Road to Finnsbury

Bastion, Sep 23, 1135

We were clearly being watched and pursued. Someone wanted us silenced for good. I turned Abby, Jon and Rouse into mice and put them in the pocket of my robes. Invisibly, I flew all of us out of the city walls of Bastion and into the countryside. Once in the forest I turned us all into swifts and we flew East 20 miles, giving us a head start toward our destination of Finnsbury.

A Phantom Steed, conjured by Edmund. A quasi-real, horselike creature. Black head and body, gray mane and tail, and smoke-colored, insubstantial hooves that make no sound.
A Phantom Steed, conjured by Edmund. A quasi-real, horselike creature. Black head and body, gray mane and tail, and smoke-colored, insubstantial hooves that make no sound.

Sep 26, 1135

While riding our Phantom Steeds at reckless speed at the edge of a forest, we ran head first into a animated tree creature which swallowed Abby whole, closely followed by the often clumsy Rouse. Somehow, while inside the creature, Rouse managed to cut his way out as I fire-balled it from above. Jon deftly attacked the creature from the outside. Our team tactics were starting to really gel at this time. We were taking advantage of one another’s strengths and working as a team.

After the battle we knew that if someone was following us the fireballs would surely give away our position. As swifts we flew North across the main road and then East over the forest, landing for a rest. Vinnik spotted a small village just a few hundred yards NW of our resting spot. Exhausted, we spent the rest of the night in The Rope Trick.

Edmund's Rope Trick.
Edmund’s Rope Trick.

We spent the rest of the day in Rope Trick as well and ventured out at dusk. We headed towards the nearby small creek to refresh our water supplies. Then we headed south along the creek towards the main road. We encountered a female Vampire who charmed Abby and Rouse. I tried a variety of offensive spells on the vampire including Feeblemind, Flesh To Stone, Dominate Person, and Blindness. Nothing worked. Then I turned into a 12-headed hydra and attacked the vampire the old fashioned way.

Charmed Rouse tried defending the vampire and I had to bludgeon him gently with one of the hydra heads. I barraged the vampire with claws and teeth and did enough damage to force her to flee in gaseous form, while Jon knocked Rouse out cold. We put his limp body on Abby’s steed and bolted South at top speed until we hit the main road. Eastward we rode at breakneck speed and did not stop for at least 20 minutes when Rouse finally became conscious. His charm was somehow finally lifted. Mental note. No matter what I tried, I could not detect the vampire casting spells, nor could I dispel them on Rouse or Abby. I’ll have to look into that trick.

Atlin Subcontinent
Atlin Subcontinent

We decided to continue riding fast on our Phantom Steeds East along the main road. Unfortunately, the guard stations along the main road sent carrier pigeons ahead with notes saying that there were fast moving shapes, travelling East toward Finnsbury without footfall, at amazing speed. One of the guard stations receiving the warning decided to stretch a rope across the road. We were travelling at 80 miles per hour when we ran into it. Abby and I were sharing a steed and she was in front. She took the brunt of the impact and suffered serious chest injuries. The impact launched me over Abby and I Feather Fell to safety, landing gently on the road, but not before I spotted Rouse flying through the air. I quickly cast a Feather Fall spell on him just before he hit the ground and he also landed safely. Miraculously, as the rope hit his steed, Jon managed to avoid pain by rolling and tumbling acrobatically, like it was no trouble at all. Abby was a mess, lying on the road moaning.

Out of the guard tower came 5 guards, brandishing long swords. I was pissed. Flying upwards I fireballed the guard cluster, killing all but one who turned and fled towards the forest. Jon, moving like a panther sprung on his charred back and practically beheaded him with his sword.

Vinnik, Edmund's owl familiar. Stubborn, powerful, fat.
Vinnik, Edmund’s owl familiar. Stubborn, powerful, fat.

Rouse’s keen eyes spotted a pigeon heading East. I commanded Vinnik to follow while I turned into a swift. I caught the two birds quickly and turned back into human form to Magic Missile the messenger bird. Job well done, Vinnik and I turned back to the guard house. We then found the last guard who was hiding in the guard house. He was quickly subdued. Abby and I interrogated him while Rouse and Jon searched the guard tower, finding nothing useful.

The guard told us that they just put up the rope to see what the strange fast-moving object was. He also said that there were already relay riders and pigeons heading East with the news of the fast moving objects — us. Sneaking into Finnsbury undetected was no longer an option.

I then told him that since he saw our faces that he would have to die… and so he did. All of a sudden, everyone felt guilty and got mad at me for killing an “innocent” in cold blood but I insisted that he had to be killed since he was the first human to see our faces since we snuck out of bastion 4 or 5 days ago. The argument got fairly heated and it was clear that the circumstances and pressures were getting to us more as our travels progressed.

We understood that word was going to reach Finnsbury before we did so we decided to ride the Phantom Steeds slower and safer, and not along the main road. We veered South East into and through the forest for the rest of the journey to Finnsbury. It took several long days before we reached the outermost farms, 60 miles from the city walls.

Sep 27, 1135

We spent the day camping so Abby could rest up and heal the rest of her wounds. We knew the days ahead would prove challenging.

Sep 28, 1135

We flew closer to the city walls of Finnsbury and set up a Rope Trick. Fisherman’s Ale Pub in was Rouse’s contact point so he and I flew there. Rouse was looking for someone named Damon Leatherpants, clearly a handle. Rouse spoke with Heather in the kitchen after he made contact with a barmaid. She brought me eggs and ale. I wore a magical disguise designed to make me appear to be a frumpy fellow from a Bastion pub I used to frequent. Rouse walked around with the waitress some more while I drank and ate.

