This space will include an image link to a character journal
Our campaign began in the Megatropolis of New Alexandra (New Alex), Our original heroes were a human gunsmith/engineer with a steam-pistol, a human med-student who had failed out of New Alexandra University (NAU) and an Eladrin spell-sword. Each of their parents had recently gone missing and in the investigation they kept hearing about theft from the warehouse district. Thinking they had no other leads and this may be related they investigated the thefts. Eventually they wound up in a factory downtown that was being operated by "lepers" (zombies) some of whom had boilers attached and were doing work humans could never possibly accomplish without heavy industrial equipment. Below this factory they found several ships being manufactured and sabotaged some of the boiler mechanisms in the shipyard/cavern. This caused the last remaining support wall to collapse and the entire factory fell into the sewers washing our heroes into the polluted river that runs through the city.
At this point 2 of our heroes decide to leave the group and a different set joins us, we still have the Eladrin Spell-Sword, but our med student has been replaced by a different med student, who, rather than failing out of NAU had graduated, but can not get her residency due to a scandal in her past and our engineer/gunsmith was replaced by a halfling private investigator. They began the session receiving a letter form a mutual friend which basicaly said "If you are reading this, I am no doubt dead, please come to the reading of my will at the following address." Of course, they went, where they were given a small office in what we would think of as Chinatown. Upon arriving at their new office they found it had been ransacked and the floor was covered with paintings, drawings, photographs, lithographs and any other form of image of frogs. They really didn't find much interest in the frogs and filed the pictures away in the filing cabinets. While doing so a shot was fired through their window narrowly missing the halfling. They chased the shooter, but lost him in the busy streets. Throughout the course of the ensuing investigation they found that their friend had been "publishing" a conspiracy theory newsletter, but that his lawyer had been paid by the family of the deceased to make sure it never reached circulation. They also found that the mayor of New Alex had hired thugs and hitmen to find certain documents in their friend's office. They then overheard a plot to have the party assassinated (much like their friend) and thwarted the hitman, calling and trapping the lawyer (who had ordered the hit) in their office. Where, under torture, he told them the plot about the mayor as well as the fact that the mayor had the lawyer's family hostage and would kill them if he didn't find the documents. They killed the lawyer, our doctor used him as a cadaver to practice on (why waste a good corpse?) then they chopped him up and sold him as mystery meat. Our Eladrin found passage to Elissa via a circuitous route, our doctor travelled directly there on an airship they bought by selling the documents to the mafia and our PI left the city days later after spreading rumors that they mayor was trying to force them to sell the office in hopes of developing the land, then having a bill of sale forged in the mayor's name.
Upon arriving in Elissa, our doctor acquired an apartment for everyone and established a free/low cost clinic (mostly free, but if medicine is required, or anesthesia requested, she needs to buy the chemicals) while she waited for her compatriots to arrive. She had roughly 1 week of peace before the halfling arrived. During his trip he happened to notice a stow-away girl of roughly 10 years. He found out she was supposed to travel to Elissa to meet her father, but had been abducted on the way and missed her ship. She had escaped and stowed away on the first ship she could find heading that direction. After a short meal with the Dr. the girl went her own way. Later, a middle aged man came to their apartment in the middle of the night and claimed his life was in danger. He had lost funding for a major project he was working on and the man who had pulled his funding had stolen his blueprints and was trying to have him killed. He asked the party to acquire his blueprints. They found, while gathering more information from the inventor, that a young girl had involved herself on his behalf allowing him to escape. They went straight to his office and found it heavily gaurded, a battle ensued and they killed 5 thugs before the building caught fire (due to arson). They grabbed what they could and fled. The inventor, Tesa, told them those were only the preliminary schematics for the storage battery, he needed the full blueprints in order to make it work. They spent some time staking out his tower (which is what the blueprints were for) and attemped a couple different plans to break into it. Eventually using acid to melt the bars, they sneak in unnoticed and up to the top floor where they encounter a mage calling lightning to strike the tower in regular intervals. They interrupt his casting and the lightning begins to strike randomly in the construction yard. They battle the mage, eventually knocking him unconcious, then reviving him for questioning. They find that it is his job to direct the lightning into the stones of the tower so that the battery underground may be charged. They tie him up and leave him to be found later, then proceed back downstairs to the gaurd chambers to see if the blueprints might be there. They knock out the gaurd captain with a little chloroform, but in the commotion some of the sleeping gaurds awake. The Dr. is knocked unconcious and the halfling battles them alone, luckily he is armed and prepared, while they have just woken up. He makes quick work of the gaurds, revives the doctor and they search the captain's desk, finding his duelling pistol, the blueprints and a sack of coins. They take these and flee across the yard, each being struck by the stray lightning bolts, but making it out alive. They return to their apartment and give the blueprints to Tesa who laughs giddily and twirls around, disappearing. They find later that the captain of the gaurd is being held as a conspirator for the breakin and murder of the gaurds, and that the mage was awaiting execution for the murder of the gaurds. They thought something was fishy about that, but left it alone. Months passed, the Eladrin still hadn't arrived, but the halfling PI, who had been raised in an orphanage, received a letter from his "mother" saying how proud she was and how sorry she had to give him up. A fairly typical letter from a mother who gave up a child, she goes on to say that there are people who need his help in another part of town and tells him where. They decide to investigate and find that several gnome families live in the area and their children have been going missing lately. Careful investigation reveals sulphur ash, the like of which is used in flash bulbs for photography. They then find that there are only two people in town known for their photography, one of them runs a curio shop and the other is a lady of society who refuses visitors.
