The Regalia of Evil

The Murder We Didn't Commit

After lounging about in Sighing Mountain for a bit (well, everyone except Gwium, who was busy making magic items), the party begins pondering what to do with the Scepter of Evil. Merewen remembers that Deathbeard’s accomplice and Baron Ivar Goldark wore the same boots of teleportation, casting a shadow on their celebration.

At this point, the young Lord Kallion pays them a visit – he warns the group that there are Wanted posters with their faces on it (except Hrogin is a female dwarf in the picture, a curse he had temporarily when in the dungeon the Scepter of Evil had originally been stored in – long story!). The group is wanted for the murder of Benjamin Gallant! The party decides to temporarily stash the Scepter of Evil with Lady Raviaries, but it won’t be safe there forever, and the Paladin doesn’t want permanent guardianship anyway. On the way to the city of Gallant, Hrogin Beartrapper meets Aurix and panics, a natural reaction when one meets a Gold dragon for the very first time. Aurix gives the party a lift to Gallant. Figuring that they’d be recognized if they tried to sneak inside, Gwium, Merewen Elensar, and Darianna Windsong use the belt of Gender Reversal to help disguise themselves, but Everion Brightmoon refuses to do so. Hrogin negotiates a high price to sneak the party in via the sewers, and then the party has a talk with Constable Mobfrey and find out that the mayor might not be dead.

So, the party decides to search for the missing mayor to prove their innocence and find out what is what. In the back of their minds, they wonder if it’s a trap set to get them back in the city of Gallant.

Luna keeps an eye out while the rest of the party breaks into the mayorial estate. Inside the mayor’s house, they fight a piano, find a teleporter, and duke it out with a red dragon in the dungeons. There’s still one more puzzle to solve before they can reach the safe room, and hopefully, the mayor.

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Getting caught up
Imp chase and Finding Deathbeard

The party emerges from the dungeon only to see the imp prisoner of some demons. What follows is a long chase through the woods where the party battles demons, more demons, some of Lord Sterling’s minions, and even more demons until they capture the imp. The imp agrees to take the party to Deathbeard in exchange for his freedom.

In Sighing Mountain, the party heads to a secret entrance. Inside the dungeon, they find a portal, but lack the key. They spend several days clearing out undead after undead, then fighting a minor beholder, and finally getting the key.

Now they party heads to Deathbeard’s underground keep. Fire creatures, a nasty hellcat, and a pair of mummies all fall to the party’s might. Finally, Deathbeard himself also falls, and the party gets ahold of the Scepter of Evil. Oh yes, and they rescue Baron Goldark, the ruler of Sighing mountain.

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The vault of the rod of evil

While hanging around town, one of the party encounters “Bat-man” and causes him to drop a map. After some deliberation, the party decide to follow the map without seeking counsel from any of their allies. They head out towards Crippled Peak and find the entrance. Oddly enough, the murals on the wall depict the same elf Merewen has seen in her dreams.

Inside the dungeon, they find dopplegangers, displacer beasts, mechanical creatures, and kobolds just to name a few. After nearly losing the ranger to a gigantic ooze, the party resolves to be a bit more careful… An imp pretending to be a raven leads the party to a fake vault, but the party escapes the trap. It isn’t until one of them finds the chute down to the basement level that the Vault is discovered. Unfortunately, Deathbeard’s been here first. The group encounters Amarobius Duskweaver and gets the whole story. Because Amarobius fled Deathbeard and his shiny booted friend, he is stuck as a drider until the Rod of Evil is once again safe in the vault.

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Burning Sage's Demense
Introing new players

The party returned to Mountain’s Gate and things settled down a bit. A few weeks later, Kallion approached them about a town looking for adventurers. The town’s local mage, the Burning Sage, hadn’t been heard from for a while, and they needed to know his fate. Darianna, Everion, Hrogin, and a mysterious monk joined the crew.

