PREVIOUSLY: Having narrowly escaped an altercation with the priests of Razmir, the heroes commence an investigation of their own into the Razmirans and the Rangers Lament. Eventually, the heroes discover that someone else is also watching the tavern, and the heroes rush to capture the would be spy. Unfortunately, the heroes lose the fleeing man, the result of which poses more questions than answers. Eventually, the heroes return to their inn for the night, and upon rising, they learn that the council has made a decision regarding Kassen’s plea for help. After a trip through Tamran, the heroes arrive at The Forest Bounty, a feast hall at the edge of town as per the instructions from the Tamran Council. Upon arrival, the heroes are greetings by a tall, sturdy man named Reginar who directs them to Aromina whom has come personally to deliver the news. Unfortunately, the news Aromina delivers is devastating – the Mayor of Kassen’s requests for assistance has been denied. However, Aromina suggests another course of action which may lead the council to change their minds. Aromina sheds light on the happenings of the Church of Razmir and her concerns in regards to their activities. She implores them to help her with an investigation into the church’s doings by infiltrating the church. Kal bluntly refuses, whilst the others agree. Aromina says that she may be able to find another recruit to assist which may require some more delicate negotiations…
EVENTS: Armomina provides the group with directions back to the Gar’s Last Meal as the location of the person she believes could take Kal’s place during their infiltration of the Razmir Church. Armomina asks that if they are able, to return to her within the week to report their findings, and if not, she will assume the worst.
As they arrive at the inn, the same inn that they had stayed at since arriving in Tamran, they are shocked to learn that the person Aromina suggested was none other than the elf that Evarl had clashed with only two days earlier.
The meeting went as expected, with Evarl and the elven woman, now known to be Delshandra Laetanlhûn, or “Shandy” (as both Evarl and Nell had nick-named her), trading verbal blows. Delshandra accepted the letter from Armonia which explained what was required. Delshandra accepted considering that the invitation was from her half sister. She further suggested that they utilise the assistance of a young man who had only arrived in Tamran that afternoon from Kassen, and had been asking questions about the group. Delshandra then went and fetched Zevan, who had travelled cross country after delivering the Wizard Aroth Mentinjek to Holgast in Kassen.
The heroes greet their long missed friend with open arms and quickly shared their experiences since they parted at Morrie’s Farm. As the afternoon began to turn towards night, Kal and Delshandra bid the others farewell, allowing Evarl, Nell, Sam and Zevan to make their way back to the Ranger’s Lament. The plan was that Kal and Delshandra would watch and await their signal.
Upon arrival, the group notice that the Ranger’s Lament was empty, save for Rolen Oggersmith who appeared to be cleaning the bar in preparation for some event, the smell of fine food hanging in the air. The group are greeted by the burly bartender, and are advised to take a seat and the ceremony will take place soon. Nell asks after Rolen’s offer of employment from the previous day, to which he replies in the affirmative, stating that she could start the following Moonday if she so desired.
As the late afternoon turned to dusk, several other people attended the Ranger’s Lament, including several villagers, a guardsman and a young disheveled man. Sam approached this young man, and casually asked him a number of questions. The man was rude, and clearly mentally disturbed. Sam left him to his own devices, and casually watched him from across the room.
Eve had planted herself in a corner of the room to get a better vantage point as had Zevan but in the opposing corner, to keep a watchful eye on the door coming in and out of the back of the Ranger’s Lament. Nell remained with Sam, keeping note of the people who were arriving.
As night fell, Rolen closed the front door, latched it from the inside and begun setting the stage for the ceremony. Drapes were pulled, and several of the torches were snuffed out. A short time later, Evarl heard a knock on a door from somewhere in the back room, and Rolen quickly moved to the back to attend to whichever visitor had arrived. Whispering of voices could be heard from the rear, and Evarl caught a glimpse of some robed individuals standing around the kitchen area through the gap in the door as Rolen exited to continue his preparations.
