Campaign of the Month: April 2014
|Keogh||Rogue 3||Half-Elf||30||5’10"||165lbs||Green||Dark Brown|
|—||Piercing||Great for stabbing bandits in the face|
|Short Sword||+2||1d6+1||19-20 x2|
|10’||Piercing/Slashing||Good for stabbing wolves in the face|
|Low-Light Vision:||Half-Elves can see twice as far as humans in low-light conditions.|
|Spell Resistances:||Half-Elves are immune to sleep sells and similar magical effects, and have a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantments.|
|Elven Blood:||For all effects related to race, Half-Elves are considered Elves.|
|Common, Elven||Gnome, Orc|
The Unknown: “Star-crossed Lovers and the Fine Art of Child Abandonment” (35-40 years ago-ish)Deep in the lands and politics of the Elves there is House Beagnach, headed by Lord and Lady Beagnach. Though the House is considered Nobility it is only by the skin of their collective teeth that this station was held. You see House Beagnach was not powerful at all, in fact, aside from House Nach Dtaitníonn, it is the weakest of the Noble Houses. Ambitious Lord Beagnach, new to the seat of almost power, was determined to rectify this, in his opinion, Tragic crime. One of his many plans to build the wealth and power of his low hanging fruit of a House involved setting up a new trade route with Iseyrr in the far northern human lands. The ambitious trade route was almost unheard of. No one was even sure if the Barbarians up there had anything worth trading, but his Lordship heard tale about an oil that came from great sea monsters up there and thought the gnomes might be interested.
For fist exploratory trip to the frozen tundra His Lordship sent his middle daughter Banphrionsa Beagnach. Like all Elves she was beautiful, but behind that beauty was a brilliant negotiator and shrewd business woman, making her the perfect candidate for the trip.
So roughly 40 years ago a convoy set out for the far flung north. While in Elvin lands this convoy was under the protection of the House Guard, but upon crossing the The Cluas Straight into Bryvelendil they were forced to hire a mercenary group to escort them the rest of the way. House Beagnach simply could not go the duration of this trip without their House Guards guarding the house.
With some investigation Banphrionsa found Wilhem Trodai leader and founder of the Iron Dogs, a mercenary group with a spotless reputation. Captain Trodai and his Dogs were known throughout Melyana as being completely loyal, professional, and honorable. Captain Trodai himself was discharged from the military for refusing orders to burn an enemy village.
Properly protected the Beagnach Convoy made it’s way north. There were many trials along the way bandit attacks monsters ration issues, basically everything one would expect during a long journey through unknown lands. But through it all Wilhem stood right beside Banphrionsa. At first only because it was his job to do such, but eventually a deep connection started to grow between the two. By the time they reached Iseyrr they were lovers.
It was during their time in Iseyrr waiting for what the locals (The Iseyrr Folket) called the Thing to discuss the possibility of trade that Banphrionsa realized she was pregnant. Trodai was ecstatic by the prospect of being a father, Banphrionsa was less so. She knew that a half human child would shame her already weak House and she would most likely be exiled, but she shared none of these feelings with the Captain.
During the Thing terms were negotiated and contracts signed and politics politicized, and the convoy was heading back south with enough to help House Beagnach but not enough to change it. On the road home crossing the lands to the south of Nordkjop the convoy was ambushed by a band of Goblins. The fighting men of the convoy were grossly outnumbers and Captain Trodai quickly realized that they would lose the fight eventually. That’s when he bellowed at the top of his lungs “PLAN OMEGA!!” 4/5ths of the men immediately went back to the convoy and started it moving, protecting the civilians, the remaining 20%, including Trodai, stayed on the front line fighting and distracting the goblins from the fleeing convoy. After all the Iron Dogs always made sure the job was done. Banphrionsa, being swept away by the Captains second a man she only knew as Lue Tennette (or something like that) whatched in horror as the abandoned Dogs fought bravely against the Goblin raiding party. Just before they were out of sight she saw through tears and a breaking heart, the father of he unborn son fall in the midst of the carnage.
The convoy rode fast and hard nonstop to Berystum. Despite having shifts for the horses pulling the carriages they still lost five of them. From there the rest of the trip to Bryvelendil was a fog for the heartbroken pregnant Elven Noble. The death of her love one concern the second how fast her belly grew. She had only been pregnant for 18 months or so and it already looked like the child would come anyday. (As we all know Elves live much longer than humans and that long life span starts in the womb, most elven pregnancies last 4-5 years)
The day after the caravan arrived in Bryvelendil and the Iron Dogs, having fulfilled their contract left to mourn the loss of thier leader, Banphrionsa went into labor. Fear gripped her during this time. What would her father think, what kind of shame would she bring on her house because of this mutt, why is it so early?? did the hard ride south damage the baby? All these thought raced through her head as the contractions grew closer together.
