Drow Wars: Episode 7 Rogues Business

Cast of Characters

From the journal of Brottor

Before the spree we go to the bank, Lorenna asks if we can have the contact information of the merchant Ombar Lutz, but the bank refuses to reveal them, so she leaves him a note. The banks security door seems to be guarded by an elf in mage robes and an animated suit of armour.

Alfric manages to find out about Ombar Lutz - he bought a collection of artifacts about a decade ago but has since died, we learn he has no heirs recorded on the documents, but is paid up for the foreseeable future in his storage fees so they will hold the items until then. We consider forging the documents - we would need a death certificate and a will - well countersigned.

Our options as we see them:

Breaking into the bank - probably very bad

Forging the documents so one of us is a heir - very risky, they are likely to check thoroughly

Informing the authorities who will legally reclaim the items, and probably auction them.

Crescent city is a hanging city - prison lasts only long enough for them to decide whether to flog you or hang you.

Gelnix senses via the orb that there is a node within the Town Hall.

We decide to speak to Lord Malthus - saying that we were friends of Ombar Lutz looking to purchase items from him, but since he is dead could the city reclaim them and we will purchase them from the city at fair price, going to the Council hall Akim manages to make us an appointment for the following day with a well placed bribe to the duty clark.

We spend the rest of the day investigating the Hospice of Saint Cecilia, it is in the rich quarter of the city, with no windows on the ground floor and heavily barred ones on above stories. There are about 40 staff in the hospice who wear simple hooded robes. They refuse akim's offer to help out for a day.

The party turns up for the audience, I remain behind as my presence would most likely cause issue with the priesthood. Lord Malthus agrees to think on our proposal of a private bid. Worried that as his audience chamber contains a lot of clerks - who are probably in league with the crime lords we've just told them that there is a large amount of money on our ship. We deposit our valuables in the bank, with instructions they can be withdrawn only with 2 of the 7 of us. It costs us 20 gold a month for the gems and other valuables and 50 gold per month to store the staffs - thus saving Scrumpy's mind.

We spend several days acting the part of magic item purchasers. Scrumpy notices we are being followed. After 3 days Gelnix scrying notices they have been moved. I detect that they are in the town hall.

The following day we receive a summons to Lord Malthus. He has examined the items, we expect to be paying at least 18, to 20,000 for them. In the end we make a deal - we will trade the 2 rods of Karad for the items, Malthus and his clerics can see the power of them, far more than they can detect coming from our signature weapons and agree to the trade. We all feel that this was a good deal - we get our items legally and it is likely that those artifacts will be destroyed by the clerics of Malthus or locked away from corrupting anyone.

All of us bar scrumpy now have our signature items.

From the journal of Gelnix

After a heavy session discussing metaphysics, our place in this world and pre-destination we unwind with a bout of shopping. However Scrumpy seemed to take the discussion to heart and stormed out ranting about not being a chess piece of the gods anymore. He says he wont be back. Hmm, that went well!

After a successful shopping trip we decide to go and get the other signature item. Why do these plans always start with sewer crawls? Ick, I hate those things. We loosen the stone around some bars and enter the sewers. After searching around the sewers for a way into the cellar we decide to go straight through the wall. Brottor makes a hole in the stone wall and Lorenna turns into a huge badger and digs a tunnel. Some time later the badger returns and Brottor makes his way to the end of the tunnel and opens the wall up.

We have tunneled into a lit room containing a body on a table with a large hole in the chest. It looks like a morgue. Damn, this may be a well used room and now there is an obvious large hole in the wall. We decide to leave it open for now. Alfric listens at the door and then exits. There is a corridor with stairs up and doors at the far end. Alfric and Ter'ri go down the corridor he comes to another door, listens and opens it. The room is large and lit by a blue light, it is also very cold and there are bodies covered with drapes around the walls. They enter and we all follow.

We don't find an exit so we all start searching. We search the end of the corridor, the wall of this room near the end of the corridor, and then start searching the floor room. Finding a hidden trapdoor we move aside a slab and descend into a chilly tunnel. even though there is a ladder two of our two heavier members fall. There is an obvious white line drawn across the corridor. Shall we cross? Alfric steps over the line. A booming clang peels out. A wall of impenetrable fog appears behind us and starts advancing gnarling faces appear in the fog. It edges slowly and inexorably forward.

Moving down the corridor we quickly come to a ten foot wide pit. Ter'ri jumps, hits an invisible barrier and falls into the depths. Oops. We tie our ropes together and he climbs out wounded. Lorenna detects magical bars of force across. So Gelnix transforms into a huge Remorhaz and acts as a bridge under the bars.

Moving ahead hastily we come to steps down with a gargoyle at the bottom and magic radiates everywhere. The steps are trapped with lightning. Alfric moves down the banister carefully and jumps to the floor. Gelnix the Remorhaz arches over the banister to the floor and everyone climbs down his back.

