League of Assassins - Conclusion

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #7 - 3/16/03

Chapter 23, “Lord Aldorn and the Stone of Llyr”, July 6th, 1019, 1:00 P.M.

The party is informed that Lord Aldorn, the elvan Lordholder from the Lordholding of the same name has arrived in the city. His flagship has recently docked, and he is currently en route to his place of lodging. Aldorn is an ancient elf and sage, and friend of the Silver Moon Adventurers, who began keeping the continent’s time records 1,019½ years earlier. Cassie-Andra had studied under Aldorn, and in anxious to visit with her mentor. Kharole, Lannon, Mark and Mojo decide to accompany her, although everyone suspects Mojo’s motivation is only that the elvan lord is staying at the same inn as Queen Jennifer.

They arrive at The Ancient Keep, and pass through the heavy security. Ki-Geloryn leads them to the part of the inn where Aldorn and his party of elves are situated. The party meets with his daughter and only child, Aldoria, a 9th level wizard who is current the human equivalent of late fifties in age. She is accompanied by the four senior officers from the ship, Captain Arhterison, a sea-based ranger; First Mate Eldrator, a fighter/cleric; Second Mate and Navigator Arrirra Celatra, a fighter/wizardess; and Archer Squadron Commander Artimere, an archer-ranger. The four officers will serve as bodyguards for their Lordholder during his stay in the city. The Silver Moon Adventurers had met all of them before, and pleasantries are exchanged.

Lord Aldorn then enters the room. Seeing him comes as a shock to both Lannon and Mojo. They had last seen him a month ago, when he was close to death, dying from an incurable poison. The old elf before them appears to be in excellent health, in fact, he looks better and younger than either of them ever remember. “What happened to you?” Lannon exclaims. This causes confusion to both Kharole and Mark. The two of them were both originally from the Aldorn Lordholding, and their original Lordholder looks the same to them as they always remembered. His change in appearance is also new to Cassie, although she is aware of why a change has occurred, being in fact the cause of it. “I see you got my note,” she states. “Yes, a long time ago,” he answers, with a twinkle in his eye.

Background Information: In Module #114, “Chinese Take-out Epilogue”, the group of Cassie, Lannon, Mojo and Timothy traveled several centuries back in time when in the Aldorn Lordholding. Before departing, Cassie took a page from the movie “Back to the Future,” and left a note for her mentor, informing him of the agent of Loviatar that would poison him in his future, with instruction for him to take the necessary precautions to prevent it. Only those four who had changed history retained the knowledge of this change from the previous timeline.

Kharole asks Aldorn if he knows anything of the history of the Silvanost and Mengale elves. He states “The history is very well known. Haven’t either of them told you?” “Yes, but we’d like a version without the editorial comments of their elvan superiority” Lannon interjects. Lord Aldorn begins, “Over 5,000 years ago the elvan deity Corellon Larethian brought together nine elvan heroes to fight alongside him against the forces of evil. Following the epic battle he rewarded them, turning the desolate plane on which the battle was fought into a lush and fertile paradise, which he named Silvanost. He then transported the families and friends of these nine to that place, and granted them all long lives, twice that of a normal elf.”

Aldorn then pauses, and comments with longing in his voice “Such long life, how fortunate for them.” Mojo interjects “HELLO! Will the last Lordholder please put out the sun when he exits! Geesh, how long do you want to live?” The ancient elf looks up to the younger elf, and says “At least as long as it keeps being interesting.” Aldorn then continues the tale “Corellon Larethian then gave each of the nine elves a magical stone, with unique powers, to keep them close to the god. These elves became known as the Knights of Silvanost.” “How exactly did this stone vanish?” Cassie asks the Lordholder.

“During the next two millennia that followed Silvanost’s founding the humans also flocked to the land. A charismatic elvan priest saw the influx of human blood into the land as defiling the gift given by their god, and the community became divided. The Knights were equally divided, with four agreeing with each side, and the ninth Knight, a bard named Llyr, trying to mediate the dispute and appease both sides. It was then that a group of assassins came, and Llyr was killed, the stone vanishing at that time. Both sides accused the other of this act, and a civil war was eminent. The Silvanost Queen decided to let the cleric and his followers leave, with them then founding the elvan theocracy of Mengale.”

“And the stone never turned up?” asks Lannon. Aldorn replies “Not for another 1,400 years. Whoever had the stone would have also been guilty of assassinating Llyr, which neither side would admit to. The stone did not resurface until 1,200 years ago, when both Silvanost and Mengale were simultaneously told of its existence. They were each told it was in the other Kingdom, in relatively unguarded locations, and each group dispatched troops to retrieve it. There were casualties at both places, which was the only time in recorded time in history of pure-blooded Silvanost elves killing one another. It was eventually discovered that the true culprits were a third faction of these elves, a group of former Silvanost elves who were living in the human city of Brondani, led by Lyrr’s daughter Llyretra. They had been seen in possession of the stone, but it vanished again shortly after that.” “Sounds like that’s the group of potential ILA members who we should really be watching out for,” comments Mojo.

“All this over a blue rock?” comments Mark. Cassie says out loud “Note to Self. Do not pick up named elvan rocks.” “Are you kidding, this thing will sell for a fortune!” Lannon comments. Mojo states “Just the idea of us collecting and carrying around rocks we suspect of maybe being special sounds like a bad idea to me.”

The group tells Aldorn that the will see him at the bidders dinner on the 10th. Cassie tells him “Please be careful, and don’t get dead.” “I’ll do my best,” he replies. “So will we,” his daughter and bodyguards say in unison.

Attached: Picture of the Stone of Llyr.
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 24, “Kharole’s Charms and Dwarven Tales”, July 6th, 1019, 5:00 P.M.

The group returns to the auction house. A few hours later Ki-Geloryn stops by. He has made a listing of all guests who have arrived thus far, showing who has registered to attend the auction by name, title, and place of origin. Scanning over the list, Mojo comments “Gee, We have our work cut out for us. I see two Kings, four Lords, and a variety of other titles. We’re going to be busy if we want to maintain our reputation for killing royalty.” The others ignore him.

Serita decides to head off to the Apples and Harp Tavern, where the bard Deniana of Greenvale had invited her to hear stories of some auction items. She asks “Who’s going with me? I don’t believe that none of you took out an ILA contract on me, so I’m not going alone.” Fiona decides to accompany her, with the two of them heading out to the carriage.

Mojo asks Kharole “Should we go check out that Merchant’s Secret place again regarding the gnome?” “Sure,” she says. Mark decides to accompany them. They walk down the street and enter the tavern, finding twenty-five of the forty dining cubicals now occupied. In addition to the two employees seen earlier, there are four waitresses, a bartender, and a second bouncer now on duty. A waitress shows them to a table, and hands wine lists to all three. They order a moderately priced bottle, and Kharole asks “Could you tell the maître d' that we would like to speak with him?” She does so, soon returning with the wine and passing out menus.

The man eventually heads over towards the table, with Kharole casts a Charm Person spell immediately prior to his arrival. The spell obviously works, as he enthusiastically welcomes Kharole back, and seats himself beside her, shoving Mark out of the way. She flirts incessantly and then questions him, ignoring the hand that he places on her leg. He freely tells what he knows of the gnome and his companions, mentioning that he had checked with Rollins, who confirmed what they had said that morning. He doesn’t actually have much new information, but suggests that they might also want to talk to the waitress who had waited on the group. Kharole suggests that he go and get her.

After he leaves Mojo tells Kharole “That was a grotesque and disgusting display, and I want you to teach me how to do it.” Mark tells her “You’d better watch it. You’ll have this guy following you around forever if you’re not careful.” She replies “Yeah, it’s a good thing that humans are such a short-lived race.” He returns with a different waitress than the one serving them. He sits back down beside Kharole, again placing his hand on her leg. Kharole ignores him, and asks the waitress about the gnome and her companions. The only ones she knows by name are Norbert and Porter, who she says are “lousy tippers.” Kharole tells her “Mojo here is an excellent tipper, especially if he hears useful information.” Mojo glances to Mark, and says “Yes, I’ve been known to leave as much as a hardly used ranger.”

