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Featured Article (History)
April 2019
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The Cigam campaign is a Dungeons and Dragons game run by Draziw and played by Rerecros, Dawn, MsKonnan10, Sirapyro, Cyan R, Cam, Varangianbard, Sk8r dan man, and Wolffi. It is set in a fictional world created by Draziw and his family, from which their naming scheme (Wizard=Draziw, Rerecros=Sorcerer, Sugam=Magus) was originally developed. It is a fantast world in which magic is illegal and punishable by death in the major civilization, and so it is hidden and practiced in secrecy.

The Championship of Champions

Opening Events

The Championship of Champions drew adventurers, merchants, performers, and all other kinds of people seeking fame, glory, and entertainment from across the Emorian Empire and beyond. The day opened with a musical competition in the early morning, which saw a few lackluster acts followed by energetic, crowd-pleasing performanes by individuals known as Ivo Arend and Vylqwyn. The former, Ivo, gave an upbeat, visual performance with his guitar that could best be compared to a "rock" show, while Vylqwyn enraptured the entire crowd with an emotional ride of songs. Among them was a mention of the Naurel Citadel, filled with knowledge, which intrigued a good few of the other participants, especially Ivo. Vylqwyn won, while Ivo took second.

Archery and Strength competitions were held concurrently shortly after the musical one, allowing contestants in the championship to show off some of their talents. Commandant Sam Colt III and Commandant David Evans were among those in this competition, though suffered through a few stumbles. The archery competition saw participation from, once again, Ivo Arend, as well as Ms. Kallie, Ilyui Omilya, and Javid Divaj. Ivo underperformed in this competition, but Ms. Kallie took home a third place prize, while Illy and Javid, amazingly, managed to tie, splitting the prize for both first and second place.

Combat Events

With the more "friendly" entertainment out of the way, the events everyone came out to see began: the combat trials. Different teams would face off against a wave of creatures, and those who were successful were then eligible for a place in the main event. Several teams participated, but arguably the most impressive was the team made up of Ivo Arend, Vylqwyn, Javid Divaj, Illy, Ms. Kallie, Commandant's Sam Colt III and David Evans, and François, who had spent much of the earlier parts of the event pickpocketing his way through the poorer section of the audience.

This team of eight first squared off against a wave of ent-like creatures that were not particularly threatening, and each went down fairly easily. Much of the battle took place at range due to the "Twigs" being let into the arena from the opposite end as the challengers. They were easily taken down, with the team taking no damage other than a slight self-inflicted mishap with Javid's bow. The team were given some time to relax, during which they were only able to hear the battles of the other teams, which often sounded terrible. Rattling, explosions, and what could only be described as someone lifting half the stadium and dropping it.

Finally, the team was ushered back out into the arena, and their second round began when a pack of wolves - led by a much larger dire wolf - were released. Those with ranged weapons stepped away from the battle while the melee fighters among them charged forward. Commandant Evans was the first to make contact with the wolves, but despite heavy armor the wolves managed to land several bites, nearly crippling the Commandant. The Dire Wolf was killed fairly quickly, but the death of their alpha did not seem to bother the wolves, and over the next few moments they were mopped up by both melee and ranged attacks. The team returned to their waiting room, victorious.

Unfortunately, as the team entered the third round, Commandant Colt, Vylqwyn and Ms. Kallie backed out of the fighting, leaving only five fighters remaining. They entered the arena confidently, a confidence that was only shaken when two baby red dragons were released into the arena. The fight began quickly, with a volley of ranged attacks starting the combat. Dragons are most known for their fire, though, and one of the two managed to unleash a powerful blast upon Commandant Evans and Javid within the first few seconds. Evans luckily managed to deflect some of the flames, partially protecting the both of them, but Illy was severely bit by the second and immediately retreated to the opposite side of the arena, where she was able to focus in with ranged attacks. The battle continued on, and after seeing the way things were going, Vylqwyn decided to rejoin the fighting to help his teammates. He was, surprisingly, able to inflict a lot of damage onto one of the dragons entirely on his own. The battle ended fairly quickly after that, with the team coming out victorious! They did, however, suffer enough damage that they were forced to consume all of their health potions going into the next event.

