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Vogh
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Vogh absolutely loved traveling the city.  The sights were unlike any city she had been in before and she had been in much bigger cities than Ptolus.  Ptolus paled in size compared to some of the bigger cities in Faerun like Cormyr or Waterdeep.  Vogh hadn’t been to those cities in her absence but she imagined Ptolus rivaled them in wonder.

When they entered Dalenguard and then made their way to House Abanar, Vogh knew they would pass by the Conservatory.  That place was like a home to her in her days growing up as a young woman.  Lady Davina had sent her there to learn her studies and learn the very music she performs still today.  Vogh was lost in thought when the driver called down that they had arrived.  Paying the driver to wait for them, Vogh and Talin left the carriage for the front door with the guard.

With a quick explanation of their business, the guard led them inside and into a room in which sat a woman in a plush chair.  The woman whom Vogh knew sat there and didn’t rise at the entrance.  As the woman saw who had come she made a comment which reminded Vogh of her past.  With a pretend smile Vogh gave a dip of her head and only said, Lady Stovan its a pleasure.  We have a gift.  Talin then presented the container that held the head of the drow and pulled out the head.

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Narrator
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 165):

Placeholder

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Vogh
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In reply to DM (msg # 166):

Placeholder

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Narrator
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 167):

Placeholder for minstrel talk and belie

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Vogh
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When she woke in the morning Vogh was already plotting in her head on what to do for he day.  She asked Talin if he could go with Belie and do the scouting for Itlestein.  Talin agreed easily as he knew where the man lived and spying on the man seemed to thrill Talin.

Together they went downstairs and saw Julia, Deacon, and Bharash were there already having some breakfast.  They waved Vogh over and together they talked about what they were going to do and what the others were going to do.  Julia didn’t have a happy face when Vogh said that Talin and Belie were going to be scouting Itlestein, though she knew if he was innocent there would be no worries.

Once they were all done they all went about their tasks.

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Narrator
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Belie met the bards at the Minstrel and he and Talin set off to the Temple District to scout Helmut at his own church. But Talin also knew where the man lived, in case they needed to go there as well.

Vogh and the trio departed the Minstrel and opted again for a carriage. The fast friends had gained more wealth in a few weeks than most citizens would ever even see in a lifetime. Watching those average folks pass by their hired carriage going to and from their daily lives drove this point home again with the trio. Vogh had grown up in luxury, but poverty was not foreign to her.

Being morning the carriage driver brought the group right up to The Siege Tower on Golden Elm Way. The three story keep served as a watchtower and the main entrance, of four, into the Necropolis. Around the entire expanse of graves and mausoleums ran a twelve foot high stone wall. Over three feet thick at its base, then tapering to a foot thick at the top, it featured spiked ironwork along the full length.

At the first porticullis two Keepers of the Veil stood vigil. Through the tower the group could see two more knights facing into the Necropolis. All wore overlapping metal plates of armor covering their entire bodies. Helms adorned their heads with the symbol of the Keepers and Hiky Symbols of Lothian around their necks and emblazoned on tower shields.

The human raised his hand in a halt while the dearf remained silent. “State your business. Be warned these gates close at dusk and none survive the night inside…”

Vogh explained they only saught the graves of recently killed criminals to exume and question them in death of their crimes.

Both guards looked questioningly at one another and each shook their heads. The human looked back, requested the name and death date of one, then told them to wait. He turned and moved inside the tunnel, which sported at least a dozen murder holes abive, to a strong door which he disappeared inside. Several tense minutes passed until the guard appeared once again, with another following him.

“You will find the graves you seek among the common criminals.” He gave the group directions through the myriad of roads. “My superior has approved your questioning, but demands you both return the bodies to their rest, and replace their covering.” The guard indicated the other human who had accompanied him, armed and armored nealry idential. “Jahivak will accompany you to oversee your actions. Return before dusk with him, or you will be branded criminals.” (Jah-hee-vack)

So warned, the five now entered the seemingly endless expanse of graves. Jahivak led them through the countless twists and turns of the random feeling paths.

None of the friends missed the several head stones sporting grafiti which read, “Summer is Over. The shadows grow long. The winter of death approaches.

Finally they reached the graves, still only bare dirt, not having had enough time to even begin to grow grass.

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Vogh
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Vogh and the others were thankful that Jay were allowed to enter the necropolis.  It was a little touch and go while they waited.  Vogh was actually worried they might not be able to perform the spell.  Once the knight came back and said they could enter Vogh breathed a sigh of relief.

Escorted by the Knight of the Veil to the graves, Vogh looked at the shovels that were provided and took one up in her hands.  Let’s get this done as quickly as we can.  I will take this grave if Bharash takes another and Julia and Deacon can as well. 

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia looked to Vogh and grabbed a shovel.  She moved to a grave the Knight showed her and began to start digging.  Vogh, do you have specific questions you’d like to ask?  Also, if you wouldn’t mind, some of your music sure would help with the sourness of this place.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon likewise grabbed a shovel but not happily.  He was a wizard didnt like doing these physical labors.

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Bharash
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Happily grabbing a shovel Bharash began to dig.  He didnt complain nor make a peep until he was to the box.

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Narrator
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Jahivak watched with mild interest. To Vogh and Bharash, seasoned warriors, it was rather obvious this young man was not long in his training. His full plate armor did not fit him perfectly, likely because he seemed a rather skinny youth, and Jahivak did not walk with the swagger of a trained fighter.

Regardless, the four of them exhumed the graves and opened the cheap, simple caskets to reveal bodies in the beginning stages of decay.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia had gotten the grave drug up finally and opened the box to see the body of the man.  Julia didnt want to disturb the thing too much so without pulling the box out she began the preparation to cast her spell and ask her question.

1. Who hired you to kill the kid at the cloud theater

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Narrator
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Vogh detailed the questions to ask of the dead.

1. Who hired you to kill the kid at the cloud theater?

I don’t know his name or even what he looked like. Most likely a human man. No names were given. Just gold and directions to kill the boy during the performance.

2. What group are you associated with?

The Solvers.

3. What do you know about Helmut Itlestein?

Nothing. Never heard the name.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia asked her questions of the first and then with the answers she made new questions for the second.

1.  Where can I find the leader of the Solvers?

She will hold for the next question based on the answer of this one.

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Narrator
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“In a grave nearby.” The corpse responds simply.

The young Keeper spoke up, “Have you heard of the Solvers? I sure never have.”

Julia kept asking questions and discovered there were only six in the group of “The Solvers” and all had been slain at the Cloud Theater interaction.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia went on to ask other questions but it soon became clear that there was nothing to gain from the corpses.  With the spells wasted Julia looked over to Vogh.  I am quite sorry but it seems we have hit a dead end.  After a moment she giggles at her joke having not thought about it at first.

We should put these dead to rest and get out of the cemetery.  They all began filling the holes once more and then headed out of the cemetery.  On the way out Julia gave a blessing to the Keepers present and then they all left quite tired from the exertion of the work.

Vogh, I think we are going to head back to the Griffon.  I know I am beat from the work and the spells.  With that the trio exited the necropolis and headed back while Vogh went to do what she was going to do.

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Vogh
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Vogh was frustrated at the lack of information, but she knew it was a longshot she had to take.  Helmut was covering his tracks quite well Vogh thought to herself.  After exiting the necropolis she headed to get the supplies she needed to make the documents so they could take control of the property above their lair.

After gathering the ink, paper, and anything that the person behind the counter would recommend. Vogh headed back to the Lair to prepare the documents.

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Narrator
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Talin and Belie joined Vogh back at the lair later that afternoon. Neither seemed to be in a great mood.

“Helmut just got back into the city after some long trip up north. We couldn’t figure out what it was about.”

“It gets worse. He has a big mechanical construct that follows him around.”

“A shield guardian? Have you heard of those before Vogh? The thing looks very formidable indeed.”

Both the men flopped onto a couch in exasperated frustration.

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Vogh
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When the two men came in, Vogh looked up from a pile of papers she was working on.  She had a few crumpled up pieces on the floor near the desk she was working at. I am working on the deed for this place.  I need to make sure it is exactly right.  I would like to go to the administration office tomorrow so that we can finish the transfer of the property to us.  I will need one of you to pose as the buyer of the property.  I will be the administrative aid that will do the transfer on the part of the word magic superior company.  Which brings me to another point.  Besides the area here, I think we should clean up the lot upstairs and then build a three-story house above.  The first floor I was thinking could be a shop to sell goods.  The next two levels can be either two different apartments or a whole house.  I was thinking about inviting Julia, Deacon, and Bharash to stay with us.  If we went with two different apartments they could have the second floor and we have the third.  The first floor would also have a room.  I was thinking that Thariad could run the shop. He can have a room in the back. Now hear me out on this.  I was thinking we could sell scrolls and potions and any magic items we find.  Vogh looked at them to gauge their responses.  So we need to come up with a name for the shop.  Think about it for a few days.

When they told Vogh about what they had seen she listened and thought hard about the creature they said.  Vogh naturally hadn’t heard of such things as a shield guardian.  She believed both of them on their assessment.  Good work, we will need to keep up the spying.  Can you do that Belie? Vogh wondered if it was some sort of golem or something.  When she saw it for herself she would better be able to judge what it was.

Oh yes, I almost forgot Talin I would like to go to the noble district.  I need to commision a dress for Castle Shard and perhaps we can get you a nice shirt and handkerchief.  Vogh said with a smile.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Filo Narras
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Really the main place for writing implements was Narras Ink on Tinker Street in the South Market.

Filo Narras was the human who owned and ran the place. He had every form and style of ink and paper possible. Filo made many of his own inks.

He laid out each of the items as she requested them. (OOC: Use the prices for ink and paper from the Pathfinder website and deduct the total.)

“You’ve chosen some good parchment and inks here. May I ask what you’re working on? You seem to be a woman of action, not some scribe or book work.” He nodded toward her sword.

“Are you a delver? If you’re just mapping you should probably go with a simple book and some cheaper items, not to talk you out of your purchases…” He smiled.

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Belie
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Belie nodded at Vogh’s request to keep watching Helmut. “Not a problem. I’ll keep an eye on him.”

He listened to Vogh talk about the idea of building a house. “I’ve got a good deal with the Schuck’s to recoup my investment, so I’ll likely just keep staying there. But, I have been working on crafting traps to create my own mechanisms. Maybe I can help secure your residence when you get done? Also, Anthus is a friend who once worked in stone mines and he knows many masons in the city. Maybe that will help you some.”

With that the rogue headed out, sneaking across the lot and blended into the traffic.

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Talin
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Talin agreed with Vogh on their need for fresh and new clothes. “Indeed. Castle Shard parties are legendary, and who knows who we might encounter. Anyone could be there.” He shook his head thinking about the wealthy, powerful and influential people who could be in attendance.

“You want to go first thing in the morning?” They discussed tomorrow’s plans while moving around their subterranean “lair.”

Talin posed a question to Vogh. “Should we keep paying for our room at the Minstrel? We have all the accoutrements necessary to make this our permanent dwelling. Or would you rather wait until we get the building erected?”

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Vogh
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When Vogh went to the Narras Ink, she looked around and then finally settled on talking to the man behind the counter.  She described what she needed to the man and shortly he went to gather it all up.  When he laid it all in front of her she looked it over.  It was all finely made equipment and parchment.  When he asked his question about what she was going to do with it all she smiled and said, Ah thank you Sir, but you are quite incorrect about what I do.  I am a scribe and am needing these to scribe some scrolls for someone.  I was told what items to get and so I try not to disappoint.  She smiled once more and then paid the man for the items.  She cursed herself for not bringing up a disguise but then shook it off and left.

Vogh would have to meet these people that Belie seemed quite loyal to.  He was a hard worker and a good companion.  Oh, yea?  Traps you say?  I guess we gave you a bit of practice on our last mission huh?  Vogh laughed at the thought of that mission.  It was well planned and executed between them all.

Castle shard parties are for sure something spectacular.  I have been to a couple in my days.  I think we should go tonight to make the arrangements for our attire.  We wouldn’t want to be short on time.  Let me just finish what I am doing and we can go.  Vogh began to do some more writing then.

When Talin asked his next question Vogh already knew the answer to that.  I think we should remain at the Minstrel for now.  Besides we don’t have much furniture or anything else here for that matter. And I want to make sure that we have no problems with the land above.  Speaking of which.  Do any of you, she now included Degar and Thariad in the conversation, know of people that we can get to help build above.  I would like to get that taken care of right away.  She waited for answers before saying again, I need to get this complete now.  Give me an hour and we can go.

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Vogh
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Around an hour passed and Vogh looked over the work she had completed.  It was perfect in every way to the paperwork for the sale of the property.  She then pushed away from the desk and looked for Talin.

She found him in the bedroom Shilukar used to stay in.  He was just laying on the bed.  Vogh slowly walked in and slid up on the bed next to him.  I am ready to head over to The Jade Woman and Nestor’s in the Noble District.  Seemed lately they had made a lot of trips up that way.  Let’s get a carriage and enjoy the ride.

Together they left the lair and hailed a carriage and away they went to the Noble District.

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Narrator
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Talbot Ferrar, the older man who owned and operated Nestor’s, looked up with a less than pleased face to see two armed and armored people enter his shop.

One of his staff, a young woman likely in her early teens, approached them asking how she could help. Talbot frowned a bit, letting some frustration go when he overheard they were needing a fine suit for Talin.

The young woman took all of Talin’s measurements and studiously noted the bards’ preferences for style, cut and color.

When they were nearly finished the older gentleman glided over to them and nodded, the former acrimony gone from his face. “If you are need of any fine furnishings, please visit my sister Edina at Buckingham’s.”

Talbot collected the deposit in gold and said they could have the suit ready by the morning of the 23rd. “Please come over first thing for fitting just in case you might need any small alterations or adjustments.”

Not far away they entered the Jade Woman. The dresses on display were simply breathtaking. Lassa Fedeli was no stranger to house Kath and moved from her position in a dummy to greet Vogh with a smile.

“Needing a dress for the Castke Shard party are we? I shall personally see you dressed to perfection!” Lassa finished with a flourish.

Two girls attended Lassa as she measured Vogh, requiring her to remove her armor and anything that hindered them getting a perfect fit. The woman didn’t ask any of Vogh’s preferences, but made small talk about the goings on of the wide city.

Did you hear the 11th house, Abbercombe, is returning?!

Has Kath house felt these ominous booming sounds which seem to be shaking Noble’s houses?

What about this Republican movement?! Making Ptolus a democracy?! That’s almost blasphemy.

“Will I be billing this to the house miss?” Feseli asked at the end when Vogh was strapping on arms and armor once more. The older lady wore an obvious frown of disapproval. Vogh could read the though on her face easily, A lady should be in gown at ball, not swinging swords in armor.

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin greeted young woman as she approached them when they entered Nestor’s.  Vogh saw the look on the old man’s face when he looked at them.  These people were all alike, she had thought to herself.

As the woman took Talin’s measurements Vogh just looked about the showroom.  She didn’t leave Talin’s side in case he had a question or something she could help him with.  Talin gave all the little ideas he thought about his suit and at the end when the young woman was almost done, the older gentleman stepped up to them and collected the money while also putting in a plug for his sister’s place of business.  Thank you so much.  We will be back on the morrow.  Together they left and headed to the next shop.


Almost the moment Vogh stepped into the shop, Lassa caught her eye and approached with her cheery little way.  Vogh had had a couple of dresses made here in the past so she knew Lassa well enough.

When it was finally time to have her measurements done, Vogh began to take off her armor and other things they needed off so they could get a proper fit.  Vogh asked to have an off the shoulder dress.  Vogh was feeling spunky…  Course Lassa didn’t approve but she had no say in what someone ordered.  At last finished, Lassa asked about how it was to be paid and Vogh said, no no, I will pay for it myself.  I am a grown woman after all.  A grand smile was forced after saying the words.  We will be back tomorrow before noon to make sure everything fits right, is that okay?

