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Bharash
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“I’m glad to be out of there, I won’t l… <D-Notice>!” Bharash starts to state as the short dimension-hop resolves itself and his feet touch flagstones again, only to find himself half an arms-length from an angry-looking minotaur, one who looked to have been about to get into a serious disagreement with the party as a whole.

His posture shifts slightly, one hand dropping to the hilt of one of his swords and half-drawing it, the other going up flat to bar the minotaur’s path as he rumbles quietly but firmly and with the sort of cool, matter-of-fact menace that causes enraged berserkers to think better of their life choices, states “Hold up there big fellow. I can’t imagine you want to pick this fight blind. Five feet, no room to manoeuvre? I will ruin you and I’ve no cause to do that unless you give it to me.” before asking of the rest of the group “Uh, what’s his story?”

Apparently, there is nothing Bharash won’t at least try to talk to.

19:00, Today: Bharash rolled 32 using 1d20+13. Intimidate.

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Vogh
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As Vogh reappeared she too say the minotaur standing before her. The thing looked as if it were ready to crush the others with that huge hammer of his. Vogh was about to speak up when Bharash began to speak. She was quite impressed as he continued on. She would have gone a different route herself but he seemed effective to her for she would have stopped and answered the big Dragonborn.

So, Vogh turned to her friends with a questioning look.

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Talin
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Talin was about to get ready to defend the others when Vogh and Bharash appeared, none too soon either. When Bharash asked what his story was, Talin filled him in, “Well, apparently the big one, that tried to push Deacon and Julia to their deaths had called for his help. The big one was the father of the small one back there and the man to the other. I was trying to tell, Teelas I assume, that they attacked first and gave us no choice but to defend ourselves. Of course, he said “They attacked you? And what do you do when someone walks into your home? Offer them biscuits?”. I told him that normally, NO, we would try to reason with them but I guess it is hard to reason with evil beings.”

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Bharash
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“Well, yeah… when you write them off like that.” Bharash grumbles, looking from Talin to the minotaur and back to Talin before grimacing and squaring up to the big maze-monster, “Look. I’m sorry about your friends. But they definitely attacked first, probably thought we were weak after killing the Carrion in Stone back there. Well, we weren’t. Still aren’t. And if we can avoid killing anyone else we don’t have to – you included – I’d be good with that.”

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Narrator GM
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The minotaur patted the air with one big, fur covered, humanoid hand after removing it from his long handled hammer. “Fine. Fine. Just leave this place… I will not try to stop you… Just depart the way you came and we don’t need to battle…”

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Bharash
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Relaxing to the same degree the minotaur does, Bharash lets his sword drop back down into the scabbard and – keeping his ‘steady now’ hand up, grimaces a little before answering “I’d like to do that, but I don’t know that we can, yet. We’re here looking for some folks who attacked a building on the surface and stole from us. They killed a bunch of people in their home, turned others into monsters. We’re tracking them by what they stole and it’s down here somewhere, over that way.” – he waves a hand in the direction last indicated to have the skull in it, give or take – “about (rough distance*) away.”

* Triangulation will give us rough distance, even though the spell does not. To within a dozen yards or so, at this distance.

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Narrator GM
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The big bull cocked his head and took a couple steps back from the group, moving his bulk into the hallway some more. He rested the huge hammer head over one shoulder then shook his horned head side to side. “No one down here goes up dragon-one. None of us want anything to do with the world above. All of us down here only go deeper seeking what we need. It’s not possible your item is in these tunnels.”

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Bharash
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Bharash takes about a half-step forwards then stops, not to menace the retreating Minotaur, but to put himself more securely between the bull-man and the rest of the group as he makes an ‘mmm’ sound and then shrugs, “I don’t know what to tell you. Our magic guy says it’s where I told you it is, or was about… Like one fight and a long plummet ago. So if it’s here, someone brought surface troubles to your back door. Can you at least tell us what’s over there?”

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Narrator GM
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Hesitation was plain on the humanoid cows face as he looked the direction Bharash had indicated. “Not a lot. Few more beings. Some traps we all avoid. Some old stuff. Then the deeper tunnels which are endless. I promise you that none of us has gone UP in a very long time. And you’re the first visitors who survived the body beast for a long while. It would be best if you departed. There are many tunnels. Perhaps you made a wrong turn.”

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about the amount of magical energy they had used to move through the house and tunnels thus far and though she would like to continue she doubted they would have enough to even battle the ratmen in their home. Vogh did want to know if this was indeed a way into the complex though or did Zark just not know but knew of the secret passage. Perhaps someone even fed him the information to lead any would-be adventurers to their death with the flesh beast.

“Bharash, I think that we should head back home for now. My magic is spent and based on what Deacon had been saying even before coming down here that he was low on resources. Even if this were the way we might be so low that if we need an emergency, we wouldn’t have it. I am afraid we need to regroup. Since Deacon has seen the inside of the Albino’s area he could just teleport us inside on the morrow.” As long as Bharash said it was fine, Vogh nodded.

Vogh then looked to the minotaur and said, “Your name is Teelas is it not? I am sorry that your friends have been killed. We will leave you to yours and if we meet again remember us and how we left on our own accord instead of continuing on. We didn’t want any trouble but to get to the item that was stolen. This is bigger than all of us I fear.”

Lastly, Vogh looked at Deacon and asked, “Do you have your teleport still? If so, can you bring us to the Minstral?”

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Narrator GM
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Teelas nodded slowly at Vogh, his shoulders relaxed a bit at her proclamation and he nodded his big head faster. “Yes. I will. Infact miss… If you will wait here a moment, I would like to offer you an item. A sort of peace offering. In exchange for your word not to return to our home or attack us again…”

The minotaur turned and trotted down the hall and returned a few moments later. If the party had any suspicion he was double crossing them, all doubts were dispelled when the bull returned with two items in hand and his huge warhammer strapped to his back.

Across his left forearm was draped a material which resembled coppery dragonscales. In his right hand, he held a glass sphere which had something moving and writhing inside of it.

“The monsters below our feet destroy metal, but they didn’t seem to care for this garment and none of us have any interest in decorating ourselves in it.” He handed the cloak to Vogh, who could confirm it indeed was made of dragon scales taken from a copper colored dragon.

“And we’ve got no idea what this thing even is. Someone found it a long time ago and it’s just been setting on a shelf. The damnable thing has never stopped moving inside the glass, but it’s never done anything else either.” Teelas shrugged big shoulders after having handed over both items.

“With these gifts I invoke your honor to never return to these tunnels. You will know you’ve entered our realm again if you see a symbol on the walls which looks like a six fingered hand.”

He backed away several paces from the group and waited for them to depart.

[Private to GM: Demonform: This glass sphere is filled with seething demonflesh (DM chooses the type of demon; see below). When a wielder breaks it against a Small, Medium, or Large creature, the demonflesh covers the target, forming a sheath of flesh around it in the form of a demon. The creature can then use any of the demon’s extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, as well as those accompanying the form (claw and bite attacks, for example). The only exception is the
demon’s gate ability, which the target creature does not gain. The demonform lasts for one minute. When the creature first gains the demonform, it must make a Will saving throw (DC 19) or be affected by a chaotic possession† spell (see page 15). 9,500 gp (marilith). Weight 1 lb.
]

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Vogh
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Vogh and the others were about to leave when Teelas offered something if they didn’t return. As the minotaur left them Vogh looked to the others and shrugged. “If he indeed gives us valuable items I will swear not to return. How about you?” Vogh asked them all.

Bharash if you can answer in your next post that would be great.

When Teelas returned and offered the items, Vogh immediately cast a spell to see what she could tell from the items.

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Bharash
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“Perhaps. We came this way because we were trying to get to the damn’ skull that was stolen… If it’s in your territory then we’d like to get it, but if it’s not we’ve no call to interfere with you or yours. Problem is, the spell we were using’s straight-line only. Maybe we’ll come armed with earth-moving magic next time.” Bharash answers, then looking back at Vogh with a helpless grumble of “Bah, spellcasters. One lousy little apartment building full of mutants, golems and cultists, a couple of swarms of ratling killers and an undead abomination and they’re all worn out.” that sounds less serious and more well-worn and amused.

Then Teelas makes to move off and fetch some items or other, prompting the big Dragonborn to grimace and point out “We’re prepared to go Teelas, and I’ve no wish to intrude on your peoples territory… But I can’t make that oath. The thing we’re looking for could have been carried into or through your peoples territory. Not to mention that we might find ourselves down here another day, on another task.”

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Talin
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Talin had listened to it all with disinterest, he would rather just kill the minotaur and move on if he were honest enough with himself. All this talk about swearing to never return was for the birds. Bharash had it right. How could they make such a promise anyway?

“Teelas, thanks for your offer of gifts, but I am with Bharash in this. One thing I might offer now is that you escort us through your territory. Helping us avoid further conflict with any would-be friends of yours and if we find the item we are looking for that works, if it goes beyond your territory then we leave you once more to your peace. What do you think about that? As said before this is bigger than all of us.”

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Narrator GM
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Teelas’ eyes widened at the prospect of leading them through the area and he was barely shaking his head side to side. They actually saw fear in the minotaurs eyes.

“Nooo… No. We can’t do that. It’s not here. I assure you. The only skulls here are of dead adventurers who wouldn’t leave, and creatures from deeper in the earth. Those items are likely worth a great deal in your world. You should take them and go. The other… Residents… Of these catacombs are not so… Tolerant as myself…”

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Vogh
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Vogh kept a plain look on her face but inside she knew that this minotaur might be hiding something. So, Vogh began to sing a glorious song of minotaur killing. At the start she said, “Okay, Bharash let’s just finish this quick and keep moving.”

+5 att and damage

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Narrator GM
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The creature shook its head. All look of fear had gone, in its place the group saw what looked like a small smile.

“You all cannot be this foolish… If you walk one step further into these tunnels, you will never leave…”

Teelas didn’t reach for a weapon, he didn’t shift his stance. The minotaur seemed completely unfazed by their words. He did start walking backward though, slowly, away from the group.

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Talin
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Talin didn’t want to just kill the minotaur he wanted him to aid them do he tried something in hope it would work.

Cast Charm Monster will save DC 18

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Bharash
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“Ever had the feeling you were talking to someone who wasn’t in charge of their own actions?” Bharash asks as he watches the change in demeanour flow over the bull-man guardian. For one of the more skilled and talented killers in the city, Bharash has never come across as liking to fight, but he moves forwards with his swords coming into his hands, looking for the result of the spell as he growls “Non-lethal. Something is off here.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Vogh had begun her song in Deacon’s head but he had another option besides fighting.

Something was off as Bharash had said. It seemed to Deacon that Teelas was in a battle with himself. One way to find out was to charm the beast. So Deacon will Yaeshla to use another of her abilities to charm the minotaur.

Use Yeashla to cast Charm Monster DC16 will save

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Julia Graymantle
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On the edge of the pit once more Julia hoped that the others were able to talk their way through this. It seemed to her that they didn’t want to hurt the minotaur but when Vogh’s song started in her head she wasn’t so sure.

For her part Julia would ready her admonishing ray as Bharash had asked about non-lethal attacks.

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Narrator GM
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The minotaur relaxed a bit, looking at Deacon with a puzzled look. “It really would be best if you left.” He offered, almost pained to even speak those words. “Beyond is only death.” He shrugged and looked at the ground, dragging a hoof across the stone like a horse paws the ground.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon knew he captured the attention of the minotaur when it relaxed a bit. The warning it gave had a dual meaning to Deacon. Was it actually death they would find, like a lich or something, or just dead bodies? Deacon didn’t know but he thought then that something had controlled the minotaur and probably the manticores as well.

“Teelas, as Vogh had suggested to me earlier to teleport us out of here. I have a better idea. I want to make sure you are as safe as possible and the only way I can do that is if you join me in my teleport. Julia here will come with us. The others though will have to find their own way back. What do you say my friend?”

Deacon then said to Vogh and the others that would remain behind, “For you all, I can have Yaeshla cast levitate on you so you can cross the pit once more. Then we can all meet in the apartment above.”

So, to summarize, Yaeshla would cast levitate on Talin, Vogh, and Bharash, while Belie uses his spider climb once again. You all make your way back to the apartment above, then we decide what to do next.

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Narrator GM
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Teelas dropped his head and shook it, swinging his huge horns side to side. “I cannot leave my post. My master would kill me. I must remain here to guard these tunnels. I’m sorry sir.” It was clear the great bull was having a war inside of himself.

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Julia Graymantle
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It was a shame that they had no other option but to knock the minotaur unconscious. So, with that thought, Julia cast her Admonishing ray aimed at the poor minotaur. She knew it would break any charm they had on the creature but it had to be done.

Touch AC of 28,24,33 for 44 total damage.
11:43, Today: Julia Graymantle rolled 28,14,24,15,33,15 using d20+18,4d6,d20+18,4d6,d20+18,4d6. nonlethal damage.

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Narrator GM
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The minotaur’s eyes snapped open in rage and he started to charge after the first of Julia’s rays hit him, then the second blasted into his chest and his steps almost faltered. Teelas couldn’t withstand the third though. His bulk crashed to the ground, knees buckling and slamming into the stone, then his entire body falling forward to blow dust into the air from the considerable impact. Dull eyes stared at the wall, unblinking and unconscious.

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Belie
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Belie look at Julia with shock in his eyes. “By whatever god grants you, your power, maybe I should start praying!” The rogue chuckled. “He’s still breathing… Not dead. Should I finish him?” Belie asked, standing next to the big brute, magical rapier tip pointed at the bull’s throat.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia too was surprised just how well her spell worked. She was thankful the minotaur wasn’t able to reach her.

“No Belie as we said before we don’t want to just kill him. He is charmed by something and we want to free him. Now Deacon I think you should cast your spells on the others so we can get out of here. Belie, think you can tie him up really well so we don’t have a problem when he wakes?”

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Belie
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“Wait… We’re going to tie him up and just leave…?” The rogue’s face was screwed up in confusion, even while he sheathed his sword and retrieved a length of rope to tie he minotaur up. “Are we going deeper into these tunnels, or retreating to the surface? If we are to go deeper, I do not relish the idea of leaving this thing behind to attack us later…”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon spoke again to ease Belie’s concerns, “No Belie we are not going deeper at this moment. I am going to teleport the minotaur and Julia to the hideout. But, before that I am going to cast levitate on Bharash, Talin, and Vogh so they can get across the pit. You all will just need to meet us back at the hideout once you are out.”

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Belie
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“You’re… you’re gonna do WHAT?!” The rogue’s shock was evident on his face and in the was his voice took on a comedically high pitch.

“If you want a pet, get a dog. Don’t bring home a giant talking bull cow!”

He tied up teelas’ arms behind his back, then kept the rope taught to tie up both hooved legs.

“You gonna walk him? Imagine the size of the … waste that comes out that thing…” High eyebrows, Belie chuckled as he pointed…

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Bharash
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As Teelas starts to charge, Bharash has his swords moving clear of their scabbards and already starting to flow into position, his grip set in a fashion that’ll let him pommel-strike and backhand with the flats rather than the edges… Only to chuckle as the Minotaur crashes to the ground, scabbarding both weapons again and moving to assist with tying the big fellow up…

…which is something that he stops doing when Belie keeps running his mouth, the rogue earning himself a hard, sour look from the big Dragonborn as he rumbles “You know, stoic silence would fit your look a lot better than running off at the mouth about how things that don’t look like you aren’t people.”, rising and nodding to Deacon and Julia, “Alright, ready to go. We’ll pull out the way we came in, no stops, no messing about.”

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Belie
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Belie blinked several times in shock at Bharash’s response then started to speak, “I didn’t say…” but he stopped and shrugged, not wanting to engage or upset the big warrior further.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon nodded back to Bharash and then cast his levitate on the three that needed it. Once that was complete he said, “Okay then, we will be seeing you soon at the hideout.”

Deacon then prepared his spell and touched both Teelas and Julia. An instant later they were gone. Arriving in one of the side rooms of the hideout.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon and Julia bamphed out, vanishing in a flash of magic with Teelas’ tied and unconscious body.

The bards and Bharash floated across the illusion covered pit while Belie scaled the wall.

Thanks to the levitation spell, the three simply hopped and floated for a bit across the dangerous room. Belie in similar fashion merely walked up the wall and across the relatively smooth ceiling. He released the magic of his boots once in the hallway and flipped down to his feet, joining the others.

Retracing their steps the group left behind the heat and stench of the tunnels. They ascended the stairs once more where they noticed the barely perceptible six fingered hand. Strangely, the hand was easily four times bigger than any of theirs.

Reaching the ladder they opened the secret door which let them out into the sewers one more. The temperature improved dramatically in the sewers, while the smell went down hill again. Still, their exit was in sight. Their little ratman guide no longer lay where Talin knocked him out.

Thankfully no gun toting ratmen guarded the door. The gate half Deacon destroyed was still broken. Many of the rat bodies had floated away, but the water still had dozens of the corpses in it.

Ascending the rope ladder brought them above the ground level for the first time in hours. It had only been part of a day, but the events made the ordeal feel like weeks. All of them were coated in sweat, smelled terrible from the filthy sewers and rotten corpses of the beast they slew. They each needed a good bath and their clothes washed.

Once in the apartment the light of late day flooded in. Belie removed his eye patch which granted him vision in the darkness below.

All four exited the room and found several city guardsmen sitting in the vestibule on scavenged furniture. To a man, and dwarf, they jumped up upon seeing the foursome.

“You’re alive.” One of the young men spoke up with surprise in his voice. “Sorry. You’ve been gone so long and the calamity we heard below was horrible.”

Sergeant Alys walked in and blanched seeing Vogh and the others. “By scale and wings be praised! I knew you weren’t dead!” She exclaimed. Alys moved forward as if to hug Vogh but stopped and composed herself several steps away from the woman. Clearing her throat she asked with sadness, “There were six of you. Did the other woman and the elf perish?”

Upon hearing thr explanation for Deacon and Julia’s absence she sighed with relief. “My men fetched an Inspector and we found who owns the property. Word has been sent. All the residents have left for other accomodations. Do you need anything? Water? Food? Healing?”

