Myths & Gears
While working hard to help rebuild this devastated city, the group of us was approached by to undertake a task that has my moral code and sense of duty at odds with each other.Earlier in the week, my companions and I were approached by the guard who told us that someone wanted to meet us at the Falling Star down in the Docks District. Thinking Captain Helstrom has some discrete information to share with us again, we proceeded down there and were very surprised to find that Helstrom was nowhere to be found. After several long moments where we half expected to be ambushed, we noticed a man in the corner who was more interested in us that he should have been. We approached the table and the man introduced himself as Draegen. Draegen told us that his boss had a job for us if we were interested. His ‘boss’ wanted us to retrieve something that had been stolen from him. This something was called Thunder Wicket and when pressed for details, we were told that we would surely recognize it once we saw it. There were very few other details to be had and the whole thing stunk like a gobbers backside to me. We told Draegen we would think about it and left the Falling Star. We had traveled no further than a block when a group of thugs surrounded us and attacked despite our assurances that the only thing they would gain from such activities was a one way pass to the afterlife. The battle was on and just as we were about to slay the last two of them, cross bow bolts struck out from the darkness, killing the last two before I could lay them low. From the shadows, Draegen appeared and proclaimed that “we now owed him one” before disappearing into the vast shadows that envelop the Docks District. Searching the fallen men, we discovered each of them bore a tattoo of a gryphon on their wrist marking them as members of the Gryphon Gang.
The group was torn on what to do with this offer. Captain Helstrom confirmed out suspicions that Draegen was a man of ill repute and not to be trusted at all. He was a well-known, freelance criminal who worked for the highest bidder and was known for his double dealings. In fact, his nickname was “The Black Bastard” and it sounds like it was well earned. Working for this man was not something any of us wanted to do but if we did we could possible help Helstrom and the watch bring Draegen to justice for his many crimes against the city and it’s citizenry. Reluctantly, we all agreed to accept the job Draegen had for us.
Draegen told us that something called Thunder Wicket had been stolen from his employer and they wanted us to retrieve it. A gang of men located in Filcher’s Crossing were holed up in an old warehouse and were in possession of this mysterious item. When pressed for details on the item, Draegen would only tell us that we would recognize Thunder Wicket when we saw it.
With a map in hand, we set out to do some reconnaissance of Filcher’s Crossing and the warehouse where this gang was holed up. Filcher’s Crossing was as dangerous a place as I have ever seen and I pray that Marcus watches over any guardsmen who is unfortunate enough to have to patrol this area. With each new block we delved deeper and deeper into the darkest part of the city. Wails of anguish and cries of alarm seemed to echo down each street. At one intersection we came across the body of one unfortunate soul. Clutched in his hand was the insignia of a rival gang of the Gryphons – a warning to all.
Before long we came to the warehouse we sought and after several hours of surveillance we decided to come back well after dark and see if would could not be done with this distasteful task.
Several hours later, just after the second bell, we headed back out to Filcher’s Crossing but not before stopping at Captain Helstrom’s post and let him know what we were about to do. He wished us well and promised to station two more groups of guards in the area. With just a whistle, we could summon some aid should things take a turn for the worse.
Standing outside the walled compound of the warehouse, we peered into the darkness at a veritable graveyard for long dead machinery of every imaginable kind. Silently we crept across the courtyard to the warehouse and found a door in the south side of the building. Inside we went and found ourselves in what appeared to be a long abandoned factory of some sort. We crept nearly half way across the factory floor without seeing anyone when a figure stepped from the shadows. He proclaimed to be Malek and said that he had been expecting us. His gang of miscreants stepped from the shadows and to say that we were outnumbered badly would be an understatement. What happened next is something that none of us shall ever forget. Malek said “Thunder Wicket. Kill them all!” From behind Malek the unmistakable grind of gears and hiss of steam of a steamjack answered his command. Sure enough, we all knew Thunder Wicket when we saw it. Ten feet and two tons of angry machine steamed toward us. Markus, however, blessed us on this night as Malek was not someone who was trained in Jack Handling and he gave Thunder Wicket a command that it took very literally. With one mighty swing of its iron fist, Thunder Wicket pulverized one poor gang member who’s attention was completely focused on my group. One more swing and one more ganger fell. Thunder Wicket was literally trying to kill everyone in the room. As Malek tried in vain to stop the raging machine, we did our best to maintain our distance from Thunder Wicket while engaging the other Gryphons. At some point in the battle, Stringer took to the catwalks above the factory floor and in an attempt to feel a volley of crossbow bolts, jumped to a large pipe that was suspended over the floor. The chains holding the pipe broke, the pipe fell to the floor, then fell through the floor, opening a massive hole that took Thunder Wicket, several Gryphons and well and Kah, Durin and myself down into the hole with it. Down in the dark, water filled hole we all got our bearings and noticed that Thunder Wicket was quickly getting its bearings and was about to stand back up. Not wanting to engage this angry hunk of iron, Kah, Durin and I dive head first into a large pipe that lead downward into darkness. As we gained speed, we heard the last screams of the remaining Gryphons as Thunder Wicket set upon them. Then, we could hear the unmistakable sound of iron being wrent and gears grinding. It almost sounded as if something was attacking Thunder Wicket. Downward we sped until we tumbled out into a long abandoned section of the Corvis old city. Cautiously we investigated the area for an exit and ended up finding some valuables which we gathered up before continuing our search. Down a short hall way we found a grate that lead out to the river. We opened the grate, dove in the river and quickly set out for the warehouse again, hoping that our dear friend Stringer was still alive. With a quick prayer to Markus, we entered the warehouse again and found the remaining Gryphons and their leader Malek. Using surprise to our advantage, we tore into the Gryphons with a ferocity fueled by the thought that one of companions was in danger. As quickly as we engaged them, they fell. As Kah and I tore through the ranks, Malek fired at us with his pistol. Durin returned fire and wounded Malek enough to give him pause and to allow Kah to charge him and finish him off. We searched the bodies and called in the guard to help clean up. As we suspected, Thunder Wicket had been torn apart by something. What, we were not sure but we had heard stories of beasts that feed upon the magic used to power steam jacks. As we searched high and low for Stringer and were overjoyed to see him walk in with the city watch. Apparently he had fled when everyone fell through the floor, as he was badly wounded. He quickly found the city guard and was escorted back the Cathedral when word came that we were alive still. With the battle won, we gathered the boiler plate from Thunder Wicket and all of the valuables we had found and returned to the cathedral for some much needed rest.
May Markus Protect Me,