The Main Event

The final event of the championship, the main event, was an all-on-one brawl against the champion of the entire Emorian Empire: Enoch. Every challenger who wished to participate, from the entire competition, could, and their goal was simple: take down Enoch the Champion by either defeating him in combat or knocking him out of the "ring" (a 50ft x 50ft tarp), or still be standing after one minute. Leaving the "ring" meant instant disqualification, but anyone who managed to "win" would be given 500 gold for their participation. All of this came with the knowledge that this was an annual event, and Enoch had never been defeated. After discussing it amongst themselves, the team split into two groups: "Well, we might as well try", and "Not worth it". Only Javid Divaj, Commandant Evans, and Ivo Arend opted to attempt to win, while the other five sat out. All of them opted to watch, except for Commandant Colt who stepped out entirely.

After Enoch the Champion gave introductions to both the event and himself, the timer began. A mob of nearly two dozen combatants charged direcly at the champion, who shrugged off their blows, like a champion. Ivo, Javid, and Evans held back, opting to witness what they were up against before facing off against him directly. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that they were horribly outmatched, and the fighters foolish enough to charge him directly were quickly knocked out, three or four at a time. Ivo held back and fought with ranged attacks, but Javid and Evans worked with a strategy of "hit and run" - run forward, attempt to land a hit, then quickly get away. Their strategy resulted in Enoch taking only minimal damage, so little in fact that he barely paid any mind to the three and continued focusing on the mob dogpiling him. Eventually Ivo, Evans, and Javid decided to split up, taking position at different corners of the "ring". Evans tried using a javelin from this position, but accidentually put it right into another challenger, taking him out of the fight.

As the fight was ongoing, Vylqwyn began to play an tune from the stands that helped inspire his previous allies, while Illy and François made a bet as to which of the three would go down first. François bet that Commandant Evans would be the first to fall, while Illy bet anyone else would. As the mob thinned out, Illy yelled out into the crowd encouraging Enoch the Champion to take out Javid first, clearly trying to influence her bet. Her comments were clearly audible from the "ring", and so when the last of the other fighters fell and Enoch began making his way towards Ivo, he attempted to save his own hide and tried persuading Enoch to follow through on Illy's request. He failed, and Ivo only managed to block a single one of Enoch's attacks, hurting him but not taking him out. Boldly, Ivo did what he thought was most rational at that point: play dead. He managed to drop to the floor convincingly enough that Enoch believed he had been taken out, and so he set his sights on Javid.

Unpredictably fast, Enoch made his way across the right and swiftly knocked out Javid, who had previously taken a pretty bad blow but managed to keep standing. Beliving Commandant Evans to be the last conscious challenger in the ring, he approached him and though Evans made a good attempt at defending himself - with the timer nearing zero - he fell. Knowing that he only had seconds left before the challenge ended, and knowing that he had to be standing in order to actually win, Ivo jumped from his prone position, directly in Enoch's line of sight. As Enoch approached him, Ivo pulled something from his belt and stuck it into his shirt. Soon after Enoch was in striking distance, and very easily knocked Ivo out cold. But Ivo did not fall, as he had stuffed his shirt with an immovable rod, an object that cannot be moved when activated, even if it is defying gravity. And so even though Ivo was completely out cold, he was hanging from the immovable rod in a slouched-standing position.

The timer hit zero, and Enoch curiously took in the sight of Ivo hanging upright before him. He gave a nod of approval to the judges, and as he left (with no one left wishing to challenge him), he requested that Ivo be brought to him. At this point the guards began dragging people off of the tarp, and moved Ivo off of the immovable rod, leaving it floating there. Vylqwyn took the opportunity to enter the ring and grab the rod before anyone else could. Commandant Evans and Javid were healed, and were each given 2500 gold pieces for being among the top five last standing in the competition. Healers revived Ivo, enhancing his physical strength in the process, and as he regained consciousness Vylqwyn entered and returned his immovable rod to him. Vylqwyn then left and was soon after replaced by Enoch, who congratulated Ivo and made an attempt to learn more about him, praising his creativity and problem solving ability, stressing that no one else had ever even managed to slump-stand by the end of the challenge before.

As prize, Ivo was given an envelope with the name of the military commander in every city and major town of the Emorian Empire, a useful resource in itself, but he also gifted him two Praetorian Coins, priceless objects that afforded those who own them incredible amounts of influence. And so, with everyone healed and the events come to a close, the Championship of Champions ended, and the after-party in the town of Loot began.

