Mordag's Little Finger

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Scribe Notes

Summary

Adventure: Mordag's Little Finger
From the Seagate Times 31 March 1992
GM: Jon McSpadden
Season:Scribe Notes#Apr 1992 AP

Party
  • Engelton the Namer (Party Leader) (Party Leader)
  • Ptolemy the Celestial Shadowmage (your obedient Party Scribe, and Engleton's bat man)
  • Sadar the Ork Necromancer (Military Scientist)
  • Sith the female Elven Necromancer (recently given a sexchange by Engleton in his quest for the mastery of healing, ably assisted by this writer)
  • Liessa the female Mindmage-Fighter
  • Logan the Enchanter and Ensorceler
  • Prydera the female Dwarven Fighter
  • Turf the stupid Elven Namer
Employer
Sorceress in Silver
Mission
Recover the staff called "Mordag's Little Finger"

Scribe Notes

Our party have, after adventuring in the shadow plane called "the Darklands" to return Oiane's lost inheritance, returned to Seagate for three weeks rest and training, having decided to meet on the 1st of February to look for further work. Work, however did not have to be found. It found us. As Engleton, Sadar, Logan and I relaxed in the Guild Bar on the evening of the 31st of January, a strange chill took the air through the open window beside us. A bat flew in, unsurprisingly, we all thought "Oh gosh! It's a vampire!" and kicked up the table, preparing to do battle. Well, how close we were to the truth, readers.

But not yet. The bat flew around the room a few times, then, depositing a scroll at Engleton's feet and flew out again. The scroll came from the Sorceress in Silver, a prominent air mage who resided in Seagate. As an aside, she is a landowning foreign noblewoman who came to Seagate to live closer to the magical community there a few years ago. She is supposedly beautiful, and possessing an honest and courteous character. The bat was her messenger, entreating "Engleton's" party to meet with her on a matter of business at Alphonse's for breakfast tomorrow morning. What a lucky break! No sooner do we need work when some lands proverbially at our feet. Engleton and I must be getting a name for ourselves.

I delivered messages to the rest of the group telling them of the meeting, whilst Engleton, in a contemplative mood, decided to pay Sith a call to discuss her conduct on the previous adventure. I don't know what Engleton expects, but her conduct has not really changed, nor her manner of wearing outrageous clothing. Still, I must say I didn't think she would. Indeed, I think this is one of her endearing qualities.

We ferry across to Seagate, and walk to Alphonse's. The sorceress, as I have previously said, was exquisite. However, I digress. Our quest would be, it sounded, not easy. An arch thief called Sarograve, credited with stealing from the thieves guild of Sanctuary, slipping the rings off the Archbishop of Ranke's fingers and stealing the keys to the gates of Hell disguised as a holy ghost, slipped past the magical wards on the Sorceress' manor and broke into her laboratory, killing her assistant and making off with the precious staff she had been studying - the staff called "Mordag's Little Finger", part of which is the little finger of the ancient giant Mordag, slewn by the Necromancer of Hordag Loi. Hordag Loi is a ruin some forty miles West of Seagate, and there is a legend about the former Baron of Seagate, the Necromancer, a black demon cat and Mordag capturing his son. The sorceress acquired the staff five years ago in the ruins of Wye.

We are shown a playback of the incident through the Sorceresse's crystal of vision. Sarograve is, she says, a master of disguise. His only distinguishing mark is that the little finger on his left hand is missing. Stranger and stranger. In any case, our mission is to recover the staff AND to capture Sarograve, dead or alive. He is worth more to us alive, but with Engleton's resurrectory skills, we don't actually have to worry about that at all.

The staff was created by the necromancer of Hordag Loi. The staffs powers are firstly that of being a magically enhanced weapon, and that it is resistant to magical scrying. But most of its magicks are concealed. The sorceress was presently trying to find out the power words for its other abilities, but was progressing blindly, since she did not have any of the primary texts written about the staff, supposedly lost when the Necromancer died fighting the great dragon of Wye.

It occurred to me during this talk what could possibly be the motive of Sarograve for stealing the item? Its major magicks are unknown, and it will be hard to fence such a unique item.

However ... for the retrieval of the staff plus its thief, we will be paid a significant amount. Who are we to complain!

So on to business. Logan, I and one other go up to the Sorceress' manor to search for clues. The rest go back to the guild to get our stuff ready and buy healing potions. Sadar as military scientist has ordered us to buy five healing potions. Each! Either he's expecting trouble or expecting we can get drunk on the stuff. And I know healing potions aren't alcoholic. Hmm.

At the manor we find few clues. Sarograve is about 5'8", human, slim and muscular, lacking one little finger. Just like Mordag ... Nah, that must be a coincidence. Logan, for some reason, wants to find out what Sarograve smells like! Tap tap tap. Unfortunately we must face facts. The staff can't be traced, and we don't really know what Sarograve looks like. The only lead we have is a guild E&E cast one locate object spell perfectly last night, and caught a short glimpse of Sarograve with the staff on a street on the North side of Seagate. We go back to the guild. I inquire into contacting "The Guild" of Sanctuary. I don't think we should use them until we get the staff out and are chasing Sarograve. They are just as likely to nab the staff themselves, methinks.

