The Dark Side of Krynn

Fun in the Forest
10th Session

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Around the now dead corpse the area has completely decayed…. Not good at all. We must flee from here. Lady Rikkus had fainted. Her guard places her on one of the horses and we quickly flee to the north.

We head north for about 20mins when Ven says he’s going to scout. Yru is up ahead and the rest of us reach him and we see we are standing in a path that heads from the North-west towards the South-East. I turn to Yru and ask him where this path came from and he looks stunned.

He was preparing to take us to a field ahead but somehow hadn’t noticed this path…(really?!?!). He seems off. Something is giving him a bad feeling?? Ven returns and attempts to sort out Yru. He’s having a bad feeling about the book…. Bitch, please.

Ven seems to think his dagger (now green) is reacting to the book (that is certainly possible). We decide to keep our distance (especially at night – when the feeling seems to be ominous). Just in case I remove my ring as well.

Ven and Yru go forward and scout out the field (we need to rest and we don’t have many options). They eventually motion us forward and we discover the area looks like a logging camp. Recently departed but still decent. Three hovels remain and that will provide us decent shelter for the night. We start to prepare in the main hut when after several minutes Ven yells out ‘Vine beasts are here’.

We all race out to see 4 vine creatures leaving the forest, heading for us. We engage. It’s during the start of the combat when I feel a presence at the back of my mind – ‘I can help you; I can give you power; You cannot die here; Formoch will not allow it’. I sense the book wants to aid me, I can sense it wants to give me power. I worry about saying yes, and thankfully at the moment it doesn’t seem necessary.

Unfortunately, I speak too soon, and after the initial 4, 8 more vine creatures, this time more undead-like, appear. These are way more dangerous. Our group starts to wane and I realise that we will die. I put my hand on the book and shouting the works in Dark Elven cry out ‘FORMACH ASSIST ME’. I feel this power flow through me and suddenly I feel refreshed. I immediately cry out my ancestral chorus and I the area is flooded in green light. All the enemy vine creatures are engulfed in green flame and set alight.
My hymm turns the tide and we manage to slay all the creatures, but unfortunately Lady Rikkus’ remaining guard is killed in the final exchange. I reach towards him but unfortunately, he is gone. I get those less injured to wrap him and prepare him for the Ergothian death rites. I manage to heal but Fredrick and Druzet (who had been badly wounded) before I head back to the hovel and continue dinner.

It’s funny, even after taking my hand off the book I sense its satisfaction at what happened, but I’m worried.. worried for my soul and worried what my companions will think if they discover how far I have really come.

Upon returning to the hovel I walk in on Ven talking to Lady Rikkus, I’m not sure what is exchanged but it seems she was distressed, more than anticipated. He seems to think it is related to some kind of trauma. It seems her chamberlain had given her some type of sedative and she has fallen asleep.

We manage to make it through the night and in the morning, we prepare to leave. I serve breakfast and then intent to perform the Ergothian ritual for Jenkins who had died. It is finally me that must reveal the news of the fallen guard to the chamberlain (good work Ven!). He believes the rites (burning the body) would be too dangerous to their position. I am offended that they give themselves airs but why am I not surprised. I nod and move away but during a time when I am alone I set a candle in the 3rd hovel where the body is stored. Coated in oil the hovel will burn after several hours.

We proceed through the path to the North-east, hoping it will lead us towards the wayfarers inn. Once again though, it seems we are delayed. We proceed for 45mins when we come into a clearing where a massively large tree stump stands in the middle of a clearing. There is a human body dead tangled among the roots of the tree. The only clear markings are a red sash on his arm.

Ven and Yru get close enough to examine the body and Yru reports that it has been dead for about three days – bludgeoned to death – skull crushed (eerily familiar to what happened to Druzet, before I healed him).

It’s to the East that a figure appears from the tree. It’s a Dryad. It is a timid creature but after a while considers us before talking in Elvish. (Only Ven & I can understand it). She explains that she needs our help, a powerful evil entity has been unleashed from this tree. It takes some time but it seems that a great ceremonial axe was planted into this tree stump, trapping this evil entity here. He has been released by these red sashes. A group of three men (+ this corpse) had been here cutting down trees for the war, and they spotted the axe and took it before the Dryad could stop them. The being has infected those remaining three and they have fled to the south-west. There is also another group (their leaders – a group of 7) came yesterday searching for them. They are following them. If the entity reaches the army it will be able to feed on them all and will gain great power. The Dryad (Aserlay) offers us a deal – if we defeat and destroy the entity, and remove these people that would destroy her forest, she will escort us to the city.

It takes a while but we finally understand what has happened… well almost. I am curious about the body in front of us, and after a silent look to Ven, he nods, and I confront her, that those vine creatures are hers and they are the ones that killed this red sash. She is afraid and caught in her ‘lie of omission’, but finally admits that she did indeed kill him. She was worried we would be taken back, but indeed Ven & I have no problem with her actions.
We finally learn the name of the entity – ONNU. We consider our options next.

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Ven's Not So Pleasant Reunion
9th Session

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We proceed away from the west gate heading along the coast, we are unfortunately exposed and visible from the city but with the cart makes heading into the forest near impossible. Fredrick offers to scout ahead along the road. Yru heads into the forest to attempt to find a path north that the cart can head along.

Durzet comments to Ven while we are riding away from the city that we might have to abandon the cart. The Ergothian lady was already proven difficult, it would ghastly if she had to walk or ride a horse. I advise Ven that but he seems distracted. During the ride, the Chamberlain introduces himself and the two guards. Atkins and the two guards Jenkin & Eden.

Its approaching late afternoon and Yru appears and states he’s found a nearby cave that would be a good place to camp but unfortunately it is still within the city’s patrol area and its most assuredly be a place that is scouted.

We decide to ride on, even though I feel very vulnerable without my magic or healing. We eventually encounter Fredrick; whom has ridden back and advised that if we continue much further we will reach a boat shed that seems to be run by the city guard. It looks like there’s a barge that goes from this harbor to the other side of the bay. Fredrick isn’t sure who oversees the other boat harbor and unfortunately, I can’t think of what towns might be over that way.

Ven signals Yru and after he returns we discuss our options. Yru has discovered a clearing that we can at least easily get the cart to there but he thinks we’ll have to abandon the cart if we want to head north. We examine Ven’s map and I suggest that we avoid the tower to the north but it might be worth seeing whether the wayfinder’s inn is still there. I also suggest that perhaps the dwarfs in the mountains might be a decent place to take the Ergothians. From what I have read they are quite honorable and would probably let the Ergothians through their city to the other side of the mountain.

We at least decide to rest for the night and then decide about our next movements in the morning. Yru and Duzret take the cart and move it towards the clearing. I take the time to re-dress Lady Urathe in some better clothing (she was dressed in ripped rags). We reach the clearing and pause for a time. Yru starts a camp fire and some of the food and wine that we ‘pillaged’ from the rich quarter is passed around. Just when we are starting to relax, I feel a magical presence and suddenly a vortex opens and a black robed figure steps out. Although his hood is up I recognize the wand he is holding, this is the black robe wizard I made the deal with to not interfere in the city’s assault.

After realizing that he is in no danger the wizard withdraws his wand and motions to the vortex. A person is brought through and the portal closes. The person is bound with a hood over his head. I look intrigued and I hear the wizard in my mind saying that ‘he is upholding his end of the bargain. Here is the elusive one’. ‘He will have the answers that will lead you back to Lemish’. It seems this wizard knows a lot more about us than I realized. I nod my thanks. As he prepares to leave instead of responding in my voice I speak to him through my mind-link I’ve developed from touching the book. I can tell he’s pleased and he responds, ‘we will meet again’. With that he raises his arms and suddenly he’s gone. I pull the hood off the man and turn to Ven to explain ‘That this is the elusive man’ when I notice that Yru and one of the guards are missing. The woman has fainted and Ven is looking a bit pale.

Something is up. I turn to the man but I still can’t work out whom is it. I realize that Ven recognizes him… I turn back to Ven and demand to know who it is. Ven attempts to play it cool but its Druzet who blurts out – Isn’t that your former master, Ven… Marcus? Now that Druzet says that I turn around realizing it is Marcus. I had only seen him once about a year ago but it was a striking memory because it was he who was training a recruit, they had been sparring when suddenly he executed a maneuver that planted the recruit on the ground prone.

But why is Marcus here now, and why was he the elusive man who was interfering with us. I can tell Ven is attempting to work out what is happening when suddenly he notices something and moves towards Marcus. He pulls out his special dagger and I step away not sure what he intends to do, but instead of killing him he prods something on Marcus’ face. It’s now I realize that Marcus seems to have these black legions on his face!!! What are they, and how did he get them.

When Ven touches the dagger to one of the legion there’s a spark of lightning. Marcus begins squealing in pain and even when Ven pulls the dagger away the arc of lightning keeps the dagger connected for at least a few seconds. Marucs until now had appeared placid, but after the arc of energy he suddenly sits up and strains at the binding speaking horrible words. I’m not sure how but I realize he’s muttering demonic and I comprehend a few words ‘ ____ ____ have ___ soul’. I turn to Ven and say – what does he mean about a soul?’. He is surprised but confirms the statement was ‘Formuk will have your soul’. Oh lordy. I look around and notice that perhaps the chamberlain understood that as well…. Strange.

So, it looks like Marcus has been possessed… probably by a demon and somehow Formuk is involved, and probably a demon…. That creature worshipping Takhises was one thing but demon worshipers… a cult indeed.

Ven attempts to get information from Marcus but it seems hopeless. He turns around and faces me and says ‘I want your soul!!! The uprising is coming!’. I have a feeling he senses the book. ‘FORMAK MUST FEED!! AID ME FORMAK’. It’s then I feel the whole clearing get darker, somehow I feel the darkness is enclosing upon us. Without even thinking I turn toward him and begin to sing, the ballad from my mother’s spellbook. I feel the darkness recede but the presence is overpowering.

Thankfully Ven steps forward and drives his dagger into Marcus. The dagger once again drains the body of its energy (I also suspect the demon inside) and Marcus desiccates before our eyes. Ven’s dagger has turned green…. This isn’t good.

The amount of noise we have made during this whole situation has caused us to be discovered. Yru at this point returns from the forest informing us that he killed the guard that ran away (as he wouldn’t return), he warns us that we must move away from here quickly…

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The Great Escape
8th Session

Ven & I kill off the remaining lizard men except for the leader and I tell Ven to bind him and we’ll see if we can get some answers. I wake him with Ven staying in shadows ready to respond if he attempts to escape. I lower the mouth restraint and ask if he’s prepared to talk.

He quickly realizes that the rest of his men are dead and he nods ‘I’ll talk but first I want to see the book’. Being careful, I unwrap it slowly and I notice that he gets more excited as I slowly remove the red cover. When he can finally see the gem(eye) he takes on this expression of ecstasy. He mutters some magical words and suddenly the eye appears again and starts looking around. The lizard men can’t hide his expression of euphoria. It almost seems like he’s addicted to the book and needed his ‘hit’ before he could even consider anything else.

He thanks me and says that I am the chosen (holder of the book gets that title? – great…). He explains that he serves Takhisis (The evil goddess of old!). That’s a little scary. He states that he must return the book to his cell leader – Master Returor. He is inside the warehouse. I ask him what the book is called and he tells me it is the Book of Formock. That name sounds so familiar but unfortunately I cannot remember where I have seen it! (#91 choosing 95-100% bard roll).

I’m talking to him further when suddenly Ven appears out of the shadows and stabs him with that mithril dagger of his. Before my eyes the lizard man disintegrates. I look at him questioningly but all he says is that the creature is evil, debased and foulest thing and that it must be destroyed and that we cannot work with these cultists. (WTF just happened??)

A bit over dramatic response but it turns out we have more pressing matters, at that moment Yru comes up from the docks (through some kind of fog?!?!? – Created by Yru!?!?!?!). He explains that Druzet has been gravely injured and that there are 30 hogoblin archers on a roof top that are raining arrows over the dock area. Fredrick has remained with Druzet but I am needed. I look to Ven who nods and says he will bring the horses. Yru comments that we will have to be careful as the fog might lift.

Not taking the chances of being shot by any archers I cast Invisibility on myself and tell him that I will meet him at the dock.

I proceed at a slower pace than Yru to ensure that I am making as little noise as possible when I come across Yru and Fredrick fighting two merchants?!?! They seem proficient fighters and poor Fredrick doesn’t look good. I cast an Eldritch Blast at the first man ordering them both to surrender. They continue to fight and eventually we manage to kill one while I send the other in fear from my Dissonant Whispers. By the end Ven has arrived and he has the horses, I look over the dock and it seems Yru has found a small boat that Druzet is inside. Not being able to fit us all Yru, Druzet and I head in the boat and are aiming for the west coast just outside the city where we’ll wait for Ven and Fredrick who will head to the gate (with the horses).

During this time, I see several large Sanction war ships come out of the fog and they head at full steam towards the dock. Before I can even fathom what they are doing, one of the ships crashes into the Ergothian Noble ship, sinking it!!

We make it to the coast where Yru turns the boat into a litter where he drags Druzet into the shrub. There isn’t a lot of cover here but unfortunately Druzet is badly wounded.
After Yru does a quick scout and comes back saying it looks safe, I take the opportunity to heal Druzet. I start to sing but after a while nothing seems to be happening, before I can stop Yru interrupts me saying that the song I was singing was sounding ominous…. Wtf?

I decide to give it another go and this time I can tell that it is better. He starts to heal; it turns out he was poisoned!! I finally managed to do enough that Druzet opens his eyes and starts enquiring what’s happening. He’s pretty weak but luckily he can stand. I heal him some more and colour returns to his face. He thanks me and I’m about to explain what’s happening when Yru returns and explains that someone is signalling on wall to troops on the water. Yru thinks they heard me singing earlier and are signalling someone to investigate. Deciding to give them a distraction, I create a dancing light humanoid who runs from the shrub out towards the wall and then turns and heads towards the water near the dock. That does a good job in causing a distraction as the person at the wall signals further.

Yru reports that the wall is closed and he can see some guards are protecting it (from the outside or inside is a better question). We haven’t heard anything from Ven and Fredrick at this point and although we could try and sneak through the tunnel at the north gate Yru reports that there is a large force attacking.

Suggesting that our best option is to bluff I get the others to follow me out where I approach the wall and notice that Captain Deathe is there. (this isn’t going to end well). I tell the story – I am Evanora Khan, agent of Lt Karnak. We were sent to deal with some thieves who were attempting to escape. He nods but he is unconvincing. He knows I’ve lied and that I know he’s caught me. I notice he’s doing something with his hand and so I reach out and in his mind – I tell him to keep his hand still or he’s about to lose it. It looks like this is going to end the hard way. He bows and then calls out to the guards ‘Kill the Bitch!’ (Another mark against your name Deathe) and with that he pulls out some type of gun/weapon?!?! (Boomstick) aims and fires at me.

Unfortunately for him I was ready and a well-timed shield stops the attack. With that I tell him loudly that ‘You will pay for your treachery Deathe’. I tell Yru to create that fog again and that we have to get to that portcullis and try and get inside. I also notice an arrow come from inside that takes out one of the archers – excellent Ven is here.

Yru begins chanting and I create a distraction by attacking the archers with my Eldrich Blast. Deathe – after seeing his attack miss – takes off and heads down the ladder. I send a dancing light humanoid after him and he continues to flee towards the centre of town – coward. With the fog raised we run to the wall where Druzet – surprisingly even in his injured condition, somehow manages to open the portcullis allowing us all to get under (Yru then got a box and stuck it under so Druzet could get through before he was crushed.

It seems there is a contingent of Sanction soldiers here and their leader has ordered them to outside the fog (in formation). I take the opportunity to climb the ladder of the wall and check to make sure there aren’t any more archers up here. Yru and Druzet are dealing with Sanction soldiers and I deal with the last archer. Telling Yru to drop the fog we are left against 5 sanction troops (one is a man dressed in black scale armour?!?!). There appears to be prison wagon here that contains some Ergothians. Ven has been spending his time releasing them as there are two of those guards from the market-place inside. With them free they join the fight but unfortunately these Sanction soldiers are good. Druzet gets hits and goes down and we have all been heavily injured (except for Ven). Knowing we are desperate I call upon my power and I sing the song from my mother’s journal ‘Lament of the *****’. It seems to have some effect on both my allies and my enemies. It heals Druzet and myself and one of the Sanction soldiers drops to the floor, choking. The song also affects the leader who is swinging a great sword. He has to tilt the sword down to stop himself from falling (he was stunned).

The Ergothians manage to find weapons and in the end it is all of us surrounding two sanction (one guard and the leader). I order them to surrender and the leader, thinking for a moment, nods and announces he surrenders and both him and his guard drop their weapons.

It’s at this point I hear a loud shrill from behind and it’s the Erothian woman. Definitely looks like she’s been beaten and she’s telling her guards to kill them. They unfortunately being mindless continue the attack and so I walk over to her, slapping her across the face – Telling her to be quiet. I then turn and cast a sleep spell at the 2xErgothians and 2x Sanction guards. The spell affects the sanction troops and one of the Ergothians but unfortunately the other is still alive, and he starts heading towards me.
As I’m preparing to blast him to pieces it is Ven who interrupts but shouting ‘Enough’. He also makes his point by stepping between the two sleeping sanction troops and hitting them both with his dagger, which causes their heads to cave in and then disintegrates. (He needs some lessons in performance).

Ven walks up and says that the city is not safe anymore and that we have to leave. It’s at this that the woman realises about her boat and sends her man-servant to the wall who reports with great regret that the ship is destroyed. I decide to wait and see how this proceeds. At this point Fredrick comes rushing forward with the horses (great timing). Ven instructs him and Yru to find a wagon to move the lady in and we are going to depart out the west gate and try and get back to Lemish. Having a moment with the ladies’ manservant (who is actually her chamberlain) I ask about her male companion and he confirms that he is dead, and he was killed for resisting. He says that a Sanction Lt came to them last night saying that this wasn’t going to happen and that they were going to be evacuated…. It seems that Lt Karnak has lost control of the situation.

