Ever industrious, our heroes elected to fill the time before their upcoming foray into Ilich’s lair with al little murder for hire by taking a kill-only contract from Trek of the Tomb Breakers.
The quarry was one Ergil Hunter, a mercenary who had broken a tomb breaker contract and murdered his teammates. A lone archer shouldn’t have proven too difficult a target, but Hunter’s brother Triel was the head of a large mercenary company, the Red Hounds, who wouldn’t take too kindly to his brother’s murder.
Splitting up to infiltrate the area, Oona went to the Hounds’ Rest, a hangout popular with the Red Hounds, while the rest of the team circulated in other establishments, hoping to gather information to formulate a plan of attack. After some excellent performances, Oona struck up a conversation with the barkeep, who turned out to be Lady Vanessa the Sharp, Triel’s paramour and second-in-command of the Red Hounds. After an odd, hazy interaction, she slipped Oona a key and a room number.
Gathering up the rest of the team, she infiltrated the Red Hounds’ barracks next door, where she found a drunk and disheveled Ergil. After a bit of rough seduction, the party piled in and quickly dispatched the hapless archer. Some work with an axe and Ergil’s head was secured in a somewhat-drippy pillowcase, followed by a quick bout of looting and a hasty escape. Items of interest included a wolf’s head medallion, a masterwork longbow (basically a non-magical + 1 weapon) and a cipher (a one-use item that provides a brief period of invulnerability).
Turning the head in to Trek, the party was rewarded with some cash and the magical gauntlet Truth or Fire . As a gesture of thanks, Corin used some of the prize to send an anonymous gift to Lady Vanessa.
The next day, the group rose early to pick up the paperwork necessary to attend the City Council meeting, the prelude to breaking in to Ilich’s former quarters. While at the school of growth , Thedis picked up his magical boots, and the alchemists made an offer to Pseudolus to take part in an experiment. After applying or resisting a good deal of peer pressure, the team headed down to the Council Meeting.
The party hung around in the council chamber long enough to vote against the decision to establish a no-man’s land around the Dead Lakes Utopia, then slipped out on their real mission. After using their key to bypass the door, the team slipped in to a massive trove of incredibly powerful and dangerous artifacts, including the prison of the world-ending Destroyer, a dagger that could turn the city into water, and a book that could, theoretically, return a dead god to life.
They also encountered a sentient suit of armor which asked their purpose and offered to provide information about the various items. After some argument and bargaining, Oona elected to don (and bond with) the armor in order to prevent it from ratting out the team. There followed a fairly frantic period of debating whether to take anything else now that a fairly obvious item had been lifted. The argument ended when Pseudolus decided to put on a pair of gauntlets crafted by the followers of Bast (which could also never be removed), which led to a flurry of looting. After snagging the Pommel Stone of the Lost Praetor, the team also lifted the three sacred blades of Lord Sothis (a death knight who was once a great paladin) and the robe of Archmage Valish. Scurrying out with minutes to spare, the team returned to the School of Growth to hand over the Stone, which certainly made Professor Valshen’s day. The team decided to leave the Stone and Hilt with the professor in the event they were all slain in Old Vanya. The professor also shared that the Blade of the Lost Praetor may be in a valley east of Rose Keep that was used to store biologically altered goblins.
The team split up to avert suspicion, some heading back to the inn, while Pseudolus met up with the Alchemists and Corin paid a visit to the Headmaster of the School of Growth., where he gave a full report of what he observed in Ilich’s house, leaving out only the items the party had lifted. Headmaster Proke expressed a desire to recover the Staff of the Destroyer. He also asked that Corin say “hello” to Korg for him, if they met in Old Vanya.
The Crusaders were very excited by the blades, and elected to basically vacate the Spike with them.