A Terrible Twist of the Truth

For Da, in case I die.

Thorden “Bones” Blackbanner always had a keen nose for finding a path. But it didn’t keep him out of harm’s way; despite his uncanny fleetness of foot (for a dwarf), he suffered numerous broken bones in a mine collapse as a youngster, and since then he can crack just about every bone in his body — hence the nickname. The injury ruined his future as a miner of Mirabar, but no love was lost. He hadn’t wanted to follow in his Da’s hobnailed footsteps anyway. As much as he loved the shiny metal buried in the rock, he never had the patience to get it out. Instead, he took to the surrounding caverns and countryside working as a tracker to help dwarven patrols keep tabs on the local monstrous raiders. And raid they did. During one battle, his Da was maimed by an especially cantankerous hill giant named Gremsch. Da’s pick arm was crippled in the skirmish. After the attack, Bones set out south to follow the trail of Gremsch and the orcs. He found the remains of the destroyed orc band, but Gremsch was nowhere to be found. He followed the track south to Waterdeep, where the trail went cold.

His tale:

“I can’t make heads nor tails of this place. Folks call it a city of splendor, but I only see a stench-ridden sea of sun lovers. I been here going on a week or so, and I paid this here man boy to jot this down best he could while I tell it, case I can’t remember or I’m kilt by Gremsch. If that’s so, I don’t deserve to be called a Blackbanner. But I won’t, cause I’d hear em coming, he’s so big and all.

I met some of me own kin on the first night in, so Marthammor Duin is still with me. One of em is the son of an old battlerager of the North, close to me clan. If he fights as viciously as he sings, he’ll make his Da proud. And I’d wager he can fight, cause there’s a shield with his name on it in a bar. Rurnolor’s his name, and I’ve been helping him craft a new suit of rager armor in exchange for room and board. He seems a real nice folk for a rager.

There’s another dwarf here too, a stinky boozer with a lazy eye and a belly as bulging as his namesake. Kettle Ironthorn seems to spend more time sawing stone under a potted bar room plant than sober and on his feet. But he keeps a good company of beer and bacon, which I like, and a quick wit hides behind his dim eye.

There’s a halfling with em all too, a sketchy one for sure. He lifted me four stinky copper before he even said boo. Gave it back though, so that’s something.

And there’s an elf. I like his hair. I even got me some.

I also got me a tour of this lumptown from the wee one. He claims it’s run by three dragons in the big castle on the bluff. I wouldn’t live nowhere ruled by them snakes.

Apparently nobles make quite a stink round here, and when something happens to em everybody gets breeches in their britches. A clan called the Growlens … naw, I don’t know how to spell it, what do I look like, a dern magi? Quit writing this part down ya dirty dolt … anyway, these Groulens are making some mighty fine blades all of a sudden, using some new mystery metal. It’s dull and unbending and seemingly worth more than a king’s jeweled codpiece. Another clan called the Amcathras are blowing top at the Grollens for horning in on their business, and we heard from some fancy pants at the Dripping Dagger that they’d pay pretty for word on how to shut em down. Rumor has it that the Groulens are operating outside the guild, a big salty no-no in this here lumptown. We saw one of them mystery blades too, at the hip of a surly merc man. We talked it over and decided to look into it. We thought maybe some kin was taken as slaves. But it don’t look it no more.

We walked the docks looking for signs of that mystery metal. It was harder than we thought and the lumps didn’t want us around. A group of em almost got skewered by the rager. I was hoping to see some man meat fly, but he let em go. He must be saving it up for a real big blow. Tommy — that’s the wee one — made mad with the harbor master and promised to burn his house down. He did, too. Then the harbor master said he’d tell me what we wanted to know if I’d rough up Tommy — he didn’t know we were in kahoots — but Tommy didn’t wanna be roughed up. The slippery skink slinked off before we could nab him. So we tried the next best thing — grabbin one of Tommy’s kin. It was a good plan, and would have worked out fine, but we got drunk and the whole frigging host of halfies had a party on me face. In the morning, we went back to the dock to claim our prize, figuring we’d come up with something. The harbormaster had a whole force of guards on hand, and they were all mighty pleased that we knew Tommy Two-fingers and where he lived. I was worried at first about telling em, but Tommy said to trust him, so I did. I figured he’s so small he could right about hide in any old hole. So bringing the whole of the guard down on Halfling’s Alley must be part of his plan.

