Gallowsbird (2016)

Public: Harrison the Lich

After Broderick rejoins the group we climb up the rubble on the other side of the room and descend further. We soon come to a curved hallway with several hand sized holes in the walls. Unsure of what they are we proceed cautiously. We start to hear voices asking if anyone is there. We announce ourselves and a ballista bolt flies from a hole in the wall, shoots through me and pins me to a wall. The others all retreat and it takes a while for them to come back and get the thing off me. Eventually I’m freed and we all move forward, this time low to the ground. We hear more inquiring voices and a scream but seeing no way to find those responsible we just move forward. We see a ratfolk run down a hall as we turn a corner. Me and Broderick stealth after and find a closed door with a sobbing Ratfolk behind it. They claim that they’re sick and don’t want to open the door. The ratfolk claims that the others are all acting odd and seem to fly berserk for no known reason and then forget the event ever happened. We try to negotiate but eventually decide to leave the ratfolk there since he isn’t harming anyone.

We descend farther and find a hallway with four rooms, two on each side. Besides that there are some paintings of nature on the walls. We quickly check to see if there is anything behind the paintings and learn they are just walls. After that we go into one room. Inside is a large tank about 10 ft long. It has a spigot on one end and a small window on the other. I try to use object reading while Broderick looks into the window. Between us we figure out that a lightning elemental is inside. A very angry lightning elemental. Before we do anything we decide to check the rest of the rooms. Two of the rooms are identical. We notice a red rat-like paw-print on the last door. We open the door to find a lightning elemental out of the tank and immediately turns it’s attention towards us. Before it can do anything we close the door. It seems the elemental can’t operate a switch but we decide to barricade it just to be sure.

We attempt to descend further but as we round a corner a figure made of shadow seems to move out of a wall and approaches us. From his voice we recognize that this is Harrison. He threatens us with “gas” if we don’t calmly enter a room and have a seat. When we enter the room we see three chairs waiting for us. Besides those is Venyard in his wheelchair looking pretty roughed up. We also see two ratfolk in the corner, one of who I recognize as Ingrid. In another corner is a large machine that is “pointed” at a large rock that looks extremely cracked. We assume this is a sending stone. The shadow Harrison walks across the room and goes through a mirror. As he does the mirror seems to shatter. This reveals a large pit that separates a second room. The room has a large onyx alter in it, with Lucky Dogan and a Friend of Man strapped on it.

Unsure of what’s going on we all sit down. It seems we are going to witness a ritual. We ask Venyard what is going on, he says he doesn’t know. Unsure of what to do I use telepathy to communicate with Broderick. Since Harrison said he needed an audience we decide that maybe we should run. We agree to throw a smoke bomb and grab as many people and run as we can. I cut off communication and attempt to contact Richard. Meanwhile Harrison is starting the ritual and we figure out that he plans to kill the two on alter. We also notice that a wall of force has been placed between us and Harrison. A new plan begins to emerge I inform Richard to get ready to crawl underneath the wall when a hole emerges. I contact Broderick again and bring him up to speed on the new plan. As Harrison finishes off the FoM we kick off our plan as I cast Stone Shape to create a hole big enough for someone to crawl under.

Broderick goes first and fires his bow hitting Harrison square in the back. Harrison ignores us and continues to do his ritual. The rest of us, even Venyard eventually follow. Not sure how to stop anything we push the machine that is pointing at the stone. Harrison continues to drain the life essence of Lucky Dogan. I eventually jump across the pit, activate glorious enchantment, and start attack Harrison to get him away from Dogan. Broderick joins me a turn later as he keeps firing his bow. When we are both near he fires a fireball at his feet which rocks everyone in the room. Broderick flees back to the other side while I desperately keep at it. While this has been going on a low rolling gas has started to sweep into the room. Richard has been creating magical pits in the room as he desperately tries to hold back the gas. Venyard, not having a useful spell, is mostly yelling. He seems to be in pain and says that he is turning into a lich.

With a final spell Lucky Dogan is completely killed which is apparently all Harrison needed. He is now trying to kill himself. Seeing that killing himself is what he wants I decide to just get out. I jump back into the other room. There I see Broderick wearing a gauntlet very similar to the one I saw emerging from the Square book weeks ago. It apparently has magical properties as he is grabbing the ratfolk over a dozen feet away while he is on top of the sending stone. Seeing the gas slowly filling the pits I jump onto the machine and then fling Venyard, who is now naked and has a tail, up with me. Harrison casts a final spell killing himself and leaving us all there to figure out what to do.

Public: Return to the Dock's Tower

Day 4 to Property Payment (300g)

After my impromptu meeting with Broderick we all meet up in the office. We greet each other before Broderick leaves to go vote to approve the drafting of the Sanctuary plans. The bill passes and I say I will have the document soon. After that Fischer calls us into the council office. Apparently there is something going on with the tower we visited earlier in the docks. We agree to go look at it. After we leave Richard informs us that Harrison was spotted several times last night, each sighting getting closer to the docks. Some arguing about how that info was learned but we decide to go investigate the tower regardless. Before we leave I tell Davidson to go look into reported disappearances and see if the number has increased in the past few weeks.

