After winning the contest, the party agreed to sign paperwork so that they would be employed by the city of Averlae for a period of one year. Room, board, membership in the Adventurer’s Guild, and freedom from taxes were included in the deal.
The heroes took the time to wander into the Adventurer’s Guild and, after adding Petruchi Rudess to their ranks to replace Walster, perused the job board there. They were looking for something that would fit their skill level and abilities.
They choose to look for a missing cat. The cat, a black beast by the name of “Smokey” had belonged to the being of one Cecilia Betanali – a human approximately 6 years of age. She, upon meeting the party and hearing of their intentions to capture Smokey and return her to her home, was quiet ready in her praise for their daring. Too, she lured them with gold rewards and a picnic basket filled with tidbits.
However, a quick search of the nearby area revealed little in the way of wayward cats and naught for clues. This task was, perhaps, beyond them.
Too, they encountered and broke up a crime which occurred in broad daylight just outside of the Nobles Market. A dash across the market was followed by flashing swords and flying daggers. And one vicious fox. The main thief, a masked man, took off, seizing something from his victim. He was chased by Brumal, but, after the exchange of a few words, he escaped. They would later realize they’d had an encounter with the Rhymster. The victim, one Melisia Bolocia, indicated that the Rhymster had stolen her family bracelet – a very valuable piece of jewelry made of gold and sapphires.
Upon making the appropriate reports with the constables, they returned to the Guild. Here they awaited the owner of a secondary mission they had seen: one Rivana. However, instead of appearing at the Adventurers Guild as she had indicated on her posting, she sent a runner instead, changing the meeting location to Green Ale on the Sea. They traveled to Lowtown and met with her there. Her request was simple – help her investigate a house in Uptown owed by the wizard Astabari. Her sources had indicated to her that something horrible was happening there, although she was not sure what that was exactly. In return, whatever they came across would serve as their payment. It was an agreeable proposition, and easier then finding a missing cat so they were off.
They found a house with the grounds most overgrown and the neighbors wary. They wondered not how the people of Averlae hadn’t noticed the house and its decaying state, for Jessyca herself was unable to perceive the house.
Inside they found much magical rampant. Solving the puzzle of the house and what had occurred therein occupied as much attention as the battles themselves. In brief, they found several headless skeletons – later realized to be associates of Astabari, perhaps aiding him with an experiment that had gone horribly awry. Foes, as mentioned, began to be a focus – an assortment of homeless animals and demon kind – lemures and even an imp, that seemed to have taken up residence. How such creatures had gotten into the house was revealed when Petruchi made the mistake of stepping through an open portal to the Void. He was rescued by Brumal, but when they returned they brought with them the undead form of Astabari, transformed into a Deathlock and imbued with unholy power from sitting in the Void.
They defeated Astabari and ended his experiment, thus closing the Gate to the Void and returning some semblance of normalcy to the house.
During the investigation of the house it was revealed that Rivana, she who had started this quest, was actually a spirit of some sort, for her body was found leaving her much confused. With Astabari’s (re)death, she faded, hopefully at peace.
Too, they found a deed to the house and, upon conversation, it was decided to utilize that to gain ownership of the property. Using some of the funds from selling off the arcane library they found they paid off the back taxes and took ownership of a leaky, overgrown structure in Uptown. Neighbors promptly hassled them about maintaining their property up to the standard.