- Anders (Hannah) – Human Ranger 3
- Gimpledorf Dignugget Mocklaw Crabapplebottomson the 8th (Paul) – Gnome Wizard 3
- Grimbak (Katie) – Dwarf Fighter 3
- Nendo (Phil) – Human Rogue 3
- Oats McKensy (Kaitlyn) – Half-Elf Bard 3
- Daryl the Brewer (Kaitlyn) – Human Fighter 1
- Larry Little the Lumberjack (Paul) – Human Barbarian 1
- PJ (Hannah) – Gnome Wizard 1
- Reesa (Katie) – Human Ranger 1
- Tammy the Hapless Spy (Phil) – Half-Elf Warlock 1
Named NPCs Encountered
- Isabella Hopcott – Noble the players all work for.
- Irwen Finecloth – Fine tailor who made the party cloths for the masquerade.
- Pierre Thomas – Elven noble who refused to sell Isabella a house in Old Town.
- Burkhart Volker – Baron of Nartok and friend of Isabella.
- Laura Barinter – Isabella’s friend from boarding school. Helped her get started in Nartok.
- Axrock – Dwarven servant working as a footman.
- Wilfred Hairfoot – Halfling gangster who allegedly killed Isabella’s father. Also attending the party.
- Azalin Rex – Wizard king of Darkon. Your host.
- Kazandra – Owner of the Cosmopolis Club in Martira Bay and rumored high ranking Kargat agent.
- Ebony – Half-elven woman in a slinky black dress with a dragon mask who forced her way into the throne room. Clearly a powerful friend of Azalin’s, if not the most patient.
- The game started with the primary characters at the Crow’s Roost in Nartok’s New Town having lunch. This is their normal hideout when their lady, Isabella Hopcott, is throwing a fit. The current fit is due to her not being invited to Azalin’s Winter Ball at Castle Avernus. It’s the first ball since Azalin returned to power a few years ago, and Isabella is taking it as a personal slight.
- A messenger boy arrives, recalling the players.
- When they get back the maids are cleaning up the broken china and Isabella is humming and dancing by herself while clutching a letter. Her invitation found her after all, apparently the paige couldn’t locate her address in New Town.
- Isabella declared that everyone needed to get new outfits for the ball and led the way to Irwin Finecloth’s tailor shop. There are only a few days to the ball, so the rush order rate is horribly expensive. A few characters elect to get new clothing, while a few try to find a way to spruce up their better cloths.
- Leaving the tailor shop, Isabella gave the party two jobs: find a host gift fit for a wizard king, and find a way to embarrass Pierre Thomas, the noble who refused to sell her a house in Old Town.
- After some discussion, it was determined the best chance for a worthy gift would be trying to retrieve something from Nartok Keep, which supposedly used to be occupied by an arch-mage several centuries ago. The characters went to see Burkhart Volker to see if he would allow some exploration, but it turned out he had had a similar idea and some mages working for him had unearthed three artifacts. Only a decorative cloak seemed to still function.
- Burkhart agreed to let the characters select one of the artifacts as a gift in exchange for a future favor, provided that they were giving it to Azalin. They agreed and selected a stone cube with rune patterns that seemed to indicate transportation magic of some sort.
- Gift sorted, Gimple retired to his workshop to study the artifact and attempt to determine if it could still function.
- The other characters came up with a plan of how to embarrass Pierre. The simplest option was to prevent him from coming to Azalin’s ball, something likely to be taken as a slight by the king. Knowing that Daryl sometimes would make special beers for Pierre, they went to his place and slipped a potent laxative into the next small batch for delivery. Daryl wasn’t in on it, but they tried to discourage him from sampling the beer.
- Daryl sampled the beer.
- Gimple spent some time experimenting, and managed to get a trace of magic into the cube. He decided to see if that was enough to trigger it’s recharge.
- The next day a check on Daryl made it obvious that the plan would have worked, but now Daryl wanted to throw out the beer. The party promised to dispose of it for him.
- Coming up with a plan b, Nendo mixed up a contact paralytic and Oats impersonated the tailor to get Pierre’s clothing with a promise to return it the morning of the carriage ride with some alterations.
- The poison was applied without poisoning anyone unintended this time.
