Episode 14 : How Much Trouble Can A Scrying Device And A Halfling Be?
 

Later that day back at the new hiding house the scrying device was just about back up and running, waiting to be activated. The scrying device came to life and before anyone could stop the halfling he touched it and said, "Show me the monkeys jewels.". The scrying device revealed a merging of many pawn shops, brokers shops and jewellery shops of Middleburg. "Damn.", said the halfling. "Show me the closest blink monkey.". The scrying device revealed a island, with a hot tropical breeze and in the distance a monkey jumping onto the nearby palms. "Show me the most beautiful Elfin female in the lands beyond the western veil.", "Oops.", thought the halfling most of the Elves live in the lands beyond the Eastern veil any in the lands beyond the western veil must be outcasts and powerful enough to cross the veils. The scrying device revealed a beautiful Elfin woman seven feet tall, who instantly turned around and the scrying device went black.

Crack went Serra Ibin Raaviat's fist into the side of the halflings head. "What did I tell you, clear everything you want to see through me first, if you do that again I'm going to get really nasty.". Vernon Zarck hissed his agreement. The party considered safer ways of using the scrying device. Grimwold Mindbreaker came up with the idea of using a spell called intuition to see some of what will come to pass. So Grimwold Mindbreaker cast intuition and he requested the scrying device to show him the people and objects in which he was interested.

"Show me Zandhurst the Astrologer.". The scrying device revealed the head of Zandhurst the Astrologer upon the bow of the Ibn-Fatwaani. Zandhurst the Astrologer now way beyond help. "Show me the Staff of Hashem.". The scrying device revealed the royal treasury. "Show me the armour worn by the Elfin Sorcerer Fyndarenöl who had the Spear of Dragon Control.". The scrying device revealed a golden box in a pile of coins next to eggs 2 feet across. Panning out they saw that this box is in a cave in a volcano that rises from a forest on an Island, Pentyce Island. Looking further they see three wyverns in the distance returning to the cave. "Show me myself after I spit upon the silver coin of Hashem.". The scrying device revealed the coin vanishing and the air above being rendered apart, a blizzard started to fill the room and a yeti type creature similar to the Demon Humzaar emerged and began to throttle Grimwold Mindbreaker who only just in time broke the spell.

The next time Grimwold Mindbreaker in his intuition cast the coin from the window into a puddle in the street below. The coin contacted the water and the air above was rendered asunder and the Ice Demon appeared and created mayhem as it went down the street killing everything it could find. It cast cold ball at all and sundry and created havoc as it went. The spell ended.

"Show me the first Nameless God.". The scrying device filled with a bright light that engulfed everything in a flash and broke Grimwold Mindbreaker's spell. "Show me Hexgora.". The scrying device showed a view of the back of Hexgora looking out the window of the Coven House at the party outlined in the window of the building opposite. "Shit!", shouted Grimwold Mindbreaker "Hexgora is in the Coven House. She is looking out the window at us right now!".

Pandemonium broke out, people left to the nearest exits. Serra Ibin Raaviat went to the window as did Vernon Zarck who raised the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran and was about to let rip when a figure flashed from the window to the roof above the party. Vernon Zarck, using leaving, left to the ground opposite. Everyone heard Hexgora speak to them in their mind, "Only three days to go before you, Coven members, need to be out of the city or I will destroy you.". This last part was cut short as Vernon Zarck let rip into the area of the roof with a fire ball. Hexgora, using leaping, leaped down to the ground only to have Serra Ibin Raaviat cancel her mentalist spell. She landed and stood there hurt. She was now the full on wicked witch of the west in person, in her hand a Wand of Fire Balls. Boom, the first fire ball went off, Vernon Zarck leaping away just in time.

Vernon Zarck cast fire ball on her and left her stunned and smouldering. Crayg Rydorsson shot an arrow at her which simply deflected from her. Harry Mata and Garack advanced upon her position. Then Grimwold Mindbreaker used mind invasion to get into mind combat with Hexgora, so freezing her as she went for the automatic teleport button on her wrist. Vernon Zarck cast fire ball on her again, and again she was stunned and left smouldering. Harry Mata struck her and she fell under the blow. Garack struck her but still she remained conscious. Harry Mata struck her again this time knocking her out and with Crayg Rydorsson holding her by the hair Garack administered the killing blow. Her body vanished in a blaze of electricity and the Wand of Fire Balls fell from her hand to clatter on the ground. Hexgora's head was still held by Crayg Rydorsson as a trophy. The Wand of Fire Balls was swiftly placed into one of the many pockets of Vernon Zarck's robe. Vernon Zarck hissed softly to himself "Yes.".

