CoT Mod 1 wrote:Even before Aroden’s death, the Council of Thieves had been an open secret in Westcrown. The city’s first (and most successful) thieves’ guild, the Council of Thieves was comprised of members from influential and often noble families in Westcrown. Subtle and content to rest upon the work of past generations, these rich and affluent criminals grew wealthier off of all manner of smuggling, gambling, prostitution, and more nefarious but increasingly white collar crimes. Yet now, insurrection boils within the Council’s inner ranks, and if left to bloom, the resulting coup could engulf all of Westcrown.
Cheliax was in years of turmoil since the death of their god, Aroden, most of all, the capital city, Westcrown. As a result, the church of Aroden soon fell and the country fell into civil war with fierce diabolists. Westcrown's further decent came with the rise of Thrice-Damned House of Thrune, which seized control of Cheliax after thirty long years of civil war. As a result, Westcrown lost its status as capital to Egorian, thus losing much of its prestige and affluence. As a result, the city soon began to die, devoid of those who made their living off the wealthy.
While still a vibrant and important port, the splendor typifying the city faded fast. Today, Westcrown is but a shadow of its former self, now a playground to the vultures come to pick the last bit of flesh from its barely living carcass.
The six of you each have your own reasons for not being happy with life in Westcrown. Whatever they maybe, you mostly keep it all to yourself except for the occasional trusted "talks" with others. Individually, each of you are approached by a woman. Her leather armor accentuates her figure masterfully, revealing only hints of her experience in battle with a couple of scars.
a confident and sultry tone, she says: “I have reason to believe you may be interested in what I may have to offer. I've been looking for people. People as yourself, your skills, your frustration to how things are here. I have a proposal that i think may interest you.”
Her words are more or less the same to each of you, revealing things she knows about you, things that others have vanished for, but something intrigues you, maybe her hips, or perhaps her bust, or simply that fact that she knows you and you can't have people knowing you this way. She invites you to meet her at a tavern. Vizio’s Tavern, for an early dinner.
With a city as large as Westcrown, it's no wonder none of you know the place. You discretely ask around based on her description of where to find it and soon arrive. One by one you each take a seat in the tavern at various tables. The tavern is empty. Once all of you are there, she then summons you all to one common table where you each take a seat, unsure who the other is and she issues out plates of stew and bread with an ale.
a soft, but calm tome, she says: “Thank you for coming.”
There's idle chitchat as if she's waiting, expecting another, but once the stew and ale is gone, she glances once more to the door and slides her plate away. With still a few hours to go before sundown, Janiven locks the front door and shutters the windows, then takes a deep breath and thanks the PCs for attending the meeting. She again assures them that they’ll be done in less than an hour, with plenty of time left over for everyone to get home before sunset.
a passionate, confident tone, Janiven says: “Again, thank you for agreeing to meet with me here. I have chosen each of you for a singular reason—everyone here, myself included, has suffered, whether we realize it or not. I have lived in Westcrown my whole life, and although I love this city, I must admit, as must you, that despite our peace and prosperity, we continue to suffer. Fear should not be an expected part of life, and yet each night brings fear to our doorsteps. Yes, Westcrown has been safe from war and famine for nearly seventy years, and yes, our businesses has prospered—but this safety and prosperity has been bought in the coinage of fear and prayers to Hell. Other lands live free from tyranny. Other cities do not fear the night. Other governments do not cede the streets to monsters of the infernal shadows. Westcrown was once such a place, and she wants to be such a place again. Westcrown is not only her buildings and canals and docks and history—she is also her people. Westcrown is our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our siblings and cousins, our sons and daughters! With but a small group of supporters and dedicated brothers and sisters, we can earn the trust and admiration of those people. A Westcrown free of these shadowy beasts that stalk our streets is one step closer to a Westcrown free of the devil that is the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune!”
You each know full and well that every word she spoke is treason, but you each also know, full well, the fear she refers to. Those mysterious beasts that prowl the darkness on the edges of light, in the shadows, lurking, waiting for anything to get in reach. The stories are far too common of people gone missing who were out still past sunset. The sounds of things moving, the feeling of dread, as they pass outside the window, too afraid to look.