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

Wizard and Pirates

DM Comment: No Loz tonight; Ric was a late entry as usual so Talian was suddenly there at Calagainbor's.

Tzallis, 23rd September 2100, 19:07


Baggy, Chambu and Baylock confronted Herb about his actions earlier in the day. The priest and - even more  - the paladin were furious, and still determined to have Herb hauled up before the authorities for murder, despite the Magistrate's rather reluctant attitude. Herb appeared more confused than defiant; though he had offered prayers to Bahamut in gratitude for being healed in the gnoll lair, he'd not really picked up much more of the creed of the Dragon God and wasn't as finely tuned to concepts of good and evil as they were. Baylock, for his part, did not want to upset their paying patrons much (at least, until he got the chance to sell off the dagger if he could) and was also aware that the more attention and suspicion Herb attracted, the fewer questions would be asked about his own subtle acquisition of property.

Herb made the offer to pay weregild to Bexle's family - if there was one - and arranged to sent a hundred in gold over to his brother. Constable Roderic had it delivered, rather than provide the man's address to the half-orc. While not close to the proper value, it constituted an offer to settle the offence.

River Street, Tzallis, 23rd September 2100, 19:55

That evening the party went out to try and achieve what no-one in living memory had done - to make contact with Calagainbor, the "Craven Mage". It was fairly common knowledge where his tower had been, between River Street and the jagged edge where Rich-Side had once been. The area was avoided by most people simply due to its reputation, but the party headed determindly through the side streets south of River Street towards where the tower was reputed to have been before its hiding over a hundred and eighty years before. Soon they were in streets even more abandoned than most of the reduced city, and walking through gradually increasing mist - though the weather had been fine before, and there'd been no sign of any ahead when they'd started.

Dimly, through the mist, the outlines of a tower became visible. It looked nothing special, and was not particularly big or imposing.

Calagainbor's Tower

As they moved on, a gradual feeling grew on them all; a feeling of reluctance. Although intellectually they remembered they had pressing need and desire to find the mage and speak with him, a strong sensation of wanting to go somewhere else and do something else got stronger and stronger. There was no fear, but more and more, their resolve was replaced by aversion. Slowly, one at a time, their steps slowed to a halt, leaving them standing in the mist, glancing around unhappily, each privately hoping for one of the others to say "Let's go back" but possessed of enough of their original intention to hesitate to actually say it. All except Chambu.


Dwarves are extremely resistant to enchantment and magics that sap the will.  Head down, teeth gritted and swearing under his breath, Chambu kept stepping, one pace at a time, until finally he reached a short flight of steps up to a set of plain, heavy wooden doors, studded with black iron. Gathering his willpower, he reached one mailed fist out and hammered on the door. There was a long moment's pause. Then, slowly and ominously, the door creaked and swung open inwards. A figure was revealed, and Chambu squinted at it. It looked like a well-turned out footman, politely looking at him ... but it was partially transparent - he could see the wall of the chamber beyond right through it. The apparition looked impeturbably at him. "Who craves admittance? And of which faith?" it asked smoothly.

Chambu frowned. "There is only one True Faith," he pointed out. "They all say that," commented the footman evenly. "Chambu, Priest of the Dragon-God Bahamut, Baggy Sacksdottir, Paladin of same, Baylock, Herbert Bloodrage and Nazariel," the dwarf listed. There was a brief pause. "Please, step this way," said the apparition. Suddenly, the resistance was gone, and the others had to struggle not to stumble forwards as their efforts to continue were suddenly unopposed. Catching up to Chambu, they followed the translucent flunkey into the hall beyond the doors, which swung silently shut behind them.

The Endless Hall - click it for larger image!

As they followed it down the hall, several things came to their notice. First of all, like the tower, the corridor was made of neatly dressed stone. This was unusual in Tzallis, as stone had to be imported - mining stone from the vast slab on which the city rested was a capital crime and everyone knew why. Secondly, as they walked along, passing regular doors and torches mounted in cressets on the wall, and glanced ahead to where the passage stretched away out of sight, it dawned on them that they had already walked considerably further than the girth of the tower they had been standing outside...