I really should say more about the elf, cause he’s getting way weirder. He’s half man too, which makes it even worse. Who in the Nine Hells would combine these? Anyway, he says he walked through a mirror and wound up a thousand miles away from home and 700 years in the future. At first I thought him crazy, and now I know him to be crazy, but there may be some truth in what he says. I feel bad that he lost his wife and kin. Perhaps there’s something we can do.

Right, I’m stopping now, cause I’m out a coin and this dirty bugger is charging by the page. I sure hope Gremsch turns up, cause I’m broke."

Prologue (the story so far)
A blog for your campaign

This brief synopsis includes events which occurred from the 12th of Tarsakh until the 23rd of Mirtul, in the Year of the Banner, or 1368 Dalereckoning.

  • The bond amongst original characters was formed at the Singing Sprite Inn, in the quiet town of Secomber in the Savage North of Faerun. During some mild-mannered conversation a stranger stumbled into the tavern and ran squarely into one of the party members. It was later discovered that this stranger left a gift before mysteriously disappearing from his inn room, a map and a letter.
  • These items led the group to an abandoned and overgrown ruin in the southern reaches of the High Forest wherein after combating an intelligent plant creature (a vine intent on having their blood) they discovered a stone door frame suspended in mid-air.
  • After some effort the group managed to make their way to the door frame and through experimentation and a large dose of blind luck they discovered the key to activate this dormant portal, which in turn carried them to a long forgotten temple to the dark god Bhaal.
    The group learned of the supposedly true origins of the dark three; the gods Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. They also uncovered a way to exit, involving the shedding of blood, the discovery of a ceremonial dagger of ancient origin, and a puzzle involving skull-bowling and knucklebones.
    Once free, the group was set upon by bandits with a strange sign tattooed upon them. One which no one recognized. They made their way towards Waterdeep intent on finding a sage to uncover it’s origin.
  • Once within Waterdeep the group was beset with more questions and few answers. They found little information on the symbol, but did hear a strong rumor that temples to dark gods, ruined and otherwise, existed within Undermountain. They decided to make their way there to explore.
  • The first foray into Undermountain resulted in tragedy as one member fell and joined the ranks of the unquiet dead. They fled quickly and regrouped.
  • The group made two more forays into Undermountain losing more members and discovering little but empty passages, ghostly laughter, traps, and strange creatures. Frustration beset them and the group fractured, some choosing to pursue higher minded purpose or other business.
  • A newly formed group heard rumors of sleeping dwarves and great treasures hidden within Undermountain and in the midst of a drunken revelry they decided to try their luck once again. Strangely enough no one died, and indeed the group grew while within. Picking up new members who had likewise entered Undermountain either intentionally or unintentionally.
  • With new friends in tow the group left Undermountain and repurposed themselves to not just exploring for the sake of finding treasure, but for the purpose of finding truth, though exactly what this entailed no one is yet certain.
  • Having come into information about potential plots afoot in the City of Splendors the adventurers are pursuing their leads from different angles with reckless abandon.
  • Where last we left our intrepid heroes the City Watch is closing on Tommy Two-Fingers for questioning in the attempted arson of the Harbor Masters office, information is owed to the dwarf Thorden, and Rhespin has uncovered valuable information confirming that he has indeed traveled seven centuries into the future.

Our Current Cast: Rhespan Alstara, Rurnolor son of Eroc, Tommy Two-Fingers, Ironbrand, and Thorden.

Departed Friends: <unnamed>, Maug, Daneel, and Kai’Rath.

Honored Dead: Taranthyr (undead)

Rurnolor Son of Eroc the story so far
The Book of Rurn

“Umm.. Oyi! All that might be reading this here book. Not that ye should be doing that thing. It be not yours to be reading. Still it be a might good story. Let me start at the beginning. My Name is Rurnolor son of Eroc. I am from The Spine of the world Citadel Adbar be my home. It has been the home of me ancestors for many a generation. My Clan be all but gone, I being one of the last. That being a sad tale and I be not drunk enough to even do the worthy departed justice in its telling. Suffices to say I was there on the battle field as Clan shield bearer and watched as my clan saved the day against the onslaught of the Orcish Horde. It was then that I decided to do honor to my clan and learn the ways of the Battle Ragger.

A honorable calling for a Dwarf you might say but I have always been an odd one in the Clan. I was always the last to charge and the first to run in a losing battle. It was my thought that it would better to make a strategic withdrawal then to stand and fight and still lose the day. This never sat will with my beloved father Eroc son of Tavin. He was the Clan Second leader and earn the right through many a battle. But is was my Clan leaders whose helmet that I now wear. He was a Battle Ragger of legion. It took 30 orcs to fell him in battle. He crushed their throats with his bare hand and died with no less than five impaled on his armor spikes.

