Our adventurers have always worked within the melting pot city of Istantia completing various tasks and odd jobs for their employer, Gregor. When his best employee, Marcaus, was kidnapped, he called together his other employees to go out and bring him back. With an offered reward of 350,000 gp it was an easy decision to be made. Had they known what this one mission would throw them directly into the middle of, they might have not thought the reward so great.
At the start of our story Gregor calls all of his remaining employees together. His best employee, Marcaus has been captured and he wishes to have him returned. Marcaus had been sent out on a mission to stop a group of Ogre’s who had been attacking caravans and kidnapping villagers to wrok in the Ogre village to the north. This was Marcaus’ largest undertaking as all his other missions were simple ones of retrieving items or providing protection. He was warned to not go alone but he was blinded by the 200,000 gp reward and refused to split it.
Gregor wishes to see his star employee returned back to him and is willing to pay a substanial amount for his return, namely 350,000 gp. To show he means business he even provides the group with half of the money upon their acceptance of the mission. When he sees Marcaus again he will give away the rest of the reward.
After traveling north of the village for several hours the party is ambushed by a group of four ogre’s who spring out from the trees. Upon defeating the ogre’s the group sees a fifth ogre off the side of the road. He immediately begins running back to the village upon the defeat of his allies. Using their quick wits the group catches the ogre and immediately disposes of him.
They continue to travel in the direction of the retreating ogre and find the village. They can see plenty of people of all races being forced to work to dig out the walls of the village and to carry stones and woods for the building of houses within the caves, as well as several others working to build those houses. Most villagers are in some form of shackles. The house workers and diggers are handcuffed at the ankles, while the carriers are handcuffed at the wrist.
Sneaking up onto the cavern village, they manage to dispatch the two main guards; however they are heard by the others in front. They soon realize there are not just Ogre’s here, but also Ogre mages. As the villagers are released from the shackles, most are quick to join in on the fight using nearby planks and rocks as well as their tools to fight back against their oppressors. Marcaus is included within their ranks.
After the fight is over Marcaus rushes to the back of the village and into a small storage building. The party chases him down to see him emerge doning some very fancy looking studded leather armor. There is an embroidery unlike any you have seen before on the chest plate. He has a whip on his back and a rapier on both sides.
He tells the party that he must get going but that they can feel free to raid the shack for treasure. They persist for him to speak to Gregor before he goes to let him lnow he is safe. He agrees to do so and rushes off. The party searches the building and returns to Gregor to find Marcaus did keep his word. Gregor pays off the party the remaing amount of gp and then tells you that he will contact you when he has another mission.
The vacation is short lived as the following morning they are summoned back to see Gregor. He says that there has been a recent break-in at the alchemy lab and that the archmage has been kidnapped and several of his possessions have been stolen as well. The guards are outraged and the king has sent out several groups of men to track down the man responsible, but Gregor fears that the man responsible is Marcaus, the very man you rescued the day before.
He has seen Marcaus’ work many times and he knows when a job is done by one of his own men. He does not know why Marcaus would have done such a thing but he fears that he may be under some sort of mind control. He has heard others saying that the time in captivity must have changed him, but he knows outright that that is just not true. There must be some form of puppetry at work and the king will not bother to inspect such things before executing Marcaus.
He says he does not have any gold to offer as the previous reward has left him broke, but he will give everything he possible can upon Marcaus’ return. He stresses that expediency is most important so that Marcaus does not get too far away. He also advises to make sure the king’s men do not know of the mission as they will most likely imprison anyone who stands in their way. Before leaving Gregor suggests to search the alchemy lab for more answers about Marcaus and where he might have gone.