Dark Side of Ptolus

A Priest's Home
Wait! We didn't burn this one down!

Argue about Spire Dreaming Apothecary Spy on House Fate Weavers go in and out Break in No one Table Attack Pieter under bookshelf Warlord out window twice Warlord and Paladin Drop Unconscious and Dead Interrogate Jamila Helmut’s Visions Helmut’s Plot Take Phon to Malkuth Sell Watch Give Phon for safekeeping

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Back to the Gangster
Daddy, I'm home!

Sahuagin Return Pieter goes To Linech “Get her out of here” Take the statue “Where’s Watch?” Linele attacks Get out Linech runs away Statue to Castle Shard Fabitor wants to find Phon

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An Underwater Adventure
How Do I Smell Underwater?

Jaecyn spun about, stabbing the assailant, a sahuagin, in the shoulder and deftly dodging away. The trio looked and saw that they were being attacked by two sahuagin scouts, one on either side of them, and their two shark mounts. A fierce combat followed, with Kel and Jaecyn almost going down. The day was saved, however, by Content Not Found: quillong, a triton who arrived and provided assistance. After the fight, the triton told the three heroes that his city had received notice that the Covenant of Blood, a group of vampires working with the Balacazars who held a pact with sahuagin had called the fish-men to excavate the wreck. This was the first time they had called the allies in almost a century. The sahuagin had been removing the cargo and taking it to an underwater cave about a mile away. He pointed them in the direction, indicating that they could follow the trail of debris relatively easily; the sahuagin had made no effort to conceal their path, not thinking anyone would follow them. Kel thanked Quillong, and the triton departed.

The three returned to the boat and relayed their tale. They began to consider abandoning the task and to wonder why Linech wanted his daughter’s body back if was trying to avoid being killed by the Balacazars, causing Seamus to let slip that he needed what was in the coffin. At this, Pieter grabbed the man and dunked his head in the water several times, demanding that he elaborate. Seamus reluctantly revealed that inside the coffin was a watch which he believed was possessed by a demon who had taught men how to process shivvel. He said that Linech wanted the watch back to use it to parlay for his life with the Balacazars. With this revelation, the party decided that more of them should go down to retrieve Linele and the watch, fearing that there would likely be many more sahuagin in the cave.

Irontusk, Seamus, and Louis all imbibed their potions, and everyone but Pieter descended into the depths. They entered the cave and began following the winding tunnels. Eventually, the tunnel open up into a large cavern. Suddenly, a large reptilian head erupted from a hole in the ground and bit Irontusk. The young black dragon emerged the rest of the way and let out a fearsome roar at the party. The heroes lept into action. Louis and Kel charged the monster, their swords flying, and Irontusk attempted to get behind the dragon to strangle it. Jaecyn and the wizard stood back, pelting the creature with bolts and spells. Seamus attempted to run away, but was stopped by Louis. Eventually, he got away, but returned when Pieter threatened his life.

The party was caught off guard when the dragon released an inky residue from his mouth, filling the cavern with darkness. The warriors struggled about, being attacked by their hidden assailant until, at last, they were able to force the dragon out of the darkness and stop it from continuing to release the ink. They surrounded the beast, and Irontusk was able to get behind it, strangling it to death.

The party removed the dragon’s scales and continued through the cavern, finding a tunnel which head straight upward. Jaecyn, Irontusk, and Seamus ascended slowly, eventually breaking the surface. They were in a cavern underneath the island. Across the water, about 30 feet away, they saw the place where the sahuagin had been stacking the cargo from the Arrowhead. There were two well-armed Balacazar guards, several other thugs, and two prisoners—a female dwarf and an asserai (lizardman).

Jaecyn and Irontusk slowly swam to the dry land while Seamus returned to inform the others. The group attacked the guards, getting help from the dwarven woman and from the slightly-insane asserai, whose scales had been pierced and affixed with bells, making him jingle with every movement. After the fight was over, they sent Seamus out the surface-level tunnel to get the boat while they searched the area.

Irontusk subtly helped himself to a supply of shivvel, sealing it in glass bottles to ensure it stayed dry. Jaecyn went up a stone staircase and found a locked iron door. Listening, he heard many voices on the other side. Fearing being outnumbered and overpowered, he returned to the others to urge upon them hast. Louis and Kel found the glass coffin shattered to pieces, apparently from the inside, and a trail of glass leading into the water away from the other tunnel. At this point, Pieter and Seamus arrived; Pieter knocked Seamus unconscious for lying to him.

The group followed the trail of glass and found that it led down another deep tunnel. At the bottom, they found Linele. She rocked absently and stroked a pocket watch, the possessed target of their mission, with her long, skeletal fingers. As they approached her, they were overcome with images of her happy life being torn apart by raiders and her innocent confusion about why it happened. The wizard and Kel were able to shake off the illusion and convince her to come with them back to her father. They returned to the boat and left the cave.

