Stray Dog

Muscamoli Weed, and More!
Lions, Spiders, Slurms, and a Yaun-ti looking thing / person, Oh my?

The party comes across a patch of Muscamoli Weed. In spite of having been over it before, they decide who should do the picking, and who should do the watching in case of attack or other horrible thing which might come this way.

The party manages to collect about four ounces of Muscamoli Weed. On the way back, they encounter what looks like trouble! They encounter a lion, a giant spider, a plains slurm, and a weird-looking yaun-ti looking thing/person spread in a “four corners” out-looking position. Spread within the four animals/creatures are two invisible, or otherwise nearly invisible creature/things. After a great deal of uncertain bickering, complaining, and general pissing and moaning, careful tactical discussion, the party decides to attempt to “bait the trap.”

The party’s primary generic arcane spell caster, “The Professor,” creates an illusion of a traveling merchant and bodyguard, and sends them forward to see how the creatures will react. The secondary arcane spell caster, Nanashi, attempts to stealthily move forward to get a better idea of the situation. She sees a hooded and cloaked figure. At first the animal/creatures do not react to the illusions, except to sniff the air and attempt to determine if what they see is real. “The Professor” made the illusionary merchant “cast” some kind of fire based spell and back away. The simpleton snake creature took that as threatening and provocative and moved forward as the “merchant” moved backwards. Nanashi casts spells such that she can keep an eye on the hooded and cloaked figure.

As the simpleton yaun-ti approaches party via “step forward, attack, with the illusion falling back,” “The Professor” summons a celestial badger in a manner such that it would appear that the illusionary merchant had instead summoned it. The badger and simpleton yaun-ti proceed to engage in hostilities. Nanashi attempts to move as close to the hooded and cloaked figure as stealthily as possible. After the badger slays the yaun-ti, the dwarven slayer steps forward to “ascertain” the situation. She is noticed, but not attacked.

“The Professor” decides to cast speak with animals, and then attempts to enthrall them with a stirring philosophical dissertation. He manages to net the slurm and the spider. The lion, although not effected, is confused, and does nothing. Meanwhile, the two “invisible” creatures begin their assault. The first attacks the dwarven slayer, but manages only to mess up her makeup. The second “invisible” creature does significant harm to Nanashi.

The dwarven slayer and the airy creature duke it out. At first, she has a hard time seeing the creature, but manages to hit it. The elven ranger successfully shoots the creature with two arrows, causing significant damage, and making the creature much easier to see. Nanashi manages to see and deal some damage to her air render. The centaur archer shoots it with an arrow, making its visibility a non-issue.

The dwarven slayer finishes off the air render and gloats with triumph. “The Professor” takes a moment out of his dissertation to toss Nanashi a healing potion. Nessus charges the second air render, impaling it, and placing himself a bit further away, due to momentum. The hooded and cloaked figure takes out a clearly magical “stick” and is about to break it. Nanashi shoots him with a dark arrow, dealing him subdual damage, and causing him to go, “Oh, crap! That hurts!” for a moment. Nanashi then realizes, “Oh, wait! I’m bleeding,” and downs the potion.

Nessus decides to leave nothing up to chance and charges the cloaked figure. With a sweep of his two-bladed sword, he removes the poor bastard’s hands, which, along with the stick, fall to the ground. The animals are released from the force which was holding them, and run away. The handless fool falls to the ground, unconscious and bleeding profusely. “The Professor” casts a healing spell on him to stop the bleeding, and restores him to some semblance of life. He also casts gentle repose on the guy’s hands and puts them into his backpack. (We aren’t really sure why, though.)

The party then proceeds to search their captive. He had some pocket change, a masterwork dagger, a masterwork rapier, what was previously masterwork studded leather armor, and two magical pendants. The pendant was the holy symbol of The Church of God. The second pendant was an esoteric symbol which no one could identify.

After a significant investigation, the party determines that the pendants work as homing beacons, and could be used to spy on them. They then do what any good adventuring party would do in the same situation; they smash the pendants. Fortunately, Nanashi was smart, and drew a picture of the unidentified symbol before it was smashed to smithereens.

They also attempt to pump their captive for information. After a great deal of bickering and complaining, they finally come to the conclusion that they won’t get any information from him. After further bickering, they decide to slit the guy’s throat, and head back to town.

When they get to town, they go to the Askuda bar, and ask for a “fireman.” A few minutes later, a centaur, an elf, a human, and a halfling walk into the bar. (Que bar-jokes here!) Several of the bar’s patrons leave random amounts of money on their tables and hurriedly exit. The halfling steps up and introduces himself as the “fireman.” Nessus and the halfling exchange pouches, one containing Muscamoli Weed, and one containing money. The pouch containing money was short by payment for one ounce of Muscamoli Weed. Nessus took umbrage to this, and demanded proper payment. The “fireman” then handed over another pouch with payment for the remaining ounce.

Nanashi sat next to the “fireman” and cordially introduced herself. The “fireman” reintroduced himself as Clyde Marlborough. The two continued to chat at length about this, that, and the other.

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The outset
Outset

The players establish their characters’ relationships. After much bickering and complaining professional discussion, the party decides to go looking for Muscamoli Weed, and that they will decide what to do with it when they return.

It would have been fairly straight-forward if it had proceeded from there. Alas, it was not to be. After a great deal of bickering and complaining professional discussion, they finally decide where to go looking for the plant, what formation to use, and what to do in the event they are attacked. Normally, these are wise precautions, and there is no such thing as being too prepared, but, as per usual, our group of obsessive-compulsive detail-oriented fledgling adventurers takes forever in deciding what could take five minutes!

With that, the group heads east-by-southeast from the city of Hector’s Pearl looking for, hopefully, vast quantities of the tiny plant.

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The Story Begins
In the Beginning...

Everyone is currently at the Niwatori Tavern in the city of Hector’s Pearl. Across the street is the Chicken Inn. Occasionally, you see the innkeeper look out the window at someone else across the street, who is also looking out a window. They make obscene gestures at each other. It might merely be a prank that competing innkeepers play with each other in this city, or it might be something deeper. It’s hard to tell which, though.

The common area is about half full with various travelers and other adventurers. The people in this room show a fairly even mix of the sentient races in this area. Judging by the clothing and equipment, it’s also reasonable to surmise that they come from a wide variety of professions. Some are munching quietly on meals, others are reading, while still yet, most are engaged in conversation.

On the south wall, you notice a bulletin board. All sorts of things are posted there. These are the things that seem to stand out the most.

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