Last we saw the PCs, they had received word from one Lord Toven d’Cannith asking for them to come to his house to discuss the items they had retrieved for his house. While Jelly and Ulvein were researching, they found a ritual that was able to calm the malevolent energies of Xulo. Jelly feels that the ritual should hold for about a week, at least long enough for a more powerful caster in House Cannith to take over responsibility for the schemas and creation pattern. The magic book continues to be too bright to read, but definitely feels much “calmer” in energy than it has previously.
Note: We had a house guest, one Jared von Hindman, who I had play the part of Toven d’Cannith. We were already full with 6 PCs, and since Jared is pretty awesome at roleplaying, I figured it would be fun to have him play an NPC. I fully expected that the PCs would not trust Toven and probably want to kill him on sight, so putting a “human face” to Toven (rather than DM face!) made him a little more believable. Little did I know what havoc he would inspire…
The PCs argue about whether they should go meet with Toven or just ignore the request and go back to Sharn tomorrow as scheduled. Eventually, they decide they might as well go check the guy out. Toven d’Cannith’s house is in the nicest area of Stormreach and has two tiefling guards at the door:
Jelly’s player: “What are tieflings?”
Evan’s player: “People with red skin, horns & tails.”
Jared: “Victimized minorities.“
Lord Toven is sitting on his couch, enjoying a meal. His tiefling butler, Silt, stands by. Toven welcomes the PCs into his home and lets them know that he’s giving them an “opportunity” to trust him. He has a letter from Lady Elaydren requesting that he transport the schemas and creation pattern to Sharn. It would be the safest way to keep the Emerald Claw from attaining them, as they are undoubtedly trailing the PCs and wouldn’t think to trail him.
Evan examines the letter for signs of forgery while the rest of the party goes outside to discuss in private. When they return:
Toven d’Cannith: “Are you here to kill me?”
Toven d’Cannith: “Can I use the latrine first?”
Evan quietly lets Beatdown know that the letter is a forgery. Toven, sensing that he’s been outed, teleports out the window. His tieflings attack. Mid-fight, breaking glass is heard and the reinforcements arrive, including Toven, who unleashes some crazy wizardry on the adventurers. His blast hits everyone and severely injures Brick.
Brick later makes a crazy leap across the room, bouncing off the couch with a somersault and breaking the springs.
Jared: “It’s weird playing the guy whose house is getting destroyed.”
Beatdown: “Surrender Toven, or the table gets it next!”
Brick: “Yeah, we’re notorious for destroying furniture!”
In the midst of the battle, Evan and Tovan make an unholy alliance. Evan had always made it known that money was his main motivator, and it appeared Tovan’s status made him fairly wealthy. Evan sprints across the room, snatches up Tovan in his cloak and teleports away, leaving the rest of the party to finish off the tieflings.
The final tiefling assassin has a mission – to destroy the cleric Jelly at all costs. He has strapped powerful explosives to his body and with his last move, runs and tackles Jelly to the floor, exploding on her. Jelly nearly dies, Cyd is caught in the blast, and Tovan’s couch catches fire.
Jelly is healed while Beatdown fans the flames, enjoying the destruction of Tovan’s home. For some reason, even though Jelly was no longer suffering from her wounds, she still feels… off. Like something isn’t quite right.
The party searches and finds Evan a few streets away, slumped against a wall, bleeding. He tells them that he killed Tovan because he didn’t pay him and that Tovan had been working for the Emerald Claw, attempting to steal the schemas and creation pattern. There is much arguing over whether Evan can be trusted.
Cyd: “What about next time you let us try to OUTBID the guy who is trying to get you to betray us?”
In the end, Evan convinces the party to keep him around. Tovan is dead, they’ll be on their way to Sharn tomorrow to return the schemas to Lady Elaydren d’Cannith. It’s all good.
Jelly asks Lady Mellora if she can take a bath and the innkeeper gladly has a bath drawn for Jelly. After much soaking, Jelly feels a BIT better, but still off. And itchy. Kind of burning, too… right between her shoulderblades where she can’t reach to scratch it. Fang later takes a look and can’t figure it out, either. He suggests it could be fleas.
In the morning, the party goes to where the undersea ship is hiding and waiting for them. They greet Captain Byam, introduce him to Fang and explain they traded in the bard for him, and get on their way. As the 3.5 day voyage progresses, Jelly’s back becomes more and more itchy and burns something fierce. She feels as though something is changing with her skin, like something is growing.
Brick offers to lay his hands on her and see if his training in primal energies can help. When he lifts Jelly’s shirt, he sees a strange sight and describes it to Jelly. It’s the Mark of Storm, the dragonmark of House Lyrandar.
Big problem. The Mark of Storm only shows up on Khoravar. Jelly knows herself as the daughter of a human and an elf, making her a half-elf and NOT a Khoravar. In an instant, Jelly realizes that the loving people she knows as her parents are really not her blood relatives.
Meanwhile, on the boat, our rogue’s player pulls me aside and shows me some ridiculous rolls he made in an attempt to steal the schemas and creation pattern from the players while they sleep. With his already insane bonuses to stealth and thievery and the fact he rolled 2 crits, there was no way the PCs would have noticed. The only party member who kept his piece was Beatdown, who had the presence of mind to hold the bag of holding in his hands while he didn’t sleep.
The party doesn’t realize this until they’re at Lady Elaydren’s doorstep and turn to find Evan gone. They look in their bags and find their schemas and creation pattern are missing as well.
Of course, this turn of events was totally unexpected for me, too. And well, people got mad because they weren’t able to roll to see if they could protect themselves from Evan’s stealthy hands or notice that he was hiding something. *sigh* So, definitely a lack of DM-fu there, but my reasoning for letting him keep it a surprise was that his rolls were soooo high that there was no way anyone would have been able to figure it out. It was a mixed bag of a session, for sure. Really fun on the one hand. Really surprising on the other. Really frustrating on the other. (How many sides does this thing have?)
The party finds themselves again without their schemas and Evan is off to bring them to the Emerald Claw in hopes they’ll pay him handsomely for them. The rest of the party? They are pretty sure they’re going to kill Evan… if they can find him.
…but that’s a story for next time…