The small talk had Vogh thinking about things. What were this booming sound she spoke of and this Republican movement?  Vogh wasn’t much into the political scene so she didn’t really have an opinion on the subject.

With all that, they both headed back to the Minstrel for the evening.  A good bite to eat and some refreshments were in order.

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Jevicca Nor
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Vogh and Talin sat bolt upright as the supposedly locked door of their room swung open and banged into the wall loudly. Jevicca Nor stood before them with fury on her face.

“Wake up. We have a serious problem. The Banewarrenss key has been stolen. It seems there are traitors in even the Pyramids’ midst!”

Her red, glass arm pulsed with light in time with her angry breathing.

“I’m going to assume you had nothing to do with this…” She let the words hang in the air like a threat as she stopped pacing only for a moment to narrow her eyes, then began crossing the room back and forth once more. “You need to get your team together and down to the entrance immediately.”

She snapped her glass fingers and in her hand appeared a small circle with a feather on it. “This is a feather token. Unlike the norm, you need merely to speak to the token, then break it, and I will hear your message. As soon as you reach the doors, send word. I’ve got to return to the Pyramid and find this thief to… deal with them…

Her last words sent shivers up and down both bards’ spines. Despite this woman’s unparallelled beauty, both immediately knew they never wanted to be on her bad side.

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Vogh
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Vogh was startled by the intrusion but when she saw who it was she wasn’t surprised she was able to get through the locked portal.

When Jevvica said the key had been stolen she was pissed and it showed on her face.  Jevvica was too worried for Vogh to point that out to her for she had other things to worry about obviously.  Of course, we are not responsible.  Why would I have given it to the Inverted Pyramid in the first place if I was going to steal it back?

Vogh explained, there is a dozen Order of the Dawn men stationed at the door to the Banewarrens currently.  If someone was able to steal from the inverted Pyramid, they must be strong.  We will gather the others and head for the entrance.  I only hope it isn’t opened and all the men dead.

Vogh and Talin immediately got dressed and ready.  Vogh suggested that Talin go get Belie while she got the others at the Griffon.

They broke off then and each went to their appointed places.


Vogh arrived at the Griffon a little while longer and asked for the trio.  When she saw them she explained what had happened and that they were to meet at the entrance.


Talin likewise went to the Welcome Inn and asked for Belie and told him and they left in a hurry.

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Narrator
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Vogh grabbed a carriage outside the Griffon and threw a gold piece at the driver, expressing their intense hurry. Talin and Belie did likewise upon leaving the Welcome Inn. The drivers pushed their horses as hard as possible without killing someone in the streets.

Clattering hooves and creaking wheels were the only sound the groups heard until each screeched in front of the abandoned Manor they had been in so many times now. The ride had been harrowing with no conversation as everyone held on for their lives.

Nothing looked odd about the house as the six friends disembarked. Belie and Bharash rushed forward first, meeting no resistance and the rogue finding no traps. With quick steps and fast eyes the sextuplet nearly ran down the tunnels to once more stand before the giant Banewarrens door.

To all of their horror, the guard captain and two knights lay in death before the door which currently stood open. Bits of armor lay discarded all around the room, like they had been cast of randomly. No blood appeared anywhere other than around the trio of dead humans, and from the looks of it, there had been very little struggle before they died.

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Vogh
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As soon as Vogh saw the dead men laying on the floor before the open door she wondered where the others were located.  It all seemed like the soldiers who were supposed to be seasoned didn’t put up a fight or at least not much of one.

We are too late, Vogh in despair.  We must enter and find the others and whoever opened the door!  Before entering, Vogh took out the feather and said, the guards are either dead or missing and the door is open!  We are going after whoever did this.  Vogh then broke the feather.

Vogh looked to the others and pulled her blade.  If you are ready, we should enter and deal with this threat if we can.  Prepare any spells now to aid us.

Julia will cast shield other on Bharash
Deacon put up his wards (mage armor, shield)
Then they entered…

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Narrator
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Roll20 is Ready

The 20-by-30-foot chamber beyond the massive door had the reinforced masonry walls of the chambers to the east. The staircase ahead which ascended appeared somehow newer, although still very old.

To either side of the stairs, the walls bore a relief. On the right side, the relief showed a tall man in a halo and long robes, with his hands extended in a gesture of blessing. The left side depicted a winged horse rearing. Both reliefs had suffered greatly – they were now heavily cracked and chipped.

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Vogh
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As they entered the Banewarrens Vogh looked to Belie.  I think you need to be on alert for traps the whole way.  I do not care how long it takes us to go through here we will make sure we do it safely.

The rest of you be wary and be ready for anything.

With that the began to enter.  They all saw the bas-relief on the walls heading in and though they were in terrible condition they were still something to see.

Instinctively, Vogh began to hum inside her head which projected out to the others. This activated her inspire courage to everyone bolstering them all.

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Vogh
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The group moved into the next room and saw the blue mosaic floor with had some kind of art to it but was long lost to the ages as it was barely legible.  Belie saw that there were six different stairs the group could ascend or descend.  Vogh had always advised going right, so that is where Belie went initially.  While checking for traps making sure the path was clear he advanced to the next hall and peeked down the corridor.  Bharash moved on the opposite wall so he too could look down the hallway Belie was peeking down.  The others moved into the large chamber and spread out.

Suddenly, the ground rumbled and in the same instant, an arrow hit Bharash in the shoulder.  Then before anyone could react a large ape with boney spikes protruding from about its body charged Belie.  The ape hit Belie hard just as Belie was about to dodge out of the way.

Deacon saw the ape and cast a simple spell of grease at the feet of the thing to try and make it slip and fall.  Fortunately, though, the ape managed to gain its footing and step back out of the grease.  Just then Talin who had a good line of view called to everyone to step back and let the ape and archer advance on them.  Certainly enough, in the next instant, the ape moved forward and hit Talin, who had moved up to a good position to attack with a powerful blow.  At the same time, the archer somehow had a good position to once more hit Bharash with another arrow.

Julia who had linked herself with a shield other spell with Bharash felt the sting of both hits.  She also saw Belie and Talin were injured so she focused her oracle power to send out a healing way of energy.  With her friends refreshed a bit with healing power, Belie first tumbled under the reaching arms of the ape and struck the thing in the back.  Talin then moved forward and slashed at the apes arms twice connecting on both attacks.  Vogh then stepped close and swing her blade twice.  Only one of her attacks were successful and opened a line of blood on the side of the ape.  Bharash rushed the ape then swinging his blade as he got close, though it too failed to cause harm.

The ape again attacked Talin hitting him well.  Belie stepped up and with skillful slashes of his blade managed to drop the ape quite dead.  Belie paid for the attack though with an arrow to the thigh.  Julia once again let out a healing blast of energy fulling healing most of the non-serious injuries of the others.  The group knowing the archer was still down the hall decided to move back farther to see if it would advance and show itself.  After a minute or so though nothing came until Vogh thought she saw some slight movement.  She showed Talin, who then cast a spell which caused glittering dust to settle down in a 10ft radius in the area just beyond the ape.  Sure enough, as Vogh had thought, the outline of a figure appeared.   The figure seemed to be blinded by the dust as well which made the battle quite decided.  In a matter of seconds Belie, Talin, and Bharash finished off the creature.  As it died it became visible.  The humanoid looked to be a gnoll as Vogh had pointed out.

They quickly looked over the body for anything that could help them.  Bharash now with a hunger for cutting off fingers, chopped the ring finger of the gnoll off and as he pulled off the ring he tossed aside the finger.  Deacon said that a few of the items namely the ring and the bow were quite magical.  Once they were ready again Vogh gave the order to continue off to the right as they had been going before being attacked.

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Vogh
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The group moved along and up the stairs.  Once Belie hit the top of the stairs he stopped suddenly as he saw that the ground was smooth unlike the rest of the ground they had been on thus far.  He checked and sure enough, he found a trap.  Working his magic Belie disarmed the trap, though he warned the others that the platform may only hold 1 person at a time.  Vogh moved everyone across one at a time.  Once on the other side Belie saw the pit.  It was a deep one that dropped some 100 feet or so down.  It appeared to have spikes on the bottom too and something was down there as well.

When Vogh moved up she suggested that they use Belie’s rope along with another tied to it to help guide Belie down to check the body.  Belie easily went down thanks to his boots which allowed him to be able to walk on walls like a spider.  Belie went down and after some heavy lifting, he was able to get the items from what he now knew was a dead Orc.  Quickly Belie returned to the top giving the items over.  Together they moved on once more.

A little bit further though they were once again attacked as arrows flew at them.  They weren’t accurate though and missed the group completely.  They all moved forward some till they could see that it was goblins who shot the arrows.  Vogh told the group to hold and looked to Deacon, Can you get some of those elementals up there and beat them goblins?  Deacon nodded and fell into his spellcasting.  In a moment two earth elementals appeared right in front of the goblins and slammed their fists into them killing two right out.  With the distraction, Belie was able to check for traps and the group slowly advanced as the elementals engaged in the goblins.

With the all-clear from Belie, Talin, Vogh, and Bharash advanced.  Soon though they saw that there weren’t just goblins, but there were also four orcs and they had a female elf held captive.  Talin rushed forward screaming at the top of his lungs and as he crashed wildly into the first orc the rest, including the goblins, all cowered in fear from the wild man who just attacked one of them.  The fear that gripped the orcs gave Vogh, and Bharash enough time to advance along with the earth elementals and finish off all the orcs and goblins in short order.

Julia moved up then, seeing the female elf cowering in fear and took her from the carnage.  Vogh joined them and tried to calm the woman down.  Together with their soothing words, they were able to calm her so she could say how she got there.  Deciding that this was not a place for a simple commoner, they decided to escort her to the surface after once more checking the bodies for valuables.

After releasing her and a little bit of flirting by the elf to Deacon which he didn’t catch.  Julia reassured the woman where she could thank him personally when they returned to the surface later.  The group then returned to the banewarrens and to the spot they had left just 15 mins before.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
There was a single door, which opened into a small room with only another door. Belie determined there was no danger from traps then opened the second door. To their immediate left there was a 10 foot wide and deep alcove which had three statues of plate armored warriors. Each held a shield in one hand and the other hand was raised above their heads. In their upraised hands they each held a sparkling gem. Belie asked Bharash forward and inquired whether the dragon warrior’s dark vision could penetrate the darkness ahead. Half a dozen paces or so neither Belie’s magical torch, nor Bharash’s superior vision could see through the pitch blackness.

[Private to GM: Have Helmut invite the bards to a meeting to explain his beliefs.]

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Bharash
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As Bharash peered into the room he couldn’t see anything, which confused him a little.  Deacon I think the room is magically darkened here can you tell?  Bharash said as he looked to Deacon.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon moved forward and with a few words was able to cast his spell to detect magic.

Julia was close as well and tried to see if there was anything evil lurking in the room.

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Vogh
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As Deacon peered into the darkness to see if there was anything magical he suddenly felt a powerful mental rush go through his mind.  Deacon was no apprentice and easily shook off the intrusion, but as deacon turned around to say something to the others he could see that the others had felt it as well.  It seemed that a few of them, Bharash, Belie, and Talin, weren’t able to battle off the effects and were standing there as if they were stunned.

Deciding not to push forward further Vogh told the others to help pull those that were stunned back into the larger chamber.  Once there, Vogh could sense that someone was coming from the other direction where the pit was they had passed earlier.  Someone is coming from the other direction, be ready.  Getting into a position that is the best defensively for the group, they wait for what is to come.  Suddenly, from beyond their vision, a streak of lightning breaks the darkness streaking towards Vogh who was in the lead.  Vogh managed to dive to the side before it hit her directly.  She still felt the electrical charge as it passed by her and hit the wall.  Vogh looked back and saw a woman standing where the lightning came from holding a wand in her hand.  Vogh broke into a run to intercept the woman.  Vogh struck out with her sword and hit the woman.  Deacon, thinking to help Vogh, began casting his summon spell and a moment later three earth golems appeared on the opposite side of the woman.  The golems punched out with their fists.  Two of them connecting with powerful blows on the woman.

Accepting the blows from the elementals the woman decided to attack the greater threat in Vogh and unleashed a barrage of unarmed strikes.  Vogh managed to dodge two of the strikes but not the third as the woman’s claws torn into Vogh’s exposed arm.  The woman then dropped off the ledge down to the stairs below and disappeared.   The woman didn’t know that Vogh was able to sense where she was though and as she moved up the stairs silently she thought she was safe.  Vogh though had sensed her and jumping down to the stairs as well she ran and engaged her once more.  The attack must have done something for the woman activated an item and was physically gone as if she teleported somewhere.

Cursing her luck, Vogh told the others to advance.  The others now able to move on their own came forward.  Deacon urged his elementals to go first down the hall past the pit but when the first entered the area a wall slammed down blocking off one of the elementals.  After a few anxious moments the wall began to move in front of the companions.  It moved towards the pit and then disappeared.  The elemental had fallen down the pit and was crushed, it then began to dissipate back to its plane of existence.  Vogh asked Belie to move forward and disable the trap once more which he did and soon the companions were on the move.  They decided to go down the next hallway only to find that they couldn’t disable the trap there.  So they went down the next hall and once more Belie came to a trap which was a space that was freezing cold.  He tested it a few times with a stick.  Every time the stick came out frozen almost solid.  He said, We aren’t going this way.  Vogh turned everyone around and went down the next hall only to find that there was a wall of force blocking off the direction.  This all led to one course of action and that was to go through a set of double doors.  Belie came up and checked for traps which he found none and then expertly picked the lock to the door.

Opening the door the group saw some type of contraption with mechanical gears both on the floor and the ceiling.  After looking around Vogh decided to head to the stairwell and ascended the 10ft to the ceiling.  When she looked at the pillar that extended from the floor to the ceiling she saw some levers, likewise when she peeked in the ceiling she saw another lever which looked that it only moved to the left and the right and was currently in the right position.  Relaying the information to the others they figured it some puzzle that had to be done right, but what was the outcome if they succeeded they didn’t know.  There were still two doors in the opposite wall so Vogh asked Belie to check once more.  He didn’t find any traps but they were locked.  Belie pulled out his picks once more and unlocked the left door first.  Opening the door the stench that came out of the door was disgusting rotten flesh.  The elemental went through first and then Belie.  Everyone followed shortly after and they all advanced down the hall to find the source of the stench.  When Belie got close enough he could see in the corner of the next room a dead bear looking thing.  It had flesh from different animals all about its body as if it was put together by someone.  When Deacon moved up he saw it and said, looks like a golem to me though quite odd for sure.

Belie moved to the next door and worked his picks once more, at the same time the elemental moved forward and kicked the bear golem.  A puff of stench came out at the kick but the thing didn’t move.  After unlocking the door Belie opened it and they could see that it was where the statues were at.  Vogh said close the door and lets head to the other door in the circular room.  They headed to the other door and Belie unlocked that door as well.  Belie was earning his money for sure. Vogh was a capable lockpicker but Belie was way more proficient.  They opened the door to find a long hallway with a set of doors on the right and at the end of the hall.  Belie tried the door but saw there wasn’t a way to pick it so moved to the last door.  He picked it and as soon as he opened the door he was attacked by a large mechanical scorpion.  Everyone reacted and sprang into action. A moment later the other doors opened and four smaller version of the construct came through.  They attacked Talin, Julia, and Deacon causing minimal harm to Julia.  Talin and Bharash attacked a scorpion as well as Belie.  Then the large scorpion attacked and then blew out a gas which all the men were able to fortify themselves against the attack but the women weren’t and as they were about to act they were petrified.  Enraged the group attacked the rest of the scorpions both large and small and killed them.  Talin gave the order to retreat and head back to get aid for Vogh and Julia.  Backtracking they all made it out of the banewarrens and headed for brother Fabitor.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
———————————————————–
A long line was all the way out the door at St. Gustav’s and everyone was gawking at the four friends carrying two stone statues between them into the church.

