The Guild of Sal'nekyh

First contact
From the T'lon scrolls

Still I seek. The trail I’ve been following for no short time led me to the Seven Pillar Hall, a subterranean township, of sorts. History has it that the Hall was reclaimed from minotaurs some time ago, though from what I have seen of the locals, I can hardly say it was for the better. Though I had wanted to avoid contact with the denizens of the Hall, my tracking led me to some odd waterway, which I was in no way inclined to swim through. Eager as I was to press forward, the deceptive passageways would bring a fool’s end had I surrendered to haste, and so I had to return to the Hall and seek guidance. This was how I came to know of a party, mercenaries from their description, that had set off for a foreboding part of the Thunderspire rumored to be fouled by dark conjurations.

It took no small effort to find someone coherent enough to provide me with proper directions. I made the decision to rest before beginning the next part of my journey. The road had been long coming to this place and if I was to dare venturing further into the labyrinth I would be best served doing so unfatigued. I slept a bit longer than planned and cursed myself for allowing such an ill afforded luxury. As I made ready to depart, a young lad approached me with an offer of information. Trading him a coin he informed me that a detachment from the mercenaries had returned during my slumber escorting, of all things, a boar. While the significance of the pig evaded me, I did learn from the exchange that they had gone back deeper into the spire and had a few hours lead on me.

I followed the paths given to me without much trouble. It wasn’t long before I came across the first signs of the work done, I presumed, by the earlier party. Several rooms contained the drying smears of blood, not even a full day old, upon the stone floors. I took caution to ensure that each room I passed was indeed inhabited by only those who had fallen. It was then that I felt a welling up of the taint I had pursued here.

He was, of course, quite pleased with this. It had been days and he hungered. Ignoring his excited urges I continued on until a great cacophony filled the halls. Something, metallic maybe, ground harshly against the stone of the corridors nearly masking the faint airy twang of arrows or bolts streaking through the air. I came upon the last set of doors between myself and the din and drew one open. From the ceiling twin trapbows launched their missiles into a side passage. The furthest started its turn towards me by the time I reached the first and shattered its tubes. Luckily avoiding the first salvo, I likewise smashed heavily into its framework. Time had thankfully not been very kind to these devices.

Risking a look down the side passage I found yet another doorway into a larger hall, in which echoed that assaultive grinding noise. At the foot of the door laid the wreckage of someone’s Warforged. I recalled that the youth’s report mentioned it was a Warforged who returned the boar earlier. Moving to its side, I caught sight of the source of that horrid grinding. A spiked orb, large enough to consume the entirety of the hallway, was mere feet away, seemingly regaining some traction on the uneven floor. I pulled the wreckage from the doorway and sealed the entrance. I was able to enact some small repair that brought the automaton back into a functional state when I heard an unsettling roar. Someone had unleashed a drake in these confines!

When it rose, I asked the Warforged about what they had done, but got only a quick, confused, if not nearly panicked, gaze back. Understandable, given it was probably separated from its controller and without orders that took into account the present situation. I got across a message that I would help the others if we could reach them. After the deadly orb had made a fresh pass, it led us out of the room, around a bend, and into another. Entering opposite was a human, whom I would later learn was named Shinta. We exchanged gazes for a moment when the Warforged reported that I was offering assistance. Shinta turned and ran back out just as quickly as he had entered. Keeping a distance between myself and the automaton we approached the other archway. Again the orb passed, long steely tendrils sparking against the walls. Once the passage was again clear the Warforged bolted out and I followed very shortly after.

Ahead I could make out an opened doorway with a layer of mist beyond. We made for the billowy fog when the Warforged turned ahead of me and drove into a side opening. And angered roar blasted from the space where the Warforged diverted to. The drake was just around that corner! As I nearly reached the misty path, I took a glance to the right and saw the automaton heading back my way carrying what I at the time would assume was a badly kept furred sack. Beyond it was the green scaled beast. The gaze of the wyrm froze me in place, mere steps from the fog. I could feel the will to move drain away, though my mind roared at the danger. A sharp blow along the side of my face thankfully woke me from the guile.

