Arantus

Aprantus 1, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 1

Chained, shackled, starving, and drugged into a state of total amnesia, you manage to escape from the wreckage of a burning slave wagon, with the help of a nine- or ten-year-old hobgoblin boy, known as Dog Boy, who had been abused by the other Hobgoblin slavers. Through a crack in the walls of the wreckage, you witness the slaughter, by Troll warriors, of the other slaves and the remaining injured hobgoblins. You witness the capture of the hobgoblin leader and two of his underlings by the Troll warriors and their Wyvern accomplices, the creatures that apparently wrecked the slave wagon. The Troll Commander’s words to the captured Hobgoblin leader, Finneas Jack, leave you quaking in fear: So, the Mungo tell us that you tried to hide your captives from them to avoid paying the full tithe, eh? You filthy goblinoid swine, when will you ever learn – These lands belong to The Old One of the Wood! Betray her and you have sealed your doom! And beyond the realms of The Old One, I vow to you, this entire world will one day belong to Trolls!

The three captured hobgoblins are carried off in the claws of the wyvern into the northern sky and the trolls leave the area as twilight descends. Escaping from the burning wreckage, you proceed to rescue your possessions from the fire, as well as come to the aid of the injured hobgoblin cook, Cookie. You find yourselves in a lightly wooded area dotted with rocky ledges and a ravine. You watch a crude, obnoxious smelling creature, a Troglodyte, climb out of the ravine and run away. You realize that it, too, was held captive in the wagon with you until the wyvern attack set it free. A short time later, you are attacked by six of the surviving hobgoblins, one of them a sub-commander, and defeat them in a heated battle.

You make camp for the night and rest uneventfully.

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Aprantus 2, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 2

You travel south through the woods. Agapanthus spots a trap on the forest floor. Reversing your direction, you are confronted by a pair of centaurs who address Agapanthus, demanding that you leave their territory. With the centaurs’ permission, you continue south, arriving at Ardwen’s border as delineated by The Wards. White Crane toys with the warding power, setting the warded perimeter aglow as the party travels along it. You get the attention of a group of Tower Guards who seem befuddled that you are standing outside, instead of inside, the Wards. Failing to convince you that you should enter the Kingdom, the guards leave you and return to their tower.

A little red fox approaches you and says, “I tried to warn you that you weren’t ready, but you wouldn’t listen! Come back to Mother Gerd’s cottage and rest, dear ones!”

You travel further along the outside of the border, weighing whether it is safe for Dog Boy and Cookie to cross through the Wards. Dog Boy runs through the Wards and is unharmed, followed by Cookie, and the rest of the party. You travel east, entering into northern Ardwen. You come into lightly inhabited areas, until finally you see Lake Braemore in the distance further east.

Approaching the western shores of Lake Braemore, you confront a Half-Orc boy and a Tiefling girl taunting and bullying a small Halfling boy. The boy pleads for help, telling you that his sister is in danger on the lake. You attempt a rescue of his sister who is quickly sinking into a sandbar. You are attacked by four Jet Crabs. Agapanthus falls unconscious from wounds while White Crane succumbs to unconsciousness through poison. Hypatia and Ruby Blue manage to rescue the girl and their two comrades in the knick of time.

On the way to the halfling hamlet of Silverdale near the lake, you are confronted by the father and uncle of the Half-Orc boy and their three mangy dogs. You dispatch swiftly with all five.

The two halfing children, Beka and Boko Bilkins, lead you to the home of their father, Borrie Bilkins, who is slowly turning into a straw doll due to a powerful Fey magic which he says originated from a curse that was placed on him eight years ago. He refuses to discuss the source of the curse but White Crane forces him to reveal that it was placed on him by The Old One. You ask Borrie what he knows about Mother Gerd. He says that his memories are getting too fuzzy to remember much, but he recommends going to Braemore to find a woman known as The Toothless Tiefling who might be able to tell you something about her.

Cookie and White Crane retrieve some of the dead Jet Crabs and Cookie prepares crabcakes for dinner. They go shopping in the Silverdale farmer’s market and Cookie is surprised and delighted that there are truffles for sale. Borrie Bilkins gives you a Robe of Scintillation as reward for saving Beka’s life, but asks that you return it to Beka one day when she is old enough to use it herself.

