Shadows and Dust

A New Adventure
View
Extermination

Everyone took a breather. Having dealt with the current problem, everyone wanted to take their time and make sure nothing was broken beyond repair.

Felix noticed a smaller, nimbler troglodyte watching them, and even though he was wounded, took off after it. Everyone else made to move as well, but Numer Beat them to it. Standing and taking a few quick strides, he scorched the little bugger off the planet.

The exploration continued for again after a few moments, and shortly they came across a large, wide room. Inside, peering at them, were a large number of the smaller scouting beasts. After only a moment’s pause, the entire horde of them surged forward.

Though numerous, they were defeated handily and with few wounds suffered, mostly by the exuberant and fervent Izzhy.

The mustard smell of the caverns had become pervasive, wherever they went, now, it smelled no different. They followed Bren, who’d made the suggestion that cutting the bridged to divide the forces would be a sound tactical option and happened to know his way around underground, through varying directional and audio clues.

Traversing the caverns around the outer ring of the Troglodyte’s lair, eventually they were in the audience room, where the large, red Chieftain had taken them. It was empty and smelled intensely of mustard.

Shortly after they ran head long into a patrol, both sides taken aback. The fighting began swiftly. Numer dropped a wall of fog across the center of the room, cutting off the enemy Impalers From the other side. The Impalers rode Lizard Warbeasts, and charging forward, started heaving their javelins all about. Felix was pressed further into the caverns by one of the beasts, and suffered greatly, but this patrol, as the others, was defeated.

A number of other fights broke out as they traversed the nearly empty halls of the caverns. While all were overcome, as the days wore on, they became more and more prepared. It began with rubble barricades, and later, set ambush positions. Now it was the invaders for whom the Trogs were preparing. Most notably, at the last bridge that they destroyed, a set of Lizard Warbeast mounted ballista were awaiting them should they attempt to cross.

Making their way back they came across the Gimmla translator from days ago. He was seated on the old throne of the Troglodyte Chieftain.

The Gimmla, carrying his own unguents now, informed the group that the rest of the Gimmla were waiting on the other side of the chasm, poised to attack the Troglodytes when battle was joined. He also informed them that the majority of the Troglodytes had pulled back across the chasm, and were prepared to receive them. The passage around the tip of the Crevasse would be guarded, he said, but it was the only feasible way through.

Bren, Curious, asked about the bridges to the south, and why they were there, and if they were there, could they not cross them, to which Gimmla replied that those passages beyond to the south were not used, even in the Gimmla time. No one who ever went in that direction ever came back. The bridges, he said, had been there long before the Gimmla, the Troglodytes, and any of the other creatures down there.

The decision was made, however, to traverse the unknown evil over the realm of the immense, known evil. Gimmla merely shrugged and started off to show them the way.

They were close, when, passing through another of the abandoned Hovel-villages, the spotted a number of the smaller creatures flitting outside of sight. Just as the group moved in, bolts of green darkness shot out from between two of the huts. The trap had been sprung, and both sides were ready.

The fight was quick and brutal, with the Troglodytes putting up a spirited, though ultimatly futile resistance. Numer in particular destroyed most of the hovels nearby with massive amounts of fire-based spells.

After the fight, the Gimmla Alchemist led them to a damp, dark tunnel that wound off into the darkness.

“This is were I go no further,” the Alchemist said “I will meet you on the other side”

View
A Simple Skirmish

Numer joined the group slightly after lunch at Roses. Izzy explained how she intended to handle the situation: like a hammer applied to glass. She wants to wipe them out to a man. They debated the best ideas on how to attack, and a quick, sudden strike was decided to be the best option.

At least, no one objected.

Siam came shortly after Numer arrived and lead them to the forward base that they were instructing. There, Komming, another Sewer Rat, was placing doors on the three-tunneled entry way that Numer had first stumbled upon. He told them that their forward base would be here and that there would be a runner here at all hours. He said they would not wait on the group hand and foot, but if the need arose, the Sewer Rats will pull through.

Numer laughed.

They passed into the tunnels again, moving swiftly. The ground they covered was empty. The only sign of life they encountered was around a corner down the hall-a small Troglodyte ran, and then disappeared into the darkness and light musk. The tunnels were empty.

Shortly after the encounter with the runner, they came across the alchemical Gimmla. The discussion was short. He knew why they were here, and while he couldn’t necessarily approve, he didn’t alert the Troglodyte carrying his gear.

