With the consideration that standing in a leveled room waiting for guards to appear was a poor option, Narin (Justin) and I left the waiting room and chased after the fleeing figure. Whatever had knocked down the wall in the previous room had also seemly opened other doors along the corridor we entered and as we ran other residents began emerging from their rooms as well. Using Command I knocked the fleeing figure prone while Narin lassoed him and hauled him off down the corridor for some sort of discussion. Picking up the pace to distance ourselves from the guards we could hear approaching we found ourselves beside a hallway that blazed with light. Ducking into it just as the guards appeared around the curve in the corridor behind us Narin began questioning the fugitive while I investigated the source of the light. One of the residents from the rooms we’d passed, a big barbarian looking chap hauling a giant totem pole and covered in bear skins (Bob?), followed me down the hallway.
With the initial sounds of a skirmish filtering through the hallway behind us we emerged onto a walkway that wrapped around a gigantic crystal column roaring with magical energy. The light exuding from the column became more diffused the farther down it went, and the crystal itself seemed to extend downwards another several stories. When I focused I could see the concentration of magic and where it was flowing – straight down the crystal – though some of it seemed to be siphoning off into the palace systems before reaching the bottom. Making due with an empty wall sconce as a belaying point I attached my (magical!) climbing rope and then dropped the rest over the edge to land on the floor far below. The barbarian appeared to be doing something similar with a hemp rope nearby. I then Stepped back to Narin in order to inform her of what I’d discovered and that, as soon as she was ready, there was a line of escape set up for our quick disappearance. At that moment, a second figure appeared from the shadows to stand behind the man Narin and I had taken down earlier. It seemed like Narin was busy working out some sort of a deal with them, so I simply informed her that I was going to begin the climb down as point-man and would wait for them at the bottom.
The Barbarian and I began our descents at approximately the same time. However he didn’t have my decades of experience climbing the alpine mountains of the Feywild so I made better speed and arrived at the bottom first…only to find myself surrounded by resting guards and two priestesses fiddling with some sort of apparatus. I didn’t waste any time as the surprised cry of “Intruder!” rang out behind me to Step to the last level I’d past and begin hauling up the rope. A few seconds later I heard a muffled thud as the Barbarian landed on the opposite side of the crystal below me. A brief silence marked his arrival, followed quickly by his rumbling outlandish claim of “Maintenance!” Shaking my head as I began moving away from the ledge I sighed as the daft priestess bought his claim only to insistently bring his attention to having seen me drop down and then disappear. So much for an escape route.
Their words faded as I walked farther down the hallway before me, an exact likeness to the one I’d started on if more plainly decorated. I phased through a nearby door to find myself in what amounted to a warehouse. My senses informed me that some of the rough hewn wooden boxes contained items of relative magical power and that there were a number of them scattered across the level in several rooms. When I reemerged from the warehouse the two men Narin had been dealing with were in hushed discussion with one another at the base of the rope; Narin dropped down a few seconds later. As the men glanced at us Narin frantically whispered to me that these men (Locke and Dustin) knew Grim in Talon and might be interested in helping us, for the right price.
Apparently something more had happened in my absence to agitate the floor below us because there was a noticeable increase in the volume of movement and I could hear guards making their way towards the commotion we had caused. Collecting my rope I began a hesitant conversation with Locke concerning his interests in Talon (negligible) and in helping us find the Orb of Allura (all but non-existent) as I steered our group in to the warehouse room I’d emerged from earlier. Locke claimed that he and his partner were already intent on robbing Lord Creum of his artifacts, his words implying that he considered the profits from the perspective heist as good as earned, though for a mere 250,000gp he would guide us to the orbs location. As the price seemed a little stiff, and we were not in much of a position to offer them anything, I let the issue drop.
