Campaign of the Month: March 2016

Ptolus, City by the Spire

Session 1: CSI Ptolus

16th of Rain, 721 IA

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The fledgling delvers had chosen to investigate the Case of the Missing Girl and headed off to the Black Swan. The rowdy dwarves were just beginning to crank up the nightly party, but we were able to question the bartender about Toman Etherin. The friendly half-elf, acting as a go-between for his friend, directed us to the home of the fish wrangler Toman.

He and his wife were extremely worried, and very thankful for the offered assistance. Their daughter Alanna disappeared two days ago. She left their home to go visit her father at the Fish Market, but she never arrived and hasn’t been seen since. She vanished somewhere on Iron Street.

Toman insisted that his daughter didn’t have a boyfriend, but the look on his wife’s face told a different tale. Mos deftly got Toman out of the room so Nethwen could inquire discreetly. There was a boyfriend named Balen, who lived somewhere over in Rivergate. Thorzin was dispatched to investigate the Rivergate lead and took his leave for a while.

The group began searching on Iron Street, where a chance encounter with a pair of Silent Sisters (and their speaker) didn’t garner them any further leads, but they did confirm that there has been a recent rash of reported child disappearances across the city. There was no discernible pattern to the abductions, though.

Further along the crowded Iron Street, Yona spotted someone who could be a worthy source of information. A little old lady was sitting on the front porch of a basketweaver’s shop, plying her craft as she watched the street life passing by. Shona, as she called herself, did in fact remember seeing Alanna two days prior. The girl was lured into an alley by a yipping puppy, and though Shona didn’t see anything happen there, she did note that a man in black-and-red robes emerged very shortly thereafter pushing a barrow, with the puppy atop something inside a pile of burlap sacks. She couldn’t see his face, but she thought he had some kind of markings or symbols on his robes, and he definitely headed north from there.

Chesh remembered seeing a temple whose door was decked out in red and black – the Temple of the Ebon Hand has a red-painted door with a huge black palm print emblem. She didn’t know anything else about the place though, so we made a short side trek to the Temple of Teun to visit with her mentor.

Lidda was able to confirm that the Temple of the Ebon Hand is believed to be an evil cult, but there has been nothing to connect them with any abductions or disappearances. She invited and encouraged the group to investigate the temple.

Aendir and Nethwen were unwilling to attend an Ebon Hand service, but Mos and Yona went right on in and sat down during the services. The chapel was dominated by a huge, black statue of an upturned hand, with lit candles at each fingertip.

A couple of black-and-red robed priests were leading the service; the head guy was covered in disgustingly oozing pustules and boils. The sermon was all about the sin of beauty, and how the un-beautiful and disfigured were those blessed by the Ebon Hand. Afterward, Mos tried to fast-talk his way past the priests (they weren’t buying it). Yona, however, was able to sweet talk them into sharing a bit more of their bizarre beliefs. They invited her to come to their inner sanctum to walk the Path of Chaos and be rewarded with the Gift of Deformity. She demurred, saying she “wanted to think about it for a day” and the two left.

After a discussion of possible ways to infiltrate the building and find this “inner sanctum” they decided to sneak into the building after nightfall to investigate.

They succeeded in getting inside, but were soon discovered by a trio of guards and one priest. A quick, brutal fight broke out, leading to the deaths of those defenders with little difficulty. The bodies were looted and stuffed into the back storeroom. Mos found and took an Ebon Hand holy symbol to add to his “collection” on a chain around his neck.

An open trapdoor in the other back room revealed stairs leading down into darkness, and the heroes didn’t hesitate to move downward to investigate further.

The stairs led down to an underground chamber with only a large black rug covering much of the floor and a large red tapestry emblazoned with the now-familiar black hand symbol of the temple. As Yona investigated, the rug came to life and attacked!

The animated rug was quickly beaten (no pun intended), but then the tapestry also reached out and engulfed poor Nethwen, quickly smothering her into unconsciousness! Chesh tried to attack the tapestry without hurting her friend, but the wriggling and writhing cloth monstrosity jerked at the last second and the cleric was horrified to see that her attack had solidly struck the ranger. Mos came to the rescue, using that procured Ebon Hand symbol to subdue the tapestry, and Chesh was quick to administer healing magics to get Nethwen back on her feet.

Meanwhile, the tapestry ensnared Yona Note. Aendir got into a tug-of-war with the tapestry and successfully wrested her from its grasp, and Mos used the symbol again to still the tapestry’s attacks.

A short rest was taken to allow everyone to catch their breath.

End of Session.

LEVEL UP: Yona Note, Mosquilius Kito, Aendir Meliamne, Nethwen Nagel, Chesh Briarthorn

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