Ye Gilde

Beneath the Thorns

To be updated-

Here are a list of items Weiss turned over to the party after safely returning to the guild.

-Potion Cure Moderate Wounds (CL3) {Yukiko}
-Cloak of Resistance +1 {Weiss}
-Wand of Shield (CL1) 30 charges {Sparkle}
-Scroll of Fire Ball (CL6) {Samaya}
-Scroll of Infernal Healing (Greater) (CL6) {Weiss}
Master Work Long Sword {Reznik}
Master Work Manacles {Reznik}

EXPERIENCE:

Dr. Reznik- 3285
Mother- 1635
Samaya- 500
Yukiko- 3285
Sparkle- 2785
Weiss- 3285

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Another Minor Request - Continued
Locating a simple trinket for Felligo Mahd

(Previously)
Felligo Mahd Returns with a new request for The Guild: Chad, the monotone priest of Sarenrae, spotted Noah (aka Stinky) walking by and basically dropped the mission in his hands since there were more important things going on around the temple and no one likes working with the cartographer anyway. Noah grabbed Hawke with Aegis and Holmes and headed for Mahd’s Maps to get the details. It was simple enough, take a map, some supplies and a camel to the Precipice District and retrieve a feather quill pen of special sentimental value left behind in the death of a noble family in their mansion. Holmes, having dealt with Felligo before adamantly declined using the camel and questioned the cartographer’s right to claim this item. According to local rumors, a young noble (Artigo Sanclese) had arrived in town a while back with proof that he was the proper heir to the Mantiere property and fortune. With little resistance, they went ahead and accepted the mission from Felligo for 150gp plus a possible reward for bringing back other items of import.

After stopping to grab some holy water and a pack mule, they made their way to the Precipice District and followed the map under Hawk’s expert guidance. They were intercepted by a trio of zombies, but Hawk and Aegis made short work of them. After reaching the mansion, Holmes was surprised by another zombie that knocked young Hawke senseless before being destroyed. They found little in the ruins of the mansion, now overgrown with masses of trees and vines, besides a lone animated skeleton and a piece of a tapestry dedicated to Urgathoa that Holmes swears is super valuable! They found a secret passage leading below the mansion hidden inside a statue-fountain and made their way down. After wading through putrid water and sludge, locating treasure guarded by a magical trap they couldn’t bypass, Watching Noah attempt to climb a barbed chandelier only to crash onto his back and be trapped beneath it, Holmes contracting some awful lung disease, disturbing a nest of rats that swarmed them, and nearly losing Hawke to creeping vines that tried to drag him under the water and drown him, they are ready to continue their search for the pen ….

(This time)
The near death drowning experience left Hawke feeling less than confident in his companions. He and Aegis crawled from the secret dungeon with the thought of packing up the valuable tapestry on the mule and calling it a day, but he was surprised when a strange foreigner appeared on the lawn of the mansion and approached with a look of awe as he watched Aegis. The man was brawny and big with glowing tattoos across his body. He carried a massive maul slung over his shoulder. When Hawke paused to question him he heard a commotion sound behind him at the exit to the dungeon. Noah had crawled out but evidently something went wrong when Holmes tried to follow. The ratman asked Noah to help him by lifting him from the hole but the sailor lost his grip and accidentally dropped Holmes back into the deeper muck just below the entrance. Something under the muck grabbed his leg and tried to pull him under. As Holmes struggled to break free, Hawk hurried to help and called for the aid of the newcomer (he looked strong). Krojun, the tribal warrior, raced over to help and upon seeing the skeleton that crawled from the muck to chase a fleeing Holmes decided to descend the rope. Unfortunately, he blocked up the rope forcing the others to wait and then fell off and into the muck when he tried to climb down. It was Hawk that slipped down and destroyed the skeleton before it could do any more harm. The group gathered inside the muck-filled room to discuss what they would do next and who this strange newcomer was that claimed to be guided here by “the spirits”. Krojun noticed a hidden door that everyone else had missed and pushed the pillar aside to reveal a secret tunnel. He led the way and the others trudged along behind him. The man consulted his spirits again and led them to what appeared to be some sort of burial chamber with 6 stone caskets, two of which were already broken open and empty. Holmes pushed his way in to examine the markings and writings but had little to offer for his efforts so Krojun just ripped a lid off of the nearest casket. As he did so, the other caskets slid open and two noble dressed skeletons and two noble dressed zombies were released. Hawke heard a shout from something else further down the tunnels in the other direction.

They began a fight which was going well until a zombie landed a solid blow on the tribal warrior, knocking him bloody. The noise from behind them turned out to be a skeletal warrior of some sort. The armored skeleton seemed smarter than the others and carried a fancy bastard sword. Noah tried to keep it busy by tripping it into the waist deep mucky water but that only managed to make it hard to see or hit. The others finished off the zombies and skeletons but the warrior waded into the group and began hacking them to pieces and cleaving through them. In a few short rounds due to a couple of critical slashes and cleaving blows, the warrior dropped both Noah and Krojun into the muck unconscious and left Hawke sprawled across a casket bleeding to death. If not for the aid of Aegis, Holmes would have surely fallen at the warrior’s hands too. The bird dealt the killing blow to the warrior but Holmes was hard pressed to save all of his dying allies. He managed to prop Krojun from the water and stop his bleeding but when he went to pull Noah out he found the man drowned to death. He stabilized Hawke seconds before death. The situation looked grim indeed since little Holmes had no way to drag all of these beefy humans back up the rope and out of the dungeon. It didn’t help that Aegis snapped at him every time he got too close. That bird really did not like him!

