Session 5 – part 1
The session began with the party still in the dungeon. After a round spent talking, Illyrio, Jace, and Ukla tried to head off the Heralds before they made it out of the dungeon, Jace taking Tariq’s wand. They ran to the elevator, taking a different route than the path of the Herald’s retreat. While they were gone, Tariq spoke to the charmed mage. His name was Nantier, and he made it clear that there was no love lost between he and Alina, the leader of the Heralds that Illyrio was hunting.
Illyrio’s group made it to the elevator and could see 3 figures climbing up the rope; about 60 feet up. The lead climber, the thief, had a hooded lantern hanging from her waist. Alina was next and the remaining mage followed up the rear. Jace targeted Alina, she was struck, and she fell. (I used the climbing rules from Veins of the Earth). She also caused Betan (the mage beneath her) have to roll. He didn’t fall, but slid 10 feet down and was frozen in fear at 50 ft. up. After initiative was rolled, before the party could act, Betan suddenly fell as the rope was cut by the thief, who managed to climb to safety in the dark (after dousing her lantern). Rolling damage (1d6 x 1d10) for the fall for both mages resulted in vastly different results. Alina landed on her head, her brains splattering all over the floor (48 damage), while Betan’s fall was cushioned by landing on the corpse of Alina (6 damage). (this severly limited Illyrio’s plans to bring Alina back to life using the pool of life on the second level, only to repeatedly kill her for vengeance for his dead wolf). Betan immediately surrendered.
The party tied up the mage, searched him, and striped Alina’s body. They asked Betan what everything did, which matched Jace’s Magical Engineering rolls. The loot included a ring of protection, a cloak of protection, a magical demon headed dagger, and a potion of ESP. They made it back to the party.
Meanwhile Tariq and Eduardo found out from Shemp and the charmed mage (Nantier) more about the Heralds and their equipment:
- One of the fighters and the thief were just mercenaries, the other fighter was a true believer in the vision of Terms Termax.
- The merc fighter (Philippe) had a very strange broad sword without a point and a split in the middle. Per Nantier it was apparently a magical sword called ‘Swordbreaker’ (which Illyrio claimed).
- The fire in the church of Hera during the harvest festival was set by Alina.
- They used magic to open the door to the elevator, put the animals to sleep, and killing the dogs, wolf and hawks.
- Nantier was looking for his opportunity to get rid of Alina anyway.
- There were 2 magical shields (Dave got one), magical chain (Ukla), and Nantier’s scroll of Clairvoyance (which they let him keep).
The party went into the room where the frog men were, finding 4 pools of water. The water was potable but tasted bad.
*** Spoilers ahead *****
They opened the secret door marked on their map and found the remains of the treasures of the IXth Legion. There were various trinkets, some chests with gold silver and copper, several empty chests, and a smaller coffer containing a humanoid reptilian skull. When the box the opened, the skull turned in its velvet lined box to face Eduardo. He immediately closed it and gave it to Jace.
The party spoke to the frogmen shaman they had captured. They spoke rough common. They explained that the party had already met their leader. The party released them, telling them to return to their group and let them know they would agree to non-aggression. The larger shaman demanded some of the treasure in return. The party gave them some silver in a small chest and they agreed to leave (their luck continued as rolls went their way and the ranine didn’t come back in force to take it all).
Jace had to use up an elemental strength spell (ogre power) but the party managed to get the treasure to the elevator. They had to figure out how to get it up the elevator shaft. (Forgot to mention in the past summary, the PCs found a secret room near the elevator with instructions in a strange language. Unable to read them, they took some paper and charcoal to make a rubbing of the raised letters, planning to take it to Adamas for translation.)
*** End spoilers
Eduardo took his time and was able to climb back up without a problem. Luckily most of the rope was still there at the top (another lucky roll). One more spell later resulted in everyone getting up safely.
In Muntburg, the party went to the local lawyer to draft a non-compete/peace accord between the Village People and Rufus’s Raiders. They also met Richal, a member of the Seekers, one of the competing adventurer bands. They asked him to translate the rubbing from the elevator. He could not, but suggested that they take it to the Azure tower in Adamas, where they could find someone to cast read languages. Richal did ask about the dungeon and inquired about maps or other info. Dave also asked a young mage working as a scribe to make a couple of copies of their map of the first level (one to sell to the crimson band and one to sell to the seekers).
The end of the month resulted end of month expenses and income. They Village People each received their share of Isaac’s Moon Pool operation. Eduardo had a lot of bonuses to his roll and rolled well. The Dwarven ale contract with the paid off in a major way, as taverns and Inns on nearby towns of Gloris and Duros set up purchasing agreements for the basic dwarven ale, effectively doubling his investment value in the business.
Legate Verodart asked to meet with Dave. He offered his thanks for the miracles provided by the church of Hera for free. He also told of his appreciation for the Harvest festival. As a result, the Legate offered the church of Hera a 25% share of the tithe from his personal lands. Dave thanked the Legate for his generosity.
Eduardo asked Madam Selena Cooper to set up a meeting with Boss Drake Horner of the Dock Boys. One was set for Friday December 1st. The party delivered the maps for a fine fee. On Friday, Eduardo met with Boss Horner, agreeing that the Dock Boys would leave the inn alone in return for a valuable secret that Eduardo had learned in Adamas (one worth a fair amount of gold). He agreed to give the Dock Boys any info in the future for a share of the return. Boss Horner agreed.
Jace and Tariq identified the magic items (100 gp gem, identify spell, and a roll), finding out that the skull was an ancient lizard man descendant imbued with the spirit of an ancestor. It spoke an unknown tongue, but had knowledge of certain facts. It also could indicate directions to a certain location. The sword was “Swordbreaker”, a +2 sword that gave the user the sunder proficiency for free, and a bonus to break swords and daggers.
In Adamas, Illyrio interviewed Charles Waverman (aka Chucky Wave) a Venturer, but ended up hiring Leo Geotz, a merchant traveler Venturer instead. Jace purchased a black furred guard wolf with custom barding named ‘Cinder’ and Tariq purchased yet another hawk. Tariq took on Nantier as a henchman, and Tariq and Jace traded spells with him to obtain sleep (a gas) and knock (hands of force appear to force open check or door). Tariq agreed to pay for the cost for Nantier to change his repitoire to add choking grasp.
The party bought some horses and travelled to Adamas to resupply and sell their gains. They met with the Despot in a much more relaxed setting of an office in his palace. There they gave him the gifts of the IXth Legion they had recovered. He paid them the value and invited them to a state dinner on Sunday. The party attended, however Eduardo was unable to turn up any rumors.
The Village People made it back to Muntburg. The prepared for a trip back into the dungeon with the intent to get the elevator to work.