Havoc in the house of Guildenstern
<--- Scribe Notes
- Valery, Human, Wicca - scribe.
- Shemin-ah, Human, Ice - leader
- Liessa Varden, Human, Mind - Mil Sci
- Darien, Human, Celestial
- Human the Fool, Human, Illusion; called Brian on this adventure, to avoid confusion
- Vychan, Giant / Goat, Earth
Halley the Huntress is a human master beastmaster ("she's really very good", say the guild), with no college. Halley was part of an adventure in Summer 803WK (Pet Show) where she was to escort a magically created 'dog' to its new owners. When she got to the plane to deliver the dog, they said that Halley was included in the sale price (or at least 101 years of service). Thus Halley believes she was sold into slavery, without her knowledge, by the Guildenstern Family. With the help of the previous party she managed to go free and return the environs near Seagate.
For the last couple of years she has been beastmaster training a riding dog for a guild member, working on Basalic's horse farm, and training a pair of gryphons for someone else she declined to name. She decided it is time to wreak her revenge on the Guildenstern Family/Estate for the alleged slavery deal.
Apparently there had been another guild party she went with "Qalin's Ride" (pronounce kwa-lean), to deliver the remains of war heroes to their family - who went close to the Guildenstern Estate, but the party (with Dramus leader?) declined to pop over to do in the Master. Halley had been kidnapped on ther Pet Show adventure - by another group of dog owners, and the god-dog with his hoopy magical abilities rescued her. Unlikely this is related to current kidnap attempt.
The general aim is to Wreak Havoc on the house of Guildenstern. For example:
- Physical damage to the Family Estate (a tower was mentioned)
- Master Guildenstern the Elder to be "bloody and broken"
- Steal treasures (as our payment)
- Ascertain the current project/critter and possibly take out.
- Protect Halley from inimical actions to her body
Halley was of the opinion that the Guildenstern family is so wealthy that any damage we do to them will be fully recuperated within 5 years, and the 12 families that live in the associated Village would not have their livelihoods endangered by this mission.
The Guildenstern Family are into the third generation (that they admit to) of "Creating enchanted animals, with each critter unique to the clients requirements". The clients tend to be very wealthy off planer persons (the way they portal into the Estate was unknown by Halley). For example the dog that was created in the Pet Show adventure, took 6 years to make, and cost 1.2 million silver pieces. But that included the price for Halley - perhaps 100,000 sp worth.
The issue was raised whether previous sales were made that included persons from the Village. This is a possibility. Halley is looking forward to meeting her family again, but is a bit concerned about how they will greet her. Whether they are concerned for her absence after delivering the dog, or if they will be worried she has returned and failed to become the slave. Possibly Halley has misrepresented the slave issue, and was meant to work there for say ten years, then return. It seems odd that the Guildenstern family would spend so much time and effort training the Villagers to sell off, rather than use their expertise.
There are 12 families that live at "The village" which sound approximately town sized. There is a school in which the youngsters of these families attend, which they are taught their beastmastery skills etc and any potential mages are sorted out for training. There is trade with the dwarven communities to the North (where guild member Brundar comes from, see scribe notes); also with Destinians. The Estate and village would appear to be north of the plains where Kipchak nomads abide - which Shemin-ah is familiar with. Winter is due there in about one month - expect lots snow and cold - except at the Estate - which is weather controlled (of course).
The Guildenstern family live entirely on the Guildenstern Estate, with the younger generation doing the day-to-day running of the household - no outside servants. The Guildenstern Master has a wife and 3 sons, of whom 2 are married. These children are in the 40's. The Master has two brothers, whom are both married, each with on child. There are numerous grandchildren, who are probably all adult. There are numerous unacknowledged bastards in The Village. The wives came to the Estate from other places - not locals. Apparently the family don't style themselves as nobility, just have buckets and barrels of money and magical items/ability.
- Halley is nabbed just after the Guild Meeting. Party recover her, and her kidnappers.
- Pump head kidnapper for info in pub. Valery and Kevin attacked in Val's place overnight, Kevin killed, resurrected at guild.
- Fly north, attacked at Cauldersfield. Negotiate subcontract of goblin rescue
- Scope out Goblin rescue with Earth elemental sculpted map.
- Fly to Guildernstein Valley, find were-dog creatures watiting for Halley,
- Fly to Brightrock to keep Halley safe while we negotiate with Guildernsteins.
- Fly back to Guildernstein Valley, negotiate with Rupert and his uncle. Find a dog-priest in the wood, and bring him back for questioning.