Finally, the footman halted in front of a door, seemingly no different to any of the others, and it opened of itself. The figure bowed, gesturing through the door. "Please, wait here?" it said. They entered, cautiously, and the door swung closed behind them. Inside, the room was pleasant and airy. A large window looked out over a small walled garden. A sideboard held a silver ewer, some goblets, a tray of small cakes and several plates. A table and several comfortable-looking chairs occupied the centre of the floor. Chambu eyed the cakes appreciatively, selected one, and took a bite - the others watching him rather nervously. He chewed and swallowed, then grinned. As well as being tasty, the cake seemed to have a cheering effect; he felt rather bouyant. He took another.


Around ten minutes later, the door opened again, and a single figure entered the room. Around Baylock's height, and dressed in a fairly simple but elegant dark blue-grey robe, the newcomer was clearly an elf. His fine features, and the way light was always on his face gave that away, though his eyes had secretive depths to them. His chin had a trace of stubble, not a common thing for an elf. "Good morning," he said, in a quiet and controlled voice. Baylock extended a hand, but the elf responded with a slight bow instead. "I am Calagainbor." Baylock eyed him. "Why did you let us in?" he asked curiously. "You interest me," answered the mage, "I have watched your progress carefully; and very few people have ever made it even within sight of my door before. Please, sit, tell me why you have come."

Chambu coughed slightly on the crumbs of the last cake, and then began to explain. The wizard lifted a hand. "I know what has been happening," he said. "What, though, do you want of me?" Baylock sat forward. "Can you scry?" he asked. "Can you show us our quarry?" Calagainbor tilted his head. "Who is your target?" he said. "Tharlan Redfinger," said Baggy, "deputy to the Constable." Calagainbor nodded. "I can," he said; "but what is in it for me? What do you offer in return?"

"The city your tower is in is in danger!" pointed out Baggy firmly. "I would prefer the city survived, yes," said Calagainbor, "but I don't do favours. If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach him to fish, he eats every day - but, if you catch the fish for him, you are forever a fisherman. If it was known that I would fix this town's problems for it, I would get nothing else done." Baylock looked him in the eye. "Why didn't you fight the dragon?" he asked suddenly. Calagainbor appeared unsurprised by the question. "Because I couldn't," he said. "I would simply have died, and for nothing. People died. People always die. Those people would all have been dead by now in any case."

"Can you detect the knife? It glows, you know," said Chambu.   Calagainbor looked patiently exasperated. His elegant hand made a slight gesture, and a brief vision opened up in front of his eyes. It showed a chamber, of the same stone and design as the one they were in. It was packed with swords, spears, books, scrolls, rings and just about any other kind of item imaginable - and every last one emitted a glow of one sort or another. The vision faded. "Oh," said the dwarf.

"There must be a bargain," said Calagainbor reasonably. "Then we will know each where the other stands." Baggy snorted. "All right," she said, "What do you want?" The wizard was evidently ready for this. "There is a ring," he said calmly. "It rests in the orc-hold of Arakhor. I would very much like it."

"We have no intention of going in there!" spluttered Baylock. "I know," said Calagainbor. "I am not asking you to brave the place just for this. What I ask is your word that - if you do find the opportunity to obtain it - you will, and will return it to me." "What does it do?" asked Herb; "What's it worth?" added Baylock. "For many reasons, I do not wish to tell you that. It is of no use to you, but of very great use and worth to me."

"How would we know it?" asked Nazariel. "It has a single blue-purple stone," said the wizard, "quite unmistakable."

The companions looked at each other dubiously. "I'd consider this, assuming it's not going to go against the tenets of my faith," he said. Nazariel shrugged. "If the chance arises," she said, "I'll do it." Calagainbor nodded gravely. "Then we have a bargain." Eyes widened around the table, but there was no magical flash, no feeling of coercion, no burst of ominous music. The wizard lifted his hand, turned it over and gestured; suddenly a ball of glowing crystal the size of a melon floated over his fingers, rotating slowly. Baylock, ever alert to the appearance of valuables, goggled.

