Ilhopa

The Story So Far
The Intro Stories

Grok the Barbarian wandered in from the West, and at the gates of Ilhopa, he encountered some strange holes in the ground. He threw rocks into them, only to find them disappearing in a flash of blue light. He briefly considered throwing bigger rocks in, but bored of this idea and wandered into town and visited The North Star Pub. It was there he was apprehended by some guards and escorted to prison for the murder of someone three days prior. Grok went peacefully and was placed in a holding cell after briefly being questioned by an important looking man with a wig.

Later that night, a hole was blasted in Grok’s cell, and Grok was escorted by a group of females through an underground tunnel. There he met a very tall woman who claimed she was setting him free so that he might find the real killer, Matthew Sands. Grok agreed, and was blindfolded and escorted through the tunnels and out of the city.

Tezz, a Tengu wizard, was recently expelled from the Mages’ guild for some as-of-yet undisclosed prank. Whilst collecting things from the library, Tezz was visited by a talking carrier pigeon from Matthew Sands inviting him to a banquet in Monhutch, North of Ilhopa. The message also said to bring food. Tezz went to the market and found a mango salesman, Marvin. But before Tezz was able to purchase any mangoes, he mentioned Matthew Sands, and Marvin disappeared in a flash of blue light.

Tezz decided to take the Mango cart with him, and as he did, no one objected.

Gideon the Summoner wandered in from the swamp to the east. As he was approaching the city, he crossed a black river that ran directly into a large stone building. He briefly chatted with the old man out front in a rocking chair, but decided the old man was boring and entered the city, passing by the strange hold in the ground and large pen as he went.

Wandering through the city, Gideon passed the temple and monastery, where there was a long line of people waiting for a blessing. Gideon entered the line with his turtle where he met a young woman named Elena. Elena claimed to be trying to enter the monastery so that she might learn Kung Fu and seek revenge on her fiance, Matthew Sans. She also claimed that Matthew had taken a valuable ring of hers, and she wanted to get it back. Gideon offered to retrieve the ring for her, and set off to do so.

Fumbles the Bard was summoned to meet the Mayor Elect, ODonnell, and offered a contract to perform at her inauguration. It seems the band she had previously hired had gone missing. Whilst in negotiations, the Chief Justice reported that the ODonnell‘s future appointment to the high court, Matthew Sands, had gone missing. They offer Fumbles a contract as permanent bard to O’Donnell, at 60 gp per performance, if he will go find Matthew Sands and return him to Ilhopa in time for O’Donnell’s inauguration. Fumbles accepts the contract, and sets off to find Matthew Sands.

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Setting off for Monhutch
In Which our Heroes form a Party
The heroes all meet at the South adventurer’s pole, and discover they all have to travel to Monhutch. They set off together, but as they are leaving they are approached by Justin Beiber, a gnomish alchemist. He is desperately looking for a chance to prove himself, and so the party agrees to take him along. The party members eat some of the mangoes from the cart, and feel immediately refreshed afterward. On their way out, the party is approached by some men from the Mango Grove, claiming that Tezz needs to return the stolen Mango cart, and pay a 75 gp fine. They present Tezz with a bill. The party ignores this bill and leaves. The mango men do not give chase. The party notices that the bags of mangoes seem to hold a limitless amount of mangoes. Whilst venturing north, the heroes encounter Bartholomew, Tezz’s old roommate, and Mage West, the head of the Mage guild. They chide Tezz for leaving the guild, and report they are coming from a banquet held by Matthew Sands. As night begins to fall, the party happens upon a rather dry pumpkin farm. They meet an old man and young woman who offer them a place to stay for the night. They report that all the crops in Ilhopa are failing and no one is sure why. Gideon is quite taken with the young woman. While sleeping in the night, the two scarecrows become animated and attack the party. The heroes defeat the scarecrows, but much of Grok’s equipment is burned in the process. Additionally, when the heroes return inside, they find the farmer and young woman eviscerated on the table, and a strange altar with a symbol on it that Tezz recognizes from Bartholomew’s chest in his room. The heroes journey north the next day, and encounter Gilgamesh’s Players, a rival bardic group from Ilhopa (the ones who originally scored the contract to O’Donnell’s inauguration). They challenge Fumbles to a bardic duel, and they lose miserably. Fumbles acquires a masterwork fiddle, but gives key components to Tezz. Continuing the journey north, the heroes encounter a pair of swamp people, who chide Gideon for abandoning the swamp. But when Gideon drops the name of Matthew Sands, the swamp people change their attitude, provide some much needed healing to the party, and provide Gideon with a scroll of Geyser, telling him to “use it when the time is right.” The heroes set up camp for the night, and sleep mostly unperturbed, though some stray badgers do manage to steal a bag of mangoes. Some horses gallop by, but no one really notices.
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Reaching Monhutch
what tangled webs we weave

