Adventure Date: May 26, 2006
Last Updated: January 7, 2009
Day 48 - Night
The heroes had just defeated the pack of undead mummies and searched their remains for objects of interest, both magical and mundane, but found nothing.
As the group of heroes rested in the evening, they discussed the Dukeís daughter, Tamara, and the details of her kidnapping. Tamara, a young lady of 24 years, has beautiful, flowing brown hair, stunning brown eyes, and tan skin. Above her left brow, an old scar can be found; she received it years ago when she fell off her horse. When Tamara was kidnapped, Lady Aurelia was the only one who witnessed the heinous deed.
The fire died down as the rest of the evening passed uneventfully.
The heroes awoke and continued their trek to Leukish. As their journey began, Agrona paused to supplicate Heironeous to heal Nuria from the cursed touch of the mummies. Nuria felt the curse lifted and her strength return.
The heroes planned to travel without pause to Leukish. Unfortunately, as they were traveling through the forested area to Leukish, Rhodesia, Ebreckís companion, was ambushed. A black, hyena-like creature of unnatural origin pounced on Rhodesia and tore into her. As the battle progressed, a well placed bolt from HHH slew the savage beast. To determine the qualities of the Rod of Seven Parts, Nuria used the rod to heal Rhodesia of some of her wounds. HHH then used the rod to complete Rhodesiaís healing. After, the heroes continued to ride to Leukish.
The heroes set camp and bedded down to rest. Keeping a vigilant watch, no creatures even tried to approach the well guarded group.
The journey continued without interruption and the miles passed quickly beneath their feet. The day passed without incident and the weary heroes set camp for the evening.
During the first watch, Xanaphia heard a rustling noise. Waking the rest of her companions, the heroes went to explore the area to find the source of the sound. As they explored, they found a nearby creek. Deus rushed forward to scent for danger. Curious, but cautious, Ebreck crept closer to the creek to scout it out. As he approached the creek, Ebreck sighted a humanoid male dressed in a chain-like shirt resting by its edge; he was looking at Deus, who was sitting patiently near him. The stranger was rugged looking, with white hair and beard, and piercing blue eyes. Seeing that Deus was not threatened by the stranger, Ebreck greeted the stranger as the rest of the group arrived. The stranger identified himself as Frank and answered their questions in a friendly manner. When asked what his purpose was for being in the area, Frank revealed that he lived nearby. Frank was equally curious about the reason for the heroes being there. Ebreck quickly informed him of their quest.
During this exchange, Frank has been peering at Nuria. Boldly, he offered the waterway to Nuria to bathe in, claiming it was pure and very refreshing. Nuria, polite but firm, tried to turn him down, but Frank insisted. Xanaphia, with a desire to maintain friendly relations, quickly ...
The following contains scenes of nudity and adult situations.
Viewerís discretion is advised.
... slid out of her hide armor and slipped into the water. In a show of gallantry, Frank requested that the male companions give the women their privacy. As the men moved off, Nuria decided to keep Xanaphia and Frank company. As Xanaphia frolicked in the water, Frank continued to press Xanaphia for information about the heroesí mission. As Xanaphia replied, Frank doffed his chain shirt and clothing, and joined her in the creek. Nuria watched Frank as he swam powerfully in the water, his well-built and well-endowed body rippling with muscle. Focusing on getting useful information, Nuria casually asked Frank about Leukish and the area. He replied: "Iím reclusive, but I have seen some strange creatures in the area recently". Tired of talking, Frank moved closer to Xanaphia and ...
Again, the following contains scenes of nudity, adult situations,
and someone being severely shot down.
Viewerís discretion is advised.
... casually brushed up against her with his arm and hand. He proceeded to ask if Xanaphia would swim with him. In a haughty voice, she replied: "Iím fine as I am." Rebuked, Frank retreated. Suddenly feeling tired, he climbed out of the water, dressed, and prepared to retire. Xanaphia, after dressing, rejoined the rest of the group along with Nuria. As Frank left, Pennyweight, curious, followed. Quietly padding behind Frank, Pennyweight trailed him back to the creek. Glancing around, Frank slipped back into the creek and quickly vanished. Pennyweight rushed back to inform the rest of the party of the events that had just transpired. Amazed and perplexed, the party prepared to rest.
