A day after arriving safely home in the Hopping Rat in the city of Merdna, the slayers identified and split the loot acquired in the Blackbrow expedition. They drank ale, Og & Trasknor (Grom’s & Vorwulf’s protégés respectively) had purchased 3 hogshead during their absence (just in case), while gathered around a table in the currently deserted taproom, a snowstorm roared outside. Among the gear of note they found that the vampire-faced helmet was a Creator Level 10 item with the constant Blood Sense and constant Vampire’s Kiss abilities.
The black bearded-axe was a Creator Level 8 item with the constant Blood Thirst and blood drain (1D6 bleeding damage on a critical strike) abilities on it. The black full-plate armor was a Creator Level 12 item with the constant Aura of the Dead and Sanguinary Reprieve (2 x day) abilities. Frankly, they had no idea as to what to do with the “evil things”. The skull staffs, one taken from Zancor the one-armed and the other with tourmaline eyes found in a secret compartment, were Creator Level 25 items both with the Whisper (3 x day) ability with the gem-set one also having the Tele-location (3 x day) ability tied to the one that had been Zancor’s.
Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Oh. Okay. So, the jeweled one can locate the other one. Makes sense.”
After taking possession of the items that they wanted or could use out of the pile the slayers decided the Ring of Animate Armor and the Ring of Animate Statue sifted from the lich’s ashes were to be “treasuried”. The rest they would sell when they got the chance. Upon getting into the guild treasury in the secret compartment in the taverns cellar they found all of the coinage and gems missing from the 3 chests within. Vorwulf ranted something about “damned” ratlings for some minutes. The group went back up to the tap room and pulled up to a table.
Grom (Played by Gil): “So, there Magiia. Where’s my alchemists’ fires?” (see the Dragonslayers III Pt.4)
Magiia (Played by Jenn): “Ummm. Uh.”
Jenn: “I roll a Bluff check!”
Grom easily saw through Magiia’s ruse though she was able to talk around the issue and stall until Vorwulf convened a second meeting, “guild business” this time.
They had a discussion about building their guild house and acquiring the land needed to do so around the Hopping Rat tavern still hoping to simply expand that building. Ultimately since Vorwulf held the titles of (unofficial) Guildmaster/(official) Alderman he would be the one to go to the Civil Authorities’ Hall to talk to the officials about purchasing the deeds and the permission/documents needed to begin the construction of their guildhouse as soon as the weather would allow. Shortly after high noon the snow stopped and Vorwulf left for the civic hall with Grom in tow, a different mission on his mind. Shortly after their departure Magiia left to keep an appointment leaving Olf in the company of the protégés.
Vorwulf found himself in a small meeting room at a table with a scribe, a city warder charged with what was essentially city-planning and contracts. It took a few hours for Vorwulf to work out the details with the city warder to gain the deeds from the properties around the Hopping Rat especially since the slayers’ neighbors are looking to sell to the drastic increase in the occurrence of particularly destructive street fights in their vicinity. The guild was offered the lease to the West Gate and the opportunity to build their guildhouse around it like the Woodcutters’ and Clothworkers’ guilds for 10,000 gold pieces down and 12,000 a year. Vorwulf took it. There were also stipulations in the lease that they had to use the city architect and hire from the resident manpower of Merdna barring any special services that cannot be had within the city. Vorwulf set 5 large emeralds on the table for the down and went about hiring woodcutters, blacksmiths, the architect, 100 general laborers, and arranged for the importation of masoned stones from Sirti in all spending 26,250 gp with 50 gp recurring per month for the laborers and 1,200 gp recurring per season for the master architect.
Grom in the meantime had hired the stockade located in the civic hall. After the jailor left him to his own devices the shaman pulled out the corked bottle that contained the snail named Kyrahma. He took the snail out and set it on the floor of the cell afterwards closing and barring the wood door. Through the small barred window in the door he kept eye contact with the miniscule creature and released the spell that had kept the rogue Feren berserk in that form. Instantly she was again herself though stark naked and extremely angry. Foaming at the mouth she immediately kicked at the door. The wood bowed and splintered. The door held but could not take another blow like that without completely shattering. Grom cast Animal Form again upon the Amazonian and instantly she was reduced to a dog.
Gil: “I want to have her as a pet.”
A little while later the three slayers met up in the street and snow in blue gloaming of evening approaching the warm yellow light of the tavern, Vor with the contracts and deeds in hand, Grom accompanied by a fine hound and Magiia with a package a tall as she was. Together they entered the Hopping Rat. When he saw them, Vorwulf stopped dead in his tracks; the ratling adventurers, the “tat-eyes” were gathered around a table drinking. They were decked out in new very expensive looking clothes and were sporting new jewelry that glittered in the lamplight.
Vorwulf surveyed the taproom and saw no other ratlings hanging abouts. He made beeline to the cellar and brought back a dusty bottle of high quality wine the seal of the gryphon stamped into the glass of the bottle and slammed it onto the ratlings’ table.
Vorwulf: “Compliments of the house.”
The Mantck ratling (a medium-sized ratling from the Poisonwood) spoke tossing aside his cape of red feathers: “Don’t worry our underlings won’t molest your customers.” A wide verminous smile spread over his rodentine features.
Vorwulf took a seat, Grom kept an eye on them from his place at the bar. Maggi was busy pulling the oilskin wrapper from her package revealing a portrait in a fine frame oblivious to the current situation. Vorwulf offers the ratlings 1 platinum piece as an “insurance payment” and offering it per year to which the Mantck, named Nomet Redblade, reacted very favorably. Vor demanded a contract since the ratlings had already taken their “down payment” referring to the repeated plundering of the treasury. They were soon working out a formal contract where the ratlings were going to provide a level of special security & insurance for all of the holdings of the Blackwings guild of Merdna. On top of the down for the “ratling insurance” Vorwulf also tossed 1 gold and 1 platinum talon on the table as a “retainer for future services”. Nomet whistled through his fingers after the contract was signed. Trasknor shouted to Vorwulf from behind the bar. There was a horde of ratlings vacating the building out the secret back door from an unseen passage presumably up from the cellar. With that the ratlings shared the wine with the ranger/dragon-slayer and then took their leave shortly thereafter.
Maggi finished hanging her portrait on the west wall between the windows and admired it. It was a portrayal of her with her foot on the headless bleeding corpse of a dragon, the muscles of her half-naked body glistening under a heroic sunset as she lifted the dragon’s severed head, the resemblance of her lost axe in her other hand. It was a masterwork indeed.
To Be Continued…