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.
The 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.
The 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.