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Bharash
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For a man whose most impressive combat abilities are built around a kind of ecstatic battle-madness, Bharash is a pretty even-tempered soul, but one of the few genuine hot button topics he has is dismissing someone or something on account of their species. Its a prejudice whose roots were grounded in the reaction people in Ptolus had to him when he first moved to the city, then well-watered by his experience of how other folk like him were treated by the more or less human-like majority and brought to full fruition when he started to realise that even good, decent people like his companions would think little of butchering something that didn’t look like them if it was in their way. As the man falls silence, Bharash gives Belie a hard look for a moment, them grunts and goes back to helping to secure the Minotaur before heading back the way they came – once the teleport goes through of course.

Fact is, even Bharash realises that Belie might be right and taking the prisoner might be a bad idea… But he also figures that if it is, it’s because of who Teelas is, rather than just what.

When they pass through the sewer, he does indeed check for the missing ratmen then holds the bottom of the ladder taut for the others, using his weight to keep it steady for the others while standing guard until it’s his turn, after which he ascends and responds to the flurry of questions put to them with a grin “They teleported out, had someone to question. And right now, I think more than anything else we need to get to a bath-house… One whose laundry staff has a strong stomach. I’d appreciate a chance to talk to the owner though.”

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Narrator GM
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Sergeant Alys nodded in understanding at Bharash’s explanation. “The owner is Lief deGrey. We found his name and sent a runner to notify him of the situation. I don’t know him or where he resides, but I’m certain you could track him down.”

[Private to GM: Lief deGrey is a 50 year old male aasimar wizard.

He has very long, curled, auburn hair and green eyes.
He has soft brown skin.
He stands 142cm (4’7″) tall and has a lean build.
He has a round, unremarkable face.
He fidgets intermittently.
He proudly worships Akadi, Goddess of air, movement and speed. (True Neutral)
He has a highly variable mood.
He is materialistic.
He seeks to spread compassion and hope.
He doesn’t like parting with his money or possessions.
He never takes off his footwear.
He has a pet cat companion named Lucy.

Ability Scores:
Strength 8
Dexterity 11
Constitution 7
Intellect 15
Wisdom 13
Charisma 12

Sexual Orientation: Straight
Relationship Status: Divorced

Alignment Tendencies:
Good 8
Lawful 1
Neutral 1
Neutral 2
Evil 2
Chaotic 6

Plot Hook
He needs help stealing a precious watch from a nearby castle.]

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Bharash
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“I’ll probably do that first. If he knows I look like this because I just went through his new basement, I might get a better price on the place. I like it as a fixer-upper.” Bharash announces, at around the same moment a chunk of partially acid-dissolved floor slumps underneath the remains of a chunk of demon-onna-stick he discarded to one side earlier.

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Belie
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“Price?” Belie screwed up his face in confusion. “Why would you make him an offer? Like… You wanna buy an apartment? Landlord Bharash?” Belie pursed his lips in understanding. “Well… I guess we can’t risk our lives forever in order to make money.” The rogue smiled at the dragon warrior and shrugged.

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Bharash
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“Actually, I was thinking about the whole building. Nice neighbourhood here, but there’s a literal hole into the underworld in the basement, half the previous residents got slaughtered by cultists or turned into demons and some lunatic held a pitched battle up on the first floor.” Bharash states cheerfully, seemingly holding no real grudges if the other man’s willing to leave things below, although he does make a so-so motion with one hand, “Plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t think it’d be nice to have somewhere to stay I didn’t rent.”

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Belie
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Belie nodded in understanding. “Indeed. My and Jamir’s agreement with the Schucks makes the Welcome Inn feel more like home than an inn. Ha. Well, maybe he will part with it… Considering the recent renovations.” The rogue couldn’t help but laugh at his own comment.

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Bharash
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“Exactly. Plus, if I own the building, no-one can tell me who I can and can’t rent to… And I could probably find a few people who’d set the neighbours teeth on edge and who’d be willing to pay the going rate for a prestigious address.” Bharah states with a certain amount of ill-concealed glee, rubbing his gauntleted hands together and then freezing with a slightly sickly expression as the padding in those gauntlets goes ‘squish’ in a deeply unpleasant way.

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Belie
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Belie smiled and nodded at Bharash, until the squish his gauntlets made. That had the rogue balling up a fist and holding it to his mouth while coughing and stepping away.

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Alys Caskbow
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Alys broke in, “Pardon. So… What exactly happened down there? Did you figure what did all this damage?”

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Bharash
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With the expression Bharash is wearing best described as ‘euuuuuuw’, about all he can do when questioned is to lower his hands (giving the impression that he wishes that he could lower them right off his body) and explain “Nope, and I’m not really sure. There were ratfolk who may have been nothing to do with it, an undead abomination who didn’t get out much, three hungry manticores, some adorable little whirlybugs down a pit and a minotaur. Extremely cool, not one lick of sense to it.”

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Vogh
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quote:
“You’re alive.” One of the young men spoke up with surprise in his voice. “Sorry. You’ve been gone so long and the calamity we heard below was horrible.”

As the young man spoke, Vogh smiled. It was clear that she was a bit on the tired side of things and looked a mess. Blood splatterings all over her clothing and armor was a sure sign they had met battle below. “Yes, we are alive, all of us, thankfully.”

quote:
Upon hearing the explanation for Deacon and Julia’s absence she sighed with relief. “My men fetched an Inspector and we found who owns the property. Word has been sent. All the residents have left for other accommodations. Do you need anything? Water? Food? Healing?”

Vogh was just happy to be out of the depths below. As Bharash had asked for a bathhouse Vogh was already nodding. “A bathhouse would be nice Alys. You and your men have done a wonderful job here securing the place while we get to the bottom of things. I am afraid, as Bharash has stated, that we are no closer to the truth than we were before. Perhaps even more questions have arisen than we would have liked. One thing is for sure we will need to go back down there tomorrow. We did get a little sidetracked but our course is a little clearer for where we will go first. As for anything we need, while I can’t speak for the others I can speak for myself and I know I need rest. Tomorrow will come quickly and I want to be ready. Will you keep a guard force here so no one enters the building overnight?” Vogh asked Alys.

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Alys Caskbow
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Alys listened intently to Bharash and Vogh explain. “All of that… was just below our feet… here?!” She seemed rather exasperated and more than a little fearful, but the latter she wiped away quickly so as not to appear weak.

To Vogh’s request she nodded. “Indeed. I’ll put in a request and I’ll stay here myself if need be. You don’t think… anything will be coming UP … through the floor do you? Perhaps we should merely seal the hole in the floor and leave it be?”

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Vogh
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“Yes, there is a whole other world below us. From what the Minotaur had said a lot of the creatures usually go lower to find food or supplies for they want nothing to do with the city. The ratmen are another story. Apparently, they are in league with some humans as well. That is where we will be heading tomorrow to deal with whatever we find.” Vogh said as she answered Alys.

“As for keeping guard here, I think that would be the best thing. I don’t think anything will come up but we will be doing something with the hole.” Vogh didn’t want to right out say they were going to seal it yet for she didn’t know what the group wanted to do.

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Alys Caskbow
———————————————————–
Alys nodded in understanding. “Let’s seal it up then!” She ordered the Watchmen with her, and the group set to work with boards, planks, even broken down doors. Several layers were laid over the hole in the floor. Hammers were used to pound nails into the overlapping wooden planks, then a few pieces of broken furniture were placed atop the entire assembly.

“I will make sure at least two Watchmen remain here tonight, and I will file my report to explain why and all that happened. Go, get cleaned up. It was a pleasure meeting you Miss Vogh, and yourselves.” Alys bowed at the waist, leaning forward about halfway to honor the foursome.

“Best you all get cleaned up, else nothing will fight you for the smell of you.” The lithe woman chuckled and walked out with them. Two of her men closed the door and remained behind as the rest formed up into dual ranks, including the dragonborn female, to follow Alys away from the building.

A small crowd had gathered, just a few onlookers, which were quickly shoed away by the Watchmen.

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie chimed in, “Do you want to hit the Row Bathhouses by the Minstrel, or the Crystal baths with me down by the Welcome Inn? I know Row is closer to the Minstrel for you all, but I can get us a bit of a discount at Crystal.” The rogue winked at the group.

[Private to GM: Street Cryer about the Republican Movement]

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin looked at the actions of the Sergeant as she bowed and spoke to Vogh. He wasn’t sure if it was respect or something else. Talin would have to ask about it later. “I think a change in scenery would be great. Why don’t we head to the Crystal Baths. Should we check in with the others first or Bath first?”

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
“Whatever you want to do.” The rogue said as they approached the main street’s intersection, Tower Road, from the small pathway between the tall bulidings on either side of them.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–
“What I really want to do right now is scrub until I’ve gotten down to the underscales and then set fire to all my clothes, but I’m going to go and see Lief deGrey first… I think turning up on his doorstep with a explicit example of what’s under the place might knock some money off the cost of the building. Any idea how much treasure we actually finished the day with, after divvying?” Bharash asks hopefully, looking over at the others.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Behind the four, Alys and her watchmen followed single file down the narrower street. It wasn’t an alley, and even with arms outstretched one wouldn’t touch buildings on both sides, but two abrest would be a tight fit.

Out on Tower Road the group stepped. Across the way a crier was handing out flyers and shouting to anyone who would listen, and those that wouldn’t. “The Republican Movement is the future! You have the most to gain ridding yourselves of the Empire and its egregious taxes and rules! Free Ptolus!” He shouted the anthem as a punctuation before handing out a few leaflets and speaking with people milling about him, then he started all over, assuming the flow of people had brought him a whole new audience, which it had.

Jodan Templehall was to their right, headquarters of the Knights of the Chord of which Vogh would soon be inducted as a full member. Jode, the Guardian god of Song, was their deity and the entire hall served as a shrine to her. Not all the Knights worshiped her, but all honored their patron deity in one way or another through their music.

Oldtown was never as busy as Midtown or the other districts where the group normally spent their time, and Tower Road was less busy than Vock Row with all the arcane shops, but a fair number of beings moved down this thouroughfare going about their day.

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie chuckled. He had not gotten dirty at all down in the tunnels. Thankfully Talin and Bharash with the aid of their magical friends blasted the undead beast into the great beyond before he even had to close with the thing. Still, the stench of the sewers was in his clothes and he wanted that gone, along with any other muck that might have found its way onto his person.

“How you going to find where he lives?”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

Bharash by contrast, was catapulted into the thing, acquiring in the process an aroma that could stun a tosher who works under a slaughterhouse at twenty feet, but there’s nothing wrong with his wits and he points out “The captain didn’t know, but they sent a runner. Failing which, we’re in paperwork central here. I can find someone who knows, if I don’t mind investing a few minutes.”

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin nodded to Bharash. “Indeed. Vogh and I tracked down a property owner previously at the Administration Building which is just a few blocks from here.” Talin, likewise, had been thrown into the beast so he was beyond ripe from the carion. “However… my friend… I recommend you visit the bath house before walking into the building.”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Heh, I was thinking about having someone do it for me. Every scale I have is crawling right now, but I think opening the conversation with ‘I was literally just in the basement of your building’ while looking like this might be a good opening gambit.” the big Dragonborn answers amenably.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“Well Belie it sounds like you have been chosen to find out where this Leif lives. I still have no idea how you made it out of the whole thing without a scratch.” Vogh shook her head, “Unbelievable!”

“Bharash, I think we will all go with you first to see him. It should lend credence to your claims. We can go straight to the baths after.” Vogh said and they made their way to the Administration building.

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie responded jokingly, pretending to be offended. “I got a scratch! Right here!” He chuckled and shrugged. “Just got lucky this time.”

The group kept walking as Vogh outlined the plan. “You want me to go to the admin building and stand in line for a few hours to find out where this guy lives?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh laughed soft-heartedly as Belie made his joke.

“No, you will need to grease some pockets to get to the head of the line to get the answer. It is a few gold, you know how these administrators are.” Vogh knew all too well. She had paid a decent coin to get stuff rushed for her property to be legalized.

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Belie shrugged and nodded. “Alright. I’ll bring you back the bill.” He threw them a wink before his appearance changed into that of an unassuming elderly man wearing mid-range clothing and walking into the Administration Building’s courtyard.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–

Two city watch guards stood to either side of the open double doors. Full body-length tower shields rested on the ground. Long spears were in their opposite hands, with long swords strapped to their hips. They wore the City Watch helms, wrapped in blue fabric, and the blue tunics. Both their tunics and shields bore the golden hawk on a field of blue.

Almost two hours passed with Belie inside the buliding and the trio waiting outside. A middle age human walked up to the group as they stood. Standing almost six feet, his short, auburn hair had more gray in it than his original coloring. Piercing blue eyes were set in a perfecly round and handsome face. He was well dressed with a rather ornate dagger sheathed against his flat somach in a wide belt of woven, golden fabric.

“Greetings. Sorry to trouble you, OH…” The gentleman crinkled his nose and put a finger beneath it. His voice sounded nasal while trying to speak and block his olfactory senses. “Apologies. A… A smell from the sewers must have wafted up. I’m trying to locate The White House. I was only told it was here in Oldtown on Fetch Street. I’ve got a meeting there this evening and I cannot locate the durned place. Might you point me in the right direction?”

Vogh knew of the White House, and indeed it was near Jodan Templehall not far from the appartment they just left. Located in a respectable part of Oldtown, the White House offered some gambling but was primarily a high-end brothel. In both respects, the White House was fully licensed keeping everything completely legal. It was the most exclusive and lavish establishment of its kind outside of the Nobles’ Quarter.

[Private to GM: Yesnen Dhuromath is a 53 year old male human cartographer and traveler. lvl 3 aristocrat.

He has short, straight, auburn hair and blue eyes.
He has rough, suntanned, dark skin.
He stands 182cm (5’11”) tall and has a lean build.
He has a round, incredibly beautiful face.
He has a low-toned voice.
He fidgets frequently.

He zealously worships Chauntea, Goddess of agriculture, farmers, gardeners and summer. (Neutral Good)
He is bipolar.
He is very quick to trust other people.
He occasionally uses long words to sound smart.
He goes out at night secretly looking for leaves.

He is possessed by an evil spirit during the night and can only control himself at day.

Sexual Orientation: Straight
Relationship Status: In a strained relationship b/c of his affliction.]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh stood out in the courtyard with Talin and Bharash. The trio probably looked like death had visited them and splattered them with blood and body fluids. They also probably didn’t smell all that wonderful either. More than a couple of times people had moved to enter the building near where they were standing. The people caught their stench and plugged noses and even called out, ‘what a nasty smell’!

Two hours seemed forever but after that time when they were approached by man approached them and asked for the location of the White House. The brothel was well known among many circles in the city for its clientele. “Yes, I think it is time we take our leave of this place anyways. People are giving us nasty looks. I hope that you can handle our smell Sir, we are going to be heading to the Bath house soon enough once we drop you off.”

As long as Talin and Bharash were okay with it, Vogh would lead them to where the White House was.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Well, he should already have had a runner from the Watch reach him, but as you prefer. I know I wouldn’t be delaying the bath for more than a minute if I didn’t have a reason to do so however.” Bharash answers, before stationing himself back a pace and out of sight of casual passers-by before assuming the sort of comfortable parade-rest stance he can keep up for hours if he needs to, attentive enough to what’s going on around him while permitting his mind to essentially wander wherever it is big, rough barbarian warriors minds wander when they’re not being big and rough.

It probably has beer on tap.

When the new gentleman appears, he snaps back to the here-and-now readily enough, dipping his head agreeably only to pause mid-gesture with a sickly expression and a grumble of “Tiamat’s tits, I think it’s congealed.” before he falls in with the others, “The White House, huh? Meant to be quite the establishment. Somehow, I think we’ll need to ask to speak with him in the stable block. I doubt we’ll get in like this.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
With Bharash in agreement, Vogh said in a whisper close to the man, “Belie, you change your appearance more often than I wash my own clothes. If we must go see Lief there then we will, but you will have to probably bring him outside as Bharash had said.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The gentleman stopped short with a shocked look on his face. “Miss? My apologies, but you must have me confused with someone else, my name is Yesnen. Yesnen Dhuromath.” He chuckled then continued, looking them over. “I was wondering why someone acted so familiar with me in such a big city as Ptolus and even started walking with me! I was only expecting directions.” Yesnen laughed a little harder, shaking his head. “Would you mind telling me which way to go then?”

After Vogh gave him the directions he nodded and chuckled again. “Well, thanks for the laugh, and the friendliness. Does your friend look that much like me?”

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin snickered as the old man on said that he was not Belie. It was an easy mistake for Belie can be anyone anytime. They all could for that matter.

“It is funny you say that Sir. So sorry for the.mistaken identity. Our friend does look like you,” and many others Talin thought.

After Vogh gave the man the directions Talin added, “You have a wonderful evening. Oh and please be careful at the White House.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Yesnen chuckled again. “He must be a good looking guy then.” The older gentleman winked. “Will do. Ptolus always makes me clutch my coin purse close, and the way things are going to the north, I’m being even more cautious. I’ll be glad to put this place behind me once my business is done. Stay safe.”

===========================================================
Belie
———————————————————–
Not too long after Yesnen had left the trio, the same elderly gentlemen who Belie had changed into came strolling back up to them. “I got an address. It’s across the bridge over in Rivergate.”

Belie stepped out and waved down the first berline style carriage. The berline carriages were a covered, four-wheel carriage with two interior seats that faced each other. Belie preferred this style as it provided protection from the Ptolus weather, and hid the passengers from view much better than open styles like the calecte or victoria.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The sun was slipping below the horizon as the carriage trundled away toward their destination. The carriage driver had to go down Dalenguard Road like they would take the long ramp down into Midtown again. But just past the Delver’s Guild Library he hung a left on Emperor’s Road then almost immediatley turned right on Von Tessel Street which turned into Ridge Road. Almost no buildings were on the right side of Ridge Road as it followed the cliff face looking from Oldtown down over Midtown. The group had a panoramic view of the entire lower city until they neared the Wings Falls and several big guildings were built right against the cliff.

Vogh and Talin, both of which were sitting on the rear seat noticed something strange just after the carriage passed Vock Row. A long shadow of a tower stretched across Ridge Road, despite the fact that no tower stood in that location, but rather it was an empty lot.

(You may all roll Knowledge Local checks)

[Private to GM: A Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check reveals a few details about the mysterious Kadmiel, the Shade Tower:

The Shade Tower is a magical tower that doesn’t exist, even though it casts a shadow in Oldtown (DC 23).

The Shade Tower, also known as Kadmiel, exists in a place called the Shadow of Ptolus (DC 27).

