PCs: Toad, Queen of Spades, Xeal, Urisk, Vanir
Ring of NPC: Nada
Tuesday-Monday, 6th-12th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess
After having finished off Solomon and his guards the group had the significantly more easy task of disposing of the bodies- Toad summoned hyenas and crocodiles to devour the remains, with QoS using acid to dissolve what little remained. They then used what time they had to fake the evidence of a fight between QoS and the others so that the Red Judges would not have any reason to suspect them of any wrongdoing. QoS then blew a hole through the roof and split off from the others, aiming to lead the Red Judges’ attention elsewhere.
While this excitement was going on, Amos’ ship sailed into the hidden harbour at the entrance to the city’s sewers. This was not manned by Amos, but by a ranger named Vanir Fistmele who had come into Amos’ employ by Sasha’s recommendation. Furthermore, he had received advance payment to join the group that he was to pick up and keep an eye on them from a mysterious cloaked figure. At this point, however, his patience was wearing thin as there had not yet been any sign of the group.
Fleeing from the Red Judges, QoS made good use of her invisibility and returned to the (relative) safety of the sewers. As she was making her way back to the rendezvous point, she felt the very slightest of pulls from within the bowels of the sewer. Backtracking a little she found an off-shoot of a tunnel that had resulted in a cave-in, and protruding from it was a skeletal arm holding a box. Ignoring the danger that this presented, QoS stepped forward to take the box, and was instantly assaulted by a crashing of rocks as the tunnel behind her collapsed.
The rest of the group had in the meantime convinced the Red Judges that they needed to go after the perpetrators of these vile acts at once, and left with all the haste they could muster. Those who were able to clear the Detect Evil checks left the city via the Scales of Justice, while those who were not left for the sewer rendezvous.
Upon realising that QoS hadn’t made it to the rendezvous, Vanir began searching the nearby tunnels for her (as he wouldn’t receive full pay without retrieving every member of the group). By chance (and by QoS’s efforts to be heard) Vanir was able to find the tunnel and dig enough of the rubble out that QoS could be retrieved.
When all the group had gathered the ship set off for the Last Rest at a fast clip. QoS took the opportunity to discover what was in the box, and was aghast to find that it was a Deck of Many Things. While various members of the group had different levels of knowledge about the Deck, the major consensus was to leave it the hell alone (or perhaps sell it to someone who might be interested).
Arriving at the Rest they were greeted by Amos with a message from Emmett. Their new instructions directed the group to an old villa on Lake Maseron. Emmett had written that the villa belonged to an old friend of his, and that the castle in the centre of the villa would work as an excellent base of operations should his friend be willing to let them stay there. The message also recommended that the group include Vanir in their adventures, though left his reasons for doing so unexplained.
They departed the Last Rest with all due haste, not waiting around to potentially have any Red Judges discover what had actually taken place. With Toad providing magical mounts the group made good time on the trade road between the Rest and Jebagara. They deliberately chose to avoid Jebagara and the political instability brewing between the Eastern Kingdom and the Khanate, instead heading straight to Lake Maseron.
The party was surprised to find a not insignificant number of people building a boardwalk between the shore and the villa in the center of the lake. The workers seemed to be unusually fixated on their work, but gave cheerful responses when spoken to. Upon asking if there was any way of getting across to the villa the group were directed to a barge being manned by a cheerful young man named Samson. Samson offered to take them across for a few coppers each, saying that they were expected by the Master.
One boat ride later and the group stood in the midst of a villa under reconstruction. The more observant members of the group could discern the building work as being quite recent, with a number of outbuildings seeming to be entirely new buildings started in the past weeks. The party were most interested in the main building, however, a hulking structure that was part castle and part mansion.
Upon entering the mansion it was as if the group had been transported into a completely different building- the crumbling bastions of outside had been replaced by neat brickwork, the dull lights of lamps were replaced with the bright flames of braziers and various decorations hung from the walls to breathe life into the place. The party proceeded with caution into the main hall, where a feast was spread out before them. A group of villagers were stuffing themselves with little regard to the presence of the party, but the man at the head of the table was very much interested in them.
The man introduced himself as Lord Elias Du Pont, and invited the group to have a seat at the table. The group politely declined, and he “requested” again that they take a seat and eat. Given the magical emphasis behind his words, most of the group recognised that they were being manipulated and made to draw weapons. Du Pont chose not to directly challenge the group, however, turning into a cloud of mist and vanishing, a chilling laugh the only reminder that he had been there just seconds ago.
The portcullis then slammed down behind the group, leaving the group with no choice but to further explore the manor and hunt down the vampire Du Pont…