Shalomar

Session 1

In the first session, Rodrick asked the party to investigate reports he had received of kobold activity in a cave close to Westerbridge. The party investigated the cave (after Maquiv’s disastrous attempt at weaving a mat out of natural materials), sprung a trap, and killed some rats and kobolds.

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Session 2

The party completed their exploration of the kobold cave and were faced with a moral dilemma when two of the kobolds surrendered. Maquiv, believing he had received divine guidance, attacked an empty-handed kobold. Lumpskin refused to participate in the slaughter, believing the kobolds had valuable information they had not yet disclosed. Delgan contracted blinding sickness from some nasty water in the cave.

The party returned to Westerbridge, victorious. Maquiv’s father arrived in town with three guards and effectively commandeered Digby’s Inn. Delgan received some mail that disturbed him, but he did not share its contents with the party. Friday nurtured a budding romance with a young farmer, Colby.

After getting patched up, the PCs participated in a town meeting in which a farmer (Samuel Buckley) reported tales of banditry downriver and asked for escort to Sheene. Delgan volunteered and the rest of the party eventually joined in. Some farmers volunteered their sons to begin regular patrols in the Westerbridge area.

The party also met with Rodrick’s elven friend Lyros, who had just arrived in town on his way from Sheene to Archendale. He reported observing the aftermath of an attack about a day downriver… looked like the work of kobolds, but there were some oddities.

Rodrick also asked the party to visit a friend of his in Sheene, a lieutenant in the City Guard named Finnegan Dunnadee who had requested some “outside” assistance…

The party attempted to negotiate their escort fee with S. Buckley but could not agree on a price.

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Session 3

The party graduated from the Heroes’ Academy in a blaze of glory, easily defeating four spiretop drakes in a battle arranged by Rodrick and Lyros. Friday’s crush, Colby, had a heart attack but seemed to recover. A stranger named Dorian arrived in Westerbridge, apparently to see Lumpskin, and left abruptly after the graduation.

Rodrick gave the party a letter addressed to Finnegan Dunnadee and a loaf of sweetbread to deliver to his friend Carlo (a halfling who lives about two days downriver).

The party agreed on a fee with Samuel Buckley and began traveling downriver with him as guards. The first day and night were uneventful, although Lumpskin did discover Ray Ray trying to steal some sweet potatoes early one morning.

On the morning of the second day, the party discovered the remnants of the bandit attack described by Lyros. They found plentiful kobold tracks, but also found a body under a wagon that was largely undisturbed and had been killed with weapons not usually used by kobolds…

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Session 4
Arrival at Sheene

The party continued its journey toward Sheene. About midday, the party was ambushed by bandits. The party was able to dispatch the bandits fairly quickly, but not without most of the party and poor Ray Ray taking significant wounds, the latter from unfortunately running into the business end of Maquiv’s staff as he tried to flee. The Buckley’s were obviously not happy with the outcome, but Maquiv tried to be contrite and pay penance for the misunderstanding. Needless to say the party acquired a modest amount of loot from the bandits, and gave the Buckley’s the wagon for the trouble Maquiv caused.

The party was able to make it to Twisp by the evening of the same day and was treated to the generous hospitality and delicious Calabrian cooking of Carlo. The Buckley’s were able to sell the wagon to Carlo and offset a third of the cost of hiring the party. The rest of the trip to Sheene was uneventful.

Upon arriving at Sheene, the party bore witness to the wretched conditions of the Glummish refugees outside the walls. Delgan was especially struck by the scene. Maquiv, was again his charismatic self at the gate and almost had the guards convinced to arrest the party in order for them to see Lt. Finnegan Dunnadee. However, the Buckleys’ proved useful in securing passage for the party into the city without the expense of bail or bribe. Once through the gates, Delgan led the party through his hometown and to a meeting with Lt. Dunnadee.

The meeting with the Lt., who surprisingly turned out to be a Gnoll, was cut short by an announcement by the Digits that its Glummish representatives had resigned their seats in frustration over the inaction by the council to come to Glum’s aid in its time of need.

Dunnadee asked the party to help him investigate three recent murders of Dwarves that he believes are connected and were part of a successful plot that was to precipitate the resignation of the Glummish representatives. Dunnadee fears that his own city guard has fallen into the influence of Sheene nationalist fervor and that he can no longer trust the lead investigator Garrick Fremont. The party is to uncover who is behind the murders and report back to Dunnadee. No compensation plans were discussed.

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Session 5

Session 5 covered two days of investigations into the murders. The party began by interviewing Sgt. Garrick Fremont, who had “investigated” the murders on behalf of the City Guard. The party found him not credible and was kicked out of his office after they began to probe the inconsistencies in his report. As they left, an officer named Scarlet Dunbarton palmed a note into Maquiv’s hands, asking the party to meet her later that evening. Maquiv also hired some street urchins to spy on Garrick, but later learned the urchins went straight to Garrick for an even bigger payoff.