Either shadow walk or the box of shadows can get someone to the Shadow of Ptolus (DC 30).]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
After getting into the carriage Belie hailed, Vogh sat next to Talin facing the driver. The stench in the little area had to be stifling so once they were off the main road Vogh cracked the window a little.

Just after passing Vock Row, Vogh turned to Talin and asked, “Did you see that? Driver can you stop please for a second,” Vogh called.

20:25, Today: Vogh rolled 35 using 1d20+17. Knowledge check.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin did see the shadow of what looked like a tower, which of course was very weird giving the location they were in.

When Vogh called for the driver to stop, Talin pulled back the curtain to see better.

20:26, Today: Talin rolled 31 using 1d20+21. Knowledge check.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Both of the bards realized it must be the infamous Shade Tower. It was said at one point a magical tower stood in a place, but that it no longer existed, but somehow it still cast a shadow. Kadmiel it had been called, was a tower of elven creation, and was home to a powerful elf sorcerer whose name was now lost to history. Still, he had been famous for trying to create a magic item to serve as a source of unquenchable power and in so doing tapped into shadow as a source. Little else was known, and neither bard knew of anyone who was privy to the location.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Oh, for crying out loud… It’s just the Shade Tower. Folks around here use it as a clock.” Bharash states, largely unaware of the secret history of the place, but more than well grounded enough after some years of living in the city to know most of the more prosaic adaptions the citizenry have made to their more exotic landmarks, such as “Whenever there’s an eclipse you get folks crowding the street using it to shield their eyes while they watch through it. You can barely move your elbow for street vendors”

Of course, he’s jogging alongside the carriage rather than messing up the interior, but since he’s apparently the kind of insane that considers running to be an enjoyable activity and he’s also fully able to keep pace with a warhorse under normal circumstances, that doesn’t prevent him from chipping in when everything stops.

19:52, Today: Bharash rolled 20 using 1d20+3. Knowledge (Local).

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Looking at Bharash as he says, ‘it’s just the Shadow Tower’, Vogh says, “Well Bharash, if you knew anything about the history of the thing I think you would look at it differently.”

Once they arrived at the location intended, Vogh and Talin got out of the carriage and looked around.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Doubt it. You know how long that thing’s been there?” Bharash answers happily, gesturing with a thumb back at the shard of shadow with nothing to cast it “Difficult to stay scared of a big, spooky not-a-tower when folks literally grow up playing skipping-games with the shadow.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The carriage pulled up in front of a stately home. Talin paid the driver a few extra silver before exiting. Belie maintained the same illusion of the elderly human.

All of the home’s exterior was formed from large blocks of white stone. Tall windows had closed drapes, except the glass arches above the rectangular windows which had no window dressings.

Two oversized wooden doors were banded in shiny steel with beautiful knocking rings hanging between angels wings.

A large yard with multiple flower beds was well groomed and maintained.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Bharash was always so quick witted, she thought then that he would have probably made a fine wizard if he had applied himself or even wanted it.

“Wow, place sure is nice. Looks like the guy does pretty well for himself. Bharash would you like to do the honors of knocking?”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

It may seem that way from the outside, but the simple truth is that Bharash isn’t particularly bright, it’s more that he’s just grown up from the outside of supreme magical power and lore – he takes things for granted which terrify archmages because he doesn’t know about them, or because he’s seen ordinary people having to live with eldritch horrors in their back gardens…

…which is not at all the same thing as saying that he’s stupid mind, he’s far from it, just that he has a better snark game than mages who have three times his raw brainpower. When invited, he snorts and shoots back “Ohhhh, sure… Call on the muscle when you need something heavy moved.” with a chuckle, stepping up and using the heavy metal striker.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Each of Bharash’s knocks echoed inside the home. It took several moments until a small slit, about even with Bharash’s belt, flapped open. Vogh and Talin a little further back saw a pair of gray eyes blinking at them – and the very large Bharash – outside it’s door.

“Who is it at this late hour?”

Once it was explained they sought Lord deGrey in regard to the apartment building the halfling huffed a great sigh.

“A runner already came to tell us of the situation. I will dispatch a…”

“HACHOO!!!”

“By the Spire! Is that dragon armor man or are you a drake?!”

The slot slammed shut and the group heard another sneeze. A few more moments passed until the wooden piece opened again. The short humanoid seemed to have a handkerchief across his face now.

“I’m allergic to dragon-kin! Cursed scales! Tomorrow I’ll send a foreman over to assess the damage and we will get back to you, if you leave me your name. I’ll provide you quill and parchment if you haven’t got any of your own.” He ended with a rather put out tone.

When the gate-keeper was told they weren’t residents but wanted to inquire about purchasing the property he snorted in derision.

“I will check if the master will entertain seeing you or if he wants to wait. Stay there.”

Another loud sneeze echoed inside the spacious house, muted by the flap being closed again. The sun continued to set until lamp lighters started lighting the oil lamps that lined the major streets. Few people were out in this residential district, save a few children playing until their mothers called them in. Finally the majordomo appeared once more in the narrow opening.

“The master will see you.”

Several bolts and locks were heard sliding open, Belie counted four, before the door swung inward without a sound.

Inside was an expansive foyer with a raised dais that contained a running waterfall which resembled the spire. The entire structure was easily twice Bharash’s height, and at last as wide. Water poured out from the dread one’s castle atop the spire that almost no one could ever see due to the clouds. It descended the stone spike to run out holes in Ghul’s fortress, which the evil creature had built halfway up the Spire. Finally the water trickled down kings river which ran between a very simple recreation of Ptolus. Not so detailed a depiction that one could discern any streets or specific buildings, mostly just random quare bumps for buildings, and the plateau steps of the Nobles quarters, Oldtown, Midtown and finally the stream spilled into a collection basin that would be the Bay of Ptolus. It was not apparent how the water system functioned.

“Oh my!” The young halfling male exclaimed. He stood a little over four feet tall with wavy brown hair tied back into a horse-tail with a golden cord and would likely have reached his shoulders if loose.

“That is quite the odor you brought in with you… What is all over you?!” Looking Bharash up and down the halfling’s face was clearly wrinkled in disgust, despite most of it being behind a handkerchief with which he was covering nose and mouth.

“I’m not certain where you people come from, but it’s customary to bathe the MONTH you’re going to visit a reputable home?! And did you plan to battle a legion of barbarians inside the city walls? Is that why you’re so armed and armor… Well…”

His eyes widened with recognition and immediately his tone changed as he looked over Vogh.

“Why… Why. You’re Vogh Kath aren’t you? I’ve seen your likeness in The Noble Record! As I live and breathe. Albeit, breathing shallowly currently.” He glared at Bharash.

“I’ve been to several of your brother’s shows. Raul is magnificent! I am actually something of a performer myself. Wait…”

Next he looked over Talin and then he snapped his fingers together – those not holding the kerchief – pointing at Talin then Bharash.

“That means you are Talin. And you Bruh-rash? Something? The Called or no? Call wings? Is that right? You’re the group that found that magical sword for the church. My, my! I read about that. Forgive my discourteousness! I did not recognize you. Oh. And I request your pardon sir.”

He bowed his head to Bharash.

“I meant no offense. I am indeed and quite literally allergic to almost everything draconic. It’s not personal.”

Gesturing toward the fountain he asked of Vogh, “Quite the piece isn’t it? An original creation for Master deGrey. No other like in in the City!”

The halfling boasted as he began to lead them into the spacious estate.

“My name’s Rewilh Buck, you may call me Buck since no one can ever get Rewilh right. The master is in the library. Follow me. Oh… Um… Sirs, if you would like to clean up before seeing the master I’m sure he wouldn’t mind waiting…”

(Pronounced Wreck-will-hah)

Buck’s pink skin showed he saw little of the outdoors. He was dressed in fine, loose fitting pants and a low cut tunic, both of a very soft white fabric. Similarly he wore white slippers on his wide feet. As a testament to the homes cleanliness, they hadn’t a spot on them.

[Private to GM:
Lief deGrey is a 50 year old male aasimar wizard.

He has very long, curled, auburn hair and green eyes.
He has soft brown skin.
He stands 142cm (4’7″) tall and has a lean build.
He has a round, unremarkable face.
He fidgets intermittently.
He proudly worships Akadi, Goddess of air, movement and speed. (True Neutral)
He has a highly variable mood.
He is materialistic.
He seeks to spread compassion and hope.
He doesn’t like parting with his money or possessions.
He never takes off his footwear.
He has a pet cat companion named Lucy.

Ability Scores:
Strength 8
Dexterity 11
Constitution 7
Intellect 15
Wisdom 13
Charisma 12

Sexual Orientation: Straight
Relationship Status: Divorced

Alignment Tendencies:
Good 8
Lawful 1
Neutral 1
Neutral 2
Evil 2
Chaotic 6

Plot Hook
He needs help stealing a precious watch from a nearby castle

Rewilh Buck is a 23 year old male stout halfling bard.
He has long, wavy, brown hair and gray eyes.
He has rugged pink skin.
He stands 134cm (4’4″) tall and has a lean build.
He has an edgy, sightly face.
He is heavily allergic to dragons.

Personality Traits
He doesn’t worship any god.
He is very competitive.
He has no self-confidence.
He has several pet animals.
He is a local sport champion.

Ability Scores
Strength 10
Dexterity 18
Constitution 14
Intellect 11
Wisdom 7
Charisma 13
Relationships
Sexual Orientation

Straight

Relationship Status

Single

Alignment Tendencies
Good 5 Lawful 4
Neutral 3 Neutral 4
Evil 2 Chaotic 0
Plot Hook
He is a werewolf and wants to get rid of it.]

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Bharash
———————————————————–

Under the best of circumstances (certain, highly specific circumstances not currently pertaining set aside), it’s not the best view in the world to be staring at Bharash at the level of his crotch. Today, it’s an especially unprepossessing view since there are thin trickles of darkening gore oozing down the outside of his greaves and dribbling from the padded gambeson under his armour to accentuate the scorch marks from his earlier fireballing and the chemical sears from the acid-spatters…

…frankly, he looks as though he’s had a hard day.

“Dragon-kin, certainly. Surprised you can smell much of anything after the day of work we’ve had.” he rumbles back politely enough, before issuing a deep, rumbling sort of chuckle and explaining his territorial ambitions.

The delay, by this point hardly bothers him although he does seem suitably impressed when they’re finally let inside and he gets to look up at the water feature while emitting a long, slow whistle, breaking off to apologise to the halfling gentleman with a soft snort “At this point, believe it or not I can barely smell it… Still feel it though and I assure you, that’s worse. But we’re the ones who went through the apartment building of yours. Most of the gore is from where I was telekinetically hurled thirty feet across a room into a charnel pit of animated undead flesh that tried to add me to it, although the glistening stuff that looks sort of sticky is the ichor from the monsters they were turning the tenants into… I didn’t end up falling into the sewer though, so there’s at least that.”, only to take the mans own apology with a surprisingly polite bow and a shake of the head, “Not at all, I’m in no fit state to be making courtesy calls, but I felt it best to strike while the iron was still hot… And with your leave, we’ll get this over with as quickly as possible. I mean to be sitting in a bath so hot my scales crinkle inside the hour.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
To Vogh the small fellow was very polite and when he recognized who they were, Vogh was astonished. She actually threw the man a big smile when he did as well. The Sword… oh yes, that seemed so long ago now. So much has happened from that time to now. “The Calling is our name, but yes thank you,” Vogh said when the man tried to say their name.

When they got inside, Vogh couldn’t stop looking at the statue in the main foyer. It was magnificent. “I may have to inquire about Master deGrey creating something for me in our new place.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“Oh he didn’t make it Miss Vogh, he had it made. Is the Kath family moving? Certainly not. So what do you mean by your place?”

The group made their way through the enormous home. It would not rival any of the Noble estates, but it could likely have been one of the largest in Rivergate.

Buck led them through a high, wooden archway and into a two story library complete with roll around ladder and a balcony to walk along and reach the highest books.

Almost a dozen sitting places were present around the ornately decorated room. Magical lights kept a constant and unflickering illumination.

Sitting in a high backed leather chair, a beautiful man sat, idly petting a cat in one hand and reading from a thick book which sat in a holding mechanism which allowed the reader to read without holding the book.

Lief deGray could not have been human. He had an otherworldly beauty to himself, very long, curled, auburn hair, soft brown skin and slightly pointed ears. But it was the pupiless eyes that gave him away as an aasimar. Were he standing, his long legs would have put him over halfway to seven feet tall.

“Sir. Vogh Kath. Talin. Bharash and… their attendant are here to discuss the Oldtown apartment that was damaged.”

Lief finished reading the page he was on before placing a thin strip of fabric in the books fold. Finally he turned his head toward the group and nodded.

“Two have now come to tell me of the damage, but Buck informed me you wanted to purchase the property in it’s current state? Is that correct?”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

Moving through the house, Bharash – despite his being a large, often brutal sort of warrior – undertakes to minimise the disruption he presents, being careful to drip on stone where possible rather than carpet and letting the halfling handle doors rather than leave bloody prints all over the place, eventually presenting himself to the Lord of the House with a polite bow and the removal of his helmet (something looking like either a decaying finger or possibly a dismembered appendix schlurps out of the back of his helmet and falls away, much to his obvious discomfort so that he can face their host and be seen in turn, “That’s correct Lord deGray. Obviously, I should like to begin by apologising for our condition however – we come directly from the property and it seemed to me that the… ah… impression we would make thereby would serve to more fully impress upon you the dangers lurking mere yards beneath the surface.” he begins, tucking his helm beneath his arm before going on, addressing the question “But yes, you have the right of it. Obviously, I may need to make some financing arrangements, but the structure is sound and the location good… But it’s lethally dangerous to any casual visitor and there’s likely work for hired swords and spellcasters there for some time to come. It seemed to me that this might serve to make what would otherwise be a problem for you to address into an opportunity for me.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Buck looked on in horror at the muck which dropped from Bharash’s helmet and scuttled away quickly for a wet rag to clean it up.

Master Lief raised his eyebrows over those pupiless eyes but didn’t move or say anything.

“Young sir, it’s unwise to sell property. You see, there is only so much inside the walls. The failed attempt to make more land at the docks are literally collapsing. And I’ve no desire to buy and rent out dungeon rooms. Certainly we can make repairs and apparently secure the floor. It seems the troubles below have been coming up into the city more and more of late… Perhaps it is due to all those Delvers going below and stirring up the hornets nest. Hmm?”

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Bharash
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“Mmmm, a fair point. Property within the walls is at a premium, there’s no denying it… On the other hand, right now there’s a hole into the undercity in one of the rooms. Most everyone who lived there was converted into an abominable monster and a couple of hours ago, we fought a telekinetic corpse-monster in the sub-basement. Also a nest of ratfolk. And a faction of manticore-controlling mysterious sorts.” Bharash points out with impeccable honesty and reasonableness, not even bothering to draw particular attention to the state it’s left him in, “After of course, fighting several stone golem-things in the building itself. All in all, as investments go one might be forgiven for saying that it’s a bit of a fixer-upper better suited to a certain class of resident.”

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Narrator GM
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Lief narrowed his eyes at the explanation. One could not tell of he was just thinking or angry. Buck was scrubbing the floor from a pale after having picked up the gore and tossed it in a separate bucket.

It became clear the master was still impassive when he spoke. “Setbacks indeed. But new tenants can be found. Repairs made. No reason to throw an egg out with the nest. I do not part easily with any possession, especially property Mister Buh-rush was it?” The aasimar stopped petting the cat for a moment and tapped his chin with the opposite hand, then raised a single finger.

“That said… I do have a rather strange property that is also in need of renovation, in a less desireble locale, and has a few issues which might be solved by people of your… particular talents. It’s an older home, looks more a castle than a residence, and is tucked up against the Oldtown cliff overlooked by the Nobles quarters above. What’s it called Buck… The weird old castle the Knights cleared out?”

“Pythoness master. Pythoness house.”

“Ah yes. Pythoness. The previous tennants were on the wrong side of the law and evicted by… Oh one of the knightly orders, and I’ve had a fair bit of trouble finding anyone interested in renting it again, so it’s simply sat for a bit. Perhaps that might suit your fancy?”

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Bharash
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It’s not entirely surprising that the man would need a moment to think it all over – Bharash is, after all putting a great deal of information down in front of him, and there’s a cost-balancing operation to go through, one which Lord deGrey isn’t wrong about at it’s core… Worthwhile land in the city is at a premium and one does not grow rich by parting with it without good reason.

“Mmm, true enough. Although without addressing whatever drew the cultists up from the deep, keeping those tenants might prove troublesome. Or at least keeping them approximately human-shaped.” the Dragonborn warrior points out amenably, only to wince at the mention of the castle-alike structure over by the cliff, “Python House? Can’t say it sounds to my taste… I was thinking that the apartment building might make a nice place to live, once I’d finished impressing my desire for some privacy on my subterranean neighbours.”

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Vogh
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This business with the apartment was something that Bharash had wanted to take care of on his own. He was making good points in order to persuade the owner, Mr. deGrey, but it seemed like the man wouldn’t budge at all.

When the man offered up the castle building that Bharash, Julia, and Deacon had told her about before, Vogh’s ears perked up. Though even as they did, Bharash was still trying to convince the man to sell him the apartment building.

Vogh did ask though, “This Pythoness House, what would you be asking for it in a sale. It seems like it is dead weight for you and getting it off your hands would only put gold in your pocket where there is none now. What kind of price are you wanting to offer for the House. If it is fair we can begin our negotiations.”

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Narrator GM
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First Bharash said he wasn’t interested, then Vogh said to make them an offer. Lief looked back and forth between the two of them with a small look of amusement on his face.

“I don’t believe you all are in the same carriage. As to what’s below the place, we can reinforce the flooring. Never had to worry about someone breaking into a property through the floor before, but it can be addressed. As to Pythoness house, I haven’t had an appraisal done for some time, so I’m not certain of it’s exact state. How much do you think it would be worth Miss Kath?”

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about the Apartment and the condition of the place. This would have much to do with the price of the property.

“Based on everything I know and what we have found and dealt with, I think a fair price for the property would be 10,000 gold. The remodeling inside will be expensive. Also, the history of what has happened there is not likely to go away any time soon. You would be lucky to find anyone that would rent there.” Vogh knew it was a low offer but she needed to start somewhere.

19:31, Today: Vogh rolled 33 using 1d20+19.

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Narrator GM
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“By the Spire lady. Who taught you to negotiate, a Balacazar? The property is worth five or ten times that were it fully renovated. But… Given the situation. An argument could be made for 30,000.”

