ZEITGEIST The affirmative action racial recruitment team of the RHC

The Summary for today is that the Nock Gun can be impressively deadly when a goblin in a steam suit uses it , Saxby , the Elder thing and an random Ob assassin all felt the hail of lead
Some people apply a lot of data analysis to Ob Rings. I got this as part of a discussion between players via email. The pictures are missing...

The question being: why have a third word at all, when you could just as easily have a phrase of two words with only OB? And four words, well you’d probably begin to run out of space on the inside of a ring…
Or if some had two words, some had three and some more, well, we haven’t seen that either…

An OB ring could have some way of showing rings (without fear of eavesdroppers) that displays enough info for two people who have never met, to know:
- who they work for (ring, first 2 words if checking)
- which subset they work for (colour)
- rank (third word), so a boss of one colour could still order a longer word-three of a different colour about if temporarily necessary
- plus you could promote people if they have conspired for long enough and get a new phrase (ok that one is pure speculation)

I do maths, I spot patterns quite well (and agreed, sometimes where there are none), but this has a significance to it that is well above background ….

Having come across several logic puzzles where you sub in the length of the word before, that’s what led me to it when I noticed the bosses third words were BOTH shorter than their respective employees, to the Same Amount. (by stacking the boss on top)

…that’s only a 25% chance of happening randomly with Any random Word (subbing in L and S for an unknown Long or Short word: LL/SS, LS/LS, SL/SL, SS/LL ), and lower % as we only have words of length 4 and 5 in word-slot three, but that chance of it being random could get a lot lower the next time we spot a ring… added to this is the first two words of each inscription have a wider range of letters:
MacB “8,5,4.”
Saxby.. “11,6,5.”
Bergeron.. “3,8,4”
Finona. . “8,5,5.”
as far as we know, Finona didn’t work for MacB at all (or Saxby for Berg: note ring colour): yes one 8,5 could be coincidence, but the 4,5 / 4,5 is less statistically likely to be random due to the narrower range…

Eg: Consider the magic square below. Note that its rows, columns and diagonals each add up to the magic constant 45. What else about it is interesting?

When each number in the original square is replaced by the number of letters in its name - known as its logorhythm - we get a new square. There are four letters in "five", nine letters in "twenty-two", eight letters in "eighteen" and so on.

Amazingly, this too is magic, with magic constant 21. Even better, its entries are consecutive numbers. Subtracting 2 all around yields the classic lu shi magic square, with constant 15, known to the ancient Chinese
Play started with the Team in the cells recovering after Xambria's escape.
After a quick discussion they headed up for the evidence room to make sure Xambria/Sijhen did not get anything from there and to grab whatever they could to help them. As Nevla, Padme and Manuel headed into the evidence room El Kevin and Ulvaar engaged several Spikers and a flashing orb before being attacked in the back by two assassins and shortly later the other four assassins arrived behind the monsters. Nevlar grabbed the ancient two handed sword and along with Padme headed upstairs to rescue Drelft in the first bout of transparancy. Manuel spent several rounds donning the steam suit , Manuel joined the fight against the assassins and monsters just in time blowing away the leading assassin with a full salvo from the Nock gun, nearly falling down the stairs from the recoil. At the end of the fight downstairs El Kevin and Ulvaar were on single digit hp and spent the rest of the fight moving slowly towards the action upstairs and swigging down potions of cure light wounds.

Upstairs Nevla and Padme quickly dispatched the worm maw and 4 implanters before spending several rounds talking down Drelft eventually they succeeded and he set of to rally the RHC While Nevla and Padme headed towards the office of Saxby where they saw Xambria/Sijhen looting the safe before escaping through the floor and turning invisible. They moved to arrest Saxby in a nasty sword fight before the late arriving Manuel put 6 barrels of a Nock gun into her using his amazing goblin ability to do subdual damage with bullets, Saxby soon went down and was being cuffed as El Kevin and Ulvaar arrived. In the next transparancy they noticed the lanterns in the subway tunnel and got as close as they could. They spent the gap before the next transparency period using wands of CLW and potions of CLW to get people up to strength then rushed to the tunnel.

Sijhen tried to talk them out of attacking him but they ignored him and started up both trains driving them towards the seal with Manuel and El Kevin driving trains Ulvaar , Nevla and Padme attacked Xambria/Sijhen who decided to unleash the Elder thing. Fierce fighting followed leaving El Kevin dazed in the train as it plowed into the wall the impact nearly killed him (Hero point spend saved him) , the Elder thing survived the train crash but not having a Nock gun emptied into it . Xambria/Sijhen fought on and took a fatal stab from Nevla , the thought form of Sijhen fled into the portal as a wave of Nem energy swept out of the portal wrecking the room and destroying Xambria's body. Xambria's spirit fled into Nevla.

The session ended with a quick discussion about the planned train trip they think that Manuel will be a rich Goblin philanthropist travelling with a Kobold Butler, Dwarf Bodyguard, Eladrin Archaeology consultant and Half elf Factotum. They could not think of a practical way to disguise the Goblin or Kobold as anything else for a long period of time
No 'two small creatures in a trenchcoat' disguise? Probably for the best.

It's weird. Like, if Captain Planet's planeteers were real and kept saving people, they'd probably make the news, and since it was the 90s, if you ever saw a multi-ethnic group like that, you would at least wonder, "Hey, are those the planeteers?"