The Afterparty

The Market

As the Championship of Champions came to a close, the party in Loot began. Such a massive event has a tendency to draw businesses from across the realm hoping to make a quick profit from the hordes of people gathered in one place, and so countless merchants had set up shop just outside the arena. Ivo, Javid, and Commandant Evans were rejoined by Ms. Kallie and Commandant Colt, while another challenger in the competition - Wolffi "The Wolf" Kaizer - joined them after witnessing the challenge against Enoch. They all collectively made their way to the market, looking to spend some of the gold they had just earned in the competition.

Their first stop was at a tent selling books, scrolls, and all kinds of written works. Ivo took the opportunity to purchase a government-drafted map of the empire and surrounding regions, while the Commandant's each purchased a book on combat styles looking to improve their technique's; Commandant Colt's on defensive combat, and Commandant Evans on group combat. The Wolf purchased a book about Enoch, but was very secretive about his purchases to the rest of the party. They moved on from the book store fairly quickly, and found themselves in a large tent with several different weapons and armor vendors. Thousands of gold pieces were spent in this tent, with most of the party upgrading their weaponry. Ivo purchased a fancy light crossbow with a metallic bowstring with the financial assistance of both Commandant's, while both Ms. Kallie and Commandant Colt bought new shields. While Ms. Kallie's was fairly standard, and painted pink, Commandant Colt purchased a Golden Dragonfire Shield for a whopping 10,000 gold. Though a hard purchase, the shield's ability to absorb and re-release fire attacks made it worth it. Javid, for his part, purchased an enchanted quarterstaff that, when the enchantment was charged, was effectively weightless. It could also be split in two, allowing the user to weild two separate weapons.

After the group finished shopping for arms and armor, they were enticed by an incredibly charismatic pouch salesman and every member of the party ended up purchasing enchanted coin pouches that were capable of holding all of their gold weightlessly, but would be destroyed if anything not a coin was put into it. Ivo also purchased a Many handed pouch, an enchanted set of 10 pouches that shared the same "space", and each could access the contents of the others from up to 100 miles away. With everyone finished at the merchant stalls, the parts made their way into town, but not before The Wolf - and only The Wolf - found himself robbed of 5 gold pieces.

Following Ivo's lead, the group made their way to the local university, hoping to gain some insight on the items they had just purchased (or were just looking for information unrelated to the nights events), but unfortunately it was closed due to the festivities. Instead, they all made their way to the local Cigam office. There, they once again ran into Vylqwyn, on his way out, who kindly held the door open for the party while they entered. Once inside, the party began browsing and making inquiries into their newly purchased magical items. Commandant Colt was unable to learn anything new about his shield, while Javid was at least able to learn that he could charge his new quarterstaff by spinning it. Most of the party stocked up on health potions, while Ivo bought a firebreath potion for Commandant Colt in an effort to repay him for assisting with purchasing his light crossbow. Ivo also bought a set of 10 "poppers" - thrown devices designed to make noise - while Javid purchased five smoke bombs. With their business concluded in the Cigam office, they made their way to a local tavern to join the party.

Meeting Each Other

The group found a tavern to settle down in, and were immediately beset upon by enthusiastic patrons who had witnessed their feats during the championship. Ivo, Javid, and Commandant Evans, especially, received a lot of attention for being the last three left standing against Enoch. All drinks were on the house, and despite there being no seats available for the party, space was very quickly made for them. The excitement calmed down after about twenty minutes, and the party finally had a chance to relax and actually talk to each other - their first real chance to get to know one another.
  • Commandant David Evans, a visbly older man, revealed himself to be a retired military officer who was still adventuring for his own, personal, reasons.
  • Commandant Sam Colt III, a man who seemed far too young to hold his rank, revealed that he had been gifted with a magical power by a strange old man after nurturing a dying bird back to health that, due to the law of the land, he was searching for a way to get rid of. He revealed himself to be from a prominent military family, justifying how quickly he achieved the rank of Commandant.
  • Ms. Kallie revealed herself to be a merchant, and throughout the night would prove herself to be a fairly knowledgeable person. She was raised in the north, and largely had to learn how to survive on her own.
  • The Wolf, who still hadn't revealed his identity to the rest of the party, did reveal that he was a noble and a knight of the southern empire, trained for much of his life but without ever having seen real combat. Throughout the night it became clear that he harbored a strong resentment towards the nothern empire.
  • Javid Divaj, who had proved to had very poor social skills throughout the night, revealed himself to be from the typically uninhabitable dune sea in the far east.
  • Ivo Arend claimed he was more of a survivalist than a straight up combatant, and that he was largely in town and competing in the competition in the hopes that the notoriety might help his influence in the realm on his quest to learn more about his past. Commandant Evans, who had spent much of his career serving in the south, was able to direct Ivo to Rootstown, where he would be most likely to find any information about the town he was born in, which had been destroyed. He also alluded to towns completely disappearing during that time, and that a conflict with the Giants may have led to their attacking border cities in the Emorian Empire.

