Freehaven

The Story So Far
It begins.......

Beginning of Summer, in the year 503 F.R.

You have just graduated from Guard Academy today, proud to be a new member of the Watch. You don’t even get a chance to celebrate with family and friends before you are given your first assignment: report immediately to Justice Hall in Hightown for a meeting and further orders.

You take a long ride through the extravagant district of Hightown, marveling at the mansions and upscale shops that surround you. You reach the top of the district and take in the spectacular view of Freehaven. From up here you can clearly see the other four districts: Dockside by the sea, the huge lush park in the middle of the Green District, the masterful stone architecture of the Prayer District, and the giant throng of citizens shopping in marketplace of Lowtown. Behind you sits Justice Hall, a beautiful stone building with polished marble floors and pillars, the center of the city’s political power. Towering over the building is a huge statue of the Free Lady, her stern gaze seemingly leveled at you as you enter the Hall.

Once inside, you are directed to the auditorium where you find dozens and dozens of other Watchmen waiting, their quiet conversations amplified by the room’s perfect acoustics. Everyone’s attention is on an empty podium situated in the middle of the stage. In short order a stocky, bristly bearded dwarf limps out on to the stage. He scowls as he takes stock of the crowd of Watchmen in front of him. He takes a deep breath and yells out: " I am Guard Sergeant Ironbeard and I am here to welcome you to the first day of the rest of your miserable lives!"

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First Day on The Job
Session 1: Report to Dockside!
After a brief meeting with Guard Sergeant Iron Beard in Hightown six newly graduated members of the Watch have been assigned together to form Watch Unit 13: Sam Vines, a possibly homeless human who joined up to gain access to “free food and a bed”; Gon, a kobold master linguist who seems to possess Gifts that let him control fire and earth; Prakesh Yogesh, a privileged human with big dreams of promotion and a Gift for getting into people’s heads; Amber, a cold but inquisitive Halfling who seems more than capable of digging up secrets while keeping many of her own; Thokk, a brute of an orc who enjoys nothing more than beating up criminals and taking the boat out for a relaxing cruise; Sakura Hirosha, a silver furred Saru-ishi who joined the guard to gain the power and respect she couldn’t have in her home country.

Unit 13 finds their first assignment in Dockside. the precinct is a bit worn and they make few friends but at least Sam finds a cot to call his own, so all is not as bad as it seems. They decide to work over night security at Salty Sam’s Amusement Park. Trouble comes just before dawn as a group of gang members known as Land Sharks loudly breaks into the park intent on sabotaging the ferris wheel. they are quickly (and perhaps painfully) subdued and questioned. It turns out they were sent to rig the ferris wheel to collapse to hopefully kill off a man who owed the gang a lot of money but couldn’t pay up. Salty Sam offers the Unit a bribe to keep this crime under wraps so he doesn’t lose any customers. Amber “accepts” this bribe but turns it over to Guard Sergeant Many Scales along with a full report, making an enemy of Salty Sam in the process.

While investigating a local store robbery, Unit 13 uncovers something more sinister: someone is killing off Watchmen and taking their bloodsoaked tabards as trophies. They find just such a murder victim in an alleyway but are quickly intercepted by their Guard Sergeant. they are given strict orders to forget this case. But they start digging into it anyway………….

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It starts off in a tavern........
other horrible rpg cliches to follow! Session 2

Unit 13 receives a hot tip: the Land Shark gang uses the Youngfish Alehouse as a base of operations. They decide to go check it out in disguise as civilians but having a 7 foot tall silver monkey in your group kind of puts a damper on things! A fight breaks out, and is over as quickly as it began, with a couple gang members getting away. After a quick interrogation, a trap door is uncovered, leading into the sewer system. The Land Sharks’ true base of operations is uncovered in the sewer and a more heated battle erupts. When the smoke clears, a room full of stolen goods is uncovered and it looks like the Land Sharks’ boss, Water-Speaker, has fled deeper into the sewers. Unit 13 splits up and gives chase in the confusing maze of pipes and passages. Water-Speaker and a few of his trusted soldiers are cornered in a flooded chamber and they make a last stand. Water -Speaker uses his water shaping Gift to attack unit 13 but he is quickly taken down by a mind controlled member of his own gang and then frozen in a block of ice!