Feeling refreshed after her night swim, Xanaphia and the rest of the party continued on to Leukish. Admiring the natural beauty surrounding them, HHH glanced up and noticed 2 flying shapes soaring high in the air. As he watched, they both swooped down towards the party. Shouting a quick word of warning, HHH prepared for combat. As the shapes drew closer, the heroes were able to clearly see what approached: two hag-like, winged women - harpies. Recognizing the threat, the party fired off their bolts and arrows to drive the enemy away, but they continued on relentlessly. Swooping again and again, the harpies tried to eliminate the heroes as they continued to rain death upon the harpies. Saying a quick prayer to Heironeous, Agrona let fly with his crossbow. The bolt was a flying beam in the sunlight that flashed onward with but a blur in its course, but the harpy plunged convulsively in midair and crashed headlong, shot through and through. Seeing its companion die, the other harpy veered away and fled. After scanning the area for other threats, the heroes continued their journey.
Sitting around the campfire, the heroes discussed the events of the past several days. What challenges they would face, they didnít know, but they would see them through to the end.
Breaking fast, the heroes assembled their equipment and continued on their journey with a renewed sense of purpose. Arriving in Leukish, they were amazed at its size. It looked like it could rival Greyhawk itself! As they approached the townís gate, a guardsman called out a challenge and inquired as to their purpose. They informed him that they were on an urgent mission for the Duke. Unconvinced, the guardsman was preparing to call others to detain such a well-armed and dangerous looking group when the paladin showed him the crest of his holy order. A look of surprise and admiration appeared on the guardsmanís face, and he warmly greeted the party. "You and your companions are always welcome in Leukish. Please just sign the registry and you may continue your journey."
As the party entered the town, they sent notification to Lady Aurelia that they would see her at the end of the day. The party began exploring to find a suitable place to use as headquarters. As they searched, a young street urchin approached them. "New in town, aintcha? If youze are looking for a place to rest your bones, follow me." Without further ado, he led the party to the Inn of the Whispering Ghost, a well-maintained and respected establishment in town. Seeing that the prices were reasonable (1 GP/night for the group), the party settled into the 2 rooms they rented.
Restless, Pennyweight began inquiring about his contact in town. Meanwhile, Ebreck approached the youth to thank him for his help. "Twas nuttin," he replied. Unfazed, Ebreck offered the youth a SP for his services. "Thanks. If Iím going to be workin for ya, ya should know me name. Iím called John the urchin. Whenever you be needin my services, just give a holla and Iíll come a runnin."
Knowing the party needed to resupply themselves, Ebreck located a local Dwarven weaponsmith named Andy. To prepare for the onslaught that they knew was coming, the party girded themselves with weapons of war. Ebreck purchased a triple weapon capsule retainer with 1 quicksilver, 1 quickspark, and 1 quickflame bolt. Xanaphia, to increase her deadly skills, acquired a masterwork composite longbow. "Ah cripes! I wish I could get some protective gear that wouldnít make so much noise or hinder my mobility or stop me from picking pockets!" Overhearing Pennyweightís wish, Xanaphia generously purchased a masterwork buckler for her diminutive companion. HHH procured for himself a gnome crossbow sight. After the shopping spree, the party called upon Lady Aurelia at her mansion. Xanaphia, to her utter outrage, realized she had had her pockets picked, and that a significant sum of gold was missing. Next time, she vowed that she would not flash her coin around so freely while shopping. She also cursed the rogue and vowed that should she ever come across him/her/it, her wolf would have a full belly that night. To cheer her up, Pennyweight offered to buy her some drinks with the pouch of gold that he recently "found".
