Dark Moon Rising

Rescue the Princess
1st session

An indebted gobber named Ano jumps at the opportunity to take over a failing merc guild when the owner, Curly disappears. He vists a few acquanintances and cons them into joining the enterprise. The newly forming group is hired by Tug, the leader of a local gang called the Dicer’s Laggers to retrieve someone. The Laggers are licking their wounds from a turf battle with the Driftwolves during which an important contact of theirs was captured. The Laggers want her recovered and are offering a chunk of coin and a box of fine rifleshot. Tug is cagey with details, only saying she is a Jinn woman.

The group snuck into the Driftwolves’ headquarters, a fortified old houseboat called the Drowned Rat. Grig slit the throat of a drunken sentry and is later gripped in the jaws of a crocodile. Haugin chops furiously to free him but it is Ano who blinds the beast with a pinprick jab to each eye releasing Grig. Haugin untied the woman and the group fled pursued by furious Driftwolves. The Jinn woman is the first to exit the boat and pays for it with a crossbow bolt to the head. Meanwhile Opifera creates a diversion above deck by accepting a challenge from a cocky Driftwolf sentry named Jamison. She cuts him down with a single slash to the face that sends him tumbling into the drink. Haugin dragged the nameless Jinn woman and the unconscious Grig to shore and tried to revive them. Grig spits up water and blood but Haugin’s efforts on the woman succeeded only in finishing her off.

After some deliberation the group hauled the dead woman to their headquarters where Tug and his righthand, Horsbait, were waiting. Tug seemed unbothered that the woman was dead but planned to kill the group as they knew too much. Weapons were drawn in an armed standoff but Opifera talked everyone down. Tug gave up the ammo and renegotiated the fee since the rescued woman was dead. He congratulated them on the new business and informed them that they owed him ten royals every month in protection money. There’s some bad people out there.

The group names their newly formed guild the BellRow Troubleshooters.

Murder on the Roe - a knife, a bottle, and a corpse
2nd Session

Ano finds a note in the BRT dropbox requesting a meeting at the Rosebud dinner on Roe Avenue at dawn. While having breakfast at the dinner the group is pulled into a murder discovered in an apartment across the street. The victim, a woman named Laura Sole, lies alone on a bed with a ivory handled knife sprouted from her chest. The sergeant responding remarks that the victim’s husband is a wealthy man. The Bell Row Troubleshooters cautiously poke around the apartment finding two glasses, one broken. Haugin notes it seems odd that the knife wound left such a small blood spot. They leave with a strangly marked nearly half-full bottle on the bedside table which they later identify it as Brackbrandy, an illegal liquour of Kalapuran make.

In the course of the investigation the group meets Laura’s sister Livy DuShain, a moneychanger on Dicer’s and Laura’s husband Jules Sole, the owner of the Island Rum Runners distillery in the Spiritgrav. Both hire the group to find the killer. Livy offers 100 royals and Jules 200 royals + 100 more if killer brought to him alive without any watch involvement. Laura reveals that Jules is a cruel and abusive husband who Laura feared and Livy reviled. She suspects he is guilty and urges the group to find her evidence. When interviewed a hot-tempered Jules throws a heavy silver goblet at Ano narrowly missing the small gobber earning his ire. Jules admits the knife is his and suggests the killer must have stolen it from him to clumsily frame him. He promises to beat each of his servants to find a confession. Apu convinces him to allow the group to keep the knife for the duration of the investigation.

The Troubleshooters interview Lincoln Daltry, prelate of the Cathedral of Morrow on Dicers where Laura used to volunteer and the priest refers them to a confused Ano for more details on Laura. At the funeral home of Poe & Rekets the group meets Kinjaw, a twitchy introvert with a habit of sampling small bites of the corpses he autopsies. Apu studies Laura’s body and his extensive medical schooling supplimented with a spell finds that she died of poisoning and was only stabbed after she was quite dead. Apu suggests a diviner is hired to learn the identity of the knife’s last possessor. That night the knife disappears only to be found with the help of Apu’s spells under a pile of garbage nearby the next day. Ano suggests Jules was the only one who knew of the knife. During this discussion someone spots a rooftop squatter spying on the group, he is chased and escapes pursuit but loses his hat.

Redressed in fitting apparel the Troubleshooters attended the funeral of Laura Sole. Ano looked remarkable fine. They discover the bald stalker is a Thurian named Dane Winters who has also been hired by Jules to find Laura’s killer. Out of leads he was tracking the group to see what they learned. He suggested they join up and is taunted for his ineptitude. Jules expressed frustration at the group’s lack of progress. Opifera met a tearful young woman named Elise Beckman who was Laura’s best friend and confidant. Despite Elise’s husband Donalds efforts to keep Elise away from the investigators Opifera arrainged a time to meet Elise privately as she seems desperate to reveal something. Aside from the usual friends and business associates of the Soles present at the funeral are a handful of Morrowian clergy including Prelate Daltry who speaks some kind words, Father Ronolvo of the Church of the Waters of Morrow, and Inquisitor Pauline Greyvine.

Murder on the Roe - follow the body
3rd Session
Leaving the funeral service of Laura Soles the group is accosted by inquisitor Greyvine who asks for a few moments of their time. The group steps into a nearby bar, the Toadstool, and finds a table. Greyvine appologizes for her earlier rudeness and explains she is charged by the Church with investigating and rooting out cults within Five Fingers and is especially interested in the Thamarites. She reveals she was at the funeral tonight looking for a connection between Jules and Kalapuran agents. She gives the group a briefing of a handful of cults within the city and asks for their cooperation should they come across anything she may be interested in. Among the things she tells them…
  • Thamarites have a chapel buried somewhere beneath Captain’s Isle.
  • Necromancers of the Ebon Flame are firmly established in the Chatterstones on Hospice.
  • Kalapuran agents smuggle poisons, slaves, and fleshwerks into the city and are likely working with Velter (High Captain Waernuk)
  • She believes Thamarites influence or directly control most of the rest of the cults of the city and intend to make a bid to openly control the city once they have garnered enough power.

During the conversation with Greyvine the gobber Grig is constantly distracted and whispering to himself. When he slips away from the table and out the door noone notices. Not long after he comes bursting back into the tavern and pulls the group out into the street. Grig leads the group running back to the funeral home where they find two body snatchers making off with the corpse of Laura Soles. Shadowing the two down to the waterfront they interupt them readying a rowboat. Opifera gets shot before the two surrender realizing they are hopelessly outnumbered and outclassed. The commotion draws the attention from a local street gang and the group escapes in the rowboat with Laura’s corpse and one of the thugs, Serdan. The group’s mage, Apu goes missing in the commotion and doesn’t make it onto the crowded boat.

