After hearing local rumors of strange activities near Kalton Manor, The escapees from Turno decided to check it out. Maybe some clues as to their initial circumstances could be gleamed.
After a half day of traveling, the group came across a stranded Wagon with a broken wheel. An old man was pounding on the wheel in frustration, with two young women standing gaurd. With caution, Charrles dismounted and approached, smiling as he went.
The old man introduced himself as Oriist, a traveler from kalton manor area. He and his daughters, Stephanie and Meffanie, were heading to fallcrest, seeking aid from the Lord warden.
A short conversation later, the decision was made to send Cannibalskunk to retrieve a wagon wheel from Fallcrest, and the rest would stay to gaurd the wagon. Shortly after Cannibalskunk had left, Charrles and Halbe began investigating the wagon and found a massive store of gold and weapons.
Without much warning, Charrles attacked the daughter, out of suspicision. She fell to the ground, unconcious or dead, it was hard to tell. outrage sprang from Orest, and the woods around the wagon filled with armed bandits, everyone was quickly surrounded. Relying on his natural charisma and way with words, Charrles quickly defused the situation, creating a favorable proposition for himself and his allies, also, for Oriist.
It turned out that cannibalskunk had been captured, and taken to the manor, which was actually a slave ring headquarters, lead by a vicious man named Gabriel. A plan quickly fell into place which lead to Charrles being taken inside the manor, while the rest of the group hid in the back of the wagons. A brutal coup was about to take place, and with the death of Gabriel, they would earn their lives and free their friend.
Once inside, Charrles was presented to Gabriel, who was more than happy to see they had captured a Tiefling, who would bring a hefty profit. Charrles was placed into the slave pens, where he was reunited with cannibalskunk. Quickly unlocking his shackles, Charrles killed the first gaurd and let himself out of his cage. His next move was to free Cannibalskunk, who inturn set about freeing the rest of the slaves.
The free slaves, filled with hate and desperation, fell upon the remaining gaurd, overwhelming and killing him quickly. Without regard for tactics, those slaves not occupied ran up the stairs, who were met with a large gout of fire, killing them and tossing their charred corpses several yards, back down the stairs.
With a rousing speech (successful Bluff check), Charrles had convinced the remaining slaves to rush the stairs again, and that they would help take out the remaining gaurds. Of course, they followed their plan and were met with longswords and magic, the gaurds shredding them quickly. Cannibalskunk was distressed by this idea and was sickened at the result.
“Do you think to escape? Did you really think that these malnourished and untrained slaves would really have any impact on your ability to escape? How is it you managed to escape your bindings? I offer you a reprive from death if you tell me who has betrayed me…” Gabriel spoke, his voice ringing clear with an unquestionable sureness.
Without so much as a second thought, Charrles replied, “It was your good friend Oriist, who offered us a deal. Kill you and we would be let go, and he would reward us with your treasures. It also gave us an opportunity to rescue our dear friend, who you had made the horrible mistake of capturing. Did we plan to escape? yes, we most certainly did. but I assure you, I am not alone, and as we speak I imagine my companions are making quick work of your gaurds outside.”
With a grin, ” are you sure? my gaurds are not easily overwhelmed. they are trained body gaurds and mercenaries, not afraid to die for the Hand. I offer you an opportunity, because i find your gall and daring to be amusing. Kill Oriist and his other traitors, and I will spare your life. I assure you, you will not escape and you will not best me in combat. If you act now I may even make you another offer, and the chance to make a large sum of money.” Gabriel stated plainly, as if he knew his words to be true.
“I see that loyalty in your orginization is rewarded, and treachery is punished severely. I can respect that. You have my word that I will slay Oriist, who is waiting outside for me. I will step outside and slay him before he even realizes he has been outbid.” Charrles smiled a devilish smile, and began to walk up the stairs, striding with a confidence that seemed much too natural.
As he crested the stairs, a large crash, a gout of fire and Begud laid on the floor in the entry way. He had been mostly shielded from the intense fire by the corpse now laying on top of him, skin melting into his armor. With a smile, Begud began to pick himself off the floor, shedding the corpse that had shielded him. He drew his axe and hefted it in his hand.
“Stop” Spoke charrles deliberatly,” We have come to a new agreement, Gabriel has offered us a much better reward for our troubles, one of gold and power. We work for him now. Any objections?”
