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Chris (Tiberium), Matt (Barron), Mariel (Leah), Brian (Pyrcival), Leah (Ahira), and Jeff (Amathar) are returning cast members. A guest played Kinjel, a young officer in the Duke's guard.
We left the party attempting to return a princess to her arranged wedding, then took a short detour. We now return to the main storyline with the princess and her party sailing triumphantly into Highport. While on the ship, the group made the acquaintance of a young guardsman named Kinjel, who had been sent with the ship carrying the group in search of the Princess. Upon landing, the group separated, with Thic Duc heading to a nearby monastery to study, and Pyrcival arranging for his armor (a gift from Barron, made from the hide of a young Oriental water dragon) to be resized for his smaller phrase. Ahira went with him, the pair resolving to avoid the castle until their reception was deemed likely to be positive. Somewhat incognito, they made their way towards the castle, and introduced themselves to the guards as they arrived. After a moment's surprise, the group was recognized and allowed to enter; the steward interviewed them while the Duke was informed. Awkward questions were asked. The Princess' spellbook was returned. An audience shortly followed, where the wedding was rescheduled for a week hence. Boons were offered; Barron claimed a boat and a very small national park, Tiberium begged a private audience and received it. The others made no specific requests.
Barron and the Princess spent some time whispering together. Pyrcival and Ahira were summoned by messenger after Barron negotiated a deal with the princess. The details were not disclosed, except that she promised not to have the members of the group killed for bringing her back, and something about Snookums.
Tiberium's audience was eventful, to say the least. First, he outlined the material captured from the slaver operation, handing it over to the Duke's retainers for further investigation. The preliminary results indicated a caravan route to a larger chain of strongholds in the Bandit Kingdoms, to the north of Rookroost. The Duke indicated it would be a diplomatic incident to send his own troops, especially with a wedding planned, but he could delay noticing the General while the party took care of the matter themselves if they wished. Or, he could inform the General immediately and see if he took action. All were skeptical, though it was not out of the question for the General to act to preserve appearances. Technically, the strongholds were near Rookroost's borders, with both practical and political control of the area in doubt. The party left the matter for future consideration, intending to remain in Highport until the wedding.
The first night back was mostly uneventful until Tiberium began praying to Pelor for the gift of transportation. He was interrupted -- repeatedly -- by Tony Falconi banging his beak on the door. When he finally went to open the door, the bird on the other side persisted in demanding entry, and even seemed to be somewhat larger than before. Puzzled (and his prayers thoroughly interrupted), Tiberium sought advice from the closest wizard he knew of: Barron. Barron was not helpful, but Leah's coconut-based drink semeed to give the bird inspiration: it knocked the coconut in half with its beak and used its wingtips to clop the two halves together, making a funny noise. Purity declared that the falcon made her itch, and Warin took the opportunity to ask the sword for lessons on history and guidance on the service of Pelor.
We learned a little about the founding of the temple at Bone Hill earlier. Purity added a little more of her story to this tale.
Purity's story will be filled in later.
Pestered by the bird, Tiberium next took it to Amathar, followed by a small crowd of curious fellow party members. When Tiberium described how he had prayed for his mount, the wizard declared, "That's not how ... oh never mind." Equally puzzled by the bird's strange behavior, Amathar cast Detect Magic, noting that the bird's magical aura was much larger than before and noticeably unstable. Also, the bird was much larger than before, now towering over Tiberium. After a few hours to study his books of magic (along with a great deal of coffee, as it was nearly 3am by this time), Amathar declared he was ready to dispell whatever magic was disturbing the creature. When he cast the spell, the glow from Tony Falconi suddenly grew blinding -- and then the bird changed shape and size again, now large enough to ride, and even gaining a saddle. Apparently, Tony Falconi was Tiberium's mount.
With Tony Falconi no longer a falcon, Barron went shopping for a new one. An excellent example of the species was procured from the Duke's falconer. Tiberium arranged for proper heraldry.
After the avian excitement had died down and the group had retired for the morning and actually gotten rest, they remembered the customs inspector who had caused Tiberium such great distress earlier. Kirjel had in fact been assigned to that investigation, but the missing Princess threw everything into chaos so no progress had been made. Having a few days left before the wedding was expected to take place, the party decided to split up and conduct their own investigation.
Tiberium and Warin went directly to the inspector's house and kept it under surveillance while making inquiries among the locals. Speaking with the neighbors, street urchins, and ladies of the evening in the area, they determined that the inspector was reclusive and cruel. Children avoided his house. Several ladies of negotiable virtue told horrifying stories of painful torture in a room below his house, from which they escaped (or were let go?) with scars. Some of the descriptions included a circular marking around the torture area that could be used for summoning extraplanar beings.
Meanwhile, Pyrcival led the rest of the group to a series of three possible smuggling operations within Highport, identified by the Thieves' Guild markings for "Fence of stolen goods". He started at the Prawn Shop, a buyer and seller of good both used and well-used, and also made inquiries at an orphanage (the same one Tiberium and Warin had previously asked questions about), and a blacksmith. After a clandestine meeting at a local pub to discuss importing "figurines", they were left with a suspiciously large bill that Kirjel was able to expense to the Duke.