I am still angry at Ven and he better have a good reason for killing those two. I do not like giving my word and then having it be broken. He might be in charge of this operation but his orders were to find Yandon and with that completed and his thieve contacts wiped out I am the only one with a contact that the master might be able to deal with. As I’m thinking of this the chamberlain explains that the lady has been distraught and he’s fairly sure she was raped. Dammit. This certainly did get out of control. It seems this girl will be getting my help whether she wants to, if she wants to get past this harrowing experience. I reply without thinking to the chamberlain ‘She’s not the first to experience such an atrocity and she certainly won’t be the last’. At that I realise what I have said and I look at the chamberlain alarmed and he immediately understands what I’m saying. It seems to have actually helped the strained relationship as he puts his hand on my shoulder and mummers are few words of comfort.

We depart the city after Ven organizes for the others to gather supplies from nearby houses (we were in the rich quarter). With that we head out the gate. I’m hoping we can stop soon as I know many of us need healing and also that I feel really worn out (Spells depleted).

Bring a cart. 2x Ergothian guard, 1 Courtier, 1 noble lady, Evanora, Ven, Yru, Durzet, Fredrick

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Festival..Bloody..Festival (sung to U2)
7th Session

From the Journal of Evanora

Fredrick and I are heading back to Yandon’s warehouse and I can tell something or someone is watching but unfortunately, I just can’t recognise it. We arrive and the place looks deserted and I pull Fredrick over to a nearby food cart while I consider what to do. I create an origami figurine with the words ‘we are being watched’ written on the inside and ask Fredrick to throw it at the building. He does and unfortunately it lands on the porch and it looks like no one is there to see it or attempt to grab it. I decide to create a diversion instead and create some magical fireworks down the road. It causes a decent distraction and Fredrick and I take off down the side street and enter the backyard of the building. Knocking at the door, we hear Duzret on the other side ask ‘who is it?’ Who the bloody hell do you think it is…
Fredrick cuts off my response and says, let us in you ‘breed’. (A word I have noticed they call it each other to rile the other up). He opens it now a bit angry but my expression shows I am in no mood. I ask him if the others are back and he confirms yes.
We head in and I locate Yru and Ven in the front room. They confirm that this building is being watched and that we have to go.
I ask about Yandon, and Ven confirms he has been found alive and as I am about to ask more details, Fredrick calls us over to the front window where he points out that a large ‘dust cloud’ is coming this way….
Ven orders us upstairs to go through the sewer exit. We turn and make our way up and manage to squeeze Duzret through the ‘portal’. Just as I enter, we hear the front door downstairs break open. Ven comes last, closes it, and seals the door from this side. We head down and along the sewers until we reach a crossroad. We finally get a moment to talk and Ven explains about Yandon and how one of Waheed’s domo’s attacked him. He was the one who had the Green Book. I ask for confirmation that the book is not Waheed’s or Yandon’s and he says yes. I already suspected this but it was nice to have confirmation. Unfortunately, Ven caught my reaction and says ‘but you already knew that!’ Dammit I have to be careful around him. I explain that I have been offered a deal – but I wanted to make sure Yandon did not have orders that would change our mission. Ven says that he has not and that Yandon is only concerned with getting outside the city now.
I tell them that I have been offered a deal. If we allow the city attack to continue this person will hand over the ‘elusive man’ from the bazaar attack and that he has links that lead us back to Lemish and the opposing business man Vicben.
Ven seems surprised but I explain to them what I have worked out. The attack is a ruse. Oh sure there is going to be an attack and people will die but it is not going to be the destruction of the city. I tell them that Sanction has organized the attack and I believe it is because Sanction has offered them an alliance where Crafthaven will submit to Sanction in exchange for its protection. From what I can work out the first attack did not convince the merchants and so Sanction have planned this attack with more care. It’s at this that Fredrick (providing interesting political knowledge of the area) saying that many of the other city states would be upset if Crafthaven submitted to Sanction but they would probably let it slide if the bazaar and the trading continued as most of the nearby areas now depend on Crafthaven’s trade. I explain that I am not sure how the Lord from Lemish works but I do know that the Sanction officer here – a Lt Karnak, is tasked with making sure the foreign dignities are safe from harm during the attack.
I am about to tell them further but we suddenly hear a noise and a thief appears out of one of the passage. I approach and say ‘how can we help you?’ He looks shocked but I explain that we are ‘associates of Dingo’. He looks relieved and says he was sent to find us. It seems the building where the hooded creatures were hiding has exploded and the thieves are under attack by these creatures in the sewers. He reports that the families are making their way out to the docks. I motion understanding and tell him to proceed.
He heads off.
Making sure, he is out of earshot I explain that the plans have had to be accelerated due to my interference. They look at me weirdly and I explain that I was telling the information we had gathered to the Red Robe Wizard in charge and when I mentioned Captain Deathe, a Black Robe wizard who was in the room used a wand to kill the Red Robe. The black robe wizard was the one who made the deal with me and that he has accelerated the plans.
I tell them that we have to get our horses and find a place to wait out the attack and then I can contact the Wizard after the fight.
Ven and the others agree – Just as I predicted, they do not care about the city but Ven does seem interested in that man who is linked to the cultist.
There was something however that passed between Yru and Ven when we were discussing the book back at Yandon’s warehouse but they don’t seem eager to tell me…..

We decide to head back to the Happy Harpy and we get out of the nearby grate. Fredrick and Duzret go to get the horses from the stables while Ven watches. Yru asks what I wanted to do and I say I if it is not too much trouble I would like to find the Ergothian Man who was in room #6 as I have something of his. Ven and Yru both look at me and I explain that at the guardhouse, in one of sacks was his room’s contents and I would like to return it to him as I am not a thief and he has not wronged me. Ven looks at me strangely but I shrug it off.
Yru moves forward in the shadows to approach the door and I attempt to follow but I can tell this is not my forte. As he approaches, I take the moment to see if I can sense any magic around the building.
Bad move.
The Happy Harpy is infected with Cultist magic and opening myself up to it, I feel the feedback. I cannot help but scream in pain as I try to remove the attack from my mind. I can tell that something penetrated and went through my thoughts but to what information it gleamed, I am unsure.
Yru rushes over and I explain that the Cultists have infected the inn with their magic and its reaching a Crescendo – we have to get out.
Thankfully, Yru and Duzret come at that moment and we all get on our horses and ride away.
Now that I think about it, the area about the inn was strangely quiet. This attack is much more diabolical than I thought.
One thing I do sense is that the book ‘woke up’ when the feedback happened and it’s looking around. I reach out to try to quieten its presence but instead I get a ping within my head…..and the ping was linked with someone else… Ven….. I look at him and I can tell he knows or has something linked to the book now…..
Before I can ask him questions he leads us towards the docks and hopefully see if there is way we can escape into the nearby forests.
We are proceeding down to the dock when suddenly we notice a large line of people streaming from an open hatch from the sewers. It starts out as woman, children and the elderly. The Thieves’ families! They seem to be running from something so I stop at the intersection that we meet them at and wait to see what is following them.
I understand neutralising those that could be a threat but this is just plain murder/massacre.
The others stop and Ven realises what I am doing. He orders the other three to proceed down to the docks where we can see that the people are heading for the third ship (not Sanction or Rikus) in the harbour.
Finally, two thieves come out of the tunnel and one is gravely wounded. He yells out – that the creatures are just behind them. I tell them to make their way to the ship and I turn my horse and wait.
I can sense them before I see the creatures and taking the opportunity I tell them flatly, ‘I have an agreement with your Master from Sanction, leave these people be. Continue your mission’
Its a little time before they step out from the shadows and I can see (at least partial) them for the first time. There are 10x hooded creatures.
Definitely claws on their hands and feet, hooded to hide anything else. The leader has a staff while the others all have long swords.
The leader steps forward – ‘Greetings Mistress, we are new to this city; perhaps you can help us’.
Highly amusing that he thought I would buy some a bold face lie. I turn and notice that I cannot see Ven, but I can sense him somehow. He’s stealthed.
Deciding this is heading badly quite quickly I decide to exert my authority (also I was pissed off from the attack at the Inn).
‘Creature, you had best go back from where hence you came or you and your brethren will not survive’. (Intimidate – Witch Powers – Natural #20)
He is weary. They are discussing the situation quietly between them in a language I do not understand.
In the end its one of his off-siders who makes the first move – He uses his claws to rip open his robes, spreads wings (WINGS!!) draws his sword and says ‘We must get the book back’.
Now that I can see them, they are quite interesting. Definitely a reptile type creature and the ability to fly/hover… interesting.
Before they can launch at me I cast Sleep on them. I was hopefully to be able to make 2-3 incapacitated but instead eight of the ten fall asleep on the ground. Two of them at the back are only slowed.
Luckily, that is all Ven needed and suddenly a bolt comes out of the shadows to the right of me and hits the first Lizard Creature in the neck. It clutches hits neck and then suddenly turns to stone!
Did Ven get a new poison when I was not looking? – that was amazing!
I don’t give the other a chance to attack and manage to hypnotise him to attack one of his fallen companions. He turns, draws his sword and stabs him in the back.
Between Ven & I we manage to work methodically through and kill of each creature.
Currently: 5 dead. 1 Dazed (Poison weapons), 4 (Including Leader – Staff is pushed away – not magical), and the one who started the attack are left).
After attacking with his crossbow and blow-dart Ven moved forward and pulled this dagger, I have seen him use rarely. I can sense the magic from it and it seems to have an interested interaction with the lizard men.
I also had the interesting experience of stepping down and drawing one of the swords from the lizard men and stabbing the creature with its only sword. This time the sword was stuck inside the creature and it turned to stone.
Perhaps these creatures when they die they turn to stone, very interesting. I will have to warn the others as they could get their weapons stuck inside these creatures, and that could be deadly.

From the Journal of Ven
Yru puts the boots on and they fit perfectly. Hmmm gives the wearer an advantage to stealth… I should have kept them. I put on the dagger arm guards and slip the Mithril Chain Shirt underneath my leathers. The green pendant stays inside the velvet bag, also tucked inside my leathers. I then slip a dagger into each arm slot (the Mithril Dagger is in the right slot) while thinking we really need to get back to Evanora before she does something bad with the book! Yandon will look after Olaf and his family and I mention that if they should hear the bells start to ring on the seeker temple multiple times before 5.00pm, it will mean the shit has hit the fan and the attack has started early. Yru and I leave and return to the warehouse, taking the long way around, but we do believe that the warehouse is being watched. Yru does a search and finds clawed footprints in the dirt in the alleyway but we are also of the option that these Hooded Ones were invisible nearby. There is also a good chance that there are at least 3-6 of the Hooded Ones watching.
Inside the warehouse Duzret is eating food and says that he got it from a food vendor with a cart. It smells terrible and I ask him ‘did you go out the back way and go around?’ Duzret is sheepish and I realise that our cover is blown and that we will have to leave as soon as Evanora and Fredrick return. Yru comes back in and says the Evanora and Fredrick are coming down the street. They stop at another food vendor and Fredrick tries to throw a piece of paper through the wooden slates but fails (badly!).
• Evanora and Fredrick head around to back of warehouse. As Fredrick goes past the window he picks up paper he threw. Both of them also walk right past Yru who was hidden nearby.
• Duzret eventually lets them in the back door of the building after I say ‘let them in’; Duzret was staring straight at them and there was no recognition at all.
• Evanora and Fredrick think they were followed all the way from the Festival Grounds and I say ‘Yes you were’, then I reopen the door so Yru can come in.
• Yru confirms that there are Hooded Ones outside the building and are using invisibility to hide their location and numbers.
• Evanora explains that she has made an arrangement with a Black Robe Mage (for all or just her…) – if we do not interfere with the planned attack on the festival they will hand over the guy that was with the cultist that escaped down the sewer opening.
• I do not trust this Mage and I get the impression Evanora is not telling us ‘everything’ that was discussed…
• I notice that Evanora has a strange look on her face, or a strange feeling, that I think just might (I know it is!) pertain to the fact the ‘book’ can sense something that I might have on my person, linking me to it. It must be my ‘imbued mithril dagger’ (wink wink).
• Evanora knows more by is not saying a word, but we both know it is something that we will be discussed soon.
• Duzret has finished packing and we leave the upstairs area in a state that says it was searched, when Fredrick returns from the front area sayings there is a dust cloud coming moving across the street towards the front entrance – the Hooded Ones are attacking! I get everyone to leave out he back via the rear alleys and lead them along the thieves’ highway until we come to a location where we can get Duzret down into the sewers. This allows us to travel about much more freely than before.
• Once down we surprise a member of the Sleepers who says that the Hooded Ones are causing havoc and that Yandon’s warehouse has been attacked. No kidding
• I lead us via the sewers towards the Happy Harpy and then return to the streets above, make sure we are cleaned up and walk in to grab the horses.
• Things go from bad to worse; Fredrick and Duzret get the horses ready and as we prepare to leave, Yru and Evanora have a closer look at the inn – there is a strong presence of evil magic going on inside the inn, and it has an effect on both Yru and Evanora. We decide to high-tail it towards the docks just as the bell starts ringing on the Seeker temple, many many times. Seems all hell is breaking loose in the city.
• Travel towards the docks is fairly easy as most people are preparing for the festival or have been warned to stay indoors. Very close to our destination we come across a large group of people rushing out from a side alley. Bringing up the rear of this group are a number of wounded Sleepers agents; more is quickly explained as Yru rides forward and offers to lead the way. The Hooded Ones are chasing them and there has been much combat below the streets!
• Yru leads the Sleeper’s family members towards a ship on the dock while Duzret and Fredrick assist and Evanora and I stop and look down the alley they all appeared from to see an open grate with many raised voices coming from below it.
• I dismount and lead my horse just past the entrance to the alley and move into the shadows, watching as the Hooded Ones appear and gather around their leader (carrying a staff) in the alley and starts to talk to Evanora. There are 10 of these creatures in total.

I can feel the connection between the Green Pendant and the booking growing all the time, but keep my expression neutral as now it not the time for that conversation. Because of the ‘link’ I can see a glow the book and I also have a premonition of the Hooded Ones talking and then they step up out of the Sewers. There are 10 of these individuals and all of them are robed like the others I have seen. I can also confirm that they all have clawed feet so they are indeed Hooded Ones. The leader of the group is carrying a staff and says in common (guttural and snakish sounding voice):-
• ‘Greetings Mistress; We are but humble travellers trying to get out of the city.’ What a load of crap.
I am also 100% certain this is the same sounding language \ voice I heard earlier from the cultist that died! It seems Evanora has an agreement with these creatures, via the Black-Robed Mage and a Lt Karnak. Something else she forgot to mention!
Evanora responds with ‘Do not mess with me bitches’ and she has effects coming from here body. Galladrel moment!!!
I pick up that she has some kind of hidden power and these little dudes are uncertain now on how to react to what she has said and done. I listen to see what they are saying and it is in an unknown language (Draconic but I do not know that).
While Evanora and I deal with this threat, Yru and the others are attacked. Duzret yells and warning to Yru telling him to duck but I cannot see exactly what is happening. Might have been an archer, but whoever the archer was, it seems to be a coordinated attack on whomever the first individual was that reached the dock with the Sleeper’s ship. Duzret yells again warning everyone that there are at least a score of hobgoblins with war bows on one of the buildings. I turn and look up and can see the archer’s fire once more into the old men, women and children. I also count around 30 of the hobgoblins on the building.
Looking back down the alley I can see that the Hooded Ones are having a discussion with the leader trying to calm his associates down. But this does not go well and a few of them pull off their robes and prepare for battle, it is what is under their robes that is the most shocking – the Hooded Ones are reptilian creatures!! Like miniature Dragons! The leader of this new group also yells we must retrieve the book and leaps into the air on Wings! That is new and Does everyone want this damn book?
Evanora casts sleep as the main guy continues to wavering. Eight of the Ten Hooded Ones fall – most excellent. Evanora also looked ‘strange’ after the spell had been cast; she had a bit more of a glow again… Hmmm very interesting.
I aim with my hand crossbow and hit one of the two still standing reptiles in the throat – as it dies it turns to stone!! Was it my poison that did that; if so ‘Damn I am good!’ Evanora looks at the last one standing and it suddenly it attacks one of the unconscious reptiles on the ground, hitting it. The battle continues – I use a blowgun and hit the other one that was still awake, then the one on the ground also attacks it causing the last one standing to also turn to stone. We also notice that the longsword it struck with is stuck in the Stone Body! Hmmm maybe it was not me being awesome? Nah I am always awesome.
Back on the dock Yru, Duzret and Fredrick continue to deal with the hobgoblin archers and trying to save the families. I turn back to the alley and hit the reptile on the group that has its sword caught but the bolt bounces off (very strange). Evanora throws a dagger at the air and that is it her actions over with again, while I more through two more of the sleeping bodies with the Mithril Dagger. It really wanted to drain something else from the body I did not let it. Evanora steps down and takes a longsword and stabs one of the unconscious ones and it dies turning to stone.
I kill another and move to the next one.

View
Have we been made?
6th Session

From the Journal of Evanora

We finally finish at Armours by Ashley and Fredrick has now purchased himself some plate armour. Ven wishes to speak with the thief back at the hospice. I’m not particularly interested in being back at the scene (of the crime) and as I have a rip in my gown I tell Ven that I am going to head into the bazaar. Ven confers with Yru and he decides to head off alone while the others act as my bodyguards.

I eventually find a store that looks very professional. This place (David James) has been raised on a stand so it is actually off the ground. I start to head to the door but notice two Ergothian guards blocking the way. As I get closer they tell me to ‘piss off, our mistress is inside and won’t disturbed’. It seems that these guards are quite serious. I tell the others we will stop at a nearby food-stall to wait them out. Druzat is confused and Yru is questioning my suggestion but I explain that there is a good chance I will recognize the person if I see them or get their name it could prove useful (and it’s not worth antagonizing the guards). I buy some food for the others while I get a glass of mulled wine for myself (1 steel). After an hour there is movement outside the shop entrance and the guards step down followed by a further 8 guards (who were inside the shop)! A palanquin emerges from the shop and I quickly realise I will not be able to see the lady in question. Whispering quick instructions to the others we step to the side and head pass the palanquin and I loudly say in Ergothian (the others don’t understand Ergothian), ‘I’m surprised my uncle Lord Rathbourne Termaine of Hillfal did not tell me that there would be other Ergothian Nobles in the city’. There’s a slight movement behind the curtain and the palanquin stops and as we pass I see the woman motions over to her lead guard and whispers something to him. After that the palanquin moves off (peaked her interest? – Hopefully!). With that we proceed into the store and as I walk up the stairs Yru leans in and whispers that she asked the guard to find out who I am! (VICTORY). I decide Yru will be the best to deliver the ruse as the others have shown to lack tact. I explain to him my persona and tell him to go speak to the guard (who at this point is doing a poor job of looking inconspicuous). With that I head inside followed by Druzet who seems surprisingly interested in some of the wares.
I can tell the shop keeper is eager to get traffic back into his store (as none could enter while the Ergothian Lady was inside), he escorts me to the main dressing area where he sits me down and serving refreshments inquiries on my needs today. I use the story of a deceased relative’s funeral as an excuse for an outfit (green! And black) and a black veil also (to cover my face).. I attempt to inquiry about the noble lady and I realise I’ve been made by the shop keeper. Although discovered, he continues the charade and we both subtly come to an agreement (through innuendo and intrigue) that if I purchase enough from within his store he will give me the information. He shows me some lovely outfits (and this place definitely has some high quality items – the prices also match!).

