Campaign of the Month: January 2008

A Deadly Affair

Assassins!
Tangling the Paths

Conducting business with Dr. Joker and Mr. Hyena (Lem)

Lem has taken new – and debatably low – measures towards his goal of acquiring gnomish technology. Having learned from LiAndra Vale that a gnomish artifact exists within the city, he’s enlisted the aid of the University’s alchemist – more specifically, the alchemist’s alter ego – to help find it. Having paid for a lead as to the owners whereabouts, Lem had the alchemist use his network of disreputable contacts to investigate it (and get the money back Lem paid for the lead).

Panic in the Street

Before noon, all the city bells started to ring, crowds formed, and City Watch and Falcon Knights were seen dashing about the city. With a few pointed questions, interested characters discovered that Prince Dareon had been assassinated!

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Matters of Succession
Vying for the Throne of Archos

With the Sheriff

Dean Monsoon sought an audience with the Sheriff of Pact to use his office to exact revenge on Dalara (for striking at him when he followed and mocked her after Jeuran and Ethneel’s party). He signed a sworn statement saying he had seen his sister and others as slaves inside her family’s compound. The (slightly tipsy) Dwarven sheriff was excited about the accolades he’d win if he rescued the daughter of a duke, so he immediately sent to the King for permission to search the compound. To keep his witness safe, he set four of the City Watch to guard Dean until the matter is resolved.

In the Fifth Keep

After his 100th birthday celebration was concluded, King Denar II called a meeting of his Grand Council – including the 8 dukes, representatives from the religion of the Nord, the Church of the Trinity, and the Church of the Flame, ambassadors from the Dwarven Free Cities, from a few of the Troll Nations, and from the Elven nations of Ethiel and New Andar, and finally the heads of his Inquisition and his Blue Falcon Knights. LiAndra Vale represented the Nord’s Church of Eitne, Nesiba Carbinian represented the Nord’s Church of Shima, and Dalara represented her family’s interests from Ethiel.

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LiAndra's Meanderings
This is getting complicated.

Eitne is being as vague as ever and I have still not been able to earn passage into the Libraries. There are days when I grow very impatient with the world around me. It doesn’t seem to care about the whims of my Goddess. Sad for them; frustrating for me.

Nessie’s mentor from the temple is dead, but I’m sure she’ll get into that. That death would be what allowed Eitne to show me more. (Not that I’ve been able to figure out so far what any of the vision meant).

Drealig Crowsfist, who I spotted talking with and probably making a deal with Prince Siddiq al-Hazra, came to my cell recently. He offered to help me get more clear visions by form of ritual in return for helping him get Prince al-Hazra’s son chosen the King’s successor by vision or lie.

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Getting to Know You
Still don't really know all that much about you, though.

Cities always make me nervous – for about the first ten minutes. It’s an adjustment period, those ten minutes, of coming away from the quiet serenity of the monastery. I have spent almost equal time in my life between cities and the plains, both of which have made me who I am.

Pact is no different from any city, except, perhaps, that it’s bigger. There are cutpurses lurking around every corner, shops filled with shiny things that I can’t help but wish I could examine more closely, and there are buildings taller than anything but the mountains.

I step off the boat and let Basil stretch his legs (and I think, for his own amusement, he is stretching his jaws, too) while I help Clarke get the cask off of the ship. It is the oldest and finest wine, casked in the year of the kings’ birth, brought here as his birthday gift.

A half-elf walks towards me with what looks like confused intent. She introduces herself as an oracle, and says that she’s supposed to meet me. Oracles are the oddest sort – they always have to do things, and it eeks me a little to imagine that little of free will. She says she saw me in her dreams, and as much as I understand spiritual journeys, I decide that we can spend a little time together, but one step wrong and Basil will have a bite.

We wander through the city heading to our respective locations (after I bought a GOOD map), until I tell her about the Tower of the Archmage, where the University is, since it’s too far for her to see. The sight of it next to the Keep is beautiful, but she seems distracted with the idea of going into the tower – specifically the roof. I tell her I’ll take her there later.

I drop off Clarke, the cask, and my good welcome to the church, then met back up with the oracle. She walks into the place without a trouble, but I guess a tiger and a druid walking into a wizard’s house is a little unusual, so the guards pulled me aside. They asked me about fixing a door, and there was a fair bit of confusion over what kind of druid I was, but when I told them I was with the oracle, they let me through.