From Serdan they learn that he and his partner were hired by Jules Sole to steal away Laura’s corpse and deliver it to something called the Gormju on the isolated Mute Sister Island. Serdan tells them that the gormju grow and sell body parts to replace and boost missing limbs but has no idea what they would do with a dead body. Apu appears out of an alley and rejoins the group. They pick their way across Mute Sister to the gormju den and meet one of the creatures, a scarlet skinned gobber variant dressed in a dirty worn lab smock. Haugin reels with the powerful stench pouring out of the building, finding it uncomfortably familiar. The gormju doorman is expecting the Laura’s corpse but acts indifferent when the group tries to use it as leverage to get some answers. They leave with the corpse instead of completing the delivery despite their Serdan’s pleas and protests. He tells them he is supposed to get paid 70 royals for the job and begs the group to let him make the delivery. He offers them the 50 royals he has on him in exchange. He is a fairly convincing talker, and persistant. The group takes his gold and tells him they’ll think about it. For now they decide to make use of Laura’s corpse and hire a ‘spiritualist’ to summon her spirit to get some answers from the source. Serdan, it happens, knows just where to do that and happily guides them to the Chatterstones on Hospice dodging a well-armed Blackguard patrol. After a brief meeting with a contact of the Ebon Flame an appointment is set up for the next night and the group heads out hoping to find a bed at a friend of Ano’s halfway across Hospice. Enroute a local gang harrasses and then attacks them. The BRT strikes back hard and sends the gang scattering. Licking a few wounds they hurry along to Ano’s friend’s place to get off the streets before more trouble finds them.

Murder on the Roe - laura speaks, the boom box
4th Session

Ano’s friend Nars reluctantly hides the rotting corpse in his junk and shelters the group on his rooftop of the Gearbox, his shop and home. They attempt to sleep the day out in the drizzling rain. Ano skips the sleep to put in a day’s work at his job as a rigrunner (messenger). He returns before dusk for the séance. The necromancer they meet is all business and with his aid they question the spirit of Laura Sole. She tells them it was indeed Jules who killed her but later adds “by his controlling, abusive ways”. After the séance the group allows Serdan to deliver the corpse to the Gormju but doesn’t let him go after that for fear he’ll report to Jules. For now, they keep Serdan with him.

The exhausted Bell Row Troubleshooters return to their guildhouse to discuss their options and get some rest but find a well-dressed Drus waiting for them in the dark. He introduces himself as Kervain Jackery, the collector for the syndicate the Order of the Rat. Pacing and picking his fingernails with a knife he explains that the Troubleshooters have wronged him and by proxy wronged the High Captain Killbride. It seems the Driftwolves are Jackery’s responsibility and the group’s initial job caused him problems. He asks some questions about the Jinn woman the Dicer’s Laggers hired them to rescue and gets answers from the group despite their previous assurances to Tug, the Lagger’s boss. Jackery smiles at some of the answers and is especially interested in the woman’s tattoo. He then presents the BRT with an opportunity to set things right. Jackery explains he wants the group to pick up a crate from behind one building and deliver it across Dicer’s to another. Along the way they should expect someone to try and take it. Their job is to put up a struggle, make it look good, then gently drop the box and run. Do this right, Jackery says, and we are square. With minimal debate the group agrees, this new extorter seems higher placed then the Tug and hasn’t tried to double-cross and kill them yet. Kervain Jackery thanks them for their time and suggests they invest in a decent lock on their back door.

The group debates the new information regarding Laura. Haugin, Apu, and Opifera collapse into sleep to prepare for the crate delivery job in the morning while the two gobbers, Grig and Ano sneak into Sole Manor, the home of Jules, to snoop around. Serdan uses the opportunity to slip away. At the Manor the gobbers discover a handkerchief with blood and poison splotches stashed in Jule’s bureau drawer. They take it, along with all the valuables they can carry, and flee after a run in with Jule’s two-headed hound.

In the morning the crate delivery job goes off smoothly and without a hitch. Opifera proves once again to be vicious with her blade but takes a good cut making the group’s retreat believable. Haugin holds his own in the fight but eyes with envy Opifera’s bigger blade. The Dicers jeer at the fleeing BellRow Troubleshooters and take possession of the crate. It isn’t until the next day that the group learns Tug and two or three others were killed in an explosion when the crate was opened.

The Troubleshooters next meet with Livy DuShain again to present their evidence implicating Jules in Laura’s murder. They leave out the bit about the séance and thier part in hauling her corpse around the city. They do tell her that Laura’s body was stolen from the morge and Livy is horrified. She offers the group a 100 royal bonus if they can recover her body. Ano and Apu try to convince her that it is not worth it, Laura’s soul has already moved on. The group then inadvertantly learns that Livy’s boyfriend Maurt, not Livy, owns the apartment where Laura was found murdered. Livy is very reluctant to speak of Maurt but is eventually persuaded to allow the group to meet him with her the next night. On the street well away from the 3 Coins Opifera suggests the theory that Livy killed Laura because she found out Laura was seeing Maurt. They realize after leaving that Livy didn’t pay them and decide to ask about their fee the next night. They head to interview Elise Beckman, Laura’s best friend. Elise tells them that Laura was indeed seeing someone but she doesn’t know anything about him. All she can offer is that Laura remarked upon him being “the cutest little thing”. Unseen by the others Ano smiles quietly with wet eyes.

Murder on the Roe - die jules die
5th Session

The next morning the BellRow Troubleshooters are sitting around the table eating breakfast when Selma Toms comes calling. Only Grig is missing, having slipped out before the rest awoke. Toms, the owner of the Bell Row Clockwerks, has some guard work escorting a couple crates of windhass calitripators on deliveries to a dozen locations across Captain’s Isle. It should take most of the afternoon he explains. This job isn’t yet paying the bills so Haugin takes the work and heads out.

Later that day Apu, Opifera and Ano return to the Three Coins in Crucible Alley to meet with Livy and her evasive lover. Maurt turns out to be a lanky Ord with a few visible scars. He is good looking and dressed in fine clothes. He carries a shortsword and a large pistol of Yammish make. The two sit hand in hand and Maurt is initially quiet but after Livy answers a few questions he turns the interogation on the group wanting to know more about the guild, where their loyalties lie, what their motivation in this case is, and how serious they are. Apparently satisfied with their answers he turns to Livy and asks her if she is sure this is what she wants to do. She nods and squeezes his hand. Maurt admits they have proven Jules is guilty however without more solid evidence the law can have no hold on a man with his wealth and position. The only sure way to see that he pays for Laura’s death is with his own. Livy interupts and in a choked voice tells the group she will pay them 200 royals for the death of Jules Sole. The three BellRow Troubleshooters exchange nervous glances and Apu balks. Maurt goes on to explain that he can has friends in the investigator’s office and in the courts and can divert any serious inquiry provided the group can make the death look convincingly accidental. The group excuses themselves to privately discuss the offer. Apu expresses his disgust and questions the group’s direction should it begin taking assassination contracts. Opifera is doubtful of Jule’s actual guilt but believes that he clearly deserves to die regardless. She and Ano convince Apu to accept Livy’s offer.

