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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
They talked about everything each was capable of and when they finally arrived at the Manor House, Deacon said, We are here.  You help us out with what we told you about and we help you find your friend?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie, Vogh and Talin nodded at the deaf man’s partnership plan. It had been difficult for them to get into the habit of speaking where he could read their lips while walking. Often the beautiful woman, who seemed to have eye troubles, would repeat what was said where Deacon could see.

The manor house looked just as they had left it. The front door was closed.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
With it looking the same as they left it yesterday, Bharash went up to the door and opened it once more to look inside.  If all looked the same, he waved everyone on inside.  We checked out the place except for the basement.  I assume that that is where the entrance to the warrens are.

Bharash made sure everyone was ready before heading on down the stairs to the cellar.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Stone stairs in the kitchen’s pantry lead down to a wine cellar. Wooden racks for bottles, and a few larger ones for casks, filled the room. All the racks were empty. A number of them had toppled over and some had been piled atop one another to clear space. A hole in the western wall was clearly visible. Stone debris lied scattered around the breach.

From the wine cellar, through the hole, a long tunnel lead west. This tunnel, surprisingly, looked new. No supports or braces were visible to prevent a cave-in; however, the passage wound and meandered a lot instead of being in a straight line. Nor was the runnel consistent in width and height. It ranged from 6 to 10 feet wide and high.

The group traveled about 120 paces and came to the first split. One tunnel to the north while the main part continued to the west. This area looks quite freshly dug.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
When Bharash got to the intersection he looked down the path to his right and forward to see which way he may like to go.  As he looked down the right tunnel he saw that it curved farther down.  Not knowing what was ahead Bharash decided to turn and head north to the bend.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Bharash followed the northern tunnel which opened up into a freshly dug, burrowlike cave, the area had a lot of loose rocks and dirt on the floor. Its walls were smooth. Everything appeared slightly damp.

Secret Roll: DM, on behalf of Bharash, rolled 20 using 1d20+3.  Perc DC 18.

The large dragon warrior’s eyes scan over the floor of the room and something seems not quite right. He realized the dirt floor was sagging a bit under its own weight and that if he were to walk across it, the floor would likely collapse.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash comes back to the others to explain that the floor ahead may collapse.  He looks to Belie to see if he can find a trap trigger.

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Belie
———————————————————–
The rogue looked over the area and moved back to the group explaining, “There is no trigger than I can discern. Bah-huh-rash was right. If we step on the floor it’s going to collapse. But I found what appears to be a secret door directly ahead of this tunnel before the turn in the wall. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m strong enough to move it. Basically, it seems like a big boulder.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–
As Belie found the secret tunnel, Bharash heads up after waving the others forward.  He takes out both his blades and moves to the door to move it.  He gives it a good push but fails to budge it.  Talin moves forward and tried it a bit he thinks he has something but once again he failed as well.  Vogh came up as well but none of the group could move the boulder blocking the way.

Belie came up with Bharash and together they were finally able to open the boulder revealing a passageway.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The dragonborn moved through the revealed tunnel and into another which lead off in three directions. When he looked to the west a room opened up. The walls of the cavern rose about ten feet from the floor, with the ceiling slightly domed. Every surface was wet with the greasy residue of mineral-choked water. Cracks in the walls revealed the moisture slowing seeping in, mostly along the north wall.

Bharash’s keen eyes in the dark spotted a discoloration on the floor of the chamber. He noticed a mass of protoplasm hued a sickly combination of yellow, orange, and brown that seemed to be pulsing.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash looked to the west and when he saw the pulsating thing in the chamber ahead he knew that he didn’t want to go that way.  He motioned for Belie to come forward and then drew a line across his neck and pointed inside.  He then moved to his right and looked up the next tunnel.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
As the group moves farther north they notice a horrible stench coming from directly ahead. One tunnel leads back to the East and opens up into another room with damp stone walls and a loose, gravely floor which looks like the other areas they had seen so far.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Not liking the stench from ahead Bharash still continues north.  He comes to the intersection and stops to look east.  He motions for Belie to come forward and look to see if there are any traps once more.

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Belie
———————————————————–
Belie couldn’t ascertain anything dangerous from when they first entered. He was distracted looking for floor traps again when he put his hand on the dragon’s rough arm and pointed up.

The floor was fine, but if they moved much farther the ceiling had rocks rigged to drop on the troup. The rogue took out a piece of chalk and circled an area to avoid. He made some tweaks in the dirt and figured he had the drop disabled, but wanted to make sure no one stepped into the trigger area regardless.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash patted the man on the shoulder back.  As Belie marked the area to stay away from, Bharash then moved forward avoiding said areas to peek again around the next corner.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
This cavern was large and full of loose rock. Some of the stones had been arranged to make a sort of bed for a very large creature. Others appeared to have been shaped, but their purpose remained a mystery. Could it be some strange art?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Through the wall behind Talin burst a huge, hulking beast.  What looks like a chitin-covered ape comes tunneling out of the wall into the room. The chattering of its pincers echoed in the complex. Long, heavy claws scratch on the floor in a sloping gait. They can see the thousands upon thousands of reflections in its multi-faceted eyes.

The three nearest the beast felt magic wash over them, trying to take their willpower, but to a one they all resisted.

Initiative:
Talin 27
Deacon 26
Vogh 22
Umber Hulk 21
Julie 19
Belie 17
Bharash 14

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin turned sharply around at the sound of something bursting through the ground.  He then felt something try to take control of his mind, but Talin had worked hard at shielding his mind from such things.

Since he was in the front he had to do something to get out of the way for the others.  He moved 5ft to his right and then sang a satire to affect the beast.

Suffer -2 to attack and damage and saves.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon felt the vibrations of what was happening behind him and as he turned and saw the beast he knew that he needed to give Bharash time to get to the front so Deacon went into casting and summoned with his arcane power two large apes.

As each ape came into being the appeared right in front of the umber hulk and began to bash the thing with their fists. The first was able to hit it with both fists and the other with its second one.  For a total of 21 damage.

18:17, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 12,7,21,8 using d20+5,d6+4,d20+5,d6+4.

18:17, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 20,7,22,6 using d20+5,d6+4,d20+5,d6+4.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh heard Talin begin to sing his song and Vogh knew something had come.  So she began to sing as well strengthening her friends and encouraging them to strike true.

Activate Inspire Courage.

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Belie
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Belie rushed forward and rolls under one of the snapping pinchers, coming up and stabbing the beast right in the back with his magical rapier. The narrow blade went deep into the beast’s body.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash charged forward and saw the many reflections in the beasts many eyes.  Bharash willed himself forward still and attacked with one of his blades.  The attack was able to pierce the tough hide of the beast as the ichor spilled from the wound.

18:56, Today: Bharash rolled 27,17,24,10 using d20+14,d8+11,d20+14,d8+8.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh stepped back to give her compatriots room.

Talin slaps aside one pincher and landed two solid blows, opening up the hard exoskeleton which was thicker than some armor. Bharash avoided getting bitten then slapped aside the other claw.

Before Belie even had a chance to stab the thing again, the great beast succumbed to its many wounds and dropped to the ground with a thud.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
After felling the big umber hulk, who it appears dug this cavern, the group finished looking around. Belie uncovered a rock which revealed a small stash of items.

230 gold pieces, 492 silver, three gold and silver necklaces, a small silver picture frame with nothing in it, a ring sporting a small black pearl and a jeweled gold cup.

The horrible stench from the cave to the north was from it’s grizzly contents. The ceiling was lower than elsewhere at only about eight feet, and the walls were all slick with moisture. Within the center of the floor there was a low spot. About two feet lower than the rest of the cave it held a disgusting, bloody mess: some half-devoured humanoid creature, greenish white from bloating and decay.

There is now a tunnel connecting the lair to the rock fall room which the umber hulk just dug to get at you all.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
After Belie found the items she came over and cast her easy spell to detect magic to see if anything was magical in nature.

When they found what the stench was Vogh had her nose plugged for it was even worse in the chamber they found it in.  Poor thing, I wonder what or who it was?  Julia are you able to find out?

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia looked over the body and was beginning a prayer for it when Vogh asked about talking to it.  No, I am sorry it is far too decayed for me to be able to have the spell take effect.  I hope this wasn’t your friend.  Julia said solemnly.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash found all this disgusting and didn’t go in the room with the corpse.  He held guard and when they all seemed ready to move on he said, We should avoid that jelly and get back to the main corridor.  With that he began to move.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Once again as the group moved on Talin took up the rear guard.  With having Bharash out front and Talin in the back and Vogh in the middle they had a capable fighter throughout their line.

If the tunnel is wide enough for 2 they will travel like:
Bharash and Belie
Deacon and Vogh
Talin and Julia.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Some portions of the tunnel are wide enough for two, at other points it narrows to force the troop into single file. The group traveled for what felt like a quarter of a mile until they reached another split. They could see just beyond this split and with a few extra steps they realized the tunnel ended just past this entrance.

The offshoot was another burrowed tunnel of newly carved earth suddenly ended. It broke into a very different-looking chamber. Rocks and dirt covered the smooth stone floor near the mouth of the tunnel. The area was about 6 paces wide and equally long. To the left, the chamber widened into an octagon-shaped area and plunged into a dark room to the right. A steel door covered with runes and symbols stood slightly ajar on the north wall, while a narrow passage looked like it opened into another room. Iron supports reinforced all the stone walls and ceiling.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash paused at the entrance where the dirt they were on opened to the wider man made floor ahead.  He had looked both ways and then waved everyone forward.  Seems to me that we are now in a more man made area.  If you all want to prepare for anything spell wise you best should do it now before we move forward

Bharash waited for everyone to say they were ready before moving on.  After deliberation they all had decide to go right, away from the rune door.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was Leary of what could be down here.  She fully expected to see the 7 individuals sometime soon so as Bharash called for the halt, she cast a blessing on everyone.

Cast Bless lasts 7mins.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The large chamber off to their right had two levels. At the bottom, a huge metal device like an iron tower topped with a brass sphere rose at least 30 feet high. Around this strange sphere, an iron catwalk made of a crosshatched grating followed the wall, forming the upper level about 25 feet above the lower.

[Private to GM: An iron spiral staircase in the southwest corner of the room joins the two levels. The central tower is a cylinder with a 10-foot diameter. A number of jointed metallic extensions, like the legs of an insect, extend from the tower and connect to the ground or simply jut out into the air at all angles. The top sphere looks about 15 feet across: half the structure’s total height. A series of curved plates comprising its brass skin fit together carefully, each bearing a single arcane rune etched into its surface. A few bear images of brass dragons. Here and there on the sphere, a curved plate is missing, exposing an inner gridlike support network of metal bars. The missing plates give the impression that the metallic thing—whatever it is—is either damaged or unfinished. The floor level has only one apparent exit, a 30-footwide passage to the east. The upper level has five exits, two 10-foot-wide archways leading to the north, two to the south, and one massive metal door to the west.]

The group moved across the larger room, down a short hallway to see a huge iron vat, pocked with patches of rust that stood next to the eastern wall. The vat was easily 10 feet high, at least 8 feet in diameter, and had iron rungs on one side to allow someone to climb to the top. Around it were stacks of iron buckets. The dark southeast corner of the room began to emit a terrible droning sound, then suddenly two horrible humanoid figures composed of tiny insects and worms came forward like thick, black swarms given the shape and form of men.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was right behind Bharash when the droning started and the things appeared.  She didn’t know what the were initially and for a split second, for that was all she had she remembered something but not much.

22:02, Today: Vogh rolled 17 using 1d20+13.  knowledge check.

Vogh already had her weapon in hand because of the circumstances and now she looked at what was before her she began a much different draconic song than the new companions had heard.  Activate Draconic Inspiration.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash heard and understood the words beings said from Vogh and wondered at what she was about when he suddenly felt the power of the words within him.  Bharash was also capable of breathing flame from his mouth but since it wasn’t something he normally trained in it was weak.  So with his blades in hand Bharash charged the insectoid beings.  He also noted the form of the things and thought he had better hit the things with the flat of his blades instead of the sharp side.

22:19, Today: Bharash rolled 22,7,17 using d20+11,d8+6,5d6.
7 bludgeoning and 17 fire damage if it hits.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon moved halfway down the corridor to get close enough to help if needed but at this time didn’t cast a spell not knowing what the things were.

Julia fell in behind Deacon likewise trying to determine what the things were.  Knowledge check for both?

Talin heard Vogh’s song and knew that if she had started this one first they were in trouble so he ran down into the room ending next to her with blades out and ready.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
None of the group had ever seen or heard of anything like these disgusting things they now faced. Bharash’s fire blasted over the thing and reduced it to a foul smelling, withered husk. The other writing mass moved toward him and tried to slam the warrior, but his reflexes were too quick for so simple an assault.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh came forward with her blade out to aid Bharash, though the big dragonborn didn’t seem to need it.

Vogh slashed with her blade right through the body of the worm looking thing.
20:43, Today: Vogh rolled 30,15,9 using 1d20+14,1d8+12,5d6.  Attack.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin came forward as well and took a swing at the thing much like Bharash did.

20:46, Today: Talin rolled 25,11,20 using d20+11,d8+8,5d6 ((14,3,4,6,6,2,2)).

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The group over-killed the mass of insects in humanoid form. With the blasts of magical fire and powerful swings from imbued swords the shape collapsed in strange death.

They ascended the stair, Bharash leading. He moved down the narrower hallway at the T-intersection atop the stairs. The stone gave way to a metal grating that seemed to be part of a much larger room, then a door was opposite this opening. The dragon warrior turned back, passing the steel door directly opposite the stairs and headed down the hallway so wide 3 could walk abreast.

At another T-intersection the hallway split to the left and right, forming a narrower hall filled with steel doors, some of which hung open.

Suddenly, a tall, muscular creature with dark blue skin and wild black hair appeared next to Bharash! Its glowing yellow eyes and long claws betrayed its sinister intent. Its body and hair were also dripping with cold water.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the monster appeared and surprised Bharash, before he was able to react though the thing lashed out with a claw and found a piece of skin open.  The claws raked across his scaled flesh and suddenly he felt an intrusion to his senses as a jolt shook his brain.  Shaking his head, Bharash thankfully was able to overcome whatever it was that was trying to take control.  With the tight hallway Bharash decided to fall back into the bigger room so his companions would be able to fight the beast as well.

As the beast advanced and tried to hit Talin its claws raked against Talin’s new mithril breastplate, protecting him from the attack.  Vogh saw the attack and charged in, at the last second she somersaulted and as she came up her sword slashed across at the beast spilling its ichor onto the floor.  Her music continued to strengthen her friend’s attacks.

Belie saw the beast advance on Talin as well and saw an opening where he could tumble just to the side of the beast.  He ran forward and much like Vogh, though so much more graceful, he somersaulted to the side and sprang up behind the thing and then stabbed forward with his blade.  He found a sweet spot and as he drew his blade back there was ichor on the blade so he knew he had hurt it.

Deacon, thinking to help his companions, began casting a haste spell to hasten their movements.  When he was finished, their movements seemed to be a little quicker.

Julia to thought to aid her friends and so she stepped up and cast a protection from evil spell on Talin to bolster his defenses.

Feeling better protected Talin steps to the side to get within range of the beast and he slashes out twice with his blade.  The blades weren’t able to penetrate the flash of the thing though.

Bharash charged forward now, with his friends having advanced, and as he approached the beast tried to claw at him again but he dodged it easily enough and slashed out with his blade opening another line of ichor as it spilled onto the ground.

Suddenly, the beast just disappeared then leaving the companions to look at each other dumbfounded.  Julia thought perhaps it had gone invisible so she cast a spell to be able to see invisibility, but alas the creature was gone.  “The thing is not around”, Julia told the others.

After they all looked about for the beast and not finding it they continued on down the hallway of doors.  When Bharash got to the end and saw the door before him had water seeping out from underneath he opened the door and found more water inside as if something had melted.  Bharash remembered then that the beast was soaked with water as well.  Deacon had moved forward because he thought he saw some runes on the doorway.  Sure enough, when he looked them over Deacon saw that they were a ward to look the door and that someone had breached it recently.  He relayed the info to the others.  At the same time Bharash checked the rest of the room and found nothing else.

The group then went down the line to every door and opened them to see what was there.  Having found nothing in the first few they came across another that had runes like the other.  Deacon once again said it had been breached, so Bharash opened the door once more to find an open coffin inside.  On the 4 corners were rather large amethysts which Deacon identified as quite expensive.  Vogh came in and looked them over as well and confirmed deacon’s assessment and took out a tool to remove them from their place.  Having put the gems in her pack they moved on to the last door which wasn’t warded nor locked.  They opened the door and found nothing of note.  Having finished off the hallway they returned back down the wide room to the steel door on the left side and after Belie found no traps on it Bharash opened it to reveal a large pit with what looked like a cloud giant trying to climb out of via chains that were hanging down into the pit from the roof.