I agree to one of the dresses and when we come to veils he shows me one of the most exquisite veils I have seen. It’s a rare black lace but what is most unique is that it does not impede my vision but those looking at me will be hard pressed to see my face or read my lips (-5 to perception checks, vulnerable to piercing and slashing). The price for the veil is 10 steel and while extravagant I think it’s a worthy investment – a) I don’t want to be noticed so easily in the city and b) this will ensure that the shop keeper will tell me the information I require). I approach the subject by asking ‘what are the latest styles being worn by the noble ladies this season?’ and it’s now that he reveals the lady is Lady Urthadar. The name doesn’t sound familiar straight away but he then mentioned her family – Rikus. Now that is a name I’m familiar with. They are a very powerful family that trade in opium & perfumes. They are luckily enough a southern family close to the throne and hence I have never met any of them. The shop keeper continues that she is here travelling with her family. He also mentions that many of his customers (included Lady Urthadar) have been in here the last couple of days for outfits for the gala tomorrow night. ‘Gala tomorrow night?’ I ask incredibly interested.

It seems that Warrick (Owner of the Gambling Boar) puts on a gala just outside the city where nobles and the merchants are wined and dined. No expense is spared; in fact Warrick hires wizards to setup the noble section of the gala as well as provide security during the event. But the event has since expanded and now all the citizens of the town are invited and food/drink/fireworks are provided. The bazaar closes for a full 24 hours (from Sunset to Sunset the next day). I explain honestly that we have only just arrived in the city and do not have an invitation. Being more helpful than I expected he explains that it is still possible to secure an invitation but would probably require a substantial investment (loss) at the gambling boar tonight – very interesting. I thank him and just as he’s about to hand me my items (wrapped of course) Druzat comes out with a felt hat. He asks how much it is and just drops over the 10 steel asking price, sticks it on his head and walks out. As he leaves the shopkeeper turns to me and says ‘he does know that’s for a woman doesn’t me?’ I shrug, take my items, thank him kindly and walk out. (35 steel later)
We take a moment to discuss what to do next. I suggest we should head past the hospice to find Ven so I can tell him about the gala. We head off and it’s in the middle of one of the roads of the bazaar when I sense it. A magical attack! It seems that Yru and Fredrick feel is as well as they both react at the same time I do. I sense it coming from behind and turn to face the threat.

There is a shimmering behind us and I see a hand reach out and a purple necrotic energy comes out and just as it’s about to be launched a crossbow bolt comes flying past me and hits the humanoid in chest. It seems that the bolt broke the creature’s concentration and I notice that the purple energy starts to move back up his hand and starts to engulf him. With that the battle is joined and Fredrick tries to charge him but unfortunately is impleaded by a fruit cart and goes down. I would later learn that the crossbow bolt was Ven’s and this poison he used on the bolt affects the mind of the person it hits, by making them attack their allies. (Very useful) It was this that made the cultist (a human) manage to gain control of the feedback power and direct it towards his ally. He turns and fires it at a man who is standing 30 feet away. Unfortunately the man seems to have some skill in evasion and he manages to throw himself out of the way. Unfortunately behind him was a woman holding a baby. The energy blast flew directly at her and afterwards…. Only burned remains! With that everyone in the bazaar nearby scatters!

Ven heads off to capture (kill?) the elusive individual but unfortunately lost him in some smoke bomb that the man dropped. As for the cultist I managed to silence him but unfortunately it does not affect him for very long. While Fredrick, Druzet and Yru are trying to knock the cultist he reaches out and managed to grasp Druzet’s leg and casts a spell…. I immediately notice that Druzet has been bewitched. He turns around and punches Fredrick in the mouth – breaking his nose and some teeth – (Oh boy!).

Yru finally manages to subdue the cultist but Druzet and Fredrick are now fighting each other. I use my own magic to separate Fredrick and Druzet but unfortunately Druzet still seems under control of the cultist. Yru realising this isn’t going well, pulls out his weapons and slashes the cultist. Unfortunately during this cultist had taken on an expression I can only articulate as calm and serene. He begins chanting. Yru kills him but whatever spell he was casting is continuing. I tell the others to move away from the body and before our eyes the body explodes with green blood and body parts going all over the place. (EW). With the Cultist dead Druzet is now released from the mind control. Ven returns and explains that the elusive man jumped down a man hole into the sewers.

While we are looking around to make sure we can make an escape without being seen, Ven notices two hooded figures (the ones that he showed me looking at our rooms in the inn). He signals to them and they motion us to follow. Before moving however I try to get a sense of what the cultist did but just as I’m about to extend my magical senses I hear a CawCaw. My raven familiar is warning me of danger. I decide to forego sensing the remains as I have learned that the raven is always right on these matters.

We are escorted out of the bazaar by these two gentlemen that seem to smell of spices and incense and are wearing belts with pouches…. Magic users…I’m sceptical of their help but Ven seems eager to follow (and learn more about) these people. We are finally led to a nearby house and escorted into a room with five other similarly looking individuals.
They welcome us and warn that the cultists will send more people and that the guards are already on their way. They say they will get us out of the bazaar. No talk of introduction or anything, also interesting they seem very worried about this ‘cult’. They open a hole in the floor that leads to a tunnel that takes us to a completely separate part of the bazaar. I did hear a name ‘Michael’ who seems to be the leader but they don’t even attempt to talk to us. Once we are lead out of the tunnel into a candle shop the guide who came with us says ‘stay here for 20minutes and leave quickly and quietly’. With that he heads down the tunnel and Durzet helps the store owner put a table and carpet over the trap door that we came out of. The owner is definitely not pleased that we are here and he shows his irritation by mumbling while watching from the window. During the fight Fredrick had his nose dislocated (due to Druzet’s punch) and is extremely sullen about it. Ven tells him to fix himself up and Fredrick just attempts to pop it back into place…. That just won’t do. I ask the young woman who is a server in the shop if she has a small room I could ‘tend’ to the room. We are escorted to the kitchen where I magical heal his nose. He is grateful but is still upset at Druzet. Hoping to relieve his anger I explain to him that I have similar powers to that of the cultist and that I can do the same – ‘bewitch a man – people like Druzet are easily susceptible’, Fredrick finally tweaks – ‘you mean stupid people?’ – ‘yes!’ He laughs at that and I hope that he won’t bring that up but he looks a bit more understanding of the situation. He does ask me if I can repair his armour but unfortunately I cannot. Perhaps that is something I should ask my familiar. It would certainly come in handy if my veil was ripped!

(Short Goal – Find a way to repair items magically {player knowledge – Ritual – Make Whole Level 1})

Returning to the group we wait the twenty minutes and it seems the bazaar in this area is still fairly normal. To try and placate the owner I enquiry about buying some of the lavender candles but the serving girl (her daughter) gives them to me to make up for her father (kind girl).

We head back to the inn and as we are approaching Ven stops us and shows us Captain Deathe. It seems he’s the leader of the city guard and corrupt. Why was he here… shouldn’t he be in the bazaar investigating the disturbance? He is leaving the Inn and heading in the opposite direction.

After he leaves, we enter the inn and approach the barman (the nice one). He explains that Deathe was here and they took Dingo (who was waiting for us – shit), He also asked for the keys to our rooms and his guards came out with bags for items. I’m immediately concerned and head off to my room. It’s been ransacked…Everything is overturned and my three books and all my clothes, writing materials are gone…..This will not end well for the captain I see…

I head downstairs and report that everything is gone and that we have to get it back and rescue Dingo. We enquire with the barman and he gives us directions to the nearest guard-house (the north). Hopefully Deathe will be too caught up with the bazaar incident that we will be able to get our stuff and the gnome.

We proceed to the guardhouse and it seems a standard structure. Ven does a quick re-con while I decide to go in and see if I can see if our gear and Dingo is here. I quickly disguise myself as a hunter to match Yru (Vala Del Tray), and proceed into the guard house to give a statement regarding the incident at the bazaar. The two guards – Will and Bill – are your standard plebeian guards and are not even interested in my story and Will gives me a form to fill out. While Yru and I act the part I confirm that our gear is in here (in an open chest) and that Dingo is in one of the cells. Unfortunately he is unconscious and looks badly wounded!

Finding out what we need I finish the ‘report’ and we leave. Ven returns and explains he has poisoned the food the guards are going to eat and we just have to wait for dinner time. We wait and eventually we see Will come to the door and put the closed sign in the window. We wait another 10minutes and Ven leaves to cover the back. Deciding that it’s getting dangerous to stay here I head up to the front door and manage to get inside (looking normal). The guards are slouched over their food (Will’s head is in his bowl and Bill’s head is thrown back). I approach Will and check – he’s definitely dead. I check Bill as well just as Ven walks in but I’m not sure if he’s dead (might be alive!!). I tell Ven and head over to the chest to gather all of our equipment. Ven later tells me that Bill is definitely dead and he stages the scene to cover our tracks. He goes and releases Dingo who is in even more hurt then I realised. He’s been beaten and he’s having a lot of trouble to breathe. (One interesting thing I found in the items – Fredrick has a scroll detailing his family’s lineage…. It seems his family has been Knights of Solmania for generations… oh my.. I decide to let that go).

Ven leads me out of the back exit where we meet up for the others and we decide to head to Yandon’s offices and hope to stay there the night. (Our horses are still in the inn’s stables).

We arrive and enter through the back and Ven takes Dingo upstairs with me while the others secure the building. I look Dingo over and he’s definitely in trouble.
I begin to heal him and this is the most extensive damage that I have ever healed. My healing energy goes to the most needed part and the most distressing thing is that all of the energy went to his chest and even then I wasn’t sure it helped that much. I pour more healing into him and this time I see a noticeable effect. (It seems he had a collapsed lung). He is breathing a little easier now but he is still unconscious.

I could keep going but I’m worried because I can feel a fatigue coming on (this is draining). I decide to rest and try again after my trance. During this time Ven comes up and gives me the all clear and Yru decides to rest now so he can take a later watch.
After four hours I feel better and attempt to heal him again. This time most of the energy goes to his face and I can finally feel that he is doing better. With one last effort, this time he actually opens his eyes and he’s conscious! He still has some marks on his face but his nose, mouth and teeth are now back to normal.

I call out to Ven and Yru and they come upstairs to hear what Dingo has to say.
It seems that Dingo learned quite a bit and they were actually after him for what he had learned more than what he was doing with us.
• The Hobgoblins are planning to attack the city at tomorrow’s gala (while everyone is outside!!)
• The wizards are here assembling the works (the Cultist/Hobgoblins probably have something to neutralise them).
• Parts of Spectre and this 3rd party (Cultist/Hobgoblins etc) will take control of the city after the attack
• Dingo works for the sleepers – They have a Day Master, a Night Master and the Sand Man (Overall leader).
• It’s at this point that Yru asks that he thought the cultist in the bazaar looked familiar. I remember back and realise that the cultist was a slave of Vicben (A merchant rival of Waheed’s in Lemish). They are planning to kill the master! This goes beyond the city. This has been planned for a while.
• It’s at this point Dingo says he has to go report in. We help me out of the secret sewer entrance
We discuss the situation further and Ven is even more determined to find Yandon as we might have to get out of here. I don’t think we can save the city (I don’t really care about the city itself – but it being here serves a purpose to Lemish as a whole). I consider the possibility that the only people who might be able to stop this are the wizards.
After a while Dingo returns with an associate of his named Robert. They both work for the Day Master (From what I infer – a much nicer fellow than the Night Master), The Day master wanted to meet Ven (The Contractor) but unfortunately he is outside the city at the moment and can’t be reached.

They have some more information – They have confirmed the Hobgoblins, I ask who would be in charge of the city’s defences and they answer Captain Deathe. That answers the question about whose side he is on (City guards have said that the nearby forests are all clear – lies!). We also discover that he has a cousin who is on the merchant’s council and one of the members is the name that Ven (Seth) has from that Red Brand’s missive providing the orders telling them to keep clear of Crafthaven. So some of the Merchant’s council are involved as well in this treachery! (Turns out that Seth is both the cousin and the leader giving orders to the red brands).

There is a warehouse on the opposite side of town. It has these creatures inside that no one can see because they are always hooded. It seems Yru found out something about them in the forest. The sleepers are watching the warehouse but they cannot see how the creatures are getting in and out (not sewers – they suspect magic).

Next Robert tells us that this gala is a bit more extraordinary. There are numerous high profile guests in attendance including Lord Tyrion (the leader of Lemish). I immediately suspect assassination but Yru thinks he might be involved in the plot…(really?!?!?). There is also a military officer here from Sanction, as well as Ergothian nobles (well I knew that )
The sleepers are hoping we can help but they don’t know how to get their people out of the city. They have a signal. If the bells from the Seeker temple ring 4 times before the gala prayer starts at sundown (where the gala starts with a prayer and proceeds to the festival outside), that is a signal to all the sleepers to GTFO out of the city ASAP.
We discuss possible evacuations but unfortunately the only place that has possibility is the caverns of Fireheart and even that is a dangerous option.

We discuss the situation and Ven wants to find Yandon and I am eager to warn the wizards (My mother was a wizard – call it professional curtsey – plus I am curious to meet them). Fredrick agrees to come with me while Yru will go with Ven. Druzet said he will remain here at Yandon’s. Dingo escorts Fredrick and me out a sewer tunnel that takes us outside the city (handy).

During Dingo’s visit with his thief friends I handed everyone back their items (not mentioning Fredrick’s scroll) but I discovered that one of the bags contained items that are not ours. I recognise the clothes as Ergothian and it seems that this is from the room where we saw that Ergothian man (Room6). While most of the items seem mundane I do find a necklace (made of pearl) that I can immediately tell is magic. Unfortunately as I’m examining it separates into two pieces?!?!?! I hope that’s intended. I don’t have much skill at this (especially considering my mother’s spell books and journals have continued to elude me) but perhaps I might just return it to the gentleman. I’m not a thief, and he has not done anything to wrong me.

We arrive outside and as I approach I see that efforts are already underway to setup for the gala. Even the area that will be for the normal citizens has a considerable group of workers preparing for the festival.

As we approach the noble area I am weary of being stopped by guards but it seems we are fine for the moment. I notice several wizards moving around doing various tasks. It’s easy to work out that the leader seems to be a red robe wizard who’s currently engrossed in some plans. I wonder how I can get their attention without alerting those in the city who I know might be tracking me now.

1000xp for finding Yandon. (Ven & Yru found him).

Solo session to catch up to the others (Evanora)
Fredrick and I are moving to the wizards and I’m surprised we haven’t been stopped yet. Taking precautions I check for any magic and I immediately notice a large barrier in front of me. I stop and alert Fredrick but unfortunately we’ve been made (we couldn’t make it look natural). We’ve been spotted and by a black robed wizard of all things. He’s watching us now. I pull Fredrick back and we inch around the barrier heading to the point to the least distance between the wizard and me. We reach that point and I turn to him and ask in Elven (Don’t want the plebs to hear) – Do you understand me? He nods. ‘I bring a warning for the wizards, at the gala tonight you will be attacked – The attack in the bazaar yesterday will be repeated at the gala tonight if you don’t stop it.’ Just as I say that I feel a flutter come across my mind. I’m being probed. Luckily my raven quick warning allows me to block it. It wasn’t hostile but there is something here, it was very subtle. The black robe seems to ponder my words and he starts to move towards us putting his hands into his robes. Fredrick step forwards but I motion him back and say ‘There’s no need for confrontation, I know you have a person who can read minds, and they can tell you I speak the truth’. With that the wizard stops and then suddenly disappears. By this time for some random reason the other wizards have all moved away!

Trying to work out what just happened Fredrick breaks me from my train of thought by saying that he can notice guards coming this way. For us! He offers to stay and let them apprehend him but instead I ask if he could escape if only half of them are after him. He nods and so we split. He heads off towards the gate while I start to head around the other side of the barrier. (I did check and my mage hand went through the barrier fine but it did send off a disturbance across the barrier, which was noticeable to everyone around.
As I am moving around to the opposite side I hear noise and realise that Fredrick has been caught. Stealing an idea from the black robe, I turn my outfit black and make myself look like a black robe. I come over the hill and proceed down where I see Fredrick is surrounded by a group of guards and a sergeant is telling him he has to come for questions.

I approach and intimidate – What is going on here? The guard blanches as my sudden appearance. He explains that Fredrick and a woman (a gypsy!) are wanted for questioning on charges of terrorism.

I explain that this man is my man servant but a woman like you described was here this morning but she left heading to the opposite side of the barrier. I try and fish for more information but unfortunately the sergeant catches himself.

I tell ‘Derek’ to come with me and send the guards on their way. They leave and Fredrick thanks me (explaining that he didn’t spot the three surrounding him until it was too late). It is at this point the black robe wizard reappears beside us and motions us to follow him.
We follow and when we reach the barrier I am nervous because some of my items (I.E. Green Book) are going to set off the barrier. Luckily the black robe pulls something out of his pouch and throws it on the barrier muttering some words and a small arch opens that allows us to past.

We are escorted to an opulent tent that has the symbol of Traditional Wizard Mark. The black robe lifts the flap and motions me inside. I notice that is pure darkness and I give me a quick glance as to say ‘really’. For the first time I get to see him – He’s human, Solid. Has a slight Paunch. Anglar face and has long black hair. Unfortunately I get nothing from his expression except stoic.

