In the months since the last update, our heroes managed to kill a number of spiders and haul a 1200 lb chunk of rare wood through the Dark Wood, encounter an ettercap at the edge of the forest who was bent on killing a unicorn, encountered a very resistant dire boar covered in some sort of corrosive slime, and found the satyr Gavus even before the entered Kalthar.
Upon entering Kalthar,they made their way to a spendy Elvish Inn called the Drifting Leaf where they set up for the night, then made their way to the house of Tulken Eturius. There they encountered Brellyn Tusar,who made it known that he as not pleased by their presence…by vague threats against their lives. Upon meeting Tulken, Belisarius began his apprenticeship and the PCs found quarters in the basement of the Ogre’s Tusk Tavern, leaving their expensive lumber with Tulken in the meantime.
The next days were busy, as the PCs discovered that it wasn’t that much more money to open a business in Kalthar as it was to purchase rights to the marketplace. Thus, after a brief consultation with Tulken’s Accountant, the Darkwood Trading Company was born. Schemes of using the space in the marketplace as a base of operations and a place to sell adventure loot were hatched, as was a way to make money between expeditions. Belisarius made a potential trade agreement with Epon, the mayor of Igoris as a way to lower the price of the trade fee back in Igoris, and the Darkwood Trading Company served as one of the first steps to that eventual business goal. Belisarius, Kalel and Zeltais settled in, with Zeltais finding a mentor in Kaigen and fighting regularly at The Barn.
Somewhere along the way, Gavus the satyr showed up in his guise of Tylon. He coerced (charmed) the PCs into pulling a hasty rescue of the dryad Alistrana from the Blue Hands. She was being held in the basement of their temple and was to be sacrificed that night. Disguise Self potions were provided by Tulken Eturius and the PCs were given a sneak peek at his hidden basement alchemy lab, where the ever-surly Brellyn was hard at work on something or other. The PCs made their way to the temple while disguised.
There were 2 guards at the door, and a public meeting of some kind going on, so the PCs pretended to gawk at the religious artifacts in the main hall and Bel threw up a silent image of the PCs doing just that while Kalel picked the lock on the door to the basement. Then, they went downstairs while Bel stayed topside and maintained the illusion.
Finding 3 guards at the bottom of the stairs, a hasty (and bad) plan was concocted for Kalel to sneak past the guards and look for Alistrana. As Kalel wandered about and picked a lot of locks that didn’t need to be picked, and succeeded in letting a goat out of one of the cells. After entering a storeroom and opening a small box with an alarm on it, the guards figured out something was up and one came to investigate. Kalel hid and waited to ambush him. The guard, not being a complete fool, closed and locked the door with Kalel inside. Kalel decided to carefully pick the lock to get out, effectively removing him from the fight.
Meanwhile, the other 2 guards were fighting with Zeltais, and Bel ran down the stairs to enter the fray. Eventually the PCs were able to overcome the guards, rescue the dryad, and get her back up the stairs. Gavus created a diversion and the dryad was smuggled out of the temple and out of the city. The magnificent clusterfuck completed, the PCs dispersed and attempted to create viable alibis and confusion.
After a few months of training, marketplace-workin’ and other assorted downtime tasks, our heroes decided to enter in Kalthar’s Great Race, a yearly horse race around the outskirts of the city. A party of Perosians were in town for the race, and the party interacted with them briefly. Belisarius’ brother, Callegor Tordun, made a surprise visit, much to Bel’s delight. The race was an intriguing affair that Belisarius couldn’t resist joining, recognizing it as a spectacular marketing opportunity for the Trading Company, so he entered himself and Pincer in the race and put the max bid down on his horse to place, since winning seemed unlikely. There were several attempts to sabotage the race, with an attempt to mess with Pincer in the stables at Orunsk’s, a number of wolves summoned and set upon the heroes as they came home from The Barn, and at least 2 individuals trying to interfere with the race by means of a glamored tree limb and a glyph of warding located shortly before the finish line. The favored horse, Shadowrunner, won, with the Perosian horse finishing 2nd, and Pincer coming in 3rd. All in all, a very good result, with a trade agreement reached between Kalthar and the Perosians due to their being beaten in a horse race. Callegor was in town just for the race, and soon left for the Academy. He then joined Lorte Eturius and went on a patrol headed to the North where trouble has apparently been brewing (strange sounds and lights?)
To top it all off, Kalel went missing…along with half the remaining Yuirwood, all of his things and 1/3 of the finances! How will our heroes react to these and other challenges? Stay tuned, dear readers, for our next thrilling update!