Age of Worms

Fishing for Trouble

10 June 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 8
Badger, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Encounter with a brain. The marble doors in the octopin room were barred from the inside, but Lucian forced them open with his crowbar with the assistance of Rannveig and Keldar. Beyond the doors was a domed oval room with a large, throbbing purple brain surrounded by four benches with integrated manacles. No sooner had Rannveig entered the room to search for traps when a psychic blast of dominate person emanated from the brain and enthralled her. She cheerfully sat on a bench and manacled herself. Lucian, a great admirer of Rannveig and her Merla-like spirit, received a protection from evil ward from Keldar and entered the room to rescue his companion. After pondering various options, he dragged the bench and with it the chained Rannveig out of the room. Lucian reentered the room and began to smash the brain. It was soon reduced to rubble. Moto applied his skill at opening locks, and Rannveig was free of both brain and chains.
  • Fishing for trouble, part I. A short flight of stairs led up to an oddly shaped room with a table, laboratory equipment, a bookshelf, a fine collection of books, and a cylindrical tank containing murky water. Moto and Badger, perhaps in need of a relaxing break after the previous encounter, retrieved their fishing rods and cast the lines into the cylinder. Nothing… nothing… Moto hooks! The tube shattered and the water flooded the room, revealing an octopin larger than any the party had yet seen.
  • Fishing for trouble, part II. Lucian, Rannveig, Badger, and Moto were slowed by the octopin’s gaze. Moto, as he did before, cast haste to counter the effect, but the octopin attacked Badger with its tentacles, leaving him dying on the floor. Lucian empowered his sword with blade of blood and cast obscuring mist for concealment, Rannveig was again slowed but managed to damage the octopin, and Keldar summoned a huge fiendish centipede between the octopin and the party. The centipede grappled the octopin. Briefly. The octopin broke free and lashed at the two nearest party members, removing 36 hit points from Lucian and 30 from Rannveig.
  • Fishing for trouble, part III. This could be bad, Keldar thought. But the octopin had done its worst. Moto summoned an unseen servant to drag Badger, who had stabilized at -9 hit points, out of the octopin’s threatening reach. Keldar contributed a spiritual weapon to the fight and restored some of Badger’s vitality with a cure spell. The battle ended when Rannveig’s swirling weapons sliced into the octopin with a critical hit.
  • Spying on an old girlfriend. A door opened into a short hallway ending in a small round room. A pool of calm water was in the center of the room, and Moto, deciding that fishing was an enjoyable pastime, again dipped his line in the water. Nothing… nothing… zip. Can’t land a keeper every time, Moto thought, and he summoned two rat swarms to test the pool for unsavory effects. Result: a horde of wet but otherwise peppy rats. Rannveig discovered that the pool was a scrying pool, capable of showing real-time images of any location personally visited by the viewer in the past. Badger decided to view his old girlfriend’s bedroom, presumably the location of many gnomish pleasures, but saw nothing titillating. In an alcove beyond the pool were three statues of a deity whose portfolio clearly included mental domination.
  • Encounter with a vrock, part I. The party returned to the laboratory room and climbed another short flight of stairs. Marble doors at the top opened into a room full of disturbing objects, including a chained tome, assorted humanoid parts, and a statue of a vrock. Moto determined that the statue had a binding spell upon it. He touched the statue, and the vrock was free.
  • Encounter with a vrock, part II. Badger’s quick reaction allowed him to create a cloud of bewilderment around the vrock, who used an at-will ability to teleport behind Badger. Lucian slashed the vrock with his sword and released a shocking grasp. The sword did little damage, and the electricity did nothing. Damage resistance and immunities, thought Keldar. Badger conjured a stinking cloud, and the vrock again teleported away before returning to emit a unholy screech. Rannveig and Moto were stunned. Keldar remembered from his studies that a lantern archon, one of his summonable allies, had a light ray that ignored any damage reduction, and he called one to the battle.
  • Encounter with a vrock, part III. The lantern archon proved effective against the vrock, and Keldar summoned another one with the last of his fourth-level spells. The vrock created eight mirror images of itself, confusing the party, and released toxic spores from its body. During the long, frenzied battle, the party managed to hit all eight of the mirror images without once connecting with the real vrock. But it was then exposed to the archons’ rays and fell prone when Badger conjured grease under it. It eventually tried to stand, and Rannveig seized the opportunity to land her second critical hit of the day and end the demon’s existence. END OF SESSION.
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Under the City

