This is a sketchy synopsis of the games since Russ has left.
Since the group returned to Synerg City from the dungeon of the Lich Queen (who tasked them with finding the “stolen blue book”) a lot has happened.
They group asked a temple to raise Yrock (still dead from lizards). They agreed, but asked for a task in return. “Find out who is behind the attacks on the elves as they are framing the tribal humans living in the city for it” (and the temple priest swears it is not them)
Group finds and kills the perpetrators (though some attacks still continue) and discover they are doing it to cover their interdiction of smuggling operations. The racial slurs left behind were an apparent distraction (or worse). Even though most attack have stopped the unrest/distrust in the city does not go away.
they were human barbarians connected to the temple that gave our heroes the mission. The son of the head priest was the leader of the killers.
Evidence from the son of the priest says he was working for Therena. She is a well known socialite in the city and a powerful sorcerer.
They visit a shop called the Tattered Scroll that Therena owns. An employees tells them about her, where she lives etc. (With some charming and loving from Beales)
The group goes to her house when she is away at an important party. They discover she is blackmailing many city officials and discover a crystal ball I her lab (which they cannot remove). They kill her live in lover/guard.
Later a vampire visits them. He is working for the Lich and is searching for the book also. He says as long as they do not get in his way, he will not harm them. He asks if they have ability to speak with dead, but they do not. He demands that they look for this ability/magic and contact him when they have it. (Barred to him)
(My memory is fuzzy on why they went to see Capt of the Guard but they did) Beales goes upstairs alone to see the Capt, and talks with him shortly. He knows about them and request covertly if they found personal items of his from Therena’s house. Beales gives him these items, but shortly thereafter, Therena arrives in through window and casts magic against Capt. Beales runs, but Capt runs out of room and orders them all arrested. (Charmed)
Moriah (or Amaryllis, can’t remember) goes invisible and escapes. She returns later to rescue them from jail cell. They escape from building, but are chased.
Rogues jump out into street and duck them into hiding in the thieves’ guild. There they meet Rufus the Rough, guild leader and are offered sanctuary if they agree to tell al they know about Therena and found in her house. (Unexpected allies)
Rufus the Rough, guild leader explained that this Therena was spreading lies about his guild, causing the other powers in town (Guards/Government and the Merchants) to align against him. He promised help if you were to take Therena out.
They agree, they decide to attack her, the guild aids with some magical supplies, but before they do so, they rest. During the night, Beales and (one other character, can’t remember who) disappears.
While the others search, Beales and X find themselves in the Ethereal plane. They see everything in the “real world” but can’t interact with it. (they learn later that Therena had caused this through her crystal ball)
They wander around the guild and encounter numerous ghosts, as ghosts are mostly on the Ethereal Plane. They fight the ghost of the temple priest’s son and learn of a leader above them all called “Craven”
They encounter the Ghost of Selbach, the thief of the Lich’s “blue book” He is sketchy on details, but promises more if they find his body and bury it in holy ground.
He does say that he stole book for Craven, but was double crossed and killed. This Craven has the book now.
The two encounter Ethereal Filchers, monster that can plane jump to the Ethereal and back again. After some adventuring they discover they are the guild wizard’s pets, and they manage to get brought back to “real world” via these monsters.
After reuniting with the others, (forget what they were doing) Figured out that Therena is one causing them to go to Ethereal plane. Rest again and Norman disappears, but this time group says let go get Therena!
The group asks the guild wizard (with his Ethereal Filchers) to search for Newman
They attack her and after a really fun battle, defeat her. They discover evidence she is taking order form a man named Craven, and has a man named Percival under her. (As well as the priest’s son, who is dead.)
They are greeted by city guards outside Therena’s house, but upon being escorted to Capt of guard, they are released as he is no longer charmed.
They find out that while under her control, the guard were order to pull all their patrols back form outside the city and to concentrate on making life hard on the thieves guild. (But not the smuggling operations)
He asks them to continue their investigation, gives them freedom to do whatever they want in city. He is too busy picking up pieces to help them, but asks one of his guards to help them out (Jerock – Tim’s character)
Group goes back to guild and all go to Ethereal plane to find Newman. Find him, but also run into Therena’s ghost. She is angry at them, but says that nothing they do will stop the master’s plans.
The group goes to the Elf quarter of the city to buy magic after their haul in Therena’s house, but discover that all the Elf businesses are closed and all the elf mages have left the city. Reportedly, this is a reaction to the faked “racial” violence. (Which continues, but at a much reduced level)
They did encounter one elf mage (as he packed up his store) who asked Moriah to investigate the smuggling of Midori high Elf magic into Synerg; Something strictly forbidden by the elves.
