Everyone was a little shook up after the undead invasion, and everyone re-examined their priorities. Crag decided that he would be better off searching for his half-brother on his own, and set off to pave his own path. Jervais, who had been eager to find and join the Red Lion Elite (the elite king’s guard) decided to stop adventuring and devote his time to study of the Desecrorb. Smoth intensified his magical study. He spent time in the nearby forest communing with nature, and after several hours, re-joined the remaining group with a small ferret companion, who he dubbed Qianto. Famish decided that what his life was lacking was an even greater store of randomness and flashy colors, so he set about to research and find or build a rod of many colors.
While traipsing about the city, they even discovered some new blood to bring with them – a halfling barbarian named Shin, and a drow wizard named Solist. Shin had been carried to the island against his will, sold as a slave in the black market. He had broken free, and was adamant about not being captured again. The group aided him in a fight against something, so he claimed he was blood bonded and would help protect them. Solist was in the city to do research of some kind – he had a very strange amulet he wore which seemed to have some kind of connection, and he wanted to know more about it.
They even got to talk to the governor of the city, Duke Harcourt. After helping fight back the undead invasion, they were allowed to come to the palace for official thanks from his lordship. Smoth discovered that he had actually known his father Derrick, had fought alongside him in the Red Lions. Smoth asked about his memories of their service together (to subtly find out about anything that might have sparked his current behavior), and was told about a certain event that happened in Wessen.
However, Ashaurok had assignments for her new student, and sent him off to a submerged ancient temple out in the bay a ways from the coast of Nent. She did not have a familiar, strange for a wizard as experienced and powerful as herself, but in the previous weeks she had felt a strange connection with some creature there. She knew that it was her future familiar, and wanted Smoth to go collect it. Everyone was up for exploring ancient temples and taking valuable treasure, so they went.
Using scrolls of water breathing, they descended down. The temple contained mostly air, so they were able to function normally after entering. The first room contained 3 statues of men with diferent animal’s heads being consumed by sharks, as well as a painting on the ceiling of ‘The Storm Queen’, an angry scaly female, raising a horrible storm. The Storm Queen, whose temple it seemed to be, was apparently an evil nature goddess. The party puzzled over the levers, but eventually figured out their trick and made their way through the temple. They fought off sharks and other underwater animals, as well as different varieties of lizards, but ultimately found their goal – there was a group of small creatures that looked like halflings with black fins (actually a water mephit). They seemed to be kept there for sacrifices to the Storm Queen. The group rescued them all, as well as bringing a certain one back to Ashaurok. They also nabbed some very interesting tridents from a series of statues in one of the halls, and Smoth took a very interesting dagger from one of the priests. It was constructed out of a large sharktooth, with smaller teeth forming the hilt guard. When holding it, he could feel a sort of hate and disdain for humans – pretty disconcerting, since he was one himself.
Plans were hatched to travel westward, to the city of Mensington. Famish wanted to do research at the library in the temple of Boccob there, as there was none in Nent. He had heard that he could find information there on the fabled Rod of Many Colors, which occupied most of his thoughts. Smoth had been given another task by Ashaurok, to kill the familiar of a wizard called Fuegis who lives in Mensington. They had been rivals for a long time, and Fuegis had killed Ashaurok’s old familiar after catching it trying to steal a ring from him. He had sent the familiar’s ashes back to her, along with the ring, claiming that it was unimportant. Now Ashaurok wanted revenge, and for Smoth to kill his familiar Flammon, and leave the ring on its corpse.
Shin was very determined to NOT get on a boat again, since he had arrived on the island in the hull of a slaver ship, did we cross on a ship or not? But ultimately, they arrived in Mensington. There were several things that struck them about the city. To go inside, you first had to be tested by the guards for arcane magical ability. Anyone who tested positive was classified as Arcane, and had to wear a large red A. Anyone who tested negatively had to wear a drab lowercase m, for mundane. Mundanes were considered second class citizens here, with open discrimination against them. Among the four of them who made the trip, Smoth, Famish, Solist, and Shin, only Shin had no magical abilities, but he seemed to take it in stride. He wasn’t too concerned about what a city full of weirdos thought of him.
While exploring the city, they were in for a large surprise. There were troops moving around in the city, seemingly separate from the regular guard force, or even regular military. These special troops were wearing the exact same type of armor worn by the commanders on the ships of the undead invasion; black and with distinctive skull images on them. Smoth was left with no choice but to think his father now worked for Baron Edwards, the governor of the city, and another who vied for the Red Lion throne.
Famish and Solist set about to find the Library of Boccob, but were denied access to go inside. They only allowed members inside, of which there were different levels of membership. Most of them involved very large sums of cash, but they did seem to have special cases for those without such money. Famish agreed to take on a task involving hunting basilisks and collecting their eyes, while Solist agreed to investigate the strange happenings with the sewers. While in the sewers the party stumbled across an entrance to a demiplane where multiple sewers in the world drain into. While there they discovered a crazy gnome scientist experimenting on two captured people, a human Kensai with a flaming adamantine sword named Roland, who had been a member of the Red Lion guard, and an Anthropomorphic-Bat creature named Findail the Destroyer, a druid. The party rescued these two adventurers, and in gratitude they both joined the party to offer their assistance.
They completed those missions I wasn’t there for the basilisk mission someone should fill it in, and were granted access. .
History had a way of catching up to Smoth and Famish, who were targeted for an attack by a group of Banderans. Apparently the mercenary band stretched across the island, and had not forgotten their run-in in Nent. All of the original group was being targeted, and they thought about finding Crag and warning him. Jervais was still in the temple of Heironeus in Nent, so he seemed to be safe enough.