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Narrator
———————————————————–
The first thing Vogh noticed with her magically attuned sight was the fine full-plate armor the one orc had been wearing glowed magical. They also saw a strange symbol drawn on the armor in mud, and in some places around the cavern… in blood.

Lipthsu’s old office had been wrecked. His little desk had been smashed to pieces and judging by the amount of wood left, most taken somewhere else. Likely for a cooking fire. The little goblin was visibly upset as he looked around for anything of value, but found nothing.

The group cautiously crossed the open cavern to where the other orcs had come at them. To the side they found a pile of wood that had clearly been burned in a little alcove. Food scraps and remnants were littered around the rocky area. Opposite this was a staircase which lead down into the earth.

Descending the carved stone stairs they entered another partially natural, and part carved tunnel. From down the tunnel a harsh orc voice shouted at them, “Stop! You die if come here!”

Then a glass vial flew down the hall and smashed against the floor in front of them. Vogh’s spell allowed her to see the magic of the liquid which was now coating the floor.

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Vogh
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Vogh told the others to get back upstairs a bit while she checked what the liquid was that came out of the vial.  She only took a few moments to look before moving back and telling them it is something that has a faint conjuration aura to it.

Not really knowing what it could be, Vogh motioned for them to head back all the way to the main cavern so they could check out the other corridor.  I don’t know what it is but I don’t want to just go headlong quite yet. she told the others as they got back to the main cavern.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Their light proceeding back up the stairs prompted and orc to holler, “Yes! Run away! No return! You die!”

Talin chuckled to himself, knowing the orc had no idea what would come to it momentarily.

Lipthsu went to open the crude door directly across from the caverns steps but Sumar stopped him and opened it first. Thankfully nothing hostile was inside.

What they found was food and wood scraps along with piles of potatoes, some small animal bones and furs, and a hole in the floor which had a ladder beside it.

Lipthsu rushed over to the hole and knelt down to peer inside. “Some alive!” he hollered in common at the group, then clamped his hand over his mount and laid on his stomach, speaking in goblinoid to the creatures down in the hole.

“Help me with ladder! We get them out!”

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Talin
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Talin did laugh but not loud enough for the orc to hear him.  As Sumar opened the door, Talin was ready to charge through if there was an orc inside.  When he saw nothing but foodstuffs, Talin entered and looked about.

Lipthsu had at the same time went to the hole in the ground, when he said that some were alive, Talin hoped he meant goblins.  As Lipthsu had called for the ladder, and after a quick search, Talin grabbed a ladder that was in one of the corners and rushed over and lowered it down into the hole.  Talin didn’t know what he was saying but figured he was talking to some of his people.  Let’s get them out, Salsan help me will you?

Talin and Salsan then helped steady the ladder and waited for the goblins to start heading up.

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Vogh
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Vogh didn’t enter the next room, she wanted to keep an eye out in the main cavern incase the orcs came back or tried to come behind them and attack.

Glancing over her shoulder now and again Vogh saw Talin grab a ladder but lost him around a corner.  She did hear him say, let’s get them out, so she knew he was okay and not fighting.  Sumar head outside and make sure that Tosobon and Jessie are okay.  Stay with them until we call you back in okay?

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Sumar
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Sumar nodded, the big human slung his bow over his broad shoulder and drew his sword then rushed out of the cavern to check on Jessie. Vogh saw the light of a torch flare up as he moved out into the cavern. He hadn’t asked to use one of their magical ones, but the human still couldn’t see in the dim light so he opted to use a mundane version.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin, Salsan and Lipthsu aided half a dozen goblins ascend the ladder and enter the littered room. They were chattering back and forth in their language with Lipthsu, their leader, trying to calm and quiet them. The goblin chief had left only another two of his kin back in Ptolus, those that had accompanied them originally, so it was clear his small tribe had been decimated by the orcs.

“They say they been slaves to the orcs, cooking and cleaning, but orcs killed everyone else.” He explained in the common tongue with a heaviness and crack in his voice. Lipthsu was near tears as he led his people to the door, then eventually out of the cavern. All the goblins they rescued had more than one wound on them, and multiple bruises. It was clear they had suffered at the hands of the invading orcs.

Once Lipthsu had reached the cave entrance with his people Sumar returned.

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Sumar
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“All be well ma’am.” He reported to Vogh in a whisper. “We goin’ deeper to kill some orc scum, ma’am?” The big man asked with a gleam in his eye that wasn’t just from the dancing flames of his torch. What a far cry the man was who stood before Vogh now, from where he had been at his rescue. He had been broken and defeated, but it seemed he had found a second wind in a new life and was embracing it with fervor.

OOC: Pretty sure Sumar needs to become a barbarian at his next level. 🙂

I might also turn him into a fullblade wielder: A fullblade is 18 inches longer than a greatsword, and is too large for a Medium-size creature to use with two hands without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. It does 2d8 damage. (https://www.realmshelps.net/stores/weapons/Fullblade)

There is a feat called Monkey Grip that lets you wield a sword 1 size cat. bigger than you at -2 instead of -4.

Dunno. Might be kind of cool. I made one of these a long time ago.

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Vogh
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Vogh looked over the little goblins to see if she needed to heal any of them before they went after the orcs who had done this.  As she tended to them she asked a few questions, Can you tell us what happened?  How many orcs are there and if there was anything else to worry about.    Vogh also asked if they needed food and if they did she used her provision box to summon up some food.

Yes, Sumar we will be going after the orcs.  I just want to get as much information as I can before we run headlong into something we must prepare for.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Narrator rolled 4 using 1d100 (Under 40 and the orcs come up)

The group hadn’t much time after getting the goblins up and out of the hole, then rushing outside. Vogh had asked them questions but was interrupted by an arrow that ricocheted off the rock from inside the cave. Just after another glass vial flew out at them and shattered on the rocky ground, it immediately turned into a simple gas that hung in the air for moments before dissipating. [Private to GM: Potion of Gaseous Form] Vogh’s magical sight let her know this was a faint transmutation effect.

“Miss Vogh, we’ve got company.” Salsan said as he drew his own bow and loosed an arrow back at the orcs who were hiding behind the larger stones on the same level as their dead kin. Unfortunately his arrow shattered against one of the boulders.

Sumar was guarding Jessie. The goblins cowered against the hill with Lipthsu standing in front of them, shielding them. Sumar moved to one side, pushing Jessie as he went and drew his bow at the same time.

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Vogh
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Vogh told Sumar to stay with Jessie and the others while she pulled out her blade once more and began to sing in the heads of the others.  As Salsan and Sumar covered her she moved up to get some cover behind the wall and waving Talin up do her.

Talin also started his music and moved up next to Vogh.

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Vogh
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With Salsan and Sumar shooting covering fire, Vogh advanced on the nearest orc and split the thin from shoulder to hip with her strike.

Talin ran quickly down to the middle of the cavern where the other orcs were by using the cover of the rocks.  He stopped just before the farthest orc hoping him showing up suddenly it would cause the thing to drop its bow and run.

Unfortunately, the orc stepped back 5ft and fired at close range.  Talin had luck with him as he brought up his buckler just in time to deflect the shot.  The other orc not having a clear shot at Talin chose to shoot at Vogh instead.  Its shot wasn’t even close, perhaps because it could barely hold its bow in its hand after seeing its companion split in two.

Vogh took the chance to rush at the orc and split it too.
20:37, Today: Vogh rolled 36,23 using D20+21,d8+18.

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Talin
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Talin had deflected the last arrow and took a 5ft step towards the orc and swung hard at the thing with the flat of the blade while saying, you will tell me later what happened here.  Talin then hit the orc.

20:40, Today: Talin rolled 22,22 using D20+14,d8+18.

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Talin
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Having knocked out the orc, Talin pulls out some rope to tie up the orc’s hands and feet and then stuffs something in its mouth and brings him over to Lipthsu.  Watch over this guy while we clear out this place.  Are there any other ways to go downstairs that we could sneak up on the orcs that are there?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Talin (msg # 800):

Lipthsu nods at Talin rapidly, making his long ears flap. “Yes! Yes! Secret passage in room we found my kin. I show you!”

The goblin led them back into the food scattered room and down the ladder. Their magical torches illuminated this basement storage room which had several makeshift beds of straw and discarded cloth, amid broken boxes and old storage.

Lipthsu led them over to a section of the wall which he pushed against and opened into a very damp and narrow tunnel.

You can see in the map where it is and goes

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Talin
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Talin went with Lithsu to check out the secret door and once he was shown they came back to Vogh and the others at the cave mouth.

Once we finish off the upper levels I have the perfect place to ambush the orcs downstairs.  Shall we check out the upper level now?

Together, Vogh and Talin moved to two 10ft walls and made their way up to the second one and then started to move out.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin helped Vogh up, then she laid down and aided his climb to each new level. The first step up still had the crossbows the three orcs had been using to shoot at them. Then the next step up split and went either direction.

Their magical torch illuminated a small rock wall, nothing more than piled up rocks, which blocked the entrance into a small room. Inside they found multiple crates of food stuff, cloth, a small assortment of spices, then some iron chunks which were clearly from a mine. Several of the wooden boxes had the Rogue Moon Trading Company’s logo burned into the side, others had no markings.

Opposite the small room was a narrow hallway then a deep chasm, over ten feet across, which descended into the earth so deep their torch didn’t illuminate the cavern floor. Several spikes had been hammered into the stone and had knotted ropes descending into the blackness. Across the cavern were more boxes.

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Vogh
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Inspecting the first room, Vogh didn’t see any signs of the goblins.  She used her magical vision to find magical items to make sure but still didn’t find a thing.  Moving to the next area she saw the chasm and the room.  It was probably a robe bridge of some sort that had possibly been cut but she wanted to make sure.  Talin help me pull up these ropes.  I want to see how long they are.  Vogh had thought then, she could probably use the lyre to build a bridge across the chasm if they gathered enough stone to do so… or enough wood.  Once the rope was pulled up completely Vogh looked across the way to the boxes to see if there was any magic radiating from them.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Nothing outside the boxes radiated with magic, so they would have to inspect them.

Vogh and Talin worked together to pull up one of the three ropes. It was easily over three hundred feet long and lay in a circular pile they had coiled.

Vogh heard Salsan screaming that they were under attack from outside the cavern!

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Vogh
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Vogh heard the call out from Salsan and broke into a run around the corner and jumped off the first ledge and nimbly rolled back to her feet only to spring off the next one a short step later and with the momentum she had she didn’t even roll this time.  She landed on her feet running towards the entrance.

21:14, Today: Vogh rolled 28,37 using d20+17,d20+17.

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Talin
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Talin heard the call as well.  They would have to check out the other side after they helped the others out.  Talin ran beside Vogh and as she sprang so did he.  He jumped and hit perfectly and jumped again landing behind Vogh.  AS she ran off he ran to catch up a song building in his mouth as he ran.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Outside, illuminated by Talins torch, and a mundane one laying on the ground, Vogh saw her two companions with bows drawn and ready to fire again at a hulking dragon born warrior who looked similar to Bharash.

Vogh hadn’t hear his words spoken before she made the cave mouth. But she quickly went from realizing it was a dragon warrior, to realizing she knew THIS dragon warrior. It didn’t just look like her friend, it WAS Bharash!

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Vogh
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When Vogh got outside her blade was drawn and a song was already being sung in their heads.

When she saw what caused Salsan to call out Vogh took a second look. Could that be Bharash???  When she looked closer she was certain it was him.  What are you doing out here all alone?  Vogh got a worried feeling in her thinking something had happened to Julia and Deacon.

Lower your weapons guys, that is Bharash a companion of ours.  Vogh told the others as she put her blade away as well.

Talin was relieved that there wasn’t an actual demon out here.  He had had enough of those things for a little while at least.

Come on over Bharash.  Is Julia and Deacon with you?  Everything okay?  Talin asked.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Having already called Julia over Bharash could see the torch come to life behind him down the hill out of sight of Vogh and Talin.Yes, yes we will be right there.  It certainly is good to see the both of you.  Bharash said as we waited for Julia and Dracon.

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Salsan
———————————————————–
Salsan and Sumar lowered their bows and released the tension on the strings with knocked arrows. “You know them?” Salsan asked, confused.

Jessie stood and composed herself, smoothing out her shirt and nodded in their direction, but remaining at a distance to hide her embarrassment.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Vogh nodded to Salsan.  As they together waited for Julia,Deacon, and Bharash.

When Julia, Deacon, and Bharash finally moved up to Vogh and the others, Julia gave Vogh and Talin a hug. Greetings friends! It certainly is nice to see you again. I am sure you are wondering why we are here. It is actually a funny story. Just a few moments ago we were down in the sewers fighting goblins. We were clearing the Greyson House and it led to the sewers. I had a strange calling that led me to a weird silvery pool that Deacon called a Pool of Insanity. I thought at first I was losing my mind but then I found that the wall next to the pool had a silver sheen to it and it rippled like water. Not thinking it of the same thing I touched it and found a blueish door behind it. I also heard a word in my head. Well, anyways, after getting back with Bharash we together went back to the pool and the wall, which had now changed spots, and as I spoke the word that was revealed to me the door opened to a room with a contraption inside. Deacon drew a picture of it so we can try and figure out what it is later. Anyways, after studying it for a bit the door disappeared on us. Julia then paused to catch her breath. She had been rattling on and hadn’t let anyone speak in-between.

Feeling a bit panicked, I knelt and began to pray for some divine guidance to get out of the place. I didn’t even know what I was doing but suddenly I began some spellcasting and as Bharash and Deacon touched my shoulder we were whisked away. When I opened my eyes again we were up in the clouds, or at least that is what it seemed for there were only clouds as far as the eye could see. Though this was better than being trapped in a room, it didn’t serve to ease my nerves. With an agreement from both Bharash and Deacon I preformed the spell once more and we ended up here. I am not even certain what it was.

It was then that Deacon who had been watching Julia relay the story spoke up, I have been thinking about what you did and where we were. I believe what you did was cast a plane shift. I am pretty sure we were in the Ethereal Sea when we were in the clouds. That is another plane. Then of course we have our plane here which is the Prime Material Plane. The spell is not one of the most accurate of spells. We could have ended up far away from Ptolus. Quite interesting in deed. This discover is actually pretty helpful to us in our next adventure though as we will be able to return back here any time we need. Deacon then asked Vogh, What are you all doing out here?

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Vogh
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Listening to the tale the Julia had spun had Vogh intrigued, especially about the contraption and the spellcasting. Vogh had looked over to Lipthsu when Julia had spoken of them killing goblins and saw the wince of pain there, though she knew Lipthsu to be more intelligent than most goblins and figured he would know that these other goblins had been doing something wrong if Vogh’s friends had killed them. When she was asked why they were there, Vogh responded, We came here with Lipthsu here Vogh introduced Lipthsu to her friends. To aid him in gathering some more items he wanted to sell in Ptolus. When we got here though, things had changed. We found orcs inside had killed many of his kin. We have only now cleared the upper portion of the cave system when we heard Salsan’s call for help. Vogh then went on to introduce all of the people together.

Vogh then turned to Lipthsu and described the upper section and asked, We weren’t able to get to the other side as of yet, but I have a thought on how to do it. Lipthsu, where did you all store all the items we are wanting to sell?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Lipthsu explained the magic items they had left, had all been stored in the crates on the other side of the cavern. The tribe thought it the safest place.

Since the group was all together, minus Belie, they decided to move through the rest of the cavern together. Talin felt himself quite clever as he used the secret passage Lipthsu had told him about, but as he popped out into the large room, he found it empty. There were bedrolls, food scraps and detritus scattered everywhere and the place reeked of body odor and filth. Unfortunately there were no more orcs for him to slay.

Like a well oiled machine the group moved together through the complex. Their dungeon delving practice and fights through the Banewarrens had molded them into a smooth operating unit. Finally, satisfied no dangers remained they returned to the ten foot high steps which led to the ravine.

[Private to GM:

Cloak of Resistance (+2) (Opposite Effect, so it lowers their resistance)

Divine Scroll (Resist Energy (150 gp), Zone of Truth (150 gp)) (total 300 gp)

Potion of Eagle’s Splendor (300 gp)

Wand of Cat’s Grace (20 of 50 charges) (1800 gp)

Wand of Fireball (8th) (Gem Powered Item) It has a concave depression in the bottom of the wand.
Currently there is a ruby set in the hilt, and it cannot be removed.
The wand will only function once until a ruby of at least 100gp value is set in the depression.
Every time the wand is used, the gem is destroyed.

Wand of Summon Monster I (18 of 50 charges) (inscription provides clue to function) (270 gp)

Armor of Arrow Attraction

Magical analysis indicates that this armor is a normal suit of +3 full plate. However, the armor is cursed. It works normally with regard to melee attacks but actually serves to attract ranged weapons. The wearer takes a -15 penalty to AC against any attack by a ranged weapon. The true nature of the armor does not reveal itself until the character is fired upon in earnest.

Strong abjuration; CL 16th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bestow curse; Price 9,000 gp.

Incense of Obsession

These blocks of incense appear to be incense of meditation. If meditation and prayer are conducted while incense of obsession is burning nearby, its odor and smoke cause the user to become totally confident that her spell ability is superior, due to the magic incense. The user is determined to use her spells at every opportunity, even when not needed or when useless. The user remains obsessed with her abilities and spells until all have been used or cast, or until 24 hours have elapsed.

Moderate enchantment; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse; Price 200 gp.

Ring of Clumsiness

This ring operates exactly like a ring of feather falling. However, it also makes the wearer clumsy. She takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity and has a 20% chance of spell failure when trying to cast any arcane spell that has a somatic component. (This chance of spell failure stacks with other arcane spell failure chances.)

Strong transmutation; CL 15th; Forge Ring, feather fall, bestow curse; Price 500 gp.]

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Vogh
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When they hadn’t found any more of the orcs in the chamber and no magic on any of the orcs around besides the initial orcs they fought, Vogh asked them all to gather as much wood from the broken crates as possible.  Talin giggled as he knew what she had in mind but had no idea what she was going to do.  The others including Vogh had picked up all the broken crates and doors and such that they could carry and brought it with them to the crevice.

Vogh then pulled out her Lyre and began to play it to build a bridge out of the wood.  She ensured to make it go far enough on both sides of the crevice so that it wouldn’t fall in.  It was anchored by rope and pitons on both sides as well.  After about 10 mins (just making up a time frame) the bridge was complete.  Smiling at her work, Vogh looked to her friends and then walked across to the other side.  Shall we gather the items Lipthsu has and get back to town?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Everyone was shocked and awed at Vogh’s new magical toy which took wood scraps and magically lifted them, shaped them and laid them into place to form a bridge. The nails from broken crates were rolled and straightened, then “hammered” into place by unseen hands. Before any builder could have completed the project, the group was looking at a well constructed bridge across the three hundred foot drop’s expanse.

Cloak. faint abjuration.
Divine Scroll with Resist Energy and Zone of Truth
Potion. Weak transmutation.
Wand. Weak transmutation.
Wand. Moderate evocation. This wand has a concave depression in the bottom with a ruby set in the hilt
Wand. Weak conjuration.
Cape. faint abjuration. [Private to GM: Cape, Catching]
Magical full plate (on dead orc). Strong abjuration.
Blocks of incense. Moderate enchantment.
Magical ring with carvings of feathers. Strong transmutation.

Non-Magic: 3x crossbows with 47 bolts, 3x longbows,
3x quivers of arrows (holding a total of 33 arrows), 5x short swords,
1x weird “sword” that’s really just a hunk of metal,

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The group did what they do best, gather up all the loot and headed out. At Liptshu’s urging, they did at least roll the stone back over the cave entrance, but none thought the obstruction would prevent others from taking up residence.

Everyone worked together to haul the gear back to Tosobon, who was rather surprised to see three additional people, and three more goblins accompanying the group he watched leave. The night air was crisp and when it blew, goosebumps raised on many of their flesh at the chill.

Tosobon’s wagon was big enough to accommodate all the loot, and still have capacity for the extra folks. His eyes certainly widened at the sight of Bharash, then the older man chuckled as the wagon’s springs creaked under the dragon warrior’s weight.

Before Bharash settled down to ride Talin had an idea, “Bharash, would you mind riding my horse and running point for us? None of us can see in the dark like you can.” The dragonborn looked sceptical, but shrugged and mounted Talin’s offered horse.

Lipthsu informed Vogh there were 13 other goblins in his tribe which were missing. Then Vogh questioned the orc.

1. Besides the three goblins we rescued, are there any others that are alive? No.
2. Was the Orog your leader? No
3. Where are they from? Deeper Caves.
4. Why was the rock in front of the cave? Keep out others.
5. Then who is your leader? Big, Black orc.
6. Where is your leader? Deep caves.
7. Did you come up from the deep crevice in the upper chambers? Yes

After the orc answered all Vogh’s questions, she kept her word and let him go. The orc immediately turned tail and ran back toward the cave they had left.

Poor Lipthsu jumped up from the wagon and shouted in anger, “YOU LETTING HIM GO?! HE KILLED MY KIN!”

Vogh merely turned back to the goblin with a half-smile on her face, which contained no mirth. This silenced the goblin and sent chills up his spine. With a look to her companions they nodded as one. As the brute ran away four arrows immediately flew from four bows and all drove home, killing the brute instantly.

In an effort to ward off any would-be attackers the group kept all their everburning torches out while Bharash stayed well ahead of the group. Maybe it was the hulking, scaled and heavily armored warrior riding out front, or maybe it was the plethora of people sitting on the wagon, but there was no attack on their return trip.

Before they could reach the Market Gate to enter the South Market they had to pass through Tent City. The haphazard collection of shacks and tents was known for being a dangerous place, especially at night. The people who eschewed the law inside Ptolus’ walls, or were wanted by the Watch, gathered here. There was certainly a higher percentage of aram and litorians who called the tent city “home” simply because of their preference for freedom. But there was also a large number of scoff-laws.

Bharash could see the gleam in many of the people’s eyes as they watched him, and then the heavily laden wagon, pass through the wide road that led through the ramshackle settlement and to the South gates. Even in the wee hours of the morning, fires burned, and people milled about. More than a few stood and walked near the road to watch the late night passerbys.

Mounted and riding point, the dragon-man reached the massive gate first, which they were all shocked to find shut and sealed with no guards flanking the gate. The major gate was set into a section of the city wall which measured over twenty-five feet thick. The twin set of massive iron-bound, iron-hinged wooden portals were twenty feet wide, with metal knobs to deter axes.

A twenty-foot square space lay in between the doors which was flanked by high towers. A small gatehouse was outside the right tower. It was from here the iron-bound, wooden portcullis was controlled, but no one was inside. Murder holes were cut into the ceiling before the gate.

Bharash turned his horse back to face the tents and shacks and rode the short distance to where the wagon rumbled up to the door.

“I haven’t seen them close the main gate in quite some time…” Jessie said with more than a little worry in her voice.

The dragon man nodded to the also mounted Vogh, “Vogh, maybe you better knock. Might be good they see you, and not me…”

A guard opened a port hole in the large gate set at normal humanoid height – there was another at halfling height – and asked Vogh what her business was. The woman held her torch high and put on her charming smile as she explained, then showed her Imperial Identification Papers.

With a gruff grunt of frustration the watchman mumbled under his breath about the inconvenience then hollered at some other men. It took several moments until the travelers heard the thunk of a heavy bar being moved off the gate, then the squeal of unoiled hinges as the portal cracked down the middle and opened for them.

Tosobon wasted no time in snapping the reigns and driving the horses and wagon into the gate. Bharash and Talin were the last into the city as rear guard, and the City Watchmen immediately shut the gate behind them. Two men in their blue livery even stood with long pikes rested against tower shields on either side of the road in case anyone else was foolish enough to rush through the closing doors.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was proud of the work that the lyre did.  It was a wonderful test run to see how the item worked as she played her music.  The looks that the others gave when finished had Vogh smiling widely from ear to ear.

Helping everyone gather the items, Vogh had asked Lipthsu if there was stuff that was missing, not that they could do anything about it but she just wanted to know.  Once they had the wagon loaded with the items and prisoner they were on the road again.  With Bharash leading the way the ride went fast even though it was in the dark.  Vogh pushed the troupe quickly, wanting to get back as soon as possible.  Along the way Vogh asked the orc who was now awake some questions.  She promised him that she would let him go if he answered them honestly and correctly, and said that Julia would be able to use her divine power to see if he were lying.

When they could begin to see the city off in the distance, Vogh relaxed somewhat, knowing they were close.  A little while longer as they came to the tent city just outside South Gate they tightened up the troupe making sure that there were people on all angles so no one could get to the wagon.

