Thunderscape: The Cogswheel Irregulars

Cistern Station
Mayhem at Cistern

At Cogswheel Station four mercenaries show up to become Irregulars. They are sent to see Shara, who tells them about the current bounties. Cresstresser Talghetti wanted to go to Cistern because he felt the Ratling problem was a threat to many people. The rest had no particular concerns and went with his idea.

When they arrived they were greeted by an old beggar named Nebbin. He enthusiastically led them along. They came within sight of the Cistern Station and Old Nebbin became nervous. They saw two elves were looting it and a guard was tied up in the street. They approached slowly while Castor snuck down a side street. The elves saw them and told them to stop. When they did not, the elves opened fire. Castor took one out with a shot from his sniper rifle. Dieterich moved in and hit the other in the shoulder with a shot from his pistol, but took an arrow to the chest in return. He collapsed to the street, bleeding heavily.

Two more thugs with axes came out of the station at the sound of the commotion. Ling-feng Tsung charged at the gang leader, Ruck, leaping over Dieterich to close the distance, but found his attack parried. Ruck struck at an opening with his great ax that cut deep into Ling. Castor crept around again as the wounded archer made way to the steamwagon. Castor got a good shot in on Ruck as Cress engaged with Ruck and his thug. The cowardly gang fled for the steamwagon and drove off rather than fight to the death.

Castor and Cress gathered up their fallen comrades. Castor bit through Sam’s ropes and then went to fetch Nebbin. After thanking them, Sam fetched a healing wand. Castor was able to use it after some trouble to heal Ling and Dieterich They went in cistern station to discuss the situation.

Sam explained to Cress and Ling that the other guards had gone to search the sewers and that he had been left back to go for help if they did not return. He admitted that he did not know if there was any help really to be had though. Cress told him that they would rest through the night and go search for them if they did not return.

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Through the Sewer
Mayhem at Cistern

Dieterich spent the evening tending to everyone’s wounds. He even used the last charge from the wand on Cresstresser Talghetti. In the morning the rest of the militia had not returned. Before going into the sewers, the group felt they needed to be more recovered so they found a shop to buy healing scrolls. Working together, Dieterich and Castor were able to use one on Cress, but had no luck on Ling-feng Tsung.

They had Sam Jetsam lead them to where the sergeant led the others in. Ling took up a torch and they entered the filthy realm. After half an hour they found the results of a fight. Two guards and three Ratlings were laying dead in the sewer in a mess of blood. Cress went to investigate and set off a trap connected to the body of a guard. It caused an alarm to sound that echoed through the sewers. Ling reminded the others that they needed the ratling’s tails to collect the bounty.

The party continued on through the winding sewer maze. They finally thought they had found the ratling lair when they saw a glimmer of light up ahead. However, the ratlings were waiting in alcoves to ambush them. All but Castor spotted them before the attack and tried to pull free their weapons.

The ratlings launched their attack, but found the party easily able to repel most of them. The huge panther ferran named Mangler was the true threat. The savage brute knocked chunks out of the wall with his fists as he attacked Cress. The others quickly finished the other rattlings and joined with Cress to take down the brute. It was Dieterich that landed the killing blows to Mangler’s spine and neck with his kukri.

In a collapsed basement the party found Sergeant Iacob Blightwater and his brother bound and tortured. They helped the two grateful dwarves limp out of the sewer and collected the dead soldiers along the way. Iacob was surprised to see they had a ferran among their group.

The party returned to spend the night at the Cistern Station. Rested and cleaned up they returned to Cogswheel Station for their bounty. They were pleasantly surprised to find that Iacob had already sent a letter commending them to Shara. She asked them to choose another mission and they agreed to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. The commander showed some small pleasure at their choice and sent them on their way.

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The Investigation
Missing Girl

The group headed for the merchant quarter. They arrived at the shop of Gelvan Stonecleave. He explained that his adopted daughter, Ircine had disappeared from her room two nights before. Cresstresser Talghetti questioned him in depth as they went up to search her room. He learned that she had been seeing a young man named Darius. Ling-feng Tsung found her diary.

