Ptolus - the city by the spire

Session 11: 16th Sun

Panting heavily with the strain of the chests weight and the ringing in his head from the Ogres blow Answulf whispers to Lyle and Ulszom “We need to get somewhere safe so Ulszom can heal me. Lyle find us a big carriage and lets head to Castle Shard. No one will question why we are carrying a huge ornate chest once we tell them to take us there and maybe Lady Shard can open it.”

After a pause he whispers “Anyone who asks we tell them it’s Lord and Lady Shard’s business and they can ask them!” Smiling through gritted teeth “Sometimes it’s good to have powerful sponsors even if they do take advantage of our good natures.

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Session 10: 27th Bloom, Fireday
The deadly shadows strike again

Lyles says “here, do you think we should take her somewhere other than our rented accommodation? Where ever we take her, we need to make sure we are not seen leaving the warrens and most assuredly not seen with her anywhere.”
“The Ghostly Minstrel is a nice public place. The last place anyone would think to look. I think we should take her there. We can rent another room for three. We need space for Sulsan and Sumar anyway”
Answulf hefts the woman over his shoulder. “We should split up.” He grins. “We’ll look less like a couple of rogues on our own”.
“You book us that extra room and get Ulszom to meet me outside with the key”

After stripping the bodies of Norben and his fellows of anything of value you leave their hacked and broken corpses to the rats (and worse) in the Warrens. The half-elf woman they were escorting tries to get up and her hand slips in a pool of blood sending her back down to the muddy track with a splat and a groan, thankfully all the cobbles have been stolen long ago by enterprising residents. Answulf helps her up and finds that she can stagger along with his aid, and makes no protest to being led, still clearly drugged. You leave the Warrens and split up, Lyle is able to take a more direct route and makes it back to the Ghostly Minstrel in twenty five minutes, and Answulf avoiding the main streets and other pedestrians takes around forty.

An extra three berth room is booked two doors down from your current room on the second floor, Ulszom waits for Answulf outside the front observing the nightlife of Delvers Square as it passes him by. A procession of dangerous and hard faced delvers intermingled with wide-eyed wannabes and the parasites that prey on them.

Arriving back at the Ghostly Minstrel Answulf asks Ulszom to use his “cleaning magic” on the two of them before heading up to the room Ulszom directs him to. Tucking the half-elf into one of the beds and leaving Sulsan and Sumar to watch over her he heads to his own room two doors down to consult with Lyle and take stock.

“We need to question her when she has recovered and find out why they wanted her. What did we get Lyle? Has Ulszom identified it?”

Ulszom heals Lyle and Answulf of their injuries (Cure Minor (1hp) on Lyle and 2 x Cure Light (13hp) on Answulf. Using his pearls.), then cast detect magic on the items Lyle recovered.

OOC:\
That’s 11,372xp so 5th level all round. I’ve updated Answulf’s and Ulszom’s trackers.

Ben, Can you work out what our room and board will cost up to the end of Growth. We’ve paid for room and board for Ulszom, Answulf and Lyle up to the 7th of Sun. So we need to pay for three lots of room and board from 8th Sun to the end of Growth and three lots of room and board from 25th Bloom to the end of Growth. We may only have Sulsan and Sumar regular but it’s good to have a spare bought and paid for.

OOC: Ulszom can identify the items – Rich can you remove 200gp from your funds please.
Potion of Protection from Arrows (3rd)
Flask of Acid
Flask of Alchemists Fire
3 doses of poison – Medium spider venom DC14 1d4 str/1d4 str
Magic bronze ring, with diamond inset on the inner rim – Gather Information +5 competence bonus
Short sword +1
M/W Dagger, Rapier & Studded Leather

Accom. Room Board Days GP
Basic (3) 1.5 1.2 66 80.7
Middle (3) 2.1 1.2 52 64.5
145.2

Lyle, Answulf & Ulszom have a better room – windows cost!

OOC:/
I have taken 20pp off for the Identifies, 10pp 40gp 52sp for the room and board.

I have nicked the ring as I have the ranks in Gather information (if you want the ring on any of your characters just say) I put the poison on my character sheet and hand the potion of protection from arrows to Answulf as he is the broad side of the barn after all? Acid and alchemists fire to Ulszom?

The rest we sell?

Answulf nods “Yes you keep the ring. Let’s sell the Short sword, Dagger, Rapier and Studded Leather. Then find out if we can get our armour enchanted unless we can get mithral chain shirts in a hurry. I’m getting a bit nervous with our growing list of enemies!”

Works for me. We need to speak to the woman and find out what the hell we have stumbled in to this time.
“Let’s get some sleep and talk to her in the morning. I don’t think we’ll get much out of her at the moment.” Answulf wedges his bed against the door then turns in for the night.

