League of Assassins - Conclusion

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 51, “Back to the Cemetery”, July 11th, 6:00 P.M.

The stealth team has spent the day attempting to discover the final clue to the primary target. They have been less than successful, having picked up a number of rumors, but nothing that materialized to anything definitive. One rumor they hear is that a gargoyle-type creature was spotted at dawn flying near the Caretaker’s House at the Jawltorn Cemetery. The own Deanna conveys this to Serita, who sends back the reply “Check it out.”

The two newcomers, Darrius and Charen, are both still off following up on a lead about the female ILA leader, and the others decide not to wait, as they would prefer to not be in a cemetery after dark. A short while later they approach the gates, and head up the walkway to the large black wooden structure. “How should we do this?” Mark asks. “Why don’t we knock,” Aradyn suggests. “Doesn’t sound very stealthy to me,” Blip replies. Blip and Cassie decide to wait outside, and send the male half-elf and elves to talk directly to the Caretaker. They keep the building in sight, but also check out the surrounding carriage house and supply buildings.

They knock on the door, which is answered by the same tall thin human attired in dark clothing as directed them to the Moorehead funeral two days earlier. They are all still wearing the same disguises they had on then, however the man gives no hint of recognition. They say they were sent out by the city to investigate any strange happenings. He invites them inside, and ushers them into a study, the room decorated in somber tones. They are invited to sit.

The Caretaker asks if they would like to make funeral arrangements for themselves or a loved one. Lono quips “What about Serita? I’d love to arrange her funeral.” Aradyn replies “No, he said us or a loved one. I don’t think I’d put her in either category.”

Getting back to the subject at hand, they say that they are following up on a report of a gargoyle in the vicinity. He says that there is nothing of that sort around. He assures them that his cemetery has no undead what-so-ever in it. They have a reputation to maintain, and the clergy of the city’s various churches frequently visit to ensure that there are no undead present. Lono comments “Right, the priests regularly come in and spray for ghosts and ghouls.” Aradyn comments about Gargoyles being a type of stone-bodied monster and not undead.

The Caretaker reiterates that “There is absolutely nothing of that sort here. I maintain a clean cemetery.” He tells them that “Children often have overactive imaginations. I suspect that some young boys must have seen carvings or sculpture on some headstones or mausoleums and imagined that is being this gargoyle. “We never said the report came from a child,” Aradyn states.

“What has gone on here today?” Mark asks. He says that it has been a quiet day, with no funerals, which is a welcome change given that both of the prior days included services for members of two of the cities prominent families. “Who?” Lono asks. The Caretaker tells them that the Moorehead family had services for a great aunt on the 9th, while Lord Kingsbury of the Kingsbury family was laid to rest on the 10th. “Where exactly?” Aradyn asks, and the Caretaker points to the approximately locations of a map of each family plot. The man assures them that everything is fine and peaceful at the cemetery.

They depart, and then meet up with the girls. They relate what was said, with Mark commenting that he was surprised the man did not recognize any of them from before, and they certainly gave him an opportunity to say something after the Moorehead funeral was brought up. Aradyn says “Hold on. Lono mentioned Serita’s name, and he showed no recognition of it either. Since he works with all of the city’s churches shouldn’t he know the name of the Jawlt Council Minister of Religions?”

Cassie’s owl Deanna then makes a discovery in one of the supply buildings, finding a recently moved poorly made wooden casket in a room with shovels and ropes. The others enter, immediately detecting the smell of death. Inside the casket is a body of an old man that appears to have begun decomposing for a few days. Blip notices the nails are well manicured and don’t appear to have ever been used for heavy labor. The man is also attired in rather elegant clothing. “Looks a bit rich for the cheap box he’s lying in,” Lono comments.

Cassie says “I’ll handle this,” and casts a Speak with Dead spell on the man. She asks him his name, and is told “Lord Martin Kingsbury.” She asks about what has happened since he died, but he says he has no idea. Lono says “I thought the spirits hung around to hear what people have to say about them. I know I would.” She asks him how he died, and he replies “Sickness and Old Age. I was ninety-bloody-six.” The spell ends.

They next head over to the Kingsbury Family Plot. There are no recently dug graves, and based upon tracks on the ground, conclude that the body is in the mausoleum. The door to it is locked, and neither Blip or Lono are unable to open it. Lono grabs a rock, and breaks the lock with his strength. The door is opened, and all five members of the party enter. Inside is an elaborate oak casket covered with flowers. The lid to the casket is opened, and they look inside to see the corpse of the Cemetery Caretaker, that appears to have been dead for at least a day. “I thought as much” Aradyn comments.

It is now twilight, the sun having just set over the horizon. While an owl has far superior vision to humanoids at night, during the day it is not significantly different than a humans. As such, Deanna’s eyes have not yet adjusted to ‘night mode’. Perched on the limb of a tree above the cemetery plot, she therefore does not notice the descending gargoyle and the person it is carrying until after the pair have landed beside the door and only exit to the mausoleum.
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #17 - 5/25/03

The game begins with the most athletic player arriving and cursing our the weather, as it has prevented him from participating in a number of outdoor events this holiday weekend. The rest of the group is happy to see him, to help celebrate the gaming group’s 21st Anniversary.

Chapter 52, “Things that go stab in the night”, July 11th, 8:00 P.M.

Cassie’s owl Deanna is situated in a tree near the mausoleum that the party are inside, and alerts them to the arrival of the gargoyle and its companion. The party quietly discuss how to approach the situation. Aradyn begins to cautiously move towards the doorway, drawing his bow. Deanna alerts Cassie that the two potential enemies have taken to flight again, the gargoyle now heading west. Cassie yells this to Aradyn, who hastily exits.

By the time Aradyn is able to get a shot off they are well over 100 feet away. He fires two arrows that fly into the vicinity of the gargoyle. Aradyn is unsure whether he either barely missed, or hit but the arrows just deflected off the monster. The gargoyle start to quickly descends back towards the cemetery. The other four exit the mausoleum. The gargoyle is now out of range for a Magic Missile spell, but still within range for a Fireball. Cassie contemplates throwing one, but reconsiders, as it would act as a flare and draw the attention of any potential enemies within a few miles.

Cassie says she will send Deanna to go find them. “Do gargoyles eat owls?” Lono asks. “No, they eat you,” Aradyn replies. Aradyn informs the others that he shot at it, but did not appear to hit. “What, You’re saying you can’t even hit the ass-end of a gargoyle!” Lono exclaims. Cassie tells them “My owl doesn’t see them.” “No movement at all?” Aradyn interjects. Cassie answers “Lots of movement, 6 field mice, 2 squirrels, a woodchuck and a snake.” “Tell the owl that this is no time to think of food,” Lono interjects. Aradyn says “I think this is the time for us to get the hell out of here.”

The group decides to bring the caretaker’s body with them, putting it in the Bag of Holding. Blip considers flying them away, but that would require sharing the bag with the corpse, which the other opt not to do. Aradyn comments “Good, we rely on magical means of transportation far too often, we should walk.” Lono states an expletive in response to that. They hastily exit the cemetery, avoiding the caretaker’s house, and return to the Magical Stone Inn, where Charen and Darrius are waiting for them.

Cassie decides to cast a Speak with Dead to find out more information about how the man died. Lono says “He was 96, all it would have taken is one good striptease.” Darrius comments “I don’t think there is a check box for that on the death certificate.” Cassie reminds Lono is was the other body that was in his nineties, that this guy is only in his forties. “Like I pay any attention to stiffs” is Lono’s reply.

She casts the spell, the body revealing that he was opening up the Kingsbury Family mausoleum when stabbed in the back. The only one with him was young Martin Kingsbury IV, the grandson of the departed. The group debates why this was done, concluding it was just a good opportunity to kill the caretaker and stash the body. Cassie writes out a note for Deanna to bring to Serita. They decide to also send the Bag of Holding with the body, Cassie instructing the owl “Make sure she reads the note before opening the bag.”

A short while later Serita reads the note to the others and then removes the body. Melito and Tenbar confirm it is the Cemetery Caretaker. Melito says that the man had no family and that he had inherited the position from his father. The party discusses how to proceed. Narg suggests that they go kill the gnome Wister Wobblewick. “Why, he had nothing to do with this?” Timothy states. Narg replies “Yeah, but I really want to kill something, and he is as annoying as anybody.”