Unit 13 emerges from the sewers with stolen goods and a group of subdued Land Sharks in tow. Their heroic actions have earned the respect of Guard Sergeant Many-Scales and a transfer to the next District of their choice. Where will they go next?

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Low Town Blues

Unit 13 arrives in Lowtown to begin their new assignment. They meet with Guard Sergeant Underleaf to get the lay of the land and receive a bit of halfing sized humiliation. Looking at the available assignments, they quickly choose to provide extra security at the Blood Ball game at the Lowtown Arena that night, followed by a quick patrol of Spirit Street afterwards.

Fans at a Blood Ball game tend to get pretty crazy when an important game is won (or lost). This evening’s game was between the Lowtown Beatdown and the Hightown Headhunters, who are bitter rivals, making this one of the most important games of the season. Hightown wins and as expected the crowd riots! An angry mob goes after the winning team while another group tries to set fire to the ticket office. Unit 13 splits into two teams and handles both dangers simultaneously, handing out a beating and taking one in return.

After the game, Unit 13 takes a quick patrol down Spirit Street, a long alcohol soaked street with nothing but bars, alehouses, taprooms and taverns on either side. The crowd at Kegs and Legs are getting too much for the bouncers to handle, thanks in part to the half naked “entertainment” up on the stage, so Unit 13 springs into action. As they are subduing the rowdy patrons, a man crashes in through the window from the alley outside, screaming and covered in flames! Balls of fire shoot out of him and take humanoid form and begin burning anything they can get their hands on. Gon and Amber combine their power to douse the fires while Prakesh forces his way into the burning man’s mind and puts him to sleep. The rest of Unit 13 beat out the fire elementals with pure force. the day is saved but Kegs and Legs is going to need some major clean up.

Prakesh interviews some witnesses outside the bar and finds that a group of people in white doctors coats were seen harassing the burning man in an alley shortly before he burst into flames. Sharp eyed Gon notices a strange blue glow in the burning man’s eyes and a strange circular symbol burned into the palm of his right hand. This will need some investigating…………

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Circles within circles

Unit 13 sets out to investigate the mystery of the burning man from the night before. Gon digs up some info on the strange circular symbol that was seared into the burning man’s hand. Some obscure conspiracy theory books suggest that this symbol represents the Esoteric Circle, a group of alchemists/ scientists that possess no morals or restraint when it comes to their diabolical experiments. Amber uncovers a rumor about groups of men in white coats abducting people from the Lowtown homeless camps. Unit 13 spreads out and goes undercover in the homeless camps and find a few clues that confirm their theories. It appears that a group of the men in white came by this morning and took a dwarf named Milo away with them, but not without a struggle. A necklace with the Esoteric Circle’s symbol on it is uncovered and a location where the men in white took Milo is found as well: The Coach and Four Hotel, only a few blocks away from the homeless camp.

When Unit 13 arrives at the hotel, a crowd has gathered around it. It looks like some one is going to jump from a 7th floor window! Gon uses his mastery over earth to trap the would be jumper behind a stone barricade made from the very ledge he stands on. Thokk and Sakura start climbing the outside of the building to try and rescue the jumper while the rest of the Unit goes in the front door. Both teams are met by mind controlled members of the hotel staff, brandishing weapons and out for blood! A battle ensues, with one poor member of the hotel staff taking a 7 story drop onto a passing carriage, luckily only sustaining minor injuries.

Unit 13 meets up on the 7th floor and finds Milo the dwarf, only his head is so large and misshapen that he can only lie helpless on the floor. He also seems to have developed some out of control mind powers, which he uses to try to mentally control Thokk and Sakura. The battle is short lived however, with Unit 13 victorius.

