Only Evil Stirs in Wedhburg

Act I: Scene III
One Night in Wedhburg

After we had had our chat with Isaac, we met a very trustworthy sort by the name of Jamen. He was a half-elf who particularly enjoyed killing things with his great sword. He wondered into the Falling Dagger after hearing sounds of fighting, hoping that there was adventure. After finding it, he joined us.

The fight with the wights in the basement of the Falling Dagger had left Brotaur drained of more than a few of his levels. The party set out that first evening for the biggest temple in town to get some much needed healing. We found an immense cathedral of the Triad in the center of the town. Inside we met a very nice fellow by the name of Gabriel. Gabriel was a middle age cleric of the Triad who was a bit less than six feet tall. He had short black hair and always wore a grey robe and carried a staff with various runes on it.

While Gabriel was healing Brotaur he noticed the cup that was found on Ted’s body and told us that we held a very powerful artifact. The cup is called the Chalice of Ilmater and it is always in the hands of those who suffer to make the world a better place. It does some groovy things like turning water into cure potions and turning cure potions into really awesome cure potions. It was no doubt design for adventurers.

Gabriel told us that he would do whatever he could to help us because the simple fact that we held the Chalice meant that Ilmater had marked us for greatness.

* * *

After the church, we set off for the nearest Town watch station to find out what we could about Steven’s murder. I was the only one in the party who had ever lived in Wedhburg, so the party relied on me to show them the way. I had done a good job getting to the cathedral solely because it is gigantic and can be seen all over town. I only vaguely knew where the town watch station was in this part of town, so I got us lost almost instantly.

That was the last time anyone in the party relied on me for anything more than encouragement.

We ended up near the docks, which is a particularly unsafe place to be at any time of day, even by Wedhburg standards. I was not at all surprised when eight people dressed in jet black cloaks surrounded us and drew weapons. I was a bit terrified, but I was not surprised.

I’m not sure why the cultists thought we would be a good choice for the night’s living sacrifice. We were four dudes, all of different races, two of which were heavily armed, wondering the streets in the middle of the night with more than a little bit of blood soaked into our clothes. We were clearly adventurers and clearly going to be hard to kill.

The fight lasted maybe a minute. I spent the entire fight between Brotaur and Jamen shouting encouragement and healing. At the end, seven cultists were dead, Elandir was unconscious, Brotaur should have been unconscious, and my bladder was empty. We found some gold on the bodies, along with some other mundane valuables and what was clearly a holy symbol.

The holy symbol was a short rod with a human skull on the end. I recognized it as a replica of the Wand of Orcus, which is the Demon Lord’s holy symbol.

* * *

After our little scuffle in the back alley, we left the bodies before the authorities showed up and found our way to the town watch station. We asked the desk sergeant who we should talk to about a murder from two years before, and he directed us to a Lieutenant Michael. We found him sitting in his office even though it was late at night.

Michael was a really big guy. He was at least six and half feet tall and was layered in thick muscle. He had shaggy black hair and his beard seemed to be in a continuous state of stubble. Above his desk was a great sword called Cloudcrack. Cloudcrack’s blade was blue and had white lines like lightning all over it. It smelled like the air before a thunder storm and I could immediately tell it was a powerful magic item.

“What do you want?” Michael said when we entered the room without looking up from his work.

“We’re here to talk about a murder,” Brotaur replied. Michael looked up from his work and I saw that he was exhausted. He always looked tired and I would learn that that was because he never slept well. A city like Wedhburg will do that to a man like Michael.

He gave a long look over, and saw everything that those cultists didn’t.

“Wonderful,” Michael said. “I love dealing with adventurers.” I was pretty sure he was being sarcastic, but I never can tell with Michael. “Who died?” he asked bluntly.

“A child, a gray elf, by the name of Steven.” Elandir said.

“Did it happen a few years ago?”

“Yeah.” Elandir said.

“Not too many elves here in Wedhburg. Even fewer of you sun elves. I remember the kid. I’ll get the file.” Michael stood up and went to his filing cabinet and looked through it for a few minutes. There were a lot of files. “Here it is,” Michael said. He came back to his desk and sat down. “Steven Barrow, murdered 10-11 Mirtul 1370 DR. Cause of death unknown, but death magic or supernatural energy drain likely.’ There were a lot of other killings like that around that time. Never ever had any leads. Never found the murderer. You a relative?”

“Yes,” Elandir said. “We were cousins. His uncle wants me to find the killer.”

