L'lanon

Clarion's Secret (Partially) Revealed

The following day, Marda returns to town to hear from various members of PETA-MOO rumblings of people hunting hoar foxes. Marda is very deeply upset that people would dare kill such beautiful creatures; she comes into the office, venting out loud. Everyone ignores her, although the sound of lock clicking comes distinctly from Nen’s door. Yish excuses himself from yesterday, citing a solitary jam poetry session.

When Yish asks for more jobs, Nen replies that there are no more jobs, for other teams had taken care of the ones mentioned earlier. He also notes that the hyena job seems to have been a joke. Nen points out that the team that had taken that job is in the common area. Yish comes out of the office, tells his team that they should go home for the day, but then says “just kidding.”

Yish asks Marda if Sif has had puppies. She has not. Yish then asks Clarion if any progress has been made regarding research on the gems. Clarion reminds the party that they had been teleported by the blue gem and suggests that they spend the day threatening each other (the party thinks that the gem activates when the owner is in danger). But Clarion attempts to blindly activate the gem by smacking it against the wall. This results in a mishap, and Clarion gets hurt. Marda heals Clarion.

Meanwhile, Hnng stays in his office. Lilith is shaking a file in the air (maybe she’s filing her ghosts’ fingernails?).

Clarion suggests further investigation with the gem by putting someone in danger. Leaf is willing to put someone in danger. While Clarion is not keen on the idea of being put in danger of Leaf, Lilith doesn’t seem to mind.

Yish has a hunch that As You Wish might have information on the tentacle portal into which Vallan Dallinheart was pulled in. Hnng is somewhat embarrassed about the party going there, so he reveals that he recognized the tentacles as having come from a Roper. He knows that they are not used for pleasure (they tend to kill). So Yish orders Hnng to go to As You Wish by himself to find out more about the Roper.

Hnng goes home to change into proper attire, puts on a cloak to cover his attire, and then goes to As You Wish. He is greeted by name by a human girl wearing tight leather and much makeup. Hnng asks about the tentacles specialist; the girl responds that the tentacle specialist is out getting more wares, expected to return in an hour. Hnng decides to take advantage of this time.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party are sitting at the office, wondering what has happened to Hnng and his mission. After an hour, Yish gets rather worried and decides it is time to check up on Hnng. At this point, Clarion comes back upstairs and announces that Vallan is in good condition. Yish is very confused about how Clarion would know such information. Thus, Clarion reveals that she has had contact with demons. She further reveals that she has a non-disclosure agreement with them.

Clarion then explains that the devil network uses a blood circle communication system. Clarion then offers to get Yish set up with a contract. She explains that the price of the blood is not the payment; it’s just for initiating the connection. The charge is actually portions of your soul. In any case, Yish manages to figure out that Clarion’s NDA deals with the red gem. Clarion also admits that she doesn’t know anything about the red-garbed people. Yish then tries to use diplomacy to wheedle information out of Clarion, but Clarion’s understanding of the consequences for breaking her NDA prevents her from saying anything that would satisfy Yish.

All this time, Marda, has been ranting about the hoar fox. Yish brings a tranquilizing potion up to Marda and attempts to force her to drink it with magic. Marda’s will is too strong for Yish’s magic; Marda then throws the potion back at Yish and is very upset.

Finally, Hnng meets with the tentacle expert. The expert reveals that Raginmar would know more about Ropers. The expert suggests hiring a wizard to summon Raginmar. Hnng thinks of going to the succubus den to get contact with Raginmar (although Hnng has had a negative history with the succubus den). Hnng goes home, puts on a disguise, realizes along the way how bad his disguise is, and then returns home to put on his uniform and get back to the office.

When Hnng arrives at the office, Yish demands answers out of him. Hnng reveals Raginmar, and Clarion gives him a call. The call connects, and Yish asks questions trying to understand the situation. It becomes apparent that Raginmar is a seller of Ropers and other exotic monsters. Marda begins wondering whether Ropers have rights. Hnng wants to do business. Raginmar divulges that he sold a Roper to a red-robed demon 30 years ago.

