You asked for it. You got it. A summary of our last run…
Tarl suggests that the best chance we have of restoring the Guardsmen is to use the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar, which we had retrieved for the clericy of Cuthbert long, long ago. We ask Aslan, The Lion of Cuthbert, to help us. He sets up a meeting with the High Priest of Cuthbert, and petitions him on our behalf. Aslan reveals that he is the grandson of The Current high Priest. The High Priest agrees and uses the Cup and Talisman to resurrect the Guardsmen. This is clearly a one-time deal.
We are invited to participate in a weeklong Founder’s Festival in Critwall (aka Raven’s Bluff), since the Euz Bane (minus Jet) were the founders. We go. Tarl uses Divination to ask “Where do we need to be?” He is told to go to the center of the city.
The central part of the city is clearly different in nature from the rest of the city. There are four temples (Myaheen, Cuthbert, Boccob, and Pelor), surrounding a central tower. The central tower has an amazingly lifelike phoenix on top, and there are 6 levels below the tower.
The Mayor asks to speak to us. He takes us to the sublevel of the tower, with a 40 ft. pool with glowing runes in different alignment languages. The runes are the catechisms of each alignment. The mayor tells us that Araphel, one of the Elders of Selene, came to the Critwall Temple of Mayaheine. He started speaking in High Elven, cut his hand and drew a symbol with his blood on the Temple wall. The symbol is a circumpunct (a circle with a point in the middle). He then died. That location is now a shrine, and elves come there to pay homage.
A number of strange things have been happening in the city.
1. A city guard tried to apprehend a kid. The kid hit him and the guard went berserk (super strong, double-specialized in club).
2. A human goes into a restaurant and orders an elvish delicacy that only an elven nobleman would know.
3. An accounting student asked his chemistry professor for help. The professor said get lost. The student said I wish you would die, and the professor immolated.
4. A plump, out-of-shape housewife stole a necklace and evaded capture using the moves of a high-level thief acrobat.
5. A little girl wandered down the street kissing people. Their ailments were cured.
6. A blacksmith who never played dragon chess entered a dragon chess tournament and won.
One thing they all have in common is that they don’t remember the event.
Maxximus cast Reflecting Pool on the pool below the tower. He scried on the shrine to Araphael. He reached for a candle on the shrine and teleported there. He walked back to us.
The mayor takes us to another room In this room, the phrase, “from nothing we came. to nothing we shall return” is inscribed in thousands of languages. Tarl casts Stone Tell in this room. “Who wrote these sayings?” The answer is “The first one, a two-headed being made of light.” Tarl asks, “What came next?” The stone replies that we showed up.
Tarl is not able to contact his own god in this room, but Jet can contact hers. She speculates that this is because her god’s home is Concordant Opposition, and the rock in this room is similar to that of Concordant Opposition, and Jet has the same sense of peace here that she had on the plane of Concordant Opposition.
We decide to investigate the stories the mayor told us.
- The guard was out drinking with his buddies and got a very ornate tattoo of a phoenix. The phoenix tattoos are part of the promoted activities for the Founders’ Festival. He gets in a fight with a rich kid. The kid draws blood and the guard goes into a rage. He attends services at the temple of Mayaheine.
- The housewife is named Mabel. She and her friends are complaining about the lack of attention from their husbands. They decide to have a girls’ night out. They go drinking. They all get tattoos of a phoenix. Mabel sees a beautiful necklace, named Flames of the Phoenix. A friend makes a snide comment that Mabel will never have anything like that. Mabel says she can get it any time she want. She steals it and runs away, using thief acrobat moves.
- Angela, the kissing/healing kid, is an orphan. She works in the laundry. The head laundress sent her out with Michael (another, older kid) to run some errands. Angel says Michael left her at the Temple of Mayaheine and told her to stay there. She moved to where it was less noisy, so Michael could not find her at first. When he does find her, he slaps her. He apologized. She said he could make it up to her by getting flowers in her hair and having her face painted with a phoenix. He does that and then leaves again to get the laundry. She thinks her dolly told her to kiss people to “make it better”.
Maxximus goes to the orphanage he founded, run by an ex-cleric of Iuz, also named Angela. Angela said the orphan girl was called Lisa. She killed a girl and tried to kill two boys, so Angela kicked Lisa out. Maxximus talks to the boys at the orphanage. They say a man named Silas has been paying them to do simple stuff. Recently Silas asked them to “collect the blacksmith’s blood”.
We go by the shrine of Araphael. Aldebaran and Beyodar feel the presence of Corellon. The circumpunct symbol means “I am the beginning and the end.” It is associated with the creation of the leves.
We visit the Temple of Myahein. The priestess there says Angela was overtaken by the Rapture. When she collapsed, she was brought to the temple. She had a foul spirit on her which the priestess rebuked. The curse was associated with the face paint.
Next we investigate the phoenix statue at the top of the central tower. It appears to be a single piece of crystal, signed by Leonard
Maltin. There is a Concordant Opposition type of effect, which even prevents Jet’s Shape Change.
We track down Silas, so that Maxximus can get a good look at him. Then Maxximus uses the Reflecting Pool, to spy on Silas. Maxximus watches Silas collect blood from various runners. He eventually takes the blood to an alchemist and gets pigments from the alchemist. He sells the pigments to various tattoo artists.
The idea for the tattoo campaign came from the mayor’s staff publicist, Analise.
Maxximus scries Silas’ house. While Maxximus keeps lookout via scry, Tarl and Jet head to the house to investigate. On route, Tarl notices that he is being scried, and breaks the scry using his turning fork. Maxximus hears the chime of the tuning fork, so he knows the scryer is in the tower with him. Beyodar and Aldebaran try to find the scryer but she evades them. The house contains little except a chest of many drawers which held blood samples.
We head to the alchemist shop. Aldebaran demands the alchemist tell him about the blood. The alchemist says he does not know anything. So Aldebaran Power Word Stuns him. Aldebaran reads the alchemist’s recipe book. The pigment reads like scroll ink. Augury says the ampules contain kraken blood.
We suspect that the tattoos are intended to affect the outcome of the mayoral election scheduled for the end of the festival. We head to the Mayor’s publicist, Analise. She says the idea for tattoos came from a brainstorming session. Rudolfus, (who we think we know as Silas) thought that disappearing ink tattoos would be a way for people to celebrate the festival without making a permanent commitment. Plus, people could get new tattoos for the next event, increasing the amount of work/profit for the local artists.
To be continued on Saturday….