Here is session 0.9 for Delta (My younger brother Hyrum’s character)
It has been 3 years since The Floating Pyramid was struck down. 3 years since the Iron Fist was destroyed. Ishkar had high hopes that an attack on Jurax’s Floating Fortress, Tag’ehshtag, would be possible but victory was snatched away in a heartbeat. All that remained, was a ruined pyramid that sinks slowly into The Cursed Bowels and the memories and bodies of the fallen.
Delta forgot most of the horrors that tried preventing his escape from that swamp but never forgot the smells of his comrades that were crushed by debris, burnt by fire or eviscerated and still being eaten alive by the terrors that live there. He spent the last 3 years searching for answers consumed by the notion that there is something out there that would spare this world’s descent into lawless chaos.
First, he tried the scholars and academics. Researching and reading what few books he could find on the subject matter both old and new. The more he read the more he was convinced that an answer lies out there. He read passages that mentioned Books of Power. These tomes are said to house incredible amounts of knowledge but have been lost or secreted away.
His knack for research and investigation got him noticed by a Thieves Guild recruiter. He was trailed for several days until the recruiter turned around a corner and Delta was lying in ambush. A dagger pressed to the recruiter’s throat, “Why are you following me?” Delta demanded.
The recruiter smiled. “Seems you are a more valuable target than we thought. You have certain skills we would like to borrow in exchange for things we can offer you.” At first, Delta thought he meant money, but that quickly went away as he deduced that he meant the Books of Power that he had been searching for. The dagger eased up, but only slightly.
“I’m here to make you an offer. Your skills for our knowledge.” Delta thought about it for a while. He had already hit several dead ends and if he played his cards right, he might be able to get information from this organization if it was anything like his own covert team back in the Iron Fist. He pulled the dagger back but still held it tightly.
“You have my brief attention”
“Smart man ye are. I represent a coalition of sorts. You gets to work for us, and in return we can help you… liberate certain lost books that you seem keen on findin’.” Delta mulled it over. Already he knew he would accept but he didn’t want to tip his hand just yet.
“How do I know I can trust you”
“You don’t. It’s the way the world is. Makes no nevermind to us.”
He pretended to think it over some more and then slightly relaxed. “I’m ambitious and I know what I want. If you slow me down you’ll regret it.” The recruiter smiled.
It was only a couple days and Delta was now a part of a Thieves Guild. Later he would realize that it was The Thieves Guild and that he was just in a small specialized section of it. He was actually surprised to realize just how organized and robust this group was. He was appointed to work in The Rumors division who specialized in information.
Delta spent time getting used to the organization and quickly proved his worth. He became good at sneaking around and finding information that had been lost or stolen. In time the Guild started feeding him information about possible whereabouts of the Books of Power. He learned the use of Thieves Cant. A pseudo-code-based system that allowed agents to discuss things openly without revealing their true intentions. Some of these code words:
- The Clock - One of the largest thieves guilds. Trying to unite the smaller thieves guild and abolish the more disreputable ones.
- The Ledger - Thieves guild specializing in money. Trade mostly.
- The Rumors - Thieves guild specializing in information.
- The Street - Thieves guild that specializes in bodyguards, mercenaries and to a smaller extent bounty hunters/slavers.
- The Road - Uncooperative Thieves guild trying to oust smaller settlements. They are mostly in it for blackmailing, extortion, and racketeering. Not a friend to the others. Recently formed but hard to pinpoint down exact places of influence. Heavy into slave trading and abductions.
- The Shade - Refers to a local crime boss or leader of a group.
- The Sun - Refers to the law. Officers, guards etc…
He was smart enough to realize that he still didn’t have full access and all of the picture. He picked up that there were other subdivisions as well. The Wall and The Water being two of a few others he wasn’t quite sure. He believed that The Water dealt with transportation and The Wall had to do with stabilization of local governments but wasn’t sure about it.
He had been with the organization now for almost a year. The Thieve’s network did its best to keep him informed of any information regarding the Books of Power but so far he didn’t feel as close as he would have liked. He pulled out a small notebook that he kept with him that detailed many of the rumors and information that might prove useful or helpful one day. He summed up the leads that he felt were the most important and likely to yield something useful.
- There have been several operations against the last major armies of the Dragon Knights and that the Dragon Knights are losing pretty bad.