30 May 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 7
Badger, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Encounter with a spirit naga. The party entered a cavern with a glowing green pool. Coiled next to the pool was a large snakelike creature, seemingly asleep. The party won a surprise round and used it: Badger conjured a 25-foot ball of web around the naga, Lucian set loose Bigby’s striking fist, Keldar evoked a spiritual weapon, and Moto created an illusory spider as a distraction. The naga charmed Rannveig with its gaze attack and launched a fireball at the party, but that was all it had time to do.
  • Drow brawl, part I. The party proceeded to another, larger cavern and saw two of the dark elves on a ledge, bows in hand, and four with rapiers on the ground. Commanding them was a priestess of Lolth, the Demon Queen of Spiders. The drow advanced on Rannveig and Lucian. Moto blinded a bow-wielding elf, and Badger conjured four stinking clouds, nauseating the priestess and one of her soldiers. In the fracas, Badger and Moto teleported across the cavern and Lucian cast touch of idiocy on the priestess, reducing her intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores by five points each. “I made her stupid,” Lucian said.
  • Drow brawl, part II. The priestess, who had moved to a side of the cavern to wait out her nausea, decided in desperation to cast a spell. Lucian killed her with an attack of opportunity. The remaining dark elves were dispatched; one met a frothy end when it was torn to pieces by a dire ape summoned by Keldar.
  • Encounter with a surface elf, two humans, and a man without a clue. A gated area was off to a side of the cavern. Inside were four prisoners and four dead bodies with neatly drilled holes in their heads. Badger opened the gate and started what turned out to be a long conversation with the man. The man, who did at first impart some useful information about the cause of the holed heads, made increasingly insistent and annoying demands for immediate safety and an escort to freedom. Understandable, Keldar thought, but demonstrating a certain obliviousness to the dangers still present in the cavern complex. The party had enough and kept the prisoners in the cell.
  • Beware the glow. The party entered a narrow hallway with a glowing purple symbol on the floor. A trap, the party thought. Moto summoned three rat swarms. As one swarm crossed the symbol, it was vaporized by a blast of acid from the ceiling. Lucian and Keldar identified the symbol as a glyph of warding. It did not reset or otherwise present further danger.
  • Encounter with three octopins. The party proceeded through the hallway and entered a rectangular chamber with a marble door at one end. The octopins slowed Rannveig, Badger, and Moto with gaze attacks, but Moto, again showing his versatility, cast haste to counter the effect. Badger called forth a favorite conjuration, Evard’s black tentacles, and captured two of the octopins in crushing and eventually fatal grapples. Rannveig killed the third. END OF SESSION.
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Tirade of Profanity and Spittle

