One if by Sea

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One if by Sea

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:17 pm

Waterdeep is buzzing with rumor and supposition after quite a wild night of street fights, fires, and many arrests.

Though hard facts are few, the most common explanations of the events tells that the City Watch discovered a plot to kidnap more scholars from the Unicorn's Horn - an inn in the Trades Ward. In past weeks, a number of scholar kidnappings had occurred, including a recent incident at the Unicorn's Horn that left 3 scholars dead and 2 more abducted. No arrests had been made in connection with the kidnappings until last night. However, when the arrests were made, it touched off a chaotic series of events that spilled into other wards.

The perpetrators were a new, and relatively unknown gang of half orcs. Estimates on the number of kidnappings they were responsible for ranged from ten to nearly three dozen REPORTED cases. Many shudder to think what the real number could be. After the arrests were made and news was carried through the city, it seems that the remaining gang members made an attempt to flee the city by boat.

A fast, brutal fight spilled into the Dock Ward near the harbor where 6 gang members were killed. A total of 5 gang members are currently in the custody of the City Guard for interrogation. Several fires were set by the half orcs during their escape, and perhaps in poetic irony, a local mage attempted to set fire to their fleeing ship. While the ship was damaged, it still managed to limp out of the harbor and into the dark sea heading north/west along the coast. Given the lack of sunlight, no pursuit was given to the fleeing ship.
((For those that were there....))
Searching the bodies of the fallen and the area around, you all find some very interesting bits of information.

Primarily, all the half-orcs share a common tattoo on their biceps - a lengthy, bloodied sword.

In addition to the weapons, armor, assorted items, and a little coin that is given to you by the watch as a bounty for assisting in the arrest, Ronir recovers a scroll case with handwritten pages inside. Being able to translate the correspondence, he does so and shares the following with you, as well as leaders in the Watch.

The first page is what looks like a shopping list, or recipe, with all the items crossed off, but still readable. While Ronir is able to translate the words, many of them are confusing or foreign to you. It looks like a list of alchemical ingredients, and great quantities of them, but what they are, or might be used for, is not readily apparent.

Other pages seem to be anonymous correspondence, with no names, seals, or identifying marks visible on the pages. Messages typically are just a word or two long, a day of the week, a time of day, OR a place in or around Waterdeep, never anything very specific.

Lastly, a longer message is found and reads as follows:

Return with the supplies. The Black One is with us and we have the rings. The humans can not threaten us any longer and we are ready to proceed.

If nothing else, you can glean that the message is quite well written given the language used, and is quite rare in that respect.

MW Dagger
3 x Falchions
3 x Short Bows
6 x Dagger
3 x Potion Cure Light Wounds
30 gp

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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Lifeinwinter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:39 pm

Tothethlaer will take no spoils, they can be divided by the others. He does take note of the tattoo on each of them and does his best to sketch it, though he is not an artist, a lengthy bloody sword is easy enough to scribble if not exact. The elf, in his passing, will listen for further reports, and ask those in passing if they know of such a symbol until something bites. He enjoys nothing more than thwarting orcs and their abomination of kin.
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Kemian » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:01 pm

Arelliano would like a CLW potion and the rest in cash.
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Arrow-Bolt » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:17 pm

Ronir makes copies of the original and copies of translations of the pages found for the CO of the city watch patrol at the incident, for himself, for any of the 3 allies that fought with him that night, and his own CO with the city guard.

He would flash his city guard badge and try to gain info about the tattoo with the city watch present. He would stare long and hard at the tattoo trying to recall if he remember anything as well (GI and Knowledge rolls forum pm to Jimmy)

He would share what he might learn or remember with the other 3 allies of his.

He would suggest the four of them take the list of alchemical supplies to a alchemical shop in the city, who might know was being brewed by the half orcs.

He would request a copy of the sketch Tothethlaer made of the tattoo.

Ronir would like a CLW potion and the rest in coin for his share of the loot. ONLY IF no one does end up claiming the last potion, Ronir will make a request for the last potion as well as part of his share.
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Zach82 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:18 pm

Beau will like a potion and the rest in cash.
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Jiriki » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:52 am

Captain Xentar – Griffon Patrol Captain to Glimmer (his mount and flight name)

This information is being made public. It is being handed out to all the Watch houses, anyone who is involved with any of the fights are getting a copy. So please consider this player involved public knowledge.

To whomsoever reads this.

