In-game Date: May 12-13, 6804
Participating Members: Dhalia, Tristram, Kallorek, & Howell
Base Status: Living Quarters + Secure Base
Hired by: Mr. Suit, leader of The Syndicate
Mission Request: Kill the leader of the Red Serpents, Skinner Mack
Payment/Rewards: 1,500gp bounty, looted 232gp & Chuul venom from Skinner Mack
Monsters: Skinner Mack, Red Serpent henchmen
Mission Result: scared an innocent old couple and burned their shop down (whoops), killed henchdwarf Karlon, killed fiend Skinner Mack
Discovered Places: The Pinnacle (Syndicate HQ), Benny & Ham's Slaughter House (Red Serpent HQ)
Achievements: +4 Criminal, +3 Cutthroat, +2 Reliable, +4 Renown, 4050xp (per player; +100 to Tristram & Howell)
Unfinished Business: Examine chuul venom properties, figure out who Mora the alchemist is
The Story[edit | edit source]
The Stormguard were summoned by the leader of The Syndicate by a gith named Lynch. He looks like a yellow-green voldemort but in a nice pinstripe suit. A carriage was waiting outside to whisk them away to The Syndicate layer, but first Dhalia stopped to pet the horse. The Syndicate HQ is in The Spires district in a building called The Pinnacle. It's very ostentatious with high ceilings and a casino-like atmosphere. There's a fighting cage and betting tables and an elevator. The upper floors are made of white marble and there's a eclectic (creepy) statue garden. Mr. Suit is tall, thin, has dark brown skin, wears a black shirt and charcoal grey suit, and has a metal mask that covers most of his face. The Stormguard members find him staring at a disturbing gold statue of three naked women being flayed alive. Mr. Suit knows waaay too much about each party member - Dhalia's pretty sure he was threatening her parents at one point - and he offers a tip about the Red Serpents in hopes that The Stormguard will take down their leader, Skinner Mack. He also offers to have the bounty be increased from 500gp to 1500gp. Kallorek has no reservations and even says he'd kill a kid if the kid had a bounty on him - he is met with concerned stares and responses, but they all agree to kill Mack.
The Red Serpents are a criminal organization that has particular influence over Cudgel Hill, and hate Dhalia because of her vigilante work as The Purple Storm in the neighboring district the Iron Works. Their headquarters is called Benny & Ham's Slaughterhouse. It is next to a canal where they receive shipments like a dead chuul (giant lobster monster). Tristram, Howell, and Kallorek do a recon of the place and don't find anything super useful. A long rest happens. Tristram and Howell go back to The Slaughterhouse and pretend to be homeless and ask for a job as meat cutters. They are brought into Skinner Mack's office and given a human cutter assignment instead to "prove their loyalty" to the Red Serpents. Skinner Mack is tall, thin, has blond hair, a red leather jacket with spikes, and red serpent tattoos down his arm. They are chaperoned by a duel knife-wielding dwarf named Karlon. They show up to the Farbough's general store in the district run by an old couple who owed the Serpents money. Tristram purposefully throws his knife to miss old man Abner; Karlon explains the differences between throwing knives and cutting knives. Tristram runs after Abner, purposefully tripping to let him escape and then purposefully tripping Karlon when he tries to chase the old man. Karlon is incredibly baffled and thinks Tristram and Howell are both "special." Tristram tackles Abner in a state of panic. Abner's back is definitely broken. Karlon tries to stab the man, but Tristram blocks with his body. He uses this "betrayal" as an excuse to disarm Karlon, as in Tristram literally cuts off Karlon's hands so he couldn't hold his knives. Then he murders the dwarf. During this time, Howell is doing his best to spread jam on old Rose Farbough to help her fake her death, it's pretty convincing to Tristram. Kallorek and Dhalia are blissfully unaware back at The Dancing Owlbear just drinking beers. Tristram tells the old couple to change their names and leave, then hands them a Stormguard business card and two gold pieces with no explanation. He then proceeds to burn their store down with Karlon's severed body in it. The fire catches to some other buildings. They ride Tristram's summoned brown horse Reginald back to The Dancing Owlbear and vaguely fill Dhalia and Kallorek in on what happened and then run back to The Slaughterhouse.
Tristram and Howell create an elaborate story to blame Dhalia for the fire, Skinner Mack is unconvinced. While he fetches his henchmen, Tristram charms a man to stand at the front door of The Slaughterhouse and stare at the fire; somehow Kallorek and Dhalia understand it as a signal and they rush in. Mack has a billion henchmen with him (okay, like 10) and The Stormguard goes to town on them. Dhalia lightning the fucks outta a bunch of them while Howell chills them. He also chopped off a man's penis. Kallorek is mad helpful and Tristram murders like there's no tomorrow. Mack pretty constantly targeted Dhalia and she died three times, but her good friend Tristram kept her from permanently leaving this mortal coil. Tristram glew up and sprouted wings, Mack shed his skin and turned into a red multi-serpent fiend. His henchmen noped the fuck outta there. Skinner tried to teleport out of there, but Dhalia dimension doored herself and Tristram to block his path. Tristram also called in the cavalry and his horse blocked the other exit. The final blow was dealt by two eldritch blasts from Tristram.
Howell and Dhalia loot Skinner Mack's body and finds a bunch of notes, a suspicious metal canister, and 232 gold pieces. They find more canisters in his office and a syringe full of some liquid, presumably Chuul venom. Tristram in his aasimar form intimidates the rest of the Red Serpents and The Stormguard delivers Skinner Mack's body to their local bluecoats station for a recently increased bounty reward.