  • The half-elf woman identifies herself as Biesta Cran, half sister to Torridan and Linech Cran
  • Biesta admits that Linech is a bit shady and that he has dealings with the Balacazar crime family
  • She also asks after her lover, the dark elf mage Shilukar. He apprently loaned Linech considerable sums of money and gifted him with the gold statue of Lord Abercombe
  • You check on Elga Kord the Balacazar district boss of Rivergate and discover that she’s sending a couple of goons to try and find Linech. You follow them to the burrow – it seems everyone is looking for him
  • You stop the goons from roughing up a family that lived in the burrow, Kyle takes a nasty double hit but lives to fight another day. One goon is captured but dosen’t provide much insight
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Session 9: 25th Bloom, Waterday

XP total per PC sessions 8 & 9: 2617
RP with Lord & Lady Shard: 100
Dealing with Linech: 100
RP and investigation at the docks: 50
Sahuagin & Sharks: 600
Giant Crab: 200
Giant Eel: 100
Balacazar guards & thugs: 400
Freeing Sumar & Sulsan: 100
Rescuing Linele: 400
Linech’s bodyguards: 367
Linech’s thugs: 200
Not sure if I mentioned it but the gold statue is life-sized, and I know that I forgot to say that it radiates magic when Ulszom casts his spell.
Linech’s large hard wood desk is also covered with papers, maps and ledgers

Ulszom wraps the bed sheets around the loot and ties the bundle. “Answulf. Time to keep your side of the bargain big man. We need your strong back.”
Answulf hefts the bundle over his shoulder. Taking Linele’s hand and asking her what colour cloak she would like he heads out of Linech’s burrow. “Where we headed Lyle?”

Lyle says in eastern “Well my friend we have a lot of loose end…” Lyle looks annoyed “ Linech escaped and could come back as a thorn in our side, if he is intelligent enough he will tell the Balacazar we messed with their operation and they will dispatch us free of charge I’m sure. Then there is the little demon child, should we drop her off at the temple of redemption?

Lyles blurts out his fears as if her has spent too much time with Ulszom we have the problem that the two slaves liberated from the Balacazar are a giant gaudy sign pointing at us as the guilt party, should we give them a few gold and send them off out of Ptolus or do we get them new identities and pray to all the gods that we are more intelligent than the Balacazar?

Lyle looks like he is in a proper strop, a rain cloud of doom “ we really fucked up this time, too many loose ends… every time I drag my arse out of that shit hole of a life some unknown force chucks my cards back in.

Lyle looks very angry and determined Well if the Balacazar think they can just come and snatch me off to the abyss then they better send their best cos I ain’t working for no murderous son of a bitch as a slave or a marked man so they are going to have to kill me.

The change in Lyles mood is instantaneous and you ponder what could cause such a turnaround in his mood until he says “I wonder what that statue is worth; it must be a tidy sum. Maybe I should go visit that woman in the under dark some improved weaponry maybe called for. What are you going to spend your gold on my friend” switching to common Lyle says Hey, Ulszom… want to go get something to eat and err some milk I guess… it shouldn’t take long to get back once we have dropped a few things off Lyle looks pointedly at the little girl Maybe a carriage is called for they are faster than walking and less folk see you sitting inside one of them than walking the streets carrying a bag of swag.

Ulszom takes a quick look at the papers on the desk before adding them all to the pile on the bed.

Muttering “There is no way Lyle is going to let me leave this behind” Answulf covers the statue in a separate bed sheet and attempts to lift it

/OOC
We need to decide what to do with Linele. I think we drop her off at the temple of redemption, she is too unpredictable to keep around and we have no one we can burden with her care / protection.

Lyle would like to take the Disguise kit, Masterwork Thieves Tools and Masterwork Forger’s kit. We need to get the statue ID and sell the rest of the stuff then decide what we want to buy depending on what we have gold wise

“Agreed. She is not safe with us.”
Dragging the statue bouncing down the stairs cushioned on bed sheets to prevent any damage “Go buy us a cart and mule. I’m not going to be able to drag this all the way.
I’ll see if I can rent or borrow one. Let’s get this stuff sold and inspect those papers maybe we can find Linech by speaking with people he has had dealings with.

you just hear Lyle mumble “we have to fix this fuckup I have a reputation to keep, slippery little bastard can’t be allowed to blab.”

Lyle disappears to see if he can get a cart and beast of burden.
BIC:
You quickly sweep Linech’s assorted valuables into a bed sheet with the practised speed of a couple of house-breakers.

Shouts and screams can be heard from the street below the window Linech jumped through, peeking out Answulf sees a small crowd of goodwives pointing up at him – they scream even more when they see him! They all turn and run.

Lyle you remember that that Watch House is only a couple of blocks away down Wash Street as you run out of the house and out of Linech’s ‘burrow’, and that there are only really three ways out of River Gate. Tabor Street to River Gate Bridge or Middle Street over Wings Falls, both leading to Oldtown or along Wash Street (past the Watch House) through Center Circle and down the cliff into the North Market.

Answulf drags the statue (it’s far too heavy to lift) out of the upstairs office, bumping it down the stairs, which groan and creak under its weight. Linele follows sullenly clasping her pocket watch. Ulszom hops anxiously from one foot to another trying to get past the grunting Answulf carrying a bed sheet stuffed with paper work.

OOC:
You know that the chances of finding a cart or horse is highly unlikely in River Gate.
There are however many carriages dropping off and picking up the affluent residents
Some information for you:
Brotherhood of Redemption
An order of monks who believe that no evil is irredeemable, the Brotherhood of Redemption seeks to give any evil creature a chance to repent. Its members do not believe in “inherent evil.” Specializing in rehabilitation, they operate in the Dungeon out of the Fortress of the Redeemed but maintain a surface headquarters in the Guildsman District. They make it known that they willingly accept any prisoners who are not of the major races – in fact, they’ll pay a small bounty for evil creatures with a modicum of intelligence.

