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Defenders Log Entry #13: The Next Level of Paranoia

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean

Watch as the party attempts to keel over from high stress!

When we last left our immobile party, it was in the room at the inn with Father Filner from the Nevronian Church. We had just found a supposedly non-magical but clearly intelligent dagger. We put it back.

Our next and last idea was to discreetly drill a hole in the ceiling and look through it for several nights.

Several interesting things were noted:

At fairly random times during the night every couple of days, the chest, tub, and wardrobe would all glow green. This, we concluded was the appearance of them activating.

A couple of nights into our observations, our "ghost" entered the room from the wardrobe immediately following a green glow from it. He moved around the room for a few moments, then sprinted back to the wardrobe, and we believe that it had begun to close and he reopened it, then clambered in and left.

That was neat.

About a half hour later, something even weirder happened. The washbasin went flying across the room, crashing noisily on the other side. The stick we had left lying against a wall was knocked over, along with the nightstand, we discovered the next morning.

We told the Nevronian priest everything, but we have withheld the existence of the map and dagger from the innkeeper.

We were then strongly suspicious that there was both a real and fake ghost. The dual personality theory had been blossoming anyway, and it was just getting better. Before that night we had left a message hidden in a drawer that had three questions:

1. Who is Brinea? (As in, kill Brinea from Nbod's previous message)
2. Where is Brinea?
3. How do we kill Brinea?

Although the intruder definitely did not open the drawer, an answer was given to the last two questions:

2. Mo... (We think this was Moon Isle)
3. With my dagger. (there was also some insult that slips my mind right now)

We decided that the ghost was indeed Captain Nbod, but that it was invisible, and someone else was entering through the portal disguised as a ghostly Captain Nbod to scare everyone off. It would also explain the sounds of a fight we had heard a few weeks back.

We also tried one other thing. Drew, with a _Bless_ spell on him courtesy of Tyveris, asked the dagger a question: Who is Brinea?

The response-- "I have been questioned. Brinea is the witch of the sea, the caretaker. Do not dare to question me again soon."

Disturbingly cryptic. We decided not to ask anymore questions for now.

So in the tradition of the Molehill encounter, we plotted an ambush.

Tyveris would look through the hole in the ceiling. When the glow occurred he would tug on a twine that would reach Quentin and the others outside the door. Quentin would begin casting _Trip_ on the rope we had laid out-- and it stretched under the door so Quentin could activate it from out of sight.

In addition, Perry set up a snare to further mess him up if the _Trip_ failed. In addition, we set up a ratchet on the doors, so that they would lock when they closed behind him, buying us some time. Tyveris would throw _Command_ spells until he either dropped or we simply had to kill him.

Of course, if we were wrong and it was really a powerful undead, the plan to run. And hope someone made it out alive.

A few nights later, the glow began, and Tyveris signaled. Quentin began casting, but was unable to finish the spell before the figure entered the room and checked it out for a few moments.

Tyveris waited until he stumbled on the way out, then hit him with a Command. Felix and Morgan burst in, with Drew following closely behind with a lit hooded lantern to blind the intruder.

As it turned out, the intruder toppled over with the Command. The party then began a series of botched attempts to knock him unconscious with saps before he woke up. He got off a moan through his gag and must have alerted someone. Quentin got to the wardrobe first and put a chair in front of it. Moments later there was a loud impact, then nothing. Whatever it was unable to return.

The intruder was indeed a man, as we expected. He was disguised as Captain Nbod, but when we pulled off the glowfungus, fake beard, and hair, he resembled the Captain's final first mate, Zune. We weren't sure what to do next. Where should we take him? We decided that the Nevronian church was the safest spot for the moment. Unfortunately there were two guards on the bridge who would certainly have questioned us if we went by with an unconscious guy in tow.

Perry had a great idea though. He ran up to the guards claiming he had seen a beating at the docks. He said he was there watching in case the ghost returned. It worked perfectly; the guards abandoned their post and we slipped unnoticed to the church.

Unfortunately for Perry, he blew his cover story and the two guards are currently amusing themselves hitting him in a chair. We hope he'll return by morning... thanks for the sacrifice, Perry! "Did you kill the Archbishop? For every lie, we will pull off... a toe hair!"

Meanwhile, we spoke with the prisoner. He was indeed the first mate. He was quite willing to answer any questions as long as it didn't involve giving away the number and location of his friends.

This may or may not be true, but this is what we got from him:

Zune is a priest of the neutral evil sea goddess, Queen of the Grotto.

He has a large group he leads in fact, if not in name. He has been searching the room of Captain Nbod for the dagger and longsword for years, minutes at a time, going through the portal. He had defeated the ghost on several occasions with spells and magic items, but it just returned a few days later.

Brinea is supposed to be a spirit Captain Nbod killed years ago but was unable to destroy.

Zune claims that he found the dagger first and Nbod stole it from him. It was found on Moon Isle, which is basically far north of here.

He claims that he has contacts who will know if we have the dagger and exact revenge. He also says that if we release him and don't have the dagger, we will be left alone.

When asked about its powers, he claims that it allows waterbreathing.

We stepped outside for a conference, with Father Filner.

It was patently obvious that the dagger was an artifact. The first mate couldn't even begin to list its powers. It clearly is evil and something has to be done-- but it is indestructible. The safest thing for it would be to turn it over to the Archbishop in Barnacus.

However, it would be rather unhealthy for us, based on Zune's final threat.

We will cast a _Detect Lie_ off of scroll and talk with him again to see if there really is a cult, or if it is just him and some other guy or something. If there is really a cult, it may be in our survival instincts to free him. Our hope is that he won't find the dagger-- if he hasn't found it by now, the portal will soon go down and he will be unable to try further, we hope.

He claims that he will then know whether it is in the room or not. I'm not sure what method that is.

By the way, he was carrying a magical hammer, bracer, unholy symbol, and wand.

Presumably, since Zune has no qualms about angering the ghost, it is likely safe to grab the treasure we found in the room. By the way, Drew was able to determine that the "Magic 8-Ball" thing we found was indeed the fabled compass. This we might be able to sell discreetly to the Petethalian navy for more than enough money to cover our training expenses. And we still net a Bag of Holding.

We might also consider sending a letter to the Archbishop and having him come down here on the pretense of removing the ghost, and then secretly slip him the artifact.

Will we live out the year? I don't know, but if we pull this off we are really going to be well off.
Log Supplement VI: Additional Information for the Careful Reader

I forgot one or two things:

1. During one of our observation evenings, we noticed the tub filling up.
2. Nbod had fired the first mate, Zune, when they entered town on the ship for the last time.

Suggestion: We should ask whether Zune and his friends were responsible for the disappearance of previous occupants of the room, and the other party.


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