Julessa finally gets a break and wipes flour from her hands as she sits with Lubella.
”Yes, you know Well I would be very interested in helping the poor. The rulers of the city have no concern with the well being of the citizens...just lining their coffers and increasing their power. Just like their diabolical masters.“
Looking out the window with a sigh
”I wish I had time to do more. But call on me anytime. I am willing to face risks myself but I worry about my staff and their families should Thrunes and dottari lackies close my shop.“
Talvek is realizing how tricky the research Rexus has been doing can be.
” No worries. You will get the hang of it. My parents taught me much from my childhood, so I have an advantage. That and I have been at this three weeks. Your help is much appreciated. I feel we are so close!“
"I understand," Lubella replied to Julessa. As much as the she wanted to get things going right away, she couldn't ask her friend to expose her staff to reprisals.
"At some point we'll need a larger headquarters for the Silver Ravens, and hopefully we can find something suitable on this side of the river. That would make the logistics of food delivery a lot easier."
After chatting a bit longer, and another cup of coffee, Lubella got up and bid her friend farewell, "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you out, or if there's another note. I'll drop by again in a few days."
She walked back the way she had come and made her way to the bridge. Once again, she was cautious, taking a moment to assess the situation before crossing.
Assuming that it seems safe to cross, Lubella will return to the Wasp's Nest.
Julessa nods ”Absolutely. I will let you know if there are any more notes. I feel it was not a coincidence and is somehow tied into your whole mission. “
She waves goodbye and Lubella is able to navigate back to Longroads. The heightened security definitely slows travel, with more waiting and detours to avoid patrols and checkpoints.
Upon hearing about Rexus' report on his research, Lubella commented, "A song, that sounds interesting!" She was encouraged to finally hear that Rexus had discovered something they didn't already know about the Silver Ravens.
"Songs can be tricky, because people can take them the wrong way," she added ruefully. She was still smarting from the unfortunate reception of 'Drunken Sailor' at Clenchjaws.
She spent the rest of the afternoon checking through the inventory in the warehouse, and noting supplies that needed ordering.
After breakfast, Lubella's departure to track down weapons and Talvek going to help Rexus with the translations, the priest turned his mind towards matters of the divine. He gathered some of the team members he trusted and showed either an inclination towards revenge for lost loved ones or skill with a chisel and saw. He asked them for their help in identifying artisans and laborers who could be discrete, preferably already members of the movement, and could help repair the shrine. Given the location of the shrine beneath the city combined with the current state of affairs in Kintargo, he decided to dedicate the shrine more towards Calistria's spheres of revenge and trickery with less of an emphasis on lust. We can celebrate the flesh after driving out the Thrunes and Abadaran thieves.
A few more days pass as Lubella spreads rumors of Dottari incompetence and Aldren of Calistria's vengence.
Talvek continues to help Rexus on the document research.
Attrition: 1d20 ⇒ 15 Attrition: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Notoriety: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Treasury: 0 = 0
Rank: 0 = 0
Deposits: 0 = 0
*Earn Gold: 1d20 ⇒ 2 Security * Team = GP
*Recruit Team: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Event Change: 1d100 ⇒ 1
Event Type: 1d100 ⇒ 71
Red Nursery - Supporters: 1d6 ⇒ 1 join cause
Red Jills - Supporters: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 4) = 9 join cause
Red Jills - Donations: 3d10 ⇒ (8, 3, 3) = 14 gp to the rebellion’s treasury
A few of your supporters leave, citing concerns for their families. However, one more of Talvek's kin and a number from victims of the Jills appear at your doorstep making a tidy donation and offering their support.
We heard you had something to do with the fall of the Red Jills and we have vowed to support you as Guardians of the people of Kintargo!
Finally, a familiar face can be seen with a half dozen men.
I hope you remember me...Forvian Crow. We said we'd just need some time to mend our wounds. Now we are here to help. We can do whatever you need us to do agains Barzillai Thrune and his lackies. We want some level fo revenge for what they did to us in the Salt Works.
You gain a new team of Freedom Fighters the "Crows"
Lubella greeted the new arrivals. "Welcome aboard, Forvian; we're glad to have your help." She spent some time orienting the newly formed Freedom Fighter team, and getting them settled in.
