Campaign of the Month: August 2007

Ptolus - Runic Street Boys

Another Point-of-View
Being the Journals of Janos ap Janos,

The scrolls containing his journals are one of Janos’ most prized possessions. In keeping with his somewhat independent and highly secretive nature, they are recorded in the pidgin mixture of Dwarven, Celestial, Under-common and Thieves’ Cant.

Kingsday, either the second or third day of the month of Rain, 721 I.A.

Well, its confirmed, boredom can’t kill, it only makes you wish you were dead. Actually got so bored I found myself in conversation with, get this, a six foot plus tall tom-cat named Content Not Found: Khron. A would-be knight no less. He seemed to be traveling with Slynt Drakeson, a freshly hatched Paladin and a not so fresh wizard. (Note to self – try to stay up-wind of Orbick). There was also a midget leper dressed in rags. Didn’t content him/it to the others until we were almost at the gates. Seems like I spent half my day lining up so I could have some self-important O-Fish-E-ail poke his nose into my business. As an added bonus, the city by the spire found its first opportunity to tax me (and took it). The mule may be a problem.

A “Guide” offered his services to service us. The kid’s name is Rykke and he “says” he’s just a guide but I marked him as a possible guild member. I’ll go along with the others to make sure they don’t find themselves dead in some alleys with Rykke and the boys going through their stuff.

Rykke (in his finite wisdom) decided that since we were “Delvers” (Whatever in the nine-hells they are?) so he’d take us to Delver’s Square. During our stroll, I got to “experience” the big city for the first time. It’s big, that I expected, and I’d always heard that big cities smell, but gods, what a stench. RanGor would have said that one whiff of this place could knock a buzzard off a shit wagon at ten paces. (Gods, I miss him).

Got rooms at the Ghostly Minstrel. Nice place, good food, good beds, pleasant staff and only a touch over-priced. (There may be something to this Delver business, I’ll have to check it out).

The street price for a freshly shaved mule is 30 GP. (Strange city)

Slynt and Content Not Found: Khron_ were going off with Rykke to meet someone called “The Commissar”. Figured Rykke and boys might be about to make their move so I tagged along to watch the bumpkins’ backs. Turns out our guide might actually be legit (it could happen) Also turns out that not only is “The Commissar” (a human) related to Content Not Found: Khron_(a big pussy), he’s the chief magistrate. (Question: What’s it take to become chief prick a city built around the largest phallus in existence?) He wants me to keep an eye out for Content Not Found: Khron. Sigh.

Joined the Delver’s Guild. Unlike most guilds this one may be useful. Spoke to a draven money-lender about finding placement as a journeyman mason. (I wonder how much that’s going to cost me?)

City has a good system of carriages and the prices are fair. We were almost back to the Minstrel when I heard a woman’s scream coming from an alley we were passing. I stopped that coach and ran into the alley with Hope and Charity drawn. I found Orbick and the leper fighting a couple of thugs over the body of a woman. The leper is actually the wizard’s familiar, a demon named Content Not Found: Corvus. I briefly considered killing the imp but decided that Orbick seemed to have control, did kill that thugs (I knew they were enemies) Eventually the horse-less cavalry showed and we were able to kill one thug and drive off the other. The thug landed an ineffectual blow on Orbick and he fired some sort of spell at the guy’s back. (The spell didn’t seem effective at all. Either Orbick is an apprentice with delusions of grandeur or he and the imp are in league with the “Pale Dogs”. For now, I’ll just keep an eye on the situation.

Quit the alley and took the damsel to St. Gustav’s Chapel in Delver Square. Content Not Found: Fabitor_ heart seems to be in the right place but he is, in essence, a rube. It’s great that he doesn’t charge for spells, but it takes money to run a church and golden ducats don’t normally fall from the heavens. The girl’s name is Content Not Found: Phon_. I found a note on the dead dog that suggests someone wants her off’d. She say she has no enemies. That makes her either a liar or stupid. Some people cannot be saved, especially from themselves. If Content Not Found: Fabitor hadn’t mentioned she was with child, I might have been tempted arrange flowers for her funeral and leave it at that. As it stands, the note had some stuff we could check out.

