Perfectly Legitimate Adventuring Party

Oh what adventures we had

Catching up on months of slackness

Animals Escaping

After spending a night in the watch house, the party went to work with the crew that had had food poisoning at the Squatting Dragon Inn, some of whom are back on deck. While working among them and trying to gather what information we could, we found a cage of giant spiders that had popped open – it appears the lock had been tampered with. In even more disgusting news, a giant leech had got loose in the hold, and slimed through the bars of a dire wolf’s cage, killing it.

This left our noble party rather baffled. Who else could benefit from the interruption of animal supply? What about the Grand Bestiary?

We then went to meet with Fizzleton Gummidge – dean of the Grand Bestiary: a strange little fellow, clearly obsessed with the magic and the creatures. We also spoke with his administrative aid.

Fascinated by the creatures on offer, Mel ordered her very own pet – a spider squirrel.

We learned through our questioning of Fizzleton that the college’s breeding doesn’t happen on Northport – there isn’t the space, and they have to ship things in from their breeding grounds offshore to the east. It also became evident that they weren’t prepared for the loss of imports – they had already sold all their animals on existing contracts at the normal price, so are suffering (along with everyone else) from the interruption in supply.

At this point, our party were thoroughly baffled: the tengu hadn’t been hit so far (except in a riot, in which we saved them from any harm), but the attacks themselves aren’t tengu style… and such a pattern of attacks would hardly benefit them if everyone was going to blame them anyway.

Follow the animals

Argenias Lat – who has an office in the business district, also has a holding warehouse in the docks for the half-sea. It seems he was the recipient of the tengu-unloaded shipment, and appears on the Magical Bestiary’s list of contracts. Some of our party set off to enquire of Lady Elamnea as to who has been on the customer manifests for the ships that had accidents, a process that would take at least half a day to complete.

While waiting for the results of that search, our party set up a stakeout of Lat’s warehouse. While waiting there, we encountered the unwanted attentions of Harold Scransonson – a sailor from The Hippogriff. Sadly, not only were his attentions unwarranted, but so was the stuff he put in our tankards: dark reaver powder, an expensive poison which must have come from the dragon isles.

The stakeout was not entirely fruitless, however: we discovered that Lat’s warehouse was still very full, albeit slightly less full than it had been recently.

The results from Lady Elamnea’s records certainly implicated Lat in the recent “accidents”: everything that Argenias Lat has imported has been handled by the tengu; so all losses so far were sustained only by his competitors.

We learned that Lat is from the mainland, the second son of a duke, with a reputation as a shady dealer: possible minor frauds, and with other side businesses, but mainly in the animal trade now. He is the get-rich-quick type, and has often been in trouble for failed schemes… and while we were at Lady Elamnea’s waiting for assistance to raid his offices, a messenger arrived to tell us that Lat had skipped town.

We investigated his office, and found it empty: indeed, it looks like it had been cleared out in a hurry. Nothing valuable remained; accounts had all gone, but various bills were left lying around, from which we found that Lat had borrowed money to order lots of animals and pay contracts, but only arranged to sell once the price went up.

With this compelling evidence, Lady Elamnea acknowledged that we had done what she hired us to do.

At this point, my notes are a little moth-eaten, but I believe Lat either had been, or had hired, a failed student from a magical college with a shape-changing ability – it is likely that was the individual responsible for arranging the accidents on the docks.

Extreme Librarian

Disappointed after the escape of Argenias Lat, we met with Wenton to pick up Melisande’s spider squirrel, whom she named Abigail.

Perhaps due to our growing reputation (although a reputation for what, we have yet to discover), Wenton said that he had a job for us: to find a book which they’d sent to a bookbinder… that happened to end up under the dropping inn.

We therefore ventured into the undercity, where we encountered some scavengers. Cog told them we were looking for a book, and promptly offered them 20gp if they found it for us… which of course meant they set up an ambush for us, because why work for 20gp if they can just roll us for it instead?

We encountered a spider swarm (which had a nibble on Maul), then the scavengers caught up with us. After utterly failing to intimidate them with a scowl (thanks to interference from the spider squirrel), Mel was much more successful at intimidation with a critical hit from a bastard sword… cleanly removing the head of the GamerGater leading the bunch. The fedora went spinning down the alleyway, without so much as an offer to play devil’s advocate.