The next day was spent arranging for a crew on the ship, along with various signal flags, and a banner with the ship's new name.
We leave the party arranged around a small, secluded dock, preparing to unload their cargo and assault the smuggling operation of a corrupt customs inspector.
The past days have been eventful and productive. After Her Highness was able to be calmed and assured, she’s been very reasonable. Barron has convinced her to ‘forget’ the events in the captain’s cabin, as she now understands our concerns for her safety (from without and within). Without delay, we docked at Highport, and brought her to the castle, post-haste. For our service, the Duke has granted boons; I need only ensure that the discovered slaver activities be handled appropriately, and I expressed this to his Excellence. He’s assured me the documents will be examined, and either we will be asked to assist, or he’ll bring the General into the fold and task him with the issue (as it seems to be based in the Bandit Kingdoms.).
Matters temporarily resolved, I took the opportunity to spend time in prayer. It’s been weeks since I’d had full opportunity worship properly, and I was eager to bask in Pelor’s Light. When I entered the temple, I was stopped by Warrin, who says that he’d spoken to my scholar, and recounted that Purity contains the essence of a cleric of Pelor! The soul is still very capable, and Warin wishes to commune with her. I asked that I be given some time for prayers, first. My prayers were interrupted repeatedly, however, by scratching at the door. Opening to investigate, I saw Barron’s bird acting strangely. Unable to calm (or distract) the bird, I took him to Barron. The wizard hadn’t seen his pet act so strangely before, and Leah wasn’t able to make much of it’s attempts to take two halves of a coconut, and bang them together. Growing concerned (and frustrated), I sought Amathar’s aid. The elf prepared a spell to get more an idea the magicks at play, and after a fantastic display, the bird began to shift and grow further. After a blinding light, the small not-falcon had been replaced by a huge bird, with large flightless wings, complete with saddle and lance. Recognition dawned on me slowly, but upon realization this was a gift sent from Pelor himself, I fell to my knees in worship. My Lord has seen fit to grant me an exceptional, if un-traditional, mount! His blessing is surely with me!
We returned to the Temple, and asked the stableboys to care for my new companion. Warrin and I found a small chamber, and I drew Purity from her scabbard. While I listened in amazement, she recounted a short tale of her life, including some of the founding of the Temple at the (now) Bone Hill. Her memory is still hazy, however. She recalls some matter of a prophecy, and believes that her memory is returning. We’ll continue to discuss and mentor with Warrin! After attempting to get some small amount of sleep, I took the bird to have proper heraldry created. While that tailor works, I’ve decided to conduct a small investigation. The rest of the group has been working with a member of the guard assigned to check into my allegations of the Inspector. I wasn’t sure where to find them, so I instead went to the man’s home, and began asking his neighbors about him. He’s not a well-liked man, and there are many dark rumors. The local girls are familiar with him, and tell horrific tales of his sadistic tastes, often leaving marks and scars from drawing blood. Two have even recounted that he’s got strange glyphs or markings on the floor, which is EXTREMELY concerning. I fear he may be attempting to summon otherworldly beings into the city, or worse, has already succeeded.
After talking to the others, they told me that they’ve got plans in motion to entrap our man. Not wanting to interfere, Warrin and I have staked out his home. He’s only recently left for the docks, and we let him go. Should he return in a hurry, we plan to take him ourselves. Otherwise, we’ll wait for word before venturing into his lair…
Well, during the process of “finding” which of the princess’s things are “marked by an assassin”, it would seem she had a ring of polymorph. I told her it was marked and I would be holding on to it for safe keeping. Somehow that worked. We now head back to the Duke to return her, and get some sweet sweet rewards. I’m currently working on a plan to both return her to the Duke, and simultaneously prevent the wedding. The plan is as follows: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..and then I will grrttertrghrhhththgh …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Duke …………………………………………………………………………………………lots of gold erttertrtertrtertrtetrtertretertreretreteetretettretetettettetet ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… have the ship all to myself. I spent the rest of the time headed back, putting seeds of doubt in the princess’s ear, while being her friend. Upon arriving, we set out for the Duke and returned her highness. We then got a nice tour of the castle and I was able to have some more conversations with the princess. Seeing our moments of privacy come to a close a I told her I would finish these dialogs later on. The duke threw a nice large welcome home party, and asked if we had any requests for rewards. Seeing an chance to put my plan in motion, I immediately asked for a nice ship to be mine(most likely will share with the group), as well as legal documents for safe passage in the shieldlands waters. Much to my surprise, the Duke with out hesitation said yes. I should have asked for a bigger boat. Or a ship full of gold. Oddly while eliminating phase 3 of my plan, this works to my advantage for the moment. After some dialog, with the Duke we were granted private audience and shared with him the details of the slaver’s plans. The fool of a paladin asked that this matter be investigated as his payment. Who the hell even is this guy? At this point, I