On the Archcanon's Secret Service

Oviedo used to work on the docks

Oviedo Spina claims to have access to some of our property from the encounter with the witch. We need only go down to the dock and see to a misunderstanding whereby someone posing as Oviedo is taking delivery of things on the dock.

We run into some paralyzing fools and fight an Aboleth from land. By the time we reached the impostor, we made short work of him just before he bailed out to another plane.

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We got what we need

We re-enter the tombs to find much of the same; skeletons and baphomet statues confront us at every turn. We defeat our foes handily and recover a series of important relics:

Priestly robes
A disc inscribed with holy verses
A black crystal ball

We retain the Necromantic books and gravedust for us in a future venture into these same tombs.

The group retains some essence of ooze, 4 piles of gravedust, and a shading of the Seal of Jabril.

We return to Belluna to return the relics and enjoy a reward.

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Between a rock and a baphomet

We met Prince Vetiver, a leper. He directed us to a tomb in Marrikand. The tombs of Sambal, where members of the Vetivers family were interred, is our target for our choice of relics. Khus, the Vizier, directed us to acquire some items specifically.

We investigated some coffins but were immediately attacked by some statues and constructs in the form of baphomets.

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In Which We Get Our Asses Handed To Us
Witch Problems Pt. 1

Salvatore Orcini informs us a missing relic stolen by the Red Knives. A mythical woman archcanon is said to have had a stillborn daughter that has been preserved and revered by the church.

The Red Knives are led by Ovideo Spina and have a well known and well-guarded hangout. The crew makes short work of the guards and beats Ovideo within an inch of his life. Ovideo informs us, under duress, that the relic has been sold to Vanozza, the witch, through a man described to resemble Roberto Stellaluce.

The crew rushes out to Vanozza’s hideout and secure the relic. We encounter some grub-like creatures before running into a giant serpent that beats us up and down the field. We are then set upon by satyrs and Vanozza. At a point where the fight seemed like we could survive, we are blasted by a Cloud Kill spell leaving most of the group slain or on death’s door.

What happens next? Find out in Witch Problems Pt. 2, The Conclusion.

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Easiest hit ever

Summoned by Salvatore Orcini, the group reports to a trattoria for a sit-down. Salvatore informs us that our services were requested by Roberto Stellaluce of the Ravicionare, the finance arm of the Church (or most probably the assassins).

Roberto asks us to prevent Gavrilo Terkan from acquiring a non-descript telescope by any means necessary. The group accepts the task and heads down to the basement of the Maldonato estate where Gavrilo is understood to be present. Nantucket Brown helps us bypass the security on the primary level to explore the lower level.

We weather some major early setbacks against zombies and mummies. We do finally prevail only to find Gavrilo lying dead; a victim of the mummies.

Roberto indicates this could be signs of a potential conflict within the cult of the Tolling Bells. Future missions granted by Roberto Stellaluce may help us uncover that.

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Bad Actor

The group hears word of a play being produced that may have ties to the Tolling Bells cult. Impersonating an acting troupe, they audition for parts in the play for Nallo Eccheveria, the producer.

The audition hints at a ceremonial sacrifice to be performed during the play itself targeting the chorus player, Mawstin (Lawstin). The troupe tentatively passes the audition and is invited to a dinner with the production’s patrons: Lisbeta Maldonato and Carmine Tuono.

Carmine comes off as adversarial while Lisbeta seems to prompt the group with pass phrases they were not prepared for. The troupe is invited to the “library” after dinner to do a reading of the script. Passing through a fine wine collection, the group is led to a cellar boasting no books. Nallo passes us the scripts that contain an unreadable set of characters. The group falters and Carmine presses to kill us. The heroes are convinced to leave the cellar while Carmine stabs Nallo in the neck.

Carmine leads the group to the dock to be ambushed by Lisbeta and Carmine himself. Carmine is put out of commission after bolting most of the group with lightning. Lisbeta reveals herself as a Blood Hag, able to change form and blast the group with large burst attacks. Inky and Lupo pound on Lisbeta until she succombs to a final bomb.

The group has maintained possession of the scripts and double backed to recover other valuables.


GMs Notes

The party scavenged an initial haul of rare wines worth 1293 gp.

Braving arrest and disgrace, the party returned to the scene of the crime, claiming a second plunder of valuable wines and netting a further 1637 gp.

As well, clever searching revealed that one of the enormous casks in the wine cellar beneath the Maldonado home was in fact false, and protected a trove of items presumably collected by the blood hag wearing Lisbeta Maldonado’s skin. The trove included the following:

Oil of Light
Oil of Mage Armor
2 x Potion of Cure Light Wounds
Potion of Feather Step
Potion of Jump
Potion of Resist Acid (3rd)
Scroll of Charm Person
Scroll of Read Magic
Scroll of Rope Trick
Scroll of Sleep
Wand of Corrosive Touch (2d4; 18 charges remaining)

Session XP award: 1440 each, +150 each for retrieving the scripts of the heretical play, A Visit from the Blue Regent.

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The bells toll for thee

The party received 2 items at the onset. The Concordant fork, a tuning fork used to disenchant the chimes that were meant to shatter the cathedral bells. Alsa a spear, not unlike Vincenzio’s. The Spear of Vitrification. (DC 18 fort TURN TO GLASS in 3 rounds)

Upon arrival, Ecaterina ushers us into the cathedral to investigate the bell. We encounter Makrat, a familiar face. We explain we have not yet discovered the corpse of the ehtnarc. Makrat reveals some developments in his research that connect with our own experience with Demetrio and Delfina with the Ethnarc. The Eastern Empire Ethnarc appears to have impersonated Demetrio at some time. We have likely encountered the real and impostor Demetrio in our recent travels.

The recent Tolling Bell cult activity appears to be a resurgence of a sect long since ousted by the Easter Empires. The party and Makrat align to protect the bells and formulate a plan for communication through Belluna (pigeons and the Eastern Emissary in Belluna).

Ecaterina informs us of a recent transfer of Teobaldo Moscano, the abbot at Sona Roso, to Piedmontano. This raises some concern with the party and we go to question him. We reveal enough to concern him about the bell protection and he locks us in the cathedral to be ambushed. We dispatch his agents and come upon Khepra, an other-planar creature in Eastern Empire vestments. Khepra recognizes the spears, mask, and monocle as having originated in his plane.

After defeating Khepra and his summoned minions we search the area to find another duplication machine and materials that suggest that Khepra was attempting to educate our plane about the construction of these weapons. Khepra was on a mission to recover these items that were attributed to St. Lazarus. Lazarus, we found, was also purported to be from Khepra’s plane. More questions than we have answers.

End Chapter 1

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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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