Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 6 posts
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 08:43
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard


Tiamat the Avaricious, the Undying Queen of Evil Dragonkind


The portal collapses as the shrieking Dragon Queen disintegrates and is dragged back to the Nine Hells. She will remain trapped there until someone else can recreate the conditions of the Cult of the Dragon's ritual and try again to free her. Victory belongs to the side of Good. For now.



In the aftermath, even victorious, the armies of good have paid a steep cost in the fight against Tiamat's threat. In addition to soldiers, leaders representing the ruling nobility of countless regions and houses have fallen in the fight. Hundreds of unrepentant cultists still remain loose in the world, hungering for power and revenge in light of their recent failure.

Amongst the Cult of the Dragon's former allies, the vindicitive chromatic dragons scatter back to their lairs, but only after many try to claim choice pieces of treasure, or barrels bulging with gold and gems from the Cult's hoard. Furious at having their queen vanquished, the chromatic dragons engaged in sprees of destruction not seen in Faerun for centuries.

However, the situation is not all bleak. Stirring instances of generosity and cooperation stand out amongst the darkness - and none of those will be greater than the legend of the adventurers. For generations, folk will look to the exploits and sacrifices of the heroes for inspiration as they rebuild and set their sights on better days.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:30, Wed 01 Nov 2017.

GM
 GM, 7 posts
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 08:53
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard


One of the most famous treasure hunters in the Realms, Veradda Stoor, has put out a call for assistance in tracking down caches of treasure hidden by the now-defunct Cult of the Dragon in the Greypeak Mountains. Through luck, skill, and perhaps the intervention of your faction, you have been chosen to assist her. You were told to meet her in a clearing along the Black Road, east of the village of Parnast.

Your trip along the Black Road showed signs of goblin presence, but has otherwise been uneventful. Other travelers you met claimed to have seen evidence of giant activity: runecovered boulders, huge footprints, and missing livestock. You saw none of that evidence, however. Maybe it was just the overactive imagination of scared farmers and merchants?

When you reach the rendezvous point, Veradda Stoor is nowhere to be found. Countless footprints of various sizes, and lots of bloodstains, mar the ground.

OOC: Describe your character as they appear to the others. What is he/she doing? Is there anything in particular that stands out to the casual observer? How are they interacting with each other? How are they reacting to the current situation?

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:18, Thu 02 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 13:48
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Well this was an issue. Lateness was an issue. The openness of the terrain was an issue. The blood on the ground was an issue. In fact, West was beginning to take issue with everything. Whatever possibilities this venture was going to give were beginning to look less and less appealing as the waiting dragged on.

His owl sat contently on his shoulder before being rudely nudged. West indicates the bloodstains and footprints, and the owl reluctantly acknowledges, sleepily taking to the skies to scan the scene for any clues.

West crosses his arms while the bird makes its rounds, his dark hooded cloak unable to hide the mixed look of anxiety and annoyance. He scratches his thin black stubble in what seems to be a nervous tic.

He turns to the others that were apparently here to meet Stoor as well.

"I don't suppose any of you know whats going on here do you." he grimaces. "The longer we stick around here, the more probably we'll get ambushed by goblins or something."
Fern
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:15
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Well...better us than some unarmed traveller," Fern answers airily as he props himself up against his staff, the clumsy motion at odds with his young, elfin features, "its not like the lot of us can't handle a few goblins, yes?" The elf's bright green eyes drift over the attire of his would-be comrades, pausing briefly on any obvious or poorly concealed weapons.

"'sides, this is the famous Veradda Stoor! Delver, Dilettante, Treasure Hunter extraordinaire!" Fern chirps excitedly, spreading his arms wide. The polished tip of his heavy wooden staff gleams under a shaft of sunlight, highlighting a number of animalistic-looking designs carved into the wood, "there's no way she'd have showed up early and gotten ambushed by goblins, leaving a bloody mess and various tracks all over the ground," the thin smile on his face twitches, "Right? Riiight...?"
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 1 post
 Capitalism, ho!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 17:09
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Eeeewwwwwwww...," Cory muttered in disgust as she picked her way around the clearing. "This was not what I expected from this venture. Being late and leaving a bloody mess isn't gonna do our famed explorer any favors."

Resisting the urge to gag, the halfling stepped away from her audit of the blood-stained ground. Not that there was much she could tell from the gore - she was trained to count coin, not muddy footprints.

