Starting Date: Tarsakh 10, 1367 DR
Session Date: May 19, 2012
The party continues searching the Keep. In a pantry, they find a paralyzed dwarf stowed in a barrel with giant centipedes laying eggs in his skin. The centipedes attack and, though they are defeated, Gimble is bitten and is paralyzed. Throwing the gnome and the dwarf over their shoulders, the PCs head out of the Keep. Traveling south, Celestia notices the tasloi following them through the trees and at a closer distance than before.
The party camps in a meadow south of the forest. Using his skill in anatomy, Garretth successfully removes the eggs from the dwarf. The effects of the centipede poison wear off and Gimble and the dwarf are able to move again. The dwarf introduces himself as More Gorey and explains that he and his fellow dwarves were tracking a group of hobgoblins when spindly humanoids came upon them from the trees, some of whom were riding giant wasps. Running from his attackers, More Gorey was attacked by the hobgoblins and was knocked unconscious.
On Tarsakh 11, after an uneventful night, the party heads back to Barrick’s Keep. While passing through the trees, they are ambushed by the tasloi who perch on the canopy above the road. The tasloi throw their javelins, wounding Gimble severely. Celestia fires arrows into the tasloi as More Gorey and Grimner haul Gimble into the wagon for healing. Garreth unleashes the skeletal bear and then casts rain of blood into the nearby trees, causing the tasloi to scamper down and killing a number of small animals that nested therein. Several wasp riders arrive and take on the giant bear, while another clambers over the wagon. The party manages to kill the wasps and a number of tasloi, with the survivors running into the woods. After sacrificing a pair of tasloi to Mask and Talos, the PCs impale the dead tasloi in the ground and at various heights along the trees. When the party reaches Barrick’s Keep, they find the remains of the hobgoblins similarly strung on the trees.
Within the Keep, the party comes across a ruined ballroom. Grimner, using a 10’ pole, discovers a gelatinous cube that blocks the passage leading into the room. Celestia fires several arrows into it and kills it before it does any damage. Gimble sneaks further ahead, spotting a back room with a frozen figure seated upon a throne. The party arranges themselves to enter the room when a voice calls out and tells the party to come forward. In the throne room, the PCs find a laboratory attended to by a rat-like creature. Unlike the other rat creatures, this rat thing is bigger and can speak.
The rat thing introduces itself as Keshute. It explains that it is not a servant to any master in Calaunt. Instead, it tries to recruit the PCs to its cause. It explains that the Shadowcloaks are the only thieves guild in town. Because the PCs have already made alliances with certain groups, Keshute believes they are in an excellent position to betray their current masters. Keshute further explains that the group could use the dragonsalt as seed money. The PCs play along for a bit before attacking Keshute and catching him unawares.
Grimner freezes Keshute in place with a spell. Gimble stabs him with a short sword, but the wound closes immediately. Ratlings pour forth from a nearby room and are caught by Garreth’s sleep spell. The party then lights a vial of greek fire, doing damage both to the sleeping ratlings and to the ice statute. The statute begins moving and More Gorey attacks it while the other party members dispatch Keshute using silvered weapons. The ratlings and statute are also destroyed.
In the back room, the party finds More Gorey’s equipment as well as 10 lbs of dragonsalt. Further exploration of the keep reveals a lockbox in a ruined bedroom. The party opens the lock box using a magical key found in the library and discovers treasure within. Loading their goods into a wagon, the party returns to Calaunt.
At the gates of Calaunt, the party is detained by the city guard. The PCs display their writ of passage and the soldiers promise the party’s cargo will not be touched. Regardless, the soldiers insist that the PCs follow them to visit someone. Traveling along the city wall, the party comes to tower. Most of the party heads within, leaving their weapons with Grimner who waits outside.
Halabankh Ormsarr waits for the PCs within. He explains that he is aware of the game being played between Pirithin and Alascartha. Halabankh says he has no intention to interfere with the PCs’ plans but says that the two Merchant Dukes have lost sight of the bigger threat—Iritar the Dark. Iritar has grown distant and no longer attends Council meetings. Halabank says he has suspicions about Iritar, but is unwilling to divulge them until he learns more.
Halabankh explains that Iritar is known for targeting powerful necromancers who come into town. Often, he recruits them as apprentices, though most apprentices are assumed to die horrible deaths. One notable exception is a mage known as Madreus. Madreus fled into the Earthspur Mountains, driven mad by Iritar’s experiments. More Gorey remembers stories his clan told of this mage, stories which placed Madreus’s final destination at a mountain known as Firestorm Peak.
Halabankh asks the PCs to head to Elzir’s Isle in order to recover the Good Tyrant, a book which Halabankh feels will shed some light on Iritar’s plans. Halabankh says he has sent another group to recover this book but, like many others, the group never returned. Iritar is also looking for the book and Halabankh says he will target the PCs should they decide to turn the book over to Iritar.
After this meeting, the party heads to Redfires Inn. There, they are told by the owner, Lye Hazelbottom, that agents of a certain noble family, the Gendessens, have been asking about the PCs. The family’s scion, Chat Gendessen, died in a circus act in which Garreth was involved. Lye asks the PCs to consider moving and offers to connect them with persons selling real estate in Calaunt. Celestia bargains for a moving fee and, tripping over his words, Lye unintentionally agrees to pay 1000 gp to have the PCs relocate.
Deltur Hoss interrupts this discussion and explains the PCs must join him for an important meeting. After washing off the dust of the road and enjoying the attention of Lye’s serving girls, the party meets Deltur at the appointed place. The group is blindfolded before boarding a carriage. After the carriage comes to stop, Grimner waits outside with the PCs’ weapons while the rest of the party goes inside a building
Inside, a feast is spread for the PCs. Pirithin Alagost sits at the head of the table and Deltur Hoss sits at the other end. After the group finishes eating, Pirithin agrees to sign a deed passing ownership of Barrick’s Keep to the PCs, but suggests that they should also consider buying a place within the city.
Further Pirithin tells the PCs to visit Vontin Cask at the Silver Scales merchant house in Reachport. Vontin can help the PCs dispose of unwanted items at ¼ the cost as well as provide employment opportunities. Pirithin then calls Jezerin, a Red Wizard of Thay, to the table. Jezerin is able and willing to sell magical items to the party. Finally, Pirithin asks the PCs to discover what they can about the meeting Alascartha is arranging with the Iron Throne.
The party then returns to the Redfires Inn for the night