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ZEITGEIST The chronicles of Team Big-hearted And Determined (B.A.D.)

Echolocation

Explorer
“Just cuff me and get it over with. Cillian...take care of old Daisy and her piglets. Tell them their father will come home soon. Do not reveal the truth to them, they are too innocent for this world.” - Reed Macbannin feigning guilt to Team BAD over inadequate pig licencing.

NPC Glossary
Maxwell
: Proud and pedantic RHC secretary
Julia: Avvakir's ex-wife in the Pine Island district. Has had unexpected success in imbuing a desire to swim along the shore inside of a mechanical turtle.
Connor: Ex-boyfriend to Lisandra. Originally a petty criminal, now works for Kell. Relationship ended on bitter terms.
Gariad: Angharad's little dino familiar.
Pete: RHC constable and war veteran, with a talent for baking sweets.

Other notes:
Saxby is concerned about the press Avvakir has received nobly interfering with the factory lock-ups.

Session 11 (Written by Angharad's player)

Last time on Zeitgiest, we see 3 of Team BAD being at the wharf, having just dealt with some members of the Family, when two humanoid figures and a small metallic turtle with wheels come out of the underbrush, a moment later, Ella recognized one of the figures as Avvakir, back from his time away. A brief chat later, and the group was introduced to Julia, a prior partner of Avvakir.

But Avvakir, independently of how Angharad and Lissandra had found Wolfgang, had also tracked him to the neetles. But before they could go do that, the team went back to Blander, who helped set up Lisandra as the female family member, Angharad as Deorn, Ella and Avvakir as sailors. Finding the other ship was easy enough as the Team sailed The Silvo ; the Family's ship, and it was noticed that it was quite well armed. Rather quickly we gained acceptance to board their ship, and after an utterly confusing time for Angharad, him trying to wing his way through Family customs, offering food when it was meant to be drink, guessed the amount of gold that was too be offered, and then was utterly stumped when the Captain asked him where the papers were. The papers worth 150,000 gold pieces. Oh those papers.. the others were bringing them.. yeah.. Avvakir, seeing things are getting worse and worse for the Team, decided to just punch the captain, who revealed that she had known we weren't Deorn and his crew, as we had missed many of the basic things.

Now this combat, this combat was something special, the wands the members of the crew were using seemed to do random things, the first wand that was used summoned a horse next to Avvakir, then a wand was blown out of a hand of another sailor.. Magical effects were going off all over the place but not really doing much, as Team bad slowly just knocked out every member of the ship's crew. By the end of the fight, there was 4 horses, grease everywhere, and lots of discarded wands on the ground.. 10/10 fight, would do it again.

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The team followed protocol, handed in all the wands as evidence, except the next morning, Ella woke up with one of the wands in her hand, but this one was different, a vibrant gold and didn't do the random effects. When the Team had assembled at the RHC headquarters Maxwell informed us that there was letters for each of us. The contents of each invited us to come to a coffee shop int he Stray River district, from one Monseigneur Morgan Cippiano, and as these were being read, Pete burst through the door, calling out that Avvakir was requested by Saxby, who interrogated Avvakir about if he was involved in the Docker Unions, and that he better not be.. While Delft was of the opinion that Saxby is just worried that Avvakir may end up in a political carrer, and interfering with her own political plans.

The Team then headed to the Mayor of the Nettles manor, to get permission to travel up Cauldrons Hill for the dying wish of Skyseer Nevard. It was a beautiful landscaped home, farmhouses for the servants, track for horses, and gardeners upkeeping it all the entire time. Avvakir knew that they mayor could be a bit eccentric, serious and intense one moment, joking another, flipping back and forth on a dime. After Ella knocked on the door to the Manor, a middle aged man opened, dressed quite nicely who introduced himself as Cillian Creed, who helped the Team get a quick meeting with the Mayor in-between his other, pre-planned meetings. In the brief wait to get to the mayor, what appeared to be a courier walks out of the house, and has a brief conversation with Ella about the trials and pains of those who live in the Nettles.

The inside of the house was rather.. odd.. Crystals and trinkets lining the shelves on the walls, sigils and iconography painted onto the walls, while an older man leaning back in his chair. As soon as the constables saw him, he started shouting that he should be arrested, that he had tried to fill out the correct paperwork for his pigs, but its just such a pain! He is a villain and the rest of his statements were cut off as he swapped to being more serious; listening to the Teams request to head up the Cauldron Hill for the Skyseer, and was willing to allow it, saying he needed a days time to prepare the goats blood, and that he would supply some rusted amulets to protect against possession by the foul things on the hill.. It was arranged to come back tomorrow to do the trek up the hill.

As the party was leaving, there was a commotion and a young man named Connor jumped into their carriage, telling the driver where to go, and with a biting tone, addressed Lisandra as Lady Lyrie, and as Ella and Avvakir pushed for more details, the dealings Angharad and Lissandra had made with Kell were revealed, Avvakir and Ella reacting badly, Ella feeling betrayed of her trust, while Avvakir exploded with anger. When Lissandra asked Connor to give them some space, he was quite happy to leave, blowing a mocking kiss and jumping out. The rest of the carriage ride was utterly silent, Angharad probably spending more time focused on directing Gariad on purpose to avoid the fallout partially.

As the team arrived at the abandoned church, Kell's guards on the doors nodded to the team and bailed, probably upsetting Ella even more. Potentially why when they tried to come up with a plan, Ella spat out a biting 'master of deception' comment to Lissandra, and as the group entered the church, a tired, dirty man comes out to meet us with a 'I'm Doctor Wolfgang Von Recklinhausen, and you must be the highest bidder.'

DM discussion

A rift has been created between Angharad/Lissandra vs Avvakir/Ella. The former pair made the deal with Kell, and the latter are furious at it. The carriage drive from the manor to Wolfgang's location was filled with viscous fighting followed by complete silence. Once the group realises Kell is connected to the currently unknown Steelshaper and the shadow operative, it will cause even more drama.
 
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Echolocation

Explorer
In case anyone is interested, I've made a landing page (previously just a map of Flint) for my players in Roll20. When players boot the game up, they see their desk at RHC HQ:
landing-page.PNG


I made this using Vile Tiles: Table Tops by Gabriel Pickard purchasable as a marketplace asset from Roll20: Roll20

I'll likely update it between adventures to include the correct props. Currently, the table is decorated with newspaper articles, Nilasa's police report, research on Gale, and a document from the Danoran Consulate with details on Wolfgang von Recklinhausen. The map flags important known locations, especially those related to Wolfgang (the consulate, his hostel, a glass spying over the Nettles). On the top-left of the map sits a letter by the infamous Morgan Cippiano. Other features include Angharad's pipe and dried fey pepper leaves, as well as Lissandra's coffee and wand of cure light wounds. It's certainly not Ella's wand of cure light wounds, as that would be appropriately stored away in accordance with RHC protocol.

It was very well received by the players, and was a good exercise in procrastinating. If this sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend making one.

I've taken some zoomed-in screenshots for better quality:

landing-page-2.PNG

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Echolocation

Explorer
"Thank you! Thank you doct-" - Effie's last words

NPC Glossary
Effie - Ella's mother

Session 12 (Courtesy of Ella's player)

We began in an abandoned church, looking at a dirty, exhausted Doctor Wolfgang Von Recklinhausen.

He asked us to accompany him to the kitchen, so that we might talk in comfort, and there he shared his story. It was much as we already knew or suspected. Wolfgang hadn’t met Nilasa prior to the morning of her death, and he didn’t know about her association with Gale. When he approached her on the fence, he was simply trying to help her, but she gave him the documents and told him to run. A gunshot convinced him to do so, and as he left Nilasa told him to take her necklace. As he ran he heard a second gunshot behind him, but he didn't look back.

In the alley near the consulate he was attacked by a shadowy creature made of impossible angles, but he fought back and escaped. After that he retrieved his belongings from the hostel and headed to Parity Lake to make a deal with Kell. And so he came to be here.

Upon examination, the wound he took from the creature in the alley was very similar to the one found on Nilasa's forehead: four slash marks, as of claws, imbued with necromantic energy.

There was an awkward moment as the doctor asked what we’d paid in exchange for his life. Angharad broke it, looking at Ella and Avvakir pointedly and saying. “One, oddly enough, just did one's job. We stopped a smuggling ring… and that is all.”

Having finished his tale, Wolfgang handed over the documents - all 240 pages of them - and the necklace Nilasa had given him. Ella examined the necklace while Avvakir looked at the documents, but couldn't discover anything other than that it was quite a powerful Divination and Evocation item.

The documents were a report penned by Julian Le Brix, detailing a suspected smuggling operation targeting Danoran-owned factories. Le Brix believed that the smuggled items were being funnelled to some kind of construction project - perhaps a large warship. But his investigation was shut down due to lack of financial information from the Flint side of things.

His last set of notes detailed a visit to a factory where he found several flasks of strange black oil, with floating motes of white light within. Wolfgang recognised them from the description as “witch oil”: a substance produced when the energies of the Bleak Gate bleed into this world. He said that it was rare to find the oil in such large quantities, and that it was a valuable but immoral spell component that could be burned as a substitute for other spell components at the cost of consuming the souls of the dead.

Unlike normal magic, witch oil functions in locations like the Malice Lands where spellcasting usually fails, and that makes it especially valuable.

As we spoke, Lisandra spotted flickering shadows approaching - one of them wielding a syringe - and realised that these were not shadows at all. Three figures shrouded in dark energy rushed forward: two of them mostly human in appearance but the third composed of unnatural, impossible angles. They all had a necromantic aspect, and the third figure in particular smelled strongly of burning oil.

Lisandra managed to blind the angular creature, and Avvakir made short work of one of the others. In desperation, it flung out a hand toward the fireplace, which exploded with shadowy energy. This wasn't the limit of their powers though, as they exploded in a deafening cacophony upon dying. One of them managed to explode Angharad's cigar and stab Wolfgang in the gut before going down, but both of the men seemed… relatively fine afterwards.

Meanwhile Avvakir was beating the angular creature to a pulp, and it quickly turned incorporeal and retreated, hissing, “Do not think this is over.” Shortly after it left we heard a series of crumbling noises coming from the entrance. Upon investigation, Lisandra found the front entrance blocked by metal beams. The angular creature was standing outside, talking to a man in a purple cloak.

church.png


As she watched, the shadows around the creature flickered and cleared to reveal a human in a police uniform with a pencil-thin moustache: the so-called “Officer Porter”. The purple-clad man patted it on the shoulder and thanked it, then said “Tell Lorcan Kell I appreciate the deal, then go tell your boss I have the situation under control.” Officer Porter’s flesh unravelled into nothing and vanished, as three metallic carriages approached the church.

The purple man gestured and a metal chair, a bucket with a wine bottle, and a goblet tumbled out of one of the carriages toward him. The chair sat itself down and the bucket floated in the air beside him. He poured some wine into a floating goblet, took a sip, and called out, “Constables! I would like to parley!”

While the others scoured the church for alternative exits, Ella attempted to sneak a peek at this Magneto-wannabe. She failed abysmally however and was immediately spotted. The man in the purple cloak beckoned her over and introduced himself as “Steelshaper, master of metal.” He requested that we hand over the doctor and the documents within one hour, or else. Despite his… melodramatic manner, Ella detected many magical auras on his person, suggesting he wasn't someone to take lightly.

Nonetheless, we decided we weren’t giving this arrogant metal twat anything, and dug ourselves in for a siege. Angharad sent Gariad to the Nettles police station with a message, while Avvakir, Wolfgang and Ella created a barricade. Lisandra spent the time copying as many of the documents as she could, also taking a few loose deeds out of the folder in the process.

As the designated hour drew to a close there was the sound of another carriage arriving outside and Steelshaper’s voice rang out once more: “Constables, I have altered the agreement of our trade. You may want to see what I have to offer.”

Lisandra and Ella cautiously approached the entrance and Steelshaper gestured with a dramatic flourish toward the newly arrived carriage. He snapped his fingers, the door flew open, and out stepped… Effie.

She ran to the barricade, and as mother and daughter reunited through the bars, Steelshaper smiled and issued his ultimatum: “Hand over what I want, within an hour, or I kill her.”

Team BAD retreated to discuss their options - Ella uncharacteristically bereft of ideas. There were precious few options to be had…

Eventually, we decided to hand over Wolfgang and the documents, but have Lisandra keep the copies she'd made and the loose deeds she'd taken. We'd keep a lock of Wolfgang’s hair, to aid in Scrying, and Angharad would have Gariad follow Steelshaper’s carriages so we'd know where he went.

