Sealing of Fergraig

Dine and Dash

In the Dawnhall of Tymadarch, the celebrations for the crowning of the new king Ullagrim had commenced. The hall was mostly filled with nobles, however at a table towards the back the motley crew of adventurers.

Fist, Riser, a dwarf suffering from amnesia but with an air of nobility about him. Another dwarf was in the group, a zoologist turned druid by the name of Don Jon. Third was Garrock, the out of place looking half orc hedge mage. Apollo King, the wealthy elven scoundrel skilled in archery was the fourth member of the group. Finally there was the heroic and mysterious warlock known as Num Bercix.

At their table the party was joined by a few strangers, one of them a dark-haired dwarf wearing elaborate gold robes.

The celebrations were suddenly silenced when the new king entered with his entourage of guards and associates. Seating themselves, the king remained standing to address the party. He began his speech with a loud operatic “Friends!”. However, he was suddenly interrupted as the dark-haired dwarf flipped the table the party was seated at, knocking Garrock off his char. The dwarf yelled out “Die, betrayer!” while drawing a loaded crossbow from within his robes. He loosed the bolt at Ullagrim, and before any of the guards were able to react the king was slain and the assassin had started his escape. The crowd quickly erupted in a panic as they made a run for the exits, providing the assassin cover against any attacks from the guards.

DecoEgyptianSouvScimLtrOpen.1L.jpgThe party decided to take chase after the assassin, leaping over tables and knocking aside guests to gain ground. They quickly found themselves chasing the assassin across the large walkway of the upper levels. In desperation the assassin leapt off the walkway into a large fountain on a lower level. The party followed him down to this level. The assassin tried to lose the party in a crowded marketplace, removing his distinctive robes which revealed he had been wearing a set of plain dark clothes underneath as a disguise. Apollo had climbed onto the balcony of a shop and was able to keep track of the assassin, directing the party to his location. The assassin began running again, breaking out onto the stairway to a lower level. This decision proved fatal, as Num managed to stop him in his tracks with a well-placed eldritch bolt. The assassin was soon overwhelmed by the party, and another of Num’s bolts ended his life.

Searching through his pockets, the party found two keys with images in the bows. The first, an iron key had the image of a mushroom with a face in the stem and a “6” in the cap. The second was a gold coloured key with a “3” worked in with an ornate design. A dagger with a blue scarab on the hilt was also on his person, as was a small amount of gold. Pocketing their treasure, the party decided to enlist the help of some guards to take the body back up towards the Dawnhall so they could get some drinks along the way.

As they approached the hall they were met with a scene of anarchy as the guests of the party were still in a panic and the guards were doing their best to calm the situation. The captain of the guard, Captain Stoneback was so amazed at being presented with the body of the assassin so quickly that he dropped his usual air of authority, offering help in identifying the keys as being from inns in the city. He was able to specify that the iron key was from an inn popular with criminals on the city floors called The Heady Mushroom. He also informed the group that the scarab on the dagger is the symbol of a gang known as the Sapphire Scarab, a gang that is new to the city.

jb28DpDAxJJ2OC.jpgThe party decided that it would be a good place to visit. Inside, the inn seemed oddly quiet and empty for having such a bad reputation. They discovered that the key belonged to a “platinum” suite, an option much pricier than the standard “copper” rooms available. Upon investigation, they found that the room itself was quite small, but had a secret entrance to an inn located in one of the ancient tunnels running throughout the city. Underneath the mattress a map was also found. During this Riser decided to buy a drink in the front of the inn. After haggling the price down from an obscene amount, he found that the drinks had made him feel slightly ill. He was then brought upstairs so the secret area of the inn could be investigated.

After some initial caution it was found that the patrons were not hostile, and largely ignored the party. Using this to his advantage, Num purchased drinks for a table to gather some information. He discovered that the usual means of entry to the back section of the inn was by asking the barman at the front for a private table, and that the main advantage of the expensive platinum rooms were services offered by the barmaid Maudin.

Using the map found in the room at the inn, the party found their way to the hideout of the Sapphire Scarab. At the door was a guard with four pet wolves. Garrock used a spell to charm the guard into allowing them entry. The guard let them through the door he was guarding into a large chamber, letting those immediately inside know that they were there to see the boss, Gaeda. The chamber, now used as a common room had once been divided into two stories by a wooden platform, which was now falling apart. There was a small wooden door to the left of the entrance, and a stairway at the far end of the chamber leading upwards to a room they could not see. There were several dwaven thugs gambling over a game of cards at the far end of the room and a couple of kobolds sitting around a table on the decrepit platform.

