Deorcholt

Episode 2

Lodivico kicked out the other adventurers so he could study the black book. He quickly determained that the spells contained therein operated differently than the magic he was familiar with. It seemed to him that the spells were more of a supplication for some powerful entity to provide the effect on behalf of the caster. In any case, he was certain that the power for the spell was coming from elsewhere. Most of the spells included were necromantic in nature. Tired, he went to bed, and then slept until late in the morning.
After getting kicked out, Tomas went to The Stag and Crown and performed. He wound up spending the night with a cute brunette whose name he does not remember. The next morning, he preformed at the grand market, then went to The Green Dragon to wait for Lodivico. It was later in the afternoon when he went to Lodivico’s house.
No one quite knows what Yazzi did after he left. But he wasn’t seen again for over a day.
By the time Tomas returned to Lodivico’s, the mage had taken the opportunity to painstakingly transcribe two lines from the scrap of parchment. He planned to have the Inquisition identify the language for him, so that he could use his magical talents to decipher it. But just in case, he asked Tomas to stand watch outside the Temple, and if he were followed, to run back and remove all the items stored behind the magical stone. He gave Tomas his key.
Lodivico used his magical skills to shield his mind, and entered the Temple. He asked for directions, and was given them. He approached the secretary for the Inquisition, and said that he’d stumbled across something which might interest them. The secretary fetched an Inquisitor, a priest of Grotz, who said he’d have it translated. Lodivico offered to stay until this was done, and found a spot on an uncomfortable marble bench. A short time later, the Grand Inquisitor himself came out, pointed at Lodivico, and said “You. Office. Now.”
The office was suprisingly asture. The accoutrements of a priest of Zult were in evidence, and a window into how Halig’s worldview was etched into the marble above the door. It quickly became obvious that Halig could easily detect when Lodivico was lying to him, and had some inkling of what the full document would say. Namely, that it was an unholy pact, and that it seemed to directly reference Lodivico. He asked Lodivico to bring in the effects of his father, and offered to translate in exchange. Then he let Lodivico leave. Another Inquisitor, this one a priest of Vogel, followed at a distance.
Tomas saw the very large, very intimidating Inquisitor following Lodivico, and took off at a run. Lodivico was forced to cast a flying spell on himself to beat Tomas home. And then had to wait until Tomas turned up with the key. Lodivico handed the black book to Tomas, and told him to hide it. They agreed to meet later at The Green Dragon. Lodivico took the coins and the parchment, and walked off towards the Temple. Tomas took the book, and stashed it in his mattress at his place. Then he went to the Green Dragon, where he began singing songs and telling stories.
On the return trip, Lodivico was playing with the coins as he walked, only to have them snatched from his hands by a street urchin. The timely intervention of the following Inquisitor allowed them to be recovered without violence.
Upon his return, Halig looked at the coins, and tossed them back to Lodivico, saying he wasn’t worried about them. He then began studying the parchment. He looked up, and asked Lodivico if his father had given him anything just before he was seized. Lodivico said “no”, and Halig seemed to accept the lie at face value. He then asked whether or not Lodivico had found his father’s grimore. Again, Lodivico responded with a “no”, but this time Halig called him on it, saying “you need to destroy it. And I know for a fact that your uncle would give you the same council.” True to his word, he gave Lodivico a translation, which seemed to imply that Lodivico’s death would seal the pact, and let Lodivico depart in peace. But Lodivico knows Halig’s reputation, and doubts that he’ll just let things lay. As he was leaving, Halig called out “if you happen to find the spot where your father and his friends preformed their unholy deeds, we’d be interested in knowing.” He also gave Lodivico a silver penny, and told him to have a drink on him.
On his walk back to The Green Dragon, Lodivico saw some graffitti written in the language of the fey. It talked of their numbers, and the coming fall of man.
