Korvosa, City of Fangs

Session 07 - Zellara

Relevant wiki entries: Arkona Imports, Cordra Goldhand, Gaedren, Glorio Arkona, Queen Ilaniel, Keara, Korvosan Guard, Larry, Mera, Zellara

Upstairs, Jeff and Leyl attempt to smash open the locked chest in Gaedren’s study, while Ashe pushes some crates in front of the door leading to the elevator and stairs, and stands guard. Jeff swings his warhammer at the chest and completely whiffs, smashing a good-sized hole in the wall instead. However, he then remembers how to strike inanimate objects, and smashes the chest open, revealing some gold, some more vials of acid, a few healing potions, and a hatbox.

Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [1+8 = 9]
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [10+8 = 18]
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [4+8 = 12]
Leyl: Jeff, the chest is down there.
Jeff: Oh shut up
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [2+8 = 10]
Leyl: But that’s the wall, Jeff.
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [3+8 = 11]
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [14+8 = 22]
Leyl: And the floor.
Jeff: Shut. Up.

Jeff and Leyl crack open the hatbox to find…Zellara’s severed head. It is immediately apparent that she’s been dead for a while, at least a few weeks.

Leyl: …that’s unsettling.
Jeff: Is…. is that….?
Leyl: It’s Zellara’s head.
Leyl: And it’s been in here a while.
Leyl: Way more than a day.
Leyl: No wonder those clothes smelled funny.
Jeff: Also why that one person was freaked out when I locked him in there.
Leyl: Yeah.
Leyl: I’m… I’m really not sure what we should do with it.
Leyl: Seriously, though, we should probably find out from Zellara where her body is. Seems right that she should get this back.
Jeff: That might be the weirdest thing i’ve heard all month. “Find out from someone where their body is.”
Leyl: I mean, I can understand why she hired us. She really lost her head over this.
Jeff: ………I’m not talking to you anymore.
Ashe: Yes, I think we should take it with us. Place it nicely back inside the box.

On the second floor, Mykele frees Calin, Peri, and the third child, Emelia, and start making their way back up the ladder to the roof. Calin makes it up fine, but Emelia slips and falls. Mykele does manage to catch her safely, but the impact makes some noise, and Mykele hushes the children as footsteps clang on the catwalk outside. They then hear some raised voices, but are unable to make out what was said. More footsteps ring on the catwalk after, though, moving quickly.

Mykele rushes to Calin and wraps him up.
Mykele puts her finger over her lips to shush the kids and looks them over for injuries.
Mykele (whisper): I’m so glad to see you. We must be very very quiet, okay?
Mykele (whisper): Are you all okay?
Calin nods.
Calin: We’re okay, Auntie Mykele. Can we leave now?
Mykele breathes a deep sigh of relief.
Mykele: We are going to leave now, but there are still bad men out there that will hurt us. so we need to be very careful. I need you to do exactly as I say, okay?

Calin: [ABILITY] Strength check [7-1 = 6]
Emelia: [ABILITY] Strength check [1 = 1]
Mykele: [ABILITY] Dexterity check [18+6 = 24]
Mykele: whoa whoa whoa…
Mykele: [SKILL] Perception [9+9 = 18]
Mykele presses her finger over Emelia’s lips.

Meanwhile, Dawna, Baymax, and Anvari drag Gaedren’s dead body back to the front of Arkona Imports. Entering the front door of the warehouse, they plop it on the counter, strongly encouraging the woman at the front desk to make herself scarce. She does.

Quin: I knew what I was going to do a few minutes ago and to be completely honest I’m kind of drawing a terrible blank.
Pix: Something about decapitated head in front of receptionist, something something kidney balloon.
Quin: I’m not the one with the decapitated head, that’s you guys! …and it’s not a kidney balloon.
Kia: It’s TOTALLY a kidney balloon!

Cindy: Uh, we’re closed.
Dawna hurls Gaedren’s body up on the counter, and Cindy takes a step back in horror.
Dawna: Your boss was kidnapping kids and murdering people.
Dawna: Now he’s not doing either and I don’t think you have a reason to worry about working for him.
Quin: I imagine Dawna has had a long and somewhat taxing day, and tact is pretty much out the window.
Dawna: [SKILL] Intimidate [5+7 = 12]
Cindy: Hey, say no more! Consider me unemployed!
Cindy ducks out the front door and runs off.

Moments later, more thugs rush into the lobby, surprising Dawna and Anvari. However, they are rushing out of the warehouse, and after seeing Gaedren’s body (and after Dawna and Anvari step out of the way of the door, giving them a clear path), the thugs run out the front door and vanish into the streets. Inside, they can hear crates being knocked over and footsteps running out the back warehouse door, and a brief exclamation of “What the hell happened to Larry?”

Dawna looks at Anvari.
Dawna: I wonder if there’s a wheelbarrel in there or something. Since I think we need to take him to your guard friend?
Dawna: Or a tarp to cover him at least, in case they found the kids.
Anvari: I bet there’s a tarp or a curtain. Might be a wheelbarrow at the tavern next door
Dawna and Anvari rip the curtain off the doorway leading into the main warehouse room, and wrap up Gaedren’s body snugly.

Anna: We’re going to grab that curtain and wind Gaedren up in it so there’s not a corpse that we’re going to torture these poor children with. Also it will probably make him easier to carry so he will not have arms and legs flopping everywhere.
DM: So are you planning on bringing the body with you?
Anna: I don’t know what we would do with it otherwise. I mean, we need to go to the guard with it. I suppose we could leave it at the tavern next door.
Fuzz: Do we though? Or, hear me out here, we could leave it in the warehouse and just tell the guards, hey, there’s a few corpses in there, including Gaedren.
Quin: And here’s all the evidence.
Kia: You’ve ruined all the fun.
Fuzz: Yeah because it’s lots of fun to drag a corpse across town with 17 children in tow!

DM: You take the curtain down and lay Gaedren out on the counter like a sandwich, and fold it over him and wrap him up.
Quin: Like a sandwich? What kind of sandwiches do you fucking make??
DM: Well you’ve got a counter right there, it’s pretty much the same process, just with a body instead of…bread.
Kia: I would call it a burrito but it’s actually a euro because…it’s got Lamm in it.
Quin: Ughhhh.
DM: Wow.
Fuzz: …I’ve got to go to work a few hours early, I’ll see you guys later.

Upstairs, Mykele and the other kids go undetected. They climb up the ladder to the roof. Up top, Leyl spots Calin on the roof and tosses him a rope. They safely pull in Mykele and the kids, and they all go join Dawna and Anvari downstairs. As the party is regrouping, Anvari receives a Sending message from Naomi Rose, asking them to stay there, as the Guard is on the way.

Dawna waves. “Hi guys!”
Mykele eyes the curtain.
Mykele: I see you had some… uh, success… with your… shopping.
Calin: You were shopping?
Mykele: I don’t think that rug will match your curtains though, Anvari.
Mykele: Yes, that’s right, they went… shopping. Girls do that.
Dawna: Did you guys find any more evidence against him in that office?
Leyl: Journals. Some other things.
Leyl: Guys, we really need to talk when we drop the kids off at the guard.
Dawna has Siccup do little tricks for the kids to try and make them smile.
Ashe: Yes, we found some information on Gaedren. We can talk about it after we take care of the kids.
Mykele: We need to take them to Aunt Gretchen. Peri is Kester’s little sister.

Anvari: We need to stay here, guys – Naomi has the guard on the way.
Dawna: That’s good news, I wasn’t looking forward to draaa—agging myself across town to the guards.
Ashe and Dawna start reading Gaedren’s journals, and find mostly more records of criminal activity and proof that Gaedren was up to nasty stuff. They do also find more notes referencing Membrum Devorantis, about efforts to alter and change it. They realize there’s more to learn here, but it would require more time and study.
Mykele: Okay kids, the police are on their way and we’re going to get you home.

Soon Naomi, a stout dwarf woman in shining gold armor, and about a dozen guards arrive. The dwarf woman introduces herself as Captain Cordra Goldhand, and sends the guards to secure the premises.

Cordra: I’m Captain Cordra Goldhand of the Korvosan Guard. So you’re Naomi’s friends? I’ve heard a lot about you. Warehouse secure?
Dawna: Far as we know it is now.
Leyl kind of hangs back.
Jeff suddenly kinda blends into the background a bit.
Anvari: As far as we know it’s empty, yes.
Cordra: Good work. Alright. (She waves other members of the Guard into the warehouse.)
Mykele tries to distract the kids away from being afraid of the soldiers.
The soldiers go to treat the children but see they’ve already been tended to, and Cordra nods approvingly when she sees this.

Cordra: It’s a pleasure to meet you, I’m sure.
Cordra nudges the yellow bundle at her feet.
Cordra: This uh, this the uh, the thing you were after?
Dawna: Yes ma’am.
Leyl: That’s a good word for it.
Mykele: Yes, they had a good shopping trip.
Mykele looks meaningfully at the kids.
Cordra glances at the kids and winks at Mykele.
Cordra: Yeah I gotcha. Alright, well why don’t I have some of my men take your…purchase…back…home for you. That sound alright?
Dawna: That would be quite kind, thanks.
Cordra waves two of her men forward.
Cordra: Be careful with this…um…purchase. Don’t want to…break it…I mean they’ve paid a lot for it and I hear you can’t…return it without a receipt. …anyway get outta here.
Jeff groans.
Jeff: Good lord.
Leyl chuckles.
The guards pick up Gaedren’s body and hustle out the door.

Cordra then has the party give her a quick tour around the warehouse and a brief recap of what went down. Dawna and Ashe agree and take Cordra through the warehouse, starting with the elevator, while Mykele stays with the children, Anvari stays with Naomi,, and Jeff and Leyl are content to sit and wait.

Cordra: This is how you got up?
Dawna: Yep!
Cordra: Alright, well, you use this lever here to pull it down then, I guess?
Dawna: M-hm!
Cordra cranks the lever, and there’s a horrible grinding sound from two stories up, and the elevator does not appear. She looks at Dawna.
Cordra: You…sure this is how you got up?
Dawna: Well, apparently I broke it better than I thought I did, and we’re going to have to take the stairs.
Cordra: Alright, well…that’s fine.

Mykele: Emelia, where are you from?
Mykele: Did you live with Aunt Gretchen like Peri?
Leyl will quietly sing some children’s songs.
Mykele: That sounds really scary. We want to get you back to you family. Will you be able to tell us where we can find them?
Emelia: Yes! I live on Fountain Avenue!

While she is upstairs, Jeff heads back to the loading bay and wakes up Larry. Larry is very confused about what’s going on, but Jeff hurries him out the door so he won’t get arrested. Larry stops to pick up the unconscious body of Jimbo on the way.

Jeff dumps out a small box and takes it outside and fills it with rainwater, and comes back in, dragging Jimbo in out of the rain as he does so. He pours the water on Larry to wake him up.
Jeff: [SKILL] Heal [20+7 = 27]
Jeff: No time to talk Larry. The city guard busted up the joint, your boss is dead, and you need to go home.
Mykele overhears the unmistakable sound of Larry’s voice and winces.
Jeff: Let’s just say that some people got in here who had some very opposed ideas to what your boss was doing and shut the operation down hard. There’s a tavern next door and the back door is still open. You need to go now before they arrest you too.
Jeff: Larry.
Jeff: Your boss was a very, VERY bad man.
Jeff: Trust me on that.
Jeff: Larry… we don’t have time for this right now. I promise i’ll explain it all later, but for now you’ve got to go before you end up in jail with the rest of them.
Jeff: We’re fine Larry, don’t worry about us.
Larry picks up Jimbo and leaves.

Cordra: It was good work you all did in here. I don’t know how you found them, but it looks like no one is going to miss the people you took down today.
Cordra: Don’t get me wrong, I’d kinda like it if you left this to the Guard? Because it is kinda official business? But hey, who am I to complain.
Cordra shakes the hands of Dawna and Ashe, Cordra’s shake so vigorous it lifts the other two almost off their feet.

Cordra finishes her tour and is talking to the party about what went down an elegant, expensive carriage arrives outside. A handsome eladrin male in ornate garb steps out, followed by a stern-looking eladrin woman in shining chainmail. Cordra doesn’t look pleased to see them, and the party quickly learns that this is Glorio Arkona, head of House Arkona.

Jeff (muttering): Oh great. The Arkona are here.
Cordra (muttering): Oh. Fantastic.
Glorio: Oh my, my. If it isn’t Lady Goldhand herself. Imagine meeting you here, in my warehouse! I trust you’re here on…city business? Surely your house hasn’t fallen so low as to use your official status as a way of prying into Arkona interests?
Pix: Oh, this guy is a weasel.
Jeff coughs. “Arkona interests indeed.”
Cordra: This is official business, Glorio. No room for civilians, so get yourself back outside with the rest of ’em.

Dawna: [SKILL] Streetwise [9+2 = 11]
Leyl: [SKILL] Streetwise [3+5 = 8]
Jeff: [SKILL] Streetwise [4+5 = 9]
Anvari: [SKILL] Streetwise [16+9 = 23]
Mykele: [SKILL] Streetwise [6+3 = 9]
Ashe: [SKILL] Streetwise [17+4 = 21]

The party generally knows that Glorio is the head of House Arkona, famed for its imports and for being very private, and for being one of the only noble houses made up of only one race, eladrin. Glorio is very well-liked in Old Korvosa and respected, because he’s donated numerous Arkona properties to provide low-rent housing and other such businesses to assist the poor. He’s actually very well-liked by the poor and unfortunate. Outside of Old Korvosa, people don’t really like him, as they are suspicious of House Arkona and suspect that the Arkonas have shady deals going on.

Mykele also recalled that when Uncle Pierro was poor and just getting started as a shoemaker, he actually took out a loan from the Arkonas to buy a building, startup materials, etc. As such, Pierro (and by extension, Mykele) have nothing but good words for the Arkonas, who continue to buy much of their footwear from the Emporium.

The eladrin woman in chainmail remains silent, simply eyeing everyone else in the room.
Glorio: That’s Lord.
Cordra: What?
Glorio: I believe you meant to say, Lord Glorio?
Cordra stares at Glorio in silence for a long, awkward moment.
Glorio: …right. Well, anyway, considering this is all my property that your men are crawling over like dire ants at a picnic, I believe I deserve at least some form of explanation about what you’re doing here?
Cordra: Believe whatever you want, Lord Glorio. Outside. Hey, does anyone else hear that, coming from the back? I think it’s my job calling. Gotta go.
Cordra stomps off toward the stairs.
Leyl covers her mouth with her hand.

Mykele looks nervous and faintly embarrassed to be in Lord Glorio’s presence.
Glorio sniffs and turns to face the party.
Glorio: Well…any of the rest of you feeling a bit more helpful than Captain Goldhand there?
Glorio: I’ll remind you that this is private property…
Jeff: Well, your lordship. Turns out there was an illegal smuggling and slavery ring being conducted right out of these premises. My friends and I were hired independantly to shut it down. It led us here, and i’m sorry to say that they kind of made a mess of the warehouse, but i’m certain they had nothing to do with your House Interests.
Jeff: [SKILL] Diplomacy [14+10 = 24]

Jeff’s sarcasm appears to have gone unnoticed, but Glorio does seem quite shocked to hear about Gaedren’s activities.

Glorio: Wait, in my warehouse? Here? That can’t be. Though…I suppose I haven’t been here in a while…are you quite certain about what you’re saying here, young man?
Jeff motions at the children wordlessly.
Mykele: I’m afraid so, sir. These children were being held captive on the floor above.
Glora turns and whispers something to the eladrin woman.
Glorio: This is unacceptable. I can’t believe this is happening. What I’m hearing is, you put an end to what was going on here?
Jeff: Yes, we put an end to it. The person responsible is… disposed of.
Glorio: Permanently, I hope.
Mykele: We were extremely thorough, sir.
Jeff: But it turns out that they had some pretty high contacts. Including a very high lady who was able to bribe someone in the city guard. Someone who’s first initial is M.
Glorio taps his chin in thought.
Glorio: Please give me a moment. I need to see this for myself.
Glorio looks around and hands his chalice of wine to Naomi-Rose, then storms off with the eladrin woman into the back.
Glorio gives the children a warm smile and a few candies from his pocket as he passes them by.
Jeff mutters under his breath, after Glorio leaves. Ugh, nobility.
Mykele nudges Calin and mouths “Say thank you.”
Dawna: What a dandy.
Leyl looks after the Arkona woman.

Glorio returns, a stern look on his face.
Glorio: Alright. Well, Captain Goldhand has given me the story here, about what you’ve done. And on behalf of House Arkona, you have my sincere thanks and gratitude.
Glorio looks displeased.
Glorio: I’m terribly embarrassed that such a beast was able to operate right here in my warehouse, without our knowledge.
Glorio: I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for not noticing sooner.
Pix: Are we actually buying this garbage??
Kia: Mykele is buying every drop!

Jeff: [SKILL] Insight [20+12 = 32]
Leyl: [SKILL] Insight [6+9 = 15]
Ashe: [SKILL] Insight [9+9 = 18]
Dawna: [SKILL] Insight [2+4 = 6]
Anvari: [SKILL] Insight [14+8 = 22]

The party is skeptical about Glorio’s story, but they can’t help but admit that he seems sincere. He seems genuinely angry, upset, and disappointed about things, but doesn’t appear to have known what was going on in the warehouse.

Quin: So not angry, upset and disappointed that his wonderful ability to be able to get extra money by extorting children has just been destroyed by a bunch of people he’s never heard of before?
Fuzz: No he’s legitimately angry that somebody was doing these shenanigans under his overly-large nose.

Jeff frowns slightly to himself.
Mykele: Lord Glorio, if I can be very bold to ask, there were a number of children that we found in a cave up the coast and we took them to the Lantern Street Orphanage. Aunt Gretchen is overwhelmed. Could we enlist the help of House Arkona in getting them taken care of?
Mykele: We don’t know for sure how many children were taken altogether, but it has been a lot.
Glorio seems surprised at Mykele’s words.
Glorio: That is…a wonderful idea. Truth be told, I was wondering how I might make amends for what’s happened here. In fact, here comes Captain Goldhand now, just the woman I want to see. As unusual as that may sound.
Glorio: Captain! Please come here. Captain! We’ve had an epiphany.
Cordra: Yeah? What?
Glorio: Captain Goldhand, speaking with these young heroes, it’s filled me with inspiration. Had House Arkona been more vigilant about our property, none of this would have happened. And this…human criminal that these young folk have told me about would not have been free to terrorize his victims so.
Glorio: I feel terrible for those who have suffered as a result of our, of my disregard, and so I would like to make amends by donating this building to the city of Korvosa itself, to be used as a hospice for the sick and infirm.
Glorio: Naturally, it will take a few days to remove all of this leftover clutter and inventory, of course, but after that, nothing would make me happier than knowing this building was to become a house of healing and recovery, rather than one of neglect and evil.
Glorio turns to Mykele.
Glorio: Additionally, this young woman here has told me that there are other children who suffered at that man’s hands, and I understand that many of them have nowhere else to go but to be raised at the Lantern Street Orphanage.
Glorio: While this can in no way make up for what they have gone through, I would like to make sure that they are not in want of anything from this point forward. It is the least my house can do.
The eladrin woman hands Cordra a small silk pouch. Cordra opens it to reveal a neatly-wrapped stack of platinum coins inside, roughly 50 or so.
Cordra: That’s…very generous, Lord Glorio. I’ll see to it that the city is notified of your donation, and I will make sure the orphanage receives these funds.
Glorio (to the party): Once again, you have my sincere thanks. I wish I had known about all this sooner, but alas, I cannot change the past.
Dawna pinches the bridge of her nose.

(returning to Jeff’s earlier question)
Glorio: A very…high lady? What do you mean by that?
Jeff: A noblewoman, unless I miss my guess.
Glorio: A noblewoman…with a name that starts with M.
Glorio laughs.
Glorio: Maybe it’s you, Mera!
The eladrin woman, Mera, just looks at him with a bored look on her face.
Glorio: No, no. I know it’s not you. But rest assured, I’m definitely going to make some…inquiries of my own, and see what I can…sniff out.
Glorio: It takes a certain sort to have, how shall we say, the gumption to squat on an Arkona warehouse. And, let’s just say that I would be very interested on having a conversation with whoever was responsible.
Jeff: She was, apparently, having an affair with an inside man at the Korvosan Guard named Verik Vankaskerkan. All the information we had on that was turned over to the guard yesterday.
Glorio: Well, I suppose it’s in your hands then, Captain Goldhand. I do wish you the best of luck in finding this mysterious M woman. I presume you’ve taken this Verik into custody.
Cordra: Yeah, we were questioning him all night, and he, uh…well I don’t need to tell it to you! You’re a civilian!
Glorio: I suppose that’s true. Well, good luck in finding her. I do hope you find them…quickly. I will search for them myself, too. And we’ll see who finds her first.
Quin: Oh, he just threw down in front of the guard lady. Snap.
Glorio retrieves his chalice of wine, and looks back at the party.
Glorio: I do hope you’ve enjoyed your time here at Arkona Imports. Granted, I wish it could have been under better circumstances, but perhaps this will change in the future.
Jeff: Yes, It was an absolute blast.
Mykele: Thank you again, sir. The Staelides look forward to seeing you at your next visit.

Cordra: Well, that was the Arkonas.
Cordra: Kind of a snake, huh? I mean, off the record.
Cordra: I have to admit though, the city could probably use a place for the poor and the sick, especially right now.
Dawna: Ugh. House-spinning. I hate that diplomacy slop.
Jeff: He wasn’t lying.
Dawna: Oh I know, but it’s the phrasing. So…
Dawna gestures.
Dawna: big.
Jeff: Mm. House games, among the most deadly around.
Jeff: So I hear, anyway.
Dawna: Whynot stays out of them for the most part, there’s too much to build to bother with the intrigue.

Cordra takes Peri and Emelia and sets out with her soldiers, to bring the two children to the orphanage. Mykele, of course, says she will take Calin home to Carabella.

Cordra: You know, the Guard is pretty shorthanded right now. I’m not gonna mince words – we could definitely use a little extra manpower. So why don’t you stop by the Citadel in the next few days if you’re looking for a bit of extra work.
Cordra: If not, well, thanks again for what you’ve done here today.
Cordra: Cordra out.
She leaves with her soldiers and the two kids.

Jeff sighs.
Jeff: Just what I always wanted, to be a freelancer for the guard.
Dawna: Time to go back to the Spirit lady – maybe she has more bread.
Jeff: Oh…
Jeff: umm…. right.
Dawna: I could use that warm house after all this.
Leyl: Well, wait.
Mykele: Yes, we should go tell her we were successful.
Mykele: After I drop off Calin, of course.
Jeff: Sooooo…. About Zelara.
Jeff: I think she already knows…
Jeff coughs.
Calin: Is it time to go home yet, Auntie Mykele?
Leyl: Calin, could you go over there for a bit, please?
Mykele looks confused.
Leyl: The adults have to talk over here.

Jeff (whispers): Soo.. we weren’t exactly hired by Zelara. At least, not in the way you all think we were.
Leyl: Zellara is dead. And has been for a while.
Dawna: WHAT?
Calin (faintly): I didn’t say anything!
Leyl sets down the box and opens the lid.
Mykele raises an incredulous eyebrow.
Dawna: But we saw
Dawna gasps.
Leyl: A ghost.
Mykele: There’s no such thing as ghosts.
Jeff: And yet…
Jeff motions at the box
Leyl smirks.
Leyl: You’re so cute.
Leyl: Of course there are.
Mykele wrinkles her nose at the smell.
Dawna: But she, but it – but…. pales Oh. That’s why she wouldn’t let me heal her.
Leyl: Because you couldn’t.
Leyl covers the box again.
Leyl: I think we need to go back to her house.
Jeff: And in her life, she had a lot of contact with the spirit world. It wouldn’t have been a big leap for her to find a way to get revenge on these idiots who did this to her.
Dawna: And her son.
Leyl: Maybe she knows where the rest of her body is; we can return this to it and put her at rest.
Dawna: Gods, I thought this day was long already.
Mykele rubs the bridge of her nose.
Mykele: She led me back to my nephew, so I owe her, ghost or no ghost.
Leyl: Let’s get him home, and then let’s find Zellara.
Mykele: As soon as I take Calin back to his parents, I’ll meet you there.
Leyl nods.
Ashe: I am good with that. I am going to keep looking into these journals.

Mykele takes Calin back home to Carabella, who is of course extremely grateful, and shower Mykele with hugs and freshly-baked cookies. (Carabella was stress-baking.) Mykele returns to Zellara’s Parlor to meet the others…and finds the parlor burned to the ground.

Mykele smacks the mittani cookies as she walks up to the door of Zellara’s…
Mykele stops and stares at the remainder of Zellara’s parlour.
Leyl just sighs.
Leyl looks around.
Leyl: Zellara, are you here?
Dawna: To be fair, half his hideouts were by water. Chances are she’s in the river.
Mykele: This is going to make things much more difficult.

Leyl: [SKILL] Religion [19+5 = 24]
Leyl looks around the wreckage, and senses some sort of lingering presence nearby.
Ashe: Can I see Zellara’s pouch?
Jeff: Eh, sure.
Jeff hands Ashe the pouch.
Leyl opens up the box.

As soon as Leyl opens the box with her implements nearby, the party gets the sensation that something has been released. Zellara’s spectral image materializes before them, and smiles warmly at them.

Zellara: You’ve done it. Thank you. Thank you. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to you six.
Mykele closes her eyes because there’s no such thing as ghosts.
Leyl: I hope that you can rest easy.
Dawna glares and tries to yell at her for tricking them, and then just ends up crying and tuggling at Siccup’s tail.
Leyl: I don’t know what else we can say… there’s nothing we could do but avenge you, I know this now.
Leyl: I just hope that you didn’t suffer much.
Zellara reaches out a hand as if to cup Leyl’s cheek. Her touch is warm, and comforting.
Zellara: You did all you could. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you more, but after Gaedren…after Gaedren killed me and took my tools, my spirit was bound within them, and I couldn’t fight him. It was all I could do to reach out and find others who had been similarly hurt by him.
Zellara: It was too late for me before I even met you, but that’s fine. What’s important is that you stopped him.
Mykele half cracks open one eye and the ghost is still there. Even though there’s no such thing as ghosts.
Jeff: So I guess My only question is… how the hell did you give us actual notes?
Zellara chuckles.
Zellara: I still have a strong connection with my harrow cards, and I still have some control over the tools with which I made my living.
Zellara gestures, and the cards splay in the air before her, the dice float in the air. She smiles sadly but fondly.
Ashe: Is there anything else you would like us to do for you?
Leyl: Is there anything else you can tell us? Have we halted his operations, or do we need to dig deeper?
Zellara: I think you’ve halted him as best anyone can be possibly halted. He is dead, correct? I think you’ve put a very concrete end to his operations.
Jeff: He’s very dead.
Leyl shrugs. “Okay.”
Jeff: But there’s still that contact of his who got away.
Mykele opens her eyes and decides to pretend that she is just listening to a very pale person.
Zellara: Oh, don’t be afraid Mykele. Granted, I’ve looked better. But I do not wish you any harm.
Mykele: Thank you for the life of my nephew, uh, ma’am.
Zellara: You’re very welcome. I know the pain of what it feels like to lose a son, and I would not wish that upon any parent.
Ashe: Is there anyone you would like your belongings to go to?
Zellara: I’m afraid there is no one else, Ashe. It was just me and my son. All of our relatives live elsewhere. I suppose, if you could perhaps bury them with me, I’ll take some comfort in that.
Ashe: I would be honored to keep them, if that is okay. To have a reminder of you and your abilities to study them more.

As Zellara touches the cards fondly, the cards spring up in the air and stand up on their own.

Zellara: That’s unusual.
Mykele watches the cards and the very pale person and is disconcerted.
Zellara looks slightly perturbed, and gathers the cards back into a deck. She closes her eyes concentrates.
Zellara: It appears there might be more to you six than I had first imagined. Fate, it seems, has its own ideas for you.
Jeff: Uhhhh..
Leyl: …what?
Zellara: Yeah, it’s pretty weird! I didn’t really expect that either, but it seems that my cards wish to stay with you, and it seems that perhaps they want me to stay with you too, and help you.
The harrow cards seems to be almost quivering in Zellara’s hands.
Mykele looks wildly uncomfortable with the idea of being brought to the attention of Fate.
Leyl frowns.
Leyl: And that’s possible… how?
Zellara: Fate is a mysterious force, Leyl. I could not begin to explain it. All I can do is attempt to guide it into words that make sense. And even sometimes the words don’t make a lot of sense.
Zellara: If you’ve no complaints, I’d be happy to assist you as best I can.
Dawna: I’d like that – this last time certainly wasn’t boring.
Leyl shrugs.
Leyl: I have no complaints.
Leyl: I think my sister is going to have a seizure, though.
Ashe: It is always nice to have some guidance.
Mykele: I… Look, I don’t want to be rude, but I’m just a shoemaker so I’m not always so good with words but… well… you’re… like… no longer… um. Alive.
Zellara: It’s true, I won’t be able to stand beside you and swing a sword, anything like that. But my spirit is bound within my cards. If you keep them with you, I’ll be able to manifest and help you read the fates, give you some guidance, or perhaps even twist a bit of luck your way.
Zellara: I can contact the spirits on your behalf, maybe manipulate fate if you really need it…unfortunately Gaedren was terribly reckless when using my deck. He seems to have drained, or depleted much of the power I’ve invested into them over countless years. I think they should regain their power over time, but in the meantime, I’ll do what I can.
Ashe: I will keep them with me and protect them.
Mykele: I’m glad to hear that. I tend to appreciate the mountains just exactly where they are.
Zellara: Wonderful. Please, each of you lay your hand on a card, and I’ll bind them to your spirits, so that only you may be able to call upon me, and someone like Gaedren will never again be able to use them for ill purpose.
Jeff: Uhhhhh…
Quin (Dawna): (I, Ashe, do solomenly swear…)
Ashe puts out his hand to the deck
Mykele looks a little panicked at the thought of touching the ghost cards but grits her teeth and tentatively reaches out her hand.

The party receives the benefits of Zellara’s Deck, which is a group item. At the beginning of each day, the deck attunes itself to a random party member, and that party member can ask Zellara to perform a few rituals, or add a small bonus to a roll once per day.

When the PCs placed their hands upon the deck, a single card flew out of the deck and floated in the air in front of each character.
Zellara: This is what the deck was trying to tell me. I don’t know what these will mean, as it’s not me doing the reading. This is the deck itself telling the future for each of you.
Mykele looks completely creeped out.

Mykele: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Paladin [1d100 = 65]

Mykele looks at the card and is very confused.
Mykele: I am not a paladin.
Zellara: Despite the obvious implications here, the Paladin card is actually not an indication of martial ability, but a sign of your bravery, your unfailing loyalty to friends, and your determination to right wrongs wherever you might find them.
Leyl: That is SO not me.
Zellara: I just want to make things clear, normally when I do this, there are three cards that tell a complete story. I’m not sure if these have any additional meaning for you, or what they might mean in the future.
Zellara: The Paladin also represents valor, and as you can see by the image, how you might always be willing to lend a helping hand.
Mykele rubs the back of her neck.
Mykele: Lady, all I do is make shoes. This is all way above my paygrade.
Zellara: Well Mykele, it seems that maybe Fate has different plans in mind for you than being a simple shoe salesperson.
Mykele: It better be planning on giving me a raise then.
Mykele looks at the sky intently.

