Nieda-Harsas Bureau of Tourism

Session 16 - Operation Poop Chute
Adventurers clean up the mess in the waterworks.
Party: NPCs:
  • a bunch of nameless technicians
Locations:

Last time, the party had reached the control room, which was occupied by bandits. The adventurers attempted to bluff their way into the control room by suggesting that they were agents of the patron of the Nissus Point bandits. This confused the bandits in the control room, who appeared not to recognize the people Lindwell kept talking about. Th bandit leader tired of these talks quickly and ordered his crossbowmen to ventilate the interlopers.

Realizing the jig is up, Jorma commences the fight with a taunt and a thrown dagger, and a bandit falls. Gron sends his spirit companion forth, and its ethereal claws slash another bandit to ribbons. The bandits fire back, puncturing Gron’s shoulder. The bandit chief attempts to forcefully dismiss the spirit, but it shrugs off the damage and continues ravaging his men. Lindwell uses his magic gloves to open the portcullis for his allies. Jorma grabs the portcullis and rides it up as Lindwell fires off a deadly blast of borrowed power at yet another bandit.

Jorma rises level with the control room platform as he holds tightly to the portcullis. He sees that there are more bandits than they anticipated, as well as a number of hostages. He readies his dagger to wreak havoc on his new targets, who take aim at him as well. Magicians and crossbowmen take aim right back. Blizzacane and Gron hustle for ladders. The party, save Jorma, mount the platform and take a blast of lightning, but their advance does not weaken. Suddenly a bandit shoves Gron back onto a ladder only to be himself dragged downward by the burly goliath. Blizzacane and Lindwell bear toward the enemies. Jorma attempts to drag the table sheltering a crossbowman and the mage away, but fails and abandons his perch in a run toward the cleared ladders. The party tightens the vice, squeezing their opponents into an ever smaller space. One bandit escapes, followed closely by Lindwell. Gron, Jorma, and Blizzacane take down the final enemies. Lindwell’s pursuit is brought short as he sees the escaping bandit fall from a collapsing bridge into a massive inflow channel, apparently at the hands of his own allies. He returns to the party with this news.

As the rest of the party frees the waterworks control technicians, Blizzacane becomes distracted by the sheer number of levers to pull during this explanation and wanders toward a likely one. Seizing it in his mighty arms, he pulls the lever with all his strength and causes every toilet in Bythovia to simultaneously back up, explosively so. As the technicians scramble to repair the damage, the party restrains Blizzacane. The freed technicians immediately begin to restore order to the stressed system. Their supervisor informs the adventurers of their now ended plight as he directs the restoration effort. The bandits had appeared suddenly, pouring through the tunnel leading to the inflow channel. They quickly captured the technicians and commenced a study of the maps and technical documents contained in the control room. This continued until the adventurers arrived and finished them off. The supervisor supposes that the wicked men entered through an unguarded aqueduct, but he has little more information otherwise. Our adventurers greet this information with the sort of glee such violent psychotics might be expected to exhibit and head toward the inflow channel.

Once there they find a vast room, so large that the light of Gron’s sunrod does not penetrate to the other side. The remains of a bridge or catwalk are visible on irregularly spaced pylons, but the way across has been destroyed. With careful use of rope, brave leaps, prestidigitation, and blind luck, the party almost makes it across. Lindwell falls into the current, but Jorma, thinking swiftly, leaps from his safe pylon onto the drenched warlock’s back and surfs him to safety. Unfoturnately, this bravery is for naught, as soon enough they come to grief. Jorma and Blizzacane fall into the swift current. Gron leaps in to save them. Jorma tries to insult Gron to trigger his cape’s teleportation, but he fails to manage a good slur in Giant and accidentally compliments his colleague. Blizzacane manages to swim to safety, but Jorma is swept away from Gron and out of the chamber. Fighting the raging warter, Jorma sings the Dungeoneer’s sewer song to figure a way out of his predicament, finally hitting on a verse claiming that every sewer leads somewhere. With renewed hope he cracks open a sunrod and waits for opportunity. Gron, crushed by loss after Jorma’s compliment, leaps into the current and pursues. Lindwell and Blizzacane lower themselves into the current in an attempt to press onward, but they lose hold of the rope and are dragged away.

As Jorma’s song says, every sewer leads somewhere. Unfortunately, this one led to, well, a sewer. Jorma spies a platform covered in lumps of “organic material” and bobs that way. Gron summons his bear there and follows while Blizzacane and Lindwell tread mostly water. They find the body of the last bandit as well as some large pipes sticking up out of the platform, pipes wide enough for a person to fit in. Gron notices that some of the lumps are alive and ready to attack. Myconids surge toward the two! Blizzacane and Lindwell swim to assist as Gron, the spirit bear, and Jorma all try to hold off a concerted attack by a soldier and a sovereign of the ambulatory fungus. Blizzacane arrives and immediately locks down two rotpriests with deadly ice, absorbing their blows, blocking their access to his companions, and killing them with the inexorable hands of winter. Lindwell stands back, firing into the melee. The soldier and sovereign slowly wheel their opponents toward the two rotpriests, blasting them with spores, but our heroes are too tough for them. Gron, Lindwell, and Jorma finish off their two foes and move to attack the rotpriests. The myconids share their strength, but a flurry of cuts and bashes and burns takes them down.

The party explores the pipes, finally finding one that leads back to the inflow channel. Fortunately, the arrive at the side they originally tried to reach, avoiding a long slog across the channel itself. Exhausted, they seal themselves in a small hallway for the night and rest. Soon enough, they must find and secure the terminus of the aqueduct where the bandits entered and rescue the toilets of Bythovia.

