Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Longarm Tournament

Guildmaster Guiseppi Renatta
To: Lord Commander Dom Mintoff

From: Guildmaster Guiseppi Renatta

In appreciation of your sponsoring last year's Tournament of Ash, along with your donation of fine cigars, Guildmaster Guiseppi Renatta would like to sponsor a qualifying tournament for this year's Great Warehouse Rumble. The Honorable Guildmaster has donated the tournaments prize, a magical set of bracers to be given to winner of the tournament.  It is the Guildmasters request that you receive his gift and host the tournament.  Guildmaster Renatta's representative Ruhexy will deliver the prize, please receive her warmly.  As is custom, Ruhexy travels with At'enthu, a gladiator of considerable talent that will compete for the Bracers. The Guildmaster hopes that the winner of the Longarm Bracers will be allowed to utilize the magical equipment in the Warehouse Rumble as a sanctioned item.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Malta Session 14: 11/15/2017 Meet the Teacher, the Barkleys, and Blood-Shot and Fucked-Up Eyes

We begin this session on the road to Zebbug, Lete a little late to the group after Melissa holds him back a few hours. While in town Lete learns that the fight-club qualifiers begin in the early evening this day; Lete will have to return to Paola after his first training session in Zebbug. Meanwhilej, the rest of the characters encountered a few dire wolves along the way to Zebbug.

Finally catching up at the Halfling village our characters enter Zebbug, everyone save for Jabari and Ahuum (formerly Ferd) arrives promptly to  IL-Kataniz's. There we immediately see IL-Kataniz as well as a multitude of individuals working and training in warfare, subterfuge tactics, etc. 

From the conglomeration a woman named Chakel (daggers) introduces herself to our small group. Before long, one by one, our characters meet our respective teachers: Chakel who intends to train Lex and Marco with the daggers; Saman, a dwarf monk, takes on Lete with a beer and a smile; and Gehar, an individual specializing in ‘ray’ magics. During these sessions Lex and Marco learn Chakel in turn benefits from the training against two opponents. Also while here Lex looks for a possible Parana Strike instructor.

Meanwhile off IL-Kataniz grounds, Jabari catches up with some of the men we saved on the open seas; having emerged from IL-Kataniz with business done, arranges a meal for them en mass, and eventually hires all twenty: 10 elite sailors and 10 teamsters for our cause and will earn 5 gold a week per person. Jabari appoints Ahuum as first mate and expresses that all ordinary affairs should be directed through the first mate. Formal rules are set forth including a zero tolerance of theft from a fellow shipmate including the captains which each of the characters are. In addition the rules of adding new sailors to the “Barkley Sailors” are those who are likewise saved in similar manner but are also voted by the Barkleys who will enjoy part of the Barkley share. Otherwise talk will wane to Egypt (and a possible future post).

Backtracking… the night before in Paola, Carlo meet with Borg house individuals regarding the next evening (when the characters return to Paola and Lete begins qualifying) to case building controlled by a known a slaver named Ildgar. This individual is rumored to target ‘talents’ like them (individuals possessing physic magic). 

Our characters finish training around 3 pm when we pack up for our return to Paola. Our travel is under overcast skies as our characters follow a few hours behind the twenty sailors who are also returning to Paola. Three hours into our travel is when we encounter an ogre cannibal and four bugbears. (shine a bugbear and that cannibal are dead to me now). Our characters are able to kill the ogre and a bugbear and drive off three bugbears. Recovered from the ogre: Large magical great axe, javelin, 4 potions CLW, potion of CMW, giant cloak of resistance, giant ring of protection, and 77 gold pieces. Shine: heavy flail, masterwork composite long bow +4 STR, potion CMW, 4 +1 elf bane arrows, and 5 platinum. And gain enough XP for 9,000 and our fourth character level.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Malta Session 13: 11/08/2017 The Pale Spire House, Fake News, and Future Plans

Spire House
We begin this week’s session taking a roundabout stroll in order to reconnaissance a house Loshe identifies and what our characters are here to look for: an Infinity Spiral and how that relates to this structure and similar structures and the optical illusion of an infinite staircase the design creates if looked at in a specific way, as well as The Archetic’s penchant for chess and plotting both in grid form as well as being a careful planner.

Her research on this house revealed the Pjazza family’s oldest son now owns 'Spire House'; an individual who has only recently acquired a ship of his own and is currently out at sea. Other family members of the Pjazza family are known to use the house but the house currently looks and feels empty. Outside it is closely neighbored by other structures between which are dark narrow alleys; a single elven home with the rest being human domiciles of varying two story heights. Spire House has a door to the spire and a cellar door to the main building, the windows are shuttered on both the first level and the upper floors and are magically protected. It is agreed we will return at dark.

A short time later our characters find ourselves once again confronted by the pale Spire House with daylight now a historical footnote. Lex, in the shadows of the house immediately finds a trap door in front of the rear door. Checking the door Lex finds that the door is locked and barred on the inside. Turing our attention to the trap door, our characters eventually discover the method of opening the trap door revealing a small cramped space five foot down at leads into a pantry. Soon our characters find themselves in the cellar where we locate stairs as well as a trapdoor into the spire above. Our characters do a quick search; Jabari finds six magic mushrooms while the rest of our characters find a bishop in profile cleverly placed on a corner wall under the trap door to the spire. We decide to follow the Bishop clue and turn our attention to the trap door above.
The Architect 

After checking the trap door into the spire Lex opens it revealing an open chamber above the cellar, stairs going up and a curved hallway. Our characters follow the path of the Bishop in a diagonal direction. It was Carlo who first notices a rook design along a wall just as noise filters down to us, the sound of wings. Searching about Lex finds about a half dozen secret cubby holes along the crenelations of the rook where Lex finds an old masterwork scroll tube.

We make our way back to the cellar to investigate the masterwork scroll tube. Opening the sealed tube reveals an ancient map of the Mediterranean, Africa, Madagascar and The Evening Isles. A number of personal markings decorate the map in various places as well as grid locations on Malta one indicating Hagar Qim, two in the seven churches- one we know as ‘the plank’ while the other is at the temple of Tiamat; on the back side is a coded key that deciphers the markings on the face of the map.

Yeah this works

We decide to be content with our retrieval of the map and move out of the spire house the way we came in. As we walk away we hear whispered conversation about whether or not someone saw something; these individuals signal and wait for us on the side of the road. We find out IL-Kataniz sent them to tell us the Tengu has been asking about our characters. Jabari pays them well for their information. 

With that completed we retreat back to the adobe apartments and a place to get a meal where Lete attempts to spread some false rumors of our next course of action (head to Hagar Qim to find a ship). Once we return to our temporary apartment, Jabari starts searching for signs of obvious tampering specifically feather remains of possible Tengu spies. We agree to take a few watch shifts before we leave for Paola in the morning.

The next day (Sunday, Day 13) Lex heads out early to find Wally but comes up short. The rest of our characters load up to begin our four hour trip back to Paola. Loshe is not traveling with us, nor was she to be seen that morning. We have no issues during our journey to Paola and soon find ourselves in front of Garamaldi’s with hopes to petition cargo or passengers for our planned trip to Selmunett Island.