Deacon didn’t like the looks of the giant and so cast grease on one of the chains it was holding.  The giant fell down a bit but was able to grab one of the other chains.  Vogh who also knew the spell cast the same spell on one of the other chains it was holding.  Once again the giant slipped some but was able to find a hold.

Suddenly the companions noticed that a great wind was coming from the bottom of the pit and before they had time to react it had filled the room.  Talin was able to make himself small so as not to be whipped by the sudden rush of air but not any of the others.  The wind whipped Belie and Bharash into the walls of the room causing a bit of pain.  The others weren’t as lucky as Vogh, Julia, and deacon were picked up into the air and thrashed about the interior of the room crashing into the walls and each other causing great pain.

Bharash, Belie, and Talin managed to exit the room.  Belie called out saying, ”I have a magical rope that I can use to get them out, come help me secure it.  Talin ran over and aided Belie anchor it and then Belie began to send it into the room so his companions could catch it before something bad happened.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie rushed out of the room, anchored the rope, and began to feed it into the room for the three floating companions to grab. Talin ran to his side from around the bend, and Bharash stepped outside the room to avoid the buffeting tornado. Thankfully the giant did not continue its climb, but instead was preoccupied putting out flames.

The rogue fed his magical rope, which defied gravity and the insane winds, to reach out toward his companions. Julia spun around in the cyclone and grabbed for the rope, but failed to get hold with her whole body weightless and being slammed into the walls, plus other random rocks and debris in the torrent.

Talin’s jaw dropped with Belie’s body dropping to the ground randomly. The man was clearly still alive and breathing, unharmed, but fast asleep.

[Private to GM: Lamia will throw the wind bottle 1 round.
Belie runs out and anchors, so she casts disguise self to make her look like a centaur. She will claim the cloud giant was going to eat her. How did she get down there? The group brought her with them as a slave to trigger traps and be a front line fighter against her will.
Belie feeds rope in 10 feet, DC 15 ref. to grab it for 1 person.
She casts deep slumber and gets Belie.
]

Round 1, tornado appeared, everyone did saves.
Round 2, Belie exist, 1d8 dmg per person in tornado (done on roll20)
Round 3, Belie extends rope 10 feet, Julie misses, everyone takes 1d8 dmg (done on roll20)
Round 4, Belie falls asleep

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin not understanding what happened to Belie shakes the man furiously while looking for something that may have caused him to fall asleep.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Even though Julia was being whipped about she had the presence of mind to grab her holy symbol that hung about her neck and she began to channel her energy through it.  A blast of healing power fell over only her friends healing a few their wounds.  She then tried to grab the rope as she sailed past it in the furious wind but failed to grab hold.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash didn’t know what was happening on the other side of the room so Bharash just waited on this side to see if he could help any of his companions.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin’s urges to wake Belie came with no result smacked Belie to wake him up, then stood and tried to control the rope like Belie was.  Talin had watched him as he was doing it before so he concentrated on it to go out to his friends.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Just as the rope reached out for Deacon, Julia, and Vogh, Deacon managed to grab hold of it and begin to pull himself over to where Talin was.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Round 5:
– Deacon gets rope and gets to safety outside the room.
– The group notice a centaur climbing up the far wall, using one of the chains.
Round 6:
– 1d8 (1 dmg each – holy lucky roll batman! haha) more to Vogh & Julia.
– Belie is up and awake.
– The centaur makes the far ledge and looks across at the group wide eyed with fear.
– Roll 1d2 for who can roll to catch the rope, then roll Ref. for them.

Talin slapped Belie across the face after realizing the man had been magically forced to sleep. The rogue’s eyes snapped open in shock then jumped to his feet in alarm. “What happend?!”

Talin had also extended the rope further into the room. A beautiful, aram woman stood on all four hooves across the way wearing batered clothing and showing more than a few cuts and scrapes. She started to speak, but realized her words were lost in the funnel cloud.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Though Bharash wasn’t in the room, the door was open and he saw the centaur creature make it over the lip of the pit.  Strange, Bharash thought but he knew that it had to be some kind of disguise.  Bharash couldn’t engage cause he would endanger himself with the wind so he readied an action to attack and called to Talin and Belie.

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Talin
———————————————————–
With Belie now awake Talin told him to control the rope to get the others.I am going to go help Bharash with that centaur.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The centaur woman’s eyes were wide with fright as she looked down at the giant, then rushed from the room and right into Bharash. The warrior kept his wits about him and let her gallop past, opening a nasty cut in her horse flesh side. Her mad scramble allowed Bharash a second cut which sliced her hind leg horribly.

She staggered and toppled to her side, breathing hard in fear and pain as she looked up to Bharash. “Why?! Help me! He was going to eat me!!”

Talin had his blade out and stated, “I didn’t see you in the pit.”

The aram woman responded, “I was under the giant when he was climbing up. I guess when you all opened the door he decided to come after you.”

“You were below him?  How far?”

“I was in the bottom of the pit The monsters who brought me here forced me into the pit and ran away”

How did you get past the giant? There were only 2 chains you could climb and he had both?

“You all set him on fire or something, then he fell and barely missed me. When that crazy whirlwind started I made a running climb for it before he got the flames slapped out and grabbed me”

“That is a pretty fast climb you have m’lady. Who did you say tossed you down there?”

“The monsters that forced me down into this awful place”
She winced with the pain and blood loss from Bharash’s two cuts. “Why did you attack me?! I was just trying to escape?!”

Bharash explained why he did then Deacon came over now to see what was going on.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
When Deacon came over he looked at Bharash and Talin.  Bharash seemed a little off to Deacon as the dragonborn was pretty much staring at the centaur woman.  Talin was busy asking the woman questions.  Deacon hadn’t heard the conversation and couldn’t see any lips to read any words.  Something was off to him though.  Last thing Deacon remembered in the pit was a giant and now there is this female centaur he hadn’t seen before.

Deacon therefore cast a simple spell to see magical dweomers to see if there was some illusion or something else at play.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Once Vogh exited the room she turned down the hall towards where Belie said the others were.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia finally was able to grab hold of the rope and between her pulling her way out and Belie pull her back towards him, she was out quickly.  where are the others, Julia asked.

When Belie said down the hall the duo headed that way.  Though Belie stooped to get his magical rope first.

Julia reached the others just a moment after Vogh had.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Deacon could sense a faint illusion spell over the creature, but that’s all.

“What is he doing? Are you trying to hurt me even more?!” The aram pointed to Deacon and looked to Bharash with pleading eyes. “Please, don’t let him hurt me!” she begged the big dragon warrior.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
As Deacon thought, there was some illusion spell over the centaur.  Deacon also thought it weird that she was talking to Bharash like he was a friend of hers.

I am not going to harm you.
Talin can I tell you something?
With that he pulled at Tali ‘s arm to pull him away from Bharash and the centaur female over to where Vogh was now coming.

Deacon pulled them tight and whispered in their ears, There is an illusion spell over that creature and if I wasn’t mistaken I think she charmed Bharash.  We need to act quickly.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh looked over to Bharash and the centaur female.  She too could see Bharash standing as if protective of her.  Vogh began to sing out to her friends which excluded Bharash for currently he wasn’t hearing properly.

As she sang she moved forward to Bharash and the female.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin heard Vogh’s song and it filled him with strength to strike more true and enable him to inflict more pain with his strike.  While Vogh walked forward, Talin instead broke into a charge right at the prone centaur.  His blade easily slicing into the flank of the centaur fake.

09:08, Today: Talin rolled 34,21 using D20+18,d8+13 ((16,8)).

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Bharash
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Bharash looked at the beautiful centaur and at his companions.  He wasn’t quite sure what to do but when the centaur pleaded him to defend her from his friends he looked over to them as they spoke in hushed tones.  Bharash had his blades out and was waiting to see what would happen.

When Vogh began singing Bharash knew she was bolstering her allies, but though he heard the song he wasn’t bolstered by the music.  Then suddenly Talin ran forward and Bharash felt an urge to attack him.


09:16, Today: Bharash rolled 19 using 1d20+1. Cha check to fight the urge to attack Talin.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Bharash moved to block Talin, but the man’s single minded focused paused the warrior, who would not attack his companion. The bard’s sword cut into the woman and with a loud scream the air left her lungs and she collapsed.

In death her magical disguise disappeared to reveal a lion’s body with a woman’s torso. She had on a regular shirt and a pouch of gold coins. (232 gp) The team quickly discovered that the giant had also been an illusion and was no longer in the pit. They had only to wait a few moments for the tornadic winds to dissipate.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
After the blow from Talin killed the things, Bharash felt normal once more and he looked to Talin.  I am sorry I was going to hurt you.  I couldn’t help myself, she charmed me I think.

When Talin looked over the body Deacon had come over and seen that she had a ring that was magical and looked similar to the one they had found before.  Bharash wasted no time and he cut the finger off of her hand releasing the ring.  Bharash took the ring and placed it in his pocket.  She won’t be needing that anymore.  He said with a wicked toothy smile.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
After the group dealt with the lamia, they moved forward to a door, which was still open. Inside they saw a 12-foot-tall statue of a helmed warrior, made of interlocking metal plates, stands like a vigilant guard in this chamber, facing north. An iron door leads to the north, but a steel door, covered in etched runes and sealed with silver, stands in the middle of the south wall.

Talin asked Belie to check it for traps, to which the rogue replied, “I don’t want to go near that thing…” Talin chuckled, clarifying, “I meant the floor.” This he was happy to do and discovered nothing nefarious.

Bharash took a step into the room and reacted quickly as the big thing came to life, charging toward the dragonborn. Clunky and out of repair the automaton missed Bharash, slamming into the wall beside him then collapsed into a morass of pieces. The dragon deftly dodged aside, avoiding being splashed by a seemingly magical liquid from inside the metallic carcass.

From this room a single door to the north led out onto the metal catwalk and the southern door was similarly covered in runes and outlined in silver, this one unbroken.

Bharash looked to Belie, “I thought there wasn’t any trap?”

“The entrance wasn’t trapped…” he chuckled. “There was a reason I didn’t want to walk into the room first.”

Deacon, seeing the runes on the door to the south said, “I don’t think we should mess with the door. It is clearly keeping something inside”

Bharash nodded to Belie, “how about this door?”

The rogue ran his hands all over to check things out, then shook his head. “Nothing I can find”

The door opened into the same big room. Near them was a spiral staircase that lead down to the first floor. Several bodies were visible below in the torch light.

This large chamber has two levels. At the bottom, a huge metal device like an iron tower topped with a brass sphere rises at least 30 feet high. Around this strange sphere, an iron catwalk made of a crosshatched grating follows the wall, forming the upper level about 25 feet above the lower. An iron spiral staircase in the southwest corner of the room joins the two levels. The central tower is a cylinder with a 10-foot diameter. A number of jointed metallic extensions, like the legs of an insect, extend from the tower and connect to the ground or simply jut out into the air at all angles. The top sphere looks about 15 feet across: half the structure’s total height. A series of curved plates comprising its brass skin fit together carefully, each bearing a single arcane rune etched into its surface. A few bear images of brass dragons. Here and there on the sphere, a curved plate is missing, exposing an inner gridlike support network of metal bars. The missing plates give the impression that the metallic thing—whatever it is—is either damaged or unfinished. The floor level has only one apparent exit, a 30-foot wide passage to the east. The upper level has five exits, two 10-foot-wide archways leading to the north, two to the south, and one massive metal door to the west.

Bharash looked over the bodies while Deacon checked the big door for runes.

A steel door 10 feet high and 8 feet wide bars the way to the west. It shimmers with a bluish sheen, the delicate traceries of mystic runes covering its surface. The sheen seems to fill in the hairline gap between the door and the stone sill, like mortar made of light. In front of the door lie the corpses of four small humanoid creatures with gray-green skin, wearing piecemeal bits of leather armor. A few bloody short swords and axes lie among them as well.

Vogh said, “Well it looks as if these goblins tried to get inside and something killed them.”

“Looks like we have a room up to the north we can get to, shall we?” Vogh suggested.

A few broken and rotting wooden crates lie about the room. In the middle of the chamber, however, a heavily armored man with long silver hair stands next to what appears to be the dead body of another man. The armored warrior is covered in blood. As he looks up at you, his eyes are filled with rage.

Bharash closes the door quickly. “There is a man in heavy armor in there that looks mad. He is standing over a dead body covered in blood.” Bharash tells the others.

Vogh says, “Hey there is another path down the hall lets check it out Talin makes sure whoever that was doesn’t follow us.”

The man’s roar of frustration they heard behind the door. Talin saw a half elf in plate metal armor brandishing his holy symbol. He immediately recognized Kalerecent despite the wounds and being covered in blood

“Kal its me Talin! Are you okay buddy? We came to find you!”

He was breathing hard, panting, but upon seeing Talin he actually staggered forward and hugged the man!

Talin hugged Kal back and asked, “Are you injured my friend? Vogh, its Kal I think he may be injured.” Talin calls out Vogh turns and sees Kal in Talin’s arms and moves over to see him

“Yes, but nominally. My friend is dead. He is beyond my ability to heal and I am exhausted of prayers today.”

“what are you doing here?” Vogh inquired.

“Rsanir and I came investigating rumors of monsters moving about Oldtown. We snuck down here with potions of invisibility and were assailed by an evil group.

“We came across some things down here as well. A blue troll looking thing, and a female lamia” Vogh commented.

Kal moved back inside and slumped against the wall beside his fallen friend

“We managed to kill the lamia, but not the troll.” Vogh said, “I am sorry about your friend. We should bring him to Brother Fabitor. Perhaps the church can help him.”

“Troll? There was no troll with them I saw?”

“Deacon thinks that perhaps it was locked behind one of the rooms as we saw matching evidence.”

“Which lamia? The female or the male?”

“ou mean there is another? We killed the female. By the way these are some new friends of ours.” Vogh began introducing them all.

Kal eyed Baharash skeptically. Bharash smiled and said hello. “Their story is true as Vogh explained. We are new friends and allies. I take it you were their ally at one time”

He looked at Vogh and Talin. “All the beings with this troop have been of the monstrous races.”

“Ah,” Vogh said, “that would explain your reaction to Bharash here. What other beings were their?”

The group quickly compared notes with Kalerecent’s experience then all were ready to leave.

“Will you aid me in bringing Rsanir back to the church?”

“I think we checked out everything in here. Lets get your friend back” Once outside the room and overlooking the largest area from the catwalk above Vogh asked Kal, “Kalerecent, do you know of the ‘Paclords’?”

“I do not. I’ve never heard that name before.” The paladin asked with questions in his eyes.

“What happened when you were here?”

“We followed the rumors, took potions of invisibility and slipped through the manor to come down here. We realized these monsters… no offense… “ he said to Bharash, ” Were trying to open the door. They used a wish ring to open it, then Rsanir and I attacked. There were two lamia, a big minotaur, and the goblins you saw dead.”

“The main door was opened? Oh that isn’t good!!”Deacon exclaimed.

“We trapped one inside.” Kalerecent nodded.

Kalerecent: “We trapped one inside”

Bharash: You trapped one inside? One what?

Kalerecent: “A green hag…”

Deacon: So a wish can open the door, that is vital information

Kalerecent: “She was clearly the leader.”

Deacon: A green hag? Good thing you trapped her inside then. They are quite powerful
Did you kill any of the others?

Kalerecent: “We did not. After Rsanir was killed they fled while I closed the door.” Clearly the man bore shame for being unable to save his friend, and not for killing more than mere goblins.

Bharash: Against the odds you had Kal, I say you are lucky to be alive. Bharash says as he puts a hand on the mans shoulder to reassure him.

The paladin nodded in appreciation.

Deacon: So, if a wish can open the door and the umber hulk we killed can dig the way in. It seems very difficult to keep this placed from others gaining access. There must be a way to somehow stop it

Belie: “One can only hope.”

Bharash: Bharash pulls out the ring from his pack he took form the Lamia and hands it to Kal. Have you seen anything like this before? Deacon says it is magical and two of the people we killed had them on.

Belie: Hopefully our patrons can piece more information together for us.

Kalerecent: The paladin raised an eyebrow at the severed appendage, inspected it, and nodded. “I believe every member of the team, minus the goblins, wore such an item.”

Deacon: I wonder what it does? I will have to conduct some research and find out. Perhaps a way of communication or something? I think we have the who, the how to open, just not the how to stop further entry. We could seal the tunnels but they could just be re-excavated again.