Back at the Minstrel now. It’s been a long day. Sleep will be good.

I think I can hear the imp snoring…

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The Haunted House on Runic Street

The dawn of a new day saw the party assembled in the common room of the Ghostly Minstrel. The party was short two members as both Slynt and Content Not Found: Khron_ left a message for the group that they _Content Not Found: Commissar wanted to meet with the two of them. They said that they would catch up with the group later in the day.

Finishing up their breakfast the group is preparing to leave when they are approached by a cleric of Gaen, goddess of Light, named Dmitri. He asked the group if they were looking to hire a cleric for their party. The party discusses it and after the battle in the alleyway the day before decide that a cleric would be a good idea so they agree to make Dmitri an equal member of the party.

Making their way to the North Market district the group made inquiries on how to find their contact for the job, Errell Yennick. After being directed to Runic Street, the group finally met the head of the neighbourhood group wanting something done about the old Greyson house. While the party was quite convinced the haunting was a hoax, they did not press this opinion as poor old Errell got rather defensive about how he had seen a ghost through the boarded up windows along with all the scratching, moans, groans and bangs that happened most nights in the house across the street. Agreeing to take the job with an advance of 12gp, Errell counters that he wants to watch them work if he is to give them money in advance. The party tries to dissuade him but he stands firm on his conditions so they agree to take him along. He says that he cannot give them the money right away and to come back in an hour.

Deciding to kill the time in the North Market itself, the group enjoys the sights and sounds of the market with two notable encounters. The first is a visit to the Book Wagon where they meet Darthalis Temester. After purchasing a book of local recipes and a book on stone masonry the group chats up Darthalis a bit on the city and find him to be quite informed on a number of topics. While Janos and Orbick chat with Darthalis, Content Not Found: Corvus_ the imp is drawn to the sounds of Bith the Ratter hawking his services to anyone who will listen. _Content Not Found: Corvus learns a bit about the rat problem in the city as well as some information on the ratmen and Bith’s intense dislike of the creatures.

Having spent the hour, the group returns to Errell’s and receives their down payment. After doing an examination of the house from the outside, the party begins to hear the noises and howls that the neighbours complain about. This is apparently all that poor old Errell can stand and he quickly returns to the safety of his house. Deciding to take the direct approach, Janos quickly picks the lock to the front down and kicks in the front door. His reward is a bucket full of rancid meat and feces dumped on his head which does nothing for his mood. Drawing both his weapons quickly enters into the main living area of the house followed by Content Not Found: Corvus which Orbick and Dmitri bringing up the rear.

The group barely has time to snap a sunrod and they see a ghostly white form floating in from the kitchen which Content Not Found: Corvus moves to confront realizing it is merely a bird or some other flying creature hidden under a sheet. Grabbing the sheet, the imp is surprised to find a stirge lurking beneath. The creature swiftly drives its piercing beak into the imp’s neck and begins to drain his lifesblood. Janos moves up and the two quickly dispatch the creature but leave Orbick exposed to the attack of the goblin who had been hiding in the backroom. Fortunately, the creature’s attack goes wide and Dmitri proves his worth as he steps forward and smashes his morningstar over the goblin’s head and crushes its skull.

Quickly doing a sweep of the first floor and finding it empty, the party sets to work examining the floor and finds a trapdoor hidden under an old carpet in the corner of the kitchen. Deciding to secure the door for now, the group then moves upstairs to examine the noises they can hear. Moving carefully from room to room they find various noise makers near the windows that were used to dissuade the neighbours from investigating the house too closely.

Deciding to tackle the trap door the group opens up the door and sees the basement below. Janos decides to jump down into the basement and is greeted with javelin attacks two of which find their mark. Meanwhile Content Not Found: Corvus_ falls down into basement after trying to climb down the broken ladder. The two attempt to scramble over the barricade of boxes as the goblins that threw the javelins arm themselves and continue to attack them. Dmitri lowers Orbick down while Janos and _Content Not Found: Corvus continue to battle the three goblins and finally after all the members make their way into the basement, the goblins are defeated.