The three walk back to the guildhall in silence. As they round the last bend they find Haugin stumbling back from the Swiggling Pig dragging along a man looking for work. The man is dressed in finely tailored, but well worn clothes and wears a thin blade at his hip. He smells of wine but his eyes hint he is far more alert than Haugin. He is cagey about his identity but eager to prove his skill. Opifera jumps at the challenge and Apu and Ano join her and the stranger out in the back alley while Haugin collapses into his bunk to sleep off the night’s revelry. The stranger’s bladework is too fancy for anything coming from the Fingers. In his hands the light blade cuts and parries Opifera’s larger cutlass with ease. He strikes true and takes no counter. It doesn’t take long before Opifera yields impressed. The stranger introduces himself as Fabrizio Moretti but then adds, as a hasty afterthought, a warning not to call him that in public. The Troubleshooters are wary of this impetuous bladesman but admit his skills would be valuable, especially considering Haugin’s current incapacitation. After some delicate questions about his moral character they present him a contract and sign him into the BellRow Troubleshooters.

The plan was a good one, if a bit too rushed. Apu’s attempts to slow down the planning are thwarted by Ano’s eagerness to finish the job. Ano and Fabrizio sneak into Sole Manor and steal up to Jule’s suite on the top floor where they open a window. Apu and Opifera sit in the shadows of the connected distillery outside awaiting a signal from the other two. At the signal Apu turns himself and Opifera to air and they enter through the open window. They then see to it that the ‘grieving’ Jules takes a suicidal jump from his suite to the ground or better yet off the nearby cliff. It all might have worked too… if it hadn’t been for that damned dog.

On alert after the break in and theft of his jewelry two nights ago Jules sleeps uneasily even with the additional guards. Ano and Fabrizio steal quietly into the manor’s kitchen and through the dinning room. Ano leads the way up the stairs into Jule’s suite. As he rounds the top of the stairs he comes face to face and face with the two headed argus hound he had tangled with on his last visit. It gives off a low, throaty growl and Ano stumbles back a step. Fabrizio leaps forward and stabs at the beast hoping to finish it quickly and quietly. The blow grazes it and the hound erupts in a frenzy of barking and biting. Fabrizio brings the beast down but too slowly and too messily. As they start up the stairs again they find Jules at the top aiming a double barreled rifle at his invaders. With lightning speed Fabrizio bounds up the stairs and moves his blade to guard the man’s weapon. The two square off, with each step trying to find the best ground. Jules holds his shot painfully aware that if his finger twitches his opponent could knock the gun aside. Unseen Ano slips up behind Jules flanking him. A shout from below interupts the standoff and Ano plunges his knife into Jule’s back. Enraged Jules spins to meet his attacker and Fabrizio pushes past the two and down the stairs to deal with the newcomer. A gunblast greets the bladesman narrowly missing him. Upstairs Ano dives and thrusts nearly oblivious to Jule’s wild shots as he fires his rifle at the gobber. A bullet blows through the wall behind him as Ano sinks another stab into Jules piercing his lungs. As Jules gasps Ano pulls the blade out and sinks it deep back into the man’s chest. Recognition and terror play across Jule’s face and he mutters ‘you…’ in a feeble voice as he collapses onto the frenzied gobber.

Downstairs Fabrizio has battled Jule’s two guards back slashing across their faces. The gunman falls screaming, his eyes raked out and bleeding. The second guard backs away grimly attempting to fend off the bladesman. Fabrizio takes a hacking cut to his chest before ripping his blade across the guard’s face puncturing his eye. The guard crawls backward begging for mercy. Breathing heavily, Fabrizio limps towards him. Opifera bursts into the dining room followed closely by Apu. They watch with horror as Fabrizio pulls his sword straight above the screaming guard’s head but do nothing to stop him as he plunges the thin blade through the man’s remaining eye and deep into his head. The guard’s body twitches violently in protest for many seconds after he is dead.

Apu turns to air and moves through the lower levels of the house. His exploration is cut short by a trio of guards entering the manor basement from the connected distillery. He rushes upstairs, materializes and with jerky gestures scatters splashes of fire across the room setting drapes and couches smoldering. Responding to muffled weeping from behind a door Fabrizio enters and approaches the sobbing woman hiding beneath her covers with his blade drawn. She begs to be left alive. Opifera pushes past Fabrizio and sternly commands him out of the room. He hesitates, but conceeds. Opifera calms the hysterical woman and leads her out of the manor followed by Fabrizio. Apu hears the guards coming up the stairs shouting and is forced to abandon his firestarting attempts in the lounge. He races past Ano, through the kitchen and out the back door. Ano scampers behind them all but pauses in the kitchen at the huge mechanikal stove. With the strength of desperation he pulls and yanks at the contraption forcing away the burner input and pumping every gear he sees up to full. In the next room the guards shout and run upstairs to find Jules as they discover the bloody, mutilated bodies of their fellow guards. The stove roars to full power as it spits sparks and chunks of flaming coal onto the floor and bouncing off the walls. Ano flees the manor chasing to catch up with after the rest of the group.

For hours the blaze can be seen eating up Sole Manor and the attached Island Rum Runners distillery. Across the channel on Dicer’s island a gobber sits alone on the roof of the BellRow Troubleshooter’s guildhouse watching the manor burn and collapse around the husband of the woman he loved.

Murder on the Roe - wrap-up
6th Session

Apu paces the guildhouse most of the morning stopping frequently to scribble down a sentence or two before considering it and scratching it out. In his mind he is going over contingency plans debating whether to stay in the city or flee before the law tracks them down. The debacle at Sole Manor would not be difficult to trace to them given even a mediocre wizard. The air in the guildhouse is electric with anticipation. When a knock comes, shortly after lunch Opifera and Ano exchange alarmed glances and the knock continues for some minutes before Opifera answers the door.

