Gathon

Book 3 Part 10
Weaving in the ends

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After a month of separation following the events at the newly renamed Meekus Keep the group (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Kaviri, Linna, Paul Blackthorne, and Petra Clock) gathered at the Hold. Kaviri and Petra had gotten in to some crimes in which Petra was arrested. Balion had been spending his time in Perkisville and had established a rapport with the people and built a church of Pelor.

The group thought about how it should address the Phil Blackthorne Problem. Their initial plan was to leak that Petra is Paul’s daughter and see if that brought Phil into the open. They talked about Phil and how little they knew of him. Paul had heard several reports of Shadow Hounds being spotted in Gathon but no pattern was found.

They decided to talk to Jesmel Roan, who had been Phil’s professor at Tower of Magicks. Jesmel had been fired after some of his students went missing, especially Adrie Carver. Adrie was a Half Elf graduate student and had been dating Phil when she tried to use an unknown amount of Void Hallow and disappeared. The name Adrie Carver reminded Petra of some reports she heard about during the Heist at the home of Senator Divern Marnel. The papers consisted of a book called The Life of Rogal Gathon, Vol 2, The Adrie Carver Incident Report, and a report of the groups actions at Sparrow Glen. The papers were marked with the symbol of The Committee. They had been taken by a red female Dragonborn.

Balion conferred with the Candleboys, who had been paid to spy on the known members of the Committee. One of the kids, Weird Lips, had been adopted by the Secretary of Senator Hennar Tond and knew when the next meeting was to be held.
The group decided to split. Linna and Kaviri would attempt to spy on the meeting while Paul, Balion, Amara, and Isadora went to talk to the shady red female dragonborn they knew, Esmeralda in Loudwater. First they spoke to Septimus who told them that she wasn’t the only red female dragonborn operating in the kingdom. He also said that the racism against Dragonborn that had suddenly been stirred up in Gathon was wrong, the group shouldn’t trust their one time ally. He also offered to teleport them to Loudwater and back. They took him up on this offer, but suspected he might have an alternative motive.

Linna and Kaviri scoped out the Second Temple of Erathis where the committee was meeting. The building offered secure and private places to meet for anyone willing to spend the money. Linna decided to access the building as a rat and found her way in through the gutters and walls. Kaviri scoped out the outside until she found a window that someone had left open. The young elf crawled in the window and skillfully made her way to the room next to the Committee Meeting. The meeting was dry and boring but they did learn of the location and time for the next meeting. The official name of the organization is the “Committee for Adaptive Continuance”. The meeting was overseen by Senator Salazit, who muttered an unkind thing about the former head of the Committee, Senator Marnel. As Kaviri was sneaking out she obtained the billfold of Senator Forrester Huntington. Turns out the Senator from the most conservative area of Ionanzia was frequenting a place known to cater to gay men. The two elves made their way back to The Duckling’s Ghost.

The rest of the group took Septimus’ portal to Loudwater and found themselves by the docks. They eventually found their way to Esmerelda’s warehouse where they were ushered in to a well appointed office in the back of the bustling warehouse. Esmerelda seemed delighted to see them and asked them what they were there for. The asked of Esmerelda had the books from the heist, she said her cousin had left some items in her care and that in order to break her cousin’s trust she would have to apologize with a gift worth at least 10,000 gold. The party did not have access to such funds so she offered them better deal. For 2,000 gold and a secret they could have the books.

Isadora and Amara each said they had a secret of value but Balion and Paul conferred and said they would take care of it. They told the Dragonborn that Prince Hallon Gathon’s blood was infused with Void Hallow and about the time Paul, Septimus, Ranmo, and Eustace revived him by breaking a rod made of the substance. Balion had seen the princess Alisa Helene Gathon bleed, but her blood was mundane. Esmerelda immediately gave them the books and asked follow up questions, which the men readily answered. Esmerelda asked them why Phil would need Paul’s family’s blood instead of using Void Hallow. No one knew. Esmerelda seemed to suggest killing Phil instead of capturing him and offered vague assistance.

Esmerelda had read the books and summarized them for those present. The first was the Life of Rogal Gathon, Vol 2. It detailed the period of his life shortly before and immediately after he obtained his mystical powers but shed no light on how he did so. Apparently, Rogal Gathon used his newfound powers to seal the Demon Forge in the ruined city of Vorr Rathok before he returned to destroy the Gnome Weaponeers. He was also known to have assisted in sealing Tenns’ Scar.

The second book was the Adrie Carver report, detailing the known facts about the incident at the Tower of Magicks. Adrie Carver was a half elf from a town near Yakshaw. Her mother had offered assistance to a group of adventurers about nine months before Adrie’s birth. That group consisted of an unknown dwarf, suspected to be Gathon’s spymaster, Lord Moonfire, Rogal Gathon, and a young cleric named Joshua Wynreaver. Any of the men, bessides the dwarf, could have been her father. The mother still resides near Yakshaw.
The child had magical talents and ended up at the Tower of Magicks where she became the assistant to Jesmel Roan. She later would start dating a human mage named Phil Blackthorn. In order to accelerate her Professor’s work she attempted to open a portal powered by “a suspiciously large amount” of Void Hallow. It is speculated that she learned of the substance from her father but no one knows where she could have found more than an insignificant amount of the substance. A diary was mentioned but no information on it could be found.

The third book was a detailed report on the groups activities at Sparrow Glenn. No recap was necessary.

