Winter's Twilight

Episode 11: The Tale of Isaac Kross

The shocking truth about Isaac Kross and a betrayal that splits the party apart.

And now, my so-called friends doubt my ability as a ring-bearer. I did not choose the ring – it chose me. I did not offer to take the ring from the Demon Temple – it was them who said I should take it. They watched me as I walked towards the pedestal and pick up the ring. They saw how it bound itself to me as soon as it touched my skin.

They have no reason to hate me for using it.

If they think I do not deserve to possess this ring, they can take it, if they want, if they can.

Don’t they know that I would have I would have given up the ring to save the Paladin’s life – or any of my allies’ life, for that matter – in an instant, if only I know how to unbind this from me? 

Oh Samael, my father, what has befallen your wretched daughter?

Am I destined to be despised by my allies because of this cursed ring?

The burden is too much to bear. 

- Clytie’s Journal. Entry #317. 18th of Eleint, 1372 DR

EPISODE 11

Game Date: Mar 17, 2012. San Juan

In-Game Date Start: Eleint (Sept) 10, 1372DR

In-Game Date End: Eleint (Sept) 19, 1372 DR

DRAMATIS PERSONAE


  • Keith Morales as Daemon Frost, Ranger of the North, Level 8

  • Alex Mena as SkyClad Nimblewind, The Outsider Halfling Rouge, Level 9

  • Nil Caruncho as Findar Hammersonn, borne of King Connar IV, bearer of the Dragon Armor, Level 9

  • Meng Morales as Clytie, Signet Ring Bearer, Daughter of a Fallen Angel, Level 8

  • Chase Gosingtian as Lysandros, Paladin Harper, Level 8

  • Rex Golez as Isaac Kross, Bard (???), Level 8

NEW NPCS


  • Kesyn/Octavius

  • Nicolette

  • Willis – Bral Drydock Master

  • Fitz “Crazy Dwarf” Knucklebone

  • Biggs Atrophos

  • Belladonna Valentine

  • Quann

  • Typhoon Raven

  • Nicolai Grachev

===

The tavern conversations of Lysandros, Findar and Isaac Kross did not end well. Kross did not part ways with the Cleric and the Paladin on a high note.

Meanwhile, Daemon Frost, Findar and SkyClad consult with Oswald regarding “next steps” with special interest in the scrolls and books pertaining to the so-called “space travel” which was recently unearthed in the Phaerrim den. Much to their surprise, they discover that three pages were “freshly ripped” from the manuscript – pages that detail the final steps in the creation of a device (called a “helm”) that would power a ship into Wildspace.

Isaac Kross also consults Oswald about a mysterious stone he has in his possession. The gnomish Tinkerer informs the Bard that he has a Memory Stone. Memory Stones were used in ancient times by Wizards to keep their spells, powers and memories into a receptacle so as to prevent it being used by the enemy. He informs Kross that his friend Kesyn in Brynn Shander might be able to tell him more about his trinket.

The party suspect Isaac Kross (re the missing pages) and confront him. They bind him in chains and bring him before Emma Moonblade and Thorin Seeker. Via Findar’s Zone of Truth spell, Kross finally admits to it. He says that he has destroyed the pages (using it as cigarette paper) but has committed all the information to memory.

“Insurance” said Kross.

Emma convinces Thorin and Findar not to kill Kross (the two priests wanted to use a much simpler method to ask questions – Speak with Dead!). Emma also talks some sense into Kross.

A blood compact is initiated: Kross would cooperate and vowed to help the party complete the ship. He is to be under the watch of Lysandros 24/7 and will be under the guidance of Oswald during the entire time.

KESYN

Oswald sends the party on an errand to Brynn Shander to gather supplies needed to refit The Gimos. He instructs them to find his friend, Kesyn, a retired Wizard (now a merchant). Isaac Kross comes with them so he can learn more about the Memory Stone.

The party does not suspect the trap.

