BlackJacks

Episode 1
The Adventure Begins
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Episode 2
The Haunted House
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Episode 3
Return to Absalom

The four principals emerged from their hiding places inside a bunch of rugs, having shipped themselves from the mainland to avoid being killed by the Snake Head Gang. The immediately found themselves in a tussle with a weird cult, who they beat up pretty bad. Val cut one of their arms off.

One cultist escaped the Blackjacks, only to get creamed by Belo, a huge Blackjack enforcer that Val immediately developed a crush on. The Prodigal Blackjacks learned that they were back in The Puddles, and that Caleb had really done a lot of good work with the gang.

He’s in a close informal partnership with Ma Casino, who has also done very well at taking over almost all the whoring and gambling in The Puddles and is starting to shoulder her way in on the smuggling, too. She’s been hiring muscle from Caleb, who’s been using the money and reputation boost to grow the Blackjacks in the principals’ absence! They more or less run the puddles now, and are cleaning the place up.

Anyway, it turned out that the cultists had stolen a summoning focusing crystal, which is basically a tool that slightly amplifies summoning magic. Like training wheels for new summoners. Nobody knows why they took it, but it’s back in the Arcanimirium’s hands, now, at least.

Belo, who thought the Blackjacks were expanding dangerously fast and would bring other gangs together to take them down, murdered the Sherrif while trying to take Caleb out. But Val killed him! No more Belo.

Good guys win, the end!

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Episode 4
A Fancy Party

We start in medias res as the ship is attacked by a Pteranodon and a Murder of Crows! The heroes land hard in a swampy field and Blane and Dorian escape the crows while Ethan and Val extinctify the dinosaur. Ethan is blinded by the swarm of birds as Val finishes off enough of them that the remainder scatter and flee.

Once back onboard, Val reminds the others of their goal: Ma Casino has sent them 700 miles away to attend a fancy party in Cheliax. They are there to make sure the sale of a rare artifact goes through without a hitch. They are also encouraged to recruit for the Blackjacks. Ma wants them to ensure the sale of this artifact goes through as intended, then steal it afterward and replace it with a fake while everyone is celebrating. BUT. She has word that there is an assassin at this party that they must stop! She presents dossiers on the three VIPs and encourages the group to get close to them and keep them from harm. She has forbidden Val from attending and insists her inelegant daughter wait for the others onboard.

The adventurers arrive in town the morning of the party and secure invitations through various means. Blaine attaches himself to a lovely drunken noble named Euphonia Lethbridge. Ethan encounters Ruthendir, an elven pesh merchant traveling to the party, and with Dorian’s help convinces Ruthendir to take him on as a guard. Dorian helps a young overwhelmed squire named Nob, and upon meeting Sir Pendry, her useless, angry charge, convinces Nob to allow him to take Pendry’s place at the gala. They each arrive at the party and meet up once everyone is seated for dinner.

The group meets with their contacts and their pair of attaches.
THE HOST: Erodel Ureste, the lord of Misariasch, hosting the party, a lithe and handsome aristocrat who has made the city prosper. He is attended by Willow Gammidge, a halfling servant who he is unrelentingly cruel to. Eating beside him is his awful daughter, Cyndrica Ureste. Cyndrica is also awful to Willow.

THE SELLERS: Theodric Eudomian, Dean of Arcane Studies at the Arcanimirium in Nex, a powerful but disorganized man, prone to getting very much on the wrong track. Here to sell the artifact to the lord. He is accompanied by Peony Burrows, a nervous and busy elf who hides behind her spectacles and drops papers a lot. Peony is sick of doing all the work and getting no credit. Also attending is Peony’s rival at school, Ruthina Emberhall, an elf bureaucrat and know it all who loves to tattle.

THE BUYER: Lobelia Sackville, the head of the Restov (in Brevoy) merchant’s guild, a shrewd and wise woman. She is accompanied by Irri, her Half Orc bodyguard. Irri was promised to Sackville as a young girl and has served her without pay for ten years. Hey loyal follower is Kaven Darksword, an idiotic mercenary who thought that name was cool.

Suddenly, during dinner, a scream erupts from the kitchen. A pack of blink dogs has attacked the cook and servants! Blaine and Dorian dispatch them, but Ethan suspects this is a distraction and follows Sackville, Eudomian, and Ureste as they retire upstairs to make their trade.

Dorian and Blaine follow the screams downstairs to a tendriculous that has come in from the garden and fail to save the half dozen servants it attacks. Ethan waits patiently upstairs until a scream from inside the library summons him. Darksword is dead, poisoned! Ethan is on the case.

The three heroes return to the party and resolve to pursue the three suspicious guests: Irri, Willow, and Peony. They each chase their quarries through the party, eventually discovering Willow as the assassin! Blaine captures her and returns her to Ureste. Dorian escapes with Peony and, she thinking he is the captain of an airship, swoons a bit. Ethan is Thoroughly Thanked by Cyndrica and later meets Irri in the woods, promising her her freedom if she becomes a Blackjack.

In an unrelated adventure,Val took a liking to a rather large ship owned by a rather wealthy man and convinces the crew to steal it. They strap the stone underneath its carriage, float it out, and now have a Much Better Ride and Three New Blackjacks. The end!

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