asked for magic users only and the Duke and convinced him that the princess’s had an unusual pet she needed to have present at all times. This was my part of the bargain…convincing the duke to be ok with it. After this was all said and done, it was time for bed and I managed to sneak into the princess’s room to finish our conversation. Apparently there was some magic alarms, but I still managed to do this cause I am good. At this point we had a discussion about my plans to save her from a life of boredom. She was remarkably easier to discuss this with than anticipated. A unintended side effect was, she told me her fathers plans for this kingdom….a subject I will need to discuss with some of the more reasonably minded of our crew. The next morning, It was brought up that the investigation into the corrupt dock inspector was still on going, and we were invited to follow up on this. One of the duke’s guards was the lead investigator and was assigned to help us with his case. Some of the more open minded of our group ventured off into the “seedy parts” in search of information. Among the stops was the prawn shop, and an “orphanage”. We managed to set up an arrangement to smuggle in some “figurines”, with the old man at the “orphanage”. We spent some time prepping “The Exemption” for a undercover sting, including hiring some crew at the local watering hole. We then set sail to return early in the morning to catch a certain inspector. Upon arriving back in port (looking much more hobgoblin than before), the inspector arrived on ship. Much to my annoyance, despite all our planning, we neglected to make a manifest…again (minor flash backs to the last time). Apparently we picked a damn good crew this time however, as a manifest miraculously appeared….and holy crap was it well done….so good I almost thought we did actually plan this out. The trap has been set, the bait has been taken, now we spring the trap….in a few hours. I decided to take a nap. During this nap I had the weirdest dream I was out adventuring with some lame sad paladin guy….who’s eyes kept blacking out and he’d become a dick. There was something about treasure and some weird mystic runes. Upon investigating the runes the other people in the party just disintegrated in a ball of fire. Then there was a dinosaur fight? What in the world did I eat? Why did it feel…familiar? Well whatever I woke up and shook that weirdness off and set to work on casting fool’s gold over a large pile of copper in a crate as “insurance”. I also took the time to make sure my spells were in order. The moment of truth approaches.
Well, we’re back in Highport. After several more days sailing, we arrived in town, and those of us not guilty of assaulting the Generals daughter took her up to the Duke’s castle, while the rest of us either watched from a distance to see if she turned on them, or took off for points unknown (Although he said he was going to a monastery to meditate and reach enlightenment). Ahera and I watched the marked change in tone of the castle as the party arrived and stirred up the place.
After about an hour, a messenger comes with our descriptions and names and asks that we follow him to the castle. Since he did not come with a patrol of guardsmen, I decide to follow. I’m going to have to have a talk with the kid about casually handing over the people who are supposed to be watching to help you escape if needed. Sometimes he’s just so damn painfully honest.
We go in, and catch the tail end of the Duke giving out awards for bringing his soon to be bride home. I try and stay out of the way, coughing a bit here and there still (damn coughs take forever to go away), and get a couple glasses of wine, while I wait near a window, just in case I need to leap out of it to escape.
It turns out our caution was unnecessary, and the Duke says he’ll follow up on the slaver conspiracy, and as it turns out, he wants us to assist in the investigation of the customs inspector we’ve had dealings with in the past. We split up, with some of us going to gather information about the customs inspector and others going … to church. To pray. Go figure.
Well, we talk to some urchins, and a house of ill repute, and get quite a bit of information. It turns out, not only is this guy corrupt and skimming off smugglers, he’s also into torture and has potentially murdered some of the poor people in the city. Barron and I talk to a fence / smugger, and get setup to smuggle some items off of our ship into the city, and find out this inspector will be the one greenlighting the whole affair. The morning of the smuggle arrives, and we wait on board for the evening and unloading of the goods….
To be continued...
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp
Ring of Pyro Summoning
This ring bears the True Name of a Good Dog. By speaking that name, the spirit of the animal can be summoned briefly to the Prime Material Plane, and will respond to the commands it knew in life for one turn (10 rounds). The ring holds a limited number of charges, but if the summoned spirit need not interact with the Prime Material Plane directly, no charge need be spent. There are three charges, and if all three are used, the ring will no longer function. It cannot be recharged. This ring was a gift from the Duke to Leah; he pointed out that "fetch" will not use a charge.
|Band of Heroic Misfits|
|Player||Character||Race||Class||Level||Experience Total||Next Level||Funds|
|Dean||Thic Duc||Human (mostly)||Monk||7th||48,652xp||70,000xp||$5,193|
|Matt||Barron||Half-Elf||Magic-User (Thief)||5th (5th)||28,894xp||40,000xp||$8,640|
|Brian||Pyrzival||Gnome||Thief (Fighter)||3rd (5th)||7,807xp||5,000xp||$3222|
|Holier Than Thou|
|Matt||Valadin||Human||Fighter / Magic-User||2nd/1st||2293xp||2000xp/2500xp||$100|
|Guests and Alts|
|Player||Character||Race||Class||Level||Experience Total||Next Level||Funds|
|Matt||Lenny||Elf||Cleric / Assassin||1st||979xp||1500xp/1500xp||$116|