The companions return the Tenna’s B&B and deliberate how to proceed. Elvira draws upon her extended book knowledge to explain about pseudodragons. These creatures are tiny cousins of true dragons, and are playful but shy by nature. They often only vocalize in chirps, hisses, growls, and purrs, but can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature. If approached peacefully and offered food, they are usually willing to share information about what they've seen in their territory, but threats or violence make them flee. Pseudodragons are carnivores, devouring insects, rodents, small birds and snakes, though they sometimes eat eggs and most also enjoy butter, cheese and fish. They either hunt on the ground like lizards or look for prey from the sky like a (somewhat clumsy) hawk. As smart as a typical humanoid, they do not enjoy being treated as pets and prefer being treated as friends. They are wary of evil folk, but can bond with sorcerers and wizards as familiars, and some have befriended druids and rangers or partnered with good dragons as scouts. Pseudodragons will serve as familiars if they approve of a spellcaster's personality, but often also bond with those whose company they enjoy or who have proven themselves true friends. A pseudodragon might follow another character in this manner for days, weeks, years, or even a lifetime if the creature is treated well, provided with food, and generally well-loved. Upon reaching adulthood, a pseudodragon's body is about 1 foot long with a 2-foot tail, and weighs about 7 pounds. A pseudodragon egg is the size of a large chicken egg, but leathery and spotted brown, and a mating female lays 2–5 eggs every spring. A clutch of pseudodragons (the collective noun—not to be confused with pseudodragons from the same brood of eggs) usually consists of a mated pair and several near-adult offspring.
So how will the party get the pseudodragon colony to assist them? Balian states that they should at least get a fair supply of butter, cheese and fish. Sjo feels that they might also appeal to the tiny dragons’ intelligence and sense of good. There is no need to disclose the whole plot that threatens Korvosa right now, but the healer has no qualms about revealing a small part of the truth that might convince the flying lizards. An evil devil in the Acadamae threatens the future of Korvosa and the companions need to get inside to take care of the problem. Elvira agrees, but thinks that a fresh head in the morning might be better to make plans. Sjo returns to Larella for the night, while Elvira sleeps in Quint’s empty room and Balian and Puk retire to the room next-door.
29 Arodus 4708
After a hearty (and late) breakfast at Tenna’s the companions buy butter, cheese and fresh fish and go to the Dock Trade. The market is already in full swing, but not only the ground is crowded. Up in the rafters Balian easily spots at least a dozen pseudodragons. He picks out what looks like the father of a family and flies up with his boots, approaching the being with caution. Offering it some fish, he beckons it to come down, where his friends have more tasty goodies. As the father flutters down, his family in tow, Elvira holds up another fish. She is startled by a second swarm that dives in from behind her. Moving to a quiet corner, she spreads out more food on the ground and allows the hungry critters to feed. One of the tiny dragons seems to demand the respect of the others, as they move back and allow it to eat first. It is slightly larger than the rest, and when Elvira greets it kindly in Draconic, it replies telepathically that its name is Maya, the alpha of this colony. Elvira says that they need the pseudodragons’ help to draw away the imps from the Acadamae and lure them into a trap. Maya’s interest is piqued – her dislike for the pesky little devils is obvious – and she inquires into the nature of the trap. Elvira manages to convince her that her friends can set up an ambush in the Old Courthouse, which will allow them to ‘fry’ the imps out of this plane of existence and send them back to Hell. Maya relishes this thought and agrees to cooperate, at least if the companions supply her flock with more food. Elvira gladly accepts this proposal and tells Maya she will return tonight to set the plan in motion.
Next the heroes move over to the Old Courthouse and plan a trap in the corridor that leads to the cellblock. They will prepare a net to capture the imps in the hallway and kill them off with magic. Sjo offers his fireballs, but Elvira tells him that imps are immune to fire and poison and also highly resistant to acid and cold. They do not possess any special defenses against electricity, though, so Elvira suggests buying a number of lightning bolt scrolls in the Gilded Orrery, the magic shop that supplies the Acadamae. Being a graduate, Elvira has no trouble making a purchase from Gasta Weagra, the small, greying woman who runs the shop and who is said to be Headmaster Toff Ornelos’s niece. Scrolls can be bought here by the dozens, so Elvira can easily get her hands on three scrolls of lightning bolt, cast at the highest level. Gasta also mentions a number of other items she has for sale, but most of these are already underpowered for the party. She does have one interesting item that might make a good buy: a deep red sphere ioun stone, which makes its wearer more agile. Unfortunately, paying off guildmaster Boule has drained the party’s coffers, so there are no funds to make the purchase at present.