This is the start of Session 1 for book 3.
Some things to note:
If you could keep this thread clean and ask me questions in:
I will answer them.
Also my group uses my edited version of the Organization rules. See them here.
This is our party:
Level 11 Human Inquisitor named Span’ish (Spahn-eesh)
Level 11 Tiefling Warpriest named Maldrake (Mal-drake)
Level 11 Human Dread Necromancer named Naomi (Nay-oh-mee)
Level 11 Gathlain Druid w/Monster Companion Minotaur named Aramath and Rakkun Thunerslash Respectively. (Air-ah-math) (Rack-kune)
Level 11 Drow Noble Arcanist named Elkraen (El-kreen)
Level 11 Elf Sorcerer named Dardala (Dar-dah-la)
Level 5 Firbolg Barbarian named Tiny (Tie-nee)
The story begins on the Seventh Voyage taken from Traya’s Raiders in book 2. They receive 30k in emeralds from Tiadora, The Tears of Achlys, and Thorn's Note.
With only 4x Teleport spells available from Elkraen, they decide the following to get everyone and their minions to Ghastenhall. Elkraen had previous been to the city when he was much younger (teens) and had a familiarity with the area.
Artephius the Alchemical Golem
Posca the priest
two npcs Tsabo and Gerard (level 3 torture inquisitors)
Carnitheria Rex the nightmare
Rocket a former familiar Imp from a slain player
He transported one Large creature, and a Maldrake (who refused to travel is such ridiculous states, Normally. They used two portable holes to stick everyone else in and stopped a the farmlands to the east of the city.
Gastenhall Day 1 – Dardala
Dardala - She started by going to Scarpers and along the way was approached by fortune teller. (I had a stack of magic the gathering cards that had specific names/artwork)
First she began talking about the vale. How it provided food, inspiration, and harvest! (Bounty of the Hunt, Invigorate, Harrow)
"How I love giving great fortunes as much as I love seeing you get them!"
Second she talked about King Marcadian along side the power of Mitra to strike down the bugbears to the north. (Castle, Karmic Justice, Goblin War Drums)
"See, Mitra blesses us and the king!"
Third she talked about the righteous cause of Mitra along side the legendary Phoenix which watches over the vale. She was truly happy after this series of cards. (Righteous Cause, Kuldotha Phoenix, Safe Haven)
"Oh yes, how the Phoenix watches over the vale. I've never seen it myself but I believe it is there!"
Fourth she talked about how gloomy even the Angel's mitra can get during winter. (Tundra, Gloom, Angel of Salvation)
"Fear not young one, even mitra's chosen dislike the winters of the vale!"
At this point, I asked for a sense motive check. With no ranks but a +2 naturally, she rolled well and still was able to tell that this Fortune Teller was happy and truthful in her fortune. She believed what she as saying!
Fifth she was thrown off guard. A startling set of cards appeared and she weeped a bit and apologized. (Unspeakable Symbol, Dread Statuary, Dark Ritual)
"This must be a simple cross planed mistake. My fortunes have never done this before! Besides there is only one unspeakable symbol and *whispers* we do not speak his name."
Sixth she was trying to recompose her self shaking only slightly at this point. (Extinction, Bane of the Living, Desolation)
"OH NO! NO! NO! IT CAN'T BE. WHAT IS THIS! NO THIS MUST BE WRONG!"
Seventh she was visibly upset and shaking horribly. So badly in fact that she dropped the cards onto the table. (Contamination, Contagion, Pestilence)
"WHAT IS THIS! WHAT IS THIS! Could it be that Ghastenhall is a city on death's door? I must be going."
At this point, she rushes off and closed the curtains to her tent. I play an audio of a crying woman.
Dardala -- Heads over to Downerly to which I read the typical entry from the book and she then goes to Saltsquarter.
She hears about the rumors of Iris of Ghastenhall and tries some Blood Rum and some meat. She remarks of how spicy it all is.
Gastenhall Day 1 – Maldrake
Maldrake travels directly to Priest’s quarter and is approached by two nut bags who scream out they are here to take over the militia and vanquish evil. Before he arrived however, he caught a rumor from a local outside café.
Rumor of a medusa in the north.
He agrees and says ”Take me to the blacksmith, and we shall get weapons for the cause!” this riles up the crackpots and they start to lead him. They don’t get much farther than the Library of Ghaster before they start fighting with each other over the armor they should be getting and Maldrake quickly realizes this is pointless and slips away.
He asks a local guard “Where can one go about buying housing here?” the guard tells him he is very close the Library of Ghaster where he can fill out the required form and get a company with the Duke to decide where he would be able to purchase.
He goes to the Library and pays his entry fee and gets a form for housing. He then proceeds and is approached by a friendly old fellow who asks what he needs. Maldake asks to see the section to learn about Medusas and perhaps the history of that medusa.
The nice old man introduces himself as Brother Barnibus Thrane and if he needs anything else to just ask. However since Maldrake chose Aasimar as the form to disguise himself as, Barnibus detected magic on him. Barnibus whispered, “Careful with such magic around here”.
Maldrake asks him whom he serves and gets only knowledge in return and agrees to come to the symposium tomorrow night.