The group ran into a person (Percival) who said they could sell them “really good magic items” and arranged a return visit.
Later, in the same area, they were attacked by four mercenaries who did not want to be seen. (The area was deserted). (half orcs and mongrel dwarves)
The mercenaries were defeated, but Binoll and Beales noted that no mercenaries like these had been seen in the city and they were part of a larger band of mercenaries called “The Bloody Fist”. They wondered why they were here and were they were staying/hiding.
The next day in returning to meet Percival they were attacked by assassins.
Jerock returned to the Capt of the Guard to report the mercs and assassins, however while they were there, an assassin attacked the Capt of the guard and almost killed him. A loyal guard, close to the Capt. did die.
The others went to the thieves’ guild to find out what they could learn.
[Except Beales, He sought out his familiar. (For Al: It cost you 100 gold and all day in research. What creature from have you summoned to be your familiar? (Bat, cat, hawk, lizard, owl, rat, raven, viper, toad))
Moriah, Amaryllis, Binoll Yrock and Newman, met with Rufus the Rough, thieves’ guild leader.
Rufus asked for their help. Trade/business is way down in city. Merchant guild is blaming the thieves for too many attacks, but Rufus says they are not doing it. He asked group, as outsiders to investigate.
Rufus stated assassins have nothing to do with his guild. There have not been assassins in city for 5 years. His people did not even know about the assassin presence until the Capt of Guard announced they had come into the city and he was hunting for them.
Rufus does not know Percival, but when he was told that Percival worked for Therena Rufus surmised that Percival is head of a spy ring that the guild had learned was working for Therena. Rufus was not surprised by Percival’s request after the battle with the guards; he said "information is the lifeblood of spies. The gathering of, the falsifying of, the spreading of” He made a sudden realization after this discussion, but the group did not pick up on it.
Rufus gave Amaryllis three tasks to achieve Guild membership.
Yrock & Binoll reminded the group about the ghost of Selbach asked for his body to be buried. He suggested talking to Helar, a guild member, as he remembered Helar and Selbach being acquainted.
The group found Ibyn and Helar in a back room. They realized Helar was the vampire, who had talked to them before about the book, who had been sent by the Lich. Then they came to realize that the body Helar had in safekeeping that he wants to use “Speak to Dead” magic on was Selbach’s body. The vamp refused to turn it over.
He did though grill the party on what the ghost of Selbach said. Upon leaning all he could of Craven, he left. As he left, he DOMINATED Yrock and ordered Yrock and Ibyn (his underling vampire) to kill everyone.
The battle was tough, Moriah managed to get a Prot from Evil potion down Yrock, but as Yrock was already engaged in battle, he continued. Binoll, Amaryllis, Newman and Moriah continued to battle the vamp, Moriah used fly and acid arrow to almost defeat him, but he healed too fast. Moriah lost 2 levels and Amaryllis lost 4 from negative energy drain. (Still need to roll fort save to see if permanent or obtain Restoration) Yrock killed Binoll. Moriah tried fireball which dropped Amaryllis. She then turned invisible and healed Amaryllis. Newman fell unconscious. The women both then ran. With no one else left, the vamp attacked the confused Yrock. Yrock instinctively fought back and killed the vamp, but the vamp turned to a gas cloud and floated away.
The three of them ran to Rufus for help, Moriah, upset over Binoll’s death, verbally attacked Rufus and accused Rufus of many things. Rufus declared Moriah no longer welcome in his guild, but after some explanation by Amaryllis, he and his people searched the guild and found Ibyn’s coffin. After which Rufus believed their story and rescinded his order (although Moriah is on his bad side still). They killed the vampire via decapitation.
Amaryllis was allowed to loot Ibyn. She found masterwork studded leather armor, 2000 silver, 4 gems (bloodstone, 2 black pearls, and a white pearl and a magic ring. Also: Before they left the guild, the potion wore off Yrock who then began to attack again. The thieves promptly ganged up on him and knocked him unconscious.
Note: The temple charges 500 gold for Amaryllis and Moriah to receive Restoration. (Not sure if Jerock can cast this or not)
They put a Protection from Evil on Yrock for free, offered more Protection form Evil potions for 50 gold each, but stresses he must be watched. They offered to put word out on street that a vampire was on the loose.