2006-10-30


Adventure: Sheep’s Clothing
Sessions: 2006-10-30, 2006-11-04
Player: Daniel Thai
PC: Tuiluilan
Status: Fighter 2

Dear Father,

Thank you again for preparing the weapon I mentioned previously. Also, thank you for not chastising me overly much for my behavior. First of all, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing on paper, rather than the significantly cheaper parchment I normally write on. Would you believe that I got it from Councilor Raidith’s house in Sharn? Well, another, adventure happened.

OK, first thing I should mention is that I got along reasonably well with the other adventurers, especially Alain. He’s a fellow fighter, seems to get along reasonably well with the other people, and serves as the leader at times, although I have a strong personality too. Anyway, it all came down to slightly after I sent you the last note. Xame, the coward who stole the torch—you remember the last letter—decided that he wanted a fair share. I gave him all the money I had left after paying you just to make him go away. Alain was most helpful in convincing him that he would be better off elsewhere. Eventually, Mike, the raptoran, gave him 300 pieces of gold, and he went away. Good riddance, I say. I can’t communicate to you how much he and I clashed—both over morality and taste. He had poor taste, especially when it came to rat stew. But I digress.

Anyway, eventually, we had to figure out why some treaty (and they never did tell me which one, or what it was about), was going to be passed. It was between Breland and the house of Cannith. Some guy decided to change his vote with no explanation. Through various spells and interesting diplomacy, we found out that Lord Raidith’s bodyguard had had something to do with a house Cannith official’s death. Eventually, through more intrigue, we ran into a wererat and I struck him a blow that I’m sure he remembered. The thing about wererats is that they have thick skin, but I managed to get lucky. Mike, the raptoran—he kept the wererat safely underneath him. I also remember squashing a rat against the wall with one of my ends of my quarterblade—although I forget which one it was. Anyway, we eventually figured out that he was planning to use wands that eliminate magical auras from magical… things, I guess. I don’t know. Anyway, those who did know about magical things, and I myself, found this serious.

After that, Lord Raidith decided to invite us for dinner, a most unfriendly visit, you can be sure. I decided to talk it over with Alain, who seemed strangely argumentative. I wanted to plan for every detail, while he decided that he was going to only plan for one thing—a standard double cross. However, we did acquire two warforged as reinforcements, should we need them—courtesy of the baron of the house of Cannith—by whose grace Raidith was a councilor.

I wish I could regale Mom with the tale of a battle, but unfortunately, I spent most of it in a stupor. After having gotten into the house (and helped myself to some of Lord Raidith’s paper), I rushed into the room and saw Raidith. As he informed us that he wished that we would could commit suicide, I readied an attack. But before I could attack, his ally saw fit to blast me with a spray of colors. At first I thought they were so pretty, but soon I realized that I couldn’t see anything except a swirling mass of color. Blues and reds sparkling before my eyes in a sea of… something. The next thing I felt was someone slapping me awake. I still was petty groggy, and I couldn’t move, but I could tell that it was a small hand. A halfling’s hand. Then, later, it seemed to lift somewhat, and I heard another halfling voice say something about a musclehead. He only used that word to refer to Alain and me, and I don’t think it was Alain. Anyway, eventually I came to, only to find out that the battle was over, and that I had an aching wound in my side.

He, our adversary that is, was smiling. He was looking at Antinua like she was his long-lost sister or something. Now, he wasn’t fighting, and there were 8 of us to 1 of him, so I wanted to grab him then and there. But strangely, no one else seemed to agree with me. Even Alain, who had seemed reasonably straight forward and decisive didn’t want to. So instead, we posted a guard, and waited for massive reinforcements from the Sharn watch. But, predictably, he disappeared before we could lay hands—or wings in Mike’s case—on him. Oh well. We were treated to a royal feast, and I got a brand new set of shining armor. Magical armor, even. Mom would be so jealous that she doesn’t have one. Anyway, that’s it for this note. I hope this letter finds you all in good health, and may the Sovereign Host watch over you.

Your Loyal Son,

Tuiluilan.

P.S. Beware rat stew.

Player’s Notes

This is the last post of Tui because he died in the next adventure.