Rewards:
  • 407 XP each (6,878 total)
  • Boots of Eagerness (Gron)
  • Goddess Statuette (Ivory) (250 gp)
  • Pearl x1 (100 gp)
  • Moonstone x1 (100 gp)
  • 50 gp
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Session 15 - Operation Crocodile Hunter
In which our heroes face desperate bandits and hostile wildlife deep below Bythovia.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

This session had some great moments in the podcast. Listen to the first 20 minutes or so before the party heads downstairs; it’s hilarious. Regolith’s recruitment starts around 55:00 or so and bleeds into the skill challenge with Ludovicus, and that’s pretty funny too. 2:17:05 is some stuff about the duelist rogue stuff, which WotC released not long before this session.

The party arrives at the pumping station next to the river, a scene of human and mechanical chaos. They make themselves known to the foreman, Grigorius Nivex, who reacts to their presence with a mixture of annoyance and incredulity. Jorma manages to convince him of their utility, and Nivex sends them down to investigate what’s happened to the central control facility as well as his own dire turtle exterminators, Marius and Ludovicus.

Some distance into the waterworks’ control tunnels, the adventurers encounter something unexpected – bandits! Jorma accidentally alerts the bandit’s to the party’s presence, stripping the party of any advantage of surprise. Jorma attempts a dialogue to further their search for Marius and Ludovicus, but is rebuffed. The bandits attempt to surround Jorma several times but Jorma’s swift feet and Gron’s spirit never allow them to keep their advantage for very long. Gron and Jorma whittle down the aggressive bandits while Lindwell channels Mint’s deadly desires, setting fire to a bandit or two. Jorma blinds several bandits with his flashing daggers. Gron crushes the shoulder of one of the blinded bandits, pressing the assault. Lindwell forces another bandit to surrender through force of personality alone. A flurry of attacks from Gron and Jorma bring down the last bandit, leaving only the bandit who capitulated alive. Jorma immediately sets to looting the corpses, lamenting that they did not select a respectable profession like dungeoneering.

After the battle, the party attempt to recruit and interrogate the sole bandit who surrendered, Regolith. After some mild intimidation, Regolith decides that he’s better off with them than against them. Regolith reveals that he doesn’t know too much about the tunnels, but he has visited the control room. Regolith gives them directions, warning them that a portcullis along the way blocks the path. The portcullis was lowered by a sewer worker who has refused to allow the bandits passage through.

The party approaches the portcullis and finds that it is Ludovicus, one of the men they seek, who engaged it. He isn’t inclined to be very helpful, considering the presence of bandits, and has to be convinced. The party eventually persuades him to let them through, and the man in green works with them to repair the portcullis mechanism enough to open it up with a shove from Gron. Ludovicus warns them of bandits in the control room and heads up to the pumping station.

Presing forward, the adventurers are attacked by beasts! A gelatinous cube leaps up from below a grate and engulfs Jorma, rushing off into the darkness with its prey. Gron pursues, lighting a sunrod and sending his bear ahead to wreak its special brand of havoc. Jorma manages to escape from the ooze, but cannot immediately get away. Lindwell steps up to support, but his terrible energies do not affect it. Jorma is pulled back into the cube as a visejaw crocodile charges up from the water and grabs Lindwell in its jaws. Gron tries to free Lindwell but fails. Fortunately, Jorma manages to escape the ooze’s grasp again and legs it for his companions. Lindwell teleports away from the crocodile and uses Mint’s borrowed power for a vengeful strike, immobilizing it in unyielding ice. The crocodile manages to break free, however, and grabs Gron, dragging him with is as it retreats toward the water. Jorma steps in and forces the croc to release its prize and fall from the platform. Jorma yells for his allies to retreat behind the portcullis to reduce the number of enemies they’ll have to fight. Lindwell’s magical fire confuses the croc, reducing its ability to attack and cementing his place as a man who can burn a crocodile with its ass in the river. Gron rushes back through the portcullis to wait for the gelatinous cube as his spirit bear rends some of its substance. The cube sees its meal getting away and pursues the delicious Jorma, engulfing him once again, but the desparate rogue quickly teleports away. The crocodile charges Gron in an attempt to secure its own meal, grasping him even with Lindwell’s witchfire clouding its eyes. Regolith, who has hung back until this point, scuttles away rather than get involved. Jorma attacks the crocodile and slides it under a portcullis before chopping off a hunk of the ooze with his magic dagger. Lindwell yanks hard on a lever, dropping the heavy portcullis onto the crocodile’s head, and recklessly blasts at the cube – a miss! Gron moves his bear to block the croc in case it escapes as the cube attempts to escape. The weight of the portcullis kills the croc, and Jorma is free to engage his erstwhile consumer (though he misses). Lindwell fires at the cube twice, missing both times, and hides behind Jorma. Gron sniffs at this cowardice and smashes into the gelatinous cube with him maul. The cube retaliates! Gron is dragged into it, as Jorma was earlier, and the cube pushes toward the rest of its desired prey. Jorma and Lindwell take shots at the cube and try to lure it out. Gron leaps out from the cube and takes a mighty swing at the cube, shoving it backward, and retreats with the rest of the party. The cube oozes its way toward the party, intent on a meal. Jorma holds his ground, flinging his magic dagger into the vile thing. Lindwell’s sparkly bursts impacts the cube, melting a piece of it away. Gron covers his companions as the wounded cube sinks through the grating into the water below and passes from view. Jorma catches sight of it again and pursues, pointing out its location to the others. Lindwell takes another shot, damaging its coherence further. The ooze enters the main water channel, hoping to drift away, but Jorma’s last shot destroys it utterly.

