Rufusreich

In Which There is Miscommunication Galore
Memorial Day weekend, 2 of 2. Sponsored by Exposition R Us.
  • When the party docked at Trevethian Island, they had mere minutes to breathe before Molly came running down in a tizzy. “Oh, sorr!” she cried, batting her eyelashes at Lord William (just call him Billy.) “Something terrible has happened!”
  • It seemed that the night before, several villagers had heard noise in the woods and had come to the manor house this morning to report the incident. When Molly and Mrs. Bridges looked out, they noted an unexplained plume of smoke coming from the woods. Was it an intruder’s campfire? Normally, a security breach would have fallen to El Cid, but he’d eaten a plate of questionable shrimp the night before, and was down with food poisoning; really, what appalling timing! So the island’s lay deacon, Daniel Wood, stepped up and agreed to investigate. Daniel went into the woods and had not been heard from in hours!
  • Les Cinq suited up and crept stealthily into the woods. Juno Nim scouted ahead and reported that there were two figures in a clearing up ahead, which turned out to be a massive muscle-bound barbarian and Daniel Wood, who was tied up like a Thanksgiving turkey. The barbarian was feeding Daniel some sort of revolting soup. “Eat up, little holy man,” the barbarian said. “You need to keep up your strength for when we talk to the noble adventurers. You are a JOLLY little holy man!” Marielle raised an eyebrow and made “cuckoo!” hand gestures. Clement turned brick red and glowered.
  • Tegan mumbled the magic words of her favorite spell, entangle, and soon the mysterious barbarian and Daniel were both smothered by plants grown wild. The barbarian smiled contentedly and said, “Don’t worry, little holy man. This is because Les Cinq are here. We’re going to talk to them!” The barbarian waited to be freed, happy as a clam. He introduced himself as Paljaksu, and Juno Nim noted that he had the same ridiculous quasi-Swedish accent as the folks in Glasjenfrei.
  • “Why did you kidnap my assistant, you brute!” snapped Clement. Paljaksu explained that his was a secret mission, and that he couldn’t afford to have the whole island knowing he was there because “loose lips sink ships.” Besides, he said, a prophecy had predicted that Les Cinq would come home today, not last night. Daniel was itching to get out of his bonds, filled with complaints about his treatment at the hands of this numbskull.
  • Paljaksu explained that he was a polymorphed jötnar and had come as an emissary from Duchess Orielle, whom Les Cinq had installed as ruler of Glasjenfrei, to the north. He presented a letter (see link) wherein Orielle begged for the party to come quickly and investigate a mushroom cloud that had occurred about ten miles from the castle. Paljaksu also reported that some of the jötnaren had been dragged into the conflagration as if by a magical force, their heels dragging piteously in the snow; others had fled the region using a magical rope that kept them grounded.
  • Tegan was very curious about Paljaksu’s mode of transportation to the island—he had a primitive sort of aircraft (a construct of some sort?) made of metal that behaved like a bird. “This is the Logos Bird,” said Paljaksu proudly. “It is powered by visual puns. You feed pictures on parchment into this slot and bird fly high above!”
  • Les Cinq, Ruggiero, Crusoe, and Paljaksu sought a bit of relaxation at their favorite pub on Trevethian. They traded theories about all the things that happened and pored over Orielle’s letter for clues. Tegan racked her brains, trying to remember any additional information from the afterlife about the polthanatrum. Marielle (with a kickin’ Knowledge: Arcana check) recalled that she’d seen the term mentioned in a wizard friend’s notes as a magical power source. As Paljaksu sat down with the ales, he interrupted to say that he knew the meaning of this term: polthanatrum meant “the death of a god.”
  • The party pondered how best to use the Bro’s last divination of the day. They finally decided to ask [Ed. I think? Can’t remember.] “Why did that water witch creature try to attack Ruggiero?” Pelor replied:

    WHEN FATE’S THREADS HAVE BOUND YOU FAST
    CAPTURED BY THE TAPESTRY
    YOU ATTRACT THE NOTICE OF
    ALL THE POW’RS OF DESTINY
    ACTIONS GOOD AND ACTIONS FELL
    LEAD TO WEAL? AH, WHO CAN TELL?
    DEATH CAN SAVE US, LOVE CAN KILL.
    “Total gibberish,” growled Juno Nim. “Pelor’s poetic abilities continue to deteriorate,” Billy observed.
  • After the excitement of the day, Clement asked Tegan to join him out on the courtyard, where it soon became clear that Angelina and Billy were hiding behind a tree, watching their chat. Angelina began casting some illusion magic to create a romantic scene: laser light show, flying cherubs, soft music, etc. Clement delivered a painfully bombastic and rhetorically confused speech proposing marriage, fell to one knee, and presented her with a gorgeous engagement ring. Tegan gently explained that marriage was not on her radar screen any time soon, but that she’d be open to discussing it later.
  • Clement took Tegan’s response about as well as could be expected. He added ruefully that perhaps he’d been premature in sending a fruit basket to Tegan’s mother, Branwen, inviting her into the family and calling her Mom. The cleric’s suspicions were confirmed when the fruit basket appeared on the ground nearby and burst into demonic flames. “Mother can be so dramatic, ” sighed Tegan.
  • As Tegan went to bed, she hoped she hadn’t bruised Clement’s feelings too badly by refusing. Marriage, family? Complications that reminded her of nasty court intrigue. Her mother would be jumping in to manipulate them at the drop of a hat. And if she should have a daughter, the future heir to the Ashmara matriarchy? Better to enjoy a carefree romance with Clement, as nature intended, fresh and sweet like a wild peach. Who would want to trade that for the burned fruit of marriage and respectability?

    Outside, on the courtyard, an apple exploded.