Greetings and salutations from the Griffon Cavalry, I am Captain Chase Xentar of the Griffons. I have been involved with this situation from the beginning, this campaign by the half orc hoard that I have no doubt is currently gathering somewhere to the north. I have no doubt that there is a hoard. The evidence building up from the previous years experience has led me to understand that a substantial situation is building and if you and I do not nip this in the bud, then unfortunately, we may be looking at another rising, and this one could get nasty rather quickly if my understanding is correct. I have information that I have been collating over the past few rides in the endeavor of discovering more facts and have found some alarming shall we say patterns:

Let me start out by saying that this series of events started nearly two years ago with small incidents that alone do not provide much of a connection, but if you look deeper and see what is beneath the surface a pattern begins to emerge.

Starting with this:

Nightfall two years ago. “Rumors fly that there was a murder at the Trade's Ward Library just last night, a half-elf night librarian by the name of Samantha Ilsen. Ilsen was allegedly found dead at the library shortly after a nameless source confronted an aggressor who had assumed Ilsen's bodily form. After a brief investigation, the source has been determined to be innocent and there are no suspects at this time.”

Nightfall that same year. “Last night, a prison cart carrying a half dozen orcs was ambushed by an unknown number of organized orc assailants. The attempt was foiled by brave citizens nearby after a brief but bloody street fight. All of the orcs, including the prisoners were slain as a result, as were 5 City Guards. Several bystanders were also injured in an explosion that triggered the attack but there have been no reported fatalities. “About a week ago, a band of orcs - the prisoners in the cart - were arrested in the dock ward. They had come from Skullport and were convicted of multiple kidnappings. All of the targets of said kidnappings were local orcs.”

The prisoners were originally being held in one of the wall towers, but as City Investigators uncovered more and more kidnappings, the charges piled up and the prisoners had to be taken to the more secure cells in Undermountain.

All told, there were over 3 dozen counts of kidnapping. The victims were being held in makeshift dungeons throughout the Dock Ward and sewers. Many of the orcs victims that were rescued had tattoos and ritual scarring forced upon them - done in much the same fashion as those on the armored caster in the streets. However, the symbols are somewhat obscure and no one is really sure what their meaning is, if there is even a greater meaning.”

Detailed report of the events that unfolded, including a trip down to Skullport – this turned out to be an eye opener in more than one way. The report includes some disturbing information so reader discretion is to be advised.

“As the last few orcs are quickly dispatched, we each looked to each other and the carnage around the room - it's hard to recall a time where I have seen such a gruesome display.

Hastily gathering up potentially valuable equipment, and sparking up various light sources, we descended into the lower level, previously only seen by Howard. It was a much more welcome sight than when it was full of orcs. It even smells better, hints of old wine, perhaps, hang heavy in the air... at least in the first two of six store rooms.

The hall extended out a fair distance, but with lights we could see the end. Three open archways flank the hall on either side, six in total. Two smaller archways closest two us and and furthest from us as well as two larger archways in the middle.

The two closest rooms held little of value, just basic food stuffs and assorted mundane gear.

The next two rooms seem to be the sleeping rooms of some kind. The room to our right seemed to be for the line troops, with 10 mats in total and the room to the left had 2 larger and more comfortable (if you could classify it as such, anyway) mattresses. The common room had nothing of value, typical of orcs to keep those things close to them - not trusting their cohorts. The other room was also quite sparse, but did have some more intriguing things once we had a moment to poke around. There was a small footlocker in the corner where I uncovered a collection of books and papers... All appeared to be in orcish.

The final two rooms held our quarry, but each of us instantly wished we could unsee the sights. Perhaps a dozen orcs between the two rooms hung limply from chains along the wall, surrounded by implements of what one could only assume was perhaps for sex and torture. The fertility runes that we had become familiar with were scrawled everywhere - in blood on the ceiling and floors, etched into the walls, and even carved into the less fortunate orcs who now hang dead. Many of the dead orcs appear to have died from genital mutilation, others simple malnutrition and starvation. Of all the orcs, only one appeared to be alive, and barely at that. Howard offered up some water and basic healing, but the orc still appeared to be quite starved.

The orc spoke several languages and offered all of his knowledge regarding what was happening if we would kindly extract him the hell out of there. We easily complied with the request.

Once we were well clear of the city, and confident that we were not being followed. We took a well-deserved rest and meal break. It was then, that the rescued orc prisoner, who introduced himself as Wogg Skullshatter began to offer up his knowledge.

