Godsday, 4 Goodmonth, 1468 CY
While the Alley Ambush took place, Diony had some excitement of his own…
Diony tailed Malik and the halfling after they came to the Mountain’s Hearth to threaten Reggen. He followed them all over, and soon found that he was being tailed as well, by several people who were communicating with hand signals. He saw Malik orchestrate a secret deal with a different halfling in a gambling den in the Blister, and managed to lose those who were following him on his way out. From the roof, he tailed Malik and the halfling as they ventured into Tradetown until he came upon a lookout on the roof. Diony did his best to sneak up on young man who was scanning the streets, looking for someone, but instead he tumbled down the slope of the roof and both fell to the busy street below. Diony’s attempt at intimidation (“Tell me who you work for!” with a blade at his throat) did not work so well as the rogue saw the ground rushing up to meet him. All he volunteered was, “I’m gonna die.” As the lookout’s head rolled off to one side, Diony tucked, rolled, and started running, bloody short sword still in hand. He managed to lose the people who were looking for him, and dodge the guards. He skulked back to the Mountain’s Hearth when he finally had the opportunity.
Waterday, 5 Goodmonth, 1468 CY
In the afternoon, Tanner and Skien set off looking for a Sending ritual scroll they could use to contact Tanner’s aunt Maa’zai in Brindol. They eventually found The Moldy Scroll, a small, decrepit shop that seemed out of place in Elftown. The place had character, and nearly as many quirks as the proprietor, Master Pippenzie, a wild-haired old gnome with wire-rimmed glasses. He was willing to sell the pair a Sending scroll, for a reasonable price once they also included the jasper gem Skien was carrying. The light reflecting from the gem caught Tanner’s eyes, and he was momentarily transfixed—and then slightly angry at Skien for trading something so shiny and beautiful. They returned to the Hearth with the scroll without any noticeable ill befalling them.
Meanwhile, Diony and L were busy fashioning flyers with which to paper the town. They boldly declared “WHO IS MODRA?” and showed a picture of a silhouette with a question symbol where the face should be. They planned to hang them in the hour or two just before dawn when hopefully the Lost Ones would be taking a break from following them around. When Tanner and Skien returned, they found huge stacks of these flyers covering one of the tables in the common room.
Using the ritual scroll, with some help from L and Tanner, Skien attempted to send Tanner’s message to his aunt in Brindol. They followed the instructions on the ritual and cast the Sending as clearly as they knew how, but heard no response from Tanner’s aunt. After a long wait, the disappointed trio rolled up the now-blank page of parchment and began planning for the Modra papering campaign.
Grymm spend the time getting used to this tingly, alien feeling of being clean. Perhaps That Bitch was beating dirt and blood out of his hide armor, or spending time with Jack. Irjan was elusive as always, doing his own thing as he memorized the important key and practiced picking it out of the many he had just acquired.
The Hordebane turned in early, planning to paper the town before sunrise the next morning.
Earthday, 6 Goodmonth, 1468 CY
The day began all too early for the Hordebane. Diony awoke after dreaming that he saw Malik subtly stash something in a barrel outside the Mountain’s Hearth. He decided to get up, don his gear, and check it out just to be certain all was well. Skien heard him getting ready, grabbed his blade and followed to see what was up.
Meanwhile, Tanner had a very disturbing dream where he was being chased through the streets of Overlook, until he was trapped. The person chasing him finally cornered and caught up with the bladesinger, and Tanner was shocked to find that his pursuer was none other than Diony. Who had a bloody short sword in his hand.
Down in the common room things seemed quiet, but Diony had to check outside the front door. He unbarred the door and began trying to pick the lock. Skien approached, demanding to know what was going on, and Diony’s tension wrench slipped. Grimacing, he said, “I don’t usually have hunches, but when I do, I follow up on them.” He returned to picking the lock and heart the satisfying click as Skien peered out the window to see a deserted street dimly lit by a few low-burning sconces. Then he realized that he didn’t remember there being a sconce right outside the window by the stables! Something was on fire! Skien hurried outside as Diony opened the door, and shoved the burning barrel away from the stable before the fire could catch. Diony peered at the situation and decided to go wake the others. He told Skien, who was patting out the singed fur on his hands, and disappeared back into the inn.
Back in his dreams, Tanner defended himself as Diony attacked, somehow managing to hold his own against the rogue’s devastating attacks. Suddenly Tanner got a lucky hit in, and his rapier pierced the elf’s heart as he merely tried to keep his attacker at bay. Diony’s face went blank with death, and then it melted into the visage of a doppelganger.
Tanner was shaken awake, and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Diony bending over him. He was still shaking a little—though he valiantly hid it well—when the rest of the Hordebane in quickly-donned gear reached the common room and heard a BANG coming from the street…
The burning barrel, rolling down the center of the street, suddenly exploded showering Skien with blazing splinters of wood. He managed to avoid the bulk of it, and he stamped out anything that burned too near the stable.
