Blood Brothers

A brief history of the False Visionaries...

There and back again...wait what?

The False Visionaries are an adventuring company operating within the Silver Marches, in northern Faerûn. One of the visionaries was called Pix; he was a soulforged, basically a construct with a human soul. He had no memory of his creation, only of waking up in a cavern in Thay, and slowly making his way across Faerûn before meeting Gravel, a half-orc fighter, and shortly thereafter the rest of the founding members of the FV (Grohim, dwarf cleric; Bron, human paladin; Malic, human fighter; Diir, an elf ranger, and Raf, human wizard). Soon after the formation of the company, Bron received a tip about the whereabouts of his long lost sister, and left to pursue it, recommending Kevhorn, a half-elf druid, as his replacement. During their first major adventure, Raf was killed when he fell down a hole and an ogre fell on top of him(fun fact: he is the only member of FV who is known to have died.). Shortly after Raf’s death, they aided in the rescue of some civilians, one of whom was a human wilder named Matilde, who proceeded to join the FV.

After their crushing defeat of the lich Caligero, the visionaries took time to expand their operation, hiring underlings to do the more mundane jobs. During this time, Malic left the group, as he was sick of fighting undead, and wanted to stab something that would bleed. He was replaced by Malkor, a human sorcerer.

They were tasked with solving a curse on the small duchy of Lhuvenhead, just down the Rauvin River. The “curse” was actually the combination of a mindflayer in a coal mine, a werepanther in the woods, and an anti-paladin of Cyric in the Queen’s court. As a reward, they were given the deed to MineCo Mine # 3.14159…, the coal mine where the mindflayer dwelt. The mine has been operating under their ownership for several months.

During some downtime, Bron arrived unexpectedly, badly wounded and looking harried. He said he had encountered some Red Wizards, killed them, and recovered two journals: one, in Thayan, detailing a horrific process of driving human souls into metal bodies, and another, in Dwarven, full of schematics resembling Pix signed by one Bauk Magrin. Some strange visitors arrived at the FV headquarters, demanding that Pix be remanded into their custody, citing that he was their property. They were recognized as Red Wizards of Thay. Pix, intrigued by a construct that accompanied them which clearly followed his design, approached the Thayans. Before anyone could react, the leader, who is called Raza, grabbed Pix and teleported away, followed by the others, leaving a summoned Hezrou demon in their place.

The managed to track the Thayans to the edge of Everlund, where they learned of an odd surge in the availability of magical items, something that Thayans are known for. They found a dealer named Jarvi Magrin-Omek, and deduced he was fencing the Thayans items. Diir bought a cheap Ring of Protection, as well. They eventually learned that Bauk was Jarvi’s wife’s uncle, and had a workshop in Sundabar before mysteriously disappearing, years back.
The FV went to Sundabar to search Bauk’s workshop, and on their first night there, were ambushed while sleeping. Matilde was kidnapped, and a threatening letter of warning from Raza was left in her stead. The next day, they found a red wizard also investigating Bauk’s workshop. After an awkward conversation, it was revealed that the stranger was no red wizard, but an underground operative of the Harpers, working to take the red wizard presence out of the Silver Marches, only he couldn’t find them. The Stranger was named Mondoshawan Mangalore, a completely normal name, like Luke, or Rickets. He agreed to work with the FV towards a common goal. They found clues in Bauk’s workshop indicating that he was being held by the Thayans, and that they were operating out of somewhere in the Evermoors.

