Streets of Ptolus: City by the Spire

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Caught somewhat off guard by the tone of Captain Ian’s response, Sir Thedric went to the Church of the Redeemer seeking additional information regarding his upcoming mission and the nature of the mysterious donation. Sister Matricholan explained the odd circumstances through which the Great Church had become involved with Martin Zeltner and his daughter Aliyah.

Zeltner had pleaded for Sister Matricholan to intercede when his daughter was committed to Darkbirth Madhouse after a particularly violent fit of insanity. She began experiencing visions portending the destruction of the world after he returned from a business venture with a unique stone he had found during his travel. The visions became so distressing to the young girl that she finally attempted to stab her eyes out in hopes of stopping them. Fortunately, the Church was able to get the girl released into their care before she came to any harm in the asylum, and with the help of the gods they she was cured of her maladies. During her stay at the church, the scribes recorded bits and pieces of her incoherent rantings, but only the phrase “Vallis is near…” seems to have been consistently repeated during her recovery. Mr. Zeltner offered to give the cursed stone to the Church in return for their mercy and expenses in curing his daughter.

Accompanied by Aidan Prommel, a young cleric from the Grand Cathedral, the party met at the Hammersong Vaults as planned. A Thedric accompanied Martin Zeltner as the stout dwarf, Ollam Hammersong led them through several impressive security measures and deep into the private vaults. Mr. Zeltner retrieved a box containing a small, softly-glowing greenish rock — a chunk of Vallis stone! Back on the streets, several chests were loaded into a cart as a diversion, while the party carried the vallis personally along a different route.

Draith stealthily tracked the rest of the group as they warily trekked through the dark, empty streets of Oldtown towards the chapel. Suddenly the group was blinded as an impenetrable blackness fell over them and they heard the whizzing of a crossbow bolt followed by the moan and heavy thud of Aidan falling to the cobblestone street. Sorn.jpg When they finally recovered from the confusion they saw 2 sorcerers, a gnome and a dark elf, firing spells and bolts at them from the rooftops ahead. Worse than that, a large man transformed into a wolf and charged at them with snapping jaws and a slashing long sword. The heroes prevailed after a harrowing battle and, while searching their assailants for clues, discovered that the sorcerers both bore a similar, but unfamiliar tattoo. They successfully delivered the package to Sister Matricholan and retired for the night to sleep off their ills.

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A Change of Plans

Anxious to open the magical chest, the group sought friends who might be able to provide more information. They first stopped at St. Gustav’s Chapel to confer with Dean Thisk, who suggested consulting with one of the city’s many sages for such esoteric information. He also asked how Phon Quartermain was doing, as he had not seen her in some time. The group inquired for Phon at Saches’, and was informed that while she was not presently in the shop, she had been at work recently.

The next stop was at the Lyceum of Songs in the temple district where they spoke with their friend Amara. Again, she did not have any useful information, but suggested that if it was knowledge they sought that perhaps the Scriptorium of Tinel (god of knowledge and magic) could provide aid. She also gave them the wand of healing that she had been given to assist them in their adventures. Before they left, Amara pulled Thedric aside and told him that while his niece Talicia was doing well, she would not be able to remain at the lyceum indefinitely. She suggested that the Sisterhood of Silence might be a suitable long term home for the wayward child.

chest2.jpg At the Scriptorium of Tinel, the paladin received a cooler reception than he’d hoped as a member of the Great Church, but the acolyte was able to provide some useful information from the chest markings they provided. ((Guys, I could not remember exactly what I told you about the chest based upon the rubbings you provided. It seemed like he told you a little, but would need to see the chest to provide more. One of you can add info here if you have some notes.)) Saint seemed quite interested in Tinel’s church and their holy order of Mage-guard warriors. For the time being, the group decided to safeguard the chest by locking it in Sarys’ office at the Rogue Moon Trading Company.

Later that evening, over drinks, Draith shared some sensitive information with the group about the upcoming donation by the Zeltner family. Draith’s sources indicate that a group of thieves from the Longfingers Guild were making plans to steal the donation prior to its delivery, and the guard contingent might not be sufficient to ensure its safety. Quite grateful that Draith would confide in the group Thedric reported the information to his superior at the Order of the Dawn, Sir Tremont, and asked that additional resources be dedicated to the task. Sir Tremont sternly questioned Thedric on how he came by this knowledge, but Thedric was steadfast in protecting his source. In the end Sir Tremont said he would consult with their superiors to determine the correct course of action.

