Helena

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
Let's Start Writing!

Y’all –
We should post shit here all the time. What happens when we play? What are certain characters or players thinking? Wouldn’t it be funny if Perverto came into play again?

I don’t think it should be up to Ross to post his notes up after every session so that we all can benefit. If you feel particularly inspired, post!

-Graham

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The Helena Exchange

(This is a placeholder for a description of the Helena Exchange, and the events leading up to it. I think everyone should add a paragraph or two summarizing how they got there, and then we can work together to describe the events of what actually happened.)

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the three things that happened before the trial
there were windows involved. and murder.

DND!
Judeth gave us the order to further investigate vampire thing. They’d been in the city before, but never had acted out this much.
We found lead names for the vampires
Through being racist and intimidating, we found out their plans all along with Helena, to increase ranks of vampires. Dreamt of a vampire city, which is “not in the cards” today.
So. After figuring that out, going back to report to Judeth, when Cath got word of an emergency at her university. Summoned extraplanar creature. Cray astral beast. An astral-puss (astral octopus)
Yeah, we killed that. Local law enforcement comes along, arrest Catherine for summoning that beast from the astral realm. Went along.
Trial of tomorrow. Suspects that the house of ioun was the only group with the means and the motive to do this. (frame her)
There is another house which had some issues with what was going on. The house of Forges says that ioun should not have representation in govt, b/c they cannot be trusted
We’re all together. If Catherine goes to court and is convicted guilty, will be locked away for a really long time.
Cath not only one arrested. Summoning dude also, but she’s the one in charge.
Ok. So…
House of ioun: more of a non-affiliated church
What if they’re in this together? Ioun and Forges? Cath has past with Ioun.
We actually have a mtg the next morning with the head guy of the church of ioun.

Max does the usual breaking and entering.

Ben: puts together a magistrate costume, get one of his regulars from Waterman, who works in the office of Identities at city hall, bribes him with a nice bottle of wine, and gets an identity document. Matt Locke “goes by Ben” – fake magistrate papers
Case # 21099
Office of para-legal affairs
I make my way through the building. Iron bars filled in with stone/cement. Building has to weigh a TON. Very stable, and magic is very important to keeping it upright.
I say hello to the gnome bookkeeper – librarian – who is very frantic. Case against Catherine Selden, charged with stuff.

I meet senator gremm. Gruff dwarf. Wearing very heavy beautiful robes, lots of edges have metal to decorate them? Little guys. Lots of decorated things. Bald, with long red curly hair and beard, and tons of rings.

Before leaving Waterman again, I instruct Shmel to take care of things, and to come find me if its been more than a week.

Ross sends to Ben from Durand’s office: nothing much here. Any luck on your end? Ben sends back, Keep looking. Stop wasting charges. Also Good Job.

He invites me into his office. “We’re not directly involved in the case. You want to be in the trial?” “We both know how this city works, senator” Wants to know my problem with Catherine. Ben claims that he killed his sister. 28 years ago.

Jax keeps looking for a way to open the adamantine chest.

Jax and I meet up halfway between Waterman and the Church of Ioun. Max steps out of the shadows. As usual.

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What we talked about

Ben says to Jak, “What happened?”
“I got their ledger. Lets go somewhere else and look at it.”
Max looks in the fridge for a bit for some dip. Ben asks, “Somewhere we can go, Max?”
Max thinks through his list of places, and knows there’s a secluded tool shed attached to an orphan-garten nearby. “Follow me”.

The trio find the tool shed. It is old, rusty, dark, and lucky. Jak thinks of his mother.

Ben says nothing found.
Max says the same.

Jak takes out the ledger from High Priest Durand’s room. He had to break in.
There was an adamantine chest which he couldn’t open.
We look through the ledger and papers to find something incriminating.

Catherine says we should look for large recent purchases of astral materials, or anything related to conjuration.

We flip through the ledger, which is an account of every transaction that Daran has. Hard to decipher. Lot of magical components.

How much would an adamantine chest cost? 2500gp.

we plan a heist. potential hollow area of Daran’s room.

360 gold to cast a disguise scroll.

