Cauldron, The Shackled City

Keira's Diary

The Hunt for Sir Alek and the Battle of Redgorge

I should have started keeping this log long ago.

I was foolish—thinking that my life of adventure would be free from interference, that I had escaped the dark forces of the world and could live a life of fun and excitement without struggling against the powers that lurk. There is always something out there seeking more. More power, more money, more pleasure, more everything. The strong will always victimize the weak. I will not be weak. I grow angrier with each passing day, as it becomes more and more apparent that there is something manipulating us in a bid for either the control or the destruction of Cauldron.

Before I returned, I wouldn’t have cared if Cauldron were swallowed up by The Abyss itself. As I said, there’s always something out there lashing out for control. But this is my home now. This isn’t about the people or morality of it all. This is about power and it’s become personal. I could leave. I could head to Sasserine and restart my life there, but I don’t like being pushed. I’m here. I have a strong company of adventurers and have begun putting my plans in place. I’m not going to restart because the latest big bad monster is making another play for this city. For good or ill, this is my town now. And I will not be bullied.

Redgorge. Hot on the trail of Sir Alek, we were approached by The Chisel- a secret society involved in the struggle for Cauldron. They claim to be the city’s protectors, dedicated to eradicating the supposed demonic influence they say has infected Cauldron. Captain Skellerang claims The Chisel are a cult and need to be eradicated. I don’t know who to believe here. Something is definitely afoot in Cauldron. While he might be under demonic or magical influence, Skellerang is a good man and he knows something about eradicating dark cults—I wouldn’t be here if he didn’t. So who’s to trust and who’s the adversary? Too early to tell.

We met with The Chisel and for the time being, our goals are linked. So we set off on the trail of Sir Alek, and tracked him to The Demonskar, and an underground complex there in the ruins of some lost, ancient civilization. The place was mostly occupied by Giants, though Sir Alek was being held in thrall to a coven of three Hags who had bewitched him. His mind was gone. I’m not sure he could have recovered, even if he hadn’t been horribly killed by a powerful demon before we could escape the ruins.

We looted the place, and came away with some new toys and a fair amount of coin, though Morwin was too impulsive and destroyed the Hags’ loom. There are stories about hags weaving fate itself. Could this loom have let us to know who was behind it all? No use crying about it now. What’s done is done. I’ll have to be quicker next time. Morwin’s not usually impulsive. The draught she and Savain took definitely affected her impulses. She and Savain are now both thankfully free from it’s effects. Strange… It behaved more like a disease than poison. Might be useful in the future.

I also got a good sketch done of an arch that summoned fire drakes. Might be able to recreate the runes and experiment with it’s effects. Summoning might be very useful one day, indeed.

After resting in the jungle, we returned to Redgorge to find Skellerang and a small army heading in. Overkill for arresting The Chisel, methinks, and I find it too convenient that Skellerang and the bulk of the Cauldron Guard, as well as the damnable Stormblades, were away from the city when the mayor disappeared. That has to be connected.

Thanks to my team, we aided the Chisel’s escape. I’m still sore about that. We should have just killed them or taken them into custody and claimed a reward. Alex had a good point though—they might be right. Until we know more, it might be best to not fully take either side. Plus, Morwin might not have taken to that plan. I like Morwin very much, but she’s a powerful warrior and very set in her ways. I need to find a way to control her in case we’re ever at odds in the future.

We got The Chisel out and sent almost the entire army back to Cauldron with no blood being shed. Boring, but a win, and ultimately the right play. Besides… Stormblades were probably annoyed. THAT’S definitely a win.

Savain and Lindon amazed me by sneaking into The Blue Duke’s camp and getting some intel. Onis. The Blue Company is being run by Onis. That can’t be good news. We’ll have to deal with them at some point.

That’s about all for now. We’re back in Cauldron and restocking our supplies. Josh and I will be mastering rituals for about a week, I think. After that, I’m not sure what our next move is. Either hunt for The Mayor and find out who took him… Or we force our way to an audience with The Blue Duke and get some answers from him. We’ll be spending our evening suppers discussing plans for a few days, methinks.

I wonder when my deal with the redcap will bite me in the ass?

—Keira Marade

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