Lanterns in the Mist

The Beast of Lepidstadt

Murders in Lepidstadt echo the murders in Courtaud; the group investigates.

Saturday, June 28th, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav

The group has just arrived at a ghastly cavern, a grisly scene with a rickety table piled with ornate silver platters heaped with rotting meat and crawling with maggots and other vermin. Amelia is loathe to enter the chamber, but Grewin manages to coax her through. Pearl simply won’t enter the chamber, and flees, as does Silvio. There is a horrific stench, and a shape that appears to be a sort of humanoid amid an area of black mold and fungus. Propped on a stained and sticky chair, they see a painting of Iesha Foxglove that appears to have been reworked into some sort of semblance of Katarzyna, using grotesque scraps of skin and what appears to be Katarzyna’s own hair. They draw up short, as they see Iesha Foxglove standing facing another chair. The chair is facing away from them, so they can’t see who is seated there. Iesha threatens the figure in the chair, but draws back suddenly. As they face Iesha Foxglove, it occurs to them that she is not the direct source of all the noise they had been hearing, the incessant moans and cries they had echoed through the tunnels underneath Foxglove Manor. They also hear the ghostly player piano, somewhere in the distance. Suddenly a figure rises out of the chair holding a long bladed weapon. It is a ghastly sight, a finely dressed but grotesque form who can only be Aldern Foxglove.

The hideous form of Aldern Foxglove greets Katarzyna, but Grewin tells him to begone, and the figure appears to shift into another persona. He is holding what appears to be a leather mask, which he places on his face. Katarzyna attacks with a Web Bolt, but he easily avoids it, whereupon Grewin attacks him. Aldern speaks to them, making reference to Zadesha and the Skinsaw Man. Grewin thinks the creature is sincere in what it’s saying, it’s telling the truth as it knows it. The mask seemed to change the appearance of the creature. His face seems to change to resemble Grewin’s face. He slashes at Grewin, hitting him, and also bites him on the face. Grewin fights back, trying to keep the creature at bay. Katarzyna calls on a strange sacred power, and weakens the creature slightly.

The creature attacks Katarzyna next, but misses. Abner runs out of the room, and they hear rushing water and battle outside the chamber. Grewin tries to release Iesha Foxglove, but hits the chair instead. Outside the cavern room, Abner is beset with ghouls and an oversized undead bat. Abner’s abdomen is ripped open by the first attack, and he’s bleeding profusely as he cries out in pain. The ghoul pulls him out into the chamber, and he is knocked out by the bat. Gregore pulses, and comes to Abner’s aid. Kendra helps Katarzyna attack the Skinsaw Man/Aldern Foxglove. Katarzyna is paralyzed by the Skinsaw Man, and is taken out of the fight, while Kendra fights valiantly to save Katarzyna. Gregore and Grewin fight to save the badly wounded Abner. Grewin manages to release Iesha Foxglove from the mirror’s influence, and she immediately charges at Aldern Foxglove, knocking Kendra out of the way to reach him. Grewin continues to try to hold off the other creatures. Gregore manages to remove Katarzyna’s paralysis. Iesha Foxglove quickly kills Aldern Foxglove, and once he is dead, her face softens, and she says “thank you”, to Katarzyna as she slumps down and immediately begins to decompose. Once Aldern is defeated, everyone focuses on the other combatants in the vestibule outside the cavern room. A moment later, Grewin finally decapitates the undead bat that had been harrowing them. Abner claps Grewin on the shoulder as he catches his breath.

They all take a moment to assess their situation. Kendra points at a wall that has a vaguely humanoid shape on the wall with a broken box at its feet. Kendra picks up the box and it looks like the box depicted in the stained glass windows in Foxglove Manor. Kendra realizes that the box might be a phylactery, and speculates that Vorel Foxglove was trying to become a lich, but failed. Aldern Foxglove had obviously discovered his hidden sanctum, and had somehow become the creature that Iesha had just killed.

Among the items they find in the room is a magic-imbued mask, crafted from bits of human face skin. The mask grants the wearer an increased ability to avoid being seen, and also allows the wearer to take on the appearance of another person, granting an advantage to attack that person. They also find a war razor imbued with minor magic, as well as two rings. The first ring enhances a person’s ability to jump, the second ring Katarzyna is unable to identify at first, but is later discovered to be a minor protection item.

