Chris (Tiberium), Matt (Barron), Mariel (Leah), and Dean (Thic Duc) are returning cast members. Guest stars include returning guests William (Sydney) and Jennifer (Ruby) with new arrival Brieanna (Akida).
We left the party having captured a dangerous criminal and sent him in the care of the Highport guards to be imprisoned for trial. With this dangerous man apprehended, Tiberium returned to the inn for a much needed meal. He was joined there by Thic Duc, returning from his seven days of fasting and meditation, and shortly thereafter by Sydney, Ruby, and Adira, curious crew members who wanted to ask about the unusual activities their ship had undertaken in the past few days. Tiberium insisted such activities were entirely within the law, and authorized by the Duke. Thic Duc reacted to this with: “Do you know Barron?”
Thoroughly confused, but somewhat reassured, the sailors asked few questions.
After the meal, Tiberium offered to show off his new steed Strider, currently stabled at the Church of Pelor. The whole group followed, but as they came within sight of the building, a loud quacking noise could be heard, along with a commotion in the stables. Strider’s stall behind the church was being shared by… a Uniduck. Thic Duc recognized it instantly. The only other person in Highport known to have seen a Uniduck was Barron, so obviously he must be involved somehow. When the party gathered around the uniduck and started to ask questions, the animal began scratching in the dirt – not randomly, but letters, and even words! Specifically “HELP NOT DUCK”. The duck also reacted to Barron’s name.
Thic Duc carried the duck to the Adventure Capitalists, but the duck did not have a policy. Clearly, he was not an adventurer. The next step was the church of Pelor, which would surely offer a duck a second chance. Their first dispel magic attempt produced a man with a unicorn horn; he explained he works as a clerk in a warehouse and was knocked out, then woke up later in a crate as a duck. The area surrounding the crate had chains, likely intended for humanoid slaves, attached to the walls. Clearly the slaving operation in Highport was not fully eradicated. The duck-clerk closed his eyes and wished very hard that he was somewhere else. When he opened his eyes, he was near the church of Pelor. He ran to the other large avian and tried to explain himself with little success, which is where the party found him.
Eventually a second Dispel Magic got rid of the horn, preempting Barron’s attempts to saw it off and sell it. Tiberium remained confused about what had occurred, but the seeds of doubt had been planted in the mind of the young (and still perhaps naive) paladin.
Events in Highport were moving onwards, however. The appointed time for the wedding arrived the next morning. Most of the party managed to gain entrance to the festivities inside the grand ballroom, thanks to their prior acquaintance with the Duke and a liberal pass-token policy. The wedding itself went off without a hitch, and even the General somehow managed to attend to give his daughter away.
Except that, after the wedded couple retired to their rooms, the drunken debauchery was interrupted by screams: “The Duke is dead! Murder most foul!”
Most of the party was gathered into a room nearby, but Thic Duc made it to the entrance of the Duke’s quarters, close enough to observe the Duke’s body – covered in vicious stab wounds and bearing heavy bruising around his neck – being taken out of the room and rushed to a cleric. Slipping into the room, Thic Duc noticed a still-moving tapestry – and behind it, a secret door left open, with a fleeing figure just turning a corner. He pursued; the passage led to the Princess (the fleeing figure) and her chambers. Her wedding dress was torn where the train had been forcibly detached, but she was otherwise unharmed.
The Princess claimed she had retired to the bathroom for a moment, and when she returned after hearing muffled sounds of a struggle, the Duke was dead. She caught a glimpse of a male figure pulling up the hood of his cloak and fading into bluish mist; but he was facing away, making future identification difficult.
Thic Duc returned to the Duke’s quarters and listened from his hiding place as the guards collected evidence. Notably: a golden lute string, found near the secret passage entrance; a red leather button, clutched in the Duke’s grip; and a small ruby lying under the Duke’s body.
Meanwhile, Akida and Barron caught sight of a single figure in servant’s garb fleeing out the doors of the ballroom. Setting off in pursuit, the figure transformed into a hawk and took flight – but Barron used the borrowed ring to do the same, and caught up. With both birds on the ground and an angry dwarf ready to smash, the fleeing figure transformed into a familiar face: Melissa, the Princess’s confidant and tutor. She claimed to be fleeing the party to inform the General of the dire news. The party surmised that she was probably pretending to be the General during the wedding, using her own powers of shapeshifting. Malag’s Journal: Day One
the court here in hiport is ‘suggesting’ that i keep a journal, to help the probation officer keep an eye on me. what a joke. could be helpful when i get a guild off the ground, though. could help me fix mistakes.
lets start from the beginning. about a week after adventure capitalists released me and i returned from bone hill, i found myself with a new crew. we began planning a way to scam the duke out of tens of thousands of gold, by selling a caravan with a ‘safe’ route, using our men and reputation (creating a fake noble house is a challenge), then robbing it blind. in the meantime, we’d all be scarce, possibly returning to rookroost. betrayal is a risk of the work, though. one of the smokers we’d brought in to obscure our role must have gotten a sweeter deal from the Duke’s men. as we left the castle, having negotiated our deal, we found ourselves in the courtyard, surrounded by guards. an entire month in the dungeon, they’ve finally let me off. I’m to see sergeant pierce twice a week, and i feel eyes on me all the time. gotta find a way to get outta this town, and stay away awhile.
To be continued…
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp Barron: -50gp (damages from the uniduck incident) Barron: -300 gp (three healing potions) Tiberium: -200gp (two healing potions) Treasure: 0gp (0gp each)
Base xp for showing up: 100xp each Journal entries, sketches, or baked goods (Malag): 500xp (individually) Roleplay (this session): 1000xp each Wedding Bells (Tiberium, Amathar): 1,000xp Preventing Wedding Bells: 0xp Special bonus (Ruby pickpocketing the crowd): 100xp Group Total: xp (xp each)
A ruby was found under the body of the Duke A red leather button was found clutched in the Duke's grasp A golden lute string was found near the entrance to a secret passage leading to the Princess Bride's rooms The Princess claimed she saw a figure fading into blue mist The Princess's wedding dress was torn
Roleplaying moments and quotables
Tiberium: "I'm sure everything Barron did was properly legal and authorized..." Thic Duc: "Do you know Barron?"
Dangling Threads of Fate
The Duke of Highport is dead, killed on his wedding night, in a locked room alone with the Princess Purity (Tiberium's sword) has mentioned some sort of centuries-old prophecy The Princess seems to want more adventure, and told Barron a few things that might be important... Thic Duc, Pyrcival, Ahira, and Barron have struck the Princess and done her harm Leah, Amathar, Warin, and Tiberium have so far managed to tolerate the Princess Pyro has fallen in battle... Tiberium's paladin-sense is tingling, giving him a sense that a moral event horizon has been crossed, but he can't put his finger on exactly what happened... How to invest your ill-gotten gains...