The party continues on toward the control room. Lindwell attempts to bluff his way into the room, but the bandits there appear to know nothing about Amrit or the Nissus Point bandits. Unfortunately, the party is coming from the wrong direction for any of the things Lindwell says to be true, and the chief bandit tells his men to ventilate them.

Rewards:
  • 609 XP each (6,471 total)
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Session 14 - Operation Nightsoil
The city has a plumbing predicament, so the boys offer to help out.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

In the aftermath of the fight with Amrit, the wizardess patron of the Nissus Point bandits, our adventurers, Jorma nails the captured note from last session to the floor with a dagger in an attempt to incriminate her. Her kitten, having adopted Blizzacane, now plays happily with the giant furry killing machine’s bells. Jorma and Lindwell realizes that the group may now be linked with their recent murder (a bad thing in a civilized city) and search the office for a way out that doesn’t involve making themselves visible. Blizzacane finds a tapestry with a scene that’s a bit too real-looking, much more detailed than usual, and Jorma plunges his hand through the tapestry into a spring day. After experimenting a bit, the party travels through the tapestry to a grassy hill well outside Bythovia. Lindwell realizes that the tapestry is actually a portal prepared by the wizardess as a means of quick egress should she ever be threatened. Secure in their escape, they march toward Bythovia, intent on contacting the people they’d been recommended to in the city.

After a brief confrontation with some guards, Jorma sets off to commission a fine dagger from a local smithy, Lars Varicles. Lindwell visits the moneychangers to sell off some treasure and consolidate their coinage. The party repairs to an inn afterward, eliciting some interest in Karl’s merchandise from the innkeep. The adventurers then retire to their boat for the night.

The planned visit to the monastery of the Order of the Beloved Vine reveals that the sewers are backing up all over the city. Abbot Varicles requests that Blizzacane and Jorma visit the office of the Proquaestor of Waterworks, Albus Torquanus, to determine the problem. They find a mass of humanity in full-throated complaint, all trying to shove into the office to make their problems known. The town guards seem to be spread thin keeping order all over the city, so the party intimidates its way into the whitewashed travertine building that houses the Quaestorship of Public Works by tossing one of Blizzacane’s bells through the door and following along in his wake. Blizz locates the proquaestor (by tackling him), and Jorma commiserates with him, offering the groups services in ascertaining what, exactly, is causing the trouble. After the guards inform the magistrate that their search for the control team must wait until after a riot is quelled, Torquanus contracts them. He seems uncertain, but his alternatives are limited.

Torquanus dispatches the team to the control tunnels for the waterworks, which run underneath the city. The control team for the waterworks has been out of contact, and the proquaestor wants to know what is happening. He sends the team to an entrance located in a pumping station in the tiefling quarter. After some preparation for underwater action, the team heads to the pumping station.

Rewards:
  • No rewards
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Session 13 - Operation Delicious
Lindwell finds out unpleasant things about Bythovia, Jorma and Blizzacane make friends, and the bandits' patron is finally found.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

As the party approaches Bythovia, Lindwell gets to know the new recruits better. The riverboat’s captain warns him that tieflings aren’t particularly welcome outside their ghetto and that Bythovia is a seat of the Platinum Talons, an order devoted to Bahamut that combats the influence of Tiamat. Lindwell reassures him, and the crew continues on.

Arrival in Bythovia reveals the tiefling ghetto near the docks. Lindwell dispatches Jorma and Blizzacane to meet their contacts in the city, opting to remain in safer surroundings with Gron. The two first find Father-Administrator Ulis Carillion, a cleric in the Order of Minacius and one of Eroun’s former teachers. Carillion mentions the possibility of posting more Erathic clergy to New Port Chalmers in light of the town’s current growth, but cautions the supplicants that such postings must by made by the bishop. After sharing a tankard of Apple Lager with the father-administrator, the pair set off to find Abbot Caius Varicles of the Order of the Beloved Vine. Varicles, an old friend of Brother Tarkanian’s, promises to ask for volunteers to assist the new monastery in New Port Chalmers. A bottle of the Beloved Vine’s wine later, Jorma and Blizzacane return to the docks to report their findings.

Lindwell, meanwhile, had been combing the ghetto looking for information on scholars. He found that Bythovia’s very own Palmyra University was a haven for scholarly types who might be interested in getting away from the city’s academic politics.

Lindwell requests the presence of the rest of the team as he travels to the university. Along the way they are accosted by two paladins of the Platinum Talons. The paladins indicate to the group that tieflings aren’t safe in Bythovia, largely because of old fears of a cult of Tiamat in the empire. During the shakedown, the party notices something odd: one of the paladins is a tiefling.

Afterward, the adventurers arrive at the gates of Palmyra University. Some casual information gathering reveals that some of the younger scholars frequent a tavern not far away. Lindwell directs the group to this establishment and addresses its patrons with an offer of employment at his new university. Fielding a wide array of questions on such topics as funding, tenure, and academic focus from a crew of mathematicians, philosophers, alchemists, rhetoriticians, grammarians, and diverse others, Lindwell comes away with a sheaf of resumes and a sense of self-satisfaction. Chance comments entice Nierelhav Delledithau, the continent’s self-described pre-eminent expert on portals, to approach the group as they are leaving. After grilling the party on the spatiotemporal anomalies of New Port Chalmers, Delledithau indicates a desire to visit the place and leaves, presumably to make arrangments.

