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Kroft shakes her head slowly. "Neolandus told us of secret passages within the Castle, but nothing into the Castle that he knew of. The dragon lairs in one of the towers and Sabina Merrin is his rider. If you make your selves known, I think the dragon will not be able to resist the challenge. It seems to have a very high opinion of itself."
Darga lets out a laugh as soon as the slavers are gone and casually tosses the goblet to a corner. Six-Six translates "Very good, very good! Master Darga is impressed with your perceptive capabilities and wishes you to accompany him to a..." Here Six-Six falters very slightly, "Droid race, as his guests of honor."
The Neiomoidean stares at you for a moment, then accepts and returns the handshake. "Darga thinks me a fawning tool. I encourage the ruse. However, he is in far more trouble than I think even he knows." He turns the monitor he was watching when you entered so that it shows you a cantina scene. Seated in the cantina are two men and one woman who look very out of place, stiff and military in a laid back bar. The two men look identical and the woman appears haughty. "Imperials. Darga has been moving unknown cargo for them. They arrived on planet this morning and my recorders in the cantina recorded their conversation. They will be dropping by Darga's palace tomorrow. Evidently they wish to increase their shipments as well as station imperials on planet to 'aid' Darga. I will notify him of this information tomorrow morning; if you have snooping to do, I suggest you finish it tonight. Tomorrow is likely to be... interesting."
The two Sczarni look crestfallen and murmur things about tough times, needing coin to buy food, the economy, etc. After Ruperta's excoriation, they agree to never work for Trifaccia again and seem heartened by the offer of the pearl. They depart, both chastened, with the bruised leading the blind.
Where to now? Back to the hideout or onward?
As Nienna begins to move, there is a low throaty chuckle from the top of the ziggurat. "Welcome, curs, to the house of the Runelord Krune. May your stay be short and end in blood."
The shape atop the ziggurat seems to be that of a woman with the lower body of a snake and three pairs of feathered wings! With a murmured word, a fireball erupts in the midst of your band! Reflex Save DC 20 or else take 10d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 1, 6, 4, 5) = 37 fire damage!
Everyone save Lavode is up! The figure is perched atop the ziggurat, 30 feet above the ground.
The Neimoidean's eyes narrow. "Why do you lie, Doctor? Do you think me a fool? I know of your true mission, your spying, your friends' snooping. Do you think you can simply walk in and access security data? No, I think you are smarter than that." Doc, you feel a slight touch on your mind, much like the one Quen uses when he sends you impressions through the Force. "However, I might be willing to look the other way, in return for certain... considerations at a later date. You see, Darga's rule will not last forever. Tyrants fall, usually at the hands of those they never suspect. Such men can use allies. What do you say, Doctor; are you looking for allies?"
Not certain. Let's give him a few days before we call him MIA. I'll NPC him if necessary, unless it looks like he'll die, in which case we'll just consider him a no-show. I don't like killing people who aren't here.
Exiel gets a distinct feeling that he's being watched. Not the party, him specifically.
"WHAT?!" thunders Darga in surprisingly passable Common. He then seems to calm down and issues orders in Huttese. Several of his bounty hunters level their carbines and rifles on the slavers. "Master Darga is very disappointed in your actions." Six-Six says sadly.
The Zabrak immediately begins apologizing. "Darga, I swear I had no idea! It was this slave! I promise, she'll be punished properly! Why don't we just forget about the money and call it even?" He snivels some more, as the Hutt coldly speaks in Huttese. "Master Darga suggests it is time for you to leave. Immediately." Six-Six says in a sad tone.
With many more apologies, the slavers leave, though you notice the Wookie looking back with interest at you, Chel.
Unfortunately, Grine is very very dead.
Vorkstag nods slowly. "Of course, I would be happy to testify against Mister Grine. However, you lot killed him. Didn't you see the flash of life? That's how his kind die, you know, with the flash. He was a dark creeper, a type of cavern folk. He disguised himself as a gnome when he had to go out, which he mostly didn't like to do. Never cared for the light, did Mister Grine. But I'm happy to show you the room!" He begins to stagger to his feet.
Darga barely notices the servant as he grabs the largest goblet and uses it as a pointing aid. He grunts something in Huttese and Six-Six translates. "The esteemed Hutt does not appreciate the tone of your voice. If you wish to take your business elsewhere?"
