Basso and Synth search for Chain, and then stop an evil demon from summoning a horrible energy monster into the streets of the Gloaming.
Steven, playing Bassianus
Steve, playing Synth the Red Hooded
Synth wanted to identify the strange sun and moon medallion he’d found in his pouch when scouting the dark streets of the lower city levels. He broke into a silversmith’s and sneaked up on the owner, put a dagger to his throat without letting his own face be seen, and showed the craftsman the medallion. The silversmith was unable to identify it for him but Synth gave him 2 gold as compensation.
Streetwise, Stealth, Intimidate checks.
Later, Synth decided to start a sort of Robin Hood campaign. He wanted to find a wealthy person and take his money. Scouting the bars in the middle levels, he met a group of disgruntled laborers who hated their foreman. As they got worked up, Synth promised to do something about him, and they wanted to go with him! He wanted to do things in his own, stealthy, solo sort of way, so he had to calm them down, buy them some drinks, and then slink off.
In the dangerous dark of night, Synth slid into a third-story window of the foreman’s apartment, but must have made some noise. Quickly, the foreman awoke and was yelling at Synth and threatening him with a club that looked like a broken-off table leg.
Skill challenge to find and enter a home quietly (needed 3 successes in 4 rounds). Diplomacy twice (one success). Stealth twice (one success). Failed and woke the foreman, leading to a combat.
Foreman: 1 human berserker (level 4 brute). Synth took 22 of 32 hp. Foreman took 24 of 66 hp.
As things turned from bad to worse, Synth decided to escape. He leaped out of the window, grabbing the sill and flipping around so he could drop safely. Synth’s hand slipped and he plummeted into the stone alley, turning his ankle. The foreman hurled his club at him, yelling obscenities the whole time.
Acrobatics check, failed.
The next day, Basso and Synth paid their friend Mariquus a visit at the Golden Beam tavern. There was some gambling, and the proprietor managed to break even this time.
Bluff vs. Insight.
Mariquus complained about being harassed by creditors, as he owes a lot of money to lenders for the tavern. Basso and Synth made sure that their friend was not being shaken down by thugs; alas, it seems he just owes a lot of money. He said that the ale doesn’t flow when there isn’t good music at the tavern, and Zardoz has been absent. Also, Mariquus gambles his winnings away…
Basso ran into Kunathia, who was distraught about Zardoz not having finished the opera she was going to perform with him. Meanwhile, she needed work, but she didn’t have the confidence to perform solo. Basso cheered her up and convinced her to give it a try, and she got the ale flowing with her lovely voice.
Synth and Basso set on a mission to find Chains’ new headquarters. They asked around the city. While walking around in a dangerous part of town, Basso stopped Synth from stepping into a pit that dropped 40’ to the streets below. Caldera is dark and dangerous, even when thugs aren’t trying to kill you.
Streetwise checks: Synth rolled a 1; Basso rolled a 24.
Eventually, they found a lead: someone’s cousin Jolus was recruited by Chains, who is building up a new gang to replace the one he lost when the heroes assaulted his warehouse.
They followed the lead till they met Jolus and a bunch of Chains’ thugs at a seedy bar that smelled of piss and cheap beer. They tipped the bartender to learn that Jolus was the tough looking dwarf at the table. Basso tried to blend in at the bar while Synth pretended to be “Alec,” a thug looking for work. Alec agreed to meet Chains at the bar later at night.
Skill challenge (4 successes in 3 rounds). Synth got a 24 on his Streetwise check to get the lead, and barely succeeded a Diplomacy check to get the bartender to help. Basso made a Bluff check to “act normal.” Synth succeeded at a Stealth check to whisper messages to Basso without getting caught, Basso didn’t pick up on it though.
On the way out of the seedy bar, Synth noticed he had a tail. When the tail darted into a dark alley to hide, Basso tossed a sunrod at him and frightened him away. Once they were sure he was gone, Basso went back to a tattoo parlor he had seen and bought an inked spell in the form of a Greek “key” pattern that looked like a chain or medallion over his shoulders and neck.
amulet of protection as a permanent tattoo, discounted from 350 gp down to 200 gp.
They blew off meeting Chains, since they didn’t feel they had the backup they needed for such an encounter (Friedric being AWOL and Zardoz having locked himself in his apartment to finish his grand opera).
Danger found the two soon enough, though. A local Gloaming resident pounded on Synth’s door, entreating him and Basso to come help. A few blocks away, he said, some weird wizard was summoning something into a giant magic circle.
They rushed down the street, and got bushwhacked by the summoner’s evil minions. While they were able to defeat most of these thugs quickly, some kind of horribly disfigured man crawled out of the sewers and plagued them at every step. Synth fought him off while Basso hurried to the main street.
Synth and Basso were fighting from the top of one of the horse carts on the street. One of the thugs spooked the horses and caused the cart to lurch forward, tossing Synth onto the cobblestones and flipping Basso onto his back in the cart, which pulled forward into view of the summoner. Synth was near death, prone on the streets and without a way to heal himself made an appeal to the heavens for help, catching sight of the Temple of the Tourchbearer he was inspired and had a religious experience restoring his health and giving him the courage to fight on.
The heroes had arrived a moment too late, as the summoner completed her ritual, and a five-foot-wide cloud of thunder and lightning energy surged out of the summoning circle drawn on the street. Lightning bolts zapped innocent people, killing them innocently.
Basso urged the crowds out of harm’s way and took the energy cloud face-on, getting roughed up in the act. By this point, Synth was barely alive and Basso was feeling the pain. Luckily, Kunathia arrived to help!
Kunathia slipped around a back alley and down into an open sewer station so she could surprise the summoner from the back. Synth slipped up the side of the street and attacked the energy cloud with his magical flying dagger using the walls for cover. Bassianus preferred a more direct attack and charged it. They destroyed the cloud but it exploded and blasted Synth and Kunathia backward. Kunathia was only injured but Synth was knocked unconscious and fell back into the sewage pit, smashing his head.
Basso rallied and charged the summoner. Her psychic attacks ripped fighting skills right out of Basso’s memory, dazing and slowing him. But something happened, and Basso’s deadly sword slit her wide open, and her skin blasted off and splattered all over him and Kunathia, but she kept fighting as some kind of horrible monster! They continued their assault, eventually destroying the summoner-turned-demon.
6 human lackey (level 2 minion), 1 dretch (demon) (level 2 brute), 1 storm shard (level 4 artillery), 1 enigma of Vecna (level 6 controller).