Previously, our heroes arrived at the city of Zece-Biserici, the greatest city in the Deniza Sea. Now, it is time to report to the church the dire events at the Monastery of the Hook and the city of Codruscut...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Since it is already evening when they arrive at Zece-Biserici, most of our heroes decide to sleep on the ship--only Erdan and Zikan go for a walk, keen to see the sights of the city. They watch the colorful procession of mages to the Weeping Church and then go in to pray. After prayer, they walk down the district’s main avenue and find a tavern to have a drink. They overhear people speaking of the coming of an ambassador of the Empire of Oest and her treatment by the king of the Confederation of Biser, Casimir III. Most people believe that the coming of the ambassador heralds increased diplomatic pressure from the Empire of Oest, which has been trying for some time to make the Confederation of Biser into a protectorate. Finally, Erdan and Zikan return to the ship to sleep.
Our heroes rise early and prepare for a day in the city. Razvan knows that the ultimate ecclesiastical authority of the Confederation of Biser (of which Zece-Biserici is the capital and under whose jurisdiction the Monastery of the Hook falls) is seated in the Maze; that is where they will go to report on the events at the monastery. Before they depart, our heroes ask the sailors if they are willing to stay on for a maximum of three more days--paid--just in case they might be needed in that short time. The sailors agree.
At the Sanctuary of the Maze, our heroes locate a helpful clerk. Razvan tells the man a very short version of the story of their adventures at the Monastery of the Hook. The clerk is appalled by the story and immediately arranges a meeting for our heroes with the High Priest--the highest ecclesiastical authority--whose name is Euclid.
The players meet Euclid in his office in one the administrative buildings adjacent to the Maze Sanctuary. He is a young man in his twenties, although he has many scars. Euclid listens intently as they relate their adventures to him.
Razvan is the first to speak: he tells Euclid every detail he can recall--from their ill-fated journey from Sehir-Ül-Bayyad to the Dragon Islands, their reception at the Monastery of the Hook, the nighttime attack of the slavers, their unveiling of Prior Serafim’s sinister slave trade, their conflict with the monks, their dispatching of the slavers and capture of the Serüven, to their ill-fated attempt to uncover the slaving ring in Codruscut. He also reveals where he and Bogdan buried the treasures of the monastery, hands over the gold they found at the monastery, and offers to make available to Euclid the ship ledger and the Blood Book they took from Prior Serafim’s laboratory.
Up next is Bogdan, who is somewhat nervous for speaking to the man who leads his church. Bogdan tells of his life at the monastery, how things had been in decline for a while, and how Prior Serafim’s plot was uncovered when Zikan, Cipran, Razvan, and Erdan came to the island. Even though its leadership was rotten, Bogdan believes that the Monastery of the Hook is a good place, and he hopes it can be reclaimed in the name of Damas. Finally, he requests permission to leave the monastery and to go on his mandatory pilgrimage to see and experience the world.
When Bogdan is finished, Euclid asks Erdan and Zikan if they have anything to add, but they confirm what their friends have said. Euclid then asks some follow-up questions, especially about Prior Serafim’s Blood Book and his designs for creating rejuvenation potions. When he has learned all that he needs to, Euclid thanks our heroes for their work. He will send men to the Dragon Islands to reclaim the Monastery of the Hook--although if the monastery will be used again remains to be seen.
As for the slave trade in Codruscut, Euclid is horrified. He finds the idea of slaves being bought and sold in regelui lands revolting. He knows Codruscut as somewhat of a vile kingdom, but he never expected it to be this dark a place. He will discuss this with the king and then undertake action. He believes that--should they be interested--the church may need their help in resolving the illegal slave trade. He knows they have faced much peril already, but if they were to offer it, he would gladly accept their help.
Our heroes say they would be happy to assist, and Euclid thanks them for their service. He will discuss this matter with King Casimir, and they will decide on how to act. Euclid expects that they will reach a conclusion in two days, after which he will send for them to discuss what they can contribute. In the meanwhile, he will make available to them an official residence in the Maze, food and drink, use of the church’s gondolas at no expense, and whatever other services of the church--including access to libraries and the renowned Seven Spires University--they may require. If there’s anything else, they should not hesitate to contact the church and ask for aid.
Quite happy with their treatment, the players allow one of the runners to show them the stately residence made available to them and then have the gondolas bring in what baggage from the ship they may need. Erdan and Zikan sell all their surplus weaponry and armor at the trading centers in the district known as Martyr’s Mausoleum. After that, they visit the magic shops in the Necropolis, where they sell some items, have the golden holy symbol they took from the qarim captain’s corpse identified, and get some information about acquiring magic items and services.
Finally, many a goldmark richer, Zikan and Erdan return to the house where they meet up with the others for some hard-earned rest and relaxation.
It’s a shame we had to say goodbye to Cipran. His unbent spirit and vengeful nature were a good and colorful addition to the group. For the remainder, the session was fun, although in hindsight the ‘administrative’ part in Zece-Biserici was a bit too long for my tastes. I feel most players wanted to report in, get a taste of the place, see if they could get a new quest, and then be on their way again. I went a bit overboard with describing the place and we spent a large part of the session with me narrating, which is not the best. I should have tried to either get in more action and decision moments or to simply cut the visit shorter so that the players could be on their way to adventure again.
Everyone received 80 Character Points, bringing the total for Erdan, Zikan, and Razvan to 800 and that of the rest to 780.
As for the system, I am reaffirmed in my idea that the leveled check mechanic outside of combat is not interesting enough to keep in the game (as I discussed in this campaign log).