Episode Four - Otheshayr Island Casino
Episode 4: Otheshayr Island Casino (Level 4)
Vash returns the last of the three meteors to the university, heading for the museum level on the fourth floor. There, he meets Anducaid Ylcuroth, a respected associate professor from Menachem university. Anducaid is an expert on astronomy, somewhat of a mysterious figure, and has a strong rivalry with Professor Jennish and Tobias. As the two introduce themselves, they are startled by a ear-shattering ripping noise. A jagged hole in space tears open, and gallons of seawater pour through under high pressure. An aquatic dragon with reeking black scales slithers through the gap, rearing its vile head to attack the two men with acid and horrible teeth. Also spilling through in the icy deluge are dozens of mutated deep-water crustaceans, some bigger than a horse. The university guards flee in terror, locking the doors to the entire section, and calling desperately for help. Vash and Anducaid are trapped in the research labs, monsters tearing into them, with the water rising faster than it can spill out of the windows and doors. Athelsheth and Lyda are on the floor below, researching, when they hear what is going on. They run for the nearby docks to get Ichtaca and Tobias, but only end up joining the end of another desperate battle. After a brief break to patch up their wounds and get them back on their feet, the four rush back to the university to help. They have to batter their way in, and push through gouts of water to reach their companions. The dragon is a deadly opponent, and the crab-things grab the men with rending strength, seeking to tear them in different directions. Ichtaca rages, spinning his huge axe wildly into tough carapaces, and splattering himself over and over again in the acidic blood of the dragon. Anducaid lances into his foes with searing starlight. Tobias shatters minds and tears bodies with his psionic energy. Vash stays close to the dragon, battering it with his great maul. Lyda and Athelsheth climb up on crates and provide backup and healing. Finally, the defenders prevail, Vash managing to sever the dragon’s head. During the battle, Tobias sees the reflection of a man who’s body is invisible to the naked eye. He doesn’t recognize him, but it is the ghostly man called Mathis, whom Vash encountered in the woods. Mathis tries to steal the meteors, but cannot pick them up. He seems surprised and frustrated, and leaves silently before Tobias can break free of the dragon to learn more. No one else sees him.
As Tobias, Anducaid and Jennish work to close the rift in space, Ichtaca reaches out curiously to touch it. He is sucked through, and finds himself in crushing dark water, deep under the ocean. He catches a glimpse of some huge, tentacled thing before he is sucked back through the rift and fired like a shot across the room to collide with Anducaid. Despite this setback, the arcanists manage to close the rift, preventing further property damage to the valuable library.
As before, the city guards have not appeared, and the group leaves immediately towards city hall, hoping to learn why. The building is under attack, with dozens of dead guardsmen scattered over the floors. Fell motes float over the dead, feeding on their life energies. Magistrate Caral Viln is there, helping a the assistant guard captain and a few guards protect the wounded in a barricaded office. The guard captain has locked the building from the inside to contain the threat, and charged downstairs with a few men to protect the prisoners from certain death.
The heroes rush into the dungeon, where they quickly dispatch the vile aberrations assaulting the guard captain. His men, and several prisoners, lie dead. Magistrate Viln comes down to assist with healing the wounded, explaining that he was just paying his fine and about to leave when the attack began. He stayed to do his civic duty. Tobias, however, examines the energy traces left from the portal that opened here. Realizing it was divine in nature, he confronts Viln, accusing him of intentionally summoning these creatures. Viln protests, claiming that he cannot control the true glory of his god, who has chosen him, speaks to him alone. Tobias tries to undo the damage of mentally impersonating Daemoth in Viln’s mind before, by speaking a second time in his mind to silence him. It backfires, only reinforcing Viln’s idea that he is some kind of chosen prophet, destined to be the next Chorrom of the Etholchan church. Vash, Tobias, and Anducaid try to convince the guard captain to arrest Viln, but he refuses. He is a worshipper in Viln’s flock, and can only see that the man is worthy of reverence, capable of miraculous healing, and a powerful influence for order in the community. He refuses Vash’s offer of tending his wounds, and seeks the magic of his priest. Disgusted, and certain that the honorable captain is somehow being duped by Viln, the group leave. It is just after midnight, and they race to the docks, hoping to intercept the mystery shipment being delivered there tonight before either mob family does.
They arrive at the Gumayr-controlled eastern docks, where Ichtaca approaches Iath, the Gumayr dock enforcer, alone. Iath is grimly watching as a few of his men clean up the gory remnants of the battle here. Vash conceals himself and Anducaid nearby in a cloud of shadow, and Tobias and Lyda stroll casually along the boardwalks, seemingly a distracted young couple on a walk. Iath notices something suspicious about Tobias, and starts towards them, but Lyda pulls Tobias aganst a crate and kisses him thoroughly, making their bluff more believable. Satisfied that they are harmless kids, the burly man turns back to Ichtaca, who presents him with the severed head of Kraydith Bouchaylen. Impressed, the enforcer inducts Ichtaca into the Gumayr family, giving him a token, some valuables, and a roll of money. He also tells him his way will be payed at the Whitestone Brothel and Inn, and that he should wait there for instructions on his next “hit”. Ichtaca asks about the shipment, and Iath angrily informs him that it never reached the docks, intercepted out in the lake and purchased there by the rival family. Iath believes the shipment went directly to the Souliaydach-owned casino on Otheshayr Island.
