Baldur's Gate: Vice

The Masquerade

Chapter 4 - 5 — Session 5

While Nibengîl “Nibs” Orchalion continues his work on the arm mounted crossbow and Rilsa Rael‘s special project, the rest of the party pursues other goals. Research at the High Hall, the seat of parliament and government in the city, reveals that Imbraylm Skoond has recently purchased the manor called “Seskergates” in the lower city. The family now defunct, Skoond bought the tall, garish manor which is full of secret passages and winding tunnels. It was here that the cultist Villiers discovered the Bhaalite primer. Research indicates that one of the Seskergates family was a member of the Iron Throne, and thus an ally and acolyte of the Bhaalspawn Sarevok. It’s possible the book was his.

The next day, new from Baldur’s Mouth announces the capture of the cultist, the return of Bhaal, and the threat of more worshippers. Almost missed in the excitement is an outrageous increase in taxes on luxury goods that presses hard against the finances of the patriars. A Flaming Fist representative makes claims that the Guild seems a likely ally of the Bhaalites.

Our heroes make arrangements to meet their “handler” Ulder Ravengard at the Hissing Stones bathhouse. When completely disrobed, Their disdain for him shows, and is not missed by Ravengard. A tense meeting ensues wherein our heroes chide the. Marshal for his inattention to the problem of the Bhaal cult in pursuit of lesser troubles – while Ravengard presses them for more details about the Guild the leads they have followed. He offers them an assignment to blackmail a political rival – but rescinds the request when they debate the merits of investigating the cult and scoffing at the idea of allowing the quest to be handled by others. With no small frustration, Ravengard takes his report and leaves them to their work.

J’ah Kreature continued his wandering life, righting wrongs and encouraging peace. He spoke to the people of the Seatower district and calmed their fears a great deal. You may not be able to squeeze blood from a stone, but you sure can drink it from a boot.

Pelagornis Sandersi IV sought out the right to enter the The High House of Wonders – a privilege granted by his station as a paladin of Gond and a creation of the artificers within. He had paid a pretty penny to take on the hapless male dwarf prostitute, Lustbeard, and hired him on as squire to house Sandersi. With no small effort, after a few days he managed to talk Nibbs way into the House of Wonders as well…with the stipulation that Nibbs was never to leave his side, and must be watched at all times. Given the improved facilities, his upgrades progressed much faster.

After returning from the meeting with Ravengard, our heroes found an invitation to attend a ball held by the retired adventurer Coran. This masquerade and costume party would be decadent and extravagant – a last hurrah before the taxation on luxuries went into effect. The party assembled their costumes, Kreatures, Artemis Entreris, Dragons and Elminsters alike.

Festivities increased in their debauched velocity as the party met their host. Though sly, pompous, frivolous and playful, Coran was genuinely interested in the heroes. He offered them his services, both as advisor and safe-house, and gave the, what clues as he knew. He expressed a distrust for the newly arrived Skoond, concerns about mysterious shipments to the harbormaster, advice on Kreature’s half-wrought notion of running for Duke (against Silvershield and his adversary), and intention to support the Casavir bid for a Parliament of Peers seat.

While at the party, Aldric Longbeard floored the members of the Guild of Sages, and easily earned a patron within the organization. Alan Whitcomb grudgingly missed an opportunity to reconnect with the arcanist Flaming Fist officer Casondra Fairweather in order to use his guile to embarrass the heir to House Bormul with an illusion that the party ate up. In the confusion, Tellus Casavir was spotted by his father, though not directly confronted. Kreature was asked to pilfer a handful of letters off of the arrogant noble, and did so at the beginning of the night, thanks to no small assistance from Tellus and the spectacle of a dragon vs. Elminster cosplay.

When the letters were returned to Rilsa Rael, they revealed a re-aligning of assets that denied the Guild their spies and influences over the Bormuls – a frustrating discovery.

The next morning, political news yet worsened. The Dukes had decreed that the formerly defunct dueling laws of Baldur’s Gate’s earliest years were reinstated as law. Duels were now declared until first blood – and could continue at the consent of the wounded party. Like wise, interference in a duel permitted a duelists allies to intervene. Our heroes saw this as a recipe for a bloodbath, thus playing right into Bhaal’s hands.

While making strides to push forward a political career for J’ah Kreature, and end the now untenable garbage strike, (which might require a hefty bribe…) he and Pelagornis Sandersi IV happened upon an incredibly one-sided duel about to begin between an Eltan Patriar and an outmatched lamplad. The paladin stepped in to intervene, challenging the haughty swordsman himself ……

……..meanwhile, under the streets of the Lower City, Alan, Aldric, and Tellus sought out an entrance into the mysterious Seskergates mansion with the help of the lamplass grifter, Tilda Dunbeigh no sooner had they done so, they were set upon by a suspicious man, who barely resisted Aldric’s “Sleep” spell. The man pulled back his cowl and was revealed to be a vicious wererat! He moved into striking position, his remaining vermin squeaking nosily at his heels.

REWARDS
Gold: Taken by Tellus
EXP: 50 each

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