Birthright: Rise of the Kingmakers

Session 19, No place like home

July 13-20, 561 H.C.

Present: Brian, Dave, Jess, Ken, Ron

Current Goal: Requested by Prince Renerick (of Mhowe) to investigate Caelcorwynn Island and possible activities there by The Serpent.

Last Session Recap: Returned to Calrie, city buzzing about king’s death and gathering of nobles to elect successor, various political intrigue around Lavinia and her conniving brother Vanthus, traded in sphinx loot for money and a tiny treasure chest (Almira) and a Shadow World gate marker gem (Jenneken), bought some nifty herbs (consumable magic items), Nick wandered off to investigate gang activity, Nick didn’t return so the others set out looking for him, ended up in tunnels beneath taxidermists shop, crept around but couldn’t find Nick (so far).

July 13, 561- Calrie Sewers

Taxidermist-Jenneken, lion-Vendar and ghost-Almira snuck past dining hall full of people, then saw big burly guy and a cloaked person leading Nick down the hall. The cloaked person’s voice changed each time s/he spoke. Their language sounded Vos. The big guy saw taxidermist-Jenneken, and then threw Nick to the ground and commanded the him/her to take him away. Nick was severely beaten but not beyond repair. Using the ladder they found earlier that exited into the abandoned warehouse , the group made their escape.
As the group went through town, they overheard that Vanthus had gathered enough votes to become king. All the more reason to leave Calrie as soon as possible.
Back on Almira’s boat, the group set off back to Mhowe. Khisenya used her healing magic to remove some of Nick’s wounds, then he went to go rest.

Sailing down the Aerenwe river, Nick said he had bought a new axe and some other things and then was mugged. He was blindfolded and dragged around quite a bit. He was beaten by a woman whose voice kept changing. She asked Nick about Caelcorwynn Island and what was there. He said there was a pretty girl: a little older than Nick, with blond hair and blue eyes, and she was very nice. She didn’t seem to be with the bandits.

July 14-15, 561- Aboard the Sherai Khen Salva (Calm after the Storm).

(Two days uneventful sailing along coastline back to Mhowe)
Khisenya found notes in one of the sphinx journals about the “key ring” that Nick found there. She thinks she could use the runes on the ring along with the notes to decode the other (encoded) book.

Jenneken studied the Shadow World gate-marker gem.

Almira discovered that the tiny chest she bought could be commanded to grow in size or shrink back. She would need more study to learn the command word.

Nick spent his time resting and recovering. He was confused why his abductors didn’t take any of his belongings. Eventually the group determined that Nick’s memories had been tampered with. Nick realized that he may have told them everything about their group and what they found on Caelcorwynn Island.

Almira checked Nick’s equipment to see if it had been enchanted with any kind of magic that would allow the Black Lotus sorcerers to scry on them. Almira found that the magical axe he “bought” was enchanted, its magics leveraged the user’s abilities, and its sharpness was magically preserved. But she didn’t find any scrying magic on it.

July 16, 561- “Home”, Mhowe, Chimaeron

Having arrived in Mhowe, the group made their way back to their cottage. The Khinasi women spent some time cleaning the house’s interior, while Vendar worked in his garden, removing a month’s worth of weeds. After everyone had cleaned up, the group accompanied Nick to the orphanage.

The Lantern Street Orphanage had seen some major renovations done since they were there last. Nick handed over most of his money, much to the delight of Grammy Patches. Grammy noted that the Prince must have helped get some of the repairs done, as there had been several donors helping with money and repairs. Later, Squorch told Nick he thinks that the donors were just using the donations as a way to one-up each other and gain favor with the Prince.

Jenneken caroused about town, gathering the recent news. One item of note was that Mhoried and Elinie were massing troops at their shared border, clearly intent on war.

July 17, 561- “Home”, Mhowe, Chimaeron

The group went to the Prince’s keep to report on their adventure on Caecorwynn Island. While waiting for their appointment time to arrive, Almira went to the Society of the Great World to collect on the map they ordered many weeks ago.

Jenneken summarized the group’s findings, with the Prince occasionally asking for clarifications that seemed focused on assessing the strengths of The Serpent there. She also mentioned that the queen of Aerenwe had died and a new monarch was being selected.

Prince Renerik then requested that the group meet with a particular Khinasi priest to relay details on the sphinx tomb. He also wanted them to meet with the cartographers at the Society of the Great World to document the details of the complex they discovered.
Having offered to help invest the group’s loot in various profitable ventures, Vendar handed over his share (traded +6 temp Funds to get a permanent +1 bonus to Funds).
The Prince noted that those of the group indebted to him had 9 months remaining in their service. A runner would bring them information with their next assignment. They would have a few days to wait.

