We still have a day until we visit Snori Longbeard, and we haven’t investigated the college of magic yet, so we take some time discussing our options.
We decide to visit the Frosty Phoenix to listen for rumors.
The victim was Nero, an instructor at the school, taught life magic.
Rumor is that his chambers had a secret room.
Gnarling Goblin, green liquid, add magical salts, becomes a green cloud of fog as you drink
Nard orders a round for the table, and Liliana and Nard seem more affected than Kaspar.
Those affected hallucinate, seeing transformed heads and altered skin color on everyone else who isn’t hallucinating.
After that experience, Kaspar goes up and orders another round, and the barkeep mentions a more “select” drink called “blue gold”.
Kaspar orders one for each of us, and we drink them.
Kaspar sees a scene inside the college. He sees three armed rat-men veiled in black on the roof across from him. One of them points to a window, and inside is a middle-aged man in robes standing at a desk. The rat-men creep closer, and you start to smell the powerful stench of urine. One of the rats throws a disk at the man which strikes him in the chest. They all storm in, and he hears stabbing noises.
The vision ends.
Liliana sees a man wearing black robes. He climbs down a rope ladder and ends up near a large pool of water with trees all around. He raises his hand and three armed skeletons rise up and walk towards Middenheim.
The vision ends.
Nard sees the palace, and the clouds above are very dark. It starts to rain, but the water is green. Then there is a flash of lightning, and on top of the palace a white rat stands, holding a child. People are terrified. He gestures and lightning strikes him, and he is gone.
We all snap out of our visions, and the bartender mentions that most people who drink this stuff don’t see anything unless they are really smashed.
We share our visions, and decide to try to look out of the city from the wall. There is a large mountain range to the east, and we think that’s where Liliana’s vision was oriented from.
The best view of that approach to the city is from the east wall. The bridge on that side of the city was destroyed in the war of chaos. We head that way and after showing the writ to the guards there. They warn us about the unstable construction, and lead us up to the top of the wall. We see a lightning storm in the distance, over the mountains.
One of the guards is staring into the woods below, aiming a crossbow. He seems to think there was movement in the woods. We peer into the woods, but it’s hard to see detail in the woods. We feel like there is something “out there” but we don’t spot anything until Liliana sees a skeleton standing at the edge of the woods, just watching the city.
One of the guards fires his crossbow at it, but falls about 20 feet short. It walks backwards into the woods, watching the city the whole time.
We visit von Leuter, who is just getting a report about the skeleton we saw. He’s in a foul mood, and although Nard tries to tell him about the visions we had in the Frosty Phoenix, he’s completely uninterested.
The next morning, Bori knocks on the door.
- Bow but not too deep
- Compliment his beard
- No ungee armor or metallic belongings, they offend him with their poor craftsmanship.
- Be respectful.
Liliana goes to retrieve the scrolls from the alley before changing out of armor and weapons. It’s pretty crowded, so she goes back to grab us and we screen her while she takes out the flagstone and grabs the stuff. We are nearly spotted but we get lucky.
Back at the sleeping quarters, we change into better clothes, and leave our armor and weapons. Bori checks us over, then leads us all to a short, sturdy home with a large golden shield hanging over the door.
(Nard notices how easy it would be to steal. Hmm.)
Bori knocks, and a female dwarf lets us in. We’re expected.
Inside, the smell of pipe tobacco fills the rooms.
We are shown in to Runelord Snori’s room — he has a splendid beard, long enough to reach the floor and curl up again. He wears a worn, but ornate robe, covered in golden runes. Behind him on the wall is a golden helmet. He wears a nose ring.
He offers us seats, and we show him the mysterious box, the scroll, and Kaspar’s rock of silence. We tell him about the undead and the rat-men.
He tells us that from the things we have brought, the situation is grim.
He points out the rock, and says that it is a tool for assassination. The rat-men have a clan which commits assassinations, and this is one of their tools.
He lists a bunch of symptoms: visions, hair standing on end, racing heart, all of which we’ve experienced recently, as warning signs of corrupting influence.
He asks if we found the scroll near a necromancer… we tell him about the heat-filled house, the skeletons, the mirror-portal. He thinks the scroll is some kind of necromancy, and warns us of the legal danger in keeping it with us. He tells us we can burn it safely if we want to destroy it, which he recommends.
The box, he thinks he can open, but he requires privacy. We step outside and he closes the door. We hear the sound of sliding wood, then a striking hammer. After a few minutes we hear him muttering, then a cracking noise. He lets us back in, and the box is propped open.
Inside it is a small pamphlet in an unfamiliar language, and a vial full of what looks like blood.
He believes that the contents are closely connected with the necromancer. He explains that the pamphlet is written in Sylvanian, which is from a now-damned place. Full of undead and foul influences.
He offers to transcribe the pamphlet for 100 gold.
He also warns that the vial of blood is probably not human, and as we look at it we can see that it’s nearly pure black.
We compliment his beard and take our leave.
We decide to visit the College of Magic and try to follow up on the crate Nero once had. We are able to just walk in, and nobody stops us.
Kaspar sees signs in Classical indicating which school’s office are where. We walk upstairs, and we are able to find what we think is Nero’s office. A sign on the door warns against entering the scene under investigation.
A tall, bald man with a rune-tattooed head stops us, but acts very helpful after seeing the writ from Von Leuter. We talk about the murder, and the wizard says that he has been afraid that rat-men were involved, but hadn’t been willing to believe it. He volunteers that Nero had received two boxes, one of which was labelled for reshipment to the University of Magic in Altdorf.
For a bribe of 10g, he says he will give us the logbook without any trouble from the college. Liliana asks if he has seen signs of the rumored secret room, but he denies it. In his denial though, he reveals that he has heard the same rumors. Thinking quickly, Liliana discovers some dust-free books and starts pulling on them until the bookcase swings open.
Inside, we see an altar or table, with dried blood everywhere. On the floor is some hay, which Liliana notices smells just as foul as the crate we opened.
We leave the irritable wizard and head downstairs. Nard is carrying the book in his backpack, and on the way out, his pack begins to smoke. He dumps it on the stairs, and the metallic parts of the book are glowing red-hot! Kaspar, thinking quickly, pries the metal pieces off of the book with his dagger, saving the book. Liliana moves up the stairs and barrels into the wizard, disrupting his concentration. He mutters something in a language nobody understands and spits on the ground, then stalks off.
Nard collects his things on the way down the stairs and the group heads back to their lodging for the evening.
Nard -25s for drinks
Nard -34g for the runesmith
Nard -10g to bribe the bald, runeheaded, irritable, and allegedly venerally diseased wizard
Kaspar -6g, -25s for drinks
Kaspar -33g for the runesmith
Liliana -33g for the runesmith
Next meeting Sunday the 16th