G171: The Hand of Kastria, Part I

Date: 27 March 2013
PCs: Martin, Audrey, Ja'Tubis, Cut, Pritchard Hood
DM: quendalon

Summary

The Company delved the fifth level, and discovered what appeared to be a perfectly healthy and unscathed member of the Ambreville clan living in the depths among the gargoyles and floating eyes! He called himself Jean Marc d'Ambreville, and there was a hefty mutual suspicion between him and the party that ultimately went un-acted upon. In a nearby bedroom, the party discovered a low-level spellbook and a small figurine of a demonic creature that proved to be magical, along with a bundle of love-letters from a Jean Claude to one Alva. Skaledene's ability to detect invisibility revealed to Martin a creature that resembled a horned giant rat scuttling about otherwise empty rooms, but the party was unable to capture (or even engage) it.

Exploring the fifth level, the party found a sign nominating a room with 4 statues within as the "Stone Garden". Unwilling to argue with a sign, the Company's mappers decided to regard the Stone Garden as a complex of rooms on the fourth and fifth levels. Wandering through a number of rooms in the Stone Garden complex, they stumbled on a gallery of magical artifacts. These artifacts rest on stone pedestals covered by domes of magical force. Two domes in particular occupied the party's attentions: One, covering a curious black stone hand that could have been carved or petrified, was labelled "The Hand of Kastria"; another displayed copper-plated gloves and a bowl of some kind. The latter dome had no label per se, but was surrounded by cartouches that can be depressed as buttons. The company assumed it was a trap mechanism of some kind, and made drawing of the cartouches to contemplate later (they were revealed to be symbols for bear, elephant, scorpion, tiger, turtle and wolf). They took a more direct course of action with the Hand of Kastria, asking the Dwarven hirelings to chisel away enough of the base to capture the Hand in the chainmail bag usually reserved for demon parts.

Upon their return to the surface, Cut Coutelain laid out a deliberate plan for ascertaining what they'd retrieved: They would describe the galleries and the indestructible domes, ask after lore of the Hand of Kastria and the cartouches, and generally claim to be planning a return for the items while keeping them concealed. Unfortunately, he did not appear to communicate this to anyone. The Company's visit to Tertullian was thus an awkward sequence of conflicting stories and matters of personal curiosity that made clear to Tertullian (and ultimately Blanchfleur) that the Hand had been retrieved.

Blanchfleur displayed some concern that the item might be dangerous, and asked that it be held in the Chateau du Marais until more of its nature was understood. An argument broke out amongst the Company- some wanting to surrender the Hand only to the Temple of Trianoma, others to Blanchfleur in holding, some to simply keep it for their own. Tempers flared: Audrey questioned her ability to adventure with the Company, Pritchard argued desperately for the Marais interests, and Martin demanded that the party keep the thing while questioning the priority of Blanchfleur's authority. Ja'Tubis dithered. Cut fumed over the poor execution of their information-gathering strategy. Increasingly anxious from the tension around him, Pritchard seized the artifact and literally disappeared. He later claimed to have left it on the roof of the library in Glantri City while soliciting more information from the Temple, and returned afterwards to find it missing.

Losses and Loot

Each PC received 150g and 449xp


Prev: Lessa's Laboratory

Next: The Hand of Kastria, Part II

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