Dahkath's Council of Thieves
Marius Baradin Journal Entry 5
Toilday, Arodus 27, 4709 AR
Recovery from the last few days has been slow, and I fear that this entry may not do justice to the events that have occurred over that time.
Jessie had staved off the infection of Lycanthrope, though her life was nearly snuffed out from the process. However, her recovery has been aided by the cleric Arael, with theuse of the divine magic he wields. I was glad she was not overtaken by the curse she was inflicted with. Putting down an innocent would have brought me no pleasure.
The fiendish werewolf Whitechin had escaped our clutches, going underground, and certainly making bringing the monster to justice all the more difficult. However, I was forced to put all of the past week’s events behind me, and focus on the task that now laid before us: An assault against the Bastards of Erebus.
Janiven had discovered what she believed may be an outpost for the Bastards in an abandoned Church of Erastil, inside the ruined portion of Westcrown. The Children of Westcrown were eager to attack the enemy, but Janivan has enough sense to temper their enthusiasm; their inexperience in matters of combat would have made them more of a hindrance then help in such a situation. After much debate over tactical specifics, we had accepted that we would need to attack at night, to avoid being spotted by their sentries, or other problems that might come upon us, such as the corrupt Dottari guards.
We waited for the following evening to approach for our attack, giving me adequate time to silently contemplate the odd assortment of companions I found myself with. Fin’s reason for assisting us were all but self-evident; it takes little more than coin to motivate a mercenary. Jezzie’s path to adventuring is clear as well: Vengeance. I can certainly appreciate her desire to avenge her parent’s deaths, having also lost my father to the actions of corrupt men. But her methods seem too unpredictable, too savage, for me to lend her my complete support. If the time comes that I can help her find her parent’s murderer, then I certainly shall, for the law demands justice be served. Yet I hope she does not sway too far from the law that she herself becomes a criminal.
And then there is Thodin, the dwarven cleric of Iomandae. In a way, our ideals are the closest to each others. He clearly is against corruption and has shown as much disdain for the Bastards as I have. Yet, he talk has bordered on treason against our Queen, and it is clear that he believes Asmodeus has caused these issues. He is either an anarchist, who will have his shop burned and his body broken if the Rack hear of his ramblings, or he is naive, to disregard the fact that the harsh law of Asmodeus and the Hellknights has kept Cheliax from falling into anarchy and chaos. He stands on the line of either being a great ally or a dangerous opponent.
Our approach to the church was swift, having taken an unused route pointed out to us by Janiven. The Children took positions around the church, while we approached the main tower. Arael was quick to observe that the lone sentry could be taken out without alert anyone else with the help of a silence spell he had prepared. Needing every tactical advantage possible, our group agreed with the idea, and together Arael and Janiven were able to coordinate a successful take-down of the sentry. Thinking our approach clear, we moved forward towards the abandoned church.
Yet, we failed to notice a mangy old guard dog who was able to detect our approach. We were immediately circled by several tieflings. Their agility made them incredibly hard to land blows against, and their quick-feet helped them circle around us as they snuck attacks through our defenses. Slowly, one by one, we were able to take down the fiends, but not before one escaped. It is hard even now to recollect the chaos of the battle afterwards. We chased after the fleeing tiefling, only to find him descending below the church, into a underground complex that the Bastards had built for themselves. We continued to press on, passed more tieflings, the reanimated remains of wolves and the terrifying hellhounds that seemed to sear parts of my very flesh with their breath. Through it all, the darkness gave the Bastards the advantage, and we were forced to rely on Thodin to guide us with his dwarven sight.
Beaten and bloodied, we made it through the end of their underground labrynth, to come face to face with the leader of the Bastards of Erebus, a tiefling we now know as Pavaleen. Many tricks did this one have up his sleeve. A tiefling the size of four normal men, with great claws attached to his arms. A mage that we had been chasing throughout the complex. A being wrapped in the burial cloths of the dead. And Pavaleen himself, a fellow cleric of Asmodeus, wielded our master’s power against us. Spells flew pass us, as Jezzie and Arael dueled with the Pavaleen and the mage. I rushed the large tiefling, knowing that if I did not keep him occupied, he could easily tear through our party with his mighty blades. I was fortunate in my battle against him, as I was able to land several blows against him with my bastard sword while narrowly stopping his massive blows with my shield arm. With Fin’s arrow fire supporting me, I was able to take down the bladed tiefling, as my fellow comrades dealt with the other threats. Pavaleen used every power at his disposal, and yet somehow we managed to survive, trapping in him the room even as he tried to escape with the use of an invisibility spell.
The fiend was subdued, and I recall yanking off the iron holy symbol of Asmodeus from his neck. Some doubt filled me as I held that symbol in my hands. The Hellknight whom we had fought while freeing the caravan had also been a follower of the Prince of Darkness, but as a Hellknight, he stood for Law and Order. This tiefling before me stood for none of these things. It seemed that Asmodeus fueled both me and my enemies. I promised myself that I would prove myself worthier then them.
We looted the Bastards ill-gotten gains, resolving to return what goods we could to their proper owners, though this seem to upset the mercenary somewhat. Still, justice was done, and I’m sure that he will be properly rewarded for his services. We returned to the Westcrown, to tie up our loose ends. Thodin and I went to place notice to the Mayor’s aide that we had helped him resolve his problem with the Bastards, whilst Fin and Jezzie dealt with possession of the goods we had seized.
Arael thanked us back at the Children’s hideout, offering us the use of his spellcasting abilities if we ever needed such services. He also helped us to identify some of the goods we had found from the Bastards, most noticeably an ornate breastplate, looking well preserved for having been underground in such dank conditions. Arael has said that it has magical properties, and I have asked to take it. Better armour will make me a better fighter.
The future is unclear, and I sense that this may be as good a time as any to attempt to contact Mistress Runario to inform her that I have made a small dent in the criminal organizations in Westcrown. I feel that this is only the surface that I have scratched, for amongst the possessions we found in Pavaleen’s chambers, a note has pointed to another mystery…
“Palaveen – While we appreciate the work of your Bastards, the Council never intended this association to be anything more than that. We shouldn’t need to remind you that if your tiring applications continue, we’ll need to solve this problem in a manner less concerned with your continued good health”
The question now remains…who is this Council…and what dark secrets do they hide?