KORVAN Chronicles (Campaign 2) #2

Year 5 A.M. (After Melphor)

KORVAN Chronicles (Campaign #2 – Session #2 – 02/19/2017):

Character Name – Class – Player:
1. MALCOLM TIMOTHY LEERY – Alchemist – Aaron
2. CORWIN KOCH-WESER – Rogue – Brian
3. HAZEL GRIMSBANE – Witch – Matt

1. The Candle Man: Mysterious Employer
2. Taalesh Visser: Dark Elf Vampire
3. Ryan Roseville: Kargal Baker
4. Jenny, Sarah, Millie and Mimi Roseville: Baker’s Daughters
5. Clifford Norton: Baker Assistant
6. Jonathan Sable: Black Hound Tavern Owner
7. Rachel Honeyspot: Black Hound Tavern Barmaid

1. None: N/A


SIGBARD: Investigate Kishna and locate Martin Stein, but is unable to find him. Kailune Diamond Mine; find nothing of further value so they fill up the mine. There was a small baby Spider creature that they had to dispatch before closing the mine. A carcass of the mother spider construct was located with her belly erupted from the inside out…what transpired is unknown.

MORDAIN: Investigate the Cold front, but is unable to find out. His wife Salamis investigates as well and discovers that Frost Giant are the cause and that they are moving to exterminate anyone in their way. They have a God of Evil with an unpronouncable name, and their aim is to bring a new Ice Age to Korvan. The Serpents have a way of dealing with the cold, namely a magical items/tattoos that protect them. Salamis reveals her suspicion that Dorn is immune to the cold, and that there may be other Serpents in their Society that are the same as Dorn.

ROARK: He is heading to Kargal to be the honored guest for the Monument of Battle Festival. Celebrating his victory five years ago. The Monument will be unveiled when he arrives along with a huge Festival. As well as solidifying ties with the City of Kargal and spreading the Word of Bliss. He is also to pick up two Relics. The first being special fabrics from the Orc Lands (Vorshak), while the other object is the Goblet of Torag. He wishes to bring into Bliss’ fold any Torag Followers that still occupy Korvan.

The Candle Man places the Black Spot upon each persons right palm. The new recruits notice that three new lighted candles appear upon the creatures back. “You are’hhheeeeee now MINE’hhhheee!”

“Oh come on “Candy”!” someone announces in a high pitched voice. Suddenly, a bright green light flies off the Candle Man’s back and lands on the table. The light dies down to reveal a winged six inch tall female humanoid. She declares, “Hi, I’m Violet! Don’t mind Candy…he’s grouchy after being asleep for five thousand years. Plus he’s got a chip on his shoulder.” The Candle Man cringes at the winged Fey’s voice. Shadows begin to rise and grow darker as the Candle Man attempts to scare the new recruits. Corwin and Malcolm feel this despair creep into their being, but Hazel is unaffected. The Candle Man disappears into the shadows. “So, you are the new recruits…Great…Great!”, sniffing each recruit.

“Here’s how it works guys, Candy will give you a mission through Jonathan…and I’ll help a bit as well”, she smiles. “Poor Candy…he was cursed by Ob, the Creator to do this for the rest of his unnatural life. Candy did this thing call genocide, and was cursed to stay in this City and help it when it is threatened. Now that this “Lizard problem” is here…he’s been reawakened.” Violet also informs the recruits that the Candle Man can not act on his own, he must use agents to do the work. It’s his punishment for his crime eons ago. She then disappears into the darkness.

