Rick's Hold

September 18

The group, already in the dungeon, continued on their path of destruction. They waded through a room of Ghasts, led by a Huecuva Cleric, without any hesitation. Paladins leading the charge, the party swarmed into the room, fireballs were thrown, and in short order the undead monsters were formally destroyed.

Following the fight, the party took stock of their situation and realised to their amazement that not one of them had taken any wounds in the combat. What a shock! (Guess there’s a first time for everything, even for Gil.)

They continued through the dungeon, finding several empty rooms and a couple of rotting corpses. The bodies all had tattoos of a dragon and a lotus flower. Nuati recollected this symbol being the emblem of the newly formed “Lotus Dragons” thieves guild.

Before leaving the dungeon, the group ran afoul of an Earth Elemental, which they crumbled into earth. Taking whatever redeemable loot they could grab, the group fled the subterranean gallery, briefly stopping at their keep.

On one of the corpses, the group had discovered a note, laying out the location of the miserable rotten scoundrel, Vanthus Vandertunt. He seems to be hiding out in a complex beneath the taxidermist’s hall in Rick’s Hold.

And so, the party proceeded to the taxidermarium, where they intimidated the shopkeep into revealing the whereabouts of a certain “Lady of the Lotus” with whom the group has now resolved to speak.

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Handout number 4
You are being watched by the Lotus Dragons. Tread warily my friends.

-C

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Handout number 3

These bones were once Penkus, so if you be reading this, I be dead. Laid low by the sick put on me by that foul dead thing! Yet even as my flesh wrecks know ’twas not the dead what brought my doom, but one until recently I called friend!

Vanthus Vanderboren Vandertunt! Your name fills me with bile! Spineless, treacherous cur! You left us here to die, you left ME here to die after all what I done to get you into the Lotus! You’re designs on the Lady of the Lotus be clear now and with myself out of the way you doubtless move even now into power, slithering amid my vacancy like a hermit crab in a shell, or a cadaver worm to still warm flesh. CURSE UPON YOU!

To the one who reads this, if you have any honour or vengeance in your soul, know that Vanthus must die. He dwells in the lap of the Lotus, below the Taxidermist’s Hall. Seek him there, but before he dies he must know it was Penkus that undid him and guides your killing blow!

And, if by some cruel twist of fate it be Vanthus that be reading this; know with certainty I wait for you in Hell, where I intend to rival the pit itself in your torment!

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September 11
Vaulty McVaultface

The party accompanied the Vandertunt woman to her family’s vault, helped her open it, smacked around an iron cobra, solved a riddle, and discovered her loot for her. Unfortunately, it turned out her own brother had already been into the vault with his own, secret, signet ring, but for some reason he hadn’t taken everything.

After being paid for their help, the party tried to find her nasty brother, Vanthros. After searching for information, Nuati was approached by a member of Vanthros’ “smuggling band” to lead them into a trap. Naturally, everyone went straight for it and got themselves attacked by ghasts while Vanthros and Smackabilly tried to seal them below ground in a haunted dungeon. The Wizard dimension doored himself out, but before he could annihilate Vanthros, the miscreant teleported away with his magic item, Deus ex machina.

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September 4th
Smugglers and such

The party was hired by some Vandertunt woman to rescue her boat from her own crew. The bad bad men were using it for the purposes of smuggling exotic animals into Rick’s Hold. Most of the party boarded the vessel, defeated the smuggler, took the ship, and claimed the exotic animals for their prize. The Dwarf wizard took two parrots for himself, and the rest of the animals were sold to the exotic beast collector for 800 gp.

Gil couldn’t climb the rope to get aboard the ship until after the fighting was over. Gil is bad at climbing.

Amongst the loot was the Vandertunt woman’s family’s signet ring, which she needed to open the family vault and look for treasure.

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Handout #2

Chimera looks to sunrise

Cyclops looks to sunset

Medusa looks to sunrise

Umber Hulk looks to sunset

Basilisk looks to sunrise

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Hand out #1
Letter from the Lady Vanderboren

Greetings, and I trust this missive find you in good health,

My name is Lady Lavinia Vanderboren and I humbly request your attendance at dinner at my estate on Festival Street tomorrow evening. I think that I can present you with an opportunity uniquely suited to your skills. Please inform the carrier of this letter of your response to this invitation and I hope to be speaking to you soon.

Lavinia Vanderboren

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August 24

The party readied for their upcoming assault upon the Aboleth and co. However, Nuati went over the number of monsters in the basement awaiting them — 26 Skum, a Chuul, and an Aboleth would have been overwhelming if they had converged upon the party all at once — and decided perhaps they could use a bit more help. So they packed up and returned to their keep for the night and got who else but Gigglecloud? (They also picked up Elatoris.). The group re-readied for the battle, preparing spells and rethinking their plan of attack. They had Thomas assist them in getting downstairs. If they could manage to split the monsters into three separate groups, the party could split into two groups and take them on more easily.

Thomas dimesion doored himself, the Wizard, Dimitri and the Cleric (“party group one”) directly into the Aboleth’s chamber following an extensive few minutes of preparations and protective and assistive spells being cast upon all sorts of members of the party.

The Cleric, invisible at this point, moved immediately to the water’s edge and cast his most powerful spell prepared that day and magically removed all the water from the room, leaving a tossing Aboleth surprised and angry in the middle of the now-empty room. Well, empty except for the Aboleth, its Chuul companion, and several Skum (“monster group one”).