Kesyn is already dead. They are now facing Octavius, a Mage-Assassin (agent of the Zhentarim) who is the contact of Isaac Kross (disguised as Kesyn).

In reality, Isaac Kross is actually one of the best Assassins in the realms. He willingly erased his memory, placed it in the Memory Stone – to be triggered by this very event and a command word from Kesyn (“Wyvern”). Kross’ target is Lysandros. All this for a single gold piece.

Kesyn thanks Kross for bringing not just Lysandros to him but an entire group of Harpers too! He springs the trap!

From the shadows, 5 assassins step out and attack (armed with poisoned daggers and using their legendary “Death Attack” powers).

Clytie (from outside the warehouse) discharges (by accident?) the Hellfire Blast from her signet ring. The epic explosion levels the warehouse and kills four of the assassins, Lysandros, and two innocent civilians (Nicolette, an 18-year-old female with child. More on her later) in an instant! OMG!

Daemon Frost deals the killing blow to Isaac Kross while SkyClad finishes Kesyn and the remaining assassin.

They scamper, salvaging the supplies they can and bring (with some deliberation from Findar and Clytie) the bodies of Nicolette, Isaac Kross and Lysandros back to Targos.

During the travel back to Targos, Findar Raised Lysandros back from the dead.

Clytie and Findar have a heated discussion about bringing back Nicolette from the dead. Findar draws his weapon (to slice off the ring from Clytie, perhaps?) but Daemon Frost stays his hand.

“You have your reasons for bringing back Lysandros from the grave, dwarf. Please, give this one to Clytie” Daemon Frost pleaded.

“I tell you, ranger. That would not be a good idea” spat Findar.

Meanwhile, the Blood Mother, with her Sanguine (Blood Magic) was using Isaac Kross’ cadaver as a beacon to track their whereabouts. Kross gets a dream/vision sequence regarding this.

SPEAKING WITH THE DEAD

Back at the Targos, the Company report to their superiors. It has been decided that the priests will use Speak with Dead to interrogate Kross and Octavius. They also know that without Kross, refitting  The Gimos would be impossible.

Speak With Dead Questions

On Isaac Kross


  • Q: Why was Lysandros targeted? A: I am an assassin. I am a weapon.

  • Q: Would you honor our blood oath? A: I am an assassin. I am a weapon. I will honor a contract with payment.

  • Q: Did you betray us on the time of your death? A: I am a weapon. I honor a contract.
On Octavius
  • Q: Why was Lysandros targeted? A: His father killed my father
  • Q: Why did his father killed yours? A: His reasons do not concern me.
  • Q: Lysandros still lives. Will the Zhentarim come after him? A: Yes
  • Q: What does the Zhentarim want with Lysandros? A: Fools! Killing him will weaken the Harpers, weaken the hold of Lady Alustriel.

With those revelations, the priests perform the Raise Dead ritual on Kross and put him back to work with Oswald to complete The Gimos.

Nicolette, the young Brynn Shander lass is also Raised from the Dead. Clytie comforts Nicolette and takes her back to her quarters. Nicolette breaks down after discovering that her baby is gone.

Back in Clytie’s quarters, (with SkyClad, Lysandros and Findar), Nicolette overhears Lysandros and Clytie’s argument about the Hellfire incident. Lysandros slaps Clytie while Findar intervened. In the heat of the moment, Nicolette flings herself through the bedroom window and falls lifeless on the snow-covered streets below the Salty Dog!

THE ROCK OF BRAL

A week later, The Gimos is complete and the Minor Helm is also refitted into the new Spacejamming Vessel.

They recruit a crew of 15 men and decided on the list of officers for their maiden voyage into Wildspace.

Officers of the Gimos


  • Owner and Chief Navigator, Engineer: Oswald

  • Captain: Findar

  • First Mate: Lysandros

  • Helmsman: Morrissey / Clytie

  • Ship’s Mage and Spellmaster: Clytie

  • Ship’s Cleric: Findar

  • Quartermaster and Intelligence Officer: SkyClad

  • Tactical Officer: Isaac Kross

  • Security Officer: Daemon Frost

The Gimos leaves Realmspace and begins its voyage into the Wild. Their mission: to find the starmaps to Krynn.

