Session log for last fortnight's Ptolus, finished at the last minute as per usual. We had burgonet as a guest NPC at this game!
Having subdued the guards in the cavern beneath the Balacazar manor house last time, the team obtained the key to the iron door and the passage leading on the Balacazar manor house. As the only individual with any level of stealth, Cale was send ahead to reconnoiter. Once on his own he had the misfortune to encounter and fall under the thrall of a vampire spawn named Dieter (played by burgonet).
Cale's luck wasn't all bad, though. When Dieter asked who Cale was, the truthful answer
Montague Balacazar led him to assume that Cale was actually in authority at the manor.
We knew Cale was a member of the Balacazar family, but brisdrake hadn't actually chosen a first name for him until he was put on the spot here.
Taking advantage of the misunderstanding, Cale managed to convince the Dieter to have himself and the rest of the team escorted off the premises. They found themselves near the main road south of Ptolus, amid merchant traffic which included a turnip-seller heading towards the customs gate into South Market.
Cale returned to the cavern via the crab-filled sea passage. He found the halfling Seanus, hopelessly intoxicated from breathing the huge quantities of shivvel dumped into the waters of the cave system. Cale stashed Seanus behind the door to recover and headed upstairs again, rapidly encountering Dieter once more and having himself conducted upstairs to the parlor of Medve, the head vampire and Dieter's mistress.
Medve's coterie of vampire spawn included the child Linele for whom the team had been searching. Cale's luck held; Medve didn't question his quthority as one of her hosts and even agreed to let him speak alone with Linele.
Linele seemed confused by her recent state of undeath and clutching a golden fob watch. She had the same powers of mesmerism as Dieter, leading to Cale picking up a fresh set of compulsions during his conversation with her. In particular, the suggestion that she should return to her father Linech was prompted converted into the command that Cale take her there now. Cale duly exfiltrated through the roof and abseiled down the northern wall with Linele clinging around his neck. She was unnaturally strong, but to everyone's surprise quite unaffected by sunlight.
The manor's (human) guards raised hue and cry as Cale fled with Linele, but couldn't be mobilized quickly enough to do more than fire a few arrows from the upper-storey arrowslits as he ran across the open fields toward town and the rendezvous with the rest of the group. Much quicker to engage was a pack of wolves commanded by Medve once she figured out she'd been duped.
The rest of the team rushed across the field, catching up with Cale at nearly the same time that the wolves did. Brother Marcus called down an obscuring mist to the cover their retreat. That neutralized the archery fire from the manor, but did nothing to prevent Logan from being surrounded and going down under the jaws of the pack.
Yup, we thought Logan had been sent to serve Lothian in the Next World at that point. It was only later when doing the XP tallies that I realized everyone edged over the line to level 4 during the battle, and the extra hit die was just enough to rationalize his survival.
Several confusing things happened in the mist. Linele let go of Cale's neck and vanished, and out of nowhere appeared the swordswoman Castalla, the same one who'd appeared in Mali's dream as Sebastian's girlfriend. She strode past Mali, murmuring that she was on
company business, hacking her way past the pack and the fallen Logan. She was the first thing Sebastian saw through the mists as he was healed back to consciousness by Marcus.
It'd been a brutal battle with many fallen on both sides, but this was the point at which the wolves' morale broke and the survivors fled. Retrieving Logan's body and finding Linele were everyone's first thoughts. Castalla drew a fearsome-looking longbow and stalked back into the mist after the girl. Mali heard the bowshots and found Linele's corpse (fully dead this time) on the road with two flaming arrowshafts in her back.
The team hastily collected Linele and headed into the customs queue. Guards from the manor were approaching though, so the split up and melted into the clutter of hawkers illegally selling goods just outside the city walls. Cale found and purchased material for a shroud; Sebastian completely lucked out and found someone selling coffins; and Mali at least managed to avoid the Balacazar guards searching for them. The Brothers weren't nearly so surreptitious, but managed to fight off the guards who found them. The team reconvened, placed Linele in the coffin, and bore her through the south gate. Logan dropped his
Albrecht disguise and used his Church credentials to get past the checkpoint, and rest of the team acted as pallbearers, conducting Linele back to her father's burrow in Rivergate.
When shown his daughter's body, Linech immediately recognized that it wasn't the glass coffin she'd originally been in, and seemed inordinately concerned with the watch. As soon as Sebastian mentioned that the Balacazars had found her first he looked terrified, paid the team off as quickly as he could, and fled upstairs.
The team returned to Grayson House, where Cale finally managed to open the metal box whose lock had defeated him previously. It contained the following items, wrapped in a shirt of mithral mail, every single one of which had magical auras:
- A jeweller's monocle
- 2 large pearls and 2 crystals
- A wide-bladed device resembling a knife (Letter opener? Trowel?)
- A mithril wand
Next game is in…um…9 hours. *sigh*