Ashe: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Theater [1d100 = 84]

Zellara looks solemnly at Ashe.
Zellara: The Theater is not an indication of any dreams you may have of taking the stage. No, the Theater represents a prophecy, a story, a myth, an omen…something like that.
Zellara: And in this case, it’s indicating that whatever it is, it involves you, and whatever that prophecy is, it’s true. Because buried under the disguises and hidden messages of the Theater, always lies an underlying of truth.
Ashe: That is interesting…i have seen some things that people would not believe.
Zellara: Well, just keep this in mind in the future. And if you find yourself one day doubting something’s validity, you may be well off believing it.
Ashe: I will do, thanks

Jeff: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Courtesan [1d100 = 15]

GM: That’s an interesting card.
Pix: You know, I’ve never actually been on the side of what my laugh is like, now I have, and it’s kind of fucking terrifying.
Fuzz: YOU UNDERSTAND NOW YOU SON OF A BITCH
Pix: I see now why you guys have such a problem.

Fuzz: WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT
GM: Do you say this in character?
Fuzz: NO BUT WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT??
Zellara looks a bit startled at Jeff’s card.
Zellara: The Courtesan is a card that represents intrigue, and…when something is not what it should be.
Zellara: Clearly there’s something in your past, or in your future that hides itself behind a mask, and you may not like what you find behind that mask, Jeff.
Jeff:
Jeff: WELP

Quin: Especially if it looks like that!
Fuzz: YEAH ESPECIALLY IF IT LOOKS LIKE THAT
GM: Do you have anything else to say, Jeff, or should we move on?
Fuzz: NOPE Jeff has nothing else to say.
Jeff shakes himself.

Dawna: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Fiend [1d100 = 32]

Dawna covers Siccup’s eyes cause scary beast thing.
Zellara is quiet for a few seconds.
Zellara: Dawna, the Fiend refers to a great calamity…and how there will be many losses in said calamity.
Zellara: Now, your drawing such a card might mean that you have the power to prevent such a tragedy…
Zellara: Or it be warning of your destined involvement in such an event.
Jeff: WHAT DID YOU DO
Zellara pats Dawna on the shoulder gently.
Zellara: Not the card I would have chosen for you young folk…but it is what it is.
Mykele gives Dawna a side eye and shifts a little away from her.
Siccup covers Dawna’s eyes because she doesn’t know what to say.

Leyl: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Sickness [1d100 = 75]

Pix: The Sickness. Great. Awesome.
Kia: Oh, that’s pleasant looking.

Zellara looks increasingly glum.
Zellara: Well…uh…this is a good card! No, no. It’s not a good card.
Zellara: Leyl, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you yourself will fall ill of disease or sickness, but it does imply a disease of the body or soul.
Zellara: Whether that’s you or someone in your life, you’ll have to wait and see. But it does seem like your life will be touched in some way by this suffering. I hope that, forewarned, you’ll have a better chance of dealing with it than you otherwise would.
Leyl makes a face.
Leyl: That can’t be good.
Mykele: Wow, you guys are just TERRIBLE at this card drawing thing.
Leyl frowns.
Mykele: I’ll keep my nice comforting armored guy card.

Pix: That’s disturbing.
GM: Yeah, it’s kind of a bad streak you’ve got going! Anna, let’s see if we can’t get something positive to finish things off.

Anvari: [TABLE] Zellara’s Harrow Deck = The Lost [1d100 = 53]

GM: Oh that doesn’t look good.

Zellara shakes her head.
Zellara: Wow, you guys are really bad at this.
Zellara: The Lost…the Lost indicates an emptiness of soul, of self, or the lack of self-identity.
Zellara looks at Anvari.
Zellara: Now, perhaps it is simply an indication that you have yet to find your way in this world, that you’re not sure where you fit in.
Zellara: I would hate to think that it would mean the opposite, because that’s truly a terrible fate for someone to lose such facets of one’s self.

Jeff leans against… something that is able to be leaned against
Mykele: Well, this has been depressing.
Zellara: Yes I’ve…quite killed the mood, haven’t I?
Zellara looks rather worried.
Mykele: At least we’ll all be well shod.
Zellara: Remember though, even if some of those cards seem to imply some…pretty awful things…they might more be warnings to you than anything else.
Zellara: It just means that you will have a hand in dealing with them in the future.
Zellara: I must admit I didn’t quite expect such a string of bad cards, but…RNG is RNG.
Zellara seems lost in thought.

Mykele: Now what do we do? I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t have any experience at this averting-evil thing.
Dawna: Should we consider rebuilding the house? It’d be nice to have as a halfway house.
Dawna: if we’re going to be guard-assisting ghost-guided crime fighters.
Mykele: All I avert is poor footing, frostbite and heel spurs.
Anvari: My apartment is definitely too small to host all of us.
Jeff: Yeah. When it comes to crime I actually tend to walk on the “grey area” line. I’m decidedly undecided in the eyes of the law.
Mykele: And Istarian and Calliope would seriously be irritated if I let you all run amok in his workshop and her sales floor.
Mykele: So maybe a operating house would be a good idea! Sort of a minor guild hall?
Leyl: The question would be where to keep it. I mean, nothing against you guys, but if we had to meet at a place across town all the time and I had to walk there daily… I’d not be a fan.

After some brief discussion, the party realizes that they all have their own places to live and so don’t need a guild/group building at this point. They divvy up the loot from Gaedren’s stash. Ashe and Jeff take healing potions, Leyl grabs Yargin’s acid flasks, and Dawna takes the Residuum. They realize they still have the bejeweled brooch that they had found in the Old Fishery, and inspecting it closely, they realize that it is likely very, very valuable.

Jeff: [SKILL] Streetwise [4+3 = 7]
Mykele: [SKILL] Streetwise [3+3 = 6]
Dawna: [SKILL] Streetwise [1+2 = 3]
Anvari: [SKILL] Streetwise [3+9 = 12]
Ashe: [SKILL] Streetwise [19+4 = 23]
Leyl: [SKILL] Streetwise [3+5 = 8]

Having grown up in the Church of Ro, Ashe is accustomed to seeing ornate furnishings and lots of personal wealth (on other people), and figures the brooch is worth at least 500 gold pieces. However, since it’s jewelry, Ashe doesn’t really know where one might sell or fence such a thing.

Anna: I have an in with a rare goods dealer. But I haven’t actually ever sold anything to him. All I’ve been doing is buying things from him, and I don’t know him personally, just buy cool shit from his shop.
Pix: I know a merchant.
Quin: The only person that Dawna knows…it’s not really easy to get a hold of him.
Fuzz: I know a fence.
Anna: The only problem with a fence is the same problem as going to the rare goods dealer, and that is we’re going to get fleeced, because they’re going to essentially pawn it. So we’re going to get less than half its value.

Ashe: I know that this brooch is worth a lot. So it could bring up a lot of trouble with us.
Mykele’s eyes bug out.
Mykele: My uncle knows a lady who knows a guy, but I don’t know that I would want to go that route if I had a choice.
Leyl: I know a merchant; we’re good friends.
Leyl: I don’t think she’d try to pull one over on us.
Anna: Let’s try Leyl’s merchant because if they’re actually friends, it’s less of a chance they’ll try to snow us. Whereas if I go into Beetle and Barrel the only thing I’m going on is my good credit as a customer as compared to an actual relationship.

The party heads to the Shrine of Kahra to try to find Leyl’s friend, Keara. Since last night, the Shrine has been cleaned up nicely and things seem to be back to normal. Keara is inside chatting with Excellence. Keara spots Leyl and strolls on over.

Leyl waves to Keara.
Keara: Oh, hey Leyl! Glad to see you made it through the night okay!
Leyl: Likewise. How’s things?
Keara: Well, kinda shitty.
Keara: But, you know, it is what it is. I was just stopping by here to make sure Excellence had everything under control.
Keara: All the shops and vendors and all that seem to be closed today, so…I didn’t much else to do today, really. I guess I’ll take a day off where I can get it, but…
Leyl: Not the way you’d want to, sure.
Keara: Yeah. You know what I’m saying.
Leyl: So, listen, this is more than a social call today.
Keara: Oh? What’s on your mind?
Leyl: Well, I had a bit of an adventure.
Leyl gives Keara a brief summary of the last few days.
Leyl: As a result, we’ve got a few things we’d like to sell. You’re the only merchant we know that any of us have a good relationship with, so I thought I’d bring this to you first, see if maybe you can get your business to consign it or something.
Keara: Well, what did you find? I don’t know if my boss would necessarily want to buy it from you, but I can at least take a look, give you my opinion.
Leyl: It’s a brooch. Here, take a look.
Keara takes the brooch and her eyes go wide, immediately. She whistles.
Keara: Where did you find this?? Are you sure your adventure wasn’t breaking into a nobleman’s house? Because this is…I mean…
Keara holds the brooch up to the light, inspecting it closely.
Keara: This is a very nice gem, and these fittings are perfect. I don’t even specialize in this type of thing, but you’d be ripping yourself off if someone offered you less than…say, 600, 700 gold pieces for this.
Keara: Just the workmanship alone. And it looks really, really old, so there’s probably a lot of sentimental value to whoever this belongs to.
Keara: I’ll be honest, this isn’t really the type of thing I think my boss would like to sell? Because without knowing who this actually belongs to…uh, I don’t think he’d want to get on the bad side of whoever owns this. If you know what I’m saying.
Leyl gives Keara a very deadpan look.
Leyl: Understandable. I think that’s fair; I just thought I’d ask. Maybe we need to find out who owns it instead.

Anna: Don’t we have a ritual that will tell us about an item?
GM: You…do, in fact! That’s one of the rituals in Zellara’s deck. Object Reading.
GM: Since Ashe was the one who said he was going to take the deck, we’ll say it’s in his possession today.

Leyl: We’ll look into it. Wanna meet for dinner tonight? I’m supposed to be singing, but we can meet after.
Keara: Sure, sounds good. Meet you at Cadenza’s!
Leyl: Great!
Leyl smiles.
Leyl: Take care; I’m glad you’re okay. I was worried about you after the fire.

Ashe asks Zellara to perform Object Reading on the brooch, and Zellara tells them that the brooch used to belong to Queen Ilaniel.

Ashe: [SKILL] Arcana [5+6 = 11] (A result good enough for two images.)
Quin (Dawna): I’m crying. That roll is less than my bonus.
Ashe can feel Zellara’s presence hovering next to him, her hands held over the brooch. She waits for Ashe to ask his questions.
Anna: I am not saying this is what we’re asking, I am tossing out potential questions, but we could ask about the owner, or we could ask how Yargin got it.
Ashe: Who owned this brooch before Yargin?
GM: Now’s the point where I have to ask myself, how much of an asshole GM am I?
Fuzz: It’s encoded into your DNA when you become a GM that you’re kind of an asshole.
Kia: Please don’t consult with Pix on this question!
Pix: Okay so after being on the receiving end of the laugh I give you guys, I am keeping my fucking mouth shut whenever Mike asks me a question relating to this game!
Zellara closes her eyes and concentrates, her fingers resting on the brooch.

The party sees Gaedren’s scruffy face peering out of some shadows in what seems to be a large hall, bigger than a typical building. He seems to be lurking about. He has the brooch in his hand. He skulks over to a window, and lifts himself out, lowering himself down with a rope that was tied to the curtains. Landing, he melts into the shadows and disappears into the city, and the party sees that the building he climbed out of was Castle Korvosa.

Kia: So this could be the queen’s jewelry.
Pix: Let’s take this back to the castle.
Dawna swears in just a couple languages.
Kia: Do we want to…make our presence known to the possibly suspect queen yet? And say ‘hey, we found this, and we talked to a ghost, and she said it might be yours.’
Quin: ‘So we murdered the man who we think played a part in killing your husband, we really hope you’re not all tied up in that.
Fuzz: How about the more less is more approach. We just say, WE FOUND THIS, WE THINK IT BELONGS TO YOU, and then SHUT THE FUCK UP
Fuzz: If we need to give more information we can! How about we avoid talking about the ghost and the trail of fucking murder we left across the city and just give as little information as we’re fucking required to give!
Anna: We could also skip the whole process and just turn it in to the Guard.
Fuzz: But then we wouldn’t get paid for it.
GM: You could also try to sell it.
Quin: No. No. I am not selling something that came out of the castle.
Kia: No! No! Especially if the Queen who obviously murdered her husband finds it and it gets traced back to us, then all of our heads come off and we’re exactly like Zellara. I don’t want to spend my existence as a ghost.
Anna: I seriously think the best thing we can do at this point in time is go back to the Guard and be like oh hey by the way we found this. Because they like us right now. They think we just did a really good thing.
Fuzz: That’s a good point.
Anna: So they would be willing to hand-wave some weird shady shit because we just rescued a whole bunch of kidnapped kids. And in two weeks, if the city is still on fire, that will not be the case.
Kia: Especially if we do this in coordination with going to volunteer our services. ‘Hey Guards, we’re here to help, oh yeah we also found this thing and hope we might be able to find the proper owner for it.’ Now we’re double heroes.
Fuzz: Jeff is still unsure about the whole freelancing for the city guard thing.

Zellara is kind of looking at the party still.
Zellara: You can…ask another question, if you like, if there’s anything else you want to know about this brooch.
Quin: So all we saw was Gaedren leaving the castle?
GM: Yes. The question was, who owned the brooch before Yargin.
Anna: We know he picked it up in the castle.
Quin: Well, maybe it wasn’t the queen or the king, it might have been some other noble who happened to be in the castle.
Kia: Do you think there’s any particular motive as to why this particular piece of jewelry? Is it more than just a piece of jewelry?
Kia: In theory maybe he wasn’t looking for expensive pieces of jewelry, he was looking for this piece of jewelry. In which case, why? What’s it do? Is it special? Does it glow? Does it make you turn invisible?
GM: Well, magic-users can do an Arcana check if they want.
Kia: I can’t help you in this campaign, I’m not magic.
GM: You are completely mundane.
Kia: I’m very mundane.
Dawna: [SKILL] Arcana [15+13 = 28]
GM: No, it’s very nice, it’s well-crafted, but it’s not magical at all.

Zellara looks at the party.
Zellara: You know, I do have places to go…that’s actually a lie, I don’t have anywhere I need to go.
Anna: I think we can either ask what it does, and risk that it does nothing, or we can ask who owned the brooch before Gaedren.
Quin: I would personally say who owned the brooch before Gaedren, because if it’s not magical…
Pix: Who owned the brooch.
Quin: I’d really like to know if it belonged to the Queen, or someone who’s less likely to just nonchalantly remove our heads from our shoulders.
Kia: I seriously do not like this Queen. I think she’s evil. Just putting it out there.
GM: You’ve…you’ve never met her or anything, yet!
Kia: Doesn’t matter! Mykele’s got good instincts.

Zellara: So, you want to just take a mulligan here, or…
Ashe: Who owned this brooch before Gaedren?

The party sees a vision of King Eodred and Queen Ilaniel making one of their public appearances, walking through the streets, greeting people, smiling and waving. The party sees the brooch very prominently pinned to the Queen’s collar.

Fuzz: So it was hers. Okay.
Anna: I vote we take it to the Guard. We say we don’t know who it belongs to, we found this, we think it probably belonged to someone because Gaedren was a lying dirty thief, and there’s no way he came by this honestly.
Fuzz: We’ll leave it to you to discover who it belongs to, and shut the fuck up!
Anna: And shut the fuck up!

The party heads to Citadel Volrane to give it to Cordra. They find her, and she takes one look at the brooch and immediately recognizes it.

Cordra: Oh you’re here already? I didn’t think you’d be looking for work so fast.
Cordra: I’ve got this couple that seems to be squabbling really loud at night, and their neighbors are being kept up all night by the disturbance, they think they heard a window break one night, and —
Fuzz: Man, I’m not going to be foot patrol for these fuckers!
GM: Do you say that out loud?
Fuzz: No!
Leyl: Cordra, hold on.
Cordra: Oh, yeah, what’s up?
Leyl: That’s not why we’re here.
Jeff: So. We found this thing in Gaedren’s stash earlier, and it occurs to us that there’s no way he could’ve come by it honestly.
Cordra: Nah, probably not! What is it?
Jeff: No idea who it belongs to, but they’re probably missing it pretty sorely. Any way you could see it back to whomever it belonged to?
Jeff: [SKILL] Bluff [15+8 = 23]
Cordra takes the brooch and looks at it for a second.
Cordra: OH SHIT!
Jeff: Uhm.
Mykele: Maybe you know who that belongs to?
Cordra: You say Gaedren had this??
Jeff: Yeah, it was in his stuff.
Dawna and Siccup go wide-eyed
Cordra: Hooooly crap. Well, you guys just hit the lottery, boys and girls. Yeah, this here brooch, it belongs to the Queen! And it’s been missing for almost a month now, and she’s actually registered it with the Guard as stolen property.
Mykele: The Queen. You don’t say.
Cordra: I’m proud of you all for turning it in and doing the right thing, and not trying to sell it to make a quick buck.
Jeff covers his face with his hands.
Leyl bites her lip.
Cordra: Good news for you is, the Queen has actually offered a pretty hefty reward for it. So you should head on up to the castle right away, and I’m sure she’ll be just thrilled to see you’ve found it!
Pix: So not for nothing, but do we think there’s anything we should get so we don’t go up there and say ‘Hey, here’s this thing that was stolen!’ ?
Jeff: We won’t like… be arrested for taking it there, will we?
Jeff: I mean…. look at us. We’re not exactly the most reputable looking sort.
Dawna: Well, you’re not the most reputable looking sort.
Jeff glares at Dawna
Leyl giggles. Actually a surprising sound coming from the paladin.
Jeff: Thanks a bunch.Cordra: No, no. The Queen knows it was stolen, and unless you go up there and say, hey, we stole this, I wouldn’t expect any trouble.
Cordra: And you say you found this in Gaedren’s stuff?
Jeff: Yeah, it was in the fishery.
Cordra: Well, look. I believe you. I know what you just did. You all seem pretty worried. I think you’re worried about nothing, but do you want me to write you a letter confirming you are who you say you are, that I vouch for you, for your veracity, and all other sorts of official nonsense, that kind of thing?
Anna: And the fact that we did actually bust in there and beat this guy’s ass and take all of his shit, because that’s a legitimate way for us to have it.
Jeff: A letter would be most helpful actually, yes.
Cordra: Okay! No problem.

Cordra grabs some paper and scrawls a note, signs it, then stamps it with the Korvosan Guard’s seal. She hands it over to the party.
The note says THESE PEOPLE ARE GOOD PEOPLE. Signed, Captain Cordra Goldhand.
Pix: OKAY, that’s where I check out.
Quin: At least it’s got her seal on it, that’s really all I care about.
GM: Okay, we’ll call it here and next time you guys can go to the Castle.
Kia: I’m going to have to work really hard to make sure Mykele doesn’t just haul off and punch the Queen in the nose because the Queen is a baddie. She’s evil.

View
Session 06 - The Fall of Gaedren Lamm

Relevant wiki entries: Arkona Imports, Arliten, Gaedren, Hart, Jimbo, Kaggen, Larry, Mince, Omar, Runkus, Tipped Tankard, Zellara

Due to Anvari being absent last session, we rewound a bit to allow Anvari to do her friends & family check that the other party members did. Anvari initially wanted to check in on what was happening with Verik Vancaskerkin, but then realized that short of checking in at Citadel Volrane herself, there was no real way of finding out that information due to it being official Guard business at that point.

Instead, Anvari returned to House Shavra to check on her friends there. On her way, she passed by Lancet Street, where Zellara’s parlor was located. She noticed that some of the houses on this street had been damaged by fire, including Zellara’s, and there was a large group of civilians gathered on the street mingling and gawking. After determining that nothing was currently happening — that the gawkers were mostly just watching and ensuring no further fires broke out — Anvari decided to keep going.

House Shavra turned out to be in rather good shape, likely due to its location in the Heights, and its close proximity to Castle Korvosa. The House was rather packed, with other members who had been elsewhere and had made their way back for safety/recuperation, and also house members’ friends or acquaintances who had nowhere else to go, or whose homes had been damaged in the riots. Anvari is content with this and makes her way back, this time taking a route that brings her closer to the Castle, which is being heavily patrolled by guards, partially due to the riots, but also likely due to the death of the king / crowning of the new queen.

Anvari makes her way to Arkona Imports around noon, just as a light rain starts to fall. She finds herself looking at the warehouse, being guarded only by Jimbo, who is muttering and grumbling to himself in a foul mood. She does not, however, see the party anywhere. Recognizing the area, Anvari decides to head over to the Tipped Tankard and avoid Jimbo for the time being, since she doesn’t want to make him suspicious. Heading in, she finds Artem behind the bar like yesterday, and Brulo once more passed out drunk at his corner table, like yesterday.

Artem: Oh, I didn’t expect to see you back again! Not…many people come back to this place.
Anvari: Hi, just wondering if you’ve seen any of the people I was here yesterday with? They told me to come down here and now I can’t find them.
Artem: Nope! Ain’t seen anyone, just you. In fact, you’ve been our first customer all day! You want some dumplings?
Anvari: No.
Artem: Yeah, I didn’t think so. No, I haven’t seen anyone else, it’s just me and the boss over there. If they stop by, want me to let ’em know you were here?
Anvari: Yeah, if you see them, let them know that I am looking for them.
Artem: Will do!
Artem shoots Anvari finger pistols and winks.

Fuzz: I think he might be flirting with you.
Anna: Yeah, I think so.

Anvari steps out of the tavern, and notices what looks like possible signs of a struggle along the back side of the warehouse, where a pile of gravel has been knocked all over the dock. She heads over to investigate and finds one of the tall bay doors to the warehouse rolled up, and the rest of the party lurking inside, whispering and gesturing and trying to be quiet.

Anvari: (very quietly) What the fuck? What’s going on.
Kia: get in nerd we’re about to bash Larry on the head
Leyl gives Anvari a sheepish, yet manic, grin.
Kia: let me explain. No, it is too much. Let me sum up.
Quin: Hahahahaha

Mykele (whisper): I hate to do it but Larry needs to go in that box.
Mykele (whisper): We didn’t get to see the whole warehouse. There’s a room where they could be keeping the kids.
Mykele (whisper): But… I am pretty sure I’ve exhausted Larry’s, uh, trust.

The party is quite reluctant to get into a fight with all of those thugs hanging around outside in the warehouse, so Leyl suggests sneaking out the east curtain exit, to try to make it into the unrevealed room near the back of the warehouse, in case that’s where the abducted children are. With luck, the kids will be there so the party can grab them, return to the loading bay, and leave the warehouse without the thugs being alerted. They decide to have Jeff standing guard at the front curtain, waiting to bash Larry over the head if he enters, while Mykele and Dawna — the stealthiest PCs — will go sneak out and check out the room, with Dawna picking the lock and Mykele keeping an eye out/covering her. Ashe, Anvari, and Leyl will wait near the east curtain so they are out of sight if Larry does poke his head back into the room.

Quin: our stealthy people. Person, our stealthy person – Dawna can pick locks, but move quietly might be a stretch
Fuzz: idk pix has rolled like 19 and 20 on stealth rolls like every single time.
Kia: Yeah and I am the stealthy person and I’m the one who fell through the window.
Kia: I’m just going to point that out. Got us all into this situation to begin with.

Larry: Hey Angela, are you almost done? It’s been a while!
Larry: I mean I don’t wanna rush you…but…well, it’s been a while.
Larry: That’s all.
Mykele looks panicked.
Mykele gestures at Jeff in a “whack him on the head” way.
Jeff shrugs and points at the curtain vaguely
Fuzz: should i call him in here? offer him a “small gift” for all of the trouble we’ve caused him?

Dawna takes this as the indication that they should leave and head for the other room, so she does so.
Mykele doesn’t answer Larry, instead sneaking out after Dawna.
Leyl waits by the curtain, listening for any shouts of alarm coming from above.

Dawna: [SKILL] Stealth [18+2 = 20]
Mykele: [SKILL] Stealth [12+10 = 22]

Dawna and Mykele quietly make their way over to the door, which is locked. Up above, there are two thugs who could potentially spot them, but they have their attention focused toward the center of the warehouse. Meanwhile, Jeff decides that if Larry does poke his head in, rather than bonk him on the head right away (causing him to possibly fall unconscious halfway through the door), he’s going to act all buddy-buddy and pull him into the room casually first. Anvari and Ashe join Leyl, tucked back behind the stack of crates, out of sight in case Larry does enter the room.

Dawna: [SKILL] Thievery [9+10 = 20]

Dawna deftly picks the lock, and listens at the door to see if she hears anything inside. Hearing nothing, she and Mykele enter and close the door behind them, finding a small squarish room with a mechanical lift inside, with a lever on the wall nearby.

Dawna: I think we should get the others in here.
Dawna: At least it’s more defensible.
Dawna: Much more defensible.
Dawna: If things go rotten.
Mykele: Agreed.

Larry: Hey Angela are you alright? You didn’t fall and hurt yourself did you?
Larry: I hope you’re decent, I’m just gonna come back and make sure everything’s cool, but uh, just giving you a warning.
Larry: Alright, I’m, uh, I’m coming back! I’m coming back right now! …okay!

Larry steps into the back room.

Jeff: Hey, come on in Larry.
Jeff: It’s ok, she’s behind the boxes.
Larry: Hey Sam-m-m! Everything alright back here? Hey how’d the door get open? You must be cold! Here, let me go shut that.
Jeff: It’s fine
Larry: But it’s going to get all wet in here.
Jeff: no, don’t worry about the door.
Larry: Well…
Jeff: Here, listen, Larry, we’ve given you so much trouble. I have something for you.
Larry: (chortles) Well that’s nice of you! You didn’t have to! But…okay what is it?
Jeff guides Larry further into the room.
Larry follows, a big dopey grin on his face.
Jeff puts his arm around Larry, and gives him a slight nudge forward, and wails Larry in the back of the head with his warhammer.
Fuzz: I am meaning not to kill him but in this particular case I might kind of sever his spine.

Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [8+7 = 15] [HIT]
Jeff: [DAMAGE (M)] Warhammer [3+2 = 5] → [to Larry] [STATUS: Dead]
Jeff (mumbling): I’m really sorry we had to do that…
Kia: YOU KILLED LARRY!
Larry keels over with a thump onto the warehouse floor. He’s actually just unconscious, not dead.
Kia: Sorry Larry.

Jeff drags Larry back behind some crates so he’s out of sight from the curtain entrance, being sure to turn him on his side so he doesn’t choke. Mykele sneaks back to get the others, she and Dawna having decided that if all the thugs out there DO notice them, the elevator room would be a better place to hole up defensively. Leyl tiptoes out, but bangs her armor on the wall. However, the noise is drowned out by the sound of Jimbo arriving and calling for Larry.

Mykele: [SKILL] Stealth [18+10 = 28]
Mykele sees Larry and feels sorry for him.
Mykele gestures for the others to follow her.
Leyl: [SKILL] Stealth [8 = 8]

Jimbo: Hey Larry, we’re on GUARD DUTY! What are you doing now??
Fuzz: I am so getting out of line of sight from that curtain now.
Jimbo: Larry. Larry are you back there?
Jimbo: (to someone else) Did Larry go back there? He did, right? A few minutes ago? Where the hell is he?
Jimbo: We’re on guard duty, it’s supposed to be me and Larry guarding the front door, not just me!
Jimbo: Larry!
Pix: Alright move in guys let’s go!
Fuzz: Yeah it’s moving time.

Mykele: [SKILL] Stealth [12+10 = 22]
Ashe: [SKILL] Stealth [7 = 7]

Mykele steathily retraces her route from before, but Ashe is not nearly as graceful, clunking his way along behind her. Dawna is holding the door open for them, and just as she shuts the door, she sees one of the archers on the catwalk glances over in their direction, seemingly hearing the noise, but not actually spotting them.

Quin: Alrighty.
Quin: Dawna randomly gets a streak of grey in her hair, nobody else is really sure why.

Jimbo: Larry I hate to do this but if you don’t come back on guard duty I’m gonna have to write you up, man.
Jimbo: We’ve got those new policies in place, I’ve already turned a blind eye long enough.
Jimbo: It’s my ass on the line if I don’t write you up, man. I don’t wanna do it, but you’re not giving me much choice here.

Jeff kind of hurries Anvari on quietly.
Anvari: [SKILL] Stealth [8+4 = 12]
Dawna grumbles.
Dawna: This sneaking around stuff is for thieves.
Jeff (whispering): Ahhhhh shit.

Catwalk Archer: Hey, was that…I think I just saw something in the back of the warehouse.
Catwalk Archer: I’m not sure though…maybe I was just imagining things. I’m going to go check it out.
Fuzz: Aw, crap, I’m ducking back behind the curtain again.
Jimbo brushes the curtain aside and walks into the loading bay.
Fuzz: SHIT
Jimbo: Who left the goddamn door open?! No wonder it’s so cold in here!
Jimbo: Larry, are you — did Larry go outside? Why would he go outside? It’s raining!

Jimbo, muttering to himself, walks over toward the open loading bay door. He’s grumbling and doesn’t notice Larry lying on the floor. Up above, the Catwalk Archer is scanning the area, wondering if she really did see something. Jeff decides to try to hide…and critically fails.

Jimbo (looking out the open door): Someone wrecked our gravel pile. Well, whatever. I guess I’ll just shut this door. I wonder where Larry went, though.
Fuzz: can I make a hide check? lol
Jeff: [SKILL] Stealth [1 = 1]
Dawna facepalms.
Mykele winces.
Fuzz: I am going to charge this motherfucker!

Jeff charges Jimbo through the crates, sending crates flying and splintering across the floor. He catches Jimbo by surprise and knocks him out.

Jimbo: WHAT THE
Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Warhammer (vs. AC) [4+9 = 13] [HIT]
Jeff: [DAMAGE (M)] Warhammer [8+2 = 8] → [to Jimbo] [STATUS: Dead]
Mykele: This is about to get bad, we need to get upstairs.

DM: Okay so you rush forward with your thug-felling hammer, and clunk him in the head, and he topples to the ground unconscious, unless you meant to kill him.
Fuzz: I wasn’t necessarily trying to not kill him, let’s just say that.

Meanwhile, the Catwalk Archer has wandered off to talk to one of the other people up on the catwalk. She seems to have accepted that she hadn’t seen anything, that it was just a result of her sitting inside, being bored. Then Jeff attempts to stealth again.

Jeff: [SKILL] Stealth [5 = 5]
Fuzz: AW MAN

Jeff hears another person approaching the front curtain, so he just goes for the elevator room. In his haste, he rips the curtain off its hinges, leaving the curtain draped and tangled around his shoulders, dragging the curtain rod along the ground behind him. The Catwalk Archer up above boggles at the sight of this curtain apparition floating by, but her companion doesn’t notice.

Catwalk Archer: Hey I definitely saw something that time! Look there’s a guy back there!
Catwalk Thug: I don’t…see anyone. You feeling alright? Maybe you should call it a sick day.
Catwalk Archer: No I saw someone! He was…wearing a curtain for some reason?

Fuzz: Fail your persuasion! Fail your persuasion check you motherfucker! Natural 1 persuasion! You suck! You’re a terrible convincer, you’re a known liar! You suck! You’re the boy who cried wolf!
Quin: You’re seeing people run around the bottom of the warehouse covered in curtain, have you maybe had some bad dock dumpling today?

The party gathers by the door, tensely listening to the conversation up above.

Catwalk Archer: Persuasion [2 = 2]
Catwalk Thug: Did you say he was…wearing a curtain?
Catwalk Archer: …yeah I guess that sounds pretty weird, doesn’t it.
Catwalk Thug: Yeah I think you might be uh, seeing things. You can go check it out if you want, but I’d hold off before telling the boss.
Catwalk Thug: You go tell him there’s a curtain-wearing…ghost running around in here, I think he’s gonna throw you out a window.
Catwalk Archer: Well…alright. I’ll go take a look. I’m sure it’s nothing but I’ll go take a look myself.

