Thief Campaign

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
Very recently, a player of mine stated that they would like to "go solo" for a bit and play a rogue. He made it clear that he wanted to be a sort of criminal who starts off doing small stuff then graduates to dungeon delving, very limited of course since he's a solo rogue and we are going off 3.5 ed rules (by solo, I mean no help - no pets, no lackeys - nothing). After spending some time researching the internet and finding nothing for a solo rogue (found stuff for nearly every other class, just no rogue) as well as having none of the modules or living anywhere near a comic book store, I came up with a campaign. We started running it and he is enjoying it so far. Here is the first part of the campaign. This is sort of a trial. If I get enough positive feedback, more of the campaign notes will be sure to follow.

Chapter 1: Payday - Part 1

After losing his home and family in a goblin raid at the age of 11, then spending the next 10 years as a smuggler, Nym Huntinghawk (who goes by the name of Raptor, having forsaken his family name to forget about his past) has settled down in the trading village of Riverview where he works as a dock hand, unloading boats and delivering cargo. This, of course, is a front for how he really makes money: thievery. The dock master, a 'friend" from his days as a smuggler and who is a fence named Osmund Mason, regularly gives thieving jobs to Raptor. However, things have been quiet on the thieving front as of late and working on the docks does not really pay all that well. With the rent being due tomorrow and Raptor finding himself short of funds, he decides to pay a visit to the Withered Stalk tavern and "procure" coin from alternate sources...
For a solo campaign going Rogue isn't a bad idea.  Perhaps the biggest hurdle to running such a campaign is that you should NOT run many straight up combat situations but have a lot of situations where skill use is important for any number of reasons.  Remember that XP is gained for "overcoming" challenges which does NOT always equate to "killing" things; the fighter solution to a NPC guard may be to fight and kill it but a rogue would get the same amount of XP for sneaking around the guard or just bluffing his way past.

An issue with skill based challenges is that using a skill is often all or nothing.  If you lose with Hide you get seen, if you fail a search you find nothing, and other things like that.  Compounding this is that "take 10" should be viable much of the time but that could lead to too many "auto-wins" which leads to using DCs that are higher than they really should be.  Even more troubling is giving the rogue time to "take 20" on allowable checks (which includes Searching for traps) because those should automatically succeed otherwise they'll never succeed and shouldn't be used.

Now I can't speak about your campaign but it sounds like you have a good opening.  There should be a number of ways to "procure" coin and most shouldn't involve fighting although figuring out the DCs could be a challenge.
 
Yea, this is not going to be a real combat heavy campaign. If there are combat situations, they will be few and far between (maybe a monster here and there that is scaled roughly four levels below my player). Now my player did state intentions of being an assassin, but we will see how things pan out.
You found nothing? What about One on One Adventures from Expeditious Retreat Press?
www.xrpshop.citymax.com/page/page/390659...
#1 is written for rogues of level 2-4. The 3 Olinder adventures form a mini-campaign for a rogue.
I found nothing FREE is what I meant to say. Sorry for the confusion and lack of information Laughing. I have found a ton of modules and books online, but why pay for something i may never use? Additionally, nearly all material I find that is for free is for a whole party or for classes other than rogue. I really want something to skim and say "So that's how you do it." As for ideas, I have tons of them. I just don't know how to run them.

P.S. 4th ED skill challenges look pretty nice and I would love to incorporate them, alas, I don't really have experience running them. I have a module that has them (The Slaying Stone), but how do I run them? Just have my player(s) roll dice a couple times in a row and hope they pass all of them? Any information on this would help out a lot as well.
P.S. 4th ED skill challenges look pretty nice and I would love to incorporate them, alas, I don't really have experience running them. I have a module that has them (The Slaying Stone), but how do I run them? Just have my player(s) roll dice a couple times in a row and hope they pass all of them? Any information on this would help out a lot as well.

Unearthed Arcana includes complex skill checks, which are similar, as I recall.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
cool, thanks. Thanks to all for the advice. I have not been receiving any negative comments so far so expect more of the adventures of Raptor the Rogue to follow starting tomorrow.
Ok, without further ado, the continuation of the adventures of Raptor the Rogue.