Shinta had emerged from the mists, alongside two Eladrin and another one of their Warforgedds. The male elfkin, Feyd, gestured desperately and the drake was thrust further back into the room. We capitalized on the opportunity to escape into the mist, which seemingly the drake was unable to enter. We found ourselves in a short hall before a shut set of doors. A quick introduction was exchanged between myself and the lady Eladrin (who I came to find out was the master of the furred sack, which after mending, was actually a large predatory cat!). Shinta and the other Warforged eased open the doors ahead of us, and quietly slipped into the room. I stood there a moment, a bit puzzled by the choice to enter at that particular time. After they had passed through the door, the sack….cat rather….slinked into the room. Voices raised in alarm signaled our discovery!

After Feyd and Kyvren pushed in I was able to finally see what opposition we face. We had interrupted a dark ceremony, being conducted by an ornately adorned human who stood aside two demons and a few reanimated soldiers. Two others stood together at the far side of the room over a rather uninviting pit, oblivious to our disruption. I would later learn these were to be sacrifices. One was spared from this fate.

He roared in my head and I recoiled from the intensity. There was too much of it about. It pulsed in everything here, driving him into a frenzy. I could deny him no longer and crashed my staff upon the floor as I silently spoke the words that would sever the chains. He became manifest at the side of the biggest demon as his raging howl twisted within me. I refocused myself and let forth a wave of primal force at the winged gnollspirit and called upon the ancients to guide our hands in battle against it.

Shinta and the other Warforged were at the back end of the room and could not keep the demons from reaching us. One of these vile things seemed to recognize Feyd and immediately set upon him. We were able to minimize the damage done by the demon and Feyd turned his energies to immobilize the unholy brawler as we escaped his reach. The battle was short but not without some casualty. The Warforged, whom I had found broken before, was again felled by the fists of the enraged demon and one of the humans was consumed by the ritual power being unleashed by the ceremony. I gave what aid I could to the remaining would-be sacrifice and roused him from his stupor. He began to ask about the fate of the second, the answer to which I left for another to give. This band searched through the room, discussing the awarding of the single elven cloak they discovered. As they did so, I felt a presence, briefly, leering at us from the hall. Before I could fully turn it had vanished, but the stench lingered. Shinta, I think, felt it too as I noticed his gaze had likewise shifted. Somehow, there is a connection. How and why I do not yet know, but it is there. I can feel it. Still, I seek…

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The Halfling and the Drow
Recovered data from the remains of a nameless Warforged

We begin our journey where we had left off. Feyd and Nine returned to us from their last-minute political reprieve, emerging victorious with over 70,000 soldiers now tending to the spire, which will surely provide an immeasurable amount of support. Together at last, we traveled along the Vale road, connecting the trade route to Thunderspire mountain. We knew that once we arrived, we were to deliver Barrwyn’s parcel to Gendar which, upon further inspection, looked to be a locked cask shaped mysteriously like a dagger. We were to also take on the task of hunting down the Blood Reavers, an infamous group of slave traders, whose whereabouts were rumored to be in Thunderspire.

When we reached the foot of the mountain, a monstrous gate monumented by two vicious looking statues of minotaurs on either side stood in our path. As we glanced up, we saw looming black clouds which seemed to veil the mountain’s peak from all that is good in the outside world, and brilliant flashes of light that danced within the dark abyss. A feeling of utter despair washed over our bodies as we pushed forward into the chasm, unaware of the events that would soon transpire.

Once we were deep inside the mountain, several paths snaked in each direction, each of them lit by countless mesmerizing blue orbs. Curious, we took one from its stand, but as time passed, it grew dim; thus, we knew the energy it once possessed was now quickly being depleted. With Shinta and Feyd’s combined knowledge, we learned that deep within the mountain is the Seven Pillar Hall, a once-grand marketplace built by mighty dwarves. However, it is now under the control of a compendium of Saruun mages; it serves as a home for refugees and ne’er-do-wells, obviously catering to the disreputable types. Moreover, the many pathways that lay before us acted as a maze of sorts; those who knew how to to navigate it could reach their destination from any starting point, and those who didn’t would most certainly lose their way.

As we proceeded deeper into the mountain, the sides of the chasm seemed to engulf what little light we could glimpse from the cloud-covered skies above. The pathway shrunk in size as a number of large boulders suddenly broke free from the walls of the mountain, and came tumbling down toward us. Most of us were able to escape the path of the huge debris, except Shinta who was still bedazzled by the tantalizing blue orbs. Thinking quickly, Leo, our hired help, pushed Shinta out of the way and took the brunt of the force. The rocks that fell then obstructed the pathway for those traveling behind Shinta, Kyvren and Nine; thus, we were once again separated. However, Kyvren and Nine informed us that they would take another route, and meet us at the Seven Pillar Hall.