After secretly blocking off the door they had used to gain entry, the party took to the staircaise, largely ignored by the gang members. The staircase led to another room divided mostly in two by a thick wall. One the side immediately in front of the staircase was a small area being used as a kitchen where a cook was working, and other other a meeting area with a few large tables and a fire pit where a human was arguing with a couple of winged kobolds.

Apollo decided to sneak behind the cook in order to surprise him in the event of a fight. Meanwhile Num and Riser approached the human, claiming that they had to see Gaeda. When pressed for more information they claimed that they had just assassinated the king. The guard could see through their lie saying the assassin, Talcaan, was operating alone. Surrounded, and unable to be driven back, Apollo decided that now would be the perfect time to strike. He attacked the cook, but was unable to land a decent strike. The cook yelped in surprise, alerting the rest of the gang members in the room. When the human reacted, swinging his mace. Num heroically took the flurry of blows to save his more heavily-armored companion Riser. Tragically, he was struck down with the first attack. The rest of the fight was quick but brutal, Riser and Apollo both suffering significant injuries and Num finally succumbing to his wounds. As they collected their wits they could hear the gang members from the common room collecting themselves in response to the sounds of battle.

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The One That Almost Got Away

The party did not have much time to prepare before the thugs downstairs were upon them. Garrock ran over into the kitchen, to discover a muffled yell coming from a barrel. Opening it, he found Seven The Hammer, a dwarf in the garb of a cleric of Goibhnui had been kept trapped inside, sitting in a pool of low quality liquor. He helped the dwarf scramble out. Meanwhile, Apollo and Riser dragged the tables in the larger area of the chamber next to the fire pit in order to create an improvised barricade. Don Jon transformed himself into a giant spider, to lay in wait over the stairwell in order to attack the thugs as they rushed into the room.

The party’s plan went over well. Garrock and Seven lobbed a volley of spells at the thugs at they ran up the stairs. Riser, meanwhile, managed to lure them over by taunting them with the decapitated head of one of their leaders. The thugs that made it past the volley were taken out by Don, Riser and Apollo, with liberal use of the firepit to their advantage.

Quickly overwhelmed, the kobolds and one remaining dwarf beat a hasty retreat. But, before they could gather their wits, the door at the back of the chamber opened, as another dwarf poked his head out. Yelling out a curse, he shut it the door and barred it, shouting “They’re here! Burn it all!”. Rushing over, Riser quickly started hacking away at the door and within a minute he was able to remove the bar and open the doors. The passage led up a small staircase to a large, round domed room. At the far end was the boss Gaeda, frantically trying to burn various papers in a brazier on her desk. A drow stood nearby, keeping a lookout for her. Entry to the room was blocked by the dwarf who had looked through the door, and another thug.

Watchspider__1_.jpgActing quickly, Seven cast a spell drenching the fire in water. The party attempted to coerce a confession out of Gaeda, but she refused to acknowledge anything, believing the party to be part of the city guard. Don Jon still in his spider form took the opportunity to scurry across the roof over the heads of the thugs blocking the stairway. The situation then quickly escalated into a combat. The dwarves blocking the way were quickly taken down by the party as they raced up the stairs, but the melee left Riser seriously injured. Meanwhile Don Jon trapped Gaeda using a web, preventing her from being able to move. The drow tried to defend his boss, but soon fell to the party as well.

The situation was looking grim for the gang leader, but she finally managed to break free of the web binding her, and attempted to make an escape. Through a series of fumbled attacks, she against all odds made it to a door at the side of the chamber and was on her way out. However, Don Jon decisively transformed himself into a lion, and leaping at narrow the doorway, was just able to swipe at her as he collided with the door frame, knocking her unconscious.

Her body was dragged back into the room. A safe behind her desk was unlocked, and inside was found 100 gold pieces of Negtulaan origin. Similarly, among all the financial records of their criminal operations that were being burnt, a contract for the assassination of Ullagrim was found, written in Negtulaani script.

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A nice warm bed

After collecting any seemingly useful information left in the office, the party bound the unconscious Gaeda. Investigating the door that Gaeda had attempted to escape through, Apollo found what appeared to be a beholder floating motionless and almost lifeless in a storage room. The room was filled with crates and barrels of various fungi, many of which had been knocked over. As he attempted to investigate further, a small moving mushroom began attacking him with whip-like tendrils. He decisively retreated back to Gaeda’s office, locking the door behind him.