After showing her papers to gain entry, Vogh and the wagon followed by Talin and Bharash entered South Gate.  Vogh was happy to be back in the city and kept the wagon moving to Rogue Moon directly.  Let’s bring the wagon right into the plaza.  Vogh said as they neared.

Once inside everyone seemed to relax once more.  Sumar and Salsan immediately began to unload the wagon with all the items they had brought back.  Vogh will you be selling the items today?  Lipthsu had asked.  He wanted to take his remaining goblins to their kin that remained back in the city.  Vogh gave Lipthsu a promise to have everything taken care of this day and to meet him wherever he wanted this evening.

Vogh along with Talin, Bharash, Julia, and Deacon brought the items back to the Minstrel to identify the items further before getting some sleep.  They all decided to stay at the Minstrel in the couple rooms they had before.  After just a few hours, a few hours past midday they woke once more and decided to eat first then head out to sell the items.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Lipthsu and his only remaining tribe members had returned to their accommodations the night before. The following morning Vogh and Talin awoke, letting the group know they would be visiting Bull and Bear first to sell the items.

Again the bards were shocked by the number of people in the Minstrel. There were very few tables available and the bar was completely full. One table in the corner had only a single occupant and both tables near it were empty. A fully plate armored tiger lay at the feet of a man wearing matching plate. Only in Ptolus…

Outside the Square was buzzing with people all about. Multiple groups of people were clumped together speaking. In their short walk from the Minstrel to Bull and Bear they saw more than anyone outside this city would ever dream of. One being who stood out to them was something they had never seen before. A blue skinned humanoid walked with a satchel, scroll tubes and more pouches strapped to him than seemed reasonable. Vogh also noticed a starving dog snarling at passer-bys from between two buildings.

Inside the Bull and Bear, Iltumar was busy! Several people were inside the shop, milling around the shelves and wooden figures which held armor. One aram female was taking up a fair bit of the shop’s floor space while speaking to the young man. He was explaining to her that any armor to fit either her human torso, or flesh body, would have to be custom made and she was not happy.

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Iltumar Shon
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Finally the duo made it to the counter and Iltumar was overjoyed to see them.

“Vogh! Talin! It’s good to see you. When are we going to practice again? I’ve been practiicng on my own. I’m getting good Miss Vogh… You better watch out.” The young man thew a good-natured wink her way and kept his smile.

“You all were in such a rush the other night I didn’t get to talk to you much. What have you been doing? Have you seen any action? I’ve told my friends all about you. My bosses have bragged a bit that their armor protected the people who killed the Blue Gnolls everyone was afraid of.”

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Vogh
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It was always good to see Iltumar standing in the Bull and Bear.  The young lad was filling out and Vogh could see his muscles beginning to tone up and show even.  The training was having a really good effect on the lad.  Vogh watched how Iltumar handled the Aram female.  Iltumar was growing up before her very eyes.

I don’t doubt it one-bit Iltumar.  Now that I can see your muscles, you are looking pretty good.  How about we practice tonight?  Do you have time?  Vogh asked the young man.  We have a bit of selling to do and some other arrangements but I can make time just before dinner.

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Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
Iltumar looked at everything and was shocked, again, at how much they had to sell. The other people in the shop came milling over and were looking at the items.

“Where did you come by these?” One big boned human man asked them.

“Would you sell that shield there to me ‘stead of here? It’s magic?” Another man asked, who had a beard to rival a dwarf.

“Here now!” The young man got a bit irritated at the gentlemen’s comment. Iltumar was nowhere near the size of the burly human, but he certainly didn’t let any fear show. “You can’t buy from my seller. We’re in my shop, it sells here.”

He gave a parting look of distaste at the man and focused on Vogh and Talin once more. “Sorry. There is a bunch here Miss Vogh. Would you mind terribly if I had the Brothers look over it and I can come to you with a price? You know we will do right. Also, what’s this symbol drawn on this big set of plate?”

+1 large steel shield 1,210gp
+1 mithril chain shirt 1,300gp
+1 fullplate armor 2,650gp
+1 spined shield 1,157gp
+1 spined shield 1,157gp
Magical full plate (+3) [Private to GM: cursed, arrow attraction] 10,500gp

17,974gp

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The bards knew Iltumar would treat them right so they agreed, and planned with him to meet up before dark at the Minstrel that night. Talin smiled at the boy’s dauntlessness. All the armor was left with him, then they exited into darkening skies which were set to let loose a good old Ptolus downpour at any moment.

“I still think a magic item that kept you from getting wet is a good idea…” Talin chided Vogh, referring back to a time he mentioned the idea before.

Thankfully they made Rastor’s before the precipitation fell. Like Bull & Bear, Rastor’s was busy. There were several people milling about. One young woman caught Vogh’s eye. With skin like a perpetual shadow the young lady’s most striking feature was her blazing golden eyes. Dressed well, but not armored, she stood out a bit in a crowd of all men, beside Vogh. She gave Vogh a large smile and a nod then turned back to browsing the rows of weapons.

Everyone else eyed up the man and woman who entered with an armload of weapons, each, and laid them on Rastor’s counter. A crowd formed again around them. One man let out a low whistle as Vogh and Talin then pulled even more items from their magical backpacks.

“Miss Vogh. Master Talin. I try never to ask this, but one of these days you all MUST tell me where you get all these items…” Rastor shook his head in wonderment at all they had come in with, yet again. He took everything into the back to examine them thoroughly, which left the duo to wait in the store front.

Another man asked Rastor before he headed to the back, “Hey, Rastor! How long will it be before you got all that stuff out here for sale?” The litorian’s non-commital shrug was all the man got in response. Harrumphing at the brush off, he looked at the bards. On the heavier set side with a waistline overlapped by a large gut, he stood about Talin’s height, maybe a bit shorter without his thick soled boots. No armor or weapons were visible on him, but judging by the size of his arms, and the rough nature of his hands, he was not a dandy man.

“Hey now, where did ya’ll get all that?! Seriously…” The same man turned to them before they could get far. “I’ve delved a long time and never seen a haul akin to that there. Come on… Share some of the wealth. How on earth, or where below it, are you pulling up such treasures?”

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Vogh
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When Iltumar had asked about the symbol on the large armor Vogh had explained, I think it is a symbol of some orc tribe.  We got the armor from a rather nasty orc anyways.  I can find out for you though if you want.  You should be able to polish it right off there though.

As she walked into Rastor’s and saw that it was as busy as the Bull and Bear was, Vogh wondered why the shops were so busy.  It was then that she caught the golden-eyed beauty that was looking at her.  When the woman smiled, Vogh smiled back with a wide smile.  When the woman turned back to looking at the wares Vogh made a decision to make her way over to her.  Vogh looked her body over to admire the curves from behind and as Vogh pulled up just behind the woman Vogh said, excuse me, Miss, I couldn’t help but notice you looking at me a moment ago.

to be continued… you need to resize her pic as well..


After speaking with the woman for a bit it was finally Vogh and Talin’s turn to speak with Rastor. When he made the comment about where they got all the items, Vogh made sure to give true info but not accurate info.  We just came from outside Ptolus, as a matter of fact, almost all the items we have brought in are not from delving at all.  We try not to delve too much, though we are members.  Momentarily satisfied with her response, Rastor took the items to the back to take a look.

When the rather large man, who looked as if he could handle himself, prodded Vogh and Talin for information, Talin answered, You weren’t listening before when the lady said, but we got them while adventuring outside the city.  We don’t delve all that often.  We find it is far more crowded down under to find anything worthwhile.

Once they had the deal from Rastor they made their way over to Myraeth’s next.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The attractive young woman turned to face Vogh when she addressed her and batted long lashes over her large, illuminated, eyes. She looked slight, almost fragile, even for a lady.

“Yes. One does not see many ladies in the martial profession. Seeing your sword and armor, it seems you are a capable warrior.”

——

The big man screwed up his face in frustration. “Oh hogswollop! Don’t give me that line. I’ve been around too long to believe such a horse dropping. Come now. If all that has magic on it, then yall stand to make a truckload of coin to make a noble house jealous! You could at least give a fellow delver a hint, a direction, a tip! Anything. It would take you a lifetime to spend all the gold just from that haul, and I’m bettin’ that ain’t all since the big guy said you brought in more before!”

He was getting nearer and nearer Talin’s face, encroaching on the man’s space while also raising his voice belligerently. It was clear the man was trying to intimidate the skinner Talin.

Something about the exoticness of this female stirred something inside of Vogh she didn’t know was there.  Could it be an attraction or just curiosity, Vogh didn’t know.  Yes, this is very true, do you mind if I ask, I haven’t seen someone like you before.  What race are you?  Vogh asked a bit sheepishly.

Talin didn’t back down from the big guy, Talin was the one who intimidates others not the other way around.  I am sorry my answer was not specific enough for you.  How about this, when we go out the next time we bring you along?  Where could we find one such as yourself?  Talin said almost sarcastically.

The beautiful woman had little color about her, other than her eyes, and the golden accents on her clothing. She smiled again at Vogh’s question like she had been asked it multiple times. “We call ourselves Kayal. My name is Fulun Cathemrax.”

Vogh nodded as the golden-eyed beauty offered her race and name.  Vogh had heard of Kayal before… the common name was fetchling she knew.  A pleasure to meet you Fulun Cathemrax.  I am Vogh Kath.  Are you buying or selling today?  Vogh asked.

Shawn: 16:29, Today: Vogh rolled 31 using 1d20+16. knowledge check

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Narrator
———————————————————–
“Oh. Just browsing Miss Vogh Kath. And you’re clearly selling…” She said, nodding the way of Rastor’s back room.

Vogh knew these people, touched by shadow but not in an evil way, did not like being referred to as fetchlings. It was a name given to them by humans.

“Oh yeah pretty boy?! You bet your too clean armor I’ll come with you! Name’s Lacroy. You leave a message at the Delver’s office and I’ll go with ya!”

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Rastor
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The big litorian came back from the back room, opening and closing the heavy wooden door. He approached the counter and waved the duo over.

“Quite a haul you brought me. Just wanted to let you know, that mace was not just magically enhanced, it was also embued with the power of dissruption which helps kill undead. You sure you want to sell that one?”

Vogh and Talin both said they did so he nodded.

“Well alright. Then here’s my offer.” Rastor pushed a small piece of paper on the counter which had the number 2825 written on it. “That’s in platinum… I can do another transfer with the dwarves like last time.”

They agreed, thanked the lion-man and headed on to their next stop, Myraeth’s Oddities.

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Narrator
———————————————————–

Pushing their way through Delver’s Square, thankfully with nothing in their arms any longer, Vogh and Talin entered Myraeth’s Oddities. If they thought Rastor’s and Bull and Bear were busy, they had never seen this many beings in Myraeth’s before. Kird, the big ogre that guarded the store and Myraeth, was moving around more than he ever did, keeping an eye on everyone. His glare caused most people to move from their spot just out of fear. Tuneweaver the elven owner was talking to three people at the same time at his counter, haggling and discussing prices and availability of items.

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin were quite happy with the offer from Rastor.  It was funny that the Litorian would never budge off that 50%.  When the big man gave his name, Talin smiled and disregarded the man’s taunt about his armor and said, Okay Lacroy, we will find you when we have our next mission and you will see.


As they made their way over to Myraeth’s Talin wrapped his arm around Vogh.  The sky hadn’t yet opened up but it would shortly.

When they got to Myraeth’s, the place was once again full.  Either people were bored and window shopping or they had gotten lucky.  Vogh made sure to pay close attention to what people were buying and selling to see what she could notice.

Once it was their turn Vogh and Talin stepped up to show Tuneweaver their wares.  Looking to sell this stuff Tuneweaver.  What kind of price can you give us?  Vogh inquired with a smile as she and Talin placed the items, minus the wand of cats Grace on the counter.

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Myraeth Tuneweaver
———————————————————–
The elf raised an eyebrow at all they produced from their magical backpacks.

“Mye. Mye. Quite the load you’ve brought in. You all keep producing more and more items…” The stately elf lowered his voice and whispered between them. “If you’re making these… don’t ever let anyone know… The Apothecary doesn’t permit others to make items… There’s a lot here. I will need to take time when things aren’t busy to inspect this all. However, this wand is interesting…”

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Vogh
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Vogh figured it would take some time with all the customers he currently had and all.  After he had glanced at the wand though and said it looked interesting Vogh said, Interesting?  How so?

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Myraeth Tuneweaver
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“Well, if I’m right, I believe this is a very rare item. Referred to as Gem Powered. Here let’s go test it. Mind the store old man!” Myraeth put all the items in a box and set them behind the counter before taking the Ruby hilted wand and leading the two humans outside.

Rain had begun to fall but the crowd had not diminished in the Square.

“If I’m right about this, I suppose I’ll owe you a spot of coin.”

Myraeth checked the sky then aimed the wand toward the precipitation unleashing sky. He muttered a command and the telltale pea sized ember flew from the wand’s tip and streaked into the empty sky.

Moments later the pea exploded into a ball of flame which was accompanied by a burst of steam as the falling rain was vaporized by the heat.

“Yep. See. As I feared. This is a gem powered item.”

People jumped at the explosion and looked around. Many of those in the square drew weapons and shouted out warnings. Moments later several city guardsmen rushed into then square to inspect the ruckus.

Myraeth paid none of it any kind. Instead he upended the wand and showed Vogh and Talin the now empty depression. The Ruby was gone.

“The magic requires the sacrifice of a gem in order to cast the spell. So these aren’t worth nearly as much I’m afraid.”

With that he entered the shop once more, cast the prestidigitation spell to dry himself, then returned to the counter.

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin headed outside with Myraeth and watched as he said a command word and the pea went up.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until Myraeth showed the the ruby was gone from the handle.  Wow, that is a nifty item there.  Does it do different things with different gems?  What gem needs to be placed inside for it to work?  Vogh had a lit of questions and asked away as they went back inside.

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Myraeth Tuneweaver
———————————————————–
“I’ve only seen a handful of these, and they have always been single focused. But you pose a very interesting question. Perhaps I’ll try a different gem later and let you know. Would that be acceptable? Or you’re welcome to do so yourself…” The elf politely offered them the option to choose.

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Vogh
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Vogh pulled back the wand from Myraeth and said, “Nah. I will see if I can figure anything else about it.  If you want I can let you know how my experiment goes when I come back.”

With the items sold that needed to be sold, Vogh and Talin got a carriage and made their way over to the Rogue Moon once more.  They needed to give the cuts to Rogue Moon and Jessie could then give Lipthsu his cut.

Once that business was complete Vogh and Talin headed back to The Ghostly Minstrel.  Vogh will get ready for traiing with Iltumar and when it is time she will go the Bull and Bear and get him.

I wanted to sell all the other stuff that could go to Myraeth’s as well I will drop them down into new thread I did which is now complete with all we have sold and earned from all the sales.

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Myraeth Tuneweaver
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“Certainly. I would love to know more about the item after your research. But do be careful. People get very jumpy when you just explode fireballs in the middle of the Square.” The elf flashed them a huge grin with his final comment.

Myraeth held onto the rest of the items and promised to notify them as soon as he had identified everything.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
After Myraeth’s the bards hustled across the Square back to the minstrel in the downpour. The hero Abesh Runihan’s – killer of the evil ghost-lich Kagrisos – fountain was overflowing onto the square from the excess water. A flash of lightning made everyone jump and brightly illuminated the statue. Water ran into the under city, down the stairs, which made the steps treacherous for those going up and down them.

Delver’s Square was less clogged with people, but still a fair number milled about. Vogh and Talin heard people speaking about Myraeth’s fireball. There were already rumors flying about who made it. Only a few people had seen the elf use the wand Vogh now carried, so that left dozens of others to wildly speculate about the spell’s origin.

Two robe clad individuals were even then floating in the sky above the Square, looking down on the people fifty or more feet below them. Interestingly, the rain seemed not to touch them, but rather strike something above their heads, then cascade to the side like an invisible umbrella protected them.

Once inside the Minstrel both the Bards crinkled up their noses. The smell of wet bodies trapped inside a room with little ventilation was not pleasant. As they begin to make their way through the crowd someone called Vogh’s name, and then a tall, thin and dark hair human man stood before her holding a small mug of ale.

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Nicalon Regelis
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“Miss Vogh Kath, my name is Nicalon Regelis. I’m a Knight of the Chord and a big fan of yours! Might I please buy you and Master Ursalato a drink?”

The average looking gentlemen was likely older than Vogh. His longer hair was a bit wild, but his goatee well trimmed. On his hip he wore a simple short sword, and a dagger on the opposite. A buckler strapped to one arm bore the golden harp symbol on a field of red for the Knights of the Chord.

Nicalon led them over to a table nearest the far wall which was still empty with a plate of mostly eaten food, and an empty mug, reserving the seats.

“Please. Please! Sit! It would be an honor to break bread with heroes like yourselves! I must admit that I know a fair bit about you. I spend a fair bit of time in Jodan, and Hallusiun mentioned you even inquired about being a knight once yourself. We would be so honored to have you miss Vogh! I’m sure you’re aware, but the Knights have an ancient oath that has tied us to House Kath.”

He raised a hand to summon over one of the multiple maidens to request a refill for himself and he gestured to the bards to order for themselves saying, “My treat” and brooking no argument about it.

“It’s the least I can do. I’m sure you’re busy and I do not wish to waste your time. Hallusiun sent me to meet with you to see how you were doing, and if the Knights could aid you in any way?”

Brushing a lock of hair behind his ear, Nicalon leaned forward and lowered his voice, then looked around to make sure no one was too near.

“I’ve heard rumors that you had something to do with a theft from house Vladaam. No! No judgement from me. I hate the Vladaams horribly. I wish Jode would merely wipe them off the face of Pramael. I wanted to warn you to be careful, they have a great many allies, and they are irrideemably evil. They’ve even put a thousand gold reward out for the capture of whomever perpetrated the theft. Personally, I tore down some of the signs and burned them. But is there anything more myself, or the Knights, could do to aid you Miss Kath?”

Nicalon was grinning as he bragged about destroying the reward posters put up by the Vladaam’s. Vogh and Talin had been told of the reward by Julia and Bharash who had seen one such poster in the undercity.

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Vogh
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Vogh had rushed from Myraeth’s into the Ghostly Minstrel and didn’t even see the people that were floating above the plaza of Delver’s Square.  The wet dog smell of the people inside the Minstrel was familiar and didn’t honestly bother her.  As the two of them moved to find a table Vogh heard her name called.  As the man approached with the mug of ale in hand, Vogh smiled at him right away.  She saw the buckler that was on his wrist and knew the crest all two well.

Vogh had been waiting for word from the Knights of the Chord for some time.  It had been quite a while ago that she had spoken with Hallusiun Everfar and had asked about getting some training to begin her path to join the Knights.  Vogh thought it was now.

When the man introduced himself, Vogh remembered the name as it was given to her from Ishara to aid with dealing House Vladaam.  When they took a seat with the man and he called over a waitress, Vogh ordered a light rose wine and Talin said, I will have what you are having.  When he explained the Hallusiun Everfar had sent him to check on her, Vogh smiled.  But, when he said that he wanted to know if the Knights could help in any way, Vogh drew back a bit.  She put on a confused look on her face trying to show she didn’t know what he meant by it.  As Nicalon leaned in further to say the next part, Vogh kept on her confused look showing she had no idea what he was talking about.  In no way was she going to give a tell or let anyone know that she had been part of the theft.  A matter of fact Vogh added, you know a few friends of mine had told me about the reward.  I was actually thinking about going to House Vladaam to see what they knew about the theft and see if I could earn a little gold in the process.  Vogh didn’t comment on him tearing down any of the wanted signs.

When he finally asked again if there was anything the Knights would aid with, Vogh said, You know, I actually thought that you were sent to train me.  I have been waiting for word on beginning my training.  I know the weather wouldn’t permit any training right now, but perhaps you could send word to Hallusiun Everfar that I still await an invitation to be trained.

Vogh thought about anything else she might want to ask about for aid and then had an idea, Actually, I do need some aid.  I have run into a kind of dead end on something I was investigating.  I know that a certain High Priest is guilty of murder and attempted murder of an acquaintance.  He of course denies it, even beating detection by priests to see if he was lying.  Course, I know that this is possible and not always a definite way to see if someone is telling the truth.  Could you go back and ask Hallusiun Everfar, if he knows anything about Helmut Itlestein and what could be done to bring him to justice?

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Nicalon Regelis
———————————————————–
“Oh… I see… Well, there are many speaking in rumors that it was you Miss Kath, so if they are seeking you wrongly then it would be a good idea to clear that up, somehow. Yet I would not go there Miss. Only Jode knows what they would do to you, especially if they think you stole from them. It’s not my place to tell you what to do miss, so forgive me if I speak out of place.”

He took a long drink from his now filled mug before continuing to speak. Nicalon chuckled a bit at Vogh’s comment about training.

“Me? Train You?! Ha! I hardly think I’m worthy to train you ma’am! If half of what I’ve heard about you is true, your abilities are far beyond my own. But you have my word that I will pass word onto Master Everfar of your request!”

Their conversation paused long enough for a few people to walk near the table, then Talin’s food was delivered along with Vogh’s wine. Nicalon waited until there was no one in easy ear shot before speaking again.

“Helmut? The telescope guy that’s leading the republican movement? You have proof that he’s a murderer? Of whom? I will certainly take the information back to Master Everfar and see if there is anything the Knights can do to aid you. Are you able to give me any more details to share with him? Your reputation is strong and noble, but not likely enough to convict a High Priest of a not-so-small religion…”

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Vogh
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Vogh took the words from Nicalon to heart, she wouldn’t go to House Vladaam.  He was probably right if they had put notice and they thought she was involved then going there wouldn’t make sense.  She would be giving herself up.

You are a Knight of the Chord, are you not?  You have more experience than I in the play of blade and song.  I would certainly like to see what I could learn from you.  Perhaps ways to better blend my music with my martial prowess.  But, if you think someone more skilled should be the one than so be it.  I will take you at your word.  I thank you for requesting from Hallusiun Everfar a proper partner to train with.

As the food came, Vogh sipped her wine as they talked a bit more.  When asked if she had proof about Helmut, Vogh put on a frown and said, unfortunately, I don’t have anything that will be actionable by the city watch.

When they were complete with the meal and done talking, Vogh asked, Would it be okay if we take our leave?  We have some things to do before the day ends.  Please give Hallusiun Everfar our regards and we look forward to hearing from him.  Any messages can be left here and we will get them.

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Nicalon Regelis
———————————————————–
Nicalon stood as Vogh did, out of respect. “Absolutely! Thank you for speaking with me. I will relay everything back to Master Everfar and I will return with any word myself. I’m actually off to help a friend of mine look for their son who went missing last night. I was fortunate enough to run into you here while I was taking lunch after looking all morning. If there is ever anything I can do, always feel free to leave a message for me at the Templehall.” With that the Knight tossed down a few coins on the table to cover the food and drink then bowed at the waist as Vogh and Talin walked away.

[Private to GM: Vogh’s mother summons her to discuss house V. and the House Rules]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh bowed to Nicalon as he did and said her goodbyes.  Together she and Talin headed upstairs. They had a bit of time before Iltumar was off and so Vogh just wanted to relax.

Once evening came, Vogh and Talin made their way over to the Bull and Bear to find Iltumar so that they could get in a good workout before dinner.  Vogh had been working on mixing her music into one so that she could benefit from both her fire and added expertise into one song. Course Iltumar wasn’t a bard, but Vogh could still test it out without scoring hits on the young man.

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Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin hugged the buildings between the Minstrel and Bull and Bear to avoid the light dizzle. The largest portion of the storm seemed to have blown past. Thanks to the wind blowing off the sea, the rain was blowing away from them the both stayed relatively dry. Iltumar was still inside the shop dealing with two tabaxis (catfolk). He looked up and smiled at Vogh’s entry, but then put his attention back to what one of them were saying.

“I understand sir. As I explained, the magical armor will resize to fit you as long as it was made near your size. I’ve shown you what we have in stock, but what you’re wanting will have to be custom made and of course that costs a fair bit more.”

The cat-man hissed a bit in frustration but acquiesced. “Ok. I understand. We might be back.” Both of them turned on their clawed feet and ignored the bards as they exited, flipping up hoods on their heavy cloaks to keep their fur dry.

“Glad you all were able to make it back! Things have been crazy around here. This is the most business we’ve done since I’ve worked here. Let me grab my cloak and lock up.”

The young man spun and disappeared into the shop’s back room then returned with a black leather cloak flung around his shoulders, then flipped the hood up while selecting a key on a ring of three. Iltumar gestured for them to step outside first. He followed, pulling the door closed behind him and locking it.