The darkness dissipates and the recruits are left alone for a moment. Sable pops back up and says, “Ummm….sorry I dozed of back there. So! You are all hired!”. “We should celebrate with a celebratory drink…right?!?”, announces Hazel. Sable agrees and gives him Grog Ale (named “Pond Scum”), which Hazel likes immediately. Corwin convinces Hazel to drink the whole cask of “Pond Scum” Grog. Hazel proceeds to drink…and drink…until he vomits into Malcolm’s mouth. Malcolm resists the urge to vomit. Hazel continues to drink and vomits a second time. This time into Sable’s mouth, who vomits back into Hazel’s mouth. Which starts another chain reaction of Hazel vomiting at Sable, who manages barely to sidestep the alcohol/ bile-guzzled jet coming at him. Unable to stop Hazel continues to drink his last Grog and vomit filled mugs. Seconds later he jettisons a large stream of vomit at everyone. Corwin receives a large portion of the vomit in his mouth. The bile also burns his eyes and cheeks. Hazel is unable to see due to the vomit in his face. Corwin takes him outside and throw him into a horses’ watering trough. He washes off most of the vomit chunks that are clinging to him. Corwin pretends to help out, all the while stealing the gold goblet from Hazel’s bag. They re-enter the tavern. Sable hands Hazel a mop and water bucket to clean up his “mess”. It takes him almost two hours to clean up, while his new “friends” laugh at him. Sable tells them to return to the tavern at nine in the morning. They three recruits split up and head home.

Malcolm returns to the Bliss Inn, where he is immediately instructed by Astro to “Take a HOT bath!!!”. Astro then proceeds to burn Malcolm’s clothes and hands him a Bliss follower Golden tunic and pants to wear. Astro also offers an Herbal package for another 4 gold pieces, which Malcolm agrees to.

Corwin returns to the Market District. His roommate, Darma Biggins is there when he enters. She is a merchant of worms and leeches for healing purposes. Corwin showers and Darma joins him. Afterwards Darma confides to him that she does healing side work for the Blackbriar Guild.

Hazel returns to his sister in the same smelly condition and passes out on his bed. In the morning he awakens and makes his way to the dock’s communal baths. Unfortunately, for Hazel the baths retained the fishy barnacle odor, which only adds to his already putrid aroma. He estimates to it will take five days for the “perfume” to dissipate. All of the sailors at the docks keep away from Hazel. All save for a short gnarled bearded sailor by the name of “Grimey”. Grimey sells Hazel a leather pouch containing “bath salts”. Returning to the bath house he finds a tub to soak in with the bath salts. The salt crystals fizz as they hit the baths water surface. Hazel dunks himself into the bath, in hopes of clearing out his stench. It feels so good to Hazel, plus he can tell that his scent has faded a bit. But as he is enjoying his small victory, he notices that the salts have turned his skin lime green!!! “GRIMEEEEY!!!….YOU BASTARRRRRD!!!!”, screams Hazel. Still in the bath, he digs through his bag for the goblet he stole from the Black Hound Tavern. He inspects the gleaming item and decides to put some of the baths water in the goblet. The water disappears and crystals begin to grow within the goblet. After a few minutes a gem is left within. A smile spreads across Hazel’s face, he is RICH!!! But within minutes his eyes blur and the goblet disappears out of his hands. He looks to his bag, it lies untouched and un-opend. Hazel realizes to his dismay, that the bath salts caused him to have a hallucination. He lies in the bath a broken man. After ten more minutes he gets out and returns to the Black Hound Tavern.

All three return to the tavern at nine in the morning. Sable directs them to follow him into the back room, while Honeyspot takes care of the bar. “You’ll instructed to go the the Black Hound Hideout, outside the city to the east. There you will meet “Taalesh Visser”. He will be your contact and further instructions.” explains Sable.

As the team head out they pass the covered Monument of Battle. Several elite city guards are watching over the slaves putting the finishing touches upon the structure. In front of the building is a large rectangular man-made lake.

The hideout is located in a swamp area outside the city. There are ice crystals clinging to the vegetation, the cold air is ushering the numbness of Winter. Entering the abandoned three-story building, the entrance area looks to be untouched. Hazel uses his Light Spell to illuminate his right forefinger. While dusk-skinned Corwin just brushes by Hazel and enters the hallway darkness without a care. “It’s ok, there are no traps here!”, declares Corwin. Unfortunately, for Corwin he was unable to detect the thin cord which triggers the wall trap. He narrowly flings his body forward as two large feet-level blocks slam into each other. Both Hazel and Malcolm snicker at him. “Ok, it’s safe now!” announces Hazel with a smile and passes Corwin lying on the floor.

