The Reorganization of Luccini

Pawns of the King
and we're still not paid

Well, things haven’t gotten any better for us. After we victoriously cured Limeport of its mechanical spider problem, we received a message from the king. Apparently that entire man-goat fiasco has ignited tempers between the Balenson and Goodwin supporters. Violence from both sides has erupted in Luccini: and here we are winning support for the king. But on a positive note, the message stated that the next ship to Limeport would have supplies and the possibility of reward!

The ship came and picked us up, and there was no monetary compensation for our fantastic work. Over the passing weeks, we travelled to and from different towns and villages and tried to gain their support for the king.

The first stop was the village of Durn, which was inhabited by Hill Dwarves. Diend sent us in there to win their support, while he just watched. When we arrived there was a pair of dwarves just running back and forth with heavy loads on their backs, seeing which could endure the most. We each in turn tried to please Haben, the head of the Durn council. Wenton went first and did his best to recall and tell some story on the history of the area. Shall we just say, that Wenton’s incredibly low charisma was very well emphasized, and Haben was very put off by the story. Failyn however, told a humorous tale about hanging out with some dwarves, which Haben liked much better. Willow did some impressive acrobatics which had a finale of lifting the only halfling over her head. This, too, went over well with Haben. Then it was Wenton’s turn to impress Haben again. For some reason, he felt that a drinking contest would win him favor. The dwarves definitely went for it, and Wenton was even able to best a couple of dwarves. However, Wenton was not a heavy drinker, and passed out momentarily.

While Wenton was drinking his way to favor, a barbarian dwarf was in a cage. While the party was entertaining Haben, he tried Rage-Lockpicking his way out of the cage. Even though his first attempt failed, he managed to rage from his cage! Needless to say, everyone nearby was startled by this event, including Failyn and Willow. As the guards moved in to apprehend this barbarian, Willow decided to grapple him into submission. After easily pinning the barbarian down, the barbarian, whose name was Beardicus, calmed down. At this point, the party learned that Beardicus was being detained for inappropriate actions with a cow?… Haben told us that we would have the kings favor, and especially so if we took Beardicus with us. We decided to add this barbarian with us, and we continued on our way.

The next city was the salt trading city of Portus. This town was known for its corruption. Diend, claiming that he would be recognized, instructed us to go and win favor (note: still no money). He at least arranged some child to guide the party to the city council. We went off and followed the child. However, after some time, we noticed the kid kept doubling back on us. Wenton, thoroughly tired of playing these games, asked their new found ally Beardicus to “persuade” the kid to cut the crap. After successfully scaring the crap out of the kid, we were quickly led to the city council. Inside, we talked to the secretary for the council. Diend was scheduled to meet with the council, but she wouldn’t let us in because they were “busy”. Another time for Beardicus to shine. He flexed his muscles and listened like a suave gentleman. While she was distracted by Beardicus, we wandered inside. We asked the council what we could do to gain their loyalty. Through very backwards speech, they noted how much trade they already did with the Balensons, and that such agreements should not be disturbed. We hinted at maybe a little side action of trade for the king, after which they gave us a letter to give to the king. We returned to the ship, and (shocker) were still not paid.

The next village, Tojen, was more colorful. They were a town of gnome farmers and artisans, and it just happened to be the Pickle Festival! Mayor Nester just wanted to know if the party go “get down and party”. Well, that was no problem. We ate pickles, did pickle illusions, and were all around pickle-party-people, thus winning us favor with another town… yet still not paid.

Finally, Diend told us that we were going to the Forest of Light, and we finally realized that the king had sent him a war chest with funds for the trip! We demanded to be paid before we went on this errand. After some haggling and threatening to walk out, he agreed to 10g before and 10g after we completed the job. Although meagre, some gold was better than nothing! We dutifully went to the Forest of Light. We were supposed to just follow the path and meet someone named Sim. Except we got lost along the way. While we were trying to get back to the path, some giant lizards started to attack us! They just kept talking into our minds that we shouldn’t be here. We agreed and asked them to help us out, but they didn’t offer and instead started biting and clawing at us. The party fought, bound in webs, and seriously injured one lizard. Failyn even tried disguising herself as an elf, although they could see her change. About this time, some elves came and stopped the fighting. The elves, the party, and the lizards got back to the path and went to where the meeting should be held. Eventually we made it to a large tree with a glowing doorway. Tired and wanting to get it over with, the party entered the doorway.

