Podcast for the episode of 14 September 2014. Click on the topic above to listen!
This is where we introduce Lucie’s character!
Podcast for the episode of 14 September 2014. Click on the topic above to listen!
This is where we introduce Lucie’s character!
27 Erastus, 4714 – Morning
Po Mar has kicked the orphans out of the orphanage, and they now have to make their own way in the world. The group has decided to stick together, at least for now, reasoning that they are more likely to survive as a group than to go it alone.
After some discussion outside of the orphanage, they decide to head down to the docks, or at least Dart Onion does. The rest follow, figuring that where he goes they may as well all go. Of course, they soon realize that he is actually going the wrong way in order to get to the docks, despite having lived in Magnimar for a good number of years.
Eventually he is turned around and they reach the docks, only to find that they are empty of ships. Speaking to the dockmaster, whose name turns out to be George, they find that the ships that are normally there are all out fishing at this time, and are expected to be back by evening. He does expect some travelling shipping to be arriving sometime later that week, however. George then suggests that the Navy might be hiring on new hands, and directs the group down the road to where the recruiter happens to be.
At the recruiter, the door is barred and locked. A knock at the door generates some discussion inside, finalized with an order from a very gruff voice instructing a seaman Boris to find out who is at the door. A small portal on the door opens, and a voice calls out, “Who is it?” Gabriella replies with a desultory “Your mother!”, at which point the chief inside explodes with a specialized form of cursing only capable of being learned after many years spent before the mast. Eventually everything is calmed down, but the adventurers find that there are no current jobs in the Navy either, as the politicians have decided that the military does not need as much funding, and a reduction in force is required.
Next, Lasciel suggests that they try to join a guild and get experience in that way, so they walk to the guild district of town and pop into the first guildhouse they come across, which turns out to be the potters guild. When asked if they are taking any apprentices, they are once again disappointed with the answer that no one is being taken on at that time.
Whilst sitting outside the guildhouse, the group notices that there are some notices posted across the street. Most of the notices are for things like lost otters and pseudodragons, but one notice does pique the adventurers interest…
After a brief discussion about the flyer, the group decides it will follow up on it, and tears down the flyer for reference. They then head to the Half Moon tavern, which they have heard whispered about from time to time in the dark halls of the orphanage. At the tavern, they are met by the owner, Wee Mad Audriss. Speaking to her, the group puts two and two together and realize that Wee Mad and their old master, Po Mar, are related. It turns out that Po Mar was adopted by Wee Mad’s family at one time, and Po Mar is now giving back that same gift in the form of running the orphanage.
Speaking with Wee Mad further, they find that there might be work in Korvosa for them, and that if they should find themselves there, they should look for Leroy Jenkins Audriss, a second cousin who runs an inn there. The adventurers looking knowingly at each other, remembering the location of the Crimson Throne.
The group digs into their food, eating it with gusto, while Wee Mad remarks that she is always looking for interesting ingredients to use in her cooking for some of her more… eccentric… customers.
Calling it a night, the group heads to a location that they know of that they think they can bed down for the night in relative safety, an abandoned building near the orphanage that was burned out some time ago due to the fire in 4708 and never rebuilt.
In the building, the group settles down for the night. Watchstanders are posted, as some do not really need very much sleep, and all is well until early in the morning hours one hears a scraping outside of their secure area, the sound of something approaching that is larger than a house cat. The alert watchstander awakens the rest of the group. Looking through the cracks of a broken out and boarded window, they see a movement of a shape that they have never seen before, and before they can discuss it any further, a foul odor wafts into the room.
Soon enough, a scratching is first heard against the door, scratching which becomes more frantic and accompanied by the pounding of something being bodily thrown against it. Choosing to take the fight to the enemy, the adventurers quickly devise a plan of attack and swiftly attack the aggressors, which turn out to be a pair of Goblin Dogs.
The group dispatches the pair of smelly beasts in short order, and realize that it would be the now deceased bodies of these particular beasts that would be perfect to bring to Wee Mad for her to cook up for some of her more finicky guests.
28 Erastus 4714 – Morning
In the morning they do just this, and get the two corpses to her inn, selling them both for a bit of gold.