"I'd be glad if it was just goblins," she added, one hand absently fiddling with the odd-looking hand drum hanging from her belt. "Can't really tell, with the ground all churned up like that. Is anyone here good with footprints? Maybe we could figure out where Veradda went, and make this less of a waste of our time."
Malark Chondathan
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 23:28
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
The journey here has been long but welcome one - there is only so much resting and socialising one could do before boredom becomes this unslayable beast which claws at you from inside the head. Besides, after all the grieving over his father's passing, it was probably time for Malark to head out to meet the world again.

"Am I not in the right place? I never was too great with remembering things... Was I supposed to head to the village instead? Perhaps best to just stand around here for a little while." Malark thought to himself.

He notices there are others standing around and decides to strike up a conversation.

"So fellas. I know the name Veradda Stoor is famous. Is she also famous for being late? Or is all this mess her?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:06, Thu 02 Nov 2017.

GM
 GM, 8 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 04:26
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Your questions are quickly answered as the group fans out in search of clues. The ground is soft and marshy, and stamping around the bloodstained road is not a pleasant experience.

A search of the area ultimately turns up the body of your would-be employer, several hours dead from a variety of wounds. What is left of her equipment is scattered around the clearing, broken and unusable. It appears that whoever killed her also rifled through her belongings and took anything that may have been of use. A large tome holding her notes is open on the ground near her body. The last few pages have been torn out.

One of you pick up the book and flip through its pages. The tome is a journal, an account of Veradda's recent trvels and the discovery of clues leading to hidden caches of treasure presumably left behind by the Cult of the Dragon. The page preceding the missing one reads,

... are what I have learnt about the locations of five caches hidden in the Greypeak Mountains. They should not be difficult to find, but I have called for back up in the event that there is outside interference.

Luckily for you, Veradda was fastidious about her business, and as you pull her out from the shallow gully that her killers roughly stashed her body in, a leather-bound scrollcase catches onto the branches of the nearby shrubbery. Inside, a neatly compiled collection of scrolls and maps details the locations of the caches that Veradda located, as well as other notes that Veradda collected.
Fern
 player, 2 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 13:50
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"...well now," breathes Fern, looking down solemnly at the body of their would-be benefactor, "I guess she'll be famous no more."

Letting the others check through her equipment and items, Fern instead kneels quietly next to the body of the dead woman, whispering a soft prayer to the Soil and Land for her spirit to ascend safely. By the teachings of the Green her body should be buried in an area of rich earth - still, his Master always said to check and respect the faith of others first. So the elf carefully went over Veradda ornaments, looking for any symbols of faith.

"...Master always said that the first thing to do upon finding a dead body is to check the cause of death," he mutters out loud, fingers tracing a particularly large gash, "...or was that the third thing? First thing might have been to hide the booze. Wait no that's for when travelling with dwarves..."

Look for any articles of Faith on Veradda's body

Try to identify the cause of her wounds - approach it in a similar manner to identifying tracks - look for claw marks, teeth, or clean cuts that might be caused by a weapon, bruises or cracks from a blunt object...etc

07:53, Today: Fern rolled 23 using 1d20+5. Survival.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 2 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 14:25
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Alright. I suppose this answers my question. May her soul rest in a better looking piece than this one here." Malark thought to himself.

He wondered why anyone would tear out a few pages when they could have just taken the entire tome. He also wondered why anyone would leave these 'clues' behind to be so easily found by them. It felt like a trap. But sometimes, the only way to find out would be to just follow the trail. Either way, since he's come this far he might as well go hunting and find himself some treasure and maybe get some revenge for this lady while he's at it. Perhaps some adventure alongside these other oddballs and re-live the good ole days of battling -if it comes to that- side by side with others.

"We going to find ourselves some treasure? And maybe get this lady some justice while we're at it" He asks no one in particular before taking a proper look at everyone around him.

His gaze finally settling on the hooded figure with a bird and asks loudly enough for everyone to hear,"That bird of yours any good to show us the way? Or is that just dinner? *laughs*"

He couldn't help but notice that he was itching for an adventure. To once again get out there and be challenged by the elements.
GM
 GM, 10 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 14:36
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Fern holds his breath as he turns over the body of his would-be employer. Fastened to the neck by a cord of leather is a silver coin with the likeness of Tymora, Lady Luck engraved onto it. It appears that today, Lady Luck did not smile on Veradda.