The party entered Lady Aureliaís beautiful mansion. As she approached, HHH introduced himself and the heroes, and explained the purpose of their visit. "Iíll try to recall as many details as I can of that horrid day." She took a deep breath to steady herself, and began her story. "Lady Tamara had always been a willful and energetic child, and she didnít change as she grew. Though she appreciated her personal guards, she always felt constrained by their constant presence, and wanted to feel free. Whenever she could, she would evade her guards so that she could be alone and try to feel normal. She never realized how necessary her guards really were. That afternoon, she showed up suddenly on my doorstep with a mischievous grin on her face. She had "lost" her entourage and wished to go to the market area to get some fresh berries and do some shopping. It seemed so harmless at the time, but I curse myself every day for not insisting on being properly escorted. It was a delightful afternoon and we had a wonderful time. I went over to a shop to find some bolts of silk while she went to get berries for us to snack on. As I was returning from the shop, 4 or 5 men, wearing dark red or brown cloaks, leaped out from behind one of the shops and grabbed Lady Tamara. They tried to bind her wrists and legs and gag her, but she was struggling so much, it proved impossible for them. I tried to get a look at them, but their faces were hidden by their cowls and I never got a good view of them. I screamed for help, but everyone was too shocked to react and it happened so suddenly. The kidnappers rushed off with Lady Tamara as she screamed and struggled to free herself. I followed as closely as I could, but they were so fast. They headed south in the market and turned down an alley, where I lost sight of them. When I reached the alley, I didnít know where they had gone. I wish I could be of more help, but this is all I know. Who would want to do this to such a sweet person?"
After listening to Lady Aureliaís story, the heroes, concerned for her safety, volunteered to protect her for the time being. Not satisfied with telling her story, Lady Aurelia offered to show the party where the kidnappers had grabbed Lady Tamara and where she lost sight of them. Wishing to see how the investigation was proceeding, the party decided to visit Regent Grant, the ruler of Leukish while the Duke was absent. When HHH informed Lady Aurelia of the partyís intention, she told him to go speak to Lord Bearagone who was in charge of the investigation. Before they left, Ebreck and Pennyweight volunteered to stay behind to ensure Lady Aureliaís safety. The rest of the party proceeded to call upon Regent Grant and Lord Bearagone at the Dukeís palace.
As the party entered Regent Grantís chamber, HHH discretely detected for evil in the chamber while Nuria detected for magic. No evil was found, but the Regentís armor, weapons, and equipment radiated magic. "I am glad you are here. Thus far, nothing conclusive has come from the investigation. This is the first high profile kidnapping that has happened in the Dukedom in a very long time. There have been no other attempts on anyone else, so we have no other leads. Considering the Duke has two older sons, we assumed that they would have been the first targets for kidnapping. After Lady Tamara was abducted, we expected a ransom, but we have received no word. At this time, I have no other information or suggestions to help you." As the interview progressed, the party was informed of the major sites and organized groups found in Leukish: the Churches of Kord, Pelor, St. Cuthbert, and Hextor, as well as bands of thieves and assassins that operate in the area. The Ducal family members are followers of St. Cuthbert.
To gather more clues, the heroes searched Lady Tamaraís room. The room itself was a very well-maintained and posh affair, with a large four poster bed and a small desk by the window. While searching the desk, Xanaphia found a hidden drawer built into the desk. When opened, the hidden drawer revealed a set of adventurerís gear inside. Nothing else of import was found, so the party returned to the Inn of the Whispering Ghost.
When the players entered their rooms, 6 bags, each with the name of one of the adventurers, were found waiting for them on their beds. Each bag contained 3 potions of Cure Light Wounds. Interested in the source of this gift, Nuria inquired the matron of the inn. She informed her that a messenger, bearing the emblem of the Duke, had arrived bearing the bags for the adventurers. The matron had recognized the messenger immediately as one of the retainers of the Duke. The heroes retired to their rooms to rest.
As dawn broke, the heroes called upon Lord Bearagone. John the urchin, who had been waiting outside the inn to serve the heroes, guided them to Lord Bearagoneís estate. Still weary of an attempt on Lady Aurelia, Ebreck and Pennyweight decided to safeguard her again until she could show them the kidnapping site. The rest of the part arrived at Lord Bearagone and were ushered into his company.