The body is turned over to the Army troops to take care of, while the group of Furynick, Kharole, Lannon, Mojo, Narg and Serita decide to ride out to the caretaker’s house to search it. They find it deserted and the body of Martin Kingsbury II still in the shed. A thorough search of the premises uncovers a small amount of money and a few miscellaneous magic items hidden in a secret closet. They take the items and return to the auction house, giving the money to the Army to help pay for the man’s funeral and headstone. The party turn in for the evening, with the targets of Melito bunking in Serita’s room, Tenbar with Lannon, and Hiroshi with Narg.

July 12th, 1019, 3:30 A.M.

“Oh Bloody Hell!” Hiroshi yells out (in the best imitation of a Sean Connery voice that Narg’s player can muster). Narg awakens to see a man in dark clothing standing above him and wielding a longsword. His infravision makes out a similarly attired man is standing above Hiroshi’s cot, having just stabbed a shortsword down at the elderly oriental wizard, who rolled to the side and narrowly dodged it. Narg’s immediate reaction is the kick the man, which knocks him back.

Narg jumps out of the bed and moves towards where he has left his longsword. The opponent stabs his shortsword into the half-elf for 10 points of damage. Narg is less concerned with the wound than the fact that the man has now ripped the “Boston Red Sox” t-shirt that he was wearing as pajamas, a souvenir from an excursion with his Pooka. “You’re gonna pay for that” the fighter yells out, pulling the sword from its sheathe and filling the room with light. The sound of the yells carries, waking Tenbar in the room next door and Serita in the room above, both of whom immediately wake their roommates.

Still lying in his now slashed cot, the sudden illumination allows Hiroshi to now see his opponent. Hiro gives a karate kick up into his opponent’s groin, temporarily incapacitating him. The old man then rolls off of the cot, and grabs for his backpack.

Tenbar quickly armors up and heads towards the door. Entering the main auction hall, he immediately notices that none of the crewmembers standing on guard duty. He then sees one lying in a pool of blood by the main door. “Everybody up! We’re under attack” he yells as loud as his dwarven baritone voice will carry. The twenty-or-so crewmembers and construction workers sleeping on cots in the main room all begin to stir.

Up above, Serita opens the door, instructing Melito “Stay here until it is safe.” The first thing she notices is that Captain Jacob, who was heading the overnight guard detail, is lying face down beside the stage. She slides down the staircase railing and charges across the room with her Boots of Speed to get to him.

Back in the corner room, Narg has gotten in two good sword slashes into his opponent, although neither is good enough to activate the extra Sword of Sharpness severing. The man takes a lunge at Narg, which the unarmored fighter parries with his own sword. In the opposite corner, Hiroshi has tried to use the cot to keep some distance with his opponent while reaching into his backpack. He pulls something out, flinging the pack into his foe. The man bats the pack aside, and then successfully slashes into the elderly wizard for over half of his hit points.

Serita finds that Jacob is still barely alive, and casts a Neutralize Poison followed by a Cure spell. The barely sea captain regains consciousness, and mutters in his seafaring voice “Arrr, almost found me self down in Mickey Dolenz’s locker” (Davy Jones’s apparently having been full). Meanwhile, Tenbar opens the door to Narg’s room just in time to see Narg pass out and fall to the floor. The enemy standing over him then drives a longsword down and into the fighter. Hiroshi’s opponent also stabs into him at the same time.
 

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 53, “Assassins and Rhinos and Minotaurs, Oh My!”, July 11th, 3:40 P.M.

Lannon sees Narg’s body lying on the floor and yells out “Medic”, prompting Serita to run in that direction. Colonel Tenbar charges into the room just as the enemy in the corner pulls the sword out of Hiroshi and the elderly man falls to the floor. He lands on his hands and knees, apparently still alive, and begins an interesting transformation. His hair retracts and his body bloats up, his nightgown ripping to shreds, and his skin takes on a grayish hue. Both enemies are momentarily distracted by this, allowing time for Tenbar and Lannon to charge over to where Narg has fallen and engage that foe in battle.

Both dwarves are successful in fighting their opponent back and away from Narg, giving Serita time to reach her fallen comrade. Hiroshi has now completed his transformation, and is now the form of an adult rhinoceros. The rhino charges the enemy before him, pinning the man into the back corner of the room. The dwarves continue their onslaught against their foe, who tries twice to hit Tenbar, both blows deflected by the Colonel’s magical shield. Narg does not appear to be breathing, and Serita casts a Neutralize Poison on him followed by a Cure Serious Wounds. The man fighting the dwarves falls, Tenbar striking the death blow, and Lannon moves to help Hiroshi. The rhino uses his horn to gore his own opponent, before succumbing to the poison in its system and falling over. Lannon attempts to move out of the way, but the falling rhino pins him to the floor. The damage is minimal, but leaves him trapped within sword range of the other enemy. One player comments “This is like the film ‘The Night at the Opera’, with people dropping left and right in a crowded room.”

Fiona has now reached the doorway, and tosses a Magic Missile spell into the remaining foe. Tenbar closes the distance and engages the man in battle, as Lannon manages to pull himself out from under the Rhinoceros. Lannon then comes to Tenbar’s assistance, and the two are able to soon finish off their foe, who had already been mortally wounded by the rhino. Serita gestures to the unconscious rhino, and asks “Who or what is this?” “Hiroshi, and he’s been poisoned” Tenbar replies. She hits him with the same spell combination as Jacob and Narg, which brings him back to consciousness.

The situation appears under control in the room outside, and the Greyhawk Lantern is activated to scan the room for invisible foes. The fallen bodies of the five other people who were on guard duty are checked, two still being alive, who Timothy and Vincenzo administer Neutralize Poison and Cure spells upon. Kharole checks the wounds from all six, and talks to the three still alive, confirming that at least four of them were apparently stabbed simultaneously, so the two dead enemies in the corner room were not alone. Efforts are redoubled to search the building, finding the door to the outer hallway unlocked, the door to the outside still shut and trapped. The army soldiers outside also report seeing and hearing nobody until the party sounded the alarm. Kharole concludes that the enemies had teleported into the outer hallway, and the others probably left via the same means.

Serita uses Speak with Animals to converse with Hiroshi. She confirms that he had used a pair of the Animal Transformation statues that the party had gotten the prior year while in the Orient. He tells her “It seemed the best idea at the time, since it had both armor and offensive capabilities.” He tells her “Those people were trying to kill me. I think I’ll stay in this form until the magic wears off, in another ten to twelve hours.” She concurs, relating this to the others. “Fine, but he isn’t staying in my room like that,” Narg exclaims. A player comments “Just what we need, a Kung-Fu Rhino” “Is that anything like a Ninja Turtle?” another player replies. Furynick says “Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we all turn into rhinos!” They choose to ignore him.

Mojo then suggests “You know, if Hiroshi isn’t going to be physically around then why don’t we let everyone know that he was assassinated? Then they won’t be after him anymore.” Everyone, including Hiroshi, concurs with that idea. Timothy points out that Kindor would need to find another hearing judge and another auctioneer. “Then that’s his problem,” the barely conscious Narg states.

Serita, Lannon and Melito check out the weapons from the two dead enemies. Both of the swords they were carrying have thin metal tubes attached to the flat of the blade. The tubes have a spring and plunger mechanism inside linked by a wire in the hilt. The hilt itself is partially hollow, with a reservoir to hold some type of liquid. Based on different notches to stop the plunger they conclude that the shortword held three doses of poison and the longsword five. One of the men has another shortsword sheathed on his belt, which appears to be fully loaded with the poison. The poison is confirmed as being the exact same type as was used in one of the crossbow bolts that hit Tenbar two days earlier, Melito telling the dwarf “It looks like your friends are persistent.”

Only now does Vincenzo finally realize that his clerical assistant Cheveyo is missing. “What? How did we not notice that? He’s nine feet tall with four arms!” Narg mutters. “Too busy keeping you guys alive,” Serita comments. Mojo reminds everyone that Cheveyo’s father, a half-minotaur/half-demon, has been using assassins to try to find him. “I’d better try a Reflecting Pool,” Serita states.