**Selmunett Island:  Northeast of Malta lies Selmunett Island, this island caters to the darker desires and demands of the Maltese.  It is a local custom that those that stay on Selmunett after dark can report no crime and have no crime reported against them.  The priests of Malta turn a blind eye to the gambling halls and houses of ill repute that populate this island. Of late however word has begun to circulate of Egyptian loyalists using Selmunett as a trade pipeline between Egypt and Greek reformists in Korinthos Greece.  Selmunett is also known for its black tar, a bubbling fountain, located on the southern coast.  The tar bubbles up between a boulder called the bleeding stone. Selmunett Tar is coveted for its waterproofing and ability to patch ships damaged at sea.

At first Garamaldi expresses his concern over our choice of Selmunett, he indicates the Indian twins Omas and his sister have some information on the place but they are not here at the moment. While there Garamaldi shows Lex his updated portrait, this prompts Lex to ask Garamaldi about the Hunter, the beardless dwarf. The Hunter is an advanced slaver for a high Egyptian individual or something worse; the Hunter is incredibly dangerous. Garamaldi shows grave concern that we are entangled with the Hunter. Garamaldi says the Hunter offers bounties and operates out of Selmunett Island but doesn’t know what gambling house the hunter is affiliated with but he is a strong personality of the island. Finally Garamaldi says he will be more informed regarding the Tengu.

Garamaldi goes off to see if he could find any business for our trip. We update him of our new ship location before we depart and make our way to the Paola docks. Here our characters find our ship as well as Evagara are fair and waiting for our return. Evagara tells us that in our absence several large ships were disrupting shipping lanes for a brief time upsetting the status quo of the docks, the other thing is that a pearl garden has been located north of Gozo inciting a lot of dock activity. Finally we agree to take on Ferd and ten more as crew from the survivors.

We agree amongst ourselves to five days of training downtime in Zebbug then come back for three days of circus activities before our eventual departure for Selmunett island.

Eventually we return to Garamaldi’s where he admits to not fully trusting Aulus just now; when he spoke to the man it didn’t feel right but Garamaldi believes he has found us some business. Cian minister of Frey has a large delivery of tools and a number of craftsmen as well who as it turns out are staying at the barracks that need to go to Selmunett.

After the characters head into town, Carlo intends to grab some food and head to Borg House. Marco wants to trade his magical ring for two rings and a chain shirt, and Lete plans on heading to the Bard’s College while Lex looks for Paulie to find a Piranha Strike teacher.
Melissa Mithna

As we enter town, passing through the archway, we find early indications that the circus is due to arrive. Here Marco finds a vendor but passes on any offers. Lete revisits Melissa Mithna at the Bard’s College.

At the Borg House Carlo walks in on three new individuals who accept Carlo kindly, one of them introduces himself as Lacartha. Communication in Carlo's head Lacartha warns Carlo of a telepath that is expected to be traveling with the circus; soon introductions are made by all. Over the course of the rest of the day Carlo realizes Lacartha’s super power was detecting the sincerity of someone thereby detecting any impostors. Overtime Carlo secures a guestroom at the Borg House.

Back at the Bard’s College Lete learns the most recent owner of the armor by Yakar son of Zabbar the pirate king of Sala Rock. Eventually the two make their way to Melissa’s apartment and along the way Lete learns of the Imps and familiars about the campus, seemingly as to explain Lete’s paranoia of being watched while at the College.

**Sala Rock (Zabbar):  Locals call it Sala Rock but not in the presence of the Tiefling pirate king Zabbar. Sala Rock has a watchtower, dock, house and barn since it was claimed by the Pirate King.  He has re-christened the island with his own moniker, Zabbar Island.  The Pirate King has anywhere from ten to two dozen ships at his disposal and is famous among pirates due to the two Thri-Kreen guardians that serve him.  Zabbar himself refers to the two Thri-Kreen as "The Roman and The Greek" and frequently chuckles after saying it.

Meanwhile Jabari tries to be noticed and along the way he notices a few Tengu before they literally blend into the crowd before his eyes. Jabari follows him to the arches but no further instead Jabari changes course and looks for Marco and Evagara instead.
The Golden Horn

Lex heads to the Golden Horn to find Paulie who is casually seated at the bar. Before long Lex explains his wishes for a specialty teacher; Paulie suggests the duels are one possibility but once the circus arrives there will certainly be a few who would be interested in making money training someone. While here Lex reschedules the trade deal for the Egyptian idol and learns Wally will be the best choice to broker that trade. Wally just happens to be in Paola at this time. Lex tarries a bit longer and gives Paulie 250 gold to buy into the safe house that will be shared by the Associates.

Lex asks about information on the rocks we will be traveling to. On Selmunett island stay away from an individual called the hunter who works for the Boffa family. The Boffas will sanction gambling anything from fingers to relatives, because of that there are dark practitioners vivisectionists and necromancers that frequent these establishments. Soon Wally arrives as does the rest of the characters and eventually a deal is struck for the idol of Tefnut for a +2 ability item to each of us.

We begin next session three days from the Circus the next morning (Monday Day 14)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

From A Night at the Opera (Session 10), The friends of Paola's Lord Commander Dom Mintoff

Amarna & Fezziwig
Fezziwig and Amarna Goldsberry. This married couple of Halflings are the owners of Blu Dog Traders. Fezziwig is the wheeler and dealer, while his wife, Amarna is the accounting wonder that keeps them living the good life. While they are well off, they aren't wealthy-yet. The couple has a retail store in Paola although they deal mainly in wholesale goods operating out of two warehouses in Paola.
Heracles Andropolous

Heracles Andropolous is a Human captain of the two mast sailing ship named Princess. He's typically dressed in velvets and silks. He's quite proud of his ship, claiming it to be fast and well protected. It boasts six canon and two light ballista. His homeport is Hagar Qim but he's in Paola pursuing "other opportunities ". 
He was escorting Madame Sophia a Human Courtesan who is the current owner (?) operator of the fest hall Sea Maidens in Hagar Qim. She took a run down seedy establishment and, in under a year, turned it into a respectable place. Rumors swirl around the pair about him actually being a pirate and smuggler and her being his fence and fixer.

Madame Sophia
Porsha Cabaleri

Porsha Cabaleri is a Half Elf student at the bard college. She's currently working on her master's thesis on contemporary Italian opera. She felt she hit the gold mine when she found out Marco Andrezi was in fact related to the legendary opera singer Isabella Andrezi known as Madame Nightingale. She cornered Marco for 20 minutes until he was able to escape but not before promising a whole afternoon to answer questions.      

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Malta Session 12: 10/31/2017 Black Druid Goblins, Marple The Divine(r), and Where’s Wally

We begin this week’s session at the Bonded Mind in Paola harbor hashing our plans to travel to Zebbug which includes acquiring a covered wagon and a team of horses from a man named Buzzard in return for our good deeds as he has taken on some of our survivors as low paying employees; as a matter of fact our driver’s name Ferd, an adept to Poseidon, and is one of individuals we saved. Overnight a slow steady rain visits Paola, at sea the weather seemed worse but otherwise the night passes uneventfully.

