19th of Passion, 6th Year of Factol Jamis’s Reign
Having a Drink with Entropy
Cyan has informed our heroic party that one of the factors of the Doomguard, Nagaul, is looking for their assistance. Planebusters present to partake this pursuit are:
Soliloquy, who is using this job to pay for school
Santher, who gets a new nickname: “Fridge”.
Jasseira, who will teach the party the value of a flexible body.
Captain Lu, here to show the world that dwarf jokes are still funny.
The party are directed to a bar called the “Last Call”, that lies near the Armory (the former base of operations for the Doomguard). The neighbourhood has changed a lot since the Doomguard left for the Negative Quasielemental Planes. What once was a fairly gritty neighbourhood has started to become sterilized under the influence of the Harmonium (or to be precise, the influence of Nicolai Mabru, who allows the Harmonium to run it “unofficially”).
After Captain Lu gives the “stink eye” to a pair of Harmonium goons hanging around the Last Call, they are ushered into a private room at the back, where Nagaul and two heavily armoured Doomguard are waiting. Nagaul could easily be mistaken for being one of the Dustmen; breaking the sterotypical “boisterous” dwarf, she instead speaks in a very calm (but flat) voice. She lays the chant about the operation to the party, telling them the Doomguard seek a sword that Vartus Timlin owned, known as Lightbringer.
Timlin was once the factol of a group known as the Expansionists. About two decades ago, before the Faction War, Timlin was making plans to take over Sigil from the Lady of Pain. Well, that didn’t turn out too well for him; walking home from a strategy meeting, he stepped into an unfamiliar alley, and has been mazed ever since. Timlin was feared not for his charisma, but for Lightbringer. The Doomguard, looking to unite their fractured faction, are seeking to use the sword as a rallying cry. They’ve figured out the dark of getting into Timlin’s maze (a gold-plated rose dipped in honey, in a doorway near the Howling Balor in the Hive) as well as the way out (a plate of Timlin’s food that appears three times in the maze each day). They just need someone to get into the Maze and retrieve it.
With their instructions given, and a small supply of healing potions given, Nagaul directs that they leave immediately. The PCs depart to gather some supplies, in case this operation is not an in-and-out job.
For Those Still Following Along
As the party is out shopping (or in Jasseira’s case, stealing), they notice that a sizable group of Harmonium are following them, led by a Paladin of Bahamut. The party decides to break off, and it quickly becomes apparent the only ones the Hardheads are interested in tracking is Captain Lu.
Jasseria decides to follow them and learns that there is another group of cutters following the Harmonium. Santher decides to enter the Hive by himself, and gets kicked out by the Harmonium after failing to explain why they shouldn’t. Soliloquy goes off to do some research on Mazes, while Captain Lu has a plan.
His plan is thus:
Step 1. Bring the Harmonium in close contact with some Sodkillers who are currently hanging around the Hive.
Step 2. Antagonize the Sodkillers into attacking him.
Step 3. Yell and scream for someone like the Harmonium to save him.
Step 4. ???
Step 5. Prof— no wait, this plan still ends with the Sodkillers kicking the shit out of him.
Luckily Jasseira bluffs her way in and helps antagonize the Harmonium and Sodkillers into roughing each other up. Captain Lu tries to be something of a world wrestling champion by gorilla pressing a Sodkiller wizard into a Harmonium bloke, but merely ends up straining his back. Meanwhile, Soliloquy and Santher have entered the scene! Soliloquy casts Charm of Misplaced Wrath, sending the Paladin into a tizzy! Santher… Santher just watches.
(This will be a reoccurring theme of this campaign I’m sure.)
A quick exit from Jasseira into the gathering crowd, and one Web spell from the Sodkiller mage later, the Harmonium Paladin decides that this scuffle isn’t worth it, and calls his men off, to the jeers of the Sodkillers (who in fairness to the Harmonium, weren’t walking away unscathed either, thanks to Lu and Soliloquy). Gathered and free to move now, the party passes the Roaring Balor, holds up the gold-plated rose dipped in honey, and enters the maze…
Alright, Here’s The Plan…
[Vartus Timlin | Timlin]]‘s Maze appears before the party as a narrow alleyway that runs in various directions. The walls reach up to an unknown point in the sky, and above, the soft light of… whatever lights the Lady’s mazes… casts a sort of evening glow (it is about 6 “after-peak” when they arrive). Jasseira notices a small trail of ash leading from the “entrance” portal, indicating that someone else was here before.
