BHB Session 5 & 6: More like Unpleasant Tome

The Pleasant Tome is a quaint bookshop on Merchants row in Haling Cove.

  • The Adventurous Camel
    • Chipper Ella informs the group that spies investigated the information gathered in Session 4.
    • Found a place they feel is involved: The pleasant tome
  • The Pleasant Tome
    • Halfling bookseller greets them as they enter.
    • Party splits, Gideon distracting the bookseller while the others explore upstairs. Nothing of note discovered.
    • Using Thaumaturgy, Elunir, creates the sounds of crashing books on the third floor.
    • Gaiixaus leaves the shop via the door. Rest of the group heads into the suspicious basement. Gideon acquires coded personal letters.
    • Pika discovers a secret door and how to use it.
    • Gaiixaus re-enters shop, Elunir casts Thaumaturgy again creating ghost whispers upstairs. Gaiixaus fakes leaving as the shop keep goes upstairs and then enters into the trap door.
  • The Cave Chambers
    • A cave opens behind the secret door.
    • Discover barrels and an herbal smelling chest. (Green liquid, Black liquid moving on its own, oil slick globules floating in water)
    • Encounter a tough fighter and kill him.
    • Fought 6 thugs from high ground. Killed all but one and gained information on shift changes and a keyring with 9 keys. Then killed him.
    • Discovered 9 small cages with passed out humanoids inside and a cave path continuing further.
  • The Grotto
    • Encountered 2 Water Hags, Gideon was frightened to death by one hag.
    • Discovered an underwater passage. Elunir explored and faught 3 giant crabs.
    • On the other side Elunir discovered a lost pirate treasure which contained gold, a trident of fish commands, a cloak of elvinkind and a three chambered amulet with a symbol that matched Elunir’s indecipherable treasure map.
    • Discovered water path leading to the harbor and a row boat on shore.
  • Lying in wait
    • Removed the passed out  people from the cages and into the rowboat. Elunir takes them to a safe distance and watches over them.
    • Group lies in wait for next shift and kills them all. Giixaus uses 5 charges on his gem of brightness to blind them.
  • Interrogating the Bookseller
    • Return upstairs, attempt to zone of truth the bookseller and fail.
    • Intimidate the bookseller into giving the following information:
      • The bookseller is not fully aware of what they do to the people or what the barrels are.
      • The bookseller is terrified of telling them who is responsible.
      • The bookseller would lose his shop entirely if he did not do this (and maybe his life)
      • The bookseller has not met whoever is in charge in person.
    • Unsure of what to do the party contacts Ella and brings her to the shop. Ella retrieves vials of the liquids for testing.
    • The group elects to spare the bookseller because he doesn’t seem evil. Ella confirms she can get him out of the city secretly without problem. Ella and the bookseller leave.

The Adventurous Camel

Ella, obnoxiously cheerful, joined the group at the Adventurous Camel tavern to catch them up. She let the brawlers know that their spies had succeeded in locating at least one of the locations listed in the ledger they had discovered during session 3.

The spies are 99% sure there is some kind of activity tied to the notebook happening in a small bookshop called The Pleasant Tome. She warns the group not to attract the attention of the guards, because “frankly you guys aren’t that badass yet. You would 100% die. For sure.”

The Pleasant Tome

The group, excited with the idea of smashing some heads in, headed right over to Merchants’ Row and locates the Pleasant Tome. The bookshop was quaint and simple, a large window out front displayed some popular book titles. The second floor had two smaller windows, both closed.

As the group entered, a bell rang over the door. Behind the counter an older Halfling with salt and pepper hair, a little checkered bow tie and a well fitted vest sat on a stool. Behind the counter walls were lined with a large bookcase stuffed to the brim with books, stacks of scrolls,  ornate bookends, quills, parchment, and bottles of ink.

While Gideon chatted with the bookseller about books on herbs the group explored upstairs. The room was small with a well worn wingback chair and additional bookcases. Another staircase headed upwards but was blocked by a velvet rope with a sign that read “Employees Only.”

Pika’s familiar checked out the third floor but found only dust covered tables stacked with dust covered books.

In a ploy to distract the bookseller, Elunir used Thaumetergy to create the loud sound of something falling on the third floor as they headed back downstairs. The bookseller headed up to investigate the sound while Giixaus left the shop to wait outside and give them a way out. Everyone else crept into the trapdoor behind the counter.

