Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with henchman Jaz and familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
While Chaff, No. 7, and Awg Wahmn scattered off on business of their own, the rest of the party hoisted Torak's body and carried him off towards the temple of the Drowned God. Halfway there, Kwinsea called a halt. Chaff had left the yellow box with her, giving strict instructions to check the contents in his absence. Thinking said contents may induce a need for additional clerical assistance, she wanted to open it before they finished business with the priests of Brall. Carefully cracking open the case, she found two curious pistols. Red, made of some strange material and with no obvious way for a ball the exit the barrel, she thought it best to just close up the box once more and let Chaff deal with it later.
Hauling Torak behind them, they soon arrived at the temple. The meeting with the High Priest was a little rocky as three of them (Abdul el Abdul having gone off to mourn Otock and buy a pet
rat weasel mouse meerkat ferret) tried to cut a better deal in return for the conch. In particular, Kwinsea hoped to get few help with the golden hand print over her heart, and perhaps a deal on some healing potions. In the end, rising tempers and a tightening circle of temple guards and acolytes had the party backing down on the demands. The High Priest did agree to take Torak's body and have him both returned from the dead and healed of his impediments. Kwinsea ended up forking over 1000gp to have the cursed hand of Hazzr the Golden Lich removed from her chest. As for healing potions, they shopped around to a few other temples and ended up buying a few at atemple of Anthor the Peacemaker, Lord of War and Peace.
Rejoined by Abdul el Abdul and his ferret Otock, the party stopped by the Purple Haze to give instruction to Captain Lynessa regarding provisioning of the ship and installation of rings, chains and cages for their upcoming dinosaur hunting expedition. After a few stops to have recently acquired treasures appraised and detected, and some other provisions (rabbits and sleep poison) purchased, the party headed for the San Lorenzo. They were curious about the status of the vessel (currently under bond by the port bailiff and in the middle of legal proceedings due to the uncertainty over ownership/captaincy), news on Captain de Moncada (none), and details on their dinosaur sale (through a fence by the name of Lorenz of Nar, not directly to the buyer). Kwinsea also convinced one of the senior able seaman to jump ship and join the crew of the Purple Haze. The aqumancer figured he could help them navigate the Jungle Isles with more certainly, and point out places to avoid or explore.
Meanwhile, Corvus and Rodrigo were starting to get uneasy, thinking that someone was always watching them. Corvus, tired of jumping at shadows, decided to face his demons straight on. Taking the ring of invisibility on loan from Torak, he headed for the fighting pits of the Collegium to find Tolk the Brute and whoever else might have sent the assassins. Corvus and the party eventually learned that Tolk was now washed out of the wrestling matches and forced to fight in the quasi-illegal death pits. They also learned the man who had sent the assassins was likely a bookie by the name of Houl. The party managed to arrange a meeting with the man, and tried to make a deal where Corvus would throw a match and make Houl's money back for him. That was a little too risky on his part for Houl, but he did offer a second option. He was owed a debt from a 'jeweler' by the name of Ogo. Now Ogo seems to have disappeared some time ago, but his shop was ripe for the looting. If Corvus and friends could break in and collect on the debt, Houl was magnanimous enough to let bygones be bygones. The party could even keep anything they gathered beyond the 2500gp Houl wanted to square away the debt. Although half-convinced this was a set-up, they agreed to take the deal and prepared to hit the shop that night.
It was pitch black and pouring rain when the party, now reinforced by a fully recovered Jaz, approached Ogo's shop. Corvus donned the ring of invisibility once more and moved forward to check out possible ways into the darkened building. Hauling himself up to the top of the garden wall, he found a scene to send shivers down an arachnophobes spine. The garden was draped in thick layers of webs, through which thousands of small spiders skittered. That didn't look hopeful, so Rodrigo now took the ring and climbed to the roof of the adjoining building, in order to access a window without being seen too easily from the street. With a crowbar he cracked open the locked shutters, only to find the window bricked over on the inside. A quick check of other accessible windows revealed the same. Grumbling, Rodrigo returned to street level with the news. Next check was a sewer grate, which seemed to lead nowhere but a sewer. Abdul el Abdul finally took a turn with ring and grapple, this time climbing to the roof to check the chimney. Access to this was blocked by a trio of clay vents which blocked the opening. Getting frustrated, he had one last look around and noticed, just below the eaves, a round stained glass window. It was not shuttered, and more importantly, seemed to be free of bricks. The fighter signaled for everyone to climb the rope to the roof, and then had the beefier types lower him down to the window. Using the crowbar, he carefully pulled off the sills and carefully turned the glass and pushed it inside the building.
Rodrigo once more took the ring, climbed down to the street, then up to the roof behind the watcher. Unfortunately, in the dark and rain, the swashbuckler scuffed a foot on the shingles. The watching figure turned with a start, but the invisible Rodrigo escaped detection. When the figure turned away, Rodrigo crept up behind him and put a dagger and sword to his neck, demanding to know for whom he was working and what was going on. The gutter-rogue replied he was working for Sarzuk, Ogo's second in command, and was under orders to make sure no one got into the shop. Next to him sat a cage with a raven, with which he was supposed to summon help if he spied anyone. The bird was still there, so at least the alarm had not been raised. Rodrigo silenced the watcher with a slice of his sword, and headed back to Ogo's shop. He related what he'd learned to the rest of the party, and all decided it would be best to search quickly, grab whatever loot they could, and get out before they were caught.
Abdel el Abdul scurried back down the chimney to the ground floor, followed by Rodrigo and Kwinsea. Corvus and Jaz stayed in the attic room to keep watch. Fanning out, they quickly explored the kitchen and a storeroom, then found the front room of the shop. There, behind a counter, lay a series of strong boxes built into the wall. Kwinsea carefully took point, searching for traps and leading the three behind the counter. There they spread out, checking each strongbox for traps and locks. Unfortunately, as Abdul el Abdul checked his first strong box, the floor below him collapsed. Kwinsea quickly cast featherfall on the fighter to break his fall. On gentle landing, Abdul el Abdul found himself in a small cage. This was not too disconcerting at first, but as he waited for a rope from above, a swarm of small spiders emerged from the darkness and started to weave him in a mass of webs. Luckily Kwinsea and Rodrigo pulled him out before he was covered too completely.
The three turned their attention once more to the strong boxes. Most were opened and unlocked and empty, but a few had traps which were avoided. In one they found a small velvet bag of gems, and in another a silver and ruby necklace. But the greatest haul was in a secret compartment found by Kwinsea; 3 flawless rubies, 4 sparkling diamonds, and a bejeweled snake-shaped dagger. This looked like enough to cover their debt to Houl and then some, so they scooped it all up then gathered Jaz and Corvus. Under the cover of a fog cloud from Kwinsea, the exited the window and headed to meet with Houl and made the transaction. Mission completed and payoff done, they all returned to the Purple Haze to prepare for departure to the Jungle Isles.
Velvet bag containing 10 amethyst (10x100gp)
Silver and ruby necklace [paste] (5pg)
3 Rubies (3x500gp)
4 Diamonds (4x1000gp)
Jewel encrusted, serpent shaped dagger (150gp)
One of Sarzuk's goons