The Freeport Chronicles

Bad Moon Rising

There's something brewing at Gregor's

Summary

  • Magus Mike is possessed and attacks Freight in his sleep
  • he is subdued, Carson’s healing touch is required
  • Gregor’s Brewery is visited, business dealings with Marcus are completed
  • the mighty man in the basement is activated, a new key is found
  • Eagel contacts the group, he is worried that Carson has been kidnapped again
  • Carson is honoured in ceremony to welcome him back to the Edict
  • Milos’ room at the Marquis Moon is investigated
  • a dispute between several orcs and a street urchin is broken up

Details

Possessed, Magus Mike awakes from his terrible dream with the urge to slaughter his companions in their sleep. He rises to his feet and stumbles over to the next bed, where Freight dozes in peaceful slumber. The magus stabs down into her chest, eliciting a terrible scream. The companions awake instantly in confusion. Anton is the first to intervene. As he attempts to engage the magus, Mike manages a second attack on the wounded cleric. Freight’s screams are cut short as she fades into unconsciousness.

Anton disarms the magus with a practiced flip of his kukri. Little deterred, Mike unleashes a shocking grasp on the halfling. Lando joins the fray, stunning the magus with a colorful spray of dust as Romica knocks the hapless elf to the floor with a powerful charge. Anton attends to the nearly dead cleric while Lando runs to the owner’s suite in hopes that his medical cabinet is well stocked. Romica ties up the dazed magus.

Lando returns with bandages and medical supplies. Anton and Romica manage to stabilize the cleric in the interim, and they treat the wound. Lando calls for Carson via the magical communication device in their room and he agrees to join them as soon as he can.

Magus Mike wakes from his magically induced slumber and, memories resurfacing, apologizes profusely for his actions. He describes the dream and possession and the companions take note for future reference. Carson arrives a short time later and heals the injured cleric. The companions thank him for his services and pay for his cab home. The magus suggests that he be tied down for the remainder of the night, and the companions concur. The group beds down again in anticipation of a busy day ahead.

The companions awake early to pay a visit to Gregor’s Brewery. Arriving a couple of hours before opening, a furtive Marcus ushers the group into the building. He glances up and down the street before quickly closing the door. It is not hard to tell that Marcus is on edge. He advises that he would like to conclude all business dealings – he has procured all of the black goat’s blood and completed the shipments as required. He confirms that the product, in solid incense form, was picked up by several people wearing robes similar to those worn by the cultists. He asks that the companions knock him out and tie him up in hopes that his employers take this as a sign that he was an innocent victim in these proceedings.

The companions think this is a good idea as they require some time to search the premises for a secret door leading to the basement. Romica gladly knocks Marcus senseless and he is bound. The companions search the area carefully and locate a hidden keyhole in one of the cauldrons. This key is fitted and a trapdoor opened. It leads into the basement and a small room of blue-gray granite. A large statue of a mighty man dominates the center of the room. The companions use their key to engage the statue – a magical energy suffuses the room, runes alighting along the floor. The statue begins to pull itself forward. A section of the wall opens to reveal a key with an open scroll motif and a note. The companions take the items and return topside.

Marcus remains unconscious. The companions decide it best to ransack the place to add credibility to Marcus’ story. Several scrolls, including an old weathered velum in dwarven script, and a cache of gold is found.

The companions leave the brewery and return to The Bard & The Bastard to investigate the items found more closely. Upon entering the tavern, they are given a note by the barkeep. It is from Captain Kel and advises that a meeting has been set up with the harbor master at 10 pm. With much work to do before the appointed time, the group returns to their room to read the note attached to the most recent key found. It provides several clues relating to the Hall of Records:

Some men write a single legacy or ledger,
and some men interpret nine memos.
Old records reveal a final pair of receptors;
one placed under ancient records in the dwarven temple,
the last buried in the text itself.

The companions also review the other scrolls found in the brewery’s laboratory. The one written in dwarven script details the ancient practice of wafting incense before battle. This pursuit was outlawed as it was found to corrupt those that took part in the ritual. While it instigated a berserker state useful for battle, it had addictive qualities that led to decreased mental acuity over time. A second scroll represents a ledger outlining Marcus’ business dealings. It notes he had produced nine batches of the black goat incense, the most recent of which was picked up this morning.