On the way back to Ptolus, Jaecyn slipped the watch from the girl’s hand, replacing it with a stolen necklace. The group discussed what they should do with the artifact. They considered keeping it, selling it to the Balacazars or to Killraven, returning it to Linech, and even giving to the the Lords of Castle Shard. At Lestivar’s urging, Pieter, stated that they should take it to the Malkuth, a group of angels, in the Pale Tower for safe keeping.

At that point, a sahuagin leaped from the water, grabbed Kel, and pulled him into the bay.

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A New Task
What is the Biggest Problem in the City?

A week passes since the party’s liaison with Toridan Cran. They rest and recover, sell loot, and perform other menial tasks.

During this time, they also investigate the mysterious Mehtul Watcher. Louis return to his neighborhood of specialty, asking about the man in the Temple District. Kel goes to Phon to ask her about the new lead. He heads to her place of employment, Saches in Longbottom, Midtown. She claims to not know the man, but it seems as though she is hiding something. Kel asks who the father of her child is, but she refuses to tell, saying that, if she did, he would be ruined. She breaks down crying, spurring her employer, Marta, to shoo the captain from the store. Pieter taps into his network of seedy contacts throughout the city, going to the shop of Jallos Roth, a tinworker. The man took some time to ask around about the mysterious employer, but no one he knew had ever heard of him. Similarly, Jaecyn went to the Longfinger’s Guild and asked his fellow thieves about the contractor. Again, no one had ever dealt with the man. Realizing that the name was a pseudonym that hadn’t been previously used, the group abandoned their search, figuring that there was nothing more they could do.

On the 29th of Birth, the party was passing by the Administration Building in Oldtown when they noticed that the Republicans, headed by the tall, bald, sky blue robe-wearing, priest, Helmut Ilstein, were having a rally, demanding secession from the empire and an elected government. The party decided to stop and watching, scowling. Soon after they arrived, however, a flask of alchemist’s fire was lobbed at the podium from the crowd. The speaker was unharmed, but the crowd was outraged and began to riot. Most of the party fled the area in their various manners. Kel attempted to help individuals being trampled, but quickly realized he was just getting in the way and, too, left.

He met up with Jaecyn and Louis at the Ghostly Minstrel, and the three decided to drink the day away. While he was at the bar, Kel ran into a soldier, Marick Thran, who was in his regiment during the war. Surprised to see him, Kel sat down and chatted. Marick revealed that he was an enforcer for the Balcaczars and expressed disdain for Kel’s work as a Delver. Wanting to help his friend but not knowing how, Kel stood and left.

At that time, Louis received a shadow sending from his temple, requesting that he see the High Regent with all due haste. He took a carriage to his temple and went to the high priest’s quarters. The old cleric relayed that he had received a post from the Bishop of Ptolus, Nireus Pard, asking that a representative attend a meeting the at 12th bell the following day at the Temple of the Lawgiver in the North Market. He asked that Louis go; the paladin accepted the request.

At the appointed time, Louis went to the temple of Lothian. There, he was met by a group of clerics representing over 30 of the temples in the city, including those representing altruism, technology, magic, and even foresight. Included in this meeting was Helmut Ilstein of the Temple of the Watcher of the Skies. Several minutes late, the bishop appeared and explained the reason for his calling of the meeting. He expressed disgust at the power-mongering of the Holy Emperor and asked that the churches not support him if it ever came to that. Also, he warned them of increasing activity on the part of the Chaos Cults operating in the city. A brief argument ensued, and many of the clerics left in disgust.

Pieter meanwhile wanted to help the impoverished in the city. He asked around, trying to discern the biggest problem in the city. During his inquiries, he met a homeless boy by the name of a. He determined that he wanted to find this boy a job. At first, he investigated the possibility of starting a courier business, but found the cost prohibitive, so he resigned to get the boy a job as a bellows-worker using his contacts in the Ironworker’s Guild.

Back in the Minstrel, a slightly-pudgy human priest took a seat next to Kel. He introduced himself in a very professional manner as Content Not Found: mand, a priest of Asche. He asked if he was correct in believing that Kel and his associates had recently put a stop to Toridan Cran’s operation. Kel answered in the affirmative, and Mand went on to explain that he was a friend of the Lords of Castle Shard and that they had a job they would like the adventurers to complete. He gave them an invitation to the castle and left, saying he would see them at 14th bell the next day.

The next day, the party dressed in its finest clothing, acquired house gifts to give to the Lords of the Castle, and headed to the Nobles Quarter. As they climbed the hill, they engendered looks of distaste from the guards on duty at the gate.

