Re: Standar

June 5th Session 4

After hearing the proclamation, the party met up back up at the Greedy Wurm. They sat at their favorite table and conspired on how to deal with the situation regarding Gail.

“With the tunnel, we can easily sneak in and bust Gail out!” Bast said emotionally, struggling to keep his voice down. “We would be in and out before they could mount a real fight.”

“Listen to yourself. You want us to break into the citadel and sneak in? And how pray tell you, do we hide her?” Said Innathia, gesturing towards Bex, “No offense but I highly doubt a sea giant could tread those halls and not make a scene! At the very least we should have Bex hang back.”

Bex looked at Bast and gave a shrug, acknowledging the truth of the statement.

“If shit hits the fan, I want someone there who I know can handle their own, and won’t leave me stranded. No offense, you’ve shown yourself a capable warrior when necessary but it is your resolve to see things through that has me doubting.” Bast said.

Innathia sighed and rubbed his temples in frustration. “We can’t fight the entire monastery. What we need is guile, not brute force! Which seems to be the only tool you know how to wield!”

The tavern door swung open and light shone into the murky tavern. Through the doorway in walked a female dwarf, her dour face scanning the room as if searching for something. The sight immediately stopped Bast in his tracks, his first thought was that the Underbelly had returned. He gave a curt nod to Bex to look behind her. At seeing the dwarf walk up to the bar and order an ale, Bex gave Bast a look that she understood. Innathia also deduced what the new trouble was and gave another sigh, expecting to be dragged into another dire situation by this impatient human.

The dwarf sits down in a corner table and broods over her beer, taking in the room. It seems that she didn’t find what she was looking for because as soon as she finished her beer she dipped back outside. Bast immediately stood up, “I’ll be right back.” And followed the dwarf onto the streets.

Bex watched him head out, trouble, but eventually shrugged and ordered another round.
A couple of hours go by, and several beers later the dwarf returned without Bast. Bex was several ales in by this time, but for good or ill, her giant constitution meant she was as damn near sober as birds could get, the fact that Grygaa watered his beer down helped as well. Surprisingly the dwarf sat down next to her.

“Have you seen any dwarfs around here?” Asked the strange dwarf.

“Uh, yes? You.” Bex answered earnestly, what a strange question.

The dwarf stared hard at the giant as if gauging if she was being mocked, “Besides me. Have you seen any dwarfs around here, besides me?”

Bex took another sip of her beer, before replying. “There was a small party of dwarves here recently, but they are gone now.” Bex decided it would be best to not advertise that they had killed the dwarves.

The dwarf grumbled something about this damn town and got back up, “Thank you for your time.”

Eldeth stood up, cursing her luck. If she hadn’t lost their trail, she wouldn’t be walking around town chasing her own tail. Her inquiring around town had turned up little other than that a party of dwarfs had been in town, but hadn’t been seen in several days. And to make it even better, it seemed they used to haunt the Dirty Wurm. But the only thing at the Wurm seemed to be a sea giant who took everything literal. Sighing Eldeth decided to try her luck around town again.

As she was making her way to the doorway a dark-skinned human walked in, as Eldeth went to move around him the human also stepped aside to block her path. Glaring up at him she said simply, “Move.”

Bast was near the end of his already low patience. Tailing the dwarf proved a bust, she didn’t lead him to the leader of the Underbelly like he had hoped. But it did seem that she was looking for them, a dwarf turning up at the Greedy Wurm and then heading around town questioning people spoke would be too big of a coincidence. But now the dwarf had lead him back to the Greedy Wurm.

He entered the tavern the same time the dwarf got up from the table Bex and Innathia were sitting at. She began to make her way towards the door. Tired and frustrated from the previous night’s stake out and the cooling trail of the Underbelly, Bast decided to forgo subtly and handle this head on. As the dwarf tried to make her exit Bast blocked the exit, glaring down at her.

The dwarf glared right back, “Move.”

“What were you talking to the giant about?” Bast said unmoving,

“None of your damn business, now move.”

Bast had to fight the urge to kick the dwarf in the face. Taking a moment to compose himself he instead said, “You’re not going to find them.”

“Find who?” Despite herself the comment caught her interest.

“Your Underbelly friends, they are either dead or have fled.” The dwarf started cursing repeatedly in dwarvish. The list of curses caught Bast off guard, of all the reactions this wasn’t what he had expected.

Finishing her tirade, Eldeth pointed a finger at the human, “I was hunting those bastards, now tell me everything you know.” The human appraised her for a second, Eldeth finally noticed the odd glint they had, as if something cat like was appraising her. He took a second before he spoke, “I think we can help each other, and I think it will be better told with an ale.”

The two-ordered a round of beers and began discussing about the Underbelly.

As the standoff was occurring a human of middling years saw the two blocking the doorway and decided it probably better to sell his wares to a less intense looking pair. As he stepped into the Wurm his enthusiasm waned a little, the bars patrons didn’t look promising. At one table sat a sea giant and a hooded figure, some possibility there maybe, and at a different table was two cloaked figures. His merchant instincts ringing he approached the two cloaked figures.

“Hello friends, you look like some folks in need of fine trinkets, baubles and other more…exotic items, for the right price of course.” The pair didn’t seem impressed, both dipped their heads to further hide their features and waved the peddler on. Taking the hint, he decided to check with the giant and her friend. “Very well, if you change your mind you can find me at the bazaar from sun up till noon.”

With that he sat grabbed a chair from a nearby table and dragged in next to the pair. “Why hello friends, in need of any trinkets, baubles, and for the right price some more esoteric services.”

The giant stared at him blankly, Innathia glared pointedly at him before replying, “The seats taken.”

“Well it’s a good thing I took it from that table friend. Now about my wares, go ahead make me an offer.” He had them right where he wanted them.
Just then a dark skinned human and a dwarf walked up to the table.

As Bast approached the table he noticed the strange human sitting at the table, he had the look about him of a nomad.

“And who are you?”

The man looked up at him with a broad smile, “Hello friend, I am just here offering my services.” And he gave Bast a wink.

He frowned, “If that is what you are about, the brothels are down the street.” The man stared at him dumbfounded.

“What? No, wares, im selling my wares. Trinkets and baubles from the desert.” With that he opened up his robe where had several items. Bast appraised them the items and then dismissed them.

“This is a private party. You will take your leave now.” Bast glanced at his companions and nodded towards Eldeth, “This is Eldeth, it seems her path aligns with ours.”

Eldeth merely nodded to the party, still not sure if she was making the right choice by trusting this human. Although for the most part a dwarven organization, she wouldn’t put it past the Underbelly to use human operatives. But sea giants were rumored to be trust worthy people.

“She has been hunting the Underbelly as well. While the trail has gone relatively cold, I think she can bring a fresh perspective on how to hunt them down. And having someone skilled in tracking could be useful.”

Innathia regarded the dwarf coolly, “I hope you didn’t feed her on the notion that the Underbelly and Luhi are working together, because we have no proof of that.”

“Nor do we have proof that they aren’t working together. Luhi rules by any means necessary, I wouldn’t put it past him to make deals with slavers.”

At this point Bex spoke up, “I think we should focus on one thing at a time. Gail doesn’t have much time.”

“You guys are going to help Gail?”

The party looked back at the human, it was apparent that they had forgotten he was there. “What is your name?”

At this the human smiled and replied, “My apologies I thought I had started out with that, my name is Mael Du Dama. And not only am I peddler of fine wares, but I also happen to be a powerful druid. And if your planning on helping Gail, count me in.”

The party looked at each other, and then back at the druid. “Well enough, I seem to be in a trusting mood today so why not. Yes, we are planning on breaking Gail out of jail before his execution.” Bast said, “Gail is a hero, and doesn’t deserve to die for only speaking the truth.”

“Perfect, so tell me what’s the plan?”

Innathia considered what was unfolding before him, “That is what we were discussing. Our friend here,” He gave a nod towards Bast, “Would have us sneak into the citadel, and attempt to sneak in and free Gail. And if it turns into a blood bath then so be it.”

“I would probably phrase it differently, but that’s pretty much as far as we have got.” Bast said.

“Ok, and stop me if I am over reaching, but what if we wait until the guards bring him out to the execution block. I will turn into a snake and sneak up and stun the guards. Before they know what is going on we break Gail out and flee.”

The group considered this plan, “It has…. merit.” Innathia said. “I could talk to some of my contacts, we have men who are skilled in inciting a crowed. Luhi isn’t well loved, it wouldn’t take much to incite the crowd against him.”

“I could see if Ket could pull some strings to get support from the other priests. Luhi has been harsh on the other churches, if you mess with people’s faith it makes a lot of enemies.” Bex said.