Forvian replies Lubella.
We figured we owed you. Besides something has to be done. Rumors of doghousing are spreading. Others are filling in the gap left by the dwarf Kossrani and those like him.
A Chelish Citizens’ Group has taken matters into its own hands and is even performing a few unsanctioned doghousings, hoping to earn Thrune’s approval. I even heard a handful of them tried to nab Clenchjaw in his very own bar! Fortunately, some of his patrons came to his aid before he was dragged off.
Laria has a look of concern.
That is disturbing. Barzillai dislikes anyone taking matters into their own hands, and thus out of his, but he has done nothing to stop these events. They could come here or anywhere next!
Rexus, overhearing some of the conversation, chimes in as he pours another cup of coffee.
That's right. House Thrune will do anything to keep in power. This thugs are furthering that and giving them reason to increase martial law restrictions.
My mother, Porcia Victocora, was a member of a secret group of historians called the Sacred Order of Archivists. It was for this reason that she and her estate were targeted for destruction by Thrune.
"To be fair, we took matters in our hands as well, quite a few times. But these development are concerning." Talvek turns to Rexus with a musing expression. "I wonder if anything is left of this order. They may be helpful as allies, or even by providing information. Can you tell us any more about them?"
Knowledge local?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12 Or +9 for history.
Don't forget that Talvek gets to add free Inspiration (1d6) to Knowledge, Linguistics and Spellcraft checks.
Lubella listened to Forvian's account and declared, "We have to do something about this 'doghousing'! Do you have any idea about where this is taking place?" She wasn't one to sit by and wring her hands when things like this were happening.
Aldren listens with interest to these developments but, rather than the concern and alarm his comrades seem to be feeling, he is pleased with the news. The tightening fist of the Thrune overlords will only foment more resentment and anger. Things will get more dangerous and more people will be hurt, that much was true, but the opportunities for recruitment would also expand.
He kept these thoughts to himself. Mostly. A smirk might have slipped through for a few seconds.
Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
"Indeed, alarming developments. Thank you for sharing them, Forvian. I wonder if there's a way for us to strike at this Chelish Citizen's Group next... A move against the dottari may be too bold this soon, but a bunch of thugs masquerading as a militia?"
Forvian responds to Lubella and Aldren.
Yeah, old Barzillai has a knack for invention and an active imagination— particularly when it comes to methods, objects, and tools used to torture and torment infidels.
The brutal excruciation known as “doghousing” was his latest brainchild—a method of publicly executing a criminal by having him slowly eaten by feral dogs.
He pauses then continues.
Except who is an actual 'criminal' is subject to Barzillai's whim.
Lubella replied to Forvian, "Let me know if you find out anything more about where the excruciations are taking place. I'll see what I can find out myself."
The next day, Lubella will seek out rumors about the doghousing; she'll start by visiting Clenchjaw."
Intrigued by his connection to this mysterious group of Irorian historians, Talvek stays with Rexus to help him work through the documents - and hopefully to get more information out of him, although he understands that the topic is a painful one for the young man.
Linguistics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Knowledge history: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
The next day, Lubella prepares to head out to check on Clenchjaw and more on the excruciations. You hear a cry from upstairs...
Talvek and Rexus have a major breakthrough based on the help from the tiefling.
That's it! Talvek, you are brilliant! Thank you!
He dances around a bit before explaining.
The Silver Ravens were said to be able to use something called the “Song of Silver” to defend Kintargo when it was attacked by enemies, but sadly no additional information as to what this mysterious song was can be found in these notes.
Rexus implores Oh, you must keep an eye out for further clues as to this intriguing notation.
Lubella rushed upstairs to see what had happened. When she heard Rexus' explanation, she replied excitedly, "A magical song to defend Kintargo? That's amazing!" She knew how to use songs to counter sound-based magical and supernatural effects, but what Rexus was suggesting was far more powerful.
"I will definitely be looking into this! Somehow, I have to learn and sing this "Song of Silver!" She had visions of performing on stage in the Kintargo Opera House, to a packed house (she had no idea what the opera house even looked like inside, but she was determined to find out).