Clarion spends the rest of the day building a metal stock for her crossbow. Yish goes to the Grog ‘n Coffee and asks about the Princess. The locals tell him that she runs away frequently, so news of her disappearance is not shocking; they expect her to reappear within a week. Moreover, Yish learns that the Princess is not the daughter of the current king; in fact, the current king is a usurper. As Yish enquires further concerning the past king, he meets closed lips.

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Hoar Fox Pelts

The party come back to the office the following morning. Yish and Marda are missing. Perhaps Marda is recovering emotionally after slaughtering so many rats the day before.

Hnng grumpily goes to Nen for ideas on what to do, since Yish is not there. Lilith and Clarion are not happy that Hnng seems to have taken charge but take glee in how grumpy he seems to be. Clarion tries to flirt with Hnng; Lilith and Hnng get into an argument about insufferability, but this quickly escalates to Hnng yelling at Lilith that he has an above average sized penis. Hnng then storms into his office.

Nen uncomfortably clears his throat, hands Clarion a sheet of paper he pulled off the bulletin board, and quickly bolts his office door behind him. Hnng continues to steam about having been covered in flour and rat guts, wrathfully swearing to kick Yish “in his inferior balls”.

A local clothier wants the skin of a hoar fox, which is a protected animal in the area. While not necessarily illegal to hunt this creature, the local population is interested in protecting them. While Marda would immediately reject such a job, she’s not here today. Clarion and Lilith immediately ask how much the job is worth. Apparently, the asking price for the pelt is 200 gold pieces (although a portion goes to the company for having provided the job).

10 or 15 minutes later, Hnng steps back out of his office wondering where Nen’s job was. Nen informs Hnng that Clarion went off with Lilith and Leaf to hunt a hoar fox. Hnng gets very excited about the chance to tattle. Hnng goes off to a public space and stands atop a fountain, clamoring for attention.

“There is an evil, malicious group of people hunting hoar foxes for gold”, Hnng yells out into the crowd. Most ignore Hnng, but seven onlookers are convinced to follow his crusade against the hoar fox killers. When Hnng realizes that people are actually listening to him, he is immediately filled with regret, realizes that he doesn’t know where the others went, and tries to run away from the situation. Although he gets back to the office, three of the followers manage to tag him back to the office. Since Hnng beelined for his office, Nen had to deal with the followers. Nen, totally fed up with Hnng, retreats back to his office without a word to Hnng.

Meanwhile, Leaf uses his knowledge of nature to find a nest. There are no hoar foxes at the moment, but Clarion sets up a few traps. After an hour, three hoar foxes come back. Although one of them feels that something is not right, two of them stumble into the traps. The perceptive one runs off, presumably to go get others. One of the trapped ones falls unconscious from the force of the trap. The other is still conscious, struggling against the trap. As Clarion approaches to deal a finishing blow, it tries to blast her with a cone of cold. The fox completely misses with that attack, but it does bite Clarion before getting its throat slit. Clarion then extracts the corpses from the traps, and the group returns to the office.

The party decides to consult Nen on how to properly skin the creatures. As the party approaches the office, they find that a group of five people are picketing, with signs that say “Save the foxes”. Leaf intimidates the crowd out of the way. The party passes as the crowd cowers away from Leaf. As they enter the office, Lilith and Leaf notice that one of the picketers is following them. As Lilith turns around to ask if the picketer needs anything, he scampers away in fear that Leaf might also turn around.

The party finds Nen at the office and inform him of the picketers. He tells them that he already knows, which puzzles Lilith, Clarion, and Leaf. Of course, they suspect that Hnng might be behind this, since Nen didn’t want to talk about him. The three of them make off with 100 gold pieces each and call it a good day.

Perhaps the events of this day will lead to the actual government protection of hoar foxes.

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Rats in the Sewer, Part 4

Despite Hnng grappling with rats only seconds ago, he decides to give up fighting. He chooses not even to attempt to defend himself. In fact, he holds out his fingers for the rats to bite (but they seem unable to hit him).

After defeating this wave of rats, Clarion suddenly disappeared. In the confusion caused by this, all of the party members began to scream out in tongues. This seemed to have had an effect, since Clarion suddenly reappeared, although she looked unusually cutsy after her reappearance.