Shrugging, Begud only turned to the door and left, knowing that charrles never entered bargains without thinking them through. Sure, he was a cleric of sharess, but he was also a huge fan of being alive, especially if it benefited him financially. Four steps outside the door, he spotted Orisst and launched a Lance of faith, White hot light shooting from his finger striking oriist in the chest. Shouting the Oriist was their new target, Andraste quickly shifted back and launched a furious volley of arrows.
Stinging and sinking into soft flesh, the arrows landed one after the other, severly wounding Oriist. Oriist was not one to be killed so easily it seemed, as he pulled a whistle from under his collar, and blew into it, his fighters began pouring from the woods. Halbe, the ever rambunctious wizard, launched into a magic barrage, dropping many of the soldiers leaving plenty of space for them to operate.
Charrles and Cannibalskunk charged out the door, into the waiting ambush. With a quick flick of his wrist, Charrles charred several more of the bandits, their smoldering corpses slumping on the ground. Teleporting after the bodies hit the ground, he targeted Orisst and began chanting methodically. After a few seconds, Orisst began clawing at his eyes, as pain shot through his eyes and brain. Taking note of the distraction, Cannibalskunk caste his judgment upon Oriist, who had lead him to captivity in the first place.
A burning light poured from the sky, blinding and scattering many of the remaining bandits. Oriist on the hand, screamed in agony as his life force began to ebb from his body. Knowing his situation was grim at best, Orisst turned to run, which would be his final mistake. Andraste, took Careful aim, Launching an arrow, which burrowed deep into the base of his skull killing him instantly.
A burst of magic and Charrles disappeared, reappearing on top of the farthest wagon. From his high vantage point he unleashed a furiously hot blast of eldritch fire, killing a nearby bandit. After seeing such a glorious and frightening display of combat action, the remaining bandits turned to flee, but would inevitably meet the same end. Charrles teleported far in front of one of the fleeing men, meeting him with a fistful of witchfire.
Halbe launched a forceful orb after the two remaining men who were running with all haste in the opposite direction. But as any good wizard knows, feet are never faster than magic. With a loud boom, the rest of the bandits were dead.
Shortly After, Gabriel had called them into the manor, where they were given food and drink as he explained his plans for them. He offered them a safe place in his orginization, known only as the hand. He gave them a quick spiel of how things worked in the hand and that they could make handsome sums of money, by becoming agents in fallcrest. After a brief discussion with each other, everyone except Cannibalskunk decided that money easily outweighed any moral barriers. Begrudgingly, Cannibalskunk agreed to the plans for the future, though his thoughts raced.
“Here is a gift from me.” Gabriel spoke, pulling a small case from his desk drawer. Opening the box, he withdrew several gold rings, inlaid with a small band of silver running through it. “Each of these rings when worn with allow you to communicate with anyone telepathically, though their powers are linked. These rings will allow you to know anyone who is a member of the hand, if they are wearing their rings. The communication range is about 500 ft, and its very limited, but they have been invaluable to our organization over the years. Now, as far as your place in fallcrest goes, I have decided to give you the deed to a large manor home, which you will use as a cover for your activities. All I need is name and you will have an adventure writ from the city of waterdeep, giving you and your friends a name to be known by. I assure your the Writ is very authentic it must be filled in with your names and even King Generaiat wont know that you arent official.”
A small discussion later the group had decided on their moniker, a name for themselves, something people would hear and know them.
“We wish to be known as the ghostbusters, and we accept your offer. We will leave at our first chance and begin to establish ourselves in fallcrest. I suppose you will contact us shortly, with some inane task, but we will do what all good servants do. The Ghostbusters never fail their missions. at least not without dying to the last man.” Spoke charrles, the seeming voice of the group.
“Then take these things and go forth. Know that we do have some agents in fallcrest already, whose names you wont know, but they will be watching you. one wrong move and you will be facing not only my wrath but the wrath of Mindrel Mist.” Gabriel replied.
“Also, Please take Oriists’ weapon. It is quite powerful, though its true nature is unknown to me. Be careful though, as since he found it in the underdark, he had become more and more paranoid of loosing it.”
And With that, The Ghostbuster’s had been formed, and the group had entered into a dangerous circle of criminals and thugs. Would they really stick to the plan, and become slavers, or would they decide they wanted to take the hand down.
1000xp (200 a piece)