Bast reluctantly acknowledged that the plan seemed sound. “Very well if this is the path we are taking, I can talk to the owner of the Dixie Whick, her husband served with Gail.”
Innathia gave a sigh of relief, glad that the raid had been cancelled, for now.

As the group started hashing out the details for the escape. Eldeth sat there taking it all in, trying to decide if she had made the right decision by aligning herself with these people. A salesman, a sea giant barbarian, a secretive Seraphim, and a human who wants to solve all his problems by killing something. If it got her closer to the Underbelly then so be it.

Later that day a large crowd gathered in front of the citadel. The mood was very somber as the party moved through the crowd, despite his reputation Gail was a popular figure in the city. A line of monks barred the crowd from getting closer to where a stockade was set up on a raised platform. The citadel gates opened up, and out walked two monks with large glaives, between them they half carried-dragged Gail. From the looks of it the monks lived up to their reputation as bad hosts. They brought Gail onto the platform and locked him in the stockades and then took up positions on either side of him.

When the crowd saw Gail, a collective gasp went out, the shock then turned to angry mutters. Maen nodded to Bast and Innathia and then slipped away to get into position, Bex and Eldeth began moving towards the edge of the crowd. Next Luhi came out, his presence subduing the crowd for the moment.

Luhi’s gaze appraised Gail, and then back to the crowd.

“The man before you is a traitor to the crown. He seeks to undermine the law and order of our beloved Ryll, in order to help his dastardly allies who, want nothing more than to see this realm burn.” His gaze went back to Gail, a look of contempt crossing his face. “He would have us in chains, bowed before his unholy masters and gleefully spits in Norvell’s face. For these crimes, and blasphemes his punishment is death.”

The crowds murmuring began to grow again. This entire thing was a charade for Luhi to punish those who spoke out against him.

Innathia moved through the crowd effortlessly. Amongst the people he noticed the agents of his organization and gave a short nod to several of them as he passed. The crowd was almost ready, it wouldn’t take much to turn them against the monks. He stood next to Bast, and said, “It looks like everyone Is in position, it’s now or never.” And with that he began to make his way towards the front of the crowd.

As Innathia walked away Bast steeled himself for what was to come. Not sure why how he got the roll of initiator, Bast began to also make his way to the front. Taking down his shemagh, Bast yelled out, “The only crime this man has done is talk against you!”

Those nearest to him stopped and turned, at the front Luhi glared out looking for where the voice had come from. The crowd at first moved away from Bast surprised by his actions. No one had spoken out against Luhi before, and he wasn’t done. Continuing to make his way forward Bast continued, “Since Luhi has taken over Port Durst has seen nothing but pain and strife. The abandoned district is still a lawless cesspit berefts of even the basic amenities that are needed to live in this city. Trade has dried up, the only people who make their way to this city is because they know the blind eye the leaders take towards their dealings. And now Luhi has the gall to accuse Gail of these heinous crimes!”

Nearly to the front of the crowd now Bast raised his fist, “The time to retake our city is now! Down with Luhi! Free Gail!”

A loud roar rang out as the crowd took up the cry. Down with Luhi, Down with Luhi!

Innathia smiled as the crowd began pushing against the monks trying to restrain them. Slipping closer he shoved his dagger into the nearest guard’s stomach. It took a moment for even the guard to realize what had happened as he raised his bloody hand from his stomach before dropping. Seeing their comrade fall the nearest monks began cracking out with fists and clubs. Luhi seeing the crowd turning violent and his monks engaging with the populace glared at them before motioning for the nearest monks to leave, heading back into the citadel. The doors ranging with a loud thud as they closed.

The monks on the platform looked at each other and one raised his glaive to take off Gails head. Before he could a loud thunderclap rang out, stunning the guards and Gail. Maen sprang onto the platform before turning into a monstrous dire wolf, immediately lunging for the nearest monk. At the same time Bex and Eldeth broke from the crowd and charged towards the platform as well, Eldeth letting off an arrow from her longbow, hitting the other monk in the abdomen.

Staggering from the vicious bite wound of the dire wolf the monk didn’t even notice the sea giant stride onto the platform and taking her great axe easily cleaving his head off. With an arrow in his gut and seeing his ally’s head taken off, the second monk tried to stagger off. But before he could take a step off the platform Maen clamped down on his leg and dragged him down before shaking him like a rag doll.

By this point the other monks were subdued by the people, breaking Gail out of the stockade Bex easily carried him off. Seeing Gail free the crowd took up the chant, Gail! Gail! Gail!

Not waiting around, the party broke off from the rest of the group and began making their way with Gail to the Dixie Whick.

The party celebrated Gail’s rescue with a couple of ales at the Dixie Whick, it being the first day in a long time the city had much to celebrate. The party didn’t tarry too long because preparations had to be made for the prince’s arrival the following day.

With a threat on the prince’s life, the group went back to the Dixie Whick to meet up with Gail. They are lead down to the cellars where Gail is currently hiding. Sitting on a barrel sit’s Gail, he looks up at the opening of the door but relaxes when he recognizes his rescuers.
“Hail friends, it is good to see you again.” He stands to greet them, “I didn’t get to thank you properly last night.”

“We have come to you because we need help.” Said Bast. He looks back at his party, “It has come to our attention that there is a plot to assassinate the Prince. But two Nephilim have been spotted hanging around the Greedy Wurm. We tried to see what they were up to but nothing turned up.”

An expression of deep worry crosses Gails face. “Listen to me, you must track down those Nephilim’s. The princes must be protected.”

“What about Luhi? We believe he is involved in the plot. A monk was seen talking to them.”

“Luhi must be brought down. If he is involved in this we will find out. But first we must follow the leads we know we can deal with first. I will try and meet the prince before he goes into the citadel, I might be able to persuade him to use caution around Luhi.”

“Thank you, Gail, we will do our part” The party begins to head out but Innathia hangs back.
He takes out a robe from his pack, “If you are going to be meeting the prince then may I recommended some proper attire.” Gail takes the robe and thanks him for the gift.

“Ok, no more games. When we go in we subdue the spies and make them talk.” The group gave a nod and entered the tavern. The spies wernt there.

“Are we too late?” Bast said back outside the tavern. “The prince is going to be here any moment. I don’t even know where to start looking.”

“Maybe I can help.” Offered Eldeth, “I am a skilled tracker. I may be able to find a clue or something.”

Eventually able to find a pair of tracks that matches, they followed them to the docks. Innathia went up to one of the dock workers nearby, “Excuse me sir, but have you seen any cloaked figures about these parts today?”

The worker looked at him for a second before replying, “Well…a pair did take a boat out a couple of hours ago. Headed out past the breakers. Never came back.”

Cursing the party thanked him for his time and began to decide on what to do. From across the city they heard the startup of trumpets announcing the arrival of the prince. They were out of time.

View
May 30th Session 3

The first thing the party noticed was voices chanting, not too far from the wall there were several figures in a circle, arms upraised and chanting strange syllables. It was apparent that some form of dark ritual was taking place. On the ground dark runes, and symbols were glowing menacingly and in the center, was a pile of corpses with a bound guard squirming on top, eyes wide in panic as his soul was being offered up to some dark entity.

The party looked at each other, words unable to convey their disgust at what they were witnessing. Innathia made a hand gesture for them to spread out and attack from different angles. Moving together Bast and Innathia skirted up as close as they dared, the cultist so intent on their ritual they failed to take notice. Giving the signal to attack Innathia let out with his crossbow, taking a cultist in the back of the neck, dropping him instantly. At the same time Bast let out an eldritch blast, dark energy shooting out hitting another cultist in the chest, cracking ribs and making him cough up blood. As Bast and Innathia rushed forward to close the distance Thrandiul cast a spell of sleep over the cultist, all of them instantly dropped to the ground under the enchantment. As this was going on the other two quickly dispatched the lead cultist and the other remaining cultist, leaving the wounded one alive for questioning.

While this was going on the guard had managed to roll off the pile of corpses and was struggling to break free. Innathia knelt down next to him, “Calm friend, we are here to help.” He took the gag out of the guard’s mouth and began to untie him.

“Thank you, I thought I was a goner!” The guard was visibly shaken by his ordeal, and at the sight of his fallen comrades he quickly stepped aside to vomit. Shrugging Innathia took the rope and gag and used it to bind the remaining cultist.

“I can see why they walled this district off,” Bast said to Thrandiul, his gaze taking in all the zero-district had to offer. It was essentially a wasteland, almost leveled flat from the war with the demons, with his budding powers he could tell that something was off about this land.

“The presence of the demons has scarred this land, it is unknown if it will ever truly heal.” Thrandiul remarked, “This is the fate of the world if Mer-Jin isn’t opposed.” His memories taking him back to Sahar and the corruption he had witnessed there as Mer-Jin’s influence seemed into this realm.