As night-time engulfed Tamran, the group heard the chiming sounds of ceremonial cymbals. With that, the door to the rear room opened and several white robed acolytes entered the room spraying what appeared to be holy water and incense around the room in an attempt, Nell presumed, to ward of evil spirits and cleanse the room.
The Acolytes were shortly after followed by 2 grey robed priests who chanted a prayer in an ancient tongue unrecognisable to the others. Finally, a black robed priest entered the room in complete silence, and moved towards the podium at the front of the inn. The acolytes helped the priest to the stage. The group noted that the acolytes and priests appeared to have all of the exits covered, and that it would be difficult to escape. Suddenly, there was an overwhelming silence.
After stepping up onto the stage, the figure in the black robes turns to the audience, his face hidden behind an iron mask. With a strong voice, he calls out, “You have come here to seek the power and glory of Razmir, and I am here to tell you that he has found you worthy!”
At that, all of the other priests chant in one voice, “All praise the Living God!”
“He is proud of you,” the black-robed figure continues, “for taking this, the first of 31 steps to enlightenment, the path of righteousness, the stairs to power and glory. Razmir is the one true god. What other god so richly rewards those who follow him? What other god lives among his people, guiding them with his wisdom and his might? What other god can lead you to true salvation? None of them! Only Razmir can offer you the power, the fortune, and the glory that you desire. Will you join him?”
The black robed priest then folded his arms and waited for an answer. Many in the room yelled praises or affirmed their willingness to give themselves to Razmir. Nell, Sam and Zevan all pledged themselves, whilst Evarl was more reluctant. The lead priest then publicly questioned the young elf further until she at least agreed to hear what the priest had to say.
The priest then continued a sermon, preaching to the people in attendance, and finally offering food and drink to solidify Razmir’s offering of charity to the people of Tamran. With that, Rolen and another of the priests appeared from the rear room. Eve however noted that by her count, there was one larger priest who had not yet appeared. This made her more wary.
Eventually all patrons were served food, and all of the heroes bar Evarl and Nell appeared to take part. Evarl refused to eat completely, whilst Nell pretended to consume, moving much of the food that was on her plate to Sam’s who she believed would be less affected if the food was poisoned.
It was not long before the effects of the food took hold. Several of the villagers were the first to collapse, followed soon after by the young disturbed man, then Sam and Zevan. Nell faked her collapse, hoping that she would be able to remain conscious and see what they would do with them. Evarl defied the request for the priest to eat. Evarl noted all the people asleep and then confronted the lead priest. Evarl thought trickery would be the best employ, and so stated that he was interested in the “tricks” that the “church” was employing, and wanted to join for that reason, not a sense of honour to Razmir. It was clear that the priest would be unable to convince the elf, so instead he threatened the life of his friend Nell, in an attempt to force him to eat. The elf refused, telling the priest to kill the red haired woman as she meant nothing to him. Evarl was clearly hoping that the bluff would work against the clearly more experienced priest. Nell felt the blade at the base of her skull, but remained still. Evarl could not bear to be responsible for his friend’s death – it was going to be a battle of wills – and battle that Evarl was sure to lose. Evarl raised his hands, allowing the priest this victory. Evarl then saw some of the priests moving the unconscious bodies into the back room. No wishing to be knocked unconscious, Evarl convinced the priest to hoodwink him instead. With that, the large burly priest exited from the back of the inn, and placed a sack over Evarl’s head.
