Plan to take over
Stole a ladder, had some sleep, decided to give diamond to LRD, then capture him and i take over RD for a while.
Plan A: LDR doesn't want to stay in charge, convince him of two things: 1. GC takes over RD from him, but Oregano has to stay for a bit because GC doesn't know RD structure. If fail, see plan C.
2. Convince LDR to bring diamond back himself. If fail, see plan B.
Plan B: use oregano after complete takeover to track location of LDR.
Plan C: Kill
We informed captain of plan A and C and the appearance of LDR. Went off to arrange some things for if take over is successful.
Delivered diamond, removing curse was very dramatic and successful. LDR then walked out. Change of plans: GC stays as part of RD to slowly take over. Dee new (temporary) leader organises bringing back the diamond. Will also try to be undisruptive to Jafone. Got paid. Gimdalf got info about temple, probably south of Silltarul.
Sulk sold a bunch of stuff and bought a bunch of stuff--> dragon is a void dragon. . Went back to the inn, told barmaid the last "gossip" on the ice and explosion. Pasta + Sulk told captain about ruins and teleportation devices. I went to library for translating lecture and research bakery.
Lecture about identifying rich/ apropriate targets and pretending to be rich yourself. Elf from ruins entered after lecture, checked our shoes and identified us as 'intruders' of base. Pretended like we didn't know it was a base and we were just exploring. Were asked again about diamond. Negotiated a meeting and explanation from leader before possibly handing over the diamond. agreed. Were followed, pushed guy of roof as bear. Leader is apparantly a guy cursed by rival empire. Set up RD due to orders to destabilise Jafone + find a way to break the curse.
PDiamond: Bad luck curse. Can't be sold? interferes with other curses. LRD hopes it will weaken his curse enough to break it.
I'm 100% in! I want to know how it works + sympathises a bit with the guy being forced to do things against will.
Finding this Red Dot base is an important step although I do not know how big it was. The next step was to figure out what we should do with it.
Sulk wanted to wait until the owner of this room reappeared. He seemed nearly certain this was the room of the Red Dot leader. I must say that that would be one sad room. Luckily Pasta hadn't lost his brain and agreed with me that we should first try to gain more trust. The more because we had no certainty on what that leader could do and if this was their room at all.
This discussion was concluded just in time as we heard a weird buzzing sound eerily similar to that of the teleportation door we'd seen before. I told the others to quickly go into the big empty room. We were barely swift enough to make it out of there. That small room had been closed off with a stone door, keeping us from seeing inside and vice-versa.
As a safety measure, I cast a shadow cloak over the three of us and we quickly moved into one of the three bedrooms. If the person inside that room was worth anything they would likely notice someone had been inside and investigate. Not much later we heard two pairs of slow footsteps and whispering voices come from the room. They passed our hiding spot and I followed them as a beautiful cockroach.
They were two elves covered in ashes. From their conversation, it sounded like they didn't usually use the doors we busted out of their frames to get to this area of the ruïns. We later discovered that the one place we hadn't been to yet was a freaky gravity staircase that was connected to a different point in the ruïns.
They investigated our traces for a bit and then went back to that small room, mentioning they should report to someone else. I think I can safely say they aren't the leaders of the Red Dot.
I followed them all the way back there. The room was now filled with ugly humanoïds. Including those two elves, there were eight of them and they were all covered in soot. Likely from an explosion. Going by what little I heard from their conversation before the door closed they had been on a mission but the blueprints were wrong and the explosives they used were too volatile?
Once we sneaked back above ground I could immediately see the results of what they were talking about. There was a commotion on the streets and a big cloud of black smoke rose up near the bridge over the river.
Sulk still wanted to investigate the news about the block of ice falling from the sky we'd heard earlier this day. Pasta and I dropped him off near that locations just to make sure our traces couldn't be tracked from the sewers by the Red Dot's. Pasta and I went to see what had exploded.
The explosion was apparently the result of an attempted and failed robbery on the bank, which is under the bridge.. A guy in fancy clothes made a dry speech about everything being fine and safe and that it was presumably the work of the Red Dot gang. He also said something about an opportunity for the reporters to ask questions later.
I discussed with pasta if we should steal a reporter's clothes and sneak in to get more information but we came to the conclusion that asking the Captain when reporting would be easier. Besides, at that talk, we'll probably only get sugar-coated information. After all, this place needs to uphold its image.
After the hall of Axes we decided to backtrack and investigate the other hallways. One of these side hallways was trapped and lead to a large empty room. This room had a door with what seemed to be warning signs on the opposite side. The continuing corridor had a warp wall moving back and forth. It seems that this wall has created a loop in the ruïns back to the section with the bedrooms.
Since it was close by anyways I went to the supposed trapped section of the hallway to test it with the enchanted statue. The traps were properly triggered. They were spikes. The Statue was still intact so I took it along in case I needed it later.
We also found a room with metal knickknacks. It may have been an old workshop or smithy.
Having done that we went to check the room with the trapped hallway. We found traces of heavy objects being dragged over the floor and Pasta found some sort of traps on the wall. The door with a warning is probably set to trigger these traps if the wrong colour code is entered into the lock. Lucky for us, whoever comes here probably has a bad memory since the Red Dot symbols we found along the way were all painted in different colours for the code.
Behind the door was a small room filled with metal furniture and a single bed. As usual, we rummaged through all the drawers and nooks to find interesting things and clues on who the room belonged to. Although the biggest clues were probably the stack of paintings, the red dot markings and the empty doorframes which Sulk identified as some sort of teleportation artefact. The door that should be inside the frames can teleport to different locations to provide direct access to it.
This should be the same sort of the door the Red Dot gang used when we met with them in the sewers. We found many other magical items as well, most of which I doubt have much monetary worth.
We can probably conclude that this is a base for the Red Dot gang but we do not yet know who it is and how high they rank.
Return to the hall of Axes
The room where the hall of axes used to be has been warped into a strange mess. The same spatial strangeness we encountered earlier is present here.
It looks as if a space has been created around the room, similar to a pocket dimension in a magic storage item. This 'pocket space' is riddled with pillars of warp
booyagh magic which rotate around the original hall of Axes.