Abner finds a small silver key ring on the table, with two keys. The smaller is bronze with a roaring lion head. Abner finds erotic drawings, featuring Aldern and Katarzyna as the subjects, which Katarzyna finds extremely distasteful. Jean-Baptiste also finds a silver locket, which he tosses to Katarzyna. Grewin hands Katarzyna a note, trying to do so surreptitiously, but Katarzyna is completely oblivious to that attempt. Grewin tells her that he was trying to keep the note from Jean-Baptiste. Katarzyna hands the note to Kendra, who notes the seal, which features a winged undead. The note reads:

Aldern,

You have served us quite well. The delivery you harvested from the caverns far exceeds what I had hoped for. You may consider your debt to the Brotherhood paid in full. Yet still, I have need of you and when you awaken from your death, you should find your mind clear and able to understand this task more than in the state you lie in as I write this.

You shall remember the workings of the ritual, I trust. You seemed quite lucid at the time, but if you find after your rebirth that you have forgotten, return to your townhouse in Lepidstadt. My agents shall contact you there soon – no need for you to trouble the Brothers further. I shall provide you with a list of the proper victims for the ritual in two days’ time. Commit that list to memory and then destroy it before you begin your work. The ones I have selected must be marked before they die, otherwise they do my master no good and the greed in their souls will go to waste.

I warned you that the enemy agents may be coming through Courtaud from Ravengro. I told you to send me word when they do, NOT write love letters to them! Now their attention is on our endeavors. Get rid of them!

If anyone else gets in your way, you may do with them as you please. Eat them, savage them or turn them into your pawns – it matters not to me.

— Xanesha, Dominus of Isfet

At Kendra’s suggestion, they decide to perform a seance in the room with the phylactery, to hopefully learn more about what happened and possibly release the spirits bound to Foxglove Manor. Kendra clears off the table a bit. Kendra, Katarzyna, Jean-Baptiste and Grewin all perform the seance. They ask where they need to go to release the spirits bound to Foxglove Manor, and the planchette tells them “Here”.

The strange skin affliction she and Katarzyna have contracted is worsening on Kendra. Nevertheless, Kendra has Jean-Baptiste and Gregore move the remains of Aldern and Iesha onto the table. She borrows the war razor from Abner, and slices a bit of the mold off the wall to begin a ritual. After a few hours, Kendra tells them that holy water or fire will remove the immediate effects of the disease in the area, to keep it from infecting others. She also tells them that a Hallow or Consecrate spell would cleanse the house of the evil magic.

Gregore starts praying and sprinkling silver dust around. They hear a pounding, and sounds of voices. Katarzyna hugs Kendra as the sounds gather in intensity. Katarzyna grabs Grewin’s and Marshall’s hands. The humanoid shape-fungus on the wall breaks free of the wall, howls with an unholy sound. It seems like it’s trying to say something. The mold dessicates, and then falls to the ground. The house appears to be freed of the malevolent spirits.

From the letter they discovered, Kendra recalls that “dominus” is a ranking in a cult. They decide to clear the rest of the house. Jean-Baptiste picks up a wand from the pile of ash that had been the mold. It is a wand imbued with the Knock spell, which Jean-Baptiste decides to keep. They explore the rest of the cavern complex, finding a a room with a mound of body parts that was clearly the bat’s lair. There is also a large pool in the main cathedral like cavern. Grewin investigates the pool, but doesn’t find anything noteworthy.

They continue to investigate, and Jean-Baptiste identifies the body of the man as a known brigand, Chaz Redshiv Belger. Grewin searches the body and finds 56 gold pieces, as well as a pearl ring. He also finds a magical hat and an adamantine sword on a body in the cavern. Katarzyna immediately recognizes the hat as a Hat of Disguise. She takes posession of that item, and uses it to improve her human disguise. The main effect is to make her eyes a more human-like blue with distinct iris and sclera, rather than the featureless black that marks her as unnatural. The hat also imparts a more healthy skin color and more vibrant hair color, though still in the same color range as her natural hair.

They head back to the stone spiral steps. They find themselves back in the basement. They find an arcane workshop. There are stained glass windows, depicting a gaunt gentleman drinking an arcane brew and the same man in an advanced state of decay, laughing in triumph. There are books, cages, and other debris. The books deal with necromancy and the creation of undead. The cages are from Pug’s Contraptions in Lepidstadt.