    Next time: Lisette comes to visit, and the party confronts Abbot Tomnein!
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In the Nick of Time
Memorial Day weekend, 1 of 2. Also, what's the secret to Polish comedy?
  • The party emerged from the subterranean temple spattered with blood and covered in rock dust. They had won, Krekulphyr had been defeated, and the village of Respite was safe again. But the victory had cost them Tegan Ashmara’s life. Even the acquisitive Marielle agreed that they must devote some of their massive earnings from this adventure to the best of the raise dead spells, true resurrection.
  • Instead of the deserted village green, they found that there was a frightened-looking but festive welcome party waiting for them, including a band and a grateful Clarissa on a stretcher. Juno asked how the rag-tag group had had the cojones to waltz into a monster-ridden city, and Clarissa replied that “the lawyer” had predicted the very minute that Les Cinq would emerge victorious from the temple. “What lawyer?” asked Clement.
  • An officious halfling wearing a monocle and spats stepped out of the crowd and introduced himself as Marcus Blunderbuss, Tomnein’s personal attorney. He presented a letter (see link) and a mass teleport scroll, and commanded the party to return to Melvaunt immediately.
  • As Marcus had told them, Les Quatre (and poor dead Tegan in the bag of holding) arrived in Andros’ shop, where they bought a few useful scrolls and other items before attending to the most important event of the day: Tegan’s resurrection. Andros expressed some slight concern that Brother Clement might suffer a scroll mishap when he tried to cast such a high-level spell. [Ed. The chances were slim; Clement’s wisdom score is pretty kick-ass.] Andros took the party to the basement, where he offered them a free use of a pair of magical ready-steady boots, a wondrous item which prevented scroll mishaps.
  • Soon, the pink of health had returned to Tegan’s cheek. She told the party that her spirit had spent time in two of the Outer Planes and had learned that the gods themselves were nervous over a mysterious event called a “polthanatrum,” which none of the unearthly beings would explain.
  • Andros interrupted her tale to announce that Molly Quinn had sent a message over from Trevethian Island asking that they return as soon as possible—there was trouble in their fief! Indeed, Tomnein had given Aubrey the message to bring the boat around in plenty of time to take them home.
  • “One more thing,” cried Andros as the party were leaving his shop. “My mother, Lisette, has been suffering from strange headaches for a week now which my healing potions cannot help. May we stop by the island and ask your help? Perhaps tomorrow morning, for breakfast?” Marielle patted the shopkeeper’s arm soothingly and assured him that he and his mother would be welcome. “Tres, tres welcome!!” leered Peri the Mace.
  • The weather was beautiful for sailing, and Les Cinq were enjoying the scenery and views from the deck of their coaster boat. Suddenly, Copernicus sent a telepathic message to Marielle that there was a boat approaching, about a quarter-mile hence, bearing five humanoids. The owl mentioned that they were headed straight for them, and that the rowers were giving it their all, going hell-for-leather. The party wisely took a moment to buff themselves.
  • Les Cinq relaxed when the boat came into visual range, and they recognized Ruggiero and Crusoe. It seemed they had come by boat (with three rowers rounding out the party) for a visit from the Monastery of Jade Harmony. As the hunky monk and addled druid waved, loud thuds were heard underwater and their boat began the pitch wildly. The party gasped as five giants covered in fish scales emerged from the water, and four eagle-like creatures made of green seawater dive-bombed the men on the other boat. A beautiful woman soon appeared, her torso emerging from the water several yards away. She called out, “HOW MANY TIMES MUST YOU BE WARNED? HEED OR DIE.” The woman appeared to be a magic user of some sort. Before the party could do much damage to these watery foes, the baddies had nearly killed Ruggiero (who wisely turned himself invisible as soon as possible), slaughtered the three rowers, and rendered Crusoe unconscious and near death.
  • Once Ruggiero was invisible, the giants began smashing the Jade Harmony boat to smithereens, destroying it within a round. Crusoe’s inert body was bobbing in the water, and who KNOWS where the invisible Ruggiero was. Marielle rained down fireballs and Clement brought the holy smite, although the watery female’s spell resistance nullified the Priest’s magic. Billy Bartholemieux turned Juno invisible and hasty, and the rogue began to skewer the magical female with arrows. Tegan used one of her magical necklaces to help Marielle burn the giants. Then the ranger flew out over the water and rescued Crusoe, healing him with the Necklace of Holy Aid. Billy used his bead of force to encapsulate one of the giants, then used his ring of fly to rescue Ruggiero, thereby bravely making himself the prime target of the fishy giants.
  • The beautiful water woman offered the party a deal: promise not to interfere with Ruggiero’s death, and they could survive. The party’s choice was easy: they refused!! The water witch had by then taken a lot of damage from Juno’s arrows, so she teleported away in a huff, leaving her minions to continue the battle. Eventually, the party killed most of the giants and watery fliers. Tegan and Clement theorized that the giants were being mind controlled (their eyes were rather glassy), so the cleric tried dispel magic to free them from the magical woman’s thrall. They learned (through a DM error) that their theory was correct.
  • Once Aubrey had brought them back to land, they asked Ruggiero and Crusoe why the water woman had wanted Ruggiero dead. The two seemed sincerely perplexed by her animosity, and announced that they’d simply come to ask the party’s help on a minor magical question. Ruggiero had found an interesting item in the monastery’s archives: the Diorb of Sudoryx.
  • This wondrous item was made of two spheres joined by gems. There was a hole on either side, and lore indicated that if a male half-elf and a female half-elf put their fingers in these holes in a grove of trees on the night of a harvest moon (tomorrow night—how fortunate!), the Diorb’s magic would reveal itself. The item’s magical aura was currently masked.
  • Tegan, Billy, and Ruggiero had water breathing cast on them, and they flew/swam down to the ocean floor, searching until they found the chest that had gone down with Ruggiero’s boat containing the magical item, thanks to Ruggiero’s locate object spell. Success!
  • Crusoe couldn’t stop marveling over their luck. “What righteous timing that you spotted our boat just at the exact time of the attack! Had you waited another minute, we’d have been dead. Praise the gods that you hurried back from Respite!”