Sulk sent in Marshmallow to see if there was a safe path straight ahead but the owl seemed to be disintegrated after 80 feet. Heading into this space blind would probably mean death.
Lucky for us, the pillars move in a predetermined path. Through observation, we noticed a pattern in frequency. Sulk worked hard to draw out a safe path based on what little information we had. I didn't really understand it so I went to get some magic rocks to shoot at the anomalies.
As I expected these rocks had very interesting reactions when they came into contact with the warps. The effects ranged from changing colours to shooting around, to turning into entirely different things. This also gave more information about the path of the warps for Sulk's puzzle.
Finding a way to the Hall took a while, thus Sulk explained the general idea of it to Pasta and me. I vaguely understand the principle behind it.
When we finally found a safe path entering the Hall of axes was easy. Large portions of its walls were missing. We could pretty much enter wherever.
The statue had toppled over and shattered and there were still traces of a fight that was extremely similar to our own. I'm not sure what this means. Time travel? How would that work with Sulk and Pasta having died in the past while still being alive now? I've never heard of successful time travel in the first place. Maybe it's closer to just our souls passing over and inhabiting dolls?
Among the broken fragments of the statue, I found a giant metal axe engraved with runes. I don't work with such runes so I left it for the others to solve. Sulk found it was something linked to teleportation which, with a second look, seems to be about right. It does indeed look somewhat similar to the few teleportation circles and anchors I've seen. The runes have been damaged so it's useless right now and it is too big to take along. I couldn't find anything about the shield they used either. Disappointing.
The one useful thing we found is that the weapon summons still work and the weapons don't disappear after leaving the room. This magic slingshot seemed to be very effective in combat which is good. But it also gives off light. I stuffed it into my bag for now. I'll find a solution later.
I also took along a few bracelets from the demon-ape-thing. The Drow head says it's not magic but it's a decent material for magic weapons. Although, he made it sound as if these weapons had a tendency to be cursed. Maybe I should have it forged into a weapon and then give it to my enemies so they are slowly tortured to insanity. That wouldn't be a bad idea.
The multiplied rocks turned out to be a magical object for shared storage, which is handy because my backpack was getting full. It's also a safer place to keep the gunpowder than directly on my person.
After dumping a bunch of stuff into the storage rock we relied on my superior memory to check out the hallway we had traversed in the dream. We passed a few uninteresting rooms, one with statues and some bedrooms, as well as what looked to be markings from the Red dot gang. Around the second corner, there was a wall of energy moving back and forth that seemed to fragment the space it crossed.
My first thoughts tell me this is the result of a large scale teleportation spell gone wrong. Not that I've seen such spells in progress very often but there aren't many spells that would warp the fabric of a plane to such extents.
A trapped portion of the hallway had also been shifted, although not detrimental to our advancement since we could simply take the right side. I do wonder if the traps that were supposedly on the left are still active. I plan to test that with a size-changing statue, along with a very shiny fork, we found. If it survives the test I will bring the statue along when we go to follow the Red dot markings. If we get attacked I can simply throw it at some enemies.
We also came across a section covered in strange crystals. Sulk demonstrated how they glow red and repel each other if you'd try to bring them together. It's pretty neat so of course, I brought a few along.
Damned demons and festering suspicions
Pasta and Sulk's actions are suspicious and I'm not sure if I should continue to travel with them. However, we're currently working on capturing the Red Dot gang and at least one of them seems to know similar magic to mine according to our first meeting. They also seem to have a large information network which, if time allows it, I could use to find someone... It isn't beneficial to cut off my alliance with the two right now, but I'll need to keep an extra eye on them. Maybe prepare some bone spider venom in advance.
Right after the mimic incident, Sulk picked up a green, glowy rock which started to vibrate. Usually, this is a bad sign and this time was no exception since we were suddenly transported to what seemed to be the past, during the Ancient civilisations battle with the demons and the Tarrasque. At first, I thought it was just a more immersive recording like in the last ruïn but we were able to interact with the people that passed us. The old lady told us to follow them to the Room of
Access Ex-es Axes. Since we didn't know where else to go and they were running away from the danger, we simply followed. The route we took was through the door we had seen in the present time with the mark of the Red Dot gang next to it. The way we walked on specific tiles through the hallway I suspect there will be traps. In case I have to deal with this again later I drew a simple map on the back of my shield.
The Room of Axes was a dead end with a giant statue at the end and although there were decorative axe patterns on the tiles, there was a surprising lack of actual axes. The Ancient people told us to hold off the demons while they activated the contingency, whatever that was, and then f*cking disappeared from near the statue and put up a shield around it while we were standing outside of it. Bunch of *ssholes.
I didn't feel like bothering with whatever was coming for a long time so when a portal opened in front of the entrance I simply cast the most powerful version of Skylight (moonbeam) I could manage on top of it which was very effective. There came a bunch of very ugly abyssal chickens out of the portal which I didn't have to look at for long because they disintegrated right away in my light. The more troublesome thing was a demon ape that showed up but got stuck in a trap Sulk had set up in front of the door and thus couldn't leave the Skylight, and a shadow demon. Sulk cast a Skylight as well, effectively blocking the entire entrance and nearly doubling its effect.
Sadly not all demons are stupid it seems as some decided not to use the door and instead break through the wall. It was very noisy so the exact place was easy to find. Thus I simply moved my Skylight in front of it. The things that broke through the wall were all affected but sadly, not disintegrated right away and alive enough to cause us quite some trouble. Pasta found some mechanism that provided him with a glowing crossbow that seemed magical. Since I don't know many other spells that are effective against demon-things I decided to try it too and got a very effective sling. But even with this increase in effectiveness Sulk and Pasta still died and I was on my last breath. I was certain I could take at least two of the demons with me but before I could something near the statue activated and the space around me shattered.
I woke up with the other two in the room where we'd fought the mimic in the time I belong. Disappointedly Pasta and Sulk didn't actually die so I still have to deal with that drama. The green, glowy rock had also split into three.
Trouble in the sewers
After lunch, we went back to the area around our inn to find an entry into the sewers. According to Macaroni, this is where the exterminators had found an entry. While making our way there we came across the newspaper kid who had a new article. something about a block of ice crashing through a roof not too far from our in. Given Gimdalf's strange dream, I'm still not sure what it was about, he wants to check it out after our sewer business.