We fairly easily get to the tower to see that the building has completely collapsed. On the wall is a woman that we saw escaping from the Patricia fight. She identifies herself as Deanna and says that she is watching the tower. Whether she was watching Harrison or not was uncertain. She said that there were several zombies on the premises that she volunteered to help us fight. Since she was on top of the perimeter wall we tried to climb up but only Broderick succeeded. Me and Richard agreed to go around instead of failing to climb up. While we are going around Richard mentions that it’s possible that Harrison has a way to teleport to safety without casting a spell. As we round the corner we find the zombies and engage them in combat. We note that they all have an odd chemical smell and seem to have puncture wounds. We take them all out and Broderick meets us at the front. According to him Deanna wasn’t feeling well, smelled of a similar chemical, so Broderick sent her home.

We find a hole that goes to the sub-levels of the building and we descend with the help of Richard’s rope. We descend some stairs and enter a room that seems to be some old library. Chests dot the room, the their are a dozen shelves covered in books, and there are large paintings spanning the far wall. In the room is a half destroyed zombie and a Ratfolk who seems crazed near a broken painting. The zombie is quickly destroyed and we try to figure out what to do with the Ratfolk. He too has the odd chemical smell and looks to be in great pain. He says that there are 8 other Ratfolk down below and that they were attacked. We consider him a lost cause but Richard miraculously cures him. He also then touches us and claims he knows an old gypsy trick. Broderick suggests that we all just admit we might have unorthodox methods and agree to not mention how if they are exposed. We allow the Ratfolk to leave and then scour the room. We each take a chest, Richard and I get works from some old elven poet named Schmoeller. Broderick gets a rock I believe is a memory stone. The books on the shelves all seem long since ruined. We easily see that beyond the broken painting is a staircase leading downwards. We break the other paintings. One is empty, one seems like it might have once contained some liquid for a trap, the last is a coffin. It contains Schmoeller and his dog. I note that the coffin had 6 rings but the group decides not to take any of them.

We descend deeper and find a room whose floor is partially collapsed. The exit is on the other side but it’s about a 10 foot drop to a room below to go over there. Broderick descends first and is ambushed by more zombies. The rest of us jump down and we fend them off. Before we leave I note there is a rope seeming to go to a hidden room in the lowered section. Broderick proves that he is once again the only one of us who can climb and goes up. According to him the only thing of note is a rat holding a large if fragile gem. The rat apparently bit him but he was otherwise able to gather them gem and returns to the group.

Dunwick Manor

After the group separates I head back to my house. I find Belltoll up and back to her patrolling. She asks if anything has been updated and I give her the new rundown on the rules and tell her to use nonlethal force to turn away any Friend’s Of Man. Inside my apartment Thomas is still treating a very small Viola. We quickly have Thomas Conversation 3. After he leaves I grab the FoM statue arm and use Object Reading:

“You see a FoM arguing with a sculptor. The sculptor is working on the sleeve you have. He says, “Look, I am not saying I won’t do it. But this is going to go over really badly in this place. You aren’t a hero here… this statue won’t change that.” The Friend, whom you note is older and pretty ugly, responds: “We will be. Just practice your craft, young man, and don’t worry about us.” You see the statue. It has a very detailed portrait of a person in a Friends of Man robe offering a hand to a person in a Temple robe who is on the ground. The base of the statue is covered in a very detailed design. You see enough to determine whatever the arcane effect was, it is unlikely to be the kind of magic needed. It appears to be a ‘mundane’ effect, possibly permanency and a light spell."

I put it aside and go into the other room to find Samantha wearing an outfit similar to what Viola used to wear. She is messing around with some playing cards. We have Samanth Conversation 23. She ends the conversation and I go leave to investigate the vision I had. I try to sneak to the location but I’m ambushed by several temple archers. I’m able to dodge their arrows and go invisible after I round the corner. While invisible I sneak inside and hear Lucky Dogan talking. He seems to be alone and searching the floor for the portal contraption seen in the room earlier. We have Lucky Dogan Conversation 2. During the conversation we exit the tunnel and Lucky shows me some sort of vision.

Vision: You are a child in your home village. You do not remember Pearce right now. You want to see the object outside, but everyone around you is being noisy and running around. You climb onto the counter. Your mother is shouting at you, but you focus on the object.
It looks like a small building. It’s squarish but has big shiny walls and tall towers looming at the corners. You don’t know how big it is, but it’s getting closer. It must be larger than the village, you think to yourself. Your mother is packing a bag, and there is a lot of noise outside. You really want to see this object. You see a square book your mother got as a gift from one of the new people in the village. It’s sitting casually above the mantle around the fireplace. As Pearce, you shutter back to thinking, and your connection starts to fade. Your anger toward the FoM is hurting your connection to the child but you manage to maintain the vision.

Young Dogan runs as something loud crashes in the distance. There was a bright flash from the building, and then another, and another. After ten seconds, an explosion goes off in the village. Dogan is running, but hears a friend asking for help. You are not friends with this person, they made fun of you one time at the park. Dogan stops and tries to help. The kid pulls on you as you pull him out of the hole that used to have a road, and you fall in. He runs. You are furious with him. You scream but nobody can hear you because of the terrible noises. There is a large staff and the burning remains of one of those strangers in the hole. The ones who dress funny. You look at the staff.

You use the staff to pull yourself out of the hole. You look around your village. You don’t hear much. You look back at the object in the distance. It’s so big now. You can see the terrible machine at work, with hundreds of tiny bodies riding aboard, moving between windows. You wonder if they can see you. You hear marching. You get up and run. Your hearing has returned. You know a secret about the strangers. It’s in the cave beneath the forest. It’s pretty close. You quietly begin to walk there, dragging your staff. It’s dark and it shouldn’t be. You find the cave. There is a noise you can’t figure out coming from within.
It’s like a humming tone. You go in. Quietly at first, but the marching is close. You see two robed men. They are in front of a portal. Pearce recognizes it is a FoM uniform and the vision is broken."