Going to the Khinasi priest indicated by the Prince, the group arrived at The Great Temple to meet with a scholar named Afah Tet. The priest was fascinated by the stories of the variety of undead creatures encountered. He noted that it made sense the undead would “attack” sources of light, as the brightness represented their foe, Avani, goddess of the sun.
After visiting the temple, Nick visited some smiths to buy some additional armor. With some help from Almira’s bargaining skills, Nick managed to acquire a suit of chainmail. He also traded in his ring mail armor in for a set of soft leather that would fit under his new chainmail. The new armor slowed him down a bit and was somewhat noisy, but offered better protection.

Back at the cottage, Almira spent some time experimenting with the magic stone Nick found on Vanthus’s secret island. She determined that the stone contained a powerful earth spirit that could be called forth and made to follow the commands of the summoner. It would take more research to determine how to summon the spirit.

Almira also managed to determine the command word for the magic chest. With some experimenting, she found that objects placed in the chest would still age, and living things would eventually run out of air. But the weight of the chest in its small form always stayed the same, regardless of what was contained within it. (Effectively a “Chest of Holding”)

July 18, 561- “Home”, Mhowe, Chimaeron

The group went to the Society of the Great World to meet with the cartographer that Prince Renerik directed them to. They described the details of the template area on Caelcorwynn Island.

Afterward, the group reviewed some common threads of their adventures. They recalled that The Serpent was trying to acquire “The Book of Torments”, a tome of powerful evil spells aimed at the followers of Azrai. There was a noble in Mhowe who had a copy, and the attack on the city those many weeks ago may have been at least partly aimed at acquiring that. Having investigated the items recovered from The Serpent’s shipwrecked boat, the Prince determined that there may be a connection to Caelcorwynn Island. Having thought about it, there was a distinct possibility that the evil book in the lower levels of the sphinx was in fact The Book of Torments.

Khisenya noted that, based on the journal she had been studying, The Serpent priest that had tried to take the book was amazingly powerful. Yet even he was unable to overcome the enchantments on it.

Jenneken returned from her rounds to relay that rumors were circulating in the city that a huge Khinasi dhow had docked in the harbor. It supposedly carried the leader of the mercenary clans the group had encountered when they had traveled north to deliver the strange objects to people at Coyote Point.

Almira visited an apothecary in hopes of getting help understanding the mechanical rat taken from the sphinx. The proprietor was uncooperative until she demonstrated her abilities with a spell. Unfortunately, even after her impressive display she was unable to pay the sage’s fees.

That night, Nick and Almira spotted someone casing their cottage. Nick woke up Vendar, who followed the man down to the docks. There the shape-changer overheard the theif speaking to another man about how “they must have money” and that they should come back some other time when the cottage was unoccupied.

July 19, 561- “Home”, Mhowe, Chimaeron

The day was free for the group to pursue their own goals.

Jenneken went down to the orphanage to chat up Grammy Patches, trying to get information about the Shadow World. The Halfling deflected the questions, insisting that stories of Halflings coming from the Shadow World are just bad rumors.

Almira discovered that the mechanical rat must be fed the blood its controller in order to get it to activate and follow commands. The wound caused by this “donation” would not heal. (Game terms: permanently lose 1 Body point to activate and gain control of rat.) Commands given to the rat must be simple, as the construct only had the intelligence of a clever animal.

As the sun was setting, the group noted that Khisenya hadn’t returned. Almira found a note from her fellow Khinasi, noting that she had decided to “pursue other opportunities”. Her belongings were gone, including the books and ring from the sphinx. Was she a double-agent for The Serpent the whole time? Almira sent a note to the Prince so that he would be aware of her desertion.

July 20, 561- “Home”, Mhowe, Chimaeron

A messenger returned from the Prince indicating they should meet him that evening for a meal and discussion.

Almira decided that the house should have a guard dog. She went with Vendar and Jenneken to find one while Nick stayed back to guard the cottage. Visiting the mercenary camp north of town, they found an older but capable bulldog. Vendar was confident he could train it.

The rest of the day they spent arranging for a doghouse, chain, and other supplies necessary to keep the dog outside. Almira suggested that they pay an orphan to come and feed and water it when they were out of town.

At the Prince’s keep, he was disappointed to learn that Khisenya had left. He was concerned that “the team” provided less value to him now that they had lost a capable combatant and healer. He offered to find a replacement for extending the group’s contract for 4 months, but the group would be required to cover his/her wages (or offer him/her a cut of loot found).

The Group was awarded 2 Character points for this Session



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