A man in a white coat tries to sneak away from the battle unnoticed, but Prakesh Suggests he stay put. Seeing he cant run away, the man in white tries to take his own life with a dagger, shouting “For the Circle!” but Prakesh heals his wound before he can bleed out.
It seems the Esoteric Circle isn’t a conspiracy theory after all…………..

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Breaking Bad D20 Style

Unit 13 has just caught a member of the Esoteric Circle, that was trying to flee the crime scene at the Coach and Four Hotel in Lowtown. Amber uses her newly acquired Circle amulet to convince him that she is also part of the Circle and learns where the local hideout in Lowtown is located and who their leader is. It turns out that there are many different Circle groups that operate in each district, mostly with no knowledge of each other to maintain anonymity. Lowtown’s group is led by a Professor Starling, disgraced former Alchemy teacher from Freehaven University, and he is operating out of a condemned tenement right here in Lowtown. Unit 13 decide to get a full nights rest before tackling the rest of this case.

The next day, before they have time to renew their investigation, Unit 13 is assigned to provide extra security at a political rally being held in the Golden Bazaar by Councilman Bitterfoot. A large crowd is gathered around an outdoor stage, eager to hear what this rally is all about. It turns out a new law has been presented by the City Council: The Gifted Registration Act! If this law passes, all Gifted citizens will be required to divulge all special abilities that they possess which will be kept on record permanently. Councilman Bitterfoot announces that he will be supporting G.R.A, which throws the crowd into an uproar! A few groups of angry citizens rush the stage and also go after the Coucilman’s private carriage so he can’t get away. Unit 13 springs into action. They notice that a few disguised members of the Circle seem to be controlling these angry mobs somehow. When confronted, the Circle thugs throw flasks of acid and then try to run away. Two get away, but two are caught and the Councilman is unharmed, although his body guards can’t say the same. The Councilman now owes Unit 13 a favor for saving his life.

Unit 13 continues their investigation, starting with Professor Starling’s old lab at the University. They find that the professor was working on creating a potion made from the blood of Gifted citizens to try to gain some of their abilities. He was discovered and promptly fired from his job. Next, they move on to the Professor’ home in Hightown. They find a dead Circle Member there, strangled by something huge and strong. The professor’s study is mostly destroyed as is the back entrance to his house. The trail leads to the garage, where it disappears.

They move on to the condemned tenement where they find the professor’s carriage parked out front. They try a stealthy assault but fail, and are forced to square off with a handful of Circle thugs and Professor Starling, who injects himself with a strange liquid and grows huge and misshapen! The battle is brief and brutal, with Unit 13 emerging victorious yet again. A few homeless prisoners are freed and a scrap of paper with the Mageworks seal is saved from a stack of papers that the professor was trying to destroy. Could the Mageworks company be involved in Esoteric Circle dealings somehow?

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Movin' On Up!
to the top
Unit 13 is reassigned to Hightown after they uncover and arrest an Esoteric Circle cell operating out of Lowtown. Its a whole new world up there; paved streets, Mageworked lights on every corner, gated communities, mansions and a spectacular view of the rest of Freehaven. They meet with Guard Sergeant Ironbeard, who informs them that it will be next to impossible to impress him enough to get promoted and he will do everything in his power to make their lives miserable.

Unit 13 accepts the challenge and starts out on patrol of Innovation Avenue, an area of Hightown where the movers and shakers in the business world of Freehaven have their headquarters located. Following up on a lead they uncovered during the Esoteric Circle bust, they decide to scope out the Mageworks HQ, which is a large, windowless and imposing tower surrounded by a thick crenelated wall. Around the side of the complex they notice a security team, dressed in the Mageworks purple and gold, trying to repair a massive hole in the outer wall. Just then, two small security teams exit the hole and begin searching the nearby streets for something. Unit 13 tails the security teams hoping to get clued in on what has happened here. They come across two Watchmen beaten and unconscious in a strange green tinted fog that fills the alleyway. After reviving them, they learn that the Watchmen were attacked by two 7 foot tall fully armored humanoids, one of which could shoot some sort of gas out of its palm. they learn that the two attackers are swiftly headed south toward the Overlook Estates, a rich gated community one tier down from their current location. Unit 13 quickly heads out, intent on stopping the attackers.

