Chapter 09: Trespassers

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Session Number: 19
Date: Sunday 31 May 2009
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Konni Ftr? (Alain) (kills: none)
Krag Clr4 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal4 (Craig) (kills: none)
Vor-wrek Mnk4 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBC

Krag and Rowaine are recommended a good armourer and weaponsmith. Rowaine is measured for a new suit of masterwork breastplate armour and matching metal shield, both emblazoned with the hammer and anvil of Moradin. She also commissions a masterwork dwarven waraxe. Her purchases will be ready at the close of the following day. Krag buys a standard suit of breastplate armour and a new crowbar.

Emily lets the party know that she has some "specific" shopping she'd like to do, and needs to head into the slightly wealthier part of town. It may take about 4-5 days before she'll be back, but she would very much like to join with the party again and help find who these criminals are in the city.

Returning to the temple, Jonas the high priest approaches us. Behind him is a stern-looking young dwarf woman, carrying a warhammer almost as large as she. Jonas introduces her as Konni, and insists that she join us when we decide to investigate further the recent rise in petty crime. Konni is about as talkative as her rather businesslike hammer. She does mention that she has used the hammer to bash orcs and other bad things. "Are you any good with it?" interrupts Krag. Konni's face turns even more stony. "Wanna find out?" she whispers, taking a step forward. It is only after Rowaine mentions that Krag is a priest of Moradin that Konni backs down.

Krag seems rather taken with the dwarf, and not-so-tactfully starts to mimic Konni - her stance, her taciturn demeanour.

The party converses further with Jonas regarding their mission. The suspicion is that the misdemeanours are being committed by a new presence in the city. No one has managed to get a good look at the perpetrators - for the most part they get away cleanly. Some have mentioned youths leaving the crime scene.

Rowaine expresses concern about going in with too much force (using "both sides of the axe"), and has a brief word in private with Krag, telling him to keep in contact with her before launching into anything.

As yet the party do not know where the criminals are hiding. Jonas suspects from the stories he has heard that they are under the city streets, but has offered no advice on how to get there.

The party decide to first visit the city's Main Library, conscious that Anassia is their first priority and that her condition is only getting worse. The library is a grand affair, multi-storeyed and steepled. Finding Norrel Stangum, resident gnome arcane sage, does not prove difficult.

After seeking Anassia's permission, Norrel is more than happy to offer an initial appraisal of the necklace.

"My, it's not from around here, is it? Would you permit me a spell or two? Yes? Very well, then… Hmmmmm, that's interesting. Not the sort of magic I expected, and definitely not YOUR sort of magic, I'd say! This necklace has been imbued with a captured soul or spirit."

Norrel tells the party that he cannot identify the soul or spirit, but from experience guesses that its original body is probably no more. The necklace does indeed bear protection dweomers, but they are designed to protect the necklace itself, not the wearer. Any benefit the wearer might enjoy is merely a side effect. The magic protects the necklace from any mundane force, and many magical ones also. Rowaine mentions Anassia's progressive memory loss, which prompts Norrel to investigate further. He reveals that the necklace is "cursed" for want of a better word, and the effect is not limited to Anassia's memory. It is affecting her physiology as well - literally breaking down her tissue. Can Norrel remove the curse? No… But he knows of one who might. he is acquainted with a travelling sage called Ballon. Norrel's "librarian's network" keeps tabs on Ballon's whereabouts; he was last heard to be roughly a month's travel south of Carthenage.

Rowaine asks whether they might be able to communicate with the entity. "Well, I certainly can't… There are gypsies in the north quarter of the city - they are supposed to be able to communicate with spirits."

Krag tells Norrel of Adrak's initial description of the necklace's magic as having two facets - protection and travel. Norrel casts more spells and confirms this. He describes the necklace as having various functions. Its primary function is to act as a container for the soul. Its secondary function is to protect itself (and by association, the soul within) from both physical and magical threats. Much deeper, there is a dormant "travel" element to its magic… More to do with the idea of travel, rather than the action itself. Rowaine wonders aloud whether this travel could be to do with transferring the trapped soul to (and perhaps from) the necklace. "Maybe," Norrel says, noncommittally.

Rowaine asks about retaining the sage to further research the necklace. "No charge for what I've done so far, but if you like I can drag out a few books and perhaps have more to say tomorrow… that would be 200 gold pieces." The party accept, offering a list of information they wish to know:

  • Can the necklace be safely removed? How?
  • What more of the "travelling" component of the magic?
  • What more can be discovered about the trapped soul?
  • Can the soul be communicated with somehow?

The party then arrange to meet with Norrel tomorrow, and head back to Moradin's temple.

The party briefly talk again to Jonas about the recent incidents. Vor-wrek stays behind at the temple with Anassia and the two teenagers, while Konni and the others head to the district in question. They spot a tavern called the Loaded Hogget and enter, seeking information. Dorman the innkeeper is remarkably helpful. With prompting he mentions that there does seem to be more talk of crime about at the moment. When Rowaine mentions their lead about the sewer system perhaps harbouring those responsible for the crimes, Dorman has this to say:

"Word is that the sewer system under the city is old. Very old. And the guy that designed it was a bit… "ahead of his time", some people call it. Looney, if you ask me. Anyways, the old sewer system is huge - bigger than we need even now. The new town sewer system is much smaller, and just taps into the old system as needs be. Most of the grates on the streets connect up to the old system at some point… but you might have a bit of trouble getting your large friend down one of 'em. There are larger outlet pipes on the coast, about a half mile south of here. You could try those, I s'pose…"

When asked about gangs, he waves his hand in the direction of a square not far from here, saying that it was where "that lot" usually hang out. The party check it out.