The diary had increasingly erratic writings about “they have found me again.” Another passage reads “I’m afraid I’ll have to move us again. The last time, I almost ruined daddy. I can’t do that to him again, not when I’ve almost fixed things and gotten people to buy his work again.” Gelvan had no idea what she meant. He had made the choice to move to Mekanus and she had no part in his business. Cress asked if maybe she meant her real father and Glevan took not to kindly to it.

With the room searched, they went to the smithy where Darius was employed. The owner, Laeric, was not interested in talking to them, but did let search his room. They found a hole under a loose floor board. The only thing left in it though was a badge of the Eye. With no more information available they went to search for more clues.

As they stepped out onto the street an urchin came running up to them. He handed them a letter that a man had told him to give for them. Castor checked it for anything untoward before they read it. The letter told them that Ircine had been taken by a dark creature that was not as he seemed and was being held in a warehouse down by the docks. They found it suspicious, but had no other lead to follow.

As they headed for the docks, they stopped for some healing potions. Drinking them down, they noticed that they were being followed by cloaked figures. They ducked down an ally to confront the two following them. They revealed that they were agents of the Eye and they were investigating possible corrupted activity on the part of Gelvan. They told the party that they should drop the case. Cress showed them the badge they had found as he tried to get information out of them. They were surprised to see it, but demanded they hand it over as evidence. The agents were not cooperative and finally left, giving the group a final warning.

They continued on until they found the warehouse. The front door was boarded up along with the windows, but they found another door at the back. Castor was able to pick the lock, but missed the trap on the door that set off an alarm. When they opened the door they found Darius in armor with his sword raised. Next to him was Ircine with a bag over her head.

He demanded to know who they were and they told him that they were from the Irregulars. He in turn told them that he was an agent of the Eye and was attempting to purify a corrupted. They argued with him about what he was doing. He said that she had powers to bend people’s will and had tried to do just that to him. Cress was convinced that he was up to something more sinister.

Ling was able to finally convince the young man to let him talk to the girl while everyone else plugged their ears to keep her from enchanting them. He removed her hood and calmed the girl down. She told that it was true that she had used her powers to try and increase her father’s business because she had used them to convince him to move to this city. She was fleeing the Darkfall cult that had originally preformed the horrid rites on her as a child to give her the powers.

Darius was shocked by the truth and said he would free her. He agreed to help her and her father escape the city, so long as she promised not to enchant him again. Just then, the Eye started smashing the door in. Darius asked the party to help with the escape. They worked to barricade the door, but the Eye quickly broke through. Dieterich fired a deft shot that glanced along the helmet of the hippo ferran that was leading the raid. He was stunned and blocked the other agents from easy access.

Everyone made good on their escape with no real injuries. They quickly made it back to Gelvan’s shop and his daughter explained the truth to him. He took it well and agreed to leave the city with her and Darius. As they prepared their escape, Darius told the group that the Eye would not likely take direct action against them for their transgression, but they would not likely forget what had happened.

They then parted company with the trio, convinced they had made the right choice. They determined to meet up the next day at the Cogsweel Station. First, though, Ling paid a wizard to cast a prestidigitation on them to remove the last of the sewer smell.

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The Moneylender
Debt Collection

After a night of rest and recovery the party returned to Cogswheel Station. When they reported what had happened on the previous mission, Cresstresser Talghetti spilled the beans about the involvement of the Eye and their helping Ircine and Darius escape. Comander Shara Thale was not pleased to learn of this and warned the party to be warry, that they had likely made a very powerful enemy. Her biggest concern, though, was the implication that a Darkfall cult was operating within Mekanus.

She then assigned the party a new mission. Filip Meerenjar, a moneylender, had reported two of his debt collection agents murdered by a mercenary named Gor Fulkash, the Worg. He asked that they come to see him for additional details. After handing over the writ, Commander Thale dismissed them too their task.