The fit cleric of Lothian, Fabitor, left the person he just healed and moved over to the group with wide eyes.

“What happened Talin?!”

When the bard explained how Vogh and Julia had been petrified the cleric nodded. “I can cast a spell to break the enchantment tomorrow. If you want to leave them here I will pray first thing in the morning. They will be safe here my friend. No harm will come to them and all will be alright on the morrow.”

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Talin
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Talin was worn down by the time they arrived at the Church.  When he saw Brother Fabitor he almost broke down.  He explained what happened and when Brother Fabitor said he could make them better in the morning Talin said, If it is okay with you I will stay here.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon looked to the priest and said the same, I will not leave Julia’s side, Brother.  Allow us to stay and protect our friends. 

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
———————————————————–
Brother Fabitor had no complaints against their request. There were only three rooms in the whole chapel, so Thisk led them into his office. He told the group to make themselves as comfortable as possible. “If you will be staying the night, perhaps you can bring some bedrolls or linens in to be more comfortable. Be my guests.”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin thanks Brother Fabitor.  We will get some linens and make ourselves at home.  If you need anything from us just ask.  Talin said thankfully.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin asked Belie to retrieve some linens and pillows from the Minstrel to make their stay more comfortable. The rogue felt bad for both ladies being encased in stone and jumped at the opportunity to do something useful. He was glad it hadn’t been a trap he failed to disable that hurt the women, but seeing them like this still bothered the man.

He rushed across Center Street and into the Minstrel. Belie told Tellith Vogh and Talin needed linens for the night to stay elsewhere. The woman thought it odd, but Belie gave her no further information, so she acquiesced and got him what he needed.

Belie returned to St. Gustav’s with two sets of pillows, linens and blankets. He told Talin his plan to return to the Welcome Inn for the night and to check in with them first thing on the morrow.

Date/Time: 23rd of Sun, night of the Castle Shard Party

Morning dawned on the 23rd of Sun. Belie returned to the church and watched Vogh and Julia break free of their stone encasements. It took Brother Fabitor a full minute of speaking in a strange tongue, moving about the women, and waving his holy symbol of Lothian, for the two women to “melt” back into flesh.

Talin was standing ready to catch Vogh while Deacon caught Julia. Both of the women slumped to the ground coughing and shaking a bit at the strange sensation.

“Oh Thank Lothian!” Fabitor exclaimed. “It’s wonderful to see you unharmed Miss Vogh. The Banewarrens are proving problematic I take?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh was finally able to talk after being turned to stone she thanked Brother Fabitor.  I thank you so much, I owe you my life!  When we got to the door three of the Knights of the Dawn were lying dead and we couldn’t find any sign of the others.  Vogh flexed her muscles and stretched her legs and arms shaking them a bit to get the feeling back into them.

The Banewarrens have many many traps inside.  We have been able to handle a few of them but have had some issue with others.  Also, I believe the Pactlords are down there trying to do something, but I don’t know what.  At one point we came across a group of them but didn’t see them.  Suddenly a few of us were stunned mentally and just after we were attacked by a woman.  I assume they were working together.  Thankfully, we were able to scare off the woman but the others are down there roaming around.  There is also a wall of Force that we can’t get through and some kind of contraption that is like a puzzle.  We have to pull certain levers to open things but I am afraid to try for who knows what will happen if we guess wrong.  Though I just thought of a way to perhaps get past it.  I will talk to you Deacon about it later.

After everything was talked about Vogh had remembered something.  Talin, we have something to do this evening.  We should go back to the Minstrel so we can plan for the next morning.


Back at the Minstrel the group of 6 went to Vogh and Talin’s room and talked.  Vogh said, Deacon I need you to memorize as many of your elemental spells as possible.  We can use them to pull the levers to see what works.  That way we aren’t putting any of our own lives at risk.  Julia, I need you to pray for a lot of dispel magic spells so that if there are things we need to dispel we can hopefully do that.  We also need to somehow guard our minds from this stunning that we were hit with.  If we were all to have fallen to the spell we may not be speaking now.  Any suggestions are welcome.  With the plans laid out for the next day Vogh and Talin said goodbye to the others and together they went to the noble district after hailing a carriage.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk
———————————————————–
OOC: Did you tell him about the 3 Order of the Dawn soldiers being killed? And about the others not being there?

Fabitor listened intently and just shook his head in wonder. The man was built, and carried himself, like he could easily delve with the group, but he seemed to focus on the church intently and showed no interest in following them into danger. “I will inform my superiors. Thank you for what you’re doing. Blessed be Lothian for keeping you safe. I’m always here, as you well know.” The priest gave Vogh a hug and shook Julie’s hand, being far less familiar with her than the bard.

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Belie
———————————————————–
Everyone headed to the Minstrel after the excitement of the two women’s transmutations. Belie had met at the church that morning to witness the amazing magic, or prayer, or whatever work done. These supernatural powers never ceased to amaze them, no matter how often he witnessed their effects.

As they walked the short distance from the church to the inn Belie mentioned, quietly, to Vogh and Talin. “I know we’ve had a lot going on, but we might have a lucrative opportunity before us which would likely be much less dangerous than our recent exploits.” The rogue grinned, making fun of all they had been through in such a short time.

“I was speaking with my friends Jamir and Anthus last night, the ones who assisted me originally with the gnome area and Jamir I actually traveled to Ptolus with. We are patching our relationship after the rift torn by them refusing to aid me in freeing the gnomes, thank you again for that. Anthus suggested, since he is no longer working as a miner, than perhaps he could journey to assist the gnomes with their mining, and perhaps we could ‘fence’ the gold they dig for them.”

Belie watched their faces for reactions and feelings about what he was proposing. He didn’t push anything, knowing they currently had many loose ends to deal with. “Like I said, I know we’re in the thick of it right now, but it could make us some coin without getting frozen to death, mind blasted, dropped into pits, or any other fun things.” The man raised his eyebrows in mock fear as they all gathered in the room.

As typical for him, he faded into the background and listened as Vogh laid out her thoughts and their plans.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Before the group made it up to the bards’ room, Talin caught Tellith raising a hand to get his attention. The copper haired woman reached beneath the small desk which she typically stood behind, retrieved an envelope and brought it to him.

The letter was unmarked but was sealed with wax. The insignia was a circle with a protrusion sticking out of it. Talin narrowed his eyes in confusion then opened them wide with the realization of the mark’s origin. He caught up to Vogh and took her aside, showing her the seal, whispering to her, “This is the symbol of the Watchers of the Skies?!”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh had listened to Belie and his suggestion sounded pretty good.  Belie, that sounds like a great idea.  Can you organize it with the gnomes since you have dealt with them the most?  I would like to know more details and how we can manage to get this done.  Also, now that we are the owners of the lot we need to get it cleaned up and speak with contractors to lay out plans for the building Talin and I have talked about at good length.
Talin and I will be attending the party at Castle Shard tonight so you have a free day to do what we can to advance what you proposed.

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Talin
———————————————————–
After getting the letter from Tellith Talin looked it over to see whom it may be from.  He noticed then that the seal on the letter was from the Watchers of the Skies.  Talin caught up to Vogh and the group and showed the letter to Vogh.  Shall we open it when the others leave?

Vogh nodded and then went on to describe the plans for the next day.

After everyone left and Talin and Vogh were alone Talin opened the letter.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The group conferred and each had their own set of tasks. Finally Vogh and Talin were alone and opened the letter.

Talin slid a dagger behind the sealing wax and broken it free from the paper, then he opened the flap and extracted a letter from inside.

Written in a very proficient script of flowing letters representative of a highly learned individual was a simple address.

quote:

Dear Vogh and Talin,

You already know me, Helmut Itlestein, high priest of the Watchers of the Skies and leader of the Ptolus Republican Movement. Unfortunately you don’t seem to know the truth of me. We need to meet.

I will meet with you anytime at my office at the Temple Observatory. Or, to allay your fears, you may name a time and public place of your choosing. I will meet you. We have much to discuss, because there is a great deal you don’t understand.

Looking Above
High Priest Helmut Itlestein

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh pulled out a piece of paper and her writing utensils and began to pen a note to High Priest Itlestein.

quote:

High Priest Itlestein,

We received your letter, unfortunately, we are unable to meet with you at this time.  I wanted to make sure you know we received your letter and we will within the next few days write again with a time and place for a meeting.

Vogh Hath

After that was complete the pair of them sent the message off with her seal and to be delivered to the Temple Observatory.  They then made their way to get their clothing for the evening festivities.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The duo made their way up to Nestor’s, where Talbot Ferrar greeted them, then to the Jade Woman. Lassa had Vogh’s stunning gown prepared. Talin’s new suit cost him 15 gold, which made his jaw drop. Vogh fussed over him and made him quickly close his mouth. The man had an even harder time swallowing, or rather, coughing up, the 30 gold Vogh’s dress cost. But there was no denying it was worth every copper once he saw her dressed. A quick carriage ride brought them back to the Minstrel to clean up and prepare. Both got in hot baths to soak and clean themselves thoroughly.

Finally, with the sun fully set, the two exited their room arm-in-arm and descended the stairs to the common room. The volume noticeably lessened as they stepped into the main area of the Minstrel as more eyes than not were trained on the duo. Talin was used to a crowd, but this much attention made him just a little nervous.

Together they swept out into the night and quickly found a nice carriage to whisk them up into the Noble’s District. An explosion illuminated the night’s sky, causing Talin and Vogh to look outside the carriage’s portals, pulling aside the small drapes. Wonderful fireworks were erupting in the night sky, obviously above Castle Shard. Their driver whistled as he took in the spectacle.

Every color in the spectrum flashed in the night sky. Tiny specs of light would ascend, like fireball peas, only to expand into spectacular shapes. One ball of flame detonated to form a red dragon’s head, breathing fire as it raced across the sky. A streak of lightning went up, a strange sight indeed! The blue traces of electricity arched and branched into dozens of limbs only to shutter and shatter into dancing lights that raced off in every direction.

Neither bard had ever seen such a display of magic hurled about so. The trip passed by in what seemed mere moments, then they were standing before the infamous Castle Shard.

Shard’s famous purple moat was glowing with its own light, and the entire castle tinkled with magical fairy fire, shifting between colors constantly. Their carriage had to await a couple other transports, far grander than their own, which were unloading their precious people onto the red carpeted draw bridge.

Obviously really good descriptions of your outfits would be awesome! 😀

[Private to GM: People/Orgs/Plots to mention at the party:

Commisar Igor Urnst – portrait on pg 148
Commissar’s Men
Goldshields – badge on pg 153

Kirian Ylestos, prince of the church, page 294

Nivae Tamelli, Knight of the Chord, most famous bard?
Sheeva Callister

Lord Dorant Khatru

Moynath Autumnsong, look up his quotes and use them
— Talk about Ice madness taking ‘lesser’ wizards
Urlenius, the Star of Navashtrom Male ogre-mage
Narasha, stayr, have her hit on Talin relentlessly, pic: http://v3p.org/ptolus/?p=3126
Mand Scheben, cleric of Asche, the god of cities

Use a Shadow Sending, have someone receive one.
— Introduce the lady who runs the place, Firestone Street, Rondella Loyath

Lady Devina Kath & husband Matrenus
Selenia Kath

Kalbir Rau

Fallon Movacani, shoal elf, pg 283

Kirstol Dallimothan, pg 89, with tiny silver dragon

Mention the Swordthrower’s Club

Lord Abbercombe

Doraedian Mythlord, Iridithil’s Home, and his advisor
Lothao Valinth who is one of the 12 commanders]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh came down the stairs on Talin’s arm all eyes had turned to them.  Vogh had on a bright red shoulder cut dress that showed off her firm muscles and ample chest.  Normally. Vogh wore attire that hid her voluptuous chest but this was a party.  The rest of the dress was form fitting and fell to the floor.  There was a long slit up her left leg to her thigh which revealed her shapely legs.  She had on silver colored open toed 3″ heels that almost her taller than Talin.

Talin looking sharp in his black 4 button suit with a red bowtie and red handkerchief. He had on a high black top hat and shiny black shoes.

Together they left in their carriage to Castle Shard.  Vogh snuggled up to Talin in the carriage on the way.  It was majorly romantic and she felt wonderful at that moment.  When the fireworks went off the pair looked out the windows of the carriage.  The colors and sounds were unbelievable and majestic.

It wasnt long before they finally exited their carriage and walked up to Castle Shard.  Vogh had noted the moat and the plethora of colors.  It was beautiful and Vogh just looked over to Talin and said, Thank you for this Talin.

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Narrator
———————————————————–

Talin looked surprised at Vogh’s words. “Me? We’re here because of you, amazing lady.” He flashed that winning grin at her as they walked forward arms locked at the elbow.

Outside the always breathtaking castle two golden suites of armor stood vigil, unmoving as people entered between them. Neither bard could tell whether the overlapping plates of golden metal covered a person or if these were golumns. Each suit sported a golden pair of wings which resembled metal far more than feathers, not rippling at all in the evening breeze. Most striking about them was the purplish fire which burned in the helmet eye holes and ascended to dance in a pyramid above.

Big Pic of Sentinels: https://d20.pub/assets/uploads…-Wings-Head-Fire.png

Inside, Kadmus was accepting gifts and directing people to the left after entering the outer span of the Shard chamber which gave the castle its name. Kadmus stood to his full height, a couple finger’s widths higher than Talin. His thick grey hair was combed back and held tight by a cord which possessed its own light. Light which constantly shifted, changing the hue that radiated across his light hair. He smiled, which lit up his blue eyes, upon seeing Talin and Vogh.

“Greetings Miss Vogh Kath and Master Talin Ursalatao! Welcome to a Castle Shard party! Please go through the Shard chamber, navigate to the left and enter either door on the first wall you face. Ascend the stairs and you’ll enter the ballroom with the other guest. If you have need of anything, simply ask.”

Another couple had entered before the bards. They disappeared into the glowing purple center chamber of the castle which showed a huge, pulsing, crystal whose height spanned both floors of the structure. The entire gem was surrounded by a clear material which felt like glass, but far stronger.

Through the door a large room opened and contained a staircase to the upper level. In this room there were no windows and only a single door in the far wall beyond the stairs. Several people, equally as well dressed as they, stood around in little clumps speaking, drinking and nibbling on small foods.

Together they ascended the stair and entered the Ballroom of Castle Shard. The Lords of Castle Shard were infamous for their lavish parties. Each one they threw had them trying to outdo their last memorable masque. Rumors and stories of past parties always flittered throughout Ptolus. Despite the ridiculous, often the rumors were true!

At one party they filled the ballroom with magical birds; upon catching one, it burst into a shower of sugary candies. At another, they managed to negate the pull of gravity throughout the ballroom. One was conducted without any light whatsoever in the ballroom. Then one of the most remarkable, at one ball, Lady Rill made enough temporary magical duplicates of herself for every attendee to have his or her own personal hostess.

All those stories and rumors still were not enough to prepare Talin and Vogh for that night.

Floating platters of drinks and horderves moved about the place, avoiding bumping into anyone despise the many bodies. The inside of the ballroom had glittering magical lights and fires all about the periphery. Never had the two seen so many races in one place. It seemed nearly every race was present. One famous minotaur stood in his fancy robes. Shibata was a priest of Niveral, the god of secrets. Vogh had heard of him, but never seen him!

Several magical, or mechanical, items flew around the room. Birds, airships, even toy dragons. Wait, one of those was a real dragon… Lord Kirstol Dallimothan stood in a gorgeous silver and gold coat which reflected the many different shifting light hues. The ensemble seemed to be metallic, but it flowed about him like silk. Not one, but two wyrmling dragons were perched on either shoulder. Occasionally the small drakes would allow someone to pet their scales, but often they snipped razor sharp teeth at the person after more than one touch. Kirstol didn’t chastise the babies at all.