Preparations made, we paused for a moment more, as Wolfgang offered his Malice-wrought rapier to Lisandra. She was taken aback by his generosity but... he insisted that he wouldn't need it, where he was going. He also told Ella to keep Nilasa’s necklace. And as he turned to go, Avvakir put his hands on the doctor’s shoulders and promised him that we would find him. Then, with nothing more to do, we returned to the entrance.

As we approached Steelshaper was asking Effie about the solstice party, but seeing us he smiled and turned. “Is that what I think it is?” He beckoned and nine shadowy figures with rifles appeared, aiming at the entrance. He warned us that if anyone other than the doctor and the documents left the church then we would be shot to death.

With little choice, we agreed, and Steelshaper opened the bars, “Good luck. Make them pay,” Wolfgang said as he walked through, and then the bars closed behind him, leaving Avvakir and Ella to watch the proceedings from afar.

As Wolfgang approached, Effie jumped up, thanking him profusely, and Steelshaper snapped his fingers. A cheese knife flew through the air… and slit Effie’s throat. As the blood poured from her body, Steelshaper stood over her, taunting her, before kicking her dying body towards the church. “The druidic healer has used all her magic on the locals. Poetic.”

Ella screamed as the light left her mother’s eyes, and Avvakir tried to pull the bars apart in rage, but Steelshaper… just smiled. And cleaned his cheese knife, as his shadow lackeys piled explosives around the church entrance.

He bid us farewell, telling Avvakir that he’d see him in another life, and kill him some other way, then he strolled away. His lackeys started to lay out a fuse for the explosives, and Angharad and Lisandra yelled at Avvakir to get Ella out of there. The deva snatched up the screaming tiefling and retreated to the back of the church with the others.

They took shelter in the sturdiest place Lisandra could find, and as the explosives blew and the cavern rumbled, we found ourselves relatively unharmed - physically at least.

A few hours passed, the police arrived and managed to dig us out. Lisandra made a sketch of Steelshaper while Avvakir comforted Ella. Once we were freed from our almost-tomb, Ella ran to the entrance and collapsed beside her mother’s body. Hours passed as the rest of the team quietly discussed what to do.

Lisandra and Angharad volunteered to return to the office and complete any paperwork, while Avvakir, with great care, laid his Pebble on Effie’s body. As we watched, her terrible throat wound closed, vanishing along with the blood on the ground and flowers appeared in their place.

Avvakir escorted Ella home, as Effie’s body was taken to the Nettles police station, and the deva broke the news to the family. Ella slipped away during the proceedings, to find her brother and mourn.

Meanwhile Angharad and Lisandra had arrived at the RHC headquarters and found Delft, sharing a nightcap with Pete. They shared their story, and Delft vowed to bring Steelshaper to justice, before setting off towards Ella’s house. Lisandra went home, Angharad fell asleep over paperwork, and Avvakir eventually left the gnomes to their grief.

It was late at night when Delft knocked on Ella’s family's door. She reluctantly agreed to speak to him and he gently offered his condolences, encouraging her to come to work in the morning, and reminding her of his comment from a few months ago. With her exhausted agreement, he left, and Team BAD’s darkest day… came to a close.

And as the sun rises on the next day, we can only hope… it's brighter than the last.

Discussion

What a horribly delightful and depressing session. Party tensions are at an all-time high, perhaps only unified by the desire for vengeance against Kell and the Steelshaper. With every session, the players become more and more invested in the game world.

Unfortunately, Avvakir's player is no longer finding TTRPG's enjoyable, and has taken an indefinite break. This didn't come out of the blue, with the party knowing it was a possibility for many months. I'm not sure if I'll try to find a fourth player at this point in time.
 


Echolocation

Explorer
Session 13 Overview

Team BAD travel to the peak of Cauldron Hill with famous skyseer Nervard Sechim.

Recap (Written by Lissandra's player)

After the deep loss of Effie, most of our constables awoke the next day to a strange encounter. A strange fey creature visited each of them to deliver a message, expertly coded to invite them all to Angharad’s house without any suspicion, of course. Following their gremlin guides to the Cloudwood, each arrived at a clearing that encased a very interesting and rustic looking cabin. Ella was first to arrive, followed by Lisandra. There was a brief, tense exchange of small talk of the invitation before Ella led the way. They walked in silence around the spiral path that slowly winded in on itself to the front door as Avvakir joined them. Ella studied structure itself, the outside adorned with many sylan symbols that shaped prayer of protection to the Titans. Eventually they arrived at the front door, unlocked, and an awaiting Angharad inside. He sat at a table in the main room of the cabin, laden with dried leaves of various plants, fey pepper includes, and various other paraphernalia that hinted a little deeper at the man’s relationship with drugs.

As it turned out, the Cipith had quite the news to share. In the wake of their recent association with Kell coming to light, and the upset it caused, he thought it best to be as upfront as possible. Ella, fed up with secrecy, urged him to say his piece and Angharad told the party that the Vekeshi had tasked him with something just prior to the Summer Solstice. He was to hand over a gift and a message to Gale when he encountered her, as if the Mystics knew they were to be put onto the case. He produced an odd-looking mirror, which Ella identified as some kind of magic item that would allow an soundless image or a scene to show reflected in the glass when activated. He explained he was to deliver it along with a message that said, “The Unseen Court is watching. Take this mirror and when you see the face of our enemies within it, bring them down and we shall reward you.”

Too exhausted to dwell too much on the situation, Angharad’s admission was taken quite calmly and the team decided it was best to focus on the time-sensitive task at hand; assisting Skyseer Nevard to Cauldron Hill and gain their invitation to speak with Gale.

Upon reaching the Skyseer’s camp, the group met with Pazamu who greeted them and led them to Nevard, reminding Angharad, ‘No Cigars’, and winked as he held up a ritual dagger and invited them inside the tent to begin the ritual. With a little apprehension, the group assembled inside, greeting Nervard and Pazamu went over the details of the ritual again. A glass of milk and the dagger was passed around as each constable carefully cut themselves and bled into the glass. The orc retrieved the milk and his hands glow as the liquid shifts to black. Pazamu pulls out an ancient-looking scroll. Ella’s attention focuses on the scroll as Pazamu works the magic and she recognizes its use from history books, as a piece of ancient forbidden magic called the Bond of Forced Faith, once used by the old Witches of Cauldron Hill. It was used to make them nigh invincible in battle, as they bound unwilling victims to them which would take the injuries they received instead. The scroll disintegrates as the magic is done, leaving Nevard now bound to each of the constables. Noticing Ella’s recognition, the Skyseer apologizes for the use of such a spell, but explains that he thought that despite its dark history, perhaps it could be used this time for something good. Ella dismissed his apology, expressing, somewhat reluctantly, that she understood… and that she has had some experience with using ‘questionable means’ for the greater good. Lisandra quietly shrank into the background and was relieved when the Skyseer nodded and suggested they head out. All were a little surprised when Nevard got to his feet with the ease of a much younger man, but it seemed the ritual had worked.

With the Skyseer in tow, the group dutifully make their way to the Mayor’s house, letting the old man discuss the Nettles fondly. They each listen quietly at Nevard’s tales about how the Nettles used to be when he was younger, though Lisandra’s nervous attention drifted to keep an eye on the roads around them as they travel, perhaps a little paranoid that Kell or anyone else might be keeping eyes on them. Nevard laid out the grizzly history of Cauldron Hill as they travelled. A tale of witches who inhabited the hill 150 years ago, plaguing the city below with goblins and phantoms to steal people for their dark magic and hiding between realms to evade retaliation. After decades of terror, they were finally felled by King Lorken with the aid of a Crysilli Godhand.

At the Mayor’s residence, they team is greeted by the pleasant face of the Mayor’s aid, Mr. Cillian Creed. Pleasantries and introductions were made, as they brought Nevard through and met with Mayor Macbannin by the pig pen out back where all the preparations had been made. Gathering in a pile, as promised, were camping supplies and several barrels of goat blood and several less animals gracing the pen that last time they visited. Cillian rejoined them with a cover tray containing the protective amulets. Apprehensively, at the Mayor’s insistence, the constables and Nevard take up the amulets and place them around their necks. At Lisandra’s anxiousness, Reed reaffirms that the amulets will protect them all from possession from any supernatural forces atop the hill and instructs them, quite forcibly, that once they return they must all undergo a cleansing ritual to ensure any stragglers have been dealt with, for safety’s sake.

With determination, and a healthy dose of trepidation, the group began their journey up the hill. The ascent was fairly benign, almost suspiciously pleasant as they caught a breathtaking view of the city from above, standing in a cool breeze from the ocean that drives away the humidity. The only detail that marred the picturesque view is the grey smear of heavy smoke that obscured the Parity Lake district from above. As the constables marvel at the city below, Nevard’s chin lifted to the sky, taking in the clear view above them where the stars would shine after the sunset came.

Team BAD busied themselves getting a quick lay of the land, and Ella spotted a curious glint of something magical down a sheer spot down in the hill. Curious enough to trust her fellows to assist her, they group worked to lower her down via a rope, and she use Lisandra’s grappling hook to tug out the item, retrieving a small shiny cauldron from the foliage. Successful trust-exercise complete, the group set to work preparing the campsite before the night came. Avvakir marked out the camp with a ring of goat’s blood as Lisandra and Ella dug a small pit for a campfire nearby two fallen pillars, edging the pit with gathered stones to shield the light. Ella continued to shield their small campsite with surrounding brush as Lisandra wandered the perimeter, quietly speaking out to spirits of place to beg them to be on their best behavior and maybe not come to the hilltop tonight. Angharad warded the camp in his own way, much like his home, by burning little sigils of sylvan around the area.

As night settled in, the group huddled around the fire as Nevard began his gazing, and it wasn’t long before the horrors of Cauldron Hill made their presence known. Spectres flocked to the hill top, swarming around the ring of blood. A wriggling woman with skeletal features, crawled towards the camp… giggling gleefully with a hungry stare as she began to circle the camp. Horned demons, lion-faces monsters and goblin phantoms joined in, tracing the camp in endless circles with hungry looks and terrified calls.

Quietly, Nevard leaned over to Anghard and whispered just loud enough to be heard. Through the link, he recognized Angarad’s blood and Vekeshi leanings and inquired about his knowledge of the star, Mishados. Unfamiliar, Nevard explains that it is supposed to be an incarnation of his dead goddess, Surah-sama. She was said to have been a healer. The blue-skinned, dog-faced Mishados waits in the heavens for when she will be recalled to bring the goddess back to life. At the urgings of the skyseer, Angharad turned his gaze upwards and watched Mishados dance in the night sky, captivated by its strange movement.

He urged them all to look upwards to the rare sight of clear night sky, and while Ella and Avvakir lifted their gazes, Lisandra sat quietly, back against a pillar as she clutched an old doll in her grip, eyes kept acutely glued to the spirits amassing beyond the ring. Nevard’s sagely whispers barely reached her ears, focused on breathing slowly and trying not to listen to the distant voices whispering across the evening wind.

The hours lingered on as the group dwelled in the strangeness of Cauldron Hill. The strange sounding of a distant horn, a glimpse of a mirror image of themselves sitting on the other side of the camp. But most tangible of all was an apparition that appeared inside the ring, floating above the campfire. Lisandra sprang back, almost trying to retreat into the stone at her back with baited breath. A red velvet hung in the air, glowing gently and swaying in the wind as if completely corporeal. A figure barely visible on the other side. After a moment the curtain fluttered and the form of Nilasa Hume walked out, hushing gently with a finger to her lip. She pointed out into the darkness and warned them, “The man who killed me is coming. His face is scarred, so he hides behind many faces.” She raised a featureless black mask to her face and faded away along with her curtain and the air around them became thick and heavy with the familiar stench of burnt engine grease.

The constables sprang to their feet, grasping their weapons and succumbing to the dizzying twirl of vertigo. The stars spun overhead, stretching out with a strange sense of time and movement. When their vision cleared, their eyes were drawn to the north, down by Parity Lake a build spring to flames with a dreamlike swiftness. Suddenly they find themselves amidst factories, tongues of flames licking from building to building as the air fills with terrified screams of those trapped inside. The flame rose like two dragons, decimating the factories as they collapsed into the dawn of the following day where all that was left was a charred sign amongst the rubble that read “Serchim’s Alkahest and Etchings”. The vision ended in a SNAP, and the constables found themself back atop the hill. Nevard smiled knowingly and said, “Ji-ez, the plane of fire. It is brighter tonight than usual. It reflects on the surface of the lake. You saw it, didn’t you?”

