G71: Ape and Essence


Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains is the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. - Aldous Huxley "Ape and Essence"



In one riddle-chest, they found 15 small copper rods, a small pool of silver-leaf flowers and branches, a solid gold ingot, and several stacks of thick, platinum coins. In another they found 200 rings that glowed with magic. In a third, a single reinforced half-glove and five potions. In the drawing room, they found a ton of bric-a-brac that was aged and essentially worthless, along with a decrepit, rag-clothed body that is far too dessicated for easy identification.

Hidden behind the fireplace was a small trove of yellowing, brittle books installed into low-lying bookcases. Journal pages for an Amos Foster were stashed throughout books on the poetry of the Des Esseintes brothers, treasure troves of children's riddles, and abstract accounts of underground construction detailing less how to build spaces for comfortable living than deliberate oddities. There were also jottings for peculiar spells.

Pugeot is perplexed by many of the writings. As with the many inexpensive or costume rings that seem to be infused with permanent magical auras. Two of the potions are peculiar and nearly worthless to adventurers - one changes the color of one's skin for the duration, the other grows hair out at an alarming rate. The others have descriptive labels - "skin as light as leaves", "eyes as keen as owls", "flesh's new experience" - Levitation, Awareness, and Polymorph Self. The Potion of Awareness will increase checks for secret doors and mechanical traps by one for the duration.

Two cleric spell scrolls: Bestow Curse, Speak with Plants. There are no explicit magic-user spells, but a thickly catalogued grimoire details spells on: turning into a butterfly, turning into a worm, turning into a flower, turning into a girl, turning into a little boy, and how to shape stone with magic. Whether most of these detail curses that are permanent, or temporary polymorph spells, you are reluctant to delve into immediately, but a Polymorph Self or Polymorph Other spell might be sussed out with research.

You have three hardened mushroom spores remaining in the fungus case.

The glove is made of strong, supple dark leather, reinforced with plates of steel. After some study, Pugeot identifies it as what has sometimes been called Ta's Abschied. Only a magic-user may use it. When clenched and engaged in an arm-motion, it jets out a protective eldritch armor about the wearer. This lasts for three turns, and not a second less, and can be used once per day. It prevents spell use by the user, including wands and scrolls, but confers the benefits of plate plus shield (AC 2) without the encumbrance. There exists, it is said, a glove for the other hand that generates a mystical weapon.

For foes vanquished, you earned 176 xp each. All treasure was sold, except for the rings and the writings. You earned 690 gp each after sage's fees; he asks for the minor potions and copies some non-magic materials as partial payment.

A full share: 880 xp, 690 gp.
A half share for Jorge and Wintergreen: 440 xp, 345 gp

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