In the eccentric castle, they were greeted by Kadmus, the eerily-knowledgeable and genile butler, who accepted their gifts and offered them they favorite drinks. He let them into the meeting room. As they entered the room, the encountered Lady Rill, one of the lords of the castle, who floated in from outside on a rug carried by small birds. She greeted them, then left promptly. Soon thereafter, Mand and Zavere, the other lord, entered. The pair explained that Linech Cran, Toridan’s estranged brother, was also a small-time hood operating out of the Rivergate District. Previously, they had thought that his shivvel operation had collapsed, but now he was hiring adventurers. They asked that the party go to Linech, accept the job, and report back to them. They wanted to find out what he was doing and where he was getting the resources to do so. The party accepted the job.

The group donned their armor, retrieved their weapons, and headed to the Rivergate District. They found Linech’s burrow and were directed to his office by a women doing laundry at the well. Entering his office building, they encountered two individuals, Linech’s half-elf half-sister, Biesta, who was in a shivvel-induced stupor at the time, and Seamus, Louis’ cousin with whom he served in the war and who had seemingly disappeared afterward. Seamus and Louis looked coldly at each other, and the wiry man led them upstairs to the boss’ office.

Linech was a burly half-orc who fashioned himself a gentleman criminal. He wore obviously used and very filthy fine clothing and chomped on a foul-smelling cigar. When the heroes entered, a gorgeous elven woman was perched on his lab, flirting with him. Linech’s office was cramped, filled by a large darkwood desk and a masterfully-carved golden statue of a bearded man. The statue showed signs of being burned and scratched, a set of chisels and other tools was on the desk, suggesting that Linech had tried to hack apart the fine piece of artwork.

Jaecyn told the gangster that they were interested in the job he had posted. Pieter interrupted and asked about the out-of-place statue. Linech smiled and said simply, “A gift from our guest.” He then continued to explain the job; a fire had recently broken out of an island in the Whitewind Sea, and his daughter had been killed. A ship, the Arrowhead, was bringing his daughter’s body back to Ptolus, but it had been delayed in the harbor and had sunk. He wanted the party to find out why the ship sank and to recover the glass coffin with his daughter’s body. He offered them a sizable payment and a potion of water breathing each to retrieve the coffin. He also insisted that Seamus accompany them. The party argued the last condition, assuring the boss that he did not want any witnesses, and the half-orc relented. He gave the party the potions, and they were shown out.

Louis returned to Castle Shard to relay the news to Zavere. The fallen paladin replied that, if Toridan indeed only wanted his daughter’s body back, that was fine, but he doubted that that was his real motive. He implored Louis to complete the job and find the orc’s real desire, increasing the promised reward. Louis also mentioned the golden statue. At this, Zavere became very intrigued. He asked for as many details as possible, even calling Rill in to confer with her. He explained to Louis that the statue was not a statue at all, but a friend of theirs who had been missing for some time. He asked that, during the course of their business, the heroes retrieve the statue and bring it back to the Castle. Louis agreed and left, returning to the Ghostly Minstrel to find the party.

The group went to the Docks. There, they desired to know where the ship had sunk, so they went to the Dockmaster’s tower. They were greeted by Secki, the young girl who lives with the rumored grotesquely obese man. Louis watched the girl, wanting to see if she appeared well-cared for and found it to be so. With a small bribe, they were able to learn the location of the sunken ship, about 5 miles out into the Bay of Ptolus.

As they left the tower, a man approached Jaecyn and told him that if they wanted to know about the Arrowhead, they should ask Dodun Fisk at the Captain’s Bar, he had seen it sink. Going to said bar, they found the old man out place in the high-class facility. His speech was drunken slur, and he seemed more crazy than anything else. He related how he had seen the ship start on fire and sink and several boats full of men wearing gold and purple robes coming ashore soon afterward.

Leaving the bar, Pieter remarked that the men sounded like the Hussars, a warrior cult, and Jaecyn pointed out that he had heard rumors that they worked for the Balacazars. They decided to err on the side of caution and not confront the warriors, but noted that it was the crime family who likely sunk the ship.

Needing a boat to get out to the sunken vessel, Pieter sought out Irontusk, whom he found drinking at the Shark, a far less-reputable establishment. The dockworker earnestly agreed to help them, for a small price. At this point, Jaecyn noticed that someone was following them and chased the lurker out of the bar. Cornering him, he found that it was Seamus. The man begged Jaecyn to let him live, crying that “he was just doin’ his job.” At Louis’ urging, they left the coward alive, but brought him with them on the boat.

