Campaign of the Month: August 2007

Ptolus - Runic Street Boys

Pythoness House
Exploring a haunted brothel

The party arrived at the gates of the old castle style Pythoness House at first light. The old gate was hanging from its hinges and the party made it way into the courtyard with no trouble. Upon entering the courtyard the group immediately sensed a foreboding presence and felt like they were being watched. A booming voice seemingly coming from everywhere said, “COME TO ME”. Trying to locate the sound did no good so the party began to explore throughout the house. As they entered into the house the eerie feeling continued as shuffling sounds, plaintive moans and other creepy happenings were common throughout the house as they explored. One area they found rather quickly was one at the end of a hallway that contained the statue of an obese naked man. Despite its unsettling nature the clerics were also detecting undead from the statue but could not find out why so the group moved on exploring deeper into the house.

For the most part the house was run down and the house was left pretty much the same way it was when it was raided by the Knights of the Pale 3 years earlier. The linens were rotten and the carpets filled with mildew and the furniture covered with layers of dust. After examining the statue the party made it way up a set of stairs and down a hallway that had a door leading into one of the towers of the gatehouse. Climbing to the top of the tower the group found an area haunted by the ghost of cleric of Lothian named Taunell. At first the party was going to destroy him but they released he was a cleric of Lothian. They were able to determine that he was unable to communicate with the party without possessing one of them which Janos eventually allowed. Taunell told them that an evil spirit had control of the house and that undead roamed the house freely. He was unable to leave the gatehouse but the party would be save there if they needed to rest as the evil creatures would not enter there. He said that there was a great evil living in the highest part of the house and that there was a part of a key lying just below the gate house on a ledge above the courtyard. He also believed that there was something of value in the northeastern tower because he was unable to see into it.

After leaving Taunell, the party took their new information and continued to explore the house. The party moved to retrieve the key that Taunell mentioned and then headed upwards towards the northeast tower. They encountered the animated corpses of one of the old prostitute leaders and her undead entourage which they quickly dispatched thanks to the power of the clerics turning ability. Continuing upward the group ran into a group of ratlords and their demonic rat mounts which they dispatched without much effort.

In one of the rooms they found the journal of one of the other prostitute leaders who turned out to be seer. Her journal told of corruption of the house into a chaos cult front and the demons that had been brought in to protect the evil beings here (see Maquent’s Journal). They also learned that the statue they had found earlier was covering a shaft to an underground area where the cult had stored weapons of chaos. The statue could be moved with a special key that had been split into two parts which Maquent and the other leader, Radanna had each been responsible for. Radanna, Maquent had guessed, had hidden her piece in the northeast tower while Maquent decided to give her piece to a mad chaos creature in the house that she had befriended named only the Cobbled Man.
Armed with their newfound knowledge from the journal the party realized the key they had gained from the ledge outside the gatehouse would unlock the northeast tower entrance and so they climbed up to the area and found a trapdoor in the ceiling in the area they had fought the undead prostitutes and opened the secret area to the tower. Climbing up they found Radanna’s treasure store and the first part of the key that would give them access to the basement area. Climbing through the hatch to the roof they saw a central dome area over the main house. Remembering the words of the ghost Taunell and the writings in the journal they knew they would soon face the earthbound demon. The party took time to prepare spells and then turned to make the jump from the tower over to the domed area to face the demonic creature.

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The Sun Disks of Gaen

After the failure in Shulikar’s lair the party takes some time off to rest, recuperate and plan their next move. Khron decides that he might like to find another group to delve with and goes to the Delver’s Guild headquarters to investigate their boards for possible employment. There he finds a small boy named Frederick wanting to hire an adventuring group to find his father. Though reluctant, Khron agrees and returns to gather his party to save this boy’s father who has gone in search of the missing Sun Disks of Gaen that had been stolen from the church’s temple. The boy insists on going with them as he has the map. The party does not want this but sees no other way so they agree. Entering the dungeon with a new druidic friend named Cro as well as accompanied by a cleric Gaen, the group began its search for the lost sun disks.

Following the boy’s map the group enters a series of underground caverns where they battle sonic bats, drow and glowing slugs. The battle in the first level of the cavern culminates with battle with a xorn in a solid gold room. The party is able to vanquish the creature and take the sun disk that it has claimed. They find a passage to another area that turns out to be a duergar stronghold. The party is overwhelmed by the number of grey dwarves they have to battle and lose another cleric as well as the boy in the battle. Ultimately they rally back and win the fight and gain a second sun disk. Despite being wounded they push on to try to find the 3rd disk but run into an earth elemental who soundly thrashes the party and forces them to withdraw. They return to battle the creature a second time but during the battle, lose Janos who they take back to the surface along with the other bodies.

Taking the body of the Gaen cleric and the boy to the Temple of Gaen the party learns that Janos left instructions to be reincarnated in the event of his death. They also learn that the temple of Gaen has agreed to give them the ritual necessary to resurrect Dmitri and will also raise the boy if they agree to return for the 3rd disk. The party agrees but needs to recoup from their adventures first after reincarnating Janos as a half-orc.

While the party is taking time off from its adventures they learn that another group called the Golden Boys has successfully retrieved the last sun disk and has earned the favour of the temple of Gaen. The group finds themselves given the cold shoulder when they visit the temple and are unable to gain an audience with the high priest.

At odds as to what to do the party begins to investigate the chest that they recovered from Shulikar’s lair. They discover that they are unable to open it by any means known to them. Orbick looks at the design of the lock and begins to do some investigating. He learns that there exists a key called Neveran’s All-Key which is reputed to be able to open any lock magic or otherwise. The last known location of this key was an old brothel called Pythoness House located in Old Town. Pythoness House was last controlled by a chaos cult called the Crimson Coil which was all but destroyed when the house was raided by the Knights of the Pale 3 years ago. Since then those who have entered the house have never returned.

The party was about to investigate the house when a strange visitor arrived at their door. An Assari (lizardfolk) named Alyxye came to the party with a strange deal; he offered them their heart’s desire in exchange for a promise to do a service for him in the future. Despite their misgivings all the party besides Orbick agreed to this condition and received their rewards over the next several days. Orbick, however, found himself beginning to turn into an assari as time went on. Concerned by the change, Orbick and Cro go to Castle Shard to ask Lady Rill what is happening. Lady Rill examines Orbick and after a bit of investigation informs Orbick that he has come into contact with a curse that can only be bestowed by the avatar of the Assari god. Not wanting to give into Alyxy’s demands, Orbick and Cro head to find a dwarven alchemist who has supposedly cured this affliction for others. Their investigation leads them into the Serpent Caves where they are quickly overpowered by a spirit naga that kills Cro and charms Orbick.