Continuing onward, they came around a corner and almost ran smack into two Troglodytes pushing a cart down a hall. Both groups paused for a moment, shocked at discovering each other. Except Bren. With a smooth voice and without a break in his stride, not caring that they could not understand what he said, he greeted them and walked up the the one closest him. Just a second behind, realizing what was going to happen, Arkh roared and ran forward at the other Troglodyte. Bren, slick as a greased adder, drew his elven knife from his side and in one smooth motion yanked it up and around, plunging it into the neck of the Troglodyte right under the jawbone, killing him instantly. At the same time, Arkh managed to grab the second in an agonizing bear hug, plunging his bladed gauntlet into his heart from his back and also slaying him instantly.

No one else had moved. Arkh realized the danger this possessed to them as an acrid stench started filling the area, and threw one of the glass-and-steel vials that Dealdru had provided him only days earlier, dispersing the scent in a cloud of ammoniated gas.

The cart the Troglodyte were pushing contained a number of 3’ lengths of Kimpar Wood, nothing more.

Quickly they continued down the halls, making for the caverns closest to the gaping maw of the Great Crevasse, hoping to cut the bridges and keep one side from reinforcing the other.

The hallway opened after turning the corner, revealing a grisly scene. A pile of meat, once humans or humanoids, was thrown in the middle of the room. Munching happily on the remains were four lizards. Each one reached about 7’ at the shoulder, had a wide, smooth back, and a long, thick tail. Attached to the tail were six short blades, perhaps from daggers, and on the stomach and throat were lashed lengths of flattened Kimpar Wood. Behind them, two small Troglodytes seemed to rest, with one standing as they entered, concerned with the beasts. One had snapped at the other while eating, and their anger was almost-visible. Neither of the Troglodyte noticed the interlopers.

With a silent accord, the group moved in for the kill. Each of them attacked the Troglodytes and ignored the larger lizards. Arkh waited, prepared to counter attack, but all the power of the rest of the four could not bring down both the Troglodytes, and, as a mustard smell permeated the room, the battle was joined in earnest by the Lizards. One of the Handlers was taken down swiftly, the other took a bit more effort. Then, all that was left was the large lizards, and though they were durable, each beast was eventually felled.

View
Of Puppet Masters and Demon Spawn

Returning to Hilea, each person had their own agendas to pursue that evening. Having slept little while underground, they were all a bit weary, yet each had tasks they needed to accomplish.

Arkh headed straight to Rose’s, where he asked Lesinia to keep her head down for a while. He gave her some gold and made his way out, heading to the Alabaster Bottle.

Bren, having heard that Felix was aiming to sell a sword, mentioned that he might have a buyer and they headed over to Taiesh’s The Elven Blade. Bren made comments about starting a little commerce with the Gimmla, including the Ironwood, to which Taiesh seemed very enthusiastic. Felix then came forward and talked to Taiesh about the sword. Taiesh agreed to find a buyer for the sword for 100g, a hefty sum in this city of the poor.

Bren and Felix then left, with Bren heading back to Rose’s. He went across the road to Kaydin’s blacksmith, and mentioned the Ironwood again. Kaydin showed some interest if he could get his hands on it.

Felix stayed at Rose’s with Leland and Izzy. Leland, who had not impressed Lesinia, now had a large flagon of Rockhammer Ale and was trying hard to seduce Rose, deep at work, while Izzy fumed.

Izzy had returned to the Rose’s after heading to the Temple of Water Everlasting. At the main library of the temple, she had found what was eluding her-more information on Gragganik and the Demon Frog. After learning their origins and agenda, she has steeled herself to do what must be done.

Leland, having also decided that the Church might be…willing to lend its financial backing to the endeavor, stumbled upon Izzy as she was leaving and he was entering. Leland followed along as she ranted about all the transgressions against Nera from both beings, and stomped back to the Rose’s to wait for the others.

After speaking with Lesinia, Arkh headed, trunk full of Troglodyte glands in tow, to the Alabaster Bottle. Dealdru was pleased with the take, asked him for more, and paid him handsomely. As Arkh turned to leave Bren showed up, and there was some talk about local times, and what was going on, and Bren was given three cherry-tomato sized red globules. Together they returned to Rose’s.

Once there, Izzy related the story of the Demon-spawn. Her resolve had been steeled, and she was determined to wipe out the Troglodytes. Bren sent a runner out for a Sewer Rat to speak with. While they waited, dinner was served and a passed out Leland did not get to feast.

The emissary, a thin man, tall and mustached, with beady eyes and a calm demeanor, arrived shortly after dinner. He carried a large sack. As they talked about what happened and what was going to happen he became slightly more pleasant, but never warm. He mentioned creating a forward base of operations for them in the sewers, that would be readily available for them if they needed it, and left the sack with them. It contained some choice prizes and a pouch of 700 gold, payment for a job well done.

Numer had gone home and started to document what was going on. He started with a map, and working then on notes of events past. As soon as he arrived there was a note, stamped in wax, with a marionette. Numer’s response was simple: “we need to meet.”

