The journal of Ryodan Copysmith
To say I was stunned by the revelation that my father was, in fact, an assassin would be the most extraordinary understatement possible. My whole life to this point has been a lie. What of my mother? Was my father’s affection for her real. I suppose even an assassin might fall in love. Certainly, she was in love with him, or was she? For elves to unite with humans seems such an unlikely thing when an elvish courtship can last decades. With my father the two meet and within the span of a year my mother was married and pregnant with me. Now, some quarter century after, my father is dead in a foreign land, murdered and left for all to see. At least I assume this is a foreign land. Who’s to say he’d not been here before.
Why were we here? I know the story of how the elves wished to have more influence in this land now almost barren of their kind, but was it more than that? Certainly, if my father had wanted to retire he would not have advertised his position as an assassin. Was he already known here? It would have been a great difficulty for him to come here in the last 25 years with a wife and child expecting his return. Was he expecting trouble? Did he leave some clue where I could find it? If he was as they say he was, how could he not know what would come of being here? Why bring me? These questions torment me being so far from answered.
After my fathers murder things were simple, simple and macabre. My father had been murdered for what seemed to be political reasons, the body left for all to see, a clear message, a message to someone. Now things are not so simple. I am told that my father is or rather was an assassin and that he refused a job and was killed. Why would he refuse a job? Why would an assassin wanting to retire be here in a lawless place who’s streets now run with blood? The more I learn, the less sense things seem to make.
After our meeting with the corpulent woman who runs the thieves guild we decided to return the the organization run by the halfling to try to make sense of the whole jumble of mismatched information. The plump thief had admitted that she contracted the hit for one of the bothers (Jay’s note: I never can get all these names straight it would help to have brief descriptions) and that the assassin was the same one who killed the elf on the road. On the way to locate Jax we find ourselves followed by a woman. It was decided that we would create a distraction to hold her attention while Tarka circled around behind. As we start the distraction we heard the sounds of battle from atop a building near us. When we get up there we discover that Tarka is battling 3 assailants having killed the 4th. Standing on a wagon I boost the halfling fighter up so that he may engage them from behind. I launched several volleys of magic missile which along with Milo’s battle prowess we manage to quickly turn the tide.
We disposed of the bodies having checked them throughly. It is clear that someone wants us dead but so far they have not made a serious effort to do so. It is strange that someone would send such an under-powered group after us when we eliminated the group sent for the old man so completely and without casualties. I have to believe that this in not the same group. Perhaps that is what someone thinks I should believe. In any case we finally met with Jax Nimblefoot and were told that the assassin we are looking for is the Crimson Spirit.
As we seem to be constantly on the defensive I decided that perhaps it would be better to reverse the situation and place our enemies on the defensive so that we have more of an advantage. To this end I proposed that we create a series of traps for our adversaries. When I ask Tarka where he thinks the most likely spots for an ambush would be he replies that if it were he, he would strike at us in public, a bath house or at a temple. When I say us, I should clarify. The focus of these latest attacks seems to be Tarka. There is something about Tarka that threatens the plans of our enemies. Of course as a trained Kozakuran assassin, a ninja, he would likely be able to spot another such person. Perhaps it is something more. Perhaps someone Tarka would know from his past is here in Kor. Whatever it is, it will happen soon. Tarka’s elimination seems far too high a priority for him to be just a minor nuance. We must find out what is happening in this city.
In preparation for out trap I suggested to Tarka that he make it obvious that he intends to leave the city within a week in the hopes of forcing the attempt on his and our lives to happen with less preparation. I also suggest that he should take his bath immediately before our adversary has time to hire additional assassins. This would eliminate one avenue for a possible attempt on his life. I would go with the rest of the party and find a suitable inn wherein we could eliminate as many avenues of assassination as possible forcing our adversaries into locations we had studied and knew. After securing the room we went to rendezvous with Tarka at a store we had picked somewhat at random. We became more and more concerned as Tarka was late for our meeting but we were unable to do anything but wait lest we miss him. Finally, there came a crash as a red cloaked figure with a mask blew through the window. On the figure’s heels was Tarka. I unleashed a magic missile spell as the figure crash through another window at the back of the store. I then perused the figure through the window passing through a cloud of mist left in the fleeing person’s wake. I was able to use my cloak to protect me from the mist and saw movement from a window in another building. Unfortunately, Milo Miniwick was not so lucky going through the window. He and his mount took the full brunt of the mist and began fits of coughing, sneezing and had eyes shot though with angry red. I cast a spell of protection over myself not wishing to go into battle unprepared. Unfortunately, I then took a poison dart to the leg. As Milo finished washing the mist from his and his mounts face and came out to join me I tried to indicate where the assassin had gone. It was then that the world suddenly turned 90 0 and came up to slap me in the face.
