Gritty fantasy - in a city rife with crime, corruption and dark magic

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Flossin's big journey
After finding The Book of Amazing Spells and setting fire to the library, Flossin fled Lankhmar. He left a quick note for family, and headed south. He ventured to Quarmall, city of wizards. There he consulted the learned sorcerers and mages of the city. The book turned out to be more of a hoax than a tome of power. He was told that most of the spells within were of minimal power or written incorrectly. Crestfallen, Flossin decided to stay in the city to learn spellcasting.

Flossin studied with the wizards in Quarmall for the year, learning white magic, herbology, and how to release a possessed spirit without destroying it.

While living in Quarmall, he had a brief love affair with a fellow member of the sorcery guild. Her name was Evelyn, a petite woman of similar age, with Mingol features. Flossin initially captured her interest by growing a new type of lotus flower. Unfortunately, things ended a few months later due to intermittent "performance" issues. Flossin eventually returned to Lankhmar when he ran low on money.

A friend of his from Quarmall, a dark-skinned young man from Klesh, named Umberto, accompanied Flossin. Umberto is also interested in plants, and he and Flossin opened a small greenhouse/flower shop in Lankhmar. Umberto is interested in seeing the strangeness of Lankhmar, but also keeps trying to marry Flossin off to one of his sisters (he has seven.)
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Ruminations #11: the journey
After the events of the past several months, Lysa needed to get out of Lankmahr. She reached out to Captain Satleen and they came to an agreement to have Lysa join him on the Solemn Vow when he returned to Sandheenmar to perform and work on the play for the Pact of the Signet. With Lysa came Bastion now that he was too old for the orphanage and was looking for his next thing. She also didn’t trust Billy to look out for his best interests. Lysa also hired a barely-capable servant girl, Aliss, to assist her and Bastion on the trip.

During their several months in Sandheenmar, Lysa, Bastion and Aliss lived on the Satleen estate. They regularly performed for the family and local residents. They also became familiar with the Satleen Family, which included Darroch, the elderly and infirm patriarch of the family, Damien, the eldest brother that actively managed the Satleen Trading business, Bernard, the Captain of the Solemn vow, and four younger brothers that assisted with the family affairs. Lysa and Bastion also became close to the youngest brother Ernesto who, unlike the rest of the family, was a talented artist and was not involved in the trading business.

Towards the end of their stay, Lysa, Bernard, and Ernesto performed the play that they written. It was a story about the tragic death of a young woman the rippling effects of that death on the family. It was warmly received by both the family and the community.

Once it was time to return, Ernesto asked Bernard if he could join Lysa and Bastion in Lankmahr so that he could practice his art and perform the play they had written. Bernard agreed to take him. Aliss on the other hand asked Lysa if she could stay in Sandheenmar. She said that had found a new home and had nothing in Lankmahr to go back to. Lysa consented. The voyage back was uneventful.
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Silver Bowl of Youth
Rafe inquires at the sorcerors guild for information on our mysterious red-haired suspect --Sendaru, beautiful female member of the sorcerers guild. Rafe does not suspect she is the one removing organs or trying to dispose of bodies. Although she does run in questionable circles. It's unlikely she is involved in murder, but Rafe thinks she may know who is. She lives at the House of Three Towers, with six foot walls, large front gate, front and rear entrances.

Margon checks with his beggars contacts about the red-haired man. “Rat Face” tells Margon that the Noble district is lucrative, but has a high turnover because of missing persons (beggars and orphans tend to disappear there). Barabis had a good location at the House of Three Towers on Crown Street before he went missing.

Genet asks the bartender at the Royal Harvest if he has seen the red-haired man. The bartender says the red-haired man and his manservant come in most evenings for a drink. The man servant is always wary and never drinks.

At the Hairy Cod, Sir Harry apologizes for the smoke and tells us that a ship was burned by the dock workers last night. The ship, dock, and a couple of warehouses were burned. The dockworkers were so angry their eyes were glowing.

At the House of the Three Towers, Genet’s old contact Gertrude (the bridge) no longer works there, but Margarette does and is most accommodating. Yandral is the red haired man and lives there with his manservant Cog. Short tower, between the two taller towers, has a door to the roof. It has the library with many books and windows. First floor has servants, kitchens, storage.

Margon brings a mob to create a ruckus outside of the House of the Three Towers. At Margon’s direction, the mob surrounds a carriage as it leaves the House of the Three Towers. Inside of the carriage are Sendaru, Yandral, and Cog. The mob overturns the carriage and sets it on fire.

Genet goes into the house and guides the staff away from the mob to “protect them”. Rafe, Flossin, and Riquet sneak into the house from the back. Inside the house, Riquet discovers two prisoners in a tower. They tell him that the sorceress has been disemboweling prisoners, liquifying their organs, and drinking the foul soup from an intricate silver bowl. She is an old hag, but drinking the soup makes her young and beautiful.

