Morning, Day 32
Marilena starts the day by performing the Comprehend Languages Ritual. The scrolls from the Vecna temple prove to be the following:
All of the notes are signed by "Vines".
The overheard ramblings of a drunken dragonborn at the Cavern's Taverns.
After slashing our way through the Vecna temple, we saunter back to our new apartments, dropping off a note to Captain Oban, apprising him of the infestation. While back home, Hrunthern heads off to tell his superiors about the desecrated Moradin shrine, and Marilena begins to work her divination to translate the scrolls recovered from the shrine.
The scrolls have some information regarding the attacks, so we set up a meeting with Oban at our favorite establishment. Its much more quiet than usual here. We settle into our normal booth, and find out the local gossip. Apparently a famous adventuring group went and cleaned out a Vecna temple, and now the underworld enforcers are gunning for them.
Oban doesn't show, but he sends his gate lieutenant? to meet with us. He sure talks loud, and kinda sticks out, but we have information to convey. We let him know about the schedules we found and the contact's alias, "Vines." It doesn't mean anything to him immediately, but he'll keep an eye open.
It seems our little meet attracted the eye of some underworld thugs, and also some hired warforged mercenaries. One of the warforged comes over to meet us, and invites us to meet with the merchant Ben Nevis. They also clean out the thugs as we leave, so we head back the the apartments.
When we get back to the apartments, more thugs are making a mess of the place. Kiranth proceeds to make a bigger mess of the place, with the thugs, and the world's dumbest choker. One of them hiding in the back makes out out the back window. We try to run him down, but as we catch him, he is slain by his tiefling boss, hiding in a window a few blocks down. We head inside and get ready for our morning meet with the merchant.
The morning comes and we are picked up by carriage and brought to Ben Nevis' offices. He apparently needs some muscle to help guard a caravan of weapons headed out of town. Don't know why his many guards on staff can't handle it, but he pays well. It seems the weapons are paid in full, so it will just be a short trip to meet the buyers. What could possibly go wrong?
After the meet, we are dumped back in the market quarter and we head to the library so Marilena can do more research. Yawn. Outside we are met by the elf, Perzelle, who warns us about people out to get us. Better late than never I suppose. She seems kinda serious for an elf. That's new too. Anyway, she is going to try and set something up with Oban to eliminate the pesky underworld types so we don't have to keep cleaning up.
We meet Oban and Perzelle at the bar, and they fill us in on the plan. We need to lure the underworld types out into the open by portraying a false sense of weakness. He's gonna get it out on the street that we're gonna be here celebrating our victory over the cultists by seeing how much beer we can drink. Those pesky tieflings won't be able to resist. And he's gonna buy the beer! But it's gotta be convincing, so we'll do our best.
Eventually the tieflings and their little helpers show up and a great fight ensues. They're a bit cocky, but we smash them up good. Drinks for everybody! Oh wait, we're the only people here. They're gonna stop letting us in if we keep scaring away the business. It's a good thing we're leaving in a few days to guard that caravan.
Drop note to Capt. Oban - we need to meet.
We got to Caverns Tavern. There, perched in our regular booth, we see a group of rough-looking humans and a squad of Warforged. This is unusual, even for this place. The waittress notes that the humans have been hired by either the Merchants or Wizards Guild to hunt down a bunch of hot shit adventurers that have been making waves in town.
Tormore comes in, talks to us at our table. He says that the humans are underworld enforcers & thugs. We begin to get an odd vibe from Tormore, as if there was a trap about to be sprung, and that we, in fact may be the bait. He further tells us that the warforged are probably on our side. One of the humans leaves while Tormore is talking to us.
After Tormore leaves, the shiniest of the Warforged comes over to us. He explains that the merchant Ben Nevis would like to meet us. There appears to be little to do with it other than to grant Ben Nevis' request. He says that a carriage will be sent for us in the morning (he is immaculately polite).
We leave the tavern to go to the library. The warforged proceed to beat the snot out of the human thugs in the tavern.