It is almost painful to witness the grievous injuries inflicted on the half elf treasure hunter. The wounds on her corpse seem to have been inflicted by a large variety of weapons.

Numerous, fist-sized, purple bruises run down her back as if she had been struck several times from behind by a blunt by heavy object or weapon. Lacerations cover her arms and legs, as if she had been attempting to fend off cuts from claws or other small bladed weapons. The killing blow, however, appears to be an ugly gash running from her right shoulder all the way to her left hip. It was obviously made by a weapon far bigger than a simple dagger or scimitar, and judging by the crushed bone underneath, wielded by someone or something with great physical strength.

Based on the wounds you observe, you surmise that Veradda Stoor had been taken by surprise and set upon by a group of enemies which quickly overwhelmed her and took her life.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:37, Thu 02 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 2 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 16:04
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"This isn't... no. Not what I signed up for..." West mutters to himself, ignoring most of what was going on. The owl had returned to his shoulder, lazily taking a nap despite the grisly find, though it hoots softly in reply to being labelled as foodstuff.

"This was supposed to be a simple job, leave the town for a few weeks and come back none the wiser, but now, there's a bloody murder here."

West makes his way to the corpse, his frame shaking with a mix of anger and worry.

"If they did this to her, either the guards or the killers will come back, and I'm not sticking around for the guar...."

He trailed off as he noticed the contents of the scrollcase. He gingerly picks up a roll and unfurls it. After a few moments of perusal, he reaches down for the rest and studies them briefly. All his anxiety seems to slowly vanish.

"Well, it still seems this is salvageable." he says, eyes still on the papers.

"I believe we've overlooked introductions." West finally looks up as he rerolls the documents. He eyes the motley bunch assembled here.

"I suppose if you're all here, we're all equally liable."

"I'm Randolph West. Most people call me West. I'm a... trader, by profession. I was called here on the proposition of ancient treasures. And you all are?..."
he looks inquisitively at the rest.
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 2 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Fri 3 Nov 2017
at 04:55
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Cory stopped short at the sight of the body. "Oh no...," she murmured, staring at their would-be contact, or what was left of her. She had suspected that something nasty might have befallen Veradda after seeing the clearing, but knowing of the risk had not prepared her for the grisly reality.

The halfling gulped, but managed to stand her ground as the staff-wielding elf inspected the corpse, although she had to look away from the sight of the more nasty wounds. The treasure hunter's gear was almost as battered as their owner, a sure sign of a smash-and-grab. Cory found herself shaking her head at that; she knew how valuable good equipment was on a long journey, and the loss of gear was almost as wasteful as the loss of life.

At least the raiders - whoever they were - hadn't managed to destroy everything. Cory headed over to the little cache the hunter had managed to conceal, only to find that the cloaked man with the owl had beaten her to it. Fuming a bit - why did humans have to be so tall, anyway? - she waited for him to read through the scrolls.

"Are those her notes?" she asked the man with the owl as he returned the scrolls to their case. "If they have anything to do with why she called us, it'd mean that coming here wasn't a bad investment."

Cory blinked as West introduced himself. Another merchant, here? "Cordelia Longsaddle. You can call me 'Cory'." She gave West a sidelong glance - the man looked a bit too seedy for the part. "Are you a trader, too? My mentor pointed out Veradda's offer as a potentially profitable side venture. It seems like we are getting more than we bargained for, though..."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 04:55, Fri 03 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 3 posts
Fri 3 Nov 2017
at 08:21
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Well it lists the locations of several treasure caches. Given her experience, I'd say there's some value in following up on it."

He passes the scrollcase down to the halfling.

"You could say I am a trader of sorts, though I deal in more specialised goods than the usual. But a venture into the ancient and mystical is always a worthwhile risk, at least..." he trails off as he eyes Veradda's corpse. "...at least in the business sense."
Malark Chondathan
 player, 3 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 02:20
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Ah yes. Seems we missed the introductions. I'm Malark Chondathan but Malark's fine." Malark replies.

He contemplates sharing a little more about himself but decides not to considering everyone was just a stranger to him right now and wasn't sure how he might be judged. Perhaps 'don't ask, don't tell' would be a good way to go about things for now. Besides, he figured that the others could probably tell his profession (or former profession) just by looking at the amount of armor he's wearing.

That said, he was eager to find out how to move forward with this situation and for that, would require the help of the others.

"I overheard you folks mentioning something about a list of treasure caches. I'm not the brightest chap on the road but how can I help?"