Meanwhile, Leyl has taken the lift up to the second floor, using the sounds of the crates smashing to cover the noise of the elevator rising up. She emerges into a similar 10-foot room, and sends the elevator back down. She hears the clanging footsteps of the Catwalk Archer approaching, and hides behind the doors, which swing inwards into the room.

Leyl: [SKILL] Perception [16+10 = 26]
Leyl moves off to the side and raises her sword.
DM: Now what is your intention? Jeff was trying to knock Larry unconscious, what are you trying to do.
Pix: I do not have time for that bullshit.

The Catwalk Archer strides in through the doors, preoccupied, and steps right past Leyl. As the doors swing shut behind her, she kind of pauses, and slowly turns toward Leyl, a quizzical look on her face.

Leyl: [ATTACK (M)] Melee Basic Attack (vs. AC) [2+8 = 10] [MISS]

The Catwalk Archer, though surprised, shoots Leyl with her shortbow. The party down below all pile on the elevator and quickly raise it to join Leyl, preparing to use the double doors as a defensive bottleneck. The Archer does call for help, but her cry is drowned out by the sound of the elevator rising up. Seeing herself surrounded by an elevator squished full of people, the Archer immediately throws her bow down and surrenders.

Catwalk Archer 5: [ATTACK®] Shortbow (vs. AC) [19+8 = 27] [HIT]
Catwalk Archer 5: [DAMAGE®] Shortbow 4 → [to Leyl]

Leyl: …seriously, you guys?
Catwalk Archer looks at Leyl.
Catwalk Archer looks at the five people jammed into the elevator.
Catwalk Archer (tossing her bow down): Nope! I’m not paid enough for this.
Dawna: Hey look, a smart one.
Leyl collects her shortbow and shortsword.
Catwalk Archer: I don’t know what you’re here for, but you know what? I never saw you.
Catwalk Archer: In fact, they told me to take a sick day, and I think that’s a really good idea.
Leyl: That’s right. You should take a sick day, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll forget we were ever here, and you’ll forget who Gaedren Lamm is.
Catwalk Archer: I…who? I don’t even see anyone in this room, what are you talking about?
Leyl: Smart girl. Get out.

Jeff: That’s a great idea, but before you go…
Jeff: Kids. Where are the kids?
Catwalk Archer: Oh, they’re uh, they’re right in there! You want ’em? Just…just take ’em!
Catwalk Archer gestures outside, pointing above where the loading bay is.
Jeff: Alright. Get out of here.

The party listens as the elevator descends, footsteps run into the loading bay, pause for a second, then continue on outside. While watching, they realize that there’s an opening on the ceiling above the elevator, indicating that the lift also ascends to the third floor.

Fuzz: She’s like, body, door, another body…fuck it! Gone.
Kia: Smart girl.
Dawna: Over for the kids, or up one more to try and find him?
Dawna: Cause I’d rather find Gaedren and deal with him before getting the kids into potential danger.
Ashe: Since we know that the kids are on this floor, I think we should investigate to see if there is any more danger. It is going to be harder to bring kids through combat.

The party decides to head on up to the third floor first, to try to handle Gaedren and any other threats before freeing the children. And also that killing/defeating Gaedren first might demoralize/intimidate all the thugs on the lower floors. They decide to send Jeff, Ashe, Mykele and Leyl up first. The elevator rises up and they find themselves in a landing, along with two thugs sitting at a table relaxing. The PCs burst out to try to take care of the thugs before they can raise an alarm, with Ashe sending the elevator back down before stepping out into the room.

The two Gaedren thugs don’t even turn to look as the elevator rises up.
Fuzz: I am going to bust out, weapon ready, I see people, and I charge the first person I see.

Jeff: Warhammer (vs. AC) [6+7 = 13] → [at Gaedren Thief 44] [MISS]
Jeff’s swings right past them and knocking a mug off the table.
Jeff: There’s your one warning. Get out now.

Leyl: Oath of Enmity → [to Gaedren Thief 42]
Leyl: Melee Basic Attack (vs. AC) [2+9 = 11] [MISS]
Leyl: Melee Basic Attack (vs. AC) [1+8 = 9] [MISS]
Leyl knocks the second mug off the table.

Mykele: [ATTACK] Rapid Shot (vs. AC) [7+7 = 14] [at Gaedren Thief 42] [MISS]
Mykele: [ATTACK] Rapid Shot (vs. AC) [2+7 = 9] [at Gaedren Thief 44] [MISS]
Kia: We’re not doing so hot here guys!
Pix: This is going to be a fantastic session, you guys.

Ashe: [ATTACK (M)] Weapon of Divine Protection (vs. AC) [1d20+6 = 15] [at Gaedren Thief 42] [MISS]

Gaedren Thief 44 stands up in alarm, checks himself for injuries, once, twice, three times. He looks at the cleft table, the smashed mugs, the arrows in the wall behind him, and he shrugs and attempts to stab Jeff.
Gaedren Thief 44: [ATTACK] Short Sword (vs. AC) [5+7 = 12] [at Jeff] [MISS]
Pix: Jesus, it’s going to be like this on both sides?? We’re going to be doing this combat in two weeks!

Gaedren Thief 42 looks around at the other five people in the room and sighs.
Gaedren Thief 42: You losers. I’m gonna show you how to do it.
Gaedren Thief 42: [ATTACK (M)] Short Sword (vs. AC) [4+7 = 11] [at Jeff] [MISS]

Gaedren Thief 42 misses Jeff, then holds up her hand.
Gaedren Thief 42: Alright, alright, hold on. Before we go any further…let’s just agree that the last six seconds never happened, okay? That sound good to everyone?
Leyl: I’m okay with that.
Mykele: Agreed!

After that disastrous first round of combat, Jeff and Leyl quickly put down the two sentries. Leyl moves across to stand by another door and listen at it, but she doesn’t hear anything. Anvari and Dawna ride the lift up to join the others. Mykele puts her ear to a set of double doors leading and hears the sound of chairs being pushed back, and murmured voices.

Mykele (whisper): I think someone in there heard us.
The left door swings open, and another thief stabs at Ashe. Behind him, more gang members with raised weapons approach.
Jeff steps forward, clubs down the thief in the doorway, and looks into the room beyond.
Jeff: Hi. We’ve been told that there’s a whole lot of garbage to be taken out here.
Kaggen: Your face is garbage! Because it’s ugly! Garbage face!
Mykele gives Kaggen a pitying look.
Mykele: Oh honey, we’ll work on the insults, okay?

Gaedren’s gang moves in and attacks. Jeff get stabbed by one thief, then burned as Mince, a halfling warlock, hops up on the table and hits him with Hellish Rebuke. And rawrawrawrs like a chihuahua. A burly enforcer named Kaggen rushes forward faces off against Jeff, blocking the doorway. Unable to reach anyone, Leyl peeks into the doorway she’s standing by, and discovers a staircase leading down. Anvari leaves the elevator to Dawna and steps off, blasting Kaggen with Dire Radiance.

Mince: [ATTACK®] Hellish Rebuke (vs. Ref) [4+7 = 11] → [at Jeff] [HIT]
Mince: [DAMAGE®] Hellish Rebuke [TYPE: fire] [1+3 = 4] → [to Jeff]

Dawna is looking over her tools, consulting with Siccup on how best to win over this slow and boring lift-device.
Dawna holds up an unstable tiny tinker bot, and Siccup shakes his head at the prospect of using it.

One of the thieves runs to a door at the back of the room and starts banging on it. Mykele looses another pair of bolts, killing one of Gaedren’s thieves and hitting Mince. As Mince takes damage, his Hellish Rebuke spell triggers and — surprisingly — burns not just Jeff in retaliation, but also Ashe and Mykele as well, who are both standing next to Jeff.

Gaedren Thief: Hey boss, we got company!

Mykele: [ATTACK] Rapid Shot (vs. AC) [9+7 = 16] → at Gaedren Thief 49] [HIT]
Mykele: [DAMAGE] Rapid Shot [FOCUS 1,1D] [BRUTAL 2] [FOCUS CRIT ] [4+5 = 9] → [to Gaedren Thief 49] [STATUS: Dead]

Mykele: [ATTACK] Rapid Shot (vs. AC) [14+7 = 21] → [at Mince] [HIT]
Mykele: [DAMAGE] Rapid Shot [FOCUS 1,1D] [BRUTAL 2] [FOCUS CRIT ] [3+5 = 8] → to Mince] [STATUS: Moderate]

Mince: [DAMAGE] Hellish Rebuke [TYPE: fire] [4+3 = 7] → [to Jeff] [STATUS: Moderate]
Hart scampers around the room into a corner, where none of the party can see her.

Ashe moves over to the other door and attempts to shove it open, but he fails. So he heals Jeff instead. On her turn, Dawna pulls out various metal parts and jams them into the elevator’s winches, preventing the lift from moving down from the third floor. Satisfied, she joins the others and summons Baymax behind Kaggen, inside the room the thieves are in, who kicks Kaggen in the shins. Kaggen growls and slashes Jeff, dragging him into the room.

Ashe: [ABILITY] Strength check [2+3 = 5]
Ashe: [HEAL] Healing Word 11 → [to Jeff]

Dawna: [SKILL] Thievery [2+10 = 12]
Dawna: [SKILL] Thievery [9+10 = 19]

Now that Jeff is out of the way, Leyl steps into the room as well. Neither of them catch sight of Hart, however. Anvari gets into a Warlock duel with Mince, blasting him with Dire Radiance. Mykele joins in and shoots Mince, but Mince uses his halfling racial ability to force her to reroll. This was a mistake.

Leyl: [SKILL] Perception [1+10 = 11]
Jeff: [SKILL] Perception [1+4 = 5]

Mykele: [ATTACK] Disruptive Shot (vs. AC) [8+10 = 18] → [at Mince] [HIT]
Mince uses Second Chance and forces Mykele to reroll the attack.
Mykele: [ATTACK] Disruptive Shot (vs. AC) [20+9 = 29] → [at Mince] [CRITICAL HIT]
Mykele: [DAMAGE] Disruptive Shot [CRITICAL] [MAX] [8+5 = 13] → [to Mince]
Mykele: Thanks!
Mykele looks delighted at the halfling’s choice.
Mince is very distraught.
Mykele mocks him as a free action.

Hart, who was hiding in the corner, shadow leaps in front of the open door and shuts it, cutting off Ashe, Anvari, Mykele and Dawna. She then rakes Jeff in the face with her wrist claw, blinding him. Ashe tries to smash the door open again, but is unable to beat Hart’s opposed strength check. He turns to the other door to try to push Jeff out of the way, but is also unable to do that.

Hart: [ATTACK] Blinding Cut (vs. AC) [11+10 = 21] → [at Jeff] [HIT]
Hart: [DAMAGE] Blinding Cut [3+8 = 11] → [to Jeff] [STATUS: Bloodied]
Effect [‘Blinded’] → [to Jeff] [by Hart]

Ashe: [ABILITY] Strength check [6+3 = 9]
Hart: [ABILITY] Strength check [19+2 = 21]
Ashe attempts to push open the left door, but Hart easily outmuscles him.
Ashe: [ABILITY] Strength check [5+3 = 8]
Ashe slams against the other door, jolting Jeff, but can’t push the surprised, blinded Jeff aside.
Jeff: THE HELL

Dawna, unable to target Hart for her Shocking Armor Enhancement attack, decides instead to target the door itself. She blows the door open, knocking a surprised Hart and Baymax further into the room. Dawna enters the room and now that she can see Jeff, gives him a much-needed heal.

DM: You can still use it and count the secondary target as the door in this case.
DM: You will still have to hit the door, but surprise, the door does not have very good Reflex.

Dawna: [ATTACK ©] Personal Defense Bolstering Sporadically Shocking Armor Enhancement (vs. Fort) [13+5 = 18]

The door at the other end of the room opens up, and an older human man with a scowl on his face steps into the room, armed with a long jagged knife and a hand crossbow. He fires his hand crossbow at Dawna, but misses. Mince, still dazed, retreats back into the room Gaedren just emerged from.

Gaedren: Who in the hell, are you.
Mykele: Candygram!
Gaedren: Wh-what? I didn’t order any candy!

Dawna: Who the hell are you?
Gaedren: Who are YOU? This is my house!
Gaedren: Well…warehouse. That’s sort of a house.
Dawna: Oh. You’re Gaedren then.
Dawna smiles very happily.
Gaeden: I can see I’m going to have to hire some new help.
Leyl: He’s Lamm?
Gaedren: That’s me, who are you? Why are you here? You’re not a candygram, I don’t buy that.
Mykele: Who said the candy was for YOU?!

Jeff: [ATTACK (M)] Aspect of Elevated Harmony (vs. AC) [BLINDED] [EFFECTS -5] [13+2 = 15] → [at Kaggen] [MISS]
Jeff: [DAMAGE (M)] Aspect of Elevated Harmony [FOCUS 1,2D] [FOCUS CRIT ] [HALF] [2d10+5 = 20] 10 → [to Kaggen]
Jeff: [HEAL] Aspect of Elevated Harmony → Heal 8[HS-1] → [to Jeff]

Kaggen: [ATTACK (M)] Brutal Cut (vs. AC) [18+7 = 25] → [at Jeff] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [HIT]
Kaggen: [DAMAGE (M)] Brutal Cut [2d10+5 = 18] → [to Jeff] [STATUS: Bloodied]

Pix: I’m going to shift, spend an action point, I am going to deal 5 damage to myself, and say, Hello, Gaedren Lamm! (rolls a 4) FUUUUCK

Ashe calls upon his goddess and, despite missing Gaedren with the primary effect, still inflicts a powerful magical deterrent upon Gaedren, rendering the old man’s weapons all but useless as long as Ashe continues to sustain the effect. As Gaedren’s allies start to keel over around him, Gaedren begins losing his taste for the battle. Leyl and Anvari both unleash on Gaedren with powerful daily attacks. He responds by drawing a tarot card and holding it up. It glows, then burns to ash, and Gaedren fades away and turns ghostly and transparent. As this happens, though, his eyes turn bloodshot, his hair seems to grow a few inches, and he visibly slumps slightly.

Dawna pats the automaton on the head with a smile.
Dawna: I’m owed an eye little guy, go get it for me.

However, a few thugs and that vicious dog from the ground level show up, having run up the stairs. Shortly thereafter, Mince emerges from the back room, his wounds somewhat healed, and hurls a wave of force at Mykele and Anvari, knocking them backwards out the window onto the rooftop outside. They quickly scramble back inside, but Gaedren actually rushes past everyone and jumps out the window himself (avoiding three opportunity attacks in the process), and runs down the rain-slicked tiles to the edge.

Mince Hellish Rebukes Baymax, then takes his wand, which has a jagged tip on the end, and jabs it into his own palm, drawing blood and triggering the retributive property of Hellish Rebuke. This burns Baymax, destroying it, and splashing a bit of fire damage onto Dawna and Ashe.

Mykele chases Gaedren out onto the roof and knocks him prone. Dawna also follows, smacking Gaedren with a shot from her sling.

Gaedren stands up, tucks his weapons away, runs for the edge of the roof and jumps for the Tipped Tankard roof…and doesn’t clear the gap. He does manage to grab hold of the edge, but is now dangling fifteen feet off the ground.

Jeff looks at the archer.
Jeff: So… your boss just fucking bolted… you still wanna do this?
The archer looks around the room, reaches out with her bow, hooks the doorknob, and slowly closes the door.
Jeff shrugs
Jeff: Alright then.
Jeff and Anvari climb out onto the roof.
Jeff: It’s over Gaedren. Time to give up this shit.
Gaedren: I have to admit, things have been better.

Not wanting to head out on the rooftop, Ashe pushes some of the heavy crates in front of the door leading to the stairs, then joins Leyl in the southern room. They find a well-appointed office, with a desk covered in papers, a plush sitting chair, and a locked chest in the corner. Leyl borrows Ashe’s morningstar to start bashing open the chest, while Ashe gathers up the papers.

Anna: I can’t get into range…my abilities are range 10 and I have a movement speed of 6.
GM: You could do what Jeff did and try to surf down the roof a bit.
Anna: That seems like a REALLY POOR PLAN.

The party takes a few more shots at Gaedren, hurting him but not managing to kill him. He climbs up onto the roof of the Tipped Tankard and turns to face them, and starts monologuing.

Gaedren: You’re gonna regret this! No one does this to Gaedren Lamm!
Gaedren: I’m gonna own this city, and the next time I see you, I’m gonna —"
Gaedren falls through the roof, with a startled shriek.
There is the sound of crashing and splintering of wood from inside the tavern, and Mykele is able to hear multiple voices shouting in surprise.
A few seconds later, she also hears the sound of a scuffle.

Jeff runs back inside, intent on finding the children, since he’s not too keen on throwing them across the rooftops as a way to get out of here. Dawna, however, readies herself to jump off the roof after Gaedren. However, she is halted by Anvari, who holds up her rope and points at the nearby trapdoor, so that Dawna can lower herself down rather than leap across.

Mykele yanks open the hatch and peeks inside, and to her surprise, spots three children sitting miserably on a rug in the corner of the room.
Mykele: CALIN!
Calin: Auntie Myk!
Mykele: Calin you stay right there! I’m coming down to get you out of there!
Anvari ties off the rope to the ladder, and gives it to Dawna.

Leyl: I NEED A HAMMER!
Leyl: OR SOMEONE WITH A SET OF KEYS!

Dawna climbs down but in her haste, slips off the end, taking a few points of falling damage. She rushes around to the front of the tavern and bursts in, where she finds Gaedren battling with Arliten, Drula, Runkus, and Brondo. Runkus is down on the floor, bleeding. Artem is backed up behind the bar in surprise, while Brulo (the fat, drunken owner) seems to have been knocked unconscious by Gaedren landing on him. Another man (named Omar) is sitting at a table, a shocked look on his face.

Omar: Is this…part of the job interview?
Dawna: That man right there has been kidnapping kids and selling them to Chalax! Don’t let him leave!

Dawna: [ATTACK ©] Personal Defense Bolstering Sporadically Shocking Armor Enhancement (vs. Fort) [19+5 = 24] → [at Gaedren Lamm] [HIT]
Dawna: [DAMAGE ©] Personal Defense Bolstering Sporadically Shocking Armor Enhancement [1+5 = 6] → [to Gaedren Lamm]

Dawna shoves Gaedren back into the corner, who is now looking really bad. Anvari climbs down and runs into the tavern, and looses fire at Gaedren, but misses. Gaedren turns to Dawna and stabs her bringing her down to 7 hit points. He also shoots his hand crossbow at Anvari, but misses. Dawna takes a step back, and blasts Gaedren again, killing him and knocking his limp body to the floor.

Gaedren Lamm: [ATTACK (M)] Rapier (vs. AC) [19+7 = 26] → [at Dawna] [HIT]
Gaedren Lamm: [DAMAGE (M)] Rapier [8+3 = 11] → [to Dawna] [STATUS: Critical]

Dawna: [ATTACK ©] Personal Defense Bolstering Sporadically Shocking Armor Enhancement (vs. Fort) [14+5 = 19] → [at Gaedren Lamm] [HIT]
Dawna: [DAMAGE ©] Personal Defense Bolstering Sporadically Shocking Armor Enhancement [5+5 = 10] → [to Gaedren Lamm] [STATUS: Dying]
Dawna: Bastard! It’s what you get for murdering my teacher!

Arliten: I don’t know what just happened or who this guy is, but thanks. He was NOT happy when he got to his feet.
Dawna stabilizes Runkus, who was dying and bleeding out from a stab wound from Gaedren.
Anna: I am making it known right now, the first time we get back to a place we can re-stock, I am buying another 50 feet of rope!
Quin: Dawna does have the intention of dragging his body over to the warehouse so that all the people down on the bottom who don’t know what happened are very much discouraged from bothering us.

THE PARTY HITS LEVEL 2

View
Session 05 - Larry

Relevant wiki entries: Alli’Andra, Amin Jolento, Arkona Imports, Bosek, Eodred Arabasti, Excellence, Father Dreggory, Gaedren, House Arkona, House Ro, Jimbo, Larry, Membrum Devorantis, Thomys, Tipped Tankard

(chat / NPC text to come)

The party awakens in the morning and sees that the city, while intact, is not doing well. Thick smoke blankets much of the skyline, and it’s clear that there is still fighting, rioting, and other commotion taking place around the city. After a quick breakfast, the party decides to split up and check in with their individual friends/loved ones first, then meet back up at the Lantern Street Orphanage before heading to Arkona Imports to look for Gaedren.

Mykele and Dawna head back into the city. Mykele checks on her family at Staelides Stylish Soles Emporium, who have fared the night alright, with the help of Kellanes, who came to help out. The front window of the store has a hole in it, but that seems to be the extent of the damage.

Dawna heads to Citadel Volrane, to head up to the Sanctuary of Mur to check on Alli’Andra. The Sanctuary actually seems totally fine, being so far away from the rest of the city. On her way through the Citadel, Dawna sees many exhausted and sleeping members of the Korvosan Guard. She stops to heal some of them as best she can. Up at the Sanctuary, Dawna discovers that the druids were unaffected by the riots, with many of them relaxed and just watching the city burn below. Dawna finds Alli’Andra and fills her in about what she’s learned (that their mutual mentor/teacher Thomys may have not died accidentally from Membrum Devorantis, but rather was murdered by Gaedren.) Alli’Andra asks Dawna if Dawna is going to kill Gaedren when she finds him — Dawna says she doesn’t know, that it will depend on the rest of the party.

Ashe returns to the Church of Ro to try to find out more about the king‘s illness. The church is nearly empty, with all the Ro clerics out healing the city’s many injured. One elder cleric, Father Dreggory, is there, having exhausted his healing magic. As one of the clerics who attended King Eodred in the last few weeks, Dreggory found the king’s death very surprising and disappointing. When Ashe shared his suspicions that the king may have been poisoned, Dreggory was doubtful, and told Ashe that the clerics had performed many magical checks to detect poisons in the king’s body, and had found nothing.

Jeff returned to Old Korvosa to find Bosek, to try to dig up some more info on House Arkona. Old Korvosa was still in chaos, with guards nowhere in sight. Jeff managed to sneak by most of the commotion, but found himself being held up in an alley by two youths brandishing clubs. However, they ran away after Jeff drew his own weapons and threatened to rob them. Making his way to the Sticky Mermaid, Jeff learned from Bosek that House Arkona hadn’t actually used their Arkona Imports warehouse in some time, having relocated much of their import goods and business to their own estate.

Leyl checked in at the Shrine of Kahra and Excellence first, and after seeing that the Shrine was in good shape, headed to make sure the gate to the Gray was still intact (it was). She stopped by Cadenza’s and saw that the tavern had survived in good condition, with employees and regulars working together to clean up the mess. Finally, Leyl went up to visit the Temple of Asmodeus, since Excellence had pointed out that Gaedren, for all his roguish activities, had never stopped by to pray to Kahra. Excellence wondered if Gaedren’s penchant for slavery meant he was a follower of Asmodeus instead (whose faith does encourage slavery, though not really in Korvosa, since it would not be accepted). However, the Asmodeus clerics had a firm line of armed initiates denying access to the Temple, so Leyl returned to the Orphanage to meet the others.

View
Session 04 - Caves and Kings

Relevant wiki entries: Fy’arel, Queen Ilaniel, Istarian, Jaxon, King Eodred Arabasti, Klard, Rolth, Membrum Devorantis, Royal Seneschal Neolandus, Pierro Staelides, Tolov

After delivering the incriminating evidence against Verik Vancaskerkin to Naomi, Anvari catches up to the party, having received a small sailing vessel from the Tallmast Company after showing an official writ from the Korvosan Guard. She hops out on the beach next to the flaming remnants of the Water Nymph.

Quin: HAHAHAHA omg – Anvari leaves the rest of us alone for like TWO HOURS and when she comes back to us we’ve set a ship on fire, and we’re shaking off being drugged.
Fuzz: The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.
Leyl: Hi, Anvari. Don’t breathe the smoke.
Anvari: Do I want to ask what happened?
Dawna: There was some Shiver, then some spiders, then the dragonborn set the ship on fire.
Jeff: There were spiders, and then a dragonborn, and fire happened. It wasn’t our fault.
Leyl: We didn’t do it. Their dragonborn guy set his own man on fire, and then the ship caught.
Mykele rolls her eyes.
Mykele: It was kind of our fault.
Anvari: So fire, dragonborn, spiders, not our fault.
Anvari: Got it.
Jeff nods
Jeff: Good summation.
Ganthez: It was totally yer fault!
Ganthez: We were fine afore you came along.
Dawna: You’re trafficking children.
Mykele: It kinda was our fault.
Jeff: Yeah. You were totally fine, all hopped on shiver and stuff.
Ganthez: Not me!
Leyl: Let’s tie and gag this guy, then go see what’s in the cave.
Jeff: How about we ask him what’s in the cave before we go wasting our time?
Leyl: …because he’ll probably lie to us?
Dawna: The dragonborn set the bloody ship on fire! How is it our fault?
Ganthez: I’m just a guard.
Jeff shrugs at Leyl.
Jeff: If he lies to us, we leave him tied up and then feed him to the conflagration.
Ganthez: Hey, ship without ye – not on fire. Ship with ye – ON FIRE
Jeff: We didn’t start the fire.
Fuzz: It was always burning, since the world’s been turning.
Ganthez: I ain’t no mathemagician but that seems pretty clear to me
Mykele: I didn’t say it was WRONG! I just want some credit for jacking up their crap!

Jeff: So, regardless of who started the fire…
Jeff: Who and what is in the cave, innocent guard buddy?
Jeff: With terrible aim.
Ganthez: Shut up
Ganthez: S’more folks. I dunno how much. They been coming and going.
Jeff: Is Gaedren in there?
Ganthez: I couldn’t rightly say. He was at one point but I haven’t seen him out here lately.
Ganthez: I don’t much pay close attention. I just got hired to watch for intruders.
Dawna: Which you did very well.
Leyl: And a fine job you were doing, sleeping on it.
Jeff: Fine job of it you did by the way. We were already on the boat before you realized anything was wrong.
Ganthez: That was just a ploy!
Leyl looks at Jeff.
Mykele muttering amateur, can’t get good help anywhere these days
Ganthez: To, ah, leave you exposed!
Leyl: Maybe we just tie him up and throw him in the ocean.
Dawna: Considering how long it took you to realize we were here, then he could be.
Dawna shrugs.
Jeff: Yeah. We were really exposed to those crossbow bolts you were firing all over air.
Jeff: Great plan.
Ganthez: There was something in my eye.
Mykele: Pretty sure it was in FRONT of your eye, and was your eyelids.

Jeff: Alright. Let’s tie him up.
Jeff turns to Anvari.
Jeff: I assume there will be some guards along soon?
Anvari: They only sent a small ship, because they didn’t want the kids to get murdered. There’s a smaller ship with a few crewmembers parked next to the ship you took. Enough to transport, but no reinforcements
Mykele: Good enough, we can plunk the dwarf in there until we get back.
Jeff: Mmkay. They can babysit the archery champion here after we get out of the cave.

The party rows the tied-up Ganthez back to Kellanes’ ship, who says he’ll watch over him carefully. They then proceed into the cave’s winding corridors, with Jeff’s Everburning Torch lighting the way. Eventually, they see some flickering light coming from ahead, and Mykele sneaks ahead to scout, and spots a long human sitting in a chair by a campfire, looking bored.

Mykele: [SKILL] Stealth [9+10 = 19]
Mykele motions back to the party, indicating 1 guard.
Mykele: Clever Shot (vs. AC) [7+11 = 18]
Attack 18 → [at Gang Lackey] [HIT]
Mykele: Damage 12 → [to Gang Lackey] [STATUS: Dead]
Mykele: Okay, stay behind me and we’ll see what else is ahead.

After picking off the guard, the party creeps into the large cavern, which has pools of water in recesses in the floor, and a large ledge twenty feet overhead. They hear a woman and a goblin talking from up on the ledge. The party then attempts to sneak along the wall but Jeff fucks it all up. Jeff attempts to cover by pretending he is the dead guard…

Woman’s voice: You ignorant wretch! My arcane creations are far superior to your miserable pests!
Goblin voice: Nuh-uh! Bugs better than horn lady’s stinky blobs! Cuter too!

Mykele: [SKILL] Stealth [8+10 = 18]
Jeff: [SKILL] Stealth [1 = 1]
Ashe: [SKILL] Stealth [12 = 12]
Dawna: [SKILL] Stealth [5+2 = 7]
Leyl: [SKILL] Stealth [2 = 2]
Anvari: [SKILL] Stealth [7+4 = 11]

Mykele winces at the enormous noise the rest of the party just made.
Woman: What was that? Someone’s here!
Mykele (hissing): Shut up!
Jeff (whispering): Shit.
Goblin Voice: We here!
Woman: Shut up, you ignoramus!
Woman: Gort, what was that?
Jeff: Sorry, that was just me. The damn chair shifted and broke on the rocks. I’m fine.
Jeff: [SKILL] Bluff [3+7 = 10]
Goblin Voice: Who that? That not Gort!
Woman: No, it most certainly is not.
Jeff shrugs and mumbles. “Was worth a shot.”
Leyl nods and shrugs. “I thought you were convincing.”

Mykele moves further into the room, but spots & avoids a stone-covered canvas covering a pitfall trap. Up above, a goblin pops his head above the ledge and hurls a big bottle down at Mykele. He misses, but the bottle breaks and releases a buzzing stirge, which latches onto Mykele’s arm. He then drops prone, out of sight.

Mykele: So, there’s a pit there
Mykele gestures WILDLY at the pit.
Woman’s voice: Dear Klard, I propose a temporary cessation of our little debate while we deal with these undesired interlopers.
Goblin voice: Wut?
Woman’s voice: I’m saying, let’s kill them!
Klard: That goodest idea horn lady had yet!
Leyl: “Horn lady” must be a Tiefling.
Quin: or a jazz enthusiast.
Klard: Eat bug!

A blonde man in black silk over chainmail appears with a longbow drawn, and starts firing at the closest PC, Jeff, who psionically lashes back. The woman, a tiefling named Fy’arel, strides to the ledge and waves a hand, spawning an oozing blob from one of the pools of water on the floor. The ooze surges at Ashe, but misses. Leyl throws one of Yargin’s acid flasks at the tiefling. She misses, but it shatters on the stone wall next to her, splattering her with acid droplets. She responds by engulfing Leyl in a fiery, acidic wave of magic.

Fy’arel: You beast!
Fy’arel: My beautiful face!
Leyl: More where that came from!

Dawna summons her automaton up on the ledge, next to the prone and surprised goblin. When the goblin then stands up and hurls a bottle at Dawna, the automaton responds by extracting the goblin’s kidney. The bottle was well-thrown, however, and shatters right in Dawna’s face.

Klard: Stirge Bottle (vs. AC) [20+7 = 27][CRITICAL HIT]
Dawna: Obedient Servant – Opportunity Attack (vs. AC) [20+7 = 27][CRITICAL HIT]
Dawna: Obedient Servant – Opportunity Attack Damage 15 → [to Klard] [STATUS: Bloodied]
Klard: Stirge Bottle Damage 7 → [to Dawna] [STATUS: Light]
Klard: Klard not like metal man!
Dawna: He’s only a SLIGHTLY buggy free hug dispensing alchemic automaton!

Mykele ignores the attached stirge at first, but as it continues to drain her blood she starts to feel weak from blood loss. She does manage to shake it off, and Dawna heals her injuries. Back near the entrance, Leyl and Ashe focus on the ooze, and the second one that Fy’arel summons as well. Dawna’s automaton throws Klard off the ledge, who falls and lands in a broken heap on the floor. Jeff turns to the bloated stirge that was attached to Mykele, and crushes it, splattering the floor with Mykele’s blood.