Gastenhall Day 1 – The rest of the party.
After leaving the farmlands they go right to Lasthome the manor on the edge of the city. They remove the lock and the doors are barred. Aramath Turns his Minotaur into a small statue the size of his hand and slipped him under the door and touch him to return him to his size. Rakkun lifted the bar and let the party in.
At his point Aramath and Naomi lost interest with the Manor and went on further into the city.
Tiny, who was turned down to smash the door down instead went to the Red Quarter.
Gastenhall Day 1 – Span’ish
Span’ish scouted the Manor, using survival to track footprints of first child sized dwarven footpits, into drag marks, and they vanished. Upstairs he found a dumbwaiter and sent his mithral cobra gauntlet (some magic item he has) and scouted all the way down to the basement where it found the secret cave.
Span’ish sent his mitral cobra down the cave and it ran into two Druegar. Though he didn’t know that’s what these were. They threw the cobra back out the entrance and hid.
Span’ish turned invisible and stealthed by the invisible Druegar. And when his invisibility wore off he just kept walking. He went for almost two hours until I told him to roll a wisdom check. I advised him eventually Span’ish is wise enough to know he needs to report this back to the party. He agreed.
He discovered no creatures but knew there was at least three caves to go down.
Ghastenhall Day 1 – Aramath and Naomi
Aramath and Naomi take a trip to the area called Gold Quarter. When they arrive they are approached by a Human selling a coupon for Mr. Vex’s arena fight’s entry fee. 50g for Half off the price! Naomi doesn’t buy into it, but Aramath did. Aramath decides this strange city is too much for him and goes back to the Manor at the edge of town instead. Aramath did seem to be pleased with is purchase.
Before they both departed the mysterious man said “ Did you hear about the new magic item salesman? It’s said that Murdo’s Magnificent Magical Menagerie has wonders beyond count! But it is closed right now! ” They both could hear the man under his breath as he was leaving “Fools” and was gone.
Naomi went to this Murdo’s Magnificent anyway and found it to be open and there was a gnome in there. He offered her a monocle that for 3 hours a day at midnight you could see anything! Only 300gp! Naomi said “Why don’t we wait until midnight then?”
Quickly Murdo replied, “Oh no, that cannot be I already have a buyer by then so sorry! ”
Naomi simply said goodbye and turned out to find that fake they talked to earlier. It did not take long. She found a person trying to sell things but not piece of paper. She asked if he had seen this human that scammed Aramath. With a very great perception check she noticed that his human’s shabby disguise was coming apart as though it was hastily put together and might even be magical.
Naomi reveals her dread face and causes the fraud to be paralyzed for 1 round and takes his pouch filled with 50g exactly from today’s scam and a stack of similar coupons. She whispers to him, “Do not scam anyone of my friends again. “ And walks off. Naomi starts dishing the coupons out to people and gives Aramath his money back. Naomi says “Watch your gold more closely.
Ghastenhall Day 1 – Tiny
Tiny had a short but busy day. He went first to the Red Quarter and did not disguise himself, he only reduced person. Which means he was a medium Firbolg holding a large Nodachi. He was still wearing his mithril armor and it stood out. He soon noticed he was being followed and went to an alley with a dead end. These two large sized humanoids (giant templated humans) threatened him and he simply put on his Enlarge Person Circlet (always on) and removed his reduce person and became his normal size of almost 32 Feet Tall and 3 tons. The two ran off. He returned back to his normal state.
Tiny went to a near by bar and with some quick banter paid the Bartender some gold asking about any gladiator fighting. He introduced him to Mr. Vex. Mr.Vex was doubtful of this normal sized person. He said Why should I consider you?
At this point Tiny returns to his Huge state. Mr.Vex grabs a ladder and leans it up against the Tiny. He puts an arm on his shoulder and says “You will be great I’ll call you THE BARBARIAN!”
Tiny returns back and causes Mr.Vex to fall off the ladder. He goes over the details and Tiny Agrees and he will be back on Saturday.
Ghastenhall Day 1 – Elkraen
Elkraen was the last to take an notice to Ghastenhall. He only explored a couple streets. He ran into a small boy around Old Weatherby Lane and the boy asked if he was part of the Militia. The Drow Noble simple rebuffed him and said “No, what a ridiculous question. ” The boy with a sad face and a broken shortsword simply started to sulk away.
Elkraen put a hand on the boy and handed him a silver piece and asked for information. With excitement he exclaimed “W,w,w,ell what do you want to know?! Um, there are strange beings in the Saltsquarter things like Lizardfolk and Minotaurs! And and and and um, the Red quarter is a dangerous place. But not as dangerous the bogey man! Prince Gaius Vestromo! He is a VAMPIRE!”
With a roll of his eyes Elkraen simply said to the children ”Leave me, I do not have time for your childish rants!” He felt great about hurting the kids feelings.
The child said “O --- K-----BYYYEEEE and weeps away. Elkraen smiles.
Meet up at the Lasthome Manor
The group reunited and told each other about the rumors they learned. (At this point every one of them in the book and half the interesting places in the book have been revealed)
They have decided to meet with Thrane tomorrow night.
The party doesn’t know that they were almost scouted. But due to overwhelming forces, they didn’t.
