is strong, so Hrabkuk wrestles him to the ground and puts him down with his mace. Guards have gathered, and Hrabkuk stares them down, and commands that they break Uvengk and send him back to Lord Overseer Antilles as a warning against such childish behavior. They drag him off, and Hrabkuk walks off to carry out his holy duties.

Amos tracks Aldebaran to a bar, where he’s getting more drunk. Amos grabs him and beats and berates him for his actions towards Amos’ family. After the anger and pain has died down, Aldebaran proposes that they seek out some extra muscle in case they have another Gjagk Mercy or Thranten Ias incident. Amos silently agrees. Aldebaran knows a guy in Athforek who would fit in, so he gets in contact with Lagto Wuruk, a drug smuggler, to get him there. They travel to Vobarth and hammer out a deal with the smuggler in which they agree to owe him a murderous favor in exchange for passage aboard his ship as he makes his stops. Disguised as deck hands, they board the ship and head for Athforek.

Chapter 6: Compass

Amos and Aldebaran have been on Lagto Wuruk‘s ship for a few days, and when things get into a rhythm, Wuruk pulls the Cutthroats aside. They talk about how they got there and what they’re up to, and Wuruk tells them about how he thinks The Unholy Fvavalk Kingdom is going under. He reveals that their king, Gjonrak, has simply disappeared, and that YaTrug The Summoner has taken his place. He’s managed to keep himself in power by supplying extra manpower (actually demonpower) for the kingdom to win them some victories. Wuruk tells them that he’ll be dropping them off in Davarek, a notable port town south of Athforek within The Numiri Lands. Aldebaran starts making plans for when they approach Arcady Longaxe for backup. Off the side of the ship, some strange sea serpents swim by, which spooks the other sailors.

When they are dropped off in Davarek, Aldebaran investigates the alchemy scene in town, and finds a man named John Gray who runs a lab/shop. Amos and Aldebaran plan the heist. At sundown, Amos pays his fee to enter the festhall, and sits down next to their mark. He challenges him to a drinking contest, which gets a lot of attention because of the tensions between the Numiri and the Fvavalk Orcs. Amos defeats him, and the festhall revels in his victory nonetheless. While John Gray is vomitting and cloaked in the shame of defeat, Aldebaran approaches him, disguised as a halfling woman (John’s favorite), and seduces him. After satisfying him and leaving him tied up, Aldebaran grabs what he can from the shop before he and Amos head out for Athforek.

Amos, Aldebaran, and their newly purchased donkey (to carry the disguise kit and the alchemy supplies) are out on the road when they hear a dragon’s screech from above. Amos immediately instructs Aldebaran to get to cover, but they are quickly surrounded by a group of what seem to be peasants wielding spears and other primitive weapons. The dragon lands in front of the donkey and gives another screech. They accuse Amos of being a Fvavalk infiltrator, and he does his best to talk them down. Aldy pipes up and starts praising them on their ability to tame a dragon, and such a beautiful one too, and… (such wing, so fire, much train, wow). In the awkward silence after he finishes his round of praise, a voice speaks from behind him. It turns out to be a very wrinkly elven man, who definitely has some magic going on. He walks over to Amos and harasses him by putting his finger through Amos’ eyepatch, which has no effect since he seems to be some kind of illusion. Aldebaran asks what he knows about YaTrug the Summoner, which gets the elf’s attention. He becomes very cordial and asks the village people to take them to the Coven.

After a short walk, they arrive in a clearing with hollowed out hills that serve as structures. The elf reveals himself to be Arando, and welcomes them in. The people disperse, and as they follow the elf inside, they see numerous old women moving about the structure, conducting rituals of all kinds and paying homage to Caya. They appear to be some sort of hyper-Cayan cult. Arando takes them into a side room and asks them what they know about YaTrug. Aldy tells the elf what Wuruk told him about the demons, and Arando scoffs. He says that the attack on Dharz’Dan was just the beginning, that YaTrug has a pact with some powerful Dumati creature (possibly a revenant), and is using that to bring his people “closer to Dumat” by hybridizing them with demons, which Arando considers to be a terribly heinous act. During this conversation, he has conjured up a platter of herbs, flatbread and cheese for them to snack on.

