Campaign of the Month: January 2008

A Deadly Affair

Knowledge is Power
Power has a price

Successfully discovering the means to build gnomish muskets, Lem sought out the Sheriff of the City Watch in order to secure a massive defense contract. After a few demonstrations and exaggerations, Lem managed to convince the Sheriff to sign a trial period contract and pay 11,000 gold pieces for 10 muskets with 10 shots each. Thankfully, Lem’s Archon remains helpful and gave Lem the approval to construct an assembly line to handle the orders for muskets.

And then a visit from LiAndra Vale provided Lem with something he had not counted on: a chance for Lordship. Asked to escort LiAndra to the Grand Theater, Lem met Fara Chukulka, who agreed to purchase some muskets. Known more for his access to hidden knowledge than his wealth, Lem asked to know the location of Prince Dareon’s soul.

And he got an answer – somewhere in House Deepwell. Learning from Fara that the king had offered both 50,000 gold pieces and the title of Lord to whomever could provide the location of his son’s soul, Lem easily conceded to Fara’s request of 35 muskets. Though he had to submit to a geas-like contract to ensure he would provide the muskets, Lem didn’t care much, as LiAndra assured him all the inhabitants of the Grand Theater, specifically Fara, would most likely be killed by the Inquisitors shortly after their visit. As an insurance policy, Lem rigged the musket he left with Fara to backfire.

Nessie

What a test! Trying to figure out what was going on with the succession has been a nightmare. My suspicions were correct, though – Prince Denar: Oathbreaker and the Church of the Trinity not only conspired to kill Prince Dareon – rightful heir and right prick – but also are building up their army to usurp the throne. Thanks to LiAndra’s prophesy, I felt justified. With that information, I took LiAndra and went to the Queen with what we had. We knew the evidence rested in the underground theatre with Fara that we were supposed to infiltrate to drop off an idol that would permit the Inquisitors access, but had to get Danar in custody as soon as possible.

So, I requested an audience with the Queen, and handily enough managed to speak to her, and the King, and Turncrank, and Prince Danar himself. I admit, that made things a little more difficult. However, I spilled the beans like a farmer hit by lightning. I am pretty sure that Danar would be happy with me dead, but after I explained things, the King had Danar removed from the city, and we were sent to take care of Fara. Not before we offered the King the Phoenix blood – which he, in no surprise to me, refused. He’s awesome like that.

LiAndra went with Lem to see Fara, and I ran into Dean. No surprise to me, he was in a bundle of trouble. He’d somehow gotten gaesed by the Church of the Trinity to stay in the city and in the only benefit to me, he knew Prince Denar was bringing people into the city and still putting a force together. I took him to see Inquisitor Greenbeard, and with a little bit of magic on Greenbeard’s part, got the truth out of him – well, as much truth as I think he’s capable of. He still kept resisting and I swear, he made me so frustrated that I’m pretty sure I threatened to kill him in front of the Inquisitor. That kid is going to get himself killed purely out of being annoying. By someone. Potentially me.

Nonetheless, we are going to stop Denar and the Trinity. I will make sure of that.

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Unraveling Gnome Mysteries
And other preparations for war

True to form, Lem dove head first into untangling the mysteries of the Gnome weapons and devices recovered from Red Renold’s tent. After a full day of experimentation and deconstruction, Lem had discovered the methods to create and operate Gnomish devices and muskets – just in time to poke his head out to find that a storm was approaching – and all of Pact was in the balance.

While unsure of where it would come from, Lem predicted war inevitable, and approached his Archon with his concerns and discoveries, and his plan to use said discoveries to supply the city’s defense. The meeting unveiled such plans had already been discussed, however, as several of the candidates for the throne had already approached the University for aid.

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Trading coin and bullets with gnomes
Never trust a gnome you can't eviscerate with dire lions

Tracking down a gnome artifact in Pact has proven like finding a needle in a haystack for Lem. Fortunately for Lem, it seems the artifact had come to him. An expelled illusionist from the University of the Archmage had set up a tent outside the city limits, filled with trinkets from both Leistos and the Great Wastes. While most appeared to be either junk or illusions, Lem took great interest in the “Titan” which appeared to be an inactivate golem. Eager to off-load the relic, the curator, Red Ronald, agreed to sell the golem to the tower for 15,000 gold.