Payday - Part 2

The night was young and the spring air still held a bit of chill to it, as though winter was not yet ready to relinquish its grasp over the region. The door to the Withered Stalk tavern opened and a figure stepped through, the chill air made a mad dash inside only to be beaten back by the heat of the crackling fire in the fireplace. The person was greeted by a cacophony of noises: the conversations of patrons, the slams of metal tankards on wooden tables, and the playing of a lute accompanied by the singing of a woman. No one seemed to pay the stranger any heed; those that did only gave fleeting glances before returning to their cups and conversations. The bartender was the only one to acknowledge the entrance of the stranger by giving him a slight nod of his head. In response, the figure lowered the hood of his cloak, revealing a head of short, spiky, ash-colored hair; tanned skin; and pointed ears. Raptor gave the bartender a nod in return then seated himself at a table away from the crowd, in a somewhat secluded corner of the establishment. A barmaid came by and set a drink down in front of him. Raptor paid her, shooed her away, then passed the time sipping his ale and scanning the tavern crowd for a suitable mark.

The elf did not have long to wait before he spied his mark: a farmer who apparently had gotten paid and was busy drinking his coin away.
"What a waste," Raptor said to himself. The farmer, so casually wasting away his coin on drink after drink, both angered and sickened him. The elf felt a burning desire to murder the man whenever he decided to stumble out of the tavern that night, but thought against it. No, a body would only bring unwanted attention. Best to help the poor wretch out by removing his ability to pay for said drinks. With that, Raptor drained his mug, rose, and made his way to the bar, choosing his path so that he would have to pass right by the tosspot. As he neared the table, Raptor made himself seem as though he was intent on getting another drink at the bar. He gave the slightest of glances at the drunken farmer, only to better understand the location of the man's coin purse, and struck.

Moments later, Raptor was back in his corner of the tavern, full mug in hand, counting his ill gotten gains. The farmer, having soon realized that his coin purse was missing, started spinning on his stool, looking this way and that in a vain effort to locate the missing pouch. Turning around, the farmer saw another tavern patron sitting directly behind him. This one had the ill luck of counting out his coin just as the farmer looked to him. Angrily, the farmer accused the man of stealing his pouch. The man, of course, denied taking the pouch, stating the coin he had was his. The farmer seemed not to care, though, and grabbed at the coins. At that point, the man's fellows, all of whom were sitting around the table, rose and went to defend their friend. The bartender came between the farmer and four men and broke up the commotion, yelling at the farmer that he had enough to drink that night and to leave his establishment. The farmer protested, or started to, when the bouncer came into view wielding a club the length of a man's forearm and as thick as a man's thigh.
"TO THE HELLS WITH ALL OF YOU!" Shouted the farmer. With that he stomped out the tavern, loudly slamming the door behind him.
"If the door's broken, I'm having ol' Geoff here take the cost of replacing it out of your hide!" The bartender yelled after him.

Raptor watched it all, hand to his face. It was all he could do to stop himself from laughing.
No comments on the campaign so far? I guess I must be a better writer than I thought. Anyway, for those wondering, posted below are Raptor's current stats. Please note that my player and I use Pathfinder and D&D rules (what one doesn't have, the other does: think of Pathfinder as the ex-wife of D&D, but the two are still really good friends). There will be some differences between Pathfinder and D&D, which will be quite noticeable.

Raptor
Elf Rogue 1
NE
Init +7, Perception (a combination of search, listen, and spot) +7
AC 14, Touch 13, Flat-Footed 11
HP 11 (d8 + 1 Con Mod +1 Favored Class bonus)
Fort +2 Ref +5 Will +1
Speed: 30ft
Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Attack +0
Special Attack: Sneak Attack + 1d6
Feats: Improved Initiative
Skills: Acrobatics +7, Bluff +6, Disable Device (which includes Open Lock) +7, Disguise +6, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (Local) +8, Linguistics (Decipher script, Read language, Forgery, etc) +8, Perception +7, Profession (Laborer) +5, Slight of Hand +7, Stealth +7
Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Goblin, Orc, Gnoll
Special Qualities: Trapfinding +1, Elf Traits
Gear (equipped): Explorers Outfit, Padded Armor, Sap, Dagger

I know his stats are pretty high, but that's a combination of Pathfinder rules and very high dice rolls. In fact, I had to have him re-roll a few times because he kept getting 16's, 17's, and 18's. Soon to follow will be a map of Riverview...provided I can get one. I have tried those random map generators, but the stuff they give me looks so bland. I'm thinking of going on an old city building game (like Caesar III) and building a mock port city to use. Either later on today or tomorrow I will have another section of my campaign posted, so stay tuned. And please, provide feedback, the campaign is still very young and I have the ability to change things around.
Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.
Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. On with another episode of my Thief Campaign.

