The Seven Cities

Session 5
Fire and Blood: The Purge of the Slums

Interesting Developments

Baldric went to the constables to tell them that Ouros wasn’t cooperating, quickly becoming bogged down in paperwork, and eventually resorting to filling out a missing persons form.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party was getting ready for the day at the inn. Perched on the rooftop, Content Not Found: neils heard screaming, but didn’t think that was any different from the usual city sounds. Ouros set up a network of urchins to keep him informed of what is happening.

Fontaine mentioned that raids aren’t unusual, every couple of years an action is taken to pacify the demands of the wealthier members. As long as everyone hunkers down, they might get arrested but generally everyone would be let free unless their name was on a grab list.

The urchins started to bring news of the coming Magister raid on the slums, saying that they were taking their time in a strange sort of way and that there were no paddy wagons coming with the Magisters. Worried that this signaled a very different situation, Nils took to the air to find a nice perch to watch the antics of Homo Urbanus, Ouros moved to find a good ambush point to immolate Magisters and Content Not Found: waltan said he would go to the sewers to stay low. Unknown to him, Caeding Lowmarch, a Halfling who just arrived from the Kingdom of the Lowlands followed him, hoping to find a place to hide as well.

As the Magisters encircled the slums and moved in Ouros opened up with fireballs, killing several groups of Magisters in one shot. Waltan decided that he needed to organise the residents into moving to the sewers and buy time for them by distracting the Magisters onto a merry chase. Thinking that that sounded fun, Caeding joined in.

Meanwhile Baldric was just finishing up his stack of papers when an important looking magister came in reporting heavy resistance in the slums, prompting an ominous order to use “That…”

Flying above the spread out battle, Neils saw a large iron golum, looking roughly like an elephant trudging towards the slums, destroying everything in its path. He also saw Ourous, continuing to happily through fireballs around, unaware that the building he was standing on was slowly catching fire.

Suddenly realising his position, Ouros made a quick assessment of his position and decided he had to jump for safety, hoping that his voluminous robes would provide enough of a parachute to ease his fall. Fortunately for him as he fell Waltan ran into the alley and caught him. Hot on his tail came Caedin, and shortly behind her, the Magisters they attracted. Ouros quickly fireballed them as well.

More Magisters appeared quickly arrived, resulting in a combat as Ouros was unable to kill them all from the first strike. Lighting and ice shards came from the Magisters while the Heroes responded with fire, tooth and claw, daggers and fists. While a few Magisters fell quickly, they also quickly focused on the party’s weaknesses, splitting Waltan from Ouros and engaging the mage in close combat.

Looking for a chance to personally vent some rage on particularly annoying Magister, Ouros closed with a dagger to stab him. Unfortunately that proved to be a fatal mistake as the Magister returned the stab, dealing a deadly blow to the mage. The group then split and ran with conflicted emotions as the giant mec elephant was getting near.

Waltan ran to Fontain’s headquarters to try to convince him that with some help they could contain the damage, but Fontain was more interested in getting out with his remaining resources to live another day, telling Waltan to look for a warehouse full of assorted weapons if he wants to fight.

Setting up a trap in the warehouse with the help of Neils, Waltan waited for the mech to reach that part of the slums. Eventually it arrived and he sprang his trap, turning the Magisters most prized war machine into scrap metal. He then ran into the sewers to support the refugees created in the conflagration.

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Session 4
Insurance

Interesting Developments

  • The Magisters are cracking down on the slums in response to complaints about arson. This ranges from a curfew to a full assault of the slums.
  • There seems to be no obvious connection between the inns that have been burned
  • Content Not Found: waltan is now also potentially under suspicion from the Magisters after knocking out an insurance salesman.
  • Baldric has been given a 2 week gig of performance at different inns

Summary

Regrouping at the Sleep and Hunger, Ouros reported on the activities of the Sewer Ants and mentioned the use of insurance. Baldric explained how insurance works, to the bafflement of Content Not Found: nils, and suggested that the inns were being burned down by the owners because gangs were forcing out too much protection money. Nils suggested someone was taking an interest in rapid ecological revitalisation. Baldric also mentioned that the Magistrates wanted to talk to Ouros as a suspect in the arson case. Ouros seemed evasive about agreeing to see them.