Has anyone ever said that there are too many steps in places with mages? Because there are. Billions of steps, and even my strength wasn’t enough to keep me going without some breaks. In their observatory, a few of the “mages” told us about the door – how there had been an alchemical explosion that ruined the door and destroyed their store. We ask about getting to the roof, and it turns out we need “staff” to get us there. The oracle decides we should keep walking up anyway, so we do. For a while. And then, I give up and decide to go back down to look at the results of the explosion.

Partway down, I see a shiny thing off the stairs that grabs my attention – some sort of magical elevator with halfling and a human in it. I grab their attention and ask if we can use the elevator to go up to the roof. The halfling agrees, so long as we do some work for him helping restore their inventory that got knocked around by the explosion. It affords me a chance to investigate, so I agree without hesitation, and we go get the oracle.

So after all this trouble, we finally get to the roof – the windy awful roof – and after a little bit, it turns out that we’re there at the wrong time to fulfill the oracle’s vision.

I guess we’ll try again tomorrow.

-Nessie

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Rich and Evil

Now don’t you wish you joined team Murra now!

  • RAH RAH, MURRA MURRA!!
  • POWER, MONEY, EVIL SECRETS!!
  • SNEAKY, SNEAKY, POWER GRAB!!
  • WE’RE OBLIVIOUS TO ANY THREATS AGAISN’T US AND WE’RE SURE WHAT HAPPENED TO MANY OF OUR OTHER RELATIVES WE’RE WAY TOO SMART TO FALL FOR!! YEAH!

What a fun night, sneaking around and deceiving the “smart” Inquisitors. I didn’t even have to enact my little master plan. I just broke on in using the weak willed guards. When will you humans ever learn not to let evil imps inside your mind?

I wonder how long it’ll take before the blasted inquisitors start snooping around for their books? They stole them anyway? Does a thief ever own anything?

I am disappointed that we’re not cascading down there and seizing the seat of power. I’m sure The Duke have that well in hand. Maybe I’ll stick around with you mortals for a while, its kind of fun sometimes…

Hopefully, I’ll get down there and scout around a little bit. Or maybe see what Mannpurtz is up to, I hear she disappeared in a hurry.


Those bastards. The starlets of the city were interfering with the plans laid, at this point, for Ursula. As beneficial as her dealings with Prince Imazzar were, they were deals – business, simple as that. He had obtained the brothel of ladies she needed for Far Point to stop the rapes (for the time being), but then asked for monetary assistance to finish building his playhouse. This was all well and good, putting him in her debt – pocketed, even – but still, Maurissen would probably explode. Possibly turn her to stone.

This? Not a beneficial dealing.

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Fighting Back
Destroying the Artificer and Sealing Alliances
  • The Deputy Commander of the Blue Falcons traced the Iron Golem’s components to a master blacksmith, and found out who he made them for. This information leads to the Pit’Hai’s lair in the ruins of an old dungeon accessed through the sewers. The characters defeat the Pit’Hai and his remaining constructs with some help from an Inquisitor.
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Tribulations
War Comes to Pact

The Usual Obstacles (Maurissen Blacktooth – Mousetrap)

Truly none of Maurissen’s new complications were unforseen. She had always thought of Prince Imazzar as a threat, but a vague one. Now it was real. He had stolen her idea for a performance hall, and the worst part was that he was most likely doing it just to see if he could. This was the only fact that angered her. It wasn’t the money, or the fame, it was a whim. Of course, it could be because he isn’t finished ruining her partner’s career…

More of the Same (Gräfin Ursula Mannpurtz – BrieCS)

The city of Pact is filled with people. This is not always the best of things.

Ursula has filled her time visiting with Damien and making arrangements to have a lighthouse built on the coast of Farpoint, and adding to her collection of magical protections and weapons – including bracers enchanted with the Body of the Sun spell, a fantastic enchantment that lit her body with blue fire to damage only those opposing her. She has investigated the possibility of bringing more residents to Far Point, in many different stations. At the most recent evening’s court, she announced she would be opening her gates to vassals to work the land, in the typical arrangement. She has also been speaking to the churches nearby to bring them there.

Patterns of Frustration (Terasian Goldbraid – jimtheduckie)

Things were going so well. Terasian was hiring people he felt were competent enough to perform the jobs he wanted, the building was actually starting to look like an establishment fitting of someone of his presence, and people were gobbling up Mannpurtz‘s Stock (he can’t remember the last time so many people parted with such large sums so willingly). He should have known a collapse was coming. It was exactly the same as in Blackwash. Things were going so well, then suddenly he’d be forced to evacuate the city and throw away all the hard work he had put in.

Old Enemies (Gräfin Ursula Mannpurtz – BrieCS)

Earlier in the day, before the announcement, she had spoken to Elren Goodsoul, who had some unnerving news for her. He had, that very day, spoken to Kenaz the Wolf, the cold follower of Norric whom she had beaten and humiliated in a tournament in Blackwash.