Ghastenhall Day 2 – Breakdown
Maldrake went to the Library of Ghaster and began to study the legend of this Medusa.
Tiny after hearing about this famous spicy soup, he ordered 8 Scarper’s Stew to test his limits. After the fifth I started making him roll fortitude saves. He failed three and after the other three the DC was getting worse. He simply passed out with nausea, vomit, and crapped himself. The bar tender took 2g and they wheeled his large and stinky self out.
Naomi also joined Tiny but used prestidigitation to remove the spiciness in homes of taunting Tiny a bit. It worked but also didn’t. She still had to make saves and stopped much sooner than Tiny and was only nauseated for a couple hours every 15 mins.
Naomi then intrigued by the boy Elkraen, searched for him and found him quiet easily and convinced him to come with her. Bluffed and convinced the boy that she was part of the militia.
Elkraen – Went to the Library of Ghaster to begin to understand the true power of the Tears.
Dardala Span’ish Aramath chose to go with Maldrake.
The meeting with Thrane
Queue “The Trial” from the Chrono Trigger Sound Track
- They learn about their new villa.
- They party does aggravate Thrane enough to have to prove himself to them.
- They learn about the Vampire. Elkraen says “So it wasn’t just a tall tale”
- They give him the tears and get their gems.
- They learn a little about the Medusa. Thrane apologizes for not going into detail in person he had to keep up appearances. He tells them the tale of Izevel. But is not sure where her ruins are.
- They learn a little more about the Vale.
“The Vale of Valtaerna? Of course I know the place. I have made the pilgrimage several times and even held audience with the head of the Order of Saint Macarius Earnan MacCathlain. The Vale is a beautiful place but too placid for my tastes. The residents of that Vale are so locked in tradition and orthodoxy that it takes a dozen prayers and a week of consultation with the Lord-Abbot for them to change the color of their socks. What would you like to know about the Vale?”
- In asking about where medusa may be, he says where ever she is you will have to go to the vale.
“There is a contingent of holy warriors commanded by the Captain of the Watchtower. At least fifty men I think. There are also two strange statues in the causeway. I have never seen them move, but it is persistently rumored that they are some sort of golem. I know not the truth of this.”
“It is difficult to be sure. I believe there were once more than five hundred plus a contingent of dwarves. But I think it likely some of them have been called to the war. How many are there today? I cannot say. But it is not the soldiers that should worry you. There are rumors of all sorts of celestial beings from the higher realms that reside in that place. Those are your true enemies.”
Before they go, he tells the party:
“There is one more thing. Something I came across in one of my tomes. Saint Macarius founded the order that bears his name but he wasn’t the only saint that order produced. Saint Angelo called the Wise was perhaps the greatest devil hunter this island ever produced. Though long dead, it is said he captured many artifacts of Father’s faith. Those that he could destroy, he did. But a few – and this is where it caught my attention – a few he could not destroy. Those he had placed within a great vault and hidden from the world. My source does not say where the vault is. I’m not even completely sure it is in Valtaerna. But I do know this – Saint Angelo commanded these evil artifacts placed where the “Sun never Sets”. That could be a poetic way of referring to the Vale with its eternal flames.”
Excited with the new-found house they start taking their places.
Naomi – Puts the child into the west wing of the 3rd floor. Bluffs him into staying instead of going back to his parents. Said that she would let his parents know of him joining the militia.
Span’ish – Asks the first servant he meets to rub his feet.
Otherwise nothing else much happens.
The Creation of The Claw
The Claw is the name of the Council of the Wicked the party created.
Are their starting scores.
General 1 Grumblejack
General 2 Rocket
General 3 Artephius, Alchemical Golem
General 4 Titus “Trik” Rackburn
General 5 Carnatheria Rex
General 6 Gerard the Sickener
General 7 Tsabo the Shaker
General 8 Posca the Merchant
General 9 Hellhound
Are their Starting Generals.
Span’ish send Tsabo and Gerard for a legit enterprise with a DC of 15.
Maldrake sent Possca in convert any hopefuls from the Spread Disinformation of Elkraen with a DC of 12.
Tiny took a big risk by sending Carnetheria Rex and Hellhound to steal spell components with a DC of 13
Naomi sent Rocket out to scout for a possible Heist. DC 15
Elkraen sent Titus to spread disinformation about a new Militia starting to take down the evil plague of bugbears! DC 16
Aramath sent Grumblejack out to Hunt Beast DC 8.
Dardala sent the Golem with specific instructs to scout the tunnels in the Lasthome manor, split the week in half use half to explore and the other half to return. Kill anything that tries to stop you and bring the bodies to us.
Is the first week’s actions taken.
Before meeting the Prince
The party did similar things as to yesterday, using the library and such. The only two who stepped out were Maldrake and Tiny, who went to the Priest quarter and Red Quarter respectively. Tiny went to ask more details about the fighting pit and Maldrake found the same crackpots talking about a new mission! To shut down the golden palace.
Maldrake played along and followed them as they crashed into the Golden Palace entry way as Tiny was talking to Mr Vex. Tiny dealt enough Non-lethal damage to these two idiots that he left them almost death. Maldrake and Tiny picked them up and brought them back to the villa.
