The last few days of relaxing have been fun but I really need to get back to my real reason for being here. I’ve bought a few drinks for the locals, done as much research with the Church of Janus as my meager funds would allow and kept my ear to the street but I’m still coming up empty. No one here has been of any help! At least I haven’t been bored, my time at the inn has led me to make the acquaintance of quite a few interesting individuals.
Alandar, a human paladin who may not be the brightest tool in the shed but there is no doubting his goodness, loyalty, or steadfastness. I know in a fight I could trust him to have my back, not a quality to be taken lightly.
Cernan, a drow whose mien still escapes me. In our talks he called himself an Inquisitor. Though the term is new to me he seems to be a hunter whose prey is more likely on two legs than four. Part spiritual warrior, part rouge, and all business. Something about him tells me I would not want to end up on his bad side, my instincts tell me he has a way of studying a situation before applying his will in a way that is very likely to make those he pits himself against permanently go away.
Curio, what to say about Curio. I have figured out that this person is a half blood, and that there is a deep thirst and passion for knowledge in the healing arts. I’m not sure how its happening but every time I try to get close enough to dig deeper into the mystery that is Curio Septimus I end up distracted, misled, or just plane confused. Some investigator I am, can’t even tell if Curio is male, female, some odd blend of the two I’ve never encountered, or just intentionally Androgynous. This is really of no importance, in the grand scheme of things, the point is there is a keen mind, and a finely honed skill when it comes to channeling positive energy and healing that would likely do well on the battle field. How odd that I call those the more mundane of those I’ve met.
Next there is also Kavita, a druid woman of orc and human ancestry. There is a combination of savagery and intelligence there that makes me shake my head and smirk. I can’t help but smile at her antics even if her language and temper sometimes make me wince. I won’t even mention that she carries around a pet that seems to be part chicken and part… Tarask?….no seriously I don’t know how she happened to come across a baby dinosaur, I don’t know what that thing is going to grow into but I hope whatever it is she can make it understand the difference between friend and dinner.
Last is an odd pairing. Kenzar and Evidon. These two gentlemen seem to have known each other a little longer than the rest of us, but appear like night and day in their temperaments. While Kenzar seems more cautious and deliberate, willing to think things through carefully and deliberately, taking the respectful amount of time to come up with a sound well thought out, well rehearsed decision (like a true wizard should), Evidon is just the opposite, act first, deal with the consequences second, maybe ask for a healing potion third?
Kenzar is a Tiefling of all things. Before coming here I’d only read about them in books, but he seems a good enough fellow, but more importantly he is brilliant. Given time and resources who knows what magical discoveries will grow from his imagination. He is a much more disciplined study than I in the realms of magic but where his study is both academic and utilitarian, I focus on blending the magic to my will my way, hopefully he and I will be able to teach other much.
Evidon…what to say about Evidon. Like Curio he is another half blood and his personality and zest for life are as explosive and possibly dangerous as the bombs he creates. In a word, he is dangerously reckless but I admire his flare for life and willingness to try anything. I like him, though I’m not too sure about his moral compass, I just have to make sure he doesn’t get me carried away, and that I don’t find myself in the trouble he invites into his life, embraces, accepts, and thrives in, as par for the course, definitely never a dull moment to be had if he is along for the ride.
Just when I thought the moss would begin growing on me from boredom and my pockets were beginning to feel really thin, someone posted a job and all of my new found comrades seem as interested as I. After following the instructions on the post we meet with Coswin Vosper who gives the details that his employer John Abrams (whose middle name I hope doesn’t start with a J, because for some reason if his name is JJ Abrams I feel like I need to have a few conversations with him for some reason) would like our group to remove two errant tenants from his property. It would appear they are 5 months past due on their rent but he is fairly convinced that an eviction notice and an request to leave isn’t going to do the trick. As one is a powerful mage in his own rite and the other his arrogant apprentice I understand why he thinks its going to take 7 of us to do the job. As it pays 3500 gold along with anything we want to carry out of the house (aside from furniture, paintints, and tapestries) I have no problem lending him my skills.
