Episode 43: the Haberdasher Interrupt
The party tentatively approached the giant creature, whose search for a missing hat was causing incidental destruction and death in the Westfalls 7th as he collapsed buildings, scooped up and then dropped panicked citizens, and swung his outsized 3-bladed stone axe. They learned the creature’s name was Peaseblossom, and he had arrived in the city from the Feywild by means of a “magic rock” given to him by Lord Shimmerscale, the faerie dragon the party had encountered many weeks earlier in their rescue of Anthol the Younger. It quickly became clear the hat in question was the Hat of True Frog, which they had taken from Anthol and had been making use of in their adventures ever since. It was so useful in fact that the party were not eager to part with it, but it was clear that Peaseblossom’s continued search would mean mayhem and destruction in the city.
Ara offered to trade Peaseblossom his Cloak of Billowing for the hat, but the fey giant didn’t like it. Sirlius tried to direct the fey giant into Darkmagic’s Hole, the bar in which they had encountered the mobster Danta Kosht, but the giant was confused by his suggestion. Magnus tried to convince him that they didn’t have the hat, but they could go look for it together, intending to lead the giant perhaps to the Pashtum Bank. Peaseblossom liked this idea and began to lumber through the street behind Magnus, leaving chaos in his wake.
A group of guards had been summoned to respond, but were more than happy to let the party, who were still working under the authority of Bartok Brescht, the captain-general of the City Watch, “handle” the situation. As the lumbering fey giant approached however they became increasingly worried about the safety of the rest of the city, and Magnus realized it was probably unwise to take Peaseblossom sight-seeing. Peaseblossom became enraged and took a swing at Magnus, slamming into him with a mighty blow of his axe and dealing him a grave wound.
Seeing they were loosing control, Ara produced the Hat of True Frog from his pack. Peaseblossom immediately dropped his axe, focused on the hat, allowing Magnus to summon his reserves of strength and bravely run off to find a street artist, for reasons?
To calm the giant, Yuna convinced Peaseblossom that the party were his friends. This pleased the giant greatly, and he announced that he would stay on this plane, join the party, and go on adventures. Sirlius, realizing how dangerous an idea this was and perhaps wanting to keep control of the Hat of True Frog, tricked Peaseblossom into swapping the real hat for an illusory one, so they could be “hat buddies.” Once Peaseblossom was wearing the illusion, Keen tricked him into showing them how his magic rock worked. The giant did so and vanished from the material plane, still wearing the illusionary hat, and leaving behind his 7-foot long stone axe.
With Peaseblossom gone and the Hat of True Frog still in their possession, the party left the Westfalls 7th guards to deal with the destruction, death and chaos, and caught up with Magnus. Together, they returned to the Temple of Mimir on the 6th Tier to report to the head priestess there on the unfortunate demise of Lady Margoleth, her husband, and several street children, all of whom had succumbed to the power of an oblex summoned by Drow magic gone wrong. The priestess was grateful to have news of Lady Margoleth, but seemed unsympathetic given the involvement of the Drow husband.
The temple was still full of city residents seeking to escape the supernatural cold, and Ara, whose grasp of comparative religious doctrine had never been strong, was even more confused than usual about the behaviour of the mirror-masked acolytes of Mimir as they moved between groups of citizens, alternately cajoling, comforting and berating them. The priestess seemed to recognize something of a kindred spirit in Ara, and spoke to him briefly about walking one’s own road of Truth, and mistook Ara’s confused response for profundity.
The party asked the priestess if they could remain in the temple for the night; she reluctantly agreed, seeming to have tired of the party’s defense of Drow and their reticence to fill the temple coffers, and the party settled in for a long rest.
Magnus pulled out the large chunk of residium crystal he had saved in his pack and began studying it, drawing the curiosity of Sirlius. The two discussed arcane matters for a time, and the party learned that Sirlius carried a letter from a former teacher that contained cryptic statements about the “True history of the Tiefling race” and posed the question, “Who is the Lady of Pain?” Magnus recognized the name as a being of fearsome power, reputed to rule some extra-planar realm. Sirlius seemed to know nothing about it, and was cagey in his responses.
The night proceeded without incident, thanks chiefly to Yuna’s deftly picking Keen’s pocket and slipping the Ring of Bliss on his finger, worried as she was what could happen if one of Keen’s nightmares became real in a temple full of defenseless peasants.
In the morning, the party took their leave, and was met outside the temple by a messenger from Bartok Brescht, who demanded they present themselves to him up on the 3rd Tier. The unnatural frigid cold had broken, replaced by a more typical wintery chill and a cold, slushy rain. The party made the miserable, long trek up the Grand Stair, arriving on the 3rd exhausted, wet and cold just after midday. At the guard house, Brescht remarked on the events of the previous day, and thanked the party for their work on the 7th, though he seemed exasperated by the news of fey giants, oblexes, and the news of multiple planned robberies of Pashtum Bank (though they did not reveal their own interests in the Dragonhead coin, which they believed to be stored therein). Brescht released the party from service then, saying he would speak to Madame Elethi, the owner of Zandilar’s, and declare the party pardoned of all offense. Before he left, he warned the party not to involve themselves in any activity regarding the Pashtum Bank.
The party left the guard house and immediately made their way to the Pashtum Bank on the 2nd Tier. Magnus planned to rely upon his family connections to gain access to the Bank so Keen could examine its security. They made it as far as the lounge inside the entrance of the building, where they were met by a representative of the Bank, an impeccably dressed and punctilious gnome with impressive facial hair. The gnome, upon hearing Magnus’s assertion that he was the prodigal great grandson of the founder of the Bank, Ukri Pashtum, gone these four hundred years and now returned, ushered the party into an office to one side of the lounge. The gnome asked Magnus to place his hand upon a silver disc atop a large oaken desk, ostensibly to test his identity. Magnus howled in pain as the disc sent a huge electric shock through his body as the gnome triggered security measures. Gargoyle carvings along the wall began to shriek in alarm, and a large clockwork golem appeared at the door to the office.
The shock was clearly meant to kill Magnus, but seeing that he remained standing and the party was tensed for an altercation, the gnome maintained his composure and instead cancelled the security alert and directed the party to leave the Bank and not return. They left, though Magnus vowed vengeance upon the tiny official.
As they stepped outside the huge gold doors at the entrance to Pashtum Bank, Keen was assaulted from the shadows by six assassins, each hitting him with quarrels from concealable hand crossbows. As the assassins rushed the party from two sides, one of them announced through a black silken mask, “Handsome Henry Smalls sends his regards.”
Deadly Encounters Avoided: 2⁄2
Fey Giant Friendship Level: Lifelong, Dangerous
Umani Racism Rating: Casual
Banks Cased: 0
RP Rating: Awesome!