The meeting with Vestromo
The Party was SOOO READY to do this. Though they were on the road of, we’re going to get HIM to become a general. (I’ll admit it, I laughed to myself a little).
They take some knowledge checks to get a rough understanding of Vampires.
I tell them:
- Some can be quite proper
- Some can be arrogant
- Some can be charismatic
- Vampires are undead
- Vampires are averse to sunlight, garlic, holy symbols
- They cannot enter to a domain without a person of authority allowing them to do so.
- They can create spawn
After that, they proceed. It isn’t a great challenge of course this is his home. After only about 15 mins going into a mausoleum they are stopped by a swirling patch of leaves and dust and within only an instant ----
Vestromo: Vestromo: “ Vell, Vell, Vell. What do Ve have herrre? It quite extrrraorrrdinarrry to see zis prrrincipal meal be so audacious and enter my domain Parrrdon me. Ourrr domain. ”
*Vestromo looks to the left, and looks to the right. 12 Vampire spawn appear around him..
“Since you have kome all zis vay. Please Amuse us. I kan tell you arrre not herrre forrr trrrophy. If I find yourrr intrrrusion amusing I may allow you to leave and live.”
Everyone bowed, Naomi made the child bow to the vampire.
Maldrake – Served as pretty much party leader here. Though Span’ish took charge with most of the discussion who also has the lowest Charisma. Maldrake obtained quite a lot of info about Iris of Ghastenall. He offered the two crackpots he caught earlier who stormed into the red quarter. He agreed to get an angel and his chalice for the great Vestromo
Also he sensed the motive of Vestromoand detected that he was getting visible upset over Dardala’s bumbling after already being angered by Tiny’s misspeak.
Dardala – Kept quiet until spoke too. Once done she merely said I think you are awesome and cool. Vestromo replied “What is cool? Why do you state odd facts to me? I am undead of course I am always cold.”
Aramath Kept quite only when spoke to and even then was brief to say along the lines of “We will take your aid and thank you and get you what you ask.
Elkraen Kept quite only when spoke to and only spoke along the lines to say “Our aid is yours and yours ours. We shall retrieve what you ask. Vestromo smiles and warns Careful around my city my Dark Skinned friend.
Naomi “I bring you a gift. And pushes the child towards him. The boy screams only a moment and is dominated into silence and commanded to sit and drop his sword. He does so.
Vestromo asks to Naomi ”While I appreciate the gift I must ask are you new here? Have you never heard of my Blood Tax? Let me explain. I feed on the poor and the criminal. This boy as far as I know is neither. Did you deal with his parents? What do they know of his fate? I cannot accept such a risk. ”
Naomi watches as Vestromo command one of his Vampire Spawn to escort the boy out of the Cemetery and that he is to be unharmed. The boy has wet himself profusely at this point.
Naomi continues “So you do not feed on the enemy of the father? The Mitran’s get a pass?”
Vestromo laughs at the thought of gods and devils. ”I have an agreement in my City and I am a man of my word. Feel free to destroy all you like in the vale.”
Naomi begins to Detect Undead and learns that it would be unwise to anger these 12 spawn or the great Prince. ”Very well, thank you for you help”
Tiny did not have a lot to say because he only got a few words out ”We plan to take over the city ”
With no effort or warning Vestromo flies into his face and his 12 spawn are upon him. ”WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY CITY?!”
Maldrake interjects, he misspoke. We care not about doing harm to your city. We mean to strike the Vale!” Maldrake rolls a diplomacy check and smooths that interaction over enough to not get anyone killed.
Vestromo orders his spawn to surround Tiny and if he speaks again he dies.
Span’ish Begins by bantering with the great prince over the aid of only 10 minions. He wants the Prince himself to fight with them and join them. Vestromo is not having it and is increasingly become more annoyed with this Human. Span’ish with his bumbling social skills mentioned that he could join him and be a part of his family. Vestromo misunderstanding Span’ish intentions confused it as a request to join the Vestromo family.
Vestromo “You have to do more for me if you want to be a part of MY family. You must get me the blood of an angel, a living angel!”
Span’ish continues by trying to dicker with the price and offered just any old celestial.
Vestromo looks over to his spawn and starts to indicate them to move away from Tiny. Quick on his thinking Maldrake Senses his motives once more and interjects. ”Span’ish and Tiny, why don’t you go get our crack pot guests for our good Prince, yes?”
They agree and take leave. Maldrake closes the conversation with a polite recap and everyone rolls a diplomacy check and narrowly passes and gets the aid of the all powerful
Prince Gaius Vestromo, Vampire Prince of Ghastenhall
OOC: Sometimes after a session if I know we will be progressing forward in time to a specific event I will let the players out of session use some downtime. Since the session ended on what would normally have been say a Wednesday, I gave them 16 hours of downtime for Thursday and Friday because Saturday will be the start of an arena battle.
Decided to study up on gaze attacks at the local Library of Ghaster. A huge library. One that allows the study of just about any non-banned subject material. He also wanted to study the legend of the medusa.