Corwin springs back up and moves ahead once again triggering (CRIT FAILPERCEPTION) a foot plate trap. The floor dips at a 45 degree angle and Corwin slides down towards ten inch steel spikes. Corwin pulls out his grappling hook and shoots it behind him, narrowly missing Hazel’s face as the hook sinks into the hallway ceiling. The rope goes taut and Corwin stops three inches away from the blood-stained spikes. Hazel and Malcolm assist Corwin back up the slide. Corwin stands back up and notices (CRITPERCEPTION) that there is a dark-skinned individual clinging to the ceiling with red eyes and enlarged canines. “Hello lads, you must be the new recruits!”, declares the stranger. Corwin has heard tales of creatures that speak of blood suckers that haunt the darkness. Coupled with the fact that this creature is an Elf, makes it truly Evil!

“We are Taalesh!”, announces the Vampire with a broad wicked smile. He is clad in red-stained plate armor with two swords at his side. Upon his belt lie several animal and humanoid skulls in miniature. Malcolm and Corwin spot a faint blue-green glow to these skulls. “So, shall we go downstairs?…Follow me!”. He proceeds to push a wall panel inward, reengaging the floor trap. At the end of the hallway is a door which springs open to reveal stairs leading downward. Taalesh leads the way. Torches begin to light with a blue flame as the group spirals down. Arriving a large stone door with glyphs carved into the frame. Malcolm recognizes that this is a magical portal. Taalesh proceeds to walk through the “door”. Which turns out to be an illusion. The others follow Taalesh into the unknown.

Malcolm feels a bit sick upon his arrival through the portal, while his compatriots are unaffected. The portal drops them off in a torch lit 40’ by 40’ room. The room is very well furnished. There is a coffin in the far corner. Taalesh says, “We have a mission that needs to be completed. Are you ready, or do you need to get provisions?”. “What’s the mission first.”, Malcolm inquires.

Taalesh takes out a scroll with an illustration of a middle aged man. “We need to find this individual, he is a follower of the Serpent Kingdom. He’s a low level minion of the sect. He is to be transported to another location, which is located a hour away from his home. You must make sure no one notices you or his brief absence. Otherwise the mission will be a failure. His name is Ryan Roseville, human, widower, a father of four young children (four, six, eight and ten years of age). A Baker by trade in the Merchant District. He provides goods exclusively to the Merchants. Find out Roseville’s routine, people he is familiar with, his weaknesses, etc.”.

Corwin reveals that he knows of this man. Because, Corwin and his father are Bakers as well. One bit of inside information Corwin provides is the fact that Roseville gets his wheat imported from Bladecrest. Every Monday morning at four, Roseville and an assistant (Clifford Norton) go to the docks to pick up the wheat.

Taalesh explains, “You have two days to abduct him and get him to the location.”. Hazel suggests that it would be a good plan to contaminate Roseville’s dough, in order to have him go to Corwin’s Bakery for a substitute. They all agree it’s a good start to their plan. “Off you go then! We look forward to the completion of your first mission as the Candle Man’s “Hounds”!”.

They all return through the portal and exit the abandoned house. The group decides to do some reconnaissance before they solidify the plan. The Hounds decide to go to Roseville’s Bakery for information about his children and assistant.

Side Note: The bazaar (from noon to six) has no premium to the costs of the items, while buying from the merchants directly does. The Bliss celebration day is scheduled for this Saturday.

Hazel purchases a weekly pass for the Merchant District. Hazel decides to loiter around the rear door of the Bakery, while Corwin scopes out Roseville’s stall in the bazaar. Malcolm enters the bakery for more information regarding Roseville’s children.

Malcolm enters the establishment, Clifford welcomes him. “Welcome Sir. Please excuse me one moment…I will be right back”. Clifford takes out the trash.

Clifford bumps into Hazel when he’s taking out the trash. “Get out of here you bum”, as Clifford covers his nose due to the rank smell Hazel exudes. “I haven’t eaten in days…take pity on my good Sir!”. Clifford tosses him two copper pieces and ushers Hazel away. Upon leaving Hazel hears children arguing. Form the argument he discovers three of the four names of the children; Jenny, Sarah and Millie.

