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The Dawn Of The Scarlet Sun: wherein the ambiguous arcanist Voxel assembles an unlikely team of "specialists"; a half-ogre former gladiator named Oarg, and a strange tiefling calling himself Byragh. Voxel drives his unlikely squad onward towards his own esoteric purpose; the acquistion of the Shard of Greed.

GM Resources lists the various opponents and challenges the adventurers will face in this adventure, including the fiendishly powerful succubus Avalexi and her minions.

Session 1 (Magnimar Underbridge District)

In The Shadow Of The Irespan


Every city has it's darkside, and Magnimar's is literally dark, the always-in-shadows district known as Underbridge hidden beneath the ruined stub of the Giant's Bridge, the Irespan.

The poor soul Byragh has lived his entire short but brutal life here in Underbridge. Merely trying to eke out an existence in the grimmest, poorest, and meanest corner of Magnimar has hardened him into a wiry, rawboned, and furtive survivor. But despite his best efforts to cloak his deformed fiendish body and to use his strange powers of fire and darkness only when he absolutely must...still he has drawn unwanted attention.

Unfortunately, after a small set to with some thuggish members of the especially pitiful and vile Sczarni gang known as the Creepers, Byragh was forced to use his powers to extricate himself and thus came to the gang's full attention. The gang's leadership has decided that they want a person with such potentially useful abilities on the payroll, working as an enforcer for the gang's Fagin-like snatch-and-grab operation of rounding up unattended children for cheap labor and worse. But Byragh's way is his own!

Byragh laid low as best he could, but though cramped...Underbridge is small...and even Tieflings gotta eat. Thus the Creepers ran him to ground, trying to forage for food scraps in a trash pit on the edge of the small market near the Gecko Spire. Three of them boxed Byragh in and did their best to intimidate him, pushing him back and forth and piling verbal abuse on his head, entreating him to come work for them. He'd have money. People would fear him. No more picking through trash piles for leavings. No more being a nobody.

Byragh had been bullied so very many times before and he did his best to allow himself to be bullied again. But this time, the thugs just went to far, and when he would not give in to their demands, they tried to capture and drag him off. Byragh's inner anger and Fiendish Lineage asserted themselves, and Byragh fought back. Knocking one of his attackers tail over tea cup, displaying raw physicality at odds with his wiry stringy appearance, Byragh made his intentions to not go quietly clearly known.

Cudgels, saps, and brass knuckles came out, and a fight erupted, with the Creepers still trying to subdue and capture the angered Tiefling. But Byragh had other ideas. Turning to the high trash heap he was hemmed against, Byragh focused his inner fire and lit the pile up with Infernal Flames!

The Creepers, starting to realize they may have bitten off more than they could chew, redoubled their attack, but Byragh proved to be bizarrely good at avoiding their cuffs and strikes, deflecting, rolling with, and cringing away in such a manner that he took no real harm. Byragh must have learned something about how to absorb a blow from all the years of abuse. Though he's been spurned by society, he is the stronger for it.

Then with springy strength Byragh simply up ended one of the thugs and tossed the dirty Sczarni up onto the flaming trash pile. The oily fool had his hair slicked with rancid hair tonic, which lit up like a wick, and the man was quickly screeching in terrified agony. One of the other thugs exclaimed loudly and turned his attention to pulling his buddy out of the fire.

The third thug was reinforced by two more Creepers who had been working the market but were now involved. These two were more serious opponents than the bully boys Byragh had been facing, and one of them...a woman archer...quickly launched an arrow at Byragh that left a red grazing line across his shoulder. The other was a nimble spinning little Halfling knife fighter, who quickly closed with Byragh and drove the Tiefling back on his heels up the side of the still-burning trash heap. Byragh managed to take the remaining mook into the flaming heap with him, but small blessing.

Off balance and dangerously close to his own conflagration, it looked pretty grim for Byragh, but a new wrinkle unfolded. A deeply hooded man in sumptuous robes joined the scene, and spoke some kind of magical word that shook the very air, and knocked the female archer Creeper into the wall of the shack she was near, stunning the archer and foiling the shot she had been lining up on Byragh.

