A Piece of Blue Sky

The Red Redoubt
You wake up in a dungeon...

We meet our 4 “heroes” as they wake up in a circular red room, built of smooth red seamless tile. Four doors surround them, with what looks like obsidian orbs set into the spaces between. The last recollection they have is of a late night drinking at Cayden’s Hall. They look each other over, their weapons and belongings nowhere to be found, their bodies clothed in rags.

Their identities are as follows:
Deebo Barathar, a Half-Orc Barbarian
Razabelle, a Gnome Rogue
Arbol, a Half-Elf Monk
Khaliz, an Elf Druid

Deebo and Razabelle are old friends from adventures past. Arbol and Khaliz are new friends, only acquainted the night before.

The four doors around the room are filled with monsters and traps, all easily overpowered by the party. Two goblins, taken prisoner after a brief fight, tell them that they are in the Red Redoubt of Karamoss, a long abandoned siege castle outside of Absalom. The party is also informed that the orbs on the walls in every room are for “the bosses to watch”. The party promptly smears goblin blood on them, a vain attempt to remain unwatched.

The east door (smashed open by an improvised goblin projectile by Deebo) leads to a longer circular hallway, and more monsters, and more traps. Khaliz wonders aloud why this place even exists. The party agrees. Why is there a bunch of subterranean rooms filled with monsters and traps? The Goblins told them that they had all been killed several times each, and that their jobs were to kill whoever opened the door to the room they were in.

Further in the redoubt, they encounter a dual sword wielding goblin, one clearly of a higher station in the goblin tribe. After defeating him, they hear, from somewhere within the walls, a loud tone, followed by a muffled voice announcing something they weren’t able to hear in its entirety. They did hear the phrase “…are not commoners…”

The goblin swordsman has the crude sigil of the Liprippers on his leather clothes, a goblin tribe that infests the sewers of Absalom. Nearby, they also dispatch a ghoul who still retained human clothing, and a badge of the Pathfinder Society. The lipripper swordsman, under fierce intimidation, tells the party that the Red Redoubt was “cleared out and taken over by Mergmo and the boss lady.” He said the key to a door to the hidden spaces of the redoubt was taken by “an intruder who meddled too much” and she was somewhere in the halls.

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Mergmo the Iron Kobold
Drill Baby Drill!

The Lipripper Goblin swordsman leads the party into the depths of the circular hallway, where a trap sets off, and fills the halls with shadowy smoke. Within the smoke, it seems like clawed hands are just beyond the edge of visibility. While Arbol attempts to keep him calm, Deebo angrily commands the goblin to scout ahead. He goes to the end of the hall, beyond sight. His head rolls back only seconds later. They surmise that walking solo will get them killed. Clutching each other close, they make their way down the hall.

In a silent room, they are able to smash off one of the black orbs from the wall. Inside is twitching gears and lenses and bizarre machinery bearing a logo: North Central Positronics. Strange metal strings lead out of the device and into the wall.

At the very end of the hallway, they enter a doorway. The room within is lighted cheerfully and bears many portraits and images of happy smiling Kobolds. A banner is strewn across the room reading “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE ALMOST OUT OF HERE!!” Around the corner is a door labeled “This Way To Victory!” Razabelle spots a door set into the wall. It is locked with two exotic deadbolts, too complex even for her greatest efforts.

Behind it they hear, “You’ll never take me alive!” The woman behind the door believes the party to be her enemies. They convince her they aren’t, and she finally opens the door. Her face is hideously deformed, half blue and hairless with sharp teeth on one side of her mouth, as if she is transforming into a Ghoul. She tells them she is a member of the Pathfinder Society. Her name is Maritha. She hands them the key she took from the Kobolds who run the Redoubt.

She tells them the Kobolds are using the ruins as some sort of sick game, pulling victims into the monster ridden and booby-trapped labyrinth, watching them as they die. the rooms at the end of the Victory door are all trapped. The key she gives them will help open the door at the very other end of the main (still shadowed) hallway. Due to some gas trap in one of the rooms, she is transforming into a Ghoul, and wants the party to take her story and her belongings and put her out of her misery. Deebo grabs her sword, a gold and brass hilt with strange blue steel blade, and does the job. A few words are said and they make their way to the other side of the dungeon.

