PS From Previous Entry:
This PS concerns an event not logged before that is of import to events in this entry. Arbol, being a
delivery boy Professional Private Courier, Looked around the Puddles for the Dwarf Wizard named Julius they had seen in Cayden’s Hall. He had told them that he was looking for a book on summoning demons that he was contracted by the Sewer Dragons to find. Arbol finds Julius by sheer luck and is told to bugger off. With enough prying and coaxing, and some outright begging, he is able to score a meet with the Sewer Dragon surface contact; a human named Xarcious (Xar for short).
The Pathfinder Society requires discrete passage through the sewer system for smuggling goods in and out of Absalom. The Sewer Dragons are actively interfering with the passages and routes in order to squeeze some sort of deal or land rights from the Society. There is a large delivery to be had soon, and the Dragons want to ambush the meet. Xar asks the party if they can be hired as muscle for the operation. They agree to do it, having no intention to do so.
The Puddle prove to be packed with perils for the party. On their way to the morning meet with The Ogre-Kin, a hooded woman whispers to them right before they turn their final corner.
“They’re gonna kill you,” she whispers.
Razabelle moves onto a nearby roof to scout the surroundings. She sees The Ogre-kin with two guards only some feet away. The woman tells them they were talking about killing the party. The Dockmaster/secret Drow Vox is also there in his human disguise. The party realizes this means two things:
1. They gig is up and The Ogre-kin told the Dockmaster about them, and dots were connected between the two
2. They still have the keys to the Dockmaster’s offices and no one is there right now.
They examine the woman closely, being a suspicious lot. She has a bizarre half shaved hairdo and is wielding brass knuckles on each hand. She is disturbed by merely looking at them. She claims that she is simply unused to non-humans. They determine her motives are pure and depart her company.
Sneaking past what are probably the worst guards in history, they enter the offices and peruse the mountains of paperwork. Two large cabinets are dedicated to dealings and contracts with the Aspis Consortium. These whole cabinets are stuffed into the portable hole.
The inner courtyard of the offices are fenced off and tented over. Armed with the keys to the joint, they open that sucker right up and find a massive grow-room for some stinking black fungus that uses corpses as substrate. Khaliz knows that these are fungi common in the Darklands and a staple food among the Drow.
They make their way back to Deebo’s boat. They find out that:
1. Aspis consortium is knowingly shipping goods to Ardath in various places.
2. An order for building materials yet to be fulfilled and was filed just the day before by Mergmo.
3. Five master copies of the AAH flyer they first found in the Red Redoubt. They have the same Undercommon writing on one side. The other side is a map. These five masters all have different maps.
Deebo and Razabelle once travelled with a Witch named Hilarity, and they know she will be able to translate it (and for free, if they’re lucky). They go to the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge to find an old party member, Shaggar, who knows where Hilarity might be. While there, they find Ollystra Zadrian and update her on the goings on.
She is somewhat pleased, but also states that the Aspis Consortium has leverage with the city and took possession of a lot of the findings and items from the Red Redoubt, including the corpse of Mergmo. When coaxed, she offers them “short-cut” membership in the Society if they can get to the bottom of this business. Usually it is a mandatory training period of three years
Shaggar lets them know that Hilarity runs some sort of Academy over in the Petal District. They make their way there.
In front of the massive and opulent red building is a sign reading:
HILARITY’S COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE DANCE ACADEMY
(DEFINITELY NOT A SECRET WITCH SCHOOL)
Making their way into the heart of the school, the party finds Hilarity badly faking her way through a plie lesson with a pack of obvious yet unseasoned witches. Hilarity, a young Gray Elf with a touch of the autism, greets the party with her trademark suspicion.
Deebo lets her know they know very well this isn’t a dance academy. Hilarity admits this is true. This her secret witch school and she has an equally secret witch book. Each party member is given a copy. The cover is labeled “Hilarity’s Guide to Excellent Dancing.” She tells them to spill blood on it. Deebo drops some from his finger and the cover changes to “Hilarity’s Guide to Excellent Witchery”.
Inside is a treatise explaining the progression of a Witch’s talents. She has studied hundreds of witches and has decoded what seem to be fundamental truth’s of progression; namely that it can be divided into about 20 “levels” and that many combat maneuvers can be analyzed by a system of chance, depending on the skills of the assailant and assailed.
Deebo says, “This is all well and good, but we just need you to translate this for us.”
“I’m working on Volume 2,” she responds, “Roll for Initiative.”
She flies up into the air. The witch students brace for battle. A horde of spiders begin to pour out of Hilarity’s mouth…
Elsewhere, orders are given. Swords are sharpened, and spells are prepared. Four names appear on a list, and the holder seeks to cross them out.