The returned answer, delivered by a Flesh puppet, was to meet then; now was as good of time as any. He followed the flesh puppet through the alleys and back ways, into Back Alley and eventually to the wooden castle. There he was let in and greeted by The Puppet Master, who spoke through his various puppets, each one in turn as it seemed to do something. They discussed the Troglodytes, their menace, and what was to be done. The Puppet Master handed Numer a map, granted him access to his vast library if needed, thanking him for his assistance, and asking to be called upon if he ever needed assistance of his own.

Returning to his house, Numer penned away his notes and map. He went to bed and returned to Rose’s in mid afternoon.

View
The Gimmla

The large, brutish Troglodytes were easily dispatched. The first one fell to flame and the second to a combination of Leland and Bren’s quick moves around the beasts.

During the fighting, the smell they gave off had changed from sickening to sickly sweet without a discernible reason. After the fight, the market, seemingly inexplicably, had emptied. nothing seemed to have prompted it, and the bridge on the other side of the caver was rolled up and placed carefully near the cliffs edge. The carts were all still there, and they were sealed up well, each tied with that same resilient leather strapping, and a portcullis of Kimpar Wood and leather slammed down in front of a room that had a circular cage filled with slaves. Toward the back of the room, two of the Lizards of Burden munched on strange mushrooms and lichen.

Numer made his way past the portcullis by stepping for a short time into the feywild, and moving around it in that realm, popping back into the mortal realm on the other side. Izzy followed.

While Numer looked for a way to determine how the portcullis could be moved, Izzy examined the bars of the enclosure. The slaves on the other side seemed to be talking, but no sound got beyond the bars of the cage. Izzy found raised images on the Kimpar bars. Claws, fangs and amphibian eyes dominated. After a few puzzling moments, she recalled, however, the tale of the Demon frog, a rape-child of the Goddess of water and the stink-demon Gragganik. It seemed that the bars had an enchantment to contain those within.

Numer, meanwhile, had determined that the portcullis (rather quickly-it is not smarter than him) was lowered from above. However there seemed to be no way to notify or communicate with anyone in the room above.

Just as both Numer and Izzy finished up their examinations and popped through the gate, Bren finally had managed to lift the massive gate, heavier than expected. The wood made a strange reverberating sound as it was lifted. Leland shoved one of the carts underneath to support it, and was promptly kicked under the now-stable portcullis. He looked around for a few moments, and upon traveling to the backside of the cage, pulled out his dagger and sliced the lashing holding the door shut, freeing the captives within like a stream.

He took the adoration well, and the starving, hungry people slid, crawled and wandered into the market. There was a quick discussion on what to do with the people. None of them were particularly of one mind with that regard. They went into the hall to speak, and what greeted them to their surprise was a number of Troglodytes. Three of the large ones, just over a dozen of the ones with spears, and about half that many wielding great clubs. Leading them all was a large specimen, wearing no clothes, still a pale blue but tinged towards his edges with a brilliant red. He motioned them to follow and then turned and left.

The meeting with the Troglodyte Chieftain was quick, though initially difficult. It seems that they don’t speak and only barely hear. Leland’s grand proclamation in the room echoed intensely, sending a number of both the Troglodytes and his friends to their knees in pain but proving that they do indeed hear.

After trying to communicate via smell, eventually Numer managed to make the Chieftain understand that they spoke, and didn’t smell, for communication. A few small gains were made, and eventually a translator was hauled out.

Cuffed at both hands and feet, cuffs linked with chains, and wearing only a deep brown loincloth, the translator spoke perfect Tyndal. He was grey, hairless, small and almost wiry, his eyes an intense blue. His nose was long, beak-like, and came almost to a decided point. He translated to the Chieftain the thoughts of the group, and why they were here, through unguents and herbs. All the while, he set up a meeting with his people.

Afterward, with a shaman carrying his sack of tools to communicate with, he lead them down and around the deeper areas of the Troglodyte lair. All the while he explained what had happened. His people had found this cavern system here, abandoned by its previous owners. They lived there for a while, scavenging off the lairs other inhabitants. Then came the Troglodytes. They came with great vengeance and great anger, seeming to boil up from the hot depths of the caverns. They drove the Gimmla west, into the hollow they now call home.

On the tour through the Troglodyte lair, they noted the craftsmen creating spears, shields, and a small number of swords. They saw huts, small and compact, in a large chamber, maybe a dozen. The translator explained that there were maybe a dozen of these small villages spread out among the craftsmen, The breeding Lairs (where the Crocadillians, or female Troglodytes are kept), the feeding chambers, and their great temple. The market was also explained: no real trading went on, per say. It was merely a place where needed things were moved from one place to another. It was revealed that the Chieftain is supreme authority, able to issue musk-commands at a great range, and no Troglodyte can disobey.