River Gate District
The River Gate District is the residential area of Ptolus where much of the city’s “middle class” (also called the “merchant class”) resides. Merchants in both market districts dream of retiring to a nice quiet house in the Rivergate District, which shows not only that people idealize the area, but that most consider the Nobles’ Quarter forever out of their reach. (They are, of course, correct.)

Ivy-covered walls, pleasant fountains, and pigeon-covered statues are common here. It is a sleepy sedate district. Women hang washing on the line. Children play a game with a ball. Men sweep their stoops. People gather around the neighbourhood well to gossip. Virtually no one carries a weapon or wears armour here except the City Watch.
“Lyle quick hail us a carriage and let’s get out of here.”

Bowing to Lyle Answulf winks. “You the rich merchant in your fine clothes and us your humble servants.”

“First to the Brotherhood in the Guildsman’s District and a safe place for Linele to stay then to our rooms at the Ghostly Minstrel to take stock”

Answulf stoops his enormous frame and drags his “masters’ merchandise” down the street encouraging Linele to help. “Good job you here Linele or I’d never be able to move this…”
Lyle hurries down the narrow side street to Wash Street looking for a carriage; as luck would have it he spots one dropping a well-dressed and rather overweight lady at a house just off in another of the cul-de-sac’s common in Rivergate. The driver tips his hat and has begun to turn the two horses pulling the covered carriage as you reach the opposite side of the street. With a whistle and a wave you hail him and the driver pulls up, shouting over “yes guv’, where to then”?
Just then a bell rings out from somewhere ahead of you, the driver raises an eyebrow at looking at Lyle pointedly.
Lyles says to the driver “Go to the corner of <insert name=”true">
and collect my men and my possessions, take them where they need to go and
tell them I will be along shortly, oh and warn the big clumsy one to
watch what he is doing with my statue it’s not some whore he found in the
harbour district! I must go and see what the fuss is about maybe someone
needs help."

Lyle hands over 5 Silver coins saying “hurry please” and then heads off in
the direction of the sound <as> (Hide
17) (Listen9) (spot +7)

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Session 8: 25th Bloom, Waterday

As their attackers float lifeless in the water Ulszom moves in to take a closer look. Looking thoughtful he mutters unintelligibly in a foreign tongue before turning to Answulf and Lyle and saying (knowledge (local) 19 (14+5)) “Sea Devils. Vicious creatures though not as stupid as you might have heard. In fact a damn sight smarter than most sailors I’ve ever come across”. He looks around peering into the darkness and cocking his ear to listen. A hunted-look painted plainly on his face.
“We need to coordinate our skills better. You two are obviously used to fighting together but you need to leave some room for me. Leave just enough room for me to fight between you but not enough for anyone to get through without you being able to clobber them.”
He looks around nervously before his eyes come to rest on the creature Answulf and Lyle have been talking too. “What are you then?” He peers at the creature mumbling to himself and gesturing towards it with his newly acquired Trident (knowledge (local/the planes) 15 (10+5))…

Ulszom recognises the creature as a rarely seen Triton (knowledge, the planes), and that they are enemies of the Sahuagin but can recall nothing else.

The Triton has introduced its self as Quillan, speaking rather good common. Its silvery skin fades into silver-blue scales on the lower half of its body; its hair is deep blue-green. It looks to Answulf and Lyle like a male version of the classic mermaid that they have heard about from drunken sailors – before rolling them for their coin…

Ulszom eyes widen in recognition “A Triton. That’s what you are.” Turning back to Answulf and Lyle he says “He’s a Triton. They don’t like Sea Devils much so I think we can trust him to lead us to where we can do them most harm”. Turning back to the Triton he eyes it warily while glancing furtively in every direction.
Answulf chuckles slightly to himself before saying to the Triton “Excuse my friend he’s a little…different. It seems you’re the key to us collecting our bounty. Lead on we’ve Sea Devils to track down”

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Session 7: mid-day 8th Bloom, Airday

As you relax in the steam filled bath house on Tavern Row your thoughts turn to the division of the loot gained in the raid on the Ratman nest. Hot water and soap can remove the external signs but the internal traces of the harrowing experience remain as you reflect on the recent events – furious and chaotic running battles, victory and also loss.

Ridithan seems strangely quiet and in an introspective mood, while Brommall larks around splashing and joking with Eltas, however Eltas ignores him and is as quiet as Ridithan but with a haunted look in his eyes.

1000 xp each.

A thorough search of the chest reveals the following:

Silver medallion set with small diamonds 340gp
2 Dragon pistols
M/W Dragon pistol
M/W Heavy mace
M/W Studded leather
Wand (Rat Priestess)
Pearl earring 75gp
13gp (already taken by Lyle)
Scroll – divine, Summon Monster III
Scroll tube – 140gp & 329sp (this can be hidden from Ridithan et al).
Scroll tube – map
3 pairs of manacles
M/W Whip
Gold amulet 200gp
2 potions (the same type)
3 potions (all different)
4822cp
2349sp
745gp
9 gems 50gp each
Gold idol of Lothian 275gp
Silver ring with large Opal 300gp (hidden at the bottom of the chest)
Wand (from the chest)
54 rat tails & 3 big rat tails

Looking at the chest Answulf says “You know what if we took the contents of that chest and turned it all into gold I reckon we might have the sort of king’s ransom necessary to have those priest at the Temple repair Tadic’s body and bring back his soul”. He waits a few moments staring at the chest before looking each of them in the eyes. “He was a good man…”

OOC: The only thing I didn’t have down was the ring and the scroll of Summon Monster. I’ve added the ring into the chest but I think Lyle has the scroll on him

Aye, I reckon that’s the kind of plan I’d like to be a part of Answulf. (Lyle smiles at Answulf.)