Ben: Priest of Ioun
Max: Mercenary

several guards – 4 ~ 5 outside the room.
talking about stuff – investigator/detective already in the room. Criminal magistrate.

alex gets the chest.
it pops open, stuns alex blinding him, and releases numbing poison gas.
Alex disarms the sleepy chest by tossing the focus out the window.
looks in the chest, finds interesting and valuable items!

instructions for a summoning ritual that summons extraplanar creatures.

includes a large list of odd spell components.

amount of astral dust required for this is much larger that what he found earlier in the day.

dragonfern is the plant in the room: comes from tropical region far to the southwest, south of caprone and the wastelands. From far, far away.

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What we found in Daran's chest
we GOT THIS

we find:
statuettes
ritual book with all heroic level ritualsm and a few paragron level
philosophical texts from Daran’s father.
ritual for summoning
gorgeous wristwatch that is one of the nicest pieces of jewelery that my house makes.

We escape, and meet back up at House of Wisdom.
Ben looks at the ritual, and then at the ritual that Ross got from a student. Smaller scale, without the unique components.
If I were to go to the HoW, and see that each of those components had been taken out of the stocks, that would strongly suggest that one of the students had used that recipe.
So we should go do that. Ben goes to do that. Jak goes to delay the trial. Max gets stuff appraised. Each worth 3200gp.
Watch worth…

The components have all been taken out by Stuven Day.

We go find him. He was one of the 12 students and 1 professor who was in the room when this happened. The professor is in jail, and goes on trial soon. 2 hours.

-student, looks blonde, spiky hair, looks stressed with school. – we question him.
did you do it on purpose, or by accident? He is pretty innocent.

Max finds a sneaky way to search the lab. He finds Stuven’s ritual, which he used that day.

Stuven comes with us. We get stopped by guards. Max kisses them. It doesn’t work.

So we sneak Stuven out.

And then go to trial.

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BYLINE-EVERSHADE
Backstory Quest: Catherine

BYLINE-EVERSHADE: After defeating vampires, a dangerous astral beast appeared at catherine’s school. After dealing with it, Catherine is arrested, along with another headmsater and the summoning professor.

Her trial is tomorrow, we are unsure of who might have summoned it.

THERE ARE TWO LEADS: The church of Ioun and the house of forges. We set a meeting for tomorrow with the high priest Doran of the church of Ioun.

Jak recommends that the remaining three in the our group split up and pursue our only leads.

1) The church of Ioun- Jak
2) House of Forges -Ben
3) Track down the buyer of astral dust – Max

Max goes to the shop we previously visited to figure out who bought the astral dust they recently sold. He sneaks in, slips up behind the shopkeeper, and holds a knife to his throat saying “Show me the ledger”. Max finds info about the person who bought the astral dust (“Durk”), how much he spent (200g) and where to find him (Dude street)

Max heads to Durk’s house, he hears noise coming from the second story of the building. He climbs up and sees a man in wizardly garb making some type of potion. Max axes him at knife point what he’s doing, Durk tells him he’s going to make a really neat obelisk portal system.Durk ends up being very nice, and encourages Max to come back later and check on his progress (weirdo). He mentions that the only people/organizations that could have summoned an astral beast are the House of Wisdom, the Church of Corellon, and maybe the churches of Sehanine, Pelor, or Ioun.

Meanwhile! Ben goes to the House of Forges dressed like a legal official, he says he needs info for part of the trial against Catherine. Ben believes that the House of Forges will speak up at the trial/ try to influence it in a way that benefits them and harms the House of Wisdom. He gives a bottle of expensive wine as a gift to one of his regulars at Waterman tavern in exchange for a fake ID, and as ’Matt Locke the magistrate" he asks to speak to Senator Gramm, the House of Forges representative.

Ben tells the senator that Catherine killed his sister years ago and he wants payback, to attempt to lure Gramm to admit his role in Catherine’s framing. Ben arranges to be on the cabinet/jury-like committee that meets with the judge to discuss sentencing/disposition.

