Dinas Porthladd Masnach

Hunllef As It Is
The story thus far

The world is chaos. All structure and civilization has been torn asunder. The mighty city of Law and Order, Gyfraith, fell beneath the wrath of the Duwai and with it, all order fell. The creatures of old and nightmare have crawled back from the abyss from which they were cast long ago and roam the earth. Only the proud people of Falchder stand strong. Many of their cities fell in the first waves of chaos. Even as Dinas Antur and Porthladd Masnach stand, however, their walls begin to crumble. Small settlements try to form but are quickly raided and torched to the ground. Raiders are common and cults rule the land. The Infernal Lord and the Ice Mistress are indifferent to our suffering, running wild and free across the land and allowing all to do the same. Many cry out in terror, but others rejoice in ecstasy.
The storytellers say this was under the supervision of the Cynghorwyr (counselors) and the Dewisydd. The Gynghorwyr were the group of unlikely heroes who found the Dewisydd (chooser), under the guiding hand of the Infernal Lord, deep in the underground prisons of Gyfraith. Escaping from the Seven Valkyries of Order with the Dewisydd they fled into the Memory Desert and took shelter under the wing of Storiwyr, the last of the Brass Dragons. As per their namesake, they advised the Dewisydd on their vision of a perfect world, though many disagree with the advice given.
It does not matter whether the Gynghorwyr were heroes or villains, but they returned to the pristine city of Gyfraith only to find it in flames. Tired of their long imprisonment, the ancient Duwai broke against their chains and tore themselves back into our plane. The Infernal Lord, passionate and wrathful, turned his eyes to the city and people who had trapped him and the Ice Mistress. He brought down torrents of fire and let loose his minions into the city, where they burnt and annihilated all they saw.
Having seen their beloved city fall, the Valkyries realized that civilization was coming to a fiery end. They summoned Gorchymyn, the One God of Law and Order, and attempted to push the Infernal Lord back into his prison and retake the Dewisydd. Once more the Gynghorwyr escaped with the Dewisydd, but one of their own left them and joined with the Seven. He became known as Gadianton, Traitor to Freedom, and Champion of Order.
Thinking themselves safe in the Forgotten Dunes with the Dewisydd, Storiwyr told the Gynghorwyr the time had come. They had to give their final advice to the Dewisydd so the new world could be chosen. The Gynghorwyr had seen the chains that bound the people of Gyfraith, the chains that the Seven called Order and Security. The Gynghorwyr felt that freedom from these chains was better than being bound by them.
The Dewisydd, now filled with the wisdom of the Gynghorwyr, traveled to Gyfraith where the Infernal Lord and Gorchymyn fought. The Dewisydd merged many of the planes together, save those of order, law, and shadow, which allowed the Duwai to finally be freed from their chains. Gorchymyn, knowing more strength was necessary to vanquish the Duwai, used the Weapons of Destruction that had successfully struck down the Duwai long ago. The Duwai, however, filled with the power of the Dewisydd, stole the weapons and slew Gorchymyn, casting him back into the plane from which the Valkyries found Law and Order.
With Gorchymyn gone, the Duwai turned their sights on the rest of the world. Foremost among their doings was the razing of the center of civilization. Gyfraith was no more; only a few of her citizens and the Seven Valkyries remain. The Duwai gave their blessings to the Gynghorwyr, those who had freed them, and went out to free the rest of the world from the chains of civilization.
Thus the world is wild and untamed like in the Days of Old. The Ancient Gods and creatures run rampant once more and civilization is all but gone. Everyone is free, nothing to hold them back.
Most of the major city-states and empires quickly fell. The denizens of the Shadow Isles poured forth from their stronghold and took advantage of the collapse of civilization. Countless new tribes and raider clans have formed.
Some long for civilization though. They gather in small groups and try to rebuild. The Duwai hunt them down with vengeance, refusing to bestow mercy even to the meekest.
The Gynghorwyr returned to or made their own homes to live out the rest of their days. Some praise their decision while others curse it.
But there is nothing to be done now, the world is free and wild now, all chains broken.
You see, twenty-six years ago civilization was at its height and gave no signs of stopping. Twenty-five years ago civilization abruptly came to a halt and crumbled, razed to the ground by an ancient Infernal Lord and frozen in its own tears by the ancient Mistress of the Glaciers. Twenty-four years ago the destruction reached Porthladd Masnach.
The first organization to fall in Portladd Masnach was the Nightsong Guild. As a criminal organization one would usually expect it to love its newfound freedom, and it did, just too much. The freedom caused dissent in the guild, which was torn apart. It erupted into a massive gang war which the city guard was barely able to confine. The Greyhaunt Investigators rooted out the leaders of the gangs and made them public knowledge. Within days the war was over as every leader in every gang was murdered or assassinated. The Nightsong made a final stand which resulted in the utter annihilation of the central palace district. The Baron barely escaped with his life.
The Baron turned all his duties back over to the Warden so that he could go rejoin the Order of Illumination and help fight back the evil and the chaos. The Warden fortified the city walls and turned them into a keep that serves as the new noble district. Due to the insurrection, the slums and the noble district were reversed. The slums are in the center of the city, the poor living in the burned husks and ruins of the former palace district. Surrounding them is the ring which comprises the merchant district. The last ring is the thinnest, the noble district and city guard headquarters, with an extension jutting out of the main keep which forms the docks.
His force greatly reduced, the Warden took out a long-term contract with the Greyhaunt Investigators, who soon replaced the Adventurer’s Guild in Porthladd Masnach . The Guard has lost all authority outside the city gates and so relays the responsibilities of keeping the city safe from outside threat to the Investigators. The Greyhound Investigators pay as handsomely as they can afford to those adventurers who go out and fulfill tasks.
The merchant district has grown exponentially since the fall of Gyfraith, proving the city to be one of the few left in the world with a stable, and therefore successful, economy. The Guard and the Investigators are paid for by tax. While the Guard tax has always been in place, the Investigator tax is new and many prominent merchants speak out against it. What makes this worse is that inflation has doubled the price of all goods.
News from the outside world is common in the city thanks to the trade ships, though most residents never go outside the city gates. It is reputed to be far too dangerous for any individual outside the walls.
So what brings you to this city? Why are you in Dinas Porthladd Masnach? And how do you plan to support yourself in the times to come?