Legend of the Medusa
Local Legend after your intense studying you have come to find that whatever this Legend of Isabel or isivell or Isabella and sometimes just called Bella Aiza and Lisa you're not sure what the true name of this person or thing. Scattered among the pages and they date back to almost the beginning of GhastenHall and even then they were still just rumors.
Some reports in these pages say that many nights have tried to take her down to the West some say to the South and some say to the east none of them say to the north this could be a true statement or it could be the work of superstition of people not wanting to believe there could be a Medusa in the Veil.
So, you learned that with gaze attacks there isn't much on the mundane route other than adverting your eyes. Directly looking at something with a gaze attack can leave you vulnerable. You read tales of great basilisk battles where the knights would avert their eyes with a half chance of avoiding the gaze at the cost of a 50% miss chance to swing.
Turning one's back, closing eyes, or wearing a blind fold is another way to deal with it. You didn't seem to find much in this wing that would lead you to any actual magic or items to deal with the problem. Best to ask locally.
Naomi spent quite a lot of time gathering information and learning about vampires. She spent so much time researching vampires that she learned in great details of the spawns of vampires and that true vampires are very much the same but more powerful.
With her second day, she spent quite a lot of just canvasing the area. She discovered:
1. A rumormonger has you concerned. You overheard: So much wickedness has befallen Talingarde in the last year -- the breaking of the Watch Wall, the Fire Axe’s invasion, the strange doings in Farholde. Can there be any doubt of the cause? The minions of hell are still among us! The dark prince sets his will against us! Who will save us?
2. There are dwarves in the mountains who’ve been touched by the enemy! How long will it be before these dark dwarves ally with the Fire-Axe?
3. You have learned that there are pilgrimages to the vale. They are not pricey at all.
4. Did you hear that there is a Private Organization called "The Claw" that is recruiting for the war! I might just do that. Being a merc can pay well!
5. Did you hear? One of Mister Vex's beast that he plans to have for the 3rd or 4th week has escaped into the sewers of ghastenhall!
6. A guard from Branderscar prison has moved to Ghastenhall and on a crowded city street he was ranting and raving that he swears he saw those prisoners of branderscar prison was in farholde and they might be here! You learn his name to be Allan Hopper.
7. Crime lord Nicholas Breuder wants his rivals slain and he wants it done by an outsider so it cannot be traced back to him.
8. Anti-Asmodeus hysteria has started sweeping the city. The duke places a fifty gold bounty on the heads of every worshipper of the Prince of Hell. You feel no real danger of course. But think, who could you turn in for the money?
9. Spending a little more time in the lord's quarter you over hear: There is a persistent rumor that Duke Hadrian is mad. He does not stop these rumors and in fact subtly encourages them. There is an oft circulated story for example of
how he once roamed the entire Castle Ghasten in nothing but his crown. He even had dinner and received foreign dignitaries this way, the tale insists This story is not exactly true though it has a kernel of truth. The duke often dresses outlandishly wearing garments of vibrant colored silk. The royal tailor decided this was inappropriate and took it upon himself to replace the duke’s entire wardrobe with more fashionable and presentable attire. The tailor was certain that when the Duke saw the garments, he would recant from his eccentricities. Instead the duke strolled out in the buff in front of the tailor, tossed the tailor’s garments into his face and told him “I’d rather wear nothing than this rubbish” and stormed back into his private chambers.
10. At the Lord's Quarter you observe: Lord’s Quarter is a small city unto itself and the nobles, upper class and wealthy population who dwell here need never leave if they so choose. It is the only part of town that is walled and it has but a single gate -- The Duke’s Gate (often simply the Gate since its the only gatehouse most city dwellers every encounter). Beyond the gate is King’s Hook Row which leads straight to the Castle Ghasten where the Duke lives and garrisons his personal guard. Technically the Duke’s Gate is supposed to be open to all citizens but in reality the guards there often turn back the obviously poor or vagrant.
11. The Duke is unmarried and the city’s most eligible bachelor Duke Hadrian is in his early thirties, handsome and quite the ladies man. Yet he remains unmarried. This must change soon. The duke needs an heir! But the question on everyone’s mind is who the lucky lady will be. The duke has already rejected the usual suspects amongst the aristocracy. Could it be the duke plans to marry a peasant? Such a scandal!
12. In regards to wroship and prayer The tradition is that the sermon cannot continue longer than it takes the small traditional wax candles to burn (which is about thirty minutes). Every follower of Mitra has heard the joke about the priest and his wicked congregation that begins with him hauling in a candle the size of a tree trunk.
13. In the priest quarter listening during a moment of worhsip in the church, you over hear something in Celestial or similar (broken, recited, almost memorized). Like a chant. It is heard multiple times in the day as you pass by here.
14. An interesting bit of juicy advice you intimidated out of a 2nd tier priest on his way to home for dinner: The Church of Mitra has three objectives which inevitably entangle in political matters: 1) Keep House Darius on the Throne of Talingarde 2) Keep Foreign Gods out of Talingarde 3) Limit the Influence of Scholars and Wizards
Too bad for him he didn't make it in time for his soup and crab. He ended up in the red quater in a garbage bin. Don't worry, no one saw you.
15. At the ghaster university you can over hear: "Knowing even a little necromancy or how to summon a fiendish creature can earn you being purged with flame. Can you believe it!?!"
