The Adventures of Slim Pickin's

Setting Things Right
In which our heroes return to Loudwater and attempt to clean up their mess.

Slim Pickin’s awoke in Hydra’s camp to find many of Kamren’s men already exercising and sparring. Breakfast was being cooked over an open fire, and they were invited wholeheartedly to join them. Groggily, Kiera and Elora straggled out behind, not making it far before throwing up. The two of them quickly retreated back to their tent, clearly unfit for adventuring that day.

Part way through their meal, they noticed Sunsteen had arrived. Kamren greeted him at the edge of the camp, bringing him forward to you. He approached with open arms, “The Crimson Hellfire Guild! It is good to see you all have made your way through this. Your fee has been paid in full. Eight hundred gold, sent to your guild, as is custom. I’m certain they will send it your way, once their cut is taken. In addition, I believe Curuvar has something for your troubles.”

This caused much upset grumblings within the group, for you see, they were not, in fact, any part of The Crimson Hellfire Guild, but had been impersonating them to take their business. There was much argument and voices were raised, though the money had already been sent.

Sunsteen promised them gold to be given to them personally if they could aid him further, stating, “We certainly could use your help in calming the situation current in Loudwater, with the promise of more gold to come. Perhaps more than that should things turn out right. Curuvar is more strategist than I. He surely has a plan.”

He expanded on the situation, “Lady Moonfire and Captain Harrowleaf left town in the night. In their absence, several of the town guard abandoned their posts, leaving things in a rather tumultuous situation. Fermina, Moonfire’s master of the arcane, has holed up in the very manor you stole from, and has already begun to attempt a takeover. The place is surrounded by several guards, though the majority of those that remain are trying to stop the rioting and looting throughout town. The townspeople eager for restoration to what Loudwater once stood for and have no patience for Fermina’s efforts.”

After some deliberation, Slim Pickin’s decided to aid Sunsteen once more. On their way back up river, black billowing smoke, rose above the trees. As they neared town, the sounds of yelling and weapons clashing rose up above the town’s walls, alongside the fire and smoke. In the shadow of the dam, on the docks, several angry citizens bullied a guard. He stood his ground, knocking one of them into the water. Sunsteen leaned over to Rivermaster Sarl, redirecting him to a small alcove, and leading the group into the same caverns that were used to ship out the gold two days ago. In the humid darkness, the sound of a match being lit echoed, and a small flame followed. By its dim light, there stood Curuvar, lighting a pipe with a flame he has conjured from his bare hands. He greeted them, curt as ever, “Took long enough.”

After some pressing, he explained the situation. “Need to restore order. First, there’s Fermina. Running her out of town, probably not an option this go around. Best deal with her in a permanent fashion. With her out of the picture, we’ll still need ground control. With half the town guard gone, people have become a bit… unruly. Best break things up where we can, or there won’t be much of a town left to live in. Once ready, we blow up the dam. Show’s we’re taking it back to the old ways, plus get’s everyone’s attention. Then we thrust a new leader in to power.”

The group snuck back into town, making their way to Garwan’s Curiosities, where Curuvar awarded them with valuable magic items for their troubles thus far. As they were exiting, they saw a man being thrown out the window of the Green Tankard Tavern. He crumpled to the ground, but they recognized him instantly as Marsh, the bartender and keeper of the Tankard. A large guard came out through the door and picked up the broken man, yelling in his face, “Who were you hiding.” He punctuated it with a blow to the man’s face.

As Slim Pickin’s attempted to intervene, the guard finally took notice of them, yelling still at Marsh, “This is them, isn’t it? The ones who ripped off Moonfire.” Marsh looked back, stony-faced and silent. Edgaar took a step forward, arms out, trying to diffuse the situation, but the guard slit Marsh’s throat and cast him aside. He called his men and a battle took place their in the streets.

After offing the guards, the crew caught their breath before heading to Fermina’s base of operations. Once their, Percival was able to overhear a guard instructing 4 others in poorly scrapped together armor.

“You are all deputized. That means you’re officially in the Loudwater patrol. I know a lot of you have questions, we’ll get to that, but for right now I just want to throw you guys in and really see how you do. Don’t be scared, all we’re going to do for today is guard the manor. Easy right? Larry, I’ll have you take point on this, you’ve got some experience in battle right? Awesome. Let’s do this. Positions people”

Slim Pickin’s attempted to avoid potential battle, by scaling the wall of the property and sneaking into the back of the manor unseen. They were successful, but when they found Fermina, she was deep in debate with a strange woman. They were able to make out the words “protection” and “convenient”, but decided to try and hide in the servants quarters. After some time had passed with no sign of the conversation ending, Percival dressed in servants garb and took out some hors d’oeuvres to Fermina and her guest.

