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 7/16/11 Session Recap

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Stitch
Lvl 30 Blademaster
Lvl 30 Blademaster
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Join date : 2009-07-22
Age : 37
Location : Randolph

PostSubject: 7/16/11 Session Recap   Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:52 pm

When Jiles Murphy (human alchemist) and Ttef Abob (half-orc ranger) finished persuing their own endeavors, they found that the rest of the group had left town to follow clues about the “Mapmaker”.

Jiles and Ttef did not have the knowledge of those clues, and only had the riddle to guide them. After a brief attempt, the two came to the conclusion that it was indecipherable. With no other leads to guide them, Jiles suggested that they look into a local issue that he had become aware of; the recent disappearance of alchemists throughout the city. Ttef, not wanting to be alone for his own reasons, was happy to join the investigation.

Both adventurers decided that the best way to find out what was happening to the alchemists was to use Jiles as bait. In order to do so, they outfitted themselves in the finest garb to portray a high-end merchant alchemist and his capable bodyguard. They then set up shop in the Ivy District (upper class), acquiring the lease of a fully stocked lab from the landlord of an alchemist that had recently gone missing. In order to further gain attention, they hired a gnomish bard, nicknamed “Double-D”. His task was to wander the streets near the shop and follow Jiles around, singing praises of his alchemical exploits and declaring his shop to be the finest in the land.

With the help of these exceptional marketing techniques, the opening day of the shop was a success, and there was no lack of customers. Jiles, considering mundane merchant alchemy beneath him, did his best to assume the guise of a simple distributor of potions and miscellaneous magical baubles. Ttef, posing as hired security, kept an eye out for anything strange.

Not long after the “grand opening”, they were approached by an interesting customer. A striking woman, dressed in all black, introduced herself as Cassandra and had a confidential order to place. Speaking in private, she seductively provided the details of her request. As a man of science, Jiles took no note of the woman’s charms, but his blood did begin to pump when the transaction was described.

She needed a rare poison, which was unknown even to Jiles. The primary ingredient was a highly illegal plant, the Orange Rust Lotus, which is rumored to be associated with turning the living into the undead. In order to aid in the acquisition of the ingredients, she presented a bag of platinum worth 5,000gp. Upon completion of the task, a final payment of 10,000gp would follow. The only other information she provided was the actual formula for the poison and the fact that she was working on behalf of the temple of Calistria. She also suggested that they keep this activity out of the eyes of the authorities, and to make no mention of her or the temple’s involvement if they are caught with the illegal ingredients.

Eager for the challenge of working with such rare ingredients, Jiles was happy to take the job. The amount of the reward also got Ttef right on board.

Knowing they couldn’t go through traditional channels of inquiry to find the location of the Orange Rust Lotus, they decided to begin by asking around in the black market. Tomcek, the bartender, suggested they go to the Foreign Quarter of town to seek out Rahtef, who poses as a simple translator, but is actually a black market trader of high standing.

Jiles and Ttef made their way to Rahtef’s shop. Upon arrival, Ttef immediately accused the man of being involved with the black market, and explained that they were looking for his services. Balking at this less-than-subtle approach, Rahtef denied any knowledge of such things and sent the adventurers away, suggesting that they return tomorrow with more tact if they desire his translation services.

Jiles and Ttef did exactly that. On the following day, when they arrived, Rahtef invited them inside and presented two folders. The contents seemed to be every deed and bit of background information about the two. He declared that, since their meeting yesterday, he had ascertained that they were not town guards…and too stupid to be any high-ranking villain. He would hear their request.

He admitted not having the item they were looking for, but knew of it…and where to find it. He further stated that he would not venture to acquire such an item, but he was willing to provide all of his information on it for the price of 150gp. Jiles and Ttef paid the price and went on their merry way.

Rahtef’s information revealed that the flower is historically associated with the city of Avidra in the country of Osirion (think Egypt). Roughly 300-400 years ago a great mage, Zallatrix, unnaturally created the Orange Rust Lotus and used a massive supply of them to poison the inhabitants of Avidra, turning them into an army of undead at her command. The city is also noted as being somehow connected to Marganis, who was a strong Theomancy mage. Over the last 4 centuries, the city has fallen to ruin and become consumed by the desert. Any remnants of Zallatrix or her army are “likely” long gone.