Music. Doors open and the room is filled with the appearance of a king and queens court. Are they manikins or are they real? Alfric spots an expensive gem around the queens neck and he and Lorenna decides to go and get it against my counsel. Fools. They dance around the room and reach the front. The king and queen stand up and offer to dance with them. They dance some more. Alfric smoothly palms the gem and then calmly completes the dance. They exit. Amazing.

Carrying on to another door. The room has a stone statue (golem?) in front of a pool and there are egg shells scattered on the floor. Is there something in the pool? We discuss alternatives but don't have many options. Gelnix uses Mage Hand to create a distraction while Alfric moves silently across the floor. The rest of the party move across one at a time. If they are heard then the mage hand moves to draw it back again.

The next corridor is lined with copper and is hot. Initially it burns but Lorenna enspells us to resist heat. Two copper doors with indentations and crests. Gem shaped indentations. Damn. Alfric and Gelnix rush back to get the Gem we assume is in the pool. The golem hears him but a shatterfloor behind it distracts it. The gem is found and we rush back and open the doors.

A tavern, a bar, a fire, 2 cats, 3 huge barrels, a sign saying to "bide a while and take thy rest, for too much hurry will fail the test". The barrels are empty, water, ale. The water is normal and the ale is very healthy. The empty barrel is opened, the gong sounds again and the fog appears. Down the corridor we find a guy in an amber filled jar at a corner . He speaks, his name is pickled Phil. He asks us some badly formed riddles. We answer and he gives us some advice. Watch out for the electrified metal tightrope and "Areticis" holds the fog for 5 minutes.

From the journal of Gelnix

Alfrix crosses another white line, another gong and the fog now moves faster. We come to a metal tightrope across a town scene 45 feet below with armed straw townsfolk moving around. Gelnix makes everyone step back and then drops a huge burning globe into the mock street. Shiny. Lots of smoke and sounds of thrashing continue for a minute or so. When we look down there is just ash remaining. We quickly climb down. Oops. Akim falls 40 foot and lands with a loud crash. That looked painful. The rest of us make it down safely and then we quickly climb the other side with no more mishaps.

Continuing on we come across a snake pit with a very narrow ledge along one wall. Brottor tells us it detects as illusory. I drop a flaming sphere on it and it looks very real to me. Alfric tries to climb the ledge and falls into the snakes. Ter'ri and Lorenna climb into the snake pit, then Harmony, then Brottor jumps in screaming in pain. Brottor you fool. Finally I see through the illusion and convince Akim too.

There is a 20 foot deep pit with a door at the bottom with a tunnel heading the same way as the corridor above. We make our way down. Brottor looks dead, and I suppose he thinks he is! Scrying for the signature weapon shows it directly ahead. We proceed.

An immense room with a magically lit chandelier, 2 thrones and a coffer in front of them. Moving around and scrying the signature weapon is in the throne area. Alfrix opens the coffer and finds some gilded metal medallions. We take one each. We spend a serious amount of time searching the thrones for a secret compartment and eventually find a well hidden trapdoor and ladder down. There is a Staff and some bags of money. Just then Brottor starts screaming and thrashing around; he is awake. There is a trapdoor into the entrance chamber where we came in.

Listening we hear the sounds of guards above. Gelnix casts glitterdust to blind them and Lorenna climbs out to engage them. Unfortunately for them one of them was not blinded by the spell. Sounds of combat ensue and then I hear a voice say "I surrender". Damn!

He is tied up and the other two are knocked out and we take him back to the boat. Once there we decide what to do. Shopping, of course, features prominently on our list.

That night we have strange dreams. Falling down an endless rocky tunnel, down, down, deeper and down. A dizzying moment and an eerily familiar dark and depressing chamber. Drow and spiders perform some dark ritual. They discuss us and house Arak. It looks like we need to go to war on Arak! She is making false treaties with the King of Kuldraza. We are detected and the dream ends.

Next morning town criers inform us of an alliance of Kuldraza with the Drow in their war against the Gale in return for the agreement that Drow can live above ground! Apparently Kuldraza declared war on Gale last year. King Titus sent his own daughter to a frontier fort. His son has a strange sickness. King Titus converted to Marionism. Strange comet in the sky two weeks ago. The big push into Gale is coming any day now. Princess Romily is out of favour with her father. Prince Caspar is kept locked in a special room on the castle - if he bleeds he doesn't stop. King Titus doesn't meet his people but addresses them from his balcony. Pricess Romily refused to convert to Marionism. She has expressed contempt for all men. She used to sneak out of the palace at night but noone knows how. Beacon city is famous for glass. It is on the slopes of a volcano.

We leave the guard a days travel from the city and rest in an inn overnight. A woman has been asking after us. Another days travel and again someone has been asking after us. Next morning a wavy dagger is stuck in the side of the wagon.