On their way back to Everlund, they stopped at HQ for a bit of rest and to pick up some profits from the mine. They received a strange note requesting their presence in Tower’s Shadow, a stone’s throw from the HQ. Just outside the town gates, they find a young, maybe 14 year old, girl, sobbing on the side of the road. They approach her to see if they can aid her distress, and she informs them her brothers and father are all dead. When they ask what happened, she shouts “You killed them!” and suddenly a column of flame bursts from the ground, catching many of the Visionaries in its burst. She leaps to her feet and announces that they are about to die, at the hands of Samantha Ferrell! She turns invisible, but the Visionaries track her footprints in the mud at the side of the road, and Gravel grabs hold of her, while Diir holds a sword against her throat. Mondo is apprehensive about this; he wanted to help (a very Harper thing to do) and proceeds to ask why she needs so badly for the visionaries to die. He may have convinced her to tell him using magic. She agrees to calm, if he will protect her. He takes her aside and finds that her father, a drunken gambler, had made a deal with a devil (Shax), agreeing to give the devil his sons. When the devil went to retrieve his prize, he found the boys’ souls had been consumed by a lich, and that they were long dead. Returning to Petric Ferrell, the devil demanded he pay up, so Petric offered him Samantha, who watched, curled up in a corner in fear, as the devil agreed, then tore her father to shreds. Shax turned his icy eyes on her and told her that she could either kill those who had stolen his original prize from him, or she could return with him to the nine hells, and be his servant for all eternity. Mondo, horrified, promised that he would protect her, and that they would kill Shax, and free her from his grasp. From that point, Sammie followed the group as a companion.

They stopped in at HQ on their way, and were joined then by Ivan, a wandering barbarian seeking employment with the legendary False Visionaries. After a quick drinking game between Diir and Ivan, to determine Ivan’s fortitude, Ivan was inducted as an official member of the False Visionaries.

Heading back into Everlund, en route to the moors, they were stopped by the guard, and their assistance was requested. People had been disappearing, dozens per night, for several nights. Jarvi Magrin-Omek was one of the first, if not THE first who disappeared. That night, Diir was overcome with the irresistible urge to walk to the Evermoors. The visionaries figured out that the ring he had bought from Jarvi had triggered a compulsion, driving him to a destination. They tied a rope to Diir and followed him. He led them to a clearing in the Silverwood, just beside the Evermoors, where they were attacked by a White Dragon. They subdued the dragon and got out of him that he had somehow been finagled into working for the Thayans, he would freeze people as they arrived, then the Thayans would cart them away. They killed the dragon, and followed the Thayans trail into the moors. They came upon a fork in the road, with a signpost pointing to Certain Death, and Serten Deth. They chose Serten Deth and followed the path to a Thayan camp. They snuck in (absurdly easily) and tried to take the overseer of the camp, but when they entered his tent, they found only a red dragon! They proceeded to kill it. They set the slaves running the camp free, gave them some money and sent them to Tower’s Shadow, the town where the FV had been formed.
After escorting the newly freed Thayans back to Everlund, they were approached by an employee of Samwell Callow, for a quick side job. They were enticed by the fact that it was through divinations that Samwell had been told to hire them. Apparently the Gods thought that this mission was “The Next Step on the road to Thay”. The job was to wipe out a local assassin’s guild, which Samwell wanted because they murdered his son. They took the job, killed a bunch of assassins, wiping of the assassin’s guild the Black Hand. Upon reaching the woman who ran the guild, they learned it was Samwell’s ex-wife! She had rigged the murder, and her son was alive and well, and had willingly cooperated, as he was tired of living with his father, and wanted to be an assassin. It seems that she had been gathering data on the Thayans for some time, and willingly exchanged said data for her and her son’s lives.

They followed her information, which happened to follow the trail of Certain Death, and found a millennia old Temple of an ancient race of snake people known as the Sarrukh. After beating some soulforged guards, they made their way into the temple. Finding the main door locked, they took an alternate route which wound them through ancient traps, and one particularly puzzling room, where they were stuck for several hours. Upon solving the puzzle, they found that the only way forward was down a very deep pit. When contemplating their options, Mondo was notified of a large something teleporting into their vicinity. Seconds later, Shax appeared in the small room and started tearing the visionaries up. The battle was raging on, when Ivan, with a mighty blow, sliced the devil clean in half, sending him back to hell from whence he came. That done, they made their way down the pit to a refuse room, full of fresh garbage, and lots of human waste. There was a large archway leading to a steep ramp, at the foot of which there were charred corpses (remains from the ritual of making a soulforged). The imp (Malkor’s familiar) investigated the source of the waste, and found a hole in the ceiling about 100ft up, and was shat upon. The imp proceeded to literally scare the shit out of a Thayan Cleric, and then the FV sealed the toilet-hole. Around that time several of the charred remains reanimated as bodaks, attacking the FV. They barely survived the encounter, and had not a moment’s peace (in a room full of shit, peace is hard to come by), when they heard a familiar voice yell “Geronimoooooo!” from high up the ramp…
A thud and a deep laugh, and Gradu emerges from the mist! Gradu, who was killed weeks ago! More powerful than ever, Gradu scores a couple good hits before being overcome killed again, his body left in the steaming pile of shit.