Gaeda’s second interrogation begun Seven shook her awake. Again, Gaeda refused to reveal any information. Having mistaken the group as part of the city guard she claimed that they wouldn’t have to stomach to do anything that would come close to the punishment she would receive from betraying her gang. Don Jon resorted to violent torture, still to no avail, killing Gaeda in the process.

The party made their way back towards the Heady Mushroom, finding that the remaining Kobolds and guard dwarf had abandoned their hideout. Along the way, Seven was able to identify the second key found on the assassin as belonging to a room in The Giant’s Coinpurse, a quite inn that is the main competitor of the Bronze Flagon. Having decided that this was a matter of urgency, the group investigated the room.

The old woman who ran the inn was helpful and quickly revealed that the patron who was renting the room had been there for almost two weeks and still had a few days paid for. Within the room the smell of stale blood hung in the air. The real Gavol Goldring, a dwarf that bore a passing resemblance with the assassin was found stuffed in a chest at the end of the bed with a dagger left embedded in his back. There was not much sign of a robbery; a small amount of valuables were left next to the bed, along with a book titled A Song of Liquor and Stone and his journal. Though the journal was written in shorthand, it could be deciphered that Gavol was an antiques dealer who had been invited to the dinner as thanks for work he had done in investigating lost dwarven history. It also seemed that he had a companion he had met in the city, referred to only as “V.” and attempted to meet with the foreman of Bloodgem mine to discuss some recently found ruins.

To retire for the night, Garrock decided to return to the room he had purchased from the Heady Mushroom. Seven and Don Jon took to the Bronze Flagon and Riser and Apollo decided to stay in the room of the Giant’s Coinpurse with Gavol to keep watch, Apollo taking the first shift. During Riser’s watch in the middle of the night he woke Apollo to alert him of three kobolds that had approached the inn. They were making every attempt to be discrete, though their form and voices were unmistakable. After a small amount of bickering, they suddenly through a flaming vial at the window of the second story room. The vial flew past the axe Riser had thrown to intercept it, and smashed against the headboard of the bed, setting it alight. Apollo decided to leap out the window down to the kobolds. He stumbled on the landing, giving them time to flee. However, being fast on his feet, he quickly managed to chase down one of them and subdue him. Riser eventually made his way to where Apollo was grappling with the beast and helped bind it.

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A half-remembered dream

Riser and Apollo took their kobold captive aside and began the process of interrogating it. By force they got the location of the kobold’s hideout and quickly ended his suffering. The duo ended the night by finding a bed that was a little less ablaze.

Medieval_pilgrim-badge_of_St_John.jpgIn the morning the party regrouped and headed over to Allarin’s palace to report on their findings. They met again with Captain Stoneback. They informed him of the Sapphire Scarabs’ secret hideout they had found, and that Goldring had also been asking around the lower levels about the Bloodgem mine. Impressed by the work the group had been doing, Stoneback offered to make them honorary members of the City Guard, a position that would allow them certain powers when investigating possible crimes. Seven was not entirely trusting of this gift and managed to get a special badge to specifically give them almost free reign in the city.

After their business with Stoneback was concluded the party ventured down to the lower levels to speak to the foreman of Bloodgem mine. He told them that Goldring had come to see him several times, asking about some ruins that had recently been uncovered. Though mining into long abandoned areas of Tymadarch was somewhat rare, the ruins were usually of little interest as the former inhabitants would usually take anything of real value when they abandoned the chambers. However, five miners had recently gone missing during a venture into the ruins.

Knowing that there was something of interest in the old tunnels at the bottom of Bloodgem mine, the party ventured down for several hours. They eventually reached the area where the mine met up with the ruins and ventured in through a small cave. Within this cave they were attacked by a swarm of stirges. They quickly fought off the parasites and attempted to continue down a passage of the ruins themselves when they encountered a gelatinous cube. Another short fight and they were to continue on their way.

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Rwlrwlrwlrwl!

ankheg.jpgThe party continued down the path to a chamber that appears to have been used as a guardhouse. There was an open heavy iron barred door which would have been used to block entry into the chamber from their direction. Inside the chamber there were several piles of rubble where the roof had collapsed in, as well as the obvious signs of a large creature that had tunneled into the room. On the opposite side of the wall was another large door similar to the one they had come through, though the passage beyond it had collapsed in on itself. The was a smaller door in the room which appeared to lead to a room used for eating and sleeping. One wall of the chamber had collapsed, opening an entrance to a naturally formed tunnel. Once the party had entered the room a large insectoid creature burst from the floor, causing more debris to fall from the roof. Though it appeared menacing the creature lone proved to be little hassle and was soon torn apart by Don Jon in his bear form.