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Vogh
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“An argument could be made to have the whole place razed to the ground. But, we aren’t talking about that, we are trying to find a fair price. How about we meet in the middle and say 20,000 gold.” Vogh knew it was still a low price but there were many factors that should bring it down and besides, Leif needed to find a resolution that would put some gold in his pockets.

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Narrator GM
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“Ha!” Lief actually laughed out loud. Buck looked like all the blood had drained from his face. “You… Perhaps you were trained by Menon. And perhaps I should employ you to do MY negotiations instead of trying to rob me blind.”

Again he chuckled and resumed petting his cat.

“You know what Miss Vogh Kath. You have twisted my arm and convinced me. I’ll sell you the property for 20,000. It needs quote a bit of work and it’s history is certainly going to hurt values. I will have my counsel write up official documentation and bring you the papers. I assume you and your friend had the gold… Or platinum, or gems, or mage coins.”

[Private to GM: Have Liefs lawyer be the Balacazar guy]

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Vogh
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Vogh smiled and looked over to Bharash. “Oh, I didn’t purchase the property, Bharash was the one that wanted it. I was only helping him get the best value possible. But, if you need my services sometimes you can always ask for me at the Ghostly Minstrel.”

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Narrator GM
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Bharash we will pause here for anything else you want to say or do. Everything is not decided yet

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Bharash
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The opening of the weakness in their position when he and Vogh turn out to have different interests is something Bharash can sense, but he simply doesn’t have the way with words that the bard does – unsurprisingly, it’s not as if he’s some sort of secret playwright who lurks around the roof of the local theatres and leaps down on bad performances to hand out revised dialogue while affecting a gravelly voice – and his attempt to point out “That would be difficult when they used magic to…” goes more or less unheard in the back-and-forth, leaving him to watch the ping-pong back-and-forth of point and counterpoint, leaving him to shake his head at the end of the process and nod to Vogh with a rumble of “Well, that went better than I was expecting.”

At that, he turns back to Lord deGrey, “I’ll need a day or so to arrange for the funds, as you can probably imagine, property ownership was not my stated ambition for the day but since I’m standing in front of you in over a hundred thousand thrones of assorted magical nonsense – less laundry fees – I trust you’ll accept that I’ll be good for it?”

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Narrator GM
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Life nodded in agreement. “Indeed.” He offered while looking over all Bharash’s arms and armor. “I will have my counsel draw up the paperwork. Forgive me if we do not shake, yet. Let’s wait until our next meeting after you’ve had sufficient time to clean your … Work … From your armor and… Scales. Stay safe. Buck will see you out.”

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Bharash
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“My armour, my scales and places I don’t even want to think about just now.” Bharash replies, substituting a curt but mannerly bow for the declined hand-clasp and then turning to look at the others “If I didn’t know some of you could apply magic to it, this is where I’d say ‘last one to the baths buys the drinks’, but as it stands, let’s get back to the carriage before I start to attract ants.”

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Narrator GM
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Buck kept his distance from the group, only sneezing twice on their way back to the front door.

“It was a pleasure meeting all of you. I hope I get to see you again. Maybe when you all return to sign the papers we can make a night of it and have you over for dinner. I will send a courier once Master deGray’s legal man writes up everything. I cannot wait to tell my friends I met you.” Buck was grinning ear to ear as they left.

Again they hailed a carriage and uneventfully made their way to the bathhouse to enjoy a well deserved soak and scrub.

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Bharash
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“Likewise, Buck… I’ll have to arrange to be sat downwind of you of course. And perhaps Vogh could come through with tickets for something by way of thanks.” Bharash answers as they’re escorted out, looking glumly at his helmet before putting it back on with an extremely unfortunate squelching sound, then unhappily suggesting “Come on. Let’s get cleaned up. Looking like this the only thing I’ll be able to convince to have a drink with me is an Otyugh.”

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Vogh
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Pleased that they were able to get a really good price for the Apartment, Vogh was happy for Bharash. He could run things how he saw fit and would make a fine landlord.

When Buck bid them farewell, Vogh said, “Yes, dinner would be fine. I can assure you that we are quite capable of cleaning up nicely. Perhaps sometime in the future, we can collaborate on some music. I would be interested in hearing what you can do.”

When they were finally outside and on their way to the baths, finally, Vogh laughed as Bharash made a quip. “Are you so certain it would want to share? You are pretty ripe Bharash. I know a couple of moneylenders that you can use to help finance the place. Oh and I can help with any construction that is needed with my lyre.”

Once they pulled up to the bathhouse Belie had suggested Vogh and Talin got out of the carriage and headed inside with the others.

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Narrator GM
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The four of them enjoyed private baths, getting their clothes and armor cleaned as well. The hot water and soap felt fantastic on their sore and filthy hides. Each of them had to slip a few extra silver to the attendants to stay open late and due to the level of the soiling of both their persons and belongings. Once done, the whole group returned to the Minstrel for some much needed rest.

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Bharash
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“That might be useful. I know people, but you’re better with words than I am. Most I seem to be able to do is convince people that they should be cowering behind a desk.” Bharash states, looking thankful as the bath-house hoves into view and then more or less vanishing with the sort of acceleration more commonly associated with crossbow bolts as he heads straight for the front desk, setting coin down on the counter in front of the attendant with a heartfelt apology and then arranging for laundry services as he undertakes the complex process of shedding plate armour without an assistant then calling for some buckets so he can be rinsed off with cold water (here at least, his heritage of ice and shadow inure him to the bite) before he heads for the tubs.

Ten minutes after that, there’s nothing but a pair of silvery nostrils broaching the surface of a steaming bath and he flat-out stays there for a while until he starts to feel at least a little clean, signalling for a couple of attendants with long-handled brushes to go to work.

Even with his natural resistance, the plunge pool, ice-cold and deep is a shock but it’s one he revels in… And then it’s back to more washing before he submits to a pummelling from the large, half-orc masseuse.

Frankly, if it weren’t for the need to sleep he’d be straight back into the hot pool again, but in due course – wearing a bath-robe cinched about his waist and with his freshly cleaned armour in a bag (the padded equipment will need to be aired and dried) he rejoins the others… Which is where the Hat of Disguise comes into its own.

He’s really going to need to get a set of clothes in some sort of waxed-leather package to carry around in situations like this.

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Narrator GM
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OOC: UH… is he naked?! >.<

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Bharash
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In reply to Narrator GM

Nope, full-length bath-robe with a hat of disguise to make him look dressed. ^_^

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Vogh
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Even though Vogh wasn’t as grotesquely dirty as BHarash and Talin, she too had a lot of bodily fluids on her. The baths were glorious as was the massage she received. It hit her then as she looked at Talin’s naked body while they were in the bath, that she and he hadn’t had any real fun in quite some time. She would remedy that this very evening.

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Deacon Havenhold
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The next morning Deacon met with the others for breakfast. He wanted to tell them what had happened with Teelas and also ask how the rest of their day went.

“When we got Teelas back we decided that we would bring him over to the Botherhood of Redemption. we figured if he was going to be a model citizen then they were the ones that could do it for him. I hope you all don’t mind that we did that.” Deacon wasn’t so much worried about Vogh and maybe Talin but he didnt know how Bharash would react with the news.

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Talin
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Talin gulped down his porridge as Deacon mentioned what they had done with Teelas. “I know that the Brotherhood has done good things with many different creatures before, I just question their methods. I am not sure what they do to bring such obedience. What do you think Bharash?”

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Bharash
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“Uh-huh.” Bharash replies, glancing sidelong at Deacon for a moment and then setting down his breakfast fork with a slight kink in it from where his fingers squeezed the metal into a distressingly acute bend. He looks up for a moment more, rolling his tongue over his teeth and only then does he go on to ask, in a calm but quiet tone “And yes, since he came from the undercity he was probably a rough sort. But please do tell me… How much time did you all spend talking to him, after freeing him from mental slavery before deciding that he needed to be committed to a monastery against his will?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon swallowed hard at Bharash’s comment and subsequent question. He had dispelled the initial charm that was on him but replaced his own. This was going to be painful he thought to himself. “Well,” Deacon started out and then changed. “Bharash, please understand that we had no idea how he would react and we had no idea when we would see you again. I didn’t want to just leave him all tied up till then. So after I dispelled the charm that the other creature had on him I re-charmed him again. We did ask a bunch of questions though about all of what was below.” Deacon went on to describe all that was asked and answered.

“Once we did that we brought him to the Brotherhood. We were a bit surprised by what they did to him as well. I didn’t expect them to just throw him in manacles and take him away. We did question them but they said it was a procedure. Neither of us liked it but what could we do then. His charm was dispelled now and he was free-willed. If I had known this is how it would have gone down I would have waited. I am sorry Bharash.”

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Bharash
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The explanation is a perfectly reasonable one, and almost any person in the city would agree with it being so, but somehow it doesn’t appear to satisfy Bharah, who very patiently and with exquisite care straightens and arranges the cutlery and plate in front of him in nice, neat lines as though setting a table place for some visiting nobility and when he’s done – and only when he’s done – does he draw a slow breath and ask in absolutely calm, dead-level tones “So, let me see if I understand this fully. You took a person – quite possibly a bad person, but you didn’t trouble yourself to actually check – who was living under mental rape. You rescued them, freed them and then you raped them. You didn’t make any effort to find out who they were, or what they might do without having been raped… And then you sold them for a profit to a cult. Is that a fair summation?”

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Julia Graymantle
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As Bharash straightens and arranges the cutlery and plate in front of him in nice, neat lines Julia shifts in her seat ready for the berating. She knew Bharash’s feelings about this stuff even before he said it but she listened and felt the anger, or was it anger in his voice as he spoke?

“You are right Bharash, we didn’t give him the chance to even be himself before we condemned him to the subjugation of the Brotherhood. I am as much to blame as Deacon and I am sorry for not giving Teelas the chance to make his own choice. In hindsight, we should have waited for you all so if he chose to fight and we couldn’t control him once more, he would be put down once again. Please forgive both of us. We will try and be better. Of course, this doesn’t help Teelas now, we know.”

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Bharash
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One of the things about Bharash is that you very rarely see him actually express anger… A large part of his early training consisted of learning to control his anger, of containing it and building it up, of letting it flow into the channels he chooses for it, when he chooses, white-hot and terrible. It powers his ecstatic battle-madness and it taps his mixed heritage and he absolutely doesn’t waste it.

So watching him straighten his side of the table, line things up, breathe… It’s all meditative, all there to keep that destructive pressure pent up, where it belongs.

“It is not me to whom you owe an apology, is it?” he asks with that dead-level, artificially calm tone “For whatever reason, you never decided that I needed to be enslaved and sold for the high crime of looking different.”

With that razor edged observation in the air and without looking at either of them directly he picks up his mug before going on, “You’re probably right of course. Teelas was from the undercity. Likely raised there, probably under the mental domination of whatever was controlling him since he was a calf. Almost certainly feared and attacked by any human he saw. Of course you couldn’t risk treating him like a person.”

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Vogh
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Vogh finally piped in once it seemed that the conversation was coming to an end. “We should come to an understanding of how we will react to any possible enemies we might encounter. If we are to try and talk to all those we encounter, there are two things it does. One of which is that we lose any surprise we may have had. Two we may not have to fight and are able to come up with a better resolution. In the first case, depending on the enemy it could cost lives and I for one don’t want any of you to die. In the second case, if they are evil, can we trust them to do the right thing? Let me set up a scenario: We encounter 25 black-skinned orcs riding worgs wielding weapons threateningly. They are in a cavern that we need to go through to get to our goal, whatever it is, through a tunnel on the other side. If the goal is a battle with a tough enemy, can we talk to the orcs and leave them behind us and feel okay about them not attacking us from the rear while we are battling said tough enemy? Naturally, if something attacks us first we react as we did with the manticores.”

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Bharash
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“Twenty-five black-skinned orcs riding on Worgs is a pretty good description of an Ornu-Nom festival parade, but let’s re-frame it slightly. Twenty-five humans and elves riding horses with threateningly brandished weapons. Do we ambush them with a storm of fireballs or do we try talking?” Bharash asks back, still flat but perhaps a touch less chillingly, letting that stand for a moment before more reasonably asking “Or would it depend on what we know about them and the area?”

“Look.” he states, moving a touch towards more animation after a long drink from his mug, “I’m not asking us to go around handing out pamphlets instead of fireballs. I’m saying that ‘he looks like a monster, therefore I get to do stuff I would straight-up kill him for doing’ leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Does that register here?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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“It makes a lot of sense Bharash. I am certain we have come to an understanding here. So, as for what we failed to complete when we were down below yesterday. When do you all want to head back? As Julia said, she wants to check out some things at the High Temple more pointedly the lawsuit we were just served. We can meet back here this evening and make our way back down. Speaking of which. How do we want to go about that? Just head down the ladder again? I have a feeling that they may have more traps for us and anyone else that heads that way again. I purpose to dimension door inside. We have seen down inside and can pop right in their midst all prepared to fight. What do you think?” Deacon had said after they had settled on the way to move forward with further encounters.

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Bharash
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“I think that we need a better sense of what we’re doing. We don’t need to go back down the hole for going down the hole’s sake, we need to find the skull and the ones who stole it. So, first thing’s first: We repeat the location-finding spell in the area and confirm it’s close by. Then we get some thread and a map and a pencil and we nail down where the damn’ thing is, depth-and-direction wise. Then we figure out everything else.” Bharash answers, prepared to let the topic previously under discussion slide for the time being since they do, in fact have other things to be doing.

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Narrator GM
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(For expediency sake, it’s got to be in the area where the ratfolk were, just beyond the room you entered, probably a little lower down below the level of the floor where you stood. I tried to describe that repeatedly in the text but it didn’t seem to be understood. I don’t want to go through that again.

You went in a “city block” square of the sewers and even in the tunnels below when the ratman showed you the secret door. It’s inside their complex.)

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Bharash
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(( Well, two small points here: One is that you hedged a lot about the spell not being able to handle distance and depth, whereupon we spent some time working with geometry to locate it precisely. The other, by far the more important point is that we are going to find it because someone moved it and if they did that again since last night, we’re going to look like right numpties. ^_^ ))

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Narrator GM
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(All good. To speed things up, when Deacon casts the spell it’s in the same place as he sensed before.)

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Narrator GM
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23rd of Growth

Vogh, Talin, Bharash went off to negotiate with Lief deGrey to buy the Oldtown Appartment. Deacon & Julia teleported Teelas the Minotaur back to the Hideout (we need a name for this when it’s a business. Remember you bought this under a false identity… Just a warning, that might cause issues)

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon and Julia suddenly appeared with a tied-up unconscious minotaur in the room beside the secret door to the sewers.  Deacon had figured that would be a safe spot so as not to totally surprise Degar or Thariad.  Deacon announced loudly to make sure they weren’t accidentally taken for intruders.  “Degar, Thariad, it is I Deacon.  Julia is with me and we are near the sewer entrance with a prisoner that is tied up.  Don’t be alarmed!”

Then to Julia, he said, “Let me know if they call back, please.  Now to see about this big guy.  Julia, think you can go speak with someone at the Brotherhood of Redemption?  I think Teelas here would be a perfect candidate.  In the meantime, before he wakes I am going to have to charm him again since your attack broke the first charming Yaeshla did.”

With that being said, Deacon once again asked Yaeshla to perform her charm on the great minotaur.  Yaeshla was more than happy to use her powers once more.
08:37, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 6 using 1d20. Successful charm again 😉
10:22, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 32 using 1d20+17.  dispel second attempt
10:21, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 23 using 1d20+21.  dispel first attempt.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia was happy to be back inside the hideout where it was much safer.  That is until she looked down at the unconscious minotaur.  “If he wakes, he is going to be pissed!”  Julia said with more than a bit of worry in her tone.

When Deacon didn’t say anything but instead called out to Degar and Thariad, Julia nodded at Deacon’s request.  “Yes!  Degar just called back.  They know we are here.”

Once Degar and Thariad came around the corner from the area of the main chamber, Julia looked at them.  “We took him from the tunnels below the city.  He is charmed by something, we have no idea what though.  We need to get it dispelled.”

Julia then told Degar, “Deacon has an idea to have him be redeemed like you are doing with the weapons we recovered.  The Brotherhood of Redemption should be quite capable of doing so I think.  They have done it with one of his kind before.”

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Degar Ravenspell (NPC)
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Degar and Thariad both looked quite terrified to see the big minotaur inside their home. “Miss Julia… is that thing charmed under Master Deacon’s control?” The dwarf whispered so as not to allow the minotaur to overhear him.

When she answered in the affirmative he swalled the large lump in his throat. “Demons of darkness, why would you bring that here?” Thariad cursed under his breath.

The duo nodded at Julia’s explanation about taking it to the Brotherhood of Redemption. Degar had heard of their attempts. “Clearly they have been effective. Some rather famous byproducts of their process are walking around the city. Be careful Miss Julia.”

Thariad grunted his agreement with Deggar’s concern. “I’ll open the hatch for you ma’am.” The big human was happy to be away. He traversed the well lit tunnels. Degar had been casting light spells on a few items around the underground complex. The two had been working hard to make the hideout more warm and homey. Both were thankful to have a safe place to reside, even if they were both basically in hiding. They were hopeful for the construction efforts of Vogh’s magical Lyre would allow them to live above ground again sometime soon.

Degar was a dwarf, but he had never lived below the earth like his kin preferred, and Thariad was much to big a man to be below ground all the time. He spent most of his days above ground working on the property’s surroundings and doing what little he could in the structure above their heads. Vogh’s item would have to do most of the work, but he had busied himself cleaning, running away animals and interlopers.

He wasn’t sure how it had even gotten there, but a couple days back he had to clean up a rather large bloodstain on the first floor. Both were anxious for Vogh’s item to “recharge” and complete the work.

[Private to GM: Remember the Magic Item a Mora for Deacon to learn from the IP]

[Private to Deacon Havenhold: Remember Dora contacted Deacon in the middle of the fight.]

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Deacon Havenhold
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In reply to Degar Ravenspell

After dispelling the unknown charm on the minotaur, Deacon had used Yaeshla once more to charm the minotaur.  It was just in time too as the bullhead had stirred and woke.

WHen Teelas had opened his eyes once more he looked through his own alone and without any orders from another being.  Deacon knew that the spell didn’t take away memories of past times so he had questions for the big minotaur.  “Greetings Teelas.  We never were formally introduced.  My name is Deacon and this is Julia.”