It appeared as though, perhaps through the link they shared with Nevard, the constables had their first first-hand experience with Skyseer visions. A little on edge, Ella gets to her feet and begins to keep an eye-out, still quite worried about Nilasa’s warning. The atmosphere of the evening takes a grim turn some time later the sounds of a man calling for help drift out from beyond camp. Nevard warns them not to listen as the voice continues to scream in terror, begging for help. The sounds dragged on for hours as the constables listened, or tried not to, as Lisandra clutched her doll and retreated into herself and Ella softly reminded herself none of it was real. Much to their surprise, Angharad’s voice picked up and began to match the volume of the spirits, singing a stubborn and uplifting song into the night. Vekeshi in nature, a hymn to his goddess of resilience and always coming back strong in the face of adversary and slowly, Nevard began to lend his own voice to the tune. The unexpected display drowned out the wailing and phantom tearing of flesh in the distance as they listened to the song and turned out the horror.

As midnight passed a lull in the spirits activity brought a quieter moment to the group, though a few spirits still lurk at the ring of blood. Those with the ability to see in the dark noticed a figure on the opposite side of the peak, walking toward camp with a sense of purpose. It strikes a cylindrical rod and the CRACK of a sunrod. All turn, living and dead alike, to see the light adjust and reveal a familiar man, with dark, strange angular features leaking oil across the way. He hurls the sunrod, arcing it across the camp and drawing the attention of every spirit that still lingered to the group. With a horrible shriek, the spirits sprang on the camp. The constables fought to defend Nevard and redirect the light, desperately trading blows with unearthly foes. Swarms of tiny insects erupted from the ground. After a harrowing battle, the horrors finally thwarted and beacons of light were dealt with, the constables watched the insects scurry off and found no trace of the angular man. Tending to their wounds, the group was more than happy to be done with this place, flooded with relief as Nevard declared he must return home and rest to consolidate his visions.

Upon returning to Reed’s property below, the shaken group was greeted with the sounds of shouting voices. Group of armored soldiers are in conversation by the gate. Their leader, a young man Lisandra was familiar with, seemed to be arguing with the Mayor about protocol. Between reprimanding the Mayor for not following said procedures, Lieutenant Dale greets Lisandra and returns to expressing frustration at the dire consequences of sending people up the hill at night without properly informing his team. Reed tried to reassure anyone that precautions were taken, and the light show they all witnessed from below was not part of his instructions.

Pazamu and his druidic posse was also present, awaiting to escort their Skyseer home, and made haste in taking their leave. Reed led the team back to the house, with Dale’s strict admonishments and supervision. Once purified of any trafficking malefic spirits, Lisandra asks the Mayor if he would mind her keeping an amulet, for extra protection. He agreed and with their business awkwardly concluded, the constables made haste to Parity Lake to follow up on their troubling vision of Heward’s factory, leaving Dale and his team to play an impromptu game of soccer in the Mayors yard.

True to suspicion, they encounter a group of suspicious people in an alley by the wayside. Two dragon-like men and a few mercenaries huddled around a wagon. Ella and Avvakir attempt to approach, badge displayed to inspect the goods as Lisandra and Angharad keep a presence at the entrance of the alley. Upon finding the wagon full of alchemist fire, Ella demands the goods be relinquished, and naturally an altercation breaks loose. One of the dragon-men attempts to set the wagon alight and Ella, Lisandra and Angharad attempt to busy their opponents as Avvakir pushes the wagon aside, slowly getting closer to the lakeside. The dragon-men flee, and with all but one mercenary knocked out, the combat comes to an end as the man begs for leniency in return for information. He shares the information he has, about the recent attacks on the district and further plans for the next target, the home of Security Chief LeBrix before Lisandra tell him to run home to his family in the Nettles and stay out of trouble before the local police arrive. The three others were arrested and as they were taken away by the authorities, the constables were met with their final oddity for the very eventful evening… a message on the wind from Gale herself and a yellow canary that flitters about them all, requesting they give her a time for that evening that suits for a meeting.

With a hagged sigh, the group declared 11pm tonight to the wind and left to return to HQ to catch a quick nap and figure out how the hell they are supposed to meet this Cippiano, warn LeBrix and meet with a supposed terrorist all in one day while still gaining a little sleep. Join them for a day in the life of an exhausted agent of the King and see how the manage to pull off this insanity today in the adventures of Team BAD...

DM Discussion

Avvakir will continue to be a party of Team BAD (until the end of this adventure), with another player controlling his actions during combat. Outside of combat, he passively follows the Team.

A couple of the players have a hunch that the Mayor has some larger role in this story, but they are unsure whether that is as an ally or as an enemy. For example, Lissandra's player wasn't sure how to interpret Lt. Dale's argument with Reed. Was he helping the party by sneaking them up onto the peak by bypassing red tape, or was he hoping to avoid interference by the military?

The players quite enjoyed the Cauldron Hill encounter, and the variety of enemies. Having Wolfgang's rapier here was a true blessing, and reminded the group of their bittersweet time with the Doctor.

I introduced Gale's message a little earlier than the book recommends, to help players plan their priorities for the next session. The message requested a meeting that day, as the following day will be filled with events (the day of the rally).
 
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Echolocation

Explorer
"He [Lorcan Kell] is an ancient and deceptive tyrant, just as the slain dragons of Ber. Perhaps this is another trait we share” Morgan slowly raises his mug to sip his coffee. “An interest in dragons?”
“The Family do not leave footsteps, but the sons of dragons do. If you agree to free Deorn, I will repay you in dragonborn twicefold.”


In this session, Team BAD meet some of Flint's more benevolent criminals, Morgan Cippiano and Gale. A once rather-uncompromising party is now consistently making deals with criminals in a desperate attempt to uncover the truth behind the angular man.

Session 14 (courtesy of Angharad's player)

When the party first arrived in the morning to speak to Delft, they found him exhausted. Delft had spent the evening watching Ella's home (as the RHC/police was short on constables and officers). After spotting a shadow lurking, he demands Team BAD spend their nights in a safehouse. Saxby calls Ella into her office to, in a moment of strange benevolence, offer her condolences for mother (killed by the Steelshaper). After informing Ella she has found the funds the offer her mother a state funeral, Saxby promptly reminds the constable that this is justified, as if Ella was not involved in the case, her mother would still be alive. Brimming with anger, Ella bites her tongue as the two discuss theories of Nillasa's death.

Then party split in the morning, to see Dorian with Ella and Angharad, while Lissandra went off to write letters, saying it may be for the best if she wasn't there for that meeting. Dorian as soon as he found out that Cippiano had made contact become smug as hell, saying he would be out within a week, Angharad firmly doubting that though.

The party went and visited Cippiano, at a little cafe near Bee's icecreamry. In there was a stern looking man, reading a newspaper and chuckling to himself at parts, but when the party opened the door, he put it down, and beckoned us over to join him. Though, before looking at the party, he looked at our shoes, frowning at Angharad's and Ella's, but then smiling at Lisandras and greeting us, telling her that her shoes are finely made, but he has a tailor he prefers. After small talk with us, he mentioned that he had found the two arsonists that we were looking for, and was amenable to handing them over, but only if we could free Deorn as a favour to him. At this moment, Ella recoginises the man as someone she had seen in this area playing street cricket with children several months ago. And very quickly the party realsied that this man was the head of the Family in Flint. Cippianomentioned he understood that two of the party had paid respects to Kell, but insisted he was not like that 'tyrant'. After some thought, the party agreed to the exchange, Angharad ordering an exotic meal of two half-dragons from Michael and putting the two arsonists in their carriage. Once they had paid their respects to Cippanio and were getting ready to leave, we were told that if we wanted something to be done, speak to the cobbler that he got his shoes from, that he was a wonder for doing things. if you needed a bespoke pair of shoes, or a breaking of a skull, he could organise it. In departure, Morgan kissed the constables on both cheeks. However, on Lisandra's cheek, his head lingers, whispering: "In youth, the Father provides for the Family. In sickness, the Family provides for the Father. He has served us well. We are sparing no expense" (DM note: a reference to Father Otis, a criminal clergyman and Lisandra's father figure).

Following their visit with the godfather of Flint, the party tied up a few loose ends. They dashed to HQ to release Deorn and lock up the half-dragons. They interview the arsonists and reached an agreement---two visas for Ber in exchange for the name of their employer. After this, they dashed to the Danoran consulate to inform LeBrix of the planned arson of his home. Furious, he etched the names of the half-dragons into bullets. In an emotional discussion, the party leveraged their knowledge and diplomacy to extract some details about Nilasa's death. With the constables assuring him they will keep the information to themselves, he discloses that the consular met with a gem merchant on the first of summer in his basement. LeBrix suspects, however, that there is more to this merchant than meets the eye.

Now, Team BAD, being utterly exhausted still went to their new safe house to sleep, getting a few hours in before a canary woke Angharad up by tapping on his outer window, and him being the perfectly well adjusted man that he is, just shrugged at let it in, telling it to chill. In short order this damn bird flew around, waking everyone and leading the team quite a journey out to a waterfall where they saw a lady, a lady they had been searching for.. Gale, terrorist potentially and that very hard lady to get in contact with.

Angharad as soon as they were speaking to each other wanted to finish his promise, placing the mirror on the ground and saying 'The Unseen Court is watching. Take this mirror, and when you see the face of our enemies within it, bring them down and we shall reward you'. Gale reacted well to this,s aying she had been wishing to get closer to the court, but asked Angharad for advice on what to do if they wanted her to be a killer, should she do it to impress them, to which he could only reply, 'do not let them make you a killer, if you must do not hesitate, but you've told us you tried to avoid killing, they already have enough weapons and killers' while he pointed to himself. And as the team spoke to Gale, and learnt that Gale had been to t he Bleak Gate, a mirror image of the world, and in Mirrored Flint she could not see anyone but her and her guide from the Unseen Court. But that she did see touches and lanterns in the distance that made a path next to the canal , past what should've been Parity Lake and then finally up towards the Nettles. SHe didnt make it there, but she did see Smoke and Steam drifting into he sky that had no stars at all.

Nilasa found a clue about what they were up to, and was murdered for it. She knows that this conflict is larger than her desire for revenge, but she cant get back to the Bleak Gate, nor can she show us what she saw, the same alignment with Nem will not repeat for a long time, but she has a way of proving it. And with this, she gave a small book to Ella, sending it over via the wings, and telling us that it has a spell that will detect planar energy, though we have to be exposed to what we are seeking. Lastly Gale told us that she is sure there is a conspiracy between the Danorans and the Industrialists, as well as a third party from the Bleak Gate, and that we need to find out what they're doing.

To help us get back from the long journey out, Gale offers to fly us back, to which Ella and Angharad were extremely eager and convinced Lissandra to let them do it, but only to the edge of the nettles. And after a fantastic time, Gale mentioned that Nevard wanted to do an address the crowds, and she would like it if we were there. She hands Team BAD a flier:

poster.png


DM notes

Since we are down to a team of three, I have let each player choose to Gestalt their character for better versatility. Ella is now an investigator/wizard. Angharad is a fire kineticist/swashbuckler. Lisandra is now a rogue/oracle. I explained this within the game world as their experience on Cauldron Hill providing occult insight. This session was filled with characters coming to terms with their new abilities. Lisandra casted mage hand unconsciously, and Ella wound Gale's vellum book was filled with many other spells which she could understand (it's now her spellbook).

The party is getting close to completing their book. Fortunately, two characters have become obsessed about identifying an amulet Reed let them keep. Currently a silvery iron, I plan to have this amulet rust over the next few days. This will hint at the mayor's involvement, as currently the Angular Man seems to be the focus of their investigation (not necessarily a bad thing).

Team BAD has been siding with criminals left, right, and center. Following the presumed release of the arsonists, I want the party to observe a negative consequence for their actions (probably off-screen). Let me know if you have any ideas.

Lastly, we have begun consistently recording audio for our sessions. If it's of interest, I will upload them.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
"Miss, forgive me if you are not the type, but a boy has to ask. Would you be interested in procuring some illicit firearms or explosives?" - Cador, young factory worker and Anghard's contact peddling a backpack full of fire dust in the constables' office.

Session 15 Recap (Courtesy of Ella's player)

We woke to a lovely breakfast of waffles and toast prepared by Angharad, and over breakfast Ella attempted to Spellcraft Lisandra’s necklace again. She didn’t discern any new magical information, but did notice the amulet appeared to have changed colour slightly, almost as if it were rusting. Given that information, Lisandra decided to stop wearing it, and put it in her pocket instead.

We arrived at work on time and Maxwell handed two letters to Lisandra. Dima informed us that the dragonborn’s paperwork was almost done, and then we headed to our daily debriefing with Delft. We entered our office to find pastries and coffee waiting - a pleasant beginning to the morning, all told.