Adventure: Sheep’s Clothing
Session: 2006-10-30, 2006-11-04
Player: Michael Busch
PC: Mike
Status: Monk 2

What I will tell you now is such that I ask you not to speak of it to any others than raptorans. The flocks will laugh, and debate my wisdom and that of my fellow adventurers, but we were hired to locate a traitor to the ruler of one of the dragonmarked houses. I would rather that humans not learn of this conversation.

Things improved after the visit to the sewers. I was still staying at a tavern, but the company was considerably better. I learned more of my companions. Tui you have heard of. Alain had been in the Brelish infantry during the war and recently mustered out, although with a surprising knowledge of the noble houses for a footsoldier. Antinua has a small viper she calls Indigo, who generally is wrapped around one of her arms.

A few weeks after we left Elaydren, something happened which is discouragingly common for adventurers. Someone tried to kill us in our sleep. Then again, we were hardly in a well-defended rookery. We subdued the assassin, a human female who did not seem in command of herself. Then guards of House Cannith arrived. They bound the woman and led her away, and told us to meet the Lady at the usual place. Since I didn’t recall doing anything someone should kill me for, I went with the others, in search of enlightenment.

Elaydren informed us that the assassin, who had been dominated, was a counselor to Baron Merrix d’Cannith, and that she would be quietly exiled. Elaydren then offered us a job. The Baron was trying to decide if he should approve a treaty with the Brelish government, to give them various unspecified technology. Elaydren, who does jobs for the Baron that no-one else has the latitude for, suspected that someone was interfering with the counselors. They were changing their opinions on the treaty, and one had now attacked us for no apparent reason. We agreed to investigate, and she gave us lodgings in the House Cannith enclave and papers to gain access to the Baron and his advisors.

We spent the next several days wading through the tangle of House politics. The replacement counselor for the assassin was replaced by an unknown on a forged application; one of the other counselors, Raidith, wore a magical circlet and a very ugly man named Klid served as his bodyguard. A House Cannith clerk was found in the sewers with his throat ripped out. We also saw Xame, now apparently a cleric, who claimed to be a low-level bureaucrat, but as I said Elaydren doesn’t like loose ends, so it was obvious that he was on a parallel mission.

We lost a day when Tui decided to chase Klid into the depths by himself. He got lost and did not have any coins or sufficient diplomacy to ask for a guide to the heights. It took him some time to return, whereupon he was proud to have mapped his way back. At the same time, Antinua had persuaded Klid to meet us that evening. Klid did meet us, and brought a half-dozen rats with him, which attacked us. They did not do so well. The snake got two of them by itself. Klid, on the other hand, was apparently a wererat and a practitioner of the philosophy that if you interfered with him, he would kill you. Enlightening him was rather unpleasant, but in his effects we found wands that would suppress magical auras and instructions from Radith that they should be used on the other counselors.

The next day, Elaydren had disappeared. There was a note on her door, from Raidith, who invited us to ‘dinner to discuss the matter’. We informed the Baron, who agreed that the treaty should not be passed given the lengths to which its supporters were willing to go. He also ordered all of the offices to be swept for the suppressing wands and assigned two warforged to assist us in recovering Elaydren.

Raidith’s house had a rigged front door, but Xame had gotten there before we did and smashed a window. Raidith had controlled Elaydren as he had the other counselors, and also dominated Alain. He was subdued by Antinua, while Xame served some purpose by releasing Elaydren and Alain from control. Tui had been knocked out by a spray of lights and color. We got Elaydren away, but Raidith escaped before the Sharn Watch arrived. He was kind enough to leave his magic items behind.

Baron Merrix was pleased by these events, and we were rewarded with more magic items. I mean no disrespect to your profession, for you only summon the forces of nature, but I am wary of trusting my safety to a ring and an amulet. These towers stand, but they aren’t easily injured by steel.

Considering that Xame saved our skins, he seemed to be more accepted by the others. He has stopped trying to lift from everyone in sight, but seems to have some more sophisticated dubiousness planned. You see how strangely the surface-dwellers act, I hope.

Adventure: Sheep’s Clothing
Session: 2006-10-30
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Antinua
Status: Wizard 2

Dear Kanathas:

I received your last letter; I notice that you had not yet read my previous one. No matter. I understand your concerns about our communications. I am perfectly capable of being discreet. Also, the courier you found appears to be trustworthy, and less expensive than the services of House Sivis.

