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Session 118 - Oh No Jonid'n't

posted Jul 27, 2016, 2:09 PM by Will McCain
Now knowing what they had to do, the Maladroits left the strange doors, exited Gnometown and returned to Bramblewick.

They had a invitations to send out.

Since they would need the assistance of all their friends, they offered to host a dinner for them at their estate (well, in Knox's Magnificent Mansion, as it had more room). When all had gathered and supped on Lucas' fine cuisine, they revealed what they had found and deduced. When the group asked the assembly for help, all happily agreed. Particularly Master Morvant and Mistress Cordova, who were itching to get out of the Tower. The motley crew of ne'er-do-bads spent the rest of the evening in conversation and high spirits. They should all get to know one another better, it was thought, so that the teams that were chosen would work well. Also, they were all fun people. As his spell would last a few days, Knox left an open invitation for any of the guests to use the mansion and its fabulous facilities until then. In the meantime, teams were decided [<- document link?].

Callon headed out early the next morning to take care of a quick errand, and found himself waylaid by a starstruck youth. When the boy spoke of his "almost succeeding," Callon began to suspect something was amiss. When he saw the reflection of Des and Griev in his eyes, his sigh of long-suffering wasn't long enough. He took the forced hallucination aside so that he could speak to the spirits in his blade without appearing insane. They led him to an obscure overlook. After drawing the blade itself and sweeping it at the boy, he dissolved into the diminutive floating forms of Des and Griev. A long conversation followed, in which they pointed out his reluctance to take ownership of his choices. It rankled him, but he found it increasingly difficult to refute. Finally, they offered to take the burden from him. They could make the hard calls; all he had to do was follow. He had been tired and doubting himself for so long. It was so tempting to just left someone else deal with it all. A defiance rose up in him, then. Blah blah choices. What did he WANT? It was time to stop wallowing in duty and set his own course. With new determination, he reached his hand past the ones proffered by the spirits and gripped the hilt of Desangriev, instead. He ignored their commentary and told them that his path was his to make, and, as his weapon, theirs to follow. They consented. 

Forgetting his original errand, he returned to Bramblewick to retrieve Alera and Lucas for a visit to the Congregate. Stepping inside the Magnificent Mansion, he found many of the guests sitting in the kitchen area enjoying a fine breakfast. He noticed Cordova sitting at the table, grinning slyly his way. With a new vigor at having, he realized, claimed his life as his own, he strode over to her, gently grabbed her slender forearm, and lifted the elven beauty into a powerful kiss.

Upon reaching the Congregate, Alera stayed with Callon for his visits while Lucas adjourned to the temple of Fharlaghn. Callon took Alera first to the temple of her former patron, Heironeous. There, he gave a soldier's salute with Desangriev and spoke to the god's idol on many things. His thanks for the assistance in Heaven. His troubles believing in him after what happened to his mother and Beletsirana, both clerics of his. How he had come to terms with all of it, including Bel's death, and would be honored to bear Heironeous' blessing on his armor. Turning to leave, he said that he hadn't forgotten the god's strange blessing, assuring the deity that he wouldn't let things get screwed up. The thoroughly uncomfortable Alera was glad to leave.

Next was a visit to the temple of Moradin. Alera stood on more as an observer this time as Callon knelt and spoke in Dwarven to the King of Forges. He thanked him as he had Heironeous, and asked advice on what should be done with Elf Protector. Callon was in favor of its dissolution, but the Maladroits had justifiable reservations. Then, dropping into Avanni, he spoke to Moradin of how they had both lost someone they held dear. However, the language of truth that had been Avanna's rested within him thanks to Bel. Callon would not let either of them be forgotten, and would endeavor to use the powerful tongue to empower mens' souls and speak light to darkness. Once more in Dwarven, he said he would be honored to bear the blessing of Moradin on his armor. A nearby dwarven priest, in awe of what had transpired, immediately offered a benediction. Callon gratefully accepted.