Once outside, Cress apologized for being so honest with the commander. Dieterich was the main dissenter, suggesting the truth might have been better kept between them. As they made their way to Shadowall, Cress explained that he knew a bit of Filip’s reputation as an honest, but aggressive businessman that charged high interest and used hired muscle to collect.

When they found Filip’s shop they discovered a rapacian standing guard outside and determined he was up to no good. Cress drew his pistol on the thug and demanded answers. When he revealed that they were with the Irregulars, the thug shouted something in rapacian and fled. Ling-feng Tsung dashed to the shop and opened the door to find two rapacians inside, trying to make off with a chest.

One of the thugs tried to hold Ling off as the large enforcer exited the back with a large chest. Ling rushed around to the side of the building and encountered the first thug. Castor dashed down an ally and took a shot at the one with the chest. Cress was left to deal with thug inside the shop and started to battle him, flail against halberd. Castor came in behind and used his powerful bite to finish Cress’s enemy.

Dieterich used his speed to move to intercept the rapacian that was fleeing with the chest. The giant rapacian just barreled past the small faerkin. Dieterich shot the rapacian in the back. Enraged, the rapacian dropped the chest, which gave and “Mmph” as it hit the ground, and drew his great ax. Dieterich was forced to fire and retreat as he forced his torment on the approaching menace.

Cress raced to see what was happening. Castor, being practical, shook the blood from his incisors and started to loot the rapacian thug’s body. Ling skewered the rapacian he was fighting then rushed to Dieterich’s aid. Trapped between the two, the large rapacian was quickly put down.

When Cress arrived, he identified the rapacian as Uruk Bekcar, a brutal legbreaker for the Grinvoj Syndicate. They discovered that Filip was actually locked inside of the safe. With a little work, Castor was was able to pick the lock and let the shaken faerkin out. They helped him back to his shop where he was very thankful to them and distraught at the mess the rapacian’s had made.

Settling down to business, Filip explained about the situation with Gor. He told them that the mercenary had killed two of his collectors and fled the city. The best clue he could offer was to check at an illegal brothel outside of the city named Fort Freedom. He answered what else he could, including that Gor had a pet worg named Precious, two to three henchmen, and favored the magmaxe in combat. Finally, as a thank you for saving his life, he gave the group a pouch of 200 gold crowns. After looting what was left of the rapacian’s equipment, the party continued their hunt.

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The Worg's Camp
Debt Collection

With their new information in hand, the group headed across the city. Cresstresser Talghetti made some inquiries about a scroll to protect from Gor’s magmaxe, but figured the one he had in mind was to much of a specialty item to find in good time. He did stop to buy a ready harness to help hold his gear in place. They also talked about what they knew of Fort Freedom and their plan of action.

When they arrived at Fort Freedom, Cress spoke for the party about why they were there with the owner, Griselda. She was reticent at first, but did give in once Ling-feng Tsung added his voice. She told them that Gor and his men had been there two days before and since then her guards had seen smoke about three miles away on the northern horizon. When Cress thanked her for the information she happily suggested that the group come in to “relax” before going off on a dangerous mission.

Dieterich was the first to speak up in favor and the others got Cress to relent. Inside they found the ladies waiting and eager to please. Cress had to have a few drinks before he was ready, but soon they were all have a good time, though Dieterich had better than most.

Relaxed and ready to go, they headed deeper into the barren Urbana Countryside. Scouting ahead, Castor spotted the Worg’s camp. They had built a small watch tower by a cave. They came up with a plan for Ling and Cress to go to the west while Dieterich came in from the east with Castor providing cover. The plan might have worked except for Dieterich stepped on a brittle twig that alerted the guard in the tower.

Cress and Ling set up a defensive line to meet Gor and his worg, Precious. Dieterich continued his advance on the tower, exchanging shots with the man taking cover up there. Castor worked to maintain cover fire until one of the jurak moved in close. He went in with his bite and severed the man’s femoral artery then bit through his shin.