Holmes formed a plan to drag the survivors out of the muck and to dry land, so first he looted Noah’s body, then scouted a dry place to drag them to. He found a tunnel that led to an opening in the cliff face behind the mansion. He was stealthing and spotted two human men also stealthing as if waiting for him to show. They did not spot him until he made noise trying to sneak away. The rogues called out for him to show himself and a back and forth banter/deal was discussed. The men were here on behalf of the surviving member of the family (Artigo Sanclese) to collect a certain family heirloom bastard sword. (they were also hired to pick off the looters but were willing to overlook that in exchange for the sword and payment). Holmes agreed to pay them and show them the sword’s whereabouts if they helped him drag his companions out of this place. When the humans became too pushy and demanding for his tastes, Holmes blew them off and negated their deal, opting to drag his friends near the secret exit tunnel. The men spent their time searching for the bastard sword and then stealing some loot (off the skeleton warrior and off of the tribal warrior) before slipping out the cliff tunnel using their rope and pulling it up behind them. They departed laughing about getting everything they wanted without any trouble and how the Precipice District would eat those losers alive.

Holmes formed a new plan, climbing up the rope he entered by and moving to the cliff face. He collected his allies bodies in a pile since he couldn’t carry them out then decided to camp in the cavern for the night and come up with a new plan in the morning. Aegis sat atop Hawke guarding his body while Holmes went to sleep. The ratman was awakened by the hawk’s screeches when Noah’s body, freshly risen from the dead as a zombie arrived to feast upon the flesh of his former allies. Holmes, fearing he couldn’t defeat the zombie alone in his battered state, lured it to Hawke’s body to trigger the Aegis as a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, Noah proved better in death than life and beat the bird silly with his zombie strength. When Holmes saw this, he fled leading the zombie Noah away until he could down a expeditious retreat potion and ditch him. He circled back around and looted his friend’s bodies before scampering up the rope and fleeing back to the city proper. Noah the zombie returned to devour the remaining unconscious members thus sealing their fates to return as the undead, just like he had.

This mission definitely did not go as planned …. (feel free to level those that died if the experience permits then add the zombie template to them. They now guard the dank dungeon as the living dead)

Holmes, Hawke and Noah earned 1089xp each
Krojun earned 577xp

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To Catch a Predator: Raid
Bum Fight!

Return to Funky Town

Ten guildies plus a clerical associate of Largus were recruited to return immediately to Funky Town to deal with the bums and find out what exactly is going on underneath. The volunteers were: Adam, Afarrah, Angus, Ethelfrith, Furcifer, Ginger, Jalal, Jerro, Largus, Nigel, and Sparkle. The site was about 3 miles south of the Guildhouse so it was an invigorating morning jog to get back as quickly as possible.

The plan was to divide the participants into three groups. The first consisted of Adam, Sparkle, and Kaleb. They were to position themselves on the roof of a two story building and draw the residents of Funky Town toward them. The second group was Ethelfrith and Furcifer who flying Ginger dropped onto the roof of a two story building on the other side of Funky Town with the same mission as group one. The third group planned to rush into the central ruined building when the first two groups drew away the bums to either side.

It didn’t quite work out that nicely. The first group began pelting bums with arrows and magic. The second group heard the ruckus and Ethelfrith bombed a group of bums and Furcifer stuck another with an arrow. Ginger flew overhead and descended into the roofless old shrine. She put to sleep the one bum blocking the direct path into the shrine. Around Funky Town the cry went out from the residents. The third group charged in but was stopped by a single dog where the street was partially blocked by a 10′×10′ tent.
bum_fight.jpg
While the two ranged groups were having lots of success raining destruction into the streets, the third group remained caught up in that same spot. Little Jerro was nearly destroyed by golf clubs and bottles and even Largus was smacked numerous times. Dogs were biting, bricks were thrown, makeshift clubs swung against the invaders. The third group fought back but wasn’t making forward progress. Inside the ruined shrine Ginger was putting various bums to sleep. And so began a long (5 hours of real time!) grueling battle with the bums of Funky Town. To make a long story short they eventually thinned out the bums enough to run into the ruined shrine. By this time a Schir demon had made it’s appearance and several bums had attacked Ginger. Angus somehow managed to not be killed by the demon before it was put down largely by Largus. Then Ginger put the Mayor to sleep and Nigel finished him. The last couple attacking bums were killed by Jerro and Jalal while Furcifer and Angus chased a couple more around. The rest of the bums pulled back and Nigel unlocked the gate over the stairs in the floor.

Ginger, Largus, Nigel, Jalal started down the stairs with Angus and Afarrah to stay there and guard the gate. Ginger didn’t get far before skeletal dogs attacked her on the stairs. They weren’t much of a threat but behind them a skeletal snake with a human head slithered up and dazed most everyone
except Ginger, Jalal, and Afarrah. Fortunately channeled energy from the cleric of Sarenrae destroyed the skeletal dogs and the Necrophidius could not seem to land a bite. Jalal spent his time shuffling frozen people around before taking an unsuccessful swing. The stalemate on the stairs was finally broken when Largus came back to and wacked the Necrophidius to pieces.

Beyond the empty crypt at the bottom of the stairs was a room 20′×45′ room. The room had a makeshift alter with clumps of flesh and demonic blood writing on the walls. There were lots of sacrificed birds laying around and five people standing at the far end of the room. Two handsome men with wings and horns and in studded leather bondage wear were standing with three women hanging on them. One of the men was recognized as the person who had flown the cleric of Shax in to attack Afarrah and he was still seriously wounded. The other addressed Nigel as a Servant of Nocticula and wanted to know what interest she had in his doings and then thanked them for bringing him another breeder (Afarrah). And with that the battle started.