On the way out of the warehouse, Amara and Isadora spotted a strange crate labeled “Pillows” in Elven. The group left Loudwater and returned to the Duckling’s Ghost to compare notes. Balion read the books but had not let anyone else see them yet. The group theorized on ways to find Adrie Carver’s diary in order to have something the Committee wanted. Going to the Temple of Erathis was immediately discarded as boring while hiring someone to do exciting espionage was raised as a possibility.
Balion also thought about ways to get on the Committee, including running for election against Senator Arson Perkis of Perkisville. Sen. Perkis is well liked by his constituants but was not on the Committee. Kaviri brought up blackmailing Senator Huntington. While Balion balked at the idea, no final decision was made.
The group was also thinking about how to obtain Void Hallow to lure Phil out when Petra raised the point that Phil might also be lured out if he found out that he had failed to kill Paul. It had never occurred to Paul to use himself as bait. The King’s Elite had told Paul it was better if he stayed dead. The possibility of using Void Hallow as bait was also raised.

The group took a break from planning to see Petra’s fight that night. Kaviri had secured a spot in an opener and had a difficult match against a person whose name I forgot to write down. The session ended before Petra’s fight was to begin.

Goals:
-Trap or kill Phil
Options:
—Set a Blackthorn as bait
—Find Adrie Carver’s Diary
—Find and use Void Hallow as bait

-Investigate the Committee
Options:
—blackmail Sen. Huntington
—Get elected to the Senate and after several years earn a spot on the Committee.
—Crash Meeting.
—Make an appointment to talk to a member.

Things to Remember:
-Balion and Amara have appointments to meet with the King in a few days.
-Elf Dreams?
-Withering Birch?
-Various personal goals.

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Book 3 Part 9
The Werewolve's Sarcophagus

The group, having traveled to Perkisville at the behest of the Oracle of Pelor, had just killed a bunch of Vampire spawn and discovered a secret path in the cave. It led to a Tomb with a worn sarcophagus. It was guarded by animated armor and skeletons. The group noisily cleared the enemies and prepared to battle whatever was in the coffin. The coffin was very old and filled with a thin layer of dirt. Inside was a throwing hammer that was covered in blood. The group found that the tomb was connected to a well in the basement of a local building. Kaviri climbed the well and heard the sound of someone’s scream being abruptly silenced.

They guessed that the tomb belonged to the Dwarven owner of Redhammer Keep. They rested for an hour before approaching the building. Once inside they found numerous dead bodies of locals. Once Redhammer was alerted to the consecration of his sarcophagus it appeared he began to slaughter the townsfolk.

Redhammer called the party to him. He was accompanied by a prest of Vecna, god of secrets and death. The party killed the priest first but an evil item brought him to his feet as an undead. Redhammer was also turned into mist and fled. The dwarf left behind his armor, made of metal and the skin of humamoids, and weapon, which constantly dripped the blood of the Dwarves it had killed. Amara, having taken the smaller hammer, took the weapon. Vae took the armor, as no one else wanted anything to do with it. The priest’s item was a shriveled hand that attempted to take over Vae’s familiar when the owl touched it. Balion and Petra wrapped cloth coated in holy water around the item and planned to bring it to the Church of Pelor.

The party alerted the Mayor to what had happened and after he came to grips with it he told the party that they could have it so that his drunken brother didn’t take ownership and run it in to the ground. They agrred and decided to rename it Meekus Hold. They were given the services of Scruffy, th Mayor’s #3 guy, to help them set up and run the farm.

The group plans to go to Gathon and check in with the status of Paul at the Church of Pelor. Balion said he wanted to check in with the Candleboys and see what they had learned about the members of the Committee.

Goals:
-Bring cursed hand to Church of Pelor.
-Investigate the Committee.
-Withering Birch?
-The Elf War?
-Void Hallow?
-Dwarven Vault?
-Vampire in the loose.
-Various Personal Goals.

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Book 3 Part 8
Teen Justice Squad Assemble!

The party (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Linna, Paul Blackthorne, Petra Clock, and Vae Victis Alastor) had just come from the Manor of Nianall and Jalice where Paul and Amara were turned to stone. Balion suggested they go to the Basilica of the Church of Pelor and seek the help of Joshua Wynreaver. They quickly found their way there but we’re told that the Cannonarch had gone to meet with the king and would not return for at least a day. In the meantime they used the Pool of Radiance on Amara. It would be a few days before the Pool would be able to cure Paul.

LuminarIan Ezrial came down and spoke to Balion. He said that Balion was untrained and reckless and should submit himself for proper paladin training which would take years. The Oracle of Pelor came to the group and asked them to investigate the darkness in Perkisville, a small farmstead a day and a half away from town. They could leave with the caravan in the morning. The group agreed to help out.

Meanwhile, Vae went off to discuss some things with the Iron Circle.

When the group returned to the The Duckling’s Ghost, they met a young elven woman named Kaviri who introduced herself as the nice of Thwarg, Piler of the Dead. He wrote a letter asking to let her accompany them, saying he had been called back to the Orc lands on family business. Kaviri showed her prowess by dispatching Balion in a few quick motions.

That night Petra had a prize fight and everyone came down to watch. It was the last of three fights. The first fight was Drekkus the Face Smasher, a half orc who seemed to have left the Howling Wind tribe. The second fight was uneventful. Petra’s fight was against Spichard ‘Wretched’ Rencer. He was a human thug who riled up the crowd and talked about how the Dragonborn were invading Gathin and had to be stopped. Izadora acted as Petra’s hype-man and Petra won the fight.

The group then went bar hopping. They were interrupted by a half elf man who asked Balion for a quote for the The Terns’ Tweets. Kaviri tried to punch him but he seemed to be in two places at once. He was Senfir Korin, a retired adventurer who owned the broadsheet. Balion sent him away with a quick quote.