Vogh: “Well, lets head back with Kal and tell our story to Jevvica We should also warn that a bane may have escaped”

As soon as the group stepped into the dug tunnel to exit the man-made banewarrens a half dozen missile flew out of the dark. Belie took a quarrel in the shoulder, then flattened himself against the wall. Vogh likewise was stabbed with a small arrow. No one could see into the darkness ahead to determine what had attacked.

Deacon begins speaking in an arcanic tone and summons some earth elementals. Three of them sprung up further down the tunnel, beyond everyone’s sight.

Bharash rushed down the hall to attack while Vogh began her song of bolstering. Kal rushes forward but doesn’t shoulder past vogh and bharash.

A minotaur slammed two of the elementals with a huge sword and mighty blows, while another lamia stood next to him. Goblin fodder were out front, but some had already fallen under the pounding fists of the living earth creatures.

Deacon, as usual guarding the rear, felt claws hit him and was horribly surprised to see the blue troll things they had seen before materialize out of thin air. The group was now fighting a two face battle. “Help Me!” Deacon yelled as he withdrew down the hall toward Julia.

The minotaur fell fast under the combined skill of Vogh, Bharash, Kalerecent and Talin with Belie lending support. All the goblins were wiped out. With it’s allies defeated the lamia beat it back up the tunnel. Vogh heard Deacon’s plea and called the group to about face.

Julie and Deacon threw spells at the troll creature, and with a bit of pain it disappeared once more.

“What the devils was that thing?” Kal asked, breathless.

“That was the troll thing we spoke about.” Vogh explained.

With the Lamia in fast escape and the strange trollish creature having disappeared again, the troop retreated back to the main room and gathered one another. Together they decided to fast escape this place before some other evil befell.

Quickly everyone grabbed up all the weapons, armor and items they could. The minotaur’s absolutely massive sword went into one magical backpack, the six goblins’ short swords, strange crossbows and bolt carriers went into another. The few silver coins they found on the goblin were stowed, along with their small, studded leather armor which was still in good shape since the elementals didn’t cut, but smashed.

The minotaur also had a large leather sack beside him, along with a few scattered digging tools which look like they were never used.

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Vogh
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The fights they were in really took a toll on the group and even though they all had agreed that they didn’t want that monster getting out, they had nothing to stop it either.

I think what we should do first is head back to The Minstrel and leave word to have Lady Jevvica meet with us later in the evening.  Kal can take his friend to Brither Fabitor and then we should head over to meet him.  We have some answers and need more answered.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia was more than happy to head out of the banewarrens.  The place was filled with evil and she could feel it to her bones.

I think is a perfect idea.  Let us make haste!

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
———————————————————–
The large group was able to retrace their steps through the tunnel and come out in the manor house wine cellar once more. There was no trace of the Lamia in his flight. Together they traipsed back through Oldtown and to the Minstrel. Many eyed the troop as they moved together, not the least of which because of the lifeless body carried between Kalerecent and Talin.

One man, a glass crafter, looked down from his scaffolding which raised him up high enough to repair a broken window on a building’s second story. He stared unabashedly at them passing by. No city watch stopped them.

After leaving a note for the beautiful Inverted Pyramid wizard they moved across Runihan Square, and across the street to enter the church. Fabitor saw them quickly and rushed across to embrace Kalerecent. The priest helped bring their monk friend to a back room and cover him with a white sheet in mourning. More than a few tears escaped Fabitor’s eyes.

“My friend.” He hugged Kal once more. “It is so good to lay eyes on you once more. It seems our friends found you, and… brought a few more friends.” Thisk looked over the newcomers as they all stood together in the back of the chappel. Two attendants were dealing with the injured who stood in line awaiting healing.

After introductions were made, and some explanation offered (maybe?), Fabitor addressed Vogh, Talin and Kal. “I ask that you all accompany me to the Grand Cathedral that you might convey all you know to my Church superiors.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh thought about it for a little while and the lack of information that was given about the Runebearers from the church worried her some.  She looked to Talin and then the new members to their large group.  She searched their looks and then decided a different course should be used.  Brother Fabitor, Vogh started slowly, I think there are many things at play here.  I need to do a lot more research before I go to anyone with any authority before giving an incomplete report.  I ask that you give me a day before going to the Grand Cathedral.  This will give Kal time to rest from his ordeal and to properly mourn his friend before having to recount the whole thing once more.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
———————————————————–
The priest was nervous about waiting but he nodded. “I will send word to my superiors so they are ready for you. Certainly you and Kal have earned a respite. But please do not delay and notify me quickly.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh thanked Brother Fabitor and then when the group was outside the church Vogh turned to the others.  I was thinking about heading to Rivergate and checking with Ishara to see what she can find out about these Pactlords and perhaps the rings we found.  Also, see what she can tell us about the banewarrens we don’t already know.  I think a lot of this information will be useful for you as well so if you would like to come I would be happy if you did.

Assuming that they all agreed, Vogh and everyone headed over to see Ishara.  When they arrived Vogh and anyone who wanted to speak told Ishara all that they would like to know.

1. Who are the Pactlords?
2. In what ways can the Banewarrens be opened beside a wish spell? And how can they prevent entry?
3. What can she tell them about the rings and how they work?
4. Who are the people named in the note from the bag?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Date/Time: 10th Day of Sun Trio is meeting with Jevicca and Bards with Fabitor
Left for Banewarrens
Returned to Fabitor
Went to Ishara
Sold stuff

11th Day of Sun
Go to Delver’s Guild Library
Waste time / rest

12th day of Sun
Ishara’s still researching
Fabitor contacts them to rush

13th day of Sun
Return to Ishara to get info.

Kelerecent remained with Brother Fabitor as the sextet exited the church onto the always busy Center street. Not far down a woman was handing out half sheet papers in front of the Row Bathhouse, telling of a sale going now to “Perfume Ptolus!” Their normal bath prices were all reduced to help the entire city smell better. Many laughed at the sale, but most took fliers.

Since all of them together was too many to fit in any coach they could hail, they merely walked together up to the Rivergate District. Deacon, Bharash and Julia had never been to Ishara before. Deacon had ‘heard’ of the woman’s reputation for being a loremaster.

The short and rotund Vesto opened the door at Vogh’s light knock and raised his eyebrows seeing the large group before him. “Uh. Well. Hello Miss Vogh and Master Talin.” When she explained they had more work for Ishara he nodded in understanding, but had trepidation.

“Um. Miss, if it’s not too much trouble, so many people in the house would be too much. Why don’t you and Master Talin come inside and your friends may wait outside?” He looked very worried about their reaction, then he quickly added, “Of course, I will bring drinks and refreshments to you all while you wait!”

Vogh and Talin agreed and entered, much to Vesto’s relief. Inside Ishara was once again at her cluttered desk amid a copious amount of books, papers and scrolls. They might have just left a few minutes ago as things looked so similar to last they visited. She looked up from the book in front of her and greeted the duo.

“Hello again. What can we help you learn today?” Ishara repeated the same question as when last they visited.

Vogh produced the hand written note retrieved from the leather satchel the minotaur dropped and showed it to the woman, then also detailed their desire to learn more about a group named “the Pactlords.” Talin explained they had entered an outer area of the “Banewarrens” and how they encountered the door which had to be opened with a Wish, like the note explained. They asked if there was another way to open this door, and requested as much information as Ishara could provide them about this enigmatic area beneath Ptolus. Talin also produced one of the bone rings, removed from the finger and cleaned, for Ishara to inspect.

Rather stoic and unsurprised the last time they met, the loremaster couldn’t help her brows climbing her face at each revelation and request. In a thinking manner she tapped an uninked quill against a parchment, listening while they spoke, then she scribbled several notes while looking over the note and ring.

Ishara blew out a breath and leaned back fully in her chair, opposite the bards in their comfortable high back seats. “My. My. You two have brought me quite the bevy of requests. I’ve never even heard of these bane warrens, nor read anything of any pact lords. That is very rare. Very rare indeed. But you’ve piqued my interest!” She said with a smile, leaning forward, resting her elbows on the large desk.

“This is going to be incredibly hard to come by information. I will need a minimum of two days, and an upfront payment of two hundred gold. There will likely be more depending on the services I might have to hire and my time. Plus the urgency of your requests.”

Neither were surprised at the sum and happily paid her. Vesto had brought them sweet drinks and an assortment of fruit, and also made good on providing ample nourishment for their friends outside. Once again, the large man collected the payment for Ishara and left the room.

She stood and extended a hand to each of the bards, shaking them in kind as she dismissed them. “Return on the thirteenth and we shall see what’s been discovered.”

Outside Bharash was enjoying the fruit and sweet breads they had been brought. Belie was moving around nervously. He had disguised himself partially, giving himself longer and darker hair, plus scraggly facial hair. As was typical, his beautiful rapier looked like an unremarkable weapon, while his clothes also resembled that of a poor traveler down on their luck. The rogue was itching to go after sitting still for the meeting.

When they were ready to go Belie nodded and moved away from the group, blending into the crowd and often changing his appearance as he went while the five moved mostly together. This was the way they returned to the Square and entered Rastor’s. The normally unflappable litorian couldn’t help but widen his eyes when the group produced the huge greatsword. With a deep chuckle he asking, maybe jokingly, “Who on toril is going to buy this thing!? I’ll have to hang it on the wall outside because any creature to wield this won’t fit in my shop!” He laughed out loud at that point, while shaking his head. As always Rastor offered his fifty percent for all the weapons, bringing the total to 1792 gold pieces.

With a large paw he ran his hands over the strange, goblin crossbows, scrutinizing them. For the first time the lion man asked them, “Now, where did you come by these?” The front of each crossbow was fitted with sharp teeth which made it look like someone could stab forward and use it like a battering weapon. No one had seem them used in a such a way as nearly all the beasts were felled by the elementals’ hands.

(Share your answer to him in your post.)

With gold and platinum in hand everyone left. Talin told the group they could retire to the Minstrel or join them at the Bull and Bear to sell the small armor. Everyone agreed to grab a table, except Bharash. He had not been in the armor shop and wanted to take a look around.

Iltumar’s face lit up as he saw Vogh and Talin enter, but his mouth dropped open when the hulking, scaled, dragonborn warrior stepped inside the shop making floorboards creak with his bulk. A simple, “Woah” escaped his lips.

(Room for RP here?)

With the armor in such good shape it was a simple transaction. Iltumar gave them a better than average deal, as usual, offering them 75 gold. The boy seemed incapable of asking enough questions of the group. He seemed so much more a young man now than the boy he was at their first encounters. The same blade he carried at their last sparring session hung on his hip in a partial scabbard which showed how polished and well sharpened the blade was.

Evening was dawning, so they kept the gems pocketed for another day, or even the possibility of paying Ishara without so many coins. Deacon and Julie sat at a table with seats for everyone, but Belie was nowhere to be found. Neither bard knew which person he was inside the common room at the moment. A pair of female singers adorned the stage, dresses slit incredibly high on their shapely legs, a pair of which straddled a full size harp for accompaniment.

The next day was spent almost entirely in the Delver’s Guild library with frustration. They could find nothing on the Banewarrens or the Pactlords, which meant all their hope for information rested on Ishara.

Talin and Vogh had a pleasant surprise awaiting them upon their return to the Minstrel that evening. Telleth greeted them with a wide smile and gingerly handed them a document coveted by nearly everyone in Ptolus, an invitation to a party at Castle Shard! (ignore the 3 hours past noon part of the image) The invitation was for a Party on the evening of Queensday, this month of Sun on the 23rd day.

(If you show it to the others, they will be blown away and we can RP it)

On the 12th the group met again for Breakfast only to be met by a very nervous Brother Thisk asking after their research and itching to setup a meeting with his superiors. Vogh calmed him and he finally accepted their explanation of meeting with Ishara the following day, with the promise they would come straight to him. Jevicca likewise left a note to notify her the moment they had information to share with her, which Julia penned a response explaining the same 13th date for information.

Everyone had a restful day of relaxation, which was much needed after the breakneck pace they had been maintaining. On the morning of the 13th they all met in the Minstrel and headed out for Ishara’s with great anticipation. Vesto could not convince them to remain outside, all wanting to hear what the woman had discovered. Six bodies shoved into her study, crowded and trying not to upset any of the piles all around them.

“My. My. You seem to have multiplied my friends.” Ishara chided Vogh and Talin. “My research has been fruitful. Incredibly so. But first, this information has come at great cost and I was required to delay other clients. I require another two hundred in payment.” Vogh produced the amount and the woman nodded.

“In the ancient recesses of time, a powerful and benevolent cleric set upon a plan to rid the world of evil influences. Danar Rotansin began to gather up all the evil artifacts, objects of dark power, trapped essences of vanquished fiends, demonic relics, and even the last vestiges of particularly horrible diseases. Danar called all of these things banes and imprisoned them in this Banewarrens. It was his belief that if these ‘banes’ were merely destroyed the evil would be released into the world and wreak havoc, or bring about more darkness. The Banewarrens is said to be sealed with the highest level of magic. If the lore of such still exists, it is likely inside the Banewarrens itself, or even in Jabel Shammar, the fortress atop the Spire. Even the walls themselves are enchanted and laced with exotic materials that make them virtually impregnable. Certain doors of the place are sealed with extravagantly powerful spells that only a special key can open.” Ishara stopped and took a drink from the light drink in a delicate glass before her, leaving the group on the edge of their patience to hear more.

“It seems the key to the Banewarrens is rumored to be in possession of House Vladaam. Miss Vogh Kath, I don’t think I need to tell you how dire the house’s reputation is. From my research, I don’t believe the Vladaam’s even know they possess such a key. Had they, it’s likely they already would have used it to wreak evil upon the city. If you are of a mind to procure this item one person who might help you is Nicalon Regelis, a Knight of the Chord. The Knights have a very close relationship with your family I believe.”

Ishara once again took a drink, wetting her mouth dried from the monologue she was delivering. “In regard to these pact lords: the full title of their group is actually The Pactlords of the Quaan. I’m not entirely certain what the rings do, perhaps an arcane caster can delve more into the magics of the rings. But this group is ancient nearly beyond time, and they have almost entirely been forgotten. They are all inhuman monsters bound together by a magical pact.”

Another pause, and another drink. “In regard to this note, Tremoc Korin is actually ancient Elven and translates to ‘The Baneheart.’ I would assume this to be the center of the Banewarrens. I was unable to acertain any information of the names on the note: Kikanuile or Yuinthu. My apologies. But it’s highly likely they are of these Pactlords.”

Finally finished, the woman took a final drink, draining the glass, rested her elbows on the desk and looked up at Vogh. “You are getting involved in very interesting, and ancient, events.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
The meeting with Ishara was pretty straightforward and Vogh had her questions ready before the group had arrived.  Vogh had faith that Ishara would be able to find out information that the group was unable to until this time.  Vogh paid the 200 thrones up front and then she and the others departed and headed to Rastov’s.  The Litorian was funny in his response, but the number of thrones he offered for the blade wasn’t a joke.  We found them under Ptolus in the hands of some goblins.  They weren’t able to use them on us so we aren’t able to tell you how well they work.

After they got rid of all the items and then Vogh, Talin, and Bharash made their way to The Bull and Bear while the others headed for The Minstrel to get a table.

Iltumar was about to greet Vogh and Talin when his mouth fell open and barely spit out the word, Woah!.  Iltumar, this is a new friend of ours.  His name is Bharash.  Bharash this is a pupil of mine, Iltumar.  We are here to sell off some more gear that we were able to find on some goblins.  How are things with you?

Once they were finished with Iltumar they headed on into The Minstrel.  Belie was not to be seen but that didn’t stop the 5 new friends from enjoying the entertainment and the food.  Soon it was time for bed.  The group agreed to meet the day after next and after splitting the thrones they parted ways.

The next day Vogh and Talin had breakfast and then hit the library down in the Delver’s Guild, unfortunately, they weren’t able to find any useful information so finally, in the afternoon they returned back to the Minstrel and as Tellith greeted them, she gave them an invitation that was dropped off for them.  Reading over it Vogh looked over to Talin and said, looks like we have a party to attend and Castle Shard in just over a tenday.

The next day when Vogh and Talin went down for breakfast, Brother Fabitor was waiting for them.  He was wondering when they were going to come to see him.  Vogh reassured him that on the morrow they would let him know more information.  The rest of the day was spent in relaxation and getting things ready for the next days’ news.

After rising early and heading to downstairs, Vogh and Talin met the others.  They had breakfast and spoke with hope in their voices that Ishara had found information that would be useful.  When they all arrived once more at Ishara’s home and all made their way inside crowding the place they listened to all the information the intelligent woman had to share.  They were amazed at just how much she had found and the depth of the information was equally important.

