And Red All Over Pt. 1|
The Head of the Beast
Off to Drachenhorn. The ride from Gerards home leaves us unmolested. The city gates are manned by city guardsmen, who after a short check of credentials and a few questions grant us passage into the city. Still mounted, we continue through the gates, and down the streets of Drachenhorn.
We are in the city no more than a few minutes when the shop windows on both sides of the street explode outward. A half dozen men jump through the shattered remains of the storefronts, and attempt to assault us. These are little more than low rent thugs who chose the wrong target today. I manage to subdue two of the assailants but my companions are not so forgiving. Their skill at less than lethal combat is not as well honed as mine, and their foes pay dearly for it.
The city guard shows up too late for most of our attackers. The guardsmen reluctantly begin to clean up the mess we have left. They drag off the bodies of the four fallen thugs and take the two remaining prisoners to the barracks for questioning. There is something very curt about the guards manner however. We are all getting the feeling that we are not welcome here… and not just from our attackers.
We arrive at the Legion post here in Drachenhorn. Apparently Commander Garth Allenleigh requested Bissel send his best squad for this investigation. Either Bissel has more respect for our abilities than he lets on or he hopes we will bungle the operation and get ourselves killed. Sadly I believe the latter to be most likely.
After a short round of introductions, Commander Allenleigh gets right down to business. There has been a rash of murders around town. The targets of these murders have all been high ranking public officials or officers in the Legion. They have little information on who would commit such high profile murders, only rough theories. Problem is they have almost no solid information and even less proof. That is where we come in. Allenleigh sends us to a man named Joseph TwinsSword. He is to be our primary contact here in Drachenhorn.
We report to the local Garrison where we get a chance to meet Joseph TwinsSword. TwinsSword attempts to fill us in on the current situation. The main suspect is not one person, but a group of like minded rouges known as The Silent Blade thieves guild. The guild is skilled, organized and very powerful here in Drachenhorn and their influence extends well beyond the city walls. TwinsSword also tells us that the rouges are not the only problem. The city guard has been corrupted by the guild. Guardsmen are taking bribes and often do the dirty work of arresting or eliminating unwanted guild competition within the town. TwinsSword wants us to find out all you can about the bribes and try to discover how far up the chain of command the corruption has spread.
Before we leave TwinsSword has a surprise for us. It has been decided that for this mission our ranks could use a little filling out. We are introduced to Gregory Hildebrand the third, a human mage and Bozerath Petrovich, a siege engineer. Pleasantries aside, we head out to in search of contact with The Silent Blade.
The best place to find a rouge is picking your pocket. The second best place is a bar known as The Glass Spider. The doorman will not grant me access because I refuse to bribe him. I decide to sit and prepare for the trouble to inevitably begin.
Sure as the Aesia will rise each morning, trouble will inevitably find us. The doormen must have heard a commotion, because they draw swords and rush into the bar. I draw steel and pursue.
The bar door leads straight to chaos. Spells launch in every direction, detonating in blinding flashes of expended energy. The clatter of swords hammering on armor and shield, each one packed with lethal force, makes even a hardened warrior cringe. The sell sword guards prove no better combatants than the rouges and ruffians they are hired to protect. Against our trained hands they are quickly knocked unconscious or dispatched.
The Glass Spiders bar was nasty and beat up even before the fight. Its appeal is little improved by the additional blood and bodies strewn about the floor. We need information, and thankfully one of the survivors seems eager to help. That is once Gerard has had him alone for a few minutes. The terrified man mumbles something about a Shadow Assassin who takes orders directly from the top echelon of The Silent Blade. The next assassinations are to take place at the prison.
We make our way swiftly to alert Legion headquarters, but by the time we arrive at the prison it is too late. The assassinations likely took place about the time we were learning about them. The death toll includes the prison warden, five guards, and six prisoners. Of the six prisoners, five of them are noble men who were seeking refuge in the prison. The only prisoner who really stands out from the rest has everything to do with who he is and his family. This man shares a name with perhaps the most notorious businessman around. This man is named Krieger.