The Consulting Team

Battle with Ardanthus
and facing the Jesus

Vassago, Shimra, Marlin, Sardis, and Hadrith all crammed into the small chamber behind the hidden door. Taking turns at the arrow slit sized spy hole, the looked down onto an ominous scene: the elven priest of Yarmouth appeared to be conducting a ritual to open the last of Groteus’ so-called dooms day doors. This one was different than the others however. Large, stone double doors with Thessalonian Runes depicting the end days glowed in ghoulish cold blue hues.

The elf was guarded by 4 sinspawn and two glabrezou.
Shimra had been thumbing through the manuscript found back in the secret chamber of the library. The book, written in Abyssal, was a scholarly work describing magical theories for redirecting teleportation and planer transport devices. The manuscript, along with the scribbled notes in the margins, led Shimra to conclude that Ardanthus was not intent on channeling in Groteus, but somehow redirecting the portal to channel in his abyssal demonic deity – Yarmoth!

Thinking fast on his feet, Marlin stone shaped the portal to be large enough for the rest of the party to leap into the room. Landing soft on their feet thanks to a feather fall spell, the party moved to attack. Just as they did, Ardanthus placed a peculiar candle before the door which fizzled and sparkled, burning down quickly.

Hardrith was able to reach the candle, grab it, and dimension door across the large room where he crushed out the flame. Ardanthus was enraged. The ensuing battle left Hadrith very close to death as Ardanthus exacted his vengeance with a Fire Storm spell. Others were grievously wounded.

Marlin finally lept from his vantage point above the party (after suffering the effects of a cloud kill spell), and used a wish spell to restore the party’s health. Ardanthus fell to Vassago’s sword. The bloody battle continued as two more sinspawn reinforced the monsters but in the end, the room fell silent with the Consultants victorious yet again!
The party found many incredible items including 4 suits +1 chain, 2 +1 longbows, flail of warning, ring of pro +1, the Shard of Envy and …(other stuff Mike wrote down).

Leaving this chamber the party passed out through another double doomsday door and entered a burial chamber. An ancient cleric of Groteus named Kandamerous rose and spoke the party. As the party convinced Kandamerous that they had no intent of opening the Groteus Doomsday door he cast a divination to his God of doom. He said, “now is not the time for the end of this world. I will resume my guardianship of Groteus’ door but the doors leading to this chamber should be locked and the keys destroyed! You will need this to ensure that this world will not end before its time!” He handed the party a scepter marked with Groteus symbols.

The party noticed that as Kandemarous spoke they were surrounded by about 2 dozen mummies. As Kandemerous returned to his sarcophagus, they returned to theirs.
The party took a short rest. When they re-emerged in early light of dawn, they noticed a man resting against the tower making coffee by a campfire.

“Buenas dias amigos! (he spoke in Andoran) I am Jesus Estaban Juarez Villatoro, leader of Los Hombres del Toro. Perhaps you heard of me, no?”

He went on to explain that he had be asked by the lovely Mrs. Heidmarch to offer just compensation for the relic they just acquired, the Shard of Envy.

As one may imagine, his offer was not well received. Hadrith fired arrows as he and Vassago charged. Faster than Admiral Akbar can say “It’s a trap!” The other members of Los Hombres del Toro ambushed the Consultants.

Hadrith was quick with his wits – he polymorphed Jesus into a bunny. However; an assassin with deadly aim with long bow attacked from an upper story window as a huge Barbarian with a halberd met Hadrith at the corner of the building. As Hadrith retreated back in the Abby, a sorcerer cast insect plague in the room.

After a couple rounds, Hadrith lay dead (again) covered in bugs at Marlin’s feet. Marlin hauled him downstairs and healed him as the rest of the party retreated as well.
Next session starts with the consultants at bottom of stairs with Los Hombres del Toro hot on their heels. Will the consultants fight or flee?

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The Bowels of Windsong Abby
Close to the Prize

The Consultants delved deeper into the dungeons below the Abby and beyond the first doomsday door.

Upon interacting with the first door (without using the key recovered from the Medusa or the Medusa’s poem) a devious trap was triggered. The party was transported to some sort of mini plane, In the center was a crumbling temple of Pharasma and overhead was a moon with a horrid grinning skull upon its icy blue surface.

Luckily, Hadrith quickly deduced how to use a magical rock maze to teleport back to the prime material. The group used a stone shape spell to pass into the dungeons without dealing with the door.

