Ongoing coverage of the “Works and Days” campaign.

When the party arrived at the University of Thebes, they found it curiously still. There were no guards posted and no authority figures lurking nearby. Malako of course had lied and convinced the group he was a student at the university, and suggested a “secret” entrance — which the party then began to seek out.

Wandering around the center of the university, the party stumbled upon some adolescent humans painting enormous letters on the side of a school building. The curious green paint they were using read: “GO AWAY DAGONBORN (sic).”

To maintain his cover as a student, Malako announced his presence — and the vandals immediately assumed the party was a group of university students. The ruffians proved to be unexpectedly well-armed, and brandished hand crossbows(!).

(The hand crossbow is an invention of the artificer from the previous campaign who established the library that grew into the very university being vandalized.)

Malako drew a lot of the initial fire by using big, flashy fire magic. When the ruffians began returning fire, Reverence used Backfire to hurt them and became the new target (such is the plight of all Mesmers…). She took a couple hits from crossbow bolts, and then quickly went down when one of them scored a critical hit.

The party identified the leader of the ruffians and focused fire to take down “Rufio.” Once the leader was rendered unconscious, the boys began to panic and three of them escaped — fleeing in different directions. The party took five boys captive, including the leader, and attempted to interrogate them.

Questions of, “what are you doing here,” were answered with dumbfounded gestures toward the graffiti on the wall. The boys said they were “paid” to do it. A mysterious benefactor had provided them with green paint, armor, and the hand crossbows.

All they could say about their benefactor was that he was a “strange masked man” who “came out of nowhere, uninvited” and offered to outfit them in exchange for the service — which they were more than happy to render.

The party demanded the boys lead them back to their “hideout.”