The waitress gives a detailed description of the gnome and his companions, including descriptions of the visible weapons and jewelry that they had. The waitress leaves, and the party begin to eat their supper. The maître d's hand begins to move, and Kharole politely asks him to cease. Embarrassed, the man departs. Kharole tells her companions that combined with the visual she got from the bouncer they may have enough for a Locate Object or Scry on some of that groups possessions. When the check arrives they were billed for the food, but the wine bottle is listed as complimentary. Mojo comments “If we had known that we would have ordered a better vintage. That one tasted like Boone's Farm with gravy in it.”

Meanwhile, the pair of female half-elves are up at the Apples and Harp tavern, the ground floor of which is a large rectangular sized room with three stages. One stage is currently occupied by a group of musicians playing chamber music for the dinner crowd of around 100 people that has gathered. Serita and Fiona are told of Greenvale by their charismatic host, Prince Taran. The older mage, Baron Dimtri of Greenlake, remains rather quiet, as does the halfling treasurer Ganellon Tucker, who is seated atop the chest of coins they brought, rather than a chair. Fiona whispers to Serita “For once I would like to meet a halfling who isn’t paranoid.”

Serita asks the elvan bard about the items that Greenvale is seeking. The happy and enthusiastic Deniana says that she came along on this trip in search of interesting music and tales, and before she sings them her stories she would like to hear some of theirs. Serita tells a tale of when the Silver Moon Adventurers traveled to another world to rescue a druid princess who was about to give birth to triplets. (In Module #36, “The Resurrection Gambit", played back in 1986) She describes many of the unique marvels that they discovered on that world, including toaster ovens, pop tarts, and beer inside of sealed cans. Serita then says “Now, you said you were interested in both pendants?”

Deniana says, “Yes, although the gold pendent is one that we actually don’t want for ourselves. Our kingdom is located near the dwarven kingdom of Harothar. That pendent would be of great value to their King Herru IV, as it was originally from the reclusive dwarven land of Kovuz’d, who they trade with. If Prince Taran can obtain it, then it could be used in his trade negotiations with Herru.” “But what exactly does the pendant do?” asks Fiona.

Deniana takes the lute that is leaning against the wall behind her, and lightly strums a tune that she sings to, telling of the pendant. The gold pendant was created to carry a gold plated luck-stone, used by the dwarves of Kovuz’d. The stone would lead a faithful dwarf to finding veins of precious metals within the mountains of the dwarven lands. Her song tells of how Kovuz’d would loan the pendant to other dwarven communities, to allow them to become prosperous through the hard and honest work of mining. The song then ends.

She then says “Kovuz’d also enters into the history of one other auction item. The Maul of Moradin, the mitheral hammer with the symbols of the dwarven god Moradin, which was created by the god himself.” Taran interjects “Which is why I think it will sell for more than I am willing to pay just to have an item to use for trade negotiations.”

Deniana continues “The maul was owned and wielded by a hero from Kovuz’d, the High Priest Thurdin. Thurdin was known to appear alongside dwarven armies in time of great need. These appearances occurred over several millennia, and some speculate that he was an ascended hero. Others think that there were several different Thurdins, with the name, armor and weapon being passed on to the greatest priest of each era. As outsiders are not permitted to enter Kovuz’d, the true history might never be known. How the Maul came to be here is also a piece of missing history.”

Several illustrations of the Maul of Moradin can be found at the following link:
http://enworld.cyberstreet.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37148

The following is a picture of the Amulet of Kovuz’d:
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 25, “Legend of the Cloudlands” July 6th, 1019, 6:00 P.M.

While dining on an exquisite meal at the Apples and Hark Tavern, Serita then asks the elvan bard from Greenvale, Deniana Songweaver, about the other pendant that they are most interested in acquiring. She answers “That is the silver pendant, which once belonged to the residents of the Cloudlands. Are you familiar with the Legends of the Cloudlands?” “We know of the group called the Cloudriders,” Serita answers. “Oh. Well those there is a connection between both of those groups, although they lived in different eras. Why don’t I just play you the Ballad of the Cloudlands, that saga will explain a lot." The bard again begins to play a song on her lute, and starts to play and sing. The ballad is long, taking nearly half-an-hour to sing. Deniana possesses a fine singing voice, with a wide tonal range covering many octaves, singing some parts of the ballad slow and deep, while other sections are sung fast and high. The ballad also has a few parts sung in the elvan language rather than in common.

The song begins in the days of the First Miraborian Empire. It tells of a country in the clouds, located above the Empire. As to where it was located, there is much speculation. Some place it over the city of Kahakor, now lost deep within Umade's barrens. Others claim that it was located above Melvar's Plains, above the area known as the Boulder Plain. as in modern times, silver dragons, mist dragons, cloud giants, and other beings such as ki-rin have been seen in the area of these plains. It would also offer explanation for the huge stones that are scattered across the Boulder Plain, from which it is named.

However, it is also rumored that the ancient capitol of the first Miraborian Empire now lies somewhere deep within the Sunken Lands, and that the Cloudlands were once connected to that capitol. There are also tales of a great mountainous peak, perhaps somewhere in the Westfang Range, where a city on the mountain peak was the closest link between the Cloudlands and Miraboria below. Although the local legends may disagree as to the exact location of this magical area in the clouds, they agree that there was once a powerful magical kingdom that once stretched as far as the edge of the mountainous plateaus, but was kept at least partly secret from those races who dwelt below it on the ground.

This kingdom existed over 1500 years ago, during the First Miraborian Empire, which ruled between 2200 and 1500 years ago. It boasted a society comprised of dragons, giants, sylphs, pegasi, asperii, giant eagles, and even some winged, elflike beings whose name is no longer remembered. These races coexisted in peaceful harmony among the clouds, avoiding the decadent human realms of the time. These beings came down to the surface of the Realms only to gather or trade for food and other necessities, and quickly fled back upward to their cloudy haven. The giants, ever industrious, even brought huge stones up with them. They built magnificent fortresses and cities in the sky, hidden by the clouds.

It wasn't until the Cloudlands were discovered by the mages of the Empire that disaster struck. The sky-dwelling races had been right to avoid their earthbound neighbors. For a few generations, peaceful relations between the earth-folk and the cloud-dwellers were kept. But in the end, greed won out. The great and powerful human wizards intended to conquer the Cloudlands, for they knew that such a kingdom would contain great wealth and powerful magic, which they were eager to obtain. Indeed, one artifact which the Cloud dwellers were reputed to possess was so powerful it could preserve vast enchantments indefinitely. In the war that ensued, the Cloudlands were destroyed. The fortresses and cities so carefully crafted by giant artisans fell to the earth.

Most of the enchanted places in the clouds that once supported solid surfaces are now gone. Supposedly the great spells that were unleashed in this earth/sky war linger on in some places, creating dangerous thunderstorms, and also areas of sky which are risky to penetrate. Mist dragons and other sky-dwelling creatures are occasionally seen on or above the Boulder Plains, gathering food on the surface in the form of wild plants or herd animals, and quickly ascending back into the sky. If the tales of the Cloudlands and its demise are true, perhaps these creatures are relics living among the ruins. Castles on the surface of the earth are rarely so completely ruined by war and time that nothing remains, and so might it be in the air above. Some of the enchanted places in the sky might have escaped the ravages of war, remaining to this day. It is even rumored that the City of the Cloudriders was built upon ruins of part of the Cloudland, with the Wind and Weather God then setting these ruins free of their stationary position above the world, to now travel the skies to wherever the Cloudriders might be needed.” Deniana then stops, that being the conclusion of the ballad.

“That was a most impressive piece of music,” Fiona comments. The bard thanks her, and asks “You said you knew of the Cloudriders. What can you share with me about them?” Serita gives an abbreviated version of her knowledge of them, stating: “They first established their cloud city between two and three centuries ago. The Cloudriders are comprised mostly of noble chaotic good warriors, both human and elvan, who seek to occassionally assist those in need on the surface below. The group is comprised of worshippers of Hoturu, the Wind and Weather God, and Huan-Ti, a chaotic good war god. Huan-Ti’s war chariot is pulled by a group of pegasi, which is the mount of choice of the cloudriders. In fact, it was the worship by this group that brought the two same-aligned deities together into an alliance with each other. They are now worshipped on this world as the Twin Gods of Wind, Weather and War.”