In the bay, Pieter explained that he had had a bad experience with water as a child and would not be joining them underwater. Louis also explained that he was a very poor swimmer. At that, Kel, Jaecyn, and the wizard drank their potions and dove. They spent about an hour searching the cold, murky water for the ship before they found it. It had a large hole in its side, as though it had not only burned, but exploded. They cautiously entered the wreck, taking care to avoid cutting themselves on the jagged pieces of wood. Looking around, they saw many broken crates with the white paste of ruined shivvel floating everywhere, obscuring their view. The hold was relatively empty, however, and they saw no coffin, indicating that someone had gotten there first.

At that point, Jaecyn felt a stab in his back, and he knew they were being ambushed.

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We Didn't Start the Fire
What in Lothian's name was he thinking?

Angry at the hit man and wanted more information, Jaecyn attempted to open the lock to Vaggar’s cell. Pieter excused himself. Hearing what he the rogue was doing, a guard stepped in and asked what was going on. Jaecyn could not answer, and the guard suggested that he leave. He did.

Wanting to get to the bottom of this paper trail, the party headed to Longbottom. Asking an old man burning some paper to keep warm, and giving him a shinie, Pieter learned Toridan’s address. The party went to the house and found it occupied with four awake individuals, a half-orc and a human playing blue dragonscales, a half-orc making notes in a ledger, and an old man reading a weighty tome.

The party noted the two doors and how best to take the house should combat ensue. Pieter, Kel, and Louis approached the door and knocked, hoping to convince the gangsters that they wanted work. Meanwhile, Jaecyn and Jan waited outside, hidden in the shadows of the deserted thoroughfare.

The door was opened by the human thug, who asked, “What do you want?” Kel responded that they were seeking work of a particular nature. The man looked questioningly at them, asking, “At this hour?” Pieter added that they could perhaps help with the kidnapping and killing of a young, black-haired seamstress. At this comment, the thug let them in, instructed by his boss, Toridan. The three entered the house, and the door was closed and locked behind them.

Toridan stood from his bed, laying his ledger on the table, and asked, “Now, why are you really here?” Realizing that their bluff had failed, Kel told him that they were investigating the attack on Phon Quartermail and that they wanted to know why he was targeting her. Toridan chuckled and replied, “Because I was hired to, and I was told to subcontract the job, too.” The heroes asked if he would stop his attacks on the girl. The half-orc smirked and shook his head apologetically, “Sorry, but that’s just not good business.” The hood then drew the long bowie knife from his belt and pointed it at the paladin, stating calmly, “Now, you’ll be dropping all of those pretty valuables you delvers always seem to carry and be leaving my house. You’ll stop your silly investigation, too; it’s none of your business.”

At that instant, Jaecyn loosed a quarrel from his crossbow, shattering the front window and planting it with a deafening bang into Toridan’s shoulder. A fight immediately broke out with most of the heroes taking the initiative and winning the upper hand. The old wizard Guun, however, was faster than them. He jumped up onto his bed and summoned two magma elementals inside of the small wooden house, setting the dried timbers and bedsheets aflame. The combat was fast one as the house collapsed around them. Toridan’s thugs were quickly dropped. The boss and the wizard tried to escape, each taking with them their very important books—to Guun, his spellbook and tome on magical theory, to Toridan, his ledger with his contract records. The magma monsters were dispatched and the remaining crooks subdued. The party was quick to remove themselves from the scene, retreating to the Red Warehouse in the Guildsman District.

Toridan did not want to talk; he spit on his interrogators and swore that he would tell them nothing. A bit of pain and a few threats on his body and life dimmed that resolution. Jan asked who hired him. The half-orc confessed that it was a man by the name of Methul Watcher who had asked that they subcontract the job. He didn’t know anything else about the man.

As the pair’s use was through, Pieter asked why he should let them live. They could not give him a satisfactory response, so the cleric killed them, despite the protests from his associates. Pieter and Louis argued, but the dispute was left unresolved.

Following their excursion, they returned to the Guildhouse of Iron, where they found Haberdon doing paperwork on a table. He greeted them, waved off the approaching guards, and asked for his key. Once it was returned, he assured the delvers that they owed him a favor. He would be in touch.

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Rise of the Urchins
Come to Me My Children

Upon returning from exploring the Dungeon, the party dispersed to take care of various personal business. The ranger headed to Myraeth’s Oddities to sell his pilfered loot. He then headed to Rastor’s Weapons weapons to buy arrows, but found that the litorian did not care for elvenkind, charging him an outrageous price. Leaving that shop, he went to the nearby Bull and Bear Armory, where he met the young, overexcited Illtumar Shon. He bought a quiver of arrows. He then left the city using the South Gate to reach the Tent City. There, he met Content Not Found: pieter, who demanded from him goodness. They argued for some time, eventually causing the ranger to swear an oath to Avandra.