23 May 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 6
Badger, Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Keldar’s puzzlement. Keldar didn’t feel quite like himself. In fact, for a while, he felt like another person was controlling him, and he had only a vague memory of what happened.
  • Continuation of the encounter with the mind flayer. The illithid stripped raw the minds of the party, leaving only Keldar and Lucian unstunned. Cackling in a maniacal laughter, the mind flayer shifted away confident in his victory. The wicked drow, in a cowardly attack, beat on the helpless Cedric and Rannveig. One of the drow flooded the area with a darkness that overwhelmed all light until Keldar summoned an Archon of pure light and had it dispel the darkness with its radiant presence. Lucian threw bolt after bolt of arcane fire down on the drow while Keldar gathered the righteous power of his cause smote the drow with his morning star until braining the last one.
  • Encounter with an ooze. Through luck, the party spotted the nearly translucent cube of ooze before walking into it. Moto attempted to manipulate the mind of the ooze but was unsuccessful as the mind of the ooze was too primitive to mold. The party stood firm as the ooze approached, only to have it overrun Cedric and Keldar and paralyze them in its viscous flesh. Lucian continued as an elder god of old with sword and spell until the ooze dissipated and Cedric and Keldar were saved from being dinner.
  • Meeting with Eligos. The party decided to leave the sewers and find the mysterious, red-haired Eligos. He did not prove to be too helpful, although he did say that dimensional anchor would be a very useful spell in an encounter with a mind flayer. He knew nothing about the doppelganger plan to replace key individuals in the city.
  • Meeting with Badger. The party went to a tavern to spend the night and was approached by a gruffy gnome. “You can call me Badger,” he said. He told a story about a king, the king’s son, worm infestations, and a royal mission to discover more about the worms. He asked to join the party. The party was unconvinced and questioned him about his usefulness in battle. Badger eventually launched into a tirade of profanity and spittle, accusing the party of plotting to jump him. Such an approach was odd for someone who wanted to join the party, Keldar thought. But his fears were dispelled when Badger agreed to a battle with a celestial bison to show the party what he could do. Badger invoked his battlefield magic, and the bison was sent back to its plane of existence without even being able to move. Badger was welcomed into the party.
  • Cedric’s departure. Cedric left to atone for his sins in the eyes of Kord. Keldar wondered if he would ever see him again.
  • A local officer of the peace questioned the party when removing a heavy sewer grate. His sense of duty wavered on the honeyed lips of Moto’s flexible truth, and he bid them pass and prayed for proper paper work on their next encounter.
  • Back to the sewers. The party went back to the sewers in search of the mind flayer’s lair. The party discovered a natural cavern with an entrance coated with yellow mold, some of it poisonous, and flanked by shriekers. A silence rendered the shriekers mute, and Rannveig located a safe path through the poisonous mold.
  • Encounter with three drow elves. The dark ones were hidden on a ledge down the tunnel and surprised most of the party. Rannveig and Lucian killed two, and the third blew a horn before succumbing to the righteous fury of the party. END OF SESSION.
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Mind Behind the Thralls

24 April 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 5
Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Emergence from the confusion. The party members now knew who they thought was Cedric had actually been a doppelganger since the real Cedric had the private meeting with Duncan. The real Cedric, or at least what appeared to be the real Cedric, was bound in the octagonal room. But the party didn’t release him quite yet. It searched the barracks and the room behind the last unopened door in the hallway, which was filled with maps and papers that clearly indicated that the doppelgangers had started to methodically replace key individuals in the city. Who, exactly, was not revealed. The party returned to the octagonal room, smashed the mirrors, and released Cedric. The party was suspicious of another trick, but Cedric was Cedric.
  • Clothing escapade. The party discussed whether to rest before continuing. Keldar was nearly out of spells and announced that he was resting whether anyone joined him or not. Eight hours later, Keldar awoke to discover that his pants were on Cedric’s head.
  • Encounter in a maze. The party discovered a secret door in the octagonal room. The door opened into a short hallway, which led to a large rectangular room with a mirrored maze. Cedric was in no mood for a maze after his doppelganger adventure, so he started smashing the mirrored walls with his adamantine weapon. As he went forward, a wall emerged from the floor behind him, and he was attacked by two doppelgangers who looked just like him. Lucian observed that it was quite easy to distinguish the doppelgangers because they did not have a “big-ass falchion” like Cedric did. Keldar added that his pants were not being worn by either doppelganger. The doppelgangers died in a timely manner.
  • Encounter with Allustan. Or, rather, a doppelganger who looked like Allustan. The party wasn’t fooled for a second. The battle began ignominiously as the doppelganger tossed a fireball at the party, but it was thereafter nothing but shifter kick-ass. Lucian and Rannveig attacked the doppelganger as Keldar cast silence on the area to eliminate spell use. The doppelganger turned into an orc barbarian and went “freakin’ nuts” on Lucian, who calmly grappled and pinned it. Rannveig ran in a circle, gathering her power, and delivered a massive, fatal blow to the pinned doppelganger. As for Cedric, he fell in a spiked pit, clambered out, and was thereupon stabbed with a spear from the ceiling.
  • Discoveries. The doppelganger had a symbol on his forehead with which no party member was familiar. In the room were test tubes and a machine with a silver helmet, in which Cedric recalled being placed after he was kidnapped. He destroyed the machine in a rage. The doppelganger was sitting on a throne when the party arrived. A search revealed a button under the throne, which when pushed revealed a secret door leading to a small chamber. The chamber had a magical rug with flowing patterns and a magical mirror. The party covered the mirror, fearing that it was a scrying mirror, and took it and everything else in the chamber.
  • Encounter with a mind flayer. The party returned to the stone pillar. Waiting in a secret passage were two drow soldiers and a mind flayer. The mind flayer had the same symbol as the one on alt-Allustan. END OF SESSION.
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Confusion!