Four stages were setup against the walls, equidistant from one another. Behind each stage one of the oval castle windows showed the night sky. Each platform housed a different entertainer. One halfling was working illusions like puppets. The stage was covered in magical visions which moved and interacted. Somehow the diminutive marionettist also changed his voice into different characters, and even impossible sounds, to augment the realism of his story.

One stage contained a bevy of bards, sporting all manner of instruments, some of which had to hold magic. One set of thinking chimes mimicked tweeting birds of many pitches perfectly. A drum, when struck, reverberated through the entire building, but it was nearly silent and each person could simply feel the vibrations. The quintessential jester was working his act, juggling balls which had smaller balls orbiting them, balancing on a ball, while holding a dagger – tip down – on his tongue.

[Private to GM: http://v3p.org/ptolus/wp-conte…yramid-in-Ptolus.png]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Thank you Kadmus!  Vogh said with a wide smile and slight curtsy.  Together Vogh and Talin ascended the staircase and entered the ballroom.  If she had thought that the exterior was magnificent Vogh was sorely mistaken as she entered the ballroom.  There were so many colors and people in wonderful attire.  Performers of various professions doing their best to wow the guests, performed on the periphery of the interior chamber.

Vogh saw many people that she knew but didn’t stop to speak with them at this point.  She wanted to look around and see the sights first.  As they moved about they saw the regal Shibata, a minotaur priest of Niveral.  Minotaurs weren’t a common race in Ptolus so it was very cool to see him.  Just then a floating disk filled with champagne glasses floated slowly by Vogh and Talin and Vogh reached out and grabbed two glasses from it before it floated off.  It was as if the thing knew they had their hands empty or full.  It was quite awesome indeed to see the things floating about the inside.

The duo then saw Lord Dallimothan and his wyrmlings.  The mere sight of the small dragons so close was an awesome sight.  The Lord was magnificent as well in his silver and gold coat.  Vogh would make it a point to try and say hello to him at some point in the evening.  Vogh and Talin moved along to see who else was there.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin moved about, noticing more and more famous people of Ptolus. They spotted Nivae Tamelli, the most famous bard in the city, Sheeva Callister, the most well known delver who retired from her lucrative career, dressed in a stunning dress that left little to the imagination.

As they walked around the room they noticed a strange collection of individuals. Everyone knew Urlenius, called the Star of Navashtrom, who was an Ogre reformed by the Brotherhood of Redemption. The blue skinned behemoth towered over the others, and had a half dozen ioun stones floating around his head. Beside him stood a Satyr woman who bordered on nude!

Small horns protruded from her the flawless skin of her forehead. Cascading brown locks of curled hair revealed her pointed ears then fell down her completely bare back. The cut of her dress ended just above her buttocks where a small tail fluttered. Shaved smooth her legs were bent back like that of a goat and ended in hooves, but the effect actually made her look like she stood in the highest of heels. The front of her dress was practically two pieces, barely joining before reaching the joining of her legs, then with high slits on either side. Vogh almost let her jaw drop open at the scantily clad attire. Mand Scheben, the cleric of Asche – god of Cities – and their first contact with Castle Shard stood with this group as well. All of them were listening to an arrogant sounding elf who held an incredibly long cigarette and puffed smoke. While he spoke and smoked, each exhaled cloud would transform itself into an impossibly lifelike item. One puff was a ship that formed and sailed away to disappear. Another was a smoke dragon that flapped its wings and soared into the room. One cloud formed into a bow and fired an arrow of smoke. It was transfixing to watch.

Both bards heard the elf say, “If you gave me the choice between unlimited magical power and unlimited access to information, I would choose the magical power—but then I would use it to get information.”

Possibly most surprising to the duo was to see Commissar Igor Urnst standing with Lord Dorant Khatru, leader of the militant house Khatru. The  Khatru house was known for its military leadership and martial prowess, But they were made up of arrogant boors and self-righteous warriors. With the Commissar were several others, two dressed in this high Watch garb and two, one a female, wore the Golden Eagle pendant of the Goldshields.

Another surprising clump, farthest from the Commissar and Khatru as possible, showed the golden Lord Abbercombe speaking with Doraedian Mythlord, possibly the most well known and respected elf in the entire city who oversaw the beautiful district of Iridithil’s Home. Beside Mythlord was his outspoken advisor Lothao Vilanth who also happens to be one of the 12 Commanders of the City. With them was Kirian Ylestos, son to the Holy Emperor Rehoboth Ylestos, called the Prince of the Church. The young man was renowned for loving fancy, parties and leisure. It was here Vogh saw her mother, with Lady Davina Kath and her husband Matrenus.

Sheva Callister, retired Delver

Urlenius, the Star of Navashtrom, Male Ogre-Mage

Narasha, Satyre

Suck Up Elf Smoking

Commissar of Ptolus Igor Urnst

Lord Dorant Khatru

Goldshield Badge

Kirian Ylestos, Prince of the Church

Golden Body of Lord Abbercombe

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Vogh
———————————————————–
AS Vogh and Talin walked around seeing the multitude of people Vogh had met before there was still quite a lot that she had only heard of and not met.  Course this could be the perfect time to make introductions even if it was to only say hello.

Vogh then saw her mother and decided to go say hello.  As Vogh and Talin moved over to see her they saw Kirian Ylestos, the Prince of the Church so Vogh stopped to say hello before getting into a deeper conversation with her mother.

When the got close Vogh gave a slight curtsy and said, Greetings Kirian Ylestos, it is a pleasure meeting you.  I am Vogh Kath and this is my companion Talin.  Magical evening isn’t it?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The prince was known as a charmer and he lived up to that reputation. The dark skin of his face creased as he smiled big. Kirian took her hand in his and kissed the back. “Greetings my lady. It’s a please to meet you as well. Magical indeed is the night. A Castle Shard party can never be missed!” He gestured to take in the surroundings and all the entertainment.

“So you are a Kath? I know of your family, but I’m remiss in never having met you, beautiful lady.” Again he smiled wide as his eyes drank her in, completely ignoring Talin.

Lord Abbercombe saw the Prince speaking with the two bards, then at a polite juncture he directed the two stately elves’ attention to the humans. “My friends. Allow me to introduce you to the duo which helped Lords Zavere and Rill rescue me from the clutches of that evil dark elf. Doraedian , Lothao, I introduce you Miss Vogh Kath and Master Talin. Vogh, Talin, clearly you’ve met the prince. Allow me to introduce Doraedian Mythlord and Lothao Vilanth. Doraedian is master of Iridil’s Home, Lothao is his advisor as well as one of the Commissar’s 12 Commanders in defense of the city.”

Abbercombe’s speech and mannerisms were entirely human, but it was such an odd sight to see what was essentially a golden statue moving and talking.

[Private to GM: reminder to include the famous delver guy who’s kids will go missing later]

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Vogh
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Vogh blushed at the compliment from the Prince.  He certainly was a charmer as had been rumored. Thank you for the kind words.  Just as she was about to say more though, Lord Ambercombe arrived with two others in tow.

With another curtsy, Vogh smiled at the introduction from the golden Lord.  Ever the modest one Vogh just motioned her hand like it was no big deal to help out.  We were only trying to help and by luck we were able to bring you back to the land of the living!  To Doraedian Mythlord she said, It is a pleasure to meet you Lord Doraedian and also you Master? Lothao.  How are you enjoying the evening thus far?

Remember Vogh and Talin are wearing their bracelets if you want to add anything if someone takes their hand to shake or kiss.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Both stately elves nodded in greeting, keeping their backs perfectly straight and their heads high like true nobility. Their ageless faces hid the centuries both had likely seen pass.

“Fortuitous you were able to save Lord Abbercombe. Moreso your success in apprehending the evil drow.” Doraedian spoke clearly and with an almost melodious tone. Each word was like silk being folded carefully and purposefully. His long, gray hair was straight as an arrow, parted down the middle and falling over the front of his shoulders and down his back.

Lothao turned his head only slightly to listen to Mythlord, then turned it back with a small nod. “Indeed. Ptolus does not need their kind within our walls, or even beneath our feet.” Lothao looked younger due to his raven black hair, similarly styled to the other regal elf, but it was impossible for Vogh to tell.

“A wonderful evening so far. The Lords of Castle Shard have thrown wonderful parties over the centuries.” Lothao nodded in agreement with Doraedian’s statement.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh didn’t share a dislike as these two for drow.  All races had both evil and good people within their races so she tried not to judge outright based on one’s race entirely.  So, Vogh just nodded and smiled at the two elves.  Just the final words from the Mythlord lent proof that these two men were far older than Vogh and Talin combined even and with that came time to grow deep-seated opinions of others.  How long have the both of you been coming to the Castle Shard parties?  Vogh asked, wanting to know just how long the parties have been going on to give her a hint at the ages of the hosts.

Vogh was then looking to get out of the conversation with the two elves so she nicely curtsied and said, oh is that my mother over there?  If you will excuse me, Lords, I am going to go speak with my mother.

Vogh then curtsied once more and made her way over to her mother, Lady Sallina.  When she got close Vogh caught her moms eyes and lightly ran to her the last few steps.  With another curtsy to her mom and stepdad, Vogh said, Good evening mother, isn’t the party magnificent?

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Sallina Kath
———————————————————–
The two elves smiled at her question, seeing her politely hidden question of their age. “Since well before the current Lord and Lady of Shard resided here.” Lothao answered cryptically.

All in the group nodded at Vogh politely dismissing herself.

———-

Lady Sallina smiled at the approach of her daughter and Talin.

“Well, precious one, it seems you have brought great honor to House Kath. Friend of Castle Shard!” Her mother smiled wide and genuine.

Lady Davina Kath and her husband Matrenus stood near and smiled at the duo. Davina spoke next, “Indeed. What a success story you are little one. My sister has glowed since we received the news, and the invitations to tonight’s festivities.”

An older gentleman stood with his wife, listening to them unti Lady Davina finally introduced the duo. “Vogh, Talin, allow me to introduce you to wonderful friends of House Kath. Adatol and his wonderful wife Oudre, Hunter.” Both of the humans were much older than Vogh’s family, likely in the early part of their sixth decade of life. Davina continued, “Adatol still delves into the depths below our fair city and while on one of his explorations, Adatol recovered a long-lost heirloom extremely important to House Kath! He found the painting of Lothian’s mother created by Solorence Kath almost four hundred and fifty years ago! We will be having an unveiling party very soon to show off the work.”

Adatol merely shrugged, smiled and lifted a wine glass in salute to the newcomers.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was filled with joy when her mother saw the bracelet on her wrist.  House Kath had done so much fr Vogh over the years.  Talin and I have done a few things for them this true.  I am sure you heard that Lord Ambercombe is now back.  Talin and I were instrumental in making that happen.

When lady Davina said her thanks and expressed how excited they were for this even Vigh blushed.  Vogh wasnt used to so much praise.  I have you all to thank for whatever I do.  Without your tuteledge and love, Mother, for a child that wasnt even yours biologically, has made me the woman I am today.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh raised her glass if wine and so did Talin as they were both introduced to Master Adatol and his wife.  At the mention of an unveiling Vogh grinned wide, she couldnt wait to see the painting that her adopted ancestor had made.  Very nice to meet you Master Adatol and to you as well Oudre.
So, you still delve quite a bit Adatol?  Who do you delve with perhaps we have seen your friends as we have delved a few times ourselves.   
  Vogh seemed pretty interested in all what he had to share.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Adatol Hunter
———————————————————–
Adatol chuckled as he took a sip of wine which seemed to glow internally as he answered Vogh.

“I delve a little, but nowhere near what I did in my youth. My children have been pestering me to train them further and take them down but I fear for their safety.” He smiled, knowing that Vogh herself delved and figured her family shared the same sentiment.

“As of lately, most of my old colleagues have retired, but my old bones still seek the thrill of adventure from time to time, and that overrides my body’s complaints!” He laughed while his wife smiled and shook her head at him.

Oudre chimed in goodnaturedly, “Against my best wishes too. We have need of nothing, but this old fool still likes to put himself in danger.” She make a tisk-tisk sound as she too took a drink of dark wine which never stopped swirling in the fluted glass despie Oudre holding it still. She also snagged a small pasty from a floating platter and nibbled on the delicacy.

Adatol asked of Vogh and Talin, “And where have you spent most of your time in the Labyrinthe?”

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Sallina Kath
———————————————————–
Lady Davina, Vogh’s aunt, Matrenus, her uncle, and mother all beamed at the young woman’s deflection of praise and uplifting of house Kath.

“We have been blessed to have you. I do not remember anyone in the Kath family holding such a bracelet in our recent history. Perhaps we should have the books searched to find someone from antiquity.” Sallina smiled at her daughter with genuine pride.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was reassured that this older man didn’t delve all that often anymore.  His wife certainly seemed to not want him to risk his life for the adventure.  To answer his question though Vogh said, Well we haven’t gone far yet.  We have had reasons to remain above ground for now, though there is something we are currently working on that has demanded our attention lately.  I shouldn’t speak of it quite yet though, I am afraid.  I would certainly love to trade tales of adventure with you at another time when it is more accompanying to chat.


Vogh bowed her head to Lady Davina and her words.  I would love to see who in our lineage has worn a bracelet as well.  But, enough of me.  Is Raule here as well?  I haven’t seen him yet.  Vogh asked.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
“Here! Here!” Adatol said, with a raised glass. “Perhaps we can swap tales at a Kath party, to see the painting.” Both the Kath women smiled and nodded in agreement.


“No. Raule did not attend.” Sallina explained. “He had other matters to attend do.” Her mother said this with a tense smile that let Vogh know not to press the subject at that moment.


Lady Davina brushed past the awkward moment with a graceful hand by asking Vogh and Talin to regale them of how they earned the coveted friendship bracelets. “We would all love to hear how you earned this priceless jewelry. Vogh? Talin? Might you share with us the story that brought about such honor?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
That sounds like a splendid idea Master Adatol.  Vogh said as she too rose her glass to toast.


Vogh was saddened that Raule wasnt at the party she would have loved to have a dance with her brother like the old days when he would show her the footsteps to a waltz or some other traditional dance.  Vogh let a thought escape her mind then and it was directed towards her mother, Do not be alarmed mom, this is Vogh in your mind.  I have slowly developed the ability to speak to others and they can speak to me through the same way.  I will tell you more about it in private later.  I do hope Raule is okay?    Vogh hadnt even faced her mother when she spoke the words in her head.


Vogh with the help of Talin in parts began to relay the story of how they cane to receive the bracelets.  It is actually a rather long story.  It began with Talin and I… Vogh finished the story and just smiled with a wide smile.  It certainly felt good to have done so good for her family.

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Sallina Kath
———————————————————–
“Vogh? You’re telepathic? When did this happen?” Her mother thought back at her. Vogh noticed the woman was mouthing the words she was thinking with very small movements of her lips. “In truth, he is fine, he simply wasn’t invited. Only we three of the family were. This is not uncommon.” Vogh again chuckled internally as she saw her mom squinting with thought as the sent her words back.


Everyone listened intently to the tale of how Vogh and Talin had gained their Friends of Castle Shard golden bracelets. They were all intensely interested in the series of events and excitement the duo had been through.

“Quite a tale!” Adatol exclaimed. “You crossed paths with a dark elf and lived to tell the tale. Very impressive you two.”

“Truly.” Lady Davina added with a smile. “I say again, you have brought great honor to house Kath, Vogh.”

Matrenus, her adoptive uncle, had remained silent as he usually did in social settings but spoke up. “What is next for you two?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
It happened about 3 nights ago.  I don’t want to bore you with the details of what happened.  But, Talin was the first to discover it as I had said something, I had thought I was saying to myself and he heard it.  It surprised me greatly and him as well of course.  I am still working the details on how it works.


Vogh smiled to Adatol, Actually, he wasn’t the first one we crossed paths with.  We have dealt with a dark elf female below the undercity.  We managed to escape that encounter barely.

The to her mother she bowed and turned to her uncle and said, we are working with the inverted pyramid and the church of Lothian on something currently.  I don’t think I should say more about it though.  Maybe another time though.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Across the grand ballroom Talin kept noticing the scantily clad satyr woman looking away from her group, and ogling him. She batted her eyelashes at him and made it very apparent she was interested in him.

