Campaign: Scarabae (Open Table, Hangouts, 5e D&D)
Characters: Traviata Manu (human alchemist artificer), Khajj Khala (minotaur life cleric), Gisbert Highforge (dwarf fighter), Crumb (artificer).
Objective: Discover why adventurers are disappearing in Redgutter, and put a stop to the disappearances.
Events: The party met with Koska (tiefling quest giver), Voone Jaskar (tortle fence of looted goods), and Wick (fire genasi owner of the Bullroarer, a tavern that picaros hang out at), who explained that the rash of disappearing adventurers was hurting their businesses. They hired Traviata, Khajj, Gisbert, and Crumb to do some investigating and fix the situation, if possible.
The adventurers had little to go on: a party of crypt-kickers last spotted down by the old wharf, an elf trying to sell a crate of powdered wigs before he disappeared, and the tale of a drunk wizard claiming that something not of this world was active in the Redgutter Ward.
While investigating, the party realized they were being tailed by a halfling wearing a powdered wig. They managed to turn the tables and ambush him, but in the ensuing brawl they discovered that the wig was actually an alien creature holding onto the halfling's head with pincers; the wig had been controlling the halfing's actions.
Freed from the wig's influence, the halfing took the adventurers to where he had been ambushed by his wig-controlled friends and had a wig thrust upon him. They found the box that the wigs had come in; it was an old tea crate with an address for a broken-down warehouse near a disused section of the docks. Inside the warehouse, the party found a well and managed to traverse its treacherous handholds.
A giant skull was spotted in a flooded chamber; Gisbert was secured with a rope and sent down into the water with Traviata's cap of water breathing to ivestigate. Gisbert quickly discovered that a crab-like thing was using the giant's skull as a surrogate shell. Gisbert was yanked back to safety with the rope, but the crab followed. The aggressive crab was fought off.
Further exploration found a chamber in which massive black and violet mushrooms were growing. The mushrooms were being "fed" by rivulets of black liquid flowing from a statue of a woman sculpted from dark stone. The statue appeared to be wearing a white fur cloak, but further inspection revealed the "cloak" to be a giant powdered wig that had adhered itself to the statue's back. The wigmother sprang upon the party and, after a battle marked by many whiffed attacks, the picaros prevailed.
An adventurer was found chained in a chamber with alchemical gear; he was roused and set free. The party also found a bedchamber that was obviously still being used. It was duly looted. In the next room the party found a mockery of a dinner party: missing adventurers wearing wigs were dining with a man wrapped in a leaf-patterned cloak--clearly a member of the Children of Fimbul! Khajj charged in, horns first. Traviata used her newly acquired magic dagger to inflict a massive wound on the druid cultist. Crumb blasted away with his firearm. Gisbert protected the others with his shield while swinging his war pick. The group managed to kill the wigs without harming the adventurers they were controlling. As the druid died, he ominously proclaimed that "It was too late! Our plan is already in motion!"
The menaces beneath the warehouse now dealt with, the party continued exploring the depths. They found a large chamber in which a number of knocked-out adventurers were being kept chained to the walls; all were free, all were thankful, and all were pressed into service carrying the picaros' loot out of the warehouse.
The party also took the druid's corpse with them, which proved to be a smart idea. When the party returned to inform Koska that they had accomplished their mission, they discovered her frantic and teary. While the party had been dealing with the mystery, more Children of Fimbul had teleported into Koska's home and abducted Yuriko, Koska's adopted daughter!
Aurulent Masque was able to conjure forth the dead druid's spirit from his corpse so that the group might learn more. The druid's spirit admitted that the plot to use the wig-creatures to abduct adventurers was deployed purely to get them out of the way so that the Children of Fimbul could more easily kidnap Yuriko. He also explained that the wig creatures had been stolen from a downed ethercraft while adventurers employed by the Magpie Museum were busy looting other sections of it. Finally, before departing for whatever afterlife awaited him, he let slip that Yuriko had been smuggled aboard a ship traveling to a southern jungle land where the Children of Fimbul hoped to use her in a ritual to bring forth a great marauding beast that will destroy the world!
NPCs: Koska, Voone Jaskar, Wick, Aurulent Masque.
Foes: Bewigged adventurers, wigmother, bone crab, a Children of Fimbul cultist.
Loot: 207 gp, 4 sp, and 5 cp each from looted coin and Koska's payment for the job
Ivory dice 75 gp, onyx locket 25 gp, silk handkerchief 20 gp, feather mask with silver threading 30 gp, soapstone pitcher 25 gp, antique iron dagger 100 gp, trade goods (tobacco, herbs, mead) 105 gp. If sold this adds 95 gp each to your haul.
Dagger of Venom (claimed by Traviata)
Scimitar +1 (Claimed by Gisbert)
Pistol +1 (treat as hand crossbow, the name "Heartseeker" is carved into the handle) (claimed by Crumb)
3 Potions of Greater Healing (split between Gisbert, Khajj, and Crumb)
2 Potions of Poison (claimed by Traviata).
XP: 308 each