DGA5.03: Many unique opportunities

The Characters for this session:

Cat, lvl 5 Warlock – dressed in city clothes, a smiling charlatan;
Vir, lvl 5 ranger – dressed in outdoor gear, not pretending to be anything other than a ranger;
Seck, lvl 5 rogue – dressed mainly in full war leathers, uncomfortable in city; and
Phoenix, lvl 5 barbarian – dressed in town clothes, currently on bail, trying to make a good impression

Remarkably intact

Upstairs Seck has a proper search of the cabinet drawers by the dartboard, and finds hidden in a compartment, a beautifully-incised throwknife shaped like a hummingbird. He slips it into one of his sheaths. The strongroom resists his best efforts [DC23 including his tools] so that’s encouraging – once they find a key!

Downstairs, the four check the rooms. The bedroom is badly damaged by inblown rain and dirt, but an unlocked foot-locker proves to have a very nice shortsword wrapped in dirty cloths. Phoenix swaps Vir’s spare out for it.

They continue their exploration into less-lit areas. They wisely leave the foul-smelling pantry closed and focus on the other end, eventually forcing open a study door and finding the strongroom key, scorched but unwarped, under the ashes in a fireplace. Time to go upstairs and open ‘er up – and never mind the old lady’s ghost that is becoming more visible as the sun lowers!

Back to the Ducal Crown with goodies

As the sun sinks, the four Long Roaders head back to the Ducal Crown. Cat has tucked away some papers from the front room, Seck still has the fancy throwknife, Phoenix has the fancy shortsword. They add to the list of interesting items:

  • Pewter utensil and cutlery set
  • Strongroom key
  • Statuary, as new, decorative
  • Fountain, as new, decorative
  • Paintings, various, expensively framed and of good quality
  • Couple of vaguely interesting books

Cat is carrying a third book, which describes how to make money from trading. And has has tucked away the sheaf of papers from the front room.

At the Ducal Crown, Romlut warns Vir that a town watch guard is looking for… him? Them? Vir excuses the matter publicly by mentioning the morning’s tragic incident.

And speaking of that, Romlut gives Phoenix a note for someone else to read. Bailiff Rooksleigh writes that New Town constable Aleena Ironsky invites Phoenix to a preliminary hearing at 9am tomorrow morning. Cat offers to go with, because he can then go on to the hospice.

Romlut has still more news:

A private room comes with an eerie supplicant

Tack Zayne, scarred from old combats, red-glinting eyes, black garbed, has booked a private room for them. He reveals a certain sigil, later identified as Asmodeus’ symbol. His offer: let’s work together against those that seek to undermine the One True Faith. His organisation, currently outside it, would like to shelter under it.

This is a future-based offer. If they are interested, his people will be in touch to help them, maybe in a big way.

What specifically would they be jointly working against? Unclear – he actually says, “good, bad, they are words that can be used in different ways by propagandists.”

Cat, who does the talking, looks around, and gives a yeah, we’re vaguely interested, until things get specific, kind of answer. Tack seems not to have expected more, and leaves.

Kaleb the kindly parish priest

Dinner over, the comrades book three more nights – Cat bespeaks the original room he had – and head south to the home of father Kaleb Broadwise, the halfling priest who performs Lesser Restoration at the hospice.

Father Kaleb (aside from an accent malfunction across the Irish Sea, which threatens to undermine the talk, like the Real IRA, at any moment) seems to be a sturdy and wholesome devotee of Saint Yondalla. He accepts Cat’s warming-gift of a bottle of finest Uncle Cobbly’s and concludes a bargain whereby the Long Roaders will do their best to sort out the leper-sewer issue and Kaleb will do his best to sort out the old-lady-ghost issue.

Kaleb adds a couple of rumors to the pile: perhaps one reason for the warehouse standing empty is something to do with the Gripper, an unidentified mass murderer still at large perhaps, who broke victims’ necks. And perhaps one reason for the lepers squatting is a mythically large Filth Lizard in the sewer – normal lizards feeding off the muck in the sewers merely grow to giant rat size.

The honor of Lord Vorn Jackalham

But even before that, the Long Roaders have accepted an invitation from Lord Vorn Jackalham, who lives across The Close – well-patrolled, fragrant with blossom, favored amble of local beauties – from the temple, not far from the priest’s house. Lord Vorn, blond, blue-eyed, fair of mien, is stylishly fashionable in a damn-your-eyes way.

His daughter Sarissa was gambled away at Kellerin’s Rumble last year. He offers a reward of 6,000 gold coins, and agrees – as a matter of verbal contract – to raise an 800 gold coin stake, for the Long Roaders to steal her away from Kellerin’s where, he understands, she lives a servant’s life.

He has had “his people” mapping the sewers and now hands over a fair plan-type map, with an entry point from his grounds and the cesspool under the Kellerin mansion shown. His idea is that the four should divide efforts, some attempting to sneak in from below while some innocently engage in gambling.

So nasty but still…

Since they are near the Adventurers Guild – just east of the priest’s – Cat calls in. He skips easily up the pitch-dark stair to the guild door, and there his Devil’s Sight gives out, since some light comes from beyond. Meanwhile Vir – who has been diverted by speaking to ex-soldier Kirby, great maul wielder, recommends the city as a retirement spot – catches up and guides the other pair up.

