NPCs Present: Charles Oliver O’kane, Lord Mayor, Charles Frederick LaVerne Blacktree IV, Lord Speaker, Major Thomas Devillars, Lord Knight Humand T Stillers, Tim, Timothy
The final battle for Raven’s Bluff took 6 days. A hard won fight that could easily have gone the other way had it not been for a strange ally, a group of dwarves, coming to our aid in our time of direst need. With the aid of our allies, we were able to fight back the enemy and claim the day. I doubt many will call this a true victory until time has worn away the painful memories of all that was lost.
Most of the citizen’s who were unable to fight had been gathering in Memorial Park that final day as if something in the air told them this would be the end one way or another. With flashes of magic in the distance, they waited to know their fate. The flashes and sounds slowly dimming a short while later General Blacktree rode into the park and every person there let out both a sigh of relief as well as a cheer.
The leaders of the city quickly assembled and the crowd quieted momentarily as Blacktree confirmed what everyone already knew. The enemy had been driven back. Medals and Ribbons were awarded and the crowd’s cheers could no longer be quelled. The Midnight Menagerie members in attendance watched the events knowing that their role in the war both harmed and eventually helped save the city they love. as the watched several officers making their way through the crowd and all knew they still had a part to play in the aftermath.
It didn’t take long before the Menagerie is approached by Officer Thomas Devillars who ushers them to somewhere they can speak more privately. It seems the city once more has a job for us. we are presented with 3 objectives: 1. If possible find the leader of the enemy forces (Jolan). 2. Look for any signs of Charles Oliver O’kane, Lord Mayor, 3. Rescue any prisoners that might be found.
We were also given a few other instructions. If we found any enemy troops while on our mission we were to disarm and disarmor them and then let them go on their way. This also applied to any troops we found from our side that appeared disoriented or out of their wits. Lastly, we were instructed to leave all magical belongings we found at the raven estate alone but we were to bring back and evidence that could be found that pointed to Raven’s involvement with the Enemy forces.
We were given very few resources other than a little knowledge on where to head out too. The instructions we were given did not sit well with all the members of the menagerie however when the city needs our help it is our duty to answer the call.
As we set out to prepare ourselves for the coming mission we received word of several special events going on in the city. The first was the several Bags of Holding were available at our favorite Magical shop, The second was that the Temple of Mystra was allowing brave souls to pull cards from a deck of many things to help raise funds for the city. A little reluctant at first the members of the menagerie finally gave in and pulled cards, the money was for a good use after all. While most of the members saw minor improvements and changes a few had some dramatic effects take hold of them. Our Mighty Half-orc Wizard burst into flames and died before our eyes.. only to be resurrected moments later as a lizardman…. yes a lizardman. Sir Dresden seems to be moving much slower than before, our favorite Butler now HATES visitors and strangers, Rowan seems to have fallen Madly in love with Mok, and Mr Pointy can now talk on his own.
Once the draws were made the group set out towards the battlefield near the Fire River. As we traveled closer to Raven’s estate we could make out a dark cloud on the northern horizon there seemed to be an aura of magic about it with lightning, fire, ice and acid all seen swirling within the clouds. Pressing on holding fast to our mission we came upon the battlefield at last. Thankfully very few human corpses remain on the ground most were int he graves that littered the landscape. After prayers were said and the dead thanked for their sacrifice the party moved on continuing north towards Raven’s Estates.
As we reached the Other side of the battlefield we found a fisherman pulling what seemed like an unusually large amount of fish out of the river. It seemed as if every throw of the net brought at least one. We spoke with the man for a while who seemed to be enjoying himself noting he hadn’t been able to fish for so long. He was able to provide us with some information about the magical cloud. “it was magical and it messed with magical stuff” though not as informative as one might like it did let us know that we should be careful with magic while under the cloud.
After traveling a bit farther north we came upon a group of 8 soldiers. 3 wore the livery of Raven’s Bluff the other 5 looked to be mercenaries from the enemy army. One of the members of the group introduced himself as Lord Knight Humand T. Stillers of Raven’s Bluff. After a long conversation with the group, most of the Menagerie felt confident that Lord Knight Stillers was sound enough of mind to remain armed and armored without any danger to himself or others. The other 2 members of the Raven’s Bluff army would be sent with Lord Knight Stillers to finish scouting the area. The fate of the mercenaries was a much longer discussion. Sir Dresden spoke with his god and was able to determine evil did not lie in the heart of the mercenaries. Lord Knight Stillers felt it would be a death sentence to send the men away with no weapon or armor. Tiberius strongly felt as we had agreed to the job and part of the agreement was to disarm and disarmor any enemy forces that we should stand by that agreement regardless of what could happen to the men after.
