mike's epicest epic

Noblesse Oblique

To Hunt a Dark God, You Must Think Like a Dark God

An excerpt from the personal journal of Arc’teryx

The Tales of the Heroes of Auto-Immilatio
Chapter 88 – ’Twas Our Darkest Several Hours

Dear Reader,

First off, if this is the first chapter you’ve found, I want you to know that all the previous chapters definitely exist. You’re missing out, and you should look harder for them. They’re probably in an ancient dragon’s treasure horde, or something. Go collect all the pages! What are you waiting for?

Now back to the story!

As everyone knows, because it was in the last chapter, duh, the brave and noble Abercrombie was revealed to be a member of the Holy Order of the Swashbuckling Swine. People know him, but he keeps it cool, because that’s just how he is. His glowy magic powers make a bit more sense with that context. Our hero Arc’teryx is excited to learn more, if only he had a way to do so… Maybe he has a plan, and maybe it’ll happen soon!

Back at the tavern, Arc’teryx was busy styling on everyone with his Hat of Disguise and Adamantine Armor until Trogdor acquired a dope-ass Magic Cloak. “Fight swagg with swagg,” as the saying goes. Hoping to boost his stage presence, the bard used the Hat to appear a full foot taller than normal. Few, if any, have taken notice. Instead, rumors of soldiers adorned in noble purple and yellow abound.

Sander would later lead the party on an intelligence gathering operation near the docks. In hindsight, it would seem the two Dragonborn would need to gather a different kind of intelligence before such a mission, but it was worth a shot. The two instead simply roused rabble, were thrown out, and continued to dance and make music in the streets. Sander managed to meet with a shady individual who would agree to our heroes’ request to murder a man for a small sum of gold. I know what you’re thinking, because I know how that sounds, but just take it on good faith that these gallant adventurers had a good reason to pay hitmen to murder a stranger. It’s not like the mark was into charity and stuff. He was just a super annoying alcoholic. Eesh, anyway…

Arc’teryx disguised himself convincingly as a drunk old man who stumbled onto the scene of the hit, conspicuously enough to hide in plain sight. From there, Sander took over and ninja vanished his way along until the assassins took the body into a sewer. The group later found a note back at the Outrageous Dragon instructing them to bring payment to the Stamping Skunk for the dark night’s deeds.

Taking a brief hiatus from cloak and dagger tomfoolery, Arc’teryx again tested the waters for his campaign to open the eyes of the lower and middle class denizens of the city to the evils and follies of the rich and noble. He had begun to try sewing the seeds of dischord through colorful ballads and crude limericks, when he was approached by none other than Britha, an aging councilwoman bearing purple and gold finery and an amulet of glowing crystal. She walked with the weight of wealth upon her shoulders, held aloft by air of noxious superiority. Having obviously arrived because Arc’teryx was achieving some success with his musical taunts, she immediately played all the cards in her losing hand. Wisely fearing the unseen depths of his cunning plans, the bejeweled hag threatened his life while simultaneously acknowledging his talents, asking to be spared the sharper edges of his wit, requesting a favor for a friend named Lady Rasanz, and offering to lend him protection. Bribing him with a big jewel could have been an attempt at irony, but more likely she simply saw more dragon about him than satirist. Arc’teryx’s first groupie was a complete psycho.

In the end the party accepted her offer, because it was late and a bad time to make rash decisions. If she thought they were all super stoked on her, it would just be more convenient later. The notion of someone like Kater Erneyng attaining a seat on the council through sinister means and manipulation was also intriguing, and deserving of attention. The team was looking for evidence to substantiate rumors about a council member holding ties to Vecna. And lo, as good things come to those who actively disrupt the forces of darkness, a letter inviting them to an obvious trap referenced their recently destroyed idol to the dark god as bait.

Little planning was required to pull a quick reversal on the sprung trap, and suddenly a dark alley was slick with a pulpy bandit mist. Two survivors were held for questioning, but one was a blithering idiot and the other killed himself to slightly delay our heroes’ progress, like a spiteful prick. His body was hung near the wealthy district as a message to team Vecna. Comically, in a cosmic sense, and in a gruesome coincidence, the body of the priest who destroyed their idol was left out in a similar fashion on the same night. Touche, Vecna.


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