House of Cards

Cross, Step, and Double Cross

Second Contract: Diplomacy

  • Sar 4th, Barrakas, 998 YK

Taking a short breather, the adventurers of Blackwood Company took a moment to observe their surroundings. Outside of the elaborate, 60 foot room, there was a large hole in the sand where the worm had sunk down into. Deciding to continue their exploration of the ruins, they repelled into the fissure, where they found an alchemist’s lab. Within, vials of liquid steel, tin, pewter, and iron could be found upon the table, along with a few common gems. What really caught the adventurer’s attention was a small robot in the corner, a magic circle, and a locked door.

With ease, the Assassin stealthily unlocked and opened the door, revealing a small workroom, little more than a closet, save that there were several bookshelves, four deactivated warforged lying about, and a work desk with a thick spellbook upon it, which the Artificer revealed belonged to a general of the Last War, one Jarad K. Vincente, Sr..

Well, there might also have been a glowing sigil entrapping the power of a lost god known only as Ruin on the floor as well.

Before they could debate just what a dead god was doing locked in a wizards’ basement, the Artificer suddenly ran back into the other room and reactivated the robot they found on the floor. After getting itself into order, it gave its designation as W31-RD. Further questioning informed the group how to re-energize the vase, but the Artificer was interested in something a bit more.

According to the laws after the Last War, any warforged was considered sentient and thus could not be owned. However, for other constructs, they had to prove their sentience. Determined to make off with useful goods from what he assumed to be an abandoned ‘estate,’ he found himself surprised to learn that the droid was, in fact, still under ownership, and that the owner was very much still alive.

He promptly returned everything he’d picked up to that point, aside from the spellbook. He was pretty sure Jarad Sr. wouldn’t mind if he borrowed it for a little while. He even left a note.

After a short questioning session with the droid, they learned that the senior Vincente was ‘six feet under’ with the insinuation that he was digging a hole or something similar. They also managed to get the droid to activate the Warforged, whom they made a contract with to assist them in exchange for high-quality oil and repairs.

With their new-found assistance, the group made haste back to town, where they then devised a plan to get the drop on Fangren – the Battlemage would sneak to the back discreetly in order to get the drop on the gnolls. When negotiations within the tent began to break down, the Battlemage jumped in, and the the group managed to get the drop on Fangren’s bodyguards. It was clear, however, that the gnoll’s leader was not so easily surprised.

The battle quickly became one-sided, with Blackwood Company coming out on top, but Fangren had a number of tricks up his sleeve, of which he utilized to keep the group off-balance. When it became apparent that the battle was clearly not in his favor, he made an amiable attempt to escape, and he used an invisibility evocation. However, in his desperation, he seemed to have forgotten that, during the battle, he had been set aflame.

The group followed his burning outline outside, and slew him with little ceremony.

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