The party continues to speak in tongues, but they also move forward through the tunnels, encountering more rats. Because Hnng has been stubbornly refusing to participate in combat, Yish dumps one pound of flour on him. Hnng, now covered in flour stuck to the rat guts and sewer muck already on him, coughs the dust out of his airway but refuses to react otherwise.

One of the rats utterly fails at attacking Leaf and instead bites another rat, already damaged, killing it. The party chooses to name this killer “Leaf Jr.” Yish, tired of beating on rats, bull rushed Leaf into the rat. Leaf Jr. was smooshed by Leaf as he attempted to gain his balance from the sudden shove. After this point, the party checks back on the poisoned meats they had left, which amounted to 13 more dead rats.

After a rest, the party wakes up feeling a little more powerful than before.

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Rats in the Sewer, Part 3

Hnng attempted to grapple a rat. It escaped rather quickly.

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Rats in the Sewer Part 2

After Hnng’s spectacular shot into the dark, he becomes so upset that he storms off. Yish follows after him. As their fighting shouts echo down the sewers, the other party members choose to move forward. While engaging the rats, they lay out more poisoned meat.

Turning down into an opening, Clarion notices some rats down a corridor. Notifying the others, she shoots down the corridor (although she misses). Leaf blindly moves down the corridor to find himself surrounded by rats in the room a the end. Suffering many bites, Leaf retreats as he calls upon healing judgment to help recuperate from his wounds. Marda, Clarion, and Lilith finally make their way down the hall (Leaf moves significantly faster than the others).

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Rats in the Sewers Part 1

Sif is in the stables at Lilith’s father’s mansion, and Marda tells her to stay there. Lilith’s servants will feed her while the others go to work.

When they arrive at work, Nen informs them that in addition to the jobs they already have, the government has posted a job. The sewers are currently infested with huge nests of rats that need to be dealt with. 5 silver per tail. Marda is immediately refusing to hunt animals, but Yish manages to convince him the rats had overpopulated. Yish tells Leaf to go get Hnng and Leaf literally picks him up and takes him back, much to his disgust.

When Nen is out of earshot, Yish voices his suspicion that the government put them on this job. But still, the party begins deliberating on how to kill the rats. They decide to poison a bunch of beef jerky and litter it in the sewer.

They head to the sewer entrance and get down into the tunnel. Three of the rats start feeding on the jerky they threw and Leaf kills another with his axe. Unfortunately, he then proceeds to fumble and drop it.

Some of these rats are rabid. Yish kills a rabid rat with his crossbow, and Lilith attempts, but misses and is bit by the rat. One of the eating rats notices her presence and bites her as well.
After a battle in which the party emerges the victor, they litter the tunnel with poisonous jerky and move on. In the next tunnel, as the party begins to fight, Hnng wants to be as useless as possible and so he fires a bolt into empty darkness. He hears a squeal and sighs.

“Shit,” he says.

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Sif the Dire Wolf, Part 2

Clarion becomes sick and so takes the day off.

Hnng speaks to Nen, asking whether the man left any contact information. Nen says that the man did not leave any information. Hnng wants to see if the man has any documentation for ownership. Since the man lives out in the wilderness, Hnng reasons that the man must not have any ownership documentation. Hnng agrees that it would be fine to murder the man if the murder were to occur in the wilderness, but he doesn’t want to have any part in it. Leaf is very enthusiastic about supporting the murder plan.

Nen reminds the party that the man has another dire wolf. Since the man is a tracker, it seems likely that the man would track down Sif. Yish Garj announce reconvening in the company pantry, since Nen does not seem interested in listening to his employees plan murder. Marda doesn’t want to reveal her place to the others, but it seems that this is the best way to let Sif know about the man and the other dire wolf. Leaf suggests taking a roundabout way to Marda’s place in order to cover their tracks.

The party walks into a grove within the forest. There are literally hundreds of huts of animals and critters - like Fluttershy’s little haven; not quite like the 100 acre wood. Marda reveals that she’s been building homes for animals she’s rescued from extermination jobs. Sif is asleep in a side-hut (she’s one of the only carnivorous animals in the grove). As Lilith approaches, several of the thatched roofs fall in; Yish wonders whether Leaf has been stomping too hard. At least the huts that caved in were vacant. Sif probably hasn’t eaten any of the animals, since Marda fed her earlier.