On the way back to the university, the party notices a familiar face. Leaving the university is the elf who got away during the fight at the underground temple dig site! Our adventurers give chase, but the elf proves as slippery in the city as in the woods and soon disappears into the rooftops. Gron attempts to pursue but falls off a wall next to a letter dropped by the fleeing bandit.

Encrypted in the same scheme as the letter the party took from another bandit, this missive’s secrets are soon revealed. A person called Amrit (backwards TIRMA, presumably the “T” of the underground temple’s letter) is apparently the patron of the bandits. Amrit has decided to end her association with them due to the loss of the Evocation of the Lesser Sun to a band of adventurers and its subsequent disappearance into the Pelauric church. The team heads to the university for answers. A little digging and one strange session with an elevator later, they’re at the (unlocked) door of Amrit Perrigan.

Lindwell announces the group’s presence, and Amrit promptly freaks out, recognizing them as the people who spoiled her plans for the bandits. She orders her animated creatures to attack while she brings her own magic to bear on the party. Gron has his own bear, though. Jorma strikes as two Bloodseeker Drakes advance. Gron and Lindwell attack from afar as Blizzacane tries to hold down the drakes. Amrit blinds half the party, but Jorma still manages to slide around her guards to deal massive damage. Amrit and her drakes are worn down slowly, but a pet grape jelly drops from the cieling onto Lindwell in an attempt to smother him in delicious goodness. Lindwell and Gron try to fight it off while Jorma and Blizzacane continue to attack Amrit and the drakes. Amrit sees an opportunity to escape and runs; Jorma pursues her, and soon she is trapped and brought down. Blizzacane finishes off the last drake and freezes the grape jelly. The purple ooze, heavily damaged, escapes through a crack in the wall hidden behind a tapestry. Gron rages toward the wall, destroying the tapestry and leaving a crater. Unable to discern Amrit’s plans from her books and equipment, the party loots the lab/library.

Rewards:
  • 350 XP each (5862 total)
  • Vicious Weapon +2 crystal (Jorma)
  • Ghoststride Boots (Lindwell)
  • Tapestry of the Battle of Lower Ytterby, 20’ x 10’ (250 gp)
  • Alexandrite x1 (500 gp)
  • Pearl x2 (100 gp ea)
  • Garnet x1 (100 gp)
  • 310 gp
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Session 12 - Operation More Bars in More Places
Blizzacane meets some old friends, Lindwell recruits, and Blizz and Gron deplete the drinking classes of Anshun.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

Previously, Blizzacane was accosted by his sister Starfall at the Gathering of Tribes. They trade news, and Starfall informs Blizzacane of the few people in the tribe who still like him – suprisingly, there are a few. They part, leaving Blizzacane to go visit his old mentor, Wellspring Spiritwhip. Lindwell and Jorma recruit a bard, Drake Cullen, with tales of the party’s exploits (and the Dungeoneers) with the promise of more to come. The beer is sold and The Boy’s stock is depleted, so the party heads back to town.

The DM then accidentally deletes everybody’s token, bringing the game to a halt for a few minutes.

Ewald surprises the party on their return, again expressing his unrequited love for Blizzacane. Rebuffing him with sheer obliviousness, Blizzacane heads for the inn with Gron. Jorma espies sister Zamada with a couple of elves, Peleion and Bellefon Mekanarem, and engages them in conversation. Sister Zamada must once again deal with Jorma’s gormlessness, and in front of her young man, to boot. Zamada disabuses Jorma of his belief in his ghostly nature while failing to get any other hints across. Emboldened by apparent success, Jorma immediately skips off to buy undead killin’ equipment from Rene-Robert.

At the inn, Gron drinks. . .and drinks. . .and drinks. Eventually, he starts performing acrobatic stunts with his hammer and a chair. He takes his shirt off (“for the ladies,” of course) to a mixed reaction from his public.

Lindwell locates his underlings and castigates them for their slow progress in recruitment. Rocky objects, and in the course of the argument Rocky finagles his way into a job as Lindwell’s project manager and suggests a recruitment drive throughout the River Cities to deal with New Port Chalmers’ demographic problems. Lindwell then attempts (unsuccessfully) to recruit Peleion, the young elf with whom Sister Zamada is “friendly,” then visits Cephas to get a report on the status of the Going Under the Water Safely Without Drowning device. Needless to say, the prototype is not fully functional, although the halfling has some ideas for further refinements.

Lindwell commences planning for his recruitment drive. Accompanied by Jorma, he acquires brochures from the Nieda-Harsas Bureau of Tourism and the New Port Chalmers Chamber of Commerce (somewhat out of date in both cases). He also gets leads on people to recruit from Mayor Branson, Sister Zamada, and Brother Tarkanian. Karl sends them small barrels of an Apple Lager and a Golden Stout.

The party then heads to Anshun, the largest of the river cities. Blizzacane and Gron head off to find supplies and a tavern (and only find the tavern) while Jorma and Lindwell run down the contacts they’ve been given.

They find that while the Order of Minacius won’t give them any official assistance, one of its adherents, an archdeacon and friend of Sister Zamada’s named Theris Yandvale, is willing to direct them to an immigrants’ aid society, the Eleemosynary Society for Greater Prosperity and Uplift. While approaching the society, Lindwell notes some signs that it may be linked to Tiamat – a circumstance which comforts him. The whole society doesn’t appear to be in that loop, especially Laura Goodvine, the charity worker who agrees to recruit some labor for New Port Chalmers.

During all this, Gron and Blizzacane enjoy the hospitality of a tavern, which they eventually depopulate through bear-related terror. You have to read the message log from this one to get the full experience, trust me.