Everyone rushed to the door and started fighting. It was not a good night for the forces of evil. Their attacks failed at a remarkable rate although Largus still suffered some serious wounds before he killed the injured man. And Ginger put the other to sleep. The three females put up a fight but they couldn’t stand up to the group. The sleeping winged man was woken by one of the women and teleported away. Soon two of the women were dead, one on purpose the other accidentally. The third women went unconscious and was rescued by Afarrah.

Outside the winged man flew overhead and Charmed Angus. When Largus ran up the stairs, he Suggested that the bloodrager bring him a cleric of Sarenrae to a particular well later that day. Then being bored with all that and the arrows being ineffectually shot at him and unimpressed at Ginger flying up and daring him, he told them that he’d be back and then teleported away.

Largus was put to sleep and dragged into one of the cells when he tried to abduct Afarrah. Angus just stood there telling people that his new friend was just misunderstood. The others collected miscellaneous valuables and headed back to the guild. With the church’s help the enchantments on Angus and Largus were removed. The church bestowed a magic flaming scimitar on Afarrah for being the bait and instrumental in the capture of Zadendi, the first female cleric to go missing, and her help rooting out the Shax worshipers and rescuing another one of the missing female clerics.

Loot

The City Watch reviews the evidence and awards the ambush group 100 gp to be split up, Kaleb 100 gp for blood trail tracking, and the Shrine group 100 gp to be split up for discovering the incubus and cult link. If you want to redistribute that 300 gp up differently then go ahead.

Plus, 650 gp was liberated from Funky Town. My count has 11 participants total so 59 gp, 9 sp, 9 cp for each.

So here is the total cash distribution:

Adam
Afarrah
Angus
Furcifer
Kaleb
Jalal
Jerro
Magnus
Sparkle
Than
Weiss
+9 gp, 9, sp, 9 cp each from the City Watch for information gleaned up to and during the ambush that lead to Zadendi’s capture.

Kaleb
+100 gp each from the City Watch for tracking the blood trail to Funky Town.

Adam
Afarrah
Angus
Ethelfrith
Furcifer
Ginger
Jalal
Jerro
Largus
Nigel
Sparkle
+59 gp, 9 sp, 9 cp each from gold recovered at Funky Town.

Afarrah
Ginger
Jalal
Largus
Nigel
+20 gp each each from the City Watch for information discovered below Funky Town.

No tithe required on the recovered gold. This wasn’t a guild job.

These are the items and cash we got of the Shaxx worshippers:
Items that found a home:

  • short sword +1 [1d6, 19-20/x2, S, 2lbs; 2,310gp] (Nigel)
  • buckler 1 [2 AC, 0 ACP, 5lbs; 1,155gp] (Afarrah)
  • agile breastplate painted black w/ teats 1 [7 AC, +3 Dex, -4 ACP (0 climb/jump), 20’ move, 30lbs; 1,550gp] (Afarrah – when Afarrah decides she doesn’t like moving at 20’and being encumbered, Largus will offer to modify the magical agile breast plate so he can wear it with dignity ;)
  • flaming scimitar of Sarenrae +1 [1d6 + 1d6 fire, 18-20/x2, S, 4lbs; 8,315gp] (awarded to Afarrah by the Church of Sarenrae for placing herself in mortal danger!)
  • Surgeon’s kit [add +1 Heal w/ healer’s kit, 4lbs; 400gp] (Angus)

Items that need a home:

  • Magical Sarenrae keen mithral (silver) scimitar +1 [1d6, 15-20/x2, S, 2lbs, 10,015gp] (we should make sure this doesn’t belong to one of the clerics…) — Zadendi, the captured cleric of Shax, says the mithral scimitar came from one of the murdered male clerics.
  • Mwk darkwood composite longbow (Str 3) [1 attack, 1d8+3, x3, P, 110’, 1.5lbs, 730gp], 50 arrows [7.5lbs, 2.5gp] (Sparkles needs to put a point into Str and get a belt of giant strength +2 (4,000gp) so she can use this!)
  • Mwk studded leather [stylized bondage outfit, +3 AC, Dex +5, 0 ACP, 20lbs, 175gp] (I’m picturing Magnus wearing this…)
  • Bastard sword [exotic weapon or two-handed as martial weapon, 1d10 damage, 19-20/x2 crit, slashing, 6lbs, 35gp]
  • Thieves tools [1lb, 30gp]
  • 2 Everburning torches

XP

Adam
Angus
Ethelfrith
Kaleb
Furcifer
Jerro
XP: 970

Afarrah
Ginger
Jalal
Largus
Nigel
XP: 2396 + 100 if you didn’t kill a brainwashed ex-Sarenrae cleric

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To Catch a Predator: Investigation
Won't you take me to Funky Town?

Background

A murderer or murderers have been stalking the city’s streets in the gloaming pre-dawn hours. There have been five bodies discovered this month—all worshipers of the goddess of healing and redemption, Sarenrae. The church and city guard desperately wants to catch the murderer(s) but they have no suspects and no leads. In order to expedite the search, they have turned to you to aid them in stopping those responsible.

The Investigation

The player characters’ primary point of contact with the city guard in this adventure is a woman named Kasadei. The city guards have planned a risky ambush to lure the murderer out so that he can be captured, but none of the guards have the precise training required to pull the ambush off successfully. She’s been given authority to reward the party if they can bring the murderer to justice. Before they set the ambush in motion, Kasadei tells the PCs that the guards have already done a fair amount of investigation, and can relate what they have learned so far. Of course they are welcomed and encouraged to use their unique talents to acquire more information to advance the investigation.

