Rick's Hold

Uneventful times
nuttin' happen dunworyabowdit you need a rest guy

Absolutely nothing happened of any consequence that should worry any Dwarves.

Rumblebelly and the Bard managed to make a sort of peace with Argus, leader of the Teamsters Guild. Nuati paid him handsomely for his future services, and gave him a gift of 100 gp from the Rogue. (Argus might have misinterpreted from whom that gift came, however.)

Gil and Krotchlikmeoff had words concerning the future of tuhe keep, its instability regarding “foreign races”, and the preferred future path towards a new age of enlightenment, justice, and goodness by, for, and amongst all.

And some new Elves showed up to live in Nuati’s commune. One’s a Cleric of Corellon Larethian! <glee>

The deterioration of the environment continued unabated….

Oh, and Lady Vandertunt gave the Basic Six their next clue as to the whereabout of her furtive brother. He’s in Treinz! The party gets to go travelling down the long roads that wind towards the capital city, Capital. Nuati is determined to make a mechant caravan of goods to sell at a stopover there.

And also the wild boars had to be killed. They were dying in their cells anyway, and room had to be made for the new members of the menagerie (an evil felldrake and a cantankerous crackerdile), so the best course of action was determined to be the harvesting of their meat while they were still healthy enough to provide sustenance and feasting for many. Huzzah!

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September 23

Arriving at the taxidermist’s hall, the Rogue and Paladin (Dimitri) shrewdly and valiantly (respectively) elected to stand guard and stay (not necessarily in that order) at the entrance. The Wizard, Cleric, Bard and Gil continued on, descending into the tunnels, probably sewers and not a dungeon at all.

Stumbling into two unsuspecting guards, Gil charged forward and the others followed, but before a fight could really ensue, the Wizard cast a sleep spell and the guards fell snoring immediately. The group tied them up, looted them and handed them up to their comrades, standing guard above.

The four moved forwards, winding through a few more halls and circular chambers, containing ladders and a central trapdoor in the ceiling, which led to what seemed to be deserted abodes on the dockside. Gil decided to take the ladders, handing them off to Nuati to carry. On the third such chamber, rather than carry a third ladder, Nuati simply broke it, creating less valuable but just as heavy firewood.

They fought another group of thieves, who were summarily defeated and surrendered, without the party taking serious harm. They also fought a crocodile. Which translates in actuality to Gil wrestling the Croc, who pinned him beneath the water in an attempt to drown him (impossible due to his Necklace of Adaptation), while the Cleric beat the reptile into unconsciousness and the Wizard and Bard engaged in a staring contest with one another. Once it was subdued, they passed it up to their comrades, to be added to the menagerie, no doubt much to Irwin’s delight. ‘Cause it’s a Salty.

After breaking into several rooms, rarely on the first try, the group ran into a contingent of three thieves guarding a post overlooking an illusionary wall. One was charmed, the second smoted, and the third gladly surrendered to justice rather than have to engage with a Dwarven Cleric. Our new charmed friend then gave up some information on the area, and then led the party toward their chosen goal, the “Lady of the Lotus”. Eventually the group came to a lavishly decorated room, full of what looked like loot. It was also inhabited by a woman and a small green dragon, very similar to the crested felldrake who resided back at the keep.

A relatively brief dialogue ensued wherein the Bard questioned the woman, Rowan by name. She was a head of the Thieves guild currently operating locally, along with Vanthus. Vanthus was not around. Eventually enraged by the questioning, Rowan called on her drake to attack the group and drank a potion, turning into a gaseous cloud of vapour and retreating through a pipe in the wall.

Worried their quarry would escape, the Cleric cast a dispel magic on her potion’s effects. It succeeded in revoking her gaseous state, much to the horror of most of the group. When her body regain its true corporeal form, it no longer fit in the tiny pipe. She was immediately crushed to death, squirting gooey juices into the Cleric’s face, much to the shock of the party, who stood aghast. Aghast, I say!

The drake fought on regardless, but standing alone it was no match for the four adventurers. Taking it prisoner, they looted the room and nearby areas as well, discovering chests, trapped of course, containing the stolen Vandertunt gold.

Upon departing, they rushed back to the keep to distribute the wealth. Most of which what’s either returned to its rightful owners, donated to good causes or brought back to Lady Vandertunt. Gil had to cover an extra 1200 gold, as the wizard didn’t want to give up his purloined gold and had taken several statues and valuables as his share, which were probably stolen property in the first place but no Dwarf bothered to seek out their rightful owners. The Wizard also decided to attempt to ‘befriend’ the new felldrake, though he is clearly of an evil bent and unlikely to ever change. Doubtful anything good will come of that. But he hates Elves and so does the Wizard, though the Dwarf has yet to knowingly try, and has no desire, to eat them, unlike his scaly acquaintance.

And Nuati levelled up to 8 at last. Charm monster, bo-yyyyy!

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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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