X The Consequences of Vice
SEPTEMBER I DCCCXCI
The son of Quintus Andrisicus has been found dead, washed up on the beach, on the eve of the announcement of his father's canidacy to the Council of Magistrates. Julius Fulvius Lydon, as it turns out, is a friend of Andrisicus and both wishes to help his friend in his time of need and to dig up dirt on this new potential rival. To this end he once again summons Etrusicus and his friends Gaius, Titus, and Lucius to approach Andrisicus with the implications that they will find out what happened to the late Marcus Andrisicus.
The PCs go to the home of Andriscus where they find the man greatly distraught. He tells the PCs that a suicide note was found in his son's room at the school of Cassius Quietus but he does not think that his son was suicidal. After some prying, Andrisicus admits that his relationship with his son had been strained in the last months of his sons' life. Young Marcus came to his father begging money to settle his gambling debts. The elder Andrisicus gave in to his son's need on the condition that he will never gamble again and that he is to attend the school of Quietus. Marcus agreed but they saw each other little after that.
Andrisicus offers the PCs 1,000 denarii each to find out what happened to his son.
Their first stop is the crematorium to examine the body of Marcus before it is destroyed. They find that the bones in his right hand have been broken (a punishment used by criminals to punish thieves) and that there is a large bruise on the back of his skull and that the blunt trauma most likely caused his death.
The second stop is Marcus' apartment which he shared with a fellow student, Saul Galerius. After knocking and being told to wait "just a moment" they enter the room to find that Galerius had escaped the second story room via a rope made of knotted rope that he had prepared in case of just such an event. A search of the room finds a note bearing the mark of Finn as well as 200 d. and a stash of Yellow Lotus.
With this new clue the party goes to seek an audience with Finn who they know may be a major funder of Julius Lydon. At the Eastern Benevolent Association the PCs wait an hour before being allowed to meet with the normally elusive Finn. Before the PCs introduce themselves, Finn greets the PCs by name and denies any dealings with Marcus Andrisicus until the PCs present him with a "gift." After accepting the gift Finn becomes more conversational and admits that Marcus did owe him money but he was not killed by Finn's men. The party volunteer the information that Marcus did have Yellow Lotus in his possession and Finn confirms that Marcus was an addict. The PCs and Finn come to conclusion that the murder was doing of Paramezzus Sullo. Furthermore, Finn knows where Paramezzus can be found. Finn offers the location on the stipulation that Finn will get all the drugs and drug manufacturing equipment. The party can keep any denarii found and are not to tell anyone of the agreement. The party agrees and set off to the location given by Finn.
The building is a III-story decaying tenement filled with drug addicts, which the party must wade through to find Sullo. In one room they find but one figure wrapped in robes. Titus investigates the man and finds that he is a ghoul tripping on Yellow Lotus. The fell-thing is slain and the room is searched revealing a secret door that leads to an internal staircase.
At the bottom they find Paramezzus and IV henchmen. Paramezzus offers twice whatever they are being paid and tries to convince the party that he is not their enemy but the PCs are unimpressed. They slaughter the henchmen and follow Paramezzus into an adjacent room an alchemy lab. It is here that Paramezzus makes his final stand.
Paramezzus' monstrous nephew, Arxus, arises from the shadows and engages the PCs. Etrusicus, thinking to add to the party's attack blows the black whistle found in Vengeance in Liberportus. Lucius and Titus are both momentarily engulfed by the ooze-thing that is Arxus and their weapons and armor are eaten away by the ooze. Their Valossan weapons remain and seem to be the only kind capable of damaging Arxus.
The whistle's call summons one of the indescribable winged things and once inside the cellar it attacks Etrusicus. Paramezzus is horrified by the appearance of the winged thing and tries to flee, only to fall into the mass of his nephew. The blackness that is Arxus sprouts skeletal arms of the same substance as himself and completely and utterly absorbs his good uncle. Arxus is eventually slain and the ooze spazzes and contorts into the heads of pre-death Arxus, Paramezzus, and a skull before drying into dust.
The PCs find 10,000 denarii, Finn's men confiscate the drugs, and Andrisicus is told the circumstances of his son's death.
So dies the madness of Paramezzus Sullo.