Bast merely nodded at his words, the talk of Mer-Jin unsettling him as he thought of dark patron. Turning he walked back towards were Innathia was finishing up binding the cultist, “Shall we see what he knows?” Turning to nod at Thrandiul who broke the spell with a disinterested gesture.

Immediately the cultist woke up and began to thrash, confusion and anger flashing in his eyes as he took in how his fortunes had turned. Kneeling down and looking into the cultists eyes Innathia addressed the him, “Clearly your night has taken a wrong turn, now you have some options, you can answer our questions, or you can die. And after what we have seen tonight, I am leaning more towards the latter.” As he said this he took the gag out of the cultists mouth.

The cultist started speaking in a vile language that Innathia didn’t know, he put the gag back on and looked back at his party, “Well, any one catch that?”

Thrandiul shook his head, “It sounds like nothing I have heard before, we may be better off simply killing this fellow. Whatever language that was I doubt we will be able to find a translator any time soon.”

“It is infernal, the language of demons.” Thrandiul gave a curious look at Bast, there was more to this human then is apparent at first glance.

Noticing the looks he was getting Bast explained, “Learned it from the Tieflings who worked in the mines, they suffer more than others in this world because of their demonic heritage, as social pariahs it makes them easy prey for the Underbelly.” Kneeling down he took out the gag once more and addressed the cultist in infernal. “Tell us what we want to know, who do you work for and what were you doing in the city.” As he spoke his eyes lit up with the dark powers of his patron, caught off guard the cultist nodded and complied.

“It is only us, we were doing the glorious work of Mer-Jin, who shall take your soul. Our ritual was meant to bring his followers to our realm.” Bast relayed this to his team who took the news grimly. “I doubt he is going to give us anything else.”

Having emptied the contents of his stomach the guard returned. Innathia looked back at him, “He’s all yours. But do us a favor and make sure he is kept by the guards and not the monks.”

At the mention of the monks the guard grimaced, “I appreciate it, and believe me there’s no love lost there. The monks consider guard work below their station anyways.”
Nodding towards the pile of corpses, Bast asked, “We were sent to investigate the disappearances by one of your colleagues, Hank, he sent us to look for his sister. Is she…” He trailed off.

The guard sighed, “Yes I know Hank and his sister, and yes she is here.” He nodded towards one of the corpses, “I will tell Hank that you guys helped and that there was nothing you could have done to save her. Also, I will leave you guys out of the official report, despite your help Luhi and his thugs take the closer of the zero-district serious and won’t be pleased to hear that people had been here. But know that if you guys ever need anything I will help in any way I can, you guys saved my life and that is a debt that will not be forgotten.”

“One last thing,” Said Bast, “One of our friends, a sea giant, was arrested tonight by the guards. They thought she was responsible for the disappearances. Would it be possible for you to release her?”

“I can see why they wouldn’t take too kindly to a sea giant stalking their steps.” He almost chuckles at the thought, but then his somber mood returned, “But yes, I will have her released as soon as I get this guy back to the guard house.” With that he set off with the bound cultist.

The group acknowledged the guards statement and thanked him for his help, but before heading out Bast inspects the cultist leader looking for clues. On him he finds the symbol of Mer-Jin, he almost throws it away but stops and reconsiders before pocketing it. “I think we have found all we can for tonight, I am going to go get Bex.”

Day 5

“It was so boring! Next time I would rather fight my way out of twenty enemies rather than be subject to that kind of torture again.” Bex still worked up about her night’s stay at the guard house said, “And those cowards thought I was hell bent on murdering them that they were too afraid to play dice with me.” Bast chuckled at Bex’s energy, happy that his friend was not harmed by the guards. They were making their way from their camp back towards the city to check in on Ket Bran-Kel. When they had entered the city, they were approached by Hank who thanked them for what they had done, and reminded them that if they needed anything to ask. As they continued their way, their initial enthusiasm tempered by Hanks grief at his sister’s fate, they saw a crowd gathering in the town square. Curious what was causing such a spectacle the pair quickly pushed their way to the front. They arrived just in time to see Gail put into chains by several monks.

Bex strode towards him, “In what right is this man being arrested?” The monks turned to look at the sea giant striding towards them, with Bast bringing up the rear.

“This man is under arrest for his attempts to spread sedition and mayhem. He will answer to Luhi and his fate will be determined.” As if hearing his name Luhi himself arrived on the scene, not bothering to speak he looked at the monk who had spoken, and gestured for him to move. All around the people were kneeling in supplication. As they took Gail away,
Luhi stopped for a moment to appraise Bex and Bast, before continuing on.

Their mood now thoroughly dour the two finally arrived at where Bran-Kel was staying. He seemed surprised, yet happy to see them, “Hello, what brings you two here today? I can assure you while I’ve still been up to my old ways I have kept my nose, relatively clean so to speak.”

That brought a smile back to their faces, “We are actually just stopping by before heading to investigate the island where the light house is. The other day it seems the guards had gotten a glimpse of the demon who lives there.” Said Bex.

At the mention of the island the grin left Ket’s face. “The demon, did they kill it?”
Surprised by his sudden change Bast replied, “Were not sure, we didn’t see anything. But they did destroy the other building on the island”

Ket had a deeply worried face, “Ok, I am going to tell you guys a secret.” Bast and Bex glanced at each other. “There is no demon, rather it is a sea giant who lives on the island. He protects Port Durst from the merrow, and has done so for as long as I can remember.”

Bex seemed to perk up at the thought at the prospect of meeting another Sea Giant. “If he helps this city why does he hide on the island? Wouldn’t the city be happy to help this ally?”

“He is a reclusive fellow, his wife and child died during the war against the demons, and the only people who knew he was here left with the Dixie Wick. It is his hatred for the merrow that keeps him at his thankless task.” Ket has started pacing, the news troubling him as he recalls the tale before turning back to Bex, “Listen, I need you to go help him, he might be wounded but he is a friend and ally. Take my boat, the guards wont trouble you if you tell them I lent you it.”

Bast and Bex took this all in. Eventually Bast spoke, “There was something else, on our way here we saw Gail being arrested for supposedly spreading sedition and mayhem. Luhi oversaw the arrest.”

This stopped Ket in his tracks, “This gets worse and worse.” He said as he put his head in his hands. “Gail doesn’t deserve this, he is a hero. He fought valiantly against the demons, and lost a lot. He was part of the Dixie Wick crew, but was unable to go with them due to his injuries. Although he comes off as crazy sometimes he is still very respected and loved by the people. The fact that Luhi feels confident enough to actually arrest Gail bodes ill for this city.

“We’ll let us deal with the Sea Giant first. Whatever is going on with Gail seems to be out of our power at the moment.” Bast replied.

Ket nodded solemnly, “Thank you, I shall go make an offering to Riternal so that he may bless your journey, and for Gail. And…” He said as he opened up a cabinet, “Have a drink.”
As the two began to head out they heard Ket speak out, “Wait, one more thing.” As he took out a glass and began to pour himself a drink. He gestured to Bast and Bex who both shook their heads. Shrugging he capped the bottle and put it back in the drawer and then sat down in a chair. “There has been talks, I can’t give you anything concrete but there is talk that someone is going to make a move on the Prince.” He sits back and sips from his drink, appraising them.

Bast and Bex are so shocked they have nothing to say. Eventually they gather themselves and Bast asks, “Do you have any idea who would be behind it?”

“Some Nephilim have been spotted in town, and no not that one you have been seen with. These two have been working to keep their presence unknown but my sources have spotted them as two hooded figures in the Greedy Worm.” At the mention of the worm Bast remembers the two figures he had seen talking to the monks. But so, intent on his hunt for the Underbelly he had over looked it, and mentioned as much to Bex and Ket.

“That is them, that they are talking to the monks is most worrying. Like I stated, I don’t have anything concrete on who they are working with but my sources are pretty confident that the Nephilim mean to make an attempt on the Prince’s life.”

“Thank you for the information,” Bast says as he moves towards the door. “But I think we should focus on one thing at a time, we will look into the Giants welfare and then see what we can do about the Nephilim.” With that Bast and Bex headed out to round up their party.

As they made their way to where Innathia was staying, the two expected some other calamity to fall upon them. They soon arrived and proceeded to knock on the door. After about the six knock they decided to just enter, the door surprisingly unlocked. They entered an empty foray, not sure how to proceed Bex let out a loud yell calling Innathia’s name. They soon heard the stamping off feet as Innathia rushed down the stairs, his normal calm composure temporarily slipping as agitation and anger showed on his face. “What in the blazes do you are doing!” He said through clenched teeth. “I specifically told you not to bother come here, and if for some damned reason you disobey me that you at least show me the courtesy of not shouting that name!”

