A Game of Thrunes

Countess Sarini’s Party
Session 10

The Children attend the party of Countess Urora Sarini. There they make some new contacts, and impress the Countess enough for her to sign over the contract to Blosodriette the Imp. After, at Bug’s urging, they take the fight to the Red Jills, for the Red Jills have been spying on Belor’s and want to teach Bug’s Boys a lesson.

Full notes:

• Bodeen notices that someone has been watching Belor’s – it’s time to catch them!
• Bo proposes to cast a spell that will hold the person in place while Bug and Gaian take positions on roof. Aroldo volunteers to stay on the ground and act as bait.
• The spell fails, and the watcher runs. Bug’s short little legs won’t let him be able to catch the watcher, but he runs straight at Nightswarm.
• An attempt is made to trip the watcher with a whip, but it fails. Aroldo shoots with magic missile wand. Bo runs after Aroldo, Gaian commands the watcher to fall. Bug catches up and starts hitting him with face of sword (non-lethal).
• Gaian almost falls trying to leap between roofs.
• Bug continues to pummel the watcher
• Gaian finally trips him with a whip.
• This let’s Bug put in the final blow that knocks him down.
• They take him to the top room of Belor’s.
• They awaken him, he starts defiant but quickly realises he’s in trouble. He advises he’s working for Scarplume who is leader of the Red Jill’s. Bug’s boys have been in the Red Jill’s territory. The watcher advises that a ’message’ is coming from Scarplume. The watcher goes through Trevaro, the 2IC of the Red Jills. The watcher claims this is just business, and to let him go. Bug and Nightswarm want to kill him. Aroldo believes this is a bad situation, and Bug should keep his boys on his side of the line. Bug breaks his hand and releases him.

THE NEXT DAY
• Bo explains that word has spread to the world that Kintargo is suffering. One day when drinking he met a bard, told him he was heading to Kintargo. Pavo the bard tells Bo to go to Belor’s Beer Hall. Bo followed this advice and went to Belor’s and watched the place for a while. Titus was then killed. Bo introduced himself to the remnants of the resistance. He explained he had coin and wants to help. He bought Belor’s. Since this time, the resistance has grown to trust him.
• Belor’s has a new cook. Tappo. Tappo is a master at creating finger food that goes well with drinking, a nickname has quickly sprung up for the food: Tappo’s.
• Alaria has cut and dyed her hair black and has sworn vengeance on the Lord-Mayor.
• Leila, the pastry chef working next to Belor’s, arrives to introduce herself to Bo. He agrees to continue the business arrangements she had with Titus, which allows her to sell her bakes goods at Belor’s. Leila is pleased and hopes to get to know Bo better.
• Cato – a former employee of Aroldo’s father – has returned to Kintargo after travelling for many years. He has returned to find hard times. Aroldo took him on as hired muscle, and he is now in the resistance full time.
• Brother Vaelus decides to keep the order of archivists alive, and sets out to find other surviving members.
• Blosodriette the Imp appears and begins sipping at Aroldo’s ale. She claims we’re not moving fast enough for her liking, to get her contract.
• The Countess Sarini is having a small party. Gaian has requested an invitation. He has received a reply, asking us to dress appropriately. The event is held at the Sarini estate.
• At the party they are introduced to the Countess. She’s bloody rude.
• At the party are:

  1. Baroness Belcara Jarvis
  2. Baron Sendi Vashnarstill
  3. Bella – a Tiefling actress (not widely known)
  4. A half-elf woman, wearing the Red & Black of the Chelaxian navy.
  5. Professor Finkus. Aroldo goes to lengths to dodge Professor Boring.
  6. Tall, gaunt man with tied back hair following the Countess around. Arrogant and a bard. Obviously trying to impress her.

