Last Quest, our Heroes were paid a visit by Zero the Innkeeper, their first quest-giver from the hamlet of Pyre, and Two the Intern, Zero's orphan ward. Zero congratulated the heroes on their work improving the once-dilapidated Sea Wolf Inn, and in Innkeeper fashion, shared a juicy rumor with the group's own Innkeeper, Smithy. The rumor goes that Two's deceased father, Larry Blotter, had attended the magical school of Tomefast where he grew up to become a renowned wizard! If some proof could be obtained to confirm this, it might help unlock any latent magical powers in Two, and of course, attract some business for Zero, to boot! This, and the suspicion that someone at Tomefast masterminded the recent landing of a black-sailed treasure ship on the shores of the Sea Wolf Inn, our adventurers have a enough leads to check out the school records, and crack open any secrets therein.
Only staff and students are permitted inside the magical academy of Tomefast, so the group disguises themselves to sneak inside during the Festivus Holidays. It is said that any remaining students during the holidays go nearly feral without adult supervision, and roving gangs fight for dominance during this brief reprieve from authority. There are three competitive schools at Tomefast: The Red Raiders, an austere, no funny business lot; Pupperstadt, a happy-go-lucky sort who wear dog tails; and The Green Bellies, an in-your-face crew who cover themselves in green paint.
Murf the Paladin and Smithy and Innkeeper, respectively, went as a de-motivational guest speaker the new Hotel and Restaurant Management instructor of the Red Raiders, Vin the Fool and Wally the Wizard with missing hands disguised themselves as the new yoga instructor and shop teacher with missing hands, and Malbeca the Alchemist, Boil the Lobsterman mercenary, and Krain the Barbarian all threw in with the Green Bellies, going as students, and covering themselves head-to-toe in the green stuff. Tarl, the mercenary Swordsman, chose no disguise, for authenticity sake.
They managed to bluff their way past the guard at the front gate, while Smithy earned a rumor that "The King is guarded on all sides." So mysterious! The crew began searching the halls of the school for clues to their riddles. Murf and Vin find the boy's lavatory, filled with the magically-animated remains of... remains! Gross and nasty humanoid forms crowd in to slap the heroes with their wastepaper limbs and seeping filth! A mushroom spore explodes, injuring the mental faculties of Murf. However, some spell scrolls were uncovered in the water closets, and with a little wringing-out, they would serve our heroes well. A crude rhyme was found carved into the limestone of the urinal: "Here Lies Larry Blotter, he died where he squattered." [sic] Seems our Blotter was the subject of schoolyard bullying... In the water closet, Malbeca stood on the commode, and looking over the bathroom stall, dispatched some gibbering ooze piles. The rest made a hasty retreat, but not before some of the filth beasts pursued Smithy! In the words of Murf, "Smithy was running away from the gross duders and then one of them was like, 'BAH GAWD, THAT'S TARL THE SWORDSMAN'S MUSIC', and then he burst into the hallway with appropriate pyrotechnics." Thus, Smithy was saved by Tarl the badass. Phew!
Krain triggered a swinging blade trap, and catches the blade right in his shoulder! That has to sting. Undaunted, he smashes in the door of the trophy room, and there found a prized artifact for the quest: a top-prize medallion that Larry Blotter earned during in Sweep Stakes, a popular Tomefast sporting event of brooms and vampire slaying. The embossed treasure features a likeness of Blotter. The resemblance to Two is uncanny. This would help to proclaim Two's legitimacy as the son of a great magician. Now, on to the records archive to find out who has been sending letters out commissioning certain ships to come ashore to certain light houses!
The heroes regroup and head upstairs, while Murf heads downstairs, learning that "The King is guarded on all sides" means a kingly statue near the basement stairs is guarded by hidden spear traps! Luckily, Murf is nimble, and the warning is passed down the line. Upstairs, Krain finds a door marked "Rustomancy Department." Stripping off any metal weapons and armor, he ventures in, and takes on a collection of Rust Golems with his bare hands! He devastates the first, but soon runs out of steam, and is assisted by Malbeca, Boil, and Wally. After the rust settles, they find the body of the Rustomancy Professor, and on his mutilated corpse, a Wand of Magic!
Now onto the student dormitory, where our adventurers surprise a gang of students! Tarl promptly falls into a pit trap, and tries to bluff his way out of the situation by aligning himself with whatever gang these students belong to. He chooses poorly, as the students reveal themselves to be merciless Red Raiders! A spell-slinging fight ensues! Vin manages to pilfer some loot from the footlockers of the slain students. Finally, tucked in the student archives, they uncovered the beginnings of a conspiracy that could unravel the balance of power in Cinderwrought... a log of out-going messages, sent via school-issued carrier rat to the Sludgefort.. and all are signed by Lady Fuchsia of House Groan! According to the dying words of Abbey, a crew mate on the black ship, this is where the ship embarked from. The message logs were on their way to the incinerator, but the heroes found them just in time.
Suddenly, reinforcements from the Red Raiders arrive! They've exiled most of Pupperstadt to the nearby woods, and claim dominion over the school this holiday break! Out for more blood, the Red Raiders pursue the Heroes. They make a quick getaway out the emergency fire exit, clutching the proof they need to pin Fuchsia as a traitor to the kingdom of Cinderwrought! This is dangerous information indeed, what will our Heroes manage to do with it, and who else knows that they know? Know doubt about it, it's going to be an exciting adventure, so join us next time!