“Believe me, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important. And if you don’t want to call you Innathia, at least fill us in on what it is you do wish to be called upon.”

Innathia continued to glare at the pair. “Malce, if you call upon me here again, it is Malce.” He sighed into his hands and took a second to compose himself before continuing. “Now, pray tell what is so important.”

Having brought Innathia up to speed, aside from the plot on the princess life, the group were making their way to the piers when Hansu hailed them. With tears in his eyes he thanked them for their help in saving his daughters, and that he understands that there was nothing they could have done to save the one who died at the hands of the underbelly. In a display of his gratitude he gave them a camel as a reward.

Next, they finally made it to where Ket’s boat was docked. But before they could shove off they were hailed by one of the guards.

“Hail friends,” It was none other than the guard they had saved the night before.

Bast smiled before replying, “Don’t they give you days off? I would think some leave time was warranted after nearly becoming a sacrifice.”

This brought a sad grin to the guard’s face, “You speak true, but with the Prince’s arrival only two days away everyone is pulling their weight to get ready.” He took a look behind them at the boat, “I see Ket Bran-Kel has lent you his boat, I ah, see nothing here. Ill be on my way.”
Before he could leave Bast took a hold of his arm, “Will you meet me tonight? I may need to call in that favor sooner than rather than later.” The guard looked into Bast’s eyes and noted the seriousness of it.

“The Dixie Wick, after my shift is over. You can buy the first round.” With that he set out.

The group rowed out, Bex taking any opportunity to go for a dip swam alongside them. Taking Ket’s advice and circling around the island so as to not attract unwanted attention the party landed in a small cove. Bex was the first out of the water. Asking that the others to let her go first, a wounded Sea Giant could be as dangerous to friends as much as foes in a hurt stage. She went to explore where the building that had collapse was first, and noted a trail of dried blood that led up to the old keep. Heading back to gather her companions, but reminding them to let her go first they made their way to the keep.

Following the dried blood, they made their way to the keep. It was clear that the keep had been abandoned, damage from the war with the demons left unrepaired. They made their way through the gates into the main floor. There Bex noticed a shrine dedicated to Riternal, it was a mourning shrine to remember his lost children.

Not too far from the shrine they saw the prone body of a massive sea giant, easily reaching fifteen feet in length. Bex motioned for the others to keep back as she approached. But upon closer inspection the sea giant was unconscious and still bleeding from his wounds,” Innathia! He’s still hurt, quick, can you heal him?”

Innathia knelt down and harnessed the power of Fyet through him as he laid his hand along the wounds, channeling his divine magic to heal the fallen sea giant. The giant’s wounds eventually close and his breathing becomes less labored. But he still doesn’t wake up. Bex has an anxious look on her face as she watches Innathia work. “Did it work? Why does he not wake?”

Innathia stands up, and looks back at Bex, “His wounds were really severe, I am surprised he lasted this long with those wounds untreated.” Innathia walks back to where he set his pack down and takes out a water skin. “Now all we can do is wait until he wakes up.” He says as he takes a swig from the skin and then starts heading up a nearby staircase to explore the rest of the keep.

Three hours later the giant opens his eyes, startled at first until he sees another sea giant looking down upon him with concern. “Hail kin, you are safe and amongst friends.” He looks past her and sees a human in the local garb, and a hooded seraphim, standing a few feet away.

In giant he answers back, “Thank you for your kindness, may Riternal grant you his strength.”
Bex, nods and then asks, “What is your name, and how did you come to be here?”

“My name is Raoul, I arrived in these lands about 80 years ago. I protect Port Durst from the merrow, daily the merrow attempt to assault the city in various strength. I fear what is brewing out there with my absence these last couple of days.” With that the giant tries to stand but is still too weak. “I am sorry, I am still too weak. I have not eaten since my injuries.”

Innathia brings forth some supplies he had wisely thought to bring. The sea giant nods his head at him and thanks him in sea giant, while not understanding the words Innathia is able to comprehend the gesture and nods his head in acknowledgement.

“We heard what happened to your family during the war, I am sorry for your loss.” Once again Raoul is caught off guard, it has nearly been a lifetime since he has seen another sea giant, let alone heard the tongue of his people. “With your family gone, why do you stay in a city that doesn’t know you exist, let alone appreciate the sacrifice you make for them daily?”

“Thank you, I offer them tribute by slaying the merrow. And that is the only reason I stay here. The merrow are a plague and if they are not kept in check more than Port Durst would be in peril. I care not for the town, nor do I hold any particular love for the people here. Rather it is for humanity that I keep fighting.” As he talks Raoul has a faraway look in his eyes, his fight with the merrow the source of his strength and pain. “But there is something else, I have been fighting here for 80 years and have seen no decline in their numbers nor aggression. It has led me to believe that the Leviathan is stirring.”

Bex gave out a gasp, surprised by his announcement. “But the Leviathan is a legend.”

“No young one, with time the foul beast has slipped into the thing of legend. But I can tell you this, the destruction of our people, and the sirens call the Leviathan sent out to call those of weak heart to her will still rings out. I fear for our world if such a horror returns.”

Seeing such a heated exchange Bast asks what Raoul is saying, but Bex says that she will explain later. Healing some more of Raoul’s wounds, and giving him some more supplies the party begins to head out. Before they leave Raoul says, “If you need me young one, you know where to find me. With healing my wounds and the food, I will be back in the waters killing the merrow before dawn. If you need anything you know where to find me.”

As the party rowed back to the city they each sat quietly, mulling over what they had heard. It was Bast who broke the silence, “This is getting worse and worse. Slavers I know how to fight, but now we have to watch for a threat from the sea that could devour the entire continent?”

“Dark times indeed.” Was all Innathia gave.

After reaching shore, Innathia bade the party farewell and returned home to finish his chores. Bast and Bex began to head to the Dixie Wick Tavern to meet up with the guard. But before that they stopped by to see if Thrandiul had any more information that could prove useful. And also, to get his help dealing with the Nephilim. But when they reached where Thrandiul where they were staying they came upon an empty house. Looking into the window it was apparent that the house had been vacated. Thrandiul had left the city. Saddened by the loss of a powerful ally the two continued on their way.

At the Dixie Wick, they met with the guard but didn’t exactly hear what they wanted. While they don’t support Luhi the are still bound to serve and that he would help anyway he could, but that they were essentially powerless to stop them. Thanking him for the information the two went to the Greedy Worm to see if the Nephilim agents were still there.

Upon entering the Worm, they noted the Innathia was there sitting at a table by himself. And in the corner in their usual spot was the two agents. “Have they made any move.” Bast asked sitting next to Innathia.

Innathia ignores him for a second before sighing and turning to him, “Can you be any more obvious? But to answer your question no.”

Ignoring his first comment, Bast nods before replying, “Good, we stay here tonight and keep watch. They move to go to the bathroom and we go with them.”

“Very well.” Innathia said. Seeing a long night ahead of them Bex ordered three rounds of beers for herself and a round for her friends, and proceeded to take out her gambling dice with a wide grin on her face. Innathia checked his coin purse and gave another sigh before motioning for Bex to roll.

It’s an uneventful night as the Nephilim make no move. Frustrated by the lack of movement, Bast calls it a night and the party head in for the night. Bex smiling the whole way home.

Day 6

The next day the party goes about their various activities. Bex went off to check on Raoul, who was well enough to continue his grim work. Surprisingly Innathia has no chores this day so steps by some of his favorite shops before checking up on filled in sinkhole. Bast wanders the northern district, still frustrated from the fruitless vigil the night before. As they are going about their business they hear bells ringing from the cathedral, a crowd has formed in the bazaar and one of Luhi’s monks stands on some crates yelling an announcement to the ground.

“Today at sunset, the traitor Gail will be executed for his crimes against Luhi. This man means to work the evils of Mer-Jin by spreading sedition and mayhem throughout the city, in order to aid his nefarious allies.”

View
May 23rd, Session Two.

Session 2

There was a loud twang as Bex opened up the door, looking down she noticed the bolt protruding from her chest. Going into a rage she rushed into the room. The first thing she noticed was the lead dwarf reloading his crossbow, along with two of the dwarves from his party holding two girls as hostage, blades to their throats. A loud muffled cry rang out from behind them, even more girls were in the room, the missing girls!

After seeing Bex take the bolt to the chest Innathia immediately let out a healing touch, trying to staunch the bleeding before the barbarian bleed out. Seeing that this fight was going to be up close and personal he drew his saber and shield and rushed the lead dwarf, putting himself in the mix of all three dwarfs.