Anyway, the sewers. With some searching around and abiding by the logic of Jafone being build on top of the ruïns, we chose to follow the sewers that lead further down. After some time we found some older looking bits of which a small part was invested with squids. Gimdalf found an unconscious, small purple dragon. (Although the lighting was very bad so it may be something else entirely.) We also found a box with gunpowder! I filled all my empty jars and vials with it and I have about 1,5 kg. Now I don't have to mess around trying to extract potassium from potatoes to make small explosions to rig traps in my wagon.
The entrance the exterminators had been talking about was behind the squids, right past the point where their nest is. Since there's no need to fight them or disturb their nest, Gimdalf sent Marshmallow to lure some of them away so we could enter safely. The largest squid took the bait and followed Marshmallow deeper into the tunnels, leaving the others to tightly guard the nest. We took the opportunity to quickly enter the ruïns. The first part was a fancy hallway with nice tiles which I had scouted earlier. After that, it quickly became a more modest interior. Since al of us can see in the dark we didn't bother to make a light.
The first door we came across had no handle and likely needed to be opened from the other side. Not wanting to find a way around, I suggested to simply undo the hinges and then used my magic dagger as a crowbar to make the door fall into the hall. It made quite some noise so hopefully, we didn't alert anything too dangerous with that.
Behind the door is a room with three other doors. One door is slightly opened and has a mark similar to the Red dot's thing next to it, though probably not red because it became black in the red light I took from the entrance. One of the other doors is built sideways so naturally, that's the first one that should be investigated.
Upon opening it a load of water streamed out in a rather peculiar way. When I looked inside it was almost immediately clear that this was another room with messed up gravity, like the ruïns at dragon's tooth query. But this time the gravity is sideways. Once again, Gimdalf took the initiative to enter the room first. This time along with a safely secured rope so he could climb out when needed.
There isn't much in the room itself, a table, a closet and a chest that turned out to be alive and attacked the wizard. I have heard stories of these things before and they can supposedly be very annoying which turns out to be a true statement. Gimdalf's weapon got stuck on the 'mimic', as it's apparently called, and it was in general far too sticky for comfort. Being in a good mood I went down myself in an attempt to help, I even warned Gimdalf that the mimic was about to explode.
Although the fight was handled well, I'm also starting to doubt if I should keep travelling around with these two. During the short period of the fight,
Macaroni Pasta didn't do anything to help or even inquire if Gimdalf Sulk was okay. On the other hand, Sulk was annoyed by this and decided that the best course of action was to attack Pasta during the fight. If this is how they act in the future I can't entrust them with my safety. The whole reason I want to even travel with others is to lessen the danger of being randomly prosecuted for simply walking the streets as a goblin. But it seems that staying with these two might become more of a hazard instead.
There's nothing more perilous than team members that might stab you in the back over small disputes or leave their allies to die because they don't feel like helping. If they can not see reason and change their ways, I'll need to leave after this whole Red dot thing is over. Before I start to truly hate them and kill them in their sleep.
Spies and lesson programs
After the aptitude exam and some more talking with Oregano, we went to the orchard to talk things through. We were wondering about what the lesson programs should be and how we could find out more about this marked one. We were thinking of just asking Organza about who this person mentioned in the note was and if we could meet him because we wanted to know who we work with.
Then Marshmallow discovered a spy in one of the trees where he had sat down with his one-night stand, who attacked the spy on account of him being a possible danger. Naturally, the moment we noticed this we went to pull the man out of the tree. Upon success, I went to lie on top of him as a bear to keep him from running away. Apparently, the weight of a black bar is unpleasant enough for people to cooperatively give all information we want.
He was hired by the Red Dots to keep an eye on us for the night. Knowing he would convey our conversation to him we made sure that he would emphasize us wanting to know who exactly we work for and also that we were curious about the Padmor diamond and why they wanted it. As a little extra motivation I offered to pay him 2 GP after he successfully conveyed the information.
The next day, macaroni, Gimdalf and I decided on the schedule of doing things for ourselves in the morning and investigating the information on ruïns Macaroni obtained from pest-control several days ago. I conjecture that these ruïns are the remains of the ancient city we saw in the recordings in the other ruïns under dragon's teeth Quarry. If so, there may be some exciting things hidden within.
I'm not sure what the others were doing during the morning. Macaroni simply disappeared for a few hours, nice and quiet, and Gimdalf showed up halfway asking about some sort of old temple from legends which might have something to do with his nightmare? I don't know. I don't care enough to pay attention to such things. Either way, It's supposed to be ancient so we might find something in the ruïns this afternoon.
Meanwhile, I was trying to piece together the lesson plan for our students. I'll mostly be doing the lectures. The problem is, however, that my methods apparently aren't universal. For example, I'm trained in recognising herbs by appearance and smell. Combined with the knowledge of which are commonly used for spells it isn't difficult to distinguish magicians from normal people by smell. However, the students likely aren't trained for that. So should I try to find another method to identify wizards and sorcerers? Or should I just drill the knowledge into them? By my experience, smell has always been the most reliable.
Anyway, lunchtime came around so the three of us gathered again and went in search of lunch. I wanted some savoury pies so I went to a bakery. Although the pastries are very good, I got one in each flavour, I do not like the lady behind the counter. She quickly saw through my disguise, which admittedly isn't very good but often enough to ward against initial hostility. But her noticing so easily probably means she's dealt a lot with goblins before. But the main reason I don't like her is that she tried to take advantage of me by charging almost 20 times the price. I know humanoïds think goblins are stupid. But still, I've been travelling around their society for more than 20 years. My common is fluent. And I'm more than aware that a well-paying job is usually no more than 2gp a day. What person would willingly pay 1/4th of that for four small pies in a common bakery? How stupid does she think I am? I don't care much for coins but she has to pay for looking down on me.
After the successful heist at the Padmore estate, I had a good long rest. When waking it was already closer to noon that breakfast so we had lunch instead. Macaroni almost chocked on something that was hidden in his garlic bread and spit the thing on the ground. It seemed rather big so I went to get it. It turned out to be a folded piece of paper. Of course, I immediately went to the innkeeper to complain about their terrible policy of putting hazardous things in food without warning and if they didn't bake it themselves she should definitely switch providers.