Talin asked the Kath’s who all was in that group. Lady Davina explained.

“Mand Scheben is the head cleric of Asche. He is close friends with Lord Zavere and works for him quite often. The elf is Moynath Autumnsong, an arrogant one to say the least. He’s one of the highest ranking members of the Inverted Pyramid. He just loves to impress people by casting Wishes like they are nothing to him. Moynath actually lives here in the Castle. So does Narasha, the whorishly dressed satry. She actually lives here in Shard too, something about saving Zavere’s life long ago. Urlenius is the Ogre. He’s famous for being reformed by the strange Brotherhood of Redemption.”

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Talin
———————————————————–
The Brotherhood of Redemption you say?  Interesting, Vogh, would you like to go have a chat with them?  Talin asks.

Vogh looked to her mother and Lady Davina and gave another of her curtsies and then the two headed that way.  We will see you all later and if not please make sure to send us an invite for the unveiling of the painting.

As they approached Talin could see that the satyr was just watching him like a hawk.  It felt awkward with Vogh being on his arm.  He felt like a piece of meat at that moment. It actually felt quite odd.  He didn’t know how to react…

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh left her mothers side and headed to see the close friends of Lord Zavere.  She would love to hear how he was saved and when it was.  Vogh was also quite curious as to why Narasha was trying not to look like she was staring at Talin.  She knew he was good looking and much more, but she didn’t need to look at him like she was his.  To ensure that she knew it Vogh turned away and sent a mental word to Narasha, He is mine.

Now standing in front of the group Vogh reached out a braceleted hand to Mand and introduced herself, I am Vogh and this is my companion Talin.  You are Moynath Autumnsong correct?  It is such a pleasure to meet you.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Moynath Autumnsong
———————————————————–
The mage extended a nearly limp hand and took hers delicately. Vogh could tell he had likely never done a hard days work in his long life based on how soft his hands felt.

“Charmed. I’m sure.” Moynath responded in a tone that seemed a balance of sarcastic and genuine, but one simply could not be certain. He blew out another smoke cloud, this one turned into a person walking and floated off, legs moving in a slow walk which made for a weird effect.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Mand Scheben
———————————————————–
“Vogh! Talin! It’s good to see you here! Pay no mind to Moynath, he thinks he’s the gods’ gift to us mere mortals.” Mand chuckled as the elf shot him a glare and practically hissed at him.

Mand introduced each of those around him then gave introductions of the bards. “And this is Miss Vogh Kath, and Master Talin Ursalatao. They won the distinct honor of being labeled ‘Friends of Castle Shard’ through their recent heroics! They rescued Lord Abbercombe from the clutches of criminals and the dark elf Shilukar. Then they managed to bring the drow to justice!”

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Narasha
———————————————————–
Narasha ran a finger down the middle of her chest and slightly parted her lips as she looked at Talin. Moments before she looked around, trying to determine where the voice came from, but shook it off just as quickly.

She extended a smooth, but surprisingly strong hand to Talin. “Charmed indeed. Talin Ursalatao. It is indeed a pleasure to meet you.”

The way she emphasized the word ‘pleasure’ gave Talin goosebumps and had him shooting Vogh a look of consternation.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh thanked Mand for the introduction, Thank you for those kind words Mand.  We were just helping out.  Vogh then caught Narasha’s words as she spoke them to Talin.  Normally Vogh wasn’t one to be jealous for it didn’t suit her, but there was something about this one that just unnerved her. Vogh held it in though and smiled.  The pleasure is ours, Narasha?  I hear you saved Lord Zavere once.  I would love to hear the story!

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Narasha
———————————————————–
The satyr blanched when Vogh spoke, almost like she hadn’t noticed the woman before addressing her. “Oh, it’s an old story. Zavere once dealt with a vicious green drake. I had the fortune of nursing him back to health.” Again the half-woman smiled lasciviously at Talin. “He was kind enough to allow me to stay here during my visit. I didn’t intend to remain so long, but the delicacies of this city are hard to part from.”

Narasha took a long drink from a tall glass of dark liquor. Not wine, she seemed to be drinking something var stronger. With feminine charms, it was obvious she was a sturdy creature.

“It is wonderful to meet a true man of powerful abilities.”

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Vard Hillman
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An older, but handsome, gentlemen approached the group and inquired of Vogh. “Did you say you’re Vogh? You have been a fantastic customer to my inn. I dare say business was better when you and Talin were still performing on my stage though.”

Vard had gray in his hair which was combed back and tied into a small bun. He wore a very nice black overcoat which was trimmed in silver and sported a collar up to beneath his chin. His pants were likewise black and sported a single silver stripe a finger’s width down only the right leg.

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Vogh
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In reply to Narasha (msg # 244):

Vogh noticed that Narasha didnt use the Lord title for Zavere.  Perhaps it spoke of their ‘closeness’ or perhaps just her lack of protocol.  Vogh though found what she said interesting, so Lord Zavere battled a green drake?  Do you meet him out in the wild then? Vigh was about to make a comment on the continued outright sexual advances this woman was making towards Talin when a man approached.

At his question Vogh answered, yes.  So you are the proud owner of The Ghostly Minstrel? What a pleasure to meet you.  Vogh curtained to the man and smiled wide at his words.  The Ghostly Minstrel has been really good to us and Tellith has been a superior host.  We try to perform as much as we can but things have been a bit hectic as of late.  The venue is perfect for entertainment.
So how are you enjoying your evening?  Quite the spectacle isnt it?

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Vard Hillman
———————————————————–
“I am indeed. Vard Hillman, at your service.” He shook her hand politely, but firm. “So I’ve heard a bit about these hectic things which have brought you here tonight.” The man smiled. He seemed to be a bit of a charmer as well. When questioned about the spectacle he nodded and looked around to take in all the sights and sounds.

At the moment illusionary dragons were racing around the ballroom which caused the silver drake on Lord Dallimothan’s shoulder to take flight and bite at the illusions. The images exploded in fake sparks and the dragon let out a tiny roar which was too adorable not to giggle at.

“Indeed there is no party like a Castle Shard party.”

[Private to GM: Who could the PCs find/fight that would reveal information about the PCs? Sketches, details of abilities, etc?]

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Narasha
———————————————————–
Natasha shrugged at Vogh’s question about how she met Zavere. “Yes. We met in the wild, and it was quite….wild.” She widened her eyes in exclamation of her words.

With Vogh distracted by Vard, Narasha stepped closer to Talin. “You’re quite an impressive specimen young Talin. It seems this little bittie is rather possessive of you. Does her attitude mean you are not up for any romping?” Again the beautiful half-woman batted her eyelashes at Talin and leaned forward giving him a tantalizing view.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the little silver dragon wyrmling lifted off Lord Dallimothan’s shoulder and moved after the illusionary dragons it caught Vogh’s eye and she followed the silver as it chased down the illusions.  What Vogh didnt see at that moment was Narasha flirting more with Talin.  Honestly at this point it didnt matter, Vogh knew where his heart lie so Vogh enjoyed the spectacle of the dragons.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin gave the satyr a smile at her advances but when she spoke poorly about Vogh, Talin put a stop to it all,Look, stop the flirting and putting down of Vogh.  Her and I are a companions.

Talin then turned from the satyr and  watched the dragons fly as well.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Narasha pouted and made a funny face at Talin saying, “You’re missing out on the ride of your life human. If you ever change your mind, you know where to find me.”

Mand stepped over and tisked-tisked at her. “Narasha, your appetites are insatiable.”

The cleric watched the illusory, and real, dragons play along with many of the others in the ballroom.

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Lord Zavere
———————————————————–
Lord Zavere came strolling through the crowd and over to where Vogh and Talin stood.

“Greetings Friends!” He wore a wide smile and gestured with his arms wide, holding a wine glass of a deep, dark liquid. “I’m so thankful you were able to take time from your busy schedules to attend our party.”

Zavere took Vogh’s hand a kissed it lightly, then shook Talin’s.

“I see you’ve met some of our other guests. I hope everyone is getting along well…” He let the words hang in the air as he met eyes with Moynath specifically who simply rolled his eyes and puffed on his cigarette.

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Vogh
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Vogh smiled wide as Lord Zavere came to them.  When he addressed her she customarily curtsied and then said, oh yes the party is marvelous.  We have met quite a lot of people that we have only heard about.  Thank you so much for the invitation.  It was a blessed respite from our adventures.

Vogh thought about something then and asked, so do you have any more surprises for the evening that hasn’t been shown to the party, Lord Zavere?

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Narrator
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…………………………..
… party placeholder …
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This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 13:15, Mon 12 Nov 2018.

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Vogh
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… party placeholder …
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Bharash
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After their visit by Jevvica and having gotten Julia back from being petrified, the trio went back to The Griffon for the night.  Vogh had given them the plan for the next day and they would make sure they were prepared for it.

Bharash prepared by having some.. no more than a few, dark ales.  If he were to die in the morning he would have a good night tonight.  He even asked the owner where he might find himself a companion for the evening.


The next morning they rose, ready for the day.  The man from the inverted pyramid was there in the tavern waiting for them.  Bharash approached him, We need to get Vogh, Talin, and Belie and then we will be going to Oldtown.

When the group arrived, Vogh and the others were already waiting for them downstairs.  They were enjoying a meal before going.

Well, we have someone to help us get rid of some of the pesky magical traps.  His name is Avach Ur-Tesstrin. Bharash said.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh had just finished taking a bite from a fresh steaming honey roll when she saw Bharash and the others enter.  Bharash was looking ready for a fight which was just what Vogh was hoping for.  Vogh hoped that they all prepared as she had planned.  Vogh waved them over to their table.

Welcome Avach Ur-Tesstrin, I am Vogh.  This here is Talin, and that is Belie.  Shall we talk first or talk along the way to Oldtown?  I would like you to know how we work and would like to know how we can compliment each other’s abilities.

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Avach Ur-Tesstrin
———————————————————–
Avach was happy to speak and walk at the same time. The blonde human stood over six feet, and had a thin, angular face. A magical breastplate covered his torso, as a magical bastard sword was sheathed across his back. The man also carried a heavy, composite longbow which was currently unstrung and used as a walking stick. On on hip bounced a small quiver of two dozen arrows. Avach also carried a small pack, nowhere near the size of those worn by the others. He produced the items Deacon requested of the Pyramid two days prior from his sack and explained a little about himself.

“Jevicca Norr sends her regards. I am on your side, on loan from the Pyramid, and I truly hope to help you with this quest. The entire organization agrees this place is horribly dangerous and should be sealed for all eternity. If I can be of assistance in that endeavor, and in killing these pact monsters, then all the better. But I know you are a very capable lot and I pray you don’t resent this intrusion.”

The man walked with the sure and capable steps of a warrior, but he seemed to have a bit of magic about him. For one thing, there seemed to be an inconsistent shimmering hue that danced across his flesh. He also had small potion vials in leather sleeves attached to his belt for easy reach.

“Jevicca was only able to fill me in on what you have specifically shared with her. If there is anything else you can tell me so I may be better prepared, I would appreciate it. And what are each of your specialties?”

The group introduced themselves on the walk and detailed a little about their focuses.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
As the group was walking Vogh and Talin each looked at each other with smirks as they heard a nearby broadsheet seller hollering, “Read all about the Castle Shard party last night! See who was there! What did they wear?! Did someone bring a live bear?!” A fair number of individuals were handing over the single copper to get a sheet and gobbling up the information. Being as it was only The Midtown Partisan, the duo figured nearly everything in the rag was fiction. The Partisan was a less-than reputable, irregularly distributed gossip sheet which was mostly concerned with the activities of the noble families, usually portraying them in an unfavorable light.

Being as there were seven of them now, everyone was fine with walking to the Manor in Oldtown. There were eight person carriages with four horses to draw them, but one had to reserve those ahead of time. Plus, it seemed about to rain, yet the clouds overhead hadn’t released anything yet. They all arrived at the abandoned house quickly and dry.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
At the house Bharash took the lead with Belie once more and walked to the door and opened it. The dragonborn sniffed the air, as did the rogue, and both looked at each other, then around the area.

“Do you smell smoke?” Bah, asked. “I sure do.” Replied Belie.

Both of them drew weapons and proceeded just inside the door, looking around. It didn’t take long for a couple raggedy figures to appear on the top ledge.

“OY! What’ya doin’ here?!” An older man wearing rather tattered clothing hollered down at them from behind the balcony railing on their right side. Two older men, younger than him, but all with missing teeth and filthy clothes, stepped up to either side and glared down at them.

On the far side a middle-aged woman with sunken eyes and a face prematurely aged beyond her actual years stepped up to the railing and was joined by a couple boys that couldn’t have reached their teens yet.

“Hey y’all! We got company!” The first, and oldest, hollered. His voice reverberated throughout the mostly stone interior. With no rugs or artwork remaining in the open expanse of the wide stairwell and entry there was nothing to absorb the sound.

More people stirred from on the second floor. Several other men and women appeared, all in similar states of poverty. It was clear this group had discovered a vacant location and had been using it to squat. Many of the men carried rusty daggers, while one man and one woman held a light crossbow cocked and loaded. From the looks of them, it was quite possible they might break rather than shoot.

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Talin
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With the appearance of the women and children and the look of them, Talin’s blood began to boil a bit.  He had seen these lot before, sure not these particular ones, but these types of people.  Most likely they were users of some drug which is why they had ended up the way they had.  The sad thing was, was that they had children.  The children always paid for their parents’ poor choices.

Pulling his weapon out Talin spoke to those looking down at his group.  You all will leave the premises now.  If you don’t we will forcibly remove you.  Any who decide to fight will be cut down where they stand.  This is not a threat, this is a promise.  You have 10 mins to vacate starting this very moment.

20:35, Today: Talin rolled 25 using 1d20+16. Intimidate check to get people out.

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Bharash
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To hit the point home, Bharash pushed out his chest and pulled out his blades.

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Belie
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Belie looked at Talin with alarm, not sure if the man meant what he said or not. But he doubted the issue would be pressed considering the look of this lot. The rogue stood his ground, sword tip in the floor but ready to be raised at a moments notice.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The older woman off to their left gasped and looked at the men across the span. She pushed both the young boys behind her ragged skirt but neither could help peeking around her.

Everyone tensed at the bard’s words. Eyes darted around, from the obvious ‘leader’ to the imposing group and beyond.

Narrowing his eyes and dripping the rail the elder spoke again, a bit of spittle escaping between his missing teeth as he spoke with all the forcefulness he could muster. “Why?! Ya own ‘dis place youngin? Buy it with what riches ya stole from down under?!” Clearly this man fell into the category of people who didn’t look kindly on delvers in the city.

When Talin answered in the affirmative and bluffed the man into believing he did indeed own the home the elder continued.

“Well ya ain’t took no good care of it, have ya? Ya and ya friends ‘dere ain’t been livin’ here nun. How about I make ya a deal…” Again he narrowed his eyes and raised his chin in a questioning manner. He paused for effect then continued.

“We’ve an old chest we found and kain’t get open. Why don’t ya take it, keep it and what’evs inside it for lettin’ us stay here until you gonna move into the place?”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin wasn’t about throwing children out on the streets or nothing but he wanted to know why they were all here now and where they were before and what happened.  Talin wanted to do it up close and personal.  He nodded to Belie to follow him.

Talin began to move towards the man, So where is this chest you speak of old man?  How did you come to own it?  Each of his questions brought him closer and closer to the old man.  Lastly, what are you doing in my house?  You had to come from somewhere.  Where were you all before you decided to make my home yours?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The elder stiffened and stood a bit straighter at Talin’s approach. Both crossbow wielders gripped the bodies of their weapons tighter, adjusting their aim at the bard.

“I just told ‘ya we kan’t open it. I dunna’know what’s in it.”

