Wandered Roads 54.5

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 54.5
October 1 - November 25, 2018

Campaign Timeline

Too Many Leads

Toilday 12th Kuthona, 4711

Closed for Business

The Carnival has been officially shut down and Sheriff Feldane has arrested the Master of the Carnival, Almara Delisen and taken her away. Berthold seems at a loss, he just stands there stammering outside of Jherizhana’s wagon, “I, I, I, I just don't know.” He sits down on a barrel and puts his hands in his face. About that time, Daellin and Thim arrive. They had caught wind of the trouble at the carnival and the group's involvement and hurried over. They are quickly informed about the three murders, the implications that the circus and its Sphinx are involved, the Skulks and their tribe of drug users, and the real situation with Jherizhana.

Just then, a tall, bronze skinned Keleshite man comes strutting up. He is dressed in the traditional clothes of Qadira, though a much warmer version of trust southern style. He carries himself with an air of superiority and looks around at the gathered folk and Berthold, with his head down. “Get up, animal man. What is goings on here? I see Mistress Almara being led off by the woman sheriff. How this has happened?” he shouts at the Master of Beasts. His accent is thick and his voice is commanding. He turns to the gathered members of the party and sneers briefly. “You. Were you not hired to solve  these problem? To me, this not quite seems to be the solution you are hired for. No?” 

Calina glances at the unknown gentleman and nods, "Yes sir, seems we have not found the perpetrator of these crimes.

"We have found many clues, though, and we have found a couple of Skulks, and have not found two others. This could be because Skulks aren't exactly easy to find. Might I ask your name and what is your position in the circus? Sir, you can count on our group to continue our investigation and it should go quickly now that our two other members have joined us," she points towards Daelin and Thim.

Calina blushes as she realizes how she's been chattering freely, not something she is comfortable doing. She steps back behind Kallin's large orcish body, without even waiting for the name of the imposing and commanding gentleman.

The man's piercing eyes follow Calina as she retreats behind her companion, and he lets out a haughty laugh. “I am Venlok, Master of Licences, captain of the guard and scourge of the indolent,” he says as he gently pats the coiled whip hanging from his belt. Several long knife scabbards also hang from his intricately detailed and decorated belt. “Yes, yes, I know some of this problems come from the guards not at right places. I take care of this very soon. But this other problems, the Mistresses being arrested, going to jail, this not ok. This your job. You figure this out now. If trouble come for Umbra Carnival and Mistress Almara then Venlok come for you." He crosses his arms and stares the entire group in the eyes. He seems confident and ready to take on the whole group at once if need be.

Samad rolled his eyes at the man’s bluster and stepped forward, a hand on his hip and his beautiful chin angled up. Annoyance gleamed in his golden eyes as he sneered at Venlock. “We certainly didn't need YOU to tell us that.” His sneer morphed into a mocking smirk. “But I suppose if it gives you an illusion of control in this situation, bark away you bladed dog, and let us get our hands dirty. As usual.” 

Samad, hips slithering coquettishly, walked swiftly around Venlok. Despite his confidence, he gave the man a decent breadth between them, but close enough to let the man catch a whiff of the flowery scented oils he uses on his skin. The Foxtooth’s eyes never left Venlok for a second until he turned to the rest of the group. His hair swaying like a luxurious dark curtain behind him after his graceful pivot, he spoke sweetly to them. “Well, shall we? I believe we have a lead at the docks?”

Venlok narrows his eyes at Samad as he circles around him and murmurs, “Garundi,” under his breath, followed by a snort. He then turns to Berthold, “I go deal with lazy Varisian guards. You deal with performers. If you cannot, I tell the Clerk that he is to step up and take command. I do not trust that Atepmo. No good come from Ustalav. You better man. You get up and do it.” With that, Venlok turns and stomps away, nearly slamming into Samad behind him, but deftly avoiding him at the last second.

As he leaves, Berthold regains some of his composure and stands. “Venlok is a good man. A bit harsh, but his intentions are in the right place. The well being of the Carnival is his main concern, as it should be mine as well. So,” he says, turning to Samad then back to the others, “you have a lead? Down on the docks? I shall not keep you any further. I must quickly gather the workers and explain to them this quarantine that the Sheriff has placed upon us. I do not like it, but I believe it is for the good of all. Thank you again for your assistance in this, I knew I was right in bringing you to Mistress Almara’s attention. Without you, things would be in much more dire straits!”

Alistar leads the way down to the docks where he immediately begins looking for the most worthless ugly stinking drugged out pieces of peasant offal he can find.

Shiver Me Timbers

Alistar and those that accompany him head down to the waterfront of the town. As they travel through the streets of Ilsurian, it is clear that the townsfolk are watching them and based on the nasty looks and glares, they clearly are associating the group with the Carnival. 

The cold weather seems to have put an almost complete halt to the work on the docks. Only a few boats were moored at the wooden piers, including Captain Othlo Janke’s Lucky Jenny. Most of the boats are small, one or two person craft, and appear to belong to fishermen, though some are clearly trappers and hunters’ boats as well.

After asking around for a bit, Alistar is able to get some directions to the local Shiver den, which is in a dilapidated, rotting shack near the easternmost docks, just down the hill from the Two Waters Tavern. The window and doors are boarded up and the roof is falling in. It is clear that the building has not been maintained well and it is a miracle that it is even standing still. 

Stepping as lightly as possible Alistar peers into the shack looking for a shiver addict to interrogate about who his supplier is.

