The party realized that bringing Olthar back to life (from stone) was NOT going to be easy, quick, or cheap.
And that allowed us to bring in a replacement character for the good elven thief: Brother Beren. The addition of a cleric was much needed especially as I was pulling out our often missing druidic Detheron due to a messed up period of personal life.
I am also a fan of hirelings and henchmen and the group was able to pick up a couple: two of them and I gifted them to the party due to the fact that they had been making a local name of themselves and some of the populace looks to them to help out. So welcome Nelia (4th level thief) and Haydin (4th fighter/2nd thief).
If they come back alive and with some coin in their pocket than the party can put a feather in their hat.
What they do with the information they learn at the lizardman complex from this point on (ie: finish the story arc) is up to them - it's a big sandbox and they are welcome to build anything they want in it.
Write up follows:
Arnog and Detheron went with the petrified Olthar to Wodenloch’s Manor while Soren and Gwyn went to Swampside to talk to Dollius at the Platinum Pestle. The alchemist had no unguent that would turn a stoned person to flesh again, and did not know of any particular magic that would do it. He was willing to work and learn though and the party hired him to go to places south, Principia, Tarkis, and eventually Daro and Darkwaters, to try to learn if there was a possibility of brewing a potion that would make someone stone, flesh again. A handful of platinum was passed over as well as one of the basilisk eyes (as possible item for study for a reagent). He was going to come to Wodenloch’s to see Olthar himself before leaving.
As for the Baronet, he was unable to help, having neither mage nor anyone magical at his beck and call. He did suggest that the group could talk to Rigil Blackshadow but did not know if it would suffice. As for the bounty, we had only gotten 16 out of 25 lizardmen tails and he was willing to accept that as payment to allow one of the two party members in – specifically Norris.
There was concern over Zoltan (who the Baronet had liked a lot) and his disappearance. Some questions were raised: Only Coruth’tae noticed he was gone and the grey elf went off alone to find him. The grey elf claimed that Zoltan had stolen from him (something not normally in Zoltan’s nature). He could not find Zoltan but did find some basilisks. There were too many concerns and inconsistencies Wodenloch felt that allowed him to fully trust Coruth’tae and suggested the group watch him carefully.
Norris was allowed back in and we spent some time at the Baronets, drinking and feasting. Norris took a boat ride to Blackshadow’s where Rigil accepted payment from the bard to cover Gedades’ (the person he and Coruth’tae had assaulted) protection costs for the next year. He also had Rigil send missive to Agnandus in Dilabria removing himself from the thieves guild there as belonging to more than one was an exercise in fragmented loyalty.
Rigil told Norris that they had accorded themselves well in the lizardmen issue and that he had two persons in his employ that he wanted to have some experience out of the city and with the party as aids, hirelings, and sellswords. Norris told the thief master he would discuss it with the group and come back tomorrow to give him their answer.
We spoke for a bit and discussed other alternatives to getting someone to turn Olthar back to flesh. There were some purchases and eventually the group decided that we should honor our commitment and return to the Eiderdown swamps and finish our bounty on Lizardmen tails. Detheron was not coming with us, our hurting and saddened druid instead taking a sister mission for Baronet Wodenloch that would have him in other places for a short time. This meant our group was down another person – and even with the inclusion of a few helpers from Blackshadow’s guild, it was thought that we needed someone else – preferably a healer.
Soren and Gwyn set up a table @ the Sunken Boardwalk where they gave a general call out for adventuring clerics interested in joining them. Most of the healers in the area had been sent northward to Flatrock to help stem to rising threat of plague there but there were still a few in the area. One was a smarmy dark haired follower of Hel who spoke well of his skills and abilities but the party did not feel comfortable in his presence. The other was a softer spoken human cleric of Tyr named Brother Beren who seemed to be a better fit for the group (which antagonized the 1st cleric) who we signed on for an equal share.
The party (sans Coruth’tae) did all meet up at the Sunken Boardwalk, including the two junior members of the thieves guild that were coming with us: Nelia Fingerlight, a slip of a 16 year old girl with a steady hand, a penchant for poisons and javelins, and a need to get out of the city for a while. And Haydin Umbarson, the louder of the two, wide heavy and strong, a very notched broadsword held at his side and a crooked smile.
There were welcomed and promised a full share of whatever treasures we found in lieu of getting a signing bonus or a per day rate – which they thought about and agreed upon
We left the next morning, a steady rain and grey sky meeting us. It was a long trudge to the lizardman swamp and then even longer to slog through the sucking fetid muck until we returned to the temple complex. We didn’t see as many lizardmen about but those that we did spy were on more of an alert than what we had seen earlier.
We opted to NOT go back through the secret opening in the south end of the temple again, and going in the main gates was still thought of as suicide. That left either the stables or the woodcutter’s shed and we opted on the stables. There was a 20’ gap between the swamp and the complex in this area and Gwyn crept forward to check it out while we waited in the woods, weapons ready. The dwarf heard nothing inside and a glance through the gaps showed the same. He tested the handle, it wasn’t locked. He then wanted to open the door to peer better inside so he used his long metal pole, shoved the door ajar.
And a bucket on top of the door fell over, dropping brown ink everywhere as well as the clattering ring of dumped over metal bits and tools. Crap. He ran back to the swamp and we all hid in the bushes as two lizardmen stepped out from inside to look around.
Brother Beren blessed the group and we stood up firing and shooting. Javelins flew back and forth and then a few other lizardmen made themselves seen – two of them hurling spells! One of them cast a hold person at Soren, freezing the ranger in place, and the other shot a silence spell at the party, ending spell casting until Brother Beren and Coruth’tae both backpedalled away into the swamp until they could hear again. Arnog stayed to help Soren who was getting walloped by halberd wielding foes and we were putting a better plan into place to strike back at the enemies who were arrayed against us.