Gallowsbird (2016)

Public: The Group Meets their adoring fans
Except Richard, who they don't recognize

We meet up the following day at the ruins of the Weather HQ. We negotiate terms and Broderick takes us to the old Apple HQ, which is still standing somehow. We enter and debate on what to do next. We take a quick interlude for me to punch Broderick, it’s not quite as satisfying as I was hoping. After much debate we decide to go investigate the bell tower on the border of the Mids since Broderick claims to know the way in. We all take a short break to go retrieve temple disguises we’ve all collected at some point. We all arrive at the tower and Broderick pulls out a piece of paper. He looks at it as he goes to the side of the tower and hits several bricks in a certain order. This opens a secret door in the side of the tower that opens to see several people inside.

We are slightly alarmed when we see a masked guard, named Sylvester, and a woman inside the tower. There is brief alarm since they are equally surprise but eventually we go in. She almost immediately recognizes Broderick and I. After we drop off her weapons she states that she is Cholly Xander, Administratum of the Temple and she is investigating Patricia. It seems she stole several things, including a large sum of money, from the temple district before her death. We answer her questions to the best of our abilities in exchange for an escorted tour of the tower. Unfortunately she does not take us to the basement.

After we leave try to figure out what we can do to get in. Broderick is inspired and leads us deeper into the temple district. He finds a guard to lead us to Cardinal Berlin. We go deeper into the Temple to a large building. Brodericks states that inside the tower was a portal that led to this building. He obtained this knowledge by a “memory walk” of someone looking for Harrison. It seems to be some sort of religious building? We go inside and are led to a room that is presumably owned by Berlin. Inside we find a man in religous garb. Broderick appears to have dirt on the Cardinal. He claims to know what happened with his daughter 20 years ago? The girl’s mother was named Levia and apparently lived long enough to tell others. This convinces the Cardinal to help us. He gives us robes to help us blend into the area and agrees to come up with a way to get Cholly and her guard out of the room.

We go back and wait a while before Cholly is removed from the building to be purified? We go down to the basement. Inside we find a large machine set up similar to the Docks belltower. On one end is a large iron band on the flood surrounded by burn marks. There are various levers on the walls and a hole where it seems something can be inserted. There are also several canisters similar to the one who housed the elementals but these are empty. We use an arrow head to push a button in the hole and gather up some liquid in the canisters to put into the machine. It starts to hum to life and a rift opens up. A cat like creature starts to come through the rift when we decide to close it which cuts the creature’s head in half.

Not sure what else to do there we leave and go back to the large building with our new robes. We end up going to a room Broderick once saw Friends of Man in. It turns out to be a sort of lobby and no sign of the Friends of Man aside from some blood spatter. I use my object reading and hear a man should “No, we had a deal!”. The voice of Funeralis responds with “Your coup ends, Friend”. A large bearded man stabs and leaves the stain. I relay this to the team and we hear someone start to come in the door. We all hide, and the servant finds Richard. He attempts to bluff his way out but fails and the servant looks like he is about to run away. Being invisible I sneak up behind him and stab him.

We leave the room and head towards a section of the building called “AL-Exporting” which we quickly realize is After Life. We systematically go through the rooms and figure out one is a nursery, one kills the child, and the final room extracts the soul to be put on a shelf. As we walk in-between I go invisible and sneak into the soul storing room to pocket 4 souls. During this time the other two follow some officer who appeared in the area. We get separated and eventually I find them. When I do I find a person seemingly dead or unconscious and we all split up and run away.

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Broderick's Info on the FoM

As part of my agreement to join Broderick he agreed to share with me knowledge on the Friends of Man.

  • Have allied with several districts but the Temple District is the main focus of their efforts. Their safety largely depended on cooperation, which the FoM leadership found embarrassing.
  • Believe a divine being, or several, are within the city. They are an affront to the Kingdom of Man. The Temple District was supposed to kill some of them, but they only managed to rally allies to the divines’ cause.
  • Something about the “Kingdom of Man”.
  • They claim they’re not interested in taking over.
  • The Temple District wants the conduit from them as part of their agreement. This seems to contradict the idea to destroy all the conduits. Broderick didn’t have an answer for this.
  • The Friends of Man somehow took the Afterlands.
  • Wants the Temple District to destroy the Ratfolk.
  • They claim to be from a different city.
  • One of them came to the Senate asking for a place to speak. He was denied as he didn’t have the proper papers.
  • They were snooping around the Docks District at some point.
  • I’ve heard rumors that they’re making up fiction about an afterlife.
  • Their points of worship are the belltowers. Their primary point of worship is the Belltower deep in the Temple, as opposed to the one near the border. That tower was destroyed by an unknown faction.
  • They are searching for and trying to destroy the Conduits. They showed up here because they were tracking one but it turns out there are multiple.
  • They are taking a census of the homeless, will later take a census of the employed. They claim they’re trying to help members of the city.
  • They delivered the Blank Square books
  • They are from the Gauntlet. The Guantlet is a sort of hub that connects various planes of existence. There was likely a door to the Guantlet in the Temple Belltower. Any kind of civilization is better than the Gauntlet. Kingdom of Man are trying to civilize the Gauntlet.
  • They had their underlings gathering information on the homeless and anyone who asked too many questions about the census.
  • Have had dealings with Cassius and have been to the Rightway Cluster. The Rightway Cluster is the Senation Land given to the Mids as part of the agreement to make Broderick a member of the Lower Council. The Ratfolk Embassy is currently located there.
  • Broderick has a member of the FoM in his possession who has agreed to give info in exchange for housing/protection
  • The Friends of Man are emissaries for the Kingdom who determine whether our plane should be allowed to even exist.
  • The Gauntlet has Leviathans “Well, whether it was a memory or a real time view, I was shown The Gauntlet through one of the stones. It has horrifying leviathans the likes of which would not go unnoticed in the city. They’re either the Kingdom of Man or the reason that there wasn’t any civilization before the Kingdom of Man took over. It was difficult to see. But I could see several of them. Best guesses, they ranged in size from as big as a district to larger than all of Gallows. I didn’t even recognize them as living at first they were so large. Only their movements hinted at the fact that they were living.”
  • “Chalex was my original source of intel. He was the one that Harrison killed. Jevash is my current source. He is staying at the Homeless Shelter. He has been very forthcoming with information because I told him I would protect him and his brethren from the Temple District. He wants a way back to the Gauntlet, which can’t be allowed. But he hasn’t indicated any disloyalty to the FoM or the Kingdom. So I assume if he ever finds out we’re working to end them he will become less willing to give information.”
  • “The Bear has some leads on suspected Conduits. He only told me about two. One in the Mids and one in the Matroni. The homeless of the Matroni district are rallying around what they’re calling an ‘angel’. I have asked some of my homeless contacts for more information, but only recently so I haven’t had any response yet. I don’t expect much intel from them though. As for the Mids, Bear thinks there is a Conduit related to the Dawnmakers, an upstart cult-type group here in the Mids. He requested my help infiltrating them sometime ago, but I declined. He implied he knew of more, but refused to say anything about them to me. He’s kinda a jerk, you know.”
  • “The Conduits are used to go between planes. The FoM seem to think their existence is destabilizing the Gauntlet, so they want the Conduits dead/destroyed. I assume so that whatever transportation power the Gauntlet has stays the only source, but that’s a guess. However, as their current goal has changed to just getting back to the Gauntlet to inform the Kingdom to destroy us, I suspect they’d be willing to use the Conduits for that purpose. I would say we should attempt allying with the Conduits, whatever or whomever they may be, to learn more from them about their role in all of this. But I think destroying them to prevent the FoM from returning may eventually be our best choice. For now, though, you have full authority to ally with and learn as much as you need to from the Conduits, so long as you keep me in the loop.”
  • There is another bell tower located in the Temple near the Mids.

