On the Archcanon's Secret Service

Beholder kin in my facial plane

The party split to find a cure for Lawstin’s petrification in Piedmontano and to stay back to defend the Cleric-statue. After procurement and administration we delved deeper into Garngad.

Nantucket had discovered a passage behind a ruined statue (not Lawstin) that led us into a forked hallway. Immediately we were beset on by floating heads that attempted to invade our minds as well as goat figures wielding halbreds. We forced them back until defeat or flight.

In the midst of our encounter we traversed a familiar face in Demetrio. Although familiar he seemed a strange version of himself, unable to communicate with us and void of humanity. We investigated the laboratory to find some life substance-harvesting matchines and incubation containers presumed to generate life somehow.

Through some rudimentary cave drawing we were able to get Demetrio to take us to a desk we previously rifled through and had found a map with the 7 bell-toting cathedrals. The large bell in the laboratory area had been rung and a mark was placed on the map for a newly rung bell in Belluna. We surmised that the bells in the surrounding country were ringing bells in Garngad and being marked on the map.

We quickly rushed to the nearest cathedral in Piedmontano to test our theory where we ran in to some werewolves. They were quickly dispatched but not before one of them infected Nantucket with Syphilis*.

*Probably also Lycanthropy

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Return to Garngad

Venturing beyond the dual-key gate we encountered a skeleton-lined hallway terminating in a portcullis. Pushed through the 3 doors to exterminate the remaining skeletons and ghosts.

A Medusa escaped, or was released, from her captivation. Before we were able to subdue her, Lawstin got stoned.

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Nuncio's Betrayal

The group agrees the 20k gold is likely to be payroll for some mass of soldiers planning invasion of the area from the Eastern Empires. The party has formulated a message to be sent back to the church pending the identification of a trustworthy messenger.

We arrive at the Abbey of the Gilded stacks, the library our destination. Abbot Nuncio Bartolo welcomes us. Nuncio informs us the Eastern Empires have been forcibly availing themselves of items in the Abbey. He has undergone the research and construction of a golem to defend the Abbey. As we agree to find him research materials in Garngad we are approached by 2 individuals.

Makrat and Helzen reveal themselves to the group as representatives of Dhalassium. They divulge access to a mole in the church and a fair bit of information about our group and objectives. Makrat possesses one of the keys necessary to progress further in Garngad. In exchange for the first key and destination of the second, he asks us to procure some relics from Garngad. One such relic is the corpse of an ethnarc of his sect.

We procure the key from Makrat after a midnight rendezvous with some pale types. The Key of Shadows is held by Claviger Obscuris at the Temple Fabrizia Eremitani. We are making our way there now.

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Departing Garngad

Upon departing Garngad we met up with Salvatore Orcini. Salvatore acts as the go-between between us and the Siculorum.

Salvatore offers a set of complex passwords to be used to delve further into Garngad.
Lawston’s initial research for the repository of these passwords leads us to an annex in Govana. Govana is in the marcher states in the Eastern Empire.

As we made our way to Govana, we heard some roaring/screaming off the road and went to check it out.

The party came upon a gaggle of hobgoblins, a troll, a lethal archer, and a crab-armed halfling leading them. After some crowd control

issues were sorted, the hobgoblins begain to drop or flee. The archer and halfling were dispatched before the troll was torched by bomb

after bomb.

The party recovered a chest containing 20k gold pieces and is now figuring out what to do with it.

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Tomb-Raiding Interrupted

The agents of the Siculorum gathered inconspicuously amid the throngs of festival-goers at the Festa d’Estinto. The Church had charged them with a secret and sacred duty: the recovery of the relic of St. Lazarus from the ruins of Garngad on Montebianco — the White Mountain itself. Each of the agents of this new fellowship had knowledge of one or more of the others, but this would prove the first time they had all pursued a common goal.