- There have been whispers of abductions of strong spellcasters across the baronies.
- There are rumors that one of Mikkah’s children had kids before being killed. It’s possible that the Good King lineage is not destroyed.
- One of the Barony’s had a child that escaped execution and is living at large.
- The Southland has been trying to investigate some of the old ancient ruins and has been offering money for explorers and adventurers.
- The Northerners have been increasing their armies.
- The Dwarves have been taking slaves into the Underdark and not just to slave owners.
- The land near the fallen pyramid is said to be haunted. No one tries to recover anything either from the dead or the pyramid itself.
Once again he was no closer to the answers that he sought. While closing his personal notebook he heard a slight rap on the door. He knew that they had another mission for him. The local crime boss of this small town was named Duande Littlefinger. A halfling who always seemed to know things that were going on before anyone else. He had eyes and ears everywhere. However, having good eyes and ears aren’t everything. You still needed someone like Delta to use that information.
Delta opened the door and a man entered the room and after announcing that it was clear Duande padded into the room and hopped on a stool. “We have a mission for you. You get to go to a party tonight. There is a major operation that is going down and I need to know what it is. Go to one of the towers at the Rabonly estate. There you will meet a contact. You will get your mission orders from him. The phrase for your contact will be, “The clock is always ticking,” to which they should reply, “Yes, but at least I know the time.” If the phrase is not given, leave the premise and abort the mission. If you are discovered, leave no witnesses.”
Delta approved of Duande Littlefinger. Short and to the point. Just like a halfling. “What time is this engagement?”
“Tonight. Shortly after sunset is when you’ll make your entrance. Lagre will have what you need for your cover. You’ll be searched on the premise so you won’t be able to bring much. You might be able to hide a few sharp arrow tips cleverly but otherwise, you will be on your own.” He paused and hopped off the stool. “You’ve been doing good work here. Upon completion, I might have some good news for you. Good luck.”
And with that Duande departed with his bodyguard leading the way. Delta snapped a few arrowheads off and felt he could reasonably hide 3 or 4 without too much notice on a pat down. He went to Lagre who gave him his cover story and his outfit. Tonight he was a nephew twice removed from a distant barony that had been taken over. Someone of that station would hardly be noticed and none would likely have any idea what he was to look like.
The sun began to sink and Delta headed towards the estate. He noticed that there seemed to be fewer guards around and that something felt a bit off. Earlier today the town seemed a little bit busier than normal and that even the military seemed to be out in larger numbers, but now those same numbers were nowhere to be seen. Delta thought about it a bit more and determined that there might be some sort of military action going on around the area. He couldn’t think of what it might be related to so he filed it away and focused on the mission at hand.
He reached the check station for the estate where a pair of bored guards were examining the royal invitations as well as making sure that no weapons or contraband arrived. Delta handed over his invitation and spread his arms out to be checked, confident that they would not find the 4 concealed arrow tips secured on his person. The information that he got so far determined that this was a political power party. One of the local rulers in the area was trying to make an impression in the region and decided to throw this event in order to secure favor and sponsorship to try and attain a higher status.
Delta was allowed to enter and as he approached the stairs the Herald took his invitation and announced his entrance. “Lord Davish of Tivaly has arrived” A few curious onlookers looked towards the entrance but shortly resumed their focus back to the group that they were listening to. Lord Davish was designed to be simple and unassuming to better blend into the crowds. Delta went about pretending to partake in some slight conversations around the main lower floor rooms. Slowly he made his way towards the main hallway that had a large staircase that split in two towards two different towers. He started to climb up the steps and frantically tried to recall if there was any mention of which tower he should take.
Unable to come up with an answer and not wanting to stop and look suspicious he decided to take a left at the stairs and climb the Western Tower. The upper floor had a few guards overlooking the area but not many guests as the main interactions were taking place downstairs. Delta climbed the steps quietly as he approached the top of the tower. Upon arriving he noticed a figure standing overlooking a window that oversaw a large part of the town. The figure seemed to be holding a glass of wine as he gazed outside.
Delta paused for a moment and then pretended to be a lost guest. “Sorry, I didn’t realize this tower was occupied.” The figure didn’t move and merely swirled his wine in the glass.