The party met with Kellan Conland and tried to enlist his help with their situation. Conland stayed pretty much hands-off, but did pledge to put in a good word with someone close to the Gemrunner Clan (the family of the most recently murdered Dwarf, Joshka Gemrunner).

During their clandestine meeting later that evening at the Hope and Anchor, Scarlet informed the party that Garrick was corrupt as hell and had fabricated the information in his reports. She knew that he celebrated when the murders happened, and suspected he may have even had some involvement. Garrick had been spending a lot of time recently with a young noble named Patrice Anheuser-Busch, who is the leader of a new nationalist movement called “Sheene for Sheenois!”

Although the party had been repeatedly asked to keep their investigations low key, somehow information leaked… they overheard a Crier reporting: “Private investigators hired by City Guard to investigate Dwarven murders!”

While the party was dining at the Cracker Barrel and expecting a report from the urchin spies, they were paid a visit by Garrick and Patrice. Garrick gave them a final warning to mind their own business, and Patrice spat in Delgan’s general direction.

When the party left and was heading back to their room at the Randy Gander, Maquiv spotted someone tailing them. The party attacked and the stalker tried to slit his own throat before he could be apprehended. Friday successfully stabilized the stalker and the party toted him back to the room for interrogation. They observed a tattoo of an eye on his palm, but all they could get out of him was: “I am the Blood of the Maimed God.” After rejecting Friday’s suggestion that they mutilate the stalker and remove the flesh of his palm for information purposes, the party released him. He ran away.

Kellan Conland made good on his promise and the party was welcomed by the Gemrunner Clan. The party learned that Joshka was a big Uno player who had recently started playing in a high-stakes game at the Gilded Stag uptown, and had stopped running with his best friend and cousin, Ulrich Gemrunner. Joshka’s parents had hired the Hammerhand Clan to investigate, but had received no word of any progress. Mr. Gemrunner promised to send word to the Hammerhands that the party wanted to meet with them.

The party also met with Maquiv’s brother Yvar, who is a high-ranking member of the Sheenois branch of the Church of Pelor. Yvar spoke reverently of the Dawnstar but had little useful information. He did direct the party to an old bookseller, Filibrek Artois (proprietor of Filibrek’s Folios). Filibrek was intrigued by the party’s information and busted out an ancient full set of Jalomar’s History of Shalomar, from which the party learned that the eye symbol was an icon of the God of Secrets (aka the Maimed God), Vecna. What they learned about Vecna can be found in the wiki.

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Session 6

The party prepared to head to Little Glum after receiving a note from Thorgrim Hammerhand inviting them to a meeting at the Anvil. Before they could leave the Randy Gander, however, they were treated to a round of drinks by a halfling named Pino Palladino. Pino introduced himself as a member of the Criers, and apologized for the unauthorized report the day before. He offered himself as a source of information and asked the party to bring him any juicy news tidbits they come across. He also informed the party that he had sent word on their behalf to an old associate in Little Glum, Balthasar Hammerhand.

The journey to the Anvil got a little hairy when the party was verbally assaulted by young Dwarven toughs in Little Glum. Then Delgan was persuaded by a very convincing Dwarven girl to help rescue her little brother, who was coincidentally located down a nearby dark alleyway. The obvious trap was sprung and some nasty Dwarven muggers tried to take the party for all they had. Just as the party was about to emerge victorious, two of their kills were stolen by a Dwarven rogue who later identified himself as Balthasar. He directed them to the Anvil, where they eventually contacted Thorgrim.

Thorgrim informed the party that the Hammerhands believed Patrice and the Sheene for Sheenois movement to be behind the murders, and had plans to mount a large-scale attack very soon. Delgan was able to convince Thorgrim that the party had at least some chance of solving the murders with a little less bloodshed, which led to an audience with the Hammerhands’ leader, the Grizzler. The Grizzler eventually agreed to wait two days to execute his plans for an offensive against the rest of the city. In exchange, the party agreed to bring him the heads of the wrongdoers.

Balthasar again met with the party and gave them some intel on Patrice’s house and its defenses.

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The Not So Grateful Dead
In which the party departs the capital and Delgan loses some coin

Rhia Greybrand the Natralist was dead and to no one’s surprise a recently carved Eye of Vecna was carved into her hand. Among the numerous dead and rotting animals, a chest full of gold pieces and an encrypted note were discovered. In the basement, the heroes found a mating pair of drakes as well as their clutch of eggs. Friday, unable to resist, fed them a steak.

