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…

What Doom Underground!, pts I & II
or "Brevity is the Soul of Whitthaven"

Backstory: Langley Cribbins-Whitt was a doctor, scientist, and practitioner of the healing arts. He was also steadily going insane. He opened his ancestral home, Whitthaven, in Ludheim’s Bramblemoth District, as a sanitarium. It was a place where the upper classes could commit family members with conditions that made them unsuitable for polite society. Cribbins-Whitt used the patients as pool of experimental subjects. He was obsessed with the structure of the brain and its uses in extrasensory communication. He also came to believe that an advanced, intelligent civilization existed in the Underdark, and was desperate to communicate with it. The breakthrough came with the patient Chatsworth Duprey. The sickly young man had something in his blood, a magical resonance that was perfect for Cribbins-Whitt’s experiments. The doctor constructed his communication device, attaching Chatsworth’s and several other patients’ brains to it. Something, however, was off in the experiment. Instead of a simple communicator, the machine transformed the hospital’s basement lab. Caverns from deep underground were dredged up and fused to Whitthaven’s cellars. These included Krell Empire era ruins and part of a derro city. The experiment also altered Cribbins-Whitt, fusing him with a violet fungus and making him a monstrosity. At the same time, Chatswoth’s sister, Mathilda, had learned enough of the doctor’s madness to take action. Her and a band of adventuresome friends descended on Whitthaven. They were unable to save the patients or stop Cribbins-Whitt and his new morlock minions, and the ensuing conflict burned down the sanitarium. However, they were able to seal the entrance underground. The magical wards placed on the capstone would prevent the creatures escape and alter their perception of time, hopefully enforcing docility. Over fifty years pass…

What Happened: Our Heroes are hired by Alastair Duprey to investigate the new property he has inherited from his Aunt Mathilda: Whithaven. Only one member of the team of assayers he sent returned, and that man, Cotter Mann, was insane. After some investigation, the Heroes enter the grounds of Whitthaven. They find the warded capstone and a gnawed leg. Descending, they find a series of chambers and corridors of different construction. Among them:

• An old storage room that had become a dire rat warren. • A band of morlocks feasting on the remains of the lost crew • An ancient Krell Empire temple to the Winter Queen, now home to an ochre jelly. • The violent ghosts of the sanitarium’s more vicious orderlies. • The ghosts of the murdered patients, including Chatsworth, who tells the pcs his tale. • More of the Winter Queen’s temple, now infested with giant centipedes • A strange pulse occurs, altering the tunnels. • A Krell Empire chamber guarded by three small elementals. Writings indicate it is a place of “study” and “confinement”. Entering, the heroes find a binding circle containing a fire elemental. The Elemental explains that she has been here for over three thousand years, that she made a mistake, burned down a large part of the city, was bound here as punishment, and then forgotten. There is much debate on a course of action. Ultimately, they decide to investigate more and return. • The architecture become more alien as they enter a displaced chunk of a derro city. More morlocks are fought. • A large, disk-like mechanical door blocks the way. After some tinkering, and a severe electrocution, it is opened.

The Final Showdown: The Heroes enter a large circular chamber. The opposite side ends in a deep chasm. The ceiling is ringed with copper cables, pulsing with electricity. The cables lead down to four man sized cylinders, each topped with a glass container housing a brain. With fresh brains, the experiment has been restarted. The evil ghosts, two more morlocks, and the fungus creature that was Dr. Langley Cribbins-Whitt guard the device. A might battle ensures, and Our Heroes are victorious. The device is destroyed. The ghost’s bones are burned, sending them to their final reward and loot is recovered. That chamber then collapses in on itself, sealing access to the Underdark.

Other Points to Keep in Mind:

• At Duprey Manor, Rosie saw Anastasia Duprey meeting with Tetch Envoy Ibn Ket. • Bill stole a brass elephant from Duprey Manor. He then left it with The Elemental as a gesture of goodwill. • A photograph of a young Cribbins-Whitt was found in the ruins. The picture also features a half-elf woman and a gnome man. • Among the holy water found in the Winter Queen’s temple there was also a small clay pot containing a thick oil. • Cotter Mann was committed to St. Bartleby’s Asylum for Lunacy and Brain-Fevers. This is not the worst insane asylum in Ludheim.

Terror from the Skies!, Part II
I don't want to have to tell the Colonel, "Sorry I stabbed your baby."

The heroes descend on the Squeaky Wheel, a waterfront dive casino. They learn from the owner, cantankerous old man Mr. Blintz, that Sasha Fix rented the basement of his nearby boarding house. There, they find trash and the remnants of a lab. Hidden among the rubble they find strange opalescent paints and an alchemetical lantern. Lighting the lantern reveals Fix’s mad scrawlings all over the walls and ceiling. Deciphering them tells her tale of “dying twice” in the Colonies and the outline of a sacrificial ritual set for tomorrow at dusk at the ruins of the Lighthouse. There are also several reference to " The Sleeper " and a strange symbol. The heroes are then attacked by two spider swarms, which they bravely escape.

The night and next day are spent in rest and preparation. Kothar’s contact at the Aerodrome has secured them the use of a patrolboat to fly them out to the Lighthouse, just in time for a storm to roll in. The heroes, under the watchful, slightly drunken, eye of Captain Jim, rise above the clouds and get a rare taste of clean air. They fight through the storm to reach the Lighthouse, finding Fix’s airship moored there.