- Fly to Brightrock with Dog Priest and villager for Halley to negotiate revenge/compensation with.
- Fly to Clive Valley and rescue goblin with help of Earth elemental.
- Refer to Log for dates.
Halley got nabbed
Before introductions, even before the signing of the contracts, a guild servant burst into our room announcing that Halley the Huntress had been abducted and suggested that we rescue the party employer. She had been bundled into a cart which was making its way through the Seagate streets jammed fill with market crowds. We followed them heading down High Street, towards Newmarket. We apprehended the 4 kidnappers and healed the paralysis poison on Halley. Halley said she knew of no-one who would want to kidnap her. The 2 horses came from the country, less that a day's travel, with an unfamiliar cart and unfamiliar people.
Two locals, two from Bowcourt, and one from the Isle of Adventure called Rudolpho. they were hired by Bob to kidnap the pretty girl a couple of weeks ago. Bob said the guild meeting day would be best, and gave them a phial of sleep dust mixed with paralysis. Their mission was to take her to the trader's house, and onto the roof, for her pick up (those doing the pick up would just know when she got there). They didn't know who their target was, or who the client was. they would be 'paid in credits/favours at local merchants by Bob "who would make it worth their while" as he had done on previous occasions (but not for kidnapping).
Rudolpho, however, resisted the telepathy. He had a great reluctance to talk about the client. And outright refused to answer our questions trying to find out what it was about Halley they wanted. He knew for sure that he was the central pin and if he talked about it all, then it would start the end of the world, great death and destruction marching across the world, via a disease. He was pacted to Michael, but not the normal Michealines, a sect from the Isle of Adventure who was more ruthless than the mainlanders. He had visited Destiny, but last time was 4-5 years ago.
That evening Rudolpho was taken to a pub in Old Seagate and got drunk in hopes of elicting more information. It confirmed his Michaelinity, and he might have mentioned Halley having a Mark / Marque. Valery and Brian were helped back to Valery's abode in Old Seagate. A pair of assasins tried to kill them while they slept. Valery tied them up, while the disguised Brian went back to sleep, and she went for help at the guild. The assassins had standard, but old/worn breakign and entering kit. Each had a silver dagger and a empty scabbard for rapier. When she and Vychan got back, with Liessa and Darien just beating them back, they found the bonds cut away, and Brian dead.
Back to the guild rooms Brian was resurrected - with a couple of healer traps for added entertainment for the healers. Not local assassin skills, they had heard rumours of this off planar battle trick, done by a ritual on the weapon, where a needle is released and the poison traps etc are set. Brian had a rune tattooed on the back of his neck. A permanent "Sigil of Marking" placed on him by a ritual when he was dead. This makes him locatable etc.
A couple of days uneventful flying til we land outside Cauldersfield and go to the Cauldersfield Arms (a nice inn with a feather bed for Leissa). As we cross the threshold, both Brian and Halley fidget at the back of their necks - something in the door sill triggered the sigils - and we had visitors attempt to subdue us while we waited for our dinner (about 3/4 hour after arrival). 10 likely looking lads triggering countespells from widgets under the tables, quickened, a mind mage took contorl of Darien, an E&E present, a bard with a lute, Paralysis poison on the weapons took out Brian, 2 shadow walked away when things got tough. 2 were dead and brains eaten by Leissa. 2 gave themselves up , and 4 were unconscious & bleeding til Sheminar stopped them dying. A group of mercenaries, from various counties/planes who work for an off-planar outfit - their previous job had been 3 years before vs an elvish town. They each had magical collar bones which were equivalent sigils of loyalty/membership to the compnay. Their mission was to subdue us for pick up by someone else (factor 29?) in 3/4 hour. We awaited him in the house across the road. Thereyone came from plane Xanthe 3, some sort of bardic "talking skill", rather polite about the whole issue. Their outfit takes payments from people to protect them from attacks/kidnaps. There are 7 levels of marking from sigil to the operatives with the collar bones. A contract had been put to take us to Xanthe 3 and confine the two marked person for three months. We didn't confirm which of us were the marked ones. He knew of the Guildernstein family ("started out as humans"), but he didn't confirm if they were the one with the contract out on us. What happens within 3 months they don't wany Halley about for? The unsuccessful operatives had been killed when we arrived, their magical collarbones removed (soul storer of some sort), and were dust by the end of our conversation.
Thereyone had several jobs that needed doing at the moment, so we arranged a subcontract for him, so that while we were working for him he wouldn't keep sending assassins against us. A gnome called Clive needed rescuing - kidnapped between 1-3 weeks ago from a mining village. Being held in a keep North in the dragon spine mountains. Clive is a Whim mage (as seen by Valery at Brightrock). Keep has some noble mages & magical defenses.