All the while the halfling stood beside the now unattended scrying device and for the first time could not decide upon what far place he wished to look.

This display of magic had begun to draw a large gathering of peasants and townsfolk at the corner of the street in which all this took place. Twang, Thunk, Drop. As Crayg Rydorsson put an arrow into a peasant who had his head staring out from behind a corner at the end of the street. "Anyone want to stare some more.", shouted Crayg Rydorsson. No more heads appeared. Crayg Rydorsson shouted up to the room, "Get our stuff out here.", and the halfling started to throw our stuff out of the window into the street below. Serra Ibin Raaviat touched the scrying device and asked questions in quick succession. The halfling heard "Father.", "Mother.", "Spear.", and saw images of a wizard, the moat of a castle and the wyvern cave.

Garack went to the end of the street and in a really bad display of acting, stumbled around and shouted to the crowd gathered beyond, "Run, they're coming to get us all.". Garack promptly dropped his sword, fell on the ground and acted dead, very badly. The two priests of Lumina who saw this display cast spells to calm him and to stun him. Garack rolled on the ground for a couple of rounds as the priests told the crowd to take him. Garack knocked people away, grabbed his sword and stood there unsteadily on his feet.

One of the Priests stepped to the building corner, put his hand around and released a light spell that blinded and stunned Crayg Rydorsson who was advancing their way. The priests of Lumina put an airwall between the corners of the street to stop the random arrows that flew in their direction. The mob surged around Garack. Vernon Zarck cast leaving on Garack sending him to the sewer grating in front of the rear of the Coven House. He was in the middle of abusing the priests of Lumina telling them to bugger off or they will feel the edge of his broadsword, when he suddenly stood alone in the middle of the street.

The priests of Lumina took aim at Crayg Rydorsson as he crossed the airwall. They cast sleep upon him and he fell to the ground in a pleasant slumber. Garack raced back to where the priests stood to repeat his abuse. Harry Mata came forward, he also crossed the airwall and advanced upon a priest. Serra Ibin Raaviat used the scrying device to appear next to Crayg Rydorsson and put her arm through the portal and shook Crayg Rydorsson awake, crying, "Wake up, wake up.". Now Vernon Zarck had flown over the building and had come up at speed behind one priest and cracked him over the skull with the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran. This proved remarkably effective and the priest collapsed in a heap and the airwall vanished. Harry Mata plugged the other priest who rushed back into the crowd to heal his wounds with his sword.

Meanwhile the halfling going by the general plan of splitting up after the scrying device was hidden, left early via the rear door of the house. He had only gone four blocks towards dwarf town where there is a bolthole waiting, when he felt a sharp pain in his side and a voice, "Don't move or I'll slice you.". The voice continued, "Red, you have been caught selling bad wine and I'm here to collect.". The halfling offered a gold coin over his shoulder. "This will more than cover it.". "Got more?". "Yes, here is one for you.". "I've got friends.". "How about another two?". "How about all you have got on you.". At this point the dagger moved from the back. Blue Bigfoot began to rush forward and began the start of a scream, when the handle of the dagger crashed against the back of Blue Bigfoot's skull rendering him unconscious. The three halflings picked up the unconscious form and took him through the back streets.

The others used leaving to send the scrying device into the sewer and along a way. They all entered the sewer by magic or physically as the case maybe and stood together next to the statue. The time had come to assess the general situation. They used the scrying device to look down upon Middleburg and see the movement of the army into Middleburg. The army had encampments around Hexgora's former tower at one of the two main bridges into Middleburg. They saw that the two priests of Lumina were put to death by the soldiers. They saw the halfling carried into an Inn. They contacted Grimwold Mindbreaker and told him the location of the Inn to which Grimwold Mindbreaker went. Now how to keep this scrying device from being found? First they used a portal spell to go through a wall of the sewer. The two magically enhanced Garack and Harry Mata dug out a hollow behind the portal. The hollow was just large enough to hold the statue and the ground was leveled off. The statue was placed in the hollow. All the earth was tossed into the sewer and the rock work at the edge of the sewer cleaned of earth.