The next day they went to Carwile and told him the Mansion was clear. Carwile said he would call in his other favor later.

The group left for Perkisville and the caravan ride was boring. Vae attempted to peek in to each tent but was discourage by Balion.

Once in Perkisville, they found it had two farmsteads. One belonging to Lord Mayor Perkisville, who raised cattle. The other belonged to Morith Redhammer, a dwarf who grew feed for the cattle. Recently a few people had gone missing and some cattle were found slaughtered. Kaviri followed a trail from one of the slaughtered animals to an old abandoned mine. Once inside the mine the group was attacked by bestial humanoids that they briefly mistook for Werewolves. They defeated all the vampires and set in to rest when a second wave of vampires came at them. They killed all three of those as well. They cleared out the rest of the cave and Linna found a caved in stone passageway that air was flowing through. The group decided to rest.

Tasks:
-Perkisville

Other things to keep in mind:
-Hags
-Elves
-Drugs
-Dragonborn
-Various Personal goals

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Book 3 Part 7
Screaming Stones

The Party (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson,Izadora Smith, Linna, Paul Blackthorne, and Vae Victis Alastor) was joined by Petra Clock in order to clear out a strange estate in the Skyreach section of Gathon City. Carwile had told them to clean out the mansion and to take nothing. Balion and Izadora were charged with making sure and placed under a Gaeas spell. After making their way to the front door, past some gargoyles and a shambling mound, the found the foyer was full of art. The room was littered with beautiful statues and the walls were covered in paintings. Petra recognized one as being taken from the Heist and Vae knew several of the peices, as they had been sold or handled by the Iron Circle.

The art was well kept but disorganized. The room was clean and no dust or dirt was found. The group found a coat closet full of old coats that was incredibly dusty. They went into the Ballroom which was full of statues of people dancing. The walls were covered with paintings of dances and galas. Some of the statues were enchanted to either alter their shape or perform a routine. As the group lingreed among the statues they were attacked by ghosts. Izadora was possessed and a horrible effect frightened Petra and Amara so badly that it aged them 30 years. Amara freaked out and said that her life was over if they did not remove the ghost’s curse immediately. The group decided that they should leave and take Amara to be treated at the Church of Pelor, seeing how they had a month to clear out the mansion. Along the way, Amara and Linna spoke privately. It was private.

Once at the church Amara, Balion, and Petra met with Joshua Wynreaver, Cannonarch of the Church, grandfather of Balion, and powerful cleric. He complimented Balion’s actions in dealing with the Princess, saying they they reflected well on him, his family, and the church. Joshua cured Petra and asked that she and Balion leave the room so he could have a private conversation with Amara. As Amara left the church she made a sizeable donation to the poor box.

The group decided to return to the mansion in the morning and went to the The Duckling’s Ghost for the evening. Balion told the group about his attempt to follow the Senator he believed to be part of the The Committee and asked Paul to help set up a tail. Paul introduced Balion to the Candleboys, young urchins who guided people through the fogs of Gathon for a nominal fee. It was awkward.

The party returned to the mansion ad found the statues they had broken were repaired. They explored further in and found several rooms of paintings and statues. They had been curated with mPsy rooms having an easily recognizable theme. One room had paintings by Jalice and statues by Nianall, the last known owners of the mansion. The group eventually came to a large room that appeared to be a garden inside the mansion. There were large trees and rocks with paved paths. A waterfall splashed into a small pond with a four post bed floating in it.

A voice spoke saying that the group had defiled the place and must leave. They refused and out came Jalice who had become a medusa. Paul Immediately turned to stone. Eventually Amara also turned to stone. As Jalice took a barrage of attacks from Petra’s fists and Vae turned in to an ape she called out to Nianall who flew out of the bed and let forth a wail instantly downing Izadora. When Jalice succumbed to Petra’s fists, the banshee wailed again, downing Balion and knocking Linna out of beast form. Linna healed Balion and he unloaded on the banshee finishing the fight. Petra insisted on carrying Paul by herself.

The group planned to take the petrified Paul and Amara to the Church to seek assistance.

Goals:
-Revive Paul and Amara.
-Investigate the Committee

Other things:
-Hags, Gnolls, ect
-Void Crystal
-Royals
-ect.

Various Personal Goals.

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Book 3 Part 6
Let's make a deal

The party, (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Linna, and Paul Blackthorne) sat with Thwarg, Piler of the Dead, Tom Macduran, and Petra at The Duckling’s Ghost after losing Vae Victis Alastor while in Carwile’s circus. Linna had just come back from a personal errand. She too had been in the sewers. The whole group, except Tom, stank and the host at the Duckling’s Ghost offered to let them use the baths next door for free. This caused the men and women to be seperated while Tom went to recover the two paintings that Petra offered as leverage to recover Vae. The ladies had a nice chat and the men met with Septimus, who revealed he paid for the baths so he could talk to Paul and Balion. Thwarg poured over the coded book that Amara had stolen from Carwile.

The group reformed in the Duckling and Tom gave them a box he had taken from Carwile’s desk. It contained two small card labeled Donjon and Euryale. Amara said that they were part of the Deck of Many Things, an artifact of chaos that has the power to grant someone’s greatest wishes or bring ruin to them. Paul remembered that Septimus had a card, the Key, and that the deck had been used a few decades by Axlecrantz Axlecrank at Gardmore Abbey. The individual cards sometimes granted strange but minor powers in combat. Petra added that two other cards had been taken in the heist and that they were given to one of the other thieves who insisted that it was a matter of life or death.

