Destiny of Orlox

Deeper and deeper
by Wimji

We’ve found some interesting things indeed! Those stone items in the chest were of very high quality, and the scroll seems to speak of the founding of the continent in some detail. It contains reference to what I think could be Rowen’s Order of Knowledge buddies, as well as a recipe for Dwarven ale. This ties in with what I’ve read in the Order’s book I borrowed about Olrox. There’s even mention of some treasure on the scroll. Perhaps these caverns deserve more investigation.

We’ve decided to descend deeper into the caverns, down the rope of the cavern by the well entrance, which led to more caverns that seem to be the source of the underwind! We followed the winds for several days through the caverns, until we came upon the Dwarf Fortress of _. The Dwarf’s were very friendly, if a bit surprised to see top siders wandering around in their tunnels. We got some dinner and a bit of gossip at the inn. Seems there’s something fishy about the north tunnel. I plan to track down the local lore keeper and see what he knows about the wind and any interesting folklore for this area. Could be tied to that treasure mentioned on the Dwarven scroll.

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Down once more to the dungeon...
by Wimji

So Rowen and I finagled our way past the house owners and back into the undercity. We met up with Melo, who was more rat than were at the moment. We had to stumble around looking for some stinky mushrooms to make him more cheese. On our way, we investigated some ruins under the city. There is an underground chamber of sarcophagi, looks to be mostly founders and city guards of some importance. Further down, we stumbled into a Rust Monster that Rowen just had to mess with! To give him credit, it did eat his favorite sword, which would upset anyone. We had to high-tail it out of there! The statues were giving me the creeps anyway! Something was odd about them.

We finally found the mushrooms and brought Melo back his cheese. He led us down to a chamber with another sarcophagus, marked Olrox, and more of those creepy statues. Rowen ate some of the weird cheese and claimed to see “colors” going from the sarcophagus to some tiles. They lifted the lid off the sarcophagus, and there was nothing inside. I grabbed Rowen’s hand and jumped up and down on one of the tiles, but nothing happened. Rowan asked Melo to stand on another one, and when he did, poof! The floor gave way and poor Melo fell to what I can only assume was his death! Rowan was a bit more cautious after that. We investigated the other tiles, and the one I was jumping on leads to a chute that slides further underground. Another of the tiles brought one of the statues to life! I knew there was something fishy about those things! We managed to reset the tile and the statue went back to normal, so we set the room to rights and plan to come back later.

On our way back to the surface, we passed some crates loaded with silverware and plates (and a lovely cheese and sausage selection). After a brief snack, I was struck with an idea. We gathered up all the silver we could carry and headed back to Rusty’s chambers. With a little creative placement, we lured Rusty out, and were able to investigate the chamber below. Inside some old chests we found a bunch of Dwarven relics! Some lovely stone tankards, stone weapons, a stone flute and some gems. We went back upstairs, where Rusty was just beginning to chow down on some plates we had left by the statues. I grabbed a scroll from a chest and managed to close it down without disturbing the statues too much, and then Rowen decided to mess with one of the urns. Of course the statues went crazy! Lucky for him, Rusty got in the way, and they battled it out with no help from us!

After a long day of walking (and running) we decided to catch some sleep in Melo’s corner before heading out again.

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Day Two for Me.
Rowen Ambrodel

Wimji and I awoke this morning to the sounds of the festival. With different agendas we decided to head our separate ways and met back at the inn later. She was going to head to the library see what she could find about Orlox and this Underwind thing, while I headed back to embassy row to see if I could find the old beggar man again for more info and to possibly find out who this Justice Regdina Talsend character is. SO back out we went.”

“So back at embassy row I saw no sign of the old man. Walking around, I saw a man almost hidden in the shadows wearing a red cloak with metal ringlets on it. Figured a shadowy figure like that might be able to answer some questions for me. So I walked up and tried having a conversation in the most polite way possible. He seemed ok until I started asking way to many questions. Well thanks this flaw of mine which seems to happen a lot lately, the robed man took me by the tunic and pulled me closer. He told me to stop asking so many questions, that I look crazy and that I’m lucky somebody doesn’t just kill me for being so nosy. He finally let me go and told me to meet him back here at 3:30 tomorrow and he will have all the answers I need. Before I even caught his name, he was gone.”