The next day Sir Tremont informed Thedric that he had met with the captain to discuss the Zeltner transaction further. Captain Ian was somewhat surprised that the Longfingers would be interested in Zeltner’s donation: while it was certainly valuable, that object could be easily tracked and it would be difficult to find the right buyer for such a rare and unusual item. Upon further consideration, however, the captain agreed that a city watch contingent would not be appropriate to protect and deliver the donation. He directed Thedric to have the city watch proceed with the caravan as planned, which would merely serve as a diversion for the Longfingers. The actual item should be personally guarded and hand-carried by Thedric and his associates to Sister Matricholan at the Church of the Redeemer. Thedric could consult directly with the high priestess if needed, and the transaction should be completed without further delay.

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New Friends and New Directions

After an unexpected and harrowing return to Linech Cran’s office at the completion of their mission. The party took a few days to recoup and regroup before meeting again to discuss future plans. Amara learned that she was being given greater responsibility in upcoming church events, and that her new duties would require her to spend more of her time at the Lyceum of Song rather than exploring with her friends. She suggested that they speak with an impressive gentleman whom had recently come by the church looking for work.

Draith, Thedric, and Sarys met at the Ghostly Minstrel to discuss their future and meet with the person Amara had recommended. They were soon greeted by a solidly-built man introducing himself as ‘Saint’. Over several drinks he discussed his resume of working for various churches and his expertise in security matters and was invited to assist with a security assignment which Thedric had recently received. During the evening of drinks, they were visited by a boy named Iltumar Shon from the Bull & Bear Armory in Delver’s Square. Iltumar brought Carter his war hammer which had recently been customized by the blacksmiths, but was eager to stay and enthusiastically listen to the heroes’ tales of their great exploits.

Word on the street was that Collus Adderwood had been wanting to meet with them to discuss an opportunity. Fresh from the Ghostly Minstrel, the group then headed for the roughest bar in Ptolus, the Skull and Sword, to meet with there seedy contact. It turns out that a merchant named Kellisan Faymar was expecting a valuable delivery for which he would be paying in child slaves, and he led the party down into the sewers to interrupt the transaction. The situation in the sewers was not what the party was expecting as they found the merchant waiting alone, with no children to be seen. The scene got stranger as 2 ogres appeared carrying a large chestchest2.jpg and led by a very unusual gnoll with purplish-blue fur. Kellisan brought forth a sack of coins, but the party was spotted and a fight ensued. In the close-quarters of the sewers, the battle was going against the party until some quick-thinking by Carter confused the ogres and sent Kellisan fleeing into the dark without the chest and the creatures taking their payment to go purchase some children for dinner. The party found themselves in possession of the chest, but the lock was far beyond their ability to open.

Thedric, Carter, and Sarys met with Mr. Smythe, chief of operations for the (Martin) Zeltner family to discuss the upcoming transfer from the Hammersong Vaults to the Church of the Redeemer. Thedric and Carter made an excellent presentation which left Mr. Smythe impressed and confident that the entire operation will go smoothly.

Abbercomb.gifSarys received a message from Kadmus asking for an update on Linech Cran’s intentions, so the group returned to Castle Shard to discuss their recent mission. Lord Zavere and Lady Rill listened intently to the party’s underwater adventures and subsequent return with Linech’s vampire daughter Linele, and Zavere was visibly upset to learn the cause of Linele’s death. Thedric and Draith challenged him regarding the raid on Linech’s shivel operation, but Zavere made no apologies for acting to stop the flow of shivvel into Ptolus. Both Lords were very interested to hear of the life-sized gold statue in Linech’s office and explained that that was their friend Lord Abbercomb who had been magically turned to gold long ago. They asked the heroes to return him to Castle Shard for Lady Rill to attempt to remove the spell, offering further favor and a handsome reward before dismissing the group to discuss further.

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The Smuggler's Daughter
Part 2

Bad things happen whenever you have to get in a boat….