In the Green Dragon, Tomas was having a rousing good time. Lodivico entered, and eavesdropped on a conversation between two gnomes (in gnomish) who felt that someone named “Charlie” would be making his move soon. Drawing upon his background of being raised by gnomes, Lodivico greeted them warmly, bought them some beer, and they all toasted “God save the King” while passing their tankards over a glass of water. Soon the gnomes left, and Lodivico inconspicuously shadowed them until they left the city. (For some reason, most gnomes do not like to be in the city after dark and there is a stockade just outside of the city walls that caters to them.) Then he returned to The Green Dragon.
Meanwhile, Tomas was having a grand old time. Lodivico waited to talk to him until Robert Fitzbob started kicking everybody out. Then they went to Lodivico’s house, and talked things over. They quickly realized that “Charlie” was Charles Higgenbotham, heir to Rufus Higgenbotham, who had been deposed by a human usurper some four decades before. They also realized that the current king, Connor I had not yet reached his seventeenth year, and might be vulnerable. They decided to sleep on it. This time, Lodivico invited Tomas to stay with him, and Tomas did so.
They were awoken early the next morning by Yazzi pounding upon the door. They talked about what direction they should take, with Lodivico having pronounced mercenary leanings and foreswearing his interest in his own past. It was agreed that currying the King’s favor would be a good idea. It was decided that the best way to do this, would be to hunt down and kill “The Beast”. Lodivico loaned Yazzi money to buy an axe, and Tomas went along with him so that he didn’t get taken. Meanwhile, Lodivico went by himself to The Dirty Wench, the roughest dive on the waterfront. He was rather out of place in his fancy clothes. He then loudly announced that he’d pay 100 silver to any man brave enough to face The Beast with him. He was quickly mugged, stripped, and thrown in the Tiffin River. From this perspective, he noticed some sort of cave under one of the docks, with some worked stone surrounding the opening. He used his magic to send a message to his friends, asking them to come aid him.
Lodivico climbed out of the river, and stormed up the bank. He then proceeded to throw exploding balls of fire at The Dirty Wench, shouting his name, and that no one who transgressed against him would escape unscathed. He then realized that most of the town was built of wood and thatch, and used his magic to try and contain the fire he’d started. Bucket brigades began to form, and the flames were beaten back. Within a few minutes, his friends arrived, and they went down to look at the cave.
At this time, it was still early afternoon. Lodivico cast a light spell on Yazzi’s axe. Yazzi entered first, and there was a bit of excitement as perhaps a dozen rats rushed past him, trying (successfully, for the most part) to escape to the river. Inside, the room was small, roughly four yards square, with a raised slab of black stone in the middle. The walls were scorched and blackened. The black stone slab had grooves for liquid to drain, rusty manacles on either end, and crusty brown stains, of which our protagonists cared not to speculate much. As he approached the slab, Yazzi felt the air grow cold and the hair on his arms start to rise. He told the others, but they could sense no magic. Yazzi seized the manacles in an attempt to rip them away from the slab, but was quickly possessed by the insane and bloodthirsty spirit trapped within. The other adventurers heard the gleeful cackle, saw the demoniac light behind his eyes, and saw him draw his axe, so they were not completely unprepared when he attacked. Still, he did have the advantage of surprise. Tomas was the closest, and did yeoman’s work defending against initial rush. He also knew that he was extremely lucky to do so, and took the first opportunity to run. Lodivico took to his heels as well, and dove into the murky water of the Tiffin. The possessed Yazzi buried his axe in Tomas’ back, and Tomas fell unconscious. Seeing no other victims in the immediate area, he climbed the bank and proceeded to rampage. The onlookers and bucket brigades were dispersed by his fury, and an unknown number of people were killed. A minute later, he recovered, having no memory of the rampage, but aware that something wasn’t right. He returned to find Lodivico healing Tomas. Lodivico went back into the chamber, and found a partially-burned piece of paper containing some cryptic but ominous writings.
It is nearing mid-afternoon. Tomas is badly injured, and in no shape to travel. Lodivico is exhausted, and his energy reserves are depleted. Fire is spreading. And everyone is realizing that they’re in a lot of trouble.

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Parzival

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