Lord Bearagone greeted the heroes in a cool manner and seemed very suspicious of their presence. When asked about the investigation, Lord Bearagone answered succinctly. He had many suspicions, but no hard evidence. He had heard rumors of a new cult in town, but its location was unknown. There were also rumors of demons and devils being seen within the cult. The heroes informed Lord Bearagone of their recent encounters with the cult in Greyhawk and the purpose of their quest. When he heard of their quest, Lord Bearagone seemed relieved. "It seems this kidnapping is no longer my concern. Excellent. The whole investigation was frustrating and was giving me a headache. It is good to know that someone else is handling it now. You may wish to search out an abandoned warehouse in the southeast corner of town. It is in the industrial part of town. Currently, there are guards monitoring it and noting any strange activities. There seem to be 20 to 25 people who enter and exit this warehouse for unknown reasons. The cultís activities appear to be focused in that area. I didnít want to reveal this information to you before because I didnít fully understand your purpose here, but now that I know, I hope it brings you closer to finding Lady Tamara."
The heroes left Lord Bearagoneís estate to meet with Lady Aurelia and the rest of the party. Lady Aurelia guided the party to the alley where the kidnappers and Lady Tamara disappeared. With their first solid lead, the party started its investigation. First, Nuria detected for magic while HHH detected for evil, but nothing conclusive was found. Meanwhile, Xanaphia checked for any hidden or secret doors that the kidnappers could have used to escape. The alley branched off many times and her search proved fruitless. To help track her, Ebreck presented Rhodesia with an article of Lady Tamaraís clothing to get her scent. Immediately, Rhodesia races in a southeasterly direction, headed straight for the abandoned warehouse in the industrial section. As Rhodesia approached the warehouse, she lost the trail. Knowing their next step could be very dangerous, the heroes thanked Lady Aurelia for her assistance and escorted her out of the alley.
As the midday sun shone down on the party, they prepared to infiltrate and investigate the warehouse where the cult was suspected to be based. To avoid detection and to probe the cultís defenses, Xanaphia (wildshaped into a snake) and Smoky snuck into the warehouse to do some reconnaissance. As they explored the warehouse, Xanaphia noted that the place was very dusty and seemed to be unused for years. As they continued their reconnaissance, Xanaphia noticed some floor boards were loose in the finance registration room. Getting a closer look, she noticed a hidden trap door beneath the floor boards. Noting its location, Xanaphia and Smoky kept exploring. There were no signs of any activity or people being present. After getting the lay-out of the warehouse, Xanaphia and Smoky returned to the rest of the party. The party entered the warehouse and conducted a more thorough search.
The party proceeded to search the docking bay, storage room, book room and loading bay, but found nothing important. The only thing of interest that was found were old manifests in the book room. The party moved on to the second floor. There, they noted that all the walls were demolished and the entire second floor had been crudely converted into one giant room. On the middle of the floor, a summoning pattern, similar to the one previously encountered, was drawn. Dried blood was found on the circle of the pattern. Other than the pattern, no other signs of life could be found. HHH and Agrona "desecrated" the summoning pattern with holy water before leaving.
Returning to the first floor, the party continued their exploration. As they tried to enter the registration room, they found the door to be trapped. Pennyweight tried to disarm the trap, but ended up setting it off accidentally. He felt a small prick in his hand and began to feel very light-headed and tired. Xanaphia saw the small dart embedded in Pennyweightís hand and immediately cast a spell to neutralize the poison. Recovering quickly, the party continued to explore.
In the registration room, the heroes examined the registry of visitors and noted that the last visitor had been over a year and a half ago. The party moved onto the finance registration room. Again they encountered a trapped door, but this time, Pennyweight successfully disarmed it. Then he proceeded to unlock the door so the party could continue their search. They found the old records which showed that the warehouse went bankrupt a year and a half ago, which matched the registry of visitors. After examining the contents of the room, the heroes turned their attention to the secret trap door.
Pennyweight found the hidden trap guarding the secret door and easily disarmed it. As he finished his task, he noticed some glyphs on the door, glowing very faintly. Realizing the danger hadnít passed, he quickly warned the rest of the group of this new threat. Needing to overcome the magical trap set in their way, Agrona stepped forward and called on his deity for aid. In a flash of magical energy, the glyph was dissipated harmlessly and the party prepared itself for the next challenge.
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