(Catching the eye of the others he says)

Gold be easy to come by if you’re talented like us and with some good friends you can trust, well … nothing more need be said.

If we’re in agreement I will get to selling the goods. It’d be nice to spare the idol for the honourable brother Fabitor if we can manage it… always good to be in favour with a good priest and his temple does look in need of something pretty… if we can’t afford to spare it… well I guess I’ll sell it to him for 3 times the amount its worth (Lyle beams a jovial smile at his friends.)

OOC: write it down on the sheet mate I’ll chuck it in to the chest. Honour among thieves I don’t steal from the group
OOC: You can get everything checked and identified at Myraeth’s Oddities, 5gp for a single Detect Magic and 110gp for each Identify; he throws in the potions for free. Tadic had about 1000gp (actual sale value) worth of kit that can be turned into cash.

Magic:
Toridan Cran’s cloak; +1 Cloak of Resistance
Wand (Rat priestess); Cure Moderate Wounds (15)
Wand (chest); Shield (21)
Potions (Albino Ratlord); Cure Light Wounds x 2
Potions (Ratbrute); Bulls Strength, Bears Endurance, Levitate

The stuff has standard 50% value at the moment, Myraeth is a hard bargainer but seems in a particularly good mood he offers an extra 10% on the value of jewellery, scroll and potions and 15% on the wands. He won’t buy the Dragon pistols unless you have a firearms licence – which you don’t. He seems keen on the idol of Lothian and Lyle you also know that some churches of Lothian are richer than others and like to display their wealth in obvious display.
If you want to sell the weapons Rastor offers 10% extra, but also won’t buy the guns without a licence, Bull and Bear Armour will buy the armour at normal 50%.

BIC: Brommall grins and throws the soap at Lyle, ‘hey, easy come easy go, let’s get the loot sold and get Tadic back’. Ridithan nods, ‘I agree with you, he shared the risks, we should honour his valiant contribution’, he looks over at Eltas expectantly.

Elatas looks down, unable to look either of you or Ridithan in the eye, ‘aye, Tadic was a good man but he knew the risks and I’m not planning on going back down there – or anywhere under this stinking hole of a city. I’ll take my share and go’. He stands abruptly and grabs his towel heading for the dressing rooms.
Lyle sell it all to the highest bidder (I’ve updated the attached sheet) except the Idol. Let’s see what we can get from the church for that. Sell the guns on the black market (an advantage of our background) for whatever you can get for them. Eltas can have his share once we have sold it all. Also see what trade in we can get for the 11 Cure Diseases we are owed. We’ll need six of them but the other five ought to be worth something. Let’s find out what the church want to bring Tadic back on top of us trading in the idol and Cure Diseases they owe us.

OOC: Ben, I take it the value of Tadic equipment will be halved? Let us know what we get for the guns, idol and cure diseases on that basis and crucially how much than want to raise Tadic. I think we will be short but let’s see…
Lyle will sell everything for best price, but the statue he will take to the temple of Lothian where we hope to get Tadic raised. Lyle will attempt to use diplomacy and to get a discount with the following story.

<ooc:>

My friends and I were taking a stroll when we came upon a squeaking.
We took a look left, we took a look right and we saw some rat men speaking.
Now being true of heart and maybe not too smart we decided to do some
peeking.
Down into the dark with stinky old farts we followed those rat men speaking.

We stumbled and strode through all that mould with cuts and scrapes a bleeding.
Upon a chair in that rat man’s lair we found this gold a gleaming.
The rat man there, well they did declare that Lothian’s figure needed
beating.
Tadic did stare and Lothian was there and they did some mental speaking.
Now I don’t know why but Tadic did die protecting Lothian’s Carving.
So over we strode and picked up that gold having stop those rat men from
squeaking.
Lothian did talk and so we did walk to this temple to get Tadic’s heart a
beating.

So the long and the short of it is, <if>ve updated the sheet, Lyle rolled well for all his skills (20 on the Diplomacy!), I assumed Answulf was aiding.
Ridithan et al empty out their pockets and come up with 100gp, so you have 15gp 8sp 7cp to your names.

“We’ve done it!” Answulf sighs with relief content in the knowledge that not only will they be able to draw Tadic back from the grave but he will be able to enjoy a few more weeks of good food and a proper bed at the Ghostly Minstrel.
Everyone including Eltas will get their share once Tadic is back on his feet…Sat at a table in the Ghostly Minstrel we will parcel out the shares together so everyone can see who gets what, nice and fair like. Five small bags, first for Tadic then Bromell, Ridithan, Answulf and Lyle followed by a large sack (30 times the size) for Eltas. Assuming Eltas turns up to collect it of course. Won’t be easy showing his face to a man he refused to help…

OOC: There were some miscalculations in the spreadsheet so we are a bit better off than we thought. We don’t need the 100gp from Ridithan et al though maybe we could take it and Tadic could keep 200gp worth of his equipment? Ignoring the 100gp we (Ridithan, Answulf, Tadic, Lyle and Bromell) will each receive 22gp, 4sp and 4cp as our share.
I have attached the corrected spreadsheet. The reason for the miscalculation is that Eltas share was being calculated after things that were not his to have a share of were added e.g. things they didn’t know we had (but were willing to throw in to the pot for the raise dead) and Tadic equipment!
Rich, as always Answulf gives his share to Lyle to look after so add 44gp, 8sp and 4cp to Lyles’ character sheet. How much does that gives us in total at the moment (we had a few coins already didn’t we)? How many charges do we have left on the wand?

