Thrice The Brinded Cat

Inn and Out of Trouble

Moonday, Rainyday 13, CY 593

The night passed peacefully. In the morning the party let the four prisoners out of the safe room to eat, drink and use the facilities. I had slept soundly and I didn’t turn into a were-creature (let’s hear it for small miracles) but Braedon cast remove disease on me just to be safe.

During the night, Shensen made up her mind to stay with the Inn and not travel back with us to Cauldron. And then, surprise, surprise, Gerran announced he was staying as well.

We had three carts; one single horse cart and 2 double horse carts. One cart carried the dead bodies, one cart carried the prisoners, and the last cart carried the loot.

Braedon drove the cart with the prisoners and I drove the cart with bodies and the “cooler”. I wondered if you could store an ale in this thing. Karina was riding with me while Kenric is drove the single horse cart with the loot.

We were finally back on the road to Cauldron.

As we made our way down the road we passed through the low-land jungles. Late that afternoon we trundled up the road to the Cauldron gates where The Glump made Karina pay for a gate pass. I paid the ten silver.

We headed to St. Cuthbert to return the bodies and the items. It was an emotional scene. Jenya asked us to talk with her and Sir Alec T took command of the prisoners so we could speak to Jenya privately.

“I think that I am now the high priestess of Cauldron," she spoke quietly yet assuredly to us once we reached her private office upstairs.

“I am the only one now with the responsibility to deal with the flood and I don’t have the wands” .

We tell her we think they are in Cauldron. At that she looked at us sternly and asked us to track down the eight wands. Kenric tells us that he should be able to find someone to help us scry for the wands.

As we are discussing our strategy, Jenya, in a trance, walks over to the glass case in the corner of her office. She opened the small door and pulled out the Star of Justice. She held it up and started talking to it. What a strange chick. I mean, I like my axe but you won’t catch me talking to it.

Suddenly there was a voice. The damn thing talked back! Hey….maybe I should have a little chat with me axe afterall. The magical mace in Jenya’s hands spoke, “Price of light be paid, where spirits runneth over, seek ye out the fence.” We ask Jenya what it meant. She didn’t know.

After some more discussion, we tell Jenya that we had brought back the bodies of Sarcem Delasharn and his acolytes. We lead her outside to the waiting carts and she shudders when she see the bodies.

Jenya looks over Sarcem’s body and his possessions. She picked up the mace and mused, “This is the symbol of office for the high priest or priestess of St. Cuthbert in Cauldron. I will keep this, but I give Braedon his suit of mail armor and I give his ring to Braenna.”

The necklace on a silver chain went to Listens to Wind and she pulled out a blue pearl from Sarcem’s pocket and gave it to Kenric. Jenya then turned to me and told me to keep her apprised of how we are doing on our task.

As we are about to leave, Kenric told her of the two amulets we had found on Tongueater. Kenric and Jenya looked at the amulets and she agreed they were they symbols of the three evil gods, Hextor, Vecna and Erythnul. Jenya asked if she could keep one of the amulets to study and Kenric agreed.

Meanwhile Sir Alec Tercival took our prisoners to City Hall. Listens to Wind went to the guard house to check on the prisoners. Once there he was told the prisoners were being processed. Listens to Wind asked one of the prison guards if he could speak to the female Alleybasher, Ildawind. The guard wasn’t too sure that was a good idea but pointed across the hall to where Teerson Skellerang and Alec were talking.

Skellerang and Alec looked up at the guards movement and then called Listens to Wind over. Skellerang told him the trial would be held the following morning and told him to make sure Gerran and the rest of the Moonhowlers to be there. He thought it might be a tough case to win and that we were going up in front of the Honorable Judge Velvian Drace and that she was a real softy toward defendants. Listens to Wind gave Skellerang the details of what happened at the inn and that Gerran wouldn’t be joining us. Skellerang warned that Braedon, or whomever the chose to present the prosecution, needed to be on their toes!

At that moment, the prisoner enter the hall, surrounded by guards. They do not look happy as they are led in chains down into the jail below City Hall. Skellerang motions to LTW and Tercival to accompany him as he continues the conversation while following the guards and prisoners down the stairs.

It turns out that level one and two were both now full and level three of the prison was half full. The jail levels were loud now, too. Filled to capacity, the prisoners in the top two floors shouted, cried, hooted, yelled, screamed, mumbled and hissed creating a mad cacophony of sounds and a less than pleasant smell. Listens found out that when Triel was imprisoned here she was kept on level one and in cell fourteen. Skellerang told him that Private Benjamin was on duty at the time of her mysterious escape.