Below the party quickly encountered a group of tougher than average orcs, their pack of wargs, and a Ogre champion. After a bloody battle, the party explored the level.

AS the party moved through the dungeon complex and passed additional doomsday doors, they encounter power qlippoths from the edges of the abyss. The beasts conjured acidic fog clouds and other spells but eventually, Shimra and Marlin were able to banish them back to the backdoor of hell from whence they came.

Eventually the party found a library occupied by some sort of undead spirit. Although the being passed itself off as a helpful librarian concerned with the fate of the Abby’s clerics, the bogeyman soon tried to trick the party into opening a trapped door. He was summarily dispatched.

The Library contained some valuable books and material: Scrolls of Commune, planer alley, and greater restoration. Scroll written in Abyssal by Ardanthus relating his perverse views of undeath being natural part of a souls progression to Great Beyond. Another book in abyssal, Secrets of the Blackfire.

250 ilbs of books in ancient thessalonian about Groteus – worth 2500 gp to a scholar.

Soon they happened upon a macabre scene – a hump-backed wizard/cleric was performing a lobotomy on a frail old cleric with the help of a hag. It looked like he was creating some sort of alchemical golem.

Another battle and the party once again proved victorious.

Finally party found a small window that spied down into a large chamber where Ardanthus, two qlippoth and several sinspawn, appear engageed in some sort of ritual before a door…

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Day Four - Completing the Investigation

Robbery at The Rose and Rake
The adventure began with the Skylarks’ robbery in progress at the Rose and Rake. Having entered through the back door, the party surprised and subdued two guards and a theater manager without giving away your identities. However, the party made a lot of noise at the base of the stairs leading up to the VIP rooms, and two bodyguards (later surmised to have been hired by Hans Rudell, the bard) charged down the stairs and attacked.

A sharp engagement followed, during which Kiara and Dol’oren were forced to consume powerful potions of healing to continue. Once these threats were eliminated, the party climbed the stairs to discover that the Amazing Leopold’s personal guards, who were considerably more experienced and better equipped than the others, had erected a barricade on the landing, above. The Skylarks attacked, fighting over the barricade and finally clearing it.

Malachi magically transported himself ahead to search for the bard, who had disappeared and was presumably fleeing. Upon entering one of the bedchambers, Hans Rudell appeared and cast an enchantment spell upon Malachi. Malachi, now under the bard’s control, charged out of the room and stabbed Dol’oren in the back, injuring him. Fortunately, Malachi resisted the spell’s effects at that point and regained his senses.

The two elite bodyguards were dispatched with some difficulty, one of them being roasted alive in his own armor by Kiara’s magic before she delivered a merciful killing blow. Hans Rudell, however, blinded Skorpa and attempted to flee by leaping out of a window. Kiara also leaped out of the window in pursuit and killed him in the alley behind the theater.

The party searched the rooms, and after removing several traps, were able to recover the pigments, as well as a considerable amount of coin from the Amazing Leopold’s chambers. The Canaith Mandolin was recovered by Kiara from Hans Rudell, and several magic weapons and suits of armor were recovered from the bodyguards. Once Skorpa’s blindness ended, the Skylarks returned to their guild house.

Return to Dead Man’s Keep
There was only time enough for a short rest before the party left for the meeting at Dead Man’s Keep. Kiara disguised herself, Dol’oren and Skorpa as Shoanti thugs and approached the gathering in the graveyard. With some fast talking, Kiara explained their presence, and they were accepted into the clandestine meeting. In this meeting, the party learned the following:

  • No one in the Chimney Sweeps or the Washside Ringers knows the contents of the crate. They have just been told that it is of immense value. A low-level Gallowed who was privy to the plan to escort the crate through the city was captured and interrogated by Saffo Bria. That is how the plan for the heist began.
  • The Gallowed were hired by someone from Heidmarch Manor to ensure that the crate was safely transported across the city.
  • There will be a rendezvous onshore between the dinghy and the wagon at a place referred to as “Pier Four.” The party knows its location.
  • Nestore will drive the wagon
  • Orsino will be aboard the skiff
  • The remaining stolen items in Nestore’s possession will be placed somewhere near the docks to implicate the Skylarks in the theft of the crate.
  • The Washside Ringers have a man inside Red Kestrel Imports. He will take the crate from Nestore and ensure that it is well-hidden among the hundreds of other crates in the warehouse.
  • Before departing, the leader says that this is the one and only shot to recover the chest. The Gallowed will be waiting at the docks, and if they get their hands on the crate, they will take it to Heidmarch Manor straight away. The crate is considered unrecoverable once it is there.

