Liquid Man

8 Mirtul 1368

A woman named Alanna has asked us for help. It turns out her friend has been morphed into a slime, and she doesn’t know what to do. The only clue we have is an empty bottle signed by someone known as “T”. I take a look at the slime that used to be Eltolth.

I take a close look. Half sunken into the slime I notice a diary. The pages are unharmed.

Tulbor must be the same T that’s on the bottle! I talk to Alanna to see if she knows him.

Aegon: Yes, we found this diary. There is someone called “Tulbor” mentioned. You do not happen to know anything about this person, by any chance?

Alanna: “Tulbor…?” No, I am sorry. I’ve never heard of such a person. But please, do not give up the search!

Sirene reminds me we’ve seen a couple of suspicious people in bars – a woman in the Burning Wizard, and a man in the Red Sheaf. The diary mentions a man, so we head to the Red Sheaf.

Silke’s body still lays outside the Inn. We say hello to Aura as we walk past her, and we notice that the dwarf assassin’s corpse has been removed. I guess most patrons don’t want to be drinking next to a fresh corpse.

We find the suspicious man still at the back of the bar.

Aegon: In one of the houses nearby there is a drama going on. A man somehow lost… shape. Do you know anything about this, by any chance?

Tulbor: What? I have no idea what you are talking about. What is it that you think I’m involved in?

Aegon: A man called Eltolth was transformed into a slime. Do you know anything about it?

Tulbor: Eltolth transformed himself into a… ha ha ha! That just *had* to happen! He was so keen on it! I did warn him, you know.

Aegon: Just a moment. You are saying this as if you knew exactly what would happen! What do you have to do with this transformation elixir? Did Eltolth get it from you?

Tulbor: Calm down, calm down! Do I know what happened? Hm, maybe. Do I have to tell you? Hm, no. Do you have any evidence against me? Hm, you tell me.

So, what are you still doing here? Go away and leave me alone… unless you want to buy me a drink of course.

Aegon: Look here: your name is mentioned in here and this is the diary of Eltolth. What do you say now?

Tulbor: Oh, how sweet. He mentioned me in his *diary*.

Aegon: Stop this nonsense! There’s a man in his house, transformed into a slime and a desperate woman at his side! Now tell me how Eltolth can be transformed back into his normal shape!

Tulbor: Oh dear, how pathetic. Now you listen: maybe I sold this elixir to Eltolth, but there was nothing wrong with that! I’m no criminal… the potion was absolutely fine!

“Ah, now this potion *does* work… Let’s take another sip… Ah, and another one… and another… But ooh, what happens now?”

I told him to be careful, not to overdose. Now he has to live with the consequences. That’s my selling principle: no warranty! He knew that, so if he is in need of an antidote he has to pay for it like every decent customer!

Aegon: Do you have such an antidote? What would it cost?

Tulbor: Incidentally, I have such an elixir that would be needed in this case. And just to prevent any “misunderstandings,” it’s the standard elixir with the reverse effect. There are customers for both, you know! Taken in small sips, it will weaken, but taken in overdose, it also gives a nice strengthening effect. I don’t tell that to people normally. If they knew about this effect, I wouldn’t earn any money on the real strengthening potions anymore.

Ah, you are a lucky one: I con offer you the last sample. It’ll be yours for the amount of 100 gold pieces.

Aegon: Okay, I’ll take it.

Tulbor: It was a pleasure doing business with you. Oh and make sure to take *all* of it! Goodbye.

I hand over the coin and he gives me a potion. None of us can’t tell what it does.

Somehow I feel like we’re still being swindled. Let’s hope this potion works.

Back at Eltolth’s home, we give Alanna the potion.

Aegon: Here you go! This should retransform your neighbour into his former shape.

Alanna: Oh, really? How… how wonderful! I will give it to him right away.

She pours the potion into the slime. We tell her to use all of it, as Tulbor instructed. The slime starts to shift in shape until it is in the form of a human.

The flesh takes on a natural colour, and the man’s eyes move. When he starts breathing Alanna is more than happy to see her friend again.

Eltolth: Alanna? Why… Oh my, what *was* this?!

Alanna: You were transformed into a *slime*! Poor man! Are you all right?

Eltolth: I… think so. Seeing you now, I am, at least *ahem*… well, I am sorry I couldn’t keep our appointment. We wanted to meet and have a talk about Faerun’s flora… Seems I was a bit busy with the fauna instead.

He lets out an embarrassed smile.

Alanna: How could this happen Eltolth?

Eltolth: Well, I… You know, there was this elixir vendor and he said…

Alanna: Yes, go on?

Eltolth: Oh my lady, it’s exactly this look in your eyes that made me drink this potion! I wanted to impress you, Alanna, my lady.

Alanna: To impress? Me? What…

Eltolth: Lady Alanna, I have to tell you now, after you saw me like this. I bought a potion that is reputed to… to make a man more, well, masculine. You know, more muscles, broader shoulders, flatter belly…

Alanna, today I wanted to impress you so much. I wanted you to be stunned by my appearance, not only intellectually but also by my *ahem* looks. Well, after drinking from the elixir, everything was going well, but somehow I wanted more and more, finally I drank too much. The process of body-reshaping got out of control and… well, you saw the result.

What an awkward situation! I only wanted to change my looks into something more…

Alanna: Theres no need for that, Eltolth.

Eltolth: …you know, more masculine…

Alanna: I like you the way you are, Eltolth.

Eltolth: …to make my appearance a bit more… What was it you said?

Alanna: I said, I like you the way you are!

She smiles tenderly.

Alanna: You beautiful, naïve fool! Did you think I would listen to a lecture about plants if I’m not interested in the man talking?

