Session 3 – The Imp, the Book and the Thief!
Or The Mystery of the Missing Relic
Our first night at the inn passed without incident and in the morning we eat and then discuss going to the magic shop to pick up the items we have been promised and then head to the Mages Guild to look at getting magical licensing for myself, Jarthar and Luken.
Once more we make our way through the market place and this time I see a redheaded kid watching us. I mention this quietly to Luken and the sorcerer shouts out and waves to the boy, whom immediately runs off (In the direction of the Laughing Manticore!). We arrive at the magic shop and are invited into a back room and then lead down some stairs, through a door that glows (and I do) into a room with magical items laid out for us to peruse.
I take a crossbow and a wand (both 1 AC). If they took more I was not really taking note.
The owner of the shop also tells Kesrick that the vial of Anhkeg poison he has is good for 6 doses. He finishes by telling us that we can come back anytime to purchase items for these are ones he will have here for us.
After finishing at the shop we make our way towards the Mages Guild and we are pretty sure we are not being followed this time. Just as we arrive at the gates we see a fellow in a state of alarm and he approaches us almost like we were expected…
He says that we ARE expected (say what??) and hands me a note with the letter ‘O’ on the outside. Seems our movements are being tracked. The letter says:-
‘Darkstar Heroes, I was impressed with how you solved the murder and wanted to see if you were up to another challenge – the constables have been delayed so use this to your advantage and help with this mystery!’
or something along those lines – I will embellish the words as I see fit!
We listen to the fellow and eventually he introduces himself as Headmaster Malzahar – he explains that the ‘Relic of Boccob’ is missing – we go through into the inner sanctum and see that there is a raised area with a wooden box \ stand on it with a barrier of some kind around it. The Headmaster explains that there should be a book on the stand! The Headmaster hurries off to the scrying room to see if they can locate the missing relic while we bring down the barrier around the stand and then have Kesrick move it out of the way. I can tell by delving into my bardic knowledge that a small elemental was used to steal the book away! I point this out to Jarthar and Luken – surprised they did not see it.
While we have been doing this, a member of the ground staff comes over and asks us about what we are doing. Someone said ‘Isn’t it obvious?’ but we smooth that over and the fellow tells us about Underground passages that have been here for a long time that run under where we are standing. Ha! a clue and this explains the elemental that was used. He goes on to say that the chambers underneath us are used as punishment area and for storage. Sometimes magical testing is done down there as well… he also says that all Magical activity is logged and tracked in by a special room where scrying is done on the Guilds grounds. That is pointed out and I keep that room in mind for future reference.
He then leads us to the entrance to where the underground chambers are – he unlocks the door and gives us the key so that we can lock the door behind us. We begin to head down and I sense two magical sources – one is a residue of something cast earlier and the other is in use. Kesrick sneaks down the stairs and has a look around and then comes back. He says there is a student down there killing rats with magic and then feeding them to an imp! This does not sound like a very nice student at all. Kesrick also says that there are boxes stacked up in a location that we think is directly under the stand where the book was – an elemental could have easily gone up and back down without being noticed last night.
We decide to go down the stairs and investigate the boxes and the student. Kesrick stealth’s down and I try to follow, but fall and roll down the stairs, get up again but I am not noticed! Hith just walks down, for that is how he stealth’s (CAN’T!), making no attempt to be quiet and is seen by the student.
The student turns and says we should not have disturbed him and that his Father will have us flayed. Arrogant little shit – I try to reason with this foolish boy even speaking Words of charms to him but this ‘boy’ thinks he is so far ‘above’ us that he does not care and will not be persuaded from NOT attacking us. Idiot boy!! I decide to shoot the imp and hit s squarely wth a bolt from my new crossbow! The imp charges me of all people (I truly am a force to be reckoned with) and is hit by Kesrick from the shadows as it comes towards me.
Blood is leaking from the imp (bloodied) and it disappears after hitting me. I am able save against the poison thanks to Hith and his healing – it is so good having a Priest with us! The student then casts a spell and summons 3 skeletons – what is wrong with this boy!? The other attack but are pretty aweful… Luken cannot hit the side of a barn… ugh it seems I might be in some trouble. One of the skeletons charges (me again) and I am almost bloodied again, but I do manage to stand my ground before taking a step back and slaying the skeleton that had been wounded by Kesrick. The imp reappears and tries to hit Hith but fails and then it flies away to a position behind the boy. Another one of the skeletons dies and then the imp is pinned to the wall by Kesrick’s arrows. I kill the last skeleton and Luken uses magic to knock the boy to the ground – finally we think this will be over but no, the idiot gets back up and says ‘a Crownguard does not surrender – it cannot end this way!’
Oh crap – this little shit is Lord Jax’s Crownguard (the bard) son. This stupid idiot will not stop! Killing him would be bad… Vald is then bloodied by a magic missile from Jarthar when suddenly the door leading down to where we are explodes and in marches Headmaster Malzahar. He takes stock of the situation and does not hesitate to berate the boy, Vlad Crownguard. Seems the boy is a trouble maker – a gifted one, but still a trouble maker. When the Headmaster sees the imp pinned to the wall Vlad gets escorted out of the underground and to the Headmasters office. Seems he has done this before… the boy will bear watching I believe.