Our characters are taking chests ‘five’ and ‘six’ from the GemCutter including the golden idol of Tefnut wrapped in a tarp as well as 50 silver bars at 10 gp each, 50 gold bars at 100 gp ea, 4 platinum at 1,000 gp each and 2,000 gold and 2,000 silver pieces; as we load the wagon our characters find a recessed bottom that functions as a secret compartment, this helps us downplay our hefty and illicit cargo.
Black Druid Goblins
Our characters leave the docks confident that our property and ship will be well guarded for as we steer towards the Bard College to retrieve Lete’s chain shirt ‘Sure Step’ from the Professor of Calligraphy’s daughter. When we arrive Melissa presents the armor, quite proud of her work and invites Lete to return for a conversation on the story of the previous owners. To Lete this sounds splendid. While our characters were stopped Jabari notes someone coming close to our wagon (possibly flying); the only clue that stands out for Jabari is a mundane object out of place. He alerts the party, and Lete reminds the party of his past feelings of being watched while at the College before.

When we leave the slow rain continues but our progress is even and steady as we travel about an hour out of Paola before our characters realize our path will take us through what we surmise is the Black Druid’s territory; it is here we are soon set upon by eight goblins bearing the barren tree symbol on their tabards over masterwork chain shirts. The combat was difficult, taxing our toughness greatly, but none of us were killed or permanently wounded. We gather 60 unkempt throwing axes and six masterwork battleaxes, and 6 small sized masterwork chain shirts each bearing an Eye merchant mark.

The second hour we see a solitary women walk/limping in our direction. She wears a traveling cloak and serviceable leathers; on her back is a light crossbow and at her hip is a club or rod. We slow but intend to pass we as we warn her of the goblins; she shares a similar warning of danger behind her (further up the road for us) of a murderous Halfling and a cannibal she was in pursuit of and had captured. Claiming to be a diviner she has been contacted by more than one city’s leader to peruse this cannibal until she was set upon by the Halfling who enabled the cannibal to escape. She introduces herself as Marple. Having sympathy for her, our characters offer to escort her back to Zebbug. She explains she tracked the cannibal through Zebbug but her divining for the creature all started in Bugibba five miles away. The ‘cannibal’ is, some would describe, a large human of deep African descent with a predator’s intellect who preys upon small comminutes with strong ties to the larger settlements. She believes him to be operating in Malta for about a year.

Marple had captured him near Zebbug and was preparing her journey to Paola but not long after she was surprised by an ambush and thrown from the wagon- the Halfling’s attacks where deadly and she chose to flee and live to fight another day. Lete asked her about the symbolage the Halfling bore; she did notice a dark tree token the Halfling had. For Lete this connects the Black Druid to this deep African cannibal.

Back on the road we eventually encounter Marple’s prisoner wagon along with curious folk looking about the scene. Marple thanks us for our help and hopes that someday she will find us well in Hagar Qim or Mdina. After saying our goodbyes and well wishes, characters enter Zebbug whereby Jabari soon departs for a location on his own.

Jabari’s scene cuts to a nice three story adobe/ apartment building with a convenient outside stairway and his patron Loshe. She says she has found something that is time sensitive and wants our group’s help. She describes a familiar empty house near here and explains it is one of a series of homes constructed about Malta, places filled with wonder and rumor. She needs a team to help her access one of these residences. Not to be diverted Jabari gifts her scrolls toward a fruitful relationship. He admits to our newly acquired wealth and the problems marked Egyptian capital looking to Loshe for a solution. Jabari comes to her with the hopes of fixing this problem as well as avenues to opening our inaccessible chests.

She tells Jabari she took quite a chance with him and wants to take him to Ghallis Rock and Naxxar as an ally. Nevertheless she agrees to look into the spells protecting the two remaining chests our characters brought with us. In the meantime she offers the second and third floor for our characters before Jabari meets up with the rest of the characters who are in the city.

**Ghallis Rock: Naxxar rules this rock, which is incredibly easy to defend from other ships due to the path ships have to travel through sea debris and other land masses.  Naxxar is an elven wizard whose piracy is unique in that he harasses the Egyptians. There is a rumor that Naxxar is willing to  train other pirates in wizardry if they have the talent.  Naxxar is fond of employing half-elves and halflings, among which are a famous pair, a ship captain and his first mate.  The elven Captain Vargin is commander of The Sea Whiskey, a smaller agile ship recognized by most sailors in the region. Captain Vargin's first mate, the halfling known as Walker (the Mediterranean Sea Ranger), was widely recognized as the best cannon shot in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile the other characters are looking to sell the weapons and armor to IL-Kataniz, the lord mayor of Zebbug. At the mayors estate our characters see several armorers and warriors training and are hard at work. We are directed further into the estate partaking food and drink passing several individuals and guards along the way before the man of the hour comes to greet us and directs us and our wagon to a barn to facilitate our trade. IL-Kataniz proves curious as to our affiliations but is pleased to at our demeanor and discretion.

We show him 4 suits of masterwork full plate armor; 6 small masterwork chain shirts; 4 masterwork longswords; 6 masterwork battleaxes; 55 hand axes; 6 masterwork battle axes; 4 masterwork steel shields; 3 masterwork composite longbows (+3 Str) each bow comes with 20 arrows with very fine quivers. Total value (without the full plate) 7,655 gp. Which he sees about 4,000 in coin, but in trade IL- Kataniz ‘sees’ 5,000 gp.

He offers free feat training of weapon focus as a trade for the 4 suits of masterwork full plate and offers separate trade agreements for the rest of the items. This downtime of feat training will take five days with IL- Kataniz personal guards. This seems agreeable to Lete, Carlo, Lex and Marco.

Eventally Jabari arrives and IL- Kataniz immediately points him out as a sailor. IL- Kataniz admits to not having a ship and expressed sincere interest in what this relationship portends. He presses with more questions of Jabari’s sailing prowess but gets back to the trade at hand even offering repair services for broken items as well as an odd collection of wands for trade. But what he’s really interested in is trading for ship-hold space. He explains he has a shipment of items bound for the scandalous Selmunett Island, and offers a fully charged wand of CMW CL 5 for trade of the space; however, the soonest we could start on such a task would be a week from now. He yields and suggests for our charactesr to go to Selmunett and experience it first and come back to him ready to make his delivery.

**Selmunett Island:  Northeast of Malta lies Selmunett Island, this island caters to the darker desires and demands of the Maltese.  It is a local custom that those that stay on Selmunett after dark can report no crime and have no crime reported against them.  The priests of Malta turn a blind eye to the gambling halls and houses of ill repute that populate this island. Of late however word has begun to circulate of Egyptian loyalists using Selmunett as a trade pipeline between Egypt and Greek reformists in Korinthos Greece.  Selmunett is also known for its black tar, a bubbling fountain, located on the southern coast.  The tar bubbles up between a boulder called the bleeding stone. Selmunett Tar is coveted for its waterproofing and ability to patch ships damaged at sea.