The party decided to investigate the other room. The room contained several stone beds, a large stone carved bench and a number of decaying wooden barrels from a time centuries past. There was the evidence that the missing miners had once used this room to rest; there were several packs and bedrolls strewn about the floor. Though there appeared to be a struggle, there was no obvious evidence of where the miners had gone after being here, so the party decided to follow the cave system down through the guardroom.

kuotoa.jpgAfter a fairly long treck down a wide passage the party began to hear the unmistakable sounds of battle, though intermixed with these sounds was a distinct yipping and an otherworldly gurgle. Approaching cautiously, the party was able to see the end of a fight between a handful of kobolds and strange humanoid fish creatures. The kobolds had all been slain by the time the party arrived, and only a few of the fish creatures remained standing. After observing the creatures for a short while, Don Jon cautiously began approaching. The fish creatures were immediately hostile, and a fight broke out. The creatures were overwhelmed quite quickly, though one had almost managed to start drowning Apollo.

Deciding to get some rest and regain their strength before continuing on, the party headed back into the barracks near the guardroom. Still cautious about what took the miners, the party decided to sleep in shifts. During his shift Garrok began to hear the distinctive sound of stone grinding on stone. As he looked for the source, he began to see the barrels along the far wall shift. He quickly awoke the rest of the party just in time for them to be prepared for the band of kobolds that were emerging from a hidden passage. Acting quickly, Don Jon cast a spell turning the ground around the tunnel into hazardous spikes. With a volley of spells and arrows the party beat the kobolds back and took up the pursuit.

The secret passage which was clearly of kobold construction led them to another chamber that had once long ago housed dwarves. The centre of the room had been dug out and filled with shards of flint and stone spikes. A small 5 foot passage was on either side of the pit allowing access, but there were sections where it had collapsed into the pit. On the far end of the pit were the remainder of the kobolds they had just fought as well as two new ones, manning heavy crossbows mounted to a crude short wall. Don Jon took to the ceiling as Garrok and Apollo held back casting spells and loosing arrows at the kobolds. Unable to follow through with their initial plan of forcing the party into the spiked pit the kobolds were soon defeated.

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Teachings of Patience by Kobolds

Don Jon, Garrock and Seven the Hammer decided to push on down the kobold lair. Following the corridor at the far end of the room down until they heard the panicked yelps of kobolds in distress. Lightly inching forward in silence they saw that the corridor opened up into a large chamber that was clearly being used as the main living quarters of the kobold lair. Many unarmed kobolds were scurrying about the room, grabbing wyrmlings to find shelter in the primitive nests constructed from rubble and splintered wood. These shanties covered the walls to either side of the exit from the corridor and along a walkway on the second story.

The chamber was lit by just two campfires, so Don Jon, still in the form of a giant spider, attempted to sneak into the chamber by keeping to the shadows left from these fires. However he was quickly seen and the remaining of the panicked kobolds fled into their shanties. As his presence was detected Don Jon lowered himself to the floor while Garrock and Seven decided to stand their ground in the corridor. A number of winged kobolds and an unusually large kobold did not flee, but instead were readying for battle.

The four winged kobolds immediately attacked Don Jon, dropping large rocks onto the spider. The damage from this initial attack was enough to force him to revert to his dwarven form. However, Garrock cast a sleep spell on the airborne Kobolds, making them fall from their flight and land with enough force to bring the majority of them close to death. Seven took the opportunity to plunge the chamber into total darkness by extinguishing the burning fires. However, he and Garrock were soon in peril as another two kobolds emerged from the shanties and advanced on them. These kobolds were wearing a single distinctly dwarven chain shirt between the two of them, split in half down the middle and sewn back up again using sinew thread.

kobold_character_by_butterfrog.jpgDon Jon attempted to flee from the surrounding kobolds, but soon found himself cornered by several of the winged kobolds. Meanwhile Seven and Garrock were preoccupied by the chain wearing kobolds advancing on them and gaining the upper hand. The cornered Don Jon was swiftly overcome by the kobolds, barely holding onto life. Seven fell shortly after this, leaving Garrock to attempt to flee. He managed to make his way back through the room with the large pit, and by laying down a sheet of ice behind him defeated one of his pursuers who fell into the pit. However the world around him was soon plunged into darkness as the large kobold gained on him.

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