Want a job?

As the party finished up their introductions, they noticed a strange man listening in on them. He quickly realized that they knew he was listening, and so he promptly presented himself as a "businessman" with a job or two for the group, if they were interested. As he began to make implications of the moral ambiguity of the jobs, Ms. Kallie chimed in and informed the rest of the group that the man was wearing a belt buckle with the insignia of the Five Crowns, a criminal organization dedicated to the control and practice of the "five types" of crime. Ivo made an attempt to intimidate more information out of the mysterious man before them, but ultimately he was more frightened by Ms. Kallie and her sudden an unexpected knowledge on the organization. Ultimately, the man presented the group with two jobs he needed done:
  • His contact in a secret military base just south of Loot, near the city of Torrig, had gone quiet. The party would be paid 2,500 gold collectively to investigate and report back. OR
  • The payroll for the southern empire's military was being held in the city of Plainview, worth along the lines of 60,000 to 80,000 gold. Getting more information would cost 1,000 gold, but the profit would be the parties to split.

The Five Crowns representative left after making his offers, but left behind a coin with their insignia on it that could be turned in with any banker to accept either of their jobs.

Shocked, the party started to talk about how to respond to the man they'd just encountered - and whether or not to turn them into the guards - when suddenly another man approached them, surprising Ivo as he roughly grabbed Ivo by the shoulders, though in what could be perceived as a friendly manner. This man had wanted to speak with Ivo privately, but after Ms. Kallie, once again, expressed an unexpected level of knowledge on this mans belt insignia, he sat down and spoke to the entire party. This man was a member of another criminal organization - the Third Hand - the "arch enemies" of the Five Crowns. To the surprise of the entire party, the man also had a job for them:
  • His contact, a soldier named Michael, who was stationed in a secret military base south of Loot went silent, and the Third Hand would pay the party a collective 3,000 gold to investigate and report back.

Obviously, this job offer was identical to the offer made by the Five Crowns, much to the curiosity of the party. The Third Hand's representative soon after departed, but the party barely had a chance to breathe before the curious string of job offers continued.

The Third Hand representative's seat was quickly filled by another individual, who the party quickly recognized as Vylqwyn. As much of the party was friendly towards him due to his aiding them during the earlier rounds of the combat competition, and his general friendliness towards them even after the competition, he set them more at ease than the last two individuals they had been approached by. Still, though, Vylqwyn came with a purpose, and offered the party yet another job, unaware of the previous two they had received:
  • Rumors were spreading about some sort of incident at a secret military base near the city of Torrig, and while Vylqwyn was unable to pay the party much for investigating it, he would appreciate it if they did, and reported back to him.

Some members of the party were beginning to question if some "higher power" (but not a God - because religion's illegal) were trying to tell them something, with this being the third time the military base had been brought up. Ivo, more inclined to work with Vylqwyn than the criminal organizations, but determined to make his way to Rootstown, sold one of his many handed pouches to Vylqwyn, saying that if he had the chance he would stop by and transfer a note back to Vylqwyn with more information. Vylqwyn accepted this, and left the party to enjoy their drinks.

Unfortunately "enjoying their drinks" wasn't quite possible yet, as the party was surprised by none other than the Champion himself - Enoch - joined them at their table. At first it appeared as though he was there to congratulate and thank Ivo, Commandant Evans, and Javid on their participation in the competition, but he quickly (and quietly) asked for their help on a job he needed done, but stressed that word could never get out that he was involved. Javid, ignoring all social cues, tried to beat him to the punch asking if it was about the secret military base - which only seemed to confuse Enoch. He was silently shushed by the rest of the party.
  • The military payroll for a few local cities was being held in Plainview, if the party could steal it from them - greatly embarrasing the local commander - he would pay them five times whatever they took, totaling up to possibly 300,000 gold.