16. The true number of members in the Inquistion is 20 or less. Though it was rumored that Harkkon one of the most feared member's of the Inquisitor was slain in the Caer Bryr.
17. Remember that priest you killed, well you took the his partner out to lunch, "he paid of course" and you had a very enlightening discussion on the faithful and their magic.
Most priests of Mitra go their entire life without casting a single “spell”. Actual spellcasters remain a rarity within the Church. Very few of the High Cardinals have been spellcasters. And even now only three of the Cardinals can perform even a few minor divine spells. This doesn’t mean the other clergy are unfaithul or somehow lesser. Mitra chooses few to channel his divine might so directly. Official church orthodoxy is this. Being a spellcaster does not entitle you to any special treatment within the church hierarchy. It means that Mitra has a purpose for you. Spellcasting is never bestowed without a reason. It is your sacred duty to find that purpose and see that it is fulfilled. The hierarchy of Church tries their best to both recognize and respect these callings. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
18. In the red quarter there are rumors that one of the local magic shops was hit, and lost i hear over 15,000 in spell components!
19. You overheard that Mathias Richter, the former Warden of Branderscar Prison has moved to Ghastenhall. He was found drinking a local tavern telling the stories of how his final group of prisoners escaped. He woke up the next day and everyone was dead and he was left alive. He ranted that he was chosen and will thinks he will find out about those prisoners. You know him to be an old aristocrat wizard.
20. That g!+ d&$n Lasthome Manor. I AM TELLING YOU IT IS HAUNTED! I heard something, clanging around in there at night. Yelling "UNKNOWN ENEMIES" "MASTER" and I even saw a flash of light from the basement windows I'm staying well away of that damn place.
Tiny was on a quest to apprehend the two goons who tried to mug him and bring them back to Prince Vestromo. His tactics at first were not well thought out. He went around first as guard asking for these two. Nothing seemed to show up. He then tried as a Gnome. He didn’t think about the aspects of a medium sized gnome however and people were generally not receptive to his audience.
He then tried then an elf and got a little further along. And when that led him to the Red Quarter he tried his best to learn about these ruffians.
He got their names, Duff and Calgary. They were low ranking thugs of the Crime lord Nicholas Breuder.
Soon he made his way to the Golden Palace and decided to speak with Mr. Vex about these ruffians. It was figured out that they frequented this bar after dark. He asked Mr. Vex if he would miss this. He simply said he would not allow bloodshed in his establishment. But what happens on the streets of Red Quarter at night stays there.
Tiny reduced himself and changed himself to look like an elf again to dupe them into coming work for them. First he asked if they wanted to make some money. Offering manual labor. The bluff fell flat. They were not interested. Then he tried to convince them that they needed to come with him because he’s got a great job for them and that job is to rob the local church.
This only failed hard and they were tired of being interrupted. Duff and Calgary said Tiny had better leave or he will regret saying another word. Tiny as the elf simply said well I suppose to better take me on out of here then.
So, they did, and as they got to the nearby alley where they tried to jump him earlier in the weak he enlarged and struck them down unconscious.
The gift to Vestromo
That night of the kidnapping Tiny had taken the two to the villa. To pass the time he crafted a golden ring for himself. And once nightfall came he took the two of them to the cemetery. When Tiny was stopped by the Prince, the encounter was violent but the Prince was not pleased to see him. Tiny respectfully bowed and said I have your gift for you and throws Duff and Calgary to the prince.
Vestromo asks where they came from and he explained. Being as diplomatic as he possibly could and exchanged his freedom from being killed by this Prince for these two-future spawns. Vestromo looked up and shrugged and began to feast. Tiny took his exit in grace.
The Drow noble almost instantly upon discovering the Library Ghaster, started researching the Tears of Achlys. He spent part of his time learning just how terrible of a weapon they have delivered to Thrane.
After that he wanted to learn about the Chalice of Aurelius. However, he diverted to set a meeting with Thrane personally to discuss it. Thrane advised Elkrean to come back Friday evening. Which he did. The transcript that followed is that interaction.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Good evening.
Elkraen: I thank you for this hasty meeting this evening
Elkraen: Yes the Prince was an interesting find
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Now my faithful what can I do for this solo meeting. I noticed you studying much over the last few hours today.
The Prince? The duke you mean?
Elkraen: Yes, my apologies much excitment and I don't want to talk about the spicey stew
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): You met the duke?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) steps back and eyes you closer.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): You don't mean... THAT Prince, do you?
Elkraen: The vampire
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) Steps back and sits down astonished.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): That is quite remarkable. How did you manage that?
Elkraen: creature of the night, advisor in the shadows apparently Followed up on rumors in the cemetary. They paid off but our bunch was almost too foolhardy
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Oh come now, don't be so quaint. I've never met him. That is a feat of the ages i'd say. What did he tell you?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) seems honestly amazed at this.
Elkraen: We struck a possible deal with him
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): For the assault on the vale?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) looks at you hopeful.
Elkraen: He is very protective of this settlement
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): You didn't... mention the tears to him.
Elkraen: No word was spoken of them as i recall
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) leans back in his chair and sighs with relief.
