Ep 4: "It All Started With a Kite"

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In an attempt to recover Pinbol’s stolen ring, the party looked to Afra for help (a leading member of the Divine Foundry and member of the Sub Rosarium secret society). They had surmised that a person known as the Sprocket Man had taken the ring, and Afra explained how to find this person. (by going to a certain park in the Greywall District and flying a kite at exactly 9 o’clock in the morning. She warned them also. The Sprocket Man was a person that had lost everything and had no one. Though not inherently evil, he was a dangerous man that had been through difficult times. She asked that the group not judge him too harshly if they found him.)

Barrel Run:
Others in the party met at the Beer Forge the next day, including Rosie (a goblin bard), GB (a wizard, and awakened dog), Cyl (a goa barbarian and paint maker), and Lannoch (a dwarven ranger and alchemist). The Cicely Special was listed as 10 crowns (gold); which meant it was not good to talk about the resistance in the open. Lark handed out copies of Hobbes’s Tome of Transcription to each party member, and they caught up on recent events.

The group proceeded to catch up and have breakfast. Ivy, the owner of the Beer Forge, brought over bowls of eggtubes for the group, stopping to chat with GB for a few minutes (welcoming him as “dog brother”, since they both were raised by the old hero of the city, Hobbes). Rosie attacked her eggtubes with gusto. Oisin passed Rosie his portion.

Graywall:
The group teased out how to build a kite in their effort to make contact with the Sprocket Man. No one knew how to go about this particularly well, so they improvised something close to looking like a kite out of whatever they had in their bags. It quickly became clear that the kite would not be capable of flight, so when the party arrived at the park, GB conjured his unseen servant Sam, and instructed him to hold the kite, and a mage hand to hold the string. Oisin then lifted up Sam, creating the “illusion” that the kite was high in the air.

During this questionable ruse, a dark figure approached GB and complimented the kite. He was a young adult human with black clothes and trenchcoat, a dour expression and a flat voice. He identified himself as a poet and read a dark and eloquent poem about the emptiness of the city despite the people moving about and damaging its peace, about them throwing away the beauty through selfish endeavours.

Without introduction, the poet walked away and the party rushed to follow him, assuming him to be the Sprocket Man. They presented the calling card with the hourglass. He said that the symbol was familiar and offered to show them where he had seen it before.

Temple District:
The poet lead the party to the Abandoned Temple District, where the same symbol was painted onto a wall. The hourglass on both the card and the wall were now only half full with sand. Time was slowly running out. To what, though, the party could not guess.

As a thank you for his help, Cyl painted the letter ‘X’ on the poet’s hands in black paint, and Rosie recited a happy poem about being glad to have met him. Despite his morose mood never changing, he seemed to like both gifts, and he departed their company.

Down the alley with the symbol, the party began to catch the scent of rotting compost. Oisin detected magical energy down another alley, while Lark divinely sensed the ever prevalent smell of evil around the city, but a level of neutrality in this place.

They following the sound of someone running away, and discovered the origin of the rotting smell. A memorial of some kind had been constructed with an ever-burning candle surrounding by hundreds of flowers, having been regularly layed there for some time. A portrait of a lovely elven woman had been meticulously and beautifully captured on the wall in charcoal some time ago.

The party ran after the mysterious person who had fled, and they split up to investigate a series of abandoned homes. Eventually, Lannoch discovered that a room in one of the houses was occupied. GB attempted to lure out the stranger with his raven familiar Cawrl mimicking the sound of a crying baby. The stranger cried out “NO! Not again!” in a pained, crazed voice.

The party converged on the room and discovered a half-elf with black hair and sharp features. He wore armor, a bow and quiver (all forbidden in the city), and he had been crying. Cyl accidentally broke through the window as she was trying to get in to aid the distressed man.

This stranger took credit for the hourglass card found at the Lockridge Estate. He had left it there for Tybalt Lockridge, and became upset that Tybalt never saw it. The party asked about Pinbol’s ring, and the stranger became more upset that they had interrupted months of preparations in summoning the undead horde that attacked the manor.

With Rosie’s natural empathy for people, the party was able to tease out precious little information from the stranger, save for the accusation that Tybalt Lockeridge was responsible for the fate of the elf woman memorialized in the alley outside. The “Sprocket Man”, whose name was Tyrel, has dedicated himself to destroying and creating pain for the Lockridge family. Lark cast detect magic, and found Tyrel was covered in powerful magical items. This was a person not to be treated lightly. Frustrated that the party had invaded his home, and were merely interested in retrieving a ring, Tyrel tossed it to them angrily and told them to leave.

GB was disgusted by this man’s self-professed evil intent to destroy an entire family, and left the room. Lannoch did not trust the man, and left with his suspicions unwavered. Rosie was able to have a last moment of empathy and walked out. Lark intuited the depths of this man’s pain, and offered him a small painting he had quickly made of the elf woman from the memorial. Cyl provided coin as an apology for breaking his window.

Barrel Run

The party tried to cheer itself up with some hijinks. Rosie gave GB a wreath that she had made out of grass and cloth to try to make him into a lion. He didn’t like the prospect of wearing it but appreciated her effort. Cyl took it and put it on Oisin, who seemed to enjoy it more.

Cyl, Rosie, and Oisin went into the Hooded Cobra to buy decorative glitter. While GB, Lannoch, and Lark waited outside, they gave chase to some teenagers on a bridge that seemed to steal a basket of fruit from a ship. They intimidated the teens and gave them a stern talking to. Lark demanded the actual thief find the boatman and apologize (this seems unlikely to happen). A Nocturne was briefly summoned to the area, but since no rule violations were apparent, the masked soldier departed.

Pearl District:
The party travelled to Pinbol’s tower in the Pearl District to return his ring. Cyl was enamored with the slide built into the side of the tower, and climbed up it. As she rode it back down, a featherfall spell engaged to slow her descent. Realizing that the prestidigitation automatically cast at the end of the slide would remove his friend’s beloved body paint,
Lark moved with lightning quick reflexes to shove Cyl off the slide. She hit the cobblestones with a crash and laughter.

The party were greeted at the door by Mo, a nervously excitable four-foot-tall Modron ( mechanical sphere construct with one giant eye, a pair of wings, and spindly legs). Mo served us drinks and took a while to warm up to the group, since a talking dog like GB seemed like a trick on him, and Cyl accidentally broke a wine bottle on his face (his second wine bath in as many days). Cyl and GB helped clean him up, while Lannoch tried to convinced Rosie to put back a statue she’d compulsively swiped from Pinbol’s sitting room.

Pinbol arrived with a flourish of a glittery beard and a billowing cloak. He introduced himself, focusing intently on Cyl. He had never seen eirshale in person before. He was delighted when Cyl showed him her sketchbook, adorned with a slab of eirshale that had been transmuted to be light as a feather, and Pinbol expressed interest in speaking with her again soon. Cyl hesitantly agreed, unsure how much to divulge to the new acquaintance.

Pinbol advised Rosie on her penchant for stealing things, and thanked her for her honesty with a promise of gifts for continued good behavior.

When asked about Tyrel, “The Sprocket Man,” Pinbol told the party that the Lockridges were strongly tied into charitable organizations in the city but also had helped Goodsbury’s regime. He also mentioned that he knew Tyrel was a magic user focused on necromancy. He identified the dead elf woman as Imelda. He had believed that Imelda and Tyrel died in the Bloodfang riots years ago.

The party returned the ring to Pinbol and he agreed to help the Resistance. Successful in their fetch quest, the party headed off to the Beer Forge, while Oisin stayed at the tower after an invitation for lunch with Pinbol.

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