Lindwell and Jorma then proceed to a Pelauric abbey to recruit from the clergy there. The abbess, Delora Alhambre, takes some convincing, but she agrees to assign some of her nuns to work in New Port Chalmers. Elitta Dromash, Harla Valmont, and Wendy Corlin prepare for their reassignment.

Afterward, the pair attempt to track down Blizzacane and Gron, who have already proceeded to another tavern. They find the aftermath of the first part of the bar crawl and find that there companions are reasonably safe from retaliation – the police believe that a wizard who can transform into a bear was responsible for the devastation. Eventually, they locate Blizzacane and Gron in another, unterrorized tavern. One bear-related evacuation later, the party retires for the evening – all but Lindwell, who searches for (and finds) a shipwright for New Port Chalmers, Alexandre du Barry.

The next morning the adventurers collect their recruits. Abbess Alhambre gives three nuns into the care of the party, with designs on a new abbey for her order in New Port Chalmers. In return, Jorma allows the clergy to sample some of Karl’s ales. The Eleemosynary Society has included two Tiamat worshipers, which pleases Lindwell. The party quits Anshun for Bythovia, the next city up the river.

Rewards:
  • 400 XP each (total XP: 5512)
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Session 11 - Operation Catapult
Jorma encounters the Metal Gear and Blizzacane gets tossed.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

The day started off with a bang as Peter Petrov carried a mysterious cardboard box into the training hall. Petrov mentioned that he hadn’t seen who left it, but it was marked with Lindwell’s name and so was probably for him. Lindwell and Jorma backed off and let Peter open the box on the off chance that it contained explosives. Fortunately, the box contained only treasure.

After the treasure was counted and accounted, Jorma requested some gold to buy a holy symbol with. He found Sister Zamada weeding the flower beds at the church and asked for the holy symbol and a recommendation for a book detailing the worship of Erathis. Although initially taken aback, Sister Zamada agreed to the transaction, handing over a metal gear symbol of Erathis and a copy of Commentaries on the Erathic Scriptures, an introductory text. Jorma donned his new finery and loped off in triumph.

Jorma then traveled to the Underground Temple to feed Akiva. He worried that Akiva’s purported diet of adventurers would not be enough to sustain him in an adventurer-free environment, especially as Akiva was not actually a grue. Jorma noted along the way that the elves had continued their overwatch of the temple area. After greeting his friend and descending into the temple, Jorma learned what Akiva had been eating; the “adventurers” the self-proclaimed grue boasted of bringing down were actually small animals like squirrels. Jorma convinced Akiva to eat the prepackaged “adventurers” that he had brought. Grateful for the company, Akiva offered to show Jorma around his new place: a cavern decorated with furniture crafted from the scrap wood, old tarps, and straw found in the cave. Akiva then convinced Jorma to visit the second floor. After the descent through the hatch in the antechamber, Jorma was treated to the sight of a palace of gold and marble constructed in the Imperial style, more evidence of the temple area’s mercurial nature.

Gron was busy drinking tea ale and having warm, delicious, melt in your mouth cookies.

Lindwell took the Light Security Drone and the parts of the Heavy Security Drone that he had recoved to Cephas in the Machine Shop. Cephas agreed to look at the interesting find and drew Per into the investigation in a very short time. Although no discoveries were made immediately, it was plain to see that Cephas’s mind was at work.

Mint made it plain that Lindwell had not treated her properly in recent times. No pie, no games, etc., had left Mint bored and somewhat vindictive. Lindwell decided to pursue a game of Cripple Mr. Onion and visited Iteme Shop to procure the standard 57-card deck with which that game is played. D’Iteme and his assistant were busy packing inventory for shipment to the Gathering of the Tribes. D’Iteme inquired as to whether Blizzacane would attend the gathering or not. Lindwell promised to send Blizz over to answer that question and took his leave.

Lindwell convinced Jorma to play with Mint and himself, and Gron, hearing the word “game”, decided to join in. Lindwell dealt cards to the four players, two of whom could not see Mint and reacted badly when she picked up her hand of cards. Lindwell assisted her with Mage Hand, and the game began in earnest. Mint won narrowly; although Lindwell played (intentionally) poorly, Jorma and Gron played a vigorous game. Mollified, Mint stopped threatening Lindwell.

Blizzacane dropped by the shop and heard about the gathering for the first time. Deciding that he needed more information, he gathered his party and located Marshal Daguerre in the town hall. Daguerre mentioned what little he knew, most of which had been passed around the regional law enforcement community. Blizzacane decided to spend some time in the company of his fellow shifters, and the party convinced Daguerre to come along. Blizz agreed to keep an eye on The Boy and d’Iteme’s stall while Jorma secured nine barrels of some of Karl’s meatier brews: Squirrale, Beef Lager Tatare, and Goat Beer.

After arriving at the vast sea of tents that was the gathering, the party found a spot to set up shop and commenced to tap the kegs and offer beer for sale. Lindwell attracted quite a crowd with an illusory scent of meat, driving sales of Karl’s brews and d’Iteme’s items upward. Even the dwarf at a competing stall wandered over to sample the wares.

Bored, Blizzacane decided that one way to alleviate his ennui was by messing with Gron and running away. Almost inevitably, Blizzacane and Gron’s path found the competition grounds, where people at the gathering strove for supremacy in various events. Gron bowled Blizzacane over into the crowd, revealing an old rival of Blizz’s and drawing the attention of the event referee. Gron managed to throw Blizz into a tent before being stopped by the ref, who indicated that that sort of energy was best dispelled on the field. The party quickly signed up for a series of events: the placation of an aurochs, the raising of a monolith, a stealthy run through an obstacle course, and the control of an arcane sphere. The PCs won each event, receiving treasure and accolades for their deeds.