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Under Arrest!
with exemption...

All was well in The Maiden’s Vengeance. Songs were sung, ale was plentiful, and the strongest drink of the house, Venden Carne, was passed around like a worn shrug. All was well until The Warden arrived, announcing one of the quieter men at the bar was under arrest. No riot broke out, no blood was shed, instead the masked man was given a task in exchange for his freedom, for a time. Another shadowy figure in the bar joined him, and they both traversed into the slums of Porthladd Masnach to seek out their prey.
Their prey were easily found. Four thugs inside of a broken down residence in the eastern slums. Windows were broken, and men died, none of them good. Ren Belladone has blood on his hands, though it is the blood of criminals. A shattered window slew a thug by cutting his major arteries when he tried to escape. Laica Pilin, the outlaw, slew none, though injured many.

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Lost

Having dealt with the gangsters within the small residence in the Porthladd Masnach slums (in self defense, of course) both Pilin and Belladone choose to rest for a short time and uncover a note on one of the bodies which maps out the slums and the location of the Nightsong Remnant’s central hide-out. In their rest they are joined by a somewhat inebriated guardsman, one who bears neither uniform nor the spear common to the guard, but instead a hefty great-axe.
Once rested, the trio ventures further into the slums in search of the central hide-out, only to quickly become lost. Pilin returns them to their sense of direction, only to help them become lost within the slums once again. WIth vast luck expended, the trio eventually finds the hide-out, an old, surprisingly well maintained church building. Having explored the surroundings and entrances of the church, the trio forms a plan.
Under a ruse, Pilin enters as himself, seemingly wanting to join with the remnant. All goes well until Belladone strikes from the shadows.

