Rick's Hold

October 9th
Percy Keep

Marquis Percy sold out the Basic Six to the third Hag.

The dinner commenced innocently enough. Although Percy seemed especially inquisitive regarding Gorin’s beliefs, the Dwarven Cleric was rather succinct in his descriptions and quickly drew his questioning to a close. This raised his suspicions slightly, as nobody ever really takes note of the Cleric, especially over his brother (“the Loud One”).

The dinner continued, with sumptuous delights served. However, when the Baron’s assistant of some kind came and whispered in his ear, he sent out two of his only retainers from the room, leaving him mostly alone with the Six. This immediately raised the Wizard’s metagamey hackles, and he jumped up, banged his fists on the table and generally made a scene, demanding what was going on, claiming somebody was in disguise, possibly another Rakshasa. Percy assured the group that nothing was amiss, though he did need to depart for a moment (leaving the Six alone in the room).

The Wizard then, having decided the Six had been set up, threatened the Baron should he leave the room. At this point, the jig being up in somebody’s mind, somebody transformed into somebody’s true form, (not a Rakshasa, but still) which was the third and final Hag of the coven the Basic Six had broken, and capturing and then destroying their Hag’s Eye. The doors opened and a few mercenaries descended upon the group to boot.

The battle was swift and harsh, the Wizard blasting away with fireballs, while the paladins laid about with their swords and Nuati shot some bad guys too. Though the Basic Six took some blows and several members got to be up close and uncomfortably personal with the Hag, they soon turned the tide of battle, ending with their ultimate victory. After defeating the big bad guy, most of the mercenaries surrendered, and one of them being a female Halfling, the Rogue of course wants to “hire” her. Nuati temporarily hired the female human, then later made secret arrangements for her to await further employment in Rick’s Hold.

They found the treacherous Baron Percy in a room nearby, who seemed relatively uninterested in the groups’ survival. When threatened and questioned, the Baron responded it was simple business, and he then paid the group double what he was paid to betray them originally. Despite this, the Wizard and Rogue were very upset at the betrayal and took it personally. This led them on a short stealing spree through the Baron’s mansion. They took a couple thousand in random valuables, however the end of the spree culminated in the Rogue, having been made invisible by the wizard and vice versa, stealing the necklace of the Baron right off his throat. (They took it, believing it to be the amulet keyed to the stone golem guardian guarding the Baron’s greater wealth. It wasn’t . But it was still valuable and can be used as a form of signet for impersonating the Baron, so not bad.)

Afterwards, the group headed to the tavern and rented rooms. The Paladins then rode up to the castle and challenged them to send out their best knights for non-lethal combat. Gil unhorsed his opponent with blunted lances, and Krotchlikmieoff defeated his in man-to-man combat, unarmoured, with a training sword. Afterwards they invited the opposing knights back to the tavern for revelry, gift-giving, and general camaraderie.

Taking the gold (and random stolen goods), the Basic Six then left heading for the next town, hopefully less betrayal-y than the last.

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October 2nd
Paperwork

Because sometimes, you just gotta do the paperwork.

The group managed to do a few minor things, preparing for their next adventure. Lady Vandertunt figured out where her brother went, so the party is planning a trip to Treinz to investigate. Along the way they were hoping to buy and sell some trade goods, but that’s turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. Nuati gave it a try, but all he manage to do was buy 20 light warhorses for the keep’s men-at-arms. There was also the talk of firewood, and a lot of goats if they would just wait another week, but they decided to just go to Treinz without trade goods.

In the hopes of finding trade goods along the way, the Thief Rogue Thief Halfling decided to bring one of his ships along for the trip. Luckily the river runs right next to the road. The Dwarfs volunteered some of their Dwarf-at-arms to help guard it. Nuati was hesitant to ask his Elves to go, because…well, they’re a little spastic and highly breakable.

And so the party set out, arriving at Percy Keep by the end of the first day and asking for lodgings there. The adventure will pick up next time, at dinner!

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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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