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No one had a strong opinion about what to do next, and there was much discussion about the postings on the Notice Board in the Delvers Guild Office. The only person excited about any of the notices was Yona Note, who really wanted to go check out the free potions. With not much else really catching their interest, they agreed to check it out. Chesh Briarthorn had heard of this Professor Zallin, and decided to go across the Undercity Market to Potions and Elixirs to see if they had any information on him.
The shop – very nice, with a very exhaustive collection of potions for sale – had a wrinkled old sourpuss for a proprietor. He wasn’t very interested in chit-chatting about Zallin, but thankfully a beautiful elven woman came to the rescue. She fondly dismissed the old man to the back room and was much more helpful.
She explained that Zallin was an accomplished alchemical tinkerer, always striving to create new recipes for magical concoctions. He was, of course, looking for test subjects for his latest batch. Chesh Briarthorn bought a couple of potions.
With some reservations, the Fellowship headed to Zallin’s Tower on Vock Row in Midtown to inquire about the testing. Professor Zallin turned out to be an eccentric gnome wizard with a rather messy workshop.
Zallin was persuasive enough to convince them to be test subjects for his latest batch of strength potions. Mosquilius Kito in particular was very interested in the gnome wizard’s pocket of holding, but he wasn’t at all interested in selling it. They each requested a potion (flying and invisibility were the popular choices) as a reward.
Professor Zallin said the new strength potions would give them the strength of an ant, but something went wrong. With a very impressive explosion, the potions gave us the size of ants instead!
The heroes watched in dismay as a now-gigantic Zallin said, “Oh no. Not again!” and “At least there aren’t any chunks of them this time.” He then left!
Thankfully, Chesh Briarthorn had already prepared a dispel magic as a precaution and used it on herself to remove the effects of the potion. She grabbed Zallin’s antidote off his desk and used it to restore the others. Zallin returned in the middle of that task, and was immediately and profusely apologetic.
The heroes really laid it on thick, and convinced the wizard to give up TWO potions each for their troubles, and he also offered up an additional incentive if they would agree to keep this unfortunate incident quiet: a Magically Sealed Chest! He hadn’t been able to open it himself, but he’d just discovered a possible way to unlock the chest. He’d been researching something called Neverans All-Key, and he’d just translated a text that hinted the key may reside in an abandoned keep called Pythoness House over in Oldtown. This magical key is rumored to be able to open anything, including (maybe?) Bluesteel Doors.
They called it a night and decided to go bright and early the next morning to check out the place. So… around noon the hung-over delvers trudged up to the place.
Standing around 80 feet tall, the old keep is on a little-used dead end street in Oldtown and is surrounded by a large yard with a wrought iron fence. The heroes walked right in and checked out the courtyard.
Very little sunlight reached the ground here in the high-walled entry, but a narrow set of stairs led up to an old well. Chesh Briarthorn couldn’t resist and had to go up to take a gander at it. There was a rope, but she couldn’t see the bottom and dropped in a coin. She heard it splash, and decided to pull up the bucket. When it got to the top, she spotted a bunch of nasty green worms in the water and immediately let go of the rope. They all heard the bucket thud into something before it hit the water, and they realized the owner of those worms was on its way up the well!
Aendir Meliamne ran up to the well to fight whatever appeared. A spawn of kyuss crawled out of the well, but the heroes were ready. It did get in one good hit on the paladin, but the Fellowship blasted it right back down into its watery grave.
They moved on into the keep, where they immediately found a hobgoblin ambush waiting for them!
A pair of powder bombs clanked on the floor at their feet just before detonating. On a ledge above were a pair of hobgoblins and a strange, cyclopean goblinoid leader type.
Everyone began to fight back against the threat, but Yona Note stood next to the northern curtain and could hear someone or something on the other side. In a reckless maneuver that did Thorzin Oakwood pround, the rogue chose to charge through blindly and tackle whoever was back there. Unfortunately, what she intended and what she accomplished didn’t quite mesh. She ran face-first into the chest armor of a waiting hobgoblin!
He and a bunch of his buddies were hiding behind the curtain, ready to attack. When the rogue appeared, they unleashed a flurry of arrows that left her reeling. Thankfully, their captain’s thrown javelin missed, catching in the curtain and jutting through the other side…
Meanwhile, the cyclopean goblin-type up on the ledge was taunting and trading shots with Aendir Meliamne. While Mosquilius Kito, Nethwen Nagel and Chesh Briarthorn hammered him with devastating ranged attacks, he tried unsuccessfully to charm the paladin. Aendir Meliamne then charged up the stairs to take him on face-to-face…
The good news: He pulled down the curtain.
The bad news: He completely buried himself beneath the heavy curtain, and he up-ended Yona Note in the process. The rogue lay on her back atop a wriggling mound of moldering tapestry, right at the feet of one of the hobgoblins!
Outside on the ledge, Aendir Meliamne traded heavy blows with the cyclops. If it hadn’t been for the hard-hitting support of the rest of the delvers, the paladin might have been in serious trouble. But the combined strength of the Punnishers was too much, and finally the strange goblinoid fell.
Seeing him drop, Nethwen Nagel turned and fired a hail of thorns into the now-unhidden group of hobgoblins, dropping most of them in a single shot! Thorzin Oakwood got his feet under him and burst out of the rotting fabric cocoon to slash the front hobgoblin with his mighty axe.
The hobgoblin captain, seeing his entire force wiped out, decided he’d had enough. He turned tail and took off up a spiral staircase with Yona Note hot on his heels. He tried to run and hide under a table in the upstairs dining room, but the rogue spotted him easily and blasted him into oblivion.
Meanwhile, Chesh Briarthorn tried to outflank the fleeing hobgoblin and joined Aendir Meliamne on the balcony level. Spotting a door, she guessed that the runner would be rushing through any second and quickly spiked the door shut. She was still startled though, when something hit the door hard the moment she’d finished jamming the portal. She backed away with her gun drawn, while Aendir Meliamne walked over with sword drawn to kick out the spike and attack whatever appeared.
Just then, from somewhere in the house a deep, menacing voice called out, COME TO MEEEEE…
End of Session.
That was FUN. I’m really excited by the new venue, especially the projector screen. I’ve jumped into that sandbox with both feet, and I’m going to have some exciting new toys for everyone to play with next time. See everybody in a couple of weeks!
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