But I suppose newspapers aren't as fast to deliver tales of Flint to the Avery Coast. A goblin philanthropist will be weird, but not impossible to accept. Heck, I almost wish I'd put this group in as a real group of passengers, because they would be fascinating to interact with.
From the moment they designed their characters I knew coming up with a cover for this train journey was going to be interesting. It is made worse because the dwarf, goblin and Kobold have no noticeable social skills.

This is only their preliminary plan I have no doubt that at some point in the planning or when they want to sneak around an enclave we will see a return either of the Goblin standing on the Kobold or stilts appearing.

I figure the group are fairly well known in Flint and to the Ob agents working around Flint but in general are not going to be known to the average Danoran custom official or the low grade Ob agents on the train. Now I think about it adding some tourists from Flint who do recognize them could be fun. I think that is a few more passengers a family where the kids recognise their heroes but the parents are certain it's not them
"Look Mummy it's Bat Manuel, can we ask him if he'll let us ride on Roger'
"No dear it's just some other silly Goblin , look he has a monocle Manuel does not wear a monocle"
I am sure I remember from somewhere a reference to an Ob spy at the Battalion academy who has been recruiting people . roughly equivalent to SAxby who commits suicide sometime after Saxby is uncovered and the stat of book 6 but after looking yesterday I can find no reference to it. It is the sort of thing my pc's are looking for so I want to make sure I don't miss it out unless it is my imagination


I am sure I remember from somewhere a reference to an Ob spy at the Battalion academy who has been recruiting people . roughly equivalent to SAxby who commits suicide sometime after Saxby is uncovered and the stat of book 6 but after looking yesterday I can find no reference to it. It is the sort of thing my pc's are looking for so I want to make sure I don't miss it out unless it is my imagination
p.404 of compilation Act I, it's in adventure 5:
[sblock]How does one end up working in the Bleak Gate for a mysterious conspiracy? Most of the people here are patriotic soldiers and engineers, recruited with the promise of a chance to serve their country. In the aftermath of the adventure, the party might track down the head recruiter, one Colonel Greg Masterson, at the Battalion military academy. As soon as he gets word of the catastrophe at Cauldron Hill, though, he goes out into the bayou and blows his brains out. He reported to Roland Stanfield, and does not want anyone to discover Stanfield’s involvement, not even by interrogating his corpse.[/sblock]

Where are the spoiler tags when they're needed?
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This session was spent preparing for the train journey.
The group met with Drelft and took his idea of secrecy to heart their aim is to tell no one except Drelft in the RHC anything until the last possible moment. The players set out to prepare thoroughly for this noting down the list of actions they could take and the skills everyone possessed they were aware that several skills are only possessed by one character and that Ulvaar has almost no useful skills for this except sense motive.
The characters then discussed their plans and decided that their cover was that they were going to find and investigate another Ziggurat for this they would check all of Xambria and Caius's records as well as study at the university library so Know(History) was added to the useful skills the other method they decided to use was to carry out as many of their actions as possible by secretly arranging things with people by stealth here Manuel came into his own as Bat Manuel is the master of the night (stealth +19) and could not fail. They eventually decided on a Ziggurat located on an island off the far coast of Ber , as far as they know there is no such Ziggurat but it was a nice long boat journey and would explain their absence. Here Bat manuel and his cunning dealings with Morgan Cippriano came in , their RHC ship will set off for this mythical ziggurat and under cover of darkness will be met by a familias smuggling ship and the constables will transfer to that for the journey to Danor.
Preparing their cover involved much discussion about if Nevla would attemtp to pretend to be Finona Duvall, no final solution was agreed but she will be weraing a hat of Disguise making her look like herself which may persuade someone that she is the tiefling disguised as an elf. Manuel will be a rich goblin philanthropist with an archeological fixation travelling to investigate eladrin ruins, his Major Domo will be the Kobold El Kevin who decided that the title of Butler was both too dangerous and not majestic enough and he lacked the goatee to be a vizier. Ulvaar will be the bodyguard to explain his heavy armour , Nevla is the hired archeologist a disguise aided by the fact she is sharing with Xambria and has a bullwhip the mark of a committed expert archeologist, finaly Padme will be the fixer responsible for arranging things to suit everyone. They secured their papers and prepared their disguises and shortly were ready to travel.

This took them about 15 of their 35 attempts to prepare things as they rolled fairly well and had carefully selected the skill checks to match their talants so they went to town preparing for the journey.
With the help of Mr Cippriano assorted teams of cousins were tipped off to be ready to assist in Drakr and Crissilyr , then with the help of the university letters were sent to arrange wizards prepared to assist with sending and teleportation in the same towns. Nevla was able to arrange to get Familias agents onto the train as a guard and a cleaner while working through the Vekeshi to get teleportation support and some helpers in Nalaam.

FInally with Dreflt they arranged for back up in Vendricce, two of the constables form the B team will be sent by ship to pick up a prisoner for extradition from Ber however en-route a sending will tell them to open sealed orders diverting the ship at short notice to Vendricce so the 2 constables and the RHC ship as well as their smuggling ship will be available to support any operations there. They also arranged access to RHC secret funds to support the operation them moved them out of the RHC accounts into Familias accounts (for a 5% handling fee) and so have access to untraceable money in the various cities. They are going to end up owing the famileas a debt but think this is more important

As long as the Ob has not infiltrated the famileas they think they are secure and expect that even in the Ob do have agents in the famileas those agents will not be looking for the constables activities.