I step inside and immediately I sense being assaulted across my own body. I manage to barely repel the attack and I find myself inside a large wooden room – equally opulent. As I turn I see the black robe standing infront of Fredrick and he’s not allowed to come in…
I glance back around and now notice the Red Robe Wizard (He appears to be approx. 60 with salt and pepper hair – Very Vital), who is in charge of this operation is sitting at a desk. He stands and motions me forward and welcomes me in Elven. I respond in common and state that I only spoke in that language as to not alarm the people around.

He nods and says he wasn’t sure (I assume he means if I was an elf or not).
He invites me to sit at the table and pours me a glass of expensive wine and I toast to the gala tonight ‘to the twilight gala’.

It’s at this point I realise the black robe is here also.

He starts out by say that the wizards have been watching me and that I have piped their interest (WTF), he stops as if to ponder and says yes.

I take a moment to collect my thoughts and explain that the Cultist attack yesterday has links to Lemish and that we have information that says Hobgoblins are in the north forest and will attack the city.

The wizard doesn’t seem to fully believe the story but I explain that this also has links to Spectre. With that he looks concerned for the first time.

I explain that I came here because my mother was a wizard and that I wished to pay my respects to her memory. With that he stops me and I see he’s looking at the black robe and something seems to pass between them. The black robe leaves and the red wizard speaks again. He says that he has sent for officer that the wizards have been working with regarding this cult. Before long the black robe returns and we both stand and the Red Robe Wizard introduces Lt Ivan Karnak of the Sanction Guard. I introduce myself – Lady Evanora Khan. Lt Karnak has been set at the Sanction ambassador and military attaché.
We sit down and the Red Robe asks me to explain everything again. This time I explain in more detail what we have found.

I ask the Lt If he knows about the attack in the bazaar and he nods. I tell him that the cultist who was killed was a slave of a merchant in Lemish who is a rival of a man we have investigating. This man (the master) has links to a man down here in Crafthaven named Yandin who went missing 6 months ago. Yandin was the main supplier of Fireheart before he was usurped by Spectre.

At this I can tell there is something more here but unfortunately I can’t quite catch it.
I explain that the Hobgoblins are to the north even though the forests have been given the all clear by the captain of the guard. The Red brands have been ordered to evacuate and proceed to a place called the ruin tower in the east. At that the Red Robe looks shocked. I continue and say we have reports that they have been annihilated. I tell him that the orders for them to go there was from a member of Spectre who is on the merchant’s council. The Red Robe’s mouth drops and asks if I have proof. I tell him about a letter written by a Seth who we have discovered is on the council and is also the cousin of Captain Deathe (captain of the guard).

It’s at this I sense something is about to happen and I step away from the others. The Black Robe (Kallus) steps out from the shadow and launches a lightning bolt from a wand he is holding. I feel the power go past me and hit the Red Robe (Wills) who has a look of astonishment.

He’s hit square in the chest and flies across the room and I can tell from the smell that he is almost surely dead. (Kallus only speaks in my mind)
With that Kallus turns the wand on me and in my mind I hear ‘don’t twitch, don’t speak, or you will meet the same end’.

It’s at this point that Karnak all red faced turns to Kallus and goes ‘what are you doing?’
Ok it seems that they are in this together and I have stumbled onto something far more ominous.

They continue to have a mental conversation and during it I see Karnak is getting frustrated and shaking his head.

I give Kallus a look and he nods that I can speak – ‘Are you aligned with the cultist or do you just wish for the attack to succeed?’

They don’t respond and the black robe looks at Karnak and I get the feeling he is telling him to leave.

Karnak looks upset but I can also tell he’s afraid of Kallus. As he turns to leave I say to him ‘It was an interesting pleasure to meet you Lt’. With that he nods and starts to walks out of the tent. Just before he steps outside we both hear Kallus say – ‘By my actions, plans have been put into motion that cannot be halted. The decision has been made’.
Karnak leaves.

Kallus motions for me to sit and I notice for the first time the wand is actually more of a small tree branch. Very interesting!

Kallus stands before me and says ‘Show me the book!’ Knowing I don’t have much choice I pull it out of my robes still wrapped in the red velvet wrap. He tells me to put it on the table and unwrap it. At this I sense my raven familiar is concerned about the situation but at the moment I can’t do much about it. If I sense he’s going to try and use the book against me I’ll fey step behind me and throw him onto the book.

He moves over to the book and I am alert for anything dangerous but instead he puts his hands above the book and starts to chant. I work out that he’s doing some type of scrying and what is more interesting is the book’s green gem has once again become the eye (that I saw during the wizard at the hospice incident). It’s looking around at everything and I catch it for a moment and at that I glimpse something from it.

The book doesn’t exactly communicate me it somehow just shows me images and it makes sense to me.

The book’s power comes from a patron. From where this patron is I do not know. What is interesting is that I somehow know it and it is also known to me. It isn’t however linked through the raven. The book makes no excuses and flatly shows that’s its power is to do evil things. I wonder if it’s just some type of necromancy but then it clarifies to explain that it covers many aspects and themes of the lower end of the scale when it comes to Alignment. Not just Death/Necromancy.
Green Book (Link) I

I don’t get to explore further before Kallus stops channelling and collapses in Magius Wils’ chair (the book’s centre is back to the emerald). I can tell Kallus is weakened from the experience. He nods to himself and then says in my mind ‘You can put it away now’. I comply and recover the book in the Red velvet and slip it into my gown.

‘I’m going to offer you a way out – which doesn’t involve you ceasing to breathe; associates of mine have set actions into motion that cannot be stopped. You have discovered things that jeopardize our plans but I need you to understand that I need you to let what happens tonight to happen. After that you are welcome to do as you wish, in return for your cooperation, I have no interest in the book, it is yours, and in fact, I might have some ideas on how you might study such a tome’.
I nod for him to proceed.

‘I need the city to be saved’

I don’t hide my confusion at that statement. How can he want what’s going to happen to happen and also need the city to be saved…..

He notices my confusion and clarifies – ‘I need the city to be saved, and I need to be the one who picks to save it’.

Still trying to process what he’s saying – ‘What would you have me do?’

‘Don’t worry about that’.

He then explains what he might have of interest to me. It seems that he has captured the ‘elusive man’ from the bazaar incident, and he is prepared to turn him over to me if we do what he has suggested and not interfere with tonight. ‘He has the links back to Lemish that you are after’.

I ask him about the cultist and he says that he is not involved with them but they are on to me. (They want the book).

We finally come down to the grit of the deal – ‘We have selected you to be our contact. You must influence your companions to not stop what needs to happen this evening.’
‘The Attack?’ – Yes

I then ask about the foreign nobles and he says that if Lt Karnak is as good as he (Kallus) thinks is then they will be out of harm’s way.

It finally clicks…. The Sanction Ambassador… I bet Sanction has proposed a protection treaty and the merchant council have declined. With the hobgoblins attacking they will have to accept and come under Sanction’s control.

I then ask – how should I contact you after tonight’s ‘festivities’?

He reaches into one of his pouches and pulls out a ring and places it on the table. I get the word ‘Communication’.

I nod understanding.

I question him about those other mages I have seen in the city and he just seems to brush it off… I think something is up there but at the moment I don’t want to push it.
I stand and prepare to leave and say ‘Aren’t you happy that I turned up when I did!’
For the first time I catch a look that perhaps he really is ‘flying by the seat of your pants’. He has had to hasten his plans.

I ask him if he would like any assistance with Magius Wils but he declines and said that he must deal with it now.

With that I raise my veil and depart through the ‘tent flap’. I find myself back outside next to Fredrick and he says at my reappearance – ‘well that was quick at least’. I enquiry further and he says I’ve been gone about 5minute. (It’s was more like 30-45mins).
As we head back I decide to broach the subject and I ask him if he cares if the city falls? Fredrick responses in much the same way as I am thinking – He likes the bazaar and that under merchant rule the city is focused more on service and goods then on whims of a city leader. He does like that it’s not regulated.

I don’t know what Sanction will change when they take over but I’m pretty sure they will want the bazaar to continue as normal but I don’t think it will be as ‘unregulated’ as Fredrick likes if Lt Karnak is the standard by which Sanction operates.

We make it back to the gate and are allowed inside (much easier than before)
I suggest to Fredrick that we return to the Inn, gather the horses and then head for Yandon’s so that we can hopefully meet up with Ven and Yru. Fredrick does note after looking back that he thinks we are being followed. Unsure if it’s the guard, thieves or just someone that might want to sell the information to an interested party.

From the Journal of Ven

I head back towards the hospital, using the back alleys while ‘Lady Valentine’ goes shopping for new pants; I do hope they do not get into trouble. I am totally on my guard this time – no distractions as there is too much at stake. I arrive and see people outside the hospital and can tell they are Seekers and they are talking to some Guards. I think the best course of action is to see what is happening at the rear of the complex. At the back of the building I see another 8 Seekers with one of them a high ranking member. From his regalia it is the Arch Bishop himself! They are looking at the incinerator, praying and drawing circles. Seriously…
There is also an officer of the guard here; the Arch Bishop waves over a minion with a case, opens it and hands a large bag of money to the officer. The officer salutes and leaves. Bribe paid it seems. The others Seekers then take ash from the incinerator, place it in a box which is then placed inside another box and then all troop back into the hospital. I head back around to the main street and see the Seekers standing out the front again with some guards; they appear to be waiting for the Arch Bishop to come out. I then see coming up the street a horse drawn carriage and a behind it a wagon being pulled by another lot of horses.
The carriage arrives and the Arch Bishop comes out and enters it and leaves, with most of the Seekers following along behind. The wagon then pulls up and four seekers get in the back with the box of ash and head in the opposite direction to the Arch Bishop. An interesting sequence of events…
After another 15 minutes two people walk in – one appears hurt so I wait 5 more minutes before I enter and see a nurse attending to the person with the broken arm. The good doctor is nowhere to be seen so I walk around to see Leo. He is surprised to see me and shocked when I say his mission is complete as I hand over the item I received. I also relay the message from the owner of the shop to the Night Master of the Sleepers. Leo is also of the opinion that was not a good idea. Seems I have made a contact with the Sleepers as a result of my ‘good deed’. Excellent…
I ask Leo about what he overheard while the Guards and Seekers were here. Leo explains that the groups talked about how something ‘other worldly’ did this and that the dead are rising! A sample of the body (ash) was taken away to the seeker temple where the Seekers will perform a ritual. Raynerus the Arch Bishop rarely gets involved so whatever happened here must have been serious to bring him out to investigate. Little does Leo know…
Doctor No is at the watch house and I ask about the officer I saw take the bribe \ payment – Captain Deathe is his name and he has his hand in everything corrupt on the streets. Worse, is he has family connections to someone in a position of power on the council. Captain Deathe is a real untrustworthy asshole. I also ask Leo about Yandon and I can tell there is something he is not telling me, so I push it and get some valuable information.
As I had already discovered, Spectre has taken over Yandon’s business as whatever backing he had from Lemish no longer concerned them. Leo also says that Yandon is from one of the five original families that rented then purchased the land of Crafthaven. Or Yandon is very close to them. Fireheart and his gambling problems helped bring about his fall from grace. I privately think that the 3rd group, The Hooded Ones, had something to do with it as well.
I mention there is a third group involved – Leo says yes but no one talks about them! He also says that ‘An entire caravan was wiped out by these hooded creatures’. No one talks about the ‘Hooded Ones’ but it is agreed by most that they are in league with the hobgoblins. Leo thinks they are double agents and I agree as they are probably manipulating Spectre – pulling their strings as it were. He says that if I need to get in touch with him, go to the Toad Stool and talk to Bubba and it will get through. I finish with ‘Keep our conversation private’ and of course he agrees that this is a great idea. ‘The Contractor’ is open for business! He says he will get back to the Causeway with the item – very interesting that last bit.
I head back to where I last saw the others but instead see them coming down the street towards me so I wait to the side (they do not see me… typical) and wait for them. Just before I go to step out I feel a dreadful presence and from the look of it so do the others. Whatever this feeling of dread is, it is centred on the others and not me. I pull out my hand crossbow and the ‘Mithril’ dagger as this might just be a situation far more dangerous than what we have come across already – no more Mr Nice Guy.
Yru yells out to guard as something is wrong (good) but I have still not seen anything appear; and then I see a shimmer from a spot behind Evanora. I aim and fire my hand crossbow and the centre of the shimmer and hit. The shimmer \ illusion disappears and the ‘cultist’ falls to his knees and then turns and fires a bolt of purple magic towards another figure, but instead kills a mother and her baby. Yru and Evanora attack the ‘cultist’ while I follow the figure that is running and leaping over the tables and people! I throw my bolas but miss (this guy is good) but give chase and then hit with my ‘Dagger’. The figure felt that hit (and I felt the dagger try and do something to me as well… that will be investigated later). Evanora casts a spell and all the people around the figure fall to the ground, allowing me to close. We look at each other, a professional and courteous moment is acknowledged; he then opens his cloak and I see a utility belt from which he grabs a smoke bomb and throws it on the ground. I think that I want that belt before he is engulfed in the smoke.
Meanwhile the ‘cultist’ and the rest of the group are battling; Duzret attacks Fredrick as he is controlled then the cultist speaks in a strange language and looks to the sky as Yru leaps in, hits and knocks him out. Evanora goes back to the others and casts a spell to stop Duzret attacking Fredrick while as I look around for the thief. I move around to the back of the smoke and wait and then I smell the sewers… and realise there was a grate in the street right where the guy was standing; bugger. I hear Yru say there is something going on with the unconscious cultist and then there is an explosion – no interrogating that one!
I come back out of the smoke and explain that the guy has escaped down the sewers and we must leave. I grab my bola’s and expect them to follow me. I hear a chirping \ high pitched noise coming from Evanora and realise she has a bird under her cloak – that’s new. I take a closer look at my dagger and see that it is imbued from the blood and somehow feels different. Before leaving I do one last check and see the same two cloaked figures watching from an alley again!!!!
I use cant speech and say ‘You could offer me a job’ and they respond saying ‘Come here quickly as the cultist are coming for you!’ Well I was not expected that so make the decision for everyone to follow me. When we are close they say ‘come with us if you want to live’. Seems like a bad idea but I do want to know who these people are and this might just be the best way to it.
We go down the alley to a house, go inside into a sitting room area with 4 other people dressed just like them. The leader says we need to get these people out of here and we are lead into a tunnel system directly below the building and travel a couple hundred feet until we arrive at a ladder. One of the pair climbs up – taps three times and two taps are returned. The hatch opens and we are helped up into a Candle Makers shop.
It seems the one that stayed behind is called Michael and might be in charge of this group of mages (they both had lots of pouches and scrolls on them); Evanora appears a little frazzled. We are told to remain here for 20 mins and then we can leave. Do not go back to that part of the bazaar as they will try and scry us. Looking outside we see we are over near the butcher (Olaf) and the Happy Harpy. Fredrick says ‘what is going on?’ so Evanora takes Fredrick into the kitchen to explain and also to do a ‘healing session’ on his face while we wait. After 20 minutes we leave (much to the Candle Makers delight) and head back towards the Happy Harpy.
I ask if the guy that blew himself up was known to us – Yru says he is sure he saw him in Lemish and then Evanora and I remember that he worked for one of Master Waheed’s rivals. This rival, Vicben, was a low level merchant and not considered a rival by Master Waheed, but if Vicben has made a new alliance with the ‘3rd Group’ that is working in this city and the hobgoblins, then my Master’s position in Lemish might be threatened. This must also be reported!
Before crossing the road to the Harpy we stop and look around to see if Dingo (or anyone else) might be watching the inn. While we wait I ask if the cultist said anything and Yru says he did but he could not understand it. I add that I have additional information and then see Captain Deathe exiting the Happy Harpy – he looks both ways and walks of down the street. Is he investigating us because he was paid to do so? I explain the bag of money the Seekers gave to the officer walking away. We head towards the inn and enter to see who is on duty.
Inside the inn things are very quiet and subdued so we walk up to the bar and talk with the barkeep that we like. Seems the guard came in, blocked all exits and waited for Captain Deathe to arrive. They searched our rooms (as well as the Ergothians!) AND took Dingo away. I was not worried about my room – I carry everything of value on me, but Evanora ran upstairs – that will not end well. Later a guardsmen came and called Captain Deathe to the bazaar; seems the Captain did not want to go but did anyway. Why did they take Dingo? Previous run in with the law maybe? Evamora comes back downstairs and is not a happy camper – that’s what you get for leaving valuables in your room! I can also see why the Master recommended this inn. The cliental do not like the law and they help us to leave out the back without being seen by making sure a ‘beggar’ across the road is run off before we go.
We leave out the back way and head towards the jail. We arrive and the plan is to have Evanora go in with her ‘husband’ as a witness to the scene in the bazaar while I move around and check the rear of the watch house. The back door is open but an iron gate is locked preventing entry. I can look inside though – there is a food cooking in place on a stove nearby to the right of the door and directly across from the iron-gate is a closed door that leads to the main office area where Evanora and her ‘husband’ Yru are talking. The food vendor at the left front of the watch house probably provides the prisoners with food as the stuff cooking here looks too good for them.
As the door is open I grab a long stick and open my poison kit and remove one of the Glimmering Spider Glands and easily drop it into the cooking pot. I had thought about half a gland but as I do not yet know the strength of the poison I use a whole one. Since it is safe to do so I pick the rear lock and enter and can still here Evanora and Yru in the other room. I walk over to the pot and add some more spices to cover the poison (just in case). I close the gate, close the lock and head back around to Duzret and Fredrick that again do not see me coming – these two will make a great diversion for me one day. I tell them to go sit nearby and have a drink while Yru waits at the food vendor and eats. Evanora is also nearby watching and I move around to the rear again to watch for when they will eat.
Our window of opportunity arrives approximately an hour later when Bill the guard goes in to the kitchen and grabs two big bowls for food. The guards talk and I hear Will ask if there is enough bread – there is not so Bill goes off, gets some bread and returns. Will then places a ‘Closed Sign’ on the front of the watch house and the pair sit down to eat. At the rear of the watch house I wait for some riders to finish watering their horses and leave before trying (and failing) to open the lock. Pity. I go back to the front to wait for them to finish eating. As I am walking a group of Seekers go past saying ‘Praise and Worship to the Mother Lord’ – I have no idea who the Mother Lord is. After this group finally go, it has been about 30 mins again so I let the others know what I am doing and head around back again.
Evanora and later Yru both go in the front as I cannot open the lock (I obviously closed it too well) and Evanora opens the gate after I tell her where the key is. I enter as well and begin to clean up the crime scene (CSI: Dragonlance!) so that it appears it was not the food that killed them. Note to self – half a spider gland next time… Evanora locates the missing gear and I place Dingo in a sack so he cannot be seen. He is VERY badly beaten.
We travel via the back ways and arrive at Yandon’s Trading Post making sure we were not followed and then enter the building. A search reveals that the guards did not find the hidden entrance to the sewers but did move stuff around in the warehouse. We also have a chance to have a closer look at the wounds to Dingo – it is even worse than I thought! We place Dingo on one of the mattresses upstairs and move some downs stairs for the others. Evanora casts some healing upon Dingo to help him heal and also because she believes he will die with the aid.
I take a watch for the first four hours while the others rest; nothing happens during this time. After this time Evanora casts move healing upon Dingo and he is finally conscious but cannot really talk so he sleeps for another hour before waking again (the time is now around 10.30pm) but Dingo still cannot talk. Evanora says we are safe but Dingo shakes his head in a negative way. She casts another healing upon him and now he can talk.
Dingo explains what he found out:-
• The party tomorrow is going to be attacked in mass by the hobgoblins – he heard this from Wulfe’s – Wulfe is definitely an agent for Spectre. The Hooded ones are now going to take control of the city.
• I ask about Captain Deathe – he has a cousin on the Merchant Council. The Sandman knows what is going on and is the head of the Sleepers. The Night master and Day master should know what is going on as well.
• Captain Deathe was at the Happy Harpy for Dingo – not us. Dingo got spotted and was beaten to find out what he had overheard.
o This explains a lot actually.
• This year is a big festival – many visiting leaders for the surrounding cities will be or are already here.
• The Causeway is the Sleepers HQ and the Day Master wants to meet ‘The Contractor’. I explain that ‘I’ am the contractor and Dingo is surprised and relieved at the same time.
o Seems Leo was true to his word. Evanora also calls me ‘Ven’ and not ‘Hiro’ in front of Dingo… Stupid woman.
• At sundown tomorrow the festival will start at the Seekers temple and then a procession will head out to the party area. The wizards only protect the ‘special area’. Free food for all and the only day the bazaar is closed. All the populace are welcome to eat and drink.
• Yandon’s house is located in the richer quarter but has not been opened as far as he knows
• The last person to see Yandon was Olaf the butcher – Warrick sent around some strong arms boys to have Yandon beaten twice for not paying. Yandon is still alive and is hidden in the city
o We think Olaf might know where he is. Then daylight dawns on us all and we realise that the house Yru followed Olaf to be the location of Yandon!!!!! We have known all this time.
Dingo says that he must return to the Day Master quickly to report in – working for the Sleepers are we??? He is sheepish but says yes and that he needs the protection and he asks about a way out. I hit the latch for the secret exit and show him the entrance to the sewer. He will knock five times when he returns. After he is gone and Yru is on guard I ask Evanora about the bird in her cloak. She explains it is a Shadow Raven and the bird is her teacher. Was not expecting that answer.
Two hours later Dingo returns with ‘Robert’ an associate. He is here to give us information regarding the Hooded Ones. Seems they have taken over a warehouse on the southern side of the bazaar. The Sleepers do not know how they entered into the warehouse (magic portal for sure) but there is now a gathering of around 15 of them at this warehouse. We say that they could easily hold the docks until troop ships arrive and unload; only a theory of course but Dingo and Robert do not look happy. I also ask about the Red Sashes as I have information that says they report to and are to take orders from a ‘Seth’ in this city. This Seth person appears to be a member of the Merchant Council. Not good at all.
The guy that escaped down into the sewers could not be located by any of the Sleeper agents either. Captain Deathe has also closed the investigation in to the hospital – hence the bribe by the Arch Bishop (also explains things). The Day Master is outside the city at the moment but still wants to talk to ‘The Contractor’. I give a description of the thug from outside the gambling house; this is Vince a Lt of the Night Master. It is believed that a lot of groups that have been going into the Fire Caves lately are sponsored by the ‘3rd group’ (Hooded Ones). Yandon had an agreement with the Sleepers in regards to the Fireheart for many years but the Merchant Council and Spectre believed they had removed Yandon’s support from Lemish and thus with the attack on the city they struck at Yandon’s business.
There is one council member here that comes does from the original family that owned all the land the current five families first rented, then bought. Spectre is the spy group that works for the Merchant Council though they are much more involved in the rulership now. Evanora asks if the party can be stopped and Robert says no; the party will go ahead no matter what. I say that when all hell breaks loose tomorrow, the Sleepers will be targeted by the Hooded Ones for sure as they are a threat to their takeover of the city. Robert explains that there are tunnels that lead into the Fireheart caverns that the Sleepers could escape through. He adds that at 5.00pm the Seeker’s Bell on their temple will be rung. If it tolls 3-4 times before 5.00pm, all Sleepers are to get the hell out of city and protect their loved ones. Dingo can show me the way to the hidden tunnels in the sewers – one goes to the beach and the other to the forest side of the city.
I go with Dingo and check out the two passages out of the city; he also points out a third that leads to the Causeway. He also explains that tonight the city gates remain open all night so that everything can be setup for the Gala tomorrow night.
We head back to the warehouse and then and wait until early morning before Yru and I go out the rear and meld with the crowds. We use the thieves’ path to get to the house where Olaf and Yandon are located. There is no one around but we have breakfast first before knocking. Olaf opens the door and I say ‘I am the here to see Yandon’. Olaf freaks and closes the door but it is not locked. I open it and follow Olaf up the stairs and use him for cover as Yandon appears with a heavy crossbow. I explain who I am and he puts the crossbow down and we head downstairs to the kitchen for tea.
We talk about things and I say your habits did not help but as the conversation continues I know Yandon knows more than what he is saying. I mention Vicben and know Yandon is lying. Eventually I have had enough. ‘I know you have more to say’ and pull out my dagger… Yandon looks worried and Olaf is clueless but eventually Yandon gets Olaf to bring out a jar (not sure why?) and he asks me to open it. I slip the dagger around the top and pull out a head. I place the head on the table and then Yru and I both recognise the face. It belongs to a missing LT of Master Waheed’s that left over 6 months ago. This man was my assassination teacher – what is going on!?!
Yandon then explains that 6 months ago the man came and tried to kill him; both Yru and I are shocked by this and I put away the dagger. This action and the fact that Yru and I both reacted with such surprise to Yandon’s statement drops the tension in the room and things return to normal. This explains a lot and I ask about Marcus as he too has been missing for over around 12 months. Yandon says he last saw Marcus about 7 months ago before he headed out to the Red Sashes tower to investigate. He never returned…
Olaf then serves tea while Yandon brings out the items the dead LT had on him. There was more but Yandon used some items to settle his debts with Warrick so he is all square now. (Good to know).
In the sack is the following:-
• Scroll case with a trading post poster with Yandon’s face – good likeness
• Beads that represent slave, freeman and member of Waheed’s merchant group
• I mention this LT trained me in combat training
• Mithril chain shirt
• Ebony Thieves’ Tools (which I take)
• A set of Bolas – specially made ones (I take – will look at properly soon)
• Arm guards that flick daggers (which I will put on) – there are locations for poison vials in them in the arms guards so that every time you put a dagger in it is recoated (very nice!).
• Nice boots (given to Yru)
• I leave the pendant in the green velvet bag and hold it on my person.
The bombshell is the fact that the ‘Green Book’ and matching Pendant came from the dead LT. I really do think that Vicben is involved – he will be dealt with after I report to Master Waheed. He also adds that the Green book we found and the Cloak I am wearing were in the wagons because they are ‘blanketed’ from magical scrying (that is interesting) and is why Yandon hid them there. We really need to get back to Evanora before she does something with the book!

