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Living ENWorld:Adventure:Bizarre Bazaar

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Bizarre Bazaar

DM: started by thegreyman, continued by covaithe

Judge: orsal

Volidar's Tale:

Regis Hilamar recruits some adventurers in Orussus at the behest of his employer, an extremely wealthy merchant named Zel Thanas, based in Medibaria. Regis guides the party out of Orussus to an empty field, where they are met by Rayne Liore. Rayne teleports the party to the Academy of the Chromatic Order in Medibaria, where they meet with Zel Thanas.

Thanas explains that he has hired them to serve as his agents and go to an underground bazaar run by a Nesfylim named Umraecyl, where the famous Urn of Aldamarra is to be auctioned. He gives them a letter of credit in his name and a map, as well as 500g for expenses. He also hires a cleric of Halina, one Phelan Goldmoon, to travel with them and assist as he can.

They travel for two days before being ambushed by a pair of were-rats in hybrid form. They are victorious, but several of them are badly wounded in the process. Tankard is bitten by one of the rat-men and contracts lycanthropy, though he does not know it yet. Octavio spies footprints leading elsewhere, but the party chooses not to follow them.

After several more days of travel, they are surprised to find a small halfling farming village, because it is not on their map. Serana, a human alchemist living there, begs the party for help rescuing her missing daughter, Lara, for the villagers will not help. They investigate the berry patch where the girl disappeared, where a swarm of tiny motes of light swirls and beckons them into the woods. They follow, and are led to a cave. Investigating the cave, they find Lara trapped on a high ledge above the lair of a huge black cat, who attacks. They kill the cat, taking heavy wounds in the process. Jinx and Octavio attempt to reassure the girl, while Tankard and William return to the village with Serana to borrow a ladder. Burtrell Colputter loans them one. On the way back with the ladder, some halfling youths attempt to rob Tank and William. Despite still being badly wounded from the fight with the cat, they soundly thrash the lads, leaving one unconscious and the other two fled. Tank carries the unconscious one around with him for a while.

With the ladder, Lara is quickly rescued. The party recovers some goods, including an ancient Dwarven scroll, from another corpse on the ledge with Lara. They spend the night at Serana's house, healing up. In the morning, Thargon has gone, leaving a note saying that he'd urgent business to attend to in his dwarven homelands. The rest of the party do some shopping. Tank takes the time before leaving to teach the halfling youth another lesson, leaving him unconscious in the tavern and taking from him a silver tooth with a strange unfamiliar rune on the other side.

They continue. After several more days of travel, they find the turning indicated by the map and follow it, only to find that the path leads directly into a hillside. The hill is strewn with fresh boulders, unweathered; they conclude it was a tunnel mouth, recently collapsed. This suspicion is reinforced by the fact that arrows promptly come whizzing toward them from the boulders atop the steep hillside. The ambush proves to involve three skeletal hounds and a skeletal archer, wrapped in black rags that hide his nature for a while. The hounds are quickly dispatched, but the archer leads them on a reckless chase through the rocky hillside before finally being brought down.

The bowman's exposed skull sports a brand, a circle with four upward-curving spikes, two from above and two from the bottom of the circle. The party also recover a magical chain shirt from the body, as well as a masterwork bow.

That night, as Octavio and Tank keep watch, the full moon rises for the first time since Tank was bitten by the wererat. He turns into a dire rat before Octavio's shocked eyes, and flees into the night. In the morning, he wakes, naked and alone underground, but with several new abilities, including a sharp sense of smell. He elects to explore deeper into the caves rather than trying to find his way back to the surface.

Meanwhile, Octavio, William, and Jinx attempt to excavate an opening into the caved-in hillside. They get nowhere. They are examining their map, looking for another way, when a work team of armed dwarves comes across them. After ascertaining that they are not undead, the dwarves explain that they are here to dig out the collapsed hillside, but that it will take days, at least, if not weeks. They mentioned that Thargon contacted them and asked them to help the party, and they offer an escort to the Bazaar by a back way, on which offer the party takes them up.

Soon, they arrive at the entrance to the Bazaar, where the dwarven escorts bid them farewell. A guard instructs them in the Bazaar's rules, and they explore the Bazaar.