He then turns to the elf that's been rummaging through Veradda Stoor's body and asks, "So pointy ears, you got a name?"
Fern
 player, 3 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 03:19
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Pointy ears looks up from inspecting Veradda's corpse, fingers still tracing the outline of a particularly nasty gash;

"It's Fern," he answers with a worried smile, "sorry. I was thinking about the direction to the nearest town."

With a *hup* the elf stands up from his crouch, planting his staff in the soft dirt and rolling his shoulders that ached a little from hunching too long.

"I'm a wanderer, mostly. Hunting, foraging, trading with the occasional village," Fern explains, though his eyes seem to avoid Malark's face, focusing on the space three inches to the right of his head, "some friends of friends said Miss Verrada might need a tracker and survivalist, so they pointed me here," -no reason to mention the Harpers after all, Master always said to never reveal more than necessary- "the nearest full-sized town is Vuerthyl- well it's more a caravan stop than a town, but it's better than Parnast at least," the outlander gestures vaguely in the direction of the road, "travel should be pretty fast if we take the road. Hopefully there'd be someone there to take care of miss Stoor's body..."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:20, Sat 04 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 4 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 04:22
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Good meeting you, Fern." Malark replies, before quickly turning his head to see what Fern is looking at to the right of his head.

"I take it we're carrying her body?"

-----
Does Malark notice anything when looking in the direction Fern is looking at?

How heavy is Veradda's body?
GM
 GM, 11 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 04:40
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Malark turns his head to look over his shoulder, but sees nothing out of the ordinary, except a sleepy looking owl perched on the West's shoulder. Fern's choice of words seem slightly unnatural, but you chalk it up to nervousness or unfamiliarity with strangers.

Malark heaves as he attempts to move Veradda's lifeless body. The half-elf being of a slightly taller stature, Malark judges that it might be a bit awkward but manageable to hoist her onto his back if someone else were to help carry his rucksack.

OOC: Veradda Stoor's corpse weighs about 180lbs, with the weight of clothing and personal effects.
Randolph West
 player, 4 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 09:09
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
West doesn't really pay heed to Malark, not until he sees him trying to heft Veradda's body.

"Wait wait wait wait WAIT!... Why are we bringing the body?"

"What are even doing lugging this body around? Its several days to the next town. The corpse will be festering by then."


West shakes his head.

"Then what are you going to do? Waltz up to a town guard with a rotting corpse and expect everything to be fine?"

West calms himself down after his outburst. He looks back at Malark, who was still holding the corpse.

"Okay fine, so let's say we bring the corpse because maybe someone will raise her back from the dead and we can get on with this venture or something or a reward or whatever... Let's do it WITHOUT us spending some nights in jail."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 09:09, Sat 04 Nov 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 3 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 03:39
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"That's sound thinking, West," Cory replied as she took the scrolls from him and began to scan through them. "I mostly deal in cloths and spices, but keeping some room for specialty items is always good, if you can find the right buyer."

The halfling gave Malark and Fern an appraising look as the two introduced themselves. "Pleased to meet both of you," she said. "Veradda seems to have chosen her assistants for this venture well." Well, none of them had proven themselves yet, but a bit of flattery wouldn't hurt. "A pity that she won't be able to benefit from it directl..."

Cory trailed off as Malark attempted to carry Veradda's corpse. "Oh, for the love of money..." She might have to revise her estimate of the fighting man's competence. "Malark, we won't be able to keep her body preserved long enough to get it to town. Not unless you have a giant barrel full of salt hidden in that armour somewhere." Her tone softened a bit, as she added: "The best we can do is to make a cairn for her."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:54, Sun 05 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 5 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 04:33
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Malark starts to feel a tinge of irritation with the situation. His military training kicks in and starts to yearn for a clear chain of command - to either tell others what to do or be told what to do instead. Alas, he finds himself new to this social dynamic and is finding it especially difficult to navigate since he needs to rely on the others for their expertise. On the field, dead bodies are either buried or burnt. And lugging one back is usually out of sheer attachment to a person or their family - not something he ever had to consider too much about.

"Alright everyone. I assume we want this body because someone might be able to revive her later to extract information. I personally have little use for it but I can help carry it - or cut it up but let's not do that. Are we really in agreement that we want to keep this body though?

If we are, then we've got a choice to make. We carry her back to the nearest town or have someone from her guild meet us somewhere in between. To do this, we need to preserve her body. Everything I have on me is either for cutting, burning or eating. Anyone have a way to preserve this corpse? Hide it on the way in?