Fiona points out that one of the Silver Moon’s senior clerics is a priest of the Twin Gods. Serita adds that “The Cloudriders maintain a enchanted valley, near mountains along the Jawlt Lordholding border, where their pegasi go to give birth to new foals.” Serita then looks towards Fiona. The wizardess decides not to mention that she has a pegasus which was given to her by the Cloudriders (In Module #47, “Path to the Skies”). They also decide to keep to themselves the fact that their half-elvan party member Cassie-Andra is the daughter of a Cloudrider (A fact discoved in Module #39, “The Arctic Assault Team”).

Fiona asks, “How exactly does this pendant tie in with the ballad? Is it the powerful artifact that was mentioned?” “Perhaps, but probably not,” Deniana states. “That pendant was once worn by priests and rulers of our land, and is said to have come from the Cloudlands, and was lost in the war with the surface mages. It was originally found on the Boulder Plains, among the ruins of the cloud city.

History tells of two incidents where the amulet was used by priests of the Wind and Weather God to call upon the protection of the deities. The first story is of a Greenvale castle that was under siege over 1,000 years ago. The invaders were about to breach the castle’s defenses, and the priest wearing the amulet called upon the power of his gods. The castle separated from its foundation and levitated up in to sky, where it remained until the invading army was defeated. The castle and its occupants then returned. The other tale is more recent, when during a great sea battle around a century ago. A Twin Gods cleric commanding a ship that was nearly defeated was wearing the amulet called to his god, and the ship rose up from the sea, and sailed away to safety through the clouds.”

“Should we tell Vincenzo?” asks Fiona. Serita replies “I don’t know. He gets excited enough just owing a pair of Shoes of Levitation. How would he react to an item from his God that can lift larger structures.” Deniana points out that “You never know. The amulet itself may not be anything more than a holy symbol, with no real powers. It could have been the priest’s calling to the deity in time of great need that brought about the miraculous rescues.”

The two thank the visitors from Greenvale for their hospitality. Serita and Fiona leave, returning to the auction house. They tell both Vincenzo and Cassie what they learned. Cassie and Vincenzo head up to Kulp’s Comfortable Castle to examine the pendant, but since the Castle has not yet been consecrated for the clerical magic from either of their deities to work, are unable to tell if there is anything special about it. Vincenzo does indeed get the impression that this amulet does have some connection to his church.

The following is a picture of the Cloudlands Pendant
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 26, “Intruder in Kulp’s Comfortable Castle”, July 7th , 1019, 4:00 A.M.

Blake is on guard duty in the Great Hall when the door to Kulp’s Comfortable Castle opens and Narg’s wife Vallessa enters the room. This surprises Blake, as the elf had not accompanied the party to Jawltorn, although he is unaware of most of what has taken place outside during the 2½ days the stealth team has been inside the Castle. “What?” he asks. She replies “I need to check the items. Kindor thinks that a few may have been switched during the robbery. Where are they?”

The ever-paranoid halfling yells out for the others. His voice isn’t that loud, and he is only heard by the gnome Blip, who had kept the door to her room open a crack. She heads down the hallway to intersection near the great hall, seeing Blake talking to Vallessa. While the elf standing in the room looks exactly like Vallessa, Blip senses that something is wrong about her appearance. Blip yells down the hall for the others, with both Dennismore and Ailsheir quickly coming to assist. Both elves enter the great hall, with Blip staying in reserve back in the hallway. Hearing that something is wrong, Ebony decides to remain locked in her room with the items.

The first thing that the drow archer Ailsheir notices is that Vallessa has her sword hanging from her belt, but is without her bow and quiver of arrows. This strikes him as odd, her being a skilled archer. He then reminds himself that Vallessa has not been able to wear her armor for the past month, which she is wearing now. He says to her “We did not expect to see you here. What happened to your current ailment?” She appears momentarily startled by his question, replying “I got better.” This response blows what would have otherwise been a perfect disguise, as the imposter is clearly unaware that Vallessa’s ‘ailment’ is a now visible pregnancy.

The players announce simultaneously that their characters are drawing their swords and daggers. One player comments “Blades flash everywhere. Suddenly the room looks like Viagra got slipped into the porcupine feed.” Dennismore leaps over one of the dining tables, landing immediately before her with his sword out. She begins to back towards the doorway. “She’s trying to get away,” Blake yells. Blip tosses a Blindness spell onto her, which appears to be successful.

The imposter then begins to cast a spell, but is then stabbed by Dennismore, causing her to lose it. Dennis then tackles the woman, with Ailsheir and Blake charging forward to also help subdue her. They discover her ‘armor’ is illusionary, her clothing being simply cloth, which they immediately strip off of her along with all possessions. They hold her down on the table, Blip casting a Dispel Magic. The Vallessa disguise falls away, being replaced by a female human in her early to mid-forties. The woman is tied and gagged, Blip removing the only other remaining possession from the woman, a ring on her finger.

The invisible Lee-May tells the halfling “Mr. Blake. She no smell like Vallessa.” “We’ve already figured that much out,” the halfling replies. Blake is told to exit the Castle and get the rest of the Silver Moon. Blake heads out through the doorway and into the hall. The auction house is totally quiet, as it is still a few hours before dawn. This causes him to panic. He does not know who is staying in which room, and realizes that if he wakes up either Narg or Furynick at this hour they will probably kill him first and ask questions later. He knocks on the first door, and is relieved when he hears Vincenzo’s voice answer “Yeah, Whatta you want?”

Blake tells Vinnie what is going on. Vinnie yells “I’m getting dressed. Wake up the others.” “Who’s in the next room?” Blake asks. The cleric responds “Fiona.” Blake knocks on the door, wakes Fiona, and tells her that there is an intruder and to wake up the rest of the party.

Most of the group soon enter the inter-dimensional castle, with Mojo asking “Who is the woman and why haven’t we killed her yet?” Kharole recognizes her as the woman who had been working with the gnome, and asks her “Have you seen Norbert and Porter lately? No? That’s because they are in the Lordholder’s dungeon.”

Cassie interrogates the woman about the missing sphinx, with the prisoner not answering. Kharole calls Cassie aside, and says “Keep trying, I’ll use my ESP spell.” Cassie barrages her with questions about the gnome, the sphinx, and threatens to throw her into the dungeon. Just as the ESP spell is ending Cassie asks her about the ILA. Kharole’s last impression is the woman thinking “ILA? What’s that?” Kharole leans over and says to her “It’s the Assassins’ Guild honey.”

Kharole pulls several of the others into the conference room, informing them that “The woman is not going to talk. She expects Wobblewick to rescue her. She also wants to be put into Kindor’s dungeon.” “Probably so he can teleport in and get her, which he can’t do here,” Cassie comments. “Fine, she stays here,” Mojo states. They return and inform her that she isn’t going anywhere. Ailsheir comments “Good, you never know when you might need a spare naked woman.” Cassie retrieves the Greyhawk Lantern, to check for any invisible or ethereal creatures in the room. Kharole casts a Magic Mouth spell onto the door to sound if anyone else enters who is not either currently in the room or wearing Silver Moon rings on their fingers. Fiona head off to restudy spells, telling the others to guard the prisoner carefully. The drow Ailsheir says “A tied and bound naked woman? I promise that I won’t take my eyes off of her.”

Cassie then continues to question the woman. The prisoner keeps mumbling, intentionally filling her mind with useless information under the assumption that she is still being psionically probed. Cassie identifies the woman’s ring as a +3 Protection with one other power that can’t currently be identified. Mark heads out to wake up the remainder of those in the building. Aradyn soon enters, exclaiming “What transpires here?” “Female intruder,” Timothy replies. “Is she detained?” Aradyn asks. Mojo gestures to the woman and says “No, we think she normally travels tied to the top of a table.”

They conclude that she probably entered when Cassie and Vinnie came into the Castle eight hours earlier, and waited until Blake was on guard duty to act. Aradyn exclaims “See. I told you that halflings have too short an attention span. She probably showed up when he wandered off to look for a snack.” “I saw her come through the door,” Blake exclaims. “Or you saw an illusion of her coming through the door,” Cassie interjects.

