CHAPTER ONE: Darkness Falls on Arabel

Myst expells her necrotic breath upon Megilwath , The Maven jumps to the side and Aces moves in behind the shadow dragon chasing her down. Mentathenis and Krushi launch their magic from a safe distance as we pull away from the scene into the rocks and earth above. A maze of passages fly by, some orcs and goblins can be glimpsed in the upper areas of the labyrinth. A strike of lightning, and we are moving out of the thunder peak’s innards, rain pours down as we fly past a partially ruined watch tower at the top of a steep mountain pass. Gargoyles sit upon its ramparts.

A battered raven pushes past our view, struggling to navigate the weather. We follow the bird beyond the peaks. As the dark crags recede into the distance we move into the clouds heading west. Our view turns to reveal plains and a forest, a road snakes far below the avian flight.

The raven is suddenly crushed in the claws of some giant undead thing. It’s feathers slowly falling towards the ground. The beating wings of Aurgloroasa the dracolich whip through the rain, as she soars through the cloud cover.

The wingged lich is left behind and the night skies begin to clear. We can see a large city ahead, the lamp lights of Arabel. We begin to slow over the urban landscape nearing the outskirts to the west and we swoop into an ally, darkened by the building awnings and rooftops. A sign above a door reads “The Night Wolf Inn” through the door a rowdy scene is drawn. Thugs, harlots, and wash out adventurers drown in alcohol. We home in on three figures in particular around a table in the corner Cliff, of Dawn’s Great Awakening the Shifter Monk, Ehd Solivan the Human Warlord and Sam Wainright, the Changeling Bard.

The three sit and talk about the lack of jobs they have gotten lately and complain about the Dark Fall, a group of assassins mercenaries and hustlers who pretty much run the scene in Arabel. They each take sips on their ale and Sam, in a dashing male guise hits on the trashed barmaid. The table next to them is filled with more drunks, and among them, a man named Arik Falck, known to be in league with the Dark Fall. The four men eavesdrop into the conversation of Cliff, Ehd and Sam and make snide remarks, mockery and jokes upon the three and their failing to make it in this town.

Sam offers them a drink and they accept, the barmaid returns to the table and Ehd trips her up just enough to send the ale flying towards their rivals. It splashes across the table and the majority ends up in Arik’s lap, who stands, hand on weapon. Sam tries to help the barmaid clean up the glass but the poor woman quickly passes out.

The three stand to confront the belligerents and Arik tells them that the Dark Fall own Arabel, and there is no more room for gutter rats in it’s streets. The trio spring into action just as the four men do. Ehd cracks one across the face with his hammer sending him spinning to the floor, Sam spews a verse of confusing words at the drunk headed towards him and he losses his balance sliding across the floor feet first into a wall. Cliff moves to the side to send his attacker into the same wall, but not before whacking him in the back of the head with his spinning staff, the man’s head crumples back into his chest as it hits the wood and he slumps to the floor. Arik throws the table aside and comes at Ehd. He and Cliff both swing their weapons in unison and knock Arik out cold.

Sam returns to the barmaid and wakes her. Cliff playing wingman as usual, tosses the maid a few gold to help Sam get her into his room. Sam glares at Cliff, and explins he needs no help bedding a woman. The barmaid heads up to Sam’s room, undresing as she goes. Ehd picks up Arik by his feet standing on a table and shakes him out for coin. Around 75 gold fall from his various pockets. He then wakes one of the other men and tells him to pick up the gold for him. Then he kicks the man out the front door, narrowly missing another man entering, who seeks help.

The man named Rudgar Durnhall, is looking for members of the Dark Fall to look for his missing wife Amber. The trio accept the man’s job for 50 gold a piece and ask that he lead them to where she disappeared. The man leads them to his two story shanty house a block away in the slums and leads them inside and up to the second story where a bed has been over turned and a window broken outward. The three investigate the area searching for clues as to what may have happened. Sam heads outside to question the neighbor and finds that she is an old woman and not much help. Cliff jumps through the window to search the back alley and lands on someone beneath the trash. A little boy. Cliff questions him a bit and Ehd joins his partners outside.

The three gather that there may have been an Amber necklace stolen as well. There was no sounds of a struggle upstairs and that the window was broken outward with a hammer. No one exited the building from the window and no damage to the front door could be found. They decide to position the trash kid in front of the apartment to watch and make sure no one goes in or out and continue into the market area. They question a few eatery owners while Ehd grabs a bite to eat. They find out that Amber was seen about an hour ago walking through the market with three of her buddies. The Amber necklace around her neck. They were headed for the Burnout, a section long destroyed by a fire that eventually consumed a whole block. A dangerous section of the town.