“Practicing in the rain will be good. Maintaining a grip and good footing is important.” Iltumar posited as they walked to their familiar place behind St. Gustav’s.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The small yard behind Brother Fabitor’s church was relatively secluded by the two other buildings beside it and the narrow alley seeing little traffic. Iltumar was correct in his assessment of the wet grass giving them good practice in keeping their footing. The day’s deluge had soaked the ground, so each step was a battle between slipping on the grass, or sticking in the soft ground.

Iltumar had been practicing on his own, Vogh and Talin could tell. The young man focused on the strikes and parries, beginning to anticipate the more straight forward thrusts. His metallic blade rang out against the crystal of each bard’s weapon.

Despite the chill and the rain, Iltumar worked up a good sweat. They took a break to drink from water skins each had brought with them.

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Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
“So what do you think of everything going on in Ptolus? I’m not sure what’s been driving all these extra folks to town, but we have had people coming in non-stop. I got to see Sheva Callister in the Minstrel the other night. I didn’t get to talk to her or anything, she had a mob of people around her, but it was cool seeing her.”

He took another long draw on his water.

“So when do you think I could accompany you sometime? It’s been really exciting getting to tell people I know you and that we sold your armor, but I really want to try fighting something other than my friends, and you all. I mean no offense! I’m greatly appreciative of your efforts Miss Vogh and Master Talin, but it would be so exciting to kill a ratman, and maybe find a bit of treasure.”

Iltumar’s youth an experience was shining through once more in his excitement and lust for battle.

“Can you tell me anything about what you all have been doing? I can keep a secret! I’m dying for some details. All the other delvers just talk about ratmen and finding empty corridors, or they just talk about their past exploits and nothing new.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–

Iltumar Shon:
“So what do you think of everything going on in Ptolus? I’m not sure what’s been driving all these extra folks to town, but we have had people coming in non-stop. I got to see Sheva Callister in the Minstrel the other night. I didn’t get to talk to her or anything, she had a mob of people around her, but it was cool seeing her.”

Vogh had been going through the motions of the blade work.  It was important to go through the riposte and maneuvers so that they come to you without thought.  There normally is no time to think in the heat of battle.  When Iltumar asked about the goings-on in Ptolus, Vogh could only speak what she knew.  I heard that the Barbarians have been getting closer and closer.  It is something the city is going to have to take seriously.  Business is good though and you should be making a decent wage, am I correct? Vogh asked.

When Iltumar spoke of Sheva she wanted to say that she had spoken with her before but didn’t want to show off.

quote:
“So when do you think I could accompany you sometime? It’s been really exciting getting to tell people I know you and that we sold your armor, but I really want to try fighting something other than my friends, and you all. I mean no offense! I’m greatly appreciative of your efforts Miss Vogh and Master Talin, but it would be so exciting to kill a ratman, and maybe find a bit of treasure.”

Vogh answered with, have you ever thought about joining up with Rogue Moon Company?  Talin and I set up two warriors we rescued with jobs.  They have been doing really well too.  Constantly on the road and making a decent coin as well as defending caravans from bandits and such.  The stuff we have been running into lately would probably get you killed.  Vogh said somberly.  If you want to go down into the sewers and kill some ratmen we could maybe do that tomorrow morning.  Are you a guild member?

quote:
“Can you tell me anything about what you all have been doing? I can keep a secret! I’m dying for some details. All the other delvers just talk about ratmen and finding empty corridors, or they just talk about their past exploits and nothing new.”

Towards the end of the training, while they were stretching and going through cooldown, Iltumar asked his question about what they had been doing.  Vogh didn’t want to lie to the kid but telling him could get him in trouble and Vogh didn’t want that.  We just returned from a days ride out the South Gate.  We were on a caravan escort to pick up items to sell.  When we got to the location of the goods, it had been overrun with orcs.  Some were pretty nasty too!  They were like crazed fighters, tough but not too smart though.  Then came an orog carrying this rather large piece of metal-like bladed weapon.  It was crazy and Talin felt the sting of that blade more than once, didn’t you Talin?

Talin looked to Vogh as he remembered the pain he felt in the blows he took from the thing.  The strength in that orog was so strong it made my arm numb when I blocked with my buckler.  The thing fell though like all our foes have so far.  But, if you want as Vogh said we can take you tomorrow to the sewers.  Talin offered.

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Iltumar Shon
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Iltumar leaned against the church’s back wall, sword in scabbard, arms crossed on his chest and mouth wide open through the bard’s telling of their recent exploits.

“Yeah! I heard about the barbarians too. Bunch of people have been talking about them. I wasn’t born yet but people said they attacked Tarsis a while back. Tarsis is even bigger than Ptolus I guess? Hard to imagine that. Anyway, most folk don’t seem too worried about it. Most say the walls are too strong and the Commissar’s got it handled. Plus, we’ve got the sea and I’ve heard people say the northmen don’t have any kind of navy, so they can’t barricade us. I dunno. Seems like there are too many powerful people here for a bunch of barbarians to pose a threat, ya know?”

On the subject of going into the sewers with Vogh and Talin the young man’s face lit up. Talin probably could have fit half a watermelon in the boy’s smile at that moment.

“I’m not gonna leave the Brothers for Rogue Moon. Ya know? They took me in. Took care of me. Gave me a job. Plus, I get to meet all the sockdollager delvers and interesting people working at B and B. But it would be so Spire if I could go with you and find a rat nest! I’m not a member of the guild, but you don’t have to be to go down do you? Are you members?”

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Vogh
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4th night since returning from the Banewarrens

Vogh would tend to agree with Iltumar on the fact that there was nothing to worry about with all the high powered individuals in the city, but Vogh also knew that barbarians sometimes threw knowledge to the wind. Perhaps there is a reason why the barbarians are coming down and attacking? Perhaps they are out of food, or they were tossed out of their homeland as well, who knows. I think that you are quite right Iltumar, the people shouldn’t worry about the barbarians unless they are out in the wilds. I am sure that there is a plan of defense for the city. I might have to inquire about that. Our group, oh I haven’t told you, we have named our group now. We have decided to call ourselves The Redeemers.

When Iltumar commented on Vogh’s question about Rogue Moon, Vogh corrected what she was asking, I didn’t mean you leave the Bull and Bear. What I meant was perhaps you take on some work with Rogue Moon a caravan guard for a day or something. Do you get time off? Vogh then told Iltumar, Talin and I are members yes. I forget if you have to be a member or not to go into the sewers. We could ask for you no problem.

With the cooldowns complete, Vogh said, if you have time tomorrow, would you like to go into the sewers? Or if you need a day to ask for time off we could go the next day. Just let us know in the morning okay. For now, though we should call it a night. Want to come to have dinner with us?

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Iltumar Shon
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Iltumar nodded in understanding at Vogh’s explanation about Rogue Moon, but still shook his head. “I just don’t have time. The shop keeps me busy all day, then training with you and my friends at night. Plus, they are wanting me to help them with some stuff they are working on, so I don’t have time for a whole ‘nother job. But thank you Miss.”

Conflict was evident on Iltumar’s face. He wanted to jump at the opportunity to go with them, but he was torn by his responsibilities. “I can’t just take a day off Miss Vogh. Especially as busy as we’ve been. You know? Can we go after we close the shop tomorrow evening?”

Iltumar visibly relaxed and let our a sigh of relief when Vogh and Talin agreed to head into the sewers after shop hours. “Oh thank you. Thank you. I cannot wait!” Wiping off his face and sheathing his sword he grinned ear to ear at their dinner reservation.

“It would be a great honor. Thank you Miss Vogh! Master Talin!”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The three of them made their way down the short lane to Center Street and waited a moment for traffic to pass so they could cross over the wide road into Delver’s Square. It seemed the clouds had finally run out of water to drop on the city as the light drizzle had faded with the sunlight.

With every building around the Square sporting multiple lanterns, magical and mundane, it remained relatively well lit even after dark. Twinkles of water covering everything glinted like gems in the twilight.

Iltumar walked like a giant with the two bards. His chest was puffed out in pride, with a back held so straight he was almost an inch taller. It was obvious he felt like a million gold getting to walk with Vogh and Talin.

Inside the Minstrel everything was abuzz. Laughter, the clinking of plates and glasses, and beautiful music filled the air. On the small stage was a full string quintet with two vocalists and a percussionist. It seemed Telleth went all out for the crowd this evening.

Before the three of them could find a table though, a thin, young shaol elf boy approached Vogh and bowed before her, going so far as to bend a knee as he leaned forward and declined his head. With his head of braided black hair still down, he lifted up a letter sealed with the symbol of House Kath.

“Miss Vogh. I have an urgent message from your mother. I was told to deliver it to on you, and in person.”

When she took the letter he stood to his full height again, about eye level with Talin and waited. Vogh broke the wax seal and opened the envelope to retrieve the twice folded piece of parchment. Inside was a letter in her mother’s hand and signature.

quote:

Vogh,

We need to meet. Immediately. Tomorrow, 9am. The Aristocrat’s Table. Dress nice, like a lady. No weapons or armor.

Sallina Kath.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the shoal elf approached Vogh and Talin, Vogh was happy when he produced a brief from her mother.  With a smile, she broke the seal and unfolded the paper.  Upon reading what it said, Vogh’s smile turned to worry.  Her mother hadn’t ever requested her in such a fashion before and in a place that was not their house.  Vogh would certainly attend and be dressed appropriately.

Together, Vogh and Talin headed upstairs and Vogh went through her dresses to find the right one.  Once she found a nice flowery white dress she laid it aside and then went to bed.  Vogh’s sleep was a restless one as she couldn’t help but think about what was to come.  Did her mother want her to make a decision about Talin now?  How could she even think about this now?

When morning came Vogh was up early and down to break the fast before hailing a carriage and heading to the Noble District alone, having spoken to Talin that she must do this by herself.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Placeholder

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Narrator
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It was raining again that morning as Vogh looked to hail a carriage to take her into the Noble’s District where the very fancy restaurant the Aristocrat’s Table was located.

How do you deal with the rain? Get wet and cast prestidigitation to dry yourself or what? Or just wear a cloak to cover your nice clothes?

She remembered to bring her Imperial Papers in order to be granted access to the Noble’s area through Dalenguard Castle. Thinking of the Castle reminded Vogh that Brightfather’s Day was next month. Her study of history had been extensive, being raised in a Noble home which had roots in Ptolus before there was even truly a city. The holiday was in memory of the Pact of Brightfather’s Day where a unified army of elves, dwarves, humans and halflings gathered to fight the Squirming Horde, the army created by Ghul the skull king. Ghul’s fortress Goth Gulgamel remained halfway up the Spire, where Vogh had only recently traveled inside, could only be seen on the clearest of Ptolus days. The group of heroes, known today as the Great Seven, had slain Ghul. Statues of the Great Seven stood in the Hall of Heroes in the Temple District.

Dalenguard Castle was built because the Brightfather armies did not want to risk another dark lord arising from the foul puissance of the Spire. Under the guidance of the dwarves, they built Dalenguard to protect the location from intrusion. Today it guarded the winding entrance to the Noble’s Quarters.

Once her papers had been checked the carriage was allowed through the Castle’s entrance to wind up the raised bridges which finally led into the highest, and wealthiest, portion of Ptolus. First they passed Nestor’s where Vogh and Talin had not to long ago purchased fine clothing for him to attend the Castle Shard party.

The Aristocrat’s Table was on the very first street, Hin, which bordered the Abanar Estate.

Vogh had seen their Flying Ship the Vanished Dream only a handful of times in her life, but it was a marvel to behold every time. The ship was actually hidden beneath the grounds in a secret cavern.

Just beyond the Abanar estate, Vogh could see the beautiful Imperial Academy Of Music, called The Conservatory for short where her adopted aunt, and head of House Kath, Lady Devina was the Chancellor.

Turning down Hin street the carriage arrived in front of the decadent Aristocrat’s Table. Vogh had only been her one time before, for her sixteenth birthday as a special occasion. Her birthday cake had been flown out of the kitchen by magical hummingbirds and set before her. It had appeared to be covered in fire that didn’t burn her or the cake, magical faerie fire.

None of the outside seating was occupied beneath the vine and flower covered canopy due to the rain when Vogh arrived at the restaurant. She paid her carriage driver then entered.

Inside she was met by a hostess who immediately offered to take her cloak. Vogh explained she was there to meet her mother, Sallina Kath, which the comely elven-blooded maiden (likely only half) nodded in understanding and led Vogh to a table near the back of the restaurant.

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Sallina Kath
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Sallina remained seated as Vogh came over and gestured for her to take the only seat at the table, opposite her. Sallina had only a flute of what appeared to be orange juice before her. She did not speak until the hostess had left them, speaking coolly.

“Thank you for joining me on such short notice Vogh.”

She stopped speaking as an older gentlemen, clean shaven with oiled back, black hair with traces of gray, hustled over to them after Vogh was seated.

“May I take your order miss?”

Once he left to attend Vogh’s order, Sallina continued, in a voice so soft Vogh had to lean forward to hear, which Lady Sallina did not do, instead remaining with her back perfectly straight and poised.

“A very disturbing rumor has reached me. House Vladaam is claiming you and your paramour Talin Ursalato have broken into their family vault and stolen a priceless family relic, along with some other wealth. We never taught you of the Ancient Rites of Customs, nor the Last King. As an adopted member of House Kath, you are bound by these Customs. First and foremost, the rites forbid any member of a noble house from murdering another, except as part of a formal challenge performed before the Last King. Breaking this, or any of the Rites, would bring terrible doom on any house.”

Her mother was all business in the moment. Vogh had never been treated this way by her adopted mother, so cold and stiff.

“First, I must know if this rumor of theft is true…”

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Vogh
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Vogh had her cloak pulled tight about her to not get her dress wet.  When she arrived finally at the Aristocrats Table and got out of the carriage she ran over to the cover of the building.  Once out of the rain she took her cloak off and after noticing some wetness about the base of her dress she cast Prestidigitation to get out any wetness or wrinkles that may have formed from the ride over.

When she went into the main room she saw her mother sitting alone.  As the hostess had sat her Vogh thanked her.  Thank you mother, it has been a few weeks when we last saw each other and I was happy to receive your letter.  When the older man came over and asked for her order Vogh said that water would be fine.

When the man left her mother started back up.  Vogh, having been trained in not only music but the subtleness of speech.  Vogh could see that her mother was being very proper as if someone was watching her every move.  Perhaps someone was and Vogh didn’t know, but what came next had Vogh staying close so as not to change her mood or look at what was offered to her.  Without saying a word, Vogh said something in her mother’s mind.  Mother, it is me Vogh.  Vogh sat back in her chair then as the old man returned with her water.  When Vogh brought the water up to her lips to take a sip, she continued, You know I would never lie to you mother.  I have some important information to give to you that we have been sworn to secrecy by the High Church.  Have you ever heard of the banewarrens?  Vogh put her glass down then and waited for her mother to give a response.

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Sallina Kath
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Sallina’s eyes opened wide at Vogh’s mental intrusion but calmed herself by smoothing her dress out and steeled her face once more.

“I… Um…” Sallina began to speak out loud then squinted with concentration then Vogh began to receive flits of her mother’s thoughts in attempted response. Sallina raised her glass to her lips and closed her eyes in concentration.

“Can you hear me… I mean… Understand me? Vogh? This is so strange. Can no one else hear us? … No. No. I’ve never heard of the bane warrens. What are they?” She finally mustered up the ability to respond telepathically, with some coaxing and mental guiding from Vogh.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
As her mother tried to speak to her Vogh smiled. She knew it had to be a different feeling.  When she grabbed up the glass and closed her eyes to focus, Vogh responded back, No, no one can hear us unless they are detecting our thoughts.  I will be switching back and forth so it doesn’t look like we are just staring at each other.

Vogh then spoke out loud, Why wasn’t I taught about the rites and customs as a child?  I did learn much in my schooling about customs though.  Vogh feigned thirst again and grabbed up her glass once more taking a slow sip.  Eslathagos Malkith’s banewarrens have thought to be long lost but were opened by some people who call themselves the Pact of the Quaan.  They house a lot of horrible banes, both in item and in monster.

Vogh then put down her glass and waited for her mother to respond in both word and thought.

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Sallina Kath
———————————————————–
Vogh’s mother was struggling with the verbal and mental trigon, but she was working hard to master it. Sallina began to respond to the last part out loud, but stop and thought, realizing Vogh had only asked about the rites outloud and imparted the other telepathically.

“The rites are ancient, going back to a time before the city. It’s a very old story and one almost no one outside the Noble Houses knows. I will have to tell you the full story in private some time, it is not to be shared here.”

Following Vogh’s lead, Sallina picked up her glass and took very small sips while concentrating on mentally communicating her words.

“This story must be ancient. I’ve never heard anything of what you speak. You said the Church swore you to secrecy? What is their role in this? And what does that have to do with the Vladaams vault?”

Trigon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigon_(game)

I made a post of some cool words to use instead of modern ones 😀

https://d20.pub/resources/grea…tasy-games-and-rpgs/

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Vogh
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Vogh listened and watched her mother begin to get the hang of the double talk, I would love some private time with you Mother. It would be very good information to know about the Rites. I wouldn’t want to do anything that is against ancient laws or edicts by accident.

It was Vogh’s turn to take up her glass again and as she sipped she tried to explain further what the Church was asking and how House Vladaam was involved. I am not certain of the church’s full role. I do know they have been keeping an eye on the Banewarrens, which lies under the spire we have all known for so long. They found out that the Banewarrens were breeched and sent a Paladin named Kalerecent to investigate. He found that is was the group I spoke of before whom are from a plane called the Quaan. They are a group of monstrous humanoids looking to gather the power of the Banewarrens.

Vogh took the glass from her lips then and called the older gentleman over, Could I have some fruit please and more water would be wonderful. Looking to her Mother Vogh asked, Mother would you like something to eat as well?

Vogh continued, The church requested we find out how to seal the Banewarrens. They gave us a scroll of legend lore to cast it on the door that was breeched. We found that we needed to find a key, the sealing rod to be able to seal the door and the staff of shards. We destroy the key forever with the staff of shards sealing the Banewarrens. This is where House Vladaam comes in. After some research we found that House Vladaam held the key to the Banewarrens in their vault. After attaining the key we ventured back to the Banewarrens to find the sealing rod and parts of the staff of shards which was inside.

Vogh paused again as the gentleman returned with the fruits, Vogh picked up some and continued while she nibbled on the fruit. Mother I can’t tell you all the things we ran into while inside there. The evils are endless. We almost lost our lives a few times, but justice prevailed. We made to the top of the spire which is called Jabal Shammar, The Dread One’s Path. We have found two of the three pieces of the staff of shards and must now head to the Quaan to locate the last one. Once we find the last we will be returning to the Banewarrens and sealing it for good and then destroying the key.

Vogh finished the piece of fruit and paused to give her mother time to digest what was revealed to her.

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Sallina Kath
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“Um. Yes. Yes. Sorry. I would like something light, fruit and a chocolate pastry as well please.” Miss Sallina was having trouble digesting everything she had just been mentally told. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath to steady herself, just like before a big performance, then took several more until she felt herself calm once more and sipped at her mimosa.

“Yes. Um. Yes, it would be good for us to properly teach you all about the Noble Houses.” On familiar ground once more and calming her nerves Sallina regained her composure and worked back in the coolness to her voice.

She raised a hand and summoned the same server over once more. “Bring me a parchment, pen and ink.” The man bowed and rushed to do as she wished.

“This is all too much Vogh. I cannot fathom everything you’ve just explained. You are involved in a Church plot and mission to reseal this evil place almost no one remembers even existed, you have to go to a plane? What is a plane? You stole this key from the Vladaams in order to enter the place, only to seal it up again? You traveled INSIDE the Spire, and all the way to the top? By the gods Vogh. I cannot… Do you have to do this? Can’t you let someone else finish this task? Surely there are others, more experienced people to take on this risk…”

The server returned promptly with a parchment, quill pen and a vial of ink. Sallina bent up the paper to block all eyes from seeing what she wrote, scribbling quickly. Then she folded up the note and handed it back to the older gentlemen.

“You are not to look upon this note sir… Take this to my carriage driver with all haste then return directly to me to inform me he received it and took action.”

He was nodding all through the directions, responding, “Oh, I would never ma’am!” but Sallina just spoke over top of him. Then she slipped a gold piece into his palm with the paper.

Planes : I don’t know if we discussed this much, but Ptolus doesn’t actually have all the planes. This is complicated and I can’t go into a ton without giving some stuff away, but just be aware that the people are not versed in the different planes like a normal D&D / Forgotten Realms game.

[Private to GM: Glol, come inside immediately. Dak, return to the house and bring guards immediately.]

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Vogh
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As her mother wrote out a note on the parchment, Vogh peered at the paper, trying to catch a glimpse of what her mother was writing. With the paper bent up, she couldn’t see perfectly but the latter part read “the house and bring guards immediately.”

Vogh asked, What are you writing Mother?

Vogh paused to let her talk, then continued,  To answer your questions, a plane is something similar to where demons or angels roam.  There are many different kinds of planes, not all of which are evil.  I have heard the one we will travel to was not evil when it was made.  The problem with sending high ranking church members or other high ranking city officials is that if something happened to them it would have greater implications to the city.  I know you are worried Mother, but this is what I have trained for and I am not alone.  If you would like I could introduce you to the other members of our group and they can tell you what they are capable of.  We are a pretty capable group Mother I assure you.  We dealt with devils, demon, vampires and two dragons.  Not to mention Malaficite who was a Planar, a very good creature, who was turned evil by the Dread One himself.  How about we set up a lunch two days from today at the estate?

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Sallina Kath
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Sallina had unknowingly closed her eyes again while holding her glass halfway up, supporting her elbow with the opposite hand, as she listened to Vogh’s explanation. She realized Vogh had asked one question out loud and snapped her eyes open.

“I’m sending Dak to bring a few of our house guards. Things have gotten… more complicated… and thus, likely more dangerous.”

Clearing her throat once more, she focused her mental communication back at Vogh to continue their conversation.

“My my daughter. I never would have dreamed… Yes, let’s have your friends over to the house. I will make preparations for two days hence. Please send word if you’re otherwise engaged. If you’re able, send word on the morrow to let me know you’re safe? I will setup a credit for a shadow sending. Or you can send a messenger if you prefer, but the sendings are more secure. There is a shop right there in Midtown. In the meantime, I will sit on this rumor of theft until such a time as we can discuss the best way to handle it. The Vladaam’s evil is well known, so perhaps their word will be ignored. But we should not tarry too long. House Kath will need to issue a statement apropos my daughter.”

As the final words flitted into Vogh’s mind, she heard her mother speak aloud, “Do be careful.” Once more Vogh heard the sweet tone of her mother, no longer the cold distance of business.

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Vogh
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Vogh physically relaxed when her mother spoke to her this last time.  I will be careful, mother, and will send word daily so that you are well informed of what is happening.  Vogh finished the fruit she had ordered, I am trying to hurry with our task.  I am hoping that we will be finished within a tenday.  The church had suggested that the banewarrens remain a mystery for the fewer the people know about it means there is less of a chance someone tries to figure out a way to once again open them to use the evil within.  We can discuss how best to approach the reveal of the theft through the shadow sendings.

With her food finished Vogh asked her mother, Shall I wait for Dak to return Mother before I leave?  Vogh wanted to stay longer but didn’t want to push too hard for the moment.  Her mother had much to think about and deal with.

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Sallina Kath
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Miss Sallina nodded in understanding both of Vogh’s spoken words and her mental sendings. She started to tell Vogh to stay and wait for the guards, but then caught herself.

“Y… No. No. You can clearly handle yourself. I’ll wait for our guards to make sure Vladaam, or anyone else, doesn’t attempt anything foolish. You seem to have work to do my daughter… important work.”

Standing, she walked around the table the picture of elegance and stately womanhood, then wrapped Vogh in a tight embrace and whispered, “I love you.” into her ear.

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Vogh
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I love you too Mother.  Vogh said as she hugged her mother.  It was a warm embrace and one that she needed from her adoptive mother.

Breaking the hug Vogh left and hailed a carriage and headed directly back to the Ghostly Minstrel where she knew Talin would be waiting to hear what happened.

When the carriage finally pulled up, Vogh ran from it to the door and then inside.  Walking with a purpose through the tavern main floor, Vogh headed upstairs.  Feeling naked in just the dress and none of her possessions worried Vogh especially after what happened a few days prior.

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Talin
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Talin was still in his room when Vogh returned.  He was going through his pack as she entered the door.  He immediately stood and went to her, Is everything okay with your mother?  Talin asked with concern in his voice as he wrapped her with a warm embrace.

When Vogh had told him everything that had transpired in the meeting Talin was a bit relieved that her mother was going to sit on the information about them breaking into the Vladaam vault.  We have two more days before we make our trip to The Quaan.  Let’s try and relax till then cause who knows how long we will be there.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin took their time for the day, not in any rush as they had no commitments until that evening when they would meet up with young Iltumar for his first foray into the sewers. The young man was beyond excited to test his skill against a real foe. The older bards would be there to keep him safe.