The news that really only a key or wish would get people into the warrens was good news.  Wishes were hard to come by and very expensive.  The information about the key brought a frown to Vogh’s face.  That house was not a house she liked very much.  They would have to talk about what to do about the key later.

The information about the Pactlords of the Quaan was interesting and fit what they had seen so far with the Lamia’s, the Minotaur, and the Green Hag.  The rings would have to be looked at by the Inverted Pyramid possibly.  When the woman said she didn’t know who the people were in the note Vogh shrugged.  When Ishara said her cost for the information Vogh paid her and thanked her for all the help.  They all left shortly after and headed back to The Ghostly Minstrel.  Along the way they talked, Vogh said to the others, based on what Kal said about the group that initially came, I think that the Green Hag’s name is Kikanuile.  That means that there is someone else that is in charge of the Pactlords of the Quaan.  We must be leery of who we give our newfound information too.  The next thing I want to ask you all is what do you want to do about the key?  Do we just give our information to the church and Lady Jevvica and let them do the rest or do we want to get even more involved?

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Talin
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Talin was going to do whatever Vogh wanted so he looked to the newcomers to the group.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia was deep in thought as they walked away from the loremaster Ishara.  She listened to Vogh speak about what her thoughts were, and given the makeup of the enemies they fought, they knew that the Pactlords of the Quaan would be a big problem for them.  She knew about House Vladaam and knew them to not be good people and if they got their hands on the key they would very well open the gate themselves to let the banes run all over Ptolus.

Julia was beginning to like Vogh more and more and they seemed to think pretty similar in how to defeat the evil here.  After looking over to Deacon and then Bharash, Julia said, I speak for us.  I think we should try and get the key before anyone else does.  Tonight we will speak with Jevvica and let her know what we found thus far.  I am not sure how much the church can help us with this?  We managed to get the information we needed without them.  We can talk to them though if you think we should.  Julia was a believer, but she didn’t rely on the church for everything like some of the clerics she knew.  Let’s tell your friend we will meet with his superiors tomorrow.  Tonight we can speak with Jevvica and decide if we want to spend the night looking for the key.

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Vogh
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Vogh looked to them all, and said, okay we speak with Jevvica tonight and then lets us talk about what to do next.  Vogh had it in the back of her mind that they could always go talk with the Knights of the Chord, but since she was trying to join the place she didn’t want to look week and unable to take care of certain things so she avoided doing such a thing.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Iltumar was incredibly excited by meeting Bharash and speaking with Vogh and Talin. “I’m doing well. Thank you. I’ve been practicing on my own some, and even found a few friends who will spar. You’ve taught me a great deal Miss Vogh. Maybe sometime soon I could go with you all?” Regardless of their answer about his accompanying them, Iltumar was still happy to speak with them and waved as they left, securing the woman’s promise they would spar again soon.

The group sent word to Brother Fabitor that they would meet with his superiors the following day, and everyone waited together for Jevicca Norr to visit them at the Minstrel that very evening.

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Jevvica Norr
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The beautiful wizardess entered the front door that evening and strolled casually over to the table of five. “It seems you have multiplied.” She stated with a flat tone. No one could tell if she was pleased, upset or neutral about this development.

“Come with me. And you, come too.” Jevicca had started away when she gestured to an older man who could have been a grandfather, cane resting against his table. He hat been sitting there for quite a time, none of the group having paid him much attention. The elder looked at her with surprise, but stood on shaky legs and followed behind the group.

On the second story of the Minstrel Jevicca opened one of the room doors and ushered them all inside where beds had been removed and a table with eight chairs dominated the room. Atop the table were already glasses enough for everyone, empty plates, several bottles of chilled wine, and platters with fruits, breads and pastries.

She closed the door after being the last to enter. Jevicca made some arcane hand gestures, spoke words in the language of magic and consumed spell components. Finally she produced an orb from her cape and set it atop the table, tapping it once, which caused it to glow with a faint light.

Jevicca sat at the head of the table and gestured to the others to follow suit. “We may now speak with no fear of detection or spying. Please, tell me what you’ve learned.”

Once inside and so warded the old man dropped his disguise with a sigh and became Belie once again. He eyed the female with suspicion as no one had ever penetrated his hat’s abilities before.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon spoke up first, he had talked to Julia the night prior about wanting to describe everything that happened to Jevvica Norr.

He slowly went through the details of the trip back into the warrens including the umber hulk who was used to obviously dig out the tunnels below Oldtown and into the warrens.  He told of the ooze that was still there.  Then began to tell of the layout of the place and what they found inside.  He relayed the information about the blue devil troll they found and battled and couldn’t defeat.  I am afraid that it might have followed us unseen out of the tunnels.  It was able to go ethereal and so we couldn’t follow it or kill it in time.  There should be an alert put out that it may have escaped.  Deacon said with a sad look.

Deacon continued talking about the rooms with runes that were opened and the fact that the two that were most likely belonged to the man they had killed and the troll thing.  Deacon then told about the lamia they killed and later the minotaur and goblins.  Next, he talked about the main door to the warrens and how Kal, a knight they had found, confronted a group called The Pactlords of the Quaan.  Deacon described all he was told about the group and said that a male Lamia managed to escape when they battled them before they were about to leave.  He also told that there is a Green Hag that is currently inside the warren because Kal had closed the door with her inside.

Finally, Deacon relayed all they were told from Ishara about how to open the warrens and that short of the Key and another wish spell, which only temporarily opens the door, could get past the ancient runes on the door.  The key is said to be in the possession of House Vladaam currently.

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Vogh
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Lady Jevvica, we haven’t formally met yet, my name is Vogh Kath and these two are my companions Talin and Belie.  To add to what Deacon has said so far, this Kalerecent is a friend of ours and was sent by the church to see the goings on of some noises in Oldtown and he found the warrens and defeated some of the goblins and resealed the door locking the Hag inside.  He lost a monk friend in the process.  The church wants us to report to them on what we found, but I wanted to make sure we talked to you first.  We tried to garner some information in the past about Runebearers and the church didn’t know much so I initially thought not to go to them with what we learned until we had more information.  I have sent word that we could meet with them tomorrow though, but based on your guidance we can alter that meeting to how we want.  Vogh finished talking then and waited for Jevvica to soak in all the information she just received from both her and Deacon.

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Jevvica Norr
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The wizardess sat very still, only nodding as she took in all they shared, her face showing no indication of surprise or alarm.

When the full retelling had been completed she looked at Vogh, silentl thoughts flew behind her penetrating eyes.

“You all have done well. Our original deal was with you three.” She indicated the trio. “You have earned the remainder of your promised payment.” With a flourish she produced a bag of coins and set it before Julia.

“It seems you all have been working well together, so I will offer a new deal. The Pyramid offers each of you a magic item, or enhancement, of up to two thousand gold if you continue to act as our agents in this. The Banewarrens must be secured. If there is a hag inside with a wish spell at its disposal, it should be eliminated and we need to control the key to such a dangerous place.”

She paused to think and reflect, focusing on the glowing orb in the center of the table, the light reflected in her eyes.

“As to the church, I would proceed with caution. Within our organization this information is guarded at the highest level.” She let that statement hang in the air and met Vogh’s eyes for several moments.

“You have named a very wealthy and powerful house. One without an altruistic reputation… Were you to handle this… situation… valuable rewards could easily be afforded. It’s in the best interest of all that these banes never see the light of day.”

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Vogh
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Vogh had the sneaking suspicion that Jevvica wanted the group to go find the key.  Course she didn’t say how to do so.  The church was not an option for Vogh now and Vogh thought that the others would back her on not going that route.

After Lady Jevvica had left Vogh said to the others, we need to make sure that we are ready with what we need to accomplish here.  I think we need to attain some potions and other items that will aid us in getting inside and finding this key and then getting back out again. So that means invisibility scrolls.  If we get 2 scrolls, that should cover us for that.  We will need to remain together during the duration of the spells and also we should probably be silenced as well so no one hears us either.  Also, I think going up the cliff face with spider climb will get us in the back way.  If we could get a spider climb communal scroll that would cover it.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon didn’t like the idea of breaking into a noble house, but what Vogh was planning was something that could be done.  I will see about getting the scrolls we need.

With that Deacon left and headed to a place that he thought would have the scrolls on hand already.

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Bharash
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Bharash was getting excited about the whole plan as Vogh began to go over what they needed and how they may go about getting the key.  I assume we are to not engage in anyone unless we are engaged.

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Vogh
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Vogh looked to Deacon and nodded her agreement that he get the scrolls.  As the wizard left and others began asking questions, Vogh remained calm and began going over them.

As long as we are able to attain the needed scrolls, my idea is that we leave in the middle of the night and make our way to the Jeweled Cliffs.  Once there we will find our path to the Vladaam estate and have Deacon cast his spell to give all of us the ability to climb the cliffs like a spider.  No worries about falling as the spell lets you climb vertical faces without a chance of failure.  We will also be tied off with a rope just in case something goes wrong.  Talin and I will lead the way, as we climb we will be detecting magic to make sure there aren’t any traps that may cancel our spells.  If we find something we will just move around it.  The spell will give us plenty of time to make it to the top and more.  Once at the top we will cast our invisibility spells and then our silence spell.  We will make our way into the house and locate the houses vault.  Every noble house has one and usually, it is in the basement.  It is too easy for thieves to break into above ground areas and take what they want.

Vogh then turned to Bharash and his question.  It was a difficult one for her to answer though, yes Bharash we will only kill if provoked or there is no other way around it.  We are not there to steal anything other items either.  For if we can get in and out without raising an alarm the better.

That gave everyone the way in, now it was time to explain the way out.  As for how we will leave, I hope we can just get out the same way we came in and then just jump off the cliff together while Deacon casts a feather fall spell to let us all fall safely down. We will then return here and contact Lady Jevvica once more.

So I decided 2 scrolls of invisibility, 1 spider climb communal, and 1 feather fall scrolls.

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Narrator
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Scrolls
Level of the spell × the creator’s caster level × 25 gp
2x scrolls of invisibility (2 x 3 x 25 x 2 = 300gp)
1x spider climb communal (3 x 5 x 25 = 375gp)
1x feather fall (5th level for 5 people: 1 x 5 x 25 = 125gp)
Total Cost: 800gp

We are going to have to do this all on roll20, but fortunately I pre-planned for that and I’ve got almost everything ready. Have to be Monday morning.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Add 1 darkvision communal (3 x 5 x 25 = 375gp)

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Vogh
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Since the day was still early enough, Vogh and the others decided to head over to the Boiling Pot.  There they could relax and have a good bite to eat and drink before heading out to the Jeweled Cliffs.  A little past midnight they made their way through the streets and alleys to the spot they would climb the cliff.  Vogh knew where to find the noble house and had picked the right spot to make the climb.

Deacon began by casting a spider climb spell that would allow them to make the 150′ climb easily enough.  Once they made the lip of the cliff, Vogh looked about and as she had figured correctly they were standing in the middle of the complex.  There were trees and bushes to their left and their right front that would mask their approach to the house.

Once they were over the lip, Vogh and Talin began casting spells on the others.  Deacon likewise began casting.  Each had an invisibility spell that they cast on each of their friends till only Belie was left.  Deacon then cast his other spell that would allow those that couldn’t see in the dark to be able to now.

(GM): The entire yard is well-manicured, rolling hills, with lots of trees and shrubs, which you’re currently using as cover.  From the outbuilding, there are occasional barks from some dogs.  The night was not rainy, but it was cloudy which helped with there movement.
Everyone needs to make stealth checks

15:56, Today: Vogh rolled 30,29,7,7,4 using d20+13,d20+14,d20+4,d20+3,d20+3.
of course Bharash, Julia, and deacon are a little louder
.

(GM): Even with the distance and the trees the group hears the dogs start barking

Hearing the dogs begin to bark, Vogh casts a spell quickly. As the spell ends the sound she cast sounds like an animal running through the underbrush near to where the dogs were barking. As the group neared the house Julia cast detect traps on Belie to aid him with finding traps.  Vogh then cast invisibility on Belie and lastly, Julia cast silence on her morningstar.  Vogh and Belie began to move forward with Vogh casting detect magic to see if there were any magical traps.

(GM): Vogh and Belie can see inside the large and beautiful window to an incredibly well-stocked library and they detect no magic and no traps.

Belie is impressed by the quality of the lock as he pulls out his “tools”.  Not long after though Belie opens the lock
Belie rolled 31 using 1d20+17. Disable Device.

(GM): The window is on hinges that open out.

Vogh taps Belie on the shoulder to move forward.  She then moves to bring the others
back under silence to the window and into the library.  With Talin being last he closes the window again. Vogh makes a perception check to see if anything sticks out to her also she still has the detect magic on.
16:12, Today: Vogh rolled 30 using 1d20+10.
(GM): Vogh’s familiarity with noble estates gives her a natural affinity for how they handle their secrets.  The woman notices a trap door in the floor, which when opened, reveals a set of stairs leading down.

Vogh moves where Belie was and grabs him to the door.

(GM): Belie inspects the door and then indicates there are no traps, but to let him go first

Ready to move Vogh taps Belie.  Belie makes his way down a set of stairs and into a large room.  Belie looked down the hall and say the traps on the floor.  He grabbed Vogh’s hand and gave the sign that there were traps ahead.  Belie then moved forward and disabled the first, then the second, and third, fourth, and lastly the fifth trap along the floor.  As he gets to the door he looks at it and then grabs Vogh once more.  Another trap.  He began working the lock on the door first.  He easily unlocked the door and then he tried the trap.  He didn’t manage to disable it the first time, but also didn’t trip it.  He grabbed Vogh and she began to help him locate the parts of the trap he had missed.  With her help, Belie was able to safely disarm the trap this time.  Vogh was hopeful and urged Belie on.  With nothing inside the room Belie moved to the next iron door and began working the lock.  Since there wasn’t a trap on this door Belie opened the door after he safely opened the lock.

(GM): Inside Belie found the following:
A locked coffer
A bronze box with the key inside.
Carved Ivory Drinking Horn
Electrum Framed Masterpiece Painting
Iron Buckle
Small Vial of Exotic Perfume
Lacquered Wooden Bowl inlaid with Brass
Platinum Cloth Talisman
Fine Steel Chalice
Sable Coat wreathed in Red Continual Flame
Polished Stone Miniature (of a Tower)
Bottle of Exotic Wine
Bottle of Exotic Wine
Bottle of Exotic Wine

Belie ushered everyone in and they began to ransack the place.

When they were finished with the room the exited and went to the other door that was in front of the group.  This door wasn’t locked or trapped so he opened it and moved inside.  By now the silence spell had worn off and any noise could be heard.

(GM): The room has walls with weapons and shields all about and a training circle encompasses the center.  Multiple practice dummies adorn the room.  Everyone had seen enough sparring and practice rooms to know that’s what this was one.  Deacon also took special note of the acrid smell and several marks on the wall made by spells. It was likely the Vlaadam’s used this room for arcane tests too.

Belie moves forward with nearly complete silence (34) as the group follows shortly behind.

(GM): Belie checks the door then whirls on his knee at the door and puts his finger to his lips.

16:49, Today: Vogh rolled 31,34,7,19,12 using d20+13,d20+14,d20+4,d20+3,d20+3 ((18,20,3,16,9)).

Belie winces as Bharash kicks a loose pebble and it clatters on the floor. He immediately steps to the left and prepares himself.  The group hears someone speak on the other side of the door.  A guard steps through the door and looks around and then moves to the next door and opens it looking outside into the hallway.  Finding nothing he returns to the room and closes the door.

The group could see while the door was open that there were cells inside.  Vogh thought if there were people in there, they needed to help them.  So after the guard entered the room she mouthed to Deacon, are you able to cast a spell that can hold that guard in place?

With a nod from Deacon, the plan was set.  Vogh through open the door giving Deacon line of sight to the guard and before he could call out Deacon had cast his spell which suddenly held the guard so very still.  The group except Deacon entered quickly and while Belie began tying up the guard and putting a gag in his mouth they entered the cells and freed a sleeping dwarf and a man of elven heritage.

(GM): Around the corner is nothing short of a full fledge torture chamber. A rack, brazier for heating coals, and a long table covered with knives, pliers, hooks and other implements of torture are in the room.

With the guard all tied up, Vogh leads the dwarf and elf back into the other room and closes the door.  She and Talin cast an invisibility spell on each of the men as well as another on Deacon.  The group then made their way back up the stairs and through the trap door.  Once back in the library they made their way out the window and with a mad dash they ran to the cliff edge.  Just before jumping off as was the plan, Deacon cast a spell of feather fall that affected everyone.