After that we continue Lucky Dogan Conversation 2. We eventually split up as he heads towards the Matroni District. After that I decide to go find the “Dawnmakers” Falconflight mentioned. I travel to the address he gave me and I find a bakery. The smell of fresh loaves has drawn a crowd of beggars who accost those who approach. One of them asks me to give some for a child. Before I can respond a man emerges from the bakery carrying five loaves of bread. He distributes them to the homeless who praise “the Light” when they get a loaf. He then goes back inside. I go inside to find a long line waiting in the small bakery. Several iconic images of “brightness destroying darkness” cover the walls. I notice that the man who delivered the bread, while an authority figure, is not their leader.

I go up to the counter and ask if this is the place to find absolution. I am directed to a man named Prestor who promptly gives me a hug that lasts just a little too long. We have Prestor Conversation 1.

After that I head to Doctor Samson’s office. I inform him of some of the rule updates including the “no bird harmed” and “Don’t trust Friend of Man”. As well as informing him he has access to “The Castle” if he needs to contact me. We have Atticus Conversation 2. It’s interrupted part way so we can head to The Castle. There we find the corpse of Viola golem which has started to degrade.

I return to my apartment and find Bell again. I tell her that her job has changed from guarding my place to guarding Lady Amethyst wherever she goes. She asks for a uniform. Money is tight so I deny her that but hand her 100 gold for her payment (because I forgot earlier) plus some money for Thomas to get some gear. We part and I go upstairs to find Samantha sitting next to Viola reading a book to her sleeping form. I have Samantha Conversation 24. Which ends when Viola Conversation 4 happens. Viola eventually falls asleep and I bring the statue arm I took with me to Samantha which leads to Samantha conversation 25.

The time for my meeting with Bear draws near so I head to the tailor “Small and Tall”. I go to the back and find a middle aged female receptionist that waves me into the back room. There I find Bear sitting behind a small, inexpensive desk in a barely furnished room. He has a number of scrolls open, which he begins closing as you enter. He looks tired. I sit in a very small halfling chair and we proceed to have Bear Conversation 3.

After a quick stop to go get a heavy cloak and the Love In-between book I go to "The Gaggle where I am supposed to meet a contact. As I approach a commoner with brown eyes, brown hair, and the blue ribbon walks up to me. He identifies himself as William, although he doesn’t sound sure, and we head to the Senation border. We go away from the checkpoints, passing a few guards along the way. As we get to the wall I lose him a few times but he makes sure we don’t get isolated. Along the way I realize he keeps muttering the phrase “My name is William”. I ask him if he’s okay and he reassures me he is fine. He climbs the 20ft wall with ease and drops a rope down. I’m able to scale the wall and see into the Senations. The alley below is empty so we descend the other side. We navigate through the district and arrive at Dunwick Manor.

There is about 30 ft of open land between you and the building itself. It is surrounded by a wall and several guards are doing slow rotations around it. Two guards are stationed at the front entrance. I start William Conversation 1. He goes to distract the guard and I’m able to sneak past without alerting anyone. I enter the door and wait a minute for William. He is apparently already behind me. We quickly search the first floor and find what appears to be a study. Along the way I reference the book to see where the magic items were kept, apparently in some gowning room. I tell William to go find an entrance to the basement, reasoning the tunnel would be there, and the gowning room. While he goes to find those I search the study. There are a lot of paintings of imposing figures.

As I’m looking through then notes I’m suddenly in Dunwick Conversation 1. It’s interrupted when William opens the door and Dunwick falls. Not quite expecting this turn of events I attempt to knock Dunwick out just as a guard turns around to inspect the now open door. William asks what’s happening and I shout to run. As we are running through the manor I find a staircase leading down that I use as a choke point. The guards seem uncertain if I can leave or if I’m trapped down there. They approach slowly. I swing my sword at one and deal some damage. One of them tosses a net which I avoid. We trade a few more blows and William says to follow him downstairs. I knock out the guard I’m fighting and follow.

Down in the basement it is pitch black (The fact that I had a glowing sword was forgotten by both DM and player). William takes my hand and leads me forward. He describes it as a long hallway with 4 doors on each side with big locks. I hand him a skeleton key to try and we try and get through a door. We try a few doors with no success and start to see torchlight in the staircase. William hands me my skeleton key and I’m forced to use a knock spell to open a door. We rush inside and close the door. He describes the room as having a bunch of surgical tools, tubes, vials of strange liquid, and broken machines. He finds some documentation for the lab and puts it away. We hear them checking the other rooms and I ask if there is a place to hide. Hearing no good option besides a dusty tube I choose to just stand behind the door. The door opens and I hear a much louder, Dunwick:

Dunwick: “I will pay either of you a thousand gold and give you free passage to a district of your choosing, along with absolve you of any crimes against the Senations you have perpetuated tonight, if you will betray your partner.”
William: “He pushed me in here and ran! I swear! I’ll tell you everything you want to know about him! He kept talking about the tunnel! But I can’t see where he went! Please don’t hurt me!”
Dunwick: “Come out into the light.”
William: “No! You’ll kill me!”
Dunwick: “Close the door. You four, come with me. The other two, remain in the hallway.”