The girl turned to see him, pausing for a minute before saying “Percival?”

Percival tried to play it off, like he was but a lowly servant, but he knew all too well who this woman was: Arion Steelsong, the one he gave himself to years ago. The very daughter of the warlord that took his manhood. She had blossomed even more so, but now had a tired look in her eye that hinted of the many battles she has seen.

There was an awkward reunion, that included much fumbling for words, but it ended in Fermina calling for the guards. Valenae and Edgaar brought the servants bed out and blocked the front door, preventing the guards from entering.

During the battle, Arion monologued a bit, explaining the current predicament, "I inherited the family business. We’ve always been looking to expand into Loudwater, but up until now it’s been a bit inaccessible. With the amount of guard it had, it wasn’t worth the risk. Until recently. I was merely offering Fermina the chance to cooperate before taking over. Not father’s way, I know, but you’d be surprised how often it’s done the trick.

Fermina lashed out, putting Valenae into a maze of mirrors, whilst Arion bashed away at Edgaar. Percival tried to reason with Arion, and was successful in convincing her to aid them, but in the end, Fermina drew her back with the promise of far more riches to come.

Arion toyed with Percival, teasing him throughout. “You were my first you know.”

“And you were my last,” yelled back Percival.

Valenae prayed to the Raven Queen for aid from the maze of mirrors, and her prayers were answered by a single black feather falling from above and guiding her through the labyrinth. Once freed, she helped the others to best Fermina. Once defeated, Arion fled without a word.

In the aftermath a booming crack echoed through the town. Stepping outside they watched as the town’s dam collapsed. They approached the wreckage to find Curuvar standing in the rubble of the dam, as villagers start to gather. He projected his voice through magics allowing it to boom through the crowd, “You’re tired. Tired of what has become status quo. No more. Today, we put in to power a new leader, not thirsty for power or wealth, but for peace and tranquility. Someone to help rebuild this town. Someone you know. Sunsteen Urbeth.”

Sunsteen looked surprised and a bit confused, as villagers start to push him to the front.

Curuvar continued, “Sunsteen has lived in Loudwater his entire life, through ups and downs. He is the man to restore it to it’s former glory. What say you? Do you support this man to lead you through a revolution?”

The crowd erupted in cheers, even some of the guard have got in to it (convenient, huh?), thrusting their weapons in the air in approval.

In the midst of the commotion, Curuvar pulled the members of Slim Pickin’s aside, confiding in them, “Marsh has passed. He left the Tankard to me, though I have little use for the place. As reward, I hoped to bequeeth it to the lot of ya. You’ve shared many nights under that roof. Marsh wouldn’t’ve minded.”

The group accepted, finally opening up to him about the fact that they were never really in The Crimson Hellfire Guild. He chuckled, saying it really didn’t matter, but that their discression would be appreciated.

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Attack of the River Pirates
In which our heroes attempt to return with gold, but get attacked by River Pirates.

Deep in the night, the crew awakened to a rather frantic Sarl, bursting into their master suite.

“We been compromised! Loudmouth bartender, Randy Braethenstore, spilled to some locals ‘bout the gold. River pirates’ll be on us within the hour. We best git if y’all know what’s good fer ya.”

Groggily, Keira, Percival, and Edgaar dressed and readied themselves, going to the next room and alerting Valenae. She looked at the empty bed beside her, still warm from her companion for the night, and gave a wistful sigh. Once prepared for the day, the band of warriors slipped through One Eyed Jacks without confrontation, and made their way down to the lower, hidden dock, where their boat and gold awaited untouched.

As they boarded, a faint rattle came from the gated entrance. Valenae approached cautiously to find the Eladrin escort from the night prior, though her garb was much different than it was then. She was dressed as an adventurer might, her outfit cobbled together from many of her past clients, stealing a tunic here, and boots there.

She introduced herself as Elora Songwood, and pleaded with them (though she only looked to Valenae) to take her with them, freeing her.

She spoke plainly to them, in a hushed voice, "I am bound to this place through some form of magics. I was once an assassin of such skill, that I became legendary in the city of Mithrendain and throughout the Feywild. This eventually became my downfall. I drew close to my targets through seduction, allowing their guard to fall before I completed the deed. The Shadowfire guild of assassins, saw no use for me once my notoriety rose. They thought of me only as a pretty face, but now that that face was known, I could not approach a target without arousing suspicion. I was torn out of the feywild, and sold into the service of Mafalda Straddelmore, the lady of One Eyed Jack’s. And now I am once again, just a pretty face, though I yearn for more.

