Rolenn and Sariel met on a ship bound for Strongcliff, which was then attacked by goblin pirates. They fought off the goblins but when the pirates opened fire on the ship, they were forced to abandon ship in the ship’s only lifeboat. While rowing towards the shore, they heard the cries of a drowning woman, and rushed to save her. She thanked them for their help – despite Rolenn’s threats to throw her overboard – and told them that her name was Carla Scargill. She asked them to help her find a lost sword. They agreed, and while shaking on the deal they noticed that a strange rune was etched into the back of her left hand.
Carla showed them to the nearest city – Jagden – and allowed them to stay the night in her uncle’s tavern, The Calf’s Head, for free. The next morning, they began to search for the sword. A visit to the Temple of Pelor gained them little other than the offer of an exorcism, but on visiting the slums their money pouches were stolen, forcing them into a fight with three thieves. After the fight, they interrogated one of the thieves and discovered that the sword they were looking for was at the centre of a centuries-old game known only to thieves. The thief told them that the sword was magical, and that its powers changed to suit the wielder – however, few people could hold onto it for long, for the sword was highly desirable and every thief they came across would want to steal it for themselves. They also discovered that Carla’s rune had materialized on their own hands, and that they were now players in the Thieves’ Game. Once the interrogation was over, Rolenn killed the thief in a fit of rage, and nailed his body to the door of the Jagden Thieves’ Guild – but not before they had forced him to reveal the passwords to the Guild for the next four days. They then returned to The Calf’s Head to confront Carla, only to find that she and her uncleEric had fled the city. After interrogating the terrified barman, they discovered that the pair were headed North towards Strongcliff. They also tried to cover the runes on their hands with cloth, with little effect – the runes simply shone through, brighter than ever.
Before leaving Jagden, they paid a visit to the Thieves’ Guild, using the passwords they had gleaned from the Halfling thief. After a brief encounter with the guards on the door, they managed to eavesdrop on a meeting between the guild leaders. They learned that the sword had recently been stolen from Jagden, and now belonged to the Strongcliff Thieves’ Guild. The Jagden thieves were planning to mount an attack and take back the sword, but some were a little wary because of the Strongcliff leader’s captive dragon. After gleaning all the information they could, they bought some horses from the stables and set off in pursuit of Carla and Eric.
After a few hours’ riding, Rolenn and Sariel entered the Arathon Woods, where they heard the sounds of battle, culminating in a roar of anger from Eric. They tried to sneak into the clearing to spy on the battle, but they were noticed by the kobolds who had been attacking Carla and Eric, and they joined the battle. Rolenn, Carla and Eric were all knocked unconscious during the battle, but Sariel survived and was able to drive off the enemy.
After Rolenn had woken up and had time to recover, they decided to interrogate Carla. From this interrogation, they learned that Carla’s father and uncle had once been thieves, but had left the Guild in an attempt to escape the Thieves’ Game. However, they could not escape, and when Carla was born, she inherited the mark of the game from her father. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father went mad with grief and killed himself. Eric was left to look after her, and they spent her entire childhood on the run. When she turned eighteen two years ago, Eric settled down in the Calf’s Head, while Carla devoted all her time to searching for a way to leave the game. However, she had little success – attempting to pass on the contract that bound her to the game had been a desperate and ill-conceived plan, which failed, and none of her other schemes had worked in the past. However, she told them it was likely the sword was required for a person to leave the game, and that both the sword and the runes have an enraging effect on weaker minds, causing them to want to kill anyone with the rune who has not established themselves as an ally. Carla also revealed that she knew a secret way into the Jagden Thieves’ Guild. After much deliberation, Rolenn and Sariel decided to employ Carla and Eric to aid them in the search for the sword and an end to the game, in exchange for letting them keep their lives.
The four of them ventured north through the forest, where they came across an eerie pool. A fairy appeared from the pool and spoke to Dwyn, Rolenn’s fairy, before warning them that beings far more powerful than them were watching their actions with interest. Before disappearing, she granted the group a blessing to keep them ever vigilant in battle.
As they walked deeper into the forest to the east, the trees grew denser and the air grew staler. They realized too late that they had wandered unwittingly into the feeding grounds of a giant spider and a hunting wolf pack, and had to fight for their lives once again. Eventually, having slain the beasts, they left the Arathon Woods behind, heading towards Strongcliff Volcano.
When they arrived in Strongcliff, they quickly discovered from conversation with the locals that the village had been in the grip of the Strongcliff Thieves’ Guild for the past six months. Although the village mayor was still in power as a figurehead, the guild had been controlling his decisions – and taking as much money from the people as possible – through threat of torture. The mayor, Dosaar, urged Sariel and Rolenn to kill the leader of the guild, Verris, and bring back his amulet as proof.
The adventurers eavesdropped on a group of thieves and discovered that the guild’s hideout was found inside Strongcliff Volcano itself. They made their way inside and found themselves in a ruined palace of some kind. After fighting a group of Kobolds, a Magma Crab, and an animated Skeleton, they made their way carefully across a deadly pit of lava, before being overwhelmed by a group of thieves.
The thieves brought the adventurers to Verris, who kept them tied up under the guard of his captive dragon, Su’gi. However, Rolenn managed to distract Su’gi long enough for Carla and Sariel to retrieve the party’s weapons, and actually managed to gain his trust in the process. Su’gi revealed that he was in the grip of an ancient enchantment emanating from Verris’ amulet, which was intended to create an equal, empathic bond between dragon and rider. However, Verris was ignorant of the power of the enchantment, and treated Su’gi as a simple tame beast, believing he had captured him through force. Rolenn convinced Su’gi to help them in their battle against Verris, while Sariel remained mystified that Rolenn could show such compassion towards a dragon when he was so callous towards humanoids.
Just as Su’gi and Rolenn had made their pact, Verris strode into the room, and upon finding his prisoners free and holding their weapons, he drew the much sought-after Thieves’ Sword and attacked. Su’gi could not directly disobey Verris, but he tried to deliberately miss with his attacks – although an accidental swipe of his claw did at one point render Eric unconscious. However, when Verris was wounded, Su’gi lost his self-control and was overwhelmed by the empathic link. He began genuinely trying to hurt the adventurers that had harmed his rider. Despite this, the adventurers managed to defeat Verris, and after he fell unconscious, Sariel performed a hasty analysis of the amulet’s enchantments and concluded that if Rolenn killed Verris, he could use the amulet to become Su’gi’s new rider. Rolenn dealt Verris a mortal blow with his frost sickles that froze Verris’ body and shattered it into pieces, before approaching Su’gi with the amulet in hand and forming a new bond with him.
Sariel then examined the Thieves’ Sword and discovered that there had been many enchantments placed upon it, but she was not capable of deciphering all of them – however, it was clear that the sword was linked to the runes of the Thieves’ Game. After briefly returning to Strongcliff to receive their reward for killing Verris, the adventurers resolved to head to the Jagden Wizards’ Guild to ask for their help with deciphering the magic of the sword.