Note through all these events Hathor tried to dissuade Max from any decision he made .
After a shopping spree the remaining party members , Max , Hathor and Jak matriculated to establishment of Ann Li – Mage for Hire . Max kicked in the door and burst in , terrifying the startled young man behind the counter . Max started interrogating the frightened young fellow and then unbidden went to look through the back room where the wares were kept while Hathor took up the questioning , employing the age old “bad cop , confusing cop” routine . Jak searched the building and found that Ann Li was not in the facility . Eventually Lyle (the clerk) admitted that she had been kidnapped by bugbears the day before and asked for their help , offering up Ann Li’s spellbook as an incentive with Max insisted on getting up front . They party started combing the shop/office/home for clues until Lyle asked them if they wanted to check out the crime scene .
Heading to an out of the way crossroads Hathor established that Ann Li was attacked by owlbears rather than bugbears and once subdued she was loaded onto a wagon . Following the wagon trail back to a wagon rental hutch Max invoked the power of the church to get the proprietor to talk . Before he did though Hathor convinced him instead to murder a bunch of hookers . Jak pointed out though that really it was the pimp he wanted to murder and that pimps often had protection – and also that he was a deputy of the law and he probably shouldn’t be talking about murdering anyone . Confused and frightened the man gave them the information they were after and went inside and closed up shop . The trail led to the Black Dog Brewery .
Max demanded answers in the name of the law . Jak said he wanted to talk to the owner about a business proposition . Hathor purchased beer and fed it to his dog . While trying to comply with Jak’s request Max threatened the clerk with arrest and murder . Confused and aggravated the clerk return with the owner Vurm . He too was quickly confused as Jak laid out his (false) offer to have this establishment sell his wine while Max simultaneously question him about the wagon . In the end he agreed to do business with Jak and gave Max a list of all the place that wagon had made deliveries . Ace then turned up and he agree to break into Vurm’s house and search for clues . Jak then made mention of Ann Li in regards to his business dealings and Vurm said that he shouldn’t be in business with her as she was a terrible dentist and everyone hated her because she owed money all over town . After further conversation they learned that the #1 loan shark in town was a fellow by the name of Baklanog who operated out of a seedy gambling hut down by the riverfront . Once there Baklanog admitted to hating Ann Li because of her lousy dentistry but said that she DID NOT owe him money and that it made no sense that she would be borrowing from a shylock as she was rich . When informed that Vurm had been impinging on his good name Baklanog closed down his establishment (Hathor helped kick out the poor souls there to gamble) and along with three of his goons got greased up real nice and took up their whackin’ sticks to go teach Vurm a lesson . Hathor got in on the action also .
Arriving back at the Black Dog Brewery Baklanog set his three goons to beating on the helpless counterman while Hathor started smashing up the place . Jak and Max went into the back office where Vurm was seen in conference with a priest of Menoth , some hulking monster stood in the corner passively .
Once Vurm became aware of what was happening outside he sent out his monster . Jak closed and barred the door behind it , resting his hand on his throat-slittin’ knife . Seeing the monster appear Hathor discarded his beating club and quickly exited the facility . Vurm accused Jak and Max of being part of an ill-conceived attempt to rob him . As they conversed they could hear on the other side of the door the hideous sounds of 4 men being crushed to death . Violence seemed immanent in the back room but the presence of the priest confused the issue somewhat . Meanwhile Hathor climbed onto the roof of a nearby building , startled to find someone already hiding up there watching the brewery with a spyglass . Drawing his back-stabbing knife Hathor crept up on the fellow and whispered breathily in his ear . In return the small rag-clad man produced his own hidden dagger , which prompted Hathor to attempt to shove him off the roof . The man countered with a judo throw and tossed Hathor off , where he landed safely on his feet thanks to his Boots of Landing . Hathor climbed back up but found the roof deserted . Upon spying the approach of the guard Hathor leapt down and took off on horseback to wash off his incriminating body grease .