Mykele wobbles a bit.
Quin: she summoned two oozes and ran away. So… she’s…. oozing with personality?
Dawna: Go smush the other one!
Dawna tugs on Jeff’s arm.
Mykele: Can I have my blood back?
Mykele straightens in relief as her head stops spinning and nods her thanks to Dawna.

Anvari curses the other stirge, and when the stirge flies at her and bites her, it is engulfed in flames. This happens again a few moments later as it starts sucking her blood, and this second blast of fire destroys it. Meanwhile, the party tells the blonde man to surrender, but they change their minds very quickly once they learn where he’s from.

Dawna: You should surrender!
Dawna: We’re kind of decent like that!
Dawna: [SKILL] Intimidate [4+1 = 5]
Jaxon: Chalax never surrenders!
Dawna swears.
Leyl: …of course.
Jeff: Well now I don’t WANT him to surrender.
Mykele: On the other hand, please don’t surrender.

Fy’arel: Make yourself useful and kill these idiots!
Jaxon: Listen lady, I just came here to make a purchase, not fight your battles!
Dawna: YOU’RE BUYING ONE OF THE CHILDREN?!
Jaxon laughs.
Jaxon: One? We’re not that poor, child.

Despite Jaxon’s bold words, Dawna’s automaton pulverizes him moments later. Fy’arel, seeing herself suddenly alone, jolts Jeff with a Shocking Grasp and retreats further back into the cave, but the party quickly catches up and Mykele shoots her dead. Ashe finds a book full of information about oozes and slimes on her, while Leyl finds a magical amulet on Jaxon, as well as an embroidered black silk pouch with 120 gp. Dawna then rips out Jaxon’s left eye (!) and ignites it in her hand.

Jaxon: Chalax….will not forgive this injustice!
Mykele: How they gonna know? You’re dead.
Dawna: Jeff, she doesn’t get to leave!

Dawna pats Baymax with a smile, and then rips Jaxon’s left eye with a grim look on her hand before lighting the eye on fire.
Mykele: okay i said it was dark, but it’s more like, she put his lights out
Leyl: Afflicting others with your personal disadvantage, little one?
Dawna: Only the ones that deserve it.
Dawna: Buying children.
Leyl considers a moment, then shrugs and nods.
Ashe sits and starts to read the tomb while others are tending to their wounds

After treating their wounds, they find a small cavernous lake, very chilly. A raft sits nearby with poles to push across the water. Jeff, Mykele, Ashe and Dawna climb on, while Leyl and Anvari wait on the stone steps. As they begin crossing the lake, Mykele spots some waterladen corpses, three of them, sunken at the bottom of the murky water. Seconds later, barbed, spiky tentacles lash out of the water at Mykele and Ashe, but they manage to avoid being wrapped up.

Leyl: I’ll wait here.
Leyl looks uncomfortably at the water.
Dawna: I’ll go with in case someone needs healing.
Mykele grimaces at the corpses at the bottom of the lake.
Jeff: I’ll make a 2nd trip
Mykele: This looks DECIDEDLY awkward.

Jeff: TAKE US BACK TO SHORE

A devilfish lunges up from underwater, and the three waterlogged corpses rise up to lumber at whoever is nearest. The devilfish grabs Mykele with a tentacle, but the halfling slips out of its grasp. Anvari burns the devilfish with a powerful Vile Brand, hurting the diabolic animal badly. Jeff then slams the devilfish with an electrical warhammer strike, which then jolts the devilfish again seconds later as it emits a poisonous cloud at everyone on the raft. The devilfish lashes out at Jeff with two tentacles, dragging him off into the freezing cold water, which rocks the raft and tosses Dawna back off to the steps. However, the party finishes off the beast before it drags Jeff down further. The party retreats back up on shore to re-evaluate and catch their breath, Jeff standing by the campfire to warm up.

Mykele helps Jeff back on the raft.
Dawna: So.
Dawna: Rafts, huh.
Leyl: You see now why I wasn’t getting on it.
Jeff: Oh shut up.
Leyl smiles sweetly.
Mykele: Wonder if there’s any more of those things.
Leyl: Fifty pounds of armor, my friend.
Dawna: Go for a swim. Find out.
Mykele: Can we throw the body in there and see if anything pops up to eat it?
Anvari: They… don’t get along with their own kind. If there were two in here, only the stronger one would be in here
Jeff: Even if there was another one, we have to get across. We can’t get this far just to be like “Well nope!” now.
Mykele: We need to get across.

A few minutes later they make their way across and find a lone zombie standing motionless in a narrow hallway. They make short work of it, and find two doors, each with a lever next to it. Dawna immediately is able to determine that one lever opens one of the doors, while the other lever’s mechanical parts go into the floor, NOT the other door. Meanwhile, Mykele feels an unusual air current behind her, and inspecting the wall behind her, finds a secret passage leading back into the main entrance chamber. The party realizes that’s how the gang members avoided fighting the devilfish.

Dawna: [SKILL] Thievery [20+10 = 30]
Dawna peers at the levers between all the tall people.
Dawna: Don’t use the left one.
Jeff: Mmkay.
Mykele: There’s a draft here.
Mykele: Well, that’s convenient.
Jeff: What are the chances that other lever opens this door here?
Dawna starts checking for injuries and handing out treats.
Dawna: I can unlock it, probably.
Dawna: Don’t pull the other lever!

Activating the lever that opens the right door, the party finds six emaciated and miserable children behind bars, with a locked door. Dawna unlocks the lock and the children, though initially fearful, are soon greatly appreciative and excited to be saved. Calin, however, is not among them.

Child: Who are you?
Jeff: We’re here to help you.
Dawna little automatons jump from Dawna and break the lock.
Jeff: We came here with city guard members to rescue you and the other kids.
Child: Are you with the bad man? He said he was here to buy us.
Jeff: We’re NOT here to buy you. We’re taking you back home.
Mykele approaches the kids.
“My name is Mykele. We’re not going to let anyone buy you. We’re here to take you back to your families.”
The child gasps, and rouses the other children, who all hug each other in excitement.
Child: It’s time to go home! Home!!

Jeff: Now, be very quiet. There’s sitll some other people, we think in the other door just outside.
Kesme: Are you from the orphanage? The bad man came and took us away during the night!
Jeff: Aunt Gretchen is an old friend of mine. I grew up there.
Jeff: We’re going to do everything we can to make sure the bad man never takes anyone from there again.
Mykele: I’m looking for my nephew. He’s named Calin – does anyone know him?
Child: Who’s Calin?
Jeff: Another child. Were there any others with you before you came here?
Kesme: There were some! But the old man took them with him. He said they were too ‘un rolly’ to sell.
Mykele: What old man? The same one that took you?
Kesme: The same one!
Kesme: He took three kids away. They were the ones that tried to hit him.
Kesme: He didn’t like that.
Mykele clutches her braid and tugs in frustration.

Meanwhile, Ashe and Leyl figure out how to open the other door (without using the lever), and find a small living quarter with a bed, writing desk with papers and tome, a smaller desk with an elaborate alchemy set and rack of vials, and a sturdy wooden cage in the corner. A small dream spider is in the cage. Leyl strides up and immediately kills the spider. Ashe and Leyl gather up all the papers and the tome, and Leyl prepares herself to drag the cage and dead spider out to bring back as evidence. However, a loud, ominous bellowing sound echoes throughout the cave — the party can tell it’s coming from outside, but the cave’s acoustics makes the noise resonate very loudly.

Dawna: That’s one big ship.
Mykele: We have to get them out of here.
Jeff: Alright kids, let’s get out of here. Stick together.
Mykele ushers the kids out in front of her.
Mykele picks up the smallest child after she stumbles and falls.

Hurrying back to Auriel’s Pride, Kellanes and the other sailors help the party and children aboard. They see no approaching ships, and Kellanes says the noise echoed out over the sea, and seemed to come from the city.

Kellanes: You’re back! And you found the kids!
Jeff: Some of them, yeah.
Dawna: Most.
Kellanes grimaces.
Mykele: Kel, did you hear that barge? What’s going on?
Kellanes: That’s not all of them?
Mykele: No Calin.
Jeff: And apparently 2 more besides, who fought back.
Mykele grits her teeth.
Kellanes: We don’t know what that noise was, we were just wondering if we should try to find you!
Kellanes: It came from the city.
Kellanes: I’ve never heard anything like it.
Mykele: From the city?!
Kellanes nods.
Leyl: …that doesn’t make any sense.
Dawna: Gods really? That had to be defeaning to the docks.
Mykele: If I don’t get Calin back, his mother will never bake me her spiced pies again.
Mykele: Also I would be sad.
Jeff: Priorities.
Kesme: Wow lady. That’s cold.
Leyl smirks.
Leyl: I like this one.
Mykele grins at Kesme. “I’m teasing, little one.”

Anvari: Pretty sure the city uses that for important events. I’ve never heard it, but I’ve heard of that happening.
Kellanes shakes his head.
Kellanes: I’ve never heard that either, not even when the docks were overrun with sahaugin a few years back.
Leyl: …I’ve never heard it, and there’s been a lot of important things happening, I…
Leyl: Oh no. I can only think of two things that would cause that horn.
Leyl: Either the undead are rising once more from the Gray
Leyl: or the King has died.
Mykele looks troubled. “He’s been ill…”
Dawna: May I never have to say this again, but I hope it’s the Gray.
Leyl looks very worried.

Mykele: So now what? We still don’t have all the children and we’ve hit a dead end.
Jeff: Well what was in the other room?
Ashe: It was papers and the lab set to make shiver
Ashe: with a spider in it as well.
Ashe sits down again and opens up the tomb and starts to read it some more.
Mykele: Ashe, is there anything in there about where he might have taken the other three kids?
Ashe: I will try my best to keep unlocking it.
Ashe: it will take me some time to break through this shorthand

Kellanes: We all aboard? I say we get back and find out right quick.
Dawna starts cleaning the alchemy set with Siccup’s help while they sail back.

As the ships approach the city, dim flickering lights can be seen from very far off – flames. Areas of Korvosa are on fire, and a dull roar is coming from the city, bells clanging, voices yelling, the sound of glass breaking and wood smashing. The party sails along the Jeggare River to the Tallmast Company dockyard, and can see people rioting and looting stores, Sable Company marines swooping around overhead, and hundreds of people running through the streets.

Leyl: …or Korvosa is on fire.
Mykele watches the fires with horror.
Dawna: We leave these people on thier own for half a day and they set the city on fire.
Herald: THE KING IS DEAD! KING EODRED ARABASTI IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!
Mykele: Oh no, the King!
Leyl: DAMN IT!

After disembarking, the party decides their first priority needs to be to get the children to the safety of the orphanage, so they set off. They stop at the Sable Company barracks first, since it happens to be on the way. A lone guard stands behind the barrack gates, locked and secured.

Sable Guard: What are you doing out on the streets with kids? Get them outta here!
Leyl: Guard! What is going on here?
Ashe keeps most of his attention to the tomes and notes
Quin: Oh great. 1 encounter after Dawna mutilates a Chalaxan rich man the city changes. Greeeeaaaaat.
Sable Guard: Nio only knows. That horn went off and the whole city went mad! We’re out there trying to put down the worst of the threats but I don’t know if we can be everywhere at once.
Dawna: We need to get these kids to Gretchen, get the proof to the guard and then see what we can do to help.
Leyl nods.
Dawna: Especially if Sable’s stretched thin.
Sable Guard nods grimly.
Sable Guard: I expect the Guard’s in similar shape, miss.
Leyl: Who is organizing the defenses in the city?
Leyl: And where are they operating from?
Sable Guard gestures around frantically.
Sable Guard: Organization? Lady, there’s no such thing.
Sable Guard: We’re just trying to keep from the city from devouring itself right now.
Mykele throws up her hands.
Mykele: What are WE supposed to do? We’re not trained for this!
Jeff: We’re not trained to be child abduction recovery agents either, and yet here we are.
Dawna: Help the people the guard run past, put out fire – Gods girl, haven’t you ever been in a lab accident or something?
Jeff: First thing’s first: Gretchen’s. We have to get the kids there.
Leyl: Let’s go.
Sable Guard: Good luck then – be safe. It’s scary out there.
Jeff: You too.

The party makes their way across High Bridge, where people are smashing masonry and statues and tossing the rubble into the river, or running away with broken pieces of stone and marble. No one pays the party any mind. Arriving in Eodred’s Square, the party sees that Gold Market is on fire, with much rioting and looting taking place. They decide to take a detour and avoid the area, instead stopping in on Mykele’s store, the Staelides Stylish Soles Emporium.

Mykele runs in the door of the Emporium and looks for her siblings and Uncle Pierro.
Mykele: Calliope? Istarian?
Mykele: Uncle it’s me!
Pierro: Oh Mykele, it’s you! Thank goodness you’re safe!
Mykele moves through the darkened shop.
Pierro: Calli and Istar are watching the other entrances. So far no one’s tried to break in, but the night is still young.
Mykele: What happened?
Pierro shakes his head.
Pierro: After that horn, people were shocked, and that’s all. But soon people were running up and down the streets talking about Chalax, and that just set everything off, it seems.
Pierro: Are you going to hole up here? ….who are all these children?
Mykele: Uncle, these are some people who are helping me find Calin. We found some of the missing kids, but not him.
Mykele makes a quick round of introductions.
Pierro: Oh, dear.
Leyl glances worriedly outside.
Mykele: We’re taking the children to the orphanage. Oh, and I promised Gretchen shoes for all her wards, so no arguing with me.
Pierro: Well Myk, I really don’t think the streets are safe now! Do you want to wait here with us until morning?
Pierro: You’re all welcome, of course.
Dawna: Not to be rude, we should leave before the streets get worse. We’re going to attract attention standing here.
Dawna: We might need to defend the orphanage – people are outside their minds tonight.
Mykele: Dawna is right, Uncle, and if the orphanage is in danger, we might be Gretchen’s only help.
Pierro: Well, if you insist. You take care of my little Mykele, the rest of you hear?
Jeff: Of course.
Pierro: Come back in the morning please, so I know you’re alright.
Dawna: Sure thing Uncle magic-beard guy!
Mykele hugs her uncle fiercely.
Mykele: Look after Calli and Istar, you know they aren’t as familiar with this kind of nonsense as we are.
Pierro: Don’t worry. We’ll be okay.

Quin: Dawna would be worried about House Whynot, but honestly, her biggest worry about them is that they’ll explode something trying to defend the house.

Rounding the corner of Lantern Street, the party sees a trio of thugs trying to force their way onto the orphanage grounds. Gretchen is holding the gate shut and yelling at them.

Aunt Gretchen: Get out! We have nothing, we’re just an orphanage! You are scaring the children!
Jeff pulls his hammer off it’s loop.
Leyl: AWAY FROM THERE!
Looter: It’s every man for himself, man!
Jeff: You want to leave here. Now.
Leyl unlimbers her sword and rushes the gate.
Jeff takes off after Leyl.
Mykele shoots a bolt past their ears as a warning.
Ashe puts the books away and brings out his morningstar
Anvari: Yeah, well you can be for yourself, we’re for the Orphanage. Get the fuck out.
Leyl: You won’t live long enough to count your spoils if you do not leave this place.
Leyl: [SKILL] Intimidate [19+9 = 28]
Jeff: [SKILL] Intimidate [12+4 = 16]
Anvari: [SKILL] Intimidate [6+3 = 9]
Mykele: [SKILL] Intimidate [19+2 = 21]
Looter: Okay okay, we get the hint, man!

Dawna: Gretchen! We’re here to help protect the children!
Aunt Gretchen pants and swings the gate open immediately.
Mykele: Erm, and we maybe have some more >.>
Aunt Gretchen: Oh dearies you’ve arrived just in time, quickly come inside where it’s safe!
Aunt Gretchen: Those louts were making all sorts of awful commotion and I was worried they’d try to force their way inside.
Leyl: Nobody will get in while we’re here. I promise you.
Mykele: A reasonable worry, ma’am, but we’re here to help with that.
Aunt Gretchen: And you’ve saved the other children! Oh you’re such good boys!
Aunt Gretchen pecks Ashe and Jeff on the cheek.
Jeff: …there’s still more.
Aunt Gretchen: More?? Come inside and tell me about it.

Aunt Gretchen: I’m glad to see you’re safe. But you say there’s even more children this foul man has kidnapped?
Anvari: Three more, according to these children.
Mykele: One of the ones still missing is my nephew.
Mykele: Gretchen, is it true? The King is dead?
Ashe goes back to reading the notes in hopes to unlock the shorthand.
Aunt Gretchen: That’s what they’ve been saying, dear. Those awful horns, so loud! They woke up all the children.
Aunt Gretchen: And just when they were getting back to bed, hooligans began shouting and smashing things outside! They’re all very scared.
Leyl: What caused the looting? Most people seem to adore the queen; why the riots?
Aunt Gretchen: Miserable people out to take advantage of the situation, I suspect.
Jeff: I expect some are scared about the Chalax too.
Aunt Gretchen: It’s just such a shock, too!
Aunt Gretchen: I think the Guard was not prepared for this – I haven’t seen any attempting to shoo the looters and rioters away.
Leyl: With half the city seeming to be on fire, that’s not surprising.
Dawna: Depending on the circumstances of the King’s death they might be busy with other things.
Leyl: They have bigger problems.
Dawna: Fires and looters the least of it.
Jeff: The timing of this is all to coincidental.

Aunt Gretchen: I heard one man outside say it was murder!
Aunt Gretchen: Do you think that’s true?
Jeff: One of the slavers we killed said he was Chalax, and now the king is dead and rioters in the streets half welcoming the Chalax again.
Aunt Gretchen wrings her hands and trembles slightly.
Jeff: It leaves an itchy feeling in my shoulderblades.
Dawna pats Aunt Gretchen, trying to comfort her.

The party gathers in the orphanage’s coatroom, with Leyl standing in the doorframe, watching for further trouble. They speculate about the king’s death, the queen, Chalax, and what might going on in the city.

Jeff: I’m not saying the queen was involved, necessarily, but it’s fishy nonetheless.
Leyl: It’s an impressive long con, if that’s the case.
Mykele: Their courtship was incredibly short. I wonder if there was more at play than just love at first sight.
Dawna shrugs.
Dawna: Maybe it was even against her will. Noble politics can be messy.
Dawna: Especially when you consider Chalax.
Jeff nods and blanches.
Jeff: I wonder if this slavery ring was somehow paid for by the Chalax to start all of this commotion around the same time of the king’s death.
Jeff: Child slavery and Shiver all seem to be recurring themes here, and then Chalax buying the slaves.
Jeff: And then the King dying under suspicious circumstances, at best.
Dawna: Well… except no one but us was paying attention to the kids.
Leyl: Dying? His falling SICK was suspicious enough.
Jeff: Well, not NO one. Remember, we were hired to look into this.

Mykele shakes her head.
Mykele: It’s all irrelevant now. We still need to find Calin and we’ve run out of leads.
Dawna: Not exactly – once we get the rest of this to Anvari’s friend we might have more to go on.
Leyl: Might be something in the notes we found.
Leyl: Either way, we won’t find him tonight. We should rest.
Aunt Gretchen: You all look so exhausted. Please, rest up. We have spare rooms here.
Ashe: I think I have noticed a location that is mentioned a few times. A warehouse on the west shore of the Jeggare River.
Leyl: That’s something, at least.

Leyl sees a portly man clumsily climbing over the orphanage yard’s fence. He falls off and lands noisily in the hedges, then makes his way to the front door. He seems surprised to find the party there.

Neighbor: Oh! Who are you?
Leyl: A Descant of Kahra. I’m watching over this place. Who are you?
The neighbor peers over Leyl’s shoulder and sees that Gretchen is right there.
Neighbor: I’m Tolov, I live next door. I was worried about the orphanage, since Gretchen is here all alone. But it seems like she’s in good hands.
Dawna: Lots of good hands!
Aunt Gretchen: Oh Tolov, thank you so much. We’re fine, yes.
Leyl: Good enough, Master Tolov. Are you safe enough at home?
Dawna raises hers and Siccup ‘roars’.
Tolov : Yes, we’re okay, it’s frightening out there though, isn’t it?
Tolov wipes his brow, heavy with sweat.
Leyl: You seem troubled.
Leyl: Fear is a powerful motivator to do ill, I’m afraid.
Tolov : Do you think it was murder, like they said? That someone would murder…the king?
Dawna: A peasant fears where the food on his table will come from. A King fears it’ll be poisoned.
Leyl: Someone said it was murder?
Leyl: What makes them think that, Master Tolov?
Jeff: It could have been long term Shiver ingestion too.
Tolov : I heard people shouting outside that it was murder! And that it was the seneschal, for that matter! I don’t know if I believe that, he’s always seemed so nice. But they said he’s left town, too…
Leyl: ….that does seem like a remarkable coincidence.
Leyl: But I think that speculation serves us ill, Master Tolov.
Leyl: If it will make you feel better, I’ll look into it, but do not burden yourself with worry for no reason.
Leyl smiles comfortingly.
Leyl: Don’t look for conspiracy where there may not be any.

In the meantime, Ashe has found what seems to be a ledger or checklist of various poisons and diseases, with names written down next to them, and then what seems to be comments or observations. Written in the list are what seems to be combinations or blends of poisons such as shiver, carrion crawler paralytic vendom, mummy rot. Dawna examines the book and sees one entry that says Membrum Devorantis Thomys, druid. Result: (a checkmark).

Dawna pales as she reads the book.
Dawna: Dammit all!
Dawna puts her face in her hand and cries.
Mykele looks startled.
Mykele: What is it?
Dawna catches her breath and points at the entry.
Dawna: Here.
Dawna: Thomys.
Dawna: He was my teacher – he contracted Membrum Devorantis – just like the entry shows.
Dawna: He died from it. I lost my eye to it.
Dawna: That… that… she considers the kids and doesn’t swear Man’s experiments…
Dawna just cries again, and Siccup nuzzles her.
Ashe: This means that they could have some sort of cover up for the king’s death, but cannot be certain.
Leyl sighs.
Jeff looks at Dawna
Jeff [Dwarven]: Asshole
Jeff: that’s the word you’re looking for.
Dawna sniffles.
Dawna: I don’t know that language, but I’ll remember that word.
Jeff: It’s Dwarven.
Anvari: Also, while we’re on the subject, you don’t get heatstroke in April.

Leyl looks over her shoulder at the party, exasperated.
Leyl: Go home, Master Tolov.
Leyl: We’ll find out what we can.
Tolov looks around the room and nods that everything seems secure.
Tolov : Good night then, be safe, I hope this all blows over soon.
Tolov leaves.
Tolov clumsily climbs back over the fence. He falls twice while doing so. He is wearing half the hedge when he does make it over.
Leyl [Giant]: Fucking hell, you guys.
Leyl: I’m over here trying to convince the neighbor that there’s no conspiracy, and you guys are sitting here talking conspiracies IN EAR SHOT.

Ashe finds a handwritten notes further on in the journal, mentioning someone named Rolth. Anvari recognizes the name of a talented but depraved necromancer whose obsession with constructing a corpse golem got him expelled from the Academy. Not because the magic itself was frowned upon, but because he had begun killing vagrants and beggars to use as components for his experiments.

Ashe: At the end of the paperwork, i found this. Final mix a success. Clients seem very satisfied. Testing on a such wide range of victims ensured undetection. Must remember to thank Rolth for suggestion. Final mix is a success.
Leyl: Rolth?
Leyl: Must be what they used on the king.
Leyl sighs.
Leyl: Damn it all.
Anvari: I’ve heard that name at the Academy.
Anvari: He was into dead people.
Dawna: Rolth – along with Jeff’s word, I won’t forget that either.
Anvari: That was at least a year ago.

The riots seem to have moved on and left the residential areas behind, so the party decides to get some much-needed sleep at the orphanage.

Leyl: Things are quieting down. I think we can rest, then go to Anvari’s friend in the morning.
Leyl: I don’t think we need to take this directly to the guard yet.
Leyl: We need to get this in the hands of someone we can trust.
Aunt Gretchen: Yes, you young ones need to rest, you all look dead on your feet. Please, come in, I’ll make you all some nice tea before you doze.

View
Session 03 - The Boat, The Boat, The Boat is Full of Hallucinogenic Webs That Are On Fire

Relevant wiki entries: Banniwick Highsea, Calliope, Draza the Red, Franko, Ganthez, Kellanes, Shiver, Tallmast Company.
Ships and captains: Saltmother and Lago Sandshanks, Auriel’s Pride and Osner Threetoe, Razormaw and Tibura the Shark.

After finding the perfumed note in Verik’s vault, the party realizes that although they have a good guess where the cave is, they need a way to get there. They can get there by water, or overland, though traveling overland would involve descending down the cliff face to the cave entrance at water level.

History: You recall hearing something a few years ago about a band of pirates using a cave a few miles north as their base of operations, located in the side of a rocky cliff. The Sable Company eventually tired of dealing with them, and drove them out in force. The cave has been abandoned ever since. You’re reasonably certain you could locate it, from the stories and details you remember.

Streetwise: Word on the street is that a few of the city’s toughs and thugs have gotten hired as part of a new crew lately, and that they’ve sailed to a cave up the coast to await a big haul. A cutpurse you’re acquainted with who turned down the job (he’s afraid of boats) told you where the cave was, in return for a few silver pieces.

Mykele: I know a guy who might be able to get us a boat.
Jeff: Hm. A smuggler’s cove might be watched though. They’ll see us coming.
Mykele: Better than trying to climb down the side of that cliff.
Jeff sighs.
Jeff: You’re not wrong. Any other thoughts?
Jeff looks at the others
Dawna: We could use a House Whynot Uplifting Fire-Run Person Holding Basket Vehicle.
Dawna: However, there’s a lot of forms to fill out for those rentals.
Jeff: ….a what?
Mykele: She means a hot air balloon.
Jeff: Oh.
Jeff: I’m not sure we have time for a lot of… forms… to fill out.
Jeff: Well.. I guess boat it is then.
Mykele nods.
Mykele: His name is Kellanes and he’s almost certain to be found at the Tallmast Company.

Anvari takes the perfumed note, the dock papers and heads off to show them to Naomi-Rose. On the way over to the Tallmast Company, the other PCs notice more Korvosan Guards and Sable Company marines making their way through the streets than normal. Not rushing anywhere with extreme urgency, but just…present, and moving through the city.

The arrive at the Tallmast Company, a huge warehouse where ships can be brought inside to be repaired/worked on. A ship garage, essentially. A male halfling sees them enter and bounds up, smiling.

Kellanes: Myk! What brings you to this side of the river?
Mykele exchanges a very complicated handshake with Kellanes.
Mykele: Kel, how long have you been in town and you haven’t even been over for dinner.
Mykele eyes him suspiciously.
Mykele: Have you got a new girl?
Kellanes: Been back only a few days, you know how it goes! Busy, busy.
Mykele: Uh huh. “Busy.”
Mykele: I am aware of what keeps you “busy” when you’re on shore leave.
Kellanes: Just sailed in this morning, actually! I drew short straw, gotta over see some serious repairs on our hull. Rest o’ the crew’s out drinking!

Quin (Dawna): short straw. It’s a company of halflings. They’re all short straws.
Jeff (Chris): /snort

Mykele: I’m glad you’re here, because I need a favor.
Kellanes: What’s up?
Mykele explains the situation with the missing kids.
Mykele: …so we are pretty sure the boat where they’re being held is at bay in that pirate cave the Sables cleared out a bit back.
Kellanes looks troubled.
Mykele: We need a ride.
Kellanes: That sounds awful. You’re sure o’ this? Course you are, this is you we’re talking about. Hmm.
Kellanes: I’d go fetch my captain, but we just got back from a 2-week cruise. Ain’t no way he’s in any condition to take us out again so fast.
Kellanes: Let me go find Banniwick. He’s the man in charge o’ Tallmast. Maybe he can help.

Kellanes returns a few minutes later with Banniwick, another halfling. He ushers the party into a small office to talk.

Banniwick: Kellanes here tells me you’re in need of a ship.
Mykele: Banniwick, nice to meet you. Sorry it’s not on better terms.
Mykele gives Kellanes a side eye.
Mykele: Although being as Kellanes is one of your employees, maybe there ARE not good terms.
Banniwick gives Mykele a welcoming nod, which he copies to the others.
Banniwick: Eh, the sea’s a fickle mistress. You take what you can get.
Mykele: That’s what Calliope said too.
Mykele elbows Kellanes.
Banniwick: So tell me what you need. I’ll warn you though, most of our ships aren’t around right now, and those that are in harbor, I ain’t got the slightest idea where her crews are.

Leyl: Banniwick, simply put, we’re hunting a group of brigands. They’ve been kidnapping children, and putting them to work. Slavery, at best. We think they’re also selling these kids out of the city. We need a ship to get to where we know they’ll be. Can you help us or not?
Leyl: [SKILL] Diplomacy [5+4 = 9]
Banniwick: That sounds pretty bad. They at sea or something? Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for the kids, but I can’t just lend out a ship on someone’s word, even if they are friends with Kellanes here.

Banniwick shuffles some paperwork on his desk and scrawls a signature on a few forms.
Banniwick: Don’t mind me, it’s been busy today. I’m listening though.
Jeff: You know that smuggler’s cove a few clicks up the river that was raided a while back? We have pretty solid evidence that they’re hanging out there. And we’ve also reason to believe that they won’t be there for much longer. So, I understand you can’t just give a ship to anybody that comes shambling about, but time is kind of important.
Jeff: [SKILL] Diplomacy [3+9 = 12]
Banniwick: Hm. I see what you’re saying.
Banniwick: Well, you seem like a decent bunch and frankly, if Kel here vouches for you I’ve no reason to disbelieve you. But I have to think of my company, too. Is this venture safe? You working official for the Guard or anything like that?

Dawna: We’re not officially part of the guard, but we have been helping them. We’ve already turned over one person in this slaver ring to the Guard, and we’re working closely with one of the Guard’s personnel to make sure it stays all on the up and up. I can’t say the venture’s going to be safe, but we’ll certainly do our best to keep your crew safe.
Dawna: Also, I don’t know about the others, but I’m okay with owing you a favor in exchange for this help.
Dawna: [SKILL] Diplomacy [14+1 = 15]
Banniwick cradles his chin in his hand, thinking.
Banniwick: A businesswoman, huh? I can respect that. Tell me your name, little lady.
Dawna: Dawna Mystwicket, of House Whynot.
Dawna bows.
Banniwick: House Whynot…

At the mention of House Whynot, Banniwick seems distracted. The party does some Insight rolls and realizes he’s rather intrigued by the idea of some kind of partnership with House Whynot, imagining their inventions improving Tallmast’s workload and productivity.

Mykele: These kids, sir, they aren’t just strangers. If you’ve heard the news in town about the kids being kidnapped? They’re the ones, and the evidence we’re seeing is that the kidnappers are after the “pretty ones”. One of them is my nephew, Carabella Dunkledorn‘s little boy.
Banniwick glances at Kellanes, who nods solemnly.
Mykele: The Staelides family would be in your debt, sir.
Mykele: [SKILL] Diplomacy [+2] [15 + 6 = 21]
Banniwick: Family, huh? Well, I can understand where you’re coming from. Gods knows I’d sail to the ends of the earth to save my kin.

Banniwick: I want to help you folk, but my job’s on the line here. Help me out there. Give me some assurances, or something, that this won’t come back to bite me.
Banniwick: These kids – any of them nobles? Important people? Whose families’ influence would overlook bending Tallmast rules a bit?
Banniwick looks at Dawna.
Banniwick: You said you’re not WITH the Guard, but you’re helping them. Will they back you up on this? They’ve commandeered a ship or two in times of emergency in the past, but that’s always been real official folk, not, uh…free agents, I suppose you lot are?