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The Smuggler's Daughter
Part 1

Dad artemis If this refers to an interaction between Amara and the rest of the party, maybe expand this note into a description of the conversation, otherwise probably move to the secret log.

The young heroes decided that they needed some well deserved rest and also that they had other responsibilities they had to attend to. Sir Thedric was called on by the Order of the Dawn and the Great Church to be involved with a grand funeral procession for one of his fallen comrades, Sir Eric. This spectacle was on a grand scale as the body was taken from St. Valien’s Cathedral to the Imperial Palace where he was entombed. This type of honor was reserved for those individuals that had shown uncommon valor in the field. Sir Eric was a member of the contingent of Paladins that was sent to help rescue some people kidnapped by The Forsaken from the Necropolis. This contingency was sent after receiving a request for assistance from the Keepers of the Veil. Amara returned from her duties at the Lyceum of Songs wearing some newly purchased and very revealing studded armor. Sarys returned from his duties at the Rogue Moon Trading Company while Draith returned from dealings with his unsavory contacts. It was starting to become clear that double lives were going to be led and the heroes were going to need to juggle each of them.

The party decided to meet at The Ghostly Minstrel to plan their next move. Sarys was the first there and procured a table away from most of the occupants as he knew that Draith was always suspicious of everything. Sir Thedric came in next, wearing his finely polished breastplate. Amara, the next to arrive, drew more then one look and a few comments from the occupants in the bar, however, this was nothing new to the beautiful half-elven cleric and she took it for granted. As Amara took her seat, Thedric said, “Amara, you look exceptionally stunning today. I see that you are wearing a new type of clothing. Is that perhaps studded leather armor?” Amara looked a Thedric and replied, “Why, yes it is, thank you so much for noticing.” About that time, Draith joined the group and took his seat, ordering his usual wine. Thedric glanced at him and then continued, “Does that mean you are embracing the Delver’s lifestyle?” With a giggle, the half-elf replied, “I thought it would only be prudent to make sure that I was a little more protected. After encountering those goblins, the zombies and the spiders… especially the spiders, yuck… it made me realize that I was definitely out of my element. But oh what fun!!” Draith, listening to her answer and looking her over commented, “Well, that armor won’t do you much good with you exposing your mid-section like that.” Amara glared at him a little and remarked back snidely, “Just because a woman feels that she needs a little extra protection doesn’t mean that it has to be hideous. I must maintain a degree of decorum, even if I am drudging around in the sewers.” This brought some subdued laughter from the three other men though they each in turn received a reproachful glare. Amara gathered herself and said, “I believe we have some business to discuss? Shall we get on with it?”. This brought Sarys out of his seemingly trance-like state and he added, “Yes, yes! Let’s discuss this. I am eager to proceed with this investigation.”

So, plans were discussed by the party on how to best infiltrate Linech’s operation. As always, Draith and Thedric butted heads. Draith maintained that the party needed to be inconspicuous and proposed that the party took on disguises. However, the problem started when Draith insisted that Thedric dress as a thug. Draith made the argument that Linech would be expecting “street thugs” and that the paladin would need to remove the symbol for the Great Church from his breastplate. Thedric, resplendent in his armor, flatly refused to mare the his breastplate and made the counter argument that the party was told by Lord Zavere that Linech was looking for adventurer’s. He saw no reason they couldn’t approach him as they were. Sarys weighed in on the side of Draith. Amara’s beauty would let her slide buy the sight of a paladin of the Order of the Dawn would likely destroy any chance at being recruited by Linech. Eventually, a compromise was reached in which Thedric agreed to wear a cloak to cover his armor. He also allowed Draith and Sarys to dirty him up a bit. Further discussion centered around Thedric if he was exposed. Draith said that a back-story was needed in order to alleviate any suspicion by Linech on how a street tough managed to obtain the armor from the Great Church. He suggested that the best explanation would be to tell him that Thedric was a fallen paladin. Thedric staunchly objected to this and stated that he would not agree to that. As tempers flared slightly, Amara and Sarys finally calmed the other two down enough that both Thedric and Draith agreed on how to proceed. No explanation would be volunteered to Linech or any of his associates past the basic cover story that the party was merely a newly formed Delving group looking for work. Thedric agreed to remain quiet and allow the others to do the talking unless specifically addressed. He would also wear his cloak continuously. If, and only if, Thedric’s armor was seen and questioned on it threatening the mission itself would the fallen paladin story be used. This story would only be used if necessary and as a last resort. Draith conceded to this and, with the plans made, the party left to prepare.