They are going to get to Danor clean as the Ob are not looking for them yet expecting them to be searching an island for a Ziggurat and I think a team from Gold cell will have been dispatched to get to the island first and try to obtain anything useful before the constables can arrive
Nevla is somewhat stressed about going back to Danor as she escaped from Danoran slavery. I expect that once they discover Eleanor she will be doomed , further I expect her family and their operation to have their names and addresses shared with the Vekeshi and Asreby to ensure they meet an unpleasant end.

Also thanks Hirou for finding that for me it had been driving me mad that I could not find the reference
it has just been revealed that 'Bat' Manuel will be travelling as Bruce Wayne, while El Kevin will be Alfred. They know fear killer clowns , I just have to work out where to fit in at least some clowns even if they are not killer clowns
The group starts of in Beaumont with a day and a half of sight seeing . They do not do anything significant but check to see if they are being followed while visiting tourist sites , an opera and a Burlesque show . El Kevin AKA Aelfred is puzzled by the mammalian fascination of the Burlesque show, Eggs are simpler.

They turn up early for the train and are pleased to see that any racial prejudice of the Danorans is covered for by their prejudice in favour of high paying customers. Most of them retire to the 1st class lounge for breakfast and observation of customers. Ulvaars Lighting weasel who is a growing student of arhitecture and similar knowledge's is impressed by the train and the stadium. They notice Bree and the Griento's and speak with them briefly. They don't take any real note of Bree and are fairly certain that the Griento's are on a family holiday but don't rule out them also having some undercover plan. Nevla as an architect and historian wonders the impressive station looking at the crowd she notices one interesting passanger Leonardo Villeneuve a Deva who smokes and has a persistant cough(Red Herring intorduced by me a Deva painter whose current incarnation is dying of lung cancer and is planning to travel to the sire of Ssramma's death to see and paint it before his reincarnation) he gets into the 2nd class passanger area.

Nevla joins the others for breakfast and after a small scene were the Griento kids are freaked out by Bree the train departs , nothing much happens until more people get on the train. At the next stop they notice Boone and Tantalovich getting on the train , Ulvaar notices the dwarf is deliberatly avoiding Boone which they note as suspicous they also find the choking death suspicous but do not follow up, although they will later get a note about it from their agents on the train. They also notice Elanor and Isobel getting on the train , Isobels masking from the outside inspires a fit of paranoia and Nevla and Manuel both go into their cabins to cast Detect magic and Detect Undead respectivly before coming out and looking over the two , they notice Eleanor has similar magic gear to that they would expect of a pc sorceror and that neither is undead.
Nevla talks to Eleanor and is able to draw her out into gossip about fashion and magic often combined, Eleanor evlauates Nevla as potential aquisition but concluded it would be too much trouble unless a really good oportunity presents itself. Nevla decides that Eleanor is a nasty self centered person and notices the tunes Isobel is humming are traditional Eladrin melodies. She leaps to the conclusion that Eleanor is a slaver selling Isobel and decides that she needs to kill Eleanor and rescue Isobel at the earliest opportunity the team decides that doing anything in Danor is a bad idea but put Eleanor on their watch list. They also conclude that if all else fails Asraby Varel would be very interested in Eleanors name and address as even if he is too busy himself he probably knows people who would happily murder her and rescue any Eladrin.

The train arrives in Cherage without any violence. The team is paranoid that while in their seats someone will sneak something on or off the train and so try to lurk around as much as possible to see what is going on. They all go to the Hotel where Ulvaar is deployed to guard their suite while El Kevin who is very stealthy and Manuel is is so stealthy he cannot even see himself sometimes (small, goblin racial bonuses, high dex , maxed skill and magic items) sneak out dressed in black to skulk on rooftops and own the night. Padme and Nevla take refeshments in the lobby to watch what is going on and communiate with the masters of the night about who should be followed.
They notice Tantalovich lurking in the lobby and wonder about his dice fixation , they do consider it may be divination magic. Tantalovitch does notice them but they do not seem to be doing much suspicous. When Eleanor and Isobel come down El Kevin is detached to follow them and trails them out of the enclave and to a rich house he does not attempt to spy but makes sure he can identify the house so they can determine who owns it when they have access to the RHC records. Nobody see's him.
Boone comes down flirts with Nevla and Padme who agree to meet him for a drink in the bar later but need to freshen up first. He laughs and leaves as he does so Bat Manuel master of the night silently follows him with a stealth roll so high that nothing will see him. Boone picks up a girl and goes to the bar, not long after he arrives there so do Padme and Nevla , Bat Manuel is one with the night on a rooftop. As Boone is with another girl Nevla and Padme use it as an excuse to have one drink and then move elsewhere in the bar and sip drinks while watching Boone and when they arrive Tantalovich and Bree.
When Boone leaves Manuel silently shadows him noticing him departing the enclave and setting up to watch him, being somewhat embarrassed by being a voyeur he mainly watched the entrances to the alley when he see's Bree walking past. He is uncertain of a link but thinking he knows what Boone is up to he follows Bree instead until she catches a carriage then overcome by his daring and reckless character he uses his impressive acribatics and stealth to hide under the carriage, he thinks better of this several blocks later when he realises he is heading into the heart of the government district and no doubt competent guards who may search the carriage and see him. He rolls out from under the carriage at a corner and escapes into the shadows and a long walk back to the enclave. However he is know very suspicous of Bree.
Padme and Nevla take a quite dinner before returning to the hotel where they encounter the Griento's and local thugs using tact diplomacy , flattery and money for drinks they disperse the mob without incident. Which is good for the mob as even without weapons they would have faired poorly against the constables and even worse if magic or weapons had been used. The Grientos are greatful and Nevla truns it into an opportunity to talk to the parents for a while and becomes certain that they are what they say they are but that maybe there is more to the reason for the husbands journey than he is saying, she does not push
They also see Mr Mapple fleeing down the street and learn of his adventures in bathing, they conclude he is probably some sort of high level monk Hobo. The players expect he will turn up on the train.