Tired but determined, the five run to the eastern docks, where they pay for passage over to the Casino, two hours ferry ride out into the lake. The casino is delightfully distracting, and it is difficult for the heroes to stay on target in seeking information about a possible secret base and mysterious salvage from a shipwreck. Anducaid loses a depressing amount of gold at the card tables, but catches the eye of Lady Maralash Loithayr, the restless young wife of an aged and powerful noble. The lady is alone for the evening, and Anducaid suavely impresses her with his intelligence and charm, sweeping her off of her feet and seducing her. When he leaves her chambers shortly thereafter, she gives him a generous token of her affection, begging him to renew their tryst back in town. Vash wanders the casino with careful indifference, seeking some sign of secret rooms or tunnels. After some time, he finds himself in a long hallway behind the main offices. He sneaks past several indolent guards, picks several locks, and finds himself not in some secret headquarters, but rather the counting room and vaults of the Casino. The stored wealth of the Souliaydach family’s multiple businesses beckon him, seemingly under very poor guard. Brashly, the drow fills his pouches with priceless gemstones, acquiring in moments a king’s fortune. He carefully sneaks back out into the casino again, masking his excitement masterfully.
Tobias, with Lyda on his arm, approaches the mayor at a roulette table. Mayor Shemosh Shollach is wooing a wealthy widow, the much older Lady Pollathe Vidlahn. Recalling rumors that Mayor Shollach harbors aspirations of nobility, Tobias smoothy insinuates himself into their conversation. Lady Pollathe is delighted by the engaging young couple, and before long, the pair are invited to take a private meal with her and the mayor upstairs in her suite. Tobias continues to impress the mayor with his university standing and knowledge, but is dismayed when his progress has unintended results. The mayor is a high ranking member of the Souliaydach Mafia family, and sees in Tobias a promising recruit. He sends the young human downstairs to meet with an enforcer, Jethashae Moul, who promptly offers Tobias a “test” of his abilities and discretion. An annoying member of the opposing mob is nosing about the casino, up to no good. Tobias is to “deal with him”, using an “appropriate” level of force. His target is Ichtaca.
Ichtaca, meanwhile, hasn’t lost sight of their true goal here. After chatting with several gamblers in the lower-class section of the casino, he heads out to the loading docks and watches stealthily for any signs of skulduggery. He overhears a conversation, the disgruntled workers complaining that most of the labor force has been diverted to “the cave-front docks” to handle some shipment of special urgency. Tobias and Lyda pull him aside, and, careful to appear that they aren’t together, the trio head back through the casino proper, intercepting a depressed-looking Anducaid and a smug-looking Vash. They head outside, hiding in a wooded area nearby. A daring plan is concocted on the spot. Lyda carefully cuts a wound into Ichtaca’s belly, using her medical training to make it look far worse than it is. Then, Vash uses his innate fey magic to cast an illusion over the barbarian, making the wound seem like a gut-spilling slash, giving his skin the pale cast of death, and creating a strong odor of blood and offal. Ichtaca plays dead, and Tobias goes in to claim the results, aided by a drunken “witness” to the supposed struggle, one Anducaid, valuable customer who’s life Tobias just “saved.” Tobias completes the lie with strong psionic insinuations, and their performance is perfect. The Souliaydach family gains a new “hitter”, and Tobias is rewarded with a roll of money, a token, and several valuable items. Moul promises to take his new charge on a tour of the island the next day, including the secret facilities the party very much wants to search.
Trouble at the University Combat Encounter: 1675 xp
Trouble at the City Hall Combat Encounter: 700 xp
Guards and Civilians saved: 100 xp
Avoiding Combat with Caral Viln: 100 xp
Island Casino Skill Challenge: 875 xp
Finding in-character reasons for Anducaid to join the party: 100 xp
Ichtaca joining the Gumayr Mafia Family: 100 xp
Tobias joining the Souiaydach Mafia Family: 100 xp
Vash stealing a fortune worth of gems from the casino vault: 100 xp
Anducaid seducing Lady Loitheyr: 100 xp
Staying in-character: 100 xp
Roleplay within the party: 100 xp
Roleplay with Caral Viln and the guard captain: 100 xp
Role-play with other NPC’s: 100 xp
Total xp: 4,350, divided by 4 players, is 1,088 each. You were at 4680 cumulative, but are now at 5,768 each. Welcome to level 5!
Vash stole from the casino vault: 20 lbs of mixed gems, worth 5 million gp, and also stole a magical amulet, a lucky charm +1.
Anducaid gained the favor of a powerful noble, and can expect story-based rewards from that connection. She also gave him a token of her regard, a circlet of second chances.
Ictaca received a roll of 500 gp worth of Chayrshellech paper money, a Badge of the Berserker +2 (neck slot), and L6 gorilla gloves.
Tobias received a roll of 500 gp worth of Chayrshellech paper money, an L9 dynamic belt, L5 resplendent gloves, as well as a sturdy pair of fine boots, non-magical. All three match, the previous property of a mage who recently “met an unfortunate end” creepy mafia chuckle chuckle.