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If Books Could Kill....
5th Session

From the Journal of Evanora

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After the incident at the armourer I was ready to move on. We made our way around the market but we couldn’t find another armourer. Ven had the idea of talking to that touchy-feely fruit vendor and it turns out he actually has a business associate. He directs us to the opposite side of the bazaar and we started to head off in that direction. As we were moving through the crowd suddenly I hear Fredrick yell out, ‘Hey, he just took something from Ven’s pocket’. I turn and notice the young man that Fredrick is referring too. Before I can attempt to do anything Ven reacts and throws this bola weapon at the would-be thief that knocks him prone. Then surprisingly it’s Duzret who picks up a nearby chair and throws it knocking the young man out. The young man falls unconscious and Ven reaches him and recovers the items the thief stole. I kneel down and check our thief and he’ll live but I don’t like the way that the chair leg is stuck in his back. Unfortunately I can do nothing about this here and Ven makes the decision to take the thief to the doctor….. Great – another visit with the doctor!

We reach the doctor’s hospice and Ven gets Fredrick and Duzret to take the thief in and the doctor begins to examine the thief while Ven was feeding him some bullshit story.
I take the opportunity to sneak into the back room where the wizard looks to be still unconscious on the far side bed. I look around and notice no one else in the room but I do notice that the nearby chair beside the patient is warm which means that the seeker brother has been here recently.

Not knowing if I will be able to help I still blame myself for this situation and so I attempt to heal him. I lay my hand across his body and unfortunately nothing comes to me as it has with say a cut to know what to do. Still proceeding I channel my power and while the glow happens it enters his body but I can’t notice any immediate change.

Having a random thought I take the book out from its velvet wrap and I wonder if perhaps the power from the book might be inside his body and perhaps bringing the book close it might help.

I bring the book over his body and nothing happens. As I’m considering what to do next my hand holding the book slips and before I have a chance to catch it the book lands on the wizard’s stomach where suddenly there’s a spark and he starts to convulse. (GM: “I will take this opportunity to call BULLSHIT”)

I attempt to get the book off but am thrown back across the room. Ouch. He’s getting worse and so I fey step over to the patient where I try again. By this time Yru had come into the room (after seeing me fly across the room) and enquiries what is going on. I tell him the book is killing him. Seeing now that the book has attached itself to him I use my healing power (full blast) to cauterize his skin between the book and manage to rip it off. Once again being thrown across the room.

As I’m trying to get up off the floor I notice that the wizard has awoken and now stands up looking over at me. What is most disconcerting is that his eyes are completely white.
I realise the book has turned him into undead creature. I warn Yru and he engages the former wizard now undead creature. By this time Ven has come through the door and he also engages the creature.

Without much difficulty we manage to dispatch the creature and as I move towards it to see what happens, Ven calls out to Fredrick and Duzret (who had been outside) to get in here now. I turn towards the outside door when I notice for the first time the seeker brother who had been watching over the wizard, holding a tray of food which a look of shock on his face…. Oh crap! How much did he see?!?!? He starts to turn around but unfortunately for him Fredrick and Duzret happen to be walking through the door from the outside at the time and Duzret punches him in the face and knocks the brother out. With that I explain to Ven what happens and we decide to try and plant it on the brother – turned him into the undead.

The doctor comes running in and he is shocked at the wizard’s body but seems to agree that the undead creature did have to be destroyed. He laughs off our suggestion that it was the seeker brother who created this creature. The Doctor seemed to imply that this brother Jason was new to the calling (and that he had a colourful past).

We’ve put the unconscious brother Jason on one of the other beds and the Doctor leaves to gather his equipment to check the brother over. During this time we discuss what perhaps the Brother saw and I have to honestly tell Ven that I don’t know. Yru then sits and meditates for a moment and he comes out and tells us that the brother saw everything. He also tells us that the book is sending some shadowy presences out and one of them is reaching for the undead body. Realising that it might be attempting to reanimate it, and that I have to destroy the body before anyone can do anything I (somehow the knowledge comes to me) sing a powerful note and suddenly the undead body is set alight.
Fredrick and Duzret unfortunately saw it and both freak out and begin calling me a witch and I’m dangerous. I’m too busy focusing on the body but it seems Yru talked to both Fredrick and Duzret and they calm down (I’m not entirely sure what he said but they seem fine). (GM: all he said was “its cool bro!”) The body has this black smoke vapouring off the body and it makes the whole room smell disgusting.

Yru and Ven discuss the brother and Ven makes the decision that the brother knows too much and that he can’t be allowed to live. I feel conflicted about it. This situation is my fault and he has just got in the way. Ven arranges for a decanter of water next to Brother Jason to be poisoned. He orders Duzret and Fredrick to take the body of the undead out to the incinerator.

The doctor returns and helps to revive Brother Jason. He asks for some water and as planned his drinks it and the acid in the poison eats away at the Brother and he dies (also causing the Doctor to freak out and run). (GM: he doesn’t just die, he dies in extreme pain”)
We decide to leave at that time and head back to the bazaar (it seems that Ven spoke to the thief and is attempting to create thief contacts). As we are heading out I see the Doctor coming back and he has a contingent of seekers (including a high priest in red) heading for the hospice.

This book is incredibly worrisome! Something that creates undead is incredibly dangerous. From what I have read most books of these kind would be bound in black but this green is unusual. What is also unusual is whether this book is arcane or possibly divine in origin. I don’t know what to do but for the moment I will keep the book under wraps.
(GM: “Oh and one thing you notice, there is a piece of the wizards skin burnt onto the front of the book, and it is still juicy.”)

From the Journal of Ven

‘To Find Yandon – Part 1 – Side Tracked!’

Now that I have an idea on ‘whom’ is responsible for the destruction of Master Waheed’s business interests in the city (the two thieves’ guilds are involved, but they appear to be a front for the wealthy nobles and merchants that really run the city) it is time to find Yandon. Unfortunately I have a feeling the third group that is working in the shadows is involved as well, but just do not know how. I think I will try and find out where the Red Sashes are based in the city and see if I can find this ‘Seth’ person.

We decide to go looking for another store so we can get Fredrick his armour but cannot locate any so we end up back at the Farmer’s Market. The farmer I bought the oranges from is still here and has moved on to apples. I buy 6 apples (5 silver), as they do look good, and ask him about the best armourer in the Bazaar. He suggests his business partner (don’t they all) that owns the biggest and best Armourer Emporium in the Bazaar – ‘Armour by Ashley’. The shop is also at the other end of the Bazaar.

We head off (Fredrick is getting antsy again) and on the way I get pick pocketed – ME! I have been so caught up with the others antics and the mission that I have forgotten my basics. Marcus would tell me to centre myself and continue. Fredrick luckily spotted the thief in action and yells a warning; I eventually spot the person and in a flash swing my bolas over my head and throw. The bolas take him around the legs and he falls, while Duzret throws a chair and knocks him out. A quick search gets my money pouch back – the fake one for stealing that is (16 steel) and one other item (plus my bolas). The item is a leather case that holds two vials – the fluid is green in colour and I do not think it is very nice stuff – so I pocket it.

I also realise that this fellow is the thief and not the bag man so I look around and spot a boy that is a younger version of the thief. The boy looks to be about 14 years old. I use sign and tell him to follow us and he disappears into the crowd. I also say loudly that we will take this thief to the hospital for treatment and await the guard.

At the hospital Dr No takes charge of the thief while I wait and look for the kid, telling Duzret and Fredrick to keep an eye out for trouble. Dr No does not seem happy to see us, so I also suggest that ‘Lady Valentine’ check on the wizard (while I stay with the Doctor) in case she can get some information out of the wizard if he is conscious. I don’t say that but hopefully she can think for herself. The waiting continues and then BOOM! There is an explosion from the general area of where the wizard is being treated; I expect the worst and assume ‘Lady Valentine’ did something (stupid). The story I find out later is that the book ‘leapt out of her hands’ and touched the wizard… OMG!!! My associates will be the death of me!!!! Dr No screams ‘what is going on?!? I am trying to work here’ and I say that I will investigate and he need not concern himself – the noise came from ‘outside’ – terrible lie I know but I need to see what is going on first!

The room where the wizard it is where I find Evanora and Yru and they seem to be having a fight with the wizard. I think this is very bad since the wizard has completely white eyes and is looking directly at Evanora. It is also at this point that Evanora says that the ‘wizard’ is now an undead creature. I was wrong; things did just get worst…

Just awesome…

I shoot and hit but the creature but it continues to move forward. Yru attacks in close and hits hard and Evanora casts a spell and knocks the creature back into the wall. Of course the Seeker that was here comes back in and is watching, traumatized as we battle the creature. This is not good, not good at all!

I hit with another bolt and dagger; each coated in a different poison and manage to daze and confuse the undead creature for a bit (which did help us). Yru lost his sword while I called out for help for Duzret and Fredrick. Yru pulls a dagger and leaps back into the fray with the creature and hits twice with his final thrust going up through the jaw and out the top of the head (nice). The fight ends and now Duzret and Fredrick arrive; I tell them to stop the Seeker from running away. ‘He made the undead!’ we say (crap plan but we work with what we have) as the Seeker tries to run. Duzret knocks him unconscious. Dr No then arrives as we take back our weapons and he goes and gets his medical bag to attend to Knuckles. I think Knuckles needs to die as he might have seen too much. I suggest that perhaps Evanora can touch him with the book – that way another undead is killed and proves my point. She did not take the hint.

I check the leather case and the green vials and discover the liquid is a potent acid poison; this gives me an idea; I find a decanter of water and mix is half a vial then pour some of the water into a metal bowl just in case the good doctor needs it to ‘help’ Knuckles (Brother Jason) later. While I do this Yru does some kind of ‘Shaman thing’ and says that the Book has tendrils of darkness trying to get back to the body of the dead wizard; so they burn the body by having Evanora casts a spell in front of Duzret and Fredrick. That goes over like a lead balloon and I can hear comments of ‘witch’ etc. from the room and there is a really bad smelling black smoke coming from the wizard’s body just as I go to see what the Doctor is up to. The burnt body of the wizard is thrown in the incinerator out back but I think that smell will be around for a while.

Things go from bad to worse for the new seeker, Brother Jason, aka Knuckles. Dr No uses the water in the bowl to wipe Knuckles down and then suddenly Knuckles goes in to contractions and blisters and goes crazy. I suggest that perhaps he needs water so the good doctor pours him a cup and this makes this worse! Poor Dr no… if only his friend had not seen too much he would have been allowed to live. As a result Knuckles starts to throw up blood and all manner of bile; Dr No has a fit and runs out of the hospital. I give Knuckles a bit more water (oops!) and he dies. The decanter and bowl are then thrown in the incinerator as well. There is a lot of blood but the mission must continue.