He changes the subject to Aldy’s eyes (rather, his red eye). Aldy assumes that it’s some kind of mark of bastardy , but Arando reveals that it is much more. He teleports a girl into the room, who has the same eye as Aldebaran. She tells Aldebaran that she has the mark so that the spirit can find her when he needs to move. Arando fills in to say that this is something that certain spirits do when they have a need to continue their work after some host of theirs dies. It is possible to use this to find the spirit, and it may be possible to remove the mark. Arando says that spirits are not his specialty, and that he would be able to find more answers from Ulyark the Sorcerer, since they’re going to Athforek anyways. This inspires Aldebaran to contact Arcady’s spirit, Bynazgu (who Aldebaran has met and got along with), to send him a heads up that they’re on their way. He trades his share of Thranten‘s gold to the witches in exchange for the contact. He relays to Bynazgu that they will need him to extract Arcady from whatever business he’s on for their help in a campaign of destruction. As the line is closing, Aldy gets a brief response of intense approval.

They head outside to continue on their way to Athforek, and Arando jokingly says that he releases them from his protection, which sounds very ominous. Sure enough, after a few seconds, a dozen armed men (elven thugs, human crossbowmen, a mercenary axeman named Rob, and a fire-bombing alchemist named Andy) step out into the clearing and face off against the Cutthroats. One of them pulls out a box from his pocket, looks at it, then at Aldebaran, then says that Thranten sends his regards. They go on to state he’s been showing Siobhan a good time while Aldy’s been away. Aldy gets very pissed. Arando pipes up says he’s pleasantly surprised that he gets to watch a fight, and offers to up the stakes. He says that if the Cutthroats put on a good show, he’ll teleport them to Athforek, and they can rest before making contact with Arcady. The Cutthroats agree, but Aldebaran asks that he liven up the arena, so Arando animates the plants in the clearing and deepens the shadows of the surrounding forest.

Amos immediately dives into the shadows, leaving Aldebaran to take the heat. Rob and the elves rush him after Andy throws a smoke bomb at him. Aldy avoids serious damage. Amos leaps from the shadows and takes out some of the elves. Thranten’s thugs split their attention on the cutthroats, with the crossbowmen and Andy sticking to aldy while Rob and the elves stick to Amos. Another volley at Aldy puts him in serious danger (as he’s still injured from the mishaps with Amos’ family in Dharz’Dan). With nothing else to lose, he runs into the Conclave, and the crossbowmen and Andy. Amos and Rob continue their struggle, with the elves lending what help they can to distract Amos. It gets brutal real fast, Amos takes a sizeable hit from Rob, but Amos hits him harder right back, killing him with his own axe. Amos lops off Rob’s head, then holds it up as threat to the elves. They run off into the forest, and Amos feels disgusted by his monstrous act.

Meanwhile, Aldebaran locates the girl that Arando had teleported to them in the conclave, and he tells her that men are coming after the two of them because they’re special and that since she knows her spirit, she has to contact it and make it help them. Aldy’s exaggeration is enough for her to gather what energy she can to call on the spirit. She turns pale, starts sweating, then lets out a deafening scream. Andy and the thugs with him burst through the doorway, and as they’re about to attack, it collapses on them. One of the old witches moves behind them and calls upon the spirit and Caya to cause a torrent of water to flood into the room, which turns the dirt on top of Thranten’s thugs to turn into an inescapable muck in which they drown. Aldy sighs in relief, then runs out.

He meets back up with Amos, and Arando applauds them for a job well done. He pulls some focus items from his pockets and begins a teleportation ritual. The dragon goes over to Rob’s body, cooks it, then begins eating. Aldy notices the box and picks it up. It appears to be a compass, but it always points towards him. Arando notes that it might be hijacking the spirit mark’s power to locate Aldebaran. Aldy decides to hold onto it for future use. Arando thanks them one last time, then teleports them to Athforek. They wind up on a dock in the main port of Athforek. Aldy looks at the compass and hands it to Amos as a peace offering so that he can always keep tabs on him. Amos takes it and nods in understanding.