You rest the night uneventfully.

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Aprantus 3, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 3

You travel east toward Braemore, taking ferries across the Little Trout and the Chiltern rivers. Before crossing the Chiltern, you trade insults with a group of militia practicing on a muddy training field. You learn from Gabbie, an old ferryman, that the woman you are seeking, The Toothless Tiefling, is a bag lady who peddles her trinkets and baubles and often leaves town for several days at a time. At the city gates the guard tells you that she was spotted leaving town a few days ago.

You arrive at the Copper Codpiece and have a hearty lunch. You proceed to register at the Ward Marshall’s office. Ward Marshall Huxor tries to enlist you into four months of Ward Duty but you decline the offer.

You return to the tavern for the evening. A large, well-dressed woman, Madame Duffington, arrives with her attendant, Greeves, and asks, “Are there any brave men or women here?” She offers 100 GP to anyone brave enough to clean out her basement and locate an item that is needed by her husband, Lord Duffington, who is away doing research. You agree to be at her mansion tomorrow at noon and negotiate a price of 150 GP for the job.

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Aprantus 4, 1010 A.G.
Session #3 Notes

The following is according to White Crane:

After the speaking with Madame Duffington, a loud noise in the kitchen draws us in. We find a female halfling stealing black truffle custard that Cookie has been making. The halfling, Pixelator, we convince to join the group to at least pay back the cost of the food she ate.  Two other individuals enter the kitchen as well, one is a human fighter type named Rook, and a enormous woman named Argana, who have with some discussion choose to going with us in our venture into the basement at Madame Duffington.

We enter back into the common, where Dog Boy comes down and lets us know that the human man who has been biting his fingernails is now awake and is talking. We get a larger room to accommodate all eleven of the group.  The night passes without effect. In the morning, I check to see if The Toothless Tiefling has entered into the city.

On the way to the manor house we pick up an older man who is selling rags; he uninvited follows us. At the manor house we meet up with a dwarven bard of some kind, who I purchase a poem from for 1 gp, as he knows The Toothless Tiefling.  Once we enter the manor house, we enter the drawing room where we have been given the details of what we are after, a book with a purple bookmark. She also, informs us about a saying that her husband say, never leave a stone un-turned.  At that second The Toothless Tiefling knocks on the door. We speak with her and arrange for her to meet us at The Copper Codpiece later that night.

When we enter into the basement, we find several rat-like creatures and a black pudding and defeat them.  As we explore further we find an Iron Defender and we are forced to dispatch it. It was guarding a weird glass coffin full of a Liquid and a Human form; it is named "Nostone." As we entered into the next room, I found a tome on the desk, believing the tome to be what we are looking for, so I take it. Trying to leave the room, I am hit with an attack that dazes me and darkness engulfs me.

 

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Aprantus 4, 1010 A.G. (continued)
Campaign Day 4, Continued

[Madame Duffington] introduces you to Balasar, a Dragonborn Paladin who is acting as a messenger for Lord Duffington. Balasar helps to revive White Crane back to consciousness. Madame Duffington suggests that the transcript of the first three chapters of The Tomes of Power be brought upstairs to the drawing room, along with its homunculus guardian, where the party can study it in comfort.

You assemble in Madame Duffington’s drawing room where The Toothless Tiefling, The Rag Man, and Fiddleback the dwarf are also present. The Rag Man insists that all other other party members, including the “beast people” (the hobgoblins Cookie and Dog Boy), be brought here from the inn. Hypatia spends six hours studying the Tome and succeeds in understanding and revealing its knowledge to everyone present, for which she earns the title Revelator. Every adventurer present in the room now understands how to pursue the first three steps in their Paths of Power (first, second, and third level). Hypatia and White Crane attain second level.

Fiddleback reads a poem and says that the “Company of the Black Thorn” has passed, but a new “Company of the Black Wagon” begins. Madame Duffington is upset because Lord Duffington was one of the last surviving members of the “Company of the Black Thorn”, so she thinks this means he must be dead. The Rag Man and The Toothless Tiefling try to console her.