Chapter 2: A New Job - Part 1

The following morning, Raptor paid the rent (leaving him next to penniless) and headed to the docks to report in on his shift. Along the way, he took note of the hustle and bustle of the townsfolk as they cleaned storefronts and built merchant kiosks, all in preparation for The Great Bazaar: an event that spanned months where merchants from all over came to Riverview to rest, resupply, and (in some cases) trade their wares. It meant exotic merchants from exotic lands bringing exotic foods, weapons, and other goods. It also meant that the marketplace would be crawling with thieves, giving Raptor a ton of competition and headache - as an increase in thieves also meant an increase in guards. Unless Mason found Raptor a job, he would have to resort to petty thievery at an increased risk of capture for very little coin. Raptor made a mental note to have a nice long chat with Mason after his shift.

Hours later, Raptor walked off the docks and made his way to the Dockmaster's Office. His shift had been the same as it had been in the month he worked there: slow and steady. Though The Great Bazaar was only a scant few days away, naval activity had been very slim. The only real excitement of the day came when a few cargo ships docked and unloaded cargo meant for a few establishments in town. One of the crates Raptor helped deliver, contained a statue of some goddess bound for the Temple of Pharasma and weighed hundreds of pounds. It had taken six men, counting Raptor, to haul the thing out of the wagon. His back still ached from it.

Raptor was still making his way to the office when he was approached by a young boy. Judging from his dress and the fact that he was missing his two front milk teeth, Raptor deduced that the kid could not have been older than a decade.
"Are you the elf that knows Mr. Osmund," the boy asked, a sharp whistle of air issuing from the space between his teeth after every instance of the letter "s"
"I am," Raptor replied. "What is this concerning?"
"Mr. Osmund wants to see you right away. He says its important."
"I'm one step ahead of him. I'm heading to see him now," replied Raptor. With that, he moved to continue, yet stopped when he noticed the child looking at him, unmoving with hand extended.
The brat thinks I'm going to pay him? How exactly did he help me? I was going there anyway.
Raptor thought. I think not.
"Beat it kid, I have nothing for you," Raptor told the kid. When he still didn't move, Raptor yelled at him again.
"I said beat it, you little snot. I have nothing to give you. What are you, hard of hearing?" Raptor yelled, threateningly advancing a step in the kid's direction. That seemed to snap the kid out of his stupor. Giving a choked sob, the kid ran off, crying loudly all the way. Raptor only shook his head and sighed in frustration.
"My my Raptor, you certainly DO have a way with children," came a hoarse voice not far from where the altercation took place. Raptor looked in the direction to see Osmund Mason standing with his arms crossed, an amused expression on his face.
"We need to have a little chat, Mason," Raptor angrily told the man through clenched teeth.
"Yes, yes, I know. Follow me into my office. I believe you will like to hear what I have to tell you....."
The New Job - Part 2

Raptor followed Mason into the Dockmaster's Office and shut the door behind him. The single-room shack was stuffy and warm and loaded with paperwork. Mason motioned for Raptor to take a seat in a chair opposite the Dockmaster's desk while he took the desk chair. Mason then proceeded to rummage through his desk drawers, trying to find something. Raptor knew what he was looking for, and it had nothing to do with the job he had for him. Of all the fences he knew while working as a Smuggler, Mason was the best. He never let Raptor down when it came to a job and always gave the elf a fair share of the profits from a job. But the man had one fatal flaw that had the ability to completely destroy the man: Mason was an Opium addict. After what seemed like an eternity, Mason found what he was looking for. Grabbing a taper, he lit the small pipe and, with shaking hands, put it up to his mouth and took a long draw. Mason seemed to instantly calm down. The man cleared his throat and addressed Raptor.

"I have a job for you," Mason stated, looking squarely at the elf. "It is a relatively simple job and one that has a very generous return."
Whatever anger Raptor had at Mason dissipated in an instant. The elf leaned forward in his chair, eager to hear every word.

"Thought you might be interested, here are the details.........."
Sorry for the long delay. School was finishing up and I had to scrap the adventure I had planned for my player and create a whole new one.