There are those who say, “don’t go into the light!” This was an instance where they were absolutely correct. As soon as we stepped into the glowing doorway, we were surrounded by light. When the light finally died down, we found ourselves in a room with no door or windows. We were on one end of the room, and at the other end was a red-headed priest and a row of archers. He yells to Willow that a monk should be silent and quick: he wanted her to reach him without him hearing her. We had no idea how we got here, where here was, and now this guy wanted us to play some twisted game. Willow started to run up the corridor to the other side, but she made a sound. At the sound, the archers turned around and fired at her. She was able to dodge most of them, and now we knew what the penalty of sound was. Wenton, unsure what to do, tiptoed forward to try to read some papers on the table in front of them. Failyn and Beardicus decided to stay still.

However, the walls did not appreciate that. The walls pushed Failyn and Beardicus forward, forcing them to make a sound. The archers took notice. So the game was move, and possibly be shot, or stand still, and still possibly be shot. Willow ran forward, more silently this time. Failyn cast Cat’s Grace on Willow through her familiar Flameon. After moments that felt like hours, Willow got behind the red haired monk and punched!… into nothing, for they were illusions.

There was a flash of white and we found ourselves in another room. We were once again at one end of a corridor. This time we saw an old woman with a staff at the other end. She spoke to Failyn and claimed to be Boccob him/herself! And for some reason, she was going to punish Failyn’s lack of devotion with a quiz? Boccob would ask question, and we would all try to discern an answer. While the quizzing occurred, we all tried to close the gap between us and her, hoping there was a way to cut the game short. As we kept getting questions correct, we got close enough to see a fire without a source and some whirling blue magical vortex. Beardicus, being fearless in the face of vortexes, tried to enter the vortex. Needless to say, it did not bode well. He was cursed with nightmares of the thing he feared most: the elderly. Back in the real world, Failyn was getting overconfident and somehow (I don’t remember what she said) got Boccob riled up to add an additional question to the quiz. About this time, Failyn finally got to Boccob and tried to take her staff. Boccob instantly teleported away, and asked some far-fetched question, which Failyn didn’t know. When she got it wrong, Boccob summoned a minor demon to fight us. During the fight, Beardicus regained consciousness and together we defeated the demon…

And there was another flash of white light. This time, we emerged in the center of a roughly square room. In each of the corners were old people, whom Beardicus recognized as friends and family. Did we mention that Beardicus hates old people? So we fought the old people, which were quite tough for old people. Their old person cheek pinching could leave quite a deadly wound, and their old person kisses… ew. But, being a resilient bunch

TBC

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Spiders be Gone

Wake up, and Diend wants to go in with us to see the first cave.
Give him the grand tour.
He posts guards at the entrance to the big spider.
Get him to put his fingers into the holes, and he’s startled when the screen lights up.
He fiddles with it, and tells us that the area was beset by many breaches from the elemental planes.
We see the lights, and after dragging the defeated spider out, we find the lights represent spiders. We also notice that there are only two groupings of spiders.
One grouping is two dots that are regular sized.
Then the other grouping has a big dot with a lot of smaller dots.
Diend wants us to capture a spider. Just great.

Lets us go about our business, and even lets Larry, the captain of the guard, to tag along.
We go to the small dots first.
With Larry’s help, we find our way towards the dots without getting lost.
We all start to sneak, and Larray, not properly warmed up, is not so sneaky.
Thankfully, there is a louder boar nearby.
We can’t see much through the grass, and Wenton can’t even see over the grass.
There is the sound of a struggle, then the boar goes silent.
The party can see that the spiders are dragging the boar away in a net.

We decide to follow.
Once again, we navigate like champs.
Find that the spiders dragged it into a giant anthill-like hole in the ground.
As we watch, tiny spiders are also dragging small animals into the hole.
Decide to scope out the hole to see what’s inside.
We volunteer Willow to go in with the invisibility potion we smuggled out.