Being a Paladin makes you hard headed – seriously? Not a lot of wiggle room with Draith and with Sarys (Draven mostly). But it was nice to cold cock him one! Same as above. I’m assuming this refers to the discussion of disguises and appearances for the meeting with Linech? If so, probably include a couple sentences about the interaction itself and include the ‘hard-headed’ comment as Amara’s conclusion or reaction to the matter.

When the party met again the next day, they set off together to meet with Linech. As they made their way into the Rivergate district, it was apparent that they had made an error. Instead of a lower class part of the city, Rivergate was more like a suburb within Ptolus. People walked down the street in dressed in nice clothing, not overly fancy but quality made, with their children, heading either to or from their homes that resided in “burrows”. Upon entering the area it was apparent that the party was obviously out of place. The “street thug” disguises worn by the companions drew a lot of attention to the group. People to stared as they walked by and some even scowled. No one said a word as the party made their way to Linech’s base of operations, but it was all on their minds. The mission was already off to a bad foot. They had intended to be inconspicuous but they had miscalculated. Thedric fumed to himself at being talked out of going to the area as “adventurers”. Draith would be hearing about this from him, especially since he prided himself on information. On the other hand, Sarys marveled at the shear simplicity yet utter brilliance of the choice. What genius it was to run a criminal organization out of a respectable part of the city. He found himself respecting this half-orc, even if he was a criminal. As the party made their way towards Linech’s burrow, a strange site appeared overhead; a round shape made with what appeared to be sewn leather squares floated in the air. Below it hanged a basket with people inside. A balloon. Now that was a sight. The men in the basket began to shoot arrows into the river canyon but the party had no idea what they were shooting at. Strange. A mage flying around was not uncommon but this, this was something extraordinary to behold.

Finally, the party entered Linech’s burrow. Some children were playing nearby and a man in armor sat nonchalantly on the porch of a one of the houses that were located at the top of a narrowly sloped road at the end of the burrow. Sarys (I’m not sure if it was him or Draith… Someone please clarify) approached the children who immediately stopped their game and stared at the strangers. He asked one of the children if he knew where Linech lived and the child told him that his house was up the sloped road past the man sitting at the top. Sarys, feeling generous, flipped the child a coin which immediately had all of them thanking him and talking excitedly amongst themselves. Following the childs directions, the party made their way up the incline, past the man and on to Linech’s house. Thedric looked back at the seated gentleman but he seemed not to care about the party, though Thedric suspected that he was either a guard or a lookout and that it was a part of his act. Clever, a guard that was seemingly just an innocent civilian bystander sitting out on his front porch enjoying the day. The party approached the door with a bit of hesitation. It was time. The wheels were in motion and they were committed. The party steeled themselves, each in his or her own way. Finally, with one last glance around at each other, Draith opened the door and went in, followed by Thedric, then Sarys with Amara on his heals.

How about recording some notes about the trip to the Rivergate district – impressions of the place, people, something about seeing the hot air balloon and the arrows, etc?

Seanus halfling that works for half orc lennick.

Get Crans daughters coffin.
We need to meet the Halfling Seanus in 2 days. He will secure us a boat and water breathing potions. There is still a debate as to bringing the coffin up on the shore or into Seanus’ waiting (untrustworthy!) hands. The shipwreck lies off the harbor in 50’ of water. Cran warned us that we might meet opposition due to the nature of his sunken cargo. (likely valuable illegal items).

Also, remember what the occupants at Castle Sharde told us: Crans operation on a nearby island ended in a firey accident. Cran himself told us his daughter was killed in an accident and that the boat carrying her coffin ended in fire. She was probably killed during the island “accident”. The fact that fire was used on the island and on the boat means it might have been done by the same person(s) using the same methods. Need to investigate further.

