Gallia

Session 01
The Death of Chalkey Walker
  • The party has been staying at an inn in Nexus. Ren and Niobe are actually staying in a proper room, whereas Nanuk, K’Zir and Dani have been staying in the stables. It’s been several days (or at least long enough for the innkeeper to notice the squatters in the stables) and everyone has settled into something of a routine. Ren does his intense calisthenics regiment at dawn and dusk, Anya regularly shows up in the morning to continue her studies of Niobe, and in the evenings there is generally carousing. The half-orcs are reluctant to rise early, despite Dani’s zestful enthusiasm.

  • The morning of the 12th Day of the Warrior, Anya is studying Niobe while she eats breakfast when Niobe notices one of the other patrons hasn’t come down for breakfast. It is a rich human (Charles ‘Chalkey’ Walker) that keeps a slave (David), and is typically quite punctual. Not long after, the innkeeper goes to check on him only to find that the rich man is dead. The innkeeper is quick to blame the half-orcs, and sends for the guard. Ren goes to warn Nanuk and K’zir while Niobe (and then, Anya) quickly investigate.

    • Niobe and Anya search the room separately, but each find (essentially) the same things. But Anya Haz A Smart™ and she’s able to piece together several details that Niobe misses.

      • The dead man has a deep wound on his right arm. Anya determines that the wound was likely caused by bloodletting/bleeding (‘leeching’), though there doesn’t seem to be enough blood to explain his death.

      • There is a sleeping dog in the room that doesn’t seem to care that Niobe or Anya are looking around.

      • The slave is nowhere to be found.

      • The bars in the window are loosened. Niobe figures it’s possible (though difficult) for someone to have escaped through the window and reset the bars from the outside.

      • The rich man’s gums are blackened. Anya knows that this is associated with wealth (since they get their water delivered through pipes).

      • There is a small chest (probably full of coin) in the wardrobe along with fine clothes.

    • Anya sends Aurora to the South Seas Trading Company (SSTC) to see if they have a file on Charles. She gets a little more information from them:

      • He’s based out of New City.

      • Had a contract with SSTC, but called it off two days ago. Anya asks the innkeeper if he had any visitors around then, and is told that a big guy with red hair came to talk to him. Anya recalls that the red headed man has been linked to Empire 88 from her knowledge gathered by living in Nexus, but she doesn’t mention it to the group as she doesn’t realize it’s relevant at the time.

    • Nanuk, K’Zir and Dani also search the room where Charles was killed. Only additional thing of note is that K’zir picks the lock on the small chest and pockets a bunch of guinea and shillings, putting them into a sack.

  • When the guard (led by a heavily armored dwarf) arrive, Nanuk and K’zir immediately make a break for their boat at the docks. The guards pursue; Nanuk beats it through the back gate, while K’zir discretely dumps the sack and climbs the wall. The half-orcs lose them in the fish market near the docks, by overturning a cart and dropping a load of ball-bearings. They get to the boat and head out into the trade strait until the heat dies down. Nanuk catches a load of mackerel.

  • Back at the inn, Dani, Ren, Anya and Niobe are (mostly) able to convince the guard that the half-orcs weren’t responsible. The prime suspect becomes the missing slave, and Ren decides that it’s time to find a new inn. Dani identifies tracks below the rich man’s room starting at the window with loose bars and leading to the street. The remaining members of the group head to the docks to try to track down the orcs.

  • The group eventually reconnects near sundown, with the orcs returning from their “fishing trip” shortly before the rest of the group gives up searching for them. After a lengthy discussion, with Anya recommending an inn (and K’zir and Nanuk making their way back to the original inn to successfully retrieve the sack of coins) they begin to make their way back into the city proper to find it. But along the way they are confronted by a gang of humans affiliated with Empire 88, a human-supremacist group that considers the docks “their territory.” The gang consisted of a chain-mail wearing ring-leader and seven other thugs. A fight ensued after racial taunts were thrown at Ren specifically.

  • Notable aspects of the fight: The gang formed an ambush formation. K’zir managed to sneak behind the main group, surprising them. Niobe had some extremely surprising magic surges. Ren had some kind of cool protection feat. Dani is good with arrows, while Nanuk is good with an axe (initially thinking it was unfair to engage with weapons). Anya cast magic missile. Ren and Dani were able to use their healing abilities. This display of physicality, back-stabbery and strange magical power was not good for the morale of the E88 gang. Four attempted to flee; three were dispatched (including one charged down by Bacon). Much of this seems to provide a good sense of the M.O. of each member.