The muted sound of running boots and slamming doors drew our attention back to more pertinent matters. Narin was hastily trying to shed her current assemblage of gear and equip herself in a suit of armor she had taken from a guard sometime earlier. Locke and Dustin, apparently realizing they would get nowhere with us, vanished in a puff of smoke. Nodding to Narin that I understood her plan I phased into a man-sized box and came face-to-face with another set of guard armor, complete with that ridiculous mask they wear. As I waited Narin completed her armament, threw open the door, and shouted “Intruder!” at the top of her lungs. “We Know!” came an anxious response. Something else must have happened in the hall because there was a second cry of the same which was much more exasperated and included Narin’s voice. There was a brief interlude where Narin described Locke and Dustin as the intruders, but the guards had apparently been talking to whoever had seen me down stairs because they swung the conversation back to that unfortunate incident.
Narin seemed to have been accepted unequivocally by the guards as “one of them” which left me as the only one of our company running around without an alibi, and thus the only one still being chased. How ironic. Well, I’d have to fix that. The guards in this palace may have been unforgivably dense, but I wasn’t willing to risk my life on the assumption that they would remain so, nor that someone else wouldn’t come along and string all the pieces together. Ironically, my best bet for getting out of here lay in assuming my actual identity – and perhaps a little bit of good acting – though how the rest of the company would take the news… Well, that remained to be seen. I slipped to the far side of the warehouse and after that through the wall into the outer corridor which wrapped around the level. Then, I threw a fit.
Bringing to mind all the petty mortal diplomats I’d had to entertain over the years I used their most annoying habits and tendencies to compose the stereotypical ambassadorial fop. Standing in that corridor I raged and ranted, simpered and preened, feigned aggrievement and wore my indignation like a cloak. My initial outburst and continuous performance drew quite a crowd of bewildered and somewhat penitent guards, in addition to most of the company. Having now voiced my outrage at the treatment I’d received in the palace, I demanded an escort to the diplomatic quarters and the appearance of whomsoever dared to attend me and receive my complaints. Fortunately Narin and the rest of the company were quick on the up take and volunteered to “escort” me to the proper level.
As we headed up the stairs there was another smothered cry of “Intruders!” but it seemed to pass without incident. Arriving on the next floor I, still in the full swing of my persona, hailed the nearest servant I could see and repeated my performance. The servant, wide eyed, apprehensive, and anxious to answer her summons to Lord Creum that I’d interrupted, quickly ushered me into a lavish waiting room with promises to send someone to address my problems immediately. During the interlude some Tiefling the other members of the party seemed to recognize, though he also was wearing guard armor, entered the chambers claiming to have a map of the palace defenses. Which, of course, he was willing to sell. Having been assured of its actuality and since it seemed useful I negotiated the price down to 275gp, though the dwarf (Baray?) seemed overly eager to cover the cost of it himself.
The Tiefling left only moments before Vizier Snaketail appeared at the door. Apparently that servant I’d stopped had been <i>very</i> industrious. The Vizier was quick to apologize for any inconvenience I’d suffered and misunderstandings on the part of the staff. I gave him a repeat performance of what I’d said to the guards earlier, only this time veiled in more diplomatic language with a few insinuating comments about being assaulted at the Temple of Pelor/Melora and by the palace guards themselves. I received more profuse apologies, the assurance that these issues would be dealt with, and would I please make myself comfortable in the knowledge that they would move me into more spacious apartments and bring my things over from the Inn where I’d left them? After writing a discreet letter to be left at the Inn for my guide to know where to contact me, and with a thinly veiled warning from the Vizier not to interfere with the Naiogi delegation, Snaketail left.
Shortly thereafter another servant appeared to take us to our new rooms. As we followed her into the corridor we again saw Snaketail who was being talked at animatedly by one of the priestesses from downstairs. Upon seeing me she froze and exclaimed “That’s him!” Heaving a sigh I launched into another tirade of how I had been abused and left to wander aimlessly through the palace all on my lonesome. I acted vain and wounded, petulant and haughty, like a bird whose feathers had been ruffled once too often; all the time praying fervently that my father never heard tale of these “emotional” outbursts or he would recall me at once and wouldn’t let me out of the house for another quarter century lest I embarrass him further. Fortunately this court didn’t seem too familiar with Eladrin custom and the Vizier seemed to believe my act. There were more apologies, the priestess was whisked off somewhere, and comments were made about good help being so hard to come by these days.
