City of Coin/High Town
While enjoying an evening meal in the Silver Arrow Inn, the party is interrupted by a commotion outside. They look out and see a shadowy, demonic figure attacking a young nobleman. The party intervenes and defeats the demon with some timely aid from the city watch.
The noble is Marek Golrianna the son of Becca Golrianna (leader of the guild of silversmiths, council member and head of a wealthy noble family). Marek promises a reward if the party would visit the family mansion in High Town.
The city watch meanwhile were searching the area for clues and find a pentagram in a side alley. It's been drawn with expensive gold paste and there are tracks of someone wearing soft-soled (posh) shoes.
The party arrives at the Gorianna estate but are not welcomes and are directed to the servant's entrance. After some persuasion they eventually are lead to a reception room to wait for Marek. He hands over a reward but also offers a job to investigate the assassination attempt suggesting that the Charlsons are responsible. This need to be cleared with his mother but she refuses -- the party overhearing a heated argument. Marek decides to hire the party anyway, handing over 4 tickets to the Charlson family's fancy dress ball and suggests starting the investigation there.
On the way back to the inn, a city watch runner intercepts them and asks for their aid.
A supposedly empty workshop in Silver Street where all the silver smiths work has blood coming from under the door. The party gingerly opens the door to investigate.
The room is lined with grotesque corpses of strange and unnatural animal hybrids in large glass jars on wooden workbenches. One of the jars is broken, its bloody contents leaking onto the floor. In the backroom and mound of failed experiments has foudn some semblance of life and it is attacked.
With the building made safe, the party questions the neighbours but they didn't see much only a "rich toff" leaving the building on occasion. The party head to the city hall to find the current owner. It is owned by Izotz Kattalin who purchased it two years ago using freshly minted Forsy City Bank coins, from the Charlson family.
They head to Under Town to ask Mickey if the name is familiar. He says not but does say that two years ago they had to drive off a wizard conducting experiments in the sewers. The sewers are investigated and some hybrid rat-cat skeletons are recovered but no other clues are found.
The party heads to the university to ask Esmer if she recognizes the name. She says it is familiar and linked to some scandal from 4 or 5 years ago. The university records on Kattalin have been sealed and Esmer suggests Eskame Jalo the head of the magic department would know more and makes an introduction. Jalo acknowledges that Kattalin was ejected from the university for conducting unethical experiments but insists that any further investigation is conducted by his department. Puzzled by this the party presses for more information and Jalo casts suggestion to persuade them to drop it and to stay clear of his old rooms and the university and his city home -- Morty is affected but Yenkas is not.
Morty and Yenkas argue about what to do next but make their way to Kattalin's city home. A passerby warns that the home is haunted and Yenkas persuades Morty to intervene. A ooze is trapped in the basement, banging on the door. Once the ooze is defeated the cellar is found to contain more hybrid experiments and glass jars and a mostly empty jar of gold paste, and a letter, signed by "EJ", commending Kattalin for his successful experiments but emphasising the need for discretion.
An alchemist identifies the gold paste as tallow and gold dust and says a few days could determine the type of tallow used.
Day 37 -- The Charlson's Ball
A carriage is hired, fancy dress is donned and the party head to the ball. Barros as a fantastical bird of prey witha peaked mask and red-yellow feathers. Mortlac as a badger with a snouted mask with teeth. Gwin in subdued garb with a hawk mask.
They arrive "fasionably late" as the majority of the guests are also arriving. The party circulates around the party for a while before spotting Wendal Charlson discussing economics with a small group. The attempts to join the conversion are not particular successful but they do learn the Wendal is upset by the idea of competion.
An out of place person in travel clothes is spotted. He's directed to a side room and Barros negotiates with the guard to gain entrance (while Gwin sneaks in behind the guard's back). The mystery person is waiting for Valerie Charlson, the oldest daughter of Wendal but is pursaded to hand over an envelope recovered from a "job" at the Golrianna's. Barros conceals the envelope down his shirt and he and Mortlac return to the party.
Gwin sneaks through the servants corridors and along the way she notices Marek kissing a young woman later identified as Sandra Charlson. Barros opens the envelope in the bathroom and it's a business plan by the Golrianna's for a new bank targetting small businesses and working class people. It's full of detailed figures which Barros can't understand.
