Scorching Dawn

Episode 8

The Next Circle

The story so far…

  • Stubbs and Lando set off to track Cassius and his band of men.
  • Darrius and Jorn wake up in unfamiliar beds in the dark, unsure of how much time has passed, and after a few seconds of disorientation they realize they are still in Cassius’ cavern fort. They look around and discover that the contents of Cassius’ chest have been emptied and that each of them are 10 gold pieces richer. After reading Stubbs’ note they decide to return to the city.
  • They decide to take the two huttawas that were left in the stable and return to Thadizar, leading the animals. They journey for the rest of the night and enter the city at sunrise.
  • Meanwhile, Stubbs spends a week with Lando as they track Cassius to a new hideout; a fortress constructed in what appears to be an old ruin. Over the course of the week Lando teaches Stubbs about the land and how a Scout must not just learn how to hide but rather how to become one with his surroundings. Unlike a Thief a Scout must truly belong to his environment, not just avoid notice.
  • Lando then lets Stubbs copy his map of the area though he doesn’t tell him what all the markings on the map mean as he intends for Stubbs to discover these things on his own. Stubbs decides to follow in Lando’s steps and chooses to specialize in his Discipline as an Explorer, embracing his link with nature and the unknown wasteland.
  • Upon arriving back in Thadizar, Stubbs decides to invest in a better weapon and purchases a crossbow and a quiver of bolts from the market.
  • Darrius and Jorn decide they also need training. Darrius attempts to make a deal with Korgash but Korgash is unrelenting. He refuses any deal except payment in gold. Without any other option Darrius turns to Jorn to lend him the money.
  • Jorn does not have enough coin to cover both of their training expenses but remembers that Dusty had indicated he may be open to working out a deal in exchange for training. Jorn approaches Dusty and Dusty agrees to train him if Jorn will perform a job for him.

“A sleight of hand job?”

  • Jorn agrees and then lends the money to Darrius so he can also pay for his training. The two then spend the next week training with their respective masters and learning the tricks of their trade.
  • Korgash encourages Darrius to be more aggressive and embrace the sword mastery aspect of his Discipline. Under Korgash’s guidance, Darrius focus on becoming a Blade Master Specialist, choosing to focus on his blade rather than on his wits.
  • After a week’s time the three travelers have each learned new Talents, becoming more powerful and infused with the magic of their Disciplines. However they are also quite poor now, having spent the majority of their money (especially Darrius who is now quite indebted to Jorn).

“Maybe I should just fight Korgash and take my money back.”
“Wait, like in a duel?”
“I’ve beaten him in a fight once before.”
“Didn’t you cut his pants off?”
“Gayest bar fight ever.”

GM Note: By the way, I never made you pay for a week’s food or for the inn while you were training but I’m feeling generous so we’ll say you camped while training and had to catch and cook your own food.

  • Darrius returns to Tunsten the Weaponsmith and retrieves the sword he left with the dwarf. Tunsten tells him that the sword is magical and has four ranks. To begin weaving to the sword’s pattern Darrius must know the name of the sword. To weave the last rank Darrius must win a duel against a worthy opponent without ever drawing the blade. Darrius is impressed with Tunsten’s skill and pays him an extra 5 silver pieces for his work.
  • Having received training, Jorn and Darrius must now honor Jorn’s agreement with Dusty. Dusty explains to Jorn that he has been watching a local merchant by the name Silas who he suspects may be up to something sinister. Dusty has observed that Silas has met with several different adventurers and mercenaries over the last several months and that while every one of these men has soon after left the city none have ever returned. Dusty explains that there is no proof that anything foul has occurred but he would like Jorn, and anyone he chooses to bring with him, to meet with Silas and see if they can find out what he is up to.
  • While Darrius and Jorn discuss their new mission in town they happen upon a shrub with a remarkable resemblance to Stubbs. While they debate whether the shrub would be a suitable replacement for their long lost companion Stubbs arrives and reunites with his old friends.
  • Jorn and Darrius explain to Stubbs that they have already committed to performing a task for Dusty and ask for his help. Stubbs seems irritated that they are spending more time with distractions but agrees to help them out.
  • Darrius wants to inform Kane of what happened with Cassius but Stubbs tells him that Lando has already reported. In any case, Stubbs decides to visit the Telvarri manor and see how progress on Kane’s caravan to Khaldera is progressing.
  • Stubbs meets with Kane and, after first taking some credit for tracking down Cassius, learns that the caravan will be ready to leave in approximately four days. Kane re-extends his offer to let the three travel with him and also offers to hire them on as guards for the caravan, though he explains that will require them to stay with the caravan all the way until it arrives at Khaldera. Jorn says they will consider the offer and let him know before the caravan is ready to leave.
  • While Stubbs is at the Telvarri manor Jorn and Darrius head to the local tavern to track down Silas. There they find a piece of parchment attached to a board that states that Silas is looking for men to undertake an expedition and has directions on how to find Silas.
  • When Stubbs returns the three set off to find Silas. They arrive at this home in the merchant quarter of the city and Darrius tells Stubbs to hide so that no one knows he is part of their group.
  • Silas answers the door and shows Darrius and Jorn into his home. After serving them water he sits with them and has them take an oath that what he tells them will remain secret.
  • Silas tells them that he has come into possession of a map that shows the way to a pre-scourge temple of Jaspree. He wants the two men to journey to this temple and recover an idol of Jaspree from the temple, believing that it may still hold some power over nature. He expects the Journey will there and back will take two days and offers them 50 silver in payment in addition to any other treasure they might find there.
  • Jorn casually brings up that he has heard that other men have been hired for this mission in the past and haven’t returned. Silas seems surprised by this claim and assures them that he has never hired any men for this mission before.
  • The two barter with him, explaining they are adepts and that their time is very valuable. Silas agrees to pay them 100 silver pieces. After agreeing to the mission Silas then shows them the map and allows Jorn to make a copy of it.
  • Once outside the two meet up with Stubbs again who is frustrated that he was left out of the negotiations.

“That deception was completely pointless!”
“The deception has only just begun.”
“What?”
YOU are the deception.”

  • Feeling the call of adventure the three eagerly set off, without telling anyone where they are going, into the wilderness following Jorn’s map. Jorn and Darrius lead the way and Stubbs trails a couple of hours behind, maintaining the deception.
  • As dusk approaches, Darrius and Jorn make camp near where the map points to the location of the temple. Stubbs makes a second camp nearby and the three decide to rest the night and tackle the temple in the morning…

14/120

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