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Halls of the Hollow House - Session 2 - Feb. 14th, 2008

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Beneath a bridge in Sharn, the warforged Fixer and his new companion Dorin ir'Adan decipher the code and figure out how to unlock the codex. Many miles north, Gaius Tanaquil and Baba Moonweave finish their breakfast and prepare to head out to the port town of Sylbaran.

Examining the codex, Fixer finds an engraving in Dwarven on the handle of the codex. Dorin ir'Adan, spending time among some Mror Mercenaries during the Last War, knows the Dwarven language and translates the text to - "Dol Arrah's blessing, it comes from not only the sun, but also of the good aspects of a mortal's soul." Dorin thinks on this and turns the wheels of the codex to form the word "light". Fixer examines the codex and attempts to open it. Dorin and Fixer notice some guards nearby so they move on throughout the city to find another isolated location - difficult in the City of Towers. But, eventually they do after passing through the Bazaar of Middle Dura. While in the bazaar, Dorin spots a poster advertising a sculpting contest to win free lightning rail tickets to Xandrar. The find an alley and examine the script inside. Written on the script in common is the word "Moonweave" and a number - 4132508940.

Baba is alerted by the sound of hooves stamping the ground outside. She peers out and sees Polkan, who motions for her to come out and speak with him. Polkan tells Baba he wants her to take care of something in the forest. A small band of goblins are burning and destroying the forest about a day and half ride north. He wants Baba to take Gaius with her and rid the forest of these goblins before she heads to Sylbaran. She agrees and her and Gaius set out north to find the goblin encampment.

Dorin and Fixer decide to enter this contest after buying a map. They realize Xandrar, where the Breland National Fair is being held is very near Sylbaran, the place Morrigan told his thugs to meet him. They purchase a block of wood and head to the Brelish Museum of Fine Art, where a statue of Boranel is located. Fixer prepares an infusion and begins sculpting Boranel.

As Gaius and Baba get close to where the goblin encampment is supposed to be, they smell smoke. Gaius scouts ahead and spots several goblins in the ravine below burning up the forest. Further back, he sees a chieftain scolding another goblin for eating up all the meat they had. He meets back with Baba and explains the situation. Together, they come up with a plan to encircle the goblin camp and make a surprise attack from the rear.

Fixer finishes his sculpture of Boranel and heads back to the bazaar to enter his work into the competition. After a short wait, an elven representative from House Phiarlan announces that Fixer's sculpture is the winner of the competition and she presents four lightning rail tickets to Xandrar to him. Dorin and Fixer head to the Terminus Station to check in for their train, which leaves within the next few hours. On their way there, they spot a dark individual that seems to be tailing them. Dorin confronts the half-orc at a jewelry stand and the half-orc leaves, apparently stopping his tail. As they await their lightning rail to arrive, Fixer notices the clerk at the House Orien check-in station pointing at Dorin. A young man seems to be inquiring about them. The young man approaches and introduces himself as Rokester of Dol Arrah, a paladin from a nearby monastery. He accuses Dorin of murdering the paladin who originally held the codex and also inquires about the murder of Khulmo d'Kundarak and Nero ir'Adan. Dorin and Fixer tell their side of the story and Rokester contemplates this new information. After presenting Rokester with the opened codex and explaining that this was now their mission as well, Rokester decides to band with these two and head to Xandrar with them.

Gaius and Baba attack the goblin camp! Baba distracts the goblins, while Gaius makes a surprise attack from their flank. A battle ensues and despite Gaius tripping over a tent while moving through the camp, he and Baba dispatch the goblins. Although Baba suffers near fatal wounds from one of the goblins. Gaius does a ramshackle job of healing Baba and throws her onto Tooka. He heads back to the city. As they camp, he continues to heal her and she regains consciousness. They continue on their way to Sylbaran, although Baba is in terrible condition.

Dorin, Fixer and Rokester arrive in Xandrar, where they see the entire city is preparing for the Fair that is about to begin. Fixer speaks with a warforged smith named Hammer, who gives Fixer a spear and tells him to speak with a caravan master named Derrick. Derrick hires the three men and puts Dorin in charge of the rear portion of the caravan. He also describes an attack on a missing Church of the Sovereign Host Wagon. They depart for Sylbaran and after a day's journey, arrive uneventfully. As they arrive in Sylbaran, a terrible thunderstorm approaches and a torrential downpour begins. They head into the city after receiving pay from Derrick to look for shelter.