William asks what to do along with claiming that he is tired? Maybe losing his identity? I tell him to make a distraction to lure them in. He starts yelling his name over and over. I listen at the door and the guards seem confused. Apparently Dunwick locked the entrance to the basement. I then hear screams and the sound of fighting from outside the room. I open the door to find a large demon ripping the guards apart. This one is described as having a rough appearance as if it was made of some tough material. Some sort of mutated demon. At the sight of me it drops part of a guard and melds into the floor. It emerges besides me and I start swinging. I land a few blows and it makes a terrible noise, like grating rocks against one another. William ducks out of the room. We continue to attack one another, his blows doing significant damage. I see from the places I’ve slashed the beast that demon bits, earthen materials, and large black spots. William throws a dagger at the creature causing more horrible noises and it descends into the ground after making one more swing.

The monster gone William let’s me know he found a secret entrance at the end of the tunnel. I find a torch a guard left behind and go back in the room. I discover the liquid looks very similar to the “milk” I’ve seen before. There are six vials left which I grab and stick in my pack, noting that William probably took some. We then go into the tunnel. The tunnel itself is made of uniformed polished stone. As we walk I start to notice the smell of meat and metal that are trademarks of the Blue Poles district. I state this to William who states that is impossible since we’re only 200 feet from the Manor. We continue and I note that I can see dark specs among the stonework, similiar to those I saw in the demon. Also now that I can look at them better I note it’s similar to the shadow substance I found in the bell tower in the docks. I try to burn one of the spots and note it squirms away from the flame to a different part of the tunnel. William notes that the substance seems familiar and seems to lose focus before I bring him back to attention. Together he dumps a vial of the milk and we herd one of the black blobs into a container. We continue forward and after unlocking a door we find ourselves in a marketplace in the Bluepoles. We note the address and the entrance, which is hidden to look like part of a sewer access and have the rest of William Conversation 1.

That morning before I attend work I find Broderick waiting for me outside the Weather Society. We have Broderick Conversation 2.

Public: Senation Borders

Day 3/7 to property payment (300g)

We arrive to the building to see Broderick discussing things with Davis Davidson. He informs us that the Weather Society is doing a mandatory draft. Richard admits that he knew it was a possibility but otherwise didn’t have any info. He has apparently scheduled a meeting with the War Council to discuss the matter. While he is explaining this Davis tried to tell us he had something to show us but he went unheard. We enter the council and Broderick and Fischer discuss the necessity of the draft and what to do about it. Eventually they crunch some numbers and they at least pay the conscripted wages at the cost of firing half of the employed mercenaries.

After that is settled Fischer asks us to help him with something. He asks us about what we saw in the tower and we give him a general description after telling him anything we saw in there might be caused by the hallucinogenic we were given. He pauses and tells us that it seems the sewer district were searching the tower for some sort of object. Apparently the Temple had one such object in one of their bell towers but the tower itself was destroyed. Fischer believes finding this item, a stone that looks like it was torn into small pieces and reassembled, will be a key trading piece during the war. According to him one of these “Sending Stones” can be found in a Senation house belonging to the [Blank] family. We agree to look into it. As we leave he notes how we like our accommodations to our confusion.

As we leave Dave Davison leads us to the old spymaster’s office which is now ours. It is 1/4 of the size of the original. Some insults are thrown about the Warmaster but otherwise we try to figure out what we can do. According to Broderick the Senation district has been under extremely tight guard ever since the war started. It might possibly take days to get passes for me and Richard to enter. We ask how quick he can make them and Broderick says he might be able to get them done in a couple of hours. He heads off to go try to get us passports.

As soon as he leaves we have Richard conversation 4. We square that away and begin to make a list of those in the council we might be able to persuade. We go to various council members and try to sell them on the plan to a good degree of success. After a few visits we write out the basics of the documents and send it to the relative parties. As we hand it over to the couriers Broderick returns with some passports which are shabby at best and we head out.

Broderick leads us to the smallest checkpoint that exists and waits from a distance to see if our passports will fool the guards. When we get through the line an officer starts looking through our papers and asks us into a building. Apparently there are some errors in our paperwork. I ask what the errors they are talking about and the guards immediately try to capture us. They throw some nets and fire some arrows but we are able to get away fairly easily.

The plan busted we pay Broderick some money for his failed passports and agree to try later.

Friend of Man Resistance

After our group splits for the day I head to the office of Falconflight. As I arrive I see a dwarf emerge who shouts “Just have it removed in 48 hours” as he leaves. I am taken to the back of his offices where I see several files written in Draconic. We have Falconflight Conversation 2.

As I am leaving Falconflight’s office I see Lancette walking down the street. At the sight of me she covers her frown with her hand, turns around and walks away. Concerned why she is randomly avoiding me I call out to her and she starts running away. I give chase and she starts screaming that she is being chased, I respond with a bluff that she stole something from me that calms the few people who see us. As we are running two beardless dwarves emerge from a building and grab her. “She been stealing, it be okay. We solved it.” They say as they block the entrance. I try to engage in conversation and in response they try to pickpocket me. I pull back and they take the opportunity co close the door. Now alone I listen at the door and hear the voice of Lucky Dogan coming from inside, giving some sort of speech. In a window frame a piece of wood was placed with “Free Lecture” written. The door isn’t locked so I go inside.

Inside I see Dogan in a formal suit with a really badly done curly politician wig on his head, the kind we associate with British judges. Just really unkept. He is surrounded by several people of which include the dwarves and Lancette. Everyone seems to be there voluntarily. I stand there and listen to the lecture.