MEANWHILE Jak takes Derrice (his clergyman friend from the church of Kord) to the temple of Ioun to meet with High Priest Daran. He is told that he does not have an appointment, Jak gets upset and goes to Daran’s office, and breaks into the room. NOBODY IS THERE. NOTHING OF SEIROUS NOTE except a magistrate handbook with a chapter on the misuse of magic bookmarked. He contacts Ben and Catherine (You) to tell them that Daran never came to the appointment. Catherine (you) sends back a message telling them to look for records of recent arcane component purchases or research on conjuration/ summoning spells. Jak finds a locked drawer in the main room of the office and breaks it open to find a stack of papers and a ledger but found that it set off….an alarm! Without thinking, Jak grabs all of the papers and picks up Derrice, leaping out of the fourth story window. He uses his Guardian daily power to protect them both in a burst of holy protection magic.

Jak meets up with Max and ben, they catch each other up on what they found. Limited evidence is found in the ledger to suggest any scandal or ulterior motive, BUT Ben believes there may be hidden evidence in the adamantine chest in Daran’s office, he devises a plan to sneak in himself and Max to the office to check out the chest. Several guards are guarding the room: Ben convinces most of them to go downstairs, saying more are needed down there. Max uses diplomacy to send the last guard away, leaving them alone with a lone female investigator.

Max KNOCKS HER FUCKIN’ UNCONSCIOUS and they try to open the chest. It triggers a trap that releases stunning gas. After max stops the trap, they find

1) Information about summoning rituals for astral beasts
2) Rare statuettes -unique and made of rare material.
3) Philosophical letters to Daran from Daran’s father.
4) Tome of rituals containing ALL heroic teir rituals.
5) Expensive watch made by house of Silver Celeste.

We all returned to the House of Wisdom school to cross-reference the ritual components + inventory changes in the School’s compoent storage room/ lab. All of the relevant components were taken from the lab by one student, Stuven Day, in the past week.

The group confronts Stuven, who is honestly confused. Max finds a copy of the ritual recipe Stuven used: It has the same title, but the extra components listed on the recipe found in Daran’s office. When we take Stuven to bring him as a witness to the trial, guards tell us we need a signed note from the headmaster (Impossible while he’s in jail). Jak almost attacks them for obstructing justice! But Ben sneaks stuven out instead by letting him wear his armor that lets its wearer change appearances. We all HEAD TO YOUR TRIAL.

YOUR FATE IS IN OUR HANDS.

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What we did on our free day
you know its gonna be fun.

Trial was on Wednesday.

We meet with Judeth to discuss on Friday.

Giving our heroes an entire day to relax.

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Cards and Kords
Backstory Quest: Jak

After discovering a mindflayer in the undercity, the advernturers take a few days leave before a predetermined meeting at the Waterman.

The morning of the meeting, Bharash misses his prayer meeting with Jak. Finding this uncharacteristic of his mentor, Jak summons his allies to investigate. After some off-target searches and arduous questioning, the group finds the answers they seek in Tellus the guard. According to his account, a group of mysterious men sneaked out of the Shrine of Kord last night and paid him to keep quiet. They may have used feral dogs on the street as a distraction to enter the shrine.

Assuming these men abducted Bharash, the party follows the clues to the House of Cards. Upon entering the courtyard of the house hall, a large ambush party unleashes a hail of arrows on the party. Using expert archery techniques and ferocious dogs, the ambush almost overwhelms the adventurers. Almost.

Unsure as to why they were attacked in broad daylight, the party enters the house hall…

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Battle! Inside the House of Cards Dungeon:
Avengers Assemble!

Whilst we were searching for Bharash, the party was led down by Teegjlimarrgg (a Cards Guard). After some success in manipulating him for our purposes, Max Stirner convinces him to go home and think about his life. The party enters the Dungeon, and see a whole bunch of Cards Cronies and “the Extractor” – a large duergar with a huge torturing halberd. Jak enters the room first, and cries out to his friend, who turns to look at him, but is struck unconscious by the Extractor.

The beginning of this somewhat lengthy battle is chaotic, to say the least. Catherine Selden, in true magicking style, creates a blizzard in the center of the room, freezing four of the cronies in the room. Max slashes several of the cronies as well, who in turn respond by attempting to kill him. Alas, Abernathy Wistershire simply reverses all of their damage with a single Majestic word, while Jak mostly putzes around. The Extractor is a fearsome opponent, constantly dazing and dominating the party in turn. The poor cronies fall quickly to Max’s blade, Catherine’s magicks, and Ben’s vicious mockery.