Somehow, al she got from this was that bread with messages would be a good idea if people were informed beforehand. Like giant fortune cookies... I didn't get anything useful out of it other than that the bread was baked by someone else.
As it turned out, the folded paper was a message from the Red dot gang, which I promptly burned after reading. Something about a
Marke Done marked one and information on the next meeting place. Since the Diamond we stole for them is cursed, we don't know what kind of curse it is and they mess with other peoples food, I wanted to discuss NOT handing over the thing with the others. Apparently, the apple garden outside of town is our resident private meeting spot now.
Macaroni and Gimdalf agreed that as we had never actually agreed to give them the diamond after steeling it there was no need to do so. However, we're not entirely sure what to do with it either. We need to find out more about the curse first. We also can't adamantly refuse to give them the thing as it would effectively defeat our purpose of infiltrating them. Eventually, we decided that Macaroni would hide the diamond in a location not too far from the designated meeting spot so it could be picked up when needed. However, before actually handing it over he should glue the diamond to the glass of the anti-magic case to ensure it could not easily be used for whatever purpose by them.
Before meeting with the Red dot gang we also went to contact the Guard captain to ask if he could send some extra patrols to the nearby area in case things went south. If we needed to flee we could then get back up from those guards.
Later in the evening, we entered the sewers through one of the grates near the harbour and unlocked one of the grates near the meeting spot in case we needed to flee quickly. We arrived well ahead of time before a random door. We were asked to prove our identity with the Padmore diamond, which we didn't bring of course because we're not idiots who throw away all our cards. With some hemming and hawing, Gimdalf managed to get the Organza to come out himself to look at the painting he had picked up somewhere during our heist, which turned out to be some magical last work of a painter. It was enough to confirm our identity.
After we were guided inside we were immediately guided to a group of people who will function as the first batch of trainees. This was quite surprising. Although I had already determined that working with three different groups, Sparkles, Sneaks and Smash-and-grabs, would probably be most efficient I haven't yet concluded on the teaching program.
In that respect, Macaroni and Gimdalf are much better in unexpected situations than I am, one of their few positive qualities, and immediately started with an aptitude exam consisting of three rounds.
-First-round (Sneaks): Participants have to dodge Gimdalf's firebolts while simultaneously trying to unlock the chains around a few of them. Testing their lock picking skill and ability to perform under pressure.
-Second round (Sparkles): The participants had to try to 'sell' several objects to two of us. Testing how well they talk and how good they are at seizing up their target.
-Third round (Smash-and-grab): The participants who hadn't yet been divided had to fight a version of Smore, Gimdalf's owl person. Before starting I wanted the participants to evaluate their chances. The goal was to see their skills and to get a shallow idea of their insight towards themselves and their opponents.
I got quite a good view of what the candidates were good at. Although most had a somewhat clear talent, one of the participants was so talentless that I think their only chance would be as a robber in a team with others. At least something where her mental capabilities aren't extremely important.
Participant #1: Sparkle
Participant #2: Smash-and-grab, impulsive with bad insight
Participant #3: Sneak
Participant #4: Sneak, possible to follow double training for Sparkles
Participant #5: Sneak, possible double training for Smash-and-grab
ps. Our heist made it to the front page of the newspaper, I've decided to frame it. Also, Macaroni gets a jerk point for carelessly telling people my information.
Diamond heist, part 3
The results of my scouting mission, which was from 9 something in the evening until 2 something in the morning, were as follows:
Although there are rasters with locks in the chimneys, the locks are normal hanging locks so it shouldn't be a problem. If the locks can't be opened, it might be possible to simply tear out the raster but that would make a lot of noise. If that happens, Macaroni proposes we drop down a dead animal to imply that that is what made the noise. The windows can't be opened and need to be shattered if we want to enter through those, which would make noise.
The guards go on patrol every hour. They make a round inside every -:30 (coming from the large dining hall and moving counter-clockwise) and a round outside every full hour clockwise.
The rooms around the vault aren't in use and could be used as hiding spots if needed. It also means we don't have to worry about waking people up with every step.
When I returned to the inn the others were still awake. We decided that we (Macaroni and I) would enter through the chimney nearest to the vault at night while gimdalf would keep a lookout on one of the rooftops in case something went wrong.
The night of the heist, for some reason, we went up on the roof of one of the neighbouring houses and Macaroni struggled to lasso the rope around the stovepipe of the Padmore's kitchen. I think he planned to climb across it onto the roof but he couldn't get it high enough so he still had to climb up part of the wall. I watched from the neighbouring rooftop until he had successfully unlocked the grate inside the chimney and climbed down before I went over myself as a centipede. Since it wasn't that long before a patrol should come across the room we waited for a little before moving. It was painfully clear that all the competent guards had left as the first patrol inside was late and a guard outside (which we later heard from Gimdalf) was more concerned about dropping his pipe than the strange noises coming from the alley across.
During this heist, Macaroni was responsible for all the lockpicking and actually stealing things while I was mainly there to scout and intervene if we were discovered. As such, Macaroni was the one to deal with the strange trap-wall which, as it turned out, would trigger if he made a mistake while lockpicking. He almost got squashed by the wall during his first attempt. Lucky for us the wall also landed on the paw os the skinned bear rug, muffling the sound and not alerting the guards.
Once unlocked I checked inside to see what was there. Among a lot of different things the Padmore diamond was situated in an enchanted glass case on a pillar but other than that there seemed to be not other protection around it.
Macaroni was the one to remove the diamond from its position and we were both hit by a bad feeling of foreboding. Strangely enough, this feeling would disappear
as soon as the glass case was put back on. As such, I concluded that the diamond must be cursed in some way. Since none of us wants to be cursed, Macaroni decided to take the case with us as well. He erased our tracks and got out of there quickly and quietly.
When we got back to Gimdalf, he had somehow acquired a large painting. He wasn't entirely clear on how exactly he got it but he apparently met someone on a late-night stroll who gave it to him. To make sure our scents wouldn't be easy to track back to the inn, we made a detour through the city and I went for a little swim in the city, stealthy as f*ck.