Chapter 7: Link

Arcady Flashforward
undertow guys meeting with athforek mercs, arcady tries to be inconspicuous. guy starts making smalltalk with him and makes a scene with the mercs, arcady triest to win them over to no immediate effect

Amos and Yaldebbbrn
aldy goes to purchase some shroome shroomnedd, amos buys some bolts. They meet up later to talk with ulyark. Guards doop at them, then they enter ulyark’s chamber, and he speaks into their minds. they mention the arando connection and aldy gets the ball rolling on investigating his spirit. ulyark demands a payment of blood and assistance for their mutual “friend”, arcady. aldy agrees and goes downstairs, ulyark tries to get amos to barter with him to no avail.
Aldy’s shrooms kick in and he flips out when they try to take some of his blood. he runs off with some materials from his disguise kit.
Amos takes the ferry to the business district and hits hard luck (tensions with the UFK make people hostile to him). He notices and eavesdrops on some kalashek that seem to be surveying the city for its capabilities (# of guards, traffic in/out, etc). Eventually a goblin shopkeeper lets him in. They reminisce on the good old days, but are interrupted by a visit by the undertow, lead by aatos. a fight erupts and amos knocks aatos out before fleeing.
he gets into a bit of a chase, then an elf opens his shop and lets him in. turns out that its piko ashrae, and he’s willing to mess with the undertow bc he hates aatos on principle. he gets amos to try some of the kanar wine, who says that it’s meh for the orc palate (it lacks the necessary kick). arcady in the form of anzo knocks on the door, and he and piko talk for a while, and he accidentally calls him arcady, which amos picks up.
Amos spends the night, then heads over to the festhall in the morning, where he runs into arcady in his flashforward.

united party
Amos mentions his connection to aldbrn, and they set out to look for him, but get swarmed by undertow guys. they want to take amos in (and arcady, bc disrespect to ulyark) for messing with aatos. amos surrenders and they get taken to Fortitude. Aatos is finishing up with some halfling woman, and he starts berating Amos and Arcady while he gets dressed. he orders some of the men out, and then says that he’ll let them go if they agree to help him take some of termina’s supporters so that he can make a move against her. Termina is meeting with the Wavestrider pirates, and Aatos will get them to their island to do the deed. The halfling woman becomes Aldy, who starts peeling off the disguise, and begins telling him about the plan to become a power in the region, and that they’ll do it if it pays well and they can call on the undertow as allies when they need serious muscle. Aatos is impressed, and yems the idea. he gives them the three names and sends some guys with them to point them out.
They lure them all to the festhall eventually, and AAA make a room in the great festhall a scene that would appear to be an orgy gone horribly, horribly wrong. They head over to the docks to take one of the undertow ships to the Wavestrider Island.

Chapter 8: Haze

Amos, Aldebaran, and Arcady plan approach the Wavestrider situation by Arcady coming as an envoy of Ulyark the Sorcerer to make peace with Blake Wavestrider, while Amos and Aldebaran are his escort.

Their captain is David Lonely-Gale, a tightassed Kalashek who runs a smooth ship. He seems to be a very competent navigator. They make their plan on the ride. They will apprehend Termina, shrink her, and keep her in Arcady’s bag until they get back. They go to sleep, but are awakened in a few hours by a loud screech. Arcady goes upstairs to see what’s happening, and Aldy runs panicked to the captain’s quarters for some drink. There’s thick fog, but when they emerge from the largest clump, they see two dragons (an ice and a water) circling them and two boats of men coming towards them.

Amos immediatley vanishes into the fog, Arcady starts concocting a firebreath solution, and Aldy helpfully shouts that the ice dragon won’t like the fire. Amos allows the ice dragon to
land and attack one of the crewmen so that he can get a good shot at it, which is then followed up by gout of flame from Arcady. Aldy defiantly drops his pants and yells at the remaining dragon and approaching men while shaking his junk at them. The captain’s men fire a well-timed volley of bolts at the approaching men. The ice dragon flies away wounded, and the men sound a retreat, and the water dragon follows them. Aldy mistakenly identifies the dudes as Ulyark’s people as they flee.