Tessik’s
The party returned safely to their headquarters. That evening, Malachi and Dol’oren went to Tessik’s to place bets on the rigged fight. There, they encountered Benito Bianchini, the eye witness to the aftermath of the robbery at the Skylarks office. The description he provided of the person he saw leaving the premises at that time clearly fit Orsino.

In the gambling den at Tessik’s, Dol’oren and Malachi observed a member of the Chimney Sweeps place a bet on Tazio, and he clearly was trying to do this without being noticed. They decided to interrogate the Chimney Sweep, and he dropped a hint that all was not as it appeared with the upcoming fight. In response to this, Dol’oren placed a very large bet on Tazio. Malachi, however, placed a remarkably large bet on Tazio and paid in platinum. This did not go unnoticed.

The fight between Patrizio Veltre and Tazio Zingaro ended very differently than originally advertized. Patrizio clearly had the advantage throughout the entire fight, and had beaten Tazio into near-unconsciousness. But as Patrizio turned his back to his enemy to engage with the crowd, Tazio leaped up, pulling a hidden weapon, a Herald’s Blade, from his boot. The type of weapon is called a Herald’s Blade because it is used for a very specific purpose: to deliver message jobs. The blade folds into the hilt, making it easy to conceal. However, when unfolded, the blade is a full 10-12” long, making it a deadly weapon. Grabbing Patrizio by the hair, Tazio drove this weapon brutally through the base of his skull and out of his mouth.

There are two types of message job. The message through the eye is usually done on a subordinate or someone close to you to say “we’re watching you.” The second type is the message through the mouth. The intent of this message is to say “someone has been talking.”

The dead man was a Washside Wringer. He had recently been talking to people about the shipment and a certain agreement between his guild and the Chimney Sweeps. In fact, he had spoken to Fraud about it a couple of days ago (See Day 2).

Dol’oren and Malachi followed the Chimney Sweep out of Tessik’s and killed him in an alleyway.

Next Time
Violence is escalating between the Skylarks and the Chimney Sweeps. The shipment arrives tomorrow at dusk, and aboard the Esmeralda is an item of incalculable value. You possess detailed knowledge of the Chimney Sweeps’ plan to steal it, and you are aware of their intent to frame you for the theft. The initiative is yours.

Day 3 (Part 2)
Day 5

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Day Three (Part Two) - The Amazing Leopold Krauss

Upcoming Events
This evening: The Amazing Leopold’s first performance
Night 2: Fight at Tessik’s
Day 3: The shipment arrives

Planning
The party began the session in the secret guild house beneath the Skylarks’ office, sorting through the items found in the abandoned warehouse and discussing their next steps. Of particular interest was the syringe and the 4 vials of clear liquid. Malachi tasted a small amount of it, but it proved to be tasteless and had no immediate effect. The party, after consulting with their guild leader, Barbas, was able to determine that the liquid was a powerful ingested poison. However, the specific type remained unknown.

Barbas remained behind with the new recruits, Kavi Jas and Varo Pavan, while everyone else went to the first performance of the Amazing Leopold Krauss. Barbas seemed intent on drowning his sorrows in brandy from his private strong room due to the loss of his best friend, Terzo, during the robbery.

The Chimney Sweeps
At the entrance to the Rose and Rake, the party encountered Saffo Bria, the leader of the Chimney Sweeps. Saffo was accompanied by his lieutenant, Emilio, as well as two tough-looking Shoanti thugs, one of whom had an eye patch, and the other carried a bandolier of daggers. Saffo expressed concern over the recent robbery to the party and asked after the health of Barbas. Some of the party had doubts as to his sincerity, and considered his words to be a veiled threat.

The Amazing Leopold Krauss
Inside the theater, dramatic lighting and eerie music preceded the entrance of the Amazing Leopold. The music filled the entire chamber, even though it is seems to only be coming from one instrument – a mandolin. This was the bard, Hans Rudell, who often travels with Leopold and is known to play a Canaith Mandolin – a famous bardic instrument.

The Amazing Leopold entered the stage, saying: “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. That is what our sages would have us believe. Even the forces and entities conjured up by the magical arts must still come from somewhere, be it the realm of the fae or the elemental planes. I, however, will show you tonight, just how wrong they are.”