We spent some time resting together in Sharn after our last escapade. By “we,” I include everyone except for Xame. He was still rather unhappy about the distribution of newly acquired wealth, and the rest of us were none too pleased with him.

As for me, I spent a large fraction of my gains from traversing the sewers upon the materials I needed to finally summoning my familiar. Uthen will be pleased; Indigo is a small snake, and rather resembles his Verdana, except in color.

After I had finished my task, Tui returned with a new object of his own. He had apparently visited the blacksmith’s and obtained a strange double-bladed sword. He seemed ecstatic, although I do not truly understand his excitement over a bit of newly-forged iron.

A few days later, the entrance of the stranger disturbed my evening trance. She was preparing to insert a dagger into Alain. A loud shout on my part was followed by the unexpected entrance of a number of guards, who dealt with the woman. None of us were injured, although we were all wondering why she had made the attempt. She was human, and her eyes appeared to be glazed over, as if she were enchanted or drugged.

Unsurprisingly, the four of us were again summoned to meet with Lady Elaydren at the Broken Anvil.

Elaydren explained that the woman who had attacked us is a member of the council of House Cannith. Or was; due to her strange actions, she was being replaced. Another problem, very likely related, was a treaty with Breland currently being discussed by the Cannith council. In addition to this woman’s actions, one of the other councilors had suddenly changed his position from being against the treaty to being for it. She invited us to aid her in determining what was taking place. The four of us readily agreed.

As for the rest, I will summarize events as best I may; however, this all took place over several days.

We visited a council session, and learned something of the treaty. An insufficient number of details were discussed for us to know the exact terms; however, it seemed to involve giving some technology to Breland. Grayson and Raidith, another councilor, were for it; Genna was against. However, before the decision could be made, a fourth councilor needed to be chosen. Unexpectedly, this was one Aveska, a lower bureaucrat, who lacked experience, rather than the more talented, and apparently preferred, candidate. The ultimate decision was the Baron’s; however, he is heavily swayed by his council, and usually follows their advice.

We spoke with each of the councilors. Aveska was rather weak-willed, and intended to follow whatever the majority chose to do—which currently supported the treaty. Grayson appeared calm and knowledgeable. Strangely, he denied every having opposed the treaty, and others also said that he was generally very truthful and an excellent councilor. Genna opposed the treaty, because it gave far too much to Breland and gained too little in return. She was puzzled by Grayson’s change of heart. Raidith was the most unpleasant of all of them. Klid, a rather unsociable individual, guarded his door. Raidith himself was cool and unfriendly. While there, I examined both Grayson’s and Raidith’s offices for magic. In Grayson’s, I found nothing significant. Aside from a few baubles on his desk, Raidith wore an unusual circlet, whose magic properties I could not identify.

During our investigations, we met Xame, working in the records department. Or so he claimed. Considering our presence and what we knew of him, I had little doubt that he was there to do more than file papers. He was helpful, however. We found Aveska’s application to the council position, and found that it was forged. This explained why she had been so surprised about the matter.

Although I suspected Raidith of playing some part, due to his demeanor, unusual magic, and being the only councilor with a bodyguard, there was no evidence whatsoever to support this. Furthermore, our time was limited; the issue of the treaty would be decided in only a few days.

That evening, we had a most peculiar experience—Klid, in rather a hurry, dashed down the hallway. Tui and Alain followed until Klid started to run into the lower parts of Sharn. At least Alain did not follow then. Tui impulsively continued the chase, and became lost in the lower levels of Sharn. He did not return until the following evening, hardly worse for the wear, to his good fortune.

In the meantime, Mike, Alain and I continued. The morning after the meeting with Klid, one of the clerks who had been friendly with Aveska was found dead in the lower levels, from some strange sort of clawing or biting wound. We asked around, and eventually found his office. Inside was a note from Klid, inviting him to a meeting. This was not at all suspicious.

That afternoon, I charmed the unsuspecting Klid, which made him quite uncharacteristically friendly. By pretending to be an old friend he had forgotten, I encourage him to talk about himself. He said that he and Raidith kept each other safe, and that a few “friends” of his had dealt with the unfortunate clerk, who had apparently learned too much. However, I could learn little else from him; he kept his secrets. I managed to encourage him to meet us in a tavern later, where we could, presumably, obtain more information from him in a more private setting while he was still under the influence of my spell.