Soon they were on the ground and running back towards The Ghostly Minstrel.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
At the bottom of the Jeweled Cliffs Vogh and Talin placed their magically disguising hats on the heads of the dwarf and half-elf. After a quick explanation both of them were able to make themselves look like simple humans. The group made a mad rush for the Ghostly Minstrel, going down alleys and using every trick in their considerable repertoire to avoid detection and chase.

The group of eight fit inside Vogh and Talin’s room at the minstrel, just barely. It was tight quarters but at the early hour of the morning there was no way to gain extra rooms. Plus, everyone wanted to be together just in case the worst happened.

Belie explained to the group that his bag of tricks went even farther and that he needed only 2 hours of sleep, so he would keep vigil through the night if someone would guard his rest. The following morning the Rogue woke the group early, with a surprised Jevicca Noor standing beside him.

Everyone roused themselves and found seats, or stood, in the room with the attractive, red armed wizardess in their midst. Once again she spoke in the arcane language, produced the same orb, tapped it and said their conversation was protected.

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Vogh
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Once back in the confines of their room, Vogh and Talin got their hats back and they all made a guard rotation for the rest of the evening.

WHen Belie woke them Vogh woke with a start as she saw Jevvica standing in the room.  Vogh looked to Belie who was supposed to be on watch and shrugged her shoulders.  Jevvica was an accomplished wizardess, after all, so what could Belie have done.

Once the wards were up the group began to tell their tale of the theft.  That led Vogh to introduce the dwarf and the elf that were in the room.  The last thing she did was pull out the mummified hand to show Jevvica.  We retrieved the hand.  I think the best thing to do would be to destroy it.  But until we have the means to do so we need to make it figuratively disappear much like we are now.

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Jevvica Norr
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Jevvica waved her hand and silenced Vogh when she started to tell about how they got the Banewarrens key. “So you found the key? Wonderful! Fantastic work! And you’ve found two new friends? Also wonderful.”

She listened to Vogh discuss destroying the item, or making it disappear. “Destroying something so powerful will likely be very difficult, if not impossible. However, protecting it from divination is easier. I could return to the Pyramid with it and cast a few spells upon the item. We could also keep it safe.”

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Vogh
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The thought of getting rid of the key to the pyramid sounded good to Vogh, the wizards there should be able to hide such an item since they were so secretive about many things in their own lives.  I think that would be the best option for us right now.    Vogh said as she looked about and was burdened by the nods from the others.

Today we are going to be talking to the church superiors.  I will ensure that we dont say where the key will be moving forward.  The less people knowing about it the better.  Vogh reached into her pack and grabbed the key and then handed it over to Jevvica.

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Jevvica Norr
———————————————————–
Jevvica nodded and accepted the gruesome ‘key’ from Vogh’s hands. “It can’t ever just be a ‘key,’ can it?” She asked with a bit of a chuckle.

The wizardess laid four coins which matched Vogh and Talin’s from the Dreaming Apothecary to engage in their strange ‘sleep ordering’ process for magic items. “You each have a two thousand gold credit with the Apothecary to order anything you like. We will likely be in touch again very soon.”

With that she turned on a heel and headed out the room door. Belie closed it behind her after she had left and moved down the hall.

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Vogh
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Vogh laughed at the quib about the key for Jevvica was right, things never were as they seemed.

As Jevvica handed over the tokens and said there was a credit of two thousand with the Apothecary Vogh smiled wide.  It was a good day and about to get better once the spoke with the church in a little while.

When Jevvica left Vogh told the others, Talin, Belie and I will go speak with the church about what all has happened.  As I said I am not going to put in the bit about what happened last night, nor anything about the key.  Can you all stay here and make sure these two are taken care of?  They may be hungry and will probably need more rest.

Julia, Deacon, and Bharash all looked to each other and nodded.  We will take care of them, be careful! Julia added at the end.

With that, the three left and headed over to see Brother Fabitor.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
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Date/Time Update: 14th day of Sun

13th: broke into Vladaam and stole Hand/Key
14th: Met with Jevvica and the Church of Lothian

14th Eve: Belie orders his shield this night, and it will take 12 days to complete.
Belie’s shield will be available the 26th day of Sun.

Brother Fabitor was awaiting Vogh, Talin and Belie in the Minstrel’s Taproom. He occupied a table directly by the door where he could watch the stairs. As soon as they made their way down the priest jumped up and hustled over to them.

“Good morning my friends. I have a carriage waiting to take us to the Grand Cathedral.” He rushed them out as politely as possible. All four loaded into the carriage and Fabitor urged the man to be away quickly. The priest was very chatty in his nervousness, as he fastidiously smoothed his garments. For the first time they saw him dressed in all white, ‘priestly’ regalia. A wide, golden belt wrapped about his trim waist with a blue sash which bore the Lothian cross, trimmed in gold.

Both Vogh and Talin had seen the massive church in the Temple District before, but it was always breathtaking to behold. Belie’s mouth was agape as he stared up at the structure. The Grand Cathedral was a vast structure of sweeping columns, gilded angels, and long blue carpets woven with golden threads to display Lothian’s ankh symbol.

Two Order of the Dawn guards nodded to Brother Fabitor and did no move to stop the group as they made their way up the long walk to enter the church. After climbing a grand staircase that lead into a breathtaking vestibule, Fabitor led them not into the main sanctuary but up a side staircase and down a marble hall into a large meeting room.

The chamber was filled with white-and-blue-robed priests, Kalerecent in polished armor, a few other people, and a pair of guards flanking the door – the room’s only exit. The priests’ vestments bore the ankh crucifix of Lothian, while the guards wore the shining sun symbol on a field of the same white and blue as the clerics wore.

When the group entered the guards shut the door and stood at relaxed attention. All the priests took seats behind a long table while Kalerecent and the servants stood. Brother Fabitor was a bit flustered but composed himself, smoothing his tunic once more, took a breath and introduced them. He stood between their seats and the sitting priests behind their table. After introductions he took a seat off to the side of the room.

“Dignified Leaders, I present to you Miss Vogh Kath, Master Talin Ursalatao and Master Belie Ekik. These three performed a valuable service to the church when they aided Sir Kalerecent beneath the city after he and our fallen companion Rsanir engaged several enemies.” Kalerecent declined his head in recognition and polite thanks to the trio. Then Fabitor addressed the trio and introduced those in the room.

“Of course you already know Kalerecent, Paladin of Lothian. Now meet Sister Mara von Witten, Brother Tobias Thad, sister Daliana Varaun, Brother Heth Neferul, and Terestir Malacon.”

Mara von Witten was a middle-aged, brown-haired woman with a motherly presence.
Brother Tobias Thad was a young, dark-haired man with angular features and a tall frame.
Sister Daliana Varaun was a very old woman with a covered head and severe countenance.
Brother Heth Neferul was a muscular, fit, middle-aged man with a shaved head.
Terestir Malacon did not wear the robes of a priest, but he wore all white, plus a mirror ankh on a chain.
The others in the room were servants, dressed all in simple white garments.

First, Tobias Thad, the most vocal priest, spoke. “Greetings Vogh, Talin, Belie! Thank you for your wonderful service to Lothian in returning a noble servant to us in rescuing Kalerecent. In so doing, he and you discovered the entrance to the Banewarrens, this long forgotten prison of evil right below our feet.” Tobias went on to pepper them with a great many questions about their experiences in the Banewarrens.

What brought you to the abandoned manor house?
Why did you proceed below ground?
Describe the tunnels and their creation.
What was the area like?
What evils did they battle?
Have they learned anything more about these ‘Pactlords’?
What do they think these pactlords were doing below?
Have they returned to the Banewarrens since they rescued Kalerecent?
Describe the construction of the rooms and tunnels.
Have they discovered how to open the door Kalerecent shut?
And many more.

Second, Brother Heth Neferul introduced himself. “Hello. My name is Brother Heth Nerferul. I am head priest at the small Chapel of St. Thessina in the Rivergate District. Let me echo our thanks for returning Sir Kalerecent to us. Brother Fabitor has regaled us with many other good deeds you two have performed in our city.” He nodded to Vogh and Talin. “We have more to ask of you. We would request you take on a new mission for the safety and security of all Ptolus and her residents. We would like you to find out all you can about the magic that seals the vaults. The Church would very much like to understand the secrets of safely containing such great evil as used in the Banewarrens. Until the interference by these ‘pact lords,’ that area has remained sealed and safe for centuries. Milenia even.”

Heth pulled a scroll from a leather satchel hanging over his chair and held it up for a servant to retrieve. The young man gingerly held the parchment in both hands and walked on padded slipper clad feet over to hand it to Vogh.

“I had this made by an arcanist for just this mission. It holds a spell called legend lore, and if you cast it next to the door, you may learn some details of the spells that keep the horrible, evil things inside at bay. Of course, that means you will have to go back into that dangerous place.”

Vogh, Talin and Belie all noticed a bit of shock on the faces of the others present with Heth produced the powerful scroll, but all murmured their agreement and nodded with his logic to better understand how to contain such powerful evils.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was surprised to see Brother Fabitor waiting for them already in the waiting room of the Minstrel.  She greeted him and with his urging that they leave right away Vogh nodded as she looked to her companions and smiled.

When they finally arrived at the Grand Cathedral, it certainly was a sight to see up close.  Sure Vogh had been by it many times in her days here in Ptolus, but never so close as today.  Brother Fabitor ushered them in and took the trio to a large room.  Vogh and the others were amazed of how many people were here and just how regal it all was.  They obviously had been waiting for some time so Vogh just did as she was told to speed things up.

When they said the kind words about aiding Kal, Vogh smiled deeply.  She liked the knight and it was a pleasure to help a friend in need.  She would do it for any of her companions.

Finally, when the questions started to come out, Vogh took the time to answer each and every one.

Brother Tobias, we went to the manor house because we had heard from some others that there were strange things that had happened there and when we heard that Kal was missing from Brother Fabitor it made sense to us to check there.  We proceeded to go below because there was nowhere else to go but down.  We found that something had made an unnatural opening into the ground.  Vogh went on to describe the tunnels and how they were created by an umber hulk.  The monster was laid to rest and we continued on looking for Kal.  When we finally reached an area that was obviously man-made we knew that we had reached something unnatural.  We entered and navigated a few hallways and were attacked by a demonic blue troll.  We almost killed it, but it became ethereal and moved away from us.  With the creature gone, we continued on searching the place.  We came across what seemed like cells two of which had runes upon the doors and were at one time sealed.  They were broken into or out of and were quite empty.  One of the cells was obviously the cell for the troll.  We then moved on once we knew the area clear.  We then came across what we thought was a cloud giant that was trapped in a pit.  Turns out it was a female Lamia and a member of The Pact Lords of the Quaan.  We defeated her and then moved on.  We came across another rune door that the seal had not been broken yet so we left it alone and moved deeper inside.  That is when we came across a bunch of dead goblins and another very large door with runes.  This door was likewise sealed.  We moved further again and that is when we came across Kalerecent.  Thankfully he was okay but his friend had been killed.  We were in the process of bringing him back when we were attacked once more.  This time it was more goblins and a large Minotaur and a male Lamia.  While fighting them the blue troll returned and tried to kill us once more.  We were able to kill the goblins and the minotaur but the Lamia ran and the troll thing went ethereal once more.  With no more enemies to fight, it was time to leave.  We came back to Brother Fabitor with Kalerecent and his companion and then went to rest ourselves over the ordeal.  Vogh paused there and asked for a drink of water before she continued.

The Pactlords of the Quaan is an ancient group of monsters bound by a magical pact.  They were trying to unlock the Banewarrens.  They had a ring that had a wish on it.  The wish disabled the magic of the door for a short time and that is when Kalerecent came upon them.  He resealed the door by closing it leaving a green hag inside which we were told was probably the leader of the group.  We have not returned to the Banewarrens since rescuing Kalerecent and it is unknown if anyone else has either.  As for the door, it can’t be dispelled.  A wish seems to be a temporary way to get in.  No walls or any magical means are able to get past the walls either.  Vogh stopped there with her details of the place.

She listened to other questions and answered them to the best of what she was allowing herself to answer.  Finally, after Brother Heth stood and offered the scroll to Vogh she took it and stated, we will return to the door and use the scroll to garner what other knowledge we can and report it back to you right away.

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Narrator
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The group of clergy listened intently to everything in Vogh’s retelling. Kalerecent nodded along in agreement with all she said, then listened himself to the new information she shared.

Brother Heth thanked Vogh for sharing then asked the others in the room. “Has anyone else heard of these pact lords? What of this ‘Quaan’ whatever it is?”

None of the people in the room had heard of either. Heth pursed his lips at their lack of knowledge. “It seems others seek the secrets of these bane warrens. Monstrous beings who all seem of evil weal. We cannot allow that to happen.” Heth pointed to one servant then to Vogh. The young woman had been holding her hands behind her back, but at the priest’s gesture moved over to the woman and brought her arms around. She held a blue cloth bag, tied shut with a golden cord.

“Inside you will find the 200 platinum pieces Brother Thisk promised for the safe return of Kalerecent. Please return to the Banewarrens door, use the scroll, and return to us apropos with any information you gain. The church will be very grateful for your assistance in helping protect us all.”

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Kalerecent
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“I will return with them, and I will remain to guard the door in case these monsters return and try to enter the area again.” The paladin certainly lived up to the stalwart and honorable reputation.

“Give me a day to rest and resupply, then on the morrow we can head down again.”

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Terestir Malacon
———————————————————–
Terestir Malacon produced a token and handed it to Kal. “This is a missive token. Use it to send me a short message if you need anything while you’re below.”

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Vogh
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Vogh accepted the bag of coin from the woman with a smile and a soft, thank you to the woman.

I have much concern about just going down and getting the answers from the scroll and then leaving Kalerecent there to guard the door.  We know for a fact that there is that blue troll thing that is capable of going ethereal at any moment.  Also, based on the note we found the green hag was only a leader of the group that Kalerecent dispatched.  There is an overarching leader and most likely he will send another team to try and open the door.  I cannot in good faith just leave Kalerecent there alone.  But, I am not a guard.  Why don’t you send a team down there to help defend the door?  Thing is though, how long are you going to stand guard?  Forever?  I think not.  Vogh looked to Kalerecent as she said this.

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Narrator
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Kal didn’t react or respond. He looked at vogh and then to his leaders.

Fabitor spoke up with a suggestion. “Maybe a few Order of the Dawn could be spared to assist Kalerecent?”

The other priests discussed this possibility. Heth nodded and chimed in. “None of us have the authority to direct the order. Kalerecent can go and we will work to get him reinforcements immediately.”

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about it and said, well, since you all aren’t going to protect one of your own.  Vogh says as she shakes her head, Can you send someone down to get the information we gather with the scroll and then together we will stand guard until we are relieved properly.  Vogh had addressed the whole crowd of priests.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Brother Heth Neferul
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Brother Neferul rocked back in his chair at her blunt statement. “Your tongue seems to be as sharp as your sword Miss Kath.” Vogh didn’t miss his use of her family name rather than her first.

“But yes, that seems an appropriate solution. We will organize someone to accompany you who can be a runner back to us with the information. I believe you are staying at the Ghostly Minstrel, yes? The runner will meet you there tomorrow morning.”

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Vogh
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Vogh tensed a bit at the tone in the priest’s voice.  She caught the use of her family name only and knew that perhaps she crossed a line.  She tried to not let it show that though.  She nodded and added, yes that will be sufficient.  We will await the runner.  Also, I want to be perfectly clear.  This spell is above my proficiency in the arcane arts.  There is a chance it fails or doesn’t give me all the information that is possible about the door.

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Narrator
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Brother Heth nodded in understanding. “We thank you Miss Vogh for your service to Lothian and Ptolus.”

The rest of the clergy present nodded and voiced their thanks as well. Finally Brother Fabitor stood and led them back through the church and out to hail another carriage.

Belie remained mostly silent through all the interactions. Clergy made him uncomfortable. Something Talin and he bonded over. The rogue didn’t follow a specific god, but knew they existed and often did good. But all too often he had seen the poor exploited at the hands of evil men supposedly doing the ‘good work’ of the gods. Belie wished the gods would take more of an active hand in the daily lives of the less fortunate. I mean, what were they doing up there with all their time infinite? The rogue just shrugged and jumped into the carriage with the others.

Brother Fabitor had the carriage drop him in front of St. Gustav’s and paid the driver. “Thank you all for your assistance. Lothian bless and watch over you. Let me know if there is any way I can help further. Be blessed!” He parted from them and watched the carriage roll away.