The socket for the key doesn’t open a door. It opens an entire wall. Behind it is a high-scale sophisticated base of operations. An ogre has gotten loose from a large cage and the party watches as it kills a pair of kobolds. Some quick talking is done afterwards, and the ogre agrees to leave the party alone if they can find an exit in five minutes.

During the search, they locate the following:
1. A chalkboard with a layout of the trapped and dangerous portions of the dungeon, with each section color-coded to a kobold name on the left side of the board. The names are in a list named “Challengers”.
2. A room with four of the seeing orbs, each in front of a chair.
3. Two transportation circles, one smeared and unusable and the other locked to some sort of keyed item.
4. A set of bunk beds for the Kobolds and Goblins.
5. The party’s own weapons.
6. A glass orb set into a large device below a smashed glass rectangle

The exit door is behind the chalkboard, and the Ogre makes his way out.

The party ponders leaving, but Khaliz believes that his Chameleon is sill within the Redoubt. Also, Mergmo totally called them all cowards for even thinking of leaving.

Some stairs lead to an inner chamber and the party finds the inner chamber full of the cords and cables that led from all the viewing orbs. On one side, a giant glass rectangle is displaying constant moving images and sounds of people dying in the halls of the dungeon. Some aflame, some torn apart by shadows, some stabbed to death by screaming grinning goblins.

On the other side of the chamber, Mergmo is torturing Khaliz’s giant chameleon companion. His skin looks riddled and torn with metal parts and gears and spring. He smells like rotting flesh. Smooth metal plates surround parts of his upper torso. They move around and form a giant drill as the fight begins.

During the fight, Arbol looses consciousness and almost bleeds out. Nearing death himself, Mergmo attempts to slam his way past the party as the plates slide down his arm and transform his shredded legs into bone and metal wheels. Deebo and Razabelle strike at him as he passes, killing him and setting him ablaze. his body dashes past them and breaks through the wall.

The party gathers the following
1. A collection of glass orbs like the one found earlier, except these are blue
2. A pack of flyers. On one side of them is several paragraphs in a strange language. The other side has a map leading to the location of the Redoubt and a logo bearing the initials AAH and the silhouetted images of an Orc, an Elf, and a Kobold.
3. Resurrection wand on Mergmo.

Beaten up and joyful to be free, yet yearning to find out just what is going on and who did this to them and why, the party makes their way out of the Red Redoubt. Evening is approaching, and the walls of Absalom stretch out before them.

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Cayden's Hall
Enter Yiddlepode

The party makes their way into Cayden’s Hall, and begin to try to sniff out clues as to the previous night’s events. What follows is a unguided and unstructured series of events.

One of the first encounters was with a Dwarf Wizard named Julius who was strangling/interrogating a small mephit in the main room of the Hall. He notices Deebo’s inherited sword and reveals to him a secret compartment in the hilt. Inside is a rolled up Portable Hole, filled with Maritha’s stash of gear and supplies, and a decent amount of gold.

Julius, who accidentally strangled the mephit during his conversation with the party, says he is searcing for a certain manual on summoning larger demons. It was in a basement during one of the previous iterations of Cayden’s Hall, the current being the 14th rebuilding due to rowdy crowds and flammable materials. With some prying, he admits that the manual is being sought out by his client – a tribe of kobolds calling themselves the Sewer Dragons.

Khaliz, wondering of the spirits of nature will speak some truth to her, heads to the small garden outside the Hall. There he finds a small bench with a cloaked figure wearing a large hat sits. He asks the figure a few questions, and they only respond to him with a broad shaking of the head. After a few more probing questions, the figure walks by and only then does Khaliz realize the face beneath the hat is a porcelain mask of a human woman.Trying to grab the masked enigma, he is only able to cause them to sway a bit, and she hears bizarre wooden footsteps.