A basin is filled with water and she casts the spell as the party gathers aground, along with Tenbar and Melito. The water fills with the image of Cheveyo, being held by a 20-foot tall minotaur. He is apparently in some type of tavern, and also surrounding them are six others, two humans attired in dark clothing and four minotaurs. One of the humans is questioning Cheveyo. The other human suddenly looks up and begins to peer around the room. “Uh oh, I think they’re on to us,” Kharole comments. “I don’t recognize the tavern,” Mojo states. “Pull back,” Kharole comments. Serita moves the image back which very briefly shows the outside of the building, a two-story wooden lodge type building surrounded by trees. The spell then ceases, with Serita commenting “He stopped it.” “Yeah, but not until after I recognized it,” Melito states.

Melito tells them that the building is called the Baron’s Arcane Lodge, and it is located in the inner city around a mile to the northeast. One of the player’s comments “Minotaur in the Inner City was one of my favorite novels in Junior High. It’s about this white minotaur who goes to an all black minotaur school and…” “Enough” another player interjects.

Melito continues “It is Jawlton’s most exclusive inn, owned by a Baron named Russell Donelley. It is situated in a part of the city with aristocratic residences. The Donelley Estate is a large plot of land where a grove of trees surrounds the main building, to give it a country inn appearance. Ki-Geloryn had approached the Baron about having auction guests stay there, but was told that the Lodge had been rented out for the entire summer, the guests having arrived in mid-May.”

The party is divided about what to do next. Both Serita and Vincenzo want to go storm the place, but Narg is more cautious, stating “Don’t you see. That is why they took him. They want to split the party and leave either the items or targets with less protection.” Mojo points out that the ILA convention will last for two days beyond the auction, so there will still be time to mount a rescue mission.

Lannon points out that “If we wait another day we’ll have the Castle back, which will give us a safe place for the targets to hide and the original stealth team will then be available to help.” Serita comments “Assuming they haven’t killed each other by now. Narg’s wife Vallessa is pregnant, and those sudden mood swings could have gotten to her.” Narg says “Well, if we open it up and she’s standing by a pile of bodies, I’ll forgive her.” Mojo adds “Me too, some of those guys were very annoying .”
 
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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 54, “The Item Hearing”, July 12th, 1019, 8:00 A.M.

The army delivers five caskets, to house the bodies of the construction workers Peter and Eldorian, ship crewmember Richard, and the two assassins. The caskets are brought out to the barn, where the wyvern is instructed to make sure that nobody disturbs them. Lord Kindor arrives and is briefed on the attack. He agrees to get word out that the auctioneer Hiroshi has been assassinated. Kindor mentions needing to find a hearing judge to replace Hiroshi. Mojo interjects “I’ll do it. I’m impartial.” “Yeah, he hates everyone equally” Narg comments. Mojo says “Hold on, if we were the ones who decided that Hiroshi is dead can’t we claim the points?” “We’re not in the ILA” Timothy comments. Mojo replies “Okay, new plan. We join the ILA and then kill all the targets.” Kindor interjects “I don’t think Melito would approve of that plan.” “Oh, just ignore Mojo,” Serita adds. Kindor says he will get a High Priest of the Greek Pantheon as the third judge.

Kindor says “There was also an attack last night against the head of the Llyr family.” A player comments “Lear? Must have been one of his wayward daughters.” Several players groan, and the first one replies “Hey, you have to admit. The jokes are bad but at least they’re high brow.” Kindor says that the Llyr Family and owners of the Sleeping Raven Inn were able to successfully deal with the attackers.

The auction guests arrive for the hearing between the hours of 1 and 2 P.M. Everyone who was present at the bidder’s dinner is in attendance except for the King and Queen. Also present are the Pharaoh from Ul Bakak and his party, who create quite a commotion by arriving on a summoned 75-foot long giant scorpion as a mount. A squadron of Jawlt Army troops do their best to keep anyone and everyone away from the deadly beast, which the Pharaoh’s priests appear to be controlling. Inside the building the Pharaoh’s chair is placed atop the table, to conform with their law of nobody being elevated higher. To comply with this the panel of judges sits to the side of the stage rather than upon it.

The ownership status of each item is reviewed in ascending order of the minimum bid values. Nobody challenges the ownership of the Hammer of Bold Edgar. The halfling Abu Bin Sala speaks of the puzzle box, actually affirming that it has no designated owner, magically teleporting from one possessor to the next. Many more items go unchallenged, those being the Blood Stone, Sage’s Stone, Stone of Tiaga, Lady Natasha’s Egg, Lavendar Mary’s Dress, the Cloudlands Pendant, and Finder’s Stone Prototype.

The dwarves of High Forge challenge the ownership of the Axe of Drundarr. The Highforge King explains how the axe was created for King Drundarr, the last King of Mountaingate and first King of Highforge. He tells how it belonged to his father, and was lost some 225 years ago in a mountain climbing accident. He says that they had searched for it, but never found it, and up until this day still believed it was buried on the mountain. The panel deliberates about this, and makes a diplomatically stated ruling that basically comes out to ‘finders keepers losers weepers’. The Highforge dwarves also make challenges regarding the Stone of Kuvuzd and Moradin’s Maul, both of which had once been used in their Kingdom, but their case for these is even weaker as both items were owned by a land that none of these dwarves are actually from. The panel rules in Kindor’s favor on both of these as well.

Young Prince Taran makes an appeal for the Ring of Fortune, telling about how it was taken from his great uncle following an assassination 60 years earlier. The Prince is challenged to present evidence in any way linking whichever of Kindor’s predecessors assembled this collection to the assassination, and the Prince is unable to do so. The panels says that they will take his claim under advisement, and if the Prince has any further evidence prior to the auction the case can be reopened, but as of right now there is nothing to say Kindor is not the legitimate present owner of the item.

Silvanost claims the Fire Ring of Gaeldor belongs to them, as they have two of the other rings in the five ring set. King Elufin states that Gaeldor was his father and the ring should be returned to his family. The Brondani group protests, pointing out that they also own one of the rings in the set. Silvanost’s case is not helped by them then claiming that the Brandani ring was stolen. The Elvan Engwahilien Family Elder from Brondani explains how his Uncle had made the five rings for King Gaeldor, and that the Sight Ring of Gaeldor was given back to the Uncle when the elvan King left the planet. The elf states that he was willed the ring by his Uncle. Silvanost states that the will was invalid, since their Kingdom does not officially recognize Brondani and its citizens.

The panel of judges points out that they are to rule on the auction items, not personal possessions of the auction guests. In the case of the Fire Ring, history shows that King Gaeldor had given it as a gift to the human King of Allor, and it remained in Allor until 300 years ago, when it disappeared. Therefore, neither of these elves has a valid claim for the item. Both elf groups are clearly unhappy about this ruling. Serita whispers to Kharole “If you think that was bad, wait until the Stone of Llyr comes up, which the Mengale elves also claim is theirs.”

The next item presented is the Sphinx statue (shown below). One of the priests from Ul Bakak steps forward to look at the item. The priest declares (through his translator) that the item before them is not the true sphinx, and does not house their deity. All twelve members of the Pharaoh’s party begin to get ready to leave. The Silver Moon Adventurers whisper among themselves about what to do. Both Narg and Mojo are just as happy to see these potential troublemakers go, however Serita is unwilling to let the potential buyer of one of the most expensive items walk out. She tells her companions “There might be consequences if they later find out we sold the real item.”

As the servants and guards begin to lift the chair the Pharaoh is sitting on Serita says “Wait. The items that you see before you right now are visual representations of the actual items, which have been safeguarded until the actual auction. It is the real items that you will be bidding on tomorrow.” The Ul Bakak group resumes their seats, and Timothy notices that Baron Te’Col of Tiaga also looks pleased to hear this information. The High Priest of Ukko chairing the panel invites the Egyptian priest to state his claim for the item.

The Priest tells a tale of a war between the gods of many pantheons. He says that during this war the body of one of their gods was shattered, and its individual pieces scattered across the vast reaches of time and space. One of these pieces came to rest in their Kingdom, over 5,000 years ago. It was stolen from its resting place in the temple to the gods approximately a century ago. It’s location in Jawlt became known to the priests some ten weeks earlier, as that was exactly when the god war took place. “That’s it, it makes sense now” Vincenzo states, reminding the others that that was when he was with a team which found itself on another world in the midst of a god war (Module #105, “The 20th Year Anniversary Module”, Game #5). “The rest of us have been trying to forget about that” Mojo states. Then chair of the panel says that they will hold off on a ruling at this time, as a later witness may have something relevant to add to this discussion.”