Livy lets herself into the small front office saying “I came as soon as I could. I heard about the fire, is Jules dead then?” When she confirms that she goes on to warn that Maurt is furious with the group and doesn’t know if he’ll be able to keep this underwraps. “He urged me to flee town to avoid getting tied up in it but my life is here now and anyway I needed to talk with you and find out what happened.” Despite her quick speech Livy looks years younger today. She is smiling and looks more relaxed than you’ve seen her. “I’m just glad the bastard is dead. I should have done this long ago. Before the monster killed my little sister. Thank you.” She looks at each of you smiling and then reaches into her jacket. “I’ve brought the payment we agreed upon” she pulls out a heavy silk coin purse. “100 royals for finding Laura’s murderer and another 200 for killing him. I’ve thought a lot about our last conversation and I think you are right. Laura is in Morrow’s hands now. I don’t want to see her dead body anymore, it’ll just make everything worse. But I want to pay you for that job just the same. Think of it as a thank you.” The purse contains 400 golden royals in total. After you look over the coins Livy stands up, smiles while wiping a tear from her cheek, pats Apu’s hands and leaves the office.

The next several days are harried and a streak of business keeps the BellRow Troubleshooters almost to busy to worry about the murder investigation. Then one day Lars Hutch, an unshaven, crude watch investigator from Captain’s Isle stops into the guild. He asks a few questions about the job Mr. Sole hired the guild for but doesn’t seem particularly interested in the answers. He bums one of Ano’s cigars and scowls threateningly when he learns the pantry has nothing by way of a midday pick-me up drink. He’s gone inside of fifteen minutes.

So ends the case of the murder of Laura Soles.

Extra XP is awarded for completing the story arc.

Notes from the GM:

This adventure was an experiment for me. Boiled down it was really a romantic tragedy disguised as a mystery and it focused most heavily on one character. The character of Ano in the story was present at the death of Laura Soles and participated in the framing of her husband Jules. The rest of the group did not know this and never guessed it throughout the adventure although they came pretty close. Ano’s player and I met before the first game session and roleplayed out the death scene in which Laura, a dear friend of Ano’s whom he had fallen in love with, informed him that she had swallowed poison to end her life as it was the only way to escape her abusive husband. In her naviate she had stolen Jule’s favorite dagger and asked Ano to stab her with it to implicate him in her death. She asked Ano to make sure that Jules paid for her death. A devastated Ano panicked, mourned, and did his best to cover his tracks. He then wrote the note found in Session 2 and pretended to find it kickstarting off the adventure. Throughout the adventure Ano had the difficult job of working constantly behind the scenes to keep the group on the trail of Jules and keep the ever surfacing clues pointed away from him. Ano’s player managed to do this with slipped notes, frantic miming from the kitchen when he hoped noone was watching, and emails and phone calls between sessions detailing his plans for the next session which almost invariably went ary. More amazingly he did all this while still keeping in mind how he thought Ano would feel and reacting appropriately, often adding to the danger of the group catching on.

As GM I was worried how the mystery would play out and especially how the group would react when they found out they were essentially being played. I made a strong commitment to play out the adventure as fairly as possible without a predetermined outcome. I would neither lead the group to discover Ano’s involvement nor steer them away from him and towards Jules. I attempted to play the characters in the story as driven by their own emotions and designs, some of which have yet to come to fruition. Ano’s player definitely had the element of the unexpected on his side but I made sure there were a handful of clues that he needed to intersect, bury, or explain away. All in all, I am very pleased with the way the adventure played out. It was fun, I think especially for me and for Ano’s player. The rest of the players were good sports about it. The players all now know what happened but their characters still don’t. In any case now it’s time to move on to something different. The next session was a one-shot.

Monsters & Ghosts
6th Session continued

The sun was just splitting the horizon when Ano slipped down a drop line to Festering Street below. All the streets on this part of Hospice carried names related to disease mirroring the condition of the locals. Someone’s idea of a sick joke he guessed. Picking his way across the still waking streets Ano began his delicate dance of trying to look inconspicuous but not to be trifled with. He wasn’t a fearful gobber but he was bright enough to realize that he was much more vulnerable down here than hopping across the rigs above. Rigrunners make nice targets for those with nothing to loose, in other words, most of Five Fingers and pretty much all of Hospice. His delivery, some contracts from a loader’s union on Chasers, wasn’t anything sellable but thugs didn’t bother to check that type of thing out before bashing you in the head repeatedly and stealing your satchel.

As he neared the morning’s destination, the trollkin enclave of Kithgrav, the buildings changed shape. The multistoried, piecemealed hovels transformed almost at a line to sturdier squat structures using a suprising amount of stone. He wondered where the trolls got it from. His thoughts were interrupted by a quarrel just ahead. Two trollkin were in a heated argument over family honor and some theft. Smelling a job Ano’s ears perked up. After getting the jist of the trouble Ano begins to sell the services of the BellRow Troubleshooters to the trolls exagerating the guild’s expertise and experience, as well as their reasonable rates. Before midday the guild has a new contract and Apu, Fabrizio, Opifera, and Ano are on the job.

The subchieftain Feral Stoneborn explains to the Troubleshooters that a sacred tribal artifact had been stolen from an altar at the center of the enclave. The stolen token was the tooth of a giant, one of a set of five, each carved with different markings. Stoneborn suspects a lieutenant of Waernuks was involved. The lieutenant, there for collections, recently eyed the altar and made a passing, irreverant comment about the teeth. Stoneborn’s righthand, Uglor informs the Troubleshooters that his son of 13 summers, Utimo, has been missing since the night of the theft. He believes Utimo must have tried to prevent the theft and been killed in the process. His bristling tone prevents the group from offering any suggestion of the youth’s guilt. Only marginally cooperative, Stoneborn refuses to allow the group to handle the sacred teeth but does allow Apu to examine them and offers a rough translation of the glyphs. The stolen tooth carries an inscribed glyph symbolizing strength and the tribe believes it carries the full strength of the giant who once possessed it. With a little work Apu is able to recreate the missing glyph and using the other teeth he casts a powerful seeking spell to locate the missing totem. Apu gets a glimpse of a dark hole as well as an urge directing him westward across the island. Feral directs a young trollkin named Maug to follow the group until they find the tooth.

Whether it’s a reputation earned from their scuffle with one of Waernuk’s gangs on these streets a few weeks ago or only the bright afternoon sun to credit the Troubleshooters find no trouble crossing Hospice today.