Clive's Valley Village
A valley between ridges of the Dragon Spine Mountain, populated with fertile (blessed) farms. The end of the valley is walled off (wooden walls) with a small garrison post at one end, and a very old keep at the other end of the wall. Seems to be set up to keep out bandits, but an army could take it. Defended against attack from air. Lime stone caves in the surrounding mountain would join up with some part of the keep, but would take 2-3 days walk, and parts of the cave system may be unpassable. No bound earth.
Keep has ground level with kitchens, stables guard & servant dormitories etc; 2 levels above ground for family living etc; basement with dungeon where Clive is held (only one entrance comes out near kitchen).
Clive is on a plinth (a no magic zone), with a succubus prone on him. Another succubus in sitting nearby. This is within a triangle, within a circle, within a pentacle. These shapes are inscribed in the floor with delicate patterns of precious metals (truesilve triangle, mithril filigree). A human mage is standing within the room, but outside the shapes. The doors are warded with Hellfire (fire & wicca mixed?). Clive is connected to stone metal and earth.
Guards 6 rotating on patrol (evening) wearing mix of chainmail and leather, spears, used to magical weapons & items, flying (air). Between 20-30 in keep.
4 Mages - Air, Fire, Celstial (not solar), wicca (most experienced), all male human. Had served previous lord, been there between 7&12 years. Not regular church goers. Sometimes other mages visited. AIr doesn't have invested, hellfire/fire magics invested.
Current Lord been ruling less than 20 years. Has lady, and 2 - 5 children. Regularly attends church within keep dedicated to Raphael.
?Servants have a geis of loyalty/servitude to lord to be safe to pass wards.? Wore uniform.
Since we had a week to acheive this rescue, we didn't want tot do it too soon, so came up with the plan of earth elemental tunnelling in most of the way, with Vychan tunnelling spell to get directly into the room. Then headed over to Guildernstein Estate to sort out Halley's business first.
From Clive's Valley we flew over the mountains. The easiest way to get to the Guildenstern Estate is via a track up the river side, but this offered no good cover. Instead we cut back into the forest surrounding the estate. These forests are 'wild'. Halley advised us the compound (manicured area near the estate cleared to avoid ambushes etc) was guarded, but not outside that.
The Guildenstern is a picture book valley, a wending river with 20-30 village houses. The compound surrounding the Estate is on the other side of the river to the village, trees in between. Track and ferry over river, another temporal shift boundary. The Guildenstern Estate is dominated by a tower made of dark grey heavy stone. Crackling lights are seen when the family are doing magics here. Tower is about 3 houses wide at the base. No flying in compound. The manor has variety of manicured gardens, and the house is plastered brick picture book manor house. It is surrounded by three 'temporal shift' magical boundary at 3, 6, and 9 miles radius, which advance any magical durations to point of expiry (unless permanent) when crossing. Magics could be recast once inside the boundary.
We came across the minds of sentient predators, who were part of a team/ soldier, patrolling about 500' apart within the woods. This was outside the outer 'temporal shift'. We surmised these predators to be Were creatures, possibly canine. They seemed to have some mind speech one amongst themselves. They were waiting for 'her'. They had been told she would be here now. They could smell her, but not see her (we were all invisible). At which point we fly Halley to a safe spot at Brightrock. Then we returned the following day to negotiate without her.
As we flew into the Estate, we were met with Rupert, a brightly (multicoloured) dressed human male, with excellent sales pitch / conversation skills. (He said he didn't do magic, Human coveted his clothes, Valery spent the night with him). Rupert took us into the house, so we could meet Master Guildenstern as we had an "Employment Grievance".
Guildernstein Point of View
We met an older gentleman, who looked around 50 years old, Rupert addressed him as Uncle, though he is not THE master Guildernstein. He seemed put out at the supposed treatment of Halley, and invited us to watch the contract.
"The contract" was recorded in a crystal, from the point of view (with subtext musings) of the Master. The clients were dressed as people from Araby, they wanted a dog to learn stuff, to facilitate a God on their plane. They wanted the Keeper/Mother of the dog to come too, which translated into Queen. She was to be treated as a queen. The master ran through his head several Guildernstein cousins none of who was appropriate for the task. The price was agreed on (12 million silvers worth of good by our estimate). The contract was signed with a ritual, then the master said their/a name to banish them.
When questioned about the assissination attempts on us and Halley, Rupert brought in their "Assassination journal" (written in Elvish). After checking 15 pages, he said our names were not entered. They keep no kidnapping journal.