The deadly Halfling launched himself through the intervening distance to mount an energetic assault on this new threat, but the arcane interloper made a mystic gesture and uttered another air-shocking syllable to deflect the Halfling's efforts with a mystical shimmer.

The pain of his injuries fueled Byragh's resolve, and maintaining his composure, he regained his footing and scrambled off the trash heap and towards the market, ignoring the Creepers and intent on escape. For his part the remaining of the three original thugs lurched out of the heap, smoldering, and rolled around on the filthy ground trying to stifle any hot-spots in his clothing before they could erupt into flame.

Observing this, the magic user dropped back as well to be nearer to Byragh's new position. The archerette launched an arrow at the mage, but the robed man simply gestured with a hand and the arrow re-routed itself and impacted the ground instead.

The man imperiously said "Heed me, Sczarni! Flee now and we will not pursue. Stand your ground and my ally and I will SHATTER YOUR BONES AND BURN YOU ALL! You have my WORD on that!"

The very air shook with an inaudible but palpable echo from the man's words, oozing power. The Sczarni, affected, retrieved their burned comrade and warily scrunched backwards, away from the fight.

Turning to look at the now-confused Byragh, the man looked the Tiefling straight in the eyes and said with a commanding, sumptuous voice, "BRAWG, I presume?"

"Burraahg", the Tiefling rasped back.

"Bur-og?", the mage uttered, trying his best.

"Burraahg!!!", the Tiefling rasped back.

"Yes...well...I'll work on it. I am Voxel . There are those who know my interests in such matters and I heard of your existence some days past. I have been seeking you since. I am pleased to finally make your acquaintance."

Byragh's instinct was to flee, slink away, hide. But there was something about the man's voice that made Byragh want to hear more. He could feel the power, and some part of him urged interest.

"Why you intirst'd in me?" the Tiefling rasped suspiciously.

"Because I have an endeavor before me that you are ideally suited to. I need your help, essentially. And I will pay you handsomely for your troubles.", the man produced a shiny golden orb...a thing Byragh had only rarely seen. Holding it forth, he offered it to the disbelieving Tiefling. "Here; a retainer for your first day of service. I will hand over another at the end of each day you assist me, and should we attain the prize I seek before the week is out I shall pay you...oh...shall we say ten gold coins? Surely more wealth than you have yet seen in your life thus far, eh? Take it!"

Suspicious, but spurred by the man's commanding voice and manner, Byragh stared at the shiny gold coin. It sounded good. Too good!

"What you want me do?" the Tiefling rasped suspiciously.

The mage's eyes briefly flashed "Whatever I tell you to!", but he quickly reverted to charming and followed with, "...but don't worry, you will not find the labor too onerous, and the rewards will be great. Serve me and you will profit such as you have seldom imagined."

"My way is my own!" the Tiefling rasped defiantly.

But the mage was not deterred. "Those are true and wise words, my friend. And my way is my own as well. But for a short time our ways can lay alongside each others to our mutual benefit. We will gain much power, and further I can tell you much about your nature, which I suspect remains something of a mystery to you. I promise you, you will gain much in your service to me, though perhaps brief it may be."

And Byragh very clearly felt the urge for power, so often suppressed, rise up within him again. And his hand snaked out carefully, and plucked the golden coin from the mage's extended hand. "Ok", the Tiefling rasped, with finality.

"Capital. I hope neither of us will have cause to regret it. Now, come with me. We shall leave this dismal place for the nonce. I have taken rooms nearby, but we must get you presentable first. No offense but polite society will not appreciate your finer qualities as I do, at least not if you are dressed as you are. And the odor, of course. But worry not, for we will return to Underbridge soon enough. There is something here I need, and you my new friend are going to get it for me. After that...well...we'll wait and see how our partnership develops before we get into 'after that's'...."

And so saying the mage lead the fiendish Tiefling towards the city proper, away from the dingy quarter that he'd not yet left in his short and brutal life thus far. Dreams of power propelled them both.