Known Members:
Chalex
Jannis
Ruth
Jevash

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Making Appointments

Our group splits up around 3 am. I immediately return to the council members as well as Yates and inform them of what happened. Captain Yates says some words to her men and they leave. The two council members shake hands and prepare to depart. I try to convince them to continue to help the city but they both decline, offering only council. Tito gives his address and then they both walk off. I go to Yates before she leaves and give her a similar pitch. She claims how that would be different than a mercenary and since I was unwilling to give more info she left.

I go home and find the others asleep. I attempt to summon Jacket. As I put the book down someone is already at the door. I open the door slightly and see Bear. I head outside and we have Bear Conversation 6. He leaves at 5:30

Shortly after he leaves, Jacket knocks on the door. I let him in and accept his zucchini bread. We have Jacketman Conversation 10. He leaves at 9:30.

I briefly talk to Bell to ask about her “distant” behavior. She states she is just stressed from everything happening. I talk to Thomas and he tells me his advance is for a ring so he can marry Belltoll. I gently tell him that is a horrible horrible idea. I leave their place at 10:30.

I arrive at the Rat Embassy and talk to Conductor Knoblitch. We have Knoblitch Conversation 4. As I leave I note Richard is downstairs and is walking into the ambassador’s office.

I then leave and head to Atticus and have Atticus Conversation 3. He wants lower prices for the colorblight cure so I go talk to his supplier. We negotiate and he agrees to lower the price if I can supply him with two guards to help protect his caravan through the docks.

I head home and meet up with Thomas. “He tells you about his day. He went out to find out about Piggabrick, and found one of the orphans. He learned Piggabrick’s new address through the vague childish descriptors the orphan gave. He met with Piggabrick and made a plea that went very well. Piggabrick said he would help if it helps his kids, and Thomas brought up healing. Piggabrick says he will convert when he gets the blessing.”

The meeting happens without Pearce but goes rather well. I thank him and he heads back down. I restore a 3rd elven poetry book and go check on viola. She is just waking up when I enter the guest bedroom. i fetch her some water and we have Viola Conversation 6.

I pull out an old book Pearce has had and begin clearing space in the living room so I can draw a circle. Its a large, complex shape, representing the phonemes in the name through angles. Its a complicated art you didn’t think you’d have reason to use. But in the center is a circle. Its small compared to the design around it. I put my claw hand out and pour a mental point into the circle. Invoking the name of Catemusinorrath.

I hear a tear, a pop, and then I see a small form, vaguely humanoid with an oversized face and mouth. Its small hand is reaching into a bag at its side. It puts something in its mouth, and closes it. It chews, looking out at you with oversized circular eyes. It doesn’t seem to blink. It hasn’t yet. I have Catemusinorrath Conversation 1. After the conversation I modify the circle to prevent demons from entering.

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The Fall of the Weather

We arrive on shore to find Lenny in his hut. Broderick distracts the others while Richard and I go inside to figure out if we can help him. Between our knowledge checks and my object reading we figure out that the collar contains some sort of evocation spell that will probably blow up if we don’t open it the correct way. We also note a keyhole. We agree it is best to leave it alone rather than risk blowing him up. We also check him for compulsion magic and note he is under some sort of enchantment. Richard is able to remove it and Lenny becomes very distraught. We comfort him but tell the sailors to keep him under guard and move on.

We notice their is a barrel. Richard explains that is what Lenny picked up at the coast. The barrel is supposed to contain blood. We make sure that doesn’t go inside and we head inside with the guards. Inside we find a small temple structure with a statue of Harrison holding out his hand at one end. Besides that there are two entrances blocked by stone door without any way to open. One is called “Faith” and the other “Sacrifice”. A young boy is also in the room. He identifies himself as Robert and says that his sister left him outside. Various methods are tested to open the doors. We search Robert and find a half-finished scroll of Knock. Eventually I notice the statue’s hand has dried blood on it and ask Richard to put his blood on the hand. That opens the sacrifice door.