In the square they see four boys around their age, loitering about. Rowaine approaches the one that appears to be their leader. In amongst the testosterone-charged bravado and double-entendres, Rowaine learns from Jake that their gang ("group of like-minded brothers") is called the Buzzy Bees. They extort ("gather donations from the neighbourhood"), and are apparently the "only game in town".

Krag wanders over. Jake is noticeably spooked by the half-orc's entrance. He wraps up the conversation and breaks off, his goons in tow.

Soon after the group hear shouts from a nearby shop owner. "Thief! that lout stole my bread!" The party see two youths take flight up one of the square's streets and immediately pursue. Krag summons a celestial dog, ordering it to hunt and hold. The party follow the sounds of the chasing dog, trailing it down a side alley. The dog has stopped at the end of the narrow alley, barking down an L-shaped drain.


Daggers and sticks are occasionally thrust out at the dog. Rowaine asks Krag to dismiss the dog, which Krag does. Rowaine steps up and looks in - nothing. She begins to squeeze through the upright grate bars, wordlessly thanking Moradin that she was not wearing her newer armour. Krag swings his heavy mace at the masonry surrounding the upper bars but accidentally hits Rowaine. "Ow!"

As usual, Densial sets the condition ("something bad will happen if you roll a 1"), and then we go ahead and make that condition happen.

Krag heals Rowaine's bruised shoulderblade. and Rowaine finally slips through. She finds herself in a 3' high, 2' wide sewer passageway that extends left and right. Big enough to crawl through, but the smell is pretty unpleasant. Rowaine interrupts Krag's masonry demolition long enough to try and hear any noise from either passage - nothing. Maybe because of the ringing in her ears. Rowaine whispers a prayer and heads right. Moments later Krag opens a gap in the grate. He lets Konni enter first and quickly follows.

Rowaine weaves left and right but finds nothing. Meanwhile, Konni finds a gradient in a dead-end passageway that Rowaine ignored. At the end is a rusty grate in the floor, bolted and padlocked. Beneath the grate is an angled chute. Further investigation reveals that while the grate itself is rusty, the hinges are recently oiled. But wait… Konni feels something wrong about the far wall. It is a curtain, coloured to look like stone. Beyond, the passage joins a 10' wide cylindrical sewer line that stretches in both directions. The party follow the passageway to the left for 600 feet, discovering perpendicular passageways every 100 feet. They head back.


…to discover that the padlock is attached to the wrong side of the bolt - it isn't locked at all! The party head down the chute which levels out and terminates in a 40' wide circular room with a dish-shaped floor surrounded by a 5' ledge. The room has three other exits: directly ahead, to the left, and to the right. The floor of the depression is slick with scum and algae that appears to be collecting in its centre. Something glitters within the heap.


The party figure that without rope, it might be rather difficult for someone to climb out of the "dish"… So they ignore it. Before continuing on, Rowaine has an eerie feeling about the lockable grate above their heads. She borrows Krag's crowbar, heading back to disable the lock.

…only to find a figure crouching over the grate, quietly bolting it shut! Rowaine yells and thrusts the crowbar at the lock.

Craigo rolls a 1.

…and drops the crowbar on the top of the grate. The figure snaps the lock shut and drops a small boot on the crowbar, pulling out a knife. Rowaine withdraws her hand, peering up at the figure. It is a halfling.

"Er, excuse me…" Rowaine says.


Rowaine then pleads with the halfling to let her and her friends out, saying that there has been a huge misunderstanding and she just wants the chance to talk to him and whoever else is with him. The halfling is very cagey about how many there are, admitting to only himself and his friend. The halfling is at first very defensive, but as Rowaine states her case he appears to genuinely consider what she is saying. Rowaine then offers to return to the alley in an hour with food, as a gesture of goodwill, if only they would consider talking again at greater length.

"I'll consider it - best I can offer, and generous at that!" the halfling says. "Alright, here's what I'll do. I'll drop your crowbar down… It'll take you about 5 minutes to get through the grate, even with that." The crowbar then clatters down the chute.

"He's stealing stuff, and you're going to let him get away with it," Krag says to Rowaine, matter-of-factly. "That's wrong. He is supposed to be punished".

"Not always, Krag. You like dogs, right?"


"Well," Rowaine continues. "if a dog does something wrong, do you always hit it?"

"Well, no…"

"But it's done something wrong… It should be punished, shouldn't it?"

"But dogs are different to people, Rowaine."

"That's right. People are far more complex than dogs. Sometimes, Krag, to get the best out of someone, or something, you don't hit it with a stick."

Krag considers this. "OK, Ro."

Krag sets himself on the locked grate. When he wrenches the lock apart and opens it, the halfling is gone. The party backtrack and re-enter the alley.

P.S.: Where is Enok?

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