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

An Inside Job

DM Comment: To avoid having six players sitting around with nothing to do and unable to talk to each other, Baylock's burglary was the equivalent of going into another room with the player; done before the main session.

Tzallis, 14th - 21st September 2100

The party had not been idle during the week required for Baggy and Chambu's enchantments.

Laevas Lerk's Coppershop, Tzallis, 14th September 2100, 20:24


As darkness fell, the tiefling Baylock slipped silently through the nighted streets of the Craft district. He was acting on one of the tip-offs he'd picked up at the Guild. Lerk was known to be doing very good business making the copper cladding for mudskippers, and it had been noticed that he had not been observed to deposit his profits with his guild as was sensible practice. His security arrangements were definitely substandard and this mixture made him ripe for a spot of burglary.

The other tip he'd had was for a wealthy peat merchant who'd gone on a business trip, taking his guard but leaving his wife and family in his mansion. Baylock didn't want to take a target where there were women and children involved; it might have been soft-hearted, but he preferred to choose the bachelor.

Thieves' Tools

Heavily disguised, he circled the two-storey building, noting details. Doors, front and back. No ground floor windows. Upper floor, windows on three sides, under the gable at the front. Dim light from the left and front. Open area at the back with a kiln and furnace, banked, glowing and far too big to steal. Stealthily, he approached the back door and examined it carefully. As the rumours had suggested, the door and its lock were badly maintained and weak. He unpacked his thieves' tools, and inserted a couple of picks into the lock. Rather carelessly, he probed, then twisted, cursing silently as a quiet ping betrayed the  picks slipping off the lock's innards. Muttering, he tried again, this time taking his time to make sure the rather simple lock opened.

Carefully easing the door open, he ventured inside. A couple of cheap candles stood in puddles of wax on the workbenches, throwing feeble pools of light on around a third of the single room - but his eerie cat-slitted yellow eyes, gift from his demon grandfather, were quite capable of seeing the rest of it without a light source.

The main area was the workshop, with sheets of rivetted copper laid on benches and formers where they were being shaped to match the shape of the boats they'd cover. To the left was a shop counter, and around the edges were workbenches and tables with other copper items - kettles, warming pans and the like - for sale. Directly to Baylock's right was a flight of wooden stairs leading up towards the second floor. All was quiet and still. Gingerly, he walked acround the room, examining various places for valuables. Apart from some loose change in the counter, though, he turned up little. It was as he turned back from the counter that he spotted the problem.

Guard Dog

In a basket under the stairs, snoring slightly, was curled one of the biggest guard dogs he had ever seen. Baylock was taken aback. He had a sap ready to hand, so as to subdue his victim without lasting injury; he'd checked obsessively for traps, tripwires, alarms and a late working propeirtor - but this was not something he'd planned for. He doubted he could stun something like this and briefly considered abandoning the heist. Then, rather reluctantly, he drew a knife with a blacked blade and tiptoed over to the dog. With enormous care, he lowered the blade until it was level with the opening at the back of the beast's skull. Tensing his muscles, he drove the knife home. The dog twitched and thrashed briefly, then subsided.


Relaxing a bit, Baylock rather shame-facedly rummaged in the dog's still-warm bedding, in case the owner had regarded it as the best guardian of his wealth, but all he found was a rather damp and chewed teddy bear. Putting it back, he headed up the stairs, carefully, until he could see into the top floor.  The open area above had a writing desk in the alcove formed by the gable, two windows and some storage chests. A passage led off towards the right, presumably towards the coppersmith's bedroom. Baylock crept along to it and, after listening carefully, cracked it open. A dim candle illuminated the bedroom, showing a table that - for a married man - would have been a lady's dressing table, a wardrobe and a large bed with a sleeping figure under the covers.  Baylock readied his sap and crept closer. Reaching the bed, he took careful aim and walloped the sleeper - presumably Laevas Lerk himself - behind the ear. It was a solid blow and the intruder was pretty sure Lerk would be no further trouble tonight, but wouldn't be permanently harmed. Just to be sure, he secured the man with ropes while he worked.

Baylock searched the bedroom thoroughly, and after a while his attention was drawn by the wardrobe; the back was noticabley far from the wall. Splitting the panel away, he grinned at the discovery of a linen bag which emitted a faint clink as he lifted it. Then he frowned. It was dusty. Opening it, he did a quick tally;  not as much as he'd expected and a suspiciously rounded value. This felt like a decoy.

After quite a bit longer, he finally located a hidden panel in the wall covering the eaves opposite the bedroom. This opened to reveal an open plywood box with several wash-leather bags and a larger wrapped object. The bags held coins, and the wrapped object turned out to be a set of scales, beautifully made and probably magical.

After untying the coppersmith,  Baylock slipped away into the night.