After returning to the market square, the thirsty PCs enjoyed the fruits of victory. Jorma’s attempt to buy decorations for the training hall became negotiations with Tycho and Harskoll to start shipping goods through New Port Chalmers, although these ended inconclusively. Shortly afterward, Blizzacane was accosted by a very familiar (to him) voice/tackle combination.

Rewards:
  • 525 XP each (total XP: 5112)
  • Pact Blade (dagger) +2 (Lindwell)
  • Parry Gauntlets (Blizzacane)
  • Carved jade hand (250 gp)
  • Bone torc (250 gp)
  • Moonstone x1 (100 gp)
  • 340 gp
  • 400 sp
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Session 10 - Operation Do You Know the Muffin Man
The party hopes that the next leap will be the leap home.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

After resting in the starship’s cargo hold without incident, the party continued through the next portal in good order.

On the other side they found a desert box canyon littered with scattered vegetation. Two deinonychus ambled around the other end of the canyon near the bright, inoperative form of a portal. Long lanes of high vegetation blocked the party’s view of the canyon’s sides. Blizzacane attempted to intimidate the deinonychus to ease the party’s passage toward the portal, but frightened only one of the dinosaurs. Blizzacane and Jorma then advanced, engaging the dinosaurs as needed. Suddenly, two deinonychus leapt over the vegetation they had been hiding behind, which put the party in a more precarious spot. The dinosaurs attacked Blizzacane, Jorma, and Lindwell; Gron was disengaged but quickly summoned his spirit companion. Lindwell backed off, Jorma scrambled to flank, and Blizzacane kept the bulk of the beasts glued to himself, taking hits as he did so. Gron moved his spirit constantly to best spread its benfactions. Eventually, a deinonychus grabbed Jorma; shortly afterward, another grabbed Blizzacane. Jorma’s captor attempted to drag him away for later consumption, but its hold was no match for Jorma’s acrobatics. Blizzacane escaped as well, but not before taking serious damage. Eventually the party wore their adversaries down, at which point a few tried to flee. Blizzacane gave pursuit, running the last deinonychus to ground.

After the fight, Lindwell noticed that Mint was unnerved and babbling. He attempted to comfort her, but was only partially successful. The party licked its wounds and rested, then proceeded through the next portal.

The party emerged on a greensward surrounded by buildings, ruins, and barricades. More barricades littered the area, beyond which stood a number of men uniformed as soldiers (and one blacksmith) staring at the next portal. The soldiers noticed the party arrive at almost the same time and mistook them (mostly) for demons, adopting an aggressive posture. The party acted pre-emptively, however. Jorma rushed the smith, blinding and severly wounding most of the enemies with his flashing daggers. The rest of the party followed suit. Lindwell kept himself hidden and protected, firing his strange magics from afar. The soldiers never had a chance, and soon the party was ready to move on.

At last, our heroes found themselves in a blank white expanse populated only by two things: a cardboard box and a dragon. Etorre had somehow made his way to the terminus of this chaotic place before the adventurers. He held a grudge, revealing that the muffin incident had made him a laughingstock and that he no longer held the respect of many of his fellow cultists, who called him Muffin. He stated that he was regarded no more highly than Lindwell or Lindwell’s brother now. With his complaint out of the way, the dragon attacked.

The first strike was terrible to behold. The dragon glided in and caught the party, still bunched together, with his breath weapon, poisoning and slowing most of them. He then severely wounded Lindwell before Jorma could flank him and Blizzacane could set up his primal zones. Gron backed off, letting his spirit do the mauling for him. Lindwell backed off and set a spell on Etorre before being drawn back in by the dragon’s luring glare. Once again the dragon attacked, using both its claws and its frightful presence to assault the adventurers and break their will. Lindwell, near death, once again retreated as the other three pummeled the beast. They effectively drew blood, whereupon the dragon, in its desperation, fired off its breath weapon again, this time catching all but Jorma in the blast. Lindwell limped away, drawing on the strange energies of his pact to try and kill the thing before it could do the same for him. As Gron worked to keep everyone alive, Blizzacane kept the monster immobilized while Jorma pummeled it, but eventually the dragon broke free and went after Lindwell again. This time it brought him low, though not before sustaining major damage from the adversaries it had ignored. Soon Etorre lay stretched on the ground, too.

The party managed to stabilize Lindwell and remove the worst afflictions from themselves before the world they were in dissolved, depositing them on top of the symbol of Pelor that had disappeared from the antechamber in the caves. Lindwell awoke thanks to Gron’s regenerative powers, remembering the entirety of the trip through time and space no more than a dream. Frustrated in their attempt to reopen the hatch and still licking their wounds, the party returned to New Port Chalmers.

Rewards:
  • 600 XP each (total XP: 4587)
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Session 9 - Operation Billy Pilgrim
The party revisits an old victory and finds it changed.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

Akiva Stein was a bum: he was crazy, he didn’t bathe much, and (crucially) he had no dwelling or employment. Sister Zamada insisted that Jorma at least handle the bathing part, as Stein was in no state of mind to take care of himself. After much hemming and hawing, Jorma overcame his fear of bums enough to construct a bum-cleaning apparatus out of a bucket, a sponge, and a ten-foot pole.