Narg arrives, and takes charge of the situation while also complaining about the early hour, and needing coffee. He then comments that she appears to be bleeding. Dennismore says “She had a back. I figured that she needed a blade in it.” The others pull Narg aside, and inform her that she entered while wearing a nearly perfect disguise of his wife, other than not being pregnant. Blip interjects “Yeah, it was a flawless design, except for being last year’s model.” Timothy says “She won’t talk.” “That will change,” Narg replies. “If we turn her over to Kindor she’s history,” Mojo states. “Fine, she stay’s here. Just keep her away from the stuff,” Narg states. “She’s not going anywhere,” Cassie comments.

They return to the room. “Any cooperation from her?” Narg asks. Ailsheir relies “No, and I’ve been keeping a very close eye on her. She’s the same as before, delicate lips, the subtitle curve of her long slender neck leading down to her delicate shoulders, the round and firm..” “Enough!” Cassie yells to the drow. “Hey, I’m a ranger. We are trained to be observant,” the drow answers. “That line never worked for me,” Narg comments. “Maybe because you’re NOT a ranger,” Cassie replies.

Mark is sent to tell the Jawlt Army guards outside of the building to go get more troops, and to broaden the parameter. Cassie suggests retaining the 10 construction workers as additional guards, and to perhaps bring in several of their ship crewmembers as additional guards. Narg says “Fine, but not the Lizardmen. I don’t want this whole place smelling of fish.”
 
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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #8 - 3/23/03

Chapter 27, “Former Employees”, July 7th , 1019, 5:30 A.M.

Kharole finishes studying her spells and returns to the great hall. She and Narg decide that he will question the prisoner while she starts another ESP spell. Narg removes her gag and begins with “You came in here disguised as somebody very close to me and I don’t appreciate it. So, who the hell are you? How did you get in here?” She then starts muttering nonsense again, trying to blur her thoughts. Narg eventually gets tired of her lack of response, and yells “Fine. Be that way! I hope you had a good meal before you came, because we’re not giving you any food until you decide to talk, and you’re not leaving anytime soon.” Ailsheir comments to Narg “You left out all the important questions. You know, turn offs, turn-ons, what she would bring with her if stranded on a desert island.”

Narg, Kharole, Serita, Blake, Mojo and Fiona head back to the conference room. “Anything?” Narg asks. Kharole replies “Yes, but not much. The gnome let her in here, and her name is Florine. Does that name sound familiar to any of you?” They all nod their heads no. Kharole continues “Well it does to me. You recall that I apprenticed Vallessa’s daughter Dani from 3 to 7 years ago. Dani often told stories of when she and her mother were aristocrats in the Cantage Lordholding city of Pirna. Dani said that Vallessa would often avoid having to attend boring official functions by sending an employee disguised as her instead. This employee was an illusionist named Florine, who was the apprentice to Vallessa’s Chief of Staff, a gnome illusionist named Wister.”

The group had a lengthy discussion about how to proceed, with most ideas centered around where in the city to check. Kharole’s player finally suggests “Maybe Dani or Vallessa could give us some more information?” Narg and Serita decide to teleport back to Silver Moon Island to confer with Vallessa. Narg asks Cassie use one of her “Create Pizza” scrolls, saying “If I show up empty handed she’s going to kill me.” Mojo comments “When you see your wife you may not want to mention that you found this information out from a naked woman.” “I think we can skip those details,” Narg tells Serita. They take all three Bags of Holding in order to be able to bring back several crew members.

In the meanwhile, the group decides that Timothy should recite the multi-volume Articles of Faith of his church to the prisoner. “Yeah, that torture will make her talk,” Lannon comments. Mark interjects “The only problem is keeping guard on her, as hearing those articles will probably put the rest of us to sleep.”

Serita decides that teleporting directly into the home of a pregnant archer on a hot summer day is probably not the safest course of action, so teleports to her own home instead. She checks with her animal guards, freshens up, then heads down the street to Narg and Vallessa’s home. The door is answered by Marilyn, the wife of Narg’s valet, who directs Serita to the living room. Vallessa is wearing a thin shift, sitting back on a padded chair, her feet propped up on a hassock, and drinking from a large class of ice water. “What’s up?” she asks the druid. “Would you like to see Narg?” Serita replies. “Sure,” the archer-ranger replies. Serita then unceremoniously dumps him out of the bag. Narg yells to Serita “What took so damned long!. He then says “Hi Honey” to his wife, and hands her the pizza, which she immediately digs into. While she eats the other two fill her in on what has been going on for the past week.

Vallessa tells them that a gnome named Wister N. Wobblewick was a former employee, who worked for her in Pirna for almost 30 years. She says that she met him back when she was married to King Finny, and that he has worked for the Royal Family (the rulers of the three western Lordholdings) for nearly two centuries. She explains that “He used to work for Lord George, the first Jawlt Lordholder. George resided in Kindor’s castle from the years 945 to 976. After George passed way Wister worked for George’s son, Lord Todd, for about a year. They then had a disagreement, and Wister quit, then going to work for my husband and Todd’s Great Uncle, King Finny of Kaloon. Six years later the evil Lord Kohlorahdooh killed Todd and his family in a military coup. King Finny refused to get involved, which infuriated most of the Royal Family. Wister and I were two of the most vocal critics of that decision. That was when I left Finny, with Wister and several other members of the Castle staff accompanying me to Pirna. He was my Chief of Staff up until 7 years ago, when I joined up with the Silver Moon Adventurers.”

“Who has he been working for since then?” Serita asks. Vallessa replies “I don’t know. I had given him and my other employees a large severance package, and that was the last I saw of him. I tried to contact him a few months ago, to invite him to the wedding, but the Pirna Mage’s Guild did not have any current information as to his whereabouts.” Serita decides that since he worked for the Royal Family before, he could be again, suspecting Matthan.

She then asks Vallessa “What do you know about a couple named Thomas and Antoinette Khorram? They are with Matthan now.” Vallessa says “Yes, I know them. Wister would never work for those two, as he despises them as much as I do. Antoinette’s family had been wealthy aristocrats in Pirna for centuries, but a few decades back the money was just about gone. Her marriage to Thomas Khorram was one of mutual convenience, as she had the title and social standing and he had a large of amount of money. The source of his money has never been ascertained, but most rumors have it coming from rather shady associates of his.”

Serita and Narg decide to bring Vallessa back with them to talk to Florine. Both half-elves get into a Bag of Holding, and Vallessa flies her pegasus down to the harbor town below, where they then gather 14 of their most experienced crewmembers to return to Jawltorn with them. Serita uses the Helm of Teleportation to return to the auction house, letting the crew out of the Bag. Narg, Vallessa and Serita head upstairs to the Castle. Serita warns Vallessa “She’s currently blindfolded. Don’t let her know that you are pregnant.” Vallessa is appalled when she sees the condition her former employee has been left in and insists that the woman be covered by a blanket. Ailsheir and a few others start to raise objections, until Serita orders them all out of the room. Everyone leaves except for Serita and Narg, who remain out of sight behind the fountain, and Blip and Blake, who are short enough not to be seen below the table.

Vallessa sits down on the bench beside the table and removes Florine’s blindfold but not her bindings. They talk for around 15 minutes about their past together, with Vallessa then talking about the past 7 years of her own life. Narg whispers “What’s talking her so long?” Serita whispers back “Give her time. Vallessa is both proving her identity to Florine as well as getting her to relax her guard.” The strategy works, as Florine starts to then answer questions about Wister and what he is up to. She explains that he was the one who had originally collected all of the items for Lord George, and considers them to be his.

Vallessa gestures to Narg and Serita to come over, and the three continue to talk casually to Florine about the gnome. Serita tells Florine “The day before the auction there will be an ownership hearing. If Wister has a legitimate claim, which is sounds like he does, all he needs to do is voice it then.” With Florine being more cooperative they untie her, and find her some clothing to wear, but still keep her restrained in a chair.

The other party members are let back into the room. They conclude that they need to talk to the gnome, but are unwilling to just let Florine go to do so. Florine suggests “Turn me over to the Lordholder. Wister knows a secret way into the dungeons of that Castle, and I will talk to him.” This alarms Serita, who leaves to go inform Kindor of this possible security breech. Mojo comments that “Porter and Norbert are probably already gone.” Fiona interjects “No, he wouldn’t risk revealing his secret entrance on a pair of flunkies. He’d wait until she was there too.” Florine confirms that.

