- I don't take good notes on the session
- I forgot to take pictures
When we last left the party, they had just arrived at the local Mage shop to investigate a lead on the murders. As they stepped through the door they found themselves in the middle of a battle between the shop owners and a small pack of bandits. The end result of that fight was a bunch of dead bandits, save for one which had been non-lethally taken out. The shop owners, a wizard named Vink Sardo and his apprentice Aric Blacktree volunteered the use of their basement for the interrogation.
The interrogation was handled as a skill challenge, similar to the earlier interrogation of Ulric. Party members were allowed to employ their various trained skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate) and depending on their d20 roll, they either succeed and gain some info, or fail and the prisoner resists. Good rolls result in success, which gets the bandit to spill his guts. He accuses Sardo of being behind the murders.
Insight checks from the party detect nothing but surprise from both Sargo and Blacktree, indicating no deception from either. The bandit is encouraged to elaborate. He and several of his friends, horrified by the string of murders and disappearances in their city and frustrated by the lack of progress of the City Guard, decided to investigate on their own. Witnesses at the scene of some of the crimes told of a bunch of robed figures seen in the area, and the type of robes were consistent with those of magic practitioners.
With nothing left to gain, the party elects to bring the bandit back to the Guard Garrison for further questioning. Before they leave, Sardo takes Cleo and Freya aside and thanks them for their efforts in bringing peace back to their city. He enchants Freya's staff into a Staff of Missile Mastery +1 and gives Cleo a Bloodhunter Totem +1 to aid them in their quest. With that, the party leaves. However, as Cleo is stepping across the threshold, a ghostly siren wails loudly and a flash of light attracts everyone's attention to her. Apparently, the items she stole from the shelf were enchanted with an effect that creates light and noise if they are taken from the store without being disarmed. It's basically an anti-theft enchantment to catch shoplifters. Cleo immediately takes off running, and is not pursued. Later investigation reveals that the potion she took was a Potion of Mimicry which would allow her to assume the form of another humanoid for a short time. The book was an empty spell book, itself not worth much but with 50 pages that can be later filled with rituals.
Night falls on the way back to the Garrison, and the party's path takes them through the City Square. As they enter the square, they are confronted with a gang of Hobgoblins, armed to the teeth and looking fierce. The Hobgoblin Commander informs the party that he's taking revenge for the deaths of his subordinates earlier in the day. A fight commences, and the party wins initiative to attack first. Since the Hobgoblins are packed so closely together at the start of the fight, a couple quick area blast attacks from the ranged spellcasters Cleo and Freya weaken the entire gang almost immediately. As the melee fighters (Azryn, Pilgrim, Oizo) spread out to engage the remaining enemies, Oizo steps up to the Commander. The Commander is an honorable fighter (honor among thieves, imagine that...) and challenges Oizo to single combat while the rest of their respective sides fight. Oizo agrees and the fight commences. Freya activates her new staff's Daily power, which allows her to hit two targets with one Magic Missile, and starts shooting like crazy. Cleo transforms into a bear (as she loves to do) and starts mauling Hobgoblin Soldiers while Azryn and Pilgrim rush the Hobgoblin Archers to cut them down. The rest of the enemies go down quite easily, so with no other targets, the rest of the party has no moral compunction with attacking the Commander and breaking the duel. Despite fighting five-on-one, the Commander is quite the challenge, and actually manages to do enough damage to the Pilgrim to put him down for the count, bleeding into the stone pavement. Eventually he goes down, and the Pilgrim is saved with some First Aid. However, he's only stabilized, not healed. He needs advanced medical care, so he's brought back to the Garrison along with the prisoner.
The City Guard employs an on-site doctor/healer, who takes in Pilgrim while the rest of the party rests up and discusses their progress. While they do, Cleo sneaks into the infirmary to check up on Pilgrim's progress, and as the doctor is treating his wounds she discovers his disguise and true identity as a Drow. Cleo leaves, keeping the revelation to herself. When The Pilgrim regains consciousness in the morning, he is assured by the doctor that his secret will remain safe.
In the morning the party discusses their next move. The only leads they have available are Ulric's home address and the local whorehouse. Despite my best efforts to get my party to go to a whorehouse, they're not into it, and elect to investigate Ulric's home. It's in the upper-class part of town, a two-story mini-mansion. It's obviously locked, so Pilgrim whips out his newly purchased thieves tools. However, it turns out that the tools he purchased are extremely substandard, made of soft tin rather than quality steel. He still has the option of picking locks, but gains no +2 Thievery bonus to disarming traps/locks. I decide that he gets three attempts to pass the DC15 check before neighbors start to get suspicious. Thankfully he still succeeds and they gain entry.
|It's always great when you can use an existing map...|
Another interrogation ensues. The Pilgrim, still in his Ulric disguise, attempts to convince the Imps to give up the info. His Bluff check is awful, so they don't buy it. The party's Intimidate checks work, so the Imps reveal that they serve Ulric and are instructed to guard his home while he's away, especially the basement. What's in the basement? The Imps invite them to see for themselves. The party heads downstairs, but not before tying up the Imps and sticking them in a closet. As you can see on the map, the basement is a stone chamber with an altar and circular pedestal, covered with ornate runes. The alter is covered with spell books and papers, notes and memos. On top of the pedestal, there is a large wooden chest. Pilgrim quickly performs a Thievery check to unlock the chest, and I give him a Perception check to see if he discovers the tripwire trap that would have riddled the room with poison darts. Sadly, he passes both and opens the chest, revealing 1000 gold coins.
|If I didn't have any junk, I'd be angry too.|