Elora explained that under normal circumstances she cannot leave the property for fear that the curse would surely kill her, but she may have found a loophole. A few weeks ago, when with one of her regulars, she was taken out on the river for a romantic boat ride. They went down river, passing well beyond the property line and she remained intact and unharmed. She realized that this must be due to the fact that she was no longer Mafalda’s or One Eyed Jack’s property, because for this night she belonged to the client.

Still on the clock with Valenae, Elora could leave this place forever, if Valenae and the others cooperate. They agree to bring her along for the time being, and she promises to aid them in whatever ways she is able.

Slim Pickin’s, accompanied by Elora are lead back upriver by Rivermaster Sarl, making it past the property line with no ill effect. They traveled on for half an hour quite peaceably, before hearing a thunderous crack not far ahead. A large tree came crashing down, blocking passage onward. Out of the forest walked an incredibly rough-looking bearded man, holding a large cutlass above his head.

“River Pirates!” yelled Sarl from the back of the boat.

Loud motors roar behind them as three small boats with more pirates aboard pull up behind them. A bloody encounter errupted, nearly costing Edgaar his life. Soon after the first shots were taken, the Pirate Captain, walked out on the fallen tree, setting a fine mesh net from bank to bank, straining the entire river. Slim Pickin’s started to pick off the captain’s crew, when one of them raised a small cannon from the belly of their boat, and fired at the lot of them, blowing Sarl’s boat clean out of the water, knocking Slim Pickin’s et al into the water.

The battle raged on, casualties taken on both sides, with Edgaar being knocked unconscious. Fortunately, Valenae had made it to dry land and was able to revive him. He stood, coughing out water and slayed the remaining crew member, all the while, Percival took on the Pirate Captain by himself.

In an attempt to clear away the tree and perhaps do some damage to the captain, Keira took aim with the now abandoned cannon, then confidently posed next to it as the fuse burned and the cannon’s barrel slowly started to drift downward before it blew his own boat to pieces, throwing her back in to the water.

They soon bested the River Pirate Captain, and turned to dredging the river floor and pulling up the net to find their gear and gold, as well as a cannon (with three shots but no gunpowder). They took the two remaining pirate boats and continued up river to the Hydra company’s camp just off the bank of the river.

Maulder Haulder was there to greet them, standing near the river, waving a white hanky dramatically high above his head to flag them down. He guided the group to Kamren’s tent, and they were able to settle their debts with him and Sarl before enjoying the rest of the afternoon, and resting for the evening.

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Fleeing the Town of Loudwater
In which our heroes leave the scene of the crime for some deserved R&R.

Slim Pickin’s hang out at a bar/casino/brothel and start some trouble.

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Slim Pickin's Start a Revolution
In which our heroes start a revolution.

Slim Pickin’s perform an epic heist over the course of three days of set up and make off with a bunch of gold, leaving lady moonfire and captain harrowleaf naked and helpless.

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The Barrow of the Ogre King Continued
In which our heroes are able to best the goblins and retrieve the totem.

Slim Pickin’s beat the bad guys and head back into town with their sweet new totem to show Curuvar that they kick ass and can total handle kicking Lady Moonfire out of power. A continuation of The Barrow of the Ogre King

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The Barrow of the Ogre King
In which our heroes attempt to prove themselves.

Our fellow adventurers met up once again with Sunsteen and Curuvar to go over some last minute details. When they did, Sunsteen chastised the group for brazenly parading a Dragonborn around the town. The word got out and the patrols have increased three fold. Getting out of the city would be quite the challenge.

As this sunk in, Curuvar offered the group a map of the Barrow of the Ogre King, a crude rendering drawn from memory. They passed it around, but once Nyx took a hold of it she let out a firey sneeze and burned it to ashes. With an already auspicous start, the members of Slim Pickin’s decided to wait for nightfall to begin their journey.

Whilst darkness fell, our “heroes” plotted and planned how best to escape the city. Keira scouted ahead, checking out all the exits, finding that both the eastern and western gates were heavily watched, but that the hole in the wall they had entered the city through was only being guarded by two men, and one was nearly asleep. After trying to decide how to distract them (though it was brought up, they opted out of lighting a building on fire), and settled on using Youtherr to cause a ruckus.