  • With the remaining thug fleeing, Anya turned invisible and gave chase.

  • The rest of the group cleaned up the mess:

    • K’zir looted the various corpses.

      • Found several coins, some mundane weapons and armor, and a note. He handed the note to Ren and divided the gold. He also found a gold medallion bearing the E88 logo and gives it to Nanuk. The gold coins are actually guineas, apparently mostly used by the nobility.

    • Nanuk dumps bodies into the river.

  • Meanwhile, Anya chased after the thug (which most of the party currently know little about).

  • The party found an inn near the docks with a dwarf innkeeper after the curfew warning sounded.

  • Anya returned, looking white as a sheet. Empire 88 is on the hunt for us! K’zir suggested we all just hide out on the roof, but it was pointed out the roof is too steep.

  • Anya—being the only Nexan citizen—offered the group to stay at her apartment. The party successfully snuk through the dock areas.

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Session 02
The Wrath of Clover
  • Once back in Anya’s apartment Niobe asks Anya what happened and where she ran off to. Anya fills them in.

    • After one of the thugs decides to run away, Anya takes advantage of being invisible and follows him. He runs around a few alleys and after making sure that no one was (visibly) following him, he takes a minute to catch his breath. He decides that his safest option was to go to his leader (who turns out to be Psycho) and inform him of what had just happened. He goes into a pub to get a drink to calm his nerves when the bells ring out signalling the start of the curfew. He downs his beer and heads off to the E88 hideout.

    • At the building, he knocks on the door in a specific pattern. A window/shutter? opens and the thug shows a tattoo (the E88 one) on his arm and enters as the door opens. Displaying a rare streak of common sense, Anya decides to not slip in behind him and instead finds a little nook for herself and sends Aurora (also invisible) to perch on one of the windows and listen/look in.

    • Anya (through Aurora) sees the thug approach Psycho and tell him that the “non human out of towners” beat up their gang by the docks. Psycho is furious, calling him useless and a coward for running away from non humans and getting beaten on their turf. He rounds up another bunch of thugs to “teach them a lesson”.

    • Wanting to get her friends out of harms way, Anya sends Aurora to the last place they were (by the docks) to flap at Niobe till they follow her and lead them to her apartment, thinking that while searching for out of towners, a Nexan apartment is unlikely to be a target. Aurora returns saying that they had left the site, sending Anya into a panic. Anya then looks for the boat, and finding it still there, proceeds to make a list of all the places in Nexus that the rest of the party know about. She realises that the Inn she recommended was a likely place and rushes there to meet up with them.  

  • After spending an uncomfortable night crammed into Anya’s “sizeable for a gnome but tiny for 6 people + 2 large animals” apartment, the group decides to get rooms at a nearby inn. Anya suggests three inns that are close to her apartment: Three Goats Heads, Silver Lion, Black Griffin. The group chooses the Black Griffin.

  • Group decides to look into “Chalky’s” death, to see if there was something more to the threat he received from E88, and learn more about E88 in the process.

    • First pass is Anya asking around at work. (Did they have anything by way of paperwork regarding his contract with SSTC? I don’t really recall the details of what little she found here.) Anya hears a rumor that “the leader” of E88 has been known to use magic. Reports her findings back to the group at lunchtime.

    • The group splits up a bit to find out more info during the afternoon.

      • Niobe, Ren and Dani “ask around” and get some info about E88. Started a couple of years ago and went on to absorb a number of smaller pro-human groups. Rumors of the leader using magic are confirmed. E88 is willing to be extremely violent (one of the gangs that refused to join under their banner had their leader impaled on a spike). By and large the senate doesn’t care enough about E88’s activities to take action. This is due to a combination of a fair degree of pro-human sentiment amongst some of the senators (though not as extreme), and the idea that as long as E88 keeps to their slums then it’s not their problem. E88’s primary turf is around the docks, but they’ve been moving into the slums of late. They have no specific rivalries with other gangs (though there is friction between them and gangs that are more inclusive).

