Date: Winter, 1332 Avard
The team was sent through the snows to Kashin to the manor of Asari es Sauwinni to acquire 13 books and an obelisk with the extinct Althean script on it. Along the way, they found a lectionary of Xoriah.
Asari was wealthy enough to afford the employ of a druid named Undarn, who grew a khulvey tree large enough to support a house above the manor for the merchant, with a view of the city. The team scouted the area, and noted that there was a burned out ruin of a manor adjacent to Asari's manor.
After Ethana gained them access to the Libranum and its blueprints for the burned out manor, Yurok forged engineer's documents for the team. Yurok was a fair engineer in his own right; Kragma was a stone mason of considerable skill; Ethana knew quite a bit of construction; Nyssa was a student of the arcane and capable of invoking unusual rituals and abilities; and Allie was a priest with a fine knowledge of the natural world and many of its denizens – and an amazing ability to read people.
Using their forged papers and an excuse to inspect for foundational damage and complaints of the modified khulvey's roots impacting the area, the team easily enlisted the Guard. During the the team's inspection of the burned out manor's still-intact cellar, one of the Sauvia merchant brothers came to inspect. Yurok, posing as Inspector Bryan, was easily talked by Sauvia into a 100gp bribe to find fault with 'that Asari bitch'. Apparently, there was a feud of some sort, and Asari was preventing Sauvia and his brother from rebuilding with red tape and bureaucracy. Sauvia left satisfied that the city inspectors would find something in his favor, likely that the khulvey's roots were a danger.
The roots were likely not a danger, but they found a hidden door in the cellar of Sauvia and Sauvia's burned out manor. Where it led was unknown, but it's entrance was suspiciously near Asari's compound. Of interest was the mechanism being on the Asari side; the team could not get into the hidden door without breaking it down.
The team next stopped at Asari's. They had watched her long enough to know that she was in the merchant's forum bidding with two of her mercenary guards, while two mercenary guards remained at her manor. Papers and officers of the Guard did wonders to breeze the team into the manor. Most people looked at the motley team and saw something that only bureaucracy could create – a dwarf, an elf, a goliath, a half-orc, and a gnome – a motley crew that should detest one another, working together as professionals.
In the cellar of the Asari manor, they found a hidden passage that Nyssa the gnome slipped into. It lined up with the other side of the hidden passage they had found in Sauvia's cellar, but had been unable to open (the mechanism being on the wrong side). Asari had a way into Sauvia's cellar, and what was more interesting, the way in was lined with shelves – including five of the thirteen books the team had been sent for. Nyssa snatched the books while the 'inspectors' assessed hairline cracks and fractures that looked to be of some concern. She also worked the Sauvia and Sauvia side's entrance so the team could return, if they wanted.
The team managed to hide the finding of the books and the secret passage well, making use of the goliath's broad shoulders and shield to hide quite a bit as he tapped gently on the stones lining the cellar, listening for faults and problems that were not there.
Asari's seneschal, a thick set kobold with odd leggings and big ear diaphragms, was incensed at the inspectors in the manor. The kobold's name was Albek, and he seemed a distrusting sort. He had already sent a runner to ask for Asari's return as soon as possible.
Much more helpful to the team was Undarn, the Amaran druid that had grown the tree. Undarn was missing his entire left leg, from the hip down, and hobbled about with the help a crutch on that side. The Amaran sat and spoke with the inspectors for awhile, as the house guard insisted they stay until Asari returned. She did return with a fluorish, and Asari es Sauwinni al Aboris al Shemaul seemed irritated. The inspectors' papers were in order, and the Guard sergeant assigned to assist the inspectors seemed capable. Asari ensured that the inspectors had everything they needed, and then left – the kobold Albek at her side.
The winged ariel Allie overheard them speaking in the Al Fahiman tongue – and the word Althean was clearly heard by Allie's long elven ears.
DM's Notes: Sommer said she felt like it was time for thieves to steal something, and Ross mentioned that he wanted more role-play opportunities, so I mixed the two into a challenge. Brute force might work, I thought, but it was time for brains and subtlety. Things didn't progress nearly as quickly as I thought they would, and that's all for the better as it means there's plenty more to do. This means that we'll have a multipart story for the first time in this chapter of the campaign. We'll see if we can get everyone together next time, or if we have to do a 'one shot' with different characters or even with NPCs I hand the players.
Again, I have to thank Paul and Ross for agreeing to play with an eight year old at the table. Saige got bored easily, but earlier in the adventure, every time they ran across anything the DM mentioned, Saige would gleefully exclaim, “I take it!” Why? “Why not?” Saige petered out towards 10:30pm or so, but hung in there until nearly 11:00pm out of sheer stubborness. Quite a few times, Sommer's character had to babysit Saige's character, just to keep her from flying straight up to the tree house, or flying Nyssa or someone else up on top of the house in the middle of broad daylight.
Reference: Campaign IX
None to date.