That didn’t last long. Delft was furious when he found out we hadn’t arrested Gale. He’d scarcely begun ranting at us before he excused himself, retired to his office, and swore at his room instead. Having suitably cowed the furniture, he returned and calmly informed us that he could see how, under the circumstances, we’d done our best.

Just to make things more awkward, Kaea knocked on the door and told Angharad that Saxby wanted him. Lisandra repressed her relief while Angharad swore and followed Kaea.

It turned out Saxby wasn’t the one who wanted him though, as Kaea spun him around and pinned him to a wall. “You’ve done good work, Mystic. The Old Stag thanks you for your service, and would like you to know you have the backing of fellow Mystics: including myself.” Confused, irritated, Angharad reluctantly gave his promise to continue serving the mystics, and turned towards Saxby’s office.

At which point Kaea called him a meathead and told him Saxby had actually wanted Lisandra. Sorry Lisandra… Her meeting with Saxby actually went… better than expected. It was merely a warning to release the dragonborn brothers discreetly to avoid political fallout - and Lisandra left feeling rather relieved.

Delft threw a newspaper at us - or rather, at the desk... but he probably wanted to throw it at us - and told us to read it. It was an article detailing Nevard’s upcoming rally and the thousands of people that would be attending, as well as dissatisfied dockers, and police blockades. Just what we needed. Naturally we were expected to make sure none of this blew up in our faces.

newspaper.jpg


As we were contemplating how to do that, there was another knock at the door, and a guard came in, telling Angharad there was a child waiting for him.

And there followed… one of the most adorable scenes of the campaign thus far: as we met Angharad’s child factory worker contact - and apparent firedust smuggler and pickpocket - and discovered that not only did he have a list of people he wanted set on fire, but he was quite willing to sell illegal contraband to RHC agents. Ella… reluctantly… bought some firedust, and Cador told us that there was something unusual going on in the warehouse district near Nevard’s rally.

We headed out - giving Uncle Ivan the illegal firedust in the process - and made our way to the warehouse district. On the way Angharad shared with the others that Kaea was a Mystic.

At the warehouses Lisandra immediately noticed a terrible sound of wailing voices. No one else could hear them, but Ella’s cast of Detect Planar Energy indicated Bleak Gate energy was coming from the same direction.

We followed the signs to a warehouse and found it occupied by technicians burning papers and packing up lab equipment. A large iron golem leaking oil was occupying one corner. We developed a cunning plan to ambush them from above. It went quite well until Angharad’s fire blasts turned the iron golem into a horrifying flaming metal skeleton that climbed onto the catwalk and attempted to murder him.

The pyrokineticist wasn’t deterred though, and beat the golem to a pulp with his flaming claws before it could do the same to him. The defeated golem and technicians started to fade, falling through the floor. The lead technician was last to go, despite our best efforts to keep him, but Lisandra did get in a rather pointed comment of “Give my regards to the Mayor,” before he vanished. The man’s expression suggested she’d hit some kind of nerve.

The scraps of burned paperwork detailed a process for replacing cat’s blood with witchoil and controlling them with enchanted collars. Now thoroughly concerned for the safety of Nevard’s rally, we set off to the Dawn Square, grabbing some police along the way to confiscate the materials from the warehouse.

We spoke to Nevard and prepared for the rally as best we could: canvassing the crowd but finding nothing out of place. As it turned out, nothing could have prepared us for the appearance of a dozen skeletal figures and their summoned skinless jaguars. There were screams as civilians fell beneath the jaws of the cats - and even as we began to fight, more cats started appearing from rusted metal rings.

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Protecting Nervard: Angharad flies onto the stage to protect the skyseer (using Nilasa's necklace). The remaining constables become swamped by skeleton 'druids'. Anghard made this decision before Cillian summoned two more jaguars from the rusted water fountain behind the stage.

We managed to defeat the waves of assailants - although several of Nevard’s druids died in the process - and as the enemies faded into the ground and his druids’ bodies were removed, Nevard resumed his speech. He spoke of shadows and smoke, of dangers arising from Cauldron Hill twice-fold, and of the need for people to evacuate to protect themselves.

He also spoke of us - and our efforts to protect both him and the city - and as he did, many voices rose in agreement, citing our various deeds on behalf of the people of Flint. Rescuers of children. Saviours of the king. Protectors of the common folk. Capturers of arsonists. And defeaters of the Mighty Waffle Golem.

Nevard encouraged us all to travel to the Cloudwood, and Thames rallied the dockers to help the people of the Nettles evacuate. As the crowd dispersed, Nevard invited us to his wagon and shared 5 more visions: all cryptic and difficult to decipher.

Confused, conflicted, and torn between our duties and the desire to protect our loved ones, we eventually agreed to head back to headquarters and conduct our interrogation of the dragonborn brothers before heading to the Nettles.

On the way there, Avvakir was handed a note by a child, from a “scary shadow man”. It encouraged us to give up our investigation - supposedly for the “good of Flint”.

We weren’t convinced, and continued on our way. Back at HQ, we collected the paperwork from Dima and spoke to the dragonborn. They revealed that their employer - the one who had recruited them and paid them to burn down several factories - was none other than Angular Man. AKA Cillian Creed. Butler to Mayor MacBannin of the Nettles.

And that, my friends, was the bombshell we ended on. Here’s hoping it doesn’t explode!
 

Echolocation

Explorer
"The great skyseer Nervard Sechim has passed from this world and onto another. He no longer looks upwards with us. Instead, he looks down over us from the heavens above." - Pazamu addressing the Cloudwood crowd after Nervard dies peacefully in communal stargazing with tens of thousands of people.

Session 16 Recap (Courtesy of Angharad's player)

After the rather dangerous rally by Nervard, Team BAD was back at the RHC headquarters, planning what they were going to do, Kaea being asked to identify that strange amulet, but failing. Angharad also asked Kaea if the Court would be able to sabotage the parity lake factories, so the workers could leave, but was told it would take a week or so, but that Angharad would enjoy how the court would do it. And then began the frantic rushing of the party as they split, heading to different places to help with the evacuation, Lisandra to her family, where she found The Family helping out with Otis and the kids. Otis saying everyone but Connor was there, I'm sure that isn't going to be a problem..

Ella went back to her family, and when she was there, gave Andy back his lucky rock, though I believe Ella could still use it.. Then gave Gran Clara the note with Effie's post life words, spending a quiet moment or two together, before getting back to the business of herding the gnomish tribe. Avvakir went to help Ruki, and from there, to help a few other families evacuate, not getting things from his own house at all. Angharad though, decided that Rhys could look after himself.. kinda, and went to make sure Cador and his younger sister Teri got out safe with their few possessions, Teri eager to met Lisandra and Ella, who she called Ellie. When everyone had made it to the Cloudwood, Anghard kinda dumped Cador and Teri on Ella's family, asking permission first, but knowing he wasn't the right one to look after 2 young children, and then proceeded to call out Gariad to look for Nervard, conveniently avoiding the fall out of all the emotional people around him.

Thus, Team Bad went to see Nervardonce again, finding out that he had spoken to Gale, who seemed happy with us, and the Team offered one of their messenger feathers to Nervard, so they could stay in contact easier, and then, it was time for the next speech. The team sat with he druids for this new speech, and once again, Nervard's voice, at a conversational level was heard by the entire crowd, telling us to look up as one people, setting aside our divisions, to embrace the unity of the heavens and the promise of the future, as everyone looked to the nights sky, and listened to Nervard speak of the celestial. Read out descriptions here Mat.

And as people were silent, Pazamu with heavy heart would call out that the Great Skyseer Nervard Sechim has passed from this world, and onto another. He no longer looks upwards with us. Instead, he looks down over us from the heavens above. In a quiet night of introspection, Ella and Lisandra returned to their families, to be close to them for just that little bit longer.

With the next day, the Team spoke to Delft about how they wished to speak to Lt. Dale, and then approach the Mayor and Killian cautiously. Ella had a breakthrough with Lisandra's necklace though, working out it was tied to the bleak gate, seemingly that it would make the creatures of the bleak gate not realise that the wearer is from the material plane. And leading to a conversation that maybe the energies of the bleak gate caused metal to rust, it had been seen a few items now. Dale when the party made it to him, seemed almost excited about the Mayor being arrested when the team had stopped carefully stepping around the point, and just let Angharad bluntly mention it, not wanting Dale to get in between the two parties.

Armed with a bit more knowledge about the Mayor, and Cillian, that Cillian had once been an RHC agent apparently, Team BAD went to Mayor Macbannin's mansion, ready to do their duty, and as they arrived, the mayor himself opened the doors and greeted us, seeming his normally cheerful self, and during the conversation with him, it was noticed that Cillian and many other servants where clustered behind the windows, watching us, instead of doing whatever the Mayor seemed to think they should be doing.. But as the conversation went on, with the Mayor insisting that people where just overreacting, Ella noticed that he seemed to be avoiding some points, or outright lying to use, like when he said he had no idea what was causing the fading of creatures tied to the Bleak Gate.. When the RHC officers had lost their patience with the Mayor putting us off, him joking about us needing a warrent, and one being offered to him, he attacked the Team, while shouting for Cillian to check the reservoir. The servants lobbing their shoes at the Team as the fight started.

The Mayor, meant to shield the world from the curses and dark knowledge of Cauldron hill showed how far he had fallen, turning those curses on the party, Lisandra back on the heal, ghosts attacking her, driving her to wroth, Angharad seeing a clone of himself, fears of the unseen court and their mind games back, over reacting and lashing out, and lastly, Avvakir, with a truly vicious curse, spiting up insects as a mass of them was forming inside of him. Even as these curses were sent out, blows done to the Mayor would not harm him, dropping servants to their knees as they took the pain for the Mayor, a cruel but intended use for that ancient, foul spell that was repurposed when the Team helped Nervard up Cauldron Hill, only a scant few days before.

And with the last curse of bugs open Avvakir looking like he may not be able to hold on, the mayor was taken down, surrendering to the team, and telling us he needed to be taken tot he underground reservoir so he can reverse whatever Cillian has done, even as more rents in the ground opens around the party, witch oil roiling in these earthen wounds.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
One of my players couldn't make the would-be final session of Book 2, so I improvised a one shot.

Interim session - The Great Escape
Starring:
Blander Waryeye and his prized honey badger Bartholomew
played by Lisandra’s player
Danisca Waryeye played by Ella's player

Several days ago, constables came knocking on the House Elf’s door. Although Blander caved, revealing a smuggling plot, he managed to maintain his wife’s involvement with Nilasa, a recently deceased criminal and fey pepper client. Nevertheless, the visit was disconcerting, and Bartholomew has not quite been the same since. Since then, Danisca has made plans to flee to Ber. She’s shipped off most of her and her husband’s supplies, including all but one of his badgers. It’s 6pm, and the city is currently distracted by some Skyseer establishing a safe haven in the Cloudwood. The gnomes’ trek to the ship should be easy….if it weren’t for The Family wanting to chat to the couple before they leave Flint, the gold Kell put on the gnomes’ head, and law officials interested in Danisca’s dealings.

As Danisca and Blander went opened the door to leave the Waryeye Apothecary, two Family men in suits greeted them, and insisted they enter. Well-dressed and initially polite, they removed their hats and engaged in civil discussion. They were seemingly intrigued in the Waryeye’s sudden plans of departure. Danicsa brewed some tea, stirring a potion of Glibness into her own cup, then served the men. Meanwhile, Blander made some nervous idle conversation with the men. She claimed they were travelling to Slate. When one of the men pulled out an itinerary of the boat, Danisca shattered a vial of dreaming dust within the ceiling. The powder knocked out one man, and the other turned, hand on cane. After a failed daze spell from Blander, the man followed Blander throughout the store, triggering a razzle dazzle trap, causing a vicious explosion...that nobody was in vicinity of. After a few attacks from each party, the gnomes declared they were off to catch a ship. The man turned to acknowledge his unconcious colleague, and wished the gnomes a safe travel. It seems The Family did only wish to talk to the couple, rather than prevent their escape or seek retribution.

What was a few hours for a human was five for a gnome. The couple and their badgar begin a long trek from Pine Island to Bosum Strand, where their ship departs. Every half hour or so, there were incidents. Firstly, a curious stranger waved for their attention, but was promptly dismissed by the couple who increased their pace. Then, the couple passed a collection of thugs. Both were perceptive enough to hear one declare to the others, “That’s them! That’s the one that Kell’s after!”. The couple simultaneously drank invisibility potions to lose their tails.... And the attempt would have been successful, if not for Bartholomew. One thug chased the badger, but an incident of ghost sound was enough to distract the thug and get away.