The last item to be brought up is the Stone of Llyr. As expected, all three elvan groups make claims to it. The panel hears the long and sordid history of the stone. Nobody claims to have actually seen the stone since the time it was lost some 2,600 years earlier, but claim that given their long lifetimes that amount of time should not matter. Mengale claims that it should be given to them, as they are the only true followers of their elvan god and his wishes.

The panel takes a considerable amount of time discussing this, and makes the following ruling: “None of your groups dispute that this is an Elvan Artifact given to you by your gods, and it would therefore be inappropriate for us as a human community to claim it as ours. However, we do not see that any of your groups has a stronger claim than the other. If all three of your elvan Kingdoms can negotiate an agreement to share the stone prior to the auction, it will be given to you. If you are unable to reach an agreement by then we will limit the bidding on this item to only your three groups and nobody else.”

This ruling silences all of the elvan groups. It is clear that they are all unhappy, and wish to protest, however none have the audacity to state that offer of having the stone be freely given to them is unfair. Kindor whispers to Serita “Brilliant. These people have hated each other for millennia, there’s no way they will come to terms by tomorrow. I’ll still get to sell it, and they would have been the only three bidders anyway!”

Kindor announces “There is one more person to testify. I recognize Namfoodle, Lord Chamberlain of Kalephornyah, The gnome stands up on the table he is sitting on and tells everyone assembled about a contest that took place approximately sixty to eighty years ago. Three noblemen had gotten together and as an intellectual exercise came up with a list of twenty famous magical jewels and gems that the whereabouts were unknown. One of these nobles was a follower of Aphrodite, and the goddess was consulted to confirm that none of these items were currently in the possession of their rightful owners. Each noble then named an acquisitionist to find these items, and the world wide scavenger hunt was started. Namfoodle states that he worked for the noble Lord Appledor of Kyramus, and that he managed to find the majority of the items. They were then stolen from him by a gnome named Wister Wobblewick, who was working for Lord George of Jawlt, which is how the collection came to be in the Lordholder’s Castle.

The High Priest of Ukko asks Namfoodle “Regarding the sphinx, when do either you or one of the other acquisitions obtain it?” The gnome replies “I found it 78 years ago, in the possession of a half-elf rogue name Laran Springstar.” The panel rules that Kindor therefore is declared the statue’s current owner, as his predecessor Lord George did not take it from the Egyptian temple. The hearing is concluded.

Serita tells Kindor “Nice of that gnome to testify about the scavenger hunt.” Kindor replies “Yes, that clears up any question of ownership. Wobblewick had offered to give the same testimony in exchange for one of the items. Namfoodle then offered to do it for free as vengeance against his long-time rival.”

After all of the guest depart the door to the room that the rhinoceros was in opens, and out walks a five-year old oriental boy in clothes that are way too big for him. The party all deduce that Hiroshi has consumed an Elixir of Youthfulness that they had given to him the prior year, to prolong his lifespan to one more equal to that of his dwarven wife. Serita says “You realize that you’ll now have to explain this to her.” Hiro answers “Su-Ming will understand. She’d rather have me in this form then dead, and now we don’t have to worry about any assassins finding me.” Serita suggests that maybe he should go stay with the girls serving as waitresses, who are over at the Twin Gods Church. Mojo interjects “Are you trying to torture the guy? He’s stuck in a body that won’t be able to have sex for another decade, and you want to surround him with beautiful young girls?”
 

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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #18 - 6/01/03

Chapter 55, “All I really want is a full night’s sleep!”, July 12th, 1019, 6:00 P.M.

The party continues the discussion of what to do with the now youthful Hiroshi. It is decided to keep him at the auction house. Mojo states “Well, if you aren’t going to send him over to be with the teenage girls why don’t you send me instead?” They decide it best to address Hiroshi by a different name and he suggests his wife’s family name of Ming. Mojo and Serita get into an argument about this situation being all her fault for wanting a hospital in the first place. Fiona mutters to Serita “Pay no attention. He’s just angry because the Queen is back with her husband.”

Since everyone has been up since 3:30 A.M. they decide to head to bed early. Narg assigns a pair of party members for two-hour watches along with the crew. The three potential ‘targets’ continue to share the same assigned rooms. Serita and Furynick take the first watch, along with an invisible Melito. Following the watch Melito traps the room that he and Serita are in. Serita has him sleep on a mat beneath his bed, rather than on it.

July 13th, 1019, 4:30 A.M.

Jamie and Fiona have been on the final watch rotation for about a half-hour. Jamie patrols the main room while Fiona has been strolling on the catwalk and 2nd floor hallway. Fiona’s cat familiar alerts her to an odd smell, coming from the direction of Serita’s room. Fiona tells a crewmember on the staircase landing to go get Jamie and wake up the others on the ground floor. She then walks up to the door begins pounding on it.

Serita awakens to see an odd sight as her infravision detects three slightly out-of-phase individuals standing in her room. Her magical scimitar is within reach, and she swings it, simultaneously filling the room with magical light from the weapon. The weapon swipes through the nearest one, but does no damage, as the semi-ethereal person hasn’t fully materialized yet.

All three men then become solid. They are human, and of oriental descent. The one beside her bed is a tall fully armored man with a heavy cloak, holding a wide curved sword. Another at the foot of her bed is attired only in martial arts clothing. The third is an average sized armored human holding a blow-gun to his mouth and pointing it at the empty bed. The man appears surprised that nobody is in that bed. Serita yells out a call of alarm at the top of her lungs, awaking most of the those still asleep in the building, but Melito surprisingly sleeps through it.

The tall man with the sword jabs it down into the bed as Serita rolls towards him, just missing the blade, and she then falls off the bed. She rolls under the bed, and crawls forward towards beneath the adjacent bed. Her attackers say something in a language which she recognizes as that of the Heian Empire (ancient Japan). The one dressed as a monk begins to lift the bed from the foot board. Serita then grabs the still sleeping Melito and activates her teleport ring.

Out in the hallway, Fiona is still alone but decides she needs to react to the scream. Using all of her 13 strength she decides to try to kick in the door. The diminutive half-elf wizardess succeeds, breaking the lock and kicking the wooden door open. In the process it moves a trip wire by the door, causing a balanced container of red paint to spill across her feet. She sees nobody in the room, although notices that Serita’s bed is pulled out into the room and the covers a mess, with a trip wire tied to that bed being broken. The room also has a very strong scent to it, which she identifies as a almond smell with a slight hint of autumn leaves.

The entire building is now awake. Narg sees that it is still dark outside, and yells “Damn it! Not again! All I really want is a good night’s sleep.” The whole building is checked. They opt not to activate the Greyhawk Lantern, thinking they might need its daily detection powers later for the auction. Narg and Mojo approach Fiona, who tells them that Serita and Melito appear to be gone. “How did the door get like this?” Narg asks. “I kicked it open,” she replies. Narg is very impressed, commenting “See, that kind of stuff is fun to do. You’ve got potential.” Mojo comment “Note to self. Don’t get Fiona ticked off, and I do see if there is a way to blame Narg.”

Narg says “If it was anybody except Serita I’d be worried. She probably teleported both her and Melito back to her home on the island.” Narg’s guess is actually incorrect, as she teleported them to Kindor’s private bedchamber. The Lordholder was startled by their sudden appearance, and is quickly apprised. Melito decides to remain at the Lordholder’s Castle, commenting that after attacks two nights in a row the auction house does not appear to be that safe. He adds “Besides, at least here I won’t have to sleep on the floor.” Serita replies “Hey, you’re still alive aren’t you? Next time try waking up.”

Serita kisses Kindor goodbye, saying she has to be getting back. Deciding to conserve on teleports and druidic transformations, she commandeers a horse from the Army and gallops the mile back to the auction house. The party relaxes once she returns and apprises them of what transpired. Hiroshi confirms that in his land the almond and dying leaves smell is consistent with a side effect of the local version of a Potion of Gaseous Form. Mojo comments “So there were three of them plus Melito. Tell me, exactly how many men do you need in your bedroom at night.” “I guess all roads lead to Serita” Furynick comments.