At the same time, Gron Swiftriser entered town in search of adventurers to measure himself against. After visiting the tavern and sampling Karl’s Afternoon Tea Pilsner (served with cookies) several times, Gron located the town marshal to enlist him in the search. Jorma had finished his bath by this point and revealed himself to be the very sort of man Gron sought! One race over the town hall later, and they were fast. . .not friends, but at least acquaintances.

Lindwell, meanwhile, busied himself directing his minions, since those rocks aren’t going to explode themselves. Rocky floated the idea of recruting manpower from the southern cities; Lindwell concurred. As operations were at an impasse until the machine shop was constructed, Lindwell left in search of the mayor.

Lindwell ran into Gron and Jorma near the town hall, shortly before he himself was located by Mayor Branson. Branson expressed some irritation with the presence of Stein; several citizens had been attacked by a man claiming to be a grue and had complained. Jorma suggested that they make good on their promise to relocate Stein to the cave system that housed the Underground Temple of Pelor. Lindwell agreed, and soon the party was on the road to Nissus Point after Jorma’s attempt at teleportation (standing very still and thinking teleporty thoughts) failed miserably.

The cave appeared to have seen some activity since the adventurers had last walked its halls, but none recently. Stein found the place much to his liking. As the party entered the oval antechamber that had led to the temple chambers lower down, they found that the Peloric inscription in the floor and the dais that had covered the entrance to the temple were gone. Further, the staircase leading down had been replaced by a hole cut in the floor of the stone. Gron and Jorma raced each other down into a previously unseen chamber.

The new chamber was a raw cave that looked nothing like the temple the party had previously visited. There they found the most recent visitor – a bandit with two tame fire beetles! The bandit ordered his animals to battle as the rest of the party descended, and the two groups clashed by the glow of strange magical energies. As they fought, ankhegs stealthily moved into position to attack. Lindwell nearly ended up trapped in the jaws of one of the beasts, and only timely action by Blizzacane rescued him. Eventually all of the enemies were slain, and the magical energy transformed itself into a portal of unknown provenance. Without waiting to investigate, Jorma leapt through, followed closely by his companions.

The adventurers them found themselves in a sandstone chamber filled with columns and carvings reminiscent of ancient Egypt. Two archers sounded an alarm and fired on them. Jorma charged forward, triggering a section of the ceiling that swung down and nearly bowled him off his feet. Forewarned, the rest of the party advanced more cautiously. Although Blizzacane triggered another trap and was knocked down, the archers were ultimately defeated. Jorma identified the remaining traps before the group advanced to the next chamber.

The PCs next found themselves in a cavern of ice, opposed by Norse berserkers. The berserkers charged them, taking a heavy toll, but were less apt in their defense. Carefully, Jorma and Blizzacane maneuvered them beneath heavy icicles in the cave. The icicles, once jarred loose from their moorings on the roof, knocked the berserkers flat. Hampered by their tactics and lack of anything resembling a defensive posture, the berserkers were vanquished, allowing our heroes to advance.

The party was then deposited in the cargo hold of a starship, littered with crates. A service droid and two security drones sounded an intruder alarm and engaged the party. Gron stayed back, dispatching his spirit companion to assist the rest with healing and beneficial effects. The service droid was destroyed swiftly; its explosive termination failed to catch Blizzacane and Jorma in its nimbus. A light security drone dragged Lindwell into the blast zone of a heavy security drone’s flamethrower; Jorma, Lindwell, and Blizzacane were all endangered. Lindwell pursued the light drone while Jorma, Blizzacane, and Gron destroyed the heavy drone. Lindwell narrowly missed a shock from the light security drone’s pacification appendage, and from there the outcome of the battle was all but inevitable. The team rested on the metal floor, enjoying food-like substances scavenged from the hold.

Rewards:
  • 575 XP each (total XP: 3987)
  • Painting of Georg Olaf II the Mighty (250 gp)
  • 240 gp
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Session 8 - Operation Action Extraction
The party pulls Jorma out of a jam, and Jorma meets an old friend with a slight crazy problem.
Party: NPCs: Locations:

Jorma awakens to the sensation of being dragged along a flagstone corridor. Jet Fango has found him, bound him, and is in the process of carrying him off to be extradited to Ariaphas for crimes listed on a newly revised warrant. Lindwell pursues, pretending to be Jorma’s lawyer and attempting to tymie Fango with spurious objections, such as the omission of a method of execution from the warrante. Fango directs the remaining party to proceed to the courthouse if they want to free Jorma.

Jorma is turned over the the authorities at Teremial, who set to work preparing for his extradition hearing. Fango receives enough money from the bounty to retire, which pleases him a great deal. Lindwell, accompanied by Blizzacane, presents himself to the clerk in charge of the cells an claims to be Jorma’s lawyer. After an attempt to invalidate the warrant, Lindwell changes tactics and presents himself as a representative of the government of New Port Chalmers demanding the Jorma’s extradition to that polity, which will allow the party to abscond with Jorma before representatives of Ariaphas can claim him. The clerk arranges the hearing.

The Teremian judge convenes the extradition hearing, and Lindwell presents his argument. Jorma, he claims, should be extradited to New Port Chalmers for prosecution due to at least fifteen heinous (heinous!) murders which he has committed in and around the town. Jorma objects, claiming that he has killed more people than that, to which Lindwell responds that the authorities can only prove fifteen. The judge is shocked and dismayed by the antics in the court and remands Jorma to Lindwell’s custody in order to end the proceedings after Lindwell’s description of the likely sentence for the heinous (heinous!) murders: being stuffed with explosives, sunk to the bottom of a lake, and exploded.