The group heads downstairs to grab a bite. Eagel is in the common room and is happy to see everyone. He is looking for Carson, seems he left in the middle of the night and has not returned. There will be a ceremony held in his honor today to welcome him back to the Edict and Eagel is worried that he may miss it. Becoming more frantic by the minute, Eagel mentions that he thinks Carson may have been kidnapped again.

Not wanting to make a scene, the companions escort Eagel to the war-room to discuss further. Eagel has had a lot on his mind and opens up. He has lived his entire life in Freeport. Recently, he has been noticing that things have changed on the periphery, shadows have formed where no shadows had been before. This feeling has been building over time and is reaching a crescendo. He doesn’t feel like he can trust anyone anymore. He hears footsteps in the night but there is no one there when he investigates. The previous night, he had felt the presence of someone in his house. He had a vision of a serpent person riffling through his belongings. But when he awoke, everything was fine, nothing was out of place. Except that Carson was gone. He has been living with Eagel since his return, it seems strange that he would just get up and leave in the middle of the night. Eagel is worried for his friend.

The companions sympathize with Eagel and advise that they will look for Carson immediately. This calms the page, who decides to spill more. The Edict has opened an official investigation into Milos and his conduct. His personal records have been confiscated. Eagel had access to some of his files and found out that Milos was living a double life. His alter ego, Felius Phelps, had set up a base of operations in a bar on the other side of town. Eagel provides the address of a tavern called Marquis Moon and wishes the group luck in their search for Carson.

Thinking Eagel’s conduct out of character, the companions decide to trail the page back to the Sword of the Edict’s headquarters. Once inside, Eagel is quickly lost in the labyrinth of the interior. Chanting can be heard in the distance. The companions follow the sound and enter a large courtroom. There are many people in full regalia taking part in a ceremony, it seems as if the entire Edict is present. Thuron leads the festivities, and Carson is next to him on the platform seated between other officials. Eagel is no where to be seen.

Not wanting to disrupt the ceremony, Lando messages Carson by magical means to ask whether he has seen Eagel. Carson has not and cuts the conversation short as he is about to be honored. The companions don their Edict cloaks and take in the festivities. Everything goes as planned and Carson is welcomed back to the order. After the ceremony, the group congratulates Carson and advise him that they are concerned about Eagel. Carson will keep an eye out for him.

The companions take a cab to the old city to check out the Marquis Moon, the tavern that Eagel had mentioned. The barkeep is bribed and key to Milos’ room procured. The quarters are small but immaculately kept. The room contains many bookcases filled with books and scrolls. There is little furniture besides a writing stand. Trace magic can be sensed, but nothing magical is found in the quarters. Investigating the bookcases, the scholarly tomes are primarily focused on architecture, masonry and construction.

As they search the room, Romica hears a commotion outside and decides to investigate. He and Anton go to the window and see a group of orcs crowded around a street urchin. The poor lad grips a satchel fiercely as he is shoved around by the orcs. Anton opens the window and shouts down to the orcs to leave him be. The orcs lazily glance up at the window and then return to pester the street urchin, attempting to take his satchel.

Anton and Romica launch themselves from the window into the midst of the orcs. Anton lands acrobatically and engages the orcs in a melee attack. Romica falls down hard on his ankle. Noticing that several of their colleagues have left, Magus Mike and Freight follow shortly thereafter out the window. Lando, engrossed in several books, doesn’t notice the commotion.

The companions quickly turn the tables on the orcs, who decide it best to retreat back to the Blood Salt. During the melee, however, Romica accidentally slashes Freight, knocking the cleric unconscious. While the companions tend to Freight, the youngster pickpockets the Magus and escapes into an alley. Lando attempts to induce a magical slumber on the youth but fails. The companions follow the urchin while Lando administers to the cleric, who has stabilized in the interim. The chase takes Anton, Romica and Magus Mike in the general direction of the abandoned house that leads to the cultists’ temple.

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