Soul of Balmora

Act 2

The first mission, Murder of a good Man.

When you pull out the holy symbol of Cyric, the guard gives a quick nod. “can tell the difference between me and him? (points to the second guard taking a piss) and at this distance, neither can anyone else, if someone asks, he let you in, his name is Talas. for obvious reasons i wont give you mine. oh, and take as many back streets as you can, now get a move on”

walking into the city, the first thing that you notice is the light. or rather, lights. the main rode has six foot steal metal posts dug into the ground, but at the top of each is a bright glowing orb about two feet higher then the post. the second thing you notice is the atmosphere, it is cooler and far cleaner then outside the gates. thirdly, the level of noise, or lack there of. the city is very quite, almost disturbingly so. looking around, you see the same material that makes up the wall used everywhere; you can’t see one road or building that isn’t built of the stuff.

moving through the city, you see occasional odd graffiti with scratches or chalk, the ones that repeat and stand out are the words or phrases ‘for the Nightshade’ ‘equality’ ‘we deserve to lead’ etc. a reoccurring image as part of this graffiti is a perfect circle.

Finally arriving at the Four Walls and a Roof inn, you walk in to find Adogeon Forgedawn and his wife Alatherys and his daughter Fhamorel

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Act 1

fate begins…

your journey through the empire is relatively short and uneventful. the land steadily gets dryer as verdant grasslands turn into savanna, and from savanna to dune crested horizons. moving through the desert, you peak a final dune to come into sight of the city nestled in a large recess in the moutains. its high walls are the color of the surrounding sand, with a pale green sheen where the light reflects off its surface. outside of its walls is a view far less savory. Balmora appears almost trapped behind a blockade of shoddy wood buildings either rotting from the moister of the nearby river or cracking under the unforgiving sun; it resembles beggars encircling a man of good fortune. peering north to south of the city you spy the crystal clear Salvation River running in concert with the mountains bearing the same name, even at a distance its waters seem clean and refreshing save for the split flowing next to the outskirts. next to river you see the orderly grid of irrigation channels running through the many farms used to help supply the city.
as you cross the bridge to the dilapidated outskirts the smell of soiled water and sewage assaults your nose. the houses look no better up close and the population is an accurate parallel to their abodes. tangled trash strewn streets abound with the only real exception being the main path to the city gates. being directed by some of the residents, you find the Bucket of Blood inn a short way of the main highway.
when you reach the Bucket of Blood you can’t help but think it must be maintained even worse then the nearby houses and you shudder at the thought of what it must look like on the inside. walking in, the first thing you see, and probably smell, is the proprietor: a fat, sweaty bald man standing over 6 feet tall, and you get the feeling he is the sort of person you don’t want to meet in a prison cell… he spits on a rag and wipes the counter with it, noticing you, he sneers in your direction and starts “cleaning” the inside of a mug with the same rag. to no great surprise, there is no one else holding custom here.
concluding the conversation with the odious man, he directs you up the stairs, last door on your right; he who you want is staying there.
The door slowly creeps open to reveal the room: it’s spartan, one closed window, one desk and one shelf with zero contents, one bed and six chairs are all that odor it. on the the sixth chair behind the bare desk, sits a thin half-elf; male, you believe, but unnatural shadow seems to surround it in the lightless room. “Please come in, do shut the door and sit down if you would. Before you say anything, yes, i have been expecting you; and yes. i am Rathor Sci Litchfield. And i am VERY pleased to make your acquaintance” his words are exact and purposeful, reveling most likely a sharp and dangerous intellect. “lets get straight to the business at hand, shall we? i have a proposition, along good and bad news. the bad news is that since your arrival, your choices of what you can do next have been limited to four outcomes. first: you leave now, you don’t listen to my offer, i pay recompense for your sojourn and you walk away forever; because if you ever do return to the area you will be slain. second: you listen to my offer and decline, which results much like the first with the further addendum that if you in any way attempt to harm my mission, you will be slain. third: you hear my offer, and he on whose behalf i ask it, and you decline; this will lead to your captivity until such a time when my mission is either complete, or has irrevocable failed. if you prove to be a flight risk for any reason during that duration, you will be slain. the fourth option of course, is the good news: you accept my offer and you succeed. you will be showered in wealth and power, and if you so chose, integrated into a covenant that will both shelter and support you in any future endeavors. what is your answer?”
“Good. To begin, you first need to understand Balmora. Its political system is comprised of four or so major power structures. The first three, are legal. The top of this chain and the undisputed rulers of the city are the chaminate, the chaminate is comprised of the Chamin and a ruling counsel of nine elders from the nine houses along with complement of ten advisers coming from the eight guilds. In this system the Chamin has nigh absolute authority, and can overrule any majority decision made by the counsel, and it takes a united counsel to overrule a decision he makes. In concert, a majority vote can overrule a decision made by the guild advisory, but a united advisory can overrule a majority vote made by the counsel. To complicate things further, a Chamin is chosen via popular vote of select citizens from the house counsel and the houses select their members guilds in turn the guilds from the voting population. Add to that the lesser guilds and other illegitimate powers in the city and you have an interwoven, almost mind bending political structure. The plan is simple: collapse this structure straight into our loving arms.”
“I will brief you on how only when you need to know. for now, your mission is to frame a man for murder. the man is Elas Ledger, a scribe working for the divine guild at the university and a servant of Deneir. Unfortunately for him, he has a little side hobby, sneaking off in the middle of the night to help a poor decrepit orphanage. You are going to help Elas Ledger burn the place down. then, when the orphans are beyond saving, you should confront Elas for his treachery and place on his corpse this, (hands over a unholy symbol of Cyric). the heroic act of trying to save the children will earn you admission into the Adventurers Guild, which is the only way you will be able to stay within Balmora. the rest of the details will be given to you by the proprietor of the Four Walls and a Roof inn; his name is Adogeon Forgedawn and his wife Alatherys and Fhamorel their daughter. they are all with me and can be trusted and they are the ONLY ones you are to trust inside the city walls, and me the ONLY individual outside of them. You have a maximum of three days to accomplish this and become part of the adventures guild. the entire city is surrounded by the Lucian Empire and so are very distrustful of outsiders, if you stay for longer then the three days someone will hear about your presence and i will be left with no choice but to make you disappear to avoid suspicion by the local authority’s.”
“to get inside the gates, or the door beside the gates rather, you will need to get past the two guards on the outside of them, one of the sentries is compliant, the other is not. what you need to do is wait until the sun completely goes down, at one point one of the guards will go to relieve himself, the doormen remaining is the one you want. walk up and quickly show the symbol of Cyric and he will let you in. when you are in, head directly to the Four Walls and a Roof, do not wander outside the inn during the day if it at all can be avoided, if it can’t then sure to to bring the Forgedawns daughter along with you. and whilst inside the city you are to dawn a facade complete ignorance, though i have not said much about Balmora even that small amount will draw unwanted eyes if you share it. and one whiff of suspicion could end this endeavor before it begins; so do not, under ANY circumstance, reveal anything i have said. if you do, one faction or another will find you, but rest assured the result will not differ.”
“the reward for this task is 500 hundred gold apiece, quite a reward. as will be each of the steps until the city is taken, and when that happens you will get the biggest reward of all. so, lastly, here’s a map of the city and a drawing of Mr. Ledger. Oh, and before i forget, i have a gift for each of you. a temporary one to help you accomplish your task, but powerful all the same” (pulls out five oval black stones, four inches long and three inches thick) “these are for you, they are powerful tools for one who needs to deceive. they will prohibit all attempts to magically or psionically determine falsehoods, and also determine the true motives of your heart. keep them on your person at ALL TIMES, i don’t care if your talking to a friend or fucking them, these do not leave you. what they are called the is Hearts of Darkness, but as much as they are evil, they are ours. so a word of warning: if you attempt to steal them away, sell them, or try to lie to me (or another servant of Yirrixees) you will find them removed from you possession and retribution swift and absolute. when the Balmora falls, they will leave you. now, let me show you were the Four Walls and a Roof is, and if that is all. good luck”