They hadn’t far to go with the chapel being directly across from the Square. The two lovers and their friend moved into the Minstrel just as the clouds clapped and rain started to patter over the streets and roofs.

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Vogh
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Vogh along with the other two went back inside the minstrel.  As the went in Tellith gave VOgh a message that her friends had gone to the dwarf’s house to get some things and will be back after.  Vogh thanked Tellith and headed upstairs to grab the items they needed to sell off.  Vogh and the other two decided to get into disguise to go sell the items.

Where can I go?  I am not pawning just selling…

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Narrator
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The group packed everything from the Umber Hulk lair and the Vladaam Estate vault into their magical backpacks and headed downstairs from Vogh & Talin’s room. First stop was Telleth. Vogh told the young woman they had procured some wine they wanted to sell. The redhead referred her to the bar manager Zade.

Zade, the bald, skinny, and gruff bartender met them with his curt nod as usual. Vogh repeated their sale offer to which he replied, “Show me what ya got.” As soon as the woman produced the first bottle of wine she knew they might be in trouble. Zade’s eyes shot up and opened wide. Immediately he set down the glass he was cleaning and growled low in a husky voice, Put that away! He spoke in an angry whisper, hastily looking around the taproom tables which were mostly empty. Zade looked at all three of them, hands on the bar, leaning toward them so he could speak very quietly. You would do well to dump that out and smash the bottle into a million pieces. Do NOT try to sell that anywhere. The barman leaned back and moved away, leaving the group dumbfounded and shocked. Vogh quickly stowed the bottle once more into her magical backpack.

Belie quipped, “Well, I guess we could drink it. Or maybe give it to someone…” The rogue stopped dead in his tracks and smiled, mirthlessly. “You know… That’s an idea.” He looked around then shook his head and gestured that they should leave, indicating he wouldn’t discuss it in open company.

Talin hailed a carriage just outside the square and Vogh told the driver to head toward the Exotic Market. They had to pull cloak hoods low over their heads to avoid getting soaked from the rain. Thankfully their high leather boots kept them dry with good leather cloaks pulled about them. Vogh headed straight to where Inlios typically was and smiled down at the gnome.

“HelloMissVogh! Sogoodtoseeyouagain!” Inlios prattled out his words so fast it nearly made Belie’s head spin. The rogue shook his head and looked at Talin with a bemused expression. Vogh produced a couple items and asked if the gnome could buy them from her. He looked over the three necklaces, the pearl ring, the ivory drinking horn and the small bottle of perfume. He inspected each piece with a glass set against his eye, bringing the device nearly against each piece.

“Whew. Expensive. Manygoodbaubles! Nomagicthough…” He was less enthusiastic about items with no magic about them, but he did a fair bit of sales in jewelry and other luxury items. Vogh carefully extracted the Sable coat with the Red Continual Flame spell on it and the gnome clapped in glee! “Yes!Yes!Yes! Iwantthis!” Inlios kept the garment beneath his cart’s overhang to protect it from the weather, running his hands over it, inspecting stitches and enjoying running his hands through the continual flame. “Goodcoat. Twofiftyingold?”

The two haggled a bit then Inlios told her, “Gooditems. ButIhavetowait. Onlysomuchcoinyouknow?” Inlios gave her his most charming smile. “MaybeStarJewelersinGuildsmanwillbuy? OreventhehorseTavatarinNoblesDistrict”

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Narrator
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None of the three desired to go up into the Nobles’ District with these items so they opted for the Dwarves of Star Jewelers. Before leaving the carriage each of them enacted the magic of their disguising hats, transforming themselves into human men dressed in fine clothing with beards, and wearing longswords. (Feel free to add any description to this you want. I just knew you wanted to be disguised. IF Vogh wanted to spend even more time on non-magical disguises at the Minstrel before they left, that would be fine.) On storm street the round, two-story stone structure stood out like an obstinate shoulder among the rather typical Guildsman District buildings, making them look flimsy and ramshackle by comparison. It was well known the Gurhorond dwarves would pay full price for good gems, as their artisan crafts-dwarves could turn them into much more valuable pieces of jewelry.

Inside the round structure they immediately noticed the two dwarven guards flanking the door which nodded at them upon entry. There was a semi-circle of glass cases featuring countless beautiful items. A pair of dwarves were behind the counter. No one else was inside when they entered so both stood from their stools and smiled at the newcomers.

Unlike most dwarves, these two seemed very well kept with oiled beards and hair, fine clothing and sporting more than a few precious items about their person. “Good morning. How may we assist you today?”

Knowing their reputation Vogh asked Talin to produce the black pearl. With a similar device as Inlios the dwarf helping them inspected the item very closely. “This is a fantastic gem. Worth 50 platinum for sure. Do you have other pieces?”

Next Vogh produced the necklaces. Both dwarves looked them over, less excited about the pieces since they lacked any gems. “We can do 75 gold for each of these.” They perked up at the sight of the very well crafted cup with many jewels embedded in its precious metal.

So the trio kept producing items. The dwarves passed on the painting, cloth talisman and the perfume, but quickly came to agreeable prices on all the other items. None of the three wanted to haggle too hard, mostly excited to get these items out of their possession.

All told the dwarves offered them 3,300 gold pieces, paid in platinum to decrease the weight, which allowed them to sell nearly everything.

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Vogh
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After the interaction with Zade, Vogh went to go outside with the others, before stepping out though she changed herself to look like a normal female patron nothing that would stand out if she was looked upon.  Talin did the same and so did Belie.  They walked out and hailed a carriage for the rainy right to see Inlios.  Once inside the carriage, Vogh asked Belie what the idea he had.

When Vogh saw Inlios she greeted him happily and with a little small talk they got down to business.  They haggled back and forth about the cloak before settling on 400gp for it.  Vogh leaned in and said, what are your plans for the cloak?  Also, what kind of magic do you have on hand?

Finally, they settled on heading to see the Dwarves at Star Jewelers.  The dwarves were shrewd but very upfront buyers and sellers of all sorts of things jewelry and gems.  Vogh had little trouble selling off the rest of the items and once it was all settled the left, still in disguise which was different than the one they had left the Minstrel in.  When they arrived Vogh looked like a male with blonde hair and a scalemail shirt and longsword strapped to her hip.

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Belie
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Belie grinned and leaned forward toward the two love birds to whisper. “When I first came to Ptolus with a friend, we found out a nice family was being extorted by this local thug, Korben Trollone. Well, let’s just say Jamir and I dealt with him. I doubt he was happy about it, which is one of the reasons I keep myself disguised nearly always. I think we should deliver these three bottles to Korben as a ‘gift’ and possibly bring the wrath of a certain ‘house’ down on him instead of us.” The rogue leaned back against the padded seat, smiling, rather proud of his subterfuge.

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Talin
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Talin looked over at the man he had come to know as a friend.  So this wine is a House Vladaam make then I take it?  If you think that it might be able to throw off our trail I say let’s do it.  Do you want to go tonight?  I will go with you.  Talin said with a grin.

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Vogh
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After heading to Inlios and the dwarves VOgh and Talin decided to stop at Myraeth’s to see what they might have.  They looked around and then just decided to ask.  Vogh gave a laundry list of items she was looking for.  He came back with a mirror and an amulet of natural armor.  Vogh’s eyes lit up at the mirror and immediately said she will buy it.  The two got the funds needed to buy the two items and headed finally into the Minstrel once more changing back to their normal form, Vogh saw the others carrying items up to the rooms.  Deacon saw Vogh and so she grabbed at the pouch and mouthed, Sold the items.  As they all went upstair Vogh tossed the coins on the bed.  Looks like we made a pretty penny down there in the warrens.  With the apothecary and the sale, we are about 5ooo gold each.

With what seemed like all the dwarves items having been brought up Vogh decided to tell the others what had happened at the Grand Cathedral.  She told who they met and what happened including the scroll to learn more.  It wasn’t ideal Vogh said, they asked us to return and use this scroll to garner more information about the door and its magic.  A runner will be coming with us and will take the notes we give back to the priests.  Kalerecent decided he would guard the door until the church figured out what to do next.  Course I couldn’t just leave Kal down there all alone, not with that blue troll down there.  Vogh looked directly at Julia and Deacon.  Make sure you have ways to see invisibility again.  We will need it if we find it again.  Also if you have a way to fight ethereal try to have a spell ready.

Vogh then looked to Degar and Thariad, so you both have decided to stay with us huh?  That is good.  I was hoping you would do that.  We can talk more about what we can do next later.

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Narrator
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That evening, before retiring, Belie and Talin spent quite a bit of time with Vogh doing mundane disguises, then they layered magical changes on top of those. The two men found an old crate from a nearby business, packed it with straw, and put all 3 wine bottles stolen from the Vladaam’s into the crate. Together they made their way to Edarth’s Loans right against Dalen’s Cliffs. Belie explained on their way this was just a front for Korben’s illegal activities, and that’s how they snared the unsuspecting owners of the Welcome Inn.

The shabby two-story building didn’t look like much. Belie knocked and opened at a shout from inside. An older human man sat behind a desk, clearly caring little for the business operation. He put his feet down and asked what the two wanted. A dwarven guard sat, likewise reclined, but weapon close at hand.

A double door let into another room which must have been the back three fourths of the building since this front office was much smaller than the depth of the building indicated.

Belie spoke in an unintelligent vernacular and low voice, “We gots a delivery fer Korben.” When the man, Edarth, asked what it was and where it came from both Belie and Talin, in disguise, shrugged their shoulders. Belie simply responded, “We don’t get paid to ask no questions sir.” With that the duo left the building and headed back to the Minstrel.

Talin was shocked at Belie’s level of paranoia. The rogue change magical disguises several times. He moved through several alleys and never took main roads. Once they were back in the Minstrel and in the shared room, he finally dropped all disguises and wiped his face. Then the rogue began to laugh heartily.

Date/Time Update: 15th day of Sun
Belie’s shield ready 26th of Sun.

[Private to GM: On the 14th morning, they gave the key to Jevvica.
It will be stolen from the Inv. Pyramid by the Vladaam’s.
]

The next morning the church runner, a young and very fit man, was awaiting the troop downstairs in the minstrel with Kalerecent.

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Talin
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Talin had some fun with Belie as they traversed the city.  They changed their disguises many times.  It was wild, Talin was a woman, a young man, and an old man, an elf, and so much more.  It was thrilling to be out in the streets.  Finally, after they had delivered the wine and had returned they went to their room.  Vogh surprised him with an amulet.  She told him it would help protect him from attacks.  The amulet was cool looking with a silver chain with the amulet being that of a dragons eye.  Talin hugged Vogh and then put it on.

Since it wasn’t too late, Vogh talked to the dwarf about an idea she was thinking about.  I know that you and Alister had something between you two and I think as long as he is alive you can’t go back to your house without others again.  We have come into a piece of property that is well hidden and you could set up a workshop there.  There are plenty of rooms so if you wanted to live there you could.  Thariad, I know it isn’t much but perhaps Degar could use some help and you could live there as well.  Maybe he would even take you on as an apprentice?  Vogh gave Degar a wink at the last thought she said.  If this is something you would be interested in we could bring all this there now and get you set up.


It was getting late so they all decided to go to sleep.  Everyone put their tokens from the DA and made a wish of an item they wanted.

For Vogh she chose an Amulet of natural armor +1.  Talin chose a ring of protection +1.  Julia chose http://aonprd.com/MagicRingsDi…Inheritor%27s%20Ring.  Deacon chooses a Ring of Sustenance.  Bharash chooses a ring of protection +1.  Yes, I know some of these are over 2k and they will tell where the gold is for the rest.

When they all went downstairs after waking they saw the young man as it wasn’t hard to point him out from the others in the room at that early hour.  Are you ready to see the Banewarrens?  Vogh asked the young man.

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Narrator
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Thariad and Degar nodded. The dwarf expressed interest, as did Thariad, but said he would need to think it over. “Would it be alright for us to wait here until you all return? I need to prepare spells again and look over my things.” The dwarf asked politely.

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about it for a moment and decided, Yes, that will work.  We can get you both a room of your own.  We aren’t sure when we will be back so just stay in the minstrel till we return.  We will take care of the cost.

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Narrator
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The dwarf and human were extatic at their generosity and Degar promised to make it up to them as soon as he could re-establish himself.


Kalerecent gave one nod with the conviction of a holy warrior. The young man with him looked much less confident but he nodded as well, following Kal’s lead. He was really a boy, likely in his teens, but he had long legs and looked like he could run the length of the city.

The troop, now numbering eight, left the Minstrel on a mission. Outside two carriages were already parked and awaiting them. Kal explained he had prepared them.

Vogh, Talin, Belie and Kalerecent rode in one, while the trio and the church runner rode in the other. Like Iltumar the young man, Glil by name, was wide eyed at Bharash. He didn’t ask any questions, but it was obvious the young man was very interested in the huge warrior.

Both carriages rumbled through the streets of Ptolus, up the ramp into Oldtown and stopped before the large manor home they had already traversed multiple times. All eight exited the carriages and followed Kalerecent into the manor once more. The paladin drew his sword, readied a torch in his shield hand and began the descent into the darkness once more.

Everything was as they had left it. The bodies had not been removed or burried. Nothing indicated any other being had been down here since they last left.

Nearly everyone had some form of magical light. The group stuck the church runner right in the middle of their line with Julia while Belie moved from the front of the group to the back, checking for traps or anything new.

They reached the oversized door, still locked and protected as they last saw. Vogh moved up to the door while everyone fanned out in a protective semi-circle. None of them had any idea what to expect down here in this strange place with so many evils about.

Belie risked venturing around the room, checking just outside the large chamber, even ascending the spiral stair to look down hallways and just inside the upper rooms. He reported back nothing had changed.

Vogh had to focus for over half an hour on the scroll with the powerful spell. Thankfully the spell did not fizzle of fail her. Into her mind flooded information fed to her by the magic of the spell.

quote:
“Danar Rotansin crafted this, and other, powerfully enchanted doors which could only be opened by his own hand. Both a combination lock must be opened along with Danar’s own touch to open this door. This door leads further into the Banewarrens. No spell short of a wish spell will temporarily suppress the warding magic and open the door. When a seal is removed by the key only the sealing rod can re-seal a door. Danar’s mummified hand is the Key to open the door now as he is dead. Danar’s Hand can only be destroyed by the staff of shards.”

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Vogh
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Vogh opened her eyes sometime later and quickly wrote down what she learned.

Danar Rotansin crafted this, and other, powerfully enchanted doors which could only be opened by his own hand. Both a combination lock must be opened along with Danar’s own touch to open this door. This door leads further into the Banewarrens. No spell short of a wish spell will temporarily suppress the warding magic and open the door. When a seal is removed by the key only the sealing rod can re-seal a door. Danar’s mummified hand is the Key to open the door now as he is dead. Danar’s Hand can only be destroyed by the staff of shards.

We will accompany you to the house and then you need to get this to Brother Fabitor.   She said to the boy.

Kal, Julia, Deacon, and Talin stayed behind while the others brought the youth to the house and watched him leave while they returned back down to the door ready to guard it.

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Vogh
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The group had brought enough rations for a week-long adventure.  Vogh cast an alarm spell at the mouth of the two rooms.  It gave the most coverage for entrances to the main chamber.  The rest just set up a makeshift camp without the fire of course near the door.  They make sure the upper doors are closed and they keep all their everburning torches going.

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Narrator
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One day, two days, three days pass with absolutely nothing happening. Vogh diligently casts her alarm spells every 16 hours. Belie, only needing 2 hours of sleep, prowled around like a caged lion. The rogue could not stand just sitting still, especially underground.

Kalerecent was unflappable and stalwart in his vigil. He moved through a routine every morning with his sword. He would start without armor after waking from his watch turn, then add his shield, then put on all his armor and work through several forms.

The martial fighters of the group would spar a little, but everyone was really tense for the first two days. But boredom soon set in.

Glil, the church runner, came down each day to check on the report, only to leave with nothing new to add.

[Private to GM: Heth could totally send a group of shape shifters down, disguised as Order of the Dawn soldiers to ‘relieve’ them of their watch.

I’m not sure what house Vladaam would even do at this point. Maybe they would be angry at the theft and want to inspect the area this long forgotten key opened. But why would they really care to delve into the Banewarrens?

How did Vladaam even get the key?

Shilukar lost his main lair, and likely wants it back.
He’s friends with Linech Cran and could easily tell him the PC’s killed Toridan,
his brother, to sick the criminal on them.

Shilukar also wants these chaos destroyers taken care of,
so he could sick the PC’s on them.

Shilukar could also put a price on the PC’s heads.

Maybe Shilukar knows the Dark Elves from the Queen module
and brings about them coming to the surface, even helps guide them for coin.]