Using paints from an antique wooden box, he moved to an easel where he painted a rose. He then reached out and removed the rose from the drawing, and it became a three dimensional object in his hand. He laid the rose on a table, then painted a box on the easel. He removed the box from the painting, opened the lid, and deposited the rose inside. Using mirrors to show the audience, Leopold then painted a five foot square hole in the floor, inside which he placed the box. Then, using a large sheet of parchment to cover the hole, he painted a wooden floor to match the original. Tearing away the excess parchment at the edges, he revealed that the floor was now intact and indistinguishable from the original.

Leopold returned to the easel, painted a second rose, then painted a second box over it. He removed the box from the easel, removed the rose from the box, then gave it to a young girl in the front of the audience. He then proceeded to the back of the stage where he painted a door in the stone wall, opened it and departed.

After the performance, Kiera talked to Cirano de Cesare, a regular actor at the Rose and Rake. From him she learned that Leopold liked to go out in the mornings and at noon, usually accompanied by local hired guards. It was his habit to carry a small box of paints with him when he went out. His two personal guards usually remained behind in his rooms to guard the second, larger, box of paints.

Murder Most Foul
The party returned to their guild house after the performance and made plans for the following day. There was a great deal of interest in stealing the Amazing Leopold’s paints, and they had determined that he was staying in one of the VIP rooms upstairs at the Rose and Rake. Also, plans were made to return to Dead Man’s Keep for the meeting the next day between the Chimney Sweeps and Washside Ringers. The party would disguise themselves as the Shoanti thugs who had attended the meeting on the previous day, who they had subsequently killed.

However, when midnight stuck, Malachi became violently ill from the small amount of poison he had ingested earlier in the day. It quickly became clear that the poison was of a type called Midnight Tears, one of the most powerful ingested poisons known. Malachi survived due to the fact that he only consumed a tiny dosage, but when the party entered the common area of the guild house, Barbas was found slumped over a table with a bottle of brandy nearby. He was dead, clearly from the same type of poison which had sickened Malachi.

Note the irony that earlier that day, the PCs had Barbas help identify the poison that he had already unknowingly consumed in the brandy, which would subsequently kill him that evening.

Around Barbas’ neck was a key, and the party had previous instructions that if something were to happen to him, they were to use the key to enter the strong room and find his last will and testament.

The party investigated the area and discovered that the bottle of brandy Barbas was drinking had a small hole in the cork, as if it had been pierced by a long, thin object. All of the remaining bottles in the strong room were similarly marked, apparently by the same syringe found in the possession of the Shoanti thugs at the abandoned warehouse. Also, upon re-examination of the lock to the strong room, very faint evidence of the use of lock picks was visible. The party then theorized that this was done during the robbery on the first day, and that the apparent incompetence of the thief really covered up what was done here in the strong room.

The party found and read Barbas’ will, which passed ownership of the Skylarks business to all five of the party members equally. Also, a small booklet with the codes and pass phrases for the next Thieves’ Moot was found there. In addition, Barbas left his most precious magic items to the party to be divided among themselves. These items consisted of a mask, an earring, a set of thieves’ tools, a ring and a rope.

Return to the Rose and Rake
The next morning, the Skylarks returned to the Rose and Rake, timing their arrival to coincide with the Amazing Leopold’s morning walk. Dol’oren picked the lock of the back door to the building, and the party entered in stealth.

The session ended here due to a server issue with Roll20.

Day 3 (Part 1)
Day 4

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Windsong Abbey
quest for Shard of Envy

Between Sardis’ visions of ruins and the desperate pleas of the high priest Desna, and the opportunity to get one over on Sheila Heidmarch, the Consultants teleport to the off shore of Windsong Abby.

The party invade from the rear and confront a vicious group of fey Redcaps and their allies, ettins and a hill giant. They met trapped priest of Desna, Cassamir, who warned of a doomsday door which could be opened with a key kept by a medusa.

From Cassamir and from Bevaluu, the Priest of Desna back in Magnimar, you figure out that the Abby was sacked by Aradanthus, an elf that once was a follower of Pharasma, until the fall of Aroden, the prophesied one, about 100 years ago. When Aroden fell, the age of Lost Omens began. Like many priests of Pharasma, Aradanthus looked forward to the return of Aroden which was supposed to bring about a new age of hope and reason. Aroden’s death drove Aradanthus mad – he blamed Iomedae and her followers. He lashed out murdering the high priestess of Iomedae at the Abbey, then in a fit of paranoid rage, killed 6 others. He fled to the hills and was never seen again..until now.