The New Job - Part 3


Raptor left Mason's office shortly after nightfall with a young woman following suit. Earlier, after Mason had delivered the details of the job to him, a man dressed in rich, exotic clothing entered the office followed by the woman, who was dress in ragged tatters, no shoes, and dirty, shoulder-length blonde hair. When questioned by Raptor and Mason, the man told them that the woman was a thief who stole from a very prominent family in Riverview (Raptor thought he was referring to the Pearlmann family, a family that pretty much owned all of Riverview). She was caught, interrogated, and brought back to the town to be delivered to the family for proper punishment. The man contacted Mason needing a suitable guard, as he did not trust the Riverview guard. He had even made it perfectly clear that the woman was not to be harmed in any way. Raptor, though the job was very easy and promised a large reward, reluctantly agreed to take it, continuously stating that he was not a babysitter.

Raptor and the young woman made it through the town without encountering any trouble and arrived at the street the manor was on. As they made their way to the manor, Raptor could hear the woman whispering to herself. Straining his ears, he made out that the woman was whispering the lines of a common prayer. The elf snorted and shook his head in disgust. He stopped and addressed the woman in the middle of the street.
"What in the nine hells did you steal  to make that family this angry?" He asked the woman, smirking all the while.
The woman just stood there with her head bowed, blank stare on her face.
"Well," continued Raptor, "answer me girl. I promise I will not hurt you, I was forbade to. So tell me."
The woman looked up at him, a sad look in her eyes, as though she was on the verge of tears.
" I stole nothing," she said in a voice so low it was almost a whisper. " I am no thief," she continued on. "I am to deliver something to the owners of the manor, though it will mean my death."
Raptor just stared at her. Finally, after many minutes, he spoke, though anger was not evident on his face or in his voice.
"What is this delivery?" He asked. "I see no package. Is it a message?"
The girl shook her head, making her hair dance about her shoulders.
"You will find out when we get there," was all she replied and continued walking. Raptor just stood there, watching her depart for the manor....
The New Job - Part 4

Shortly thereafter, the pair found themselves within the manor, well, more of an over sized rustic shack really, to Raptor's growing suspicion. To make matters even worse, the man in front of them was not dressed as though a member of a prominent upper-class family. Raptor had a very bad feeling about all that was happening and he wanted nothing more than to be finished with the job and out of there.
"Thank ye for bringin 'er over," said the man in a thick southern accent. "As promised by our mutual friend," he continued and dropped a bulging purse in Raptors hand.
"Just one more thing before I depart," said Raptor. " Tell me who this girl is and what she's doing here. Tell me now, or I leave and take her with me."
"Well now?" Asked the man, cocking an eyebrow Raptor's way. "Very well, who she is is no' important. What she's carrying is. She was forced to swallow a bag o' rare spice. Now that she's here, I can cut 'er open and get me payment," he said with a smile and a laugh.
Raptor was speechless. Never had he heard of such a thing happen. Additionally, and for reasons he did not understand, he did not want the disgusting man to harm her.
"No," Raptor heard himself saying.
"Eh?" The man asked, confused.
"I am leaving, the girl is coming with me. The deal is off, though I'll keep the coin. Consider it as payment for me not ending your insignificant life," Raptor said.
"Now look 'ere..." the man started to say, but was cut off when, in the blink of an eye, Raptor had his dagger out and the point leveled between the man's eyes.
"Oh no ye don't," the man roared, unsheathing his dagger and lunging at the elf. The woman shrieked and ran to the far corner of the room to hide and get away from the fight. Raptor had expected the man to attack and struck first, leaving a nasty gash in the man's side. The man responded by thrusting his dagger at Raptor, but the elf merely sidestepped the swing. The two exchanged blows for many minutes, with Raptor scoring a few hits, leaving the merchant bloody. The elf did not go unscathed though, as one of the man's swings slipped past the elf's defenses, leaving a long slice on his left arm. Finally, Raptor struck the man a grievous blow, leaving him slumped on the ground, dagger clanging to the floorboards and grasping at his bleeding wounds.
"Spare me," the man rasped. "I'll give ye as much coin as ye desire."
"I'll take whatever coin I want, regardless if you let me have it or not," came Raptor's calm reply.
"If ye kill me.....me associates will....kill ye....to death..." The man forced himself to speak.
"Then they shall join you in death." With that, Raptor calmly walked over to the man and, taking his dagger, casually slit the man's throat....
Hey, just wanted to let you know that I've been reading the posts on this blog and they are extremely interesting so far. 

I, myself, run a rogue in most campaigns as they are one of the most fun characters to RP, so I can relate to the comic mischief that you experience.