Gorgeous blonde Helena is still at reception and on her way to being very drunk. She looks at Cat as though he is either a speck of dust or a bug… but when she recognizes Seck, a whole ‘nother range of scorn registers.

However, Cat’s easy politeness moves her to pull up a ledger and the Long Roaders are registered as available to take quests. Another thread easily dealt with!

Hellri needs a look at the books

Two thieves guild members have waited respectfully until after that piece of business, and now invite Seck of the Long Roaders to speak with Hellri.

All of the others trail after them.

The meeting is not at the thieves guild, but in one of a pair of southern-wall warehouses just west of Kaleb’s. A dim-lit warehouse. Seven men stand in a semi-circle behind a thick-bodied woman seated at a lone desk, brawny arms propped on it.

Cat and Vir can see, off in an unlit corner, a guild mage, watching for trouble.

Hellri, if that is who she is – no introductions – offers a fine jewelled necklace, and a “discount” on protection money for the warehouse, if Seck can get Kellerin’s gaming books out to them. No result, no reward.

A bit of prioritisation: Thread-count

Up in Cat’s current room the four sort out remaining offers and possibilities:

  1. Kaleb and Oskar want the leprosy curse investigated
  2. Aleena Ironsky expects Phoenix at a hearing tomorrow
  3. Lord Vorn Jackalham’s daughter needs rescuing from Kellerin’s
  4. Hellri’s Shades want Kellerin’s gaming books
  5. Karnet of the Inquisition expects to be kept informed of the group’s movements
  6. Delan, urchin of the temple, wants a boo’ful lady rescued from Kellerin’s

Phoenix’ personal demon

At this point, before the four part for the night, Phoenix reveals that his father destroyed his family through drinking, and he fears that his own future will be cursed the same way.

The others are supportive. Vir explains to the other two that this is why he generally minded Phoenix’ money, until lately.

They break up. Vir and Cat remain in Cat’s room, chatting about ancient history in the elven tongue. And Phoenix arranges for a big can of wine to be sent up to his room.

Istishia versus…?

Seck is puzzled to learn that young Caltrop wants him to come down the yard tomorrow, early. It seems that, indirectly, the urchin community has caused some alarm. A priest of the temple named Lot Blackburn asks Seck to abandon the quest that Seck is only dimly aware of being the final point on the list: the rescue of the boo’ful lady.

He invites Seck to lend his muscle in the morning confrontation. He and other devotees of St Istishia are being set upon by rivals, though why they should is beyond him.

It clashes with Phoenix’ hearing time, but Seck doesn’t need to be present for that. He informs the others and heads out for a vigorous few minutes of brawling.

The two men Seck pitches into the river call on “Sebek.”

Seck learns that the Broken Barrel allows the Istishia faithful to use its access steps. But he heads along the quay, up the bridge steps and over it, east to find the others.

The hearing

Phoenix Cat and Vir are already at the White Inn and inside the Helm, where magistrate Harburk Tuthmarillar has his hearing set up.

Constable Aleena is flustered at meeting the famed Long Roaders but nerves herself and asks to speak to them after the hearing.

The facts of the incident are retailed with little embroidery – for it is but a day since – and Phoenix adds his account, including the shock or surprise Grindol seemed to have at the deed.

Grindol had been living at Nightwall Farm for the past two months. It is hard by the hospice, and has a bad reputation – which is why it had been vacant. He was a loner, doing minor carpentry jobs.

Phoenix’ eloquence has not gone unnoticed. Girls admire him, giggling and whispering. They seem to be daughters of the house, perhaps of Coaster extraction themselves.

Aleena’s request, and old tales

Aleena seems to have got the job as Constable based on her outgoing personality and keenness to see law and order. Her ambition is to be like marshal Adelina, the only female marshal of the Inquisition. Based on the Long Roader’s exploits and good standing, she asks them to investigate.

She leads them over to the hospice, which takes them past Nightwall Farm. The farm cottage is set within a walled compound, the wall good enough to keep stock in or out, but easily scalable by a fit man. The gate seems to be unlocked.

By lucky chance or because he had been talking to them yesterday evening, Kaleb is visiting with Oskar at the hospice. They confirm the curse problem is only about two or perhaps three months old. As for the original owner of Nightwall Farm next door, it’s all a bit before their time. It goes back a good ten years or more, when the New Town was established.

In quest of someone that knows more about the background of Nightwall Farm Oskar brings them over to old Lise Buckthorn’s. She lives back off the main road. Lise seems adrift on current events, and deeply troubled by her husband’s disappearance years since. But she does more or less explain that a scion of one of Mooregate’s noble houses helped set up the New Town and hospice and had Nightwall built too, for his own home. He was researching something to do with a lost saint. Her husband – who managed the farm for the scion – held the farm deed, but it disappeared with him. The noble scion’s name eludes her, and like other people that go back that far she simply calls him Nightwall.

And as the five walk back towards Nightwall Farm Vir notices something, but the session ends before we learn what it is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s