Cliff, Ehd and Sam head in that direction and move into the Burnout, rubble and burned debris are scattered everywhere, no lamps line the streets here, but they can navigate by moonlight. They come across an old tavern, still standing called The Black Room, the three recall that it looked burned even before the fire hit. They investigate the building and can see the flicker of candles and shadows of movement inside. Cliff listens in and can hear voices. Sam decides to take the guise of a beautiful maiden and pretends to be distressed to get into tavern. She knocks on the door feigning fear of two men following her and persuades the men inside to let her in.

Cliff and Ehd wait outside listening in for Sam’s signal to make their move. Using her skills in seduction and manipulation, Sam discovers that the woman Amber and her necklace are indeed being held in the cellar of The Black Room. She asks that a man named Outrider show her to the cellar and let her gaze upon the necklace. He reluctantly agrees but is mostly powerless against Sam’s charm.

Cliff and Ehd wait.

At the cellar, Sam is confronted by two people behind a barricaded door. One of which is too short to see through the peep hole and the other has glowing cat-like eyes. Both refuse the changeling access to the cellar. Cliff and Ehd decide they’ve waited long enough and bust through the windows in the front of the building. Inside the tavern they are confronted by five armed henchmen. Outrider leaves Sam’s side to head back to the tavern to see what the commotion is about and quickly joins the fight against the intruders.

Sam launches a sneak attack behind Outrider’s back and dispatches three of the armed men, then she heads back downstairs he to bluff her way into the cellar, claiming that the men who were following her have broken in and she needs protection.

Cliff and Ehd work together on defeating the henchmen,  Cliff is bloodied and flies into a bestial rage, transforming into his partial wolfen form, tearing through two henchmen on his way into the cellar. Ehd takes his time toying with Outrider.

Downstairs, Cliff and Sam fight against three enemies, Durval, the gnomish Delver, Catja, a catfolk Rogue, and Magrau the human Mage. The three of which are members of the rival team, Dark Fall. Soon after, the woman they were sent to rescue, Amber, joins the fight against the Changeling and Shifter. It appears the job was a trap in order to remove the trio from the scene.

Ehd continues to fight Outrider on the main floor, the two men are momentarily distracted by the sounds of screams and a draconic roar coming from outside. They witness an entire house crash down from the night sky right outside the window, it splinters the wall of The Black Room. They continue to fight.

Cliff and Sam rip down both Durval and Magrau very quickly. Catja is a little more dodgy and manages to get a few hits on Cliff before she too is killed.

Ehd still fights Outrider, the beating of giant wings can be heard swooping over the tavern and something hits the roof. Finally as outrider ducks to avoid some falling boards, Ehd hammers him hard across the skull, laying him out.

Cliff and Sam force Amber to surrender, who admits failure, drops the necklace at Sam’s orders, and says the Dark Fall is over. The trio have taken its place a the top of the underground food chain. Cliff takes the non-consenting orange haired girl as a mate.  They rejoin Ehd on the first floor moving outside to witness the final destruction of Arabel at the claws and breath of the Dracolich Aurgloroasa. They move back towards the Night Wolf Inn, or what’s left of it and watch as the lich rips The Black Room out of its foundation and throws it over the western wall as she flies into the darkness.

The trio talk about how Arabel may no longer be the best city to look for paying jobs of their skill set.

The screams and crying begin to subside as the sun rises over the ruined city. The trio watch as a brigade of eladrin, elves, some humans and even a few dwarves march into the city flying the banner of Silverymoon. The survivors of Arabel look relieved when they see the force, but their hopes are quickly dashed when their injured are largely ignored. The brigade marches through, posting a piece of parchment on every post and wall still standing. The trio walk up to one of the posts and look it over, it’s a wanted sign reading…

10,000 Gold Reward
For any information leading to the locating and
safe return of the elven noble Sona Summergale
to the city of Silverymoon.

At the request of:
Aramil Lantherval
The Summergale family
The noble houses of Silverymoon 

Red of hair
Emerald eyes
A master of music
May be using a cover name

Cliff, Ehd and Sam all grab the parchment at the same time and pull it off the wall. Perhaps Arabel has one last job to offer after all…

CHAPTER ONE: Darkness Falls on Arabel

Realm Runners Trysta