Unknown to the party, Thargon's message found other ears, and eventually reaches Volidar the Bard himself, who recruits a pair of adventurers from Orussus to help. Karm, a human druid, and Weel Naxel, a cleric accompany him to a mysterious standing stone, covered in strange whirling diagrams, in deep wilderness. Volidar somehow activates the magic of the stone, and they all disappear. Volidar and Weel emerge near the Bazaar, but Karm goes... elsewhere. Volidar laments his error, but can do nothing more except point Weel in the right direction, with a description of Thargon's friends.

Meanwhile, Tank, naked and alone, explores deeper into the lightless caverns, his natural darkvision showing the way. He smells something rancid, and then is attacked by four duergar with padded clubs. His enraged counterattack is terrible, especially once he changes to rat form, and he shreds all four before collapsing, exhausted. When he comes to, still in rat form, he exerts his will and changes to a hybrid form, and uses his functional hands to strip the bodies and packs, clothe himself, and fashion trophies from their skulls. He returns to the surface, where he contacts the dwarves and, after explaining that the skulls at his belt are duergar and not dwarves, they accept him on the condition that he bathe thoroughly. He does, and at his request they bind him with chains for the night. This proves to be unnecessary; though he changes involuntarily, he remains in control of himself. In the morning, the dwarves politely request that he move on, and escort him to the Bazaar as well.

At the Bazaar, Octavio, Jinx, and William have made an appointment to view the goods up for auction, and secure lodgings for themselves at the Thorn and Castle, a cosy but unostentatious inn across from Umraecyl's palatial home. No sooner have they sat down to wait for their appointment than Weel Naxel comes in and inquires for them. They become acquainted. Shortly, a liveried kobold comes to fetch them for their appointment, but Jinx is overcome with terrible headaches, and remains behind in Phelan's care.

At Umraecyl's home, William inquires about Ludkjeta's sword. Octavio asks after the succubi, and gets a little demonstration of their talents. Finally, they get around to asking about the Urn. Umraecyl can tell them little more than they have learned already, but does tell them that there are several other bidders interested. He asks for some proof of their financial eligibility, and they proffer Zel Thanas' letter of credit. Umraecyl accepts it, though he seems a little disappointed when he looks it over.

Umraecyl calls an early end to the visit when he receives word of a disturbance in the market square. The party follow, and witness a confrontation between Gribble, a dwarven smith, and Lyrael, an undead mage. The rules of the Bazaar forbid actual violence between the two, but Gribble seems on the verge of breaking this rule, and claims Lyrael has stolen a dagger of Gribble's making, which Gribble refused to sell him. Umraecyl convinces Gribble to lay down his weapon, and Lyrael explains that he bought the dagger from a half-elf, Peliax Moonsong. Gribble's assistant, a younger dwarf, admits selling the blade to Peliax. A few more words are exchanged, and Gribble leaves. Umraecyl tells Lyrial to stop provoking Gribble, or he'll be thrown out of the Bazaar despite his wealth.

The party help Gribble's assistant, Nesker, pry Gribble's magic hammer out of the ground. Evidently his version of "laying down his weapons" involves some enthusiasm. Nesker proves to be happier gossiping than working, and fills the party in on some of the rumors floating around, most notably the fact that Lyrial is reputed to control anywhere from two to ten times as much cash as any other bidder for the auction. No one is sure, but Lyrial is acting confident that it's in the bag. Nesker mentions a few other bidders, including Gribble. When asked if Lyrial has started causing trouble with any other bidders, Nesker mentions a mysterious creature living in the non-humanoid caves who had some trouble, as well as an illithid who got kicked out of the Bazaar a few weeks ago. They speculate that if Lyrial were proved to be preventing buyers from reaching the Bazaar, Umraecyl would be very unhappy.

The party exchange a few more words with Gribble, and do some shopping, selling off some of their loot in the process. Darkness comes to the underground cavern, and they retire to their beds, which are comfortable and clean.

In the morning, after a pleasant breakfast, they emerge from the inn to find Tank striding up the street, looking around for them. They catch up with each other, and go back to visit Gribble and show him the Dwarven scroll. He doesn't recognize it, and claims that no one at the bazaar can read it either, but Weel and Octavio sense that there is someone here, someone Gribble dislikes, such as the Derro called Merilmar, perhaps.

They get Gribble to identify a chain shirt for them, and ask him about the silver medallion Tank found on the body of the Duergar that attacked him. Gribble explains that it identifies the duergar as Grodleks, a clan of slavers who occasionally sell their wares near the Bazaar, and warns them to expect retribution if they let themselves be seen with the medallion.