In the morning many people board the train Carlisle Hengecliff draws their attention as some sort of Bond type agent or a red herring, The take note of Luc Jierre and his oracle escort and consider them highly interesting.
Also attrating their attention are
Helga Everfaithful Crissilyian church knight in full armour (red herring returning from guarding the embassy/temple in Cherage)
Emilo Rosa a Crissylian Cheese and wine merchant carrying wine from the steelshapers estate (Red Herring)
Jared Danzinger and Aminda Danzinger a Young tiefling with an eladrin female on a leash (Actually they are a young couple in love fleeing from his family with stolen gold and are just trying to fit in to Danoran expectations to avoid trouble until they can escape , another red herring) the players wander what the hell all these Danorans and their eladrin fixation are up to. Nevla is very unhappy with the appearance of them
The Simpson family of Risuri tourists learnogn about he new steam technology as Whomer has just got a job in the up and coming industrialist Mr Burns new factory as a Steam boiler supervisor. Their young son Batholemew is convinced that the goblin is really BAT MANUEL of the RHC from the penny dreadful comicbooks, his mother tells him not be silly and to stop bothering the nice man. Manuel winks at him

And the session ends, next week half the players are on summer holidays so we break and when we return El Kevins player will miss two more sessions
When setting up we did have the problem that the train is about 2 and a half times as long as our available floor space when all carriages are printed out and lined up

The train leaves cherage and heads out across the river leading up to Methia the team is in their cabin resting after their nightly exertions and planning the days investigations. Then Nevla collapses and seen on her body are the signs of a viscous beating which fade away rapidly and her body is briefly sheathed in golden flame. Everyone is puzzled Padme is quickly despatched to check on the two other Eladrin on the train while Isobel is not to be seen Aminda Danzinger seems to be perfectly fine. No explanation is decided on.

(As the reincarnation of Kasavarina's daughter, her spirit had a flashback to when she was tortured and became Ssrama before dieing as it passed so close to Mathia)

There was a discussion about if they would use the Ob ring and it was decided that Manuel also has a gold ring with the label 'One Bat Goblin' and therefeore El Kevin must have a rink with the label 'One Becomes Drake' Nevla argued they should use a 5 character word and so Dragon was ruled out.

While on the train Nevla decided to investigate Jared and Aminda Danzinger more closely she followed them into the second class food compartment and observed them together with a keen eye for judging emotions she rapidly began to suspect that Aminda was not a slave and then in discussion with the others she and Manuel decided that this was a Romeo and Juliet couple so they should make sure there was no poison around. The Lighnting weasel was able to remember from its extensive reading that the Danzinger family was one of the big Important Tiefling families and a marriage between one of their scions and a former eladrin slave would be a social catastrophe. Combining this with the heavy bag the couple would not be seperated from was considered proof they were runaways.

Nevla walked into their compartment in second class when the painter Leonardo Villeneuve was away and basically confronted them , explained that she totally sympathized with them and could help. They beleived her and confirmed that they were a couple of runaway young lovers, she told them that she could arrange to put them on a ship to Risur in Orithea and provided them letters of intorduction to Gale and the RHC, Once in Orithea she contacted their Familias contacts there and had the couple smuggled off to Risur.
(These were 2 red herrings I put in the plot as is the painter)
They were asked about the chainsmoking Leonardo Villeneuve and it was confirmed he was an artist and he claimed to be on his way to the sight of Ssrama's death to see and paint it before he died of lung disease. He was still checked with Detect undead by Manuel for a negative but they are still unsure if the possessing chainsmoker is running him
(He is not he is a genuine red herring)

A brief conversation with Luc and Ottavia was held but no conclusions reached and Nevla arranged to have a few arguements with Manuel around the train to reveal she was Finnona and only working for the Goblin because her first patron Caius had died.

(Bree heard this and was going to consult with Luc before contacting Nevla/Finnona)

While inspecting the engine El Kevin used detect undead and Ulvaar detect bleak gate energy and found a 'strong' undead in the 4th cargo car.

During the brief safari El Kevins excellent jusgment revealed that Bree, Cardiff and Boone were as good a shots as the pc's and that Boone has Pistelero gunslinger training

Mr Mappel emerged from cargo car 4 and is now suspected to be a really well disguised vampire, frankensteins monster or some form of Juju Zombie.