The Murder Sites

All of the murders took place in the pre-dawn hours in alleys in the Foreign Quarter. No witnesses have come forward. In each case the bodies were mutilated and some body parts were removed.

The Victims

Each body was stabbed multiple times and two had a piercing injury probably from a bow or crossbow. Each had their hearts cut out. Sometimes other internal organs were missing. The last had the eyes removed. None of the missing parts have been located yet. All were low ranking traveling priests of Sarenrae, but beyond that, the bodies seem to have no real connections. Interrogations using the speak with dead spell have revealed nothing due to the mutilated remains. Divinations reveal lots of “woe” and that more killings will occur over 8 months unless they are stopped. In all cases, the victims were believed to be taking a traditional “dawnwalk” (a religious observance during which a worshiper of Sarenrae walks and prays during the hours before and after sunrise) when they were attacked.

Assisting

The town guard has been investigating the murderers with assistance from the church of Sarenrae. Battle Captain Drussel, High-ranking member of The Guild and experienced paladin of Sarenrae, and Venture Captain Dreasing, High-ranking member of The Guild and high priest to the Temple of Sarenrae have taken a personal interest in this case due to their religious ties and position within the church. The church has warned clergy and worshipers of what appears to be serial killing. The town guard had been working with high level clerics and paladins to catch the killer(s) at night using decoys but the bait was never taken. Now they want to try using a real low level worshiper.

Enter the Heroes

Thirteen guildies were assembled by Captains Drussel and Dreasing to learn about the murders and what they could do to help. They learned about the victims and the murder sites, and there was a presentation by a Dr Reznik. He told them about the missing body parts and that Blue Whinnis poison had been found. Later after the presentation and questions he took them to examine it for themselves. From there Kasadei took them to each of the murder sites in order and they questioned people and looked for clues. They actually did discover that a gargoyle or possibly demon had been seen and heard in the area and was probably responsible from some rooftop archery. And some homeless dwarf named Antbeard saw the creature flying with a person in its arms. And that there was probably a silence spell involved. And to cap it all off Caleb found a blood trail presumably left as the flying gargoyle creature flew overhead. It also dawned on the group that it might not be just male clerics being targeted. Caleb was there due to a missing female cleric, and they later discovered that three others disappeared with the first going missing two months ago.

They took all this information and planned to lure the killer(s) out using the cleric Afarrah as bait. The City Watch was represented by Kasadei who would have a squad of guards with her to assist in the capture and arrest. There was a lot of discussion and ideas thrown around. When they realized that male clerics were being murdered and parts harvested and female clerics were disappearing they briefly thought about disguising Afarrah as a male, but that idea was discarded. Then Jerro the living doll decided to stay with the cleric during the ambush and that led to talking about disguising Jerro as a Sarenrae Holy symbol for Afarrah to wear but eventually decided to just hide him in her backpack. Magnus had a moment of brilliance when he suggested that they cast Ant Haul on Afarrah and weigh her down so that the gargoyle couldn’t swoop down and carry her off.

The ambush went as planned when the killer showed up. Afarrah was walking a loop route on a west-east street in an area the gargoyle had been estimated to fly. Kasadei, her guards, and Jalal hid in a home on one end of an alley, Caleb wore a bunch of thatch and hid on a thatched roof as a lookout, and everyone else hid in two buildings on the main street across from the alley. Caleb spotted the flying creature carrying someone. It wasn’t a gargoyle but what looked like a horned human male wearing studded leather chest straps and pants flying with bat wings. He was carrying a spellcasting woman. The pair briefly rested on a nearby building examining their prey, then swooped in for the kill. The woman in breastplate, buckler, and short sword was dropped and floated down to just behind Afarrah. The winged man looped back as if to land on the same roof occupied by Caleb.

Afarrah was lanced pretty well by the shortsword but her screams were covered by the Silence spell. Kaleb blew his rape whistle and shot the flying man with an arrow and the creature bypassed the roof and missed biting him while flying by. The rescuers began exiting the buildings. Below Afarrah stepped back and started channeling before being stabbed again. When the cleric didn’t go down her half elf attacker discarded a cheap cord “Silenced” necklace and retreated down the street. Three city watch surrounded her and demanded she give up.

The MVP award goes to Kaleb who’s next arrow shot blasted through the winged man. Although not obvious at the time the injury staggered him. Instead of snatching up the female attaker in the street it instead continued on flying away from the fight. Below the half elf called out to it but she was abandoned. She called out to Shax and channeled negative energy which dropped two of the watch and injured the third and Angus. This started a channel war between her and Afarrah. The fully buffed evil cleric was almost impossible for people to hit and she kept channeling as more people arrived. It was Adam that dealt the last blow with an arcane bolt and dropped her.

The aftermath of the sucessful trap was a captured half elf cleric of Demon Lord Shax. They stripped her of magic short sword, buckler, and agile breastplate before shacking her. Afarrah healed up the group. Kaleb found the blood trail from the flying man. Kaleb, Magus, Jalal, and Adam took off to follow the blood trail while everyone else escorted the unconscious prisoner back to base.