The small box also held Carwile’s credentials for the King’s Elite. The group discussed what that meant.
Thwarg produced the code book and said he couldn’t really make sense of it. No one else could either.
Petra offered up the painting she had taken from the heist. It was dangerous to know about and when unveiled showed a man made of Void Crystal. It had been painted by Rogal Gathon before he rose to prominence in the Demon Wars. The group decided to give back the small box with both cards and the ID as well as the code book. They would only offer the painting if they had to. Tom said he was finished and took off. Thwarg had someting to take care of elsewhere.
GathonPainting..jpg

In the morning they met with Accant. She said that Carwile was dangerous and had trained her for the King’s Elite. She had lost faith in the Elite after she failed to prevent Paul and his friends from getting to the Abbey. She wished them luck.

They wanted to meet in a neutral location but Carwile insisted they meet under the big top. The group made there way there cautiously. They knew they were being watched. The exchange went smoothly. Carwile impressed upon the group that they had broken in to his home and taken a thief out of jail. Balion saw it differently. In exchange for freeing Vae, the group would owe Carwile two favors. The first was that they would investigate a certain house in Gathon and destroy any monsters and subdue any humanoids found there. They were not to take any treasure, art, items, potions, or any kind of loot found inside. To make this matter Carwile chose two members of the group at random to cast Gaeas on. It was Balion and Izadora. They were to ensure the rest of the group behaved as well. They had 30 days to complete the task.

After this Vae was exhausted so the group decided that Carwile’s task could wait until the next morning. Petra reIn the mean time, the rest of the group met with Rogal Gathon II to inform his of the status of the investigation in to the murder of Senator Divern Marnel. They told him about the thefts being seperate from the murder. He asked about the items that had been taken from the scene and they listed them. He was especially interested in the books taken by the Dragonborn woman. The books taken were:
-The Adrie Carver investigation.
-The Rogal Gathon report Vol. 3 Add.
-Mirrineth’s journal (a copy) and report.

The painting was then brought out. RG2 warded the room. He told them that this painting was dangerous to not only the kingdom but to the world. He said that his father had very good reasons for his actions and that discussing the painting would put everyone in danger. He took possession of the painting and asked them to forget they had ever seen it. He also took the tiny canary witness.

While he had no idea what the Committee referred to, he would investigate it. Any information the party could uncover would be greatly appreciated. The group headed back to the Duckling, except for Balion who went to the Temple of Erathis. He happened to see two of the Senators implicated in being on the Committee leaving. He tried to follow them but they shook hands and went in different directions. Balion tried to follow one of them bur was as stealthy as a paladin in shining armor. He talked to the Senator but could not get him to divulge where he was headed. He did notice that the Senator had a fidget ring. This reminded him of the Committee’s symbol, two wheels with ball bearings sandwiched in between. The Senator took his leave and Balion tried to follow him along the roof tops but the Senator seemed spooked and abruptly changed his direction and went towards the Senate.

The next morning the group met up with Petra and headed towards the house Carwile indicated. The house belonged to a couple of women named Jalice and Nianal, a human and an Elf. Izadora knew a song about the couple about how each was the most beautiful of their kind and their love overcame many obsticals. It also talked about their lavish parties. Bawdier versions went into details but Izadora left out those verses. The song was almost 100 years old.

The house itself was on a rarely used street and one wing of the mansion had starter to collapse. The garden inside of the gates was untended but had been cut back so as to not obstruct the walkway. There were gargoyles on the roof and someone spotted a shambling mound living on a broken fountain. Izadora used the Pipes of the Sewer to summon a rat swarm and had it go ahead to test the defenses. They blighted the mound out of existance and broke the gargoyles that swooped down on the rats.

They made it to the mansion and unlocked the doors. Someone noticed that a recent pair of foot prints had walked directly up and down the pathway. There were no other signs of activity on the house. When they walked inside they saw a room full of well carved statues of all kinds. Every inch of wall space was filled with beautiful paintings and every table space was piled with jewelry and decorative serving sets. A voice called to them. It said, “Leave now. Or Stay. Forever.”

Immediate Goals:
-Kill whatever is making this mansion so damn creepy. Take nothing from the mansion.

Other things to keep in mind:
- Void Crystal and Rogal Gathon
-Hags and Gnolls and Arrows and Elves
- Elf Dreams
-Dragonborn
-The Factory
- Withering Birch
- The Committee
-Carwile’s other favor
- Deck of Many Things

-Various Personal Goals

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Book 3 Part 5
On His Majesty's Secret Circus

After a long day of chasing down leads on the murder of Senator Divern Marnel and the location of Paula Blackthorn the group (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Paul Blackthorne,Thwarg, Piler of the Dead, and Vae Victis Alastor) returned to the The Duckling’s Ghost. They compared notes and retired for the night. However, a man dressed as a waiter walked up to Paul and asked him why he had been looking forPetra Clock. The man was Tom, who had worked with Petra and knew where she was likely being held. She had been taken by a man named Carwile who ran Carwile’s Carnival Entertainments. He was a fixer with several dangerous associates and Tom would help the group rescue Petra. They decided to scope out the carnival.

The carnival was close to closing and the group left most of their armor and more obvious weapons at the inn. Balion wrestled with the strongman and drew in a big crowd. Thwarg sized uo the strongman and determined he was not a fighter. Paul snuck off and Vae followed him. They found a series of tunnels underneath the facility used by staff to move around. They disguised themselves and passed through the carnival and made their way to the office. There they found a different tunnel and decided to go in.

Meanwhile the rest of the group was still in the main fairgrounds and watched the acrobatics show. Tom stole the strongman’s keys and looked around his private quarters, stealing a few trinkets. Amara talked to the carneys and got the group invited to the nightly afterparty.