      • K’zir and Nanuk go across the trade strait to check in with one of K’zir’s contacts. There they learn that E88’s activities include pretty standard stuff for a gang (protection rackets, brothels, etc) as well as some legitimate businesses (food stalls). K’zir also learns that the leader of the gang is not Psycho. The leader of E88 is someone by the name of Clover.

    • Upon getting back together, the group decides to follow Anya’s lead about Chalky’s paperwork, and opt to check if his remains were taken to one of the shines near to the inn he was staying in. They manage to confirm that his remains are currently residing at a small shrine to Anubis not far from the inn where he was killed. K’zir suggests sneaking in after hours, but since he wouldn’t know what he was looking for, Anya opts to accompany him using invisibly.

      • Inside the shrine of Anubis, K’zir and Anya avoid being noticed by the shrinekeeper and his apprentice (they’re too busy discussing the finer points of why indulging in holy sausage shows their devotion to Anubis). They find several things of note.

        • In the storage room they find Chalkey’s personal effects. There are several papers (Anya leafs through and picks out out noteworthy ones), his personal belongings (including some gold rings and fine clothing), as well as several crates of trade goods (silks). K’zir finds a false bottom in one of the crates. Inside he finds a small bag of a what will later be identified as peppercorns. (K’zir, not knowing what they are, figure they might be valuable simply by virtue of being hidden away and takes them.)

        • In the embalming room they find several bodies (including Chalkey’s). One of the bodies has an E88 tattoo. K’zir finds an embalmed heart, and horrifies Anya by taking a bite of it.

      • Meanwhile, the rest of the group finds a nearby tavern to kill time. Niobe talks her way on stage and performs, closing with a stirring rendition of “Brave Sir Danny.” Nanuk, drunk, follows with a few stanzas of an orcish epic poem before being convinced to get off stage by the proprietor.

  • On the way back to the Black Griffin, the group is once again accosted by Empire-88.

    • The E88 thugs are led by a man whose hand has been replaced by a blade, and they put up a decent enough fight. For the lack of a better name, he was referred to as “Stabby.”

    • K’zir isn't able to sneak around the attackers this time, but otherwise the first few rounds of the fight go as one would normally expect. The only real surprise (at first) is the appearance of a dog/wolf that looks as if it was covered in knives. (The group discovered later that it was literally just a dog/wolf covered in knives.)

    • Things take a strange turn when Dani sends Bacon around to flank the thugs. He runs down an alley, turns a corner, then sees something that causes him to panic and he comes running back. He immediately tries to get Dani to run. Curious, Anya sends Aurora down the alley to check it out. Aurora gets caught in conjured vines. Detect magic reveals a person bathed in a “silver-y” aura. The only telepathic message Aurora is able to get back to Anya is “run” before being crushed to death by the vines.

    • The group manages to rout the thugs, which forces Stabby to retreat. K’zir and Nanuk give chase. Anya tells Niobe that there is a wizard around the corner — probably Clover — and the two have very different reactions. Anya wants to move around and flank Clover, while Niobe thinks perhaps it’s best if they fetch the orcs and retreat. Unfortunately the discussion is moot, because the wizard emerges from the alley and casts Ice Storm — dropping Ren and (seemingly) killing Anya outright. Niobe is panicked by the wizard’s appearance. Dani heals Ren, then Bacon picks up Anya, and the group runs as Clover continues to sling spells (hitting Niobe with a cloud of daggers).

    • Meanwhile, Nanuk and K’zir are chasing down Stabby when they hear the ice storm followed shortly by Niobe shouting for help. Stabby escapes, and Dani comes bolting around the corner with Bacon telling them to run. The group flees the scene and meets up back at the inn…

  • The good news is that Clover was trying to subdue, not kill — so Anya regains consciousness shortly after the fight. Ren and Dani try to explain what happened to Nanuk and K’zir while Anya and Niobe sit by the fire, shell-shocked. After about an hour and a half, a pair of heavily armored dwarves enter the hall. Anya recognizes them as senate guards. They are followed by a herald that announces to the group that their presence is requested at a meeting with the Consul, head of the Nexan state. Ren handles the negotiations, and (in something of a shrewd power-play) tells the herald to inform the Consul that they will meet with him at the opening of business the next morning, after his companions have slept and showered. Ren then instructs the rest of the group to go to sleep, and to be washed and ready at dawn the next morning.