Kaleb had no trouble following the trail and additionally the group picked up Antbeard along the way. The trail headed into “Funky town” which Antbeard explained was a small shantytown within the old part of the Foreign Quarter. It’s tents and ruined buildings were populated by otherwise homeless and desperate individuals that he said were dangerous. Antbeard disappeared when the group approached the core collection of tents and tarps erected around a tumbled down building. The residents formed a disgruntled throng in front of the tents and the Mayor wearing a top hat and suit jacket greeted the unwelcome visitors. The Mayor was rude and didn’t much seem to believe stories of demons and sacrifices but let himself get talked into letting them pass through the tents into the central ruined building. The architecture was reminiscent of a religious structure. As they approached, the residents of Funky Town closed in behind them not-so-innocently holding improvised weapons. A robed individual was seen moving through the crowd holding a long bundle wrapped in rags. The only part of the body visible was a hairy snout that poked out from under the hood.

They quickly scrambled through the broken wall into the ruins. The outer walls were largely a shell. Inside were remains of interior walls and shattered stained glass. There were also bloody patches and large bloody hand prints in spots. The floor had scraps of clothes and unidentified chunks of flesh. At one end of the bulding was a conspicuously new iron gate with a big lock installed on the floor. They made a decision to run. The opposite wall also had a hole and only a few hobos on the other side. Kaleb used Darkness and those without darkvision hung on to those in front and the group ran. Luckily nobody tripped and the group escaped the shrine and tents of Funky town. They were chased only for a little bit.

The question is will they be able to return to base and get back to the shrine with reinforcements in time to confront those truly responsible for the heinous crimes?

XP

investigation, ambush, tracking, discovering old shrine: 702

Adam
Angus
Kaleb
Jalal

investigation, ambush, prisoner escort: 602

Afarrah
Jerro

investigation, ambush backup, prisoner escort: 460

Furcifer
Magnus
Sparkle
Than
Weiss

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Another Minor Request
Retrieve a Simple Trinket

Felligo Mahd Returns with a new request for The Guild: Chad, the monotone priest of Sarenrae, spotted Noah (aka Stinky) walking by and basically dropped the mission in his hands since there were more important things going on around the temple and no one likes working with the cartographer anyway. Noah grabbed Hawk with Aegis and Holmes and headed for Mahd’s Maps to get the details. It was simple enough, take a map, some supplies and a camel to the Precipice District and retrieve a feather quill pen of special sentimental value left behind in the death of a noble family in their mansion. Holmes, having dealt with Felligo before adamantly declined using the camel and questioned the cartographer’s right to claim this item. According to local rumors, a young noble (Artigo Sanclese) had arrived in town a while back with proof that he was the proper heir to the Mantiere property and fortune. With little resistance, they went ahead and accepted the mission from Felligo for 150gp plus a possible reward for bringing back other items of import.

After stopping to grab some holy water and a pack mule, they made their way to the Precipice District and followed the map under Hawk’s expert guidance. They were intercepted by a trio of zombies, but Hawk and Aegis made short work of them. After reaching the mansion, Holmes was surprised by another zombie that knocked young Hawk senseless before being destroyed. They found little in the ruins of the mansion, now overgrown with masses of trees and vines, besides a lone animated skeleton and a piece of a tapestry dedicated to Urgathoa that Holmes swears is super valuable! They found a secret passage leading below the mansion hidden inside a statue-fountain and made their way down. After wading through putrid water and sludge, locating treasure guarded by a magical trap they couldn’t bypass, Watching Noah attempt to climb a barbed chandelier only to crash onto his back and be trapped beneath it, disturbing a nest of rats that swarmed them, and nearly losing Hawk to creeping vines that tried to drag him under the water and drown him, they are ready to continue their search for the pen …. to be continued

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A Minor Request
Mapping the Swamp aka Swamp Pirates

The day began with Holmes, the ratfolk investigator, spotting a request for The Guild posted to a message board outside the guildhouse bunking area. It seemed simple enough, 150gp to loosely map a swampy area for a local cartographer. The week journey outside of Absalom would take him to the north and east at the edge of the mountains. He gathered Jalal, the bardic dancer, and the pair agreed to take Sampson and his mean sheep LuLu to help with the wilderness exploration and mapping. They met with the cartographer, Filligo Mahd, to collect supplies he offered, a camel (Castro) as a pack animal and to iron out the details of the request. They quickly learned why the request seemed to be almost discarded and posted outside the bunking area. The man was difficult to deal with and tight of purse. He had definitely come to The Guild before. Jalal bargained them into extra rations supplied to cover the journey but not a coin more in payment. With nothing better to do, they set out to start some mapping!

The journey to reach the swamp, known as the Damphrat, led them through a rocky, cliff-like pass affectionately referred to as the Shatten Enscarpment. The ledges and crumbling walkways were unsafe but they managed. Unfortunately, none of them seemed to know anything about the pass or the swamp and they didn’t bother to gather information before heading out of the city. During their night, Holmes was surprised by the stealth of a large saber-toothed tiger that sneaked in and grabbed the sleeping Jalal, ready to slink away for a quick meal. If not for the appearance of an equally disturbing sight, the bard would have been dinner. A two-foot tall child’s doll, complete with white dress, bonnet, pigtails and tiny red shoes, sprang from the darkness and stabbed the great cat with its katana. The surprise attack startled the animal, drawing a swat that nearly tore the wooden doll’s face off, but also succeeded in getting it to drop Jalal. Holmes added a couple of crossbow bolts to the fray and Sampson roused with Lulu charging in with a loud BAAAA! The sudden arrival of numbers scared the cat away. The doll introduced itself as Jerro, a protector searching for the girl it was set to guard. Jerro explained that she was kidnapped by bandits who were working with slaving pirates and goblins. Holmes, still freaked out by the talking wooden doll with a katana, dismissed this random rescue mission in favor of the payment assured by a map of the area. Jalal and Sampson seemed slightly more inclined towards helping but also agreed that they had accepted a mission for The Guild first. Jerro the doll decided to join them, hoping to get their aid as they finished with their mapping task. The doll spoke with a husky whisper and though it carried the painted face of a smile, held little to no emotion. It told them the girl, Evanna, was being held in a dilapidated tower a day’s journey deeper into the swamp.
Jerro.png

