Celebrations and Explosions

Spy Master,

Celebration Day was really fun. So many fun things to see and do. PageCat and I found new acts for the Cabaret!

Somebody blew people up outside our house! 11 people got blown up: an old woman, two men with swords – at least one of them with a Zhent tattoo, two women, a male half-elf, a dirty male gnome, and four halflings – two women and two men.

Candlekeep found a woman who said there was a puppet on a rooftop across the street when it happened. When the guard and inspector question us, they say that the dirty gnome was heading for the Cabaret.

Red said a kid saw a guy chasing the dirty gnome, and then stealing something from him before limping away very quickly. He thinks he was a Zhent, like the men with swords. Mary admits he took gems from the dead gnome, and Red takes them to see if he can find out who he was.

He also found a necklace of fireballs that was dropped by the puppet, I guess. The Big Guy says they sound like the puppets created by the Inspired Hands at the House of Gond for the Creation Parade. He and some of the others are going to go check it out.

This city is really strange. I’ve never seen puppets blow people up before.


Dead and Gone

One more tree to go. I’m running near empty. Klyce looks deathly pale, but he’s still going. Dalish tries to heal the bullet out of him with no luck. We don’t have enough mana left to Circle and Banish at the last tree. Does Remy have worm in his ear? Oh, Dawnmother, what are we going to do???

We have to find the tree. We have to get up above ground and search quickly. We head back up to the rooftops. Natty casts a locate and we search the areas we haven’t been, yet. Nothing. She gets no indication of a tree. We did note three crowded areas. Two apartment buildings and an old Royalist library. Each one has hundreads of people outside, all of them with a weapon at their own head or throat. Oh gods, how many worms are there? Is it really just one last tree? So many people outside, but no movement in or out now.

There’s a lot of arguing about which makes the most sense. Which is most likely a trap. How we’re even going to get inside any of them. We end up sending Heyhey up to circle above the smaller apartment building and Ceres down into the sewer below it. Natty says the roof is the same as the ground. Ceres reports an assassin in the sewers, and we decide that’s our best option.

We head down and somehow manage to make quick work of the assassin. It was the one who ran from us the night before. We get near the building and send Ceres up a waste pipe to look around for the tree. He sees a collapse first floor and cleared away foundations. He also see Aranea, who buries him in earth and kills him.

There’s a quick arguement about chasing her down, but we don’t have time for that. We head for the library, through the sewers. Nat finds us a secret entrance in, and after another secret door, we find ourselves in the basement archives. We search around by find nothing. Upstairs, we find a pit dug deep into the gallery floor, filled with earth, but no tree. As we are considering this, a fireball lands on our heads.

We start fighting with two mages on the edge of the gallery, but they seem frightened. Klyce eventually indimidates them into stopping by saying we’re not wormed and we’re here to stop the worms. Steven and Berald, they tell us, had worms, but after a really painful episode, the worms were gone and they had control again. We ask what they know, but it isn’t much. They were from the hotel tree, and when they checked in with Pyrus, he said they should stay here and guard the hole. Nat says they haven’t got worms, but that Remy does have. When she tries to probe deeper, she passes out.

When we manage to revive her, she says she saw a land cloaked in eternal winter and a tree covered in snow. Well, it’s summer here, so that tells us nothing useful. We leave the two de-wormed mages behind and head for the other apartment building. Time is running short. Gerhardt sends his snake up the drain this tiem, but once again there’s no tree.

Frustrated, we decide it’s a shell game. The tree has to be in one of these buildings, it’s just hiding where we haven’t looked. We head up and find everyone dead. Oh Dawnmother! Oh No! we push on into the buliding and search the pit more thoroughly. Nothing. We head upstairs. We find more nothing until we get to the fourth floor. There we run smack into Aranea.

Remy stops her and asks what’s going on. She grabs him and sticks her ‘tongue’ down his ear, pulling out his worm on a tiny sliver of a spear. Once it’s dead, she’s willing to talk to us again. She hasn’t found the tree either. Nothing in the walls or the roof, Remy and Klyce break open a wall just to be sure. She tells us the snowy landscape is where the worms originated, back in the fae world.

We head back to the first apartment complex, where everyone is also dead, and search. Still no tree, so we run back to the library and those two de-wormed mages. Remy and Dalish slide down into the pit and uncover the illusion hiding yet another tunnel. We all go down, convincing the two other two to come with us. When we get to the end of the tunnel, fireballs erupt again, and I fall.

By the time I wake up again, the tree is gone and the enemies are dead. We head up and out of the library to streets filled with death. We search around the bodies and the streets as we walk back towards the barrier. I reach up to gingerly touch my burned hair and feel it crumble away, I can tell the earth magic’s granted bounty has faded, as well. I grit my teeth in frustration. This has all gone wrong, so wrong. But somehow, we’ve all survived.

Gerhardt sends a message to the Major to tell him we have succeeded. And then he collapses. When he wakes up again, he says they pulled him into a spell to report. Rictus will clear the dead, and the barrier will come down. As we reach the edge, it does just that. Nat goes off with a medic to see about her thumb. Klyce is taken to hospital and I head straight for the church of the Dawnmother. I do Not want to see what Rictus does with the dead. A few days later, when we debrief, they tell us that 51,208 people died, much better, they say, than if they had unleashed the battlemages on the entire burrough. I spend quite a lot of time with Fathers Kevin and Carmine over the next while, and when I’m not with them, I’m with Xin Yue, trying to renew my pact with the earth.

Into the Fire…

This is crazy! We’re going to go fight these fae who have been devouring men alive?? Well, sure, why not, we do seem to be the only ones who believe all the crazy stories. Certainly the only ones doing anything about it. Ugh! Why are adults so useless!!!

