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Rats and Pearls
Genet asks Marat and Margon to enter the sewers first. Once in the sewers, a herd of rats comes towards us shepherded by a figure with a lantern. The man is moving through the sewers on a boat. It's a rat catcher! Marat does some strange incantation, but it doesn’t seem to work on the rats.

The rat catcher, Krully, hasn’t seen anything unusual. He gives us directions towards the thieves guild. He has a partner, but hasn’t seen him in a while.

Marat speaks with the rats. They tell him that two footed predators have been eating them. On the bright side, there are good scraps. No one seems to think it odd that Marat can speak with them. What’s up with that?!

We find the scraps of Krully’s friend. The rats tell Marat that they found the body. They didn’t kill Krully’s friend.

Behind the pile of human remains are the shattered pieces of one of the pearls. Could these pearls be eggs? There are scraps of more than one human body.

We decide to head further down this tunnel instead of going to the thieves guild. It is a dead end.

We double back and head towards the thieves guild.

We see a pearlescent light coming towards us. Marat and Margon recognize that it isn’t another rat catcher. Its some sort of monster with a light on its head. The light mesmerizes anyone who looks at it. We kill two of the monsters.

We head down a different passage and find another pile of corpses at the base of a waterfall. There are many shards of pearls. They appear to be shells ---like egg shells.

We hear screams from the streets above. Genet rushes in and attacks two of the monsters. With help from the city watch, we kill these two. The citizens of Lankhmar cheer our actions when we hear more screams down the street. That must mean the last two! After a short chase Flossin kills one by throwing his spear and hitting one in the back.
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Runinations #15: Studies
Tssssk tsk swwwt... tk tk tk kt... swwwt sqwk... tsk swwt swt SQUEEK! Damnit!!!

Must be the cheese combo. I need to go back to the cheese monger. If Marat can do it so can I. I think I am seeing some patterns though and there is a lot of upside if I can understand these dirty little hair balls. Don't know how I am going to get the smell of cheese off me though...
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Miracle Gro
Flossin knew he had perfected a combination of plants, flowers, and oils that resulted in rapid growth of his flowers. Within minutes corn would grow from a seedling to knee high tassels. He wondered how this would affect a living thing with perhaps less chlorophyll. After falling through the bank vault into the sewers, he knew he would need something to help him get back up out of the hole. This was his chance. He quickly mixed a piece of creeping Kletch vine, a crushed crocus flower, and expensive essential oils from a giant black orchid.

He could feel Gerry smiling in his head. They gave a nod, and Flossin swallowed the mixture. The test was quite astringent and initially he wasn't sure if he could keep it down. His stomach settled, and his feet doubled in size. He ankles plumped into giant cankles, reminding him of April's mother. A shudder at the thought, and his calves grew into huge rippling muscles the size of hams. His quads became tree trunks, and his whole body grew two full feet. Finally, his ears felt plugged, and as he cleared the pressure, he heard a "pop" and his head became proportional to the rest of his body.

It Felt Great To Be Big! Flossin towered over his friends and could feel life flowing through him. His strength felt nearly endless. He felt almost invincible. This was the physical manifestation of Gerry's favor. He never wanted to feel small again. Hmm...maybe a little geranium root might make this mixture even better. In the back of his head Gerry smiled, pulled their fedora lower on their head, and puffed on a thin stemmed pipe.