From there, the group heads to the Inn of the Rabid Gryff to find the person in charge of the expedition to Korvosa. In the inn, they speak to the barkeep, who directs them over to a rough looking human sitting in the corner. Introductions are made, and the group finds themselves talking to Zanster Trannyth, a swordmage from Korvosa who is looking for adventurers to join him in the recovery of the Crimson Throne.
The group decides to go with Zanster in this quest, and gather their things to head out that very day.
Dateline 27 Erastus, 4714:
It has been twelve years since the atrocities occurred in Smuggler’s Hook. For most, those atrocities have faded into obscurity as just another thing that happens in the Varisia Region, but for a small handful of children, it had very real and hard-felt meaning.
In 4702, Smuggler’s Hook was devastated by a group of mysterious adventurers whose powers were wide-felt across the lands. They disappeared a few months later, but not without leaving a wake of destruction behind them. Were it not for the Herculean recovery efforts of that famous group, the Acolytes, many communities across Varisia would still be feeling the pains of the Pathfinder’s savagery. However, there are still some groups of people still feeling that savagery today.
We speak, of course, of the orphans of Smuggler’s Hook. Orphans who were brought to Magnimar and placed in foster care at the Audriss Orphanage, run by that saint of saints, Po Mar Audriss. Most of those orphans were eventually brought into good homes where they were brought up as normal children, but a small few are still at the orphanage.
This is their story.
The orphanage has rules about how long an orphan will stay, and time has run out for the last remaining orphans from Smuggler’s Hook. They are now being released to fend for themselves in the wilds of Magnimar. Fortunately, they are not going out unprepared. Po Mar Audriss has devoted his life to caring for these and other orphans, and takes his job seriously.
When asked how he prepares the orphans for life outside of his hallowed halls, he responded:
“When we bwing them in, we twy to educate them to be weady fow the coming wowwd that they wiww be entewing. We put them thwough schoows hewe at the owphanage so that they can wead and wwite, and we wowk on teaching them a skiww that wiww be usefuw in the wowwd. We do ouw best wif what we have.”
While this is a fine and noble approach to the upbringing of children that have lost their parents due to mishaps, some questions have been brought up concerning the orphanage. For one, the orphanage is open to all species, which means that at any given time there can be Aasimars, Gripplis, or even those nasty Tieflings in the orphanage being brought up. When asked about discipline problems between the different races at the orphanage, Po Mar responded, “I whip them wif a stick.”
The orphanage has had problems in the past. Who can forget the fire back in 4708 when almost an entire block was burned to the ground? Interestingly, the orphanage itself did not burn down, only the houses around it. No blame was ever found for the orphanage, but to this day there is still talk of how it was started, with accusing eyes pointed at the residents of the orphanage.
When asked where the money comes from to fund the orphanage, Po Mar becomes elusive. The orphanage is known to have produced some quite capable wizards from time to time, and that kind of training takes money that is not known to be readily available at orphanages. When asked how he was able to produce such capable adults, Po Mar’s only response was that he would occasionally receive a large donation to the orphanage that he would use to train orphans who showed promise in certain abilities. We checked with Magnimar officials, but could find no record of these large donations.
However, this is about the children, and soon the last of the refugees from Smuggler’s Hook will be reaching adulthood, and venturing out into the real world. What kind of adventures will they have? Will they ever find out why the massacre happened at Smuggler’s Hook, or who was responsible?
Let me tell you something, the beer here I shite. Absolute shite. It tastes like someone drank a liter of a proper decent beer and then pissed into a glass. Did that stop me from drinking it? Hah, by Thor’s own beard it bloody well didn’t!
So there I was havin a jolly old time celebrating a load of trolls I’d just bashed into last week. Just minding my own business really. Singing, dancing on a table, putting some ugly bastard with tusks through the wall….he looked at me funny. When in walks a bunch of likely looking fellows. Some guy in a big coat with a shimmering staff, clearly a wizard, called himself Remy le’beau. Usually not one for bloody frogs, but let me tell you he was a fun lovin guy. Better than any wizard I ever met. Jumped right on into the fun, atrocious bloody accent though. Sounded like a frog choking on…well a frog I guess.
