Session Notes for 2005-03-25
Basement of the tower.
We head down to the basement. At the bottom of the steps is a human body. The form is battered, but he's breathing shallowly. Musta fallen down the stairs. Maddog says he won't last until morning. Maddog and Jack try to bind him, but fail. Maddog casts a spell, healing his wounds.
The man is a bit woozy. He asks if we've captured "the criminal." Anna says yes. The injured man says he was attacked by a non-descript man.
Sen asks about the library; the man knows about them. Maddog asks if there are places nearby where the criminal could be hiding. Apparently there are some rooms and a wine cellar. We head off.
At the end of the hall is a columned storeroom. It contains barrels, robes, and other things. The wood ceiling is supported by stone columns. There are inkspots all over the ceiling. In the back there are bottles. Wine! That'll help my headache.
Sen stops me and offers me his hat. Odd. Suddenly Sen points at the bottles and screams about spiders. Sen drags me away. A bunch of foot long black spiders scuttle out. Sen strikes one, it splats like a blob of black ink. One bites Sen. One bites me. (OOC: Sen gains a point of intelligence.) They continue to bite at me. The bites hurt a bit, but don't seem serious. However, I feel a little more lucid. Odd, odd, odd. Sen hits another one, it squishes. I cut one with an axe. It splats, leaving a black stain on the ground. The group continues to slay them easily. Whenever we strike one, it seems to turn to a black, straining liquid.
Maddog orders his dog to attack, but the dog seems confused; it doesn't seem to see the ink-spiders. The others squish a few more, I finish off the final two. We're all a bit stained with the black liquid. Weird.
Sen goes and speaks to the old man. Anna heads off to a door. I follow her. The door opens to a small, empty room. Jack heads to a back room.
As I follow Anna, there is a sudden burst of colored light. (OOC: My intelligence boost goes away. Sen and Maddog's remains. I failed my second save. The thinks were "inklings.")
We explore the rest of the basement. Most of the rooms are empty. In one room are several rats, who disappear into holes in the wall. Several group members search the wall, but nothing is found.
The old man, when asked about secret doors, says that he's heard such a thing might exist. He's seem plans suggesting a bath used to exist down here.
Searching around, Anna finds a secret door. Maddog attempts to distract the old man while Anna opens the door. Inside is a room with a round pool. The pool has seats cut into it. The water is murky.
While distracting him, Sen asks the man about the ten pointed symbol. He says it's the Tree of Life. It's a sacred symbol used for meditation and enlightenment. It has great power. Apparently masters of the Tree of Life can perceive things beyond reality and read the words of god. Asked about the three nodes we saw crossed off, he says that they are the "Pillar of Severity". The nodes are "sepheroth." The pillar represents positive or masculine energy, but it depends on the circumstances. The three nodes in question represent understanding, power and severity or judgement and fear, and finally glory or majesty. Maddog learns that the old man's name is Merat.
Meanwhile, checking the back of the pool, Anna finds a grate. It would be easy to move out of the way. The passage beyond is low, but we could duck through.
Maddog asks about the bag. The group looks at the tiles. Merat is interested in them. Merat says that the lines between the sepheroth are paths of thought or energy. The missing tile is "Lammed."
The group heads upstairs to look at the painting of the Tree of Life. I get a drink of water from the muddy pool and follow.
Map of the city. Copyright © 2005 Eric Schnarr.
This image is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
The group discusses the Tree some more. The old man isn't willing to look around the library with us without church permission. Eventually Sen and Jack head outside. It's raining, hard. The group follows. Sen heads left around the pool to the east. We follow. Maddog thinks we might find inns and taverns to the south.
Jack and Anna notice a small hedgehog near the pool. It looks like it might expect us to follow. Looks like food to me, but the others tell me no. Sen offers me some jerky. Good enough. We follow the hedgehog. It heads toward the temple, slipping through the gates. The gates are open. We follow. The hedgehog hops up the steps and scratches on the front door.
Low stone steps lead up the temple. It's carved with saints and angels. The bottom few feat are crushed devils. To the left of the steps is a circular tower, several stories tall. To the right is an eight-pointed star shaped tower, again several stories tall. The main doors are large, carved, double doors. The carvings on the doors echo the walls.
As we approach the steps, the hedgehog sinks into the steps, leaving a muddy spot. Everything is all wrong. Small animals don't do that.
We head out through the southwest gate.
The next building west of the chuch is fancifully carves with people in chains, stabbed and tortured. There are no windows or doors on this wall. (OOC: Others see happy people, smiling faces, wreaths and vines.)
A pair of people come from a side alley and approach us. They are dressed like Sen. They look like twins. Sen approaches them. Sen bluffs knowing them. One of them thinks he saw Sen at the station house.
Now that we see Sen right next to them, I notice that they look absolutely identical to Sen.
Sen offers them to get a drink, they pass as they're on duty.
They're concerned about the half-orc savage. Do they mean me. They ask what a "dogcatcher" (gesturing to Maddog) is doing hanging around with a guard. Sen bluffs that it's a canine unit. They tip their hats and head off.