During the fight, both Tarka and I had been poisoned and the cure was almost worse than the poison. He was also wounded and in no shape to continue. Milo’s dog was unable to track the assassin, not surprising considering the effect of the mist. There was little we could do other than to return to the inn and the room we had waiting. Tarka insisted that there would be no more attacks that night but I was skeptical. So far our opponents had out guessed us at every turn and I was sure they would strike now that we were weakened but it would still take time to find our new location and setup an ambush. I hoped that we would have enough time to rest before that time came. As it was just getting to be sundown as we made our way to the inn I knew that we could rest and still have a few hours before dawn in which we might become the hunters. After waking, we scoured the area around our inn for a possible ambush and came across a window that offered a perfect view of our room, trapped with a gas trap. We decided to trigger the trap and see who would come to check it. Strangely, after we triggered it no one came. After a long while Tarka said we had been drawn away from our room. It seemed likely that our trap within a trap had become a trap within a trap, within a trap and someone was attempting to turn the tables on us. Again, we endeavored to reverse the situation. We made our way up to the window to peer into our room at the inn. Careful study showed that the room’s door was now slightly ajar. It was decided that Tarka was to hide in the location overlooking the room as we went back. We devised a rope for Tarka to slide down though the window into the room with the hope that we could then flank our opponents and trap them between us. Again, we were out foxed. We found the room empty of all but a floor full of caltrops. When I looked to the window across the street to signal to Tarka not to slide across he was gone. Panic welled up in me as I realized we had been fooled, the tables had been turned and now Tarka was under attack and we were in another building. We rushed to his aid to find him in dire straights atop the building next door. Someone had attempted to garrote him. This was becoming an all too familiar scene. Wire had been the weapon of choice in the slaying of the elf along the road and it seemed likely that the same assassin was involved here. Tarka had thrown the assassin off him, hurling the assailant over the roof to the street below. Now, as we pursued the assassin we had one advantage, a clear trail. We were not in the busy streets of midday as before, but the near barren streets of the pre-dawn hours. Milo’s mount Phydeaux could now follow our target with little trouble. As we trailed the killer we came to an empty warehouse with a woman seated in the middle. It was clear that this too was a trap but not clear how. As we entered the doors slammed shut and we heard the call for guards. It was then we saw who the woman was, the head of the local thieves guild. Undoubtedly, she bore the marks of a garrote around her neck but we wasted little time checking. Tarka burst through the back door and we again pursued the assassin. The ever crafty opponent continued to lead us on a chase through the city as the sky began to lighten with the coming dawn. We finally tracked our prey to a bridge over one of the rivers running trough the city. It was there the chase ended as our quarry eluded us, diving into the river where we could no longer pursue. We checked the sewers going to the river but it was clear that the garrote wielding fiend had not gone that way as they were locked and rusted closed.
Finally we meet with Jax, the halfling, who informed us that that night most if not all of the sixty odd thieves guild members had been slaughtered. Somehow we had been implicated in the affair. Now we were the target of an angry city guard. More over those that were moving in had been identified as the Yakuza clan. A band of violent underworld gangsters know for their merciless nature. One thing was made clear though. The assailant in the red cloak had not been the one we had just pursued through the city. It had been Jax associate (Jay’s note: We need an NPC created for this character). Furthermore he admitted that he was the Crimson Spirit or rather the whole organization was. The attack at the bathhouse had been a test.
In retrospect my father’s death seems very inconsistent with all we have learned. All the evidence points to an assassin hired by one of the contending ruling factions while at the same time the method is completely inconsistent with any of the methods used by any of the assassins we have seen so far.