We all enter and find a hallway with various stone doors. We try knocking on one but no one on the other side responds. A door behind us however opens and we find a barracks of sorts with 2 children inside. At the sight of armed people they “play dead”. It does not work. We interrogate them and learn that they are supposedly raised there. They leave when they reach a certain age, until then they don’t have a name. Also apparently the only way to open the doors is via the Knock spell. We eventually leave them alone and close the door.

Richard proceeds down the hall and he tells us to hit the dirt. Nothing happens and he claims he heard magic coming from one of the rooms. At the end of the hall we find a room marked “Father”. Broderick brings Yates and her soldiers to help interrogate Robert. When he’s gone Richard uses Knock and opens the far door. The others come back and we enter.

Inside is a giant study with rows of bookshelves and desks. There is also a bed on the far side, with Adreana nearby. On the far end the upper council are chained on the wall with sacks on their heads. Areana says she did all this to open up negotiations. Apparently she has sent 3 diplomats, who were all removed or arrested for treason by the War Council. We ask about the barrel of blood and apparently it’s used to go back and forth. Lenny is under an enchantment cast by a student. It is also revealed that Harrison has a means to protect the tower from the demons. She is also the “daughter” of Harrison. She claims her father has faults but that he will save the city. He has been studying the conduits and believes they are the key. She offers up the council members and Lenny’s collar key in exchange for us leaving and never disturbing them. She also claims if we do not, the children here will attack us to the death.

We ask for a moment to collect our thoughts. Outside we debate. Falconflight believes that Harrison is responsible for a lot of the problems in the city and leaving him alone is a huge mistake. We enter again and ask for the sacks to be removed and confirmed the council was unharmed. We agreed to wait and give Harrison a chance to explain himself. We gathered the council members, Lenny, stole his boat and left he spire. Along the way we are attacked by two water demons. The combine forces are able to take out of one but Broderick’s attempt to throw a barrel of blood resulted in Margarette being covered and both she and her boat went under.

We return to the Mids and as we get close to the Weather Headquarters we see a fire. As we approach we see the building is on fire and the Weather banners have all been ripped down. We leave the Council Members and Yates behind and go to investigate. There Broderick goes to man named Forward General Marcus, who is leading Senation troops. They announce that the invasion is a success. Broderick asks for a courier to be sent back and for the food lines to be sent. He then turns to us and offers both jobs after making a lot of claims about how the district is in much better hands, blah blah blah.


Job: Pearce will be named Righteous Blade, and be given a badge to show his title. His one and only responsibility will be to deal with the FoM problem. Brodie can disagree/advise Pearce on this matter, but Pearce has final say on how he handles the FoM, regardless of Brodie’s protests. Pearce will have something similar to diplomatic immunity while performing his job within the Mids. He is allowed to perform small crimes and such. This does not include murder or any crimes against the Senation government. He is freely allowed to move back and forth to the Senation district, provided he shows his badge at the security checkpoint. He is also allowed one permanent pass that he can give to a subordinate that allows that subordinate to travel back and forth to the Senation District. The pass is not transferable, and must have the subordinates name on it.

Task Force: A task force will be formed to assist Pearce in his responsibilities. It will be no less than 5 soldiers, hand picked by Brodie. Pearce has the ability to suggest members for the task force, but Brodie has final say. This Task Force will report directly to Pearce.

Financial Resources: Pearce will be provided a budget of 500 gold per week to help him in his job. 150 gold of that will be his salary. He can spend this money as he sees fit, but Brodie has the right to review how the money is being spent.

Prisoners: Pearce is allowed to free any prisoner that he wishes that was taken prisoner during the Senation takeover.

Group Dynamics: Brodie is not allowed to pull rank when it comes to acquiring loot. Brodie is requested to pull rank as infrequently as possible in all other matters.

Plot: Brodie requests that he and Richard be allowed to help Pearce in his FoM quest, as that seems to be the main plot, but Pearce is allowed to deny that.

Cheap Shot: Pearce is allowed to punch Brodie one time with zero repercussions. Brodie is not allowed to defend himself in any manner. Ben will roll a Will Save (DC determined by Cal). If Ben fails the Will Save, that means that Brodie flinched and protected himself. Pearce will then be allowed a second punch and the process will repeat until Brodie is able to man up and take an unprotected punch. Any crying on Brodie’s part during this process will not be mentioned by either Richard or Pearce at any time.


Fire: The fire that destroyed the Weather Society HQ will be investigated. If it is deemed to be the fault of the invading army AND unnecessary to securing the district, reparations will be made as best as possible to help cover lost housing and equipment.

Prisoners: Any prisoners will be held for a short time and interviewed. Any prisoners not deemd threats to the state will be released and we sincerely wish them the best in their journey to become contributing citizens.

Housing: Temporary housing will be found for anyone who lived in the building. Further actions must be deliberated (see: fire).

Employment: No former WS employee is guaranteed a job. However, jobs will need to be filled in the new government and many will be considered.

Job: Richard will be named Director of Purification, and be given a badge to show his title. His one and only responsibility will be to deal with the Demon problem. Brodie can disagree/advise Richard on this matter, but Richard has final say on how he handles the demon, regardless of Brodie’s protests. Richard will have something similar to diplomatic immunity while performing his job within the Mids. He is allowed to perform small crimes and such. This does not include murder or any crimes against the Senation government. He is freely allowed to move back and forth to the Senation district, provided he shows his badge at the security checkpoint. He is also allowed one permanent pass that he can give to a subordinate that allows that subordinate to travel back and forth to the Senation District. The pass is not transferable, and must have the subordinates name on it. None of his powers extend to activities with the Senation District.

Task Force: A task force will be formed to assist Richard in his responsibilities. It will be no less than 5 soldiers, hand picked by Brodie. Richard has the ability to suggest members for the task force, but Brodie has final say. This Task Force will report directly to Richard.