(In the end I decided that the living construct Mr Mapple should probably show up on detect undead )

The train arrived in Orithea and the party decided who to follow. First Nevla went to the night market to arrange passage for the Danzingers and supposedly find historic trash for Manuel aka Bruce Wayne.
Padme was deployed to follow Bree
El Kevin would follow Cardiff Hengehill
Manuel would follow Boone
Nevla would follow Eleanor

Ulvaar who is as subtle and stealthy as a dinosaur would guard their rooms and make sure no one noticed everyone was out sneaking

Padme followed Bree succefully around town to the Effervescent Cup Inn and then down to the docks were she saw her hire some dockers then return to the hotel after watching the Aurora and some carriages.
El Kevin lost Cardiff who carried out a series of anti-shadowing exercises and lost him , he returned to the hotel in time to be retasked with following Verzuback who was tracked to the effervescent cup
(Verzuback had seen Padme follow Bree so Bree did not try to join up with Luc and Ottavia after arranging their security)
Manuel followed boon to the effervescent cup and then to the Inn with his girlfreind being paranoid he stayed and watched the inn seeing Boone emerge and pick up a prostitute he nearly gave up in disgust convinced the man was a nymphomaniac but was professional and so saw Boone kill the prostitute and feed her blood to his gun. If he had not been so suprised he would have shot Boone before he could make the kill but as she was already dead he decided not to blow his cover.

At this point the team decided that Boone, Verzuback and Bree were working together and Boone was a serial killer who needed to be taken down. They plan on having him dealt with by Nevla's vekeshi contacts in Naalem, before that they plan to give him food poisoning in Trekholm so he cannot kill anyone although they suspect the Trekholm law enforcement would deter him anyway. They don't know if the others know Boone is a serial killer.

They wrote off the sea burning and flames turning to water as local weirdness.

Padme following Eleanor saw a confrontation where Mr mapple read poetry to Isobel tried to move her veil was threatend by Eleanor but grabbed her and stopped her casting spells before fleeing when she called the guards. Padme went to the train station to look for him but they missed each other in the dark. Ulvaar did see him break into Eleanors room steal her money and have a bath (he sent the lightning weasel to look after hearing movement, it is stealth being so small)

The session ended as the train prepared to leave for trekholm
My players seem to have a total lack of interest in Luc Jierre and Ottavia , their current speculation about Bree/Verzuback/Boone

I now have the idea that Boone is some noble who’s indulging in his murder spree, and Bree and Verzuback are his escorts/bodyguards/making-sure-he-doesn’t-go-utterly-nuts-minders. They’re out scoping the area for him, making sure everything’s alright, clearing up the mess behind him, bribing people etc. May be completely wrong of course!
As the train departed Orithea Manuel , El Kevin and Ulvaar took up position on the roof to go safari shooting while Padme sneakily went through Bree's stuff in her cabin without finding anything while Padme made sure no one crept up on Padme. They had some other ideas for the morning but were interupted by the train screeching to a halt and the Screaming Malice attacking.
El Kevin, Manuel and Ulvaar moved forward across the roof along with Cardiff and the guards, they noted that Bree and Boone moved to guard Luc and Ottavia and finally noticed that Luc and Ottavia must be working with them. The players became sidetracked going back over their notes on everyone's nocturnal activities and decided that yesterday Bree and the others were covering for Ottavia and Luc , they resolve to put Bat Manuel on their trail in Trekholm as this point I remind them of the large monster and they prepare to deal with it.
Padme and Nevla are ahead of the others put poor at ranged combat so they head over the roofs to avoid the crowd and then plan to get back into the carriages to deal with whatever is causing all the screaming. Manuel starts a deadly barrage of alchemically enhanced bullets on the Malice, joined by less deadly but still accurate fire from El Kevin for both of them the touch AC of the Malice is nothing by the end of round 9 the combined fire of them , Cardiff and the guards drive off the malice while Nevla, Padme and the Crissylian knight engage the malice spawn in HTH Combat cutting through them rapidly , in the end only 8 passangers are dead by the time the malice is driven off. By the time they can reach the front of the train the bandits have done some quick looting and withdrawn , they find where Mr Mapple fell and then got up again but don't have time to find him again before the trian gets moving.
In the aftermath of the fight they dismiss Cardiff and the Crissylrian knight as suspects but are now settled on Bree, Boone , Verzubak , Luc and Ottavia as Ob agents they are not certain that there are not others. Padme poisons Boone's lunch with a vile emetic and he spends most of the rest of the day and night sickened and nauseated , ensuring he cannot murder anyone in Trekholme before Nevla can have him assassinated in Naalam.

In Trekholm they split up to follow people again leaving Ulvaar as hotel guard. Nevla follows Eleanor and Isobel, she hope to get a chance to listen to Vledheim Heid as well, Padme is tasked with Verzubak, El Kevin with Bree and El Manuel with Luc and Ottavia. All are stealthy With a mere 39 El Kevin declares himself the Penumbra while with 40 and a later 43 El Kevin is again the night.
Bree is observed trying to screen Luc and Ottavia but failing as he stand no chance of noticing the tiny shadowers, then she goes and observes Boone's room in case he is faking illness as she suspects his murderous ways, however he is too ill to murder anyone. Nevla overhears Eleanor discussing selling Isobel and decides killing her now would be dangerous and unprofessional but decides she wants to stab Eleanor personally although she will be able to live with it if someone else kills her.
El Kevin gets close enough to the lighthouse to see the lantern in action which seals it that Luc and Ottavia are Ob and that this planar energy Lantern is important they finally feel they have a breakthrough in their main mission , they have a discussion and decide that their best bet is to try and grab Luc and the Lantern at the last stop. They are puzzled why Luc had no ring as it seems to them he must be important , they decide Boone and Verzubak who lack rings are probably hirelings and Nevla thinks that Ottavia must be from a new faction as she has a silver ring. Cardiff successfully sells his papers and retires in luxury.
Nevla returns in time to listen to Damatta and Vleid talk she lurks at the back and is not seen but would have approached them if they had not gone to talk to Ulvaar, Ulvaar says that he thinks they can help but the others are sleeping (or actually sneaking around 2 of them being in the shadows near this conversation) and Dematta should talk to them in the morning.

