After defeating Quellin and his vampire and gnoll minions, the brave party now faced perhaps their most treacherous foe yet: bureaucracy. As the halfling Two-Fist instructed them to do, they made their way to the hearing with the Adventurer’s Guild, who had claimed that the brave warriors’ previous adventures and journeys were conducted illegally. The punishment for this transgression, they were told, was a hefty fine and mandatory enrollment in the guild.
They met with Two-Fist MacGregor in his office. The Halfling told them their situation, but the party refused to join the guild or go along with their rules and requirements. Vaelian seemed especially angry, disliking the guild’s heavy requirement for paperwork. He told his companions of how he longed to join a guild of people who hated things.
Not cooperating in the slightest, the brave adventuring group were told that they were to stand trial for their deeds the next day. The trial, Two-Fist said, would be held in the city’s central island of the Citadel, a place where no weapons were allowed.
The party left the guild headquarters, hoping to find some people who they could align themselves with against the bureaucracy and guild system, but there were few to be found. The only person they could find was a disgruntled philosopher named Mialtros. Somewhat of an anarchist and an ardent activist, Mialtros agreed to aid in their defense when they went to trial, but could not really offer any other help. Somewhat let down and a little despondent, the party resigned to their fate of being tried.
When they arrived for the trial at the Citadel, their weapons were confiscated and locked in a box. They were led in to the court room, where they found a council of jurors composed of representatives for various guilds. The Adventurer’s Guild headmaster, Brenne Feyspire also was there to overhear the testimony. The trial started with Two-Fist interrogating the party and accusing them of their crimes. Tonask the dwarf pled guilty immediately, but Vaelian and the halfling Finwick pled their innocence.
Finwick was especially vocal about his not being involved in the illegal adventuring, pointing out that he had not yet gone on any adventures. Be that as it may, Two-Fist told him during question, you still received illegally gotten money—money that is properly owed to my guild! In a moment of selflessness, Vaelian asked for all charges against the halfling to be applied to him instead. The court agreed, and in the end the verdict came in: guilty on all counts.
The punishment for their crimes was three months in the city dungeon and a fine of 5,000 cold crowns. Vaelian refused to pay the fine or do the jail time, and fled from the court room. Finwick followed suit despite having not been condemned to any time or other punishment. The philosopher Mialtros, who had gone with them to their trial, remained, quick to make himself a martyr for publicity. Tonask remained as well. Vaelian easily escaped the guards, but Finwick fond himself caught in their clutches. The human retrieved his sword and prepared to fight for his friend’s freedom, but luckily the halfling was able to break out of a guardsman’s grasp.
They fled by boat to the city, and quickly ran to their ally Phineas in the Beggar’s District. The tiefling guaranteed he would hide them until they could resolve the mess they had gotten themselves into. That night a strange man crept into the dark shack in which they hid, and introduced himself as Vlanzislaus. He told the duo of his being a member of the Adventurer’s Guild where he worked as an instructor for the guild’s apprentices. His apprentices had disappeared, Vlanzislaus told them, and he had gotten word that they were last seen boarding a boat venturing to the mostly unexplored island of Zvarghost. He told the party he hoped to help them, claiming that he did not wish to go to his superiors with his problem out of fear of punishment. The party agreed to venture to Zvarghost with him to find his missing children.
Two days passed before the group could venture forth, and after a day’s journey they finally spotted the island on the horizon, wreathed with storm. Landing on the isle’s eastern coast, they spotted smoke rising from the dense jungle five miles northwest. They ran towards the location and found a sanitarium torn apart by gnoll attack. The party slaughtered numerous gnolls before clearing the building out, and finding much to their dismay that no one knew of the missing children. They were directed southward to a naval base belonging to the Orc national of Galithor. The Orcs knew nothing either, and told the party that it may have been slavers who operate on the far western coast of the island. It was there, the heart of slaver territory past miles of dense jungled darkness, that the party hoped to find Vlanzislaus’ apprentices, and it was in that direction that they headed…