If you ever were interested in running a thief-themed campaign open to 2+ players, shoot me an e-mail at airsoft2233@gmail.com

Until then,
Good luck!
Thanks for the feedback Stevekro1. I will definitely keep that in mind. Now, on to Raptor the Rogue!

Revelations

Raptor stared at the man, watching the pool of crimson around him grow. He considered his own wounded arm and, tearing off a piece of his tunic and using it as a makeshift bandage, wrapped the wound. The woman emerged from her hiding place, took one look at the body, and screamed again; an ear-splitting sound that made Raptor wince and, if at a higher pitch, would have shattered glass. Raptor had to shut her up.
"For all that is holy and sacred, SHUT UP!" Raptor shouted at the woman, the tone of his voice so threatening that the woman did indeed shut up. She was so intimidated that all she could do was stare at Raptor, unable to utter a sound, and watch as he searched the man's body for anything of value. The man had few possessions, only a sackful of silver nubs (Silver Pieces), a dagger, and most interestingly, a signet ring. Pocketing the silver and storing the dagger in his boot, Raptor studied the ring. He noticed that the signet displayed the seal of the Pearlmann family, which made the elf uneasy, as he knew that the Pearlmanns controlled the entirety of Riverview (and had connections with, if not controlled entirely, the Riverview underworld). He was about to pocket the ring when he noticed a small inscription engraved on the inside of the ring:

"To my beloved son, may you walk in the footsteps of your forefathers - Edmund Pearlmann"

Upon reading the inscription, Raptor's blood froze. He had just killed the son of the most powerful man in Riverview. When Edmund finds out his son was murdered, the man would hire every bounty hunter in the republic to catch the culprit. Obviously Mason and Raptor would be the first ones on the list of suspects as they were contracted to deliver the woman to the Pearlmann son. Swearing viciously, enough to make a Dwarven Miner blush, Raptor backed away from the body, his mind spinning. He had to get himself and the woman out of there (For he knew that if Pearlmann's associates were to get her, she would no doubt inform them of who killed the man).
"We need to leave, now." Raptor told the woman.
The woman didn't move an inch, she just stood there staring dumbfoundedly at the elf.
"LADY I SAID MOVE!" Yelled Raptor, breaking the woman out of her stupor. She hurried to his side, intent on following him. Before going out the door though, Raptor did one last sweep of the house, removing everything of value (which was not much, only a bottle of fine wine). Satisfied that everything of value was in his possession, Raptor grabbed the woman by the arm and roughly pulled her along with him as he made his way back into town...
I want to wish Raptor's fans a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a very safe and happy holiday.
Questions and Answers - Part 1

The duo made their way into the town proper without encountering anyone or anything. Instead of taking the woman back to his apartment though, Raptor decided to deliver her to the temple of Pharasma instead. She'll be safe there, Raptor thought to himself. Pearlmann's goons won't be allowed in that holy place and therefore she will not be able to rat Mason and I out.

Opening the doors to the temple, the pair was approached by a young acolyte. She was about to protest the unannounced arrival at such a late hour until she noticed the ragged appearance of the woman and the bloodied bandage on Raptor's arm. She immediately moved to administer first aid to the Elf, but he held her back with an upraised hand (from his good arm) and a glare. "Her," he said, motioning to the woman. "Take care of her. She was forced to swallow bags of a rare spice."
The acolyte nodded and gently lead the woman away to the temple infirmary. Raptor watched them depart then turned and left, or at least started to. He had just turned when the young woman broke free of the acolyte's grasp, rushed toward Raptor and wrapped the surprised elf in a big hug, tearfully whispering her thanks for saving her from certain death. Raptor's surprise was short-lived and he pushed the woman back and glared at her, yet the glare was a failed bluff to hide his true feelings. The woman ceased her embrace and went with the acolyte. Raptor turned and walked out the temple doors. It was time to have a talk with Mason - one the fence was not going to enjoy.
Being a solo adventure (and my player being a "glass canon"), most of this campaign, until he reaches at least level 2 or 3, will consist of skill checks and roleplaying. Just about everything written over the course of this campaign was in response to either passed or failed skill checks. For those needing advice regarding quests or adventures for a solo rogue, here are the ones I ran. Please note, going with these will require more than a bit of quick thinking (as my player constantly either critically failed very easy skill checks, critically passed very hard skill checks, or even did a thief "no-no" and stayed behind at the crime scene to see what would happen. Here are the quests that were run for this campaign so far:

1. Discover a way to pay for rent (intro adventure) Player used bluff and slight of hand as well as stealth (hiding in plain sight - but not "hiding" per se). Player basically blew the skill checks out of the water by rolling 19's and 20's. (that and the target was drunk, so he recieved a penalty to his perception check to notice the pickpocketing attempt).