After some discussion between our characters we agree and that we should travel and scout Selmunett and return to IL- Kataniz for a delivery to one of the four ‘Great Corner’ gambling houses- each operated by a different family, but far from the only powerful families on Selmunett.
Before we depart Lex asks if IL- Kataniz knows Wally and is directed to a woman’s abode. At the location in question we find Wally gingerly exiting said woman’s abode. After an uneasy moment our characters introduce ourselves and explain that our visit is business; Wally eventually boards our wagon and immediately notices the chests. A deal is quickly struck, paying him with 6 Egyptian gold bars. Wally laments the form of payment but eventually dispels the magic on the chests and goes as far as shrinking the chains, freeing the chests before making his exit with his payment.

Our characters then retreat to Loshe’s upstairs apartments, Jabari revealing his wizard guild affiliation to the characters along the way including her offer for the group. In the chests are masterwork books of worldly crafts written by leaders in those crafts- at first glance it looks like an elven collection of historic value; the other chest contains metal shards, pieces of a metal spellbook; as well as finery and gemstones giving us an additional 1,000 gp capital. *On a side note we give Ferd a masterwork scale with a symbol of the Eye on it.

Eventually Loshe comes to the apartment and explains to our characters the existance of an architect who designed several  structures throughout Malta and the Mediterranean.  His Elven designs were done under a variety of names which creates difficulty in locating his work.  For those educated enough to recognize his architectural style, specifically a spiral crafting unique to his design, one can identify structures crafted by "The Architect".  This architects creations are sought out for clues to specific complexes he created called a Portal House.  It is believed that all of The Architects creations hold clues that reveal the locations of his many portal houses.  Loshe would like to find a portal house and needs our help. She knows of only two people to have discovered a portal house and wishes to take us to this local home  looking for clues to a portal house. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Aello Angelopoulos

One year ago, as Spring broke across the Mediterranean ...

The warm morning sun was rich with the aroma of flowering trees and budding olives.  The markets of Thebes were bustling, for this marked the final week of loading for the market fleet that was headed for Malta. The streets were filled with poets, singers, musicians, courtesans, young lovers, and old couples. Mules and oxen pulled wagons, goats were herded with their lambs around the walled estates, and spring chickens ran amok, all pouring in from the villages that dotted these Grecian plains.

As he breathed deeply through his prodigious nose, Alexander was filled with excitement as he took in the vernal panorama of the great city of Thebes. It had been a good winter of study to be sure, but the young agent was eager to return to Ghallis Rock. He mused over his beautiful mentor, his teacher of the past winter. She bore all the assets of classic Greek beauty, with eyes that sparkled and she always bore the scent of lilac on a gentle breeze that ever rifled through her shoulder length raven black tresses. Ahhh, he sighed to himself.

Aello Angelopoulos stepped lightly down the stairs of her family's manor house of their Thebes Estate. Though most of her family's holdings were an ancestral island just off shore in the Mediterranean Sea, this estate was her favorite place, and she made it her home. In her left arm she cradled a book to her side. In her right, she clenched her grip about the top of a fine silk bag, gathered  and tied with a thin silk rope at the top.  Behind her, a couple house slaves followed bearing wine, sweet breads and cheese.

She loved the city, and especially loved it as summer approached. The enchantress was a hopeless romantic and every summer she dreamed of adventures and heroes that sailed, and fought, and loved. Part of her love of Thebes revolved around the community of The Arts and Philosophy. Another was her fondness of the silks and seamstresses of the city. But mostly it was the cosmopolitan make up of its citizens that enthralled her. Athenians, Spartans, Italians, Persians, even Egyptians all were populus in the city.  In addition to the great social variety, it made her own racial traits much less conspicuous. As a sylph, her bloodline ran exceptionally strong in her, and her djinni features greatly enhanced her beauty and grace. But here in Thebes, whispers were limited to wondering where she got "her Persian from" .

She smiled warmly as she welcomed Alexander's embrace in her courtyard. They spoke happy goodbyes, and she wished her winter lover a safe voyage to home waters. She handed him the book and said "for your master". As she passed him the bag she said "for you". He smiled and kissed her warmly as he hande to her a set of matched jewelry that included a ring, a necklace, and two ear rings, all set with alternating emeralds and diamonds. They lingered for a few moments before he returned to his carriage, bound for the ship that would leave on that afternoons tide. She watched the carriage leave, and it was almost out of sight before she warmed herself with a daydream about her upcoming summer love.

Malta Session 11: 10/25/2017 The 21st Survivor, Relocating the Bonded Mind, and An Idol to Tefnut

The Bonded Mind
Our session begins with the gladiator Lete stopping by the bard college and Melissa Mithna to check on the status of his new armor to be engraved, only to find out she has not been seen since the opera the night before. Her mother in fact asks the gladiator to have Melissa contact her as soon as possible. The meeting was short but when Lete leaves, he does so with the feeling of being watched.

Jabari meanwhile moves the Bonded Mind within sight of the Paola docks to hopefully identify their friend Lete when he finally comes looking for the ship. This merits onlookers to note the ‘new’ ship coming into Paola.

Meanwhile Lex postulates a plan to the characters: author two messages, one to Wassier and the other to the Church of Tiamat (to be delivered by Lex himself disguised as a messenger). The goal is to put our greatest two annoyances at odds; the message to Wassier would convey our displeasure with our dealing for the GemCutter revealing our knowledge of CSA and the Grey Warriors; Wassier possibly being responsible for these teams coming after us on the Bonded Mind. And a message to the church of Tiamat exposing Wassier to the heist of the GemCutter to hopefully put our enemies against us.

Back in the city as Lete walks to the docks the gladiator earns 6 silver by helping with minor tasks taking his time along the brisk streets of Paola’s docks, but when Lete eventually arrives he notices the Bonded Mind is gone from its berth.

It was Jabari and Carlo who first spotted Lete on the docks outside the city; however the gladiator could not see the ship in the glare of the morning sun. With few options Lete returns to the area of the docks where the Bonded Mind was originally docked to look for the ship there.

Meanwhile on the Bonded Mind, Lex is penning his two letters while Jabari gathers a few key magic scrolls, preparing the row boat to get to the docks rather than docking the ship. Marco and Evagara decide to stay with the ship; Carlo, Jabari (now wearing different outfit), and Lex (in disguise as the 21st Survivor) row to Paola.

As they arrive the characters realize there is an air of benevolence as word of our heroics (saving 20 sailors) has quickly spread. The characters arrive just as Lete was about to give up and head to Garamaldi’s; it is here our characters reunite and exchange information while Lex set in motion his plan.

First, Lex passes off the message to Wassier to another messenger paying double (1 gp.) to have it delivered. Then Lex looks into ways to get a message to merchant prince named Ffahra Ffahra and the Church of Tiamat.