During these events, Razabelle is trying to bluff her way into performing in the showroom of the Hall, so as to showcase her singing and make a good chunk of money. She is rebuffed by a hostile and aggressive cleric/doorman. He is the only one of the clerics without a strangle little blue earring, and his demeanor doesn’t jive with a chaotic good god like Cayden Cailean.

Khaliz is still following and trying to take down the cloaked and masked figure with the wooden footsteps. He rallies the rest of the party to help out. The figure claims, in a strange and obviously false voice, to be there only for the play starting later in the night. The party takes the figure outside to avoid the crowds.

Unmasked, it’s a purple female kobold on stilts. Also wearing a blue hooded robe beneath the human-esque cloak and hat and mask. Her name is Yiddlepode, and thought she tries (badly) to claim no knowledge of a kobold named Mergmo, she eventually admits to them that he is her brother. He left the Sewer Dragons because he tried to get the tribe to join in some strange scheme and “Daddy didn’t take kindly to these ideas,” so Mergmo left with about 4 or 5 of the tribe members. She reiterates, truthfully, that she is only out tonight for the play. She has several tickets, so as to get a table by herself. She offers the extras to the party.

Arbol asks some drunks at a table if they saw him the night before. One says he did, but is soon silenced by the cleric nearby. The events grow hazy here, with accusations flying, drunks arguing, and the cleric’s earring begins to shine a small blinking blue light. Khaliz gets her chameleon, Rikus, to pluck the earring off after a brief fight The cleric passes out. The drunk is able to tell them that they were part of a drinking contest, and the clerics had served the four of them some strange black shots. After these, they all became docile and followed the clerics into the garden. Razabelle, sure that they are some sort of golems or constructs, advocates for their swift elimination. All the clerics turn on the party, and a barfight ensues. During the chaos, the rude cleric/doorman tries to make his way into a backroom. Unlike the other clerics, he seems possessed of all his faculties. Razabelle takes him down, and Deebo crushes his skull. Oops.

As the bar patrons ransack the backroom’s drink supply, Khaliz looks for what it was the doorman was coming here for. The last three clerics try to escape, their earrings furiously blinking. One is making his way to the front doors, and the other two wait with their hands outstretched. Razabelle takes him down. She is sure he must be important. All at once, Arbol finds Julius the dwarf in a deep trance after drinking one of the black shots, Deebo grabs a barrel of whiskey, Razabelle finds a strange gold ring on the cleric, Khaliz kicks some mismatched bricks in to find a passageway, and Yiddlepode steps out to tell everyone, “The play is starting!!” She claps her little hands in glee.

Somewhere deep and dark, machinations begin to form against these disruptors

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The Streets of Absalom: Dire Duck?
Shenanigans

The party finds themselves surrounded by the unconscious bodies of all the Cayden’s Hall clerics, sans the blue and metal earrings that seemed to be controlling them. Razabelle holds a golden ring from what seemed to be an important cleric, and her suspicions are confirmed. On it, there is a small carving of a teleportation sigil like the one the party saw in the Red Redoubt. Khaliz lets the party know that there is a secret tunnel in the back room/Booze Chamber (now being raided by the temple guests and patrons).

Inside the tunnel is the top landing to a long abandoned spiral staircase leading down to a forgotten basement full of old drinkware and dusty tomes. On the far wall, there is a large crack in the stone which has been tiled over from the other side. Light pierces between two of the large tile plates. Peering through, Razabelle sees a large room, of which the wall she can see contains two deep alcoves. Around the nearest one is three Orcs, none of which look exceptionally strong. Their backs are facing her, and she can hear them talking orders from someone standing in the alcove, just out of sight. It sounds like the voice of an Elven woman speaking through a bag of rusty nails. The party recalls the intel they received in the Red Redoubt. That voice must be “The boss lady”. Khaliz, being from the isolated kingdom of Kyonin, knows that the voice comes from the mouth of a Drow.

