Netal the Elf (1), his slave Krogo the Fighter, and his dogs Bitey and Moe
Alone, Netal awoke in the Tattered Heel Inn, and found that yet another hobo had died during the night, the corpse draped across Netal's legs. This put Netal in a foul mood, and he set to disemboweling the irksome hobo. The innkeeper barged into the common room as Netal spread the hobo's intestines across the floor, and was horrified at the mess. "Is this a problem?" "Oh, no, sir, it's just a hobo, don't worry about it. Try not to be so messy though."
Netal set out to find adventure in the Big City - taking out his handy tourist map, he randomly picked the Inn of Alabaster Surprise and headed over, dripping with gore. The concierge was unimpressed.
Concierge: "The servant's entrance is around back"
Netal: "What can I do here?"
Concierge: "Oh, you're looking for work. Well, the man-whores report out back. We have only the finest, most respectable pimps overseeing our man-whores, I'm sure you'll enjoy working here. Certain of our freakier clientele wouldn't mind an elf at all."
Netal: "How much does that pay?"
Concierge: "Oh, ten gold per day."
Netal: "What? Look, what can I get?"
Concierge: "Oh, you actually mean you're a customer? I recommend a bath. You're covered with blood and smell absolutely rancid."
Insulted, Netal stormed off. Looking at his trusty tourist map again, he randomly picked out the Academy of Elevated Thought as just the place to satisfy his thirst for adventure. Arriving, he saw several buildings arranged around an open quad, with students and professors streaming in and out. One of the professors took note of Netal, and came over, demanding to know his business. "You're no student! Look at you, you're armed to the teeth and covered in blood! Off with you or I'm calling the Fist!" Realizing he'd find no adventure covered in hobo-gore, Netal reluctantly headed back to the Inn of Alabaster Surprise.
Concierge: "Again? What are you looking for now?"
Netal: "I want a bath."
Concierge: "Ahh, now we're talking. The finest perfumed baths are available, with the most beautiful attendants to service your needs. Are you looking for male or female?"
Netal: "Uhhh, female"
Concierge: "Excellent, and how many?"
Netal: "To do what?"
Concierge: "Oh, only the most delightful acts. Anything in particular you're looking for, sir?"
Concierge: "Ahh, a discrete man. I appreciate that, sir. I'll just put you down for the full service. Let's see... Lucinda doesn't mind elves. She'll clean you from head to toe, and everything in between. That will be 150 gp"
Attendants took away Netal's armor and clothing to be washed while Lucinda led Netal to the baths. He emerged clean of blood and gore, and no longer smelling of old cheese, and his armor had been scrubbed clean of hobo effluvia.
Feeling confident that he would no longer offend all he met, Netal headed back to the Academy of Elevated Thought. Entering a few of the buildings, he overheard lectures on physics, mathematics, and the impact of halfling literature on modern society. Disappointed that there were no classes being held on how to blow things up with chemicals, he once again consulted his map, and randomly picked the Bank Inviolable as his next destination.
The doors to the bank were massive, 25' high and 20' across. Inside, customers formed neat lines to speak to the various tellers, while two gold-and-iron automatons stood guard at the doors. Each automaton was 20' tall, and had machine guns and rockets launchers mounted on its arm-pods. Netal stood in several lines, seeking to open an account. Eventually he spoke with a bank officer, who informed him that, sadly, the Bank Inviolable did not offer interest to its customers, only the security that comes with having giant fighting robots guard your stuff. The bank officer also had no idea where Netal could find gambling halls, and eventually told Netal to just "get out and quit wasting time."
Netal made a brief foray to the slave-pits to retrieve Krogo, and then headed to the Bazaar Incomparable to seek out shotguns. The gun vendor he spoke to took one look at the elf and spat out "One o' them elves? That done put the sleep-hoodoo on my sister and took advantage of her? Get out of here or I'll shoot!"
Once again failing to procure a shotgun, and out of ideas for things to do in the city, Netal decided to head to the dungeon. He stopped in Chelmsfordshire for the night, waking up to find a dead villager sprawled at his feet. Nobody else was awake, so with Krogo's help Netal cut the villager's head off and quietly snuck out of the tavern's common room. He washed up quickly at the town well, and then tried speaking to the many soldiers of the Unyielding Fist who had set up camp just outside the village.
Netal: "So... what is the Unyielding Fist anyways?"
Soldier: "What? Are you serious? We're the army! The city guard! The law!"
Netal: "Oh... how do I join? You need any help?"
Soldier (incredulous): "Seriously? A filthy elf? Get out of here!"
Netal recovered from his hurt feelings and headed off into the wilderness before the decapitation was discovered, heading straight for the dungeon. On the way there, a half-dozen stirges descended on Netal and Krogo, one beginning to suck Krogo's blood. Netal quickly chanted the arcane words of his sleep spell, and the stirges fell to the forest floor, unconscious, where they were stomped into paste.
Once in the dungeon, Netal made his way to several unexplored corridors, searching each in turn. Highlights included:
a. An entirely empty room, but the door had a morlock skin nailed to it
b. A room with a group of 2' long cave locusts. The locusts were non-hostile
c. A room that had the face of a smiling, bearded man carved upon the wall. The mouth was a recessed cavity, and the bottom of the cavity was coated with dried blood - a lot of dried blood. Netal cut his hand and let a few drops fall into the cavity, but nothing happened.
d. A dining hall, lined with fluted columns and containing a rotting banquet table. At the head of a table was a mirror that reflected unusual and/or horrible scenes. It first showed Netal and Krogo standing completely still, wearing white robes decorated with a symbol that they could not bear to look at for long. The mirror's frame was silver and inlaid with sapphires. Netal tried prying the sapphires off, but after getting distracted found the sapphires were no longer in his pocket but back on the mirror. Shocked and appalled by his inability to strip the mirror of valuables, he opted to take the mirror with him.