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Vogh
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Vogh likewise practiced with her blade and song during the days.  What else could she do she hadn’t known.

Other than that it was guard duty at its finest.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia had an idea the first day as well to see if there was anything in the complex that was evil.  She cast a spell that would help her find anything that was evil and then had Deacon and Bharash and anyone else who wanted to join her and began to walk the entire complex.

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Narrator
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Julia sensed a mild presence of evil throughout the stone rooms. But nothing radiated higher than anything else. Everything had a twinge of evil to it, after holding so much evil for so long.

After the third day a troop of a dozen Order of the Dawn, with a seargent, marched into the complex, setting off Vogh’s alarm. The seargent called for a halt and in practiced lock stop the soldiers came to a resounding stop.

Kalerecent extended a hand and the seargent introduced himself as Jamal Gratearent. The man had a deep tan, long black hair braided and coming from beneath his helmet. A well oiled moustache descended down the side of his mouth.

Jamal addressed the gathered group of friends. “The Church of Lothian thanks you for your service and the Order of the Dawn appreciates your advanced guard. I have been told the Church has extended to you a bounty to be collected from Brother Fabitor This at his church. We will remain to monitor the door until the Superiors decide on a more permanent solution to sealing this evil place.”

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Vogh
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Vogh and the others warned the men of the blue troll, but also said that for the past three days there was nothing evil that they could find.  She also told them to not open any other doors that weren’t already opened.  After that Vigh and the others headed over to see Brother Fabitor before heading back to the Minstrel to check on their two new friends.

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Narrator
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The seargent nodded and thanked them. He then ordered the men into a semi circle before the door.

Without incident the group made it through the carved tunnels once more. Above ground the evening sun was dropping, they made their way to St. Gustav’s. Fabitor was happy to see them. He looked a bit confused then snapped his finger in remembrance. “Ah yes! Brother Heth sent me a note about this. First, here is a writ which you can present at any Lothian temple for free healing for a full year. Second, the church has approved a blessing payment for your work of 100 platinum. That should be delivered here and I’ll send word to you.”

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Vogh
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It was nice to see Brother Fabitor again.  The man sure looked a lot better and so did the church since they had met the man.  Well, that was nice of them to do.  We will be around so just send word to The Minstrel and we will come to get it.  After a little more idle chatter the group left and went to The Minstrel.  It was getting late after all and they all were looking to have a well-cooked meal.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The trio returned to their rooms at the Griffon, not wanting to be cramped in the Minstrel room of Vogh and Talin. Likewise Belie said he would return to the Welcome Inn where he had a free room because of the situation he had told the bards about.

That left Vogh and Talin at the Minstrel to check on the two rescued prisoners. The dwarf and half elf were both thankful again for their hospitality.

Degar apologized, “I had the nice woman put food on your tab as we had no money.” He was quick to add, “But I will make it up to you in creation!”

With night setting in, everyone was happy to spend time in a proper bed once more after the uncomfortable ‘camping’ beneath the earth. None of the group realized the toll it would take on their bodied and minds to be beneath the earth for so long without sun or moon to make the passage of time.

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Vogh
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Vogh thought she had already said that the cost would be on them for now, but she let the proud dwarf his way.  Think nothing of it Degar.  Tomorrow we will get you down to the place we talked about.  I will be looking for a couple of scrolls and then finding someone that we lost.

After chatting a bit with the dwarf and half-elf, Vogh and Talin retired to their room and went to sleep.

The next morning they went to Degar and Thabaid’s room and asked if they wanted breakfast.  They all went down and ate and then hailed a carriage to make the trip near the lair.  Once again they had a bit of work to do to get down below, but it was worth it in the end.  When they went below Vogh showed the pair to their room and showed Degar where he could set up shop.  As they went down they took a right and then another right.  This will be your guys’ room.  We just need to move a bed from another room.  Then Vogh asked the dwarf.  I don’t mean anything behind this question but are you a good digger?  We have a room down the other hall that needs to be finished.  I was thinking that could be your workshop.

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Degar Ravenspell
———————————————————–
Degar and Thariad where shocked to find the complex beneath the cluttered land above. Unfortunately Degar shook his head at Vogh’s question about digging. “I’ve spent my whole life focused on the pursuit of the arcane. I’ve never put hammer to stone except in a few very small applications. I would not have the first idea how to excavate and craft the room like this place as been.”

Vogh could tell Degar was disappointed. But he offered, “But, if you want, I could ask some of my kin about finding a good stone mason?”

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Thariad Rivelost
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Thariad had little to offer in the way of expertise, but he did offer. his assistance in any way he could possibly help. “I’ve got a strong back. I can dig or move or do anything you all need in order to try to even begin to repay my thanks.”

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Neridoc Bittersong
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After taking Degar and Thariad to the ‘lair’ the bards ascended the ladder once more and snuck out into the street. They made their way back to Delver’s Square, then beneath the streets into the Under City market.

The gnome wizard Neridoc Bittersong ran a booth in the market under the sign “Arcane Scribe.” It was here they got their scrolls for the Vladaam heist and they figured to return here again.

“Well hello my friends. Welcome back. You are in need of more of my excellent scrolls?”

Vogh explained what they were looking for and the gnome nodded. “Scrying scrolls are easiest to come by. I believe I have six of them right now. The location spell is a powerful magic and beyond my ability. It would take a powerful caster to invoke such a spell. Either myself, or an associate, can get you the ‘witness’ and ‘questioning stone’ spell within a day or two. Would that suffice?

With their acceptance he agreed to get to work on that then added. “I’m sure you know, but the scrying spells require an expensive viewing apparatus. I’m assuming you have that available” Both bards were certain the gnome would likely be happy to sell them something, or knew the one where to buy.

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Vogh
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Vogh was disappointed that the dwarf couldn’t do the digging but was happy that Thariad said he would help in any way he could.  Speaking to Degar Vogh said, no that will be okay.  We will figure it out.  We don’t want a lot of people knowing about this place just yet.  So, with that said, I am going to give you a key to the lock we have.  Make sure you lock up when you leave and make sure to be as stealthy as possible when you come and go.  With that Vogh and Talin left.


When Vogh saw Neridoc she smiled and greeted him warmly.  She liked gnomes, they were a talkative bunch.  She had told him what she wanted.  When he said he had 6 scrolls of scrying Vogh said, I will take 1 of those and if you can work on the others that would be great.  When they are finished can you just send me a message at The Minstrel?  I have done some research and know that I need a mirror and a pool of water.  Will this mirror do?  Vogh produced the mirror she had just purchased.  As for the pool of water and what contains it, is there something specific I need to know?  I have access to a pool of water.  Vogh explains what the pool in the ‘lair’ looks like and made of.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Neridoc Bittersong
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When Vogh explained she was talking about the discern creature’s location scroll rather than the incredibly powerful discern location spell, Neridoc nodded in understand. “Oh! My apologies. Yes, I do have a single one of those. 140 platinum please. And, oh my, that should be more than adequate for a scrying mirror.”

The affable gnome held out his hand awaiting the payment, eyeing the expensive, magical mirror Vogh had shown him.

After payment Vogh had asked for confirmation regarding the locate creature spell and how it worked. “Yes. Yes. Once you cast the spell you will receive direction to find the object you’re seeking. You’ll understand once you use the spell, but you have a finite amount of time. Since I created the scroll, you should have about an hour and a half.”

I’m doing the Wizard price for 4th level scroll. Since he’s a wizard.

[Private to GM: Iltumar will be in the minstrel with two people from the ‘cult’.
He’s sitting with Jamill and Anikka.
Jamill has strange tattoos and scars, long black hair and sunken eyes, likely only a little older than Iltumar.
Anikka has long dark hair and a slight build with a youthful beauty. She looked to be about Iltumar’s age, but maybe a little older.
All 3 wear the ‘broken square’ ring.

They also need to find a chest they cannot open.]

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Vogh
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Vogh listened to Neridoc tell about the spell.  It was interesting and one she may have to learn when she is more experienced.  Vogh thanked the gnome and then headed out with Talin.
Talin, this spell I just received will show us where Shilukar is.  I think we should go find Belie first and then I can read the spell and we follow where it takes us!

Vogh and Talin headed over to The Welcome Inn.  Vogh had been there a couple of times in the past since it was in South Market.  When they got there they asked the barkeep where they could Find Belie, (Unless he was in the tavern).

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Narrator
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An older woman was at the bar, pushing a few plates of food over to one of two beautiful young women. She smiled at the bards’ approach and nodded at their question. “I’m not sure dear. He’s been in and out a lot lately. Here, have a seat and I’ll grab you a bite.” Valene Schuk patted the bar in front of her, indicating two seats.

A couple minutes later a blonde young man got up from his table in the corner and came to sit by the bar. He raised a finger to Valene then pointed to his ale mug. She nodded to him and came to refill the cup. The young man looked over at Talin and winked then whispered, “I’ll see you outside in a second.” With that he took his mug back over to his table and sat reading one of the Ptolus news sheets.

Vogh and Talin snacked a bit on the food and left a few silvers behind. Talin spoke to Valene with a smile, “Next you see him, tell him his two musical friends are looking for him.” to which she nodded, returning the smile.

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Belie
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The duo waited outside and another few minutes brought Belie walking out the back as himself. He smiled and nodded at them. “Well hello musical friends of mine.” He chuckled at the jest. “The Shuck’s know not to point me out since we never know who that Korben might have sent to attack. And let’s face it, you two look a little intimidating…” Again Belie smiled.

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Vogh
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Vogh laughed at the fact that Belie thought they were intimidating.  Talin maybe, but surely not little ole Vogh.

Now that they all were together finally  Vogh told Belie the plan for catching the Shilukar.  To make sure that they were in the central part of the city to have the best of luck, they traveled there by carriage and then read the scroll.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Intimidating to the Shucks… 🙂

The carriage driver thought it odd the group didn’t know where they were headed yet, and Vogh kept telling him direction changes from inside the cabin. But they had handed him a couple silver before they started and promised him more upon arrival.

Vogh’s spell worked flawlessly. They had to make a few turns and backtrack a bit as she got the hang of the locate magic’s guidance. But finally the carriage rolled to the end of Wash Street in the Rivergate District. The bards immediately recognized Linech Cran’s burrow at the end of the street, and Vogh knew Shilukar was somewhere inside that area of buildings owned by the criminal they had dealt with previously.

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Vogh
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Vogh loved the spell that she was using.  It wasn’t perfect though as at times it wanted her to go through a building so they would have to backtrack in the end when they pulled up close to Linech’s she knew that the drow was inside the complex.  Right then she had the driver stop and as it came to a halt before they got closer to the complex she and Belie exited and Vogh told Talin to go get Julia, Bharash, and Deacon for they would be needed possibly.

With that Talin headed out to grab the trio at The Griffon.  When he arrived he asked the barkeep if he had seen the trio and described them if he didn’t know them by name.

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Talin
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Talin arrived at the Griffon and when he had Deacon, Bharash, and Julia they all got in the carriage and went back to where he had left Belie and Vogh.  When they all arrived Vogh went over the plan and showed all of them the house in which Shilukar was in.  After a little deliberation, they decided to scale the house to the window on the northeast side and enter through a window.

Deacon cast his spider climb once more and then the trio cast invisibility on everyone.  Last came the silence spell.

Holding hand in hand they approached the stone wall and scaled it easily and quietly.  Belie led the way up the house to the window and Vogh came along leaving the others at the wall.  This afforded Vogh the chance to cast a detect magic to see if there was a trap on the window.  As her spell went off the magic shown.  After a moment to see what aura it was she found it to be minor abjuration.  Vogh went back and grabbed Julia and brought her up to dispel the magic.  Julia cast her spell and Vogh saw the aura disappear.  Vogh gave Julia a pat and then went and brought the others up.

Once all were in position Belie opened the window quickly and as he did Skilukar knew something was wrong and so stood and headed for the door.  Belie and Talin was the first through the window and ran after the fleeing mage.  Everyone else poured through the window while Talin and Belie caught up to the mage as he neared the door to go outside.  They tackled him and held him tight.  This, of course, alerted the gnolls that were downstairs.  They could now see Talin and Belie holding their boss.

Vogh was now at the bottom of the stairs and moved to attack one of the gnolls.  Her strike was strong and opened up a nasty wound on its chest.  The gnoll tried to strike back but failed in his attempt.  The other gnoll rushed at Belie, but the rogue was too quick and dodged the blow from the gnoll.

With time passing Bharash was finally down the stairs and moved to attack the gnoll.  His blade easily hit the beast and cut a deep slash on its arm.  It looked like it howled in pain but no noise came forth.

Suddenly dim light filled the room as Shilukar used one of his innate abilities. This drove Talin to strike Shilukar in the head to knock him unconscious, it didn’t work the first time though.  Belie stabbed out at the gnoll and so did Bharash again, both men killed it with their accurate slices.

The other gnoll likewise fell to Vogh’s blade as did Shilukar when Talin hit him again.  She then moved over to help bring Shilukar but just then the door was almost forced open.  Talin luckily held it tight.  Talin motioned for Belie and Bharash to bring Shulikar upstairs and leave.  Vogh then moved to aid Talin to hold the door while the others headed upstairs.  Still invisible, Deacon and Julia had already gone back upstairs seeing the situation in hand.  Deacon then looked for the drow’s spellbook and luck was with him as it was laying out in the open on the desk.  He grabbed it and all the other paperwork on the desk hurridly and exited the window once more.  Julia followed and then shortly after the others were at the window the now limp form of the drow.

Back to Talin and Vogh, the door suddenly burst open and in quick order one of the gnolls were killed.  The other looked in and saw Talin cut down the gnoll.  Talin nor Vogh wanted to chase after the gnoll as it ran waving its arms fearing they would have more of a fight on their hands.  So they both ran upstairs and with another invisibility spell on Bharash and the limp drow they all exited and left the compound far behind.

Once in the clear, they hailed a carriage, paying the driver a gold piece to turn away, and loaded the limp drow inside.  Deacon, Bharash, and Julia caught a carriage as well and followed Talin, Vogh, and Belie.  When they all finally stopped they all got out and made their way slowly to the lair.  This was a new thing for Deacon, Julia, and Bharash as they descended below the streets to find a whole network of rooms and passages.  It wasn’t complete yet but as they moved Vogh gave a tour, which included Degar and Thariad.

Talin and Belie tied and gagged Shilukar to a chair while checking his body for anything else.  Talin even cast his detect magic to see if anything was hidden.  Vogh told them she was going to head to Castle Shard to see if they wanted the drow.  Vogh left them all there then and before heading out she made herself look like a simple unkept woman of middle age.  As she exited and moved off to another street she made sure the coast was claer and changed again to a young maiden with stark black hair.  She hailed a carriage once more and headed to Castle Shard.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Date/Time Update: 16th day of Sun
Returned to the Banewarrens to guard for 3 days.
On the 19th of Sun Knights of the Dawn relieved them.

20th Day of Sun Took the Ex-Prisoners to the Lair
Got Belie, Bought Scrolls from Neridoc Bittersong
Went to Linech Cran’s lair and kidnapped Shilukar
Vogh went to Castle Shard.

Castle Shard Party: Queensday, 23rd of Sun
Belie’s shield ready 26th of Sun.

[Private to GM: On Sun the 14th, morning, they gave the key to Jevicca.
It will be stolen from the Inv. Pyramid by the Vladaam’s.

Iltumar will be in the minstrel with two people from the ‘cult’.
He’s sitting with Jamill and Anikka.
Jamill has strange tattoos and scars, long black hair and sunken eyes, likely only a little older than Iltumar.
Anikka has long dark hair and a slight build with a youthful beauty. She looked to be about Iltumar’s age, but maybe a little older.
All 3 wear the ‘broken square’ ring.

They also need to find a chest they cannot open.]

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Narrator
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The carriage pulled Vogh up in front of Castle Shard. She departed and made her way across the drawbridge covering the purple moat and knocked upon the great door. As always Kadmus answered within moments and greeted her.

“Greetings Miss Vogh Kath. How may I assist you today?”

Sharing she had news of Shilukar the majordomo admitted her and led her to the same sitting room she had frequented several times now.

“I will seek Lord Zavere.” The strange man left the room and returned a few minutes later bearing sweets, treats, cheeses and wine. “This the same drink you enjoyed last time. I’ve brought it once more, but of course I can bring something different if you so desire. The Lord should be here shortly.”

If Vogh had no further requests of him he bowed and departed the room, leaving her to the food and drink.

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Lord Zavere
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Lord Zavere entered the room looking his typical, dashing self, and wearing a smile.

“Greetings Vogh! To what do I owe this pleasure?”