Julia quickly piped in, “I am sorry for knocking you out with my spell.  We were afraid you were going to hurt us and I didn’t want our other friend, the dragon man to kill you.”

“The others here are Degar and Thariad.  They too are friends of ours.  We want to help you and I was hoping that you might be willing to help us with some information.  Would you be willing to answer some questions about where you were and who you were trying to protect before?”

If Teelas was amiable to help, Deacon gave him questions:
1. Do you know who you were trying to protect down in the tunnels below?  If so who and what do you know of them?
2. Why is that area protected so?  The undead corpse monster, manticores, you, and are there any other sentient or non-sentient things guarding the one who charmed you?
3. Would you be able to provide a map of the area below, if given paper and pen?
4. You said there were many other traps below, could you show where they are?
5. You said before that beyond is only death.  What did you mean?

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The minotaur rolled over from where he had been laying on his stomach – previously tied up – and sat down on the floor, relaxed and seeing Deacon as a friend.

“There’s a huge giant below, with his whole clan. He has six fingers on both hands, that’s why the tunnels are marked with the six fingered hand. He has some power over creatures, like me and the others. We were never allowed to venture much deeper into the complex. We had a few rooms to ourselves where we lived and worked. Occasionally Broam, the giant, would have tasks for us, moving things, working on rooms, fighting other creatures. Whatever he wanted. He kept us fed and gave us what we needed. It was a fine enough home. I’ve never gone much deeper into the tunnels. I heard some giants, and a few of the others serving Broam, talking about his throne room being huge and awe inspiring. They said channels of molten lava flow through the room from deep in the group. A strange way to live if you ask me. Anyway, I could draw out a rough sketch of the rooms and tunnels we used, with the few traps in there, but I never want beyond our rooms. Nor do I know many others who serve Broam. I know there are many other creatures in his employ, beyond the many giants.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Julia, Deacon and Teelas the Minotaur made their way up through the trap door and into the first story of the newly constructed building. Teelas followed Deacon. The trio didn’t need to hail a carriage, as the above ground office of the Brotherhood of Redemption was actually just down the street from their hideout on Brandywine Street right in the Guildsman District.

Several of the people bustling about Ring Road looked over the Minotaur, but few gawked. There were other of the horned bovines around Ptolus, some of them rather famous like Canabulum of the Runewardens which the group had actually met once.

Mixing with the normal, industrial smells of the Guildsman district, the trio were quite close to the Midden Heaps and caught wind of the rotting garbage of the walled off dumping grounds. Teelas crinkled his nose, “That smells even worse than the carrion beast back home.”

The Monastery of Redemption had a small sign out front and the unassuming door was unlocked and opened easily to their touch. Beneath the lettering the symbol of the brotherhood was a triumvirate of stars which were seen in the night sky of the west. Legend had it that the three stars were actually the souls of three evil fey who, at the end of their lives, redeemed themselves by saving a mortal hero from a terrible fate.

Inside a lone, human gentleman sat behind a desk working through a series of paperwork. Two doors were behind him. He looked up from what he was doing. “Greetings. Welcome to the Monastery. My name is Brother Ophan, what can I do for you?” Dressed in a lose fighting tunic and breeches the man stood as he addressed them.

[Private to GM:
Mohdoth, beholder that runs the Asylum is a “success” story for the brotherhood.
Urlenius,
Durant the troglodyte,
Udalaag of the Runewardens
]

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM

quote:
Teelas crinkled his nose, “That smells even worse than the carrion beast back home.”

Julia had crinkled her nose as well.  The Middle heaps were a nasty-smelling place indeed.  “See, we humans can be disgusting.  At least they keep it in one place.”

Julia had never been to the Monastery of Redemption before.  Even though she grew up in the city there were many parts she hadn’t visited before, this being one of them.  Julia did know of the symbol and what it represented.  The sacrifice the fey made is legendary.

quote:
“Greetings. Welcome to the Monastery. My name is Brother Ophan, what can I do for you?” Dressed in a loose fighting tunic and breeches the man stood as he addressed them.

“Greetings Brother Ophan.  We would like to speak to someone about the need for redemption.”  Julia didn’t say who it was for or anything further at the moment.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Brother Ophan nodded to Julia, he tapped a spot on his desk a couple of times which depressed then popped back up each time. A few moments later two other monks appeared, with hands behind their backs.

Ophan walked slowly around his desk, explaining a bit about the Brotherhood. “You see our practices are private, but our systems have turned many an evil being from their destructive ways and converted them to good, functioning members of society.”

The two monks followed a couple steps behind. Something felt off to Julia and Deacon, like this was rehearsed but the monk continued.

“We celebrate a great number of famous successes. Mohdoth, the beholder who runs the Asylum for disturbed magic wielders. Urlenius, a reformed ogre mage and now a holy man! Udalaag of the Runewardens, half dragon, half… Something else, is a known hero across the lands.”

Ophan moved as if he would walk past Teelas while speaking but in a blur of motion the monk snapped his fist into the minotaurs chest with impossible force. The minotaur didn’t even have time to react, but simply slumped to his knees, not moving or resisting in any way. The two monks worked in practiced precision, revealing manacles and ropes from behind their backs which were locked into place around Teelas’ neck, wrists and feet.

The whole thing happened so fast neither Deacon nor Julia had time to react. Then, Ophan finished his explanation while moving back to his desk.

“I understood what you meant Miss. He has been subdued and will remain docile for a few moments. It would be best you left before he regains his whits, and for this creature we offer you 200 gold.” The man produced four small bags already tied, each of them matching size and weight.

“We will see that he is redeemed.”

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was about to respond when Brother Ophan had talked about some of the successes of the brotherhood.  When all of a sudden in a whirl of action and power, the monks had Teelas subdued and manacled.

“I don’t think any of that was necessary.  Teelas had been charmed by Deacon here and was harmless as long as Deacon spoke highly of you all.  I understand you all have your way and I am certain that you will succeed with Teelas as he is intelligent enough to understand what he should do.  I would like to get his equipment before you all take him away.  Oh and one other thing, when he is redeemed we would like to be contacted.  Word can be sent to the Ghostly Minstrel and we will receive it.”  Julia felt a little bad for deceiving the minotaur but she knew it needed to happen.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Ophan merely shrugged, “And what happens when you leave and the charm expires? We handle these situations constantly ma’am. We know what we’re doing. Indeed, the process can be long and arduous, but I will make a note to send word.”

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon looked at Teelas with a forlorn look and grabbed Julia’s hand once they had the gold and the equipment.

Once they had left Deacon turned to Julia and said, “I feel a little bit bad about what just happened.  Though I know he certainly could have just died in the tunnels below the city so I can only hope that he will find redemption and a new life.  Now I have some things to take care of, how about we have dinner back at the Minstrel?”

When they broke off, Deacon contacted Dora through their connection.  “Dora, I am finally out of my situation.  I am available to speak now if you have the time.”

===========================================================
Dora Maycey (NPC)
———————————————————–
Dora accepted the connection and responded to Deacon, Deacon, oh wonderful. I’m glad you’re okay. Were you attacked unexpectedly? Did someone try to capture you? When Deacon explained she responded back, We’ve had two members go missing lately and we are warning everyone to stay on high alert. We cannot find them through divinations yet, and we are not certain what’s going on, but neither of the members had any connection we can find at this time beyond being of the Pyramid. So be careful. Will you be in the Pyramid this evening? It’s the safest place to be right now.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon couldn’t believe what he had just heard.  Members of the Pyramid have disappeared and even the wizards of the Pyramid couldn’t find them?  “Dora that is awful news.  The battle my friends and I were in, were in the tunnels below the city.  It had nothing to do with what is happening with our members.  I am completely out of spells and am not able to teleport to the Pyramid.  I am going to be staying at the Ghostly Minstrel tonight.  I will lay down precautions.”

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Dora Maycey (NPC)
———————————————————–
“Yes. See that you do. Be extra vigilant and check in with me. I will keep you informed.”

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
“I will Dora, who were the two that have disappeared and what do they look like, just in case I find them or see them.”  Deacon asked through the link once more.

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Dora Maycey (NPC)
———————————————————–
They were Zonagh Steelslayer, a 20 year old male orc wizard that’s over 7 feet tall. Both of his tusks look like amethyst gems, but it’s just a spell. He is an adventurer with a group of orcs and half orcs who have been seeking out the depths of Ghul’s labyrinth, trying to learn more about the way the evil being twisted orc kind to make his Black orcs. Then the second is Amas Aldarina. She is an over two hundred year old elf. She has very long, wavy, auburn hair shaved on the left side and golden eyes. Thank you Initiate Deacon. Stay safe.”

OOC: I need to retcon if she called Deacon anything else, especially if she called him Master. There are 3 levels in the Pyramid. Initiate. Adept. Master.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
24th of Growth

The following morning everyone awoke in the Minstrel, except Belie, who had returned to the Welcome Inn as usual.

All five made their way downstairs for breakfast before leaving to run around town and unload their loot from down below. Unfortunately an unpleasant surprise awaited them.

A young human courier, but dressed better than most of the city’s runners, had been sitting where he could watch over the stairs leading into the common room. Upon seeing the group he stood and marched his way over in a formal manner.

“Hello. I have a formal, legal missive for you.” With that the young man turned and hurried away.

Inside Vogh read a legal document that stated she, Talin, Deacon, Julia, Belie and Bharash were all being sued for damages to the tower of the deceased Golathan Naddershrike’s by his surviving brother Wareth Naddershrike.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–
Back at his room, and able to find fresh clothing Bharash hangs his padded gambeson out to dry and turns in for the night, sleeping the sleep of the righteous and just (and the not overly troubled by deep contemplation). When he wakes though, it’s to the delivery of the item he ordered from the Dreaming Apothecary and he spends a good twenty minutes or so utterly delighted with the thing as he turns it from a scale groomer to a clothes iron to a pair of shears (for loose threads) to a flapjack-tossing spatula (that does not go so well) before cheerfully slipping it into a belt pouch and getting dressed to head down for breakfast.

Which is where they get served, and where, around a mouthful of flapjacks he gets to ask of Vogh “So, don’t keep us in suspense, what is it?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
As the young man handed her the missive, Vogh unravels the parchment and reads it to herself.  Perhaps it was the look on her face as she read it but after a moment, Bharash had asked what it was.  As Vogh looked up and into the eyes of her companions she calmed, “It seems that we’re all being sued for damages to the tower of the deceased Golathan Naddershrike by his surviving brother Wareth Naddershrike.  Of course, if you all remember we made no damages when we were there.  So, I can’t wait to hear what they’re accusing us of.”

VOgh looked at the missive again to see where and when they needed to respond.  “What a way to start our day!”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The document did not have a great deal of information for a legal notification, which was shocking. It stated Wareth Naddershrike was suing all six of the group due to damages done to the tower when they explored it. It gave the name of his legal counsel as Lyle Bennit and his office’s address on Dalenguard Road in Oldtown. There was a settlement offer of 10,000 gold pieces to have the matter dropped entirely and all charges dropped, exculpating the six. It explained that if they wished to mediate the dispute they could setup a time to meet in no more than seven days from today.

[Private to GM: Lyle Bennit’s Office
Dalenguard Road (#57, E6)
Proprietor: Lyle Bennit (male human expert7)
Number of Staff: 1
Notes: Advocate / Legal Advice
]

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Rastor (NPC)
———————————————————–
After breakfast the group wanted to unload their recently gathered arms, armor and gem stones to distribute the funds among them. Bharash was trying to buy a property while Vogh and Talin were building their home and business, so the gold would be put to use quickly.

First the group treked across Delver’s Square to Rastor’s Weapons. The big litorian was busy as always. The group waited their turn to meet with him. As he did lately the big lion-man smiled upon seeing them.

“It does my heart good every time I see you with SolarSong, Talin. I hope you’ve been putting it to good use against the evils of this world…” Rastor never asked too many questions about where all their wares came from, but he was particularly fond of this group after Talin worked to reforge the ancestral litorian weapon they found at the top of the Banewarrens inside Ptolus’ iconic Spire.

Vogh laid down the masterwork heavy mace, light crossbow, then the masterwork shortsword.

“No magic this time. That’s too bad. There are so many people searching for arms lately. More delvers flooding below and even folks from outside the city worried about everything going on. You been hearing word about people disappearing? I’ve heard of three people that just went missing in only the past few days. Something’s going on in this city and it’s not good. Hope you’re all staying safe.”

Looking over everything he winked at them and said, “For the wielder of SolarSong I’ll give you all fourty platinum. You just want the coin since it’s so much smaller than usual?”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–
“Could be next to anything… Or it could be a shenanigan. We’ll have to swing by the office in order to find out, I expect although it might be wise to talk to a lawyer first.” Bharash answers after swallowing, then loading up another forkful and continuing to work his way through a breakfast that would leave most humanoids on the floor, groaning and clutching their stomach before bouncing to his feet with depressing fluidity and making a ‘coming?’ sort of gesture at the door.

From there, he joins the walk from store to store, brightly checking out the various weapons on display and picking up a few completed ‘test’ items to whirl them around his body in a confined fashion that doesn’t imperil the people around him without looking any less staggeringly dangerous and then joins in the general conversation with a cheerful “Only three? Sounds like it’s been an unusually slow week. Or did they go missing from somewhere with money?”

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
In reply to Rastor

Talin smiled wide as Rastor greeted him well.  It was a huge endeavor to reforge SolarSong and Talin wore it proudly, even now it was strapped to his back.

Talin was feeling much better after his bath, romp, and rest he had last night.  “Well, it has done me well so far.  It really likes deliver strikes to evil creatures it seems.”

After further speaking with Rastor and getting quite the fair price for their good Talin gets a worried look on his face, “Yes, we have heard of two others disappearing.  Do you know who it was that disappeared by chance?”

===========================================================
Rastor (NPC)
———————————————————–
Rastor shook his head at Bharash. “No Master Bharash. This is not the vickar’s daughter ran off with the stable boy. Ratmen are coming into the city at night, attacking people. Folks are disappearing into the sewers and no one can find them. You’re right that no people of ‘high importance’ have gone missing, but this isn’t normal. I’ve lived in this city a long time. The air about us is nothing like I’ve experienced in my long years. Delvers are finding more and more below our feet, but they are also dying in greater numbers than ever before. Something is happening and most feel it’s not good. Rumors of the barbarians coming to attack Ptolus. We should be safe in the walls, epecially with folks like yourselves around, but what’s going on? Why would a group of people come to attack a city? His old quote about sacking Tarsis ‘because it was there’ rings hollow to my ears. I’m not resting easy lately, that’s for sure.”

Again the litorian shook his head, making his mane dance. “No Master Talin, I do not know any of these personally, just rumors and things I’ve over heard. I won’t be walking about at night alone, or without arms and armor, that’s for sure. It shouldn’t be that way in a civilized city. It just shuoldn’t.”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–
“Huh. I’ll believe it when I see it, but we’re doing a bit of delving ourselves these days, maybe we’ll run into some evidence.” Bharash answers, seemingly not all that inspired to panic – although that’s hardly surprising since seven foot dragon-men are very definitely not in the preferred demographic for kidnapping attempts, racial divisions in the city notwithstanding.

As for the second question? That makes Bharash actively blink and take a second look at the big Littorian “Seriously? People want to attack a city because that’s where the loot is. I mean, what are you going to get from raiding a forest other than pine cones and a lot of angry squirrels?” he points out with a chuckle, before going on and adding “I grew up in one of the small mountain settlements a lot of folks here dismiss as ‘barbarian’ and until you’ve seen a couple of lean winters, you don’t appreciate how much concentrated wealth a city like this represents.”

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Rastor (NPC)
———————————————————–
Rastor nodded, scratching his chin with a clawed finger as Bharash explained his reasoning. “Great points sir. Great points indeed. Still… It seems like there are better targets than a city filled to bursting with well armed and armored citizens, and more spell chuckers than privies. You know?”

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“What, you mean honourable champions with glorious reputations to defend and fell sorcerers who cast their hexes on my uncles cow, that’s obviously why she stopped giving milk?” Bharash asks cheerfully, grinning as he explains “That’s more of a generic cow mind you, my uncles were a smith, a hunter and a gigolo – don’t ask – respectively. But us Barbarians are no smarter than the average citizen on the street and you have got to see how many stupid things they do on any given morning.”

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Rastor (NPC)
———————————————————–
Rastor’s eyes got really big, then he cocked his head sideways, started to speak then closed his mouth. Finally all the could offer was, “Ok. Seems you know them better than me.” He couldn’t help but chuckle.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh too chuckled.  Bharash had lived a far different life than she had.  Her life, once she was adopted, of course, was a life of luxury.  Living in House Kath was everything opposite of what Bharash was saying.  She could see his point on the barbarians as well.  “There may be better targets out there but sometimes the risk is worth the reward.  It is much like the delving we do.  Sometimes the easy target just isn’t worth it.”

With the debate having seemingly dissipated Vogh finally said, “Well I think we have taken up enough of your time.  Thank you for the information and the warnings.  We wish you a successful and prosperous day!”

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
———————————————————–
After gathering their coins from Rastor the group popped across the square to visit Iltumar at the Bull and Bear. Just like Rastor’s there were far more people than normal inside the shop. Adding to the strangeness the group saw Iltumar was not in great health. The young man had a black eye and had one arm in a sling. He was still working behind the counter, speaking with everyone wanting to buy. No one but them seemed to be selling. Iltumar smiled weakly upon seeing Vogh walk in then returned to the current customer.

Finally the young man was free of other patrons so the group made their way up to his counter. When Vogh asked him what happened he dropped his head in shame and frustration as he explained.

“Hello Miss Vogh, Master Talin. I was hoping you wouldn’t come in until I looked a bit better. My friends and I went down into the sewers to do some training and earn some gold killing ratmen. We were doing pretty good at first! But then the little rotbrains came back in force and whipped up on us really good. The shite-eaters even had some of those dragon fire shooters! Thank all the gods we didn’t get hit. They’ve got terrible aim. Anyway. I’m fine. We all lived, got away by diving into the muck and By the Spire did I get sick.”

Iltumar lowered his voice and leaned forward, waiting for the bards to do the same. Have you all ever heard of this surgeon who can make you stronger? It’s not magic, but like, forever. I dunno. Jamill and Anikka and I have been talking about it. He gives folks in the brotherhood a discount they said.

