Rise of the Harbinger

Introducing The Cat and the Crook

We open tonight with our adventurer’s ending there long journey in the woods at a dead end little town by the name of Hamlett. Hamlett is a very small woodland village consisting of only the mayor’s house, a guard shack and a few shops and homes. The town is decrepit and worn out after years of abandonment, the only thing still pristine is the graveyard.
As our adventurer’s approach the town they notice a very well dressed human and a catfolk with a very large rifle arguing, after a bit of conversation the come to the agreement that for now there needs align and decide to aid our party. It is at this point when our party decides to search around this desolate place for some sign of treasure or value. With Filou’s help everyone manages to break into the armour’s, upon close inspection they find it to contain nothing of value, so Filou decided to raze it to the ground. Upon inspection of the weapon shoppe the gang finds something most curious, a group of glowing humanoids dancing silently in the back room. Whilst trying to interact with these humanoids, both Filou and The Dragonkin hear a strange giggling from somewhere else in the room, concerned they flea and propose burning the place to the ground as they did the other. After much debate within the party the party decided it would be best to leave it standing and move on. On approach to the third house Filou decided to check the door for anything suspicious, he then discovered it was trapped, after a bit of time he finally was able to disarm the trap and gain its components the poisonous dart was given to the Dragonkin for identification and eventual reproduction and the rope was kept by Filou. After a few hours of searching the general goods store the team found a very nice bag of holding. When Filou attempted to search the back room he was surprised to see that it was a lock even he couldn’t crack. So the party decided to burn it to the ground…. after it really started to heat up a human sized figure bolts out of the burning building completely ablaze from the locked room, it darts at breakneck speeds over the 20ft fence to the graveyard. The party in shock at this thing still being alive decides to go after it. Coming up to the locked gate to the graveyard they decide to climb it Puss is up first and being the nimble cat he is makes its over quite gracefully, next is Illidan instead of climbing like everyone expects Illidan simply lays his hand on the gate, confused the party stands and watches in awe as Illidan turns the gate to a pile of ash on the ground and proceeds trough. In awe at the power of his god the party recoils in horror and respect as they follow him through the gate to find the mysterious creature. Upon further inspection of the graveyard they find the burnt corpse of a choker which is later determined to be the mysterious creature they saw escaping the building. Unbeknownst to the group Illidan notices the ground to be unusually soft and moist, reminiscent of the battlefields he knew as a young squire. So the party decides to leave the cursed graveyard and make haste to the Guard outpost.
p. Upon arrival at the guard outpost they are once again faced with a well build door with an elaborate lock, Filou tries his hand at the locked door and once again finds it to be a bit too tough for him, so the Dragonkin uses his brute strength to shatter the door and allow them access. Once inside Illidan notices strange markings on the north, south, east, and western walls along with a pile of robes in the center of the room, disturbed but not disheartened the party continues to search the building while Filou searches the robes. At first glance the robes appeared normal but once he touched them he noticed that these old and tattered robes were soaked in blood, he immediately proceeded to cease his inquiry and alert the party, Sancho then proceeded to look into them further. While sorting through the robes he noticed underneath them a pile of rotting flesh, white bones, and a single untouched black candle. The Necromancer instantly noticed it to be some sort of summoning spell and proceeded to grab it and put it into his bag. While all this searching is going on Filou decided to slink away and do some searching of his own, after the chaos with the candle Filou promptly returned with a Key which was used to open the warden’s office. Inside they found a Duster which Puss decided looked really good on him, and they also found in a locked drawer a Red book with the title “The Legend of the Red Jester”. Upon touching the book The Necromancer began to feel a strange heat coming from his bag. Looking into his bag he saw a small flicker of flame coming from the Black candle, as he removes the candle from his bag it begins bellowing blood red smoke, the smoke begins filling the room as the group decides to lock the candle inside of one of the cells. Promptly leaving the guard station the party finds the building completely full of red smoke, concerned the Necromancer sends his pet Parrot to investigate the building from the window the smoke being too thick to see the bird relays that he sees something moving inside the smoke to his master, quick as a flash Filou decides to break the glass as a gust of wind rushes in and removes the smoke, before Filou is the cloak floating with the flesh and bone floating inside of it, Filou turns to relay this to the party but as he turns back the figure is gone. The party decided to investigate to no avail. Finding nothing they decide to burn the building hoping to disrupt the summoning spell. As they were walking away from the burning building the Dragonkin turns to walk away and finds himself face to face with the being, the being sitting there stoically as it begins to hover about 8 feet in the air and stare, with the being in the corner of his eye he alerts the party, Filou whips around and throws the Book at the being as it quickly blinks out of the way and vanishes. Concerned the party decides to bring the candle to the ghosts in the weapon shop. Upon return to the weapon shop the dancing ghost