Cassamir tells you he was swearing oaths to the mighty Qlippoth, Yamasoth. “he plans to open the Doomsday Doors – who knows what madness and evil could result?! Groetus may start the end of this world with Yamasoth as his herald!!”

After questioning, Cassamir explains that the Abbey sits on the site of a very ancient Temple of Groetus. The doomsday doors had been sealed for millenia until Aradanthus arrived. “one reason the Abbey was built here was so we could guard the doors. Now we have failed and all is lost…unless you can stop him!”

The party proceeded to kill the medusa and her minions, finding the following loot:

50 screaming crossbow bolts (+2, creatures within 10 ft of their trajectory make DC 14 Wis save or fear til next round)

(5) 100 gp gems

2 uses of stone salve

a mysterious key

book of poetry authored by the medusa. Last poem reads as follows:

Two to left for annis hag.
Three to right for banshee nag.
One to west for greenie crone.
Two to east for spinster lone.
Two to dusk for wife in tears.
Three to dawn for witch’s leers.

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Day Three (Part One) - Stakeout and Ambush

Upcoming Calendar of Events
This evening: The Amazing Leopold’s first performance
Night 2: Fight at Tessik’s
Day 3: The shipment arrives
Night 4: The Amazing Leopold’s last performance

The Stakeout
Around midday, the Skylarks began an investigation of the abandoned warehouse mentioned during the interrogation of Colmazio. From rumors she had heard, Kiara knew that a fire had destroyed portions of the building and its contents two years ago, and its owner had gone bankrupt. The warehouse was now believed to be occupied by a Shoanti gang, or possibly more than one. Kiara and Dol’oren staked out the warehouse while Skorpa and Fraud remained at a distance. When two Shoanti thugs emerged and headed towards the docks, the Skylarks followed.

Dead Man’s Keep
They continued south past the dockway and came to Dead Man’s Keep, the district graveyard, which is surrounded by a partially ruined, crenelated 20’ high wall. The party followed the Shoanti through a waist-high breach in the wall and discovered that the the two thugs were a part of a larger meeting. Eight people in total met in the graveyard. They were overheard to say that a single crate was going to be diverted from the incoming shipment, and that it was to be transported by wagon at some point. One member of the gathering was a confirmed member of the Washside Ringers, and another was a member of the Chimney Sweeps. You did not discover the name of the ship which carried the crate, nor did you learn the location of the rendezvous with the wagon onshore. The party slipped away as the meeting was concluded, but they heard one person say that they would meet again tomorrow in the same place.

The Ambush
The Skylarks raced back to the abandoned warehouse to set up an ambush, and they surprised the two returning Shoanti in a dark alleyway where Kiara distracted them with an alluring song and dance. The two were quietly dispatched, and their bodies were dumped in a nearby stables.

The Attack
The party then entered the abandoned warehouse through a breach in the upper wall. The building was dark inside, and you – with the intent on catching the Shoanti inside unaware – carried no light sources. A fire was observed in the far southwestern corner of the warehouse, but line of sight was blocked by stacks of crates.

The Skylarks entered through the breach onto a catwalk, roughly 10’ above the floor and were immediately challenged by a lookout. Everyone leaped into action, traveling west toward the fire, some jumping to the ground level and coursing through the narrow passage through the crates, as others maintained the high ground.

Light resistance was encountered on the upper level, while Skorpa charged into the main body of Shoanti on the ground. He was quickly surrounded by five attackers and adopted a defensive stance. Despite that, he was struck multiple times, yet he displayed an inhuman toughness when he shrugged off knife attacks that would of felled most men.

Dol’oren, after helping Fraud dispatch an enemy on the catwalk, leaped to Skorpa’s aid, quickly killing enemies with precise, deadly attacks.

Kiara advanced on the ground level and was surprised by two flanking Shoanti. Aided by a Heroism spell, she handily fought off her attackers, eventually defeating both.

Fraud, alone on the catwalk, was attacked by a Shoanti, and he struggled with his opponent for half a minute before being forced to withdraw and hide amongst the detritus.

