In which the GM plaintively observes that “Ghouls just want to have fun” , the Cleric and the Oracle revel in getting to apply Maxim 37 , and Eric gets bitten. Ow. He got better though, well, mostly.
The Committee of Hewett, Ramsey, and Vance.
Remember how I said that the three great houses don’t really get along? Apparently I may have, ah, understated that slightly. It looks like anything short of an actual civil war is fair game.
The session started with a committee meeting to discuss the cult the party investigated in the last session. There were substantial recriminations going on along the lines of Hewett not keeping in control of their own city, Ramsey being overenthusiastic in cleaning up the warehouse , and why didn’t Vance successfully exorcise the haunting.
The party was along to testify, and Kozuket the gnomish Oracle  was effective in persuading the various parties to keep on topic. Meanwhile the some of the fighters were off getting drunk on the refreshments laid on by House Hewett .
One thing I didn’t mention last week was a mage’s homunculus that was briefly sighted in the cult taking notes on the party. This homunculus was also apparently seen at another incident in a marketplace on the far side of town, also with a fairly high body count.
Along the way Kozuket managed to finagle our way into being a semi-neutral investigating team that would look into both incidents on behalf of all three Houses. As the session went on Kozuket proceeded to apply Maxim 38  by negotiating individual contracts for payment with all of them.
Nice work there Kozuket. Nice work indeed.
Fortunately we managed to exit the room before the paladin brought along by House Vance completely lost his temper at the half-fiend brought along by House Ramsey. As we were being escorted out of the fortress we observed a whole company of troops being sent into the conference room to restore order.
The Marketplace aka CSI: Speak With The Dead
The reports on this incident were somewhat varied, again depending on which House was doing the reporting. Most of the civilian bodies had been cleared away but two more had been discovered later, and these were soldiers of House Hewett.
The party’s status as joint investigators managed to get a Vance priest capable of the Speak with the Dead spell to ask one of the corpses what happened. The availability of this spell and the implications for solving murders in a fantasy world were remarked upon at the time.
The answers to the three questions were not reassuring:
- 2 attackers, no time to draw weapons,
- 2 men in Hewett armour, superhuman speed, did not see their faces
- The weapon used appeared to be a longsword
This lead, such as it was and such as there was of it, led back to House Hewett with a view to finding out if armour had been stolen etc. Nothing really came of this, but the party did manage to acquire a corporal as a local guide.
A suitable application of booze to the corporal revealed another incident a week prior that had involved a sudden riot put down by dragons. After returning to the House Ramsey tower, another incident was reported as being in progress in the red light district.
Split up! We can do more damage that way!
I take back what was said last session about the party having genre savvy PCs. The party entered the red light district, where an unknown incident resulting in about 30 bodies was underway, discovered a mugging in progress… and Sebastian and Frodina (the rogue) wander off to find the Thieves Guild.
OK, I get that contacting the Guild would be useful in the investigation, but doing it as a fight is starting? Naturally they got into trouble out of sight, but I don’t have all the details. I do know that it involved undead, and that they found more as the session ended.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch
The Ghasts then called in their friends, being many ghouls on all sides. The usual mayhem followed during which Eric got a few good, and effective, spells off (yay) but also got bitten by a ghoul (boo). The ghoul bite may have lasting effects, hopefully the local priests from House Vance will deal with that later.
The stars of the fight however were Jamir Veri Oddling (halfling cleric) and Kozuket who demonstrated that when channelling energy against some undead the appropriate phrase is “Surrounded? How convenient.” 
The fight ran far smoother for the party than the GM wanted, giving rise to the “Ghouls just want to have fun”. Yes, he really said it.
Apparently it was the first time in the campaign that Jamir and Kozuket had managed to do real damage in combat so all in all it was a good session for Kozuket and Jamir.
This was just as well for the corporal as he managed to go down hard at the claws of a ghast and a ghoul. This fight ended fast enough that the clerics were able to save the corporal, and get him back on his feet.
Then we heard the sounds of battle in nearby streets as the session ended.
This was a fun session. Eric is still not sure what is going on with all the incidents, and it isn’t confirmed that they are related yet. The sightings of the homunculus are intermittent, and unconfirmed in at least one case.
The session next week will no doubt involve more ghouls, how many remains to be seen. I also have the full background document for Kali the dragonrider, so there may be an additional character profile post sometime this week.
 That quote comes courtesy of Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire. It is in the Psmith story as I recall.