we never did catch that guy who bound him naked to a table
“oh fuck, did we never avenge Baltsaros?”
Ever the adventurous eater, Nahk sits down for lunch with Abraham and Baltsaros in Abe’s partially destroyed hut. The squirrel kabobs do not agree with Nahk (so good he ate the stick) and he is laid up in bed, buttsick for not the first time in his life (or in the campaign). Abe insists that Baltsaros stay in his hut since he was previously enslaved by Hespero and probably has bad memories about that (but not bad memories about his imprisonment and torture by Abe? Whatever).
“Ugh, babe, I hate these work gatherings. Is it OK if I stay in? Your boss is a creep, and I just want to read and drink some wine.”
Baltsaros asks for leftovers and Abe gives him a tour of the garden and leaves him with some canned preserves. Questionable.
Livius and Cas spruce up for the dinner while Nat, with all the kookiness that we know and love her for, decides to brush up on all the latest etiquette she missed in the last 600 years of being a skeleton. They arrive along with Abe and Hobbes. Theo greets them at the door with some h’ors d’oeuvres and no one recognizes him.
Armand and Natalya provide introductions to everyone. Armand takes Natalya around and introduces the heroes to everyone in the following order:
- Ambassador Kaolina
- the rest of the surviving Ten Generals
- all of the City Council are present
- Calantha, even though she is a higher rank than the Generals, a noticeable snub
Natalya provides introductions in a mostly incorrect manner since she doesn’t know much about the classes of her companions:
- Livius as an ambassador (correct)
- Abraham and Casimir as a knightly class (incorrect, Abe is a backwoods guy whose house was just destroyed by a bear and Casimir is a foreigner who turns into a cat)
- Hobbes and herself as servant or commoner class (also incorrect, Hobbes is a merchant, Natalya is the sister of an Emperor)
Natalya approaches the library. Hespero stops her, saying, “Don’t you think you’ve stolen enough of my knowledge?”
Nat shoots back, “Don’t you think you’ve betrayed enough people?” They snap at each other, with Hespero refuses to let her help by going into the library for information about Zulon, likely still angry with her for stealing his books 600 years ago. Guy can hold a grudge.
Natalya quips something about Hespero being part of the “plague of overconfident men” and walks away.
A truly wicked pisser
The city councilors fake laugh at Livius’s jokes, and Livius notes that no one laughed at Hespero’s jokes. He judges that things are looking bad for Hespero, that he might be politically weak. Abe takes the opportunity to talk shit about Hespero and talk Livius up, which is super transparent to anyone who can hear him, and catches the attention of someone.
The person approaches him and tells him not to talk shit about his boss. Abe makes a rude gesture, implying that the man is “so far up Hespero’s ass.” The man transforms into Bulotros and grins at him, and actually yes, Abraham does know who Bulotros is because he was on Charatos, rejoining the adventure in sirablood induced fantasy rabies.
Sora shows up late in a toga. I mean most people are wearing togas. One of the Daggers goes up to Hobbes and asks him if he’s down to do the job. Hobbes agrees and the Dagger tells him that they’ve been pissing on the hors d’oeuvres but just kidding, or am I? Hobbes eyes Bulotros and asks the Dagger how long they’ve been tailing them, if they’ve been in the 13 Islands the whole time, and why didn’t they help? And the Dagger just laughs.
Hobbes sprints to Nat before she can take a bite of the bacon wrapped scallops and slaps it out of her hand. Natalya asks, “Did I eat this wrong?”
“They’ve been pissing on the food!”
“What? What is that?”
“You haven’t pissed yet?” Casimir says in passing.
Theo tries Casimir, who is receptive with some salmon plying. He tells him of the Liminal Arrow, an arrow he tried to use on The Burr but missed. The Burr was killed and returned as Hespero. Theo jogs Casimir’s memory about all that stuff and just says, “Find me after dinner. I’ll be in the backyard. With ice cream.”
The former political rivals (and current I guess) Livius and Calantha chat, and Calantha at some point says that the city has already been infiltrated by outsiders, that the Mineosi are advanced in magic and science, and that everyone in Argot, Livius included, have to hide in the shadows and be given permission by some underworld outsider to practice magic. She walks away in a huff as Livius is unconvinced by her position and her unwillingness to inject the war coffers with city maintenance funds.
Give peas a chance, pea’d on the food, etc
Abraham Washington gorilla stomps his way to the chair next to the head of the table, grabbing the chair at the same time as Odoacer. Steam comes out of his nose and Odoacer backs down, but is unable to find a seat until he makes it all the way down to the end of the table where Natalya feels honored to be graced by such a high level person.
One clump of people sits near the head of the table: Hespero at the head, Livius and Abe, Hobbes and Leandro, Sora and Nestor Domorosi, Calantha and Armand. At the other end of the table are Odoacer and Natalya, Casimir and Ralos, and oh man, look who just walked in the door, the Duchess Serena, just crushing it, walking in as a medium sized humanoid because she is a shapeshifter.
Cornish hens (from Cornia) are served, except for Ralos who is served lobster. Serena eats a ton of food (giant lyfe) and Nat offers her her food, to which Serena says, “But you’re all skin and bones!” Rimshot.
