Savage Lankhmar - Knowledge Unbound

Session -1
Hexagons & The Crystal Tower

Your daring crew of bravos has run up on hard times – jobs have been few and far between since the Thieves Guild put their foot down on unsanctioned thieving. Your spirits are low. Your wallets – and bellies – are empty. With just enough coin to buy a good meal and stiff drink, you decide to head to the Tipsy Tankard Tavern after an uneventful and barely lucrative day of pick-pocketing. Kiana suggests the group team up with a local magic user, Fenyrn Genshal, in the hopes of expanding the group’s skill set, and therefore employment options. She splits off from the group to meet up with him, and Relocks decides to follow. After a bit of snooping and sneaking, Relocks determines all to be on the up and up, and continues on to the Tavern.

On your way, a kindly but odd old man by the name of Percwick stops Relocks, Gerkh, and Bansaro. He offers to trade a story for an ale. During the exchange Kiana and Fenyrn meet up with the party, and Gerkh divulges that they followed Kiana to Fenyrn’s hut. After a bit of bickering, the group agrees to accompany Percwick to the Tipsy Tankard for some ale and stories.

At the Tankard, the ale is flowing and Percwick recants a nearly incoherent story, all while clutching his singular possession: a large leather bound book.

“There is a universe they say, within our own universe, composed of a perhaps infinite number of hexagonal rooms. Within these hexagons contains everything that is, was, or ever will be known. The inhabitants of this metauniverse unfortunately can’t understand such a complexity – and are driven mad by the vast amount of meaninglessness surrounding them. Yes, it’s quite the thought… to have access to everything, but to think you have nothing… Not unlike me! Although I have access to nothing, but think I have everything!”

It’s at this point in the story that the old man drifts off and apparently falls asleep where he sits. Perhaps you fed him too much ale…? With the man apparently unconscious, and greed getting the best of you, you decide to try to slip the book away from Percwick. You manage to lift the book with little issue and begin to pass it around the table. As Fenyrn inspects the book, the attention of several bar patrons begins to turn to your group.

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A surly but obviously well-to-do grain merchant by the name of Benfolds approached the table and confronts you about Percwick and his book. After a quick escalation that nearly turns into an all out brawl, some cunning and sexuality from Kiana defuses the situation and Benfolds backs down. However, not wanting to jeopardize your standing at the Tipsy Tankard you decide to slip the book back to Percwick and continue drinking through the night.

Relocks makes an attempt at finding work by asking The Dude (The Tankard’s head barman). HE says he doesn’t have anything, and is a but leery of upsetting the guild. He does however promise to keep Relocks in mind if he hears of anything.

Later in the night, Benfolds, drunker and more amiable, challenges the group to a hand of poker. Bansaro gladly accepts, and while the rest of the group distracts him for a moment, he trades his marked deck with the deck Benfolds provided. Bansaro handily bests the grain merchant and wins a good pot. Before making off with what he believes is his deck of cards, Bansaro successfully rattles the man and wins the deck of cards back.

Most of the group parts ways as the tavern dies down. Relocks and Gerkh head back to the hidey hole. On your way you notice a man following you. The man known as Binbin is nervous and almost resembles a rodent. As he stutters his way through his speech he divulges that he has a job for you; a simple task of stealing a book and returning it to him. He lets you know that the book can likely be found at the house of Aarth Priest, Fastian. You accept the mission and head back to the hideout for the evening.

In the morning your group meets up and Relocks shares the story of Binbin. Kiana and Fenyrn decide to see if they can learn anything about Fastian, while Relocks, Gerkh, and Bansaro go case Fastian’s house. Feeling a bit cocky, Relocks sees this as the perfect opportunity to get inside the house and grab the book. He easily finds his way inside and begins to look around. He immediately spots an interesting chest and proceeds to pick the lock. As he flicks the lock open a shadowy figure emerges from a large armoire and puts a dagger to Relocks. It’s at this point you realize that you’ve been made by the Thieves Guild. You recognize the man as Karm, and he lets you know that he has the house surrounded.

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Relocks, Gerkh, and Karm go back and forth a bit, and come to an agreement that you will perform a job for them in exchange for amnesty for taking this job unsanctioned. Karm head to the chest to grab the book, letting you know that they will ‘take care’ of Binbin. You notice the book looks an awful lot like the book you thought about stealing from Percwick. Right about now, Bansaro launched an arrow from the buidling over, through the window, and hits Karm. Bansaro rushes in and goes in for the kill. Before dealing the killing blow the situation calms for just enough time to allow Karm to plead for his life. He offers his rucksack full of rilks and gems, and makes haste.