“To make things even better I did leave some Elven guards in front of the court house thinking I was a lost child because I was asking too many questions. Upon leaving the courthouse I stopped to look at the magnificent fountain in front of it. A huge sculpture of Four Winds justice system. It was definitely something to look at. While I sat there gazing a figure came and stood next to me taking notes. To be polite I said hello and introduced myself. Came to find out this characters name was Gadwick Finn and he was the personal scribe to Justice Regdina Talsend. Lucky me. Apparently Regdina is one of the highest ranking judges in all of Four Winds and you can only meet her by appointment. Talking to Gadwick more he told me he had a relationship with a certain female in the courthouse and if there was anything I needed all I had to do was donate to his pocket fund. I figured some info on a case that Regdina just worked on would be sufficient enough. So off he disappeared inside while I read the laws and studied the fountain some more. Almost an hour later he returned with a rolled piece of parchment, handed it to me, told me have a nice day, turned and headed back inside. It was time to go find Wimji.”

” I found Wimji about an hour later outside the ally way that led to the house we snuck out of the night before. I told her about my run ins with some very interesting characters and she told me about some fun facts about Four Winds. Mostly don’t be outside after dark during the festival and apparently there are only 8 guards that patrol the entire city when it gets darks, A huge place like this and only 8 guards? Seems strange. It was a little before shops were supposed to start closing so me and the gnome decided to look at some venders around the corner. Wimji had a chat with another gnome in their racial tongue, and both seemed very giddy. She does worry me sometimes. And we also had a run in with a grumpy old man sitting on a pile of rugs. He tried to start a fight but somehow the little gnome talked her way out of it. People tend to get very antsy when it gets dark around here. So back into the Rabid hound we went. Once inside I sat at a table to think and I noticed the curious gnome walked up and started talking to some human guards. Trying to charm herself into getting it in with the guards so hopefully we can wander outside after dark to learn a few more things. Well I guess things didn’t go to plan so me not wanting to sit around I suggested we just leave and start walking. In a big place like this we will learn as we go. Wimji tried to remind me of the previous night but I wasn’t really listening. I just had to get out and walk around.”

“Once outside we started walking South. No real reason I just hadn’t been that way. As we were walking Wimji noticed a figure dressed in a red cloak run down an alley. We both took off because it sounded a lot like the character I ran into earlier today. Naturally the door he disappeared into was locked. I looked around and noticed some windows about 15 feet into the air. Idea time. I stacked a couple boxes on top of one another, climbed up and had Wimji climb onto my shoulders. You know they always said curiosity killed the half-elf and gnome. Not tonight thankfully. I couldn’t hear a thing that was going on but apparently the little gnome was able to tell what was going one. She was whispering down that she saw a ceremony going on. As she watched while perched onto my shoulders she watched the ceremony unfold. When it was done and before she had a chance to tell me the details someone happened to look up and see her shadow in the window so we had to high tail it.”

“We ran for about 10 minutes before we found an inn and disappeared inside. There Wimji told me of what she saw. The cloaked figure from earlier was among some others that were dressed like him, and they were inducting some new people into a secret society. They called it the Order of Knowledge. She didn’t know what language they were speaking but she has a talent for being able to comprehend any language for a short amount of time. And on the floor she tried to describe an emblem which I caught to be a cross with an arrow going through it. But the new inductees had half their shirt pulled off and were missing one boot, while being blinded folded. Guess they are pretty serious. So we talked a little more about what our game plan for tomorrow would be. She decided to head to embassy row with me because she wanted to check out the hall of records in the basement of the courthouse. I planned of finding my friend in red an get the answers I was looking for and see if maybe I could find out some other things as well. With that we got a room and headed to bed for the evening.”

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Day Four in the City of Four Winds
by Wimji Turwick

The legal system in this city is severe! We visited the court house today, and they wouldn’t let me in because I’m not a citizen. Fortunatly Rowen knows a scribe, Gadwick who was able to arrange some papers for us. However I think I’ll wait until there are different guards on duty. Most people can’t become citizens in one day!