The party traveled to the keep on the volcano, met some fire dwarves, fought monsters, wound up in an alternate plane (of ice!), wrestled an ice giant, and then broke the spell that was holding the keep out of phase with reality. The mage was dead, but the Celestial trapped within the keep granted each member of the party a boon… The monk took his leave, but the druid, ranger, and sorcerer stayed.

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Investigations part 4
Testimony

Luna and Milgram Wigglefingers met up with “Face” the druglord and managed to convince him that they were trying to convict the paladin, so if he could provide a witness that saw the paladin killing people, the paladin would die. An old lady named Margaret meets up with the group and makes a signed statement (X) that establishes Ravian’s alibi. As she is leaving the tavern, she is beset and murdered by Gnolls. The group takes down the Gnolls and finds out that they were hired by a mysterious man in a dark goatee, skull armor, and cape.
Luna spies on Mr. Stone’s room while he is out in the middle of the night, and she discovers evidence supporting that he is indeed a vampire.
The next morning, the group takes their evidence to Empress Ishtar, who is initially unimpressed by Merewen Elensar’s arguments and documentation, but becomes incensed when Luna lets slip that Jeremiah Gallant had been cheating on the princess with Maid Jennie. Lord Ravian is released and the maid is incarcerated…
Additionally, the party works with Lord Whipple, who needs very little convincing to aid them in destroying the vampire, Mr. Stone. Gwium passes on the chance to meet privately with Lord Sterling. After all is said and done, Aurix the gold dragon gives everyone a ride back home (as well as payment).

A week will pass before trouble looms again…

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Investigations (part 3)
Time is running out

Merewen Elensar and Gwium find out from the guards that Lord Ravian’s sword has a specific look. After the group goes asking around town, Luna makes contact with someone who says that a person wielding a sword that matches that description was seen taking out a drug dealer in the warehouse district. Luna makes arrangements to meet up with someone who might know more.

Back at the palace, Mr. Stone arrives to represent Bianca Gallant‘s interests with respect to the trial. Milgram Wigglefingers reveals that he has a business deal with the Gallants and that Mr. Stone was involved, though the whole thing was sketchy. Milgram also informs the group that Bianca had tried to enchant him into stealing something personal of Lord Sterling’s. This information is used as an excuse for meeting with Mr. Stone, where Milgram trades a piece of Sterling’s jewelry to Mr. Stone and gets a sack of gold as payment. Mr. Stone is unwilling or unable to provide more information to the party at this time, so the group decides to prepare for Luna’s meeting.

The group decides that Luna will meet her contact with Milgram visible, and Gwium/Merewen armed and armored down the street, while Milgram’s familiar keeps an eye on Mr. Stone. The group also asks Lady Raviaries about Mr. Stone’s oddly sharp canines… garlic, holy water, and holy symbols are what the paladin recommends the party keep at hand.

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Investigations part 2
A breakthrough

Luna and Milgram Wigglefingers do some outdoors investigating and Luna finds some new ice on the pond that leads her to want to investigate, so she deliberately falls in. Unfortunately the cold water prevents her from grabbing the item from the water before she is rescued and tended to. Milgram later interviews Prince Herbert about the night of the murder.

The group reconvenes and in the morning, they admit to being investigators and have the pond dredged for evidence. Gwium winds up with a sword bearing the mark of the Milites de Liberum Arbitrium. The group also speaks to Lord Sterling and finds out that Fingolfen is Merewen Elensar‘s father. The group also finds out that Milgram has had business dealings with Bianca Gallant and her flunky, Mr. Stone. From Darius Whipple IV and Lance Hammerhand the group learn a bit about the Knights of Free Will and about the founding of the city of Gallant and of an artifact known as the Soul of the City. Lance also confesses (after initially attempting to conceal the knowledge) to know about the Orb of Evil, which is likely the identity of Sterling’s anti-magical sphere. Supposedly there is a Crown and Rod of Evil as well, and together they make up the Regalia of Evil.

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Investigations part 1
Hope you took good notes...

(OOC Luna and Milgram’s players were absent for this session.)