The party continued their mapping , with Sampson doing a surprisingly good job. But the days passed slowly as they went. Jerro grew restless, gently guiding the shepherd’s mapping towards the location of the tower. They scoped out a hot water geyser and met with a tribe of red-skinned kobalds during the process. Later, the leader of the kobalds arrived at their camp showing Jalal a bag of blue kobald heads and offering a large bag of coins in exchange (they pieced together that he wanted them to kill the blue kobalds for the money – the best translation they could get since no one spoke draconic). Eventually, they came upon the tower Jerro told them about. The 60 foot structure was old and falling apart with a poorly fenced compound surrounding it plus two tents and an old well. They watched and waited until the human and orc bandits plus the human pirates and a handful of goblins left the area. They then devised a hasty plan to slip inside and find the missing girl. They left Sampson to watch the animals at camp and Holmes, Jalal, and Jerro slipped through a hole in the wall and killed one goblin on guard. Jalal waited outside while the small members searched inside. They slipped up the tower avoiding several floors where multiple goblins slept on pallets. They found the prisoner’s, including Evanna, a goblin merchant, and a horribly mutilated old man that screamed and babbled randomly. Trying to lead the others out while Jerro put the crazed and blinded old man out of his misery, they made a ruckus and roused the goblins. From that point on, it was total chaos as nearly 20 goblins poured forth firing arrows from the roof or swarming over them. The shaman and the mutated goblin leader came for them as well and it was a bloodbath! Everyone took a serious beating, with Sampson arriving later in a rescue charge that was less than impressive. Sampson was bloody and crying, LuLu went down, Jerro was very nearly destroyed, Holmes balanced miraculously on the edge of death through most of the fight keeping the leaders and archers occupied, and Jalal used more healing than the rest of the party combined. But somehow they managed to kill the goblin horde, rescue the girl and return with a proper map of the swamp! If they hadn’t lost the pack camel in the confusion they would have actually gotten paid for the mission, too.

They managed to get a reward for the girl’s return, a nice sum of coins for the equipment and magical sword they confiscated and then sold, and made a new friend, vouching for Jerro the disturbing little doll ninja to join The Guild.

Each character involved gained: 1,440 xp

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Tengu Mission
Magic Poop Adventure

XP: 2,589

Aftermath:
Essentially when the guild gets your news they will launch an investigation. You guys represent the guild and innocent people died (Meric, the coachmen, and the whores). The guild is going to “ask” you all to go to the victims families and split the money equally between them. Also explain what happen. The guild wants a good reputation. A few representatives from the Zethis trade guild want you to put you all under a gease to tell the truth.

Elder Wing will heal everyone to full if you tell him the absolute truth. It turns out he is an incredibly powerful druid. He let’s you know he was watching the battle. (My DM safety card)! He tells the party that wand was repudiated. He will give you guys the jewels. He tells you guys he doesn’t want them. Combined they are worth 3,000 gold. The guild is going to take 300 gold. You guys get to split the rest. 540 gold per person.

You guys are directed not to leave Absalom until this whole thing gets figured out.

The result- The son planned it all. He convinced his father to go which was no easy task. His son would never had killed him in the city walls without suspension. The researched relocation information was falsified by the son. Deshard and Menas Vor thought that the hired band of mecanaries would kill you. Deshard tried to kill you all with summoning the Yurthak, the huge magical beast. He simply could not control it. Then they were going to go kill the Tengu. Deshard and the hired mecanaries watched you all in the arena. They knew how to prepare. Deshard told them he was going to help. Menas Vor wanted the family power for himself. He also wanted the Mountain Bloom. He also planned to enslave a few Tengu to sell in the Coins. The son is set for trial, Deshard no one can find.

Thus you all are clear of involvement!

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Basement of Churo the Too-Curious
An Impromptu Adventure

Numerous new guildies were in the southern part of the Foreign Quarter going about their business when they came upon a somewhat strange scene. There was an obvious dip in the road like it was sinking and ahead two city workers and a guardsman were examining an open sewer drain. To the left stood a severely dilapidated single story structure with sounds of construction or destruction inside. A plaque is set into the stucco on the nearest corner of the building. It read:

Here stood House Churo, a home to a foreign scholar and magic worker known as Churo the Too-Curious. He was a professor and lecturer of magic theory and a magic experimenter who discovered many amazing things while probing the unknown. Strange lights and noises were often heard coming from within the building. On the night of the big earthquake, catastrophe struck and the building exploded. His body was never found. Only the basement remained but it was so marred by the release of intense magics that rooms had lingering magical properties. It was covered over and this structure built over top.

Then more noises of splintering lumber and shifting stones erupted from inside the building. The door burst open and a dusty worker leaves running. He heads to the lone guard. From within you hear screams of “Help! Help! Oh Abadar, the humanity!”.

Reluctantly Afarrah, Adam, Gidget, Noah, Ratfink Bellum and Weisse decided to get involved. The landlord had abandoned the property and the city had sent laborers to tear down the dangerous structure. The floor had collapsed beneath them and disturbed a huge nest of ravenous centipedes some of which were as large as a man. It was a disturbing sight. All of the man and halfling sized centipedes turned out to be easily killed and a few healing channels sustained the workers a little longer. Much more challenging was the ten foot swarm of diminutive centipedes in the basement. They couldn’t be effectively fought and killed the two injured workers below before nearly killing Adam a couple times. Afarrah had started the fight with a fan of fire but it hardly affected anything. The guildies were reduced to throwing the worker’s lanterns and lamp oil. Then they had to tear down a merchant’s canopy and take his oil (only half of which was paid for) to cover the swarm in a flaming blanket. The swarm briefly covered Noah and the remaining worker on the ground floor before it retreated to the basement and was finally wiped out.