The Interrogation
Two of the Shoanti gang members were captured and questioned separately. From them, the party learned the following:

  • The most dangerous two members of this Shoanti gang had recently been recruited into the Chimney Sweeps. Their names are Orsino and Nestore. Orsino is an expert burglar with uncanny abilities in stealth. He wears an eye patch. Nestore is an expert with the thrown dagger and is known for his abilities in Dusting. He wears a bandolier of daggers and is missing a pinky on his left hand.
  • The big shipment will be delayed by customs in the harbor until darkness falls. This is Odie Phrexen’s part of the plan.
  • A small crew will row a skiff along the back side of the ship, the Esmeralda
  • The crew of the Esmeralda will kill the Gallowed thug onboard who is overseeing the shipment, and will lower a crate into the skiff using a small, hidden boom
  • The skiff will row to a hidden place on the shore where it will be met by a wagon and more muscle. It will be transported to its final destination by land.

Items of Interest
The party discovered arms, armor and coin after the battle, but a few other items seem potentially noteworthy:

  • A Syringe and three corked glass vials of clear liquid.
  • Dozens of old crates and planks with stenciling on them, which read “Red Kestrel Imports” in white paint. Some of them are pretty crude, but a few look very authentic. You’ve all seen the sigil for Red Kestrel Imports before.
  • A few of the items stolen from Skylarks guild house, some of which are worn by the gang members

Stopping Point
The adventure ended at 5pm Magnimar time.

Day Two
Day 3 (Part 2)

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Day Two - Fraud Returns

The Town Crier
The Amazing Leopold Krauss, world-renowned magician and entertainer of kings, will be in town, playing at the Rose and Rake for three nights only. Come and see magic of a sort guaranteed to astound even the most hardened and worldly of adventurers. Buy your tickets now. Everyone will be there!

Fraud Returns
Fraud returned to the Ordellia district around noon of day two after having completed a contract at the Founder’s Archive and Museum of Ages in the Capital district. He had been working with two new recruits to the Skylarks who have painting skills, as well as the stomach for working in high places. Barbas is interested in adding painting to your legitimate business offerings to not only generate more revenue, but also to provide additional opportunities to case various locations for the Night Crew.

During the fulfillment of the contract at the Founder’s Archive and Museum of Ages, Fraud learned that the government of Katapesh is withdrawing its exhibit of the jewels of the last bandit prince of Katapesh from the Museum and returning them to the homeland. The last bandit prince ruled about 100 years ago before the arrival of the Pactmasters. One of the new recruits, Kavi Jas, being from Katapesh, was able to provide some of these details.

Fraud and the new recruits, Varo Pavan and Kavi Jas, stopped at the Crooked Sloop for a few ales and a meal, where he encountered an old acquaintance, Patrizio Veltre, a junior member of the Washside Ringers and harbor pilot. After being plied with several drinks, Patrizio told Fraud that someone is paying the Washside Ringers a lot of money for an assist on a big job and that his role is very important in the matter. He continued to say that he will be piloting a dinghy for a VIP of some sort on the night the big shipment arrives.

Also, while at the Crooked Sloop, Osanna the tavern wench complained to Fraud about a freeloader in the private rooms in the drug den who had overstayed what he had paid for, and she doesn’t know what to do about him. He was still in a stupor in his room and wouldn’t answer the door.

The Investigation Continues
Fraud returned to the Skylarks’ offices to meet with the rest of the party, and he was informed of the recent burglary. Also, by comparing notes with Skorpa, the party decided to investigate the man Osanna complained about in the private rooms in the drug den of the Crooked Sloop.

After a brief negotiation with Bernie, a bouncer at the Crooked Sloop, the party was able to access the private rooms where they found Bortolo Rienzo, the Shoanti thug and missing companion to Skorpa’s contact, Malio Flaminio, from Tessik’s. Bortolo was wearing several garments belonging to the Skylarks, including a rapier of Dol’oran’s and a sash belonging to Fraud. This did not account for all of the missing items, but they were unmistakably yours.