Concerned that they haven’t heard from their friends since their trip to Castle Shard, Khron and Janos go in search of their friends. While at Castle Shard, they find out that they have left for the underground to find a dwarven alchemist. Deciding to go rescue their friends, they are accompanied by an elven cleric of Phobeul, the dreaming god, named Bernie who is looking for a group to assist him in his own quests. Heading into the Serpent Caves the group finds the naga and Orbick. The battle goes much better this time and the naga is vanquished and Orbick released from its control. However, Orbick has now become completely lizardfolk. He accompanies them to help Khron to Bernie’s ship which is also a temple of Phobeul, to so that the litorian can be restored from the draining damage of the naga. While Khron recuperates, Orbick informs Janos that he is leaving to find a cure for his condition. Unable to change his mind, Janos informs Khron of Orbick’s decision when the litorian returns to their Runic Street home.

While Janos and Khron decide what to do with their group now being down to two members, Bernie has an encounter with a Halfling bard named Popo Hardbottle who has had troubling dreams. Bernie does an investigation of Popo’s dreams while the Halfling sleeps and sees a strange creature made up of wires and multiple heads and 3 arms standing on a bridge ready to attack the poor Halfling. He learns that this place where the bridge that creature is standing on is called Pythoness House located in Old Town. Agreeing to help the Halfling, Bernie seeks out the adventurers he had just worked with to see if they would accompany him.

While Bernie is making his way to the Runic Street house, Janos and Khron are visited by a member of the temple of the Iron God. The Temple is following up on the chaositech they party surrendered to them several months ago. The cleric conducting the investigation is named Re’Ahl who quickly finds out that the party is not hiding any chaositech. However, as Bernie arrives and explains what he would like help with, Re’Ahl is intrigued by this creature and suspects that there is chaositech involved. He agrees to join the party in its investigation of the house since Janos and Khron would like to find the key to open the chest they found in Shulikar’s lair. The new version of the Runic Street Boys prepares for adventure and sets out to Old Town to discover the secrets of Pythoness House.

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Shulikar's Lair

Several months have passed since the last entry into the party journal. In that time the party has undergone many changes. Immediately following the death of Corvus and Dmitri the party had little time to mourn their losses or lick their wounds before they were called into service once again by Castle Shard. Lady Rill and Lord Zavare had been researching the condition of Lord Abercombe to remove his paralysis but had been contacted by a dark elf named Shulikar who claimed to have a way to restore him. However, the dark elf wanted sanctuary at Castle Shard and its protection in exchange for this antidote. Castle Shard was given 3 days to decide. In contacting the group, Lord Zavare said that he would rather not have to take the dark elf under his protection but would do so to free his friend from his bonds.

Taking the hint the party took it upon themselves to locate Shilukar’s lair on Brandywine Street in the Guildsman District. The lair was located under a scrap yard but the party soon found its way in. The lair was rife with blue gnoll guards which the party had little difficulty dealing with at first. Having brought along Deleme, the cleric they had met recently as a fill-in for Dmitri, the party seemed to handle the initial attack on the lair but were stymied when the shrinking wizard who had attacked them twice before ambushed them as they entered a cross intersection. The party withdrew after killing many of the gnolls but losing the half-orc bard they had hired for extra muscle.

Returning home to rest and recoup the party quickly restocked and returned to the lair to find it more fortified and again the shrinking wizard plagued them with fireballs and webs while blinking about the complex. Finally they vanquished his support and made their way deep into the lair. Unfortunately the found this part of the lair as well protected by two half-fiend blue gnolls who slaughtered their fill-in cleric and nearly killed the party. However the party did prevail only to have the newest hireling, a half-orc spiked chain fighter nearly kill them all when he was possessed by an idol found in one of the rooms.

The group manages to find who they think is Shulikar and kill him only to find out that he was someone illusioned to look like the dark elf. Having failed in their timeline to retrieve Shilukar’s secret for reviving Lord Abercombe the group collects its wounded and dead along with a mysterious chest from Shulikar’s lair and return home informing Castle Shard of their failure. Castle Shard has no choice but accept Shulikar’s deal and allow the dark elf the sanctuary he desires.

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A Person Found and a Party Betrayed

Returning to the mission of finding Phon Quartermail the party traced several dead-end leads before eventually deciding to find out where Helmut lived. Finding his house in the Temple District, Janos approaches the door to find a rather strange young woman there to greet him. The woman informed him that Helmut was away and that they should come back another time. She also gave him a knowing look that disconcerted him to the point where the party decided that Corvus would enter via the chimney and investigate. Following through with the plan, Corvus entered through the chimney and found Helmut’s study on the top floor. Rummaging through papers on the desk, Corvus saw some mad ramblings but one in particular stood out which mentioned breaking the chains and finding the dark elf Shilukar in a vacant lot on Brandywine Street before he brought doom.

Corvus was about to return to the party when he found a secret door behind a bookcase in the study. Opening it he found Phon lying on a bed in a secret room. The young girl seemed to be drugged so Corvus remained invisible and attempted to convince her to leave. Phon refused politely so Corvus went back to the party to let them know what was going on. They feared leaving her in such a state so the plan was to take her out with force if necessary. Going to the back of the house while Corvus re-entered through the chimney Janos and Orbick scaled the side of the wall and entered through a window opened by the imp. To help prevent them from being hindered Corvus transformed into a spider and webbed up the stairwell. Meanwhile Khron and Dmitri prepared to enter through the front door when they heard trouble.

Entering the study, however, the Janos found trouble as the young woman who had met him at the door was already waiting in the room with another man both with weapons drawn. They were asked to leave but when Janos refused, they moved to defend Helmut’s house. A short battle ensued with Khron and Dmitri having to burn through the webbing to assist while Janos and Orbick battled with the young man. Corvus meanwhile fought the young woman until Phon emerged from the secret room and ordered them to stop. She was very angry with the party for attacking her friends in her lover’s house. She would not listen to them when they said that Helmut was behind the attempt on her life. Finally, after much convincing the party manages to get her to go to Brother Fabitor’s to convince them that she is not under some sort of influence.

Heading down to St. Gustav’s the party has Brother Fabitor check out Phon and he tells them that she is not under any sort of spell. The party tries to convince Phon to see that they are just concerned for her but her anger remains strong. She storms out of the chapel and is in the process of walking home while Janos follows her. Meanwhile the Imperial Guard arrives at the temple with a complaint that the party invaded Helmut’s house and attacked his guests. Luckily, Khron is friends with the captain of the squad and he is able to explain the situation to keep the party from being arrested. The party leaves and heads for home as Janos manages to convince Phon to stay with them for the time being. Returning home, Phon is introduced to Alice who insists that the girl stay with her instead of at the house with the party. Corvus agrees to remain at Alice’s house in invisible form to protect them.