As the couple entered Stray River, they were faced with two threats. Another group of Kell thugs from Pine Island, and Zerex, a gnome trapper interested in poaching Blander’s prized honey badgers. Both closed in on the couple. Thanks to Blanders magic, the thugs were dazed and Zerex was sent into a fit of laughter. Danicsa, using her alchemical assault, melted one thug and drained the life out of the other. The two darted through Stray River then Central District. Once again, they encountered Zerex who was sent into another fit of laughter.

At the edge of Bosum Strand, an astute police officer (secretly crooked) noticed the distressed gnomes. As Blander reported Zerex, Danicsa noticed the officer nodding to another, who brandished a pair of cuffs. Danicsa melted the approaching police officer with alchemical assault, and Blander distracted the other to make a sprint towards the canal bridge. Two more officers approached, leaving the couple with one choice---to jump from the road into a passing barge.

The fall was perilous, and although the debris of the rubbish barge softened their fall, Bartholomew lost consciousness. After a few intense emotions and some cure potions later, Bartholomew was now conscious, though exhausted from his journey. As the barge exited the canal, Pete, a rapscallion constable from the RHC dived into some debris, greeted the happy couple, then dived into the Flint Bay. Before doing so, he requested the couple to keep this incident to themselves.

Following some liasing with the captain, the couple were dropped off at Bosum Strand. The bells bellowing from Central made it clear the Waryeyes were late for their ship...and there was still a 20 minute hustle to go. As the couple ran, Zerex had once again tracked them from behind. Infront, their path was cut off by a carriage assembled from mismatched woods and metals. The door opened, revealing a cannon operated by a figure shrouded by shadow. Zerex was once again sent into a fit of laughter by Blander, and the shadowy figure was doused with jinx juice. Still standing, the figure figures the cannon at Zerex. The Waryeye’s dart out of the way. Blander sends the carriage operator into a fit of laughter, who promptly falls from the carriage in hysterics, declaring in glee how happy he is to kill Zerex for the money she owes. Although unknown to the couple, the goblin giggling in front of the carriage is none other than RHC quartermaster Uncle Ivan. The two gnomes make a break for the ship, darting between allies, and boarding just in time for the vessel to leave. In the distance, Zerex is sprinting towards the ship with a mismatching carriage tailing her. As the gangplank is withdrawn, she jumps in an attempt to board, though a swift animate rope by Blander leaves her dangling from their pier. Uncle Ivan cuts the rope with a knife, ties her up, and throws her in a carriage. The boat departs for Ber, the open ocean promising a new horizon for the happy couple.

Running this session

We had a last minute cancellation by Angharad’s player. I thought this would be a good opportunity for the players to meet Danisca and gain closure on Nilasa’s case. Danisca was the only lead the players’ missed, and they were still confused about who the ‘D.W.’ on Nilasa’s receipt was. I had five minutes to prep this, so it is not the most thorough or interesting session. Nevertheless, the players seemed to have fun. Throughout this encounter, I had players roll a d5 to determine what enemy/ally they encountered in their travels:

A result of 1) The Family. Not interested in preventing the Waryeye’s from leaving, but would like compensation for the inconvenience. Preferably through heavily discounted fey pepper.
A result of 2) Kell Thugs. Lorcan Kell has placed a price on Danisca’s head. He knows she has connections to The Family, and would like more information on their operations. Although Danicsa knows very little, this does not prevent many thugs and scoundrels seeking their capture.
A result of 3) Corrupt police officers. Also in the pockets of Kell, but deploy a little more subterfuge.
A result of 4) Zerex. Zerex, a goblin trapper, is interested in acquiring Blander’s prized honey badgers. She thinks they will fetch quite a price on the market. She is known and hated by the Waryeyes.
A result of 5) Ally from the main campaign. A few of Team BAD’s allies make appearances in this one-shot. Although none are known to the couple, they are generally friendly. Pete (RHC constable) dumpster dives into the canal to escape some vicious criminals, and Uncle Ivan (RHC quartermaster) arrives in his signature carriage to arrest Zerex for unrelated grievances (despite laughing at the prospect of killing her, he is generally law abiding).

Bartholomew has not been the same since Team BAD’s visit, as Angharad secretly fed him fey pepper when Blander was not looking.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
"Terribly maintained" - Ella, scolding Macbannin on the witchoil-dribbling fissures of the reservoir's pipes

Session 17 - Macbannin vs. The State (courtesy of Lisandra's player)

We join team BAD in the garden of Reed Macbannin , home in ruins and yard spotted by pools of bubbling witch oil. After apprehending the curse-flinging mayor, the group, with Macbannin in point, head to the garden shed to find a dead lab worker and a mysterious entrance to a mysterious facility. The mayor instructs them that the pendants found in the dead workers grasp will safely let them pass through the iron ring structure and cautiously following his advice teleports them to a facility apparently located somewhere between the physical realm and the Bleak Gate.
Power cut, they explore by the light of their badges, finding a dead elevator and the mayor points them in the direction of an engine room. As they forge ahead, they pass a room with a scuffling sound coming from it, and Avvakir takes point to investigate. As the door swings open, the familiar, horrifying maw of a skinless jaguar dripping with black oil springing towards him. While the Deva pummels his way through a fight with the beast, Ella and Angharad move to engage with the two other jaguars closing in from the dark of the engine room as Lisandra stays close, keeping a wary eye on the Mayor at her side. As her fellow constables dispatch the creatures, Lisandra’s paranoia pays off, noticing Macbannin staring intently at the jaguars in a way that piqued her suspicion. A few moments later, his eyes began to glow, and as did the eyes of the jaguar fighting Angharad. The creature’s wild demeanour lessened, becoming focused and as Reed’s gaze shifts from the jaguar to the back of Angharad’s head, the beast lashes out in a controlled manner and tears into the Cipith’s leg with its teeth. Lisandra’s wheels on the mayor, ordering him to ‘Stop that!’ as he smashes the hilt of her rapier into the mayor's face, breaking his concentration. Three dead jaguar’s and a weak excuse from the mayor later, Team BAD was not in any frame of mind to trust the Mayor and decided to lock him up in one of the bloody cells in the room beyond. Angharad was all too happy to knock Macbannin unconscious, working with Avvakir to bend the door back into place and barricade him in with a heavy work bench.

In the engine room beyond, Ella gave the broken machine a good once over and her fellows explored the room. Though the healing shower of water by the far door was quite impressive, it was the locked door with the groggy shouts of Wolfgang Von Recklinhausen that caught Team BAD’s attention. Baffled by the lack of a door handle, Avvakir enlisted Ella’s help, and she made quick work of the trapped mechanism that held the door shut, carefully reaching in to the recess to open the latch and reveal Von Recklinhausen in relatively good condition, save for a dose of anesthetic wearing off and a lot of confusion. After explaining the facility was threatening to blow, they gave the doctor Mcbanin’s pendant and told him how to escape, urging him to go to the Cloudwood for refuge before they move ahead, sinking down into a deeper level of the lab that was fraught in more dark passages and blearing alarms.

More searching revealed the control room, with a broken console that Ella proposed would take hours, if not longer to repair even with the tools and materials Avvakir and Lisandra had found in a storeroom beyond. The most alarming part of this area was the rising levels of witch oil bubbling from below, threatening to spill over the runways leading over the reservoir and into the control platform. Desperate to still, or slow the flow, the group headed upstairs to repair the engine as Angharad stayed behind to investigate the farther reaches of the reservoir hoping to divert the oil, or alleviate the pressure via the control found there. The repairs went swiftly, Ella guiding her fellows and when it came time to reluctantly switch the horrific machine on, it was Ella’s turn to be guided, as the spectral hands and voice of her Father walked her through the steps. With a final tug of starter chain, the engine roared to life, leaking oil, but functioning. The lights began to flicker on, and the sound of the elevator starting up was heard from down the hall. Avvakir went to investigate as the girl sprinted downstairs to check on Angharad. The Cipith had been wrestling with a large wheel that seemed to control the flow of the pipes below, eventually able to wrench it into the ‘DOWN’ position. It seemed that their efforts resulted in a slow draining of the oil from the room.

Ella's father guiding her through the steps of priming the engine is a foreshadowing of a unique feat I have designed for each PC. Each character received a unique feat or two in downtime to emphasise more nuanced components of their personality or history.


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The elevator descended, revealing the lever had been pulled back with a leather belt. The tense step towards victory was short lived, as Ella turned to see the shadowy, angular form of Cillian Creed emerge from the stairwell behind them, drawing a silvery gun on her and pulling the trigger. The gunshot rang throughout the reservoir, and Angharad darted off to aid. Lisandra paused by the elevator, to call up to their burly ally above, and instead saw the pale, gray hand of Avvakir hanging limp into the shaft above. When words did not rouse him she held her breath, rose a shaking hand towards him and tried to call on his spirit, praying it wouldn’t answer…

… as the tugged on the ethereal threads of the spirit realm for aid, she was relieved when her hand was guided further along, and the spectral form of a jaguar was pulled into form, leading the way to join the fray with her companions.

The fight with Cillian was savage. The murder of her mother still fresh in her mind, Ella eschewed her rapier and layed claw after claw into the twisted body of man who delivered her mother to Steelshaper. Angharad’s fire burned with a lethal vengeance as he supported his friend. As Lisandra made it into the fray, slinking in behind to flank and driving a blow into Cillian that sent him right into the ripping maw of her spectral ally. Mortally wounded, the angular body of Cillian Creed slumps to the floor. His skin unravels in ribbons of inky shadow, tearing away to reveal face after face of the many aliases of Cillian Creed until the man himself is left at their feet. His true form not too dissimilar to the face they knew, but marred with a spray of scars that disfigured his features. The weight of the moment lingers heavy in the air, but as the spectral jaguar dissipates, Lisandra’s thoughts turn to Avvakir’s unconscious body, uttering the Deva’s name frantically as she sprints upstairs. Angharad checks for a pulse, not phased when there is no heartbeat to be found. Ella pauses for a moment, staring silently down at the corpse, claws balled into fists, before she breaks off and dashes upstairs after Lisandra.

The pair above find Avvakir unconscious, and unphased by Lisandra’s punch to the shoulder as she scolds him for scaring her half to death. Unable to be roused, Ella finds a pinprick to his neck, and assures Lisandra he will wake up given time for the drugs to wear off, Angharad arrives to alert them to a weird magic thing he found in an area the lowered oil had revealed and the group tentatively leave Avvakir to nap while they continue the mission, turning off the soul-burning furnace as they make their way back downstairs.

Ella quickly scoots past Cillian, trying to pay the corpse no mind as she follows Angharad to the device. With some detection and inspection on Ella’s behalf the device was being used to direct the witch oil from the Bleak Gate into this reservoir and the masterminds behind it had only made it two functions; slow or fast. Frustrated by the glaring design flaw, Ella ruminates, muttering angrily to herself, before asserting that the portal to the Bleak Gate could be closed, and made short work of it. She also insisted, to the agreement of her allies, that the device should be destroyed, so that it could not fall into anyones hands. Lisandra leaves Angarad to help Ella destroy the machine, and heads back to the corpse of Cillian Creed.

Dragging him into the store room, she sat him up against a crate and checked over him for evidence, collecting a ring and his gun as she did so and readied herself for an interrogation. She calls to his spirit, tugging on the invisible strings that link to the spirit world. Like always, the colour faded from her view as she slipped into the miminal space in which she communes with the dead… but no Cillian waited there. Confused, she felt herself pulled out of the room onto the walkway above the reservoir where witch oil bubbled and shifted below her. Transfixed, and a little intimidated by the amassing shapes in the oil, Lisandra didn’t notice Ella spot her from the area beyond as she stared at the amorphous face protruding from the blackness. Thousands of voices whispered around her, flying past her in morphed and stretched syllables until the familiar one she sought stood out. She snapped back into focus, and as the oily lips moved, the face identified itself as Cillian Creed.

Steeling herself, Lisandra took a few steps forward toward the railing and asked her questions before the link receded.

“What was your plan to help Flint?” she asked. The face answered back that divulging that information would threaten its success and for the benefit of the realm, he refused to inform her of his plans. What a patriot.

“Then at least tell me, what are the details of your relationship with Steelshaper?”

The face rasped a single word response before the link began to fade. “Professional.”

Frustrated, she turned on her heel, slamming the walkway door behind her as she returned to collecting the few pieces of evidence his body still held. Ella, aware of Lisandra’s side of the conversation, climbed up to get the full story. Regrettably, Lisandra imparted the details.