After taking care of some other business, that day comes to a close as well, and the party retires for the night. They are awakened from their sleep by angry cries and flickering lights from the square. It turns out Umraecyl's house is on fire; Lyrial either bribed or ambushed one of the guards, stole the Urn, and fled, leaving a horde of zombies to cover his escape. Umraecyl leaves his guards and servants to deal with the zombies and the fire, and rounds up a posse of other potential bidders to help chase down Lyrial and recover the urn. With the help of a few divination spells, the posse makes good time through the underground tunnels, but Lyrial has a good lead, and reaches a tall, vertical shaft of a cavern with a treacherous, spiral path ascending it: the perfect place for an ambush. Umraecyl spots the ambush, and, relying on the talents of the succubi that he commands for the moment, scouts the ambush and prepares a counterattack. The fight is dangerous, but Umraecyl's tactics are sound, and Lyrial's forces are overcome one by one. Instead of submitting quietly to his defeat, though, Lyrial uses his last spells to send the Urn flying over the lip of the shaft, where it falls hundreds of feet and shatters just as Umraecyl shatters Lyrial's skull.

The pieces of the Urn are left where they fell, in the hopes that scholars will someday be able to piece it back together. Umraecyl closes the Bazaar and sends everyone home, saying that he wants to devote his resources to other things for a while. He gives the party gifts and thanks before they go, and entrusts to them a letter for Zel Thanas.

They travel back to Medibaria, where Zel Thanas hears their tale and explains that in the letter, Umraecyl invites him and the Academy to be involved in the scholarly effort to restore the Urn. He thanks the party, offers them further payment and a favor to be redeemed at a later time. He arranges travel for the party back to Orussus, or wherever else their needs take them.

Items:

Urn of Aldamarra

Zel Thanas: "The Urn is reportedly two to three feet tall, metal, with much scrollwork and other designs on it. From what I'm told, the Urn does not look exceptional, unless someone looks for magical aura's."

"The Urn of Aldamarra" Knowledge (History) DC 15 (Humans):

The Urn of Aldamarra is an item that features in human history as a powerful protective aid. It is said to have been able to protect an entire nation with it's might and bring great prosperity. It was lost many centuries ago.
Knowledge (History) DC 20
The Urn was last used about 900 years ago to protect Hendrallia's lands from an onslaught of goblins and orcs out of the mountains. Without this artifact, Hendrallia would surely have been destroyed. It's also known to other cultures by other names having existed in their cultures also.
OOC note later: In the humans thing, it actually works perfectly as written, but it may confuse someone in the future who chronicles it because I believe Hendrallia the country is quite young. Since the section in question refers to 'Hendrallia's lands' rather than 'Hendrallia', this still works if the chronicler remembers the distinction.

"The Urn of Aldamarra" Knowledge (History) DC 15 (Dwarves)

The Urn of Aldamarra is known to Dwarves as Gorek's Chalice. It is said to be able to enrich the ore throughout an entire mine, and cause any underworld beast to shy away from the area, protecting the people. Supposedly, it can turn copper into gold, and iron into mithral.
Knowledge (History) DC 20
The Chalice was last used by a small Dwarven kingdom (Thak-kel) almost 1300 years ago. With the Chalice, which brought unprecedented riches, the Dwarven kingdom would surely have perished sooner, but sadly a dark elven assault destroyed the kingdom before it could muster it's strength. It's also known to other cultures by other names having existed in their cultures also.

"The Urn of Aldamarra" Knowledge (History) DC 15 (Orcs)

The Urn of Aldamarra is known to Orcs as the Cauldron of Blood. Even the weakest runt that drinks a concoction made from it is blessed with the strength of a raging Ogre and the temperament of a wild boar.
Knowledge (History) DC 20
It was last seen about 300 years ago (although dates vary). It precipitated one of the last great uprisings that ended up sacking several large towns/cities. Before the horde could claim anymore land, the Cauldron was stolen by an elven strike force. Without it, the orcs fell back in great confusion. It's also known to other cultures by other names having existed in their cultures also.

Umraecyl: "To be honest, very little. There is a great deal of rumor and legend. The Urn of Aldamarra, sometimes called the Cauldron of Blood, or Gorek's Chalice, or the Shepherd's Thimble, or any of half a dozen other names, features in the tales of many races. There are dwarven tales in which it produces untold wealth. There are human, elven, and gnomish tales in which its powers protected entire cities from plague, or invasion, or fire. The orcs have carried it during some of their most successful forays into. But none of the tales go into detail about exactly how it is used or what can be done to invoke its powers. Divination magics have revealed only that it is very powerful and incredibly old."