OOC: 22 charges and PP: 5 GP: 67 SP: 22 CP: 4

I have one potion of Invisibility, one bears endurance, one levitate. Unidentified from previous work before rat men I have 1x Small Vial, Leather Flask, Ceramic Jar

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Session 6: morning 8th Bloom, Airday

8 Goblins & 6 Dire Rats fought and killed in the large room with the pool and the access passage.

6 Ratlings killed & 1 Ratlord flees in the large room with the pool.
1 Giant Molerat & 8 Ratlings (Tadic surrounded and killed) killed in the room with the rubble.

Dart trap discovered and ‘dodged’ by Lyle.

Giant Molerat nest found and searched, uncovered silver medallion set with small diamonds.

4 Ratlings ambushed while waiting in ambush.

1 Albino Ratlord & 2 Ratbrutes tricked out of hiding, backstabbed, made to flee, hacked down and wrestled by Answulf!!! 4 Ratlings flee. A chest in the Albinos room contains thousands of coins, jewels and other treasures.

XP each: 2080

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Session 5: Ptolus; midday 7th Bloom, Airday - morning 8th Bloom, Waterday

Met with Ridithan Clearsight, Eltas Gunderman, Brommell Fourfield and Tadic Graelson in The Ghostly Minstrel. Discussed a joint venture into the sewers to clear a nest of Ratmen.

Visit the Undermarket beneath Delvers Square. Bought face cream at ‘Potions & Elixirs’. Got a box of tracking powder from Vladimir and Taltos Urnst at ‘Urnst, Alchemist’ for sharing Answulf’s improvement. Lyle bought two daggers from tiefling, but turned down offer of information on rather more unsavoury items.

Visited with brother Fabitor, he agreed to cast Deeper Darkness in the morning.

Spent a night in The Ghostly Minstrel.

Brother Fabitor cast Deeper Darkness on Lyle’s dagger.

Met new friends at the sewer entrance in the Guildsmans district. Climb down into sub-tunnel Answulf and Lyle scout five minutes ahead of the party. Journey to the ambush sight takes about ten minutes. Lyle spots Ratmen guards, who flee. Answulf tracks them. Cross stream and pass the collapsed entrance, double back and Lyle crosses the entrance, while Answulf hides at the corner.

Fight with Ratmen in the rubble, kill six.

Enter the nest; Answulf placates a group of Dire Rats.
Fights with more Ratmen, a number of very loud shots are fired. Kill six small ones and a larger one, plus two swarms of normal rats. Two small ones and a large one flee to the south. Brommell and Tadic are incapacitated, but then stabilised and healed by Lyle and Answulf. Answulf is healed by Lyle.
The healing so far took around thirty seconds.

1450xp each.

Answulf will whisper to the others “Ready yourselves. The Ratmen are likely to be back any moment with reinforcements. Eltas cut the tails from those two Ratmen and check them for valuables. Ridithan, Brommell you do those four Lyle killed and fetch Lyle’s daggers while you are at it. Tadic you keep watch”.

Then to Lyle in Eastern “Can you do some more healing? Tadic and Brommell don’t look too good and this slash that SOaB gave me is still bleeding.” Answulf will then move quickly over to the larger ratman. Pick up its dragon pistol, chop off its tail and search it for valuables.
The fetid air mingles with the acrid black-powder smoke from the discharge of the two larger ratmen’s dragon pistols. All except Lyle are bent over, Answulf almost double, and finding it difficult to move without one’s head and shoulders scraping on the slick slimy ceiling. Fouled water drips down continuously and you hear the pool in the centre of the chamber lapping gently at its edges, still disturbed by the passage of the fleeing ratmen that swam through it, to escape down a passageway to the south. The shadowy gloom cast from Lyles dagger allows you only to see the vague outlines of each other until you are within a sword length, and even then it is hard to make out any details

Tadic, still bleeding from hundreds of small bites winces audibly as he moves to the edge of the pool, his long-sword and hand-axe at the ready. You hear meaty ‘thunks’ as Eltas’ battle-axe rises and falls, chopping of rat tails. Ridithan hands something to Brommell and whispers ‘drink this’ as they move over to the other ratmen corpses. Answulf slips and slides in the filthy trash over to the largest of the ratmen and fumbling around picks up his pistol. Even years of dwelling in the Warrens has not prepared Answulf for the stench of a ratman up close, and as you move his rotten and tattered clothing aside Answulf’s skin prickles unmistakably with the sensation of fleas finding a new home. At the ratman’s belt Answulf recovers a water-tight powder-horn and a small pouch containing lead shot, perhaps six or seven balls.

Faint screeching and squeaking begins to echo back down from the tunnel to the south and is answered by other louder voices somewhere to the east, seeming to grow in confidence the voices to the south increase in volume and their excitement clearly builds in response. You hear a whip crack sharply like a gunshot, and the sound reverberates through the low cavern. All around you the sounds of rattish voices can be heard calling to each other…
Once he has gathered the ratmans meagre belongings and his tail Answulf scrambles back through the fetid cavern toward the more spacious tunnel they entered through (O1). When he reaches the northern edge of the pool (M4) and the ceiling begins to rise he throws his sunrod toward the southern tunnel (N8). Despite the distance Answulf hits the target (AC6) the sunrod resting
against the wall about 5’ to the west of the south tunnel.