Elkraen: I would imagine he may have scrying eyes based on his hold here though
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Thank the father. If you had you or I perhaps might not make it through the night. No one is scrying in this room. I promise you that. I take great pains.
Elkraen: Yes, you are a worthy follower
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): That is an amazing report. Thorn himself would be pleased.
Elkraen: and know all too well how much secrecy is needed
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Find everything you need in the great Ghaster Library?
Elkraen: Yes, I do have some questions that may reduce my research
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I serve knowledge. What is it you seek?
Elkraen: What can you tell me of St Angelo?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) nods.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Much to tell. He is known as the greatest demon hunter of all history.
Elkraen: If only he knew.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Saint Angelo called the Wise was perhaps the greatest devil hunter this island ever produced. Though long dead, it is said he captured many artifacts of Father’s faith.
Those that he could destroy, he did. But a few – and this is where it caught my attention – a few he could not destroy. Do not be fooled. He may be dead but his body is at rest in the Cathedral.
Elkraen: Have you ever encountered any footnotes about where he may have placed these relics?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): His name has preceded him with out a doubt. Well, I know they are in a vault in the cathedral. I've never been to the cathedral. Unfortunately Thorn's... let us say devotion from his past life assured that.
I only barely avoided the Pyre of the Inquisition you undertand.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) Looks worried as though remembering a terrible time.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): The Cathedral of the Mitra Made Manifest
Elkraen: are there any forgotten entrances in the underworld to there?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Those he had placed within a great vault and hidden from the world. My source does not say where the vault is. I’m not even completely sure it is in Valtaerna. But I do know this – Saint Angelo commanded these evil artifacts placed where the “Sun never Sets”. That could be a poetic way of referring to the Vale with its eternal flames. I only assume the cathedral is where it would be.
Elkraen: regardless with no other leads it may be the best possible place to start
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Entrances to the underworld? What do you mean son? Do you mean in the Cathedral itself?
Elkraen: forgotten catacombs under the cathedral or similar caverns surely over the years they buried deep anyways
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Well, I can say there is a catacomb for the revered dead. But it was purposed built from what I have heard. I cannot say if there is an underground tunnel. The cathedral is not a place where they need to hide in the dark.
Elkraen: Mitrans never could find proper uses for a corpse
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) nods, and grins.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): As far as I can tell the only entrace is through the front door. That is of course only the first of many "doors" One does not simply walk to the Cathedral.
Elkraen: hmmm it will be difficult to pass.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): It's not entirely impossible. We must be careful. First there is the watch tower you understand.
Elkraen: what doust thou mean?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Pilgrims to Valtaerna take three days to walk to the Vale. They take a very particular route stopping at a number of shrines each dedicated to various saints, martyrs and important figures of the Mitran Faith. They then spend three days in the Vale and then make the Pilgrimage back -- a nine day trip. These nine-day holy pilgrimages are constantly organizing in the Priest’s Quarter of Ghastenhall and a paid guide will see to all the practical matters for 2 gp per pilgrim. That is just to get the city of Sanctum. The Watchtower is the check point for all.
Elkraen: Probably would be easy to hide in the group but doubt we would pass through checks that way
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Oh, don't be so pessimistic. You can buy a scroll of Undetectible alignment from a number of shops To enter the Vale you must cross the two bridges of Saintsbridge beyond the Watchtower.
Elkraen: hmmm true that would cover use quite well
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Shall i go through the pilgrimage's travels?
Elkraen: yes please continue
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I've done it myself and led a few groups in my time. Once inside the Vale, you lodge within the township of Sanctum, a small place mostly populated with priests and guards. Sanctum sits on the banks of the beautiful Lake Parynthus, famed for its healing waters.
Elkraen: those guards are often overconfident too if something did happen
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): You are learning fast. That is why we choose winter. Inside the Vale is the legendary Mountain of the Phoenix. This spire of stone seems impossible to climb yet every true priest of Mitra must accomplish the feat. Atop the spire there is a flame that never dies. Further still in the shadow of Mount Mitrandius is the famed Garden of Serenity and the Cathedral of Mitra Made Manifest. No one goes there but Mitra’s chosen. It is said that true devotees of mitra must climb that mountain with no aid to prove themselves.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) shakes his head.
Elkraen: i think i could manage if it came down to it
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Maybe so. I can't really say. I've never been that far before.
Elkraen: do you know how tall it is?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): The mountain of the Phoenix?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) thinks to himself. As if trying to calculate an estimate.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): If I had to guess, maybe a thousand feet? I could research it tomorrow and let you know if you like. We don't have to meet in secret for that. However, I recall something. You had that ring. That ring of Iris.
Elkraen: a rough estimate should be fine yes
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I can't be sure because the Duke is highly eccentric, but perhaps a favor that could be asked is a personal guided tour. I don't know how far he would take you. But it might give you a good idea as well.
But is tall. Elkraen: a thought we might use that for claiming to find her though
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I can also tell you the watch tower stays warm every day of the year. With no fires. I never could explain that.
The vale is as mysterious as it is beautiful.
Elkraen: powerful forces at work i would reckon forces i hope to use
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Of course, I'm meerly saying by town law, if you had a half elf skeleton of a female that was old enough it would seal the trickery. The duke would have to provide a favor. But do not take the duke for a fool. He has been dealing with Charlatans of this law for years now. I have a question for you.