Captain Lonely-Gale gives them crap about their dangerous tactics, and Aldy tries to justify them under the fact that they’re not dead. The captain loses his cool and pushes Aldy to the floor. Amos, Aldebaran, and Arcady start talking to the crew, and Aldy convinces two of them, Benjin and Troy, to hire on to their cause. As they get close to shore, Aldebaran delivers a flase apology while Amos and Arcady sneak Benjin and Troy onto their small boat in Arcady’s
backpack. While on the boat, Arcady explains that they’re here by Ulyark’s request but have other plans on the table. Aldebaran corrects him by saying “Are you kidding? We don’t ‘work’ for Ulyark. He works for us—he just don’t know it yet.” They establish that Aldebaran will sneak in to find Termina, and blow a horn they stole from the ship when he needs Arcady.

They land on the island, get harassed by Alan Highclere, who decides that Arcady’s story is true, and that they will be allowed in without their weapons. They enter to see Roric wrestling an Undertow guy. He showcases his gauntlets of ogre power, then Arcady goes in to teach him a lesson, and beats him. Aldy slips away before the end of the fight with Benjin. Blake Wavestrider comes out of his room/office to hear out Arcady. He eventually gets Arcady to agree that a formal apology would clear the air between them, then returns to his Termina talks.

Amos and Arcady meet Maza the Swift, Roric the Hammer, and Leeland Dormer while drinking. Maza recognizes Amos as one of Urrax’s Hounds, since she is the daughter of Shuruppak The Dread, a border lord who had land near Urrax. She expalins her life story, and Amos gives it a “cool story bro”, and tells her that he’s more legit than her and she has much to learn.

Leeland and Roric are pretty jolly, and Leeland invites the two of them to “sample the herb”. They pick up on his meaning and accept the offer. Troy goes to gamble with some of the Undertow and Wavestrider guys. As they walk to Dormer’s lab (the “way below”), he explains how he is responsible for turning this island into a place for long-term habitation. He shows them his golems, made from the clay of the island, which dug out the spaces and formed the walls of the fortress. As they smoke, they get to talking about their lives. Amos holds back a lot, but Arcady is very conversational, and tells them about his service to Ulyark. Leeland speaks up and tells them how he was in a similar role as Ulyark’s go-to guy, but he learned that Ulyark is not only one Sorcerer, but also a complete jerk, which left him to leave and join the Wavestriders. Roric begins singing a dwarven country song, which nobody can understand. Maza tries to strike up a conversation with Amos, but they get to an awkward moment, and he asks Leeland what her deal is. Leeland launches into a story about her insecurities and daddy issues, so she makes a move at him but the golems come to his defense. She curses at him in Yaram, says a cordial goodbye to Amos, then leaves.

Roric leaves, and Leeland picks up a book from his shelf and starts reading. Amos and Arcady get the hint and leave. As they’re about to pass into the main room, they hear Aldebaran’s horn, promptly followed by a death scream from “the below” (sleeping caves in between the main room and the lab). They pause in confusion, and Highclere comes rushing down the stairs from the main room to see what’s going on. He sees the two of them, who he finds less than trustworthy, and assumes that they are responsible. Arcady holds out his hands as a sign of innocence, and Highclere draws his sword and narrows his eyes.

Chapter 9: Severance Package

Highclere throws some accusations at Amos and Arcady, then gets interrupted by some dudes who come charging up the stairwell at them. Amos bull rushes them, and arcady delivers the smackdown with his fists. They turn around to see Highclere mopping up some of the dudes who came from above. He decides that they’re not the source of the problem and says that they must rally a defense. Maza pokes her head down the stairwell and says that they’re under a serious assault. Highclere moves to head to the way below to plan an escape with dormer, but Amos gives him a piece of his mind for drawing down on him in the first place. they leave afterwards

They run into Aldebaran and Termina on their way down, and aldy says that Triona is behind the attack, and they have to go. Roric runs up the stairs past them to fight the dudes. His gauntlets are already bloodied. Highclere, Dormer, Termina, and AAA come up with the plan to construct a boat from the dirt of the island, and reshape it with alteration magic. Dormer powers up his two golems and commands them to protect wavestrider (while pointing a control rod at each of them). Highclere follows, and Amos and Aldy after them to get amos’s weapons back. Termina stays behind to guard Arcady and Dormer.

