Brigand Six: An Unflankable Story

Chapter 29: Gad & Chad

Master Gad Tabbard sits before the heroes on his rune covered chair. Estriel is visibly excited, but the heroes are wary. The first question they ask Tabbard is why he actually wants to destroy the council; are their crimes truly punishable by death? Tabbard explains that are complicit in the takeover of the realm by unsavory types: the increase in orc attacks, the reappearance of gnolls from the mountains, even rumors of goblin sightings below ground.

Tabbard also lets the heroes know that councilwoman Gyle Ashtone is on her way back from Graith with a host of goliath warriors to help defend Orphael’s Crescent from attack. He challenges the heroes, to test their loyalty, to assassinate the councilwoman. Quinn complains that they have to do ANOTHER test, but Seraphina is completely shocked. Tabbard reveals that the resistance was responsible for the attempt on councilman Malarch’s life, though luckily for the heroes, he seems unaware it was them that thwarted said attempt.

 

Estriel is clearly thrilled to be a given such an opportunity with the resistance, so the heroes agree to the challenge. Tabbard bids them adieu and he and his chair are obscured by fog, so the heroes leave the way they came in. After passing the rune golem sweeping up the puzzle chamber, the heroes appear back into the shack with Brük and Tiq. They head out to the wagon, where Estriel begins tending to her unconscious compatriots. The heroes take this opportunity to talk out of earshot.

They can’t tell if Tabbard is a conspiracy theorist, an idiot, or even possibly working for the council he claims to despise. They do agree that they can’t just assassinate the councilwoman without anything close to a just cause. They decide that the best course of action is to head to the Ruins of Fazon, where Tabbard recommended the ambush. There, they could wait for the councilwoman and warn her that she is in danger.

The challenge is convincing Estriel not to join them. She is ecstatic to be a part of such an endeavor, but Quinn convinces her that Kaggs and Tolgor need her help more. After she departs with her barely-conscious counterparts, Seraphina writes a note for her in the shack’s flowerbox urging her not to search for them. The heroes forego finding somewhere to stay in the city, deciding to camp out at the ruins instead.

On their way out of the city, a few of the heroes spot the man with the eyes for Quinn. His back is turned as he speaks to a vendor, but a pseudodragon is perched on his shoulder. Quinn suggests they hurry, and the heroes agree, particularly after hearing the faraway angry shouts of Cyrus Fairstorm scolding some ne’erdowells. The ride to the ruins is less than half an hour, and Arradon tells everyone about why the ruins are ruined in the first place.

Both Fazon and another city Engoru were destroyed by cloud giants in a war between humanoid and giantkind. Both Morningstar and Othfir are unsettled by the thought of a giant reaching down from the heavens to smite them, but they pretend it’s no big deal. When they finally arrive in the ruins of Fazon, they find the remains of a dwelling and make camp there. Arradon offers to take first watch, but in the middle of his attempt to climb atop the building, his exhaustion overtakes him and he curls up and falls asleep instead.

Geandur takes the first watch in his place, followed by Morningstar. Arradon and Othfir take the final watch and eventually hear the sound of a nearby wolf pack. Othfir climbs up with Arradon to get out of wolf attack range. When the six wolves finally appear, Arradon centers his inner ranger and casts Speak With Animals. The elf addresses the largest of the wolves, an alpha named Chad. Chad tells him that they’re just looking for food. Arradon offers some of theirs in exchange for information. Chad accepts and tells him that there’s been little activity in the ruins lately, but that he smells some folks inbound from the east, the direction of Graith. True to his word, Arradon hops down and feeds the wolves, bidding farewell to Chad and his pack while the rest of the heroes awaken to the rising sun.

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