The party wakes up after a calm night and heads up river towards Monhutch. After only a short distance, they reach an inn. They hear a few vague rumors about Matthew Sands, and, after quite a lot of trickery, manage to snag a horse and two mules from the stable master.

Further up the road, the party runs into a noble’s caravan heading towards the party. Tezz identifies the man, Polo Osborn, as the head of the Noble’s Guild, and the man expresses his desire to rid Ilhopa of all farmers. Tezz also pretends to be the son of Romirac Glitterbottom, the head of the merchant’s guild, and in doing so the party learns that Romirac has a son who he keeps locked in a tower for mysterious reasons.

Entering town, the party checks in and inquires about the whereabouts of Matthew Sands. Following the advice they get, the party arrives at an abandoned house, and invites themselves in through the back door. Rummaging through Matthew’s stuff, the party finds a set of vague looking instructions for a mechanical system, and Fumbles cleverly finds a secret passage in the laundry room. After rigging an alarm, the party heads down into the passage.

The party reaches a split in the passage, and heads right. At the end of the hall, the party finds a strange mechanical contraption Fumbles recognizes as that from the instructions. They also find a set of steps, which they decide is lacking in acid traps. They set a trap, then head down the passage the other way, not exploring up the steps.

The other end of the hallway is identical, with a matching contraption and set of stairs. Heading up the stairs this time, the party discovers an enclosed room with a river flowing through it. In the room is a statue of an Azata, who is spitting into the river. Gideon recognizes the monster as a good creature, and Tezz determines that it once was adding something magic to the river, but it isn’t anymore. Just then, the alarm goes off.

The party, unable or unwilling to swim, heads back down the hallway towards the source of the alarm. Through Yurtle, Gideon sees Matthew running around looking for a ring and his plans. The party heads to greet him, or to bypass him, but before they reach him he sets off the acid trap. Grok rushes to the rescue, and up the set of stairs just in time to see Matthew jump into a lake. He saves him from drowning, but the halfling is seriously injured.

Grok rushes him back to town asking for a healer, and thanks to his stupidity, does not betray that the party set the acid trap that injured him. The healers take Matthew into a closed tent, and send the heroes back to the lake to guard it.

The party sets up camp, but in the middle of the night, most are awakened by screams from the village. Everyone but fumbles rushes back to the town, just in time to see an army of ants marching away with all of the nobles. They engage the ants, but lose Beiber in the process, and aren’t able to stop the ants from stealing all the nobles and Matthew. Meanwhile, Fumbles putzed around with some levers back at the lake, and pulled one, releasing some sort of a damn that flooded the river, washing Gideon and an unconscious/dead Yurtle downstream.

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The Ruins of Monhutch
In which the party gets a lot of backstory and a new player

Gameday: Oct 30

Gideon wakes up from a dream about Yertle. He finds he is being cared for by Elena after having been swept downstream and knocked unconscious. He gets a ride back to town from his parents. Fumbles fell off a waterfall…or didn’t…maybe…but he ends up in the cart with Gideon and Elena riding back to Monhutch.