My role in the battle was to stay out of the way. My Father was tired of my “strategic” killing of the Orcs. That too is a story for another day. It was this last battle that put me on my quest. Most of the Clans of the Citadel came together to stop the Orc raids on our trade routes. It was my clan that took the Lead and brought fear to the Orcs. They will be honored forever in the lore of the Citadel.
At the end of battle I walked to the fallen Clan leader and claimed the Helm. It is to his memory that I started my walk to the icy coast and hopped a ship to places south. That is where the story begins.”

Rurnolor awoke to a strange sound. He was sure it was not a normal sound. As he peered up at the branches of the tree he saw the bird chirping. Yep not a normal sound.
Meet three elvies one being a bard. The strange elfie had red eyes and must die. The other two elfies were blind to the danger of that evil creature. Then there was this strange human that seem to like to wonder away from others of his kind. It was him that got Rurn involved with a strange Temple and a Black dagger that drank blood.

That dagger and seeking answers was the cause of his first trip into Under mountain. It was also the cause of the Death of the Bard elfie and Rurn swore to his gods that he would return the Elfie’s spirit to rest. It was an honor code. The Elfie saved the groups by giving his life. Thus the need for silver items.

Rurnolor took a tentative step out the door of the Dripping Dagger Inn. The sky was must like it had been all week, cloudy but the rain seemed to never come. Not that he cared. He only wanted to prepare better for the next battle. His courage had taken a beating when he watched an Elf stand up to the shadow as the others in the party withdrew. That would be a death he would pay back in kind. As soon as he was able he would again enter the Under Mountain to hunt the shadow and free the soul of the Elf. It was a battle honor that would be performed.

Instead of heading into the Bazaar as he had planned he walked into Riven Shield. It was a second hand Arms and Armor shop that was right next door to the Dripping Dagger. Rurn needed to prepare better for an encounter with the undead. He was looking for a Silver weapon or a Silver Battle Gauntlet.
(Diplomacy check 15)

Rurn Entered the shop and looked at the assortment of Equipment and Arms.. After a moment of browsing he headed over to the proprietor.
“I am looking for a weapon or a battle gauntlet. Not just any weapon. I need it to be silver. Do you have any silver items?” Rurn waited for a response.

The shopkeep appraises you, then rummages along a shelf within one of a number of display cabinets. He pulls forth a serviceable looking silvered dagger, tests the balance and sharpness (nicking his finger in the process), and proffers it to you pommel first. I can sell you this piece for 17 gold coins

Rurnolor accepts the dagger and nods. “I see you keep your weapons with a keen edge.” Rurn tests the balance to insure that it fills right in his hand. (Perception check 24). “17g you say. Humm..” Rurn paused. “Seems fair if you throw in a sheath for that fine blade.”

It’s a deal. Here you are master dwarf. May it serve it’s purpose. Do not forget the Riven Shield the next time you are in the market for weapons or armor.

Rurnolor hands 17g to the shopkeeper and accepts the dagger and the sheath. “This will come in handy the next time I visit Under Mountain.” Rurn says as he attaches the dagger to his belt. Ah.. One more question … Would you happen to know anyone in the city that is interested in exotic plants? I have a few questions about some plants I have seen and would like to learn more.

Well now, that depends on exactly what you might be lookin for. I’m not much for plants myself, but I expect a local know-it-all might be able to help you, but it will cost you and you have to find them, of both you can be certain. You might try asking one of those Oghma priests, they seem to be on good relations with the local know-it-all crowd, or so I would expect. If you be needing to know what to turn into a proper cream to cure armor itch, or that sort of thing, there is a place on Copper Street, Dailantha’s Herbs and Exotic Plants is the name. I hear she’s a snobby witch, but maybe she can help you.

Rurn nods in agreement. “Thank you for the information. I will be back and you never know I might bring you something to sell you.” Rurn give the shop owner a slight bow as he heads for the door.

Rurn heads out of the Shop and starts walking over to the Blacksmith shop. Once again he sighs as the need for a rickshaw service is noted. The blacksmith seems busy at work as Rurn enters the shop.
“Good Morning to you. I have a couple of hours, would you like some help today? Oh and I was thinking since I am going to be in and out of town for awhile, Is there a Guild I should think about joining?”

Well, now that you mention it, if you intend to keep offering your services I really cannot pay you or even claim rights to your work without running it through guild channels and all. You should come to the next guild meeting, and I can sponsor you, if you’ve got a mind to join up. You’ll have to serve your time like anyone else, but eventually you might even be able open your own smithy. If you’re interested, meet me here two days from now at just before evenfast, you can accompany me.