Lucian
I made a note to myself to never, ever, ever, ever piss Ronnie off. I know some magic was at work, but I’m not even sure myself what happened. We protected ourselves to the best of our abilities, and Ronnie in less than a second charged the great water creature dismembering it before I could even I could react.

We found a column under water leading up to a stone platform and a door. Upon the top of the column was a lever, and oh do I so love to pull random levers without knowing what they do. While the party tried to figure it out, I swam to the bottom and found that the column should be able to drop down below the water’s floor. A vacuum, or possibly a counter weight to something…

With this information, I decided it best to not pull the lever and to go exploring. This is where everything started to get really really confusing. Dopplegangers. Why did it have to be these annoying pest of a race. Cedric asks if I can ‘handle’ one of them while he checks on the next door. Pff, as if he has to ask. I dispatched the first, allowed Ronnie the second, and so on until we came upon a very strange octagonal glowing room. Inside? The party members in chains. What the hell, when did they get replaced by dopplegangers? Was it while I was in prison, or when we got transferred from the prison cell to the warehouse? They charged and screamed that Ronnie was the impostor, then it was Keldar that was the impostor. Cedric attacked Ronnie without warning. I didn’t like the situation… who was who?

When in doubt, start lighting things on Fire. I tried to torch Cedric, and the ‘Fake’ Ronnie. They were just too believable though. Cedric was incapacitated by Moto the Mystical Bard, so I teleported him out of the way, closed the door, and tried to figure things out. Eventually the door burst in on me, and out walked the ‘Fake/Real’ Ronnie and Keldar. After realizing that they were only trying to attack with their fists did I dispatch them all. Sure enough, Dopplegangers.

Standing in the doorway, I realized that the only doppleganger left was that of Cedric. But something was wrong, it was sleeping and still shackled. I finally had the best of it. Cedric is the only one to have been separated from the group. Taking a drink with that damnable merchant. Drugged and replaced from the start by Dopplegangers. We dispatched the fake, and rescued our companion.

13 March 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 4
Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Stone pillar. After the battle with the giant octopus, Cedric, Lucian and Rannveig saw a stone pillar rising from the floor of the cavern. Eventually the entire party reached the top of the pillar, which was out of the water and had a large metal lever. The party was tempted to pull the lever but, showing uncharacteristic restraint, did not. Instead, Lucian went back under the water and discovered that the pillar seemed able to descend beneath the bottom of the cavern. With a pull of the lever, perhaps?
  • Six-door hallway. At the top of the pillar, the party saw a stone platform leading to a door and, on the opposite side, a tunnel with a grate. The party opened the door and entered a hallway with six doors. One door was on the far left. Keldar, following the convention of always going left if given the choice, proceeded to the left door and fell down a 60-foot pit with a distinct lack of dignity. Lucian, the ever-present elf, flew down the pit and retrieved Keldar. The left door, by the way, was a fake door.
  • Encounter in the barracks. Rannveig heard talking behind the fourth of the five remaining doors. Two doppelgangers were inside and were killed, but not before one of them pounded loudly on the wall between what was then obviously another barracks-type room. The party proceeded to the rooms behind the two doors to the left and dispatched more doppelgangers. Then things started to get strange.
  • Illusory wall. The party opened the next door to the left and found an oddly shaped room. Keldar, who can spot illusions merely by seeing them, discovered that the room was oddly shaped because one of the walls was illusory. Past the illusion was another door.
  • Confusion in the Free City! The party members opened the door and found an octagonal room with mirrored walls. In the center of the room sat five struggling figures who looked exactly like the party members. At that moment, Keldar realized that at least one party member was a doppelganger. Alt-Rannveig and alt-Keldar starting yelling that Rannveig and Keldar were doppelgangers. Cedric declared that he believed alt-Rannveig and attacked Rannveig, after which Moto cast deep slumber on Cedric as a test for determining whether he was a doppelganger, for experience had shown that sleep spells would not work on doppelgangers. Cedric fell asleep. After a few seconds of relative calm, however, the situation spun out of control. Alt-Keldar attacked Moto. Alt-Rannveig attacked Keldar. The party fought back. Alt-Keldar, alt-Rannveig, alt-Lucian and alt-Moto were dead or dying when Cedric, supposedly asleep, attacked the party and revealed, upon his death, that he was a doppelganger. END OF SESSION.
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Warehouse