Anyway we fell to drinking and he introduced me to his friends. Some pink girl named blink. Now I’m a pretty opened minded guy, and not too picky usually, but I like my women to be primary colors thank you very much. Also some boring yank bastard, always mopping around about being shiva or some other nonsense. Hah as if! I’ve met shiva, or her great granddaughter anyway. And this bloke is about sixteen shades away from being the right kind of blue and about two pairs of arms short. And its bloody wonderful what she could do with those arms. What? I said I like them to be primary colors.
So there we are chatting away about some sort of magic rock they have and they mention that there’s gold involved and they’re looking for a couple extra hands. So naturally I was sold, I mean I may be a god but even gods gotta eat. It might taste like the south facing end of a north bound troll but this beer aint cheap.
I guess we were talking a bit louder than I thought because before long a couple new faces turn up asking to get in on the fun. The first was some fellow fellow named slate, or flint, or slade or something. Said he knew Achilles. That guys a tool, Always going on about how beautiful he is. Plus I always felt like I couldn’t turn my arse on that guy or I’d get really well acquainted with his spear if you catch my meaning, bloody pirates. Anyway I guess that guy’s got connections on this plane because Remy brightened right up and let the guy onboard. He seemed awfully eager to hear Achilles’s name, really makes a guy wonder.
Atleast the next newbie was more impressive. And when I say impressive I mean impressive. You know how some folks might go around saying this bird or that is a goddess? Well I’m better acquainted with them than most….really well acquainted. And this bird certainly fit the bill. To top it off she’s wearing something that looks like some bathers had a love child with that bloody flamboyant rag the yanks like to flap around. All in all gotta admit I didn’t have any complaints when we signed her on. Although that slade guy didn’t seem to happy to see her…makes a guy wonder.
So after everyone got caught up an introduced we set off for the lighthouse to return their glowing rock. Not much of a lighthouse really, seemed a touch small for such a big city. In fact the whole job seemed a bit beneath my talents, but hey a god’s gotta eat. Anyway the place was completely empty. Nothing in there but a bunch of creepy books on necromancy. I bloody hate necromancers, bastards ruined my parlor.
Well like I said the place was pretty bare, except for a few chest here and there. Really the first half or so was pretty uneventful. Until wonder-bird proved that not all beautiful Amazonian women know what they’re doing. One second I’m casually looking around the sad excuse for a lighthouse and next thing I know she opens a chest and BOOM. I’m slashed to hell by some flying chains. And do I get an apology? Nope, not even a “by your leave”. But honestly what else do you expect from those Greek gods? All a bunch of airheads really.
So after getting that cluster all sorted out we headed further up the tower. We turn this corner and what do we see? A bloody great liche. I might hate necromancers but by Thor I loathe these bastards in an entirely special way. So naturally I raise my might hammer, and call upon the divine might of my great ancestor Thor and smite the bastard right between the eyes. And what does Mjornir decide to do? Why the little bastard decides to just plunk down right there on the ground for a bit of a nap. I really need to look into finding the warranty for that thing. Anyway after my heroic exploits…and some help from wonder0bird and that boring monk guy we make short work of the thing. Hardly a fitting challenge for such a heroic warrior as I, or at least if my bloody hammer decided to do its job. I wonder what Sindri’s return policy is?
Ok so we finish up in the lighthouse. And if it hadn’t been for that liche, and the fact that the lighthouse keeper was shockingly loaded, the whole thing would have been a total waste of time. As it was, only about 40% time waste was involved. But hey, a gods gotta eat.
after that we head on down to the docks, evidently some boats have been goin missing and they reckon its pirates so we’re supposed to kill them. Anyway we meet up with the captain who was evidently expecting Achilles, by Thor that tool sure doe’s get around. In fact come to think of it the captain seemed pretty disappointed Achilles wasn’t there…makes a guy wonder.
So we set out on this bloke boat, did I mention I hate boats? Well I do. Bloody terrible things atleast I didn’t have to worry about getting caught in a thunderstorm. Actually come to think of it that would have actually improved the trip. As it was we just ended up sailing right into the middle of this bloody great big fog bank. This thing was huge, made a London winter look only moderately shitty by comparison.
We weren’t in there long before we start seeing these glowing blue balls floating around and hearing some pretty eerie noise coming from the water. So evidently being the smartest one on the boat I take a peak over the edge and what do I see? Well if you guessed zombie rat men, you’d be right. A bunch of the wankers crawling all over the boat like a bloody jungle gym. So naturally I summon a wee bit of lightning and blast the bastards.
