Goodspeed's Good Men Episode 5

Chadwick's Good Men (Keith GM, 6/30/2014)

There is an epidemic that has been plaguing the Sapphire Coast. Small settlements have been reporting attacks. Most of these settlements are locations that can't defend themselves. The children are taken, and if anyone resists, they are killed. Those that survive all tell the same story…they can't remember anything about who attacked other than a woman with red hair.

But, this has been an epidemic centered around small locations without the ability to resist. Until Abraham Goodspeed removed the militia from the town of Jesnic. A town of 200 left protected only by a smattering of hired mercenaries…a town of easy pickings.

Arriving in town shortly after word of the disaster went out, Lenore Ravenwing (Born Gaia Earthflower to members of a fertility cult in Jesnic) arrives back in the town of her birth to see the aftermath of destruction. Priests are beginning to bury dead elvish guards wearing uniforms that Lenore doesn't immediately recognize. Cleanup is underway, through empty casks of ale still litter the streets. Passing by the town hall, she notices her family going in for a meeting of the citizenry. Despite the tragedy, they are quick to ask her about her prospects for children.

Inside is a large amount of anger. Lots of individuals, mostly parents, wanting to know why nothing has been done yet. A lot of crying for answers. You see several faces in the crowd that you've never seen in the city. Mayor James Randal, a lifelong citizen of Jesnic, is trying to keep everyone calm. Two members of the militia, a tiefling and a dragonborn, stand behind him.

"As I've told many of you already, we ARE doing something about this. We have scouts tracking the group as best they can, but you saw what they did to us when we were ready. I've sent word out to the Silver Scale to see if they can assist but…"

The dragonborn loudly sighs at the mention of the Scale, the organization he belongs to. The crowd goes livid at the mention of the Scale, and begin screaming. Several people begin screaming that, if anything is to be done, they need to be the ones to do it.

Interrupting the meeting, are calls that a scout has returned.

Outside, A rider is seen entering the town from the east. He is slumped over his horse, with several arrows perforating his body. As he gets into town, he falls off his horse. The crowd begins to rush toward him, looking for answers, but August, the Dragonborn Paladin, lets out a deafening roar that puts them in their place. Lenore quickly rushes out to aid the man. While attempting to heal him, the scout grabs her clothes. "Edmere Estate…they're holed up in the Edmere Estate…" He passes out.

August, a relatively new member of the town, is not familiar with this manor. But Lenore is. As is Door or Window, the Tiefling who serves as the only other member of the militia left alive after the Goodspeed Incident. Door or Window quickly begins to head for the manor, while August recruits a new militia…consisting of a blind monk, Lee Sin, a dwarven warden, Ota, a Fraternity leader, Chadwick Banditcoot (Who insists he is the leader, a fact that the members of this militia seem all to happy to go along with), and Lenore, the Elf Druid who has been healing the scout. Together, they head for the Edmere Estate, to rescue the 114 children that were taken from Jesnic.

As they approach the mansion, a deafening screaming noise fills the sky, originating from an arrow launched from somewhere in the forest. Lenore quickly shifts into the form of a panther, and takes off after movement she noticed in the woods around the road to the estate. Door or Window flanks the other side, as a rain of steel surrounds the remaining members of the group. Lee Sin quickly finds the source, a shifter in a tree, and launches himself onto the branch to confront him, while Lenore attempts (And fails) to pounce him out of the tree. Ota throws a hammer, hitting the shifter in the chest, while August attempts to launch a javeling at him, and Chadwick charges the tree, attempting to burn it down. Door or Window attempts to launch a rock at the archer to knock him out of the tree but fails, causing Lenore to shift back into her Elvish form, entangling the archer with a whip of vines and pulling him to the ground.

As the party begins to wail on the shifter, he disappears…sidestepping into the Fey. He reappears on the road, attempting to run toward the mansion…until that is stopped by Door or Window, who launches another, more well aimed rock, knocking him to the ground. Tackling him, Door or Window begins stabbing at him, killing the shifter.

On his body, the group finds a key, a finely crafted bow, and a crimson red sash, with an emblem suggesting that it belongs to The Crimson Strand, an old group of adventurers that have done more good for this land than many can ever hope to repay them for.

Approaching the mansion, the group convinces their leader, Chadwick, to loudly knock on the door, while the rest of the party gets into an ambush position by the windows. Chadwick loudly knocks, eventually getting tired, and opens the door after there is no answer. Waiting for him is a large Shardmind, and a tall, elaborately dressed Deva, both wearing crimson sashes, and both of which immediately conjure a length of walls to block off the party, forcing them to funnel into two small areas. While the party is attempting to get the window shutters opened, Lee Sin attempts to jump through a taller window, however ends up about three feet to the left of the opening. Door or Window flies through one of the windows, throwing the bow he had picked up from the shifter, only to have it clank against the conjured wall. As the party makes their way into the mansion, they can hear doors opening, and voices, but they can't make them out.

Turning the corner from the conjured walls, they see the source of the commotion, Two dozen children (A dozen on each side) acting as a human wall between the party and their captors. The Deva, a wizard, conjures a huge geyser of flame where the half of the party stands, while the Shardmind, a Psion, dazes the paladin with a blast of psionic energy. Door or Window carefully readies his bow, trying to figure out exactly how it works, while Ota, Lee Sin, and Chadwick engage the Deva, forcing their way past the children, and quickly ending his life (With Chadwick delivering the final, terrifying blow)

This is where things take a terrifying turn. Lenore attempts to call upon the forces of nature at her command to bring a forest of finds to constrict and disable the children, preventing them from getting further involved in the fight and protecting them in a thicket of plant life. Lenore, unfortunately, does not have full command over the strength at her fingertips, and launches a terrifying assault against one of the groups of children. The vines tear into the flesh of the children, killing them, while Lenore (And the rest of the party) stand horrified.

As the children die, a loud boom originates from the basement of the manor, and Lee Sin quickly notices the smell of Sulfur. The Shardmind transforms into a collective of animated crystals, and flees into another room. After much convincing by their leader, Chadwick, the group decide to give chase, descending down into the basement.

As the party descends the stairs, they see a horrifying scene. An altar lies in the center of the room, with a tiefling child flayed open upon it. Several children are chained to the stone pillars that support the house, cut open. Along the floor is blood. A lot of it. Forming a pattern around the altar, with lots of footprints…mostly smaller footprints, trudging through the blood. And at the opposite end of the room is a portal, being held open by a caster.
The shardmind runs past the caster, making a beeline for the portal, yelling for "BEN, SHUT HER DOWN WE GOTTA GO NOW!"

The caster looks up to see the party, and realizes the situation, and quickly exits through the portal, followed immediately by Lenore, still grieving, and determined to save the rest of the children.

August, due to his religious training, as well as Door or Window, recognize the symbol that the blood has formed on the floor. It is the symbol of the Nine Hells, though altered slightly due to a recent change in rulership. Determined to get his extra credit, Chadwick follows Lenore through the portal.

With a heavy sigh, August looks at his friend, Door or Window. "I have to go."

Door or Window shakes his head. "There is no escape from there…"

August lowers his head as he charges through the portal. "I know."

With that, the portal closes, with Door or Window, Lee Sin, and Ota still in the basement of horrors.

The come through into a hellish realm. Flames and ash permeate this world, and the smell of smoke and sulfur fills every breath the party takes.

August is quick to notice a problem with this world. His god, Bahamut, has no presence here. There is no light. Lenore notices a similar absence, as nature has no sway here.

The party quickly deduce their location. Baator…The Nine Hells.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License