They decided to join the Small Swords Society so they could raid the Hundred Pagodas, but first there was an audition. The night before they were in a crazy game of dominoes, so they ended up with a strange assortment of equipment (and no money to speak of) as they entered the Small Swords compound.
- Branford (Slade) was once man overboard on a ship, and when he crawled out of the sea in an unfamiliar place he was not the same.
- Shep (Dylan) was a coin clipper who was locked in a box by some angry customers once, and eventually the box broke open and he went on with his life, but something changed in him during that experience.
They saw the others trying to join; a champion of order and his entourage, a tough crabbish with some jewels in his carapace, a handful of street thugs, and more. They got their turn, talking with the Master of Arms Mochi Ruten during their audience with the guildmaster Hizen Sunli, a teenager.
Their task was to restore the mind of Waki, the top fighter of the Bronze Teeth club fighters. After all, they must be resourceful and clever, not just violent, to succeed in the Small Swords. They were given an introduction symbol to show Yaparkpangri, the tough leader of the club. Then they were sent out through a side door. Good luck!
Azulian House of Healing
They decided the best approach was to find someone with quality bandaging, find out where they got it, and consult healers about a head injury. They spotted a hobgoblin duke with bodyguards, and told the seneschel that intercepted them that they were arguing about whether the Duke got treatment from the best or not. The seneschal pointed them to the Azulian House of Healing, and the palanquin went on its way.
They saw all the beggars at the gate held back by guards, so they cased the huge compound, and saw several entry points. They ended up climbing a tree to get up on the wall, then following that to climb up to a balcony and get in to an upper level.
They snuck into a supply closet to find a female guard and a male nurse making out; interrupting the nookie session, they threatened to turn the lovers in. The guard attacked, and was battered unconscious while the nurse was threatened to keep quiet. They let the nurse bandage the guard (who they did not kill) in exchange for cooperation, the nurse leading them to a brain expert among the sluggish scholars here in the tower.
The nurse, Tam, complied and was eager to help them so they’d leave without things getting worse. She led them to Kyramana, the sluggish brain specialist, in the sluggish lounge where the scholars were relaxing. The monks prodded Tam to ask the sluggish how to treat a bad head injury without the advantage of sluggish expertise.
Kyramana explained that certain alchemical solutions were made for just that purpose, like the Sixty Two Feather Potions he had just made and given to the Arch Mage Fei-Ta. One of those potions would set everything right.
Grateful, Tam and the others withdrew (the monks stealing some healing supplies and at least one robe each because they felt so nice.) They disappeared into the city, and Tam gave them a twenty minute head start before reporting the break-in.
They asked around and found their way to the ancient tower, and Branford disguised himself as a healer as Shep posed as the bodyguard. They talked to Yukkur, the solicitor eunuch, who had an eyepiece that let him identify them as chaos monks. He was delighted to see them, as he was worried about his master, who was projecting astrally that he was in trouble.
He had taken the Sixty Two Feather Potions up to his summoning chamber, and the summoning went wrong, automatically locking the chamber. Arch Mage Fei-Ta must have made it to his safe room, an interdimensional Casket of the Secluded Island. But he was trapped there.
Yukkur gave them a rune badge to back off the wind spirits bound to protect the tower, and took them upstairs and showed them the ledge to follow around to get to the window entry. Yukkur also gave them each an elbow-length glove that would lock in place on stone, to help them not fall.
The wind spirits bothered at them, but when the big wind spirit arrived, it begrudgingly acknowledged its service. Instead of them falling over a hundred feet to certain doom, they were blown into the chamber.
There they saw a mess, and the tipped-over casket. They activated it, going in to the otherdimensional refuge.
The Casket of the Secluded Island
There they ran into awkward swan-people-constructs, and had a bit of a scuffle on the dock before they just ran around them and got up to the gazebo. It had recreational scrying capacity, so they found the Arch Mage Fei-Ta and the potions. Then Shep took medicine for the massive resulting headache. They ran past more swan things to get into the house.
There they saw the courtyard was defended by a buzzing infinity-shaped segmented hummingbird thing. They tried hefting it out of the courtyard it was covering, but they were touched by stunning tendrils. They recovered in due time, but realized the arch mage had been stunned and his physiology was not as robust at rebooting as theirs.
They carried his couch in to the house and used medicine to revive him. He outfitted himself and sent his swans out in the yard, where a giant flying crystalline angelfish destroyed them, and the chaos monks hustled the arch mage down to the docks and through the dimensional portal.
Pain the the Brain
The arch mage gave them promise of a favor, and 100 silver for their help, as well as the potions they sought. They left the tower, talking to one of the less invisible spies around the arch mage’s territory and gaining a guide to the Bronze Teeth’s hangout. There they met with Gree, and Branford insisted it was about wanting to see Waki fight again; Gree bought it, and took them to the disabled fighter.
They administered the potion, and Waki recovered fully and immediately. They slipped away during the celebration, returning to the Small Swords compound.
Master of Arms Ruten was suitably impressed, and granted them each a sash/band with the Small Swords emblem. Then they feasted.