His speech is on the structure of the planes. He describes the two theories as to the structure of the universe. One is a large web constantly being readjusted as the web itself expands. Connections are snipped when no longer needed and new ones are added to support new growth. He hypothesizes that Gallows is a single thread connected richly with other planes, which might explain why so many bizarre things happen. He offers that the demon invasion has had more to do with cosmology than Gallows itself. He goes on. If gallows is richly connected to other planes, why do we see so few intelligent outsiders? Dogan explains that the event we call the calamity may have had more to do with the other planes than with us, perhaps the gods didn’t die or flee, but we’re disconnected from Gallows by an even larger inside force. One that shapes the planar web. He ends his speech with encouragement to search the secret places of the world, and to never stop being curious.

After his speech I see the beardless dwarves try and steal from Lucky. I call them out and prevent them from fleeing with his money. They drop the money and run deeper into the building. Lucky Dogan comes over to pick up his gold and we have Lucky Dogan Conversation 1. It ends with a knock on the entrance to the assembly hall. At Lucky’s request I go open the door. A member of the Friend of man was there. They ask who the owner of the property is and I claim that the owner is currently not here. They ask again and I tell them they will have to ask the owner for the name of the owner.

After expertly getting them to leave I go talk to Lancette and have Lancette Conversation 1. It’s interrupted when the dwarves try to exit the building only to be stopped by foreign mercenaries. I draw my sword and try to figure out what is happening. They don’t really respond, just keep shouting “Down on the floor” and pointing crossbows. I grab Lancette and run off deeper into the building. As I run off I hear them shout “Find the witch doctor.”

As we run into the building we find dogan trying to get out a boarded up window. I stand at the entrance as Lancette goes to help Lucky. As the mercenaries get close I put a gash in one and force him to retreat to drink a potion. As reinforcements get close I hear Lucky shout that the place is open and I flee. The mercenaries wearing heavy armor are quickly outran and we escape. Lucky is moving erratically: climbing over walls and through buildings. Not confident in my acrobatics I chase after Lancette instead and we have the rest of Lancette Conversation 1.

I leave and decide to go sabotage the portal the Friends of Man are supposedly building. Initially I wanted to use the aqueduct to sneak in. I remember that the aqueduct has temple forces who use it for unknown purposes. So instead I go use the temple/dock underground route Jacket informed me about long ago. I avoid some demons along the way and near the entrance I hear humanoid voices. I am able to get into the entrance without getting seen.

At the entrance to the passage I get my light and proceed in. I hear the voice in the darkness. “You look a little lost. Exit is back the way you came.” I say I’m not looking for trouble and I try to continue. I see a ratfolk with an eyepatch and a long stick that is poking my chest. I introduce myself as “friend of the ratfolk”. That seems to jog his memory and he says he remembers me. As long as I don’t tell people he’s down here I’m free to move on. The path has other passengers, some robed and some not. Half are ratfolk and the other half are various surface races. At the other end I find a ladder that extends to a small room in a cantina building. I avoid talking to people as I exit. I put on my disguise I got from a courier.

The Temple society has a smaller amount of land than most of the districts, so it has built vertically, with several bridges connecting overhead above the thin, winding road. Most people wear the robe color I have. I’m able to find the general area that Viola described. There is a bell tower on the side of a square. The square is curtained off with a construction project going on in the center. Nearby are two people in patched overalls having a conversation with a robed man. They are complaining that the thing they are trying to build is not “art” however the robed man said that the “guests” had very specific instructions and were paying handsomely. As I continue to scout out the perimeter I see more robed figures with metal masks covering their face guarding the plaza.

I start to approach the tower next to the plaza and see a Friend of Man exit from an alley. When I go look at the alley it is a dead end. Confused but short on time I proceed. I begin casting a spell which alerts the armored, robed figures. Before they reach me though I place my hand on the stone and a large portion begins to melt. It spews out on the floor, surrounding me like a heavy rain, it cracks into liquid. I see Friends of Man inside, staring into my face, at least a dozen. There is some kind of assembly going on inside, but everyone just looks at me, confused. For that one moment, we lock eyes, but I don’t let my concentration crack. The wall bubbles out, tearing along a tight seam. I recognize two faces from the ones amongst the files. But the wall cracks. I run. Screams start. the metal man stops running, stunned. There isn’t time. The wooden columns inside the tower splinter to matchsticks under the mismatched pressure. I see it bow slightly, then the stone begins the fracture. The building tips. The top starts falling. It fractures off, exposing the long corridor of stairs that reach upward to the bell tower. I see a Friend of Man tip and slip from the staircase. He falls off. I see his neck break, and I learn at least some Friends of Man have innards that resemble human. The tower falls, wind and debris threaten to knock me down.

The place is in chaos. You enter the cloud of dirty debris. You hear sobbing and shouts of help. I see the overall brother trying to pull the still form of his friend out, but I can tell he is dead. I notice they were twins. Its hard to make out the statue, but from what I can tell there was a marble structure that has now been thoroughly destroyed. I see strange cords and beams – foreign things that resembled metal when split amongst the ruins, but I cannot tell if they were from the staired tower or the proportionally small statue beneath. I round to where the structural damage is least on the statue. There was at least one human-figure, I can see a few pieces of debris. Squares are on the sleeved arm I found – a pattern of squares, over and over again, with irregular shading that is uncomfortable to look at. I take the statue arm and flee the scene.