Before leaving for Alice’s, Corvus overhears Janos mention that he is going to the Red Stallion Pub for a drink while Orbick rests and Dmitri heads out as well. Never going to Alice’s instead Corvus asks Khron to help him with a matter of importance. Khron agrees and the two first go to the Onyx Spider where Corvus pays the bartender and receives a slip of paper. Taking the paper, Corvus explains that he believes he has a hint on what is happening with Helmut but he needs to visit a powerful Fate Weaver in the Necropolis to get the specific information. He wants Khron to act as his bodyguard while he is there. Khron, suspicious, nevertheless accompanies Corvus to the Necropolis where they are allowed in by the Knights of the Pale who warn them that the creatures will overpower them if they wander too far from the path. They also tell them that the island is protected from undead so if they get into big trouble they should head there.

Now very concerned, Khron continues to follow but has his weapon drawn and his shield at the ready. Corvus leads him through the length of the Necropolis and strangely the creatures seem to give them a wide berth. Finally they arrive at the Dark Reliquary and the doors are opened for them without question. Entering inside, Khron sees a beautiful woman with dark hair who says her name is Lilith. Lilith informs Khron that he has been foolhardy and that his ‘friend’ has betrayed him to her. Corvus is in fact possessed by the demon that was in the possessed watch. The demon named Ylouil has been in control since that time but agreed to share the body with Corvus when he found out that the party had been gathering silver weapons to kill him despite his working for the party’s benefit. The demon had not been so good for Ptolus however. During his time in control of Corvus’ body, Ylouil had gained an earring that protected him from being detected as evil as well as his location from being scryed. He had betrayed the Balacazar’s and given the secret of shivvel to the Killraven Crime Syndicate and sparked a drug war on the streets of Ptolus. Now, Ylouil sought more power and had made an agreement with Lilith for Corvus to regain his true form in exchange for Khron whom Lilith said was instrumental in the coming Night of Dissolution. As Khron prepared to fight for his life, suddenly Janos, Orbick and Dmitri appeared. Dmitri had been tipped off by the Balacazars who wanted Corvus dead for his betrayal and figured the party would do their work for them. Finding out that Khron had gone into the Dark Reliquary they rushed to Castle Shard for assistance. Lady Rill was able to give them each a contingency teleport that they each cast on an item before the sorceress located Khron and teleported them to his side.

As the group prepared to fight, Lilith stepped back and told Corvus to taste his power once more and to use it to destroy their enemies. Corvus was bathed in a dark light and suddenly transformed into a pit fiend! Returned to a semblance of his former self but without his spell-like powers, Corvus prepared to rush forward. He was met by Janos who attacked with a silver short sword and drew blood but not enough. Corvus unleashed a series of attacks that almost struck the rogue down where he stood. Khron also moved forward while Orbick began to launch magic missiles at the creature. Dmitri was able to heal Janos somewhat but paid for the action when Corvus attacked him and wrapped him up with his powerful tail. With a sickening crunch, Corvus crushed the life from the cleric causing him to lose his mace. The death of Dmitri was not in vain however as it gave Janos an opening to flank Corvus and successfully backstab the pit fiend with the silvered short sword. This followed up by attacks from the recently arrived Slynt the paladin and Khron destroyed the pit fiend guise and left Corvus as an imp once more. However, the imp was also short-lived as he was unable to escape the powerful combination of silvered and magic weapons along with the might of Orbick’s ever present magic missiles. In a flurry of attacks, Corvus was slain and the battle was over.

Looking at Lilith the party knew they had no chance against her. For her own purposes, she allowed the party to leave as long as the body of Corvus remained with her. The party was reluctant to do so, but not seeing another choice, they left the imp’s body and escaped through the exit. Seeing the creatures of the night were no longer subdued the party fought their way towards the southern gate but disappeared part way there thanks to Lady Rill’s teleport contingency. All of them disappeared except Slynt who bravely fought his way towards the gate until he was rescued by an extraction team of Knight’s of the Pale led by a dwarven cleric who turned many of the creatures.

Returning to Castle Shard the party found out that the extraction team was sent by Castle Shard in case the spells didn’t work and if they had more people to remove. The party was reunited and introduced to the leader of the extraction team, the dwarf named Flinder Stepstone. Flinder was interested in joining the team but when it was discovered that they had associated willingly with an imp, he changed his mind.

Having agreed to assist the party with their problem, Castle Shard now wanted the party to help with a problem that they were having. Lady Rill and Lord Zavere explained that they still had been unable to free Lord Abercombe from his stasis but they had received an offer from a dark elf named Shilukar stating he could restore Abercombe but that he wanted safe refuge in Castle Shard in exchange for his services. Not wanting to offer this to a dark elf but not seeing any other choice, the Lord and Lady said they had two days in which to decide on Shilukar’s offer at which point they would be forced to accept. If however someone were to get Shilukar’s method of restoring Abercombe, the point would be moot and they could turn down Shilukar’s offer without consequence. They did not outright ask the party to do the mission but hinted very strongly that it would be very helpful if someone would do so.

Taking the hint, the party planned to assist Castle Shard and knowing where his lair was, planned to tackle the chore the next morning.

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Missing Persons and Wafers

The party had just completed its mission in Toridan’s burrow and gained the freedom of Dmitri as per Castle Shard’s promise, the group was advised to ‘lay low’ for a time to allow things to settle. Using the time to work on the house, the party completes most of the renovations. Everyone settles into a routine; Khron trains and works with the men of the Imperial Guard, Orbick joins the Shabby Hat Guild, Corvus spends much time off on his own exploring his new found ability to fly and Janos spends much time in the Red Stallion Pub. Dmitri takes the time off to travel away to the Imperial City Tarsis to plead his case to the Gaen Church Council. He returns to the group with a pardon for his actions and a new position within the church as a Ray of Gaen; a combat-oriented cleric that would with adventurers to spread the light of the Gaen church. Dmitri’s return reunites the group just in time for a visit from Brother Fabitor who comes to inform the party that his has lost contact with Phon Quartermail, the young lady who brought the party together many months ago. Fabitor said that he hadn’t heard from her in some time and was concerned something had happened to her as asked the party to investigate her whereabouts.

Agreeing to the task but unsure what where to start the party works on putting together all the pieces of the puzzle that they have collected over the past several months. Finally they fixate on a piece of information regarding the individual who hired the hit on Phon in the first place – Methul Watcher. Unscrambling the name the party suspect that Methul Watcher is actually Helmut Itelstein, a cleric of the church of the Watcher of the Skies. Deciding to investigate Helmut the party heads to the observatory temple of the Watcher of the Skies only to find out that Helmut is not present. He is in fact out of town for some time and no one is really sure where he is. Deciding to investigate the temple more the party takes the tour and sees the large telescope pointed at the Spire. Corvus is immediately interested in finding out exactly what the telescope is watching but is unable to get past the protective field surrounding the scope.