Before we went to sleep Gimdalf checked the glass case, which is apparently some anti-magic item (very useful), and the diamond that doesn't have any detectable magic of itself. So it's definitely bad news or cursed. I'm not sure why the red dots wanted it but maybe we should do some more research on the diamond to make sure it's not some 'ancient evil' summoning device. I'd rather not end the world yet.
Wrapping up the ruïns and returning to Jafone
After we cleared out the items of interest in the round room we decided to check out the only other door connected to the room. Beyond it was the remnants of a room which was, to put it simply, stabbed through with a large, white pillar. Out of curiosity, Gimdalf went ahead to investigate if something lay beyond the hole the pillar had made and what it was made of. Macaroni and I decided to watch from a save distance outside of the room in case Gimdalf managed to damage something with his sludge hammer and either caused a collision or an explosion.
Upon return, he informed us the pillar was the bone of a Tarrasque, some huge terrible monster that can cause the destruction of the world and although it is currently destroyed, it seems to still be regenerating. This is likely the reason Dragon's tooth quarry regenerates as well. Gripped by a sudden bout of paranoia, Macaroni threatened Gimdalf with and arrow which understandably pissed of the wizard. For the hell of it, and future reverence, I told Gimdalf to do something to prove it was truly him. Of course, I haven't known him long enough to have any decent idea of how he would do that but he didn't disappoint me as he slapped Macaroni across the face with mage hand. Sometimes it's fun how gullible they are.
Since we couldn't really get any further into the ruins we decided to go back. Apparently, the secret stairs retract by themselves over time, but as I already vaguely understood how to operate them it was no problem. The second evening there were no Kobolds (that we spotted). To avoid having to pay for the destroyed furniture that fell down when we activated the stairs, and as the regenerating Tarrasque is of some concern to the far future, I decided to tell the foreman of the quarry that some mysterious staircase suddenly activated on its own in the middle of the night and that we had gone down already to explore for a bit.
We told them about the ruïns, the traps in the first hallway and a strange room with reversed gravity but nothing else. The complete investigation and whether they can figure out what the bone is from is entirely up to them. Of course, by the time their small team got to the tower, the stairs had already closed so I went back in secret to let down the stairs when they reached the door. They seemed to have heard the staircase activate and send someone back. They probably won't get trapped down there forever?
Back at Jafone, Macaroni went back to the inn to arrange a room and take a nap. Gimdalf had apparently taken a large portion of the Tarrasque bone with him and commissioned a smith to make armour with it for him. when we got back at the inn Gimdalf wanted to pull a prank on Macaroni and asked me for ideas. Apparently, he thought I like pranks because of my Mud orbs? I'm not very good with pranks but I did want to test a rumour I heard. Supposedly, if you put the hand of a sleeping humanoïd in water they'll automatically pee. It didn't work with Macaroni though. It could be that my variables were off. After all, I don't have a lot of information on the conditions.
After that Gimdalf went on with his prank. Something with binding Macaroni's feet to the ceiling and dunking him headfirst into a bucket of water. I don't think it worked out as it was supposed to. Macaroni woke up in the middle of his feet being tied and both cut the ropes of Macaroni's hammock at the same time (Macaroni his feet and Gimdalf the headend). It was fun to watch them tumble to the floor in a graceless heap of limbs.
With some reconciliation between the two, I went to the wagon shop to finalise the design of my wagon and got a free shop sign out of it. The shop will be named Ta-vanul's treasure and I plan on mainly dealing with self-care products such as soap or toothpaste. Humanoïds seriously need to take better care of their teeth. They may be ugly and flat but that's no excuse for neglecting them.
Meanwhile, Macaroni went to check up with the Captain of the guard to see if he had been successful at luring away the more competent guards at the Padmore estate. The answer was yes, so our mission tomorrow night will be a lot easier.
To make sure we won't run into any easy-to-avoid trouble during the heist I went to the estate (as a centipede) this evening to check if we could easily access the manor through one of the chimneys, what the patrol schedule of the guards is and if the rooms round the vault are occupied.
Mystery tome's mystery mashup
We followed a small path along the chasm leading to the right while Marshmallow was sent to the left, where there was no path, to explore. The left ended in a waterfall with too low a ceiling to explore. On the right we found stairs leading down and gargoyles mounted on the cave wall next to it, spewing water into a whirlpool.
With nothing better to do, and hoping that we'd find something interesting, we followed the stairs through a hallway that seemed to have been made from different building parts being smashed together without concern. Among this mashup of differently built walls, we came upon a room that led 30 feet up and down from where the hallway entered. Not only that but the furniture was located on the ceiling. The fireplace was strangely dark as well to the extent that my night vision could not pierce through it. To get a better look at the situation I used my Booyagh powers to light a fire in the hearth. As a result, it appeared upside down and chased a blob of shadows out of the fireplace which was, understandably, in a bad mood.
With some difficulty, we managed to determine that this was a shadow devil. It did not seem to understand any of our languages and as it had become hostile towards us we killed the sneaky bastard with its weakness, magic light.
Gimdalf was so
stupid kind to jump into the room and access the situation first during the fight. It seems that the gravity of this room is indeed inversed. Anything of value had long been ransacked or crumbled from age as apparently, this was a construction build by the ancient ones. Beyond this room, there was another hallway that ended in a large round room with spectator benches, a large number of bones and a willow tree that grew in the centre. At first, we thought this had been some sort of fighting arena, on account of all the skeletons. The Mystery Tome reacted to this room as well and once again it was glowing, showing a practically blank page with a diamond as the centre of the room. This time there were multiple circles with text beside them but they varied fastly in their stability. Most were blurry or blinked constantly. Following the tried and fruitful method of randomly poking things the tome gradually filled out one of its pages with symbols. Macaroni and Gimdalf also found thin metal slabs that had similar symbols and were made of the same metal. With fiddling around a bit, I managed to activate what seemed to be a recording. The recording showed a town in the location of what should currently be Jafone. The town was besieged by devillike monsters and the recording ended as a giant beast approached. I'm guessing that the old towns became the dangerous ruïns underneath Jafoneand the beast that was slain turned into the dragon's teeth quarry. There were only two other recordings working which were probably made on the same day. Those recorded the Ancients making their last stand in the round room.