Marda approaches Sif with the intent to gently awaken her. But Sif immediately opens her eyes as Marda approaches, although she doesn’t move. Marda informs Sif about the man and the dire wolf, which causes her to become terrified. Before Sif bolts, Marda reassures her that they will protect her. In any case, it is clear that Sif does not think of the man and the dire wolf as friends. Yish and Lilith think that it might be best to exercise diplomacy with the man. They might even purchase Sif from the man. Hnng suggests slaughtering Sif and selling the meat, which the rest of the party adamantly refuses. The party decides it would be best to take Sif out from Marda’s haven.

The party retraces their steps and covers their tracks; halfway to town, they branch off toward Leaf’s place. Hnng fantasizes about having magical pornography that he can view without others seeing it, but then he finds it amusing that Leaf might be interested in his magical toy. Leaf’s house is a little 20 foot diameter clearing surrounded by trees with a little water trickling through it. The party then debates on how to handle the man and his dire wolf. They decide that plan A is to try diplomacy: offer to pay for Sif. Plan B is to try pulling spooky shenanigans. Hnng is ordered to remain silent but to pay close attention in case the man reveals something that might be incriminating.

The party now considers how they will hide Sif. She is rather large, after all. So Yish decides not to hide Sif.

Leaf alarms the clearing so that the party will know when someone else enters the clearing. After some time, Sif’s ears twitch and she takes a menacing stance in a certain direction. The others look in that direction. Another dire wolf with dark grey fur comes sniffing into the clearing. The alarm goes off, and the dire wolf bounds back into the forest.

A minute or two later, a man clad in animals skins held together by animal teeth walks into the clearing; the dire wolf does not follow him. Sif growls at him. “You have my wolf,” declares the man. Yish and Lilith confront the man. In the exchange, it becomes apparent that the man doesn’t care about Sif’s feelings. He says that Sif has been useful for his hunting; moreover, he has trained her since she was very young, so he demands her to be returned. Lilith asks how much Sif is worth to the man. The man replies that he needs Sif more than gold. Lilith very persuasively asks the man why he feels that way. The man reveals that Sif is pregnant; presumably he wants the baby dire wolf (he thinks that the party members are rather stupid for having not noticed Sif’s pregnancy). Lilith then asks what his name is. The man’s name is Rudolf. As the party giggles (the man doesn’t seem quite so intimidating now), Yish and Lilith deliver a Jeff Winger style speech (or Ash Kechum speech) to attempt to convince him that he should try to raise wolves that truly love him and that the effort would be more gratifying than harming him. The man responds that they can keep Sif but that he wants the pup. Yish and Lilith agree to give the man the pup of his choosing when the litter is born (there are four to six per litter). The man promises to find them when the pups are born. He insinuates that he is going to stalk them.

At this point, Sif yelps and leaps forward, since the other dire wolf had snuck up on all of them without their notice. Yish intimidates Rudolf into not stalking them, but Rudolf will check in at the office. Rudolf leaves the clearing with his dire wolf. The party then quickly departs.

The party decides that it would be best to take Sif to Lilith’s father’s mansion, where they can take care of her in the stables. Marda communicates to Sif that they are taking her to a safe place and that they will not give the pups to the man. The city guards stare a little at the party and Sif entering the city gates, but they do nothing more. Hnng departs home. Marda and Yish crash Lilith’s place. After Marda makes sure Sif is accommodated for, she goes back to the haven to fix the caved in huts.

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Sif the Dire Wolf, Part 1

Everyone wakes up and goes into work. Yish would like to play minesweeper today. But then again, he decides to hand in the other jobs to get a new set of jobs (and let other teams take care of them, since he feels that it would be best to distribute time sensitive tasks so that they get done as soon as possible—-he doesn’t want any more young women getting kidnapped). There is a new rule for the group: in combat, everyone is to stand at least 10 feet away from Leaf.

