Morrick has examined Aoth’s baby acquired from the hags and has determined that she is a baby hag. Aoth does not know what to do with her. Killing an innocent babe seems so wrong and he hopes to change her.
Prince Rhys offered a reward for information on several people. He found many people willing to provide information.
Kendra is a female halfling archeologist. She got a permit from Count Gareth to excavate under the Boar’s Knuckle. Kendra has not been seen for several months. Mazer had been with a group last month who investigated the Boar’s Knuckle and found a portal to the Abyss and symbols of the Chained God. Prince Rhys had ordered the tunnels collapsed to prevent further digging. According to Gelwen, there is continued activity at the Boar’s Knuckle.
Count Gareth was with the Hextorites. They all left by boat downstream within hours of Prince Rhys’ arrival. Garson and Rhyzzat are rumored to be with Count Gareth.
Andan ap Arendil left when Gareth fled, possibly to the west.
Prince Rhys then led a group of us on a patrol of the Old Quarter. Princess Jagr, Mazer, Dentrack, Dandelion, Morrick, Aoth, Evendur, Uaithne and I accompanied him. We first visited Lord Nestor Eldoran at his estate. There are rumors Lord Nestor has a license to worship Vecna from Count Gareth, but this is not illegal under Prince Rhys either. Lord Nestor is a wealthy individual who retired to Hochoch. Aoth investigated his library and found several old books with no visible titles. These books were probably purchased from Mundinguluss, the rare book dealer who recently moved into town.
Lord Mundinguluss had recently purchased an estate from Ser Korum, who thought the new law requiring the undead to register was an infringement on his freedom, even though 3 other intelligent undead have registered. Ser Korum and his followers have left for parts unknown. Lord Mundinguluss hosted us graciously and offered us fine wine and refreshment. Dandelion persuaded Mundinguluss to tell us which books Lord Nestor had purchased. He purchased books on the history of the Flan, Llweyllen, the Dawn War, Titans, and Primordials. These books are very rare and expensive. Lord Mundinguluss has associates in several large cities, such as Niole Dra and Greyhawk City. We then asked if we could see the work he was doing in the basement. He was excavating and planning bathes and other things. The tunnels were made with spirals and curves and had egg shaped rooms also decoratively carved. It all seemed very alien. Lord Mundinguluss also had several servants who were unintelligent but muscular. The butler was named Lee and there were several others around also.
On our way back to the castle, we passed the Neheli estate. Lord Kosseth Neheli, a young Sueloise man in his twenties with sharp, almost rat like, features and a lanky build, came out of the estate to speak to Prince Rhys. Lord Kosseth petitioned Prince Rhys for the release of the River Witch. Dandelion taunted Lord Kosseth, trying to provoke an incident. Lord Kosseth replied with a thinly veiled threat that governments can rise and fall all the time. Dandelion did some investigation at the tavern later and found Lord Kosseth’s wife, Lady Patpi has bright blue eyes and is talkative. She also missed Keoland and is not very wise.
Prince Rhys went back to the castle. We were hailed by the temple of Ehlonna. They are overwhelmed with 100 to 150 insane people and are renting boarding houses in the lower quarter and the common quarter to house all the patients. A traveling priest cast greater restoration on a few patients, which cured them, but they quickly reverted back into insanity. Upon investigation, this does not look like spell plague or any of the fey curses. We traveled to the boarding houses visiting the insane to determine a pattern. They seemed to come from the northern area of the lower quarter around the Crackling Crow boarding house. Or the insane came from a large area in the Commons quarter around the Boar’s Knuckle. They were laborers, beggars or poor street merchants and their families. It seemed that once one person was infected, the entire household were infected. This insanity is taking a lot of resources from the good clergy, the town guard and the government. We wonder if it is a distraction for something. Of the insane, 5 were magical persons. Mazer was using in glasses of detection and the insane were calling him Eyes that See and also One of Us. This is causing us to wonder if the insanity was related to the Chained God.
The insane were trying to follow Mazer, so we let one go and followed him. He led us to the Boar’s Knuckle and then wanted oil. Dandelion supplied him with oil, which the insane man used to douse himself. He then tried to set himself on fire. Mazer and I tried to clean him up with Prestidigitation. He then attacked Mazer, who shot him with a firebolt. Mazer would have missed, but the insane man dodged into the bullet, catching on fire and dying. We later heard that the other insane when wild around this time and trying to kill themselves. Somehow they are connected to each other.
We decided to investigate the Boar’s Knuckle and look into the new excavation. There were lots of rats around. Suddenly a giant rat peed on Dandelion’s shoe. He cleaned it off with Prestidigitation. Then we heard a scream about a block away. We ran toward the screams and saw a woman collapsing under swarms of rats. Aoth noticed several giant rats watching from nearby houses. We killed one giant rat, who then turned into a Flan man of Dandelion’s acquaintance. Princess Jagr and several others ran up to attack the rats swarming the woman. Aoth summoned 8 velociraptors, which were vicious little creatures and drew some of the rats’ attention. However, there were many more rats then we thought, 200 to 300 regular sized rats or more and a dozen or more giant rats. I did not see any people in the streets and did not think about them being in the adjacent houses. I cast a fire ball on the spot when the woman had been swarmed, killing a lot of rats in the area and causing the others to flee. Unfortunately, none of the slain rats were wererats. Even more unfortunately, the fireball set 3 nearby houses on fire. One person each came running out of two of the adjacent houses. Morrick and Dentrack were able to put out the flames before they died. Dandelion flew off to get water from the river to put out the fire. And I cast chromatic orb cold to knock down the burning houses to contain the fire. Aoth was able to use a spell to create small rain clouds to prevent spread also. Once the fires were out, we discovered 11 dead people in the houses.