The train set of to Naalam and they noticed Luc , Verzubak and Bree's attempts to locate Risuri agents but did not work out what they were doing. Bree talked to Nevla who is travelling as Finona and had mentioned Caius , Bree told her she had been meant to meet Caius and asked about him Nevla told her what had happened largely truthfully just leaving out the RHC involvement. Bree was shown Finona's ring and showed Nevla her own. resulting in a cry of "See I told you 5 letters. mostly 5 and a few 4's it must be the rank". Bree passed on the information to Ottavia and she used a sending it was confirmed to her that the Ring was not worn by the real Finona so they have identified Nevla and her fellows as the Risuri agents, they are not yet certain Boone is a murderer but that won't matter as a dryad assassin is waiting for him in Naalam.
They plan to help Demata and then go to the arena were they hope to get a chance to do something unpleasent to Eleanor. With Demata and the family they hope to arrange a none violent solution and have used the mage they have on retainer here to contact Cippriano their current plan for the sending is

  • [FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Damata Griento, train owner, has family loan, secured on heirlooms. Cash flow issue, would die for heirlooms. 5% stake in company better longstanding deal. Consider?[/FONT]
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This is a nifty outcome. With all these moving parts, I think this adventure has the most possible ways things can be different.

Nice try Nevla to infiltrate, but the Ob have better operational security than your average evil overlord.
Prior to running it this was one of my favorite parts of the AP because of the complexity and chance for the players to do things differently and I am glad it has worked out. It has also been fun when the players suddenly have a realisation that all these things they have been ignoring point to a new conclusion , their realisation that Luc and Ottavia were part of the conspiracy in the middle of the attack by a huge monster was particularly amusing.

She would have done slightly better the day before when Bree was not aware of the Risuri agents but even then I don't think her disguise would have worked. She was using a Hat of Disguise with the unreliable disguise person spell to disguise herself as Nevla the Eladrin, underneath that she had some fake horns and a disguise as a tiefling which she hoped would make anyone spotting the illusion think she was Finnona disguising herself as an Eladrin. However it would never have survived Ottavia checking in with a sending. But from the players perspective the main purpose of the Finnona ruse was to get positive confirmation of at least one Ob agent and they are now certain Bree is an Ob agent and by extension that means Boone/Verubak/ Luc and Ottavia are which means they do not need to worry that the real Ob agent is someone they are ignoring. They still want to do something very unpleasant to Eleanor but it is now a personal desire rather than part of their job (unless she was stupid enough to set foot in Risur in which case she would be arrested in seconds)
At the start the group recieved a reply to the sending they sent to Morgan Cippriano
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Refer Juliana Corleone Sidos Minos Villa Rouge Tell Sylvester Uncle says remember think up not street for future. Also Good shoes Manuels Cobbler Vendricce Enclave[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]They deciphered this as that they should persuade Damata Griento to talk to Juliana Corleone in Sido Minos where she would transfer the loan into a proper business deal and that they should tell Sylvester who must be the familias guy they were meeting in Naalam and the last bit was just a fashion tip.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]On the trains arrival in Naalam Nevla slipped away to leave messages with her contacts and the Vekeshi arranged a Dryad to kill Boone and use him as fertiliser in her garden , this succeeded off camara and his demon gun was taken by the Vekeshi who will be destroying this evil artifact. They also tried to tip the casino off about Verzubac and I am still considering the outcome of this. My players are overly impressed with his abilities and I am tempted to have the casino authorities pick him up just to take him off camara and have the players avoid discovering the actual extent of his luck powers which would dissapoint them and possibly have him return later when he could have more impressive luck powers , however I have not committed myself either way yet.
They then set off with Damata to meet with the familias, Nevla handles all the talking first getting Damata to agree that regularising the loan as a real business investment is an honourable outcome which it is as he would happily pay off the loan once the rail company starts making money, they then also impress Sylvester that they are associates of Don Cippriano and it would be respectful for him to recognise this and allow Damata to repay his loan as the Don suggests . She is persuasive and Sylester says that he will abide by the wiser judgement of Don Cippriano about how to resolve this matter all part as freinds.