Ki-Geloryn stops by in the middle of the morning. He tells the party that during the night there was also another attack on the Llyr family. Apparently two assassin teams combined resources for a three pronged attack. The first attack lacked subtlety, consisting of fireballs being thrown into the Llyr’s rooms by a Wizard/Assassin team. Fortunately none of the Llyr’s were actually staying in those rooms. The next assassin team then attempted to infiltrate the building disguised as one of the city’s firefighting squadrons, but were recognized by the innkeeper as not being city residents. Another wizard/assassin then tried to enter during the confusion cloaked with invisibility and non-detection magic, but he was caught by a familiar of a mage staying at the inn. The Llyr family all survived, and none of the assassins survived.

There was one other incident last night, as a High Priest from the desert Kingdom of Ul Bakak was killed. He died in a different part of town than where the Pharaoh was staying, specifically in the ‘red light district’ in the southeastern outer city, where he was apparently pushed off the roof of a four-story building. “Hold on. What church did the guy belong to?” Narg asks. Ki tells him the priest was of the Egyptian Pantheon, to which Narg states “Well, then who the hell cares?” Mojo mutters “Note to self, sign Narg up for sensitivity training.” Narg replies “Well do you care? It’s not like it was Timothy who was shoved off the roof of a house of ill-repute.” Mojo says “That wouldn’t be a problem anyway. The only house of ill-repute Timothy would go to would be one for gnomes, so the roof would only be six-feet high.”
 

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 56, “The Return of Kulp’s Comfortable Castle”, July 13th, 1019, 2:30 P.M.

The party had spent the morning making final preparations for the auction, as Serita transformed into a pegasus to fly to the town of Gelorynth with Fiona as her rider. The Wizard Derieki completes the recharging of the Orb of Culp, and then gives both half-elvan women instruction as to how to activate it. He also explains how the key works, that turning it one-third will override the protection spell, another third will override the password, and the final third will shut down the Castle by removing the key. Serita teleports back to the auction house.

The group gets into a very lengthy discussion (taking over an hour of game time)[ about where to activate the castle, who to tell the password to, what password to use, and what protection spell to put on it. Narg gets impatient, stating that he wants his wife back. He has Jamie cook up a Hawaiian Pizza to give to her once the door is opened, saying “She’s been craving these during the whole pregnancy. She’ll want this more than anything.”

They decide to put the entrance in the side room at the bottom of the stairs and ten specific party members to tell the password to, but cannot agree on the password. Mojo suggests it should be something about killing King Matthan, but the party say that won’t work as phrase comes up too much in casual conversation. Lannon suggests “How about ‘Have you seen my copy of the Ukko Articles of Faith?’ Nobody would ever say that.” They eventually decide on the word “Baseball”, which people of this world would be unfamiliar with. They accept Fiona’s suggestion of making Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere the protection spell.
The door to the inter-dimensional castle is activated. Narg reminds the others “They’ve been trapped in there for over five days. Be prepared for anything.” The door to the great all is opened to reveal Ailsheir, Blake and Dennismore sitting in their underwear, drinking beer, eating pretzels and playing cards. Mojo looks around and comments “I’m surprised the room itself isn’t a lot messier.” Dennis answers “That’s only because it keeps magically cleaning itself.”

Blake sees the pizza in Narg’s hands and says “Great, you’ve brought more food.” “It’s for my wife, where is she?” he asks. “Bedroom around the hall,” Ailsheir answers. “She’s been in there with her lady friend for days now. I don’t know what they’re doing in there….but I can only imagine that..” Dennismore kicks the drow under the table to get him to shut up before he says something that Narg will kill him for uttering.

Jamie enters with food for everyone, which the three at the table all begin to consume. Furynick comments to the guys “A card game between a drow and two thieves? I guess that means that all of you are cheating.” Ailsheir answers “Yeah, we’ve found that trying to catch your opponents is actually more of a challenge than winning.”

Narg knocks on the bedroom door and Vallessa says “Come in.” He sees that she is busy talking to her former employee Florine, who she introduces to her husband. While she appears pleased to see her husband, she is even happier to see the pizza, and pulls it out of his hands and immediately starts to dig in. Florine tells Narg “This time together has given Vallessa and I an opportunity to catch up on what each of us has been doing for the past decade. Your wife also thought that it would be safer to keep me away from those other guys, as they were all rather upset about what my associate Wister had done. She was afraid that they might try taking their anger out on me.”

Jamie brings food down to Ebony, who is still in her room guarding the items, having never been told about the Castle’s disappearance. The players comment about how the items have probably been used as cat toys, and the old Steve Martin line “And you can’t return them because they’ve got cat spit all over them” is stated. Once those inside of the castle have all eaten a significant amount of food they leave the Castle. Florine is brought out to the barn to be guarded alongside her mentor Wister.

Other preparations for the auction are made. The waitresses are brought over from the Twin Gods church and assist Jamie and the crewmember cook Frenchie in preparing food and beverages for the dinner. The now visible hengeyokai Lee-May exits the Castle, assumes human form, and joins her half-sisters on waitress detail. Young ‘Ming’ also helps, being told to stick close to Jamie and act the part of a servant boy. An invisible Cassie is positioned to watch the goings on from the landing atop the stairs, where she can also keep a very close eye on her apprentice Hiroshi.

The Stealth Team is pulled back in, being transported in by Cassie’s owl inside of the Bag of Holding. Aradyn is pleased to see that the party’s three other archers are now freed from the castle, and positions the four of them in the catwalk along with the crewmembers. Blip and Fiona also take up concealed positions in the catwalk.

The Wall of Force Wand is used to erect an invisible wall from the door to the room with the items to the stage, to keep any guests from being able to get at the items. Blake, Dennismore and Lono are made invisible and each assigned a third of the room to patrol during the auction.
Mark takes charge outside the door, as Narg, Vincenzo and Timothy take up positions by the interior entrance as official greeters.

The first guests to arrive are the elves of Silvanost, followed by the orc chieftain Hargash and his entourage. Jaime makes sure that guests are given appetizers and beverages while they wait.


Approximately half the guests have arrived when Mark notices the appearance of a crimson-colored hawk swiftly flying at him. He recognizes it as being the bird companion of the Queen’s General Aaron, and opens the door for it, the following the bird inside. “What? Not asking it for a ticket?” a player comments. As the bird flies into the room Timothy does a quick aura check, and then nods his head up and down. Aradyn whispers down the line “Hold, it looks legit,” to the sixteen archers whose bows are all trained on the bird.

The hawk flies directly towards Serita, who holds her arm up for it to land. She speaks with it, the bird telling her that the royal family is under attack. Serita immediately yells out to the entire room “The Royals are under attack!” This creates a lot of commotion in the hall, with the auction guests all quite concerned. Kindor mutters “I need to teach her when to be more discreet.” Serita continues to translate what the bird is telling her, yelling out “The Queen’s carriage was tipped over. They are being shot at.”

The Silver Moon Adventurers all begin to mobilize with Serita now heading swiftly towards the front door. Narg looks to Kindor and yells out “Wait. This could just be a diversion. Most of us should remain here.” “I’m going,” Mojo emphatically states. “Me too” both Mark and Furynick say in unison. It is also obvious that Serita is not going to let be told to stay. Narg replies “Fine, you guys go,” and he also gestures to Vincenzo to accompany them. Timothy holds open up a Bag of Holding which the four men designated to go then climb into. Timothy then hands the bag to Serita. She hurries out to the street, instructs the hawk to take the lead, and transforms into a white dragon. The hawk and dragon both take to the air.
 

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #19 - 6/08/03

Chapter 57, “Will the real Serita please stand up”, July 13th, 1019, 6:30 P.M.

Serita flies after the hawk for a mile to the northeast, where she can see some thin pillars of smoke in the distance. They reach the point where the road from The Ancient Keep intersects the main southeastern road through the city. The royal carriage is lying on its side, the horses still hitched to it. The side door of the carriage is open, on what is now the roof, and General Aaron can be seen protectively looking out from it.

Serita notices General Teakas heading up the outer wall of an adjacent three story building by some sort of magical means. On the roof of that building are six bodies, three with white hot armor and the flesh afire, the other three with visible signs of puncture wounds. Bows are lying near each body.

She starts to descend towards the carriage when she spots two women moving out from the same building towards the carriage. One is the woman with dark clothing who she found four days ago and the other appears to be herself. She hands the bag to the hawk and points to the carriage, then heads directly towards the women. As soon as the women spot the dragon they turn and run into the alleyway beside the building.

