Sunday morning came and went with little novelty and as in the previous day our motley band of heroes found themselves once again waiting. Silence filled the silver unicorn inn; only the occasional noises emanating from the kitchen and the traffic of pedestrians outside disturbed the almost tangible stillness. What many call the “calm before the storm” and so our unlikely group of adventurers waited, only at nightfall would it all be set in motion. What were they to step into? No one was sure.
Shady dealings? Covert and clandestine meetings? The “oh so recent success of the Brynth inn”. Were they all connected or just arbitrary coincidences? Nothing was certain, that was the only thing clear-cut; rumors barely shed light into the mystery that was the Brynth Inn and its Sunday night meetings. So as the old grandfather clock near the corner of the room signals 8, the party decides it is now time to pay heed to their invitation and go meet with their new “friends” in the surreptitious gathering. At least there’s a CHANCE they’re “friendly”, or so they hope.
The walk to the “L” Shaped building they all recognize as the Brynth inn seems short, the cool night air refreshing on their skin and disturbed thoughts. As they approach the front entrance, edgy and almost hesitant they question if it is the right choice, one final glimpse at the paper in Almar’s possession (their so called invitation) gives confirmation of their true destination. “It’s through the back door” he says, guiding them to the side alley near the main building. The final trek around the edifice and towards the back appears to be even longer than their previous one from the Silver Unicorn, drawing near they find an imposing door, seeming forged from pure shadow, slightly ajar, and ominously inviting. Should they cross?
Doubt holds them for but a second, gathering their courage they tread through the doorway a final word of caution barely heard from Eloyn’s silent whisper “Be prepared for anything”. One by one our heroes go forth into the wooden building and only once inside do they notice that within the scarcely lit room a spiral staircase descends. With each step down their resolve grows stronger and as they reach the basement little hesitation remains. A man of average and common appearance approaches them as they gather at the foot of the stairs, a door man it seems. He welcomes the visitors and asks who and what they are there for that night, to which Almar with composed ease hands in his invitation. “We are here for the meeting” he proclaims and they simply are let pass with only “You are just in time for the initiation” as a response.
The main room is large, much too large to be a simple basement; it is crowded, noisy with the chatter of people talking and well illuminated by spheres of light mounted on the walls. To the party’s surprise, the area seems a good deal larger than that of the inn up top, on either side of the room, two tables lined with chairs hold most the patrons who avidly speak both Humans and Halflings. In the north a skillfully adorned chair awaits its owner and finally on the northwest most section a tied and gagged halfling seems to be on the receiving end of a beating.
It is clear what is going through the minds of our adventurers the moment they lay eyes on such an act of cruelty and it takes just one glance at Eloyn to confirm their suspicions. With a silent fleeting look and soundless prayer they all hope the lawful warlord does not blow their cover. Uneasily the party separates trying to mingle and hoping to go unnoticed, Gaelen, Lecreuset and the two dwarves heading towards the eastern most table, while Almar and Eloyn make their way to the one located just south of where 3 humans seem to be torturing the halfling.
It doesn’t take Almar much time to get bored of just sitting (some might speculate it’s just his endless recklessness, very few others would merit it to his compassion) so a few minutes after taking a seat at one of the tables he steps forward and starts conversation with the 3 men torturing the Halfling. He asks who the victim is and the reasons of said “fun” , even going as far as joining in after a silent whisper only heard by the victim “sorry, about this” he proclaims.One swift and “careful” blow later the now friendly men offer how their current “guest” came to be, how he was caught snooping around their turf and how he now must pay for such an intrusion.
The conversation is short lived though, as a now irate Eloyn interrupts the friendly exchange between the men and the shifter. The annoyed noble attempts to interrupt the violence on the Halfling by grabbing Almar’s arm before he might try and hit the small humanoid once again. It is at this point that the other men around them noticing her discomfort try to appease the woman but only serve in angering her further. Just as things seem like they are about to take a turn for the worst, the whole room seems to go silent and shift their sight towards the entrance.