We sit Remy down to get more details. We need to know what we’re facing. He tells us that the sacrificed men all ripped their own eyes out. He says he felt a pull towards them, but was able to resist it, and then didn’t feel particularly obligated to help them, nor to remove his own eyes. Okay, got it, men shouldn’t look at them.

We decide to in during the day. The crowds of adoring men shouldn’t be there, and we might only have to deal with a few guards. Klyce reminds us not to kill the people. Not guards, nobody. Use spells that won’t kill people, murder is not an option. We are going there to stop the fae. These men are enthralled, it’s not their fault.

Two things to do first. We have to scout out the club and decide how best to get inside. We also are going to leave notes for the Knights, to see if they’ll come help us. Long shot, but hey. We’ll get rid of the fae, and then have the cops deal with the people.

Since I understand the pattern of the leavings, I’m on Note duty. Klyce and Gerhardt go with me, to keep would-be kidnappers/random fae at bay. I figure out four possibilities and we head out to leave the message for the red and black knights.

Royalist Knights,

The killers are magical creatures. Stronger and bigger than those gathering the body parts. They are at The Gentleman’s Political Society of the Ruby Chalice. We are going there to stop them. We are on the same side in this fight.

Mage Detective Squad

By the time we get back to the others, they’re in a back alley pondering transmuting a rusty old door so we can get through. It will take too long though, so, as usual, we end up back in the sewers. To no one’s surprise, the sewers below this building are filled with green thorny vines. The others pop their magical protections, and ten Remy slices away a nearby vine. It slices him right back.

As we start casting various spells at the vines, it starts making an awful keening noise. Eventually, we clear a path into a tube that goes to the building. It stinks of old blood and rot. I start feelin cramped, achey, and swollen. Yep, we’re on the right path. Gods, I almost preferred the hunger for flesh.

We head up through a grate into a storage room, filled with soil and compost. There is moss and fungus growing all over the room. We keep moving, but Nat hangs back to look for anything interesting. She finds a bunch of gold beneath a loose floorboard. The next room is empty but for a fat old wizard, or is that five fat old wizards. I’m not sure, as we’re suddenly surrounded by fire. There’s a lot of spell slinging after that. He even counters my slow spells, but that allows the boys to silence the areas where he is to keep him from really messing us up. Eventually, we manage to knock him out. We tie him up and force a sleeping pill from Raltus down his gullet to keep him from bothering us as we move on.

We head upstairs, down a hallway and up some more stairs. There are some doors up here. We find a coat room, with six coats, but nothing else, so we head up yet another set of stairs. There are two doors here. One of them, Nat says, is where he saw the wizard when he spied from outside. There are soft sounds from the other door, so Klyce breaks it down.

It’s an apartment, but it’s covered in vines coming down from the ceiling, to entangle six men. They are finely dressed, and are not resisting the vines growing in and out of every hole and socket in their bodies. They, nor the vines, respond to our presence, so we close that door for now. We break into the Wizard’s apartment, and Nat pockets his spellbook. There is a lot of mana here – philters, and a Jug from the theft ring. He has another door, that hides a cold room with a dozen skinned bodies. Oh man, this guy was probably a psycho before the fae!

We have to get up to where the roots are coming from, but this isn’t the way. We go back downstairs and through the coat room to the main party space. We head up through the dance hall on the second floor, Remy guiding us now. There’s a slight humming in the air, and we head up a third flight of stairs.

The space up here is like a greenhouse. Hot and steemy, with dark earth and vines all around. The boys are keeping their eyes on the ground now, so Maribeth, Nat, and I look around. There are 6 women up here, beautiful women. Three of them are sleeping and pregnant, the other three look very angry to have been disturbed. Nat gives a shout that she’s been blinded and I grab her shoulders. The three immediately begin casting spells at us, starting with ensnaring vines. A lot of fire gets thrown around, while I try to keep the women slowed. Klyce, at some point, begins defending them. What is it with him and compulsion magic?? Spells fly and people scream, and when all is said and done, four no longer beautiful bodies are melting away into the floor, and two beautiful little babies lay on the ground.

Nat and I go pick up the babies, they have no bellybuttons, but they seem healthy enough. Unfortunately, kill the fae didn’t cure Nat’s blindness, so I still have to guide her everywher. We all head downstairs to find the men no longer hooked up to vines, but catatonic instead. Remy goes to roust the police, and I cajole Maribeth into going out to bring us milk for the babies. She seems to want to just kill them, but they’re so cute and innocent. I don’t tell her, but what if this was how I was born, and my parents were duped into raising me…

Once milk has been procured, Nat and I head back to the school with the babies, leaving everyone else to clean up with the police. We take the to Raltus, having no real idea what to do with babies. As usual for our arrival to the infirmary, Raltus is flabbergasted. We try to explain about them being magical orphans, without explaining all the death and distruction. He takes custody of the children, as we beg him not to give them over to Rictus or some other horrible experiments. He assures us that he is not a monster, and then takes a look at Nat’s eyes. He’s not sure there’s any way to fix them, they might heal, they might not. Nat spaces out for a moment, then says she just had the vision of the desert again, and is sure someone has died.

Frustrated, we head down and meet the rest of the group heading up. Remy continues past us to talk to Raltus, and we all head to Aleria’s office. Her desk holds a book on learning Braille for Nat, and a note for us to read to her. “Yes, it’s fine, keep it.” Nat dictates a note back, offering to take care of the two babies. I add in that she’s now having visions while awake.

We all head to our rooms, exhausted from our latest adventure in fae hunting.