“Everyone back to the entrance this low ceiling is a death trap. Tadic, Ridithan get you bows out and focus on taking out any ratmen with missile weapons. Eltas I want you to the front with me but first throw your sunrod”
Answulf points to the north of the pool (N4). “Lyle I think you would be best to the north behind Tadic and Ridithan. Keep an eye and ear out for them coming from the rear and sheath your dagger they know we are here now I think we are better of being able to see properly. Brommell your with Lyle. Throw your sunrod into the middle of the room to the north”.

Moving toward the tunnel (O1) Answulf beckons them all to hurry “Stay together and stay in the tunnel we need to narrow our frontage there are more of them than us”

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Session 4:
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Session 3: 6th day of Bloom, Kingsday (AM to Late evening)

Slept at The Griffon and enjoyed the best and most comfortable nights rest to date.
Both enjoyed a second breakfast with Rajaz at Ramoro’s Bakery.
He gave you the name and address of Vagger and Laucio’s boss in exchange for the ‘real’ reason that you are after them – you omit the fact that they are already dead.
Their boss is Toridan Cran, his house is on Nar Street in Midtown – they lived with him.
You collected the stored weapons from Brother Fabitor.
Answulf saved an ‘unnamed’ human warrior who was carried into St. Gustav’s bleeding to death after being attacked by a Ratman the size of an Ogre. He and his three companions (a human, a half-elf and an elf) had been collecting Ratman tails for the bounty. The elf tells you that there is an unlocked sewer entrance on Ingot Street.
Lyle sold the weapons to Rastor for 380gp, payment is taken in Platinum.
35pp are stashed with Brother Fabitor and 1pp is given to him as a donation, he wearily makes it clear (you think he has made this speech many times before) that this is the last favour that he will do for you.
You eat a sumptuous lunch at The Ghostly Minstrel in Delvers Square and drink heavily.
Visit Nagrus and agree to do the job for him as a ‘favour’ and in doing so become his ‘friends’ and pay off the blood debt to Kedra. The task is to get rid of a pimp by the name of Gaxtan who has an operation in Midtown next to the Docks. Lyle has heard of Gaxtan and has a good idea of where he operates and what he looks like, he also knows that he works for the Balacazar crime family – like Nagrus. But, he also knows that the Kevris Killraven crime syndicate has been making inroads into Balacazar business recently. Lyle gets into an argument with Gloin and Answulf backs him up, only Nagrus’ influence over Gloin stops a fight from breaking out.
On the way out you get a friendly warning from Grack not to antagonise Gloin as he is much more dangerous than Kedra.
Took a walk to the Docks and Answulf had a Blitz (a vile and dangerous cocktail) in the Savage Shark tavern to steady his nerves after the argument with Gloin.
Had a quick stroll around and decided to wait until nightfall in the Midtown/Docks warehouse district.
Answulf and Lyle hatched a plan to ambush Gaxtan that night. Lyle approached two ladies of the night and made a nuisance of himself with his customary halfling wit. They shouted for Gaxtan who, with two thugs in tow, chased Lyle down an alley between two warehouses. Just as the thugs caught up with Lyle he turned and ran one very surprised thug through with his sword. Answulf leapt out at the trailing Gaxtan but over-swung and missed. A desperate battle ensued with all the combatants hampered by the tight confines of the alley and the darkness. After some wild swinging Answulf chopped down Gaxtan and Lyle managed to bring down the other thug, for once without any injury to the ‘heroes’.
From the corpses, total; 42gp 54sp, a thick silver chain, two gold rings and both Gaytan’s testicles…
XP: 675 each.
After rifling the pockets of the dead pimps you dashed down the alley away from the strumpets that Lyle mocked and molested. Following your usual modus operandi you separated, agreeing to meet on the other side of the Salt Street Bridge at the edge of the Warrens. Testicles in hand Lyle goes left and Answulf goes right.
You reached the meeting point, an old wooden posting board that is covered in peeling hand bills, at roughly the same time. Beneath it sits a filthy hunched figure dressed in rags, with a roughly made crutch by his side. He calls out to the people passing over the bridge, ‘spare a copper for a veteran gentle-folk’, giving his tin cup a pitiful shake ‘spare a copper for a man wot’ lost ‘iz leg in the gnoll war’. All hurry by quickly, a mixture of disgust and embarrassment evident on their faces.
One proclamation catches your eye, having seen it before, plastered all over Delvers Square.
Lyle tucks the small package he made from the rags of the pimps clothing in to his top and heads off stopping only a second to wash his hands clean in a puddle.
Upon reaching the agreed place and seeing his friend he jogs up to him and grabs hold of Answulfs finger waiting to be hosted up…
Catching his breath he says we need to stop by delvers square and buy some drink I think one bottle of dwarven spirits and two skins of their ale… plus whatever you want to drink friend then be getting back to our “friend” to deliver a few presents. Lyle rifles his many hiding places before pulling two copper coins and tossing them towards the hunched figure. Slapping Answulf on the back and switching to eastern he congratulates him on a job well done.
As the pair of friends head towards delvers square Lyle glances back and takes note of the proclamation, which was a wanted poster for Shilukar.
Answulf back to his jovial self, following their exertions taps Lyle on the leg “Give im a couple more Lyle. Generosity brings it’s own rewards”. Smiling broadly whilst he waits for Lyle to locate two more coppers “I think I’ll give the dwarven stuff a miss for the time being. I don’t think it does me judgement any good!”