Financial Resources: Richard will be provided a budget of 500 gold per week to help him in his job. 150 gold of that will be his salary. He can spend this money as he sees fit, but Brodie has the right to review how the money is being spent.

Prisoners: Richard is allowed to free any prisoner that he wishes that was taken prisoner during the Senation takeover, granted they are not deemed hostile to the Senate.

As negotiations are happening we see a bucket line forming to help put out the fire before it spreads. I ask about prisoners and we’re informed that they have been moved but the soldiers there don’t know where.

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Heading to the Spire

Our group splits up and me and Broderick head towards the Mids. As we are sneaking back we stop by the fallen tower to see if the Ratfolk are still around. We find two guards by the entrance and approach them. We ask to see their leader by claiming to have info on their attacker. A pudgy scholarly looking ratfolk emerges later. We ask for scouts in exchange for information we discover when we raid the facility. They agree to a single scout. We all nod agreement and then leave into the night.

We make it to the Weather Society HQ unharmed. We see who is still on guard at this time of night and discover a handful of milita members and guards. We talk to the guard captain who identifies herself as a halfling woman named “Yates”. We try to convince her that it is an emergency and inform her that the upper council are in danger. She agrees and we leave her to gather the troops. We need to get supplies so he leaves to get potions and I go try to get info out of the Bear.

We split and I go to “Small and Tall”. The door is locked and I use my skeleton key on the door. I check the office and find no one home. As I approach his office I notice someone else has entered the store behind me. I draw my sword and turn to see a half-orc woman with a sabre. We have Duchess conversation 1.

After that I leave and return to my apartment. I find Samantha and Viola sleeping next to each other. I gently prod Samantha awake and we move into the other room. We have Samantha Conversation 28.

On the way back I stop by Falconflight’s office. I tell him that we have found the location and are raiding it tonight. He agrees to go. Along the way he confides that his real name is Roy and that Harrison’s real name is Zane. Also apparently Zane blinded him at one point. He also claims that this is probably a trick, and hopes to kill Zane. I remind him we’re going to save the council and we wordless return.

When we arrive Broderick is there with half a dozen potions. We join up with the soldiers under Yates and we head out. Broderick asks about the Bear situation and I give him a summary. We pick up our scout and we head back to the Docks.

When we arrive Richard has a dozen sailors to pilot 4 rowboats to shore. There is a lot of deliberation but eventually we get everyone loaded and head out. Along the way we are attacked by a giant aquatic demon. It attacks the boats a few times before Broderick unloads several dozen pounds of druff onto the beast. It was successful in disabling the creature and we reached the shore.

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The Search For the Council
-20 gold

Shortly after we split up Broderick approaches me. He thinks searching for the council should be our top priority. I agree and we agree to meet at the Weather HQ in two hours. When we split up I go back in and find Fischer in his office. He is sitting in a chair with his head in his hands. We have Fischer Conversation 2.

After that I return home to check on everyone. Viola is deep asleep so I leave her alone. I pick up my swords and go downstairs to talk to Bell. Inside I see Thomas has a swollen limp. We comment on each other’s wounds and I ask Bell to heal me. I drink one of the remaining potions and store the rest. I ask Thomas if he is any good at tracking people. He agrees to help and we leave. After we leave he comments that Bell has been distant lately. We stop by Falconflight’s place He comments that it will be “dicey” finding Harrison and agrees to join us since he’s still working for me.

We all return to the Weather Society to meet up with Broderick. Introductions are made. Broderick states he thinks they are in the Docks but not much more. We agree to go to Batch’s house in order to let the tracker’s do their thing. Thomas and Falconflight start investigating the area and Thomas finds the trail. He says it looks like she voluntarily went along for at least part of it. The trail starts to lead towards the Docks and Thomas points out a blood splatter on the ground near the border. We advance further into the docks through the streets. As we are following the trail we spot Richard laying on a rooftop.

He climbs down and informs us that he is tracking the mysterious packages he keeps receiving. Apparently they are brought to this point so he is staking it out. We question what he is staking out and he points us to the spire. The spire is a large tower made of black stone, barely visible, that is way out in the ocean. He further states he doesn’t need to do anything till the night so he is free to help us with our investigation. We turn to our trackers and they point out that the trail becomes “three” people here but otherwise ends. Thomas suggests we follow the third trail.

That trail leads to a nameless tavern filled with sailors. A sailor/guard/bouncer tries to escort us out. Falconflight ends up bribing him. I leave momentarily to tell Thomas to go home, he mentions he wants to purchase something big but otherwise heads home. I enter to see Richard and Broderick talking to some ugly sailor. I try to walk in nonchalantly and avoid money getting thrown at me. As I approach Broderick is asking if he can sell some Weather Society uniforms. Pete says he can ship it to them for a modest price. I ask if he also delivers messages to the spire and start to catch the attention of the rest of the crowd as Ugly Pete gets anxious. Richard asks if he has seen anyone unusual. Pete claims he is not a snitch and Broderick quickly ends the conversation.

We leave and try to figure out what to do next. Falconflight states a rowboat seems to come to shore recently. Richard states that whoever delivers his packages comes by rowboat at night. Everyone except Broderick thinks there is probably some correlation, who insists we should look into the the missing uniforms. We debate but eventually me and Broderick leave to go follow up on the uniform lead while Richard stays behind to resume his stake out.

We split up and I let Falconflight return to the Mids. Afterwards Broderick reveals he has a contact we can go see. As we head to his contact I’m explicitly told not to ask or think about her wife. We go to his apartment and we have Tom conversation 1. We follow Tom’s advice and travel to a sewer grate with an arrow painted above it. Down said hole is a small cleared out section for a shop. The store has a few stacks of disguises: patchy Temple robes, moth-holed Matroni suites, etc. All fairly real looking. The store is owned by a older female ratfolk. We inquire about Weather uniforms and she informs us that the “demon fighters” have a standing order for them. After more inquiry she says they also go by “Harriers”. After asking she says they come by every day. We make some small purchase and leave.