The next day, he went looking for a bowyer. There were two in town, Carela and Rowaran, both based in the Trade district. Carela's shop was unkempt, and his price for a weapon on the high side. Baylock left, and visited Rowaran's shop, which was far more impressive; tidy, professional-looking and with a good selection of weapons on display. After being measured and trying a couple, he settled on a nicely-made multi-laminate longbow - ironically for the same price Carela had been asking, but in this case, clearly worth it. He even threw in a second string, instructing Baylock to keep it under his hat.

Baggy and Chambu had proclaimed their faith in the town, spreading the word of Bahamut (which tended towards encouragement to sort oneself out, advice of which the generally dour inhabitants of Tzallis were in need). They took possession of an abandoned shrine on Temple Street and cleared it out, setting it up as a shrine to Bahamut. Though Chambu didn't have the authority to truly consecrate the place, some of the people to whom they'd preached across town began to gather for services. One or two appeared genuinely enlightened, and capable of at least keeping an eye on the place when the two were out of town. 

Deacon Forlin

Both had visited the temple of Pelor again, and were greeted by Forlin with approval for their actions in the field; apart from the recovery of the Blue Knife, the neutralization of a nest of gnolls was always good news. As a reward, he handed the pair several potions, mostly healing, vials of Holy Water, and a potion of Sanctuary for Chambu. It was made to run for significantly longer than Chambu's own casting could; "You can't always rely on unexpected temporal anomalies," said Forlin with a grin.


Later in the week, the whole group returned to the Mageguild. Baggy and Chambu took back their weapons, both now enchanted with arcane enhancement. Zurran and Nazariel were both paid-up members at the guild, and took advantage of the reduced rates to have identification magic cast on Zurran's buckler, Nazariel's halfspear and Baylock's scales and some potions. All turned out to be useful, though Baylock passed Nazariel the potion of Magic Fang for Spy to use - in a real emergency! 

The Lion's Manor, Tzallis, 23rd September 2100, 10:17

A couple of days after this, the group were enjoying breakfast - at the city's expense - in the Lion's Manor, when a rather breathless messenger arrived, clearly looking for them. Breathlessly, he gasped out that Magistrate Sunlance required their presence, urgently, on a matter of extreme importance. The friends glanced at each other, some suspecting sinkingly that they might know the reason, hoping they were wrong.

Magistrate's Residence, Tzallis, 23rd September 2100, 11:36

They were right.

Constable Roderic

Gathered once more in the magnificent dining/meeting room in the Magistrate's manor, the party were met by Dalyn and an utterly crestfallen Constable Roderic. Without apportioning blame, Dalyn narrated the events of the previous night.

Tharlan Redfinger

Roderic's deputy, Tharlan Redfinger - reputed to be as ugly as a hammer, though none of the party had ever met him - had been placed in charge of the security of the residence vault. Early this morning, the two guards assigned to the vault had been discovered murdered, the vault cracked and one item gone... the Blue Knife.There were no signs of a forced entry to the building or the cellars. Redfinger was nowhere to be found.

Struggling with his mortification, Roderic admitted that Redfinger was a half-orc, but had served for many years and had been his most trusted man. He freely admitted that he had a lot of housecleaning to do in his command, and commented that the three watchmen most close to Redfinger had been placed in protective custody ready for questioning.

Roderic came in for a significant amount of criticism - if not downright abuse - from the party, who all seemed to feel that they'd passed the ball to him and that he'd dropped it. Dalyn closed this off by saying that Roderic still had his trust and approval despite this setback, and that he'd already refused his resignation. Turning to the party, he requested their help, offering to hire them at the same rate as before to catch Redfinger and recover the Blue Knife (again). Baylock insisted on "expenses" being included in their hire, without going into details.

Having accepted the job, the group left the manor and went into a huddle to plan their approach.

Most were agreed that returning the knife to Dalyn a second time was going to be a very poor idea. Regardless of how, they would have to get it right away from Tzallis - perhaps by sea - and either destroyed or removed far enough that the orcs threatening their city could not reach it.

Magical Scrying and use of Baggy's ability to Detect Evil was discussed. The city was far too big to comb with one paladin - or even three, were the Pelorics to be recruited. The most powerful mage they knew in the city was Barnabas at the guild, and they weren't at all sure if he could handle what they needed. By all accounts, Calagainbor almost certainly could, but enlisting the Black Wizard was a difficult challenge.

Baylock suggested getting the Thieves' Guild to put the word out on the street for Roderic. This made more sense, as the Guild was powerful and had a long reach. The demonblooded rogue lost no time in going to set this up. The Guild were prepared - for a charge - to get any word of his whereabouts and movements passed on, but drew the line at any attempt to capture or eliminate him. They also declined to meet Baylock's request for a list of recently fenced loot, though they did confirm that he had not attempted to sell them anything - puzzled and amused at the idea that the second in command of the Watch would do so.