Roscoe arrives in town and sees Tezz and Grok sleeping. While trying to rouse them to find out whats happened, Gideon and Fumbles arrive in town and begin examining the remains of the nobles camp. Tezz and the others join them, and as Gideon fills Roscoe in on the details, Tezz’s eye is caught by a sword discarded by a noble. He goes to claim it, but an enchantment on it stuns and injures him, and he drops it. So he decides to get Grok to take it for him, but when he is struck by the enchantment, he hurls the sword into the redirected river.

Roscoe moves south to the apothecary and finds a safe hidden in the floorboards. When he can’t open it, he convinces Tezz and Gideon to investigate it while he tries to extract the sword from the river for them. An hour later a soggy Roscoe has the sword and a queasy Tezz and Gideon have sampled almost a dozen mysterious potions. Roscoe yields the blade to Tezz as they divvy up the potions. Then they follow Fumbles north to the bookstore.

Fumbles searches the bookstore, finding a book on plant lore, and bristles when he hears noises from the back of the shop. He sees the group approaching and sends them a mental message to proceed with caution. Together the group enters the backroom where they find an old man invoking a spell by speaking in tongues. Waking from his trance, he beckons the party to follow him. Fumbles, dubious, draws a bead on the old man, Compton style, but Roscoe urges him to hear what the old man has to say before they wax him. The party is lead out back to the gardens, a massive temple concealed in the verge.

The old man draws the group around a fire and loads up a fire-power point presentation of his harrowed tale. Fumbles recognizes the history and tries to steal the old man’s thunder, but the man pries out the secrets of his mind and threatens to expose him if he persists. Begrudgingly Fumbles contents himself with lip-synching along with the host. The man tells us the history of Monhutch, of its original founder and his secret dealings with the Seven Sorcerers and their gnomish slaves. He tells us he is Logi Gicalsci, the former mayor of Monhutch. He shares his fragmented memory of being a crummy mayor, and of his wife, Zoraida. All he remembers is that she betrayed him and kidnapped their daughter and all the village children to a dimension of fire on their daughter’s 5th birthday. He says that he cannot enter the town hall or the temple, as Zoraida watches him closely, and charges the group with going to find her for him. When Roscoe presses him for promise of payment, Logi Gicalsci puts a quest spell on him, binding Roscoe with a Geas to find the girl.

He tells the group of the Seven Sorcerers and the temple they built over the three magic springs nearby: one of oil, one of salt water, and the other unknown. He tells everyone that a magical beast guards the center chamber of the temple, and gives Tezz a book that will teach him the creature’s language. He permits us to search the store for anything we might need. The party elects to investigate the town hall before proceeding to the temple.

The party enters the town hall and moves first to the evidence room. It appears to have been broken into, and the contents of a small cage have been stolen. Roscoe suspects it to have been an egg, and examination of the court confirms this. It seems Bartholomew was was involved in a dispute over some illegal dragon eggs. Tezz tears a copy of Bartholomew’s mark away from the record. The group then moves into the storage room.

The storage room is empty except for a chessboard on a table and two chairs, one white and the other black. After standing around scratching their heads as to what a chessboard is, Fumbles looking for secret doors, and several people being hurled across the room, the group solves the chess puzzle, which opens a teleportation ring nearby. The party piles into the ring, and is transported to a dank room underneath a conversation already in progress. The conversation is between Matthew’s parents, who are soon joined by Mayor O’Donnel and Temneral (played by the illustrious Adam West.) The heroes learn that Ilhopa has not yet received word of the problems in Monhutch, and suspect Matthew of murdering the halfing in town. But they do know that Tezz was with the murdered halfling before her death, though in truth they believe Matthew killed her. The group learn that Elena and Matthew were engaged. The group also learn that Mayor Hill and Batman are in cahoots with Bartholomew, and are awaiting his information…

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The Portal Dance
In which the party teleports a lot

Gameday November 6

The Group is in the basement after the conversation with Temnerel is overheard. Once the room above is clear, a light spell is cast and we see in the room with us a large wax mold, a wire dress-form, and a chest. Upon examination of the door out of the room, the group knocks over a bunch of armor and alerts some guards. The door is hastily resealed and the group goes back through the portal to Monhutch with the chest. Shortly thereafter two guards from Ilhopa follow us through and the group subdues them. The group decides to split up, with Grok, Roscoe and Tezz going back to Ilhopa to cover tracks while Fumbles, Gideon and Elena stay to take care of the guards. The plan is that the group returning to Ilhopa will briefly cover tracks, and then everyone will regroup in Monhutch.