  • The following morning the group goes to meet with the Consul…
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Session 03
Diplomatic Incidents
  • Ren, Niobe and Dani go to meet with the Akran “cultural attache” (a weathered old dragonborn with a scar on his right cheek, notable for being light blue). Gives Ren the go-ahead to work on the E88 problem, has an informant that might be able to help.

  • K’zir, Nanuk and Anya go to the Bloody Guard to check on the peppercorns.

    • “Retard” story goes here…

  • Ren, Niobe and Dani go to meet up with Ren’s informant.

    • Meeting with informant. Will need 3 days to get requested info on Clover.

    • Niobe also meets up with one of her contacts, a well-informed man that she calls “Georgie” (even though that’s not his real name). Chat him up while he’s trying to hire a prostitute. Basic message is “don’t fuck with Clover” — also find out that the SSTC is pushing towards worshipful status (which will get them a permanent seat in the senate).

      • During the chat they are approached by a pleasant, well dressed, and slightly exasperated Senator. Turns out the reason Georgie is knowledgeable is because he works in the Senator’s office. Once the senator sends Georgie back to work, he introduces himself to Niobe and Ren and says if they’re looking for work they should swing by his office. Niobe is surprised that he is so amicable with a Tiefling and a Dragonborn.

  • At some point Ren is watching the proceedings at the senate and the Consul has a heart attack. Ren saves him.
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Session 04
Special Envoys to the Consul
  • The session begins with Dani sneaking off in hopes of uncovering some information about Empire 88. K’zir notices him leaving, and goes to follow (knowing full well how dangerous it is to go out alone) however Dani proves quite stealthy and K’zir loses him before they make it to the Docks district. Dani manages to make it to the building that serves as (one of?) E88’s bases in the area (the same one that Anya found Psycho at in in the first session). Unfortunately, Bacon is not quite as stealthy as Dani and Dani is soon captured by E88. Bacon, however, is able to escape.

  • Flash forward to the next day. Ren and Niobe go to meet up with the Captain of the guard to discuss the details of their arrangement with the Consul. Manage to talk him into giving them some discretionary funds (to hire mercenaries, since they’re the ones putting themselves on the line for a Nexan issue). Are also able to procure some equipment (including some barding that Niobe plans to have a leatherworker alter for Bacon).

    • In general, Ren and Niobe have the upper hand in the meeting with the Captain of the guard (evidenced by, amongst other things, his discomfort in his formal robes that he clearly rushed to put on upon their arrival). The prefect of the Night Watch is also in attendance.

    • The quartermaster is substantially less impressed by them, but provides the agreed upon provisions (grumbling all the while).

  • While they were out, Nanuk has gone off to catch up with one of the half-orcs that he had been talking about his homeland with. Nobody knows where Dani is. K’zir informs the group that he saw Dani sneak off the previous night, and the group sets out to find him. They get as far as the outskirts of the docks before Bacon finds them and leads them to where Dani was captured. Anya uses message to confirm that Dani is inside the E88 building, and his description suggests that he is probably in the basement. The group hatches a plan to break him out…

    • Niobe and Ren serve as a distraction. Niobe hurls stones at the door until she gets the attention of the E88 goons inside. Several E88 thugs come out and try to get rid of them (threatening Niobe in the process). Niobe turns the tables when she accuses the thug doing all the talking about hiring her “services” the previous night and then skipping out on the bill. In the context of the ruse, Ren is her pimp’s muscle sent to back her up and they’re here to collect. Given E88’s pro-human leanings, this leads to a substantial amount of confusion and disgust amongst the various thugs. Niobe manages to get them to turn their surprise on the leader enough to keep them talking for long enough that K’zir and Anya are able to sneak in…

    • …inside, K’zir and Anya find that Dani is being held in the basement in one of a number of holding cells. There are two guards keeping watch on him that they are able to easily dispatch. They free Dani and escape back out the way they came in.

  • Dani fills the group in on what happened to him. Namely that he was captured and questioned, but that he didn’t give away any crucial information. Summary of the discussion follows:

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  • Apparently E88 is looking for “the wizard” (that they assume to be “the Tiefling”). Group decides it’s probably best not to advertise that there’s more than one wizard in the party and Niobe suggests to Anya that Aurora should find alternative places to hang out than on Anya’s arm/shoulder while they’re out and about just incase any E88 people are watching them.