They continue through a very long corridor to a large kitchen with a huge oak table. There are corpses of burned rats from the earlier encounter with the plague rats. Grewin finds a silver salver, crystal decanters, and a silver dinner set. Grewin also finds an urn in the back of one of the cupboards. There is a dried pine cone on top of the urn. Grewin removes three pinecones and underneath, he finds three violet garnet stones. Kendra informs Grewin that the silver service is of exceptional silver from Verlich, and the design is 200 years old. Grewin decides to take the silver and crystal with them. They check the rooms adjacent to the kitchen. They find a ruined wine closet, a small servant’s quarters, and the disgusting remains of the rats’ lair, formerly the larder.

They return to the attic. There is an observatory, and there are two stained glass windows and a ruined telescope. Kendra identifies the people in the stained glass windows as Arazni, the Harlot Queen of Geb, a lich from a desert empire. The male figure is Socorro, the Butcher of Carrion Hill, who served the Whispering Tyrant. They take a bit of time to investigate the widow’s walk as well.

They investigate the room across the hall from Iesha’s room of captivity. It is full of books and objects. There is a fine painting of a bullfight. It is called Throw Down In Swynetown. It is worth over 500 gold pieces. The books are mostly local history, about Vistani and older barbarian tribes, as well as maps and other items. Katarzyna grabs as many maps as she can. There is a maps of the Core before the Grand Conjunction, also a map of Akiri, Bluetspur and all sorts of other lands. Katarzyna asks Kendra about Bluetspur. Kendra knows a lot about it, and they discuss it at length. As evening approaches, they finish up their work and leave Foxglove Manor. They are loathe to make camp near the manor, so they camp several miles away.

Sunday, June 29th, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav

The party awakes and Gregore and Abner tend to Kendra first. Gregore cures Kendra with no problem, and subsequently heals Katarzyna on the second attempt. Jean-Baptiste returns to town to try to find a priest of Pharasma willing to help heal the disease before they can return to Courtaud together. They spend the day at camp, and Katarzyna cleans all their clothing and equipment to remove all the contaminants. They also take stock of the items they’ve collected and redistribute them.

Jean-Baptiste is able to coax a priest to come out to the campsite. He doesn’t have all the spells he needs, so Katarzyna persuades the priest, Michal, to stay the night and help them in the morning. He manages to heal Silvio, but Pearl will have to wait until the morning to be healed, though it imperils her to wait. Katarzyna and Michal stay up chatting for much of the evening. Kendra spends a lot of time poring over the letter they found in Aldern Foxglove’s cavern lair. The night passes without incident.

Monday, June 30th, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav

Katarzyna awakes before the others, feeling Pearl’s life slip away as the owl succumbs to the ghastly phage, before Michal is able to use a spell to try and save her. Katarzyna burns the remains, at Gregore’s urging. Michal does manage to heal Abner’s ghoul fever. With everyone healthy and non-contagious, they decide to head back to Courtaud. Katarzyna and Michal decide to make a date for that evening.

Katarzyna and Kendra spend some time in the midmorning at the natatorium, bathing and having wine. Katarzyna is suddenly struck with the reality of Pearl’s death, and is subdued and melancholy. Kendra does her best to distract Katarzyna. They have a bard play the violin, and chat in Akiri. After their spa treatments, they walk over to the dress store and they buy new dresses. Kendra buys a sumptuous gown.

Michal picks Katarzyna for her date, and they have supper at a dinner theater. It is an underground place, with a satirical comedian. They also go to another club where there is music. Michal is a complete gentleman, and sweetly kisses Katarzyna goodnight. Katarzyna is rather giddy as she returns to her room, and quickly falls asleep.

Tuesday, July 1st, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav

Katarzyna awakes feeling melancholy again. The death of Pearl still weighs on her mind, and the euphoria of her date with Michal has dissipated. She hearkens back to Aldern Foxglove, Leromar Horgan, and Gharen Mhuricar, and a deep pessimism sets in with regard to Michal. She tries to shake it off, and joins the others in the common room.