I’m quickly able to find an alley where I disappear before I fly back to the mids. As I fly back I learn that the winds rapidly get faster the higher you get but otherwise return safely. I return to my house and go check on Bell and Thomas. Bell is looking much better and is recuperating. I give her a general update on what’s happening in the mids. While I’m there I ask Thomas to go oversee the delivery of the magi-tech equipment to which he agrees.

With the bells chiming I go upstairs and look for Samantha and Viola. Instead I find a note: “We are at the bar I used to go to, do you remember the one? Or we will be there if you run faster than we can dawdle.” Object reading confirms it was written by the two so I stash the statue piece and the disguise and go after them. As I head to the Jiggling Gypsy it starts to rain. Inside Samantha and Viola are at a corner table playing cards with some strangers. I notice that Viola’s “squeeze” seems to have a new lover, much to Viola’s dismay. As she sees me enter she excuses herself from the table and drops a napkin as she passes. Reading the note it says to check the table in the back, which reveals there are several Friends of Man sitting at the table. Viola comes back and I reach out to her with my telepathic bond. We start Viola Conversation 3. During that I sit down next to the Friend of Man table and try to act inconspicuous. I hear Friend of Man Conversation 1. I eventually notice Samantha and Viola are leaving so I exit as well. Samantha seems to struggle with the concept of being subtle but we all meet up a block away. We continue Viola Conversation 3 and then split up.

With them gone I wait outside for the other members to enter. Outside of getting soaked nothing happens for an hour and I eventually go back in. They are now all dressed in leather armor and watching the performers. I go to the barkeep. I inquire about the group and learn they had a fourth member with them. A strong looking human with broad shoulders and brown hair. He states the man might be with the weather society and after pressing I learn the fourth was accompanied by a halfling in the weather attire. I wait a little longer at the bar and find Salisbury entering and approaching the Friends of Man. He puts a bag on the table and I hear him say “The War Council has agreed to give you temporary housing. Please follow me.” They all shuffle out and I follow.

We head towards the Senation district and the rain increases. I follow them to a square met for diplomats and see them enter a building next to the one for the sewer district. I wait a few minutes and when he doesn’t leave I approach the building while avoiding several patrols. I’m able to telepathically communicate with Salisbury inside. After the initial confusion of our communication he states he is aware that they are dangerous but they are currently the “prisoners” of the War Council. He is charged with guarding them all night along with several others. Satisfied I leave and head back home.

When I arrive I find a note from the Bear:

The Ruler of the Bluepoles has agreed to the Sanctuary, and the Docks has been taken care of, at least as much as it can be. Meet me at my Mids office tomorrow night at 9pm. We need to make an official document to bind the interested parties.


PS. I followed up on a small lead on your friend. Unfortunately, it did not lead anywhere. My Temple contacts are still searching diligently though."

Samantha is playing with cards by herself and Viola is “taking a walk” when asked. She arrives shortly after I do. We continue Viola Conversation 3 again. We decide to try and revive her tonight and have Samantha Conversation 22. We all agree to do it and after some calculations figure out that there is a 50% chance of success. Viola agrees. We go to the theater. Samantha has Viola lay down on the stage. She puts some kind of plant in Viola’s mouth. Viola’s form lays still, and the small insect-like creature emerges. Samantha tries to touch it, but hesitates. She gently shoos the bug to another section of stage. She takes out her book and a bottle of tonic and begins writing something down. Samantha writes some things down. If you can see the book, trying to read it hurts your head.
The words move and tangle in the book, connecting in strange ways, sometimes creating a pile of random letters, sometimes turns of phrase. Her writing doesn’t seem to correlate with where text is in the book.

Sam: “It is… Pearce, we have to break her shell. Something is hampering my writing. I only get one try, Pearce. We have to expose her soul to bring her back.”
Me: “You want me to cut open the bug?”
Sam: “Down the middle. You have to slice it down the middle exactly. If any one section of it gets exposed early, it will be ruined. Longways, Pearce!”

I slice the insect. The soul emerges, like a fuzzy, tight cloud, and floats lazily upward. Samantha finishes writing. There is a flash of light and you can’t hear. I have a horrible buzzing in your ears that has deafened me, and I cannot see due to the light. I am knocked backward by a powerful force. Somehow I have Samantha’s book in your hands. I see some garbled sentences on the page and know I need to read it aloud. The light suddenly stops, and I hear Samantha crying as she rushes back on the stage. I turn to look at where Viola was, where the light was. She looks smaller than before, and one look at her legs assures me she will never walk again. Samantha brought her back to the moment before she died, after several days of torture that she was never intended to survive. She is missing most of her fingers and her legs have been shattered.

Samantha is crying, holding the unconscious Viola. “I can’t do it.. I tried… I can’t do it….” I pick up Viola, “She needs food, liquid, and some healing. Let’s go” We walk back home with Samantha babbling about how she tried. She immediately locks herself in the bedroom when we arrive back home. I position her in a way so that I can get some liquids down her throat before I get Thomas to take care of her medical healing and I go to sleep.

Public: Richard's Birthday!

Day 2/7 to property payment (300g)

In the morning before I go to the office I find a note at my door:
“Pearce, the Temple Ministry of War has agreed in principal to your Sanctuary idea. I’ll ask the Blue Poles next. No word yet on Viola, but I’m working on it.


I and Broderick arrive to the office early to see Davidson’s desk outside. Apparently our office has been taken by the war council to be a meeting room. Also it is apparently Richard’s birthday? Before we can ask questions Richard himself shows up. We awkwardly congratulate him and he claims that it isn’t his birthday. He also isn’t surprised about the office takeover since he is apparently in the war council.