had turned to the form of a single juggling jester, Filou and Illidan attempted to converse with the silent fool to no avail, at that moment everyone in the room heard the same gleeful giggle as before. Then a swift strike to the Necromancers knee caused it to shatter as he fell to the ground the giggling moved to a new location in the room. As Sancho attempted to place the Necromancer onto his mount the team heard a loud crack and scream as a small Fey-like creature appeared and disappeared before their eyes Illidan focused on the negative energy and found the source in the corner of the room. As he grabbed the creature by the throat it gasped for air and begged for its life promising wealth and gems in return. Illidan was not fazed by his promises and as he was about to snuff the life out of the creatures body, Filou had him stay his hand, he wanted to question the small creature. He asked “What do you know about this candle.” “It’s magic!” the creature replied, “How is it magic?” Filou asked as Illidan tightened his grip, “Its burning” gasped the creature. “We see that” shouted Filou forcefully “Burning… magic” said the creature, after quite a long drawn out conversation between the creature and Filou the group decided that the creature was irrelevant, and proceeded to slaughter the creature and feed it to Sancho’s wolf. With the creature dead they decided to search the manor for more information. Upon leaving the weapons shop the Dragonkin is struck from being as the party turns to his screams as they see a spectral hand holding a blue glowing orb in its hand as it rips back trough his chest. The Dragonkin falls to his knees to reveal the dark hooded figure standing behind. Illidan in a rage at his friend’s treatment stuns the creature with a cruelty. The creature stunned by the Antipalidins cruelty is a sitting duck as Puss takes two shots with his rifle, as the large rounds rip through the cloak the figure screams in agony as everyone lets loose all they have making quick work of the heap of flesh and bone, amidst the remains is the orb stolen from the Dragonkin, Illidan uses everything he can to channel the life-force. He’s then struck with a quandary does he seek to steal his friend’s power and channel it into himself or is he more useful at full strength. Quickly he decides that his comradely with the Dragonkin is more important to the current objective than his own personal gain, for the time being anyways.
As they approach the desolate Victorian home and step onto the stained and worn porch the group feels a deep and overwhelming sense of dread, but the brave still decide to proceed. Opening the door to the grand foyer there welcomed by what seems to be a very neat and well kempt home, well light, and warm, but something still feels off. The door to the main room seems to be barred by a large log much heavier than any man could lift. Seeing this the group decided to investigate the study, as they enter a well light room lined wall to wall with books with a fire roaring and a strangely welcoming feeling, Filou takes it upon himself to investigate the mysterious books even saving a few for later. The Necromancer has a similar idea except he realizes what he’s looking at, magical tomes line the walls organized in order by school, and he grabs a few books on necromancy for later. After taking their fill of books and research The Dragonkin notices a note on the mantle of the fireplace. Written in blood the note says “Beware the Jester in red” alerting the party to the very direct warning he had just received the party begins to take caution more than there usual aloofness. Content with their ventures in the study the gang decides to explore what they believe to be the dining room, entering the dining room the table chaotic with a spread of rotting food maggots and other parasitic creatures, except one seat. Pristine and well kept the head seat at the table seems neatly made except for the rotting food and blood red liquid in the wine glass, Illidan then notices a Joker playing card on this cause’s some distress and anxiety within the party, seeing this the party decides to explore elsewhere. Proceeding down to the wine cellar a dark and dank room full of old vintage’s and mildew the wine cellar is cold and desolate with nothing too out of the ordinary except for a strange hole in the corner of the room, a man sized hole baffles the party momentarily, when Illidan remembers the Choker, he proposes the possibility that I may lead to the underground, so concerned with the distance the Dragonkin decides to throw a bottle of wine down the hole to judge distance, falling a short distance he threw another to confirm, again a short distance the smashed of a hard surface. Filou takes the risk and jumps into the hole, he falls neck height into an open shallow grave, the coffin smashed and the corpse removed. Terrified he scrambles out of the hole to abruptly relay everything to the party. Just then a loud clatter had caught the attention of the party coming from upstairs. Rushing upstairs the party noticed nothing amiss at first glance in the dining room, except the card on the chair seems to have been burn nearly to the point of it being unrecognizable. Filou decides to test it by prodding at it with a nearby fork, seeing nothing had happened the Dragonkin decides to pick it up, at his fingers touch the burn card it turns to ash before his very eyes. Concerned by these finding the party decides to head to front door, upon entering the foyer the party finds the large log that was on the door to the front room missing and the doors to the front room wide open. Filou concerned by this try’s the front door, unsuccessful he is lead to assume the log from the door blocking the front door from opening. In his duress he attempts to throw a chair trough the window to free them from the house, as the chair hits the window it shatters revealing the illusion, there is nothing behind the glass but a brick wall, the shattered pieces of glass still show the outside even while lying on the ground. Terrified and cautious the party decides to explore the front room.