Paul and Vae came to a door that was locked and warded. Vae turned in to a giant badger and tunneled around the door. Behind it was three more doors. One led to a sewer, one led to a teleport circle, and one led to an office. The two contacted the group and the rest made their way down. They broke in to the office and found a plain desk that was trapped and some books. The books appeared to be written in a complex code. Vae and Amara stole a few of them. The rest of the group wandered over to the sewer entrance while Vae tried to unlock another door in the office, triggering a trap. Tom doubled back to see what was happening. Carwile and his team came down and said that the intruders better come out if they wanted to keep living. Thwarg came running out and was attacked. The strongman hurt him but Thwarg knocked him down and dragged the brute into the sewers where the rest of the group beat him down. Balion took a dagger to the throat from the clown.

Tom broke in to Carwile’s desk and took everything from the main drawer. Vae locked down the circus people and he and Tom were stuck in the office. Carwile and his wizard took out the obstruction and knocked Vae Victis out whIle Tom escaped through a trapped door in to Carwile’s bedroom.

The rest of the group moved further unto the sewers where they saw a massive pool of sewage with a thin path along the walls and silver poles hanging from the ceiling and a cell on the other side of the room. As they tried to navigate the room they were attacked by a Froghemoth. Izadora managed to polymorph the monster into a tadpole.

They moved over to the cell and when Paul entered he was knocked on his ass. It was Paula. She realized it was her father and punched him again. The group was pinned in the sewers and Carwile’s people were waiting. Suddenly Tom opened a drain in the ceiling and dropped down a rope. They all made their way back to the Duckling. A note was waiting for Balion saying that he was willing to talk about Vae. Petra said she had some valuable art that she couldn’t sell because it was too dangerous but that Carwile might take it in exchange. It was two paintings dating back to before the Demon Wars by Rogal Gathon.

Thwarg asked about the heist and Tom produced th missing bird from the Senator’s office. Linna used Speak With Animals and the bird told the group the following.

-The thieves came in and stole some books out of the Senator’s safe.
- More theives, including a Dragonborn lady, came and disappeared.
-The Senator and his made came in and we’re kissing. She turned into a grey person and snapped his neck and tore off his jaw and brainstem. The maid then left.
-The Dragonborn lady lit the safe on fire and left. The rest of the thieves came back and Tom took the birdcage and they all left.

The group began planning what to do next.

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Book 3 Part 4
A Daughter and A Dead Man

The party (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Paul Blackthorne, andThwarg, Piler of the Dead) continued towards Gathon, accompanied by Accant, Alisa Helene Gathon,Fredrique, and a captive dragonborn. Though they were present Linna and Vae Victis Alastor kept themselves busy by being on watch for more threats to the Princess.

The Princess took Balion aside and told him she would like to keep seeing him in an official capacity, but they would have to be more cautious in the future. She told Balion not to blame himself and to ease up on the questions about her father. Accant also told Balion it was not his fault, placing the blame on herself.

As they approached town a squad of the King’s Guard met them and escorted them inside. On of the guards violently shoved a young Dragonborn child who had gotten too close. Amara picked up a broadsheet called the Tern’s Tweets which had two big stories. The main headline was about the Princess being kidnapped by Dragonborn. The other was about the death of Senator Divern Marnel who had been murdered during a dinner party at his residence. It seemed to hint at Dragonborn involvement. Public opinion had soured on the dragonborn.

Paul wanted to go find his daughter, who he hadn’t seen since she was a child but had heard she worked on the docks. Before he could split off the entire group was taken to the palace and put into seperate rooms to be questioned about the kidnapping. Balion mentioned the potential hag involvement and was lectured by an older Paladin of Pelor. Izadora was questioned about some private matters but they seemed to find her answers acceptible. Amara faced strange questions and easily answered them to the Guard’s satisfaction. Paul was spoken to by the King’s Elite and reminded that he was dead and it was easier for everyone involved if he stayed out of trouble. He was told, “They can’t protect you anymore.” Thwarg relied on his down-home Orcish charm.

The group was called to a Senator’s office and made to wait. They could hear an older man shouting and cursing at the Princess. He was irate at her for running off and mentioned the problems he was having with the investigation into his fellow senator’s death. The Princess and the older man spoke quietly for a few minutes. Eventually the Princess and Accant left the room and the party was ushered in.

The older man was a greying Half Elf and introduced himself as Rogal Gathon II. He is a politically powerful man who prides himself on continuing to be elected by his constituents and not just for his father’s name. He thanked them for their service to the Kingdom and talked to Balion about responsibility and discretion. He told Balion he was having a problem and that Accant had vouched for the party’s ability to get things done. The Prince asked the party to investigate the death of Senator Marnel. The King’s Elite had been stonewalling him and the investigator assigned was not well regarded. He gave them what information he could.
- Marnel had been secretly collecting dangerous artifacts and some were presumed stolen.
-Three people were publicly suspected. Jameson Von Jameson from Rappallo (who was found to not be real), his footman Marquis (who had a generic looking face), and his Dwarven bodyguard (a female who ruffled the security at the party).
-Two other people were wanted for questioning and had not been found. A red Dragonborn lady of noble stature and a young woman with dusky skin and blond hair who had worked as a waiter.
-A guard was distraced and the Senator’s office had been broken in to. The safe was found open and a fire had been lit inside.
-The Senator’s neck had been snapped before a piece of his brainstem was removed and his jaw was broken off and missing.
-The Senator had last been seen with Rielle, a member of his household staff whose fiancée was arrested for a crime it now seemed likely that the Senator had committed.