Following Bex and Innathia into the room Bast entered just in time to see the dwarves cut down their captives, he noticed that the one on the left was Hansu’s middle daughter. Letting out a yell, Bast shrouded himself in the cold powers of his patron, fortifying himself for the fight to come.

Bringing up the rear Thrandiul saw the dead human girls at the feet of their dwarven captives, having seen the cruelty the world has to offer he was not surprised, nonetheless a cold fury lit up inside him. Vowing a silent curse at his stunted foes, Thrandiul raised his staff and electric power shot out arcing over the head of his allies towards the dwarves.
The lead dwarf took another shot at the Seraphim rushing at him but the shot stuck fast into his shield, cursing in dwarvish he drew his battle axe and braced himself. Seeing the girl’s bodies hit the ground and the dwarves all around him, Innathia took a swing at the lead dwarf, a loud clang rang out as his sword scrapped against the armored dwarf, failing to penetrate. The dwarf to his right took a swing as he saw the assault upon his leader slicing into the meat of Innathia leg.

Bex took a large swing at the dwarf to her left, nearly frothing with her rage, the dwarf brought up his axe parrying her first wild swing and jabbed the pommel into her gut, knocking the wind from her. Not deterred by the dwarves’ attack Bex took another swing, but failed to connect again. Letting out a blood curdling roar Bex went into a true rage, foam and spittle flying from her mouth as she sent her boot out connecting with the dwarfs’ face knocking him prone. Following up with a downward arc that cleaved into his chest, but in her frenzied state she continued to hack into the body, delimbing the corpse and splattering blood all across the room and the captive girls. Seeing the giants brutal assault, the girls saw their saviors possibly turn to a worse fate.

Ducking another swing from the lead dwarf, Innathia changed his focus to the dwarf to his right, finding purchase with his sword as it bloodied his foe. But in doing this he left himself open for a wide cleaving attack that caught him in the shoulder. Letting out a yell his shield arm drooped, giving the other dwarf time to turn and swing his axe putting into Innathia’s leg again. Cursing his rash decision, Innathia could do nothing else but try to survive and hope his allies worked fast.

The room strobing with the electric beam coming from Thrandiul attack, Bast rushed in and thrust his spear at the dwarf, all the while lamenting their rash actions, leading to the deaths of the two girls. As his spear connected a loud boom emanated from his spear and lighting began circling around the dwarf. The dwarf was splitting blood as his wounds were starting to take its toll on him. But unable to get his full attention, the dwarf was intent on ending the threat to his master. As Bast prepared for another thrust, he saw the axe connect with Innathia chest, his leg and shield arm already bloodied. With this final attack, he slumped to the ground in a growing pool of blood.

Despite the Seraphim going down, the odds seemed too great for the lead Dwarf. He watched as the Sea Giant brutally hacked apart, Heiok, his third cousins husband and best damn fiddler player in his troupe, and the constant assault from the cursed spell slinger, he decided it would be most prudent to protect his most important asset, himself. Turning tail and running, he ran straight towards the wall behind him towards the flag of the Underbelly. Plowing through the tapestry it revealed a tunnel and he continued to run into the darkness.

With the lead dwarf going out of range of his witch bolt, Thrandiul turned his attention to the last dwarf, blasting him with a ray of frost that finished off the dwarf. With that the battle was over, but what to do now? One ally down, a room full of captives, and an enraged Sea Giant intent setting a new record for how many hacks it took to get to the center. Probably best for the human to deal with his friend, Thrandiul decided to stay back and see how things played out, trying to figure out if this was really something he wanted to get caught up in, these dwarfs seem to be no more than petty criminals, hardly the type who would lead him to true power.

Bast took a deep breath and took in the situation in the room, torn between following the dwarf and helping his allies. Seeing Bex in one of the worst frenzies he had ever seen decided for him, rushing over to calm her down. “Bex! It’s done, it’s done.” Reaching out he put his arm on his shoulder, confident that his friend wouldn’t lash out at him. As he did so Bex brought up her axe again, glaring at Bast, as recognition flashed in her eyes, her breathing started to calm and she lowered her weapon.

Looking around at what she had done, she breathed in deep and seemed to reconcile the fact, she knew there was a deep anger in her, but this was unlike the other episodes. Finally, close to calm, her hands still shaking, she looked back down at Bast. “Thank you.” Bast meet her eyes and nodded.

Rushing to the fallen Innathia, Bast set to stabilizing him, seeing the severity of his wounds the most he could do was bandage him up temporarily, he would need a healer before he would be good again. Regaining conciseness Innathia opened his eyes and looked at Bast, giving a nod and laying his head back to rest.

With Bex calmed, and Innathia stable, Bast intended to free the girls and see if any information could be found out. But as he began to search for a key he heard familiar loud twang followed by a scream.

Caught off guard in his contemplation, Thrandiul luckily took the bolt in the shoulder and it didn’t hit anything vital. Angry at himself for his lack of concentration Thrandiul turned and looked at his attacker. The dwarf dropped his crossbow and took out his great axe, letting out a yell as he charged the Nephilim. Thrandiul raised his hand and let out another ray of frost at the dwarf, impacting in his chest it slowed the dwarf but didn’t take it down.

Following the sound of the cry Bast entered the hallway were the skirmish was going on, seeing the dwarf charging at Thrandiul, he raised his arm knowing that he didn’t have time to make it into melee range and cast. A dark beam shot out connecting with the dwarf’s face, a loud rang out and the dwarfs head was thrown back, broken by the impact.

Slumping to the ground as the final dwarf fell, Bast sat down and rested for a second. So many foolish decisions, he let his desire for vengeance overcome his better judgement and the group almost died, along with the two girls. Next time would be different he vowed. Standing him he started releasing the girls, most still hysterical because of Bex’s demonstration. He saw two of the girls who he recognized as Hansu’s daughters rush to their fallen sister, cradling her body in their arms and sobbing. He gave them a few minutes to grieve for their fallen sister before kneeling down beside them.

“I am sorry for your loss, we failed you, and for that I vow the people responsible for this will pay.” Looking up from their sister the two nodded at Bast before speaking. “You guys did what you could, it is better we died then seen what they had planned for us.” The one who looked to be the eldest said.

“Is there, is there anything you know that could help us? Did you hear or see anything?” In between sobs the girls replied, “No, for the most part they left us here chained up, only coming in the evening when they brought in new girls and to feed us. And when they were here they spoke in dwarvish.” Bast simply nodded at this before replying “Thank you, we will help you make it home to your father.”

Agreeing to come back and search the house when everyone was fully rested, Bex took Innathia to a healer to have his wounds seen to. Meanwhile Bast escorted Hanus’s daughter home, carrying their fallen sister back to her father. Promising to come back when he knew more, Bast left them to grieve.

Refusing to be taken to a healer Innathia had Bex take him back to where he was staying, claiming that he could treat himself. Exhausted Bex agreed to no healers, but didn’t trust the Seraphim to not die on them if left alone, and took his slumbering form back to their camp. As Innathia continued to rest she sat near the fire waiting for Bast to return. A couple hours later a weary Bast arrived, sitting near the fire with a glazed look in his eyes. We were all tested tonight thought Bex, and she wasn’t sure if they had passed.

Day 4

The next day the group met up again at the slavers hideout. As they entered they noticed that everything had been left undisturbed, no one had entered since they were last here. Entering the tunnel with Innathia leading the way, Bast realized something was, odd. There was no light in the tunnel that he could see and yet he had perfect vision, he could clearly see Innathia stealthily scouting out the tunnel. While they waited for Innathia to return, he contemplated these changes, clearly the voice was responsible for the changes, but still it did not speak.

As Innathia crept along the tunnel, there was no discernable tracks. While no expert it was apparent that this tunnel was relatively new, and this was proven when he stumbled upon a new tunnel which was more developed and lead in either direction, one path leading east, the other west. After spending several minutes further investigating the cavern he doubled back to his team. This was getting more interesting by the day.

Bex was looking into the darkness that was the tunnel when Innathia’s form emerged out of the darkness. “What did you find?”

“The tunnel is new, it connects to a much older tunnel further in, but it splits in two heading east and west. The dwarf could have gone either way.” After speaking Innathia went up to the manacles along the wall inspecting them, that curious gleam in his eye as he appraised them. “We should investigate but go cautiously, there’s no way of knowing what’s down there.” He concluded off handedly.

The team took this in as they thought of what to do next. “I agree.” The group turned to look at Thrandiul, surprised at the elf’s words. Seeing the surprised looks Thrandiul glared back defensively, “What? I want these bastards to pay for what they’ve done, there is enough cruelty in the world without these slaving bastards making it worse.”