At this time Abby and Jon were safely in the Rope Trick, just outside the south west corner of the city walls. This is what Rouse found out:

Rouse and I went back to tell Jon and Abby what we discovered. We all decided to go into Finnsbury through the south gate and walk north on Vine street. We stopped at Union Park and decided to split up. Abby and Jon went shopping while Rouse and I went to The Union Library to see if we could learn something about the MacEacherns.

1:00 pm

Rouse and I walked up to the main desk at the library and were rudely turned away by Esmerelda and Jeremy. I dominated both of them from a distance and when we returned back to the main desk, Esmerelda was more than happy to help. I made her promise not to talk to anyone about the subject matter we were about to discuss. She told us about Douglas Richardson who was a magistrate and that his rotation was going to be done in the year 1140. She also told us about John MacEachern Sr., who was in power in Finnsbury years ago. She told us that he may have been under the influence of a controlling female magic user and that he reportedly did her bidding. She also mentioned John and Roger, his sons, who were both now in politics. Roger was a councilman here in Finnsbury while John went to Sweetwater to pursue politics. She also told us that John Sr. allegedly killed himself. She told us that Richard Westerose lived on Key Street. With this new information Rouse and I left the library.

We met up with Jon and Abby and the four of us went to The Pink Pony Bar and Grill, which was Jon’s contact point in Finnsbury. Immediately after Jon made contact, something bad happened to us again. Maybe Jon should stop checking in with his “friends”. Our meals turned out to be poisoned in various manners. I managed to escape by turning into a hummingbird while Jon fought his way out through Joan, the barmaid and Jepson, the tender. Vinnik rescued me, because I was in pretty bad shape, and flew me to safety where I was unconscious for what seemed at least a full day.

Sep 29, 1135

2:00 pm

When I came to, I flew back towards the Pink Pony and found Jon waking up from a similar condition under some tarps in a nearby row boat in the canal. We had no clue where Abby and Rouse were. Jon and I were trying to come up with a plan to find our friends. I dominated a random barmaid from the previous night’s pub but she had no useful information. Then Vinnik spotted soldiers approaching so Jon and I flew off to the south west corner of Finnsbury, just outside the city walls. I was still concentrating on Jeremy and Esmerelda at The Union Library to maintain control, in case we needed to come back for more information.

3:00 pm

We flew back to the Pink Pony and spotted a guild lookout stationed outside. I charmed him and found out his name was Frank. I commanded him to find out where Abby and Rouse were being kept captive. We made plans to meet on the steps of the Union Library at 10:00 am on the next day so he could tell me what he found.

4:00 pm

We needed divine intervention. Jon and I went to The Elium on Vine Street. It’s the main temple of Helga in Finnsbury. Tomas took my dagger and led us to meet with an elder named Yohan. We told him about our missing friends and that we were in need of help. We gave him Rouse’s old ring so the clerics of Helga could try and divinate the location of our companions. Yohan left us in a waiting room for half an hour when sister Sara came to get us. She said that she would lead us to our friends if we would pay back The Elium by running a special errand. We agreed.

Jon and I followed her to the Eastern docks in the old town section of Finnsbury directly to an old warehouse and she pointed out the building where we should look. We then walked back to The Elium to retrieve Rouse’s ring. We thanked Yohan and promised to return with our friends and pay back our debt to The Elium.

Sep 29, 1135

5:00 pm

Jon and I invisibly flew to the warehouse and scouted it from above. There were many ships being loaded/unloaded on the docks. All ships had markings of Richard Westerose, John MacEachern’s cousin.

There was a single guard at the front door of the building in which our friends were allegedly kept captive. Domination failed but Feeblemind did not. With the guard rendered useless, Jon and I invisibly flew closer to the windows and peered inside. Jon pried a ring from the guard’s finger and we both headed inside through the window. We were flying invisibly and hovered down some stairs since nothing of interest was in the wide open space of the main floor. We passed through a 20′ x 30′ room and then through a 20′ long corridor. At the end of the hall was an opening into a room at the threshold of which Jon dropped to the ground and became visible. Anti-magic.

Richard Westerose's Warehouse in Finnsbury where Abby and Rouse were held captive.
Richard Westerose’s Warehouse in Finnsbury where Abby and Rouse were held captive.

Inside this anti-magic room were three knights wearing chainmail and carrying broadswords. There was a closed barred gate at the far end of the room. I quickly backed up into the hall through which we came as iron bars fell from the ceiling, separating Jon and I. He was in the room with the knights by himself. I didn’t want to get surprised from the rear so I quickly found a cockroach and threw it halfway up the stairs and cast a Resilient Sphere around it to keep away anyone approaching from the main warehouse above.

I went back to the iron bars to check on Jon. He was engaged in a combative dance with the three knights, when I saw Abby and Rouse appear beyond the iron bars at the other end of the anti-magic room. Rouse deftly picked the lock with something and him and Abby joined the battle. All three knights fell and some interesting magical items (Bracers +2, Ring of Protection +1) were found on their possesion, once we got out of the anti-magic room.

We decided to leave the warehouse so I dispelled the Resilient Sphere on the stairs only to find a young attractive blond woman sitting past the sphere, smiling at us.