If no one has anything, then we'll have to just accept reality and it seems Cory's suggestion is the best we can do - We build a cairn, inform her guild and off we go. Hopefully they get to her body before the vultures do.

What say everyone? I'm in favour of leaving it here.
"

Malark puts down the body properly and nervously starts tapping the handle of his warhammer.
Fern
 player, 4 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 06:16
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Fern frowns at West's outburst, but gradually begins to nod as the other's chip in as well;

"Well, I don't see anything wrong with carrying the body in if we just explain ourselves, but preservation -will- be a problem," he looks over at Malak, "and I doubt you'd enjoy carrying a rotting corpse around for four days. Still, we should at least give her a proper burial, and find someway to inform her next-of-kin," the elf picks up his staff and starts prodding at the earth around the ditch they found her in, testing the hardness of the soil, "then we can look at chasing whatever treasure or caches Verrada put down in that scroll of hers."

"This ditch here seems fine," he prods the earth a bit more, "just need to wrap her in some cloth, then pile soil and rocks on top. Leave something so the folks coming to retrieve her can recognise the body, take something so we have proof. If we hurry, we might be able to hit Vuerthyl in three days."
Randolph West
 player, 5 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 06:49
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Well at least the rest seemed somewhat sensible. West gives a nod of approval.

"That sounds acceptable. Just mark this location down on a map for them later then. As for burial, I'm good with anything. But we should make haste, Veradda's killers might still be around. The road ahead might not be incident free."
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 4 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 07:16
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
"Burial it is, then," said Cory in some relief - Malark hadn't entirely lost his wits, after all. "Is there anything like tent canvas that we can salvage from her gear? If not, we may have to lay her to rest as-is."

"We should also try to clean up the clearing, although that might take us too much time. Best not to linger too long, and let her killers add us to their tally."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:17, Sun 05 Nov 2017.

GM
 GM, 12 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 09:05
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Wrapping up Veradda's body with her travelling cloak and laying her into the shallow grave does not take very long, with the work being distributed amongst four people.

Fern holds a quiet and simple rite of passing, and it only feels appropriate to observe a moment of silence for the fallen treasure hunter, even though none of you really knew her personally. In silence, the four of you take turns to pile fresh dirt over her body and in a short time, there is nothing visible of Veradda Stoor, famous treasure hunter but a makeshift grave marker planted in the dirt.


Fern
 player, 5 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 11:40
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Upon finishing his prayer for Veradda, that the creatures of the Land may spare her body for a while longer, Fern immediately starts for the road.

"Vuerthyl is a trade stop in a hostile desert, so its filled with merchants and the mercenaries that come with them. The road is harsh - I trust everyone here can defend themselves?"
he looks bluntly at the small halfling merchant before glancing over at West, "we might have to deal with Verrada's murderers - goblins, probably, and then all the wonders and delights of the desert - that is to say, a medley of extreme temperatures, poisonous insects and territorial reptiles. Actually, come think of it, perhaps I should have kept my cloak after all."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:14, Sun 05 Nov 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 5 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 07:08
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
Cory couldn't help much with the digging due to her stature, although she did shift some of the smaller rocks and (under Fern's direction) scour away the worst of the tracks and bloodstains near Veradda's resting place with some loose branches.

Standing beside the completed cairn, the halfling merchant watched solemnly as Fern offered his prayer for the fallen adventurer. The grave's location had been marked on one of Veradda's maps to the best of the elf's knowledge - they would have to find the church of Tymora when they got back to town, to see if the clergy could contact any of her kin. It didn't feel right to leave Veradda cold and forgotten in the ground.

"I have been to Vuerthyl a few times, although this might be my first visit without something to trade." Or without her mentor's guidance, but they didn't need to know that. "I hope we won't have to resort to fighting in the desert. I do have a few tricks if it comes to that, but someone like Malark would be better equipped to fend off goblins."
GM
 GM, 15 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 10:18
Prologue: The Treasure of the Broken Hoard
With Cory to lead the way, the newly formed party sets off in the direction of Vuerthyl, a caravan stop created by the Black Network in an oasis in the Anauroch Desert.


OOC: The party gets a long rest (assuming that you need one). Take the opportunity to review your fate point triggers and let the group know how many you gained and why, if any.

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:19, Tue 07 Nov 2017.