Collecting Talian, Baylock visited the address they'd been provided for Redfinger, searching his house, but this was a cold lead; the place was bare in the extreme. It was a place where someone came to sleep, not a home.

Encouraged by the others, Herb tried to reach out and connect to the Knife again, as he had while holding it, but his inability to concentrate prevented him holding the correct state of mind for long enough to make the attempt.

DM Note: See earlier Alair campaigns for the significance of frogs from the Trakar and their products.

While he did this, Baggy and Chambu went to the edges of the city, checking at the mudskipper wharves to see if any of the boatmen had seen their quarry.  Arakhor lay south and east of   Tzallis, and only one wharf existed on that side of the city, at River Street. They drew a blank there, but continued around the city until they reached the wharf at Cold Street, on the west side of the city. There, they struck lucky; two of the boatmen, Dathas and Adiros, were among the attendees attracted to the new temple of Bahamut and greeted the pair warmly. Readlily enough, they recounted seeing a man of Redfinger's appearance arranging a hire and leaving along with three burly thugs, in "Jarkko's Boat." The only peculiar part of the tale was that the boat headed west, towards the Deep Trakar. This was unusual; only strong groups and the occasional high-risk high-return frog hunter, went that way - the lizardmen were dangerous.

Baggy handed each a silver coin, and then another. "One for you," she said, "and one to donate to the church." They looked a little bemused; as far as they knew, "the church" consisted of these two standing here; but they nodded agreeably.


Herb, Nazariel, Talian, Baylock and Zurran meanwhile had headed over to the Watch House, south of the market. This was actually three fairly large houses linked together by a heavy palisade fence to enclose a compound in the middle. They were expected and were admitted. The sergeant directed them to the cell block, where the three suspected watchmen were being held; the group, deferring to Herb as the party's trained interrogator, set about interviewing them.

DM Comment: Varkar Barduric was a pivotal figure in the earlier history of Alair, and his summary in the Guide is only a beginning. For more detail, read the logs of Alair I.

Something about Rardar's eyes and manner struck Herb as untrustworthy, and the half-orc lifted Rarder off the ground by his hair. "Where's Redfinger?" he demanded. The man's bravado collapsed, and he confessed to helpinf Redfinger, "on the instructions of my masters," to arrange the least experienced watchmen on duty in the vault last night. Strangely, he seemed almost as afraid of Talian, looming tall, hooded and clearly elvish, as he was of Herb. Both bore down on him; "Who do you owe aliegance to?" demanded Talian. Rardar stared at him defiantly, seeming almost glad to be able to profess his fanatic belief.  "The real Lord of Alair!" he screamed. "He will return - and we will bring Him back! We, the Cult of the Dragon! And when we do, He will raise us above all other mortals. He will be a God!" Herb dropped him and backed away, baffled. "Who Him?" he asked in confusion. Behind him, Talian was frozen, a terrible dread running through him.

"Who?" screamed the fanatic, "Varkar Barduric, the Lord of Alair, the Dark Beast! The Orcs are useful and disposable tools; the Knife will give us dominion over them - "

At this moment, Talian yelled "Look out! He's got a knife!" at the attendant guard, lurking at the back of the group. As everyone's attention shifted, Talian himself drew a blade and lunged at Rardar. Lightning-quick, Baylock reacted in time and siezed his arm. "Stop," he said, "we'll get in trouble," Talian snarled. "He serves the Dark Beast," he ground out, "the greatest elf-bane ever to walk the world" He must die!" As Baylock continued to restrain Talian and all eyes were upon him, Herb took action on his own initiative. Using his experience as a brawler, he suddenly leaped forward, bundling Rarder off his feet and backwards across the cell to smash into the wall with incredible force. His head cracked like an egg and blood and brains splattered everywhere.

Baylock released Talian, glanced at Herb with disgust and strode out. "Sorry for the mess," he said as he passed the incredulous watch sergeant, "he slipped on the soap". He headed off, rather looking forward to Baggy's reaction when he told her what had happened.

As Rarder slid twitching to the floor, Nazariel went to kneel next to him, muttering a prayer to her strange dark God for his safe passage to whatever afterlife awaited him.

Magistrate's Residence, Tzallis, 23rd September 2100, 18:56

Baggy stormed into the Magistrate's dining room, and angrily related what had happened. She demanded that the Magistrate punish Herb for what she defined as murder. Dalyn demurred, pointing out that Bexele would have been executed in any case. He promised to upbraid Herb for taking the law into his own hands. Baggy glared at him. "That's not enough," she snapped. "He must atone for what he has done!" Dalyn smiled slightly. "Isn't that more your job than mine?" he suggested. She turned and stormed out again, throwing over her shoulder the suggestion that Dalyn was no good at his job, and went to find Herb for a reckoning.

Session Date: 20th October 2020; in Cyberspace!