There is a flash of light fro the alcove, and the Orcs disperse, one of them destroying the transportation sigil that the Drow used to escape. The party rushes in and beat the Orcs into submission, killing one in the process. They learn several things:

1. Their immediate superior is a powerful Orc named Captain Smash Smash.
2. Smash Smash and Mergmo both work for Ardath, the Drow woman.
3. The five different alcoves and their corresponding sigils all lead to dungeons outfitted much like the Red Redoubt was. The purpose is to bring humans and kill them, capturing the images on the viewing devices.
4. Khaliz, knowing something about Drow, is shocked that the Orcs seem to follow Ardath out of a sense of loyalty and honor, rather than fear. Drow are firmly in the Chaotic Evil corner of the moral landscape. They lead by cruel magic and brute strength, not by camaraderie.

Deebo, being half an Orc himself, asks that the party spare the lives of these wretched souls. He tells them to skip town, or else. He also takes a barrel of whiskey that is sitting there and puts it in his portable hole. Arbol takes a turkey leg.

Using the golden ring, the party steps into the corresponding teleportation sigil and finds themselves back in the Red Redoubt. It is being cleaned out and re-purposed by a large team of the Pathfinder Society, led by Ollystra Zadrian, a Paladin with the Pathfinder’s Silver Crusade faction of Lawful and Good members. The technology used in the dungeon was stolen at the docks from a shipment originating with North Central Positronics.

She thanks the party for the work they did and, despite being more than a bit abrasive with the ragtag uncouth heroes, asks them a favor. The distribution of the tech was handled by the Aspis Consortium. She asks that they head to the docks and find out who did what. The Aspis Consortium is notoriously underhanded. Maybe one of their members is getting paid on the side

After a full night’s rest in Deebo’s boat, a gift given to him a few years ago for some transport work done for NCP, they question some dockworkers about the smuggling. None of them are willing to rat anyone else out at first, the dockworkers being a tight-knit brotherhood. One approaches them, being willing to talk a bit for some coin. He tells them that any large scale smuggling would have to involve a dock worker called The Ogre-kin, a massive deformed half ogre.

Making their way to the main offices at the docks, the party counts themselves lucky it’s Sunday, as the docks are mostly empty. The Dockmaster’s offices are lightly guarded, but Arbol dispatches one by taking control of some heavy crane equipment, while Deebo makes such convincing and terrifying duck sounds, the other guards are sure that a Dire Duck (“is that even a real thing?”) has “gotten loose” and they run off to get help. The shipping containers around the offices, the party discovers, are full of monsters.

Inside, they encounter the Dockmaster, and Razabelle bluffs him into believing they come under orders from Lady Ardath. The Dockmaster removes his necklace of illusion and reveals himself as a male Drow named Vox. He asks if the noises he heard were the escaped animals.

“Yeah, totally. We need the keys to put them all back.”

Vox gives them the keys. They step outside and Khaliz and Razabelle talk to some of the beasts. They were all taken or were convinced to come. One massive humanoid wolf creature says he was shown “moving pictures of people dying” and was told he would get to eat all the people he wanted, as much as his heart desired. Razabelle uses her Gnome Magic (Prestidigitation) to make a clump of pebbles look like the keys and they scurry off.

They go to the tavern in the Puddles district that the dockworker told them they could find The Ogre-kin at. A foul den of cut-throats and low-lives called The Grog Pit, so called because of the 20 foot wide barrel set into the ground filled with the combined remainder’s of the city’s tavern drinks. Skunked beer, spoiled wine, and brackish mead all mixed into a dark brew that you could get a mug of for a mere copper.

On the stage is a one-man-band Goblin Bard with scars all over his face playing a lewd bluesy tune. In front of the Grog Pit itself is The Ogre-kin, drinking a massive tankard of grog and being cheered on by his fellow dockworkers. Deebo offers the whiskey barrel he acquired the day before to The Ogre-kin in exchange for some info on where he can get in on some under the table work, a sly attempt to get more info on the smuggling operations. The Ogre-Kin aggressively confronts Deebo, trying to rattle him. Eventually, he tells Deebo to meet him in front of the tavern in the morning, very early. He’ll have some work for him.

