S1 E42: The Theatre of Mysteries
In which the gang de-escalates the fight, gains a friend and a new (criminal) family, and defeats some shadowy ghouls...
- The gang is sorely tempted to keep the fight going, but knows it will lead to more death on both sides, and the offending person has been taught his lesson. Sabian is perfectly reasonable and shows that the tussle earned his respect, to the point that he adopts them ((thanks to some timely persuasion rolls and great roleplay)). His lieutenants begrudgingly accept this, though it's likely they all had to start out at the bottom and work their way up; but his leadership is enough to keep them in line, at least for now. Zalock catches up to Minkus and recovers the strongbox, without ever really being sure if he was just getting it to safety, or trying to steal it.
- Inside "Tavagers", which was evidently the name of the Tavern though the T has been modified into an R now ("Ravagers") - the group mingles with a number of gang heavies and thugs and meets a few 'normal' patrons as well; chief among these is Sind, a Kobold roguish type with a great love of helping and healing others. They hit it off and he is welcomed into the gang. They also meet Fremont, who is an awakened cat living inside the ribcage of a skeleton which the cat evidently controls like a mech.
- Fremont gives them more information about the Pearl of Wisdom that they seek, as well as the Kenku clan called the Raven Company who have taken over the Theatre of Mysteries, and characterizes the various strange goings on there, including a poltergeist and a creature that might be a lich, but Fremont says is a rare thing called an Eye of Fear and Flame. Fremont explains these are unique undead beings that arise under conditions of cosmic disorder, and that only a handful exist; the cat's implication is that there might be some value in taking the thing alive (or undead) because of its rarity, but exactly how that translates into gold coin (or knuckles) is unclear. It turns out Fremont also makes fantastic omelets. The gang resupplies their packs and after a long rest and assurances from Sabian that their strongbox, wagon and other items are safe in his care, are on their way to the theatre. Zalock also stables his horse, noting that the stable kept by the Ravagers also contains a Llama and a Zebu.
- The Theatre of Mysteries is a large, vast ramshackle building with a sagging roof and weathered brick and wood exterior; a number of Kenku are hanging from lines and hammering replacement shingles into the roof, and mimic the hammering noises perfectly even when not hammering. They seem excited at the thought of selling tickets to their show to a more appreciative audience; the main room is filled with broken chairs and pieces of chairs that circulate like caught in a lazy breeze now, but the Kenku assure them that the audience gets very rowdy sometimes. They're currently performing a love story play that seemed difficult to explain using only their mimicked voices, but the ending - planets crashing together - is clear enough. Xi Shi is a little disappointed that they're not doing the off-Realm Broadway production of Zefferelli's Peasant Vampire. When asked about the Pearl, they refer to it as a who - a person, not an object. It appears that the Pearl of Wisdom is, specifically, one of the eyes of the Eye of Fear and Flame, and it stays in the basement.
- They head down to the basement, and in the lightless space are set upon by a group of significantly nastier-than-usual ghouls, stinking of rotten flesh and merging into the shadows. Once dispatched, the gang has the time to peruse some of the books in the library, though many of them are water damaged and have rotten away to nothing. Each person picks one out (see Rewards Granted), which confers the stated benefit for up to a month for the character that reads a given book, which can be accomplished during a a long rest.
- A door leading to some other area beckons at the east end of the south wall of the room, open just a crack.
5 books: Require one long rest to read and receive the benefit. Benefit lasts for 1 month in game, after which the book can be re-read for the benefit to be regained.
- Friar Albert's Guide to Surviving Traps: Chalk, rope, torches and a sturdy pole are your best friends. And a brain for puzzles. (+1 added to perception check searches for traps.)
- The Insatiable Saurian Slut: A lurid pornographic tale of a lusty lizardfolk maid. Evidently book 15 of 200.
- Rock Hard: The definitive guide to Dwarven culture with a focus on negotiation and diplomacy. (+1 to social reactions from all Dwarven creatures.)
- Of Fleet and Fancy: A backstage account of the production of a number of stage acts and plays, detailing the interactions between people who might be famous but who might also be completely made up. (+1 to performance checks).
- Raising the Steaks: A comprehensive guide on rearing cattle in environments that are likely to include monsters. Includes detailed and somewhat bizarre methods to scare away potential predators. (+1 to animal handling checks)