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Blood Money

The Nightsong Remnant within the church is utterly slaughtered, few had the chance to even warrant notice. The leader, gasping from the another room is barely able to call out “Curve will find you, he will -” before his throat is slit. Investigation yields nothing but that the man’s head was held in place during the cut.
The trio returns to The Maiden’s Vengeance, astonishing all with the sheer amount of blood with which they are covered. The Warden pays the fellows for services rendered. Then, having heard of Curve’s return, advises the trio to lay low, take some odd jobs that may take them outside the city, for their own protection. He pays for their rooms for the night at the Inn, as well as for baths to wash away the blood, and suggests leads for the trio to follow regarding work. On their way to converse with a possible job at the docks, the trio stops int he market district to pick up some new supplies…

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RAVAGERS!

The trio seeks out Mary Gasket, the woman crying out to all who will listen that Ravagers are coming to Porthladd Masnach. Mary regales her tale of how she saw an encampment of Ravagers while approaching, and the trio only really listens once she mentions that she’ll pay them just for checking (how foolish the ignorant are). The trio then proceeds to visit the Greyhaunt Investigators to determine if there are any worthwhile bounties to seek out while outside the city. The Investigators tell the trio of a large gathering of Goblins and assigns them to work on the bounty.
Once outside the city gates, the trio travels for a spell before they encounter a farmer, pleading for help and assistance, asking the trio to rescue his cart of woolen textiles. Having determined that the Ravagers may actually be near, the trio sets off to obtain the cart of goods and finds a small encampent where three Ravagers sit around the fire. Both Belladone and Pilin take to the trees while the guardsman waits in the shadows for the Ravagers to come near, and then they strike.
The Ravagers are not so easily defeated, however, and all their efforts have yet to be successful in saving themselves from this encounter.

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Nice Axe!
Axe Body-Spray (also known as blood)

Ravagers defeated, the trio examines the area, finding very little save the cart full of woolen textiles. Just before taking a full rest, the trio discovers a peculiar axe on one of the Ravagers. Crudely engraved into the flats of the blades is the word Hypocrite, and when hefted by the guardsman it glows with an eerie ruby-red light.
After resting the trio brings the cart back to Porthladd Masnach (sans-equine, the horse being eaten by the Ravagers) and gives it to the frenzied man they encountered earlier that day in exchange for a map which leads to an old, old armory. Once paid at The Maiden’s Vengeance, and having sold the spare great-axes, the trio leaves town once more in search of Goblin encampments.
Upon finding the encampment the trio is greeted by an elderly goblin chieftain. He tells them of why the goblins are so numerous of late, citing “try-outs” from a captain woman bearing a “shiny” rapier, and points the trio in what he recalls is the right direction. When the trio leaves, he grants them a word of warning, “Not all goblin tribes are so peaceful, be careful!”

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Tripwire
"Oh, hello there."

Having obtained a rudimentary map from the goblin chieftain, the trio finally leaves the goblin encampment. On the path back, however, the trio is ambushed. Despite Belladone’s best efforts, he finds that killing is far easier than it would seem to be.
After the ambush two goblins are left alive, though barely, and sitting in a puddle made mostly from their own blood. On the goblins the trio finds a far more advanced map, outlining all of the necessary details about each goblin encampment and giving directions to the residence where the captain is holding trials.
Upon arrival at the residence, the trio finds it to be an old home that was unfortunately affected by the chaos of Hunllef. Stepping up to the household the trio is stopped by a tripwire, many tripwires, in fact, which connect to a bell. While at first bamboozled, the trio determines a method to disable the alarming trap (there were fancy acrobatics involved).
The tripwire dealt with, the hapless trio ventures forth to the residence and examines it carefully, discovering the locations of each goblin (as far as they can tell) before a precision strike. Three of the four goblins are quickly dealt with, while the fourth runs from the room and into another. Entering the room, the trio is surprised to discover a human woman, the captain, inside with another goblin. The captain, unperturbed, simply says, “Oh, hello there.”

