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Acquaintances, old and new

General Summary

Carta went looking for an inn, and found one close to the dock. While he soon realized it was not up to his standards, he did make a surprising discovery when he first experienced the Bard Box. On the stage was a short, heavily cloaked figure, standing next to a strong box. The box said, in fancy lettering across the top: "Bard Box - 2 cp per play". Coming from the barely exposed beak of the cloaked figure was a familiar voice, singing of their adventure in Custone. He was amazed by the box, and saw a number of slots with Sharlot's name on them, as well as other songs he knew although the artists were not familiar. He spent some coin on the box, getting a feel for it, before asking the innkeeper about it.

The innkeeper pretty quickly realized that Carta had no intention of staying with him, and the coins in the box were likely the only money he could expect. He strung Carta along for a bit, trying to extract a bribe for information about the box. In the end, Carta left with his retainers, looking for a better place to stay.

Carta eventually went to his parents house - he arrived after they had gone to sleep, so he spoke with the family butler. The butler allowed his retainers to bunk with the rest of the staff, and led Carta to his old room. While Carta objected to the room remaining as he had left it, the butler assured him that they did not need the room, and his parents wanted it always available for him. Carta asked about his siblings and parents, making sure that they were still well. After being updated and assured that they were healthy and happy, and retired for the night.

Septemra 20, 887 Af.

Durdeg and Sif awoke in Venfaren's tower, refreshed and ready for the day. Venfaren told them that he wanted to wait for the moon Nila to reach the new phase, which would be maximize the connection with Kolero. The 21st was the next appropriate day, so the two set out to explore the city. They set out, expecting that Carta would contact the tower, and they would be able to track him down from there. Their first stop was Painter's Alley, which Sif was well acquainted with and Durdeg wanted to see. He honed in on the center of the mural, having read about it and wanting to match how it appeared in his mind. Sif showed off a bit of her town, before they decided that they needed to get some shopping done now that they were in a major city. They headed to the large market in the Lake District.

Carta woke at his parent's house, and decided to spend the morning teaching Lews. He set to work with his page, doing various physically exhausting chores. His parent's house staff looked to be in actual pain watching them do the work, but they also understood some of the oddities of Carta, and stood back and watched.

Sharlot and Kasret woke relatively late, as they had become accustomed to late nights - Sharlot performing, and Kasret drinking, gambling, and generally keeping an eye on Sharlot. They had some shopping to do, as well as continuing to familiarize themselves with the massive city, and set out to take care of some business. Kasret was looking for a blacksmith, while Sharlot was looking for books, so the two split up. Kasret went to the large market in the Lake District, while Sharlot went to several locations around the city, trying to find any new information on the evil she had come across on the way.

As the groups went about their days, it so happened that what are possibly the only Bugbear and Hobgoblins on the continent were in the same market at the same time. With their size and distinct looks, it was inevitable that they would eventually cross paths, which they did when Kasret spotted the familiar red skin of a Hobgoblin. He approached, and Durdeeg was surprised by his presence, but a bit of homesickness came on and he was more than willing to talk to his fellow countryman. Sif, meanwhile, was amazed by meeting yet another sapient race that he had never heard of before (and wondered whether Venfaren knew). Sif began taking notes, her natural curiosity kicking in, and followed the two Valbarrans. The new group finished their business, and Kasret led them back to the Golden Arrow for lunch.

Carta finished his chores, and went out to the city at large. He stopped off at the tower to leave a message for Sif and Durdeg, and eventually ended up back at his parents place. There, he spent most of the day either teaching Lews or relaxing and talking with his family.

Kasret, SIf, and Durdeg made it back to the Golden Arrow, as did Sharlot. Sharlot was performing her lunch set when the others arrived, and Durdeg and Sif we're excited to have found her. When Sharlot saw them, she made sure to work in the Horde of Custone, the song about their adventure. When she finished, she joined the others, and they sat down to talk about what had occurred. Hatchets were buried, friendships were renewed, and they were ready to regroup. Sharlot mentioned that she needed to get a fitting on her new dress, and Durdeg thought getting some nice clothes would be worthwhile, so the two set out to the market in the Palace District, where the finest tailors could be found. Kasret decided to continue gambling and drinking, while Sif wanted to look for some money making opportunities while they waited for Venfaren to be ready for them.