Apu leads across the island uncomfortably near the Chatterstones. He stops the group outside a crumbling threestory standing alone between two long rows of apartments. The ancient building is dark at first glance but Fabrizio soon notices lights flickering within and creeps forward for a closer look. He doesn’t see much but he hears the sounds of clinking metal, possibly coins falling together in a heap. Determined not to be left out of the action this time, Opifera leads Fabrizio into the building followed by a more cautious Ano and lastly Apu who conjures a light with his magic. Convinced they’ve found the totem and reluctant to enter the building, Maug runs off to report to his kin. The large entry and immediately adjoining rooms are filled only with furniture, all badly decayed beyond recognition. A set of collapsed stairs lead up but beyond them lies a kitchen. The clinking sounds and whispered giggles come from that direction. Apu nods and the group moves into the kitchen. In the center of the next room lies a large iron potbellied stove, coated in dust, but seemingly in good condition. The stove is secured shut with a thick chain wrapped twice around the stove and padlocked. Around the room lie a half dozen human skeletons lodged in clamp-jaw beartraps, all long ago rusted to impotence. Small bits of cloth or pieces of rotted armor stick to a few of the skeletons. The air here is dry and choked with a dust kicked up with every step. The sounds have stopped and the only sounds are the cautious footsteps of the group. Apu leads on, and through a small doorway to the left.

Just beyond the kitchen Apu’s light shines into what must have been a small pantry at one time. The walls and floor are bare but central to the closet-like room is the mouth of a well. “The tooth is down there” Apu remarks and settles to the ground to catch a rest. Opifera and Fabrizio step forward for a closer look and in an instant ghostly hands materialize pushing Fabrizio down into the well. Opifera resists a similar push pulling herself back from the hole with a scowl.

Down below Fabrizio brushes himself off, and convinced he didn’t break anything, begins to look around. Apu cautiously leans his staff over the edge of the well throwing some light below. Opifera and Ano call down the well for Fabrizio, but he ignores their calls. The bottom of the well is dry and covered with a collection of broken and mostly decayed bodies. The stench is horrible. In the darkest corner of the hole a small figure is curled up and quivering. Fabrizio pulls his blade and pokes gently at it. Noticing him for the first time it croaks begging for water. He vigorously interogates the shaking young trollkin about the missing totem but the child continues to beg for water, his eyes rolled back in his head. Fabrizio pokes him hard with his blade and the troll cries out with pain. His eyes swim to focus and he throws the missing totem to the swordsman. Fabrizio grabs the tooth and after unsuccessfully trying to activate its supernatural powers he tucks it into his shirt. He then calls up to his worried friends above. While they discuss how to retrieve the two below Fabrizio renews his interogation and learns that this is indeed the young Utimo. The trollkin admits to borrowing the sacred totem. He planned to use it in a fight at the waterfront arena but he got trapped in this well when he slipped in the building to dodge a local gang. Someone he couldn’t see pushed him and he has been alone except for taunting voices for the last two days. He is starved and his voice croaks with lack of water. Satisfied, Fabrizio gives him a swig of wine.

About this time Grig and Utimo’s father Uglor come running into the house led by the trollkin youth Maug. Out of breath, they pick their way quickly through the house following the conversation in the well room. Grig darts behind feverishly whispering to himself and looking around nervously. With some rope and muscle Utimo and Fabrizio are hauled up the well and the totem is returned to the trollkin’s care. Uglor is incensed to learn of his son’s actions and drags him out of the building with a combination of barking beratement and savage blows of his fist. Maug follows the two eager to be away from the unsettling presences in the building.

Filling in Grig the curious Troubleshooters return to the kitchen and poke around the large potbelly stove. Ano takes a try at the heavy lock, rusty with age. Grig warns him “’they’ don’t want you to do that.” When Ano pauses, looking puzzled at him, Grig urges “open it, do it anyway!” in a rushed voice. Faces appear screaming and taunting and hands push and shove at the gobber but Ano manages to trick the huge lock apart with a snapping tick. Prying the large iron door of the oven open reveals a odd box hidden among the ashes. Ano takes it. The stirring of the spirits dies and tension fills the room. The sturdy wooden box is in good shape, reinforced with brass and a little larger than a cigar box. Inside the box is lined with a very thin sheet of dull metal scratched through to the wood in a delicate intersecting pattern. Inside the box lies a large chunk of polished amber.

With the box open the spirits erupt again in a cacaphony of screams and shouts, louder than ever. With lightening reflexes Grig snags the amber from the box in Ano’s hands and runs for the door. He bolts past Apu and ducks between the legs of the startled Opifera. Opifera looses no time in turning to give the gobber chase. Outside the building she calls at him but he mutters something incomprehensible about the guildhouse and is soon up in the rigs scampering spiderlike across the precarious lines. Exiting the building Apu and Ano shrug in confusion and decide to split up. Apu turns himself to air and rides the river winds back to the guildhouse on Dicers while Ano heads back across the island to Kithgrav to see about getting paid.

Opifera arrives at the guildhouse to find Grig leaning over the amber rubbing it with his grubby little hands. This gesture, combined with the look of greedy lust in his eyes, looks almost obscene. Seeing Opifera Grig’s grin deadens and he tells Opifera the amber is worth very little and suggests she let him sell it for the group. Suddenly, Grig convulses and his eyes narrow into a squint. Opifera eyes him suspiciously as he mutters and murmers arguing with someone only he can hear. After a minute or two Grig drops the amber onto the table and jerks back. He tells Opifera there is someone inside the amber. Her name is Ginny and she is rude. He doesn’t know how long she has been trapped but she knows at least some of the spirits that were in the building they found the box in and knows something about what it does. She wants desperately to be freed, in fact she demands it. It is about this time that Apu arrives and is filled in to the situation. He questions the gobber intently before falling silent considering the possibilities.

Trinket in the Gibbet
7th Session
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The crisp morning starts with a low rumbling from outside. Further down Bell Row the avenue is crowded with celebrants for the day’s parade. It’s Governor’s Rest and the city gathers to cheer and cajole the governor as he is marched ‘captive’ through the streets. Most of the city takes the day off, including much of the Five Finger’s watch. A portly pipe smoking man hanging out near their Guildhouse catches the attention of the Troubleshooters and after a few brief words is invited inside to discuss a potential job.

The man identifies himself as Graham, an agent for an employer on Crane Island. He is unaware of the exact details of the job other than to say that it involves the procurement of an object and is time sensitive. Apu corrects him saying we call that type of job a ‘recovery’. The man nods smiling. The group agrees to hear out the offer in more detail and receives instructions and directions to meet their potential employer at Blaggard’s Manse, a mercenary bar on Crane Island at dusk.

On the boat ride over the group gets a rundown of Crane Island and what to expect from the dock guards by Baharudin, their Jinn gondola pilot. He follows them up the lift once they dock and persistently reminds them to tip the guards a blackpenny. They do and find it shuts up the interrogating guard. A few minutes walk brings them to the doors of their location.