They decide to leave Florine where she is, but to have Cassie use the Belt of Shape Change to polymorph into a duplicate of Florine, and wait in the dungeon. Blip, Kharole, Mojo, Narg and Timothy decide to accompany her, feeling that they might all be needed to apprehend the gnome.
 
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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 28, “Walk like an Egyptian”, July 7th , 1019, 10:30 A.M.

Once Serita informs Melito that the gnome knows how to get into the dungeon the Minister of Security panics and sends dozens of troops to the dungeon. He moves Norbert and Porter, and begins searching place for secret entrances. The other Silver Moon Adventurers soon arrive, and manage to convince Melito to reverse all this, not wanting to make it obvious to the gnome that they are on to him. Cassie transforms into the appearance of Florine, and takes her place in a cell. Porter and Norbert are placed into an adjacent cell. The others take up positions nearby.

The day creeps along slowly. Melito checks in periodically. In informs the party that he has an operative to work with their stealth team, but that he will want to have them meet at a place other than either the Lordholder’s Castle or the auction house, as both are probably under ILA surveillance. He explains that the operative is a good-aligned elvan ranger, who he has been employing for several years, but seldom activates for missions.

Back at the auction house the afternoon is interrupted by the arrival of three individuals asking to see the Silver Moon Adventurers. Aradyn, Lannon and Mark go to greet them. The tallest of the visitors is tall barrel-chested human with curly red hear, a full red beard, and sparkling blue eyes who introduces himself as Donald Brondani Smith. With him are a half-elvan fighter who introduces himself as Pat, and a female elf with waist-length auburn hair named Raliana. She hands Aradyn a note.

Aradyn reads the note aloud, which is a letter of introduction. It is written by Durn, a dwarven fighter who is a member of the Silver Moon's "farm team", the Da'Bears group of Eldamar. Durn says that Raliana is an old adventuring friend of his, from the city of Raven's Bluff. She is in the city for the auction, with friends of hers from the city of Brondani. They invite the Silver Moon Adventurers to join them for dinner this evening at the Apples and Harp Tavern. "Is that where you're staying?" Lannon asks. Pat replies "No, we're staying at the Sleeping Raven Inn, but we've heard that the Apples and Harp has the best bardic entertainment, and most of our group is comprised of bards." Aradyn says "I'm sure that some of our group will be happy to join you." The visitors depart. Lannon comments "That was a nice switch, guest groups coming to us."

By now those in the castle are getting bored of waiting. Mojo suggest that they break the boredom by heading down to King Matthan's ship and executing him. Serita says "Look, we know you want the Queen for yourself, but you just can't go around killing her husband." Mojo says "OK, how about this. We don't kill him, we just kidnap him and hide him at my place back on the island?" Blip comments "What's the difference. If you dump his body in that junk heap you call a house nobody would ever see him again."

They are interrupted by Colonel Tenbar. The Army Commander arrives in the dungeon and asks for some help. He explains that "A group of a dozen men in robes and skirts have Plane Shifted in a mile north of here and are causing a scene. None of them speak Common, and the only thing that we understand from them is the word sphinx." "Uh oh, this sounds like trouble."

Mojo, Narg and Serita decide to go deal with these people. Serita asks. "Do any of us have those weird fish things?" (She is referring to a magic 'universal translator' device that was given to the party). They realize that none of the six characters that had gone on that mission are presently in the city. Serita tells Tenbar "We'll meet you there. Why don't you swing by the Mage's Guild and borrow somebody who has a few spare Comprehend Language spells."

The three soon arrive at a major intersection of the road. Around two dozen-army troops have set up a parimeter to keep onlookers back. All of the visitors appear to be 7-foot tall humans. Six are clean-shaven, and appear to be either guards or servants. Another is wearing a bird-mask, earning the man a few derogatory comments from Mojo. The remaining five appear to be the leaders, and all have braided beards. Four of these are wearing robes, carrying staffs or wands and appear to be spellcasters. The other one has a gold helmet and holds some type of scepter. The three Silver Moon Adventurers move in. The spokesperson of the visitors, one of the priests, speaks to them in an unknown language. Mojo and Serita shug their shoulders, trying to communicate that they do not understand. The priest then speaks louder and slower.

Tenbar soon arrives with a translator wizard. The wizard speaks to the visitors, and then translates for the party. "They are from a desert land. The leader of their group is Pharaoh Amun-re, son of Takosh-re, of the House of Mo-pelar. They say that they want their sphinx, and have brought jewelry to exchange for it." Serita has the translator explain that the items will not be presented for sale for another six days, and that in five days there will be an opportunity for anyone who has a claim for an item to make it.

The head priest tells the translator that they will wait until then if necessary. They want to know where lodgings have been prepared for them. Mojo comments "Why don't you tell them to go get 4,000 slaves to build them one." Serita stops the translator from saying that, instead having him say that "Appropriate accommodations are being prepared as we speak, you need to just wait a little longer." She then tells Tenbar "Go and find them somewhere to stay. Preferably away from any other visitors." "And away from us," Narg adds. The three then head back to the Lordholder's Castle.

[DM's note: I just had to use this guest group, as I had three packages of Ancient Egyptian figures that I've been hoping to get a chance to use.[/I}
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #9 - 3/30/03

Chapter 29, “Wister Wobblewick Strikes Again”, July 7th , 1019, 5:00 P.M.

Those at the auction house try to decide who to send to have dinner with the Brondani guests. With all of the high-level members at the Lordholder’s Castle, and with Vallessa and the stealth team inside Kulp’s Comfortable Castle, they conclude that they are too short-handed to spare many people without jeopardizing security. Fiona comments “We need to send somebody. Let’s see, who is good with diplomacy, enjoys meeting new people and likes to eat?” Several people reply in unison “Vincenzo!” They decide to also send Captain Jacob, the senior member of their ship’s crew. The two of them head off in the carriage.

Back in the dungeons of the Lordholder’s Castle the party is joined again by Colonel Tenbar for an update on the Pharaoh and his group. Tenbar says that he brought them to the Red Lance Inn, which is located near the northern point of the Inner City. He says that he choose this location because the Jawlt Army keeps a military garrison near there, at the fork in the river. He also mentions that the area is surrounded by armorers and metalworkers, who use the rivers to power their forges. Because of the fire and heat from the forges all of the buildings in the area are stone instead of wood, as an added safety precaution.”

“So, how did they like the inn?” asks Serita. Tenbar replies “The first thing they did was redecorate, moving together several tables and putting the best chair atop it. Apparently they feel that their Pharaoh is a god, and has to be elevated higher than everybody else. When two other residents of the inn attempted to head upstairs to their rooms, and reached a step higher than the Pharaoh, one of the priests sent lightning bolts from his staff to knock them down. My army troops brought those two to the Ukko church for healing, and then evacuated the rest of the building, using the outside back staircase. These desert folk also complained about it being cold, even though today is a warm summer day, and insisted that roaring fires be built in all of the inn’s fireplaces.” “Yeah, that group will really fit in,” Mojo sarcastically comments.

Shortly before midnight Vincenzo and Jacob return to the auction house. They say that they had a good time with this group from Brondani. This group is also seeking the elf stone of Llyr, the leader of the Brondani group being the grandson of the Bard Llyr. They mention that tonight’s entertainment at the Apples & Harp Inn was a bardic competition, which was very entertaining. Furynick comments “I like the sound of this group.”

July 8th, 1019, 1:15 A.M.

Aradyn and two of the dwarven construction workers have taken up guard positions on the roof of the auction house. The dwarf Abraxas then notices that Aradyn and the dwarf Barendur are standing frozen like statues. Before he can sound an alarm a series of rainbow colored hues fly at his face and he is mesmerized.

The second floor hallway is currently being guarded by Mark, Lannon, and four members of the ship’s crew. Mark suddenly feels a gust of air from an unknown source, and yells out an alarm. As people begin to awaken on both floors Mark and the crewman Humphry suddenly freeze up like statues and Vinnie and Fiona charge into the hallway. A robed gnome then appears in the hallway, his back to the wall, and waves his hands in both directions. Rainbow colors fly from his fingertips, mesmerizing everyone in the hallway except Lannon, who has used his Slippers of Spider Climbing to climb up to the ceiling. He moves towards the gnome.