Letter of credit

Zel Thanas: "I will be giving you a letter of surety. Umraecyl has dealt with these before, as a large sum of gold is hard to transport. It will be written out to the amount of one hundred thousand gold nobles. You can bid all of it if needed, but I would appreciate it if you didn't bid it all away. That gold took some time to acquire..." He laughs lightly at that.

Ancient Dwarven Manuscript

Found on a wizard's corpse: "...a long scroll, also wrapped in leather. The scroll appears to be in the Dwarven runic script, but is not in any dialect of Dwarven that anyone here recognizes."

The halfling's silver tooth

"Tank finds little of value on the unconscious halfling, but while looking through his mouth, he notices a silver tooth that is quite loose. Prying it out and looking at it, it looks like a normal silver false tooth, but has a tiny unfamiliar rune carved on the inside of the tooth."

"it (the rune) is a vertical line with several shorter horizontal and diagonal lines emerging from it."

Goods for auction

"There is a wrought iron gate leading into the compound, beside which is posted several large framed notices. By their formatting, they appear to contain the same text in several languages. The one in Common reads as follows.

Goods for auction One silvered longsword, crafted by Hanssen Kjuldsmoll as a dowry for his daughter Ludkjeta, the Diamond of Yurgind.

Three books in draconic script bound in leather of unknown origin. Believed to be in the hand of Arthanastras the Gray.

One set of Horseshoes of the Zephyr, of prodigious size.

One obsidian ioun stone, in two pieces, of unknown function.

Seven matched crystal halberds embossed with the arms of the Emperor of Carduth

The services of three succubi, compacted for seven months by the wizard Harsuthrax

The Urn of Aldamarra

Ludkjeta's sword

Up close, the sword is clearly as much a work of art as a weapon, though none the less lethal looking for all its beauty.

"Ah, Ludkjeta's sword. As tragic as it is beautiful. Tell me, do you know the tale of Mount Yurgind? No? Well, there was a great dwarven hall there under the mountain, where for many centuries the dwarves warred with neighboring goblin tribes. The dwarves were strong, and their hold on the mountain sure, but something changed. Exactly what depends on who you listen to. Some say the dwarves grew soft, turning their tools to art instead of the implements of war. Some say the goblins grew strong breeding larger, stronger, smarter warriors. Some even say that dark powers intervened. What is certain is that perhaps a hundred years ago, the goblins suddenly swarmed over the dwarves of Mount Yurgind, stronger than ever before. The dwarves were hard pressed, and sent for aid. They negotiated an alliance with another dwarven tribe, though which tribe is not known to me. It was to be a marriage alliance, in the oldest tradition; Ludkjeta, called the Diamond of Yurgind, was said to be the pinnacle of dwarven womanhood, and this sword was made by her father, one of the finest smiths under the mountain. It was to be her dowry, and, I think, a kind of statement as well, that though they made things of great beauty, the dwarves of Yurgind had not forgotten war."

Umraecyl sighs a moment, lost in his tale, then gathers himself. "Well, at any rate, things went wrong somehow. The marriage was cancelled, the alliance dissolved, and eventually Yurgind was broken. Only goblins live there now. As far as I can tell, the sword has no magical properties; it is simply a weapon and a work of art. And a conversation piece for dwarves. Its discovery has caused quite a stir among the dwarven population in these parts."

Nesker: "Ludkjeta's sword? A fine choice. Fine dwarven workmanship, and there aren't likely to be many bidders, since most dwarves think it's ill luck. Rubbish, if you ask me, and it's a shame that a perfectly good blade sits unused. Still, nice for you, eh?"

Gribble: "Aye, ye've asked the right dwarf about that. Good dwarven steel that is. Ye can tell 'cause the runes in the blade are built out o' the natural color of the metal itself, brought out by the smith through careful forgework. Won't ever fade or rub off, not like the cheap stuff ye get from lesser smiths. Silvered, of course. I don't do that on me own blades except by request, since it won't keep quite the same edge as good steel after, but I guess Ludkjeta's people'd had trouble with shapeshifters a few decades back o' when this sword was made. Werewolves and such. It's got a bit of an enchantment on it, nothing too powerful, mostly just keeps the rust off."