After wheedling a mage license for Ouros out of Fontaine, the party went to city hall to look up the tax returns and ownership titles of the inns that have burned down.

The city hall is an ancient building of marble and guilt, the heart of the the city’s bureaucracy, Nils and Content Not Found: waltan decided to skulk around the edges looking for back doors while Baldric and Ouros used their respective specialties to grease their way to the off limit stacks.

Nils shapedchanged into a bird to fly up to a window to keep an eye on things from the outside but was spotted mid transformation by a cleric who immediately called out an alarm thinking that he was a demon. While Nils was able to escape the resulting hubbub by completing the transformation and flying away, Waltan was accosted by guards who had been summoned by the alarm and was put in the uncomfortable situation of having to bluff his way past them.

Meanwhile in the records, Ouros found no ownership connection between the inns, and that the inns cover a range of age from inns handed down for several generations to newly established. Baldric found that the tax returns told a similar story for profitability, with some well in the black and others barely staying afloat. Interestingly none of the inns had insurance and only one person in the city was listed as selling insurance, a gentleman by the name of Sir Simon Barsinister.

Before they had a chance to continue investigation a mob started to form outside. Nils came to warn them while Waltan recognized one of its members as the owner of the inn where the party spent their first night in the city. It quickly became clear that this was a group of innkeepers tired of the reign of arson to which they were being subjected and the perceived lack of action taken by the city. Ouros and Baldric made a quick exit past the crowd but Walton stuck around and learned that the city was taking action to satisfy the crowd and that the Magisters, under Lord Halberd were being given new emergency powers, including a sunset curfew until the culprits are caught.

After regrouping, the party went to the establishment of Sir Simon Barsinister, finding it on the fourth floor of a complex, but not finding him. Asking around, a neighboring dentist suggested they try the local bar “The Flimsy Oar” where he frequently spends his time.

Deciding to dig up some dirt before meeting him, Baldric and Ouros broke into his office, and Baldric started to go through his papers. Bored, Ouros decided to take Waltan down to the bar to interrogate Sir Simon Barsinister face to face. Baldric became increasingly confused as it became evident that Sir SB had sold no insurance to any building, only selling it for valuable goods such as jewelry.

At the Flimsy Oar the barman pointed out Sir Simon Barsinistre, Ouros got Waltan to stand to one side while questioning the insurance salesman. Sidling up to Sir Simon Barsinister, Ouros tried to charm him, but unfortunately was immediately rebuffed by an anticharm amulet, which understandably upset Sir SB. He called for the watch to arrest Ouros at which point Waltan knocked him out at Ouros’s insistence and the two ran away, dragging an unconscious Sir SB to the office complex.

Magisters arrived, quickly sealing off the area and sweeping the building looking for Ouros and Waltan. Scrambling for a place to hide Baldric went down to an audition room for musician licensing while Ouros and Waltan begged bullied and charmed the dentist into hiding the body of Sir SB and giving them a place to hide.

Despite one magister thinking they had seen Baldric somewhere, they passed him by after demanding a performance to prove he was legitimately taking an audition. The agent was so impressed by Baldric’s importune performance that he was given a contract with the group where he would perform at many establishments around the city.

The Magisters moved on to the dentist office where Sir SB was laid out on the dentist’s table and Ouros and Waltan were hiding in the back. The Dentist was worth every coin of the bribe as he tried to bluff the guards into believing that Sir SB was a patient who was under anesthetic. Then possibly the worst happened as Sir SB woke up confused and babbling. Fortunately Ouros was able to play the doting relative and keep Sir SB confused and the Magisters buying the lie.

Eventually the Magisteres set up a cordon on the block, hoping to wait out Sir SB’s assailants. Baldric left after signing the contracts to get home before the curfew.