You return to Madame Duffington’s basement and defeat seven giant ants. You find the leather-bound tome with the purple felt bookmark that Lord Duffington sent Balasar to collect. It is titled “Alanada’s Tome of Rituals” and contains four rituals.

You open the dumbwaiter and trap three stirges in a bed linen. White Crane delivers the sack full of stirges to the tower guards at the east gate, telling the guards it is a gift for Ward Marshall Huxor.

Returning to The Copper Codpiece, you find that the inn has been overtaken by two goliaths, a half-orc, and a dwarf. The goliaths are loading up all the food from its kitchen onto a wagon, while the inn-keeper, Nagus Coppertoe, is held at spear-point by the half-orc. The dwarf is brawling on the tavern floor with a saucy female elf. You break up the brawl between the dwarf and the elf, overcome the other intruders, and force them to return all the food to the kitchen. The four intruders say they are miners from the Rubric Hills. They complain that the miners from that region are not getting enough food supplies, so they are getting hungry and agitated. They threaten to organize a huge raid on the entire city of Braemore unless the miners are supplied with more food. You agree to meet with them tomorrow morning to help them resolve the food shortage.

The female elf, Linosa, tells you that she was thrown out of her forest for being too battle-crazed, so now she just wanders from town to town. She happened to be at the inn enjoying an ale, when the four intruders arrived and snatched it from her.

At the end of a long and tiring day, you finally begin to settle down in your quarters at the inn. A snowy white owl appears at the window, and flies into the room. The owl says, “Dear ones, why have you not returned to Mother Gerd’s cottage? Your first adventure went badly, but she promises that your second one will succeed!” The owl flies off and the rest of the night passes uneventfully.

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Aprantus 5, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 5

As promised, you meet the four miners outside the offices of Ward Marshall Huxor. A mid-morning meeting is arranged in a large meeting room in which you are asked to act as the intermediaries between the Braemore authorities on one end of the table and the miner delegation on the other end.

Ward Marshall Huxor is accompanied by two other important Braemore dignitaries. The first is Constable Bixley, the chief of the Braemore constabulary. The second is Priestess Civilia, the high priestess at the Temple of Erathis in Braemore.

During the negotiations, the miners munch ravenously on big drumsticks, racks of ribs, and other pieces of roasted meat. They are questioned about how they got the food, since their main complaint was that food supplies have not been getting through to the Rubric Hills. The dwarf miner, Rakkin, says that last night, as they were returning to their camp outside the town, they stumbled upon some halfling farmers who were talking to some “pet bunnies on two legs”, and exchanging food with them in return for truffles. The miners caught two of the rabbits and roasted them.

Priestess Civilia informs the miners that the “pet bunnies” are not pets but are actually members of a sentient race called Harefolk, and that Erathis would not approve of killing and eating them. She adds that the Harefolk live in a hidden warren somewhere near Underton, and that this is the first time they have ever been spotted in the vicinity of Braemore.

You succeed in negotiating an agreement between Ward Marshall Huxor and the delegation of miners. Huxor agrees to have large amounts of food supplies diverted from the Ward towers and re-allocated to the miners in the Rubric Hills, even though he knows this will cause food shortages among his militiamen manning the Ward towers. The miners will be allowed to send representatives to oversee the food supply operations. Everyone agrees to meet again in three weeks time to verify that everything is proceeding according to plan.

You spend the rest of the day resting at the Copper Codpiece. Hypatia uses the time to master the ‘Eye of Alarm’ ritual from Alanada’s ritual book.

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Aprantus 6, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 6

You leave Braemore and make your way to the docks on the Chiltern River. As you approach the ferry landing, you are approached by a tiefling girl who you recognize from Silverdale as the girl who, along with a half-orc boy, was taunting the two halfling children, Beka and Boko Bilkins. She introduces herself as Serenity and tells you that her half-orc friend, Vortog, is still angry with you for killing his father and uncle. Serenity says she was sent by the people of Silverdale to inform you about a “slimy, stinky monster” that is attacking the hamlet, stealing baby animals, and hiding in a nearby cave. Serenity expects you to give her ten gold pieces for delivering the message to you. You give her two gold pieces. You realize that the stinky monster she is referring to must be the troglodyte creature that was present with you on the hobgoblin slave wagon before the wagon was attacked by wyverns.

