Intrusions and Illusions
Things have been a little hectic. I just got a new job, so there’s a lot of changes in my life. not to worry though, my players are there to bail me out. Here’s the adventure log from on of our previous sessions. Enjoy!
The Inn of the Red Owl spent most of its nights quiet and dark. The Innkeeper, Mikhail, would usually be sleeping. His wife, Irina, would usually be doing a bit of late night laundry. This is how things went… usually. But this was not one of those usual nights. Two minotaur corpses lay on the floor, one near the doorway, and the other lodged near an overturned table. Blood was splattered everywhere. The fight had not been long, but had been disastrous for the inn.
Mikhail charges down the stairs, yelling at nobody in particular, and everybody at once. Stopped by Elias, who tells him of Chu’s plan to kidnap his wife, Irina runs in and hugs her husband. Mikhail is worried that the Camonna Tong, a criminal organization that Chu works for, will come after him, and he feels that he and his wife must leave town. Elias offers to speak with the Tong, to clear the Innkeeper of any guilt, and Mikhail says he would do best going to The Crimson Sail, an old pirate bar in the docks district of town.
Corrin grabs a few coins off Chu’s body, the rest of his possessions incinerated, while Elias finds a pouch of 50 gold coins on one of the minotaurs, and everyone begins dragging away the carcasses. After clearing out the bodies, the door swings open, and the three Halfling waitresses come in to find their workplace in a complete mess. One of them, Qiana, corners Spooks – who had left his cat form – and threatens him into explaining what happened overnight, or else she would throw him to the dogs the next time he transformed. “I can breathe fire” the cat protested. “So can the dogs” she retorted.
As Spooks is explaining, Boba runs in to see how his friends are doing. He’s been hearing all sorts of strange rumours on the way over from the temple. Ignoring the explanation of the events, he sets to work bandaging up Elias and Corrin. Irina prepares everyone a complimentary breakfast, and as it’s being brought out to the table, Sir Bart stumbles down the stairs, and joins in for a bite. Seemingly unconcerned about how the fight went, Bart wolfs down his food and takes off. Elias follows him, seeing if there’s anything he can do to help. Bart tells him that unless he knows the king personally, there isn’t anything he can do to help, but warns Elias to keep his eyes and ears open. “Something fishy is going on.”
Everyone heads down towards the docks, and spots The Crimson Sail easily. En route to the bar, they can’t help but notice that Malkara has become even busier than yesterday; people are hauling decorations and setting up small shops for the festival, craftsmen are working furiously on prizes for the upcoming tournaments, and many delegations from outside the city are arriving – in particular, one group of wizards from the Aecha Ostai, travelling in a large floating column of carriages and horses.
Nearing The Crimson Sail, Spooks splits off from the party, taking a rooftop approach, while listening in to the crowd for anything about slavers, Lady Galina, or the recent events of the Red Owl. The front door to the Sail is blocked by a massive ogre, armed with multiple weapons, bearing his long teeth at the people passing by. A half-elf stands near by, admitting people or turning them away. The bar has far more security than any other nearby, even the Fox’s Cellar, a bar notorious for being quite chaotic. Spooks and Shyama notice the back door of the Sail is getting even more action than the front. Every minute or two, a young child, ragged and dirty, approaches the back door, speaks with someone inside, and then takes off in a hurry carrying a small package.
Splitting off into three directions after a brief discussion of strategy, the party begins to track down some of the children, to try and get a sense of what’s going on. Shyama and Elias begin head west towards a sail-maker’s shop, where some of the older kids are being sent, while Boba and Corrin head east past the cooper, where the younger children seem to be going. Spooks heads up to the top of the Sail, in hopes to hear something from inside.
Nearing one of the windows, Spooks hears a muffled conversation about a hobgoblin. It seems everyone knows Chu went to do a collection, but nobody knows what happened inside. One voice thinks it was an adventurer who was staying at the Red Owl who came down and killed Chu and his guards, while another voice swears that the Innkeeper is a retired wizard, who killed Chu with beams of light from his eyes. A third voices believes that Chu was killed by a fire-breathing cat, causing a furious round of laughter from the other two.
With a spell, Corrin disguises himself as a small Halfling child, and gets Boba to memorize his face. Boba in tow, Corrin runs after one of the orphan package-carriers, a very young Halfling, and tells him to wait up. Making up a story about being told to follow the small boy, “Danger” as he calls himself, Corrin tags along to see what becomes of the package. Approaching the palace, Danger begins taunting some of the guards, and one guard comes down, bearing his spear, to chase them off. The guard grabs the package and returns back to his post. Danger gives Corrin the nickname “Slowpoke”, and the two return to the Sail.
Shyama spots an older human boy carrying another one of the packages, walking slowly down the street. He’s missing the bottom half of his shoes, so he’s easy to catch up to. Beckoning him over, and flashing a coin, Shyama begins interrogating the boy about the Red Owl, and he willingly divulges all sorts of rumours he’s been hearing. When she tries to switch the topic to Lady Galina, the boy gets really defensive, insisting he knows nothing. Elias comes to join the conversation, sensing the boy isn’t telling the truth, and offers the kid a gold coin, which gets smacked away. Shyama unsheathes her dagger a bit, trying to show the boy that they mean business, and scares the kid away. She and Elias look for another kid, hoping their luck gets a bit better.
Back at the Sail, the back door opens up and an Elf answers, with a package for Danger. Eyeing Corrin up and down, he questions what is going on, why there is a second child here. “Slowpoke” accepts a job to run packages to their destinations, and the Elf hands one to Danger, but first warns him that if he fails to do the job properly, he won’t live to see tomorrow, and slams the door shut. The package is for a delegation of wizards, the Ennen Stery, and Danger cautions Corrin again of the price of failure. He tosses Corrin the package, and the two head off.
Finding a window with very little noise coming out of it, Spooks pokes his head down and tries to enter the room. The window flares up with light, burning a bit of Spooks’ fur, and the cat rears himself back up to the roof, as the door to the room is slammed open. He stays atop the roof, licking his wounds, and starts looking down to see if he can spot any of his friends.
Chasing after Danger, Corrin passes the package to Boba and tells him to run and find Elias and the others. A little ways down the street, Danger questions what happened to the package, and he and Corrin split up. Danger searches desperately for it, and Corrin runs off to an alleyway, let’s the disguise spell fade, and heads off in the direction Boba ran.
Elias beckons over a young boy, maybe ten years old, with a gold coin. This child, Mike, seems a little more willing to talk, if the price is right. Asking again about the Red Owl, the boy responds with the same information, but includes that nobody is going to miss Chu. Continuing the line of questions, Elias asks about Galina, but Mike says she’s “one of the good ones”, and wouldn’t want to sell anyone information about her, especially not to people saying “We don’t want to hurt her.”
A query about slaves being brought to Malkara opens him up again, and he talks about a gathering up north where a few of the Tong were up trafficking slaves, doing a lot of business. Shyama is curious about Galina, if she would have any interest in slaves, or perhaps freeing slaves, but Mike saw no reason for her to need them, with all the servants she has, and no reason for her to free them, because it’s a waste of money.
Asking Shyama and Elias where they’re staying, they quickly realize they have no rooms, so mention that a friend of theirs invited them to stay at the Temple of Serik. After a lengthy tirade about Serik being a “little too righteous for me”, Mike asks them if they know Lady Marella. As Boba runs up to his friends, panting and out of breath, he hears the young boy speaking about the object of his infatuation, asking “Lady Marella… Is she hot or what?”