She goes all stealth mode.
In the hole, she finds another smooth passageway.
At a juncture, she goes left.
In the adjoining room, she witnesses little spiders and some machines.
The spiders are using the machines to make more tiny spiders.
After looking for a while, she goes to the right of the juncture.
Here she finds a mostly empty room.
The ceiling was dome-like and make with rock.
Spiders of all sizes, including a huge one, were attaching dead things to the rock.
After looking for a while, she starts to leave.
After avoiding a couple of spiders coming from behind her, she makes it out and reports.

We decide to go back and report.
Diend tells us to capture one and also secure the factory.
We decide to try to capture one first.
We get a crate from Jerry and head back to the hole.
We try to corner one, but we don’t do it subtly.
Suddenly eight shapes are rustling in the trees toward us.
Even more suddenly, it looks like sixteen shapes rustling towards us.
A tactical retreat is issued, and we all run.
We lost them, but we also lost ourselves.
Failyn gets Flameon to capture a squirrel.
Wenton kills the squirrel.
Eventually make it back to the hole.
We toss the squirrel and wait.
Eventually, a small spider starts investigating the squirrel.
Failyn casts Mage Hand and lifts the thing.
While it’s flailing, a second one appears that mirrors its actions.
We get it in the crate and head back to Diend.
We learn it was able to cast mirror image, and Diend got webbed in the face.

Next we prepare for battle to secure the factory.
Failyn tries to extract some web sacks and burn a spider.
Wenton tries to think of which spells he can use.
Willow, I dunno, does some push ups and prepares her punching arm.
We try to get some potions.
Diend offers some, but they are too rich for my blood.
We talk to the Mayor for assistance.
He is eager to help us, but doesn’t have any himself.
Instead, gives us a signed not for one free favor, and tells us to get one item from the priest.

We go to the local temple to Waukeen with the note.
Failyn starts bartering our free favor (which doesn’t specify for who or what the favor is)
After convincing the priest of the possible benefit with our success tied to this favor, we get some potions.
Larry also assembles some guards to help us.

The next morning, we meet the guards.
It is Larry, a large man, a skinny man, and an old man.
We all head out to the spiders.
We had a sweet marching order.
However, we found a few waiting outside.
We attacked with surprise.
They activated mirror image, but we dispatched them quickly.

However, before we could reform our order, the whole host of them came from the hole.
We fought… and fought… and fought…
Most of them had Mirror Image cast, so it took a while to actually kill them all.
Thankfully the guards took most of the damage, especially the skinny one.
After they are all slain, we go into the hole.
There are no spiders, and the machines are silent.
We find some tiny spider bodies with no lenses in them.
We go to the dome room and more animals on the ceiling.
Wenton recognizes that the floor is a conjuration circle.
Hands bear man a pickaxe to mess it up, just in case.

We head back with news of our victory.
Diend is pleased.
But he has learned of the secret of the lenses.
Wenton decides to show Diend where the biggest lens is, since he couldn’t smuggle it out.
Diend is pleased, and conveniently the king messages him that we can move on when the next supply ship comes in.
And that’s how we gave the king mechanical spiders.

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The Spiders of Limeport

Wake up, notice we have to pay for rooms.
Diend says we will get reimbursed… eventually.
Oh well.
Jerry offers rock breakfast. Failyn goes for it. More rations for the rest.
Off to the hole!

Diend pats us down before we enter so he can inventory anything that comes out.
Enter cave.
Smooth walls and floors, so definitely carved.
Wenton recognizes that the etchings on the walls resemble Zorn, earth-plane beings.
As we explore, we find there are symbols every so often at junctures.
No clue what they mean.
We enter first room.

Inside we see work benches with some pipes going to the ceiling along one wall.
Failyn touches a pipe. The pipe is hot. Failyn burns her hands a little.
Not sure what the stuff benches are form.
We do find two canisters: one back, one white.
Leave them for now.

Go to next room.
Huge spider-like thing inside this room.
However, it looks rather broken.
Willow manages to rip open a panel.
Wenton climbs inside.
Finds some levers, a lot of broken gears, and a really large gem-thing.
Take it with us.
Aside from that, nothing notable in the place.