Leyl: Seems a poor time to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune. I’m shocked to see that you can’t see the potential long term effects of this. If we can’t stop these slavers and rescue those children, what do you think the Guard will do? Every ship becomes suspect. They’ll search every last boat that enters or leaves these docks. You ask for assurances? Seems like you should be jumping at the chance.
Leyl: [SKILL] Bluff [19+6 = 25]
Banniwick: Ah, you got a good point. If they start cracking down hard on incoming vessels, it’s just going to make everything harder.
Banniwick: How’d this ship slip through their search processes, anyway?
Banniwick: They always seem pretty thorough when it comes to searching ships for illegal goods — too thorough, judging by the complaints some of our sailors get.
Leyl: The brigands bought a dock Guard. We’ve turned over evidence of his corruption. You know that’s going to cause a serious crackdown.
Banniwick whistles.
Banniwick: Which one?
Leyl: Doesn’t matter. If you know him, you won’t be seeing him the next time you’re in town.
Leyl smiles.
Banniwick snorts.
Banniwick: Nah kid, I mean more I wonder what other stuff this bad egg’s let through. Wonder if we’re gonna be hearing about more o’ this stuff soon.

Jeff: It’s all the more reason for us to be in a hurry. Our evidence is on the way to the city guard now, which means the rat is liable to hear of it very soon. We really need to be heading out there before he can redirect his ship to somewhere they won’t be searching for it.
Jeff: [SKILL] Diplomacy [14+9 = 23]
Banniwick glances out the window.
Banniwick: Well, it’s late afternoon. I suppose it’d still be possible to get a ship out on sea before it gets dangerous.

Dawna: And “important” kids or not – think of the good publicity that the Tallmast Company would get. We’ve already turned over a low player – Yargin – to the guard. When we get our hands on the ringleader, Gaedren – murderer, kidnapper, all around rotten dock dumpling – we’ll be able to tell the Guard how much you helped in putting away some of the scum of Korvosa.
Dawna manages to put siccup in line.
Dawna: Good pubilicity is good for business, right?
Dawna: [SKILL] Bluff [5+1 = 6]
Banniwick chuckles.
Banniwick: I appreciate where you’re coming from, miss. But I’m afraid Tallmast don’t work on rep. We make our living whether people like us or not. And…
Banniwick leans in.
Banniwick: Off the record, might just be that some of our ships don’t particularly like undue attention. All I’m sayin’.

Ashe: I am a cleric of House Ro. I will pray to the gods for guidance to ensure the safety and successfulnes of this.
Banniwick: A Ro boy, huh? Hm. You lot DO like helping others.
Banniwick: Tell ya what, I got a boy who let a mast roll onto his foot earlier. Think the damn thing’s broken, but the kid refuses to go get help. I think he can’t afford it.
Banniwick: Think you can help him out, or at least convince him he needs to go get proper treatment?
Ashe: Yes, I will help him.
Banniwick: Alright, let’s go. Stupid kid’s too stubborn for his own good, but I think he’ll listen to an actual cleric.

Mykele sidles up to Kellenes. “You’re at least as antsy as you were when you taught me to load a crossbow,” she whispers. “What’s the matter?”
Kellanes: I think Ban’s gonna help you, but he’s under a lot of pressure from some of our richer patrons.
Kellanes: (that was to Mykele)
Mykele: Pressure to do what?
Kellanes: (to Mykele) Nothing in particular, just pushing for faster turnaround, arguments about guild fees, the usual.

Franko: Hey boss, what do you need?
Banniwick: Sit your dumb ass down and let this fella take a look at you.
Banniwick: That’s an order.
Ashe: I am hoping I can help to see how bad this foot it. I can see that you are limping pretty bad and it is effecting how you are working.
Franko: Bah it’s nothing! I can’t still work!
Ashe: I am a cleric from the House Ro. I really want to help you feeling better.
Ashe: Or atleast guide you to the way that you can feel better faster.
Franko: House Ro? Boss, you called a priest? I’m not paying for this!
Ashe: This is free of charge for the consultation.
Franko: Well…alright, knock yourself out. You’re not gonna find anything though. Just a scratch.
Ashe: [SKILL] Heal [2+10 = 12]
Ashe: You really need to get this fixed. You have a lot of broken bones. The longer you wait, the worse it will get.
Banniwick: See? You idiot!
Franko: I’m fine!
Franko looks defiant, but nervous.
Franko: But…uh, if I were to keep working…what’s the worst that might happen?
Jeff: You would get gangrene and your foot could fall off.
Jeff: [SKILL] Bluff [18+7 = 25]
Franko blanches.
Franko: I don’t even like green!
Mykele: Worse than that. If it goes septic, it could spread through your body and you could die from it.
Franko gasps.
Mykele: [SKILL] Intimidate [14+2 = 16]
Franko: Alright, alright! Fine! I’ll go get it looked at. Sheesh.
Banniwick: Get outta here. Get some of the boys to help you, fool.
Franko hops off, a worried look on his face.
Jeff: Can you spare someone to help him there? He should not be walking at all, but if he just hops his way across town he’s liable to hurt himself more.
Banniwick: Yeah, I’ll send some workers with him. I wanted to earlier but the fool just wouldn’t listen.
Banniwick sighs in relief.
Banniwick: Thanks for that. The kid wouldn’t listen to me – he thought I just didn’t want to pay him – but I’m glad a real cleric could set him straight.
Mykele: Sir, I know you have a great deal on your plate and have to weigh the demands of a lot of rich folk, but believe me, this will only help you.

Banniwick: Alright, I’ll help you lot out. Sorry for the runaround, but there’s a good reason.
Banniwick: See, here’s the bad news. We’ve got NO ships and captains available right now. You picked a bad time to need a ship, lemme tell you.
Banniwick: Oh, we’ve got ships!
Banniwick: But we ain’t got no captains.
Mykele looks at Kellenes.
Mykele: What about him?
Jeff: Hell, I can sit and bark orders at people as long as they can get us where we need to go.
Jeff: Just don’t expect me to steer or poop on the deck or whatever other weird things those guys do.
Banniwick: I’ll send Kel along with some crew, so sailing won’t be a problem. The problem is you’re gonna have to take someone’s craft.

Banniwick: First up is the Saltmother. She’s a wide, flat-bottomed lass, for carryin’ heavy cargo. She ain’t pretty, but she’s sturdy and reliable. She’s a merchant ship for House Goldhand, and I think she’s only half unloaded — if I remember right, some of their goods are still in the hold. Her captain’s a dwarf by the name of Lago Sandshanks. He’s not a bad sort, but he does love that ship, almost as much as his own family.
Banniwick: Next up is Auriel’s Pride. You’ve heard of Auriel Jeggare, I presume? Explorer, adventurer, and first daughter of the richest, most powerful House in the city? Anyway, this is her private expeditionary ship. It’s for exploration and navigatin’ dangerous waters, not transportin’ goods. Her captain, Osner Threetoe, has been a scion of House Jeggare for decades. Word is he’s a trusted friend of Auriel’s mom and dad.
Banniwick: Lastly, you’ve got the Razormaw. Don’t be alarmed by the spikes and blades pointin’ everywhere — she’s a fightin’ ship, she is. Tough and fast, like her captain, a lady who calls herself Tibura the Shark. Tibura’s mean, got a real chip on her shoulder. I worry about the day she decides bein’ a pirate is more fun than sinkin’ them. Tibura ain’t with any House, but she’s the type to hold a grudge, that’s for sure.
Banniwick: I’ll lend you Kellanes and some people to handle the sailing, but you lot’ll have to decide which captain gets the bad news of hearing their ship is gone.

Jeff: I like the idea of the fast, tough ship myself. We don’t know exactly what to expect.
Dawna: I do not want to piss off House Goldhand.
Mykele: I don’t want to piss off any of them.
Leyl: Depends on how much fighting you want to do before going in.
Leyl: The Saltmother is going to be what gets us in without being attacked before going ashore.
Dawna: What? We present the ship as a gift or some similar bluff?
Jeff: They’d think twice about attacking a pirate-hunter ship.
Dawna: The Razormaw’s captain is less likely to have us thrown in jail or hung for taking their ship.
Dawna: I mean, more likely to try and gut us, but still.
Jeff: But more likely to just stab us instead.
Jeff sighs.
Banniwick: More likely the latter, knowing Tibura.
Jeff: There’s no good choices here.
Mykele: Auriel’s Pride might be a better option for getting us in. We can bluff that we’re on a holiday cruise. It’s… very pretty.
Jeff: ….a holiday cruise? To an obvious smuggler’s cove?
Dawna: some people go on weird vacations.
Mykele: So we lie and say we got blown off course.
Mykele: There are some truly horrific sailors out there.
Mykele: Most of them are dead, but some are still around.
Kellanes: Hey, just a heads-up – I wouldn’t recommend taking any of them in close. We’ll get sunk easy in naval combat, if it comes to that.
Kellanes: We won’t have the crew nor the expertise to defend these ships properly. I can get you near, but I wouldn’t suggest sailing on in, unless you like swimming.

Dawna looks at Banniwick
Dawna: You know these Captains way better than us, if YOU had to choose
Dawna: what would you pick?
Jeff mutters something in elven.
Banniwick: Uh, well….depends what you’re most worried about, I guess? (to Dawna)
Dawna: Those kids getting sold, actually.
Banniwick: Personally, and keep in mind this is in my shoes…
Banniwick thinks.
Banniwick thinks harder, his brow furrowing.
Banniwick: I’d prob go with Auriel’s. House Goldhand, I don’t know what goods they’ve still got in the hold, but if it’s expensive they might think you’re trying to rob ‘em.
Banniwick: Tibura’ll shank you no matter the cause.
Banniwick: But Auriel…she might understand, given what you’re trying to do here.
Banniwick pauses.
Banniwick: I think, anyway. Long as she doesn’t have somewhere important to go tomorrow.

Mykele: Kel, we’re gonna have to lean on your expertise here. Which one is the best to pilot close enough to the cave but far enough away to keep us out of combat range?
Jeff: I still think the intimidation factor is the way to go. If they see a vessel coming in that LOOKS like they’d run right through them without a second though, there’s no need for them to know that we couldn’t ACTUALLY fight on the water for any reason.
Dawna: Auriel’s an exploration boat, with longboats, we can get close, row in, and Kel can get out fast.
Leyl: If we can get close enough to walk in, our best choice is the explorer ship. It’s the fastest. I’d have to agree with Banniwick in this case.
Jeff spreads his hands.
Jeff: Well, the idea of not being killed as soon as we come back is as good a reason as any I suppose.
Mykele: I am in favor of Pride.
Ashe: I think that Auriel’s is the best choice.

Banniwick: Okay. Gimme a few minutes and I’ll get ’er unslung and ready for go. Kel, go round up enough folks to handle ’er.
Banniwick reaches into a pouch and pulls out a small ceramic bottle with a stout cork, and hands it over to you.
Banniwick: Best of luck to you folks.

The voyage takes the party a few hours to make their way north, with Kellanes and their makeshift going as fast as they can. With the exception of Mykele, none of the party hasn’t been at sea before. Dawna is square in the middle of the ship, however Siccup seems to be loving it, while Leyl entertains everyone on the short trip.

Leyl (singing): I thought I heard the old man say
Leyl (singing): “Leave her, Johnny, leave her.”
Leyl (singing): Tomorrow you will get your pay, and it’s time for us to leave her…
Leyl (singing): Leave her, Johnny, leave her! Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her!
Leyl (singing): For the voyage is long and the winds don’t blow, and it’s time for us to leave her.
Leyl (singing): Oh, the wind was foul and the sea ran high. “Leave her, Johnny, leave her!”
Leyl (singing): She shipped it green and none went by, and it’s time for us to leave her.

Drawing near, Kellanes stops Auriel’s Pride around a rocky outcropping, out of sight.

Kellanes: Okay. We’re really close to the cave. I remember it – it’s just around that rocky outcropping up ahead. How do you want to do this?
Kellanes: If they did bring a ship here, it’s likely at anchor in front of the cave entrance.
Leyl: Is there any way we can get into the cave on foot?
Kellanes: You can approach in the shallows here, by the rocks.
Kellanes: You might have to fight the tide a few times…it’s not gentle here. But it shouldn’t give you too much trouble.
Mykele: Would a rowboat work?
Kellanes: Yeah Myk, that’s the other option. You could take one of these rowboats and make your way up to the beach.
Mykele: I think rowing is better. We may not be able to get the kids through the shallows with a rough tide.
Mykele: Especially if they’re in as bad or worse condition that the others were.
Leyl makes a face.
Ashe: I agree, think the beach is the best option.
Jeff nods
Leyl: Then I need to get out of this armor.
Kellanes: Nah, you’ll be alright. It’s shallow water here.
Kellanes: Unless you’re planning on rowing out to sea or something.

They split up, with Leyl rowing in a boat with Dawna and Mykele, while Ashe rows himself and Jeff. As they draw near, they spot the Water Nymph, anchored on a shallow beach outside the cave entrance. The party pauses and listens to the noises coming from the ship.

Dawna holds onto the side of the rowboat, trying not to retch cause it would be noisy.
Leyl: [SKILL] Perception [3+10 = 13]
Dawna: [SKILL] Perception [16+8 = 24]
Mykele: [SKILL] Perception [20+8 = 28]
Ashe: [SKILL] Perception [8+3 = 11]
Jeff: [SKILL] Perception [6+4 = 10]

Mykele: Five or six working, possibly distracted. We should be able to land without notice.
Mykele also notices the sound of another person nearby, though she’s not sure where exactly.
Mykele mutters to her boat mates.
Mykele: There’s someone else here.
Mykele: I don’t think it’s trouble. Yet.
Leyl nods and rows toward the shore.
Ashe keeps up rowing with the other boat

They decide to rush the shore and get there fast, rather than get their stealthily. Ashes powers his rowboat to the beach. Leyl…does not.
Leyl: [SKILL] Athletics [4+2 = 6]
Ashe: [SKILL] Athletics [20+3 = 23]

Ashe and Jeff decide to wait for the others, rather than rush the ship. Surveying the area, Ashe spots a huddled shape on the rock jutting out of the water – a dwarf lying face-down on the rock, clutching a crossbow.
Ganthez: [SKILL] Perception [7+3 = 10]
Ashe: [SKILL] Perception [20+3 = 23]
Jeff: [SKILL] Perception [5+4 = 9]
Ashe: (Whispering) I see something on the rock over there, but cannot make it out.
Jeff: He has a crossbow and he’s pointing south.
Jeff: (whispering): He doesn’t seem to have noticed us though.

As they wait, however, one of the people onboard strolls up to the rail, and happens to look over and see them standing there.
Stumpy: [SKILL] Perception [20+3 = 23]
Stumpy: What the balls??
Stumpy: Hey! There’s…there’s some people down here!
Jeff: Well. So much for the element of surprise.
Draza: You there! What’re you about?
Mykele: About 4’6, I should say, although Calliope swears we’re 4’7.
Draza the Red: [ABILITY] Intelligence check [6+1 = 7]
Draza: Wut?

Jeff: Hi, we’re here from the church of kicking your ass. Have you accepted my hammer as your lord and savior today?
Draza: The church of…
Draza: Hey!
Mykele: So closes negotiations.
Jeff: Be honest. Did you really want to negotiate with these slimeballs?
Draza: Alright, take ’em down! Feed ’em to the sharks!
Mykele: Time for church!
Leyl draws her greatsword.
Draza angrily gestures, and the boat workers all draw weapons, though they seem reluctant to charge the PCs.

To the party’s surprise, the dwarf on the rock is actually fast asleep, and doesn’t wake up to join the fight for a while. Mykele starts tossing bolts up at the gang members, who hide behind the railing and higher ground and wait for the PCs to ascend, which they do shortly.

Draza: Let ‘em come to us! Don’t leave the cargo unguarded!
Gang Archer [12+8 = 20] [HIT]
Gang Archer: Damage 3 → [to Mykele] [STATUS: Light]
Mykele lifts her eyebrow.
Mykele: Seriously, that’s all you got?
Gang Archer scowls.
Stumpy: Dagger (vs. AC) [16+9 = 25] → [at Mykele] [HIT]
Stumpy: [1d4+5 = 9] Damage 9 → [to Mykele] [STATUS: Moderate]
Mykele stifles a grunt.
Mykele: [ATTACK ()] Aimed Shot (vs. AC) [5+9 = 14] → [at Archer Cultist] [HIT]
Mykele: [1d8+5 = 9] Damage 9 → [to Archer Cultist] [STATUS: Dead]
Mykele shakes her head.
Mykele: Amateurs.

Leyl runs up the gangplank, where two thugs swing clubs, missing or dealing very light damage. Leyl retaliates and kills one, and is quickly joined aboard the ship by Jeff and Ashe. However, Draza (the Dragonborn) responds by chomping down on a vial of green liquid, and getting a wild, crazed look in his eyes. The party realizes it to be Shiver.

[TURN] Draza the Red
Effect [‘DMG: 3; AFTER: save; DMG: 1; DMGO: 1 psychic; AFTER: save; DMGO: 2 psychic; AFTER: save; DMGO: 3 psychic’] → [to Draza the Red]
Draza the Red: [6+5 = 11] Attack 11 → [at Jeff] [HIT]
Draza the Red: [20+5 = 25] Attack 25 → [at (M) Thug, Club] [CRITICAL HIT]
Draza the Red: [11+5 = 16] Attack 16 → [at Leyl] [HIT]
Draza the Red: [18+5 = 23] Attack 23 → [at Ashe] [HIT]

Draza the Red: Damage 9 → [to Ashe] [STATUS: Moderate]
Draza the Red: Damage 13 → [to (M) Thug, Club] [STATUS: Dead]
Draza the Red: Damage 11 → [to Jeff] [STATUS: Moderate]
Draza the Red: Damage 4 → [to Leyl] [PARTIALLY RESISTED] [STATUS: Moderate]

Draza breathes fire, burning Ashe, Jeff and Leyl, but also completely incinerating an unfortunate gang member, who screams as his clothes catch on fire. The gang member stumbles, then falls, still blazing, into the open hold.

Hearing the screams, Ganthez finally awakens. He begins firing at the PCs, though misses….a lot. He and Mykele begin trading shots, after Mykele rushes onto the boat to get within shooting range.

Ganthez: [ATTACK®] Heavy Crossbow (vs. AC) [4+9 = 13] → [at Jeff] [MISS]
Ganthez: [Dwarven]: Gods dammit!
Jeff [Dwarven]: I don’t think you can kill a mountain with a crossbow!
Ganthez: Ye’ll be next, boy! winds up his crossbow
Jeff: Not with that aim I won’t!

Leyl (singing): Gold for the master, silver for the maid…
Leyl (singing): Copper for the craftsman working at his trade…
Leyl (singing): Fine, said the Graven, sitting in his hall
Leyl (singing): For iron – cold iron – is the master of them all…
Leyl (singing): No, your opponent is me, scaly.

Leyl (singing): Pewter for the tankards, Tin for the plates…
Leyl (singing): Wood for the drunkard messing up the place…
Leyl (singing): Good, said the Innkeep, leaning by a stall
Leyl (singing): But iron – cold iron – is the master of them all…
Leyl (singing): Bread for the bellies and ale for the cups…
Leyl (singing): Slop is for pigs – see how they drink it up!
Leyl (singing): Yes, said the Halfling, speaking with a drawl,
Leyl (singing): But iron – cold iron – is the master of them all…

Leyl (singing): Torches to the buildings, fields to the flame…
Leyl (singing): Death to the weaklings fleeing at our name!
Leyl (singing): Ashz! said the grim orc, looking at the pall,
Leyl (singing): But iron – cold iron – is the master of them all…

As the fight continues, more smoke starts drifting up from the ship’s hold, and Ashe hears a high pitched scream coming from below.
Ashe: I just heard a high pitch scream coming from the hold.
Mykele: The kids!
Leyl (singing): Pitch for the darklings, archers to the wall…
Leyl (singing): Water for the horses waiting in the…
Leyl: …wait, what?
Dawna: I know why they call that drug what they do. Because it gives me shivers everytime ones of those crazy people uses it.

Draza, still in the throes of his Shiver trip, unleashes a devastating flail sweep, knocking Ashe unconscious and nearly doing in Leyl as well.
Draza the Red: [ATTACK ©] Flail Sweep (vs. Fort) [RM] [20+5 = 25] → [at Leyl] [CRITICAL HIT]
Draza the Red: [ATTACK ©] Flail Sweep (vs. Fort) [RM] [11+5 = 16] → [at Ashe] [HIT]
Draza the Red: [DAMAGE ©] Flail Sweep Damage 20 → [to Ashe] [STATUS: Dying]
Draza the Red: [DAMAGE ©] Flail Sweep Damage 21 → [to Leyl] [PARTIALLY ABSORBED] [STATUS: Critical]

Mykele turns her attention to Draza, dazing him with a powerful shot to the chest, then spending an action point and shooting him again, knocking him to the deck with a crit. Leyl chugs a healing potion and hits Draza while he’s down. Dawna is quickly able to heal Ashe and get him back on his feet, then imbues the weapons of Ashe, Leyl, Mykele and herself with additional fire damage. In the meantime, Jeff continues to hold the gang rogue at the far end of the deck, denying him flanking and sneak attack chances. The rogue, Stumpy, does try to rip open Jeff with a double shortsword stab, but only hits Jeff once.

Ashe gets to his feet and avenges…himself…with a strong blow to the head on the still-prone Draza.

Ashe: [ATTACK (M)] Weapon of Divine Protection (vs. AC) [15 + 6 = 21]
Ashe: Damage 18 → [to Draza the Red] [STATUS: Critical]

Suddenly, white noxious smoke starts wafting up from between the floorboards, making everyone onboard the Water Nymph blink and cough in surprise. The party quickly realize that it’s an undistilled version of Shiver, coming from burning dream spider webs. Flames begin pouring out of the hold, and areas of the deck catch fire.

Draza, out of his mind, breathes fire again (it having recharged upon being bloodied). He burns Mykele and Ashe, but is struck down by Leyl’s divine retribution.

Draza: Zombies!! GET AWAY!! BURN!!!
Draza the Red: Dragonborn Breath (vs. Ref) [MARK -2] [2 + 3 = 5] → [at Dawna] [DEF EFFECTS +2] [MISS]
Draza the Red: Dragonborn Breath (vs. Ref) [MARK -2] [16 + 3 = 19] → [at Mykele] [HIT]
Draza the Red: Dragonborn Breath (vs. Ref) [MARK -2] [19 + 3 = 22] → [at Ashe] [HIT]
Leyl: [DAMAGE ©] Divine Challenge (Feature) [TYPE: radiant] 7
Damage 7 → [to Draza the Red] [STATUS: Dying]
Leyl: Kahra judges you.
Mykele: Dude, we’re ALL judging him.
Mykele: He’s a tool. That is my judgment.
Leyl: I’m going below! Someone stay up here so I can pass up the kids!
Jeff: See if anyone of the kids is below deck!
Mykele: You guys get the kid! I’ll handle the sniper!

Ganthez: [ATTACK®] Heavy Crossbow (vs. AC) [4 + 9 = 13] → [at Mykele] [MISS]
Ganthez [Dwarven]: [Translation] Dammit! I suck!
Jeff laughs pointedly at Ganthez
Jeff [Dwarven]: [Translation] Why don’t you take your pea shooter off somewhere and leave us alone?
Mykele looks at the boat and sighs.
Mykele: Even criminals can’t get good help these days.
Mykele: [ATTACK ()] Clever Shot (vs. AC) [EFFECTS +1] [1 + 10 = 11] → [at Ganthez] [AUTOMATIC MISS]
Leyl: Neither can the heroes, apparently…
Leyl smirks at Mykele
Ganthez: At least it’s not just me…

The mockery of Ganthez is interrupted as a four-foot tall bright purple and fuchsia spider bursts out of the hold, screaming. It attacks the nearest creature, who happens to be Dawna. It misses, however. It is joined by a second spider, who scuttles out of the side of the ship and pounces on Jeff from behind…and also misses.

Dawna screams at the spider. The spider screams at her. Siccup screams cause there is screaming going on.

Dawna beats feet and sprints off the boat, away from the flames and spiders.

Leyl: ..where is she going?
Jeff: Off the flaming boat, I guess.
Leyl: Probably a good idea.
Leyl: Mykele, we gotta go!
Leyl: Get off the boat!
Jeff: I’m right behind ya

As Stumpy is cut down, Ganthez decides he’s had enough and leaps off his rock, attempting to swim to shore, or to the PC’s boats. Mykele runs up to the upper deck of the ship and shoots him again, slowing him, before leaping off into the water as well. Meanwhile, Leyl jumps down into the burning hold to look for any people / children / etc. She finds cots and bunks, and a barred area were spiders were kept, and another barred area where children-sized bedrolls are tossed haphazardly, but nothing else.

Ganthez struggles mightily to get to shore, while Mykele slips under the water for a moment, but then recovers and passes him. Dawna and Ashe run down to the boats to cut him off. Jeff attempts to perform some first aid on himself to clear the throbbing headache from the burning webs. He tries to wipe off the residue from his face with a rag, but unfortunately for him, due to his natural 1, the rag happens to be on fire. Leyl attempts to help Jeff shrug off the Shiver effects as well, and eventually he does.

Meanwhile, Ashe and Dawna hurl a few more attacks at Ganthez as he feebly tries to reach the rowboats. Mykele climbs in first and shoots him in the shoulder; Ganthez grabs her legs and tries to throw her out. However, Mykele overpowers him and tosses him back into the water. Leyl joins them and marks Ganthez.

Mykele: [ATTACK ()] Clever Shot (vs. AC) [1d20+9 = 17] → [at Ganthez] [HIT]
Mykele: Damage 13 → [to Ganthez] [STATUS: Bloodied]
Effect [‘Slowed’] → [to Ganthez] [by Mykele]
Ganthez: That’s just cruel now!
Mykele: You were SLEEPING ON THE JOB, you nincompoop!
Mykele: I take umbrage to that!

Leyl: Go ahead.
Leyl: Do something.
Leyl: [SKILL] Intimidate [6+9 = 15]
Ganthez: Bah! Alright, fine. I yield!
Ganthez holds up his hands but then starts to drown.
Jeff leans against a wall, watching them browbeat this poor dwarf, and taps his foot slightly.

View
Session 02 - My name is Verik Vancaskerkin

New wiki entries: Calin, Kester, Mysterious Elf Woman, Phillus, Shiver, Tygot, Verik Vancaskerkin, Water Nymph

We pick back up in the Old Fishery, where Yargin, Giggles, an unidentified archer, and a few thugs are still standing. Also Biter the dog, but he runs away almost immediately.

Giggles: I’M GIGGLIN
Ashe: [ATTACK®] Sacred Flame (vs. Ref) [17+3 = 20]
Damage 10 → [to Giggles] [STATUS: Critical]
Giggles: Youch! He he he!

Mykele crouches down in front of the kid.
Mykele: My name’s Mykele. We’re here looking for some kids that went missing and it seems you’re one of them.
Mykele: One of them is my nephew Calin. Do you remember meeting a kid with that name?
Kester hmms.
Leyl looks exasperated at Mykele.
Leyl: Really? Now? There are still bad guys!
Kester: Sorry lady, I don’t remember anyone named Calin. There’s been a lot of kids the grownups have brought in, but they don’t all stay. They take some of them away every now and then.
Mykele: Yes, and we’ll handle them. I want to know if there’s another place they’re holding the kids.
Mykele: Do you know where they go?
Kester shakes his head.
Kester: The yellow hair man takes them away and they never come back.
Mykele: I’m seriously starting to dislike the yellow hair man.

Yargin: Did you…heal me?
Dawna glares at him and Siccup narrows his eyes.
Dawna: I did. Don’t move.
Dawna: [SKILL] Intimidate [20+1 = 21]
Yargin whimpers.
Yargin: Oh please, mercy! I surrender! Don’t hurt me!

Yargin seems confused that Dawna healed him, and is totally cowed by Dawna’s natural 20 Intimidate roll. He cowers and does not put up any other resistance. The archer doesn’t seem to like this, and fires again at Dawna, but misses again. She curses and ducks back out the hole in the wall and runs away. Giggles gets bopped by Baymax, which annoys him, so Giggles smacks the robot. Jeff mind spikes him and exfoliates his brain.

[TURN] Giggles – [MARK: -2]
Giggles: Ow! Dumb machine…thing! He he
Giggles: [DAMAGE (M)] Flail [EFFECTS 1] [1d86 = 11]
Damage 11 → [to Automated Slightly Buggy Free-Hugs Dispensing Alchemic Automaton] [STATUS: Bloodied]
Giggles: Take that! he he he
Damage 11 → [to Giggles] [STATUS: Dying]
Giggles reels back and clutches his head.
Giggles: He…he?
Giggles falls down to the stairs.
Jeff: Effing lunatic…

The remaining thug fearfully grabs one of the children as a hostage, but Anvari aims carefully and roasts him with Dire Radiance. Jeff stabilizes the kid who got knocked off the balcony, and the PCs gather to interrogate Yargin (except for Mykele, who remains upstairs to comfort the children there and talk to Kester some more.)

Yargin: Oh mercy!
Jeff: Where… Is.. Gaedren?
Yargin: Did Devargo send you? Listen, I know this little endeavor might seem like we’re stepping on your toes, but we’re all businessmen, I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement?
Yargin: Wait, you’re here for Gaedren?
Yargin: I mean, of course you are! It’s all Gaedren’s doing, all of this!
Yargin: If Devargo is mad at someone, he should be mad at him!
Jeff: Okay. Who’s Devargo and why is he mad at Gaedren? Also, where is Gaedrin?
Yargin blinks.
Yargin: You’re…wait, you’re not from Devargo?
Yargin: Oh, balls. Are you from the Society, then? We didn’t mean to infringe on your turf! Or, that is, I mean, I didn’t! It was all Gaedren’s idea!
Leyl: Little man.
Leyl: You are trying my patience.
Jeff: You are doing a terrible job of answering my questions.
Yargin: DON’T HURT ME
Leyl: Stop interrupting.
Yargin tries to calm down.

Mykele tries to calm the panicked and terrified children.
Mykele: Kids, I want you to stay right here. We’re going to get you back where you belong.
Mykele looks at the kid who had been helping her.
Mykele: What’s your name?
Kester: I’m Kester! Who are you?
Mykele: Okay Kester, you were a huge help, so you’re in charge of these kids. We’re going to get all of them together and then we’re going to get them back where they belong.
Kester: You’re the best, lady!
Mykele nods at Kester in a captain-to-lieutenant sort of way and dashes into the other room.

The PCs grill Yargin and find out that Gaedren is the real mastermind behind everything. Yargin seems relieved that the PCs are not from Devargo, and very, very relieved that the party isn’t from the Cerulean Society either. He tells them that Gaedren was here a few days ago with a pretty elf woman, and when he left, he took some of the kids with him. Since none of the children are Calin or the other recently abducted children, the party assumes that Gaedren took the healthiest children.