• Aroldo approaches Lt Iofiel Nones (wanting to know more about the Navy ship in port) and they flirt a little while he tries to get information. She’s a crewmember aboard the warship Scourge of Belial, which has recently docked at the harbor. The ship will be in port a few more days at least.
• Gaian and Aroldo talk to Countess, talk about the contract. They get the feeling that they need to impress her for her to take them seriously and have traction regarding the contract.
• As such, Aroldo quickly busts out his pencils and paper and sketches the Countess’ great beauty, she seems impressed.
• Cato flexes and tells stories.
• Bug performs some acrobatics, however the Countess seems to think such things are low-brow entertainment and fails to impress her.
• Gaian seduces the Countess with help from Wingman Aroldo.
• Aroldo talks to Baroness Belcara about architecture. She seems upset with the Lord- Mayor residing in Opera House, blocking its normal use. She appears intrigued by Bo, possibly a follower of Cayden Cailean? Bo has asked to see her later, maybe she can visit Belor’s and sample Bo’s best?
• On leaving, Gaian is handed a note from the Countess. She is willing to sign over the contract.
• Once that happens, the Children free Blosodriette… In return, she tells them to seek out Lady Mialari Docur, the elf who recovered the Song of Silver from the imp many years ago. The girlish imp them leaves, being free. Lady Mialari Docur runs a Finishing School for girls. It was founded hundreds of years ago to teach girls about elves.
• Young Bob – one of Bug’s Boys – is found tied up with massive lacerations. Dead from blood loss. Bug appeals to the group to assist him. Bo seems somewhat amenable to assist, likely over stabbing the other dude in the hand.
• Red Jills seem to know how to spy on Bug’s Boys. They’re likely looking for homeless dudes.
• Recon shows that silver goes to the cheese shop, but is not leaving – presumably it is left on site for now. Aroldo uses a disguise self spell to investigate, but it appears to just be a cheese shop.
• The rest of the group charge in to intimidate. Thugs rush from the back room. They are quickly overcome and they take one of the thugs captive. Bug kills the captive thug after getting information. Bug wants to burn the shop down, the rest of the party doesn’t seem to agree with Bug.
• Find small pile of silver down the trapdoor. There are wine racks. Find secret door behind the wine racks.
• The group hear running water. Behind the door is a tunnel that leads to the sewer system again. The silver is going out via sewer. As they travel down tunnel, they hear growls and then a yelp. The group encounters four hounds. The group dispatch them with little difficulty.
• Move on into some kind of cistern area. There are four thugs loitering here, one grabs piece of paper from table and legs it. Again, they are defeated. They find more silver here hundreds of gold pieces worth. Seems to confirm that this is the path the smuggled silver is taking. On the note is a crude map showing location of a shack – the silvers ultimate destination.

View
Rewarding Loyalty

Winifred rubbed her tired eyes as she came out from putting her young son to sleep, then jumped and felt her heart begin racing as a figure stepped out from the shadows of the room.

“I’m sorry to startle you, but there really was no other way.”

The woman gathered herself quickly and regarded the stranger. There was really very little to see, darkly clothed and cloaked as he was. What little light penetrated the depths of his hood illuminated only a carved mask, his face disconcertingly resembling a writhing swarm of wasps in the flickering firelight.

“Who are you?”

“I am known as Nightswarm. Perhaps you’d better take a seat.”

“Why? Is bad news any better taken sitting? I imagine you’re not here for anything good.” Winifred replied.

“As you will. I’ve always thought such formalities ridiculous.” Nightswarm paused for a moment. “You seem more composed than I would have expected, under the circumstances.” He said with a hint of admiration.

“My husband, who has been acting rather unusually of late, has not been home for two days. Clearly something unpleasant is going on. In light of that, a strange man invading my home in the middle of the night is less unexpected than it should be. So whatever you’re here for, I’d appreciate it if you just got to the point.”

Nightswarm nodded slightly in acknowledgement.

“I regret to inform you that Rufus is dead.”

Despite her efforts to the contrary, Winifred could not help but sink into a chair at the words. While she had suspected for the past two days this may be the case, a suspicion that grew as soon as she had seen the man in her home, there was a great different between suspicion and confirmation.

“How?” she asked softly.

“You know of course of his passion in tracking the so-called Temple Hill Slasher. Rufus found him again, and this time the encounter proved fatal.”

Winifred stared at Nightswarm, but the mask revealed nothing. Still, she was no fool.

