Swords in the Smog
The Companions Gather
An information gathering party sent by a tribe of orcs, half-orcs, and outcasts (led by the human madman Kurtz), is sent south to the coastal city of Melvaunt. Hud (the only human son of Kurtz), sends his (half-orc) half-brothers back to report, and remains in the city to learn more of city and human life. Used to being a part of a more organized group, he soon starts freelancing for FU (a new mercenary guild) to earn a place and survive in the city. Meanwhile, Grimmort Bonespear, the lone (?) survivor of an orckish tribe wiped-out by its rival, washes up on the shores of the Stojanow River outside Phlan. Taken in by Phlan’s more beneficent chapter of FU, he is restored to health. As tensions in Phlan reach new levels, he is smuggled out of the town on a ship to Melvaunt for his own safety. With virtually no possessions, save his shield and spears, he arrives at the FU chapter-house there, a letter of recommendation in hand. The enigmatic leader of Melvaunt FU pairs Hud and Grimmort on a contract to discover what has been corrupting the waters of several wells. They find clues that lead them to an underground complex teeming with skeletons and zombies. In the course of their exploration, they are surprised when, Slyte, an arctic dwarf girl, stumbles into their path, still wearing wearing shackles from her imprisonment. The adventurers return to the chapter-house to recover from their wounds and to listen to Slyte’s tale of captivity and the magical experiments being performed on others under the streets of Melvaunt. Outfitting Slyte as best they can, and enlisting her with FU, the three return to finish the expedition. They are ambushed by a berserker and a mage outside of the rooms were Slyte was recently held. During a bloody combat, in which the berserker is finally slain, the mage escapes further into the tunnels, calling out for aid from his ‘master’. Over the next several days, they fought a pack of dire rats, strange lizard-like men and interrupted a necromancer in his rituals, killing him before he could raise the dead to fight for him. His apprentice (?), the mage from earlier unleashed damaging magics upon them and fled.