Straigtening he looked over the items they brought in. “Dust and ashes, what scratched this thing up so bad?!” He said, looking over the shield they recovered from the undead creatures lair. That flash turned him back into the Iltumar they first met, desperate to hear an exciting story about battle. Looking over everything he offered them 1400 gold pieces for the lot.

Once the group was done, they went back out into the Ptolus weather. As was typical, a light drizzle was falling over the whole city, dark clouds overhead hid most of the sun’s light. Thankfully it wasn’t chilly, even with the rain.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When Iltumar had greeted them Vogh could tell almost immediately, from his smell, that he had been in the sewers again.  When he spoke of the rats and the dragon fire shooters she nodded along, “You are quite lucky to have not been hit by them.  Those weapons are powerful and deliver quite the punch.”

As Iltumar spoke further and then leaned in to whisper, Vogh listened closely to what he said, about this surgeon fellow.  It didn’t sound on the up and up as evidenced by Iltumar speaking softly.  “No, I haven’t heard the Surgeon, honestly something about it sounds a little off to me.  What is he doing to transform these people how they are wanting?”

===========================================================
Iltumar Shon (NPC)
———————————————————–
Iltumar nodded his head in acquiescence to Vogh’s statement. To her question he just shrugged. “I’m not sure Miss Vogh. I haven’t met anyone who has had anything done. We just heard some rumors. You know?”

A big half-orc walked up to the counter and interrupted their conversation. The female stood taller than Talin. “Ya. Is dis magic?”

“No ma’am. That whole rack is nonmagic. That one over there has the magical armors.”

“Aight.” She said and turned to walk away. Bharash caught her eye though and she gave him the old mischievous up down before returning the armor to the rack.

“Sorry.”

[Private to GM: Ulumpha Darkhorn is a 44 year old female half-orc gravedigger.
She has short, curled, auburn hair and cyan eyes.
She has soft pink skin.

She stands 197cm (6’5″) tall and has a muscular build.

She has a round, pockmarked face.

Personality Traits
She discretely worships Silvanus, God of wild nature, druids. (True Neutral)

She is very good at defusing tensions.
She is very talkative.
She has no concept of propriety.
She gets very mad at any semblance of an insult.

Ability Scores
Strength 17
Dexterity 7
Constitution 16
Intellect 6
Wisdom 8
Charisma 8
Relationships
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Relationship Status
Recently broke up

Alignment Tendencies
Good 0 Lawful 3
Neutral 7 Neutral 3
Evil 1 Chaotic 11

Plot Hook
She is being constantly psychologically tortured by a crazed leprechaun]

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Bharash
———————————————————–
Iltumar’s gets less of a smile from him… It’s not that he’s averse to earning coin as such, but he’s never been one to get all that excited about bounties put on people for their being the wrong shape – a consequence no doubt of his having a shadow-monster for a grandmother (alright, so her idea of looking after her grandchild did involve being locked in dark basements but he got to have his pick of her weapons to go down there with first and he was allowed to lick the blade after he was done with what was down there) and a gnoll for a sister.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
“Things like that are unnatural, Iltumar.  You should stay away from it if you can.  I might want to check this Surgeon out though.  Do you know how to get in touch with him?  This whole thing worried Vogh.  She had taken a liking to young Iltumar and didn’t want anything to happen to him.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
———————————————————–
Iltumar pursed his lips and shook his head. “I don’t miss. I’m sorry. It’s just something they were telling me about.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“Yup. And more or less, also yup. Hell, somewhere like Ptolus, the risk is part of the reward. A chance to take on some legendary swordsman from the city, beat their soft city-dwelling backside hollow and come out of the looting with a nice throw-rug for Grandmothers hut and some matching drapes?” Bharash adds, looking perhaps rather too cheerful about the whole thing, before ruefully remarking “One could almost forget the raping, pillaging and murder that the low-class sorts bring to the whole deal.”

With all that though, it’s not long before they’re traipsing into Iltumar’s place, and Bharash is left to shake the rain off his cloak (he’s not wearing the full plate of course – that stuff takes an age to put on properly without a squire, clanks and rattles like nobodies business and is generally a pain in the ass unless you’re Doing Something) and listen in, gruffly rumbling “I wish a sewer was all that I’d landed in.” – although the general topic of ‘lets go kill rat-folk for the bounty on their heads’ still leaves him with the sort of sour expression one would expect of a man whose grandmother is a legitimate shadow-monster and whose sister is a Gnoll.

The half-orc gets herself a flicker of a grin though, because well, she would wouldn’t she?

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
———————————————————–
Iltumar’s eyes got big at Bharash’s comment about landing in something. But, he let it go, atypical since he always wanted a good story. Unfortunately, over the time, the group had been less than forthcoming so he didn’t often press them for details any longer.

“I’ll ask Jamill and Anikka about it and see what more info I can get for you. Can we spar again soon Miss Vogh?” He asked, with more than a bit of sorrow in his voice from the fear of rejection.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh smiled once more at Iltumar’s insistence at being trained.  “Yes, I think soon we can do some more training.  We have some important things happening today and then I have a party to attend very soon at my family’s house.  But, I think we can sneak in an hour or two of training in there.”

Honestly, Vogh enjoyed the training with the young man.  She wasn’t just teaching him sword play but also how to be a man.

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Myraeth Tuneweaver (NPC)
———————————————————–
Their last stop was the magic Oddities store. Their last two stops were busy, by Myraeth’s shop was down right crammed full. His big security guard, Kird the ogre, looked completely frazzled. Normally the large creature looked over the aisles just glaring at customers. Today he was moving about, checking over everything people touched and grunted at more than a few people. Two of women from the Sisterhood of Silence were moving about too, meaning Myraeth was really worreid about security to have them right inside the shop. He had a rather unknown deal with the Order to watch over his shop the bards had learned about.

Myraeth was glad to see the group enter and rubbed his hands together in anticipation of new merchandise they might have brought him to sell.

“Welcome! I’m in rarified air it seems. All of your names are on the lips of many of late… What have you brought me this time Miss Vogh? Have you tinkered with that gem-powered wand any further? I haven’t heard of any magical explosions around here…” The older elf winked at the bard.

Everyone worked together to pull all the items from their backpacks. Magical gloves with faint transmutation. One vial of a small black liquid, non-magical. Two glass vials of some dust. Wands of Creater Water and Purify Food and Drink. Then finally the solid black, stone, holy symbol of a black hand with a finger broken off.

“Oh interesting. These are gloves that make you more dexterous. This is a fine item. 4,000 retail, I’ll give you 3,000 as they will sell fast. The wands I’ll give you two hundred for each.”

A frown creased his face when idenfying the vials. “I’m not going to ask where you got these folks, but I’ll not deal in them. All 3 of these are poisons, and nasty ones at that. These two are lich dust, and the other is medium spider poison. Wait…”

Myraeth lowered his voice and leaned near the group, gesturing for them to do the same. “I heard talk of an assasination attempt in the Minstrel. Did you take these off them?”

The elf nodded at their explanation, not pressing further. “I won’t take them. Best to just dump them out someplace safe.”

Standing straight and tall once more he summed everything up to 3400 gold. He was not interested in the strange holy symbol.

Then Vogh produced the copper dragon cloak and the still moving orb. The elf pursed his lips in curiosity. Casting a spell he frowned and looked at both of them. “Unfortunately neither of these is magical. The cloak is beautiful, although it bodes ill that it’s made from the scales of a good dragon. Still, I’ll give you 2,000 for it. This orb however… It’s not magical, but this does not seem natural. Would you mind if I held onto it and tried to give you a better answer?”

The flesh inside continued to writhe under his touch inside the solid glass ball.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
In reply to Myraeth Tuneweaver:

“Unfortunately No I haven’t put the wand to use again quite yet.  I want to learn more about it before doing so.  I do ha e two other items I would like for you to look at though..”  Vogh pulled out the cloak and orb for Myraeth to look at.  “See if you can figure these two out.  They don’t read as magical but I don’t trust that as they seem more interesting that just a cloak and orb with swirling stuff.”

When Myraeth mentioned the assassination attempt Vogh blanched, “I guess I shouldnt be surprised that word has gotten around about that.  No we didn’t get these from that but now that you mention it they could have come from the same source.  Thanks for identifying them for me.  Oh and of course thank you for the generous pricing.  Just send word when you have something on the orb.
I thought it very interesting as well. “

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Bharash
———————————————————–

Iltumar might be a painfully young sort, with questionable taste in adventure but there’s one thing that invariably gets Bharash’s attention when he’s talking to someone and his head swings around from glancing back at the half-orc lass like some sort of siege-engine turret on an iron-sided galley… Taking up the gauntlet where Vogh let it lay and grinning, toothily as he answers in her stead “Spar, you say? I can probably spare an hour or two to put you through your paces. When are you generally free?”

This is… probably not what the youth had in mind.

One way or another though, Bharash ends up following along and standing-to by the door at Myraeth’s, catching Kird’s eye after he walks in and then holding up his hand to rumble “Yeah, you’re busy enough. I’ll hang here.”, the massive dragonborn choosing to step to the side and fold his arms rather than adding to the security ogre’s workload, instead taking over from the Ogre’s usual job of standing and glaring at folk imposingly until his companions are done while he runs around keeping an eye on things.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash

“Anytime close to sun set when I can close the shop! Can we meet tonight? Miss Vogh and Master Talin and I usually go to the grassy area just behind St. Gustav’s across the street. Can we meet there tonight?!” The boys exuberance could have bowled over a minotaur.

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Narrator GM
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Ebbert’s outfitters unloaded them of all the climbing kits and miscellaneous items for a total of 100 gold. The place was absolutely packed with people. Since most of the shops stuff was nonmagical and less expensive, far more individuals could afford his items.

The group finished at Myraeth’s and headed out into the light drizzle. As Talin always did for security sake, he urged them to take a covered coach and hailed one.

The dwarves over at Star Jewelers were always fair and fast, paying full price for gems. The group walked out with 157 platinum pieces and 5 gold.

Being midday at that point, the group’s stomachs started telling them the time by growling in hunger. Nearby a woman was selling big, painted mugs. It caught their eye that the one she was holding had a very good depiction of the Sword of Truth.

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Talin
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Talin’s stomach was telling him that he was hungry and so he was watching out the carriage for places to eat.  That is when he saw the mugs with a design that looked like the Sword of Truth.  “Driver can you stop a moment?”  Talin called out.

“You all have to see these mugs I just spotted.  They look like the Sword of Truth.  How funny is that?  Not sure about you all but I am getting hungry.”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
After they ate, Julia told the others that she wanted would go speak to someone about the law suit.  She asked Deacon to accompany her as well if he wanted.  “I am going to the church to ask about this and another matter I have been thinking about.  If there is anything else I can ask them tell me now.

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Bharash
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“That seems like a fair idea to me. When the others go out, I’ll come along with them. If you have a couple of friends you want to bring along – no more than three or four – we’ll make an evening of it.” Bharash answers obligingly, having long ago realised that no matter how good you become as a swordsman (and Bharash is definitely very, very good) there are still things to be learned by taking the time to teach the basics, and the less basics to those who are working on their own skills.

Stepping outside, he glances around and then points up Tavern Row, tilting his head back to the others in order to propose “Why don’t we head over and grab a bite? There’s still a few restaurants I haven’t tried yet.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Talin, Vogh, Bharash

Talin thought for a bit about the nearest place, and the Hungry Halfling was actually a nice little place in the southern most part of the Guildsman district. A lot of halflings lived down in that area, so it was no surprise they had a eatery close by. Despite the name, they had tables for “bigs” to sit comfortable.

Inside the inn there were indeed mostly tables and chairs fir for the much smaller races, but a handful of tables were available for those of the group’s stature. Two halflings sat together, one male with golden hair and bright blue eyes, one female with copper hair and amber eyes. Both were dressed in finery. The male had several pouches around his belt which all looked rather full.

Two females sat together, one human who had strikingly bright green eyes who was wearing the armor of a City Watch and had a battle axe sitting against her chair. She sat with an elven woman who wore similar armor by had a large bastard sword and crossbow. Both women looked the group over when they entered, but their gaze didn’t linger for long.

Another halfling pair caught the group’s eyes as well, both wore more modest clothing and showed no weapons, but they each had a wooden holy symbol around their necks; however, neither were the same symbol.

A small chalkboard on the counter showed the days specials:

Vegetable Stew, Mug of Cider (5 cp)
Boiled Mutton and Acorn Bread, Tankard of Ale (10 cp)
Roasted Carp with Nutmeg and Gooseberry Tart, Glass of Whisky (1 sp)
Baked Salmon with Clove and Gooseberry Tart, Glass of Rum (4 sp)

[Private to GM: Proprietor: Jinni Stridetaker (female halfling commoner4)

Kather: Female Halfling Aristocrat, Evil. Kather has braided copper hair and amber eyes. She wears fine raiment and numerous rings. Kather is quarreling with a company of dwarves.
Vorumir: Male Halfling Artist, Evil. Vorumir has golden hair and bright blue eyes. He wears tailored clothing and several pouches hang from his belt. Vorumir seeks a company of adventurers to recover his chisel from the thieves who stole it.
Burga: Female Human Soldier, Evil. Burga is rugged in appearance, with blonde hair and sharp green eyes. She wears scale mail and wields a battle axe. Burga is a pack-rat, and carries a satchel of random junk.
Finde: Female Elf Soldier, Neutral. Finde has an angular face, with thin brown hair and light amber eyes. She wears studded leather and wields a bastard sword and light crossbow. Finde is dying and desperately seeks the secret of immortality.
Berga: Female Halfling Craftsman, Evil. Berga has auburn hair and bright gray eyes, and walks with a limp. She wears simple clothing and a wooden holy symbol. Berga secretly serves Baele, an ancient draconic goddess.
Cyne: Male Halfling Merchant, Neutral. Cyne is short and stout, with curly auburn hair and amber eyes. He wears modest garments and a wooden holy symbol. Cyne is cursed with insanity, and is searching for the secret which will break the curse.

A dwarven caravan is expected to arrive, carrying some of the finest ale ever brewed for the Blessing of the Empyrean Sky.

The spiders of the Labyrinth of Bloody Madness are powerful spellcasters.

A magical portal in the cellar opens into the Ochavin Jungle.]

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Narrator GM
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Julia and Deacon

OOC: Are you ever wanting to mess with a love affair between these two? Or have them be platonic?

Julia and Deacon enjoyed a quick breakfast as well, then headed out into the drizzly day like the others. However, the carriage they hailed headed straight to the Temple District at Julia’s direction.

Saint Valien’s Cathedral never ceased to impress. The grandeur of the temple was beyond any other church in all of Ptlus save maybe the Holy Palace itself. Saint Valien was known as The Hands of the Host and was most reveared by the church hierarchy and the Holy Emperor himself. Valien was among the most prominent of the Saints of Lothian.

In the first days of Lothian’s church, the god commanded a number of extremely devout, extremely influential followers. Early Emperors of the Church granted these people sainthood posthumously. The rituals of granting sainthood are very complex but, as a result of them, the spirits of the saints possess special powers channeled from Lothian himself. Faithful worshippers can pray to the saints and are sometimes answered with aid or a vision. The saints are said to watch over the Holy Emperor, his family, and other powerful clerics of Lothian. Relics left over from the lives of the saints—from objects they used to portions of their bodies—are powerful holy talismans. Most of these relics remain in Tarsis, although the Hammer of St. Daris is kept in the Holy Palace in Ptolus. Many other relics have been stolen or lost. According to the Ninth Holy Book of Lothian, the current list of saints includes the following:

St. Chausle, Guardian of the Temple
St. Colosom Keeper of the Dominion
St. Daris The Swift Avenger
St. Dayra Giver of Mercy
St. Feldin The Faultless Rock of Faith
St. Gustav Protector of the Just
St. Thessina The Provider
St. Yessid The Judge
And of course St. Valien.

Most of the saints had Temples dedicated to them throughout Ptolus, like St. Gustav’s directly across from Delver’s Square and also the Chapel of St. Thessina which had been where Talin had been held by the Evil betrayer Heth Neferul, a human servant to the Pactlords of the Quaan who had escaped their grasp.

Nevertheless, exiting the carriage before the Holy Temple was a wonderful moment. Several Order of the Dawn Knights stood vigil as they always did. Neither of the knights at the entrance blocked their passage.

(Do you all have the gifts from the Holy Emperor? Julia could actually use it as her holy symbol if she wanted)

[Private to GM:
The old monastery on Wyvern Hill is haunted by ghosts.
A horde of demons has been summoned into the Labyrinth of the Wraith Emperor.
A band of orcs is in town looking for mercenary work.
Authorities approach the PCs about if they had been doing anything in the Warrens

REMINDER: Have Iltumar bring extra gold for the sale of the blood smelling armor AND tell Talin someone was really excited to buy his old armor when they found out he was famous.

https://ptol.us/img/Sister-Mara-von-Witten

https://ptol.us/img/blessed-child]

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Bharash
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In reply to Narrator GM

Halfling cuisine has always seemed to err on the pedestrian to Bharash (whose tastes are diverse enough to happily include lutfisk sent from home and Assarai stew) but the one thing the diminutive humanoids always seem to have a solid grasp upon is portion size and as he ducks into the Hungry Halfling he’s good-naturedly complaining “Just like Julia to vanish as soon as it’s her turn to get lunch in.”, which isn’t at all a fair accusation but is one that it amuses him to make.

It doesn’t take him long to seat himself (happily putting his back to the room so that the other two can have theirs to the wall), look over the menu and decide “Salmon’s nice, but I think I’m feeling the carp… I usually cut pockets into the fillets and rub salt and cumin into the cuts, then get a little fine-chopped onion and parsley in oil and rub it into… Ah, that is to say I’ll have the fish. Because it comes with whiskey. Because I drink whiskey, yup.”

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Vogh
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The Hungry Halfling is a place she hadn’t been before and so when she entered she was happy to see that they had normal-sized tables.  Talin had suggested the place but she hadn’t known he had actually been inside before.

As Bharash found a seat and sat, Vogh took her seat across from him and next to Talin.  Looking over the menu, Vogh liked the look of the Salmon as well.  “I didn’t know you had such a knack for cooking Bharash.  Where did you learn such stuff from?”  Vogh for herself hadn’t done too much cooking.  Perhaps it was because she had servants doing it for her as she grew up.  But, her mouth was watering as Bharash described the rub he would do.

“I think I will have the Salmon myself, but I will ask for the cider instead.”  Vogh finally said after much deliberation.

