Gathon

Book 3 Part 13
Blackthorn Family Reunion

The group (Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Kaviri, Paul Blackthorne, Petra Clock, and Vae Victis Alastor) gathered at the fighting arena to lay a trap for Phil Blackthorne. Linna and Amara IxChel had gone to lunch with a mutual friend but never showed up for the fight. The team had the assistance of the Candleboys as well as Reeta Rae Sorrow and Peter Clark. The plan was to have Phil come to claim the Diary of Adrie Carver and kill him. The candle boys acted as lookouts and sealed the doors as soon as they knew Phil was inside.

Just before Phil was supposed to show there was a commotion as a shadowy dragon attacked a distant part of the city. The group did not let themselves be distracted.

A bird flew in, probably Phil’s familiar, and looked around but the team had hidden themselves well. Phil asked that everyone else leave the place and Peter Clark moved towards the door. Phil appeared directly in front of Paul, who was disguised as Petra. Phil picked up the book not knowing that Kaviri had torn out any pages talking about Void Hallow or Lord Moonfire. Paul attacked but Phil was prepared for a trap. He had brought along several hidden Shadow Mastiffs. Their howls brought fear to Kaviri and Vae.
Phil tried to teleport out but the arena had be secured against teleportation magic when it was built. Vae countered Phil’s spells while the rest of the team tried to kill the Mastiffs and pin Phil down. Rita was mauled but was saved by Vae’s familiar and Balion’s empowered sword. Izadora kept everyone’s spirits up and Kaviri kept at Phil’s heels. Paul, Isadora, Balion, and Petra had their hands full fighting off the near invisible dogs.
Phil eventually got some spells going and summoned a fire elemental that started lighting people and equipment on fire. Kaviri managed to entangled Phil and Paul took him out. Petra yelled at the unconscious Phil about enspelling her mother and delivered the killing blow.
Phil had some loot on him including his Cloak of the Manta Ray, a war wand, a stone of good luck, his vest of useful items, and an Amulet against Monday Reading.

The group found that the Mastiffs had killed three of the Candleboys. They paid for their burials as well as burying Phil’s body in an unmarked grave. They threw Phil’s head into the river to prevent his revival. Peter said that the group should probably the docks because of the damage to the arena. They headed back to the The Duckling’s Ghost.

The next morning Alisa Helene Gathon and Accant we’re waiting for the group. Alisa was mad that they had kept her out of the action. Accant said nothing. Balion stumbled his way through the argument. Alisa said that several homes and businesses had burned last night by the shadowy illusion of a dragon. Paul believes that Phil used an associate to distract the King’s Guard and make it easier to get in and out of the city. Alisa left angry.

Balion remembered that the group had planned on going to Withering Birch in the Disputed Zone and thought they should stop there on their way to Vorr Rakoth to complete the King’s quest. Isadora said that they should be able to find some help on Withering Birch, claiming an old friend lived there. Balion wanted to know more but Isadora deflected. Balion wanted to ask Linna what she knew of the place.

The group went to supply at Meekus Keep in Perkisville. Soon after they left town they were met by a member of the King’s Elite who handed them a file on Vorr Rathok and told them a little about the place. He then introduced them to the person the King was sending with them to remove the void hallow. It was a seven foot tall being made out of blood red crystals with flecks of silver and gold inside. It was the being from the King’s Painting. It psychically asked them for a name and the group settled on Stoney. The being commented that the diminutive name was being used to offset his otherness. He told them he would not be able to assist them unless it was to remove any infection from the Far Realm. The King had given him strict orders on this. The being adopted the guise of a very generic human, with unremarkable features. The party then set off for Perkisville.

Goals:
The King’s Quest
-Escort Stoney to the Demon Forge in Vorr Rathok to remove the Void Crystal.
-Read the file.

Mysteries of Withering Birch
-?

Various Personal Goals.
Things

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Book 3 Part 12
A Dead Woman's Diary

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In the wake of the discovery of the true purpose of the The Committee, the party retired to The Duckling’s Ghost. They prepared for their meeting with Rogal Gathon the next day. Vae Victis Alastor was worried it might be some kind of set up, but his fears were alleviated by an Augury spell. Petra Clock took a moment to tell Paul Blackthorne about the request she had received from Phil Blackthorne. Phil had requested Petra try and find the journal of Adrie Carver and had supplied her with a magical price of paper that allowed them to communicate in short messages. Amara IxChel had gone for a morning walk while Balion Vicarson shined his armor. Linna and Izadora Smith made sure the group looked presentable. Kaviri was not around and had not come back to the Inn during the previous night.