“Well met. I would be honored to join you for the evening two day hence. A smithy of mine own is still a long way off. I have some skills and am learning. I am grateful for your efforts. I have a couple of errand to run then I will be back. I need to head to Copper Street, Dailantha’s Herbs and Exotic Plants. I have to findout about a strange vine.”

Rurn give a bow to the Smith and turned to head out the door. It took a couple of turn and then Rurn found himself on Copper street. Rurn faced Dailantha shop took a breath and entered through the door.

Inside the shop you are instantly hit with the complex bouquet of scents from dozens of herbs and plants. The shop is small, but flush with plants growing in hanging baskets, window sill containers; and herbs drying, jarred, or otherwise displayed everywhere. A woman of indeterminate age, human, with a voluptuous figure and raven black hair stands behind the counter trimming the fronds of a particular odd-looking plant in a small pot. She looks up as you enter, and raises an eyebrow as if surprised to see you. “Perhaps you were looking for one of the nearby smithy’s? I’m not good with directions or I’d tell you where to go, sorry…” her voice, thick with an accent you can’t place, trails off. Her skin has an olive complexion and she is dressed for summer too be certain, with a low-cut bodice that would probably make your friend Kairath sweat a bit.

Rurn takes one look at the women and stammers.. “uuuumumummumuumm. yeah. I hear, welll umm that you were the person to come to with questions about plants. You see I ran into a weird plant and it had some type of ooze running through its veins?” Rurn reached into his pouch and pulls out a seed from the Assign vine and puts it on the counter. “When It was destroyed I found some seeds. Can you tell me anything about these seeds?”

She snorts loudly and gestures for you to come closer. “I suppose I can take a look. Let me see that.”

Rurn hands her one of the assassin vine seeds. “This plant attacked our party. It had vines that snaked out and then a big bulb that seemed to shoot spikes or spoors. When we finally chopped it up enough to free those trapped in its clutches I found some seeds. In all my travels I have never seen this type of plant. That is why I want to learn more. Also..” Rurn added with a smile. “These seeds that I have could be of interest of someone who wanted to protect some property or something of value.”

She peers at the seed for a moment then looks back it you smugly “not sure it’s very valuable, after all, this plant would get me probably arrested and certainly fined by the city watch, and worse if it happened to kill someone accidentally. I’m not sure who I would be able to sell it too, but perhaps there are a few minor uses. I’ll offer you 75gp each for whatever you’ve got.”

Rurn raised an eyebrow at the offer. The money would be good and help him build his business idea. The seeds were not doing him any good in his pouch but he thought it best that he kept one just in case. Rurn studied the lady’s face seeing if she was lying to him about the value (perception check 14….)

Rurn nods..“75g that is very generous of you.” pulls 4 other seed out of his pouch. “I have 5 seeds that I can offer you. so that would be 375gold?”

Her facial expression, one of snide disinterest with a touch of arrogance, has not changed since you’ve been here. If she is lying about anything you cannot tell.

A small smirk crosses her face at the last of your statement. “So you can do math then? Yes, that would be 375 gold for the five of them. Assuming we are agreed let me get your payment.” She reaches beneath the counter and you can here the sound of a key turning in a lock. She pulls several small stacks of coins out, and oddly enough you count far less than 375. There are in fact 32 coins; five stacks of five gold coins bearing the stamp of Waterdeep on one side and a rearing dragon on the other, and one stack of seven odd-looking coins that if your dwarven eyes don’t deceive you appear to be a mix of platinum and perhaps silver or electrum, they also bear the seal of the city. The woman waits expectantly for you to place the seeds on the counter and collect the coins.

Rurn looks at the coins and picks up one of the platinum or perhaps silver looking coins. “This is an odd coin.” He said to the lady. In his mind he figures it must be worth more than a normal gold coin. With this being his first trip to the city he figured it would be worth more than a normal gold piece. He would have to find a banking establishment to be sure but it was worth the risk.

Rurn hands the 5 seeds to the women. "Thank you very much. In my travels I see many strange plants. Would you be interested in seeds or samples of the items I find? (diplomacy check – 22) He starts putting the coins in his pouch.

“I may have interest, I may not, but feel free to drop by and show me what you’ve found” she says with a dismissive wave. “Thanks for visiting” she finishes dryly.

After leaving you can ask any townsperson with the look of a merchant, artisan, or middle class or above. You find the following information on the strange coins.