Rogal could offer them no further assistance and would be judging Balion by the group’s ability to solve the case without bringing too much attention. He gave them a note that would let them view the crime scene.

The party split, with Izadora and Paul heading to the docks to look for his daughter Paula and the others headed to the home of Senator Marnel to investigate. The mansion was quiet and they were hrated at the entrance by Droya Giantkiler, the dwarven head of security. She showed them the room where the body was found and told them of the very small window of time in which the murder could have happened. In searching the room they discovered a birdcage had been taken out of the room. They looked at the safe and saw the ashes of several papers. They mended what they could and found a symbol that looked like a ring of ball bearings between solid plates. Balion remembered seeing it on a piece of paper in the Temple of Erathis. They searched the desk and found the main drawer was completely empty. The group had Linna cast Speak With Plants and talk to a fern but it could not remember far enough back to have seen the murder. It did note that a thin man had gone up to the desk last night when no one was around. Droya said that this was likely the Major Domo and she would have him brought to them.
They also searched the tower behind he home which was where the Senator kept his illicit goods. It appeared that no one had used the entrance in ages, until the King’s Elite came to secure the dangerous items. The tower had been warded with a Guards and Wards spell, meaning the only other way in would have to be a specially linked key. They wondered why someone would have broken a statue inside the vault.
They then returned to the crime scene and Balion created a Zone of Truth before the Major Domo entered. He was unable to lie but could evade questions. After some strange and evasive answers the Elf started to break down and demanded immunity and immediate extradition by the group and not the King’s Elite. The Senator had a key to the Vault in the desk drawer and the Major Domo had taken it away before it was found. The MD also had a key but that went missing right before the murder. He suspected it was taken by a mage named Vermillion who had used him to gain access to the party. The Senator was also involved in something called the Committee but even under enchantment the Major Domo was unable to talk about it. It met underneath the Senate chambers and a few other Senator’s were also involved. The Major Domo also told then of the various artifacts that had been taken.
-Some art
-A Moonblade
-Two playing cards from a magical set
-And a statue that was broken.
The King’s Elite had taken away:
-A sarcophagus
-The skeleton of a human infused with crystals by the Gnome Weaponists
-A Demonic Suit of Platemail
-A suit of leather armor created by demons
-The skull of a beholder that had eight small eyes in a line instead of an enormous single eye

The party polymorphed the Major Domo and took him to the Iron Circle who were paid to deliver him to any location he wanted.

Meanwhile at the docks Paul and Izadora hit a number of bars before finding someone who knew something. They found Peter Clark, a broken down boxer who led them to an underground boxing ring. On the wall was a poster of a young woman about to fight a big thug. It was announcing a big fight between Petra Clock and The Glorious Fruug. Paul recognized it as his daughter and Izadora recognized it as the young waitress from the poster that Rogal Gathon II had shown them. She missed the fight and hadn’t been seen in two days. Peter gave Paul a talking to but said that he would owe him if he found Paula.
They went to the last place Paula was known to have gone, a tattoo parlor run by Killane, a Half Elf artist. She was in a trance when thwy walked in as she tattooed a raksasha hand on to a client’s arm. She refused to talk about her clientele so Izadora used Detect thoughts. She saw Paula getting a tattoo of cog with vines growing through it and a brief flash of an Elven woman getting that same tattoo from Killane. Killane noticed and had her body guard try to throw the two of them out. Paul chased Killane into the back but she drew a longbow and demanded they leave.
As they were leaving they noticed an old woman snooping down on them from a nearby window. They talked to her and she said she had seen a young girl go into the alley a few days ago and that she was followed by some circus people. Paul and Izadora inspected the alleyway and found proof of a fight. It seems the girl knocked several of the thugs around but had lost the fight. The drag marks she left behind dissapped into a busy street.

The group gathered up at their inn, The Duckling’s Ghost. They compared notes and as they were going to turn in for the night. Once Paul was alone a waiter walked up. He had a generic looking face and said to Paul, “I hear you have been asking about Petra Clock.”

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Book 3 Part 3
Rescuing the princess

The wedding reception wound down and the happy couple took their leave. Prince Hallon Gathon and his group had departed. The party (Amara IxChel, Izadora Smith, Paul Blackthorne, Thwarg, Piler of the Dead, and Vae Victis Alastor) remained at the reception while Balion Vicarson and Princess Alisa Helene Gathon had snuck off to the woods.

Balion and the Princess were attacked by a well coordinated squad of Dragonborn that had come prepared to kidnap a wizard. Balion was turned into a dog and subdued while they dragged off the paralyzed princess. Balion then returned to the party and Linna saw that he was polymorphed. The druid stabbed the dog and he turned back in to a human. He told everyone what had happened.

Accant, who had been drinking and dancing with Paul, instantry sobered herself and ran to get her armor. She called for Fredrique, who popped out of one of the other guest’s rooms, and told him to get Valentino. Fredrique ran into his own room and a few minutest later Valentino appeared wearing blackened armor and many, many knives. Meekus said he would stay behind and guard the town in case this was a distraction. Linna stayed to assist him. Joshua Wynreaver said there was not much he could do to help but he would contact ‘the specialists’, but they would take some time to respond.

Vae Victis turned in to a giant owl and attempted to follow the dragonborn, spotting them despite their magical attempts to evade detection. He swooped in and dropped a damaging spell into the group, which slowed them down. He then found himself alone in front of the squad and was quickly dispatched. The dragonborn took off, leaving him to die. Vae Victis was at death’s door when he saw a clawed hand and heard a sweet female voice say, “Not quite yet….” A few minutes later the party found the tiefling and healed him.