Before we can talk more Davis tells us that Richard has a present from his father. Who Richard claims is dead. Apparently everyone in the office saw an older Richard come by who claimed it was Richard’s birthday. We take the present outside and clear out the street. Richard opens it and finds a ship in a bottle along with a letter. We ask what the note says and apparently it’s a request from the deceased Lenny to meet him at the aqueduct, located at the temple, at noon. Unsure of how to react we go to a nearby tavern to collect our thoughts.

As we come in we see Margarett Thatch follow us in and sit at our table. She seems to be conflicted about the new Warmaster and reminds us that we don’t work for it. We apparently have free reign over what we need to do as long as it’s for the good of the Mids. She leaves and I begin to give my report.

I tell the group that Druff is made using rat hair but the Sewer District denies any responsibility. Broderick states that he’s seen some partially transformed people with a lot of druff that might be related.

The next topic is the “Book Report”, the report about the Square Books and the dangers the present. I tell the group that those associated with them, the Friends of Man seem to be abducting people and that they might be the source of an epidemic of a disease known as “Colorblight”.

I also inform them about the plans for the “Safe Zone”. They seemed to respond positively to. Broderick mentioned that the Senate was setting up more refuge camps for the Dock refugees that they could use.

After that we decide to go to Richard’s meeting with the deceased Lenny. Richard enters a building and find several people attacking him. Apparently he has a bounty on his head for 1250 gold. We fight them off and bring one back with us to interrogate.

Creating a Safe Place

My first stop is to the Weather Society. I ask to speak to Fischer and I get an appointment scheduled for later. While I wait I ask around about the bird masks. Apparently they represent a common person since Gallows is typically depicted as a bird in art. While I’m asking around I notice my talons on my marked hand are beginning to ache. With more time to kill I head home.

At my house I find several Friends of Man at my door. They are banging on the door shouting “Census”. I also note that this includes a Female FoM, which is a first. Concerned I use my telepathy to contact Bell and learn she is ill. I draw my sword and demand the FoM leave. The female asks for clarification and I refuse to give it. She decides to just mark the area as “high lawlessness” so that she can leave. Before she goes I recognize that her voice is the exact same as Viola. Alarmed I begin to follow them and enchant my sword, which causes them to run. Before they can get too far I activate haste and quickly overtake them. I strike with nonlethal force at the small female and knock her out while she shouts for the other to go get the “weather something’s”. I hoist her over my shoulder which causes some locals to come stop me. I get behind cover, activate invisibility, and escape to my place.

Samantha is sleeping after what seems like generous tonic drinking but otherwise unharmed. We have Samanth Conversation 20. I drop off Viola, re-glove my hand and head back for my meeting with Fischer. Once there I give up my weapons and enter his office to see Fischer being attacked by two assassins. I call for the guards and they assassin’s are drug out. We have Fischer conversation 1.

I leave and go check on Bell, who is supposedly ill. Inside I find her and Thomas and we proceed to have Thomas Conversation 2. During the conversation we go upstairs and that conversation leads to Samantha Conversation 21. During the course of that I decide to talk to a bug that crawled out of Viola’s corpse with ‘Insitgate Psychic Dual’. I enter the void and instead of a bug I see Viola along with an orc and an elf. I have part of Viola Conversation 2. I project a beam of light to attack the elf and he quickly evaporates. The orc attacks and I see the image of a floating castle against a dark background – impossibly large – larger than the city you call home, floating in a void. I exchange blows with the orc and eventually he too evaporates leaving me and Viola. We have more of the Viola Conversation 2. I break the spell and put the bug back on the corpse. We have the rest of Viola Conversation 2.

I leave to go find healer Atticus Samson. I wait through the line at his office and talk to an elven secretary named Roseberry who tells me the doctor will arrive in an hour. I go home and prepare everyone for the visit. I ask Viola about the disease and she confirms she had a rash but has no idea. I have Atticus Conversation 1. It ends with him leaving a new chosen. I briefly ask her why her ‘blessing’ failed. Apparently she needs the library in order to access her domain. She has to do it currently with her blood. With that piece of info I leave for the Rat embassy.

I safely travel to the docks, bells continue to ring, and I’m escorted in. I’m immediately shown to the ambassador. We have Knoblitch Conversation 3 (which also includes the ambassador). After the conversations I leave.

At home I find Samantha watching Viola, who is reading. I offer to take her out of the apartment for some fresh air, to which Viola tried to join. We go to the newly bought Theater. Inside we see that birds have apparently taken to sleeping in the rafters. Sam is curious about the birds and I notice as we enter that the bird droppings, of which there are plenty, start gravitating towards her. We inspect it closer and realized they are excreting a form of the Hollowberry tonic. At this realiziation the birds start to fly around the theatre and erupt into light. It now looks like a complicated light show centered on Samantha who is laughing at the center. She confirms that these are the birds she created. At her command they dim and return to their roost. I tell her that the entire building is now hers to use. She does a dramatized status report to an empty audience. I play along as we both come to realize our goal is closer. I start to list off things still necessary when I see her start casting Prestidigitiation. When I ask about it she suddenly stops, unaware of how she did it. We determine that the variety of her followers might have been the cause. After this pleasant surprise we head home.