The group going back through the portal are almost instantly detected and confronted by the guard and Temnerel himself. To escape they try to attack the guards and are teleported, as all who attack protected races in Ilhope are, to a strange starry plane surrounded by seven laughing faces. Roscoe identifies the faces as that of the seven sorcerers, and is able to identify six of the seven races.


Moving north, the Ilhopa group is deposited in a holding cell. Soon two nobles drop in with the group, and one stabs the other in the face. We discover that the survivor is Romirac Glitterbottom, the bank president. He is dead drunk, claiming that his wife has recently had an affair. They convince him to pay our bail and come with them. All are dropped on the north side of Ilhopa upon leaving the cell.




Back in Monhutch the group there finds that Logi has left the bookstore, and decide to wait for him, leaving the Ilhopa guards bound. The group try to stupify them, convincing the guards they are in some nether realm at the mercy of some magic gods. This lasts for a while, but eventually the guards get wise and Elena snaps, both in her head and on the guards neck. Yertle chews thru the throat of the other. To dispose of the bodies the heroes set the guards in a boat and put them downstream on fire. However, the boat goes over a waterfall shortly after, dousing the flames and shattering the boat. So much for an honorable funeral.



They then decide to follow the tracking group through the portal, since they have yet to return. This group also draws the guards, but manage to bluff their way out and make their way to the tavern.



The group with Romirac, looking for a way to conceal Grok back into the city, bury him in a mango cart and push it into town, with Romirac riding on top as king of the mangoes. This turns out to be too much of a sight to not draw attention, and the way to the tavern is slow. finally they arrive, and the groups are reunited.



Unfortunately, Grok is instantly recognized (he is wanted for the murder of Cotton Goodbody) and hullabaloo ensues!
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The Hedges Trim Us
In which the heroes meet Charmaine, learn of some ancient magic artifacts, visit the bank, return to Monhutch, beat some Drow at their own game, and (finally) enter the Temple of the Seven Sorcerers (almost)

Game Dates: Nov 13, Nov 20
The bartender of the North Star Pub comes to the aid of the party, telling the group to get behind the bar and telling everyone else that we left. Alone in the bar now, the bartender proceeds to expose some backstory. He says he knows Grok is innocent because he saw Matthew kill the halfling hooker after taking the strange amulet from her. The group postulates that the amulet might break the power of the city and allow one to attack protected races. The bartender says the group must go through the catacombs of the city to get out and back to the temple.
He arranges for a new halfling hooker to excort the party, but it turns out she was given orders to strand the group down in the catacombs and leave them for dead. But she is caught and brought along as the group tries to make their way through the sewer, following the trail of their retreating assailants. After surviving several traps, well mostly, except for the hooker, the group comes to a large chamber with arrow traps rigged to the floor. It seems that traps do not set off the city’s magic.
Fumbles finds that when he is stark naked he is light enough to bolt across the floor, but unfortunately he cant see and he falls down a hill into a burial chamber. Everyone else edges around the room to find torch sconces. When they light the sconces as they see them in a dwarven mural on the wall a stairwell opens down to the chamber Fumbles is in.

A now clothed Fumbles and the rest of the group open one of the sarcophagi that is glowing and all of a sudden a lich, some skeletons, and a zombie bust in onto the set. The skeletons fall like leaves, but the lich wont die. Finally the group finds a scepter in the lich’s sarcophagus and eventually takes it to the throne in the room above. When the scepter is set into a notch in the throne, the lich falls. Gears in the room below lower a drawbridge on the other side of the room, and some hoes-on-parade come out to greet the adventurers.