Malcolm hears the commotion in the back of the store. As he turns around he’s startled to see a two year old girl standing in front of him with a burnt and mangled up teddy bear with sharp teeth. “Want to hug my bear, Mister?”, as she holds out the monstrosity. “No…no…that’s quite all right little girl. What happened to him?.” “Oh he was in the oven….it was an acccccident.”, as she gives him an uncomfortable smile. Malcolm is completely convinced (CRIT FAILSUBTERFUGE).

Clifford returns, “I’m sorry Sir…I had to deal with a vagrant…there are so many of them in the city, and the soldiers do nothing…nothing at all! The Master will be home later in case you want to discuss any custom baked goods.”. “We are preparing traditional and new baked goods for the celebration this weekend. We have appropriated recipes from the Bliss Church Coordinator…Cord is his name. The desert is called “Jabliss”; as sweet reddish swirled fried dough…It signifies the Red Dragon that Roark dispatched; by eating it you are vanquishing the beast as well…it will be a GREAT addition to our line of baked goods!” “Unfortunately, we do not have any available, since they are to be unveiled at the Monument on Saturday. House Kargal has spared no expense to make this Celebration an unforgettable one! And to have the Great Roark here is just icing on the cake!”. Malcolm asks, “Do you by chance have any of the Bliss buns with cream?”. “Yes, I do have the “Milk Mountains”! That will be one silver, Sir.”. “You’re supposed to cram it in your mouth to have the full experience!”.

“Oh, and our city’s specialty dishes will be on sale as well. Namely, braised goose, goose feet with noodles…which are delectable! Stir fired pork with green beans and crispy pork skins. Goose and pork…we are famous for it!”. “This celebration will build bonds with every followers of Bliss!”.

Hazel relocates to across the street from the shop. Malcolm exists with cream puff smears on his mouth and heads down the street away from Hazel’s location. Hazel attempts sneaks off into an alleyway, but two individuals notice him and yell at him; due to the fact that his “perfume” is hurting their noses. They begin to follow him. Hazel sprints away and eludes them. On one of the Notice Boards, Hazel notices that there’s an announcement for “Giant Beetle Racing!”; new to Kargal, due to the popular Bird Rider Races in Lathotep. Races will begin in one week.

Corwin makes his way through an alleyway and is stopped by a beggar with a broken makeshift crown and scepter. “Bow down in front of the “KING OF KARGAL!”, he screams. A look of total insanity on his face. Several people bow and hurry past the crazy beggar. Corwin and the King face off alone in the alleyway. “I am Prince Michael…let me anoint you!”, as he presses his soot-covered finger towards Corwin’s brow. Corwin pulls (CRITINITIATIVE) Michael toward him and tries to knock him out with the pommel of his dagger. “Owww…what are you doing?!?”. Michael, raises his scepter to strikes Corwin on the forehead. “DIE PEASANT!!!”. Corwin’s snake slides out of his sleeve and spits it’s venom into Michael’s eyes (CRIT). “It BURRRRNNNNS….BUUuurnnnsss…AHHHhhhh….I know who you are…I’ll tell the guards!!!”. Corwin stabs him in the guts with his dagger. Michael spits out some blood and begins to fall to the ground. Corwin guides the “Prince” towards the ground and arranges his lifeless body as if Michael was taking a nap. Searching the body, Corwin discovers a black bun in one of the beggars’ sack. Placing the crown and scepter back on Michael, Corwin skulks away with blooded hands and a firm smile on his face.

The Hounds manage to meet up and head to the Bazaar, where Roseville is selling his baked goods. Unfortunately, for Roseville (and Corwin’s Father), sales and traffic have been very slow. Probably, due to the forthcoming Bliss Celebration.

Before Roseville returns, the Hounds decide to head back to the store and initiate their plans of contaminating the dough batches. Corwin will help Hazel infiltrate the back door, while Malcolm will gather Bliss followers in front of the store and praise the Bakers “Bliss’ Milk Mountains” confections that they have for sale. All the while providing further distractions for Hazel to infiltrate the store and infect the batches.

Five Bliss followers and Malcolm begin to sing and dance, gathering a crowd of merchants and customers. Roseville’s daughters come out to enjoy the dancing as well. The smallest and creepiest of Roseville’s daughters stares directly at Malcolm. He gets the felling that there’s more to this “little girl” with the creepy teddy bear.