They also discovered a locked money box but left it since they had little time.

The basement was pretty bare. They discovered some some coded letters they could not decode and found a secret door.

The Cave Chambers

The basement door opened to a carved hallway that opened into a cave area.

The Pleasant Tome Feature ImageExploring further they ran into a tough fighter. After a bloody battle where everyone and their mother rolled 1s he was defeated.

Everyone momentarily debated chopping him and up and putting him in some barrels near by but thought better of it. The icky aspect of dismembering him wasn’t up their alley.

Investigating the barrels revealed they were filled with a green viscous substance, a black substance that seemed to move on its own, and barrels of water with amorphous blobs with the sheen of an oil-slick. The chest nearby was empty but smelled strongly of herbs they could not identify. Even after Gideon rubbed his nose all up in there. He regretted only asking about herb books as a distraction.

Rounding the bend ahead they could make out 6 ruffians by a small fire. They appeared to be idle and hadn’t seen them.

Pika’s familiar in owl form sat around the bend to keep watch, but one of the ruffians noticed him. “Hey. Is that an owl? Awww….” and approached to snuggle it if possible.

The group sensing they would be revealed soon preceded to just mercilessly destroy all but one of the ruffians.  Interrogating this ruffian revealed there would be another shift in 2 hours and each shift was about 6 hours long. He knew nothing about who was in charge and was just tying to make a buck. He also relinquished a ring of nine keys.

And then they slit his throat.

Exploring the area further they discovered nine humanoid sized cages, each containing its own humanoid of differing species and sex.

The group continued further into the cave.

The Grotto

The-Pleasant-TomethegrottoAs they moved down the narrow cave passage a slight breeze and the smell of the sea greeted them.

A path to the left has collapsed at some point and was filled with rubble.

Continuing straight a shallow murky pool of seawater waited for them. They discovered very old broken furniture and several smashed plates to  the left. Continuing to the right towards the pool the sight of two of the ugliest hags they had ever seen greeted them. So ugly were these hags that Gideon and Tho were frozen with fear.

Image Lady in the Lake by dottorfile on their DeviantArt
Image: “Lady in the Lake” by dottorfile on their Deviantart

Tho got a hold of himself but Gideon on making eyecontact with one of the hags fell to 0hp with sheet fright.

The remainder of the group killed the hags and revived Gideon with great success.

Exploring further a clearer pool of cave water seemed to go down and continue under. Elunir removed his armor and braved the water after making a short prayer to Saeshelas.

On the other side he was greeted with 3 giant crabs and so nervous he missed a bunch of shots and almost died. But finally got a hold of himself and smashed them all up.

Greater than the crab meat remaining the sealed area was filled with old furniture some of which was damaged by the cave collapse. He managed to find a chest with a lot of gold, a Trident of Fish Command, and a Cloak of Elvenkind.  Elunir also discovered a three chambered pendant which upon investigation he discovered had a familiar symbol engraved on it’s edge, a symbol that matched one on his indecipherable treasure map.

Elunir returned to the group with huge amounts of treasure and everyone was happy.

Exploring the remaining paths led them out to a small beach with a row boat beached there.

Lying in Wait

To give themselves more time to question the bookseller the group moved all of the passed out humanoids to the rowboat and Elunir took them to a safe location while the remainder of the group fought and killed the next shift.

Interrogating the Bookseller

After dispatching the second shift the group headed up to the bookseller and excited about their new spells Elunir cast Zone of the Truth on him. Unfortunately the Halfling passed easily. So they reverted to intimidation which was very successful.

They discovered the following:

  • The bookseller is not fully aware of what they do to the people or what the barrels are.
  • The bookseller is terrified of telling them who is responsible.
  • The bookseller would lose his shop entirely if he did not do this (and maybe his life)
  • The bookseller has not met whoever is in charge in person.

From here the group didn’t know exactly what to do. They didn’t want to kill the bookseller. They wanted to help him and they weren’t 100% sure what to do with a boatload of passed out people. In the end Tho went to fetch Ella in the hopes that she could help them.

As Ella toured the shop and the caves she filled vials with each of the liquids in the barrels for testing.

Ella offered to handle both the people and to get the Halfling, now identified as Bartholomew, out of the city and away from the danger he was in.

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