Since it was closer, they went to Bull and Bear first. Again the store was busy, but Iltumar was still happy to see them and wrote down the total the Brothers Feek came up with for the armor items they wanted to sell. The young man always nudged the price paid for armor Vogh brought in higher than anyone else (75% instead of 50%) as a continued thank you for all the time she had spent training him. When they agreed on the price he promised that the brothers would transfer the money in Hammersong for them.

+1 large steel shield 1,210gp
+1 mithril chain shirt 1,300gp
+1 fullplate armor 2,650gp
+1 spined shield 1,157gp
+1 spined shield 1,157gp

Total: 5600gp

It was easy for the duo to slip away with so many other patrons in the shop, but not without a promise to young Master Shon that they were still on for that evening. Pulling their cloaked hoods up to stay dry and hustled across Runihan Square to Myraeth’s.

They found the elves’ Oddities store just as busy as the day prior but made their way up to the counter and waited to speak with him.

Magic Oil of Bless Weapon 100gp
Ivory wand of inflict serious wounds (9 charges) 11,250gp
4 candles of invocation 8,400gp ea
2x +2 bracers of armor 4,000gp ea

= 23750 x 72% = 17,100gp

Myraeth haggled with the two bards, starting out at fifty percent of the items’ value. They went back and forth for a few heartbeats but eventually they settled on the nice, round number of seventy two percent of the face value and the stately elf agreed to also transfer the funds in Hammersong Vaults.

Afterward they walked hand-in-hand back to the Ghostly Minstrel for a relaxing lunch and a calm afternoon before evening fell and they headed into the smelly, but often profitable, tunnels beneath the great city of Ptolus.

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Vogh
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When Vogh talked with Iltumar she told him to make certain that he brings his best gear.  She didn’t want him to get killed in the process of showing him the sewers.

The offers from the Bull and Bear and Myraeth’s pleased Vogh.  Her haggling with Myraeth especially brought a smile on her face when he offered more than usual.  As she and Talin settled down in their room to relax till evening time, they looked over all the stuff they had with them still trying to figure out what else needed to be done.

In the morning I would like to go take care of the lot and check on the duo.  It would be nice to see if they were able to get any of the other weapons redeemed.  We can also go see Brother Fabitor and see if he knows how Phon is doing.  Other than that I think another relaxing day would be best.  This had Talin nodding the whole time.  It was what he was thinking about as well.

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Narrator
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The rest of their afternoon was wonderfully relaxing. Lunch and dinner were both eaten in their room, delivered by a server which Talin tipped appropriately. Neither wanted to leave the room, preferring to just enjoy a slow, lazy afternoon when their life had been nonstop danger and chaos for almost two months. Plus, they were planning to travel to the extraplanar space called the Quaan to face the Pactlords and hopefully retrieve the final piece of the staff of shards which would finally allow them to destroy the hand of Danar, key to the Banewarrens.

Once dark had fallen outside they worked together to strap on their armor and many armaments before going to the Bull and Bear to meet up with Iltumar and head into the sewers to hunt ratmen. The young man was frenzied to try his hand at real combat after months of training with the blade.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin waited outside the Bull and Bear for Iltumar.  It had closed for business already and were just closing up the books for the night.  After about 10 minutes, Iltumar came out all decked out in his armor and weapons.  Iltumar had on a breastplate with a spiked light shield.  His longsword was in its scabbard on his hip.  He also had a light backpack on with some small essentials if needed.

Vogh looked him over quickly to make certain everything was as it should be and then said, okay let’s go. Are you excited?

Together the three headed down into the undercity and to the spot where Vogh and Talin had been once before.  Vogh thought it may be a good idea to check out the same spot first before heading to new areas.  Vogh carried her torch in her left hand and her blade in her right and led the way.  AS she went along she reached out with her ability to sense intelligent beings

===========================================================
Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
Vogh’s questions was unnecessary and she knew it, for the young man was practically vibrating in his excitement. “Oh by the gods YES I’m excited!” Iltumar said with a wide grin on his face.

He pulled the spiked shield from off his back and strapped it to his arm, holding his sword in the opposite hand. Staying behind Vogh, his eyes flicked left and right constantly, then he would turn and look back frequently.

Before the group had entered the sewers through the secure door they had a key to thanks to their Delver’s Guild membership, Iltumar had explained the Brothers let him borrow the breastplate and the shield. “I hope to earn enough coin to buy them someday, but you of all people know how expensive they are. Even with a discount, it will take me a long time to save up enough. Unless we can slaughter a whole bunch of rats!”

Now the young man worked to move as silently as the bards. He didn’t do a terrible job, with only the occasional scraping of his foot on some loose stones, or shifting his body inside the armor.

Iltumar Shon, rolled 17 using 1d20+3 ((14)).

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin retraced their steps back to the caverns where they had previously fought a big group of ratmen with the rough group Juel, Chule, Otule and Sam. They hadn’t seen the foursome since the day they worked together to clean out this same next.

Upon arriving at the broken section of wall which granted access to the natural stone caverns the trio found strong wood hammered into place, fixed to the stone on either side of the hole with a Imperial symbol for rats on it.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh almost busted out laughing when Iltumar reacted the way he had when she asked him if he was excited. Try to hold in that excitement till you swing your blade the first time. Vogh said with a grin.

When they got to the spot which Vogh had remembered was the big nest they had found, they saw the sign with a rat symbol on it and that the hole was blocked completely Vogh motioned to Talin to keep moving.

10:07, Today: Talin rolled 26,22 using D20+15,d20+10. Talin then Vogh.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Iltumar tried to suppress his excitement at Vogh’s direction, but he was really struggling. He wore a wide grin that reflected the torch light as they pressed on past the old nest they previously cleaned out. Vogh motioned to Talin that she sensed several someone’s around the next bend. There were three in all, two humans and one dwarf, all of average intelligence.

The bards and their young friend braced, ready to attack if these humanoids proved harmful. Vogh sensed the group stop at the corner not four paces from them. A gruff voice spoke out from the opposite tunnel, which reverberated through the stone sewers. Vogh was fairly certain it was the dwarf based on his brogue accent.

“Who are ya?! Shout ya name and be recognized!”

Talin shrugged at Vogh, figuring the group had seen their torchlight he reponsded. “We are three Delvers, members of the Guild, merely looking for ratmen tails to collect the bounty. Who are you?”

In answer a dwarven head peeked around the corner, holding a mundane torch high above his head and nodded back at his other two companions. He stepped out from behind the corner and nodded at them.

“Aye. Well met delvers. We’re sewer workers, checking on tha’ flow and fixin’ some blockages. We appreciate the work ya do in killin’ them rat basterds!”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
If it weren’t for Vogh’s warning Talin may have run right into the trio of sewer workers and they may have attacked him.  When the dwarf had stuck his head out everyone lowered their weapons except Iltumar who was too into the whole hunt that he couldn’t relax.

You are quite welcome, Thank you for doing the work that you do.  Why are you down here unescorted?  Vogh asked questioningly.  Vogh wasn’t sure that workers would make their way down without a guarded escort so she looked over the trio for any sign that they could be lying and making an ambush.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
“Escorted? Bah. You overestimate the city’s care fo’ the likes o’ us!” All three of them had a little chuckle at that comment.

“But we got a wee bit o’ protection.” The dwarf patted a heavy crossbow which was slung across his back. Vogh and Talin then noticed the other two had light crossbows as well.

“Plus, we got a bunch uh extra torches. We light em, throw em down, and run if there’s a bunch uh the rats. They doughnut like fire.” He offered with a shrug.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Feeling a bit awkward about what she was feeling before, Vogh calls out, That is good information.  Have you seen any traces of the ratmen down here that we could go after?  Vogh asked.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
“Nah. Thank Herkan. There was a nest yonder ya pro-lly passed, but System Monitors boarded it up awhile back. Hope ya kill some though!” The dwarf added. “Well, watch yerselves. We gotta keep workin.”

The other two humans nodded as they passed, quietly offering the words “be safe,” heading across a small bridge at this intersection and continued off into the darkness.

A second bridge allowed the three friends to proceed forward, which they took instead of following the sewer workers. Moving along the tunnels they encountered a couple areas where the walkway stone had collapsed into the sewage flow. Simple boards had been placed over these spots. Talin would take lead, then help Vogh over. Vogh would help Iltumar over since the walking ledge was too narrow for Talin to pass back.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Take care of yourselves, and be careful!  Vogh called as they left out into the darkness.  Vogh motioned for Talin to keep going in the direction that would take them to newer tunnels.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The group kept moving, one slick spot cause Talin to almost fall into the disgusting muck that flowed beside them, but a quick hand from Vogh kept him clean and dry. Everyone noticed the smell of the sewers seemed to fade from their notice after a time. Whenever they thought about it, the rotten odor would sting their nostrils. As they focused on their footing, listening to all the noises echoing, and searching for vermin to kill the smell occupied fewer of their thoughts.

Every so often at irregular intervals the stone ceiling – which was half again as tall as Talin – would open up into a shaft that ended in a metal sewer grate and into the city above their heads. Those sections were easily double Talin’s height and then some. Most of the tunnels were likely three paces wide, sometimes offshoots were two paces, or less. Those which were only a pace wide or so didn’t even have walking paths along their sides, their length disappearing into darkness.

After more than a couple hours had passed by their guess Talin spotted something strange. A net was strung across the sewer’s flow, with several items caught in its webbing. Rough pitons had been nailed into the wall on both sides about a foot off the ground, securing the net. A whole chicken’s bone structure was caught, along with what looked like some broken pottery, and even a single tea kettle.

Unsure what to make of the obstruction, they continued on. At the next intersection they discovered another net on the horizontal sewer tunnel they encountered. This one also had a few little pieces of junk caught in them, but before they could ponder further Vogh sensed a rat at the very edge of her ability. Her mindsight allowed her to determine it was a full ratman and not one of the simple vermin. As soon as it brushed her consciousness, it was gone, likely moving away from them.

[Private to GM: Must remember to have Jevicca deliver the frost fist amulet]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Moving along in the sewers the trio had made sure not to move too fast for fear of falling into the sewage running in the middle of the shafts. Vogh had kept her search of anything intelligent so that they weren’t surprised unintentionally.

When they got to the netting, Vogh looked it over trying to decipher what it meant. She thought that it was used to cast some of the bigger debris so it wouldn’t flow to far away or perhaps the ratmen used to catch stuff they might be able to use for themselves. Continuing on the trio moved on hoping that sometime soon they would find something. Just as Vogh was about to suggest they head back she sensed something ahead but it quickly left her ’sight’. With a whisper Vogh said to Talin, Ratman ahead try and move a bit fast I will guide you.

The trio pushed it a bit of a quicker pace than before hoping to gain on the prize.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The glint of eyes in the dark reflected back at them as they closed the gap between themselves and the creatures Vogh could sense beyond their vision. They swiftly passed yet another net, then out of the gloom an obstruction appeared. Cobbled together wood and metal fragments formed a barrier that stretched the full length of the corridor and went half way to the ceiling, up to about Talin’s chest. Random boards at various lengths, all stained with mold and moss growing on them, comprised the spiked and pointy half-wall. Water and sewage was still able to pass beneath the barricade, but both paths were blocked. Vogh could sense more of the creatures within range of her mind sight, three of them total, not moving, but invisible in the darkness. Crossing over the barrier would likely prove painful as there was no smooth or safe way over the top, which was all splinters and broken boards or jagged pieces of metal. The friends could only assume the ratmen must swim through the disgusting waters…

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When Talin motioned for Vogh to move forward she did and looked over the structure set up to block their way.  She figured that she and Talin may be able to traverse the blockage but Iltumar might not be able to.

Talin, I have been studying and have found a spell that will move us forward as if we teleported.  It’s like it opens a door and we teleport to another point I designate.  I did it once so far so I know it was safe.  Shall we?

Talin wasn’t sure about it, but if Vogh was certain it was safe then he said, yes, what do we need to do?

Vogh pulls them both close and said, just hold onto me and don’t let go!

Vogh then said a few arcane words and suddenly all three of them teleported 10ft past the barrier.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As soon as the threesome instantly transported themselves to the far side tittering and conversation erupted farther down the tunnel. The unmistakable twang of crossbows firing echoed down the cavern as the group came under attack.

Three quarrels clattered against the stone walls but one sunk into Talin. (7dmg)

Roll a nat 20 on 1 of the roles. Rolled to see who it hit. Got Talin.
GM rolled 5 using 1d6. 1-4v,5t,6il

Talin needs to roll a fort save against disease.

Update: Talin rolled an 11 on Fort, he now has Filth Fever.

Onset 1d3 days; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage;

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin accepts the minor wound he received from the bolt shot at him and growls in pain as he rips out the filthy thing.  We must hurry or they will just run away!  Talin said softly and began to move towards the ratmen.

Just going to double move so no charge and no roll.

Vogh motions for Iltumar to go next and she will follow behind.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Four more quarrels shoot out at Talin, but his fast movement kept him safe from puncture. His torch brought four of the creatures in sight. They screeched and squinted against the harsh light in their faces. The bard saw a rat behind the two on the ledge facing him rush forward and toss a ball past the other vermin-humanoids, and toward Talin.

Bent metal pieces formed the orb, but when the sphere smashed into the floor a few feet in front of Talin the metallic husk broke open. He immediately felt like he had been standing in the noon-day sun for days as the moisture was sucked from his body! His eyes dried out and he could find no spit in his mouth.

Sewage and rain water in the trough beside him likewise evaporated, but was quickly replaced by the flow of more behind it. Vogh and Iltumar were beyond the range of the strange magic, but she looked on in horror as her paramore’s skin cracked and wrinkled.

Narrator rolled 25 using 6d6. DC 18 Fort save for 1/2 dmg.

[Private to GM:

Desiccating: When activated, this bomb creates a field
with a 20-foot radius that absorbs and destroys moisture.
Living creatures in the area suffer 6d6 points of damage as
they wither and shrivel.Water elemental creatures suffer 8d6
points of damage. A Fortitude saving throw (DC 18) reduces
the damage by half in either case.Water in the area is
reduced by half its volume.

Switch activation; Craft DC 32; Price 800 gp;Weight 1 lb.

Needle: This bomb explodes with a hail of tiny needles
that spreads out in a 20-foot radius. Anyone in this area
suffers 3d6 points of piercing damage (Reflex save, DC 13,
for half).

Switch activation; Craft DC 28; Price 400 gp;Weight 1 lb.

Rot: This bomb affects organic material within 10 feet, but
not inorganic matter. It explodes with an invisible burst of
energy that causes living creatures to sicken and wither, and
organic objects (those made of wood, cloth, leather, paper,
and so on) to crumble and disintegrate. Creatures must
make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 17) or suffer 4d6 points of damage and 1d4 points of Constitution damage. Those who make the save suffer 2d6 points of damage but no
Constitution damage. Organic objects must make a
Fortitude saving throw (DC 17) to avoid destruction.

Switch activation; Craft DC 32; Price 1,600 gp;Weight 2 lbs.]

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
With the battle at hand Vogh sings in the mind of Talin, not Iltumar and they both move forward as quickly as possible.  Double move.


Talin wasn’t expecting the attack to come from these vermin, but he thankfully had closed his eyes shut in time to not get the brunt of the spell that escaped the object.  Gritting his teeth at the pain of the draining of his bodily fluids Talin advanced on the ratmen.

He was close enough to be able to get to the first ratman in line and so he swung his blade at it hoping to finish it off quick.

11:38, Today: Talin rolled 37,26 using d20+18,d8+18.  crit check if needed.

11:38, Today: Talin rolled 37,25 using d20+18,d8+18.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin’s fast action, bolstered by Vogh’s song, had his sword stabbing through the midsection of the closest rat-creature and exploding out its back which severed the spine and immediately the vermin-man went limp and slid off his sword into the muck.

On the opposite ledge both ratmen reloaded their crossbows and loosed at Vogh and Talin. The first, shaken by Talin’s rapid dispatching of its kin missed the bard horribly. The second nearly got Vogh, but she deftly dodged the bolt causing it to shatter against the stone behind her.

In front of Talin the ratman dropped its crossbow and drew out a dinged up sword, thrusting forward in a simple attack routine which he slapped aside with his own blade.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin finished off the ratman in front of him and moved to the one that threw the thing that exploded in front of him.  It was like a hunter stalking its prey.

As Talin got to it, he slashed his blade across the semi helpless ratman killing it as it slid down onto the ledge.
17:55, Today: Talin rolled 24,19 using d20+18,d8+18.

Vogh gave Iltumar her bow and said, shoot at them over there.
Full Defense for Vogh.

===========================================================
Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
Iltumar quickly grabbed Vogh’s bow, knocked and loosed an arrow which stabbed into a ratman. Unfortunately, he didn’t pull the bow nearly as hard as he could have, so the tip stabbed true, but did little damage.

Iltumar Shon, rolled 22,3 using 1d20+5,1d8+2 ((17,1))

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The bomb thrower on their side of the tunnel immediately dropped to all fours and fled after seeing Talin kill the second of its kin. Across the way each of the brutes reloaded and their crossbows twanged out. Iltumar grunted as one of the bolts stabbed into his leg. (4dmg)

“Ouch! OW!” Iltumar hollered. The young man showed some real mettle as he knocked another arrow, pulled the bow back to its full extent and strength and loosed his missile. (rolled a nat 20 and backed it up with a crit!)

With a growl of his own, Iltumar’s bow string twanged and his practice was rewarded. Crossing only the short expanse in a flash the arrow stabbed directly through the ratman’s chest and so powerful was the shot, the arrow embedded itself into the stone behind, pinning the brute up.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin returned to Iltumar and Vogh after the ratman had fled away.  He wanted to let Iltumar cut off the tail of the thing he had killed.

Great shot Iltumar, now finish off the other one.  Talin said as he saw the one ratman skewered against the wall.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The final ratman, seeing its two dead kin, its other running away and the one beside him literally stuck to the wall, had enough of the fight and began fleeing down the tunnel. Iltumar nodded to Talin’s direction, winced as he adjusted his aim and fired down the tunnel, taking the ratman in the back. The bipedal vermin pitched forward and fell into the slow flowing sewer to float away.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Great shot Iltumar, Vogh said as the last ratman fell into the water.  Now, time to take the tails and check if they had anything valuable.  Also, I must ask.  Do you want more or was this good enough for our first delve?

===========================================================
Iltumar Shon
———————————————————–
Iltumar, cross bow bolt still in his leg still managed to smile at their praise but shook his head when Vogh asked about more.

“Thank you Miss Vogh. Master Talin. But I think I’ve had enough for one evening.” He winced as he tried to put pressure on the leg which sported the bolt. “Might you help me with this?”

The duo aided the young man in extracting the bolt, then magically healed him. Iltumar looked on in shock as the wound completely sealed over and left unblemished skin with blood strangely around it.

“I’ve never seen that before. You always hear about magical healing from the priests and even items, but I’ve never actually seen it. Miraculous.”

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The group had killed four of the beasts. Talin had to act quick to rush after the one floating away and snag it before it got too far. He quickly chopped off the tail then set the body to floating away once more. They removed the tails from both Talin killed on their side of the tunnel, then doubled back over the barricade to reach the one pinned to the wall by Iltumar’s arrow.

“Leave it there. Let it be a warning to others.” Talin suggested.

Finally they went beyond the barrier once more and retraced their steps to the Under City. Despite the late hour, everburning torches illuminated the under city market and people still milled about. The group went up the stairs into the night air and nearly starless sky due to clouds overhead.

Delver’s Square had only a handful of people about, with one man begging beside the statue for coin. He had the look of a frequent shivvel user and none were paying him any mind.

(Write what you want of Iltumar. He can go into the Minstrel, or he can just head home.)

Noise from inside the Minstrel was escaping the sturdy walls and thick windows. A trio of human minstrels, all in the later years of their lives, were playing some old timey music, but the crowd seemed fine with it. Many were singing, and a few dancing. The loud din of conversation battled against melody and stomping feet.

Telleth spotted them enter and waved for them to come over to the bar. “You have several messages here for you. I’m glad I spotted you through the crowd.” She reached behind the bar and produced several pieces of paper, all folded, one sealed with the symbol of an upside down triangle with two more triangles inside.

The bards reviewed them together. Vogh cracked the sealed one to discover it was from Jevicca.

“I grow nervous with your lack of communication. I have the strange item you ordered from the Apothecary, plus a gift for Deacon. Send me word. We need to meet.”

Talin opened one which was a bill from the Midden Heaps for 5 gold pieces, signed by Delloch Boundstone. Another was a quick letter from Thariad.

“Dear Miss Vogh and Master Talin,
I’ve been working to clean up the lot as you mentioned. I’ve had all bills from the cleanup sent to you. I had to rent a wagon and the Heaps required payment for dumping all we had. We also rented a tent to cover the lot and afterward we tore down the little shed. Come see us when you can. We’ve been working hard for you!
Yours in thanks,
Thariad”

As suggested the other two bills were for a wagon rental of a gold piece, and a tent rental invoice which included setup for a total of 5 gold. It seemed the rental agreement on the tent was for 3 months.

[Private to GM: Troll appearing. Children disappearing. Wizards too.]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
After grabbing the tail from the fallen ratman in the sewers, Talin had hurried back.  He watched as Iltumar had cut the tail off of the one he had skewered on this side and then the others on the other side once they made their way over there.  Vogh and Talin both smiled as they watched Iltumar raise the tails in his hands.

When Vogh had pulled the bolt out of Iltumar, blood squirted everywhere.  She let it too so it would be a reminder that this life comes with pain.  When he asked about the healing, Vogh touched him on his leg and let the warm healing energies from her healing belt flow into the wound.  As Iltumar watched the wound heal he was really amazed at the feat of it.  You should see some of the more grievous wounds heal up after Julia gives us one of her Channels of healing energy.  That is some work!

With every rat tail in the bag and any items they may have had on them, the three of them returned to the surface.  Vogh and Talin just wanted to head in a go to bed so they told Iltumar they would come to see him in the morning.


When Telleth gave them the notes Vogh read over them.  The first from Jevicca annoyed her a little.  She had obviously been in her room for how could she have the item fro Saggarintys?  But the surprise for Deacon was a welcoming note at least.  Vogh looked over at Talin as he read the other note from Thariad.  She was thankful that he was doing well and had actually begun to do the work on the lot as she had requested.  We will have to go see them again tomorrow.  Vogh said to Talin.

Vogh then took the note from Jevicca and took rummaged through her pack and scribbled a note to her.  “Jevicca, no reason to be nervous.  We needed to take some time off before we finish off the last bits of this whole mess we have found ourselves aiding in fixing.  We can meet in the morning in the tavern to break our fast.  We can discuss what our next moves will be.  Vogh then folded the note back up and put it in the envelope.  I know it is late, but can you have this delivered to Jevicca this evening, please?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Tellith promised to do her best to find a runner this late in the evening and explained she would send it straight away in the morning if that was impossible.

===========================================================
Jevicca Nor
———————————————————–
Whenever the message was sent, Jevicca obviously received the missive. Vogh had sent a runner to fetch the trio from their rooms at the Griffon, and Belie from the Welcome Inn, first thing that morning as well. It had been nearly a week since the group had even seen their rogue friend and he was happy to see them. They didn’t have much time to catch up before the red armed wizardess of the Inverted Pyramid strode into the Minstrel. Based on the look of her face, she was all business.

“Let’s head upstairs.” Once inside the big room, still setup as a conference room, she produced her orb and cast a couple spells to prevent crying, detection of eavesdropping.

“Greetings and well met. Miss Vogh, I have the item you ordered from the Apothecary and I would love to hear what such an item is for?” Jevicca produced the amulet from an extra-dimensional pouch which hung on her wide belt. She seemed genuinely curious about the item, not combative or rude.

“Now, before I go any farther I would like to present an item to Mister Deacon here.” She spoke very deliberately to Deacon while facing him and never breaking eye contact. From the same pouch she produced a small, clear, smooth stone.

“Place this against your temple please sir.”

Deacon complied, holding the pebble just beside his head where it faded from view, disappearing from his hand. He waved through the space where the rock was beside his head, but found nothing.

Moments after doing so, Deacon felt a touch against his mind. He knew, somehow, that Jevicca wanted to communicate with him. The wizard could also sense he had the ability to reject such a communication, but he focused on allowing the connection and shortly ‘heard’ the red-haired wizardess’ voice in his mind.

“Mister Deacon. I bestow upon you a Thoughtstone. This is a great honor as only the important posses these items. One cannot purchase them, the Inverted Pyramid must invite you into the network. This thoughtstone is yours and yours alone, it will not function for anyone else. It can be removed only if you so will, or if you die.”