A brief scuffle ensued, and the party subdued Bortolo. The Shoanti thug proclaimed his innocence of the robbery and said that he knew nothing of how he came to be wearing the stolen items. He claimed that the last thing he remembered was taking some drugs he was given by his occasional drinking companion, Colmazio Pallone. The party demanded that Bortolo lead them to Colmazio, and backed it up with some finger-breaking. Once he led the party to Colmazio’s house, they killed Bortolo. Need confirmation on who did this

Colmazio’s house was guarded on the outside by three mastiffs, chained near the front door, and the party knew from Bortolo that he kept another two inside. When they attacked, Colmazio was alerted by their barking and quickly moved outside to release all of the dogs. A bloody conflict ensued where all the dogs were killed, Skorpa was slightly wounded, and Dol’oren suffered a vicious bite from the alpha male. Fraud was knocked unconscious and almost killed by Colmazio before Skorpa knocked the Shoanti thug over the head. Skorpa begrudgingly fed a potion of healing to Fraud, and they drug the bodies inside Colmazio’s house.

Once roused, Colmazio told the party that he was hired by a man to give the drugs to Bortolo, but he had nothing to do with the stolen items and knew nothing of the robbery. He did not know who the man who hired him was, but he said that he was missing a pinky finger on his left hand, and that he carried a bandolier of throwing knives.

Upon being further threatened, he said that the man who hired him mentioned that he might have another short-term contract for him soon. He was to meet the man near an old abandoned warehouse on the day of the shipment. He provided the location of the abandoned warehouse before he was killed by the party. Need confirmation on who did this

It would appear that someone went to a great deal of trouble to have the Skylarks’ offices robbed and to frame Bortolo for doing it. Some of the stolen items are still missing, but nothing of great value. Who would do this, and what purpose could be served by it?

Day One
Day 3 (Part 1)

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Day One - The Robbery at Skylarks

The Robbery
The party finished up a contract cleaning the Mistress of Angels, a monument in the Ordellia district, only to return to find the Skylarks offices had been robbed. Terzo, the oldest member of the Skylarks who was minding the front office, was killed in the attack. To make matters worse, the thief also found the secret door which leads to the underground lair where you live. Despite having found the secret door, the robbery seemed to have been a botched affair. They made away with the mundane items of value they could carry (weapons, armor and some clothing), but they apparently were unable to open the lock to the strong room belonging to your gang leader, Barbas.

Barbas returned upon hearing of the robbery and has asked the party to push your network of contacts and follow any lead, however unlikely, that might lead you to the thief. He also told the party that you could go to the Embassy to collect the money for the contract for the Mistress of Angels, and that you could use that money to replenish any gear you had lost in the theft.

The Embassy
At the Embassy, the party waited to speak with the clerk for nearly an hour in a sitting area with several adjoining offices. During that time, a visitor arrived for the ambassador to Katapesh in a nearby office. The visitor, of the Keleshite ethnicity of Katapesh, appeared very rich with gems adorning his loose-fitting clothing and impressive headdress, as well as his oiled mustachios and elaborately braided beard. Before the door was closed, the party witnessed the ambassador remove a leather satchel from a safe in his office and give it to the visitor, who left soon afterwards.

When finally admitted, you spoke with Augusto Zanca, a clerk at the Embassy who arranges government contacts for the cleaning of monuments and other properties. He informed you that Odie Phrexen, the harbormaster in the Ordellia district (also known to the party to secretly be a member of the Washside Ringers), used to be the harbormaster at Beacon Point (the main harbor of the city). He was replaced, and he hates the new harbormaster there. He is thrilled about the dock worker’s strike, especially since it has not affected the Ordellia docks. It has also resulted in a lot of increased shipping. In particular, there is a very large inbound shipment which will have to be diverted to the Ordellia docks.

You also received the 300 gp for the contract and were able to replenish your supplies. During that afternoon and evening, the following was also discovered from your individual contacts:

The Investigation

Malachai
Priam Calcaro – corrupt district guard

  • He knows a guy who claims to have seen someone leaving the Skylarks store front in a hurry the other day. He thought it was odd because nobody was minding the store. The witness is Benito Bianchini, who is a regular at Tessik’s.
  • Also, he says that one of the higher ups in the embassy who is on the take is planning to steer patrols clear of certain areas on the night of the shipment. He must have been paid off by somebody. Priam doesn’t know the locations, yet, but he should find out sometime during the day of the shipment.

Skorpa
Malio Flaminio – a Shoanti gang member who is a regular (and sometimes bare knuckles fighter) at Tessik’s.

  • One of his gang mates, Bortolo Rienzo, disappeared this morning and hasn’t turned up for their meeting at Tessik’s. He is normally reliable, but does like his drugs. Malio checked at the Crooked Sloop’s common area in the drug den, but Bortolo wasn’t there, and he would never spend the money for a private room there.