    Next time: Everybody wants a piece of us. What else is new?
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Bead-Dazzled?
Gargoyles are mean. (Stone Dead, Part Two.)
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Tegan Dreamed a Dream ...
... aka Stoner Town, Part One.

Watch this space.

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Meet the New Boss
Same as the old boss? Nah. Angrier!! (Valentine's Day, 2 of 2)

Enchanting a coin with a “light” spell, the party cast some additional preparation spells (barkskin, more Improved Invisiblity, mirror image, more cold resistance, etc.) and proceeded forwards towards certain death. Since they were using a light spell, no one would be surprised by their approach, and Billy continued to sing the inspiring tune, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

Arriving at a series of large chambers carved out of the ice and rock, the party knew the game was afoot. Tossing the coin ahead to the next intersection, Marielle let loose with her first fireball, engulfing the unseen opponents in the next chamber. From the smell of barbecueing monsters and screams of indignation ahead, she knew that she had hit paydirt.

In all, the party was facing the last Jotnar and five large-sized white dragons. The party’s spell-casters pulled Juno, and Tegan back until everyone could be hasted again; a Pray was cast, and Clement was buffed up bigtime with Divine Power AND Divine Favor.

[Clement to add battle details]

With two dragons and the Jotnar dead, and the other three dragons taking heavy damage, one of the dragons burrowed out of the cavern in search of Daddy (Hinterbite).

An erie silence echoed through the chamber after the fourth dragon was toppled. The party was worried that their buffing spells would wear off before they could located their Huge foe. They cast a divination asking Pelor what was the best way to engage Hinterbite before the spells wore off.

[Clement to insert result of Divination]

Interpreting Pelor’s message to mean the the party should stay put and wait for Hinterbite’s arrival, they set up so that only Billy was visible and the others were scattered around the chamber in positions that would make it impossible to Hinterbite to breathe on any two of them at once.

As Pelor had foretold, Hinterbite appeared in the chamber, burrowing his way in from a new angle. The younger dragon also arrived in an adjoining chamber, and so did a couple of canine-like foes. Billy taunted the huge dragon, attempting to cast Fear and Blindness spells at him using scrolls, but Hinterbite easily saved. Meanwhile, however, the rest of the party refreshed their haste spells.

[Clement to summarize rest of battle and aftermath]



  • Tegan lay limply on the massage table as the twin masseurs, Nargard and Fjomgard, performed their magic. In the distance, she could hear Billy and Marielle giggling as they rolled around in the massive pile of coins from Hinterbite’s hoard. That sounds fun, she thought … but nothing could assuage her unease. It was clear that Dendritius was up to something, and as usual, he had gone out of his way to involve Les Cinq in his dastardly plans. That slimeball! She couldn’t wait to cut him to ribbons with her swords. But as she lay in a meditative state, she had an almost prophetic sense that Les Cinq would be settling the mind flayer’s hash soon. She had a vision of Dendritius’ eyes glazing over in death and for the first time in hours, she smiled.

    FIN
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One Jotnar, Two Jotnar, Red Jotnar, Blue Jotnar
Lock and load. (Valentine's Day, 1 of 2)

With so much at stake, the Les Cinque used up a small fortune in scrolls and potions, and used up many spells in preparation for the conflict ahead. Clement’s use of the magic incense helped maximize the prepartions, and the party was grateful for Zethro’s assistance.

After the genie left, Angelina popped into castle to see what was happening. She reported back that the three Jotnaren were dozing or on guard in the ante-chamber of the tower. She also cast Aid spells on everyone. Protection from elements (cold) was cast on everyone.

The party, mostly invisible except for an enlarged Tegan and Clement, began to sneak up to the front door. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!! Darn, a magical alarm went off. The jig was up, as the party’s attempt at stealth was foiled. Billy sang an inspiring song, then all the spellcasters frantically threw last-minute spells, as the party gathered near the front door. Clement summoned a trio of Celestial dire badgers to help the party, as many haste spells were cast.