Jeff: We’re not with the society. We were contracted by a third party about the kids. Now where is Gaedren?
Yargin: Oh thank the gods.
Leyl sighs angrily at Yargin, then puts up her sword and goes to the little ones, offering them her rations.
Ashe frees the kids from their chains
Yargin: Um, Gaedren, he’s…I don’t know where he is right now. He only stops by every now and then to drop off some new workers or take some away.
Yargin: Or to check the supply.
Anvari: When do you expect him here next?
Mykele kicks Yargin.
Mykele: Where. Did. You. Take. The. Rest. Of. The. Children. Speak.
Yargin: Not for a while…he just stopped by a few nights back and picked up some of the latest batch, took some kids with him, and took off.
Jeff: I don’t think he’ll be coming. One of the others got away out the back and onto the boat. She probably went around the docks and into town to find some way to contact him.
Yargin: I think he’s got a shipment coming in. He’s probably going to try to ship the kids out.
Jeff: Ship them out where?
Yargin: To whoever wants them, I think.
Mykele: You are SELLING them?!?
Yargin: Not me, lady!
Dawna: What dock does he ship from?
Yargin: I just watch over this place!
Jeff: You may not have been the merchant, but you helped supply the goods. You’re every bit as guilty.
Yargin: Well see, that’s the funny thing. He’s never done this before. The whole shipping kids out. This is new for him.
Yargin: I don’t know what he’s thinking, really.
Leyl hands over the rest of her rations and walks back over to the rest of the party.
Jeff: Maybe I should let someone from the Society know about this place. I bet they’d be very interested to know who’s encroaching on their turf.
Leyl: And yet you still knew about it.
Leyl looks at Jeff.
Yargin: Oh gods, no please don’t do that! I told Gaedren not to overstep! I knew this would backfire, oh gods, oh no, please don’t!
Leyl: I think we should do it anyway.
Jeff ponders for a minute.
Yargin starts crying pitifully. Wracking, chest-heaving, gulping sobs.
Jeff: …ugh
Jeff: Wretched man
Mykele looks at him with disgust.
Yargin: It was all Gaedren’s doing! He made me do it! He’s the one who made me do everything! I’m just as much a victim here as anyone!
Jeff points at the kids in the room.
Jeff: TELL THAT TO ALL OF THEM
Yargin opens his mouth to protest, sees the angry glares facing him, and shuts his mouth.

Leyl moves up to Yargin, and grabs his collar in both hands.
Leyl: [ABILITY] Strength check [2+4 = 6]
Yargin: Listen, please don’t tell the Society. I’ll give you everything here, just don’t do that! You’re here for the kids? Here! Here’s the key! Go get them!
Yargin throws a battered key to the ground at Leyl’s feet.
Mykele: We’re here for ALL of the kids, and yet, some of them are missing.
Leyl: THERE IS ALWAYS A CHOICE! You either walk the path of all that is good and just, or you tread in the gutter alongside!
Mykele: So we’re going to need you to TELL US where to find THE REST OF THE CHILDREN. YOU MORON.
Jeff hedges uncomfortably at Leyl’s words, but doesn’t dispute them.
Yargin: I’ll walk the good path from now on! No more gutters for me!
Leyl: No. You will face justice for what you have done. You either leave this building in chains, or in a box.
Leyl: It’s your choice.
Yargin turns to Leyl and holds out his hands.
Yargin: The chains then, please! Just don’t tell the Society we were horning in on their business.
Jeff: Wait.. I have a better idea Leyl.
Jeff: I think we should let the kids decide what to do with him.

Yargin: Um, um, okay. Last time Gaedren was here, he had a woman with him. A real pretty one. They went down to the boat and talked for a bit, and then they left, and they took a bunch – a dozen or so? – kids with them.
Yargin: Some of the newer ones. The ones Gaedren’s been nabbing lately.
Jeff takes the key that Yargin held out and goes to unchain the other kids in this room.
Leyl: …the ones in better condition.
Yargin: …maybe.
Mykele: This pretty woman. Who was she, and what did she want?
Leyl: That would fetch a better price. You weasely…
Yargin: I didn’t talk to her, she and Gaedren were busy talking so I didn’t want to interrupt.
Yargin thinks for a second.
Yargin: She was an elf, though.
Leyl: Describe her. What color was her hair? What kind of clothes did she wear?
Leyl: What other features did you notice?
Yargin: Real expensive clothes. Nice hair. Soft-looking.
Mykele: Her shoes. Did you notice her shoes?
Yargin: Her…shoes?
Mykele: What did they look like?
Jeff headtilts
Yargin: They were…….shoes?
Mykele pinches the bridge of her nose.
Dawna locks chains in place on Yargin.
Yargin: Oh! She seemed like she didn’t want to get them dirty, though.
Yargin: Which is pretty tough, in this place…

Jeff: One last question, Yargin
Yargin: Anything!
Jeff: How were you paid?
Jeff: Like… by courier, did you go somewhere and collect or..?
Yargin: Oh, Gaedren leaves us some coin when he stops in. It’s my job to pay the others.
Yargin: And also collect the money for the dock dumplings, though that’s hardly anything, of course.
Yargin: I haven’t paid anyone since his last visit though. It’s all down in the ship. Please, help yourself! I insist!
Dawna looks up at Yargin and then holds her hand out with a smile.
Jeff: He gets paid for the dock dumplings?
Yargin scoffs.
Yargin: Like 10 copper.
Leyl: I’ll go check it out.
Leyl: If I stay here, I’ll kill this man.
Yargin: The dumplings are just a front.
Yargin: Who in their right mind would check out THIS place? Pyoo!
Jeff: So he is fronted through the Tipped Tankard?
Jeff: Does everyone there know it?
Yargin: Oh, no the Tipped Tankard sells the dumplings! That’s legit. Their customers are like, dockhands? Those poor suckers can’t afford anything else.
Jeff: Oh, so the front is the supply of the dumplings then. Got it.
Jeff: How in the hell are we going to find him then?
Jeff chinscratches

Mykele returns to Kester.
Mykele: Kester, Yargin said that there was an elf woman here that took away some kids. Do you remember her? Did you overhear anything she said?
Kester: Oh I remember her! She was pretty. She had pointy ears.
Kester: She said to the old man that the boat would be coming soon!
Mykele: Did she mean the boat out back here?
Kester: I don’t think so. That boat has been there forever.
Kester: As long as I can remember, it’s been there.
Mykele: That’s great, Kester, that’s a big help.

Leyl investigates the boat outside, and goes down into the hull and finds a locked footlocker. She brings it back up, and after receiving the key from Yargin, the PCs open it to find some magic thieving gloves, a healing potion, some small treasures (teak cigar case, silver trade bar), some flasks of acid, ten vials of Shiver, and a gold key wrapped in a tattered parchment. The PCs recognize the gold key as being for one of the Grand Vault of Nomus’ personal vaults. The paper has a strange message written on it.

Leyl returns through the hole with the chest.
Leyl: Is there a key for this box, Yargin?
Yargin: Oh, um, the same key for the chains will get that.
Leyl unlocks and opens the box.

Jeff: So a pretty, dark-haired elf woman that nobody knows her name. A well-to-do merchant maybe?
Jeff chinscratches.

Mykele: There’s another boat. The woman and Gaedren have another ship somewhere.
Jeff headtilts looking in the box.
Jeff: What’s in the vault?
Yargin: Vault? I don’t know anything about a vault.
Jeff shudders at the vials of Shiver.
Jeff: That’s some nasty stuff.
Dawna: If we hand him over the Guard with that stuff, will it pretty much take care of things?
Jeff: They do NOT look kindly on Shiver.
Dawna: So we caught a child-trafficker and a drug dealer?
Jeff: He might not be a dealer. It could be just a personal stash.
Jeff: …an admittedly large personal stash.
Yargin: Hey no, that stuff’s not mine, you crazy? That stuff is nasty.
Yargin: Gaedren just keeps it here, since the Guard never checks here.
Leyl: Well, guess what? You’re going to jail for it.
Leyl: And when we find Gaedren, he’s going to join you.
Jeff: Tell you what then. We’ll keep a couple vials to turn in when we take Gaedren to the magistrate.
Yargin: Anything, just please don’t tell the Society.

Mykele admires the cigar case.
Mykele: Uncle Pierro will be getting a very nice present for his next birthday.
Mykele gathers all the kids up.
Mykele: Okay, who do you all belong to?

On the way out, the PCs notice one room they haven’t yet entered. Inside they find a gruesome tiny room with a ratty bedroll and manacles on the wall. A copious amount of blood looks to have been spilled here, and the wooden floor and the manacles are pitted and burned. The party realizes this was where Zellara was held captive.

Jeff: Alright Yargin.
Jeff: Who was in here and why?
Dawna: .. Is… is that a beating room?
Leyl: …what happened in here…
Dawna: Is that where the kids go when they’re bad?!
Yargin: Oh, um, nothing?
Anvari: Bullshit.
Mykele kicks him on principle.
Yargin: No, that’s just, where, uhhhhh….I had a nosebleed!
Jeff: Listen.
Jeff: I’m a fair man.
Jeff: How about I let you sit in there until you remember what happened.
Yargin wets himself.
Yargin: No no, that’s, I’ve had a miraculous recovery of memory!
Jeff: I thought you might.
Yargin: Some old bag was sniffing around here the other day. Giggles found her peeking in through a window, and so we threw her in here for Gaedren to deal with.
Yargin pales slightly.
Yargin: Gaedren was not happy.
Yargin: He, uh, he wasn’t very nice to her.
Jeff: Yeah. we’ve seen the result of his handiwork.
Yargin blanches even more.
Yargin: Hells, I didn’t realize this was personal.
Jeff: Did you not hear the halfling talking about her nephew?
Leyl: You made it personal. For all of us in some way or another.
Yargin: Listen, I’m really sorry about that, so I’ll tell the magistrate that and everything.
Leyl smiles sweetly.
Yargin avoids meeting Mykele’s eye.
Yargin: I don’t have anything to do with the kids…Gaedren just brings them here…it’s him, really…
Leyl: Someone gag this idiot.
Dawna: I could rip out his tongue. Or let Siccup do it.
Mykele: Yeah, you’re such an angel. Let’s go. Kids, it’s time to go home.
Jeff: And hell.. Swiping kids from the orphanage, i’m surprised you didn’t recognize me, i’m there often enough.
Yargin: The orphanage?
Yargin: Huh, that’s new.
Jeff: You didn’t know?
Yargin: He’s never done that before.
Leyl: Otherwise I might think it’s a good idea to shackle him in there and burn the building down.
Yargin: If I tell you everything will you tell the magistrate how I surrendered? And cooperated?
Jeff: So… you HAVEN’T told us everything yet?
Yargin: I mean…everything else I can…remember?
Leyl: Yeah. Just latch him in there.
Jeff opens the cell door, roughly shoves Yargin in, and closes it.
Leyl: I have flint and steel.
Jeff: You can tell us from in there.
Yargin: No don’t!! Okay I give up!
Jeff leans against the cell door to keep it from opening.
Yargin: Gaedren’s nabbed a few kids before but never ones that would be missed!
Leyl: Wow, Mykele. Your nephew wouldn’t be missed.
Yargin: Like when a house burns down. And the entire family dies.
Yargin: Who’s going to miss one little kid?
Mykele kicks him on purpose this time.
Yargin: Sometimes people have accidents, Gaedren always says.
Dawna: Accidents HE causes!
Yargin: Gaedren sometimes does….jobs, for people.
Jeff: What jobs?
Jeff: What people?
Yargin: For bad people. I don’t get involved, mister. That’s too hardcore for me. I just run this fishery.
Leyl: With slave labor.
Leyl: Child slave labor, no less.
Mykele: CHILD slave labor.
Yargin: They’re fed! And clothed!
Yargin: They’d just be at the orphanage otherwise.
Jeff: Y’know… I grew up there
Leyl: Where they’d be fed. And clothed. And treated better.
Jeff: It’s not so bad.
Jeff: And we’re not CHAINED TO A FUCKING POST IN THE GROUND
Ashe: I was raised in an orphanage as well.
Yargin: I hear the orphanage is a wonderful place!

Dawna: We can leave him in there and let the Guard come here to get him, right?
Dawna: They’re only a little busy.
Dawna: It shouldn’t take a week.
Jeff: Y’know what? I think we should skip the magistrate and chain this fool in there.
Yargin: Noooo!
Jeff: When we find Gaedren we can bring him in too, and then let the Society know.
Yargin: Noooooooo!
Leyl: Oh, you know, if we forget to tell the guard, though…
Leyl: I mean
Leyl: Nobody would ever find him.
Yargin: Please! Arrest me! Take me to jail!!
Yargin: I don’t know why Gaedren’s gone crazy lately but I never should have gotten mixed up with him!
Mykele: While I hate to ruin this lovely party, we might actually need him later to identify the woman
Yargin: Ever since the king got sick he’s been going way out of line.
Jeff: Oh don’t worry Yargin, there’s plenty of dock dumplings and fish guts around here for you to eat, so it’s not like you’d starve.
Mykele: So probably we should take him to jail so we have a convenient place to find him later.
Yargin looks slightly more horrified at the prospect of eating dock dumplings than being burned alive.
Dawna pales at the mention of dock dumplings as well.

Leyl sighs.
Leyl: Enough. Let’s get rid of this man so we can get on with this task.
Leyl: We are far from done.
Jeff: Y’know Yargin… you’re lucky that there’s people here who are better people than I am.
Yargin: I’m lucky! I’m the luckiest person in the world!
Yargin sobs.

The PCs drag Yargin outside, and some of the children seem dazed and squinting in the sunlight, as if they haven’t been outside in ages. When asked where they belong, some of the younger children seem confused, and point back tentatively toward the Fishery.

Mykele rounds up the kids.
Mykele: We’re taking you home to your families now. Do you know where you belong?
Jeff sighs
Leyl winces.
Jeff: Let’s take them to Aunt Gretchen. If there’s ones that don’t belong to her, she’ll at least know how to find their families.
Anvari: Yeah, I was going to suggest that.
Leyl: Not a bad idea. We can take them after we drop off this jerk.
Mykele: That sounds like the best plan.
Kester: My fam’s dead, lady. Our house burned down when I was little, and my sis and I got away, but the old man grabbed us before the Guard arrived. And he brought us here.
Mykele puts an arm around Kester.
Mykele: Do you have any family left? Anyone to go to?
Kester shakes his head.
Kester: My sister got taken away by Gaedren. Are you going to save her too?
Mykele: We’re going to try. We have to find him first.

Jeff: You guys take this clod to the magistrate. I’ll take the kids to Gretchen.
Leyl: You can’t carry them all, Jeff, and some won’t make the trip.
Dawna: .. Gretchen’s got a rough time of keeping care of the kids she has. Ah… do we want to leave the brooch with her? Help her help these kids maybe?
Anvari: If Gretchen tries to sell that brooch, they will think she stole it.
Mykele beams at Dawna.
Jeff: It’s a good idea, but Anvari’s probably right. The orphanage exists solely on donations from the nobles and such.
Anvari: Hells, I’m not even sure I could sell that brooch, and I have contacts
Jeff: I could find someone to fence it, i’m sure.
Anvari: Honestly, we could take it to a rare goods dealer and see what it even is? We’ll get ripped off by a fence.

The PCs drag Yargin up to City Hall, where a magistrate who is walking back inside sees the procession, and hurries down to investigate.

Magistrate: What’s going on here?
Magistrate: Who is this man?
Jeff: We found these kids who have been kidnapped by… this piece of filth.
Anvari: I was speaking with Investigator Drysdale this morning, and she mentioned that there was a suspicion of … illegal activity surrounding these missing kids.
Magistrate: The missing children! These are them, then? You’ve found them?
Anvari: They are not.
Anvari: These are OTHER captured children.
Magistrate ’s eyes grow wide.
Magistrate: Clearly there’s a larger story at work here, then. You say this is the man responsible?
Jeff points to the box with the Shiver still in it.
Leyl: One of them.
Jeff: One of, yes. And he was also in possession of this.
Anvari: We are looking for the ones listed in the paper, but figured we should get this lot someplace safe and warm, and hand over this … rat… to the authorities.
Magistrate hmms.
Jeff: Also, if you go down to the old abandoned fishery, you’ll notice… there was a scuffle. There should probably be someone sent to clean up in there.
Magistrate: You there! (to Yargin) Is what they say true?
Yargin: …yes.
Magistrate: Guards! Lock this man up. And send some people over to the fishery to verify these people’s story.

Magistrate turns back to the party.
Magistrate: What do you intend to do with the children?
Jeff: We’re going to take them to Lantern Street and let Gretchen help sort them out.
Mykele: Except this one.
Mykele: He’s going to Uncle Pierro.
Mykele: We need some more Staelides.
Jeff raises an eyebrow at Mykele
Mykele: We need some more Staelides.
Mykele: Kester, would you like to learn how to make shoes?
Magistrate: The Staelides, eh? You do make good shoes…but miss, please take all of the children to the orphanage first.
Magistrate: If there’s interest in the Staelides adopting this boy, it must be done through the proper channels, I’m afraid.
Mykele notices his shoes, as she notices everyone’s shoes.
Jeff: Look, sir… Gretchen is almost overrun as it is. There’s eleven children here, and even sorting out the other ones will take time. Isn’t there anything we can do to… expedite the process?
Mykele cocks her head.
Mykele: I think the spell on you left sole is wearing thin, sir. Next time you’re in my neighborhood, come in to have the charm refreshed.
Magistrate: I’m sorry, but since the welfare of children is involved, I must ensure the children are in good health and be spoken with before releasing them to an adoptive family, well-meaning though the Staelides may be.
Mykele sighs and shrugs.
Magistrate: But rest assured, if everything is in order I am sure there will be no problem later.
Anvari: Besides, Mykele – Lantern Street does adoptions professionally. They’ll sort it out.
Mykele: Kester, you’re going to need to visit Aunt Gretchen for awhile, but if you want to come learn how to make shoes, I’ll make that happen, I promise.
Kester: That sounds good to me, Lady!

Magistrate smiles at the children resassuredly, then stands.
Jeff: I appreciate any help you could offer in the process Magistrate…
Magistrate: You’re not with the Guard, are you? They’d have arrested this scum themselves.
Jeff shifts slightly.
Jeff: No… I’m not with the guard.
Leyl: We are not. Consider us freelance investigators.
Leyl smiles brightly.
Magistrate: Well, whoever you lot are, you’re exactly the type of upstanding citizens this city needs. Keep up the good work.
Magistrate: (to Mykele) When it’s time for the adoption process, please ask for me. My name is Tygot. I will put in a good word for you with the officials at Zenderholm Holdings.

Leyl stops at the Grand Vault of Nomus while the others bring the children to the Lantern Street Orphanage.

Nomus Cleric: Greetings, welcome to the Grand Vault. What is your business today?
Leyl: Good day. I need to access a particular lockbox.
Leyl places the key on the desk.
Nomus Cleric: Certainly. You have your key and identification?
Nomus Cleric glances at the key.
Leyl picks up the key and rummages through her bag.
Nomus Cleric: Ah yes, one of our underground vaults.
Nomus Cleric shuffles through a large book of records.
Leyl: Damn, I must have left it at home. I’ll have to get it and return.
Nomus Cleric: Very well, we’ll be here when you return.
Nomus Cleric smiles.
Leyl: Thank you; I’m sorry for taking up your time.

Leyl catches up to the party, who had stopped at Gold Market to get the kids sandwiches. They eat as well, then head over to the orphanage, where they fill Aunt Gretchen in on what’s been going on, and give her some gold to help pay for the new kids’ food and clothes and whatnot.

Gretchen: The children! You’ve saved them!
Gretchen: Oh Jeff, I knew you’d find them! And Ashe! You good boys!
Ashe: Yes, we found some of them, but there are still more to find.
Gretchen: More? But…
Gretchen looks at the crowd of children and gasps.
Gretchen: This is…not my two missing children.
Jeff: No. These are others who had been pressganged into work at the old abandoned fishery by the docks.
Gretchen: Oh, you poor dears. Come in, come in.
Gretchen ushers them warmly inside.

Anvari: I know this is a huge number of children to dump on your doorstep. I can’t pay for all of them, but please, take this to feed them until you get them sorted out.
Gretchen (quietly): Oh dearie, don’t worry about it. You’ve done so much already rescuing these poor children. The city will provide for them, and the churches, as well.
Jeff: Oh Gretchen, hush. You’re overworked as it is.
Leyl: Let us give you a donation at least.
Anvari: Either I make the donation to you directly, or I make it anonymously at the Church.
Gretchen blinks back tears (of happiness).
Gretchen (quietly): Very well, I could certainly use the funds, if it’s not too much trouble. Whatever you would want to donate will get put to good use, sweetie.
The party gives Gretchen 14 gold.
Gretchen: Thank you so much for your generosity, young ones. The church always makes sure we’re taken care of, I admit…but sometimes the cupboards are a bit bare. This will ensure no one goes hungry for a good while yet.
Mykele: One other thing, Aunt Gretchen. Take all of them to Staelides and let us put decent shoes on their poor feet. I’ll try to get a message to Calliope but if you get there first, just tell her Mykele said to put it on the house.
Gretchen: That would be wonderful, dear. Shoes are not something we can normally afford. The children will be overjoyed.

Kester: Bye lady!
Mykele hugs Kester fiercely.
Mykele: You’re in charge of the other kids, Kester. Try to help them not be scared and to mind Aunt Gretchen.
Mykele: What is your sister’s name? I’ll do my very best to find her.
Kester: Her name is Peri!
Mykele: You can call me Mykele, Kester. You’re in good hands here, so help the others and I’ll be back for you as soon as I can.

Jeff: And some of these may still have families out there. We don’t know.
Mykele: Especially ma’am, as I’m afraid that we’ll have more work for you shortly, if all goes well.
Mykele: There are more children somewhere, and I intend to find them.
Jeff: And we don’t know how many.
Gretchen (quietly): More children?
Mykele nods quietly.
Gretchen staggers, and after looking back to make sure the children have been helped inside, she sits down on the stoop.
Gretchen: What do you mean, more children? Where did these ones come from?
Gretchen: I thought four had been kidnapped?
Anvari: These ones came from a fishery – they were chained and working there.
Gretchen gasps.
Gretchen: Chained? Oh no, oh my. These poor souls.
Leyl: Yes; but there are others who were assumed dead because their homes had been burned.
Leyl: Or their families were killed.
Anvari: There has apparently been a … rash of manufactured accidents, providing these filthy excuses for humans with child labor.
Gretchen: Oh dear. That’s just like what happened to you, Ashe, isn’t it?
Ashe: Yes it is, which is the reason I really want to help the other kids out there that this happened to.
Gretchen: Bless your heart, Ashe. And you, Jeff. And the rest of you…are these your friends?
Ashe: We actually met from a person named Zellara, which is how we all met.
Gretchen collects the funds and puts them in a little purse she pulls out of her pocket, and clutches it tightly to her chest.
Gretchen: Well, please thank this Zellara for me when next you see her, if it led to you saving these children.
Gretchen: Is there any word on the others?
Leyl: We’ll do just that, Gretchen. In fact, we should probably consult her for information on the others.
Leyl: She might be able to give us insight into our curious elven stranger.
Jeff: Take care of yourelf Gretchen. Like we said, there will be more on the way, hopefully sooner than later.
Gretchen: Thank you again, sweeties. Please, I hope you are able to find little Kesme and Wyndemir. I’m sure the darlings are so scared.
Mykele looks at the others.
Mykele: We should go back to Zellara and let her know what happened. Maybe she has some idea who the elf woman might be, or any ideas on the boat.
Leyl: Let’s talk to Zellara, then see if we can figure out what’s up with this vault key.
Leyl: They asked for my identification.

The party looks at the note again, and Anvari and Dawna both recognize the name Vancaskerkin. Anvari has heard from her friend Naomi Rose Drysdale about a city guard named Verik Vancaskerkin who keeps hitting on Naomi Rose, and won’t get the hint to stop. Dawna has heard the name from House Whynot, after someone named Verik Vancaskerkin commissioned some work on some sort of mechanical device. The party returns to Zellara with this info.

Zellara: That was fast. Have you found Gaedren already, then?
Mykele: Not exactly.
Mykele: We cleaned out the place where they were holding some of the kids, though.
Mykele shifts uncomfortably.
Mykele: And where, um.
Mykele gestures vaguely
Zellara: Yes?
Zellara: Where…
Jeff: The old fishery where they had you, Zellara.
Mykele: What happened to you… happened to you.
Zellara: Oh, that.
Zellara glances at her bandaged arms and shrugs.
Zellara: It will pass. What’s important is that the monsters who did this pay.
Zellara: And that the children are saved.
Dawna: We seem close, we found a deposit box key for Verik Vancaskerkin in a strong box while freeing some kids from where they’d kept you.
Zellara: I am glad you have rescued some of them, but it sounds like it was not all of them?
Dawna: We need to find a boat, apparently.
Dawna: but our only lead didn’t know a name or dock.
Mykele: And an attractive elf woman.
Mykele: Again, with no name.
Zellara: An elf, a key, Verik, and a boat.
Zellara: How strange.
Jeff: Also, the man we spoke to seemed to worry that we were sent by Devargo. Any idea why HE would be upset about what was happening there?
Zellara: I’m sorry, Jeff, I don’t know of a Devargo. It wasn’t a name I heard while I was being held captive.

Zellara: Can I see that key?
Leyl hands over the key.
Zellara indicates with her bandaged hands that she can’t hold the key, but instead for Leyl to simply place it on the table.
Leyl puts the key on the table.
Zellara leans over the key and places her hand above it, closes her eyes, and concentrates.
Zellara: I can sense Gaedren’s aura on this key. Though it is faint.
Zellara: If you’d like, I can do a reading on it. Attempt to tell you where it might lead you next.
Leyl: Please.
Harrow Deck (All)
Leyl: [TABLE] Harrow Deck (All) [d54=26] = The Joke 26
Leyl: [TABLE] Harrow Deck (All) [d54=54] = The Betrayal 54
Leyl: [TABLE] Harrow Deck (All) [d54=52] = The Courtesan 52
Zellara lays the cards on the table, and flips them over one at a time. She thinks for a moment.
Zellara: This is for the key, not a person. It’s not what I normally do, reading items instead of people, but I will give it my best effort.
Zellara: The Joke represents the key’s past. It represents misdirection. I sense that the key was used to deceive someone lately.
Zellara: The Betrayal represents the present. This follows what the Joke represents. Whoever this key belongs to, they are betraying someone’s trust.
Zellara: The Courtesan represents the future. This card represents love or romance. Whatever happens next to this person, it is love, or what is in their heart, that dictates their actions, and ultimately, their fate.
Leyl looks legitimately confused.
Zellara: However, look. The courtesan card was flipped upside-down.
Zellara: This can sometimes indicate that the feeling of love this person feels is one-sided, or insincere.
Leyl: …not sure what to make of that yet.
Zellara smiles sadly.
Zellara: Unfortunately, such as the way of readings. They are not always the most….sensible.
Leyl: Either way, I guess the clues for our advancement are in the box that this key opens.
Zellara: Do you know who this key belongs to?
Leyl: Supposedly someone named Vancaskerkin.

Anvari: Wait
Anvari: lopsided love?
Anvari: What’s this dude’s name again?
Leyl: Verik?
Anvari: HIM.
Anvari: Okay. So he’s been a real asshole at work to my friend Naomi.
Anvari: the investigator I know
Anvari: Dude won’t take no for an answer.
Zellara: I myself have such a key, though there is not much in it these days. I do recall the last time I went to retrieve something, they asked me to prove who I was. They were not overly careful in their check, but still, they do not let just anyone into their vaults.
Leyl: So we need a Vancaskerkin ID.
Anvari: Naomi will probably be able to tell me something about him. She’s an investigator after all.
Dawna: Or we need a human male and some info on Verik so that human male can pretend to be him.
Dawna looks at Ashe.
Anvari: Just… don’t tell her we’re going to break into his vault.
Zellara: I merely had to answer a few questions about myself when I last visited the vaults, but anything official would likely suffice as well.

The PCs head to Citadel Volrane, where Anvari knows Naomi Rose is working today.

Naomi-Rose: Anvari! Are you here for dinner? I’m afraid I’m still on shift for a few hours yet.
Anvari: Actually no, though I wouldn’t turn down the invitation – I actually had some questions and information for you.
Anvari: Can we speak somewhere quiet?
Anvari: It pertains to your work.
Naomi-Rose: Certainly! And these people with you, they’re your…friends? From the Academy?
Naomi-Rose looks a bit skeptical at her own words, looking over the group.
Anvari: It’s a bit of a story. I’ll explain in a minute.
Naomi-Rose nods and leads the group back into a windowless room.
Naomi-Rose leans back against the room’s lone table and beckons for Anvari to proceed.
Anvari: So this morning after breakfast, I got a strange note – when I went there, I met these folks.
Anvari: We were sent after a trail that supposedly led to missing children.
Leyl looks around the room, singing quietly to herself.
Naomi Rose glances at Leyl, but doesn’t interrupt.
Naomi Rose: Oh, the children! Have you found them?
Anvari: We followed the trail… and found missing children, but not the ones from the paper. The person in charge is at City Hall – he is kind of the worst dispicable sort of asshole you’re likely to meet.
Naomi Rose: What’s his name? I’ll string him up myself.
Anvari: You’ll probably be told about him once they get him sorted out. His name is Yargin.
Naomi Rose nods, steel in her gaze.
Anvari describes Yargin briefly. She is not kind.
Naomi Rose: Well, good work on all of you for refraining from killing him, as tempting as it might have been.
Naomi Rose: We’ll see him answer for his crimes first.

Anvari: So we’re stuck on where to go next.
Dawna: He kept insisting it wasn’t his doing though, that he was just working for… ah… (Dawna tries to remember the name)
Dawna: Gaedren.
Naomi Rose frowns.
Naomi Rose: I’ve heard that name, but only every now and then. Every few months or so we get someone in complaining about this Gaedren fellow. Whenever we investigate, though, they’ve always taken off.
Naomi Rose: Judging from these rumors, he seems almost like a ghost haunting the city than anything else.
Anvari: He’s supposedly behind a ring that’s … manufacturing accidents, and then stealing children to be put to work for him.
Anvari: we’ll see if that pans out.
Naomi Rose: I wish I could tell you more about the guy, but I’ve just told you mostly everything I know about him, sadly.

Anvari: I was wondering if maybe you could shed some light on some things we ARE looking to connect.
Naomi Rose: Sure, hit me.
Anvari: First, we know he was seen in the company of a pretty elven woman, with dark hair, wearing expensive clothes and who was disgusted by the fishery (though that’s not saying much.)
Naomi Rose: Nice to meet all of you, by the by.
Dawna waves from under the table, trying to extract Siccup.
Leyl smiles politely.
Naomi Rose: Hm. Not the most detailed description. Though…there’s not a lot of elves in the city, comparatively.
Naomi Rose: I mean, there’s definitely too many for us to haul in for questioning, I mean.
Naomi Rose winks.
Naomi Rose: Plus they might be a little upset if we did that.
Anvari: Well of course – just wondering if anyone with that description had been … caught doing anything untoward recently.
Dawna: Or maybe been spotted around the docks?
Anvari: That too. (Points at Dawna)
Leyl: She’s probably too smart to be caught doing anything people would find worth reporting.
Leyl shrugs.
Naomi Rose: Not that I’m aware of. We do get a fair share of elves who’ve fallen in with bad crowds, since Korvosa isn’t really a place that matches their lifestyles very much.
Naomi Rose: But no one really of note.
Jeff: What about the noble families or well-to-do merchants? The guy said she was very careful not to get her shoes dirty.
Naomi Rose: Not many elven nobles in the city, I’m afraid.

Naomi Rose: The docks isn’t really my area of expertise, though. You might want to check with one of the dock Guards.
Anvari: Probably a good next step.
Naomi Rose ’s lip curls.
Naomi Rose: I could put you in contact with Verik if you wanted. He’s in charge of overseeing incoming dock business.
Dawna hits her head on the table.
Anvari: I thought… isn’t that the jerk who was following you around like a lost puppy?
Naomi Rose: Aye, that’s him.
Naomi Rose: I didn’t say I’d enjoy putting you in touch with him…
Anvari sniffs unimpressedly.
Naomi Rose: But if there’s something going on at the docks, he’d know better than I would.
Leyl: …he’s in charge of overseeing incoming dock business?
Naomi Rose nods.
Leyl makes a face.
Naomi Rose: He got a promotion a few months ago.
Jeff: For what?
Naomi Rose: Just reliable service. Nothing exceptional.
Anvari: Well, if we must.
Naomi Rose: He didn’t save the king from a burning building or anything like that.
Jeff sighs.
Leyl (muttering): Might want to rethink that promotion.
Anvari: I’ll try not to kick him for you.