Jean-Baptiste investigates Isfet, a concept associated with Akiri religion and the deity Apep, who is associated with death/destruction/oblivion. Kendra, Gregore and Grewin also help in the investigation. Gregore thinks everyone should make haste to Lepidstadt, to return the books and get more information about the letter. Gregore helps Marshall overcome his unease from his experiences at Foxglove Manor. Jean-Baptiste asks Farren if he can accompany Gregore’s group to Lepidstadt to investigate all the goings-on with the Whispering Way. Farren writes letters of introduction for Jean-Baptiste and the others. Jean-Baptiste purchases a horse. At some point, Gregore asks Katarzyna to identify the brooch he got from Professor Lorrimor. Katarzyna consults with Kendra, who is rather pensive when she sees the brooch. Katarzyna returns to Gregore and tells him that the brooch will defend him from unseen attackers. Gregore spends time replenishing his spell components and such. The rest of the day passes without incident as everyone gathers their belongings and finishes up their business in Courtaud.

Wednesday, July 2nd, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav

The group settles all their affairs in Courtaud, and prepares to depart for Lepidstadt the following day.

Thursday, July 3rd, 758, Courtaud, Ustalav to Lepidstadt, Ustalav

The group sets out in the morning for Lepidstadt. It takes the entire day to travel to the city, taking the coastal road. Katarzyna continues to use the Hat of Disguise to make herself appear more like a normal human.

They arrive at Lepidstadt in the early evening, around 7 pm. Kendra offers to put everyone up at the Lorrimor townhouse near the University. Gregore is eager to find Jominda and Illindri. It turns out that Jominda and Illindri are at the Lorrimor Townhouse. Victor is there also. They hear Jominda and Illindri having a lesson in the Jitska language. Gregore goes into the room, Victor sees Gregore first. Jominda sees Gregore and hugs him close. She also hugs Katarzyna, Kendra, and Abner. Katarzyna tells Jominda about Dragos’ recent demise. Jominda tells them all that the Crooked Kin are in Lepidstadt. Gregore and Abner bring Jean-Baptiste up to speed with regard to Illindri’s mental state.

Gregore tells Jominda and Victor about some recent murders in Lepidstadt. Jominda tells them that they think they’ve captured the people responsible. She says there have been mutilations. The description of the murders sounds a lot like the murders in Courtaud. They are convinced that “the Beast” is the murderer. Gregore lets Jominda read the letter they found at Fox. Kendra tells them that she’s going to go out and run some errands. Gregore brings Dragos’ body into the house, and puts it in a place where it won’t be disturbed.

Victor prepares food for them. It is REALLY not good. Barely edible. Victor is clearly displeased with his performance. Katarzyna tries to hide her disappointment, but fails. Victor is noticeably perturbed by Katarzyna’s poorly-concealed reaction to his cooking, even though he himself knows it is of poor quality. Victor leaves them and goes up to prepare the rooms with all the portable bedrolls and such. He then leaves to run errands. Gregore and Jominda go to an inn for the night, and Jominda lets Katarzyna have her room.

Kendra is gone for about an hour, she brings back some really nice tobacco. She tells Grewin about a lecture about Lamordian inventions to be held at the University early the following morning. Katarzyna wanders in, and Kendra tells her that they need to return the scarab book to Judge Daramid in the morning after the lecture. Eventually the conversations taper off and everyone retires for the night

Friday, July 4th, 758, Lepidstadt, Ustalav

In the morning, Kendra and Grewin go to the lecture. Victor tries to prepare breakfast, but it is his worst attempt yet. Kendra and Grewin make the excuse that they have to get to the lecture, and abstain from Victor’s breakfast. The lecture on Lamordian science is being held in the Vollny Science Building. Grewin and Kendra are both fascinated by the lecture and the sample machines.

When Jean-Baptiste comes downstairs, only Katarzyna and Victor (and Illindri) are present. Katarzyna tries to put on a brave face with regards to breakfast, but Victor sees right through her, and sulks. When Jean-Baptiste goes up to look for Illindri, he runs into Abner coming out of Katarzyna’s room. He hands Jean-Baptiste a sandwich. Jean-Baptiste checks on Illindri, finding her asleep. He is unhappy that he can’t help her, a feeling rather familiar to the others.

Jominda and Gregore spend the morning together, and they stop at the Lorrimor Townhouse to check on Dragos’ remains, still fresh thanks to Gregore’s use of the Gentle Repose spell. Kendra and Grewin both come in at the same time. As they arrive, Victor is distracted, so Katarzyna abandons her breakfast and heads back up to her room.