The party entered the castle and wre shown to a waiting area. Accant brought them in to a room to meet with the Princess Alisa Helene Gathon. Alisa said she had not seen her father in several months and did not know what he might ask of them.

The group was brought in to the Throne room. It was richly decorated with tapestries and paintings, however none showed any military scenes. The room was extremely large and well guarded. Amara noticed a slight shimmer of magic where an invisible wall of force separated the group from the king. King Rogal Gathon was an older looking man with a meduim white beard and dark grey hair. He addressed the group and asked them to help him recitfy one mistake of his youth.

The King told them of his travels to a placed called the Demon Forge of Vorr Rakoth. There he used a large amount of Void Hallow to seal an interdimentional Breach. He now felt that his actions left too much of a dangerous substance in the world and failed to solve the problem. The King wanted the party to take a month and prepare themselves for the dangerous journey before going to the city and closing the Demon Forge forever. He would send along an ally that would assist them in removing the void hallow.

Vorr Rakoth had been a Tiefling kingdom before the Demon Wars. The city was ruined when the ruler became a lich and unleased a horde of Devils to defeat an invasion of Dragonborn. The city quickly tore itself apart, leaving the Dragonborn defeated and the city a haunted ruin. King Rogal told the party that the Queen still ruled there and she might negotiate, but the entire city was full of dangers. It would take them at least two months to get there, but they would be able to return to Gathon instantly once they had completed their task.

In return King Rogal said that Eustace Wynreaver, who had been exiled while the King still reigned, would be permitted to return to Gathon. The party took him up on the offer. The King told them not to tell anyone and that he would be sending then more information about the city in a few days.

The team left. Vae took off to meet with some contacts while the rest met with Paul to figure out how to proceed with Phil. Paul had Petra respond to Phil and get the addresses to be searched. The first was a tennement full of Wererats. Izadora turned them against each other with the Pipes of the Sewer. The second was a dorm room at the Tower of Magicks. A young woman named Valuminati told them the book wasn’t there. After they looked, it turned out she was correct. The third was a newly upscale row home where a dwarven family lived.

In order to search the house, Vae, Amara, and Petra turned invisible while Balion and Izadora pretended to be asking about the neighborhood. The dwarf suggested they name their potential bakery “Hearthscone”. Linna turned into a cat and lured the family dog out of the house. Chaos ensued. Amara eventually found the book while Petra bumped into the mother and Vae fell out of the second story window.

Once they had the book, they read Adrie’s life story up to the point where she met Jesmel Roan. Adrie grew up near Yakshaw without a father. She eventually discovered her father was Lord Moonfire. She found a source of Void Hallow in a nearby mine. While she was harvesting it Lord Moonfire confronted her. She accidentally killed him and fled the mine. She made his body easy to find (and eventually his blade made it back to Lady Moonfire and into the hands of Ranmo). She had a power source but did not know how to use it.

The party wondered if there was more void hallow at the mine and if they should do anything about it. They also started thinking about how they would use the diary to trap Phil.

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

The King’s Quest
—Learn more about Vorr Rakoth

Things to Remember:
-Elf Dreams
-Withering Birch
-The Committee
-Various personal goals

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Book 3 Part 11
You think long, you think wrong.

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The group, (Amara IxChel, Balion Vicarson, Izadora Smith, Kaviri, Linna, Paul Blackthorne, Petra Clock, and Vae Victis Alastor) were assembled at an old warehouse for Petra’s latest match against Reeta Rae Sorrow, a Tiefling monk. The fight was almost a loss but Izodora gave Petra the edge she needed to win.

After the fight an older, elegant black woman demanded to see Petra, it was Hanna-Marie Yakshaw, Paula’s mother. She did not recognize Paul, as he was disguised. Hanna said that Phil Blackthorne had asked her to come to Gathon and deliver a package to Paula. Phil wanted Paula’s help and was offering to pay her to look for Adrie Carver’s diary. The package had a piece of paper able to transmit 25 words once a day. Paula told her about The Duckling’s Ghost and agreed to lunch the next day.