Gribble: "Most dwarves will leave it be, 'cause it's a wedding gift from a wedding that didna work out, see? Bad luck, that."

Umraecyl gives Ludkjeta's sword to William Kendic at the end of the adventure as a gift.

Harsuthrax's succubi

The three succubi have been lying about the case in indolent poses. One, raven-haired with eyes like banked embers, stands and struts to the edge of the case. She leans against the clear wall, hip thrust provocatively to one side, and looks Octavio over with some amusement. "What are we capable of? Sisters, this one doesn't know about us. Shall we teach him?"

"Teach him? I'd rather eat him," another says, skin a deep golden brown. She does not bother to stand, but crawls to the glass and looking up hungrily at Octavio. "Shall I eat you, human? You'd like it if I ate you." Her voice oozes complete confidence in this pronouncement.

"What we're capable of," asserts the third, hair a brilliant waterfall of copper in a face of unearthly paleness, "is whatever you want us to be capable of." She is sitting cross-legged and straight-backed in the exact center of the case. She looks up and catches Octavio's eye. There is a flicker of flame and a whiff of brimstone, and the case is suddenly empty. Instead, Octavio is closely surrounded by three extremely naked female demons, only inches away. They circle him, trailing warm fingers down the center of his chest and under his jawline, pressing something warm and yielding against his back, breathing extremely interesting suggestions into his ear.

"Girls!" Umraecyl's voice comes sternly. "You know you're to stay in the case and not seduce my guests. Must I inform your Master?"

The succubi pout, and teleport back into the case.

"But it's so lonely in here," the golden-skinned one complains. "You never come visit us any more. Haven't we pleased you?" Her skin suddenly darkens to just a shade lighter than Umraecyl's, and her features elongate into the elegant lines of the finest fey descent.

Umraecyl coughs and firmly turns his back on the case. "I do not know what Harsuthrax paid them, and I sincerely hope I never learn, but he somehow bound them to a compact whereby they do his bidding for a year and a day. He claimed that the terms of their compact prevented them from draining the life force of those they, er, kiss, as is the usual practice of their kind. Naturally, I, uh, had to verify this personally before I could in good conscience before I could accept his commission to auction the remaining term of the compact, and I am pleased to assure you that it is entirely true. Not that there aren't other dangers; poor Harsuthrax is more exhausted than I have ever seen a living creature. Poor man; he bit off more than he could chew, and only barely mustered the willpower to set it aside before it consumed him. He was like one of those unfortunates who simply cannot deny their thirst for strong drink, and slowly waste away. I strongly caution you against bidding on them, unless you are a being of exceptional willpower. Or someone looking for a pleasant road to oblivion."

The People:

Regis Hilamar

Servant and agent of Zel Thanas in Orussus. He was the original contact person for the adventurers in this tale, conveying them by carriage outside of Orussus, where Rayne Liore teleported them to Medibaria.

Rayne Liore

Description: you see an elegant half-elven woman, perhaps in her fifties, which means she looks in her mid to late twenties if she were a human. Her pale blue hair is still carefully set, and her deeper blue eyes are focused and determined. She wears an intricately woven stylish royal blue cloak with several arcane sigils emblazoned on the back, and decorated along the fringe with arcane runes in an iridescent golden yellow-green. There is a complex pattern along the top that seems to sparkle and move as the light touches it at different angles.

Regis Hilamar: "Know that this then is Rayne Liore, one of the Academy's most preeminent mages. Treat her with great respect."

Zel Thanas

Rayne Liore: "I understand that you are working for Zel Thanas. He is trusted by the Council and brought the matter you are here to deal with to our attention."

DM description: "A middle aged man walks into the meeting room. Brown hair with streaks of grey and a square face sit atop a wrestler's body slowly going to fat. Despite this, the man still walks lithely and is quite graceful. His clothes are well made and tailored, and are classy without being too ostentatious. He only wears one signet ring and a pendant necklace for jewelry."

His own words: "I would like to tell you all the reasons for this meeting, but first my own credentials. I am a merchant with many varied interests throughout the nearby cities and surrounding area. I have the third largest freight enterprise in Medibaria, and own inns, mines, chandlers, and stores scattered throughout the region. I am quite involved with the Academy as I am one of their major suppliers for rare ingredients, and therefore am tied somewhat into the Council."