After we leave I have a short conversation about the Harriers with Broderick in Broderick Conversation 4.

We return to our meetup spot and find Richard on the shoreline talking to a heavily robed man near a rowboat. Nearby we see Richard’s knife. Using object reading I see that Richard left to go confront the man on the shore when it approached. We end up going to approach the pair. As we approach the identity of the cloaked figure is revealed to be Lenny.



Me: “Wait. Lenny actually sent the letters? I thought he was dead”
Rich: “So did I”
Bro: “So what’s going on here?”
Rich: “He says Areana is at the Spire waiting for Harrison to return. The Upper Council are there too”
Lenny: “… sorry… I didn’t have a choice.”
Me: “Elaboration needs to happen”
Rich: “Harrison has an exploding collar on him as well as some…magical persuasion”
Me: “Is this related to the chemical? The persuasion I mean”
Bro: “Then we need to go to the Spire. Like right now.”
Rich: “We need to rescue the upper council, kill Harrison for real this time, and free lenny from his control”
Bro: “All of which is at the Spire.”
Me: “Hold on. Lenny. What is this spire like? Does he have guards? How many? Does everyone have those collars on? Can we break this compulsion?”
Lenny: “Its terrible there. Full of traps and monsters. And the demons lived out there too…. but Areana said they won’t come back ‘yet’”
Me: “Till Harrison returns right? Are the upper council speaking the same mind controlled gibberish?”
Lenny: ‘I don’t know what they do. They disappear into the ruins. I stay on the surface… I’m not allowed inside the ruins. The bodies I hauled were brought into the ruins. I don’t know what happened to them. I’m sorry."
Me: “… the bodies? Were they dead when they were brought in?”
Lenny: "I didn’t get a good look. I was told to row. "
Me: “Who took them in”
Lenny: “Areana and some undead. The brainless kind… they have cadaver-packs they put the victims in.”
Me: “… Lenny. Are you some undead with a brain?”
Lenny: “I don’t know. Harrison didn’t either. He called me a curious sort of failure. Only reason he kept me is bait. I am sure of it. I’m sure even now I am just bait.”
Bro: “Guys, I need to talk to you in private”
Me: “Lenny why did you row out here tonight? They were taken two days ago”
Lenny: “I needed to get a package from the courier… he meets me here in half an hour.”
Bro: “Well, let’s clear out and ambush him too.”
Me: “I’m good with that. Although. Question Lenny, now that you’ve seen us will you do anything differently? Will you report us?”
Rich: “How much control does Areana have while Harrison is dead? or Lenny?”
Me: “Well if they had control they haven’t fled. They’re still there and Lenny here has been delivering stuff to her. Since he can’t go down”
Rich: “He didn’t flee because of the explosive collar”
Bro: “Alright, let’s lie in wait.”
Me: “Which we still don’t know how to disarm. My point is. If we don’t ambush the courier. They won’t know we’re about to invade. We can go and get reinforcements and come tomorrow”
Bro: “No. We can’t. I need to talk to you.”
Rich: “We can still get the courier he’s just dropping a package.”
DM: The group retreats to the roof.
Bro: “I’ve been pushing so hard for us to investigate this today/tonight, because I know that something big is going down. To quote: ‘The future of the Weather Society will be dead by the morning.’”
Me: “…who the fuck said THAT?!”
Bro: “…Is there any chance we can avoid that and just take my word for it?”
Me: “Broderick if I said that would you take my word on it?”
Bro: “I got all my information about the missing Council Members from the Bear, okay? I doubt he’d want me to reveal we worked together on this, but I don’t see any choice now.”
Me: “… so the Bear says they’re going to be dead by the morning? How does he know?”
Rich: “This is apparently Harrison’s secret stronghold. We’re still pretty banged up from our misadventure this morning. It’ll be dangerous to go in ill-prepared.”
Bro: “He didn’t say. But I’ve heard rumors of something big going down tonight, so I’m inclined to believe him. And to ease your worries, Richard, we can employ the remainder of the Weather guards for this mission. That’s the best I’ve got. But I’m going after them tonight.”
Me: “Grrrr fine. We intercept the courier. We go get reinforcements”
Rich: “Are we not intercepting the courier together?”
Bro: “Also, how do we get to the Spire?”
Me: “The rowboat?”
Bro: “The rowboat with all of our forces?”
Me: “I mean do you have someone who is willing to lend us their boat?”
Rich: “There’s that whole bar of drunken sailors. I’m sure we convince someone to give us a ride”
Bro: “Yeah, we can make that work, especially with our troops.”
Me: “Okay. Does someone want to stay here to get that together? While the other two go back?”
Bro: “I have to go back. I’m a lower council member, so I’ll have extra authority to draft some guards. Plus, I was planning on supplying our health potions from my business’s personal stock. Pearce, will you accompany me? Having a second person will help sell the importance that we need guards.”
Rich: “I’ll try to secure us a means of transport”
Me: “Then let’s head back”.

View
Public: The end to the war?

