Tripper's Trials

From Ardrana

This adventure began in the city of Imor, precipitated by a message received by SniffWind that one of his companions, Tripper Leebow, had been arrested for the murder of one Joseph Tuttle. Li-Jorus went to his contacts at Roxy's and found out some details, which caused him to suspect that Tripper might have been set up. The party decided to wait until after the hearing, which was to take place the next morning, so that they might find out more before doing anything further.

Tripper's hearing

The next morning at the hearing, it was revealed that Tripper and Tuttle had both been found in an alley with multiple stab wounds and knives in hand. When found, Tripper was unconscious, but Tuttle was dead. Tripper was given the opportunity to present evidence refuting the resulting murder charge and he asked for time to gather said evidence. The judge granted him the opportunity to do so, but that he could only be released if a citizen of Imor would vouch for him.

After the hearing, Lt. Barberry and Sgt. Keeler of the Imorian Army spoke with the group. Barberry spelled out some of the details of how things would work: that sentencing would be in seven days, and that the sentence was likely to be death. The party was then told that they had a choice: gather evidence to support Tripper's case with the understanding that if it was deemed insufficient to prove his innocence they would be immediately relased from the military's employ, or break ties with Tripper now and continue with the mission without him. They had two days to decide.

Keeler then took the group to talk to Tripper in the military infirmary, where they learned his more-detailed account of the events leading up to the final scene. It seemed that Tripper had found the unconscious Tuttle in the alley and attempted to heal him when three thugs named Gibbs, Blackie, and Chuck came across him and attacked him. He put up a good fight before being taken down, and the next thing he knew he woke up in the prison hospital. Li and several members of the group suspect a setup and will begin gathering what information they can to clear his name.

Information gathering

Upon returning to the Red Dragon Inn, where the group was staying, the group learned that they were invited to see that evening's Orpheus concert in a private viewing box as thanks for saving Lord Scarsdale's daughters. SniffWind beseeched Judith's aid and she agreed to vouch for Tripper's release. She, SniffWind, and Thorodin returned to the court house while Li took the opportunity to begin the evidence research. Tripper was released, but was told that his new wristband, which was black, would not allow him to leave the city, or to cast spells or have spells cast upon him.

Tripper, SniffWind and Thorodin returned to the RDI, while Judith headed off to make some contacts, planning to meet them later that afternoon. Kessa, Ralnar and WildFire went to seek out advice from the First Observatory, where they were met by an Elven priestess named StarSeeker. WildFire asked her about magical knowledge, and she directed him to the temple of Hecate. She also reassured Kessa that the Scarsdale Family should be most helpful in their current situation.

Once everyone was back at the RDI, a note arrived from Li indicating that he needed to lay low. SniffWind confirmed this by looking at his map and discovering that Li's marker was no longer visible. SniffWind was discussing this with Clive, the RDI barkeep, when he was contacted by Samuel Hart, a private investigator who had been hired by Judith to help them.

The group went to a meeting room within the RDI, and Sam told them that the murder victim was a member of a gang called the Black Scorpions, who also are connected to Roxy's and thus potentially to Li. He also told them the gang is involved in a rivalry with the River Bottom Boys, and it was likely that the three men who confronted Tripper belonged to that group. Tripper described his staff, which was the most distinctive thing taken from among his belongings, to SniffWind, who gave Sam the drawing to take to a diviner. He left, telling the group he'd be in touch the next morning.

After the meeting, Kessa decided to go for a walk and attempt to give her ticket to the Orpheus concert away, but was unable to do so, so she gave it to Clive to give to someone at the inn. Tripper, in the meantime, expressed interest in visiting a temple of contemplation near the RDI and Clive suggested he check out the temple of Athena. SniffWind discouraged this for Tripper's safety and the druid agreed when SniffWind indicated that he wants to talk to Judy about his situation. Judy arrived a short time later and was brought up to date on what was discussed during Sam's visit. Afterwards, SniffWind convinced Strumblor to scalp his ticket and the dwarf departed, returning a short time later with the proceeds.