This was an incredibly impressive - and valuable - job offer that "The Wolf" was very distasteful towards, though he attempted to hide this from Enoch, who merely winked at him. Enoch directed this job at Ivo especially, due to his performance in the competition, but Ivo deflected the conversation by asking to have a chance to think about it. After Enoch had finished his pitch and left, Ms. Kallie weighed in and stressed that Enoch was not being fully truthful, and that the party shouldn't trust him. The Wolf, especially, agreed - though his motivations were clearly more politically focused than insightful.

Just when the sheer number of back to back job offers couldn't have gotten any stranger, a Wizard from the Cigam Order approached the party, and quickly got down to business. He, too, had a job, but presented it as much more of a personal request than part of some conspiracy, like the military base, which Javid again tried to suggest to the Wizard, who was just as confused as Enoch. The bottom of Javid's chair was kicked multiple times for this, much to his own confusion.
  • One of the Wizard's books had been stolen by what he referred to as a "Bully" - and if the party could go to the city of Hillsdale and retrieve it, he would pay them a collective 5,000 gold.

The Wizard asked if the party could return the book to him at his office in Loot, and quietly went on his way. Wouldn't you know it, though, the job offers kept on coming.

Practically expecting it at this point, the party was completely unsurprised when a young woman approached them, dressed in a way that would make most of them blush. She sat down next to Ivo, and proceeded to make him incredibly uncomfortable as she rested her arm on his knee, and continued to raise it up his leg as she spoke. She, too, had a job, though one that seemed far more personal and far less dire than most of the others:
  • A group of what she describes as "ruffians" have been harassing her and her friends in their home town of Berwin, just down the river, and if the party could confront and deal with them, she and her friends would be incredibly greatful.

She left after slipping more information into Ivo's belt and pinning a small heart to his coin pouch, and as she left Ivo was mocked about her being his "girlfriend". Embarrassed and receiving more attention than he anticipated, Ivo refuted the claims and sat there, reserved.

One more job offer was still to come, though, and shortly after the woman left, two very wealthy looking merchants entered and, upon spotting the party, approached and began fawning over Ivo's performance in the competition. They shifted towards The Wolf, though, once they realized he was also seated at the table, and referred to him as the "Spider-man", due to things he did to a group of spiders during the Championship, much to the confusion and curiosity of the rest of the party, who still didn't have anything else to call him. With the gawking out of the way, and the merchants curiously nervous around The Wolf, they made the group yet another job offer:
  • With the Championship of Champions concluded, the merchants would be packing up shop and returning home to the city of Dallut, just east of the capital city Emor. The merchants would be willing to pay each member of the party 25 gold per day to travel with them and defend their merchandise on the long journey.

The Merchants intended to leave within two to three days, so they left the party to consider whether or not they would be in to make the long journey, and departed.

Finally, the job offers seemed to cease, and the party was able to finally relax and enjoy their drinks in peace once more, but were now also forced to talk among themselves about which job they should take, or if they should take any - and if that meant they were going to be working with each other for an extended period of time.

The Secret Base Job - Investigating

An Unfortunate Encounter

After discussing it among themselves, a group consisting of Ivo, Commandant Colt, Javid, and Ms. Kallie decided to go south to the secret military base on behalf of Vylqwyn. They each temporarily went their separate ways, satisfied with the events of the day, and fully refreshed themselves with a good nights sleep. The four reconvened at the gates of the city, but just as they were exiting, they found themselves confronted by the Third Hand representative who had approached them the night before. He arrogantly vocalized his disappointment that the party had not responded to his offer, at which point the party noticed a dozen of Third Hand thugs surrounding them. The Third Hand saw it fit that the party pay a 1200 gold "exit fee" from the city, 300 for each member.

Ivo made attempts to talk their way out of the brazen attempt at robbery, but ultimately it broke out into a fight which the party very quickly began to lose. A single volley knocked out Colt - the strongest warrior of the group, though Javid managed to deflect much of the initial barrage. Badly hurt, both Ivo and Ms. Kallie indignantly agreed to pay the thugs their requested money, and they happily went on their way, taking hardly a scratch. The party determined to trudge on, despite unfairly losing the money they had just earned.