Day 6 till payment

  • Called into War Council
  • Fischer by himself.
  • Says we will lose war. Need to surrender. Suggests giving sea-something. Some land.
  • Wants us to negotiate peace since upper council has to do it. Escort waiting
  • Upper council are all MIA the day Harrison was doing his thing.
  • There is a prisoner exchange. Funearlis for Pin, wouldn’t reveal who Pin is.
  • Apparently Temple sent another diplomat. It never arrived.
  • We agreed to go do it
  • I drop off my sanctuary papers. One to the council, one to Broderick.
  • We go to the Apple, Richard says he left someone there to leave a message. Person is now gone?
  • Discuss Fischer being fishy.
  • Apparently Fischer accused Harrison/Richard of murdering Nathan.
  • Richard admits to meeting the bear. Says they talked with Broderick outside. Wanted to get in touch with Fischer. Also wanted to meet with Broderick. Claimed he didn’t go.
  • Broderick claims the Blue Poles might go to war.
  • Also has some robes that mark him as a diplomat.
  • We go to Margerette’s House. It’s locked and object reading says she was the last to open it
  • We go inside. She was in there at least a day or two ago. Had a meeting with her knitting group yesterday.
  • We hear someone outside and after a lot of complex hand signs we open it to a old person. We tell her to move along after she informs us Margarette wasn’t seen yesterday.
  • We move on to go find the General. She says they will probably lose.
  • She also says they haven’t gotten any orders in 2 days. Seems suspicious when another group is suggested to be our escort. Sends reinforcements.
  • We go to Fischer’s location. Several Weather killed and replaced by foreign soldiers.
  • We kill or chase them off. One is bleeding so we decide to follow him next session.
  • We loot the bodies and find out they were mercenaries by the stones they carry.
  • We find the man nearby. Richard’s hand glow and he stops the bleeding.
  • We carry him to a nearby building and he eventually wakes up.
  • According to him he was working for UNKNOWN group from the Matronis. They came here because someone is buying weather uniforms in the Docks. (They also buy druff there). They claim they did this unofficially.
  • I kill the man who was murdering for gold.
  • We put on the foreign ambassador robes and enter the mids.
  • A cloaked man in full armor herds us to the “Administration of War”
  • We are disarmed and then led to a meeting room
  • Broderick asked us to agree to be “aides” and he does most of the speaking.
  • The Temple wants the weather to disband so that the mids can dissolve into lawlessness and they can invade. We say no. They say they want a tithe to pay for the damages in the war. We say no. We eventually agree to give the Shanty Sea area and have the leader of the milita resign for his crimes of killing diplomats
  • We return and tell Fischer and the Council.
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Cross Examination

Day 5/7 300g rent + 70g Bell Salary

The next day begins with a nightmare. “You have a bad dream. You are alone on an island, a sand bank surrounded by a glimmering ocean. The skies foretell a storm coming in the distance. You look up at the moon, bloated and heavy and red, and you hear a man’s laughter. You feel alone.” I’m awoken by Sam putting a cold cloth on my head. She gives me breakfast (or lunch considering it’s already in the afternoon) and kicks me out so she can sleep. I eat my food and go downstairs to get Thomas. In order to find out who I can trust at the Weather I send him to go finding more info about Margarette Batch. He nods and heads out.

That afternoon I head to the address where Falconflight said I could contact him. I find him in a boarded up office with scrolls and papers covering everything. We briefly converse but I update him on Harrison. I inform him about the caves and he agrees to go see if he can find a place. I also specifically ask him to give me the rune etched box, as well as a warning about it’s teleportation.

I hit up the local taverns and try to find out any info about “Cassius”. Besides that he isn’t a member of the Weather, some special consultant, I learn nothing. I return back. Thomas comes back and gives me what he learned about Batch.

I restore another book of elven poetry, this being the second such one. I skim through this one and start to note that besides awful poetry the words don’t seem to line up. I surmise that the book has some sort of cipher that relies on ancient elven events. Wracking my brain for an educated elf I ask Viola about Gretchen Winterword. I ask Viola if she is an elf and a decent person. She says she has some elven heritage and although decent she believes the “cataclysm saved Gallows from the tyranny of the gods. She just really doesn’t want religion to take hold in Gallows”. We note to meet her if Viola’s surgery goes well.

I meet up with Richard in the front room of the Weather Society. We exchange pleasantries and then upon my request we go to a nearby tavern. There we find a dark corner to have Richard Conversation 6, after he gives me my mental potion back. We finish our discussion and return to my place to pick up Viola.

I tell Richard to wait while I go uptsairs to get Viola and Thomas. Inside Viola is sitting on some cart Thomas found. He doesn’t say where he got said cart. Before we leave I briefly duck in to prepare Samantha for another meeting. We talk briefly and I ask her to play her “part”. As we are about to leave she waves at us before drawing a dagger and charging me. Before she strikes she fades as the hallucination ends. No one else but Thomas reacts who is keenly watching me.

We leave and meet up with Richard before leaving. After about fifteen minutes of wandering, we come to an office with boarded up windows. Painted above the office are the words “Surgery” in blue paint. I knock on the door and Atticus opens the door and directs us to a surgery room. The surgery room has a small table with orderly tools next to a sheer stone altar, which he puts a sheet over. Apparently the building used to belong to a cult. Thomas and Atticus go into the othe room to talk about the procedure. Richard expresses concern but I reassure him that Atticus is good. Richard then uses his ability on Viola.

Viola is nervous and makes a few jokes as she is tied down to the altar. Atticus takes out a hammer and pitons and begins hammering them into her legs. I take out a potion and get ready to give it to Viola. They do this for some time as they break the legs and tying the legs after each swing. I pour the potion when requested to keep her healed. Afterwards Atticus asks us to knock her out, which I promptly do. He then informs us that we need to use trepination. To administer a healing potion to the nerves. Thomas seems reluctant but Atticus insists she will not regain her legs without the procedure. Thomas can’t verify if it will work but says drastic steps are probably necessary. I reluctantly agree and he does the procedure. Afterwards he bandages her head and says she will live and with luck she will be able to walk again, then walks out. I ask for Thomas’s opinion and he says he still unsure but that she will live.

As we are talking we hear voices outside. We all duck outside and see two men from the Weather Society with swords drawn in the room. At the sight of us they rush out. According to Atticus they are tax collectors. I promise to have a guard posted nearby to help prevent similar incidents from happening again. I leave Thomas behind to take care of Viola who can’t be moved for a few hours. Me and Richard return to my apartment. We have Samantha Conversation 27. Then we all retire for the night.