When notifying Finnegan Dunnadee of the encounter, he mentioned that an Eladrin was looking for the party and could be found in the Hope and Anchor. Upon meeting the stranger, Delgan promptly lost a portion of his share of Rhia’s loot in a dice game but soon forgot the loss when they discovered that Monock was sent by Rodrick with a note informing them of the problems in the north: unexplained clashes between the Dufurians and Dalelander troops.

After adding the new member, the party made their way to Filibrek’s Folios in the hope that they could get Rhia’s encrypted note deciphered. They were in luck as Filibrek had experience with decrypting old wizard’s tomes. Upon handing over the note, Delgan became worried that he may have involved his mother’s friends in matters Filibrek was not prepared for. When asked, Monock mentioned that he had seen unseemly figures in an alley that were perhaps following them. Delgan’s fears were confirmed but Maquiv heard something not quite right in Monock’s tone. A battle of wills ensued while the two men sized each other up. In the end, Maquiv left the shop unsure of Monock’s intent, while Delgan and Monock stayed behind a few hours to ensure Filibrek was safe.

The next morning Filibrek had the note deciphered for them. It was from Q and spoke of a shipment to Calabria and a contact by the name of Diego. As the party deliberated their next move, they were approached by men in the employ of the Anheuser Busch House. Unlike the last meeting, they came with an offer: if the party happened to come across the lost shipment of iron from the Glitter Cliffs, it would behoove them to let Anheuser Busch know first, before reporting the find to any other interested party. Gold was offered and somewhat angrily returned. Food was bought and not returned.

Since the leads to the north were vague and the danger to Calabria seemed immediate, it was decided that the party would go south. The newest member to the party showed once again that perhaps his way of thinking was a little different when he suggested the party consult the recently deceased Rhia for more clues. Maquiv contacted his brother’s companions, money was exchanged, and then the heroes found themselves having a discussion with the woman they had killed yesterday. When she wouldn’t reveal the contents of the shipment, threats of eternal damnation got her to reveal that the shipment had been made and that the head temple of Vecna was in the Salted Wastes.

With the knowledge that the shipment was already on its way, our heroes have booked passage on Bess’ boat and their way to Calabria, hoping to stop Vecna’s followers before they cause harm to the city of halflings. However, Monock never pays for passage on a ship and a few forged manifests left about town might very well lead to some spoils on the high sea.

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Win, Lose, or Drow
In which Monock falls in love and Delgan becomes taller than average

After a few peaceful nights on the sea, the party was suprised to be attacked by something other than Delgan’s cooking. Lumpskin woke his friends from their slumber and the boarding party was repelled. The lone survivor was a dark skinned elf who called herself a “Drow”. Monock was instantly smitten and arranged for her employment on the ship, however Bess and the rest of the new crew didn’t like that idea very much. Upon searching her they found a note that revealed her not as simple pirate, but rather as hired assassian. The employer? Q! Her target? Our heroes of course!

The rest of the trip was tense, as the fate of the prisoner was a source of conflict. Maquiv and Friday wanted her dead to keep her from popping up again. Delgan, Lumpskin, and Fane wanted her turned over to the authorities. Monock, holding to the law of the sea, wanted her freed. The trip was made mercifully shorter by Monock’s wind ritual and she was turned over to the halfing guards in Calabria. But not without trouble! Monock attempted to surreptitiously hand her off to Diego, hoping to give her the freedom he promised, but the halfling guards reacted very poorly to the mention of Diego and Monock’s ruse was revealed to the rest of the crew. While Maquiv confronted Monock, the others just wanted to be rid of the trouble and took the Drow prisoner to the Government Building where they were relieved to rid of the source of the tension.

His passage paid, Maquiv watched Bess unload her cargo and become suddenly curious about the cargo that had accompied him on the boat. Understandably, after paying for passage, Maquiv was unwilling to help unload the boat and Bess was not in the mood for conversation. Unwilling to reveal the contents of her cargo, Maquiv agrees to “help” but the normally sure footed Avenger tripped and spilled the contents of the cargo onto the dock; swords and various other iron weapons were strewn about.

The party is back together and planning their next move. The Mad Jesters are having a Festival soon and Diego’s out there somewhere in the City of Halflings in possession of the Rhia’s shipment. No good will come of this!

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Long Politics in a Short World

After our trip to Calabria, we decided to stay at the Monte Carlo. Fane Skarrick and Lumpskin share a room as do Delgan and Monock. Friday goes for the room with a private bath. She sends her armor and robe out to be cleaned, shined and pressed. Only the best for Avandra.

The barkeep asked us if we wanted to make reservations for the Primary Election celebration that was in two weeks. We declined even though it looked to be quite a gathering as they were sending two representatives to Sheene.