“You’re lying.”

“Oh?” he asked, his voice somewhat bored. “What makes you say that?”

“I know of you. By reputation. You and your fellow rebels rescued the Poison Pen. You’ve been fighting the Thrunes. Killing them. Maybe if Rufus had still been with the Dottari I’d suspect you’d killed him. But he left, because he didn’t like what was happening. So if you know him…knew him…then-“

“Then it is best that he died pursuing his hunt for the Temple Hill Slasher. I would say that he died from the wounds he sustained previously; he was never quite the same after that as I understand it, and some type of residual fever could have taken him. But unfortunately if anyone sees his body, well, that won’t hold up.”

“His body? Did you bring it? Can…can I see it? Him?”

“I did not bring it here. To do so would not have seemed…decorous. Besides which, it is probably best that nobody is struck by the coincidence of him dying the same night as a group of rebels.”

Winifred looked disappointed.

“You will have his body, to lay to rest as you see fit. I will have it brought in another day or two. For now,” he continued as the woman looked slightly relieved “I have brought you this.”

Nightswarm brought a bundle out from under his cloak and passed it to Winifred. She unwrapped it and stared at the contents.

“Loyalty.”

“My understanding is that it has been passed down through Rufus’ family. He’d have wanted Tyrell to have it.”

“I’m not sure I want him to have it.” Winifred said. “It seems to have brought nothing but death.”

“It’s a sword.”Nightswarm replied with a shrug. “It will always bring someone’s death should it be wielded. Perhaps Tyrell will have no cause to do so.”

“Perhaps.”

Winifred sat for a moment longer, then stood.

“Wait there.”

The woman left the room briefly, returning with a letter. She handed it to Nightswarm.
“Rufus left this with me. He said that if anyone ever returned the sword…”

Nightswarm quickly broke the seal, scanning the contents.

“A reward for Loyalty? How very Rufus.” He muttered as he read.

The letter outlined where Rufus had left the rebellion’s funds. It also made a request that Winifred be left some of those funds to aid her in escaping the city, and named several Dottari contacts he felt were trustworthy.

“Well, this makes things less awkward.” He said, handing the letter to Winifred as he left the room. “It would have been a shame to have to come back tomorrow and ransack your home.”

Nightswarm collected the rebellion’s funds and returned to the room. He took the letter from Winifred’s hands, replacing it with a large handful of coins before making his way to the window.

“Whether you choose to leave Kintargo is up to you. Either way you’ll not see me again.” He said to Winifred “But I will ensure Rufus’ body is returned to you. If you choose to go it would make sense to do so after you give him his funeral, perhaps go to your parents. It wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows. Hopefully one day you can return, and it will be possible to truly celebrate Rufus’ deeds in a time when your son does not grow up under the yoke of devils.”

With that, he climbed out of the window and disappeared into the night.

View
A book and a contract

Vaelus watched as Rexus pored over the recovered books for the third time, his eyes still wet with tears. “What is it?” Lentius asked quietly, appearing beside the cleric.

“Reading a soul tome is an emotional thing,” Vaelus responded, “especially when it’s your parents’.”

Lentius looked uncomfortable. “I know you explained this before, but I really didn’t get it. These books are like autobiographies from beyond the grave?”

Vaelus gave a small smile. “Not quite. They contain the thoughts and memories of the archivists – Rexus’s parents included. They were all tortured, and their thoughts recorded by the scrivinite-”

“That book ghost librarian?”

“Yes. Before they were killed. The contents are scattered and incomplete, as you’d imagine, but there is enough in there for Rexus to recognise his mother and father. It must be hard.”

Rexus wiped his eyes and stood. “Lentius, gather the others, immediately. This book – my mother’s soul tome – contains what could be our victory.”

Lentius took off at once.

“What is it lad?” Brother Vaelus asked, taking a seat at the table. His body felt sore and tired of late, stressed from the recent happenings. He made a mental note to meditate longer tonight.

“Two things. ‘Trailblazer Huni’ is mentioned several times, a wandering scholar. My mother was angry the archivists let him read a copy of the diabolical chapters of the ‘Book of the Damned.’”