The party decides to take the dire wolf job (the dire wolf was spotted outside of town; while reported by common citizen, the government would pay for the job, since this would fall under the public safety of the city). Clarion finishes building a bear trap. Yish warns the party that the dire wolf is very strong and perceptive. The party deliberates how best to handle the situation. At least Clarion has a slab of raw meat as bait. Maybe drug the meat? Well, the drugs seem to be too expensive, so Marda is going to try to talk with the dire wolf.

The party decides to set up the trap behind the dire wolf and lead it back to the trap, if necessary. Hnng decides to start screaming for whatever reason, which causes the dire wolf to move faster. As the party approaches some rocks, Lilith and Yish notice that the dire wolf is hiding behind them. Marda attempts to speak with it, but the dire wolf is not trusting. Marda then casts calm animal. The dire wolf comes out of cover. It then becomes apparent that the dire wolf is scarred and matted with blood. Marda offers the slab of meat. The dire wolf accepts the meat, but steps back. Marda steps up and pets the beast, and it accepts. Marda and the dire wolf then have a very short conversation wherein Marda discovers that the dire wolf’s name is Sif and that she wants protection from her previous owner. As Marda asks where the previous owner is, she exhausts her ability to speak with animal for the day, but she does understand that the previous owner must have come from the forests two days west.

The party decides to return to town. Sif follows. She stays close to Marda and tries to avoid the others. As the calm animal effect wears off, Sif gets even more nervous at the others. Noting this, Marda decides that it would be best not to take Sif into the city. She dismisses the others and stays with Sif. Yish orders Leaf (who sleeps out in the woods anyway) to be alert for screams in the middle of the night.

The party without Marda then report to Nen, informing him that they have calmed the dire wolf and that they are continuing the job. While the party is in the office, Marda unexpectedly shows up and reports that the job is done. Nen pays (14 silver pieces per person) as everyone is curious about how Marda has taken care of Sif. Marda doesn’t answer any curious stares but does mention that Sif might be joining them at a later date.

VERMIN purchases Clarion’s traps at 75% market value. Policy is that company traps can be used at any time but must be returned. If damaged, the user must pay 100% market value for the trap.

The party splits up for the day. Hnng is upset that there was so much planning and not enough action. In any case, the day ends.

The next day, Nen has a question for Marda: “What happened to the wolf?” Marda answers that it was taken care of. Nen then informs her that someone had come into the office looking for a wolf, claiming to be the owner. Marda then shares with Nen that Sif does not want to go back; Nen then apologizes that he had told the man that the Yish party had the wolf. But the man promised to return today. Besides Lilith, everyone else is in the office and overhears the conversation.

The party begins plotting how to ambush the man. Hnng is concerned that using a bear trap on a human might be a problem with the law. Clarion suggests giving the man gloves of fumbling and let him hold the bear trap. Yish suggests that they ought to hand the man over to Sif. But Marda is concerned about Sif’s fear of the man.

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Two Jobs in One Day

The party arrives at work. Hnng is waiting for orders. Voting was cast for taking care of the wizard’s construct and for the lesser demon. Yish is hesitant mostly because he almost died yesterday from some creature with a trident. He also felt somewhat bad for the girl getting captured and so was leaning towards jobs that seemed more time sensitive. But someone pointed out that as a result of the kidnapping, the job was paid better. At this, Yish thought it might be better to go kidnap people to increase profit. In any case, Yish decided that taking care of the lesser demon might be the best course of action:

“Someone dropped off a note about a lesser demon causing trouble in the lower town. It’s been quarantined but needs to be dealt with.”

Whatever “quarantined” means.

The party chooses to study lore on the lesser demon. It is a quasit. Yish reads out loud from the book. He notes that it can go invisible and shapeshift, which seems problematic. Of course, it weighs 8 pounds; maybe the party can handle it.

The party arrives at the address in the note. It’s a basement apartment off an alleyway. Yish knocks on the door. A slight fluttering is heard from inside (Yish concludes that it must be an f-ing demon). Hnng checks the door to see if it is unlocked; the door swings open. The rest of the party quickly enters the room. Clarion shuts the door behind her to prevent the demon from flying out.