Thanks Granny!
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Ruminations #14: Master Thespian
Captain Blackskull/Maron was a master! After all of my years of training in the on and offstreet Circus, I have never seen better acting. It must run in Tyla's family's blood. I hope that one day I can be as convincing. I also wonder if Maron needs a new first mate... Seafaring does run in my blood after all.
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Epic!
Smells good!
It smells good in the alley behind the Two Holes tavern, as a small crowd of hairy fellas congregate around a makeshift grill filled with tasty looking meat. There is tension in the air, but it's not just excitement for the unusual meal. These fellas though jovial are looking around like they may be doing something that could get them in trouble. But what trouble could there be in just eating some tasty skewers? Then you notice some pelts in the corner.. what kind of pelts are those? Are those rabbits? No, rabbits are grey, but those pelts have all sort of hues. Some are furry, some have just the shortest hair, what kind of animals are those? Then you notice the collar... and you understand. Nothing better to dispel the plague that has been affecting the crops than sacrificing some stray cats to the Rat God. But hey, are we to blame if we keep some for us as a reward for our efforts? I don't think so.
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Epic!
Captain Blackskull
Crops are failing because of a blight. Flossin has been researching a cure.
Vendle, the head servant, says lady Holkat is indisposed. He relays suspicion that I may be involved in Fiola’s death. He has spoken to Gybon and now thinks Fiola’s death is too “convenient” for me. Lady Holkat loses her only heir and I arrive to “comfort” her. I’m rather disappointed in Vendle’s change of heart. Especially after I spent so much money on a physiker to help the child of one of the staff. He even suggested that I was “just one of the staff” and should be under his oversight. I set him straight, but I will definitely have to keep my eye out for Vendle, as well as, Gybon.

Billy of the Thieves Guild take us to their hideout for a job. He says the job is “right up our alley”.

Captain Blackskull of the “Deeps Revenge” is wanted by the Thieves guild. The guild is willing to handsomely reward us for his capture. Blackskull’s ship made port this morning. Ricky knows of Capt. Blackskull and warns us that he is an intimidating figure -he has a skull and bones birthmark! Rumor is the captain is ruthless, mean, and nasty. Madam Bovrey says the captain isn’t welcome at the whore’s guild as he is cruel towards the girls. She suggests we try the “lesser” houses to see if he takes comfort there.

Pixie Leg tavern. Muron, first mate of the Deeps Revenge, hates the captain. She also respects and fears him. She will tell Lysa where he is tonight if she does a favor for her. Muron asks for Lysa to supply the crew with some fine food to celebrate onboard. If Lysa does this, Muron will tell her were the captain is. Muron asks Lysa to deliver some food and drink to the ship so the sailors can celebrate.

We find the food and drink at a closed shop. After knocking out the sleeping guard (Anya), we take the food and leave 164 rilks. After delivering the goods, Muron tells us the captain may be found at the Crooked Dagger on the corner of Murder Alley.

Muron asks if we know where to find Tyla. As soon as she mentions this odd request, we realize there is a striking resemblance between Tyla and Muron. Muron says that they are cousins.

We find Blackskull at the Crooked Dagger. Billy shows up with some of the thieves guild and takes the captain. We are rewarded, but not “handsomely”. Oh well, at least the Thieves guild has a good impression of us for what that is worth.
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Epic!
Just a quiet dinner
Umberto, I have been putting this off for quite some time, but I guess it is time to introduce you to my parents. They have invited me over for dinner, and suggested I bring a "friend." I know they want me to bring their merchant friends daughter, but instead I thought you might like to accompany me. Now I have to warn you, my parents have never traveled outside of Lankhmar. They are simple folk who have never wanted to travel or undertake an adventure. Deep down they are good people, but they can be a bit obtuse at times.

Umberto of course agrees happily. "Flossin, I would be honored to meet your family. I am sure your parents are lovely people." When we open the door, my mother's face brightens when she sees me. Umberto steps out from behind me, and the smile on her face becomes fixed.

"Mother, I would like to introduce you to my business partner and friend, Umberto." She nods politely and tries to recover herself. She ushers us in to the house and turns to Umberto. Speaking in a slow, loud voice, she half shouts "I...MADE...CHICKEN...AND...PO-TAY-TOES...DO...YOU...KNOW...PO-TAY-TOES?" Umberto smiles his most ingratiating smile while inside I am cringing. "Of course, madam, potatoes are one of my favorite foods from this area. In fact, our store has over 5 varieties of potatoes to choose from should you be interested in growing some." My mother is taken aback by his fluent and eloquent language.