As they wander the maze, they quickly come across a courtyard. The noiseless door allows them to see Vartus eating dinner, oblivious to their presence. Timlin is a giant of a man, dressed in black and carrying a a small armory of weapons (including a sword, sheathed at his side). With several days rations, they have a lot of time to sit back and just observe Timlin as he…
Santher: “Hi! We want your sword!”
…okay, plan B: trick him.
Jasseria steps in and bluffs about being a member of the Expansionists (and gives him a fake name), here to set him free. Timlin chews his food carefully, but is obviously interested in getting out of this trap that has held him for around two decades. Jasseria tells him that things are going to need to be set up so they can exit, and takes Timlin on a round-about tour of his own Maze, to subconsciously map it herself. Timlin starts becoming irritated at how unspecific Jasseria is being, and as she says that opening the portal will take at least several hours, he asks if he needs to be there while they work the ritual. Jasseria says no, and a grumpy Timlin runs off to get some sleep.
The party realizes that this plan kind of sucks, so after giving Timlin a bit of time to fall asleep, Jasseria runs off to try and steal the sword from him. Scanning the room (or rather, “alleyway”) that Timlin has made his bed in, there isn’t much to search through. Timlin himself sleeps on a pallet, dragged from a storage room the party found earlier (it also contained a body hanging from a hook, but the PCs didn’t seem to find that so worrisome). There was also a change of clothes, and a jug of water. Looking under the covers, Jasseira sees that he doesn’t sleep with the weapon, so there’s that at least. She declines to search anything else, and leaves.
That Old Plan Sucked, Here’s the NEW, NEW, NEW one…
While wandering back to the group, Jasseria notices that that group of Harmonium from earlier have followed them in. Adopting a new name, Jasseria goads them into confronting Timlin tonight, with the promise that they reward her for her cooperation. Leading to his room, the rest of the part follows behind, and watched the Harmonium barge in.
And then get their asses kicked once Vartus pulls a sword out from underneath his bed.
When the carnage is over, only the Paladin (who announces himself to be named Karnyne) is left standing for the Harmonium, but disarmed, heavily bleeding, and with all his comrades sliced in two. Jasseira follows Karnyne to finish him off, while the rest of the group moves to stop Timlin from follow him. What follows is a farce.
Captain Lu: “Y’see, Jasseira is a spy for the Hardheads, and there’s a ritual here that Soliloquy needs to cast, and we need to Fridge here to be a fridge.”
Timlin: Who’s Jasseira?
Soliloquy: I stopped paying attention about an hour ago.
Santher:_ Okay here’s the truth. We want your sword. One of your plates of food is the key out. We know where it is, and will trade you your freedom from your sword,_ Lightbringer.
Timlin: Okay, deal.
In another part of the maze, while Jasseria is twisting her knife into the Paladin’s stomach, she feels a shudder that her plans have gone completely off the rails.
Timlin Proposes his Own Plan
So the party then decides that the only solution is to try and murder Vartus Timlin in his sleep. The plan starts out great, as the party pulls a sword with the words “Lightbringer” on it from underneath his bunk. They then proceed to stab him as he sleeps.
But that just wakes him up. And Vartus does not like to be woken up. Revealing that he (shockingly) did not trust the PCs, he unsheathes the actual Lightbringer and starts hacking into Jasseria and Captain Lu.
Santher decides that now is the time to protest the party attacking a sleeping man. He first tries to convince Timlin that he isn’t there to hurt him (a difficult thing to say given that he’s go some stab wounds that suggest otherwise), and then tries to placate the raging man by trying to be completely honest that he has no intention of fighting him. Well, Timlin shockingly doesn’t believe him. So after trying unsuccessfully for about 10 seconds to prove he was telling the truth, Santher wades into combat himself.
A few rounds later, both Santher and Captain Lu are bleeding on the floor, Soliloquy is trying to run away, and Timlin has Jasseira in a hold.
“New plan,” says Timlin, “you show me how to get out of here tomorrow morning or I kill you and all of your comrades tonight.”
“I accept your terms,” says a bloodied and battered Jasseira.
20th of Passion, 6th Year of Factol Jamis’s Reign
The next morning, Timlin finds the group with a plate of his food in stow, and (with one hand still on Lightbringer) nudges the party to the exit. He allows them all to exit the maze with him, but scolds them on the other side for their deception… and then leaves Sigil with Lightbringer.
I was just coming up with a plan that involved a worldwide conspiracy and an evil twin. It would have worked for sure.