There are books and scrolls all over the room. The table holds alchemy tools; a bookcase has smashed jars that may once have contained magical components. Hnng reads the glyphs on the floor and recognizes it as a magic circle for summoning demons. There is a corpse leaning upon a table with congealed blood. It’s very dead.

As the party discusses what they might be able to do, given that they can’t see the demon anywhere, they suggest trying to splash acid all over the place or detecting magic (the demon must be magical, after all); then again, this is a magical lab, so most things might be detected as magical. When a jar from the bookcase suddenly disappears, the party knows that battle is commencing. A vial of acid appears above Leaf’s head, falling on his head. It causes some burning; the quasit also appears above Leaf’s head. Lilith buffs Leaf’s defenses. Leaf chooses to cast a judgment on himself and then proceeds to slash at the quasit. Marda’s accuracy with her new trident is not good. Hnng’s acid splash misses the quasit. Clarion’s scarf attack misses as well. The quasit moves to retreat but takes a few swipes at Leaf in the process; Leaf feels a little scratching but suffers nothing else. Lilith inflicts light wounds on the quasit. As the quasit finally manages to poison Leaf, Leaf strikes back. The quasit gets smacked out of the air and doesn’t move.

Hnng ignores Leaf’s plight and investigates the corpse. Hnng finds a component pouch and three bloodstones in the bag. At this point, Yish begins to wonder what company policy is on notifying next of kin and who gets to claim the possessions of the dead. Marda fails to find any pretty pictures (the quasit has ripped up most of the things in the room). Yish takes the bloodstones to split up the worth among the party members. He also reveals that he’s into “whale step”.

Since the day isn’t even half over now (and since Leaf isn’t hurt too much), the party decides to visit the wizard and his construct. The party arrives at a semi-converted warehouse. It is not in great condition; all of the doors and windows have been boarded up. The contact, the head wizard, mentions that an apprentice making an unapproved and unsupervised modification on the tidy-up machine caused problems; the magical alarms went off when the machine got out of control, and the facilities were boarded up to prevent the machine from going into town. The apprentice was locked in, though. No food on the premises.

As the party enters the facilities, they notice that the shelves are completely clear and the room is spotless. The first thought to enter Yish’s mind was that they would need to shut down the trash compactor. Marda is imagining that the construct has taken all of the items and attached them to its arms, turning into a Megatron of sorts. Since the shelves are clear, the entire room is easy to see. The storage closet doors are closed. As the party approaches the closet doors, Yish smells the stench of defecation from the farther door. Hnng opens the door.

Inside the room are well-sorted and separated stacks of compacted garbage. One is refuse; another is metallic. Hnng shouts out into the room: “Hey, come out”. That causes noises to come out from the other door. Hnng opens the other door and steps to the side as he says “Hey you! Hey you! Hey you!” Marda sets her trident in front of the door ready for anything that comes out. Meanwhile, Clarion rolls a marble across the floor.

A small, round spider-like creature crawls out. Its body is made of cloth. Hnng greets the creature; it doesn’t react. Hnng asks the creature “what do you want?” Hnng notices that there is a piece of tubing that is sticking out of the opening in the cloth; that opening looks quite a lot like a mouth. Well, Marda reacts by lunging at the thing with her trident; still misses. Hnng decides to attack the thing with his punching dagger in surprise. After missing, he tries splashing it with acid; that misses as well. Yish decides to inspire courage. Clarion attempts to notice weak points using her engineering knowledge: she recognizes that the tube serves no purpose; the body is a metal frame holding open what appears to be a normal sack. Leaf approaches and misses wildly with his axe; instead, he hits Lilith. Lilith chooses to inflict light wounds; it appears to have been ineffective.