It seems that the slabs are the storage space f these recordings and the tome is the medium to access them although the Ancients' used fancy green stones embedded in their heads for that purpose. Gimdalf wanted to implant one of the stones in his skull as well to see if he could magically understand the language they used but refrained from doing so right away as it required an unknown ritualistic surgery to have an effect.
At the moment there is no real danger in these halls other than maybe a few lost devils like the one we encountered earlier. With that information, we searched the room for useful things. I harvested a bunch of glowing speed-mushrooms that grow in the room. I'm planning on using them to produce potions to boost speed and, if possible, grow them to make glowing soap. Macaroni discovered that behind a pile of fallen ruble was the metal spider thing we had seen in one of the recordings. At the moment it is rusted and motionless but we don't want to risk activating it by mindlessly poking it. Other than the mushrooms we found some magic equipment. I got a fancy magic dagger and a metal throwing shield that automatically bounces (? Maybe it flies?) back to me. Very handy.
We also got or hands on a magic longbow but none of us knows how to use it. We plan on either selling it or trading it directly for a magic bow Macaroni can use. Also, Gimdalf was whining that there was nothing of real use to him among the pile of stuff. Apparntly he forgot he was the only one with magic equipment beyond a focus.
Mystery tome's mystery staircase
After getting rid of the Kobolds Macaroni and I were planning on going back to bed while Gimdalf finished the second half of his shift. However, when I entered the tower the mystery tome* in my bag began to glow. Upon opening it I saw all the unreadable ancient text had vanished and was replaced by a diamond shape and a dot with a short line of unreadable text. As I moved around I noticed the dot followed my movement and eventually found that the diamond shape indicated the centre of the room. It would bug me to go to bed at this point so I removed the floorboards to see what was underneath it the tome was indicating. Of course, that stupid Gimdalf kept trying to see what was going on with the book the entire time, while Macaroni just went to sleep. Seeing the round centre with plates fanning out I immediately suspected it was some sort of secret staircase. These things usually have a trigger somewhere but as I was tired I couldn't think of what this trigger could be.
The next morning I went to claim the reward for the Kobold's on my own while I left Gimdalf and Macaroni to figure out how to activate the stairs. As I left they were hammering away at something and the mystery tome in my bag seemed to react to the sound. As I went to the foreman I noticed the Dragon's tooth quarry seemed to have been restored to some extent overnight. When I asked the foreman about it they said they didn't know why that was but it always happened. They also told me that a popular legend about this phenomenon was that a giant dragon had been slain here in old times.
As I received the payment for the Kobolds, 3 gp and one super fancy smooth rock, I was still pissed about Gimdalfs Hypocrisy and suggested the foreman should solve the Kobold problem at the root by finding out why they steal and teaching them how to make their own equipment. It's more cost-effective in the long term and they might get something unexpectedly good out of it. They thought it was a decent idea although at first, they assumed I was suggesting exterminating the Kobolds' nest.....
Because of the rock, I was in a much better mood when I returned to the others. Macaroni and Gimdalf hadn't gotten much further than that the staircases all seemed to sound differently, this tower was built much later and that under the walls of the tower was a ring with the same ancient symbols as there were in the mystery tome. Upon making another loud sound, I felt the mystery tome vibrate again so I opened it. There were no additions other than a static symbol in the left lower corner. As none of us could figure out what it meant I simply poked every symbol that appeared while the other two were trying to figure out the effects of different sound pitches. Eventually, the tome seemed to be done with it and manifested blue glowing arrows (with text none of us could read) which is how we discovered one of the symbols could slide over a line and that was the trigger to lower the stairs. While Gimdalf and I were standing on a safe spot that would stay level with activation, Macaroni fell down along with all the furniture in the room.
The staircase led to a big underground room with nothing but a broken door that led to a hallway. There was an obvious trap area halfway this hallway. Gimdalf used a floating disk for Macaroni and I and, after almost falling into the pit trap himself, climbed along the wall on his own accord. At the end of the hallway was another door, this time in decent condition, that led to a practically empty room with only a burned piece of wood covering what Gimdalf identified as the skeleton of some ancient thing that has long gone extinct. The weird thing was that a chasm had cut off part of the room but this cut was in an extremely straight line. There is a possibility that this is a small part of what used to be a rather large underground building so we decided to investigate.
*Mystery tome: a tome made of an unidentified metal inscribed with ancient texts. Identification does not work on it and it seems to have no magic of its own. It was taken from the crazy druïd in Eorls Gedreas.
Organising an exhibition and kobolds
In order to keep up Greeny's disguise as an art lady named Fiona, we decided to actually organise an art exhibition throughout the entire city. although the plan was adjusted from art everywhere to art in three important public places which will attract viewers but is also easier to monitor. This has two purposes. Firstly, that Padmor's suspicion towards us will lessen as we are still carrying on with the plan instead of disappearing like a normal swindler would. Secondly, in accordance with our deal with the guard captain, it can be used to capture some of the higher-ranked thieves in the Red Dot gang which is what we used beforehand as just an excuse.
We first went to the captain of the guard to get a permission slip. Greeny hadn't come with us the first time and had been disguised well, Therefore we introduced her as an old friend we happened to meet by chance in the city and we were just helping her out with introductions. The guard captain seemed to be very confused about what our purpose was but eventually, he caught on and gave us permission.
Our next stop was the current Baron of the city whose position the Padmore's want. We didn't have an appointment but were allowed to meet her anyway. This baron seemed like someone I shouldn't fight alone and who's way to perceptive with both lies and her environment to the point that it must be tiring. She seemed to be already aware of the exhibitions true purpose, capturing the Red Dot's, without us informing her. We did pretend not to know anything about it just to be sure. She wasn't to happy about the exhibition being exclusively about the Padmore's so we suggested she put a few nice things up as well. With that, we got her permission. As we were leaving she also caught what seemed to be an intruder who was hiding behind a curtain. Why do the Padmore's want this position? No privacy.
Now all that's left is actually organising the exhibition which we'll leave to Greeny for the most part.
To kill some time until our diamond heist, we took up a job at the Dragon's tooth quarry. We got a lift from the same guy that had brought us to the city before.
The job is to keep Kobolds from stealing the miners' equipment which has been happening nearly every night. The foreman agreed to pay each person 6 gp a day (2-day contract) with an additional 5sp and shiny rocks for each Kobold killed.