Corwin and Hazel enter the rear and make their way to the batches. Hazel casts his Putrefaction Hex and rubs his stench just for added effect. Molds grow quickly and destroy the dough. Corwin searches the area and discovers a loose floorboard that contains a stash of four hundred gold pieces. The two Hounds exit the store room quickly, closing the door silently behind them.

Malcolm ushers the followers down the street and winds down the dancing and singing. The followers praise Bliss and depart the scene. All the while, the creepy girl watching Malcolm’s departure. “Mimi…get in here!”, cries one of the other daughters.

Moments later the Hounds and all the individuals on the street hear, “Oh No!!! The batch!!!”. As Clifford exits the store and runs directly for the bazaar. Corwin trips (CRITINITIATIVE) Clifford, who slams into the cobble stones. Clifford breaks his nose. Corwin picks him up and proceeds to stealthily search his pockets. Corwin manages to swipe three items from Clifford; A pipe, a bag with four gold pieces and a small knife. Clifford runs on to the bazaar with utmost haste.

The Hounds follow, and observe Clifford informing Roseville of the calamity that has befallen the business. Roseville rushes to Corwin’s Father’s (Peter) stall and pleads with him to save him. Corwin arrives at his Father’s stall. “What’s going on Dad?”. “Oh, hello Son…Ryan’s batch of dough has been infected and he wants to buy some from us.”. Corwin takes his Dad aside and informs him that this is a great opportunity for them to crush their business rival. “Oh Son, you are too harsh, but I do agree with you that he should pay for this.”.

“I’ll pay you one hundred gold pieces!”, announces Roseville. “You have a deal Ryan!”, says Peter. Roseville rushes back to his store, thirty minutes later he returns with a sullen look upon his face. “It’s gone….my money is gone…the floor board was…open?!? I’m at a loss….”. “I can’t help you then Ryan.”, says Peter.

Side Note: Vile Points: Corwin (1) (*Vile: An affinity to other Vile individuals)

Corwin takes Ryan aside and tells him, “I know someone who can help you…he’s an hour away from the City…and I know he can help you out.”. “I’ll do it!!!”, exclaims Roseville. Ryan instructs Clifford to take care of the kids while he is away.

Corwin takes Ryan to the abandoned mine location. Malcolm and Hazel are waiting for him there. “Who are these people…are they the people that will help me?!?”. Hazel approaches Roseville and with malice and stench pushes him into the mine entrance. Corwin grabs his arm and takes him down. But, Roseville resists and tries to break free and run away. Malcolm kicks sand into Ryan’s face, causing him to become momentarily blind. Hazel attempts to pin Ryan to the ground and says, “The more you struggle the worse it will be for you!”. But, Roseville manages to sidestep Hazel and attempts to make his way out of the mine. “Your daughters will die if you leave!”, announces Hazel. Ryan turns and swings wildly at Hazel. He connects (CRIT) with Hazel’s jaw, and knocks him out cold.

Malcolm moves in and knocks out Roseville with the flat of his drawn blade. Roseville goes down and the Hounds tie him up with rope. Corwin steals Roseville’s bag of three silver pieces. They awaken Hazel and proceed to drag the body down into the mine. Someone has left signs that say, “This way”.

They arrive at a round room with a chalk-lined pentagram within a circle, along with arcane symbols throughout. An tall man has his back to the Hounds as they enter there domed area. The man turns and says, “You are early…well done! Put him into the circle. And be sure not to break the chalk lines!”. The Hounds place him securely into the pentagram. The individual is very pale and tall with taut muscles and pale blue eyes. He proceeds to wave his hands creating glowing sigils in the air. Hazel realizes that the symbols and incantations are of an Abyssal nature.

Ryan’s body is stripped naked and his body begins to rise into the air as dark ruby mists begin to coalesce at Roseville’s belly button. The mists swirls and then enters his belly button. The body writhes in pain and is then lowered back down. The new “Roseville’s” opens his eyes. Blood red veins appear on his skin and the whites of his eyes. Only to disappear seconds later. “You can take him back now”, announces the white skinned “man”.