Amos and Aldy search for their weapons amongst the chaos, find them, then sneak over to them. Amos expresses his discontentment that they haven’t killed anything yet, and Aldy realizes that the Wavestriders are more valuable to them without a leader, so he points amos at Blake, who’s fighting for his life. Aldebaran confuses the golems by screwing with their ability to assess threats, then Amos takes the shot, and gets wavestrider in the heart. Triona pops up behind him and was about to stab him, but sees the bolt. She strolls casually over to them, blows Amos a kiss, then reaches into her belt and takes a ball of black goop, and drops it on the floor, which spreads nasty blackness through the room. They make their way through the darkness back to the stairs that lead down.

Meanwhile, Dormer has pried up some sheets of clay using evocation, and Arcady shapes them into a boat. The task is difficult, so he calls on Bynazgu. His horns and tusks become more pronounced, and his skin turns a deeper blue when Bynazgu is called upon. Dormer comments on the astonishing transformation of the boat and Arcady, then uses evocation to bore a hole horiontally out towards the beach. Arcady pulls the boat through, and Termina follows. Amos and Aldebaran come down the stairs, and the black smoke follows them all out to the shore.

They get the ship in the water and before they can shove off, dormer takes an arrow to the chest. They all turn to look, and see a group of assorted men come out from the tunnel Dormer had made. They hear the familiar screech of a dragon overhead, which swoops down on Dormer and claws open his chest. Arcady hauls his body back onto the ship and takes the golem control rods from him. Aldebaran gives Amos a heads-up on good cover, who then takes a shot at the one who looks like the leader, who takes the hit. Four of the foes rush Amos, who can tell that they’re humans, and they beat at him with their swords. He takes some superficial hits. The leader-type seemingly melts into the darkness coming out of the hole, and is not visible. The remainder of the foes nock some arrows and fire at Arcady, who avoids the volley handily.

Amos charges into the darkness and grapples the leader-type, who he can tell is an elf. Aldebaran, seeing that Arcady has the control rods, looks about and spots Alan Highclere fighting alongside one of the golems further down the shore against some foes. Aldebaran shouts at the golem and gets it to percieve him as a threat. As it charges him, Highclere piggybacks it so that he doesn’t fight alone. The golem smashes into Aldebaran, but Arcady manages to gain control of it before it can continue its attack. The men that had been attacking Amos rush in behind him, but get lost in the darkness.

Inside the cloud, the elf leader creates an ice dagger and cuts amos with it. Termina and Highclere move to fight the men that followed Highclere as he and the golem booked it. The dragon harasses Arcady on the ship, breathing frost onto the ship’s deck to make a slippery coating of ice. Aldebaran tricks the archers into moving closer to Termina and Highclere, who dispatch them easily. Amos continues wrestling with the elf, but the golem comes to his aid, and Amos guts him with his knife. Seeing that the golem has taken care of business, Arcady drops the control rod, and deals a mighty blow to the dragon as it swoops down onto him, dropping it from the sky onto the deck of their boat. Enough of the enemies are dealt with, so they all pile onto the boat and shove off. When they’re well clear of the shore, Aldebaran grabs the control rod and directs their golem to seize Termina and take her below decks (yes, Arcady did that well). Highclere does not object because he is preparing Dormer’s body for burial and considers his business with the Wavestriders finished, as they are all likely to be quite dead.

Bynazgu is particularly excited by the situation, and forces himself into control of Arcady’s body. He taunts and threatens Termina while Aldebaran calmly watches. Termina tells them that if she’s killed, the Kalashek will come down on them like a ton of bricks. That gets Aldebaran’s interest, but instead of heeding her threat, he asks Bynazgu to “do his thing”, at which point the possessed Arcady grabs Termina’s face and squeezes. Blue tendrils come from the orifices of her head and into those of Arcady. When he’s done, Termina is nothing more than a husk, and Arcady possess her knowledge in addition to control of his own body. Aldy tells the golem to release her as Amos comes down. He is disgusted by her state, and cuts her throat with Arcady and Aldebaran’s permission. Arcady lops off her head to present as proof to Black Aatos of a job completed. The rest of Termina’s body is dumped unceremonisouly off the side of the ship.