Their first plan of action is to question the owner of the curio shop, but before they can do so he notices that they are looking at one of his photographs that seems to have one of the abducted gnome children in it. He comments that they are indeed quite bizarre and offers to show them some other unusual photographs he has in the back. They accept his offer and he shows them double exposed photos of "ghosts" in graveyards, and "beastmen." They leave and return to the gnome grotto (or ghetto as it may be), to attempt to capture the perpetrator in the act. They have little luck, but an old man does ask Tori (Molly's character) where her halfling friend is (since he was hiding in hopes of getting the drop on their felon). Thinking this a bit suspicious, but being unable to follow the old man, they decide to see if they notice anything at the other photographer's house. As they arrive they notice that the maid is just on her way out, so Merric breaks in and explores. He finds nothing of terrible interest and leaves the house empty handed. Having no leads at this point they decide to head back to the scene of the crime in case they missed something. When they arrive they find another group investigating the scene and collecting the sulphur ash. They listen in on their conversations and find out that the ash does indeed have some magical residue. Armed with this new knowledge tey ask around town for anyone who might be able to use such magicks. Their investigation leads them to old man Reubnick who lives outside of town and rarely bothers to come in. He did however come into town around the time the first disappearance occurred to pick up a package at the docks. The head out to his house to "ask" him some questions about it and a dead pixy and a pissed off mage later, he tells them he will be willing to help them if they first rescue a friend of his. It seems she had been on an archaelogical dig, during which she found something of arcane significance, but then stopped communicating entirely. The party, suspicious of the old man's motives buy a cart and mule and follow his directions. Their first night camping away from the main road, however, they are set upon by a brutal gang of halfling cannibals. Their mule valiantly sacrificed himself to distract the cannibals' pet dinosaurs, but to no avail as the party was beaten and captured. They awoke hours later in the halfling encampment tied and without their gear, Tori, being the larger, was already roasting on a spit to be served as the evening's meal. Merric acrobatically twisted himself freee of his bonds and stole a pair of ceremonial daggers then leapt through the air and freed Tori from the spit (causing her to land in the fire, however...she suffered terrible burns to her hands and face). The chief of the village then recognized the daggers as the ceremonial daggers of leadership and accepted Merric's challenge for leadership of the tribe. They were led to a pit and pelted with pig's bladders filled with oil, where with only 2 attacks Merric slew the tribe's chief and assumed the mantle of leadership. He first demanded to be shown around his lands and noticed some ruins that did seem to be the site of an archaelogical dig. He demanded of his tribesmen whether they knew of the archaeologists who had been working there, but they said they had only jsut acquired this land a few days ago when their neighboring tribe had died out. Inquiring to the death of the neighboring tribe, they determined it was probably a disease that had decimated the population. That night, after being rearmed and more or less re-equipped (minus mule and cart), Merric set loose the tribe's dinosaur pets and created a stampede through the camp, allowing himself and Tori to escape into the grassland and find their way home. They returned to Reubnick's home and spent several hours torturing him to get him to use whatever means he had to retrieve the gnome children. He eventually consents and begins a very long ritual. 24 hours of long chanting and casting, the bleeding Reubnick passes out as the last of the gnome children seems to be rescued, however, on its back is a giant scarab with arcane runes in its shell. The scarab bites off the young gnome's head and proceeds to crunch the skull between its mandibles. Merric, being most displeased by this display, opens fire on the dread beast. In retaliation it releases a cloud of smoke from its body which seems to have little bolts of lightning arcing through it. The combat wears on a short time longer, until eventually they do, indeed, slay the scarab. However, in its death throes it again, releases a cloud of smoke, electrocuting Merric until he passes out. Some time later, after regaining conciousness, they escort the remaining gnome children into town, where they find that 6 of the 13 are not, in fact, from this town at all. They find a home for them temporarily and again, try to figure out what is going on. The next day they find that all 6 of the foreign gnome children have gone missing yet again. They check with the curio shop and find that there are indeed more gnomes in the photographs. They return to the old man, who informs them he can only cast the spell once a week when the stars align properly so they must wait. During that week they investigate Merric's mother, and learn little, and Tori attempts to reopen her local surgical practice, but with her hands still scarred and seriously burned she has little luck with complex surgery. They return to Reubnick's house at the appointed date and recover 3 of the 6 missing gnomes, as well as 4 others whom they return to their families in Elissa. Speaking with the remaining gnome children they find out where they are from, and that they went missing at roughly the same time as the others. They pay for passage for all 3 back to their homes, and continue their investigation...
We may be making use of cinematics to finish up this plot, as they were unable to do so before we reached the point that several characters are going to be changing. If that is the case, rest assured I will include our cinematic conclusion before moving on.