The Headmaster explains that there have only been three people down here of late. Victor, a promising student, but he was down here after he was caught doing a prank with Vald, and Syndra who was a volunteer – she helped clean up the rooms after magical practice. She has not been seen for some time.
We point out the boxes and investigate – there is a chalk outline of a circle on the ceiling – conjuring and transmutation was used – hence the elemental. The Headmaster leaves us once more and we try to follow the trail of magic left by whatever creature it was that stole the book. As Jarthar and I assist Luken we find that the trail is heading to the North East, directly for the library when we lose the trail.
We enter the library and it is truly awesome! The librarian comes up to us and we ask after Syndra and we are directed towards the second floor and the ritual section. We arrive in the area indicated and after looking around we notice that there is a book missing and I know just ‘know’ which way we need to go. We come to a study area and I point out that there is a chair missing from one table, while Kesrick searches and finds a hidden door, accessed by moving a torch on the wall. The wall silently glides open and we see a figure casting a comprehend languages ritual on the missing book!
I walk up and say ‘What you doing?’ absolutely scaring the hell out of Syndra. Seems we have solved this mystery as well. Syndra explains that she took the book so that she could try and read it because the knowledge it contains should be meant for all. The problem has been that no one has been able to read from the book while it was on the stand – I realise there was a babble spell on it back where it had rested for a long time. Jarthar and Luken are busy studying the book and as we look at it we say there is no spell on it. Syndra is like ‘What?!?!’ – it seems the book overcame the babble spell that was on it once it had been removed long enough from the stand. Silly girl.
The book is called Encyclopaedia of Magical Knowledge and has the Laws of Boccob (Lord of All Magic) :-
o Law of magic
o Law of knowledge
o I value knowledge above all – bring me a blank slate so that I may spread the knowledge gained.
The book can understand questions asked of it. We ask about the Temple of Pelor and it says ‘The destruction of the temple of Pelor at Hawkmoon – seek out the enlightened one.’
Who destroyed the temple? The page changes to – ‘Remember the law – quick knowledge is not the quick way gained. No knowledge is given without a cost.
Lord Jax is mentioned and the book changes to ‘A member of the nobility in Hawkmoon – some magical power but not sure of alignment.’ – Now that is interesting as well.
What other event happened around the time of the temples destruction? The page changes again and we read ‘Destruction of Temple of Iuz in Hawkmoon happened at the same time as the destruction of the Temple of Pelor.’ – Okay, not good at all!
We put a blank notebook on the book and it closes, followed by a blinding bright light. After a few seconds the book is open again and the notebook has changed to a condensed version of the Encyclopaedia of Magical Knowledge. That is awesome! We quickly made four copies of the book, giving one to Syndra and the others are for Luken, Jarthar and myself, before the Headmaster arrived. Syndra takes total responsibility and we are hailed as heroes once more for solving ‘The Mystery of the Missing Relic.’
As a reward we manage to get our magical licenses for free! When we explain about the babble spell that was on the book the Headmaster explains that an unscrupulous headmaster cast the first spell on the book some 15 years ago! We also have access to all the facilities of the Mages Guild. We see Lord Jax arrive and I stop Jarthar from saying anything (clamped my hand on his mouth!) as Lord Jax passed us (called us peasant scum) – he will get his just desserts eventually!
We head towards the Laughing Manticore and arrive – there was a boy watching us again. The building has had some work done and as we enter we can see that there are number of people here already. We order food and drink and have a look around the room – a beautiful woman comes out every now and again – looks like she runs the place. The food is great! Luken would like to talk to her but he is not able too so he comes up with a plan. He wanders over to the bar and talks to the bartender about wanting to congratulate the owner on the meal. The woman comes out and introduces herself – Karma – while the others talk to Karma I talk to the bartender and say the code phase. He rings a bell that only Hith and Karma hear and then we follow ‘Karma’ out behind the bar and go upstairs to a room – she knocks twice and we enter and meet ‘Olaf, the mysterious O’. He is a Lieutenant under the Thief King. Karma comes in as well and closes the door and then leans against it.
It seems this other thieves’ guild is causing a lot more trouble than we first believed. Olaf wants us to infiltrate the docks and we look like the right people for the job. It seems shipments are not making it to the inn – as a test we are to escort a caravan tonight from the west side of the city to this inn. Olaf and Karma also believe that a member of the local government is selling them out for the other thieves’ guild knows the exact routes the caravans are travelling each trip. They want us to escort the caravan as a test of membership (and to see if we can do it).
We ask about what protection has been used in the past and discover that a number of current members of Olaf’s guild have been corrupted to the opposition and the only mage they had is dead back at the Darkstar Inn. He also say that he understands that some of us are looking at opening a gambling establishment in town – he can help with that. We accept but I say that I must first complete my performance tonight. Luckily the caravan leaves from a location very near the inn we are staying in on the west side of town.