The pair joined up with the rest of the party at the tenement in Oldtown. From there, they decided to head to Theldrat’s shop to return his father’s key to him. When they arrived, they found the locksmith supervising the repair of his window by a crew of gnomes. They gave him the key, and he elatedly tried to open a padlock on his bandoleer. It didn’t work. Surprised, he tried to open another, then another, then another. Realizing that the power of the key to open any lock was broken, he threw to the ground in frustration and demanded that the party tell him what they did to it. Understanding that the key was his method of success, Kel assured him that they did nothing to it. Theldrat looked about nervously at the gnomes, saying, “I can’t let them know that I haven’t any skill. My associates will ruin me.” He thanked the party for their help and assured them that the offer of favors still stood, even though he would have to find another way to pick locks in order to hide his loss from his “associates.”

From there, the party returned to Oldtown to return the book ravaged tome to the City Library. When they arrived, they paid the 1 shield entry fee and were admitted to see Thelian. He was very glad to see them, but he was horrified at the damage the book had suffered. He was intrigued, however, by the fact that the book was now open, allowing the scholars at the library to study what remained of the text. He filled out a note of credit for the agreed to 100 golden thrones and gave it to the party. The party, unwisely, immediately headed to the library’s accounting offices and exchanged it for coinage.

Next, the party desired to sell some of the jewelry and art they had looted from the Halls of Blood, so they went to Myraeth’s Oddities. The gnome was in a very good mood that afternoon, and he cut them several good deals on the trinkets.

After having successfully transformed their jewelry into gold, the party split up. Louis, Kel and the ranger headed to the Ghostly Minstrel to look for work on the bulletin board. Pieter, meanwhile, began to stroll about the streets of Midtown, helping women with chores and talking to the children playing. He stopped one urchin, called Kip, and asked him where the kid would like to have dinner. The boy responded that he was just going to steal a loaf of bread from a street vendor; he had no money. Pieter corrected him, asking, “Where would you like to eat dinner? What’s good?” Understanding, the boy responded that Mary’s house had the best food and that it was free, but he would like to get there in a carriage. Pieter obliged and hailed a cab. At the house, he asked the matron, Mary, why she ran the kitchen. She responded that they were a lot of hungry mouths feed and not enough spoons feeding them. Impressed with her work, Pieter gave the women an exhorbent 10 gold thrones; it seemed that Pieter was becoming very cavalier with his money. Despite his over-generosity, Lestivar, the intelligent holy symbol, congratulated him on his choice, stating that charity was a delightful virtue. During the meal, the cleric talked to many of the children, attempting to build a network of contacts.

The job seekers, meanwhile, found a posting to their liking regarding finding a daughter kidnapped by gnolls. They noted the name and the tavern, The Black Swan, and headed towards Tavern Row. On the way, they heard screams coming from a back alleyway. Investigating, they found a red-headed girl, showing some signs of being pregnant, being attacked by two Pale Dogs. They rushed down the alleyway. Seeing heavily-armed and armored delvers approaching them, the thugs ran, jumping a fence. The heroes decided to let them; Kel went to comfort the sobbing girl. She told them that her name was Phon Quartermail and that she was on her way home from work at Saches in Longbottom when they attacked. At that instant, Louis was pegged in the back of the head with a slingstone. Looking up, they saw that the two assailants had returned and were attacking. The thugs were quickly dispatched. The larger one, Orty, was quickly killed. The slighter, Derrel was intimidated by holding him over the edge of a roof until he answered their questions.

The Dog told them that he and Orty had been hired by a man named Doffel to off the girl. He gave them 10 imperials to do the job with the promise of 40 more once it was finished. They were supposed to meet him at an abandoned warehouse the next night. The address was in Orty’s pocket. Pleased with his information, but not wanting him to get away, they brought him along with them.

At the same time as Jaecyn and Louis were intimidating the thug, Kel was consoling Phon. She thanked them for their help and asked if he could take her home. He quickly agreed and helped her up. On the way to her house, he asked her if she knew of anyone who might want to hurt her. She replied that she didn’t know; she assumed that they were just muggers, who had been becoming more common recently. As they walked, Kel noticed that Phon was showing some signs of being pregnant, and he cautiously asked who the father was. At about that time, they arrived at her home on Crispan Street, and she avoided answering the question by excusing herself for the evening. She thanked him very much for his help and went into her house. Later, the party regrouped and relayed what they had done that evening. As it was late and the meeting time on Orty’s note was not until Theoday night, two days away, they decided not to enter the dangerous Guildsman District and to return to their tenement for the night.

The next morning, the party headed to the address on the note, in the Guildsman District. They found the large red warehouse locked and seemingly abandoned. Pieter found a child selling broadsheets and asked him what went on in the warehouse. The boy responded that no one used the building regularly, but that it was owned by the powerful Ironworker’s Guild. Jan, the warlock, whom Kel had met at the tenement, suggested that they go to the Guildhouse of Iron to my to get a key to the warehouse.