The Skum were sitting peacefully, unexpecting of both the sudden entrance of the small party and the even more unexpected sudden drainage of their current abode, when the Wizard flew up (he had cast fly on himself in preparation) above the small horde and threw a fireball directly into their midst, frying all the Skum and singeing both the other beasties in the room.

Not to be outdone, the Paladin then stomped up to the Aboleth, drew back his sword and slew the Aboleth in one slash. Even he was surprised. (He was magically strengthened and his blade magically sharpened by his allies and the Wizard’s fireball had injured it first, but still!)

While that was all happening the rest of the party (“party group two”) was not idle, they instead having dropped down the chute in the centre of the guild to the basement while holding a magically silenced stone, to prevent a group of Skum (“monster group two”) from noticing their arrival. The silence worked like a charm as the Rogue slipped into the hall, stepped behind a monster and slew him in a most sneaky fashion. (The rogue did try to cast a fireball before entering the hallway, forgetting that the effects of silence worked on him too). Following the Rogue’s example, the remaining members of the party piled into the hall and began slaughtering the unsuspecting Skum. Only Elatoris was injured in the battle, but his spell of false life saved him from taking more than a mighty one point of damage!

While their friends prevented aid from coming, the Wizard and Paladin continued to kill the chamber’s remaining occupants, while the Cleric swooped down to claim an Aboleth egg. Seeing him grab them so quickly, Thomas decided to take the other two eggs before escaping via another dimension door.

Having cleared the room, the Wizard flew over and past all his allies, seeking a room with another dozen unsuspecting Skum (“monster group three”). Upon finding it, he cast another fireball, immolating the entire band. The party then looted what they could and returned to Thomas and Moira upstairs.

They sold their single Aboleth egg to Thomas, along with the other loot the Dwarves had taken from the guild earlier, in a small (very small) effort to regain a bit of Thomas’ trust after reading his mind. The party returned to the marquis to inform him that the task was complete. He wouldn’t see them, sending instead an underling who paid them for their efforts. Then everybody went home for ice cream.

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August 16
Planning

The group prepared for their upcoming attack upon the Aboleth. Rumblebelly bought a warehouse. Nuati bought potions. The Wizard provided everybody with a platinum ring worth 50gp. Except Morgwais. He has to wait a week still for his. Because he’s a horse. (This is so the Cleric can cast shield other on them if needed).

The Thief stirred up some trouble with the teamsters guild, led by some thug named Argus. Eventually though he got the help of the Wizard to work around the guild’s impositions and limitations.

The party researched all they could about Aboleth and then ventured into the Wizards guild again. Moira and Thomas had reclaimed the top two levels of the guild, now that the monsters had been forcibly removed and placed the Shield Guardian to guard the stairs to the basement.

The party then went to the scrying chamber to scout the lower levels out with an arcane eye cast by the Wizard. Using the spell, the party learned of the Aboleth’s location and that there were 26 Skum and a creature called a Chuul that looks like a giant lobster with tentacles guarding the Aboleth.

The Aboleth has a tunnel into deeper water to escape with, which the party is wary of. They intend to seal off the exit with the Cleric’s stone shape spell so it can’t get away. Hopefully nobody will die in the ensuing combat. (Yeah, right.)

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August 14th
Gil vs. the Monsters

Poor Gil the Paladin, whose wallet held a measly 1 silver piece, and who owed his church 545 gold pieces in tithes (as well as being indebted to “others” to the tune of 1000 more gold pieces), set out to the temple of Pelor to seek redemption and hopefully receive a small side-quest. On the way, however, he was stopped by a darkly hooded Cleric of Wee Jas (who is taller than she sounds). Despite appearances, the encounter turned out to be beneficial.

The Cleric of Wee Jas, one Amon, a red-headed half-elf, was seeking Gil out for a quest. Members of his temple had received visions informing them that Wee Jas had an unfavourable view of the frequency with which Gil was being raised from the dead. Amon had seen a way for Gil to even out the slate in that regard.

In a burial mound dedicated as the resting place for Clerics of Wee Jas, located just outside of town, an evil presence had arisen. Gil was tasked with the job of entering the mound and helping the Cleric Amon of Wee Jas cleanse the site of eeeeevil.

Gil accepted. However, not trusting the Cleric Amon, he first returned to his keep and gathered together a small band to back him up in case of a trap. Gigglecloud and Elatoris were drafted to that end, and Morgwais the faithful talking horse would carry Gil on his mission.

The party travelled toward the mound. The round-trip was expected to last for two days, and Gil instructed Gigglecloud to carry enough food and drink for them all.

Before nightfall, the party encountered a band of marauding Hobgoblins of the Black Drakes tribe and defeated them, taking three prisoners and their loot. None of the party were injured in the fight.

Arriving at the burial mound, Gil set Elatoris and Morgwais to guard the three humanoid prisoners. Then he, Gigglecloud, and the Cleric Amon entered the barrow to investigate. They discovered one Ghoul and one Wight, which they defeated in combat without the party suffering any injury. They also looted the Wight’s treasure, which for some reason was okay. The reasoning was a bit tricky, so they all stuck their fingers in their ears and said “la la la!” when Morgwais asked.

Gil, Morgwais, Gigglecloud, and Elatoris then returned home with the loot. Gil’s share was enough to cover his tithe to his temple, but he still owes 1000 gold to “others”.

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