The Humble Servants

Session 4: Duplicitous Liaisons

INTRO -The party has just found out about a few student murders. As the only faction of Giacomo’s forces that are in town, they must find out who the murderer is in order to stop future murders. The students are all Glennish elves who are vocal against Glenn. It is also revealed that all Glennish elf students are to report to Giacomo’s well-protected residence for protection.

-Hanz, Marco, and Luca are reintroduced. They are investigators for the crimes. With them, they bring a small lizard-like person. The lizardman introduces himself as Raksah.

-Ecvaladra and Hanz mingle, as usual for the two lovers. She asks him what he thinks of the crimes and he tells her not to trust the other two students. He pulls out an emblem that identifies as a Drow government official, which implies he is a government agent.

-Meanwhile, Marco and Luca have a secret meeting of their own, where they reveal to their trusted cousin that they are Vitalian government agents who are investigating the crime and that they suspect Hanz as the culprit, exacting vengeance for the loss of his family on any Glennish elf he can find.

-Outside the meeting room, an argument begins. Prince Leopold (the exiled crown prince of Glenn) barges in, yelling that he refuses to be confined to the school, denied of his comfort and freedom. A headstrong person, he insists that he can take care of himself. It takes a few members of the party to calm him down.

-Eventually, the party breaks up into two groups. Ecvaladra and Raksah decide to investigate the last murder scene and meet up later with Hanz, while Vilya, Melina, Crunk, and Travisk go with the twins to a quiet private room in a tavern.

-Ecvaladra and Raksah go the highrise where the last dead student was found. With his acute senses, Raksah can distinguish four people’s smells on the doorknob and the smell of a magical material component. One of the smells is definitely the girl and her roommate. The other two are male, human and elven. They report this to Hanz, who guesses that the mysterious alchemical smell is that of Chloridium, a magical component for spells that clean objects, smells, etc.

-Meanwhile, Marco and Luca tell the party about Hanz’s past and how he sneaks around at night.

-

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Session 3: An Eye for Detail

Having defeated some undead and realizing that their neither is their target, Ecvaladra, Melina, Sparnok, and Travisk reconnoiter to come up with a new strategy. Speaking to the ghosts, they are able to determine that Malocchio must be a creature called a beholder, a large disembodied head with a single central eye and multiple tendrils, each with smaller eyes that can shoot rays of magic. At this point, another drow scout comes sprinting into the cavern where the heroes stand, out of breath. Behind him, two shapes emerge from the darkness.

“I found these two in the caverns while scouting. They say they’re with you,” he says, half suspecting them to be robbers. The first figure to emerge is a woman with an air of defiance. She acknowledges the party in a speechless manner. She is, in turn, followed by a male-model Machina (Warforged) who is strangely silent.

“Who are you?,” a voice from the party asks.

“We were sent by Giacomo,” the woman responds.

“Where is your proof?” asks Melina.

The woman reaches into her cloak and pulls out a scroll and hands it off.

“To Party. More for your cohort. Hope it helps! -G,” melina reads. “It’s also got a kiss pressed onto it in lipstick. Must be Collette. Why do we work for these people?”

“So are you going to introduce yourselves?,” asks Travisk.

“My name is Vilya,” the woman responds in a thick Glennish accent. All eyes move to the Machina, who is not entirely interested in introducing himself, but responds anyway, albeit in a terse manner. “My name is Kronk,” as he extends his metal hand and shakes the fleshy pink hand, squeeking a bit too hard.

With introductions aside, the party brings the two new comrades up to date on the occurences at the mine. While they talk, the two drow scouts speak to each other in their language and the one escorting the two new heroes pulls out something from his pocket. It looks to be an eyestalk with a tail.

Noticing this, the party turns to look. The drow addresses them in the Common tongue, “There are tons of these things by the natural caverns east of here. They’re completely harmless, though. These cannot be Malocchio. It must be something else altogether.”

After some thought, various members gather that these must be young beholders. Malocchio must be an adult one. After discussing whether to tear in or to go research the monsters, the party decides to go to the neighboring mountain, into the drow city, Bin’Drow Gris to use their library facilities.

having arrives at the mountains, the enter through a passageway, arches cut into the side so as to reveal glimpses of the drow city all along the twisting and winding way down to the main cavern complex. The city sits on top of an island in an underground lake and appears as three attached spiderwebs.

