Sein and Ninja then climbed the walls and reached the balcony, but Sanji and Centaur fell in the “acid” and were declared dead. The team scored 20 out of 40 points.
While waiting for the results of the tournament, Flex received a letter that had been left for him at the guildhall. It cryptically said, “If you want a coin, come to Killcat Lane.” The Crazy Adventurers discussed the letter and The Minions, at a nearby table, overheard and participated in discussing what the letter meant and whether Flex should look into it.
Before a decision could be reached, The Crazy Adventurers’ sponsor, Lilyana Ortiz came to them and congratulated them. She had just heard that their team scored 21st place in the tournament, tied with a company called The Avengers. To reward them, she unfurled a large map of the Flanaess and explained how the guild would not sponsor any reasonable expedition they brought to the guild’s attention. The guild would fund the expedition as long as the company could repay it 150% when they returned. The Minions also came over and looked at the map. The majority of both companies were interested in an expedition to explore the distant land of the Snow Barbarians, but decided to table that plan until they had more experience.
Going to the land of the Snow Barbarians was Kevlamin's idea and it was his idea just as quickly to go back into the Menhir Hills and look for the monster that had attacked them on their way to Greyhawk almost two weeks ago. Most everyone in both companies agreed to take on that mission, though they considered it too small a matter (or too small a chance of treasure) to seek guild sponsorship. Only Kevlamin, Flex, and Gladys stayed behind in town to pursue the coin.
The last order of business was to deal with Nodwick, the last remaining hireling from the once-large company the friends from Garham had started with. Nodwick had followed them all the way to Greyhawk waiting to get paid. Kevlamin was trying to think of a way to fire Nodwick nicely, but when Jack suggested leaving Nodwick behind and not telling him where everyone had gone, the adventurers quickly adopted that solution.
It was Kevlamin (leading his war dog Fang on a leash), Flex, and Gladys who headed to Killcat Lane, as soon as they'd bribed an adventurer to tell them where it was. They patrolled the Slum Quarter looking for it until they heard a scuffle in an alley. Seven lightly armed and armored bullies were harassing a richly-dressed gentleman. Undeterred by the numbers against them, Flex charged with Gladys right behind and Kevlamin stalling, on the pretext of needing to find a place to tie off the leash on Fang. Despite the odds against them, Flex was surprisingly effective in battle and after killing one bully and injuring two others, the bullies turned and fled out the back of the alley.
The gentleman turned out to be Alden Folber, a member of the Moneychangers' Guildhall, who was waiting to hire Flex and company for an unusual job. Richard Savelle, son of the Cartographers' Guildmaster, was in love with Ahlissa Holbin, daughter of the Translators' Guildmaster, but Ahlissa's parents had arranged a different marriage for her. Alden, as Richard's friend, needed adventurers willing to bend the law by abducting Ahlissa and delivering her to Richard so they could elope before the wedding. The adventurers had only the following day to carry it out. Alden advised them against trying to take her from her well-guarded home in the High Quarter, but the following afternoon she would likely be making an afternoon trip to the River Quarter, where several shops she liked best were all found upon Bay Road. Ahlissa was not yet in on the plan and would resist until she saw Richard and then would understand everything. If the adventurers carried this out with minimal violence and Ahlissa unharmed, he would give them a coin for Odd Alley and 200 gp to boot.
Meanwhile, the larger party had traveled all the way south over the Plain of Greyhawk, through the Great Hillwood, and back to the Village of Hawfair without encountering any monsters. By now, Centaur Shepherd and Ninja had become bored of the pursuit and enamored with Hawfair and its environs, just as Clair and Mina had once done. The party spent the night sleeping on the floor of the Leaping Trout Tavern, but the next day Centaur and Ninja decided to stay here and retire. Clair, Jack, Sein, and Sanji went off alone into the hills east of the village looking for the monster. Jack's plan was to sit on a high hill and watch for the monster. Some wild goats showed up on the hill instead and began grazing amongst them.
Around noon, one of the goats suddenly collapsed. Investigating, the four found that the goat was alive, but seemed too weak to stand. They also noticed a shadow nearby on the ground, but one that no one seemed to be casting. Clair and Sein tried to attack the shadow's caster. Jack made a wall of goats around himself for protection and tried to shoot arrows at the caster, but all attacks passed right through the spot. The shadow passed over several of them, causing coldness, pain, and weakness, though far from lethal. Jack first had the idea to begin shooting arrows at the shadow on the ground instead, but when this also failed to stop the shadow, the adventurers all fled. They split up as they fled and, by the time they found each other again, there was only Clair and Jack. Sein and Ninja had disappeared.
Meanwhile, the in-town party had a plan to abduct Ahlissa, but they needed a magic-user with a sleep spell. No longer having Seth or anyone named Rex with them, they asked Alden for an advance on their payment of 50 gp and used that to hire Allanon Damon. Allanon was an aging, experienced invoker and a member of the Band of the Grinning Gargoyle, the company that had won the Challenge of Champions this year. The plan, as it was told to him, sounded fishy, but he agreed to participate only so far as the casting of the sleep spell.
That afternoon, a carriage arrived on Bay Street with their mark and three other women inside, with three armed and armored bodyguards riding on the carriage. As soon as everyone but their mark was outside of the carriage, Allanon cast his sleep spell.
Groovy Christmases Past: 1974
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