Rounding up the aftermath of the battles to hold the line at the sinkhole, the heroes got word from Captain Marvello of the city guard. Apparently, Ordo Magica would be in charge of setting up an investigation and an expedition regarding the attack from the Underworld. This was confirmed by Kullinan af Furia as the heroes went to the Ordo Magica headquarters. “Come back 4 hours from now and you will participate in the debate of the forthcoming expedition. Your previous experience and success may be crucial to our cause.” So be it.
The battles had been fierce and the friends were resting yet again at Welf’s place. For the second time this day there was a knock on the door and a secret note. Welf’s place was certainly in the limelight.
The note smelled of ambush but the heroes geared up and broke camp to challenge it. As they came to the alley it was indeed an ambush with six archers positioned on 2nd level higher ground for advantage (+2 attacks and +1d4 damage), and two secret doors with four onrushing troopers carrying spears and bows. Obodan and Alaric discovered one of the secret doors so the moment of surprise was certainly limited.
The fight was intense and lasted almost half our session. Whip almost got killed, stuck in the archers’ crossfire and hit with 5 arrows. But his excellent armor rolls and low damage at 4 a piece he managed to stay alive at 2 hit points. Alaric’s, Welf’s and Obodan’s heavy blows killed three enemies in just 2 rounds and the fight started to come under control. As they charged the stairs behind the secret doors to engage the archers, the fight slowed down and one enemy fled (Welf lost him in the crowds) and three surrendered.
The three surrendering thugs were interrogated and stripped of their weapons. Somebody had hired them at the shabby tavern Rosengard. They got paid 2 golden coins in advance and would pick up another 8 this midnight. The heroes decided to go there after the meeting with Ordo Magica.
The meeting at Ordo Magica included some real high brass. The Chaptermaster Cornelio, the Mistress Eufrynda, Kullinan af Furia, the Mayor Nattbäcka, and the Prior of the Black Coats, Emundi.
Above: Kullinan af Furia, at least a hundred years old and still a power inside Ordo Magica.
The heroes were asked why they should lead the expedition? Could they name 3 arguments? Indeed they replied: 1) We hold our front by the sink hole (Arconio); 2) we have a great track record of beating abominations (Alaric and Obodan); and 3) We are better than everyone else! (Welf of course!) The deal was sealed where in the PCs promised that all goods and information found during the expedition down in the sink hole would belong to, and be retributed to, Ordo Magica. Ordo Magica would also add one person to the expedition to monitor the progress. A certain Ganderald who in turn was clear on staying in a passive role and aiding from behind the front line.
Above: Ganderald will join the expedition to monitor the developments underground.
The leaders were keen to get the expedition going, but the heroes wanted to go to Rosengard at midnight to try and find the mastermind behind the ambush earlier. They would start their expedition at dawn. They went to Welf’s place for a make-over trying to look like thugs, adding some dirt to their clothing and torn strips of cloth to hide their heavy armor. As they entered Rosengard tavern it was empty all but for four city guards that were drinking to forget the horrors earlier. The tavern keeper was standing asleep but woke up as the heroes poured five golden coins at him. He acknowledged that a woman fitting that description hd been there yesterday night and had been sitting in the corner with a group of thugs that seemed out of her place. They talked low so he was not able to pick up any details. Dead end.
They went back to Welf’s place and finally got their good night’s sleep. At dawn they got ready and approached the sink hole. Ganderald was punctual and Captain Marvello offered them helmets with small oil burning lanterns for light. Two heavy ropes were fastened and let down the 40 meter shaft. The first rope contained Arconio-Obodan-Ganderald in said order. The second rope contained Welf-Alaric-Whip in said order. Ganderald was clear on taking the rear position.
As they landed on the rubble of all the destroyed buildings and houses that went down in the sink hole, they were very lucky with their search. They could estimate and calculate the approximate location of the tavern where they had met with Anadea yesterday noon (Intelligence and Spot checks). Arconio rolled perfect “1” for Spot. After a while they found the sign of the tavern and continuing digging now in concentrated format they found her dead bodie after a while. They also found some interesting stuff. A belt pouch containing a key of advanced craftsmanship. Not for the simple house door obviously. A medallion of a sun symbol. A golden pearl with a peculiar pattern around it. The pouch also contained a secret compartment with a note:
Welf checked his Knowledge ability and while the writing was in fully comprehensible Ambrian, the letters had an Elven style over them. The signed name “Teara-Téana” was of Elven heritage. Welf also investigated the golden pearl and could identify it as a Stone of Thoughts, an artifact giving the bearer the possibility to use telepathy to communicate with one or more connected persons. Welf felt a sudden urge to connect to the pearl and so he did. 1d8 of corruption hit him for 6 points! Aouch! Welf were stung as his treshhold was at 5. He immediately gained 1d4 permanent corruption points and rolled for 2. (8 total as 6+2).
Welf had set up a link but someone in the other end was silent. Welf felt a sudden cold, then outright hostility. Fearing that the enemy was in the other end Welf immediately broke the link.
The friends arranged a two file marching order and continued down the sink hole and entering the dark underworld. Water was sippering down all over and they could hear and then see streams and rivers that gave life to allege and mushrooms this far underneath the surface. They ventured further and found some housing caves. Weapons of poor quality and some coins and spoils of poor wayfarers were scattered all over. Welf found a medallion of worth (120 golden coins) and quickly put it inside his vest. Ganderald didn’t see him but Alaric surely did and twinkled his eye at Welf, probably wanting half of the value later.
There was a sudden breeze of air and sound of trickling water. “Lets go there” said Arconio. “Running water is a good sign”. They went further North and could hear a soft hissing noise. They stopped. From a pool of water in front of them, huge 5 meter lizards came at them in terrible speed. Several of the heroes were surprised! (Obodan and Alaric) This fight would be to the death!
“Watch out they are probably poisonous!” shouted Whip before commanding his weapons.
Dialogue of the session: (Alaric) “Welch, you nobleman.” (Welf) “My name is Welf, not Welch, and Im not a nobleman. Im a barbarian!” :-) LOL