Before leaving I go and see the thief. His name is Leo and he is a Sleeper Agent and his bag man is his younger brother and he will not be coming (though I am sure the boy will for his brother). I introduce myself as a ‘Contractor’ and show the leather case. He has a fit and begs me to give it to him but I convince him that I can help him by completing his mission. If he had not tried to take my money all would have been well. He ponders this for it seems that if he does not complete the mission he and his brother are basically dead. I decide that helping him out makes me a contact and another way in with the Sleepers. Perhaps they will have need of a Contractor in the future.

Leo explains that I am to go to the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ a wine merchant shop and ask to see the ‘Wife’s Owner’ and then I will be told that she has gone shopping. Then a second man will appear from the rear and I will hand him the leather case and then bring back to Leo what he gives me. After all I am ‘Hiro the Contractor’. We leave the hospital and see in the distance Dr No and the Seekers coming down the street (with what appears to be the High Seeker leading the way) – not my concern so we head to the Grapes of Wrath.

The others wait outside while I go in and give the code words and hand over the case. The man I meet is not happy and declares that this is the last time! ‘Tell the Night Master’ that this is the end and that if Leo comes back here I will kick his butt out of my store!’ Not a bright thing to do in my opinion but this is VERY interesting indeed.

From there we go to shop ‘Armour by Ashley’ as Fredrick really, really, really wants his armour. This place has everything – 9 smiths working hard and making ‘to order’ armour and weapons, as well as others doing nothing but repairs. There are also a number of adventurer parties here which means it is a place to shop for good quality gear. An assistant comes over and helps Fredrick choose his new armour, though we do mention NO armour from Solamnia or the Knighthood.

Next Session… To Find Yandon – Part 2

From the Journal of Yru

The Bizarre in the Bazaar
From the moment I entered the city, my trip into the Bazaar, reuniting with the group and our interactions with local shop merchants, I felt out of place and uneasy. The hustle and bustle of the city, and the everyday sounds (white noise to the locals) has put me in such a tense state that I’m constantly on edge and untrusting of anything in this foreign environment. This is my bain and I truly believe I’m doing my best to better understand the ways of the city folk and their need for urban living, however give me the open air and a nice quiet forest where my senses are truly honed and then I would feel at home. In the silence of the forest you can sense your enemies, predators or whatever stalks you in the shadows, however being in this city right now has put me at such a disadvantage that its hard to know which direction your enemy stalks and then it happened, to Ven, where he was caught off guard by a local thief. I couldn’t believe it either, but we were lucky enough that Frederick had a keen eye at that moment to call the thief out and for Ven to react quickly with a strike of his bolas, that tangled the would be thiefs legs. At the same time in coming chair thrown by Duzret had hit the guy square in the back and it was lights out for thief, so we decide to take him to the local infirmary.

While waiting at the infirmary, Evanora goes into the back room to check in on the wizard who had recently been admitted earlier that day. After a few moments, I here a commotion in the room and quickly turn towards the door to see Evanora fly across my line of sight. What the hell is going on!!!! My immediate reaction was to run to the door and determine if Evanora is safe (yes my instincts were for the safety of the woman first!!!! who would have thought). Glancing quickly at Evanora, who was slowly getting back to her feet, I turned my attention to the book that was resting on top of human body which was convulsing wildly. Again, what the hell was happening,!!! With limited knowledge of the possibilities, I can only assume, based my common sense of the situation, that the book was the cause of the pains being inflicted on the human. I decide to go an remove it from his body with my blades, but Evanora appeared over the top in an instant. Another dislplay of magical ability. and therefore decided to trust her judgement in the right way to deal with it. Evanora appears to grab the book with a satin cloth and utters more enchanting words and is again thrown backwards away from the body. But at least this time she has the book in her possession. I focus my attention back to the human who is no longer convulsing, but now standing up and looking devoid of his own free spirit. Something is definitely not right with him as we notice his pupils are dilated and completely white. Ven reaches the doorway entrance, when we all decide to confront the creature. Wielding my weapons I charge into melee range with creature, after Ven has hurt it with a well precise throw of his dart (although I don’t believe for one second the a puny weapon could caused that much pain. I’m thinking there must be something else on those darts). I score a couple of good strikes before its back at me with a shadowy mind attack which is quite painful and remains linked to me. The battle was quick and I recall losing my main weapon when an opportunity presented itself, so I resorted to pulling my dagger out and jumping back in for a final strike that wounds it fatally and I drIve my dagger up through its skull for good measure.

With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I turn back to the group and notice one of the carers has entered and looks absolutely shocked at scene before him. By this time Ven had already called out for Frederick and Duzret to assist, where they block the mans exit and Evanora points at him and says “He did it”. Duzret knocks him out and all I can think of doing is finding if this man had seen the whole episode. So I decide to use my clan totem and meditate. As I enter my “out of body” moment, the first thing that catches my eye is the brightness of the book under Evanoras cloth (as well as something on Vens belt, hmm interesting) and shadow tendrils the writhe around her to get to the slain human. It appears that it still has some type of corporeal link to body it had touched. I move through the process of time and discern that the carer had been at the doorway the whole time. I tell Evanora that she must keep the book away from the body as it is still trying to create a link with it. Instantly and before everybodies eyes she casts a fire spell and alights the body in magical flame. I can tell the other guys are shocked by Evanoras display of magic, so I tell them “It’s all good, the Master knows”. They feel much more at ease with that explanation. I’m sure Evanora appreciated the support during that crucial time in our limited time together, but truth be known, I needed to remove any thoughts of any internal conflicts within the group that would affect the outcome of the mission.

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The Plot Thickens
4th Session

The Plot Thickens from the Journal of Ven

Evanora explains that she was once at a Seeker gathering \ function (?) where the Upper Echelon burnt a ‘Witch’ during a ceremony – seems she may have had some history with the poor women you died. This does explain why she almost lost her temper at Brother’s Anthony and Carlos and had to step in. Just before we get up to leave I see a Kender walks behind Evanora and I say to her is anything missing (no) – got your key (no)! Damn it! We go up and check her room and I have to pick the lock to get in – nothing appears to be missing. Evanora goes back downstairs and ends up paying two steel to get the key replaced and to pay for a new room. Funny really.

Now with breakfast out of the way, lodging secured and our packs stowed away, we head back out into the city towards the Bazaar. This might give us an opportunity to discover what has been happening. At least I now know why the shipments have not made their way to Lemish. My Master’s business enterprise in this city is no more. Now to find out ‘why’ it happened and what happened to Yandon. Hopefully Yru will catch up with us soon.
The Bazaar is huge and we start to look around for Yru and to see what is for sale. Because CraftHaven is also a port city there is a lot of items available that you would not normally see. I tell the others to also keep an ear out for the local rumours and gossip. We come across a farmer selling oranges and rock melons. We chat and start to get some information and find out that food is being bought in bulk – almost for an army but luckily there are none… that we know of. I continue chatting with the George the Fruit Vendor and end up buying a dozen oranges (1 STEEL each!) and 2 Rock Melons for 1 silver each. ‘Lady Valentine’ gets a free one.

After purchasing the oranges we find out that Yandon has not been seen in the Bazaar for some time and the farmer did not know that Yandon’s Trading Post was closed and boarded up. He does say that Yandon LOVES playing craps and can normally be seen at the Gambling Boar every night. The farmer explains that he once saw Yandon place a 5000 steel bet at craps and loose! George lastly tells us about a trader named Maurice that has a trading post in the Bazaar; he might know about Yandon. There is a healer \ hospital about two isles over that uses Fire Heart in its processed form and using potions to help the sick for a price. And just before we leave George he tells us that Fire Heart comes from the cliffs near the beach and adventurers go in to mine it a lot. There is a story that talks about a group of 10 dwarves from the Kaoland Mtns going in and only one coming out. Though that ‘1’ became rich!

We walk around a bit more and then Durzet spots Yru! We move to a quieter part of the Bazaar and Yru fills us in on what happened to him since we left The Wayfarer Inn. Yru found the site where his brother died and there was only Varla’s head on a spike there. In the general area of the fight, three riders had arrived before the hobgoblins. Two riders went one way and the hobgoblins followed; obviously after they killed Varla, while the third rider went another direction, towards the watch tower used by the Red Sashes. Yru also says that a person called Olaf (a butcher) panicked when Yru asked him about Yandon; Olaf closed up shop and refused to speak with Yru. Instead Yru followed Olaf back to his home ‘just in case’ we want to ‘talk’ to him.

While Yru followed the third rider’s tracks he came across the bodies of a number of dead humans with Red Sashes. A creature (or creatures) on foot with claws for feet (that is strange) and there were dead humans in this murder site – the clawed feet went to a point and then just disappeared. Yru marked it with a Ranger’s Mark in case we ever want to go and look at it. At one point as we are walking, 8 wagons full of food are moving towards another part of the city. Special product for someone but we do not for sure.

Duzret says ‘there is a gnome watching us’ and all turn and look at him. The gnome runs off into the crowd and Yru explains that he meet the gnome just inside the city gates and wanted to show Yru where the best butcher was but Yru refused. Seems Yru might have upset the gnome – we will keep an eye out for the gnome. Of course it is not good that Duzret that spotted the gnome and I did not! One thing all this talk has proven to me is that there is a third party at work in the background – could be these lizard type creatures be this mysterious group?

We continue shopping for items ‘Lady Valentine’ is after – pay 5 steel for an upmarket necklace and then go to a silk merchant to get a shawl that will give Lady Valentine a distinctive look (+1 Diplomacy). The conversation goes from bad to worse and as I do not want to break cover I cannot stop ‘Lady Valentine’ from doing something (in my opinion and that is what matters!) REALLY stupid!!! The bullshit stops and Lady Valentine puts the magical book down as collateral with 30 steel – FUCK ME – this man Treydar will die and he will not be hanging on to the book at all after the next day. We continue shopping (Fredrick is bored) and get shoes, a sturdy pair of boots all for 1 steel.

We then head to Maurice’s Trading Emporium. There are two people out the front selling common items but inside the open warehouse are a lot of goods to sale. A large ‘Big Human’ stands inside the door and watches everyone that enters. Maurice’s has lots of items and goods to take dungeoneering. There is also a glass box \ display cabinet and inside it is a large chunk of Fire Heart.

Maurice comes over and explains that he does not sell the Fire Heart – Adventuring Halls do contracts for all the Fire Heart and when we mention Yandon’s and he spits at the name – all the Fire Heart did go through Yandon but not anymore. Maurice says someone came for Yandon and now Yandon has not been seen since. (Gain a Free Tinder Box which I pocket). Once Yandon’s monopoly was broken the other merchants put adventurers into the caverns to get more Fire Heart – many die but those that survive are rich and the merchants get their Fire Heart.

Maurice also adds that if we go to the Adventurers Hall ask for Athart – tell him Maurice sent you. If you take a job for the Hall you get paid daily and keep what you find except the Fire Heart. When we finish up talking with Maurice, across the road we see the gnome and this time he talks to us – he thinks he knows what we are here for – Fire Heart Adventuring – he could not be more wrong but let him think that. He introduces himself as Dingo.

Dingo reckons he has a map that ‘came’ into his possession of where the Fire Heart is located in the caverns; it is also written in dwarven. Dingo is willing to talk price – 50 steel but we get to view the map first. The map should be okay looking but really old. We pay 5 Steel not as a deposit but as a ‘job for hire’. I ask Dingo to watch the silk merchant Treydar for us and to report back at the Happy Harpy Inn the next morning for breakfast and we will view the map (and see if it is legit). Dingo takes us on a circular route; he moves a panel to show us a back alley that we can take around the Bazaar – we can use these alleys to get around if necessary (Well I will!).

Back at the inn we get cleaned up and wait for evening. Lady Valentine gets the pamper package that costs a steel. As we leave everyone looks at ‘Lady Valentine’ and her bodyguards. I walk along behind and eventually we arrive at the Gambling Boar – there are guards in white and blue with clubs; we leave our ‘weapons’ at the door but they do not pat us down. There are skimpily dressed women with food and drinks (free) and inside are mostly merchants of both sexes. There are bets on arm wrestling, a fight club, cock fighting (out the back), craps and card game. You name it, it is bet upon here. Lady Valentine takes off her hood and gets lots of looks, but as most are hard core gamblers they get back to their games.

We split up and I look around for Yandon in the craps area, but I also want to see who is watching whom. Are there factions here amongst the gamblers? And what happens to those that break the rules? How quick does the establishment deal with cheaters and those that do not gamble? Well I get my answer pretty quick as a patron that is not gambling gets chucked out. Lady Valentine is invited upstairs to talk to the owner; I continue to look around and do a little bit of gambling. I lose 3 steel but do not stand out in the crowd and are left along.

Fredrick wins big – 1000 steel and we manage to get him to not lose it all. He gets a promissory note to take to the money lenders tomorrow before hitting the Bazaar tomorrow. Lady Valentine wins 250 steel at cards against a normal group of gamblers and pays back the 50 Steel credit she was offered. After a couple of hours we leave and are met outside by an apparent Lieutenant of the local Thieves Guild. We come to an arrangement with the guild – we will not steal here and if we need to talk to them go to the Toadstool (as for Bubba) or Wulfe’s.

Back at the inn ‘Lady Valentine’ puts 20 steel down on the bar and it is free drinks for all. Evanora and I go upstairs and we come across the kender again, search him, but find nothing of ours. We do find a key to Room six. It is not his room… he found it. I go down and pretend to be ‘drunk’ and knock at the door and listen. There is some noise from inside but no answer. Room 6 belongs to a large Ergrothian male – he goes to the door and cannot find his key so goes back downstairs to get another key. Later the Ergothian comes back up to his room and goes inside and talks to someone or something in the room. That night I watch from my window and see two people watching the inn again and they appear to be the same two as before. Interesting.

The next day I go down and check the alley where I had seen the pair, but this time I collect some of the sand for further investigation. Evanora says the sand has residual magic from teleportation. While we are eating breakfast Dingo arrives with the map and a report from the previous day and night. It appears Treydar had the book looked at and a poor wizard was knocked unconscious (fool). Treydar then had the book moved to another location with a merchant he knows and has it hidden under his cart. Dingo also says that Treydar has hired a mercenary and is planning to ‘shake us down’ (Treydar is a fool). Dingo then brings out the map for us to look at while he eats.

Yru then checks out the map – there is something wrong with it. The script is wrong and it is about 5 years old. I hold it up to the light and can tell it is fact a fake. Dingo is not happy at all with the result but I suggest he could do some work for us. A small retainer of 3 steel helps Dingo to decide on his best course of action since we are not going to by the map.
Dingo then shows us the merchant associate of Tryedar and Dingo says he is known to the merchant. This works out well as we use Dingo and then Lady Valentine to act as decoys while I get the book back (finally!) from under the cart. We then head back to the silk merchant Treydar and chit chat before getting back the ‘velvet case’ and leave letting Treydar think he has been successful in ‘keeping the book’. We then go to the healer \ hospital location to see if we can check out the wounded wizard that was knocked unconscious. Dingo will watch the merchant that should have the book, to see when he heads back to Treydar or vis-versa, and then to catch up with us and let us know the outcome at the hospital \ healer.

At the hospital is a tent \ recovery area and a large main residence where the healer is located. Lady Valentine tries to bluff the doctor of the establishment (Dr. No) but she has to cut to the chase and explain that the merchant brought this upon the wizard. No she is not one of the Tower Wizards. Currently ‘Knuckles’, Brother Jason of the Seeker (that was his name of the ‘Brother’ when the Doctor grew up with him) is giving ‘healing’ to the wizard. Seems the wizard has been in a coma since the explosion. The Seeker will fail of course in this healing as the wizard will not be worthy.

We also ask about the Fire Heart potions – Dr No has the plants specially treated and made into potions by a local apothecary. After the attack by the Hobgoblins was defeated (or was it??) there was a plague that killed about 300 people to start with before the good doctor got on top of it. A merchant (Yandon) was the big cheese that once controlled all things associated with the Fire Heart, but he was removed by the two thieves’ guilds in the city. Once guild is called SPECTRE (they took out Yandon) and now have the lion’s share of the Fire Heart. The SLEEPERS are the other thieves’ guild. Seems both groups have put Yandon in hospital a number of times in the weeks after the plague. Dr No said he last saw Yandon around 4 weeks ago; Yandon also has a house in the noble area of the city.

We wait for Dingo to return to us – he explains that the merchant eventually looked under the cart and discovered no book, freaks out (takes a little chest) and heads to Treydar. The pair has an animated conversation and yell at each other before taking off in different directions. Dingo says that the Toadstool is owned by the Merchant Thieves’ Guild, SPECTRE. I personally do not think they tried to sell the book (yet) to either guild or any nobles of the city; Treydar came across as a person that did not plan ahead well and liked to think he was smarter than he actually was. The pair would have wanted us to be long gone from the city before they would sell the book.

I think it is time to find Yandon’s house in the noble quarter – Dingo will go off later to find out where the house is, as he can gather the information we need without it coming back to us. From there we head to the money lender to change Fredrick’s promissory note so he can buy his armour. 300 steel and 7 x100 steel in gems. We go to a few armourers in the Bazaar and eventually find what Fredrick wants – 300 steel straight up and he does not haggle (no sense that man) and as he goes to make the transaction Evanora points out that it is an old set of Knight of Solamnia engraved. Fredrick stops, puts on his gauntlet and smacks the armourer in the face and goes stupid!! Yru pins him after Durzet hits him with a shield and we eventually get Fredrick calm. Seems Fredrick HATES the Knights of Solamnia.
We close the tent with Duzret on guard and Dingo’s eyes almost pop from his head as Evanora HEALS the armourer – Dingo’s jaw drops and I tell him to shut the hell up. Fredrick says he refuses to wear anything to do with the Knights of Solamnia. Yru spends 100 steel on a masterwork bastard sword and we get a dagger thrown in for free to clear up yet another mess by my associates.

Now it appears I have an idea on who is responsible for the destruction of Master Waheed’s business interests in the city. The two guilds are involved, but they appear to be a front for the wealthy nobles and merchants that really run the city. And I have a feeling the third group that is working in the shadows is involved as well but just do not know how. Will also have to find out where the Red Sashes were travelling to and you this ‘Seth’ person is.