Wearily, the team shakily pulls themselves together and prepares to make their way back to Flint, Angharad tossing CIllian over his shoulder and a groggy Avvakir in tow.

The scene on the other side was chaotic. The Mayor’s property was teeming with relief crews and police, attempting to recover wounded and keep a handle on the situation. They were relieved when RHC officials joined them. But before the team could make assurances and get brought up to speed, a message from their superior magically rang in their ears, of Delft recalling them all back to HQ. As Avvakir and Lisandra interacted with the relief crews, inquiring as to the whereabouts of the Mayor, Ella rattled off a succinct report to Delft and assured him they would be back as soon as possible.

When the team arrived at HQ, they were greeted at the entrance by a slew of reporters bombarding them with questions. As subtle as they could, they smuggled Cillian’s body inside beneath the privacy of Angharad’s coat and were greeted in the lobby by a collection of their fellow and the popping of a champagne cork.

“Congratulations, constables!” Delft greeted them, brandishing the bottle.

Confusion set in, and the assistant chief inspector congratulated them for the delivery of the Mayor by the hands of their hired mercenaries. Maxwell also awarded them a package that was delivered; a box of coffee from Cafe Paradiso and the pieces fell into place that apparently the Family had delivered the Mayor into custody.

As the group headed to Delft office to fill him in, their celebration was short lived as he announced they would need to get their case in order to take to the Mayor’s trial as soon as it was organized. Which apparently was the next morning, they found out, as a messenger arrived at the safehouse from HQ the following morning with a court summons in hand. Lisandra’s stomach sank as the name of the judge, the “honourable” Henry Valcourt, was listed as overseeing the hearing.

Press was everywhere, and the constables made their way into the courthouse. No comments were given, magic items signed in and relinquished due to protocol and introduction made. Pleasantries were shared as Lisandra introduced her fellow to Judge Valcourt, and new introductions made as Lebrix entered with the Danoran Embassy’s house cleric on his arm. But time was short and the proceedings, well… proceded. Or tried to, as after several minutes of being called on, Macbannin was not escorted in. After some heated whispering between Valcourt and the bailiff, he ordered the constables to collect Macbannin themselves.

They arrived at the holding area to a crowd of curious onlookers, and some stressed looking guards, one of which was terribly stricken. The found Macbannin dead in his cell, face bashed open by the stone wall that was covered in blood. Confused, and a little uneasy, the constables gathered statements and returned to the courtroom to update Valcourt on the situation. Lisandra offered her services to attempt one final interrogation and Macbannin covered body was laid out before her and as she reached out, calling on the spirit of Reed Macbannin … she found nothing. Confused, she tried to focus harder, and when nothing came through, she shook her head in disbelief and declared his soul was just… gone. Murmuring erupted and the Judge called for order. Over the course of a week, official statements were put on the record. The King denounces Macbannin's actions. Some wonder just how deep this corruption goes.

Confused, the constables returned to their work, found to be moved from their high-profile case at Saxby’s orders, and would be turned onto others to apparently ‘spread the load’. And now we find our constables with a little more time to spare, to return to their families and other interests, to collect themselves and pursue their own inclinations outside of work. Flint returns to normalcy, with a few minor adjustments as per the constable's actions.

Post-session comments

Thus concludes Adventure #2. I had a great time with the group in this book. The players loved the opportunity to sink their teeth into Flint and its characters. The combat was well-received. The players are itching for vengeance on Steelshaper and Kell, and are wondering if they will ever know the exact circumstances of Macbannin's death. From a campaign perspective, this book really called for each character to come into being. Players are more accustomed and attached to their characters than ever before. Below is a version of Team BAD's case board before scaling Cauldron Hill.

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Ella's player made the following nominations:
  • Lisandra standing up to Hennet for Moment That Made Me Cheer IRL.
  • Angharad telling Gale killing wasn't the answer for Most Heartwarming Character Development.
  • Connor jumping in the carriage for Most Unexpected Shitshow.
  • Wolfgang giving up his freedom and rapier for Moment That Made Me Go Awwwww.
  • Effie dying for Most Beautifully Constructed and Emotional Scene But Don't You Dare Do That Again Echo Goddamnit.
  • Fighting smugglers with wands of wonder on a ship full of horses for Scariest Moment Turned Unexpectedly Hilarious.
  • Kell's theater scene for Most Ostentatious Villain Reveal.
  • Nevard's death for Most Expected But Poignant Loss.
  • Blander talking about trebuchets for Most Amusing Dialogue.
  • Meeting Cippiano for Most Likeable Criminal.
  • Meeting Cador for Most Adorable Contact.
  • Waking up Ugen for Most Enjoyable Repeat Activity.
Thanks to both writers and DMs whose products and posts helped me run such a fun adventure. I have high hopes for Digging for Lies.
 
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Echolocation

Explorer
Downtime

Between The Dying Skyseer and Digging for Lies, the players had an opportunity to tie up loose ends and hone their abilities. Below, I have written some highlights.

[Group] Boat PARTY!

The constables had a party professional gathering with their boat (the Mistrunner) docked on the shore. An apologetic Rhys (a contact who failed one too many fort saves against alcohol poisoning before meeting the PCs) offered Lisandra and Ella a tailored dress and a grenade voucher for the Kaybeau expo...what more could a woman want?

[Group] Funerals...

The constables attended several funreals: Effie (cause of death: Steelshaper), Armani Li Vecchi (cause of death: indirectly Team BAD who watched the Family member fall into swarming piranhas), and Cillian Creed (cause of death: Team BAD). Creed's funeral was exceptionally small, featuring the man's father, Miss Guava (a tea merchant who Cillian visited daily), and Creed's ex-RHC colleagues, the gunslinging Joaquin and witch Penelope. Both felt a degree of resignation, and wished they never bothered attending.

[Group] Investigate Kell

The party was keen to dig up dirt on Kell. Who am I to hold them back? I ran a few scouting missions (from book five) using only the party members. Ella identified several strongholds within Parity Lake, at the cost of attracting Kell's attention... This will add weight to Kell's actions in the next adventure.

[Group] Attend a Rock Rackus show

Of their own volition, Team BAD wished to observe the modern celebrity and discern whether Rackus could be a valuable resource for planar travel or if he is full of shit. They concluded the latter, after his rambunctious display.

[Group] Dynamic Item Creation...

We play using the dynamic item creation rules of Pathfinder. The group is insistent on trying to make items, despite knowing some of the DC's at lower levels are quite difficult. Under the instructions of Finethir Shinebright, an eladrin-wizard-turned-sheep, the party made a variety of mostly unwanted items. The events involved a gremlin who demanded to be turned into a belt, a mission to infiltrate a dubious warehouse to recover contraband leather, and the Dreaming bleeding through a rather mundane buckler.

+2 Belt of the Aged Singer
This Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 looks aged, and vehemently sings in a belting (pun intended) soprano. Silence and other such spells can suppress the sound as normal. Now proudly sings La Gazza Madra (written by Vossini in 342 AOV) in the entry halls of Kodrof Crestbeam's mansion.

+2 belt of slipperiness
This Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 is incredibly slippery. The bearer gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks, on combat maneuver checks to break grapples, and to CMD against grapples (these bonuses do not stack with grease or other similar effects), but takes a –2 penalty on Sleight of Hand and Disable Device.

Bag, Handy Haversack (Proud)
Functions as a Bag, Handy Haversack, except its wearer can't grant or gain any benefit from the aid another action.

+1 Mithral Buckler of Deeply-Spoken Patriotism
Functions as a +1 Mithral Buckler, except the enhancement bonus only functions for those who care deeply for Risur. When espousing patriotic virtues, the bearer's voice deepens one octave.

[Group] Dynamic Food Creation...

Lisandra was interested in pursuing a new hobby: baking. Fortunately, the party is familar with two chaotic bakers, Pete (Fourth Yerasol War veteran, RHC constable) and Gary (a honey merchant with a habit of infusing pastries with his wizard wife's magical items). I jigged up a dynamic food/potion creation system, whereby baking goes awry due to Gary pouring mysterious potions into mixtures when nobody is looking. The party ended up with rather favourable Cupcakes of Cat's Grace.

Custom feats

I gave each player custom feat(s) to reward and further enhance their roleplay. When designing these, I also kept in mind some aspects of the 3-player party that required rounding out. To maintain balance, I considered each character's current attributes and scales the feats accordingly. For example, Angharad has a high Constitution.

Angharad received his feat whilst the Old Stag gave him a palm reading at a Vekeshi meeting:

Fables Told in Flesh (Angharad, Character)
You were pulled through the vicious fey realm in your formative years, leaving your mind and body forever warped. Although not visible to most human eyes, your body has recorded your history, similar to the rings of a tree trunk or the sediment of a river. At times, the presence of a mere breeze on your skin or the sun glinting on a reflective surface is enough to bring the horrific knowledge of your travels to your consciousness.

You add your Constitution modifier to Knowledge (Nature) checks concerning creatures native to the Dreaming, and may make such checks untrained. You may add your Constitution modifier to Knowledge (Planes) checks concerning the Dreaming, and may make such checks untrained.

You may cast prestidigitation as a spell-like ability a number of times each day equal to your Constitution modifier. This spell-like ability is cast at your highest caster level gained; if you have no caster level, it functions at CL 1st. The spell-like ability‘s save DC is Charisma-based.

You can use your Constitution modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on: Diplomacy checks to persuade Eladrin, creatures native to the Dreaming, and known Vekeshi Mystics; Bluff checks to convince Eladrin, creatures native to the Dreaming, and known Vekeshi Mystics that a lie is true; and Intimidate checks to coerce Eladrin, creatures native to the Dreaming, and known Vekeshi Mystics.

Special: As per the ruling on theme feats, you cannot train others to learn a Character feat.

Sparks and Salves (Ella, Character)
With your relatives huddled in the Cloudwood, you were sent home to collect ingredients for an old family recipe. Entering the silent house is surreal. In a moment of dread, you ponder if this is your family’s destiny—killed one-by-one until all that remains is you and this place. Suddenly, your ruminations are interrupted by laughter bellowing from the kitchen. You cautiously progress towards the impossible: the familiar scent of grease and herbs, the sounds of wrenches, bubbling, and a young Ella giggling at poorly-told jokes and chaotic instructions. It’s as if you have entered a memory, one of many that shaped your unique philosophy on technology. As you enter the kitchen, you find nothing but an empty table illuminated by the setting sun. You look to your hands, which begin to glow in a dull yellow light. Maybe they haven’t left you after all?


You may cast Demetriou’s Direction as a spell-like ability a number of times each day equal to your Intelligence modifier. Demetriou’s Direction functions as Guidance with three exceptions: Demetriou’s Direction may only be used to enhance a skill check, Demetriou’s Direction provides a sacred (rather than competence bonus), and Demetriou’s Direction provides a +2 bonus (rather than a +1 bonus) to Knowledge (Engineering) checks and Heal checks. Demetriou’s Direction is cast at your highest caster level gained; if you have no caster level, it functions at CL 1st. Demetriou’s Direction’s save DC is Charisma-based.

You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on: Diplomacy checks to persuade known members of the philosophical faction; Bluff checks to convince known members of the philosophical faction that a lie is true; and Intimidate checks to coerce known members of the philosophical faction.

Special: As per the ruling on theme feats, you cannot train others to learn a Character feat.

Letter of the Law (Ella, Character)
An esteemed education at Pardwight University allows you to understand legal jargon typically incomprehensible to others. You understand the power of law, and despise those who use laws to exploit the vulnerable.

You gain a competence bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier on Knowledge checks to recall, identify, and understand laws. You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Intimidate checks to coerce a target to obey the local law. You gain a +1 untyped bonus on attacks against humanoids with a lawful evil alignment.

Special: As per the ruling on theme feats, you cannot train others to learn a Character feat.

Fox in a Henhouse (Lisandra, Character)
Nobles cannot help but divulge information to you, as they fall for your charms. This has given you reassurance in your abilities to smooth over scepticism directed to your or your allies.


You gain a untyped bonus equal to your Charisma modifier on Knowledge (Nobility) checks and a competence bonus equal to your Charisma modifier on Sense Motive checks against nobles identified by a Knowledge (Nobility) check.

Once per day, when you or your allies fail a Diplomacy check to persuade others, you may reattempt the Diplomacy check.

Once per day, when you make a Sense Motive check, you may roll twice and take the better result.

Special: As per the ruling on theme feats, you cannot train others to learn a Character feat.

Fox in a Foxhouse (Lisandra, Character)
You cannot shake the nature of your upbringing. Whether consciously or unconsciously, you act with Father Otis’ wisdom. As a result, those who appreciate pleasant subterfuge are more easily swayed by your words.