When the baby finally came out the midwife proclaimed it a healthy male halfbreed. Banphrionsa was not convinced, how could a healthy baby be born so soon? With this in mind and the Idea of shaming her aspiring House she went about the alien human city to try and find the best place for her child, because it surely was not in her homeland, where he would be hated sickly and fatherless. She found the temple of Heironeous. By all acount the temple was a just one a righteous one. Her son would be okay there.
Part 2 The Known “Religion, Crime, & Espionage”
Shil was not okay there. As a half elf he stood out and was ridiculed by his fellow students/orphans, and because of his bloodline he was too small at this point to do anything about it. Among children anyone one knows being small and different is a dangerous combination. But the trouble did not end with his peers, his mentors caretakers and teachers all monks of Heironeous loathed him as well. In an environment of fundamental religious Shil’s frequent questioning logical arguments and need for more information fit in very poorly. His ability to out debate and completely stump his instructors beget a sort of hatred from the clerics. Despite his time in the temple being emotionally and (due to both peer and faculty) physically painful, Intellectually it was a boon, he learned reading, writing, law, politics, and a whole assortment of other subject some on the syllabus but most not. His time in the temple came to an end when he was thirteen, when in front of congregation he got into a philosophical debate with the High Father and thoroughly embarrassed him. For this affront he was expelled from their care. Side note after hearing his arguments the congregation declined by a record 31%.
Thirteen is young by human standards. By Elven ‘tis just a babe. For a Half elf it’s somewhere in between. Cast out onto the streets at this young age Shil did what he needed to survive Pick pocketing general thievery and the like. Though he thought he was only doing the base minimum for survival his natural born talent made a local gang take notice.
The Bleeding Skull Gang, led by Grok Chipped Tooth, a surly Half-Orc, to be precise. This group of hooligan and ne’erdowells were a bane on the local Guards of the slums, but were realtively small time. They harassed local businesses for protection money, sold contraband items, mugged stole and squabbled with other small time petty gangs over profit and turf. All said the Bleeding Skull Gang was a far cry from big time. But they offered Shil protection, food, some coin, and training in some of the trade secrets. He enthusiastically agreed.
For the first year or so Shil kept his nose down and did Grok’s bidding. After awhile though Shil started to to understand the entire operation and was disappointed. Why steal or coerce money out of the other’s in the slum town. You steal from those with nothing and your loot is exactly that, nothing. It was a sad state of affairs especially considering the riches in this town, just up the hill. After proving himself as a decent pick pocket and second story man Shil began to act as adviser to Grok. Slowly but surely the Bledding Skull Gang started to take a different path, one of high reward and high notoriety. Local businesses no longer payed to protect themselves from the BSG but rather from other gangs. In fact instead of being feared among the regular folk the BSG started to be respected and even made into heroes. Protection money was now exactly that you ere protected and in an area not frequented by the town guard that was invaluable. There were no more muggings. The squabbles subsided, almost entirely on Shils advice to stop throwing soldiers at the enemy and simply kill how ever was in charge of them. Yes gutter murders were down, but gangland style assassinations were up. And as far as the town guards were concerned about any of this, well, they weren’t. That was until Shil’s next big ideas about making some gold.
It started out as you would expect a muscle heavy brains shy organization to evolve. They moved away from robbing their neighbors and into robbing the warehouse district. Much more gold there. But as far a Shil was concerned the risk vs reward ratio was not amicable. After all the owners of material possessions would have no qualms about reporting it stolen. But information? Secrets? Who would report that? After all it would make the rightful owner look as bad as the thief.
So under Shil’s advisement Grok got together his sneakiest of thieves and they started to target secrets. Trade arrangements business proposals which merchant was spending late evenings with which nobleman’s wife. And the black mailing started. And the gold came in.
There was a problem though. Of course no one would report these types of missing secrets but that doesn’t mean they won’t come after you for something else. After all making enemies of all the merchants and noblemen in Bryvelendil is a sure fire way of getting caught for something…. even if you never did that thing.
In the end the Bleeding Skull Gang was brought to justice for massacring a trade caravan 20 miles north of town. As the Judge put it “Despite the fact that your ‘organization’ has no record of operating outside the city walls and you skillfully made the attack look like that of a Gnoll band, it is this courts opinion, based on witness and state officials testimony that this heinous crime was perpetrated by the Bleeding Skulls Gang”
Of course they didn’t do it. It was far too crude and there wasn’t anything stolen from the caravan just a bunch of gnawed up bodies. But that didn’t matter. Grok and three of his officers were sentenced to “Dance the Jig of Death” at the end of a rope. Shil though who in some circles was credited as being the master mind behind this petty gangs ascension into the underbelly of black market secrets and politics, was spared the gallows by the intervention of the Independent Contractors Union.
They saw a crucial asset about to be wasted and stepped in.