Next Session… To Find Yandon

From the Journal Evanora

While we are having a quick snack at the bakery I take the opportunity to try and explain why I faulted around the seekers. I tell Ven and Fredrick about my experience at the Ergothian Gala substituting my events for ‘a friend’. They seem to buy it and for once I’m pleasantly surprised they didn’t show any negative response to the term ‘Witch’.

During our conversation Ven motions that a kender just walked past me. I didn’t understand what he meant as I have never heard of a kender before but he says they take things. Not stealing it’s just a thing that they do. I immediately check my pockets and I notice that my room key is missing! The kender seems to have gone up the stairs to the inn’s rooms and I chase after him. Ven follows. I check my room and it’s still locked. Ven lock-picks it (handy skill). Inside my room my packs are all here. Knowing it’s not safe I head down to the barkeep and unfortunately this fellow is not the nice one I met earlier. He is rough and says that a new key is 1 steel. A new room change also 1 steel. Knowing I can’t trust my stuff to be safe I pay the money and move into room 3.

Ven says we should start out in the great bazaar and I agree (as I have some items I’m interested in buying).

I ask about the eggs and it seems Ven implies that all the property we found at Yandon’s is the masters….. Really…. I explain that the eggs are too dangerous to try and transport back and he finally relents and agrees to sell them. I ask about the gambling house and Ven agrees that we should check it out. I recommend this evening as it will be easier to hopefully find information. Ven considers it but he says he wants to see how our trip to the Bazaar goes first.

We proceed towards the large market and at this time early in the morning the main stock being moved is fresh fruit. It seems there is an orange shortage at the moment and the price is 1 steel each!!! Ven strikes up a conversation with a fruit vendor by the name of George and manages to gather some information about the city. He found out that the city was attacked by Hob-goblins who were extremely organized. They had a trebuchet and even a ram!

We head further into the Bazaar and find a vendor that is selling monkeys. I approach and we barter over the spiders. It’s easy to see that he doesn’t know anything about them and he tries to ridiculously low amount. I want to leave and try somewhere else but his attitude changes and he tries to imply that we aren’t leaving and will only do busy with him. I look to Ven and he nods implying that we need to drag this out. I tell him more about the spider’s poison, and tell him he needs to improve his offer. We eventually get the offer up to 400 steel and an agreement is made. We throw in the trapped box as well. Wulfe then makes a sign that I don’t quite understand but I notice that Ven copies it…. WTH is going on.

We head out and I manage to procure some new shoes and some jewellery for this evening. I unfortunately had some trouble procuring a shawl. The vendor (Treda) had the most elegant piece (+1 to Diplomacy) but unfortunately wanted too high a price. I ended up negotiating a trade. He loans the shawl for 30 steel and as collateral I give him the Green Magical Tome I found. I notice Ven looks shocked and perhaps it was a rash move but from my brief study of the book I know that it is not to be trifled with. I bluff and attempt to cast a ‘geas’ on him saying that if he or anyone attempts to open the book there will be consequences. He always states that if the shawl doesn’t return in the exact condition that it is in then I will forfeit the book. Certainly shady but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. If he betrays my good trust then he will pay.

Duzret and Fredrick are getting extremely bored with the whole experience and so I suspect we stop for morning tea and as we head out of the shawl vendor Fredrick notices Yru in the bazaar! We meet and head off to the nearest vendor.

While there Yru explains that he found the camp where his brother died (they left his head on a spike…), they have since moved on and he noticed multiple horse tracks leading away. He also found a battle site where a group of 10 red brands were killed. No enemy bodies but from the wounds and the foot marks he thinks they were creatures that use claws to walk and attack on!

One lead that Ven got from George the fruit vendor was Yandon’s biggest rival – a man by the name of Maurice who runs a trade emporium. We decide to check it out. I enter and strike up a conversation with Maurice and it seems that Yandon had a monopoly on the Fireheart and he would organize for adventuring group to go into the caverns along the beach. With Yandon’s disappearance an adventuring guild supplied by a group of merchants now fund expeditions to the fireheart. Unfortunately as the merchants fund the expeditions they take all the fireheart as payment and wages and whatever else is found is provided to the party. I raise the notion of someone funding their own expedition and Maurice states that while it is certainly possible, interest would be applied heavily to anyone that returned from such an expedition (i.e. you might get the fireheart but getting out of the city would be difficult).

He does give us a name though. If we do go to the adventuring hall, speak to Athard and tell him ‘Maurice sent you’.

With that we leave and as we step outside Yru is accosted by a gnome across the street. It seems Yru has met before and he applies that he has sized us up as a group of adventurers. Yru approaches to try and catch him and luckily the gnome trying to jump off the box he’s on falls on his face. I tell Yru to stand him up and I ask for his name. ‘It’s Dingo, sugar tits’. While Fredrick and Duzret smirk I step forward and backslap him across the face and he falls on the floor again. I ask him to explain his business and he says he has a map of the caverns and the location of the fireheart. He wants 50 steel for it. He say it is written in Dwarven and I look and Yru nods (so he can read Dwarven – good).

Sensing that I might be able to build a relationship with him, I offer him 5 steel now as a show of our interest in the map and that if he watches the shawl merchant and tells us of his actions and reports back to us in the morning during breakfast at the Happy Harpy we can discuss further the map. He jumps at the prospect and I see Ven nod his acceptance to the deal. Providing him 5 steel he quickly races to the nearest food vendor and purchases a pie and shovels it down. My suspicions are confirmed that he is poor and that his knowledge of the city might be useful. He leads us through some back alleys that avoid the main traffic of the bazaar and I show him the merchant. He takes up position and so we head back to the inn to prepare for tonight’s trip to the Gambling Boar.

I take advantage of the excellent service at the Happy Harpy and get the ‘pamper package’. Bath etc. and then pull out my expensive Ergothian dress and arrange the jewellery and shawl. I proceed down the stairs after about an hour and I notice that the others all look the same…. Honestly…

Evanora1.jpg

We proceed to the gambling boar and upon arriving I remove my outer cloak and I am at least pleased that some take notice of my arrival. Unfortunately these merchants seem to enjoy their gambling and with plenty of serving wenches around I don’t think I am going to be of much use here. I do make one thing important to the others – Don’t even think about attempting to cheat or steal anything.

Ven & Fredrick head for the tables and Duzret seems to be enjoying the drinks but Yru hangs close and acts more like my bodyguard. I am finally noticed by someone and escorted upstairs where I am introduced to Warrick the owner of the established. He is quite young and while he is receptive to my charms I can tell he’s cautious. I ask about Yandon and I instantly can tell from his expression that he knows something but unfortunately he doesn’t elaborate. He does grant me an opening account of 50 steel. I thank him graciously and return to the main floor. The place is packed and while the majority are male merchants there are some females and I’m happy to note that they all notice me and that I am the best dressed and looking of them all _.

I head over to the poker table where I engage in a promising game with a group of merchants. They unfortunately don’t seem to want to chat so I put my energy into remembering my lessons, at least this time I don’t have to let one of them win in attempt to ingratiate myself to them. Eventually it is down to an older merchant and I and I win the final hand claiming the 250 steel pot. He nods to me and the game ends. I hand over 50steel to the lead worker in this area and tell him to give Warrick my compliments for the account. He nods and I see that he is an honourable fellow and returns the money to the correct place.

Seeing this trip might have been a bit of a bust I stand up and move around. I see a large crowd has gathered around Fredrick and it seems he is on a winning streak. Just as I approach him I see him win big on the roulette table. He’s won 1000 steel!! He’s lost it (he’s probably a little drunk too) and he’s gloating and extremely loud. I notice one of the wenches attempt to move in and encourage him to bet more but I reach him first and manage to bring him to his senses by saying he can buy himself some new armour and a weapon with that money. He agrees and attempts to cash in. The Gambling Boar doesn’t have that amount of money on hand and gives him an I.O.U note signed by the owner.

Fredrick looks at me confused and I explain that he can cash that in tomorrow morning at a money lender and that it is as legitimate as having the 1000 steel pieces. He’s relieved and heads over to Duzret at the bar where they start to drink loudly in celebration.
Realizing that we probably haven’t made the best impression by winning big on our first visit I motion to Ven and he nods. I gather Yru, Duzret and Fredrick and we leave.

As we are outside we are met by a man who seems to know us. He implies that he hopes we aren’t encroaching on our territory without coming to see him first. I immediately consider that he is the owner of the Gambling Boar and he didn’t like that we won, but he confirms that Warrick is the owner and that it’s something else. Ven steps forward and states that we have no intention of encroaching and the man seems to accept that and he and his ‘cutthroats’ turn and leave. With that I swirl around and ask Ven what that was. He explains that he was a member of the thieves’ guild and just wanted to make sure we didn’t do anything.

Unimpressed with Ven’s explanation I turn and head back to the Inn with the group in toe. Upon arriving I decide to spend some our good luck around. I notice the surrey barkeep still on the bar. I throw down 20 steel and tell him the drinks for the inn are on me, due to my win at the Gambling Boar. He announces it to the inn and a cheer goes up all around.
Yru, Duzret and Fredrick decide to stay down here to celebrate. Ven and I head up and to my surprise I notice the same kender coming down the passage. We both grab him and enquiry about my key. He claims he doesn’t understand and checking his pockets we find a key but not to my original room but to room#6.

We send the kender on his way and Ven seems interested to check room#6. He knocks and attempts to see if anyone is inside. While he’s there at the door I hear footsteps coming from the stairs. Warning him ‘Ven I’m off, I’ll see you in the morning’, as I’m about to enter my room I see a large Ergothian man come and we nod. He heads to room#6 and it seems that he is the one who unfortunately met the kender and he has to go down to the barkeep to get another key. I enter my room and make sure to put the shawl away for tomorrow.

I awake and dress as a merchant again and proceed downstairs. I see Ven, Fredrick and Yru are already down. I greet them and it looks like Fredrick and Yru didn’t go too heavy last night. As my breakfast comes over I see Duzret come down and he doesn’t look well. Yru offers him some hot breakfast and he has to run to the nearest window and throw up (yuck).

While we are sitting down Dingo turns up and I organize breakfast for him. He explains that the merchant didn’t take my advice to heart. He brought in some mage and the mage attempted to break the Sigel and ended up getting zapped and is now unconscious. I’m admittedly alarmed as this is my fault. Dingo continues and says that the merchant gave the book to a friend of his who is holding it at his cart and that he has hired a guard at the stall. He’s going to attempt to shake us down. I’m immediately upset and want to head there and deal with this but Ven says we will go see the merchant holding the book first as we might be able to get it back first.

We also discuss the map and Dingo produces it. Yru looks it over and it seems it’s older than what we thought. It’s also been copied and unfortunately there is conflicting information on it. Yru still thinks it’s worth buying and Dingo confirms that there is one that the adventuring hall gives to parties that is different to this. Yen agrees and they pay Dingo the remaining 45steel.

We then get Dingo to take us to this merchant. He’s got it under his stall and he’s constantly looking around.

I organize for Dingo and myself to act as two different distractions while Yen goes to steal it.
We originally seem to be doing ok but Ven seems to take a long time. I eventually manage to get the merchants full attention by implying that the dress I am trying on is stuck. With that Ven gets the book and I purchase the outfit for 20silver.

With the book back I’m ready to go confront the merchant but Ven warns me to just see what his game is. I enter and I start out quite brazen questioning the bodyguard and mentioning thieves and he agrees. I tell him I have the shawl and am ready to exchange my book back. He then attempts to say there is a mark on the shawl and that as per our agreement I will forfeit the book. I start to get hostile and he seems willing to continue this charade. Deciding that I’ll get more satisfaction knowing he’ll find out soon enough I barter for the red velvet cover of it back and the merchant agrees quickly thinking he’s won. I keep the shawl and tell him that I am disappointed and wont shop here again. I leave with the others and Ven congratulates me for playing that so well.

I return the book to the red velvet case and ask if we can go to the Doctor to check on the fireheart (also I want to see this wizard).

Dingo gives us directions while I tell him to remain and let us know what happens with the merchant. We proceed to the street he told us and we find a large set of huts setup with a red cross on the side. I head in with Ven and Yru where we are met by a nurse (who looks battered), I tell her that I would like to see the wizard who came in last night. She doesn’t seem to understand who I’m talking about and calls over the doctor. The doctor introduces himself as Dr No and he is a no nonsense fellow I can tell. He asks if I’m related to the individual and I tell him the truth that I am not and explain that I might be able to help. He asks if I’m one of those tower wizards and I don’t quite understand what that means but also tell him no. He looks at me sceptically and I explain that the book was in my possession and the merchant was holding it as collateral and that I warned him not to attempt to open and that I might be able to help.

He explains that he does not want me going near my patient and that a seeker by the name of Brother Jason is currently praying with him. Not wanting to get near the seeker I do ask if I can return later and the Dr gives me a shrug (which doesn’t seem promising). He does provide us some information about the fireheart though. It seems there are two thieves’ guilds in the city. One called Spectre (which is a pseudo-merchant group) that controls the fireheart trade. They are aggressive and it seems they might have been responsible for Yandon’s disappearance. The others are more a standard thieves’ guild – The sleepers. I wasn’t paying that much attention but luckily Ven got their information.

I plant the notion that if we do get some fireheart I would be willing to sell it to the doctor and for the first time he doesn’t look at me with complete mistrust, now I’m slight less than complete mistrust.

With that I wish him well and we leave. Fredrick finally asks if we can go get his armour and we go cash in his IOU with the money lender and then proceed back to the bazaar. Along the way Dingo comes back and explains that the merchants ended up meeting after realizing that the book was gone and they both head off after a heated discussion. During this time Fredrick has gone past several armourers before finally arriving at a large fellow that has a wonderful set of plate. Fredrick has no haggling skills and just agrees to the price of 300 steel, but he at least gets agreement to size it up and everything. As he puts it on I notice an emblem on it. I recognise it as a Knight of Solmania and so I tell that to Fredrick (as a warning as I know they don’t like non-knights wearing their armour). He looks at it and then suddenly he changes and he launches at the armourer. Before Yru and Durzret can stop him he’s punched the armourer 4-5 times and he’s badly hurt. Yru pulls of Fredrick and hands him to Durzret who holds him while he calms down. I get Yru to bring the armourer inside and Ven closes the shades.

Knowing that I will be discovered I can only hope this won’t end well. I begin my song and with the words the armourer’s badly damage face heals until it only looks like he’s been hit once in the eye. I turn around and I see that three people noticed. Ven, Yru and Dingo. Dingo looks the most shocked but the others don’t seem to be that bad.

View
A Brother Searches
3A Session

From the Journal of Yru

I awoke with a start, sweating, heart racing, and an absolute feeling of dread. Could it really be true? Did I just dream it or was it really an instinctual feeling that is shared between twin brothers, a bond that had been even further strengthened over the last couple of years as the soul survivors of the Half-Ogre Wandering Wolf Clan. Be it dream or just a feeling, I was certain of what I saw, my brother had been killed by hob-goblins.

Varla had left early that day on an errand for my master. I did not get a chance to see him off and in all honesty he gave no indication that there would be any difficulties in fulfilling his mission.

Something had gone wrong and I needed to warn the Master immediately, in case the nature of his mission was of the utmost importance and secondly, whether it was brother’s fault or not, I felt a strong compulsion to exact revenge and regather the lost items of our clan.

I met with the Master and I tell him of my vision. I can tell he is unsure of the validity of my statements, due to the apparent rage and adrenalin that may have been coursing through my veins at the time and calls for the witch to make contact with my mind to seek the truth. With mind completely open to the witch’s powers, I too can see the surrounds and vision much more clearly now as if I was there. The witch confirms my statements and the Master appears more worried. However I’m unsure if he is more concerned for the loss of my brother or whether there is wider implication of hob-goblins attacks in the area.

The Master agrees to let me resume the mission for which my brother had set out to complete, but not until I had sworn an oath to him that I would find Evanora and met up with Ven at the Wayfarer’s Inn. The Master also acknowledges my request for revenge, but not until the original mission is complete and Ven concurs that an opportunity is available to do so. He gives me coins (and a message, that he quickly pens, for Ven) and tells me that a horse with provisions will be made ready for an immediate departure.

I gather my things quickly and it doesn’t take me long before I’m travelling the main road from Lemish, in my normal hunting attire, trying to discern where Evanora may be. Of the belief that she might make her way to the main road for any help or assistance, I concentrate my initial search for any signs of whether Evanora had made it to the main road beyond the shortcut trail that my brother had taken. Soon enough I notice a broken shoe and recently broken twigs and vegetation to suggest she was close by, when I spy her up in a tree. I’m also surprised to notice a large boa-constrictor no more than 10 feet above her. I tell her to come down slowly and calmly, without trying to scare her any more than she had already appeared to be. Evanora was completely out of her elements, here in the woods, and I could only shake my head in disbelief as to why Varla would take her off the main road on to the back trails.

Evanora thanks me for rescuing her and I tell her about how I had a vision of what had happened. She tells me everything she can remember of the battle with the hobgoblins, but with little understanding of who engaged who, or why the attack happened, she was just glad she made it out safely.

We continue to ride for the afternoon and make camp that night off the main road. I prepare the campsite and offer a natural bedding of leaves I had made from the surroundings. Evanora is pleased, but still completely uneasy about being out in the open, so I decide to take first watch while she rests for as long as she needs.

The next morning we remain on the main road and don’t meet any other wagons or riders on the journey. It is very late, just after dusk, when we spy the Wayfarers Inn. As we get closer to the Inn, I notice some recent wagon tracks that lead off the main road on to a hidden trail. Not wanting to put Evanora at risk, and given we were within spitting distance of our destination, I tell her to stay close to the horse, while I go off into the forest to check it out.

I follow the tracks and discern that the wagon trekked into the forest to the furthest point it could go and followed the some track back out…..