As expected, two Jotnaren came charging through the doors but were confused to see only Clement and Tegan at first. Soon, they also saw the badgers. Billy and Marielle stuck to the plan, using only non-attack spells to preserve their invisibility. Juno, with Improved Invisibility, wreaked his usual havoc with his bow. The Jotnaren fought well, but as the first two began to falter, the third turned tail and ran inside the tower, disappearing through internal doors.

The party said goodbye to Angelina, after she healed a few wounds, and Billy held back a tear as the beautiful Avoral disappeared back to the celestial plane clutching his Valentine’s Day card. After a quick search of the room, the party proceeded into the tower, searching each level as they looked for the inevitable onslaught of the dragons.

[Clement to add more details of searching the tower.]

After killing some frost ants and resisting the temptation of a message left by Thaddeus, to convince them to abandon the mission, the party found the top floor of the tower. Things were increasingly frozen, and the party found it necessary to remove their boots and use Spider Climb spells in order to negoitate the slippery goings. There was a hole dug from the tower into the mountainside, leading into deep, dark caverns.

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Cutting to The Chase
Temporary posting
Sorry, kids—I’m woefully behind in my recaps, so this post will be a quick summary of what we did last time.


  • Raised Marqvilla (see earlier adventure log.)
  • Scried on Mally. He was in a demonhide tent with a scary looking human and Dendritius. They were cackling about a glowing orb and something in the Beastlands.
  • Gathered info in St. Ingrid. The local “hymners” (bards), particularly the “regent”, Thaddeus, seem to be resisting the return of the monarchy. Corruption & graft rampant.
  • Council accepts us as champions, but doesn’t care about the Mally/Dendritius aspect.
  • We learn there is a spell of perma-blizzard protecting the castle.
  • Townspeople differ on the jotnaren’s alignment and special attacks.

  • Divinations say: 1) jotnaren have no special weakness such as fire, 2) we will face three big battles … jotnaren, baby dragons, papa dragon, 3) MELEE combat with jotnaren will bring us neither weal nor woe, 4) Hinterbite probably cannot wield the crown for mind control, 5) We should be Dexy to avoid trouble.

  • We set out for Castle Karrack! Taking an alternate route to avoid the blizzard, we are attacked by winter wolves and a lame wizard. We thump ‘em.
  • While on watch, Zethro the genie appears. He gossips about Dendritius, saying that he met the human companion once, and that he’s scarier than our mind flayer friend. Zethro digs us and offers to help buff us in the morning.
  • We sleep in a rope trick. Zethro explains he’ll give us three free invisibility and two free enlarge.
  • Clem divines that only Hinterbite can see through invisibility.
  • Billy casts clairvoyance: there are 3 jotnaren. One is sleeping, others doing t’ai chi (?)
  • We plan much buffing: Zethro will help (see below); we will cast lots of anti-cold stuff and summon a lesser planar ally (Angelina). Clement meditates for 8 hours and uses incense of maximum.
  • The party has a spirited discussion about whether to sneak into the castle, fireball the door, negotiate with the jotnaren, or just walk in. Pelor says:

    JOTNAREN CONSTRAINED TO FIGHT
    SUBTERFUGE IS SILLY
    FIREBALLS ARE LIMITED
    BURN (NOT DOORS) BUT CREATURES CHILLY

In the morning, Angelina agrees to help us in a temporary, limited, non-combat way in exchange for charitable contributions of 650gp to the poor. She will open the door and use her at-will and spell-like abilities, and lay on hands, if necessary. She is swell, and Billy finds himself blushing whenever he looks at her.

Zethro casts invisibility on Copernicus, Marielle and Billy; he enlarges Tegan and Clement. Other war planning noted elsewhere.