Nodding in agreement the group prepared to set out. But before they could Innathia asked out, “Wait, with our heritage we can see down there without a light source,” Nodding towards Thrandiul, “But what of you two? I’d like to keep from having to light a torch, further alerting whatever is down there.”

“I will be fine, and Bex can hold onto me. If anything comes up then we can make a light.” Bast said, not offering an explanation more than that.

“Fair enough” Innathia said looking at Bast curiously, “Let’s get started then. And this time lets to it a tad more quitter, eh?” At that he stealthily set out down the tunnel.

Following Innathia down the tunnel, the group decided to go west, discerning that it would lead further into the city. Not far from where they set out they noticed a second tunnel branch out but this time it led to what appeared to be a cave in.

“This must be where the goblins came from, so the dwarves were behind the Tiefling slaves.” Bast said.

Continuing heading west they came upon some stairs that lead up. Innathia motioned for quit as he walked up them until he came upon a bared grate that was lock. Picking the lock, he opened it and tried to see if he could notice anything. To his surprise he heard what was distinctly the bells going off at the cathedral to Norvel. Shocked by this revelation he slipped the grate back down and doubled back to his party.

“Were at the cathedral!” He whispered to the group. “The bloody cathedral!”
The group was quit as they considered this new revelation until Bast spoke up. “We should continue back the other way and see where that tunnel leads. If the Underbelly is working with Luhi we need to gather more information before hastily proceeding.”

Doubling back the group eventually found another set of stairs leading up, this time a bright was leaking through. Opening the grate and finding it unlocked they found themselves beyond the city walls, surrounded by stones that cleverly hid the gate.

“This must be how the goblins got in.” Thrandiul stated as he looked around. Perhaps he was wrong, there was obviously something bigger going on with the Underbelly and possibly the church of Norvel then he originally thought. Turning back to his party, “Well what next? An assault upon the most heavily armed church in the city?”

“I think we should first re asses our funds, see if we can get any better bear for this endeavor. Also, tonight is supposedly the night a guard goes missing. We promised Hank that we would look for his sister.” Innathia stated. “Not to mention I have a certain, delivery, I am waiting for.”

Bast and Bex considered this, noting the ragged state their gear was in they found themselves in agreement. “Very well, let’s be about it.”

For the next several hours the group set about fencing the items they had confiscated from their fights. Innathia leading them from one shady dealer to the next. Clearly his ties went deeper then both of them thought.

As the day neared its end the group decided to split up and watch the main guard patrols, remembering that Hank had said one of the guards would disappear and the other would wake up with no memory of what had happened. They split into two groups, Bex and Bast taking the Northern patrol, while Thrandiul and Innathia headed south.

Clinging to the shadows Bex and Bast were following two guards on their patrol. “Damn place gives me the chills.” Bex whispered to Bast.

Bast motioned for silence before whispering back. “These guys are on high alert, so try to keep it down because I don’t want to be accidently run through.” Chagrined at his reprimand Bex continued to mutter under her breath as the patrol continued along. Soon they made a turn and went out of sight, forced to move from their position Bast and Bex darted to the next building to catch up. Bast easily melded with the shadows, his time as a hunter in the desert giving him the skills to move stealthily. Bex unfortunately wasn’t as skilled, her lumbering form doing her best to keep low and stealthily. As she was rushing across the street a yell came out “Halt!”

The guards came rushing at her swords drawn. “What are you doing out at this time, were you tailing us?” the first guard responded brandishing his sword. He was clearly on edge and not happy with catching this giant foe stalking them in the middle of the night.

Caught at a crossroad Bex knew there was two ways she could handle this, easily take out the guards, or comply. But due to the nature of their mission she wasn’t sure if a fight was the best course. Breathing deeply to calm herself she addressed the guards. “Look, we are trying to help. We have heard that guards are going missing and we thought we could help. Do you know Hank? He sent us here to look for his sister.”

The guards continued to glare at her, and looked at each other and nodded. One put her sword away and brought out a pair of manacles. “If what you say is true, then you have nothing to hide and will come with us to be put in holding until we can determine the truth from lies.”

Bex felt the call of her axe, but sighed and lowered her arms. “Very well, but you are making a mistake.” She allowed herself to be manacled and let them lead her towards the prison. Still in the shadows Bast let out a long string of curses, but at least this way it narrowed down which guards to watch. They could free Bex in the morning. Decided he set out to catch up with Innathia and Thrandiul.

The pair sat on top of a rooftop, patiently watching the guards make their rounds. As they were watching they felt a presence coming upon them, “Hail Bast, where is Bex?” Not surprised that the pair had noticed him Bast settled down next to them. “She was arrested by the watch. We will have to retrieve her tomorrow, but now we know which set of guards to watch.”

“Well so far there’s been nothing exciting, this is a wasted evening.” Innathia said, “We could have had one of my people on this while we did something more productive.”

Just as he said this they heard something, someone was speaking in what was clearly magic, and with it both guards slumped to the ground. As soon as they hit the ground four hooded figures scampered over to them. Two picked up one of the sleeping guards while the other two stood guard.

“Well damn, this is why the other guard never remembers anything. We have to follow them.” Thrandiul said.

In agreement, the party stealthily followed the group. The hooded figures lead them to the wall to the zero district and seemingly walked right through the wall. “What? No one goes to the zero district!” Thrandiul whispered, “It must be a glamour, give me a second to divine what kind of magic is at work here.”

As he started casting, Bast was feeling along the wall and nearly fell onto his face as his hand passed through what seemed like a solid wall. “I think I found it.”
“Well that works too,” muttered Thrandiul.

“Wait!” whispered Innathia, “Should we continue without Bex? This could go bad really quick.”

“We have no choice, we must proceed. Whatever is happening to the guards they are never seen again. And it won’t be for another week that whoever is responsible will be out again.” Bast said, “We can handle this.”

“Very well,” said Thrandiul. With that the group slipped through the magical wall. On the other side what they saw shocked and appalled them…

View
May 16th, Session One.

Day 1

Bast Sa-Darr is hunting for information regarding The Underbelly, a group of slavers who are responsible for the death of his family and forcing him to work as a slave for five years. As he enters the Greedy Worm, a tavern located in the abandoned district, he immediately spots a group of five dwarves that he has never seen before. Bast slips Grygaa five silver, and asks who the dwarves are.

Grygaa looks at the money and then back at the human sitting at his bar. “No idea, they just came in yesterday.” Not forthcoming with any more information Grygaa walks off to attend to other customers.

Cursing under his breath Bast glances back at the dwarves and sees an empty table nearby. Moving so as to not attract attention Bast slips down at the table and continues to drink his beer, trying to get a better look at the group and possibly overhear anything. While listening in Bast notices a couple of the city guards talking to two mysterious figures, both of them features and speaking in low tones, nothing out of place in the Greedy Worm. Returning his focus back to the dwarves Bast sees some kind of marking on the lead dwarf, but it is obscured by his shirt, it seems familiar but Bast can’t place what it is. Deciding to see if the dwarves go anywhere Bast orders another round and continues to wait.

Across town, near the docks, Thrandiul sits down at the Snuggly Duckling, the only establishment in all of Port Durst that can manage to cook up a meal that was more than just commoner slop, barely. After berating the staff for their audacity for having a brunch special on a Wednesday, when everyone knows brunch is Sunday, Thrandiul notices a commotion happening outside, a large crowd and several of the city guards are making a ruckus, interrupting his meal and blocking the view of the sea. Angry but not caring enough to investigate Thrandiul continues to eat his breakfast, contemplating how to combat the boredom that this city seems to specialize in.

Bex pulled herself up onto the dock, smiling broadly and giving thanks to Riternal for his wondrous ocean. Realizing that her morning swim went longer than planned, Bex began to head to the Greedy Worm where she was supposed to meet Bast Sa-Darr. While on her way she noticed a large commotion near the church of Riternal. Bex lumbered over to see what was going on, easily pushing herself through the crowd, not sure if it was because of her giant stature or the great axe on her back, but she soon found herself witnessing a couple city guards putting the priest of Riternal in chains. Recognizing her friend Ket Bran-Kel being arrested Bex casually walked over to the guards who eyed her with apprehension.
“Is there trouble here gentlemen? What transgressions could a priest of Riternal have done to deserve to be put in chains, and his chapel boarded up?”

Still wary of the sea giant glowering over them the first guard spoke “This man is being arrested for speaking against Lord Luhi Ali-Eba, which is to speak against Norvel.”
Bex shifts her eyes from the guards to Ket, seeing nothing but defiance in his eyes she smiles to herself. “Well if he’s a trouble maker why don’t you give him to me, I swear for this man and will make sure he causes no harm.” As she spoke, Bexs put her hand on her great axe and standing to her full height.