Go down another passage.
At the end of this passage, we find that rock is blocking the way.
Sticking out of the rock is a hand.
The hand looks like a woman’s hand.
We try to pickaxe the rest of her out.
Found out, there is no “rest of her”. She has been turned to rock.
In her hand we found some cylindrical object.
After toying with it, we found it can mark symbols on the walls.

Next room was more interesting.
One wall was really warm with some table with little holes in it.
Before we could look further, suddenly Willow was lifted in a noose.
Some spider thing was on the ceiling.
Failyn managed to shoot the web and free her.
Wenton manages to shoot some acid in its workings.
Willow pulls it down from the ceiling and smashes it with her fists.
We inspect the spider and find a small ruby lens inside, which we hold onto.

After the fight, we explore the room.
Found some canisters, and they had potions.
Wenton stuck his finger in one. Didn’t seem to do much.
Wenton stuck a different finger in the other potion, and it seemed to waver and vanish.
Then at the table in from on the big warm wall, Wenton started inserting fingers into the holes.
The warm wall came to life, and it looked like a screen.
Saw a time-lapse of the tunnel system.
Afterwards, we were shown a screen that showed the area, along with some flashing lights.
One light was solid near our location, and others were flashing in other places.

We started to leave when we saw the guards at the entrance.
We know Diend would take our goodies if he found them.
Went back to the canisters in the first room to see if we should try taking them.
First needed to find what they did.
Found a bowl-like thing.
Pour in a dribble of the white stuff in. It just pools in the bottom.
Pour in a dribble of the black stuff in with the white stuff.
Suddenly starts reacting.
Spreads out in a hexagon pattern.
When it settles, it looks shiny yet like a fabric.
Pick it up, and it feels just like a shiny fabric, about handkerchief size.
Wenton decides to put it away.
It sticks to his finger!
Realize it is just the potion that is still on his finger.

Before leaving the cave, we hide the large white lens back in the large spider.
Diend frisks us and finds nothing.

Decide to go to one grouping of dots.
Have to track through the wilderness.
Navigate like champs for the first part.
During the second navigation, things go wrong.
Fight some viney plant.
It hurts a lot, but we kill it.

Make it to a mucky portion where the dots were.
We see something struggling in the muck.
We hide, and find it was some spiders digging themselves out of the muck.
We think that they had to come from somewhere.
Decide to attach a rope to a tree and try digging down.
Willow tries and fails.
Wenton tries and succeeds like a pro.
After securing the other end of the rope in the opening below, the others followed.
It looked like another work shop.
Look around and found a stone of Mirror Image, but no clue how to use it.
We didn’t find anything else interesting, since everything else was blocked off by rock.
Leave and go back to town.

After we reach Jerry’s place, we go to sleep.
In the night, we hear a scream and some struggle.
We head out and find two spiders, and two dead townspeople.
We fight and slay the spiders, which may or may not be the ones we hid from.
With the guards still on their way, we slay the spiders.
Diend confiscates them, and we go back to sleep.

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Welcome to Limeport
Rocks

We are in jail for a while.
Get out to meet King Ferdinand Herrera Mandello.
We can stay free if we help the king gain influence for the Reorganization.
But have to serve under Diend the jerk face.
We got some sweet threads though.

Go on boat to Limeport.
There are cows and other trade goods on board.
We head to Limeport.
Out of nowhere, huge water elemental erupts from the water.
Learn that there were a lot of elementals escaping into the material plane at some point.
We try to save the ship.
Sadly, only Wenton held his own, so we were pushed to the shore.
Took two days to repair, then we made it to Limeport.

Greeted by Mayor Repel.
Tells us about these rocks that convert dead/living material into more rocks.
While mining rocks, uncovered cave.
Cave put on lock down after two teenagers ended up dead by the hole.
The town covered the hole with rocks.
Told we can start our investigations the next day, and can stay with Jerry.
Jerry offers rock soup, no one takes it.

Next day, we ask about town a bit.
We learn that someone else went into the hole possibly, some old woman.
Supposedly she is some expert at working the rocks.
We check out her house, she isn’t home.
We enter anyway.
Search it quite thoroughly.
Find some gold and a couple of magical items.
We hold onto the stuff just in case.

