Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Shapechangers: Chapter 6

News of Viscount's abduction reaches Brother Kelly in Greyhawk's refugee camps outside the city walls, he decides his friends probably need him about now.

Teckcos Tik rides back to Greyhawk with an urgent communique from Keoland ambassador for the embassy staff. He meets Brother Kelly at the city gates and they head into the city together.

The pair inquire about their friends from a passing Watch patrol and are told of an early morning disturbance in the River Quarter. The party dudes decide to tag along with the patrol and arrive at McGloogan's Warehouse just as the fight inside is reaching it's conclusion.

Several party members want to question the big man McGloogan, who in turn pleads his innocence with the Watch patrol and says the party attacked his premises without provocation.

Your going dowwwnnnn McGloogan you slag! taunts Cearendil. So you might aswell talk! The Party look ready to beat a confession outta McGloogan whilst the Paladin is conveniently sent to 'buy another rug'...

*DM staring into camera*

Only joking 8-)

Baron Quentin stands implacably in front of McGloogan and refuses to sanction any kind of heinous torturing of the captured man. Eventually the Watch patrol take McGloogan away to the City Jail leaving the Party members to conduct through searches inside the warehouse.

Brother Kelly spies a secret trapdoor in the warehouse floor leading to a subterranean secret room (near the body of Keemor by the mound of sundered sacks). The secret room is roughly 30ftx30ft in size and once investigated is found to contain more bags of platinum, 15 crates marked for delivery to the Guild of Wizardry and a stack of ledgers.

The crates are forced open and reveal dismembered body parts! Entrails, sinews, and other such bodily material.. AEUW! Amidst this dissection are many, many jars of a red liquid...which after clerical CSI type analysis is found to be Elf blood.

The stuff in the crates are all components used to make magical potions and the Elf's Blood is a prime ingredient for Potions of Longevity ( the most expensive and most coveted potion around). The insides of the crates also have a thin covering of some fine powdery substance (no, not cocaine, but dry mortar informs the halfling).

The Bard remembers that the shade of Imogen Gullet that appeared in the necromantic ritual was considerably older than the corpse would have suggested.

Several party members do the math and wonder if they can still flog the Elf Blood for cash...what? their dead already and it'll just go to waste. The Paladin, Cleric and Bard remain adamant and say NO!

Arrrrhhhhhh! 8-)

The reams of ledgers suggest deliveries to a certain Bubka, Mage of Exchange at the Guild of Wizardry. The crates are all marked for the attention of Hieronymus Tigana. Keemor the Mage relates that Bubka deals with all magical purchases within the Guild while Tigana is the Guild's Chief Alchemist. He is a small, odious man rarely seen. Spends all his time down in the basement within his Alchemy Lab conducting experiments.

There is however still no sign of the Viscount, so the party retire to the Green Dragon Inn for breakfast and a beer while the Bard and Cleric decipher the ledgers looking for additional clues. Several hours go by.

A runner from the Mayor's Office has a missive for Dirkwood informing that the Beggarmaster has a red hot tip concerning McGloogan. He, Albus 'Gaspar' Shand, Beggarmaster of the City of Greyhawk awaits the pleasure of the party at the Red Serpent Restaurant in the Foreign Quarter to exchange this pertinent infomation.

The Bard and Cleric decide to stay at the Green Dragon to finish off their ledger analysis whilst the rest of the party head to the rendezvous with the Beggarmaster.

The venue is down the main thoroughfare of the River Quarter and is an impressive 3 story building spanning the road.

The Beggarmaster looks the part, dressed in a motley of rags made from a range of expensive materials. He stands awaiting the party with 2 of his cohorts.

Dirkwood exchanges pleasantries before broaching the reason for the visit. Gaspar says he has juicy info concerning McGloogan, notably deliveries made at odd hours to odd places...for a price. Namely a massive slap up meal at the restaurant across the street (The Red Serpent).

The restaurant owners, for want of a better description, are all foreign types judging by their accents (although no one can quite place it, a strange mishmash of Chinese, Welsh, Indian, Irish & Russian) and they don't seem to like Albus 'Gaspar' Shand.