While Corvus tries to get a closer look at the telescope the party decides to wait for the imp at the Red Stallion Pub. It is there that the party spies a young cleric named Delemele Sartaris crying. Janos asks her why she is crying to which she replies that she is cleric of Melann, the Goddess of Farming and she has been robbed of ceremonial wafers that are needed to in the fields north of the city for a fertility ceremony. She tells Janos that she was having lunch at the Gatehouse Pub in the Northern Market with her friend when the theft occurred. She had the wafers when she went in but they were gone when she was ready to leave. Offering to help her recover the wafers the party waited for Corvus then headed to the Gatehouse Pub. Asking around, the party is eventually helped by an overly friendly patron in the bar who claimed to see two dwarves steal the wafers and head along the wall to the Rivergate district. Not trusting the fellow, the party left while Corvus followed the individual invisibly once he left the pub. The imp followed him to a gardener’s shed in a park in the Rivergate district where the real person who stole the wafers was hiding out.

The party attempted to take the shed but didn’t realize that they had been spotted and that the two individuals had taken to the trees and the park. The two also introduced the party to the power of dragon pistols almost killing Corvus in the process before being subdued by the party. Recovering the wafers, the group learned that a rival cleric in Delemele’s church who Delemele had outted as being corrupt leading to his excommunication had plotted his revenge on her by stealing the wafers to discredit her. The two were dropped off at the local Watch house while Delemele thanked the party by offering to heal them for free whenever they needed her. Having helped the young cleric the party then had to return to the business at hand by finding the missing Phon.

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The Drug Lord, Deep Sea Diving and Battle in the Burrow

Agreeing to take the mission the party takes its leave and after leaving the Noble’s Quarter heads to the Rivergate district to visit Linech’s burrow. The drug lord lives at the end of a dead end street and the party soon learns that the enclosed area is controlled by the drug lord. They meet a rather creepy young girl at the entrance to the burrow before going to Linech’s office to ‘apply’ for the job. Meeting the half-orc, the drug lord informs the group that he has lost is daughter, Linele, in a fire that destroyed a facility that he owned north of Ptolus. He continues to say that he hired a ship named the Arrrowhead to return his deceased daughter’s remains to him but that the ship was sunk by fire in the Bay of Ptolus. Linech offers a reward to the party if they agree to go to the bottom of the bay and retrieve his daughter in her glass coffin and return it to him. He further offers to provide them each with a potion of water breathing if they agree to mission. However, he does insist that his association, Seanus, a Halfling rogue accompany them as his official representative. The party agrees to the mission and before leaving comments on the detailed golden statue that Linech has in his office. He replies that it was a gift from someone he refers to as his ‘special friend’. Agreeing to take the mission, the party plans to meet Seanus at the docks in the morning and returns home to prepare for the next day’s events. Castle Shard is informed of the mission and they respond that they will further reward them if they follow through with the mission itself.

The next day arrives and the party meets Seanus at the docks. Renting a boat the party questions a few people and gets a rough location of where the Arrowhead sunk in the harbour. Rowing out to the location, it is agreed that Seanus will stay in the boat to keep it in place while the party goes below to find the ship and complete the mission. Corvus transforms in his newly developed ability to take the form of a monstrous spider and, after attaching a web line to the bottom of the boat, drops into the water and begins to sink to the floor of the bay. The rest of the party uses the line as a guideline to follow the transformed imp and soon reach the bottom of the bay.

After searching for about an hour the party finally finds the wreckage of the Arrowhead resting on the bay floor. Moving in for a closer look, the group runs into a pair of sahuagin and sharks. Defeating the creatures and encountering more resistance inside the broken hull of the ship which the party also dispatches, the group sees that the creatures have been removing the contents of the ship and hauling them to the north along the bottom of the bay. Some crates remain with wrapped shivvel and a secret room with dead slaves is also discovered.

Following the trail along the bottom, the party arrives at an underwater cave mouth. Cautiously entering the cave, the party runs into more sahuagin and manages to eliminate all but one of them which escapes through a chimney section part of one of the side tunnels. Pursuing the creature, the party ascends the chimney and arrives in an underwater lake with a beach where they see several slaves moving boxes under the watch of human thugs and several sahuagin. The glass coffin lies broken on the beach as well. An iron door is set into the cave wall of the beach and a small rowboat sits anchored to the shore pointing out toward a side passage that exits to the bay. Corvus transforms himself back into an imp and flies up to the top of the cave to keep watch. The rest of the party moves into position and proceeds to attack those on the shore dispatching all of the enemies except for two guards; one who escapes through the iron door and one guard who informs them that the body of the girl suddenly came alive and busted out of the coffin and took off to the south. While the party takes to tie up the guard, the two slaves free themselves from their bonds and escape using the rowboat. An investigation of the iron door finds it locked and the guard informs the party that the door leads to a staircase that goes up to a mansion owned by the Balacazars.

As the group prepares to follow the girl’s trail, Corvus spots a dwarf in the lake spying on the party. The group prepares to attack but the dwarf comes out of the water and claims that his is not their enemy but rather was merely there to observe them. He explains his name is Eberk and that he is a cleric of the church of the Iron God. He explains that his church had taken notice of the group and had sent him to observe the group’s activities to determine if they were of a threat to the church. He agrees to assist the group with their quest having determined that their goals seemed pure enough.

Having gained a new ally the party proceeds to follow the girl’s trail to the south. They find another chimney going down this time and follow it. Arriving in a small submerged cave, the group finds the girl sitting in the corner. Eberk instantly knows that she is undead (some sort of vampire spawn) and uses his turning ability to keep her at bay when she attempts to move on Khron. Ultimately the party is forced into slaying the girl once more and notice a small pocket watch that falls from her hand. The item radiates evil but before anything can be done with it, Corvus picks it up. A powerful explosion occurs and the both the watch and the amulet worn by Corvus and destroyed in the concussive blast. Quite wounded and worried that they will be pursued by those in the mansion. Exiting through a side tunnel the group’s progress is slowed by a giant crab that defends the corridor but is almost slain by Khron with a single blow when the litorian activates the mark on his arm and cleaves into the creature with one mighty attack. Escaping the cave the party hustles back to the Arrowhead and then up to the boat. Once there they find that Seanus is missing to which Eberk informs them that he had knocked out the Halfling but had put him in his boat which now seems to have drifted away. Not seeing the boat anywhere on the horizon and worried about pursuit, the party finds that there is only one oar in the boat and which proves to make it difficult to make it back to the docks. Finally the group makes it back to shore and parts company with the dwarven cleric. Feeling banged up the party decides to return home to rest up before reporting back to Linech. A box is purchased to keep Linech’s daughter’s remains in and the party returns to their house. Corvus is given the remains of the amulet and the watch to take to Castle Shard which he does before meeting the party back at the house. A message awaits the group that says that the Castle is pleased with their progress and also informs them that the golden statue in Linech’s office is of great interest to them and they would like the party to retrieve it for further reward.