The connection remained open even as Jevicca spoke aloud to the group. “It is with this item, a Thoughtstone, do so formally invite Deacon Havenhold to join the Inverted Pyramid. He need not decide immediately, but this invitation and presentation of a Thoughtstone are a great honor. With this item Deacon can contact me mentally nearly anytime, so long as we are both inside the city. This will make it easier for you to keep me apprised of the situations, and allow us to dispense with unreliable runners or messages.”

Within in his mind Jevicca continued their private conversation. “Few people posses these thoughtstones. Many people of importance, nobles, leaders, members of the Pyramid and more. As I said aloud, you have been formally invited to join the Inverted Pyramid.

A thoughtstone user can take a moment to detect whether a given individual whose name he knows also has a thoughtstone. If they do, you can take another moment to attempt to set up a mental link in which the two of you may communicate telepathically. If they are within range, the person you are contacting can tell that someone seeks to communicate mentally with them, and they will gain a sense of your identity. If the communication is accepted you will know and can begin communicating. Once a connection is established, either of you can attempt to get others to join in on the mental discussion, setting up additional thought links. Communication can last as long as the parties are willing, conscious, and within range.

A contactee may of course refuse communication with a thoughtstone user at the time of contact, and they can specify to never accept communication from a certain user. You can also mentally turn off the thoughtstone at any time; for example, during your rest periods. You cannot use it to send or receive communication again until reactivating. Spells and effects can never be transmitted through a thoughtstone, and you will receive no sense of your contact’s location. Magical barriers, such as a wall of force, may interfere with thoughtstone communication. Do not abuse this item or we can deactivate its function. Normally the Pyramid charges ten thousand gold pieces for this privilege and a hundred gold per month to remain a part of the network. Those amounts have been waved for the time being in thanks for the work you’ve done.”

To the rest of the group, no one knew of the telepathic conversation floating in the air between Jevicca and Deacon. When the wizardess had finally completed her explanation of the magic item she spoke aloud to the rest of the group.

“Forgive me. I was explaining the magical device’s use to Deacon. Now, do inform me of your plans of action for moving forward with sealing the Banewarrens.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
The next morning after making sure that G was okay still and if he needed anything, Vogh and Talin went downstairs. She hoped the others would be there as well for they all had a say in what went on if Jevicca had any questions. When Vogh saw the others she went over to them at a table. After some small talk Jevicca arrived and asked to head upstairs. She performed her magic once more to seal off the room from magical intrusion and began talking. When she handed over the item that Vogh had asked for, Vogh said, “Well, we have an ally in the Banewarrens. It is an Adult Silver Dragon by the name of Saggarintys. Perhaps you have heard of him? Anyways, we have decided to equip him with the ability to strike foes that are protected by tough natural defenses versus certain materials. When we fought in the Dead One’s Path, Saggarintys was highly ineffective with his natural attacks. This item will allow him to bypass that resistance much easier and defend the warrens from the inside. G here, is the caretaker of the warrens. He ensures that the warding machines that keep the warrens secured remain in working order and fixes them if the break down. One of those machines had broke but G was too far away to know that there was an issue.”

When Jevicca presented the thoughtstone to Deacon, he took it and did as instructed. After a moment he got the request from Jevicca to join in conversation. Accepting it he listened to what Jevicca told him about the stone. When she offered him with a position within the Inverted Pyramid, Deacon pulled back and smiled. It was a dream he had always wanted and it was coming true. When told he didn’t need to respond right away, Deacon almost giggled as he already had the answer. As she finished her connection Deacon said only two words to her out loud, “I accept!”

Vogh turned suddenly to Deacon as Jevicca began to explain what she had been doing and she smiled wide, Deacon that is great! I am so happy for you! Vogh then began to explain what their next moves were. In a day we will be heading back to the warrens with G and we will seal them up after giving the magical item and also a missive stone that we have ordered. It will give us a direct link to someone inside if there is ever a problem again. After sealing the warrens we will head to the Quaan and find the other piece to the Staff of Life that will be able to destroy the key. Now you know why we needed the time off, we have no idea how long we will be in the Quaan and just wanted to have some down time.”

===========================================================
Jevicca Nor
———————————————————–
Atypically the, normally unflappable, wizardess widened her eyes in surprise.

“Saggarintys? An adult silver dragon. Inside the Banewarrens? Even with their longevity, shouldn’t he have been long dead by now? No. I’ve never heard the name, but I will do some research. Perhaps House Dallimothan has record of him. Lord Kirstol Dallimothan might know more. Actually, Deacon…” With a toss of her red hair, Jevicca fixed her eyes on Deacon’s once more.

“Lord Kirstol is part of the Thoughtstone network. I will notify him you intend to contact him after our meeting here. You could reach out to him this way to see what you might glean.”

She turned her attention back to the rest of the group, mostly speaking toward Vogh, but trying to alternate her eye contact to each member of the room.

“The item makes much more sense now. Forgive me from preventing it from being delivered to you, but I wanted to meet quickly. Granting this guardian dragon additional magics to defend the evil place is a noble mission indeed. The missive stone to remain in contact is another grand idea. Hopefully the magic which seals the place won’t cut off that contact. Our own Thougtstones are not so different from the item you’ve ordered. I’ll see to it that the item is within your possession as quickly as possible.”

Upon explaining to Jevicca that G, the golden construct, had been in the Banewarrens the entire time, and intended to return to stay and maintain the magical machinations, she offered her assistance. “Geristranomos, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please let this group know of anything you might require in order to continue your noble task of maintaining the methods of keeping the Banewarrens sealed.”

Tossing her hair once more to remove it from her face she continued. “It seems you have a fair plan. Keep the magical standard until you’ve dealt with these Quaan creatures, just in case they have another mind flayer in their midst. This Quaan is another plane, does one of you posses the ability to make that trip? The portal which was atop the church tower in Rivergate has been destroyed I’m afraid. Will you need a casting to transport you to the Quaan?”

Jevicca nodded through the explanation of Julia’s abilities.

“It seems you all have done well, earning rewards from the Church and the Pyramid. On behalf of my organization, I want to thank you again for dealing with this pressing threat. Myself and many of my order have been focused on the pending barbarian army knocking at our doors, among other things I cannot speak of.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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As Jevicca talked to the others, Deacon watched on.  When Jevicca mentioned that he could contact Lord Kirstol and inquire about Saggarintys, Deacon was beaming at the thought.  This new position in the Inverted Pyramid was already paying off!  I will do that once you give me the word.  Deacon responded back.

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Vogh
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After Vogh had explained all that they had planned and Julia explained that she could plane travel, she gave a smile when this powerful wizardess gave her approval.

We have heard much about the invading barbarians.  Many people are quite worried about them.  Have scouts been sent to find their strength or eyes from the wizards?

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Narrator
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Jevicca nodded to Deacon then Vogh. “Indeed. We have done a great deal to prepare for the coming threat. The reason why they are coming has escaped us however. But do not fear, there are a great many people working to protect this great city.” She said with a smile.

Once again Jevicca spoke into Deacon’s mind. “Deacon, there is another matter of your membership. I have a token for you. It’s only purpose is to identify you as a member of the Pyramid. Upon receiving the token, which I will give you before leaving, you will see an invisible floating pyramid above anyone’s head who is a member, as they will see one over you. You now also have the right to visit the Inverted Pyramid’s headquarters, having a workshop and even residence if you so choose. Contact me at a later date to discuss this, as I know you’re busy presently.”

Speaking aloud once more to the rest of the group. “I will see to it your missive stone is completed as quickly as possible and delivered apropos. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you’re doing. I’ve already heard your names on the lips of many throughout Ptolus.” Jevicca finished the last, flattery, with a smile.

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Vogh
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That would be much appreciated. I believe the Missive Stone was supposed to be finished tomorrow anyways. It is troublesome to hear about the barbarians though. Hopefully, things will begin looking up in that department sooner rather than later. Vogh said even as Jevicca stopped talking and to Vogh’s perceptive eye it looked like she may be talking to Deacon again. The recognition that Jevicca had just said was going around the city at their deeds pleased Vogh quite a bit.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon listened to Jevicca and found what she said amazing. That is quite the cool marking and he couldn’t wait to see it the first time. Thank you once more for the offer and the gift of the thoughtstone. I hope that I won’t disappoint. I will certainly contact you about the workshop when we return. Deacon said in his mind to Jevicca.

Oh, I almost forgot in my excitement.  We came across something yesterday that has me perplexed.  Do you know what the Night of Dissolution is?  We came across a hellish figure and some others with him and he made mention that all will die when it comes.  Deacon further explained the book he found and all that it entailed.  There was so much information he tried to give it all.

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Jevicca Nor
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Jevicca had slipped the charm to Deacon when she went to shake his hand.

“Yes. Actually. This term is familiar to me… I would like to learn what information you have..”

The two continued their conviction mentally as she bid her farewells to the rest of the group and wished them the best of luck.

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Belie
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After Jevicca had left Belie stuck around. After not seeing his friends and companions in danger for almost a week, there was a lot to catch up on. He pulled Vogh and Talin off to the side at the earliest convenience.

In a whisper he told the bards part of what he had been up to. “It seems all of you have been busy. I, myself, have not been idle either. I’m certain you remember the little task you aided me in when first we met. Well, my other two friends accompanied me back there. We have worked out a deal with them: they will do their work, and we will sell the fruit of their labor for a percentage. I won’t go into details now, but we’ve also done quite a bit of research and there are several pieces I could use your help with. But we will discuss more later.” He straightened himself up and bore a rather wide grin.

“So, when are we returning to the Dread One’s Stink Portal?”

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Narrator
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Vogh filled Belie in on the plan to head to the Quaan as previously discussed, possibly even the very next day. She let the group know they intended to visit their “lot” to look over some things and they all planed to meet up again. Belie asked to accompany the duo to their property to discuss things further, which they were happy to do.

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Vogh
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With the Jevicca leaving Vogh closed the door behind her once more and was about to speak to the others before Belie pulled her and Talin to the side quickly for a private conversation.  The news was great news and she couldn’t wait to speak further on the subject.

Breaking away from that, Vogh told the others her idea for the day to head to their new property and check the progress.  If you all want to come you can. Otherwise let’s meet up to break the fast again tomorrow.

When the trio said they had some other things to take care of Vogh smiled and gave Julia a hug while shaking both Deacon’s and Bharash’s hands with a warrior shake.  Okay, you three take care then and see you tomorrow.

Vogh said to Gast that they would see him later, then the three went downstairs again to get something to eat and even bring a little extra for Thariad and Dagar.  When they stepped outside they found the weather breaking for it had poured down the night prior, during their time in the sewers.  Oh, I almost forgot we must go see about Iltumar quickly.  I want to see if he exchanged those rat tails in for his reward yet!

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Iltumar Shon
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Belie accompanied the Bards and inquired about their dealings with Iltumar. The rogue nodded in interest when Vogh explained they had actually been training the young man of the Bull and Bear in sword play, then even took Iltumar down into the sewers to give him a true taste of battle.

All three entered the shop, which had three other people milling around, looking at the items on display. Iltumar’s face lit up, despite having just spent the evening with them, and he waved them over to the counter.

“Good Morning my comrades in arms!” Iltumar’s grin nearly took in his ears.

He told them he had taken the tails to St. Gustav’s immediately that morning and Brother Fabitor had exchanged the tails for gold. “When can we go down again? When? Tonight?” Despite the injury he received the night prior collecting the tails, his excitement seemed unflappable.

After discussing their future plans Talin reminded Iltumar that the brothers were supposed to be getting back to them on the amount of coin the large number of items were worth. He nodded rapidly, “Yes. Yes. I’ve got the figure right here.” Reaching beneath the counter he grabbed a piece of folded parchment and handed it to Talin. The paper read 5600gp.

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Vogh
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Vogh loved seeing the enthusiasm from Iltumar but she had to let him down lightly.  I am sorry we won’t be able to take you down for a little while.  We have some important business that we need to take care of first and we aren’t quite certain how long that will take us.  Please don’t go down there unless you have a proper backup as well.  I don’t want to hear when we get back that you went and got yourself killed.

When given the note with the number on it, Vogh smiled.  It was once again more than she expected and so she thanked Iltumar and told him to thank them when he could.  As always, the bards told Iltumar to just transfer the money into their account at Hammersong.

We must be going now, I will check back in with you once we return.  Vogh said as she gave him a wink.

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Narrator
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Vogh, Talin and Belie ventured out into Delver’s Square once more. “Have you noticed the city seems much busier the past week? It’s like the number of people in town has doubled…?” The rogue commented to the couple. They had noticed the same.

Talin hailed an enclosed carriage that would seat all three comfortably. He told the driver the address of their property in the Guildsman District and handed him a couple silver. Inside Belie inquired after all the group had been doing, feeling confident in them being able to give him more details without all the others around.

Belie likewise detailed more about his plan with the gnome gold mine where they defeated the rakshasa. “Sorry to be a little cagey, but I didn’t know if the rest of the group would be a good fit for our little gnome project. Jamir and Anthus visited the gnomes and they are trying to get back to a normal life after we freed them. They were under the beasts oppression for quite some time. All of them really just want to stay there, mine, and raise their families. I thought only dwarves wanted to do that, but, hey, to each their own. Before the raskshasa came, they had a little trade deal with a small group of gnomes who traveled to and from the city, but the evil thing killed all of them when she took over. My friends took them some supplies, so they are good for a few days, but we need to setup a consistent supply to them. I wanted to ask if you knew of any magic methods we could transport food to them on the regular? They have a great supply of fresh water at least. Then, I’ve been doing some research, along with talking to several people, about ways to secure the area against anyone discovering our little friends. Have you heard of bluesteel doors or pits of insanity? Apparently delvers encounter both frequently. Pretty much everyone avoids pits of insanity, and the blue steel doors are known to be basically impervious to entry. Jamir is rather skilled at illusion, so I was thinking we could create a permanent illusion of one of these pits in front of the entrance to scare people away. Then, instead of just the illusion to enter the train track shaft, if someone passes through the illusion and discovers the tunnel, we could have a replica bluesteel door created to block the shaft. Delvers say these only open to a special command word and if that word isn’t discovered, then typically people just mark them on the map and leave them. Finally, we would just need to visit the gnomes every so often, collect the ore to sell, bring them supplies, a share of their wealth, and anything else they want or need. What are your thoughts?”

Belie listened intently to all the bards had to offer then added one last piece of knowledge, “I also checked the Delver’s Guild map room and the gnome’s tunnels are not marked on any of the maps of the area I checked. Hopefully we can keep them undiscovered and working for us.” He finished with a big smile.

Finally they arrived at the lot and were immediately impressed by the amount of work Thariad had accomplished in their absence. A large pole tent covered at least half the lot. Three peaks marked center poles in the large tent, which had walls of fabric going all the way to the ground.

Long ropes tied to stakes hammered into the ground kept the canvas structure secured on the long sides. Both flaps in the front, facing the street, were closed but open they would be large enough to admit the carriage they currently rode inside.

All three disembarked, Talin again kicking a pair of silver to the driver and they moved up to the tent. No garbage or waste cluttered the property around the tent. Pushing one flap aside they stepped into the tent’s interior.

Inside the white fabric structure the sun’s light illuminated the now pristine property which sported dozens of organized and stacked crates. The three friends looked at one another with a bit of confusion at the additions.

Vogh took the lead and went around behind a pile of several crates to inspect where she knew the trap door to be that granted access to the subterranean bunker. A crate sat stop the door, but a pair of long boards suspended two crates above this one, forming a bridge supported by two more crates. This made it easy to slide the empty crate out of the way, exposing the door below which sported the same padlock, confirmed when Vogh’s key unlocked it.

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Narrator
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With the trap door opened and the crate pushed out of the way, first Vogh, then Belie and finally Talin climbed down into the carved stone cavern. Talin did his best to pull the crate back atop the horizontal door, but wasn’t able to get it all the way over with the way the door closed. He set the padlock on the floor beside the latter thinking they needed a better way to secure the entrance when they were inside.

It had been a while since they had visited their acquired property. Belie produced one of his everburning torches and illuminated the small room and closed door. Talin stepped through and heard whistling immediately down the halls. The smell of burnt lamp oil hung in the air reminding the bards they needed some permanent forms of magical illumination down here. As the three made their way down the long tunnel which connected the other rooms Thariad stepped around the corner whistling a tune and nearly jumped out of his skin upon seeing the three people in the tunnel.

“By the gods! Ya nearly killed me!” He blew out a deep breath as he bent to collect the few linen items he had been carrying.

“Miss Vogh! Master Talin! I’m so glad you’re here though. Danar!! They are here! Did you see all I did above? Do ya like it?!” The big man was brimming with excitement, almost child like in the way he sought their approval. Thariad was rescued by them from the clutches of the Vladaams, so the man owed them his life. With no family in Ptolus, and no job, he had been eager to please Vogh and Talin by working for them.

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Vogh
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Traveling to the lot Belie begins to talk about what he hinted at while they broke their fast. Vogh and Talin both were nodding at the description of the gnomes and their home and how they wanted to continue to live. It honestly didn’t surprise Vogh. She knew that gnomes too were miners and unlike dwarves they usually liked to mine for gems and such but they weren’t picky. I am glad that they are doing much better and it isn’t surprising they would like to stay in the place they have made their home for years. Hope many gnomes are again? I am asking based on the supplying food thing. We have that field provisions box thing and perhaps we get some more of those or something?

When Belie spoke of the ways to possibly deter others from entering their mines, Vogh was smiling. You know Bharash, Julia, and Deacon just came across a blue door and it needed a password to open. Interestingly enough it was whispered to Julia from somewhere, she doesn’t know. Anyways, it was right near an Insanity pool. I think it is a good idea though. It would certainly give people pause at least. Overall though, I think it is a well thought out plan Belie. Well done! It should give us some steady income for when we aren’t trying to fix the bad things going on within the city.


When Vogh, Talin, and Belie got to their lot Vogh smiled wide at the work that had been completed.  Thariad had indeed done a lot to have stuff removed and taken care of.  It was pretty much ready for building it looked.  Vogh beamed again at that thought.  When they returned from the Quaan they would have their own place!!

Looks pretty good doesn’t it guys?  Belie will you be staying with us in the new place or do you have other plans?  Vogh asked Belie.  She knew he was also pretty tight with the other two companions he had and also at the Welcome Inn.  Shall we head down inside?  Vogh asked finally after they took a look around.  With the trap door unlocked and they headed inside the smell was certainly strong. We should get some magical sources of light down here.  The burning oil is pretty thick, isn’t it?  Vogh said softly.

When Thariad had almost dropped all his stuff at seeing them, Vogh laughed.  Thariad, this place is looking great!  You have done wonderful work indeed.  I have already sent payment for the work orders you had given to Telleth.  Now though, and she dug into her coin pouch, this is for you.  She gave him 10 gold pieces.  Your work is much appreciated and we all hope you continue to work with us.  If there is ever anything you would like or need please do not hesitate to send a note for us.  Now where is Dagar at?  Vogh let Thariad lead them to where Dagar had set up his workshop.  It was a nice little setup he had going and it looked to her, based on one of the blades that was on a table of its own, Dagar had finished redeeming another.
I picked the greatsword…

Greetings Dagar!  How have you been?  Vogh gave the dwarf a strong handshake.

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Degar Ravenspell
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Degar stood and smiled, giving Vogh a hug when she entered, then shook Talin’s hand lightly.

“Good to see you both again. It’s been several flips of the hour glass.” The dwarf smiled at the duo as he brought them over to one of the workbenches that had been cleared of all Shilukar’s evil experiments and strange equipment. Danar pulled off a small sheet which was covering a great sword.

“This one is completed, and it’s most interesting.”

The entire sword was blue with a rippling effect covering the whole of it. A large eye adorned both side of the blade near the cross-guard, which resembled crashing waves.

“At first I thought this was marilite, but the sword was clearly magical so that wasn’t possible. I’m certain you have heard of blue steel doors, so my second thought was this was a similar material. Then the symbol of the eye puzzled me. Thankfully I found a book here on your shelves which details all of the gods, and their holy symbols. That allowed me to identify this as Raddashin’s Eye. Raddashin was a god of rain, slain by evil beings long ago. The god’s eye supposedly survived and still carries out his will. As you can imagine, his worshipers are often maritime folk. That led my research deeper so that I’ve finally identified this as bluewood. Yes, wood!” Danar chuckled at the look on their faces to show his own confusion at the discovery.

“Blue wood is actually wood treated to be as hard as steel. But get this…” The dwarf let his words hang in the air to leave them both in suspense. “While you can feel the weight of the sword, and clearly note its magically sharp edge, I discovered something most interesting…”

Again he waited a moment before continuing. “Being wood, despite its weight, the sword is still buoyant! Drop it in a tub of water, or the sea, and it will remain afloat! Ha!” Danar clapped his smooth hands together in proclamation.

Thariad stood in the door, leaning against the frame with both arms crossed, grinning as he watched the dwarf’s theatrics.

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Vogh
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Vogh gave Dagar a warm embrace.  The dwarf was doing so much for them and besides saving him, Vogh felt a little bit of a coincidence in that now she held him.  Course it was all so much different, but Vogh had to make certain that Dagar knew he was able to leave any time he wished.  Also, that she appreciated him!

As Dagar showed the blade to Talin and her, Vogh looked on with interest as Dagar explained what the blade was about.  She had smiled and asked minor questions here and there but nothing of big note.  When Dagar was finished Vogh clapped him on the back.  That is some well-done work and research Dagar, I am so impressed.  You have certainly outdone yourself here. In this town and with the harbor, the blade should fetch a pretty coin given the properties.

I have been wanting to ask, is there anything Talin or I can do for you?  Vogh then turned to Thariad as well and asked the same.  Talin and I want to make sure that you are well taken care of and safe, but also happy.  You name it and we will try and get whatever it is for you within reason of course.  Vogh said as she laughed.

Talin and the others who rescued both of you will be away on another plane for some time starting in the next day or so.  If there is something we can get today just let me know now and I can get it. Vogh explained a few moments later.

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Degar Ravenspell
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Degar and Theriol express their undying gratitude and how they feel indebted to the bards indefinitely

They both say having some easy food options to keep there would be nice.

Degar asks about some extra books, even just “fun” to read ones.

Theriol has very simple tastes and wouldn’t mind a few games he and Degar could play, dice, cards, whatever.

I believe there is only 1 bed in the place? So I’m not certain about how they are both sleeping, but that’s something to consider.

Basically just comforts while they are down there.

Oh! Magical lighting would be a huge plus.

I’m also not sure about how they get fresh water currently?

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about their requests.  Books were easy enough to come by, she could get lots of them on varying subjects for relatively cheap.  Dagar I will get you a lot of books on various subjects, okay?

Looking over to Thariad, Vogh says, and for the entertainment, I can certainly get a bunch of gaming items for your guys’ enjoyment.  We can also get some more furniture in here.  A bed for whoever isn’t sleeping on a bed currently and other comfort things.  The other thing for making it brighter in here instead of the oil lamps we can get Ioun Torches and place them throughout the place.

As for the food and water, there are a few items we can get you.  We could purchase an everful mug and rations for each of you?  How would that sound?  Vogh thought about it some more wondering if she missed anything and after nothing came to mind she asked, If there is anything else that I might be missing, see if you can be billed for it. 

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Degar Ravenspell
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“Miss Vogh, I cannot thank you enough. You know the nature of our previous captivity, so we are both quite content to remain here indefinitely. Myself, I have a life-debt to you for saving me from certain death. Plus, in service, I’m allowed to practice my craft. I’m quite happy at the moment and find it impossible to express my gratitude in words, so I’ll continue to do so in works.” The dwarf was very eloquent, speaking without the brogue accent his kin often had. Both bards figured it had to do with his arcane training and the requirement for precise speech in such magics.

Thariad nodded, still standing in the doorway, and offered simply, “Same here.” In an effort to disguise his lower than average intelligence, the man was almost always brief.

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Narrator
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Vogh and Talin said their goodbyes and went back above ground. Talin pushed against the trap door slowly, which slid the crate away and they exited into the clean tent once more. The smell of canvas and wood was much preferred to the rotting scraps left before. Several splotches of dirt marred the grass, due to garbage sitting there for so long. It mattered not, since the bards intended to build a structure on top of the property soon.

Talin replaced the lock on the trap door and then pushed the crate over it once more. He screwed up his face in confusion which gave Vogh pause. “Vogh… If the lock is on the outside of the door… how do they get out?”

Exiting the tent flap and letting it fall back into place made them both appreciate all of Thariad’s work on the property. It was a far cry easier to explain exiting a tent full of supplies, than two people coming up out of the ground and into a tiny, ramshackle hut.