Instead of rushing into anything we decide to do a little research by starting at the Church of Janus to see what we can find out about Orbicritus the Wizard that we are trying to evict. Evidon with the help of Curio and unknowing Alandar is able to bluff one of the wizard’s into not only telling us all about Orbicritus and his infernal dealings, thirst for power, and study of technomancy, but is also able to get details on a very evil item known as the Book of Eabon. He has the poor Wizard convinced that there is a way to destroy the book and that although no one here at this place of learning could figure it out, Evidon has associates who not only know a way but have successfully done it with other items of evil power. I am little afraid to think of what kinds of trouble Evidon could get himself into if he got his hands on that book like he is plotting to do. More importantly discovering that Orbicritus was studying both infernal beings of power and technomancy is the first clue I’ve stumbled upon since I’ve been in Blackmarsh. I wonder if his work has anything to do with the Arc Fall. This definitely bears further investigation. But first the eviction, one crisis at a time.
From there we go visit a magic shop and after talking our way past two apprentice store keepers get an audience with Thil the Cowled. He seems like a very wise man who I hope to come learn a thing or two from later, and maybe write a few songs about for the oral history, but again that is in the future. First to get this job done. Armed with the further knowledge on Orbicritus and Selucia we hatch a plan to get her to meet us in the swamp. Since Orbicritus is away on for some reason getting her out away from the house will make our job of evicting her all that much easier.
As Evidon and Kensar stand out in the open in the swamp with the rest of us hiding in cover, we hear a someone approach. Once its obvious that this is not Selucia but instead a messenger it becomes apparent that she is smarter than we gave her credit for. She answered our messenger sending very carefully worded invitation to her with a messenger of her own. Our note was answered by a note for one of us to meet her at her home. Everything we know about her spells slight deviant who likes power, who willingly apprenticed and subjugated herself to someone who studies the dark arts and longs for infernal power. So we decide to ask Kensar to play up his heritage and his father’s dark past and go meet her for us. Hopefully we can use him as a distraction and once he is inside keeping her busy…in whatever way he thinks best, we can use the magical scroll given to us by Coswin Vosper to seek entrance.
As Kenzar knocks on the door instead of it opening and him being invited in as we expected Selucia speaks to him magically, looks him over, delights in his appearance and that he is alone, and somehow teleports him inside of the house. The group agreed that we would give him two minutes inside of the house alone before we would make our entrance and when I let them know that he was some how teleported in the majority of the group is comfortable giving him his asked for time. Unknown to the rest of us inside the house Kensar is doing very well, he has gained her trust, laid out a plan that she likes, and managed to endear himself to her to the point that she has invited him to stay the night. If you over look the fact that she cast a hold spell on him which he was powerful enough to shurg off and that he contemplated burning her to a crisp with a flask of oil and a precariously balanced lit candle stand in her chair, that she didn’t notice, one would think it was a match made in heaven.
At what we figure is about two minutes I use the scroll to dispel the magical protection on the door and with the exception of Cernan, we go into the house. Immediately Selucia notices what we are up to and she sends some kind of image into the foyer to congradulate us on making it this far and warns us that this house has enough magical defenses that we will likely die before even getting to her, and if we manage to get that far she threatens that she is more than happy to deal with us to make her master proud of her. She then dissapears to tell Kenzar its time for him to leave while she deals with unwanted guests. With a little quick thinking he not only manages to convince her that we are not with him, but that he wants to see what she does to us, and that he doesn’t want our interruption to be the end of their evening. This earns him a telportation to her bedroom and a scrying window to watch us through.