“Oh, and stay pretty,” says the monster, blowing Deebo a kiss.

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The Streets of Absalom: The Society and The Witch
Hilarity's House of Awkward

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.

Entry Begins:

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.

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A.A.H.
A Single Hug For Each

Hilarity rises in the air and the ground boils with black tentacles as spiders spill out of her mouth. With a single word, Khaliz is pulled into unconsciousness. Deebo is entagled and suffers with pain as the tentacles encircle his arms.

Razabelle climbs a rope and leaps onto Hilarity, hanging off of her legs and trying to both attack and dissuade her from attacking. Arbol tries the same thing, but misses and lands on the balcony behind Hilarity. Anyone getting hurt is quickly healed by the young witch students.

Deebo releases himself at last and throws his sword at the Witch.

Hilarity looks down at the dangling Razabelle and yells with a mouthful of spiders, “Why aren’t you following the rules?”

“What rules you fucking bitch?!’

To her witches, Hilarity yells, “Don’t heal this one.” Her left arm, a gear-laden metal monstrosity, transforms. A barrel forms from what used to be a hand and sprays noxious gas in Razabelle’s face. She holds fast, and the gas has little effect.

Arbol opens a door at the end of the balcony and finds he is at the end of a long hallway, terminating in a stained glass window depicting Hilarity holding a large frog over a cauldron. Telling the surly janitor to mind his own business, he crashes through the window to find himself in the lobby of the academy once more.

He kicks down the door to the room where the battle is taking place, knocking over one of the witch instructors while doing so. Hilarity is now partially on fire.

“Guys, let’s get the hell out of here.”

“Time out!” Hilarity cries out, lowing herself and Razabelle back to the floor.

“You guys are doing this all wrong!”

The party explains that they have no idea what is going on or why she attacked them. Hilarity is dumbfounded that they didn’t understand that she was going to translate the flyer for them in exchange for their assistance in research on combat and magic analysis for her next book. It was clearly obvious, duh.

Grumbling, she takes the flyers and mutters some words. She hands them back, and the party (minus Khaliz who is still asleep) huddles together and they read.

Pharasma, the Lady of Graves, sat various gods before her, for advisement on her judgments and trials of mortal souls.

Pharasma turned to the goddess favored among humans, and bid her speak.

Iomedae said, “My Humans can be inspired by swift justice, worldly power, or an enchanted weapon. Their strengths are versatility and stamina in the face of tragedy and mishap. When I meet them in the afterlife, I judge them by their deeds and those I deem worthy may join my crusade into eternity.”

Pharasma turned to the goddess favored among elves, and bid her speak.

Calistria said, “My Elves can be inspired by nature, lust, or joyous trickery. Their strengths are perfected aesthetics and long lives in the face of death and gloom. When I meet them in the afterlife, I judge them by their contribution to their people and those I deem worthy enough may wander and soar through my forest for all time.”

Pharasma turned to the god favored among dwarves, and bid him speak.

Torag said, “My Dwarves can be inspired by a calling from stony depths, a large jewel, or ancient tradition. Their strengths are perseverance and physical skill in the face of adversity and crude stone. When I meet them in the afterlife, I judge them by their adherence to the forged chain of history, and those most pure may mine and drink with me in my hall of gems.”

Pharasma and the gods turned at the cackling from the dark behind them.

Lamashtu said, “My Monsters are inspired by tragedy and mishap and death. Their strengths are the spreading of gloom, the dealing in adversity, and the wallowing in crude stone. When they die, and I meet them in the dark parts of the great beyond, I give each one a single hug, and let them choose how they spend their afterlife in my den of dirt and blood.”

Each of the gods asked, “Why a single hug for each one?”

Lamashtu said, “Because I do not judge them. My children are so many, I cannot be bothered with judging them, nor selective in which one is allowed to join me. I love them all.”

To be a “monster” in this world is to be hunted and unloved in this life, but in the afterlife it is to be hugged by your creator and told it was all worth it.