Those that were in the Churo’s old basement saw 3 rotten doors and a newly constructed barrier opposite each other. By this time Than and Magnus had arrived. Noah and Gidget remained above to keep people away and the rest of the group descended into the hexagonal room below. The basement was dank and muddy. Clearly it must get flooded. People began examining the four exits to the room. The northern door blocked a room of whispers, the eastern a 40 ft passage with 3 doors, the southern passage was blocked by a newly constructed barricade, and the western door was pushed aside by Adam who advanced down the 20 ft hall.

Adam slid the next door to the side and was ambushed by two crossbow bolts. His scream was cut short by unconsciousness. The group ran to his aid as a tiefling in studded leather came out and took Adam’s Lighted scimitar. Only the invisible kitsune ninja had gotten into the room to see that there were also two ratfolk in leather inside. Strangely she noticed that she was Slowed while the ratfolk were Hasted. Nobody wanted to purchase Adam back from the tiefling and the situation looked dire. Before the tiefling killed him with his own sword though, Weisse snuck over and sneak attacked him. Weisse also tried to take out one of the ratfolk with a ninja star but it was Than’s magic that put them both to sleep. The unconscious tiefling was tied up for questioning later but the the ratfolk were killed.

The room was discovered to have multiple spots where people were either Slowed or Hasted and even one spot with a stasis field. The north wall had a secret door that took them a short distance to another door that they forced open. That lead into a rectangular room with a broken down fountain in the center. A cascade of dim multicolored light from the fountain illuminated the room. The dribble of water was magic but also appeared to have been tainted and unsanitary. They decided to leave it be.

Meanwhile Magnus checked out the room of whispers. As soon as he entered he was able to discern, through the magic, statues in each corner and numerous carved faces on the walls. The magic voices elevated in volumne but spoke only nonesense. He left.

The group headed to the remaining door which broke apart when moved. The slick hallway was badly water eroded and while Magnus stomped along, Weise slipped and slid downslope taking out the lower portion of a rotten door and continuing into a steeply sloped room with some sort of acid pool or open stomach. She was able to throw a rope up to the others and get rescued before being too badly digested though.

Adam and Weisse used presidigitation to clean a narrow path through the hallway to the far door. The room beyond was pleasantly appointed with furniture and a convenient pile of treasure in the center. The opposite wall had a steel door behind which wind and banging could be heard. The room was as they expected, a trap.

Weisse entered invisibly but the entire room was a magical creature that could sense her movement. The treasure spilled to the side as a mouth revealed itself, then it used a carpet-tentacle to push her into it’s mouth. Chomp. The ninja was held in place. Magnus threw his big rock and others tried stabbing the floor or touching it with spells. It wasn’t enough to stop Weisse from being swallowed. The kitsune bit the throat on the way down but wasn’t spit back out. The rescuers redoubled their efforts and Magnus destroyed the magic living room with the next blow from his rock and the other cut Weisse out. The treasure was all real and happily scooped up.

The metal door was picked open and revealed a room filled with a dusty magical whirlwind and a battered head-sized metal chest. Magnus roped up and grabbed the chest in giant form. It was badly crumpled but he and Ratfink figured that they could pry it open with a crowbar. And they did but electricity arced from the chest to their bodies. Ratfink was electrocuted and Magnus seriously injured. Ratfink was briefly mourned. The chest only contained some magical notes – no doubt very important to Churo but a disappointment to the group. Than tucked them away thinking they’d be valuable. Undeterred by the deadly trap, Magnus was back in the whirlwind with Weisse working at the wall where a secret door had been spotted. After removing the impacted dust from the lock, Weisse tried and failed to pick it causing more arcs of electricity to burn them. This time nobody died. They kept at it and got inside the door.

More disappointment. The small closet initially looked to contain nothing but tattered clothes and decomposed papers. A quick search revealed several interesting items including a small ivory box they decided not to open, a future fantasy roleplaying game “Accounts and Laywers”, a spell book, some jewelry and strange jeweled coins.

After clearing out the closet the group decided that they were spell depleted and had pressed their luck enough and dragged themselves out onto the street again not caring about the blocked passage and forgetting the tied up tiefling.

XP
400 Noah and Gidget
770 Than and Magnus
1,170 Everyone else

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New Recruits part 2
Day of Demons