After they all finish their morning preparations, Kendra, Jean-Baptiste and Katarzyna go to return all the books. They visit the professor of antiquities, Dr. Montaigne Crowl. They see craftsmen fixing things inside the museum. Dr. Crowl tells them about a break in that occurred recently. The only item missing is a relatively minor artifact known as a Sea Sage Effigy. There is an Akiri tablet in the room as they all sip claret and discuss the matter. Katarzyna reads the tablet, and it appears to be a spell tablet. Jean-Baptiste asks Dr. Crowl about the theft of the Sea Sage Effigy. They also present the books from Professor Lorrimor’s house. Dr. Crowl is rather disturbed by some of the books. The book of Zon Kuthon and Serving Your Hunger are particularly upsetting. He also peruses the Umbral Leaves, to his consternation. He rings for the key to the vault, and has the books placed inside. He writes out a receipt for the books. He tells them that the Sea Sage Effigy is a small murky green stone statuette depicting a green tentacled creature. Dr. Crowl tells them that the Beast had been apprehended at the University, but that the Sea Sage Effigy was not found on the creature’s person. Dr. Crowl shows them a rendering of the Sea Sage Effigy.

After the conversation with Dr. Crowl comes to a close, Jean-Baptiste decides to meet up with Abner to follow up on some clues from the Courtaud murders. Katarzyna and Kendra take their leave of Jean-Baptiste and Dr. Crowl and take a carriage to Judge Embreth Daramid’s townhouse near the city center. They discuss the Order of the Palatine Eye during the carriage ride. They are ushered into the Judge’s home, and they wait in her vestibule for a few moments. The butler ushers them to a salon, where a majestic and commanding elderly woman, Judge Daramid, greets them. Kendra and Katarzyna have a long discussion with Judge Daramid, and the judge asks if she might speak with Katarzyna alone. Katarzyna tells the judge all about their activities in Ravengro, Karpad and Courtaud. Kendra rejoins them after about an hour, and Judge Daramid gives Kendra the money that was promised for the return of the book. She then tells Katarzyna to have her group come to dinner that evening.

Gregore and Grewin go to return Dragos’ body at the Temple of Ezra. Grewin talks with Victor, and they retrieve the wagon and take Dragos’ body to the Temple of Ezra. The bailey greets Gregore, who tells him all about Dragos and how he died at the Witch’s Teat Inn. They talk about the possibility of raising him from the dead. Gregore goes to pray to Ezra, and spends some time speaking with the priests about what happened in Ravengro, including everything about the Whispering Way. The bailey tells Gregore that they should share the information with the priests of Pharasma. Grewin sits on the front steps of the temple smoking, idly making fetishes of Hallah.

Gregore and Grewin go the Temple of Pharasma and speak with the priests there. The priest gives Gregore a missive from the Temple to use in other areas where the Pharasma faith predominates. They talk about the Whispering Way, who think that undeath is the purest form of existence. To the followers of the Whispering Way, living creatures are pitiful and pointless. They seek out people of promising talent and corrupt them. The Whispering Way has historically been plagued by infighting, which is one of the reasons they haven’t been more of a problem in the past. Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, once united the Whispering Way, but the organization predates him. Grewin mentions that there is a heirarchy, and mentions Aldern Foxglove might have turned himself into a ghoul to “perfect” his form following the principles of the Whispering Way. Gregore also shares the information in the letter with the priests, but they aren’t able to make any conclusive connections. They talk about the murders in Courtaud, and also the abduction of Warden Lyvar Hawkran’s spirit from Harrowstone Prison in Ravengro.

After Kendra and Katarzyna meet up with Jean-Baptiste, Gregore and Grewin, they return to the townhouse, and Kendra doles out the money from Judge Daramid. Grewin gives his share to go toward raising Dragos. Jean-Baptiste also decides to chip in toward the effort. Jominda and Gregore go shopping in the afternoon, while Jean-Baptiste goes to the University to see if there are any new developments in alchemy or firearms, and to pick up alchemical components and such. Abner meets up with Jean-Baptiste, and informs him that he has located Aldern Foxglove’s townhouse.