The prisoners were put in single cells and locked in. Listens to Wind offered the Ildawind some food but she refused. Listens then offered the food to the male Alleybasher. He took it and said his name was Lackus.

LTW questioned Lackus for quite some time, but he didn’t get very much information out of him. He was being very evasive. At one point Lackus said something very odd: “They got the ghost.” It didn’t make much sense, however Listens did learn that Triel is a follower of Hextor.

Next, Listens to Wind talked with one of the Sule tribesman. He demanded to know why he was working with Triel. The tribesman indicated it gave him a chance to work with the great one, Tongueater – blech.

We took the rest of the bodies to the temple of Wee Jas. It was dusk and it was still raining hard. We noticed the Lake had risen five feet since we were last there. Braedon knew from past experience the front door of Wee Jas was not the way to go in. Kenric decided we should knock on the front door anyway, just to get the full flavor of the place. Eventually a creepy, pale woman opened the door. She said nothing. She ushered us to go inside. I decided to stay back holding open the door so I could watch the loot but keep an eye on my friends. This place was icky.

Eventually a very concerned Ike Iverson showed up. He was dressed in red, as always and he was smiling and animated, as always. He approached Braedon and shook his hand and then Braedon explained what had happened. Ike Iverson was mortified and said a prayer for his friend, Sarcem Delesharn. There were twenty-eight bodies, we told him, not just the one belonging to Sarcem. We told him we had to burn the body of the were-baboon and he was ok with that. But he was very concerned the other bodies were left behind. Braeden asked if the church of Wee Jas could inform the next of kin. Ike told us the bodies we brought him would lie in state until all possible identification could be made.

Then he then did a blessing of Wee Jas on us. I do not like this. Braeden then asked if Wee Jas could return the horses and the cart to the livery and he agreed.

It was getting late in the day so we then took the cart with the loot to the shrine of Pelor. We unloaded the cart into the church, left the empty cart there and returned the horses to the livery. While unloading the cart I sent word to Gerran’s mom to let her know that Gerran was safe and he was at the Lucky Monkey.

There was an odd group at the church. Kristof was entertaining three very unlikely people: Sasha, ceCeleste, and The Adder.

Braedon went to talk to Kristof but they started asking him questions instead, “We heard you had to go to Sasserine to help out High Priest Delasharn.”

We told them it was only halfway to Sasserine and that Sarcem was dead, but the Moonhowlers were all safe. Sasha hugged Kenric and told him they needed to talk. He stepped aside and asked to speak to Celeste, instead. Ouch! Sasha pleaded with Kenric and told him she thought they were in trouble; that the Academy wanted a hearing with all of the Cannons to go over the incident in Weir’s room. She told him they had been looking for Kenric and they wanted him to report back to the Academy whenever possible.

Kenric then walked over to talk to Celeste. He told her what had happened and asked if Meerthan was in town. Celeste told him that Meerthan and the twins had left town, again. Kenric said he needs to speak to the Striders. He showed her the amulet and gave it to her to study. He then asked for her to help with finding the wands.

Celeste agreed and took him over to the church pews to prepare her casting. She dug through her belongings and found the scroll she was looking for – a spell to locate a control water wand. She said she would only be able to find the nearest one so it may not be one in Triel’s possession, but since any control water wand would do, that wouldn’t necessarily matter.

Celeste reads the scroll and casts the spell. After a moment she says she sees it about 400 yards down and to the west. It is in a small bedroom with stone basalt walls, floor and ceiling. She says its behind a book case. As she is watching through the spell, she says a large spider scuttled into the room. The stonework looked dwarvish but it also looked like the stone was melted.

The Adder chatted with Listens to Wind. He tried to convince him to go with him to great city of Greyhawk, far to the north, to attend a massive fighting tournament. Listens to Wind sadly declined and so The Adder said his goodbyes and leaves. LTW is sad and tells everyone he is headed to the Tipped Tankard to find the Glump.

When LTW gets to the front door of the bustling tavern, he looks up at the sign and realizes it is a picture of a beer stein that is tipped with alcohol coming out. In dawns on him that this is the second line of the prophesy we heard from the Star of Justice earlier today: “…where spirits runneth over..” He went inside and met up with the Glump and bought him a drink.

He asked The Glump about the prophecy and he tells LTW that there is a fence in the Tipped Tankard. His name was Artus Shemwick and he was currently working in the kitchen. The Glump busted him years ago and now he plays informant to Justin’s patrol.

