Ruphus Laro (A priest of St. Cuthbert)
Keygan Ghelve (A gnome locksmith; captured)
Mysterious Attacker (A strange creature; captured)
Animated Rags (monster; defeated)
The characters found the ruins of an old alchemy laboratory. Some of the equipment was smashed but there was one upright table with an assortment of items worth roughly 250 gold coins to the right buyer. There were also the following items:
- Five empty glass flasks
- Six flasks of strange powders
- Three flasks of hardened sludge
- Two sealed flasks of a colorless and odorless liquid
- 20 small twigs with a substance on one tip
- A five-inch-long steel rod with an engraved rune at one end and notches carved into the other.
On the floor rests an unused tanglefoot bag.
The broken cabinet holds:
- Three delicate sealed flasks
- Four small sealed vials of clear liquid
- Two sticks of odd composition
- Eight steel rods with a substance on one tip
- A heavy stone with strange markins
- A sealed graduated vial holding two doses of a clear liquid.
From the journal of Rennilon
Well, we've got a good idea what's going on now. Or at least where our adversary comes from, and a bit more about them.
After capturing both the chameleon creature and the Gnome, we had to think quickly. Most of my magical energy had been expended, as well as Ruphus' cures. Rest was imperative, but our time was quite possibly limited, as we had no idea when they would change the guards.
We sent Ruphus to the Church, to bring back a cart for prisoner transport, and to use 120 gold (which we did requisition from the Gnome's strongbox) to purchase Cure Light Wound scrolls, as insurance. I myself requisitioned the Gnome's spellbook and brought it to my Magical Arts Teacher, as collateral for a useful wand (I ended up getting a Color Spray wand with 10 charges).
I was meticulous in writing out a full receipt for our prisoner. He willingly signed it on a couple of conditions; namely that we endeavor to free his rat familiar, that we return his property to him (I did squeeze in a line allowing me access to his spellbook for learning any spells I might not know later, not sure if he read that part), and for an agreement to testify on his behalf on any upcoming trial.
The Priest wasn't too happy with process, but I did explain that we stood no chance of recovering the Orphans without some aid.
We attempted to rest and regain our spells and energy, but the process was (as we had feared) cut short. Toes had set up a trap over the secret door beneath the stairs, but when it opened he was utterly oblivious to it. At the edge of the balcony, I quietly eased back into the shadows, drawing a bead on the door with my crossbow, hoping my slight movement would alert him. He can be incredibly oblivious however, for even Eris heard the sound in the adjoining bedroom and came to investigate. Ruphus obviously could hear nothing over his own armor, human shortcomings and desire to turn half of our requisitioned larder into what smelled like a great beef stew. It would appear requisitioning is only bad if you're not hungry.
Nothing came through the door, nor was anything visible within its shadows. I edged back through the kitchen door, motioning for silence from the priest and picking up a crockery pot of flour. I stepped silently back to the balcony, and the lumbering ox attempted to follow, surely alerting students at the nearby academy as to his intentions. I shot him a glare, but it was surely too late.
Stepping back to the balcony, I noticed the door was closed, with no sign of anything coming through. Too be extra secure, I launched the crockery pot at the ceiling above the stairs, liberally coating the entire area in a fine dusting of flour. Nothing was revealed, no prints appeared, our surprise was already blown, likely the creature had returned to the depths of the gnomish city to report.
"Fine!" I called out to Eris, "We'll do it your way."
He slid both rapiers from their sheaths and started descending the stairs.
"Soup's on!!" Shouted Ruphus.
Well aware that the alert was likely going up right then, we quickly evaluated our own hunger vs. effectiveness ratios. I would like to report that wisdom prevailed, but in our defense, the stew smelled quite divine and it was some few minutes before we reopened the secret door and descended.
The base of the stairs had a room that was covered with large bronze masks of gnomish visage, giving off some magical effect of laughter, tittering and general woodland mirth. I suspect, that when this was a thriving gnomish community, it sounded welcoming and inviting, under current circumstances it was just eerie.
We were presented with two of the gear doors Mr. Ghelve had described to us, one propped open ominously, lit from within by a sunrod that we didn't bother noticing until the next day...peculiar. A hallway led west, and I had no problem discerning another secret door to the North. The secret door led to a dead end hallway devoid of other exits and we filed it away as a potential resting point.
The Western passage took us to a T-intersection, and revealed several more gear doors to north and south, all securely closed. We chose the Northern passage, which opened into what appeared to be an old alchemy lab. We eliminated this room as a route of escape for our unseen scout by the simple expedient of entering it and drawing the attention of a strangely animated bunch of rags, mittens and sundry clothing articles.
This unknown clothier's nightmare proceeded to try wrapping up Eris. For what nefarious purpose, I still do not know, though it seemed to want to wrap him up like a mummy. Failing to secure itself, it did however inflict damage, and our weapons were poorly chosen for delivering swift death unto animated cloth. We did manage to light it on fire briefly by using one of Toe's flasks of oil (and coincidentally cauterizing Eris' life-threatening injuries). I wasted a flask of acid and almost crushed myself under a table while Toe's pin-pricked it slowly with his rapier and Ruphus tried keeping Eris alive.
It was a near thing, but we finally laundered the creature, whether undead or construct all we know is after enough rips and tears it ceased attacking. A quick search of the room revealed some useful alchemical items, even more uncertain items and a key with the gnomish letter 'U" upon it. Considering our penchant for requisitioning things, it's safe to say, I am certainly glad the church didn't send us a fool paladin on this quest.