In the mid afternoon, we go out to Northside. We go to the corner of Kepper and Falasha St, the magical sighting place of Sarograve. The pub at the top of Kepper St, Varleys, has a sign which is a shadowy figure drinking from a skull. This is a slimy, seedy part of town. In short, very homely. Logan, with his magical smelling sense (aha! this is what he was doing when I thought he was crazy) sniffs out our target, and follows his scent around the corner into Fountain Court. He makes a peculiar sight, hunched down to the road with a magical wolfskin over his head. Still, I guess the rest of the party don't look much less obvious, seven be-weaponed toughs looking for a fight.

The scent dies out at the end of Lower Tower Road, in front of an impressive but derelict bell tower on the corner. Engleton talks to a local, only one of whom has noticed our presence. She is a mercenary protecting a local brothel, I think. She is somewhat perplexed by our appearance, but tells us that she is worried more so about the recent disappearances of beggars and Rowena, a local whore, in the last couple of days. Six people missing in the last week! Odd. This also happens to coincide with large amounts of black fog in the streets. Sadar and Engleton turn white at this, why? This is getting very strange.

Taking Shale, the mercenary woman in tow, we head back to the tavern. Shale thinks we might find some more information out about Sarograve there, since he is big time in the thievery circles of this part of Seagate and frequented this tavern. Sarograve was in with Black Tom, a local second story man, and Charis, Black Tom's girlfriend. She, we understand, is keeping a room at Mother Gird's Hotel, around the corner. We also find out the street hoods in the black and red gang colours, who so far have followed us around but not, done anything rude (very wise, I would have thought) are the "wharf dukes", the local street hood gang. They are controlled by Torch, with whom Megan the barkeep can get us an introduction at the fish shop on Kepper street.

We head over to Mother Gird's via the fish shop. Engleton tells me why he went white. Black fog equals vampire. Hmgh, I feel a bit white now. Erg. The fish shop. Torch is, not surprisingly enough, an elven fire mage. Few of the rest of his clique are mages at all. He says, after a bit of financial prodding, that Sarograve disappeared two weeks ago, supposedly hunting after some big treasure horde. We tell Torch it will be worth his while to keep an eye out for Sarograve.

4.00pm

Then to Mother Gird's on the corner of Mistforn and Vrai Rd. We enter and book rooms, pretending to be itinerant mercenaries. We find Charis and Engleton talks to her. All she knows is that Black Tom went off with Sarograve about two weeks ago.

Sarograve came to town often, fencing stuff. Gee, don't they like him i n Sanctuary no more? He was seeking, she says, some lost treasure in the ruins of Hordag Loi. We are looking for work like that, can she help us. Why, yes she can. She puts us in touch with Macady, the big boss man of this part of town. Will we tell Black Tom she is waiting for him? Why, yes we can. Sadar can speak to dead, I'm sure. Macady is not very helpful about finding work, but is very helpful vis vampire. He mentions in passing that some out of town person was seen bringing a covered cart into this part of town a few nights ago. Can we find out what's in it and steal it for him? Sure. Unfortunately it seems we already know what's in the cart. And what's in the cart is going to get us into big trouble.

We go back and see Torch. Has he seen an abandoned cart around here? Sure has, down on the corner of East Bluegate and Kepper. He torched it. We walk nonchalantly down to the corner of East Bluegate and Kepper and Sadar does a detect undead spell. Said vampire is eventually found to be in a good looking tower off the main drag, on the corner of Mistforn and Tepole.

5pm

The vampire is inside, we power up with mind mage special counters, witchsights and shadowforms. I decide now is a good time for a spell of blending. Better blended than "Blended", that's what I always say. Liessa ESP's the building. There are three minds in the first floor, two half crazed with fear. Two victims and a guard, methinks. On the third floor there is one mind asleep and one mind a1ert and attentive. Vampire and guard. OK, two guards and one greater undead. No problems, right? Hmm. After a brief discussion our great military scientist decides for us that the direct approach is the best. Everyone with a silvered weapon. We storm the place, waste the guards and try to Compel, Necrosis or Lightning bolt the vampire with everything we've got. Great plan, Sadar. At least its simple.

quarter past five

Logan does a wizard eye spell just to be sure. On the third floor, its just as we expected, one guard, one vampire in giant sized coffin. Did you say giant sized? Click Whurr Buzzz, wasn't Mordag the giant, a giant? Aha, it all fits into place now. Second floor, large hall with benches, tables, frescoes and nesting bats. First floor, two captured wretches and ... a cat. A cat that scratches Logan's wizard eye, such that Logan is blinded. Oh great. Oh great says Engelton, lets fill it full of magic crossbow bolts.