Shortly afterwards, we found the site of the collapsed inn, dug through it, and found nothing but centipedes (“ouch”, says Almaz). We then met some thug-types representing Mistress Ann, who insisted we be blindfolded before being taken to see her.

Battle of the Undercity

After being led to an unknown location, we met Mistress Ann, who informed us that she had a problem with a “competitor” – in this case, a priest of Zon-Kuthon – who has been killing her scavengers.

Tempting as it was to leap into a battle sickened and unprepared, we decided to return to the upper city to recover from centipede attacks (“ouch”, says Almaz) and do some research. We chatted with Skerrikrakk about Mistress Ann and the Cultists. He told us Mistress Ann is well-known, hard in “business” but legitimate; the Cultists, he said are known of, but not much detail, and warned us to look out for them “especiaily at night". In order to do some further research, Mel & Al schmoozed our way into the Academy library. There, we discovered that this cult is quite likely to be involved with the undead, so we got ourselves prepared with some holy water (exactly how this holy water was to be carried and weaponised, we’ll leave to Cog to elaborate).

We spent one more night to finish healing (“urgh”, says Almaz), then made our way back to the undercity. We staked out the target location, saw one shady character wander out, with a sword, and head off as if on an errand; then another person came out and dumped a bunch of rubbish… which turned out to be mostly well-gnawed bones.

What follows is something of a blur of seriously shady characters (geddit?!)… but the battle was ours, and with it the spoils (ew) and the reward and respect of Mistress Ann.

On returning to the upper city, Al started work on four batches of small centipede poison, which will be done after 2.5 weeks of available time in the city.

Goblin Island

We were enjoying a drink at The Generic Tavern*, when a disreputable sort attempted entry, insisting he needs to talk to us. Alfonso (the disreputable sort) said he needed help to rescue his friend, and told us a tale: they were on a boat which wrecked on an island, an island with lots of goblins. While Alfonso managed to get away, poor Roderick was stranded. He told us Roderick needs rescuing (“wescue Wodewick!”). But it was … several years ago?

Not to be daunted by lousy odds of success, and a source of questionable reliability, we chartered a boat to Goblin Island. This was a fruitful journey, resulting in nasty seasickness, a lost grappling hook, and a gnome flung into a thorn bush. Nevertheless, we landed.

We found signs of habitation on the island, shanties etc. It seems things wash up on the island, so there’s a bit of salvage, flotsam and jetsam. There were at least a couple of dozen goblins on the island, and Almaz got a goblin arrow in her before we were able to persuade the goblins that “we come in peace”. A goblin then met us, and despite some significant language barrier, we established that there is a “tower” the goblins avoid, because there are “chickens” in the tower. As if on cue, we heard a distant howling from the tower.

Chickens, huh? Try three cockatrices. Perhaps through more good luck than good management, we killed the cockatrices, then opened the basement of the tower from where we could still hear the howling. But the howling turned into a more excited sound when we opened the trapdoor. On investigation, we found a box and a shield in the basement: we carried the box out, opened it, and found that it contained a sword, a pouch, and a cloak; only the sword was magic: a sword, possessed by the dog Roderick. Yes, you read that right: a dog. On reflection, that character at the Tavern had not told us his friend was human. Well, that’s what happens when you make an assumption: you make an “ass” out of “u” and “mption”.

Sadly, having relieved them of the burden of the cockatrices, the goblins were total fuckers about the possibility of us leaving the island, and had put a hole in our boat while we were away. Necessity (and being pissed off) are the mother[“f***er”]s of invention, so Al used ray of frost repeatedly to keep the hole frozen over and make the boat usable; unfortunately, in our attempts at a hasty getaway, Maul fell into the water so often that she lost her axe. We returned to Northport and Alfonso and Roderick were both delighted by their reunion. Sadly, Alfonso was by now too old to keep and care for the sword, so Mel very happily adopted Roderick (we await random cries of “squirrel-spider!”).

Finally back in a safe place, we rested, and Al’s centipede poison now only needs 1.5 weeks to brew. And speaking of brewing developments, Al’s shit-list now includes Argenias Lat and an island full of goblins

-* For all your Tavern needs



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