They were catching up to the dragonborn when they came to a rope bridge across a ravine. The dragonborn had kobolds attempting to sever the bridge but Thwarg dispatched them with two expert shots from his long bow while on horseback. The dragonborn had a druid who lit the bridge on fire and his group took off into the High Forest. Amara quickly cast fly on herself and Thwarg. They repaired the bridge.

TheY tracked the kidnappers to a gulch where they had set up a defensive position on top of a kobold warren. The party formulated a plan of attack. Thwarg would drink a potion to turn him into mist while the stealthy people wold take out the sentries. Then the Paladins would leap into the gulch and hold the entrance to the main tunnel while the others would fire into the area from above.

The plan worked mostly as intended, but the battle was fierce. Kobolds kept running into the fight from the tunnels below while the enemy spell casters tried to incapacitate the Paladins. When Thwarg entered the tunnel he witnessed the Princess holding her bound hands out to one of her captors who took out a dagger. Thwarg suspects the Princess arranged her own kidnapping. She later said she had charmed the guy, even though she had been in an area of silence.

As the battle went on, large area spells caused the kobolds to lose their nerve and they collapsed the entrances to their warren. Eventually the party won out and took one of the sentries prisoner. He claimed that his superiors, who were now dead, had kidnapped her in order to trade her to a witch. In exchange she would reveal the location of a Black Dragon for them to hunt. The witch was located in a nearby town called Withering Birch. Linna had met an old woman from that town at the wedding.

The group considered investigating the town but opted to accompany the Princess and Accant to Gathon. Accant was extremely cross with the Princess for running off with Balion. It appeared that this was going to be a long ride back.

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Book 3 Part 2
Homecomings

The group (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Linna, Paul Blackthorne) departed from Bloodletter Hold on their way towards Vale of the Floating Dawn in Queryndar. Thwarg, Piler of the Dead stayed behind to wait for his dragon scale armor to be finished. After half a day of travel they saw a symbol of a blazing sun in their path and Balion heard a voice claiming to be Pelor telling him of a person sent to assist him in his holy work. A tiefling named Vae Victis Alastor emerged from the bushes and introduced himself. Balion immediately thought that this was a divine event but no one else was convinced. Vae refused to tell them anything about himself besides that Pelor had sent him and promised to tell them more later. This did not sit well with the group and Paul was especially suspicious. Vae told them that hw would be following them no matter what they did. After a few minutes, Amara gave a grand speech and everyone settled down. Vae would be allowed to travel with Balion but everyone else would be keeping a close eye on him. Vae showed the group he could turn into animals but the druid Linna was not impressed.

The group made their way towards Queryndar and crossed the border with little trouble. They decided to rest for the evening and Linna decided that she should scout out the Vale alone. She saw that the place had erected walls and was well guarded. Some of the trees seemed new and might be sentient. There were griffin riders and soldiers doing a semi-regular patrol. The natural parts of the place had become overgrown and seemed untended. One of the houses on part of the property that had been suspicious the last time Linna was there seemed empty and unused.

In the morning the group approached the Vale of the Floating Dawn by the front gate and was stopped by the guards. Linna requested and audience with her uncle Geuryon and after a brief pause a soldier came out to tell her that it would be granted. He warned the group that they were about to enter a military facility and they were not to stray from the designated areas or to attempt to evade their assigned handler. They were permitted to keep their weapons in deference to Linna but that casting spells would be considered dangerous behaviour. Also, they had to leave Balion’s dinosaur outside the walls.

The group was led in to the main house and told to breifly wait in the foyer. It was still decorated with paintings by Linna’s father and other art he had selected for the room. There were a few additions that Geuryon had made, a painting showing modern elves in an ancient battle and a broken helmet and blade from Geuryon’s victory over a High Elven general.

Geuryon’s secretary ushered them into the meeting room as maps were being removed. Paul noticed that the maps showed the recent gains and losses in the disputed zone. General Geuryon greeted the group and briefly spoke with them. Beside him was his body guard Berin, who carried an enchanted glaive. When Linna mentioned the Sunset Thorn, Geuryon suggested that he and Linna speak privately on her father’s study. They left and the group discussed things among themselves and Vae admitted to Balion that he had been sent by Septimus to keep an eye on the group.

Geuryon and Linna talked.

After some time Linna returned carrying her a pair of gloves and a ring that had belonged to her father. She also carried a book of medicines and herbal treatments written by her great great grandfather. Geuryon invited to group to a light lunch and they had a light conversation. He wished them well and told Linna she was welcome to return.

The group departed and Linna said that they should be more aware of what they are doing and that they were bring observed more than they believed. Their actions were causing people to take notice. After another day or two of travel it became clear that Balion would not make it to the wedding of Cill Smithsdotter and Samael Wynreaver in Shackleton, Gathon. At this point Vae said he had just received instructions to use a scroll of Teleport that had been given to him by Septimus. It contained a note for Eustace, Samael, or Balion. The young paladin read it out loud. Septimus was offering this unrequested and unreturnable gift to the couple. It would allow the family to be together for a celebration that he could not attend, even if he had been invited. They used it and showed up in the center of town with plenty of time before the wedding.

They met with Meekus who was thrilled to see how strong Balion had become. Balion was to be one of the groomsman and was outfitted with a new suit of vestments. The ceremony was going to be performed by Joshua Wynreaver and the wedding party consisted of Prince Hallon Gathon, the Paladin of Erathis Accant, Cill’s two sisters and Brad the Bird Bard who appear as a gnome. Also in attendance were Princess Alisa Helene Gathon, Araya a’ Kala sworn protector of Gathon, Loudwater’s Mayoress Lady Moonfire, and the stylist Fredrique. Nobles and senators from Gathon were there and the event had taken over the town. The Princess arranged to have the new members of the group outfitted on appropriately fine clothing.