Kiara
Diego Pellitteri – a stable boy informant at the the Ambassador Inn (11 years old)

  • There is a new VIP from Katapesh staying at the Ambassador. His name is Charat, and he is rumored to have asked a lot of questions about the Shucked Oyster, a very famous brothel in Dockway.
  • Charat has been throwing a lot of money around
  • He is guarded by 4 very large men with fine arms and armor. When he goes out, he only takes two of them.
  • Diego says that Charat returned today with a leather satchel, and he now carries the package with him everywhere he goes.

Dol’oren
Othello Minotti, a clerk at Skavner’s is a fence who can move items of 1000 gold pieces or less.

  • There is an upcoming rigged fight in the Pit. The odds are only 1:1, and few people are in the know. The fighters are Tazio Zingaro vs, Patrizio Veltre.
  • Tazio is a Shoanti thug, but Patrizio is one of the Washside Ringers. He fences some things with Othello from time to time. Patrizio would break him on any day, says Othello, but in this case, he is pretty much guaranteed to do it. (wink, wink)

Day Two

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So Long Kaer Maga, Hello Kraken?

The party easily defeats the Caulborn and leaves Kaer Maga by leaping of the city wall and feather falling the thousand feet to the river below, Shard in the hands of Sardis. The party has enough loot and treasure the fill the bag of holding to the brim!

They seek out another vessel to take them down the Yondabakarri River back to Magnimar and encounter Captain Jenke, the halfling river boat captain that brought them here.

Jenke was happy to have the party on board because he was planning to betray them!. Lat at night the party was awakened by the roar of a horn. As Jenke and his crew flew away on flying carpets, the boat was attacked by Upson Hara, the river kraken.

Just as Hadrith was about to be digested by the beast, the party dealt it mortal blows and pulled a suffocating, partly digested Hadrith from the the beasts gullet.

Using the portable boat the party then traveled to Magnimar and their base at the Crow. Lydia was pleased to showcase the newly redecorated Crow, complete with bars, restaurants, theater, and more. But as the party was thinking about the profitability of this new enterprise, a contingent of the Mayor elite Eldritch Guard appeared to foreclose to revoke the Crow’s commercial permits citing the deaths of the owners. Presented with much evidence to the contrary, he left embarassed and a bit rattled.

The party also learned that the halfling Jenke was blackmailed by “H” who had kidnapped his daughter. Seems both Jenke and his daughter are now ‘missing.’

The party then met with Sheila Heidmarch who took the Shard of Gluttony and offered up the ioun stone needed to deactivate the curse of the next shard, the Shard of Envy. Hadrith demanded greater payment for their services and Sheila bristled. A contentious argument ensued and Sheila left saying she would see to recovering the shard by ‘other means.’

The party left the impression that they were in no hurry to rush to Windsong Abby’s rescue.

The party used the Rift Siphon to teleport off the coast of Windsong Abbey, location of the next shard, the Shard of Envy. They entered in through the back via a stone shape spell and encountered a vicious group of red caps….

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The Black Rider

The Trolls Auguries led you to secret passages beneath Kaer Maga library. You explored chambers dating back to days of the Runelord Karzoug who ruled Kaer Maga and this area of Varisia 10,000 years ago.

Ancient guardians beset your path, chain devils, gibbering mouthers, etc. Even accidently gated in some Slaadi when you toyed with Karzoug’s planetarium.

Reached a door marked with symbols that were unrecognizable save the symbol of Sihedron.

Disabling the trop, you ventured in to meet more horrors – Chuul, cloakers – and finally met the Caulborn.

They challenged you to infiltrate the demi plane called the Dark Forest. The Demi Plane is ruled by the Dark Rider – a creature of myth and legend throughout Varisian. A Dullahan of great power who once a year, rides the country beheading the innocent for who knows what evil cause.

You slew his many undead followers, his coven of Hag sex slaves and take a long rest in the Hag’s sex den. You gain a level but generally feel awkward.

You finally reach the Dullahan’s chamber of power and recover the Shard of Gluttony from atop a strange device – part flesh part machine. 3 Angels were at its base – maybe dead, maybe in perpetual some sort of stasis, powering the infernal contraption.

You recover the Shard. As the Dark Forest begins to change and destabilize, you make a run for it. As you approach the Black Menhir which teleported you here, you are greeted by Two Caulborn and an intellect devourer….

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