Vaelus hissed. “I had no idea we even held that tome! A dangerous book. And we didn’t recover it, which means Barzillai has it now. What powers he can discover with that knowledge… Oh Irori save us from evil! Why wasn’t it protected?” the cleric spat in a rare display of anger.

“It was. This Huni is the only person to read it in years, and mother believed he charmed the archivists to allow him.”

“What’s also troubling is Huni knew where the archivists were hidden. But anyway, how does that help us?”

Rexus shook his head. “That doesn’t, it’s just a troubling piece of information we should follow up on. It must be important to my mother… was important to my mother. No, what I referred to as they key to our victory was something called the ‘Kintargo Contract.’ Have you heard of this?”

Vaelus furrowed his brow, then shook his head.

“My mother mentions it several times. She says it forms part of the Cheliax Covenant.”

“The infernal agreement binding Hell to House Thrune.”

“Yes. She says this Contract may be the key to Kintargo’s freedom. She doesn’t say how. We must discover its details. We must speak to its author – Odoxidie.”

“A devil,” Vaelus says grimly.

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The work of monsters
A farewell to friends

The room was a slaughterhouse. Blood covered the floor and walls. “The work of monsters,” Vaelus whispered.

“This is who we are facing,” Nightswarm replied calmly. He yanked free the spear pinning Rufus to the wall and lowered the ex-dottari to the ground; his body was pale and cold. It seemed he had fought on until the very last.

Lentius knelt beside Titus. The barkeep’s face was finally at peace after a life of struggle. Lentius wondered if somewhere in the afterlife Titus was embracing his young wife Cristanna. “Rest easy my friend,” the rebel whispered, closing the ranger’s eyes.

It seemed Nox had focused most of her anger on Keldor. Lying alone, his body was mangled. Rexus felt pity for the tiefling; he had hired him to face a danger much beyond their ken. He felt the man’s death burden him like a heavy cloak, adding to that of his parents’ death.

Brother Vaelus moved among the bodies, but his concentration was on what was scattered among them – the remaining books and scrolls of the Order of Archivists, the ones the redactors had not yet got their hands on. “Give me a hand,” he said to Rexus, who was glad to break from his angst and help the cleric collect the rest.

“Someone’s alive here!” Lentius shouted as he moved a barrel aside to reveal Bug hidden behind it. The halfling was gravely injured but still breathing. Lentius indicated for his men to get the halfling to help.

“Let’s get out of here, before they return,” Aroldo said, though by the look in his eye he almost wished the Thrunites to come rushing down the stairs.

They all felt the same burning anger, a desire for vengeance.

“Come on,” Nightswarm grunted. He took a deep breath and lifted Rufus onto his shoulder. Somewhere, way at the back of things, Gaian wept.

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A Hasty Meeting

It is a sombre mood that fills the hideout below Belor’s, where Aroldo has just finished telling his tale. Unsurprisingly, as the key figures of the Children of the Ash have just heard the wizard recount his belief that four of their number are in all likelihood dead.

“Well,” Rexus finally speaks sadly “Though I hate to say it, it’s better they are dead than captured. What they could reveal would assure an end to our fledgling rebellion.”

“Dead may not be much better.” Brother Vaelus says, tugging nervously on his beard. “The Asmodean priests will be able to elicit just as much, if not more information, from their corpses. Given time.”

Lentius quickly stands at this, hands on his weapons.

“Then we need to go back in immediately.”

“There is no doubt we need to go back in as soon as we can,” Gaian adds “But not without preparation. I assume you’re not ready to go straight back in?” he says with a glance at Aroldo.

“Not unless you want my usefulness to be limited to this.” The large wizard replies, thrusting his staff in the air for effect. “Not much use if Nox is still there. But give me a few hours rest and you can probably convince me to return.”

“Then that give us a few hours to prepare.” Gaian says. “Magdalene, Georgio,” he addressed the leaders of the Varisian performing troupe and the freedom fighters, “Ask among your members if any are prepared to take a more direct approach to combating Thrune. There will be no judgement if they don’t, after all that is not what they agreed to, but make it known that failure here will be the end of us.”