Entering the guildhouse, they found it much more like a social club than any sort of administrative building. Even though it was early morning, the front barroom was filled with Ironworkers, including common laborers, skilled artisans, and well-dressed managers. An individual wearing an expensive purple suit, introducing himself as Regent Haberdon, approached the warlock and asked what he could do for them. Jan inquired about the red warehouse, and the regent told him that it had not been used in several years, but that it occupied a valuable location, so the guild would not destroy it or sell it. The spellcaster then asked if there was any chance they could get a key to the building. The guildsman glanced about, then replied, “Why don’t you buy me a drink?” Several bouncers approached the rest of the party and asked to see their membership papers. Having none, they were asked to leave, but Haberdon signaled to the guards to let them be.

The guildsman took his drink and pulled out his key ring. He removed a small key and subtlely gave it to Jan, telling him that he needed it back the following night and to not cause any trouble. The party took the key to the warehouse, scouted out the terrain, and planned an ambush.

Fearing for her safety in their absence, Kel and Jaecyn returned to Phon’s house and asked if she would be willing to have Jaecyn stay with her to protect her. She agreed, and the rogue was allowed inside.

During this time, the ranger grew very ill, and he began to cough up combinations of dust and blood from his lungs. Feeling that he may have contracted a disease or curse from the tomb he plundered, he sought out clerical healing. Going to Saint Gustav’s Chapel in Delver’s Square, Brother Fabitor regretfully informed him that the ranger did not have the necessary funds to pay for the healing ritual. He then headed to the Temple of Avandra, where he was outright dismissed. His health becoming worse, he entered the observatory Temple of The Watcher of the Skies and was met by a tall, bald man wearing dark blue and purple vestments. The man, Helmut Iltstein, agreed to heal the ranger, performing the ritual for a very low price. The ritual was horrifically painful and nearly killed the elf, but he survived and was cured. The party has not seen him since.

At the warehouse, Kel, Louis, Pieter, and Jan waited anxiously in the dark for the arrival of the contracted killers. An hour before the scheduled time, the rear entrance was unlocked and two individuals, a burly elf called Lucio, and a slender human called, Content Not Found: vaggar entered with their great dane, Marcus. The pair began to move into position for their ambush. As Vaggar reached the top of the stairs, he spotted Pieter crouched and waiting. He called out to Lucio that someone was already there and jumped back to the floor, crouching behind a crate and loosing an arrow at the cleric. A fierce combat ensued, ending with Lucio and the dog dead and Vaggar restrained.

At first, Vaggar was unwilling to talk, but threats on his life were able to convince him to reveal the name of his employer, as long as the party would take him to the Watchhouse in the district. He told the group that he and Lucio were hired to kill Phon by a small-time hood in Midtown named Content Not Found: toridan. The party then escorted him to the Watchhouse, where he was incarcerated. After having him locked up, they realized they had more questions for him, so they returned to talk to the hood about the whereabouts of Toridan’s operation and why he might want Phon killed. He smiled and replied, “By my reckoning, I’m pretty safe inside this cell and don’t have to tell you a thing.”

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Bloody Hell (Well, Halls)
Do I see any bloody footprints?

As it was late in the evening when the heroes left the house of the Green Dagger Gang, they decided to retire for the night, returning to their apartment in Oldtown (or the Temple of Bahamut in Content Not Found: eoni case or Tent City for Pieter).

The next morning, the heroes noticed a new bulletin board erected in the entry hall of their tenement. Examining it, they found several advertisements for used gear and fine clothes, as well as two wanted posters, one for a dark elf named Shilukar and one for a murderous mage called Rulus Hobb. Pieter noticed that a delving party based out of the Ghostly Minstrel in [[Delver’s Square]] was seeking a cleric and happened to possess a key. Thinking that this might possibly be the key they were seeking, Pieter headed to Midtown to find them.

Arriving at the Ghostly Minstrel, Pieter was directed to a salon in the back. Knocking, he was admitted and found the room filled with several litorians and dragonborn. A very petite gray-colored dragonbord introduced himself as [|Hakaster], speaking in a high-pitched shrill voice. Pieter explained that he had found their ad and wanted more information about the delve. Hakaster responded, telling the cleric that they possessed a map directing them to a previously-unknown vault in Dwarvenhearth. They also, by chance, acquired the key to said vault. A tense negotiation ensued, with Pieter eventually convincing Hakaster to let him see the key, as it posed no threat. Seeing that the key was not the key he sought, he politely excused himself, stating that he would be in contact if he could ditch the incompetents with whom he currently traveled.