Elkraen: yes, we shall find or create something quite suitable
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): So we are becoming quite the acquaintances tonight. How did you get the tears? I'm still in awe at how such a powerful tool came into your possession. I and others saw the bright light from the Caer Bryr.
It lit the sky for days even 400 or so miles here in Ghastenhall.
Elkraen: It is quite nice being part of the ninth it would seem
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Were you there? How did it happen?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) leans in.
Elkraen: it was ordered to get and bring them to you
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) sighs and frowns.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Oh hiddily funks! I'm away of that he laughs. I was just curious how you did it. But, if you wish not to speak of it. I suppose I can let the subject die. He looks up one last time in a hope of reconsideration
Elkraen: [fill him in on what was done]
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): So you were not there, the only remaining one was that Tiefling! Maldrake huh. 222 prayers! Nearly 8 months! A demon!
Elkraen: correct i know not how they were obtained
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): FARHOLDE IS GONE.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) is shocked. .
Elkraen: just how they were brought to you
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): That... that is remarkable. Thorn installed that much responsibility in the 9th. And they almost lost all of their lives. Listen... will you keep what I am about to say between us?
Elkraen: perhaps they served their purpose
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) Gets up to check the door and checks the locks.
Elkraen: you amuse me old scholar
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Well I am glad I can be your entertainment but I am serious now. Can I trust you. You shared an act so Blashphemous that it is a miracle that thorn doesn't seem to mind you sharing it.
Elkraen: we all have our agendas but yes i know the value of secrecy
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) leans in an whispers...
(To Elkraen): Did he tell you that he
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): was condemned for witchcraft and blasphemy and burned at the stake? I was there! I saw him consigned to the flames. But he was reborn by the will of Father and now he is the high priest of Talingarde. Glad am I to serve so mighty a man. If he is a man anymore…
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) leans back as though a great weight was lifted.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I, i, i've never shared that with anyone before.
Elkraen: hmm he is much more powerful than i've anticipated more demon it sounds than man
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Demon? Perhaps. He could be wearing human flesh, I can't be sure. I know that harlot Tiadora is a devil wearing mortal flesh. Though what kind of devil I am unsure.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) scoffs at just saying her name.
Elkraen: a trickster?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Tiadora? Oh no, nothing so light hearted as that. I imagine she is quite powerful and if Thorn can command her, I can only imagine how powerful my master is.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) smiles at the thought.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): So what did you plan on researching tomorrow?
Elkraen: how long have you been in his service?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Was I able to save you the time you needed?
Elkraen: i believe so. I think I shall study the vale for weakpoints and the mountain
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): (brb and I will answer your question) I've worked for thorn for sometime. Before he was taken by the bloody inquisition the bastards. But yes a long time, perhaps I've said to much already. Our master will reveal is true past to you, at a time of his choosing.
Elkraen: true enough
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Study the vale, not a bad way to send the day. Though even I can admit seeing it's splendor in person is actually quite easy. the fall is a great time to join a pilgrimage as long as you don't mind sleeping for free with a bunch of devotees.
Elkraen: i'm not happy about that idea but not much worse than dealing with most overworlders
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): But don't expect anything fun. The closest thing that Sanctum has to a night life is the farmer’s tavern. There are one hundred and twenty halfling farmers living in the Vale and they enjoy House”. This surprisingly raucous tavern reverberates their ale. They congregate at the “Halfway to Heaven"
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): with music, singing and dancing. If you don’t mind drinking with halfling peasants, this is the only place in town where you can get a decent drink.
Elkraen: might get some fun dosing someones drink with fleshcraft brew [giggle]
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Let me if you are interested, I can arrange for a contact of mine who can improve your disguise further.
Elkraen: yes i'm interested i'll have to see what the rest of the claw decide
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Careful with talk like that. I understand the urge but we must be vigilant. The Claw?
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) ponders over this name.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) pauses.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) and then nods in approval.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): I can't afford to have him disguise all of you. Too risky and too much attention It's not about money you see.
Elkraen: ah i think i could manage then
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): It's about secrey. Ok, do you have some parchment, and a quill? I'll give you her name. She is not opposed to making a few gold (on me) to use her talents for... "other things"
Elkraen: always [reaches into baghole]
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Her name is Shortbranch Whistlehiddy. A smart arse little gnome but does a good job at what she knows. You can find her in the red quarter on . I'll let her know you are looking for her. Meet her at 10 pm in her parlor. It is at the intersection of Longshot lane and crabtrap row.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) tosses you 10gp
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Make sure she gets that.
Elkraen: will do
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): It is your ticket to her. Anything else I can assist with? The night is young.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Be sure she gets it.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) he repeats.
Elkraen: she will have her gold once i met her
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) nod.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): As I was saying though. Anything else?
Elkraen: i don't break agreements with like minded individuals
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) grins bearing crooked old teeth.
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM) removes his holy symbol of mitra. As though it ipains him to wear it.
Elkraen: such a burden to bare
Brother Barnibus Thrane (GM): Agreed. But we must do what we can to keep appearances.
Elkraen: how true