Merely twelve secons into battle, Catherine casts her signature Pinoning Vortex on the Extractor, taking him out of the battle for a while. More cronies fall, the attacks of our heroes slicing through them as a red-hot poker through a nudist colony. Moving into positions, the Extractor is pushed off the ledge by Ben’s taunting, and quickly surrounded by the rest of the party, who crit him into submission. And by submission, I mean death.

Another group of Cards Cronies foolishly enter into the fray and are nothing but fodder for the party. In the end, Max more or less climbs inside the Extractor and slices him from the inside out until he died. Thanks to Max’ brilliant leadership and the excellent teamwork of our four heroes, the battle is completed with little real moments of danger.

The party finds a bunch of Loot, including The Bonesaw and The Extractor’s Mask. Mundane: 16x +3 Maces, 5x +3 throwing hatchets

2350xp base for the party, with bonuses for kills and MVP. Kill count: Catherine 7, Max 5, Ben 4, and Jak 2.

Out of immediate danger, the party takes a breather. Although the entire battle only lasted 48 seconds, they are somewhat hurt and tired. Catherine reflects on the legality of this “Dungeon” – which, though borderline, is probably not too damning. Ben heals Bharash. After discussing politics and legality for a moment, the party comes to a decision to hold the other prisoners until they each receive a fair trial.

Bharash lets us know that he was abducted in his sleep, and not much else. He lets the party know that he is being held there by some ritual, and that some components are needed to cast a disruption ritual so he can leave. There are some things about this that feel quite…wrong. Jak questions this. “If you bring the components here, I can show you how to do the ritual. The heart is the biggest challenge. A pauper not to be missed, perhaps? Or a child from the North Side. The other rarity is the limefire, conjured from a limefire lamp. 2 such lamps glow in the city: one in the altar to Sehanine, and the other is in the Vault of the Carta of Greymist (the crime syndicate).”

Catherine is suspicious and wonders if this ritual is, itself, another trap. A trap within a trap.

Trapception.

Nope. She remembers that this is a really inconvenient ritual to cast, especially because of the strange (evil) components, but also that, due to its power, can disrupt binding rituals from far away.

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If I only had a Heart
Ben Finds a Heart

Getting a heart is hard work. Ben goes back to the Waterman, and asks Ross to find an unwary heart (in as many words) and to ask about House Silver Celeste’s contacts in House Greymist.

Ross basically says, “No dice bro. And that’s weird that you asked for that”

An hour after he left, Ben returns to where Jak and Catherine are waiting. Consulting with Catherine, he borrows her Ritual Book (with Gentle Repose) and sets off on his Plan B:

Back at his tavern, Ben finds the secret office hidden behind XXXXXX, which is accessed XXXing the XXXXX with the XXXXX XXXX times. Inside are disguises, the secrets which give him power: tomes of information, items of blackmail and his secret cache of weapons, armor, equipment, and gold. His fortress of solitude, hidden in plain sight.

He gathers up two different disguises – one of a priest and one of a magistrate’s aide, richly adorned. Always careful, he picks the finery and colors farthest from his House – no need to risk more any more than necessary.

He catches himself wondering why he’s doing this at all, why he’s let himself be involved in the first place. Then he remembers, remembers it all in an instant. Friends are good, but loyal friends are better. Powerful loyalty was best. And he would need allies. Soon, and dearly.

On his way out, he considers which hospice to hit. Southside, of course, somewhere poor, half forgotten, and old. He signals to one of his blind servants: useful for the fact that they know not by sight but only sense and sound who they are working for (discretion at its best, and its most expensive). “Come with me. Extra coin in it for your quietude. No questions, just work. Savvy?” “I see nothing, know less, and remember only what I had for supper” Ben taps his companion’s shoulder. “Size 10, patent leather, three flaps above the ankles, and I am carrying my sword.” It was all the information this man would need to be able to follow him through a crowd. By all appearances, he would not appear to be blind at all. “Follow behind, ten paces.” And with that, Ben walked out of Waterman, south.