He took a plush, high back seat across the small table from Vogh and steepled his hands, each finger touching the other.

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Vogh
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Thank you so much, the wine will be fine Vogh said after the man asked.  She took a sip and then nodded her head.  Tastes wonderful, thank you again.  When the man left to retrieve Lord Zavere, Vogh took a bite of cheese and waited.

It wasn’t long before the Lord arrived and Vogh stood as was the custom.  When Lord Zavere sat, Vogh also sat back in the nice chair she was in before.  Well, I guess you could say my visit is two-fold.  First, Thank you for the invitation to the party.  Talin and I will be attending.  It should be delightful.  Is anyone from my family going to be in attendance?  Vogh’s language and mannerisms fell back into her learned behavior of nobles as she spoke with Lord Zavere.

Now for the news I most wanted to share with you.  Today, Talin and some friends of ours have taken captive Shilukar.  He is being held at a secret location and I wanted to come over to tell you right away.

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Lord Zavere
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Lord Zavere nodded and responded politely, “Of course.” To her question about her family he again nodded. “I do believe an invitation made it’s way to House Kath.” Zavere finished his sentence with a wink and smile.

When Vogh shared the news about them capturing Shilukar he parted his steepled hands and clapped, then leaned forward and exclaimed, “That’s wonderful!” He laughed out loud. “Your introduction will be all the sweeter! Abbercombe, come in here!”

From around the corner a man made of gold stepped. It was the statue she and Talin had rescued from Linech not so long ago, but now walking and smiling at her.

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Lord Abbercombe
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“Hello Miss Vogh Kath. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The living statue spoke to her with an old accent, and an air of polite authority.

“When I heard you were here, I of course wanted to meet my rescuer. Thank you for retrieving me and bringing me here, on top of recovering the reagent which saved me from stasis. Additionally, it seems you have captured the evil drow who so suspended me?”

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Vogh
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Vogh almost jumped up when Lord Abbercrombie came into the room then.  She hadn’t really seen him ‘alive’ to this point and it brought a smile to her face.  Oh Lord Abbercrombie, I am so happy that you are okay.  Yes, we just returned with him and have him bound and gagged.  He is in a safe place for now.  But, I don’t want to keep him and certainly, the authorities should know of his atrocities towards a Lord.

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Lord Abbercombe
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“Indeed.” The golden face hardened, if that was possible, at thinking of the imprisonment of the drow. “While not one typically in favor of judicial murder, it seems warranted on this one’s part.” The golden Lord looked to the Lord of Castle Shard who had been watching him speak.

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Lord Zavere
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“Yes. There are rumors of good drow throughout the land, but for milenia their atrocities have been well documented.” Lord Zavere noted. He steepled his hands once more and tapped his fingertips against one another in though.

“The City has a hundred platinum reward on his head. But I’m not certain I want to trust the Watch, or the Commissioner, dealing with this dangerous criminal. The Prison might be a good place for this drow, but I don’t trust Warden Rom to keep him there…”

The Lord was thinking out loud, still tapping his fingers against each other and looking at the plate of food on the table without seeing it in his far away gaze.

“As distasteful as I find this, Shilukar has been convicted by his actions, his race notwithstanding, and should be executed. But it should not made the spectacle these events usually are. No. We will handle this ourselves.”

Zavere nodded in decisiveness, stood and looked at Abbercombe. “Would you like to do the deed, or shall I?”

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Lord Abbercombe
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Pursing his golden lips the man thought for only a moment before shaking his head.

“No. He should not die by my hand. It would not be just as I would be acting in anger and revenge. You should fell him. Passionless. Judicially.”

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Vogh
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Vogh knew of the 100 platinum bounty on his head.  Vogh looked at both men as they discussed the drow’s fate.  When Lord Zavere said he should just be put to death by their hand, Vogh knew it to be the right course.  How could they know he wouldn’t escape or just pay someone to escape.

Vogh looked at the men directly then and said, Do you want us to bring him here?  We can be back in short order.

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Lord Zavere
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“No. Better this is handled privately and secretly. Kadmus!”

Zavere hollered for the majordomo who stepped from around the same corner Abbercombe had come.

“Fetch Lady Rill. I need her to cast a spell.”

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Lady Rill
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Kadmus bowed quickly and turned in a hurry to retrieve the Lady of Castle shard.

Neither of the Lords spoke during their time of waiting. Both simply stared at the ground.

Finally the woman floated down the hallway on a magical disc, eyes closed. When she reached the entrance to the room her eyes opened, her head turned to the side and she asked simply, “Yes?”

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Lord Zavere
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“Rill. Vogh found Shilukar. We are going to execute him. Please teleport us to the location Vogh and her companions are holding him. Vogh, describe the location to her so she can transport us there, then we must all link hands.”

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Lady Rill
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Lady Rill turned her head the other way and regarded Vogh with a gaze that almost made the bard shiver. It was though the Lady could see straight through her clothes, her skin, straight to her soul.

Shaking off the feeling Vogh gave an apt description of the location then took both Zavere’s and Abbercombe’s hand. The golden Lord’s golden flesh did feel metallic, but she was surprised at its warmth.

Rill closed her eyes once more, spoke words in the arcane language Vogh could not begin to understand and immediately Vogh found the four of them standing just beyond the fountain in her underground home.

The Lady opened her eyes, nodded to them, then closed them once more seeming in a trance. She merely hovered on her floating disk as though none of the world around her existed.

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Vogh
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It was nice to see Lady Rill, but Vogh hadn’t the chance to even get a respectable greeting in as she described the lair.  Suddenly they were in the lair and shaking off the effects of her first teleport.  Vogh said, come they are in the unfinished room.

Vgh brought the Lords to where the room was and where they found Talin standing over Shulikar as he sat bound in a chair.  Here he is Lord Zavere.

She then pulled Talin to the side and said, his judgment is death and Lord Zavere is going to carry out the verdict.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Shilukar’s eyes opened so wide they nearly fell out of his head when both Abbercombe and Zavere stepped into the room. He began shaking and jumping against his bounds to the chair.

“Shilukar. You are judged on your actions against Lord Abbercombe, your affiliation with the known criminal Linech Cran, and on your drow heritage. Likely you stand guilty of countless other atrocities in our city. Your sentence is death, by my hand.”

The drow continued to shake, then tears began to stream down his face as the Lord of Castle Shard drew forth a beautiful blade. The weapon practically teemed with magical energy as Zavere slowly and methodically brought the blade to bear against the side of Shilukar’s neck. He drew the cold iron sword back, took another measuring stroke, withdrew and spoke with finality.

“May the sins of your life be forgiven in death.”

On his final word Lord Zavere swung forward with considerable strength, severing the Drow’s head from his body, to topple on the floor.

“This nasty business is done. Friends of Castle Shard…” Zavere looked at Vogh, then Talin. “I look forward to seeing you on much happier terms in a few days.”

Turning on his fine leather boot the man exited the room back to the fountain where Lady Rill awaited.

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Vogh
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Vogh turned her head as Lord Zavere took Shilukar’s from his body.  The task finished and Lord Zavere began to walk back to the fountain.  Vogh followed close as she thought about something that she might ask Lady Rill now that there was a chance.

When she came to the powerful woman she asked, Lady Rill.  We are trying to solve a mystery about the runebearers.  We just saved a boy that hat the rune on him and we think others are being targeted across the city.  Vogh then went on to tell about the prophecy in case Lady Rill didn’t know it.  We believe that High Priest Helmut is behind the attempts at killing these bearers.

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Lady Rill
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Opening her eyes at Vogh’s address Lady Rill listened without word. When Vogh finished and Rill spoke, even her voice was other-wordly. Maybe it was the stone of the lair, but an odd reverberation effect twinged her words. Neither Zavere or Abbercombe showed any sign of oddity so Vogh took it as the norm.

“All the heroes of old, when the Vallis moon still graced the sky, were runebearers. Rune children portend the return of Vallis. Doom to one may be Boon to another.”

Once again her eyes closed and she took Zavere and Abbercombe’s hands.

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Lord Zavere
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“Killing children is almost always evil. Follow your heart. If you have need of our aid, you know where to find us.”

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Vogh
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Vogh gave a nod of her head to the Lord’s and Lady as they took hands, Thank you for your wisdom and as Vogh looked to Talin, We will see you in a few days.

By now everyone had gathered near the fountain and they heard what Lord Zavere and Lady Rill had said.  Once they were gone from the lair, Vogh said to the others, well, we have a bit of a mess to clean up.  We can take the head of Shilukar to get the reward.  Then we need to talk about what we are going to do with High Priest Helmut.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia had witnessed the beheading and it served the drow right for the crimes he committed.

When they were all at the fountain and she heard about the runebearers and High Priest Helmut she blanched.  She had heard of the man certainly.  He was the leader of The Watchers in the Sky.  If Vogh was thinking of taking out this man.  They had better have a fine plan indeed.

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Vogh
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Vogh gathered up the head and wrapped it up well and placed it in a sack.  It was still probably early enough to head to House Abnar to get the reward.  Talin and I will go take care of this reward.  Vogh turned to Deacon squarely and slowly asked, what all did you find with Shilukar? Any information about anything. I saw you grab a bunch of paperwork on the desk he was working on.

ooc: hoping there is stuff written in his hand or maybe stuff from this ‘company’ he ran.


She told the trio, if you want to take it easy and do some of your own things for a while I think we are going to do some scouting of High Priest Helmut and also keep an eye on Linech Cran’s compound.  We will get back with you we more solid information.

With that, they all left together and said their goodbyes out on the street away from the hideout.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon nodded and pulled several pieces of paper he had grabbed, showing Vogh and explaining.

“First, it seems Shaelukar Darkfingers is an alias the drow used. I’m betting any property he owns or any business he’s done in public will be under this name. Second, it seems the drow and Linech’s sister were actually lovers. So that could be problematic. Third, I’ve got his spellbook and will be sharing that with Degar. We might be able to sell it when we’ve copied all the spells. The drow seems to have schemes in everything. There is very little in these pages that illuminates those activities, but I see information on Vladaam, the Killraven league, the Balacazars, just on and on.”

The deaf wizard shrugged and told Vogh he would do his best to help make sense of what he found, but it was far from a complete picture.

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Vogh
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Thank you so much, Deacon.  Take your time on that.  Can I have something that has his handwriting in before you go?  We will be taking our time looking over Helmut.  She gave Deacon a warm smile and waved bye to the others.

Vogh and Talin left for House Abnar with the head, while Belie headed over to Linech’s compound to do a little scouting before heading back to his room.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Belie said his goodbyes and changed before their very eyes into an older man with a dirty face, fitting in immediately with so many of those already in the Guildsman district.

Vogh and Talin also watched the Trio head back toward the Griffon. Finally the duo walked a bit until they could hail a carriage. Vogh told the driver to head to House Abanar’s estate. He asked if they had papers to make it through Dalenguard. When she confirmed he snapped the reins and started the horses moving.

Talin furrowed his brow and nodded for Vogh to look out the window. When she did the woman noticed a small group of lizardfolk with hoods pulled low, leaning against a building like they had no good in mind. He gave her a quizzical face but shrugged his shoulders as they rolled on.

Center Street was never boring and they were treated with a robust halfling doing a number of juggling tricks. The crowd was large enough that their driver had to slow and move around the group at a snail’s pace to avoid injuring anyone.

Finally they broke free of the traffic and headed up into Oldtown. Passing the Imperial University, one of the largest buildings in the city, was always impressive, then immediately they were at the Dalengard castle gates. A cursory look over her imperial papers gave them access and the carriage driver nodded, his doubts assuage.

The carriage wound up the twisting, switchback path until finally reaching the flat plateau which housed the wealthiest of Ptolus’ citizens. House Abanar’s estate was the first on King’s Road, and it sat directly opposite the beautiful Imperial Academy of Music, called the Conservatory.

Ptolus’ Imperial Academy of Music carried a reputation that extended far outside the city walls. Many considered it the premier school of music in the Empire, perhaps surpassed only by the Imperial Academy of Music in Dohrinthas. House Kath backed the Conservatory and provided tuition for talented students. Nearly two hundred attended the academy. Most came from very wealthy families, but House Kath culls a few promising children from various schools around the city. Vogh had been one of those fortunate students.

The chancellor of the Conservatory was, in fact, Lady Devina Kath, head of House Kath. Leading the school in all practical respects, however, is Vice Chancellor Garin Vnata. A thin, prim, and proper human gentleman with a long, narrow nose, a thin mustache, and a balding head.

With the intention of protecting the students, House Kath stations four capable guards around the entrances to the Conservatory at all times. Garin does not hesitate to use these guards to eject unwanted visitors from the academy, or to prevent them from entering at all. Visits to the school are discouraged, as it disrupts the students’ practicing.

Vogh had many positive memories inside those amazing walls and thought back on them whistfully. But this day was focused on House Abanar.

Accustomed to mercenary visitors coming to collect bounties, the house guards admitted the duo and a guard came to attend them as they exited the carriage. Abanar had extensive holdings and many businesses throughout the city and beyond. Most notably they owned the Swordthower’s Club, a highly elitist social club, and the Rogue Moon Trading Company.

Abanar was notorious, and often hated, for their practice of allowing wealthy individuals to purchase their way into a minor noble title. Yavan Helliscon, owner of Swordthrower’s was just such an addition. Often these buy-ins didn’t even change their name.

Lady Mila Stovan was another example, and she was who the bards were brought before. Mila was a tall and striking human woman with long brown hair. She was seen at almost every important function, and had a hand in planning many, throughout the District.

Mila didn’t stand from her plush chaise lounge, where she sat reclined and sipping a wine glass with one leg on the couch and one danglign down.

“Well, little waif Vogh Kath… Look at you all grown up and… warrior woman-esque.”

[Private to GM: “Scandal.” An unidentified noble of House Kath has been seen coming and going in secret at the estate of House Rau. Is Devina Kath, the married head of House Kath having an affair with the much younger Kalbir Rau, despite the two houses’ relative disdain for one another? Some claim to have seen the two leaving together after a party at Castle Shard.

They already met her once before and she said:

“Vogh was it? You are Kath, are you not?” She leaned forward, elbows on knees holding her glass daintily and gesturing with it lightly as she continued. “I’ve heard a noble of House Kath has been seen coming and going in secret at the estate of House Rau. I bet it’s Devina having an affair with the much younger Kalbir Rau.”]

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Belie
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Belie changed himself into the older man and moved away from his friends and their ‘secret lair.’ He chuckled thinking about these two bards and their underground complex. Life sure was strange.

Always wary of eyes watching him the rogue ducked into alleys, changed appearances, then came back out into the lane to blend in. He would take a moment and speak to vendors or folks talking, just to look around for pursuit and anyone lingering too long. Proceeding this way it took him nearly an hour until he entered the Rivergate District and approached Linech’s burrow.

A small group was walking along together down Wash Street so he tucked in with them and followed. They turned off Wash into another burrow that went south. Belie followed but snuck several glances at the entrance to Linech’s. He could see makeshift gates put up to block off the entrance and a group of guards there holding crossbows. The four guards were clearly on alert, unlike their typical laissez-faire demeanor.

The rogue knew getting in would be more difficult, but that typical smile creased his cheeks thinking about the challenge. Belie skulked along the alleyways to circle around to the opposite side of the burrow. He skirted the front and moved to the far side which actually barriered against the steep cliff going down to the land below.

Betting the guards would be more focused on the other directions with buildings near the wall than the cliff side, he moved against the ten foot tall barrier and enacted the magic of his boots. Hands and feet became like spider’s legs, allowing him to easily scale the stone. A two story house sat at the direct opposite corner of Shilukar’s house and Linech’s office. Carefully peering over the wall and into the window the rogue noticed no movement inside, no lit lanterns, nothing.

Taking his time, tucked against the farthest south east corner, Belie checked for traps, then expertly opened the window’s lock. He eased open the pane, slid inside, then shut it behind him. Silently he held himself still, listening for anyone, or anything, which might be inside.

Belly crawling across the floor got him to the windows which looked over the whole group of buildings and the fountain at their center. Additional guards were clearly milling about. A guard was atop the central building on the raised land plateau of the burrow which held the building he had previously entered to steal the drow. He would have to be careful as that man could see into this house.

Observing everyone’s movements, there was not a flurry of activity, and there was no sight of Linech or any of the others the bards had told him about. The halfling, the dwarf, the big human woman. Guards milled about. Belie grew bored of just watching the same men pacing, talking and looking around. He remained on his belly and began moving about the house looking for anything interesting.

Finally, after several hours, of watching and listening to what he could hear through the windows, the rogue retraced his steps but left the window unlocked, and returned to the Ghostly Minstrel after dark.

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