After a close encounter with a dire boar and a good nights sleep the party made its way through the suburbs of Rome and in to the grand city itself.
Upon arriving at the gates it became clear that Rome is a city divided. The West side of the city, with its main focus on the Vatican itself is controlled by those loyal to the Pope, Gregory. The Eastern side of the city, centered around Maria Maggiore, is under the control of the Bishop Cardinal of Ostia, Azzone. A thin strip running from South to North, centered on the Forum is considered ‘neutral’ territory.
Even with this tense state of affairs Rome bustles with pilgrims, merchants, diplomats, clergy and townsfolk. It is a lively city where a mixture of ancient ruins and active churches.
The party made its way to a tavern near the northern Gate, known as the Platinum Crozier and run by an odd Deva, named Chrodegang, who it turns out is an ‘escaped’ Monk of Pelor from Frankia.
After gathering info the party decided to explore the city rather than follow up directly on the request for a message delivery to either side of the ongoing Italian conflict.
Bastian, Samael and Xaviar made their way to the Pantheon, dedicated to Bahamut and his helper gods. There they made some offerings, Samael explored the abandoned shrine to Noxtentus and nothing much happened of note (though there was world lore aplenty).
Meanwhile, Nachayev and Conwy made their way to the forum where they dabled in the local under-ground scene. After observing for a while, the two initiated contact via a botched interrogation with a local gang of youths. They learned something of the criminal world, a bit about thieve’s cant and markings and didn’t get walloped by a bunch of 8 year olds (horray!).
At the same time Bastian spent some time shopping and making deals, including arranging to drop off a package for a local merchant in Spoleto, on the way to Ravenna.
Having explored the Pantheon, Samael and his dragonborn companion made their way to the Vatican to try and glean some info on the current pope and discover whether or not he is in fact an ‘anti-pope’ and thus a wicked Deva or whether he is the true head of the church and Azone is attempting a power-play.
While at the Vatican they spent some time in the library doing research and also gleaned some gossip, including the interesting tid-bit that Gregory was in fact ‘discovered’ and re-awoken by none other than Azone, a fact which makes their falling out all the more interesting!
They also happened upon a frustrated mosaicist, one Caius Crispus, an elf of some skill, working on a small chapel. In talking with him they agreed to seek out his missing apprentice in the nearby catacombs, and more importantly to obtain an image of a wonderful mosaic deep in the catacombs. The chance to explore and to possibly glean more info on the pope himself (in hopes of further unraveling the intricacies of the current intrigue) brought the party back together and into the nearby suburbs.
Delving in to the Catacombs of Domitilla they discovered the body of the apprentice who was a bit too careless with the trapped tombs. They also ran across some local wildlife, in the form of a group of skeleton guardians. After dispatching these undead pests they prepare to delve further in search of the Image of Petrus and perhaps further treasures?