The party continuous with a dinner of fancy foods and shallow conversation and then dancing. Gwin is approached by a young nobleman for a dance but she doesn't impress.
As the guests depart the party decides they have enough information and leave as well.
The party head to the Gorianna mansion where they meet Marek and his mother Becca Golrianna. She is outraged at the theft of the business plan and attempts to hire the party to protect her economic interests. The party aren't keen but do eventually agree to find any direct evidence that the Charlsons are behind the assassination attempt on Marek. A fee of 3000 gp per person is agreed.
The party retire to their inn to formulate a plan to sneak into Charlson Manor and gather evidence. Barros and Yenkas will disguise themselves and deliver Monty's wolf (with Monty concealed inside the crate). Yenkas forges a delivery note.
The plan works! A member of the household wizard leads Barros and Yenkas into a room in the cellars where they are instructed to leave the crate. The wizard is subdued and Monty and his wolf are released from the crate. The guard is tied up and left in the crate.
The party venture further into a cellers and encounter a sturdy locked door, trapped with a shocking door handle that is easily bypassed. Inside is a macabre laboratory with hybrid animals in large glass jars and benches littered with magical paraphenalia. One end of the room is sealled off behind a large glass window. A hideous creature, half dire boar with a scorpian tail slams violently against the glass, cracking it. Fused to the boar's back is a human upper body, the left arm dead and putrifying. The party have a few moments to prepare before the boar-scorpian hybrid crashes through the glass, the human casting spells with the boar lashes out with sharp fangs, the tail stabs downwards with it poisonous sting.
The beast is slain but the battle draws attention -- Izotz Kattalin! The party waste no time and although they are wounded from the boar-scorpian battle they attack! Izotz, however, commands powerful magicks and the room is quickly filled with the acrid fog of the cloudkill spell. The party is overcome.
The party regain conciousness in a dark and damp dungeon, somewhere under the Charlson Manor. Izotz visits and give an ultimatum, join forces or die. The party decline and resolve to break out. The lock is picked and the guard, investigating a disturbance is overpowered. With stolen weapons and no other gear the party sneak out, quickly taking out the few guards they encounter. They dash past the guards at the back gate and are briefly pursued before evading.
With no weapons or other gear, they visit Mickey for some loaner gear before reporting to the Golriannons, bringing the evidence they recovered from the laboratory. [ I think -- my notes are missing here. ]
The Golriannas take charge and inform the University who are forced to take action, raiding the Charlson Manor and arresting the head of the house and recovering all the party's equipment. Izotz has fled and is still at large.
After visting the univerity give another report on the recent events the party is just approaching their coach when Gwin spots someone suspicous in the crowd. The man turns and runs and the party pursues, chasing the man through the back gardens of this post part of town. He is eventually cornered and captured. The fight draws the watch and they insist on taking the prisoner to the watchhouse for questioning. The party accompanies them.
An explosion is heard which draws the attention of most of the watch and only two officers are left to escort the prisoner. Along the way, the cart is ambushed by sniper archers and the prisoner is killed.
The party returns to the univerity entrance where their coach is a smoking ruin. Examination of the wreckage yields a few clues that the explosion was magical in origin. A suspicious figure in the crown is spotted, followed and easily detained. The nervous young man, pleads for his life and swears he was only instructed by Valarie Charlson to report on what happened.
Keen to gather more information, Barros disguises himself as the hapless underling and gives to report to Valarie. There he learns that it was she who planned the explosion and ambush that went wrong, but she is also suspecious and sends Barros away on an errand with two of her guards. Barros is lead into an alleyway where he overhears swords being drawn and only just manages to get way form the execution.
After a few days pursuing fruitless leads, a note arrives from an associate of Mickey saying they have useful information on the Charlsons and to meet at a dockside tavern.
On the way, a loud crash is heard on one of the docks. A crate carrying a basilisk had fallen and split open, releasing the creature. After it turned a dock worker, Gwin and Barros to stone it was slain (the blood restoring the petrified). The owner, the city council member Lord Zoltan Arbury, is displeased as the beast was supposed to be the centrepiece of the upcoming Royal Hunt (which starts in a week). Morty pursuades Zoltan that they actually did him a favour as otherwise the creature would have turned half the dock to stone. Zoltan grudgingly agrees and gifts the party tickets to the Royal Hunt. The party also offers to try and find a replacement creature.