The patrons, including Evarl, Nell, Sam and Zevan were taken down into an underground tunnel and placed in a group of underground cells. Where they were, was anyone’s guess, but Nell, who was still successfully faking being unconscious, believed them to be directly under the Temple of Razmir…
PREVIOUSLY: The heroes arrived in Tamran and after meeting with a shady elvish assassin, they obtained lodgings at the riverside inn of Gar’s Last Meal. The following day, the heroes made their way to the Tamran Council to deliver the letter their had received from Mayor Uptal in Kassen seeking assistance from the council. There, the heroes met with Speaker of the Leaves Speaker Mayslen Torgun. The heroes also asked to speak with the Speaker of the Heart, to which they were then introduced to Speaker Aromina Yasgon. The heroes presented their plights, and their adventures thus far, including their run in with the Molthuni Privateers. The heroes were rewarded for their deeds, and advised that their response would be provided the following day. In the meantime, the heroes then ventured to a placed called the Rangers Lament, a place eluded to in a note the heroes had found in Kassen’s Crypt. Before entering the tavern, the heroes happened across a sermon being conducted on the steps of the Church of Razmir, located directly across the road from the tavern. Interested in what they had to say, Sam moved in for closer observation, whilst Evarl worked the crowd. Nell and Kal however remained behind the crowd to observe the happenings for a discrete distance. Evarl spotted one of the priests, who was moving through the crowd, steal from Sam. Evarl accused the man of theft, and the lead priest started making his way towards the commotion…
Surrounded by a somewhat bewildered crowd of onlookers, Evarl stood ready to battle, as Sam had a hold of the young Priest whom has supposedly stolen from him. The Senior Priest of the Razmirian Church had by this stage made his way through the crowd and had stopped in front of Evarl. Meanwhile four of the city guards moved into the crowd in order to dismantle the situation, whilst Kal and Nell, still situated on the outskirts, prepared for a battle. The Senior Priest called to the crowd for calm, and spoke directly with the younger Priest.
The Senior Priest asked his younger clergyman to empty his pockets. Evarl called for others in the crowd to checks theirs as well and was surprised that many did as she asked. The younger priest reached into his pocket and revealed a small pouch originally in Sam‘s possession. Several members of the crowd also claimed that they had been stolen from. The Priest handed the pouch to the Lead Priest, along with several; other items of value, holding his head in shame as he did so. The Senior Priest turned to the crowd stating that even members of his own church were not immune to the meddling ways of the other false gods. He posed a series of questions for the crowd to contemplate after which he turned his attention to Evarl. He touched the young elf on the shoulder while motioning for the younger acolytes to take the thieving priest into custody. The Senior Priest apologized to the young elf for the misunderstanding and for his clergyman’s behaviour. He also directed his apology to Sam and returned the pouch containing approximately 80gp. The Lead Priest encouraged both Evarl and Sam to visit their next sermon at the square, and not be swayed from the teachings of Razmir because of one confused man’s intent. The Lead Priest then bowed, and promptly left with the acolytes in tow. As the Lead Priest and the other younger priest who had also been working the crowd reached the top of the stairs, Kal stepped forward giving praise to Erastil, and shed holy warmth across the crowd (burst). Some members of the crowd turned their attentions to Kal, asking for forgiveness, whilst others seemed even more bewildered. The younger priest pointed out Kal to the Lead Priest, at which time the Lead Priest bowed in Kal‘s direction before turning his back and walking inside the temple.
With the Razmiran Priests back in their temple, and the crowd dispersing, the heroes regroup to discuss their next move. After a brief discussion, the heroes decide to venture into the Ranger’s Lament to continue their investigation. Evarl, in the meantime suggests she check out the back and scope out the surrounds.
Kal, Nell and Sam entered the tavern which appears to be somewhat slow for this time of day. Kal took a seat at a nearby table to distance himself from the other two, while Nell and Sam went to the bar to speak with the barkeeper. There they meet with a somewhat placid but friendly man named Rolen Oggersmith. He explains that things were going well for the bar. With that, he openly charged the heroes at least double the price for ale. Nell continued speaking with Rolen, offering several more gold pieces than were necessary in an attempt to loosen his lips. The tactic failed, but appeared to make an impression as at one stage Rolen offered Nell a job due to her skills that she learned behind the bar at Kassen. Sam downed several drinks but managed to remain sober for the time being.