Skien thought he saw a shadow on the roof of a building across the road, and he and Diony and Grymm headed off in pursuit. L and Tanner stayed behind with Reggen (who awoke at the sound of the barrel exploding), and began making plans for how they could better defend the Mountain’s Hearth. They wondered momentarily if it wasn’t time for Reggen to leave the business and find something else to do…and then they remembered that Reggen is a dwarf and not inclined to do anything of the sort.
While chasing, Diony saw the runner jump down out of sight, and he wondered if this might be part of a trap. He slowed up a bit, but Skien and Grymm decided that climbing the building to get a better view would be more advantageous. They began climbing the front the building where they’d last seen the running shadow, and Grymm climbed to the first window and paused for inside was a scene like none he had seen before: the soft glow of candle-light revealed lavish furnishings and a man and beautiful woman engaging in…sweaty activities. Grymm stared through the window, and his face reddened when the woman actually glanced over at the window and smiled at him. Skien grabbed at Grymm or tried to pull him away from the window and both fell, landing in a pile on the street. As they untangled themselves, the door opened and a voluptuous woman leaned against the door frame, the flick of a tiefling’s tail visible behind her as she sashayed her hips. “You boys feeling a little lonely tonight?” she asked with an inviting smile. Skien dragged Grymm away to follow Diony, but the trio had lost their quarry. Goddammit.
As they were about to turn back and head for the Mountain’s Hearth, Diony saw flames out of the corner of his eye. They decided to investigate, and headed toward the building where the whole front was engulfed with flames. Before they reached the front, however, they saw that behind the building, emptying into a narrow alley, a number of people were evacuating. They decided to go ask the running people what was going on.
Surprisingly, it was Grymm whose question was heard by the guards as they helped people out of the door. “What happened? The guards looked at the three as if they had grown extra heads and replied that there was a fire, so they were evacuating. “How fire?” Grymm demanded when they didn’t answer the question he had intended. It was difficult to get information out of the group. Skien did try, asking how the fire came to be, and all he got was that it was the result of a “business deal gone bad.” Guards and citizens of Overlook were crowding the street to put out the fire as the evacuees jogged away from the scene protected by guards of their own. Diony followed the group from some distance back, wanting to see where they would go, and they led him into the warehouses of Tradetown. There were a handful of lookouts keeping watch, and Diony just managed to avoid being spotted as he noted the warehouse where the guards left the halflings before returning the way they had come.
Everyone reunited at the Mountain’s Hearth, and tried to decide what to do. They didn’t want to keep putting Reggen and her establishment in danger, nor did they want to leave her unprotected. Diony and Grymm set off after a little discussion, carrying the flyers they had made the day before. L made a few alchemical items, and Tanner and Skien planned with Reggen. At first light, Tanner set off to find some adventurers and talk them into coming to stay at the Mountain’s Hearth because lots of excitement was happening there. He carefully did not mention that anyone who protected Reggen was likely to become an enemy of the Lost Ones. Reggen also ventured out briefly, to speak to the man who owned the stables down the street so that he might send any adventurer’s coming in on horses towards her establishment—she was more than willing to let him stable the horses rather than risk them at the Mountain’s Hearth.
When Diony and Grymm returned, they fetched L and brought her out with them to take a listen to the conversations their flyers had inspired. When they returned a few hours later, the common room of the Mountain’s Hearth had a half-dozen adventurers besides the members of the Hordebane, and Tanner was helping Reggen direct them to tasks that needed doing. Skien had given a small quartz gem to a ranger with a trained monkey, and asked him to check around for anyone who might be watching the building—the young ranger was very thorough and eager to please. The bustle of activity was welcome to everyone after the past several days with no business coming in. Though Reggen hadn’t been able to bring her serving girls back, the adventurers were quick to help themselves and lend a hand as needed.
The group met up in one of their rooms to discuss what they had learned about Modra. It turned out he was a dark creeper, involved in some sort of arms smuggling operation that was bigger than anyone in Overlook thought. Apparently the base of operations for the smugglers was in the Shadowfell…which would explain the brass key they had being connected to the Shadowfell—
Shouts from the common room reached the party’s ears, and then footsteps as one of the adventurers ran up to bang on the door. Apparently the ranger had returned…a bit worse for wear. The Hordebane rushed downstairs, and found that the ranger (monkey nowhere to be seen) was beaten bloody. He was being helped in by a half-elf woman with a bow slung over her shoulder. Apparently, a few Lost Ones had jumped him in an alley, and the half-elf had come upon them and managed to drive them off.
The half-elf introduced herself as Reniss, and stated that she, too, was looking for Modra, and maybe they could compare notes. The party was skeptical at first, but she explained that she was the sister of Jen, the Farstriders’ warlock, and that the last word her sister had said through their sending stones was “Modra.” She gave the last piece of information that the party needed, and they set off for the Happy Beggar immediately, for that was where it was rumored that Modra had some kind of connection.