Later in the day, they all get ready to go to dinner at Judge Daramid’s home. Everyone except Victor goes to dinner, Victor stays behind to look after Illindri. They arrive at Judge Daramid’s townhouse, and the butler shows them into the salon. They are all greeted graciously by Judge Daramid. Gregore and Grewin see what appears to be the largest wolf skull they have ever seen in the salon. Judge Daramid asks that they call her Embreth. Jean-Baptiste and Gregore introduce themselves and make small talk with Embreth for a few minutes. Jean-Baptiste decides to “cut to the chase”, but Embreth shuts him down. Katarzyna peruses the library while the Judge chats with the others. Gregore asks Embreth about her career in Lepidstadt. She tells him that she has been a judge for 20 years, and had been an advocate for 10 years prior, and was an inspector for 8 years before that. Gregore asks if Judge Daramid had any knowledge of Shanda Faravan, the councilwoman from Ravengro, but Embreth tells him that she has never heard of her. Jean-Baptiste talks about Farren, who turns out to be a dear old friend of the Embreth’s. He also tells Embreth that his own father, Jean-Pierre Harrow, had been instrumental in apprehending the notorious murderer known as the Lopper. The selfsame Lopper whose ghost had been defeated at Harrowstone Prison. Embreth had known of Jean-Pierre, but she tells Jean-Baptiste that she didn’t know him personally.

They sit down to dinner, and there is a string quartet playing for them. Gregore notices that Jominda is feeling uncomfortable. Kendra and Katarzyna try to make her feel more at ease. They are served a Canterwall-inspired meal of Beef Wellington as they regale Embreth with stories about their case in Courtaud. The meal is truly exceptional, and features dishes from all over the Core, including a cream cake from Borca. The table is cleared, and Davis, the butler, brings out scotch and cognac, as well as cigars. They are also offered smoking robes, so that the cigars don’t imbue their garments with their scent. As the evening progresses, Kendra and Katarzyna focus on the skeleton specimen, Kendra determines that it was a male human, about 32 years old, who was an experienced fighter.

At long last, Judge Daramid says “so, let us speak plainly” as she looks directly at Jean-Baptiste. She tells them that she is concerned about the Beast, the creature that is to be executed (presumably) for the murders in Lepidstadt. She doesn’t think it is capable of such things. She wants the group to look into the string of murders, to see if the Beast is even connected with them. Gustav Kappel is the advocate for the Beast, but she has no confidence in him. She tells them that if they get arrested for minor indiscretions while investigating the events, they can drop her name, but not for anything really serious.

At the end of the evening, they bid Embreth good evening, then the return to the Lorrimor townhouse to change and retrieve their gear and weapons. They make their way over to the Foxglove townhouse in small groups. Abner, Kendra and Jean-Baptiste go in one group, and Gregore, Grewin and Katarzyna go in another group. Grewin has the keys. He tries the iron key, and it opens the townhouse front door without any trouble. Grewin, Amelia, Gregore and Katarzyna step inside the house. Gregore notices that there is dried mud on the floor in the entryway. The windows are boarded up on the ground floor. The townhouse is cold, dark and empty. Shortly, they are joined by Jean-Baptiste, Abner and Kendra. There is a door to the right that they investigate first. There are shelves with hunting trophies scattered all over the floor, as if the room had been ransacked. Gregore moves into the room. Katarzyna follows close behind. They hear flies buzzing around. Kendra pulls out her divination skull. Gregore opens the door further down the wall, and they enter what appears to be a dining room and kitchen. To everyone’s consternation, Kendra uses her dagger to slit the skin on her forehead, and as she does so it becomes an eye in the middle of her forehead.

They see a bit of light coming from somewhere to the south and they hear someone calling out to them. Grewin and Abner move to hide in the shadows, and Gregore hides the light from his coin. Katarzyna calls out to voices. A person steps forward, and she appears to be Iesha Foxglove. She calls over her shoulder for Aldern Foxglove. It is a very strange conversation as Katarzyna and the ersatz Iesha dance around each other. Katarzyna is considering all the possibilities, when suddenly, “Iesha” and “Aldern” give each other a significant look, and attack Katarzyna. They stab her from both sides, almost incapacitating her on the first hit. Grewin attacks “Iesha”, and she attacks him at the same time. The bodies of the creatures impersonating Iesha and Aldern morph and change as they attack. Abner manages to kill one of them, and the other moves to attack him. Jean-Baptiste and Grewin manage to kill it before it can seriously harm Abner. Grewin peeks out the front door to see if anyone has noticed the sound of Jean-Baptiste’s gunshots, but it doesn’t look like there is any activity outside, other than a single shadow moving in the distance.

