On the ashes of the Empire

Calvane tomb..
And getting betrayed.

So we head out to find the burned down mansion and locate the tomb. We find the tomb easy enough. It’s just a hole in the ground surrounded by some weird looking trees. Ekemon goes on forever about some Golgoth trees, and how these trees are not. But something to do with magic?

We head down the tomb and find ourselves in a big room with three new paths. Each path blocked by a giant door,. or one is already open and we investigate that one first, only to find ourselves engaged with hungry poodle sized rats! But luckily Ekomon can do other things than just fill our ears with highbrow chatter and blows away all but one rat in one blow. Quite impressive. Nothing of importance were found.

We head over to another door, buuut it seems trapped and we save that one for later.

Third door is opended by force. Love a good crowbar. We head in and stand at two rooms, one with very old and very dead people and the other is a long corridor. Around the doorway there is some strange lettering. Ekemon can read that stuff? After a careful study he says there is no danger, so Calen just steps right through it. And surprise surprise – the dead rises. Skeletons and zombies! I look at my pointy thin rapier and thinks – non va bene!
Raphaella gives out a shreek – more than once! But she finds her composure and plays a song that makes some of the monsters glow. They seem more manageable now? And she’s pretty dangerous with that crossbow. And Calen has some control over the undead? He sends the shamblers on a walk of their own, which gives us time to concentrate on the skeletons. Pheline Deathblow? Certainly if you are made of bone. When the skeletons are gone we head out to the big room and sets up a firing squad for the returning zombies.. Easy! We head back in to loot,.. I mean investigate. Raphaella finds some sort of flute on a dead man called Fiorentino Calvane and is quite happy. Oh all the dead we have found so far have been named Calvane. People are pretty tired now an decide to take a long rest and get some food.

Next is the trapped door. After some investigation, Pheline and Calen decides to just break it open. Luckily no one is hurt. I must still be tired because the layout of this room is a bit hazy to me. But three rooms? All trapped and warded and what not. One with nasty spikes ready to impale you if you touch the door. Two with weird scribings again. One saying you need a strong heart, the other some wind is blowing? Ekemon and I traverse the one with strong heart – nothing to it really. I think we each find some medallion with a symbol of a clenched fist enveloped in flames. I have seen this symbol before. On the rider of the Eagles Order whom we shot down.
As I try to figure out a way past those nasty spikes, Ekomon waves the symbol in front of the door and it opens up. Traps disarmed he enters the room to go down a corridor and disappears round a corner. I grab my symbol in my pocket and enters too. I follow Ekemon to a room with a dais or altar? On it is carved a man and it says – Omano, leader of the Asmodeus cult. In that moment the rest of the gang enters, and out of the corner of my eye I see a shade lashing out. Another fight breaks out. But shades? Can we even kill those? They seem to ignore the holders of the symbol. But that is only two of us, and I can hear Raphealla scream once more. We hit the shades and little by little they disappear. But their attacks are dangerous and seem to drain peoples strength. But we prevail and search the rooms. In the altar I find a small box with coins and a vial. Behind a tapestry I find a weird jug. People are fatigued and we rest once more.

But we are interrupted by Helmuth and his merry men. We battle once more. With a bit of sneak attacks, glowing enemies and Ekemon power, we win once more. Taking Helmuth and two others as prisoners to be interrogated. We head back to Portovolo and delivers the prisoners to the Malatesta’s. We think Gianozzo set us up, so we head back to his place. He doesn’t seem pleased to see us again, so we force him to take us to the place where he meets with his contacts. This next part could have gone better, but Gianozzo sees that he has lost and confesses to have hired Helmuth to kill us. Though it was an order from his contact. Gianozzo trades his “safety” at Malatesta for the bit of information he has. Apparently he is a distant cousin of Gianeri Castellano? A man who seeks three pieces (Malatesta has one) of a powerful item in order to take control of Portovolo.

Oh yes – the Weird jug can produce generous amounts of mayonnaise! Who would have thunk that such a creation could have existed?

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How to confuse heroes.
Or: How Gianozzo got someone to do his dirtywork.