Deciding to accept the offer the party begins to plan on how to handle an attack on Linech’s burrow. Deciding to pick up some supplies first, the group heads down to St. Gustav’s for some healing and to re-supply at Delver’s Square. On their way back from the Square the party spots a pair of blue coloured gnolls dragging a body into an alley towards a sewer grate. Deciding to interfere they move into position to help when suddenly the dragged figure sits up and unleashes a fireball down the alley. Though caught by surprise the group is fortunately relatively unharmed by the attack and kill the two gnolls but the figure who the group recognizes as the wizard who attacked them in the Temple of the Rat God manages to escape much to Orbrick’s chagrin. Searching the alley the group notes two things; one is that the gnolls seem to have been dyed to look blue and secondly they find a slip of paper with only one word on it; Helmut. Unable to find the ambushing wizard, the group returns to their house hoping to get some rest before reporting to Linech. Unfortunately, they get very little time before a group of twelve men lead by a bandaged Seanus arrives at the party’s door demanding the group go with them to report to Linech. Realizing they really have no choice, the group retrieves the crate with Linele’s remains and accompanies their ‘escort’ across town to Linech’s burrow. Battered, bruised and low on spells the group wonders how they will work their way of this mess.

Arriving at Linech’s burrow, the group notes that several crossbowman stand on the roofs of the two of the buildings. The group of 12 men escort the group into the courtyard where they are met by Linech who is standing next to the entrance to his office. He questions the group on why they have not reported to him to which Janos attempts to explain how battered they were. Not really seeming to care about their condition the half-orc asks them if they completed their mission. When Janos shows him the crate and explains that the Balacazars were likely the ones who destroyed it Linech seems visibly upset and asks them if they found anything on Linele’s body. When the group responds that they did not find anything, Linech orders for them to be killed. Thinking quickly the group begins to escape from the centre of the mob while Khron starts to work on eliminating the thugs. Janos tumbles free of the group while Corvus takes to the sky. Orbick casts mirror image on himself before turning to the back part of the mob of thugs and burning hands them taking out four. As Corvus takes to the sky he is hit by a crossbow so he moves to intercept Linech who fired magic missiles at Orbick hoping to disrupt some of the magical images and prevent the wizard from casting more spells. When Janos makes the landing, Linech retreats into his office building as his dwarven bodyguard moves to intercept the party’s rogue. The battle continues with the group gradually taking out the thugs. Corvus attempts to enter the side door of Linech’s office but is blasted by some sort of magical trap. Dropping unconscious he is unaware of the next few moments until he is revived by Linech himself who wants the imp to change sides in exchange for power within his organization. Corvus agrees to help and is given a healing potion by Linech who then waits for the party to get into his office.

Finally dispatching the last of the opposition, the party turns its attention to the office building. Orbick falls victim to the door trap while Khron literally falls as the stairway to the second floor office slides away into a pit trap. Thinking he has the advantage, Linech steps out of his protected office and prepares to cast magic missiles on the heavily wounded Litorian. It is at that point the Corvus, now in spider form, leaps on the drug smuggler and knocks him down the stairs while gnawing on his head. In a last defiant shout, Linech screams, “Ylouil you traitorous bastard!” just before Corvus massive spider mouth crunches on the half-orc’s head killing him.

Realizing the battle has been rather noisy, the group quickly loots the office and then puts the golden statue in a cart and heads to the Nobles Quarter to Castle Shard. Lord Zavere and Lady Rill are very pleased with the group’s efforts and tell them that the statue is actually a dear friend of theirs that is a living statue named Lord Abercrombe. They are not sure why he is frozen but Lady Rill informs them that she will start working on freeing him right away. The group is paid their full reward for their work and Lord Zavere informs them that he will do his best to have Dmitri freed from jail as well as help with the fallout from the fight in Linech’s Burrow. He advises the group to lay low for a few months while things quiet down.

The next few days see the release of Dmitri but this news is not well received by the church of Gaen who excommunicates the cleric even though he maintains his holy powers. The cleric is grateful for the party’s efforts but informs them he is taking a caravan job to Taris so he can plead his case to the head of the church. He promises to return once he has regained his right to practice his allegiance to Gaen.

The party takes the next three months to relax and work on the house finishing the repairs and upgrades. Orbick joins the Shabby Hat Guild and learns of a contest sponsored by the Inverted Pyramid. The group hides a scroll within the city that allows the wizard that finds it to access the secret thirteenth month for magical study. The wizard that finds it is said to be shoe-in for membership within the Inverted Pyramid. Janos spends his time working on the house, spending time with the locals at the Red Stallion Pub, cooking with Alice and generally taking it easy. Khron spends time at Dalenguard training with the military men thanks to the permission of his uncle and Corvus takes up a job on Dweomer Street as a lab assistant. Live settles into a comfortable routine for the summer until one day Brother Fabitor comes to visit with news. It seems that Phon Quartermail has disappeared….

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Possession is Ninth-Tenths of the Law

Standing in the house with the bloodied form of Dmitri the cleric in the kitchen while the Imperial Guard waited outside, Janos decided to go out to talk to the Captain of the Guard, Grayden. Grayden informed Janos that Dmitri was to be charged with the murder of Father Raimynd of the Temple of Gaen . Apparently Dmitri had walked into the temple during mass and bludgeoned the priest to death before anyone could stop him. He had returned to the house and had been traced there by the guard.

Returning to the kitchen Janos informed Dmitri of the trouble to which Dmitri responded in a different voice and with his eyes glowing red. “You didn’t really believe you would desecrate our temple and get away with it did you?” At this point, Orbick sensed trouble and fired a ray to subdue Dmitri. The battle joined Dmitri drew his suddenly glowing red mace and began to attack the group. Janos drew a sap and also tried to subdue the cleric hitting him hard but not dropping him. Khron, not prepared for combat grabbed his weapon and rushed into battle but could not hit the well-armoured cleric.

Corvus attempted to charge forward to take away the mace from Dmitri but the cleric saw the move and smashed the imp quite hard knocking the still injured Corvus back into unconsciousness with the glowing red mace. Trading blows for a time, Dmitri healed himself before seeing the guards start to arrive to assist the party. It was at that point that a glowing doorway opened before him and he stepped through, escaping the guards and the party.

Needless to say the guards were not pleased with the loss of their prisoner but they did see the party attempting to subdue the cleric so they were not arrested on the spot. Instead, the party was told they would have to vacate the premises for the night while a special magical investigator was called in to track the fugitive cleric. Captain Grayden gave Janos the card of one Dularius Mul – Sorcerous Investigations.