Blaggard’s Manse is a large, well appointed bar with a floor to ceiling windows overlooking the oceanside. To the right a wide stairwell climbs up to another level and on the left a long mahogany bar stretches covering most of the wall. The place is crowded with veterans and successful mercenaries tonight exchanging stories and maybe looking for a solid contract. As Haugin and Opifera compete for the barkeep’s attention a squat, ugly man waves them over to a big, round table in the darkest corner of the room. The Troubleshooters collect their drinks and join him almost immediately regretting it. The stranger’s skin is spotted with blackened crusty scabs, several cracked and oozing blood. Haugin and Opifera shuffle their chairs nervously away from the grotesque man, Grig seems not to notice, and Apu stares intently nodding to himself. Satisfied Apu mutters ‘not contagious’ and opens the conversation. The man introduces himself as Toad and explains he was told by Graham to meet up with the group for tonight’s job. He mentioned he’s seen a lot of traffic up and down the stairs tonight. Another round later the group leisurely makes it’s way upstairs to a private room and their job offer.

Frankau Lelac cuts to the chase quickly. He needs the Troubleshooters to aquire a necklace for the widow of a man executed over a dozen years ago. The necklace lies on the man’s body which is stuffed in a gibbet suspended above Five Finger’s city square on Captain’s Isle. He offers the group 30 royals a person but Opifera spurred by mumbled prodding from Toad talks him up to 35 (total 175 royals). Lelac insists the necklace is not enchanted and his client’s desire for it is purely sentimental. He describes the locket as a silver crescent shaped medallion. When asked he reveals his client is Madam Klivson. Haugin asks if she is the Madam Klivson who was married to the High Captain Klivson executed by the city for arson and the pieces fit together. “Why I suppose she is” Lelac remarks. The BRT takes the contract and agree to deliver the medallion to Lelac at the Octopus Den in the Emerald District by dawn. Haugin vows to Frankau that he, Fabrizio, will get the job done! The group leaves the room with a suggestive wise crack about uses of their employer’s boyish bodyguard.

A handful of city watch guard the city square tonight mostly standing and talking to one another but occassionally patroling the perimeter to stamp off the damp night air. A heavy fog sits over the square, unusual in its thickness this far into the island. After a cursory scouting a handful of plans are discarded. Opifera suggests creating a diversion with passionate kissing beneath the rows of hanging gibbets but thinks twice about it upon considering her selection of partners. Apu transforms Grig into elemental air and the gobber slips effortlessly up joining the fog. Several minutes pass before Grig returns to meet Apu, Haugin, Opifera and Toad huddled in the garden adjacent to the city square. He reports he has found the necklace but has also found another group of thieves looking to make the score. Perched on the roof just above them a gobber is watching and around the corner wait his three friends. Grig returns to the air to retrieve the necklace and the other four start around the corner to intercept the others Apu rhythmically counting softly to himself.

Grig finds the other gobber is already started across the catwalk toward High Captain Klivson’s gibbet. Racing across the chains and trying not to be heard or seen the enemy gobber slips and one of his three knives comes free of its sheath. The light clang on the stones is enough to alert the guards below. Nearing the Klivson’s gibbet Grig’s body transforms suddenly gaining substance and mass. Shooting out a quick hand he snatches the rusted iron cage saving him from a nasty fall and scrambling, he pulls himself up. Within seconds he pulls the necklace from the broken bones and rotted debris and darts back to the catwalk. The guards below are shouting threateningly at the other gobber who ignores them intent only on tackling Grig. With a brace and a great leap Grig clears the distance between the catwalk and the nearest building behind which the others are engaged in a violent showdown. He scampers away with the prize.

Meanwhile the others round the corner weapons bare to find two humans and a maul weilding trollkin circling to ambush them in the garden. A lot of whispered blustering and sizing each other up preceeds the bloodspilling. The woman announces herself as Sescha Isallende, leader of the Pistoleres Sangre. She is armed with a thin blade and a pistol. A trollkin flexes and snorts, eager to be unleashed while the man in back makes use of the time to cast a spell transforming himself into a large snarling wolf. Close enough to spit on each other both sides see combat is unavoidable and the smiling pistolero offers to buy any survivors a drink. Toad tells her he’ll take her up on that and makes a lunging stab igniting the powderkeg.

Springing forward Opifera closes with the trollkin breaking his charge. The ugly brute snarls and sweeps his huge maul in an arc landing a crushing blow to Opifera’s chest cracking ribs. Staggered, but still standing Opifera meets the troll’s shocked eyes with her own sneer and carves her heavy cutlass across his chest ripping through bone and hide. She hops back at the last moment narrowly avoiding the spray of blood. It’s almost impossible to get the stench of troll guts out of your fur. Wild eyed and disbelieving the trollkin’s hammer slips from his grasp as he falls to the ground.

Bleeding from a punctured gut the pistolero squeezes a shot off at Toad who tumbles backward rolling away from her aim. Despite being directly in the line of fire the same bullet somehow misses Haugin, who oblivous to the danger pulls back his harpoon for a throw. He pitches the barbed spear and it sinks deep into the wolf as it leaps to rend Toad. With a strong pull he jerks the beast off balance and gains its baleful glare. It struggles, twisting in vain, trying to pull Haugin’s grip loose but only succeeds in tightening the wrapped cord around his arm. Haugin jerks again. The wolf yelps in piteous animal pain but its eyes glint with human intelligence as it weighs it’s options. Toad slips warily past the snapping wolf towards the wounded pistolero. She jabs Toad puncturing his leathers with her offhand blade before stepping back behind her allies. While Haugin and the wolf struggle Apu is busily muttering strange magics guarded by the wounded Opifera. Toad and the pistolero face off trading parries and demands. With a mighty tug Haugin rips the barbed harpoon out of the huge wolf’s chest and the beast collapses in a heap of blood and hair. When the wolf falls the pistolero admits she underestimated the group. Conceeding to Toad’s demands she drops her sword and, very reluctantly, her pistol in exchange for her freedom. When Toad yells at her retreating shadow where he can get that drink she shouts back the Steam Girl Parlor. He makes a mental note never to go near the place. He’s never had any luck with women, especially ones that try to kill him.

When the bloody trollkin rises to answer Apu’s command the other three are already running out of the alley and down the street. Under Apu’s direction the brute lifts and carries the wolf and together they turn towards the watchmen rounding the far corner. Apu confronts them head on feigning fury at being ambushed in the alley. Apu identifies himself as a member of the Order of the Golden Crucible and quickly and smoothly moves the conversation from the guards interogating him to him belittling the guards. In the space of a few minutes he has them apologizing and trying to politely hurry him along.