Belie thanked the bards for listening to his ideas, but told them he would be retiring to the Welcome Inn once more. “Let me know before you all go getting yourselves into more trouble. I’m almost always at the Inn, so send word for me, or mind messaged me Vogh.” The rogue chuckled at his joke then moved away with a wave down a narrow alley where they knew he was changing his appearance and disappearing in plain sight.

Qualin’s Books sat on Birch Street, just north of Narred inside the Katterword area which lay between the litorian dominated Mane and the King’s River. The proprietor, a stocky, older halfling named Qualin Atero was the sole employee and was more than happy to sell Vogh and Talin all the books they wanted.

Qualin was an older halfing, with a bald held and soft, sunburned, golden skin. It turned out that he was rather colorblind as he kept referring to the tomes by the wrong hue when referencing their covers. He also stood at just under three feet tall, so half Talin’s height. He aided them in finding a number of books for pleasure and purpose and was very pleased to accept their gold, reminding them to return often as he got new stock all the time.

A quick questioning of Qualin of where to buy furniture without going into expensive oldtown led them to Tillie’s Furnishings on Fairbriar Street. Just south of Emerald Hill and parallel to Tavern Row the bards entered the little furniture shop. Tillie Milkwood, another halfling, greeted them kindly when they stepped inside the store. A handful of furniture pieces were on display, showcasing their craftsman ship. Tillie was younger than Qualin, and was halfway between 3 and 4 feet tall. Her auburn hair was cut short which accented her large, grey eyes. Her oval face was fair, but pockmarked, and once they got close to her, both smelled forest pines. She had some of the pieces the bards requested, but some would need to be made. Very politely, Tillie even threw in delivery of the items when they were finished at no extra cost.

Finally, Vogh and Talin circled back to Delver’s Square and entered Myraeth’s. The tall elf was hard at work, moving up and down his counter answering questions about items. The Everfull Mug and Everlasting Rations were inexpensive items, as magic items go but still more expensive than an average Ptolusite laborer made in a year, and common enough requests that he had some in stock. They grabbed one of each, not taking much of Myraeth’s time. Thankfully some of his “Oddities” included a handful of dice and a deck of mundane cards. Hailing a carriage they headed back to the property to deliver all they had procured.

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Vogh
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BEfore Vogh had said her goodbyes to Dagar and Thariad, she grabbed up the greatsword.  She was looking forward to seeing what it would fetch at Rastor’s.  Course she knew she might be able to get more for it if she tried to find a buyer but that takes time, something she didn’t have at the moment.

When Talin asked about the secret door they had just locked behind them on the way out of the lair, Vogh smiled, You know Dagar is a wizard and he is more than capable to cast knock and get it open.  When we get our house built, we will need to disguise the lair.  I was thinking that we first widen the entrance down there and put in a proper stair that leads to that first room.  I think we make it a storage area with a secret door to the rest of the area.

This had Talin nodding and adding little bits to what he thought.


After their discussion, they both went to Qualin’s Books.  The old little halfling was more than happy to give them a wide variation of books.  The man was a cheery soul and someone Vogh could definitely see herself going to for books.  If you ever get any antique books please hold them to the side for me.  You can send word for Vogh at the Ghostly Minstrel.  Tellith will make certain that I receive the message.  And thank you for the advice on the furniture.

Heading to Tillie’s Furnishings next, Vogh and Talin looked around at the items they had and found many things that would make the lair feel a little more like home.  After purchasing and ordering the items they needed they both bid Tillie a fond farewell.

Next to Myaerth’s and the items needed there.  They picked up one each of the mug and rations since they weren’t that expensive.  It was also pretty neat that Myraeth also had some of the gaming stuff there as well so they picked up that stuff too.

Lastly, was a stop to Rastor’s.  When they went inside, it was still really crowded, and so they looked around.  Vogh caught sight of someone she hoped she would see again, Fulun Cathemrax.  Walking over to her Vogh said, Well, hello again Fulun.  Fancy seeing you here again.  I was honestly was hoping to see you again.

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Rastor
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Fulun smiled at Vogh when she entered Rastor’s and nodded in kind. “Miss Vogh… A pleasure it is to see you again as well. Are you selling again? Or are you purchasing something? Although, I cannot imagine finding a more beautiful weapon than the purple one at your hip. Is that crystal?”

The two ladies spoke back and forth for a few moments while Talin approached Rastor. The liorian’s face lit up and his eyes widened considerably when the young man walked up toward his counter. “Master Talin! I am most excited to see you!” Rastor actually stopped speaking with the current burly man standing before him, looking around the man to address Talin. He held up a clawed finger the the man and gestured for Talin to come behind the counter. “I’ll be just a moment sir.” He said to the man, then to Talin he told him to follow. “Come. Come with me.”

Rastor led Talin behind the counter and through the sturdy wooden and banded iron door the bard had seen him disappear behind many times. They entered a large, open area with several weapons racks, a couple workbenches, a desk with an overstuffed chair and more.

“I don’t normally have patrons back here Talin, but what you brought me was too special not to share with you, and I didn’t want to say something where everyone could hear. You have no idea what the broken sword hilt you brought me is, do you? I know not where you found the item, but I know who wielded it and how it was broken…” The litorian grinned, showing sharp, white teeth.

“This sword is legend among my race. While all others seem to have forgotten him, the long memories of the oral traditions of my people have not!” Rastor was atypically animated and puffed out his chest even in pride at the litorian of which he was speaking.

“Eliose Ashglade Brightbeard was a litorian hero, one of the slayers of the Dread One who came millennia before Ghul, whose defeat everyone remembers. Few remember the Dread One. This sword is Solarsong, Gift of Pride’s Fall from Castain whom Eliose worshiped. Solarsong was inbued by the god Castain himself with holy energy. Few remember Castain as Lothian worship supplanted him. The blade was broken during Eliose’s fight, and defeat, of the Dread One. He and the blade were instrumental in defeating the awful being of evil. Despite being broken, this blade is beyond value. I offer you ten thousand gold coins Master Talin to purchase this blade from you.”

[Private to GM: Eliose Ashglade Brightbeard was a 25 year old male litorian.
He was one of the Hero slayers of Eslathagos Malkith.
His sword was the Holy Avenger shattered in the battle against the Drear One inside the Banewarrens and found at the Top of the Shaft.

He had very long, curled, gray hair and golden eyes.
He had soft brown skin.
He stood 6’6″ tall and had a lean, muscular build.
He had an oval, slightly creepy face.
He had slightly long nails.
He worshiped Castain. Healing, Law, Protection. Old Prustan deity of life, supplanted by Lothian. No longer worshipped. (Lawful Good)
He would rather act than talk or think.
He can’t stand laziness.
He shares everything he owns.
He secretly wanted to become the benevolent ruler of a city.]

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Talin
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Talin was curious when Rastor had taken him back where he never saw anyone go before.  Then when Rastor began to speak of the blade and its owner, Talin listened closely to the tale.  It was a good one too!  Talin being the bard he was could use the story too and bring back one of the saviors of Ptolus.  The local Litorian’s should find it a fine story indeed.

Wouldn’t you think it would make more sense to have the blade out serving justice once more?  I think it deserves that and certainly, Eliose would want it that way as well.  Solarsong.  I like the right to that! Talin said to Rastor with a glint in his eyes.

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Vogh
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Vogh came in close and pulled the blade out that they were about to sell.  I am selling but also, just then Vogh saw Talin head into the back room.  It seems Talin there is getting a guided tour of the back.  I wonder what that is about?  As I was saying, we came to see if some things we brought have been identified yet.

When Vogh was asked about the blade at her hip, Vogh looked down and back up to Fulun, Yes that is crystal.  It is called an echoblade.  It is a twin you know?  Talin has its brother.  This one here is called Serenity.  The one Talin has is called Clamour.  I acquired them both when I defeated a rather evil bard six months back.

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Rastor
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“Yes. Yes! That is true. You would wield the blade if it was reforged?” Rastor asked of Talin. The bard was more than amicable to this idea. “Then it’s settled Master Talin! We shall work together to reforge Solarsong! Pride of the Litorians! Gift of Pride’s Fall from the god Castain to Eliose Ashglade Brightbeard, slayer of the Dread One! I will send word to Lanfarran, the finest litorian smith in all Ptolus, and Elder Kivhareth who is one of the oldest sages of my people. Could you meet on the morrow, first thing at the Minstrel then we can head to the Mane?”

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Talin
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When Rastor asked if he could meet on the morrow, Talin looked at him and then back to the door where he knew Vogh to be and then back to Rastor.  Making a decision for himself, Talin said, Yes, tomorrow will work for me.  We had plans but I think this is far more important and will benefit us in the end.  I will await you on the morrow in the tavern.  Talin let that go at that, his excitement evident on his face.

Vogh and I have an interesting blade to sell you as well.  Call us over when you have completed with the one you were dealing with prior to bringing me back.  Talin said, knowing all customers deserved their chance.

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Fulun
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Fulun smiled and nodded her head in appreciation of the blade. “It’s beautiful. To answer your question, yes, I would be happy to join you for dinner. Would you mind if I brought a companion?”

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Rastor
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“Truly? I might have to buy you all dinner one night in order to ply the story of where you find so many interesting items…” Rastor said with a smile.

The big litorian led them back out of the room, shutting the door behind them. “Apologies. You were saying?” Rastor said to the man who had been waiting all that time.

Talin didn’t hear the rest as he moved about the counter to join Vogh standing with the beautiful golden eyed woman. The three of them conversed for a few minutes before the big man left Rastor’s counter and the litorian waved them over.

“So you’ve yet another trinket to sell have you?” Rastor said with raised, bushy eyebrows.

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Vogh
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When Talin came back through the door and headed over to her, Vogh smiled as it was just that time that Fulun had asked if she could bring a companion to dinner.  Course Vogh hadn’t any idea if the companion was a lover or just a friend, but either way, it didn’t matter to her.  Yes, that would be fine with me.  What is his name?  Perhaps I know of him?

Just as Talin came over Vogh too noticed that Rastor had waved them over.  She turned back over to Fulun and with a wink and a smile, Vogh said we will see you tonight.  If you will excuse us Rastor is calling us over.

Vogh walked over to Rastor and then pulled out the great sword they had brought.  This is what we have for you today, Rastor.  We did a bit of research before bringing it over so we knew about its properties.  The blade is actually made of a blue wood that is as strong as steel.  Being made of wood, it is able to be wielded by druids too.  But, what we found most interesting is that it floats.  I think that would come in quite handy for any warriors on the open waters.

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Rastor
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“Interesting… Most interesting indeed.” Rastor nodded, looking over the blade and feeling its magical balance. “Floats does it?” He eyed the blade skeptically but kept his gaze fixed on the item for several moments as the bards looked on.

“A Blue wood, waterborne blade. Yes, I should be able to get an extra sheckle or two out of some mariner for such a beneficial supplement. I’ll do two hundred platinum on this one.”

Vogh and Talin eyed each other with a bit of shock. A standard sword with the lowest level of enhancement would typically fetch two hundred platinum, which means at Rastor’s hard nosed fifty percent rule, would fetch a hundred platinum in payment. That meant he was either valuing the sword at closer to four thousand gold, OR, he was breaking his rule and paying them a higher percentage.

They had their answer moments later when the litorian dropped his voice to a near whisper and leaned toward the duo over the counter, causing them to do the same.

“I figure this to be worth about a hundred more than that, but for the wielder of Solarsong, I can do a bit better.” He finished with a wink that left Vogh certainly confused.

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Fulun
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“Marvelous weapons. Marvelous indeed. I’ve never heard of an echo blade. I would love to hear more of both over dinner.” In response to Vogh allowing for a plus one Fulun smiled.

“Wonderful. His name is Trawarin Omageiros Virsalor, but he goes by Tristan as most folk find his true name difficult to pronounce.” Indead, even with Vogh knowledge of the elven language, she found the name twisting and difficult.

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Vogh
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Vogh tried to think of this Tristan person but came up empty.  Sounds good Fulun we can talk all about it over dinner.  Let’s say at the seventh bell?  We have some other things to take care of but I will look forward to seeing you and Tristan later.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin held his cool when Rastor offered them 200pp for the blade, but as he said the last bit in a whispered voice, Talin looked over to Vogh again and said, I have some very important news I will tell you on our way back to Dagar and Thariad.  We will take it. Talin said with a grin.  We will take the coin now.  We have some purchases to make in the undercity.

They handed the blade over and took their leave.  Just across the plaza and into the undercity to grab the torches and then back to the lair.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Fulun waved as the duo departed.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh remembered the name of the halfling that dealt with all the torches in the undercity.  His name was Derrence Springdart.  He made quite the living, for there were far more adventurers that couldn’t see in the dark than those that could, herself included.  When they got to his table Vogh asked for 10 torches.  Vogh pulled out 110pp of the 200 they just got from Rastor and handed it over.  Derrence was quite giddy at making such a huge sale at one time and repeatedly thanked them even as they walked away.

Having the torches in their sack along with a lot of the other items they had gathered, they waved down a carriage just outside the plaza and made their way to the lair once more.

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Talin
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Once they were safely inside the confines of the carriage Talin began to tell Vogh what he had been told about the broken blade.  The sword was a legend among Rastor’s race. While all others seem to have forgotten it, the long memories of the oral traditions of his people have not! Apparently, Eliose Ashglade Brightbeard was a litorian hero, one of the slayers of the Dread One who came millennia before Ghul, whose defeat everyone remembers. Few remember the Dread One. The sword is ‘Solarsong’, Gift of Pride’s Fall from Castain whom Eliose worshiped. Solarsong was imbued by the god Castain himself with holy energy. The blade was broken during Eliose’s fight, and defeat, of the Dread One. He and the blade were instrumental in defeating the awful being of evil. Despite being broken, the blade is beyond value. He offered ten thousand gold coins to purchase the blade from us.  But, then after some talking about how I felt the blade and Eliose himself would want the blade out in the world doing good, I convinced him to reforge the blade back to its original form.  He wants to meet me tomorrow morning and we will reforge it tomorrow all day.  I know we were supposed to leave tomorrow, but I feel that this is important enough to wait another day.  Besides, the Archeons Talin paused at the name not quite knowing if he liked it yet or not, may want another day to recover.  Especially Bharash.  What do you think?

Vogh watched at Talin as he told the story.  He was animated and excited about such a prospect.  How could she deny him this?  I think it a good idea Talin.  One more day won’t hurt us either.  By the way, we are having dinner with Fulun, that golden-eyed woman you saw me talking to at Rastor’s.  She and her friend are going to join us in the tavern tonight.


Finally arriving at the tent once more, they went back down inside.  Finding Thariad and Dagar they brought out all the stuff they had purchased for the place.  I am sure you can figure out a way to place all these torches to get the best benefit out of the light.  She handed the books over to Dagar.  There were 20 in total.  She then handed Thariad the dice, cards, and board with tiny pieces that came with it.  This should help both of you pass the time when you aren’t working and such.  Lastly, she handed Dagar 1pp.  This is for the fine work on that sword.  Rastor was most impressed with the details we gave regarding the blade and also the craftsmanship.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

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Degar Ravenspell
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Degar was incredibly thankful and started to refuse the coin but nodded in appreciation and put it in his vest pocket. Both he and Theriol said they would put the furniture items to be delivered, and the magical lighting, to best effect and continue their good work. The human also ran through the list of materials deliveries Vogh and Talin outlined to make sure her understood all that was to arrive. Finally, after a round of handshakes, the bards exited their subterannean “lair” and replaced the crate and lock to prevent entry and headed out the tent flaps.

A quick handsome cab ride brought them before St. Gustav’s temple. The two-wheeled cabriolet had room for only two inside, with the driver seated behind the passengers and his reins going over the roof. A single horse pulled the smaller vehicle through the streets with greater speed than the larger, four wheeled carriages. Their driver tipped his high hat to them and thanked them for the silver tip then snapped the long whip gently to get the horse moving away down Center Street.

Inside Brother Fabitor was shocked to see Vogh and Talin’s wounds but he quickly cast the necessary spells to cure them of all their ailments. The middle aged priest asked them about Phon after he attended to Vogh. “I’ve not seen her at all. I don’t know if she’s ventured out since you saw her. It’s not right for her to just be cooped up and I’m still not confident she’s out of danger. I know you’ve got a lot on your shoulders at present, but if there’s any way you could stop by there I would appreciate it. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been too trepid to visit myself.” He was clearly ashamed of himself.

[Private to GM: Remember guy Talin had a problem with in Rastor’s and more people hearing about them following them to the banewarrens]

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin said their farewells to Dagar and Thariad.  They were great people and Vogh was happy she saved them from the Vladaam’s.


At Gustav’s, Vogh and Talin jumped out of the carriage and went inside to once again find Brother Fabitor busy.  He always seemed to be busy, but with the influx of new people to the city, he was even more so now.  Vogh waited in line like everyone else and even helped a few people with some simple wounds they had.  Vogh thought, why not help out those in need.  She took the tips the people gave and would give it to Brother Fabitor when she saw him.

Finally, after about a half an hour, Vogh and Talin moved up to Fabitor.  Of course, he had seen them in line and had smiled and waved to them but as Brother Fabitor now saw the wound on Vogh and Talin he knew what was needed.  He cast the remove disease spell as if it were a mere cantrip and instantly, both felt a little better.

We haven’t had the time to see her either Brother Fabitor, don’t fault yourself.  You are doing your gods work here.  We can go over and see if we can see her though.  We don’t have anything else going on the rest of the afternoon.  If we can’t get back to see you we will send a message at least.  With that Vogh handed over the silver pieces that she got from those she helped and even tossed a platinum coin from her own coin purse.  This is for the church, may it aid you in helping those in need.

After some hugs, the pair left Gustav’s and got another carriage and made haste to Helmut’s place.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Clear skies and unseasonably warm weather (73) made for a very pleasant afternoon as the duo rode along up into the Temple District to Helmut’s home they had visited before and found Phon. Talin tossed up a second silver when they arrived after opening the door for Vogh and the man tisk-tisked at his horse to start away.

Helmet’s home was in the very western end of the Temple District on Limit Street which was a residential area disproportionately inhabited by clerics and temple workers. They walked up the stone path and ascended the few stairs to knock on the heavy wooden door.

A large man opened the door a crack, a chain snapping into place which secured the door from opening further. His forehead bore the same symbol of the Fate Weaver’s which the other woman they encountered here had. His long, blond hair was pulled back into a poly tail. He wore no armor they could see, but his piercing blue eyes looked over an over-sized nose to regard them skeptically. Tersely he asked them, “What do you want?”

“We’re here to check up on Phon to see how she’s doing in her pregnancy.” Talin asked politely, trying to be diplomatic with the rude man.

“No one here by that name.” He snapped back and started to close the door. Talin’s hand shot out and easily held the door open against the lithe and weaker man.

“We’ve danced this dance before with a woman, Jamila I believe, when last we came. We are friends of Phon and know she’s staying here to be cared for during her pregnancy. We know she’s in a secret room on the second floor of the house even…” The young bard opened wide his eyes exaggeratedly to emphasize his point.

The skinny man’s eyes narrowed as he looked over them before leaning his head back and hollering. “Jamila, visitors say they know you.”

Footsteps sounded as the woman descended wooden stairs and peeked around the still latched door to regard the duo on the doorstep. As before, she too had her auburn hair pulled back and sported the Fate Weaver’s symbol upon her brow above large green eyes.

“Master Talin was it? I don’t believe I’ve met your friend…”

“Vogh.” Talin offered simply.

“Well met Miss Vogh. Phon is in good health and would do well to rest this late in her term. She hasn’t much longer before the birth and needs all of her strength.”

“We won’t stay long. Brother Fabitor is worried about her as Phon has not been to the church to see him, or attend services, since she was brought here… We merely wish to pop in for a moment, see all is well, then we will kindly leave you.”

Jamila pursed her lips in frustration but acquiesced. “Very well. One moment.” The door shut, a metallic clank of the chain being removed sounded then the door swung wide. “Vogh. Talin, this is Menaster, my colleague in watching over Miss Phon.”

Both bards could see he was a tall, but slight man and indeed wore no armor. Menaster sported a simple dagger on one hip, but no other weapons. Jamila had her chainmail armor on, seemingly thrown over her tabard in haste when the bards knocked. Her long sword was belted around her waist and the armor, upon which she rested her hand to prevent the scabbarded blade from swaying as she ascended the stairs with Talin and Vogh following.

Jamila entered the large bedchamber which was likely Helmut’s and knocked three times, paused, then twice more before opening a door in the tall wardrobe and unlatching something which allowed the entire piece of furniture to swing away revealing Phon’s room beyond.

Phon was large pregnant, her belly swollen and round. She smiled wide at the bards’ entrance and pushed herself up in the bed, fluffing the pillows behind her and laying aside the book she had been reading.

“Vogh! Talin! What a wonderful surprise! What brings you here? Helmut told me you all met and he is very excited that you all might be able to work together.”

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Vogh
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With the pleasant day, Vogh enjoyed riding in a semi covered carriage. The temperature was warm and wit the sun out she couldn’t resist. She would ask to walk back on the way back she thought to herself. When they both went up to the door, Vogh let Talin do the talking since he had once spoken with the inhabitants. It was a good thing too as Talin was able to remember the name of the woman he had dealt with before.

The man Menaster was a new addition but Talin handled him well enough. The man was perhaps there to deliver the baby when it came, Vogh didn’t know. As they all went up the stairs and into Helmut’s room and further into the secret room where Phon was, Vogh took note of how to enter.

When Vogh saw Phon, with her belly so large and round, she smiled wide and moved to the bedside to give her a warm embrace. It is so good to see that you are well, and it seems the baby as well. Do you have any idea if it is a boy or girl? Many women could tell the sex of the child by how the baby acted within their belly. Yes, we spoke to Helmut and have worked out a plan, but I haven’t heard from him for over two weeks now. I am waiting for some information from him. Perhaps you can pass on word to him that we are awaiting the names. Vogh made sure to say it loud enough that Jamila and Menaster heard it as well. Have you had any complications with your pregnancy? Anything Talin or I can help you with or get you?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Phon assured them that all was well with her. The baby was moving constantly, which was a good sign. She explained Jamila and Menaster were taking great care of her, bringing her food and probably babying her a bit too much. But Phon couldn’t complain as many pregnant woman had it much worse than her.

Phon didn’t know anything about the list the duo asked about. But she said she would remind Helmut when eh came home that evening.

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Vogh
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As promised, Vogh and Talin bade their farewell to Phon and made the visit short.  When the question about the information from Helmut was answered by Jamila and Menaster, Vogh and Talin left once more and headed back to The Ghostly Minstrel having not much else to do for the day until dinner.  The walk back was a pleasant one, they walked hand in hand and lightly chatted about life.  For Vogh this was almost perfect and she was so happy the day was perfect for it, for soon they would be on another plane fighting for their lives once more.

When they got back to the Minstrel finally, Vogh pulled Talin upstairs for a little them time… fade to black!!!

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Fulun
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After the bard’s had utterly spent themselves in amorous activity, they passed out in a short nap and arose after the sun had set. Both composed themselves and dressed for dinner downstairs. With no plans to venture out of the Minstrel that night, they dressed comfortably without their always present armor. However, one could never be too cautious, so each strapped a sword about their waist. Talin donned the purple crystal echoblade, of which Vogh carried its twin, for possibly the last time; as on the morrow he would be working with Rastor’s litorian friends to reforge Solarsong, the ancient blade.

Downstairs the Minstrel was already lively and vibrant. A trio of halflings each stood upon stools and were rapidly sawing horse-hair bows across small versions of violins typically referred to as fiddles. The short creatures were dancing atop the stools, impossibly remaining on the narrow circle of wood while still playing their instruments in time. Strings rang out in a fast paced song which had people dancing and pairs swinging each other around in circles near the stage.

Vogh and Talin went the opposite side of the Minstrel from where the stage was located, the Inn divided down the middle by the central staircase. The taproom had the bar and the lively instrumentalists, while the dining room was a bit removed and typically more relaxed.

Fulun was easy to pick out of the crowd, with her dark skin and glowing gold eyes. Beside her sat a rather strange male. His skin was paler than Fulun’s and his hair was a strange mixture of silver and white. Points peaked his ears far more than Fulun’s did, which meant he was either an elf, or had more elf in him than a normal fetchling, or kayal as they preferred.

Beside him stood a blackened, twisted staff topped with an open maw which sported glowing blue eyes and a constantly dancing blue flame. Most interesting about the staff was that it seemed to be standing perfectly erect without leaning against anything. It was an understatement to refer to his cloak as high collared, as each wing of the collar reached his high and pronounced cheek bones.