Inside Jak opened the door to the office to reveal a startled guardsman with hand in mid-knock . They determined based on witness statements that Max and Jak weren’t involved and Baklanog and his men had been killed in self defense . Max then invoked the power of the Writ and commend them to help him search the facility . The guards got comfortable and searched several barrels of beer while Jak and Max searched the facility . Max commanded Hathor’s falcon to find the blood and surprisingly it did , falconing out a hidden door , behind him Max found a bound and bloody woman . Setting Ann Li free max escorted her our , shouting for the guards to “put your pants back on and arrest someone !” The guards hopped to and the monster was deployed , crushing the life out of one of them before Max could short-circuit its brainpain with a bolt of lightening . Vurm was taking into custody and it was determined that the priest was the victim of mental domination . Max was able to temporarily free him from the control and the priest ran off to the temple to get help , trailed by Jak . Meanwhile the 3 remaining guards took Vurm into the back alley and decapitated him for his crimes . Max searched the office and found a ledger of Vurm’s tallies for loan sharking . He took the ledger to the church where they thanked him for his role in saving their brother .
What about the owlbears said no one . Who was controlling the priest asked no one .
Converging back at Ann Li’s shop Max healed her a little and then copied some spells out of her spellbook while Hathor and Jak enjoyed the royal tea service as they often do . Ace returned with the news that Vurm was a loan shark ! Then a very lengthy conversation ensued regarding if they should head to Grandil to look for Furnock or to Briarwood to arrest Lavinia . At least once Max lay down to wait for death . Ace headed for Grandil while everyone else headed for Briarwood . Searching the town they found Lavinia’s former companion Warvil who told them they had retrieved the three keys , claimed the treasure and were now rich beyond their wildest dreams . Unfortunately Creed had died fighting the horned wyvern that guarded the treasure and his wish was for his money to continue his research into detecting reincarnated Hobgoblin spies . Max was on board with this and with Warvil’s backing he was able to perfect the formula , testing it on an old man they dug up and brought back to life with documents forged by Jak . Max was awarded the alchemy lab . Jak was awarded the land it was built on . On which it was built I mean . Jak attempted to penetrate the security of her palatial home and was defeated by magic . Another lengthy discussion took place about what should be done RE Lavinia . Jak wandered off and went to her house and asked if she wanted to be arrested for the murder of a church official . She politely declined and signed her resisting arrest form .
The party then invited her to a tea party the next day . She declined but invited them to her mansion instead . A good time was had by all . She presented them with a business opportunity to go into the foothills of the Lortmil Mountains , braving the savage wildmen there , to recover a sword and figurine of wondrous power in a cave complex inhabited by rust monsters . They agreed and after equipping themselves with the finest leather armor , a flint axe , and some bone knifes they headed out accompanied by Lavinia’s man Shax . They met some “wildmen” , a tribe called the Shends , who traded them some sweet , sweet moon melons and told them about some big game hunters that had come up this way and then disappeared a few days ago . The group found their camp , looted it , and then found the hunters dead at the claws of some mountain cat . They were also looted and their dead bodies left to rot . Swapping out their gear the group headed into the cave system , Shax refused and stayed at the campsite . They saw a few rust monsters but had no problems recovering the sword and figurine . Upon their return they found Shax mutilated , perhaps by some kind of mountain cat . They returned their items to Lavinia and divided up the score . Upon finding out that Hathor had good relations with the “savage” Shends Lavinia asked him to parley with them on her behalf , trading a wagonload of consumer goods for the sweet , sweet melons they had harvested . For some reason , Hathor , a man who had days before wanted 100 gold to dig a hole performed his activity free of charge . He also recovered the body of Shax , who was reincarnated by Max as a half-orc , much to Lavinias’s amusement and his dismay .
Once the loot was chopped up they group returned to the alchemy lab and awaited the constabulary High Threat Response Team , which turned out to be headed up by Kraye . Max agreed to go with them on the raid . Jak did as well , and once it was determined that the HTRT mage could suppress the magic alarm the idea was bandied about of Jak going on a solo mission to take out Lavinia . A NIGHT mission .