The Zabrak growls deep in his throat, his teeth mashing together. "You know damn good and well, Darga, that you've run all other slave-providers off planet. And we need labor now! Just refund our damn money!"
Darga hoots, his laugh something disgusting to behold. He starts to take a drink...
Pai's glitterbomb explodes in the street, dousing the Hero of Korvosa, Slumper with golden glitter. However it doesn't reveal any invisible Trifaccia.
The crowd hears Ruperta's words and they nod and a couple join the shouting cry of "Down with the Queen! Long live Korvosa! Long live Slumper!' However far more simply nod, then begin to disperse quickly back to their homes. Clearly the mood in Korvosa is frightened, but definitely rooting for you.
You take the 'rebel' and the blind shouter to a nearby alleyway and interrogate them. They quickly break down and admit that they're Sczarni thugs hired by Trifaccia to pose as rebels and cheer when he "takes them down." They've been pulling this stunt all over Korvosa and admit there's about fifteen of them in on it. The shouting guy adds, in a strange tone, "Well, Trifaccia, he told us we should wish all sorts of bad things on anyone who stands up to him, anyone who ain't one of us, see? He was pretty clear about it. 'You gotta say you wish something to happen' he says. He made us repeat it back to him and he got mad as hell if we ever forgot to say it all."
Sonny moves outside as the interrogation begins. He finds that all of the mongrelfolk save the one he healed who tried to warn him have fled. That one waits well outside the fence, away from the slavering golem hound.
The mongrelfolk man, whose introduces himself as Hinsel, tells you that they know very little about what goes on inside, as he was never trusted enough to be allowed beyond the vat rooms. He tells you he does know that three more of Grine's trusted mongrelfolk work on the ground floor, in a room beyond the door that the golem hound guards. He also says that he's seen Vorkstag and Grine returning late at night with bundles wrapped in cloth or hidden in sacks. Bundles the same size as a corpse.
Vorkstag grunts as Xerice prods him. "I am the victim here! Terrible Grine forced me to do as he said. I told you, if we go into the other room I can show you what he was up to." He sighs deeply and seems to collapse in on himself. "I can show you why he chose me as his helper. It's because of what I can do, the way I can wear a dead person's skin. You may think I am a monster, but I did not choose this life. Grine wanted me to pretend to be other people, so his crimes could never be traced back to him. We dealt in bodies. Corpses, the fresher the better. Grine had buyers all over Ustalav, mostly physickers who used them to learn their craft better. It was a victimless crime! No one needs the bodies of the recently dead. They simply are put into the ground to rot. In the other room, in the corpse pool, we keep them there. The alchemical mixture keeps the bodies fresh until the buyers pick them up. I never handled the buyers, only the procurement. But I know Grine keeps his ledger in there."
Ezechias and Sonny, you detect a note of truth in his words, though you doubt he's telling you the whole truth.
Only one of Slumper's rapier strikes and one of his shield bashes make it through Trifaccia's defensive posture. Trifaccia's stance never falters, but suddenly he shouts, "Lawlessness may have won this day, but the good Queen will fight on! I cede the battlefield to you, rebel, but doubt not that Trifaccia will see you again very soon!"
Concentration vs DC 19: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (5) + 18 = 23 Suddenly Trifaccia disappears!
Chel, you notice as the servant passes by the group of slavers, that one of the Twi'lek slave girls drops something in Darga's cup as he passed. Based on where she's standing, Darga would be unable to see the action she took.
Darga scowls down at the slavers. He speaks in Huttese, waving his fat hands. "The Mighty Darga says that he has no interest in dealing with slavers who cannot keep their slaves alive." Six-Six translates.
"You filthy shutta! You sold us sick slaves and now you're trying to blame us for your mistakes?!?" The Zabrak looks fit to burst now.
"Lies? I am a poor man, driven to crime by my partner, Mister Grine. He was a cruel man, a creature of the dark given flesh, who sought to increase his wealth and power at my expense. I am simply unfortunate enough to be born in a form that others find frightful. I did all that I did in order to stay alive, to survive, for hope, holy man." He sighs and slumps forward. "But if you wish to see what we really did here, then let us head toward that door. But first, fish my coat out of the Vat. It has my keys in the pockets." He gestures toward a door in the eastern wall at the basement level where the vats sit.