2. Deliver a bounty to the objective. This one required roleplay and skill checks. (talking to an individual high on Opium, getting information out of a reluctant target, intimidating the customer [which my player succeded for information, but failed at getting the girl out when he found his conscience resulting in combat]). This quest also relied on random encounters as there would have to be attempts at other bounty hunters to "steal" the bounty to collect the reward themselves.

Everything after that has been skill checks and roleplaying. So far, Raptor is still level 1.
Questions and Answers - Part 2

As he neared the Dockmaster's Office, Raptor saw a soft glow emanating from the windows, signifying that Mason was still there. Raptor forced the door open, without knocking, startling Mason.
"Raptor?" Mason asked. "What is the meaning of this? Why did you-" He cut off as soon as he saw the look on Raptor's face. His tone changing to one of concern. "What is it? What happened?"
Raptor proceeded to tell him all that transpired. Mason just sat there, a look of utter shock and horror on his face.
"By the gods. I swear I was not told that bit of information about the girl being the smuggling vessel," Mason stated. The look on the man's face and the concern in his voice were enough to tell Raptor the man spoke the truth. Truly Mason would never stand for something like that to happen. "What of the woman and the man?" He dared to ask.
"The woman is safe," state Raptor. "The man, not so." As he finished that last sentence, Raptor tossed something to mason, who caught it and looked at it in the dim light of the fireplace: the signet ring. mason's face went pale as soon as he saw both the coat of arms and the inscription.
"Do you know what this is?" The man asked the elf.
"Yes," replied Raptor. "It is something that tells me I probably need to leave town for good."
"Not for good," replied Mason, who then went to the desk and produced a quill, ink, and blank sheet of paper.

Many minutes passed, with Raptor spending all of those peeking out the window, looking out for anyone seeking retaliation for the murder of Pearlmann's son, before Mason finally said he was done.
"Take this to the Temple of Pharasma and give it to Mother Karlynn, High Seer of She Who Knows All." As mason spoke, he put the letter into an envelope, folded it closed, dripped some red sealing wax, and set his signet ring into the wax blob. "She owes me a favor. Bring this to her and she will set you up. In the meantime, I will do what I can to clean this mess with Pearlmann's son up."
Raptor did not know what to say. The fact that Mason was basically giving Raptor a favor owed to him [Mason] by a high priestess spoke volumes to the elf.
"I will find a way to repay you, I swear on my life," promised the elf. Mason just waved his hand in dismissal. "Don't worry about it my friend," he said with a crooked smile. "Now get out of here before you bleed all over my good carpet....."
I hope everyone had a safe and happy new years eve. I apologize for my absence, have some stuff going on, but fear not, Raptor returns.

Hiatus

A few days later, Raptor was strolling in the gardens of the Temple of Pharasma, his arm completely healed, but still in a sling - Karlyn had wanted to ensure the wound was completely healed. Though the outside was fine, the inside could still be damaged; or so she said. During his stay, the elf was by no means sedentary. He walked amongst the "artificial" nature of the gardens (man-made nature; not as the natural world created; a garden, though natural, is considered artificial because nature does not grow in neat, orderly rows), he trained with his dagger, and he exercised. He loved the walks best of all. Though he was a cruel, (sometimes) heartless bastard, he was still an elf and thus had an innate love of nature.

He was on one such walk when he noticed an acolyte walking towards him. Preferring privacy, he started to leave, until that is, he glanced at the newcomer and recognized her as the girl he saved from Pearlmann's son a few days before. She was different and that startled him. She was dressed in the light blue with gold trim robes of an acolyte of the temple; her once dirty, unevenly cut hair had been washed and styled in a style fashionable for the region; and her skin, once dirty and bruised, was washed and healed, revealing skin the color of lightly tanned ivory. As she neared the elf, she softly chuckled and blushed, and only then did Raptor realize that he had been staring at her, his face a mask of astonishment and his mouth slightly open. He dismissed that expression in the blink of an eye, returning his face to its normal grim look...
Hiatus - Part 2