The leader of the hoes, Charmaine, super-wants to find Matthew and agrees to help the group make it back to Monhutch to get him. In exchange for Matthew, she agrees to give the heroes the scepter that they just found. She claims it has magic powers, and is part of a set of three magical items.

Charmaine gives everyone bank disguises and takes us thru the tunnels to the bank. The group is able to track well enough so that if they were to come back through the bank, they could find Charmaine’s lair again.
Once in the bank, the party notices the bank uses charged magical sapphires to control account transactions, which function much like hotel key cards. The main hall of the bank has crown molding full of these sapphires and other gems, with one particularly ornate sapphire over the head of the main counter. Additionally, the party discovers that Matthew Sands has not yet cashed all of the donations made to him. Something must have happened to him before he got to the bank…. still, there is a lot of gold waiting to be transferred, if someone were to find the transaction gems.
Everyone almost gets caught leaving the bank, but eventually the party makes their way out and back to City Hall. The plan being to take the portal back to Monhutch, the group tries to bluff the guards. The party tells the guard that they are a janitorial crew sent to clean up City Hall, so the guard promptly leads the group to a records room and says to begin cleaning. He also locks the heroes in. In an effort to try and get back to the plan the group picks the lock while riffling thru some papers taking info on Bartholomew and Temnerel with. Unfortunately Fumbles is caught, and after a brief chase from the guards rejoins the group. All go thru the portal to Monhutch.
Briefly consulting the stolen papers, the group discovers that Bartholomew paid his way into the Mages guild, despite having little actual magical aptitude. Additionally, Temnerel has been attempting to expand the jurisdiction of the Ilhopa court outside the walls of the city, and has made specific attempts in Monhutch.

Approaching the temple, the group notices Drow tracks leading to and from the temple. Wanting to consult anyone who knew the way in, it is agreed to follow the Drow tracks. The dark elves try and ambush the party, but are heard and challenge all to a trial to prove our worth, before they will consider lending their aid. Roscoe gets shot, Fumbles gets drunk, and Elena jumps into a river covered in rocks, but the trials are bested and the dark elves agree to help. They hate Zoraida as much as Logi does, since she lived with them for a time and took a baby. They say the ants are the way in and out of the temple, and furnish a map thru their tunnels.

Venturing into the ant tunnels, the group soon sees a trail of rubies on the ground. Tezz immediately begins scooping them up, and the party follows suit. The trail leads them to a lake of oil, but this deters the group. Everyone doubles back and follows the map. They eventually come to a large room with some vegetation and some ants. While trying to sneak around the edges of the room, what turns out to be assassin vines ensnare everyone but Fumbles…

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swamp ants

The party gets away from the vines (for the most part) and scatters the ants in the center of the room. Rather than clearing the entirety of the plants, they continue through the center hallway, escaping.

Following the map, they come to a clearing with a swamp in the middle, and some recently abandoned buildings on the other side. Gideon levitates fumbles across the swamp to see what is over there, but fumbles critically fails his perception check, and reports that there is nothing over there.

Just as the party is about to move on, Roscoe notices a hand emerging from the swamp. Closer inspection reveals that the hand is that of Matthew Sands, and that a magic ring sits on his finger. With the help of a fishing line and a magic spell, they get the ring off of the finger. After some squabbling over possession, the party agrees to let Elena hold it for the time being. The ring seems to have some sort of charisma enhancing abilities.

the characters find two locked doors on the left side of the chamber and find a way to get through the southern door, where they see an Azata – a snake looking lady. While the party is trying to decide what to do, Tezz yells out a cheerful greeting to the beast, who analyzes us all to find out why we are there.

Gideon and Tezz are interested in the tainted river, so the Azata agrees to talk to them, while Fumbles intentions are less honorable, and Roscoe and Elena are interested in the mystery of the disappearing girl.