The Military Base

It took several hours of travel, but eventually the party was able to reach the base by following the path set on a map given to them by Vylqwyn, which magically updated its path to show them the correct direction. As they approached a breach in the base's defenses, they met up with Vylqwyn's contact - Akio - who quickly informed them party of what little information was available. The base was clearly owned and operated by the Emorian military, as corpses inside the base all donned the official military uniform. Not a single living soul remained inside the compound as far as anyone could tell, they had all been slaughtered by something unknown. After entering and doing some preliminary investigations, it was discovered that blood trails and boot prints led into a locked building in the center of the compound, while it and and some of the other structures had been singed. There were no obvious signs that whatever attacked the compound was any sort've animal, but what could have caused the destruction remained unknown.

Only the building that the dragged blood led to was locked, all others were open but contained no additional evidence. Only the room that the bloodstains led to was locked, but after briefly fiddling with the lock, Ivo managed to unlock it. They found the inside largely torn up, but they did discover a trapdoor that opened up to a spiral staircase going down. Colt guarded the stairs while the rest of the party searched the other rooms, finding nothing of use. They made their way back to the trapdoor, at which point Akio departed in order to handle other business. With Colt at the head, shield raised, the party made their way down the stairs.

Exploring the Dungeon

With scarce light, the party cautiously made their way downstairs. They came to a door at the bottom of the stairwell, and positioned themselves to combat anything that might ambush them on the other side. Nothing did, fortunately, and they entered the doorway to find themselves in a hallway, with branches going both south and east. They were able to light torches along the walls as they made their way east, discovering several additional doors along the walls. They decided to open a door in the middle of the hallway, and took tactical positions before opening it: Colt in front with his shield raised, Javid off to the side ready to slip in if necessary, and Ivo and Ms. Kallie standing over his shoulders, ready to fire if necessary.

They opened the door, and found themselves face to face with two creatures that resembled humanoid dragons; two arms, two legs, a head on top of shoulders, but with a dragon-like head and scales covering their entire body. The most peculiar part of their appearance, though, was that they appeared to be wearing oversized Emorian soldier uniforms, raising a significant amount of questions that were not immediately answered. They were not happy to see the party, and immediately attacked. Fortunately, they didn't prove to be incredibly difficult to fight, and one was easily killed, while the other was intentionally knocked out. Unfortunately, because it was knocked out the party was unable to attempt communicating with it. And so they left it in its room while they moved on to the next, where they encountered another two of the same creatures. They made an attempt at communication, but their words seemingly fell on deaf ears. Once again, one of the creatures was killed as the other was left unconscious.

So the party continued to clear rooms along the northernmost wall, killing only one additional set of the creatures before moving south and entering a much larger room, where they fought off another, larger, group. They were still unable to make any sort of communication, leading them to beleive the creatures may have been on par with animals, or spoke a language no one in the party could translate. The party decided to double back and explore the hallway leading south, which they discovered lead to a much larger chamber, at the entrance of which was a brazier that they quickly lit, alerting a large group of the creatures to their position. The party quickly found themselves facing off against nearly a dozen, including one capable of some sort of speech unfamiliar to everyone in the room. Colt was able to use a charge from his enchanted fire shield to swiftly kill the bulk of the creatures, and the rest were taken out fairly quickly afterwards.

After lighting everything they could, the party discovered they were in what appeared to be an underground mess hall, with several doors on either side. On the one side they discovered a board room that exited into yet another hallway, which contained several office doors marked with "Do Not Enter" signs. They opted to clear out the mess hall first, and explored the opposite side, which included a largely untouched kitchen, officers mess hall, and pantry, all connected to a tunnel that led to a staircase back up into the surface kitchen. The party began to theorize that this section of the underground complex may have been untouched due to the sunlight coming down from the kitchen, a potential weakness. They made their way further south, and fought a few additional creatures off that had made themselves comfortable in the offices of some of the bases officers. After investigating these offices, the party discovered references to a member of the Praetorian Guard, as well as vague references to "The General"; both appeared to be involved in whatever was going on down there. Doubling back up to the original hallway they had explored, the party discovered that one of the offices was labeled "The General".

The Secret Base Job - A Close Call

The Secret Base Job - Of Dragons and Men

On Towards Berwin

Road to Berwin

After having the chance to rest up under the watchful protection of the dragons, and the now-friendly draconic creatures, the party set off to leave the military compound before the mysterious "General" arrived, but not before Ivo took a moment to send an update off to Vylqwyn. With the magic items they found in tow, they made their way back to the surface and collectively decided to make their way towards the regional capital Strassburg, but not before stopping in the city of Berwin along the way, so that they might try to assist the woman who had asked for their help dealing with "ruffians" back in Loot (much to Ivo's dismay).