Precious tried to bite Cress, but he blocked the massive canine with his shield while Ling tried to shoot the approaching golemoid. Gor moved in and dug a furrow into the ground trying to cleave into Ling. Cress tried to smash Gor with his flail as he assaulted Ling with no luck, but was able to catch him on the come around. Ling opened himself to attack by trying to disarm Gor. While he could not catch the blade in his seven branch sword, he was able to use his second sight to maneuver Gor where Cress could bash him with his flail. Unfortunately, he was unable to dodge Gor’s strike and took a nasty cut. Still injured from earlier, he went down hard.
As Precious went in for an attack on Cress, Castor rushed in and bit deep into the worg’s side. The wounded worg rounded on the ferran and bit him hard, shook, and dropped the injured sniper to the ground. Gor cut into Cress as he moved to help Castor. Castor attempted to kip up, but was caught on the worg’s jaws. Cress was able to smash Precious hard in the side of the head, tearing off an ear with his flail, but Castor was left unconscious on the ground. Cress now had two enemies to deal with alone and badly injured.

Dieterich, seeing that his firefight with the jurak in the tower was not going anywhere, rushed to Cress’s aid. He shot Precious and tormented it with his dark power. The torment prevented the worg from being able to bite Cress. Cress put everything into his defense and caught a heavy blow from Gor on his shield. He cracked open the worg’s skull with his flail, enraging Gor. Dieterich shot Gor, even as he was being shot in the back from the man he had left behind. The enraged Gor swung hard at Cress who was able to duck his attack. With to much power behind the attack, Gor lost his grip on his magmaxe and it landed on the ground.

Cress smashed Gor hard in the face while Dieterich shot him in the gut, taking down the massive warrior even as he dodge a backstab by the last mercenary. Cress and Dieterich turned on the last jurak. The warrior refused to yield or flee, so they took him down quickly.

With the battle over, they turned their attention to their wounded comrades. Cress drug Castor and Ling to the cave the mercenaries had been using while Dieterich started tending to them. He also drug the still bleeding Gor to the cave and started to search the body, finding a healing potion.

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Living Arrangements
Debt Collection

As they rested for the night, Dieterich treated Castor and Ling-feng Tsung’s injuries. While still unconscious, Ling had a vision of an eye watching him and the others. By morning, and after using their supply of healing potions, they were all fit to walk back the city. They made a litter to carry the still unconscious Gor back with them.

Arriving in the middle of the afternoon, they handed Gor over to the authorities to be dealt with. Cresstresser Talghetti and Ling went to sell the loot and buy some potions, while Dieterich stayed to further tend to Castor at Cogswheel Station. Ling sought out a temple to finish his healing.

When they met in the evening, Ling told the others that he had a feeling that the Eye was watching them. They all agreed that was likely. Everyone said they would be careful, then went their separate ways for the night.

When Cress arrived home, he found his family out on the street, his mother in tears. They had been evicted from the apartment they were renting. Soon after, Castor and Dieterich arrived. They had been kicked out of the inn they were staying at and had hoped to find shelter at Cress’s for the night. With no other good options in mind, they elected to leave the city and use the Worg’s cave as shelter for the night.

In the morning, after little sleep, Cress and Castor returned to Mekanus with Cress’s younger brothers in tow. They found Ling sleeping at the station. He had been living at a flop house, but had felt things were not right their and wanted somewhere safer for the night.

Cress’s first stop was to convince the mage that had taken on his brothers to allow them to continue their apprenticeship. After that, the three of them combed Smoketown for someplace to stay. They found a run down tenement in a bad neighborhood that they could stay at for an exuberant price. Ling had ended up shooting a dire rat that had made a nest in one of the rooms. They then spent the rest of the day moving Cress’s family in. After that they settled in for a much needed, but fitful rest.

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Bounty Collection
Hitsuki Zin and Stolen Property

The next morning the group awoke and went back to Cogswheel Station. Comander Shara Thale paid them their reward, but noted that it was nearly held up by the Eye. The party noted their own troubles from the Eye already, but shrugged it all off. Commander Thale then informed them that she had a priority mission for them. A former soldier named Hitsuki Zin had murdered a Yzeemite merchant in broad daylight. Thale’s personal dislike for golemoids shown through as she told them to deal with the problem.