“Gerry,” he addressed the final man, his only known contact from Bug’s Boys, “See if any of your people know of anyone else in the city with strong sympathetic leanings.”

“And if they do?”

“Let me know as soon as possible, and Nightswarm will approach them. This is no time to be coy about recruitment. Regardless, we need to move quickly, and someone needs also to speak to the Jollytime Girls. As soon as Aroldo is rested we head back to the Fantasmagorium. We’ll find out for sure what has become of the others, deal with any bodies. And hopefully take out Nox.”

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The Varied Thoughts of Gaian Vespinus 7

Damnit, get out of my head! I’ve got too much to do tonight to have you distracting me.

I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.

Really? It’s all your moping. “Poor Butcher is dead”. Blah, blah, blah.

Only Rufus? What about Titus and Keldor?

It doesn’t seem you’re too worried about them.

Why not?

Well, they have nobody relying on them. No little boy waiting for his daddy to come home. He never will.

You’re right. We should really do something about it.

We can’t. Not tonight. Too much to organise to get the fucking Asmodean bitch who did it!

And protect the Rebellion.

Yes, yes, that too.

And after that we can do something to give some closure to Rufus’ family.

Will that make you happy then?

It certainly will. As much as possible in the circumstances, anyway.

Enough to stop the damned crying in my head while I’m trying to work?

Hmm, not sure.

Why not?

Oh, because I call him Rufus, not Butcher. That was you.

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Aroldo lives to fight another day

The cries of battle follow Aroldo as he back tracks through the Fantasmagorium. His heart pounds in his chest, both from the exertion of running for his life, and fear for his life – his new friends seem to be unafraid of taking on powerful foes. The wizard reaches the entrance of the seemingly accursed museum, and pauses. He strains his ears, but hears nothing – has the battle ended? Or are the walls too thick and are blocking the sounds of further battles?

The wizard summons some of the last of his strength, and calls upon his magic one more time. As he does, his features blur and shift. When the magic is finished, a shorter, skinnier man has seemingly replaced Aroldo. Disguised, the wizard opens the door and slinks out. Knowing he has to report to the surviving members of the nascent rebellion, he considers heading straight for Belor’s, but wonders if the approaches there would be currently watched. Thinking that the chance is too great to take, Aroldo starts heading back home. It is a long journey, that feels even longer as Aroldo cannot help but flinch at every sound, and gaze at every shadow, expecting an ambush.

The wizard calms slightly as he stumbles in his front door, leaning against it as he performs some mental exercises to clear his mind, now he has reached safety. The quiet of his home, with the faint earthy smell of growing plants also helps. Hands still shaking slightly, he puts aside his staff, and unburdens himself of some of the items he thought may have come useful in the recent tasks.

Letting out a long sigh, he heads to his study where one of the silver raven figurines lie. Never having used the power within the figurine before, he is slightly nervous as he whispers a message to it. When he has composed his message, he takes the figurine to the window, where it comes to life, the metallic raven flying away to deliver its bleak message to Gaian and Rexus….

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The Fantasmagorium Pt 2
Session 09

After defeating and questioning the Azvernathi Raul, the cleric of Asmodeus, the Children crept down stairs to the underground level of the Fantasmagorium. This was the secret hideout of the Order of Archivists. Unfortunately the hideout had been discovered by the Asmodeans, and the Order destroyed.

After fighting past the Asmodean redactors the Children faced Nox, assistant to the Lord Mayor and oversee of the redaction efforts of the Fantasmagorium. Nox was too powerful for the Children, and several of them fell in battle.