At the dinner table, Dad decides to jump into the conversation. He spends 15 minutes talking about his shop. He starts by trying to explain what shoes are. Umberto nods happily, apparently paying rapt attention, even though I find the interaction horribly condescending. Thankfully, Umberto has mountains of patience, and tolerates explaining that indeed in Kletch they do have things like shoes, houses, roofs, and streets. Gerry give me strength. As dinner winds down, I hope that meeting Umberto gives my family a bit of perspective and changes some of their feelings about other cultures.

As Umberto and I leave, he invites my family to his house next time for dinner. He tells my parents that his sisters make the best Kletchian delicacies, Roasted tarantula over boiled cassava, citrus ants and rice, and caramelized sparrow tongues. My parents both turn pale and give non-committal responses. It is all I can do to not roll on the floor with laughter. As we are walking down the street back to the shop I turn to Umberto "Roasted tarantula? Where do you come up with this?" Umberto laughs loudly, "I thought they would be disappointed to know that Chicken, rice, are the primary dishes of Kletch."
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Tags: Flossin
Epic × 2!
So many souls, so many opportunities
It's been so hard as of late, so many new refugees flooding into the city. So many mouths, so many souls, so many bodies to be consigned to his glorious global body. Now that i have Git by my side it has helped...seems like Ani is just a bit to high and mighty to take pity on those lost souls. But even with Git it has been a tough go. The money doesn't go as far as i'd like. The beggars guild has been an asset but they do not have the money to share either and Boras is always very keen for his cut (as is his right). To add to my troubles it appears as if Tyla has run off. The orphans have either been as clueless as I or rather tight lipped. I know how to pry open a jaw but their secrets are their own. All i was able to glean is Tyla had 'something he needed to take care of'. Knowing how precious his circus is to him I cannot imagine what could tear him away from his prized waifs. But Mortis does not give more responsibility than one can handle. I know need to seek out more wealth to sustain my flock and the orphans. After all, it's all about the rilks to a baby. Or something like that, never really understood the sentiment. Maybe this is just what the church needs to grow, maybe the additional eyes and ears and arms and teeth are what we need to protect ourselves in the months and years ahead. I wish Tyla well, and i may wring his neck when he returns, but in the meantime i will consider this a blessing.
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Epic × 2!
Shipwreck and Sob's Secret
Dunner Hayseed’s family fell ill.

One man and one woman came into the tavern, carrying a bleeding man. Margon heals the bleeding man with assistance from the party. The bleeding man has something shiny in his clenched hand. Sob causes a distraction and grabs the shiny objects out of the man’s hand. It is a few riks. The man and woman say they heard what they thought was thunder and went to the shore. There they saw a sloop wrecked on the reef. Some of the crew were scrambling to shore. This one almost made it to shore before being attacked by a shark.

There are more people on the sloop to rescue. We rescued merchants and sailors.

Margon and Genet notice that the wet Sob looks somewhat … feminine. Not sure what to make of the new revelation, Margon and Genet decide to ignore it for the moment. There are some angry looking toughs walking their way and now is not the time to discuss Sob’s disguise.

Some members of the Slayers Guild (Carston) walk up the beach and say they are looking for a bald man that was on the boat. One of the merchants says he saw the person and he was wearing blue robes. The merchant ship was from Ilthmar and was supposed to pull up to the docks, but hit the reefs. The missing man gave the captain some money and the captain sailed the ship to the reef. The man got out and used a rowboat to get to shore. He was carrying something valuable in a pouch in his jacket. The Slayers Guild members are upset because they had a contract to escort the missing man from shore into the town. The missing man went into town without them and thereby broke the contract. They want their rilks!

Marat and Genet decide to ask the beggars for help in finding the missing bald man in wet blue robes.

Rumors, crops are failing, illness is spreading from Ilthmar, the thirteen (cats) from Ilthmar have been seen in Lankhmar, the Golden Theater is failing.
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Epic!
Ruminations #13: Secrets out... again
As a "professional" in his craft, I am surprised that Genet doesn't have a keener eye in regards to the human body. It was a good disguise but seriously. I can forgive Margon because I am sure one tube of human meat must look like any other tube of meat.