After the excitement had died down, she headed to Clenchjaw's. She sidled up to the bar and greeted the owner, "How are you doing Clenchjaw? I heard some Chelish Citizen Group thugs tried to abduct you! Are you OK?"
Lubella reaches the pub without incident.
Clenchjaw and his bar have a different atmosphere than experienced during the last visit.
Hey there. Yeah I'm doin' ok. Takes more than a couple punks to impound me. the large man forces a grin.
Punks I can handle. But if House Thrune comes, I won't be in business long. The so called ruling government did nothing to stop them. Leaving it up to me and my friends to fend off the zealots.
You can sense he is considering leaving the city.
What choices do I have?
Lubella could see that Clenchjaw was in a tough spot. "It would be very understandable for you to leave Kintargo for somewhere safer. I have to admit I would be sad to see you go — there's a lot of people here that would miss you."
She looked around to make sure no-one could overhear before continuing. "If you're looking for another option, there are people here who are striving to make the city a better place. You may have heard rumors that the Silver Ravens are back. They stopped the murders in the Hell's Nursery, and killed the leader of the Red Jills gang, who had been terrorizing Jarvis End.
"The Ravens aren't going to stand by while good people like yourself are attacked. I can't tell you what you should do, but if you want to stay and fight the good fight, I can arrange for a place for you to take refuge if things turn ugly. I think you could make a real difference in this city."
Diplomacy, taking 10: 10 + 11 = 21
It was risky to hint of her connection to the Silver Ravens to Clenchjaw, but the Ravens weren't going to overthrow Barzillai Thrune without bringing a lot more people into the movement.
”I appreciate the offer, miss. Really...and all the help. It is just a matter of time. If not me, then someone else will be grabbed. The problem starts at the top. Until that is fixed, none of us are safe. The Ravens didn’t fare any better the first time. Hopefully they have a better plan or more support this time around. But I ain’t gonna leave. If we do, they win.“
Lubella asked Clenchjaw, "Have you heard anything about where the 'doghousing' is taking place?"
She ordered an ale and talked with him for a while longer, before taking her leave. "I'll be in touch. Don't lose hope — the dawn brings new light!"
Lubella felt conflicted: to grow the Silver Ravens, she had to encourage people like Clenchjaw to join the cause, but that could easily expose them to greater danger. She responsibility for their well-being weighed heavily on her.
Aldren is largely consumed by planning the restoration of the shrine, but when he learns Lubella has gone off to Clenchjaw's, the opportunity for some early morning drinking is too good to pass up. Hopefully, he arrives before Lubella has departed.
He orders a shot of whiskey or other dark spirit and, if filled in on the highlights of the conversation so far, takes a slightly different tact. "What would convince you to stay open, my friend? What if something happened to these thugs, or if you got a new business partner, or partners? I think you're smart to realize things are likely to get worse, but we need loyal Kintargans to stand strong. With us divided, the Thrunes will win."
He tosses back another shot, slams the glass to the counter, then looks at the the barkeep and Lubella with a grin, "Here's a weird idea... why not invite the Thrunes in? Instead of trying to fend them off or defend against them, bring them in. Soldiers are the same everywhere. They like to drink and screw. And when they do either of those, they tend to talk. We could turn a problem into an opportunity."
One corner of his lips twitches as if he's not entirely sure of this idea himself -- it could put Clenchjaw at risk of being seen as a collaborator -- but if it worked...
Aye, ok. I will stay. But I won't be inviting any dottari or the Thrune himself to my bar. I won't stand for it...not after all they have done. I like you all, but I ain't eager to get any closer to them than I already am.
Jon Clenchjaw seems like he is convinced to stay around.
But I appreciate the offer to help. You are always welcome here, friends. he serves you drinks as long as you stay. Not much else happens here this day
You return back to the Longroads and it has been a relatively quiet day.
Rexus, taking a break from his and Talvek's work, greets Lubella and Aldren.
So, hopefully all went ok. How was Clenchjaw? I worry more townspeople will be targets of these attacks...just like my parents.
He stares out the window while holding his pot of coffee. Laria gives him a worried look.
Laria, I have a feeling...I am convinced my mother still lives, and that she’s been in hiding someplace.
Maybe still in the city. But where? Possibly in the stronghold of her order. I wish I knew for sure.