But the symbology in the courthouse fountain and statuary is interesting. The god of justice and the trinity of “judge, jury and executioner”. They even have the laws of the city printed where all can read them (if they could read!). I hope that little boy doesn’t get into too much trouble for a childhood squabble. Seems extreme to hold a trial for that!

The Embassy district was bustling, so I did a bit of busking. That nutty gnomewas doing a hypnotism show, but it didn’t look to be going well, so I offered a different distraction to the locals, even made a few silver from it! Next thing I know, someone stole some of my coppers right out from under me! I chased after them, gave them a lump they won’t soon forget, but they got away. Broke my favorite mug too! In all the excitement, I lost track of Rowen, but he sent a very excited little girl to fetch me and said he had to leave with his contact and to meet him at the Talsend hosue again at dark.

I picked up the papers from Gadwick, who it turns out is elven of some kind, and looked around to find another way into the court house. I saw a strange flash from a sewer grate behind the building, so I decided to investigate. There was a cavern down there, with the cross and arrow symbol carved into the wall. Then I heard voices from behind a grating, and more of those red cloaked figures appeared in a new chamber, this time with Rowen! I ducked around the corner where they couldn’t see, but apparently he’s just become a member as well. After the induction, they started to come my way, and I dashed back the way I came in, looking for an escape. A bit of scrying led me to a hidden door behind the carving, and I slipped into another hidden corridor. It led out to the street, and also to a fantastic library of local knowledge and history! I found a book about “Olrox” that I borrowed, and took off for my meeting with Rowen. On the way I bought a new mug, and some cheese for Melo.

Rowen had his fancy new Order cloak when he met me at the Talsend house. He’s got some explaining to do! But we had more urgent matters. I charmed our way into the house, the same old woman was there. We sent her off for tea, I returned the Law Book I had borrowed previously, and we darted out through the passage in the basement.

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Day Three in the City of Four Winds
By Wimji Turwick

So it turns out that book I borrowed belongs to a magistrate of the city. And the book plate says she’ll kill anyone who takes it. Perhaps I should read fast! It seems to be a history book about the laws of Four Winds c.280, and there is mention of a “Count Olrox” but not much else. At least now I have a date to look for as well.

I returned to the Library to see if I could find anything more about this Olrox character, or more information about the city c.280. The poor over worked libarian was very nice and pointed out all kinds of helpful sections. Unfortunately the Main Hall of Records is in the basement of the Court House over in the embassy district. I’ll have to check that out tomorrow. Rowen has been to the Embassy district a few times, maybe he can help me find it?

It turns out that the library has a copy of my borrowed book as well, so I can return Regdina’s copy and still be able to check this one later. The author, Barthalamew Talsend, only wrote one other book in here and its just more boring law stuff. I did find one curious thing! In the local mythology section, I found a book about the origins of the Four Winds. It speaks of the discovery of the continent, that it was stumbled upon by a bunch of dwarves looking to find a good place to stash their beer. There were a few new details, different from the general myth I am familiar with, but the curious part was the last few pages about the city itself. They were missing! Someone doesn’t want people to know about the founding of the city. Very interesting.

Rowen and I met up at the Talsend house, the exit from the caverns. There doesn’t appear to be an easy way in, but we did meet an interesting “shop keeper” in the area. A gnome named Kessel Triggerstep who has a knack for finding things that don’t belong to her. She’s very excitable and friendly, but couldn’t help us find a way back into the house.

We returned to the inn to compare notes. Apparently we need to meet someone in the Embassy district tomorrow for more information on Olrox, and Rowen was able to get some information on the local laws. I need to return that book fast! There were some lovely singing crystals and monks performing, before they hauled away a little boy to court (strange place this city!). We chatted with some local guards and discovered only eight guards go out at night durring the black harvest. Eight guards for a city this size? Unbelievable! I’d love to meet one of these guys and see what they know. They must have a lot of interesting stories about the goings on after dark! There is also a strange “mage” named Orcus (the bar keep says he’s crazy) who claims to have lost his “dark powers and chaos” and is putting up reward signs all over town. It might be worth talking to him as well.