In the large room below three individuals suddenly appear. Two are armed fighters, specifically the men Norbert and Porter, although no one presently on the ground floor had seen either of these men before. The third is Serita, who Norbert is holding with his arm around her neck, and with his other hand is holding a knife to her head. Porter yells out “Stop, or I’ll kill her.” This results in an unanticipated response from those present in the room, as most burst out laughing. (Serita’s player laughing the loudest.)

Furynick tells them “Threatening to kill Serita doesn’t really play on our sympathies.” Ship’s officer Lloyd adds “If that were the real Serita she’d have eviscerated you by this time.” Furynick and several crewmembers charge at them. On the staircase, Bruce the Bugbear tells one of the dwarves to kill Serita. The dwarf fires his crossbow, the bolt hitting her. Bruce then tells the dwarf “If that’s really Serita, then that was all your idea.”

Lannon suddenly hears the Magic Mouth that Kharole had set up near the dimensional doorway to detect invisibility go off, reciting the phrase “Fifteen minutes until the next watch change, all is well.” He quickly hurries back along the ceiling in that direction, feeling a breeze coming from the ceiling, and sees a slightly out-of-phase area about two-foot square. He draws his broadsword and swings it up into the ceiling, the sword going through without hitting any roof.

Bruce is standing on the landing, and looks down the second floor hallway. All he sees is Lannon attacking the ceiling before also becoming mesmerized by the rainbow hues. (The group attempts to convince the DM that Bruce would be immune to this, as rainbow is one of his favorite colors.) Downstairs, Furynick and the fighters have made several hits into Serita and her two captors. The two enemy men are using their swords to parry, and not trying to fight back.

Lannon pulls his sword back down, and swings in through the air in front of him. The sword hits something, slicing through it, followed by a soft thunk on the floor. Lannon has an idea, and tosses some pellets down onto the floor. The pellets break, and a green gas flows out of them. Lannon then hears the sound of a door closing above him, and the breeze stops. [DM’s Note: The gas only causes enhanced strength, but the enemy didn’t know that, and fled fearing that it was a poison.] The three enemies below fade out of existence, as does the gnome standing in the hallway. Those mesmerized each come out of their trance.

The premises are searched, the only thing being found being a 9-foot length of invisible rope that is frayed on one end. Vincenzo uses his Boots of Levitation to get Aradyn and Barendur down from the roof, who are put with Mark and Humphry, and the magical paralysis is then dispelled. “What happened?” Aradyn asks. Furynick interjects “You apparently passed out drunk on the roof.” The place is searched again, and Lannon then begins to set up trip wires. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.
 
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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 30, “Will the real Ki-Geloryn please stand up”, July 8th, 1019, 7:30 A.M.

Lord Kindor walks down to the dungeon of his Castle to check in with the Silver Moon Adventurers. “How are you doing?” the Lordholder asks. Mojo comments “Normally I feel a lot more refreshed after a night in jail.” Narg exclaims “I want this little puissant out of my hair today, even if I have to kill him myself.” Mojo mutters “Narg, that’s no way to talk about the Lordholder.” Narg yells back “Not him. I meant the gnome! What about those two, should we kill them?” Narg asks, gesturing to Norbert and Porter. Mojo quips “That would be different. Spending a night in jail and then killing two guys, instead of the other way around.” Kindor convinces them to leave the two alone, and the party head back to the auction house.

Arriving back, they are informed of the break-in. “So he came here instead of Kindor’s” Serita states. “And he never got into Kulp’s Castle?” Narg asks. “We don’t think so. We didn’t want to open the door to check, in case they were still around,” Vincenzo comments. Narg says “I’m checking on my wife,” and heads upstairs, with Kharole right behind him. They talk to Vallessa in the conference room, then have Vallessa talk again to Florine. They have Florine write a note to Wister to arrange a morning meeting with the Silver Moon Adventurers at the Merchant’s Secret Inn.

An Army Lieutenant alerts the party that Ki-Geloryn is outside and wants to see them. Serita heads outside to talk to him. He says that he wants to talk to Narg, and asks to come inside. Serita says “Why? Tell me what is going on.” He explains that the Black Dragon Emperor from Gilladin has arrived in the city, riding on a Black Dragon, and wishes to obtain the Ring of Fortune. “So, why can’t you handle that yourself?” she asks. He gets a bit flustered, and asks again to come inside. “Wait here” she states.

Serita goes back inside, and says “Ki is outside, and very anxious to get inside, and isn’t acting like himself.” She then makes the observation “I didn’t see his carriage outside either.” Furynick comments “Well, he’s something like 75 million years old, so he probably didn’t hobble over here on his own.” She heads back outside to confront the man.

Serita asks Ki “I don’t see your carriage. How did you get here?” He replies “I had breakfast down the street at the Merchants Manor. It was such a nice summer morning that I decided to walk from there. What’s the big deal.” She replies “The Ki I know doesn’t walk anywhere. I’m only going to tell you this once. If you try to break into this place again it won’t matter who you used to work for, I’ll blow you to hell! Is that clear?” Flustered, the man turns and walks away quickly.

Narg and Kharole exit the room, and asks the party about how to get the note to Wister. Serita announces “I just threatened him, and he left.” A few people are sent outside to look for him, but he is long gone. Narg and Kharole come up with an idea. They place the note inside of one of the “decoy” items, a non-magical jeweled box, and send Furynick and two guards to take it to Kindor’s Castle, assuming that the gnome will try to steal it.

About half-an-hour later the Army Lieutenant announces that Ki-Geloryth is back, and is with an old oriental man. Serita heads outside. Ki is now wearing different clothing, and is standing beside Hiroshi. His carriage is also packed nearby. She asks him a few questions, which he correctly answers, and she invites them inside.

Once inside Serita announces “We got the real one this time.” “What?” Ki asks. Narg interjects “We just had sometime trying to get inside disguised as you.” Mojo comments “Yeah, but he blew it. He said he walked here, you don’t walk anywhere.” “That’s not true,” Ki protests “I often walk from my Castle to the ocean.” “That’s what? A quarter-mile downhill?” Narg states. Ki answers “Something like that. I do however take the carriage back up.”

“So where have you been this past week?” Cassie asks her pupil Hiroshi. The older apprentice-wizard replies “Researching the various items. I just got back this morning with the group from the Kingdom of Highforge.” “Who are they?” “A dwarven kingdoms from the same region as the three elf groups. We arrived at the Jawltorn Mage’s Guild by dimension doorway, as they insisted on bring two battalions of troops to protect their King and treasure.” “Great, we now have an army of stinking’ dwarves to deal with” Mojo comments. “HEY!” both Lannon and Hiroshi yell out in unison (Hiroshi is married to a dwarf).

“So how many are we talking about?” Serita asks. “Around 100 or so, but they’re not all dwarves,” Hiroshi comments, “some of their troops are ogres and halflings.” “Ogres? Working with dwarves?” Narg questions. Hiroshi explains “Have you ever heard the phrase ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’, well several millennia ago the dwarven King and the ogre King formed an alliance to defeat a mutual enemy, an army of giants. They found the alliance beneficial, and retained it, especially after their army branched out into mining operations. These are also rather atypical ogres, as they have been living in an affluent civilized society for many generations now. The ogres were needed to carry the many chests of coins that they brought.” Lannon says “And the halflings? No, wait, never mind, I don’t want to know.”

“So Hiroshi, what can you tell us about the auction items?” Cassie asks. He begins by briefly telling the history of the Stone of Llyr, how it was one of nine stones given to the Knights of Silvanost nearly 5,000 years earlier.” Aradyn says “I am skeptical of that. My god isn’t known for passing out rocks.” Next Hiroshi speaks of the Fire Ring of Gaeldor, which was one of five rings made for a Silvanost King. It can cast a variety of fire-based effects.” He then adds “Blip has another ring in that set.” “And we’ve seen auction guests with two of the other three,” Vincenzo adds. “Actually all three,” Ki interjects. “So, all of the rings are here,” Cassie comments. “Yeah, but nobody else needs to know that,” Blip states, not wanting to loose her Spell Ring.

