Dining on Ashes

Fear Lurks in the Streets, pt I

Our Heroes leave the ruins of Whitthaven and report back to Lord Alastair for their reward. He congratulates them, thanks them for their good work, promises that the dead workers families will be cared for, and arranges that his manservant, Jaebez Battsley, pay them. Duprey then speeds off to the opera. Rosie, Chaska, and Bill head out to celebrate. Henry begins researching The Elemental’s history, seeing if her story checks out. Kothar convinces Grimloc that it’s not necessary to sit watch on The Elemental before starting his own research on the magic items the group recovered. Grimloc spends the evening sharpening his weapons.

Henry’s research essentially confirms The Elemental’s story. Her accidental burning of the ancient outpost town where Ludheim now stands was just that, and her imprisonment was intended to be a temporary punishment. What was not uncovered was her name. Henry believes it could be found in the Book of Ezzerhauden, a rare, ancient history text. He proposes that the group meet to consult with an acquaintance, alchemist and wizard Armitage Lolly. Lolly can also aid in identifying the magic items Kothar could not. They all meet up, except for Chaska, who is spending the morning with Ludheim’s downtrodden.

Armitage Lolly of the proprietor of Lolly’s Curiosities, a magic shop in Margeave’s Point. Some wheeling and dealing occurs over magic items occurs, and then they get down to business about the book. Lolly tells them a copy of the Book of Ezzerhauden is owned by Naram Seen, a rare book dealer. Seen operates a stall in Elspeth’s Market in the Mince Pie District.

The party travels to Elspeth’s Market, a dilapidated manor house that has been converted to an open air marketplace. The place is noisy and crowded as vendors of all types hock their wares. They find Naram Seen in a makeshift stall with tapestries hung for partitions and several freestanding bookcases, all full. Seen is a fastidious bully, prizing his books and schmoozing his customers while berating his kobold employees in low draconic. After some haggling, Seen agrees to sell them the book and sends a kobold to fetch it from a storage area behind a curtain. The kobold returns empty handed. A man is then spotted scaling the market’s wall and slipping through a opening in the roof. He is clutching a book-sized bundle. Grimloc and Henry climb up after him while Kothar and Bill run out to the street. Rosie is enjoying the old books far too much to run off now.

For the chase scene, I used a variation of the chase rules from the Doctor Who RPG. It was abstracted out, with a line of eight spaces representing the chase route and the thief placed two spaces in front of the pcs. I rolled an Acrobatics check for the thief, and this became the dc each chaser needed to beat in order to catch up. If a player fell more than six spaces behind he was out of the chase. Any reasonable skill could be used; Acrobatics and Climb for jumping and scrambling, Knowledge (Local) for finding shortcuts, etc. Additionally, since Grimloc’s movement is slower than the rest’s, he needed to make a Fort. save to keep up. I think this made for more drama than just a one roll skill check and much less work than actually mapping out the rooftops and streets. ___

The thief is caught and it’s Jimbo, an old cohort of Bill’s. He was hired by a man named Nashton Stitch to steal the book. Stitch told him he was a member of the Thieves Guild and this was Jimbo’s chance for an invite. Jimbo doesn’t know much more, only that it was part of a larger job happening that night in a warehouse by the docks. The group hauls off Jimbo and the book. Seen is so happy that the thief is caught he offers the pcs an even better deal and throws in some history books for Rosie. While he’s there, Kothar picks up a tome on his homeland.

Our Heroes, with Chaska now joining them, find that the book does contain the Elemental’s name: Xichetalpan. All pages with reference to the name were cut out, and the book was returned to Jimbo. He then leaves to deliver the book to Stitch, with Rosie secretly following. Everyone else goes to check out the warehouse.

The warehouse is a large structure near the docks, bustling with afternoon activity. The pcs pose as city officials and con their way inside to case the place. The warehouse has two stories, roof access for airships, and a loading crane. It isn’t used exclusively by any merchant or business, but instead rents out space. Grimloc opts to hide amongst the crates and wait out the thieves. Everyone else leaves to prepare for the ten o’clock robbery.

Meanwhile, Rosie tracks Jimbo to Valdemarr’s, a tavern friendly to the Guild. Not long after, a man leaves carring a book-shaped bundle. Rosie follows him to Merton Blintz’s boarding house in the Rose District. After several hours, and the use of a Hat of Disguise to gain the height required to peek into a window, Rosie spots unknown man leaving the house with four others and entering a carriage. She follows the carriage to the warehouse, only to come around an ally corner to find a burly, scarred woman waiting for her. The two spar, and the woman knocks Rosie unconscious with her bare fists…

Not long after, from their various stakeout points, Our Heroes spot the five thieves entering the warehouse from the roof hatch carrying the unconscious Rosie. The unknown party makes for the crate Lot 47 and begins breaking in. The pcs spring into action and a giant fight ensues. Our Enemies include:

  • Nashton Stitch – Enterprising rogue and ringleader.
  • Tarquin Gamyr – Exiled elven ranger with a dislike for orcs
  • Daegel – Red Monk and deliverer of beatings
  • Waymil – Gnome Summoner. Creepy, mercenary, and wearer of strange hats.
  • The Moraype – Waymil’s Eidolon. Its features combine a great ape and a moray eel.

The epic battle involves many pcs at death’s door at various points, and Henry using the crane to grab Daegel and bash her around. Stitch and Gamyr and taken down. Waymil and the Moraype try to escape. The Watch shows up with a Clockwork Man and Daegel is dropped to their mercies. The Moraype is destroyed and dissolves to ectoplasm, and Waymil surrenders. The contents of Lot 47 is an iron box containing a large beaker of thick, purple fluid. That and the gnome are scooped up by Our Heroes and, with the Watch at their heels, they escape into the night…



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