The next morning before work I stop by Broderick’s place and we have Broderick Conversation 3.

View
How To Fail at Diplomacy

When we leave the fallen tower Broderick runs off to do something in the Docks. Me and Richard escort Venyard and the two Ratfolk first back to the Rat Embassy. We arrive uneventfully at the embassy and after thanking us the Rat’s go in. We continue moving and have Richard Conversation 5. We change course and head for the Blue Poles. Venyard directs us to a section of the Poles reserved for meatsmiths where various meats of … dubious origin are being sold.

Venyard puts a cloth to his mouth and mutters as he leads us to the back of a building. We hear laughing inside when Venyard knocks twice. It opens to a half-dwarf who recognizes Venyard. Our guide asks for someone named “Big Billy” and is told he lives down the street. We go to the directed build and an imposing gnome with badly wrinkled skin opens the door. Venyard confirms that this is Big Billy and we enter after some brief greetings.

Inside is a tattoo parlor where a half-orc woman is smoking “dreamleaf” which is a sedative. We note various tattoo implements, all of which are surprisingly clean. Me and Richard are directed into a back room where lively art depicts various animals that give the illusion of movement. There is little in the room besides a massive tattoo chair and a drawer that looks to hold dyes. It appears it has some sort of secret panel of sorts. We briefly debate on opening it but Venyard wheels in before we can. Richard clarifies that “Big Billy” is just putting in the soul and not doing anything else and Venyard confirms. Venyard begins setting out ritual components from a pouch, circling the room before he briefly leaves. He returns with Billy in tow. Billy hands Richard some alcohol to dull the pain which he downs quickly. Venyard meanwhile pulls out a scroll and casts a spell from it. I see that it’s an abjuration spell but that’s about it. He touches Richard and claims that the surgery must begin. I help hold Richard down as they slice him open and perform the procedure to put the soul in. After a healing potion Richard, who can barely stand, tumbles out of the room. Venyard is now smoking with the half orc and offers some to Richard. I ask if there is some sort of a test, asking how he confirmed it last time. Venyard claims he doesn’t have to explain his methods. Richard hands over some paper as payment and they leave Venyard there.

On the way back Richard claims he’s kinda shaken up by the memories in the soul. Apparently he found Lenny’s soul which had been forcibly extracted from Lenny. I help carry him to the Weather HQ and then we agree to meet tomorrow night to help with a surgery.

I head back to my place and find a note on top of a package on my door from the Bear.
Note: “The Temple District insisted on this configuration. I have signed copies from them and the Bluepoles’ Thag. I leave the rest in your hands. I have found and important weakness of the Friends that requires my immediate action. I’ll know more by tonight, and should be back in my office by 11. If you wish to meet with me then I would welcome you. If not, it has been a pleasure working with you and I wish you and your endeavors the best.
-Bear"
The package it self contains the documents for the various districts. It seems both the Senation and the Ratfolk play a part in the Sanctuary’s safety. I store that note and then give Thomas Atticus’ potions to check if they are safe. He quickly surmises that they are. I remind the others about the meeting later tonight and then head out.

I go back to the Weather and ask around about Salisbury. I quickly find out he is in a nearby tavern with several recruits. He is there talking to two tables of recruits in the Weather uniform. He apparently is making a defense of hard justice for those who violate the laws of the city. He gets a few claps at the end, which wraps up shortly after I start watching. He then says he will get the first round for the ‘new guard regiment’ and walks to the counter, away from the two crowds. They cheer at this. We exit and have Salisbury Conversation 4. I agree to fight several of the recruits to convince them to not get involved with the war. Salsibury lays out the rules. It’s 3 of them vs me using only my fists. I’m able to knock out one of them but I take more damage than I should. I end up drawing my sword after a lucky punch. I attempt to intimidate them but it has the opposite effect. They take my display to mean all rules are off and one attempts to blind me with something. I dodge it and Salisbury calls off the fight. The dust is identified as Druff and Salisbury is extremely pissed. One student tries to claim I started it by breaking the rules but Salisbury counters that they are the law. He drags the kid off. I confiscate the drug from the others before they get busted and give them a lecture about how it’s bad. Salisbury joins us as I pay for the meal for the recruits. We talk about the faith for a while and convince them to join as well as bolster Salisbury’s faith.

When I’ve said my goodbyes there I go collect Samantha, Viola, Bell, and Thomas. We all go to the Castle. The minstrels are there practicing the first few acts. The place has been slightly cleaned up. They all turn as we enter and ask if they need to leave, several juggling balls and a dagger falling in the process. I go upstairs and find that the desk in the office is cleaned and a awful painting is adorning the far wall. Bell and Thomas are assigned to guarding the perimeter. Sam and Viola are in the conference room going over last minute plans. I wait downstairs for Prestor to arrive.

Twenty minutes pass before he does, surrounded by a crowd of people. They ask to see the dawn. I am slightly caught off guard by this and Prestor sensing that asks to come in first. We have Prestor Conversation 2. I bring him up to the office and leave him there to get Samantha. I find her in the conference room with her cossack outfit. Viola is talking to her and reminding her of things they have discussed. Sam is holding a mirror and a book. She clarifies she needs to know if Prestor is appropriate. I nod and let her and the Prestor conversation continues. I then exit shortly after again to go try and get her bird. I try several tricks before I finally herd it through a window and into the hall where the office is. Prestor conversation continues again. They agree to wait till dawn and I leave some time after.

Viola comes with me as I bring her back to my apartment. We have Viola Conversation 5 before I drop her off. I briefly look at the magical item report Dunwick gave me. I look up the journal and note that it lists the hostel as the last known place. After that I go to the “Small and Tall” for my meeting with the Bear. An elf answers the door and lets me into a backroom. We have Bear Conversation 4.