The party proceeds to the library to try and catch up with Marilena's friends. Marilena talks to Perzelle there. We discover that Ben Nevis may not be as interested in Teannich as she is in him. From the stories recounted, she seems to be rather infatuated with Ben Nevis. Perzelle seems more heartily dressed than in previous encounters; she wears a fancy cape and a spiffy looking sword.
Cyprus, Male Tiefling, Underworld Boss, club member since 1085. He will most definitely come after us, it's just a question of when. He is also almost certainly involved with the Vecna cult, and so will likely be significantly angrier with us when news reaches him, if it hasn't already.
Perzelle is no help figuring out who "vines" is.
At the library, Bruk walks up to the librarian and asks for the Book of Kicking Vecna Cult Ass, as he'd like to add a chapter. He dictates the temple bashing story to the librarian, who records everything, get's Bruk's name, and then files the scroll with the other Midhaf authors. Having followed him to the Midhaf section, we wait until he leaves then proceed to rifle through the pamphlets stacked therein. It looks as though noone's been through this stack in decades, if not longer.
One of the scrolls recounts the history of the ruins left by the Gegelore invasion. It details the extent of the destruction and the aftermath. The overall theme is that of victory (proving once again that history is written by the winners). The Gegelore emblem is discussed inside, depicted as a crossed dagger & broadsword, an emblem that is featured on the banners of Midhaf. Some of the names listed bear a resemblance to a few of the older names among the townsfolk in Midhaf. Overall, the battles and aftermath are described as a great victory in a crusade of conquest.
After the library, the party returns to the apartment. The door appears to have been opened, and there are people inside. Inside are 3 humans, and one choker. Combat ensues. One of the humans is the same one that left the bar when we were talking to Tormore. We dispatch the Choker and the three humans, and start to search for any others in the remaining rooms of the apartment. One that was hiding in the back jumps out a window on to the street. We chase him down, but he is killed by Bale Fire (a Tiefling ability) that came from an upper-story window in an adjacent building.
Considering it fruitless to try and search the building for the assassin, the party returns to the apartment to clean up and search the bodies. They find some axes and hide armor, and a few coins totalling 80gp. The bodies are dumped unceremoniously into the oubliette, and we proceed to try and clean up acid breath residue and blood from the expensive furnishings.
Some time later a wizened old dwarf comes to the door. - wants to know about Ben Nevis?
Marilena prepares to do the Make Whole ritual on the apartment, Perzelle shows up with cleaning crew to take care of things. And a good thing too or Cyprus would have owed us 11gp.
Gold Carriage pulls up, it takes us to the bottom of a set of long, sweeping stairs that lead into Longmoran Cavern. Footmen arrive and carry the carriage up the steps. The cavern is one of the first that appears to be lit by natural light. Carriage proceeds to HUGE mansion.
We are escorted into a seating room (it is opulent). In the center of the room is a massive chandelier. Ben Nevis joins us shortly. Servants bring in food, which is also opulent and excessive. We toast ("To the opportunity of wealth!"), we eat, we speak.
Legends say time of change is at hand.
Wants us to escort a caravan of arms heading west through the Orangefells & Great Woods to some Human buyers in the west. 20-30 mi. to the rendesvous, about 10 days total there and back again.
Royals have their own private opulent cavern, similar to the merchants.
Talk to inchgower. Falchion called Justice is now shinier than ever, and has special powers. Bruk decides not to give Inchgower any more weapons - they come back nicer, but covered in Moradin propaganda. Inchgower is more than a smith, has a huge flaming greataxe.
Go to tavern. Perzelle and guards there. Trap is ready, bait just arrived. Guards hide. Cyprus, a Gnome, Hoodie guy & 4 thugs. We kill.
Loot: Amulet of Protection +2 (x2); Belt of Sacrifice; 120gp in coins.
Spent a day, sold +1 Longsword @ 75%
Next Session starts on Day 34