In the Overlook Estates, the two armored attackers have blown down the front gate to one of the smaller mansions using some sort of incendiary weapon launched from their hands, and have begun assaulting the front door, intent on getting inside. Unit 13 springs into action and confronts the strange armored figures. Thokk and Sakura engage them physically while Amber tries to pry some armor off to see whats inside and Gon tries to light them on fire. Prakesh tests out a new Gift and Wards both assailants, which strangely render them helpless. The battle is won! Amber pries open the armor and finds that there is nothing inside but a strange fist sized crystal, which glows faintly. Upon closer inspection, a tortured face can be seen inside the gem! what is going on here?

They quickly gain entry to the house that the armored golems were trying to get into to and question the owners about why these metal monstrosities would attack this place. They learn that the current owners bought the house quite cheaply after a brutal massacre had taken place between a Unit of Watchmen and some strange cultists. Prakesh stretches his Gift to the limit and tries to read the psychic imprint left behind at the murder scene. He discovers that the strange cultists involved with these murders are the same ones that have been ritually murdering other watchmen and taking their tabards as trophies in the present day. He also finds that the gems that powered the armored golems each contain a trapped soul of one of the Watchmen that died in the house! Since the two golems seem to have originated from the Mageworks HQ, it looks like the corporation is up to no good.

Unit 13 heads back to the Hightown Precinct and gives a full report to Guard Sergeant Ironbeard. It seems he has already received a conflicting report from the two watchmen who got gassed in the alleyway earlier. They don’t remember any large armored figures attacking them, they claim to have been mugged by a street gang. Prakesh uses his Gift to scan their minds and finds that the two Watchmen have had their memories altered by someone. He stretches his Gift to the limit once more and repairs their memories.

Since they need more evidence before going after such a large and powerful organization such as Mageworks, Guard Sergeant Ironbeard assigns Unit 13 to a super secret taskforce charged with getting more evidence to prove that Mageworks is involved in spiritual slavery. Amber comes up with a plan and poses as an interested buyer in one of Magework’s Emporium stores, bringing Thokk and Sakura along as security. A secret meeting is arranged between Amber and an undisclosed member of Mageworks so she can purchase one of these armored golems for “extra security”.

While waiting for the meeting day to arrive, Unit 13 discovers that yet another Watchman murder has been committed. They investigate the crime scene and find the usual blood pool and missing tabard situation. There is a message written in blood on the wall:" He shall swim to your shores on a river of blood, and you will know Him by the trail of dead". Gon does some research and finds that this is a religious passage describing Shallakor the Butcher, fiendish God of Blood, Murder and Hate. Some more digging uncovers the identities of all the victims. It is revealed that they all belonged to the same Unit that was involved in a drug bust gone wrong that resulted in the death of an innocent civilian, Betty DeLuthe. Only one member of the Unit still lives, an orc by the name of Grikka Grimblade, who currently resides in Dockside. Unit 13 rushes to her apartment and finds her there surrounded by empty beer bottles and sorrow. She says that she knows that Betty DeLuthe’s husband is coming for her, to get revenge for her killing his wife, and that she is just waiting for her life to be over. They talk her out of her deep depression and convince her to move somewhere safe. Unit 13 now has two big cases brewing and must now plan their next move………

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A Nice Day For A Thokk Wedding
Or, How many gods can one party piss off in one session?