We find an entrance to the long grisly building on the south end. A sign hangs over the door. It's a grey circle with a nightstick in the middle. It looks like Sen's nightstick.
The guard house.
Sen heads in, the rest of the group wants to wait outside. I guess I'll wait.
Inside, Sen finds a desk. Another person who looks like the rest sits behind the desk. He addresses Sen as "Gooberman." Apparently he was on the museum job. The Lieutenant will likely want to see him. "Am I in trouble?" "When aren't you in trouble?" The man suggests that Gooberman clean himself up first.
Beyond the desk are more desks, with people working. The desk people are also identical. To the left are some doors. Further is a holding cell and a passage back. There are stairs down in the passage.
Exploring in the back Sen finds a lockerroom. There is a toilet in the back. Sen uses it, then explores the lockerroom. There are several officers around. Sen finds a locker labelled "S. Gooberman." It opens to one of her keys. Inside there is a spare uniform, a small, brown leather book, a package wrapped in a brown rag, some sheets of paper, street clothes, and an arquebus with ammunition.
Removing the rag, Sen finds a statuette of a naked woman made of salt. She has no eye sockets, it's flat.
One of the pieces of paper is official looking. It's a signed official pardon, but the name of the person pardoned is blank. There are several gambling marker notes, perhaps totalling as much as 1,200 gold pieces.
Sen changes into the spare uniform. Examining the book, it's written in a spidery hand. The nature of the handwriting varies from section to section, sometimes overwriting. It doesn't make a lot of sense. It seems to describe things that will happen to Sen, but written largely in the past tense. It's confusing. "The cat Sen when 8:50 o'clock toll wet in the alley so it shall be," is a typical sample.
Maddog heads off a bit to a blacksmithy with an overhang to get out of the rain. He starts feeling uncomfortable.
Sen chats with one of the desk people. He says there has been nothing new. When asked, Sen says he was at the museum, "there was some trouble." Sen learns that the guards have been told to stay away from The Flaming Bell, some rich fellow doesn't want to be bothered, so Sen shouldn't go nightclub crawling there.
The remaining two doors out of the main room have rippling glass windows in the doors. Sen picks one and opens it.
We all head a bit away from the guardhouse. Anna eyes up the blacksmith shop.
Sen heads into one of the offices. It's a large room. There is a blackboard with a table of name pairs and times. Behind a desk is another of the men. "You wanted to see me." The man behind the desk asks what happened at the museum. Sen claims that they were ambushed, and was knocked out. "So you're saying the information was wrong." "Maaaaaybe." "Damn you and your connections. We should have more reliable information than that before we put our men at risk." The man asks for a summary and a very complete report.
Sen continues to bluff, giving a confused story. The Lieutenent asks about a man being drowned and decapitated. Sen doesn't know what happened. The Lieutenent puts Sen on report and demands a report by morning. He wants Sen to bring his "connection," in. Failing to bring in the connection will Sen suspended. He tells Sen to leave.
Glancing at the blackboard on the way out, Sen thinks the table is of people and places. Near the bottom it says "Sen Gooberman + 3 on patrol, Regents Museum, on stakeout." On his way out, Sen asks about Glitterstore. The Lieutenent says Sen is to stay away from Glitterstore.
Meanwhile, Anna unlatches the shutters on the blacksmithy. The window inside is also latched. Anna fiddles with the latch. Peering into the window, I see a small barrel with some javelins and a spear inside. There is also a chain shirt and some horseshoes.
As we lurk under the smithy's awning, I feel oddly anxious, like I did in the alley.
Anna pushed one of the panes into the smithy. It falls to the floor inside with a ting. Jack says someone heard that. Anna reaches in and grabs a javelin and a spear. Jack leaps in. As he looks around for something to grab, a large man heads in and reaches for a dire flail. Jack bluffs that there is a crazed half-orc outside. The man heads to the door.
Meanwhile we've headed for an alley across the street. The large man yells at us to stop, then charges at me, yelling for police. He hits me with his flail. Ouch, he's pretty strong. I hit him back with my axe, several times. Maddog does something and the large man starting glowing green. Jack charges the man from behind. He turns to face Jack. Bad idea. I slam my axe into his back twice and he slumps to the ground.
Jack says to grab the body. Hah. I grab the dire flail the man was wielding. Anna and Maddog continue to run down the alley. Jack ducks into the smithy.
Sen hears the commotion outside. He blocks the door to the station for a moment. Eventually five guards come out. Two notice me, pull out whistles and blow.
Jack closes the smithy door and locks up. One of the guards runs toward me yelling my name. Maybe it's Sen?
Suddenly, where there were 6 guards, there are 20 or 30. Ack! A bunch more come out of nearby alleys and streets. They all charge at me, passing maybe-Sen by. Crap. The group from the doorway reaches me and one even strikes me with his club. Ow, that kinda hurts a bit. I feint and run down the alley.
Jack uses the opportunity to loot the smithy.
Anna and Maddog run onward. Anna ditches the spear and javelin.
I run down the alley, but I lose the rest of the group. I head toward the large pool, catching back up. We duck into a new alley.