Episode 42: A Perfectly Fine Tiefling
Having dispatched the oblex that had taken the form of Lady Margoleth and her young wards, the party turned their attention immediately to their missing friend, Levani having been snatched away via magic during the fight.
A quick search of the sitting room by Ara revealed Lady Margoleth’s diary, which revealed a mind being ravaged by time, and spoke of dark, arcane experiments being conducted by her husband in an attempt to repair the damage being done to her. Ara pocketed the book and the party left the Margoleth residence to search for Levani.
Keen and Ara both noticed a man watching them leave, unremarkable save for how very nonchalant he seemed, sitting on a stoop in the supernatural darkness and frigid air.
The party rounded the corner and to their surprise nearly ran straight into Levani, who was sauntering unconcernedly towards them. It was immediately obvious that this was not the real Levani, however, as neither could they feel her presence in the residium binding nor did she respond to their telepathic link.
Also when she greeted them she sounded rather a lot like a man.
As Yuna and Ara puzzled over this Keen drew his rapier, the Punisher, and attacked the imposter, stabbing her in the leg. She responded with a Hellish Rebuke, but Keen was able to avoid most of the damage. The imposter dropped the illusion then, and was revealed to be a broad-shouldered, red-skinned tiefling man, with an impressive set of horns, cat’s eyes, and devilish cast. He was dressed in black clothes, save for Levani’s cloak of displacement and adventurer’s pack, both of which were not illusions.
The tiefling introduced himself as Sirlius, “The Dread,” and told the confused party that he knew how to find Levani, and would reveal what he knew if they promised to help him retrieve an item from the Pashtum Bank.
Magnus, deciding this interloper less important than their immediate goals, returned to the Margoleth residence to search the basement. Ara attempted to explain what had been happening to Sirlius, who seemed delighted by the promise of corpses and hurried to follow Magnus.
The entire party and their new acquaintance returned to the house, and entered the basement, where the stench of sulfur was overpowering. They found the remains of a wizard’s laboratory, including a large pile of bleached white bones covered in sticky white goop, the remnants of which were still dripping from the ceiling in long sticky strands. Had they inspected the bones they would have discovered the remains of two adult elves, one human and four children.
However, all eyes were on the stash of research notes that Magnus recovered, which spoke of Drow magic that could perhaps be used to treat Esme Margoleth, and a deal struck with one Danta Kosht, to whom the wizard was now indebted. The last entry seemed to suggest the wizard had uncovered a cure, but the manifestation of the oblex suggests he was mistaken.
Sirlius was overcome by the putrid stench of the basement, and vomited slightly, but stealthily wiped the sick onto Keen’s shoulder and then covered it up with a minor illusion. He also revealed that he had seen this Kosht person, a half-orc dwarf with some sort of clockwork golem bodyguard named Two Round Johnny, at the inn where he was staying.
The party decided to bring the evidence to the City Watch, and made their way to one of the guard houses on the 7th. As they approached the guard station the could see that the combination of the sun not rising and the frigid, life-threatening temperatures was causing near riots as people tried to force their way into the guard house for warmth. Upon producing the medallion given them by Bartok Brescht, captain-general of the Watch, The party was led through the throng by two guardsmen and brought into a small interrogation room. They reported their findings at the Margoleth residence to a guard by the name of Jocin, who collected the evidence – Magnus kept back some portion of the notes for himself – and promised to see the house properly dealt with. Yuna could sense that something was off about Jocin, and suspected he was holding something back.
After a few minutes in the guard house the party was surprised to hear shouts of amazement from outside, and emerged to find that the sun, which had not risen that morning, was finally doing so now in late afternoon. Temperatures remained dangerously low, however, so the party decided to follow Sirlius back to his room at Darkmagic’s Hole, so they could discuss what to do next.
When they entered, they found a boisterous, bustling underground bar with loud music and raucous clientele. Magnus, Keen and Ara went to the bar and ordered ales. Keen realized that the bartender had overcharged him, and when he climbed up onto the bar to make a scene was quickly intercepted by a half-orc bouncer, who pulled him roughly off the bar. Sirlius planted the magical suggestion that the half-orc should get the crowded bar to body-surf Keen, which they did for about ten feet until he was dropped roughly onto the ground and trampled a bit before he could extricate himself.
Ara remained at the bar, drinking steadily, while the rest of the party made their way upstairs to speak to Kosht. Magnus, thinking that maybe this was who held Tak’s marker, tried to pass himself off as someone interested in buying it back, but it became quickly obvious that Kosht new a great deal about the party’s movements since arriving in Uman. He informed Magnus that he considered them responsible for the missing Solaufein Margoleth, who had not yet paid his debt to Kosht, and that he therefore held the party responsible for clearing that debt.
Magnus reacted poorly to this suggestion and made to leave, which Keen immediately sensed was causing an entire bar full of heavily-armed thugs to take up positions around them. The situation was calmed by a tipsy Ara sitting down with Kosht, and in a surprisingly coherent, eloquent voice brokered a deal with the mob boss. Kosht was planning to hit the Pashtum Bank, and informed Ara he wanted the party to help his crew by disabling several security systems. In return, he would clear them of Solaufein’s debt. Ara agreed, so that they could get out of the bar without violence, and together they hurried out into the weirdly dawn light.
With yet another party targeting the Pashtum Bank, the party pressed Sirlius for further details about the item he wanted to steal from it. Sirlius revealed that he was instructed to retrieve the Dragonhead Coin, by the voice of his god. The party assumed this was also what Kosht was after, though he hadn’t said. The discussion turned to how Kosht had known so much about them, and the party realized he must have members of the City Watch on the take. They debated how they could use this to their advantage without letting Kosht succeed in his plans, when with a great thunderclap, the crash of stone and screams of cityfolk a huge creature appeared out of thin air in the middle of the street.
Standing 16 feet tall, with the legs of a goat, the muscular torso of a humanoid and the head of a bear, this monstrous thing, dragging a three-bladed stone axe behind it, began picking up random people and asking in a huge, booming voice, “Have you seen my hat?”
Net Tiefling Change: 0
Concurrent Bank Heists: 3+
Arrests Avoided: 1
Mob Boss Rating: Antagonized
RP Rating: Awesome!