Episode 55: Last Minute Holiday Shopping
Whibraxis spent his brief visit with the party revealing the secrets of the Blood Memory, the genetic memory encoded in every member of the draconic race, and which grows more powerful and complete as the dragon matures. Whibraxis declaimed at length about the Blood War, a war that has raged for thousands of years between the demons of the Abyss and the devils of the Nine Hells. The Five – the five gods and goddesses, children of Bahamut – had struck a bargain with the Lords of the Hells, who fight to keep the demons from overrunning the Planes of Existence. To slow them, the Platinum Queen set between the realms mighty gates, held fast through the might of her power. Gates that had stood for millenia, until betrayal in the celestial court led to the death of Bahamut and the shattering of the gates.
Whibraxis then, confusingly, charged the party with retrieving the shards of Bahamut’s shattered heart, and to keep them safe from the forces of evil who are even now pursuing them. A quest that the party had already been charged with, according to their erstwhile companion Levani, many span previously; a fact Whibraxis seemed unaware of.
Whibraxis also cautioned the party that any mortal who possessed all five shards would both inherit the entirety of Bahamut’s unbridled powers of creation and certainly be destroyed by madness. He made it clear he did not want the shards himself, nor did he know who should who hold them, just that “demonic agents” were already in the field and seeking the shards. Whibraxis and Ambriel then took their leave, and the party turned in for the evening, doing their best to find comfort in the empty manor.
The morning had Magnus, Sirlius and Ara in a shopping mood, as for the first time in over a season the party found themselves with a modicum of downtime. The three of them departed for the middle tiers of Uman to shop for gifts for the Feast of the Hunt, a traditional festival held on the last day of the year – tomorrow. Meanwhile Yuna retired to her room to work on spinning Stella’s long coat into yarn, and Keen investigated the old well in the manor’s small backyard.
Realizing they were carrying around a sizable fortune of Drow platinum, the Shoppers tried to change it for scrip, the paper currency used throughout the city. The moneychanger they approached was able to change a small quantity of platinum, but recommended they visit the Pashtum Bank to arrange for an account, and were given a letter of introduction for interview.
On their way to the Bank they stopped briefly to hire a carpenter named Migas to arrange for general repairs to the Manor. The wiry, somewhat lanky human agreed to pay a visit to the party’s home after the holiday.
Proceeding on to Pashtum Bank, the party was met by an irate and obstinate Panaver Knacklebun, manager of the Bank, which they had so recently robbed. Magnus pointed out that they had also just rescued the first-born son of House Knacklebun from a mad revolutionary, which the gnome reluctantly acknowledged, and permitted them to open an account.
Leaving the bulk of their platinum at the bank and changing much of what remained for scrip, the Shoppers made for the 3rd Tier, where they first encountered Tombok Rat, proprietor of The Nook, a home furnishings store overflowing with everything the new home owner might require. Tombok himself was a fat, surly, drunken human with olive-brown skin and dark wavy hair. He welcomed the trio, but the situation quickly became less cordial when he caught Sirlius attempting to cast suggestion on him, and at the tip of a loaded crossbow the party was directed to leave.
As they exited the Nook, they were greeted by one Kater Funblossom, half-elf proprietress of Funblossom’s Boutique across the street from the Nook. She seemed unsurprised that they had run afoul of Tombok’s temper, and invited them into her shop. They followed, and Magnus quickly purchased a large quantity of home furnishings, including a full dining room set and naturalistic chandelier made of horn and antler. Even for the furnishings and expedited next-day delivery on a holiday, he agreed to a frankly ridiculous sum without bargaining.
Before concluding their day Ara, aided by Sirlius, found his way to a district of smiths, armourers and fletchers on the 3rd Tier known as Martial Row. There he engaged the services of a fletcher, getting his longbow strung and purchasing several dozen arrows to fill his quiver. Finally, he approached a smith, Kieriash, a halfling woman with short curly hair, powerful physique and wearing leather overalls. Her forge was being kept hot by a full-blooded ogre. Ara asked Kieriash if she could provide him with some sort of armor that would afford him some protection without compromising his movement. The smith said that she could provide him with basic bracers, but for anything custom or magical, he should work with her brother whom she stated was an enchanter of some repute. They made arrangements to conclude their transaction after the holiday.
With relative ease, Keen was able to break the tar seals on the well and remove the timbers covering it. He discovered a fully dry well, the lower stones covered in a slimy lichen. Using the Ring of Faerie Fire to illuminate the bottom of the well he found what appeared to be a passageway or gap in the foundation. Calling Whisper and Yuna to his aide, Keen descended the well, and the three of the made their way down the eighty or so feet to the bottom. Each of them had trouble with the climb, however, and except for Yuna took some fall damage. Undaunted, Keen led the trio through the gap in the stone and into a narrow passageway, which led deeper into the Earth and ended at a chasm. Keen made to turn around, but Yuna suggested maybe dropping a torch in and seeing how deep it went. He did so, and to their surprise while the chasm was less than a hundred feet deep, it appeared to be full of spiders.
High Fantasy Banking Simulator Level: Robust
Exposition Distributions: 30% foreshadowing, 70% review
DM Status: Party-Splittingly Delighted
RP Rating: Awesome!