Moving on, we came upon a doorway from which we heard voices speaking in common. Shinta peered into the room and could identify a number of goblins, hobgoblins, and a warcaster, as well as one halfling, whom the former were extorting. Leo came up with a plan to create a diversion by acting inebriated and walking into the room nonchalantly, thus allowing the halfling to escape. The plan, however, doesn’t go exactly as planned, as two of the hobgoblins attempt to detain Leo, but Leo escapes by attacking one of his captors, and triggers an encounter. The rest of us enter the room, and together we heroically thwart the opposing side’s efforts.

From the warcaster, we gained a +2 magic quarterstaff and bloody robes. From the rest, we collected 8 scale armors, 8 heavy shields, and 8 scimitars (not in good condition).

Upon leaving the room, we’re met by the halfling who introduces himself as Rendil Halfmoon. Rendil informs us that the warcaster’s name was Kroig, a ranked member of the Blood Reavers. He was trailing through group because he believed them to be taking part in suspicious activities, but was caught. As his rescuers, Rendil offered to guide us on our journey to the Seven Pillar Hall. During our journey, we learn of southwest passages to the Underdark, a subterranean underground filled with all kinds of monsters, dark elves, quests to be had, and treasures to be won. We also learn that during our stay here, we should be mindful and respectful of the mages who run and oversee the Seven Pillar Hall. Gendar, or “Gendy” as the locals call him (the one to whom we’re supposed to deliver a package), runs a drow magic store there. Also, we’re told that Brug is the one who’s in charge of the place’s security, and to stay on his good side.

Once we reached the Seven Pillar Hall, we decided to seek out Brug. As we enter his office building, we see the ogre (Brug) playing cards with his mage assistant Orontor. It’s clear from his wide grin that Brug was winning. We could tell by the way he easily identified who we were and what business we had there that Brug was extremely intelligent. Brug demanded that we pay 10% of taxes for the items we brought to town. He then proceeded to look through our things and found the parcel we were to deliver. He immediately recognized that it was from Barrwyn to be delivered to Gendar. He confiscated the item and informed us of Barrwyn’s outstanding debt to him. Up until now, we had only been told that we were not to use Barrwyn’s name in the Seven Pillar Hall, but we were never given a reason as to why; now we have that reason.

So we head out to inform Gendar at his store that his package could not be delivered to him. When we arrive, we see the walls covered in fantastic magical items with drow origins, and an intense magical aura emanating from the one called Gendar. Upon moving closer, we notice he’s wearing eight gold rings, but we say nothing on the matter. After we informed Gendar of the events that prevented us from delivering the package to him, he demands that we go back to Brug to retrieve his package, and threatens the safety of the group. Leo goes out to speak with Brug, but only finds Orontor who seemed to be busy writing a letter. Leo told Orontor about Gendar’s threats, and Orontor responds by telling Leo that Brug and he would visit Gendar soon. But, when Leo shows up to Gendar’s empty handed, and we attempt to leave, we sense that Gendar had used his magic to create a chaos web across the doorway. When Feyd tries to phase step through the doorway, the web covers him, and a sudden feeling of death and despair falls upon him.

We immediately go in search of Brug and the package. We first try his office, where we a see a note that says he’s out patrolling and that he has the box with him, and Orontor wasn’t there either. Once we found Brug, Shinta convinced him to give us the cask. However, Brug told us that he couldn’t apprehend Gendar unless there’s proof that he’s threatened us in any way, so we go back to Brug’s headquarters in search of the mage Orontor, who might be able to detect the chaos web that has now wrapped itself around Feyd’s heart.

Once at Brug’s headquarters, we find that Orontor is back, and has mysteriously lost time. Orontor senses the chaos web bound around Feyd’s heart, and together we all go to Gendar’s shop, where Feyd senses that space-time warping magic has been placed around the building. Shinta tries to remove the spell, but fails as a feeling of darkness washes over him. Brug walked into the building, and shortly returned stating that all was well and that Feyd was no longer in any danger. Unsatisfied with this answer, we ventured into the shop, and finally decided to give Gendar the package. Gendar immediately released Feyd from his spell, and he had just finished giving us three drow fortune stones that grant magical abilities to take back to Bolthevair, when a strange little blonde headed woman wearing eight platinum rings walked in and started comforting Feyd and rubbing his hand. She said her name is Susan, and that Gendar would be punished.