They get their makeshift boat back to Lonely-Gale’s ship, and take control of it. Arcady and Amos drop the dragon’s carcass onto the deck, then Aldebaran takes some of the ship’s food and hands it over to Highclere so that he can go bury Dormer and meet up with them at a later time. Aldebaran asks Arcady what he got from Termina, and he tells them that Termina was involved in an effort by the Kalashek to defend and militarize the Hirogen clans. He knows that her superiors in this plot were the two kalashek Diana Anderstein, and a mage named Alphonse Hayek. Arcady points them at two mercenaries named Nicky Small, a numiri halfling, and Mara Kun, a pimen mage, who were some of Termina’s contacts. Arcady says they usually spend their days in the Great Festhall. Amos and Aldebaran decide to meet up with them while Arcady makes his report to Ulyark.

When they arrive at the docks of Athforek, Aatos and a few Undertow grunts greet them. Arcady tosses Termina’s head in a bag to Aatos, who looks at it, grins, takes out a pipe, and begins puffing away happily. Aldebaran disguises himself as Milo Ritter, and heads to the Festhall with Amos. They spot Nick (based on Arcady’s description) playing darts and drinking. Aldy/Milo approaches him and asks him subtly to arrange a meeting with the kalashek. Nick is very hostile but doesn’t know how to handle their request. Fortunately Mara appears, and attempts to address their request. Aldy makes some comment about the delighful jewelry she’s wearing (they turn out to be her magical foci, so she slaps his hand away), then name drops everyone that Arcady told him about, which mara and nick take as a sign that they’re in the know. They walk them over to the business district.

The four of them walk past the establishment of Piko Ashrae, who shouts a greeting to Amos. Amos nods uncomfortably, and Piko picks up that it’s not a good time, and bids him a good day. The four of them go into an alleyway, and Mara taps on one of the bricks twice, which makes it glow and hum for a time. A minute later, the same group of Kalashek that Amos saw earlier appear. Aldy/Milo does the same name-dropping routine, and the leader of the newcomers identifies herself as Diana. She pulls out a white hemisphere from her pack, places it on the ground in front of the wall of one of the warehouses. It appears to crack open, and an image is projected onto the wall.

They see an office, and a man sitting behind a desk. There is a cloud of smoke around him that prevents them from seeing his face clearly. He is silent, so Aldebaran speaks first. He removes his disguise, then introduces himself as Aldebaran, Lord Chancellor of the New Entente, and introduces Amos as Lord Castellan of the same. Alphonse says that those are fancy titles for a farcical group. Aldebaran assures him of their growing power, and says that he and the Lord Castellan witnessed the murder of Termina Vzorcaya at the hands of the Creythia Society. The smoke clears, and Alphonse leans forward, and says that he doesn’t believe Aldebaran. He’s not sure which part is wrong, but says that if Termina is out of the picture, then the Undertow will have to be good enough to defend the Numiri. Alphonse then tells Aldebaran about a letter he intercepted from their friend Lagto Wuruk, and says that he’ll hand it to them if they retrieve a stolen book for him. The job seems simple, and Alphonse doesn’t seem angry, so Aldebaran accepts.

Meanwhile, Arcady has gone to see Ulyark to report on his excursion to Wavestrider Island. He parks the golem outside. Ulyark expresses surprise that Arcady is still alive, and Arcady tells him about the attack by the Creythia Society. Ulyark says that he knew about it and sanctioned it, even knowing that Arcady would be there. He qualifies that by saying he takes Arcady’s survival as evidence of Caya’s whim, which he accepts unconditionally. Arcady is shocked but grateful that Ulyark doesn’t want to kill him off anymore. Ulyark says that he never wanted to kill Arcady off, but deemed him an acceptable loss if he could also end the Wavestriders. He says that he found Arcady and Bynazgu’s growing ambitions to be problematic, and since they did not die, he believes he must help them. He presents a staff that he calls “The Staff of Rulership”, and gives it to Arcady on the condition that he leaves Athforek and builds his ogre nation elsewhere. Arcady takes it. Ulyark dismisses him and asks him to bring Amos and Aldebaran to him.