Talin waved a hand to stop the man and repeated himself, “I said where is the chest…”

The man explained it was in an upstairs room here with them, then continued, “As to ya house, my son Jer… uh…” He stopped himself in the middle of saying the boy’s name then made up an obviously fake one instead. “Busar here was askin’ after help from some of the richies up here and saw this place sittin’ empty and not even locked up. We just tryin’ to keep our children covered outta da rain. Ya got kids mister? We ain’t damaged nothin’ and just used a bit o’ firewood. My boys have strong backs. Maybe they could be doin’ some work for ya around this place when’ya move in?”

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Vogh
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Vogh spoke up then having heard enough from the old man.  Talin’s ploy wasn’t scaring the man and Vogh wasn’t going to toss the family out on the streets at this moment.  She thought for a moment for a solution then nodded as she looked up to the man.  Sir, you have no idea what this house sits upon do you?  If you did, you probably wouldn’t want to have your family sitting on the evil that is below.  There are evil beings below us that would have no problem killing you and taking your children and women for their own pleasures.  While I would love for you to remain in the house to stay out of the weather, I can’t.

Tell you what.  We have a friend at St. Gustav’s who will help you out for the time being.  His name is Brother Fabitor Thisk.  IF you tell him that Vogh and Talin sent you he will take you in for some time.  Tell him you will work for your stay.  I know he has things that your boys can do and stuff your women could help with.  It just isn’t safe here.

We will even open the chest right now.

21:12, Today: Vogh rolled 29 using 1d20+17. Dimplomacy

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Narrator
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The man looked sceptical, suspecting a trap. “Those Lothianites ain’t gonna do nothing for no one with no coin. But hey, if ya wanna try ta open that box, I ain’t for stoppin’ ya.”

He told two of the younger men to go get the chest and bring it out. The young men looked to be in fair shape, if under fed. Years in poverty hadn’t yet taken all their teeth, or sapped all their strength.

The chest measured about two feet long, two feet wide and equally as tall. The young men struggled with the weight between them, coming down the stairs. The chest easily weight three hundred pounds. Made of wood, bound in bronze with small bronze plates set into the back and sizes, each plate engraved with images of winged horses. There was a hefty, built in lock set into the front of the chest.

Belie shrugged his shoulders, maybe had a twinkle in his eye, then sheathed his sword and approached the box. From a pocket in his vest he produced two tools and set at the lock. The rogue smiled when he heard a click, pocketed his picks and set about searching for any traps or issues before opening. Finding none he tried to pull open the lid.

He looked back at his friends with confusion, then looked at the boys and tried to push the lid open once more. It didn’t budge. The rogue pulled out a dagger and tried to press it between where the lid and body met, but couldn’t get a purchase. Even producing a small hammer from his magical back and attempting to tap, then hammer, the dagger in to pop the lid failed.

Finally Belie produced a crowbar and really set on the chest’s lid. All he had to show for his efforts was a light sheen of sweat.

“Gods be damned. The locks undone, but I cannot get the accursed thing open…”

Deacon offered to detect magic on the chest and inspected it for several moments. All thoughts of violence had left everyone and those on the balconies merely peered over the edge in anticipation of seeing the chest opened. All he could offer was that it radiated a strong aura of abjuration magic. Casting a dispel on the chest likewise did nothing to open it, or even suppress the aura.

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Talin
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Talin watched as Belie worked the lock and then as he tried to open the chest to no avail.  When Deacon came up at Talin’s wave and cast a detect magic spell Deacon described it as having a heavy aura of Abjuration, Talin looked to the man.  Where did you find this chest at?  It is imperative you tell us the truth for it could be very dangerous.

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Narrator
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“We got it from some lowlife who needed help with some work. He told us he would give us the chest and all that was in it. Wasn’t ’till after we did his work what we found out we couldn’t opened the cursed thing. Where he got it from I’m not for knowing.”

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Talin
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Talin calls down to Avach, might you happen to have a knock spell prepared?  It certainly would come in handy right now if you did.  When the man shook his head to the negative, Talin turned to the old man.  I would suggest leaving the chest.  If you think you need cash to get into the church you are sadly mistaken, but I will give to you 10gold pieces to give to Brother Fabitor if he asks for gold.  Talin reaches into his pack and pulls out 10gp and hands it to the old man.

Now, head on over there while the weather holds.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The people acquiesce and finally leave the house, accepting Talin’s offering of 10 gold, and leaving the chest behind. The group takes the large box up into a back room and hide it there as best they can.

Finally the troop of seven descend into the wine cellar and make their way, yet again, into the depths of the earth and into the Banewarrens.

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Vogh
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Same M.O. as last time. We will have Belie checking for traps as we go along. First though Vogh is going to sense if there is anyone around? She was unable to detect anything, or anyone, with her telepathic abilities.

As Vogh rounds the corner she smells the dead creatures they killed the last time they were down here. “We will need to do something about them.”

Belie raised and eyebrow and asked, “Why?”

“Well for one, I don’t want some cleric or wizard coming along and raising them from the dead”

Belie’s sarcastic face immediately fell with shock. “Blech. Good point!”

Vogh says to Belie, “lets check the same way we went last time.”

“I don’t wanna…” he said jokingly as he moved that direction and stepped around the bodies carefully.

Belie’s blocks were removed again, but he could see chips in the stone where they were prior. He pounded in another set of pitons on this side and gingerly stepped onto the platform, wincing. But thankfully nothing happened.

Bharash grabs the bodies of the Ape and the gnoll and begins to drag them along.

Bharash calls out to belie, “Lets use the trap to move the bodies to the pit. We can show Avach how it works.”

Belie moved back across, and helped bharash push the bodies onto the plate.
It took some working to get his pitons back out due to the extra weight, but with the dragon’s help they got them

“This is how the trap works Avach”, Bharash said

As soon as the last piton came out, the wall dropped into place and moved forward until it too crashed into the pit along with the bodies, adding rubble and gore to the bottom. Gross ichor and coagulated blood was streaked all across the floor.

Vogh explained for everyone to go across 1 at a time like last time after Belie reset the pittons once more. Vogh keeps urging Belie forward with a thought.

Together everyone moved through the same areas they had before, seeing nothing disturbed and all the bodies still in place. Upon passing through the big machine’s room and into the long hallway they saw the statues standing inanimate, with their gems stolen by an unnamed bard…

Belie walked down the hall farther than they had proceeded before and ran into a nearly invisible sheet of webbing and gets stuck fast. Thankfully Bharash was easily able to “peel” him free, then burn the webbing away.

“Get back here Belie, are you scared of a few webs?” Bharash chided the rogue when the man had moved back sarcastically as the dragonborn began to burn the webs. They all chuckled then moved into the room with the disgusting bear. If it was possible, the room smelled even worse than before.

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Narrator
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Down the hallway they entered the large circular chamber once more. However, from the dust on the floor, it looked like the device might have been rotated at least one time. It was still in the same position as when they first saw it, but it was very likely that it had moved while they were gone.

“I don’t like the looks of this. Someone moved the device.” Vogh looked about again to see if she can sense anything

Someone was messing around with the mechanical scorpion “toys” too. Many of the pieces were shifted, some seemed to be missing even. To make matters even worse, the glistening metal seal on the door at the end of the room had been broken.

“Vogh, please remind me to grab pieces of these things. I want to see if I can make one of these later.” Deacon told the bard.

Upon reaching the room from whence the largest mechanical scorpion came they noticed the broken seal and slightly ajar door.

Vogh’s senses reach out, but she only feels her companions. “What is inside Belie?”

The room seemed to be an armory at one time. There were steel, glass-fronted display cases Each hung on the wall and were dimly lit by a dark blue glow However, the entire floor was littered with broken glass A single case remains undisturbed.

No blood marred the shards or appeared anywhere on the floor. There hung a greatsword with bat wings for hilts, double entwined snakes formed the handle and the heads poked beyond for the pommel. In the middle of the hilt was a demonic face leering out. (A metallic face, carved, not real.) Evil symbols and runes were etched the entire length of the large blade which was all a black metal.

Julia steps forward and casts a spell to detect evil which she things is around. The sword pulsed with evil, as did each case show traces of powerful evil having been there before.

Julia tells the others, “The blade is evil. I am not sure we should leave it, but I certainly can’t touch it.”

“Clearly there were other evil things in the other cages, we must be weary of picking up weapons just in case Lets leave this for now Unless you want to do something about it Avach?”

Avach agreed he did not want to touch the blade.

Deacon steps forward, and tells everyone to get back. From outside of the room he uses his mage hand to smack the glass while standing behind the door. Unfortunately the spell was not powerful enough to break the incredibly strong barrier.

Next the wizard summoned his elementals which proceeded to blast through the glass, triggering an explosion of some force that injured the elementals, but no one outside the room.

The +1 evil greatsword went into Deacon’s pack with everyone avoiding touching it, using his mage hand to move the blade.

Vogh brings everyone back to the main room again. Deacon move the elementals out the doors.

The troop left the wall of force room and went back to the freezing cold space. Belie could still not find any way to disable or turn off the cold effect so Deacon dispelled the effect long enough for them to pass through.

In the north wall of this room, stairs lead down, while
the southern wall sports a door in the middle of an elaborate
fresco, now faded and chipped. The artwork shows tall
winged humans with flaming swords flanking the door.
In the eastern portion of the room, three squat
humanoids of bronze, their heads and limbs clearly
jointed and hinged, rest unmoving on their haunches.

Belie does notice, after opening a door to the north, that the door seems to have resistance and tries to close itself, but he can hold it open easily.

Deacon will tell the elemental to hold the door, “Belie can you spike the floor? Will it hold it?”

He is able to with no issues, there seems to be some kind of spring internally that simly tries to close the door

A small hallway is beyond the door, with two more doors. Belie checked the door to the right and then opened it. This room is full of iron drum barrels, most of which have toppled. A humanoid figure made of metal lies trapped under a pile of the barrels. It appears to be about 6 feet tall and quite lithe. Its brass parts look tarnished and corroded and its left leg is mangled. It raises its head, one eye socket missing its eye, and looks up at you.’

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Deacon Havenhold
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“Greetings to you. I am Deacon What is your name? “

Deacon is taken aback that this construct is talking to him.

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Chapter 4: The Banewarrens by Geristranomos
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“Geristranomos”, it answers.

“Greetings Geristranomos, what happened to you? Can we help? I am Vogh.”

Talin looks to the barrels and wonders if he can move some to get the construct out.

“Much and therefore stark much hamster cuddled lightheartedly ferret passable due.” As far as the group can tell, Geristranomos looks at them thinking he just spoke an intelligible sentence and awaits their next question.

Talin moves a barrel so that they can help G up.

“Oh thank you. Thank you interbred oriole!”

“So Geristranomos. How long have you been here?”

“”Holy cow…” Belie said, after having looked around to help Talin. He holds up a very large diamond.

“Oh! Thank You! That is my other eye! And miss, I know not how long I’ve been here. I must attend to the locks, and clean all of the mechanisms. Why, I’m sure the iron plates in the Plug Control Room are a terrible mess!”

“What can you tell us about this place? We are trying to reseal it and defeat some evil creatures that came inside”

“Oh Yes! These Banewarrens must be sealed! Why, you shouldn’t be here at all!”

“How can we seal them?” Vogh telepathically thinks to the others, Can anyone repair his eye?

“When they were created, the Sealed Doors could be opened only by Danar’s own touch. Only the sealing rod can reseal a Sealed Door once its seal is broken. Danar used to carry the rod with him at all times. Now it lies within the Baneheart.”

Belie thinks back to her, still imperfect at the system he sends a few images of his lockpicks and working on something, then finally the words, I can try.

“This is really complicated stuff. I think we better leave it to someone better at this. Certainly Ptolus has someone?”

“Queerly one fish congratulated and hey gosh so ladybug grinned shy howled one jerky regardless far that gull in wow stormily glumly hatchet whale.”

“G we came across a room with stairs and levers and such, do you know how to work the levers?

“Of course I do! He says excitedly”, watching as Talin uncovers his mangled leg, and while Belie tried to fix his eye.

“Can you tell me?”

“You all seem like wonderful people. The correct order for activating the levers in the plug room is South West, NE, SE, and NW. Using them properly removes the plug in which gives access to the rest of the Outer Vaults. But please don’t go there…”

“why should we not go there?”

“These warrens are divided into the Outer Vaults, the Inner Vaults, and the Baneheart. Much far gosh outside yellow chortled hatchet whispered. The Inner Vaults and the Baneheart were corrupted when Danar fell. Now they are evil places! Terribly evil. The Inner Vaults and the Baneheart became the domain of a number of the Dread One’s evil lieutenants. Some of them might still be around. Boa saucy man-of-war excepting hey one far wobbled knitted darn scallop. The worst of them is the Malificite, who was once an angel.”

We will need to get to the baneheart everyone., Vogh thought.

Our golden friend here just told us NOT to go there…

“G we saw contraptions outside the main vault and then inside the vault. What do they do?”

“Oh! Those are Warding Generators. The provide arcane power to keep the Sealed Doors closed. No amount of magic can breach or bypass the doors or walls of an area enclosed by Sealed Doors so long as the warding generator is functioning. Which I must check on them immediately! Thank you for helping me up…”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
“There is another store room with materials beyond the sealed door I believe you must have entered through. That generator was never completed.”

This chamber is filled with stacks of cut stone, steel reinforcements and girders, and a variety of stone and metalworking tools.

“G what supplies are most important?”

“I must inspect the machines first. But we should have all we need to fix the devices and get them operating again.”

The group fought a nasty little spectre who appeared in the materials room, but quickly vanquish the undead thing.

“Whoever opened this place must have the Key. Danars hand.”

“Yes G the key was used to open the door We dont know where they currently are either.”

“oh no… That means whoever has it can go all the way through the warrens and open anything they want?!?! This is Terrible?!?!”

“This is terrible. We have no idea where they are either.”

While Talin was working to fix Geristranomos, the construct regaled them with information about the Banewarrens.

“Only the sealing rod can reseal a Sealed Door once it comes unsealed. Danar used to carry the rod with him at all times. Now it lies within the Baneheart. After Danar had collected a number of banes and placed them in the warrens, a terrible geological event pushed the earth upward, creating the Spire. Although Danar’s superior construction allowed most of the warrens to remain intact, new areas— mostly stairways—had to be added to connect the separated and severed areas. Danar had many loyal allies, including his wife, Parnaith, a pegasus named Voastra, a nymph named Estalada, and a four-winged angel named Bastion. The Dread One had many lieutenants, including Vallacor the prison warden and Solonar the Blackguard. The Dread One fell in battle against powerful heroes below Jabel Shammar, the fortress atop the Spire. Many of those powerful heroes were runebearers, but many have likely died after all this time. The stairways are newer than the rest of the Banewarrens. They had to be constructed after the geological upheval to connect all the rooms that were split apart.”

G was very sad to see the downfall of his master and his descent into the very evil he saught to eradicate.

“Runebearers you say? We have come across a youth that is a runebearer.”

“Youth? No. They were all grown men and women.”

“Yes, it seems there are others as well. I have the belief that one is even yet to be born. I think I know the mother.”

“Why yes. They are very common. The Vallis Moon grants them great power and blessing. Most of the greatest heroes are runebearers.”

“Can you tell us about how to bypass the traps? Give us a map maybe of the warrens?”

“When far and far that and less wow crucial flirtatious arose misspelled pounded oh via peevishly.”

G’s construct memory is flawed. He no longer remembers where any of the traps or guardians are. He was trapped beneath those barrels for centuries likely.

“G I dont understand what you said.”

The group even had to guide him to both the generators because he didn’t remember his way around all that accurately.

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Vogh
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After repairing Geristranomos the group was about to leave when suddenly a spiderlike being popped into view and touched Talin on the shoulder and then suddenly disappeared again.  They found a note laying on one of the boxes that read “If you ever want to see your comrade alive again, you will leave the Banewarrens.  We will contact you again once you are out.  Do as we demand, or your friend dies a slow, agonizing death.”  As Vogh read it her blood began to boil.