Walton and Ouros came out of hiding in the dentist office and waited for the Magisters to leave. Unfortunately Sir SB started to wake up and as Waltan tried to silence him but was unable to do so before Sir SB screamed for help. Realising that the Magisters were on the way, Waltan jumped out a window to an adjacent building while Ouros hid with invisibility, killing Sir SB and hiding his body in the sewers after the Magisters left. The two snuck back to the Sleep and Hunger.

The session ended with the party waking up next day to see a line of Magisters preparing to assault the slums and raid the sewers…

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Session 3
Burning Down the House

Having discovered that the Sewer Ants are burning down inns the party returned to the Sleep and Hunger to ask Fontaine if he was ok with a bit of casual arson. The in being closed in the morning, the party decided to case the inn.

The Living End is a very well established inn/hotel in the trades quarter of Terminum that caters to wealthy merchants coming from oversees or other cities to buy fine crafts suitable for enchantment as well as those already enchanted.

Baldric suggested that The Living End would not appreciate a group of scruffy customers with no cash, so Content Not Found: nils scouted the stables as a mouse while Ouros memorised Invisibility. Nils found nothing out of the ordinary among the well cared for animals and Baldric was getting impatient so he was cleaned up with a prestidigitation and walked up to the bouncer to propose some performance to liven up the establishment. The bouncer was very unimpressed, doing his job and suggesting that tradesmen should use the tradesman’s entrance.

Slightly chagrined, Baldric took a walk round to the back where he looked for someone to convince of his abilities. The Maitre D’ seemed sympathetic with Baldric’s stated desire to perform, but commented that Baldric’s lack of credentials made him unwilling to take a risk with the establishment’s reputation on the line. In fact this evening the Lady Margret, graduate of the Royal Music Academy of Verdammtenburg would be performing.

Baldric was able to obtain permission to perform in the kitchen, but other than learning the Inn is owned by the grandson of its establisher and continuing to be profitable, very little was learned. Meanwhile Ouros passed time by bundling dead beggars into barrels.

Returning to the Sleep and Hunger Fontain was surprised to learn of the party’s discoveries, confused by the focus on burning down wealthy inns instead of making a powerplay in the slums and demanded that the party find out why.

Returning once more to the in for a second look Ouros cast invisibility on himself to find a combustible area while Nils waited for the signal to join the arson party, Baldric returned to the kitchen, and Content Not Found: walton hung out. Baldric discovered that the cook was embezzling prime cuts of meat while Ouros set fire first to the dinging room and then the cellar, despite Baldric’s effort to prevent him from doing so.

Ouros escaped in the chaos and, with Nils, started to throw bricks at the windows while Baldric tried to help put out the fire. Quickly the Magistrates showed up but, with Nils keeping and eye out from the air, it was easy for him and Ouros to escape. Walton also hurried off at the first sign of trouble, leaving Baldric to try to smooth things over with the rather suspicious Magistrates. Being such a charming person, he was able to talk his way out of a night in jail and further questioning, but Ouros was mentioned as a suspect and Baldric was reminded of his responsibility for Ouros with a request for his presence the next day.

Baldric returned to the Sleep and Hunger to convey this to the rest of the party and profess his feeling that they could uncover the reason for the series of arsons without having to join the Sewer Ants or burning down property. The rest of the party decided to return to the sewers to gain insider information while Baldric examined the position of the inns already burned.

Moving through the streets, Ouros was accosted by a pair of bounty hunters, looking to kill him and threatening Nils and Walton to stay out of the fight. They declined this offer and together killed both. When asked about the bounty, Ouros claimed that an uncertainty in a Dwarven land regarding who had been responsible for something had lead to a large misunderstanding that was blown largely out of proportion. Walton felt that Ouros was more suspicious and brought the bounty paper to Baldric for reading wile Ouros and Nils continued to the Sewers. The bounty had a sketch of Ouros and the words “Wanted dead or alive for suspicion murder. 100 coin. Last seen moving from Lufthansa to Terminum.” It lacked any official seal from an authority.