Before leaving, I ransacked the shop and left it in ruins. Feyd then checked Shinta and sensed that something was wrong ever since Shinta tried to remove the space-time warp from Gendar’s shop, but we spoke of it no further. Susan got us the best rooms at the Halfmoon inn, and lead Feyd off (presumably to give him a happy ending). We ended the night by informing Brug that we’re expecting friends (Nine and Kyvren).

tl;dr
Nameless is awesome.

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Double Update - The Demon and the Map Maker
Last time on The Guild of Sal'nekyh...

…one of our heroes, formally known as Eight, found himself obliterated in an explosion aboard an elementl airship. The rest of the crew rushed to the scene, salvaging the remains of their companion and rushing him to the guild where he has hence becoming known as Nine due to the extensive upgrades and remodeling of his frame. During the week the crew waited, they were unaware that a program code was set into motion, ordering Nine to Kill Shinta when he could.

Contiuing on, they journied across the open seas towards Skairn in the mission to take down some bandits, rescue slaves, and broker a deal for…some guy. During their sea voyage however, they were assaulted by underwater creatures that swarmed from the depths and their giant krakken! After a long battle, they prevailed with minimal casualties, and continued on their way. However, during the assault, Nine made his move, but failed, bugs being removed from his core elements that were rewriting his code.

After a month, our team arrived…during a major celebration, much like Carnival, or the festival of masks. Upon arrival, Shinta separated from the group for unknown reasons, while the rest wandered a little trying to figure out what was going on. Through all the ruckus, their hired help found a map maker being framed for a crime of theft. Agreeing to help, the team set out to investigate. Their search found the Lord Thaltanos and his staff were compromised. Following the trail, the crew found a captain of the arena who had been corrupted by chaos. A breif fight later and the eladrin was dead, killing himself so that his motives would die with him. Following the conclusion of the investigation, the heroes were still required to fight for the map makers freedom, only the fight changed from a battle to the death to a blood ball event. The match was a shutout, the other team were defeated and the map maker gave the crew what they needed, and Feyd recieved 3,000 troops for his people currently at war.

The following day, Feyd and Nine were pulled into the political field while the hired help vanished. Kivryn and Nameless chose to continue their quest to save the slaves, but as they prepared to leave, Shinta rejoined the crew, having been on vacation enjoying the Pirate Bay of Skairn, enjoying an amusement park. After much grumbling, they bought a coach and left for Thunder Spire. During their journey, they met a family, a smelly cloaked guy, and a nobleman in white. At the way station, the crew camped with the family and got to hear their tragic story. The morning after, Nameless was accused of kidnapping and eating their child. Calming the family, the crew followed a trail into the wilderness, finding traces of Chaos as they went until at last coming onto the nobleman in white. Speaking about his Masters, he laughs and unleashes a Fowlspawn named Harvey, who assaulted the crew. After a long struggling battle, the creature at last shrugged and vanished. An examination of the child revealed Chaos tainted his very being. An attempt to disenchant the kid, Nameless acquired 500gp worth of residium as dark tattoos were revealed all over the childs body, but the boy had died. Sadly, the returned to a family broken was not a pleasant one. Going to the bar to drink their troubles away, they found Smelly, who identified himself as Larry. Larry turned out to be an undead. Attempting to obey the law, the crew sought him out to kill him, but they found that Larry had resurrected the dead child. Talking briefly with Larry, they decided he was a good man on an adventure and chose to let him go, and continued their adventure….

Tune in next time to see how our heroes fare!

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The Attack on Sal'Nekyh
Last time in the Guild of Sal'nekyh...

…our heroes returned back from their trip to find a magic weapon. As some recall, Shinta had gotten back before the rest and quickly rejoined the party as they decided what they would do next. 8 got in line to receive upgrades while others signed on for more contracts; however, his upgrades were not to be. Attacks occurred all over the guild, causing mass chaos. The group picked up the investigation of the murder of the man from the tavern while getting certain items enchanted, though the man who enchanted them had some…ahem particular interests in elves.

