The lean man outside a hastily drawn circle barked “The next 3 come forward!”
The deva Virkkial had stood still as a stone, cooly waiting in line in Silvercrag’s Southern Plaza, having spent most of his day watching those before him get bloodied trying their luck joining Silverkin. A trial by combat, was required and he could tell half these peasants hadn’t even lifted a blade before. He would show them real power now…
Behind him stood the halfling Wenner, patiently waiting for his chance to join Silverkin, and hopefully find a few stories in his adventures there to “bring home to his bitches.” What better way than to join a mercenary company with the history of Silverkin!
The dragonborn Tristessa perked up his head at hearing it was FINALLY his turn. He’d been eyeing the “fighters” administering this test, and even as bad as they had been, the rabble challenging them had been even worse! He was ready to get this over with, the only one who looked like they’d challenge him in a fight was the leather clad man barking out orders. Grabbing his sword and shield he moved into the circle with the 2 before him.
It was over the second it began, a blast of fire, a brilliant sword stroke, and a carefully aimed crossbow shot were all it took for the three to prove they were ready to join… or so they thought.
Expertly eyeing the rest of the line, the veteran called the trials for the day and lead the 3 back to Silverkin, “I’m Ardan, sort of the hand of the company, I’m taking you to meet the head” he drawled easily on the walk through Silvercrag.
As they approach, the three could not help but notice the disrepair of the company. Apparently the rumors of the fall of the company from grace after the retirement of the founder Gregov Silverkin weren’t exaggerated.
Brought up stairs they entered a small well used but well cared for office, and sitting behind the desk was a man, old but still with a sense of power, and charisma. Obviously a man of leadership. “Ahhh” he smiles, “you found three more to join us Ardan, I was beginning to think you’d only see farmers and beggars today?”
“These three not only beat Donnell, Kenneth and Arles, they did it in a heart beat. They definitely have the skills to join.”
“Now let’s see if they have the brains… in case you haven’t guessed, I am the head of Silverkin, Benn Adlerbit now lets start the interview.”
After a few minutes of intense questioning, and getting… not the best answers… from the three, Benn glances at Ardan, “Hahaha these three will need some work, but I think we can shape them into something worthy of the Silverkin name. They may be a bit odd, but they aren’t the bad sort. Go show them the barracks and see if the other two we recruited today have returned.” As they leave, Virkkial in a spur of the moment act of mischief, marks the Head’s armor on the back with a penis. It goes unnoticed.
Ardan gives a quick tour of the grounds, and while, some of the unused parts are in poor condition those parts that are still in use of the large compound have been lovingly cared for, again the three wonder what happened to the company that it’s in such a state!
Finally as they enter the barracks, Virkkial remembers the tails he’d heard of the Company. The current head was doing too much work for free, as he never had it in his heart to charge those who were just in the need of some protection, and couldn’t do it themselves, as a result, the company had lost many of the less noble members, as they sought their fortunes elsewhere…
In the barracks, they encounter the other two new recruits, a half elf wearing a suit of chainmail and carrying a spear named Draethon, and a Eladrin, wearing black leather armor,and wearing a wicked looking broadsword. Tristessa senses they are equal to them in strength. While introductions are made, a rapid thumping up the stairs is heard, and then a panicked voice erupts from the office overhead. The six run up the stairs to see what the commotion is.
A youth cries over and over “They’re raiding our farm, raiding our farm, Benn, you gotta help, they already killed da’”
Benn snaps to attention, “Where’s your mother and sister, I’ll personally lead the retaking of the farm, but first we must make sure they are safe.”
“They made it to a nearby farm, you have to come with me Benn, you’re the only one they trust to protect them, let the others go to the farm!”
Benn looks uncomfortably at Ardan “Alright, Ardan, you take these five and go to the farm, I’ll go with Wilfred.”
The six travel quickly to the farm just as the full moon rises, where they hear rough laughter coming from inside the main house… Ardan and Wenner glide quietly through the moonlight, and scout out the area surrounding the house, they find no one keeping watch outside. Odd.
They sneak up to the window, but no one notices, till Wenner peaks in the window just as a man looks up from his cards and stairs right back at him. “SOMEONE’S OUTSIDE” He bellows!
Ardan reacts first, bursts through the door and delivers a powerful slash to one of the bandits, but he’s still standing, Virkkial moves next, crashing through the window, he almost loses his ballance but a memory from one of his thousand lifetimes takes over and he rolls smoothly through the opening and up with his staff in one hand and shards of ice exploding from the other, instantly flash freezing two of the bandits. Tristessa moves through the door past Ardan, and unleashes a massive blast of icey breath against the remaining three bandits dropping the one Ardan had wounded previously and chilling the others. The two remaining bandits rally, and one strikes at Tristessa only to have his feeble blow turned aside by his mail, and the second delivers a glancing cut to Virkkial. Just as his strike lands, Alyndrial steps between dimensions and appears behind the bandit who struck at Tristessa, slashing him down. The final bandit surrenders immediately.
The bandit overhears so many horrible plans for his own death at their hands as they decide what to do with their new prisoner, that he throws his boots at the intimidating Wenner, and begs for mercy, offering what he knows about the rest of his group in return. The group listens to the bandits as he shows them a trapdoor in the farmhouse, and then describes the remaining three bandits that went down, along with some minions far darker, controlled by their leader. Once safely outside the door, the bandit flees in terror barefoot into the night.
Ardan sneaks down the trapdoor to see what awaits them, after only being gone a few seconds, he flies back up the ladder yelling “They’re coming, to the wall outside for defense.” As they bolt out the door they see a red skeletal horror claw its way out of the opening followed by many more… They take up their positions around the low farm wall, and get ready for the biggest fight of their lives.