Once in town, everyone heads into the library. Inside, they are greeted by two librarians, Hartay and Shala. While they look for books, the more magically inclined heroes attempt to look for some books on beholders and Malocchio. They each try their hand at finding things, but Melina outdoes all of their efforts, having figured out how to use their complex library catalog. Among the items she is able to retrieve are some maps of the old drow city and a reproduction of a letter written by one of the ancient drow who managed to seal away Malocchio thousands of years ago.

“Hey everyone! I found something!” Melina exclaims as she brings forth the scroll. “Apparently, the people who sealed off Malocchio were able to do it by using some rods that absorbed the magic the creature shot at them. And then they built some columns that were just massive versions of rods reinforced with draconium.”

“I can show you those rods,” interjects Hartay. “The original artifacts are in the museum.”

Rushing to the museum before closing time, everyone crams into the exhibit. In a glass case, sit five weapons, a rapier, a short sword, a club, and two rods. “Clever. They’re rods of absorption built into the weapons,” Vilya states.

“Not only that, but those must be the columns over there. Or at least reproductions.” In the corner, there are two lead-black columns, studded with blue draconium, obviously plaster fakes. A plaque indicates that the four columns were set up in a square around the hole through which the Malocchio came from to terrorize the drow.

“The earthquake from the draconium explosion must have caused one of the pillars to fall,” says Travisk.

“Or perhaps it’s broken,” the librarian butts in. “Maybe they’re all broken!”

After some conversation, the party decides that in order to avoid an ugly combat, they might consider either making new pillars or fixing the broken ones. After a trip to the Wizard’s Guild it turned out that creating new rods like those used by the old drow heroes would take too long. Making new pillars would take even longer. The only recourse was to try to fix the pillars, reset them into their proper locations, or just kill Malocchio and all of its spawn.

Able to convince the curator to allow them to use whatever power remained in the artifacts to reseal Malocchio, the party decided to rest and continue with their mission in the morning.

RETURN TO GRIS MINES With a map and some artifacts in hand, the party manages to sally forth to the proper location. Passing through a corridor, they are able to make out in the darkness what looks to be a large number of eyes. The eyes do not attack, but seem curious as to who the intruders are. Everyone enters the cavern and takes notice that 3 of the pillars seem to be aligned around a huge hole, but that one lies flat on the floor, clearly knocked over by the explosion and ensuing?” in the guttural Common language of the deep stretches of earth.

“We are humanoids,” answers Ecvaladra, the only one able to understand this language.

In excitement, the eye stalk nounce up and down, yelling “Father! Father!” as if their father would be pleased by their discovery.

Almost immediately, a large green creature, like a big red ball with one large eye and tentacles, comes out of the hole, takes a look around around and screams, “Protect the young!” It screams and flies through the air, eating the young in its path.

A battle ensues, and shortly thereafter, a red version of the creature comes out of the hole and begins to attack. Together, the two balls attempt to zap all the creatures with the eyes at the end of their tentacles, but they are unable to do much. The red one flies back down the hole, yelling out, “Father!”

Meanwhile, Vilya and Kronk get an idea. Between magic and brute strength, they might be able to put the pillar back up before ‘Father,’ who they rightfully believe to be Malocchio comes. Travisk attempts to create a wall of ice over the hole to slow the beholder down, but within seconds, father disintegrates the ice with one of his eyebeams and barrels through.

Just in the nick of time, the fallen pillar falls into place. Malocchio has barely had a chance to try his beams on the party, when the magic of the pillars begins to flow again. Magical energy weaves its way around the pillar in a pattern and Malocchio is forced back into the hole. He tries to shoot magic from his multiple eyestalk, but it gets absorbed into the magical stream. His final words are “Kill the spare.” With very little trouble, a combination of might and magic take down the green beholder, who was already doing fairly badly by this time, as he’d been permanently blinded by Melina. At the end, one eyestalk, the brave one who greeted the party came out from behind a rock. Sending it through the hole proved useless, it would now keep anything from entering or leaving. Instead of killing the innocent creature, Ecvaladra decided to rehabilitate it to prevent it from straying along the wrong path.