After getting healed up, the group does a search of the basement and finds a secret door on the west wall. Opening the door, the group finds a passageway that has been widened to accomodate a group of goblins who have set up living quarters in the space. Before they can explore it further they are faced with 3 more goblins who the group dispatch without too much effort. Exploring the area, they find the loot gathered by the goblins including various coin, a silver mirror and a clock. Exploration of the tunnel reveals that it ends after 60 feet into a sewer tunnel.

Taking boxes from the basement, the group fills up the passageway at about the halfway point and drags the bodies of the goblins upstairs to the living area to show Errell. They carefully cover up the trapdoor and pile junk on it to conceal it before going to get the old man. When shown the bodies of the goblins, Errell is convinced that they were undead because no living creature could make noises such as those and the party does not try to change his mind. Happy that the problem is solved, Errell gives them the rest of their money.

Locking the front door after dumping the bodies of the goblins back down in the sewer, the group takes its loot to Myraeth’s Oddities and converts it all to coin. They return to the house to secure the secret door in the basement with pitons before heading to the Delver’s Guild to make inquiries about who owns the Greyson house. They learn that the family heirs have not been in Ptolus for many years and the house is currently owned by the House Nagel. Learning a bit about House Nagel’s poor fortune the group manages to negotiate a deal to rent the house for 5gp a month and gets the option to buy. A deal is struck where dual appraisals will be done at the time of rental and at the time of a potential purchase to determine the true value of the house. The party is happy with having a new living space and is eager to begin cleaning it out and fixing it up. They decide that they will spend the next few days on getting the house livable before investigating the red warehouse meeting that they found on the body of the dead Pale Dog that attacked Content Not Found: Phon the previous day.

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The Game Begins

The party started the campaign as individuals standing in line at the southern city gates waiting for entrance into the city. There the group meets a young boy named Rykke who is hiring himself out as a local guide to new delvers in the city. Waiting in line among the regular visitors to the city, were Content Not Found: Khron_ , the litorian who would be a knight; Orbick, the rather eccentric human wizard; Janos ap Janos, a human ‘negotiator’ hoping to find some work in stone masonry; Slynt Drakeson of the EastWoods, paladin extra-ordinaire and finally _Content Not Found: Corvus the imp whom Rykke had befriended in line because he thought the imp was a burned and scarred halfling. Corvus was wrapped in robes and did nothing to dissaude Rykke of his mistake. The individuals took to chatting as they waited in line to pay their toll and enter the city. They decided to pool their resources and use Rykke’s services.

After paying their respective tolls and entering the city, Content Not Found: Khron_, the litorian, wanted to go to visit the Commissar as he had message from his father that had to be delivered only to him. The other members of the group wanted to get settled into the city and Rykke suggested heading to Delver’s Square to the Ghostly Ministrel. The group made its way taking in the local sites and sounds, much to the dismay of _Content Not Found: Khron’s strong sense of smell. Finally the group reached the Square and took in the sights of the statue of Runihan and the businesses that functioned in area.

After checking into their rooms, the group began to splinter. Janos, who had arrived in Ptolus with a mule and decided he no longer needed it, decided to shave it down and try to sell it as an exotic breed of mule. A rather eccentric looking nobleman passed by and was rather ‘taken’ with the creature and promptly paid Janos 30gp via promisary note. Then Content Not Found: Khron_, Rykke, Janos and Slynt left by carriage to visit the Commissar in Dalenguard. Meanwhile, Orbick and Content Not Found: Corvus_ remained in the taproom of the Minstrel looking for information on the local Delver’s Guild. Zade, the barkeep, provided them with the basics and informed them to check with the guild office for information. Orbick and Content Not Found: Corvus decided that they would go inquire about membership after a few drinks.