Five characters (Argana, Heron, Ruby Blue, Valtier, and White Crane) accompany the tielfing girl back to Silverdale, while the rest of you (Agapanthus, Balasar, Hypatia, Pixelator, Rook, and the two hobgoblins) make arrangements with Gabbie the Raftsman to take you down-river to Ardmore. On the way to Ardmore, a raft ahead of yours is stuck on the river. Gabbie tethers your raft to a tree and paddles ahead to the other raft in a dinghy to help them out. It turns out that your raft is tethered directly under a hawk nest, and you are viciously attacked by three blood hawks but you kill them.

Gabbie returns to your raft and asks you to help him get the other raft unstuck. You succeed in heaving the other raft off the sandbar and freeing it.

The rest of the river journey to Ardmore is uneventful. You arrive in Ardmore as the sun is setting, pay Gabbie his fee, and settle into your rooms at Muck’s Pub for the evening.

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Aprantus 7, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 7

You leave Ardmore on foot, with Balasar leading the way to Blithewood. Reaching Blithewood, you follow a footpath that Balasar says leads directly to Glyph’s Tower, where Lord Duffington conducts his research. However, before reaching the tower you are attacked by a carniverous thorny vine creature, as well as a swarm of big centipedes. You kill both creatures.

Further along the footpath but still a mile away from the tower, you encounter a half-elf sleeping in a small clearing. His face is sooty and his garb is badly scorched. When he awakens, he is in a frightened, semi-crazed state, and he says that he intends to immediately leave the Blithewood forest and return to Ardmore where he is from. Before leaving, he tells you that Mother Gerd persuaded him and four of his friends to raid the gnome’s tower for ritual components. However, his four friends were captured by vile, demon-like creatures, and he was the only one of the group who managed to escape.

You enter the clearing and are surprised to see that the upper stories of Glyph’s tower have been blasted to smithereens, with only fragments of the first level remaining. As you move through the rubble with difficulty, three horrifically gruesome wolves attack and you defeat them. After the battle, Cookie points out that two flying monkey creatures of fey origin, known as Mungo, have been observing you from the edge of the clearing.

You approach the Mungo. They tell you they are from the Notchwood Forest and ask whether you are here to open the portal or to close it. They explain that their master, The Old One, detected a major disturbance caused by the opening of a dangerous Abyssal portal, and she sent the Mungo into Ardwen to investigate its cause. The Old One wants the portal closed, and she may even be inclined to grant you a boon if you succeed in closing it.

You enter the tower ruins and explore an alchemical lab that, because of its extra thick walls, survived the blast mostly intact. The lab contains large amounts of ritual components of all types which you collect together into bundles. However, you are somewhat clumsy in salvaging the components and lose about half of them in the process.

You encounter a bizarre demon creature. It is part humanoid, part bug, and part rodent. You fight the demon and two dire rats. Balasar is knocked unconscious, but recovers quickly and rejoins the battle. Agapanthus is also knocked unconscious.

You rest the night in the alchemical lab, with Hypatia casting Eye of Alarm to ward the area. One of the eyes sounds its blaring trumpets, triggered by one of the Mungo returning during the night. The Mungo demands to know why you have not yet closed the portal. It tells you that you must close it by sunset of the next day or there will be tragic consequences. It suggests that a Seal Portal ritual scroll would be your best chance of closing it.

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Aprantus 8, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 8

Agapanthus regains consciousness after an extended rest. Balasar and Pixelator have filth fever disease from the rat bites they received the previous day. Balasar’s condition is stable, though Pixelator’s disease has worsened overnight and her defenses are weakening.

You open the trap door and descend down the stairs below ground. The room below is a larder (supply room), but in it are four dead bodies being chewed on by a dire rat. A second dire rat is attacking a lizard-like creature hanging on the wall from a meat hook. You slay the dire rats, with the lizard creature assisting you by spitting gobs of acid at one of the rats.