To their shock though, they had been robbed… They chased the man down who took their money and caught him…but he had only stolen a small portion of gold compared to the vast wealth that had been stolen by someone else!

Continuing to investigate brought them to an insane wizard who had locked himself up in his tower and rigged magic to destroy everything within a block if he were killed or taken outside. Through quick work and skill, the wizard was disarmed but he made a crazy statement that turned the whole group against Shinta! Though after reviewing records, they found he was still on the up and up, though they no longer trusted him….for good reason!

On their return to the guild hall they ran into the REAL Shinta. The impostor quickly stole a few more items before trying to make her escape, only to be taken down with ease by the Ranger (At least I believe it was the Ranger…her arrows usually miss half the time). As the sun set, they laid eyes on the one who subtle tried to steal from them, a changeling named Nox. Oh that sad..sad little one.

Tune in next time to see how our heroes fare!

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The Graduation
Last time in the Guild of Sal'nekyh...

…two of our heroes Kyvren and Nameless met with a traveling sales-wizard Semil the Great who told them of a rare ancient wonder hidden somewhere near Tantamar. Meanwhile, Feyd spoke with the quartermaster about new equipment but was met by Councilman Dacian of the High Mountain Clan who paid for magical enchantments to his gear. The conversation between Dacian and Feyd was highly suspicious for Feyd as the Councilman clearly broke protocol in all he did. Shinta on the other hand went to his room, sealed a letter and turned in for the night while 8 spent the evening in repairs.

The following morning the crew met and left waiting for a little while before they were brought in for the graduation ceremony in the main hall. To their surprise, the hall was empty and the man running the ceremony explained the guild was not impressed. The purpose of the ceremony proved only to give the crew their rank in the guild and how much further they had to work.

After receiving their ranks the crew stepped out to decide what task they will do next. In they went to see Agent Olars about a local task involving meeting a man about a job. Upon meeting the man, there was something clearly amiss as the man almost immediately attacked them with a body guard group of warforges. The crew quickly subdued the enemy but the man escaped and the warforges died. Shortly upon their departure from the meeting place, the man was found dead outside the front door, his gear gone and a poison dwarven dagger in his chest.

Concluding this work, the group traveled in search of the artifact that Semil told them about. After 6 days of searching they found a hidden dungeon devoid of life it seemed. Someone clearly attempted to seal the dungeon, but the troop trudged on and eventually found a chamber containing a blade radiating power. When they claimed the sword, the weapon transformed into a tall man(10ft) in a white tuxedo, a cane, and the most ANNOYING PERSONALITY EVER. The group tried to endure but found they could not handle his psychotic personality and had to summon Semil, who took possession of the weapon and vanished.

One person of the group however, had left much earlier, unable to handle the weapon, who called itself Valendar, and now rides alone back to Tantamar. Ten days total will have been spent on this journey before their return back to Tantamar.

What will happen with our heroes next? Tune in next time in the Guild of Sal’nekyh!

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The Adventure Thus Far
And it's only just begun...

The year is 998YK in the lands of Khorvaire. An unknown event occured 4 years prior, wiping out the nation of Cyre, sending all the lands into a panic. Another 2 years following peace is brought to Khorvaire with the Treaty of Thronehold.

And yet world stands on the brink of a new age…

In 28YK, Galifar I went to war with what would become the Lhazaar Principalities. As part of this endeavor, the King established the Guild of Sal’nekyh, a small task force of soldiers trained in both combat and espionage. After the decade conflict, the Guild broke ties with Galifar to establish itself as force for hire, competing against the Dragonmark Houses as providing a range of military services.

The Guild utilizes a special school to well prepare its soldiers for the field within small groups. When these groups graduate to full members, then the real tests begins…as does our story.

This tale follows a small newly graduated task force consisting of Eight, a Warlord Warforge; Nameless, an Artificer Warforge; Shinta Trindor, a Swordmage Human with a heritage well tied to the Guild; Feyd Lorhalien, a Psionic Wizard Eladrin; and Kyvren Zolerii, a Ranger Eladrin.

After proving their worth to the Guild in Winterhaven (by preventing the gnome necromancer Kalarel from opening a rift into the Shadowfell), the group have been escorted back to the guild hall in Tantamar where they await their graduation ceremony…

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