Monday, 20 March 2017
ep 44 6/5/4713 Hanging Balconies of Bis
Overnight at Inn in Tarheel Promenade, hired by both Gadka the dwarf merchant and Vargun the troll augur. Drive off Tirana's gang from Gadka's magic item cart. Go west to Bis district and free Augustille the troll augur from a renegade Ardoc family member.
We woke at the Wheel Unbroken and went down to breakfast. Jarrick had left before dawn to deal with some Paladin issue.
As we ate, a Dwarf approached the group and enquired if we were adventurers. He introduced himself as Gadkah, a dealer in magical curiosities. He had some troubles with a street gang under Tyrannah (a sorceress related to the issue we are investigating for the Church *). The gang was expected to come harass him between 11am and noon and he wanted help.
While we were talking, our young urchin guide, Gav Nali, brought in a Troll from the Augers. Vargun was from the Troll Organisation of Asylum Stone. Her brother, Augustille, had been kidnapped by Berkanin, a young member of the Ardock family. Berkanin had taken Augustille right from the temple steps and was holding him captive and experimenting on him, studying him. Augustille does not have usual visions by the Auger's standards. His unusual visions are not marketable but still true.
We agree to help both parties with urgency. Moncey is sent with Gadkah in case the gang comes early. Gav volunteers to guide us to the place where rumours said Berkanin was holding Augustille.
We arrived at Bis about 9:30 in the morning to investigate the place in question. Gav points out a balcony about 40' up with no balconies below. We could see two entry ways, a series of pulleys for a wooden lift or an archway.
We left Gav below and chose our ways up. Neril disappeared from sight and ran up the walls. Sepheria took the broom. Claw, Clank and I took the lift. When Sepheria lifted above the balcony, some response was triggered and there was noise above us on the lift and it suddenly plummeted. Claw and Clank both took damage from the fall. My ring of feather fall protected me from that but debris fell from above. I stone shaped the lift pillars to try to deflect the debris. It protected Claw but not Clank.
Up above, Sepheria called for retreat and informed us of the two Giant Plant Monsters that appeared out of the bushes of the garden. Gav informs us that he saw something invisible yank the pins out of the lift causing it to fall.
Deciding that due to the time, we would be better suited to deal with Gadkah's problem with the gang first then come back, we hurried back. By the time we arrived, the gang was already there and trying to menace the Dwarf. The were dressed well and wore leather armour, carrying themselves as if they knew how to fight. I spoke with a woman, Jenna, and managed to scare them into retreating, which was not the expected reaction. Sepheria took the opportunity of them grouping up to hypnotic pattern them and Neril stunned Jenna, the only one to avoid the spell.
Sepheria intimidated them into spilling their secrets. The sorceress could be found at the Council of Truth (once the most powerful faction of Kaer Maga - made of wizards). It was at the SouthSide, close to the cliff face by an old watermill; there would be double doors cast in iron with an Owl, the symbol of the CoT. Supposedly there was a ventilation shaft on the cliff face, with perhaps a 1/2 mile drop (we assume this to be hidden within one of the eyes of the skulls that are carved onto the walls of the city). We stripped them of their armour and their weapons (and one potion of healing) and sent them running with a warning not to bother the dwarf again.
Gadkah gave us a lantern of revealing which makes any creature in the bright light visible. Sepheria was able to trade two wands for gloves of thievery and Keoghtom's ointment, which I hoped to study and work out how to duplicate when we next got some time to rest.
Before we could move on, there was sudden movement and commotion. A little golem made of a giant head and some odd arms (face of Runelord of greed), stole a tomato and ran. I gave chase before I thought it through with Neril and Claw behind me. It dove down a tunnel and I took a terrier form, following it into it's lair of rotten fruit. Before we could come to blows, Sepheria called out in a foreign language and it stilled. She called me back and I retreated to rejoin the others. Sepheria called out more in the other tongue and the little golem listened to her. We find out that these were made as sentinels.
Clank did not like it at all and appeared afraid of it, but Sepheria had it under her control, so we simply kept them apart as we headed back to the Inn.
Leaving the new Golem (now named Capita) to guard our things, we went back to Berkanin's place. Neril, in his invisible form, went up first and lowered down rope. Claw climbed up the rope while Sepheria carried me up on the broom. We had to leave Clank at the bottom as we would need to move fast to avoid the Plant Monsters. We managed to avoid engaging them by the boys taking to the roofs and getting out of sight and Sepheria and I simply flying high above them.
As an aside, rather oddly, there was a gazebo in the garden below us with an arrow sticking out of it.
Neril on the third level, spotted the Troll, badly hurt, strapped to the wall with a well dressed guy sleeping in a chair in the same room with an odd box strapped to his back. This was Berkanin.
Claw's movement across the roofs brought him to the second level of the building. He heard a strange woman's voice, whom we later knew to be the cat woman Kanya.
As we could not see Neril, I called out softly to him and he answered. He then went through the window and attacked Berkanin stunning him. There were two military clockwork soldiers that sprung to life in defence of the creator. Sepheria guided the broom in and attacked the clockwork soldiers with animated objects. I was able to see that they were clearly made by the Ardock family - different and not quite as good as the Golem Works. I could also see that they had some sort of fire runes and they could regenerate from damage.
The cat-women leapt up the stairs from the room below and she tried to attack Neril, missing him in her haste. Claw raged and burst through the door below and charged up the stairs behind her.
Out of nowhere, a clockwork psuedodragon attacked Neril with supercharged Magic Missile from a wand. It looked like the mini-dragon-clockwork was built around the wand.
The clockwork soldiers attacked Neril. As we were outnumbered, I threw up a wall of stone and was able to trap the clockwork soldiers inside, then I guided the broom across the room to Augustille to see what I could do to free him in case we needed to move quickly.
Neril attacked Berkanin and was able to stun him again. He then attacked Kanya the rogue but could not stun her. He retreated back towards me. Sepheria called her blade song and blasted Berkanin with scorching ray, partly to draw the rogue away from Neril, who was looking a little rough. Claw killed Kanya and the clockwork dragon (the wand did not explode thankfully) while Sepheria's animated objects continued to attack the clockwork soldiers behind the wall. I healed Neril somewhat and then turned my attention to the Troll, trying to free him while Sepheria's animated objects continued their barrage on the clockworks; we heard a heavy thump which we assumed meant the objects had defeated one clockwork. A harpy suddenly popped up from downstairs in an eclectic mix of clothes and an amazing hat. Surprised, I commented about the hat and she struck at me. Neril stunned the Harpy and Claw landed the fatal blow.
Certain that we could handle one clockwork, I dropped the wall of stone and threw a fireball at the clockwork. Neril, Sepheria, and Claw all attacked. Then the clockwork soldier self destructed. After Augustille was freed from the torturous device and his insides were back inside of him, we were able to salvage some of their pieces for further study, along with some random keys. At his request, we destroyed the recordings of his torture and the experiments done upon him.
Augustille had a sudden prediction: "The owl will seek but will not find, but Spire of Knowledge pays in kind. In secret kept in secret keep, In forest dark and cavern deep."
We know that the Owl is the Council of Truth and the Spire of Knowledge is the Thorasic Spire Library. We have also heard there is forest called the Dark Forest below Kaer Maga and we assume there is a cavern there.
The keys led us to a GolemBane scarab and invoices by someone called Dakar for Berkanin's experiments. There was also a mirror scrying glass and an eye ** which Neril pried from the archway as we reached the first floor.
* - stolen Sword of Lust.
** - CCTV equivalent
[4975 xp total, 700 in total for Clank]