How do we defend against something like that?  Vogh says to the others.  They didn’t say when we needed to leave so let’s push on and maybe we can find another way out.  Proceeding to move south into the next chamber, the group, minus Talin moved to the door in the next room.  As they neared the metal men, they stood taller and seemed to be waiting for an order.  Not having one, Vogh told Belie, check the door please and make sure it isn’t trapped and locked.

Having done just that Belie gave the signal it was all clear.  He then opened the door and Vogh felt a rush of thoughts come at her and there the group saw the enemy.  Vogh and her group didn’t quite surprise the other group as one of the creatures, a Lamia, charged forward and hit Belie.  It was Vogh’s turn next and as she moved to a better spot she sang in the minds of her companions.  Bharash used the song and moved in to attack the lamia getting 2 solid hits on the creature.  Avach too moved forward and swung his blade opening more wounds on the lamia.  Then a sphinx-like creature swooped in and impaled its beak in Belie’s chest.

Belie took a couple swings at the sphinx causing wounds to open on its torso.  An ettercap then spit its webbing at Belie but the rogue was too quick for it to take hold. Then suddenly the world turned black for both Avach and Belie as they were stunned by a mental blast from another creature with tentacles where its maw should be.

Deacon cast a spell to hasten his friends so they could possibly defeat the foes quicker.  Julia cast a spell to bolster their minds and harden their bodies against evil.  An ogre that was near turned gaseous and began to close the distance to Vogh and Bharash.  A hag then moved into view and pointed a wand at the group.  Some of them took the full brunt of the lightning that issued forth, their hair standing on end and muscles clenching.

The lamia now badly wounded stepped away from the three in the front and opened a potion and drank its contents down.  The magical healing properties healing wounds and knitting flesh back together.  Bharash moved in towards the thing once more and struck it 3 times opening fresh wounds once more.  It wasn’t enough to bring it down so Vogh moved in, her footwork performing a dance that enflamed her friends with draconic fires.  She struck the sphinx, but somehow it still stood after her assault.  The beast didn’t like what it had just felt and decided to withdraw as well.  The ettercap spit its webbing at Vogh this time and it found a hold on her sticking her to the ground somewhat.  The tentacled thing issued another mental blast, but the hardy adventures shook off the effects thanks to Julia’s spell.

Deacon moved a little and then cast one of his more powerful spells.  Black tentacles sprouted up from the stone floor between the enemy holding them where they were, grappling them and squeezing the life from them.  Julia moved back for cover and kept an eye on Belie.  The gaseous form seeped through the companions and on the other side it reformed into the ogre it saw Deacon and tried to hit him with a huge blade but missed.  The Hag once more let out a blast from her wand hitting Vogh squarely and catching Belie and Avach in the lightning blast.  The lamia now stuck tried to fight but was not effective at all.  Bharash then finished off the Lamia as it fell dead at his feet. Vogh turned back around as she followed the gaseous form of the ogre and as it came to be again she stepped close and swing her blade hitting it hard twice.  The sphinx screeched and deafened only Vogh as the others somehow shook off the effect.  The ettercap tried to spit its web again but missed Bharash.  The tentacled thing once more mind blasted the group to no effect.

Deacon in the face of the ogre stepped back and defensively cast a spell and then he was gone, turned invisible.  Julia saw the others hurting quite a bit now stepped closer and cast a healing surge of energy on her friends.  Wounds began to knit and the blood stopped flowing.  The ogre tried to hit Vogh but missed the dodging woman.  The hag once more shot a bolt of lightning in at the companions and once more they felt the sting of the electricity.  With no target near him, Bharash went back through the door and hit the ogre twice but still not killing it.  Vogh though was right next to him and finished the ogre off.  With no targets for the sphinx or the ettercap, they didn’t attack.  The illithid once more sent a mind blast out which failed once more to stick.

Deacon moved to the northeast and then cast a fireball which erupted in the middle of the hag, ettercap, and the sphinx.  When it exploded the sphinx dropped dead.  Julia moved as well to a spot she could cast a spell.  She let loose two admonishing rays right at the illithid but it was too crafty for the spell to stick.  The hag had finally used up her wand of lightning bolt so didn’t have much choice but to try and escape the tentacles, which it couldn’t.  Same went for the ettercap as it failed to escape.  The illithid this time escaped the tentacles and moved to a better position.

Deacon sent out another fireball pea that exploded and this one killed the ettercap.  Julia sent out another admonishing ray pair and injured the hag.  Bharash and Vogh went to attack.  Their weapons clanged off the flesh of the illithid as if it were made of stone.  Vogh gave the illithid the option to give up and bring Talin back, but it didn’t listen. The illithid then reached out with its tentacles and touched Vogh and Bharash.  The power in the mind blast this time was too much for Vogh and she became stunned as well.

Deacon moved this time and shot a scorching ray at the hag killing her.  Julia went to make sure that Belie and Avach were okay.  Then suddenly the illithid was gone leaving the bloody mess of the battle behind.

After checking all the bodies, Deacon and Julia began to burn them so that they would not be able to be brought back to life while they waited for their friends to get back to normal.  Once everyone was back to normal they gathered all the new gear, Geristranomos, and a few of the small mechanical scorpions and left the banewarrens once more.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Once back above ground, Vogh found a courier and paid the man to send word to High Priest Helmut that they would meet with him 4 days from now in The Ghostly Minstrel.

She then told Belie to go to Brother Fabitor and tell him all that happened and that we need to set a meeting with the high priests again as soon as they can meet.

Vogh asked Avach to return to Jevvica and report what had happened and that Vogh needed to speak with her as soon as she could.

She told the others to get some rest and await word of their next move.

Vogh then went to the Hammersong Vaults and moved all their gold to a different cash box, explaining that something had happened to her friend and she was worried something might happen.  Vogh then went to their lair and grabbed up the two there.  It is not safe for you here right now.  Until further notice, you will be staying at The Ghostly Minstrel with me.  They gathered their things and headed to the Minstrel to await guidance.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Once they were back at the Minstrel with everyone except the trio and Belie, Vogh settled her friends into a room once more.  She told them not to go anywhere unless they were all together.  She explained all what happened and why the need for all of this.  We have sent a word out to those that need to know and are going to wait for instruction on what to do next.  For now, let’s just take it easy.

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Belie
———————————————————–
Belie went straight to Brother Fabitor as soon as they were topside once more. The rogue used his magical hat to constantly change his appearance as he ducked in an out of alleys, stopping to pretend shop, purchasing a few little food items and other cheap trinkets as one person or another. Then he was off again, transforming over and over again, from human, to orc, or goblin, male, female, tall, short, fat, skinny, he changed constantly on top of ducking in an out of businesses, shops, alleys, and more. A handful of times the rogue even dodged down an alley only to scale a building and sit atop the roof to watch for pursuit.

All of his precautions seemed unnecessary as he never saw anyone following him, but one could never be too careful given the current situation. Accursed spiders appearing and disappearing out of thin air to steal people?!

Belie was encountering more and more of the strange world and he wasn’t sure if he liked it. A fake liche blasted him and his friends with lightning and nearly killed them. Some blue monster could faze in and out of existence and attack them willy-nilly. Talking constructs were able to move around and had “lived” hundreds of years. Thankfully, locks and traps seemed to be a constant in his life. His short time in this bizarre city had dramatically changed his life already.

Shaking off the mental contemplations, Belie entered Saint Gustav’s and asked after Brother Fabitor. “He” entered as an older woman, hunched over and leaning heavily on a cane. When the priest finally approached him the disguised rogue spoke in a high, shaky voice, imitating an old woman as best he could, “The musical lady sent me with some worries about what’s happening down in those nasty Warrens.”

Thankfully the Warrens was the shady district of Ptolus as well as the later part of the dungeon name where they had spent so much time. Fabitor’s eyes raised in understanding and let “the old lady” into his office. After the door closed Belie shed his magical disguise and stood straight, sheathing his cane turned rapier.

“I’ll never get used to that.” The priest said with a smile. “What word do you bring?”

Belie explained about Talin’s capture and the threatening note. He proudly explained they slaughtered the monsters, leaving only the squid-mouthed one alive. Fabitor’s eyes shot wide-open in shock when he asked Belie to explain more about the monster that fled by “phasing” out of existence.

“That’s an Illithid. A Mind Flayer. They are horribly dangerous?! Thank Lothian you all lived to tell the tale. By Lothian you all are a blessed group! I believe he’s watching over you and keeping you all safe Belie… But please be careful. I’ve news to share with you as well. Sister Mara von Witten, whom you met that day at the Cathedral, shared a prophecy with me. Only a few Lothianites know of this, but apparently a powerful artifact known as The Sword of Truth is imprisoned within an evil spell. They believe its recovery will help the Church fulfill its destiny to bring light to the world! However, now the church elders believe this good artifact is actually the sword of lies which is spoken of as being in the Banewarrens. She has said the elders believe if the weapon can be recovered, they can transform it into the holy sword once more. She has said they will reward your group very well if you can bring it back. But there is no pressure Belie. The church has other servants and there is talk of sending a group of Lothianites into the Banewarrens to search.”

Belie wasn’t really sure what to say to everything the cleric just laid on him so he just assured Fabitor that he would relay everything to his friends. Once more in the guise of an old woman the rogue left the church, loudly thanking the priest after opening the office door and hobbling out into the street. “She” made her way across center street into an alley to remain in character and eventually enter the back door of the Minstrel.

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Narrator
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Not long after Vogh had sent the courier, the same one arrived back with a letter sealed in hot wax with the symbol of the Watchers pressed into it. It read simply:

quote:
I will be there. – Helmut Itlestein

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Vogh
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When Belie returns with the news from Brother Fabitor about the sword Vogh blanches.  More bad news.  She thought then that these warrens will be the death of them all.  At least the church is thinking about sending others down into the warrens, though no one has any knowledge of what is down there beside her companions and Avach and by proxy, the Inverted Pyramid.  Thank you for getting the word out Belie.  What will you do until we know further?  Can I coax you into staying here with us?  Vogh asked Belie.

I am hoping that we hear something from Lady Jevvica soon as well.  Vogh added after.

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Avach Ur-Tesstrin
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The tall warrior showed up at the Minstrel and knocked on the bards’ room door. A few tense moments passed as they determined it was a friend and allowed him entry. Avach tried to break the tension a little with smile and a small quib, “I doubt any enemies would have knocked.” Seeing the levity was not received he merely shrugged and got to the point.

“I met with Jevicca and our superiors at the Pyramid. We are all of the same mind, the Banewarrens should be sealed for good. There is some who believe getting the ‘generator’ working in the outer area, then collapsing the tunnels might prevent anyone else from even getting near the door. But all agree obtaining the Banewarrens Key once more, along with this sealing rod, to prevent anyone entering again is in the city’s, even the world’s best interest. Then if the Key can be permanently destroyed, all the better. I’m here to assist in any way, and the Pyramid is behind us.”

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Belie
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It took no convincing at all to get Belie to remain with the group, despite the cramped conditions. The rogue was not versed in magic and it seemed all around him were powerful in the arts, which put him at a huge disadvantage. Belie meant to see what he could do about that to prevent anyone else from messing with his mind or body. He pondered on what protections people might have to block magic, arcane or divine, and set his mind on finding an item, or something, that could protect him. Perhaps Jamir knew more, since he used magic.

Belie couldn’t say all magic was bad. The invisibility spells Jamir cast on him, the magic of the bards’ music which helped guide their weapons, even lighting enemies on fire, were all useful. But after the tentacle-head monster blasted his mind, leaving him to drool in a puddle while battle raged about him, the young man felt very vulnerable indeed.

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Vogh
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When Avach relayed what the Inverted Pyramid had said, which wasn’t much from what they already knew, Vogh was left to wonder what to do next.  So, no one said anything about helping us locate Talin?  Was his name brought up in any discussion?  Vogh was frustrated and it began to show.

We can’t just sit around and wait for something to happen.  Vogh finally said.  Since the day was getting late, Vogh went downstairs to check with Tellith to see if they could also have the adjoining room for the night.  When Tellith said it was clear, Vogh moved the trio over and Thariad and G.  Deacon had taken a liking to the metal man and had talked extensively with him throughout the day.

If we don’t hear anything by noon tomorrow we will have to find another way to locate Talin.  Vogh said to the others.

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Avach Ur-Tesstrin
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Avach patted the air to calm Vogh. “Yes. Yes. I’m so sorry. One of our members is working to scry Talin and will be contacting us here with any information. My apologies for forgetting to mention that Miss Vogh.”

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Vogh
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Vogh looked to Avach, he probably had lots to think about and just forgot so Vogh brushed it off.  It is okay.  We all are under stressful situations lately, and sometimes it is easy to forget.  I am glad that they are looking for him.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The group lucked out that the room directly adjacent to the one Vogh and Talin had occupied for quite a while was open. The Minstrel staff had just cleaned the room too, and the sweet smell of wild flowers floated through. Vogh and Talin’s room had the single, large bed they had been sharing. Inside the similarly sized room next door sat five beds to accommodate the group’s needs.

Telleth was very distraught when Vogh shared about Talin missing and didn’t even bother to collect any coin from the woman when she handed over the key. “You’ll find him Vogh. I know you will… In the meantime, if there is anything we can do, or anything you need, please let me know.”


It was painful to wait, but the group had no other options. Shortly after nightfall a small tap came at Vogh’s door. When the door was opened, a small, black, clearly magical bird entered the room and flew up to Vogh directly. They had first seen a Shadow Sending at the Castle Shard party a few days prior, but it was exciting to receive one personally. Upon reaching the woman the bird’s mouth opened and “spoke” the following, while an image appeared.

The image was a static, floating view of Talin strapped into some kind of machine, apparently unconscious. He looked unharmed. In the background there appeared to be an open balcony which seemed to be overlooking the King’s River Gorge. The vantage point looked to be very high up.

The spoken message said, “This was the image we scried of Talin’s location. The area is heavily warded against divinations, we could not get more. Best of luck.”

After the spoken message finished, the bird and image disappeared into thin air.

[Private to GM: Belie discovers Linech’s burrow totally abandoned.]

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Vogh
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Vogh thanked Tellith for her graciousness and told her that she would be the first to know once he had returned.

As Vogh was bedding down for the night with Belie and Avach in the room the tap came to her door.  When Belie answered and the bird flew inside straight for Vogh, Vogh pulled out her blade worried it was something harmful.  Thankfully it began to talk or she would have cut it in twain.  The image and news about Talin relieved her but also put more worry and questions in her head.  Vogh began to list out the possible location for the others in the room.

I don’t think it would be in the Noble District, for my house and the Kory house are on the edge of the cliffs.  The other buildings to the northwest of ours wouldn’t work either.  That leaves Oldtown and Rivergate.  Belie, since you have been to Linech’s and know the area quite well, can you scout there now?  I can head to Oldtown and look there.

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Belie
———————————————————–
Belie nodded, but it was obvious he was more than a little nervous. He tried to pass off his worry as a pragmatic suggestion. “You know, Vogh, you really shouldn’t go alone. If we are going to venture out, we should at least go in two’s to better protect ourselves.”

Avach agreed with this sentiment and agreed to go with Belie to scout. Again, despite his typically incredible propensity to hide his true emotions, the young man visibly relaxed at this offer and readily agreed.

Avach and Belie set out from the Minstrel, out the back, and proceeded through the dark up to the Rivergate District.

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Vogh
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Vogh watched as Belie and Avach left.  I will go see if Deacon will go with.  I could use his vision anyways for the dark.

When Vogh went to ask Deacon if he would go, he agreed as he looked to Julia and then Bharash.  Keep an eye out for us here will you?  Vogh asked.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Deacon carefully made their way up into Oldtown, changing disguises often and moving with stealth and caution to avoid detection. Only three places really made sense as options where the vision might have been seen from.