Arcady walks over to the business district, and stops by Piko Ashrae to ask him about the Creythia Society. Pico opens himself a bottle of Vapanese wine and drinks deeply before telling Arcady he knows that the Society does a lot of bad things, but they really just want to give the elves a better place. As far as he’s concerned, he’s just a businessman, and will let things be as long as nobody comes for his head. Arcady shrugs, says his goodbye, and goes to find Amos and Aldy.

They meet up, and head back to Ulyark. Arcady goes to the Festhall one last time. When Amos and Aldy get inside, Ulyark says that he promised to sever the connection to Aldebaran’s spirit, and that he will proceed forwith. Two lounging chairs materialize in the circular chamber, and he invites them to sit. They do so, and Aldy quickly looses consciousness.

He’s floating in a gray void and there is a cord tied around his body. A ball of bones, mud, and vegetation appears before him, and investigates the cord. Aldy follows it with his will, and somewhere down the line they see a black cord connected to it going in a different direction. The ball ignores it, and pulls Aldebaran along the white cord. They approach a scene of two Felac’Dora playing some kind of chess game in a well-adorned home. One is white, one is black. Both have cords of the respective colors attached to their wrists. The ball approaches the white one and “whispers” to it. It replies aloud that a gambit requires a prize of at least equal value to be on the line. The white felac’dora releases the cord from its wrist, then ball and Aldebaran speed back along it to the place where the black one connected to it. It too loosens, and flails about in confusion before slinking back to a pile of gold and gems. The cord releases from Aldebaran, but his vision shifts to that of an old wolf with a missing eye stalking through the forest. The cord wraps around it. Amos starts to hear a strange voice in his head.

Chapter 10: Red Eye, Blue Eye

leave athforek, place aspect on nick and mara

banter along the road, amos almost breaks nick’s fingers, respect earned.arcady talks to mara, she’s pretty distant, but he shows her bynazgu. she’s impressed and hides alarm, but points out that their golem is cracking, so arcady goes to fix it with alteration
they run into a kalashek nature mage camp/village, they get a ride to lake Blas, and master bart tags along. aldy screws with him, but he knows that they’re doing stuff for alphonse because they’re on the same level. aldy shares his bizarre spirit-world experience with bart, who puts together that amos has been chosen instead, and that his once-removed eye is growing back red. bart tells them what the book is and who stole it, the cutthroats get ready for action.

when they depart from the boat and walk a bit, then see that their target destination is on fire. they get in closer for a look, mara uses divination to discover that the village was sacked and elves are holding it. they move in even closer, see a bunch of dudes, perhaps 3 dozen, but are discovered.

they go into action mode to make a big enough distraction for nick to sneak into their camp and steal what his best guess at the actual book is (they have a bunch of decoy books). They get surrounded and come to a standoff when Nick returns to them with the book. The elven commander comes forward and says that they don’t even have the right book, but they want this to go smoothly, so he’ll make a peace offering for them to go about their business. he busts out siobhan, which gets aldy in a bind. arcady crosses his fingers and opens the book, which turns out to be the right one. he uses their group code to communicate that they should take the deal. amos reasons that the officer wouldn’t take the chance of them having the right book, and will find out that they have the right one, and make a move on them soon.

they take siobhan and go. aldy tries not to speak with her. at night, they set an ambush and kill a dozen of the creythia soldiers. Mara opens the communication with alphonse and he reads them the note after mara and nick agree to take the book back to eklesa.
the cutthroats plus siobhan and the golem head to vraltorgh per wuruk’s note, and arrive without incident.

as they make their way throught the camps, arcady notices a bunch of ogres at one and goes to talk to them. they are friendly and take him to meet their lord, Thagrosh. thagrosh listens to arcady’s message and assumes that he means to usurp his lordship, so he instigates a fight. arcady puts him down but does not kill him as thagrosh expects. he convinces him that they will be more successful as allies, and they make peace.
aldy disguises himself as an old goblin, and bluffs his way into the camp of thorrcha (wuruk’s lord). he speaks their password, and amos steps out of the shadows. wuruk tells his lord that the cutthroats have arrived.


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