Our stakeout was a watchtower with some simple furniture. As we all needed some rest we took turns keeping watch. With Gimdalf's shift, Marshmallow spotted several moving figures which turned out to be six kobolds and two bears. Two of the kobolds could fly but honestly, I found the normal ones to be the most annoying along with a stupid bear who tried to kill me and then ran away. I even got into an argument with Gimdalf about me trying to return the 'favour' to that bear as he believed it was innocent and thus didn't need to take responsibility for its actions. Marshmallow even attacked me over it, stupid bird. I do not make Gimdalf follow my rules. what right does he have to make me follow his? Besides, what of the kobolds. How does he know they weren't innocent? He didn't ask why that took stuff. Didn't even try to find out or propose it to the foreman. Just went straight to receiving some useless shiny coins in exchange for taking intelligent life. Truly an example of a hypocritical humanoid. If something attacks me and I die that's fair but if it turns tail and runs it better runs fast because I will repay the favour. Simple as that.
Diamond heist, part 2
While Greeny was talking to sir Padmor we had the luck of a thunderstorm hitting the area which moved the conversation inside. Through some persuasion, Greeny managed to convince them to agree to the plan of organising an extravagant art exhibition to lure out the Red Dots and capture them. She even got a tour through part of the house and was informed that most of the art pieces are currently in a different mansion. It also seems that their title of Baron was taken away due to the tyrannical acts of an ancestor (Baroldor Padmor).
While Greeny was talking with him, Marshmallow went ahead and distracted the guards by playing cute. It made it much easier for me to search the house without worrying. Of course, the vault was in the last place I looked. The vault seems to be a reïnforced room with a trap wall. The Padmor diamond is likely in there. I couldn't figure out how the trap and lock work though. But at least it isn't magical.
After getting everything we wanted to know, we regrouped at the inn. Apparently, Macaroni and Gimdalf fought magical chickens that caused the thunderstorm and summoned an owl person who I'll refer to a Smore. While claiming the reward, Gimdalf stupidly blurted our plans of robbing the Padmor mansion to a random guard. So now we have agreed that decisions that could endanger the entire group, especially when it involves criminal groups, should be discussed first. We also decided that further communications with the guard captain should be held using message. This can actually be done from the entrance to the wagon maker which is a great combination cause I can shop while they work.
The captain sadly can't order the guards of the mansion to lower their guard as they are privately employed by the Padmors. But he will help us by inviting a bunch of them to dinner during the evening we want to get to work.
Notes: Apparently, Gimdalf has a problem with eating animals after killing them? It wasn't a problem with the wolfs though. The guards are also taking my advice of supervising the sewers by chaining the grates down.
Diamond heist, part 1
The Red Dot gang works fast. They informed u our target will be that Padmor Diamond. A large purple, shiny rock that is apparently worth a lot of gold.
Naturally, our first step was to gather information about this diamond and the noble family it belonged to. Most of the information is the more general knowledge to the people of this kingdom/ town.
Two generations ago, the Padmor's belonged to the rank of Baron but have declined in status since.
The diamond is often locked in a vault at the mansion in town.
Occasionally the diamond, along with some paintings, is displayed to the public. (not currently)
They have a secondary mansion several miles outside of town.
They have at least 9 private guards and two servants.
For now, our plan is for Greeny to talk her way into the mansion in disguise. Once inside I will slip out of her clothes (as a spider) and explore the mansion for the location of the diamond along with identifying security measurements. In the best-case scenario, Greeny will be able to talk sir Padmor into simply handing over his valuable possessions to her. If not, at the very least we'll be able to formulate a plan later based on the information gathered during the visit. Our current best back-up plan is to re-enter as exterminators. In that case, I'll need to run around the mansion as a rat or a mouse for a bit.
For now, Greeny (disguised) has talked her way inside the gates. Macaroni and Gimdalf are on standby outside.
During the morning, Macaroni went to the extermination service for a bit to make an inquiry about the people who had entered the sewers near the inn. Those were indeed from the service. They also told him they'd recently discovered a strange entrance in the sewers which seemed to lead into the ruins under the city. It might be a good starting point for our later investigations into the Red Dot gang.
Note: gather fancy bottles from the mansion for my soap business.
Sewers, the local highway
*NOTE: Reïnnforce wagon in case of explosions. Destil plant extracts for purer medicine components -> find someone to make tiny distilling kettle.
Success! The Red Dots took the bait and left a clue on the letter inviting us to the meeting. A blue glowing liquid (probably watered down) which turned out to be some kind of high-end gin from the local brewery. We agreed that checking this brewery out would be a good idea. Since there was the possibility of it being the centre of operation of our target the expectation was that getting in would be hard. That's why Macaroni and I went without the others in case silent conduct would be necessary.
Surprisingly, we managed to get a tour through the non-restricted areas without the secrets. I even got some ideas on how to improve the efficacy of my potions. We learned the following:
The blue-glowy liquid is 100 GP, they sell more kinds of alcohol besides this one
They have a special reinforced chamber for experiments with a loose roof
A small crate of the blue-glowy liquid was recently stolen "with no sign of break-in". Turned out they have perfectly fine access into the warehouse by sewers
The burglary may have been an inside job but the boss-lady said she has no suspects
The boss-lady is somewhat suspicious as she does have the means to hide any activity within her brewery under the guise of "trade secrets". Though I can't think of a reason she would steal her own product
I went to follow the tracks through the sewers for a bit to determine the direction. I exited the sewers as a bone spider, thinking that the sighting of a bone spider attacking civilians would certainly entice the guards to enter the sewers to eradicate the pests. This would be the safest way to get them on the right track without being seen by the Red Dots. Also, it's fun to chase humanoids around.
However, the guards were closer than I thought and quickly noticed me. I took the opportunity to lead them into an alleyway and gave them the information about the sewers likely being used as a highway straight away along with a message to the guard captain as a safety measure. In hindsight, this was probably the more reliable way, as it has been quite a while since the gang surfaced and the guards never once had the thought "They keep disappearing, you know what is a readily available network throughout the city out of our sight? The sewers!" Dear Guardian Beetle, please impart some extra brain cells to these dumb humanoids. Or at the very least teach one how to use them.