While Lete and Carlo say at the courtyard Lex walks the path to the Church of Tiamat. The path to the church is lined with lifelike stone carvings leading up to a magnificent dragon statue. The church building itself is very similar to the other 6 churches however Lex is quick to note this church has the least amount of activity. Gargoyles are seen perched around the uneasy scene.

The rest of us wait outside the grounds at ease believing Lex was going to the Egyptian Church. Inside the church of Tiamat Lex happens across a man and a woman in coitus; Lex recognizes the woman as Melissa Mithna before she flees the scene, embarrassed; but then at last Kasok, the man after pulling up his trousers approaches Lex and offers to take the offered message to Ffahra Ffahra.
Tiamat Don't Got Time Fo Dat. 

Messenger Lex waits for a response and patiently, casually looks around. At first glance Lex notices this is the most nonreligious ‘temple’ Lex has ever seen; dragon iconography is prevalent but many typical ceremonial items of a true church are absent, although there are areas that are being reinforced to accommodate heavy loads. Eventually Kasok comes back with no response but is paid 1 gp for a job well done.

When Lex goes to leave about a minute later he passes a group of stonemasons and laborers that note Lex’s passage as odd coming from the church of Tiamat.

We meet back up at the row boat and make arrangements to move the Bonded Mind to a new dock later that night; meanwhile we check up on our old berth outside the city. Walking separately our characters will see an individual publicly watching the comings and goings between the two dock areas. Once there Carlo and Jabari see two grey warriors keenly looking out toward the water; Lete notices a very well hidden individual wearing a black headdress watching our old berth (possibly a tengu). Lete immediately alerts the other characters who turn around and head back to the city. Lex continues with his messenger disguise looking for a message to retrieve on a nearby ship so he doesn’t attract suspicion. Meanwhile Lete maintains guarded stance and is the last to exit this area of the docks.

A short time later our characters find themselves back on the Bonded Mind it is around 9 am day 11 to get some rest setting a usual watch until 6 in the evening as the sun begins to wane. We successfully dock the Bonded Mind and refocus our attention on the chests that are still locked in the hold.

After our period of rest Lex brings up his contact Paulie and leaves the Bonded Mind to check in with a contact in the city guard ‘Charlie’ to find Lex’s associate. Lex eventually finds Charlie at a guard shack, he informs Lex that many people from the docks have been talking of a pirate who has brought in a war galleon. No one knows the pirate’s intentions but word from Gozo indicates that the ship was spotted NW of the island. Our characters may have actually seen this war galleon and saved some if its victims. Charlie tells Lex that Paulie can be found at the Golden Horn tavern, a tavern owned by Charlie’s very own uncle. The Golden Horn, a neighborhood establishment, is named for Charlie’s uncle who is an Italian horn player.

Outside the Golden Horn is a statue of a bronze boot appearing of being partially filled with coin; inside is a stage flanked with two real boots for tipping performers. The two story structure proved inviting and relaxed. We are soon accosted by a bartender who insists a round of ‘founders shots’ is necessary for the new guests. Jabari moves to tip the bartender and is directed to the boots to facilitate that and notices the boots bear a number of Roman religious symbols. Jabari receives a blessing after saying a brief word of reverence to Neptune.

Meanwhile Marco will exercise his performance skill telling a story of five simple lads and the two ogres retelling our characters encounter with the tobacco hill ogres. Suddenly an individual sits at the party’s table, an individual appearing quite like Aulus, who greets us in Italian he introduces himself as Farlie and states Paulie will return in short time and that Paulie speaks highly of Lex. Lex asks him directly if he was at the Church of Mercury two days ago impersonating Aulus. A response came to Lex as a lie. Lex explains how he believes he is being set up; to which Farlie responds he is sometimes mistaken for Aulus.

Carlo recognizes some sailors and some familiar faces in the establishment as well as priest- Cian of the Norse the minister of Frey. Eventually Paulie, looking a bit haggard, arrives and sits at the group’s table and asks, “If you steal something that was already stolen, is that stealing?” Lex answers “depends on who’s asking.”

Paulie begins by saying several months ago there were two ships in dock were constantly at odds. They were moved several times and both claimed to contain the same thing: a unique and valuable statue. The point is that one of the groups walked the plank and Paulie was looking for their hidden treasure but was too late the other group got there first and now the treasure is well guarded in a house close to here. He knows several members of this group left this safe house and headed to the docks, Paulie believes we must move quickly to hit the house and steal the stolen goods while their numbers are low. Lex mentions the locked chests to which Paulie responds that once this heist is completed Lex should have enough to pay Wally to deal with them.

Pauie leads our characters through Paola to a property as big as a city block where twenty individuals normally guard, however their numbers seem diminished to half that. It’s about 8:30 in the evening; Lex hands out simple blacks masks for our characters. As we approach we see a woman depart on a carriage leaving the door to the house ajar. We cautiously approach and when Lex opens the door we encounter an old Italian man who is very surprised to see us- he was not alone, in the house are crates ready to be moved as well as a group of well-equipped individuals.

We eventually prevail as some of them surrender after felling a few of them. We assure healing is applied to the injured and subdue the remaining hostiles all Carthaginians. The women we witnessed leaving where Agatha and Sarista arranging the delivery to the ship the Lisbon, they are the wife and daughter of Zabbar the pirate king.

Paulie moves and opens a crate containing an Egyptian golden idol of Tefnut of one of the Egyptian pantheon. (Tefnut is a goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion. She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut)

To our characters this indicates a set of idols representing each major Egyptian deity. The other crates, some contain jewelers boxes with uncut gems much of it is plunder from different ships gold, gems or magic up to 2.000 each (handy haversacks) plus a random roll (ring of spell knowledge II (Marco); ring of climb/athletics (Lete); +2 weapon (Carlo); +1 weapon (Lex); 3rd level wand CL5 fully charged (Jabari)) as well as a potion of CLW and CMW each including Paulie and Evagara. Lete found a haversack that wasn’t empty: a map detailing a route seaport in Egypt and Korinthos in Greece including a stop in Malta including tide and navigational notes as well as another map has scrawled at the top ‘Tac-Cawl’ and looks like a pirates treasure map.

Paulie asks if Lex wants to invest into a safe house and proposes a location on the College Grounds. Lex agrees. Then our characters ask Paulie about Wally and learn Wally has a place in the Bards College. Our characters ask what would another Egyptian statue be worth? Paulie places the value is compared to the cost of a ship. As to finding Wally- he’s originally Zebbug and is popular in the city and shouldn’t be hard to find. In Zebbug our characters will want to deal with IL-Kataniz directly, he will help fence arms and armor. Then Lex shows Paulie the wolf’s head ring; Paulie’s reaction was plain to see. Paulie’s understanding is there’s some necromancer slave masters who control the spirits of slaves (the soulless) and the (sprit animal) ring is tied to that end.