You identify the lizard creature as a Spitting Drake, and succeed in taming it well enough to free it from the meat hook. You set off a stone bludgeon trap that pushes you into a pair of statues who sound a deafening blast. Hypatia casts a Hand of Fate which points you to a library room. In the library, you find the dead body of Ramardal the Warlock slumped over a bloodied scroll of Seal Portal. Under the bookshelves you find Hethica, an elderly female gnome who tells you that she was Glyph’s head librarian and that she been hiding here since the bedlam in Glyph’s Tower broke out.

You proceed to an octagonal-shaped laboratory chamber. A dark elf and a squat, blubbery demon are casting a ritual. A dying male elf hangs upside-down from a chain in the center of a swirling maelstrom of abyssal flame. As you engage the enemies, cauldrons of flames explode around you and two demonic spiders attack from the ceiling. After a fierce battle, the dark elf attempts to escape and is slain, while the demon leaps into the abyssal portal. Agapanthus and Rook lay unconscious. Hypatia casts the Seal Portal ritual and closes the portal.

Hethica points to the dead elf suspended from the chain and identifies him as Lord Duffington.

Wolvar Runebeard, a Dwarf Shaman, arrives at the tower with the intention of contacting the renowned Dwarf Fighter, Darnak Sundershield, who works for Lord Duffington. Wolvar recognizes Agapanthus from times past and aids in healing him.

You enter a stench-filled privy area containing a pool of foul water. You fight and slay two Demonfang Crocodiles who emerge from the pool. You find what remains of the dwarf fighter, Darnak Sundershield. Pixelator is lowered on a rope to retrieve the dwarf’s cherished battle axe, Fearstrike, from deep within a privy hole reeking of filth.

You enter the kitchen and find two young elves encased in thick webs at the dinner table. One of them is still alive, but just barely. You attack and slay three Shadowfiend Spiders scurrying on the ceiling. You speak with Dureshar Greenleaf, who confesses to betraying Lord Duffington as an ally of the Drow Elf, Hadrajhast. Dureshar’s brother Isonay, as well as the elven warlock, Alanada, were also involved in the conspiracy. Dureshar feels deep regret for his betrayal and asks to be put out of his physical and emotional misery. After Dureshar completes his tale, Agapanthus obliges Dureshar by slaying him.

You clear the entrance to the dormitory chamber and enter to find Alanada huddled under a tattered woolen blanket. Because Hadrajhast convinced her to drink a potion that he promised would give her immortality, she is now a wretched undead ghoul. She attacks viciously, knocking Agapanthus unconscious and damaging several others with one of her spells. As you wield the killing blow and release her from her agony, she utters the words “Thank You” and collapses.

Hypatia masters the Detect Secret Doors ritual, while Wolvar and Balasar find a way to embalm the corpse of Lord Duffington to make it suitable for transport. Hethica says she is concerned about her library books. Hypatia casts a Detect Secret Doors ritual but is unable to locate any secret doors. Agapanthus regains consciousness with healing from Wolvar. The night passes uneventfully.

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Aprantus 9, 1010 A.G.
Campaign Day 9

Pixelator’s Filth Fever disease worsens overnight as she enters the final stage of the disease. Balasar’s condition also worsens but he has not yet reached the final stage.

Hypatia attempts another Detect Secret Doors ritual and this time is able to spot a well-disguised trap door in the laboratory floor. Wolvar uses Dungeoneering to open the trap door, revealing a staircase winding downward into a narrow corridor ending in a heavy iron door. A magic mouth appears in the door and says,

Enter now ye who would prove your worth as Adventurers. Be warned, ye shall either leave this chamber with the Tome of Power, or ye shall never leave at all.

You enter the chamber and the door closes behind you. You see the Tome of Power, Volume One: Heroic Journeys, on a pedestal behind a field of protection. To the left is a white gargoyle and to the right is a black gargoyle. You solve the puzzle of the two gargoyles and retrieve the Tome.

You transport the books from the library to the hidden chamber under the laboratory. Hethica is pleased by this. She then tells you that, in accordance with the instructions Glyph left her, you must convince her of your trustworthiness before she can reveal the location of the remaining two volumes of The Tomes of Power.