While the others leave to check into the Ghostly Minstrel, Janos remains in the shadows of a nearby alley to the house to watch the investigation. Near midnight he spotted a flying carpet floating over the rooftops descending when he reached the party’s house. A man clad in rather garish robes stepped off the carpet and took up his large staff with deft fingers. His shock of blonde hair seemed to stand straight up with a mind of its own and his dark goggles encompassed his face like two dark moons. A variety of jewelry glittered upon his hands as the guard’s torch light played upon the surface of the many gems and jewels.

The figure conferred with the guards for a moment never taking his eyes from the house in question but undoubtedly taking in all that was being said. Finally with a curt nod he walked into the house through the side entrance to the kitchen and disappeared from Janos’ sight. In moments brilliant flashes of light could be seen escaping the shutters and through the doorway. Mere moments later, the figure returned to the street; uttered something to the guard and then stepped upon his carpet once more. Seating himself in the cross-legged position and placing his staff next to him, he quickly rose above the buildings and flew over the rooftops towards the direction of Old Town.

Deciding nothing new would be found out at that point as the guards busily secured the house once more Janos stopped to inquire what the guards had learned when Alice came rushing down the street to the house screaming that Tommy had been taken by Dmitri. Rushing to her aid, Janos learned that Dmitri had gone to Alice’s house and she had let him in not knowing anything was wrong. He then changed his demeanor as he took her oldest boy hostage and told her to tell his ‘friends’ that they would be able to find him to finish this ‘where it had all started’. Janos immediately knew that Dmitri was referring to the Temple of the Rat God. After calming Alice down he promised her he would rescue Tommy and return him to her. The housekeeper reassured he left to find the others at the Ghostly Minstrel.

Meanwhile at the Minstrel, Orbick had gone immediately to rest while Corvus and Khron remained in the bar. There they met a strange man named Thaddeus Brown. Thaddeus was an old man with a full head of white hair that protruded off in all manner of directions and he seemed to be an inventor of sorts. They also soon learned that Thaddeus was now quite blind. Apparently he had lost his sight in an accident that had claimed the life of his young assistant, Marti. Thaddeus, however, believes that Marti will return one day.

While the pair is talking with Thaddeus, Janos arrives and informs them of what has happened to Tommy. Quickly they make their way up to their rooms to gather their gear as well as Orbick. Thaddeus follows them and informs them that he has heard through is connections that the rat creatures have gotten their hands on some sort of a construct. He would like to have a chance to examine the device if at all possible but he also has access to some of his old equipment which he keeps in his room at the Minstrel. After rummaging for a bit he manages to find a tanglefoot bag along with an experimental potion that simulates a night’s rest for a wizard to recharge. The problem with taking it is that the wizard will have to sleep twice as long once it wears off in a deep slumber to counteract the effects of the potion. Orbick, tapped out from the fight with Dmitri and without a full nights rest takes the potion and recharges his spells.

As Orbick studies, Janos heads down the stairs to look for another sword arm since the group is down a member. He finds a dwarven cleric named Thorian Hammersong. Thorian agrees to join the group but will not take anything less than an equal share of the treasure. Reluctantly, Janos agrees to his terms and the party heads off to the temple to face the unknown.

In little time the group is once again outside the back entrance to the Rat God Temple preparing for another assault. The door is opened to reveal the same layout as before with the statue at the end of a rectangular room on a raised dais. However, this time there are two rows of lit black candles seated upon tall candelabra lining a 10-foot wide path leading up to the stairs of the dais. Carefully making his way to the dais, Corvus proceeds to push the statue back after finding the activation method. Unfortunately he realizes too late that the movement of the statue will cause it to knock over one set of candelabra. It hits the floor and erupts in a fiery blast catching the imp in its radius. Scorched and somewhat angry the imp has little time to deal with the injuries before several ghouls come climbing out of the room below and attack. The group makes short work of the foul undead and makes its way down into the cellar area of the temple. They find that the walls have seemingly been altered. The hallway of darkness remains but the secret room off to the right has been eliminated and there is now a wall at the end of the darkened hallway instead of a blade trap. As they are searching for an exit, a click is heard as the statue above slides back into place and water starts to pour into the chamber through the many rat holes opening into the chamber.

The threat of drowning puts new life into the party as they divide into two groups: one works on trying to move the statue while the other looks for a secret door or some way to turn the water off. As they search, Orbick realizes that the water actually has a sizeable amount of oil mixed in with it so decides not to blast his way out. Corvus finally decides to push his way through the water coming through the rat holes and disappears out of sight. Meanwhile, Khron and Janos take turns trying to move the statue with no luck. Khron actually activates the rune upon his arm and with a feat of great strength almost moves the statue but falters at the last minute. However, his move inspires Janos who screams; charges up the stairs to tackle the statue and manages to spring the locking mechanism on it. Together he and Khron manage to move the statue and the group escapes except for Corvus who was making his way through the rat holes.

Corvus finally found one hole that broke off from the others that did not have water going through it so he took it and found himself in a hallway that he hadn’t seen before. Figuring out where he was in relation to the group he quickly found a trap door to the room the group had been trying to get to in the first place. Opening the door, he found himself confronted by 4 rat brutes and a monolithic looking construct of a minotaur that has a monstrous drill for a hand. Metal and flesh meshed into a powerful looking abomination that Corvus knew he could not defeat alone. Behind the construct in the far corner of the room lay poor Tommy. The boy was unconscious but relatively unharmed. Behind the construct directly stood Dmitri. The cleric’s eyes glowed a crimson red as he spoke with a voice of another. The voice said that Corvus had lost his way and that the forces of those of the Sleeping Ones had to take matters into their own hands. If Corvus wanted to save those who had been possessed and captured he would have to willingly take the amulet from around Dmitri’s neck. The entity that controlled the cleric would then take control of Corvus and the balance would be restored so that the Night of Dissolution could continue as long foretold. If he did not agree he would be destroyed and another less suitable candidate would be chosen to take his place. It would not be ideal but one such as Corvus could not be allowed to work for the other side in such an important time.

Fearing that he had no other way to save the others from the watery death as he did not know they had escaped, and wanting to free Dmitri and save Tommy, Corvus agreed to the entity’s terms. Stepping forward he knelt before Dmitri and the amulet was placed upon his neck with his full agreement. The entity had gotten exactly what it wanted….

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A Carriage Ride to Murder

Having successfully raided Toridan Cran’s house and finding his ledger of illegal activities the party still wanted to question him further on his involvement with the attempted assassination of Phon Quartermain. They had found the entry in his ledger indicating Toridan had been hired by someone named Methul Watcher to kill Phon and has specifically requested that the job be sub-contracted out. No other information on this person was in the ledger. Since Toridan had been quite injured and Dmitri used his magics to somewhat heal the party the group decided to keep Toridan secured in the basement of the house until the next day. In the meantime the party took turns resting until morning and then set about selling off the treasure and items they had gained so far. Corvus and Dmitri went to Delver’s Square to sell of some of the weapons and armour they had gained and while there they ran into another group of Republicans doing a rally. Corvus had a little exchange with the leader of the group named Helmut Itelstein but suddenly everything seemed to slow down and he heard a voice speaking to him in Infernal . Seemingly, the voice was all around him but only Corvus could hear it. It said, “Why have you abandoned us? You must return to your nature and awaken us . The night of dissolution is at hand.”