Gwium and Merewen decide they are going to listen in at dinner, so they decide to go as Lady Raviaries‘s attendants. They gain some advice from one of Prince Herbert’s servants and some new clothes from town. Gwium also runs into the maid and suggests she stop by later that night for some priestly comfort (no, not THAT kind of priestly comfort). After listening in on a mostly boring dinner conversation, they hang around and find out some gossip from Bobby, the imperial attendant serving Lord Sterling. Merewen talks her way in to see the body of Jeremiah Gallant, but isn’t able to do much investigating other than to notice he was killed by a sword. It’s also known that the raise dead spell failed to bring him back. Merewen asks a few more questions of the guards, Sam and Calvin, and then meets back up with Gwium. Meanwhile, Gwium speaks to the maid, learning a few more tidbits.

Ultimately the two come to the conclusion that between the time the maid found the body and Merewen saw the body, a sword was removed from the scene of the crime. There are a number of persons of interest worth investigating, but as it’s now midnight, it’s the wrong time to go asking questions…

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Whodunnit
Oh sure, blame the paladin

On the way back to Mountain’s Gate, the Gwium spots a dragon flying overhead that turns out to be Aurix, gold dragon friend to Lord Ravian. Aurix explains to the group that Lord Ravian has been charged with the murder of Jeremiah Gallant and that he’ll hire the party for 1000g to find genuine (not faked) evidence or testimony that acquits Lord Ravian of the charges against him.

Aurix flies the group to Serendipity City and over the plains where it has apparently been snowing. (Lord Ravian’s warhorse leads Taffy and the other horses back to Mountain’s Gate.) Merewen asks the dragon all about other dragons, and about Lord Sterling’s orb. The dragon knows very little about the latter, but mentions that Lance is an archival specialist and he might be able to help. He also tells them that the reason for the “sausage-fest” (as Luna calls it) is that Empress Ishtar is trying to find a husband for her daughter, Princess Quinn. Finally, Milgram reveals that Bianca Gallant is one hot chick despite having a great-grand-nephew.

The group checks into the Imperial Guest House as Lady Raviaries retinue and then does a little shopping. Milgram‘s familiar, Cosmo the black cat, searches the guest house’s interior for a bloody sword while Gwium meets the maid, who was apparently Jeremiah’s lover. Luna inquires as to whom else is staying at the guest house and finds out that besides Ravian, Sterling, and Gallant, that Prince Max, Prince Herbert, and Lord Whipple are also in attendance.

The group debates the best way to go about investigating, given the amount of Imperial Guards around — whether to sneak, bluff, use magic, or follow Aurix’s advice and call themselves investigators working for Lady Rav.

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Danger lurks around every corner

The group presses deeper into the ruined fortress and triggers an arrow trap before drawing the attention of another set of dwarven guards. The spellcaster sends Merewen fleeing, but the party takes out the dwarves. Proceeding further, they find a hatch and ladder leading down. They descend into the dark, where the paladin locates a gelatinous cube with her face. The party races to free her before she melts to death. Gwium dons a set of full plate taken from the dead ooze. Luna scouts ahead and spots “Deathbeard”, a mysterious companion, and four more dwarven guards, as well as one hellhound, all lying in wait. The group spends time discussing tactics, giving their enemies a chance to plan and get into position.

The plan was to run out and shoot, but Luna falls victim to a sleep spell. Fortunately, Milgram is able to awaken her. Gwium steps forth intending to rebuke the hellhound, but catches a face full of flame and falls down, dying. Deathbeard melds into a wall, while his mysterious companion disappears. Raviaries revives Gwium long enough for him to neutralize the hellhound and its hidden companion, but then a dwarven adept causes Gwium to flee in magical terror. Even so, the party manages to cut down the guards and cowering hellhounds.

Magical analysis of the chamber reveals that Deathbeard is a powerful spellcaster and his fleeing was fortunate for the party. Milgram finds some gems, and the party finds a couple scrolls and a coppery potion. Merewen notes to herself that the gold appears to have been minted in her home town.

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