You may add your Charisma bonus to Appraise checks to appraise clothes.

You gain a untyped bonus equal to your Wisdom modifier on: Diplomacy checks to persuade known members of the Family; Bluff checks to convince known members of the Family that a lie is true; and Intimidate checks to coerce known members of the Family.

Special: As per the ruling on theme feats, you cannot train others to learn a Character feat.

[Group] A gift from the capital

After feedback from the group, it became clear the party would benefit from an explicit list of items their characters would be likely to have on their person. For example, I always let the party have a couple of handcuffs on hand. We introduced a retcon, each character always had a Constable's Kit on their person. The alternative name for the kit pays homage to another character played by Ella's player---Rivyn (from Ruins of Azlant). Ella's player was instrumental in the designing of the kit, so this was my way of allocating credit.

Constable’s Kit (AKA Rivyn’s Repertoire of Reliable Resources Prototype B19A)
Cost
- Weight -
In the founding years of the Royal Homeland Constabulary, a research assistant Rivyn theorised a collection of tools that maximised field investigation potential. After several versions, Rivyn arrived at a final set of items. Somehow, his formulation is so optimised that the kit is weightless.

Contains a map of Lanjyr, a map of Flint, a small primer on laws and constable conduct, handcuffs, basic writing supplies, a magnifying glass, evidence bags, gloves for handling evidence or potentially dangerous substances, a signal whistle to request aid, a compass, a tindertwig.

Special: The Constable’s Kit is requisitioned from the Royal Homeland Constabulary.

[Group] A gift from Hennet

The group loved/hated Hennet so much, I couldn't let the story end at The Thinking Man's tavern. Hennet proudly sent the party a copy of his new book: The Stone Fruit. The book itself is worthless, and functions as 1 days supply of firewood.

The blurb:
When one is born into this world, the subject is contextualised into a predialectic self that includes reality as a reality. The subject is interpolated into a Solvonist obscurity that includes culture as a paradox. Several appropriations concerning post-textual destructuralism may be found within the archaeological unearthings of both society and mind. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a subcultural narrative. This text is a dedicated pursuit into the refinery of the participant as observer, and observer as participant.

The review:
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[Lisandra] Get to know the constable Gaethan

Lisandra wanted to chat to the fellow ghosttalker, so we settled it offscreen:

CW: domestic violence.

When the conversation with Gaethan opens one afternoon, he asks Lisandra if she has tried Pixieberry tea. Irrespective of her response, he prepares and pours two glasses offering one to Lisandra. As Gaethan and Lisandra both drink, they bond socially disclosing anecdotes of cases, though Gaethan frequently consults a notebook kept in his front pocket. Eventually, Lisandra discovers Gaethan is a masterful sketcher, and bond over the hobby. Perhaps even sharing sketches. Over the course of discussion, the topic of spirits come up. To summarise, Lisandra learns Gaethan was not born with powers, but received them early in life after witnessing his neighbour enter a fit of rage and brutally, yet accidentally, killing his wife. After the man fled his house, Gaethan snuck in feeling a need to check on the woman. Over the corpse, Gaethan noticed a near-transparent silhouette. He asked her what he should do. Thanks to the woman's instruction, Gaethan turned evidence over to the police.

Lisandra learns a few more anecdotes surrounding consultations of spirits, which unlike the previous anecdotes are recalled with vividness. Gaethan knows his memory and mind are failing him. Sometimes he finds it hard knowing whether he is talking to a person or a spirit. As a precautionary measure, he treats each person with respect and care, just in case they have recently died. As the conversation wraps up, Gaethan asks Lisandra if she's tried Pixieberry tea.

[Lisandra] Check up on Dale

Every time Lisandra visits Dale in Reed's old residence, the front yard is more and more decorated with a bizarre collection of toys, freshly baked goods, lit candles, and chalked sigils. Although Lisiandra may initially be worried for Dale's mental health, he assures her that according to his thesis, these seemingly-benign tokens have kept ill-meaning spirits from the folk of the Nettles for decades. Dale sends a collection plate weekly to Nervard's Cloudwood camp, in which children and adults alike donate their favoured keepsakes in order to keep the Hill safe.
Reed's dining area has been transformed into a study. Written on one chalkboard is Nervard's final vision. On another, are several sigils that Dale has been practicing. Books are scattered throughout the house documenting the Bleak Gate, inhibiting planar travel, and combatting creatures of the damned. It is clear Dale has resorted to less conventional texts for his work. Even books documenting Triegenes' (the Clergy's god) defeat of the demonocracy lay open.

Dale has been focusing his efforts of combining Nettles' wards against pervasive evils, such as toys and a nice meal, with combat prowess. Lisandra spots a nearby sword with a teddy bear strung at the hilt. As Dale explains his thoughts, he speaks with the same unrelenting fervour he explained his thesis with. It's clear has hasn't quite figured it out yet, but he's optimistic he'll get there...in a year. He reminds Lisandra that academic breakthroughs can take decades. The absurd arguments weaved by Dale may leave Lisandra concerned, but he assures her that the spirits of the Hill can't possess him so long as he is surrounded by childhood toys.

[Group] Interviews

Bartholomew Pryce made it clear to Team BAD that he intends on writing a special issue on Macbannin's corruption in the Pryce of Progress. He made it clear that the Team could answer his questions, or he would seek alternative sources for information that may...misconstrue the constable's character. Despite the heavy handed threat, the party was compliant and Lisandra's and Ella's players sent me quite in depth answers to Mr Pryces questions.

When interviewing Avvakir, who's player is no longer involved in the campaign, it became clear that Avvakir was feeling disillusioned with the RHC. Every time he tries to do something for the people of Flint, the Inspectress Margaret Saxby shuts him down. After a rather vocal departure with the Lady, Avvakir took indefinite leave after this 30 years of service in Flint. He now turns his efforts, and rather successfully, to dragging in his bestie Roland into the affairs of the dockers. This sets into motion a longcon of...

The deva Avvakir being killed by the governer later in the adventure. He will be groomed and trained to work against the party and furthering the Ob's goals. Towards the end of adventure nine, this will become apparent when Avvakir joins the fight against the party. However, the deva has a big heart, and the party will have an opportunity to appeal to his comradery and turn him against his master.

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[World] Pemberton

For whatever reason, I equated 'folksy' with 'Ber', so on the Coaltongue, Pemeberton insinuated he was born in Ber. Reading ahead, I don't think this is the biggest issue, but I did want to make it clear Pemberton is invested in Risur's industry. Morever, I wanted to add a sense of foreboding. The party despises Pemberton and Gale's subertfuge at Goodson's wedding has created a vaccuum of power the Beran is more than happy to fill.

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[Party] The repercussions of dealing with arsonists...

The party cooperated with most criminals in book #2. They even gave the half-dragon arsonists safe passage in exchange for information on Cillian. I didn't want to let them entirely off the hook. Later in the Summer months, Dima regretfully showed the party an article. As she handed it over to Angharad, she scrunched her face: "I didn't know when to tell you. There were bigger evils", she assured the party, "do not be too hard on yourselves".

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Echolocation

Explorer
That's quite a lot.
Yeah...I had no idea how to format the post. I hope it was legible.

It's amazing what a passionate group can churn out in a week.

I know one of my players is quite story driven, so I limit downtime sessions to a single week. The wonders of the internet allow me to handle a lot off screen. I didn't even mention Ella's intellectual quest to research mysteries from book 2: the metaphysics of witchoil, historical records of the Steelshaper, and any forecast of the stars falling from the sky...
 

Echolocation

Explorer
"You're not on the list to see the list." - Bouncer outside of the Pemberton Industries tent, moments after the constable's inquire if they see the list of guests they are apparently not on, and moments before Benedict himself makes an appearance and denounces the bouncer for his formality.

In the start to Digging for Lies, a new player joined our group. He created "John", a young gunslinger/druid (!) who escaped the circus with his lion, Sidney. The Viscount Inspector personally inducted him into the RHC offices of Slate, and steered him onto a path of justice. He carries an exotic Drakran sniper (a gift from the Viscount Inspector), that he sadly was forced to use against his partner when he uncovered a plot to assistant his boss. Nigel recommended John keeps his head low for the time being, and assigned him a petty job of determining if any of the technological wares at the Kaybeau expo is worth Slate's dime.

One note moving forward is that Ella has a voucher for a grenade (worth up to 750 GP) from Markov's Munitions.

Session 18 - Panic! At the techxpo (courtesy of Ella's player).

After two and a half months of officework Saxby finally let us out into the field again: this time as glorified security guards for the Kaybeau technology expo. Dozens of experimental weapons and high-powered guns on display and available to the public... What could go wrong?

Arriving on the first morning of the expo, we caught our first sign of potential trouble: a blackclad half-elf woman staring at us intently, who vanished into the crowd before we could approach. Now suitably paranoid, we liaised with... a surprisingly agreeable police sergeant, and started canvassing the area. Following the sergeant’s advice, we checked the smaller tents and booths first: looking for signs of nefarious individuals or underhanded deals.

This... didn’t get us much - except for free ice cream and alcohol from Bee and Heward - until we met a fellow constable named John. He explained that he was from Slate and was in town for the expo, and offered to help us with our duties for the day. We gladly accepted, and - accompanied by John and his impressive Drakran rifle - continued on our patrol.

The oil prospecting tent... didn’t hold much - except for some perilously ignitable oil barrels and a head researcher who got rather flustered at John’s questions about environmental sustainability.

The grenade booth though seemed like a much better bet for shady dealings: being manned by a tall, sinister fellow with… sinister features and… menacing mannerisms and… well, he was just really super creepy. He didn’t actually seem to be up to no good though. And unlike the other vendors he actually had his hazardous wares safely locked up. He redeemed Ella’s grenade voucher and we continued on our way.

The trinkets stall was likewise benign - although Lisandra did acquire some lovely shell necklaces. And the cannery tent was… well... a veritable celebration of the newfound art form of cans! And beans. Basically just canned beans. But they have more canned goods coming! Just you wait and see the wonders canning technology will create!

Unfortunately the next tent belonged to Pemberton. More unfortunately the very sensible guard out front with his list who wouldn’t let us in was overridden by Pemberton, who stuck his head out and invited us all inside. We reluctantly entered, finding alcohol and beautiful women aplenty but not that much else... Just… really creepy mechanical lions - oh I’m sorry, B.E.A.R.s [Battle-Enhanced Animalistic Replicas] - and a construct control headband that... really didn’t seem to work very well.

After a brain-meltingly circular explanation of construct guidance systems by Pemberton’s tech guy, we threw some snark at him for the unviability of hideously expensive mechanical cats and GTFO’d, finding ourselves outside a much nicer tent: one with a mechanical orchestra!

As pleasant a change as that was, we still had a job to do, so after oohing and aahing over the clockwork piano we headed over to the stage area.

And there we met Nock. A half-giant with a dream. A dream to fire 7 bullets at once from the largest gun possible! A dream that he had made a reality - and one that Angharad was very keen to try out.

We had a good laugh at the firing range as Angharad annihilated a target and fell flat on his butt, and John met an old friend: Joaquin - another constable from Slate! The two had a friendly shooting contest - which John won - and they politely didn’t laugh as Ella utterly failed at her first attempt to shoot a gun.

The next marvel of the day was a super cool suit of mechanical armour! Which was… sadly not working. But Ella managed to help the engineers get it back on track so maybe we can check that out later!

The next stall though: that was the real treasure. Run by gnome sisters Fildi and Dilfi: proud co-creators of the one and only Badger Gun.

YES! For the low, low price of 5,000 gold you too can have your own interdimensional badger-summoning firearm connected to the Dreaming! Or BETTER YET: for just the cost of a +1 enchantment you can shoot badgers from your very OWN gun!

...Honestly, I don’t think anything could top that: not even Angharad’s expression when he heard the gnome sisters refer to him as “Gale’s friend”. Although that does make me wonder what Angharad’s been getting up to in his downtime…~.~

Next up though was a blast from John’s past! In the form of Kvarti Gorbatiy: a dwarven mercenary with probable Eschatologist leanings who asked us the rather odd question of whether we thought Mayor Macbannin had been content with his death. We... somewhat confusedly answered yes? And he thanked us and wandered off into the crowd. Odd kind of a fellow...

A quick stop at Al’s Ammo shop netted John some discounted ammo - on account of his excellent maintenance of his Drakran rifle - and offered Ella another chance to prove how utterly abysmal she is at shooting things. That done, we found ourselves with one last place in the area to check. The stage. Where a rather familiar looking figure was moving about.