As the exploration continued, Netal rounded a corner and walked into a group of a half dozen goblins. One of the goblins jammed a spear into Krogo's gut, felling him - Netal reacted by reading from his sleep scroll, sending the goblins into a slumber from which they would never awaken. After slaughtering the little monsters, Netal poured the last of his orange healing slime down Krogo's throat, which stopped the slave's bleeding.
Netal dragged both Krogo and the mirror back towards the exit from the dungeon, but ran across a group of morlocks in the wide corridor that crossed the middle of the level.
Morlock (pointing at Krogo): "Mongos back! Mongos bring food!"
Netal: "No! Not food!"
Morlock (brandishing spear): "Mongos promise people, but never bring people! We take food now!"
Netal: "What will you give me?"
Morlock: "Chief have silver. We give silver for food."
Netal: "No, I want gold"
Morlock: "No gold! You get nothing!"
Netal: "Wait! Help me get out of the dungeon and you can have him!"
Two of the morlocks grabbed Krogo and dragged the unconscious pit-fighter off to their lair, while the others led Netal and his dogs back to the dungeon entrance.
Once outside, disaster struck again as Netal began descending the slopes of Mt. Rendon. A group of a half-dozen men in red diapers and thigh-high red boots, brandishing rifles, appeared. They shouted "Exterminate the brutal!" and began to charge. Netal released Bitey to engage the men while he poured oil all over the brush and set a forest fire. Hoping the smoke would distract his attackers, he ran off. Bitey was able to kill two of the men, but the other three shot the dog down and chased after Netal.
Hearing the pursuit, Netal released Moe to slow them down. He managed to gain another few hundred feet as the men had to stop to shoot the second dog, but it was clear they would catch up, as he was slowed down by his backpack and the heavy mirror. He stripped off his tabard, decorated with the sigil of Nisus, and tossed it in one direction while he ran off in another. This ruse appeared to work, as the men's voices receded into the distance, and Netal was able to safely make it back to Chelmsfordshire.
He was greeted at the Muddy Cup (Chelmsfordshire's sole tavern) by a distraught barkeeper. "I can't believe it! They murdered Willy, right here in my own tavern! Cut his head off! Who would do that?" Netal mumbled something noncommittal, slept for the night, woke to find another villager dead at his feet, and slunk off back to Denethix.
Once in Denethix, Netal spent the night at the Tattered Heel again, waking to find yet another dead hobo. The innkeeper approached Netal with a complaint.
Innkeeper: "Look, you can't stay here anymore. It's the hobos. I don't know what you're doing, but every morning there's another dead hobo."
Netal: "How much would it take for you to ignore the hobos? How about 10 gp?"
Innkeeper: "Are you crazy? I'm going to have the Fist all over this place, with all these hobos dying! Try 110 gp"
Netal (paying innkeeper): "Fine. But this is forever."
Innkeeper: "Not a problem, sir. Just don't go killing guests with money. I don't care about the hobos, do what you want to them. You have a nice day, sir!"
The innkeeper properly bribed, Netal went to the Bazaar Incomparable to sell his horrible mirror. He approached several vendors, but each viewed the horrible scenes (occasionally those reflected were in the glistening stomach of some enormous beast, sometimes they would slit each other's throats, etc) and proclaimed that they could never find a buyer for such a horrible thing.
Nonplussed, Netal returned to the Bank Inviolable, and covered the mirror with a blanket. He arranged to have the Bank store the mirror in their vaults for a small fee, and received a receipt in return. Heading back to the Tattered Heel, he was shocked to see the mirror standing in the common room.
Innkeeper: "That mirror just showed up! And it's reflections are really weird. I don't like it."
Netal: "What the? Here's 10 gp. If the mirror shows up while I'm not around, just hide it somewhere or stick it in a closet."
Innkeeper: "You really think someone would steal that thing? Have you seen what it reflects? You're damn straight I'll put it in a closet if I see it show up again."
Netal grabbed the troublesome mirror and sought out Frondgar, the elven sage on the Street of the Alien. He paid the sage 100 gp and requested that the arcane properties of the mirror be identified. Frondgar laid hands on the mirror, and entered a trance like state. Upon awakening a few minutes later he had this to report:
Frondgar: "I have sent my mind chasing the arcane trails to the source of the mirror's power, and discovered this. The mirror shows scenes of an altered reality, twisted in strange ways."
Netal: "Seriously? Scenes of altered reality? That's what you've got to tell me?
Frondgar: "Look, I know you already knew that. From looking at it and all. But I've confirmed it. I've seen the webs of enchantment."
Netal: "That's it? Scenes of altered reality?"
Frondgar: "Yes, I know you already knew. Look, if you come back tomorrow I can see if I can find out more."
Returning the next day, and forking out another 100 gp, Frondgar cast his identify spell again, and pulled back from the mirror with a horrified scream.
Frondgar: "I followed the magic, and it saw me! The mirror has an intelligence!"
Netal: "What do you mean, an intelligence?"
Frondgar: "A mind, a will! It thinks! The mirror has goals, a purpose!"
Netal: "Is the mirror evil?"
Frondgar: "I do not know! But it is powerful, very powerful! This is very dangerous!"
Netal: "You take it"
Frondgar: "Yeah, I don't think so. It's all yours."
Netal returned to the Tattered Heel's common room with his gruesome mirror, and so the session ended.
Next session is Wednesday, August 10th.