And Genet's discretion... as soon as he saw the extra curves he practically sent out a notice to all of Lankmahr. However, now that the curves are known to Genet and Margon, I will have to reveal a little more to make sure they stay on my side, especially since the rest of the party knows.

I'm also going to have to poke around the Ilthmari quarter now too and try to figure out what we got ourselves into. Spending time with a ghoul is one thing but the rat folk... Some of us have reputations to uphold.
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Epic!
A New Patron
Fiola Holkat ran off again this winter. At first, I thought it was her idiot lover Gybon, but after tracking him down again, it was clear he wasn’t involved in her second disappearance.

Fiona had been missing several weeks before I received a message from Julx. It was a small patch of cloth with the Holkat crest embroidered in fine threads. I recognized it immediately as coming from one of Fiona’s dresses. This piqued my curiosity as I had been unsuccessful in obtaining any clues as to the whereabouts of Fionia.

Meeting up with Julx, she led me to the docks and to a recently constructed warehouse. Inside, two sailors from the Solemn Vow stood guard over a lumpy bundle of sailcloth. They looked me up and down with scowling faces. Clearly not impressed with Julx’s “well to do” companion. She gave them each a few coppers and their demeanor changed to bosom friend (to Julx), and sideways glances towards me. With a tip of the hat they left and I was free to inspect under the tarp. It was Fiola, rather her horribly burned body, beneath the tarp.

Lady Holkat has kindly invited me into her estate and has introduced me to her compatriots as “her man”. We attend social events together and I have some say with the household staff, however I am only “her man” in public. Out of view, we are at most friendly acquaintances. Lady Holkat is amicable, even teasingly peevish, but she has made it quite clear we are nothing more than friends. This odd arrangement has its perks; I have security, comfort, and friendly companionship. However, we sleep in separate wings of the estate and have never consummated our relationship.

It is my impression that Lady Holkat was not overly fond of her late husband. Madame Vobrey confirmed Lord Holkat had an “open tab” at her “hotel” and the Holkat staff have given me hints that he was less than “respectful” to the Lady of the house. Although they would never say anything negative about his Lordship openly. I’m guessing Lady Holkat doesn’t miss her deceased husband all that much. The Lady is wealthy, powerful within the Grain Guild, and rather fetching even if she is a bit older than me. Perhaps she keeps me around to ward off other suitors?
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Epic!
Unmasking the Beggar King
Yorrabba reconnects with Rafe to discuss her “business”. She says Rafe’s overlord is buying up grain to inflate the price. Rafe offers her a room at his family’s estate.
Tyla hears news of the fire at the docks from the orphan Cuthbert. Many people were killed by the fire that burned a ship, dock, and warehouse. He tells Tyla that some of the dock workers had glowing eyes and their heads exploded when they were apprehended by the city watch. -Sound familiar?

Cuthbert was with the orphan Elaine on the docks. Elaine fell victim to the mind controlling mask and was killed.

Rob tells Rafe about the “Life Draining” silver bowl he acquired at Sendaru’s estate. They discuss destroying the bowl, but agree it must be kept safe until they decide what best to do with it.

At the orphanage one of the kids eyes glow and runs off. We don’t follow out of fear the child will be killed.

Jilks mask The Bunch of Grapes wine shop on Cash Street. David of the wine guild. In the basement of the shop we meet Milga. Kizzle is Milga’s real name. Mask given her by a handsome nobleman with curly hair. She didn’t put on the mask. She suspectes the man may be following her. We head together to the “Distressed Damsel” with Kizzle with the hope the puppet master Foostin will show himself.

Midarc, the priest at the temple of Goramash (beggar king), is the real puppet master. Foostin, the curly haired man, works for Midarc. Midarc uses the helmet of Goramash to become the avatar of the god and control people through the masks. The helmet is stored in the basement of the temple. Masks have been given out to courtesans, orphans, city guards, priests of Arth.