Three days into their journey, they land at The Rock of Bral. There, they register their ship, get their papers in order and sulk at the “Crazy Dwarf” inn.

The Rock of Bral is recently under a crisis dubbed, “The Infestation”, a third of the city has been overrun by Zombies and the undead. The city government has sealed the section of the city and “quarantined” the area.

At the inn, they meet various personalities such as Briggs Atrophos, a militant Giff in charge of securing the inner wall and preventing the Infested from spreading; Fitz Knucklebone, the mohawk-haired dwarf who owns the Crazy Dwarf; Belladonna Valentine; a female Kender Rogue who immediately caught the attention of SkyClad; Quann, an Arcane merchant; and Typhoon Raven; a member of Bral’s Thief Guild.

From their investigations, the party is now armed with new information: a ship from Krynn, Ansalon’s Tear, recently crashed into the very center of the zombie-infested area. Ansalon’s Tear is their best chance to find starmaps and directions to Krynn (which were very, very rare). The Krynnish vessel crashed into the temple of Ptah and is surrounded by hundreds of Zombies.

Belladonna promised to show SkyClad a secret, underground passageway where the group can emerge only a few blocks from the crash site. SkyClad, Belladonna (with Kross stealthily following) recon the area.

Briggs Atrophos volunteers to come and help the party.

They take the secret passageway and come out fighting! Clytie unlocks another power from her Runic Tattoo (Control Undead). Our heroes kill a couple of hundred zombies before finally descending into the crashed Ansalaon’s Tear.

Before they could grab the starmaps, more powerful undead surround them without any chance of escape!

The Undead leader, a lich named Nicholai Grachev, makes an appearance and stops the horde attack.

Nicholai pleads the party to help him exact vengeance on two nobles, Maraxis and Vritra. Nicholai’s background story is below:

Nicholai Grachev was an honest noble earning his keep at the Rock of Bral. Nicholai had a shipyard and trading business and dealt regularly with the Arcane, among other folk. Envious of his success, his fellow nobles plotted against him. Two nobles in particular, Count Vritra (human) and the slave-trader Marax’is (Lizardman) schemed and succeeded. Vritra and Marax’is gained the favor of Prince Andru’s father, the late Frun, and framed Nicholai for a crime he did not commit (tax and laundering illegal substances).

His wealth was confiscated and he was imprisoned in the Donjon. Soon, his wife and daughters were killed by agents loyal to Vritra and Marax’is. Years passed and Nicholai was able to escape.

He soon found a tome, The Necronomicon. Using the book, he studied and mastered The Undeath. Nicholai vowed revenge. He returned to the Rock of Bral and started the zombie “Infestation”. He couldn’t get close to Vritra and Marax’is due to their Ptah Cleric allies and security personnel.

For revenge, Nicholai wants his family vindicated and Vritra and Marax’is killed (be turned into Undead to serve him) or be put to justice.


- End of Episode 11 -

What will the party do now? Will they take the ‘direct route’ and assault/slay the two nobles? Will they help Nicholai? Or will they attempt to look at other ways to solve the problem and finally get those maps so that they can head to Krynn?

QUOTABLE QUOTES


  • Findar: "What do you mean ‘YOU PEOPLE’? (implying that DF was a racist bastard while he was talking to the dwarf, kender and gnome)

  • SkyClad: “Oh my! Zarpers!!!!!” (after seeing the tattooed “Z” on the assassins)

  • Clytie: (after the botched Hellfire) “W-What happened here?”

  • Daemon Frost: (after observing the horses making love) “I miss Hope…”

  • Isaac: “You must be careful with Belladonna. What else did she steal from you, Sky?” SkyClad: “I think…she… stole my heart”

EXPERIENCE AWARDS


  • Base: 6,800

  • Bonus RP: +2,000

  • MVP (Rex): +2,000

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