After leaving the courthouse, the party witnesses a thief escaping. They immediately follow, blowing up a sheet of plate glass and stealing a lemon in the process. Pursuing the thief into the sewers, Jorma stuns him with the stolen lemon, and Blizzacane pounces, immobilizing the thief. Jorma receives a shock: the thief is none other than his old Dungeoneer friend, Akiva Stein! Stein somehow survived the slaughter of the other Dungeoneers, but he now believes himself to be a grue (albeit a grue who constantly carries a torch). Jorma and Akiva reminisce, and Jorma convinces Stein to come to New Port Chalmers and make his lair in the cave system leading to the Underground Temple of Pelor.

A cargo loading accident on the riverboat forces the companions to remain another night. Jorma finds Jet Fango enjoying the fruits of his labors in an inn and eager to share his good fortune. After repeated attempts to inconvenience the bounty hunter, he waits until Fango passes out, ties him to a chair, sets him at the end of one of the docks, and passes out himself.

The next morning sees the riverboat leave for New Port Chalmers carrying Zamada, Blizzacane, Jorma, Lindwell, Tarkanian and several fellow monks, Piers, and Stein. Upon their arrival in New Port Chalmers, Lindwell briefs Mayor Branson on the events in Teremial and presents the new immigrants. Branson is overjoyed and appoints Lindwell the Director of Public Works for New Port Chalmers.

Rewards:
  • 400 XP each (total XP: 3412)
  • Cape of the Mountebank +1 (Jorma)
  • 50 gp
  • 250 sp
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Session 7 - Operation Breakfast Club/Operation Thunderball
A dragon wants a muffin and the boys hit the road with a sexy priestess and a tactical nuke.
Party: NPCs:

The party rests contentedly in Mint’s palace after the events of the previous day and awakes refreshed. Mint offers them breakfast before they leave, which they accept. Conversation is lively at the table, enough so that Jorma steals Mint’s banana-nut muffin with none the wiser. After breakfast, the party makes ready to return to New Port Chalmers with their news.

On the way out of the temple, however, a green dragon cultist of Tiamat, Etorre, swoops in. Believing Lindwell to have usurped Carcassi’s authority on the project at the palace (and condoning it, to boot), Etorre engages the party, insisting that he be given the power or control that they had extracted from the temple. Desperate bluffs by Jorma and Lindwell convince the dragon that the power of the Lady of Spices has been condensed into a banana-nut muffin! Mollified, Etorre takes the muffin and flies back to the rest of the cult (though not before rewarding the heroes with some money).

After arriving in New Port Chalmers, the party splits. Jorma heads to the inn for a frothy pilsner with the great taste of glazed donuts while Lindwell briefs Mayor Branson on the affair. (Blizzacane stands around in the town square.) Branson is appalled and agrees that someone needs to keep an eye on the place, preferably in force. He promises to persuade the elves to occupy the palace rather than allow Tiamat’s cultists to control it.

After the briefing, Lindwell and Blizzacane converse with Rocky on the subject of the underwater rocks. Rocky has surveyed the area and concluded that the boats they currently possess are insufficient to the task of carrying stone from the work site to the shore. He requests that Lindwell find large flatboats to carry the load, experts to construct the necessary work platform, and equipment for a mobile work camp. He also indicates that a site to store the stone must be found, a task which Lindwell assigns him.

Sister Zamada requests that Jorma gather the party, as she has news and a request. Eroun has decided to deliver the scroll of the Evocation of the Lesser Sun to a bishop of Pelor at Teremial. She asks the party to accompany her to prevent untoward mishaps; they agree, and the group leaves on the next riverboat. The trip is briefly interrupted by bandits who intimidate the boatmen into halting, but the incident was only a brief delay.

Once in Teremial, the group leaves for the Temple of Pelor immediately. On the way, Jorma keeps an eye out for both pickpockets and Sister Zamada’s sweet, sweet ass. Faced with some time to kill once they arrive, Sister Zamada decides to explore the temple complex, and the group follows. Along the way, they meet Brother Tarkanian, a monk with a penchant for grape cultivation and winemaking. Playing on his conflicts with his fellow monks, Lindwell recruits him to New Port Chalmers, which has lots of empty space for vineyards.

Eventually the group is called to Bishop Crane’s office. Sister Zamada hands over the scroll and all parties exchange information. Crane shows his gratitude by providing the team with room and board for the night, and the PCs go off to explore the city. Lindwell splits off to search for shipwrights (of which he finds none suitable) and a construction supervisor. Some negotiating brings Per Kepa around, although money is an object.

Jorma and Blizzacane follow Sister Zamada to the Temple of Erathis, where they find inventors’ workshops. An inadvisable lever pull by Blizzacane destroys a primitive steam engine and meets Cephas Piers. Piers is enticed to New Port Chalmers with promises of funding and the chance to refine his submersible designs.

Later on, Jorma and Blizzacane enjoy the nightlife of the city after Lindwell turns in for the night. Jorma finds an inn with a bard, the Duck and Harp, and the two enjoy some music. By chance, Blizzacane meets a trader who did business with his tribe and told stories to the children, Henry McClintock. McClintock promises to carry news of Blizzacane back to his sister. Afterward, Jorma and Blizzacane get some sleep; the riverboat leaves in the morning.

Rewards:
  • 658 XP each (total XP: 3012)
  • Feral Armor +2 (awarded to Blizzacane)
  • Potion of Healing x1
  • jade (worth 100 gp) x2
  • turquoise (worth 100 gp)
  • peridot (worth 100 gp)
  • 295 gp
  • 450 sp
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