Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Lost Galmagia Write Up Session 1.3

Aethra Chatoyant [Magic-User 1 – apprentice of a famous master / elf-sister]; Ayleton the Cat [Familiar 1 – animal familiar / ship cat of unknown port]; Oland [Rogue 1 – Spy / personal keyword not yet defined]; Dungar [Dwarf 1 – Dwarf-raised / Treasure Hunter]; Brömm [Dwarf 1 – Dwarf-raised / Bonded Clockwork Guilds-dwarf]; Azric [Rogue 1 – Assassin / leatherworker]; Richard Stockworth [Hairfoot Halfling 1 – Satyr / Tavernkeeper & Cook]

After Brömm and Dungar take a few steps down so their cavesense can confirm a hundred square foot room at the base of the stairs. The explorers send Ayleton with his cat-senses down, hoping the familiar can avoid danger. There he finds a quartet of yard long beetles, each with three glowing red glands on their head and tail. The beetles ignore him, and he scampers back upstairs to tell Aetha, who tells the rest of the group. They head down en masse and, seeing no aggression from the four fire beetles, close and spike the double doors to the east and west to control their environment. Some exploration reveals the room was once a grand ballroom, but some storm in the past had shoved its contents up against the south, canal-side wall. The stairs terminate about 10’ from the north wall, with a passage behind them to hold serving staff materials. A stream of water runs down the stair wall, the stairs, is blocked by some debris in the room’s center and runs out the east doorway. The dwarves are able to sense a slight incline in the room, and the group quickly conclude that the debris against the south wall indicates a drainage ditch down there.

Digging through the debris reveals this to be correct, and also uncovers two gold candlesticks that the dwarves value at 25 GP each. Not bad for a first morning! Oland explores the drainage gate – some 2.5’ high and 3’ wide – and with a little oil greases it so it won’t shriek when opened, Dungar sticks his head in to learn that the passage slopes down a little to another space, short, with a shifting, uneven floor. Ayleton sniffs to confirm suspicions that it’s canal water. No one wants to slide down the drainage tunnel to see what’s there. Instead they open the westward double door and press on in the direction of the small stream.

That room has a floor covered with a thumb thick layer of dirt and debris, with discoloration on the wall showing the water never reached more than a yard high, holding a half dozen, pace high by three step long stone double desks and two equally large tables, along with a passage to the south through which the stream continues its journey. The north west corner is boxed off with a door, exploration of which reveals it as a garderobe, and hanging on the north wall is a royal blue sash with gold embroidery showing the Customs House seal. Richard Stockton immediately grabs it and proclaims himself mayor.

“What are the desks for?” Oland asks. “If this was a customs house they’d have no end of paperwork,” Azric replies, and the group start pillaging the desks for information by the light of the fire beetles, now five in number, who are crawling between this room and the next. No, wait, seven… and they are moving between the room ahead and the room behind. “Are we sure these things are benign?” Dungar asks. “They’re bugs,” Azric responds. “If they were gonna bite us they would have done it by now.”

The desks turn out to be a treasure trove: two account ledgers (one for gold, one for silver) and the sacks that were the banks for each yielding 50 GP and 400 SP; a personal journal which Azric pockets for later, a pouch holding a key and a thin stone card reading (in the Tarmalnaian dialect), “hello, my name is/I am an agent of ______ and I am accessing vault ________” (Dungar and Brömm “she said the magic word… VAULT!”), and a slender volume whose oilskin cover reads “Open in case of emergency”. Richard starts to pocket that when Aethra says “Open it.” “But it’s not an emergency yet?” “It will be for you if you don’t open it now.”

The front page reads “Given the possibility of either the water wards or the undeath wards failing and disquiet dead entering from the canal, it’s important to keep this…” “Hold it hold it hold it,” Dungar asks “What type of dead? I’m disquieted by the idea of disquiet dead.” Aethra shushes him and has Richard read on “volume nearby to ensure the staff cleric is prepared for the eventuality.” Under that are some icons showing a stick figure with Richards new sash getting this book from a drawer and then handing it to someone holding a caduceus.

“I’m feeling less safe than I was before,” Oland says as Aethra reviews the book with her Read Magic spell – protection from undead and protection from evil – the latter of which is calling on powers she can access and add to her spellbook.

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