Despite missing a player, we ran a full session. Given the holidays, though, this may be the case until after the new year.
The session started with the party meeting up at Maxwell’s after Orin and Gregor slept from their respective all-nighters. Maxwell, being saddled with an unfortunate amount of work that required him instead of his family, had to take leave for a few days- leaving Sarin, Gregor, and Orin to the messy business of hunting down a ghost.
Their plan was twofold. Orin and Sarin would begin their investigations while Gregor saw to procuring a sufficient quantity of tea leaves known to allow the living to interact (See, hear, and touch) with dematerialized ghosts. Both groups, for the most part, met with success.
Gregor, in true Gregor fashion, opened doors. Through contacts made from his courier days, he ultimately found a major trader in the tea and quickly devised a plan to steal away with the ghost flower tea. Striking at the break of dawn, just before guard details were to switch, Gregor (Through trickery, suitable and directly applied intimidation, and flat-out sucker punching his targets) made his way past the unwary, unprofessional, and under-prepared guards and to the trade ledger kept in the building. Scanning through it, he found his target (A recent/large shipment of ghost flower tea from Sijan, due to be sold to several merchants in Sijan-town) and procured it. A simple job, brilliantly executed, with very little in the way of evidence.
Sarin and Orin’s Investigation
Sarin and Orin ran into some difficulties that ultimately were rewarding. Sarin, after hunting down and sacrificing a hundred rats to (the previously summoned and bargained with during Sarin’s downtime 2) Muglam. After conversing with cajoling the lesser mud spirit, Muglam agreed to show the pair where the fake Agnes-spirit was found. Muglam lead the duo to an otherwise-mundane, small warehouse. The premises were dimly lit, and watched over by a single guard- who was observed tripping over a box and knocking himself unconscious by the pair.
Preying upon the opportunity, Orin and Sarin searched the warehouse, finding relatively disturbing facts. Firstly, the walls were coated with the same greyish, oily substance Sarin had previously determined was necromantic in nature. Secondly, none of it had seeped out because the walls were packed to prevent it. Thirdly, under a crate was found covering a strangely-placed root cellar which the two decided to explore.
Luck, as it stood, was against the pair—if only for the moment.
Attempting to sneak down the rickety wooden stairs, Orin lead the way… Only to fall ass over teakettle down the stairs, and smashing into a table in the root cellar that just so happened to be covered with a variety of apparatus filled with noxious chemicals. Obviously, Orin was neither amused nor immune and the resulting chemical concoction that ran into his nose threw him entirely off balance.
While Orin was keeled over and inducing himself to vomit, Sarin found the remains of a now-soaked and partially dissolved work diary, as well as another tear. The “tears”, as it turned out, were actually a drug that, supposedly, was cheaper and more effective than qat at acting as a tranquilizer for slaves. In the diary, they were described as Nelaya’s tears and were made from the hun and po of human souls!
Orin, regaining his composure, interrogated the sole guard to no avail- the poor young man had taken the job to feed his family, the work was light, and the pay was good. The boy’s critical error, after being thrown out of the warehouse, was forgetting his helmet.
The boy came back in sheepishly, announcing his presence. After being given his helmet back by a now-frustrated Orin, the boy tripped again. Sarin, ready to kill the poor boy for being such an annoyance, found her reason when the war ghost that she had encountered twice before had reared its head, possessed the poor boy, and transformed him into a terrible beast!
After a quick spat between the ghost and the duo (Leaving Sarin with a nasty wound across her chest as a result of the war ghost using his lamprey-mouthed fingers to scoop away her flesh), the ghost beat a hasty retreat- leaving an unconscious and wounded young man behind. Sarin attempted, after much prodding from Sarin, to tend the boys wounds but to no avail. They left the corpse of the poor guard behind as Orin made his way home (Feeling fully the effects of whatever it was he imbibed) and Sarin stayed overnight to watch the warehouse.
Orin was wracked with terrible nightmares, the concentrated and evil fluids working their way through his system. When he finally dragged himself out of bed the next day, the Kid had left him an infusion of herbs to help calm his body.
Ghost Flower Tea: Side Effects are Generally Mild(?)
After returning from their nightly expedition, the party returned to Mawxwell’s only to find Gregor brewing pot after pot of Ghost Flower Tea. It turns out that in order to experience the full effects of ghost flower tea, several pots must be consumed- not only to ensure resistance to the natural sleep-inducing quality it has, but to infuse them with the essence required to see, touch, and hear dematerialized ghosts.
After about 15 pots each on behalf of Gregor and Orin, the duo fell asleep despite their best efforts. Sarin, having little else to do while waiting for them to wake up, staked out the warehouse they had encountered the ghost at only to find no one was giving the warehouse even a second glance.
A curious side-effect of the ghost flower tea made itself known on the pair; both of them awoke a few shades paler, and with faintly glowing, blue-ish lips.
The party had figured out what was causing the taint (vile necromantic chemicals used in the process of creating Nelaya’s Tears), and where tainted boxes were mostly going (The Crescent Moon restaurant). Wasting no time, they headed off to investigate the large, popular, and largely popular restaurant in the Nexus district.
After eating a quick meal at the restaurant, the party found their their way into the basement area of the restaurant. They found various storage rooms, the kitchen proper, a service entrance… And a door that seemingly didn’t belong in one of the storage rooms. Gregor, never wasting a chance to ply his skills, opened the door with specialized expertise. The door revealed a rough-hewn stone staircase down and away from the restaurant. The party pressed on.
At the end of their stair-filled descent, they came to a sort of large, partially-finished root cellar about thirty feet underground. The room they first entered into seemed as much a living space as it was a storage room. After Gregor encountered (And opened) another door, the party was treated to what was really down here- a manufactory for Nelaya’s Tears!
Struck in awe of the scene, Gregor immediately began to scout for traps and the like—only to hit a tripwire and send a boulder hurtling from the ceiling in his general direction. Orin, with a flick of the wrist and a very flashy spin, launched Gregor out of the way and took the brunt of the swinging boulder so expertly that it didn’t even scratch his breastplate.
It was about this time the war ghost made a second appearance. After attempting (And failing) to possess Sarin, it engaged in combat proper with the party. No major blows were exchanged, but enough damage was done to the ghost to force it to retreat- leaving Orin with an opportunity to fire a parting shot. The ghost, not entirely aware of the effects of Sapphire Elm, ripped apart its corpus as it jumped through the ceiling of the root cellar.
The session ended with that action. The party is currently in pursuit of a wounded, enraged war ghost- who knows what tricks it might have up its sleeve?