The group collected their winning and spent the night drinking and thinking about how to infiltrate The Committee. Several plans were hatched. Linna would spy on the meeting in animal form while Vae would disguise himself as one of the senators, Senator Forrester Huntington, who Paul and Kaviri would secretly blackmail into skipping the meeting. Amara would seduce another member of the Committee, Senator Hennar Tond to see if they could gain information that way. Balion and Izadora would go to the Senate to see if they could read the thoughts of the senators.

In the morbing, the Balion and Isadora set out, after seeing Linna at the inn. They met with Senator Arson Perkis and found him to be a good man but unable to land them meetings with anyone on the Committee. They made a scene in the hallways of the Senate but found that none of the Committee members were able to be read by Isadora’s spells. Bartle Bronzeale was there and asked if Suzan made it to Anaba. He was unwilling to represent the group.

Kaviri and Paul slipped a note under the door of Senator Huntington indicating they knew of his dalliances and demanded a meeting at the Temple of Erathis. A few hours later the Senator and an assistant showed up at the door. Having assume the Senator would show up alone, Paul had Kaviri knock out the assistant. The Senator ran but Kaviri entangled him in a spell. Paul felt someone in his mind and knocked the Senator unconscious. The Senator was bleeding grey blood. They shoved the Senator into a bag of holding and brought him to a nearby safehouse Paul knew. Later, Kaviri went back for the assistant who was carrying a few wands and a spell book.

Slightly panicking, the pair called in Isadora and Linna. None of them could figure out what the Senator was. When Isadora tried to read his mind she found herself in a battle of will and was psychically ejected. Kaviri killed the Senator who reverted into a Doppleganger.

The four of them figured out that the assistant was a wizard who was likely sent to erase the blackmailers’ minds. The actual Senator was still at home and the group did not know what to do. They called in Vae who disarmed some traps on the wizard’s gear. He told Septimus who said he would take care of the bodies. Vae received a limited use Cape of the Montebank to help him escape situations.

They got a message to Amara who had successfully ensorcelled her way into Senator Tond’s bedchambers and asked her to make sure he was out of town tomorrow. Amara made short work of it and uncovered an encrypted message that turned out to be a contact sheet for the Committee.

Vae posed as Senator Tond for the next meeting. Linna was in the walls, Kaviri was covering the window, and Balion and Isadora sat at a nearby cafe. Vae made it past the security personnel and even managed to survive some small talk. Before the meeting began, Senator Biron Salazit gathered everyone to the table and informed them that Senator Huntington will not be joining them. He then passed around a sheet of paper for everyone to sign their name. The paper had been enchanted and Vae was unable to forge a signature. Senator Salazit cleared the room except for security and Vae. He asked Vae if Senator Tond was still alive. Senator Salazit cast a spell and said he was relieved that Tond was not killed and asked if Vae would ask Balion to join them. Vae used his cloak and disappeared from the room.
Senator Salazit stepped outside but could not spot Balion. Eventually Balion, Paul, and Izadora came in and sat down with the Senator.

The Senator impressed upon Balion that it would be incredibly dangerous to continue to harass the Committee or to speak of it to anyone. Salazit said that the purpose of the Committee was to plan for every calamity that might lead to the fall of Gathon, including preparing for the death of the King. The late Senator Divern Marnel was a far more aggressive leader and might have plotting against the King, but the Committee did not seek to unseat the King but to minimize the chaos that would follow. Salazit said he was not a monster but would become one if it meant keeping Gathon safe. He brought up the risks of the Dragonborn or a unified force of Elves invading the kingdom. He also implied that the Clockwork States might seek to leave the nation if they tired of Rogal Gathon. He also said that the lines of Succession we’re not clear, as there had only ever been one king, and that some would seek to disrupt it.

After the three adventurers left, Linna remained behind still undetected. She witnessed Senator Salazit take a few private minutes to gather his thoughts before he left.

Balion was conflicted about being manipulated and controlled without his knowledge. He wished there was a monster he could kill. It was clear that the Committee was dangerous but they were not invincible. They believed in the stability of Gathon, but do they have the right to act?

The next day, Blion had a meeting with Rogal Gathon in person. He was instructed that he may bring anyone he trusted. When he arrived the king announced, “Balion Wynreaver! I have a question for you.”

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

-The Committee
Options:
—Fallout from incidents.

-The King’s Quest

Things to Remember:
-Elf Dreams?
-Withering Birch?
-Various personal goals.

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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 dumb but 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. They asked if 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 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 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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