“Do you know the time?” He asked?
Delta turned around and answered, “I don’t, but the clock is always ticking.”
The agent turned around. Lanky. Gray mustache and slender frame. “True, but I can usually tell the time” Delta paused for a moment. It was close, but not word for word. He learned to trust his instincts and turned to leave.
“My name is Rickert and I was told to wait for someone to help me with a mission. Is that not you?” The man asked without turning. Delta thought some more and was convinced that this was a setup. Something just felt off. He slowly reached for his arrow tips and pulled a couple out. Leave no witnesses. Time to abort the mission. Delta threw one of the arrowheads so it clanged up against the side of the tower near where the man was standing.
“You missed” he started as he slowly reached for his weapon. His eyes turned to surprise as Delta took that brief moment to quickly dive towards the man’s throat and with one of the tips of arrows stabbed straight into his neck and quickly cut straight across to prevent any sound from coming from his lips. The man struggled for a moment as his life seeped out his neck on to the floor. The man struggled for a few moments and then was still.
Delta looked around and thought about what to do with the body. He leaned the body against the railing so that the body would fall out the window but he took part of the man’s jacket and pierced it with an arrow tip. He then lodged the arrow tip into a soft spot of mortar that would allow the body to fall, but not for about a minute. Once everything was arranged he gathered the remaining arrow tips and made sure he looked ok as he went back downstairs.
Delta was about to leave when a man approached him on the second floor. It was clear that he was looking for Delta. Delta reached into his pockets and gripped an arrow tip. The man stopped by his side and asked, “You seem to be in a hurry. Do you know when the event is scheduled to be over?” Delta thought for a moment. Was this another trap? Still, he needed to be sure.
“I don’t, but the clock is always ticking.”
“Yes, but at least I know the time.”
This was most likely his real contact. Delta was lead over to the side where the man explained. “When I saw you enter the estate but didn’t arrive in the tower I figured something might’ve gone wrong and you might have gone over to the other tower. I have a funny feeling about this mission.”
“Ya, I already met an imposter trying to be you. We only have about a minute before his body falls out the window and create a scene.” The contact thought for a moment. “Ok, continue the mission. I’ll provide a distraction. Go to the kitchen and take the staircase downstairs. On the bottom floor, you’ll find a rucksack full of supplies. There is a safe on that floor. Be careful but get what is in that safe. Expect guards and traps. If you trip the alarms head back out and report. There is something big going on and we need to know what it is. Remember to not let anyone see you. The Road must not know we are onto them.”
With that, the man quickly went down the stairs towards the front entrance. Delta did as he was told and slowly made his way towards the kitchen. All of a sudden there was a woman who was screaming. Delta turned in time to see his contact pull a knife out of the guard’s neck and was sprinting out the door. The estate erupted with panic and guards calling out after the assassin. Good enough for Delta the rooms cleared out and he went into the kitchen that was now empty of workers. He noted a window nearby that if things escalated he could use to escape quickly.
At the bottom of the stairs, he found his supplies and weapons. He quickly looked around. He passed one floor that seemed to be the food storage but down here seemed a bit less used. The stone down here was cold and old. It looked like there was a hallway with openings to the left and right a couple of times before some sort of a door at the end. He looked through his bag and pulled out some string and a small bell. He put the string between the walls of the staircase and connected it with the bell. It was crude but should serve as an early detection system if someone came in from behind.
The end of the hallway contained a couple of humanoid figures standing guard. They appeared to be reptilian or lizard-like. No armor or clothes just a spear each. His mind reached through his years of books and knowledge of what these might be. His mind came to the words, Troglodyte. He remembered that they were fairly territorial and they had a power-based system in which they usually followed whoever was strongest in their clan. They seemed oddly placed in an estate let alone on guard duty. He also noticed a rancid stench on this floor that he hadn’t before. He slowly advanced.
At the first intersection, he quickly peered down the splits. It looked like some sort of simple barred room for either prisoners or perhaps slaves. Both of these contained some sort of humanoid figure. One was asleep, the other seemed awake but bored. He made note of them and moved on keeping to the shadows watching what the guards were doing. They mostly just stood there though occasionally they would mill about for a moment or kick the dirt.