Jeff: Is it possible his promotion was bought so he COULD watch the docks?
Naomi Rose: I…suppose, that might be the case? Why do you ask?
Jeff: Well…
Naomi Rose: I mean, he’s a bit of a lout, but.
Leyl: His name came up at the fishery.
Naomi Rose: Came up how?
Jeff sighs
Anvari: Passing mention from the Yargin asshole.
Naomi Rose: Hm. You think he might be involved with them?
Anvari: Maybe? Hard to say.
Leyl: We need to find out, though.
Anvari: Could also be that Yargin is willing to throw any name in that he can.
Jeff: I’m not willing to discount the coincidences at this point.
Anvari: Yargin is not exactly a reputable person.
Naomi Rose: I admit I don’t think very highly of the man, but…I don’t think he’s the type who’d kidnap children, honestly.
Leyl: He may not know.
Leyl: But that doesn’t mean he’s not in Gaedren’s pocket.
Jeff: I’m not willing to just overlook coincidences like that though.
Dawna: Let’s be fair, if you’re smuggling kids, you’d want a dock guard in your pocket.
Dawna moves out from under the table, holding Siccup tightly.
Leyl: Especially a dock guard you’re paying to skip checking your barges.
Jeff: A sudden promotion for nothing spectacular, charge of the guards near the docks, and then one of the louts we capture had… mentioned him by name?
Mykele: Would you say he might be the kind of guy willing to, ah, accidentally overlook a customs check for compensation?’
Naomi Rose considers Mykele’s statement.
Naomi Rose: …yes, I think he might do that. Kidnap kids? Nah. But turn a blind eye for a bit of coin on the side? …that sounds like the Verik I know.
Anvari scritches at the base of her right horn.
Anvari: I do not think I’m going to like this person.
Naomi Rose claps her on the shoulder.
Naomi Rose: That makes two of us.
Leyl: All the more reason to follow our next lead.
Naomi Rose: Do you have proof he might be neglecting his duties? If so, I can send a patrol down there to pick him up.
Leyl: Well, we need to investigate, but to do so…
Leyl: We need to check into a lockbox he has at the vault.
Naomi Rose: You’ll need his key, first of all.
Jeff coughs
Leyl: We… do.
Naomi Rose: Yes, you do.
Leyl: No, I mean we have it.
Naomi Rose: Wait, what?
Leyl: It wasn’t a question.
Jeff coughs again
Naomi Rose looks at Anvari and raises an eyebrow.
Dawna: It was at the fishery, if that’s not another nail in the proverbial coffin.
Anvari gestures at Dawna.
Anvari: That.
Jeff: Might as well show her the other, too.
Naomi Rose: I see.
Naomi Rose gets up and double-checks the door to make sure it’s shut tightly.
Naomi Rose: Go on then.
Leyl pulls out the note.
Leyl hands it over to Naomi.
Leyl: This was with the key.
Naomi Rose looks at the note and frowns.
Naomi Rose: I’m not really sure what this means.
Leyl: Could be lock tumblers. Could be passwords.
Naomi Rose: I mean, that’s his name, of course. But he’s never fought any of those monsters. Trust me, I’d have heard about it if he had.
Naomi Rose: He’d have told me in GREAT DETAIL.
Naomi Rose rolls her eyes.
Jeff snorts
Leyl snickers.
Jeff: I think it might be a password, or a lock combination maybe.
Dawna: Did he tell you enough great details that we could investigate the lock box on your behalf?
Naomi Rose: About himself?
Naomi Rose: Wait, you mean go the Vault and pretend to be Verik?
Mykele looks at a very interesting part of the ceiling.
Dawna: Well, it depends on how you want to go forward with this. We’ve got missing children to find, and no certainty as to how long we have to find them
Dawna: before they’re shipped off from the docks your buddy is watching.
Anvari: Because that’s the other part
Anvari: We know they’re getting on a boat
Anvari: But we don’t know when, or what boat.
Dawna: Apologies, if I’m not too concerned about official-ness.
Leyl: Or where.
Mykele: Unless you have any more official ways to access the vault that wouldn’t actually break any laws.

Naomi Rose paces back and forth in the small room, thinking.
Naomi Rose: Well, Anvari. My good friend, Anvari, who I am known to frequently visit with and talk with.
Naomi Rose: Maybe I could answer any questions you might have about a co-worker of mine.
Naomi Rose: You know. Just in conversation.
Mykele: Just a couple girls talking here.
Naomi Rose: Right.
Mykele: Anvari’s told me that this guy is kind of an… irritant.
Naomi Rose: Oh, he is. He keeps asking me out for dinner, despite me seeing no. I’ve tried to turn him down politely, since we’ve got to work together, but.
Mykele: Does he do that thing where he interrupts and says “actually” a lot and then explains your joke back to you?
Naomi Rose: He TOTALLY does that. All the time.
Anvari: Okay.
Mykele: Oh yeah, I know the type. Talks big about himself probably ALL the time, too?
Naomi Rose: All the time, sister.
Mykele: Does he ever happen to mention anything over and over again that he’s particularly proud of?
Mykele glances at her crotch.
Mykele: Like, names of things?
Naomi Rose: He likes to call it “tapping the cask”.
Naomi Rose looks sick.
Dawna: I’m not tall enough for this kind of talk.
Mykele: Oh. My. Gods.
Naomi Rose: Needless to say, that cask remains untapped.
Anvari snrk.
Naomi Rose: He actually has left me alone for a while now. Maybe he got the hint? More likely he just found someone else to latch onto.
Mykele nods in sisterly companionship.
Anvari: Well, hopefully we won’t change that.
Naomi Rose laughs.

Anvari: So – we need probably two or three pieces of information to get into the vault. Except, I don’t have a vault. So I don’t know what we can be asked about.
Dawna considers putting Siccup back under the table and joining him because these other females are crazy.
Naomi Rose thinks for a moment.
Naomi Rose: The last time I spoke to Verik, he was talking about how his father – you remember him, Vandrik? – had purchased a new vase for his house. I didn’t care, of course. Why would I care that his father’s name was Vandrik?
Anvari nods
Leyl: hmm.

Anvari: Oh yeah, and his house – I forget what street it’s on.
Naomi Rose: Oh, that’s easy. I go out of my way to avoid Greymarble Avenue at all costs. I don’t want to run into him there.

Dawna: He ever talk about his mom? I’m sure her family house was interesting.
Naomi Rose: He did invite me to go to his mother’s birthday, last year. But what would I say? Happy Birthday, Jadia? Who I don’t know? I work with your son?
Mykele: Ugh, and then what on EARTH would you do about a gift?

Jeff: His middle name? I bet it’s something atrocious. No one wants to tell their middle names.
Naomi Rose: His middle name is Gort. I’m not even going to try, with that one.
Dawna: Gort? That sounds like something you have removed.
Naomi Rose: It fits him.
Mykele: Well, I mean, that IS the point here.
Jeff laughs
Jeff: Gort. I was right. Utterly ridiculous.
Leyl: I thought that was slang for ogre toe-fungus.
Naomi Rose: Like I said. Fits him.

Mykele: Did he ever have any pets? He sounds like the kind of guy who has one of those expensive purebreed dogs.
Dawna: Like a pomerfluffypaws or something.
Naomi Rose taps her chin, thinking.
Naomi Rose: He did have a dog when he was a kid. I heard the story probably a dozen times. I can’t remember exactly what it was named, though…it was one of those super-common dog names, like Fang or Spot or something like that. Sorry.

Leyl: I’m sure he told you where he was born.
Naomi Rose: Ah, he was born here, like most people.
Naomi Rose shrugs at Leyl.
Leyl shrugs.
Leyl: I’m new.
Leyl blushes and looks a bit sheepish.
Naomi Rose smiles comfortingly.

Naomi Rose: Any other innocuous questions about my co-worker, who I am sure is a loyal guard with no illegal activity on the side?
Leyl: I’m out of ideas.
Jeff: Same here
Ashe: How many siblings are there?
Naomi Rose nods at Ashe.
Naomi Rose: He’s got one brother, a younger one, Phillus. He tried to become a guard like Verik, but didn’t have the martial capability.
Naomi Rose: Poor kid took it hard after mustering out. Verik said he spends a lot of his time with a bad crowd these days.
Mykele looks up quickly.
Mykele: A YOUNGER brother?
Anvari: Wait.
Leyl goes back to humming quietly…
Naomi Rose blinks.
Anvari: So it’s possible we’re getting into the vault looking for Phillus’ stuff then too.
Naomi Rose: It’s…hm.
Anvari: Verik guards the docks. Phillus runs with a bad crowd.
Leyl: Probably still a good chance Verik’s on the take.
Dawna: Maybe Verik’s only turning a blind eye for his brother’s sake, but still.
Naomi Rose: It’s possible, but trust me, I met Phillus once and you wouldn’t trust this kid with the key to your front door, let alone a family vault.
Jeff: [SKILL] History (Have I heard of Phillus before) [3 – 1 = 2]
Anvari: That’s fair.
Naomi Rose: However, Verik really does love his brother. So it’s possible they’re both involved, somehow.
Jeff: Which “bad crowd” does he run with? I don’t recognize the name, but I may know some of the others he’s involved with.
Naomi Rose shakes her head.
Naomi Rose: Verik never named names. I think he felt responsible, and a little guilty, that his brother had fallen on the wrong side of the law.
Jeff: Ironic.
Leyl: Well, let’s assume then that this is Verik Vancaskerkin we’re dealing with, and we’ll just keep an eye out for Phillus
Mykele glances at Leyl and then back at Naomi.
Mykele: Is it possible that Phillus doesn’t much care for his older brother?
Leyl: Probably a very good chance he harbors some resentment.
Naomi Rose: Hmm. I only met him the once, and Phillus seemed a bit sullen and embarrassed. But that might have just been because he was introducing him to an even higher-ranked Korvosan Guard official?
Naomi Rose: I got the feeling he just felt bad about it.
Mykele (murmurs): The inverted Courtesan, maybe?
Naomi Rose: But it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone who failed out held some grudges.

Ashe: What race is Verik and his family?
Naomi Rose: Oh, he’s a half-elf, like myself. Probably thought two of a kind could stick together, or something equally as cheesy.
Naomi Rose: …a half-elf like myself, or this fellow over here.
Naomi Rose points at Jeff.
Leyl: Well, Jeff, looks like you get to be Verik Vancaskerkin.
Jeff (blandly.): Hooraayyyyy
Naomi Rose: He’s even similar in height to you, sir. He’s got short hair, though. And a bit of a goatee.
Jeff: Well a goatee is easily enough removed. And the hair is hid well enough by a hood or something.
Naomi Rose nods.
Dawna pulls out a few tiny automatons.
Dawna: We could give you a hair cut easily enough.

Ashe: Is his mother Elven and his father Human?
Naomi Rose nods.

Ashe: Is there any family crest or that, which you may have noticed when you went to meet his mother?
Naomi Rose: I never went to his mother’s birthday, but he does have a family crest that he likes to show off.
Naomi Rose snaps her fingers.
Naomi Rose: I might still have the invitation. Give me a second.
Naomi Rose leaves for a few minutes, and returns with a monogrammed invitation on cardstock.
Naomi Rose: It was buried in my locker, but this is definitely it. That’s his seal right there on the top. (The seal depicts a brown cask with a golden V on it.)
Anvari: That’s easy enough to remember too.
Naomi Rose: Go on, you can have it. I’m certainly not using it.
Jeff: Much obliged.

Leyl: At this point, I don’t think we’re going to learn anything new. We’ll just have to see what we can do with what we have.
Anvari: I think we can get out of your hair then. I’ll… make sure to let you know about those other children.
Anvari: Especially the ones from the paper.
Naomi Rose: Well, I hope this lovely chat has answered any lingering curiosity you might have had, Anvari. I’m glad we could catch up.
Ashe: Thanks very much for your time and information.
Anvari: Of course. It’s always good to chat. You know we so frequently have the same goals when it comes to protecting the city.
Naomi Rose: Please do. We’re all wishing you success.
Naomi Rose: When you find Gaedren, if he is the one responsible…
Naomi Rose: Well, no one here will be heartbroken if he happens to not make it back for trial. I’m just saying.
Jeff grins
Leyl smirks.
Jeff: That’s good. Cause i’m not sure I could stop myself from pounding his face in.
Anvari: I’m sure the most important thing is returning the children.
Leyl: It was nice meeting you, Naomi.

The PCs leave, and realize that Jeff, with his shoddy clothes and scruffy appearance, might not pass for Verik Vancaskerkin. They buy him some new clothes and then decide to get him a haircut at the nearby Braids and Brews.

Jeff: I don’t know that i’d pass for this man with these shabby clothes.
Leyl: Probably should get you cleaned up and a haircut, for sure.
Leyl: And clothes.

Leyl: Rhunar cuts hair better when he’s hammered.
Leyl: Don’t worry.
Jeff: Wonderful.
Rhunar : Welcome! Take a seat! Who’s getting the snips today?
Dawna: You’re going to look like a tart after he’s done with you.
Rhunar chugs a mug and slams it down on the counter, empty.
Mykele: Rhunar, good to see you again.
Mykele: Uncle Pierro sends his regards.
Rhunar nods in greeting to Mykele and Leyl.
Jeff: That would be me. I don’t need anything special or ridiculous, just a shave and a trim.
Rhunar : Bah, ye spoilsport. Alrighty then. Sit yer ass down.
Jeff steps up to have a seat.
Jeff: Tell you what. I’ll come back in another month’s time and let you do whatever you want at the end of the day, when you’re at your absolute most blitzed.
Leyl waves to Rhunar.
Rhunar: Hmmmmm.
Leyl: Oh, that’s daring.
Jeff grins
Rhunar: I like the cut o’ yer jib, boy.
Rhunar: GET IT??
Rhunar: HAR!
Jeff laughs and slaps the bar in front of him.
Rhunar: It’s a deal! Here we go!
Jeff: Alright then!
Leyl leans against a nearby counter.
Jeff: Ho boy.
Rhunar pulls out a battleaxe.
Dawna: DON’T MOVE.
Rhunar: Ha ha I’m just shittin’ ye, ye should’ve seen yer face!
Jeff: I like this guy.
Rhunar tosses it behind the bar and pulls out a fine set of silver clippers.

The PCs return to the Grand Vault. Ashe, Anvari and Leyl wait in the waiting area, while Jeff, Mykele and Dawna approach the vault entrance. Jeff/Verik then has to answer some random security questions…only some of which they know the answers to.

Nomus Cleric: Greetings, welcome to the Grand Vault. What is your business today?
Jeff: Afternoon good sir. My name’s Veric Vancaskerkin, and I would like to retrieve something from my vault, please.
Jeff pulls the key out of his pocket and sets it down for the cleric.
Nomus Cleric: Certainly.
Nomus Cleric takes the key and unfolds his tome, and flips a few pages.
Nomus Cleric: Now I’ll have to ask the customary identification questions, of course.
Jeff: Of course.

Jeff: [TABLE] Verik’s Security Questions = Mother’s name? [1d10 = 2]
Jeff: Jadia.
Nomus Cleric nods.

Jeff: [TABLE] Verik’s Security Questions = Father’s name? [1d10 = 1]
Jeff: Vandrik.
Quin (Dawna): THIS IS SO NAIL BITING OMG.
Nomus Cleric nods, and proceeds.

Jeff: [TABLE] Verik’s Security Questions = Favorite weapon? [1d10 = 6]
Jeff: Well. If i’m completely honest, I would have to say that my FAVORITE weapon is of course the old cask-tapper.
Jeff nudges the cleric and laughs raucously.
Nomus Cleric looks at “Verik”, looks down to the tome, and back up. His face remains studiously blank.

Jeff: [TABLE] Verik’s Security Questions = Favorite color? [1d10 = 7]
Jeff sighs.
Jeff: I’ll be honest, these questions were made years back. Who can say what their favorite color was as a teenager? It’s certainly shifted a time or two along the way.
Jeff: [SKILL] Diplomacy [16+9 = 25]
Nomus Cleric laughs.
Nomus Cleric: We’ve all been there. I understand.

Jeff: [TABLE] Verik’s Security Questions = Favorite food? [1d10 = 5]
Jeff: Ugh. Anything but Dock Dumplings.
Jeff: I do love a well made fish and chips around some of the better taverns in the area though.
Nomus Cleric squints at the book in his arms and frowns a little.

Nomus Cleric: Very well, we’re almost done then, sir. I have here special instructions to “see the crest” before I’m to let you down. You have that, I assume?
Jeff: Ah yes. Here it is, of course my good man.
Jeff holds up the envelope for the cleric to see.
Nomus Cleric takes the letter, compares it to something in the book, and hands it back.
Nomus Cleric: Thank you for your patience, Mister Vancaskerkin. Will your acquaintances be joining you in the vaults?
Jeff: They will be, unless there is a problem with that?
Mykele: We are here to authenticate the item in question.
Nomus Cleric: No, not at all. Your vault is your vault, you are free to bring anyone you wish down there.
Jeff: Very well then.
Nomus Cleric turns and unlocks the door behind him, and gestures to a nearby cleric.
Nomus Cleric: I must escort this man to the vaults. Please watch the desk while I am gone.

The others join Jeff, Mykele, and Dawna, and the Nomus cleric leads them down into the church’s extensive vaults, much like Gringott’s. He leads them to a specific vault, unlocks the door, and ushers them inside.

Nomus Cleric: Here you are, sir. Please lock the door securely when you depart.
Nomus Cleric: We look forward to your next visit.
Jeff: Of course my good cleric, thank you for your time.
Jeff waits til he’s gone a ways away and then waves the others into the vault.

The party enters an octagonal room supported by a large central pillar with dozens of deep grooves along its sides. One side of the pillar has a strange triangular etching in it. The seven walls of this room each bear a different painting of an exotic monster. The monsters on the paintings do not match those written on the note. The party investigates, and learn that there is nothing behind the paintings, and that the central pillar rotates in increments to face different paintings. They wrack their brains trying to remember details about the various monsters, but figure that specific information isn’t what will unlock Verik’s vault, since he’s just a guard.

Mykele examines the pillar.
Mykele tries to rotate.
Quin (Dawna): I’m never going to get used to icons moving on the board.
Jeff: The roper has one eye. that’s obviously meant to be the cyclops.

After a bit of poking around and scratchings-of-heads, Dawna realizes that the number of eyes depicted on the paintings increase by 1 each time. Realizing this, they are quickly able to extrapolate the equivalent monsters and corresponding number of eyes on the note’s monsters, and solve the puzzle. A compartment opens in the pillar, revealing an everburning torch, a magical healing morningstar, a bit of treasure, some dock papers showing that Verik allowed a ship named the Water Nymph bypass the customary dock fees and registration process. They also find a perfume-laden note, apparently from Verik’s lover.

Jeff: I feel dirty for impersonating this cretin now.
Leyl shudders.
Leyl: That’s revolting.

View
Session 01 - On Gaedren's Trail

New wiki entries: Zellara, Gaedren, Arliten, Drula, Yargin, Runkus, Brondo, Hookshanks, Kaerzla, Giggles.

Anvari: Good morning, still.
Mykele looks down from the card and eyes the assembled group.
Leyl smiles. “Hi.”
Ashe: Hello
Dawna: Happy good morning everyone! I hope everyone has had a wonderfully fantastic day so far!
Dawna: It’s so lovely out today.
Dawna nods happily.
Ashe: I have, thanks for asking. How is your day going?
Jeff: What is this, the sunshine sparkle brigade?
Leyl: It’s always a good day. Unless it’s a bad one.

You hear a loud chime from off in the distance, as the Titan’s Timepiece announces the hour. Moments later, the doors to the building in front of you swing open.

Mykele mutters something incoherent in dwarven.
Anvari: Hey, I just ate brunch. Anyone should be happy after brunch.
Leyl: Oooooh… neat doors…
Jeff TOTALLY understood the dwarven, but gives no inclination that he did.
Leyl: Well, I can’t resist the invitation. I’m going inside.
Jeff: I guess we go inside then.
Leyl hums a tune on her way through the door.
Mykele eyes the feet wiping sign and turns up her nose.
Jeff lets out a low whistle eyeing the place.
Dawna sets Siccup down so he can wipe his feet before resting back on her shoulders again.
Jeff: Nice digs.
Leyl: Much nicer than my place.
Mykele mutters “As if I would ever allow nastiness on my shoes.”
Ashe: Really nice here.
Mykele peers through the curtains.
Mykele: I suppose we sit.

Woman’s voice from upstairs: Thank you for coming. Please make yourselves at home, I will join you shortly. The basket on the table contains bread and drink for you.

Jeff turns a chair backwards and rests his arms on the back of it
Leyl reaches out and lifts the cover on the basket, taking a piece of bread from underneath it
Jeff: Ecclectic collection of art here.
Mykele pours a cup of wine and sniffs experimentally.
Dawna: Certainly covers a large range of emotions
Anvari takes the bottle and sniffs at it.
Dawna: and colors.
Leyl chews on the bread as she looks around the room.

The curtain at the back of the room is drawn aside, and a middle-aged woman in a red headscarf walks slowly into the room. Her hands and feet are heavily bandaged, and it is clear each step is causing her great pain.

Mykele stands immediately. “Where have they taken my nephew? And how much to they want to retrieve him?”
Jeff eyes Mykele.
Leyl blinks at the halfling’s outburst.
Zellara: Please, I will explain everything in a moment.
Zellara: Thank you for coming. I am Zellara. I am sure you have questions. Let me explain why I have called you here today, and why my method of contacting each of you was so unconventional.
Mykele grumbles and sits back down.

Zellara: I am a fortune teller, medium, and spirit-talker. I make my living with my cards, my seeing stones, and my dice. A year ago, these items were stolen from this very parlor. I was able to divine the thief – a young boy no older than 8, who was able to slip in through a cracked window. I watched this boy in my mind’s eye, and saw him report to an old, sour-looking man. I learned that this creature was named Gaedren Lamm, a man whose cruelty and evil is surpassed only by his damnable gift for avoiding reprisal.
Zellara fights back tears before continuing.
Zellara: My son Eran took it upon himself to seek out Gaedren to retrieve my stolen items. Gaedren murdered him, and sent me his hands in a box, as a “warning.” I went to the Guard, but they told me they were understaffed, and while they knew he was trouble, they simply coud not devote the time to search for him.
Dawna: His hands?!
Zellara nods sadly.
Zellara: With nowhere else to turn, I asked the spirits to guide me to him, so I might avenge my son. I was foolish. His thugs caught me, blindfolded me, and locked me away in some damp pit. One of his henchman, Yargin, burned my hands and feet with acid to punish me. I fear what torments they had in mind next. I was not the only one suffering from Gaedren’s cruelty – I could hear children crying and laboring outside my room, and adult voices reprimanding them to work harder.
Mykele stiffened.

Zellara: I was lucky enough to be able to recall a Sleep spell from my days at the Academy, and escaped when they brought me my meal – a wretched fishy paste of dough and grease.
Zellara: This is why I have contacted each of you in such quiet fashion, my friends. The spirits have told me that you or your loved ones, like myself, have been wronged by this monster in the past. I could go to the Guard, but they move so slowly under the yoke of bureaucracy, he would surely know of their coming well in advance. And in any case, I do not want Gaedren arrested. He is a rabid dog. He has to pay for his crimes.
Mykele: He is taking children to steal for him?
Anvari: as slaves?
Zellara: I believe steal for him, work for him, serve him…
Zellara: I could hear many young voices.
Anvari: This must be what Naomi was talking about this morning.

Zellara: Gaedren is an old man, a thief of many winters. I am not sure how he might be able to bypass these locks, but he has found a way.
Jeff: Gretchen has been a mess since a few of the kids haven’t come home.
Mykele: How does he target them?
Jeff: The orphanage.
Jeff: At least, some of them, anyway.
Leyl: And other places.
Mykele: He did not find Calin in an orphanage.
Leyl frowns.
Leyl: I wonder if this is the source of the missing children I read about yesterday.
Zellara: Yes. I see that you have heard the news from the orphanage? I fear Gaedren grows bolder even now.
Anvari: It was in yesterday’s paper.

Dawna: Have you gone to a healer for your hands and feet?
Zellara shakes her head at Dawna.
Zellara: I have not yet, but my injuries are unimportant. They will heal.
Leyl: Some injuries do not. These children must be rescued… and my sister may also sleep better at night knowing her attacker is no longer roaming free.
Zellara: Yes, my friend. Kidnapping children is not his only crime. From what I have learned of Gaedren, he has his hands in every manner of vice, evil, and wrongdoing.
Zellara: He robs, he steals…he is not afraid to murder if the price is right.
Mykele raises a hand in confusion. "Wait, so how did you know to contact US? We have never met. How would you know that my oldest friend’s son has been taken?
Dawna nibbles on bread, listening to everyone.
Leyl: Fortune Teller. Jeez.
Zellara chuckles softly.
Leyl: Obvious, isn’t it?
Jeff: I work in the orphanage sometimes. She probably assumed that i’d be interested in what’s happening too.
Jeff: Or foretold, or whatever.
Zellara: I turned to the spirits, my dear. I asked them to point me to those who would understand my need for justice, who would feel the same way about this monster as I do.
Anvari: And my best friend is an investigator for the Guard, looking into illegal slavery.
Jeff eyes Anvari “Strange then, that she contacted you and not your friend.”
Jeff: Of course, the guard is very busy.
Anvari: Naomi is bound by her post. I, however, am not.
Jeff: Fair point.
Leyl: Not that strange, I don’t think. She already said the Guard was understaffed.
Jeff: That’s hardly anything new.
Anvari: Besides, even with the information, it’s likely the guard could not act swiftly. She is only an investigator, not a commander.
Zellara nods at Leyl and Anvari’s discussion. “This is why I did not go to the Guard.”

Ashe: How are my parents involved in this?
Zellara: (to Ashe) Do you remember what happened to your parents, young man?
Ashe: There was a building collapse, and I was the only survivor
Zellara: The building did not collapse by accident, I am afraid. The spirits of the dead told me that Gaedren was hired to kill your neighbors. And your family was simply…too near.
Leyl: …that’s vile.
Ashe: WOW

Mykele folds her arms across her chest. “The spirits, huh? This smells like a con to me. What do you truly want, lady? Where is Calin?”
Zellara: (to Mykele) This is no con, my dear. I do not want anything except justice for my son, and I want Gaedren to pay. I…I do not want any mother to have to go through what I went through, and bury a child.
Zellara: I wish those children to be returned.
Jeff: Even if it was a con, children ARE going missing. Look at her, do you honestly think SHE could be responsible for this?
Zellara: I realize you do not have much reason to trust me, as I am but a stranger. However, I am hoping that with this new information, you will agree regardless that this man must be stopped.
Mykele: Maybe she isn’t, but on the other hand, she has managed to assemble six perfect strangers in a room with no introductions and is even now encouraging them as they tell details about themselves that perhaps should be kept to themselves.
Jeff: Well. My name’s Jeff. Feel better now?
Mykele wraps her mouth around the strange syllables. “Jeff. Jeeeaffff… what kind of name is JEFF?!”
Leyl: She’s so suspicious.
Jeff: Look, I don’t really care what her motivations. Kids are missing. And it sounds like one of them is your niece. Are you really going to just ignore a lead like this because it MIGHT be a sham?
Anvari: I’m a TA at the academy. You can look up where I live with just my name. I don’t have much to hide.
Leyl shrugs.
Leyl: I sing at Cadenza’s. Lots of people know who I am.
Jeff: And what kind of NAME is Jeff? It is my name. It is the only one I know.

Zellara laughs softly.
Zellara: Let me attempt to put your fears to rest, child.
Zellara pulls out a deck of cards.
Zellara holds the deck out to Mykele. “Please, dear. Draw three cards. Let me tell your fortune.”
Mykele sniffs derisively and draws three cards.
Zellara lays the three cards in front of Mykele, and flips them over one at a time.
Zellara: The uprising. This represents your past. It means turmoil and change, great change, such that your entire life was forced to begin anew.
Zellara: The keep. This represents your present. It means stability, unlike the upheaval of the past. Your life is reliable, safe, and secure. Things are good for you now.
Mykele shrugs, unimpressed.
Mykele: Everyone in town knows the Staelides family history.
Mykele: But so far, so good.
Dawna wiggles unkempt boots with frayed edges. “The who family?”
Zellara: The owl. This represents your future. It means the wisdom to be alert, for things are changing once more, and you must keep your eyes open for the dangers that lurk in the shadows.
Jeff looks at Dawna and shrugs.
Zellara: It appears not everyone is familiar with your family’s past, dear.
Mykele: Judging by the state of their shoes, I see we have missed a few soles. Ah, souls.
Jeff: …was that a pun?
Zellara chuckles softly.
Mykele eyes the half elf. “I am not entirely without humor. At least, not on the days when I have not gone without sleep consoling a friend on the loss of her son.”
Jeff: That… is a sentiment I can understand.

Zellara spreads her hands.
Zellara: Simply put, I need you. I am no fighter. I cannot avenge my son on my own.
Zellara: Is there anything I might do to put your worries to rest? If so, please, ask.
Leyl: You do not need to convince me, Zellara. I will take on this task. As a paladin, it is my duty to help those who cannot help themselves.
Zellara: Thank you, sweetie.
Jeff: But like I said before. Regardless of her motivations, children are going missing. We can’t very well just ignore what could potentially be a lead on that.
Dawna: I’m in, eye for an eye as they say.
Ashe: I see that I was guided here and my help is needed. I will provide all that I can to help.
Mykele sighs. “Yes, of course I am going to help find Calin and bring his kidnapper to justice.”
Jeff shrugs at Zellara. “You knew I would be in before I even arrived. Who am I to argue?”
Anvari: With my… well. Things. I will help.
Mykele looks at the half elf. “Shall we call a truce, half elf Jeff?”
Jeff: Were we at war? Strange, I never knew it.
Leyl laughs. “It was a very short war.”
Mykele grins widely. “You need new shoes. I can help with that.”
Zellara looks pleased to see Mykele smiling, if only briefly.
Jeff: I will never turn down new shoes.

Zellara: Now then, there’s no time to waste. The sooner Gaedren is stopped, the sooner our children are free of his grasp.
Mykele: Mykele Staelides, shoe scientist and scion of the Staelides Stylish Soles Emporium, at your service. Where is this Gaedren and how do I get my nephew back?
Jeff: Shoe scientist? You’re makin that up.
Zellara: Sadly, they blindfolded me when they dragged me off and I did not see where I was being held. I could hear the river close by and the creaking of piers, and the air was damp, the smell of moldering wood surpassed only by an overwhelming stench of rotten fish.
Anvari makes a face.
Leyl: I’ll have to go home to pick up my equipment.
Jeff: Well. Docks narrow it down.
Anvari rummages in her pack.
Anvari: Just a minute.
Anvari produces a neatly bound journal, stuffed with newspaper clippings and little notes.
Anvari: Yep.
Anvari: Thought so.
Anvari passes around a newspaper clipping.
Newspaper Clipping: This week I decided to try something new – our city’s enterprising street vendors! I took a stroll down to the docks, and my goodness, the smell there certainly is an assault on one’s appetite. Nonetheless, I plunged on, locating a little stand across the road from the Tipped Tankard inn. I purchased a few “Dock Dumplings”, which the man insisted were a local favorite.
Newspaper Clipping: Readers, if you live in that area of town and are a fan of these, please stop reading my column. The dumplings were lumpy and soggy, the fish was rancid, and I think there was something moving in one. Would not recommend.
Leyl: …lumpy and soggy dumplings…
Zellara: That…sounds like what they fed me. They were disgusting.
Zellara: Horrid, really.
Zellara shudders.
Jeff: Hey, the soggy ones are the best part. They soak up the broth like you wouldn’t believe.
Zellara eyes Jeff skeptically.
Leyl looks horrified
Anvari eyes Jeff warily
Dawna pales, looking at Jeff with half a roll in her mouth.