Divided we can be butchered and feared and cataloged as vermin for the “civilized”. Together, in love, we can do great things. Our love can put an end to this fucking world.

Let’s go!

A.A.H. (Avistan Association of Horrors)

On the back of each of the master flyer copies, the maps are fully translated and annotated.

Heading back to the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge, they are accepted, and lodging is given. Their minds troubled, they sleep.

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The Streets of Absalom: Dreams, Plans, and Sewers.
Sha-Sha-SSSHHAA

Khaliz slept for almost a full 24 hours. During this time, he was plagued by a dream, a vision sent from Gozreh. Khaliz was in midair, pulled from above and below by the god, massive hands surrounding him with fingers as large as houses. One phrase could be heard occasionally among the noise: Tear it down.

He awakens to find himself in the small lodgings provided to them by the Pathfinder Society. The party informs him of what went down. He looks down and sees the badge sewn onto his clothes as they tell him they are all members of the Society now. He expresses his skepticism, bordering on discontent. He doesn’t like the idea of having an organization on his back. He doesn’t know how many order’s he’ll be given, but his preference is little to none. He also finds a note from Hilarity in his pocket, apologizing for putting him to sleep and “leaving him out of the battle.” She states that she strengthened the entanglement spell on Khaliz’s Long Bow in atonement. This brings him some joy.

On the back of each of the five master prints of the A.A.H. flyer is a map. With the translations, it seems these are maps to other “dungeons” run by A.A.H.

Names and locations:
Bloodrock (Andoran)
The Red Redoubt (Absalom)
Hall of the Ice King (Irrisen)
Absolutely Astounding Confounding Maze of Ultimate Mortal Despair (Razmiran)
The Tomb of Horrors (Cheliax)

The names strike the party as very ostentatious. Razabelle, delighted at the opportunity to make a return visit to her home village in Razmiran, wants to find the Maze. Khaliz flatly asks, “Why do I care about any of these places?” Deebo and Arbol sort of shrug their shoulders, down for whatever.

The party goes shopping
They are overwhelmed with options. Absalom’s merchant district is called The Coins and is several miles wide. Looking at the price of some of the better gear, they realize just how little coin they have to spend. Deebo finds some merchants who use sand as packing material for their wares, and fills his entire Portable Hole with sand.

As they’re shopping, they encounter the girl who warned them off of attacking the Ogrekin and saved them from an ambush by the Aspis Consortium. She is beside an older man who is running a large, sleekly designed booth for North Central Positronics. She introduces herself as Tara, and the older man as Philip. Both of them end their names with the phrase “the Displaced” and wear strange clothing.

During conversation, the following things are discovered:
1. Tara and Phillip work for NCP as “consultants” for the strange technology the company puts out. Philip prefers to double as the street sales agent as he’s “a man of the people”.
2. The Aspis Consortium has it out for the party, and Tara finds it surprising that they are out and about.
3. Trig Zushermorty, the CEO of NCP, signed up with Aspis for the powerful distribution network they run, but the company is entangled in a web of favors and contracts now and have little influence in anything happening on that side of the business. Zushermorty feels trapped, according to Tara.
4. Arbol inquires about the glass spheres he took from The Red Redoubt. Phillip states those are “record spheres” and they have moving pictures and sound instilled into them. The clear one is a final edit product, while the blue ones are raw footage from the recording devices. They can be played by any of the display devices Philip is selling, but he doesn’t have any display models and the players are very expensive. He invites them to visit NCP Headquarters in the Ivy District sometime. They can play the footage there.

Razabelle is approached by a short figure in a blue hooded cloak. It’s Yiddlepode, the “Sewer Dragon” Kobold. She admonishes them for missing the play at Cayden’s Hall back then, on the night they met. She also asks when the party is coming down to visit the tribe. Their impending visit is all anyone down there can talk about, according to her. She says the ambush they had prepared for was ruined since the Pathfinders had changed the entry location for the smuggling, but that Daddy Kibizax was planning another one.