The Hordebane quickly made their way to the Happy Beggar, and learned that it is an almshouse run by Ausma and her husband, both retired paladins of Pelor, who spend their time serving average quality tea and terrible porridge to the poor, and reading scriptures and singing songs of praise to Pelor. The first level seemed to have no shady dealings going on, so the group considered volunteering to make and serve porridge since that would give them access to the kitchen in the basement.
While Ausma was getting aprons, a man sitting by himself called the group over to sit and join him. He appeared quite diseased, and coughed wetly as he explained that he knew of Modra, and that when the group found him they ought to kill him before he can bargain his way out. He then shuffled his way out of the Happy Beggar, and Ausma returned with aprons. She thought it odd that the man who had just left had been asking the same questions about this Modra (whoever that was, she certainly didn’t know) not thirty minutes before the Hordebane had arrived. Reniss stayed and began volunteering, but everyone else went out into the streets to see if they could follow their mystery informant. Diony noticed a few people watching the group, but they didn’t seem in a hurry to follow when the Hordebane turned down a foul-smelling alley.
Diony led the way, and was rewarded with a chamber pot being dumped on his head. It splashed over Grymm too. Still they forged onward, Skien slipped and slid through the excrement, Tanner walked as calmly as he could, and L tried to daintily pick her way through as best she could for a half-orc…but her footing gave out and she tumbled into the filth. She vomited helplessly, and felt queasy for some time after.
Skien held his glowing blade aloft, and they group noticed that the light being given off was more dim than usual. They suspected some sort of shadow magic must be in effect, but they couldn’t find the source. They tried to follow tracks through the alley, and emerged back onto the busy street, reeking of poo. Commoners gave them a wide berth, and Tanner worked quickly to prestidigitate as much of the filth off of his companions as he could, one at a time.
Eventually they lost the trail and returned to the Happy Beggar. They had to convince Ausma that they were serious, and truly wanted to help…but she soon handed over the aprons so they could get to work. Once in the basement, Diony noted that one of the doors was locked—the other only led to a simple larder. He gestured for the others to make a distraction, and before too long he was on the other side of the door in darkness.
Meanwhile, Tanner decided to make the porridge taste better using his magic. At first, Ausma was furious that her infamous porridge had been ruined, but then she decided that perhaps feeding good food to the poor would improve their spirits, and attract more followers to Pelor. She instructed Tanner to make more at once—she had thrown the last batch from the stove in her brief fit of rage. However, the group quickly headed for the door Diony had opened, waiting for Ausma and the other volunteers to leave before disappearing behind it.
Diony had wrapped his cloak around a sunrod, making only a small amount of light to illuminate the unfinished corridor or closet that he found himself in. The rubble piled at the back appeared to have a pattern to it, and the more he looked at it the more he suspected that something was strange about it. When the others joined him, they too peered at it and it was L who realized that moving one stone would cause a stone slab to turn sideways, revealing a secret passage for them to squeeze through.
The tunnel beyond was narrow, but Skien led the way with his sword lighting the path before him. The last part was quite steep, and Skien lost his footing and tumbled to the bottom. Grymm was able to slide down, balancing with his free hand to land on his feet, but soon Tanner, Diony, and L lost their footing too and Grymm could not stand firm to catch all three of them. The group sprawled at the base of the tunnel, having entered a cavern with the last few feet of their tumble, and they were about to get to their feet when the flap of leathery wings alerted them that they were not alone!
(Also, Irjan and That Bitch went outside the city to interview the homeless people if they had seen any covert goings-on with either Modra or black arrows. That led them to the Clean Sheets, a disreputable inn with sheets that were anything but clean. No one else was around and the innkeep was sleeping, so they shut the door and chased the halfling around, nearly strangling him. He admitted trading with “Whisper” and that is where he got the box with the black arrow on it. That Bitch finds a false bottom on the box, and Irjan inspects the bottles held within. They are roughly the same size so he thinks they’re all the same and grabs two and smashes the other two, right on the stove unfortunately. The halfling escapes and they give chase, which was a good thing because there were noxious fumes coming from the destroyed bottles. Irjan later discovers that the bottles were actually different, and likely contain different poisons but L cannot identify them.)
Only one more (presumed) Lost One was killed, otherwise only one of the adventurers lured to help Reggen at the Mountain’s Hearth was severely hurt. There was significant fire damage to the halfing-owned Gambler’s Den in the Blister.
- 150 XP to all players (Total: 6200).
- 4 stained and fraying aprons, courtesy of Ausma at the Happy Beggar where you volunteered to help make porridge for the almshouse.
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Diony – Session 15
Skien – Session 15
Tanner – Session 15
Irjan – Session 15
Grymm – Session 15
Lilac – Session 15
That Bitch – Session 15
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