Listens then headed out to find the Moonhowlers and Justin. Once the fence was identified Braedon recognized him as the person who tried to sell him a gate pass a few seasons ago. Braedon then went to set up a meeting with the fence at the Lakeside Pavilion at midnight. Listens to Wind planned to follow him in hiding so Kenric cast dark vision on LTW to make it easier to track the fence. LTW hid in darkened alleys and behind bushes as he watched the tavern. Eventually Braedon exited the Tipped Tankard and LTW called him over to his hiding place. Braedon told him that the meeting was set for midnight, which was still a few hours off, so Braedon went back to the Pelor shrine to wait. LTW continued his watch on the Tipped Tankard.

Around midnight, Kenric and Karina headed down to the Pavilion to hide nearby. They chose Weer’s burnt out house to hide in because it afforded a great view of the Pavillion.

Just before midnight, Listens to Wind saw Shemwick leave the Tipped Tankard and headed to the Pavilion. LTW followed him in secret and then hid across the street once Shemwick reached the Pavillion. It was very dark and very rainy. Finally Braedon showed up. Hopefully Shemick hadn’t seen any of the other Moonhowlers and thought he and Braedon were alone. The Moonhowlers were ready to take action should Shemwick try anything funny.

Shemwick asked Braedon what he was in the market for. Braedon told him he was looking for information about some stolen wands that could control water. Shemwick said he had information but it would cost him – and it wouldn’t be cheap. Braedon asked how much and Shemwick said it would cost him at least 500 gold coin because this was dangerous information. Braedon said he didn’t have the coin on him but could get it (it was with me back at Pelor’s). Shemwick gave him one hour and if Braedon hadn’t returned with the money by then he would just leave.

After Braedon left, Shemwick moved to a darken archway across the street where he could see if anyone else was watching him. He waited for a few minutes before walking back to the Pavilion.

Braedon and I had a bit of an argument about taking 500 gold coin from our party stash. We didn’t have much and this would make a big dent in our funds. Eventually I forked over the gold and Braedon left back into the rainy night.

Braedon made it back to the Pavilion in about fifteen minutes. Shemwick approached him and began asking for twenty to fifty coin for each piece of information he gave. I wasn’t there, but I wrote down what Braedon related to me. Braedon ended up spending all of those five hundred gold coins too! Crap!

Okay, here’s the basic of what we gleaned from Shemwick the Fence:

“We used to have more than four churches in town. We used to have a church to the Champion of Evil. Uh huh, you know it…Hextor. Bet cha didn’t know that. The place was located in the basement of Beetix Manor before the sudden “tragedy” with Lord Adal and Lady Selai.

“A woman named Grehlia Cairnis was their high priestess. She had a congregation of about fifty of our fine Cauldronites. Imagine that! Fifty of the good people we live with worshipin’ ”/campaign/moscowscap/wikis/hextor" class=“wiki-page-link”> The Scourge! Well, they took care to meet in secret, of course. But Artus, he finds out these things eventually.

(Breanna’s note: Geesh, this guy is full of himself.)

“The Hextorites worshipped there for a few years, but one day Grehlia comes back from a trip to Sasserine and she’s brought a couple of friends back with her, you see? But they weren’t no worshippers of Hextor. One of em was a believer of Erythnul, a gnoll that went by the name Tarkilar.

The other was a dirty little Halfling wizard, goes by the name Skaven Undermead and even though he was a wizard, he said he actually worshipped the Maimed One – the Arch Lich Vecna!

Grehlia snuck ’em into town and hid them down in Beetix Manor and before long we had a new church in town – they called themselves the Ebon Triad! Those three, the woman, the gnoll and the Halfling said that each of their chosen gods had inherent flaws, but by combining the strengths of each, they felt they could summon forth something perfect. Perfectly foul and evil, that is. And they called it the Overgod.

Now I’m not quite sure what happened, but it must have been a few years ago now. A mysterious group shows up in Cauldron, calling themselves The Cagers, or something like that. Don’t know nothin’ more about them and don’t want to. Them priests of Pelor got too close when they started askin’ questions about those Cagers and now look at ‘em. Feedin’ the worms, they are.

(Breanna’s note: He’s quite the sympathizer, too.)

Anyway, they approached Grehlia and says they needed her to work for them building something. One of my sources saw her once on the outskirts of Sasserine working with a fire giant, if you can believe that! She started working with these new guys more and more until just a few months ago and she just up and left, leaving her Ebon Triad friends hangin out there! It aint a real Triad you know if there are only two of you!