A silver clasp kept the cloak together across his chest, while his silken shirt had matching buckles of silver that kept it tight to his form. The final thing each bard noticed as they reached the table was a long, pronounced scar that ran from the bottom of his lower lip to the curve of his chin.

Fulun stood, while Tristan remained seated, and smiled wide at Vogh and Talin.

“Miss Vogh. Mister Talin. Thank you so much for the invitation to dinner this evening. Despite my time in Ptolus, I’ve never had the pleasure of dining, or drinking, here.”

When Vogh sat, Fulun did likewise then introduced her companion. “Vogh. Talin. This is Tristan. He is kayal like myself, and has been a trusted friend for a great many years.”

Tristan nodded to each of the bards but did not immediately speak. Fulun apologized for his taciturn behavior. “You’ll have to forgive Tristan, he’s not the talkative type. His story is very interesting.”

The three spoke lightly about recent events in the city, the fair weather that day, and simply small conversation. During their time a young serving woman approached them to take drink orders. Talin turned to speak to her, but snapped his head back forward with a bit of redness in his cheeks. Vogh grinned at his discomfort when she noticed the young woman had a very ample bosom which was being squished up and nearly out of her shoulderless dress. Interesting to Vogh was that Tristan barely glanced up from the table to regard the woman. Maybe humans weren’t his thing.

After a few glasses were emptied, both Fulun and Tristan drinking the darkest elven wine either had seen, the conversation grew deeper. Of course the dark-complected woman wanted to know all about the items they had found and sold to Rastor, plus anything the bards would tell her about where they had discovered such things. As usual, both Vogh and Talin were tight lipped and vague about their “delvings” so as to keep the secrets of the Banewarrens. Fulun seemed to take this in stride without being put off. Tristan did not speak, but did listen and make eye contact with the bards as they spoke, turning his head to regard each person who spoke. She asked about Vogh and Talin’s history in Ptolus and how long they had been in the city, then in turn she explained her story of arriving in the city.

“I am not human, as you already know. Both Tristan and I are kayal, which humans typically refer to as fetchlings. Our race is deeply tied to Shadow, but that does not mean we are of evil weal. Myself I was born here, after my grandfather ventured to Pramael and was unable to return.”

Talin pinched his brows and asked, “Where was he unable to return?”

“Oh, apologies, he was unable to return to the Plane of Shadows which is where our race originates.”

Tristan pinched his brows when neither bard seemed surprised by this explanation. He leaned forward, both hands holding the half full glass of nearly black wine and placed both elbows on the table staring at them intently.

“You are familiar with the concept of ‘planes’?” He asked, forehead still furrowed. When both nodded in the affirmative Tristan cocked his head sideways, causing his silver hair to fall over one shoulder and nearly to the table.

“Few of your world know of the planes. Only the etheral plane, which most here call the ethereal sea, is known to most beings I’ve encountered here. Yet you both seem comfortable with the concept of different planes of existence? How is that possible?”

Neither bard really had an answer for him. Talin merely offered, “It stands to reason there are many places in the world which we cannot see or access through natural means. Where do items go when they are put into magical bags of holding? They are obviously not occupying a true space inside the bag. Wizards are known to create impossibly large mansions which have far more rooms in their interior than there is physical space for inside their natural walls. Even we have been inside one such location where the space was ten times longer than the physical location could possibly have held.”

Vogh knew Talin was speaking of the Dread One’s path which was hundreds of yards long, while the physical location was near the top fo the spire that could not have been that wide.

Tristan listened to Talin intently and nodded along with the man’s thought process.

“Indeed… You are possessed of an intelligence few of your race on this plane can claim. Nearly every magical space you just described merely occupy space on the etheral plane which touches this plane, the prime material.”

Tristan looked over at Fulun, clearly more interested in the conversation with this turn.

“I wonder if you are both reincarnations of beings which were not of Pramael.”

Neither Talin nor Vogh knew what to make of that statement.

“Few of the most powerful wizards I’ve spoken with, of this plane, have thought beyond the touch of the ethereal. You see, while Fulun was born here on the prime material, I was not. I am a true kayal, born on the plane of Shadow. While the plane of shadow does intersect your world, so does it also intersect every other plane. Where light exists, so does shadow, and each shadow touches the Plane of Shadow. You understand?”

The strange man tucked his lower lip up in an expression of respect and appreciation. This tightened the jagged, blue scar which ran even beneath his chin.

“I don’t know how you could possibly know that there are other worlds, when there is almost no knowledge here of other worlds beyond this one. For you see, every other world I’ve ever traveled to through the Plane of Shadow was open and allowed me to return to my home plane. Every world, other, than this one. Pramael. You don’t seem to realize this, but your world is actually a prison plane.”

Neither bard understood what prison plane meant and it showed on their faces.

“Ah. I see we’ve reached the end of the length of your knowledge.”

Tristan leaned back in his chair, crossed one arm over his chest and while resting his elbow on the same arm tipped his fluted glass back and took a deep drink from the liquid.

“You see, like Fulun’s grandfather, I was unable to return to my home plane after coming here, to Pramael, in my full form.”

Both bards loved a good story, and both knew what they were about to hear was going to be riveting.

“This world is closed. Sealed. No one can leave it. No other plane can be reached from here, except the ethereal plane. And even that is limited to the expanse of this world. Like shadow, the ethereal plane SHOULD touch all others and permit travel between the worlds. Not so here… You do not realize you are actually prisoners, and the true universe is far larger than you can fathom, even beyond the stars and the moons above your head.”

Talin interjected at this point. “Wait, that can’t be right. Forgive me, but we have a wizard friend who frequently summons creatures to fight for him, and they disappear to… well, they go back to wherever they came from.”

Tristan smiled for the first time that evening. “Yes… Yes. He is a summoner. I’ve met many. What you don’t understand is the difference between a summoned creature, and the true form of a called being. A summoned creature is not its true self, but merely a magical facsimile of a real being. You see, if your wizard friend, or anyone, casts a spell to summon a dog, the dog you are seeing is merely a copy of a true dog somewhere else. A copy if you will. We call this astral projection normally, but that term is not used here as the astral plane is not accessible. Nonetheless, when that creature is killed, its true form does not die. But a CALLED creature is here in truth. It’s present in its true form. A called creature is one, like myself, who is physically here, on this plane, in its entirety. And unlike every other plane, every other world, I’ve ever encountered THIS is the only place I’ve ever been unable to leave afterward.”

The kayal chuckled and shook his head, causing his long, wild and chaotic hair to dance and downed the rest of his drink. He raised the hand with his glass, not even looking around for a server, until one came and took his glass.

“And now. Now, I am a prisoner here just as you are. No one can leave. Not even the most powerful artificer can escape the bounds of this world. Least wise, none whom I’ve discovered or read about, and my research has been exhaustive in the ten years I’ve been here.”

Fulun wore a sad smile on her face as she regarded Tristan. “Yes. I’m sorry my friend. But, it’s not all bad! You’re work has been plentiful here, as it not?!” Her voice rang with hopefullness, trying to lighten the mood after the dour,
and complicated, explanation.

“Indeed.” The dark male offered, taking his refilled glass and drinking deeply once more.

“You see, Tristan here is a demon hunter. Or devil. It makes no difference to him. He has not been idle since arriving. He has trained me some in both the arcane and martial and I hope to aid him someday soon. The first forty years of life were rather mundane compared to the last eight since I met Tristan. Tell them Tris. Tell them what you’ve accomplished.”

While she spoke Tristan was shaking his head, but his frown couldn’t hold when he met her glowing, golden eyes.

“Ok. Ok yiata fashan.” He said with a chuckle which seemed to be at her expense, they judged by the playful narrowing of her eyes in mock threat.

“Yes. Indeed. My training, my purpose, is eradicating the evil wrought by demons and devils. Were you aware there is a difference? No matter, it was such a hunt that brought me here in the first place. You see, I came here following a rather nasty beast. I will say, one pleasant thing about your plane is that killing a creature of the hells utterly destroys them indefinitely, rather than merely banishing them for a hundred years. But I digress. Kaglonuz’ath’tudon was its name. It came here at the call of something powerful. Apparently it attempted to resist, but the use of its true name compelled the beast, and he was trapped here. Such was what I gathered before I ended his suffering.”

Tristan’s cheek turned up in a half smile as the thought back on killing the evil creature. He shook his head, returning himself to the present.

“It’s actually VERY curious that your plane has so many demons and devils, a far higher number than most other planes. But that might be due to their inability to return to the nine hells. Your very city, I have discovered, indeed has the highest concentration of their kind I’ve found anywhere in my wanderings of your world. The Dark Reliquary itself must house hundreds. Why the powers-that-be tolerate their existence is the greatest mystery to me. It seems the factions of beings are too fragmented to band together. One would think the combined might of the Knights of the Golden Cross, the Knights of the Pale and the celestial Malkuth we could root out the Fallen and their ilk. Still, while I’m trapped here, I will continue my work and send as many of them into the nothing as possible.”

Again Tristan took a deep draught from his dark wine, then tilted his head back while closing his eyes and stretching his neck.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh saw the man that was with Fulun she looked at him and then the staff that was standing still she looked it over and the gaping maw was very interesting.  Vogh gave Fulun a warm hug and smiled at Tristan as he was introduced.

Vogh sat and ordered something to drink and so did Talin their drink wasn’t as dark as Fulun’s nor Tristan’s but it was delicious all the same.  They all sat and talked easily at first but when Fulun asked more about the items they had sold at Rastor’s Vogh and Talin both became very vague on the subject.  Fulun, of course, was not a dolt it seemed and was able to see they were not giving the whole of the truth so she stopped pressing the subject.

The conversation moved through various subjects and had come back to planar travel.  Talin gave some of his own insight on how he felt the planes worked and the two men spoke between each other for a bit.  It seemed to Vogh that they both were getting along quite well and when Vogh turned to Fulun she smiled.

When Tristan had complimented Vogh and Talin each, in turn, thanked him.  When asked about being reincarnated Vogh shook her head and said nope.  Talin though didn’t give an answer and was happy when Tristan continued on talking.

After some time they all ordered some food.  Some real tasty venison, vegetables, and more wine of course.  When talk started about killing demon and devils, Vogh piped in, we have killed more than our fair share of demons and devils here in the city as well.  The first one being a Vrock.  Nasty little buggers those things.  One of the toughest things we have problems dealing with is when a creature turns ethereal.  It makes it hard to follow.  The other one we fought was a Balor.  Have you ever fought a Balor before?  Vogh asked Tristan.

I do have one thing that I would like to add about planar travel.  We found a portal to another plane, but within the past tenday, it has been closed.  Have you ever heard of the Quaan?

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Tristan
———————————————————–
Tristan widened his eyes at their proclamation about the vrock and the Balor

“Truly…?! Just the two of you? Or surely you had a veritable army with you to defeat such powerful foes…?”

He listened to their explanation, then shook his head at their question about the Quaan.

“No. This I am not familiar with this place. However, if it anything like all else I’ve researched, it’s merely an island on the ethereal plane.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
The Balor was beaten with the help of some friends of ours.  Four others who venture with us now and again.  A wizard, an oracle, a rogue, and a warrior.  They will be accompanying us to the Quaan.  Talin and I are bards and we have honed our skill working together in more ways than our song.  Vogh said as she looked to Talin and grabbed his hand to squeeze it and then released it a moment later.

When Tristan brought up the Quaan the way he did, Vogh thought about it for a moment with her finger on her chin, That is an interesting take on the Quaan.  I hadn’t thought of the Quaan being part of another plane or anything, you give me something to think about and discover for myself.  I am a gatherer of knowledge much as yourself.  Not only have I spent my time in libraries but have spent a lot of time out in the prison you speak of.

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Tristan
———————————————————–
Tristan patted the air. “Apologies. I meant no offense by using the word ‘prison.’ I merely meant it was impossible for any being to leave. That said, your world is a wonderful place, despite all the demons and devils walking around this city.”

The group chuckled to show there was no tension then Tristan asked for some clarification on Vogh and Talin’s exploits. “When you battled the vrock and the balor. Were those demons here in their true form, or summoned?”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin spoke before Vogh on the point about the demons they fought.  The Vrock that we battled first was not summoned that we know of.  The reason why I say this is because it was in the area we came to before anyone else came and there were no other people there that could have summoned it.  Now, when it came to the Balor, it was summoned by a fiendish adult red dragon.  Those two were a nasty pair of enemies, but obviously we were able to vanquish our foe as we stand here before you now. Talin puffed out his chest a little at the boast of the foes he just spoke of.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
With the pause after Talin’s explanation, Vogh spotted Bharash approaching them.  She waved them over to join them.  When they got close, Vogh hopped up out of her chair and greeted each of them with a warm hug and a smile.

Looking to Fulun and Tristan, Vogh introduced her other friends, This is Julia, Bharash, and Deacon.  Then turning to The Arheons, Vogh said and this is Fulun and Tristan.  We were just talking about how we battled a Balor and a fiendish red dragon.  Then in their minds, Vogh said, I made no mention of where we fought them so don’t bring it up.

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Tristan
———————————————————–
Again the kayal male didn’t bother standing as Vogh introduced the newcomers, but he did incline his head in a nod of acknowledgement.

“Well met friends of Vogh and Talin. And you Bharash, you seem to have a bit of draconian heritage in your blood?” Tristan’s emphasis of “bit” made it clear he was jesting slightly. After all, it was clearly obvious Bharash had far more than a small amount of dragon blood in his scaled form.

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Fulun
———————————————————–
Turning her attention to the Archeons as they approached and were introduced she tossed her hair behind her shoulders once more and looked to each of them.

“Will you be joining us? I’m certain we could find a larger table to accommodate you. We are only just getting to know Vogh and Talin, but it would be a pleasure to share a drink with you as well.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–
The jest from the weird-looking male had Bharash laugh.  Silver dragon heritage to be more exact.  When asked if they were going to join them, Bharash said, if it is okay with you all we could grab a bit to eat.

Looking around the dining room area there was another table that could seat 7, How about that one?  When they all agreed everyone changed tables and sat down.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh found it good that Tristan joked with Bharash.  Bharash was a warrior and sometimes a bit quick off the handle.  When Bharash spotted the table Vogh said, Yes that will do!  Waving down the waitress Vogh had their order transferred to the bigger table.

When they sat, Vogh asked, so what brings you three here?  The Griffon has quite tasty food as well.

When Julia explained they were looking for Canabulum the Minotaur Wizard, Vogh knew of whom she spoke.  Why do you want to speak to him?  Again, Julia explained why and then pulled the items from Bharash’s pack.

So, that was what was in that chest we found?  How do you think Canabulum can help?  Julia explained what they did earlier and this had Vogh nodding as she listened.

===========================================================
Tristan
———————————————————–
Talin and Vogh were very interested in all the Archeons had learned. Fulun and Tristan listened to what the trio explained with interest, and followed over to the larger table. Tristan picked up his staff and walked over with his drink in the opposite hand. It was then that the friends noticed the long sword strapped to his hip. Was he an arcane caster, or a warrior? Vogh and Talin weren’t certain at that point. Upon taking a seat Tristan merely stood the staff beside him once more, where it remained erect even without bracing.

“I’ve heard mention of this Minotaur and his companions over my years here. It seems they are a bit famous for certain deeds, but I’m not certain of the full story. I did hear that this Canabulum nearly defeated a frost giant some time ago.” Tristan took a sip of his wine the finished a thought. “Indeed, one of my favorite aspects of Ptolus is how cosmopolitan and inclusive it seems to be. Bharash, I’ve been in many cities where one of your race would be treated with fear and likely ran off. Even myself and Fulun have met with unfounded disdain merely based on the color of our skin. Ptolus seems, at large, to lack most racism.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash couldn’t agree more with what Tristan had just said.  You are quite right Tristan.  Other cities are not so welcoming which is what brought me here in the first place.  Having not heard Tristan’s story Bharash asks him what his was.

The tale had the Archeons all nodding, especially Deacon who knew much about a lot of things and this information was something he would remember.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Mind if I take a look at those?  Vogh asked Julia.  Then as Vogh looked over them she asked, have you done anything to identify them?  I see they aren’t showing any magical attributes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t magical.  There are many ways to block magical ability.

Vogh picked up one of the flasks with the red liquid in it.  Have you figured out what this is?

===========================================================
Tristan
———————————————————–
The dark complected man nodded in understanding and agreement with Bharash’s statements. In answer to his question of race, Tristan explained: “Ah, yes, fair question. Both myself and Fulun are kayal. Our race is indigenous to the Plane of Shadow. Are you as well versed in knowledge of the planes as Vogh?”

Tristan asked to examine the vial Vogh looked at, so she handed it over. He cast a detect magic spell on the vial, then nodding to himself he very carefully opened the very tightly stuck stopper only a crack. Immediately after the stopper popped loose the contents of the glass vial ignited! The kayal pushed the glass stopper tight back into its slot once more, again nodded to himself.

“As I suspected, this is the non-magical substance known as alchemical fire. Normally these are constructed with no way to open them. When the liquid is exposed to oxygen, it immediately ignites, thus the flasks are normally permanently sealed and only “opened” whenever someone throws the flask to have it shatter, and explode. I’ve never seen one with a stopper atop it… that’s most curious. I’m not certain why anyone would want to open it normally like this. Perhaps they pour it atop something, or even use it to start a fire. But that seems a terribly mundane use for something so expensive…”

He screwed up his dark forehead in confusion as he carefully handed the glass back to Vogh.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash looked over to Vogh and merely shrugged.  Bharash knew that Vogh was a very smart woman and Bharash was still getting to know her so he doubted he knew more, even though he had actually been to another plane and she hadn’t.

No, I am not sure, Vogh and Talin both are quite intelligent and have obviously spent time behind some books.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Listening to Bharash and Tristan talk was very interesting it almost seemed to her that they were taking jabs at each other.

When Tristan opened the cork on the flask and it looked like it was going to explode as he recorked it.  Then as he said the bit about pouring it on something, Vogh wondered…  She took a flask and then the shield and said, I will be right back.

Vogh went outside and found a relatively safe spot and then opened the flask and poured the liquid on the shield hoping it would do something to the composition of the shield besides melt it.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The shield began to glow as the liquid burned like oil atop water and flowed over it’s surface. After the alchemical fire consumed itself, the glow subsided and Vogh cast her detect magic spell. Indeed the shield glowed magical!

She studied the item long enough to recognize the shield had a faint abjuration aura and boasted the lowest level of magical enhancement. (+1 heavy steel shield with something more)

Excited, Vogh ran back inside and had everyone accompany her out into Delver’s Square again where she repeated the act on the flail, then the wand. Her magical vision still in effect she could see the flail gain a magical aura more powerful than the shield that boasted a red evocation color. (+1 flaming flail)

Finally the wand glowed nearly identical to the flail with a moderate, red evocation effect.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
After taking the others outside and doing the flask on each of the items, Vogh could hardly believe her eyes.  Somehow the items radiated magic now with the alchemical fire on them.  These were certainly some special items and the chest that protected them was proof of it.  This is spectacular I must say.  Have any of you seen anything like this before?  Vogh asked everyone and anyone else that may be looking on.

The Archeons hadn’t seen anything like it before.  They really didn’t need to seek out the Minotaur Wizard now.  The items might be useful to them after further study.

Let’s head back inside now. Vogh said as the crowd had begun to get rather large as they looked on to see what was happening.

===========================================================
Tristan
———————————————————–
Tristan and Fulun both shook their heads. “They did not appear to be magical before, but pouring the alchemist’s fire atop them revealed the magical enhancement? It doesn’t even make sense why that would be necessary, let alone beneficial.” The silver haired male thought out loud as they made their way back inside.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh kept on looking over the items as they once more sat down at their table.  She wanted to know the properties of them so she knew if they should sell or keep them.

I know but they are magical now, perhaps the fire wakes up some latent ability within them?  Vogh said aloud as she thought.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Tristan and Fulun nodded, agreeing with Vogh’s logic.

…placeholder…

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Everyone continued to talk for some time about the items and then as it became late, Talin excused himself and went upstairs to bed.  He had some very important work in the morning.

The Archeons stayed a little while longer, mainly cause Deacon and Tristan began discussing theory and arcane works but they too left an hour or so after Talin left.

Vogh, Fulun, and Tristan stayed up a lot longer talking about all sorts of things, Vogh had tried to learn a little bit more about the relationship between the two for her own knowledge.

It wasn’t before long when Talin came back down again, he must have only had a few hours of sleep but he was charged to get his day started.  He grabbed a bite to eat and then was out the door.

With the sun starting to come up, Vogh too said her farewell to the pair.  She did ask them if they had somewhere to stay though in a flirty type of manner.


Having gotten some sleep, Vogh met up with Deacon later on that day so that they could finish with the banewarrens.  She was excited to see Saggarintys once more and give him the amulet.

They made it to the manor and found stone walls had been placed to seal off the way down.  Deacon though had a teleport ready and with all holding hands Deacon cast his spell.  Sudden;y they were in front of the main door once more.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The Ghostly Minstrel was getting fuller as the night wore on. One group entered the Inn which caught everyone of the friends’ eyes: Two striking individuals, both humans, one male and one female who each wore beautiful full-plate armor with intricate gold accents covering the silver plates, and each of their sheathed longswords. Golden symbols bounced on their chests, likely the holy effigy of their deity. The woman wore a stern expression on a square, but not unattractive, face with short cut brown hair. Accompanying her, the man had a very short cropped, military style haircut with a thick, full mustache to match. Accompanying them were four more retainers similarly armed and armored, but with far less finery and embellishments on their weapons and armor.

Tristan didn’t realize Deacon was deaf at first but he got the hang of making sure to always face the wizard and enunciate his words. The male was quite impressed by Deacon’s lip reading skills, and how well the elf could speak without his hearing.

Both Fulun and Tristan crinkled their chins in thoughtfulness on the topic of their relationship. It was possible one, or both, might have blushed, but it was difficult to tell with their much darker than average skin. Fulun answered for the duo, “We’ve been good friends for a long time now. we’ve always looked after each other and remained not far apart for too often. I don’t know what label to ascribe.” The enigmatic male kayal shrugged and nodded in agreement of her less-than-detailed explanation.

Fulun explained they each had permanent dwellings in the city, both rented small places in the north part of town. The kayal’s left together in the morning twilight, bidding their new friends farewell.

Vogh and Geristranomos made their way downstairs late the following morning and met the Archeons already having finished their breakfast and awaiting her. They waited for a sufficiently large coach came by to hail and all pile into its interior. Seating was tight, especially for the one stuck sharing a seat with the large dragon-warrior, but the trip was quick.

Everyone was a bit surprised to see walls of stone blocking off access to the tunnel. Such a minor inconvenience barely slowed the powerful group with the mighty arcane caster Deacon Havenhold in their midst. A few words in his strange language of magic and the elf, Bharash, Vogh and the magical, golden construct Geristranomos disappeared.

At first the group was confused as they flashed into a room surrounded by stone. Every teleportation spell had the chance for mistake, and the group believed one might have occurred until Geristranomos spoke up in his mechanical voice.

“I know every inch of the Banewarrens and we are indeed inside, I can tell by the floors beneath our feet, but these stone walls are not of Danar’s making. Indeed, they seem new…”

Establishing Deacon’s magic hadn’t magicked them to some far-off place they began to look around the roughly forty by twenty foot rectangular room. It didn’t take them long to recognize a few holes were knocked in the stone, but had wood and metal blocks on the opposite sides of the walls.

They hardly had time to contemplate this until one of the metal plates on one of the longer walls was rotated aside and a shout echoed through the stone portal, echoing among the hard walls. What looked like a human face, shaved bald and wearing some kind of darkened goggles looked in at them and yelled in alarm. Moments later a rod with a hole in the end, emerging from what looked like a dragon’s head, was raised to the hole and immediately followed by a deafening explosion which left behind a smoky haze.

Something flew from the rod and slammed into Vogh’s forehead with the force of a horse kicking her! Her head snapped back and immediately she felt blood running down her face. (12dmg)

(Roll Perception then Initiative)

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Deacon and Bharash weren’t the only ones surprised by where they ended up after Deacon’s spell placed them in a room.  After a short discussion G had ensured they were in the right place.  Vogh didn’t even know what hit her, but she was hit in the forehead nonetheless.  The blood began to run down her face and this enraged her.  Bharash was first to react though and not being able to see an enemy frustrated him.

Whoever just shot my friend Vogh is going to have some explaining to do.  Put your weapon away and speak before I break down these walls and hunt you down myself.

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon was a thinker unlike Bharash who acted with a hot head and hot hand.  It occured to him then that perhaps the church had already made preparations to block off the entrance and then made a death zone in case anyone did exactly what they had just done.  Luckily, Bharash called out first.  Deacon had a spell in mind just in case something happened again.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh recovered and as she heard Bharash’s request she began to sing out in their minds.