The group got a visit from a priest of Aesche named Mand Scheben who claimed to be a representative of the Castle Shard. Dmitri told the party that Castle Shard was a powerful keep in the city who especially hated the shivvel trade. Mand had been instructed by the Lord and Lady of the Castle to invite the party to visit the castle to discuss an issue with the Lord Zavere. Mand said that the Lord and Lady of the Castle knew of the raid on Toridan’s and the party’s concern that the half-orc might have connections to escape justice. Mand assured the party that if the half-orc was dropped off at the watch house in the North Market a half hour after sunset, guards loyal to justice would arrest him. So Janos, Corvus and Orbick dropped Toridan off with his ledger via carriage while Dmitri remained behind in case any of Toridan’s henchmen found out where he had been taken.

The three were talking on the ride home when they realized that the carriage was moving rather quickly and discovered that the door had been blocked somehow. Examining the carriage they found that the only windows in the carriage were a little over a foot in size. Quickly Corvus tried to squeeze out and at that point saw some sort of black ichor splattered and hardened over the door sealing it shut. Meanwhile, inside the carriage Janos tried to kick it out but didn’t have any luck so he started stabbing at the roof.

While climbing out of the window, Corvus was almost skewered by a lizard-like creature armed with a spear. It even walked over the side of the carriage and stuck there while it was stabbing at him. As Corvus worked on getting free of the window while avoiding getting stabbed, Janos broke through the roof and poked his head out of the top of the carriage. Suddenly, he caught a strong smell of salt air and looked forward to see that there was no driver and that the horses were in full gallop and they were headed down Bridge Street which leads towards the docks. Janos then remembered with some concern that before the street made it to the docks it made a rather sharp turn at the edge of the cliff that the horses didn’t seem likely to make at their current crazed gallop.

In an inspired act, Orbick fired a magic missile at the creature stabbing at Orbick before casting a levitate spell as Janos and Corvus leapt from the carriage. Just before Orbick drifted out of the cut hole in the top of the carriage the creature screamed and yelled as it careened over the cliff with the carriage. Janos was able to tumble his way out of most of the damage but Corvus smacked hard into the side of a building and was unconscious. Orbick, meanwhile, gently drifted down to the edge of the cliff watching the carriage make a big splash far below.

The trio decided to WALK home after that and returned to find Dmitri gone. Concerned of an attack on the associates of the group, Janos wanted to fire Alice to protect her. Alice , however, felt she would still be a target now anyway so she might as well have the protection of the group. Janos returned to the house shortly before Dmitri walked in the side door covered in blood and his eyes glazed over. The group managed to wake him up and again he had no memory of what had happened. His mace was covered in bits of bone and hair and his robes were splattered with a great deal of blood. As the group was deciding what to do there was a loud knock on the door. A quick look out the window revealed that it was the Imperial Guard and they were looking for Dmitri to arrest him for murder!

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The Shivvel House Raid

While Corvus was spending a few days being redeemed by the Brotherhood, the rest of the party spent the downtime resting from the encounter at the warehouse and working on their house repairs. Three days passed with the group waiting to hear word from Corvus. The only break in the quiet time was the return of Slynt who had been off exploring the city. Khron took the time to show the paladin the improvements they had made to the house while Janos continued to work on the repairs to the roof. Alice the housekeeper was busy cleaning and cooking the suppertime meal while Orbick sat in the main room trying to study unsuccessfully as Janos hammered away overhead. Once Khron finished with the tour for Slynt he returned to the roof and assisted Janos. He was hammering away when Yenneck from next door came over to complain about the noise and through a rather forced and awkward conversation with Khron mentioned that he had heard barbarians were moving again in the east and many thought they were going to sack the capital city once again.

Khron had little time for small talk as he spied Corvus returning from his time with the Brotherhood of Redemption. The imp was rather uncertain of what had happened but the group is able to ascertain that he no longer was evil. Dmitri was pleased with this change of events but still cautious around the imp. Eventually the group decided to turn its attention to investigating the lead they had gained from their raid on the warehouse. Janos and Corvus decided to investigate the house where this shivvel dealer named Toridan Cran lived.

Waiting until dark the duo made their way to the Longbottom part of the Midtown district while Dmitri returned to his temple for evening meditation. Khron, Slynt and Orbick remained at the house waiting for word from the others. Following the trail of shivvel junkies they found the house at the end of Nar Street which was the lair of one Toridan Cran. Along the way there, Corvus was sure that he saw Dmitri following them but when he turned, the cleric was not in sight. Turning back to the business at hand, the pair took stock of the neighbourhood. Most of the surrounding buildings were rundown and abandoned but a single storey house at the end of the block seemed to have a steady stream of activity. Deciding a closer look was necessary, Janos and Corvus made their way to the side door and knocked. A gruff voice on the other side questioned them and Corvus replied that he was there to buy product for his master. The door was opened and a price negotiated before the pair was allowed in. Stepping into the messy and overly cluttered room, they got their first look at the ‘crazy wizard’ Collus who was sitting at the kitchen table reading a book and absent-mindedly lighting up his finger with magically flame. The man who opened the door went into a backroom through a curtain where the group saw the form of a large half-orc pass a package to the man they later found out was named Gunn.

Buying their drugs, the pair left the house and this time it was Janos who thought he saw Dmitri but like Corvus before him, when he turned completely to look closer there was no one there at all. Deciding to check out Dmitri’s story the two headed to the temple of Gaen where they questioned an acolyte about Dmitri’s whereabouts. The acolyte indicated that the cleric had been there all evening. Going to check on him, the two found him in a trance-like state but he awakened as soon as they touched him. Unaware of the time lost, the cleric was surprised as they told him what had happened.

Returning with Dmitri to the house they filled the group in on what they had learned. Deciding to raid the house at dawn, the party makes battle preparations and then gets some sleep unsure of what to think about Dmitri’s situation but unable to deal with it at the moment. A few hours later the group found themselves in the alleyway near Toridan Cran’s house. Corvus, Janos and Orbick returned to the side door posing as interested buyers once again while the others planned to kick in the front door. All went according to plan as Corvus convinced Gunn to open the door and then the attack was launched. Corvus and Janos were able to dispatch Gunn quickly allowing Corvus to move into the kitchen. Unfortunately, the imp did not see the rather large half-orc standing in the corner with his great axe poised to strike until Toridan brought it down on him, nearly cutting him in half. As he staggered away, Corvus slashed out with a short sword he had taken from the party’s treasure. The blade went wide and Corvus darted for the relative safety of the kitchen table as Janos tumbled into the fray. Rolling through and back to his feet, Janos’ twin short swords slashed twin cuts on the angry half-orc as Orbick provided timely magic missile support.

