The Children decide looking up maps of old Kintargo would be too obvious at this point. Gaian wants to ask questions about the Nidalese embassy. Rexus and Aroldo relate what they know about Marquel Aulorian (implicated Alaria) and the Sarini family (mentioned in Smiling Sen’s letter).
The Aulorians are one of Kintargo’s older noble families, and made their name through the salt and silver trades. They have long supported Kintargo, but with Barzillai Thrune’s arrival, the family patriarch Auxis has grown increasingly supportive of Thrune, abandoning his family’s more traditional Kintargan values. Count Auxis is egotistical, florid, and short-tempered. His son Marquel is quieter and unassuming, perhaps because of his withered arm, which he usually tries to hide. Despite several suitors he is not yet married.
House Sarini is one of the better-known noble families of Cheliax. Nicknamed the “Fools of Thrune” or the “Lapdogs of Hell”, they are known for producing cruel and macabre fools and jesters who serve the crown. Members of the house are often sent to amuse crowds at public executions in Egorian, entertaining the common folk with their dark and violent humour. It is currently unknown whether members of this house do this voluntarily, or if their debased profession is a result of an offence against House Thrune. The Sarini Family own lands around Cape Dis, which is to the west of Ravounel Forest, southwest of Kintargo. The current leader of House Sarini is Countess Urora Sarini, who the Children had met at the theatre (note: the Theatre of the Real lady).
Lunch time the next day, the Children are discussing what to do, when the Jollytime Girls. Keldor announces he is getting uncomfortable meeting at Titus’ and Gaian believes changing habits now would be too obvious.
Suddenly there is chaos in the kitchen. Mercia thought a rat was talking to her. Aroldo detects magic, and senses something, something moving. Keldor notices a latch on the trapdoor leading to the cellar being opened. Titus leads the charge down there.
Titus thinks he hears pan pipes – some kind of music. The music is leading to the secret area in the cellar. The group rushes to the secret hideout, Titus leading the way but he runs into a giant ant!
With what weapons they have on hand, the rebellion leadership attacks this unexpected intruder. Aroldo sees a giant swarm of rats approach from sewers. He casts flaming sphere which roasts a great deal of the Swarm. The ant disappears when it dies – it was summoned.
Then Gaian spots a small, laughing woman playing pan-pipes – she’s got red skin with one horn coming from her head, wings sprout from her back and her ears are pointy. On top of all this, a scorpion like tail twitches behind her. An imp.
Aroldo keeps the rats at bay with flame and magic missiles the imp. She tries to go invisible and Titus tries to cut her down as she vanishes.
The imp decides to negotiate. Her contract is ‘held’ by the Sarinis, it was picked up by accident by the Silver Ravens one hundred years ago, and is included in the documents held by Rexus. She is bound to remain close to her contract, so has not dealt with the Sarinis since that time.
The group was concerned the imp would blab if they released her, she had been listening to all their secret plans and meetings.
Gaian asked who knocked the wall down. Imp admitted to hastening its collapse.
The imp states she knows the Song of Silver, and would be willing to make a deal with the party: they release her from her contract, and in return, she teaches them the song.
The Sarini family is required to release the imp, as they are named in her contract, though they are completely unaware of this since 100 years have passed since she served them.
Gaian suggests a visit to the Theatre of the Real to meet Countess Urora Sarini. The party agrees. This will be organised at a later date (next session).
The Hall of Records
Aroldo visits the Hall of Records. The rich part of town is guarded now, but Aroldo passes straight through. The guards stop Keldor from going through, all suspect it is because he is a Tiefling.
The doors to the Hall is closed. There is a monk of Asmodeus painting new runes on the wall. He advises that the Hall is being renovated. He suggests knocking on the door to gain access.
A servant of the Hall answers the door, and Aroldo successfully bluffs his way into the Hall by promising to be quick. Aroldo finds out that Hocum was a stage magician. Details here. After the civil war he opened a museum called the Fantasmagorium. The Fantasmagorium was filled with oddities and magical phenomena. Was a success for many years, but lost novelty, went out of business 20 years ago. Closed down, Hocum died.
The Nidalese Embassy
Gaian and Bug go to the Nidalese Embassy, but it is closed by order of the Umbral Court of Nidal. They are redirected to Shadowsquare – the temple of Zon-Kuthon.
Gaian decides to do this, but Bug wants to gain access – he climbs the wall. Garden is bathed in deep shadows. Bug thinks he spots movement on a balcony. Bug tries to sneak forward stealthily.
Decides to try access embassy via a window. He is ambushed looking in a window, is knocked down. Was a human woman who did this. She has a large fancy dagger, dressed in tight black leather. She wants one reason not to ‘rip him open and eat his innards.’ Bug tries humour, realises followers of Zon-Kuthon don’t have a sense of humour.
So he bluffs, and blames the Red Jills. He claims Three Fingers sent him. She openly wonders how long it would take Bug to leave the grounds. She gives him a short head start, which Bug eagerly takes advantage of. Bug gets over the wall, but just keeps running, all the way to Belor’s
Gaian visits Shadowsquare. The temple is built on ruins of temple to Cayden Cailean. Grounds perpetually shadowed, there’s offerings at the shrine. Gaian spots instruments of torture. There is also a phrase: The wisest decision is to abandon all hope. Gaian is approached by a priest of Zon-Kuthon. The Tour Guide asks to speak to the High Priestess. He is told she is busy and Gaian must leave a message or talk to him.
Gaian asks about rumour of embassy abandonment. Gaian hears tortured shrieks, most likely from an amputation, he pretends to be unconcerned. Umbral Court does not wants interests threatened. Gaian asks if they do not enjoy suffering. Gaian is led around the grounds, then leaves.
The Fantasmagorium is a ruined building in the north-east of Redroof, everyone knows where this is. The group decide to approach the building the next day. The building has boarded up windows, the doors look new and sturdy. Alleys are scungy, but no side entrance. There is a keyhole at front door and the platinum key Aroldo gave Rexus fits the lock perfectly.
The decor seems to be a cross between a haunted house and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. There are tracks in the dust – Titus believes they are approximately a week old. Group is attacked by two skunk ape skeletons. After the battle Aroldo tries to detect magic, but finds nothing.
Group finds statue of man with winged eye on his chest, Aroldo realises that this is a depiction of the dead god Aroden.
Next find displays full of dead bugs and spiders. There’s a body dressed in black and red – an Asmodean. He seems to be covered in strange welts. There’s also a 10’ spider in the hall – is it stuffed? The entire group wonders.
Bug approaches the corpse. Red spiders come out from everywhere and attack. The group manage to defeat the spiders, some of the group suffers from poisoned bites.
The group goes to another room which is a wax gallery, with many sculptures. One of the sculptures looks like a professor. His plaque reads Professor Mangvhune – The Temple Hill Slasher. His face appears all melted apart from one eye. Bug retrieves the eye, and finds the eye is made from alabaster. This has to be the infamous Kintargan murderer.
Next is the Hall of Historical Truths. Several horribly burnt corpses. Likely burnt alive. They get up off the floor- undead! The zombies shuffle forward and attack, but don’t prove to be too much trouble for the group. After combat, clothes look fancy. Two signet rings, of the Victocora family. It seems Rexus’ parents did come to a grisly end.
The group moves further in, coming across a room filled with Asmodean priests. It’s a cliffhanger!
Things to do:
- Finish exploring Hocum’s
- Meet the Sarini’s at the Theatre of the Real
- Rufus – begin feeling out dottari still loyal to the old ways