After dispatching the doppleganger “guards” in the dungeons and setting free two prisoners, the intrepid adventures took a moment to assess their situation. Is it possible that they were a bit hasty in freeing the Elf woman and the lunatic? Is it even possible that one or both prisoners may have been infected with the same parasite that the adventurers are battling? Only time will tell.

The party then left the dungeon and moved deeper into the catacombs of the warehouse in which the dungeon was located. As Sir Cedric prepared to step onto a rickety platform over spike infested waters, Moto put a hand on his shoulder to stop the Crusader. “Maybe we should be a bit more cautious,” he said.

Moto’s plan was a good one. Using his gift for music, he summoned a horde of rats that swarmed the basement area, with the hope of alerting the party to any unseen foes lurking within the murky waters. While the rats seemed to turn up nothing, the party’s luck would not hold. Upon moving onto the platform, they were attacked by an invisible assailant.

While the majority of the party did its best to fend off the invisible attacker, Cedric used his great strength to hack through the stone wall into an adjoining room. Cedric entered the room, expecting his allies to follow, but was surprised to find that Moto managed to turn the invisible fiend visible, thus making the battle a fair fight. Before Cedric could make it to the battle, his allies had dispatched the foe.

Cedric and Lucian then bravely jumped into a shaft in the room that was nearly filled with water. After swimming out about 60 feet, they came face to face with a giant octopus, quite similar to the one on the warehouse’s sign. Lucian, realizing that the two were clearly outmatched in this environment, swam to the surface, pulling Cedric behind him.

The shaft in the floor was momentarily forgotten when Lucian discovered a secret passage at the top of the stairs. The stairs opened up into catwalk above a warehouse. Charging ahead, Cedric, discovered a rotting ladder the hard way but he floated to safely to ground with his magic ring. While Ronnie somersaults past him landing on her feet with her two scimitars drawn and at the ready.

The warehouse to all outside appearances was empty but for a few crates. The party not being ones to overlook the possibility of treasure proceeded to search the boxes. Dastardly disguised as crates were three Mimics who grabbed Lucian and Cedric in a sticky crushing embrace. Ronnie was also quickly sucked up into the gluey mess as Keldar flew up to the ceiling and invoked the weapon of his faith to attack one of the mimics. Moto in a bit of luck was missed by the mimics gooey embrace and managed to tumble into an adjoining office while muttering a quick sleeping song and coaxed Lucian’s mimic to slumber. Lucian teleported to the ceiling and uttered the incantation of flying. Ronnie and Cedric hammered the mimic from within the glue and Lucian blasted it with arcane might. The mimics were subdued and the sleeping mimic was dispatched. Lucian found the front door to the warehouse and instead of fleeing the scene it was decided the party would wait in ambush for their jailers.

In the morning after no jailer returned, the party thoughts returned to the octopus and it was decided that in order to fight the octopus on its own turf, a great deal of magic would be necessary. Moto, Keldar, and Lucian all pooled their magical abilities to prepare Ronnie, Lucian, and Sir Cedric for combat, after which the three promptly dove into the shaft to face the foul creature. Alas, no glory was to be had for Cedric or Lucian that day, for the brave Ronnie briskly swam towards the creature, dispatching it in a flurry of swordplay before anyone could tell what had happened. It is quite possible that, as they say, the spirit of Merla the Mighty lives on in this exotic warrior.