Rowen wanted to track down one of those guards so we went for a walk down to the warehouse district, after dark. We didn’t see any guards, but we did see the mysterious cloaked figure he was supposed to meet the next day. We followed him to a warehouse and saw him and a bunch of other figures initiating new members into some kind of cult of knowledge. Rowen said their symbol looked like a cross with an arrow through it. We booked it out of there before anyone could see us and found shelter in a new inn near by. Looks like I’m singing for my supper and lodgings again!

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Day One in the city of Four Winds
Rowen Ambrodel

“I finally reached the city of Four Winds after two weeks of traveling on the road. Heard there was a celebration going on. The Black Harvest it is called. I don’t think that I have ever seen so many people before in my entire life. Not that I remember anyway. The streets were so busy and crowed with creatures of all sizes and races. I spent the day wandering through the town, not really looking just walking, and I ended up in the embassy district. I had a couple of half-orcs laugh at me because I seemed like a lost idiot. Guess playing dumb doesn’t really help in this town. Also met a poor man by the fountain who gave some information about Orlox and where to find him when I dropped him a silver piece. Said if I looked underground I would find his tomb. I spent the rest of the afternoon asking around and heard that Orlox’s tomb was not in the graveyard but still underground. I was then told of a well in the center of town so I thought I would head in that direction.”

“After getting to the center of town I noticed a Halfling standing next to a well and looking down. My curiosity took the best of me so I walked over and looked down as only to see three creatures climbing up the wall. Once they reached the top they took a swing at me and the Halfling and so we were in a fight fending off these dark creepers I later found they were named. In the middle of the fight a small gnome headed over and helped us rid of the creatures. Two of them ran off and the third badly wounded fell down the well. The Halfling took off but I found that this gnome was a traveling bard by the name of Wimji Turwick. Seemed very spunky and somewhat overly happy too. We headed into the inn across the street because apparently during this Black Harvest Festival you are not aloud outside. So me and Wimji took a seat at the bar and started talking to the barkeep. I figured he might know some info on Orlox but once I asked we were told we needed to leave. Felt bad afterwards because Wimji told me she had a place to stay and I ruined the evening. So outside we went again with nowhere to stay.”

“Once outside my curiosity took the best of me again and I decided to head down the well to investigate the body of the fallen dark creeper. I made it down just barely because of the slick rope that led to the bottom of the well. Once there I saw a pile of dust from where the creeper fell. Found a belt, vial of fluid, rags and a ring which I learned allows the wearer to breathe under water. I also noticed a tunnel leading into the wall which at that time I did not want to investigate. So on my way up I noticed Wimji climbing down in a hurry. Above her guess who but the dark creepers and they have a friend a Dark Stalker Wimji later tells me. And to makes things worse they decided to start hurling down daggers at they two of us, luckily not hitting anything but the ground. So she makes it down I pick up the daggers and we flee through the tunnel only for me to throw the pair of daggers at the top of the door to seal us in. It seemed like a good idea at the time.” “

We then found ourselves wandering though some very dark tunnels and coming to a fork. To the right a giant hole going down into darkness with a 20 foot gap to the other side. Down the left fork we found a pool with some coins and a little farther a were-rat by the name of Melo who claimed he could take us to Orlox. We told him we would return with some cheese for him and we ended up getting out of the tunnels by way of a door that has been blocked off by a rock slide. It let up a fairly lit mason work tunnel and into the sub-basement of a house. Wimji being the curious gnome she is decided to look at a bookshelf and take a book. Yes she took a book that didn’t belong to her. Who’s the one going to get us into trouble now? She did a quick flip through and saw that it belonged to one Justice Regdina Talsend. We crept out the best we could without disturbing anyone and found an inn, The Rabid Hound, up the street where we took refuge for the night. Before we went to sleep Wimji wanted to read more of the book. So she flipped it open and came to the first page. She looks at me and moans. I walk over and start reading. The First page reads; “This book belongs to Justice Regdina Talsend and if anyone ever takes it then they are to be punished by death.” “That’s just great. Sweet dreams to both of us.”