And so the party set off towards Berwin together, though Colt and Javid both fell behind and would end up rejoining the group later. The rest of the party made it most of the way, but ended up camping in the forest overnight. Ivo took a fairly uneventful first watch, and Illy and Ms. Kallie shared the second watch. The group was attacked by wild animals under their watch, but were scared off before everyone could even be woken up. Illy and Kallie finished off their watch, but Illy took the third watch as well after having revealed herself to be a wood elf, something the party had not realized up to that point due to a spell hiding her distinguishable features. The Wolf shared the third watch with her, but struck out away from the camp to have some time alone. Unfortunately, a group of three bears confronted the camp as they slept, but they too were scared off after Ivo awoke and used one of his "poppers" to fan the flames of their campfire. The bears ran off towards The Wolf, but fortunately they passed by him without incident.

Inn Trouble

The party arrived in Berwin the next morning, and after a quick visit to the local town crier, they made their way to the tavern the woman told them they could find her at - The X Tavern. The town crier snickered when they asked to know where it was, and it became clear why the moment they all walked inside: they were greeted by the sight of many naked men, and woman enjoying their company. Ivo's discomfort was matched only by The Wolf's delight in said discomfort. They quickly found the woman they spoke to in Loot - Ms. Tress - and discovered that she was, in fact, the owner of the inn. After fawning over Ivo, she told the party about how "Ms. Ter", the owner of her competitor, the Y Tavern, had been sending men over to harass her employees and vandalize her establishment, and that she needed it to stop.

By this point Commandant Evans had gone off to deal with business in another part of the city, and so the remaining party of Ivo, Illy, Ms. Kallie, and The Wolf made their way to the Y Tavern in an attempt to try and figure out what was going on between these two businesses. They found the Y Tavern to be far easier on the eyes upon walking in, with everyone decidedly clothed. They had also learned from the town crier, who was not the sam town crier from before but his identical brother, that the Y Tavern was one of the best places for them to find food, so they decided to have lunch before confronting Ms. Ter. The Wolf covered the shockingly expensive cost of the food and drink, but that also included the alcohol that Illy ordered; and she ordered a lot of alcohol, to the point of being "wasted".

Ivo took charge and got them all a meeting with Ms. Ter, who told a very different story than Ms. Tress had. According to her, Ms. Tress had been sending vandals to the Y Tavern, not the other way around. Ms. Ter believed that the W Tavern, yet another competitor on the outskirts of the city, had been harassing Ms. Tress, and her own establishment was taking all of the blame. With the mystery one step more complicated, the party departed (or, in Illy's case, were dragged along) to visit the W Tavern so they could speak with its owner, Ms. Es.

The party found the W Tavern to be completely different than the other two: it was less of a tavern, and more of a gambling den, featuring a large fight pit where eager onlookers, many of them sailors, could place bets on the various fights held there. While Ivo tried to organize a meeting with Ms. Es, a still very drunk Illy tried to place a few bets, but lost horribly. When they did finally organize a meeting with Ms. Es, Ivo was hardly able to get a word in as she recognized both him and The Wolf based on their performances in the Championship of Champions, and after riling up the crowd peer pressured them into fighting for her. The Wolf jumped at the chance but, unfortunately, was quickly knocked unconscious in his first fight. Ivo, reluctant but wanting to earn enough respect from Ms. Es to warrant her time, fought in three different fights: he fought the first to a stalemate, and actually managed to win some money in the second. The third fight was between him and The Wolf, but once again it fell to a stalemate.

With that out of the way, Ivo was finally able to have a conversation with Ms. Es, asking her about her rivalry with the other taverns. She revealed to the party that both Ms. Tress and Ms. Ter were sisters, and that their third sister - Ms. Tee - had been attempting to buy the W Tavern for unreasonable prices for some time. When Ms. Es refused, Ms. Tee began sending the local guard to harass the W Tavern, hurting her business. Yet another piece of the puzzle, and it forced the party to go and visit yet another tavern: The Z Tavern, owned by Ms. Tee, and according to the town crier, the best place to stay the night. By this point it was getting late, and so after Ms. Kallie used her merchant guild membership to get the party the master suite, they turned in for the night, determined to continue this investigation in the morning.

The WXYZ Debacle