Public: Frontlines

Day 1/7 to property payment (300g)

We meet up at the Weather and are told by Dave that we’re wanted on the front line. We agree to help and head towards the Temple district. Along the way we run into an archer standoff which we quickly end. The militia there direct us to a building where the general of the “army” is commanding people. She says some Weather forces have forced Temple troops into a building with a hostage. She wants us to go mediate, to which we agree.

We sneak past more Temple forces and find a large massacre of homeless people, all of which appear to have their souls extracted. Nearby are the Mids militia we were looking for. It is quickly relevant that the entire group is on various drugs. They say they cornered the people inside and have the place under siege. Outside of the building we see a body of temple diplomat riddled with arrows.

After much debate we reluctantly leave our weapons with the troops and agree to go talk to the trapped troops to try and negotiate. We are let inside and talk to a “High Lord Funeralis”. He seems very religious. We explain the situation and state that they can be taken as prisoners of war if they agree to surrender. Funeralis does not seem keen on the idea. More negotiations are made and we leave Richard behind while the rest of us leave to wait for Funeralis to make a decision.

As we wait outside we talk to the druggie troops. I ask them to return our weapons and they seem to have forgotten where they are. Several threats and insults from Pearce, with Brodie trying to defuse the situation, and we find our bag. They are snorting some substance called Druff which is allegedly made by ratfolk in the docks. They refuse to answer questions when I ask about a source and Broderick must defuse the situation again. We learn the soldier’s name is Icari and the rest of the troops are likewise on drugs.

Before Pearce can make more threats Richard leaves the building with the temple forces in tow. They have agreed to surrender. We take the troops and escort them back to the general. There I’m informed it seems that the Militia was responsible for the homeless massacre. With that we conclude our time on the front line.

The Bear and the Bear

When we split up I go find Richard. We have Richard conversation 3. He eventually relents and we go to the Matroni district. Along the way Richard tells me he feels uneasy and we pick up the pace before we finally reach the general location. I ask which building the man in the wheelchair is staying and Richard figures out we’re here to see Venyard. Richard immediately wanted to go home but I convinced him to stick around and we find the building. I tell him to go in and explain he’s possessed, electing to stay outside since I don’t know how my agreement with Venyard will work.

While Richard is inside I keep myself busy by going up to a garbage fire with some homeless.
End up having a conversation 1 with Jim Flikkit.

Richard exits and says that he is indeed possessed and that if they can provide a soul Venyard is willing to fix him. We continue Richard conversation 3. After that we return to the mids. We spot some guards denying refugees but otherwise the travel is uneventful.

After we separate I head to the docks to a bar called the “Monkey’s Knuckle” looking for Bear’s bear. I’m able to get past the bouncer by declaring myself a part of Red Ear’s crew. I spot the bear in the back of the bar so I order a drink, act like I’ve had 10 and have Blackthorne Bill conversation 1.

It turns out the Bear might have been lying so I leave and return to the Mids. I go to the store “Small and tall” clothing store. There I leave a note for the Bear that says “I don’t work with liars. Take your money”. I leave the note and the money at the shop.

I stop by the Weather Society morgue room and ask to look at the bin belonging to Yarrick. I use object reading and see Richard emptying the bag. It seems to be Richard. The bin seems to contain some robes but nothing else of significance.

I head to my place and find out that Jacket has left and his rock is gone. Sam seems worn out from the last night and asks for time to heal. I have a note with an address for a person who sells property. We haggle and eventually I get a theater building in the Mids. For 300 gold a week for 12 weeks.

I return to my house and summon Jacket. He arrives as usual with muffins. We exchange pleasantries. He asks for his wand back which I hand over. He refuses to bring up the subject he wanted to talk about on the moonless night and says there currently isn’t a job. I give him the gold for the magi-tech machine and he says it will be delivered.

The conversation gets interrupted by a knock on the door. It’s Bear. We proceed to have conversation Bear Conversation 2 to end the day.

Public: The Weather Goes to War this Time
I'm starting to notice a pattern

The next day when we return to the Weather. It seems the society was hit pretty hard by the attack. Lots of people are missing including Dave. Broderick is pulled into an emergency council meeting and shortly after we’re told we can enter as well if we wear bird masks. In the meeting it seems the few remaining council members are trying to decide what to do. A man named Fischer, the spymaster, says that they need to declare war and need a general for the army. He volunteers himself. A man named Tennesse also volunteers but goes on about roads? Richard steps up and states that Fischer is the man for the job. The vote is cast and the council elects him Warmaster.

Richard is pulled into a short meeting with Fischer after which we return to our office. Dave has returned and he is really really drunk. Seems he lost his daughter during the attack. We awkwardly console him and he tells us that Brother Nathan was reported dead before the attack. Supposedly that’s what caused them to attack. We’ve been charged with investigating and find out what happened.

Also supposedly the diplomat was stolen from the Weather morgue by Richard, or at least someone who looks like him. We decide to investigate that first. We go down to the morgue and find out that Richard definitely isn’t allowed in. We go in and find that Yarrick is indeed gone and his personal belongings are gone as well. Questioning the guard doesn’t get us anywhere so we leave.

We try to go to the graveyard where Nathan was staying and find a sniper guarding it. Richard and I act as bait while Broderick sneaks around. He eventually chases him off but doesn’t get the kill so we quickly go down and explore the ruins. We find blood stains but besides that nothing of interest. We leave and go to a nearby sewer where Brother Nathan’s body was supposedly found. We find nothing there either. As we try to leave we find Temple forces at the entrance. They want us to surrender. Instead we flee and head back to the Mids.


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