Hiroshi states that he still doesn’t know much about three of the gems. The unfinished diamond is called the Sage’s Stone, but its powers, if any, are still a mystery. The opaque pinkish-red stone is similar in appearance to the Blood Stone, which was once owned by a Lich. The only thing known of the polished diamond with the blue light inside is its name, the Stone of Tiaga. Ki states “There is a Baron Te’Col from a Northern Tiaga here. That must be the one he is after.” “We didn’t like the look of him,” Timothy states, remembering the psionic attack against him. A picture of this stone can be found at the following link:
http://www.geo.mtu.edu/museum/Galle...teBrazilmed.jpg

“What about the dress?” Serita asks. “I’m not surprised that you are interested in that. It is a druids dress,” Hiroshi comments. He explains that it is known as Mary Lavender’s Dress. The Lavender Family were the rulers of a place known as Eggshell Island. Parts of the island are inhabited by dinosaurs, who most of the humans stay clear of, however young druid Princess Mary shared an affinity with the beasts. The dress was made for Mary, and the gold beading on the dress is actually gold-plated dinosaur bones. The dress allowed Mary to transform into different dinosaurs. The wearer of the dress could do up to three dinosaur transformations a day, twice that number if worn by a druid.” "Oh, four times" states Furynick, who has just returned from his errand. “Well, we sure as hell DON’T need any of that” Narg exclaims, giving Serita a threatening look.
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 31, “To Catch a Thief”, July 8th, 1019, 9:45 A.M.

Furynick hands Narg back the jeweled box, saying “We got it to Kindor and back without a problem.” “Damn,” states Narg, “That little piece of excrement was supposed to steal it from you.” “It just goes to show you that you can’t count on thieves to do the dishonest thing,” Fiona comments.

Getting back to Hiroshi’s descriptions of the items, Serita asks “What can you tell us about the sphinx statue?” “Yeah, there’s a bunch of guys who are hot to get it,” Mojo adds. Hiroshi says “I’m not surprised. I visited their Kingdom to find out about it, but they were not very forthcoming with information. As near as I can tell, they think that the statue is made of part of one of their gods.” Mojo speculates as to “which part”.

Narg comments “I think we’ve had enough gods to suit us lately,” and makes a reference to the demigod Finder Wyvernspur who they met the previous year. Hiroshi states “Funny that you should mention that. One of the auction items was made by Finder Wyvernspur himself, created back when he was still a mortal.” “Which item is that?” Cassie asks. “The pyramid shaped gem (picture attached below]. It was the original prototype for the Finders Stone. The Finders Stone was his life’s work, a powerful artifact that Finder himself destroyed in order to kill Moander, the demigod whose power he then inherited. (As depicted in the Forgotten Realms novel Song of the Saurials by Novak and Grubb.)

“So what exactly does the stone do?” Serita asks. Hiroshi replies “It has implanted into it all of the music and songs that Finder composed, and will reproduce them exactly as they were originally performed.” Narg comments “Great, a magic karaoke machine. Just what we don’t need.” Mojo says “Maybe we should consider purchasing that item for Finder. He has helped us out before. Don’t forget that Finder was the one who stripped Ailshear of his evil nature.” “But he then saddled us with the drow, I hold that against him,” Aradyn states.

[DM’s Note: The above incidents occurred in the latter chapters of the prior Silver Moon Adventurers epic “Chinese Take-out”, which can be found at the following link:
http://enworld.cyberstreet.com/show...42&pagenumber=1 ]


Hiroshi briefly describes the three weapons. The party have already heard the stories of both the Maul of Moradin and Drundarr’s Axe, so Hiroshi doesn’t supply much new information other than stating that those are the two items that the Highforge group is seeking. Both items tie in with Highforge history, with the axe having been made for Drundarr, the first King of Highforge. Everyone has also already heard the story of the Rock Hammer of Bold Edgar, that being a popular children’s story on this world. He also describes both pendants, repeating the stories they had heard before about those items.

The next item described is Lady Natasha’s Egg. Hirsohi explains that when a magical incantation is stated and the egg is then opened the jeweled ship inside will enlarge into a full-sized ship. “How do you get it little again?” Fiona asks. Hiroshi states “Another incantation. This item is of artifact proportion, as it uses rather powerful magic to work. The magic is primarily on the inside of the egg rather than the ship.”

The final item described is the Puzzle Box of Abu Bin Sala. “So that is what that box is? It doesn’t look like a puzzle box.” “Yes, that is part of he puzzle, as is figuring out how to open it” Hiroshi states. Serita comments “Blip says that she has spent days trying to open it. This will really drive her crazy now, since she makes puzzle boxes as her main hobby.”

Meanwhile, up in the second floor hallway Mark and Vincenzo are standing on guard duty. Vinnie thinks hears the sound of a door opening. He tells Mark, who heads over towards Fiona’s room, where Blip is currently resting following the long night on guard duty in the dungeon. He tells Blip to wake up, that there may be trouble.

The inter-dimensional doorway to Kulp’s Comfortable Castle then appears, even though nobody has stated the necessary password to make it visible again. Vincenzo tosses a Dispel Magic into the hallway in front of the entrance to the dimensional doorway. He and Mark see before them the gnome, standing in front of the door and holding a key that he has inserted into the lock on the now visible magical doorway. Neither are close enough to the gnome to reach him, so Vinnie casts a Create Water in the air above the intruder, drenching the gnome. The gnome continues to turn the key as Mark charges down the hallway at him.

Mark strikes the gnome with his longsword. “Owww, not fair!” the old gnome exclaims in a high-pitched voice, while still turning the key. Vincenzo charges at the gnome as Blip steps out into the hallway. The gnome then pulls the key out of the lock, makes a few hand gestures, and then looks upward. The magical doorway to Kulp’s Comfortable Castle becomes invisible again.

Blip tosses a Blindness spell at the gnome, which appears to have no effect. Vincenzo grabs at the gnome, who manages to sidestep away from the cleric. The gnome is then pulled through the air by a rope tied to his waist, of which only the last six feet nearest the gnome is visible. Vincenzo activates his Shoes of Levitation to pursue. Blip dives onto her Broom of Flying, and flies up after Vincenzo.

Mark bangs on the window, alerting the rest of the party in the room below to trouble. They look up, noticing their rapidly ascending cleric heading through the roof. Serita’s instantaneous reaction is to grab the two party members closest to her, Narg and Kharole, and use her ring to teleport up to the roof. Not having been up their before, but having seen it from the air while in bird form, she guesses a little high, arriving ten feet in the air above the roof. The see both the gnome and a half-elf fighter on the roof, but are too preoccupied with falling to react to them.

Meanwhile, as the three adventurers all fall towards the roof with an ungracious “thud”, the 300+ pound Vincenzo is having a little difficulty getting through the two-foot-square invisible doorway. The gnome uses this opportunity to toss a Paralization spell onto Vinnie, who fails his save. Paralysis is a physical rather than mental effect and Vinnie continues to send commands to his Shoes, which continues his rise to and then above the roof. Blip flies straight towards the place in the roof where Vincenzo had gone through, flying up into the air above, having to fly to the side to avoid hitting the cleric. [DM’s Note: The timing was close, with Blip barely getting through in time, as the gnome closed up the opening immediately thereafter.]

Kharole recovers from the fall and looks up from where she has fallen. The gnome is already gone, and she catches the last glimpse of the half-elf before he fades out. She tosses a Dispel Magic onto where the half-elf was, and both he and the gnome reappear. Narg jumps to his feet and draws his sword. The half-elf now has a panic-stricken look on his face, and starts to now lower the sword he is holding. Serita also regains her footing, and throws a Control Temperature onto the sopping wet gnome, rapidly cooling him off as the water freezes into ice (and also preventing the spell that he had begun to cast). Blip levels off and looks at the scene, taking in all that is going on below her. Meanwhile, Vincenzo is still paralyzed, but is able to mentally command his shoes to levitate down rather than up.

Narg is charging the now panicked half-elf, who drops his sword and turns to run. Kharole throws up a Web spell, anchoring it from the tops of the three chimneys and angled diagonally down onto the roof to catch both the gnome and half-elf. Narg has to stop suddenly to avoid running into the web. The half-elf is totally caught, but the gnome continues to swim through the web, albeit at a much slower pace than he moved before.