He pressed on. The next intersection also had the caged rooms though these were both empty. By now he was only about 15-20 feet from the door and the guards. The stench became worse. He noticed that one of the guards looked like they heard or saw something and decided to investigate where Delta was. Delta pulled out his knives and prepared to pull the creature towards him and kill it. The creature stopped just short of the intersection looking down towards the stairs.
Delta pulled out a small metal ball bearing from his pack and threw it low and around the corner towards the door. It made a soft thump as it hit the door and rolled about. Both of the guards turned to see what it was. While they were distracted Delta stood up and pulled the lizard creature into his hallway. One dagger sliced open the creature’s neck and the other went from under his mouth and towards his brain effectively silencing and killing the creature in a flash. The creature barely struggled before it died. Now that he was next to the creature he realized that the creature was the source of the stench.
Delta paused, the smell overwhelming him. He quickly pulled out a piece of cloth and doused it with some water from a flask. A makeshift mask to save his mouth and nose. He also dabbed his eyes to try and get the burning to go away. He did this quickly. The other guard might come this way. He quietly moved the body off to the side and listened.
Sure enough, the other creature decided to find out where his buddy went off to. With one guard left, he waited until it was close and then took the initiative in order to do the same to this guard as the other. One dagger across the neck, the other through the roof of the mouth. The creature dropped his spear and died almost instantly. Surprise and terror on its face.
Delta hid the bodies down in the empty prison cages. He wasn’t sure if he had gotten used to the stench by now or if the makeshift mask was working. Either way, the stench wasn’t so bad anymore. He went to the door and searched for any kinds of traps. He didn’t notice anything. He tried the handle, it was unlocked. He quietly opened the door and noted a T shaped intersection with another 2 guards straight ahead also wearing nothing but a spear. Between the door and the intersection, he noted a bookshelf about halfway distance wise that could serve as a forward hiding spot.
He watched the guards through the slight crack. For a while, they didn’t do much. After a few moments, they turned to each other and started talking. Delta didn’t know the language. It seemed like basic throat grunts and gurgles to him. He quickly placed down about a hundred ball bearings by the door in case he needed to run back and these might cause the pursuer to slip. Delta was methodical. After this, he moved up towards the bookcase quietly shutting the door behind him while the creatures talked to each other.
Once at the bookshelf the conversation was starting to end. One of the guards went to the right path and the other went towards Delta. The one near Delta passed his spot and the Troglodyte appeared to be looking at the door as if he heard something earlier. Delta took this moment and attacked, once again both blows coming in quick and purposefully. He looked around once the body stopped moving and decided it would be best to hide it with the other two. He carried it down the hall and lumped it with the others.
He went back to the door and once again opened it a crack. The other guard came back and looked confused about where his buddy went. He looked across the hall and then towards the door. Delta had a plan. He slowly pulled the door open about halfway. He hid in the shadows behind the door hoping that the creature would be curious enough to investigate. Sure enough, the creature slowly padded this way. When it got to the door it tried speaking something unintelligible to Delta. Most likely asking where his guard buddy was.
The creature kept looking into the darkness and didn’t look at where he was walking. He tried going through the door but lost his footing on hundreds of small steel balls and fell to the ground. The wind knocked out of him Delta took decisive action and plunged his daggers into the now empty lungs of the creature. It hissed for a moment trying to regain breath that wouldn’t come to make a sound that never came. One more body for the prison cage.
Delta moved forward and quietly opened the door. No sign or sound of guards. He pressed on. He made it to the T intersection and with both sides looking the same, 2 doors at the end of the hall he chose right. He went down there and opened the doors. Some minor sleeping quarters, most likely for the creatures, was all that was down here. He pressed on.
The other side he came to a door and pressed his ear up against it. He heard some sort of a grunting sound and some minor shuffling. He also noticed a new foul stench coming from this room as well. Before Delta could react the door opened and another troglodyte appeared. Delta reacted instantly and plunged his daggers into the best marks. The creature was obviously stunned and surprised. The creature was felled and Delta took a moment to look into the room. It seemed that this was the equivalent of the privy for these creatures. Dung and urine filled his nostrils. Thank god he had a mask on. Who knows how bad it would have been without it. He deposited the creature into the room and closed the door.