(Breanna’s note: Oooh….witty. Not.)

So’s Tarkilar and Skaven, theys put the word out on the streets that they be lookin’ for a priest of Hextor who understands the weaknesses in the faith and might wants to improve upon it. I’m not sayin’ I had anything to do with that. I just deal in info, man. I’ve got no aspirations for the higher powers.

(Breanna’s note: I’m thinkin I could aspirate this guy right about now.)

Well, my sources tell me they finally found someone. And you’re not gonna believe who it was! Remember that young guardswoman about ten years ago who took a shot at our own Lord Mayor? Ya, Triel Eldurast, that’s her. Well, what some a yous don’t remember is she was taken down by none other than that famous pair from the group Greyman’s Marche, Terrak and Jaila Beetix – brother and sister-in-law to the afore-mentioned Lord Adal and Lady Selai Beetix! Uncle and Aunt to our dearly beloved Lady Adel Beetix III! Your head spinning yet? Well, it gets better.

(Breanna’s note: Ya, we’re all ears. I want my money back.)

The poison that was supposed to go into our shiny, happy Mayor, ended up getting stuck into them heroes from Greyman’s Marche – and they died! Not only that, only three weeks later Triel becomes the first prisoner, EVER, to bust outta our town jail. What I wouldn’t give to figure out how she done that!

Apparently she never actually left Cauldron. She existed somehow, right under our noses. But she surfaced and joined that Triad. Now she’s getting sloppy and she’s been ID’d. People been seein her. Seems when Grehlia left she also made off with all the money those Ebon cultists had. Yep, they were flat broke. So’s when Triel joined up, first thing she did was set about increasing their cash flows.

It’s public knowledge that Cuthbert’s the only one believing in the Flood these days. Whole city knew it when Sarcem went to Sasserine last summer to dig up some wands. Seems he had trouble convincing them churches up there to help out. In the end, High Priestess Gosalar of the Church of Valinor, those Fharlanghn’s and them wizards at the Seeker Lodge in Sasserine helped him out and he came riding back with eight of them.

Triel’s man is a nasty half-orc by the name of Tongueater. He follows her around like a little lost puppy. In turn, he’s tamed a bunch of baboons from the jungle. Makes quite a site to see them wandering about – er…not that I’ve actually seen them.

(Breanna’s note: Why am I having trouble believing this?)

Anyway, she sets Tongueater and his baboons up with one of the local headhunter tribes – those Metechlan bastards and sets them all to watching the Lucky Monkey just waiting for Delasharn to return.

While they was watching the Inn, Triel went about town trying to recruit anyone who would work for her on a promise and a smile. Wasn’t hard. Alleybashers lost their leader a few months ago and got run out of their old hideout. She scooped them up pretty quick.

Finally Delesharn got his eight wands and came back to Cauldron last week, stopping at the Lucky Monkey for the night. ’Cept it wasn’t that lucky for him, now was it? Place is probably only lucky for monkeys.

(Breanna’s note: I got yer luck right here, pal.)

Anyway, Triel got his wands and is now back in town and she’s willing to sell to the highest bidder. And I got a problem with that. Seems she forgot one thing. Me. I’m the fence in this town. You want to move merchandise, you gotta go through me. Everyone knows that.

So, nows I’m gonna give her up. Hope you find her and toss her back in jail. Maybe this time she’ll stay there. She and her goons have taken over a bunch of old kopru ruins under the city. You wanna know how to get there? You know that young lad, Private Krewis? He used to be with the Glump’s boys. Now he’s moved over to Wall with Two-buckles. Ask him. He’ll be tickled pink you asked.

Braeden knows they Kopru are an aquatic race. It is said they lived in lakes and streams of the jungle. They predate the humans being in the area.

Tomorrow I will work on cleaning up one of the long sword for Kenric.

Kenric, Listens to WindListens to Wind and BraedenBraeden head back to the Church of Pelor.
Braedon lets Kristoph know that we have a lead on the wand. We decide to also store the wine at the church. We store 44 bottles of wine.

Meanwhile back at the ranch (The Lucky Monkey). Gerran was working with Shensen to clean up the inn. Their hard work made it so the Inn was at least livable.

Meanwhile back at the Lucky Monkey…. Gerran and the Drow work to clean the Inn and getting the shrine back together. Gerron inquires if she has been to Caldron. She indicated she left a year and a half ago. She was not accepted in the city. She had dreams of finding a man in a blue vault. She believed it was Tyro. All great cities are in vaults. At the time she had not realize what a sky was. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.

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