Well evidently I’m losing my touch because these freaky looking things keep right on coming, so I give em a good ole thrashing with Mjornir. Hand to hand of course, after last time I don’t trust mjornir to go anywhere. It’s got a lot of making up to do before I throw it again.
So the rest of me new mates jump on in on the fun, made pretty short work of the rat bastards. Summoned a touch more lightning smacked a few. Really pretty basic. But I’ll tell you what that yank with the mopping problem hit the good captain so hard I’m pretty sure they’ll be scraping his grandkids off the wall. Pretty impressive really.
Naturally this ticks off the rest f the crew, fortunately for us a couple of ghosts and those blue lights from earlier jumps into the fray. One of those little wisps even tried to shock me. Haha as if, I’m the god of shocking. They were really more of a nuisance than anything else, between slade and wonder-bird we got them pretty well sorted out. But let me tell you, the ghosts were much more impressive. They were a proper challenge. A lesser being would have been struck down by their unnatural powers but not i. I struck at them with my mostly faithful hammer and channeled the power that is mine by the divine ancestors of my blood to bring one low. The other was killed by someone else. I wasn’t really paying attention. But I’m sure it was decently inspiring…for them anyway.
So we’re left on a deserted boa full of dead zombie rat men, and I have to wonder what kind of sick useless bastard would create these things. Bloody weirdo. When we notice this huge loaming shadow above us. Being my naturally heroic self I prep to strike it with my hammer. But then decide I don’t trust mjornir to come back, and also I think someone else should take the first shot this time. You know, to be fair.
Unfortunately we don’t end up fighting this thing. Evidently it’s some kind of sea monster ghost spirit thing. I kind of stopped paying attention once they told me I couldn’t kill it. Evidently it hated the ghost pirates and was happy we killed them. So happy in fact that it told us about this treasure, and then dropped us with the catch. We had to agree to fetch and carry some of the treasure all over the bloody place and give it to random bastards like some kind of delivery boy. Bloody waste of my talents. But a gods gotta eat.
Team Rampage – Day 1AD
So after claiming our reward from the mayor, we head down to the docks because we have heard a rumour that there might be some cash to be made down there from some bereaved sailors. I was an Army man myself back in the day, so sticking it to a squid is always a good thing.
Speaking to one of the ship captains down on the wharves, we get passage on one of the ships that are going to go out and brave the fog out on the sound. They offer us some lozenges, but I don’t take it because it isn’t good for me.
Out in the sound, a bunch of evil looking creatures suddenly approach and attack the ship! When they start attacking, the ship’s captain turns out to be in league with them and his first action is to attack me! Immediately I punch him and knock him to the deck, and he is out of the fight (I may have killed him…dunno, and don’t care.)
The other creatures start rolling up, and the deck turns into a general melee. Eventually we kill off everyone that was being bad to us, and we have command of the ship. Unfortunately, it looks like the bad guys that approached the ship managed to kill off the rest of the crew, and as we looked around at ourselves, we discovered that none of us seemed to know how to actually sail.
Fortunately, after the battle I felt somewhat stronger, and for some reason felt I knew a thing or two about sailing, so we should be able to at least get the ship back to the pier. With all of the gold that we now have, we should be able to hire a crew that is actually loyal to us.
I do wonder how the city guard is going to react if they find out that the crew of this ship rebelled and attacked us, much to their loss…
Team Rampage – Day 1AD
This is a very odd world I have been thrust into. Perhaps Little Father was right, and there are powers out there that I simply cannot fathom. It will be interesting to tell him the tales of this place once I get back to him.
Apparently the heroes I remember from the comic books I read as a kid at the orphanage are real-life beings here. I am currently in the company of one Remy LeBeau, who apparently was a member of the X-Men that I remember reading as a teenager before I went into the Army. Also with me is a woman who has a serious skin condition named Clarice Ferguson, though everyone calls her Blink for short. There is also a guy who dresses sort of like one of those pansy ninja people named Slade Wilson, though he doesn’t seem to like being referred to by that name, and instead goes by Deathstroke. Whatever… if they can help me get back to Little Father, that is all that matters at this point.
