Moriah, Quill and Kindle teleported back to the battlefield to retrieve Beales and Amaryllis. There they heard about Amrylliss and Beales’ adventure harassing the Orc army, and actually causing some of the Orc clans to flee, effectively disbanding. Beales also relayed a Divine vision he had after opening the Great Destroyer altar in the Chieftain’s tent. Cato, Beales brother was there as well, having been captured and held similar to Jerok’s mother. He showed everyone this magical Gnome Hooked Hammer they found attached to a Plaque that read: “The Hammer of Craceknheadopen, Gnome mass murderer of Orcs – Killed in battle by the mighty Orc warrior Barracus.”
Quill tracked the foot prints of the enemy Cleric, Eninan, who was now a Mummy. Tracks lead through the Orc army, and off into the wilderness, but suddenly stopped when encountering the tracks of another humanoid. There were signs the mummy knelt on the ground, before both sets of tracks disappeared.
Meanwhile Moriah attempt to Scry Eninan the mummy, but got nothing.
Then Moriah teleported everyone back to Synerg, arriving in her office, surprising Anders who leapt under the desk before realizing who it was. She instructed Anders to call the city council meeting quickly so they could present the evidence against the Temple of the Destroyer and have them removed from the city.
Anders agreed, but first handed her two letters which he insisted we important and needed to be read first. The first was an odd letter from Newman who apparently was very concerned about rumor he’d heard about Moriah breaking the law.
The second letter was a ransom letter for her friends Sophia and Ambrose, detailing out a number of demands to ensure their safety. Jerok reminded them that his spell had located Sophia in a house in the rich section of the city.
The party debated what to do, and whether they had time to investigate and mount a rescue before the City Council meeting. They decided to dispatch spies to wander by the house and see how it was guarded. Moriah did take that time to fix Beales’ new Hammer, upon which the magically intelligent item began to speak outloud profusely. It had been kept quiet so long it could not be silenced. The Hammer told him his special purpose was to protect the Gnomish homeland. Beales was so excited he took the hammer to a local Inn to meet many other Gnomes, there he threw a party and began drinking, a lot.
The spies determined the house to be owned by Mr. and Mrs. McGuire, two half-eleven mages that were married, but little else was known of them.
The party gathered near the suspect house to scout and plan. Our intrepid Ranger and Rogue turned into invisible gaseous clouds, (silent but deadly) and floated through the house scouting the rooms, and noting the strange large stone statues on each floor as well as a woman appearing to be Sophia asleep on an upstairs bed. Our curious Shaman also scouted upstairs as a small squirrel.
Use of True Sight determined the woman on the bed to not be Sophia, but a different woman, beautiful but not as beautiful as Sophia, though it was impossible to disregard the ugly scars on her body.
After a while Amaryllis’ potion of gaseous form wore off, but her stealth skills kept her mostly undetected. She murdered the sleeping woman on the bed with making a sound. (After silently stabbing the pillow the first time) and took the gems off the nightstand.
After a lengthy scout, Quill came out of the house to confer with the others. They determined the statutes to be Golems likely set to guard the house. However, they knew little of Golems.
Moriah went to find Beales in order to enlist his aid at the mansion figuring he would know something about fighting Golems. She found him surrounded by a throng of reveling Gnomes. They were singing Gnomish patriotic songs, the Hammer joining in with all the Gnomes. The party was so loud he couldn’t hear her yell for him, so she was forced to push her way through the crowded tavern, squeezing between many inebriated Gnomes. More than once shew as forced to warn off a drunken gnome with a quick cantrip of fire.
Eventually she was able to make her request, Beales gave her a quick rundown of the Golem’s weaknesses (adamantine) and resistances (ignore direct magic attacks). He told her he’d be along eventually. He had introduced his hammer to all the important Gnomes of the city, but still had to meet with Esmeralda the Head Priestess of the Wanderer who wanted to discuss something with the Hammer.
Moriah returned to the party who had been doing some more planning. The party planned a tactical invasion of the mansion in which they would lure the Golems away from the door so the party could all enter and reach the basement where they believed Sophia and Ambrose to be. However, they disagreed on which direction to lure the giant stone creatures, into the house or out of the house.
When the drunken Beales returned from the tavern he the party still embroiled in discussion about how to enter than mansion. Shrugging, he marched up to the Front door, asked Amaryllis to pick the lock, and opened it. The Golems activated and attacked.
Jerok filled his frame with the holy power of the Great Warrior until he was able to overcome the damage resistance of the Golems. Binoll tried to lure them out of the house, but the magic of their creation commanded them to stay within the doors.