• I smell fresh soil tillage and can tell recent shallow graves have been made
• I notice footprints that are very familiar to me – Duzret
• Ven and crews handiwork, so I decided to hide and clean up the tracks much better than they had left it
• I hear voices on the wind……hobgoblins in a valley
• Search the area and discern a group of 5-7 high up on a hilltop…very good vantage point
• I scout the area and find a well used trail – wagons and many foot prints coming in and out of the valley
• Follow the southern trail to a small dilapidated shack, which appears on closer inspection to be some type of shrine or worship type place
• I get a feeling of dread/undeath in the vicinity and decide not to go into the shack
• I notice a recent burning in the middle of the crossroads (approx. month old) that has a large burned cross in the middle of the debris.
• I turn back west towards Wayfarer
• Meet Ven and tell him about the wagon trail I found and the hobgoblins in the area.
• Decide to rest and continue my search for my brother’s murderers on the morrow
• Find the site of the attack and find my brothers head stuck on one of his javelins with something scrawled in writing (hobgoblin) on the some old hide at the base of the javelin
• All his equipment and clan items have been taken
• Have an out of body vision moment to determine how the battle was fought
• Give my brother a clan ritual burial
• Determine that the hobgoblins had been here for a while, probably waiting for someone
• Fin tracks of 3 riders that came from the direction of Lemish that met up with hobgoblins, prior to my brother and Evanora being attacked.
• One rider continued west, while the other 2 turned back around and back east/north easterly, which is the direction where the hob-goblin group has taken off on foot as well
• Decide against all instincts not to follow the hobgoblins for the time being and hope that I can pick up the tracks again on the way back through.
• Follow the single rider tracks towards crafthaven.
• Breaks off north. Remember the master telling me of an old ruin tower out this way that may be occupied by red sash mercernaries.
• Continue to follow the trail north for an hour to see if I can spot the tower, but decide to turn around when it is getting very dark and late
• Come across a battle site of 8 dead red sash mercenaries
• Some killed by claw slashes and bites to the neck
• Group was very efficient
• Find a tracks that appear to be webbed/clawed feet, bipedal creature
• All tracks disappear at a particular location
• I use my clan totem and try to discern any type of magical presence in the area and find the residual effects of a travel/magic tunnel (ie. teleport/dimension) spell
• I mark the area with my Rangers Mark
• Walking distance of Crafthaven
• It’s early morning and I decide to hunt and kill a deer to take into the city to sell and hopefully meet up with Ven and Evanora

View
Trouble in Crafthaven
3rd Session

Trouble in Crafthaven from the Journal of Ven

Archer comes in and says that someone has arrived and I Fredrick and I go out to the gates. I recognise the women outside as Evanora and we let her in – it looks like she has been through a lot but there is no sign of the other agent. What is going on now?

Evanora is VERY happy to be inside and explains the Yru it seems is following the wagon and tracks that Archer and Duzret let behind when they got rid of the bodies. Of course he does not know that so I hope he is not too long. Fredrick see’s to the horse with Evanora while I go inside and wait and order food for the group. After 15-20 mins the pair come in and sit and eat. Evanora is VERY happy to be somewhere that is dry and with food. She then explains what had happened to her since being called into the Master’s office with Varla the day before, Varla’s ‘death’ at the hands of the hobgoblins and then her meeting Yru and travelling here.

Maggie comes over and asks if ‘the Lady’ needs anything. Evanora is in desperate need of a bath and Maggie says this can be arranged. I also ask Maggie about Alice – she is sleeping well. Evanora gives me the message from Master Waheed.
While the others talk and eat I read the message:-

V
I have just received information that our operation has been compromised. Proceed with caution, but if you get proof, you have permission to dispense justice.
Master

I put the message down my shirt and explain to the others that the Master’s operation has been compromised so arriving in Crafthaven may lead to problems. We will tread lightly… I do not add the last part about dispensing justice, yet…

After food Evanora goes upstairs for a bath and I try to remember some things about Crafthaven; I know there is a large gaming hall of some renowned – (I eventually remember it is called ‘The Gaming Boar’ – Big area for dice, cards and a few other games; May be a good location to get information. Crafthaven is a town grew up around the port as it was built first. Then came the bazaar (also well renowned as well – hence why the Fire Heart was available here. Once at Crafthaven I explain we will head to the Master’s business establishment, Yandon’s Trading Post.

After dinner the others start to retire so I decide to stealth around the perimeter and find a meter square area that has been replaced – something obviously rammed through, but it has been fixed as the wood is still green. It has been some time since I was here at the inn but I can see that trade here has dropped a lot.

I ask Morris about the damage – sieged 3 months ago by the red sashes. They paid at first and then started destroying things and then he said screw you and would not let them in. The patrol went away and came back the next night and rammed through with a fire hardened battering ram. There were 15 of them during the battle two patrons died as did Morris’s wife. He is happy with what we did to Bert and his henchmen and I tell him to get Archer to go out and clean up any wagon tracks ‘just in case’ in the morning. The attack by the Red Sashes is against what they are supposed to be doing – stopping the Goblin raids that have been happening on Crafthaven.

Morris says he has a letter for a person in Crafthaven – I am happy to take it to the post-exchange in Crafthaven and he says he will leave it out with food for our trip tomorrow. I speak briefly to Archer and tell him to come wake me once someone called Yru arrives at the gate later tonight; no matter the time Archer is to come wake me.

At 2.30am Archer knocks on my door (I was already awake having finished meditating) and head down to the palisade and look down at Yru. We throw a rope down and go inside where Yru is able to have some food. He explains that he followed the wagon and other tracks into the forest and found where the bodies and wagon have been hidden. But I am much more interested in what else he found; 8 Red Sashes camped in the forest around a fire with three hobgobilns in cages – he said the leader of the Red Sashes was better dressed than the others – well-made boots and clothes.

Yru also explained he had a vision of Varla’s death (twin bond? Interesting indeed) and he volunteered for this mission. He explains that as his brother was the eldest, now he (Yru) is the last of his clan, he must recover items and scout out what happened to his brother. He has sworn an oath that he will then join us at the Yandon’s Trading Post in Crafthaven.

The Next Morning…

Before 5.00am I pack up my gear and come downstairs and grab the saddle bag Morris has left out. In a saddle bag is a letter; ‘Shardon’ on the front of the letter – very thick letter. Fredrick will get the horses ready as Yru will be going alone on foot for speed and silence.
Before we leave Evanora and I go up and see Alice – she is awake as well. She tells us she will be going to friends in the farming areas nearby and will very careful. It was only Bert and his crew that saw her so any other Red Sashes will not know her. I leave and Evanora then talks to Alice.

Just before we leave Alice comes out and hands a letter to Evanora and then we leave at a trot, with breaks every hour. At lunch I show Evanora the bag of dry leaves I found. She explains the leaf is a powerful drug. This gives me ideas… but that is for later! We continue on without incident, arriving at a hill that overlooks Crafthaven around 4.00pm in the afternoon.

We can see the city; 3 ships in the harbour with two more beyond the breakers and many fishing trawlers. The walls of the city have been repaired in the last six months as it looks like the city was sieged recently. But we have heard nothing about it in Lemish and the city was not like this when I was last here (about 12 months ago). We trot down and join the end of the line and cross a bridge – the problem with the siege idea is we should have seen siege works around here as it would have been really hard to get troops close otherwise. It is all very strange.

Getting through the gates was fairly simple – the guards are bored and I say we are here on business for my master; Yandon’s Trading Post. The guard goes to his SGT, who goes to his LT and then we are waved through. I think they did not care one way or the other but just strange. I look around as we go and I think we are not being watched or followed. We check out everything as we go – many beggars checking people (targets) out but I look around carefully. We first head to the Postal Exchange and drop off our letters, then we head to Yandon’s. This city is controlled by a Merchant Group that runs the city all for their profit, so any roads heading to the Bazaar or port district are cobblestoned while those not heading there are still dirt. The city is well designed for trade, not defence. Excellent signage around the merchant quarter. Again I do not see anyone watching us.

Looks like the porters guild has a bit more ‘power’ now since my last visit. Half Ogres and Hobgoblins doing all the manual labour. We eventually get close enough that I can see the big warehouse that is our destination, but it is nothing at all like it was! The windows are broken and boarded up and it does not look like the place has been used for some time. This is not good! I have us go past the front and down a side alley so we can enter from the back via the wagon area and find we can just step through the wall in places. I go in and Fredrick opens the back gate so we can bring the horses in.

Once inside, we bar the gate and go to the back door, which I easily open; the lock is rubbish and again I wonder what is going on. This is not the type of locks we have normally use! I open the door and stealth in moving through to the front office and look around; People have walked in here and ransacked the place and everything in the warehouse is gone or destroyed. I motion the others to come in and head upstairs and do a quick check.

While upstairs, Evanora does a quick search of the warehouse floor; there are wagons and smashed boxes everywhere – nothing has been used for around 6 months. The upper room has not been used in some time either but there is something strange… and I find a secret door – it is not trapped. I depress the ‘spot’ and a small door opens in the wall and I can see a ladder going down in the wall space. At the top if the space is a lantern and tinder box. I go back to let the others know what I have found and about how I will light the lantern and lower it down the gap before following when Evanora screams that she is being attacked!

We have a battle with 3 adult Glimmering Spiders that can blind and web a person in place. The battle is nasty but we do prevail with no one dying. An additional search reveals a box with 9 glowing eggs in it; baby Glimmer Spiders. I gather up the bodies and carefully remove 8 poison gland sacks and put them away in my kit for later use. Again these might be very handy and I have ideas… Evanora says the spiders come from the Silvanesti Forest (I try to show no emotions).

I get Fredrick to bring the horses inside and Duzret puts the large bar across the warehouse door. We also bar the back door to the rear kitchen and the front warehouse and office doors. It is then we process to search the remains of the wagons and discover the hidden compartments.

• False Board on side of wagon has an arcane (Green) book wrapped in red velvet and tied carefully. I leave Evanora to hold this.
• In the Axel of the other wagon is an ironbound chest with lock (which I know will be trapped).

After this we head back into the rear office and again bolt the door. I head back upstairs and lower the lantern down and then descend down. Below is a locked trapped door to the sewers (with key hanging from under the stairs); a secret escape or entry point to the warehouse – good to know.

Then I work on getting the lock on the small chest open; it is hard and dangerous work and a steel dart flies out into the ceramic bowl I had in front of me. Damn that was close! After a few more near missing I open the chest and inside discover a beautiful cloak. This is a major MAGICAL item and it is mine (for now). I put it on and it is AWESOME – I also get visions of a green forest, and ebony tower and a moon and sun. But the cloak is ‘familiar’ to me, almost like it was meant to be. The elven writing on the cloak says it is a ‘Cloak of Invisibility’.

That night we remain hidden at the warehouse and have no unwelcome visitors, but I do see that we are being watched from and alley across from the front entrance. Two figures cloaked and hidden. They leave before dawn and I use the cloak to stealth across to the alley and check it. Booted feet and a circular(ish) area of sand is all I find (pity). It is also lucky that I am up and about, as I see a patrol of militia heading down the street in our direction. Could they be coming to us? After knowing we were being watched I get everyone up and tell them to pack!

I place the 9 eggs in the chest and lock it again, while Duzret removes the rear bar on the warehouse and Fredrick leads the horses out. I close the warehouse door and the back gate and we leave in the opposite direction of the warehouse and then take a few alleys to throw off the scent. We stop so Duzret can put his armour on before coming to a vendor area near a park with many food vendors.

The food is good and we go to the park to relax in the sun and look at a strange white marble arch. Written on the arch is ancient elven script though I cannot read it, but Evanora seems able to.

It is then that two figures approach us in grey robes and introduce themselves as Carlos and Anthony – Seekers of the Gods. The noticed we were looking at the arch and they explain that the arch is from a Godless time before the true gods arrived. The gods turned away and brought down the fiery mountain and now we worship the true gods. They can heal a person if that person is worthy. There is an archbishop in the city and the seeker temple is located in the temple district. Things go well until Evanora starts to get ‘very’ upset with the Seekers – is there something from her past she is not sharing? Probably but the master more than likely knows the truth. I interrupt before things get totally out of hand with “Lady Valentine we must go”. This works and I am now Hiro. They leave and talk to Duzret as they go. He tells them to f’off. Good half-ogre.

We eventually arrive at the Happy Harpy Tavern – the owner is on the level according to Master Waheed. I pay four steel to have the horses stabled and then enter. We book two rooms for the night – 3 & 1 and then have a proper breakfast. I get handed two keys and give one to Evanora. Fredrick comes in and sits down, eats and then he stows our three bags – nothing of importance in mine (or their packs) for those that will more than likely look through them.

Now we wait for Yru to arrive or we will go to the Bazaar.

Next Session… The Plot Thickens

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The Wayfarer Inn
2nd Session

‘The Wayfarer Inn’ from the Journal of Ven

Once Duzret was settled back on his horse, we travelled the last hour or so to the Inn without any problems. The palisade looks well-made and when we stop before the closed gates we are hailed from above. As we appear to be travellers and do nothing g threating we are let in. Fredrick takes mine and his horse to the stables and Duzret’s animal follows along. Fredrick tells Duzret to look after his own horse and Duzret contemplates doing something stupid but instead just follows me towards the entrance to the inn. There is a wagon in the courtyard and chained to a wheel is a human woman – obviously used and beaten by some individuals for low breeding. Humans can be quite disgusting.

As we enter the building I do a quick scan and take note of the tavern are 7 people that are inside. Inside are:-

• The innkeeper (Morris) and a barmaid
• 4 humans dressed in mercenary armour and all have red arm bands. Drinking and loud. (Bert and his scum)
• The other patron is very quiet and seems to be dressed like a Ranger or scout.
At the bar I speak with Morris and ask about a meal and drinks. The four (drunken) humans are loud and annoying; though these ones seem to be really obnoxious.

I use the coin purse from Master Waheed and pay 7 steel – four meals and two loaves of bread plus drinks. I also organised a large private room with three pallets for sleeping that night.

Fredrick comes in after making sure the horses are settled and says ‘Did you see the woman chained up?!?’ and then turns and looks at the 4 drunks and says ‘Peasants!’ I secretly agree with him but show no emotion. Once our meals arrive (and they are very good – mutton, gravy, fresh bread, water and ale) one of the mercenary’s stands (with a wobble) and says loudly ‘It’s my turn lads!’ and heads outside while the others laugh and snigger. Fredrick once more says ‘Peasants!’ and starts to drink… a lot.

Morris explains that these ‘Red Sash Soldiers’ have been travelling between a ruined tower or fort and Crafthaven every month. These four often stop here and demand service for no payment as they are ‘protecting’ the trade routes etc. Sounds like an abuse of power to me but there is very little that can be done about it.

Later Fredrick finally goes upstairs to sleep as he is well hammered from all the alcohol he has consumed. ‘Peasants’ in a really loud voice almost causes a fight but nothing comes of it and another drunk goes outside to have his way with the woman. Not long after Duzret also heads to bed and I too am thinking about sleep when the door to the inn opens and the archer \ guard comes in with an owl on his arm. I take a closer look at release I have seen the bird before at Master Waheed’s home as it belongs to one of the other Agents \ slaves in his residence.

I wave to him that the bird is for me and then the trouble starts for ‘Bert’ the leader of the ‘Red Sashes’ wants the bird brought to him. I indicate this is not the case and ignore the fools (but I am watching them carefully), walk up to Morris and the archer and put out my arm; the owl jumps straight on to my outstretched arm. I thank Morris and the guard as Bert and his men start to get unruly and walk upstairs to my room with two of the fools following.

I enter the room, close and lock it them tell Duzret to prepare for battle, then clarify ‘no not with me’ but the idiots banging on our door. He stands and I more to the shadows as he opens the door, grabs one by the throat and throws him into the rear wall of our room (and on top of Fredrick – he does not stop snoring). The other gets punched in the face by Duzret and then they go into the hall.

While Duzret deals with the fool in the hall, wake Fredrick and get him to help me place the knocked out human face first over the windowsill. We then line up the body and drop it out the window – what a shame. As the commotion in the hall gets louder and appears to be travelling down the stairs to the common room, I persuade the owl to jump off my arm as I read the message attached to its leg. In elven it says:-

“Blah blah blah – to be added”

I then leap out the window and use the body as a cushion – the poor fellow is dead! How did that happen? Hehe… and watch as the women leaps on to the back of her attacker and bites out his throat. Good for her I say. I mouth that I will remove her chains shortly after I defuse the situation inside. She nods in understanding as I move to the door and peer in.
Bert the scumbag leader has a knife to the barmaid’s throat and is using her as a shield against Duzret. The one Duzret punched earlier is unconscious on the stairs. Duzret is starting to get worked up saying ‘Don’t you do it! Don’t you do it!’ so I quickly size up the situation, step in aim and fire my hand crossbow in one smooth movement. I hit Bert in the neck and he falls. Situation dealt with.

I check Bert, make sure he is dead, and pay another 5 steel to get this all cleaned up. I also turn and look at the ‘scout’; he is standing with a cavalry sabre in his hands against the far wall (nice weapon) and say ‘we do not have a problem do we.’ It is a statement, not a question. He shakes his head and says ‘No’, sheaths his weapon and heads to bed. Morris again says they are based at the nearby tower and are strong arming local business and merchants. (Hmmm they could be disrupting supplies from Crafthaven and Wayford to Lemish. This requires further investigation). Morris adds that there could be over two hundred ‘Red Sashes’ at the abandoned fort or tower.

The guard says he knows where the bodies can be buried and never found again, so he and Duzret take everything out to the wagon. While they do that I check the bodies (Loot – 15 steel and 5 gems). Armour and weapons are not that great. I also find a sand timer that appears to measure 30 minutes blocks. I take this as well as the red sashes; Bert’s is slightly different and has marking on it for SGT rank. There is also a letter that says:-

“You are to patrol down to Crafthaven and then meet up with Seth. Do as Seth says.”

The last part seems to be emphasised as it is obvious Bert does not follow orders well. I also release the woman – her name is Alice but she does thank me and she walks into the inn. I advise Morris that he will give her whatever she needs and he readily agrees.

The Next Day

After sleeping I talk to Morris again and he confirms what he already told me the night before. Duzret and the guard return and say the bodies are well disposed of. Alice stays in her room and Duzret goes to bed after eating. Fredrick is fine this morning as well. He slept through the night. That morning I add a message to the owl’s leg saying I will await the arrival of Evanora and Varla at the inn as there has been a development and send the owl on its way.

The rest of the day passes quietly as I try to estimate the gems I found on the bodies. That evening I stand up on the palisade waiting for Evanora and the other Agent to arrive and decide to talk to Archer to get him to let me know when they arrive. What is the message they have that had the Master send them so urgently?

Next Session… Trouble in Crafthaven!

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