“His uncle? You mean Isaac? He owned the Falling Dagger. I thought he died.”

“He did, he’s still around though.” Elandir answered.

“Fucking Wedhburg.” Michael said with a sigh. “Can’t even let good people like Isaac move on with their unlives. This is the worst gods damned place in the world. You know, when I was younger, I thought I could change that, maybe do some good. I left my comfortable life up in the castle and joined the town watch. I wanted to help the helpless, vanquish the evil, be a champion of good and all that bullshit. I got into the watch and realized that this whole organization is corrupt and lazy. I’ve done more to uphold the law and do the right thing by myself than the rest of fucking watch.

“I want to help you find your cousin’s killer, I really sincerely do, but unless he walks up to the front door and gives a nice long confession, I doubt there’s anything the watch can do. I spent a whole month trying to find the shithead who was killing those people, but I never did and it’s been years.”

“Well we’re going to find him, if only because my uncle is fucking annoying and won’t get out of the bar he gave me.” Elandir said.

“Your bar? The Falling Dagger? Is it opening up again?” Michael asked. He looked excited.

“Yeah, we’re going to open it up soon.” Elandir responded.

“This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”

I believed him.

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Act I: Scene II
One Night in Wedhburg

The city of Wedhburg isn’t a great place. There’re the cults, the gangs, the uncaring lord, the corrupt town watch, and all manner of evil things that wander the streets. People get kidnapped and sacrificed in fiendish rituals. Businesses burn to the ground because they didn’t pay their protection money. Rapes and murders happen daily while the guards do nothing. Orphanages sell strange tasting jerky. Evil is commonplace. Good is rare. Suffering is universal and hope is non-existent, but its home.

I first came to Wedhburg about ten years ago. I came with my family to my uncle Gomir’s wedding. He was marrying a drow by the name of Valkia and I had the most wonderful time. The thing that I remember most about it was my uncle’s stories. He told many of them and I was enthralled by his lifestyle, that of the adventurer. When my family left, I stayed.

Not too long after I started living there, my uncle disappeared. He couldn’t take the commitment of marriage and absconded away from his life in Wedhburg. He came back a few months later and was immediately imprisoned by an evil gem monster on the astral plane. Valkia and his adventuring friends rescued him and not too long after that, they all died in an earthquake and subsequent explosion that rocked the whole city.

Those are all different stories for different times. This story isn’t about my uncle. It’s about making Wedhburg a better place.

* * *

We arrived in Wedhburg and I showed Elandir and Brotaur to the Falling Dagger Inn. It appeared that the place hadn’t seen any business in years since Elandir’s uncle died. We let ourselves in and searched the place. We found that some homeless people had been using the entire first floor as a bathroom.

The basement, on the other hand, was completely untouched. It looked like the only thing that had changed since Elandir’s uncle died was there was a layer of dust on the crates and supplies that were stored there. After a quick look through the boxes it became pretty clear why no one had been down here. Along with the things you’d expect to be in the basement of a bar, alcohol, cleaning supplies, extra chairs, etc., there were four wights shoved into the crates. The wights didn’t last too long, but a wraith came through the wall and gave us some trouble.

The second floor was in basically the same condition as the basement, undead and all. We met the ghost of Elandir’s uncle, a nice elf named Isaac Barrow, who told us that he had some unfinished business. Apparently, his son Steven, Elandir’s cousin, had been murdered a year or so before Isaac died. Isaac swore an oath to find his son’s killer and bring revenge upon them. He tried to find the killer for about a month or so, had no luck, then proceeded to get over his grief and move on with his life. He died of a heart attack having never fulfilled his oath.

As these things are wont to do, the oath Isaac swore stopped him from going to the afterlife. Isaac informed a few of his closest relatives of his current state and his unfinished business, asking them to help him. The ones that believed him all refused. He then went about trying to trick some of them into coming to Wedhburg, hoping they would get caught up in his plight.

Isaac had a bit of luck when he found out about Elandir. Elandir was a young adult who didn’t like the small town too much, always seemed to be smarter than everyone else, and lived in Shadowdale. Elandir was basically guaranteed to become an adventurer. Isaac realized that all he had to do was give Elandir a place to drink for him and the 2-4 companions that would invariably show up and all of his problems would be solved.