We are in a town that the locals call Magnimar, and we have been summoned by the mayor because of something we did that apparently was a good thing. Perhaps he will hire us… that would put a twinkle in Little Father’s eye… always follow the gold, he used to say.
So we meet with the mayor of the city, and he wants us to go out to the waterfront and replace a lightbulb in the lighthouse there. Seems kind of silly, but we’ll go with it. I mean, why not… I can change a lightbulb. We do ask why he needs us to do this task when just about any city worker should be able to do it, and apparently the lighthouse custodian has gone missing and now the lighthouse itself has bunches of traps that have killed the last two workers he sent out there.
Hey… he offered to pay us pretty darned well for it, so what the heck.
After accepting this mission, we go to a local pub to decide what we are going to do. I order a mug of water, while everyone else swills down the local brew. While there at the pub, we are joined by some dude that calls himself Jimmy Thunder or something like that. Whatever… I have labelled him simply as “The Kid” in my mind. Also joining him is Lynda Carter… I mean, Wonder Woman. Holy hells, I should try using the Thirty-Two steps to Sexual Ecstasy on her!
We head out to the lighthouse, and inside on the ground floor we find a bunch of books apparently on necromancy. Meh, who cares. The only thing that should ever happen to something that rises from the grave is that it should be put back into that grave permanently.
Going up to the second floor, Wonder Woman finds a chest in one of the rooms. When she tries to open it, it explodes in her face, injuring her. What did she not get about the whole “the place is filled with traps”? Perhaps I should calm her down a bit with those Thirty-Two steps… at least the chest had some stuff in it that would have made Little Father quite happy.
Blink finds some journals in the next room that she wants to read… more power to her. On the third floor we find a door that appears to be trapped. I guess a lesson has been learned from Wonder Woman or something. Wait… isn’t her name Diana? Calling her Wonder Woman when I haven’t even sampled her wares seems a bit presumptuous, so I’ll just call her Diana for now. Remy thinks he can disarm the trap, and tries to do it, but once he feels that it is safe to go through the doorway, he almost gets his face chopped off by a guillotine! Well, at least at that point the trap was truly disarmed!
Inside the room we find more books on necromancy, and Blink thinks she found some actual spellbooks. Bunch of phony hocus-pocus if you ask me.
The next floor as roof access, so we go up there and out onto the roof, and find running around there something the locals call a lich. It is a hideous creature that simply needs to be done away with, and we proceed to do just that. The pale blue light coming from the eye sockets of this thing kind of gives me the creeps, but it appears to feel the pain of my fists when I punch it, so that is always a good sign.
It turns out to be a pretty tough creature to kill.
Once we have killed it, we find some interesting items on the dessicated corpse, none of which really hold too much interest for me. Maybe sometime I’ll find something in this world that won’t be completely useless in my quest to get back to Little Father.
We take the jewel that we are supposed to use to get the lighthouse running again and put it in its place, causing a blinding flash… good thing I was ready for it!
We head back to the mayor and get our just reward, which makes us happy.
We soaked the wasps and there was much rejoicing
We bashed the brains and there was much rejoicing
Poison Ivy: 105188
TBA (Jason’s character when he finishes): 10th level
Having successfully rescued Augustille, the Acolytes wasted no time in returning him to the Temple of the Augur’s and his anxious sister Vargun. She and the rest of the Augurs were ecstatic to see their friend alive, and rushed down to meet him and the Acolytes at the steps of their white, columned temple. In return for this aid, Vargun has already employed her network to discovering a promising lead regarding the lost shard, Before she can relate it, however, the crowd of trolls steps back as Augustille falls to the ground in the grips of what looks like a seizure, his back arched and lips frothing. In a hoarse bellow, he cries oout the following in Aklo, which Maggott promptly translates.
The owl will seek but will not find
But spire of knowledge pays in kind
In secret kept in secret keep
In forest dark and cavern deep.
The abbey of the glutton moon
Will flow with blood, the wind in tune
To finish that begun before
And open wide the doomsday door.
The shattered star with seven shards
For seven lords with seven swords
The queen of blue in distant skies
Will kindle new the ancient wars.