Sasha Fix, the Cloaked Man, and the Infant Sebastian are on the top deck, as are a giant bugbear and some more goblin mercs. The heroes go full swashbuckler and swing down to the deck on ropes. The villains retreat below deck, while the PCs make short work of the goblinoids. With time of the essence, Grimloc smashes the hatch and they follow.

They next deck has been converted to a swampy pit with a walkway across it. The walkway naturally breaks free, tumbling Henry and Grimloc into the muck. They are promptly attacked by giant leeches. The beasts are hacked to goo, and everyone runs to the next level.

Here, this deck has been converted to a laboratory. While investigating the lab, six zombies smash out of glass cases and attack. After a battle that’s a little too exciting for everyone, the zombies and the lab’s Frankensteinian equipment are smashed. Found in the lab is Fix’s stash of gold, potions, books and notes; all of which are snatched for examination later.

The lowest deck, the ships hold and engine room, find Fix dangling the baby over an open cargo door and chanting in Abyssal. The heroes leap into action, fighting the mad sorceress, her cloaked henchman, and the last two goblin thugs. Fix and Kothar attempt to have a sorcerer showdown, but manage only near misses. Henry horrible burns one goblin with acid before they’re finished off with crossbow bolts. Rosie and Grimloc square off against the Cloaked Man; Rosie swings off a handrail to get into flanking position for some stabbing and Grimloc gets the killing blow with his axe. The Cloaked Man lets out a hideous death scream and collapses into a pile of rags. He is simply layers of clothes; and, at the center: a dead rat(?). Meanwhile, Bill and Kothar keep Fix occupied while Nakai leaps to the attack, tearing out the sorceress’s throat before she has a chance to monologue.

Henry climbs out onto the rigging to rescue young Leopold, who is cranky but unharmed. Captain Jim returns to tug the airship back to Ludheim. The Sebastians are happy to have their son back and the heroes are handsomely rewarded.

Terror from the Skies!
It's not a party until someone kills a goblin.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” – Klingon proverb

Colonel Beaumont Sebastian, Retired, is hosting a reception in his Ludheim townhouse. The Mazarin Store, a sapphire from far-off Sutland, was recovered by one of his expeditions, and the Colonel is unveiling it tonight before it’s donated to the Ludheim Museum. Many of the city’s notables will be on hand, including Henry and Rosie. Bill has conned his way to an invitation, wearing a false beard for the evening. Kothar, accompanied by Grimloc and Chaska as bodyguards, uses the opportunity to meet up with Henry. The bard is his contact in the city and the evening is his introduction to Ludheim society. There is small talk among the players and their host. The guests are having a fine evening. Surely nothing will go wrong.

Something goes wrong when a party of goblins smashes through the skylight, rappels down, and demands the Stone or murder. Our heroes spring into action, quickly dispatching the goblins. In an effort to protect the Stone, or facilitate its theft by Bill or Rosie, Henry casts Prestidigitation during the chaos, creating a ring of mirrors inside the Stone’s glass case.

As the last goblin falls the players hear a scream from upstairs. Kothar and Grimloc race up to find Mrs. Sebastian fainted and the couple’s infant son missing. Out the open window, Kothar spies a flying man carrying the child to an airship, which then takes off into the night. In the crib is found a military badge with a silver basilisk.

Meanwhile, Bill is weighing his chances of using the distraction to steal the Mazarin Stone. Rosie reacts dramatically to the carnage, shrieks, and swoons, drawing all eyes to her. Bill attempts to pick the lock, but can’t quite get it. The moment passes. The Stone will have to wait for another day…

A flurry of investigation follows. In private, Sebastian reveals that during his military days he served in the Colonies. His experiences were mostly gin and cards at the officer’s club, but, in order to pad his record, he led a few excursions in the field. His final patrol ended in disaster; the Silver Basilisk unit was ambushed by lizardfolk. He alone survived because of his cowardice. Not trusting the speed or efficiency of the Watch, the Colonel entrusts the players with the investigation, giving them a letter of authority with his seal. He also hands over his records of the Basilisks.

The group splits up to follow leads. Leaning that the cook had drugged the guards’ stew and had a gambling problem, Rosie and Henry went to question him. They find him at his flat, murdered. Casino chips featuring a ship’s wheel are found in his boot. Kothar and Grimloc travel to the Aerodrome to check into airship traffic and leads on the mystery ship. The escaping airship eluded the city’s patrolcraft, and the towermaster is caught in a moment of incompetence. He promises Kathor the use of a patrolcraft if he agrees to keep the matter between thamselves. A surviving goblin informed Chaska that he and his fellows were hired are mercenaries by a “scary woman” and agrees to take him and Bill down to Monstertown to meet his boss. The goblin leads them to an old foundry refashioned as a bar called the Forge. There, Bill wins some favor with the monstrous crowd by leading a carousing drinking song. They soon meet with Eustace Hardscabble, local half-orc boss, fixer, crime lord, and problem solver. He informs them a scarred, red-haired woman named Sasha Fix, accompanied by a cloaked man, hired a team of goblins from him. He met with her at a casino in the Rose District called the Squeaky Wheel.

The heroes then meet up at the Vulgar Minotaur, narrowly missing copyright infringement. They exchange information, and agree to follow their leads to the Squeeky Wheel. In a stunning cliffhanger, the Colonel’s list of presumed dead Silver Basilisk’s included one “Sasha Fix”.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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