The future of the rebellion hangs in the balance…

Full notes:

• The group, suddenly feeling refreshed, leapt immediately into combat.
• Keldor casts shield to protect himself initially, while Bug changes into combat. And Fumbles (Sad trombone sound).
• Titus fails to climb onto a table, but attacks anyway, hoping no one saw what just happened.
• The monks yell for Lord Raul, instilling a sense of dread in the party
• Lord Raul appears shortly after, a cleric with dual maces. He casts a spell and turns invisible.
• The battle goes on, the party get the upper hand. Lord Raul gives up when he is the last one.
• Advises there are more monks and Nox downstairs. Nox is the Lord Mayor’s ‘personal assistant’. The group remembers that they saw her get stabbed and smile it off, with the wounds healing up. It is said she has made pacts with devils. Has a monster’s strength. There are a dozen redactors and a pet-Ogre-kin. Nox regenerates, but this isn’t immunity.
• Rufus thinks he is lying when he says he will leave if we let him go. Aroldo asks how we get down stairs. The cleric advises you push both eyes of the Aroden statue.
• The group decides facing Nox is too dangerous.
• Don’t find much, writing implements and the like. Initial scans of documents appear mundane and not useful.
• The group decides to rest, so the magic users of the group can regain their spells. They will be heading downstairs after resting to investigate the secret meeting place of the Order of Archivists. Rest is completed successfully.
• The stairs down are illuminated by magic light. We descend into a massive library. Seems to be missing books though. Bloodstains on floor. Huge rune on floor. There is Master’s Rebus, holy to Irori
• As we reach the floor, papers and books rise from the floor and assumes a roughly humanoid shape. Keldor asks if it is a librarian, it advises it is the library guardian. Tells us that it has been visited by defilers recently. Aroldo asks how long was here, imprisoned by Witch of Thrune. Guardian advises defilers have taken most of the books. Overpowered by infernal magics. Guardian served Order of Archivists. Confirms they are all dead. They find books on the history of Kintargo: personal journals, big events, small goings on.
• Wide stairs head further down, still magically lit. Goes down to corridor with 4 doors. First door leads to small bedroom, like a monk’s cell. Find more of these, then find a larger one with painting of Victacora family, we recognise Rexus.
• Bug finds a secret door! It leads down a corridor to a large room. The stench of rotting flesh grows strong as we approach.
• We can see Redactors taking books. In the middle of the room are chains holding a redactor’s decaying body. Five redactors is what Bug can see from his vantage point.
• The group decides to attack. Titus charges in! Great melee. Bug sneaks in for surprise attack. Surprise big humanoid bursts out of one of the doors- the Ogre-kin! The group manage to win easily.
• Arcane runes – warnings – on some shelves. Would normally indicate cursed items. Chains radiating Plane of Shadow. Seem to be books about that in this area. The group speculates it is the result of an activated magical trap. Aroldo also detects magic from behind a wall. The group finds a keyhole in the mortar. Rufus suggests using the platinum key. The key works and there is the sound of grinding stone. We find some magic items.
• The group hears others planning to ambush them when they walk through. The group decides to counter-ambush.
• Nox summons a poo demon.
• Vicious fight, Nox is a regenerating monster.
• The group manage to take down the majority of their opponents, but Nox is too strong.
• Reduced to wielding his quarterstaff, Aroldo strikes a massive blow that would kill any normal human (20!) but Nox barely blinks. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, Aroldo makes a break for it, the others standing their ground until the bitter end.

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The Fantasmagorium
Session 08

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).

The Imp
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.

Hocum’s Fantasmagorium
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
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Vaelus seeking calm

Brother Vaelus sat quietly in the common room of Belor’s Beerhall. It was not late, but with the curfew, everyone had left before sunset. He paused in his reading to gaze at the candle flame before him. He sighed, turned a few pages, and began reading again.

“Another book,” Lentius commented as he walked past, pulling on a leather gauntlet. “What is it this time?” He flexed his hand, making sure the glove was tight.

“The Nine Tyrants,” Vaelus replied.

“History?” Lentius asked.

“Ethics,” Vaelus replied, looking up. “When I find myself stirred, I turn to the wisdom of ages past to seek stillness.”

Lentius paused near the door. “Smiling Sen,” he guessed.

“His fate does not sit well with me.”

Lentius nodded and opened the door. “This rebellion is bigger than all of us, and sacrifices have to be made, no matter how we feel. This won’t be the last.” He pulled his hood on and left into the night.

Vaelus closed his eyes for a few moments, then continued reading.

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