Unit 13 decides to set a trap to draw out the fiendish followers of Shallakor. They stage a wedding between the fiends’ target, Grikka Grimblade, and Thokk on Thokk’s yacht. The rest of the Unit is in attendance as the wedding party, priest and witnesses. The plan works well, and before long Marcus DeLuthe and four blood demons show up to crash the party. Prakesh uses his Gift to Ward most of the party, rendering the blood demons’ blood controlling powers all but useless. Gon summons the very ocean itself to wash away the fiends, while Sam, Sakura and the “groom” deliver harsh justice to the rest of the bad guys. Guard Sergeant Ironbeard is summoned after the fight so Unit 13 can explain that they have solved the case of the Watchman Slayer in their spare time. They impress old Ironbeard so much that he promotes them to the next district on the spot. Unit 13 celebrates on Thokk’s yacht, but are interrupted when Shallakor sends them a message: you have earned the wrath of the God known as the Butcher, be very afraid.

Unshaken, Unit 13 prepares for the secret auction that Amber has conned her way into, in the hopes that she will uncover more dirt on the Mage Works company by buying one of their security golems that happens to be powered by enslaved souls of deceased Watchmen. She gets a bad feeling when she arrives at the secret auction site, a rundown warehouse in a seedy part of Dockside. She takes only Thokk in as a bodyguard, the rest of the Unit waits in hiding just across the street. Once inside, they find four other interested parties taking part in the auction as well, with different colored masks on to protect their identities. Amber quickly deduces each of the other participants, all rich influential citizens of Freehaven. The auctioneer makes his appearance, it is Aaronothios of the House of Chillwind, who also happens to be a high ranking Mageworks engineer. He shows off the capabilities of three of the security golems, but it is soon made clear that he is only stalling for time as the rest of his personal guard secure the exits and prepare to rob the wealthy auction patrons. Unit 13 springs into action in a two pronged attack, inside and out. The smoke clears and Unit 13 is left standing victorious yet again! As they clean up and summon backup Units, they are interrupted by a blinding flash of light. The Grand Magus, CEO of Mageworks has arrived via portal with his elite guard and demands that Unit 13 hand over his employee for punishment. Unit 13 stands their ground and it looks like a fight will soon commence when back up Units arrive and the Grand Magus backs down. To add insult to injury, Prakesh uses his Ward Gift to shut down the portal, forcing the Grand Magus and his entourage to take more mundane means back to Hightown. And just like that, another powerful enemy is made.

Unit 13 receives a few days off as a reward for a job well done. Soon they will head off to the Green District to see what new enemies they can make there…………

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Top Stories this week in the Daily Liberator
The Daily Liberator, The most trusted source of news in Freehaven

Here are some summaries of the top stories from the city of Freehaven

  • Gifted related crimes are rising dramatically, despite the best efforts put forth by the City Guard. The city has become divided on the Gifted Registration Act, some peaceful and some not so peaceful protests are popping up every day all around the City. The city Council has yet to vote on the passing of the G.R.A. The Council Members from Hightown, Lowtown and Dockside are for the Act, while the Green District and Prayer District oppose. Mayor Winters stands as the deciding factor when this come to vote, but she has yet to make a decision either way, grinding the process to a halt.
  • Mageworks is in the spotlight this week, as a high ranking engineer for the company was caught trying to sell security golems at a private auction, which turned into an armed robbery. The golems are allegedly powered by necromancy, a form of spiritual slavery. The identities of the auction goers have yet to be revealed. Trials are set to begin next week.
  • The Housing development known as the Treetops is set to open soon. Based in the Green district, Treetops will give a home to the thousands of displaced Saru refugees, who had fled persecution from their former home in the Wild Isles, where they were hunted and brutally slain for their fur.
  • Could Salty Sam’s Amusement Park be closing its doors for good? After last months brutal article revealing the unsafe nature of the park’s rides due to tampering, park attendance is at an all time low. Salty Sam himself could not be reached for questioning but could be seen from his office windows making obscene gestures at reporters
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It's Not Easy Being Green
Unit 13 tries to take a working vacation

Unit 13 has a little time off before they have to report to the Green District precinct. Prakesh decides to spend some of his vast fortune and purchases a villa so he can move out of Mom and Dads place. One of the Yogesh family’s silk merchant ships becomes hit by pirates again so they decide to hold a dinner party, with Admiral Sterns of the Freehaven Navy as the guest of honor in a blatant attempt to curry favor and get their problems fixed as fast as possible. Admiral Sterns brings his daughter Ruby along, who is quick to attach herself to Prakesh. She is a stunningly beautiful and pale girl with short cropped raven colored hair and a revealing red dress. Looks like Prakesh might be in some trouble if he isn’t careful.