The group started by searching for leads on her location. After several hours they narrowed her location down to a few rundown taverns in Tarello Landing. By the second one, they had found her and started formulating a plan. Castor climbed a building across the street for a vantage point while Dieterich waited on the street. Cresstresser Talghetti and Ling-feng Tsung waited till Hitsuki left and followed her out. No longer worried about bystanders, Cress demanded that she surrender. Her response was to shoot him with the rifle implanted in her arm.

Dieterich returned fire. Castor had a good sight on her and fired, taking out half of her face and nearly killing her. Cress moved in to act like a defensive wall while Ling readied an attack. With everyone gathered in close, Hitsuki released a blast of steam to scald them all, Dieterich taking the worst of it. As she tried to retreat back for a better shot, Cress caught her upside the head, taking her down. After Dieterich stabilized her, they halled her back to Cogswheel Station.

As they waited to see Commander Thale about their reward, another team of Irregulars passed them by. A half-elf asked them about their encounter with the Worgs before heading out on his own mission. Thale was pleased with the results and paid them promptly. She dismissed them, telling them that there were no more outstanding missions at the moment.

The party then left to spend their loot. Dieterich made his first stop at a temple to purchase some healing. The next stop was dinner. Feeling good, they returned to their tenement.

Things took a sour turn as they prepared to bed down for the night. Cress and Ling finally got clear look at Dieterich and realized his fallen nature. Cress was outraged to have a creature touched by the Darkfall living with his family. Silently, Dieterich left to sleep in the streets. Castor admonished the other two for their treatment of Dieterich, reminding them that he had saved their lives during the battle with the Worgs. Cress relented and let Castor fetch Dieterich back, but insisted in sleeping in the room with his family, separate from the fallen faerkin. They all had nightmares that night.

The next morning, they went back to Cogswheel Station. After a short wait, they were ushered in to see Commander Thale. She informed them that a big mission had just come in and she wanted them to work on it. It involved property stolen from a weaponsmith named Viridian Carmichael. She wanted to see if they could handle the investigation following the bungling of the kidnapping case she had sent them on. They were all uncomfortable when she mentioned the Eye and corrupted. Cress informed the others that Viridian was the weaponsmith for the Rusters and had a good reputation in his neighborhood. He had been working to rebuild his reputation after his former mentor, Farthric Wundren, refused to acknowledge Lord Urbane’s rulership and left the country.

When they arrived at his shot that sat on the border of Goldheart and Honor’s Foundary, Viridian closed his shop so they could talk. He showed them a picture of the sword that was stolen and informed them of its true nature. It was in fact the Royal Sword of Tarello that had been forged by his own mentor. He told them he had acquired it from a Yzeemite merchant. He wanted to present it to Lord Urbane as a gift. He told them that he would pay extra if they could keep the sword’s nature a secret.

The party started their investigation and found that nothing else had been stolen. Initially they asked if it was possible that the merchant had been involved, but Viridian doubted it after some thought. He also did not believe any of his assistants could have been involved. Then Cress suggested that his mentor could have wanted the sword back. Viridian was angry as he considered the possibility. He told them that he heard his mentor had been involved with Ghosts of Columbey.

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Night Run
Stolen Property

The group continued to search for clues. They visited the mage, Gar Willet, who had cast the arcane lock on the chest. He was obviously nervous. After some prodding he admitted an elven woman with a stone golem had inquired about what he had seen. He had told her about seeing the sword. Checking some more they found a beggar named Zickle that had seen the same woman enter the back of the shop. Castor gave him a gold for helping. They told Viridian what they had found out and he recognized the woman as Aella Velrose. He told them that she is a member of the Ghosts of Columbey.

It was not easy, and took hours, but they were able to find her location eventually. They tracked her down to a tavern in Tarello Landing, the Western Hope. They went inside and posed as customers. When Aella Velrose came down for dinner they rented a room and went up stairs. Castor picked the lock to her room and slipped in to find the sword.

