Great-grandchild of the sister's gibbon's friend of the nephew of the Campaign that Would Not Die, now in 3.25e
Møøse Trained By: Hugh Foster

The Boys are Back in Town

DM Comment: Liz and Loz couldn't make it, and the DM was thick with cold. Fine as long as my notes lasted, but when something that needed improvisation came up near 10 the cortex went bye-bye!

Edge of the Hard, West of Morvramorn, 13th September 2100, 18:28

After the uninspiring meal, the party persuaded the boatmen to set off immediately and the two mudskippers lurched off across the mud. As the craft travelled, the party returned to discussions of what to do with the Blue Knife.

The Blue Knife

Clearly, it was an item of scope and value far beyond what Dalyn had expected when he sent them after it. Baggy and Chambu were of the opinion that it was not safe to entrust it to the town authorities, and that their allied temple of Pelor should take custody of it instead. Baylock put in that, in his opinion, they'd been underpaid for the job given the dangers they'd overcome and the significance of the outcome. Chambu was pretty sure that the modest temple of Pelor was not going to be able to match even the existing commission for the job. 

Bigger temples to either were going to be a very long way away; the nearest that they knew of was the temple to Pelor in Reital, in New Tellare - still a centre of the old Imperial religions - and that of their own god Bahamut, slightly further away in Minensal. Apart from the thousands of miles in distance, both would require travelling east, through orc-held territory, and doing that with the Knife seemed like a poor ides.


When Viggo was asked for his opinion, he had no strong feelings from a religious standpoint, but was very definite that they should deliver the Knife to the Magistrate as contracted; reasonable enough as Dalyn was his employer. He had no objections to getting the opinion of the Deacon of Pelor, however.

Eastern Wharf, Tzallis, 14th September 2100, 05:58

Pelor's Symbol

Dawn the next morning saw the weary boatmen tying up at the River Street wharf, the only remaining one on the eastern side of the city, and heading down River Street before cutting north towards Temple Street and the temple to Pelor.

Temple of Pelor, Temple Street, Tzallis, 14th September 2100, 05:58

The temple itself was a large building, suitable for the small city that Tzallis once was. Now, in the twilight of the city and the fading of the Imperial religions, it was hopelessly oversized for its needs. Only two priests were full-time, Deacon Forlin and his deputy Kelnal; members of the congregation (forty to fifty on a good day) helped with spreading the word and working to keep the roof from collapsing. Pelor's sponsored order of paladins, the Golden Fist, had a small shrine at the very end of Temple Street occupied by two knights of the Sun God.

Deacon Forlin

As the party trooped into the main nave of the temple - open to the Sun as were all Peloric temples -  Deacon Forlin was busy clearing up after the dawn service, assisted by Thalan, one of the paladins. They looked up with interest as the muddy, battered and blood-stained group trooped in, smiling as they recognized Baggy and Chambu. "We need your advice," said Chambu frankly, nodding respectfully to the altar. Forlin grinned. "You've come to the right place, my son," he said to the dwarf, unbothered by Chambu's being nearly half again his age. "Take a seat, and tell me your tale."

Baggy unfolded the story of their quest, with the others putting in details as she did so. Forlin was approving of their attempts to reform Zabtog the gnoll, though fairly sceptical of his chances of either survival or true redemption. Finally the tale was done, and Forlin considered a moment. "Do you have it here?" he asked at last. Baylock looked at Herb. "Show him," he said, rather looking forward to the padré's reaction.


Herb unhooked the sack from his belt, and untied the top. It would have been sensible to have tipped it onto the table, but in true Herb style, he absent-mindedly reached in and took hold of the hilt. Instantly, the sense of power, of dominance, flooded into him - though at a lesser intensity, as if some other influence was conflicting with it - and coiled out like smoke among those watching. Both Forlin and Thalan drew in sharp, shocked breaths. With a noticeable effort, the young half-orc lowered the knife back into the sack and released it.

"We plan to deliver it as commissioned to the Magistrate," Baggy said, leaving it open to debate by her tone, "he has after all paid for that." "What we have here is more than they expected - or paid for," said Baylock. "He may not be ready to deal with something like this," the paladin continued, "he may need your counsel. Would you be willing to come along?" Forlin stood up immediately. "Yes, of course," he said, "I think that's the most important thing I could do today." Thallan nodded respect to the altar, smiled at Forlin, and headed out back towards his own shrine. Before leaving, Baggy tipped an assortment of coins, most of her share of the loot from the gnolls, into the offertery box.

