Borc's Bandits

Episode 30: Gold pants, soiled bedding, and a deck of many things

"This is why I hate gambling. You guys get a castle, and a cloak, and a squire and I get Ames shouting mean things at me."

- Julliumz, after pulling an unfortunate card from the deck of many things

The gang woke up in the morning and had a long, sober conversation over breakfast. Magick came clean about what little he knows about his patron and their relationship. It seems that, in exchange for his powers, Magick can be compelled to do Andras' bidding. However, in all the confusion of the fight with the giant demon-spawn outside of town, the group learned that Magic had been trying to win over the monster and save his party rather than turning against his friends. As a reward for his loyalty and sacrifice, Andras granted Magick the ability to call on Aries the demon-spawn as an ally (from time to time).

Next, Wax asked a few questions about this patron and then admitted that the very same figure came to him in a dream and explained how Wax's resurrection failed. Apparently, it was Andras who was watching over Magick, that revived Wax. Andras explained this to Wax and then let Wax know that he was in Andras' debt. Unsure of what this debt would entail, Wax and Magick made a "friendship" pact and agreed to watch out for each other and share anything else they might learn about the mysterious Marquis of the Abyss. 

Tense, strained conversation out of the way, the group then went about their business. Borc went to collect his new golden pants from Berim's Finery and Julliumz went in search of healing potions in preparation for their showdown with Kona. Ja'qi took the injured Andal back to the Iron Keep to recover and reclaim the building. 

As the group finished their errands they ran into Thanel, Cadwgawn, Porl, and Cyril who had just arrived from Erlestoke. The half-orc brothers hugged, happy to be reunited and the group consoled Cadwgawn who seemed to be dealing with his loss of title by drowning himself in ale. Before too long the group asked Thanel for help locating their quarry (using his severed ear) and they headed to Thanel's tower so the wizard could scry on Kona and learn his whereabouts. 

There, with Julliumz' help, they learned that Kona had retreated to the cave from which the demon-spawn had emerged. As the group prepared to face Kona once again, Nuck asked Thanel about ways to gain the truesight ability. Nuck's best options seemed to be paying Thanel (and others) to craft a magic item (or doing some task as payment rather than giving gold). 

As they left the tower, Scout caught up with the group and reminded them about the small chest they had pilfered from Kona's belongings in the keep. They returned to Ames' Five Spears Temple and, after a half hour of testing, investigating, and trying out magic passwords, Wax figured out the mystical key and opened the box to find a large amount of gold and a strange deck of cards. 

Eager to get their hands on the goods (and unaware of the item's legendary magical power) the group began grabbing cards from the deck. Borc pulled a tarot-like card with a throne and, oddly, realized that he had in his possession the deed to a keep south of Auchendinny. Magic pulled a thick vellum card with a key on it and was gifted a magical cloak of protection. Wax pulled two cards and found himself with a legendary tome of leadership just as a young man named Fenton also came running up. Fenton pledged himself to Wax as loyal squire and servant and Wax, dumbfounded, simply smiled and offered the deck to Julliumz. 

Julliumz pulled a card with a shadowy figure on the front and immediately came under the strange, intense wrath of Ames. Their friend shouted obscenities at Julliumz and demanded the group leave. They tried to calm Ames and questioned the reason behind his change in demeanor but that only angered him more. He cast the group out and told them not to return so long as Julliumz remained with them. 

After such a harsh falling out the group put the cards away and sulked northward through town. They brainstormed reasons and ways to win back their friend and ally Ames but came up with nothing. They were distracted by the looming battle with Kona and decided to focus only on that for the time being. 

With Scout in tow, they headed north out of town, picked up their fallen items from the battle with the demon-spawn Aries and made their way to the cave in which Kona was hiding. They found a massive sinkhole and a 10-foot wide tunnel leading much farther into the ground than they had expected. They stealthily maneuvered 100 feet into the earth and came to a cavernous opening just as a familiar ringing sound attacked their ears. They had, once again, set of Kona's magical alarm.

As they hurried into a combat position, two massive, ugly grey-skinned giants stumbled out from behind massive stone pillars. Kona's first line of defense were two 20-foot-tall formorians and the group was already thinking about a retreat. 

However, Scout decided to turn the tables. He commanded the others to "take the one on the left" and ran towards the second mammoth foe all on his own. To the group's utter shock, as he ran, Scout transformed into a massive, graceful silver dragon and charged on all fours at the club-wielding giant. The group stood stunned as Scout's massive claws slashed into the formorian kicking off what would be a long, intense battle. 

The rest of the group split up and flanked the second beast as Scout went toe to toe with the first. With the help of Fenton, the adventurers quickly overpowered their foe which fell to the ground with a massive thud. Scout, wounded but unrelenting urged the party further into the cave to take Kona on before he could escape them once again. Borc, not needing any more reason, charged forward through a curving passage and came to a second, larger cavern. Standing there waiting a hundred feet away was a red-eyed, angry Sorcerer, flames licking at his palms and a hungry, desperate grimace across his face…

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