They started to slip out the window when they heard footsteps at their door. They had to hurry and got free just before the Ghosts burst in. Castor tossed a rope out the window and they all started to repel down. Cress had to toss his armor out to be able to fit through. They started to run with the Ghosts pursing them. Castor could not keep up, but told the others to go without him. He hid while the others ran on.

They met up again at Cogswheel Station. In the morning they headed to return the sword when the woman confronted them. She told them of how she hoped to free Columbey from Urbanus. After some discussion, they handed the sword over to her and agreed to help her get it out of the city.

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Sewer Escort
Stolen Property

Aella Velrose led the group to a sewer enterance. After a bit they all realized they were being led on an unecisarly circuitous rout. When Cress pointed it out, she admitted that it was intentional in an attempt to keep them from learning the path used by the Ghosts of Columbey. With her ruse a failure, she led them straight on.

They came to a ward they needed to pass through, but Aella was unable to lower it. Castor was able to neutralize it long enough for them to pass through though. As soon as they were passed, though, they heard disturbing cackling.

A trio of cacklers attacked them, the horrid laughing unnerving them all. Ling-feng Tsung nearly tripped Cress in the chaos. Dieterich and Cress wounded one deeply. Aella brought forth light to aid in the fight while her golem helped finish the monster off. Ling jumped into the muck to help Castor fight off the cacklers that were surrounding him. Castor was had pressed and knocked down, but the others rushed to his aid and took down another. Dieterich rushed around to flank the final one. He tormented the monster before cutting deep into its back while Cress caved its head in.

With that taken care of it was only a short time before they were out of the sewers and outside the city. At an old farm house they were greeted by a group of Ghosts. Aella paid them a generous reward for their help. She hoped that they would aid her again in the future.

The next day Deiterich, Castor, and Ling went to explain to Commander Shara Thale that they had failed the mission. Dieterich was elected to talk to her because of his silver tongue. He spun the story so that she had no doubt of the truth. Of course, she was still quite upset by their failure. Dieterich was less diplomatic about that. He gave her a rude gesture and walked out.

Castor rushed in to try and fix what Dieterich had done. There was no calming the irate Commander. She handed him the writ for another mission, one that several other groups had already turned down and told him to leave.

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Monkey Buisness
Monkey Buisness

The group met up at their tenament to see what their next mission was. A man named Roland Kartar in Old Town wanted his flying monkey’s recaptured. They had been reaking havoc on the district. He listed the number of monkey’s between two and four. The bounty was only for half as much if they were killed instead of captured.

Cresstresser Talghetti started working on stratagies. He wanted to get some rubberized amunition. Castor decided to get some tanglefoot bags. Meanwhile, Ling-feng Tsung consulted with a sage about the flying monkeys. He learned that they could summon more of their kind.

It was the next morning when the group left. They made their way across the city to Old Town. They found the streets a mess and largely deserted. They finally came across one of the monkey’s eating on a food cart. Castor rushed up and entangled the flying monkey. The gluey substance did not stop the flying monkey from summoning to more of its kind.

The flying monkeys proved far more troubling than they first suspected. They flung their feces at the group, covering them all. It proved quite nausating. More arrived and the group found themselves pressed from both sides. The flying monkeys had created primitive flails that were very dangerous. Tsung took half a dozen hits and was finally knocked out. Using bullets and tanglefoot bags the others were able to fight back, but were unsure of which flying monkeys were real and which were summoned.

Once he had dealt with what he figured was one of the real ones, Cress turned to help the others. Feeling overwhelmed, Dieterich started using lethal ammo. Castor administred a potion to Tsung, who then struck a lethal blow to the one that had taken him down. The flying monkeys were were starting to retreat. Dieterich chased after and shot the last of the flying monkeys out of the air. It fell to the ground with a splat, then when poof. A summoned one.

They bound the flying monkeys while Dieterich stabalized them. They then sought out Roland Kartar. He was happy to see them, though he admonished one flying monkey that he had named Ceaser. He paid them for four captured ones, but only half for the last one, thinking it was a summons. They agreed to that and headed back towards Smoketown.

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