Once the food was ordered Vogh pulled out the lawsuit to look it over again.  “I can’t wait to see what this fool is trying to claim that we damaged.  After we eat do you want to go check it out?  Maybe Julia and Deacon have some luck as well.”

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Julia Graymantle
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When they arrived at the holy temple, it never ceased to amaze Julia how beautiful it was.  After paying the driver a little silver for the ride she and Deacon headed inside.  As she entered she sought out an attendant and asked to seek counsel with Sister Mara.  Julia gave her name as well as Deacon’s so he knew who they were in the case he didn’t.

For Julia’s part, she wore the gift the Emperor gave her.  She had adopted it as her holy symbol the very day he had given it to her.

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
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In reply to Julia Graymantle

Seeing the incredibly ornate and expensive Lothian Ankh symbol coupled with their names the guards changed their body language to completely respectful and even bowed to Julia.

The attendant likewise bowed to her and greeted her with a big smile. The young woman readily agreed to fetch Sister Mara and rushed away just short of a jog so as not to be improper in the holy place.

Both Deacon and Julia were able to move around the huge temple, observing the ornate and beautiful artwork. Quiet conversations and prayers filtered through the air just on the edge of Julia’s hearing.

Almost half an hour passed before Sister Mara entered the Temple’s Sanctuary and beside her was half floating and half flying what looked like a winged child with no legs. The child’s upper torso was distinct and visible sporting white-feathered wings, but the rest of its lower body faded into a mist which followed with the child’s movement.

“Greetings Julia! Deacon.” She spoke clearly, but not loud enough to disturb those around them, making sure to face Deacon and enunciante – but not annoyingly so. Sister Mara ushered them out of the Nave and back closer to the stairs which led up to the balconies where there were fewer people.

“Meet a Balsam.” Upon seeing Julia’s lack of recognition or understanding Mara squished her face in confusion. “Are you unfamiliar with the blessed children? No? Truly Miss Julia? Oh by Lothian you are missing out! I often forget that you’ve traveled most of your life and were not classically trained in our order.” Mara smiled, showing she meant no offense and explained.

“Blessed children are the spirits of people not yet born. They are the opposite of undead, and as pure and innocent as undead are corrupt and evil. No one encounters a blessed child by accident. They are summoned from a spiritual realm by Lothian Priest or Prisetess or other particularly holy individuals to accomplish important tasks or to fight against evil. They especially love to war against undead! When they return from whence they came, these spirits carry with them no memories. The same blessed child can be summoned twice, but it will not remember you or any of the circumstances from its summining. In this way, the purity and innocence of the blessed child cannot be tainted, no matter what happens. Because blessed children are so like undead, evil clerics can turn them in the same way we can turn undead. If you know the prayer, you need only request it as the appropriate level to summon one. There are four levels. Balsam, Dayod, Fealom and Hallas. I like to summon them sometimes merely to enjoy the company of innocense. After all I’ve seen, and deal with on a daily basis, their naivity and purity are a balm to my spirit.”

Deacon had cast detect magic just out of curiosity as they walked around the temple. Very little glowed with magic until Sister Mara walked out and the elf was stunned by the auras surrounding her. Most visible to him was her long handled Mace which glowed with a strong transmutation aura. What part of her armor he could see beneath the robe she wore also glowed strong with magic.

OOC:

A good-aligned cleric can summon a blessed child using a summon monster spell.
Summon monster II brings a Balsam,
summon monster IV summons a Dayod,
summon monster VI produces a Fealom,
and a Hallas can be brought to the world via summon monster VIII.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Iltumar was beyond ecstatic at Bharash’s offer and promised to be there!

In reply to Vogh

The group noticed the two halflings with holy symbols kept glancing their direction. Further, it seemed several people in the eatery were discussing a dwarven caravan which was expected to arrive, carrying some of the finest ale ever brewed. Many of the other halfling patrons were expressing their excitement about getting some.

ooc: please remind me how you’re dressed, armed and armored. Bharash I know you mentioned not in your full plate

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Sister Mara von Witten

Julia was once more enjoying the art in the Cathedral as they waited for Sister Mara.  It was definitely worth the wait for when she arrived with what looked like a small angel beside her, Julia’s mouth dropped.

When Sister Mara described what the child was Julia smiled wide.  She didn’t know if she would be able to summon such a being but what Sister Mara described, she wanted.  She had been around so much evil the last few months and needed some purity to clear her mind and keep her heart right.

Julia often spoke to Lothian.  She spoke to him like a father, asking for a watchful eye and helpful hand.  But if she could call upon a Blessed child.  This would be something she could also do to calm her heart.  “Does he have a name?  Or are they not given one?  Which of the Blessed children is he?  Do they look different?”  Julia had so many questions that she almost forgot why they were there.

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Bharash
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“Uhhh…” Bharash edges for a few moments, before grimacing and coming clean on the whole matter, realising that he doesn’t have a whole lot of choice since he’s a captive audience until lunch arrives “My grandmother. Not Granna Shadow, Granna Icinglass, my mothers mother. Her other son – my uncle – is the one who was a gigolo. Well, more or less. He always wanted to be a bard and ended up getting into dance, then acting. Spent a few years touring the lowlands and then he took over a bordello he won in a game of cards. Says that it’s a great saving in flirtation time.”

There, he sighs and rolls his eyes before going on, “Anyway, when she got over lambasting him for owning a bordello and lambasting the rest of us for not owning a business, she stormed down to the lowlands, kicked him in the backside and then planted his ass in the kitchen and taught him how to cook on the basis that ‘no son of hers was going to serve bad food’. Whenever I visited – because free room and board is nothing to sniff at – I got dragged by the horns into the kitchen.”

Here of course, he drops his head a little and manages to sound more or less embarrassed as he goes on to add, sotto voice “I’m… well… I actually sort of enjoy it. And y’know, I live alone and eat out more than I get to cook, so… Well, I don’t get to as much as I’d like.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

Sister Mara shook her head. “No. No. A Balsam, the least powerful. No offense.” She smiled at the angelic child, who merely grinned innocently in response. “And no. They are indistinguishable from one another once summoned. Now that you know their names, or categories might be a better label, you can request that which you desire in your prayer.”

The child even then began to disolve into nothing and Mara nodded to the departing being. “They can’t stay long, but if you’re ever in need during a battle, they are fierce warriors. You did not see his weapon, but despite their innocence, they are quite deadly.”

Shrugging her shoulders the middle-aged woman looked at the two with fresh eyes, “So… What brings you to see me today?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon was still in wonder over what his magical vision had shown to him about Sister Mara and her attire and weapon.  He didn’t think she would be wearing it in the church but maybe she just liked to do it as it brought back memories she endured.

The blessed child was a wonder as well.  Deacon wished he was capable of summoning one but knew from how Sister Mara described it that he would never be able to perform such a summoning.  When the child began to dissipate, SIster Mara brought them back to the here and now with a forward question.

“Sister Mara you are quite right.  We came needing some information for two things that came up.  The first is that we were are being sued by Wareth Naddershrike.  He is claiming that we destroyed the tower that has been empty forever.  We were there looking for Talin when the Quaan members took him from us.  We didn’t so much as chip a stone and then left.  We even had the city guard waiting outside as we were given permission to go in.  Might you or the church know any lawyers that would be willing to defend us?  As for the second, I am not sure what it is but Julia certainly does so I will let her describe what she wants.”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia said her goodbye to the Blessed child as it began to dissipate.  Once Deacon explained one of the things she came here for Julia then told Sister Mara her thoughts.

“Sister Mara, I know I am not a member of the High Temple.  I was wondering if I might be able to put in a request.  The manor in which we first entered the warrens has been empty for some time now and I was wondering if the church might sponsor me in purchasing the manor.  Here is my idea for the place.”

Julia then began to lay out the plan she had for the sacred location.  “My thought is that we make it a place for visiting clergy or highly important individuals to the city.  This way they aren’t having to stay in Inns or other places.  As caretaker of the manor, I would ensure that it is well looked after.  For those that know of the warrens, I would give them a personal account of what happened and how it was sealed.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
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Sister Mara shocked them both by laughing out loud then quickly covering her smirk. She looked around with a hand up in apology to the angry stares from others in the nave.

“Apologies. I’m not laughing at you. By Saint Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of purgatory, people never change.”

The woman shook her head and clicked her tongue in disgust.

“We’ve dealt with things like this in the past. Sorry, not we the church, although the church has to deal with it too, but no, we the Runewarrens. Thankfully our deeds have mostly passed into obscurity with all the new upheaval in Ptolus, but my friends and I had to deal with more than a few enterprising interlopers. I’ll send word to a friend who can help you.”

She gestured to a nearby attendant who had remained close, but at a respectful distance. Mara grabbed a piece of parchment and pencil, then scribbled down a name and address. Folding the paper she handed back the writing instrument and dismissed the assistant who bowed and backed away.

“I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. But it will also likely happen again. You gain a little fame and a little money and opportunistic ratmen come out of the sewers.”

The woman blew out a sigh of frustration then shrugged.

“Now, as to your other issue about the home. I will discuss that with the clergy and have to get back to you. Do you know who owns it or how much they want? No? Ok, no that’s fine. I’ll make inquiries quietly for you. Are you still staying at the minstrel? Perfect. I’ll send word. Give me a few days.”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia was taken aback at Sister Mara’s initial laugh but as she further explained, Julia too was nodding.  Of course, it made sense that as they gained fame others would be looking at putting them down.  This goes for the many organizations that aren’t quite on the level as well.  It also explains why the Assassins were after them as well.

“Thank you so much for your assistance, Sister Mara.  I would also like to request one more thing.  I would like to take more interest in the people of Ptolus especially in these worrying times.  Perhaps there is a temple or church where my abilities of healing could be put to use.  I have helped out at St. Gustav’s more than once before and it warms my heart to aid the ailing.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
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Mara smiled good-naturedly at Julia, “That’s so sweet. I love to hear that. Actually…” The powerful woman looked around and stepped a bit closer to Julia, lowering her voice. That reminds me. Have you all been doing anyting in the Warrens – the ones above ground – or heard anything happening down there by any folks around the Minstrel? Like, any folks bragging about doing anything big down there?

When Julia and Deacon both shook their heads Mara pursed her lips and nodded, as if expecting the answer. “I figured not. It’s been unnaturally quiet down there lately. Usually there are muggings constantly and all manner of issues, but lately, hrm. Yes, just a bit too quiet if you know what I mean.”

Mara straigtened and snapped her fingers in thought. “You know what. You want to help and I want a bit more information about this situation. What would you think about helping out Sister Auga Mittermire of St. Laphest’s Open Arms? It’s on Curtain Street, just south of the Warrens. They feed a lot of the kids down there and I bet you two would get on really well.”

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Vogh
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In reply to Bharash

Vogh had no idea about all this with Bharash.  It sort of explains all that he has commented on in the past that she had just never commented on herself.  “That is very interesting, Bharash.  Perhaps some time you can make us a meal.  What do you think about that?”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia’s face lit up when Sister Mara gave her a suggestion to go and visit Sister Auga Mittermire.  “I am not sure I can make it there today but I think tomorrow I can head on over there.  I will see what aid I can offer.  Deacon you can come along if you like.”  Julia had many times talked to Deacon about Lothian, she still had no idea if it was making an effect as he doesn’t speak much about religion.

“We can discreetly ask about how things are around the area.  I also have a friend that I can ask to find out information as well if it is okay with you?”

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Bharash
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“I think that I don’t actually have a kitchen. Eh, maybe when I get the apartments repaired and liveable. But don’t think you’ll be getting out of the washing up.” Bharash answers with a degree of humour in his tone, although not one sufficient to make it seem as though he’s actually joking.

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Talin
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“Sounds like a plan!  We only have a few hours before we meet Julia and Deacon.  Is there anything you all would like to do?”  Talin asked the others.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Sister Mara was more than ammenable to Julia taking the initiative to seek more information. The elder woman gave Julia a kind embrace and shook Deacon’s hand. “Lothian watch over and protect you.” She blessed both of them and bid them goodbye before turning and heading back the way she came.

The duo left the Cathedral and walked out into the drizzle. It was a brisk 60 degrees with the overcast sky and the powerful wind which had picked up quite a bit since they went into the church. The duo hailed a carriage and headed back to the Minstrel to meet up with the others.

When Julia opened the paper Mara had given her it had the name Denoss Firth and an address in Midtown.

— Bards & Bharash —

The three friends finished their lunch, paid and headed out into the same weather their friends in the Temple District were facing. Wind pushing in hard from the Bay were pushing with it the smells of the livestock pens outside the Guild gate AND the rotting filth of the Midden Heaps. Thankfully the group had already eaten, or their apetites might have been stolen. (Sean Connery: I’ll take ape-tits for 200 Alex)

It was sort of out of their way, but the group decided to have the carriage they hailed run down South street which led straight to the Welcome Inn and pick-up Belie. All were surprised at how busy the South Gate was! It seemed there was a stream of people coming into the city even from the south. Typically the South Gate saw merchants, but the traffic was far heavier than normal. City Watch had tripple their usual numbers at the gate, inspecting wagons more thouroughly than usual.

Thankfully they were able to get through the press without losing too much time and stop in front of the inn. Miraj Toys now had a shingle hung out front and there were a few children milling about, or peeking between openings in sheets blocking the windows. It seemed the duo hadn’t fully opened their operation yet.

Knocking on the door they heard a familiar voice ask them who it was. Vogh touched Belie’s mind for a fast confirmation and he ushered them inside.

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Belie
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“Soon! Soon! We will open soon!” The rogue laughed and patted the air, trying to keep the kids from seeing inside. “Welcome my friends!”

The group could see Jamir had been setting up shop and working dilligently at making his new magical, and mundane, toys to stock around the shop. A few of them were whistling, or birds chirping, or making noise occassionally. None of the friends ever had toys like this in their youth. it looked as though the duo could not be far from opening.

“Are we headed down again?” Belie asked, with not a lot of enthusiasm in his voice.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was so happy to get inside.  The stink outside was terrible.  “This looks very promising Belie.”  Vogh waved and said, “Hello again Jamir, you’ve been hard at work here it seems.”

“Yes, we are picking you up and then heading back to the Minstrel to get Deacon and Julia.  We are going to do some searching first before heading into the nest, so we can make sure it is still there.  It was Bharash’s suggestion and a right good one too.  We don’t need to just go in there if they have moved it, ya know.  If you are ready we can go now.  If not, Jamir here can show us around while you get ready.”  Vogh said with a wink.

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Jamir (NPC)
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Jamir smiled at the group, “Greetings! Indeed I have, but I rather enjoy the work, so that makes it less ‘worky’, you know?” He chuckled as his bad word usage but shrugged. “It’s a far sight more enjoyable making things that bring happiness with my magic rather than fighting all the time.” Jamir half smiled, self-deprecatingly. He didn’t want to appear a coward, but the adventuring life was one fraught with peril and pain.

Vogh knew the reason she and Talin helped Belie go down to assist the gnomes was specifically because Jamir feared facing what they thought was a liche at the time, but turned out to be a rakshasa.

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Belie
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Belie nodded to the group then shook his hand to tell the group he was ready. “I’m good to go. I just need to grab my backpack.” He went around behind the counter where Jamir sat and grabbed his handy haversack, strapping it to his back then threw his new magical cloak over his shoulders.

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Talin
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“I think we have one more stop to make.  Remember you told me to remind you Vogh that we should head to Grand Spire Holdings.  To see about getting Bharash that loan for the apartment.”  Talin had almost forgotten as he was getting excited about heading back down into the sewers.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

When Bharash was a boy, his favourite toys were the selection of small, but properly-weighted swords that Granna Shadow would let one of her grandchildren pick out before they were locked in the basement (Granna Shadow having very firm ideas about the value of education and the appropriate place of any member of her family in the food chain, vis-a-vis absolutely anything that liked living in the dark) and this, in many respects explains a great deal, and nothing like enough about him…

…so he’s sort of charmed and somewhat fascinated without being outright enraptured by the selection of frivolities at hand in the nascent toyshop, which frees him up to snort when Vogh invokes his name, “All I pointed out was that we’d better double-check no-one had moved it. Again.” he points out, before levelling a finger at Talin, “Good point. Soonest started, soonest set in motion.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The now foursome left Miraj Toys and stepped into the drizzle. Talin had paid the carriage driver to wait so they all boarded. Jamir had mundanely and magically locked the door behind them.

Talin told him their destination and with a snap of reins, the carriage lurched forward with a squeak and the clattering of wheels on stone.

They rumbled through Midtown and up the steep climb back into Oldtown which they had just left the day prior. Outside the carriages window the group heard someone yelling about a thief and looked just fast enough to see a dark cloaked person dashing down an alleyway.

Half an hour later they pulled in front of Grand Spire Holdings. A beautiful, golden lion head sculpture was frozen in mid-roar with water pouring from its mouth into a deep pool. Intricate tile was inlaid on the fountain’s floor, rippling blue which enhanced the beauty of the crystal clear water.

Staircases opposite one another led up to the ornately carved and intricately inlaid wooden doors which were very obviously elven. The top, of three, stories was a private rooftop garden and walkway with crenellations.

Inside four desks sat symmetrical, each of a rich wood carved and decorated. Behind all four desks sat beautiful elven maidens working on stacks of papers. Beyond the desks was another set of double doors leading into a huge, elaborately decorated office with an even larger wooden desk inlain with enough gold filigree to make any thief salivate. Behind which sat a noble, male elf who only glanced up upon their entry.

Upon their entry the three heroes, and their elderly manservant, were greeted by one of the elven women. She stood, straightening a golden dress which matched her waist length hair. Heeled sandals clacked against the pristine wooden floors.

“Greetings. May I assist you?” She asked in a mellifluous tone.

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Vogh
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Vogh hadn’t ever been to Grand Spire Holdings before but she did notice it before as they had gone to the Jodan Temple, only three buildings away.  The area here was filled with rich architecture and history.  When they arrived at the building, Vogh took a much closer look at it.  The lion’s head fountain was spectacular but so too were the staircases and the door they lead to.

After entering, Vogh wasn’t surprised by the gold filigree that was set on the desks.  Vogh was surprised though that there were only elves working inside.  When an older elven woman had stood and greeted them Vogh answered with a surprising tone to her voice.  Talin had heard it many times before as he had visited the Kath Estate.  It was one of importance and richness.  “A fine Ptolus day to you.”  The greeting was one that many used when the weather suited.  “We are have come to speak with someone concerning the need to attain money to purchase a property here in Oldtown.  My name is Vogh Kath.”  Vogh added the last part to show that they meant business.

