Sunday, October 15, 2006

Session 3 - Investigation

Saturday, October 14, 2006 from 5:00 PM to 9:50 PM

Still the 3rd of Rain

Beket, Henny and Simone meet each other just past noon at the Ghostly Minstrel, on Delver's Square. As they come in the main room, they notice Zade, the bartender of the establishment, has a rather agitated discussion with some people covered from head to toe with weapons, full-plate armors, the works.

While everyone's having lunch, Henny manages to talk to Zade about his issue: it looks like the Keepers of the Veil, the holy order protecting the city from the horrors rampaging within the Necropolis at night, would like the actual Minstrel, the Spirit who gives this establishment its name, exorcised permanently. Zade and the Keepers have been discussing the issue several times, and the bartender fears that sooner or later, the Keepers will just stop talking and give in to their zealous tendencies to come back with some sort of Imperial warrant to take the Minstrel away. He asks Henny if they are adventuring currently. As she answers by the negative, he asks if she and her companions would be willing to help the Minstrel out by going to the Siege Tower and try to talk it over with the Seneschal there.

After a few minutes of reflection, Henny agrees to the bargain.

Meanwhile, Simone the elf is getting a bit tipsy due to her lack of endurance as far as dark ale is concerned. A dwarf going by the name of Gorin Tumblestone seems to be really interested in her, but he himself had quite a lot to drink.

Beket doesn't quite get that kind of attention from the Minstrel's patrons but manages to get into trouble with an Assarai with red scales talking over a glass of wine with a local mage. The fight is avoided, but the lizard man doesn't look like he's going to forget Beket's face for a while.

The Ptolusite adventurers. From left to right:
Tiana (Simone), Nerissa (Beket) and Caroline (Henny)

After lunch, the companions leave the Ghostly Minstrel to head directly for the Siege Tower. They know the Zar'at isn't far from the Tower at all, and they plan on visiting Zalathar's apartments after they meet with the Keepers of the Veil.

At the Siege Tower they meet with Phadian Gess, its Seneschal. At their request, she explains how some of some of the Keepers of the Veil would like to solve the "problem" of the ghostly minstrel once and for all. She doesn't agree with their attitude towards the staff and owner of the establishment, but she can hardly ignore her men's opinions. Sooner or later, she says, she would have to reluctantly make a request for a warrant.

The adventurers ask if they can do something to change this situation. After a few seconds of reflection, Phadian points out that they could probably help the Keepers with an issue that came up quite recently to their attention but have had no time -or intention- to investigate so far. Not far from the Necropolis, at Exposed Street, a couple of gory murders have been commited during the night. The City Watch claims this is the jurisdiction of the Keepers of the Veil, since obviously this is the result of the incursion of ghouls or worse into the neighborhood at night. The Keepers do not appreciate when the City Watch relies on them to do their dirty work.

Phadian asks the adventurers if they would be willing to investigate the murders of Exposed Street and find out if these have anything to do with the Necropolis. If that is the case, the Keepers of the Veil would take care of the matter immediately. If not, the City Watch would have to take care of the problem like they should have in the first place. If the adventurers work is satisfactory to her, Phadian proposes to deliver a special authorization for the Ghostly Minstrel to keep its "friendly" spirit resident.

The companions accept the bargain.

After leaving the Siege Tower, they decide it is time to catch up with their original concerns about Zalathar and the strange experiments he and his friends performed on them while they were captive. The adventurers head to the Zar'at, and there try to talk to some of Zalathar's neighbors.

Beket lies through her teeth and pretends the Harrow Elf had debts to pay to the Watcher of the Skies. Henny soon joins to her efforts and together, they manage to sufficiently annoy one of Zalathar's neighbors to extract some valuable information from him:
- "If Zalathar needs to pay some debts, maybe you could speak to his "friends" who pay him visits quite frequently. They are in some sort of business with him, and they're the ones paying, it seems."
- "I heard them talk about meeting in a place called the Sword and Something once. They seemed to be familiar with the place." (he's talking of the Skull and Sword in the Guildmans District, the place where Simone first asked about the news in town after their escape)
- "Don't hesitate to add a few Imperials to the bill. The fellow is pumping money from these guys, and the more pissed off they are at him, the more likely I'll be able to take over his place. See what I mean?" (quite a nice fellow, isn't he?)

After this charming discussion with Zalathar's friendly neighbor, the adventurers sneak in his apartment. Simone triggers a crude trap while opening the main entrance, and requires immediate attention in order to keep her alive. One of Henny's potion seems to be quite enough.

It looks like Zalathar had something he wanted to protect in there: it's time to find out what it is. The adventurers search the whole place and find a few gold pieces, a letter of credit for 1,000 GP from someone named Berhart Von Birne, a dark Crystal Ball which doesn't seem to be magical and various other trinkets. More clues, yet no answers. Great.

Simone, Henny and Beket leaving the Ghostly Minstrel

After leaving the Zar'at, the adventurers walk to Exposed Street. They reach the area just as the sun sets. They see a prostitute working at the corner and ask a few questions.

It looks like Tana, the prostitute, was one of the first hand witnesses of the crimes committed in Exposed Street. She explains how she found the second murder victim, hardly articulates how mutilated and half-skinned she found her, and tells the adventurers what strange natural perfume still lingered about as the Watch arrived.

She asks them if she could get some funds to leave the city and escape the clutches of her pimp. Without asking any further question, they just hand her the money and wish her good luck. Tana leaves them at the corner of Exposed Street.

After they look around a bit, they meet one of a terrified and old watchman out patrolling the streets. He doesn't seem to confident in his own abilities after what happened to these two poor victims. After he checks the adventurers out, he discusses with them about the circumstances in which both victims were discovered:
- They both were found in the street and had been murdered at night.
- They both were partially skinned and had parts of their flesh also missing.
- The first victim name's was Ryon. He was a male gnome selling fruits on the street market.
- The second victim was Morianna, a female human. She was selling flowers on the street market.
- Besides Tana, the prostitute the adventurers just talked to, there is another first hand witness. His name is unknown but he is a frequent beggar in the neighborhood. One shouldn't have too much trouble locating him during the day.

After sharing this information, the watchman takes his leave. It starts to be late for the people of Ptolus, and the companions understand their investigation will now take them to the stalls and streets of the North Market. There is no need to linger for too long here. They leave Exposed Street and get back to their homes. Tomorrow is another day.

XP Breakdown
The PCs are all level 1.
- Extracting information from Zalathar's neighbor - EL 1
- Gathering information in Exposed Street - EL 1
Total XP earned: 600. XP per PC: 200.
Total XP earned in the campaign per PC: 1,150 XP.
All PCs level up.