The guards glanced at each other nervously, “Fine, but he’s your problem now and if word gets back to us that he’s up to his old ways then you will be seeing us again.”
As the guards walked away Bex turned her attention back to Ket, “What was that about? Are you going to be ok?”

Ket glances back at the church being bordered up and then back at Bex, “Yes I shall be fine, I would be lying if I said I didn’t see this coming.”

Bex laughs, “So what they said is true then? You are causing problems?”
Surprised by her levity Ket can’t help but smile too, “Yes what they say is true, but it is because I care for Port Durst that I speak out. Luhi is leading this city to ruin, all he cares for is power and will stop at nothing to get it. His praise of Norvel is just an excuse to do as he wants. He used to be a cleric of Riternal, back when we were young, but changed when an opportunity of advancement came. Now he uses the order as his own army.”

Bex looks back at the guards considering, “Well if you need help again, don’t hesitate to call for aid. Only a fool would tempt Riternal’s wrath, and know that you do not stand alone.” Ket smiles at Bex and thanks her for her help.

Having finished his morning chores Innathia deciding to check up on his contacts and see if any new developments had turned up, and there was no better place to do this then the Greedy Worm. Upon entering the Worm, he immediately noticed several new faces, such as the group of dwarves talking in low voices, and the cloaked figures talking to a couple of the guards. Interesting, very interesting. As he was ordering his ale he continued to scan the room, immediately noticing Bast Sa-Darr, a human Innathia had talked to on a couple of occasions, Bast was sitting at a table by himself situated between both of the peculiar parties, in what he assumed was supposed to be in a stealthy manner. Seeing in opportunity Innathia thanked Grygaa, who gave his usual scowl back, and walked over to sit next to Bast.

“Evening Bast, how’s the morning treating you?” Surprised by his sudden company Bast glanced up from his beer.

“Hello Innathia,” After taking another drink from his beer Bast leans forward and speaks to Innathia in a low tone. “What can you tell me of the dwarves? Grygaa says they just got in yesterday.”

Knowing that Bast had been in town looking for information regarding The Underbelly for several months, it was an easy connection for Innathia to make that he suspected these dwarves of being part of the organization. “At the moment, nothing. But give me some time and I will get my contacts and network on it. Someone out there knows something. I’ll get back to you when I have more information.” Innathia finished his beer and left.

Deciding that he was tired of waiting, Bast decided to take a more upfront approach. He stood up and stumbled over to the dwarves acting drunker then he was.

“Evening gentlemen! Don’t see many dwarves in Port Durst, Hail and well met! What bring you to this corner of the world?” Slurring over his words and swaying as he spoke.

The dwarves glanced at each other and then back at the drunken human at their table. The dwarf who looked to be the leader of the group spoke back in common. “Were camel traders, and if you don’t mind this is a private party. So, we suggest you move on.” As he said this Bast noticed the other dwarves putting hands on their weapons.

“Ah well happy trading then.” Embarrassed and angry that he wasn’t able to find anything out Bast ordered another beer and sat back down.

While brooding over his beer, Bex sat down next to Bast.
Deciding not to chastise her for her lateness, knowing she would have a good explanation Bast welcomed her as she sat down. “Hail Bex, how has your day been?”

Bex noticed the tension in Bast’s voice, but wasn’t sure what had him on edge. “It’s been an interesting one but I can tell you later. How has your morning been?”

Instead of responding Bast gave a subtle nod to the Dwarves behind him. Bex looked over and raised her brown in understanding. “Anything new to tell?”

Bast shook his head. “Innathia is on it.”

Nodding again Bex left it at that, Innathia specialized on information so something should turn up sooner rather than later.

“What about you? How was your swim?” Bex then proceeded to tell Bast what had happened near the docks at the Church to Riternal.

“Do you think the guards are going to come back? We can go over and keep an eye on him?” Bast had met Ket a couple of times and he always seemed an honest man.

Bex glanced toward the door, concern clearly visible on her face. “He said he would be all right and that he had people who could hide him if things took a turn for the worse. But it couldn’t hurt to go look.” Glad to be away from the dwarves Bast and Bex began heading out towards where Ket was staying.

While on their way to Kets there was a large commotion, smoke was rising a from a couple of blocks away and screams could be heard. Bast and Bex immediately set off towards the noise, at the site of the commotion they found a giant sink hole. Several dead bodies were laying near hole but no sign of what had caused it. The first people Bast and Bex saw was Innathia, crossbow in hand stealthy approaching the site. He looked back and saw them coming up and nodded but motioned for caution.

“What is this infernal racket!” Glancing back, they saw a Nephilim Wizard striding brazenly down the street. At this provocation, a loud screech went up as four goblins climbed out of the sink hole brandishing shields and scimitars.

Bex let out a loud yell and rushed the creatures, taking a swing for the nearest one but missing as her axe smashed into the goblins shield. At this moment Innathia’s crossbow went off with a twang, impaling in a goblins mouth. The spoke arcane syllables and cold frost played across his hand as a ray of ice shot out killing another of the attackers.

Rushing at one of the remaining goblins Bast took a thrust with his spear, lighting playing across the blade. Unfortunately, missing as the goblin swung down and slashed at his legs.
Thrandiul spoke more arcane syllables and another blast shot out taking out another goblin. Bex screamed in triumph as her axe finally connected with the last goblin splitting it down the middle.

Panting from the skirmish Bast and Bex turned to their new allies, appraising the Nephilim in their midst. “Hail and well met friends, what is going on here?” Bast asked, looking between the rare sighting of a Seraphim and Nephilim together.

“No idea, I saw the smoke rising up and decided to investigate when you guys arrived.” Innathia quickly replied. “But I do know that more of these bastards are running around the town as we speak.”

Appraising his new companions and finding them wanting, Thrandiul introduced himself and bade the party on before he would have to sit and talk to these commoners. But keeping an eye on Innathia.

Following the sound of screams, the party quickly came upon another set of goblins laughing manically as they continued to stab the corpse of a dead dog. Innathia stepped up and shot out a blast of lighting from his mace, leaving only a pile of smoking corpses. Impressed the party moved on.

Continuing towards the sound of screams they found themselves witnessing a man trying to fight off four goblins defending what looked to be his home. Not waiting to ask questions Bex gave another roar and charged the goblins, eager to wet her axe again. Cleaving one goblin through the side, it let out a loud yell before being cut in half. As Bex distracted the goblins Innathia took another shot at the goblins, putting a bolt through the skull of a goblin who was still focused on the man by the door.

Bast leapt at a goblin near him, stabbing with his spear as lighting played along the weapon. Stabbing it through the throat the goblins cry was cut short as it gargled blood. The final goblin was casually blasted by a ray of frost by Thrandiul, looking thoroughly bored and angry at the goblins for wasting his time.

The man who was being assaulted rushed over to thank them for delivering him from the goblins, and that he and his three daughters were in their debt.

With the fighting done the group properly introduced themselves to each other and decided where to proceed from here. Bast, still slightly drunk from his stakeout of the tavern and needing to tend his wounds took Thrandiul up on his offer to rest at manor he was staying at, for a price. Bex and Innathia decided to go investigate the sinkhole and see if they could find the source of the goblins, and possibly find out why none of the city guards had come to aid the citizens.

At the sinkhole Innathia and Bex located several Tiefling corpses, and a strange black stone.

“Bast will want to hear about the slaves, he may be right that The Underbelly is here.”
Innathia continued to study the black stone but was unable to find anything out about it. Moving next to Bex he looked down at the corpses, “This is a day full of strange events. Notice that the tunnel where this hole originates from heads west? That means whoever is behind this attack is within the city already. We should continue west and see if we can locate the source.”

Figuring she could tell Bast about the slaves later Bex agreed. Together they headed out west eventually meeting with the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Bex climbed down the rocks, looking for any sign of a cave or tunnel. Finding none the two decided to call it a day and parted company.

Day 2.

The following day Bast continued his surveillance upon the dwarves, knowing that something was off about them. Not feeling like donating another five silver to Grygaa, Bast simply ordered a beer and tried to see if he could get a better look at the mark on the lead dwarf. The dwarf was talking to his subordinates, Bast hearing them talk of new product in dwarfish, as he shifted and finally Bast caught a look at the mark. The Underbelly. Bast had to take a second to calm himself and not rush the dwarves right there, knowing that he was outnumbered and could expect no help from any of the other patrons of the tavern. Bast finished his beer, and calmly got up and left in search for Innathia to see if he had gotten more information, but first he needed Bex.

Innathia was halfway through his chores when there was a bang on the door. Surprised at the intrusion Innathia cautiously opened the door to see Bast and Bex standing outside. “What in the nine hells are you guys doing here? How do you even know where I live?” Before either of them could answer Innathia held up his hand silencing them. “Make this quick and then get out.”