On his way, Ben listened for reports or rumors of sickness, death, decay, and the usual things that occupy Evershadian conversation. Another cold day. Damn. Near a sundries stall, he overhears “…dozens dead this week near the Stream…” His ears perking, he slows his walk. Two men. Not richly dressed, commoners, but workers as well. Not trustworthy exactly, but knowledgeable enough about the city. “…buried a few, paid poor coin, but coin regardless…” Laborers. Sharing tips about where to find work, burial of the dead amongst them. “…the Temple of Pelor, the chap with the beard, he’ll…” And it was all he needed. Ben notes their gait and shoulder, walking briskly again in the direction of the Temple.

He stops to see a man about some papers: reclamation of family remains, signed and sealed. They cost him a few gold.

Twenty minutes later, Ben emerges discreetly from an alley, dressed in the colors of Pelor. Walking into the Temple, he signals to his shadow to wait until his next signal.

The laborers were right, of course. He could sense the death and decay around him the moment he walked into the large antechamber of the Temple. The sounds of wailing and suffering were only disturbing is so far as the kind of quiet whimper they created against the sound of wind outside.

No one so much as bothered him. He knew how to blend, and blend well. Hardly ten minutes passed before he had found the perfect candidate: just on the verge of death with hardly a breath left. Consciousness had left long before. The man, probably just shy of five decades agem had been driven both blind and deaf by his disease, though not, unfortunately, mute. His low groans, involuntary punctuated the air.

Strong facial features. Ben checks the dying man’s eyes – pure white. “I’m sorry for your pain, and pray for your release. May she take you and make you.” He was still not bothered by any of the other priests, all of whom were too busy to notice or care. They had the sick to tend to. They had their duties.

Ben leaves the Temple, signals his companion, and finds a nearby alley in which to change clothes. “Same shoes. Long robes. No sword. Dagger. I will speak like this.” And with that, Ben changed into his Magistrate’s aide robes, and chooses a deeper voice. With his talents, he changes his facial features to match, slightly, the dying man. “Follow close. Three to five paces.”

Re-entering the Temple, Ben is immediately approached by a Cleric of Pelor, looking extremely concerned and confused. “You shouldn’t be here. Our faith keeps us safe, but laypeople are at risk of the taint-”
“We are on official business, good Cleric. We have taken the precautions and will be gone in but a moment.” Ben hands him the papers. The Cleric looks down, his brow furrowed. The faint sound of someone’s desperate whimpering fills the air from the next hall. Ben can tell that the Cleric isn’t even reading the papers. He doesn’t care at this point. There are too many dead, too many sick. “He is of my family, good cleric.”
“Yes, yes. Very well. Watch yourselves.” And with that, the Cleric wanders off, leaving Ben and his companion alone.

Relieved, Ben walks off to find the man he had said a prayer over before. Speaking quietly under his breath, he muses “Hello, cousin. It seems as if uncle has decided to bury you after all.” Two minutes. “I’m sorry for what’s happened. I understand your choices, but what is is what is.” The man groaned quietly. Standing above him, Ben considered the possibility that he was awake, and knowing. Conscious, and fighting. One minute.

He chose not to watch. Preparing the components of the ritual, Ben began to clear his mind. It would not be difficult, but it would also not be easy. He closes his eyes, focusing only on the control he would need.

A great moment of silence passed.

When Ben reopened his eyes, the man’s breathing was no more. Ten minutes later, the ritual complete, Ben and his companion placed the man onto a stretcher, covered his body with a blanket, and walked back to the men by the stall that had led him here.

“I need two men to help bury my companion. A sovereign each, and another if you do it without questions.”
The laborers looked him over, then nodded.
“Good. I need ten minutes alone with him. When that time has passed, enter this alley and take care of the body. Be sure to do it properly. He was a good man, wrongly treated by this city.”

The nearby alley was one he had scouted out before. Secluded, that none could see. Regardless, he asked his companion to keep watch. Hardly a task for a blind man. “Wait two minutes, then forget all. Understood?”
“Savvy indeed.” His companion produced a long thin cane from out of nowhere.

A few minutes later, Ben walked away from the alley, dressed in his usual disguise, with a box under his arm. He walked towards Max’s favorite safehouse.

Behind him, the slow fall of snow began to cover his tracks.

A nameless man was being prepared for burial by two good men.

A blind man considered all he hadn’t seen that day.

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