Lumpskin goes to La Dolce Vida alone, to leave a note.

While Friday bathes, relaxes and takes notes, the men go to a strip club called The House of the Painted Lady where the Madam (Lucia) works the bar. The men pool their coins and Monock heads upstairs with a young woman named Belinda. He changes his appearance to look more Elf like. He casts a spell that confuses the young Belinda and she pukes all over the place. He then questions the poor thing about Diego before she passes out and Monock leaves her to hit up the Madam.

The men devise a plan to wound Monock in front of Diego, but the plan goes wrong right from the get go when Diego turns the wrong way after coming out of the Painted Lady. Lumpskin follows as Diego and his guard get on a boat taxi and head to Diego’s home where he stumbles inside.

The next morning is the monthly public City Council meeting. We hurry and grab some seats in the back. Delgan sleeps until one of the representatives, Lucho, brings up the Mad Jesters. Hugo, in guard regalia, believes the city guard can handle the problem when confronted by one of the representatives. Lucho proposes a resolution that the City Council approve military action against the Jesters, but the resolution is voted down. The party notices that Lucho appears very passionate about the Jesters problem, and may be putting on a bit of a show…

After the meeting we go to meet Hugo. Inside Hugo’s office is a Sergeant in the City Guard, Nico de Luca. Nico and Hugo are in a heated conversation when we enter. Delgan offers our services to assist with the Mad Jesters. Hugo suggests we talk to Diego and see if he can use our assistance. Hugo says he doesn’t need our help.

Just as we leave the government building Nico flags Monock down. He leads us to a small market area where he talks about Diego’s lack of loyalty to the city guard. Nico also mentions that a strange black-clad figure, Silvius, appears linked to the Jesters. Silvius has been observed frequently entering the Jesters’ compound, always in the company of two other black-clad figures. There are rumors that Silvius is a vampire, but Nico doesn’t believe them. Nico and his men have tried to follow Silvius to learn more about him, but always end up losing him.

After leaving Nico, we walk over to the Mad Jesters part of town. It’s dirty and smelly. Most of the Jesters are ill dressed and made up. Immediately, we notice that many of the Jesters display the Eye of Vecna prominently on their garb! Many of the leaders of the Jesters keep a Drake on their shoulders. When rebuffed from entering the House of Horrors, we come up with a strategic retreat plan and execute it professionally.

After our retreat we head over to the Atlantis to get a bead on Diego. Diego is in a back room guarded by some city guard. Again we offer our services to assist with the Mad Jesters and again we are told our services aren’t needed. Finally, we go to Diego’s home and Delgan knocked on the door. A maid answers the door and informs us that the lady of the house is out shopping.

With the Jesters being a tight knit group and Diego sending the party away, we’re thinking it’s time to start knocking some heads! The Jesters are throwing a Festival tonight and something might be going down. Even if not, a certain city guard might find him and his guards confronted in a dark alley.

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Mist Me!
Will you sign my MJC '37 ticket stub?

The group finds themselves waiting at the hotel for what would prove to be an interesting night. Their first stop was the Atlantis to get a closer look at Diego’s activities before the upcoming MJC concert. Delgan was kind enough to purchase a feast for the group, but ended up eating most of Lumpskin’s portion when he left out the bathroom window (insert Beatles joke here) to tail Diego.

The rest of the group finished up their meal and left The Atlantis. They immediately noticed one of Diego’s men waiting outside. Upon seeing the group, he began to saunter off. The group followed with tankards in hand. They took a different street to avoid being noticed by the guard and eventually lost sight of him. They decided to go to the predetermined meeting place and wait for Lumpskin.

Lumpskin followed Diego all the way to a balconied house across from the location of the upcoming MJC concert. Lumpskin then proceeded to the Yola Tengo statue to meet with the group. Plans were made and a skulking halfling was spotted.

The group decided to break into the house next door to Diego’s perch. Lumpskin made short work of the backdoor and the group entered. Maquiv, who had been strangely quiet for the last 48 hours, finally made his presence known. The group scoured the house as the concert finally started. Band brought their best death metal lyrics, mostly pertaining to Vecna, and the concert culminated in a circling drake mosh pit. Cloaked figures were present.

The group searched Diego’s house after he left. Finding nothing of interest, they left the concert area. The dark figures from the concert were spotted and stealthy pursuit was begun. The pursuit ended in a confrontation in a dark alley (as they are prone to do). Everyone was dazed, Maquiv suffered many mortal but not lethal wounds, and all but one of the foes were defeated. This one, who could only be Silvius himself, shrugged off the group’s best attacks and decided to make his retreat in dramatic fashion as a ball of gas. The group struggled to stop him as he floated away into the night sky.

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