As he approaches what looks like the entrance, he notices numerous broken glass vials on the ground. He also notices a strong stench coming from the building. Peering inside the dark and smelly shack, Alistar sees a trash strewn space with about a dozen or so ratty hammocks, most of them filled. A hunched over figure stumbles out of the shadows toward Alistar. “Ya got a bite? Jus’ looking for a bite, man. Com’on, gimme a bite,” he mumbles. 

Seemingly not interested in small talk, Alistar moves in aggressively, grabbing the man by the collar and slamming him roughly up against a wooden beam that normally would be supporting the roof but currently doesn't seem to be doing anything useful. “Where did you get the Shiver?” he demands. 

Everyone sees his eyes flash with a spark of electricity as he intimidates the drugged out peasant and the man, now suddenly sober blurts out, “Kadarru! Kadarru! The painted Varisian. Leave me be, I swear the truth of it!” The man breaks down, crying and blubbering on the filthy floor as Alistar lets go of him. 

Samad makes no effort to hide the disappointment on his face. Haven't the Varisians been through enough? He steps forward to address the shaken junkie. “Do you know where we can find this Kadarru?”

The man squeaks out the word “market” and points weakly up the hill toward the center of town. Everyone remembers seeing a handful of market stalls set up around the wide yard at the base of the statue of Ilsur, the founder of the town. 

Off to the market to find the painted Varisian who peddles poison.

Gone to Market

Alistar leads the rest of the group back up the hill toward the market. The statue of Ilsur rises up in the cold afternoon above the Two Waters Tavern the group had patronized the night before. Several brightly colored tents and awnings stand around the central area in front of the statue. Their colors seem out of place on this cold and overcast day. Only a few townsfolk peruse these stalls on this cold day. Most of the merchants appear to be Varisians, though there are a few spots that appear to be more permanent and are inhabited by folk of Chelish descent. Across the way, a man and a young girl can be seen perusing the wares on a table. The man and the Varisian working the stall get into a shouting match which quickly sinks to slinging racial slurs back and forth. The Varisian merchant throws his hands up high, causing his heavy fur cloak to fall back, revealing that he is not wearing a shirt and is covered completely in colorful tattoos.

Calina states quietly, "I believe we've found a painted Varisian."  She adds, looking to everyone else, "Do we rush in like always, or should we observe, and by observe I mean quietly, discreetly from a distance." She looks at Alistar for an answer. 

"Alright then," seeing the determined look in his eyes, "I'll stand right over here and when things blow up, Alistar, I'll have your back."

Calina leans back against a handy railing as Alistair walks fervently towards the Varisian's market stall. She looks with raised  eyebrows at the others. "Well?"

“I have a better idea, be prepared to follow him.” Alistar then as unobtrusively as possible casts Suggestion on the fellow and instills in him the idea that the boss wants to see him right now.

Alistar watches as the “Painted Varisian” pauses in his argument with his customer. He turns his head to the side as if thinking and holds his hand up to silence the other man. The Chelish man gives up his argument and walks away, but not before giving the Varisian a highly inappropriate hand gesture, doing his best to hide it from his daughter as they go. The Varisian then swiftly looks around suspiciously before sitting back down and pulling his cloak tight around his shoulders again. Alistar knows instinctively that his Suggestion spell has failed, though he is sure he cast it correctly. He assumes that Kadarru’s strength of will must have been stronger.

Kallin observes the painted man for a moment.  He looks to see if the tattoos have any special meaning.  Nothing really comes to him so he starts to scan the crowd to see if there are any spirits amongst the crowd.

Not close enough to really make out the details of the tattoos, Kallin turns and almost immediately notices a a restless spirit approaching. She is a Human woman, young, in her early 20s probably. She is quite tall, possibly taller than Kallin, and looks to be fairly muscular, though she wears loose fitting clothes that ruffle and shimmer. Her dark black hair is pinned back neatly and her blue eyes seem to shine with a ghostly brightness. She walks determinedly up the hill toward the market stalls, seemingly directly toward Kallin. As she gets closer, he can see that she is of Chelish descent and quite beautiful, though she appears to have a pained look on her face. 

The others in the group notice Kallin staring off down an empty street, as if he were watching something, but no one sees anything besides the deserted lane.  

Kallin stands and waits for the spirit.  When she is close enough, he waves in a friendly manner and says, “Hello, I’m Kallin.” 

The spirit seems anything but friendly. She charges right up to Kallin and crosses her arms, grunting loudly. “What are you doing just standing there? There's no time. That bitch from Whistledown, Grazia, is trying to kill me! I think she put something in my food! She's trying to steal Barrius from me! That whore!” Kallin watches as she clenched her fists and waves them wildly in the air, striking him several times. To his shock and surprise, the hits sting like being stung by a hornet. She scowls at him and then turns and marches down another lane, back toward the docks.

Kallin stares at the spirit for a moment then rushes after her.  He takes a few steps down the lane, stops, turns, and signals the group by waving and saying, “C’mon, I think I found a spirit that may help!”

Session Notes

I love my home gaming group. I love planning and prepping for them and then knowing that I would never have to use a single bit of my previous work if I just had a random NPC tell them a random rumor or toss in a off the cuff tidbit of info. I know ALL PC's like to chase anything they think might be a lead, but this group makes it their life's work! So much fun! Love you all!

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by Dan E
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by Carol C
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben L
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by JeCorey H
Alistar Gavin Lourdis, Human Mageknight- played by Don K
Thim Westerdale, Half-Elf rogue - played by Malcolm G

and +Jason GURPS as the DM

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