The last door on his list. He listened and heard nothing. He went to turn the handle of the door but noticed it wasn’t as fluid as the other door handles. Immediately he backed off and examined the door for traps. Sure enough, there was some sort of a mechanism built into the handle. He took out his thieves tools and got to work. The mechanism was pretty simple and shortly a quiet click indicated that it was disabled. He opened the door and saw a very nice reading room. The walls were lined with books on shelves. This room had carpet and nice sitting chairs. This was a nice room completely opposed by the dim grey stone walls outside.
Delta noticed a safe on a pedestal. He looked it over. He felt some sort of magical pull from within the safe. He got back out his tools and started examining the safe. Another mechanism was discovered and shortly laid to rest. He quietly picked the safe lock and then opened the heavy door. In it he found a bag and a note. He picked up the bag and felt the weight and sound of coins. A decent amount. He pocketed those and then went on to the note.
The note had a magical seal on it that prevented him from opening without risking destroying the contents. He had seen these before but he didn’t remember this particular symbol before. He put the note in his bag and searched the rest of the room. All of a sudden he heard a grinding sound and noticed a shelf starting to move to reveal some sort of dark staircase. Curiosity got the best of Delta and he waited to see what it was.
When the door had moved open he saw a figure in heavy armor. The build resembled that of the Troglodyte but without seeing anything other than armor he couldn’t be sure. He pulled out his weapon and tried to find an opening in the armor. His blades couldn’t find flesh. The figure had a spiked club and smashed it into Deltas shoulder almost knocking him to the ground. Bad idea, Delta thought and decided to make a run for it.
He disengaged the creature and went around the corner. There he pulled out his bag of ball bearings and loosed them on the floor outside the door. He waited with a flask of acid he had on him. Sure enough, the creature slipped and fell on the balls. He took the flask of acid and threw it on the creature. It writhed and hissed as the acid melted into the armor and then into the flesh. Delta retreated back the way he came earlier.
He closed the door behind him and doused it in oil then threw out a potion of alchemist fire and torched the door. This should prevent anyone from following him and with any luck help cover up anything that happened down here. He pressed on back towards the staircase when he heard a commotion from one of the prison cells.
“Get me out of here”. He quickly looked at the 2 prison cages. With the fire illuminating a bit more he noticed that one was a Warbreed and the other was a Dwarf. Dwarves had a reputation of being slavers but Delta knew that not all Dwarves were bad. It looked like it was the Warbreed who was talking. Delta thought about it for a moment. The Warbreed could be used as a patsy or even as a short term ally to get away from here. “Why are you and he locked up?” Delta asked while pointing towards the Dwarf.
“The Dwarf because he was caught stealing. I’m here because I wasn’t great at taking orders from the staff. I asked some questions and apparently, that was enough for them to pin me down here.” Delta thought for a moment and then unlocked the cage.
Delta stood in the War breeds face. “2 Rules. Don’t slow me down. Don’t talk about what happened here tonight.” The Warbreed half smiled from weariness.
“Sounds good boss” Delta made a point to show where the strong and bell was so he wouldn’t trip over it. The Warbreed followed behind Delta. Delta then proceeded to unlock the dwarf’s cage as well. It looked like he was worn down from exhaustion but the clattering of the cage opening woke him up.
Delta told him to get on his feet and to follow if he wants to escape this place. A dwarf might have useful information for The Rumors and it never hurts to have a designated decoy.
Delta arrived in the kitchen only to find a sole female attendant who looked at them as they came up. Delta rushed to the worker and put his hand over her mouth. “Don’t scream or shout. Nod if you understand.” Terrified she nodded her head.
Delta removed his hand. “We’re leaving and you need to come with us.” Terrified she followed as Delta opened the window and motioned for the others to follow. Delta managed to get off the property without taking too long and started heading towards the closest safe house. As he got outside a large green brilliant explosion, almost like a firework, rose into the air. However, this one seemed magical as it stayed in the sky for a long time. It was far to the South. A bad omen perhaps?
No witnesses. Delta decided that it would be better to have The Thieves Guild determine their fate. Hopefully, they wouldn’t have to be killed. They made it to the safehouse and Delta gave the password to get in. Each safehouse was always equipped with a doorkeeper and a messenger. He turned to the doorkeeper and instructed him to get Duande Littlefinger and Armon, a spell flinger who would most likely be able to break the seal.