Lots of stuff could be added here which might be useful or interesting later, like a description of Linech’s burrow (cul-de-sac), the kids who directed you to his office, guard sitting on the porch, the interaction with Seanus, strung-out half-elf chick on the couch, Draith tips Seanus 1 gold coin and considers pinching his purse (but thinks better of it), how the party heroically convinces Linech to give them the job, the humorous interaction between Draith and Thedric, Linech’s instructions for the mission, the 6’ foot tall gold statue of a nobleman, etc. I will help edit/expand stuff as well once you guys have captured what you recall.

Remember to have Draith look into Crans operation/background as much as possible through his street contacts.

Draith has some “personal business” he needs to attend to in 3 days time. It will take him away from the group for the night and he’ll be out of contact. The secret log entry could be expanded with a description of Draith’s journey into the undercity market to meet his contact.

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The Trouble with Goblins
Part 3

Your title here…

After speaking with Insert Name Here and with Draith unsuccessfully trying to negotiate for more money, the party went to the haunted house. Along the way, the people in the neighborhood noticed that we were out of place. Drawing their attention like that, they started asking questions about if we were going to save them from the ghosts and rid them of the blight in the haunted house. Several people were talked to and we found out that items and pets had been taken over the recent weeks. The crowd grew and followed all the way to the haunted house. Some of the spectators were emboldened by our presence and wanted to enter the house with us but we talked them out of it due the the danger. When we entered, a bucket of rotting ilk fell onto the floor, barely missing the party. We immediately determined it was a trap that had been set and we surmised that this place was not haunted but it was merely a front for some other purpose. As we headed in, a white sheet came flying toward us and it was cut down. Upon further investigation, the sheet covered a stirge, which further confirmed our suspicions. At that second, we were ambushed by several goblins and Thedric and Sarys? were hit by tanglefoot bags. It was a short battle and the goblins were soon dispatched, despite their advantage. The party learned the effectiveness of tanglefoot bags and how to free themselves from the goo, a valuable lesson to learn for the future. The house was checked further, starting with the upstairs. Another band of goblins was discovered but they were also taken care of. Next, the kitchen was checked and a number of picked clean bones were noticed. The party hypothesized that these were the missing pets, dinner for the goblins. A trapdoor was discovered by Draith leading downstairs but the party immediately noticed that the ladder looked very unstable. It was decided that Thedric, being the most armored would be lowered down on a rope by the others in order to preserve the ladder. The added weight he carried would surely destroy the thing. As he was lowered, he was immediately attacked by another group of goblins located at the far end of the room. Draith started down into the cellar using the ladder but it broke apart and he hurt himself in the fall. The Amara and Sarys tied off the rope and went down to witness the end of the battle. Upon searching the cellar, a safe was found but to the parties dismay, it had already been pilfered. Further searching uncovered a secret entrance to the cellar from an old dungeon. Carefully peering through, the party could see that the main camp of the goblin infestation lay right on the other side of the opening. The group darted through the opening and straight into the camp. Some of the goblins were caught by surprise but a tunnel led down further into the dungeon where more goblins awaited. As Draith and Thedric dispatched those close, Sarys unleashed his awesome magic (sleep spell) which took most of the others out of the fight. The mop up continued with the party victorious but a little scathed. Amara provided the necessary healing and the campsite was searched. A few valuables were found but mostly it trinkets, some from the inhabitants nearby. The party decided to return to claim their reward and explain that the house was not haunted but infested with goblins. The hero’s were welcomed out of the house by a rousing cheer from the crowd. Thedric, now feeling that his debt had been paid, brought up the possibility of returning to the haunted house and explore the newly discovered dungeon.

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The Trouble with Goblins
Part 2

After a brief rest, the party returned to the haunted house, now cleared of the goblins, and descended into the dungeon for exploration. As they followed the maze with Sarys taking excellent map notes, the party began running into several undead. This was the spark they needed as the party made another small stride to come together as a cohesive unit. While several zombies were dispatched, the party found an opening that looked to led into the sewer systems and also a stairway leading down further into the dungeon depths. They decided instead to finish exploring this level before deciding whether to enter the sewers or to go further down the dungeon. The party was stopped just short in a hallway that became entangled from top to bottom with spiderwebs.

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The Trouble with Goblins
Part 1

A debt waiting to be repaid….