Who could it be?
What wonders might be about to unfold?
Will rangemaster Timothy Lammers ever get the pleasure of watching someone shoot their own foot off?
Find out the answers to possibly none of these next session! On Zeitgeist: Panic! at the Techxpo.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 19
Recap courtesy once again to Ella's player

Like the good friends and coworkers we are
, we began the session by dragging Angharad over to Rock Rackus and introducing him! This had the… unintended consequence of getting Angharad invited to Rackus’ tent for a book-signing and… anything else he was interested in.

Ella and Lisandra abandoned their friend to his flustered protests and went snooping around the stage. Not finding much, they proceeded to sneak into Rackus’ tent. What they found there was… highly questionable, just… not illegal. PS: Rock decorated his tent with numerous pieces of erotic art depicting his time in the Dreaming. Naturally, his features were ... quite exaggerated.

Regrouping, we headed towards the newly operational steamsuit display, but were brought up short by the sound of screams from behind Al’s Ammo. A horrible flying mouth with tentacles and two oversized dragonflies were hovering there, attacking the civilians beside the shooting targets.

As we watched a young man with a golden staff started lashing out at the monsters - shooting magic missiles - but each use of his staff seemed to summon more monsters.

The odd creatures flickered, seemingly switching between corporeality and some kind of semi-real state, making hitting them difficult, but eventually we defeated them. The mercenary Kvarti helped, proving an excellent shot, and Constable Joaquin held back the crowds. John’s animal companion Sydney even made an appearance! But despite our combined efforts several civilians died in the aberrations’ assault.


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I roleplayed these creatures as if they feasted upon a particular kind of thought. For example, the dragonfly-esque beasts feasted upon fear, so characters felt a moment of calm pass over them when hit by a ray of dark light. Something both John and Ella experienced, as shown below.

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Rock Rackus tried to claim all the glory, having made several of the killing blows with his golden gun, but his bravado vanished as a dead woman with a golden bullet in her throat was found in the crowd.

As angry murmurs arose we called Delft and explained the situation, and in short order medics and RHC staff were on-scene and confiscating all the magic weapons and items. The police took Rackus into custody and we had the opportunity to question the young man who’d been using the staff.

This was Simon Langfield: a rich young noble who seemed to have no idea that his staff had been summoning terrible monsters to murder people. He only bought it yesterday after all! From a shady arms dealer in an alley! How could it have possibly gone wrong?

The staff itself was an extremely expensive but seemingly innocuous item - although with some historical significance. It certainly didn’t seem capable of summoning aberrations.

Confused - and fully expecting a scolding from Saxby about causing a scene - we returned to the RHC headquarters to find everything in an absolute uproar. Apparently we were being audited. By the Viscount Inspector! And Saxby wanted to see us in her office! Lovely.

Despite all the fuss Viscount Inspector Nigel Price-Hill turned out to be quite nice - no doubt thanks in part to John’s glowing recommendation of our team. Saxby shooed us out of her office before we received too many compliments, and Delft gave us the news that John might be joining our team - if we were willing.

We met the constable himself in the breakroom, and he shared a little more about his past. He had grown up in a circus, but ran away with Sydney to find a better life, and was eventually taken in by none other than Nigel the flipping Viscount Inspector.

Taking a moment to recover from this bombshell, we formally met John’s animal companion, Sydney: the fiercest lioness and bestest girl. Carlao even dropped in to say hi to her! Duty called though, so Carlao left and Angharad and Ella followed suit, heading to the office to remove the incrimin- I mean... tidy the paperwork... while Lisandra showed John around.

Jobs done, we left Uncle Ivan to his paperwork and set off for the Fatal Footstep, eager to show John the best bar in town. On the way though we spotted a mysterious hooded figure in the crowd. It stared at us and then vanished before we could do anything, so we continued on to the tavern to drink away our unease.

John navigated the famously fatal step easily enough - much to Ella’s disappointment - and a night of merriment was had. Also alcohol. A lot of alcohol. Perhaps too much alcohol in the case of Ella and John. As the investigator ranted at the sky for a bit and then summoned a pony, and the druid turned into a pony and had a pony chat.

Angharad and Lisandra - nowhere near drunk enough to understand any of this - were nonetheless thoroughly amused. But the evening had to come to an end eventually and everyone found their way to their beds.

The morning brought more strife though - as mornings in Zeitgeist tend to do - in the form of a letter delivered to Angharad’s door. After many bribes with sugary treats, the delivery gremlin admitted that it had been handed the letter by another gremlin and didn’t actually know who the original sender was. The contents of the letter were… well, we were about to find out.

Delft greeted us all at the office with pastries and Lisandra - being the beautiful soul she is - provided extra strength coffee for the less… awake members of the team. We were given our new mission: find the woman who sold Langfield the faulty staff, and Delft left us to it.

Angharad promptly interrupted any plans by staring at John and slapping a letter on the desk. The contents were concerning. Someone wanted Angharad to murder Rock Rackus. Supposedly on behalf of the head of the vekeshi mystics: the Old Stag. And yet… everything about the letter seemed to suggest this was a personal request rather than an order from on high.

Concerned... confused... and with John reeling from the news that his new coworker was apparently a Vekeshi terrorist… we were all left wondering what exactly to do next. Should we investigate the arms dealer? Follow up on Angharad’s questionable orders from the Vekeshi Mystics? Or... just report our Cipith friend to our bosses and let them deal with it?
 

Echolocation

Explorer
I've fallen behind on uploading these. I'll try to catch up over the next few weeks.

Session 20 - Not Just Busy Work
Courtesy of Lisandra's player

A new morning, a new friend and a new case. With a woman seen in a blue trench coat apparently making back-alley deals to peddle magical items in Flint, Team BAD were finally taken off of busy work and glorified security detail. This new morning also brought with it a mysterious letter Angharad shared, claiming to be an assassination order for Rock Rackus, the Docker celebrity currently held at Central Police on suspicion of murder from the day prior. Under the protection of Lisandra’s new magic trick, the group held a private conversation. Angharad considered the note suspicious, as the delivery method differed to his previous instructions from the Old Stag and he wanted to let his fellow know he was looking into it.

Conversation was interrupted by a knock at the door… from Pete, of all people… who looked just as tightly wound as he had been walking out of Saxby’s office that same morning. Awkwardly, he professed the complete normalness of such behaviours before leaning in to whisper to Ella, “You don’t think they bugged the place, do ya?”

The tiefling went to belay his concerns, but paused, and wandered out into the hall to inspect for magic. After a few moments, she turned to welcome Pete into the office, over to the small portion of the room Lisandra’s magick protected and proceeded to confirm… yes. Yes they had bugged the place. Assuring their fellow constable that this particular area was safe to speak freely in, Pete continued to relay to the group a tidbit of information from their old case on MacBannin and the Witch Oil. A woman in a blue trench coat has been spotted fleeing the garden shed on the mayor’s property when Killian Creed had begun evacuations.

With this new bit of information reinforcing the importance of their current case, the team made haste to investigate their only lead… the alley way rendezvous that Mr. Langfield had pointed them to. Unfortunately… or most fortunately, instead of finding a clue they found a new ally awaiting; Millie, aka Millipede the Magnificent, a… very hyperactive bluejay that seemed to share a telepathic connection with Ella as the pair began chatting away about the case. After a seemingly one-sided conversation, Ella announced that the bird… I mean, Millie, happens to know how this woman in the trenchcoat makes her appointments and would be happy to share her own findings on the case if she were able to tag along and assist.

Ella has wizard levels, and has been seeking a familiar. After talking to the player about various options, she was most happy for Ella's familiar to be introduced through the story organically. Thus, here we are. For whatever reason, I thought familiars could only talk telepathically with their master. We found out later I was entirely wrong about this. This eventually results in Ella slowly teaching Millie to talk verbally.

A little baffled, but unwilling to return to HQ with an arrested bird for questioning, the team agreed to take Millie on as a Honorary Constable for the day in exchange for the information. They are informed that if they enter the trinket booth at the Expo and say to the attendant at the back, “I am looking for an anniversary gift for my wife Ethel”, you will be sold a box containing the time and location of the next meet.

Considering Team BAD’s recent bout with notoriety, they decide it would be best if John took the lead on this, and he set to work on obtaining a gift for his imaginary spouse. As it turned out, Millie’s intel was correct, and he left the trinket stand with an ornate jewelry box with a note containing the details of the meet. 4pm, Lanternwood Sub-rail Station construction site in central, just across the way from the fairgrounds.

On the way back to HQ to discuss further planning, Angharad noticed an older gentleman watching them over the top of his copy of the Flint Times. The Cipith watched as the man folded his paper under his arm and began to follow them. As he notified his fellows, their stalker took a hard right down a street and Angharad immediately summoned Gariad to follow. The flaming pterosaur was spotted and watched as the gentleman snapped his fingers and vanished from view. Though the flaming companion recognized it as magic, he has no idea what the exact spell used was.

Warily, Team BAD returned to their bugged office to strike up a plan on how best to approach the meeting this afternoon with a degree of subtlety and perhaps gather a little more intel. To best use their time, the group decides to split their efforts.

Ella headed to the site of the meeting under the guise of a construction worker, thanks to the use of a Disguise Self. Millie offered her support at a distance as the pair got the lay of the land first-hand. John headed to City Hall to procure the official plans and maps for the site. Angharad decided to procure some funds to assist in John’s bluff by less conventional methods, leaving a meeting with a Vekeshi contact with a chest filled with a large sum of illusionary gold. Lisandra also made use of her own shady connections, paying Dozi a visit in Stray River and spent some time speaking to Monsieur Cippiano about the mysterious woman selling magic items on the sly… who apparently also has a 7-foot-tall machine-like bodyguard that accompanies her around.

With recon concluded and some helpful information under their belts, Team BAD formulate their plan and head to the site to attempt a stealthy approach to their sting operation in the pouring autumn rain. With the help of some invisibility magick, Ella and Angharad made their way to some cover unseen, the tiefling almost running into one of the woman’s hidden lackeys and as John headed in to begin the mock purchase, Lisandra approached from behind, slipping through the fence on the far side and take up some cover as close as she could behind the woman and her looming bodyguard.

Unfortunately, the wares were beyond John’s means and his attempts at perhaps receiving a discount drew some suspicion and she surveyed the grounds, asking John if he came alone. Hi bluff did not convince her otherwise and she snapped her fingers. From beneath the tarps of covered wood, one of which Ella and Angharad were hidden behind, small mechanical turrets skittered out from beneath the timber, priming their guns.

While Angharad made short, and regrettable work, of one of the turrets, the slippery mud floor of this arena got the better of Lisandra, sending her skidding on the ground and taking cover against the other.

Team BAD now find themselves pitted against the woman, her gun support and massive witch-oil construct of a body guard. Will they prevail and arrest the peddler and her crew? Or get turned to goo beneath metallic fists? Will Lisandra ever learn prestidigitation to clean her soiled, fashionable clothes? Find out… in this week’s episode of Zeitgeist: The Adventure of Team Bad.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
"I hope you brought more than knives" - Kaja Stewart

Session 21
Courtesy of yours truly

Not too much to say for this session, went pretty by the book. The fight with Kaja was nearly deadly for John, who struggled to back up from Kaja's bodyguard on slippery mud. There was a lot of sliding from allies and enemies alike. Despite Kaja's well-received gun summoning abilities, she ended up surrounded by constables, one of which tripped her. In an attempt to escape, she rolled off the edge of the station, nearly knocking herself unconscious in the process. She surrendered shortly after.

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John's (indicated by the green markers) terrible lies are caught out, as he struggles to maintain his disguise as his friends surround Kaja.

Team BAD arrested the two criminals (Kaja and Samson, the Kell thug) to interrogate them at HQ. The questioning was refreshing, as the two were brutally honest. Samson revealed their was a bounty on Ella's head (who previously investigated Parity Lake for Kell operations), smug in the assurance that he would be bailed out by Kell. Kaja's interviewing went well, until the group got righteous regarding their opinion on witchoil. After fierce philosophical debate, the group called it a night.

The next morning, the group were frustrated to hear Kaja was transferred, but revealed when Delft suggested a lead---the curator of the Museum of Natural History. Angharad rolled quite high on the knowledge (local) to identify the curator, so I ad libbed a brief story about an annoying dinner the two shared. The group interviewed the curator, then Xambria by extension. She told them a rather curious story of a digsite expedition that went horribly wrong, and begged them to investigate, recommending they speak with Caius Bergeron. Lisandra had already met Caius, and despite good first impressions, she was anxious about approaching a noble for casework. The session ended with the group outside of Xamrbia's apartment, discussing the need to assign witness protection.
 
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