  • He did tell them that the group was based out of the Akran embassy — much to Niobe and Ren’s chagrin — but the group eventually concludes 1) E88 probably isn’t dumb enough to openly attack the embassy and 2) they could that to their advantage, potentially luring them into a trap. Planning ensues.

  • Dani is under the impression that E88 actually has two magic users due to some comments by one of the guards while he is imprisoned.

  • The group spends a couple of days doing prepwork and downtime. Niobe brings Dani to the leatherworker to pick up his new barding. They scope out a cheap apartment near the Akran embassy that would serve as a good ambush place, and determine that E88 might be casing the embassy but if they are they’re being smart about it and having multiple people do it. K’zir and Niobe procure fixings for some traps (including caltrops, ball bearings, and a cord of sticks suitable for making crude spears). Dani sets about turning said sticks into said spears. Ren checks in with informant that was set up via Akran ambassador (see April 30 session). Anya goes into the office and checks in with (Robert).  Collectively, the group learns a few things:

    • “Stabby” is actually a senator and is running for the freshly vacated Consul position. He is well known to be pro-human, but his connection to E88 is not widely known. Real name is Senator Roland ‘Narsica’ Nepos

    • Clover keeps on the move, staying with different E88 people each night. Occasionally meets with Senator Narsica. Might be possible to follow him to meet up with Clover.

    • Robert is currently working on a project involving griffon claws and has apparently used up his last batch.

  • Niobe goes to check in with Senator Hanno. He is one of the other favored candidates for the position of Consul. He is polite at first, but doesn’t give her his full attention until she asks whether or not it would be helpful were it to be revealed that Senator Narsica has ties to Empire 88. This gets Senator Hanno’s full attention, and he confirms that yes — proof of their association would definitely impact Senator Narsica’s support amongst the other senators and general populace. He also offers her a job, saying that one of his estates has been terrorized by a couple of griffons. He’s offering a cash reward for proof that they’ve been dealt with (10 pounds per flight feather).

  • K’zir and Anya sneak into Senator Narsica estate. Anya checks the library, K’zir checks the office. Anya goes in invisible, while K’zir convinces the private guards that he’s there to fix a plumbing issue. They point him to the septic system, where he promptly creates a distraction by breaking it further, then sneaks off into the house.

    • K’zir finds a couple of nice candle-holders with a maker’s mark that he pockets, a signet ring, and a number of papers that seem to be a bunch of random numbers. Once he takes everything of note, he sets fire to the place.

    • At first, Anya doesn’t find anything of note in the library (the senator has a great many books on a great many topics). But when K’zir starts the fire and the alarm is sounded, Anya catches the servant that tends to the library glance nervously a a few very specific books. She dumps them into her bag, and escapes.

  • Later, Anya surmises that the letters are coded and that the books are likely the key to the cipher. She starts to work on decoding the books.

  • Meanwhile, K’zir wants to make his way south to meet up with his friend, the fence, to see if he can get any info on the candlesticks (and maybe pawn them off). Niobe convinces him to let her go with him. They get some gold for one of the two candlesticks (opting to keep the other so Anya can see if it’s magic) but get little information of note (though they identify the maker’s mark.) K’zir also informs Niobe that he found the signet ring, and she asks him if she can hold onto it.

We end with people calling it a night as Anya works on deciphering the coded messages…

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Session 05
When Griffins Attack
  • The session began with Anya revealing that she had decoded the letters.

    • E88 letter: E88 know about illegal peppercorn trade by unknown faction, members told to patrol and keep an eye out and not to involve HSSTC just yet. Also beat up non humans.

    • Uber long letter from Narsica: Narsica’s thoughts on the consular election and opinions on various candidates. Also contains details of legal case about collusive sale of a property. References to H (Hermae?) possibilly mentioned in another letter.

    • Letter to friend informing him of the death of his grandmother: Talks about rebellious feelings in Ismuthian towns. Refers to statues that have been received. Narsica has been unsuccessful in pacifying his “friend” and has betrothed his daughter to John Jones Winterburn.

    • Letter to his son on Molokai: Mentions that he eagerly awaits the Megaric statues and the Hermae and asks for some writings of the philosopher Kalo for his friend “T”.