The construct begins a suction effect from its bag; it begins sucking at Leaf’s right boot. Marda decides to attack with her trident again (and she misses again). Hnng tries to punch the thing; he actually hits the thing (for one damage). Yish continues his bardic performance and throws some water on it from his water skin. The floor under Hnng gets wet. Clarion slides through the shelving (hard core parkour) for a better position. Leaf once again critically fails; being left-handed, Hnng gets eviscerated and collapses to the floor. Lilith pulls out her morningstar and smacks the construct. The suction effect stops immediately and the tube falls to the ground. The sack now has a hole in it. The construct tries to walk away, but bumps into Lilith’s leg (no damage). Marda stabilizes Hnng (Yish orders this, since he knows that Hnng wouldn’t want to be saved); Marda then drags Hnng away. Clarion strikes with her scarf through the shelving but misses. Leaf, feeling a little self-conscious over his previous attempts, steps five feet away from everyone and then strikes the construct with his axe (successfully, this time). Lilith misses. The construct moves into the water and blood on the ground and attempts to soak up the mess (it lost its sucking power once it got a hole in its body). Leaf steps up and smashes the construct with his greataxe. The construct stops moving.

Clarion inspects the construct; it has stopped being magical. Yish looks into the rooms. There are no signs of another person. Clarion retrieves her marble.

As the party emerges from the building, the wizard waiting outside is astonished out how bloody and cut up Lilith and Hnng are. He wonders what might have caused such wounds as every party member surreptitiously glances at Leaf. Yish reports that the construct is smashed and that no one else was to be found. He also directly orders Hnng not to say anything.

The party gets back to the office and receives compensation for work done. Hnng goes home so that he can change. Marda attempts to walk Hnng home, but Hnng refuses her offer. Clarion begins building traps to take on the next day’s excursions.

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A First Job

From the hillside, the party watches the mansion and the barn and the surrounding area. It is now noon. Nothing has happened for two hours. It’s been pretty boring. Clarion asks Yish what they should do. Yish makes two suggestions: making a mixtape or investigating the mansion. Lilith votes for the second. Besides, as Hnng points out, the hillside is not a good place to record. Some party members are hesitant to enter the mansion; Yish suggests burning it down. But then Clarion is not sure that burning the mansion would be a good idea, since there might be valuable things inside.

So they decide to stealthily approach the mansion. Hnng is afraid of the paperwork necessary to avoid getting sued for burning down the mansion. Clarion volunteers to provide the fire should “push come to shove.” The party finds themselves near the garage. There are deep ruts from recent activity; many carriages must have left in a hurry. The party is surprised that they hadn’t noticed the exodus; perhaps the carriages left while the party was in the blue portal.

Yish thinks back to his history knowledge and remembers that the mansion is a country house for the previous royalty, hunting lodge for the king.

The party continues into the garage. There are no horses left (but maybe there were other magical creatures that drew the carriages?). No cats either. Yish then directly orders Hnng to enter the mansion first. Leaf is ordered to have a hand on Hnng; Leaf is not happy to put his bare hand on Hnng; Yish suggests wearing a glove (but Leaf doesn’t wear such things).

Hnng finds himself in servants’ quarters, which seems to have been unused for some time. Everything is dusty except for a track into the house. Yish is interested in finding food; he is unsuccessful. Hnng enters the kitchen; it is clean and very well kept. Still no food. A door that is more used leads to the dining room. Clarion gives Yish one of her lunchables, since he seemed rather hungry (it is lunch time, after all). Marda marches on to the door on the opposite side. It is a sitting room with many books. There are some books left open, and some clothes are lying about; the room must have been heavily used. The party members look through the books left open, except Hnng, who stands in the corner defiantly.

Leaf finds a significant collection of law books from before the coup. Marda finds a book of family history of the previous monarchy. The page is open to a picture of a human king holding a glowing blue gem. In the corner of the room is a pedestal where a large book must have been. It is empty now. Clarion investigates the pedestal to see what she can see. It is not connected to anything structurally, and she finds that there are no magical runes on it.

Marda detects that the room was clearly built poorly, by Dwarven standards. Hnng follows an order to lie down on the ground and be quiet.

Yish and Marda notice that the section of the library devoted to family history has a large gap in the books. The book Marda found earlier doesn’t fit in that space. The space is four times as large as Marda’s book.

Lilith reads Marda’s book. It is about the founding of Ban Du. The tale told is of an item that helps determine who is fit to be king. Yish immediately decides that Vallin was not worthy to be king. Marda stuffs the book into her bag.