A messenger arrived with another note for the group. SniffWind opened it and found a warning not to open it in the common room. He deduced it might be from Sam, and headed to his room with Tripper, Judy and Thorodin to read it. They learned that Sam's diviner had pinpointed the location of Tripper's staff and he would provide more information at an old shoe warehouse.

First recovery attempt

SniffWind went with the group to meet with Sam, who explained that the staff is in a lair of the River Bottom Boys and pointed it out on SniffWind's map. After some prodding from Sam, the group decided that they would proceed there immediately in case it was moved, and Sam brought Li out to guide them to the lair's location. Tripper returned to the RDI with Judy, and the group started heading for the River Bottom Boys' side of town. Along the way, they stopped at the RDI to pick up some equipment.

Li led the group past Roxy's and toward the staff's location near the agricultural area. As they approached Roxy's, Li got the "all clear" signal and the group continued. Things were a bit tense and every little noise seemed to make them start. Upon arriving, Li pointed out the dirt path at the side of the building they needed to follow and the group went in behind him. Unfortunately both Li and Ralnar slipped in the wet dirt, alerting those within to the group's presence. A light came on, and the group halted, with some starting to back off. After a warning by the property's owner was ignored, two guard dogs were sicced on the party. SniffWind, now at the front of the line, attacked one of them and got bitten pretty badly in return. The owner threatened to call the authorities, and then a scream from a passerby behind the group cinched the deal. The group dispersed, and Li told them to meet back at the warehouse in three hours.

WildFire and Ralnar arrived back at the RDI first, and they filled in Sam, who was there waiting for them. Tripper was there as well, and was very concerned about the turn of events. Kessa returned shortly thereafter followed by Thorodin and the still-injured SniffWind. Tripper tended to SniffWind's wound since Kessa's cure light wounds spell was only minimally effective.

The concert

Once Sam left, the group gathered in the common room to discuss things. Kessa and Thorodin drafted a letter to present to the Scarsdales at the Orpheus concert and the group agreed to table further discussion of the failed staff recovery until after the concert. Thorodin convinced the door attentdant at the concert to bring the letter to the Scarsdales and while the group waited, Judy emerged from the lobby area and got a brief synopsis of what had happened. She took her leave and headed to the RDI to get more details from Tripper and check on SniffWind.

Kessa, Ralnar, Thorodin and WildFire were escorted up into the private viewing booth by Efrem where they met Lord and Lady Scarsdale. Strumblor and Drumblor were there and, when the concert ended, everyone returned to the RDI. Thorodin asked Drumblor if he wanted to join the party in retrieving Tripper's staff and, despite Kessa's and Judy's hesitance, they agreed.

Second recovery attempt

Kessa and Ralnar left to meet Li as planned at 9:30 and discussed their concerns about the day's events on the way. WildFire, Thorodin and the two dwarves left a short time later followed by Judy after she reassured Tripper that things would go better this time.

As they headed towards the rendezvous point, Kessa and Ralnar conferred, agreeing that it was more important to help the Scarsdales than to be concerned about their future with the military. Li waylayed them just outside of Roxy's and told them to wait there until he checked out the area near the warehouse. The rest of the group arrived and were in the midst of planning their planning when Lastrigon arrived with news that Orpheus was sick and he was looking for a priest to help him. With Thorodin's lead, a deal was struck and Lastrigon would aid the group in exchange for Kessa's help in curing Orpheus.

The group then headed the rest of the way to the warehouse. As they went, they heard frantically retreating footsteps of those Li surmised were keeping an eye on the area during his failed attempt to gain entry just a few moments ago. Lastrigon bashed down the back gate and Kessa's well-aimed sling shot took down a would-be assailant. While Strumblor and Drumblor dragged the unconscious individual back inside the fenced in area and restrained him, Lastrigon bashed in the door to the shed and Li went inside to unlock the entrance to the underground area. Li then exited the shed and checked on the unconscious fellow. He was stable thanks to Kessa's ministrations.