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Day 2 in the City of Four Winds
(by Wimji Turwick)

Started the morning off looking for a new Inn. A rather annoying gnome by the name of Cassel Triggerstep kept pestering me last night so I thought I’d look for lodgings closer to the center of town, and father from him. I got a little distracted at the city center, all the music! So many new tunes to learn! But many of them keep talking about this “Underwind” thing. A friendly local told me that’s what they call the weird breeze blowing up from the sewers (that doesn’t smell bad!) so I thought I’d see if the local library had any more information. I noticed a strange, hooded figure lurking about, but its a festival, so I figured he was just a little shy or trying to keep out of the sun.

What a library they have here! I spent so much time wandering around just looking at all the books, that by the time I found what I was looking for I had little time to read it. Fortuneately there wasn’t much to read. Little is known about the wind, and no one seems inclined to investigate it! Good thing they have me around to figure these things out for them. I did learn all about the harvest that goes on durring the Underwind season, so when the criers warned it was nearing dark I hussled back to the Inn at the square, the Dead Horse Head Inn. The friendly Half-Orc Barkeep offered me dinner and lodging for a bit of music, so who was I to turn him down?

The wind is much stronger at the center of town (and makes a great medly of sounds!) so after dinner I stepped outside to experiment with my pipes, and see if I could recreate the sound of the Underwind. It must come from something far larger than pan pipes! It was while outside that I noticed some figures near the city center well. Turns out my hooded friend from earlier had some buddys and they were up to no good! When I got a better look at them I remembered the songs of the “Dark Creepers”, and how they are afraid of light. A few light spells later and I helped chase them off. The Half-Elf they were attacking, one Rowen Ambrodel seemed friendly enough, so we went inside for a drink. Apparently he’s been looking into this Orlox character, and I noticed a date (283) on one of my coins. Rowen thought it would be a good idea to question the bar keep about this Orlox guy, and the next thing I know I’m being asked to leave! At least I already had dinner.

Back outside in the cold, this crazy Half-Elf decides to climb down the well, against the howling winds, to check out the body of one of the Creepers who fell in. I agreed to keep watch for him since I figure he owes me a place to stay now, and while I’m keeping watch, the Creepers return with back up. I’m no match for a Night Crawler, so I followed Rowen down the well and we end up wandering some kind of cave system beneath the city. To the south is a large chasym with a rope leading down (possibly the source of the Underwind?) and to the North is an old system of drainage tunnels where a strange Were-Rat named Melo told us he knew more about Orlox but it would take us three days to get to his resting place.

We’ll go visit Melo later, and we opted to return to the surface for the time being. He gave us directions back out that lead through the basement of a grand house, where we were almost caught! Curiously we actually found some more information on Orlox. The house had an old rug with Orlox (looking old as well) and a curious book of laws c.280 by Bathalemew Talsend that spoke of a Count Olrox. I borrowed the book, and we made our way out and down to the Rabid Hound Inn for the night.

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Prologue
The Festival of the Black Harvest

The Festival of the Black Harvest is a strange time for The Four Winds and yet in many ways not strange at all, if one is a savant of the city-state.

Though the sack-clothed streets the signs of Fall are present. Pumpkins sit on hay bales clustered near street signs; Offerings of the local farming guilds and a sense of pride for many. Each display labeled with the symbol of the donating guild. Some are more elaborate than others, especially as you wander closer to the city center. From what amounts to little more than a carefully laid stack of farm goods to entire scenes that stretch from lamp post to lamp post complete with enchanted instruments playing folk songs.

The usual holiday beer and ale selections present at all the local watering holes assure that no one is without their favorite. Joy is spread through alcohol in all the boroughs and helps take the edge off of some of the more creepy celebrations.

As a newcomer to The Four Winds, this is the first time you’ve witnessed the Black Harvest. This holiday is unique to The Four Winds and is not celebrated in your home village. Perhaps some exploration is in order. It’s a good thing this holiday lasts all week.

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