The next room is the main entryway, with a staircase leading up. One passageway leads deeper into the mansion; two others lead to the two wings of the mansion. The party goes up the stairs and goes to the back passage. There are bedrooms and bathrooms; these must have been used recently. In searching the rooms, there are a deck of playing cards, a cup of dice, and a few coins (3 silver, 25 copper). The dressers are mostly empty. What clothing is left in the dressers is clean. There are three bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms. The soiled clothing in the bathrooms is a mix of male and female clothing. As Hnng attempts to steal some soiled clothing, Leaf and Clarion notice. Marda looks under the beds and finds a dagger. Clarion claims the coins; Yish takes two candlesticks and two sets of light silk sheets (red and grey).

In the right wing, there are more bedrooms. Yish finds a coin purse (1 gold and 5 silver) in the dressers. Lilith finds much beauty products and scented bath salts in one of the bathrooms; Yish bargains with Lilith for one of the bath salts. Hnng stands in the hall doing nothing. Yish begins appraising the family portraits on the walls. He is interested to see how much they are worth (and to jump start his art career in collaging).

Skipping down the right passage with linked arms, the party finds many large windows opening out into the gardens. No weapons are left on the weapons racks. Yish throws some china into his pack. One set for eight people has a value of 5-8 silver per piece. Yish takes three pieces of the set.

In the other hallway, they find a few more linens and a bag of potatoes. Hnng and Clarion are tired of searching the mansion. The party agrees to leave. “Everybody came away from this experience a little richer in spirit.” Many hours have now elapsed.

Going down the driveway, the party finds that the wagon wheel tracks are no longer fresh and so they cannot easily see which way on the main road the wagons went.

The party visits Clarion’s house, since they want to make sure that it is safe. Clarion’s house seems untouched. Hnng departs for his house, assuming that his house will be safe if Clarion’s house is safe. After Hnng leaves, the rest of the party goes back into the office. Nen Wess is not sure why the party hasn’t done a job in the past three days, but otherwise says nothing. The rest of the party now disbands to rest for the night.

The next morning, everyone shows up at the office. Hnng goes into his office and closes the door. Yish left his art supplies at home. After weighing the options, the party decides to do the lone skum job.

The party arrives at the location. The party engages the farmers; one of the elder daughters (17 years old) of one of the farming families has gone missing. She had been out in the fields of her father’s farm, near the mountains. This is the region where the skum was seen. The party verifies multiple evidences of a skum living in this region and begins exploring in pairs: Clarion with Marda, Lilith with Leaf, and Yish with Hnng. Leaf climbs up a tree to see the area better and then climbs down.

At this point, a skum jumps down from a tree next to Yish, slashing with a trident. The critical blow knocks Yish bleeding to the ground. The second blow misses Hnng; Hnng’s counterattack also misses. Marda rushes towards Yish but gets hit by the skum’s trident as well. Leaf smacks the skum quite heavily but doesn’t manage to kill it. Clarion whips off her scarf from 20 feet away and launches one end into the skum; the scarf turns into steel as it hits the skum. The scarf turns back into cloth as Clarion retracts the scarf. After many blows missing, Marda finally reaches Yish and stabilizes him. Leaf lands a final critical blow on the scum, which cleaves it in half (vertically).

Hnng and Clarion go to the cave. They find the girl beaten up and unconscious inside; her clothes are torn. Marda channels positive energy, at which the girl regains consciousness. Yish approaches (all gory from the recent combat); the girl is clearly frightened as she tries to gather her rags around her body. Yish finds a cloak in a satchel and gives it to her. After masterfully conversing with the girl, Yish calms her down and convinces her to follow the party back to her farm. She continues to stay silent. Under a pile of bones, Yish finds a ring.

Marda lays claim to the the skum’s trident (Leaf allows her to take it), which is of elven make and fine quality (masterwork). Lilith detects magic on the trident. So it turns out to be a +1 trident. Lilith also finds out that the ring is magical. However, she doesn’t figure out what it does; Leaf attempts to identify the properties of the ring as well, but he doesn’t figure it out either.

The party returns the girl to her farm and then goes back to the office. Yish complains to Nen about being nearly killed. The day ends.

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