The gnome is waving his arms beneath the web, possibly trying to cast another spells, so Blip dive-bombs at him on her broom. Blip jumps off as she is right above him, startling the older gnome. Since she is wearing a Ring of Free Action the web has almost no effect on her, and she is able to quickly grab and subdue the much older gnome. Narg comments “Uh oh, two gnomes are wrestling on the roof. Don’t tell Timothy or he’ll want to be a part of it” (The group has a running gag about the lawful good cleric being attracted to gnomes.)

Blip soon has the other gnome’s hands pins, and manages to tie them behind his back. Serita heads around the other side of the web, and strikes the gnome on the head with the Staff of Cancellation, to hopefully negate any memorized spells. Vincenzo lands on the roof. Narg prepares to grab the half-elf as Kharole cancels the Web. The half-elf offers no resistance. Blip strips the older gnome of the ring on his finger and the pouch of spell components and thieving tools on his belt. He also makes no attempt at resistance.
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #10 - 3/06/03

Chapter 32, “Interrogating the Gnome”, July 8th, 1019, 10:15 A.M.

Back on the roof, Kharole tosses a Dispel Magic onto Vincenzo to negate his Paralysis. This unfreezes him, but has the unfortunate side effect of also being the ‘trigger’ for his semi-aquatic form (Acquired by Blip, Mark and Vinnie during Module #83, “Chariots of Water”). Narg glances over at the merman Vinnie, floundering around on the roof and says “Hey, Pasta Boy, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Vinnie casts a Dispel Magic on himself, transforming back to human.

Serita notices that Wister is wearing an earring identical to the pair given to her by Kindor, and removes it from him. Having been informed an hour ago by Hiroshi that the earrings are actually a magical communication device, she asks the gnome “OK, who have you been talking to?” He answers “Nobody, I’ve just been listening.” “To ME!” she yells. “Yes,” he replies. “What’s going on?” asks Narg. Serita explains “My earrings are magical listening devices. He seems to have had one as well.”

The gnome interjects “Actually, you and I each had one from the only working pair, one of yours is just a replica.” “When did you switch it?” she asks. Wister replies “Over 40 years ago. Lord George didn’t like a woman his son was courting, so planned to have the son give the woman the earrings, and have me eavesdrop to find out information about her. That plan was never implemented, but I kept the other functional earring.” Narg states “So this little piece of excrement has been hearing everything we’ve said?” Serita replies “No, I only put them on a few days ago, and he would not have been able to hear our planning while inside of Kulp’s Castle. Still, I’m not very happy about this.” “About the eavesdropping or the fact that Kindor did re-gifting?” Vinnie asks.

Kharole suggests they continue the discussion inside. Vinnie levitates the two prisoners downward with Blip on her broom closely guarding them. Once in the building the gnome Wister announces “Bring me to Kindor so that he and I can negotiate.” The party are put-off with his unwillingness to talk to them, but send some soldiers off to go get Kindor. Timothy checks the auras of the prisoners, identifying the gnome as being neutral with good tendencies and the half-elf as being true neutral. Fiona suggests getting Vallessa, but Serita says “No, I do not want to open the door (to Kulp’s Castle) while the gnome is here.”

Narg questions Wister as to “What is it that you think would make Kindor want to negotiate.” The gnome states that he now has three of the actual items, plus replicas of all of the items, which they will soon want. He says, "I will give you my complete cooperation in return to one-third of the items. That’s a total of only six items, and I already have three.” Serita asks about the key. He tells them it is in a pocket inside his robe, explaining exactly where to Blip. As she reaches in to get it he warns her not to touch any other pockets, as some are trapped.

Mojo threatens to kill him, and get the information through Speak with Dead spells. Wister is appalled, saying “You threaten me? Fine, make that seven items instead of six. Further threats and the price will increase. I have great respect for your group, and have done you no harm, but there is a limit to my patience.” “Your Patience!” Serita yells, seconding Mojo’s suggestion to kill him. “How can you say you’ve done us no harm?” asks Fiona. Wister replies “We have used no weapons or any spells that cause permanent damage.” “No weapons? Your assistant had a sword,” Narg states. Wister says the sword was decorative, and not sharp enough to cut butter. They check the sword, finding that he is correct.

Kharole stops Narg from asking any more questions, and pulls him aside. She says “I should try my ESP during your questioning. Narg agrees, deciding that Timothy should simultaneously try a Detect Lie spell. The questioning resumes, with Narg asking “Which items? Obviously the Sphinx is one.” Wister answers “The Sphinx, the Rock Hammer of Bold Edgar, and one other”, with Kharole picking up that the other is “the orb”. Narg asks about where they items are stashed and what inn they are staying at. Wister says they are not staying at any inn, that he previously lived in the city for 30 years, and has friends to stay with. Timothy detects this as the first lie told thus far. Kharole picks up the name “Magical Stone Inn” from his thoughts. She also picks up something about items under the floorboards.

The group gets back together to discuss this. Narg suggests sending a team to the inn. Kharole suggests “Better send a thief, just in cast the floorboards are trapped.” Lannon decides to lead a team down to the Magical Stone Inn, which is a half-mile right down the street. He brings Furynick, Timothy and Ki-Geloryn with him, taking Ki’s carriage.

Kharole takes the half-elf aside to one of the room after casting both Charm Person and ESP. She finds out that his name is Dar, and that his main purpose is to help Wister escape once they are alone. This will be accomplished through items hidden under Dar’s wig. She returns to the party, informing Mojo “You’d better search him again, he’s wearing a wig. Just don’t make that discovery too obvious.” Mojo enters the side room and does as instructed, removing the man’s belt and patting him down, eventually getting to the hair. The dark wig and fake beard are then ripped off, revealing him to actually be an elf with short blond hair. Inside the wig are set of thieving tools and a set of darts.

Kindor and Colonel Tenbar arrive. They bring Kindor up to speed on what is going on. Wister begins to negotiate with the Lordholder, revealing for the first time that he now has the Orb of Kulp, which an associate of his has now had enough time to get far away. Narg yells out “What! This little piece of crap has got the Castle!” Serita screams “KILL HIM!” “Well, we at least now know that is the real Serita,” Vinnie comments. Blip heads upstairs to Mark to confirm this, with them being unable to get the magical door to activate.

Wister says “So, now you know why I am negotiating from a position of strength. It would be in your best interest to agree to my terms. I offer my complete co-operation in return for seven items.” “You can’t negotiate if you’re dead!” Serita yells at him. Several of the party pull Kindor aside, saying “Don’t agree to anything until we discover what Lannon finds.” The Lordholder replies “Fine, but I think it best that I now have Tenbar get the word out that the Jawlt acution preview will be postponed until at least tomorrow.” The Colonel departs to spread the word.

Narg thinks for a minute and says “That orb may not be as far away as we think. We still haven’t searched his robes.” Vincenzo says “I have an idea,” and casts a Locate Object. Rather than directing him towards the gnome the spell indicates that the orb is upward. With the spell still running, he and Cassie hurry outside and levitate up. They are directed towards a chimney as the spell ends. Cassie then does a Locate Object, soon finding the invisible orb.

The group decides to get the orb to the Wizard Derieki, in the town of Gelorynth, to recharge it. “I’ll fly it there,” Cassie states. “Fine, I’ll go too,” says Aradyn. Taking the key and orb they go saddle up her wyvern Maynard, and fly westward towards the coastal town.

Narg and Serita return to Wister for a game of good-cop, bad-cop. Narg says “Listen. I’ve been very patient with you up until now, in part because you used to work for my wife..” The gnome interrupts with “Why yes, Congratulations on that. I was going to send a gift but..” Narg interrupts “Shut up, listen, you’ve now got my wife and several other members of my party trapped inside the orb and that changes things.” “Just kill him now!” Serita yells. Narg says “I’ll turn you over to her unless you start talking.” “You’ve already heard my terms. Go discuss them with Kindor,” the gnome defiantly replies.

Serita then starts to blurt out threats, and mentions finding stuff on his assistant. Narg realizes that she is ‘loosing it’, and does not want her to inadvertently give away information about them having found the orb, getting Vinnie to drag her out of the room. Narg says “OK, so you know that we found the darts. You said you wouldn’t use weapons against us, so what exactly are those for?” Wister replies “I said I wouldn’t use weapons against the Silver Moon. I never said anything about not using any against prison guards in order to escape. Besides, the darts would only do a minimum amount of damage.”
 

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