Meanwhile, in the Temple District, Jaecyn, Kel, and the ranger arrived at the Temple of Bahamut and found Eoni praying in his chamber. The group began to argue about how best to glean information about the [seeming crimes] of the priest of Kharos Veltargo. This discussion lasted long enough that Pieter was able to arrive and quickly grow frustrated with what he found to be pointless debate. Taking matters into his own hands, he marched into the Temple of Kharos. There, a floating rose-colored cloud told him that a childhood friend had grown to be a wizard and had just died in [[Ghul’s Labyrinth]]. An acolyte by the name of [[|Altamic]] approached him and asked if he needed help.

Back out in the streets, a guard of the City Watch came up to the gathered party, recognizing them as Delvers and gave them a broadsheet proclaiming that early the previous morning, at about the time at which Theldrat’s shop was looted, the City Library was robbed by a priest of Kharos, losing a valuable tome entitled “The Prophecies of the King in Yellow.” The guard asked if they had any information. Having none, Eoni quickly responded in the negative. At about that time, they noticed a group of well-dressed and well-armed individuals wearing broaches with the seal of the City Library on them enter the temple aggressively. Eoni and Jaecyn moved to follow.

Inside the temple, Pieter dropped Veltargo’s name, stating that the mysterious cleric had won a prize which Pieter was to deliver. By this point, Jaecyn and Eoni had entered to find Altamic easily seeing through Pieter’s spotty bluff. Growing tense, Altamic stated that no Veltargo was associated with the temple and asked why he was really there. Deftly stepping in, Jaecyn explained that they were investigating the claim that a priest of Kharos by the name of Veltargo had infected a street gang with a debilitating disease after hiring them to rob a shop in the North Market. Watching the library officials enter the administrative offices of the temple angrily, Eoni interjected that they believed he was also responsible for the recent theft at the City Library.

Intrigued by the concern and trustworthiness Jaecyn seemed to display, Altamic glanced about warily, then ushered the rogue into a small prayer chapel. There, he confessed that he had been robbed by frail, balding, crooked-toothed man two weeks prior. The man had beaten him and stolen his clothing. When the incident was reported to the Watch, Altamic was given a silver piece to cover the cost of the garments, but the incident was not investigated. Altamic relayed that, during the struggle, he had pulled a small stone pendant inscribed with a crooked star from the wrist of his assailant. He gave this pendant to Jaecyn. When the pendant was shown to Pieter, he recognized it as a stone which frequently sealed doors in Ghul’s Labyrinth, especially to tombs, but he did not know to which door this pendant belonged.

With this new information, the party headed to Oldtown to inquire at the Library. They found the front yard in complete disarray as mages, librarians, chroniclers, and passers-by searched the grounds for evidence and clues as to the identity and location of the thief. Finding a young scribe, they asked if he could explain what happened. Thinking they might have some information, he introduced himself as [[|Thelian]] and told them that early the previous morning, a priest of Kharos had arrived in the Department of New Acquisitions stating that he had heard that they had a tome of prophecies which they could not open. Not knowing how he had learned this information, but assuming that he had had some sort of divine vision, they allowed him to see the book. As soon as he had the tome in his hands, he muttered some incomprehensible words, and the room filled with an inky, semi-solid black smoke. When they were able to clear the smoke, they saw the cleric jumping out the nearby window. Running to the portal, they saw he had fallen the three stories seemingly unscathed and watched him disappear down Yarrow Street.

The heroes told the scribe about Altamic’s having been robbed and stripped two weeks ago, explaining that the thieves were probably one in the same. Thelian thanked them for the information and prepared to leave to tell his superiors the information. Jaecyn quickly stopped him, however, and asked if he where they could use Veltargo’s pendant. He responded, saying that he could probably find the information in the Ptolus History section of the library. Thankful for their help, he ushered them inside, waving the normal 1 silver shield fee for admittance. Thelian quickly searched some records, but could not find the particular symbol. He recommended that the party inquire at the [[Delver’s Guild]] library nearby.

Heading to the Delver’s Guild, they found a petite, shriveled halfling woman working the front desk. To gain access to the map room, they each payed to gain membership in the Guild. After about 4 hours of searching, they were able to find a map of the location, placing it under the Warrens. They paid the fee to have the map copied and left, heading for Delver’s Square.

The party descended into the Undercity and followed their map to their destination, the Halls of Blood. The ranger spotted some bloody footprints which implied that their was a secret door nearby. Finding several small niches on the back wall of the chamber, he ascertained that the door the pendant open was there. Inserting the pendant, Jaecyn open the door, draining the pool of blood and revealing a tunnel. Entering the tunnel, the party emerged to find a large cavern at the center of which was a 40 foot drop to the pool of blood below.