Umraecyl

Zel Thanas: "The person who rediscovered the Urn is a Nesfylim (dark elf) named Umraecyl. A master merchant in his own right...He is already respected in many areas as an "honest" Nesfylim. It is tough to believe, true, but even his name means "loyal friend". He has long housed a bazaar deep in the Stone Spike mountains where all manner of items could be found and purchased."

DM: "Umraecyl is a Nesfylim, one of the dark-skinned elves not commonly seen on the surface of the enworld. His skin is nearly colorless, a smooth, almost jet black that gives no hint of his true age. His white hair is held back in a neat queue by a silver clasp. His clothing, though of muted colors and cut with the same understated elegance that his home displays, would not be at all out of place on a fashionable nobleman of Orussus or Monemvassia. He is not visibly armed."

Phelan Goldmoon

NPC cleric recruited by Zel Thanas to tag along and keep the party healed.

DM description: a young man following a short distance behind him. The young half-elf is deeply tanned with brown hair and sparkling gray eyes seemingly holding laughter just barely in check. A symbol of Halina is prominently displayed around his neck. He sets a large pack just inside the door.

Zel Thanas: "This my friends is Phelan Goldmoon, a devotee of Halina. I've known him for quite some time now, and trust him implicitly."

Serana and Lara

A human alchemist and her daughter, living on the outskirts of Salt Holler.

Serana: "Well, she looks a lot like me, folks say, but smaller. Dark hair with that wispy curl that small ones have, brown eyes, big rosy cheeks. She was wearing a blue dress with brown wool leggings last I saw her,..."

Serana, on why she doesn't fit in at Salt Holler: "My late husband Jonas grew up here. He was... a very charming man. Handsome and well-spoken, and generous. He had many friends. When we married and I moved here, everything was wonderful for a while. Then Lara came, and... well, some men are better at fathering children than at being fathers, I guess, and he grew restless. He drank more and more, and grew angry with me when I begged him to stay at home. He started drinking at home as well as in the tavern, and one day... well, he drank from the wrong bottle, by mistake. I am a bit of an alchemist, you see; and though my bottles are all labelled, you have to be sober enough to read the labels for that to be any help. Of course, his friends at the tavern would never believe but that I did it to him on purpose, and I suspect that I only escaped an 'accident' of my own due to Lara. Now I avoid those in town as much as possible, and they do the same for me. Unless they're sick, of course, or their cows need worming, or one of those empty-headed girls wakes up in the wrong bed at the wrong time of month. Then they're friendly enough to me, for a little while..."

Burtrell Colputter

"Well, if ye need a ladder, I s'pose I might be able to dig one up. It's my turn to buy a round; how's about you cover that little chore for me, and I'll check my barn and see if I've got anything to suit." The balding halfling who first spoke on your entry eases his way to his feet, amid cries of mock amazement.

"That's Burtrell Colputter," whispers Serana. "He never buys a round, at least not with his own money. Quick, toss the bartender a gold piece before he decides it was a joke."

Donal and Morran

Two young dwarf men, part of work party. They escort the party to the Bazaar the back way.

Kargyll

The leader of the dwarven work party. A slightly myopic dwarf, with a salt-and-pepper beard and a thick accent.

Lyrial the Undying

DM: "The voice is... disturbing. Despite its even, reasonable tone and cultured accent, it has a hollow ring, alien and harsh."

DM: "a skeleton, dressed in rich red robes, comically belted above the hips with a silver chain. From the chain hangs a beautiful ornamented eating dagger, obviously of dwarven make. On the skeleton's bleached forehead, above the empty eye sockets, is a familiar brand: a circle with inward-curved spikes inside and out. A faint trickle of smoke wafts lazily up from the brand. The skeleton is flanked by two hulking zombies staring mindlessly ahead, their rotting flesh too decrepit to determine what creature they were in life."

Nesker: "Calls himself "the Undying", Lyrial does. He's a mage of some kind I guess, but more important, he has tons of money. Throwing it around like water. Which is probably why Umraecyl puts up with him, come to think of it. If he's got a grudge against Gribble, it's only because Gribble said to his face what others are sayin' behind his back. And because Gribble wouldn't sell to him, I suppose. But if you ask me, he's just bored waiting for the auction, and killing time by causing trouble."

Nesker: "I can't say I know who his master is. Which is odd, come to think of it; he talks about his master all the time, but I don't recall him giving a name."

