It has been ten years since the events of the previous stories of Alexis and co.
The land was a mess; the gunk and offal from the summoning was slowly corrupting everything, Toreguard was in ruins and her people scattered. Then a man, a seneschal of Drakemar showed up, with a cart full of gold. Real, proper, Gold gold. With the gold came masons from Fangthane, and wood carvers from the feet of the Darkwood. All local religions were drafted in to help consecrate the ground, and the city was rebuilt from the ground up, using fine white stone. The new city gained roads, sewers, canals. A central tower was erected for government business, with a second wizard tower over the abyssal seal creating an arcane watch over it, and a standing army to watch over the whole city. Properly constructed roads, with trained patrols, stretched away from the city to the furthest reaches of Allansia.
And at those farthest reaches, Fangthane had closed it borders, needing time to sort out it’s hearth before it could deal again with the world outside it’s mountain, and there are rumours of unrest in Mythrilmar.
The people had a fresh start, a good life, and they did not want anything to screw it up. Their heros, the former champions of Toreguard, where were given an ultimatum: Retire for good, or forever be exiled from the city they had protected, and loved.
Fai chose exile; he did not trust the mysterious benefactor, and went to investigate the Drakemarie empire, while Egrim stayed at his chapel to Galana with the Gnomes and Halflings they had rescued.
Grizwald, uncomfortable in his skin and in the life he led, wandered the wilds in search of a way to win Galana’s favour, and take him back to her brightness, and Ivan was called on to return to Fangthane, but vanished along the path.
Selene and Alexis remained in Toreguard. The wizard was given the duty by her Council to manage the Watchers of the Abyssal Seal, while the former sneak kept them company, eventually developing an obsession with keeping look-out until one day she left the city, and vanished.
And now, our new story starts, as all good tales do, in a pub. The Slippery Slope is a middle road establishment and it finds our new adventures in various states.
Mistress Meredith, a cleric from Fangthane, sits with her two guardians, Nig and Nog, taking her evening meal. Daraja Drayer watches the fights. Elowen leans against the bar with her partner in law, Derren Breakwood, surveying the crowd. Alphons keeps to himself in a booth, waiting for the morning to come so he can sign on as a sell-sword; and lastly, Lorcan Drakewing sits in the corner with some fellow strolling minstrels, plucking a string or two.
While Daraja and Alphonse pay more attention to their respective interests – the ring, and a bar wench – Lorcan picks up on a strange fellow, tall and gaunt, who sits alone barely drinking, and decides he seems in need of a song. At roughly the same time, the stranger catches the eye of Elowin and Meredith, but for other reasons; The watchman dislikes his nervous twitch, and the cleric smells something not quite human about him. Gathering up his merry band of musical cohorts, Lorcan begins to play a merry tune to the sangin gent, and while he doesn’t get much sway with his target, the rest of the bar enjoys his tune.
This goes on for a while, while Daraja is watching a fight, however Alphonse finally picks up on the odd fellow, just as a big chap comes in and pins Twitchy at his table. Elowin has sent her partner out in case Twitch rabbits, but at the sight of the big man talking to Twitchy she stands, and goes over just as Twitch starts to call for help. They have a brief exchange which ends abruptly as Twitchy slips under the table and does a roll, turns and sprints out with inhuman speed. Elowin gives chase, with Meredith and Alphonse some ways behind. Derren leaps on Twitchy as he passes and tackles him to the ground.
Elowin catches up to Derran and Twitchy, where they are both lying on the ground. Twitchy is squirming with considerable strength given his stringy looking muscles. Derran yells at Elo to help him, but as she reaches for her blade, Twitchy give a mighty twist, boots Derren in the nuts and scuttles off on all fours like a cat. Elowin stands perplexed for a moment before taking off in pursuit again. Behind her Meredith catches up, checks on derren before carrying on herself. Elo chases Twitchy around a corner just in time to see him drop down a sewer hole. She glances back; she can hear Derren coming but he’s no where close, so she throws out a quick prayer and drops down into the filth herself. She goes a small way, and is surprised to see her quarry lying prone on a raised section of sewer, an orc stood over him. She announces herself as a watchman, to which the orc nods and tells her she can take it from there. As he walks away she asks what his name is and he says “Harock”. She manacles Twitchy and hauls him back up the ladder to the surface.
Derran, Meredith and Alphonse are waiting for her when she and twitchy emerge. Twitchy takes one look at Meredith and tries to twist out of Elowin’s grasp, but Alphonse and Derran grab him. Words are exchanged, and Derren takes one look around at the small ensemble and orders them all to the station. Once there the duty sergeant takes one look at Twitchy and demands a priest. Meredith introduces herself as a cleric of Moradin, and tells them what they have is a ghoul. She says she can take care of it, and Derren and the sargent both agree. Elo takes him out and locks him in the stocks, while Meredith gets out her Holy Symbol, but before she can say anything the ghoul hisses and whispers that ‘He will get you, he waits for no one’. Elo and Meredith exchange glances and she carries on with her prayer-spell. The ghoul lets out a screech and withers so that only his head remains trapped in the stocks. Elowin unlocks it, while Derren fetches a wheelbarrow, and they dispose of the body.
While this has been going on, Daraja is riling up the troops back in the bar. Twitchy was being accused of killing two dockers, and the big fellow who confronted him obviously has strong feelings about the matter. Daraja suggests maybe he can help track Twitchy, with some back-up. So with 20-odd guys in various states of drunkenness, and various ‘weapons’, Daraja leads the way through the streets to the sewer Twitchy fled down. Darja encourages the men down and says he will keep an eye on their backs. they all get down and the two groups meet and words are bandied about who’s going to kill what. Eventually Derran gets annoyed and says the other group can come with them, reasoning that more bodies means more damage done to the enemy. They walk through the sewers and pick up the Orc again, who says he thinks he knows where the ghouls have their nest and they follow him, to find a bunch of creepy mini human like things and a big creepy human-like thing that says his childer will take care of the people.