24 Starfall 500
Over the past couple of weeks, the party has been busy. Althessamari has managed to open the chest they procured from the Tarsian ship. It contains a pouch with 100 gold pieces and a bloodstone. They take the bloodstone to one jeweler who swears that the stone is only costume jewelry and only worth 5 gold. The party doesn’t believe him and take it to another jeweler, a Kelwyn Sells, who gives them a fair deal of 50 gold pieces for it.
On this day, Elhana is heading to the Alehouse of the Cats to meet her friends. Suddenly, a halfling appears out of nowhere and throws herself into Elhana’s arms and whispers “BK 27894”. Elhana also notes that the halfling has slipped a key into her hand. The halfling has blood all over her. Then, just as suddenly, a crossbow bolt is shot into her back. Elhana looks up in time to see a cloaked figure making its way quickly into a a nearby ally. Elhana picks the halfling up and carries her into the Alehouse, ignoring the gathering crowd and shouts for the Watch.
Althessamari and Lee Xin see Elhana carrying the halfling and are dumbfounded. Althessamari clears off a space on their table and Elhana places the small woman down. Althessamari checks the halfling for signs of life, but has bad news—the halfling is dead. She pokes her head out the door to see the gathered crowd and a small Watch contingent, in the livery of City of Kalimsport, coming down the street. The Watch split, some going into the crowd, the other half coming into the Alehouse.
The lead Watchman comes up to Elhana and asks, “Do you know this halfling?”
“No. She gave me a number,” Elhana says.
“I don’t know what it means,” Elhana says.
“Do you know who did this?” the Watchman asks.
“A man in a cloak. They ran into an alley,” Elhana says.
Althessamari says, “I’m sure our friend can show you what alley and can corroborate with other witnesses.”
The Watchman turns toward Althessamari, scowling. “What’s your name?”
“Stay here.” He then directs Elhana to direct him to the alley where she saw this cloaked man. She does so and the watch checks it out. The other Watchmen come up and the they have a private discussion. Finally the lead Watchman tells Elhana and her friends that they may go if they wish. They pick up the halfling’s body and take it with them. Then the Watch heads out, assuring everyone that the magistrates will be notified.
The three friends discuss these recent events. Althessamari brings up the possibility that the number the halfling recited could be a chest number from the Bank of Kalimsport. The key that Elhana got has a matching number etched on it. They decide to head to the Bank and see what’s in the chest.
They head to the bank via a circuitous route, in case the cloaked figure is following them. The Bank of Kalimsport is a grand building with lots of people coming in and out. They are approached by a well-dressed man who asks if he can help them. Althessamari asks if she can see her chest. They are brought to a back room where Althessamari is asked to sign a ledger. She signs illegibly and and then is taken to a sitting room where a small chest is brought to her. She opens the chest with her key and inside are three items: a map, a contract, and a pouch of 50 gold pieces.
The map has two notes on it. One indicates a secret entrance at the Morose Demon. The other indicates a Shrine of Kysk. Althessamari and Lee Xin know that Kysk is also known as Lord Blood, a god of death and murder and is often followed by assassins. The contract reads as follows:
Be it resolved that the undersigned Parties, who shall hereafter be referred to as “The Party” shall be entering into an Agreement with the Undersigned, who shall hereafter be referred to as “The Benefactor” for their mutual Benefit.
In short, The Party shall retrieve the Artefact known colloquially as “The Circlet of Persuasion” from the Cult of Kysk, located (as discussed by the undersigned parties) beneath the City of Kalimsport in exchange the sum in total of one hundred gold Florins. Fifty gold Florins will be paid in advance and fifty more will paid by the Benefactor upon delivery of the Artefact. Delivery of the Artefact is to be made as soon as humanly—or demi-humanly—possible. The Benefactor can be found most days at the esteemed University of Kalimsport and can take delivery of the Artefact there.
This Agreement is entered into by all Parties with sound minds and hearts, unclouded by drink or magical coercion on this Eighth Day of Starfall in the Five Hundredth Year of the Age of Tears.
Maerin Bevans, Master of Artefacts, University of Kalimsport (Benefactor)
Polla Codswoddle, Scout (Party Member)
Arla Steelshield, Knight of the Shield (Party Member)
Ozymandius of Iosabail, Wizard (Party Member)
Mavis Trevan, Scribe, University of Kalimsport (Witness)
The party decides to follow the map and fulfill the contract. But first, they decide to gear up before heading over to the Morose Demon. After gearing up, they head over to the Temple District where the Morose Demon stands. It is a ramshackle dive bar owned by an ex-priest, at least according to the information they’ve gathered.
As they head toward the tavern, Althessamari and Lee Xin spot someone following them. They lead the man into an alley and ambush him. Elhana shakes the man up while Lee Xin stuns him and takes him out. Althessamari stabilizes him. The man has a small blood drop tattoo on his face. They find no poison on his weapons. Lee Xin puts on his masterwork studded leather while Althessamari tries to hide the body.
They finally arrive at the Morose Demon. They head into the alley behind the tavern looking for a secret entrance. They do see a cook throwing out potato peels. They fail to find an entrance, finding only food droppings and old jugs. A large man pokes his head out of the back door and castigates them for lingering around his alley. He tells them the entrance is around front.