“So, Phil, can I call you Phil? Phil, why are we out here? Last I recall, we were going to an actual city!” Rafealle shifts her legs so she is riding sidesaddle while looking at Philine.
“Stick with Philine. And would you like the short or long answer to that one?” Philine says, staring straight ahead.
“Whichever one that doesn’t get you to shout again, please.”
“Long version then, I can take some deep breaths before each sentence. Ok, look. Remember the artifact those Eagle tools were stealing? We brought that to Potavoli so my owners could hide it away. Before we left Ravenna…”
WAIT! When did that happen?!”
“…Four days ago. You got tied to a saddle. Look, do you want to know what’s going on or not?”
“Fine, fine.”
“Alright then. We get to Potavoli, hide the artifact, got told to track down some useless middle man who was trying to buy the artifact some time ago and figure out who he was doing it for. The others wrangled a meeting with him, pretended to want to be clients and buy the artifact… I think… I admit that I was getting too irritated with that son of a scum sucking quartermaster Gianozzo to really pay attention. When he hares off to talk to the original client, the slick one over there, Bal… I mean, Count…” Philine bites the inside of her cheek for a moment, then grumbles: “The slick one.” and nods towards the rougish fellow riding ahead of them “He followed them to an inn, tried overhearing their chat, and then for some reason didn’t come get us so we could kick down the door. Something about diplomacy from Blue-eyes and Calen.” Philine shrugs. “Anyway, we go back, and the little shit wants to cut a deal. We get him an artifact from some crypt for the guy that wants to steal Malatestas FUCKING artifact and we get to meet that bastard that’s been TOSSING ROCKS in our fucking oil press since this whole STUPID, WASTEFUL GODSDAMNED MESS STARTED!”
PHIL! Stop shouting!”

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How to hire "heroes".
And seriously mess up horses

So, I have this suspicion that Borso is either trying to get rid of me or keep me out of the Festival fights this year. Three days ago, he just happens to lose some piece of junk artifact to the Eagle Order and guess who has to clean up his fucking mess?
So first he’s all “go get some competent help, but do it for a pittance! You could start with getting some tool who got caught fucking the magisters wife and then just fucking IMPROVISE!” What the hell did he expect to happen?! “Sorry we locked you up, would you like to work for us for free?” Fucking idiot.
Anyway, I am kind of irritated so I go to the bar, you know, the Four Javelins near the market? Just hoping that there are some mercenaries hanging about. But get this, get this, I FIND TWO PEOPLE THERE! I get a cleric of the Raven Queen who wants info as payment and this cute little half elf who just wants to travel.
In the end, one of Borsos kids and I cannot remember if it was Matteo or Stagio, have picked up some creepy sorcerer with blue balls for eyes as well and then they stick us on a hay cart and ship us off to the Malatesta Mansion.
Wait… Heheh, blue balls and the Malatesta kids. That’s funny.
And shit, the fucking trip there! The guy in jail, y’know, the one I gave his lockpicks back to while he was in jail? I DID mention that, fuck you Marco. Anyway, he tries to fucking run away, so the cleric and I go back to get him. This is where I nearly run out of shit to give about this job… He is hiding in the only tree in the middle of a field. No cover. Just up in a tree. And the branch he is sitting on breaks under him! Anyway, after persuading him that his best option for fucking over Malatesta (and boy did he take that literally) was with sticking with me, we get to the mansion. We grab our gear, get some kip and get sent walking up to the old mines. Cause that is where the shit for brains guards that let shit get stolen have tracked the thieves to.
By the gods, what a clusterfest that was. We get there, we kick the Eagle Order brats over the shins and basically fight room to room for an hour. It’s a messy godsdamned bloodbath.
In the last fight we get some prisoners and try to get out to take a rest before we kill their boss, some ugly bastard he turned out to be, but we get out and there’s this kid on a horse trying to get away and I shout for crossbows and HOLY CRAP DID THAT WORK! We skewered that damn horse, broke the riders legs and found the thing we needed! They were trying to get the artifact away before we killed them all! Afterwards we kind of looked at each other and went “do we really need to go back there? Nah, let’s just take their shit and leave.” On the way back, I tried to get the prisoners set free, but the blue ball guy and the priest were saying “no, these are slaves that broke the law, they must pay for their crimes blarg blarg blarg.” So, fine we drag the wretches back and get them locked up. Then the ones that aren’t property get to have dinner with the lady of the house (you know, Borsos wife that he does NOT get along with?- it is why you never see her here in Ravenna), and then there is a spontaneous party in the yard! But Miguel got a bit too drunk, if you know what I mean, and more or less let the prisoners go. Poor Miguel. If he wasn’t such an insufferable prick, I would grieve.
After the party, I got the crew on the cart and sent us rolling back to Ravenna. Then half an hour later BAM! Ambush! They try to set fire to the cart, they look ready to kill us all and shit do they come close. I think I got blacked out three times that fight. Honestly makes me a little worried about the tournament, now I think about it.
Anyway, got the loot home, Borso saves face, and we are back in time for the gladiatorial matches. So! To a good fight! Cheers, you rotten pieces of furniture!

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