As Jerok smashed chucks for stone from their bodies, Beales assisted in the fight. Quill turned to gas and went back into the house to find his way down stairs. Moriah joined him eventually. The intrepid Shaman entered upstairs, but was sighted by Golems there and very nearly had her squirrel head squashed by stone Golem feet. She changed to a bird, flew out of range and then warped wood around one Golem, trapping him. She fled from the other.
Using illusions, Binoll successfully lured a couple Golems further into the house and down into the ballroom preventing Jerok for being surrounded. He eventually smashed all the Golems to bits.
Upstairs there had been an office of sorts. Here a strange letter from Newman to Mr. McGuire was found.
Quill found his way to the basement and two Golems guarding a lone door. With the Golems upstairs defeated, the party gathered below together and quickly destroyed the two guarding the door with a concerted team effort.
Unknown to them however, Amaryllis had been scouting hidden areas on her own, and discovered a trap door in a 1st floor closet that dropped down onto the same room the Golem-guarded door opened onto. So the party was more than shocked to find her standing there when the door opened.
The room was a wizard’s lab with many potion bottles half-filled, empty, and many alchemical ingredients. A dark corridor headed off into a large library as well. After a brief search, the group entered the library. It was hard to tear Beales and Binoll away from the books but the need to rescue the kidnapped drove them on. Beales did throw many books into his bag of holding.
Through a door on the other side of the Library, they found a room with caged monstrosities. Someone had been experimenting with animals and trying to create Flesh Golems out of animal parts. Huge sewn together parts of Bears and wolves growled from behind thick bars of steel. Vira cried with visceral pain at the unnatural state of the once natural creatures.
The party found other very interesting items in the room as well. A book titled “100 steps to becoming a Lich” drew a lot of attention. (Matt had left by then but I’m ruling his character would have vied strongly for that book- it remains undetermined if Binoll or Jerock have it now). On the cover of this book was a cover letter called very interesting Treatise on Death. Binoll did find some spell scrolls, apparently necromancy. They also found a book that Jerok grabbed and scanned through,
Skeptical Analysis of the Great Warrior.
They discovered a map of Synerg with many interesting things on it. Newman’s and Quill’s house were marked as well as Ranger patrol routes. At first they thought they were marked as targets, but in careful reading of the markings they deciphered that expeditions to capture wild animals were to steer far of the houses and Quill’s Rangers.
While Vira debated on how to end the suffering of these mutated animals, they party open the large metal door at the far end. It has strange contraption on it that Amaryllis suspected was a trap of some kind, but could see no way it would harm them.
In fact they learned as they opened the door and hear the yells of surprise and annoyance it was attached to chain and pulley that ensured the prisoners at the far end of the chain were pulled to wall when the door opened. Sophia and Ambrose were yanked to the wall, pulled off a bed they had been relaxing on together. Apparently, with the door closed they had enough slack in the chain to have the freedom of the room.
They were complaining to “McGuire” that he had told them they had the day to themselves, that he would be gone all day. When they realized it was not McGuire, but was Moriah come to rescue them, they were overjoyed and relieved.
Moriah however, had some reservations and questioned them about this McGuire before releasing them. They explained that he was not a cruel captor, that he was holding them as a favor for other people. He feed them and allowed them physical freedom of the room. He did require them to play special intimate “games” to pass the time (Sophia blushed at this) but he had a way about him that this had not seemed forced. Ambrose was just telling them that McGuire had this overwhelming sense of power about him that they feared, which should be feared, when McGuire appeared.
He called the rescue attempt pitiful. He did want to talk however, and managed to get some points (insert McGuire speech later) across before the party attacked. However, the attack was not very successful. Moriah’s touch attack missed, seeming to pass through the arm. The Swarm of bees Vira summoned, buzzed around him without attacking, and Jerok’s spell fizzled for some reason (that he still doesn’t know) Beales did not attack, nor did Amaryllis. He attempt to continue the conversation despite these attacks.
McGuire complied and actually shook Beales hand at one point. Beales said felt it like touching a force spell and not flesh.
McGuire then waved his hand and vanished, but that moment Beales said actually had lasted almost a minute. No one else saw or heard anything else though, like he did. Beales said McGuire has taken somethings out of Amarylliss’ bag.
The party then took Sophia and Ambrose and left the house. Moriah continued to question them but eventually came to see them as mostly innocent, well not innocent, but also not duplicitous.
Vira and Quill went to gather experts to assist him in humanly killing the monstrosities while Mayor Moriah ordered the burning of the McGuire House. Beales and Amaryllis went to confer with Rufus, their guild leader. Jerok went to confer with Kari-L and perhaps commune for divine answers. Binoll went off on his own to study the new scroll.
All were to meet again in a few hours for the City Council meeting to present proof against the Temple of the Destroyer.