They then proceed to their invitation to the Naalam arena and recognise the people meeting with Eleanor, they hate them right from the start as not only being evil but lacking class. As they say their characters from our previous campaign (way of the wicked) who unknown to them will be turning up as the commanders of the shining legion would have killed these guys for being embarrassing and lower class forces of evil . They manage to sit through Eleanors sales spiel although Nevla really wants to head over and stab Eleanor a bit. Once Mr Mapple is revealed they are impressed by his despatching the Dire Bear but think the Pyrecat will kill him. Discovering he is Andrei Von Recklinghausen (AKA Frankensteins monster) makes them even more interested in him and finally Nevla and Manuel snap. Manuel produces a rope from a handy haversack and lowers it down to Andrei/Mapple while Nevla casts a burst of radiance into the adjacent box blinding them for a round and hurting all the evil people present.
We roll initiative , Manuel shoots the cleric with an explosive bullet injuring the druid as well, the druid wildshapes to a Grizzly bear, the cleric summons a fiendish Leopard, the necromancer casts a spectral hand and Eleanor Mirror images. Nevla and Padme use acrobatics to cross into the adjacent box and Padme stabs the cleric to death, El Kevin bursts in from the corridor and shoots the necromancer injuring him badly, the badger which appears next to him finishes him with a viscous mauling, Ulvaar hastes everyone.
Next round Manuel holds an action to shoot eleanor if she casts . Eleanor uses a suggestion on El Kevin but it fails as he takes a burning rifle bullet in the face which manages to hit her amidst her mirror images, the druid tries to maul Nevla but she parries the leopard leaps on El Kevin and in a flurry of bad rolls injures him.
The badger moves forward and attacks Eleanor and actually manages to drop her , as Ulvaar pops mirror images with his attack. Nevla skewers the druid fatally , Mr Mapple punches Eleanor as she goes down El Kevin steps away from the Leopard and fills it with bullets. The fight is over but the badger continues to attack Eleanor and Nevla steps over to stab her while she is down just to make sure she is actually dead.

The group thought that they may get away with this as being 'arena' combat particularly as Lord Kulp showed every sign of finding Eleanor really annoying. They are relieved when he invites them for snacks and respectfully thank him. They agree he should transport Isobel and Andrei to one of the Eladrin Enclaves bur leave Isobel with their contact details if she wants to go to Risur or meet Gale. Conveniently they think this will reveal the location of Eleanors Eladrin slaving operation to an Eladrin Enclave and should soon see it being visited by Eladrin commando's expressing displeasure.

They return to the train and in the morning Nevla talks to Luc trying to see if she can get some information about the Ob, he suggests introducing her to his freinds in Sid Minos. Then as the train arrives in Sid Minos he lights the lantern and all the pc's are pulled into Nem which they recognise and after a few moments Manuels player remembers the planar lantern he saw they realise they have a few minutes to break the lantern or they are dead ......
Next week they race for the lantern on the front of the train and then will end up chasing Octavia to the island

There is a brief retcon at the begginning when it is revealed Verzubak did not get back on the train in Naalam and that Ulvaar has an ability to reroll will saves. He rerolls his save and resists the effects of the lantern , seeing the gaslights going purple and his colleagues collapsing he moves to turn them off however before he is able to turn them off he has to resist the effects again and fails the save and his other reroll collapsing alongside the others.

After a quick discussion they work out that they are being effected by one of Luc's lanterns and they are in Nem they immediately begin to move forward to the front of the train, moving quickly they end up in pairs as one pair is slowed down opening the doors at the end of the carriage each round, Ulvaar unnable to run lumbers along at his best speed but as he is moving through open doors is able to keep up (magical boots speed him up but his plate armour means he cannot run). As they head along the train they are concerned by the deepening dark and Manuel causes his rifle to burst into flame using alchemy so they have a torch. Several waves of reapers attack but are cut down by a merciless hail of gunfire from El Kevin and do little damage. Manuel complains that reapers in urban goblin legend should have rubber ducks and these must be cheap impersonations.
The small number of vestiges from the attack by the screaming malices are swept aside by Nevla channeling the energy of the gyre. When they reach the cargo cars they move onto the top and Ulvaar hastes them all, everyone except Ulvaar uses acrobatics to double time along the roof, Ulvaar who knows any acrobatics check will result in a fall follows more slowly. As the haste spell wears off they engage the wraith guarding the lantern along with a wave of reapers, the wraith badly hurts Padme but a hail of fire including a critical from Manuel (statistically one would expect El Kevin to get more crits as he fires more shots but his dice rolling is cursed so only Manuel gets firearm crits) cuts down the wraith. Manuel then carefully disables the lantern resulting in them snapping back to their bodies.

El Kevin suggests they quickly climb out of the train onto the roof so people think the lantern killed them, he is shouted down as everyone points out that the lantern would leave their dead bodies behind and they cannot act . Then they spot Ottavia , Bree and Luc fleeing the train and give chase first by carriage and then when their quarry catches a boat they take the longboat from their ship and follow to the island. As they get on the island Nevla finally notices there is only one trail of footprints as she makes a will save against the illusion, she tells the others and they consider turning back but realise the other two must be long gone and so they need to grab this one if they are going to get anything. Moving toward the lighthouse they are challanged by Ottavia and Nevla responds trying to convince Ottavia the Ob are the bad guys, Ottavia is willing to talk and reveals that her roll in the Ob is keeping an eye on the Clergy and trying to reduce their corruption or at least gather evidence on the worst offenders , and as far as she can tell they are benign. Nevla counters with the actions of the Ob in Risur assassinating people , mutilating animals and experimenting with witch oil in the middle of a city. Ottavia says there must be a good reason or that the team are confusing the actions of the Ob with someone else, they also ascertain that her job was to protect Luc and Luc planned the assasination attempt via lantern , Ottavia justifies this saying that they feared the team would kidnap or assassinate Luc.
At this point Ottavia invites the players into the lighthouse to shelter from the dead saying she has no desire to get them killed and they are stuck here know anyway. The voice of the island suggests they take shelter below, the team is suspicious but eventually decide the ruin is indefensible and retreats below.
They initially hope to bar the door to the first chamber but on discovering that they are bronze coated rotting wood decide that frankly zombies can break through those. Then they find the angel Livia, Ottavia uses her to illustrate that trying to overcome the corruption of the hierarchy of the clergy is necessary , Nevla is angered that this proves that all of the wars between the clergy and the eladrin were the fault of the clergy, they try to free her but decide that is beyond them for now, Manuel and Nevla both want to return when they have enough power to free her, they consider proving the corruption of the clergy hierarchy at the time of the wars may be a good thing but it is so long ago and most of the eladrin dies so they are not certian it would change anything.
Moving in further they discover the leaden curse, thus will look bad on their expense forms as their gold coins are rendered worthless, they continue forward with Nevla taking point as she can use Xambria's abilities to detect traps fortunately finding the Radiant curtain. This means Nevla is the first to enter chamber 2 and be teleported into the chains on the pyre in the meantime the rest of the party lobs Cold Iron hand grenades at the dretches which they had as they are cheap and effective against rogue fey , the dretch get blasted to fragments one living long enough to extinguish the fires. Nevla noting the chains are iron teleports out being an Eladrin , she feels smug at defeating this trap and encounters a Dretch rushing to warn its boss and runs it through/ Most dretches try to possess El Kevin and 2 succeed , the last one tries to possess Nevla and is blasted into annihilation by Holy flame, here her spiritual connection to Ssramma is strong and it puzzled the players which is always good, El Kevins player suspects Nevla may be a reincarnation of Ssramma , Nevla's player disagrees.

