Dining on Ashes

Fear Lurks in the Streets, pt II

Fleeing the warehouse with Waymil as a hostage, our heroes hole up in an abandoned building in the Rose District. They question the gnome and learn that he was a mercenary hired by Nashton Stitch, who was the thief leading the warehouse job. Not having any more information, Kothar steals his Brooch of Shielding, Bill steals his hat, and Waymil is knocked unconscious. Henry then goes to test the purple fluid, and the rest of the team rests up after a long night.

After a few hours in the lab, Henry determines the substance to be a component to facilitate a magical binding, either in a spell or magical device. That morning, the team goes to investigate Blintz’s boarding house. Rosie and Kothar check out Stitch’s room, while everyone else either stakes out the outside or goes to the Squeaky Wheel. Kothar fast talks the landlady and Rosie picks the better-than-a-cheap-boarding-should-have lock. Inside, they discover a case containing papers. These papers outline the plan to rob the warehouse, and detail schematics on some sort of device. Oddly, they both seem to be written in two different, but very similar, hands. Then, from under the bed, slithers an iron cobra. They hold off the construct, with Kothar taking a bite full of poison, until Nakai and Grimloc show up. The cobra is then smashed to bits. A key spills out of its innards, marked with the seal of the Church of the Verdant Miasma.

Leaving the boarding house, Our Heroes notice something strange about an ale delivery. The ale smells suspiciously like alchemist’s fire and an ominous ticking is coming from one of the barrels. Rosie and Bill recognize the brewery as a Thieves Guild front. While everyone else evacuates the area, Grimloc gathers the barrels back on the cart, drives it to the docks, unlatches the horses and pushes the cart into the bay. It explodes in a gout of flame and steam, singeing Grimloc and leaving everyone thrilled by his heroics.

Kothar, Rosie, Chaska, and Bill go to Armitage Lolly to inquire about the schematics. Lolly informs recognizes the plans as a device he was hired to construct just days ago. Not naming names, the alchemist implies the client was Nashton Stitch. The PCs inform him that Stitch suffered a nasty accident involving multiple wolf bites, but offer to pay Lolly to finish the machine.

Meanwhile, Henry and Grimloc return to Henry’s shop to investigate the key. It’s identified as used by the Church for private cells withing the temples. Members would often use them for solitude. While there, a messenger knock on the door. Someone is asking to meet the group to discuss “the business of a mutual friend” at a time and place of their choosing. It is signed by a mark of the Thieves Guild.

Meanwhile, again, the city’s three Green Dragon churches are investigated. Henry, Rosie, and Kothar all lurk about in acolyte’s robes, eventually narrowing down the correct church. There, Kothar confronts the head priest, Father Tobin Janos. Janos, who, as it quickly becomes obvious, ritualistically inhales dragonstone vapor, tells the sorcerer to come back later, with his friends, to take “the Dragon’s Test.”

Our Heroes confer, deciding to meet with the Guild first, then deal with Green Dragons. A meeting is set up at the Hooded Hat, a moderately well-to-do tavern except for the still smoking hole in its roof. (That’s a story for another day…) The group arrives early, with Bill off to the side, in disguise. Not long after, a well dressed halfling enters to the warm greeting of some of the patrons. The halfling introduces himself as Benny Five-Points. Bill recognizes him as the man responsible for his old gang’s betrayal and murder. Benny offers the PCs some small talk and a meal on him, then gets down to business. Nashton Stitch was working on his own, not on any Guild business. He survived the warehouse, but is unconscious and in the Watch’s custody. Benny apologizes for the bomb attempt earlier today, it was the response of some of his more impetuous colleagues. Now that his cooler head is in charge of the matter, cleaning up Stitch’s mess will be smoother. He makes it clear that there is no ill will between the Guild and the group. Benny does not know what Stitch’s goal was, only that he was an orphan raised by the Green Dragons and that he’s seemed more distant and weird the past few months. He would appreciate any information the PCs could give him. The group is less than committal, deciding to use their own judgment on what they tell Benny in the future. Bill, fuming, follows Benny out. When Five-Points hops into is carriage, their eyes meet and Benny delivers a tip of his hat and a curt “William.” Vengeance is vowed.

The group then enters the Church. They find Janos in his office, breathing dragonestone vapors from a shallow bowl. He tells them that a convergence of fate has brought them all here, but that they needed to pass the Dragon’s Test. He would lead them to what Stitch was hiding here, but that this was all bigger than that. Fate needed to know if they were the right people in the right place at the right time.

Janos leads them to an underground chamber. Entering this large, circular room a door slams down behind Our Heroes, locking them in. Then, from a pool in the room’s center, leaps a creature, it’s maw of teeth narrowly missing Grimloc. A mighty melee then ensues with the chanber’s guardian, a giant half-dragon crocodile. The fight is bloody, the beast’s acid breath scorches Chaska, Nakai, and Grimloc. Bill scores the final blow against the monster, piercing its lung with his rapier.

Flushed with victory, the group opens Stitch’s cell. It was used by him as a supply dump and vault. In addition to various treasures, the PCs find: achemetical grenades with the draconic symbol for “ice”, a scroll of “Cone of Cold”, a collection of clay tables with the mark of The Sleeper, more writings in the two hands, a fist-sized chunk of clear crystal dragonstone wrapped in a cloth of the Ulhar Tribe, and a map with a point to the North marked…

Comments

I have to figure out how to do these shorter.

Fear Lurks in the Streets, pt II
TomK

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