27 February 2010
The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 3
Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

  • Continuation of the encounter with the invisible stalker. Moto cast glitterdust in a most useful display of his bardic powers, and the beast lost its primary advantage. Lucian swiftly dispatched the sparkling stalker.
  • Underwater encounter, part I. Upon investigation, the well in the corner room had a rope ladder leading down. Lucian and Cedric descended and discovered a large water-filled cavern with, and this was no minor point, a giant octopus. They returned to the surface. Cedric said he was not prepared to fight the octopus at the moment, which Keldar found a little odd because Cedric had always before charged recklessly into battle.
  • Encounter in the warehouse. The party returned to the cell room and checked the stairs. Lucian found a secret door at the top, and many congratulations and a good handjob were offered to him. The secret door led to a loft over the floor of the warehouse where the party was taken. Boxes and barrels decorated the otherwise empty space. The party members searched for hidden treasure and unhappily witnessed three barrels morph into mimics. Cedric and Lucian were surprised and held in place by sticky slime, and Rannveig soon succumbed as well. Keldar cast a quickened fly, rose to the ceiling, and called forth a spiritual weapon while Moto cast deep slumber and forced Lucian’s mimic to relax its grip. Lucian, to Keldar’s amazement, then teleported up to the ceiling, invoked his power of flight, and unleashed fire and destruction upon the mimics.
  • Underwater encounter, part II. After resting, the party returned to the corner room with the well and prepared to fight the giant octopus. Keldar cast water breathing on Cedric, Lucian and Rannveig and fly on Rannveig. The battle was short. Severed tentacles drifted away as Rannveig unleashed four attacks in a flurry of death.
  • Encounter with a tentacle. Moto, waiting with Keldar for the results of the battle, saw a tentacle emerge from the well and sweep toward him. We’d better leave, he told Keldar. A dripping Cedric then appeared out of the well, grinning broadly and holding a severed tentacle. END OF SESSION.
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    Accusations of Murder

    Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto, Rannveig -

    After concluding guild business to partake in the tourney, the group returned with me to the Inn for a night off. The relaxation was rudely interrupted by a group of city guards.

    The guards openly accused us of murder, and mandated our surrender. Like hell! Yet, it is a big city, with a garrison at our backs, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me to run alone.

    The guards were quick to assault our bard, and Lucian would not stand for that. Lucian has better things to be doing, but the bard has treated him kindly. The rest of the party, in hopes of clearing their names, surrendered to the guards. Moto & the cleric tried to reason logic to these peons, but alas it was not ment to be. Who cares of communing with the dead, or casting truth spells…

    A night in jail was fruitless to garner any information about the situation, and the group was brought to a warehouse to "commune with the spirit / what ever evil cleric spells they do / " and we summarily were abandoned in a new jail cell.

    Rannveig was capable in her performance of picking the locks, but we were caught unaware by two dopplegangers from another cell. No one else seemed to care about the lone Elf, but I felt her more important than the raving lunatic.

    The Elf seeming to not care about the other party members, still decided to award a pendant to Rannveig for picking the lock, even though there was no words spoken.

    We …

    7 February 2010
    The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 2
    Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

    • Cedric rejoins the party. Cedric and Duncan emerged from their private meeting at Duncan’s residence. Keldar, always suspicious of Cedric and more so now, examined Cedric for any sign that he was under the influence of spells, drugs, or worms. Spellcraft and heal checks revealed nothing. “You’re all great!” Duncan said as the party left for the Crooked House for an evening of drinking.
    • Encounter with four city guards at the Crooked House. The guards asked the party about Duncan, said that he had been found dead, and accused the party of complicity in Duncan’s death. The party’s explanations and protestations did not please the guards, who informed the party members that they would be taken to jail. A scuffle ensued, and the sergeant of the guards skewered Moto in the stomach. The party was shocked by such a brazen assault of a peaceful bard and quickly debated its options. “If you beat us up,” the sergeant said, “we’ll leave and come back with more guards.” The party decided to surrender and was taken to a city jail.
    • Questioning. Moto and Keldar were separately questioned about Duncan. Moto suggested the use of a speak with dead spell to discover the identity of the killer(s). The guards were disgusted with the suggestion and returned Moto to his cell. Keldar also suggested the use of magic, this time a zone of truth spell, and was promptly insulted by the guards and returned to his cell.
    • Jail. The next morning, the party members were were taken to a warehouse that had on it a symbol resembling an octopus. The party members were placed in cells in a small room. Also in the cells were Ilya (elvish female), Martal and Regim (human males) and a crazy guy. The guards left, and Rannveig soon opened her cell door. Cedric, Lucian, and Moto joined her outside the cells. Keldar, lawful neutral and of the opinion that the city’s judicial process should be respected, refused to leave his cell.
    • Encounter in the cell room. Martal and Regim pushed open their cell door and attacked the party for no apparent reason. They suffered violent deaths at the hands of Rannveig and Cedric but not before Rannveig called Keldar the “asshole cleric who won’t heal anyone.” Principles, Rannveig. Principles.
    • Revelation! When they died, Martal and Regim lost their human appearance and became decidedly smooth and gray. Doppelgangers. The events of the past two days were suddenly called into question. Was Duncan in fact dead? Were the guards at the Crooked House in fact city guards? Would Keldar conclude that principles have no place in adventuring?
    • Goodbye. The party freed Ilya, who gave Rannveig a periapt of health and disappeared up the stairs in the room. The crazy guy followed her, babbling incoherently.
    • Encounter with an invisible stalker. The party decided to open the door in the cell room on the same level as the cells, revealing an L-shaped room with brackish water and wooden planks. Moto summoned a rat swarm and sent it into the room, and soon there were dead rats impaled on what turned out to be spikes in the water. Lucian decided that he wanted no part of the water and the spikes and flew into the room where, for his trouble, he was whacked by something invisible. Cedric, turning his mighty strength to a wall in the room, hacked through and discovered a corner room with a well. END OF SESSION.
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    Arrival at the Free City