“Ahhhh….well this feels different…no, not home…must be Korvan Prime, eh! My Master…Master Sigbard thanks you! He’s such a “kind” person!”, Roseville says with a wry smile. “Where do I go now?”. Suddenly, through the walls appears Mimi, Roseville’s creepy daughter. She takes Roseville’s hand and walks him out of the mine in silence.

The Hounds depart as well, Corwin looks back to see the pale man and the pentagram disappear without any trace of being there. At the Black Hound Tavern, they arrive at seven at night. Along the way they do see Roseville and daughter walking hand in hand.

The tavern is very busy, Sable slyly points them to the back room. The patrons all seem repulsed as Hazel walk by them. Hazel spots Grimey drinking and laughing in the corner. Hazel makes his way to Grimey and embraces him and says, “Lets have bygone be bygones, Grimey, eh!”. Hazel buys him a cask of Pond Scum. Grimey takes Hazel generous offer and begins to drink. “Lads, come and drink with me! I’ve bought you this cask!”. The sailors gather and begin to chant Grimey’s name in appreciation of his generosity.

Taalesh is waiting for the Hounds in the back room. “So, how did it go?”. “Better than I thought it would”, answers Hazel. “Our client is happy?”. “Yes, he was.”, answers Corwin. “Great I should receive payment shortly, then.”. “How about getting a bonus then?”, mentions Hazel. Taalesh slaps him and answers, “While I commend your greediness…you must also know your place. Let that be a lesson to you all.”. Taalesh asks them if they would like another task. Suddenly, Sable enters and yells at Taalesh, “Who are you?”. Tallesh backhands Sable and knocks him out and proceeds to suck his blood. “Ahhh….that’s better.”. He wipes the would and heals Sable’s neck wound.

“Taalesh, what’s the next job?”, asks Corwin without any concern for Sable’s limp body upon the floor. “Well, we have heard rumors that there will be an assassination attempt on one of Bliss’ followers. And the client wants us to safe guard this person so they can move up in rank.”.

“But I do have something personal you can do for me Corwin. I need you to deliver an item to Algernon. Meeting “him” will be a nice surprise for you all. And you’ll get to know the City…namely, they previous City that lies underneath. Farsil or Kargal as it is known now was built upon an older one that has a myriad underground pathways to other cities. But I’m sure Algernon will fill you in.”. He hands them a wrapped brown paper package with the name “Algernon” upon it.

Malcolm prepares a potion to heal Hazel of the wounds he suffered previously. But, unfortunately he mixes (CRIT FAIL) the correct root and poisons Hazel. Hazel manages to vomit (CRITFORTITUDE) the whole contents of the potion without dying. “What are you trying to do!!!!???!!!…KILL ME!!!”, yells Hazel. Taalesh hands him a green liquid glass vile with a white squishy worm in it. “Drink!”. Hazel feels much better after taking a swig of the solution. Malcolm remains silent, knowing that he almost killed his associate. Taalesh proceeds to push a small wall panel which releases a small two foot square at the base of the far wall. “The way is through that…have fun my friends! And stray from the path on this map.”.