Meanwhile, Content Not Found: Khron_ and company arrived in Dalenguard and after showing the message seal to the guards, they were promptly escorted to the Commissar’s house where they were met by his assistant. Lead to a small waiting area, the group was soon met by the Commissar himself who took the offered note from Content Not Found: Khron_ and read it. Looking rather surprised at first, the Commissar spoke with the group for a few moments; not mentioning the contents of the delivered letter. Instead he wished the group the best of luck in the city and retrieved another scroll which he gave to Content Not Found: Khron. He instructed the litorian that if he should ever really need assistance that he should give this scroll, seal intact, to a member of the City Watch. After that, he thanked Content Not Found: Khron for delivering the message and escorted the group to the door. The quartet then went to the Hammersong vaults to cash in the promissary note that Janos had received. While there, Janos struck up a conversation with the owner and inquired if he knew anyone looking for a skilled stone mason. The dwarf was unsure but said that if he came back in a few days he might have some names for him. Their business in Old Town completed, the group hailed another carriage and began to head back to Midtown.

Back at the Ghostly Minstrel, Orbick and Content Not Found: Corvus_ finally decide to go check out the Delver’s Guild. They head out and prepare to make their way to the guild office but get confused on the directions and head off down the streets instead of down into the undercity. While they are getting turned around they spy a young woman being attacked by two thugs in an alleyway. Orbick yells a challenge at the two young men who tell him to mind his business and be on his way. Meanwhile, Content Not Found: Corvus_ the imp throws off his robes and steps forward in challenge to the two thugs. He offers them a chance to surrender which is met with one of the thugs smashing him into a wall with a club. Content Not Found: Corvus is quite surprised by the power of the assault and the amount of damage it does to him but attempts to return the favour by attacking with his tail. The final result is much less spectacular than he would like barely damaging the thug. Orbick tries to help by casting a spell but it too does little damage. Meanwhile the girl is frantically trying to find off her attack with the lid off a crate. It does her little good as the second thug cuts into her deeply and she falls to the ground bleeding. Orbick also takes some serious damage as the first thug introduces him to his club and almost knocks the wizard into unconsciousness. Realizing they are in trouble, Orbick lets out a less than manly scream hoping to summon the watch.

At that moment, in a carriage, the alert ears of Janos hears a girlish scream. Stopping the carriage the warriors three and Rykke see the attack on the girl and the other two members of their ragtag band. Quickly moving into assist they manage to kill the first thug but the second manages to escape down the street but not before Orbick puts a bolt into his shoulder. Content Not Found: Khron administers what healing help he can and bandages the girl to keep her from dying while Janos investigates the body of the slain thug. He finds some coin, equipment and a note indicating that this attack was not a random mugging but a hit. Rykke notices the black painted nails and teeth of the thug and tells the group that these are members of the Pale Dogs gang and that they need to leave quickly before the watch arrives. Not happy by that prospect but listening to the young boy the group takes the girl to the nearest temple which Rykke tells them is St. Gustav’s.

Upon entering the temple, Brother Fabitor recognizes the girl immediately as Content Not Found: Phon, a seamstress and devote follower of Lothian. Brother Fabitor breaks his own rules and casts healing upon her and she revives. As the group question her she is shocked at the thought of someone wanting to kill her and has no idea who would do it or why. Janos gives her some of the coin that they took from the slain Pale Dog and tells her to use it to hide somewhere safe since the group might try again to kill her. She reluctantly agrees to take the coin and promises to give whatever she doesn’t use to the temple.

After the girl leaves, the group quietly questions Brother Fabitor about her. He tells her that he suspects that she is pregnant and that the father might be a noble or someone of importance since she refuses to even talk about the relationship. He seems to be genuinely concerned for her and thanks the group for helping her. He heals Orbick’s wounds but does not attend to Content Not Found: Corvus who does not enter the temple directly feeling very ill at ease even standing outside the main doors.

Returning the Minstrel the group tries to decide its next move. Examining the posted messages on the board at the Minstrel, they learn of a house that is reported haunted by ‘spooks’ by neighbours and a reward of 75gp to adventurers for clearing it out. They also see the wanted poster for Shilukar and the Proclamation for the bounty on Ratmen tails. The group decides that it will investigate the haunted house then hunt rats then to investigate a warehouse mentioned on the note that Janos found on the Pale Dog. The goal is to get enough money so that every member of the group can afford Delver’s Guild membership and to purchase a small house to save on living expenses. Everyone goes to sleep that night preparing for the investigation of the haunted house the next day.

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