  • Nanuk returned shortly thereafter, having been on a bender with some of his fellow half-orcs. He had gone out with the intention of finding out if it was okay for him to go back home yet. (“Not yet. Soon.” He hoped.) Niobe wasn’t too stoked about that, and so when the group was discussing how they would proceed with the knowledge gleaned from the letters she proposed an alternative: they could take a day to go deal with Senator Hanno’s griffin problem.

    • She pitched it to Ren by pointing out it could gain them a bit of political favor with someone who may very well be Consul soon.

    • The pitch to K’zir only required mentioning that Hanno would be paying them for the return of flight feathers.

    • Nanuk was thrilled with the idea of being able to lead a griffin hunt. He was never allowed to lead big hunts like that back home.

    • Dani was no doubt very excited, but by way of punishment for wandering off on his own and getting captured he was told he had to remain in the city.

  • Ren buys some horse meat to use as bait, Nanuk collects the spears Dani whittled the night before, then the group set off for Hanno’s estate later in the morning. They arrive early in the evening, shortly before sundown.

    • Niobe and Ren were surprised by the style of farming as they made their way out of the city.

    • The estate itself was home to a small village of a half dozen homes (or so), as well as a common house. There were a couple dozen villagers total, several of which were understandably surprised when a dragonborn, a tiefling, two half orcs and a gnome wandered into their common house. (And relieved when Ren informed them that the group was here on Hanno’s request.)

    • The group got some information about the griffins:

      • They had lived up in the mountains, but recently moved down to the foothills and started hassling the estate.

      • Initially they preyed on the village’s horses, prompting the villagers to bring the horses into the village at night. This led the griffins to start turning to livestock.

      • The griffins tend to hunt at dawn.

      • There are four griffins total. One male, three female. There are suspicions of a nest nearby, but the villagers have not yet been able to find it.

    • The group hatches a plan to set an ambush for the griffins. K’zir is going to use some rope to set up a big snare, Nanuk uses the rest of it to turn the spears into harpoons, and the group will find an appropriate place to lay in wait for an ambush at dawn, then get a little rest. Things don’t exactly according to plan.

      • Ren convinces the villagers to help find an appropriate site, but it starts to rain. The rain and chilly weather make for a miserable start to the night.

        • Sensing the group’s flagging morale as the night goes on, Niobe makes a concentrated effort to improve their spirits. This culminates in a mudfight with Nanuk. Niobe has the upper hand until Nanuk eventually just tackles her to the ground. And then, out of nowhere, Anya joins the fight and uses magic to deliver decisive blows to Nanuk and Niobe. They unanimously agree that Anya is the winner.

      • K’zir spends a substantial amount of time prepping the snare, but accidentally springs it on himself, spraining his ankle in the process. As a result, he has to spend a couple hours resetting it. The group thus has to spend the night out in the rain, or else they might miss their opportunity to ambush the griffins. Thankfully, the rain dies down before dawn.

  • The griffins arrive shortly after dawn, drawn by the horsemeat bait. K’zir’s snare works perfectly, trapping one griffin against a tree. The other three griffins attack! The fight is relatively short. Ren and K’zir get roughed up a bit. But the group manages to kill three of the four griffins. The fourth escapes, and Niobe watches it disappear into the foothills.

    • After the fight, Anya collects griffin claws for her colleague Robert (8 per griffin)

    • Ren collects the flight control feathers for Hanno (2 per griffin)

    • Nanuk arranges the griffin corpses in an orcish show of respect (“they fought well, deserve to face the sun.”)

    • Ren also heals K’zir’s sprained ankle.

    • Niobe convinces the group to go on a hunt for the fourth griffin, insisting that she saw where it went and that they wouldn’t need Dani. (At this point, the group was regretting leaving Dani — their ranger — in Nexus.)

  • Collectively, the group goes to inform the village of what happened (so they can go collect the griffins, if needed). Then go on to hunt the remaining griffin. It goes poorly. Niobe watched it disappear into the foothills, but she quickly learns how hard it is to navigate when you only saw it from very far away. After several hours, the group is near to giving up.

    • At which point, Niobe remarks how much it sucks that Qimu is so useless. Otherwise, they could’ve just used him to track down the griffins. Nanuk agrees, lamenting Qimu’s uselessness. Qimu then runs off to collective groans, since now the group has to chase him down too.