After the end of the battle, the realization sets in that had they not set up the pillar, the battle with Malocchio could have gone much differently. Further preventative steps should also be taken towards securing the area. For instance, the use four pillars, while advanced technology thousands of years ago, is horribly outdated compared to today’s standard of six (and experimentally, eight or more).

Once they exited the caverns, the heroes were greeted cheerfully by the the villagers, miners, and Drow. That night, the festivities were like none held in ages.

Accompanied by the bards, everyone returned to Lassica, home of the College of Arcane Arts. Once there, they were received by Collette. Giacomo met with the group to be debriefed on the outcome. After this, he explains to them that he had another mission for them, which had been communicated to the party before returning. Instead, it turns out that elven students (all Glennish) have been disappearing or found dead.

“Such occurrences are not only unacceptable, but hardly good publicity in these hard times! I must ask you to investigate this for me, as my other platoons are already out and the new recruits I have here today are too new.”

After being summoned, Marco, Luca, and Hans enter. Some among the party notice an air or a twitch in Marco and Luca’s faces directed at Hans. Hans happily greets Ecvaladra, his date on the first night. She gives him a pinch on the rear end, but no one notices over the happy greeting being exchanged by Melina and the twin magic students.

Marco hugs Melina and whispers in her ear, “Don’t trust Hans Bowsr.”

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Session 2:
A Miner Issue

MONTESQUIEU’S TOWER: After the battle, the party went up to explore the rest of the tower. They explored all the floors, finding the ruin fey’s treasure there. Melina, the beguiler, and Travisk, the communist warlock discovered that the wands they found are cursed. The fourth floor of the tower, presumably an alchemy lab, was discovered to have no air. Suffocating and failing to find an air sourse, the warlock transported them all out by teleporting them through the door into the next room (but not before the Melina fell unconscious). The rest of the tower remains unexplored.

MONTE GRIS The party made their way to Monte Gris and arrived at night. They knocked on doors and found a family of orcs living in town. The first person to answer her door is Francesca, who is annoyed that the knock at her door has made her cake fall. Ecvaladra offers to make her a new cake. After some latenight dinner and cake, Francesca and her husband let the party stay at their house that night, especially since the party is there to work on the problems at the mine, which the orcs explain has resulted in bored miners who cause nothing but trouble in their quiet town. Francesca tells the party that there was an earthquake at the same time of the collapse. She is sure that Malocchio must be behind this, even though she has no idea who or what Malocchio is. As it turns out, no one knows who or what Malocchio is, even the elves who used to live in that mountain’s caverns.

The next day, the heroes went into the heart of the town, discovering that it was Market Day, the day when people from the mountains and people from the valley meat halfway in Monte Gris to buy and sell their meats, vegetables, fruits, and other goods. By talking to the people there, they found out where the mines were.

GRIS MINES The party went to the mines, only to discover the huge front doors to be locked. The mechanical escorts suggest trying to find the mining colony know as Minetown, which the warlock easily finds by flying up to the sky.

MINETOWN The miners are happy to see the party. They meet a miner who tells them that there was an explosion from incorrectly administered draconium bombs and that there was an earthquake and, very likely, a cavern collapse. He gives them some talismans for once they enter the mine. The talismans let the stone golems inside know that you are not an intruder, hence they leave you alone unless provoked. However, the miners cannot help the party get into the mines. The doors have been locked since the sole survivor came out. Only the foreman (and Giacomo) knows how to open the mines, but he was inside the mines and has not come out. It is perceived he is dead. He keeps a scroll that presumably opens the mines at his house, but the place is warded against intruders and from sight. The foreman had an elven lover in town, though, and she would probably know how to get there and get past the wards. The foreman also warns the party about Malocchio, a creature or witch whom, the drow elves say, can kill you with its looks. The elves had managed to seal off the area that Malocchio was coming from, but the earthquake or mine collapse may have set him free.