The Hounds crawl into the opening and disappear into the darkness of the underground sewers. The stones of the sewers seem to be several hundreds of years old, and some seem older than that. They approach a gate in the shape of a demons mouth. Entering torches light their way. Rats appear everywhere along the way, they seem to be watching the Hounds. Following the map they make their way to Algernon’s location. Some sections of the darkness, Corwin is unable to penetrate. At a dead end of a hallway, tiny red lights appear rapidly. Suddenly the “wall” falls apart in a wave of hundreds of rats of various sizes scurry away. In the center of this mass appears a small floppy eared brown-white mouse with a long thin hairy tail. It smells the air with it’s triangular snout and long whiskers. The rats begin to “build” a podium for this small timid-looking mouse. “Welcome…welcome to my Realm…I am Algernon…do you have a gift for me?”. Corwin hands over the package. Algernon wave his front right feet and the package levitates and unpacks in front of him. A jewel encrusted cherrywood flute with a rodent motif is revealed. “Very good…very good, anther item for my collection…and who might you be?”. The Hounds introduce themselves to the tiny being. “Hmmmm…it is a pleasure to meet you all…by the way I can help your smell problem”, Algernon points at Hazel. “But you will owe me…”. “Ok.”, agrees Hazel. “All of you come with me.”, Algernon motions as he floats further into the sewers. They arrive in a vast cavern that has a miniature castle in the center. To the side of the castle lies a swirling glowing pool. Algernon enters and walks out the the highest balcony in the castle. Small miniature bottles float to the visitors. “Do drink…this is my won vintage…it’s the best in the land…go on…go on!”, announces small soft-spoken mouse. The hounds each toast to Algernon’s friendship. The liqueur drink is very sweet and pleasant. Malcolm surmises that he could sell this for a lot of money. It has a very unique taste. “This is very good…very good indeed. I’ve tasted various drink from the City, but nothing compares to your liqueur!”, exclaims Malcolm. “Oh brilliant…I do try…It’s made from the mold spores that reside in our gardens. I would show you the gardens, but your feet would damage the environment. But I digress…foul smelling one…approach. Through that doorway to the left is a pool, you may bath in it and it will remove your stench…and it will heal you.”. Hazel enters a cavern with glowing silk worms hanging on to the ceiling of the cavern. Sporadically, the worms fall into the pool and dissolve. Submerging himself, Hazel feels refreshed, healed, an no longer green. Emerging from the cavern Hazel’s associates no longer smell him from afar. Hazel tells his compatriots that there are tunnels that link several cities together. Malcolm surmises (CRITKNOWLEDGE MAGIC) that Algernon is a supernatural being of immense power and influence. “Be sure to keep your reptile companions on a leash in my Realm…my “friends” may eat them by mistake.”, warns Algernon. Behind him are rodents of various sizes with very sharp teeth.

“Algernon, do you have anything that is for sale?”, asks Corwin. “Oh, I never sell anything…but I do trade for a favor. Just as your Witch friend now owes me.”, answers Algernon. “Do thank the Vampire…he does provide me with such nice gifts…and I do enjoy gifts for my kingdom. Shall we play a game? It’s hand and seek….You hide….and we seeeeeeeek!”, Algernon says with a wide smile and several twitches of his nose. “Perhaps, another time…and what is that favor you wish of me?”, Hazel inquires. “Oh yes, there’s this golden goblet that I’ve been looking for…it’s located in a tavern.”. says Algernon. “I know of the exact goblet you are speaking of…I had it, but it was stolen!”, answers Hazel. “Where is IT…WHERE is it???…I Wannnnnt that goblet!!!”.

“What is the goblet worth?”, asks Corwin. “Ohhhh….it’s not the price but the possessing that I desire. Would you like to see my collection? Come along…”, as Algernon floats towards a door in the back of the area. The team enters a grand cavern with pinkish-red quartz-like crystals of various sizes. Within them are items, animals, plants and beings of various races. “Here is my Collection!!!” Whomever shall gift me that goblet will gain safe passage within my Realm forever!”.

“Does the goblet have the power to turn water into gems?” inquires Hazel. “No…no…the goblet has no magical abilities…it is a mundane item. The only value is in it’s gems and gold. My friends will lead you out. Good Bye My Friends….and remember…STAY on the Path!”, answers Algernon. Four Elephant sized Rats guide the team out. Numerous smaller rodents dart in and out of the giant sized rats.

Returning to the demon mouth gate the Hounds return through the small wall opening into the back room of the tavern. Taalesh is sitting with Sable’s wrist at his mouth. “Should I take it all?…yes I should.”,he sucks that last remnants of Sable’s blood and tosses the body in front of the Hounds. “Get rid of this!”, commands Taalesh. Corwin picks up the body and hands it to Hazel for disposal. Hazel proceeds to take the body to the wall of rats where they met Algernon. He leaves the body in the dirty waters. Ice resists the urge to look behind him as sounds of slurping and crunching fill the tunnels.