Hobbes, Livius, and Hespero chat in various languages about the war efforts, which prompts Calantha to make whispers to the city councilors. Basically though, Hespero lets them know that, with his spy network, he knows that:
- The Mineosi are amassing and will be arriving at Argot in 14 days.
- Any efforts to leave and attack the Mineosi where they stand will risk depleting Argot’s forces and leaving the city exposed. “We don’t have enough troops to defend the city and attack Mineos at every location that they control. They are launching troops from all over the Golden Gulf, so there are no good singular places to attack.”
- The blockade of the Sickle Islands makes it difficult for any naval excursion, though the Duchess has provided some cover.
- Any operations outside of fortifying should be small-scale and highly targeted against high ranking officials in the Mineosi Empire.
Abe takes his lapkin, ties it up into a bindle for Baltsaros to take later. A couple of people notice, but then everyone notices as Natalya says, from across the table, “Ah yes, a noble knight’s tradition to always be ready for the road.” Abe is not fussed by people staring of course.
As Sora walked away, Calantha was just about to say something about coins and how they flip but let’s just leave it as something she thought of much later and said, “Damn!” but I did need you to know that I was formulating that quip before you switched seats
Sora tries to chat with Calantha, to figure out what her deal is. Calantha says, “I don’t like lizards,” a seemingly innocuous response to something Sora asked about, maybe what her least favorite animal is? But an obviously racist remark. Sora asks what her greatest fear is, and Calantha gives a politician’s response. Calantha loudly makes implications about Leandro’s affair, Sora’s entanglements with him, Kaolina Serrat’s influence, and Ralos’s arrival to the city councilors nearby. Sora tries to get more out of Calantha, but she says as far as she is concerned (and she said as much to Livius too) that Argot had already been infiltrated by outsiders (indicating Sora, Ralos, and even Hespero).
“So much bickering. Perhaps it would be better if we were all of one mind,” Sora says to Calantha, who scowls at her.
Sora interrogates her further about the money in the treasury, why it cannot be released to fund the war effort, what use it will be to Argot if Mineosi take over. Calantha says that Sora knows an awful lot about coin (implying that she is loyal only to money) and Sora says something like you don’t know shit about money and you’re supposed to be a treasurer? You’re fucking trash, eat a dick, bye, and everyone goes like, “Oh snap! Got eem!” Something like that, I don’t remember exactly.
What dessert are you getting from the bathroom? Pudding obviously
After dinner, the city councilors retire to the pool, which is the only reason they ever go to Hespero’s to be honest. Splish splash! Theo meets Casimir and Abraham in the yard under the guise of giving them ice cream.
Theo tells them more about the Liminal Arrow and its powers: “When it strikes a killing blow, it transports along with the victim to the victim’s original plane of existence and lodges itself there, killing the victim in the next plane too.”
Abe smacks his forehead and says, “Oh shit, I forgot he has to be killed in hell. I kept forgetting every time I thought about throwing a weapon at his face. Now this is Act Three.” It’s not. It’s Arc Three. But yeah it’s Act Three.
Casimir says, “We’ll free you!”
“He must die first. Clear your minds.”
“I’ll just picture his kitchen fucking him,” Abe says.
Abe and Cas say they’ll do it! Abe offers a high five but Theo says it’s too dangerous. “I’ll give you your high five upon your return. You remind me of him,” he should’ve said. “Of Hamiltonos Washington.”
The two go running to Sora in a secluded corner of the estate and tell her everything and Sora starts spinning wheels. She goes to Leandro and Odoacer and asks about attacking Zulon with Werriadi troops. Odoacer says, “If you want to throw Werriadi at the devils, by all means do so,” and laughs and leaves. Leaves, laughs, loves.
Sora tells Ralos about the liminal arrow and he’s all like, hell yeah, sounds good, you don’t need my armies for that though. Go and get it. I’ll give you a cart and donkey if you need it.
Livius tries to go into the library and convinces Hespero to give him six spells! Remember it takes 2 hours and 50 gp per spell level to learn a spell. Since time is of the essence and since you may be learning high level spells, this can account for up to, gosh, like 14 hours for a level 7! Damn.
Owlicious delivers food to Baltsaros and secret note we are not privy to. “Wish you were full.”
The gang reconvenes and discusses the contracts at hand. (They are available on the Roll20, but here is a brief list as a reminder):
- Parley with Zulon
- Free Mallory
- The Liminal Arrow
Skill Challenge Per Day Quests
- Undermine Calantha
- Disrupt Mineosi Operations
- Kill the Bargainer
Single Moment Quests
- Casino Heist
- Kill Hespero and Armand
- Kill the Duchess
It is day 45 since the Battle of Aurochs Island, the first engagement of the Argoti-Mineosi War.
The Argotnauts are at Livius’s house.
Malory Whisperbottom is in jail.
You have two solid cubes and a ring of seven keys:
- One of the pine wood cubes is on the floor of the ship
- Livius Anastasius Cratius has the cube made of bone found in Iskos Valley Village’s elders’ hut
- Natalya has one of the pine wood cubes and the ring of seven keys; she dropped the obsidian cube containing her heart into the ocean
Zulon has been on the material plane for 20 days.
The Deathless One’s invading military are expected to arrive in 15 days.
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