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Act I: Scene I
You Look Like a Trustworthy Sort

They found me in a peanut barrel. I was on the road from Daggerdale on my way back to my home in Wedhburg. I was riding with a nice enough caravan-driver and his son for the two week journey. They were delivering some peanuts to sell in Wedhburg. He was a funny guy but didn’t talk too much. His son was a little dense and far too preoccupied with his longsword for my tastes. By longsword I don’t mean his penis. I mean his actual longsword. He spent all his waking time holding it and whispering sweet nothings. He slept with it. It was really weird.

One early morning when we were about ten days from Wedhburg, I was sleeping quietly in the back of the wagon when I heard a gurgling sound and a scream. I woke up and saw the nice driver man had a bolt sticking out of his throat and was loudly dying on the front of the wagon. Using my extensive knowledge of everything, I quickly deduced that it was a drow hand crossbow bolt. His son was nowhere to be seen and I heard the sounds of fighting outside. I got out of my blanket and stood straight, completely nude. Both inches of my halflinghood out for all the world to see.

I stopped for a second and asked myself “What would my wise uncle Gomir do?” so I immediately shoved myself into the closest peanut barrel. It was a tight fit, but I squirmed in there and underneath the peanuts enough that none of me was showing. It was rather uncomfortable having the peanut shells rub against my bare skin, but it was much less uncomfortable than crossbow wounds.

By the time I was packed in the barrel, the fighting had stopped. No doubt the young fighter had died a horrible and painful death to the drow. A moment or two after that, I heard some loud banging in the wagon that I could only assume was the drow searching the wagon for valuables. The barrel I was in started shaking violently about and there was a loud impact that was surely them throwing the barrel out of the back of the wagon. They righted the barrel and I heard the lid open. They talked a bit in their drow tongue and closed the lid.

Then there was nothing. I was pretty sure that the drow were gone, but I decided to err on the side of not getting killed and waited. I waited in the barrel eating peanuts for a long time.
About half the barrel of peanuts later, I heard some loud sniffing and felt something prodding the barrel. This went on for a few moments when the scratching started. I was relatively certain that the peanut smell along with the fragrant aroma of halfling, which is not unlike barbeque sauce, attracted some sort of canine to the barrel and it was now trying to get at its delicious contents.

“This is how I die, naked in a peanut barrel. Gomir would be proud.” I said out loud to no one in particular when I heard the distinct sounds of combat. Then the noise stopped and the peanut barrel was opened. I figured that someone had come along, killed the dogs, and were now looking for loot again. I heard some joking and laughter in the common tongue from many different races. Hoping they were adventurers, I got out of the barrel and introduced my naked self.

* * *

They were adventurers. There were quite a few of them, but only two are important for this story.
The first was a gray elf by the name of Elandir. He was tall and slight with gaunt skin and sandy blond hair. He was very smart but a tad aloof. He was on a journey to Wedhburg to inherit a bar from his late uncle.

The second was a particularly racist dwarf named Brotaur. Brotaur was a squat and muscular fellow with bright orange hair shaped in a mohawk. He was following Elandir to Wedhburg because he felt that he could good do a lot of good there by getting rid of excess greenskins. He also had some serious anger issues that most often manifested when people wanted to kill him.

They had also had another traveling companion, a man by the name of Ted. Ted had grown up in Shadowdale with Elandir and Brotaur and went off to the Seminary of Ilmater. He came back a cleric and immediately went about convincing Elandir and Brotaur to become adventurers with him. Ted had had an unfortunate incident involving a very angry owlbear a few days before, which had left without the vast majority of his vital organs.

They buried the poor adventurer and looted his body. Ted was apparently carrying with him a blood soaked wooden cup of immense and unknown power.

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A Letter to Elandir
Isaac sends his final regards to his nephew

My Esteemed Nephew Elandir.

If you are reading this, then I, your uncle Isaac, have died. I know we haven’t seen one another in far too long, and I suppose we never will again, but I always felt that you were my favorite relative. We just always seemed to understand each other so well.

As I’m sure you’re aware, I was living in a thriving metropolis called Wedhburg on the border between Sembia and Cormanthor. It’s a quaint town that has remained independent from the merchant lords of Sembia and never really was a part of the Dalelands. I came to Wedhburg to study the enormous confluence of Ley Lines that take place there and stayed because I loved it there. To support my studies, I owned and operated an inn, The Falling Dagger.

I wrote this letter and made arrangements for its posthumous delivery because I am leaving you all my worldly possessions. It doesn’t amount to much more than The Falling Dagger and my personal library, but I want you to have it all.

I’m sorry that we couldn’t see each other more, and I’m even more sorry that the last word you got from me informed you of my death.

Your Uncle,
Isaac Barrow

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