    7 November 2009
    The Hall of Harsh Reflections, session 1
    Sir Cedric, Keldar, Lucian, Moto Landler, Rannveig

    • Battle with a troll, which went down in less than two rounds and was promptly set on fire.
    • Encounter with a bored guard at a gate to the Free City. Some “suspicious” items were confiscated from the party, such as the jar with the green worm and Cedric’s hallucinogenic substance. The guard expressed concern over the amount of paperwork that the confiscations would require, and Lucian offered a bag of coins to be “confiscated.” The party’s items were returned.
    • Encounter with a street parade in celebration of the battles for the Champion’s Games, which were to begin in a week or so. A chimera escaped from its cage and started to tear into the crowd that had gathered to watch. After a few rounds with the party, the chimera was dead. Cedric added the chimera’s dragon head to his collection.
    • Encounter with halfling thieves. When the party was watching the parade, Keldar felt himself being groped by a halfling. Keldar seized the thief and, during the ensuing battle with the chimera, placed the thief in a straitjacket and stuffed him into Heward’s Handy Haversack. Eventually, the party caught the thief’s three cohorts and took their pants.
    • Visit with Eligos. The party went to Eligo’s residence in the Garden District and explained the worm-related events thus far. Eligos said that he would need to go to a library to find out more information and that it would take (hey! coincidence!) a few days, which was just about when the Champion’s Games would begin. He did, however, recommend that the party stay at a particular inn, the Crooked House.
    • The Crooked House was suitable if a bit drab. If there were any buxom serving wenches, they were not obvious.
    • Visit with Loris Raknian at his office. The party wanted to register for the Champion’s Games. Raknian said that the party would need a sponsor and offered to see what he could do. Keldar detected a presence of evil about the man. The party was to return the next day.
    • Return visit with Raknian, who introduced the party to a Mr. Snide, who was not the sponsor himself. Mr. Snide said that the party would need to pass a test to be considered for sponsorship. The party eventually agreed and was taken inside the arena, where some workmen were preparing for the Champion’s Games. The party was given one minute to prepare for an unknown encounter. A few buffs later, a huge monstrous scorpion emerged from a gate in the arena. And less than one round later, it was dead. Cedric took the scorpion’s claws and added them to his collection.
    • Visit with Duncan at his residence. Mr. Snide thought that the party handled itself well with the scorpion and arranged for a meeting with Duncan, who apparently acts on behalf of his father as far as sponsorships. Or something. Anyway, Duncan wanted to meet for a private interview with the “head of the party,” which was determined to be Cedric. If only Merla the Great were still alive! After a single question (“What was the biggest, baddest thing you’ve ever done?”), Duncan approved of Cedric and poured two drinks. Duncan slammed one drink. Cedric, after giving it some thought, tossed back the other drink. END OF SESSION.
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