Corruption of Azim

Chapter 5
Fanning the Flame

The tavern of the Blue Drake Inn was bustling with activity. It was not yet noon, but many people who normally would have been at work were gathered together in conversation instead. Many of these voices were concerned and fearful that Gnolls had attacked a farm on the Northern outskirts of town.

Asmodeus grinned subtly. He was pleased with the swift results of their plan. After faking the Gnoll attack, the party decided to return to the town separately. Nock slipped into town that night. Then in the morning, Tyrus and Shandra headed around the city to one of the Eastern gates while Asmodeus and Gaimon went West toward a gate near his father’s farm.

Getting through the gate was relatively simple. When the guards questioned them on where they were coming from, Asmodeus told them they had come from investigating a tomb.

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Chapter 4
Fur and Fangs

Gaimon’s mouth felt dry. The Gnome sitting behind him was inquisitive and Gaimon found himself talking much more than he normally would while riding. Asmodeus had pulled the Elf aside briefly and asked him to try to befriend Nock. For some reason the little bard trusted him more than the rest of the group. Little racist, Gaimon thought with a chuckle.

The party had quickly left Fallerun after Nock joined the group. The incident with the mayor had left the town in somewhat of a panic. The guards had been out in full force looking for the assassin, but they were disorganized. The Northwest gate had been left unguarded and the party used this to their advantage. If they were lucky, no one from Fallerun saw them ride away from the city.

Once the city was out of sight, Gaimon tried to casually strike up conversation with Nock. It was awkward at first, but the Gnome seemed interested in how Gaimon came to be Asmodeus’ bodyguard. So the Elf told the story and answered the seemingly unending stream of questions. Gaimon suspected that Asmodeus was purposely keeping himself, Tyrus, and Shandra behind out of earshot so the bard could speak freely. The Gnome didn’t speak much of himself though.

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Chapter 3
Unexpected Allies

A hooded figure moved silently through the shadows of the night. It stopped at the town hall building and quietly picked the lock on the door.

Once inside, the figure examined the layout of the interior. There was a small stage with a lectern on the far side. Rows of seats filled the floor and some stairs on both the left and right led up to a balcony. There was a window conveniently placed next to the edge of the balcony.

Slowly and methodically the figure set to work. For once, guards had been more useful alive than dead. Their wagging tongues had revealed a time and location to kill off Isley’s nephew.

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Chapter 2
Hatching a Plan

Tyrus wondered when Asmodeus would return. They needed to come up with a plan to take care of Renferell. When he had arrived back to the inn, Tyrus found Gaimon playing cards with two men and a Gnomish bard with red hair. He and Shandra joined them for a while. The two men turned out to be miners who had come back to town early to beat the rain.

While the weather outside turned dark and stormy, various people came into the tavern. As the innkeeper had foretold, the tavern was soon busy with townspeople and merchants. After losing most of their gambling money to Gaimon and the Gnome, the two miners tired of the card games and went to the bar to get food and drink. The little bard wandered off to a spot near the front door and started playing a tune on his gittern.

Then Asmodeus finally appeared in the doorway. He shook water from his cloak and then came over to the corner table where the party was sitting. The group discussed what they had learned during the day, especially regarding the mayor.

Shandra noticed that Gaimon was distracted. Looking over, she saw a very beautiful Elvish woman watching the group. The Elf was elegantly dressed and stood out in the crowd. Shandra hushed Tyrus and Asmodeus as the woman approached the group.

The woman walked right up to Asmodeus and greeted him saying, “Asmodeus. I had wondered when you would show up here again.”

Asmodeus smiled. “Elandra. I see you’ve changed your hair color yet again.”

“Do not try to flirt with me, Asmodeus,” Elandra teased. “Or have you forgotten what happened last time? And who are your…” she paused briefly as she surveyed the group, “associates?”

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Chapter 1
The Wizard's Homecoming

On a dreary, overcast day in September, a party of four made their way North along the road to Fallerun. They stopped briefly at an old weather-beaten signpost. The wood had cracked and the paint was almost too faint to read, but they determined that they were only five miles away from the small town. They rode their horses at a moderate pace.

They had passed few travelers on the road. Those they had encountered gave them a wide berth. This was certainly due to the ominous look of the party. Tyrus and Gaimon rode with their full plate armor on. Neither of them looked like men to be trifled with. Alongside the Elf rode Asmodeus wearing a dark cloak. None of them spoke much as they traveled along.

In stark contrast to the mood set by the other riders and the weather, Killashandra chattered happily to her white horse Fallacy. With her cloak’s hood thrown back, her hair was tousled by the occasional breeze. She was busily explaining to the horse how they were close to their destination. At Fallerun there would be fresh apples and oats, and a stable with hay.

Soon they could see a few farms off away from the main road. Then the old grey wall of Fallerun was finally visible. It was in a state of disrepair with fallen stones and moss growing up the sides. Asmodeus noted how much worse it had gotten since his last visit home. It was growing so bad that he briefly wondered if people were actively knocking it down.

There was a gap in the wall where the road ahead led into the town proper. “Guards,” Gaimon said then spit on the ground. The rest of the group took a closer look ahead. Three guards were present at the wall ahead. They seemed to be resting on the wall or on the ground. Nearby the top of an old wooden tower was visible over the wall.

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Prologue

In the town of Fairfield, a dark alliance was formed. The wizard Asmodeus found the opportunity to corrupt the fallen paladin, Lord Tyrus, by introducing him to the Tiefling Killashandra and her demon master Shok’ragal. Not long afterward, Tyrus accepted the demon’s offer of power and became a blackguard. Then Asmodeus performed a wedding ceremony for Tyrus and Killashandra.

Fearing that the demonic influence would attract too much attention from the Knights Justicar, the group departed from Fairfield. Asmodeus knew that his new blackguard ally, the rogue ‘Shandra, and the wizard’s bodyguard Gaimon would all me more than willing to help him achieve his goals of overthrowing the Kingdom of Validras. He found it ironic that the forces of chaos and anarchy were a much better means of bestowing order on the land than a kingdom.

Thus the wizard led the party along the road to his home city of Fallerun. What better place to begin his work than disrupting the power of the inept mayor Jacob Renferell? Besides, the city was somewhat secluded from the rest of the Kingdom, and he knew plenty of opportunities would await them there.

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Example Log

This log entry is an example of what play in this campaign might look like.

The dimly lit tavern was busy with customers. Shadows waxed and wained as the flickering fire of the hearth burned away at the log within. A few lanterns hung around the room balanced out the lighting.

The party sat at a corner table, wary of some off-duty guards at the bar. Maximus nursed his ale while waiting for the contact from the assassin’s guild to arrive. Shane was leaning back on his chair, fingers toying with a dagger hidden beneath his cloak.

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