In a small refugee camp outside the beleaguered and defeated city of Tolkeen, a rumor began circulating of a job worth one million credits (there was also a rumor that the Coalition was after a book of some sort, but that job seemed to be originating from a mercenary camp). All that had to be done was someone or someones needed to sneak back into the Coalition occupied ruins of Tolkeen and rescue a woman and her daughter. To four strangers who had each managed to find themselves here, this job seemed worth investigating. The four strangers (A male Human Temporal Wizard, A male Human Gunfighter, A seemingly Human female, and a male Sowki Shifter) encountered each other outside of a tent that seemed to pass as the administration center of this camp. There were already two other beings there, waiting to go inside – a very tall being dressed as a pilgrim, and a humanoid snake creature. The tent-flap opened and all six were ushered in together.
The man running the place, an Elf, inquired as to what they were all here for. Once he learned they were all here about the million credit rescue, he gave a brief rundown on the task (with attitude) and passed over some paperwork to Trent Logan, the Human Temporal Wizard. A small fight threatened to break out as the Sowki and the Snake creature attempted to get the papers, but an accord was reached where all of them could work together, splitting the reward. The very tall pilgrim, however, left a small silver cross on the counter of the Elf and left without saying another word.
As the paperwork was reviewed and clarifying questions were asked of the Elf, the snake creature decided he would wait no longer, and set off on his own to accomplish the mission. The remaining four noticed the cross and upon examining it, Zeela (the seemingly human female) was able to make out that the word “Guilt” was etched into it in Latin. The Sowki was also able to determine some information about its previous owner and learned that it was used in demon-slaying. Since the Elf could not offer any other information about the job (the names of the mother and child were not divulged), the four decided to head out.
After introductions (The Human Gunfighter called himself The Deacon, and the Sowki refused to divulge his name), the four briefly deliberated transportation to the city and decided it was not worth the risk. The city was only a day’s walk away, so the four geared up and set off. On the way they encountered a band of mercenaries coming out of Tolkeen – the two groups talked briefly but went their separate ways.
Just before entering the city proper, the group came upon a raging battle between Coalition forces and a militaristic group of mages. The mages were losing, and it was only a matter of time before the Coalition would claim another victory. The group gave this fight a wide berth, but before leaving Trent used magic to teleport a talisman ring full of magic energy to the mage who appeared to be the leader. The recipient was killed by gunfire in his surprise, but one of the other mages picked it up and seemed to put it to good use.
Once in Tolkeen, the group tried to keep a low profile while navigating the ruins. They decided to first check out the home of this woman and daughter, and then from there try to trace their steps to the supposed rendezvous point they failed to be picked up at. While picking their way through the city, they were surrounded by a pack of raptor-like creatures which had claimed this part of the city as their hunting grounds. Both Trent and the Sowki worked to hold them off while the Deacon and Zeela began picking away at them. Several of the pack managed to get in close, and at this the Sowki used magic to repel them, causing them to leave the area for hours. With the rest of the pack held at bay, the group beat a hasty withdrawal.
With no other notable incidents hampering their progress, the group made their way to the remains of the apartment building where the mother and daughter lived. Checking for magical defenses, they made their way up to the top floor apartment where the two had lived. Both Trent and the Sowki were sensing some magic, but nothing in the immediate vicinity. Upon entering the apartment they discovered it had been ransacked. The group split up and searched the apartment. The Deacon and Zeela searched the nearest rooms while Trent walked through the apartment, looking for the source of the magic he sensed. The Sowki psychically examined some cloth which was found torn off, stuck to the door.
Trent’s search led him to a door at the end of a long hallway, and upon opening it was greeted with a site of such horror and revulsion it nearly overwhelmed him. Numerous Coalition bodies were strewn about the room, having been killed very violently. Up on the wall was some sort of demon which appeared to have been crucified. Trent found the source of magic was coming from am amulet held in the hands of a coalition soldier. When Trent tried to remove it, the soldier woke up!
Trent called for help from the rest of the group, and tried to question the soldier but he was too weak. Trent cast a spell on the soldier to give him a boost in stamina that wouldn’t heal him, but would give him the energy to speak. The rest of the group entered the room. Zeela was able to use some kind of magic to heal the soldier’s wounds. The group decided to have rotating watch shifts and keep the recovering soldier under surveillance while they hunkered down for the night in this apartment.