Tyla puts a mask on Foostin. Foostin’s eyes begin to glow and he lunges at Tyla. Tyla moves out of the way just in time before Foostin’s face explodes.

When we arrive at the temple of Goramash there is a service in session and the temple is full. We wait for the service to end. The priest leaves the altar and ducks behind a curtain. Rafe and Yorrabba follow. In the basement they find the priest. The priests welcomes them and asks what they have come for. Rafe tells the priest that they are there for retribution and relates a long list of wrongs, delaying for the rest of us to show up. The priest tells us that our bungling has impeded true retribution. The basement fills with his minions and the room goes dark. The only light is the glowing eyes of the minions. Much fighting. Eventually one of the nightlings kills the priest.

We retrieve seven masks and one helmet.
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Epic!
Ruminations #12: the dream
The dream was so real. When I awoke, I knew that I couldn't take a chance so I swiped the mask. Who would miss that evil artifact anyway. And just like in the vision, the seas began to mysteriously swell. I didn't wait for it to get too bad though. Over the side it went and we had smooth sailing from then on. Gods damn that mask. May the Great Cephalopod below do his worst with it.
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Epic!
Flossin's big journey
After finding The Book of Amazing Spells and setting fire to the library, Flossin fled Lankhmar. He left a quick note for family, and headed south. He ventured to Quarmall, city of wizards. There he consulted the learned sorcerers and mages of the city. The book turned out to be more of a hoax than a tome of power. He was told that most of the spells within were of minimal power or written incorrectly. Crestfallen, Flossin decided to stay in the city to learn spellcasting.

Flossin studied with the wizards in Quarmall for the year, learning white magic, herbology, and how to release a possessed spirit without destroying it.

While living in Quarmall, he had a brief love affair with a fellow member of the sorcery guild. Her name was Evelyn, a petite woman of similar age, with Mingol features. Flossin initially captured her interest by growing a new type of lotus flower. Unfortunately, things ended a few months later due to intermittent "performance" issues. Flossin eventually returned to Lankhmar when he ran low on money.

A friend of his from Quarmall, a dark-skinned young man from Klesh, named Umberto, accompanied Flossin. Umberto is also interested in plants, and he and Flossin opened a small greenhouse/flower shop in Lankhmar. Umberto is interested in seeing the strangeness of Lankhmar, but also keeps trying to marry Flossin off to one of his sisters (he has seven.)
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Epic!
Ruminations #11: the journey
After the events of the past several months, Lysa needed to get out of Lankmahr. She reached out to Captain Satleen and they came to an agreement to have Lysa join him on the Solemn Vow when he returned to Sandheenmar to perform and work on the play for the Pact of the Signet. With Lysa came Bastion now that he was too old for the orphanage and was looking for his next thing. She also didn’t trust Billy to look out for his best interests. Lysa also hired a barely-capable servant girl, Aliss, to assist her and Bastion on the trip.

During their several months in Sandheenmar, Lysa, Bastion and Aliss lived on the Satleen estate. They regularly performed for the family and local residents. They also became familiar with the Satleen Family, which included Darroch, the elderly and infirm patriarch of the family, Damien, the eldest brother that actively managed the Satleen Trading business, Bernard, the Captain of the Solemn vow, and four younger brothers that assisted with the family affairs. Lysa and Bastion also became close to the youngest brother Ernesto who, unlike the rest of the family, was a talented artist and was not involved in the trading business.

Towards the end of their stay, Lysa, Bernard, and Ernesto performed the play that they written. It was a story about the tragic death of a young woman the rippling effects of that death on the family. It was warmly received by both the family and the community.

Once it was time to return, Ernesto asked Bernard if he could join Lysa and Bastion in Lankmahr so that he could practice his art and perform the play they had written. Bernard agreed to take him. Aliss on the other hand asked Lysa if she could stay in Sandheenmar. She said that had found a new home and had nothing in Lankmahr to go back to. Lysa consented. The voyage back was uneventful.
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Epic!
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