The seas will rise and men will drown
And what was lost shall claim the crown
When Augustille is finished, his body relaxes and he returns to his senses. The other Augurs no sagely and helps him up, leading him into the temple. Varguns informs the acolytes that they’ve witnessed a genuine prophecy, and that she suspects this one is for them.
The Acolytes then rest up at the Tavern in the Bottoms, where Caladrel meets Achilles who recounts a terrifying vision in a dream. He dreamt of a great warrior who died atop mountain of his enemies by way of the ankle, a terrifying death Achilles himself has endured. Achilles then asks to join the Acolytes in their quest. Caladrel and the rest of the Acolytes challenge Achilles to a drinking competition. The drinking begins and as other Acolytes quit or pass out, Maggott and Achilles keep it up, drink for drink. Achilles and Maggott finally agree on a draw. Achilles begins recounting his adventure with Gambit in delivering a baby when Rogue begins to get jealous, grapples Achilles and Achilles is knocked out. The Acolytes restrain Rogue and awake Achilles. They continue drinking for the rest of the night.
The Acolytes return to the Augur Temple. Vargun was putting together some pieces of information that have been puzzling her of late. The word on the street is that the Council of Truth – a powerful order of scholars that vanished without a trace many years ago – has either returned or has been reformed, and people have been seeing the Council’s wide-eyed owl sigil showing up in strange places. Now the Therassic Spire has shut its doors – an unheard-of event for the great institution – and isolated itself from communication with the outside world. Realizing the two might be connected, Vargun called in some favors, and was able to discover that the two organizations have quietly put together a team of adventurers to illegally enter the Undercity in search of a powerful artifact – something they refer to as “the Runelord’s Shard.” They head for the Therassic Spire to investigate.
The Acolytes approach the huge iron-bound doors of the library and find them shut tight with a small meticulously lettered sign announcing that the library is closed until further notice. Vargun ignores it and pounds on the door with a meaty fist, keeping it up for a full minute. At last, a panel in the door slides open, and a pair of beady eyes stare out through ornate metal grillword. “If you can’t read the sign.” A prim voice says, “Then there’s nothing in here for you anyway.” The Acolytes begin question the beady eyes and when they mention a Runelord, the eyes behind the grating go wide, and then the doors crack open. A hunched human woman in red robes ushers them in quickly, closing and barring the doors behind them.
The librarian introduces herself as Koifa and explains the library’s situation. Unbeknownst to most people, the librarians of the Therassic Spire are not the first scholars to take up residence in Kaer Maga, nor are they the best. Far below them, in a subterranean realm called Xavorax, dwells a race of extraplanar researchers called the Caulborn. Much like the giant monument-city itself, the caulborn predate the empire of Thassilon, and even served the runelords for generation before finally being driven below the surface by the calamities of Earthfall. In recent years the librarians of the Therassic Spire have occasionally made telepathic contact with the caulborn in order to answer specific esoteric questions, though always at a price. Months ago, however, the caulborn contacted the librarians directly, offering to help the surface-dwellers recover an artifact of great power – a shard of Xin’s great Sihedron – from another legendary realm below the city called the Dark Forest. In doing so, the caulboirn revealed to the librarians something none of the scholars knew: that their town tower contained a secret door, hidden to thousands of years, which leads down to an undiscovered portion of the Undercity that contained one of Karzoug’s many workshops. The caulborn informed the librarians that if they could send a band of adventurers to meet emissaries from Xavorax in “the chamber of the black menhir, beyond the River of Memory,” the caulborn would aid that band, using the Black Menhir to transport the adventurers to the heart of the Dark forest, where the blind creatures’ research has indicated the shattered star fragment rests. Greedy for the chance to study the item, the scholars agreed, and under the pretense of resurrecting the great Council of Truth, the librarians recruited an adventuring party to travel into the hidden dungeon below to meet the caulborn emissaries. The entire endeavor – to send the recovery team down through the lost workshop to the meeting point with the caulborn, then into the Dark Forest for a quick snatch-and-grab – was supposed to take only a few days at most. Yet something has gone wrong, and the team hasn’t returned, nor has it apparently reached the rendezvous with the caulborn. Fearfull of what they may have awoken in the city’s depths, the librarians set up a constant guard around the secret door, and dare not let anyone into the library for fear that visitors might notice something amiss and contact the Duskwardens. At this point, Koifa just want the whole problem to go away. The Acolytes and the Librarians negotiate a price for the recovery of the item, 10000gp total, if they can get it with stealth and speed and the librarians can research it for 24hours. Koifa also negotiates a price for the return of the previous party, 500gp for their bodies and 1000gp if they come back alive. The party is made up of a female human Sweettalker monk named Hasari, a male Halfling fogue named Perotus, a male gnome bloatmage named Luonim the Vast and a female dark naga named Silasni. The Acolytes use their time to research what information about the Undercity and the shard. Achilles calls on Zeus who comes back saying ‘Yeah, bad stuff down there. Sorry, ran into this seriously sweet honey…kinda uppity though…so I turned into a swan and then she was all “Oooohhh what nice feathers you have…ohh they tickle”. Halfway through getting my Anatidae on, 15, no, 1500 ninjas showed up to take me down. Needless to say, they were spitting feathers by the end of it. True story.”