As the party crosses the threshold of the front room the door slams behind them as it goes pitch black darker than anything that has ever encountered before. A small fire starts in the center of the room between them, from the now roaring fire the group see a phantasmal jester walking towards them, cackling and grinning the most horrific grin they have ever seen he vanished as quickly as he appeared as to taunt them and cause distress. As light returns to the room no trace is left except a blood soaked fools mask, curious Illidan promptly dons the mask and instantaneously begins cackling and laughing, convulsing and seizing, with the mask binding to his face, Filou takes the opportunity to sneak away and explore the bedroom next to him, inside he find a young girl asleep on the bed, be seeing nothing of value immediately he alerts the party to the room. The group searched the room to with no luck, just at that moment Filou noticed a very extravagant necklace on the girl’s neck. Filou slyly removes the girls necklace and pockets it, as the jewelry is removed a pointed hand dressed in red erupts trough the girls chest, as quickly as she started to screamed she was ripped into the mattress and was gone from sight. Everyone wondering what they just saw figured it would be best to make haste elsewhere. Hastily leaving the room the team makes haste upstairs to look for clues how to defeat the cackling mad man, Illidan still cackling and making nonsensical remarks and waving at apparent invisible people, is of no use to the party at this point. Filou takes up the mantle of leadership he insists on exploring the smaller bedroom to their right, opening the old dusty door they are greeted by the sight of a candle light vigil and a solemn shrine to apparently a deceased son. Filou took it upon himself to examine the shrine finding a tattered set of leather armor and a worn short sword, but most importantly a note “Beware than man in red my son, you know the things he’s done, you know what he can do.” A note from his mother warning her son of what she feared to be too much for him, and it seemed to be so. As the group exits the room, they hear laughter, and not just Illidan’s insane ramblings but something else, and from the opposite room, sobbing. So they decide to investigate the sobbing, Filou sneak in the door way to find a man crying over the corpse of his wife, her face gnarled and twisted into a permanent smile, as blood runs from her eyes and ears. When he notice’s the man’s jewelry around his neck, it’s the same necklace from before. He slunk away to relay this information to his fellow adventurers, upon returning to the room, the man was nowhere to be found, The Necromancer took to a quick autopsy with the deceased woman. He determined that the cause of death was asphyxiation, leading everyone to believe that he laughed herself to death. With these finding they team decided to continue looking for any sign of the Red Jester. The Dragonkin decides that investigating the storage room sounds like the most solid course of action at this point, upon opening the door the group is once again faced with the dreaded blackness, immediately Illidan rushes in with a insane cackle and a skip in his step, the Necromancer rush’s in behind in an attempt to find out what he knows. Once inside the Necromancer finds himself falling, tripping over some unknown object, as he fumbles in to dark to try and identify the object, he’s urged to leave by his fellow party members, he makes his way out cautiously, after a few moments of coaxing the finally convince Illidan to leave without too much of a fight. In an attempt to test being locked inside Filou decides to try the door to the balcony, as the door opens it reveals a swirling portal to what the Necromancer believes to be to the ethereal plane. Wary of this newly discovered portal Filou warns the group to be cautious, when in the distance he sees a spectral figure begin to materialize before his eyes, as he brings this to the attention of the group they being to see the figure more clearly. A shining knight stands before them, six foot seven inches, fully clad in the most extravagant full plate armor any had seen before and a flaming great sword, with the sigil of Ragethiel on his cloak, the knight gives a very stern and judgmental look towards Illidan he clearly has shown his ire for the Red Jester, “I seek the fool” he bellowed, “as do we” said Filou, the knight forced his way past the group towards the storeroom, as he carved the sigil of Ragethiel on the door it shines brightly momentarily as the door opens, there is no longer any darkness in the room it’s as lit as anywhere else in the house. Initial inspection of the room provided nothing of interest, but while the rest of the party was preoccupied Filou was observing the knight moving an armoire out of the way revealing a skeleton, clothed in a red fool’s garb, with a puncture wound where the heart would be. The knight proceeded to sanctify the skeleton, then forcing his way through back towards the main entrance with the group in tow, on the entrance floor he shouts at full volume “come out fool, face me you coward!” from the center of the room a burst of flame as playing cards fly in all directions, the Necromancer and the Dragonkin both hit by the cards feel queasy but yet refreshed, and as a card touches the knights armor he falls on the ground laughing insanely. At that moment the Red Jester appears slamming his mace down onto the knight’s head. Puss raises his rifle and fires two shots as both of these shots rip through the jesters chest it staggers in pain, a ray of pure flame flies from the hand of the Necromancer just missing the jester, the Dragonkin raises his fists and attempts to punch the jester barely missing the mad man as he flails around, Filou being the kind of man who avoids conflict strays away from the battle. The Jester raises his mace and slams it down again onto the knight, the knight laying in a bloody heap still laughing hysterically, Illidan finding quite a bit of humor in this situation still takes a swing at the Jester striking it and deeply gouging it in the back. Seeing the damage that Illidan inflicted Puss sees his opportunity, firing his last two shots he strikes the Jester in the head, as the bullet strikes the jesters head it deflates and the corpse collapses on the ground , as the jester falls, so does the mask off of Illidan’s face and turns to dust before it even hits the ground. With the jester defeated our group is left with the incapacitated knight, Illidan admires his armor and wants it for himself, seeing Illidan’s greed Filou wants his piece so he slits the knights throat and ends his hysteria.
So with new armor and weapons and a new found appreciation for the undead, the group decides to leave this town behind. As they walk out the front door, the entire town seems rejuvenated and refreshed. Brought back to what they assume would be its glory days. So our group continues its journey towards learning more about the Black Aura and the Harbinger. So onward to city of Fallstone.

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