They continue searching the townhouse. They go upstairs. There entire townhouse is in disarray, including slashed paintings of Traver Foxglove, Cyralie Foxglove, and the chidren. There is nothing noteworthy on the second floor, so they head up to the third floor. They find a mantle sculpted with lions, and Abner finds a keyhole. They use the second key to open the lock and find a hidden cache, which contains 200 platinum coins and a shallow wooden case. The case contains a number of pieces of paper. It seems to be some kind of financial records connected to Aldern Foxglove. They also find the deed to Foxglove Manor from the year 692, when the manor was first built. In 792 ownership of the manor would revert to “the brotherhood”. They decide that they have retrieved everything of note in the townhouse. The Nozari Consortium is mentioned in the documents, but no one knows what it is.

Grewin hears noise downstairs, and he quietly tries to move down to the first floor. Abner and Katarzyna go out the window, and Abner decides to create a diversion so the others can escape. Grewin sends Amelia barreling out the front door, and she rushes out. Katarzyna Spider Climbs onto the roof. Kendra climbs out the window too. Grewin, Gregore and Jean-Baptiste are still in the upstairs room, so Jean-Baptiste prepares infusions of Levitate and Invisibility. He gives the Levitate to Gregore, who grabs Grewin and goes out the window, while Jean-Baptiste takes the Invisibility infusion and goes downstairs. Katarzyna climbs over the neighboring rooftops and makes her way toward the Lorrimor Townhouse. Gregore and Grewin take the back alley behind the townhouse and make their way away from the townhouse. Jean-Baptiste is the last to leave the house, finding the two guards in front of the townhouse difficult to elude. He ends up placing a stuffed head from the trophy room on the floor in front of the door, then heads upstairs. He climbs out the second floor window and drops down to the street level. He peeks around the front of the building, and checks out what’s happening. He turns visible and talks to the guys in front of the townhouse. The guards talk with him for a few moments, wary of a Lozeri inspector but still cordial. The others manage to elude the town guard, and return to the Lorrimor Townhouse separately. They decide to turn in for the night, and discuss their findings in the morning.

Saturday, July 5th, 758, Lepidstadt, Ustalav

The next morning they awake to the smells of breakfast. Abner is cooking, so it smells infinitely better than Victor’s recent attempts. Abner has made individual quiches for everyone, and they all enjoy their breakfast. A letter comes in the morning for Gregore, it is from Dragos. Dragos informs Gregore rather matter-of-factly that he has been raised by the brothers at the Temple, but he has been given tasks by the Ezrite order, and can’t rejoin them just yet. Everyone is relieved to hear that Dragos is alive again, but Katarzyna is somewhat bothered by the fact that he didn’t return to them in person to bid farewell.

Abner asks Jean-Baptiste to accompany him to a mill mentioned in Aldern Foxgloves financial ledger. They spend most of the day looking for the mill. It is on the eastern side of the city, on the river. They meet some people in an alley, and ask about the Nazeri Consortium. It is an order of silent Pharasman monks from Ulcazar, according to one of the men. They head to the Temple of Pharasma to check it out. They learn that there had been a monastery of Pharasma in Ulcazar, but it’s been defunct for awhile.

Grewin, Gregore and Katarzyna go to the Temple of Ezra. They speak to the anchorites, who confirm that Dragos has been raised, and has been sent on a mission for Ezra.

Katarzyna returns to the townhouse, where Kendra is engaged in some sort of odd supernatural writing. She spends the day reading the book on Matreus’ ill-fated expedition to Vechor. Gregore goes to the town records hall. He is looking for information on the owners of the sawmill. He shows the deed for Foxglove Manor. He and Jominda go shopping for garb the is more appropriate for rubbing elbows with nobility.

Grewin spends the rest of the day exploring Lepidstadt. He overhears a lot of talk about the Beast. He discovers that there are gnomes living in Lepidstadt, but isn’t able to find any right away. He hears about a gnome who owns a clockwork business. Grewin heads over to the Sign of the Clockwork Wink, and is greeted by an elderly gnome. There is a giant eye lens in the shop, and the elderly gnome introduces himself as Tallan. They chat for a while, and Tallan serves Grewin mushroom soup for dinner.

In the evening, Kendra and Katarzyna go to keep Kendra’s appointment. When Gregore and Jominda return to the house, Victor and Illindri are the only ones present. Victor tells them that Kendra and Katarzyna had gone out, and that no one else has returned yet from the day’s activities. Jominda tells Gregore that she still feels like she’s the new person in town. Before long, Grewin arrives back at the house, followed by Jean-Baptiste and Abner. They all compare notes on the day’s activities.

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