FOREMAN’S HOUSE The foreman’s house is uneventful. Since the lover opened up the house, they bypassed all traps, including a fire elemental and a wine elemental. The only occurrence here is that the parchment comes out of a locked cabinet. The PCs have to disable a trap, open the combination lock (like a locker lock), and then solve a puzzle that is an elaborate combination lock where drawers have to be opened in a certain order in order to reveal the scroll.

GRIS MINES: PART 2 With the scroll in hand, the doors open and they enter. What they find inside is the old drow city. It is deserted, as they moved to the mountains next door when Malocchio became a nuisance, despite the fact that they sealed it away. They follow Grand Avenue, the main street that is used to go through the mines by railcar. On the way to the source of the trouble, they stop at the Drow Temple of Arachne for the priestess to pray at. inside, they find the foreman. An enclave of miners has taken up residence here as the temple protects them from Malocchio. Also, their pendants have all been broken, so if they leave this sanctuary, the golems will attack them. The party gives him the spare charm and he is now able to leave the mines to get backup.

They eventually get to the point where they think Malocchio came from. Instead, they find a huge creature that is digging and chewing through the stone. Rather than attcking it, the party talks to it. It is a delver and has been displaced by the chaos in the mines. It misses the drow who used to live here and loves the taste of draconium.The drow priestess promises to bring the elves back and to negotiate his digging services with the miners in exchange for a portion of tasty draconium.

They return to check another series of caverns, when they are met up by a drow scout named Kendr. Kendr is some of the backup reinforcements sent by the foreman. Kendr goes off scouting ahead. Meanwhile the PCs find what appear to be miner ghosts. Some of them have their throats, chests, and mouths scraped off and are unable to speak, while the others hide their faces in sorrow. The PCs try to talk to them but they can’t.

Kendr returns with a screaming undead creature flying after him. After a long battle, the creature, a soulshrieker is destroyed. With its death, the voiceless ghosts are able to speak. The other ones still cry. However the party is able to gather that another creature is the cause for the crying. The party goes ahead and destroys another undead creature, a cloud of writhing screaming faces. All the ghosts can now speak, but say that neither of those creatures is Malocchio.

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Session 1

Stars shine through the archways of the large, semicircular room. In the center of the room, on four pillows, lie four figures.

The largest is a tall, pale human. Around his head, glyphs hover and glow around his head, even in sleep. There also two humans—one a female wearing simple clothes, though even in sleep there is an aristocratic air to her demeanor. The second human is male, who wears a craftsman’s apron. Idealism shines through him. The last figure is a female elf, though unlike most elves her skin is has a blue/grey tinge to it. Vengeance seems to make a course through her veins.

There is a sound, like the snap of a finger and a manly voice speaks, “Awake.” In an instant, the four figures’ eyes open wide and they sit up. One by one they stand, trying to understand their surroundings and what stands before them.

The room they stand in is lavish. The floor is inlaid with intricate tiles. The back wall is comprised of white, marble columns inlaid with gold and connected to each other in golden archways. The front walls are covered in tiny mosaic tiles that depict an endless pattern of dueling dragons. On this front wall, the definite outline of a door sits behind six seats that appear to be blue shimmering hands like the ones the figures saw in their dreams, with three seats on either side of a central throne. The door is not lost on the newly awakened figures.

In the middle throne, sits a man. We stands. When he does so, his magnificent red robes flutter with a flourish. He looks like a general of some sort, but a learned one. His left arm sits bent, but limp at his side, covered in a very expensive looking golden silk sling.

“Welcome to Giacomo’s College!” the man exclaims.

Giacomo introduces the people behind him as his assistants and interested parties. He explains that they are now in the country Vitalia, one of the last two countries left to be conquered by Glenn. More specifically, they are on an island called Lassica. After some discussion about whether to trust Giacomo, the four figures decide to go along with his plans. Now having four cooperating troops, Giacomo explains the plan to get ride of the Glennish elves.

“The plan involves this,” Giacomo says, as pulls from his right pocket a handful of beautifully cut gemstones, some yellow and some blue. “This is draconium, the rarest gem. More rare, harder, and more expensive than diamonds. Perhaps you’ve read my book, 100 uses of Draconium?”