I return to the Castle. The minstrels seem tired from their impromptu act. A good portion of the crowd seems very engaged, and a hat is going around filled past the brim with donations. Sam is watching the minstrels happily. Prestor is watching Sam and the large, ramshackle standing clock. He does not seem a guy who is easily amused. I request to see the Amethyst Lady and we go upstairs to the office. We have Samantha Conversation 26.

We return shortly and we all idly talk as we wait for dawn. I start to figure out what type of person Prestor is. “He is a charismatic guy who maybe thinks too much, taking his expectations and being bitter when they aren’t matched. You can tell Samantha is not the answer he was looking for, and you think he may be a risky addition to the chosen. You get the feeling he has his own ideas on how Samantha could grow, and based on his short, guided questions, you pick up he is trying to guide her toward traditional god roles – judgement, correction, and miracles for the upper brass. You feel a little disillusioned about him being someone who cares for the poor. You believe he cares for them purely to ensure they are complacent. Samantha seems to be trusting him. You get the feeling she is trusting because she wants to trust, not because she is catching on to the subtle behaviors you are. You wonder if she might be acting still, because if she is an actor she is keeping her role consistent. She gives off a joyous matron, out of touch with the fears of the common man. You don’t know how she learned to act that way, but Viola would be a good bet.”

After spending some time I pull Amethyst aside again, we continue Samantha conversation 26. As we return we not the crowd has slowly left as the night has continued and only half remain. The minstrels are clearly tired. The birds begin a melancholy but beautiful song. One by one they begin to shine. The crowd, Prestor included, are shocked. Samantha smiles and the birds take flight out into the sky, most of the crowd following. Prestor says and we have PrestorConversation 3. He remains unconvinced and some of his followers agree, some stay. We all celebrate those who agree to stay and then go home to turn in for the night.

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Public: Picking up the Pieces

The poison eventually subsides and we all climb down. We give Venyard Lucky’s old clothes and in return he heals us to full. We begin to collect and divy up the loot we find from the remains. I reveal to the group the basics of my “object reading” power and they allow me to get an idea on the various objects.

Ritual Components:
Knowledge – Various highly sought after ritual components. The amount that were used up here must must have cost a fortune.
Memory – You see the onyx table covered in priceless ritual components. Harrison is casting a series of complicated rituals, and the components are slowly fizzling away.

Platinum from FoM:
Memory – You see two FoM, one you recognize from the scene. The other you do not. “He asked for you specifically. Give him the platinum and he said we can use the portal.” The FoM who has given the bag to the other is lying. You get the feeling he knows more than he is letting on.

Onyx box with Complex lock:
Knowledge – This box has some arcane etchings, but it doesn’t have any of the obvious signs of being magical.
Memory – Blocked.

Dagger from FoM:
Knowledge – Just an unusual dagger.
Memory – You see the FoM cutting bread with his knife.

Surgical Equipment:
Memory – You get a graphic image of Harrison slicing a porthole in a ratfolk’s neck and dumping certain chemicals into his brain. He then force fed the ratfolk some kind of alchemical potion.

Two Bottles of Zombie Fluid:

Harrison’s Bracers:
Knowledge – These metal bracers is engraved with symbolic animals suggesting protector spirits and brood mothers. It is magical.
Memory – You see Harrison put on his bracers. You see Harrison put on his necklace. You see Harrison put on his robe. He does so in front of a mirror, then walks away. The mirror seems to be in a darkened room, based on the walls you think you are in a cave – something with black stone. This is definitely a different room than you’ve seen in the tower.

Harrison’s Necklace, has “HOPE” written in Elven:
Knowledge – You recognize that this is magical, and based on what you remember from esoteric studies. You believe this necklace has wards against rats, and its magic may also compliment this.

Lucky’s Staff:
Knowledge – To a less trained observer, this staff appears unmagical, but you detect it has been cloaked using a different spell. This is not actually a staff, but an immovable rod underneath a wooden shell.
Memory – You see Lucky fighting Harrison. The fight seems to be going Lucky’s way. However, Lucky gets jumped by two other zombies as he is leaving, and Harrison manages to get a net on him while he fought. Harrison then tied up Lucky.

Lucky’s Gear:
Memory – You see Lucky eating alone in his tent. Its night, you can hear fighting going on outside his tent, but you can’t place where in the city he is. Same memory for the tent.
Portable Lab:

Alchemist Chemicals:
Knowledge – An alchemist has a shot at determining what Lucky was last brewing, but otherwise, this is a well used set of chemicals.
Memory –
Harrison is looking at his kit and his chemicals. He selects several bottles, throwing them into a sack. He then throws the remaining stuff back into the kit and puts it back on Dogan’s struggling form.

Lucky’s Note:
Memory – You see Lucky in his tent, writing down a note. He seems to be having trouble with the cipher, as he has to correct it several times.

As we are looking over the items a debate springs up around the Onyx box. Richard claims that the onyx box might potentially be the diplomatic package that was stolen from the Weather Society. He was asked by the ratfolk to return it unopened. Regardless of whether it’s the diplomatic package, Broderick wants to open it. Richard state that the Ratfolk might see opening it as “violations of their sovereignity”. Broderick counters that the Mids are at war with the Temple. If the rats, who are allies of the Weather, are having dealings with the Temple we need to determine if they are a threat. The conversation continues but eventually it is decided to open the box. Before they do I use object reading and find that the box seems resistant to it. We decide to be a good distance away from the box when we open it. Richard casts his spell and the box opens up and I recognize a teleport spell transporting it who knows where. Broderick says, “I saw a small gray marble held in some type of glass/glass like tube, stoppered on one end. I’ve got no idea what that could be, what about you guys?” No one else knows.

We move on and I use object reading on the various objects and tell the others what I see. The loot is then divided up.

After the loot is divided We have Venyard Conversation 4.

We then have a conversation 1 with Ingred and Beaker the ratfolk.

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