Meanwhile Evarl made her way around the building and was confronted by two guards who recognised her from the altercation with the priests earlier. Evarl explained that it was a misunderstanding and sweet-talked one of the guards to join her for a drink. The guard and Evarl then made their way to the front of the Ranger’s Lament. Once inside, the young elf assisted the guard to get drunk, which unfortunately revealed little other than he claimed that the businesses in the area paid the guards well to keep an eye on things.
Kal and the others attempted to find out further information about recent jobs on offer that were being advertised at the tavern, in particular the job offers which lead the mercenaries to venture to Kassen’s Crypt. The guard and the the barkeeper both remain silent but did mention a Kobold issue in the outskirts of town, which they think may somehow involve a Dragon. The heroes then notice a flyer near the front door asking for assistance with a neighbouring dragon with a reward of 1gp per Kobold killed.
As the afternoon progressed, Kal learned from a local fisherman that he recalled a job being called for a couple of months back. He claimed it was seeking the assistance of more mercenary types for a job up north. He claimed that he thought he saw several of them return a little over a week ago, and each one appeared a lot worse for ware. The fisherman explained that he knew little else and soon after left. The heroes also notice during this time that the bar is emptying as the afternoon progresses, rather than getting busier, which would be the norm for a tavern of this type. As darkness approached, Rolen calls last drinks and ushers the heroes outside, along with the remaining patrons. As they leave, he offers Nell a more full time position if she was interested. Nell says she will consider the offer.
Once outside, the heroes again discuss their next plan. Evarl suggests that she monitor the tavern from the roof top of a nearby business whilst the Kal, Nell, and Sam remain nearby in case the plan is foiled or if Evarl is spotted. Sam suggests they wait at a small tavern nearby that he spotted on the way to the Ranger’s Lament, which appeared much busier and would make a good place to remain inconspicuous. The group agree and set up for the night.
During the evening, Evarl noticed that at about 8 o’clock, Rolen closes all the shutters in the tavern, but remained working inside for a time. About 2 hours later, she notices Rolen exited the tavern and lock up for the night. Evarl observes nothing else until she realise the tavern was also being kept under surveillance by another person who appeared to be hiding behind a chimney a little down the street. Evarl attempted to quietly spring from the roof to get a better look at the person.
Meanwhile, Sam, who was enjoying taking turns monitoring Evarl‘s position, observed a flash of someone running across the road, and yelled out, “Eve?” Sam’s somewhat loud whisper gave away Evarl‘s position, and the person who Evarl was trying to intercept, fled the scene. As Evarl increased her pace, with Sam not far behind, she came face to face with a group of street thugs in a back alley – all of whom were clearly waiting for trouble. Sam in the meantime had called out to Kal and Nell, both of whom discarded their drinks and attempted to join the chase.
The gang dropped what they were doing and immediately threatened Evarl. Evarl, wanting to continue the chase rather than be dealing with a bunch of misguided miscreants, tried to claim that she was chasing someone who had over a 100 of her gold, and they could have some of it if they caught him. Clearly Evarl was less than convincing, even after Sam barreled around the corner in hot pursuit. It was a stand off, until Nell and Kal arrived. Using her seductive charm, Nell explained that she and her friends were part of their crew, and that they best let them through. The gang allowed the heroes through, although what “crew” Nell was speaking of seemed to be a mystery. Either that, or the thugs were somehow bewildered with Nell’s beauty.
As the four hastily ran down the alleyway, they came to a pathway which was blocked but recently disturbed. Evarl was the first to bound over the blocked pathway, closely followed by the others.
Further around another bend, the heroes were confronted with a tall fence with barbed wire at the top. Evarl and Nell seemed to climb the fence without difficulty in order to continue the chase, however Sam and Kal had more issues with transversing the obstacle. Eventually, Kal boosted Sam over the fence to continue the pursuit.
Meanwhile, Evarl and Nell got sight of their target after making their way through a construction site as the cloaked figure made his way into a slum area. Unfortunately this was the last they saw of their quarry. Kal and Sam soon joined their search, but were unable to locate the shadowy spy. Kal then observed the thugs they had encountered earlier who were making their way towards the heroes. It was quickly decided it best they return to Gar’s Last Meal to rest for the evening.