In the mean time the group minus Kenzar and Cernan begin to explore the house. After admiring some tapestries and clearing a few rooms we find four pedastals with what is clearly magical items standing on each. Evidon throwing caution to the wind quickly takes magical necklace that a quick detect magic casting tells me that it has some kind of evocation magic and illusion magic on it and places it around his neck. It immediately begins to constrict choking the life from him. As Alandar, Kavita, and I all lend our strength we are able to pull the necklace enough that he can pull his head through and take a breath. Even while struggling to breath Evidon has the nerve to ask if before it almost killed him if it looked good on him. At this point realizing that maybe just until we get out the house I should protect Evidon from his own adventurous nature I tell him I will put all the items in my bag and we can investigate, admire, and try things on later, once we know what they do. I doubt he is happy with my decision but he goes along with it as I throw the necklace and three more magical items into my bag after detecting magic on each and verifying that they are all magically enhance in one way or another. While I’m doing this Alandar figures out a way to manipulate the pedestals and get a key from each. We find four keys and four doors and his suggestion that since there are at least four of us we should open all four doors at the same time is quickly shot down. If there are monsters or threats behind each door the last thing I want to do is face them all at the same time. Because of his fear that the doors might somehow magically disappear if we open the wrong one we say that we will let Evidon pick the first door since he almost died recently and he could pick the second door.
As we use the first key we see a room that has two burning braziers with smoke coming from their tops and three wax figures standing on the other side of the hall. Kavita sends her animal companion in to investigate and nothing happens. As I approach the room, I feel a great weight pulling on me and realize that it is really hard to move. As I ponder what could be causing this I remember that when I cast my detect magic on one of the items I put in my bag there was some kind of nagging in the back of my mind. As I take out a large rock and re-examine it I realize that it’s a item I’ve heard of before. Its usually passed around between magic practitioners as a practical joke, causing them to be slowed until a remove curse can be cast. Exceedingly angry at myself for not remembering this before picking it up and putting it in my bag I go to put it away but Alandar heroically volunteers to take it from me. I give him my bag and it transfers itself to my pocket. He then offers to carry me and I look at him to see if he is serious. Realizing the offer is genuine, I thank him but tell him I will be ok.
As we are about to step into the room Curio casts detect poison and realizes that the smoke coming from the braziers is some kind of toxin and creates water filling both containers and snuffing out the noxious smoke. Upon entering the room the wax figure on the throne who resembles the emperor from long ago stands up and says that we must die. He draws a very real sword and the two figures at his side ready javelins to launch at us. Obviously fully recovered from nearly being strangled to death Evidon leaps to the front and throws a bomb into the room. It explodes to devastating effect, completely destroying the wax emperor and also damaging his two liegemen.
The two remaining wax figures throw javelins at us and then draw swords as we advance upon them while Curio remains in the rear and casts a blessing spell to lift our morale and empowers us. Evidon holds back deciding to save his remaining bombs, I see the devastation that he delivered and decide to save my more powerful spells and instead summon a magical enchantment upon my blade and charge…very slowly. As the group descends upon the remaining waxmen we think the fight will be quick but they are deceptively powerful and it takes the whirling dervish that is Kavita’s animal companion, along with a mace swing or two from Curio, a mighty killing blow from Alandar, and a slash of my blade along with a splash of acid or two (once I realize that they are completely immune to being dazed) before they are destroyed. The dual nature of my training always at the fore; while fighting with blade and spell, my mind is processing getting the clerics or mages at the Temple of Janus to remove this curse and then possibly me getting the cursed stone shaped into arrow heads to put on arrows that would slow any target they hit. Just have to figure out how to circumvent the curse so that the person shaping the stone, crafting the arrows, or carrying the arrows don’t end up the subject of the curse. I will file that away for later. Besides it might be expensive and though I carry a bow, it isn’t my weapon of choice. Maybe someone else in the party will like the idea enough to want to fund the research and own the weapons that come out of it. I will remember to ask around. I think I saw a few crossbows, and a bow spread between Cernan, Evidon, and Kenzar.
While this is going on Cernon deciding that all of us coming in the front door isn’t smart decides to climb the wall out of sight to try to get in another entrance. In his excitement to get this high paying a job and his disinterest in our investigation he may have missed the detail that all the entrances were magically locked and that the scroll I had in my possession was our only way in. Or maybe he thought with his magical ability and strength of arms he would be able to bypass the magical wardings on the windows on the second floor. Either way as he successfully scaled the tower he found himself unable to get in. Figuring perhaps the ward was not a magical lock but instead a trap that would go off if tampered with he tries shooting arrows into doors and windows. When this doesn’t work he contemplates heading back down though worried that he might not be able to find us. At this point he hears the explosion of Evidon’s bomb and decides we might be in trouble and that he should come track us down.