They evidenced surprise at dog creatures in the forests, the gamekeeper cousin was brought in and denied any dog patrols. He and we decided to hunt one down to bring back for questioning.
8' Doberman Were - Doberman head, human body, short black and brown fur, some have human legs, some dog legs, some have a short tail. GTN Priest, college of origin Varique (where the dog had become god). They start as humans, and take on dog shapes when they become priests. After a brief melee involving on their part magics including Mind Speech, Lightening bolts, Storm (all air-foreign college), one was dead, and we had captured 4. Death curse on Vychan, when he dies he becomes a dog priest.
They had been sent to Alusia by the head priest 3-6 months ago, several other groups (53 priests still alive) had been sent to other parts of the plane. They came from 5000 years in the future after much prophecies. "The Great Huntress" or "The Mother" as Halley had become known to them, was phrophesied to return to the Guildernstein Master ("The Allfather or "The Maker"). They had been sent to stop Halley from attacking the Guildernstein Master. They thought the Maker and his Tower existed in all times, and thus if he is destroyed now, then he would be destroyed in all times, and thus their Dog God would never have been created, which would be a Bad Thing. It seemed kind of reasonable to us, and when we put it to Halley she agreed not to press damage charge against the Guildernsteins, if the Guildernstein Family made reparation to her (and us). Something about getting them to create a minature dragon, which should tie up their resources for many years to come.
The dog priests were channels of the air magics from the Dog God.
Fruit 807 1st Rescue Halley; Briefing; pub investigations; attempted/assassination;
2nd Ressurection; investigations
3rd Healing; planning
4th Predawn, fly 15-16 hours, landing in Ormond
5th Fly 11 hours over the Fenargh swamp to Aladar, stay at small wary village, lots prayers
6th woken for pre-dawn prayers, leave & fly to Cauldersfield Town; pub fight; deal with Thereyone
7th Fly to Clive Valley; earth elemental "Erzog" scoping sculpture; tarot with dead servant
8th Fly to Guildernstein valley, then onto Brightrock to deposit Halley
9th Breakfast at Brightrock with their majesties, fly back to Guildernstein Manor, capture dog priest
10th Fly to Brightrock, with priest (Rin Tin Tin) & villager (Halley's Uncle Lars) to counsel Halley
11th Fly to Clive Valley - Valery haphazardly in control of a Cloud's direction, rescue goblin Clive & his body guard succubus.
12th - 16th Fly back to Seagate
17th Debrief, FINIS
- 2 doses Rank 10 sleeping paralysis dust
- 2 silver main gauches
- Bit of wood with abstract markings on it that might have something to do with Bob. (non magical)
- 5 rapiers magical - shaped combat bonuses to hit & spec grev (trade with Thereyone?)
- 5 silver main gauche (trade with Thereyone?)
- Invested spells - silver objects with glyph, carried by Leissa & Darien
- 2 cloaks (Sheminah & Halley)
- Multi Aura Devil ?? (can't read my writing ...)
- Truesilver & Mithril wire from Elemental's sculpture of the keep
- Rings, amulet and Robe from Mage next to Gnome.
- Widgets - one shot uses, transport magics
- Namer in a box?
- Magical main gauche for Darien.
Liessa: "That would hurt the horses."
Vychan: "It's only an animal."
Liessa: "So are you Vychan."
Liessa the Calamar: "Surrender now and no-one gets eaten!"
Valery: Well, now we've spent all Liessa's money on the good stuff we can leave! Hic!
Liessa: With a little trust you can go a long way. The less you use, the further you go.
A cunning plan: Kidnap Wordsmith from his military scientist training mission, and Sabrina will come and get him, stomping on anything in her way ... and if he happened to end up at the Guildenstern Estate ...
The skill of Military Scientist seems simple - as they get more highly ranked, the louder they are to yell "charge".
Vychan: What's a low key castle defense system? Liessa Don't you just get shorter doors?
Liessa If we get jumped when approaching Guildenstern Manor, don't think of it as an attack, think of it as a sales brochure.
Liessa: I am so looking forward to liquidating Ranke.
Is that where guild security is from?
It's only a pack of werewolves - how many potions do we really need to drink?
Human (to Guildenstern): First one back with a werewolf buys the beer. Valery:Isn't it usually the last one back? Human: I thought they'd be more competent than us.
Darien: I've got stud rights in Waterford.
Cultural cringe: Going to Aladar and asking for another beer. Then the barkeep replies: If there was something wrong with the first one, then why did you drink it?