Students of Strixhaven EP 18 – A Cog In The Machine

Having agreed to ‘put the heat’ on some students that owe Snorge’s employers, the party travel to a nearby warehouse where Garak Tolade and a group of students known as The Cogs work out of part-time. Trix runs off to the lost and found bin at the Biblioplex, and searches for a variety of equipment that the party can use as a disguise. Trix returns, surprising the party at first, and dishes out costumes. They construct fake names to use:

  • Arth becomes Septilius B. Nellenmor
  • Edolkar becomes Bovinus
  • Khorvus becomes Kevin Fittlesworth
  • Trix becomes Grubney Hollowhop

They debate on how they should proceed, with Trix asking to try a friendlier approach first.

Entering inside the warehouse, they see a well-dressed Genasi student working in a book at the front desk. The party introduce themselves (as their alter-egos) and ask to speak with Garak. The blue Genasi, Bennett, indicates Garak is busy, so is likely unavailable to speak with anyone at this point in time. The party insist this is on ‘urgent matters’, causing Bennett to leave into the back of the warehouse. Khorvus jumps over the desk and begins to browse the book Bennett was writing in, finding a mixture of agreed upon jobs to move goods between campuses., but nothing that seems illegal. Bennett enters a short time later, indicating Garak doesn’t know them (at least, by their alter-ego names). They continue to push to speak with Garak, eventually intimidating and forcing their way into the back of the warehouse. As they enter, they see a human in student clothes floating in the middle of the room, tied to a long piece of rope. Continuing to walk in, they see a half-orc woman, Garak, but at half the size you’d normally expect, likely shrunk down by some type of magic.

The party introduces themselves (again under their false names), and Khorvus indicates that Snorge has sent the party to talk about their overdue payment. Garak laughs, expressing that she has no intention of giving Snorge his money, given what the last batch of scrolls he gave them did. Garak indicates that both herself and Richmond (the human stuck floating in the air) used an Enlarge/Reduce Person and Fly spell respectively, but the results were… less than ideal. Without access to someone who knows Dispel Magic, they have no idea how long these unexpected side effects will last. Khorvus tries to persuade Garak that they need to investigate this sort of behaviour further, and she agrees to pay what is owed to Snorge if the party can help with an outstanding courier job they had intended to use the scrolls for. Garak also offers the other spell scrolls they haven’t used yet, and a few gold pieces each for their work. Asking about the job, Garak tells them that a Silverquill professor hired them to store some crates into a location called the Furygale Repository for a couple of days, before taking them to their office on Silverquill campus. To their surprise, when Garak and her team returned to the Furygale a few days later, the elementals within the cave appear to be very interested in the crate’s contents. They purchased some scrolls to prepare for a fight, which backfired. Garak requests they grab the crates and bring them back to this warehouse, where she should be able to organise the rest of the delivery. The party depart for Prismari campus.

After a short transit via clockwork-horse carriages, the party arrive at the Furygale Repository, located towards the outer-edge of the campus. Inside, they see a faintly lit cavern system, which opens up to a vast area of naturally carved stone. Scattered around the interior are remains of now-forgotten student projects. Trix spots what appears to be some of the elementals further off towards the back of the cavern. Khorvus uses Divine Sense to try and identify any evil creatures, but is unable to detect anything. The party press further to find the hidden chamber holding the crates. Arth finds himself in a side passage and approaches an earthly statue of a knight in armour. As Arth walks up and inspects it, the statue comes to life and strikes at Arth. The party enter into combat!

Into round one, Trix starts off and casts True Strike at the statue, granting advantage on her first attack against it on another turn. Edolkar runs forward, attempting to strike with his great axe, but misses. Arth disengages, preparing to cast a spell on his next turn. Khorvus switches to a javelin and deals some damage. The statue steps off it’s foundations and tries to strike at Edolkar with two swings. Fortunately, both miss.

Into round two, Trix lands a strike against the statue, then runs back to leave room for Arth’s spell. Edolkar follows suite, stepping away from the statue. Arth casts Shatter, causing an electrical charge to surge through the suit. The suit takes half-damage, but is still knocked back somewhat. Khorvus casts Divine Favour, granting a boon on his weapon attacks for a short time. Khorvus swings and smashes against the armour. In retaliation, the armour strikes back at Khorvus but both attacks fail. Trix tries to strike the armour but misses. Edolkar switches to his great sword, but misses as well. Arth casts Bardic Inspiration, granting a blessing to Khorvus. Khorvus makes use of this, running up the side of the wall, blasting the armour with a large blast of radiant light, destroying it. They inspect the remains, with Khorvus taking a part of the helmet, then proceed further down the Furygale.

The party walk further until they come close to two Prismari Art Elementals, dancing with each other. Edolkar edges close to them, following their movements. Trix tries to sneak past but draws their attention. With the Elementals distracted, Arth and Khorvus search along the back wall of the Furygale for the stone Garak told them about it. Khorvus finds it and presses it, with a small side-cavern opening up. Inside, Arth and Khorvus find several heavy crates. Arth opens a loose crate and finds several bottles of some type of purple liquid. Arth and Khorvus begin to stack and carry some of the crates. As they begin to walk out and swap (with Arth and Trix continuing to dance), moving the crates appears to attract Magma Mephits, which crawl out from a nearby pit. They step forward to engage and attack.

Edolkar enters a rage. He lunges forward with his great sword, striking a powerful blow at the creature. Khorvus attacks with his war hammer, just landing a hit thanks to his previous Bardic Inspiration boon. One of the mephits breathes fire on Edolkar, who fails his saving throw and gets slightly burnt. Arth is concerned that if they stop dancing the Art Elementals might join the fight, so he focuses on dancing but uses a bonus action to cast Bardic Inspiration again, this time on Edolkar. Trix tries to follow along with dancing, but doesn’t impress them. The other mephit, fighting with Khorvus, casts Heat Metal, causing his armour to burn. He is able to endure enough to continue wearing his armour, but takes some damage.

Into round two, Edolkar swings his great sword again, and deals enough to take it out. The mephit bursts into flames, damaging both Edolkar and Khorvus who are caught in the blast. Khorvus tries to strike the remaining mephit but misses. Arth and Trix continue to struggle with keeping the Elemental’s attention, but hold on for another round. The remaining mephit breathes fire, with Khorvus dodging most of the flames and damage.

Into round three, Edolkar lands a furious and final blow against the mephit, which explodes into flames. Edolkar and Khorvus thankfully dodge most of the blast, but still come out of combat in bad shape. Khorvus casts Lay on Hands, healing Edolkar’s wounds. Arth casts Heroism on Khorvus, who then casts Cure Wounds on himself. The party slowly grab the crates and disengage from the Art Elementals, making their way back to the central campus.

Sometime later at the warehouse, they walk in and deliver the crates to Garak. She thanks them, opening one of the crates and offering a bottle of Pican’s Glaze, a magical alcohol that needs to be diluted by being in the Furygale for several days. She agrees to sort out her owed payment to Snorge, pays them a few gold coins each, and hands over the remaining spell scrolls they got from their previous order with Snorge. This includes:

  • Conjure Animals (in the form of a Silverquill Song)
  • Pass without Trace (in a pouch as Prismari powder)
  • Entangle (Witherbloom potion, in a bottle)

The party say farewell to Garak and depart the warehouse…