In the Sewers Ouros and Nils discovered the poorly run Sewer Ants were short of cash and running with scrubs, though making up for quality with quantity in the form of 15-20 people present and many beads empty. Ouros sneaked into the office and discovered a halfman named Small John writing a letter to someone demanding money from a mysterious source called “in-sewer-ants.” He left the office having stolen some coin and distributing part of it to random bunks to find Nils in an argument about the worthlessness of cash with a very confused Sewer Ant.

Finally they returned to the Sleep and Hunger to report.

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Session 2
Talking with Gangsters

The party went to the Sleep and Hunger Inn, a bar known to be a place to contact Fontaine for shadow magic licensees, as well as having a bounty board of tasks to be done that are less than 100% legal. The barman claimed that he had never heard of Fontain, so the party perused the bounty board.

  • A Goblin named Grub had a debt with someone.
  • Someone was asking for a gem to be “retrieved” from a noble.
  • A new gang called the Sewer Ants was looking for new recruits.

After some discussion the party went to find Grub. He lives in a shack on a street of merchants from which he sells knickknacks. When Baldric William Edwin Florian the Fourth asked about his debt he claimed that merchants in the area were demanding guild money from him despite their own lack of guild membership. Ouros played bad debt collector to Baldric’s inept, talking Baldric up as a terrifying maniac at which point Grub said he’d talk as long as Baldric left.

Baldric went to get corroboration of the Goblin’s story from other shopkeepers with Content Not Found: nils while Ouros talked with Grub, eventually getting some money in exchange for a promise to never come back.

Meanwhile Baldric got distracted by a clothes store, trying to convince Nils of the wonders of fashion while inwardly wishing for more money. Eventually he returned to the goblin’s hut, only to find Ouros and Content Not Found: walton gone and Grub very willing to throw all manner of sharp objects at him.

Back at the Sleep and Hunger, Ouros told the barkeep that he had got Grub to pay up. The barkeep was slightly surprised, he expected the goblin to be maimed, but he took Ouros’ action as proof of a criminal mind anyways and suggested that Ouros move into a back room to talk about what he wants from Fontain. Shortly after the barkeep himself walked in and asked Ouros to infiltrate the Sewer Ants to determine why they were recruiting so heavily.

Returning to the Sleep and Hunger Baldric auto-hypnoses himself into unconscious in an attempt to heal his many injuries and was unceremoniously thrown onto Walton’s back as the group descended into the sewers to search for the Sewer Ants.

In the sewer Nils scouted as a crocodile, finding another crocodile stalking the group. Fortunately Waltan was able to defend the group, grappling with the crocodile until Ouros blasted it. Unfortunately, the crocodile was infected with parasitic worms which infected Nils and Walton.

Eventually by following signs scrawled on the walls of the sewers, the party found a view hatch in a wooden wall and, upon knocking found an eyepatched man inside who seemed to have some authority in the Sewer Ants. He asked them to burn down a building to prove their zeal to the Sewer Ants.

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Session 1

Ouros, the black wizard, brought his party to the port city of Terminum under false pretenses. Unaware of Ouros’ past crimes or of his intentions, Baldric, Woltan, and Niles travel with him.

The party awoke in the middle of the night to discover that the inn they were staying at has caught fire! Thanks to some quick thinking and action, they managed to escape the burning building, rescuing the other occupants as they did so. However, Ouros’ was witnessed to be casting spells at the building as it was on fire, and thus ended up as the top suspect for the arson.

Baldric managed talked the guards out of arresting Ouros, taking personal responsibility for Ouros’ actions. A choice that he surely will not regret in the near future.

With the matter of the burning inn unsolved for the moment, the party left to find employment in order to earn some coin, having used up the last of their purse at their now destroyed lodging. They find their way to the Sleep and Hunger Inn, a tavern at the shadier side of town, reputed for being a smuggler’s hangout.

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