Dalyn's Residence, High Street, Tzallis, 14th September 2100, 07:52

Town Watchman

The official residence of the Magistrate of Tzallis was destroyed in 1913 when the dragon attacked, and the late incumbent's successor was forced to acquire a new one. The nearest he could get to the original location physically and socially was in the Peat Merchants' quarter, and it was at this imposing building that the party arrived that morning. Clearly it was a place of some importance - two of Roderic's watchmen stood guard outside.

Dalyn's Residence - click it for larger image!

Once Forlin had identified himself, the group was escorted inside by one of the guards, and shown into a large dining room dominated by a long table. The guard vanished again, leaving the adventurers gazing around at the décor -  not truly sumptuous, but far more magnificent than anything they'd ever seen before. Baylock, in particular, began to glance around at small and valuable-looking items with considerable interest.


At that moment, however, Dalyn appeared, carrying a gratifyingly heavy-looking satchel and trailed by a guard and a young maid carrying trays of food. "Good morning, Deacon, ladies, gentlemen," he said warmly. "Please join me for breakfast?" After a momentary qualm, quashed by the Magistrate digging in manfully, the party gratefully availed themselves of his hospitality. Things went quiet for a while, but finally Dalyn looked around and asked, "So, what happened? Were you successful? You were quicker than I expected." Once more the tale was unfolded, and Herb once again reached into the bag and lifted the knife on high. This time, the feeling of command, power, potential was almost overwhelming, and he was siezed by a considerable reluctance to put it down. The young maid let out a gasp of shock. There was a long, tense pause before he slowly lowered his hand and slowly opened his fingers. Finally the weapon hit the polished table with a loud, heavy "clunk".

ChambuDM Comment: Chambu on the edge of going Gimli here and smashing his weapon (ouch!)

The Maid

In some detail, the party members passed on to Dalyn their thinking on the very considerable hazards of this thing, not omitting the possibility that it had drawn a warband of orcs from a completely unconnected orc-hold down on the party. Baylock - unsurprisingly - raised once more the contention that the party wasn't being paid enough for the level of hazard they'd found themselves in. None of his colleagues was ready to contradict him. "I would suggest," said Dalyn, tackling things in order, "that we put this in the vaults here. It's the most secure place in the city, well guarded by the watch. It should be safe here until we can find a way to put it beyond the orcs' reach." He glanced at Forlin, who shook his head. "Certainly I can't destroy it," he said, "maybe a bigger temple would have magic capable of doing so." Chambu glared at it. "Why not just batter it to bits with a hammer?" he asked, hefting his mace. "Because you wouldn't even scratch it," said Forlin firmly. Chambu subsided, muttering. "You should destroy it," reiterated Baggy. "I'd be glad to," rejoined Dalyn, "but until we have an actual means of doing so, the best we can do is lock it away and keep its presence here quiet."

Dalyn sent a guard with a message and shortly after that, his steward Malcolm turned up with a heavy wooden box, a key protruding. Dalyn opened this, and gestured; Herb tipped the weapon in without touching it again. Baylock reached swiftly forward, twisted the key, and handed it to Baggy. A little nonplussed, she passed it on to Chambu, who tucked it away inside his armour. Dalyn looked a bit startled at this, but shrugged and gestured Malcolm away. "The secure vault," he said quietly.

As the steward and the box headed for the door, all eyes for the moment upon him, Baylock siezed his opportunity. A swift, surreptitious flick of his left hand and a small, valuable-looking golden candlestick vanished into his sleeve. He winced internally, waiting for the inevitable outcry and capture; but it never came. Despite the despair of his instructors at the Guild, he had actually done it - pulled off a theft and under very difficult conditions! He felt giddy for a moment with the success.


Dalyn then opened the flap on the satchel, and glanced around. "Who would like coin," he asked, "and who would like Mageguild credit?" Everyone opted for the coin, and he proceeded to count out   forty platinum pieces each; it was mostly in the old Dalaghendan coin with an amount of Tellaran. The companions glanced at each other as they realized Dalyn had paid the full offered amount, "forgetting" about the 50 he'd already advanced to each for supplies.