Continuing to the tavern the party meet with the contact who reveals that the Charlsons' are moving people and supplies into the woods where the Royal Hunt is to be held. It seems they are plotting something and the party would be advised to gain access to the Hunt.
When the party returns to the inn the meet Mareck and Sandra who have returned incognito to visit friends. They are greatful for the party's aid in allowing them to be together and offer what aid they can. On learning the party are monster hunting, Marek suggest they try the jungles south of Koubla and recommends a river boat captain who could get them over the border with less hassle.
The party travels south to Koubla, travelling on Captain Dustan Hrothgar's ship.
The party arrive at Koubla and meet with the contact Quarion Amakiir at the Crown Inn. He mentions a young green dragon has been seen at an abandoned temple further south in the jungles and offers to assist in capturing it for a share of the dragon horde. There is considerable debate about the wisdom of trying to capture even a young dragon alive. Eventually the party decides to head south and assess the risks, keeping an eye out for something less dangerous along the way.
Quarion leads the way down the Great Cliff through the ancient catacombs and the board a barge to the south (armed guards are always welcome and travel for free).
Late that night, the lookout spots a large frilled lizard and the party disembarks with a row boat to try and capture it. There's a brief fight and the lizard is subdued and tied up. While manhandling the lizard back into the row boat, they almost loose both the lizard and the boat.
With the lizard securely chained the party continues south, waiting for the opportunity switch barges for one headed south.
Around midday, the party change to a northbound barge to take them back to Koubla.
The party arise before dawn to beat the queues for the path up the Great Cliff. They meet with Captain Hrothgar for the return trip to Vindburg. The lizard is delivered to Lord Arbury who pays a reward of 1,500 gp.
The party makes use of the downtime before the Royal Hunt to research green dragons and perform other background tasks.
Day 58 -- The Royal Hunt
The party attend the royal hunt. They note that the Charlsons have a large armed presence and supplies are being stockpiled in their pavillion but attempts to question some of them fail to gather any useful information.
They join a boar hunt were they are ambushed by three Charlson guards. One is slain and two are captured. On the return to the Hunt grounds, the royal soldiers demand that the captives are released and inform the party that they must bring a petition to the council to resolve any dispute during the hunt.
The party set about trying to gain the favour of enough coucil members to ensure a vote.
|Lord Julius Daranth -- Watch Commander||Yes -- Appreciated the parties efforts in dealing with the Black Feathers and Red Hand gangs.|
|Becca Golrianna -- Guild of Silver Smiths||Yes -- Party helped against the Charlsons|
|Valarie Charlson -- Guild of Financiers||No -- for obvious reasons|
|Lord Arbury -- Adventurer Aristocrat||Yes -- Lizard was a good "bribe"|
|Helgi Burkhard -- University Chancellor||Yes -- Assistance with Under Forest expedition|
|Radobad Arminius -- Aristocrat||Unknown|
|Alodia Roza -- Guild of Merchants||No -- Rise of Black Feathers gang as rival|
|Hellegard Aveza -- Priestess of Thunor||Yes -- Pursuaded by Morty|
|Prisca Septimon -- Aristocrat||Yes -- Beaten in a dual by Barros|
|Karl Wilburn -- Elected commoner||Unknown|
|Jannit Petrus -- Elected Commoner||Unknown|
With 6 of 11 votes secured the matter is raised at Council by Golrianna. During the council meeting the party notice some Charlson soldiers leaving a crate by the council tent and more guards start to congregate. Yenkas summoned a mud elemental which buried the bomb which did exploded without causing any real damage.
The Charlson soldiers attacked and the party assisted in the fight. Eventually blinding Valarie Charlson as she attempted to flee, and pinning her under her dead horse.
The Charlson pavilion is searched and information on a forest hideout is found. Captain Hughmont asks the party to investigate.
Wendal Charlson turned into a montrous flesh golem with a serpent as a third arm is ranting and raving and smashing the place up. He is slain and the ruined laboratory is searched. Some valuble equipment is recovered as is a used scroll of teleportation. Kattalin has escaped.
Valarie Charlson is executed by the state and her Charlson estate is seized by the crown. The Charlson family is stripped of the guild and bank titles.
The adventure continues in Low Town.