Thursday, August 29, 2013

EPISODE 77: Cloudy with a Chance of Death

Augustar 27-Septembar 5, YE 754

Over the next few days, the Rosegate Company hides out at the Temple of Calethon. The Temple offers some protection, but they know it is just a matter of time before Raknian locates them.

First they follow-up on the Kyuss cult connection, discovering a former associate of the cult hanging out in the Warrens. The former cultist explains that he was a member of a cult called the Black Triad, which was dedicated to uniting the essence of three dead evil gods and combining them into a new Ultra Evil God. Unfortunately for them, some members -- specifically the cleric Bozal and the infernal barrister Saygraam -- were merely using the Black Triad to further their own goals related to the return of Kyuss the Wormgod.

Bozal and Saygraam made a deal with Raknian to operate unmolested beneath the city, in exchange for substantial wealth and magic items to aid in the Republican coup. Their ultimate goal was summoning the ulgurstata from the Wormcrawl Fissure itself, and unleashing it upon the Trial of Champions. The cultist explains that had the ulgurstata, an important servant of the Worm that Walks, was intended to feed upon a "champion", which would bring about the "Third Omen of Kyuss." The "terrorist attack" screwed up that whole scheme.

This is all quite scandalous information. The Rosegate Company meets with Ekaym, their contact in the secret Chisel group, and shares this testimony. Ekaym tells them the Chisel will attempt to corroborate this information and use it to challenge the legitimacy of Raknian in the eyes of Elan's citizenry. A few days later, Chisel agents later inform them that the Tairon Times will publish a major expose on the Raknian government called by legendary reporter Gareth Porter himself. They must merely wait for publication, then it seems the ideal time to strike at Raknian will manifest.

In the meantime, the group hunts down Seanus to find out if the halfling knows who killed the wyvern when the Rosegate House was attacked. He doesn't know, and they let him go.

Their investigations lead to a division of the city's monster bylaw enforcement, which is Team 4C of the Monster Control Force. Apparently this team is the one's who stabbed the wyvern to the death when the angry mob burned down the Rosegate House. The companions attack Team 4C while they are at a tavern celebrating one of their members' birthdays, slaughter them quickly, then flee. 

Then Vatex decides he wants to kill a reporter who wrote a negative story about the Rosegate Company after they were framed for the "terrorist attack" at the arena. It turns out to be a young reporter named Elaine Zan. In a morally reprehensible home invasion, the elf beats the woman's father senseless then threatens to murder her. As she cries and begs for her life, his conscience gets the better of his actions and he spares her. But he still punches her in the face for reasons no one is able to understand.

One day while killing time waiting for the Tairon Times story, the group spots that guy who looks like Helmut Itlstein again. They decide to follow him around once again. But this time he goes to a different job and a different apartment. There is also a weird moment where he stops at a house in Midtown. He stares at it for a long time with an expression of vague recollection before moving.

Some digging reveals the house is owned by the family of Baron Edelbert, who actually lives up in Northern Vigoor somewhere. His family sometimes stay in this house when traveling to Elan for shopping and vacation. Sounds innocent enough, but something is fishy about that house.

That night, the Rosegate Company sneakily infiltrates the empty house. It is indeed uninhabited, but in the basement they find nine big storage tanks hooked up to variety of inoperable machines. The various technical manuals on the shelves seem to indicate the equipment is used for humanoid cloning. Could there be a bunch of Helmut Itlstein clones walking around, leading different lives? Why?

As the days pass the group is getting impatient about the Gareth Porter article. They are relieved when they receive a message from the Chisel. It asks them attend a secret meeting about a plan of action against the Republicans.

Unfortunately, this secret meeting ends up being a trap. In an abandoned warehouse in the Guilders District, they fight high-powered killers sent by Raknian: a human who channels earth magic from the lower planes, a tiefling force mage, a tiefling frost mage, and an aasimar storm mage. The battle is difficult but the Rosegate Company prevails.

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