In three days we arrange to meet Paulie at the Golden Horn to move another golden Egyptian statue, indicating to Paulie we are entertaining offers to improve our situation. We return to the Bonded Mind (Jabari identifies the last remaining magical amulet (made of a dragon scale) as an amulet of natural armor +1

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Old Man from the Sea

Stewart had taken to tending to the old man whose wounds appeared to be both physical and mental, his sleep assaulted by nightmares.  For several weeks the Old Man hardly moved.  Stewart spent most of his time convincing the ship captain that they were not inviting death and disease aboard The Waterhawk by saving the old man.   The truth was the Halfling wanted to know all he could about this old man that somehow lived through the jailer’s prison and felt he owed it to a fellow survivor to give his best.  Somewhere around the sixth week The Captain informed Stewart that if the old man wasn’t at least conscious by the time of their first ship moot they would place him in a small boat and leave him to the Sea’s fate.

First the weather began to work in the old man’s favor, turning so bad that their arrival at the moot was delayed, giving the old man even longer to recover.  When the Waterhawk finally arrived at the moot Stewart thought he had failed the old man, whose only communication had been mad ravings during his nightmares.  The Captain and his crew were quick to begin their introductions to the other ships, the old man briefly forgotten but Stewart knew he was down to his last hours.  Looking down at the old man Stewart wondered why he couldn’t just think him awake.  The Halfling fell over backwards in shock when the old man opened his eyes  staring at Stewart a moment before croaking out, “Water…who..where are we? MY Amulet! Where is it!?”

Malta Session 10: 10/18/2017 Carlo Generates Enease and a Night of Romance for Everyone Else.

We begin this week’s session about 4 in the afternoon on day 10 by planning a celebration of our completed and profitable quest of retrieving the GemCutter with an evening at the Opera house. Towards this end, Marco sets out to spend some funds including wearing his newly purchased formal attire and a horse drawn carriage to do it up right; even Evagara, is stunningly beautiful in her new formal gown and accessories. Jabari decides to stay behind however and wait for word from his sponsor Loshe. 

As the remaining characters set out to the Bard College Lete observes various city folk around the docks noting our passage eliciting whispers regarding our group. Marco however notices Country Strong Alex associating with an exotic tiefling or half elf and a human, a Carthaginian, as our characters walk by. Lex breaks from the group to watch Alex as the rest of the characters continue to the Bard’s College to obtain a suitable carriage.

Once at the College our characters learn to out delight there’s a preview of the show as well as delicacies and drink prepared by bards from the college. Various forms of expression home brews, pastries, art and song are rendered for the attendees. As Marco and Evagara are shown a variety of services, Lete takes on the role of body guard of the couple; Carlo attends as a simple observer. After some time, a regal looking couple approach Marco and Evagara…

Back near the Bonded Mind, Lex is following Country Strong Alex but with the Bonded Mind technically outside Paola so following him would be difficult due to the openness of the area. Lex changes his clothes and happens into a group of sailors; after stealing a few of their articles, Lex moves out to the docks to where Lex believed CSA could be hiding out; Lex acting like a show caller as not to be identified. Eventually Lex finds CSA and others watching the Bonded Mind at three different sentry posts.

Jabari, in the Bonded Mind is spending time examining his new book and organizing the ship making his presence known on the ship appearing quite busy- oblivious of the subterfuge. As this occurs a blue bird delivers a message to Jabari. “You and your friends should come to Zebbug.” the only signature was a symbol found in Jabari's spellbook, a presumed message from Loshe.

Outside, Lex finds an opening and boards the Bonded Mind to reunite with Jabari. The two exchange information and Lex takes over watch on our characters ship and treasure while Jabari plans his next move.

Dom Mintoff
Back at the Opera a regal couple approaches Marco, Evagara, Carlo and Lete…Lord Commander of Paola Dom Mintoff introduces himself to our group; as manservant Lete formally introduces Marco and Evagara. Lord Commander Mintoff states they are in need of another couple for the intermission dance, this news overjoys Evagara.  Carlo generates unease at the social gathering while Lete is recognized as a gladiator. Mintoff asks some questions of Lete’s involvement in the fights and learns the Lord Commander actually manages two fighters, one a half orc; our characters eventually hit it off with Mintoff and he invites our characters to an after party. A short time later our characters are introduced to other friends and nobles before the show. At the opera we are seated in a balcony near the Lord Commander.

Prior to the opera Mintoff announces the intermission dance which is well received by all attendees. The first half of the opera was enjoyed but soon it was time for the dance where the Lord Commander and his wife steal the show- like the bards they are. The show ends in entertaining fashion featuring a sonic trickster around 9 pm.

Back at the Bonded Mind Lex is dawns his armor staying unseen below, while Jabari continues his very observable activity while changing the name of the ship. An exchange between a couple of individuals on the docks prompts Jabari to call up for Lex just in time for Lex to see a dwarf walking away from one of the men seen by Lex watching the Bonded Mind.

Eventually Lex and Jabari hails Country Strong Alex and his companions calling them out and to ask them their business. Jabari invites them aboard and while the pair do approach: the Carthaginian and CSAlex- they decline the offer. They claim they were in fact watching for the Dwarf, that he is trouble and that’s why they sent the Dwarf away. Jabari and Lex are skeptical as CSAlex explains at length we are ‘parked’ in the dwarf’s spot before they leave in hasty fashion. 

Meanwhile there is an hour break between after the opera and ascending to the Lord Commander’s after party. Carlo eventually meets Tal Borg the sonic trickster and are left with the impression the man is a Kineticist, from the Madagascar area, the two speak for a time and at the end of their conversation Carlo is given Tal’s address after Carlo went to great lengths to speak Tal’s language. Lete and Carlo follow up on the address coordinates while Marco and Evagara advance to the Lord Commander’s after party.

After about 10-15 minutes Carlo and Lete find a two story structure converted to a house. Carlo uses an ability to knock the door of ‘Borg House’. Tal answers and invites us in and we find there are three other ‘Borgs’; Elsar (F) a mesmerist, Maas (M) a spiritualist, and Cral (M) fire kineticist. They seem to share a fear of being hunted by draconic agents and Egyptians in general; they confirm Carlo is being hunted.

A short time later Lete and Carlo arrives at the Lord Commander’s abode for a truly fantastic party into the night. Eventually Minton takes Lete to his den and begins to speak about the coming carnival, and a fighting warehouse sporting an impromptu fighting pit in its square center over looked by each level (and fighter) of the warehouse. Qualifying begins three days before the carnival. He offers to manage Lete at 20%/10% for fights outside Paola and gives the address of the Warehouse and “X” who will train Lete.

Lete leaves directly after the meeting with Lord Commander Minton and heads to the Borg to speak to Maas about the truth of reincarnation, fantastic archaeological digs, and seeing dead people- into the early morning hours.

A Grey Warrior Slave
The rest of the characters return the carriage after the party and soon after find themselves near the docks where the characters are soon alerted to the presence of others following them. The characters quickly set up around the Bonded Mind as two grey warriors along with a beardless dwarf ley siege to the ship. The characters soon kill the two warriors and eventually retreat below when the dwarf reveals he can fly around while invisible. 2 masterwork longswords, masterwork full plate, and masterwork composite longbows (+3 STR) with 20 arrows; each marked with Egyptian emblems and slave torcs are recovered from the two grey warriors.