The Azata reveals that her temple has recently been raided, and her eggs stolen. In addition, there seems to be some sort of problem in the other towers, lorded over by a draconic beast and a manticore. The draconic creature at least seems to be tainted in some way.

The Azata agrees to help the party in exchange for their aid in retrieving the egg. She also reveals that she does not trust Roscoe due to his “tainted blood.” She knows nothing about the sorcerers or the disappearance of the girl.

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Dungeons...er, Hedgemazes and Dragons!

The party investigates the fountain room south of the Azata’s chamber and discovers it to be a healing fountain (resembling a baptismal font). Elena realizes what she thought was her ring on Mathew’s arm was a fake. They drink and take a few vials, then return to the swamp, with the intent to explore the temple a bit more before they leave to find the egg. Returning to the swamp Roscoe decides to investigate the huts. He and Gideon cross without incident. They find silk cocoons left by the ants, and when they open them they find the Osborne noble family from before, Polo Osborn minus one arm. As Tezz tried to edge around the room on vines he falls into the water with a splash. This rouses an aboleth, and battle ensues. The beast is slain, but Tezz is affected by its poison and begins to turn into a fish. He bolts for the healing waters of the fountain, which restore his birdliness. Since the swamp is safe the nobles are brought across the water and restored in the fountain. The daughter is the first to wake and runs screaming into the hedgemaze, with NO provocation from ANY member of the party… Norman and Norma-Gene argue about where they are, whose fault it is, and what to do about their missing daughter. The party leaves them and returns to the swamp chamber to explore more.

They go to the door on the northern side of the swamp and force it open. Inside are busts representing each of the protected races in Ilhopa. Fumbles takes an amulet from the halfling statue. Suddenly the building trembles, and the party decides to cheese it! In the swamp room again they see that a dragon looms above. They try to take refuge in the ant tunnels, but find that the vines have grown over it and they cant pass. So they beat feet back to the Azata chamber, where she tells the group that the dragon is the guardian of the river of oil and the observatory. She says he has been corrupted in some way, and the manticore in the aviary over the river of salt has been subdued somehow. She knows little more. The party regroups in the fountain room. Some water breathing potions are made from the mucus of the aboleth and Roscoe and Gideon drink some and travel thru a trap door in the bottom of the fountain. They find a strong current drags them under.

Below they find themselves in a huge aquarium tank, with hatches and glass walls, with an observation walkway wrapping around. Swimming to the east they make their way into another aquarium tank adjacent to yet another tank. The adjacent tank seems to be full of activity and life, and at least one aboleth. They reason that this is directly below the Azata’s chamber. Not wanting to delve too deep or leave the party behind, they decide to return to the fountain. Gideon manages to beat the current, but roscoe is trapped and must be dragged out with rope. Once he is rescued, the party decides to search for Bartholomew and the egg. They proceed out of the temple towards the hedge.

Outside they are greeted by the Osborns, still arguing. They offer to pay the group to rescue their daughter, and after the group surveys the hedgemaze to determine both the path thru and the location of the girl, they venture forth. Before long they encounter a group of hellhounds. The beasts prove no match for the group, however and are dispatched and one is cleaned and skinned by Roscoe. They continue on to where the girl was and find her pacing in front of a great tree. Roscoe instantly falls into a trance and cobras descend from the branches, moving to attack the group. The snakes disappear into the grass and proceed to stealth out the team who thrash the weeds to find them. Tezz attacks the tree itself and it emits a piercing blue light into the heavens. A great stirring is felt. Then Tezz eats one of the apples and discovers it to be a tree of knowledge of good and evil. The party continues to fight the snakes, Tezz finds a pair of goggles in a chest nearby, and the Dragon appears on the horizon. just as the dragon swoops down to the group, Logi “I’m A Jerk-Face But I’ll Save Your Bacon” Gicalsci crashes thru the verge on a giant Fuck-Off rhino and shouts at the party to get on. Fumbles is swept up in a moment of overwhelming courage and sacrifice and begins to sing to the great wurm in an attempt to charm it and buy the group time. All but him move to mount the rhino as the dragon dispatches with the snakes and slams Fumbles into the tree with a single swipe. It moves in for the kill, taking Fumbles up in its mighty jaws With his last breath Fumbles shouts “Catch!” (in terran) and tosses the magic amulet to his compatriots. They catch it and retreat from the horror astride the rhino, Fumbles Dirge still resounding in their ears.