Elhana takes the lead and they go around front. The large man acknowledges them as they enter. Lee Xin and Althessamari go to the bar to secure the gambling room while Elhana sits a table. A drunkard comes by and harasses Elhana, wanting to start a fight, and punches her in the face. This starts a free-for-all in the tavern. In the meantime, Lee Xin and Althessamari have made arrangements to rent the gambling room. Elhana makes her way to the room to meet the others.
Once they get in the room, they search it out for a secret entrance. They don’t find one. They venture out into the tavern again as the fight rages on. Elhana searches the privies while Lee Xin and Althessamari search the kitchen. No luck in either case. They come back to the gambling room and search again. This time, they find a secret entrance beneath the table. They head down and shut the entrance behind them.
They find themselves in a largeish chamber with “Bayrd Davys waters his beer” scrawled across the wall in Tradespeak. The room smells of sewer and leads to a smaller chamber and some tunnels, according to the map.
Lee Xin searches the chamber out, but finds nothing of interest. They head into the smaller chamber and find alternating black and white tiles on the floor, but nothing else. The tunnel circles around and they head to down to a larger chamber where they are met with a swarm of rats. Althessamari tries to distract them with the ghost sounds of dogs barking, but this doesn’t seem to work. They eventually defeat the swarm through brute force. Althessamari searches the chamber for anything of interest, but finds nothing.
In the next chamber, they encounter a creature that Althessamari identifies as a Cave Fisher, a crab-like monstrosity with a filament that it shoots out to draw in prey. They defeat the creature, eventually, and search out the room. There is a bloody drop painted on the far end of the room, with a cloud of insects gathered around it—as if it were painted with real blood.
The next chamber is apparently empty. Lee Xin searches it out, but finds nothing.
Before entering the next chamber, Althessamari hears clicking sounds coming from it. They decide to press on. Inside they find giant ant! They fight the large monstrosity and are victorious. Lee Xin searches the room out and finds nothing.
They make their way down to another chamber small chamber and encounter another Cave Fisher, which they defeat. This chamber has “Daveth Pynrose is a poof” written in Ornish across the wall. After this fight, Althessamari administers some healing spells. They search the room and find nothing of interest.
In the next small chamber, they encounter some giant centipedes. These they defeat handily and search the room. They find nothing. They then backtrack and head for another series of chambers. In the hall along the way, they encounter another Cave Fisher, which they defeat. In the chamber, they find six Dire Rats chewing on some refuse. They defeat the Dire Rats and search the room—they find nothing of interest.
They then backtrack to the room in which they fought the first Cave Fisher. Lee Xin removes the armor he’s been wearing and they take another passage, heading to another series of chambers. They head into one chamber and discover that it is empty. They search it out and find no secret entrances or other things of interest. They decide to head straight to the Shrine of Kysk.
Along the hallway, they pass a spot where someone has scrawled in Ornish “The Overlord sucks griffon eggs”. They also pass a small water leak. As they get closer to the shrine, they can hear chanting. They approach stealthily and see a figure standing with his back to them in the doorway. Lee Xin sneaks up behind him and punches him out. The man falls.
“Intruders!” comes a call from across the room.
Lee Xin rushes inside. From across the large room come two more guards. In the center of the room is a stone table with a man lying on it, strapped down. Three cultists are gathered around the table. One is wearing a circlet and is holding a short sword over the prone man. The cultists turn toward Lee Xin as he runs in. His companions follow close behind.
Soon the guards join in the general melee as Lee Xin, Elhana, and Althessamari engage with the three cultists. Finally, the three companions are victorious and the cultists and guards lie unconscious on the floor. They free the man strapped to the stone table, who appears to be drugged. He’s wearing nothing but a loincloth. Althessamari asks him his name and he says his name is Lavan.
They take the circlet from the lead cultist. There is a brief debate on whether or not to keep the circlet, but it is decided to go ahead and turn it in to the sage per the contract. The strip the cultists and guards down and collect their weapons and armor to sell. They then head out through the secret entrance in the Morose Demon, treating the drugged cult victim like their drunk friend.
The barkeep stops them on the way out and berates them for not ordering drinks often enough for his liking. Then he lets them go.
The three friends head to the Alehouse of the Cats, renting a carriage to do so. It’s early evening at this point and the streets are going to be dangerous carrying all of this loot. Once they get to the tavern, they craft a note for the Watch to go and collect the cult and send a street kid to deliver it.
The man that the party rescued is Lavan Dormas. He’s a cartwright and lives in the Southern Market District of the city. He was apparently kidnapped while coming home from a tavern. They offer to escort the man home and he gladly takes them up on the offer.
25 Starfall 500
The three friends meet once again at the Alehouse of the Cats before heading over to the University. There they ask for, and are led to Master Maerin Bevans. The party tell their story and explain how they came upon the contract and the money and, finally, produce the Circlet of Persuasion.
Master Bevans seems impressed with the story and tells him that he is prepared to honor his end of the contract. He pays them the remaining 50 gold and asks if he can have contact information in case he has other dealings that he can call upon them to help secure. The party give him contact information for each them and their business is concluded. The three head back to the Alehouse to celebrate.