Leaving the tower, you encounter the two Mungo on a tree branch at the edge of the clearing. The Mungo tell you that The Old One has been pleased by your achievements and wants to grant you your boon. They give you the following items:

  • A glimmering pot of gold (value 1000 GP) containing an additional 500 GP in coinage.
  • A beautiful ivory scroll case with a scrimshaw-like depiction of red roses and black thorns. The scroll case contains a ritual scroll of Raise Dead. The Mungo tell you that The Old One had customized the scroll’s effect such that the target of the Raise Dead will instantly immolate into a cloud of black dust should they ever set foot in Notchwood.
  • A magical two-faced mirror.
  • A black cone the size of a hat box containing some sort of creature. The Mungo say, The Old One wishes you to have this trinket. It was brought into her realm many years ago by someone from your little kingdom who was taken captive and enslaved. It has amused The Old One on occasion, but now she grows weary of it and wants it returned to your kind. Remember not to let it grow too hungry – you won’t like it when it’s hungry.
  • A sack of magical golden apples that are used to feed the creature in the black cone.

The Mungo add a final message from The Old One:

You and your Adventuring kind are free to roam outside your Warded land whenever and wherever you like. But there is one exception – stay out of Notchwood! Notchwood belongs to The Old One – there is nothing there for you but your doom!

They also suggest that you might enjoy an area called The Caves of Chaos to adventure in. They add, “The region is marked by a deep gouge in the land over a mile long, and it seems to attract fiendish creatures of all kinds! You’ll be entertained there for months, assuming you survive that long!”

Cookie says that Hobgoblins know of that region, but they refer to it as The
Chaos Scar
and consider it dangerous to go there.

On the path leading out of Blithewood you hear a crashing sound up ahead and come to a huge fallen oak tree across the trail. A small footpath leads around the tree trunk and you see a grassy glade with two gnomes eating a delicious feast. The gnomes invite you to join them, and after you do, they insist that you give them your pot of gold as payment for the feast. You are attacked by five gnomes and overcome them in a vicious battle.

You gather up the gnome’s weapons and resume your journey on the main path. You come across some strange writhing grass on the path which Balasar burns with his breath weapon. Three big green beetles with a long proboscis ending in a sharp point emerge from under a rotting log. You dispatch with them swiftly, though Agapanthus and Pixelator accidentally strike Balasar in the back with fumbled ranged attacks.

Further along the path, a single goblin charges toward you. Speaking in the goblin tongue, it yells to you, “The Great Wolf has arrived! The Great Wolf of the Abattoir has arrived and appointed his chosen race, Goblins, to rule over this land! No more will we skulk about in caves and trenches. No more will we shroud our faces from the daylight! Kneel ye lowly thralls of Ardwen, pay homage to the Great Wolf of the Abattoir who spares your puny lives, and pledge your fealty to his Goblin prince, Prince Flak, who is his loyal servant, and your lord and master!”

You attack the goblin and he runs away.

On the main road leading back to Ardmore, you encounter a party of two humans and four halflings. One of the halflings is much older than the rest and wears a black eye patch. After one of the younger members blurts out that they are heading to see Mother Gerd, you try to convince them to turn back. The older halfling gets very irritated and attempts to usher the others along. You succeed in convincing most of the group to turn back, but a human female continues on the journey to Mother Gerd’s, accompanied by the older halfling.

Further along the main road approaching Ardmore, you come across Captain Ubada, a half-orc female commanding a caravan of three wagons supplying the West Tower with provisions as well as Rubricium cylinders used to recharge The Wards in the West Quadrant. A sink hole has opened up in the road, and one of the wagons has fallen off the road’s edge into a ditch. You help free the ox that was pinned beneath the wrecked wagon, but the wagon cannot be salvaged.

Arriving in Ardmore, you are approached by two uniformed men ringing a bell who urge you to donate your “useless magic items” to help defend the kingdom. They explain that the magic items will be converted to residuum which will be used to refine Rubricium from Rubric Ore. You decline to donate any of your magic items.

Returning to Muck’s Pub, you find that Gabbie has not departed because he has been ordered not to leave. He tells you that the innkeeper has a message for you. You are to meet with Lady Ryselka tomorrow morning at Castle Ardwen.

You spend the remainder of the day shopping, trading, and listening for rumors in the city. Hypatia masters the Gentle Repose ritual which she casts on the body of Lord Duffington.

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