Gribble

The dwarf is typical enough of his kind, grizzled and crag-faced, brows clenched furiously together. He wears mirror-polished scale armor with a faint red nimbus, and large, ash-blackened fists clutch a huge two-handed hammer, the head of which glows white and shimmers like an intensely hot fire.

Nesker

"the dwarf, barely an adult by the looks of his beard..."

Merilmar

A Derro merchant with a permanently sour look. He possesses an heirloom dwarven axe, much to the dismay of Gribble.

Peliax Moonsong

A half-elf bard.

Umraecyl: "That bard can't hold on to ten silvers for longer than it takes to find the nearest cask of ale"


The Organizations:

Grodleks

Gribble: On being shown the silver medallion with the figure of a gauntleted fist clutching a pair of shackles, his thick brows cluster in disapproval. He waves the medallion away without examining it closely. "Put that thing away. There's no magic to it, it's from one o' those Grodlek filth. Have ye nae seen more of those around here? The Grodleks are a bunch of duergar that camp nearby. Slavers; nasty folks. Umraecyl don't let 'em operate out of the bazaar, but they bring their wares here for sale from time to time. You take this off of one of them? Well done, I say, but watch yer back. They don't take kindly to opposition."

The Places:

Academy of the Chromatic Order

The Council Chamber

DM: On the grounds of the Academy close to the Council Chamber. The Council Chamber, a huge domed structure spreads before you.

In a side chamber, in the council building: While not as physically imposing as the main Council room, this smaller room is still daunting. The room is almost fifteen feet high, several small pillars flanking either side of the room, surrounding a large oak table with twelve chairs. The walls and pillars are highly polished and seem to be made of white marble. A small side table sits against the wall with several glasses and pitchers.

Umraecyl's Bazaar

route

Zel Thanas: He (Umraecyl) has long housed a bazaar deep in the Stone Spike mountains where all manner of items could be found and purchased. He ensures this variety by allowing no hostilities within his territory. Blood enemies may meet there without harm! Elves and Nesfylim. Goblins and Dwarves. Even Illithids and Githyanki have faced each other in Umraecyl's Bazaar! He has also realized that many powerful creatures may want the Urn for themselves. Umraecyl specified that no bidder may enter the Bazaar with more than five compatriots, and none of them may be too strong in the martial or magical arts. Thus, he limits the possibility of conflict, and the number of bidders.

ZT: "The travel [From the Academy] should take about six or seven days to reach the mountains and the needed tunnel. It should be a further two days through the underworld to reach the Bazaar."

ZT: the route to the Bazaar through the caves is well marked. It is in Umraecyl's best interests for others to find his auction house.

A guard at the bazaar entrance: "Then I'd better go over the rules. Don't worry, they're not long. The Bazaar consists of this cavern and the adjoining caves. All the entrances have guards stationed at all times, so you'll know you're leaving the Bazaar if you pass a guard station. Umraecyl guarantees the safety of his guests and their property while they're at the Bazaar itself. Those caught stealing or attacking other guests in the Bazaar are punished as Umraecyl sees fit. Usually that means a permanent ban. Outside the Bazaar, Umraecyl cannot guarantee your safety, so take care wandering down here. It can be dangerous.

Lodgings can be had at the Thorn and Castle for ordinary folk, or at the Golden Wind for those who like their comforts and are willing to pay for them. Also, there are a series of small caves that are kept free from vermin, for guests whose physical needs preclude beds, or those who wish to camp alone. If you go there, best seek a guide, since I know some of the caves are occupied at the moment. There's no camping in the main cavern itself, unless you're a merchant with wares to sell. Then you can camp with your stall, once you've paid a small fee."


Salt Holler

"... a perfectly ordinary Halfling farm community, with an inviting inn built on human scale near the road."

The Thorn and Castle

One of two inns at the Bazaar; this one is for ordinary folk. It is still well-built and clean, but not fancy.

"The inside of the Thorn and Castle is pleasantly bright and warm. A cosy fire crackles in the hearth, and the smell of baking bread fills the air. A few patrons sit quietly at smooth-worn tables in orderly rows fill the room, some eating, some writing in books. If it were not for the fact that one of the patrons is a sour-looking Derro, and the bartenders various goblinoids, it would be easy to forget that you were a long ways underground."

The Golden Wind

The other of the two inns at the Bazaar.