    • But surprisingly, Qimu leads them right to the griffin’s nest! They put down the remaining griffin and are surprised to find six in-tact griffin eggs. They claim them as part of their prize, and bring them back to the village — where they inform the villagers of their success.

  • That night, the group celebrates their victory with the villagers. Much crappy beer is had, the weather clears up, and Niobe improvises a poignant song, imploring people to “just be wherever you are.” (Between being able to lead a griffin hunt, the celebrating with his new friends, and Niobe’s song + other efforts lead Nanuk to — for the first time — consider that not going home is even an option…)

  • The group travels back to Nexus with the griffin eggs. Niobe and Anya volunteer to help keep them warm in the cart. Upon arrival to Nexus, the group goes about settling up their various griffin-related arrangements.

    • They leave Dani in charge of watching the griffin eggs while they do so.

    • The group ask around about Senator Hanno, find out that he’s at the chariot races. The group opts to go to the races.

      • Anya, K’zir and Nanuk join the general audience. Anya can actually see! (Mostly because she’s on Nanuk’s shoulders.) Nanuk tries to bet on the race with a nearby spectator, but he doesn’t bite. Attempts to prod him into a conflict also, sadly, fail.

      • Niobe talks her and Ren into the reserves seating for senators and dignitaries, even going so far to present “official documentation” of their political arrangement with the consul. Once they’re inside, Ren looks at the note, then remarks that all it says is “I can do what I want” and that Niobe signed his name at the bottom. Niobe just smirks, and the two find Hanno. He is surprised to see them, but they continue to make a decent impression, and arrange a meeting at his office later to settle up the griffin debt.

    • Anya delivers the griffin claws to Robert.
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Session 06
The Slave of Chalkey Walker
  • While delivering the griffin claws, Anya is called in to interrogate a man who was caught trying to steal from the SSTC warehouse. Anya finds out the following:

    • He is a member of the Reds and it was “Shadow’s idea” to break in.

    • He was to give the stolen goods to Lily (the red haired girl) who then gives it to “the white haired dude”.

    • He probably doesn’t like Clover very much.

  • The group go to the Charlton family house to trade the griffin eggs for much monies and a field trip to the griffin ranch 3 weeks hence. Nanuk and K’zir were disappointed at the lack of a griffin mount.

  • The group then used Anya’s information to go into the Reds territory in the northern slums where Nanuk draws attention for being a giant half-orc wearing an E88 medallion. K’zir uses this opportunity to talk to the guy (who is rather clueless) and convinces him to take the party to a more senior member who might be willing to trade in some peppercorns.

  • The clueless guy (named Danny) takes the group to a 3 storey apartment block where K’zir (and Nanuk) negotiated a deal for 5 bags of peppercorns the next week after giving a bag as a sample. Anya listens in while invisible and getting rather confused as to where the peppercorns were going to come from.

  • While the deal is being negotiated, Dani, Niobe and Ren run into David (Chalky Walker’s slave). Dani frightens him into giving the following information:

    • Chalky Walker met with a doctor (Huddleston) on the morning of his death complaining of fever and breathing troubles.

    • He met with buyers in the afternoon.

    • David confirmed that Psycho (of E88) had threatened Chalky Walker a few days earlier, but CW did not seem concerned.

  • Niobe takes David into a bar to buy him a drink and calm him down while Dani guarded the door and Ren waited for K’zir and the rest to arrive. Niobe also finds out that Chalky Walker had dealings of the unofficial kind in Honey Island, which is when he decided to break off his contract with the SSTC.

  • The next day, the group decide to follow up on the Honey Island lead. Anya goes into the SSTC offices to hire the group as bodyguards in following up on the illegal peppercorn trade. She is given £10 per person and £250 for incidentals.

  • The group set sail to Honey Island while the wind is very much against them. After a day of rowing, the group sets up camp by the shore. Giant spiders and entecaps attach the camp early next morning.
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Session 07
The Temple of the Winged Scarab
  • Day 26: Arrival on honey Island by way of Grand Harbor as the sun is making it’s way down (around 6pm).

    • Note on the way in that there is a big fortress that is in decent repair (compared to e.g. Nexus’s northern walls). It is equipped with scorpio(n)s and catapults. But Ren notes the fortifications, while modern, haven’t been maintained for roughly a decade.

    • Grand Harbor itself was clearly once richer than it is now, and its growth seems to have stagnated.