For the next few hours Raptor and the acolyte walked amongst the greenery of the gardens and talked, well more like the acolyte talked and the elf listened, his facial expression staying the same, grim, hard look. That apparently did not bother the acolyte in the least, and so she kept talking. Though his face did not show it, Raptor enjoyed the hearing the woman talk. It made him feel needed. After all, the girl was one of the few people he knew that talked to him without issuing some sort of order. And so it was, that as they talked, they rounded a bend, which was actually a "wall" of tall bushes, Raptor's arm shot out to halt the woman from going any further. The elf sensed something and his suspicions were confirmed that as he rounded the corner, he saw a tall man wearing a studded leather vest and wielding a Rapier.
"Well, looks like I found ya, ya skinny dog," the man said, giving a sneer and spitting in Raptor's direction. "Someone's paid good money fer your 'ead."
Raptor knew what was coming. His hand inched towards the dagger set at his waist, the only weapon Karlynn let the elf have.
"Get out of here, now!" The elf growled at the acolyte. The woman was too scared to move. The spell over her broke when the man lunged at Raptor and she screamed; a high pitched, ear splitting scream that carried through the gardens and echoed throughout the complex.
Raptor knew that Karlynn and the other acolytes would hear the scream, knew they would come running to investigate. What he did not know was their response time and so, as the man lunged at him, the elf struck first; his dagger finding a seam in the man's armor and driving hilt deep into his side.
The man counterattacked, sending raptor dodging to the side as the man struck; his swing missing the elf by mere inches.
For many moments, the air was filled with the sounds of shuffling feet, the clang of steel, and grunts from wounds being inflicted. Finally, Raptor's weapon slipped past the man's defenses and buried itself into his gut. The man dropped to his knees, landing in a muddy puddle formed by his own blood mixing with the gardens dry dirt. He sat there, breathing labored, hands to his stomach trying in vain to stem the flow of blood, but the damage had been done. The man knew he was dying and there was nothing he could do about it.
Raptor glared at the man, a cold, hate-filled glare that promised extreme suffering in this life and the next.
"Who sent you and how did you find me?" The elf asked, his voice matching his stare.
The man coughed blood and smiled a bloody smile. "Mason," he gurgled. Coughing another bloody cough, the man's eyes glazed and he fell face down in the bloody mud.
Raptor, overwhelmed by the severity of his wounds and the shock of hearing the name of his best friend, soon followed. The last thing he saw before darkness closed in was the arrival of Karlynn and a handful of acolytes......
To let people know, Raptor is not dead. He was reduced to 4 (out of 10) hitpoints. The opponent, according to the Pathfinder rules, was classified as a "Thief" (CR1, 15 HP with an AC of 15). This was where the "lucky dice" suddenly turned sour. You would not believe how many "1's" were rolled for both sides......

Of course the acolyte was useless.
The Help

Raptor awoke hours later in a bed in the temple infirmary. Sunlight shown through the windows but he knew not if it was the same day or the next. Sitting up, he expected intense pain, but felt nothing. Looking down, he expected to see himself swathed in bandages, but saw nothing but his bare, muscled chest. Climbing out of bed, he saw his gear neatly piled in the corner. Dressing, he noticed that his original suit of padded armor was gone. Replaced was the suit of studded leather he saw his adversary wear, only repaired, cleaned of blood, and fitted for him. He noticed too another weapon in addition to his daggers: the man's rapier; cleaned and polished.

Exiting the infirmary and arriving in the main prayer hall, Raptor made a beeline toward the front doors, intent on leaving and finding out what the man had meant when he said Mason's name. He was about to open the large wooden double doors when a voice called out behind him: "Have a good sleep?"
Raptor turned, seeing Karlynn walking toward him, her slippers making not a sound on the polished stone floor.
"You seek answers, I can provide them," she continued.
"Hardly," Raptor responded, glaring at the High Priestess. "You know nothing."
"I know what Pharasma wants me to know," Karlynn responded, her voice calm and face an emotionless mask. "You intend to find those responsible for wanting you dead and you intend to kill them. I wish to aid you."
Raptor laughed at that proclamation, his laughter echoing throughout the vaulted ceiling of the hall. "And how are you going to do that? Pray? Your goddess going to come here herself, strap on a weapon, and kill my foes at my side?" With that he turned to leave once more. He was halfway out the door when Karlynn called out behind him; "how did you like the weapon and armor? Fitting trophies?
Raptor stopped and turned to face the priestess. "You gave me those?" He asked, his face a mask of puzzlement.
Karlynn nodded.
"Why would you provide me with weapons and armor? Why would you give me answers knowing full well I intend to kill those responsible? Why would a goodly priestess want to help a soul-stained individual such as myself?" Raptor demanded.
Karlynn just smiled and said in a calm, emotionless voice: "because sometimes it takes evil to destroy evil." With that, she threw something at the elf's feet. Picking it up, he realized it was a wanted poster, with him as the wanted person and a very generous monetary reward for his capture or death. He looked back up at Karlynn.
"Well," she said. "You want my help or not......"
Over the River and Through the Woods - Part 1