Next, we talk with mother of one of dead teens.
Learn the dead teens were going out.
Nothing really exciting.

Next, we go to the hole!
It is covered with a lot of rocks.
We decide to get some manual help.
Go back to Diend and ask for some guards to help.
Shortly after, we check out the puff farm.
Puffs are sort of like buffalo, but rounder and fluffier.
Rent a couple to help clear out the hole.
Use all this manual labor to open entrance to cave.
Diend posts guards to the entrance, and we call it a day.

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Reginald Goodwind's Home

Next day,

Come up with plan to infiltrate Reginald’s house.
Also the day we check up with the house.
Learn I am a sure shot for the position
Learn nothing new from Sam
Next day, buy some potions.
Evening, nothing new still. But the girl now has a long neck.
Illusion plan.

Snake girl, it is Renia
sneak into place when Reginald leaves.
Tell Jareth, infiltrate!

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The Other Half

Dear Journal,

I apologize for the brief entry. The day’s activities have left me quite tired. This morning I found a meagre breakfast at my inn and promptly went to meet the others at the fountain. After learning that my breakfast was the worst of the group, we decided what we would do that morning. I decided to investigate at the temple of Lendor, while the other two did investigations as well.

At the temple of Lendor, there seemed to be nothing abnormal. It was less splendid than the other temples, and the priests there agreed that it was typically overlooked by the families in care. While investigating, a group of rabble rousers entered. I just sat on a bench to observer. These teens went around harassing the visitors to the temple and no one escaped their notice, including myself. One of the twerps starts to bother me an got in my face. I promptly rebuked his foot with my staff. This act did not go unnoticed. The rest of the gang gathered around me. I held my ground with a nice, peaceful sleep spell, but 4 still remained, including a child who I would later learn was [[:diend-balenson: Diend Balenson]]. I tried swiping at him, but with a single punch I was convinced of the danger he posed. At this moment, the priests came together to shove out these delinquents, and I went back to meet with the others.

While we were getting some lunch and discussing the developments (of which there were none) we heard another commotion. We rushed toward the sound and found a Man-Goat. This time its head was a man’s while the body was a goats. A group of villagers had surrounded it by the time we got there. We tried to communicate with it, but we couldn’t. Soon the guard pushed forward and dispatched the creature while forming a barrier between the public and it.

However, it was clear from the murmurs of the crowd that the head resembled a boy named Giese. After casting a listening spell on the captain of the guard, we heard him send two guards to inform his family. Failwyn and Willow followed the guards, while I stayed to try and see if there was anything else to learn from the scene.

Willow and Failwyn followed the guards to the docks, where they knocked on a door. A man answered, they conversed, then the guards walked away. Following afterwards, the duo also knocked on the door. They were greeted by Ben, who was Giese’s father. The two told him that they were investigators looking into the disturbances in town. After the conversation, they learned that Giese had a friend, Sam, an old fisherman, and that he had been working recently for the Goodwins, he believed it was for Jareth and Reginald Goodwin.

Afterwards, we all met back and discussed the development. Of course it couldn’t be Reginald. That evening, still unconvinced on what to do next, we investigated the Temple of Waukeen. I bought an expensive cup, and we saw Seagord Goodwin, but he didn’t want to talk to us.

That evening we all decided to stay at the Wobbly Sea Legs: moderately priced and a buffet for breakfast. However, by the docks we saw Reginald and a man we assume is Jareth walking along the dock talking quietly about things. We followed discreetly for a time, then they split ways. The party split up to follow them both. We found that Jareth went to a fancy house in the same district as the temple of Waukeen, while Reginald went to a gated section at the end of the docks. Rupert looked in his window and saw him working in what looked like his study with a little girl there. Nothing seemed to be amiss, and that ended our night.

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An Interesting Start
Entry in Wenton's Journal

Today was a most peculiar day. I, Wenton Underfield, was continuing my job search in the town of Luccini and was being interviewed at the Goodwin College for Magics and Engineering. They were trying to fill an instructor position, which suited me well. I was interviewed by Reginald Goodwin, Deidrus (the coward), and… the headmaster’s name I will need to find later. However, my interview was more of an observation, since they requested I teach a short class on conjuration.