It pains me to think she could be locked in a dank dungeon cell or being tortured at the hands of the Thrune...or that hell-woman, Nox.
Lubella relied, "Hi Rexus! He's OK, just rattled after those thugs tried to abduct him. He was briefly considering leaving the city, but he's decided to stay. Regarding the attacks, I think we need to push back; we can't leave people like him undefended. First, we have to find out where the kennels are."
When Rexus mentioned the possibility of his mother being in hiding, she asked, "Her order has a stronghold? Do you know where it is, if you don't mind me asking?"
Rexus pauses, considering his words.
Yes, they do...or did. I am not sure. This may be a goose chase...or worse.
During the Night of Ashes, the Thrunes had very specific targets, and our home being one.
He sighs and looks at the floor, then looks at each of you with a mix of pleading and pain.
If nothing else, if you would perform one last favor for me...I would like the return of any of my mother's personal effects from the hideout, as all of those that had been stored at the manor were burned. I cannot go, as I have research here, and my appearance would draw unwanted attention.
Before I tell you, do I have your word of secrecy?
If you agree...if so read below...
Anyway, you cannot tell anyone but the Sacred Order of Archivists have long used chambers below a local museum of oddities called Hocum’s Fantasmagorium as a secret base of operations.
Talvek puts a hand to his heart, his expression solemn. "I swear on my mother, and my other mothers, and my sisters, and the revenge I swore against my father. May it all turn to ashes if I betray you, Rexus."
Lubella told Rexus, "Of course we'll look into it for you; It's the least we can do."
As secrets were the second trade of a Calistrian, the half-elf's word carried about as much water as a leaky bucket, but he offered it all the same, "Rex, you've been nothing but a faithful advisor and guide. Of course I'll keep your secret." And, oddly enough, Aldren truly had no scheme to betray that trust.
Laria nods to Rexus You know I will never betray you. You have too many of my secrets as well.
Very well. You have my everlasting thanks.
The museum of strange and unusual oddities has actually been closed for many years. It made a perfect base of operations. I am uncertain if the dottari have discovered it yet. So you may be in grave danger even going near it.
I have never been inside the chambers, but the mithral key that was among the things my mother left me supposedly opens many locks within the building.
Laria speaks words of encouragement. Well, color me silly. The Fantasmagorium being used as a safe house for the Sacred Order makes a lot of sense. Who knows what is in that dusty old place.
You could find additional clues if you investigate the Fantasmagorium. Maybe also of the Ravens.
Lubella suggested to the others, "Why don't we go and scout it out tomorrow? Beforehand, though, I'm going to stop in at the Warcage and see how my scimitar is coming along."
She asked everyone present, "Do any of you know someone who might have visited the place when it was open? It would be nice to have an idea of the layout before we go in."
Talvek shakes his head. "Not the kind of place that me or anyone I know would frequent. But now I am curious, and not just for what it might reveal about this order, or the Silver Ravens. 'The Fantasmagorium' rather rolls off the tongue, doesn't it..."
Aldren shrugs, "Short of storming the Opera House, this seems as good an endeavor as any. Why not?"
"What sort of exhibits are there?", Lubella wondered. "Are they the sort of thing that might come alive and attack us?"
Ready to move to the next day.
Laria and Rexus do not know anything about the museum. As far as they knew it was abandoned and never used.
Laria mentions. Back in my day, I would have my network of spies dig up information on the place. But sadly, those days are behind me.
If the PCs manage to recruit a team of saboteurs or spies, they can have the rebellion take covert or sabotage actions against Hocum’s Fantasmagorium as detailed in the Hell’s Rebels Player’s Guide.
A day later, while discussing how to handle the recent news, a few things happen of interest.
A messenger boy arrives in the morning at the Longroads and leaves a message for Lubella.
Rexus and Talvek continue their work on the documents.
We did it. This last piece was the most complex, but also the most informative. Rexus grins broadly to the tiefling.
This last section translated speaks of how the leaders of the Silver Ravens had seen the proverbial writing on the wall—they knew House Thrune was likely to seize control, and had come to the difficult decision to surrender should this event come to pass, hoping to prevent Thrune from razing Kintargo. Indications exist that the cache of treasure and documents hidden in the Fair Fortune were intended to serve as a sort of time capsule, should Kintargo forget the Silver Ravens with the passage of time.