The characters immediately throw the bodies and slave torcs overboard. After an uncomfortable hour passes it will be 4 in the morning and the characters begin to take sleeping shifts. After about a half hour Lex spots a half dozen more grey warriors heading to the Bonded Mind. Conflict renews and after some brilliant telekinesis from Carlo the grey warriors were knocked off their feet and disposed of into the waters. The characters take one prisoner and take the Bonded Mind out to open waters.

Under questioning the prisoner states the ‘Hunter’ owns him; he does not know how many Grey Warriors there are. Where does he stay? “On a Selmunett Rock nearby here.” Tonight he was ordered to take down the spellcasters in this conflict but not to kill us. After the characters are satisfied, the slave along with much of his gear was sent overboard the Grey Warrior’s heavy armor weighing him to the bottom of the ocean.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Associate

Lex took a sip of tea as he watched the newest arrival maneuvering into dock. It was a laden clipper flying a family crest he was not familiar with. Of course his interest was not with the ship or even its cargo but with the three individuals that had been casing the docks the last few days. They were skilled changing positions regularly and communication via subtle gestures as to not arouse suspicion. On occasion one would disappear only to return soon after with a change of clothing or a makeshift disguise. They were vigilant, but there lack of focus told Lex they were uncertain of their mark. Shifting attention between ships, freight, & individuals it was clear they were looking for a score but hadn’t found it yet.   
Lex had decided to make contact with the band of onlookers. He had identified which of the three seemed to be the leader, a middle aged balding man. What little hair he had remaining held more grey than men twice his age. He seemed to be fairly accomplished regularly holding conversations with passersby as he kept his wits attuned to his surroundings. He had even conversed with Jabari briefly regarding his newly named vessel, but upon learning the ship was recently “purchased” must have assumed its hold held no valuables and moved on.
Lex took advantage of the momentary distraction the clipper provided to approach the doc guard. Jabari had made several friends with the gifting of an entire barrel of rum and Lex planned to make good use of it. He gave a couple of the guards a few silver to help “play a prank on an old friend”.  
Taking up position nearby it took Lex several attempts to signal the rouge leader before he acknowledged him. Thought he had not deciphered their entire cant he had identified the gesture for a position change. It was this gesture Lex had been subtly repeating much to the surprise of the balding one. At the realization he had been identified he did not panic nor react in any way as to arouse suspicion.  Even as the dock guard approached he kept composure and calmly turned to walk away. It was only the approach of the second guard from behind did he then realize escape was not an option.
“What is your bushness on the docksh” asked the first patrolman. Rum influencing not only the tone but clarity of his orders. “Let me shee your badge” or I will hall you in for sushpicious behavior.
“I am just waiting for my brother” said the balding man gesturing to the clipper as it was completing its approach. “He is a sailor; his ship is arriving just there”. He said while handing over a badge to the interrogating guard.
“You fit the description of a person of interest” the second guard spoke up taking control of the interrogation. His tone clear and stern indicated he had not started his off duty celebration early. “We are going to take you in for questioning” his said as he lay his hand on his prisoners shoulder.
“Good sir this is certainly a case of mistaken identity. I have just arrived in your fair city”.  The confidence in his voice began to give way as he urgently looked for an escape.
As the guards moved him onto the street a billow of smoke erupted from a nearby cart. “Keep an eye on him” said the dock commander as he headed toward the smoke quickly enveloping the cart.
“yes shir” came the inebriated reply followed by a mocking salute. “I will keep both eyeshhhh”.
Lex pulled the prisoner into the wagon as he passed the drunken guardsmen. “Get under that tarp and don’t make a sound until we get some distance between us. That fake fire won’t fool the guards for long. I signaled you to move away from the docks, you should have listened. I am Lex what do they call you”?
“Paulie” came a whisper from the tarp.
“Well Paulie where should I take you”?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Malta Session 9: 10/10/2017 Return to Malta, Renaming of the Bonded Mind, and Blue's Appreciation

We begin this week's session on the morning of Day 9 as our characters sail the recovered GemCutter up to the White Lightning, the ship that brought us to Fungus Rock; as this occurs some of us notice the weather beginning to take a turn for the worse just as some of us notice the avian life begin to fly about agitated and noisy. On the White Lightning, Valcrum’s compatriots reveal they’ve occupied themselves have gathered some cindermoss in our absence as gratitude for us taking them on as ship hands. Our characters are appreciative and eventually store it away from the gunpowder on the GemCutter. We agree to drop Valcrum and his traveling companions along the shores on the way back to Malta.

After we affix the White Lightning to the GemCutter, our characters agree to stay near Fungus Rock until early afternoon to use the tide to take us out to sea, during this time we hear cannon fire from the far end of Fungus Rock. During this time Lex works with the cannons to become more familiar with their operation; Lete and Carlo continue to train together; however soon a short storm descends and alters the sand banks around us affecting many other stuck ships- freeing some and shifting others. In the Crows next Jabari sees a two mast galleon in the distance that turns out to be pirates that just waves us on. This prompts us to be on our seafaring way.

After an hour of sailing back to Malta we see smoke emanating from a sinking ship along our route as well as several bodies in the sea. Pulling two men in we see they are gillmen with obvious burns. Carlo attends to them with the healing skill and feels waves of a headache when Carlo touches the gillman. Gillman regards Carlo akin to the fabled boogey man. At this time Jabari retrieves Gagnyon  for help in tending to his kin and even Gagnyon  stops short when he finally sees Carlo who is still reeling from claustrophobia and horrible alien feelings; then Carlo finally realizes he is connected to the gillmen somehow. Marco hears Gagnyon say to himself. “so that’s what would have been.” And Lete detects a hint of jealousy from the gillman. 

Before Gagnyon departs he states that he only works for ‘them’ he is not 'with' them (those he was encountered traveling with). We warn them to stay away from the Egyptians. Gagnyon expresses his gratitude for his freedom and departs with the two injured gillman. 

Soon we approach the sinking ship the “Barkley”; our characters see the ship is flying the Dellimara family colors while keeping our eyes open for more survivors. Our characters lower a long boat in an attempt to salvage something from the Barkley and to look for unconscious survivors. It is not long before we pull an unconscious tiefling and a half-elf survivor who are both exhausted. Eventually we see a gillman in the water who indicates more survivors; we are eventually save 20 individuals.

**Dellimara Island: There is something about the Dellimara family, the Maltese people don't speak of it however its there.  Somehow even though they have lived there for as long as most people could remember, they weren't viewed as original islanders.  The island itself is very small, consisting of a large manor, a tower, temple and a small dock.  The manor strangely built, the walls end in uneven angles that create optical illusions that people find difficult to gaze upon for longer than a moment. Some sailors claim that besides the Dellimara family that resides in the manor there is a druid that maintains a grove on the island.