Balion met with his mother and she seemed to be doing well. The teenager misunderstood this to mean that she was over the loss of her husband and went off to sulk. Paul met with Accant and talked a little. Linna and Paul taught Balion how to dance as he sulked in Meekus’ practice field. It raised his spirits. The reception went smoothly and everyone had a good time. At the end, Paul saw Accant leaving early and followed her to talk to her. She touched the scar on her face that he had put there over a year ago. Paul hugged her before she could react and the stoic paladin broke down crying.

Accant told Paul about how difficult the last year had been for her and how she felt betrayed by her commanders. She was now the protector of the Princess, which was a duty that removed her from active missions but was too important to abandon. She apologized to Paul for trying to prevent him from reaching the Gardmore Abbey and she told him that she did not trust her former masters in Gathon. She recovered herself and headed to bed.

Amara had a dream.

The ceremony was early the next morning. It went smoothly and the reception was a fantastic party. Balion danced with the Princess all night. Accant asked Paul to dance with her. She was drinking and relaxed.

Vae talked with a Dwarven noble from Gathon who said that the Norther Clans had discovered a hidden castle deep within their mines. This had been the cause of the time skip. The Dwarves were afraid of it and we’re going to be auctioning off access to the highest bidder.

Fredrique chatted with everyone and Brad sang and played music. The party went on when Izadora spotted someone she seemed to know. Linna saw the two of then talking but could not hear what they were saying. Linna did notice that the old woman carried a staff with a carving of an eye that looked similar to the hair pin that Izadora was wearing. The old lady left and Linna followed her and asked her how she new the couple. The old woman admitted to being a party crasher and talked about how the couple looked really in love and their baby was adorable. She gave her name as Ol’Miss Ghenna. She was a crafts woman and sold her goods to be enchanted. Miss Ghenna told Linna to visit her shop in the town of Withering Birch inside the Disputed Zone. Linna offered to provide protection for the old woman but the lady took out a flying broom and said it was a gift from the leader of the town, Mistress Helaena, as payment for custom jewelry. Ol’Miss Ghenna said that it was rude that she had forgotten to bring a gift for the couple and promised Linna she would send them something nice.

Balion and the Princess had left the party without Accant noticing and took off into the woods. Balion stopped things before they got past PG-13 and they snuggled in the forest. The happy couple and the Prince’s group left and the party was slowing down.

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Book 3 Part 1
Wheels are Turning

The group (Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Linna, Mafalda, Necro, Paul Blackthorne, and Thwarg, Piler of the Dead)
began to depart Anaba and wished Eustace Wynreaver a fond farewell. Balion gave his father a Sending Stone so that they could stay in touch. As soon as the group entered the mountains they were confronted by the Githzarai Monk who had lost his sigil. He pointed at Necro and command him to give it back. Necro then turned Invisible and ran for the Labrynth. The group apologized for his actions but they had no idea how serious his theft had been. The group doubted they would see Necro again.

They then began traveling to the Bloodletter Hold through the Forest of Ash. On the way they encountered a Half Elf woman named Amara IxChel. She told the group she was headed to Gathon and asked if she could join them. They agreed. She told the group she had some training in magic. Some time in the night Amara left the campsite and went in to the woods. Paul attempted to follow her but lost her trail. He did see a fox with a scarred muzzle but Amara had returned to the campsite before Paul.

During the following night Mafalda was spotted by Linna and the Halfling said she had to leave and didn’t want to make a big deal of saying good bye. Mafalda said she might see them again someday.

The next day the party was ambushed by a red dragon and cultists from the Legion of Rusted Death. They survived it’s initial fiery assault and managed to kill it without losing any of their own.

They broke apart the corpse and traveled for several days to reach Blood Letter Hold. When they approached the saw a massive stone fortress surrounded by fields of rice. The area is often ravaged by massive storms that supply the water for the city. Balion was impressed with the engineering and civilization the Orcs had achieved. Once inside they met with Thak, Eater of Spleens, am ancient looking half orc and Thwarg’s father. He was also the battle-priest of the Broken Sword clan and an important figure in the worship of Grummsh. A feast was to be thrown in honor of the party killing the dragon. They also chose to have the dragon made in to a suit of armor for Thwarg.

The feast was attended by all of the Orc Khans including the Kagon, Grek, Trampler of Foes. The new Kahn of the Howling Wind clan had recently taken over after the death of his father. The heads of the human tribes were present and the Dwarven Battleragers were there as well. Three representatives from the Tel’En’Dril were there; Rivanor, Estellon Arthos, and his secretary Riginelle. Only one person, Berl, Warpriest of the Wolf Thorn clan talked with them for long. Rivenor performed and flirted with all after LInna didnt respond to his advances.

Seated next to Grek was Ranmo. He was taken prisoner by Grek and promised to serve as his advisor as long as Grek kept his promises. Ranmo has been influencing the orcs into becoming a more efficient and less destructive force. Some orcs had tried to assinate him but Grek and Thak prevented it. Ranmo did not seem to want people to attempt to trick Grek into freeing him.

At the end of the evening time skipped. Everything jumped ahead a second and Grek summoned his advisors to discuss what to do. Thwarg was invited to listen. Two oracles determined that whatever happened was centered in the Dwarven lands to the north. Balion contacted Eustace who said it was not felt in Anaba but all the entrances to the extra dimensional space would have to be recalibrated. With no way to look in to what had happened the Party decided to keep traveling through Queryndar before going to Gathon.

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