Meanwhile Grig catches up with the rest of the group and delivers the necklace. Worried that they may be jumped by yet another group Haugin, Grig, and Toad settle in at a bar just outside of the Emerald District called the Ruby Glass. Apu is missing again, but Haugin informs Toad this is not unusual. Opifera goes to the meeting at the Octopus Den alone and emptyhanded. After a brief conversation with the doorman she is directed down a long hallway full of curtained archways to a room in the back. Giggles and moans float on the heady opium laden air and outlines of bodies and pillows can be seen through the shear curtains. She hears heavy footfalls as she pushes open the unlocked door to the back room. Opifera steps inside and finds Frankau Lelac dangling from the ceiling. Hanging dead, his eyes bulged, tongue wagging and fine linen pants shitstained. The corpse still sways slightly from side to side despite a lack of any air in the stifling room. Opifera backs out immediately and walks briskly to the front door, her mind now oblivious to the temptations of only seconds before. The doorman eyes her curiously as she starts past him and asks if there was any problems. She points back in and offers ‘he’s dead’ before hurrying back into the street waving off further questions. She hasn’t walked far when a smirking gobber falls into step next to her.

Back at the Ruby Glass the three others are waiting and drinking when Opifera leads the rough looking gobber named Felelle in and sits him down. The gobber explains that he is willing to pay for the necklace, 30 royal each and the promise of another job paying 50 a piece. He persistently waves off questions but is eventually dickered up to 35 royal a piece. Felelle then leaves to collect the coin and returns at dawn for the necklace and details of the new job. Taking the medallion, the gobber twists it open and pulls out a small piece of chalk from inside. It was this everyone was after.

Unmasking the Maskmaker
8th Session
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After paying the group Felelle explains he wants the BRT to track down and kill a serial killer being called the Mad Hatter and retrieve his mask. The gobber lists a series of known victims of the killer by occupation and location. Excepting the last one, killed just a block away from the Ruby Glass, he doesn’t have the names. All the rest were murdered on Hospice. The latest victim was Sylvia Grains, a furs merchant. All the victims suffered numerous cuts before being hung for display in prominent locations. The gobber is willing to pay 50 royals a piece for the recovery of the mask and disposal of the Mad Hatter. He stresses the mask is what is most important and that it is dangerous. Felelle believes it is what made the otherwise peaceful man into a killer. The killer’s workshop is called Brail’s Mask Emporium and is located on Bellow’s Island. Felelle agrees to meet the group again later that evening to answer any further questions.

The day is spent sleeping and investigating. Opifera speaks with Ano and puts him to work gathering information while she goes off to meet with his most promising contact. From him she gets a list of each murder victim. Upon returning to the guildhouse she passes Toad and sends him out to the Octopus Den to ask around about Lelac’s murder. Toad ‘poses’ quite successfully as a customer at the upscale brothel and meets with a courtesan named Miranda. She tells him all she knows about the murder…
  • an ogrun and a trenchcoated woman were seen entering but not leaving the Octopus Den right before Lelac was found dead. Another courtesan named Gillian saw them, she works the night shift and is expensive
  • there is a back exit just outside of the room Lelac was found in
  • Lelac often spends time alone in that room smoking opium and often does business there
  • two city watch arrived to investigate as well as a trollkin she believed was unconnected to the watch
Toad returns to the guildhouse to find everyone awake. He is briefly introduced to the recent recruit Natalia Kalishnikov, a down on her luck Urgolian sharpshooter, and to the deadly, but dark Fabrizio. Turns out Apu knows Jillian, the courtesan from the Octopus Den, and is eager to interview her for the good of the investigation but the troope’s plans are interupted by a knock on the door. The gobber Fellelle is let in and answers a few more questions. He is annoyed at the lack of progress made so far. Meanwhile upstairs Apu lies in hiding casting a spell to search the gobber’s mind.
  • the maskmaker is named Bartley Degrada and he worked for Brail’s Mask Imporium
  • he will look for a blue scarf tied to the guildhouse railing when the group has the mask
  • he tells them that many want the mask but they will retrieve it for him
  • Fellelle refuses, even under semi-veiled threat, to reveal much more about his employer
  • from a few subtle hints Opifera believes Fellelle represents a cult of the forgotten Gods, cruel, inhumane insanities from before the age of men

Felelle is not gone long when a large trollkin invites himself into the guildhouse. He introduces himself as a bounty hunter with a contract from the city watch. He has been unable to catch the Mad Hatter and wants to engage the group to work his contract. He provides references on the city watch and offers to pay the group more than the gobber. The guildmembers consider and then accepts his offer and it is worked out that he will take an apartment outside of the BRT guildhouse and watch for the colored scarf signaling Felelle to pick up the mask.

Later that night Opifera, Apu, Haugin, Natalia, and Toad set out to Bellows to investigate the Mad Hatter’s old workshop in Brail’s Mask Emporium. Paying the galleon to cross to the small craftsmens’ island the group finds the building on one of the main streets. It is surrounded by a tall stone wall with several doors. Scaling the wall and slipping inside the group begins to look around while trying unsuccessfully to avoid the lanterned guardsman moving from room to room. The guardsman, turns out, is a friend of Apu’s and is quite cooperative. He answers questions and gets answers to his own but chastises the group for sneaking in instead of stopping by announced at a more reasonable hour. He tells them that the Emporium is owned by Madame Klivson. The same Madame Klivson that was supposedly Lelac’s client and was wife to the executed High Captain.

Searching Degrada’s workshop they find a series of sketches of the same mask, maps of the city, and Degrada’s work log. Fabrizio manages to open Degrada’s safe and finds a journal and a pouch. Unseen by anyone he pockets the pouch. The journal, he hands to Toad who scoops up the all the papers. Downstairs Natalia spots a figure creeping into the building and gives chase. The creeper turns out to be the Mad Hatter, Bartley Degrada himself and the whole group runs after him, some more directly, and hence effectively, than others. Natalia reaches him first and shoots and stabs him in the legs multiple times. Degrada runs on, moving with an inhuman vigor. He makes it as far as the top of the wall before he is stabbed, grabbed and drug back to the ground. He rips his mask off and reveals that the mask seems to have melded with his skin becoming a part of him. The BRT renders him unconscious and binds him and carefully stows the mask wrapped in an old cloth. Apu pays his friend, the security guard a handful of royals and appologizes for the disturbance they have caused. The guard nods thankfully and tells him the money should easily cover the mess and pay for replacement windows. “Windows?” someone asks. “We’d better get going before we attract anymore attention” urges Toad.