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Brrrr!
Traveling to Castle Karrack (New Year's Day, 2 of 2.)
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And Away we Go!
Off to the frozen North (New Year's Day 1 of 2)
  • Morning at the Crow’s Nest. Marielle brought the party coffee in bed, and each of us told her she’d recently become our favorite Cinq. After steel-cut oatmeal, prayer, communing with Billy’s muse, etc., Clement nipped out to the jewel merchant’s to purchase a 500 g.p. diamond which he hoped to use in raising Marqvilla from the dead.
  • We all met up at the morgue at the police station. Clement did his holy mojo, and the lovely Glasjenfreian maiden rose from the dead. At first she was bewildered, but she quickly recovered her senses. Billy eagerly stepped forward to lay hands on the blond bombshell, reciting the limerick about “the young girl who sat by the hearth”, and using the power of Fharlanghn to heal some of her wounds. She was very grateful, and gave each party member a lingering hug and moist kiss on the cheek, particularly the women.
  • She explained that while “Benny” was torturing and killing her, he kept babbling about two things: firstly, he wanted to know whether she was in league with Juno Nim, whom he despised and referred to as a “pointy-eared sneaky bastard.” Secondly, he wanted to know whether she had finished sending the money for the Frusenpurse. Frusenpurse? giggled Tegan.
  • You see, her native land was completely devoted to the worship of the goddess Ioun, who had come to Oerth in her avatar form and personally founded the new capital city of St. Ingrid after the townspeople had fled Castle Karrack, the earlier seat of the duchy.
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Requiem for a Heart of Gold
Murder and torture are bad! (Thanksgiving weekend part 2 of 2)
  • Juno, knowing that Les Cinq would soon be looking into every nook and cranny of the pleasure palace, excused himself to consult with Oni-chan and to hide any contraband from the other nobles’ eyes. The other four began to question Deimos the orog cleric using our traditional combination of zone of truth and detect thoughts. Apparently, the orogs had tried to parley because of some language in an old prophecy which indicated that it would be the strategy with the highest chance of success. Tegan snorted. Given that the chance of getting Kursk’s treasure using parley was “snowball’s chance in hell,” that’s hilarious, she thought. Deimos seemed depressed. It seemed that obtaining Kursk’s armor and axe was destined to usher in a new Golden Age of Orcs, but the prophecy indicated that if this battle failed, there would be an Age of Humans in the Thar, and the orc/orog civilization was doomed to weak and servile status. Nevertheless, we sent messages to the crown and the Council of Iron, urging more security forces be made available to protect travelers and keep an eye out for danger. Deimos further said that he was acting under the orders of the orogs’ current king, Nulathric, a mighty monarch with great treasure (guarded by his army) and power in the Underdark, but who was very interested in prophecies (he is a cleric) and who had no plans to attack Melvaunt without Kursk’s treasure to help. Clement and Marielle took the cursed items to the Temple of Pelor, where Archbishop Olmert vowed to plane shift with them to Elysium, where they would be stored in Pelor’s castle – a safer place seemed hard to imagine.
  • A council of war (of investigation, perhaps?) was convened at the brothel… er, Pleasure Palace… to look into Marqvilla’s murder; the ladies of the evening set out a nice Japanese tea ceremony. The attendees were Halmath Bruil, Lord Calaudra, Oni-Chan, the party, and Marqvilla’s roommates: a cerebral Hanamatchi named Hiroko and a cheap floozy named Vooba.
  • Hiroko and Vooba discussed Marqvilla’s background and character first. A beautiful blonde, she was immensely private and seemingly tortured. She wrote endless tear-stained letters, which she sprayed with perfume and sent to a mysterious correspondent with Andros’ help. She had a pot of some sort of oil with which she would periodically anoint the doorframe. She was very devout, and prayed daily to a strange icon that she hid under her bed. She often “wore” an ioun stone which provided extra wisdom. She had a tattoo of what looked like the Northern Lights on her back; the same image appeared on her only nice possession: a gold box which carried some sort of magical protection—Hiroko, despite her roguey skills, had never succeeded in picking the lock.