The clothes shopping went well, with Sharlot getting a fitting on her new dresses, and Durdeg having a new suit made (he passed on the truly trendy outfit, going with a more classic look that will play well out of the city). Sif was eventually directed to the Mysterium, and found there a faculty member that had a few jobs that could be done. The sewer is always a bit of a problem, and clearing out the giant beasts that tended to get in and take up residence was always worthwhile - it is cheaper to send a few warriors down to kill off the big nasties than to keep replacing maintenance workers. He also learned of some hags causing problems on the Siverbeard River. She left, planning on heading back to Durdeg and seeing if they wanted to tackle the sewer that evening.

Carta was still looking for his companions, stopping by the tower again to leave a message. When the other four had regathered (and learned that Kasret's gambling days were over at the inn, having been caught drunkenly attempting to manipulate the cards), they agreed to head to the sewer, but wanted Carta with them. Sharlot attempt to magically send him a message, but soon learned that there were still some lingering bad feelings there when Carta did not answer. Sif realized that the most likely place to find him would be at his parent's, and led the group there. When they arrived, the rest of the group realized that Carta had grown up wealthy, living in a large house with servant's quarters (while the house would have been a mansion most places, Sif was able to point farther down the road to the homes of the truly wealthy). They convinced the butler to get Carta for them, and set off to explore the sewers.

The sewers

They eventually found a maintenance depot in the Lake District with an entrance to the sewers. They had to make a minor bribe to get in, but soon found their way in and set off to look for the alligators they had been told were present. As soon as they entered, they knew that they were going to get dirty, and were glad to have left any finer clothes behind. Sif, Sharlot, and V5 stuck to the narrow walkways on the side of thepassage, as they were the only ones small enough to walk there. Kasret jumped in the water, and even there he had to hunch slightly to fit. Carta and Durdeg also entered the water, and they started to move upstream.

As they made their way, they saw several paths leading off the main passage. These were generally smaller, so they stuck to the path they were on, reasoning that the biggest and most troublesome beasts would be unlikely to fit. With the light of the two larger moons filtering through the grates, they continued on, watching and listening carefully. Eventually, they started to see some brightly colored, glowing fungi on the walls mixing in with the green sewer moss they saw everywhere. They followed it, and at the limit of their vision they were able to see that the tunnel was choked off with dirt, and a number of mushrooms and other fungi were on the little peninsula of refuse. As they approached, the mushrooms moved, and they realized that they were dealing with mobile creatures that were not happy about others invading their territory.

They prepared for battle, as the walking mushrooms did something, causing some corpses laying there to rise up. Where the corpses came from, the party didn't know, but they could see the fungus that covered them and appeared to drive them to life. The creatures began to move their direction, quite slowly. Not waiting for them to close, the party unleashed their spells and arrows. Sif went with tried and true bolts of flame; Durdeg and Carta approached, Carta to stand athwart any attacks and Durdeg looking to try out his new piston driven fist. Sharlot and Kasret began with crossbows, Kasret showing dizzying speed as he got off three bolts in quick succession. V5 moved along the ledge, looking to close in and rip apart the attacking fungus.

As the mushrooms slowly approached, the corpses began to climb the walls, the fungus covering them letting them cling to the precarious surface. Kasret imbued his weapon with a green flame, just as the violet glowing fungus showed that it was mobile itself and attacked. He took some damge as the psuedopods touched his flesh, but he did more as the flame from his sword spread to more of the creatures. He focused on clearing those out before moving any farther. Carta was able to draw the attacks of the mushrooms that closed in, and got several blasts of spores to his face for his troubles. While he got a little woozy, and saw some interesting colors, he quickly recovered. Between Carta and Durdeg, they made quick work of the musrooms before them.

The most dangerous area of the battle fell to V5, as he was able to get to the peninsula of dirt and draw the attention of the slower moving fungi. They surrounded him and attempted to work him over, but their reliance on spores to muddle the mind of their enemies did them no good against the steel defender. With the help of Sharlot sending mocking music their way, he was able to keep them focused as Sif, Durdeg, Carta, and Kasret took out the other mushrooms, fungi, and corpses. With that done, it took little time and effort for the group to put down the last of the creatures. They searched the pile of dirt, finding a couple of other corpses that looked to have rotted too far for even the animating fungus to do anything with. Collecting the few coins still on the bodies, the group paused to take stock of where they were and what they needed to do.

Report Date
12 Oct 2020

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Cover image: by Chance Rose


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