Clockwork

00218
In which we gad about town...

LOG 1
LOG 2
LOG 3
LOG 4

Reuniting back at the rental house, the party convenes in the dining room to discuss the evening’s events and continue the debate over what to do about the mysterious woman’s request and how’re we’re dealing with the various thieves plaguing our operation.

The next morning, Acadia and Magnus head to the Magistrate’s office to report the theft of Acadia’s technique. As Vargas predicted, the city isn’t interested in the tribulations of a handful of no-good adventurers.

Meanwhile, Vargas and Serribon go to visit the gnomes themselves to see if they might be talked out of their foolishness. The shopkeeper refuses to listen to reason, though she’s clearly worried about where this course of action will lead her.

On the other side of town, Ibram is frog-marching the armor thief back to his father’s house. The old man isn’t the slightest bit inclined to be helpful and denies any knowledge of the situation. Their little play is interrupted by noises from backstage and to everyone’s surprise, Brrk emerges from a hidden closet of the shack brandishing part of the missing armor. Ibram sets her loose to dig up the remaining components while he deals with the thieves. Both fail to appreciate how lucky they’ve been so far, so he ends up beating seven shades of hell out of the both of them. After a stop off at the magistrates’ to report the theft, he heads off to the forge to finish his day’s work.

Later that evening, Vargas goes back to the gnome’s shop with Magnus in tow to give them one more chance to make things right. For whatever reason, Magnus is a much better goon than Serribon, and coupled with Vargas’s business acumen, they manage to work out a deal with the gnomes to get Acadia the money back for her sample tattoo. Heading back to the house, Vargas thinks he spots a tail up on the roofline, but nothing comes of it. They meet up with Ibram on the way, and make their way home for the evening.

Social liabilities that they are, Serribon and Acadia decided to stay home and chat a while in the parlor. Serri’s spider-sense gets to tingling and he notices someone skittering across the roofline of the building across the street, so he proposes Acadia shift into a hyena and help him check the house for intruders. They perform a room-by-room search of the house and surrounding area, but find nothing but the external expressions of everyone’s neuroses.

The following day, there is no sign of the woman in red. Everyone is disappointed – even moreso when she fails to show for the rest of the week. On the morning of the sixth day, a mysterious package appears on the front step: a scroll case containing only a simple map.


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00217
In which we play to our strengths...

LOG

While Serribon and Vargas relax in the study, Magnus has a roundabout conversation with the ninja he found hiding in his bedroom. She offers the team a mission and grants us two days to come up with a decision. Magnus heads downstairs to relay this information, but the tale is interrupted when Acadia bursts through the front door in a state of high dudgeon – furious over being double-crossed by the “civilized” gnomes she has been working with. She wants to exact bloody, firery vengeance, but most of the group counsel against it and head back downstairs to continue their discussion. But the conversation is interrupted yet again when a messenger arrives bearing word of Ibram’s losses at the forge.

As nightfall approaches, the team splits to get some work done.

Vargas and Magnus head out to the smithy to help Ibram apprehend whoever stole his work-in-progress. They collaborate on a magical boobytrap that will alert them to another attempted theft and hold the burglar for questioning and set up the stakeout. In the wee hours, their vigilance is rewarded when one of the smithy apprentices attempts to sneak inside to help himself to more of Ibram’s hard work. The team gets the drop on him and puts him to the Question – determining to pay a visit to his father in the morning.

Meanwhile, Serribon and Acadia make their way across the city rooftops towards the gnome’s magic shop. The duo case the joint for a while and Serri decides their best course of action will be to turn the city law against the copyright pirates. Acadia takes the form of a tiny gecko and slips inside the shuttered storefront to plant some of her highly-distinctive tattooing inks among the gnomes’ supplies. In a day or so, they plan to report the theft to the city magistrates, in hopes that the “missing” inks and signs of the gnomes’ derivative works-in-progress will prove enough to have action taken.


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00216
In which we tie up some loose ends...

LOG

Now that we have a cleric in tow, Vargas decides its time to go back and visit the Kerangas gnomes to see if we can patch up any of the wounded who were beyond our abilities before. He, Magnus, and Serribon tele-hop back across half the continent to catch up.

Back in Akor, Miriam spends most of the day sleeping while the rest of the party gets to work. Or at least tries to. Ibram and Acadia both learn an important lesson about business.