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Escape via Rhino
In which the heroes learn of secret groves and return to Ilhopa
Rescued by Logi Gicalsci, the heroes are taken to Logi’s secret grove, unfindable by any he does not wish to grant access to. The heroes are allowed to sleep and rest up, and then Logi informs the heroes that he feels his daughter is actually within Ilhopa. Roscoe, of course, is drawn to go to Ilhopa and discover her whereabouts. Tezz dreams of revenge against Bartholomew. Gideon is visited by his Eidelon and is told to visit the bank tower. Elena, well, she doesn’t comment much. But for dinner, everyone eats an apple from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and everyone gains a knowledge skill check.

The rest of the party reasons that returning to Ilhopa might help them recover the egg of the Azata, thus securing her aid in the temple of the Seven Sorcerers, (and also restoring the purity of the water in the River of Life, which is currently still badly tainted).
Logi gives the party members each a potion of Disguise Self, and rides with them via Rhino back to Ilhopa. On the way, Gideon passes his parents and dutifully waves. Logi drops the heroes off near the south gate to the city, and disappears with his giant rhino.
The party disguises themselves by various means and manages to sneak in undetected. They visit the North Star Pub and haggle with the bartender to give them a safe place to stay. The bartender wishes to see the amulet that killed Cotton Goodbody, and wishes to destroy the amulet. The heroes convince him otherwise. Tezz negotiates the exchange of a single ruby for one week’s stay for the party. The bartender removes an in coitus couple from the master suite, and gives the party the room. He warns the heroes that anything they say in the room might possibly be overheard, and secrets travel fast in a brothel.
Upon investigation of their room, the heroes discover that there are three secret compartments in the room, as well as access to an attic area that connects all of the bedrooms. In the chamber beneath the floor, the heroes discover a shredded note in Dwarven, but are unable to interpret it more than “Silver Hand.”
Roscoe disguises himself as a noble cousin of Polo Osborne and goes to the bar to see if he can gain information on the bank tower. Wearing the sword of Polo Osborne seems to help a lot, and some local bank workers agree to give Roscoe a tour of the bank in a few hours.
Meanwhile, Tezz visits some magic shops to procure ingredients for future disguise attempts, only to run into Bartholomew, who is very upset that some of his orders are not there in time. It seems he needs materials to do some things with an egg. A few attempts are made to tail Bartholomew, but to no avail.
Roscoe visits the bank and successfully gains access to Polo Osborne’s account. He discovers that Polo Osborne’s security stone is actually embedded into his sword, and if he can endure the pain screaming in his ears, he can always access the account. He withdraws 5,000 gp for the party to use. But he discovers that access to the tower is guarded with much magical security, which would surely see through his disguise.
Gideon and Elena visit the Monastery to talk to the father of the late Fumbles and bear the bad news. Dribbles is devastated, but tells Gideon what he can about the Bank tower. Romirac Glitterbottom was a known philanderer, and at the time was guardian of the King’s Treasury, which is now the bank. The Tengu have guarded over that location since the founding of the city. One night, Romirac took a lover in the tower. There was a gigantic explosion and Romirac was very wounded. Shorty after, Romirac had an illegitimate child that seemed to be very mentally unstable, and never left the tower. Also shortly afterwards, the monarchy fell. Somehow, Romirac was not brought down with the fall of the monarchy, but the new mayor appointed him head of Ilhopa Bank, which he has served as ever since.
Lastly, Dribbles revealed that the magic that protects the tower is the magic that protects the city.
The heroes then resolved to find the other six amulets, so they might have power over the city.