Satisfaction not Guaranteed
9th Session
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loggers rosignol and opifera

After the capture of The Mad Hatter the BRT took a water taxi back to Captain’s to keep suspicion down. Once at the office, Opifera tied the Hatter down to bed. “Now we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. Which will it be?” Opifera started. “Just give me the mask and I’ll go” he begged. “Forget about the mask! You’re going to answer our questions. Who do you work for?” Opifera led the interrogation, while Apu read his surface thoughts and Natalia stood by with a menacing glare in her eyes. In the minutes that proceeded we found out that Bartley DeGrada had stolen the mask from a world renowned merchant vessel The Pink Seashell, two years ago while working as a dock hand. Soon after procuring the mask he got a position at Braille’s Mask Emporium through Madame Klivson creating elaborate masks for her and her “high society friends.”

It was only a year ago that he began to understand how the mask worked. He claimed it “unlocked” his talents. As for his bloodlust, he had already had a thirst for vengeance. The mask awoke those dormant desires. His madness is beyond reversal.

An hour later, a young woman dressed in the robes of Morrow knocks at the door. It’s 5am. Opifera answers the door while Natalia remains on watch and Apu rests. “Hello, my name is Sister Helga . I’m here from the Church of Morrow.” She says politely. “Sorry sister, we’re not interested in converting right now. Try next door.” “I’m not here to convert you. I’m here about Pauline Greyvine. Can I come in?” Opifera lets her in. Helga explains that Pauline has gone missing and that the church suspects us of foul play because we were the last ones she had been seen with. Despite Helga’s accusation, Opifera points out yes, we did meet with Pauline when we were hunting down Laura’s killer, but that she was on her own crusade against Thamarites. That was the last we had seen of her. Having no money to hire the BRT, Opifera offers to help Sister Helga if she can offer her services to the guild in exchange. She knew the next day could bring an ambush. One more couldn’t hurt and many of the members of the guild had suddenly gone missing. So Sister Helga was filled in on The Mad Hatter.

Once Apu had his strength back he did a little hands-on research of the mask. He found out that it secretes a substance that acts like a mind altering, addictive drug. We had no way of really knowing what the substance was without any alchemical knowledge. But Apu assured us that it is quite potent and had the ability to unlock your deepest desires in a twisted manner. With this new found knowledge, some members of the BRT were uncomfortable turning a Mask of Murderous Psychosis over to what Opifera said was probably a cult serving the Forgotten Ones. The resolution of this issue was pretty simple- Natalia smashed the mask with the butte of her gun, breaking it into many pieces. This probably didn’t destroy it permanently (the Making & Breaking college has several spells that can be used to re-assemble objects), but it would prevent it from being used for a while.

The Mad Hatter was turned over to the trollkin bounty hunter, Selric Ankoran. The bounty hunter was also willing to try to persuade the Watch to round up Felelle (the creepy gobber who wanted the mask) and his associates. We’d do this by leading the Watch to the mask after handing it over to Felelle. At twelve midnight and consecutively there after, Selric will check his mailbox for leads to Felelle.

Later that night, Felelle showed up followed by his menacing entourage (an ogrun Torgus Irongrip and a Jin woman Cecilia). The ogrun was complete muscle, while his partner was sleek, equipped with four long bladed daggers. “Where is my mask?” “Well, let me explain. We have the mask but it had a bit of an accident.” Apu replied. “Accident!” exclaimed Felelle. He looked around nervously. Torgus and Cecelia moved closer to Opifera, while Apu stood on the far side of the room. “We were able to pry it from The Mad Hatter, but Opifera has a reputation for face shots, and unfortunately the mask didn’t make it unscathed.” Apu hands Felelle the mask in a bucket. Felelle looks furious. “Your life won’t be forfeited, but you’re not getting paid!” Apu breaks in “We went through dangerous situations to bring the mask back.” “WHOLE! I NEVER ASKED FOR IT BACK BROKEN!” “You didn’t specify. You just said you wanted the mask.” Opifera spoke up. “Torgus, place the money on the desk.” Felelle instructed, picking up the bucket and sidling along the wall behind the desk. “Is that sufficient?” “Yes.” Apu answered. Felelle makes his way to the door. He places his hand on the door, “Kill them.”

Torgus made to grab Opifera, but with a stroke of incredible luck he tripped. Cecelia tossed a vial into the next room that filled the room that Natalia and Helga were in with a noxious gas. Opifera attacked Cecelia and hit on the first blow, crippling her left leg. Though down, Cecelia soon got up again. Their battle continued. Torgus finally got up and turned to give Opifera a serious blow from behind. Cecelia hit once with a small blow to the vitals, but Opifera continued to fight, despite her condition.

Apu was (eventually) able to charm the Ogrun (Torgus Irongrip) and Sister Helga used Body Control spells to trip, stun, and generally harass the other side. Meanwhile, Natalia took a shot at Felelle, just missing him. He fled from the office, while she pursued. Outside they faced off in the streets. Few pedestrians watched greedily as Felelle had placed the bag of gold down, but many steered away leaving a wide breath for the duelers. Felelle began to show signs of nervousness after his entourage failed to reappear. He fled with the mask, leaving the royals behind. Natalia quickly grabbed the royals and sprinted back up the stairs to find Opifera and Cecelia dueling in the doorway. Near death, Cecelia finally collapsed down the stairs.

The current situation is that Opifera is badly injured, Apu is exhausted, Sister Helga is very, very tired, Cecelia is unconscious and tied up on a bunk on the second floor and an extremely large Orgun (Torgus) is downstairs, and thinks Apu is an old friend. Natalia is unscathed. Despite the fact that the BRT are still standing, one slip and we would have fallen. On a side note, we need to get a new office we can plan some defenses for. Not to neglect the crumbling staircase, with a large trollkin and massive ogrun twice making their way up to the office in one day. For future reference, it may be safer to take the back entrance.

With Torgus now Apu’s friendly slave, Apu did some digging into Torgus’ history. He and Cecelia have been working together for about 7 years. They’ve been doing work for someone called Waernuk, and have an apartment on Blake Street, at the Painted Window. Torgus and Cecelia have only been working for Felelle for a couple of weeks, and don’t know where he lives, although they usually met him near something called the ‘Old Colossal’, which is near a tunnel to the undercity. Opifera recalls that there is a cave system there that may be where he is hiding out.

Apu told Torgus that Felelle has made some ‘important people’ unhappy, and that it would be a good idea to not take any more jobs from him, for someone who can ‘solve problems quietly’ would be dealing with Felelle soon. Torgus expressed his appreciation for the information.

Though Torgus is friendly now, Apu is exhausted and is not sure how much longer he can maintain his hold on him. Will our weary gang be able to take down the uninjured Torgus? Tune in next week for “Attack of the Rampaging Ogrun!”


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