    • Local SSTC branch closed down by the Grandmaster of the Winged Scarab for “irregularities” a few months ago. Grandmaster has been in his position for roughly 2 years.

    • We find out that nobody can go to the pyramid — it’s been closed to anyone that is not in the order.

    • During exploration of the market region, Nanuk notes that he’s being followed by a beggar. When confronted, the beggar reveals that he (as well as other beggars) are paid to follow new arrivals from the docs and tell a man in a place called “the grotto” about movements, business, and so on. The man has brown hair and sunken eyes.

    • After some convincing the beggar agrees to take us to the grotto, wherein we meet the brown haired man and negotiate a deal — he tells us about the spice trade if we find out why the pyramid has been shut off. We also get a general description of people involved in the spice trade (namely independent traders travelling under other legitimate pretenses — e.g. Chalkey)

  • Day 27: Travel to Pyramid at dawn posing as pilgrims from a faraway land. Niobe does most of the talking (though the half-orcs howl in a manner they think means “reverence” and Anya babbles). Niobe shocks Dani with her convincing play at piety as she claims that “Father Daniels” from her homeland — a place the order of the winged scarab had been displaced from — told her to come here. She manages to get them all the way past the gates up to the shine, and convinces the paladins to bring down a cleric to bless their offering (a heap of money).

    • Meanwhile, Anya casts Comprehend Languages and deciphers hieroglyphics on the wall as a means of strengthening their deception (if required). But what she actually manages to do is hear some sounds coming from the pyramid. After a bit of effort, she finds out that they’re groaning sounds in a strange language saying “Traitor!” and “Deceiver!” .

    • Niobe tries to convince them to let them speak to the grandmaster but can only manage to get them to admit to the Grandmaster being in Gove’s Bay.

  • Head to Gove’s Bay

    • Check out the SSTC branch there, which is still open. Anya gets copies of records, but Ren is relatively convinced the head of the branch is being honest with them when he says that there’s not illicit spice operation.

    • Also run into an old friend of K’zir, so we have lunch at the Bear and Ragged Staff. There the group learns that K’zir and Nanuk’s dad (step-dad) died, and that it was (probably) them that did so. Learn a little bit of backstory (dad tried to kill K’zir by sabotaging his coming-of-age fight). But Nanuk is also excited to find out that he’s able to go home!

    • Then we meet with the Grandmaster (who is “not feeling well”), get in by revealing that we know what’s going on with the temple. Then we barter an agreement — we’ll take care of the pyramid nonsense in exchange for gold + information (which will be discussed over dinner upon our return).

  • Day 28: Back to the Pyramid… DUNGEON BEGINS!

    • The party camp in the woods near the pyramid and it is dark by the time we head out to the Pyramid. There is an aurora (of the non owl kind) in the sky. Nanuk fears that is a bad omen, especially as the fires lit around the Pyramid might attract the evil spirits.

    • The paladins at the Pyramid have been informed of the arrival of the party to clear out the undead in the Pyramid. They also refuse to join the party in the mission.

    • Before opening the double doors, K’zir places ball-bearings just outside the doors. Anya and Dani position themselves on top of the walls while the rest brace themselves for battle. Mummies (because of course) spill out as soon as the doors open, and are defeated largely thanks to the ball bearings. The party continues inside and the paladins close the door behind us.

    • Inside there is a room with the walls covered in hieroglyphics. Anya casts comprehend language and realises that some of the words seem out of place. Further inspection of these words have rooms or traps behind them.

    • One of the hieroglyphs opens a trapdoor that showers rocks onto K’zir’s head. Dani is thrown up the trapdoor to investigate. It leads to a room with the coffins of the Order of the Winged Scarab. At the centre of the room, there is a large metallic bowl. The coffins appear to be magical and warm to the touch. At Anya’s insistence Nanuk opens one of the coffins which promptly explodes. Nanuk is thrown back and Anya is knocked unconscious. When the dust settles, the coffin has repaired and resealed itself, and is now cooler. The idea of repeating this until the resealing magic runs out is quickly abandoned.

    • Another hieroglyph reveals a spiral staircase that goes downstairs. In the room underneath, there are more hieroglyphs. One of out of place glyphs “knowledge” causes the wall to move down, revealing a room infested with nothics.

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