With the tinkle of copper on tin ringing in his ears he turns and heads toward The Ghostly Minstrel to purchase the drink before making his way toward the Warren and Nagrus place. He greets people he passes with a hearty “Gud Evnin” and broad smile.
Lyle throws a few more coppers near to the beggar saying “Okay friend but we will still need the spirits and the ale if you think you can manage to purchase the goods without sampling them then I’m not one to encourage you” Lyle settles down to the journey ahead thinking on the days evens he says in eastern “if Nagrus hasn’t set us up as a joke or some kind of sick vengeance then that pimp deserved to have his nuts removed while he was still alive…. “
When the first two coins hit the cup the beggar looks up at Lyle and gives him a rotten toothed grin from beneath a tattered hood ’Lothian’s blessings on you for your charity sir’. When the second pair are dropped into the cup he quickly scoops them out and stuffs them in his filthily threadbare shirt, ’you’re a veritable pair o’ saints, that’s what you are, real gents’.

As you amble off towards Delvers Square the beggar calls after you, ‘some advice for your kindness sirs, watch out for Gnolls in the Guildsman’s district, bloody great blue ones’.

OOC: Unless you say otherwise I’ll assume you get the booze in The Ghostly Minstrel and head for the Warrens to meet with Nagrus?

Answulf nods to the beggar “Thanks for the warning we’ll keep an eye if we’re out that way and maybe bring you a big blue leg to replace the one they took”

OOC:\ Yep after we have picked up the booze we will head straight for the Warrens and Nagrus. >>>Fast forward>>>. As a short term heads up for the GM (unless anything else is put in our path) I’m thinking our next visit will be to Brother Fabitor to ask about the rat tail bounty, see if we can buy two scrolls of cure light wounds from him (I can use them because they are on my spell list and Lyle has UMD. So one each for emergencies) and stash some stuff, a quick shop for torches (I’d also like to get a MW chain shirt but that may have to wait unless I’m lucky and Lyle is feeling generous with our coin) then down into the sewers to get us some tail…Toridan Cran can stew a little while wondering what happened to his thugs before we pounce to find out what he is up to.

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Session 2.5: 6th day of Bloom, Theoday