Gaius and Baba make it to Sylbaran and after finding some relief from the storm at an inn, Gaius runs into an old "friend" of his, Murdo Flickenbore. Murdo tells Gaius his father has passed, and offers for Gaius and his friend Baba to stay with him for the night considering all the inns seem to be booked up. Murdo leads them through a patchwork of alleys until they get to a warehouse district near the docks. He takes them into an alley and enters a building. He then leads them down some stone stairs into a dungeon-like basement. He tells them someone needs to "look them over" before they can stay but he doesn't think it will be a problem at all. He comes to an iron door and performs a series of knocks. The door is opened by someone from the inside and he leads them into a candle-lit room. Large shadowy figures are spread around the room and they see what looks like burning cinders from a cigar on the far side behind a desk. A figure leans forward and introduces himself as Rizzotto Rupa. He tells Gaius be bought his father's debt and Gaius now owes him 5,000 gold coins before the month's end or he and his friends will die. Murdo is paid for bringing Gaius to Rizzotto and Murdo offers apologies saying, "it's just business, aye!" Murdo leaves the building and Gaius and Baba escorted outside. They ask around for Bishop Avery and find out he is staying at the Hollow House Inn, one of the better inns in Sylbaran. Gaius leads them there.

Dorin, Fixer and Rokester find an inn and ask the bartender how to find the Hollow House Inn. He tells them it is just down the road and when they arrive, they are across the street. They see Baba and Gaius being met by two "temple guards" outside of the inn and led inside. Fixer sees the third temple guard and recognizes him as the murderer of Khulmo. Dorin points, asking if Fixer means "that guy?" Fixer calmly replies, "Don't point." They follow him inside and wait at the bar when he stops on the staircase leading up to the second floor.

Baba and Gaius are led up to the second floor to a suite where they meet Bishop Avery. Bishop Avery wants to get down to business, but offers Baba and Gaius a healing tonic. They begin talking and Baba wants to know more about the document. Bishop Avery tells her not to worry about the contents of the account because it is church property.

Meanwhile, the assassin who escaped at Khulmo's in Sharn appears at the inn and has a brief altercation with Morrigan before departing again. Morrigan heads upstairs and Fixer, Dorin and Rokester follow. Fixer has an ale he ordered and approaches Morrigan, Dorin at his side, and Rokester guarding the staircase. Fixer confronts Morrigan and tosses the ale in his face, after explaining that the beer was sent from the murdered Khulmo! Furious, Morrigan commands the guards to attack! A battle begins.

Inside, Bishop Avery tries to convince Baba and Gaius to remain calm, but Gaius isn't convinced. He stands up and heads for the door. When he passes Bishop Avery, the bishop stands quickly and touches Gaius with a strength draining attack. Gaius is surprised, but reacts immediately moving to a battle position on the bed nearby. Baba draws her scimitar and Bishop Avery reveals himself to not be a feeble old man at all - his wrinkly old skin turns to smooth gray skin, his crooked old nose sinks in, his dark blue eyes turn stark white and his hair grows long. A female changeling stands before Baba and Gaius and claims to be named Nergal! Gaius and Baba do battle with the changeling who has wizard-like powers. During the battle, Baba tells Gaius to "shoot her!" Gaius says, "I was planning on it!" The fight destroys the suite, including a coffee table Baba tries to surf while making her scimitar attack that buckles underneath her weight. Nergal makes claims about a "dark commander endowed by Vol herself!"

Outside the suite, in the hall, Dorin and Fixer battle with Morrigan and his thugs disguised as temple guards. Dorin is almost taken down but he and Fixer persist and finally defeat the enemies. Fixer uses his human-bane infused spear to finish off Morrigan. Rokester kills the final guard fleeing to the stairs Rokester was "guarding" and Fixer opens the door to the suite. He sees a blurred changeling there in battle with a half-elf archer (Gaius) and a young shifter girl (Baba).

Nergal, after absorbing a few arrows and scimitar slashes decides to flee. She runs to the window but trips and crashes through, falling to the ground many feet below to her death. Gaius moves to the bay-window and puts an arrow in her to prove her death. Baba turns to see who stands in the doorway and a warforged (Fixer) is there. She moves to hide near Gaius and the two groups stare each other down, not sure whether these strangers are enemies or allies!

To be continued...

Highlights!

1) Gaius tripping on the tent - Gaius says, "Oh, I didn't think about those tents."

2) "Don't point!" says Fixer - Meanwhile, Dorin's mini is in a constant state of pointing. :)

3) Baba crashing through the shoddily built coffee table - "You didn't realize Baba was a surfer in a former life right??"

4) "Shoot her!" exclaims Baba. Gaius' response - "I was planning on it..."

5) "Who sent it?" Morrigan distastefully asks Fixer. Fixer monotone response couldn't have been better - "Khulmo." (Beer mug hits Morrigan square in the forehead leaving a mug-print.)

6) Oh where oh where is Rokester? Ah! Last of bad guys runs away from nearly dead Dorin only to be downed by Rokester quietly watching battle from the top of the stairs.

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