The Price of Business

The Story of the Once and Reborn King

Book One: From Ashes of Empire

Part I: The Horn of Ancient Valor

Adventure One: The Gathering

Act III: The Price of Business

Chapter One: Gift-bringer

March 15-16
The party heals their wounds from the battle. Strange things begin happening in the city. Riots and murders escalate in frequency. Most are tracable to small object d'art people are fighting over. One of the party remembers a story of Gift-bringer and relates it to the rest of the party. An investigation into the identity of the peddler ensues.
Marik dissappears during this time as he is imprisioned under the Wizard's Guild for attempting to break in. He meets the Headmaster as well as a visiting dignitary, the Theran Mage.

March 17
The party feels strongly that the peddler is the Horror Gift-bringer and once again enlists the aid of the city guards. The party also enlists the Wizard's Guild to help with such a Horror. The party calls Gift-bringer out, and out he comes in his true form, that of a huge wyvern-like creature. He knocks Elricson aside, nearly shattering his back in one blow and proceeds to instill terror in the hearts of all those who face him, save the guard captain, the Theran Mage, and the main party. Gift-bringer than proceeds to crush the guard captain, who is wearing full plate, flat like a cheap beer can. He turns on Celenod and pulverises him into unconsciousness with a single blow. The Theran Mage distracts the creature, giving Ander time to pull Celenod to safety. The party scatters as the Theran Mage mis-casts his spell and vanishes in a puff of smoke.
Gift-bringer takes to the sky and departs, his plans here discovered too soon.

Chapter Two: Mistress Vampire

March 18 -24
Much of this time is spent healing, especially for Celenod. The party finally thinks to use magic to heal him on the 24th.

March 25
The Lady Fairchilde's condition has worsened. She has been sickly, pale, and averse to light since her rescue. She has also been infected by Vampirism and has now fully transformed. The Captain is fully in her power as her ghoul servant, and she attempts to take Queron too. He resists and a struggle ensues in the villa in which the Captain and the Lady are destroyed with fire. The only surviving crewman, a young deckboy, witnessess only the aftermath of the battle when the party is standing over the defeated vampire and her minion burning them to death. He flees, vowing vengeance on this treachery.
The party hides the evidence of their killing in the courtyard flagstones and drain.

March 26 - April 17
The party awaits the spring thaw when the passes will clear. Queron decides to return to the Fairewind and takes his leave of the party.

April 18
Word arrives that the passes are clear. The party plans a feast and prepares to leave on the morrow. During the feast Aniki and Marik have a falling out, as Aniki has been under the effect of Marik's charm spell for quite some time now and has begun acting erratically as Marik doesn't return her love and her jealousy grows. Marik doesn't take the opportunity to back out gracefully and explain his mis-deed, but instead seduces the vulnerable girl. He beds her while the feast is in progress and unbeknownst to all, she conceives.

Chapter III: The Living Storm

April 19 - 20
The party travels the pass, navigating treacherous rockslides and washout parts of the trail.

April 21
A reality storm sweeps up from the Sea of Ash over the Barrier Peaks and catches the party while camped this night. Strange arcane lightnings strike all that is animate and transport it a thousand miles in an instant. The party is swept-up and deposited in the heart of the Sea of Ash. Hot ash rains down on them from the volcanoes spewing gouts of flame into the air close by. The air is thick and hot and smells like rotting eggs. Gagging and blinded by the air, the party collects the livestock and team members and strikes out towards a ruin visible in the distance.
Along the way they are attacked by large burrowing creatures with tough skins and thick shell-like armor. The party flees into the rocky area around the ruins to escape. The ruins are a mysterious Gate-stone, a relic from the ancient past when the Atlanteans ruled the world. The Gate-stone seems to be in good shape for being thousands of years old, and the party mages, begin deciphering the cryptic runes. While the party is so engaged, the Gate-stone's guardians, a pack of Jethula, which are strange spider creatures, attack. The party fights bravely but more of the spider creatures and some other dark constructs began to arrive. Marik manages to create a Gate-stone activation spell on the fly and charges the stone up and opens a Gate to what he hopes is back to their camp. It is.

April 22-24
The party continues through the mountains, healing their wounds. This day the meet a Kandian patrol from the nearby city. The patrol asks them about the pass and the recent storm.

Chapter Four: The Final Leg

April 25
The party arrives in the Kingdom of Kanday. The group pays its tariffs and taxes and enters the city. Tristin begins to look for a buyer for his goods as he wants to press on to the college withjout any more delays. He has decided to join and partially fund Grimgroth's expedition into the Sea of Ash.
Celenod returns to his family lands, hoping to join the party at the college later. It will be many months before they see him again, and by then everything will have changed for the proud knight.

April 26
Tristin finds that someone is buying up arms and armor, and that the price has been inflated becuase of that. He sells for a hefty profit. His guards now have something valuable to look after: a strongbox of silver and gold weighing some 60 lbs! Tristin doles out a generous bonus to everyone and a good night is had by all.

April 27
The man that has been buying all the arms and armor locally, Salim Roussad, a Zakharan, approches Tristin and tells him that he can pay well for any more such cargo, but Tristin has had enough merchanting and declines. Besides, Salim gives him a creepy feeling.

April 28-29
The party is well-provisioned and laden with spanking new goods, and custom-made items bought with their new money. They set out for the War College which is no more than three days travel through civilized country.

May 2
No less than three days either, as the party arrives in the small village near the college and takes lavish rooms in the inn. The small village caters to the wealthy parents of the students and the patrons of the War College. Expensive shops and restaurants fill the village.
Marik and Aniki head to the college. Shaitan is overjoyed at their return and happy at their love. Vonda Westinghouse hears about Tristin's arrival and does herself up in her finery.

The party arrives at the college and introductions are made around and everyone is quite taken with Mistress Shalindra, especially Elricson. Ander runs into trouble with the cook, Grimjack, as he brooks no interference in his kitchen. Tristin is quite taken with Vonda, whose father is a Count of Aquatain.

On to Adventure Two: The Forgotten City

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