"Lodgings can be had at the Thorn and Castle for ordinary folk, or at the Golden Wind for those who like their comforts and are willing to pay for them."

The Quests:

Recover the Urn

Zel Thanas: "As I'm sure some of you know, a great danger is brewing in the wilderness. The recent meeting of the Council concerned the particulars of this event. Suffice to say the evil growing threatens us all."

"Recently, it has come to my attention through a close friend that an item has resurfaced that may help to combat this great evil. Long thought lost, it has been rediscovered in a remote location. The item I speak of is the Urn of Aldamarra!"

"The person who rediscovered the Urn is a Nesfylim (dark elf) named Umraecyl. A master merchant in his own right, Umraecyl found the Urn in a collection of rubbish. Quickly figuring out what he possessed, he sent out a message to many nations and places of his discovery. You see, Umraecyl does not want the Urn for himself. He realizes that the Urn would provoke too many feelings of jealousy. Therefore he has decided to sell it to the highest bidder!"

"And that, is where all of you come in. You would be the representative of the Council at this Bazaar to ensure that the Urn did not fall into the wrong hands. Your task is to retrieve the Urn, paying whatever price you must to obtain it."

"I will be providing a surety for the funds needed to purchase the Urn. Furthermore, I will be providing 500 gold to you, to purchase in advance any goods you may need for the journey. Horses will also be supplied so that you may make good time."

"I will be giving you a letter of surety. Umraecyl has dealt with these before, as a large sum of gold is hard to transport. It will be written out to the amount of one hundred thousand gold nobles. You can bid all of it if needed, but I would appreciate it if you didn't bid it all away. That gold took some time to acquire..." He laughs lightly at that.

Zel hesitates for a few seconds when the mention of less honest procurement is brought up. He takes the time to play with his signet ring as he thinks. "Obviously, I would hope to just obtain the object through bidding, but if we cannot gain it that way, I would leave it up to your judgment. We cannot let it fall into enemy hands, but allied or neutral hands may be acceptable. Is the Urn worth provoking another nation or group? It may be, but that new enemy may tip the balance against us as well. As you will be our representative there, you will have to decide at that time what will be in our best interests."

What about this manuscript?

Found on a wizard's corpse: "...a long scroll, also wrapped in leather. The scroll appears to be in the Dwarven runic script, but is not in any dialect of Dwarven that anyone here recognizes."

The Rewards:

Treasure

500g advance payment from Zel Thanas for supplies, here, from which was purchased:

  • fancy clothes, 80g
  • 2 everburning lanterns (hooded), 124g each
  • 3 potions of CLW, 50g each
  • travel rations for 5 people, 30g total

From the two wererat bandits: 50g, 2 rapiers, 2 light crossbows with 20 bolts each.

From an unidentified corpse in the cat's cave, a purse with 1300g.

From the other corpse, on Lara's ledge: 50g, a spellbook with 13 pages filled, and a scroll in ancient dwarven runes.

A chime of opening with 8 charges as a gift from Serana

From the skeletal archer at the caved-in hillside: a magic chain shirt +1, a longsword, and a MW longbow.

Tank takes the following off of the duergar corpses: 4 sets of chainmail, 4 padded greatclubs, a small silver medallion depicting a gauntleted fist gripping shackles, and four packs, each of which contains a net, 50' of hemp rope, a pair of manacles, a bedroll, three days trail rations, and a whip. The leader's pack also contains 45g in loose coins and 10 ft of chain.

Umraecyl gives each remaining character a gift before they leave:

  • Tank: cloak of resistance +1
  • Octavio: Gloves of dexterity +2
  • William: Ludkjeta's sword. (+1 silver longsword). See above for history.
  • Weel: +1 breastplate

Finally, Zel Thanas gives Tank, Octavio, William, and Weel each an additional 200g as thanks.

XP

Award 1: covers from 5 April through 5 November 2008:

  • Tankard: 856
  • William: 856
  • Jinx: 800
  • Octavio: 1500

Award 2: Covers the fight with the bone archer on the collapsed hillside.

  • Tankard, William, Jinx, and Octavio: 280 xp each

Award 3: Misc awards, plus time xp from 5 Nov 08 through 5 Sept 2009.

  • William: 1300 xp
  • Octavio: 1800 xp
  • Tankard: 3500 xp
  • Weel: 650 xp

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This page was last modified on 24 September 2009, at 21:00.
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