Luring him with the promise of booze, Keira was able to get him to pick a fight with a patroling guard, allowing her and the others to make their way back to the gap in the wall. A single guard remained, but he had finally fallen asleep. The group slunk past him, with Edgaar trailing behind. They nearly made it scot free, but Edgaar slipped a bit on the rubble and woke him. They made a mad dash before he could make out who or what they were, but it was a close call indeed.

In the cover of night, they made it safely to the Barrow of the Ogre King, though in a continuation of bad luck fell through a trap right in to the clutches of several Goblins (including the Hexer from their last encounter). The group fought bravely, but were outmatched and became bloodied in no time. Edgaar fell through another trap in to a pit of wild dogs, Nyx stayed to the back popping off shots when able, and Keira was eventually knocked unconscious. Through some miracle, they were able to best them, and take a short rest.

They took a look around the room, being careful to avoid any potential traps, eventually ending up at a raised platform at the end of the room. Nyx could feel an energy eminating from it, so without hesitation, she hopped on Edgaar’s shoulders and they stepped through the portal. They were transported to a silvery dimension for a moment before randomly shifting back. It wasn’t terribly exciting.

They continued forward through the dungeon in to a seemingly abandoned hallway, but were met with Zombies and more Goblins. Edgaar pushed the Goblin down the stairs, Nyx took out several of the zombies in a single shot that radiated through them in a chaotic fashion, and Keria finished the others off with fancy flips and ease.

They were able to take in their surroundings after easily besting them, and came across a dirt covered something or other. After a bit of scraping and pawing the muck away, they saw a sculpture of a gigantic ogre.

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The Origin
In which our heroes fumble through their first adventure.

Slim Pickin’s is a band of thieves, crooks, and mercenaries, known for doing what is most self serving at the moment and always looking to pocket a bit more gold and drink a bit more grog with as little work as possible. Most of the gang met each other in the town of Luskan, commonly looked upon as the asshole of the Forgotten Realms. It was once a thriving port anchoring the northern end Trade Way, but decades of social unrest and rampant crime have left it largely abandoned. Now Luskan is the exclusive territory of rival street gangs, monsters, and vermin. A middle-class citizen of Luskan would be a beggar in any other city of the North.
Slim Pickin’s is currently composed of the following members:

Percival Grencloak, a human Warlord (played by Mikey)
Keira, an Elven Rogue (Played by Eric)
Valenae, an Eladrin Cleric (Played by Courtenay)
Edgaar Steelteeth, a Dragonborn Fighter (Played by Jerry)

A letter addressed to the town’s far more successful thieves guild and your archrivals, The Crimson Hellfire, was accidentally picked up by Keira during an attempt to help rid the messenger of any spare change he might have on him. The letter read as follows:

To the guild of the Crimson Hellfire,

I regret that it has come to this point, but I know of no one else to turn to. The once peaceful town of Loudwater has become a military state where one can not so much as take a piss without guards breathing down your neck. They focus more on enforcing taxes and fees of their own creation, than protecting their people, ignoring the goblin problem entirely.

The root of the problem is Lady Moonfire, our town’s newly appointed leader. She has taken charge since her husband’s passing, Gods bless his soul, and in doing so has clamped an iron fist over our town.

I look to you in our hour of need; come to our town and help us to form a rebellion against our unjust ruler. Come and help us to turn the tide against the blight that Lady Moonfire has brought.

Sincerely,
Sunsteen Urbeth

The rag tag group decided to take the job to piss off the Crimson Hellfire, but more so for the promise of much more coin to come. Getting out of Luskan proved to be difficult, as rival gangs had destroyed the bridges heading outward in an attempt to toll any looking to leave or enter, and the river itself was far more treacherous and foul. The group instead braved the sewers, working their way through the underground tunnels out of the way of overhead bandits and thieves. During their escape, they ran in to a nest of rats, several that were the size of a large cat, and even more so that had swarmed together, their tails entangling as they writhed and lashed out. The adventurers of Slim Pickin’s dispensed of them with great ease and continued on their journey otherwise unbothered.

They reached the western gate of Loudwater, that was closed and unmanned upon arrival. After debating how to enter, Keira heard a scuffle coming from the south. She stealthily edged around the city’s wall, only to see a goblin running as fast as it could in to the woods, holding a strange horn totem over his head. As she got closer, she found a large hole in the wall and over a dozen goblins terrorizing the villagers and quickly motioned for the rest of her party to join her. The group rushed in to battle, easily dispensing of several of the goblins. The goblins quickly grew anxious and started to scatter, most running back through the wall and in to the forest. Most that ran met their end at Edgaar’s longsword, and the others were picked off by Keira and Valanae as Percival called the shots.