Part 2

Ratfink the warpriest to Pharasma (That’s what he called himself since his family are known to be traitors and he’s only here trying to redeem the family name), Chester the Archeologist (an odd one in his own right), Hawk the Hunter with Aegis his Falcon (a three time rejected 14 year old member who’s missing parents got him in), Adam the Arcanist (Sparkle’s long lost and privileged brother taken in on probation instead of going to the Brine for smuggling), Noah the Brawler (or Stinky as Ginger likes to call him because of his unpleasant odor), and Sampson the druid with LuLu (the 15 year old former prodigy turned failure and his volatile sheep companion) returned as commanded to the guild hall after some quick city exploration to find a massive undertaking in the works. They joined in the troop of over 3 dozen guild members (all notably human) that set out to the Cairnlands under the command of 4 more prominent members plus the guidance of an inquisitor of Abadar (Brother Dilitante). The journey out was cumbersome but uneventful. When they arrived at the designated clearing they still felt like they had come for naught since everyone else looked and acted prepared plus much more capable. After displays of magic by the commanders and the discovery of a large chest that seemed harmless, they were instructed to start unloading it’s contents onto a wagon. Just as the last bizarre item was removed from the chest the binding spell was broken and the chest (or more accurately the artifact that was a portable portal to the abyss) was activated. Purple goop rained down on the neophyte guild members and purple energy began to pulse from within the chest. Chanting in abyssal started and only Adam could decipher the foul words coming from within the chest. Something about “Souleater” returning for revenge. Numerous demons (vrocks and hezrou) surrounded the clearing engaging the guild members in a ferocious battle just as a swarm of dretches crawled from the chest. Most of them scattered to aid their abyssal companions but a couple of them paused to go for easier kills – the fledgling members. The new guild members worked together to destroy the pair of demons but not without losing several members to the retching caused by their stinking clouds. If only that were the worst of it. In a matter of moments the purple pulsing grew and released in a massive blast that spread beyond their line of sight. As it passed over them they felt it wash through their bones and fill their ears with screams and moans of agony. Somehow the purple goop on them protected them from what befell the rest of the guild members … they dropped dead on the spot with black bleeding eyes and black veins spreading across their pale flesh. The shock of it all was too much and the fledgling members passed out even as the demons and death surrounded them. They did see a large black, winged demon crawl from the chest and streak skyward with a triumphant cackle before losing consciousness.

When they awoke they were all nauseous and something felt wrong. They could see in the darkness clear as day. What was happening? Dretches crawled from the chest again but the battle was long done. A group of inhuman figures approached to rescue them from the minor demons and then escort them away from the clearing before a band of mercenaries (Cross Steel) could arrive to dispatch them. Ratfink found his skin shifting colors constantly and he bled from his pores, Hawk was green-skinned and covered in red spots while he could not suppress a constant twitching, his falcon looked like something out of a nightmare twisted into a fiendish beast, Chester’s head was malformed and metal spikes jutted from it, Adam had a left arm that was twice the size of his right and massive dragon horns sprouting from his head while spikes covered his skin, Noah showed nipples growing from places where they should not be and his eyes glowed with an inner fire, lastly LuLu was also a fiendish beast and Sampson walked on legs that bent the wrong way and sported fan-like ears. They were somehow infected or transformed. Adam and Ratfink agreed that is must be a curse or cursed disease. They most certainly were still transforming. Their thoughts came more chaotic to them and left Chester lacking any basic morality. The non-humans escorted the teiflings (for that’s what they had become) back to the city in hopes of finding a cure. What they found was that the gates were on lockdown and inquisitors waited to examine any who entered. They chose to try a different door, using Weise’s shape shifting and bluffing skills to lead the way in gaining access. Szorden and Than Bighead wanted to wash their hands of the ordeal … they parted only to later be arrested for treason against the city. The others headed to the Guild Hall first but it was likewise on lockdown with inquisitors waiting. They then went to the temple of Sarenrae to seek out Dreasing. There they were examined and their fears confirmed. In 72 hours from the time the goop splashed them, they would become chaos based evil teiflings. To stop the transformation and clear their names as traitors the priest requested two things – the chest to study and the true traitor to convict and relieve blame for the guild massacre.

Exhausted, they all found a place in the Puddles District, led by Noah, where they could rest. Courage and Adam tried to split away this time but found that all of both groups were being sought by the authorities. (Szorden and Than were likely already caught) The morning brought with it new issues. The process was still growing in the former humans. Ratfink’s voice turned to something that hailed from the abyss, Chester’s belly button began to whistle, Hawk grew a hunched back, Adam’s skin covered in mottled feathers, Noah shifted from male to androgynous, and Sampson grew a canine muzzle and mammalian tail. Time was growing short before they would be lost forever!

They split into two groups, the Misfits stuck together loaning only Afarrah to the teiflings so they would have a diplomatic member and taking Sampson and Lulu in exchange. Their goal was to find the traitor and clear their names since they had been added to the list of culprits after returning through the gates that night under falsehoods. The neophyte guild members went searching for the chest and put Afarrah’s charms to good use tracking down a lead and surmising that the mercenaries must have dropped the chest off at a ship in the harbor (Midnight Runner). They quickly boarded with Hawk leading a charge to attack the two shipwrights left as watch on deck. From there they followed the stairs down until Noah located the abyssal chest in its hull and the fight was on to contain more dretches that crawled forth. The crew of the ship woke but fled when they learned of the pulsing purple energy of death. The party of former humans managed to defeat the demons, get the chest closed, and called the temple of Sarenrae for help in its recovery.

Meanwhile, the Misfits plus Sampson tracked down Cross Steel’s headquarters with Courage, Magnus and Weise working their way in to speak with the leader about where the chest might have gone and who was behind the betrayal. It took all the coin she had plus the purse she stole from Courage and a lot of sweet talking to bribe the mercenary leader out of his information but she got it – the inquisitor Brother Dilitante was the man behind it all. They hurriedly located him and decided to rush him. That tactic left several of them injured and Jalal bleeding on the ground but they managed to bring the man down with a few well-placed double axe blows and a critical overhand crush from a large slab of rock!

With the traitor captured and the chest recovered the humans were cured of their terrible affliction and all involved were freed of the title of traitor (including those already apprehended) and invited to join the now severely reduced guild, boasting a new title of Lieutenant with a silver badge to match (a purely ornamental title), and a 50gp reward.

XP Earned: Non-Humans 700 each / Humans 950 each

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