We found Tui, and went to the tavern at the selected time. We found Klid in a corner, where he announced that he had brought a few friends of his along; specifically, four rats and two dire rats. I dislike rats.

Clearly, some ally of his, quite possibly Raidith himself, had lifted the charm person spell. I found this to be most annoying.

I seem to be running out of parchment. I would rather not need to borrow some from Tui. I must learn to write more concisely. I will send another letter with rest of the details later.

Until I find parchment,

Antinua

Player’s Notes:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” I’m still working on that one.

Adventure: Sheep’s Clothing
Session: 2006-10-20
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 1

Session I: Treaty Derailment

I turned 18 shortly after, and the Traveler’s gift manifested as promised. I decided to uphold my end of the bargain, and started looking for suitable recruits.

Was woken one night at the tavern by sounds of a fight downstairs. Some human woman tried to stab flail fighter; was a little disappointed she didn’t succeed before being caught. The look in her eyes were a little awry though; possibly there was a puppeteer?

Decided to visit Elaydren. Possibly she was involved somehow in this, and would be willing to pay a good wage for someone of my talents? I was not wrong; she asked me to infiltrate the House Cannith councils, and find out what I could about a possible trade treaty. It seems that the schema we retrieved last time is being considered to be traded for some other technologies with Breland. She implied a… frustration… at the treaty, so I assumed my job was to find ways of stopping it. The baron of House Cannith has final say, and he is most heavily influenced by his four councilors. The treaty’s main proponents are Councilors Raidith and Grayson, the latter being a curious case as he had been until recently opposed to the treaty. Even more interestingly, the woman who attacked the muscleheads that one night used to be a Councilor herself, a pretty thing named Brestina. My fee would be 400 gp plus expenses, all to be paid after successful derailment of the treaty.

Elaydren got me a cover job as an accountant in the Records Office, with a strict admonition that if I were ever to get in trouble, she doesn’t know me. Fair enough. Of course, I took that to mean that in exchange, she has no need of details not directly pertinent to the trade treaty.

I pursued three lines of investigation. First, information could be had from Brestina, if I were to be able to question her. Second, with my newly-acquired divine abilities, I could investigate if Grayson’s change of attitude was magically influenced. Third, I’d try to tail Raidith and see if there’s anything to be learned from him. I learned shortly on in my cover job that Elaydren had employed Team Musclehead as well. As they seemed mainly to concentrate on Raidith, I decided to dedicate more effort to the former two approaches.

I remembered the faces of the guards who took Brestina away that night, and after some trouble, managed to “accidentally” run into him at a tavern. After a bit of booze-lubrication, the guy told me she’s been held in a high-security area, and that House Cannith is just hoping to hush it up and send her away. I have to act fast or else I’ll lose that thread. As it turned out, I actually did lose that thread, and Brestina was quietly transferred to a faraway land some days later. Damn.

The brief interactions with Grayson didn’t lead me to suspect any magical foul play, so I was actually quite stumped for a couple days. Something new came up though. Brestina’s councilor replacement was a strange upset by a lower aristocrat named Aveska. Since I worked in the Records office, it was trivial to find her councilor application. Standard tricks of my previous trade with the standard tells; inconsistent letter slants and fragmented L’s… obviously a forgery. I dutifully made a copy and returned it to Elaydren, but she was being miserly and didn’t reward my good efforts.

I thought about the problem some more, and realized something. If I were a person in favor of the treaty, and was using magic to get my way, but didn’t want to draw attention and suspicion onto myself, what would I do? Be the only one nominally against the treaty, while making everyone else vote for it, of course! That could also explain why I wasn’t getting anywhere with Grayson, while Team Musclehead isn’t getting anywhere with Raidith.

Went and spoke with Councilor Genna, with perhaps more daring that I should have. Time was running short though, and I needed to draw a reaction. Told her I worked for Elaydren, and asked her about some details of the treaty, why she was against it, etc. Asked her if she could try to convince Aveska to delay the treaty decision some, and she was non-committal. Everything was still fitting the latest theory.

Player’s Notes:

Hm. I was pretty convinced at this point that Genna was actually the one controlling everyone. I think it would have been a much better ending if my theory was right. Ah well.