The visionaries take the back way in, popping up into the waste room above them, and following the long corridor until it leads them to a door. Listening carefully, they can hear several pairs of footprints on the other side. After a quick discussion, Mondo decides to attempt to parley with their adversary, a very Harper thing to do. A quick shuffle in the narrow hallway got Mondo to the front, where he squeezed the door open and greeted… a gnoll wearing full plate! He quickly addressed sir gnoll, but, unfortunately for him, the gnoll didn’t speak common, and Mondo’s face met the gnoll’s longsword. Another swift hit and Mondo was down, with Gravel stepping up from the rear to defend his unconscious form. Another gnoll and several soulforged crowd the doorway, while the gnoll barks orders to more soulforged, one who runs to another room. Several seconds later, a voice the Visionaries recognize as the female wizard working for Raza yells “Halt!” Fighting ceases as she offers the Visionaries a deal: the safe return of Pix and Matilde, and the cessation of abductions, if the Visionaries will agree to leave them alone. She also notifies them that she has a sizable force, and if they do not wish to be civil that they can be dead, instead. Upon presenting the two soulforged—wait, TWO soulforged? Matilde may not be as unharmed as the visionaries thought, although she herself, as a soulforged, tells them that she is ok. Pix suggests that they take the deal, as he does not think they can win. Reluctantly, the Visionaries agree and, with their friends, march out the front door of the inner temple, and back out into the world.
The march back is full of bickering, as Diir, Mondo, and most of the party want to head back to stomp the Thayans as soon as possible. The only objections come from the cleric, Grohim, who states that they made a deal, and if they didn’t want to uphold it, then they shouldn’t have agreed, and shouldn’t have fought. He doesn’t agree with the Thayans, but he can’t break his word as easily as the rest of them may want to. Diir has a long conversation with Pix, and Ivan tries to introduce himself to Matilde, but the others notice Matilde is acting strangely. The group silently determines that MA tilde’s mind is magically clouded. Upon dispelling whatever is was that kept her calm and friendly towards her captors, she screams in agony and falls to her knees. Her horror and revulsion at what the Thayans put her through, the violation of her body, her transformation into…whatever she is, it all surfaces, and she is filled with a hateful rage.

A quick telepathic message back to base notified them that there was some trouble at the mine, with miners disappearing, and there were some ongoing trouble with Orc scouts, but nothing serious. The Visionaries stopped at the mine to discover the nature of the disappearances, and were led to a new branch they’d recently opened, only to find an odd, eerie crevice. Scouting the crevice, even the imp was thrown off guard by the feeling that something…unnatural was about. Faint whispers half-remembered led them to think that it might be a Shoggoth that lurked in the cave…but that couldn’t be, Shoggoths weren’t real, after all. Just legends made to scare children. They ventured into the crevice and found themselves on a shelf of rock, overlooking a vast black underground lake. Diir poked to the water, when the surface rippled and a horrid cry of “tekeli-li!” shook them to their cores. Before they could run, however, the shoggoth came surging forward, a hideous, indescribable mass of mouths and tentacles and ooze, ever changing, roiling its way towards them. Its makeshift arms lashed out at them, hitting fast and hard, reinforcing the thought that they were in over their heads. The group started on the retreat, but Grohim, the last in line, was grabbed by a slimy tentacle around his middle, and was quickly drawn in to its very core. The others fled, as the beast consumed every last bit of the Cleric known as Grohim.
Back on the surface, they demanded the foreman close the branch, demolish it, post signs that no one go near it. Dig in the other direction, anything. Abandon that branch at any cost! They took a moment to revitalize themselves and started trekking back to HQ, sullen. Along the road they were faced with a new devil…or so they thought. The hideous thing screeched at them, and demanded their deaths for what they had done to him—to Shax! They surrounded the weakened devil and proceeded to teach him that maybe staying in hell wasn’t such a bad idea, for him, after all, crushing him handily. Grumpier than ever, they continued their march to base…

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