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00215
In which Magnus gets a workout...

LOG

A local hooligan shows up at the Kings’ doorstep with Brrk in tow, looking for gold. Instead, he finds Magnus.


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00214
In which we put some salt in the wounds...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Several days after defeating the final barghest, the gang returns to the creatures’ basement lair to explore the caverns they learned about from the resident xorn. A quick shifting of the flagstones reveals an antique well leading deep into the earth. Lowering themselves down by hook and by crook, they descend into a huge terraced salt cavern.

Their initial probings disturb a wing of gargoyle bandits, their half-fiend leader, and the enormous earth elemental that shares their home. The Caiman Kings put the bandits to death or flight and force the elemental to retreat, leaving the way open for more spelunking.

Dropping down another abyss, they arrive in an even larger cave – home to a collapsed ruin that must have fallen from the upper world ages ago. Inside the warren of collapsed halls, they find a tribe of degenerate morlocks worshipping a large quicksilver sphere half sunken into the floor.

The sphere proves impervious to everything the party throws at it and beyond even Vargas’s ability to puzzle out. When Magnus petitions his goddess for advice, the sphere briefly resolves itself into an enormous silvery eye and focuses on the party. This apparently upsets the locals, who oblige the party to exterminate them all.

Giving the whole thing up as a lark, the Kings continue their exploration of the ruins-turned-tomb and find little more than hints of a Tauli presence sometime in antiquity and yet another steel rose badge.


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00213
In which a large bear wears a small hat...

LOG

Vargas goes out to collect Serribon and the hunt for the remaining barghest begins. With his hunter’s instinct and Acadia the bear’s nose, they track it across town to a goblinoid bar where Ibram makes some new friends and some important lessons are learned.

Most importantly: when casting offensive spells, always be sure of your area of effect.


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00212
In which Magnus goes in search of a library card...

Part 1
Part 2

Magnus returns to the Library of Akor to make another attempt at gaining access to the restricted stacks. Taking an absolutely revolutionary tack, he just walks up to the doors and knocks. The door guard tells him that the only way to achieve full library privileges is to be a scholar at the Collegium, a Patronus of the library, or by special order of the Autocrat herself.

Since nobody gets in to see the Autocrat – not no way, not no how – he decides to go explore the path of higher learning.

At the Collegium, he chats with a street preacher and eventually makes his way to the Master of Andropolitan Military History, where he presents a sample of the texts he helped recover from the ruins of Andropolis and petitions for access to the restricted stacks. Master Nominus accepts the donation and promises to have an answer from the Master’s Conclave in a week or two.


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00211
In which Acadia and Vargas perform market research...

LOG

In his continuing quest to try and explain the concepts of civilization to Acadia, Vargas offers to help her find some place to market her magical tattoos – a form of crafting unknown to him or pretty much anyone else in the world. They question and prod until they come up with a short list of candidates, eventually settling on a gnome-run magic shop where the owners are almost giving away their services to the uncouth foreigner.


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00210
In which we hang out in the basement and RP...

LOG

Following the rout of three of the barghests that have been preying on Akor, the team attempts to catch up with the fourth after it teleports to freedom. Alas, they’re tricksy, and it’s made a clean getaway for now. Vowing to continue the hunt once they’ve collected Serribon, the party returns to the barghests’ lair to see what they can see.

The waste pit is pretty gruesome, and there are signs of multiple victims, but no conclusive evidence of their missing host and hostess. The group finds a verse carved into one of the walls that they eventually connect with the lingering signs of former saltwater flooding and they make some tentative steps towards uncovering the water’s source.

Their apres-adventure looting also draws the attention of another denizen of the ruins of Acer. A rather grouchy xorn walks through the wall and demands the return of the barghests’ ill-gotten booty – which it had been feeding on for some time. They don’t get very far in the conversation, but it does eventually reveal the existence of forgotten salt caverns beneath the city, accessible from the basement. But as the caverns have been sealed for unaccountable years, they decide to focus their efforts on the more immediate problem of finding and eliminating the last barghest.


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00209
In which we take care of some unwanted 'gests...

LOG

The party arrives at the gates of Akor, the almost-eternal city. They find it a very strange place, but eventually settle in. When their hosts disappear overnight, leaving a distraught little girl behind, our heroes set out to solve the mystery as only a level 10 party can.


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