The meeting with the Red Dots was in the evening in some cramped alleyway which we scouted ahead of time. To ensure no-one would be successful at an ambush from the rooftops, Gimdalf and I stationed ourselves on a roof a little further away to avoid notice while keeping an eye out for suspicious activity through Marshmallow. Which, apparently, is a thing wizards can do. Or maybe dwarfs? Macaroni went to meet the person head-on on his own.
The proposition we made was to train their lowest and worst recruits against 25% of those peoples' loot. The person did say he (presumably male, based solely on voice) does not trust us as we may be spies sent by the guards and wants to test our skill. Though he is not wrong in thinking so, he isn't correct either. We have not struck an official deal with the guards yet and I truly do feel insulted by the low level of those robbers.
The test will involve stealing something. What this something is we've yet to find out. As we don't know if there'll be a deadline either, our plans for visiting the glowing forest have been put on hold. I expect the forest to hold many interesting ingredients and Gimdalf suspects the mysterious creature that attacked the hunters to be a misplacer beast.
Notes: Based on Gimdalf's report on a mysterious shadow leaving the meeting, I suspect this person can cast Pass without a trace along with some illusion magic they used to speak to Macaroni. If the voice was illusion magic the voice we heard may have been false.
In case we still want to work with the guards, we should probably use Macaroni's Message to avoid getting overheard and caught by the Red Dots.
Current training line-out: Divide into three groups.
-Sparkles: con-artists (impress, confuse, distract, talk them out of their possessions) Greeny is probably the best candidate to train them.
-Sneaks: pick-pockets, burglars (silent, fast, research skills, works well with the Sparkles) Macaroni or I.
-Smash-and-grab: Robbers and steamers (aggressive, fast, out in the open, requires good insight, planning, no hesitation) me, Gimdalf may be able to help though.
The strategy of being troublesome
We got a message from Dugas the Archdruïd that our reward was waiting for us at the Jafone bank. Sadly he didn't come in person or I would gladly exchange the coins for information and lessons. At the bank, we came across wanted posters for the leader of the Red Dot gang (pictureless). As the reward was no less than 2000 gp it drew my companions' interest. As such we went to the guards for information from which I surmised the following:
The Red Dot gang is an elitist group of bandits who appeared a short while ago and organised the small gangs in the city.
They gather tribute from the other gangs.
Their headquarters are supposedly in the underground ruïns.
Their extremely careful with not leaving traces and their information network moves fast.
Our current plan, courtesy of Macarony, is to make just enough of a ruckus to draw their attention and get into contact as another small gang or business partner. I personally would like to go with the excuse of educating the more pathetic gangs since we have people more capable at pickpocketing or deceiving them. This way we won't have to act like petty thieves and inconvenience the guards. We should also try to find that geltan to see if we can get into contact with those people or place ourselves in their view without animosity.
As a meantime activity, we found a group of hunters who want to pay us for escorting them through a forest in which people have been disappearing or getting heavily injured. It's a forest with many special plants which could be beneficial to my experiments.
For the longterm, Gimdalf and Macarony have been putting in the effort to pinpoint the Drow's home. It seems he's travelled quite far, all the way from a dessert inhabited by Tortles. Someone did warn us, however, that Drow are deceitful and we should not trust Pointy-ear's promises casually.
We made landing in the city Jafone, the seat of power to the king of Talamir. We got a lift from someone who gave us information on the city. Long story short, crimes are very common here as evident by the fact some pathetic amateurs tried to rob us when we were looking for an inn. Those idiots can't even keep their backs straight at the slightest setback!!! Either do your homework on your targets or be prepared to die you &$**. We let two of them go but their leader was so pathetic he couldn't even properly getaway when I let him! Therefor, Greeny and I left him with nothing but his undergarment on the street.
We found a warning note on him as well. Seems this city may have a mafia oppressing the smaller robbers.
Eventually, we found a seemingly decent inn and arranged a three-person room for the time being. If we find it crowded after the first night we can get an extra room.
I plan on going into the city later to sell the unneeded things and get myself a nice wagon to function as a lab on the road. Whether I take one pulled by goats or an ox depends on the price of what's available. I'm actually hoping for a wagon with two goats. Those are generally much better at making their way through tricky terrain's then other species.
Note: Gimdalf's progress on our deal: day 1/3
The weird greenhaired person
Since yesterday a strange parson has been following us. They have pointy ears and green hair. I have no idea why they're following. Don't even know what their name is.
Their green hair is pretty damn fascinating so I tried to figure out how she gave it that colour. She said it was dyed with a special mixture of moss and bird-poo. After some discussion, she agreed to teach me the recipes but wants a favour in return. Of course, whether this deal is finalised depends on if the recipe works.
She has a weird personality as well. When we got back to the village she kept talking to this random person and trying to convince him they'd known each other for a really long time. The reason why eludes me. At least she managed to put all potential future blame on the pharmacist and found a way to snap these braindead villagers back to reality.
I left the villagers some money to build up their village some more. If they use it well I could return for trade in the local herbs they have. Some are extremely useful for basic medicine. Moreover, the sour berries that grow in the forest make for a great seasoning.
notes: the seamstress is suspicious
Returned the Bird
We returned that stupid bird today. It's so airheaded that I doubt it would have remembered to inform its master o our deal if we just left it alone. I was thinking of simply taking a small unimportant item that would still be missed so the Druïd would ask it where it was. There was, however, a ghost or something in attendance who seemed a lot more reliable so we left a message with him.
Points to ask:
Pointers on using magic
More difficult spells
Method to longer preserve herbs
Gimdalf also needed some rare flower so we went into the giant redwood forest to find one. It was easy with the trees giving us directions. As to how to grow the flowers, the pharmacist's notes contained experiments with it so that shouldn't be too difficult. The most difficult thing seems to be getting feary fire to last long enough for it to grow properly.
Speaking of that idiot dwarf, he agreed to exchange 3 days of work in exchange for me teaching him Melf's acid arrow. I should try to figure out what other spells I could teach him. Having a worker for such a cheap price is really beneficial. Though the main driving force seemed to be the mention of me being able to make healing potions. He probably made some assumptions I shouldn't dissolve.