Story of Wogg Skullshatter -

"So you want the story then, huh? Fine. This all started years ago, when the orc armies moved against Silverymoon. I had a small strike unit to command as part of that army, but suicide is suicide no matter what the chest beaters howl about. We deserted in the night early on and made our way south through the High Forest down to the mountains and foothills around the River Dessarie, but that's when we got picked up by a gang of those brutes like the one you offed. Probably about two weeks ago, but I have no idea... So long down in that dungeon. My boys were tough, but those things... They are from another world... Literally. Tanarukk, they are called - half-devil, half-orc... All muscle and teeth. They gather up maybe 6 orcs at a go, from here and there it seemed, and brought them to... her. She's a man eater alright… Well, not REALLY, least not that I seen. But she'd torture and starve any orc that came through the door, and rape anyone who lived more than a few days. I'm all for some rough stuff, but she was CRAZY! It was all ritualized. Blood, sex, domination... All to select the most worthy of sex slaves... A handful got carted off a day or two ago, I think. No clue where. We had heard rumors of this plan during the war, but we all just thought it was rumors, but from what I've seen, it might actually be happening, which is very, very scary. I don't know the details, maybe they are in those books she read from, but if the rumors were true, there is a cult of 'purist orcs' who called themselves the Futh-Rut. At first it was just a philosophy, or a movement, getting back to the old ways... But as time passed, the rumors were that it was real, and that there were those who were working towards a way to bring the 6 Orc gods to this plane and remake the world into an orc world. These here are religious texts of Luthic, the orc god of fertility and woman kind... but these are... different. They read more like breeding and sex manuals more than the more common 'tribe wellbeing' flavored text I've seen in my life. She was certainly a far different priestess than I had ever seen before, that's for sure... These lose papers seem to be correspondence with someone else... they just sign with the same rune though, not a name. Talks of how many orcs are worthy, weak, and shipments to the Home Caves... but it doesn't say where that I can see.”

-hastily scrawled in another colour and ink slightly smudged- Query, Home caves. North of here? Send patrols to scour the land for signs of troops passge. Ship may have come from Skullport.

Hammer this year . “Reports trickle back from the Goldenfields Abbey that multiple farms on the eastern bank of the Ironford have been put to the torch by marauding orcs. Rumors have it that several bands of refugees from east of Ironford have arrived in Waterdeep recently and such activities have persisted through out the winter, but are getting more and more frequent as winter tightens its grip.”

Hammer this year 7 days later. “A caravan arriving from the East carries most troubling news and cargo. Under a tarp on the rear wagon, the caravan master reveals a pile of no less than 20 burned corpses - mostly women and children - that they reported were found in such a state a few days prior just east of the Ironford.”

Alturiak this year. Posters were put up by one Bastion, (last name unknown) "Attention all warriors, priests, scoundrels and spellcasters. Goldenfields has requested mercenaries to help put a stop to the orc raids that have been plaguing the land. If you seek fortune, glory, coin or vengeance, I would ask you to join me. I seek to form a mercenary band. I am skilled in hunting and tracking, and can survive in the forests. If you have the mettle, meet me at my house just next to the Iron Brew tavern, near to the dwarf's smithy, past the pond on the left."

I have no idea who took him up on his offer, but I am sure if you can find or ask about, someone will point you in the correct direction.

Now remember that about 18 months ago, reports of increased orc raids and activity came from the Goldenfields to the Northeast of Waterdeep. The threat to the region was very slight, but the increased activity was very damaging to the local farms and villages in the area. Calls for mercenaries and the passing of two winters seems to have stemmed the increase of the attacks, but activity is still noticeably above average in the area.

While I have no direct evidence, there have been several other recent events that may or may not be related to the Futh-Rut Cult and the increase in proximate orc activity. So, here to summarise are the notes I have made and am willing to share all information with those willing to bring this to an end before things get totally out of hand.

- Orc prisoners, who had been arrested in Waterdeep for many kidnappings, were set free when their escorts were ambushed during a transfer to more secure holdings.

- The prisoners were tracked to a warehouse in Skullport which was revealed to be a temple to Luthic where the resident priestess - and her tannaruk patsy - were torturing several kinappees in very graphic and disturbing nature. The orcs at the location were killed and little context was available on site, but a tome made of skin was recovered that detailed how to torture a victim without killing them. I now have that tome in my possession.

It has been about 36 hours since the incident in the Unicorn's Horn where a half-orc seems to have used a magic spell to abduct some local scholars. 3 of the 5 abductees were killed, but it is now presumed that the remaining two were successfully taken by the half-orc.