Closest to the wall and the gorge was the Citadel of the Golden Cross, which was the headquarters of the Knights of the Golden Cross. The castle has not been well maintained, and many believe it a ruin, or nearly so. The entire grounds were surrounded by a rusted wrought-iron fence. The citadel was a three-story keep flanked by two towers, one clearly on the verge of collapse. A large golden cross hung above the still sturdy, iron studded wooden doors which would allow entry into the overgrown yard. The Knights were a goodly order, but the view from the northern tower could possibly match that of the scried vision.

Father back from the wall was the huge manor house, which was practically a fortress, known as the Bladechapel. This was Dierna Hillerchaun’s residence. Leader of the Knights of the Pale and one of the Twelve Commanders. A couple points of the large home could be the balcony which overlooked the Gorge.

Finally was the most imposing structure, the Pale Tower. It stood in stark contrast to all the structures around it. The Pale Tower rose up more like a marble monument than a building. The windowless round tower was faultlessly white and shined with a brilliance that belies its age. Looking over the building, it was clear there were no balconies or windows which could have been where Vogh saw. Furthermore, this was the home of the Malkuth, a mysterious group yes, but one comprised of celestials and half-celestials.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh and Deacon got to Oldtown and did a cursory look at the buildings, Vogh with a quick discussion with Deacon, they each said that it could only be two of the buildings.  They decided to first check out the Citadel.  To Vogh it made the most sense since the care for it made it look almost abandoned and there was a balcony high up that could be the one she saw.

After getting over the simple fence they moved to the main building.  Vogh asked Deacon to cast his spell of spider climb so they could climb up and see if it were the one they were looking for.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Deacon stealthily climbed up the loose and cracking stone wall of the tower. Upon reaching the top room they looked inside and had it not been for magic sticking them to the walls, they likely both would have fallen. Inside lay a snake, thicker in body than both of them put together, and longer than four horses front to back. However, the strangest thing was its face looked human… Around the slumbering beast lay several small lizards. It seemed their approach had gone unnoticed so far.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh knocked a couple of times, but eventually, a sleepy attendant opened the door a crack, a heavy chain preventing the portal from opening farther.
“Yes?”  The man said.
I am so sorry to bother you. My name is Vogh Kath and I wish to speak to your master  Vogh introduced herself.

“Um. Pardon. The Lady is asleep.”  The man replied still yawning.

Oh, I didn’t know, it is very important I am looking for a companion and we had scry’d his location and this building is a possible location he could be. I wish to eliminate it off my search.

“Companion? What is their name? Why would they be here? Are they a Knight?” The older man rubbed the sleep from his eyes trying to wake up, and catch up, to the conversation.

Yes, his name is Talin and though he isnt a crown knight he is a knight to many. He was kidnapped and we had powerful mages scry for his location and through his eyes, we saw him in a room with a balcony overlooking King’s River Gorge.  If it wouldn’t be a problem to look on your balcony it would answer our questions.

“What? Why… Why would we have a kidnapped person in our midst?”
“Why don’t you come back at a decent hour and perhaps we can give you a tour of the house.”
“I’m not of a mind to let you in the house. All are sleeping. Oh my…”

If you could just humor me now I would greatly appreciate it.
Vogh almost broke down crying.

The old man patted the air where they could see.  “No need for that…”
roll diplomacy

I am afraid he may be dead even now. Vogh said between sniffles.
24 diplomacy

“Ok. Ok. Wait just a bit miss.”  With that the older gentlmen disappeared and shut the door behind him.  Several moments passed until Vogh heard the door unbolted, the chain removed and finally the door opened.
Thank you so much for this. I wouldn’t have asked if it weren’t important.
Vogh doesnt drop her sniffles, she is actually getting worried.

A knight stood wearing his evening clothes but he had his sword belt strapped about him.
The older man stood with him as well, holding a pair of candles.

“This is Cardilion. He will escort us. Please forgive me, I mean no offense, but we don’t know you… You asked to see the balconies?”

Yes, of course I would not ask for more. Only the balconies that face the gorge.

Cardilion looked a capable warrior for certain, and the blade that hung at his hip was no simple weapon, gilded and beautiful with a razor sharp edge.  He spoke with a deep voice, “I don’t know you, but if this is a trick, I assure you that neither of you will escape with your lives… Follow Fif. There are only two balconies that face the gorge. We have no kidnapped people here…”

I am Vogh Kath. There is no trick and we will be gone the second we know for certain he isnt here  Vogh reached out her hand with the bracelet from castle shard to shake the man’s hand.

Cardilion inclined his head in recognition of the bracelet and nodded as he fell line behind the group.

With that warning the older gentlemen, Fif, led the way, handing a candle to Vogh as they proceeded up the main stair, then turned down a hallway that led to the north.

The first balcony was off an empty room which was covered in weapons.  Clearly a training room, armory and collection room, every manner of weapon, armor and shield were hung in racks or displayed all over the large room.  On the farthest edge a balcony wide enough for ten men to stand abrest overlooked the rest of the city and the gorge.

The first room satisfied Vogh and she said, thank you for showing me this one. Since he isnt here can we see the next and then we will be gone.

The second balcony was far smaller and inside a bedroom, currently unoccupied.  A four post bed dominated the western wall, made and ready for a sleeper, but no one was currently in the room.

Vogh could overlook the gorge from here with the same view as the training room.
Deacon shook his head in frustration.

Cardilion spoke up again, “Miss, there is another dais on the main level which look to the North as well.”
Vogh saw the bedroom and just frowned. I am glad he isnt here but sad I didnt find him. Thank you for this.

Both men were more than happy to oblige. The area was off the main dining room with three sets of double doors. The balcony was on the ground level and made of stone with a half wall surrounding it. Two openings allowed one to step down into the yard.  A handful of stone tables with matching benches sat in the dark.  From the courtyard one couldn’t see over the wall, let alone into the gorge.

Vogh was thankful for their help and apologised for all the trouble. I would like to come back and thank the lady of the house. Would tomorrow sometime in the morning work?

Fif nodded, happy to have obliged them, and more so relieved there had been no incident. “Yes. Yes. Of course.”

Thank you again and have a wonderful rest of your night. Vogh said before her and Deacon left and returned to The Minstrel

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Belie
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Not long after Vogh and Deacon returned to the Minstrel, Belie and Avach returned. The rogue looked a little white in the face. He explained the reason for his concern, “There are a couple towers, or multi-story buildings which might be candidates for further inspection. But I also snuck up to the north to check out Linech’s old burrow. It’s totally abandoned. There were no guards, no lights, no sign of life at all. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad, but my gut tells me it’s bad.” Belie shivered a bit at thoughts of further worry.

“Anyway, the Chapel of Saint Thessina has a tall tower, but I can’t imagine Talin is held hostage in a church. There are a couple houses which appear to have balconies overlooking the gorge. There’s one creepy old tower which Avach knows more about.”

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Avach Ur-Tesstrin
———————————————————–
Avach nodded at Belie’s segue. “The tower should be abandoned. It was once a wizard’s by the name of Golathan. Interestingly enough based on this conversation, Golathan was actually killed. The City Watch has kept the place locked up since his death due to all the implements and substances inside. No one knows how he died, but it’s been strongly suspected there was foul play…”

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Vogh
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When Belie got back to the room and gave Vogh the information about Linech’s place, VOgh thought it odd but it didn’t matter for the situation at this moment.

So, there are basically two possible choices where he could be?  The same was for us.  Deacon and I scaled one of the places and found a huge snake looking monster inside.  Thankfully we were quiet enough and didn’t wake it or the other lizards that were there.  The next place Deacon and I decided to knock on the door and they were gracious enough to show us the balconies.  So, Oldtown is out of the question.

Vogh watched Belie’s reaction as she told him the news. Why didn’t you get better confirmation about his whereabouts?  Vogh asked softly in Belie’s head.  It wasn’t an accusation but an honest question.

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Belie
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Belie shrugged then tried to think back to the woman. So weird! He scrunched his eyes close unnecessarily then formed each word. “It was late. I didn’t want to be beating on people’s doors.”

The rogue felt bad, realizing Vogh was likely panicking about Talin’s welfare. At least they knew he was alive based on the scrying.

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Vogh
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You are right, sorry.  I am just a bit worried about Talin.  Then Vogh said aloud to everyone.  Tomorrow morning we will all head to the tower Belie spoke about.  If we don’t find him there then I think we should check out the Chapel.  It wouldn’t surprise me that a church would be involved as a coverup.  NOT all priests and clerics are good people.  With that said Vogh returned to her room and they all got some rest till the morning.


The morning came quick and after a short breakfast everyone left for Rivergate and to the tower in question.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The old tower had obviously not been well kept. Avach was already there, standing and conversing with a member of the City Watch. He waved at their approach and explained.

“I procured permission from the Watch to enter the premises.”

The Watchman spoke up with a nod, “However, we take no responsibility for whatever happens to you inside. The old wizard was nuts and he probably blew himself up. If YOU wind up blowing up the tower, and injuring anyone around, or any other buildings, you will be arrested. If you survive that is…”

He stood, hands on hips, trying to seem cock-sure and important, but there was a twinge of newness to him. Moreover, the seasoned group could tell a superior had likely recited that line to him, and he repurposed it to them. Nonetheless, they had permission to enter.

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Vogh
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Vogh had wondered where Avach had gone when she woke up in the morning and he was missing.  Ah, very good Avach.  I guess this makes it a lot more legal then.  Shall we?  Vogh asked the others.  We should start by seeing if the door has any magics and traps on it.  Belie care to join me?  Vogh asked as she moved up to the front door.

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Belie
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The rogue was growing more and more uncomfortable with magic that wasn’t simply attached to weapons or items. He cocked an eyebrow at Vogh as if to say, are you crazy? then he asked Julia.

“Can you, like, check if there is magic before I walk up there and start touching stuff?”

Belie couldn’t be sure, but he thought the woman smirked at him a bit but she agreed. After moments she assured him there were no magics about the door or entrance which she could detect.

Slightly relieved, but not entirely, he moved forward with Vogh and checked over the door for any traps. Belie picked the lock quickly and easily, then pushed the door open. Replacing his tools in an impossibly deep vest pocket he stepped inside with a wince.

The first few rooms proved completely mundane A small ladder allowed access to a little loft upon first entry. To the right a dining room held a simple table and chairs, dusty and covered in cobwebs. A simple kitchen smelled of left and rotting food, several dishes, pots and more remained unwashed and had gathered a fair number of flies and other pests. Rats scurried about the place, fleeing the presence of humans.

In the center of the tower was a spiral staircase which led up to the higher levels. Through a door was a library which contained a fair number of tomes. Beyond the library things started to get strange. A humanoid skeleton was hooked up with tubes and wires, chained to the wall. A plethora of beakers, some lacking contents, others in various states of full plus various other alchemical and magical equipment was littered all about.

Full Size Image: https://ptol.us/wp-content/upl…1st-ground-floor.jpg

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Vogh
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Vogh wasnt much interested in what was down on the first level of the tower, she cared about what was above.  Vogh noted the dust and cobwebs which marked the place as probably having not been disturb for quite some time though and so she said to the others, Let’s go up and make sure he isnt here.  Try not to touch anything, but be prepared for everything.

Vogh went side by side with Belie up the staircase, her checking for magic and him for traps.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
As Belie and Vogh left the skeleton room and passed back into the library a Book flew off the shelf and streaked through the air to attack them. The thing didn’t even come close to hitting either of them, but it kept coming.

Belie ducked and dodged out of the way, ineffectively slapping at the thing with his rapier. Finally Vogh drew her blade and cleaved the tome completely in half.

Belie rolled 2 nat 1’s… wth?!

Together they ascended the stair. It was too narrow to be side by side so Belie led, checking for traps while Vogh watched for magic. The second floor had a door which led into a small chamber. One room was open, with three more containing materials for more experiments. A few things glowed with faint magic, but nothing stuck out at Vogh.

From beside one of the boxes a fire poker jumped up and flew at them like a spear. Ready for more strangeness, the duo dodged it and watched the sharp thing stab into the wall, then retract for another attack. (AC 14, HP 2)

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Vogh
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Vogh had her blade still drawn when the hot poker had flown their way.  She batted it with the flat of her blade and it whizzed by and struck the wall.

When it found it’s way out of the wall somehow Vogh was ready as she swiped her blade at it more directly. Vogh’s blade sliced the poke in two as it fell to the floor not moving again.


07:03, Today: Vogh rolled 20,13 using D20+12,d8+7.

Strange things here huh Deacon?  What do you think about seeing if we can purchase this place and make it your tower?
Vogh asked Deacon as the group continued up the staircase to the next floor not carin to search the second as it didnt have a balcony.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Before the group stepped foot onto the third floor, they heard something, someone talking. It seemed to be incoherent babble.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Before they continued up to the third floor Deacon answered Vogh,If it was totally cleared out and rebuilt I think it could be interesting!

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Vogh
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Vogh heard something on the third floor before they even got to the floor.  She sent out her thoughts searching for whatever may be there.

If there was nothing then she quickly had Belie check for traps.  If there was nothing she went first.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh reached out and touched a consciousness. Immediately she was sucked into visions that racked her body with pain. She couldn’t hear herself screaming, nor feel herself falling to the stairs. All she could do was feel searing agony inside her mind. Images flashed by of weeping, then blood. Vogh looked down and saw her hands, no, not hers, but hands covered in blood.

(3 points of Wisdom damage/drain)

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Vogh
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… placeholder for little fight agianst allip …

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Once the group dealt with the little undead creature, they continued to ascend. Belie was grumbling under his breath and shifting his eyes side to side constantly. The next level gave them even more pause. There was a desk with an everburning lamp next to it, then another across the way against a wall. The floor wrapped all the way around to reveal more beakers and vats with strange liquids in them.

Belie kept twitching as things would move, papers would rustle without any wind, and there were strange sounds constantly.

Finally they reached the top story and Vogh’s heart sank. They walked into a big room that was half the tower. A spyglass sat looking out a small balcony and there were more papers, books, and small items. One wardrobe sat in this, another office area. Through the single door was Golathan’s bedroom, looking as if it was left in a rush, or someone ransacked it a bit.

But clearly there was no machine holding Talin captive.

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Vogh
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Vogh’s heart certainly did sink after getting to the top and not finding Talin.  We must find him. Vogh said as she looked out the balcony into the gorge.

I think the next place we have to check is the chapel.  I don’t know why, but I have a sneaking suspicion he is being held there.  Vogh said to the air just loud enough for the others to hear her…. besides Deacon of course who couldn’t see her lips move.

When she turned back around she asked Avach if he could talk to the watch if he could find out if the tower was for sale.


The group then headed over to the chapel.

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Avach Ur-Tesstrin
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Avach pinched his eyebrows together in an “are you crazy” motion, cocked his head and asked Vogh, “You haven’t seen enough crazy magic and undead in here yet to dissuade you from buying it?! Ha!” The blonde warrior laughed out loud as he sheathed his sword and shook his head. “Sure. I’ll ask for you Vogh.” Then his voice took on a somber tone. “I’m sorry we didn’t find Talin. Let’s head to the church. You never know about those damned clerics.”

As a member of the Inverted Pyramid, Avach likely knew the history between arcanists and the church with the illegalization of sorcery via the Edict of Devilry almost 200 years ago. Sure the church had eventually repealed the edict which made Ptolus a haven for wizards and their ilk, but the mistrust often stood to this day.

The group made it back out of the tower and locked the front door once more, returning the key to the Watchman. Avach conversed with him shortly and returned to Vogh.

“He’s pretty sure the wizard’s brother is still alive and around here. You should be able to hunt him down. Same last name. That’s all he knew.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon looked to Avach, and nodded, with a smile, he thanked the Eldritch warrior.  You don’t know Vogh well enough yet.  She is not your typical female.  With the last word Deacon looked to Julia and put a hand on her forearm.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh heard the remark Deacon said to Avach and added, and he don’t even know me that well yet, with a wink and a smile.

With that business complete, the group headed to the chapel.

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