Soon after, Raptor was well on his way to the Blueleaf Forest. Night was giving way to day and the sun's light pierced the darkness like a needle through cloth. He encountered little resistance traveling there (he did encounter a wolf, which leveled him to level 2 upon its death) and soon enough, he found himself at the border of the forest. Though he was an elf and thus had an innate love of nature, the forest made him feel uneasy. It was a common legend that something had recently (within the past 10-15 years) occupied the "heart" of the forest and corrupted it. Rumors stated that the trees and other plants had been magically grown so as to grow so close together they created an impassible wall. The force that created this wall also corrupted those living within and occasionally a giant spider or other vermin ventured out of the "fortress" and hunted in the non-corrupted part, even venturing out into farm fields and harassing the farmers there. Luckily, Raptor was not venturing into the heart of the forest.

He was going to see Abigail.

Abigail was an old woman and a witch who lived alone in the forest. People generally hated dealing with the hag (old woman, not the creature), but her skill at alchemy made her essential as she provided various potions and elixirs to the townsfolk. Karlynn had sent Raptor to her to retrieve a potion that cured a person of diseases in exchange for information.
Raptor had gone only a relatively short distance into the forest, following an old, overgrown trail that led to Abigail's house, when the area suddenly became very quiet and the plant-life grew thick with webbing......
Over the River and Through the Woods - Part 2

Continuing on, the woods only got quieter and quieter and the webbing grew thicker. Soon it was next to impossible to distinguish plant matter from webbing. Raptor arrived at one section, finding not only the vegetation covered in webbing, but the path as well. Stopping to get his bearings, Raptor noticed that the webs moved in a sort of jerking motion. He thought it strange as there was no wind. The answer to the riddle presented itself as a black spider the size of a Great Dane scuttled into view. Seeing the elf, the spider hissed and moved in for the kill. Both the elf and spider danced to the rhythm of combat. The elf cutting the spider with his rapier and the spider even getting in a few bites on the elf. Luck and a fast metabolism saved the elf from the burning fires of the spiders poison and before long, the spider shuddered in its death throes as Raptor's rapier punctured its bulbous abdomen. The spider fell in a tangle of chitinous limbs, those eight glossy orbs starting at everything, yet nothing.

The elf shuddered as he withdrew his blade, a tingle going down his spine. There was not much on Ceres (the planet the campaign takes place on) that unnerved him, but spiders, no matter the size, fell well within the category of things that did. Wiping the blade free of spider fluids, the elf continued on.

Soon, the elf stood in the clearing where Abigail's was. He had encountered much on his way, including discovering the first spider's victims suspended in the web-covered vegetation (two rats and a very unfortunate halfling) and crossing over dangerous river rapids on a fallen tree log. As the elf neared the spot where the cabin was, he heard a crunching sound. Looking down, he saw, to his ultimate revulsion, that the forest floor was alive with thousands of tiny black spiders crawling on the webbing. Fighting his revulsion, Raptor continued on, feeling a sense of satisfaction as he considered that with each step, he crushed dozens of spiders to a liquid pulp.

As soon as he neared the main clearing, he immediately knew something was wrong. He had arrived at the exact place, yet the cabin was nowhere in sight. Instead of seeing a one-story building of stacked logs and thatched roofing, he saw only a huge white rock. Raptor was about to pull the map from out of his pack, when he thought he saw the rock move. Moving closer, Raptor was horrified to see that the rock was in fact not a rock at all, but rather the cabin completely covered in webbing. As the elf crept nearer, perking his ears to try and listen for any sign of Abigail, he instead heard a noise coming from the roof. Looking up, he was unnerved to see a huge spider the size of a horse, presumably the matriarch, leering down at him, the two front legs raised in warning. A hiss filled the air.

Raptor sighed deeply and looked to the heavens as though he was addressing the gods, a look of "you have got to be kidding me" etched on his face......