Eltolth: Alanna… Is… is that true?

Alanna: As true as the sun rises every morning.

Eltolth: Oh, sweet Alanna! You have made me so happy! Come into my arms!

Er… Who are the people standing beside us, by the way…?

Alanna: Oh, this is Aegon, the one who rescued you, Eltolth!

Aegon: Greetings, Eltolth! I’m happy that you are well again. Let me give you back your notes. I used them to discover what happened here. I won’t disturb you two any longer. Farewell!

Eltolth: Wait, noble helper! I’m very thankful indeed. You did more than it might seem for us. Please, let me give you these 200 gold pieces to cover your expenses!

I would very much appreciate it if this incident would remain our “little” secret. Now please excuse us, Alanna and I have a lot to talk about. Farewell!

We also gain a point of reputation. It’s at 15 now, which is bad since I want to be able to cycle through NPCs no matter their alignment. I need to find a way to reduce it.

We leave them to figure out their relationship. Gavin has a question for me.

Aegon: Please do.

Gavin: One of the goals of Lathander’s clergy is to promote interracial harmony. I think this is a noble and worthwhile goal, but sometimes I wonder if cooperation between all peoples is possible. I wondered if you think this is possible, or even desirable.

Aegon: I agree with you when you say that it is desirable, but I do not think it is possible.

Gavin: I am afraid that you might be right, but it would be wrong for me to lose faith so easily. Why do *you* think it might not be possible.

Aegon: People have this need to feel superior. Cooperation implies equality. That concept will never be universally popular.

Gavin: Maybe not, but I can still hope.

I want to know more about Tulbor and his potions. He may have something we can use, so we go back to the Red Sheaf.

Aegon: So you are a vendor of potions? What can you offer me?

Tulbor: Ah, not much I am afraid. I am nearly sold out. I will go to some other place. It has become a bit uncomfortable here lately. No one is willing to buy me drinks anymore… Dang, and now this bottle has a leaky cork. Give me an empty bottle, and you can have this potion for free.

Aegon: What a coincidence. I have an empty bottle right here.

Tulbor: That comes in handy, indeed. Let me decant the fluid into the unbroken bottle… Here you go. It’s a standard healing potion. I have to sell those, too, otherwise the customers wouldn’t be satisfied. But that was it then, I guess. I am on my way.

He picks up his empty potion bag, and leaves. As we also leave, the local “bard” continues to sing his songs.

We keep checking houses. Another locked door fails to block our entry.

There is nothing more of interest here so we continue on. The door to the next home is unlocked. We find a lone child inside.

Daddy comes home, and he’s quite large.

He attacks, and we defend ourselves. Rose and Sirene manage to wound him, but he hits Gavin and cracks his skull!

I launch a Magic Missile at Daddy.

Drake takes a strong blow from Daddy, so he reaches for a potion of healing.

I manage to knock him unconcious for a second, and Sirene takes the opportunity to hurt him.

Drake is wounded again so he retreats and pulls out his last potion of healing.

Cat leaps onto Daddy and deals the coup de grace.

We move on to licking our wounds. Gavin is dead, but he can be resurrected at the Temple. Drake didn’t drink his potion in the end, so Sirene Lays Hands on him.

The boy remains crouched in the corner as we head upstairs. The mother is still around, and she’s angry!

Rose interrupts her spell with a crossbow bolt.

Sirene takes her down easily.

We don’t feel too good after this – we were attacked, but now there is an orphan downstairs. Well, their good equipment…

We find a copy of the second volume of the History of the North on a bookshelf.

I’m getting good at leaving corpses in my wake…

The party leaves the home with a strong aura of guilt. I linger behind. There is still a witness that we can’t leave behind. It could be bad for us if people find out what we just did.

Reputation problem solved! I do feel a bit too evil now though…

Drake isn’t happy with this turn of events.

Aegon: I’m the leader here, and we do as I say.

Drake: True. But at the same time, I am not obliged to follow you around in every puppy-kicking escapade you choose to lead us on, either.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment, since we all make lapses in judgement, but I think you’d better evaluate your life choices. Let’s just say your current way is not exactly… healthy to your long-term success.

Sirene isn’t happy either.

Sirene: I shall withhold judgement for now, but I suggest you make a turn for the better.

What could we do? We were attacked. We had to defend ourselves. Or am I just getting too used to solving my problems through violence today?

We make our way to the Temple of Lathander. We donate 100 gold to the temple and Kelddath raises Gavin from the dead. If he’s happy to be alive again, he doesn’t show it.

Gavin chooses to stay in the temple where he can recover from his wounds. I hope he isn’t too upset. We make our way back to Beregost.

On character deaths I plan to cycle in NPCs that I’ve already encountered so far. However, since Montaron and Xzar are on a quest timer until we reach Nashkel, I’m not going to go all the way back to the Friendly Arm for them right now. There are still at least two NPCs in Beregost that I know of, so we will still have a full party when we leave.

I want to continue exploring houses. I promise the rest of the party that there will be no more deaths. If someone attacks us, we will retreat.

There’s another boy in the next house we enter. He may not be the goodest of boys.

We don’t find anything of value. The boy has probably already pilfered everything worth taking.

We continue exploring the outskirts and meet a farmer with some worries.

Farmer: If you wish to pursue the matter, you can find me in my house next to Feldepost’s Inn. Would you be interested?

Aegon: As soon as we have some time, we will come to see you.

We return to the main streets and find a young girl who is upset with her parents.

Maybe we should help. After what we just did across the street, we need to make amends. We go into the girl’s home to see if we can help.

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