- Gimble found that the cube had charged like he hoped, and tried activating it. There was a brief window into a world made of fire, before mist started pouring from the gate and he quickly turned it off. A tentacle that turned to mist was left in the room, apparently severed by the closing gate.
- Gimble activated it again, this time viewing a scenic world with hills and trees. Mist started pouring through again, and this time when he turned it off he bisected a many limbed monstrosity with horrible teeth. It eventually stopped flopping and turned to mist.
- Gimble decided he had experimented enough. He compiled his notes and made a copy to include with the cube in it’s lead-lined box.
- The party celebrated Darkest Night, the winter solstice, with Isabella. Call and response liturgies in the dark are boring.
- The next morning the cabs were to arrive, Oats impersonated Irwen again to drop off the clothes, and included the beer as a gift for good measure. (He doesn’t make it to the party.)
- The carriages arrived, each flying in while supported by a thousand ravens.
- The party dressed and went with Isabella to get in their carriage. They were riding with Isabella’s friend Laura Barinter.
- Flying to the castle was a breathtaking view, and the party spotted an old fortress in the woods.
- Landing at Castle Avernus, they were given a brief tour by Axrock.
- They wandered the gallery, then headed to the waiting line for their presentation to Azalin.
- While waiting and spreading rumors about Pierre’s insubordination, Oats spotted Wilfred Hairfoot on the ground floor, and she warned most of the others to try and keep Isabella and Anders away from him.
- When everyone was allowed into the throne room, they found a 12 foot Azalin (magical enhancement on the throne) and the court of barons and dignitaries. They spotted Burkhart and also the Lady Kazandra.
- The people on the dais were accused of treachery against the crown, and Azalin incinerated them with magical fire.
- Called forward, Isabella and the party stepped onto the dais, and kneeled in the disintegrating remains of their predecessor.
- Isabella’s audience went much better. She was lauded for her efforts killing gun runners trying to smuggle to Falkovnia, and when presented with the host gift, Azalin got very interested. He took the cube with excitement and declared Isabella to be a baroness, and that she would be appointed to Fort Penumbra and tasked with building a new trade route through the Forest of Shadows.
- At this point the doors to the throne room burst open, and the paige who had been checking the list at the door was tossed in while being rapidly desiccated by a spell. The runic circles that had incinerated the previous group flared to life but didn’t start burning.
- Ebony walked in, complaining that Azalin’s hospitality was lacking. Azalin seemed strangely unperterbed, and went to kiss Ebony on the cheek while apologizing and saying he hadn’t thought she would attend. A baron was moved out of his chair to make room for Ebony. So, apparently they are friends.
- Leaving the throne room without being incinerated, Isabella declared it was time to celebrate! Everyone but Oats drank the wine. Those that drank blacked out.
- The party got weird over the next few hours. Creepy-orgy-weird.
- Isabella stumbled into Wilfred Hairfoot while both were horribly drunk. She tried to strangle the life out of him.
- Oats attempted to wrestle her away, but Isabella squirmed out and drew a hidden dagger.
- Oats managed to disarm Isabella and use a sleep spell on both of them. She was surprised that the spell functioned in Azalin’s fortress, attributing it to the non-threatening nature of the spell.
- Kazandra came over asking if there was a problem, Oats said she had handled it and Kazandra just had Wilfred carried away to sleep it off.
- Laura Barinter apparently knew Kazandra and the two of them slipped off down a private hallway. Nendo tried to drunkenly follow, but attracted the attention of a guard and thought better of it.
- Oats noticed that a group of sober people were wandering the party taking notes. Presumably for blackmail.
- Morning finally arrived, and the party gathered with Isabella and a tired Laura to return to their carriage. Most were hung over, missing memories, and somewhat ashamed of embarrassments they can’t quite remember. Except for Anders, he couldn’t even find his pants and just assumed it had been a very good night.
- Returning to Nartok, the party retired to nurse hangovers and plan for the future.
- SESSION END
XP Log (2000, 400 split between each player’s characters)
- Finding an excellent host gift. 500 xp
- Successfully sabotaging Pierre. 500 xp
- Managing to repair the host gift. 500 xp
- Keeping Isabella from committing a very public murder. 500 xp