After speaking with Insert Name Here and with Draith unsuccessfully trying to negotiate for more money, the party went to the haunted house. Along the way, the people in the neighborhood noticed that we were out of place. Drawing their attention like that, they started asking questions about if we were going to save them from the ghosts and rid them of the blight in the haunted house. Several people were talked to and we found out that items and pets had been taken over the recent weeks. The crowd grew and followed all the way to the haunted house. Some of the spectators were emboldened by our presence and wanted to enter the house with us but we talked them out of it due the the danger. When we entered, a bucket of rotting ilk fell onto the floor, barely missing the party. We immediately determined it was a trap that had been set and we surmised that this place was not haunted but it was merely a front for some other purpose. As we headed in, a white sheet came flying toward us and it was cut down. Upon further investigation, the sheet covered a stirge, which further confirmed our suspicions. At that second, we were ambushed by several goblins and Thedric and Sarys? were hit by tanglefoot bags. It was a short battle and the goblins were soon dispatched, despite their advantage. The party learned the effectiveness of tanglefoot bags and how to free themselves from the goo, a valuable lesson to learn for the future. The house was checked further, starting with the upstairs. Another band of goblins was discovered but they were also taken care of. Next, the kitchen was checked and a number of picked clean bones were noticed. The party hypothesized that these were the missing pets, dinner for the goblins. A trapdoor was discovered by Draith leading downstairs but the party immediately noticed that the ladder looked very unstable. It was decided that Thedric, being the most armored would be lowered down on a rope by the others in order to preserve the ladder. The added weight he carried would surely destroy the thing. As he was lowered, he was immediately attacked by another group of goblins located at the far end of the room. Draith started down into the cellar using the ladder but it broke apart and he hurt himself in the fall. The Amara and Sarys tied off the rope and went down to witness the end of the battle. Upon searching the cellar, a safe was found but to the parties dismay, it had already been pilfered. Further searching uncovered a secret entrance to the cellar from an old dungeon. Carefully peering through, the party could see that the main camp of the goblin infestation lay right on the other side of the opening. The group darted through the opening and straight into the camp. Some of the goblins were caught by surprise but a tunnel led down further into the dungeon where more goblins awaited. As Draith and Thedric dispatched those close, Sarys unleashed his awesome magic (sleep spell) which took most of the others out of the fight. The mop up continued with the party victorious but a little scathed. Amara provided the necessary healing and the campsite was searched. A few valuables were found but mostly it trinkets, some from the inhabitants nearby. The party decided to return to claim their reward and explain that the house was not haunted but infested with goblins. The hero’s were welcomed out of the house by a rousing cheer from the crowd. Thedric, now feeling that his debt had been paid, brought up the possibility of returning to the haunted house and explore the newly discovered dungeon.

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The Murderer's Trail
Part 2

The murderous mystery beckons….

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The Murderer's Trail
Part 1

A cry for help draws the four heroes into a murderous plot…

After days of prayer, Sir Thedric was taken by Captain Ian to St. Valien’s Cathedral where he would begin his training and duties as a member of the Order of the Dawn. The ways of the Order were unknown to him, but Sir Tremont instructed him that Thedric would need to follow his heart in order to hear the gods’ will. Thedric learned that he would primarily be fulfilling his duties at St Valien’s, but would have flexibility to travel throughout the city in between tasks.

Sarys returned to his job at the Rogue Moon Trading Company, where a 1000-gold bounty notice was being posted for a dark elf named Shilukar. The company executive, Tamora Rigan was just concluding a meeting with her close friend and wealthy financier, the widow Tashari Lin, and questioned Sarys about his recent investigations. During the meeting, Sarys learned that the dark elf was wanted by House Abanar in connection with several break-ins throughout the noble quarter.

The group gathered once again at St. Gustav’s to thank the widow Cailan Narrowsigh for her generous act in helping Thedric. Draven was still suspicious of why a stranger would donate such a large sum to help another, and questioned her intently to determine her motives. He learned that her late husband was a goldsmith who had left her a great sum upon his passing. She was deeply religious and took great pleasure in using it to assist in worthy causes. She also told the group that a friend of hers in the Rivergate district new of some folks who were in need of assistance with a haunted house in their neighborhood.

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