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Bharash
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“I certainly hope so.” Bharash replies, glad of the fact that he actually dressed for going out on the town today, so he looks half-way respectable instead of being clad in seven feet of shining armour and incipient violence – which as admirable as that is in certain circles, doesn’t generally fly well around moneylenders.

So, a good start then. Stepping up, Bharash rumbles politely, with exquisite care to enunciate in the city fashion and keep his usual subtle, high-country brogue out of his voice “My name is Bharash Shadowglass, my associates are Belie Ekik, Talin Ursalatao and you already met Vogh Kath. I’m here with the hope of speaking with an associate of the house regarding a property investment while my companions are variously competent advisors in matters of the city and its ways.”, setting up a context in which his essential inhumanity will seem more exotic than a drawback, and frame his associates – each a respectable sort in their own right – as having reason to be present.

Bharash steps in the company of his associates and sagely permits Vogh to handle the opening introductions, rather than presenting himself up-front as the one about to be looking to borrow a distressingly large sum of money.

OOC: Well, arse. I had this writing but fell down the hole of looking through old threads trying to find peoples second names. ^_^

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Narrator GM
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The young woman declines her head slowly and deliberately. She moves much more fluidly and un-hurried than anyone else in Ptolus they have dealt with or seen. To the impatient races, the elves’ ability to take their time often is seen as slothfulness. But when one lives for centuries, one need not hurry.

“Please wait here or take a seat while I speak with Master Orifir.”

At the same leisurely pace, she turned and strode into the Master’s office. He looked up and they conversed too quietly for those on the opposite side of the buliding to hear. They all saw a nod and the elf woman turned and strode back to them.

“Master Orifir will see you now. Please follow me. Refreshments will be brought momentarily.”

The group had to intentionally slow their pace not to run over the maiden with her relaxed walking speed.

Once inside Orifir’s office the group saw bookshelves which surrounded the entire room, save the wall behind his desk which featured gigantic, stained glass windows. The elf remained seated but gestured for them to have a seat.

“Vogh. Talin. Bharash. And Belie I assume…” He greeted each of them by name. Either the elf already knew of them, or he had absolutely impossibly good hearing to have captured their names across the entire building when Bharash gave them.

[Private to GM: I rolled a 9 on a percent dice, so this elf is quite knowledgeable about them]

Everyone started when they turned to regard Belie standing in his natural form, the magic disguise of his hat gone. No one was more surprised by the uncovering than Belie himself. “How…”

The elf waved his hand to silence the question. “A simple spell to remove illusionary magic, among other things, upon those who enter my office. I do not like being deceived…”

After the group had taken seats in surpremely plush leather seats with backs so high even Bharash’s head was still beneath the top, a different – yet equally beautiful – elf maiden brought a silver tray of delicate, crystal glasses, bottles of wine, stoppered dark liquor, several baked treats and multiple silver bowls of different fruit.

“The only reason I allowed you admitance without an appointment is your reputations.” Orifir did not seem pleased with them.

[Private to GM: I rolled a 4 on his starting attitude check, probably b/c they didn’t make an appointment and just barged in.]

“Now that your here, you wish to secure loan for an investment property? Tell me about it.”

[Private to GM: Possible tie in with Doridian Mythlord of the elven conclave]

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Bharash
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The necessity of moderating his pace in order to avoid running down the less intensely impatient is a lesson Bharash had to learn early, when he started growing into his full adult height and he had to learn it again when he began to train as a warrior, then a third time when he got his (simply spiffy) magic boots. Cranking things down yet one more notch in order to avoid running over the elf-maid is simply automatic good manners, by this point. He’s no elf, of course but even so he has the sauntering grace of a man with near-perfect kinesthetic knowledge of every inch of his own body, honed by years of practice.

When he steps through the portal the spell washes over him as it does everyone else, but it seems that he’s as he appears today, since nothing fundamentally changes. Moving to the table, he pulls out a seat for Vogh (Granna Shadow was quite emphatic about that sort of thing, one of the few areas where she and Granna Silverglass saw eye-to-eye) and takes his own, before rumbling politely and inclining his head, opening with “My apologies Ser Orifir, We made no request for such uncommon consideration upon your part and are conscious of the honour you do us in extending it.”

But, to business!

“Your information is correct however. During the course of our endeavours yesterday, we became aware of a compromised structure in the Old Quarter. It’s location is good, but at the present time the previous tenants have largely been mutated into demonic insects, a chaos cult was sub-letting the building and the basement access is onto a ratfolk nest with a charming view of a cadaver-pit… As adventurers of some modest note, it was my thought that purchasing the building as an… ahhhh, ‘fixer upper’ might be a reasonable way to access the Ptolus housing market, to which purpose we went to speak with one Lief deGray, the owner of the property… Whereupon a tentative agreement, pending financing was made to permit the transfer of the structure and adjacent grounds.”

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Navarre Orifir ()
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The elf’s narrow eyebrow climbed on one side of his face with Bharash’s telling. “Fixer upper… Interesting. I know Lief well. What was the price of the tentative agreement? And this is an income property? Do you intend to live there personally? What collateral do you have to put up, and how much of a down payment do you have?”

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Bharash
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“Indeed. And since one of my associates has access to both considerable musical talent and a lyre of building and another is an accomplished spellcaster, I would imagine that the timescale it can be completed upon is rather shorter than anyone would imagine.” Bharash replies, keeping things as businesslike as he can and assuming, naturally that Vogh will step in should matters move to negotiation “As for your questions… A value of some two thousand dragons was agreed upon. I believe that with proper investment, a steady profit could be realised from the location, in order to offset my own living expenses as I mean to take the ground floor apartment that was breached by the undercity. For collateral, I have possession of well in excess of ten thousand dragons in magical goods of one sort or another and although I believe that ten percent is traditional, I could easily see my way clear to going as high as thirty percent, or some six hundred dragons prior to any liquidation of resources.”

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Navarre Orifir ()
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The elf listened impasively through all of Bharash’s answers, not indicating favor or disfavor at any moment. “Interesting. I will send word to Lief of your intentions to use us as your lender. I shall send a courier to your current residence with paperwork for your review if he agrees. The final signing will need to happen here, before witnesses, and you will need to provide down payment at that time. Preferably in platinum, mage coins, or gems. Your first payment will be required at the date of your signature, then amortized payments must be made on the first of every month hereafter for the life of the lending.”

The group noticed the golden circlet on Navarre’s head sported a red gemstone which seemed to have some magic about it, as an inner light would pulse from time to time but with no discernable pattern.

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Bharash
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Business-Bharash is something of a fascinating study for those who have only ever really seen him carving up his enemies with swords. He’s certainly not good at it, but the mere fact that he’s trying is rather impressive – sort of like coming across a dog that’s fluent in Aklo (it being more impressive that it speaks at all, than it have any particular affinity for an uncommon dialect) “None of those preconditions seem particularly onerous. I’m able to provide security for the transfer of coin although it would likely be as easy to confirm transfer from one vault to another, I leave that entirely to your preference, likewise the payment schedule… On which subject, Ms Kath you’re considerably more informaed about these matters than I. Is there anything you wish to discuss or confirm with Ser Oirfir?”

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Vogh
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Things didn’t start off on the right foot it seemed as Navarre Orifir seemed a bit put off, but at least their reputations had preceded them and he chose to at least listen to what was being asked.

Vogh listened to Navarre Orifir and Bharash, who she was so surprised, talk back and forth.  Bharash was putting on a good show she had to admit to herself.  She wondered then if he had done something like this in the past?  Perhaps for his magic items, she didn’t know.

Everything seemed straightforward though and the requirements were well within standard. When asked what she thought Vogh turned to Bharash, “I don’t believe I do have anything else to add.”

She turned back to Navarre Orifir then and continued, “As for our current residence, we are staying at the Ghostly Minstrel.  If the paperwork is given to Tellith, she will ensure that we get us if we are in, if not she will let us know when we arrive.”

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Navarre Orifir ()
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Master Orifir nodded in understanding and recognition. “Ah yes. The Minstrel. Lots of you thrill seekers frequent Vard’s place don’t you? I haven’t been there since the labyrinths below were rediscovered and the mad dash for death and gold began.”

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Bharash
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Someone with a real knack for diplomacy can register Bharash’s failings – he’s not good at framing counter-arguments or moving through the shifting sands of a negotiation in process, but he appears to have a genuine gift for coming up with roughly the right things to say in advance and then delivering the lines with dignified formality… He’ll never be an actor, but he might make a half-decent character performer, with the right casting.

“It has its merits.” Bharash allows as the Minstrel is brought up, “Centrally located, convenient for work and of course, a surprisingly high standard of security provided by the wide range of… exotic individuals who frequent it. I shall look forwards to hearing from your agent in the next few days and, again my thanks for your consideration in seeing us so promptly.”

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Navarre Orifir ()
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“Indeed.” He offered simply. “I will send the paperwork after speaking with Lief.”

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Narrator GM
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The foursome got up and walked out of the elf’s office. As soon as Belie walked out of the big office he enacted the magic of his hat and the illusion functioned once more, Belie became the older gentleman who easily faded into the background. He audibly breathed a sigh of relief. They exited the building and hailed a carriage to return to the Minstrel.

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Bharash
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“If that magic hat were a drug, I’d worry about you.” Bharash remarks casually as they hail a carriage, not quite chiding the other man but fairly obviously a little worried about him nonetheless.

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Belie
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Belie winked at Bharash. “My good man. If you had as many people who wanted to kill you as I do… Wait… You do!” The rogue couldn’t help but chuckle then shrugged. “Maybe you should be more careful. All of you. Did you know I don’t sleep in the same room two nights in a row when I can help it? I don’t know about you all, but I was always transient. Jamir and I traveled constantly, never in a town more than a night and no one ever paid attention to us. Now tons of people in a city we don’t leave know who we are. Well, you all more so than me. There are several powerful groups who would love to see us dead. There have been two assasination attempts against the group, and do you all remember that spider that just showed up and bloody stole Talin away? Come on… Doesn’t that make you look over your shoulder more then forward? It sure does me. That’s the main reason I’ve started trying to build up a network of people in this massive place. I don’t want a dagger in the back. Or front for that matter!”

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Talin
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When Bharash made his comment about Belie, Talin felt a burning inside just wanting to burst out.  Drugs… he wasn’t a fan of them at all.  Talin kept his feelings in check though as they made their way to the Minstrel to meet with Julia and Deacon.

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Vogh
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Vogh was a bit worried about the bad people that have an interest in the good things they have done with the city the last few months.  But, she wasn’t about to hide her identity.  People looked up to them as well and if they were never seen, then what message would that send?  “While I agree we shouldn’t flaunt our presence everywhere, I also am not going to hide either.  It would be easy to just put on a mask every day, but I believe the good things we have done in the city have quite possibly put some hope in people’s hearts as well.”

When the carriage pulled up to the Minstrel Vogh exited out into the drizzle, “Now let’s head inside so we can get on our way.”

When she entered she spotted Deacon and Julia waiting at a table they usually have reserved for the group.  She made her way over and said as she sat, “I hope you both had a productive day today, we certainly did.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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When Vogh approached, Deacon stood up to greet her.  To answer her question, Deacon said as he looked to Julia, “I think we have.  We got a name from Sister Mara on who we can speak with about the lawsuit we face.  Julia also made a surprise request of Sister Mara.  I will let her tell you her dealings with Sister Mara.” 

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia waved to Vogh as she came over and before she could say anything, Deacon had responded.

When Deacon gave her the table, Julia told what happened. “I have made a formal request of the church to aid in the purchasing of the Manor House.  The one over the warrens.  Speaking of which the actual warrens have apparently been very quiet and Sister Mara is looking for some information to find out why.  In the next few days, I will be volunteering at St. Laphest’s Open Arms. It’s on Curtain Street, just south of the Warrens.  Are we ready to recover what was taken from us?”

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Narrator GM
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Belie nodded and shrugged. He was not concerned with people seeing him, or rather he was VERY concerned with the wrong people seeing him. But he did not hold the responsibility Vogh felt toward the people.

The group made it back to the Minstrel easily and collected their wizard and healer. All were prepared for a confrontation with the ratmen to recover the stolen magic items.

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Narrator GM
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Belie and Talin each hailed carriages, since the six of them could not fit inside a standard britannia carriage. Bharash alone easily took up one whole bench. It took a few minutes to grab a second transport, but a couple extra silver kept the first driver happy to wait. Keeping up his older gentlemen, man servant appearance Belie opened each carriage’s doors for the ladies to enter first. Finally he boarded as well.

On their way up the steep hill which led them into Oldtown the older gentleman driving the lead wagon had to shout at a group of robe wearing scribes or clerks who were gaggling along not paying attention to their surroundings. “OI! Get outta da way!” All jumped to the side and started to curse the driver, but stopped when they saw the man driving. He might have had more gray hair than his original brown, but muscles rippled out from the vest he wore without a shirt beneath. At under 5 feet tall the human carriage driver almost looked like a dwarf as bulky as he was built. Snapping the rains and driving the two hitched horses up the incline he shook a fist down at them which had cracked knuckles from either years of hard work, or fighting.

“Sorry about that folks!” He hollered back the his passengers. “Dem dalcops pay more attention to books than they own feet!” The man chuckled at his own insult.

Finally the carriages made their way down Tower Road, pasing Jodan Templehall, and stopped in front of the narrow street which led to Confluence Village, the apartments where the group fought the cultists.

With a squeak of metalic protest, the carriage’s break was set and the stocky driver jumped down from his seat. Opening the door he made a flourishing bow including removing his taller than average top-hat. A thick imperial style moustache covered his upper lip and most of his cheeks while leaving his weather worn chin just stubbly. “Name’s Arthur Fenwick, at yo service. I’ve not had the pleasure of transporting such lovely ladies!” Arthur gestured toward the tight walkway.

“Apologies, but I canno’ be takin’ you all the way to your desk-in-nation. Er. Your place. It be too nair-rah for the carriage. Sorry misses.” The group all noticed that the man spoke incredibly loudly, even while they stood here on the street. Likely from shouting down from the driver’s seat so often.

[Private to GM: Arthur Fenwick is a 41 year old male human fighter.
He has cropped, wavy, brown hair and brown eyes.
He has smooth red skin.
He stands 152cm (4’11”) tall and has a muscular build.
He has a sharp, slightly fanciable face.
He occasionally squints.

He discretely worships Torm, God of duty, loyalty, obedience, paladins. (Lawful Good)
He is kind and generous.
He only talks loudly.
He spends every morning training.
He always does what he is told not to.

Strength 18
Dexterity 12
Constitution 17
Intellect 9
Wisdom 11
Charisma 15

Good 6
Lawful 3
Neutral 1
Evil 0
Chaotic 4

Plot hook: He is part of a local drug dealing circle.]

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Bharash
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“Can’t say that it does, really.” Bharash admits, with a thoughtful look on his face and the lifting of a hand to rub the back of his neck, trying to put his feelings on the matter into words and eventually coming up with, “I mean, I know that there are people who think I’d look better as a corpse, but if I let them dictate the course of my life to the point where I can’t live it, I’d be one of them.” although he does then add, speculatively “With that said, you’ve always seemed happier playing those games than I would be. Smoke and mirrors, who said she said stuff. I’m a fairly direct soul, by my nature. I expect you’ll end up enjoying being the head of a network of informants a lot more than I would.”

Once back at the minstrel, he spends a few moments trying to find someone willing to help him into his still-dented armour (he hasn’t had a chance to see to that yet) so as to be ready to head out.

Come the trip, he once more expresses his happiness to just jog alongside the first carriage
(citing the notion that he can always use the exercise, despite the fact that he can deadlift a carriage like the one they’re riding in and run the carriage-horses into exhaustion) but when it’s decided that two vehicles are necessary climbs into the second and rides along, dismounting once they arrive and ambling up to join the others at the front, rolling his shoulders to settle them and checking on the draw of his swords while they chat to the dwarf.

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Vogh
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Arthur Fenwick was a hill of a man and his language was foul, but it sort of suited him as a carriage driver.  Vogh smiled wide at his admission he couldn’t transport them the whole way.  “Ah it is okay Arthur.  Thank you for the ride.  Perhaps we will see you again, I like the way you conduct business.  Now, you stay healthy and keep up the good work!”

Vogh moved off with the others then and asked Deacon to cast his spell to make sure that the items were still below them.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Knowing that he would need to cast his spell to locate the object, Deacon was already prepared.  He grabbed the correct items and began to say the arcane words.

If the items are still there Deacon says, “Looks to me like they haven’t changed.  So how are we doing this?  I can cast Dimension door and get us all into the main chamber.  You all will be able to act immediately, whereas I will have to wait just a moment.  We can prepare our spells to strengthen our fighting now if you wish?”  Deacon had come prepared this day with spells to deal with any occasion.

I just have to use 4 points of my reservoir to bump my caster level to 18 to get all 6 of us.

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Narrator GM
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Two city watch guards sat at relaxed vigil beside the door, playing a game of cards which included a set of dice. When the group drew near they stood and nodded in recognition of the group. Apparently Alys had left their description because they were immediately admitted into the apartments where Deacon and the others were able to cast their spells.

Finally Deacon wove together his arcane energies and the group stepped into a black doorway which spit them out inside a pitch black room. Immediately every one of them felt a stabbing pain in their feet. (Each of you take 1 point of damage, have a caltrop stuck in your foot and your movement is halved until you remove the caltrop and get some healing)

The group found themselves in the same room as before. However a few feet further inside of it. Their magically granted dark vision showed them an entire room filled with caltrops. Dead center of the room sat a conical stone pillar which had serpents and tendrils carved into it all the way to it’s peak which nearly reached the twenty foot high ceiling. As they looked up, they also noticed multiple square holes cut into the stone.

Immediately Voghs senses felt the presence of multiple ratmen in the room moments before the group all heard squeals of alarm from ratmen almost at the edge of their vision, all positioned behind overturned tables

Pillars against the left and right walls had blue energy race up their sides which cast the whole room into a pale light right before lightning arced off each pillar and struck each of the six friends.

(Post initative. I’ll roll damage and let you know from the lightning. I’m almost done updating the map. Roll20 lost or deleted some of my stuff so it messed me up but I’ll have it done asap!)

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