Aaron’s hawk returns to its master, handing him the bag. He climbs down and empties the four members of the Silver Moon party from it, Vinnie being left inside due to a lack of room in the overturned carriage. Queen Jennifer stands wielding her longsword and protectively shielding her husband who is cowering in the corner. Mojo shakes his head in disgust, commenting “Gee Matthan. Same backbone as usual.” Aaron tells them that as they were turning onto the main road the left wheels fell off and the carriage fell on its side. They were initially attacked by arrows and bolts coming from the building to the right. He sent his bird to go get help and General Teakas went to deal directly with the attackers. The most recent attacks on the carriage were from a pair of fast-moving spears from the building to the left.

They decide that getting the Royals to safety is the top priority. Mark has the King and Queen get into the Bag of Holding, which allows enough room for Vincenzo to exit it. “Have the bird fly it back” Mojo instructs Aaron. He replies “No, they weren’t expecting my bird to fly away last time, and were only able to fire a few arrows after him. This time that is what they’ll be anticipating, and are probably waiting to shoot him down.”

Aaron then asks “Do any of you have invisibility?” Mojo says “I have a ring, but I doubt the bird can wear it.” Aaron answers “You use it. Put the bird and the bag under your arm and go.” Mojo complains, “Hey, I came here to fight, not play invisible linebacker.” Vincenzo says “You want the Queen to be safe, don’t you? Mojo reluctantly does as instructed, heading off across the street and down the alleyway to the left. He gives the bird the Bag of Holding and releases it. The hawk flies back in the direction of the auction house.

Meanwhile, Serita descends towards the two women, letting out a loud dragon screech to alert her allies as to where she it. As before, the woman with the swords drops to her knee in a defensive stance, crossing her hands behind her towards the sabers on her back, with a look challenging Serita to fly closer. Serita however ignores her, focusing upon her counterpart from the alternate reality, saying “Stop.” The counterpart looks at the dragon, and says in a venomous tone “You idiot. Why are you coming after us? We’re trying to save the Queen’s life from the assassins.” Serita answers “I don’t believe you.”

Back on the street, Mojo heard the dragon’s screech from the alleyway across the street. He invisibly hurries back the carriage and yells down to his allies “It sounds like Serita may be in trouble. Let’s go.” The others start to climb out.

Back in the alleyway, Serita’s counterpart looks up at the dragon and says “Believe what you’d like. This is all your fault to begin with.” “How do you figure that?” the dragon replies. The other Serita answers “I’m only working with them because of you. You’re the one working with the priests of Ukko and the Twin Gods. I’m only working with Loviatar to restore the balance that you have upset.” Serita replies “Bull****, this isn’t your world and you don’t belong here. If anyone has upset the balance it is you.” The woman replies “You idiot. While you are wasting your time with us the assassins are getting to the Queen!” The dragon replies “I’m not believing anything from anyone, including me, who is in league with Loviatar.”

Above on the roof, General Teakas has made her way over to the roofs edge and looks down upon the encounter. She is unable to ascertain who the actual enemy is, being even more confused by the Loviatar comment. The woman in dark clothing stands, and begins to walk further away. The dragon says “Don’t even think about it. I’m not in a very good mood.” The dragon then gestures to the other Serita and adds “And you already know what she is like when she’s in a bad mood.” The enemy Serita says “I don’t have time for this. Goodbye.” “Wrong answer” the dragon states, and flies in closer.

While this exchange between the Serita’s is taking place the other woman holds her arms out horizontally, and dark wings begin to form alongside the side of her body from her writs to ankles. The dragon dives at her to prevent this, the woman immediately collapsing her arms back to her sides, the wings dissipating. The dragon rake claws at the woman’s arms and face. The other Serita begins to move, and the dragon then flies back to where she can watch both of them. The now wounded woman now draws both of her magical sabers from the ‘X-shaped’ sheathes on her back and yells up at the dragon “Try that again” followed by an explicative.

Back in the carriage, there is an argument about what to do. Mojo tells them to get out, but they voice concern about become targets. Mojo says “Fine, if you want to cower here and pretend that you are the Queen go right ahead.” Mark answers “That’s easy for you to say, you’re invisible. Vincenzo decides to levitate up and out, only to be skewered through the arm by a swiftly moving spear from a third floor window across the street. He lowers himself down behind the carriage for cover. Mark follows, being hit in the chest by a similar spear, which despite the force that it hits barely penetrates his armor’s chest plate. Mark stands there dumbfounded, until Furynick yells up “Hey, you want some paint to put some red circles on that armor?” Mark takes the hint, and jumps down beside Vincenzo behind the carriage. Inside, Aaron and Furynick decide to create themselves a new exit from the carriage, using their swords to pry a hole in what had been once been it’s roof.

The standoff in the alley continues, with the two Serita’s verbal tennis match. The woman I the dark clothing tells her “It will be your fault that the Queen is dead.” The dragon replies “All taken care of. Did you think I came alone?” The woman in dark clothing again attempts break through the closed wooden shutters on an adjacent window in the building. The shutter breaks off. The dragon moves towards her, and the other Serita uses this opportunity to transform into an osprey, and flies quickly around the nearest corner. The dragon flies back up, but has now lost sight of the bird, which flew into open upper window in the building. A few minutes later those by the carriage see the osprey fly out of the building and across the street, towards the window that the spears had come from. Vincenzo tosses a Dispel Magic onto the bird, for no effect, and it enters the window.

The other woman now attempts to jump through the partially opened window, but gets stuck. The dragon dives at her again. The woman thrusts the sword in her left hand upward into the rapidly approaching dragon for 19 points of damage. Ignoring the pain and the sword stuck into her, the dragon closes her claws in on the woman’s arm and rakes the flesh, destroying the magical clothing in the process. “Scratch on pair of bat wings” the dragon states. She then flies up, pulling the woman by her mangled arm and intentionally dislocating it.

Back at the carriage they see the dragon fly out from the alley with the woman. Mojo comments “Hey, Serita is finally doing something useful. She’s picking up women.” Furynick mumbles “I hope she has one for me too.” The woman is up to a height of 15 feet, and begins to swing her remaining saber over with her other hand. Serita throws the woman downward with full force to prevent from being hit by the sword, the woman rapidly falling to the ground and landing very ungraciously.

While this is going on Teakas uses her magic to descend from the building, pointing her crossbow between the woman lying on the ground and the dragon. “Who are you?” she asks the dragon. “Serita,” the dragon answers. “Then who was that?” the dwarf asks. “Not me. She works for Loviatar, it’s a long story” the dragon replies. The woman on the ground begins to move. She sheathes her remaining sword onto her back, and begins to stand up, telling the dragon and General “I surrender.” “First smart thing you’ve said,” the dragon replies.

The woman staggers and leans against the building, saying “I think I’m going to pass out.” Serita replies “Yeah, why don’t I believe that?” also noticing that the woman now has her knees bent and the muscles in the arm are tightening against the wall. Serita ponders what the woman is doing, and then reminds herself that this woman used Boots of Leaping and Striding during the battle four nights ago. The woman then launches herself upward to escape, but Serita had anticipated that move and intercepts, grabbing the woman in midair with both dragon claws. Teakas also manages to fire a pair of crossbow bolts into the woman. Serita digs her claws in deeper, saying “I’ve had enough of you”, until the woman actually is on the verge of unconsciousness. She then flies back down to Teakas, who helps tie up the woman, and they then strip her of her possessions.
 
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Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 58, “Let the Auction Begin”, July 13th, 1019, 7:30 P.M.

It has been half-an-hour since the Aaron’s hawk arrived, handing the Bag of Holding to Timothy. The King and Queen were let out of the bag, with the Queen informing everyone of the attack against her husband, but not to worry as they are both now safe, and her three Generals and their allies will deal with the assassins in short order. The food and beverages continue to flow to keep the guests entertained while they wait. The waitresses are even told to suspend the “no substitutions” rule on the various oriental dishes being served.

Four horses ride up outside, and Aaron, Furynick, Mark and Narg enter the building. They announce that the assassins have all been defeated. They say that Serita and Teakas are currently bring the lone surviving assassin to jail, and should be along shortly. They quietly fill Narg in, telling him how all they found in the building the spears came out of was a chair bolted to the floor with a mechanical device attached to secure and pivot an oversized crossbow from. Narg says “So, they had planned for the assassination at that corner well in advance.” Mojo says “Looks like it. Did I mention that the building had been a book depository?” We think some other assassins may have been waiting on a nearby grassy knoll.” “I hope not, I hate gnolls,” Furynick comments. Thankfully the two women soon arrive, ending this conversation.