As she did that she will her healing belt to stop the flowing blood on her forehead.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As Vogh’s senses returned following healing the blast and her telepathy started to pickup multiple beings’ consciousnesses. She could sense a half dozen humans just beyond this wall, but the thickness of this wall, combined with the next in the ‘outer ring’ blocked her sensing anything beyond. The man who shot her was just beyond the movable port hole. The others were moving into position at the several other blocked openings.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash heard the singing in his ears and felt alive and ready to fight, but he still hadn’t heard anything from who shot Vogh.

Bharash tried once more to call out while holding his weapons defensively.  I don’t know who you are out there but we were the ones that have helped clear out the banewarrens.  If we can talk then you will be better aware of what is needed here.  If you choose to attack once more, I cannot be blamed for killing you all.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Bharash was not happy to hear laughter… laughter from the other side of the wall. He had his answer when five port holes swung open, dragon headed tubes were pointed in and the cacophonous ringing of five explosions nearly deafened them all!

Projectiles flew from the weapons with impossible force and slammed into each of the friends. G yelled out in alarm as one even ripped into his metal abdomen. The construct fled to the nearest corner and cowered in fear, holding both arms over his smooth, golden head, in a defensive posture.

Smoke filled the room to the point that none of the group could see clearly. After the barrage of metal missiles, the port holes swung shut once more, hiding their attackers.

1b,2d,3v,4g
Narrator rolled 12 using 5d4 ((2,3,2,4,1))
Narrator rolled 35 using 5d12 ((2,11,6,5,11))

1.B: 11
2.D: 2+6 = 8
3.V: 11
4.G: 5

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon had had enough, he grabbed Vogh and then Bharash and used his magic to dimension door into the corridor where they were firing from.

As they walked through the ‘door’ Deacon said, Have fun Bharash!

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh liked this new magic that Deacon was able to do and as soon as she came out of the magical transport she rushed the nearest foe and slashed her blades at it.

16:14, Today: Vogh rolled 25,22,21,22 using d20+18,d8+19,d20+13,d8+19.  crit checks.

16:14, Today: Vogh rolled 36,20,32,25 using d20+18,d8+19,d20+13,d8+19. to hit and damage

16:12, Today: Vogh rolled 28 using 1d20+15. knowledge to ID the creature.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As Bharash had seen through the port hole, the group found themselves in a ten foot wide corridor, created by yet another series of stone walls. This space likewise had rough smashed holes with metal plates blocking their view of what lay beyond.

Everyone was a bit surprised to see those who were attacking them. Every single one of the blast stick wielding people were male, humans with shaved bald heads. Each had strange googles covering their eyes and an equally odd apparatus of leather and metal covering both their mouth’s and noses. High collared, black leather trench coats were belted around them all. Tools and pouches hung from the wide belts. All stumbled back from their attackers, clearly shocked and surprised by the sudden magical appearance of those who were moments before trapped behind stone walls.

Vogh and Bharash’s blades struck down those they attacked. No armor and no magical protection even hindered their exemplary blades. Even to their last breath, the men were each focused on reloading the odd weapons they carried.

None stayed to fight. To a man they all fell back and rushed away, mashing sticks down into the hollow tubes of their strange weapons. Around the corners they all scrambled. The first of them stepped through what appeared to be a wall of solid stone, disappearing to the other side.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Bharash knew as soon as Deacon began his casting what was happening.  He readied to charge as soon as he came out the door.

Suddenly appearing on the other side, Bharash charged the nearest man and with both his blades flashing he cut into the man hard the first time and then a second time as well.

21:59, Today: Bharash rolled 37,17,29,16 using d20+22,d8+15,d20+22,d8+15.
21:59, Today: Bharash rolled 38,23 using d20+22,d8+15.  crit check.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
With the two unusual looking men dead by Vogh’s and Bharash’s hands, they once more were in a spot they couldn’t move to where the men were.  Deacon went to the door both of them were now at and cast his spell once more exiting on the other side once again.

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Stepping out of another one of Deacon’s doors Bharash can’t find the men they had seen go through the door.  He does see archer holes in the next stone wall though.  Not seeing a way in he braces for an attack.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh could get used to this type of travel it was fun to her.  As she walked out of the next doorway Vogh looked for the enemy but didn’t find one. She could sense a lot more beings on the other side of the next wall though.  She didn’t have time to prep her spell to get to them before a barrage of bolts came at her.

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
After taking a bolt in the shoulder, Deacon grits his teeth and instead of casting another dimension door he casts Black tentacles to deal with the whole of the enemy on the other side of the stone wall.  As the spell goes into effect, black tentacles start to come up from the ground, grappling all the soldiers on the other side of the stone wall.  Not one of them was able to escape the grasp either.

Vogh knew they needed to get to the other side and having watched Deacon so easily cast the dimension door spell, Vogh gives it a try.  She grabs Deacon and Bharash and walks through to the opposite side of the black tentacles.

Bharash didn’t know Vogh could cast such a spell, but it didn’t matter, he stepped through and charged the big red-skinned goblin before him slashing his blades across the thing’s neck, finishing him quickly.

The men in the tentacles try to escape their grapples but aren’t able too so instead they fire their weapons.  One of them managed to steady himself long enough to fire at Deacon and hit him once more.

Just then they heard a loud explosion somewhere on the other side of the stone walls.  Not knowing what it was, Deacon having had enough of getting hit by these men casts a spell.  As the small red pea floated to the spot where the tentacles came up it exploded killing all the men in the tentacles.

It was then that the three discovered what the explosion was for it happened again as the 4 black-coated men’s bodies exploded sending shards flying everywhere hitting each of the companions.

As the dust finally settled, Vogh moved to check out all the bodies, starting with the lone red-skinned goblinoid.  Bharash gather up all the gear and set it to the side.  Deacon, you best heal yourself up if you can.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
…placeholder…

[10:58 PM, 2/26/2020] Ellis Benus: I can write all this up, but they have been camped down there. They were in formation b/c they had 3 rounds to get ready
[10:59 PM, 2/26/2020] Ellis Benus: Actually, more like 5 rounds. B/c an alarm spell went off the second you all appeared inside that room.
[11:00 PM, 2/26/2020] Ellis Benus: So yeah, you will find bedrolls and rations and all the other accouterments that come with a small forced camped out for a week
[11:03 PM, 2/26/2020] Ellis Benus: There are several groups of people who know about the Banewarrens now. You’ve fought 1 group you know by name. You suspect you fought the proxies of another group. And who knows who else knows… It’s well known that you posses the only key into the place short of a wish spell. It’s known the only entrance is that door. So clearly someone set a trap to await your arrival to this location, blocking off one entrance and considering the possibility of magical travel as well. They even designed the “layered” approach to force any casters to use up spells just traversing the, seemingly impassable walls (no doors). But yeah… You did too good of a freaking job at it and slaughtered all my people! hahaha

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Vogh
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After going over the bodies thoroughly looking at race, tattoos, and equipment Vogh and the other two gather the gear and go back to Ger.  Instead of using magic again Bharash just takes his time hacking through the wall to get to G and the other stone wall blocking the banewarrens.

Once they are inside the warrens they leave G in the banewarrens and close the door again, then they make their way up to Sagg.  The way up isn’t as bad as it was the past two times now that they knew how to get around so before long they were at the base of the tower.

Using magic the three once more were almost to the top, Vogh could sense Saggarinthys up there so she assumed he could sense them as well.  Vogh reached out with her mind, Oh great one, it’s Vogh, we are back and come bearing gifts.

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Saggarintys the Silver King
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… placeholder for stuff before this “fast forwarding”… I want to write more, but I’m just too dang tired…

Vogh and her friends could see Saggarintys bore several wounds which marred his beautiful silver scales. The dragon smiled at their entrance, a facial expression they were starting to understand better. Still, it was unnerving to see row upon row of razor sharp teeth curled back in what could easily be a snarl. But one look at the liquid pools of silver Saggarintys had for eyes, showed there was no malice in his greeting. Those eyes; however, did reveal the dragon was tired.

While Vogh conversed with the dragon, Deacon and Bharash moved over to inspect a solid wall of ice that was currently blocking entrance to the area known as the Dread One’s path. It seemed the great silver dragon had been consistently breathing his mighty freezing blasts upon the area to form a wall.

“My friends. It is wonderful to see you once more.” Sagg breathed out heavily. “I’ve not been idle in your absence.” He jerked a massive head toward the wall Deacon and Bharash were even then inspecting. “Plus, I’ve seen battle myself. You mentioned battling a powerful undead in the room adjacent the shield generator just beyond the Prismatic Hall on the same level you freed me. That creature is no longer undead, but dead-dead, permanently. However, he did leave me a few nasty wounds while refusing to die immediately. Nevertheless! Dragon kind prevailed over undeath!”

Saggarintys went on to explain that the creature was known as The Betrayed, formerly Trese Philipin, a cleric who served Danar faithfully as a warden of the temple and the entire bane-sanctifying and destroying sections of the vaults on that level. The dragon explained that Trese had been tortured to death, and into undeath, by the Dread One and there he was turned to the vampiric darkness.

“I had to destroy him several times until I finally discovered a secret room which held his reliquary which allowed him to keep returning. Thankfully, destroying the entire contents of the room and casting a hallowing spell upon the area put him to permanent and final rest. Yet another waste due to Danar’s folly at reading from that damned book! Freeze it all.” The great drake shook his head in frustration and disgust.

He sighed deeply, then regaled them of more accomplishments in the short time they had been gone.

“There is a terrible conflagration beyond those rooms as well. You must not have entered that part of the warrens because it seemed untouched by mortals. Unfortunately it was touched by many terrible things. Giant toad creatures. Animated skeletons that spit teeth for weapons. Even a lich, Vallacor. Apparently the bastardization was an important lieutenant of Eslathagos. Thankfully the filth didn’t have a phylactery, having been reanimated by the energies of the evil in this place. So when I killed him, he stayed dead. There was a xorn, an elder of his race, who had been gorging himself on banes gems in one of the rooms. He was actually gated into the room through the conflagration, which I must tell you about eventually. But thankfully, there was one glimmer of light. Callin, join us would you?”

Vogh blanched and Bharash nearly drew forth his blades before turning his head at the beings radiance. a tall, human-like creature faded from invisibility to appear before their eyes, behind Vogh at a half dozen paces. He had long, feathery wings and a gentle inner light that made it difficult to look directly at him.

“My friends. Vogh. Bharash. Deacon. Meet Callin, an Astral Deva.”

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Callin Astral Deva
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“Greetings…” The angelic creature was beyond beautiful to the eyes of the mortals. It took several moments for their eyes to adjust before they could even meet his eyes, which were an unnerving swirling white, devoid of a pupil and pigment.

“Saggarintys has told me a great deal about you.”

Celestial was the only way to describe the melodious way each word sung from the other worldly being’s mouth.

[Private to GM: +1 full plate armor
+1 sonic greatsword
+1 helm of alacrity (insight bonus to AC) * Book of Eldritch Might II : Songs and Souls of Power
Horn of Goodness : This trumpet adapts itself to its owner, so it produces either a good or an evil effect depending on the owner’s alignment. If the owner is neither good nor evil, the horn has no power whatsoever. If she is good, then blowing the horn has the effect of a magic circle against evil. If she is evil, then blowing the horn has the effect of a magic circle against good. In either case, this ward lasts for 1 hour. The horn can be blown once per day.
]

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Vogh
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When Vogh finally came up and saw Saggarintys, she could see the many wounds and that the dragon even looked a bit diminished.  I am so sorry that something happened to you Saggarintys.  Let me heal you.
14:14, Today: Vogh rolled 26 using 3d8+10.
14:14, Today: Vogh rolled 20 using 3d8+10.
14:14, Today: Vogh rolled 27 using 3d8+10.  cure critical wounds. Not sure how much he is down so just do a few heals.

Bharash was looking over the wounds along with Deacon to see what all was ailing the great silver dragon.  Bharash had the highest roll with a 15.  Does he have anything else wrong besides the injuries?

I am glad to hear that you have defeated two of the banes inside here.  We didn’t venture through the whole of the banewarrens so we didn’t see the other things you spoke of.  It was then that Vogh pulled from her pack the Amulet she had spoken to him about and the Missive stone.  (I figured I would give to him instead of G.)  This is for you Great Saggarintys.  May it fair well with you in your many days here as guardian of the warrens.

When Saggarintys introduced Callin, Vogh wasn’t sure who he meant but when the Astral Deva came into being before them, Vogh had to avert her eyes.  The radiance from him was overwhelming.  Slowly though it became easier to look up until finally, she was able.  The blank void where eyes would normally be was a bit strange to look at but she got over that quick enough.  Greetings to you Callin, I am Vogh.  It certainly is a pleasure to meet you.  Vogh introduced Bharash and Deacon then and could only look upon the angelic being.  Will you be staying here to defend the warrens with Saggarintys?

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Saggarintys the Silver King
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The great silver sighed deeply as wave after wave of healing washed over his ancient form.

“Thank You Vogh. Bless your touch.” Even the healing took a bit of a tole on the old creature. He closed his eyes for a moment and rested his head on the stone as the group conversed with Callin.

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Callin Astral Deva
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Callin watched Vogh heal Sagg with interest. When she had finished and Sagg rested his head the celestial asked her about the spells. “Which god grants your powers miss? Whom do you pray to?” He was quite surprised to hear her explanation that no god granted her the healing ability.

The beautiful man shook his head, tossing golden locks side to side, when Vogh made her statement about “defeating banes.” “Unfortunately most of the creatures Saggarintys battled were not banes at all. I’m not certain how much you know of Danar and his fall after reading the Book of Darkness to become the Dread One, Eslathagos Malkith. He and his evil minions emptied all the vaults in the area Saggarintys freed me from, then converted it into a prison. Vallacor was his warden. He was human when I was still conscious, before the accursed being crucified me. I digress. The sladi, the xorn, and several other creatures Saggarintys slew were drawn into these warrens because of the Conflagration created because of Sokalahn’s meddling.”

Callin was perplexed when Vogh and the others didn’t recognize the name.

“You don’t know of Sokalahn? I know its been centuries, but are your races memories as short lived as your lives?” Vogh and Bharash couldn’t tell if they were being insulted, or if the immortal angel was simply frustrated great events had been forgotten.

“I shall educated you. Sokalahn was a half-demon lich who attempted to break into these warrens. He sought to steal any of the powerful items within, but he had a special taste for a horrid artifact known as the Black Grail. Thankfully, he failed. Unfortunately his meddling destroyed one of the Entropy Sphere’s Gates of Delirium to power the spell, and that created the awful Conflagration. It seems the situation has grown worse with the unsealing of the warrens.”

Callin did his best to answer their many questions, then he had some of his own.

“Tell me, do the Malkuth still reside in Ptolus and does the Pale Tower still stand? Do you know if Sephranos the Winged King still rules? And what of Falstef, the first of us? Is he known to you?”

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Vogh
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Vogh was worried about Saggarintys, even her healing seemed to pain the great silver dragon but at least she saw that the wounds were healed.  That was a relief at least.  You are so welcome Great one.

As he laid his head down to rest some, Vogh and the others talked with Callin.  The Deva had plenty of information that Vogh had no idea about and if needed she would be able to use it in the future.  She thought to herself that all this could make for some great ballad of good versus evil.  Vogh listened further about the conflagration, so this Sokalahn created the conflagration and the monsters have been drawn too it since the warrens were breached?  So you think that sealing it once more will take care of that?  Can the Conflagration be destroyed?

When they were all asked all the other things, Vogh nor the others had any idea what he was talking about.  I am sorry all these things have been lost to us.  Either the powers that be decided not to pass on the history or it was taken from us, I do not know.

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Callin Astral Deva
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“Hrm. I understand. I’m not certain about destroying the Conflagration, it would be more like fixing a rift in the planes. Things drawn in cannot return, and that is dangerous for all involved, on both sides. Sealing the Banewarrens again would certainly suppress the magic, unfortunately, the spell cast which caused the calamity to being with was powerful. Unfathomably powerful. Fixing it will be no small task. You asked if I would remain here and I do not intend to do so after I know the warrens could be permanently sealed from within and without. I’ll not leave my friend here to fight anything which might be sucked here via the Conflagration. Any Demon Lord could stumble across this rift and decide to step through. I will leave here with you and seek counsel at the Pale Tower. If it could be repaired, and controlled, the power of the Entropy Sphere might grant one enough magical might to heal the rift.”

[Private to GM: +1 full plate armor (Primal Iron, constantly smells of freshly split blood, but touching it gives of a feeling of security : https://www.d20pfsrd.com/EQUIP…ALS/#Iron_Primal_3pp )
+1 sonic greatsword,
+1 helm of alacrity (moderate abjuration)
Helm of Alacrity: These golden helms give wearers a fraction of a second’s warning when a blow is coming, aiding their ability to defend themselves. Each helm adds an insight bonus to Armor Class.

Moderate abjuration; caster level 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, freedom, caster must be of a level equal to four times the helm’s bonus; Price 4,000 gp (helm +1), 16,000 gp (helm +2), 36,000 gp (helm +3), 64,000 gp (helm +4), or 100,000 gp (helm +5);Weight 3 lbs.]

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Vogh
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The conflagration must be powerful if a Deva couldn’t do much about it.  Vogh and Deacon didn’t like the idea that this rift could be so easily accessed by anything where the rift was open to but what could she do about it?

When Callin said he would go to the Pale Tower and find information this pleased Vogh.  She wished she had the time to go with Callin but, they had other business to attend to.

Well, we are going to seal up this wall here first with some stone Deacon has prepared as a spell and then we will be heading out, sealing the place when we leave.  Thank you for all you will do to aid in making this place not so evil!


Deacon moved over to where the ice wall was and began casting his spell of a stone wall.  To have a more permanent solution that the ice.  When he was finished no one could see the ice anymore and a newly fashioned wall was in its place.  That should take care of that now.  Shall we make our way to G and set another wall down there to block entry for the common folk?

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Narrator
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Sagg opened his eyes at Deacon’s casting and nodded his great head. He raised up, groaning as he stretched each limb, his long neck and tail and both wings. The group could hear the cracking of cartilage and popping bones as the great drake stretched sore muscles.

“That is a wonderful fix Master Deacon. And these are truly wonderful gifts Vogh. I’ll never be able to thank you enough. My friends, the world won’t be able to thank you enough, if anyone ever even knows what you did here…” The great dragon turned his head sideways, with a bit of sadness in his eyes at the statement that these mortals aided in such a wonderful service, which few would ever even know about.

“I’ll accompany you back down. Do stay away from the Conflagration. I will test this missive stone you’ve give me once you leave, and seal, the warrens. Hopefully their magic will work through the wards. But more hopeful, is you will destroy Danar’s hand and seal this cursed place to be forgotten forever.”

“Here Here.” Spoke Callin to Sagg’s proclamation.

Saggarintys paused, then jerked his head over toward the door of the control room. “Bharash, open the control room door and retrieve the items inside. I took them off one of the skeletons I destroyed. Perhaps they can aid you.”

The dragonborn found a magical suit of full plate which immediately filled his nostrils with the smell of freshly spilt blood. Which he found odd, as the warrior’s keen eyes saw no trace of blood anywhere on the armor. Dark gray, almost black, the iron felt strange but Bharash could sense a feeling of security from the armor. A magical great sword lay atop the armor, as did a magical golden helm. All three of the items looks like antiques one might see in a noble’s manor of items worn by their ancestors centuries before, but clearly their magic was still strong.

“Climb atop my back once more and allow me the honor of flying you down my friends.”

Astride the dragon, Sagg dropped through the smooth stone but jagged edge hole, hastily widened by the giant red Pactlord dragon’s powerful fire breath and claws.

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Callin Astral Deva
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The group made the long trek back down through the pillar, then the adjoining rooms, anti-magic staircase which Sagg flew them across and Callin did likewise with his powerful wings. Finally they all stood in the room which housed the warding generator on the level they had originally discovered Sagg.

“My friend. I will leave with the mortals to meet with my Pramael bound kin. By the Seven Chains I vow to return to you whether good or ill news of the conflagration.” The angel bowed low to Sagg while folding his wings in deference to the Silver King.

[Private to GM: Remember Yeshla!]

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Bharash
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Bharash found the items as Saggarintys had said.  They were marvelous looking and seemed powerful, though BHarash couldn’t get over the smell of the blood, wondering where it came from in his mind.  He put the items in his pack though and when Saggarintys was ready to carry them Bharash happily hopped onto the strong back of the great silver wyrm.  I think I could get used to this,  Bharash said with reverence to Saggarintys.


When they were down in the room the found Saggarintys once more they all sort of said their goodbyes to Saggarintys.  It was clear that this farewell might very be her last to Saggarintys, so Vogh wrapped her arms around his front leg and squeezed.  Farewell Saggarintys.  Yes please try to use the missive stone once we seal it up.  I certainly hope that it still continues to work once the place is sealed.  They all left out the main door then with Geristranomos and then sealed the door for perhaps the last time.

Geristranomos had the last generator to fix and once it was complete it would ward the place for good.  Geristranomos, we will place another wall of stone, to seal off this area.  How long before you will be finished repairing the generator?  I am afraid more of the enemy might make their way down here and interrupt your work.  Once you repair it though will you be safe?

Vogh turned to Callin then.  Once you get any information can you contact me, please?  I would like to know what will be done with the conflagration as well.

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Saggarintys the Silver King
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Sagg chuckled at Bharash’s statement in regard to their flight. “Bharash, your ancestry is clearly that of a silver dragon. I wonder if I ever met your sire. And Vogh, I’m certain you know this, but you were touched by a silver at one point in your life as well. I can sense the silver bloodline in you. I did sire many children millennia ago, I wonder against wonders if perhaps the two of you might be long descended from one of my line.” They could both tell the dragon was not at all unhappy by the prospect, however unlikely it might be.

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Geristranomos
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“Yes Miss Vogh. I will work on the generator without rest until it is restored. I’m not certain how long it will take me. Uninterrupted, and if those explosions didn’t damage it much further, perhaps I could have it completely operational once more in under a week? Perhaps five days if I’m fortunate?”

No one like the idea of the warrens being unprotected for so long with the Pactlords, the Vladaams – and gods knew who else – out there, interested in the evil banes of immeasurable power held inside.

“Do you mean to leave me here, alone, to work on the generator? What if some of those awful monsters return? You know I’m no match for any of those creatures in combat…”

Despite being a construct, Geristranomos was far more human than any of the magical creatures Vogh had encountered before. She and Bharash could hear the fear in the golden bodied creation’s voice.

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Callin Astral Deva
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Sagg and Callin both looked uneasy about this prospect as well.

“Miss Vogh, Geristranomos was meant to maintain these machines for all of eternity. He was never meant for defense. The other guardians, Saggarintys alone remaining, the magical protections of Danar’s, Parnaith’s and their friends’ powerful magics were to protect these Banes. I would stay to protect him, but I must connect with my kin and learn what I may. We Malkuth were not plentiful in number when I first came to pramael. There might be many more now. Perhaps Geristranomos could accompany you once more until we can regroup and return with him, and a sufficient guard, to see the task completed? Fruthermore, if he completed the generator, we would all be sealed without and unable to handle the Conflagration. The ability to enter the Warrens through Jabel Shammar was the Dread One’s alone. Even entering that evil fortress now would likely be impossible. So perhaps its best we wait? I will meet with you as soon as I have word from my kin and we can return together, with Geristranomos, and possibly with a plan to fix the rift indefinitely.”

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Vogh
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When Callin had spoken after Geristranomos’s worries about being left alone, Vogh was already thinking along the same lines.  She wanted the place sealed off but if Geristranomos was taken or destroyed it may not ever be possible again.

Yes, you are quite right.  I have a place for him where I can bring him for safekeeping until we return from a mission.  Then as you said we can return here to guard him properly.

With everything decided upon Deacon opened a dimensional doorway and all 5 stepped through to get up to the manor in oldtown.  As they walked outside Vogh said, this is Oldtown Callin.  After letting the Deva take in the city Vogh continued, we can meet you at the Pale Tower here in oldtown when we return.  It was something as they watched Callin look over the city.  It was much different they assumed from when he last laid his eyes upon it.

Finally, they said farewell to Callin, and Deacon once more held the hands of Geristranomos, Bharash, and Vogh and they teleported inside the lair.

After an explanation of the situation to Degar and Thariad, the trio left by mundane means.

With the afternoon coming close Vogh thought they should get some midday food and look over the items Saggarintys had given them.  They all went to The Griffon to see Julia and talk a bit more about their day.

In the back of her mind, Vogh secretly wondered how Talin was fairing as well.

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Narrator
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The Adventure Continues in Chapter 5 : To the Quaan and Beyond!

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