As Lem worked with his Archon to secure the gold and transporation for the golem, someone had already tipped the gnomes off as to where their missing property had wound up. As Lem and his Archon arrived to purchase the golem, six gnomes teleported into the tent and began attacking everyone in sight. While Lem and the Archon managed to slay four of the gnomes, two escaped with the head and chest of the golem.

Not to walk away empty handed, Lem took with him several of the gnomes firearms and some strange collar-like devices before the guards arrived. Also, for a small sum, Lem purchased Red Ronald’s research notes on the golem. Some profit may yet come from this endeavor.

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Bloody Business
Vengence in the Street and Business on the Road

Nessie

I found him. Such luck! After too long of a search for my tastes, I finally located the gold-tattooed orc who killed my mentor, Glid. I tried to reason with him – I only wanted to find out why he did it, who paid him, what the reason was. He didn’t take well to reason.

I had lost my patience with waiting for the Inquisitors and I know it is best to do things yourself if you want them done correctly. So, I did what any sensible person would – disguised myself and traveled to Mudtown to seek him out. But, wait, that’s not the important part here.

The prince has been killed! Murdered in the street, by way of a poisoned arrow. I rushed to the castle when I heard, and no magic has been able to bring him back, even though his body is in our possession. We even brought him to my church, but nothing is working. Someone has his soul and we must get it back. With this happening, everything is offset, and too many things are turning to dark and evil.

My cousin saw the whole thing – she ran to me, shaken and covered in blood. She didn’t see much, but she mentioned a gem merchant who disappeared from view far too quickly. Another mystery, and another priority on the list of things to do for the Inquisitors. That is how I ended up where I was today.

I don’t know if it was residual anger from losing Glid, the shock of the death of Prince Dareon, or something deeper, but when this orc resisted my questions and was so belligerent, I just couldn’t bear it. I attacked him, and again, and when he ran, I chased him. We ran into a crowd, and I drew the crowd’s attention to him to slow him down. When I caught up with him, I slew him – right there, in the street! I am grateful I was disguised, but if I hadn’t been, I still would have done it. His existence is just another imbalance.

I did stabilize him, to stop him from truly dying, and then took him, bloodied and bound, to the church. I will have answers. I will find a way to balance the scales.

later

Once the orc was tied up in the lower cells of the church, he didn’t resist my questions very much anymore. In fact, his responses were prompt, and I gained quite a bit of information. As it turns out, he was hired by a blind orc who lived in a theater underground. My heart fell when I heard it, because my growing suspicions of LiAndra‘s newfound friends have been plaguing me already, but now they’ve just been confirmed. Anyone so determined to make a vision happen has got to have something bad in their hand, and they were willing to stop at nothing to get that storm.

What is worse is that they are wrapped up with Drealig Crowsfist. I don’t like that dwarf, and I haven’t since I first saw him. He’s slimy and I feel always like he is waiting behind me. He, however, is the one to which the blind orc gave Glid’s head.

The assassin also had stolen Glid’s belongings, so I recovered them from Mudtown under the altar in the shrine he had been hiding in. An amulet, some assorted belongings from strangers, and Glid’s prayer box. Inside the box was a cypher written on a roll of parchment. I’m not particularly good with codes, so I called upon Dean and Dalara for their help. It took a little bit of time, but we determined that it had one important thing to say:

“Beware the dark dwarf. His plan is the end of all.”

Dean also caught a few other words mixed in, the first being Xether – the name of a terrible demon, and also “hordes”, which I suppose could simply be coincidence, but still unsettles me.

I packed the assassin up and sent him to the church for proper judgement. I hope that the removal of his hands before his departure was at least enough of a deterrent to keep him from trying to escape. There’s no reason for him to be injured more before Shima calls her judgement.

I took what I now know to the Inquisitor Turncrank. He seemed to find the information very valuable – and it is likely the Inquisitors will take on this underground theater of murderers. I just have to try to get LiAndra out of their grasp.

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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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