And if they knew this, then I wonder if my mother knew about the Night of Ashes beforehand as well. I am sure she is either alive or has left additional clues.
Lubella replied to Laria, "I could always discreetly ask around in the neighborhood."
When the message arrived the next morning, Lubella had to struggle to contain herself. Her first instinct was to jump up on top of a table and do her happy dance, but that might have attracted undue attention from the other customers. "My mithril scimitar is ready!", she whispered excitedly to her friends.
She hurried to the Warcage to pick up her new blade: a weapon befitting a servant of Sarenrae. The paid Chucko the agreed amount, putting her in debt (she had to borrow some money from Talvek to finance the purchase).
It sounds like Talvek is busy helping Rexus this day, so she might as well Gather Information.
After picking up the scimitar, she crossed the Bleakbridge and walked to the Redroof district near Hocum’s Fantasmagorium. She spent some time asking around in the nearby market and tavern about the boarded up old building.
Diplomacy (gather information): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Hours to gather information: 1d4 ⇒ 2
"Ah, that is wonderful, let us hope your mother is still alive!" Talvek gives Rexus a one-armed hug as the man's enthusiasm about the fate of Lady Victocora is infectious.
"A shame about the Silver Ravens surrendering, I expect House Thrune did not treat them kindly." He frowns, lost in thought for a moment, then clenches a fist and glare at nothing in particular. "Not everyone in Kintargo has forgotten about them, though. We'll set things right. We must."
He pats the stacks of papers that they've been working on for the last few days (weeks, in the case of Rexus). "Do you still need my help with these? If not, I think I will go see what the others are up to, plan our next move."
Rexus responds to Talvek. ”No, I think that last bit was the only thing of interest. I can stay here and clean up the notes a bit. But if you can search the museum for my parents, I would be forever in your debt. “
Lubella wanders into the city to dig up any historical information on the museum.
Aldren or Arcos?
Lubella wondered about the story behind the Fantasmagorium. Had there really been enough people who were willing to pay to see oddities to support such a museum? She could see the possibility in Katapesh, but in a small city like Kintargo? It seemed a bit of a stretch.
Arcos' help gets Lubella a bit closer to someone who may know something about the dusty museum.
Aldren Gather Assist: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15 aid vs DC10
Aldren joins the other two and says he knows a guy who knows a guy...
Sorry, pushing this along since I will be driving most of the day tomorrow and Monday
The structure was the passion of a struggling stage magician and salesman named Braedan “Hocum” Azperex. The man had the building constructed a year after the Chelish Civil War ended, with the goal of “bringing whimsy and joy back to Kintargo.” His plan was to have the Fantasmagorium serve as a museum of fantastic oddities and “authentic” magical phenomena. His charm and showmanship transformed the bizarre concept into a minor success for many years, but when the exhibits (many of which were either grossly exaggerated or utter hoaxes) began to lose some of their novelty, the Fantasmagorium struggled to make ends meet. It finally went out of business 20 years ago, and Hocum died not long thereafter—the building has remained shut down and something of an eyesore ever since.
Arcos did not recall anything historically beyond that info above.
Lubella was disappointed that they hadn't managed to find someone who had any knowledge about what might be inside the abandoned building now. She walked by the exterior of the building and tried, without being too obvious about it, to figure out how one might gain entrance.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Depending on the time of day, she might try to meet up with Talvek (along with Arcos and Aldren), and break in to the Fantasmagorium.
Mid afternoon, after asking around about the museum, Lubella, Arcos and Aldren poke around the Red Roof District trying to spot a way into the old building.
Depending on how you want to handle Contacting Talvek and if you want to try entering during the day or night, you can try either. Best you can start if you contact him now is late afternoon as you wait for him to join you three here. Did you bring all gear and or wearing disguises?
Lubella consulted with Aldren and Arcos, "I think maybe it would be best to be in disguise when we enter the building — we don't know who or what is in there. We could return to the Wasp's Nest, disguise ourselves and return with Talvek this evening, or we could wait until tomorrow morning."