The skin stealer known as Vorkstag tells you that he was the innocent dupe of horrible Mister Grine, a terrible murderer who threatened routinely to kill him in his sleep if he didn't act as his accomplice in his murderous, villainous ways.
While he speaks, you notice he has a strange scar on his shoulder, a series of small punctures in the shape of an elongated U. Knowledge nature!
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21
Knowledge Nature DC 12:
The scar looks to be a healed bite mark, possibly from a narrow mouthed reptile such as a crocodile or caiman.
Caesare stabs at the skin stealer as it drinks, but misses. However his strike is much more accurate the second time, as his spear sinks into the side of the skin stealer, causing him to fall to his knees, clutching the wound and clinging to the plank. "I surrender! Mercy! Please, mercy." He holds his wound, which bleeds freely, blood falling into the bleach vat below.
He's done fighting, unless anyone wants to finish him off?
Finish prepping! Lorraine, true strike only lasts until the end of the next round. Just so you know!
Sheila Heidmarch shows you how to utilize the tokens by breaking it. She bids you good luck and with the eyes of the Decemvirate member upon you, you break the tokens. There is a moment of falling as everything goes black, then a sudden stop. You stand on firm stone, though the place you are in is as dark as dark can be. Those of you with darkvision see the following:
A small ziggurat emerges from the southern wall in this tomblike stone chamber. Most of the structure’s blocks are simple but precisely cut stone blocks, but in several places petrified humans—too finely sculpted to be carved—shoulder the burden of the blocks above with scarred backs and hands. A short, steep flight of steps ascends the northern face to a second tier, and to the east and west two are other sets of steps that lead to the ziggurat’s apex twenty feet above the ground, falling short of the thirty-foot ceiling.
If you have darkvision, Perception checks!
Slumper's sword flashes, but it is his shield that seems to do the most damage. Trifaccia's demeanor changes from bold to cautious as he shifts to defense.
Attack: 1d20 + 27 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 27 - 4 = 28 for 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12 plus 1d6 ⇒ 3 fire!
Attack: 1d20 + 22 - 4 ⇒ (18) + 22 - 4 = 36 for 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12 plus 1d6 ⇒ 6 fire!
Attack: 1d20 + 17 - 4 ⇒ (8) + 17 - 4 = 21 for 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14 plus 1d6 ⇒ 1 fire!
Attack: 1d20 + 12 - 4 ⇒ (18) + 12 - 4 = 26 for 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 plus 1d6 ⇒ 6 fire!
Possible Crit: 1d20 + 22 - 4 ⇒ (10) + 22 - 4 = 28 for an additional 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
Slumper and the party are up!
Chel steps in the throne room to see Darga leaning forward, staring intently at a small band of visitors. The delegation consists of three tough-looking Humans, a Rodian with a large blaster rifle, a black-furred Wookiee, and a scarred Zabrak leading two Twi’lek slaves by their collars. The Zabrak appears to be the leader.
"We want our money back, Darga! You sold us worthless slaves, slaves too sick to work who died before we could get our money's worth out of them. Now we want that money back!" The Zabrak looks surly as he says this, but his eyes shoot to the many hangers-on and bounty hunters around the room, who stand alert.
Darga sees you enter, and makes a 'can you believe this' gesture toward the slavers. ("See what ungrateful business partners I have to put up with?") he says in Huttese, while Six-Six translates: "The Great Darga is regretful that the merchandise did not meet your expectations, but the mighty Hutt does not offer a money-back guarantee."
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
A servant enters the room, passing by the slavers and carrying several goblets, the nicest one clearly meant for Darga. Anyone in the throne room can make a Perception check.
Zanu, as soon as you post your actions, we'll add you in. Go ahead and post for both round 6 & 7.
Vorkstag bobs to the surface and drinks one of his vials he grabs from his floating coat. Attack of opportunity from Caesare! Suddenly he shoots up the side of the slippery vat quick as a wink, emerging on the same plank he fell from. He takes 1d6 ⇒ 6 damage from his immersion in the bleach!
The party is up!
Ezechias moves down the ladder to the bottom floor, where the vats sit. Sonny holds his shot until the flayed man appears at the edge of the vat, but misses him as he bobs up and down. Caesare is more lucky, as he skewers the flayed man, his blood turning the bleach momentarily pinkish.