Jeff: Hey. A man’s gotta eat. Might as well make the best of it when he can.
Leyl puts down her slice of bread.
Leyl never picks it back up again.
Anvari: … you will eat better around me.
Jeff shrugs. “I’m not picky.”
Anvari: well I am
Jeff: Well you go on being picky then. I’ll eat what I enjoy.
(Quin: Jeff’s fort score must be amazing to stomach those.)

Anvari: and to the best of my knowledge, the Tipped Tankard is the only area in the city to regularly serve dock dumplings.
Zellara: I don’t see why anyone in their right mind would ever willingly eat those.
Zellara: (to Jeff) No offense, young man.
Zellara: But perhaps that is what might lead us to Gaedren, then.
Jeff: None taken. I eat what I can when i’m able. That’s all.
Jeff: I don’t get to the Tipped Tankard much. They’re too pricy and their ale is mostly water. But i’m familar with it, at least.
Zellara: Would you be a dear and lead the way then, Jeff?
Zellara: For the rest of you, that is.
Zellara gestures to her bandaged limbs.
Zellara: I am afraid I would simply be a hindrance.
Ashe: Is there an age limit to get in there?
Jeff: You’ll be fine.
Zellara laughs.
Dawna: You’re tall enough.
Mykele looks at her feet. “Not until you get into a pair of my uncle Pierro’s Cloud Cover Slippers. Your feet will feel MUCH better.”
Zellara smiles at Mykele.
Jeff sighs.
Jeff: Where did you find these people? Are they ALL from the Heights or something?
Zellara: Once we’re finished here, you will have to tell me more about these slippers, dear.
Leyl points to the patches on her leggings and tunic. “Does this look like I live in the Heights?”
Ashe: Okay, cool. This will be a new experience for me
Mykele looks at Ashe curiously. “Just how old are you, kid?”
Ashe: I am only 16
Mykele rolls her eyes. “Terrific.”
Leyl: Give me five minutes. I’ll be back.
Leyl walks out the door singing a lighthearted tune.
Jeff: I don’t know that i’ve ever worked with such an odd collection of people before.

Zellara gets up and comes over to Mykele.
Zellara leans over and gives her an awkward hug.
Mykele looks startled.
Jeff: This’ll be… interesting.
Zellara: I hope your friend’s son is unharmed. I truly meant what I said. No mother should have to bury a son. Ever.
Dawna: interesting means fun, I’m looking forward to it
Zellara: If it is any consolation, I do not believe Gaedren would harm the children.
Zellara grimaces slightly.
Mykele grips Zellara’s upper arm. “Thank you. We will find the children.”
Zellara: They are too valuable to him alive.
Leyl returns several minutes later, looking decidedly different. Her long hair, previously loose, is now tightly bound in a ponytail. Her body is covered by heavy plate, and she carries a greatsword slung low across her back.
Leyl: Okay, I’m ready to go.
Leyl: By the way… I’m Leyl. A Descant of Kahra, at your service.
Leyl smiles.
Jeff: I’m Jeff, like I said earlier… Just Jeff.
Dawna: Dawna Mystwicket! Artificer and tinker gnome extrodinaire! Siccup attempts to look fierce
Ashe: I am Ashe, cleric of Ro.

(On the way to the Tipped Tankard, the PCs are delayed by huge crowd gathered around one of Korvosa’s major roads.)
Craning your head, you see a sizable contigent of Korvosan Guards and Sable Company marines escorting a richly-appointed carriage, heading away from Castle Korvosa. The curtains on the carriage are drawn shut, but you can see the silhouettes of two figures inside engaged in animated discussion.

Korvosan Guard: Make way, clear the road! Royal Seneschal Neolandus is departing the city on important Crown business! Make way, move along now!
Mykele cranes her neck.
Mykele: This is… odd.
Passerby #1: I hear the Seneschal has to go carry out some trade talks ‘cause the king is sick!
Passerby #2: Naw, I bet the king just doesn’t feel like talking all day! That’s why he sends this guy instead — to handle all the boring shit!
(Quin: You created random NPCs for — no wait, nevermind, I shouldn’t be surprised.)
(Achloryn: there’s a LOT of them. have you ever perused the wiki?)
(Pix: /gmid Herpderp)
(Quin: There’s a Lot of named people on the wiki yes. There’s not entries for Random Passerby #2 the third.)
(Quin: I mean, there might be now.)

After a short delay, the party is able to proceed. They enter the Tipped Tankard. A drunk, fat man is slouched over in one corner of the bar, empty mugs on the table in front of him. The bartender looks up and greets the PCs.

Artem: Hey there! Welcome to our fine establishment.
Artem laughs at himself and rolls his eyes.
Mykele: Sir, you and I have very different ideas about what constitutes the meaning of “fine establishment”.
Artem: What can I get ya?
Artem: Eh, they can’t all be winners.
Artem: It’s better than a hole in the ground.
Artem: Sort of.
Dawna: There’s four walls and a ceiling – or most of one anyway, so technically he’s not wrong.
Leyl: …that’s debatable.
Dawna: It is an establishment.
Artem: See! The gnome
Artem: The gnome’s got it right.
Jeff shrugs. “I’ve seen much worse.”
Artem: Anyway, you don’t look like dock workers. Joking aside, you lost or something?
Artem ’s eyes widen in shock.
Artem: You don’t want a room, do you?
Dawna pokes at the walls. “I haven’t seen worse, are these even stable?”
Leyl hangs out more toward the back of the group.
Jeff: Stop poking at them and they might be.
Artem: They haven’t fallen down yet!
Jeff: No, we don’t need a room. We need information.
Artem: Oh thank the gods. I couldn’t in a right conscience rent you a room, anyway. They haven’t been cleaned in weeks.
Artem: What’s on your mind, sir?
Mykele looks around incredulously. “This place was once clean? Ever?!”
Artem is idly cleaning a filthy mug with a rag as he talks, his efforts having absolutely no effect whatsoever.
Jeff snorts at the man calling him sir. “I’ll ignore that.”
Artem laughs.
Artem: Not likely, little lady. This place has been like this ever since I’ve been working here.
Artem: But a job’s a job.
Dawna ignores Siccup as he tries to look fierce to “help” the group’s serious business inquiries.

Jeff: I’m looking for a man. Gaedren. You know of him?
Artem: Gaedren? Hmm. Can’t say I recognize the name. They a dock worker?
Jeff: No. Not a dock worker. He’s… an old friend of mine. I had heard he might be reached here.
Leyl: He’s grumpy. Really thin and gaunt.
Artem: Hmm.
Jeff: An older man.
Leyl points at Jeff and nods her agreement.
Artem: I can keep an eye out for you, but we don’t get a lot of old folk around here. Or…anyone who’s not you guys, or the regular lunch crew, really.
Artem snaps his fingers.
Artem: Oh wait, there is one other bunch that comes in. Arli and her crew. She brings us our dumplings.
Artem: You want some? House specialty!
Artem: Only 1 copper a plate.
Jeff ponders a minute. “Another time perhaps.”
Artem: Suit yourself!
Dawna: I’d rather eat my boots.
Dawna says with a big smile.
Jeff sighs and rubs his head.
Artem leans over and stage-whispers “So would I, missy. So would I.”

The door to the tavern slams open, and two figures walk into the tavern – a dwarf woman in a bandanna, and a human man dragging a wooden barrel behind him.

Leyl turns at the sound.
Jeff turns to eye the newcomers.
Arliten: Artem! Got this week’s slop here.
Artem: Thanks, have him just leave it there. I’ll fetch it later.
Leyl whispers to her group… “She’s charming. And quite the saleswoman.”
Arliten: You’ve actually got customers? Shit on a stick, sorry bout that. I mean…your ingredients.
Dawna laughs.
Leyl giggles uncontrollably.

Jeff: Ha. I like her.
Leyl: Little late for that.
Arliten scowls.
Arliten: Eh, it’s not like you were gonna buy anything anyway.
Jeff: Say fellas, I wonder if you could help me out.
Arliten: What’s up, elfy?
Jeff: Either one of you know an older, kinda grumpy human who goes by the name Gaedren? Heard he might be around here.
Arliten: Ain’t never seen someone like that. I’m not here often though. I just drop off the dumplings and leave.
Mykele mutters, “It’s JELFY, not Elfy, you nimrod.”
Jeff sighs and looks upwards.

(Anvari, Ashe, Jeff, and Leyl are skeptical about her words, sensing she’s not telling the truth.)
Arliten: Now if you don’t mind I gotta get going. Deliveries to make and all that.
Jeff: Actually, I kinda do mind.
Leyl: So do I.
Jeff: Cause you’re full of it.
Ashe: I am sorry, but I do not believe you.
Leyl steps around between her and the door.
Arliten holds up a middle finger and walks out the door.
Arliten glares up at Leyl.
Arliten: You got a problem, girl?
Leyl: I do. I don’t like liars much.
Leyl: So how about you tell me what you know…
Leyl: [SKILL] Intimidate [1d20+9 = 26]
Leyl: and I won’t gut you right here.
Dawna is holding Siccup’s tail, trying to keep the little dragonling from biting the dwarf.
Arliten eyes Leyl warily.
Arliten: Hey now, no reason to get your knickers in a twist. Okay, maybe I’ve heard of him. Maybe. Why do you wanna know?
Jeff: Let’s say we’re old friends of his.
Mykele leans casually against the bar and loads her crossbow.
Everyone but Leyl sees Arliten wave a hand at the human with her, a subtle gesture.
Arliten: Nice try elfy.
Jeff shrugs.
Arliten turns to Leyl.
Arliten: Thought you said you don’t like liars?
Arliten points a thumb over her shoulder at Jeff.
Dawna glares at the human, still trying to keep Siccup in check.
Jeff: Doesn’t matter much. There’s 6 of us and 2 of you. We just want to find him.
Arliten: Sorry elfy, I don’t talk about customers. Not my business. I just deliver the goods. And that’s why I
Arliten runs past Leyl out the door.
Leyl: Damn.
Jeff: I’d hoped we weren’t going to get in a scrap just yet.
Jeff turns and runs out after them.
Arliten: Up and at ’em boys ! We got us some nosy naggins!
Leyl wrenches her blade out of the door and hauls ass after Arli.
Mykele: Yet? I was kind of surprised it took up THIS long.
Mykele follows out the door.
Dawna waves gbye to barkeep.

Arliten rouses her dock crew, a motley group of laborers with a few more trained individuals among them – two humans named Runkus and Brondo, and a battleaxe-wielding female dwarf named Drula. The party quickly injures Arliten as she attempts to flee to her ship. Leyl slashes her, while Anvari sears her with fire. Brondo smacks Leyl with his club, and reels back as Leyl Infernal Wraths him.

Dockyard Grunt: Hey! Hands off the boss!
Leyl: I SAID STAY PUT!
Leyl: OooooooooooWWWWWWW!
Arliten: Eat that, missy!
Brondo yelps in pain.
Brondo: What th’ hell? I’m on fire! Ahhh! FIRE!!
Leyl: A little fire never hurts…
Leyl (singing): Fire in the sky, the battle below…
Arliten: Ack, get off! What is this, Tiefling convention??
Dawna shakes her familiar. “Siccup what do we do?! We’re the shortest ones here! I told you I should’ve packed my leg lengthers.”

Drula grabs a nearby barrel on the wharf, and hurls it up at Mykele. Unfortunately for Brondo, the barrel smashes him in the skull on the way past, knocking him to the ground. Mykele is struck by the barrel, which explodes into noxious, reeking fish slop.
Drula: Eh you mots! Piss off!
Leyl (singing): ..what’s a mot?
Drula drags the barrel over and looks northward.
Drula: IT’S LUNCHTIME, SUCKERS!
Mykele: Probably time to do a barrel roll…
Mykele tries to spring out of the way and dodges badly.
Mykele: My shoes!
Drula: [ATTACK®] Throw Barrel (vs. Ref) [1d20+6 = 26]
Attack 26 → [at Brondo] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [CRITICAL HIT]
Drula: [ATTACK®] Throw Barrel (vs. Ref) [1d20+6 = 16]
Damage 9 → [to Brondo] [STATUS: Critical]
Effect [‘Prone’] → [to Brondo] [by Drula]
Dawna laughs at Brondo until it shatters on Mykele.
Arliten: Drula, you idiot! Stop wrecking the goods!
Drula: Uh, sorry boss!

Mykele looks around unperturbed and selects a target.
Runkus staggers back, Mykele’s arrow sticking from his ribs.
One of the Dockyard Grunts rushes up to batter Anvari, only to have Anvari’s infernal magic duplicate the damage to Arliten.
Dockyard Grunt gapes.
Dockyard Grunt: Sorry boss! I dunno what happened there!
Arliten: You’re fired!!
Mykele: So are you!
Anvari: No, I think you’re the fired one.
Jeff groans.
Leyl: Mmmm… toasty.

Dawna chucks a rainbow blob at Leyl.
Leyl: What the hell is…
Leyl: Oh.
Leyl: Oh that is excellent.
Leyl beams.
Drula: Boss what did you do to piss these guys off?
Arliten: I dunno girl, they just started asking questions! Thump ’em for me!
Jeff: We just wanted information on a guy.

Ashe delivers a fearsome blow to Brondo, battering his already-tender head and dropping him to the ground, unconscious. Arliten pokes Leyl in the side with a gaff and flees to her ship, taking cover behind a crate. She peeks up to see how the fight is going, only to catch another gout of flame to the face from Anvari. The dwarf collapses to the deck of her ship, wailing.
Ashe: [ATTACK (M)] Weapon of Divine Protection (vs. AC) [1d20+5 = 11]
Attack 11 → [at Brondo] [DEF EFFECTS -4] [HIT]
Ashe: [DAMAGE (M)] Weapon of Divine Protection [FOCUS 1,1D] [FOCUS CRIT ] [1d10+1d6+3 = 15]
Damage 15 → [to Brondo] [STATUS: Dying]
Runkus: Aw, Brondo, bro!
Brondo: Bro….

Leyl looks down at her armor and glares disapprovingly at Arli.
Leyl (singing): My boots fell in the ice chest…
Leyl (singing): they’ve been in there all night…
Leyl (singing): we muster in three minutes and my helmet’s too damn tight…
Leyl (singing): My armor fell into the lake, the rivets all went “pop”
Leyl (singing): I’ve stuck in plates with sticky glue, when will this morning stop…
Leyl (singing): So tell the king I’ll join him soon,
Leyl (singing): if armor I can borrow….
Leyl (singing): And if I can’t climb up the hill,
Leyl (singing): I guess we’ll win tomorrow…

Mykele picks herself up and moves closer to Leyl.
Leyl makes a face.
Leyl: Oh, you smell like rancid ass. Did you HAVE to come over here?
Dockyard Grunt: Dude, I bathed like, yesterday…
Leyl: Well, boys, it looks like your boss is down.
Leyl: You might want to find other employment.
Leyl: Unless, I don’t know, you want to join her.
Leyl smiles sweetly.
Mykele: Don’t kill her! We need her to tell us where Gaedrun is!
Dockyard Grunt: Heck no, I’m gone!
(Kia: or whatever his name was)

Outraged to see her boss go down, Drula swings furiously at the person who did it, Anvari. Jeff hovers nearby, waiting to punish Drula for not attacking him…but Drula misses twice, denying him. Jeff expresses his displeasure by psionically blinding her.

Drula: Arli!!
Drula: You sons of bitches!
Jeff: Hey, we didn’t want a fight at all.
Drula swings her axe furiously at Anvari.
Drula curses and swings her axe in vain.
Mykele sniffs at the language coming from Drula’s mouth. “I don’t believe that is biologically possible, lady.”

Leyl sighs sadly.
Dockyard Grunt: Hey man…it’s cool…no hard feelings right?
Leyl: Maybe… but you’re sort of in my way. And perhaps you will serve as an example to others.
Dockyard Grunt: That’s cold, man…
Leyl: [ATTACK (M)] Dominator’s Strike (vs. AC) [EFFECTS 1] [1d209 = 24]
Attack 24 → [at Dockyard Grunt 9] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [HIT]
Damage 14 → [to Dockyard Grunt 9] [STATUS: Dead]
Dockyard Grunt: Dude…not cool…
Jeff: Damn.
Leyl: Run, little dockhands. There is no mercy for the wicked here.

With the fight mostly over except for a blinded Drula swearing and swinging her axe around, Mykele orders her to stand down, with a natural 20 on Intimidate. Drula sullenly complies. Mykele, Dawna and Ashe then go to stabilize Arliten, Brondo and Runkus respectively. Mykele neatly stabilizes Arliten and puts out the fire on her face with a shoe. Dawna, meanwhile, accidentally drops a heavy wrench on Brondo’s head (natural 1) and nearly finishes him off. Ashe stabilizes Runkus without trouble.

Mykele: Lady, you can’t see and you’re surrounded. Put your weapon down.
Mykele: [SKILL] Intimidate [1d20+2 = 22]
(Kia: i am extremely intimidating in my tinyness)
Drula pauses, her face a mask of blood, and pouts. She tosses her axe down and raises her hands.
Dawna runs around in a panic until Siccup helps direct her and she begins stablizing the people this new group of adventurers has nearly murdered.

Dawna: [SKILL] Heal [1d20+8 = 9]
Brondo: Och, my head…Brondo don’t feel so good, bro…
(Pix: He’s a dockhand. You guys, it’s Marlin Brondo.)
Dawna pats Brondo’s head lightly, smiling.
Dawna: The scars add character!

Mykele: [SKILL] Heal [1d20+8 = 28]
Mykele whistles slightly, very very used to stitching things up.
Jeff waits for Arliten to sit upright.
Mykele frowns at Arliten. “Stop moving! You’re messing up my stitches!”
Mykele: Now then, lady. Let’s resume our conversation, yes? We’re looking for Garden whatever his name is. We have business with him. Tell us where he is and everything you know about him.
Jeff: Gaedren.
Arliten groans.
Mykele: Yes him.
Arliten: Alright. So, I don’t KNOW Gaedren, but I’ve heard his name. Y’see, the guy I deal with for these barrels o’fish is some guy named Yargin. I heard him mention Gaedren once.
Jeff: So wait. You weren’t even protecting your employer? You were protecting someone your employer mentioned offhandedly once?
Jeff: Was it worth it?
Jeff: Cause… damn.
Leyl: Sources say: No.
Arliten: Well, Yargin’s a pretty foul guy. And I don’t think he meant to mention Gaedren. He got real scared after.
Arliten: And if just mentioning him worried him so much, I didn’t want to get involved in whatever crap he’s involved in.
Jeff: Yeah. Well all the more reason for us to… have a nice sit-down chat with Gaedren, don’t you think?
Arliten: Why are you so hellbent on finding this guy, anyway?
Jeff: Alright, look, i’ll level with you.
Jeff: You’ve heard about the missing kids around the city? A source pointed us to Gaedren as being behind it.
Arliten ’s eyes grow wide.
Arliten: Wait, the missing brats? THAT’S what you’re after? Shit, I thought you were just mad about the fish.
Jeff: I don’t give a damn about the fish.
Leyl: Guess maybe next time you should ask.
Arliten: Well, uh, like I said, I dunno where this Gaedren guy is, but Yargin’s fishery is up-river, out of the city proper. It’s where I pick up the barrels each morning.

Leyl gives Drula’s eye a closer look, wincing. “You should probably get that looked at, hon.”
Drula eyes Leyl suspiciously, but then seeing as how Arliten is cooperating, nods sullenly.
Jeff: Well then. I hope we can put this unpleasantness behind us then. I won’t mention your name if you don’t mention ours to anyone. Like the city guard. Or any of the other gangs. Or… well anybody really.
Mykele: She can’t mention our names. She doesn’t know what they are. We’re going to leave it that way.
Jeff: It’s a figure of speech.
Arliten: Hey, I’m sorry for getting in your way. Kidnapping kids…that’s low. If Yargin’s involved in that, give him a rough time for me.
Jeff nods quietly then stands up and walks off the dock.
Arliten seems regretful, frowning as she considers what she’s learned.
Mykele: Of course, even if she DID know your name, it’s not like anyone can pronounce that nonsense.
Jeff sighs and mutters in elvish as he walks away from Mykele too.
Ashe tries to pick up what Jeff muttered
Leyl: You can get that back when we’re gone. (after embedding Drula’s axe in a nearby barrel)

The party heads to the Old Fishery Arliten described, across the river.
Leyl stays upwind of Mykele.
Leyl: You should probably get cleaned up, Mykele.
Jeff: Take a swim in the river, that’ll clean you off quick.
Mykele: Wish I was wearing my No Stink Boots. I designed them so that they never smell bad no matter what you step in.
Leyl: That’s great, except you were covered in that stuff.
Jeff: I can never tell if you’re screwing with me or not…
Jeff: No Stink Boots.
Jeff scoffs.
Mykele: They’re great! We have a good market among the local imp dung sweepers.
Jeff raises an eyebrow at Mykele.
Mykele: We made a deal with their union to be the primary provider. Very lucrative deal for us.
Jeff: …guys help me out here, I STILL can’t tell if she’s having at me or not.
Dawna: Just believe her, it’s kind of fun that way

*The PCs arrive at the Old Fishery, which is boarded up and downtrodden. Leyl pokes her head around the side, noticing a ratty boardwalk descending down to the water level. She realizes that the boardwalk is super fragile and probably won’t support her weight. There are two entrances – a loading bay, and a set of doors in the front of the building.

Leyl: I am NOT going that way.
Leyl: I’m thinking that going through two entrances gives us a better chance for surprise.
Anvari: There’s no guarantee it’s all one room insside though
Leyl: That’s true.
Mykele: Someone boost me up. I’ll see if I can see anything.
Ashe: I will help you.
Mykele: The two doors don’t open to the same place.
Mykele: There’s one guy, from what I could see. It’s a small office with one exit.
Mykele: If I were to guess, I would say that he’s the receptionist. We could pretend to have an appointment.
Leyl: …at an abandoned building?
Jeff: Heavily armed and armored?

Random Passerby: Hey, you guys know that place is shut down, right?
Dawna: Yeah we’re looking to rent!
Random Passerby: Ain’t been no one there in months, ayup. Not since Tomas got himself aten by a devilfish.
Random Passerby: Oh alright then.
Random Passerby tips his hat and walks away.

Mykele: No armor at all, just expensive clothes that are REALLY out of fashion.
Mykele: I couldn’t see his shoes, but I’m betting they were the Quentin model. Those things were godawful.
Leyl: …you guys, I found the kids.
Leyl: …and a really big dog.
Jeff: Welp. In we go then. Does the loading bay lead right in there, or could you tell?
Leyl: Seems to.
Leyl: But I’m concerned.
Jeff: By what?
Leyl: What the dog has been trained to do in the event of an attack.
Jeff frowns and chinscratches.
Jeff: Maybe you were right. Split up. I can go in and distract/kick the shit out of the guy in the office while you go in and take care of the dog and whatever else may be there.
Leyl: Don’t go alone. You’ll want support.
Leyl: Maybe three and three?
Leyl: Ashe and Anvari can come with me, and the others with you.
Mykele shook her head. "The front office is small, not much room to manuever. I’ll go with you.
Jeff: Sounds good.
Anvari: then I’ll go with Jeff

The PCs split up, and bust in the two entrances at the same time. Jeff, Anvari and Dawna enter to find an entrance office, and a man with greasy yellow hair sitting at a desk, a dog beside him on the ground.

Leyl breaks down the loading bay door, and she, Ashe and Mykele enter a room with a bunch of children with ankle chains working at a large vat of fish, churning it with pitchforks and shoving the fish slurry down chutes into another room beyond. A tiefling woman, another dog, and a few goons look surprised at their appearance.

Yargin: Wh-what? We’re closed! Get out!
Jeff pulls the warhammer off it’s loop and brandishes it at Yargin.
Jeff: I don’t give a damn if you’re closed. I’m getting what’s back there, and that is that.
Yargin looks confused.
Jeff: You can move out of the way, or you can try and stop me.
Yargin: You want…fish? We can make an arrangement, if that’s what you’re after…
Jeff: Nice try. We saw through the window. Last chance. Get out of the way or be moved out of the way.
Yargin: Okay, I warned you! Blue! Get ’em, boy!

Mykele (shout): Kids, get down!
Mykele: [ATTACK ()] Clever Shot (vs. AC) [EFFECTS 2] [1d2011 = 29]
Attack 29 → [at Kaerzla] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [HIT]
Damage 10 → [to Kaerzla] [STATUS: Moderate]
Effect [‘Slowed’] → [to Kaerzla] [by Mykele]
Kaerzla shrieks.
Kaerzla: What the hell??

Jeff, Anvari, and Dawna quickly overwhelm the surprised Yargin, who desperately chugs a healing potion and runs out the door into the vat room. He gawks at the combat taking place there, and runs right through, shoving open another door leading further into the distillery. Anvari, who has a clear line of sight to this second door, sees flailing limbs as a child is knocked over by Yargin and falls out of sight.

Yargin: It’s a raid! Get the hell up here!
Leyl: Hi!
Dawna: Tiefling lady, what was that scream?
Anvari: No idea – he just charged through another door.

*Meanwhile, the tiefling, Kaerzla, hefts her flail at the children and orders them to attack the PCs. However, Leyl, Mykele and Ashe all notice that one of the children is actually a ragged looking adult gnome in disguise, and they turn on him, encouraging the children. One boy whips a pitchfork full of rotten fish in Kaerzla’s face, blinding her.

Leyl: Oh, how cute. This one has a knife and isn’t actually a kid.
Hookshanks: …oopsie?
Child: That little man is mean!
Child: He hits us with sticks!
Lamm’s Lamb turns and looks fearfully at the tiefling next to her, and cowers.
Lamm’s Lamb: Brats! You’ve got those pitchforks! Use them or it’s huggy time with mister smashy!
Mykele: You and I, we are not going to be friends.

Mykele: I’m Mykele, we’re here to get you out. Can you help us?
Kester: I already like you better than these jerks!
Mykele: They set a low bar, but thanks! Nice shot!
Kester: [ATTACK®] Face Full o’ Fish (vs. Ref) [1d20+5 = 23]
Attack 23 → [at Kaerzla] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [HIT]
Effect [‘Blinded’] → [to Kaerzla] [by Kester]

*Dawna runs after Yargin, and finds herself atop a balcony catwalk overlooking a large room. Below her is a churning cauldron of boiling fish guts, with children stirring it with long poles. Below the catwalk, unmoving, is a child who had been standing on the catwalk stirring when Yargin burst in. Dawna quickly summons her balloon-holding-robot in front of Yargin, blocking his retreat down the balcony.

Also in the room are a few more thugs, and a large giggling man holding a flail. The large giggling man quickly reveals that he giggles with everything he does, such as throwing a dagger into Dawna.
Dawna: Really creepy big in here!
Yargin: The hell?? No!
Yargin: Shoo!
Yargin: G-go away!
Giggles: [ATTACK®] Dagger (vs. AC) [1d20+7 = 20]
Damage 10 → [to Dawna] [STATUS: Bloodied]
Giggles giggles.
Giggles: Boss what should we do? He he hehe.
Yargin: You should save my ass, stupid!

Anvari and Jeff run out of the office and shut the door on Old Blue. The dog barks loudly, but the noise quickly fades, and they realize the dog is looking for another way in.*
Anvari: Let’s get out of this room and block the dog in.

Leyl (singing): Today is going to be
Leyl (singing): the worst day you’ve ever known…
Leyl: Kids, stay down! We’re here to help!
Hookshanks: No they’re not! They’re bad! Really!
Mykele: Sorry, kids! Stay down! We’ll get you out of here!

Not liking his options, but his way blocked, Yargin jumps off the balcony. However, Dawna’s robot pulverizes him in mid-air, sending his limp form crashing to the floor below next to the unconscious child.

Dawna: [ATTACK (M)] Obedient Servant – Opportunity Attack (vs. AC) [EFFECTS 2] [1d209 = 14]
Attack 14 → [at Yargin] [DEF EFFECTS -2] [HIT]
Damage 13 → [to Yargin] [STATUS: Dying]
Leyl (singing): Let… the…
Leyl (singing): bodies hit the floor…
Leyl (singing): bodies hit the floor…
Mykele: Okay, we can’t kill them all! One of them has to tell us where Garden Guy is!
Dawna: If I can get to him I can stablize him!
Jeff: Yeah yeah, but DAMN was that satisfying though.
Dawna: but there’s a REALLY creepy guy in here…
Jeff: So? Go get him!

Kester: Lady you’re awesome!
Kaerzla: Yes let me show you how awesome I think you are!
Mykele: You’re awesome too! Do you know where they kept your keys?
Kester: Yargin’s got them! Are you going to set us free?
Mykele: We sure are!
Jeff: Yes kids, as soon as we can we’ll get you out of here.
Mykele: Which one is Yargin?
Kester: Yellow hair!
Anvari: I think the one that just got punted off the stairs.
Giggles: Boss! Hehehe, oh man you’re gonna regret that!
Mykele: Okay DON’T KILL YELLOW HAIR! He needs to talk!
Mykele: Everyone else? FREE GAME
Dawna: If you people would calm down I’ll save your worthless boss!
Giggles giggles.

Hookshanks wails as Leyl’s sword slices into his neck.
Jeff: Well, looks like you guys have this area in hand
Giggles: Hehehe! Ouch!
Jeff: …okay that’s not the normal response when you get hit on the head with a hammer. What the hell man?
Giggles giggles.
Jeff: ….you are a FREAK
Dawna: Isn’t he?!

Old Blue sprints in from the open loading bay doors, getting smacked a few times as it charges at Anvari and fails to hurt the warlock at all. Down in the lower room, one of the thugs, unable to make his way up the stairs, goes and swings his club at one of the children who was kicking the limp Yargin. However, the thug misses. Meanwhile, an archer appears in a hole in the fishery wall and shoots at Dawna, but misses.
Dawna: You leave that boy alone!
Jeff: HEY ASSHOLE
Jeff: Leave him alone you fuckhead!
Dawna: Young man, THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE. Language, gods.
Jeff: Trust me lady, they’ve heard worse just since they’ve been here, I’d wager
Child wails and cowers again, and stops kicking Yargin.
Leyl (singing): That… was uncalled for.

Kaerzla: you’re gonna regret messing with our – YOW
Effect [‘Prone’] → [to Kaerzla] [by Mykele]

Dawna sees Yargin bleeding out and gulps. She hops over the railing to land next to him. Her stabilizing attempts fails, so she magically heals Yargin.

Dawna: This is gonna be a bad idea.
Giggles: Hey! Hehehe! Where’re you going, little girl?
Giggles looks around in shock.
Dawna: Make your people stop before I let my automaton beat the kittens out of you again!
Dawna brandishes her wrench angrily.
Giggles: Ow! Hehehe! Puny machine!

Leyl, Ashe, and Anvari finish off Old Blue, then Kaerzla, leaving behind only a nervous Biter (the other dog) and one or two thugs. In the other room, the archer seems perplexed that Dawna healed Yargin, and so instead shoots at Jeff. However, she misses him. Giggles shows no signs of stopping, just giggling madly.

SESSION END

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