Genet convinces the household staff to barricade themselves inside of the house. He also tells the staff that he will go get the city guard to rescue them from the mob.

Mob kills Sendaru and Yandral.

The city guards arrive. Genet leads them to the house to free the barricaded house-staff. The house-staff corroborate his story.

Riquet collects the intricate silver bowl.
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Barabis's Body
Valen, Bartender at the Lucky Copper, has a task for us. He offers us free drinks if we make a delivery for him

Lady Gelks has offered her “time” to Valen if he can close up shop and join her. Valen asks us to deliver a cart for him so this time is freed up. The cart has something in it that needs to be taken out the Marsh Gate, to a muddy meadow, and buried. Sob peeks into the cart so see that it appears as though there is a corpse dressed in blood stained linens. It is a male who had his throat cut and organs removed. Sob recognizes the body. It is Barabis, Margon’s acolyte.

Margon is visibly shaken and takes the cart to her temple instead of the Marsh Gate. This is a double insult to the faith: Barabis is dead and his body has been stripped of its organs. Strangely, the body appears to have been well fed and clean (other than the blood and missing organs).

We to Gilk’s place and hear her and Valen through the door. We knock on the door and convince Gilks to leave. Before she does, she tells Genet that someone has been trying to recruit the members of the whores guild to attend a party and to wear party masks. She doesn’t know when or where the party will take place, but she will get back to Genet when she finds more information.

Genet, Flossin, and Refe escort Valen to Margon’s temple. Valen seems ignorant as to the cause of death of Barabis. Valen says we need to seek out Finris for any information on the body. Sob Riquet has heard of Finris. There is a bar, the Royal Harvest, on the edge of the noble district and in that bar there is a “fixer” known as Finris. Valen apologizes and begs our understanding. He was only the middleman.

At the Royal Harvest we learn that Finris hangs out at the Genteel Gentile. At the Genteel Gentile, Genet flushes Finris out. Finris runs out the back where Flossin and Margon capture him. We take him to Vaniks’ burned out home. After interrogation, Flossin tells us that he got Barabis’s body from a middle aged, well to do fat man with big gold earing at the Royal Harvest. The man with the earrings has a tall, ugly, man-servant with reddish hair -he looks like a northerner. He gives Finris regular business. Finris doesn’t know why Barabis’s was missing its organs.
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Floostin Unmasked
Margon and Genet collect six cursed masks from the “well to do” kids we met at the Sideways Salamander. Ricky and Flossin collect Tyla from the orphanage.

Billy tells Tyla there is some suspicious things going on in the thieves guild. There have been several unauthorized burglaries in town. Some of the members have been acting like they were possessed, killing some of the other guild members and officers. The perpetrators can be identified by feeling them for hidden masks.

We rest for the night and then head to the Plaza of Dark Delights. Our hope is to track down Fiola and bring her back to house Holcat. After speaking with some of the food vendor's, we get a good idea of which street the lovers have taken up residence. We knock on a few doors hoping to get lucky. Eventually we track down the right apartment only to find out that Fiola isn’t there. Even though she isn’t in the apartment, her party mask is. Flossin prys off a gem from the mask out of curiosity. As Flossin prys the gem loose, after a few seconds it bursts into flames, burning the mask to ashes. Flossin tosses the burning gem towards Tyla so it doesn’t burn his own hands.

At that moment Genet and Margon, who were waiting outside, spot Fiola and her lover returning to her apartment. We get out of Fiola and Gibon’s way so they can head upstairs unobstructed. In the apartment, Tyla persuades Fiola and Gibon to come in and sit down. Genet comes in to support the ruse that we are all from the city guard, there to track down a character named Foostin. Fiola and Gibon confirm they received masks from Foostin and where to go to the party tonight wearing the masks. We explain that the masks are cursed and may burst into flames on the wearer. We confide in Fiola that we were hired by her mother to find her and return her home. We promise to help them if Fiola returns home to her mother first.

Lady Holcat sends Fiola to her room under guard. She then pays us each 20 rilks. We tell her about Floostin and his plans to turn the children of the guild members against them. She is convinced to help us enter the yule party as part of her company to catch Floostin. Genet accompanies Lady Holcat in her carriage to the ball. Genet works his charms and the widow is most accommodating. She would be a “career” advancement for Genet. House Holcat is at a much higher station in the grain guild and Lady Holcat doesn’t have a husband who would want to kill her lover.

The lights dim and the masked guests attack! Genet taunts the puppet master calling him a coward by hiding behind children. In unison, the masked children call out for the priviledged to stop treading on the downtrodden. We subdue nine of the kids and remove their masks. Others were killed or their masks burst into flame before we could subdue them. In total, we have sixteen mask worth 100 rilks each.
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