The Acolytes meet up with Vargun, an Augur, at the Sorry Excuse. The Augurs practice a strange form of haruspicy in which members cut open their stomachs and read their own entrails to divine secrets about their future, trusting their regeneration to heal them up again after each reading.
She invites them to the table with offerings of large mugs of ale. She explains that to get a better reading of where the shard is, the best bet is to get her brother, Augustille, to divine it. Unfortunately, he’d been captured by an Ardoc brother called Berkanin. The Ardoc brother is using him as an experiment. The Acolytes agree to help the troll in freeing her brother.
The Acolytes talk to Gav, their guide about the Ardoc family. They find out that their headquarters is in a building called The Kiln. The leader is called Merriman Ardoc. Thoth investigates and finds out that the Ardocs are not pleased with Berkanin.
They arrive at the Kiln and talk to the Ardoc family who offer payment for those who return their wayward brother alive so they can deal out his punishment.
They arrive at the Hanging Manse, the place where Berkanin Ardoc lives. The Acolytes levitate up to the garden where Poison Ivy talks to the hostile tendriculoses. The tendriculoses still feeling protective of their soil are then ignored and they float up to the next level and look through windows. Harald becomes impatient and charges through 2 windows, landing in one of the rooms and opens the door to several clockwork soldiers. Harald begins hacking his way through the tin soldiers. Rogue and Doomsday join him. Herifax, a harpy, fires arrows at Doomsday causing little damage. Deathstroke floats into a window of a bathroom only to be accosted by a swarm of cleaning constructs. Poison Ivy and Thoth float around investigating the other windows and find Berkanin and Augustille. Augustille attached to a machine of tortures, constantly being torn apart enough to not overcome his regeneration. Doomsday charges up the cat walk having no problem with moving floor and attacks the harpy. Kanya, the female catfolk, comes out and attacks Doomsday to little effect. Harald and Rogue continue their slaughter down some stairs with Rogue taking a lot of damage and leaving to see Caladrel. The harpy sings causing Rogue, Harald, Maggott and Deathstroke to be charmed by the lovely song. Caladrel comes out and sings back countering the harpy’s song. Deathstroke escapes the privy feeling weakened. Doomsday kills the harpy and Kanya flips and tumbles past Doomsday and Deathstroke. Harald keeps on killing clockwork soldiers as he makes it down the stair, the mangled gears and cogs piling up. Maggott runs upstairs, growing very large and almost destroying another clockwork solider. Thoth teleports in and severely weakens Berkanin , Tug transforms from a tiny spore to a large vine and drops on Berkanin. Maggott intimidates Berkanin who cowers offering them everything he has for his freedom. Harald is surprised when Tupilaq appears in front of him and tears into his ankle causing him to die. Harald is left alone to be chewed upon by the evil tiki statue. Poison Ivy summons 2 dinosaur topiaries that begin attacking the machine holding Augustille. Thoth dominates Berkanin, stealing his secrets and thoughts, who orders his constructs to stand down. He also orders the machine to release Augustille. Rogue flies up and punches a clockwork soldier who doesn’t react. Augustille comes out of the machine attacking the dinosaur topiaries. Maggott knocks some sense into Augustille who passes out.