Walking boldly in to the room appears to be a handsome man elegantly dressed in studded leather armor, with an eye patch covering his right eye and armed to the teeth with numerous weapons. Taking this as a distraction the barbarian drags the young warlord to her seat and wills her to listen attentively to the whole spectacle about to unfold. The crowd pays little attention to the now forgotten fuming woman, all eyes on the man that just entered the room. His rich voice welcomes everyone present and after a pompous and eloquent presentation to the group which he self proclaims the Guild of Heroes and Champions of Brynth, he takes seat at his throne to the north.
Much cheering and applauding is heard every time the leader seems to mention the guild in his speech and even more when he mentions the first order of business. In the same charismatic and compelling manner as in his earlier allocution, the tall man dictates that the intruding halfling is to be executed for his crimes against the guild.
The sounds of encouragement are yet to die down from the merry guilds men when a loud thud is heard across the room interrupting their glee. All eyes seem to turn in a single moment; standing now next to the table where she was once seated, is Eloyn. Her hand firmly planted on the table the apparent cause of the earlier sound that interfered with the leader’s last command.
“What did this man do to deserve death?” She questions.
With a charming smile and ever persuasive words the handsome man explains the Halflings incursion on the guilds territory, yet his words do not seem to placate the woman’s sense of injustice. She defies his order once more, yet he still smiles pleasantly at her and taking one of the many daggers strapped on him, sends it flying. With a dull sound the blade lands on the table next to Eloyn, and with careful and polite words the Guild Leader asks for someone to finish of the task he issued.
At this point all hell breaks loose.
In what seems like a single instant, bodies start to scatter around the room as heavy footsteps are heard coming down the spiral stair case, an accusing voice and a distant yell of “… the thieves are down here…” can be barely made out making many spring into action. The dagger on the table suddenly flies across the room airborne once more, as if an invisible hand had thrown it and before any of the present is even able to make a grab for it. As chaos ensures, Eloyn rushes towards the small prisoner intending to keep him safe and from harm’s way, while In the mean time her barbarian companion nearby leaps onto the table and swings wildly at all the thugs in his way (what a distraction!). The sturdy dwarves also dash to the fore; joining their friends in battle along with a swift Aearion Lecreuset that readies his blades giving one last glance at crafty Mr. Copperpot, who apparently is finishing off an unknown spell. A brawl breaks out in the basement, our odd heroes against the full force of the guild.
Swords and axes slash, hammers in dwarven hands crush opposition, devious and skillful spells end many others. By the end of the night more than half the guild lies dead, only a few are left alive held captive, the infamous leader hastily escaped and a very unconscious and covered in urine elf adorns the ground. After some friendly coaxing and pleasant barbarian questioning some light is shed on the guild activities and the identity of the charismatic and missing chief is discovered. He goes by the name of Durnan Loelray a prosperous and wealthy man in the region, businessman by day and rogue boss of the almost dismantled thief guild by night.
Evidence of said activities trouble our adventurers but little is found as the whole bar and underground is searched with little success. Questioning the halfling proves almost unfruitful in giving any additional information; the now bruised and battered young man identifies himself as Johnathan Wrafton the cousin of Salvana Wrafton’s (innkeeper of the silver unicorn) on a lone mission to investigate the shady events and patrons in the Brynth inn. In an animated and rapid speech customary of a Halfling, he relates how he came to be captured and what he knows of the guild. It is decided that the nights events must be reported to the authorities, the secret group and its leader uncovered.
So with what little evidence and information they gathered, three prisoners, some trinkets in hand and a still unconscious elf on Gramek’s shoulder, they head out in the cold night towards the town guard station. The night’s events are hard to believe even for them. They stood against a whole guild of thieves? A respected business man is a rouge leader of a hidden group? How are the guards to accept all this as true?
Incredible or not the guards listen to their story, with an uneasy silence at first and later awed respect, they accept the wanted criminals the heroes have captured. The guards explain about the rumors of a supposed rouge guild in the village, of the reward for capturing certain thugs and finally explain that Loelray is beyond their reach without any evidence. Thinking they have brought some needed order to Brynth and one more reward in hand the now satisfied heroes decide to call it a night.
TBC (Ugh i know, just a little more)