  • Marqvilla worked hard and never turned down a “gig.” She had two regular customers: Dornig Leirayghon and a gnome wizard named Thrixby Honeyblubber who seemed to speak Common with the same funny accent Marqvilla had. Both men showered her with gifts,all of which she sold. She seemed to be sending all her money away somewhere, again with Andros’ help. Her side of the apartment was bare and spartan.
  • Halmath told us the details of the crime. A handsome young blonde merchant named Benny Wûrpolam had recently appeared in town and presented himself as the CEO of Wûrpolam Imports. He came to the brothel (damn…. Pleasure Palace!) and set up a corporate account, filling out all the necessary forms. The clerk mentioned that he smiled smugly and kept spelling his name. The clerk also mentioned that Benny had terrible body odor. Benny used his account for the first time a few days ago to book two engagements. Firstly, he booked Hiroko and Vooba for a threesome at the Crow’s Nest. When they arrived, before they knew it, they had fallen unconscous. As she passed out, Hiroko thought she felt a slimy tentacle on her neck. Meanwhile, Benny arrived at the Pleasure Palace and went up to Marqvilla’s room. He never exited by the door (magic?), and soon Marqvilla was found dead. Her body showed some signs of torture (e.g. burns and a broken arm).
  • Les Cinq were incensed at this heinous crime, and we vowed to bring the perpetrator to justice. Tegan noted the tentacle aspect of the Crow’s Nest chapter of the story—could Dendritius be involved? Clement couldn’t wait to use his snazzy new raise dead spell (and a 500gp diamond) to bring Marqvilla back to life. Billy and Juno started working on a plan for our investigation. Beware our wrath, evildoers!
  • Billy, Clement and Marielle went to see Sister Rana, hoping she could identify the icon. After negotiating an information exchange for once (you may recall, reader, that the Oghmans treat information like currency), Rana explained that this was an icon of the northern goddess Ioun, creator of the eponymous stones, and a primeval goddess of knowledge. As such, she is something of a rival of Oghma’s, and her worshippers tend to squabble with his, although there is some mutual respect. Ioun is also known as “The Hearthfire,” because her knowledge cult grew out of the hospitality tradition of the polar lands; travelers would share a meal around the hearthfire and share information. Billy’s pointy ears perked up at Rana’s descriptions of Ioun and her cult, about whom he had known surprisingly little—although the Iounians were naively lawful, he thought, they seemed pretty cool! Ioun’s largest group of worshippers were in the small duchy of Glasjenfrei (capital St. Ingrid), which lay many days’ march to the north of Brestelcia’s northern border. Rana also performed a detect magic on the gold box and detected a strong aura of abjuration.
  • Meanwhile, Tegan and Juno went to see Andros. Andros confirmed that he had been sending Marqvilla’s letters and lots of gold to a mysterious correspondent, “O.B.” This person seemed to be on the move (multiple addresses), but had recently settled in …. wait for it … St. Ingrid in the duchy of Glasjenfrei.
  • Marielle and the boys joined Tegan and Juno at Andros’ shop and they indulged themselves in an orgy … of SHOPPING; get your mind out of the gutter! It felt good to turn those gold pieces into sweet sweet magic weapons, armor, etc.
  • What a day it had been! A tough battle, a shocking crime, and hours of shopping. Clement was beat. He couldn’t wait to sleep at the Crow’s Nest tonight; they were all too exhausted for the commute back to Trevethian Island. He did have some divination spells left, so he excused himself as Billy chatted with Andros, and asked Pelor, “What information about a clue in our investigation, O Shining One, should we know?”

    The god replied:
    “EVERYTHING ABOUT THE NAME IS REVERSED.”

  • Tegan looked thoughtful, and reached into her clutch purse for the lettered tiles she always carried. She laid the tiles out to read “Wûrpolam.” When reversed they read “Maloprûw.” Mally Maloprûw. The one remaining orog survivor from Glister, and Billy Bartholomieux’s evil doppelganger. Juno Nim cursed softly and let out a low whistle.

    Next time: A resurrection and more investigation, methinks?
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