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Brilliance
Confusion at its best

Captain Mariel Thorne seems to be more perplexing than first anticipated. Claiming that the trio is in her debt she sets loose her remaining henchgoblins, now better armored and prepared, upon them. The fight is fierce, Laica Pilin having been severely injured by a single wound from Thorne’s rapier, Brand.

After some time, the final goblins are dispatched with, and Thorne informs the trio that she won’t be able to set sail for another week now, being in need of a crew, and being forbidden the use of the trio in her crew by some strange entity. Instead Thorne delivers the trio a puzzle, one which is promptly solved, giving the Gladius “Brilliance” to Belladone.

Pilin, however, searched through the home, and found various items, items which may tell a story yet unheard by the bar. The trio begins to set off back to Porthladd Masnach.

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Red v. Green
Venison, Denial, and Blood Red Robes

Whilst returning from the house where Captain Thorne hosted her auditions for whatever reason, Pilin sees a deer and slays it in a single shot. The carcass is prepared for travel and the trio daydreams of eating Venison tonight.

Once within the city (after an encounter with a less than desirable guard who chooses to favor the wrong tavern) the trio seeks out the Greyhaunt Investigator headquarters. In front of the headquarters, however, is a mob of wealthy merchants complaining about the taxes being levied to pay for the Greyhaunt and its adventurers, claiming that there isn’t sufficient threat for the Greyhaunt to be necessary. After some convincing, the mob finally relents.

The trio speaks with the presiding clerk about the events which transpired in the forest and discovers some information regarding the mysterious Captain Mariel Thorne. The Clerk, seeming worried, tells the trio to return in the morning for the possibility of more work, and directs the trio to The Maiden’s Vengeance to sell the carcass and have it made into food for their weary bodies.

Those who normally frequent The Vengeance are missing when the trio arrives. Some small negotiations are held between the bartender, an expert butcher and chef, and Pilin, resulting in a happy arrangement for all. Having been told the the Venison would take some time to prepare, Pilin leaves the establishment and sees a humanoid wearing robes the color of blood. Pilin wastes no time in calling out to him and promptly leaving.

Pilin leaves, and unbeknownst to him, the robed man follows, who is also unaware that Lee (the guardsman) and Belladone are following him. Just before going about his robbing business, Pilin notices the robed man, a Drow elf. The two have a stare-off, each party inching closer throughout, before Pilin knocks an arrow and fires it into the robed drow’s thigh.

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Court
Red V. Green continued

Immediately following the shot to the thigh (a missed shot at the knee) both parties, the drow in red and the archer in green, exeunt from the scene of the crime. Pilin attempts to scale a wall while the drow seeks out the city guard. Lee, the guardsman among the trio, also goes to the guard. Pilin, while running away, attempts but fails to scale a wall. After a short time, a group of guardsmen comes near and Pilin goes with them to the nearest barracks. Both the drow and Pilin are locked in prison for the night while Lee is out getting the venison from the Maiden’s Vengeance and bringing Belladone to the barracks as well.

Witnesses gathered and evidence retrieved, the city guard brings the crime to trial the following morning before the Baroness Liora Vindicta, as well as her youngest children, Monica and Michael Vindicta.

- excerpt from the trial of Red v. Green -

Accuser gives testimony

Accused gives testimony

Evidence brought forth (keen arrow, questioning why green had such an arrow)

Questioning the sobriety of the accused

Oathtakers brought forth.

Belladone takes oath in favor of Green.

Guardsman Lee takes oath in favor of Green

Questioning the sobriety of the Guardsman Lee

unbiased report of the Speaker of the Guard brought forth, stipulations involved recognized.

Examination of Accused calls actions into question.

Examination of Belladone calls his placement into question

No examination of Guardsman Lee, considered to be waste of time

Attorney Drone under the employ of Greyhaunt Investigators examines Accuser, calls reasoning behind accusers actions into questions, and attempts to make evidence less substantial.

Monica Vindicta in favor of Green

Michael Vindicta in favor of Red

Liora Vindicta in favor of Green

Green is released from custody

Red is told to speak to Warden regarding employment options

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