For the first time since everyone threw their names into the proverbial hat, (i.e. signed up for the mercenary work) the party is given free reign to do whatever they see fit. As is the case with any heroes searching for news, they, along with their newest party member Vistra, started scouring the taverns and inns for some news about what is currently going on around town. They didn’t need to look far before they found an all too familiar face. Flip the halfling apparently made his way up to Sentry’s Hope, and had made some impressive friends. Dining with a minor noble of the town, and surrounded by said noble’s ample guard, Flip openly taunted the players as Merielle moved to speak with him. Not willing to play a game of intrigue, Merielle blurted out accusations and challenges to Flip, who promptly set up a meeting outside of town at sundown.
Since it was still early afternoon, the party decided to poke around some more in order to see what else they could find out. They entered a slightly seedier tavern, and Merielle immediately gravitated towards of group of rowdy half orcs. Because of her lack of funds, Merielle revealed that she is not above offering alternative means of payment for what she wants. She immediately organized a game, with herself as the prize. In a mind-boggling turn of events, Merielle ended up alone in a room with a large half orc. The rest of the party anxiously awaited for a cue to do something, but Merielle didn’t seem too worried. It wasn’t long before a shout of pain coming from the half orc alerted Vistra that Merielle had made her move. In an impressive display of battle prowess, she immediately engaged an entire table full of half orcs, and combat began. No strangers to battle, the half orcs quickly grabbed their weapons, and an all-out bar brawl commenced. The patrons seemed to be enjoying the impressive display of skills shown by the party, so they hindered the bouncers’ efforts in stopping the fight. They couldn’t be delayed forever, and the bouncer threw the remaining half orcs and the entire party out of the bar.
Battered and bruised, the party decided to rest up before they confronted Flip. Deep inside, they knew that they needed to make him pay for the run-around he put the party through, especially when the endgame involved their deaths. Waking up to find the sun about to set, Merielle, seemingly on a whim, purchased a wagon and horse. It’s still a mystery as to why this was done, and it left the rest of the party scratching their heads. Most attributed it to her forest heritage; they assumed the big city was making her a little crazy. With the party loaded up in the wagon and Merielle on the horse, they rode to Flip’s meeting point. The party discovered that Flip had arranged for them to meet in a small clearing. The scene was surreal when they first laid eyes on it. Flip was sitting near the fire, seeming as if he was waiting all night. All pretense of friendliness was gone from his face; he looked incredibly deranged. His smile was far too wide, and it did nothing to diminish the hunger and greed in his eyes. To add the the strangeness of the scene, he was gently stroking a deer. He offered the party a chance to flee and sever all ties with him, provided they turn over the Orb that they ‘stole’ from Brenud. Not willing to relinquish such a powerful and mysterious item, Edgewalker demonstrated exactly what kind of power Flip was missing out on. Reaching deep inside himself, he unleashed his strongest spell, only to find that Flip was never standing there in the first place. The party didn’t get an opportunity to see Flip’s reaction to their counter offer, but he apparently considered it a rejection of his proposal, and immediately sprung his ambush. More battle-crazed humans as well as a guard drake (disguised as the deer) were called upon to destroy the heroes. Flip himself harassed the party throughout the entire fight, never leaving himself open to be attacked. It seemed like any time the party moved throughout the battlefield, they were harried by Flip’s dagger. After a long fight, Flip decided it was time to run, and the party decided it was time to chase him down and force him to answer for his crimes.
Tearing off into the forest, doing his best to keep ahead of pursuit, Flip never even had time to look over his shoulder. The entire party, spurred by their desire for vengeance, moved with him step for step. As Flip sensed how close the hunters were, he knew he couldn’t outrun the frenzied group, and he took to the trees; Agnew grasped the opportunity to show off his agility. Managing to shake Flip from his perch, he then disabled the halfling while the party decided what to do with him. Eventually reaching a consensus, they decided to turn him over to Quinn and The Breeze in hopes of gathering information from the high ranking Topaz official.
The party decided to wait until nightfall to bring the prisoner in so as not to draw suspicion, Merielle fell into a simple ritual, and summoned a comfortable campsite. Flip was left disabled and bound in the tent, and shifts were taken to watch for other travelers and escape attempts from their quarry. The rest passed uneventfully, and soon the party was ready to go ahead with their plan. Agnew raced ahead to alert Breeze that they were coming with some interesting cargo. He was bcught by surprise at the effectiveness of the guard; they somehow knew he was coming before he was even very close to the hideout. The guards summoned Shadow, and he immediately contacted the party. They arranged for an opportunity to collect Flip, and sent the party on their way again. A promise was made to get all the information they could out of him, and turn Flip back over to the party for judgement.