Starting to follow the narrow tunnels and walkways which spiraled to the bottom, the party was attacked by zombies. Combat ensued, with Pieter and Eoni each coming close to death on several occasions. When they were victorious, the party continued its descent, finding a looted tomb along the way. The ranger open the large sarcophagus in the center of the room, find it empty, as though the corpse had risen and walked out. He also found a hidden cache of burial treasures not removed by looters. Despite the protests of his companions, he took them.

Reaching the bottom of the chasm, the party dispatched three skeletons, one of whom was wearing ceremonial robes and bearing a holy symbol of a bloody flail, matching the one on the looted sarcophagus.

Entering an adjacent chamber, the party met Veltargo, the bent cultist wearing an iron mask painted to appear to be a skull, who raised an owlbear zombie and swarms of skeletal rats. The party fought hard, taking many hits as the the cultists spells, the confusion of the swarms, and the poison of the two imps wore at their defenses. Eventually, the mad priest was slain, causing his creations to fall to dust and his imp allies to flee. On a podium in the center of the chamber, the party found the missing tome, a third of its pages in the middle ripped out and Theldrat’s key still in the lock.

In a storage room off to the side, the party found the corpses of the remaining cultists, their skin seemingly melting off their bodies. On a table, a note read “I shall come and investigate the book tonight. Make sure the key and chest are ready. Should you have found out more about Neveran’s All-Key; I am very interested. S” Under a mattress, they found a torn note reading “The Bell will herald the Night of Dissolution!”

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The Key to Adventure

Leaving the Blue Dragon Inn after being paid for helping Mikaiel, a Dragonborn moneylender, to “convince” his client to repay his debts, the heroes see that a locksmith’s shop is being looted by a gang of thugs. Content Not Found: 00000 remarks that this is not their concern and moves well away from the shop. The others, however, take it upon themselves to stop the looters and move into the action. Content Not Found: 00000 and the scout take positions and launch a surprise attack. Following a brief skirmish, the thugs are apprehended and interrogated.

Near the end of the fight, Theldrat, the locksmith and owner of the shop arrives and demands to know what is happening. Theldrat frantically looks through his shop, looking for a particular key. When he is unable to find it, he begins to harass the remaining thugs, desperate to know where it is. The thugs reveal that they don’t have it but were told to loot the shop by a half-orc named Irontusk, who works for a gang down in the Docks. Theldrat implores the heroes to help him, as he explains that the key is very important to him personally and professionally. Realizing that having a talented and connected locksmith as an ally would be an asset, the heroes agree.

Following their only lead, the heroes head to the Docks and soon learn that Irontusk works on Pier 10. Finding him, they chase him across the pier area, eventually cornering him near his boat and knocking him out. Interrogating him told the party that he had been hired to steal the key by a well-dressed half-elf and very sick looking halfling who referred to themselves as members of the Green Dagger gang. He gives them a crudely drawn map to their hideout in the Guildsman District.

The captain takes Irontusk to a guard of the City Watch in order that he might be detained. The guard is surprised by the encounter, relieves the half-orc of his few valuable possessions, and dumps him in an alley. “It isn’t worth the effort to detain him.”

Following their new direction, the party heads to the Guildsman District, finding the house at 117 Gem Street, near the Guildhouse of Iron. The formerly well-to-do house is in great disrepair, and the front door is barely hanging on its hinges. They trigger an alarm as they open the door, causing several of the sick and dying gangsters and a guard drake to charge them from deeper within the house.

Easily dispatching the threat, they begin searching the house, finding a sick gangster in a coma. Pieter heals him with his clerical powers, closing some the boy’s boils, but not ridding him of the sickness. He wakes and asks who they are. He goes on to explain that his name was Joell and that the gang fell sick about two weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, a cleric of Kharosh named Veltargo arrived and offered them a cure for the sickness if they could steal something for him. He can’t recall any more details but tells the party to ask the gang’s boss, Cyrathas, on the second floor.

Heading upstairs, the heroes find the gang leader, a tall, black-haired half-elf with a fondness for lizards and his twin halfling bodyguards. He demands to know why they have invaded his home and attempts to scare the party away, but quickly relents the details of his encounters with Veltargo, realizing that he could not win a fight against the heavily-armed party. He had met Veltargo earlier that afternoon, just after receiving the key from Irontusk and paying him. The cleric then arrived promptly, carrying with him a very large book. Veltargo had given him several bottles of what he claimed was an antidote to the disease, but it appears that it was fake, as the gang had only gotten worse since consuming it.

Veltargo begs the party to leave him to die in peace. He welcomes them to rob him blind, as he has no need for riches if he is going to die. Feeling some compassion, the captain promises the gangster that they will try to find a cure to the disease. The party leaves the house intact.

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