People were understandable upset and we all went to explain things to Prince Rhys. I explained the fireball was in protection of Princess Jagr. The Prince paid the cost of the buildings to the landlords. I paid 50 gp for each person killed (including the rat catcher who was the original target of the rats) to the families. That took most of the money I had, only leaving a little for living expenses. Aoth and Mazer discovered that Prince Rhys is planning to build a palace outside of town to the north as a surprise for Jagr. The cost will be 500,000 gp. The Prince got a loan from the Rhola and the 10% down payment of 50,000 gp is due in three months. This at least partially explains why the Prince wants money. I think this is a bad idea at this time, as Hochoch needs so much. And selling buildings and permits to anyone for anything is not helping clean up the town.
The Prince allowed us to sleep in guest rooms in the castle. Mazer was in the kitchen getting a snack when he got creeped out. He woke Morrick who noticed a muddy boot print in the hall and suggested waking Aoth. Morrick then went to don his armor. Aoth noticed that the mud was actually sewer matter. They then quickly woke up the rest of us and went to check on the Prince and Princess. Evendur also decided to don his armor, but the rest of us raced up the stairs. Mazer knocked and burst in, with the rest of us on his heels. An assassin was in the bedchamber and had just stabbed the Prince. Uaithne went for Morrick. Dandelion stabilized the Prince. Mazer and I fired magic at him and Dentrack shot him with arrows. The assassin again attacked the Prince. Dandelion was forced to attack with his dagger, which had no effect. We attacked and Princess Jagr shot him with ensnaring strike. The assassin was getting damaged, so he tried to flee out the window, but could not escape the ensnaring strike. Morrick arrived and stabilized the Prince. Dandelion read his thoughts and found he was a wererat. He received a contract for 5000 gp on the prince through Ian the Hearty. He did not belong to the Obsidian Blade assassin’s guild. Prince Rhys decided to keep the assassin in a cell for a week. He commissioned silver spikes to attach the assassin to the cell wall.
The next morning Dandelion disguised himself as the assassin and we went to find Ian the Hearty. We began our search in the low quarter and were soon accosted by 19 beggars. Mazer threw 20 gold pieces down the street and the beggars went after them. Evendur noticed that a piece of his magical cloak was missing, probably to be used to scry on him. The next time we were accosted by peasants, Aoth turned into a dire wolf and scared them away. We need to look poorer in the low quarter.
Dandelion soon found Ian and through persuasion and detect thoughts, convinced him to share information. Payment is to be in Ioweth Square in the fountain when the Prince is confirmed dead. The sponsor is a tall, lanky Keoish man with blond hair, blue eyes and green clothes. He came on the River Witch. From the description, this is the dead first mate of the River Witch, but the will to see the Prince dead probably did not die with him.
Aoth noticed that no guards were on the castle walls, so we decided to hurry back to the castle. Uaithne went to volunteer at one of the insane wards, as they always need help. Mazer cast fly on himself and me and Dandelion got fly and we headed for the castle, landing on the third floor parapet. Aoth turned into a war horse and carried Morrick, Dentrack and Evendur behind us.
When we landed, we noticed that the area smelled of chlorine. Upon entering the castle, we found a yellowish green fog of poisonous vapors heading down the stairs. We found 3 dead guards which were beyond help. Prince Rhys was not in his room, so we took the stairs down to the second floor. The great hall was scorched with the evidence of a fire ball and several dead bodies. Five sets of prints left the great hall, 2 female and 3 male. 2 males and 1 female went into the kitchen. The sooty prints soon dissipated, but we cautiously followed the stairs down. The fog had settled in the entry hall and seemed to stay there. The others caught up with us and we headed down to the dungeons. Morrick was able to heal two guards who had been blasted with multiple fire bolts in the chest. They had not seen anything. We continued around a corner and Mazer detected magic. We could not see the magical person, but tried to shoot where Mazer shot. We were hit with two fire balls before we finally captured two assassins. They were mages and members of the Obsidian Blades. The bounty on Prince Rhys had gone up to 10,000 gp. The Prince will have to decide their fate.
Someone has taken the events of the past few days and misrepresented them to the people. It sounds like the Neheli are behind the rumors in an attempt to remove Rhys from power.
I spent some time at the temple of Lydia researching the strange architecture under Lord Mundiguluss’ home. I discovered that the architecture is a mind flayer lair.
Prince Rhys and Princess Jagr soon issued a new decree in response. They are taking steps to restore law and order. An unfortunate side to this 8s that I am under arrest and awaiting trial by a judge to be elected by the people in two weeks. With the way publuc opinion has been directed, I do not have much hope of a sympathic judge.