She tells them to find Xarcious and he would lead them there. She was rushing down there to give everyone the heads up. The party has no intentions of betraying the Society, but they are lured by the possibility of finding out more about Mergmo, and also they have instructions to possibly strike a deal (non-monetary) bewteen the Society and the kobold tribe.

They Find Xarcious. He makes a few snide comments about the Pathfinder Society changing the location of their smuggling so soon after he told them about the Sewer Dragons’ plans. How mysterious…

Deebo grabs a handful of sand from his pocket at flings it at Xarcious.
“Pocket Sand! Take us to the kobolds.”
Xarcious glares at him and dusts himself off. He insists they go blindfolded.

The long trek is made deep into the sewers. The blindfolds are removed at a fork in the sewer tunnels. Xarcious is holding a knife. He tells them that he knows it was them that ratted out the ambush plans to the Pathfinder Society. He has contacts inside. He also knows they are now members.

“Pocket Sand! Quit fucking around.”

Xar points his knife at Deebo and threatens him. He demands that the party give him a cut of whatever deal they make with the Sewer Dragons. He demands at least 1000 gold. Deebo replies.

“Pocket Sand! No deal.”

Xarcious, now furious, says the deal is now the first 10K, and 50% of anything after that. “Also, stop throwing sand at me.”

Khaliz flat out tells him he’s not getting any money. Xar explodes and lunges with the knife, but Khaliz doesn’t suffer from anything but the slightest cut. The party proceeds to beat on him. Deebo upends his Portable Hole on Xarcious, dumping sand all over him.

Beaten and dismayed, Xarcious pleads for his life. The party demands he finish showing them the way to the Sewer Dragon lair. He does so.

They find a large break in the tunnel wall, and enter it to find what looks like a long forgotten and built-over segment of city street. Half of it has been covered by rock and a massive cave-in. The other side borders the exterior wall of an ancient opera house, according to the sign. Razabelle can tell the doors are trapped.

Deebo grabs Xarcious and tries to fling him into the doors repeatedly, failing each time and punishing Xarcious for “messing up my throws” with another splash of sand in his face. “You’re mine now. There’s gonna be so much pocket-sanding. Hot damn”

Xarcious gets up and barges into the doors, setting off the mono-filament trap and slicing himself into three pieces.

The door is now open.

Deebo throws sand on his corpse.

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The Sewer Dragons: Infiltration

The party enters the underground lair, making their way past a heavily trapped ladder entry. They turn a corner and enter a large dining hall, the massive table emblazoned with the Sewer Dragon logo of a black dragon emanating like smoke from a manhole. Razabelle is checking for traps when she is hit with a single pea. She looks around and cannot find from whence it came. Another pea flies from somewhere around or under the table.

Deebo yells for whoever is throwing the peas and demands that they come out. With a loud crash and bang comes the one-man-band goblin who had been playing at the Grog Pit days ago. He greets the party and plays a song to Razabelle. Deebo tries several times to hit him, but misses. As his song proceeds, the party begins to think that he isn’t so bad. They ask him what he is doing there.

His name is Scribbleface. He was hired to entertain and soothe the riled up tribe of kobolds. He doesn’t know much about the internal goings-on, but there is tension. The dining hall was full, but they had all suddenly cleared. The goblin bard says he is waiting to get paid. Deebo asks him where the scars all over his face came from. He had been the warchanter for a goblin tribe called the Liprippers. He had been secretly writing down his songs and the oral history of the tribe. Goblins, believing that writing steals thoughts from one’s head, burned his songs, carved his face with what they though were letters, and threw him out of the tribe. Now Deebo feels genuine guilt.

They leave him in the dining room as they head to the kitchen. They find the tribe cook who only speaks a few words of common. Through some gestures, and the name Yiddlepode, they deduce that there is some animosity on his part, and he is allied to Kibizax, Yiddlepode’s father and the tribe’s cheif. They are able to half calm him down. Arbol takes some food.

They head down a short hall and find a room with three doors and a large mural dedicated to Asmodeus.