From here they first head towards chamber 5 encounter the flood and turn back, the other corridors T-Shaped teleport trap does not delay them long as they find the handle with Xambria's aid and put the head back on the statue because it looked like a good idea. Encountering the room full of weapons they negotiate with the voice here and agree to speak with Giovanni about fighting these demon opponents. They head to Giovanni's chamber and are mildly put out by the licentious behaviour but politely decline to take part and ask about this devil problem. Giovanni tells them and they agree to rescue the lilend and capture Belcamp, the consider this is reasonable behavior as Giovanni's followers seem pathetic rather than evil and trapping a devil where it cannot hurt others cannot be a bad thing. Geovanni warns them about the danger of weapons being carried in the corridor towards Belcamp. Manuel's player counts up individual weapons (including grenades and alchemicals) it looks like he would have taken 26 hp damage per 5 feet of movement in the corridor. Preparations are taken with weapons in extradimensional spaces or in bags being pulled along with ropes .
Next week they assault Belcamps legion
The session starts with the party assaulting Belcamps legion, they are initially worried by the sheer number of legionnares but as they realise these guys are pathetic. Nevla drops most of them by channelling the energy of the Gyre as they move forward through the chamber then Belcamp intervenes. He teleports in next to El Kevin who is at the back of the group and drops him with three solid blows of his glaive.(Belcamp has been upgraded with extra fighter levels and the Dimensional assault chain meaning he can teleport and attack). He is rushed by most of the party except Manuel who shoots and Nevla who hits him with a burst of radiance attempting to blind him , it fails and he responds by teleporting next to her and dropping her with a series of blows, again the group closes on him and he goes down under a flurry of blows badly injuring Ulvaar before he goes down. Nevla and the others are drawn towards the side room where they can hear the cries of the tormented Lillend, there Nevla takes hold of the giant silver blade and it transforms to a Mithril Estoc, she is pleased, the Lillend is also pleased to be rescued and before returning to Giovanni helps them by putting the various remaining monsters to sleep.
They reach the room with the tormented architect and are very put out by his treatment but cannot release him due to the Ice Devil he does however go on their list along with the trapped angel , they get the information from him and refuse to even consider dealing with the Ice Devil.
Finally the escort the Lillend back to Giovanni and recieve a small picture (3 foot by 3 foot which with some effort they can get into with a fruit tree in it) they consider this very useful in the future and begin plans to invent Ikea and flat pack furniture so they can make it more comfortable. Alternatively they could just hire a carpenter and pay him to get into the painting and furnish it.
They consider using the gold chain to leave but cannot resist the temptation to find out about Ashima Shintu too much to bear. They enter the chamber and hear the crazy man mumbling about food and souls . Manuel offers him and apple and says if he prefers he can probably find some biscuits. This enrages the madman and he teleports in grabs Manuel , teleports back to the mirror then pummels him a bit, a mirror Manuel appears. Ottavia sound bursts them popping the false manuel and stunning the real manuel, the God Hand proves a difficult target for gunfire but a single bad save dooms him he is cursed by Nevla and as a result has a 50/50 chance of doing nothing each round, he does nothing for the next 3 rounds and dies as the party hammer him.

Then they meet Ashima Shintu who tells them of her time down here. First she names each of the pc's
NevlaOne who brought death to the gods ,Soul child of the one who came before

Bats and Steam and cogs and levers that's what little goblins are made of

El Kevin
Impatient Dragonling , sibling of 'the Strange'

Champion of a dying eagle, Child of the Demonocracy

They find some of this concerning particularly Nevla who also wants to know who the two people who took away the ritual which lead to the death of Ssramma and is frustrated by the demon's silence.Other questions are asked but few answers are forthcoming although she does describe Ottavia as someone accompanying her guests and mentions that her ring hides her from most divinations but not those of their enemies. She also says she will send Ottavia where they want her to go. Ottavia is sent to Risur but they promise not to kill Luc and then they go to Vendricce where they plan to take advantage of their early arrival to be properly prepared when Luc arrives