Side Note: Vile Points: Hazel (1) (*Vile: An affinity to other Vile individuals)

Hazel returns. Taalesh announces, “I guess he is weakened…that insufferable Candle Man!…you do know that the candles on his back are your lifelines made solid. He can snuff your existence out at any moment. I mean to destroy him. If you work for me, I can take over with your assistance. And following that I will drink that cold bitch, Honeyspot dry!!!”, exclaims Taalesh. “Do we have a deal?”, as Taalesh shows them his Black Spot. “We shall end him tonight! Now that Sable is gone, he is a diminished capacity. He will need to sleep to recover. It took me centuries to find out his weaknesses and hiding place! Choose Now!…Freedom or Death?”. They agree.

“You will need to trap Violet, so he will be further weakened. Violet has the ability to “sweet talk” you…in order to get you to do the Candle Man’s bidding. There’s a Wizard that has a Fey cage that will help you trap her. I’ve been planning this for a long time.”. “Also, Corwin…I want the goblet you have!”, reveals Taalesh. Hazel looks at Corwin with daggers in his eyes and says, “You DICK!!! You stole it from ME!!!”, yells Hazel. “Now…now…we must not fight like children. You all have an affinity to do good…and bad…and that is your worth as a team. Even though we have been given the title of “Hounds”…we shall be FREE Hounds…no longer bound by an Evil Master!”, proclaims Taalesh. “And by the by Corwin…you dealt swiftly with the Beggar Prince. Very nicely done!”, smiles Taalesh, looking into Corwin’s eyes. Both Hazel and Malcolm are puzzled by the mention of “the Beggar Prince”. “Where is the goblet Corwin?”. “Here’s a map to my house…it’s in a floor board. Don’t hurt the girl.”, says Corwin to Taalesh. Suddenly sounds of soldiers marching into the tavern can be heard by the Hounds. “Curfew is in affect, there has been a Murder!”, commands one of the guards and they depart. Taalesh transforms into a gaseous form and departs for Corwin’s house. An hour later the Vampire returns with the goblet. He pushes the panel to Algernon’s Realm and enters. Twenty minutes later Taalesh returns with a smile on his face. He gives the team the location to the Wizard. “There’s a curfew in effect…how do we get to the Wizard unnoticed?”, inquires Corwin. Taalesh opens a chest and throws them three green-brown cloaks with an oak leave clasp. “Here…these will assist you in your operation. Finally, the Wizard’s name is “Tenser Marston”, do be nice to him. He’s a sour puss and angers easily!”.

Hazel realizes that these must be cloaks belonging to Ranger. Malcolm prepares twenty dye bulbs for the team should they need to quench out any torches or light sources. Just as they exit the tavern, Honeyspot asks, “Have you seen Sable?”. She looks to be very concerned. The team feigns ignorance and departs. It takes the Hounds an hour to elude all the curfew patrols and make their way to Marston’s store. Once there, they lock pick the front door and enter silently. The room is dark all, except for Corwin, the Fetchling. There is nothing valuable on the shelves, only cheap knick-knacks. They locate a back door that must lead into Tenser’s vault or similar. Malcolm grips the doorknob and just as he is about to turn it he spots the faintly glowing glyphs around the knob. He stops abruptly and hears, “Aren’t you coming in?”. Corwin gently removes Malcolm’s hand and proceeds to disable the magical trap on the doorknob. Opening the door they spot a blonde bearded middle-aged man behind a mahogany stained desk with ornate inscriptions and pictographs. “You must be the “Doggies” I’ve been waiting for!”, he says with a slim smile. His right eye is marred by a scar that seems to have not hardened yet. “The money please…”. Corwin hands him the gold. Tenser takes out a small vial from his desk and instructs the team. “When you are ready, remove the stopper and point it at the Fey…this is important, you must be accurate. Only tiny sized creatures…nothing larger than that. Tell Taalesh, this is my last time transaction with him. He’s a repugnant creature…”. “Can you tell me about the “Candle Man”, inquires Corwin. “He’s a mythical boogey-man. Parents scare their kids to behave or the Candle Man will get them…just a story in these parts.”. Corwin notice an emblem partially covered up by a book. Tenser follows Corwin’s eyes and says, “Oh that…it a symbol of a bygone era…it’s of no significance. I try to forget that time…we lost a lot of good men. It’s time for you to leave now!”. The Hounds make their way back to the Black Hound Tavern with the item they need for their next mission.




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