  • Lawstin, a true cleric of the Church and brother of the Priory of Trefoglie, whose experience was mostly academic, yet who was elected leader of the band
  • Lupo Vossi, protector to Lawstin and a monk belonging to one of the Church’s hidden orders, no stranger to performing questionable acts for the greater good
  • Nantucket Brown, a smooth-tongued relic-hunter for the Church, of the same bookish calling as Lawstin but more experienced in “requisitions”
  • Gilley “Inky” Turball, a stranger to the kingdoms of Montebiaco, having traveled from far Caledon in pursuit of the Church’s distant interests

The group had gathered in the cortile to enjoy the conclusion of the festa and to plan their journey to Garngad, when they were interrupted by the inclement tension of the city.

A group of hobgoblin condottieri, obviously outlanders, exchanged barbs with a patrol of the city guardia, and the adventurers found themselves caught in the middle. On one side, separated by a canal, the hobgoblins drew their bows. To keep order, the guardia aimed their crossbows. The citizens panicked and fled, and in the tumult, the adventurers rushed to aid the guardia

…only to find Nantucket threatened with arrest for recklessly firing his own weapon inside the city limits. Nantucket talked his way out of arrest as the situation devolved, while Lawstin strode fearlessly amid the hobgoblins, Lupo by his side. As they crossed the canal on the ponte, a third threat revealed itself: a pair of water-skulking ghouls far outside their usual territory of the Slink neighborhood. Now caught amid the guards, the mercenaries, and the monsters, the party wasted no time in destroying the undead threat while the guardia and hobgoblins fought each other. Inky crushed one ghoul with his heirloom warhammer while Lawstin and Lupo faced down the other with divine might and razor-edged icons of the saints. From afar, Nantucket picked off belligerent hobgoblins and the guards tended to their wounded.

In the aftermath, the guardia arrested the surviving hobgoblins and “overlooked” the indiscretions of the party, thanks to some diplomacy on Nantucket’s part and some timely healing delivered by Lawstin. The guards confiscated the condottieri’s war-chest, but Inky found something else of greater import.

The hobgoblin mercenaries wore the livery of Jubal, the emissary to the pashas of the eastern empire, and hidden among the belongings of the fallen hobgoblin sergeant was a letter indicating that Jubal seeks to hire 10 or more additional hobgoblin warbands, to an unknown purpose. Inky later delivered the letter to Salvatore Orsini, their immediate Church contact in Belluna, who rewarded the party for their vigilance and thoroughness. While Jubal’s treachery seems more political than ecclesiastical — he’s forbidden to leave Belluna while under suspicion of intrigues against the Mountain Kingdoms — the information surely gives the Church additional power in its knowledge.
In the waning hours of the day, the adventurers discussed their options:

  • Undertake the journey to Garngad, their original charge, to recover the relic of St. Lazarus
  • Pursue the schemes of Jubal, hoping to discover the motive behind his growing army
  • Investigate the presence of the ghouls, which seems to indicate some greater blasphemy in the catacombs beneath the canals

As the session concluded, the group seemed most interested in the Tursi ruins where Lazarus’ relic lay, so the next session will begin in pursuit of that goal.

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Campaign Kickoff: In Medias Res

It is the final day of the Festa d’Estinto, and the city of Belluna revels in its drunken, slatternly glory while her citizens nurse fumy heads and aching loins. The past two days have been a blur, the wine flowing freely as the fair filled the streets and canals. Summer weddings, wild bacchanals, good-natured brawls, and too much food have ruled the day.

In a flash, the goodwill of the festivo evaporates. A troop of hobgoblin condottieri, unaccustomed to Belluna’s indulgent ways, takes offense at a grandee’s remark, and the toughs draw their steel. The proud constables convene to disarm the mercenaries. Somewhere behind them both, a shadow stirs.

And amid the outburst, a third faction finds itself caught in the crossfire. Unknown to the mercenaries and the constables, the Siculorum is present — the troubleshooters and relic-hunters of the Holy See. The mailed fist of the Archcanon, the Siculorum pursues a secret agenda, and these foolish hobgoblins and reckless guards have interrupted the covert affairs of the Mother Church.

You are an agent of the Siculorum. Your job is to act as a secret agent for the Church, protecting its interests, increasing its holdings, and keeping hidden your role as an operative. Whether delving the depths of a dungeon in search of a saint’s relic, smuggling holy scriptures out of a pagan city, or silencing a dangerous heresy, you heed the call of the Holy See. You’re a member of the Archcanon’s secret service.

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