The ornament was gratefully accepted by the guard patrol, and the party was given a receipt for it to show that they'd delivered it. They rushed back to town, with their prisoner in tow, to meet the emmisary, who sent them to meet the councillor, who was significantly less grateful to be handed a prisoner. Apparently, the elves didn't *take* prisoners. Instead, they hunted them with bows. Gennal was given the honor of performing the summary execution, in this case.
The councillor wrote Rain a hasty note telling the mage school to let him research some more powerful rituals, and ran off to the party. Gennal examined the note, and noticed that it just said 'let this guy research whatever he wants', with no limit or even indication that it meant Rain or was meant for the mage school.
But Rain was the one in the most hurry to get some rituals, especially the 'transfer enchantment' ritual so that they could get some use out of the weapons and armor they'd found in the bunker and on the enemies, some of which had interesting properties. The steward agreed to let him reseatch that ritual, but ONLY ONE. Also, he wanted to keep the note. Rain talked him into letting him research two additional rituals (he picked 'Enchant Magic Item' and 'Arcane Lock') in place of the minor magical item the party had been promised in return for the cockatrices, and then used an unseen servant (directed by his new familiar, the invisible book imp Misty) to steal back the note. Just in case.
That night, they split up the loot, transferring enchantments around and deciding to sell the rest, although they weren't actually going to sell them in the elven town since they'd probably get a better deal (and in money that they could spend elsewhere) in the trading town. Rain got a Battlecrazed sword, Gennal got Loki's repulsion armor and a pair of magic daggers (one of them 'defensive'), Kalrea got a staff of vengeance and a defensive dagger, Loki got Meliorating Scale Mail (he'd retrained to wear heavy armor), and Malik got the shield of silver light.
Kalrea also bought some nature rituals from the druids, then used the note that Rain passed her to get another higher level one on the second day, while Rain was studying the rest of the rituals he'd been promised. That day the party also showed up to claim their minor magical items from the mages, and were given a basketful of magical crap.
That is, 'eternal chalk', 'silent tool' (actually not too sucky due to the 'be any tool you need' part), 'hunter's flint', and a 'shroud of protection' which they almost came to blows over NOT claiming. Because it's just that bad.
It only works if you're in combat, and an ally is dying -- meaning they're making saving throws every round not to die. Instead of stabilizing them, or fighting the enemies, you can put the shroud over them to give them resistance to damage. It takes a standard action to take the shroud off, so you can't stabilize them or feed them a potion while it's on, and it covers them completely so you don't have line of effect to use healing magic on them, so while you protect them from enemy action, you all but ensure their eventual demise. And it doesn't work on unconscious but not dying people, so you can't stabilize them and then use the shroud.
What the fuck, wizards? They should have named it the 'Body Bag of Leaving a Good Looking Corpse'.
Aaanyway, the steward noticed that the note was gone and asked Rain about it, but he told him that he didn't have it and didn't know where it was. "And I was talking to Gennal - he said it wasn't meant as a one-time use thing anyway, so you shouldn't have taken it in the first place." The mages didn't say anything about that, but had Rain watched more closely.
The other shopping related misadventure was Loki's Quest for Cannith Goggles. He found a black marketeer willing to sell them, but he wanted elven money instead of gold. So Loki went to Gennal to trade for elven money, but only had enough to afford three leaves from Loki. He tried to trade three leaves (worth 100gp each) and a suit of +1 leather armor for it, but the elf wouldn't bite, and told him to get lost.
So Loki decided to stalk the guy until he left home, planning to rob his place while he was out. The elf saw him standing there and threatened to call the guards if he didn't buzz off.
So Loki went back to Gennal, and asked him to go buy the goggles for him. "He's going to know you sent me." "You can tell him that I mugged you and stole your cannith goggles, and now you need a new pair." "Yeah, I don't think he's going to fall for that."
But Gennal agreed to give it a try, and sure enough the old elf didn't fall for it, but he was a friend of Gennal's family so he sold him two pair for a discount -- one for Loki, and one for Gennal himself.
Loki wanted Cannith goggles so badly because by 'expending a daily arcane power' you could get darkvision until the end of your next extended rest. One of Loki's daily arcane utility powers gave him darkvision for five minutes, so he could expend that every day and have darkvision full time.
It came in handy that night, when the elven mafia sent assassins after him for harassing the black marketeers. Or possibly to skin him for his distinctive hide. Or maybe they were actually planning on killing the whole party for ruining the ornament plot, and just hated Loki the most. At any rate, they came in through Loki's window, and if he hadn't had darkvision from the goggles he might not have seen them.
It took a while for the rest of the party to wake up and come to his rescue -- the initial sounds of fighting were played off as him horsing around in his room, and it wasn't until he started screaming 'assassins!' that the people across the hall hear him. Then they had to get up, grab their weapons, walk across the room, open their door, walk to HIS door, open it -- seriously, we're talking two to three rounds of combat here. Loki was at 8 hp by the time Rain could see him to heal him, and that was only because he was running away.
But once the whole party joined the fight the assassins were doomed, even if the party wasn't in armor. They threatened the party that for their meddling, they would die! And that the assassins' deaths would not be in vain -- when they didn't come back, their organization would know to send more next time.
After the assassins were dead, Rain went downstairs to ask the hotel clerk to call the guards, but he didn't believe the story about the assassins. Eventually he heard the assassin Loki had woken up to question screaming for help, and went to call the guards. Gennal explained the situation to the guards, and got them to post guards outside the hotel so that they could at least rest the night, and take care of the prisoner (presumably by shooting him in the back, although this happened out of the party's eyesight this time).
In the morning, Gennal woke up early to talk to the council -- the party was going to be honored and rewarded for their service by the council, and then 'encouraged' to leave the elven lands as soon as possible, since they were obviously a disruptive influence if they were convincing people to try to assassinate them. The ceremony was brief -- the party were given magic amulets for each of them, 5 platinum each, and a few more minor magical items although these ones were actually useful (a cloak of resistance, a circlet of perception, and some sandals of not dying when you fall out of a tree).
Then after they left, their councillor (who liked them more) apologized for the meager reward, but told them that they really did need to get the hell out of dodge. Besides, the local elven mage school hadn't been able to find out anything about the amulet other than that it was MUCH more powerful and evil than they'd assumed -- examining it had driven one of the mages mad! So they needed to go to the human kingdom of Merilina where the more skillful human mages could examine it.
Gennal picked up the amulet from the mage school and gave it to Rain to hold (since Rain had *put it on* and not gone crazy, obviously he was resistant to its influence), then they rented horses and headed off for the trade city of Tymora, on the way back into human lands.
Oh, and somewhere in there Gennal did finally find out about his family -- they'd left the elven lands because they were disgusted with the corruption and xenophobia, and were out there in the world doing good works. Presumably if Gennal was a successful adventurer, he'd be a credit to his family name.
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