Narg and Kindor have decided it best to begin with the Sphinx in order to get the Pharaoh and his party out of the way. The item is brought out and the Pharaoh’s lead priest steps forward and authenticates it. The Pharaoh’s servants and guards bring forth containers of jewels, gems and coins, dumping them on the stage. Kindor announces “We’ve had some communication problems with this group, and they don’t quite understand the rules to an auction. The sphinx had a minimum bid price of 100,000 gold pieces. We had this treasure appraised in advance, and it is worth twice that amount.” He then very quickly says “I am inclined to just give it to them unless somebody wants to place a higher bid, seeing none, I declare the bidding closed.”

The items is given to the priest, who brings it to the Pharaoh. Another priest points his staff to the locked back doors, and they burst open. The Pharaoh and his entourage then depart. The Silver Moon Adventurers shut and bolt the door, with Narg commenting “Good riddance”.

Kindor now heads up to the stage, and announces that he will serve as the auctioneer. The rules to the auction are reiterated. Items are taken in ascending minimum bid order, starting with the
Pick Axe of Bold Edgar. The gnome Knevadah and the dwarven weapon collector Amerikus both begin an active volley. Narg whispers to Serita and Mojo “Why is the gnome bidding. His companion Namfoodle told him it was a fake.” “I think he’s just having some fun,” Serita comments. The weapon collector wins at 19,600 gold pieces. Next is the Puzzle Box of Abu Bin Sala, which the Puzzlemaster of the same name wins for the minimum bid amount.

The next item is the Axe of Drundarr, which soon reaches twice its minimum bid amount with active bidding by Amerikus, the dwarven King from Highforge, and the orc chieftain Hargash. Hargash drops out of the bidding, and Furynick tells him “Hey buddy, sorry you lost. Maybe you can go kill the winner bidder later.” Hargash answers “Why else do you think I was trying to get to meet them all.” The Highforge King wins it with a bid of 95,100 gold pieces.

The Blood Stone of Kryamus is the next item up, and a bidding war begins between the Duchess of Ladymist and the bronze dragons of Mourning Mist. As the bidding reaches 60,000 gold the dragon Katarensela tells the Duchess “Go as high as you want, you’re not getting the stone.” The Duchess calls her on this by announcing a bid of 100,000 gold pieces. Katarensela counter with 100,100 at which point the Duchess sits down. Serita whispers to Kindor “I think I’ll get marble staircases for the hospital.”

Katarensela states “We wish to pay and collect now,” and has her mate Ssiralkoth approach the stage. His wings have been closes up, and he opens one onto the stage, showering it with coins. He opens the other wing more cautiously, monitoring the falling of coins, and stopping when it reaches the desired amount. Serita hands him the large reddish-pink opaque stone. Rather then returning to his seat, he goes to the table of the Duchess. He then crushes the stone beneath his claws, the dust falling to the table below. From across the room Katarensela tells the shocked Duchess “You can tell your boss that the stone can never be used now to make her a lich.” Narg walks over to the dragon’s table and says “Hey Brasso, that was great. I’m glad you did that.”

The next item is the Gem of Tiaga. Baron Te’Col of Northern Tiaga stands, and makes the minimum bid of 40,000 gold pieces. There are no other bidders, but Kindor informs him that there is a sealed bid for the item. The Baron raises his bid to 45,000 gold. Kindor opens the sealed bid, and says “I’m sorry Baron, but this bid is higher.” “Then I will go above that,” the man states. “It does not work that way,” the Lordholder replies. The Baron’s halfling servant then stands on his chair, and loudly states “Give him the Stone!”

The room becomes silent, and the halfling then points his finger towards Kindor. A bright red bolt of both lightning and flame spewing forth from the small humanoid’s hand and arcs across the room. At the first sign of movement from the halfling Cassie activated the party’s Wand of Force, throwing up a barrier in front of the Lordholder. The Wall of Force is erected in the nick of time, the bolt deflecting off of it and back into auction hall, above the heads of several startled guests. The then halfling begins to rapidly grow and change form.

Nearly all of the archers in the balcony let arrows fly, the lone exception being Vallessa, who continues to watch the oriental gentleman at the corner table who is a known assassin. When the trouble had begun that man extracted some type of weapon from inside of his robe, and was now preparing to throw it, eyeing Melito. As the sight of over a dozen arrows flying out from concealed locations in the catwalk the man reconsiders, replacing the item back inside of his robe, and just sits back to watch.

The thing that had been in the form of the halfling continues to grow, its clothing popping off and its skin becoming a thick hide with a yellowish-green hue. Its eyes glow a deep red and it has sharply pointed ears. Several arrows bounce off it, and a few others penetrate for no discernable affect. Mark charges forward at the naked creature, which finally stops growing at height of 16 feet. Mark’s medallion, given to him last year by the Demigod Finder Wyvernspur, begins to glow. Cassie notices this. She correctly interprets this to mean the creature is a demon from the Abyss, yelling this information out to everyone present. Most of the Silver Moon Adventurers are now rushing to that section of the room.

Up in the catwalk, Blip switches to her +4 arrows and fires two perfect shots into the monster’s head. Mojo tosses his Hammer of Throwing into the creature for considerable damage, and Mark successfully stabs into its leg. Dennismore successfully backstabs the monster. The demon barely notices these attacks, reacting only as one would to annoying insects. Baron Te’Col yells out “Just give me the stone!” Serita grabs the stone from Kindor’s hand and teleports away. She arrives in the side room thirty feet distant, before the door to the inter-dimensional castle. She says the password, the door opens, and she runs inside with the gem.

The Demon continues to get hit with missile fire and weapons when he suddenly looks up, with a startled expression on his face. He reaches down and grabs Baron Te’Col, lifting the man into the air and pulling him forward so their faces are just inches apart. The Demon bellows “The stone is gone! You have lost, foolish immortal.” The Demon then plane shift away with the Baron. The room becomes silent, until Narg exclaims “What the hell happened here?”

The members of the adventuring party return to their seats, Dennismore joining the guards by the door. Serita returns from the side room. Kindor tells her “The aristocrat who put the winning bid in on that stone just bought it because she thought it looked pretty.” “We may want to warn her that a Demon is after it,” Serita replies. As Furynick returns to his seat the orc chieftain Hargash slaps him on the back, and says “You guys sure know how to provide great entertainment!”
 

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Chapter 59, “Going, Going, Gone”, July 13th, 1019, 8:45 P.M.

Kindor resumes the auction once things have calmed down, reminding everyone that there are still ten more items to sell. The next item is the Finder’s Stone Prototype, that the bards Deniana Songweaver and Greidawal Llyr both bid on. Greidawal it the high bidder at 65,000, but it is announced that there is also a sealed bid. Kindor reads the sealed bid, and announces that it is higher. He then has the bid brought over to Cassie. Cassie reads the note, which says “Kindor, High bid plus 100 gold, Thanks, Hiroshi.” She mutters “Why that little…..”

Lavender Mary’s Dress is next. There appears to be no interest in the item, until Serita places the minimum bid of 70,000 gold pieces. She wins, and Narg yells at her “Seventy grand for a dress! Are you nuts!” “It’s pretty,” she replies. He answers “It had damned well be at that pirce Seventy grand! Why if Vallessa ever spent that much on a dress..” “You’d still bite it off of her with your teeth,” Mojo interjects. Narg says “Well, yes, but I’d be very careful.” Mojo points out to Serita “Nobody else was bidding on it except you. If you hadn’t bought it it would have been kept by Kindor, who would have probably just given it to you.” Jennifer tells Mojo, “What difference does it make. The money is going for her hospital, so she can just give it back to herself as salary.”

The next item is the Ring of Fortune, which young Prince Edmin Drake is the high bidder of at 85,000 gold pieces. Lady Natasha’s Egg is next. Upon hearing the description of the ship inside the egg becoming a full sized ship Narg becomes interested. Serita chides him “You yell at me for buying a dress, but will pay more than that for an egg?” “But it turns into a ship!” he states. Mojo says “Narg, we already own three ships.” The item sells for the minimum bid price of 80,000 to Laughlin of Lendore Island. The Pendant of Kovuz’d goes for the same minimum bid amount to the King of Highforge. There are no bids for the Sage’s Stone, so Serita brings it back to the interdimensional castle.