Meanwhile Lex and the rest of the characters, with the help of an Aspect of the Dolphin and dancing lights spell, check the hold of the sinking “Barkley” for valuables. Eventually we find an area of magical darkness hiding mysterious coffins and a sarcophagus; detecting magic reveals the source of the magical darkness as well as the sarcophagus as well as afore mentioned the coffins.  Our characters focus on retrieving other magical items: a crate containing 3 ivory crafted boxes with Egyptian symbols that contain magic within; Lex identifies them as Egyptian funerary items for the family of the deceased. We take 21 masterwork boxes as well as the three containing the unseen magic.

Jabari now looks for captains logs, maps and charts in the Barkley and retrieves maps and charts however when he finds the first mates room he discovers a 200 lb. solid gold Anubis idol. Our characters also find most any gear or alchemical gear of 50 gp or less on the ship as well as spare sails for repairs. At about this time Valcrum and his cohorts depart with a long boat recovered earlier.

The shared story from the tiefling and a possible half-elf survivors is that they are hired crew from Egypt to somewhere here, one of the Rocks; however our characters observe none of them are Egyptian. Our characters put them on the White Lightning for our return home. We are sure to plot this location again for a future return (i.e. the location of the coffins, sarcophagus, and the undead that surely reside within.)

Eventually we arrive to the active docks in Paola and are surprised how easy it is to dock with proper identification including paying the dock protection of 2 gold a day- we pay for three days protection (dock fees are already paid). No inconveniences are made, however we do alert them of the 22 rescued individuals on the White Lightning. Our characters send word to the church of the survivors and when we do our characters find that the night brings out the merfolk as it is easy to hide their exotic heritage.

We use the White Lightning as our temporary base and move our retrieved items there exhausting Jabari’s wand of unseen servant. 21 ivory masterwork boxes contains  10,000 gp in valuables (1,666 each); one box contains an extravagant divine wand of air bubble (38 charges) rumored to be rechargeable; another ivory box holds damaged magical winged boots (broken); the third contains two wands, one divine wand of CLW (50 charges), and the other is an arcane Egyptian rechargeable 1st level empty wand (can be recharged 4 times). Along with these funerary items are ceremonial maps of the river Styx and Egypt. This takes about three hours go through and by midnight a couple of priests of Poseidon which Jabari (a follower of) welcomes aboard. At this time Jabari tithes 200 for food and rum to be delivered to the White Lightning; Carlo tithes as well. Lex and Lete plan on tithing in person tomorrow.

We eventually set watches and rest on the White Lightning and awake the 10th day of our adventure- a Thursday- set to welcome new business on Saturday the day of New Business Day.
Aulus Daquaretti

The next day Lex and Lete depart for the Seven Churches and the church of Mercury as food and rum is loaded to the White Lightning. When the two arrive we are given looks and are mistaken for someone else but are eventually directed to the Priest of Mercury who is nowhere to be seen as of yet. Lete and Lex head to his home, concerned for Aulus. And when there is no answer we return to the church testifying that he did not answer. Lete and Lex tithe the usual amount.

While out and about Lete and Lex head to Wassier’s ranch to report our return, when we do we pass Garamaldi’s and see Aulus and after a brief conversation find out that he wasn’t at the church at all- and is uneasy with the news that he was seen to have had an argument with Lete and Lex not long ago. Aulus says he was at Garamaldis in regards to the burglary and admits there has been interest in our characters from the beginning. After an exchange of information Aulus departs for the church and Lex and Lete depart for Wassier.

When we arrive Wassier we see him interacting with his son about something. We approach and report our job competed. Wassier calls for 'Country Strong' Alex as Wassier wishes to return to the docks with us. As the two characters walk we discuss how we came to free the Gleeful Skipper and who also came to claim the ship. We also ask the status of the White Lightning and it so happens since there was a bloodshead and rival pirate group, Wassier offers the White Lightning to us- pending renaming and relocating.

Arriving Wassier and Country Strong Alex board the Gleeful Skipper/GemCutter to inspect the ship; Jabari accompanies them happily (looking for anything our characters overlooked when we first searched the GemCutter) but is professionally balked.

We indicate to our dock contacts a new location of our new ship the White Lightning for at least a week including security for the amount of 50 gp. We are sent to a smaller section on the north side, technically outside Paola. We agree to rename the White Lighting the Bonded Mind and are kept busy through the noon hour. Marco, Lete and Lex see Country Strong Alex walking away from our new dock area. For the rest of the day Jabari preps the ship for renaming; Marco, Lex, and Lete prepare to haul the barrel of cindermoss for delivery to the alchemist; and Carlo begins his meditation practices.

Moving to Paola Marco, Lex and Lete hear bard callers announcing visiting Circus Sciortino. Marco knows this name as a family of swordsmen and gladiators; Lete knows them as the ‘Heels of Sciortino’ as dirty trick gladiators. They are expected to arrive in a week with public events the following week.

We soon arrive at Blue’s alchemist who seems excited at our return with all the plants and cinder moss. A random roll plus a 1st level potion and an alchemical item up to 200 gp is extended as payment for our services. 2 Scrolls 3rd, 2nd, 1st level arcane spell CL5 (Jabari); +1 weapon (Marco); +1 armor, +1 special ability (Lete); +1 weapon (Lex); even Evagara gains an item. Blue refers a calligraphy professor Mithna (middle aged women/exotic- half-elf?) that can engrave names on items but he is anxious to get to work and sets us hastily upon our way.

While along the open mall at the College, we look to for paint for renaming the White Lightning as well as Professor Mithna to have names engraved on some magical items and Marco and Evagara head to the clothier to pick up their formal items. Lex heads to Garamaldis.

At Mithna’s the Professor is impressed at the display of magic and states we actually want her daughter Melissa Mithna. When Melissa arrives she offers to research the item and will happily engrave ‘Sure Step’ upon Lete's enchanted chain shirt- to be completed in two days. Lete offers 20 gold for the commission and then introduces her to Marco who gives her the silver rapier with ‘VH’ engraved upon it for her to research. She indicates that research will take a week.

Meanwhile Carlo meditates then practices his abilities and is able to piece together his contact with the gillman; their race and Carlo are ‘related’ that the aboleth was attempting to transform him into a gillman- a race created.

As this occurs Lete and Lex head to Garamaldi’s to inquire about the recent impersonations. Garamaldi states that a disguise like ones that impersonated us and Aulus seems to indicate Tengu involvement. Lex thinks that a secret phrase will be necessary from here on out; Lete comes up with ‘bonded mind’ to guarantee Garamaldi is who he states he is because from the moment we have arrived there has been interest in our group. There was a staged confrontation and Aulus is in danger. Garamaldi says he is going to make some inquiries and will want to speak to Aulus over this now. Lex says make sure you know it’s him. Garamaldi states that if it comes to it he will give our characters an alibi. Lex asks where to begin looking for Tengu and he is revered to Zallas. After that everyone returns to the Bonded Mind at 4 in the afternoon.