“We have found them; The Underbelly are in Port Durst. Have your informants found anything out yet? We can’t attack them at the tavern, we need to know where their hide out is.” Bast whispered to Innathia in a rushed tone, barely able to keep his anger in check. Six months of looking for any clue and now five Underbelly turn up all at once, an opportunity like this wouldn’t turn up again.

Innathia noted the tenseness in Bast’s posture, this human better not do anything foolish. “It has only been one day; the dwarves are careful and my people have not turned up anything yet. But the black-market won’t like the thought of slavers working in their turf. Give me more time, when we know more the Underbelly will have nowhere to hide.”
Bast was quite for a moment, “Two days, find out what you can in two days. If nothing turns up then I will march into the tavern and slay them, with or without your help.”
Innathia pondered this, knowing that two days was not enough time to play this out how he wanted. Nothing worse than a rushed plan, easy way to get us, and more importantly, me killed. Sighing Innathia replied, “Very well, but don’t do anything foolish until we know more.”
Bast nodded halfheartedly, clearly still considering simply going off to fight. “Fine, two days.” At that Bast turned and left. Bex looked at Bast and then to Innathia and gave a small frown shrugging apologetically and followed Bast.

As Bex caught up to Bast she asked, “Isn’t there a spell or something you can use to find the dwarves? I’ve heard talk of scrying spells and the such. Maybe the can, I don’t know, find their hide out or where they are stealing people.”
“You know it doesn’t work that way, the spells I have are only for combat and I lack the arcane knowledge to learn anything else.” Bast stopped walking. “But, that wizard Thrandiul might be convinced to help us.”

Thrandiul wasn’t at the town house he was renting but while they were searching for him they saw a scuffle between several of the guards. Breaking it up, they met a guard named Hank Ma-Ebba, who was upset because of the missing guards. Seemingly vanishing out of nowhere like clockwork. One of the missing guards was his sister. Agreeing to help them if they were able to turn up any news on his sisters’ whereabouts. Unable to find out anything regarding the Underbelly or Hank’s sister, the two decided to call it a night and returned to their camp outside the city.

Day 3

Despite his best effort, he couldn’t forget Bat and Bex’s intrusion the day before. Who did they think they were? There were rules, albeit loose, easily bended rules, to how you conduct business in the black market, and rule number one was that you don’t jeopardize your contacts cover! Never mind them, first he needed to check in on his operatives and then he would figure out what kind of bill they would get. Some of the best informants the city had to offer was the street urchins off the street, easily overlooked and forgotten, their loyalty could be easily bought with the promise of food for day. Innathia was heading towards a back alley in the abandoned district that he knew was a favored gathering place of the street urchins who generally stayed together for safety. As he turned the corner he saw a boy sitting in the alley. “Hail Haishi, what news today?” Noticing Innathia the boy smiled and give out a sharp whistle, seemingly coming out of the woodworks children appeared in the alley swarming Innathia. He smiled and joked with the kids, handing them the sack he had brought with him that contained supplies for them. When the majority of the kids ran off with their prize he turned back to Haishi.
“What news young friend?”
Haishi looked hesitant to speak. “Nothing yet sir, but…. I don’t know if we can continue.”
Innathia frowned and knelt down in front of Haishi. “We have a deal Haishi, you’ve never shirked a job before, what changed?”
At this Haishi almost broke down. “It’s Hamil, he hasn’t come home. He was tailing the dwarves the night before.”
Innathia sighed and put his hand on Haishi’s shoulder. “Say no more, I will look into it. Don’t try and tail the dwarves again, but look into other matters. People have gone missing the last several months, if you find anything come to me. And don’t worry about Hamil, I will find him.” Haishi gave a nod, appreciating his words but know the cruel reality of their lot.

A couple of hours later Innathia stood in a dark alley not too far from the Greedy Worm, young Hamils body abandoned, eyes staring into the distance, a large gash cut into his chest. Innathia gave a prayer to the gods and closed the boy’s eyes. Standing back up Innathia headed out to look for Bast and Bex.

While this was going on, Bex was approached by Hansu, the man they had saved during the goblins attack. He told her that one of his daughters had gone missing, and that neither of her sisters knew where she had gone. This wasn’t the first time she had heard of people disappearing in the city, Bex vowed to help in any way she could.

The full party was assembled before the Greedy Worm, intent on staking out the tavern and trail the dwarves. When he was contacted by Innathia, Bast immediately noted his changed demeanor, something had occurred but he wasn’t sure what. Either way he finally had the allies he needed to get to the bottom of this. Either the dwarves would lead them to their lair, or they kill them in the streets, or hopefully both.
As the evening wore on they saw the two guards head out first, a false alarm. But it had drawn out Bast enough that he was out of position as one of the dwarves walked out and froze, looked around and went back in. A few moments later the same dwarf left the in and headed North.
“Bex and I will tail the dwarf, the rest of you see if any others head out. This could be a decoy, because of my blunder they are probably on to us.” Bast and Bex set off tailing the first dwarf.

As Innathia and Thrandiul waited another dwarf came out and headed South. The two ignored him, figuring that the true catch would be the last dwarf to leave. A few more minutes went by and another dwarf left, heading West. And then another East. Figuring that this would be the last to leave Innathia set out to follow him. Thrandiul simply leaned against the wall in plain sight smoking his pipe.

As Innathia left, Thrandiul contemplated simply heading home. How did he always get dragged along on these fool errands? Just as he was thinking this the dwarf that was clearly the leader of the group stepped out and looked directly at Thrandiul. Taking another drag from his pipe, Thrandiul nodded in greeting to the dwarf. Caught off guard by a Nephilim standing outside the tavern, the dwarf nodded back and then went South. Looks like this may be worth my time after all Thrandiul thought.

The dwarf that went north didn’t take long into turning into a corner, as Bast and Bex followed him the dwarf was waiting for them in an alley, great axe ready.
“We going to do this?” He asked brandishing his axe.
Bex rushed the dwarf taking a swing at him, ready for such an attack the dwarf blocked her first strike with his axe. Immediately following up with an attack of his own. Unable to dodge Bex took a blow to her side. As Bex went in, Bast also brought forth his hand, shooting eldritch power at the dwarf wounding him. Before the dwarf could react Bex kneed the dwarf in the face knocking him to the ground, followed by a downward cleave that nearly took of the dwarf’s arm.
“Wait!” Bast shouted as Bex prepared for the killing blow. “Tie him up, he may have answers.”
Luckily Bex hadn’t entered the frenzy state she normally went into during combat and pulled her last blow. They tied up the dwarf and carried him back towards the Tavern.

Innathia followed the dwarf to the docks, where he took out his pipe and proceeded to smoke. Cursing for being lead on a fool’s errand Innathia quickly doubled back to the Tavern.

The lead dwarf continued heading south, eventually stopping outside the residence where their fight had ended with the goblins. As he sat watching him in the shadow, the dwarf pulled out a set of pipes and started to play a haunting toon. Soon the window opened and two girls came through the window, seemingly in a trance they scaled down and proceeded to follow the dwarf. Not a development he expected, Thrandiul continued following until the dwarf came upon a derelict building in the abandoned district. When the dwarf and the two girls went inside, Thrandiul set out back towards the tavern.

As Thrandiul returned Bast and Bex were already there with an unconscious bound dwarf, the giant showing signs of battle. They were in a heated debate with Innathia, trying to determine what to do next. Taking out his pipe, Thrandiul proceeded to smoke some more, waiting for them to finish.

“I doubled back as fast as I could, so that means that other dwarf is probably still at the dock. If we act fast they will be down a man.”
“We won’t know anything until the dwarf wakes up, until then we must simply wait.” Bast kicked the unconscious dwarf, seeing if it would wake him up. “Considering Bex’s strength that may be a while.”
“If any one bothered to ask me, I could tell you exactly where their base is.” Every one stopped to look at the Nephilim, seeming to have forgotten he was there. Smirking, know he had their attention now, “The dwarfs are in a building in the abandoned district. That lead dwarf who wears too much cologne went back to where he fought the last of the goblins and somehow lured two girls out. In a zombie like state they followed him to the building. If we go now they are surely still there.”
“Should we still wait and see what this dwarf knows? He may know a secret way in.” As Bast asked the question, Innathia bent down and slit the dwarfs throat.
“Well shall we be off?”

The group stood outside the building trying to scope it out, from what they could tell there was only one way in. Pressed for time the party forsook stealth and burst through the door. Seeing no one immediately inside the party fanned out, noting stairs leading up and another set leading down to a closed door. Deciding to investigate the cellar first. Walking down the grouped looked at each other, each giving a nod of readiness. Bex gripped the handle and opened up the door….

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