When we were finally ensconced in our new rooms, which just happened to be right next to the Naiogi delegation, I used the Hand of Fate to determine the location of the orb and several routes to access it. Apparently the Barbarian wasn’t as uneducated as I had thought (he just so happened to know deep-speech) so I set him the task of translating whatever he could here through the wall. I also delegated the dwarf (though I had to kick him into wakefulness) and Narin into searching for magical scyings on the room before activating Wizard’s Sight and setting it to spy on the Naiogi delegation. I saw that they were setting up some sort of intricate ritual, though not one I was familiar with, and according to what the Barbarian had overheard they were desirous of finally conquering the human court. With these new insights as to the goings on in Brambletree we began to plan.
Take-down of Dustin and Exploration of Crystal – 100xp
Set-up and Fulfillment of Escape Plan – 250xp
Investigation of Warehouse/Conversation with Locke – 50xp
Fit before Guards – 250xp (Luck Token!)
Fit before Servant – 200xp
Negotiation for Map – 50xp
Performance with Snaketail – 250xp
Performance with Snaketail and Priestess – 200xp (Luck Token!)
Delegation in Chambers to find Orb/learn about Naiogi – 350xp
Total = 3,700xp (you mean 1,700xp don't you?)
Free!!! I'm free. That's how I felt as I ran out from the cell I had been cooped up in for quit some time now. I was finally going to get out of this dingy old jail. I noticed a man with a huge bag of treasure (assumed treasure) and a 2 other folk running of after him. Needless to say, I joined in on the hunt for the man with my other jail cell buddies. As we ran down the female that was in front pulled out her rope and decided to lassoed the man (to witch I found quit hysterical) and all the gold flew out of the bag. She started to interrogate the man to witch I took the liberty of guarding her with my buddy Omega. Sure enough 3 guards came up to tussle with us. As I started to shot Ice Rays at them I noticed my buddy had abandoned me. “We I guess he's going to miss out on all the fun” to witch I shooting my spells at them. As battle progressed I received a minor flesh wound (14 Hp left) and decided to hi tail it out of there via the conveniently placed laundry shoot.
As I went down I heard the sound of my friend Bob talking to some people and telling them he was the maintenance man. When I reached the bottom, I clamed that I was a part of the cleaning staff and gave the laundry shoot an A+ for the cleanliness of the interior. Bob and I were able to convince them and the opened the locked door on the other side. With flights of stairs conquered Bob and I got separated in the very confusing building. To my surprise I found the man that was chasing the treasure man. He was yelling at the guards about how he's been wondering the place for quit awhile and still couldn't find the great room. After the guard went off with him the other guard was still a little shaken so went up to him reassured him that it was ok that you just have to shake off those kinds of things. To this I offered to help look for the “intruders” with him and he was much obliged.
I was able to pry away from the guard and meet back up with everyone at the great room. As we talked about our adventures Omega tells us that he has a map of the building with location of an orb that Uriel and the women (Narin) were looking for. There was this back and forth for trying to get the price lower. It was all just so confusing that I simply decided to pay for the price of 750 gp and left after the transaction. Soon there after this important looking man came up to Uriel and after a long conversation he gave us a room next to some important diplomats. When we reached the room we set up camp and I stood guard outside the room for the rest of the day.
Major damage to guards and a quick escape - 200 exp
Performance with servents - 200 exp
Being nice to and helping out the gurad Uriel yelled at - 100 exp
Guardng the room - 100 exp
Roleplaying - 2,000 exp
Total= 2,600 exp