After the battle was over, one of the townspeople called to them to rush in to Garwan’s Curiosities. The group follows quickly and he introduced himself as Sunsteen Urbeth, the man who had written the letter. He’s a balding man in his early thirties, who is in excellent shape except for his right leg, which is withered and shrunken and he uses a cane to compensate. He greeted the group excitedly “You must be of the Crimson Hellfire Guild. Which of you is Heston?”
The group stammered for a bit, and Keira nudged Edgaar forward until he stated “I am Heston.”

Sunsteen seemed confused, looking up at Edgaar, “Hmmm… you are different than I I have heard. No matter I suppose. We should talk to Curuvar before we continue. He truly is the man behind our unborn revolution.”
The group pushed to learn more about Curuvar, and Sunsteen happily explained, “Curuvar the Brazen. Owner of this shop, but more importantly perhaps the only person that could help us in over throwing Lady Moonfire. I had assumed he would be here, but if he is not here, he is most assuredly at the Green Tankard Tavern.”

The group went across the south square and in to the Green Tankard Tavern to find it completely abandoned (due to the previous battle), except for a tall bearded man sitting at the bar with his back to them, not bothering to turn to greet them. Edgaar stepped behind the bar and poured himself a drink, and the old wizard raises his glass and gives a slight nod. Keira and Valenae settle in nearby and strike up a conversation with him. It is Curuvar, a curt and cantankerous old wizard who only talks to them when he needs to. Over the course of the conversation, he opens up a bit “I heard the ruckus, but didn’t want to spill my drink. I s’pose you handled it all right. Though those goblins were nothin’ compared to what’s in the barrow or even in Loudwater itself.”

“So you want to help our little revolution?” Curuvar continued, “First you have to gain the trust of the people, and I have to say I don’t trust you. Tell you what. Goblins are a dull race, but the barrow’s overrun with ‘em. You dispense of ’em and bring me back the horn totem they ran off with, I reckon that’d prove yerselves.”
Towards the end of the conversation, he turned to Edgaar in particular, “You. What’s yer name?”

Edgaar answered without thinking, “Edgaar.”

Sunsteen stepped forward suspicious, “You said you were Heston. What’s going on here?”

Edgaar stumbled for a moment thinking, before making a bluff, “I go by many names. Edgaar is one of a great deal.” Sunsteen backed off, his suspicions slightly assuaged.

Edgaar soon realized that Curuvar was referring to the fact that he was Dragonborn, something that Lady Moonfire and her guards were not fond of, and many of the townspeople themselves were a bit prejudiced against them as a result.

Being somewhat late in the evening, and having had a long day, the group spent the night in the back end of the Green Tankard Tavern’s living quarters. The following morning they set out exploring the town. Edgaar and the others went to the Loudwater Smithy, greeted by the clank of metal on metal the hiss of steam, and the roar of flames. Inside they met Megana Nistral a very large human female as broad as a dwarf, but towering over everyone except for Edgaar. As soon as she laid eyes on him, she took a liking. The group discussed new weapons and armor, but Megana payed attention to almost no one but Edgaar, taking every chance she could to fill the conversation with flirtations and innuendo (including complimenting the size of his sword). She said that she could fashion him a heavy shield to replace his current battered one, and perhaps they could work out a discount over drinks. Keira jumped in saying that sounds great, to which Megana rolled her eyes before accepting.

The party walked over to the Tavern and settled in. Megana came back to the table with two tall mugs of beer and placed them both in front of Edgaar. Keira eventually got the hint and went to play darts in the corner. Her first dart hit towards the outside of the board and was met with a scoff from a smelly homeless looking fellow sitting at the bar. Keira then tried to outdo herself, pulling a dagger out and throwing just outside the bullseye. The smelly man turns, somewhat impressed and throws a dart without even standing, hitting just outside of Keira’s, before asking if she’d like to place a wager on it.

She agrees, to have a challenge best two of three, closest to the center for five gold. The smelly man won a round, and then they tied. Giving a smile, Keira convinces him to go winner takes all for the final shot. She beats him, if only marginally and the crowd that has formed around them erupts in to cheers and back patting, as the smelly fellow starts to quickly walk towards the exit. Keira catches him and asks for his gold, which he gives though it causes him great discomfort. Keira buys him a beer and chats him up a bit.

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