A bucket of water was thrown over the halfling. Blue Bigfoot found himself in the centre of a table, all his limbs were separately tied, so try as he might he could not slip free. Around him stood three halflings, a fighter type and the Innkeeper to whom he had only recently sold some fine wine. He had been stripped down to a loin cloth and all his possessions were heaped before the Innkeeper. A quick look over them revealed the absence of all monies and the diamonds. Blue Bigfoot said, "I didn't do it, you must be mistaken.". The Innkeeper snorted "Sell me vinegar would you, why don't you try the wine you sold me.". He poured the wineskin over the halflings head. "Yuk, that's foul.". "Your going to pay Red, I want my money back.". "I can pay, I can pay. Those halflings you hired they have taken all the coins I had on me.". "That's what they all say.", commented the halfling with the dagger out.

"The wine I sold you was good it came from that hipflask.". The Innkeeper poured himself a glass. He also opened a small sealed scrollcase having inside a silver coin. The halfling went a paler shade of white. "Don't touch that its dangerous.". "And valuable.", commented the Innkeeper. "Yes, I suppose, just don't get it wet.". "What will happen if it gets wet.", now holding the coin above the goblet. He flicked the coin in the air and caught it again. "It will summon a demon.". "Yah, yah pull the other one.". "What if I put it on your forehead and added a drop of water, there goes Red.". "And yourself and them and about ten blocks of Middleburg.". "Go on, do it.", said a halfling.

Grimwold Mindbreaker had been watching this with amusement, as had the rest of the party through the scrying device. Grimwold Mindbreaker took control of the human fighter via a transferral spell. The fighter stood there holding the silver coin out of harms way while he drew his sword and chopped the leg off one halfling. The others reacted, the Innkeeper bolted for the door, a halfling jumped under the table, another began to draw his weapon. The Innkeeper was out the door, the human struck the halfling under the table and stunned him. The other halfling struck the fighter who swung wildly at Blue Bigfoot prone on the table. Blue Bigfoot screamed stunning the halfling and those through the portal. The fighter cut Blue Bigfoot's bonds. Blue Bigfoot saw in the fighters eyes the dull look of one of Grimwold Mindbreaker's subjugation spells. Blue Bigfoot grabbed his shortsword and swung wildly at the stunned halfling grazing him only. The fighter dispatched both halflings in quick succession and then Grimwold Mindbreaker made him beat his head against the wall until he was senseless.

Serra Ibin Raaviat suggested through the portal taking the money from the till. They projected the portal over the secret area of the Innkeeper stash. Blue Bigfoot smashed this in and pocketed the money. Crayg Rydorsson asked "Show me the trap.", and the portal again appeared over the sliding access hole, contact poison. Blue Bigfoot shoved all this possessions into a sack and that sack through the portal. He picked up all the halflings and threw them through as well. He grabbed the fighter's sword and was through the portal himself. The only thing of value that the halflings had was a dagger that had a coating of a black dried liquid upon it, this was quickly pocketed by Harry Mata, for the halfling own protection.

Now before the sealing of the scrying device away in the hollow the party decided to check something's out. Serra Ibin Raaviat asked to be shown from a mile above the locations of people on this plane who could attach the silver hand for her in order of distance. The locations revealed were Middleburg, a tropical island and then far off lands. They asked of Zandhurst the Astrologer's spellbook and saw the Ibn-Fatwaani. They asked of a second portal and were shown a granite room in the centre of a castle bounded by snow. They saw Northmen about. Using intuition Grimwold Mindbreaker asked to see the owner of this scrying device and saw the bed chamber of a King. Grimwold Mindbreaker spoke with him and deduced that he was the King of the Northmen and that the leader of the Coven was his daughter, Brenda Thumb-Daughter. She remained aboard the Ibn-Fatwaani and that the ship was heading through ice smashing it aside as it went. The ship was located north west of the other scrying device. Grimwold Mindbreaker again using intuition opened the Gate on the Ibn-Fatwaani and Grimwold Mindbreaker tried to command it to look upon the party, however when he did look through he appeared in a tropical jungle and not the sewer.

There were now guards on every sewer grate within twenty blocks of the Coven house. We sealed the scrying device into the sewer wall and headed to the sea going docks, it was time to leave. The military was clamping down hard on Middleburg, magic and lawlessness no longer allowed.

 

 
(c) 1997 One Night in Middleburg Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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