Many valid statements were discussed on both sides and with Sir Dresden’s knowledge and the Lord Knights insistence, most of the group agreed to allow the Mercenaries to disarmor but keep a weapon. Not knowing what the men did after they left makes me wonder if it truly was the right thing to do. just a week back these men would have been slain were they stood had we come across them. As for their hearts not being evil I often think, If a man steals the crop of a small farm for no other reason than to cause a hardship on the farmer, some might consider that man evil. If a man stole an equal amount of crops to feed his starving family that surely would have died had he not, he would by most standards not be considered evil. The farmer in both cases no longer has enough food stored for the winter and his family suffers because of the loss. The men we let go that day were not evil, yet, I still pray our kindness in letting the beleaguered men leave armed doesn’t result in suffering from those who had no part in the event. As a saying I have oft heard on the road goes, desperate men do desperate things.
Once the band of soldiers was dealt with the Menagerie continued on its path to Raven’s Estates. We arrived with no further incidents and upon doing so we heard an engine like sound coupled with the sound of dying men coming from a barn-like structure. We immediately set out to investigate the structure and lend a hand to those obviously in need. We found the structure locked and all doors reinforced with steel. Sir Dresden was able to fly Tiberius up to the roof of the structure where a small window was present. This allowed Tiberius to enter the barn through magical means. Once inside Tiberius noted the injured soldiers and made his way to what appeared to be a large pile of dead men to investigate. After a long period of silence, the group started to worry so Mok, using a chime of opening, led the charge through the front door of the barn. The group immediately went to assist the injured prisoners and ensure their safety. That was until a strange blue camel like creature entered the barn. Knowing the prisoners were healed enough to no longer be in danger and recognizing the groups own danger in straying too close to the disenchanters that now roamed to barn the group scrambled or flew away from the things. Mok and Rowan having some knowledge of the creatures began hurling spells at the beasts until those inside and outside the barn were satiated on the magic and wandered away.
While Tiberius conjured food and water for the prisoners the rest of the Menagerie made their way to the nearby cemetery to look around for any clues as to where the enemy might have gone. We found a what appeared to be a recently created mausoleum and decided to check it first. the door was already ajar so we opened to find a note that indicates it to be the tomb of Timmy one of Raven’s apprentices. It is signed by “Tim the Archmage of Raven’s Bluff”. From previous dealings with the Menagerie, we are aware that Tim was also once the apprentice of Raven and several pieces slowly start coming together. Exploring the rest of the cemetery we find several other tombs, the first had a plaque naming it the tomb of a Warlord known as Oraniston who died in the year 675. As the MEagerie did not want to be remembered as grave robbers we left the tomb undisturbed and moved on to the next. The second structure contained a magical talking plaque who alerted us that the tomb belonged to Warlord Hastrigor who passed away in the year of the fiend’s kiss. We also learned that Warlord Hasitgor was an evil man and that the plaque was sort of a guardian over the tomb. We once again left the tomb alone and move on to the third and final tomb.
We knew there was something odd about the third tomb as soon as we approached it. Unlike any other tomb this tomb was barred on the outside and looked like someone or something inside it had tried to escape. As it was obvious this tomb had been disturbed before we arrived we decided to force our way through the barred door in order. With everyone alert and weapons drawn the door was opened to display a small room with signs of extreme physical abuse. An emaciated figure lay in a clump on the floor. As we all slowly drew closer some of the man’s features seemed familiar even in this state and we soon realized we had found Charles O’kane. With all haste and to the best of the group’s ability healing was applied to him. With our best effort, we were able to heal his body however his mind remained broken. Knowing we needed help as quickly as possible, Tiberius cast a sending to Raven’s Bluff in order to call for help for the Lord Mayor as well as the prisoners. as we had not yet explored Raven’s Manor we set Rockcrusher and Godrick to guard the Lord Mayor O’Kane and to watch over the prisoners as we explored the manor for any additional clues.
Inside the building the sound of insults were audible from a room at the end of the entrance hall we approached with no regard for stealth walking directly into the room. Inside we found Tim. Tim seemed to believe that Raven was dead. When we told him it was not so he grew enraged and went to attack us. Tiberius managed to stab out with his spear first only to find its point deflect off Tim’s skin. Before anyone could do anything else there was an explosion and a burst of flame. When the light faded Bela and Tiberius lay injured on the ground. We quickly stabilized and used some of our final healing to help them recover. The only thing left in the room was the throne and a small box. Inside the box we found notes exonerating Raven of any wrong doing. Pocketing this evidence to give to the city we made our way to through the rest of the manor. We were thankful that the rest of the manor seemed to be clear of any enemies. At last, we came to the vault to find the door slightly ajar. Inside a body lay on the floor. It looked like it had been burned from the inside out and a message was scratched into the floor next to it " Jalan, No Magic must be".
Having completed our mission as best we could we returned the mayor and the prisoners to the city where General Blacktree debriefed us. He also gave the group 2500 gold worth of gems from his private stash and several ioun stones for a job well done.