Behind the first door is a stockroom and two kobolds. They attack, ut the party makes quick work of them. They take some supplies from the room, including more food.

The second door leads down a long hallway, where Razabelle is hurt by well concealed traps. It ends in a room that seems to be outfitted as a trapsmithing/lockpicking training room. From a high balcony, Yippitok stares down and demands to know where they come from and why. There are four kobolds in the room with him. There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding, as Yippitok knows nothing about any deal with the Pathfinder Society, and reacts to his sister’s name in disgust, calling her a traitor. He expresses regret that he didn’t follow Mergmo’s lead and abandon the tribe, but he is fiercely loyal to his father. He believes the party is there on Yiddlepode’s behalf to usurp the tribal leadership, and the party is beginning to feel like they have been tricked somehow.

Yippitok, a skilled alchemist, begins combat by throwing a large bomb at the party. Deebo and Arbol climb up the balcony while Khaliz and Razabelle handle the kobolds closest to them. Deebo is able to yank off the belt of bombs from Yippitok. Rikus, Khaliz’s giant chameleon, grapples the kobold alchemist with his tongue. The other kobolds are killed or beaten into submission. Yippitok, near death, is tied up and dragged away to…

The third door. A massive chamber filled with cots and bunkbeds, and the entire rest of the kobold tribe. One kobold asks them if they are there on behalf of Yiddlepode. They reluctantly say they are. Yippitok doesn’t know her whereabouts.

The tribe asks the party to go through the chamber. Kibizax is waiting.

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The Sewer Dragons: The Usurpers

The party enters the final chamber of the Sewer Dragon lair. It appears to be the final remains of the Opera House stage, half covered in rubble and the lair’s infrastructure.

On the stage are several kobolds conversing with a large black dragon. It doesn’t appear to move very much as it talks, and there is a slight glow emanating from it, almost from within it. It identifies itself as Kibizax, and claims to be a “completely real dragon”, though it’s voice is that of an aging kobold. The party realizes the dragon is some sort of illusion when it’s wing seems to pass through the kobold on it’s right. Kibizax tosses the illusion aside, which seems to be bound to a necklace and is a static three dimensional image.

This reveals Kibizax for what he truly is: a doddering old kobold who is nearly blind and argues in circles with the party, stubbornly clinging to the idea that they are hired assassins sent by Yiddlepode, his traitorous daughter. The party threatens to hurt his son, their hostage Yippitok, hoping to get on regular speaking terms with the old fool. He responds with a bolt of lightning.

“I can always make more children.”

During the fight, Deebo and Razabelle are knocked unconcious for a time, spared death only by Khaliz’s magic. Arbol does his share in knocking out Kibizax’s loyalists, while Deebo is the one to deliver the killing blow to the kobold chief, smashing his head to pulp.

As the [arty gathers itself, Yiddlepode flied down from the rafters in a storm of illusions and lightning. The whole tribe has gathered during the fight and she basks in their attention.

“I accept your surrender,” she says, giving the party a look that insists they play along. They do, reluctantly.

Yiddlepode and the party come to an agreement between the Sewer Dragons and the Pathfinder Society. The Society is given free passage through the sewers in exchange for rights to set up a shop in The Coins with Society agents acting as bodyguards.

The party spends the night, and in the morning they are given breakfast and access to Mergmo’s chamber. In it they find:

1. Four clear glass recording spheres
2. Twelve vials of a bizarre green liquid that seems to contain metal filaments that grow onto whatever they come in contact with.
3. Notes on Mergmo’s addiction and experimentation with the liquid, which gives the subject a sort of “metal sickness” and is a “reduced version than Lady Adath’s dosage.” At some point, Mergmo severed his own arm and used the liquid to grow the stump into the drill they encountered.
4. A pack of letters written in Undercommon.
5. More copies of the AAH Flyers, these being the versions containing the map to the “Absolutely Astounding Confounding Maze of Ultimate Mortal Despair” in Razmiran.

The party decides to head over to Razmiran.

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