The Acolytes find the Ardoc family at the house now. The Ardoc family pay the Acolytes 3000gp and whatever loot the Ardoc family don’t confiscate. The Ardoc family leaves with several books. The Acolytes loot the rest of the house with Doomsday setting off the oven with an explosion that is confined by his massive size.
The Acolytes now leave to return Augustille to his sister.
Eating at a food cart they found in Cavalcades, Maggot, Caladrel and Harald spot the shiny Ironwoman walking with the mysterious Hyourinmaru. After Maggott waved at them, Ironwoman quickly informs Hyourinmaru that the individuals eating across from them were in fact the Acolytes, the jailors who kept them locked up in Tartarus Island.
Fearing recapture, they quickly dart off down the nearest dark alley only to be face to face with a giant headless scorpion- like thing of blackened bone and chitin with its two pincers snapping ominously. A long, grisly tail composed of dozens of chattering skulls arches up over its back. Some of the skulls are ancient and bleached white, while others are recent trophies still shrouded in rotting cheeks, their jellied eyes rolling madly in their sockets. A curved bony tip protrudes from the last skull of its tail, its deadly point smeared with poison. Ironwoman identifies it as a Skull Ripper. Before they could react, the scorpion it scuttles up to Hyourinmaru grabbing him in one of its large pincers. Nearby Pedestrians scream and fall over each other trying to get away. One person tries to run past Harald but ends up being cut in half by the undead Viking. Maggott berates Harald for his irresponsible action. Harald and Maggott run up to the scorpion cutting into it. Ironwoman begins blasting the scorpion. Caladrel inspires the group with her music. Hyourinmaru begins getting crushed as Caladrel heals him. The Skull Ripper is eventually killed but as they begin to talk to one, another Skull Ripper tears through the factory doors to their right and then another one tears through the factory doors behind them and to the left.
Hyourinmaru plunges his sword into the dead Skull Ripper’s stinger coating his sword in poison. One Skull Ripper rushes Ironwoman trapping her in its pincer crushing her. The other Skull Ripper charges Maggott trying to capture him as well but Maggott grows to a larger size making it hard to do so. Zombies also pour out of the factories. The fearsome image makes Harald and Maggott run from them. Hyourinmaru flies above casting ice shards on the Skull Rippers. Feeling her suit begin to crack, Ironwoman starts cursing at the Skull Ripper and blasts it right in the center causing massive damage to its blackened carapace. Infuriated the Skull Ripper begins focusing all of its attention on Ironwoman. Getting their composure back, Harald charges cutting down a few Zombies in his way while Maggott manages to cut down some himself. A Skull Ripper kits Maggott with its stinger causing Maggott to slow but it wasn’t enough, Maggott tears through the rest of the zombies and tears the Skull Ripper in twain. Hyourinmaru destroys 4 zombies with a hail of ice. Harald, Hyourinmaru and Maggott take down the last Skull Ripper but not Ironwoman’s suit is destroyed. Caladrel heals the group as they begin talking, the battle forming bonds between the unlikely allies.
Caladrel invites them to the Bottoms for free drinks and rest. Ironwoman happily agrees ready to drown her sorrows of another lost suit while Hyourinmaru reluctantly agrees to tag along. After a couple of hours of drinking except for Hyourinmaru who refrains from drinking, Hyourinmaru wonders loudly about the factories where the creature came from. In drunken curiousity, the rest tag along. Stumbling back to one of the factories, they notice a large hole in the middle of it.
Harald leaps down to the bottom of hole with reckless abandon and lands in front of two Mohrgs. Its thick tangle of discolored entrails clings to the lurching skeletons’ torso and winds upward to loll from their jaws like a clawed tongue. They immediately attack Harald who finds himself stuck in a hole with these 2 creatures. Maggott, Caladrel and Ironwoman decide that this was actually a silly idea and begin to head back to the pub. Hyourinmaru pleads with them to stay and help Harald. Hyourinmaru then buffs Harald with his spells as Harald attacks back. Reluctantly, they return. Maggott leaping into the hole landing on top of one of the Mohrgs and kills it. Ironwoman lands in the hole and fires at the other Mohrg. Harald then kills and they decide to return to the pub except for Hyourinmaru who has no interest in drinking until the early morning. The Duskwardens arrive to clean up the mess.