The team receives a message the next day from Irongate Prison; it seems Aaronothios the failed auctioneer that they arrested a few nights earlier desires a meeting with them. An execution is looming in Aaronothios’s near future and he would like to make a trade to save his life: a secret way into Mageworks Tower in exchange for a reduced sentence. Unit 13 makes no promises but offers to speak with the prosecutor on his behalf.

Prakesh throws a house warming party at his new villa and everyone is having a great time until bad news finds them. It seems Amber’s apartment has been burned down, Thokk’s yacht has been vandalized and Gon’s and Sakura’s places have been broken into as well. A large skinning knife has been left as a warning to Sakura, while a sad looking corn dog has been left as a warning to the rest of the team. It seems clear who is behind all this: Salty Sam!

Unit 13 decides to pay Salty Sam a late night visit at his beach house in Dockside. Guards and guard dogs alike are neutralized and most of the team, led by Sakura, rushes in to confront Salty Sam. They find him upstairs in his meeting room with a bunch of lowlifes led by a dangerous looking lizard man by the name of Scarbelly. Sakura knows that Scarbelly has hunted her kind before, back on her home island and is eager to fight, but Prakesh decides to use his Gift to force Salty Sam to confess before any bloodshed occurs. Salty passes Prakesh’s interrogation and they are about to leave when Sakura notices an empty sheathe on Scarbelly’s belt. The sheathe matches the knife left at her apartment! With a roar she leaps into battle and all hell breaks loose. Salty Sam tries to slip out the window while the battle rages but Amber freezes his hands to the window sill. Prakesh unveils a new Gift and becomes incorporeal, scaring off a few of Scarbelly’s thugs with a well timed “Boo!”. Sakura squares off against Scarbelly but is gravely injured in the process, forcing Thokk to come to her aid and crush the scaly scumbag. A strategically placed wall of fire from Gon convinces the rest of Scarbelly’s henchmen to stay out of the fight. As the fight wraps up, Thokk forcefully removes Salty Sam from his icy predicament, severly injuring the Goblins hands in the process.

Back up arrives and starts hauling away bad guys and taking statements. Sakura tries to slip away unnoticed in all the commotion but Amber her and tails her. Sakura winds up at the nearest bar and hits the booze hard and fast, trying to drown her overwhelming feelings of failure at not being able to avenge her people by taking down Scarbelly on her own. Amber does her best to console her teammate and gets her to go home.

The team reports to the Green district precinct the next day only to find that it is being run by a slightly off balance elf, Guard Sergeant Evardonitio of the House of Skyreach, who is supposedly being haunted by his dead grandfather and has lost all control of his precinct. Gon tries to put the Guard Sergeants paperwork in order and discovers a couple of clues that seem to involve the Grand Magus somehow.

Unit 13 decides to get to work and starts a patrol at the Treetop housing development. They meet with a majestic looking golden furred Saru-Ishi by the name of Kirito who informs them that most of the projects tools and building materials have been stolen in the night. a search turns up some peculiar red stains that aren’t blood and some ogre and lizardfolk tracks surrounding some large drag marks in the road. They try to follow them when they are interrupted by some rich kids racing carriages at break neck speed down the road. Gon turns the street into mud and brings this leg of race to a quick and painful end. The survivors of the crash take off and Sakura, Thokk and Gon give chase. The suspects are caught shortly after and admit to several charges including drug possession. A close inspection of these drugs reveals them to be Redleaf, a highly addictive plant that is chewed like tobacco, stains the users teeth red and gives the user extreme focus on whatever task they are dealing with. When questioned, the rich kids tell the team that they bought it off a ship in Dockside, the Sunset Princess. Unit 13 heads off to see if there is a connection between the drugs and the stolen building materials.

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