Charge! Up the stairs, we catch the cat on the stairs, and hit it with about four crossbow bolts. Ow, that hurts, it says. That's one tough cat, but knows when the tough should get going, it runs down the stairs, followed by further bow fire.

I rush up the stairs with Liessa to the second floor and put up a wall of starlight to keep the bats in. I can hardly cast it, but you know what its like when you're all going to die. Up the stairs, Turf and Prydera kick in the doors on the third floor and proceed to beat up the guard. The vampire is in a secret room with no obvious exit, no problem, Sadar lets off a tunnelling invested, and there he is, one just woken up giant vampire. It seems that the vampire, faced with such an ugly face as Sadar's, decided to leave, It turns gaseous and escapes billowing down the stairs, followed by Engleton and Sadar and Sith casting spells at a furious rate. Vampires however, resist magic. Very well indeed!

Liessa, Prydera and Turf make short work of the guard upstairs, trapped as he is under a Spectral Hand. So, with no spells of any use to cast on a vampire and no enemies to fight, I do the next best thing. I loot. In the vampires crypt, there is, apart from an enormous coffin, several archaic scrolls and books. I'll have those, thank you very much. Off the guard we take sword, armour and daggers. By the Gods! This guard has one little finger missing! Its Sarograve! Very nice. Meanwhile Sadar, Sith and Engleton follow the vampire into the sewers via another tunnelling. Unfortunately it is too fast. and escapes. Still, it has nowhere to sleep tomorrow, so it is in big trouble.

We strip the house, coffin, furniture, and set the prisoners free. I go and get some workmen and a cart to help us cart all the stuff back to the guild. They are unkeen about the coffin, so Engleton compels them. Meanwhile, the cat has snuck back, and is presently talking to Sith. Sith puts a box of bones around it. Engleton tries to compel it, but this cat is very tough too. If it was stunned it would be easier to compel, I think, so I shoot a lightning bolt into the box. Oops. Not only does it not stun the cat, it destroys the box and sets the cat free. Back to the drawing board.

As we cart back to the Guild before sundown. Sadar does one last detect undead. As luck would have it, the vampire is inside the Devil's Eye hotel on Night street, it must have another coffin or something. We decide that it is too late to get it now, we will come back tomorrow before it can go too far. On the way back, Turf wreaks our relations with the Seagate ferry service with his inane tales of vampires in town. If half the town isn't frightened to death yet, it will be by tomorrow. Mental inebriate.

Back at the Guild, we resurrect Sarograve, tie him up, Compel him, and get him to spill his guts. Then we give him to two heavies from the Duke to be hung for his crimes. Well, we could walk away here. Unfortunately there's a Vampire on the loose in Seagate, and it seems we are about to do something about it.

2/2/93 dawn

We get up before dawn to do ritual preparation and get powered up again. We pay for Windwalks from the Guild air mage, and windwalk over to outside the hotel, Liessa's ESP, Sadar's Detect Undead and Logan's Wizard Eye tell us the giant vampire is inside and waiting for us. Well, lets not let him down. I let us quietly into the hotel by picking the lock. We charge upstairs to where his room should be. The interior wall is very heavy, and Prydera's and Turf s shoulders hardly budge the door. So, Sadar triggers another tunnelling and its all on, the Vampire is going to fight now, with the help of some sort of skeleton. Zap! Pow! and in a minute it's over, the Vampire and his minion have succumbed to our surprisingly overwhelming firepower and, particularly, Sadar's Necrosis spell. We win. There is the staff of Hordag-Loi, and a large bag of silver pennies. Its all over. It seems so easy. I guess this sort of direct death-and-mayhem approach can work sometimes after all. A whole lot of little beggar girls suddenly begin to throw flowers over the party for ridding the town of the evil vampire. The people on the ferry back to the guild all cheer us. And rightly so, I think.

8am

We go back to the guild, have breakfast, I go and get a divination done to see if we aren't affected by any major curse or anything ... no,gosh, it is all over after all! We meet the Sorceress in Silver for lunch and give her the staff. She is going to sell it to Lorto, the servant of the necromancer Camdindel from down South. Our old friend who poisoned us when we were cleaning out those dwarves from his valley. Great. Oh well, she is giving us ten percent of the deal. Lorto also inquires into the whereabouts of the scrolls and books I found. Camdindel wants those too, and is prepared to pay! He must want them bad. The Guild divination says they are instructions how to use the staff and how to make bone golems, like the vampire's minion. We counter offer.

the evening of the 2/2/93

We go to talk to Camdindel ourselves, prepared for another fight. As we go outside the guild to where Lorto sets up his portal, that, damn demon cat is hanging around again. Sith and it seem to get on quite well.

After talking to Camdindel, we agree on a contract and portal back to the guild, substantially richer. I must say this adventuring has its perks, especially the not inconsiderable amounts of money you make.