The group met with no resistance and was able to retrieve Tripper's staff and a few other goodies and beat a hasty retreat when they heard a loud thud from above. Lastrigon grabbed Kessa and Thorodin and ran up towards the marketplace while Li took his leave of the three dwarves and WildFire. On the way back, Ralnar and WildFire were met by Judy and the trio went back to the RDI where Judy sent a message to Sam indicating that the staff had been recovered.

The stricken bard

Judy then took Tripper over to the Briaridge Repose. Unfortunately, Tripper could not gain entrance due to his black armband and waited outside with the doorman. Strumblor and Grumblor eventually showed up and stayed with Tripper to await news of Orpheus' condition.

Meanwhile, Kessa, Thorodin, and Lastrigon were up in Orpheus' suite, where he was being tended by priests of Apollo. Johnny Keynote, Orpheus road manager, who explained that everything had been fine until Johnny couldn't wake Orpheus after his post-performance ritual of tea and a short nap. Kessa then went to see Orpheus and, after looking upon the pale form of Orpheus and consulting her deity, felt certain that she would be a part of his recovery. As a last-ditch effort, she attempted to use the smelling salts that Thorodin had procuded from Tripper downstairs, but Orpheus' condition did not change. She and Thorodin left, saying they would return in the morning after the local healers left to see there was more they could do. Everyone then returned to the RDI for the night.

Early the next morning, Grumblor took his leave. Strumblor and Drumblor joined SniffWind for breakfast and the three spent the next few hours talking shop. Thorodin and Kessa headed back to the Briaridge Repose to check on Orpheus. Ralnar and WildFire took their leave and went into the city. Li hung out with Tripper at the RDI and awaited Judy's return from checking in with Sam to find out what was their next step in proving Tripper's innocense.

While at Orpheus' suite, Kessa and Thorodin met two representatives from the temple of Hecate, Ebony Ravenwill and her acolyte, Phaedra. Kessa got a bad feeling from them and asked Thorodin to stall things so the two priestesses would not gain access to Orpheus until the group could consult Judy about the Ravenwill connection. Thorodin agreed and, before leaving Orpheus' room to talk to Johnny about he and Kessa's suspicions, he cast a detect magic spell only to discover the odd absence of any magical residue despite the amount of spells that he was told had been cast upon Orpheus' body. Thorodin told Kessa of his findings and then left her to meditate.

Thorodin took Johnny aside before heading out and explained things to him and, in doing so, revealed the group's connection to Imor's military, asking Johnny to stall the two priestesses as he went back to the RDI to get something for Kessa. He indicated that they had powerful connections within the city outside of the military or government that would be helpful in solving the mystery of who might have it in for Orpheus.

Thorodin arrived back at the RDI and filled in Li and Tripper on what had happened. The trio then consulted Clive about Hecate's temple's reputation. He answered their questions as best he could, but ultimately suggested they visit the temple themselves to make their own judgements.

Bad news and good news

The trio exited the RDI and just started down the street when they saw Kessa being escorted towards them by Lieutenant Barberry. WildFire joined the assembly and Barberry told them all to go into the RDI and wait until those not present were rounded up. Ralnar, escorted by Sergeant Keeler, arrived a short time later and Kessa fetched SniffWind from his shop talk with the two dwarves upstairs and everyone went downstairs. Barberry was direct and to the point - the group was no longer employed by the military thanks to someone's leaking their relationship to an outsider. She gave them 45 minutes to decide what they were going to do. All but Li decided to stay and Barberry confiscated their maps and re-programmed their armbands to normal visitor status. Their meals were covered for the rest of the day, but they would have to pay for their room and board starting at midnight.

Keeler and Barberry took their leave, and Judy and Tripper headed to Sam's office to get his staff analyzed by the diviner, a woman named Irene Wilder. She confirmed that the River Bottom Boys had indeed been the last ones to handle the staff. She wrote up a notarized statement, which Sam and Tripper brought to Imor's courthouse. Sam departed, and Judy and Tripper returned to the RDI after detouring to buy SniffWind a new pair of pants. By the end of the day, Tripper was released from his black wristband, but informed that he is still considered under suspicion.

Cast of characters

This adventure was run by Shelley Proulx. It involved the following characters during its course:

Adventure timeline

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