After a report from my fellow Griffin riders about a small, nondescript, merchant ship anchored in an unusual location along the coast north of the docks, I was able to locate it in the light of day. It was headed north/west along the coast and I was able to identify the crew as primarily, if not exclusively, half-orc. I am fairly ignorant of ship types and armaments, so additional ship details are difficult to describe, but if someone is willing to take me aboard a ship and then aloft so I can see what it might have been, perhaps we can come to some sort of conclusion in a more timely fashion. The ship itself is about a 6 day sail to Neverwinter and another 3 days to Luskan from Waterdeep. If they stick to the coast, those are the only two significant ports to call into.

Other known facts based on knowledge gathered...
- The Mere of Dead Men is located along the suspected kidnappers' ship current route, 4-5 days travel from Waterdeep

- The Mere is, or at least recently was, home to a black dragon known as Voaraghamanthar (aka "The Black Death"). His predecessor in the Mere was a black dragon named Chardansearavitriol (aka "Ebondeath), who you overheard the scholars in the Unicorn's Horn discussing. I also heard the name Iniarv and overheard this; “In the early years of the Uthtower realm, Iniarv served as the Mage Royal of Uthtower. He built a tower near the High Road about 60 miles from Uthtower and used it as his base, releasing a number of magical beasts and experimental monsters into the wild. However, he disappeared from the public eye, choosing to become a lich and retreating to his tower's crypts. His whereabouts were not known until the forces of Phalorm chose the tower as a defensive spot in their fight against the orc invasion of 615 DR. The fighting enraged Iniarv. He emerged from his tower and, upon being requested by King Uth VII to aid the soldiers, called on the ocean to flood the land, turning it into the swamp known as the Mere of Dead Men. His fate after that event was unknown.

- There are several valuable treasure hordes and magical items rumored to be in the various lost ruins swamp, still untouched after 700+ years. This is what has attracted the dragons and many now-dead adventures in the past.

- There has been a presence of several cult sects of Myrkul (FR god of the Dead) worshipers in the mere in the past few centuries, but upon the relatively recent death (~150 years ago) of Myrkul, these are believed to have disbanded and disbursed.

We cannot let this grow any futher, it is time to nip this in the bud and remove this threat before they can gain any realistic foothold. I am willing to fly north with a few patrols to observe from the air and provide a detailed map of terrain and possible locations.

Please, do not hesitate to leave information for my personal attention at House Belabranta, mark it as Urgent, Chasing Orcs and I'll know what it's about.

Thank you in advance, your help is most assuredly needed in this matter, together we can build a better city, a safer city and a city that can be home for all.

Chase Xentar - Captain.
"Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with gold."
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby ManthisFocht » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:46 am

After some following up with alchemists and potion makers in the City, it seems agreed upon that the Half-Orc's shopping list is for massive quantities of preserving fluids, something a Medical Archiver might use to preserve tissue or organs while studying them, or what one might use on organs during the mummification process.

It was noted that these combinations were rare enough indeed, but the quantities called for were quite large, far larger than any personal order they had ever taken, or even heard of for that matter.


Loot totals:
Beau: 168.5 GP + Potion of CLW
Tothethlaer: 218.5 gp ((donate it to charity if you don't want it, but I can't split it amongst such low level PCs))
Arelliano: 168.5 GP + Potion of CLW
Ronir: 168.5 GP + Potion of CLW
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby Jiriki » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:14 am

Missive sent to all participating parties regarding the half orcs and further investigations.

To whome this may concern.

Contact established less than a days march from the city to the north along the coastline. Stricken merchant vessel, now needing repairs due to fire damage. Orcs sited, unsure on numbers. Removing from the ship to the shore goods that when burned committed great gouts of acrid smoke into the sky. Unsure as to contents. Orcs have ballista on the ship.

Please contact Chase Xentar for further details. I have the map.
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Re: One if by Sea

Postby ChronoregulatorBeta » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:45 pm

Hu'ruk had gone to interrogate the captured Horcs. In between the time of his arrival and his getting kicked out for reducing one of his Kinsmen to a panicked pile of man-filth (and the ensuing roars from the other Half-Orcs), he discovered that the mercenaries are working for a man named Bladetooth, and the scholars were needed for excavations in the Mere. Upon acquiring this information, he would tell Beau and Ronir in hopes of arranging an expedition with (possible) Guard support.
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