The camera pans over a city and the screen reads "South Warren, Yesterday". It zooms down into the streets where we see Lord Kristoff deMagnas walking along with five dwarves, one of which is dressed as a noble, gems woven into his beard and a cloak heavy with gold trim.
"I hear the people of Magalodahr are legends for their drinking, Master Bluntback," Lord deMagnas remarks, looking over the festivities well underway.
"Aye," Bluntback replies, rubbing his hands together and eying all the ale and brews being set out for sale. "There be no man nor woman in the known world who can drink a Magalodahrian Dwarf under the table. And if there is, they're certainly not foolish enough to try."
"Dear sir," Kristoff paused and turned to his companion. "I would be more than willing to give it a try. And should I win, then I daresay you shall give Lady WInter whatever she wishes."
"And when you lose?" Bluntback sneered.
"Then I shall show you and your friends a grand evening," Kristoff smiled back. "No matter the cost. And should you actually find someone that drink all of you under the table," both man and dwarf chuckled, "I shall make sure that Magalodahr has an embassy here; on my own coin."
Time quickly passes by as the group heads off towards the drinking rows and the camera pans over the city to the Temple Yard where a large crowd has gathered to witness the duel between Lord Kristoff deMagnas and Athelstan of the Slayers…
The crowd roared with delight as the Paladin began the duel. Kristoff was quick to the punch and landed the first blow. Athelstan responded in kind, keeping his off-hand placed firmly behind his back. The rest of the Slayers quickly made bets with each other over the duel; some would be a bit upset moments later. As the two duelists traded blows, Kristoff paused and taunted Athelstan to just give up. The blood hunter leapt forward, landing two solid blows before Kristoff swung his blade, leaving a large cut on Athelstan's face and winning the match. After the duel, and after Athelstan was revived, Kristoff approached his opponent and complimented the elf's talents. Athelstan replied with a series of insults and claims of the duel being 'unfair.' Ultimately, this disgusted Lord Kristoff who left the bleeding hunter to his companions. All was not sour, however, as Gareth of Riviera informed the group that they were all invited to a fancy party at the Blue Feather Inn. He, of course, would be in attendance but would have to duck out for other business.
Theristis, now rejoining his companions, thought over his last fifteen hours away from them. Almost immediately entering the city, he picked up on symbols and marks specific to the Guruthos Assassin Guild. The elf quietly stepped away from the rest and followed the breadcrumbs across and around the city, until late that night he came across the old Guildhall of the Guruthos. While the main house was nearly destroyed completely, the secret bunker underneath was not. Parchments, books, and notes were strewn about, burned and practically illegible. However, after spending the night sifting through and piecing together the stories, Theristis came to several conclusions. The Guruthos was founded in South Warren nearly a century ago. Their mark was once a hand holding a rapier, surrounded by bones and other tools of the trade. However, the Guruthos met their end in the Free Marches at the hand of the Tomem, or the Syndicate. Taking this information, Theristis locked up the bunker and rejoined his companions.
After an afternoon of shopping and sprucing up, our heroes headed to the Blue Feather where a lively party was being had. Almost immediately upon entering, Gareth rushed to greet them and introduced them as the "Slayers from Union". A polite applause followed as the bards kicked into an upbeat tune and the party resumed. Hours later, after much dancing and some drinking, Jackson noticed that someone was banging on the back door of the Inn. He calmly ordered another drink and opened the door. Standing before him was a seven foot tall dragon-human hybrid abomination. The dragonkin pushed him aside before swinging his mighty blade, cleaving a few people into pieces. At the same moment, the front door opened and three more joined the two from the back and attacked the patrons. Leaping into action, our heroes brandished what weapons they had and slew the beasts.
Knowing that time was of the essence, Athelstan and Titus rushed to the Temple to gather clerics and paladins to help in the aftermath while the rest looked over the fallen creatures. Lyra recalled that dragonkin, after the fall of Kragh, turned to mercenary work or servitude to other dragons. These in particular, looked to have tried their hand at forming their own mercenary group, branding a simple sigil on their shoulders. At the temple, Athelstan and Titus were met by a group of two dozen paladins, clerics, and soldiers led by a halfling standing atop a mighty horse ready to ride to aid. They later discovered that this was Lady Winter, mayor of South Warren. Once she got one look at the beasts, she immediately called for the Slayers to find out who brought them into her city and to bring their head to her on a platter.
During all this, Theristis noticed an older man keenly watching him through the battle. Confronting him, he discovered that the old man was the last of the Guruthos in the Free Marches. He wove the tale of how they had started as a minor theives/assassin group before branching out to bigger jobs. However, their guild collided with another blossoming group call the Tomem based out of Magalodahr. Instead of attempting to negotiate and settle things, the fued devolved into gang warfare, and the Guruthos were losing. Taking a calculated risk, the leaders of the Guruthos sent as much money and people as they could across the Blackstone Mountains to Union to reestablish themselves. The risk did not work out in their favor to those who remained. The Syndicate swept through South Warren, killing any assassin member they could find. Ultimately, one of their Master Assassins, Graul Stonehelm, took the Assassin's Thinblade from the Guruthos as his own; the very symbol of the guild. The old man believed that Graul retreated back into the slums of Magalodahr where they originated and begged Theristis to, above all else, allow the blade back into the hands of an initiated.
Enlisting the help of one of Winter's clerics, the Slayers proceeded to drag one of the dragonkin out back and use magic to get it to answer questions. They soon discovered that Lord Ko'vir was the money behind the attack. He had paid locals to meet and smuggle the dragonkin into the city and set them loose on the Inn. Winter promised a substantial reward for bringing the man's head back to her and with that in mind, our heroes headed to his address (after taking a short break).
The house was dark with but a few candles scattered throughout the building. There seemed to be no one home until they discovered that there was a soft glow of candles coming from the cellar door inside the house. Cautiously, Athelstan, Lyra, and Hope headed down the stairs while Titus headed up and Shimmer, Theristis, and Jackson stayed on the main floor, looking for any sign of Lord Ko'vir. Down in the cellar, our heroes found a large circle of candles and a hole in the wall. Lord Ko'vir was standing there, staring into the void. Stepping on a loud step by Athelstan alerted Ko'vir to the heroes and he spun on his heel, demanding to know who they were. After a brief and petty duel of candle lighting, a loud voice echoed, "Enough of this!" Two large white paws gripped Ko'vir and ripped him in half. Stepping out of the void, a large white coated, spine-covered wolf like creature with a scropion tail glared at the heroes. Lyra and Hope identified it as a Shoosuva, a demon as it growled, and leapt to attack…