Even though I was unprepared, I think I satisfied their expectations (and it was fortunate I had studied many conjuration spells that morning). After the class, the interview council informed me that I was a good fit for the job, which was fantastic news. The position started in a week, since Reginald was going on sabbatical to study. Some minor details were discussed, Reginald invited me to dinner, and Deidrus offered to show me around the town.

Deidrus first showed me around the college, then he led me past the temples and into the market place. While we walked, he talked on told me about the reorganization that the town was about to undergo. While we were examining some trinkets, we heard a most unusual sound…

At this point, in order to keep the chronology straight, I will also record the start of the day of two of my new-formed associates. I will start with Willow Silentread’s story. Willow had just entered the city looking for ways to test her abilities. Unsure where to go, she entered a large temple with many people. She caught the end of a small sermon, and while she was minding her own business, a man came and began attacking her with no provocation!

He appeared to be a priest of the temple that was bald while sporting a red beard. Caught off-guard, Willow was unable to defeat the man in combat. He seemed disappointed and asked that she leave the temple. She then left and began wandering about the town. As she walked down the road, she began to hear and see a group of people fleeing from something she could not see. She began moving towards what the people were fleeing…

Once again, I will now jump to another’s tale for that day. We now focus on Failwyn‘s start to the day. She had been in the city for about a month now manning a fireworks stand. Business was slow, but she was able to sell a good sized firework to a tourist couple, probably due to the giant Pelor she plastered on the front. Aside from that, not much seemed to be going on. Then her landlord stopped by for a visit. The rent wasn’t due, so it was just a pleasant chat. Then all of a sudden, they heard a commotion and a nearby stall seemed to explode for no reason at all!…

And now we can start the unified story of how our party saved the town from a madman.

As we each came to the scene, we discovered a Goat-Man: his head was a man’s, while the majority of man was in fact goat. The seams between goat and man was distinct, but it was unclear what held him together, for there was no thread holding him together. Regardless, he was a force that must be reckoned with.

Both I and Failwyn were within striking distance, while Willow was a ways away. Both of use began attacking the beast. I unleashed a magic missile from a distance while Failwyn attacked it at close range with a very large firework! The Goat-Man was beserking through the bazaar, attacking innocent civilians. With one fell swoop, it severely wounding Failwyn’s landlord, and with another swing it struck Failwyn. By this time Willow was entering the scene, throwing some sort of metal stars at the beast while I was throwing my daggers. Failwyn conjured some dancing lights to distract the beast, who had now turned its attention to me. I, in a tactful move, guarded myself behind the trinkets stall while the Goat-Man moved in. We all continued attacking, and Willow moved in close to attack the Goat-Man. After taking a hearty strike from the beast, Willow’s pent up frustrations of the day were unleashed as the gave a massive blow through the beast’s chest.

I went to help the landlord stabilized, then I started to investigate the body. Through my studies I was able to determine that this creature was not natural, but created by magic. It was not a stable creature, however, and may not have lasted long even if we had not fought it. And as far as I could tell, this was conjuration magic at play here, which fascinated me.

Shortly after the commotion finished, guards began storming the scene, demanding I stand back from the creature. The captain of the guard asked us our business here and seemed to imply that we might have had something to do with this creature! Without any proof, however, he released us while they began to clean up the incident.

We three greeted each other, and were thoroughly unsatisfied with the mystery at hand. We decided to work together to try to find out what was really going on in the town of Luccini. Failwyn and Willow went to the Balenson Theological Seminary and I went to join Reginald for dinner. I asked him about the goings on with the recent event. Reginald gave no data on the matter. However, he practically ensured my position at the college! My parents will be so happy to hear this news! Aside from that, the dinner was uneventful.

On the other end of town, Willow and Failwyn decided to go the Balenson Theological Seminary. There was a guest speaking, speaking about the teachings of Farland. However, it was reserved to members of religious orders. Throwing some dirt upon their faces, they posed as the devoted of Farland and snuck into the meeting.

They wined, dined, and mingled. They learned more about the members of the Balenson and Goodwin households. They even heard a wonderful lecture on Farland. Afterwards, we met back at the fountain, and shared our stories. We went our separate ways after agreeing to meet in the morning.

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