As the battled raged on in the kitchen, the group in the alley crashed the front door of the house. Unfortunately, the battle in the kitchen had alerted Collus, the pyromaniac wizard, of trouble. He stood in the far corner of the room and summoned a small fire elemental to bar the way into the room. While the group dealt with that problem, the wizard cast burning hands, scorching those in the doorway. Finally the combined efforts of Slynt, Khron and Dmitri eliminated the elemental and they quickly dispatched the wizard shortly thereafter.

Having cleared the living area, Khron and Slynt made their way through the curtain into the kitchen to assist Janos and the heavily injured Corvus. Emboldened by the arrival of his friends, Corvus finished quaffing a potion of healing and rushed back into the fray only to be cut down again by Toridan’s deadly axe. Shortly thereafter the others of the party managed to bring the half-orc down into unconsciousness ending the battle.

A search of the house revealed a ledger filled with Toridan’s criminal activities and contacts which the party quickly packed away for future examination. A loose floorboard was discovered and an iron box containing Toridan’s current wealth along with some potions. Orbick relieved Collus the mage of his spell book as well as his treatise on arcane arts. Having picked the house clean, the party tied up Toridan and returned to their house to question him.

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The Redemption of Corvus

Leaving St. Gustav’s, Corvus makes his way following Brother Fabitor’s directions to the Monastery of Redemption located in the Guildman’s District. The imp can see the southern wall of the city as he makes his way down Lost Lady Street. Looking at the slip of paper with the address, Corvus finds himself in front of a simple townhouse. Entering the building, he finds it to be decorated very spartanly with soft candlelight being the primary light source. As he enters he can detect the smell of lavender and other types of incense burning in small braziers.

A young man with a shaved head and dressed in the simple robes of a monk comes down a short hallway and meets Corvus at the door, “May I be of assistance, stranger?” he says in a pleasant voice with a smile on his face.

Corvus stands silent for a moment and detects good and magic on the monk (because they are innate abilities, there are no verbal, semantic or material components) Corvus’ innate abilities confirm this is a place of good and he does detect an aura of magic about the place but not on the monk in front of him.

Feeling as if everything appears to be kosher Corvus drops his cloak and says, “I’ve been told that you have the ability to… moderate … evil. I’ve run into a problem with my companions and have come seeking information.”

As he removes his robe and inquires about information the monk is momentarily taken aback but then composes himself and says, “Ah, I see. Perhaps it would be best for you to speak with Mistress Mooncircle. She is more…adept at these sorts of conversations than I. Please, take a seat and I shall return momentarily with the Mistress.”

With a small bow, the acolyte excuses himself and heads back down the hallway. The sound of a large door can be heard opening and then closing. After a few moments, the monk returns trailing a striking-looking female human dressed similarly to the acolyte. Her brown hair is pulled back into a tight bun atop her head and her green eyes are sharp and intelligent.

The woman looks Corvus up and down and then finally says, “I am Yuethi Mooncircle and I am told that you are inquiring about information. What is it you would like to know?”

The imp replies, “Good evening Mistress Mooncircle. I am Corvus. I have been told by Brother Fabitor of St.Gustav’s that you have the ability to… redeem? …evil? While I find this difficult to understand, I am open to the idea. How do you do it?”

The woman looks at Corvus and waves a hand, uttering an incantation which Corvus does not need to detect to know is magical in nature. " Yes, our brotherhood redeems those from the path of darkness. We use a combination of magical spells, elixirs and music to re-align one’s aura to a more…harmonious one. We have assisted others of your kind and have been quite successful. I am curious though. Usually, those of your kind do not seek out such a place as this. Why are you really here?"

“I am old Mistress Mooncircle. I find myself at a disadvantage and in a weakened state. I do not know why I am here, but I am beginning to see some things in this world that are of an evil that disturb even me. Perhaps my masters are best served if I align myself with the powers of good. Either way, I require protection. I have alienated some of my comrades and this is unacceptable at this point. It’s my understanding that some of those you have changed have become citizens. Citizenship would be an asset. Yes, my reasons for seeking you out are selfish. I am evil after all. Part of me does not believe that you can change the true nature of evil, so the attempt will cost me nothing. This is as honest as I can be. I will submit willingly, and fully intend to revert later. If you truly can change my nature then it will not be a problem. Have I answered your question Mistress?”

The woman raises an eyebrow at Corvus’ candour but says nothing for a moment. “Very well, if you are ready to begin you first step begins now.”

She motions to the acolyte who brings in an earthen mug with steam rising from it. The acolyte brings the tray close to Corvus and offers the drink to him.

“Your first step towards redemption, Corvus, is to drink that elixir. It will begin the sleep that will cleanse you of your evil nature. You will awaken in several days with some vague memories of a bad dream but will find your attitudes towards the world changed. This will be a permanent change unless further altered by other magic. You will have no desire to return to your old ways and will become a person of good intent. If you are sure this is the step you wish to take, drink all the liquid in the mug please.”

“We shall see Mistress, we shall see ,” Corvus says as he drinks.

At first nothing seems to happen but then the imp is aware of a warming sensation within him. It is a strange sensation as he has never felt the effects of any sort of alcohol or poison in his system before this. However, he is aware of a magical aura spreading throughout his system and the glow of good around the acolyte and the Mistress begins to fade as does Corvus’ consciousness. The moment before he passes out he notices that both the acolyte and the mistress both smiling warmly at him…..

…..Corvus’ eyes open and he is lying on a simple cot. The sound of a wagon can be heard on the street outside as can children playing tag in the alleyways. He turns over and can see out into a hallway and hears the sounds of footsteps. Soon enough the familiar face of the acolyte who created him at the door is standing there. He smiles warmly as he offers Corvus another drink of what smells like coffee.

“Good morning, Master Corvus, your transformation is complete. Are you feeling well enough to return to the outside world?”

A quick examination of his body reveals no markings or other indications that anything has been done to him. In fact, other than slightly tired from a poor night’s sleep (strange, he feels the need to sleep for the first time he can ever remember) he feels fine. Gone are the thoughts and stresses of the conflicts within his group of friends. He can see now why they would be so upset. Despite his intentions, Corvus had gone too far. He could see that clearly now. He felt a need to make amends with his group and to embrace the new life he had been given. After all, this city was governed by wise individuals who only wished to maintain order. Belonging to his group could help do that. Maintaining the law should be his new focus.

Due to a back injury, the group’s litorian knight player was unable to make the session this week. Instead, the Corvus storyline was played out via e-mail during the week and the rest of the group decided to play a great game of Munchkin instead. Fun game if you haven’t played it. Check it out at Steve Jackson Games.
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