Saturday, August 10, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Inn: The Mystery of the Manipulated Mules...

...May Forever Remain a Mystery!
The "Beast Master"

Session Date
9th Day of the Month of the Crimson Dragon 4500CCC (August 9th)

Characters Present
Annapurna, Altanian Ranger
Red Hawk, Altanian Fighter
Grafari, Skandik Rogue
Ion Skamos, Tiefling Cleric of Set

  • Red Hawk and Annapurna debated whether they wanted to do more tag team pit fighting or go it alone, deciding at last to continue as a tag team duo. They defeated a skandik of immense size (and possible giant ancestry), two Alryans who fight in legionnaire style, and a pair of Karakhans whose sword and shield/bow and shortswords mirrored the twain.
  • Ion Skamos able performed religious duties at the Temple of Thoth the Terrible, gaining two favors.
  • Grafari elected to spend his downtime preemptively scouting out the horse market where their mule was normally kept and where they purchased him. One night, during Grafari's stake out, a tremendous storm of bats appeared in the area in which he was hiding, drawing the attention of the guards who then thought he was the cause of the disturbances.
  • He had done this because the hook that the party sought to pursue next was a thing they had cobbled together out of two pieces of information. 
  • The first was that their mule had both a speed-based enchantment on it AND seemed to have a spell that caused it to be dominated by some unknown agent - though its actual behavior never seemed to show evidence of this.
  • The second was that the Overlord was allegedly hiring exorcists to rid him of ghosts that were haunting his stables. The veracity of this rumor was never proved, but they believed the haunting to be caused by the same agent who hexed their mule.
  • They decided to go inspect their mule for vampire bite marks, since the bats had shown up, but on their way down the Old South road they were ambushed by an Antillian assassin.
  • The assassin offered no reason for his attack but seemed to focus only on the Altanian members of the party, each of which he downed with a poison blade.  However, the magic of Set was able to save them and also did a great deal of damage to the Assassin, who looked for a way out despite his quarry still living.
  • He attempted to scale up a nearby wall, but Grafari jumped up and slammed the back of his head into the very wall he was trying to scale. 
  • On his person they found only money; no orders or any sense of who he might work for.
  • They then went and rested for a day so that Red Hawk could recover from his nearly mortal wounds.
  • The next day they made it to Guardsman's Road before they were blocked by City State constables who seemed to be investigating something in the street.  They were ordered to return home or take a detour.
  • Instead they persisted in some time trying to make out what they were investigating, but only saw that the constables were interested in a strange, damp section of road. The Rainbow Warriors gave up trying to figure out this mystery and returned on their way to the stables where they had their mule.
  • There they encountered City State guards, one of whom recognized Grafari from the incident with the bats. The guard accused Grafari of being "involved with the ghosts" which prompted Annapurna to reply "he doesn't know anything about ghosts." Grafari, not willing to play along, responded "I know a lot about ghosts."
  • Annapurna tried to use this purported knowledge to get hired as the exorcists, but a failed persuasion roll showed that the guard knew of the reputation of the Rainbow Warriors, who were known city wide for their lack of efficacy with things of the Other World.
  • The party, exasperated, requested to see their mule, which was difficult to examine due to the guards crowding them. Luckily, Bumpkin Winterbur - the man who runs the horse market - arrived and made the guards return to their posts.
  • Investigation of the mule turned up nothing, but detect magic showed that nearly every animal in the stable - even the rats - had some kind of enchantment placed on them.
  • They then went to question the smith who occupied the same building as the stables - whom Bumpkin called "Madman."
  • And he was mad! The party asked him many questions but Red Hawk soon got the feeling he had little to add and was unlikely to be behind any of the goings on despite his strange demeanor.
  • Annapurna then investigated the floor of the stables for unusual prints, finding the soft steps of a pointed shoe belonging "either to a woman or a fancy lad."
  • The party asked if they could use Madman's house to monitor the stables and both he and Bumpkin agreed, though admittedly only after the rather forceful assertions of Ion Skamos.
  • That night a new set of guards stayed in the stables while the Rainbow Warriors watched through a peephole cute into Madman's wall.
  • After the midnight bell, the party and the guards heard the sounds of large cats, which Red Hawk was able to identify as tigers, outside in the horse market.
  • The Guards jumped to their feet and ran out to see what was making the noise.
  • Grafari then sneaked into the stables, hoping to be able to see what the guards had found, but was interrupted by what were clearly the footfalls of an invisible person.
  • Grafari grabbed the person, who became visible when he tried to dominate Grafari and make his escape. It appeared the man was a Gishmeshi in his early-mid 30s with a sort of wizardly bearing. 
  • Grafari called out for help "he's trying to put the whammy on me!" And the rest of the party came running.
  • They were able to subdue the enchanter due to his restrained state, but interrogating him seemed to do no good.  After some brief defiance he seemed to mentally "check out" and not respond in any way to their actions.
  • Outside the party heard that the guards were losing a fight to two very non-illusory tigers. Red Hawk complained that they should aid them against the tigers even as he fastened the door shut.
  • There was some discussion of what should be done, but during this discussion Grafari managed to stomp the Enchanter's face into the muddy street and drown him before the rest of the party realized what was happening.
  • This caused the city to erupt into total bedlam! The animals in the stables began to freak out, as though suddenly aware of their circumstances after years spent in a coma. 
  • The tigers seemed to react similarly, though whether or not they spared any of the guards is unknown.
  • Annapurna wanted to figure out some way to let the tigers out of the city by opening the gates, but the rest of the party felt the best thing to do would be to beat feet back to the Cutthroat Inn before anyone found out they were responsible.
  • On their way they heard what sounded like the other stables in the city being in a similar state. They also heard the distinctive cry of an enormous gorilla, but were unable to see such a beast. The sky overhead was filled with bats.
  • Annapurna noted that they had in some way stopped a hideous conspiracy but also opined that they would likely never know what the conspiracy's goal was.

Monsters Defeated
An Antillian Assassin, The "Beast Master" Enchanter

Treasure Gained
280gp 180sp, Scroll of Magic Missile

XP Per Player

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