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Staving Off Doom
The First Skirmishes of the War
  • Skarth of Gristuk and the Deputy Commander Gregory Tollek of the Blue Falcons track down and kill another of the Pit’Hai stow-aways.
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Developments
Preparing for the Inevitable

Ritual of Transformation (Terasian Goldbraid – jimtheduckie)

The process Drealig Crowsfist performed on Ter was a time-consuming one, but hopefully the benefits would be worth the time lost. He agreed to stay at the Dome of Dreams, though against the dwarf’s recommendation, he still left the confines masked from time to time. Almost immediately his skin began to darken, or rather turn gray. His eyes lost their blue and his hair also began to fade, almost whitening. He also noticed something of a sensitivity to light. This last bit irked the elf, though only slightly. Humans tended to work most in the light, but proper business was conducted within the confines of 4 walls and a roof. If the sensitivity got any worse, he thought, he may have to get shaded glass to put over the eyes of his mask. He also sensed a new magical element raising in his essence. He swore that the lights actually dimmed when he asked them to the first day of the ritual, but he couldn’t figure out how to do it again.

Waking Nightmares (Gräfin Ursula Mannpurtz – BrieCS)

One night, Ursula felt a tugging in her mind, but pushed it away. The next morning she departed in the direction of the Dreamseekers’ Dome of Dreams to ask Old Brother Tzertan of the issue, and met Maurissen Blacktooth on the way. They did not discuss their experiences, but when they reached the Dome, before she could meet with the Brother, she saw an unpleasantly familiar face – that of the black dwarf who had been in service of the Duke of Blackwash before his death. She ran after him, crashing through a door and pinning him to the ground, demanding his reason for being there. While scanning the room, she saw Elren, now with greyish hair and eyes – something very startling.

Complications (Terasian Goldbraid – jimtheduckie)

It was on the second day of his transformation that something went… wrong. The ritual continued to prove successful, and the dwarf left to consult a few books for a moment, leaving Ter in the room alone. Shortly after he had returned however, Ursula burst down the door, knocked Drealig to the ground and trampling him underfoot. Raising her hammer over her head, she was screaming, asking why he was there, and threatening him. Ter, thinking the half-giant oaf had finally gone Coo-coo mad, considered preparing for a fight, and instead did what he did best – run and hide. Maurissen coaxed him out eventually, and deciding he was out of dangers way for another day, he returned to the ritual room.

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Nightmares
The Coming Enemy

Profiting from Pain (Terasian Goldbraid – jimtheduckie)

Though inexperienced in information brokerage, the concept seemed completely plausible to Terasian Goldbraid. I know something, you don’t, but you want to. So you pay me money and I give you what I know. Unfortunately the implementation didn’t match the theory. After traveling with the Andari pair to New Rellien, Ter found himself giving too much info in an attempt to win the trust of the royal representatives. Without any follow up information, he was only able to make a shaky agreement that further information may receive compensation. In fact, the only saving grace of the whole discussion came when asked why an Elf would withhold information that the safety of the country depends on, Ter responded by asking why the royals would withhold the true nature of the Seeds of Life and what had become of one.

Prior to leaving the city however, he got more information on his Dreamer’s Draught. Learning it comes from the Hin, he tracked down a few Hin travelers, and took steps to further place himself at the source of the potentially profitable substance.

Noble Pursuits (Gräfin Ursula Mannpurtz – BrieCS)

As the weeks progressed, Ursula began a search for the Pit’Hai while attempting to work on many other things, including an agreement with Elren concerning investments in her land at Far Point. The endeavor makes her uncomfortable, but she’s trying to see the benefits in it, and his proposal was convincing. Any benefit to Far Point, for her, is important. As time passed, the scholars at the University presented her with useful information concerning the coming of the Elves to this world – and as time passed and councils were held at the court and discussion with Old Brother Tzertan, more information was gained – including the existence of a Seed of Destruction and the existence of a Dream Key that the Pit’Hai were trying to locate. This was the same key that was once used by gnomes to open portals to allow hellish monsters to invade the city of Leis. It was also revealed that there are multiple Keys.

The Terror of Certainty (Terasian Goldbraid – jimtheduckie)

Back in Pact Ter attended a court discussion on the potential meanings of the Eclipse. It was there that he learned not only were the Pit’hai coming, but they were using the dreaming to do it, and had a large staging area in the dreaming at the ancient capital of Leistos. He resolved to store away as much information as possible and attempt to broker it one more time.

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