Tharlan Redfinger

"Tell me all you can of this ... Blue Knife," he said in a slightly preoccupied voice. The party described it carefully, and at the end Nazariel put in "It's mentioned in some prophecy." At this, the previously unflappable Calagainbor's eyebrows went up. "Really?" he said intently, then turned his attention to the ball. Mists swirled inside, and then it cleared to show a scene; a mudskipper, crossing the marshes. Six people occupied it; two boatmen, three burly street thugs, and Tharlan Redfinger. The view was from the side of the boat. Calagainbor twisted his hand beneath the ball, and the point of view rotated to look along it from the front. The sun was just sinking behind the stern. Then the vision was gone. "They are going east!" said Baggy. "Setting out west was a ruse."  Talian frowned. "If they're still in the marshes at this time," he said, "they lost quite a bit of time doing it. We can still catch them if we head out in the morning."

River Street Wharf, Tzallis, 24th September 2100, 06:01

Early the next morning, the group once again embarked on the city's trademark mudskipper boats - this time taking three rather than two. Pulling away from the wharf, the boatmen rowed steadily out into the Gallowglass. After some time, however, Herb - of all people - frowned and pointed. "Aren't those boats coming straight towards us?" he asked curiously. Everyone looked, and the boatmen rowing each 'skipper started to look panicky. "What's the matter?" asked Talian. The boatman he'd addressed was already heaving on his oar to try and turn the 'skipper. "River pirates!" he gasped. "They don't normally come this close to the city!" Baylock squinted at the two vessels, moving under sail. "Can we outrun them?" he asked. "No!" said the boatmen. "Prepare to repel boarders," shouted Baylock to the party in general.

SpyDM Comment: This was such a cool idea that I was prepared to allow it even if it was stretching the spell a bit - as it turned out, it is legit after all; Share Spells allows a familiar to receive any spell with a target of "You"  instead of the caster.

As the boats converged, the members of the party with missile weapons opened up, and soon arrows were flitting back and forth. Several pirates were struck but none slain as the vessels came together, the sailboats' rails lined with disreputable barefoot pirates armed in leathers gripping short swords. Baylock and Chambu's boat had veered to the south, and the priest had worked a Summoning - Bahamut had sent him a giant Celestial Bee. Talian and Herb's boat came alongside the northernmost pirate, and Herb prepared to leap across - risky in his heavy metal armour. Talian continued to shoot arrows as the boats closed. On the other side, Baylock had told his rowers to slow as the 'skipper approached the same boat's port side, preparing his power of Darkness gifted by his demon ancestry. Next to him, Nazariel had cast Tenser's Floating Disk onto her raven Spy, producing a plane of force that trailed the familiar through the air. Leaping onto it, she directed the raven out across the water, towing the disk and herself away from the boat. A moment later, she invoked her innate Daylight and produced a sunbright sphere of illumination around her and the raven.

River Pirate

Crying an invocation to Bahamut, Chambu cast Bless, granting Bahamut's power to enhance their weapons. As the boats touched, pirates came leaping aboard and Baggy and Chambu engaged them with two-handed weapons. Baggy's target staggered, pouring blood but didn't go down. Next to her, their second boatman died in a spray of blood; the first was choking in the bilges with an arrow through his throat. Chambu had prepared his crossbow and looked up in shock as the pirate leaped at him. He swiped at the man, his miss robbing him of the opportunity to smash the crossbow to bits using it as a club, and dropped it.

On the northern boat, Talian dropped a shoulder and rammed it into a pirate as he leaped from boat to boat. The man was hurled backwards again and into the water. Talian was a little disappointed he didn't start drowning but being able to swim made sense for a pirate. Herb, now over on the pirate ship itself, used the same manouvre to catapult another pirate over the rain and into the river, leaving just the man on the tiller at that end of the boat, eying him worriedly.

As Baylock's boat finally drifted into contact, he triggered his Darkness and slipped aboard, easily side-stepping the suddenly blinded pirate. Dodging around behind him, he picked his spot with relish and slid his sword neatly into the man's spine, skewering him right through. The pirate dropped to hang over the rail, twitching, as the tiefling moved in on another.  As he did so, he heard a crunch and a wail from the prow of his own boat. It had just run down one of the disembarked pirates swimming in the river.

On his boat, Talian stood in complete darkness. He knew there was a pirate just in front of him, and another up near the stem, but couldn't see them. He hoped like hells they couldn't see him!

Session Date: 27th October 2020; in Cyberspace!