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Player's Guide Places People History Beliefs

 
 


A Balance Tipped
Ascending the final flight of stairs we are greeted by an eerie calm. The only sound is that of a quill scratching across a sheet of parchment. This is not the scenario we initially expected. Krass Gustvan is sitting at his desk, seemingly oblivious to the chaos that has ensued below him as he makes marks in a book he is reading. While the rest of the party stays back a step, Gerard and I stride up to Gustvans desk.

Without provocation, Gerard slams his war hammer into the middle of Gustvans parchment, breaking his concentration and getting his attention. I begin to speak, as Gustvan slowly stands, adjusts his clothing, and kicks his desk at us! The large wooden desk seems to jump from the floor, we brace for impact, but it shatters to pieces with a crushing blow from my shield. He moves with uncanny swiftness as we all position ourselves for the oncoming battle. Seeing what looks like an opportunity, I charge the unarmed man, hoping to subdue him. As I near, Gustvan seems to do little more than raise his fist, and the impact nearly breaks my teeth from my jaw. Even stunned, I manage to land a solid blow. The fight has begun, and everything seems to move so quickly.

Gustvan retreats into a back room as we continue our attack. He ducks around a corner, we pursue, and Gerard lands a devastating blow with his hammer. I continue my assault, but the punishment from a flurry of striking fists fells me on the spot. I awake a few seconds later with Sandraís kind hands upon me. She has used her healing magicís to keep me from death yet again, and for this I thank her. I backpedal away from the fighting, and quickly down a healing potion to cure my aching face.

By the time I make it back into the fight, Gerard is severely wounded and Vincent has taken my place on the front lines. Gustvan decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and retreats up a staircase toward the roof. Vincent Dhark pursues him, and makes it no further than the base of the stairs, when Gustvan attacks once more. He seems to fly down the staircase, legs extended, and lands a foot soundly across Vincents face. Vincent does not hear himself crash to the floor, but everyone else looks forth in awe.

During the combat, and between keeping all of us alive, Sandra has noticed something distinctly out of place. There is a tapestry of Oberon, giver of her divine power, hanging on the wall. She has been receiving strange notes and things from an unknown benefactor lately, so she trusts her instincts. She runs over and tears the tapestry from the wall, revealing a small alcove. The alcove is empty, save a beautiful sword perched on a striking mount. Sandra grabs the sword and charges Gustvan.

As Sandra nears Gustvan, the swords blade deepens to black, and explodes in green flame. This is terrifying to everyone, as none of us have seen a weapon do anything like this before. Gustvan says something along the lines of "...it never did that for me..." and after dodging Sandras blow, runs up the stairs. Even weary of what happened to Vincent, who still lays on the ground bleeding, we pursue.

On the roof, Gustvan tells us "See you again." and jumps off the edge. I expect to hear him hit the ground, but instead see him falling slowly with his hand against the keeps wall. It seems he is in perfect control of his decent. Strange magic this is. Nickoli, having not been able to match Gustvans punches in the standing fight, flies into a rage. He draws forth a flask of alchemical fire and throws it at the descending man. The last we see of Krass Gustvan, is a shadowy form, running off into the night, still alight with fire from Nickolis flask.

The keep is secure, and the weapons have been located. Vincent has survived his wounds and Sandra is able to bring him back to partial health with minimal effort. Then, after a few minutes of tending to our wounds, we hatch a plan to destroy the weapons. We search the keep, taking everything that will burn, and heap it into the middle of the storeroom. The weapons are thrown onto the pile, and it is all set alight. The heat from the fire should destroy most of the weapons outright, and the crumbling keep atop them will keep them secure and out of the wrong hands for some time.

Though we did not capture Gustvan, our mission has been a success. It is time we headed home and made our report. Kiergard awaits.

From the journal of Rothgar

Contributor: Chris Kordella