The Cloudland’s Pendant is next. There is a bid of 105,000 gold pieces for it from Prince Taran of Greenvale, but he is outbid by a sealed bid of 130,000 gold pieces from Cassie. “Geez, you paid that much just for a silver necklace?” Narg comments to her. “I have my reasons. The pendant once belonged to the predecessors of the Cloudriders. I will need it if I ever decide to contact my mother’s people again.” [DM’s Note: I was very happy to hear this. The player had been the DM for two previous ‘Origin of Cassie’ modules, so it sounds like a trilogy is in the works.]

The Ring of Gaeldor is the next item up, and a heated competition erupts between the elves from Silanost and Brondani for the item. Silvanost eventually wins with a bid of 149,900 gold pieces. Moradin’s Maul is next, with heated competition between the Highforge King and Amerikus, with the King eventually winning with a bid of 141,100 gold pieces.

The final item is the Stone of Llyr. Kindor announces that since there has been no agreement about the sharing of the items between the three groups it will be sold rather than given to them. As expected, all three elvan groups actively engage in the bidding, with the first to drop out being the elves of Mengale at 213,000 gold pieces. The bidding continues to go higher and higher between Queen Vanya of Silvanost and Grediwal Llyr of Brondani. Several people comment surprise when the biding hits a half-million gold pieces. It takes another half hour to reach three-quarters of a million. Silvanost finally wins it for the grand sum of 787,000 gold.

“Wow Serita exclaims. Mojo whispers over “Hey, we still have that duplicate of it. Let’s put that one up for bid too and see what we can get!” Serita replies “I think telling them that we have another one would probably cause trouble.” Melito gives Kindor the summary total, which comes to over two million gold pieces.

Kindor declares the auction completed, and the rear doors to the building are opened. Kindor tells Colonel Tenbar “Well, that went pretty smooth once that demon was gone. I was expecting more trouble.” “And you’ve got it,” the Army Commander says “You remember that dessert group who got the sphinx?” “Didn’t they leave?” he asks. Tenbar replies “Yes, they plane shifted away once they were out of the building. But that 75 foot long scorpion they rode in on is still in the parking lot.”

Cassie, Kindor, Mojo, Narg and Serita hurry outside and confirm this. Cassie tosses a Dispel Magic onto the monster to see if it has any effect. This causes the magically enlarged creature to reduce in size, with it stopping at the 7-foot long length of giant scorpion. Serita decides that she wants to keep it. “It’s a big bug! You want a big bug for a pet?” Mojo exclaims. She points out that it can be milked for its venom. “I don’t even want to think about that,” Narg exclaims, and heads back into the building shaking his head. Mojo turns to Cassie and says “And I suppose you want to dissect it?” She answers “Not anymore. It’s just a common variety giant scorpion. When it was bigger I thought it was actually something unique.” Mojo interjects "Sure, it's common, we all keep man-sized bugs lying around."
 

Silver Moon

Adventurer
Game #20 - 6/15/03

Chapter 60, “The guests who stayed behind”, July 13th, 1019, 9:30 P.M.

Serita instructs a group of soldiers to corral the scorpion into a stall inside the barn, and then follows the others back into the auction house. Most of the guests have departed, but those from Autzvourg, Brondani, Eldamar City, Kalephornyah and Pirna remain.

The gnome Knevadah approaches them, and asks again about their knowledge of his long lost father Jeremiah. Serita is starting to feel guilty about keeping this information from him, so decides to finally tell him “Yes, we know your father.” “He is a member of our group” Timothy states. The young gnome Jeremiah III interjects “Really! So my Grandpa is a brave hero like my father.” Mojo interjects “I imagine so,” glancing at the well dressed Knevadah, “I doubt either of them are very heroic.” Narg says “Listen kid. Your Grandpa runs the tavern on our island. He gives me drinks whenever I want them, so that makes him a hero to me.”

Knevadah says “Well, tell him that I am sorry that I missed him.” Mojo states “Well, you can come visit him…” Narg cuts him off, “Dummy up Stupid,” and switching to elegant language known as Pig Latin then says “We have enough gnomes on the island as it is.” The gnomes depart.

Lord Thomas Khorram attempts to make his way over to where Queen Jennifer and King Matthan are. Serita and Narg stop him, and he protests, stating that Matthan owes him money and he needs to speak to the King. Mojo and Narg begin to show the man to the door, until the Queen calls out “Let him go. We’ll talk to him.” The party follows the man over to the table with the royally. Lord Kindor also makes his way over.

Khorram starts talking about how Matthan owes him money. The Queen interrupts the Lord, saying “Yes, I know all about it. Matthan will be moving to my palace, so here’s the deal we are prepared to make. In exchange for that debt we will give you the deed to the Royal Palace in Pirna, and all of its furnishings.” He contemplates that, and then begins to object, saying he loaned the King over a million gold pieces, which is far more than the building is worth. The Queen counter with “Lord Khorram, you are the one who wishes to be accepted by Pirna society. What is more acceptable than owning the most prestigious building in the city. Besides, your present social standing is linked to your wife’s family, and I believe that is about to change.”

Kindor takes that as a cue and says “Lord Khorram, I regret to inform you that Lady Antoinette Khorram has been found guilty of participating in a treasonous plot to assassinate the King and Queen. She has been sentenced to be executed.” Lord Khorram does not appear to be shocked by the statement, and a few members of the party even detect a slight grin, which he then suppresses. Jennifer states “Lord Khorram, we have no reason to believe that you were involved with her schemes, especially given that you had a financial interest in Matthan remaining alive. However, if you were to be named as your wife’s accomplice, and share her fate, is there anyone on this continent who would actually doubt it?”

Khorram ponders that and then says “I have reconsidered your prior offer. The exchange of the castle to cancel the debt is acceptable.” He quickly exits the building. Furynick says to Vincenzo “Remind me not to invite her to join our poker night.” Vinnie answers “Yeah, she would end up owning the island.” Serita comments to her “So you decided to just give that scum bucket the castle and everything in it?” She answers, “Well, I would no longer feel safe using the building myself, given that the High Priestess Pamela assisted with its original construction. And I’m afraid Lord Khorram won’t find very much for contents, as Aldorn’s wizard daughter has made a great many trips there during the past few days, moving anything of real value to my castle in Karjjil Valley.”

Narg gestures to Matthan and says to the Queen “So you’re actually taking this guy back?” Mojo says “Not if I have anything to say about it.” “You don’t, General Mojo,” the Queen emphatically states. Lannon mutters to Mark “I don’t think Mojo wants another horse kicking in his stall.” She tells Narg “Instead of Matthan ruling two Lordholdings and me the other, it will probably work better now for us to consolidate the management of all three. He’s also a good father to our son.” Narg says “Yeah, that Matthew’s a real good kid. Throws a pretty good curve ball, and isn’t a bad hitter either. He’ll be the clean up hitter for the Silver Moon Softball Team.” “What is he talking about?” Matthan asks. “Never mind,” Jennifer states.

Ki-Geloryn offers to transport the King and Queen back to the Ancient Keep in his carriage. They depart along with Generals Teakas and Aaron. Serita comments “It looks like Matthan now has a new puppet master.” “Yeah, and finally one who we like,” Narg states. He then looks to Mojo and says “Don’t worry. You know she’s only attracted to elves.” Mojo says “Yeah, well I’d better not hear that she’s cheating on me with her husband.”

The four guests from Autzvourg have also stayed behind, as the two good-aligned High Priests ask about the Gem of Tiaga, and will offer to help the party determine exactly what it is. Serita gets the gem, which they identify as currently housing a soul. The other priest determines that the soul has been trapped in the gem for approximately 1,100 years. The party concludes that the soul probably belongs to Baron Te’Col, and that the demon was who had entrapped it. Kindor decides to not give the gem to the aristocrat who one it, and to give her the duplicate instead for no charge.

The last people in the room are the Llyr family. The party head over to their table, and Narg asks, “Is there something further that we can do for you?” Grediwal Llyr states “Actually, there are a few things that we can do for you.” The Silver Moon pull up chairs, and ask for him to continue.
 
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