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Prologue.

Yirrixees makes makes himself known…

every player goes to rest after a seeming normal day, the one discerning fact is that they all have done a dead in this day that was undoubtedly evil. when you sleep that night, you see before you a great abyss. in the heart of this abyss, you feel a being of immense power assessing you under his evil gaze. as the dream continues you hear words echoing from the void in a language you do not understand, these words fracture your hearts and rend your body. your flesh and fat is ripped asunder from your bones, tearing through your skin as paper, the gristle between your bones dissolves, internal organs rupture and burst, simultaneously your skin shrivels and tightens around your now frail form. when the agony leaves you, you find your flesh, mind and soul bound to the emptiness before you; and you have never felt so empowered, never felt so… eternal.
an instant after, you are no longer in a non-space, but on solid ground, and the light of the sun is shining in your eyes. quickly, you throw up your emaciated hands to shield yourself from it’s energy. when you adjust to the light, you cast your sight from the earth surrounding to the horizon, you see no water, no vegetation and you sense no atmosphere; you are on a dead planet. you turn your gaze up and away from the sun to behold a sea of stars, planets, nebula and most stunning of all, other entire galaxies. you know not how you can see so much with or without the sun in the sky, but this is, without a doubt, the most wondrous sight you have ever seen. suddenly a star grows dark. then another. with increasing voracity the riot of color and light in the sky dwindle till nothing is left save for the never ending black. your none-existent stomach knots as you feel the full presence of the being from the void instantly materialize behind you. standing there is a thing of such power and size beyond proportion that the sun withers and dies under its malevolent authority. you see Yirrixees. a terrible creature resembling the black dragon it once was. its pallid white hide stretched thin over his bones and wreathed in black and purple flame. his eyes peer at you expectantly, his irises are vortices of crimson souls hopelessly trying to escape their damnation…
at last you wake from the nightmare. but your relief quickly fades as the realization that you are paralyzed grips your mind. you cannot sit up, you cannot blink, you cannot move. then you hear the voice of Yirrixees whisper in your ear the same words from the void, slow and soft this time, like a promise. and with every syllable you feel surgical splits in the skin of your chest. with the concluding word spoken the hold on you releases and you are finally allowed to scream…

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