YOU NO COME HERE! bellows one waiter as the party and the Beggarmaster pass thorough the entrance. 'ILLEGAL! I CALL WATCH!' The irate man then spies Dirkwood in the group and he abruptly falls silent.

Dirkwood relates that he and his party (including Gaspar) are here for the finest meal this restaurant has to offer. The Restaurant owners perks up and party are lead to the plushest table in the establishment (one that overlooks the bustling street below).

Gaspar accepts a menu and then orders the most bewildering array of obscure and queer sounding dishes, together with copious selection expensive wines that the party have ever heard. Dirkwood flush with cash from the Warehouse gig begins to sweat. The waiters then ask whether the party wish to eat as well. What kinda food do you do here? asks Ulric tentatively.

Spicy foods from the western lands of Ket, Tusmit and the Plains of the Paynims beyond. Renown for their exotic flavours and fiery heat. Ears perk up...fiery you say? Well Normal, Spicy or Fiery depending on the person's palate.

Ulric looks Dirkwood Littlelegs in the eye and orders a Large Fiery, Dirkwood ripostes by ordering a Large Fiery too and then adds a side order of more Fiery, Teckos familiar with the cuisine and what is to come orders a Spicy whilst the feminine and genteel KC sticks to the normal level of potency.

Ulric tries his first spoonful of Large Fiery and loses a healing surge..bloody hell this is HOT!

Dirkwood tries his first spoonful and nearly sh*ts himself...his tongue spasms uncontrollably within his mouth and his renown iron bowels begin to enter a molten state (he loses 2 healing surges and his Streetwise is -2 for 2 weeks)

Teckcos tries his dish and finds it agreeable (makes Endurance check). No problem. 8-)

KC watching the 2 boys guzzle carafe after carafe of iced water and down goblet after goblet of warm Yak's milk pokes her food around her plate for some time before finally bowing to the inevitable...she consumes her first tiny spoonful....roll Endurance..natural 20!'s the most delicious heavenly food she's ever tasted! The Sorceress tears into her dish and quickly consumes the repast. She ends by licking the plate clean before taking the tiniest of tiny sips of chilled water to clear her palate.

The boys are agog!, the owners are agog!, what a woman! KC regains 2 healing surges and 10 temporary hit points for the first encounter and the owners will be pleased to serve her for free during any future visits. Result!

KC gives the whimpering boys her most winning smile.

Bloody foreign rubbish snarls Ulric as he forces yet another spoonful of molten lava into his blistered mouth...Endurance check...suceeds by more than 10...although, it does grow on you...Ulric regains 2 healing surges, the use of his legs, 25% discount on future visits and a +2 on Streetwise for 2 weeks.

The bloodshot and waxen looking halfling peers across the culinary battlefield and watches the doughty dwarf slowly but surely demolishing the mound of red dripping meat on his plate as sweat streams down from his brow in steady rivulets...


...I've never prayed to you before..

Dirkwood Littlelegs picks up a spoon and piles all the green things that he'd been pushing to one side of his plate during the meal ... he looks the smiling dwarf in the eye before consuming his spoonful

...crunch crunch munch...


Endurance roll ... roll ... clatter ... natural ... 20! ... you know after the pain there is a most exquisite peace and serenity with this food...the Halfling begins to pick up speed and woofs down the remaining food on his plate ... he finishes with a long draw on his Yak's milk goblet before smacking his lips and giving a contented belch.


(3 healing surges, 20 temp hits, free to eat and +1 permanent to Streetwise)

He's still got it as Ulrich grudgingly accepts that this match is a draw.

The meal concluded it is left to Dirkwood to foot the bill (1000gps!). Albus after making a point of daubing his lips with a napkin then proffers his information.

McGloogan makes a lot of deliveries at odd times. Only last week he was spotted making deliveries of building materials to the Lord's Tomb. That isn't so unusual replies Dirkwood, new crypts are always being dug at the Lord's Tomb all the time, there's always building work going on...

Yes but making deliveries *at* night and not only deliveries but also *taking* similar crates away...

Ok, ponders the halfling, that is unusual...

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