While this is occurring, Kiana and Fenyrn approach the house and notice Thieves Guild members surrounding Fastian’s house. They mostly hang back to see what is happening, but in hopes of diverting attention from the house, Fenyrn casts a manipulation spell and forces one of the archers to jump from his spot on the room. He lands directly on a hired whore, their heads colliding at near terminal velocity, killing both on impact. Kiana is troubled by the death of a fellow guild member, and gathers her broach to present to the leadership of the guild.

The job presented by Karm is to steal a gem known as the Eye of the Universe from the top of the Church of the Book and return it to the guild. You make the necessary preparations and head to the tower that night to make the heist. Climbing to an open window on the third floor, Relock drops a rope down to aid the rest of the group. Sneaking down to the rafters Relocks and Gerkh make their way to the gem and grab it without alerting the praying priests below. You take note of huge aquamarine crystalline masses at each corner of the tower. As Relocks takes possession of the gem the crystal structures animate and take the form of human-like crab creatures. The Guardians attack and prove to be too powerful for your group to realistically defeat.

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After several minutes of combat, you successfully managed to push two of the beasts down below (noting that they did not attack the now panicked priests), and make your way down the tower. All the while, Relocks is being mentally invaded with images of a hovel down the road, and voices telling him to run. You make it to the hovel with the crystal beasts on your trail and see a huge mural on one of the walls with a hole right in the middle. After a second of two of hesitation, Gerkh grabs the orb and thrusts it through the hole.

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You find yourselves standing in the hovel, shaken and confused. The crystal monsters that had sprung to life were unlike anything any of you have seen before. It’s clear that this gem holds some importance to someone – or multiple someones. The immediate threat of the terrible crab-like creatures seems to have disappeared as soon as the orb was thrust through the center of the emblem scratched into the wall. The visions that were being shot into Relocks’ mind have faded, leaving an eerie quiet amongst the group.

Given a moment to inspect the room, you find yourself in an empty ramshackle building, the large wall mural appearing to to be the only thing of significance around. Consisting of two concentric hexagons surrounding what appears to be an eye where the gem was deposited, the mural certainly feels out of place. The gem rests, apparently inert, in a small puddle on the other side of the wall.

Karm, the spy from the Thieves Guild who sent you on this mission, will be expecting contact from Relocks by morning. Bansaro’s bloodthirsty attempt at Karm’s life gave you negotiating power at the priest’s house, but don’t expect that advantage to remain in tact – you’ve pissed off the Guild even more by attacking a member. Luckily no one died by your hand…. at least that’s what everyone else believes.

You think you have a bit of time gather your thoughts, regroup, and figure out your next move. There is a growing sound of ruckus just down the street, but it’s probably just the priests from the Temple of the Book trying to figure out what just happened.

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Background
How They Met & Where They Leave Off

Respahlt ‘Relocks’ Lockshine is a crafty freelance thief in Lankhmar. Along with his faithful companion Gerkh, Relocks scours the city looking to profit from various heists and odd-jobs. Often times stealing the bounty from The Thieves Guild, Relocks has found himself in deep water with the Guild. The Guild has a conditional bounty on his head, meaning he either cooperates fully with them, or he is a dead man.
Gerkh, a simple, good-natured brute of a man unquestioningly follows Relocks. This loyalty stems from when they met. During one of his jobs years ago, Relocks freed Gerkh from a captor’s jail. Gerkh had been tortured, starved, and left to rot in a cell that fatefully resided in a dungeon of a wealthy and sadistic noble in Lankhmar that Relocks was tasked to plunder. It was at this time that Relocks not only found a lifelong companion in Gerkh, but also his trademark weapon Luckbrand.
The duo recently crossed paths with Bansaro Fairchild, the infamous ‘Death’s Hand’ of the Assassin’s Guild. Their fates intertwined when the Assassin’s Guild sent Bansaro to terminate a lecherous barbarian Kunkot who had been causing trouble with several courtesans of the Whore’s Guild. It seemed as though Kunkot had won more than a few enemies in Lankhmar, as Relocks was hired around that same time to ‘re-acquire’ several possessions that were in the barbarian’s abode in the Great Salt Marsh.
Unaware of the three other barbarians living with Kunkot, Bansaro ran into trouble during his job. As luck would have it, Relocks and Gerkh were casing the joint at the same time and saw a perfect opportunity to gain a powerful ally within the guild that would surely be hired to kill them should they find themselves under the attention of the Thieves Guild. After dispatching the barbarians, Relocks, Gerkh, and Bansaro scouted the camp and found an imprisoned courtesan named Kiana Ylagia.
This fateful convergence of four Lankhmar citizens from four different walks of life formed an uncommon alliance within the city walls. The friendship is indeed in its infancy, but the group has agreed that with cunning and cooperation, they have the opportunity to build a lucrative and secure life outside Guild control.

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