Only one heroes raises her hand. “I read it, but I only remember 75 uses,” she says coyly.

“Well, one use of draconium is to empower magic. With these stones, I can create a number of portals. The portals, once open, can let through a number of troops. With enough draconium, we can set up enough portals to transport in the Vitalian army right into the heart of Glenn. For now, the borders are too well-protected. But to do this, we need to set up the portals in Glenn. That is why I need groups of heroes like yourself. Your missions will mostly comprise of setting up portals, which is much tougher than it sounds.”

“Well, that’s enough for today,” says Giacomo, with a sigh, “I will let you rest. Perhaps you would like to see the town?” The party agrees. Three guides come in, all students. One, a tall drow male with a grave demeanor is Hans Bauser. The other two are elven twins, Marco—a short elf with a red cloak over his uniform—and Luca—a tall elf with a green cloak over his uniform.

The drow priestess, Ecvaladra, goes to the all-purpose temple downtown, escorted by Hans. The human warrior with burning glyphs, Sparnok, follows the so as to make his way to the training grounds to work on his technique. The noble human woman makes quick friends with Marco and Luca, who she realizes are nobles related to her through a cousin. The man in the Apron, Travisk, seems to despise nobility and begrudgingly follows the three down to the Market District.

The next day, the party of heroes is reunited, and they receive their first mission. “I receive shipments of draconium from the mines in the Gris Mountains. However, my shipments have stopped and I’ve received word that there is trouble at the mines. Because my other troops are on other missions, I need you to investigate this matter. Your mission: Go to Monte Gris by carriage, then get my mines back in order!”

The party is joined by two attendants, both large human-like persons who seem to be made of metal and some organic material. They are ‘machina,’ gifts from the neighboring country, Sarranco, which is now completely cut off from the rest of Haven’s unrest. On the way north to Monte Gris, the party comes up to a section of road with lots of activity. In a clearing, they find three bards, their two dancers, and a gaggle of groupies. The bards introduce themselves as the Soundgaarten, the famous Glennish musical group who escaped Glenn because none of them were elves.

While the party is dancing and listening to their music, some groupies investigate their carriage for valuables. When discovered, a battle almost starts. However, diplomacy and reason won out and the bards offered company and a stricter eye on their groupies. Together, they made their way to Monte Gris in order to complete their mission (and the bards to find glory).

On their way, they notice a tower in the distance. This is Montesquieu’s Tower, the bards reply. It’s an old ruin from a long-dead friend of the great Magocrat, Giacomo. They explore the tower, finding a few strange things, like a pool of what seemed to be magic, a room whose inside was bigger than it should be, and a room with animated furniture. They hear some noise, and go outside, where they find that there are giant human-like creatures attacking their bard friends. The creature look like pieces of the building come to life. Then, a fey creature attacks from above. After taking care of them all, the party decides to rest and explore the rest of the ruins.

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Preamble

One day, a small child approaches each character.

The child is holding a small scroll in its hand. The parchment is fresh and bears a wax seal with an odd symbol, appearing as a six-petaled flower inside of a six-sided star embedded into it. You open the scroll and read:

“You are most displeased with the current events going on in Haven. For this reason, you are invited to be in the audience of the Great Archmage, Don Giacamo Aldieri of Genicia. Transportation will be provided.

“Sincerely Yours, Lady Collette. Headmistress of The Don Giacamo College of Arcane Arts”

With that, the parchment dissolves into bright blue dust. The child says, “Follow me, please,” as he turns and begins to walk. After some time, you arrive in a tavern. The characters take their drink of choice in their respective taverns and after a few mouthfuls, they feel strangely sleepy. The fight the sleepiness. Something about it is not quite right. Was there something in the drink? A drug? A poison? Try as they might to fight it, the sleep seems unavoidable. The thought runs though their heads as they each wonder if they’re going to die. And then… pitch black.

A blue, glimmering, disembodied hand appears in the darkness of this catatonic sleep. It motions to the characters, as if to welcome them to follow along to some unseen destination. A warm feeling ensues, as if something is wrapping itself around the heroes. It is another blue, translucent hand. Then again… pitch black…

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