Augustus and Zanu are up!
Xerice's whip snaps and the man wavers on the board! He falls into the vat of bleach! 1d6 ⇒ 2 and 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21 He struggles to the surface, spewing bleach from his mouth and gagging. As he does, the bathrobe he wears and his very skin itself sloughs off, revealing a creature from a nightmare!
Everyone else is up!
I would imagine silence falls under the 'dismissible with a gesture' clause. You're fine. The distance was 25'.
Sound suddenly goes away as Ruperta casts her silence spell.
Fort: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 However, the dark-haired man suddenly opens his mouth in shock and flails around, clearly blinded!
Pai noticed the odd wording of the man's shout, and barely notices that Trifaccia's hand twitched in a decidely arcane gesture as he spoke. The mask makes it impossible to see if he spoke any words or said anything arcane. However, if you had to guess, you would think that he tried to grant the man's wishes. In fact, the dark haired man looks a lot like that 'rebel' you just captured. Almost like they were related in some fashion...
Possibly! I forgot you had cast it! SR check: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Okay, check that, erase it.
The rogue Trifaccia pauses, but Slumper fails to disappear! He shrugs and attacks!
Possible Crit: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (20) + 17 = 37 for an additional 1d6 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12 damage!
Slumper and the party is up!
Ezechias swipes at the man as he steps off the ledge, but misses by a hair's breadth. Similarly, Sonny's bolt flies past him as he moves with an inhuman grace. Zanu's arcane missiles fly and hit the man unerringly, however they stop a mere breath away from the man and seem to do no damage!
Will vs Glitterdust: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
"Argh!" The sudden blast of glitter seems to catch the man off-balance. He rubs at his eyes hard, then wavers as Xerice's channel hits him! Acrobatics: 1d20 + 14 - 4 ⇒ (16) + 14 - 4 = 26 He manages to keep his balance and avoid falling. He hisses under his breath.
Feeling in his pockets, he pulls forth a vial and drinks it! Attack of opportunity from Caesare! Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20 Blinking his eyes, he seems to recover from his blindness!
The party is up!
Mahath: You discovered a lot of storerooms, some holding mundane technologies, others holding slaves. You would guess there are lower levels to this place, that perhaps you have not seen.
From the direction of Darga's throneroom, there seems to be a commotion. "The slaves you have been selling us are worthless, Darga! They have been dying before we can even get them to market. They are used up—second-rate! I want my credits back for the last four shipments!” There is jostling and the sound of grumbling.
Slumper's barrage hits more than he misses, and the rogue is soon bleeding from many wounds. He still stands and his voice sounds pleased. "You fight like a man, sirrah, but appearances are deceiving!"
Suddenly from among the crowd of people, a dark-haired man pushes forward. "Get him, Trifaccia! I wish he would just go to hell where he belongs!"
Slumper: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Suddenly Slumper disappears in a flash of fire and brimstone!
One moment you were facing Trifaccia in the alley in Korvosa, the next you're staring out at a blasted landscape where the ground seems to be made of pulsing inflamed red flesh and rivers of blood flow across it. In the sky above, winged figures circle. They do not seem to have noticed you yet!
GM traveled this weekend. He's back now.
Valsin shakes his head. "I am assured," He glances at the Decemvirate member, "That you should be able to find a way back if you keep the refuge tokens. But we know very little. The sanctum is heavily warded against divinations and spells. As for his artifacts, expect them to be powerful. Plan accordingly."
Venture Captain Heidmarch smiles, but it is a tight, tired smile. However it is the flat, genderless voice of the masked Decemvirate member who answers, “We know very little of the sanctum itself. The Master of Scrolls speculates that harnessing as much rune magic as Krune supposedly can would require powerful foci. If you can identify what these are and disrupt them, Krune might lose his greatest weapon. If you cannot find such foci, your battle will be all the harder. Do not fail.” There is something ominous in the masked figure's finality.
If you have access to any of the following from chronicle sheets: Replica dragon tooth longspear (stage I), rod of runes, acrimony veil, Lissala’s caress, Sihedron brand (endurance), and Sihedron brand (service), then you may make use of them for free during this adventure. If you don't, the Society is providing the refuge tokens; the rest is up to you.