While the fighter and the cleric were thus engaged, Lucas had a man from Tortuftus come up to him in the temple. Retreating to a isolated pew, the man spoke in careful words of how Lucas' homeland hadn't forgotten him. He then produced, to Lucas' amazement, a sword that perfectly resembled the idea he was going to present to Lifti. With the exception of the Tortuftan royal crest emblazoned on the cross-guard. Lucas was reticent to accept, and two spent several moments in a tense gaze. It wasn't until he heard Callon and Alera calling for him outside that he remembered all the strings of attachment that bound his soul. Slowly, he reached out and took the sword from the man. In return, he offered Lucas a satisfied smirk before leaving the temple.

Since they were at the Congregate, the three of them thought it only proper that Alera pay a visit to the temple of her current patron, Sarenrae. When they approached, they found a crazed throng of people waiting to greet Alera. With rapturous cries of delight, they surrounded the poor, dumbfounded cleric. Callon stepped in to try and keep some space around her while she tried to figure out what was happening. And why was everyone dressed like her?! One of the head priests of the temple came out and explained to her that, well, she was a celebrity. Between her exploits with the Maladroits, the Marvelous Tales, and being perhaps the most powerful of Sarenrae's clerics in Riparia, was it really surprising? An unfortunate downside was that people were spending their money on attiring themselves like her rather than tithing to the temple. Knowing its many good services, she couldn't let that stand. Callon offered some advice on what to say to the gathered mob. Even with her blessings of charisma, all her words did was fan the flames of their adulation even higher. It wasn't until she made a public display of tithing her own money that they people followed suit. Deeply unsettled by the events, Callon and Lucas led her back to Bramblewick.

In the middle of this chaos, Knox was paying a peaceful visit to his parents, Rost and Kell. While Keaton played with his parents' familiars, a toad named Ribbles and a weasel named Business, his parents told him it was time for him to learn a family secret. As it turned out, neither of them were born elves! After they had married, they realized that they wanted to have more time than the meager lifespans they were born with. So they developed a transmutation ritual that turned them both into proper elves, now with centuries of life to look forward to. The fact that they bred true with Knox was testament to their success. They didn't tell him this in order to pass on the knowledge, however. That was something they didn't intend on sharing with anyone. Rather, they told him in order to encourage him to find what he truly wished to turn into (as they were a family of Transmuters). Pensive, Knox returned to Bramblewick.

Later that evening, all of the Maladroits had business with the Horizon Hunters (forgot what it was). Upon reaching the guild hall, they were surprised to see the Invincible Trio emerging. From the shouts inside, it was easy to guess that they had come merely to antagonize the guild. Fox, the wizard, bumped intentionally into Knox. While the Maladroits took it in stride, it began a conversation that started downhill and never got traction upward. The Trio were all belligerent and full of themselves, only paying enough heed to what was said in order to give a disdainful reply. When they all realized that words were a lost cause, Callon couldn't even find the worth in being angry at such men, and bid the Trio a polite farewell. Lucas was plotting pranks. SOOO many pranks.

Inside the guildhall, they spent some time talking to the Horizon Hunters and commiserating with the visit they had just suffered. Then, a man called out them. He sat alone at a table and had a sad tale to tell. He and some fellows had found the location of the fabled Tomb of Horrors and made plans to venture inside. Despite the exceptional gear they wore, all but he perished. He was able to retrieve a single bone from each in order to revive them. He had a plan, you see. One of them had found an incredible artifact. It was a pouch that would multiply tenfold any wealth put into it. It would only work as many times as there were gems left to remove. It was how they had afforded such grand equipment. When the man presented the artifact, it had one gem remaining. He had no money on him, but if the Maladroits would provide enough capital, then he would multiply it with the artifact. He would use what he needed to raise his friends and the Maladroits could keep the rest. 

Initially suspect, they asked around. The rest of the Horizon Hunters vouched for the man, but thought his plan too fanciful for them to believe. It was sad, but adventurers died all the time. Knox recognized the artifact, though there was no way to prove it without testing it. With one gem left, that wasn't possible. Seeing either a) Great opportunity, b) A scheme to rob them of some gold, or c) JONID, they decided to take a chance. Returning to Bramblewick, they placed 25,100 gold in the pouch (for a good return in case it was the real deal). Once they had, the man dropped his disguise. Jonid cried out, "Haha! So long, suckers!" and disappeared with the pouch and their money.

The Shank List got its first application of highlighter ink that night.