He asked them if they would be interested in further commissions in the service of the city, after their commendable performance in this one, to which a chorus of nods and assents brought a smile, and a handful of small stamped-leather chits. These turned out to be Guild credit chits for the Taverners and Innkeepers' Guild, good for 10 gold pieces each. With ale at four coppers a mug, a day's good dinners at five silver and common accommodation 5 silver a night, they were covered for a month's upkeep.

Mageguild, Temple Street, Tzallis, 14th September 2100, 12:24

DM Comment: With Liz and Loz absent, all the arcanists with solid contacts at the Guild were bubbled; but were presumed present for the negotiations here.

The city's extremely small Mageguild was located - like many organizations of Tzallis - in the faded premises of its former glory. An imposing college of magic sat just opposite the church of Pelor on Temple; but Guildmaster Gorris' guild was very small indeed. Three sorcerers and two wizards were the sum total, apart from the Guildmaster himself. As a result, the senior wizard was on duty - or more correctly, reading a musty tome to study the spells in it - when they entered the guild building. Cracked plaster and fading paint marred the arcane designs decorating the walls, and a steady "drip, drip" came from somewhere. He looked up, recognizing Nazariel and Zurran, who were paid-up members. "Hello, Barnabas," said Nazariel.


Baggy dug in her backpack, and lifted the flindbars of Grimwood onto the table in front of the wizard. "I'd like to sell these," she said, "or more correctly, trade them in for enchantment on this," she patted her ancestor's sword. Barnabas glanced at Nazariel. "I'm assuming these are associates of yours?" he said. She nodded. While their so brief span lasts, she thought but didn't comment. Barnabas picked up the weapon. "Mmm, meant to be joined here, aren't they?" he said reflectively. "Easily repaired," commented Baylock, who'd done a little smithying in his time. Barnabas laid them down again, and weaved his fingers above, casting a spell. "Yes, they're enchanted," he said, "and repairable; not sure who'd buy them, though. Hmm. Twelve-fifty," he decided. Baggy drew her own weapon, and Barnabas' eyes widened before she placed it on the counter. "To enchant this, enhance its effectiveness - how much?" Barnabas didn't have to consider. "Fifteen hundred," he said. Both prices were improved from what a non-guilded member would have been charged, but it was still rather a lot. Baggy, having donated most of her loot to her temple, haggled for a while but to no avail. Barnabas offered her a line of credit - as she was known to be connected in good standing to the Pelor temple - but Chambu also stepped in to front her the balance, which she gratefully accepted with a blessing to Bahamut. Leaving the sword, she left the Guild.

The Old Curiousity Shop

While the others accompanied Forlin back to the temple, Baylock and Herb headed off westwards, saying they had other errands to complete. Where they went was one of the best-kept secrets in Tzallis; the old Curiousity Shop. A nondescript shop just back from the marketplace and into Roughside, it was unexceptional enough to attract little attention. Occasionally, the shabby owner did actually sell one of its' worthless trinkets. However, what it actually concealed was the main entrance to the Thieves' Guild of Tzallis. For recognized members - and the shopkeeper knew them all - a hidden stair was revealed and the way opened downwards. For that was the great secret of the Thieves' Guild; their headquarters was hidden underneath the massive stone platform upon which the rest of the city was built. A mixture of stone structures and ramshackle wooden walkways hung in the darkness into the dark, damp space - the forest of support stilts and the moss and hanging growth concealing it utterly.


Both the pair knew their way, though Herb was not a member, merely an ex-employee. Soon the reached the alcove where the Daymaster or Nightmaster controlled the operations of the active members. Thieves and beggars passed them regularly; the Guild was the largest and most powerful in all of Tzallis. The Daymaster today was a man named Thallot, and he concealed his surprise at Baylock coming in with a piece to fence; he was well-known as one of the less rising stars of the guild. None the less, here it was, and Thallot's eyebrows went up when Baylock, striving for 'casual', told him it was from the Magistrate's manor. He saw no reason to explain that he'd been invited inside, and left Thallot to form the incorrect conclusion that Baylock had managed to break in. With the item sold for guild rate, and Baylock's dues defininitly paid, Thallot filled him in on a couple of prospective jobs in which he might be interested, warning him to notify the guild before moving on them as per the guild's rules.

[DM's Brain done shut down at this point!]

Session Date: 5th October 2020; in Cyberspace!