A harbor moon is a special Waterdhavian coin struck in the shape of a crescent and made of platinum inset with electrum. It is used in bulk purchases in Waterdeep, where it is worth 50 gp. Outside Waterdeep, its value may drop considerably.

Rurn Listens to the townsperson talking about the harbor moon coin. “Wait. You are telling me that one of these harbor Moon Coins is worth 50gp?” Rurn counts the number of Harbor Moon Coins…Seven that means he made more on those seeds then he counted on. He was not planning on sharing any of this wealth with those elves but maybe he would offer them one of the Harbor Moon coins to help get them better prepared for whatever was next.

Rurn gives the townsperson a slight bow thanking them for the information about the coins. His errands were done for the day so now he could trade in the Gold for gems and then take those Habor Moon coins to the Inn.

Rurn walks to the Gem merchant that he traded with before. To swap some of his gold for gems.

Back at the dripping dagger the Elfie are waiting with a new plan for Undermountain. Rurn trys to get them to guard caravans or talk to Filiare for some other tasks. Undermountain frightens Rurn more than he will admit.

Once again the Human has wondered off and another Elfie joined them. A Priest from Myth Drannor. Oh and there was this half-Orc that Rurn wanted to kill but the elfies said he would have them survive the Undermountain.

Down that stupid well Rurn went again with his 5 part members. That priest of Myth Drannor was a button pusher and Rurn and the HalfOrc were turned human, dragonish with wings and even a tree growing out of their heads. It was not all bad Rurn ended up with a nice set of Dragon sharp teeth that helped enhance his battle Ragger fighting. By the time Rurn exited the Undermoutain it was just him and the Myth Drannor Elfie. The other three died in some painful manor that is too gruesome to put into the pages of this book.
Back to the Dripping Dagger to try and figure out what is the next step.

On a side note it needs to be noted that the Black Dagger that drinks blood has to be cursed. All those that Rurn has given it too has ended up missing or died painfully. The Elf Wealth redistributor had it first and died in undermountain. Oh Wait he was the second. The first was the human that had a bird skull tattoo imprinted on his chest. He wondered off and the Dagger came back to Rurn. Then it was the Elf Wealth redistributor and the bard. They both wanted it and they are both dead. The forth was a possible cleric that seemed to give the elfie of Myth Drannor issues. He had the dagger and he too seemed to have disappeared.
Rurn now keeps the dagger with him because he does not want other to die without honor.

The next trip in to the Undermountain is all a blurr. Rurn started drinking and down that hole he went again. At least this time is was with another Dwarf Iron Thorn. The Elfie even carried the booze . it was not all that bad until the Gules started showing up. There is something about their bite that cause Rurn to lose some abilities. Just another reason not to go to UnderMountain.

Before they could make it out of there again a wee folk Tommy two fingers shows up swimming and helped fight against some skellies. Then there was this portal that took them back to the elevator out of the Undermountain a 4th time.
From there it was a non-stop hot bed of activity. Rurn and the Myth Drannor elf went looking for a priest of some kind and ended up in a tavern. In that tavern stumbled another dwarf from the Spine of the World and luckly he had never heard of Rurn. Rurn’s secret was safe. Still that Dwarf wanted to know about battle ragger and thought Rurn should be death on the battle field. Sure Rurn could fight but he was not one to throw the first punch.

Now throw into this mix that Tommy Two fingers. It is a whole new world. Rurn’s vistit at the priest tavern brought the news of a weapon being made by a noble house that were better than any they had made before. They were not using Guild members for the work. It was first thought by Rurn that they must be using Dwarf slaves to produce such fine weapons. After seeing one up close from the Black Ravens Mercenary group Rurn could tell it was the metal that was important not the smithing.

Amcathra is a distinguished Waterdhavian house that has a long history within the city they are opposed to what is happening. Information needs to be gathered and giving to Amcathra.
The next stop was the Dock area. They dock workers are not the friendliest. Rurn played the dumb dwarf and picked a fight with 5 thug dock workers. From there he went to talk with the doc master. The Dock master looked a little puggy but that still did not help him have any information
???? also visited the Dock Master and got an assignment to rough up Tommy two fingers and throw him into the harbor. Tommy was not all the keen on the plan and did his own thing. From the look of the Dock Master’s hut Timmy tried to burn in down. It did not work and Rurn and ???? got a stiff talking to from the city guards.

Rurn tried to lie a couple of time but the stupid ring of truth keep him from doing so. With answers in hand a troop of guards headed off to find Tommy two fingers.


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