The heroes return to Gar’s Last Meal and upon rising the following morning, late due to the heroes activities the previous evening, the heroes are greeted with a fine meal cooked by Puglas himself. The meal was presented by his daughter Melanie whom Sam had been admiring since their arrival in Tamran. Melanie presented the heroes with a letter, sealed with the symbol of the Tamran Council. Kal opened the letter, and read that they were to meet Speaker Aromina Yasgon at the Forest Bounty on the outskirts of town where she would be able to deliver the news of the council’s decision at midday.
The heroes prepare and obtain directions from Puglas before heading out into Tamran. After an hour, or so, the heroes arrive at the [[The Forest Bounty | Forest Bounty] and find a large feast hall, bustling with activity. They are approached by a tall man who Evarl recognises as the man they were chasing the previous evening. He introduces himself as Reginar Lacklan, aide to Speaker Yasgon and escorts them to where Speaker Yasgon was seated.
Firstly Aromina delivers the devastating news – the Mayor Uptal’s requests for assistance had been denied by the council. However, Aromina suggests another course of action which may lead the council to change their minds.
Aromina explains that she is just as concerned about the Razmirans in Tamran as the heroes are with the Razmiran’s involvement in what occurred in the crypt. Aromina claims that she has been building a case for some time against the Razmirans, but that every time she has attempted to get to the bottom of their scheme, she comes to a dead end. She admits that the brutal nature of the Razmiran ways has either seen her agents disappear having infiltrated the Razmiran’s compound, or that they have been found floating face down a few days later at the mouth of the Marideth River. Most of the deaths have been blamed on Molthuni spies, and Aromina has struggled to keep a lid on her investigation, in particular since she believes that Razmiran’s may be making an attempt to influence the Tamran Council itself, especially as her investigation seems to lead to Speaker Mayslen Torgun.
Aromina says that the “cult” of Razmir first appeared in Tamran about 2 years ago, as a small band of missionaries. They soon raised the funds to build a temple, which was constructed over a year ago. Their power and influence in the city have grown ever since, and the local guards seem to give them no heed, even going so far as to dismiss any reports of their foul practices. Aromina suspects through corruption that the city guards help protect the temple, watching out for thieves and intruders.
Kal then explained that they learned from a fisherman that a group of mercenaries were employed by someone to head up north a few months ago and returned just over a week ago minus a few of their number.
Reginar confirms this and adds that he had observed that when the group arrived, they hurried back to the temple all under the cover of darkness. Less than two days later another group, this one led by a female cultist in blue robes, left the temple and boarded a boat. He thinks this might be the temple’s leader, but he cannot be sure. Evarl asked for a description of the woman to which Reginar obliged. Based on the description, Evarl suggests that it sounds like Iramine.
Her findings were such that members of the cult go out frequently to aid the poor and proselytize, however she suspects this is just a cover for their more illegal activities, such as thievery, blackmail, and extortion. She claims that her agents have seen the Razmiran Priests beat a man to within an inch of his life, claiming the humble cobbler stole from the temple, while the city guards merely watched the event and took no action. The heroes confirm these claims, stating that they had seen some of those things the previous day whilst watching the temple, and its neighbour, The Rangers Lament.
Reginar adds that from his observations, members of the faith heavily guard the temple itself day and night. He claims that the priests hold no public services, other than the ones held on the front steps of the temple, so the only real way in is to join their religion. Aromina adds that her agents have established that the Razmirans interview applicants at the Ranger’s Lament every Fireday.
As a result, Aromina implores them to help her with an investigation into the church’s doings by infiltrating the church, going so far as to offer her own gold to fund an expedition to Kassen. Kal bluntly refuses to assist, claiming that pretending to be a priest of another church, little less an evil one, would be against his beliefs. Kal however does encourage the others to try. Evarl, Nell and Sam agree. Aromina says that she may be able to find another recruit to assist which may require some more delicate negotiations…