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Chapter 10: Wherein Nothing is Exactly as it Seems

Regrouping in their room at the Morning Star Tavern, the party begins planning their infiltration into the bank tower. They reason that if they have more of the magic items that diffuse the power of the city then they will be able to beat the magical protection of the vault. Gideon, being the only member of the party not currently wanted for mass-murder, ventures into the bar to glean more information about the catacombs or whereabouts of the other items. He learns that Grok has purportedly been captured and set for execution at noon tomorrow. The bartender feels it is a trap. He also directs Gideons attention to another traveler seeking fortune. This is how he meets Ivan, a half-orc treasure hunter, who is also following rumor and intuition about the powerful magical items. They agree to share information with eachother, and Ivan is brought back to the suite.

When Gideon tells the group of what he learned, they agree that trap or not, they are not willing to let their former compatriot be killed for a crime he didnt commit. Also they dont want Temnerel and Bartholomew to see completion of their plans. They decide to forestall their bank heist plans in lue of performing a jail break. They decide that the most expedient way to get out of the city undetected is to go thru the magic jail and the starry holding cell of the city for those who attack protected races. They stand in a circle and punch to the right.

When they are teleported to the starry field, they see that things are different. The halfling face is no longer laughing, and in fact no longer has a face! He is marred by acid burns, and there is a portal underneath the constellation. The group discerns that the stars represent a map of the city with Ivans help, and take time to create a map of both the constellations and of the city itself. They also reason that, since stars to not usually connote to terrestrial locations, that there must be powerful planar magic involved. Not wanting to risk being transported to some unfamiliar place, they drop on the southern end of town as planned.

They go to the fishery with the hopes of finding transportation to the Arena where Grok is being held. When they reach the piers they see a shadowy group moving cargo out of a dingy. Tezz hails them and they run off. Some of the group gives chase, but the runners deploy a smoke bomb to cover their escape into the dwarven graveyard. Abandoning pursuit, the group looks to see what they were carrying. It is a merfolk, badly injured. They get him to the water and dress his wounds, and tho they dont speak the same language the convey their need to get to the Arena. The merman obliges, and leads them to a secret entrance in the back. They enter the sewers, getting the general layout of the arena, and decide to send Tezz, under cover of invisiblity, to scout the area. He gets the lay of the land, sniaking past 2 sleeping guards, and investigates the building. he finds on one side of the arena a guard station and empty holding cells for combatants. On the other side he hears the sounds of someone doing alchemical work. Not wanting to get too close before his spell wears off he returns to the group, who then decide to let Roscoe sneak up and get a better look. As he approaches the alchemy room he puts on his glasses of sense motive. He sees a woman whose alignment is chaotic/evil. She instantly notices him and regards him with a smile.

“Welcome, son!’

She tells Roscoe, among other things, that she is a being of the Plane of Fire. She also tells him that he is the first of her progeny with beings of this plane, and that she plans on invading this plane and conquer it in retaliation against the seven sorcerers for using the power of their plane to fuel their magic. She tells him that McDonnel is in fact the daughter of Logi that Roscoe is seeking, and tries to persuade Roscoe to join her. Unable to overcome his resentment towards her for abandoning him, and feeling stronger connections to the memory of his father and the lands that have supported him, Roscoe tells her to sit on it and spin. She warns him that opposing her with incur her wrath, but agrees not to impede him now. She tells Roscoe that Grok is being held at the top of the tower in the arena. Roscoe bids her adieu, and returns to the group.

The group reacts strongly to the fact that Roscoe has turned into a Tiefling. He reassures the group that his intentions have not changed, tho he now has huge horns and glowing red eyes. They emerge from the sewer and promptly woke up the sleeping guards and began combat. They seal off some of the chambers to stem the tide of guards, and Tezz roasts a group carrying boiling oil, meant to be the end of the party. They find themselves in the heat of battle…

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