You both spend a comfortable night in rooms at The Griffon, and enjoy a hot meal of meat pie, carrots and soft dumplings, washed down with ale that doesn’t taste like it’s been mixed with lamp oil, unlike the slops in the Vulgar Unicorn. The price of 5gp would have been a fortune 24 hours ago, but it would seem that your luck has improved since you did that job for Klaus. After a breakfast of cold ham, cheese, fresh bread and goat’s milk you bid your host Nella Schaun (female, human) farewell and step out onto Tavern Row.
Turning left you head in the direction of St. Gustav’s, with Lyle in his customary position atop Answulf’s shoulder, you discuss what has happened over the last couple of days and begin to make plans for selling the weapons and the meeting with Nagrus later that day. With a spring in his step Answulf greets all manner of folk with a cheery “good morning” and gets a few ‘well met’ and ‘likewise’ in return, but mainly curious stares from the morning crowds.
As you reach Centre Street, by the Midtown Fire House, the human(oid) traffic becomes even busier, flowing in all directions. You turn left into the throng, easily forcing a path when a voice with a hint of an Uraqi accent calls out from close behind you, “how is the messenger business this fine morning”?
Lyle says without turning or pause “ the same as it was last night, a complete bastard, as finding the folk who need messages delivering to them seems to be near impossible, or maybe I’m being told the wrong places in which to find them? How’s your knife arm after its work out?” Lyle adjusts his hand position on Answulf’s shoulder lightly placing his hand down he applies more pressure on his 2nd finger from the left hoping that Answulf remembers that means to be wary but not overly hostile. Turning on his perch Lyle looks the man in the eyes and says “ so you happen to be heading my way or have I got an admirer cos I ‘ave to tell ya I don’t like men in that way. Or maybe you’re feeling guilty for duping me and sending me on a wild goose chase?
From your perch you look down on the small swarthy Uraqi that you spoke to the previous night, he wears the same dark brown studded leather with black enamel rivets and has a pair of fine looking daggers sheathed at his belt. “It would seem that some folk are easier to find than others and
unfortunately my knife arm is lacking in practice as I had to cut short my time in the Onyx Spider”.
Bows low he touches his right hand to his heart, “but forgive me I have not introduced myself, I am Rajaz and I would be delighted if you would accept my hospitality by way of an apology – I know a charming little place that serves delightful sweet baklava and bitter coffee – it is very close”.
He smiles as Lyle addresses him showing a perfect row of bright white teeth, “do not worry my young friend I can assure you that neither of you are my type, your virtue is entirely safe should you accept my invitation”.
Answulf looks the Uraqi up and down considering him for a moment <sense>. “Lyle, I don’t see as it can do any harm if he’s paying. I reckon you could take him if he tries to make you his bitch”. Answulf’s broad smile never leaves his face <bluff>. He holds out his hand to the Uraqi. “Pleased to meet you Rajaz. I’m Answulf and this is Lyle. Despite my recent breakfast I find myself very hungry and very thirsty. Lead on!” <diplomacy>
OOC: Uraqi are Orcs?
Uraq is a country far to the south west of Ptolus across the southern sea. Uraqi’s are its people rather than a particular race.
OOC: Uraq/Uraqi is as Mark describes and it is roughly analogous to the medieval Middle East. Uraq was once the centre of a vast empire which has long since vanished under the sands.
/OOC: Rajaz gives a loud and genuine sounding laugh at the joke and gives the proffered hand a firm shake, despite his own disappearing in Answulf’s bear-like grasp. After releasing the grip he looks up at Lyle and offers his hand though he has to fully extend his arm to reach. You get the impression that he holds you no obvious malice but that he is still wary, the thumb of his left hand is hooked casually into his belt near his dagger.
“Well then shall we be off before the growling of your belly summons the watch”, Rajaz turns down Centre Street towards the South Market (away from St. Gustav’s).
OOC: Ahh good news! Sense Motive +9 and Bluff +6 then.
Answulf walks alongside Rajaz, Lyle “between” them on his shoulder. "So Rajaz what brings you from your desert to our fine “sunny” city?"
Lyle will sit and listen to the banter occurring between Answulf and Rajaz keeping his eyes firmly on the Uraq.
“What brought me here”? Rajaz muses, “well it must have been the fine weather” he draws his woollen cloak tighter and gives an exaggerated shiver. You both notice that unlike the few other Uraqi’s that you have seen Rajaz does not favour flamboyant ethnic dress, in fact his clothing is like that of a Ptolus native. He leads on and keeps up a stream of friendly banter, and Answulf notices that he seems very careful to limit the conversation to rather bland pleasantries and observations.
After a few minutes you stop by the corner of Centre Street and Emperor’s Road at what is little more than a simple wooden shack abutted to a number of brick built ovens, a few simple fold up tables and chairs have been put out and all but one are taken. At one sit three male dwarves, two are richly dressed and appear to be reviewing a pile of papers while one in golden hauberk sips from a tiny clay cup all the while scanning the passing crowd. The other has a mixed group of two male humans in travel worn and mud spattered clothing and a dark haired female half-elf in a fine emerald green gown and light cloak all of whom laugh and seem to be sharing some great
joke. One thing both tables have in common are a collection of cups and plates, some with half eaten cakes.
In front of the ovens a temporary counter has been set up and on it sits wooden platters heaped with all manner of sticky sweet pastries and morning rolls, the other significant feature is a large silver urn with numerous pipes protruding at various places, a thin stream of steam escapes from a
faintly rattling lid. Behind the counter a human man and woman are in the middle of a heated
argument, the woman waves a rolling pin with worrying vigour at the man and he in return he brandishes a pair of clay cups. Rajaz looks at you both and smiles “ignore the show, it is always like this” he indicates to the free table “be seated and I shall order, if you have no objections?”
“Just one thing, do you take your coffee dwarven or northern?”
“I’ve never tried Dwarven coffee. Does it taste of dirt? Don’t matter I’ll have it anyway. And one of those, one of those, one of those”. Answulf grins broadly at Rajaz. “I hope you have a full purse. One of those. One of those and…” He glances at Rajaz out of the corner of his eye still smiling. “Ahh
I guess that will do for now”. He sits back in one of the chairs smiling broadly, watching the crowds go by and considering the female half-elf. “Life is good” he sighs loudly. “So what can Lyle and I do for you?”
“Like dirt? My friend, Dwarves drink coffee that is strong and bitter” he gives Answulf a conspiratorial wink “it seems appropriate, no?” Rajaz orders quickly and returns to your table.
“What can you do for me? It is a good question and at the moment I am undecided” he pauses while a tray of pastries and drinks are delivered by the now beaming woman from behind the counter. He passes a large plate piled high to Answulf and a cup that looks like it should belong to a child, he
then passes much bigger mug to Lyle, he takes a tiny cup himself. “Truly I am more curious as to why you both went to such lengths to disguise your interest in Laucio and Vagger, let us have honesty between friends – there is no message to deliver is there?” he sips from his cup and gives a
contented smile “your real reason please and I will give the real address”.
Answulf takes the tiny cup between finger and thumb and swirls the viscous contents whilst stuffing one of the pastries into his mouth. Eyeing the thick dark liquid suspiciously he says to Rajaz his tone suddenly serious. “You’ll understand if we don’t want to go into too much detail with someone
we don’t know?” He pauses turning his gaze to look Rajaz straight in the eye. “Where we come from a word in the wrong ear is as good as a knife in the ribs and none of us want that do we?” Answulf downs the bitter coffee between mouthfuls of pastries his face momentarily grimacing at the gritty taste. "Lyle and I found out that Laucio and Vagger were interested in “buying” a friend of ours." He spits in the dirt at his feet taking the opportunity to clear some of the gritty substance from his mouth. "As you can imagine we were a little disheartened to hear about this turn of events and thought we might meet with them to “discuss” said purchase over a nice cup of coffee". He smiles broadly cracking his huge knuckles before snatching up another pastry. "So as you can see we do have a “message” to deliver." He returns Rajaz’s conspiratorial wink. “Though I’m guessing not the sort they will be keen to hear.”
OOC:\ Bluff +6, Diplomacy +3, Intimidate +1, Sense Motive +9

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