Not wanting to unnecessarily spend their advance payment, Jiles and Ttef decided to use mundane forms of travel to reach Avidra. After an uneventful boat ride across the ocean and horseback travel across the desert they reached the ruins of the city. The two adventurers explored the only remaining structure of note…a small two-story stone building.

Upon closer inspection, it was apparent that this structure was merely the tip of an ancient ziggurat which had been almost fully buried by the desert. Further searching revealed an opening at the top. Within it, a ladder (less ancient looking than the rest of the building) descending into darkness. With no other way to go, the brave explorers began to climb down. They soon came to the decayed form of a previous climber who had been pinned to the ladder by a spear trap. Carefully passing the skeleton, the two proceeded more cautiously, now suspicious of traps.

After descending quite a distance, they reached the floor within a vast chamber. Using torchlight to make their way, they soon found the ground to be covered in the broken remains of hundreds of skeletons. Clearly, this was the remnants of Zallatrix’s army, which had been dispatched either by time or waves of prior adventurers.

Continuing to search, Ttef and Jiles reached a stone door along one of the far walls that seemed to be intact and closed. Wisely testing the “keyhole” with a bone fragment, they discovered it trapped with poison. Some further exploring revealed a secret switch on a nearby statue that opened the way. A wide, descending hallway extended from the opening, lined with skeletal sentries. The skeletons animated if approached…or after a while if passed. Ttef and Jiles chose to dispatch the skeletons as they went along, preventing any ambush from behind. This proved wise, since the hallway ended in a large doorway that, when opened, revealed a small platoon of well equipped skeleton warriors. They were no obstacle, however, for Ttef’s sword and Jiles’ bombs.

Unfortunately, these skeletons were the least of the terrors beyond the door. It opened into a well lit chamber, occupied in the center by a devil with a wicked glaive who stood over the suspended body of a dead humanoid. He was slicing the corpse to draw blood, which dripped into the open blossom of an Orange Rust Lotus below it.

The devil offered them the opportunity to leave unharmed, but the adventurers were to bold/stupid to accept that proposal. Ttef shapeshifted to gain aspects of the Jackal and Jiles consumed a mutagen to transform into his hulking alter-ego. Despite these enhancements, the devil proved to be a challenging opponent. It summoned several abominations to its aid, and wielded its weapon proficiently, nearly killing Ttef immediately with a grievous attack that continued to bleed magically. Enlarging his mutated form to offset the devil’s reach, Jiles coupled brute force with Ttef’s strike-and-move strategy. Together they managed to eek out a victory, though both were nearly at their last breaths.

With the devil dispatched, the adventurers tended to their wounds and explored the room. Searching revealed the remains of many humanoids, which seemed to be the missing alchemists. It seems that they had been also used to feed the flower in the middle of the chamber. Fortunately though, the devil only wanted their blood, and their possessions still consisted of roughly 3,000gp worth of coins that quickly found their way into Ttef and Jiles’ satchels.

The adventure concluded with Ttef and Jiles carefully digging out the flower, and draining the corpse hanging above it of all remaining blood into various vials, jars and flasks in Jiles’ pack. Hopefully, this will be enough to keep the flower fed during the return journey, though both adventurers are more than willing to provide some of their own blood until they can find a way to resupply at a butcher or farm. 10,000gp is well worth a few nicks on the hand for a couple of days.

Also, Jiles is particularly curious/suspicious to meet with Cassandra and find what her knowledge or involvement with the demon was. He’s not sure if they were truly sent to retrieve the flower or simply be the next meal to keep it alive.


Last edited by Stitch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Devils are not Demons!)
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SilentCrest
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PostSubject: Re: 7/16/11 Session Recap   Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:38 am

Excellent recap of the previous session, and nice use of HTML. The only thing I would add is what I personally have learned and that is Devils ARE NOT Demons and vice versa. You will be corrected and rightfully so
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Stitch
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PostSubject: Re: 7/16/11 Session Recap   Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:59 am

I stand corrected!
Post edited accordingly.
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