The slaves, they learned, were pretty much exclusively used for food.

With that he left them in the hands of another Gimmla, who lead them to the Hollow. There they were informed of the nature of the the slave trade and how the Gimmla and the Troglodytes participated in it. The Gimmla were contacted once, a short time ago, telling them to leave a number of slaves in a specific cave. If they did, they would be rewarded. Rewarded they were… with solid gold nuggets. Now the Gimmla use the nuggets to buy (with the help of slaves) things they never imagines. Houses, cloaks, daggers, food from exotic lands. The Gimmla are finally happy.

Finished, the group was lead back to the surface via a small, abandoned mine almost 2 hours walk from Hilea. Curious, puzzled, and with some new notions, they headed home.

View
A Man Named Felix

The ambush went pretty much as planned. Numer cast web on the front few of the caravan, catching a large Lizard of Burden, the shaman, and a number of the smaller Troglodytes. There they were bound and held immobile while they were torn apart by the group. Both Leland and Bren ran amok, with Arkh going toe to toe with the very angry Lizard of Burden.

The Lizard of Burden took the brunt of the attacks, with Bren landing a crippling shot into the beast’s back-right knee early on, slowing it to a crawl, being tangled in webs, and blocked from proceeding forward by Arkh.

Taking advantage of the web, the fight did not last long. Being both surprised and smaller, Trogs were easy to dispatch.

After observing the wreckage of the battle, with one Lizard of Burden having fled, one cowering in a corner, and one dead, everyone got to releasing the prisoners. well, most everyone.

Arkh started dissecting the Shaman they had slain, looking for glands that he had been requested to find by Dealdru at the Alabaster Bottle. He located two in the abdomen, and two more near the flesh of the neck.

Leland and Bren both worked at getting the prisoners out of the cage of the dead beast. One was severely injured, and one was dead, but the other 4 were just unconscious. The cages they were in, originally looking to be steel, were made of Kimpar Wood, hard as iron, and lashed together with a slick, resilient leather.

Felix woke up in the midst of the battle, strapped into one of the cages. when he finally was taken out of the cage he related his story of trying to get to the Sewer Rat’s black market to sell his sword (which he retained on him), supposedly of an ancient dynasty of Kilbar. He has decided that going forward with the group is more beneficial to him currently, as finding, discovering, and making money off of new things is right up his alley.

With Siam leading the rest of the living, freed prisoners back to the surface, the group trekked forward through the tunnels, following the trail of the fleeing pack-beast, eventually coming to a small marketplace. There, Leland and Bren tried to sneak and and were immediately noticed. Two extremely large Troglodytes made their way towards them, attacking them in the hall at the entrance to the market.

View
Crocadillians!

They met Siam in the morning, and he lead them, stammering and stumbling whenever Numer talked to him, back to the caverns that the Lizard people were in. He talks as he walks, how they have been having people disappear for a while now, but it only recently became an almost epidemic.

After arriving at the Tunnels, they take the far left, deep-turning tunnel, where they found Devish. This leads them down deep and deeper, and eventually, they end up, after following the tracks of some Lizards, to a room on the side of an immense underground crevasse. bridges lead across to many other caves, and there is a decent traffic of Lizard-people. At first the amount of caves seems to indicate a huge dwelling system, but after just a few moments of looking, most of the caves are empty, the bridges in disrepair, and it looks as if the Lizard folk are either in decline, or have taken over someone’s, or something’s old lair.

Numer managed, with his Eladrin eyes, to find a door in the wall, and through that they managed to easily gain entrance to what seems to be caverns that wander aimlessly.

After navigating for a short while, they turned down a winding hall that lead, down to a larger cavern, 1/2 filled with water. within the cavern were a large number of sizable lizards. nearing 6’ in length, and about 4’ at the shoulder. they waded in and around the pool at the back. there was a smaller side passage that looked like it may lead somewhere, and they all slowly walked towards it. Arkh, in a moment of brilliance, took a severed head of a lizard-man obtained in the first ambush, and rubbed it on himself, causing the largest lizard (Crocadillians, as they were referred to by Leland) to accept him as one of them as they walked by.

The room beyond was full of eggs, probably 100 or so. No way out and turning to leave, Leland grabbed an egg, wrapped it in swaddling clothes, and took it with him. Passing through the Crocadillians was easy the second time, and they didn’t even look up.

They continued to walk deep and deeper into the cavern system, noting many different corridors and side passages. then, as they were walking down, they spotted a caravan up ahead : 3 giant Lizard-beasts, with large rectangular cages strapped to their curved, plated backs. Within the cages, built of aged wood and supple leather, were contained some people, humans, elves, and even a dwarf. behind the first beast was a taller Lizard-man, prodding it on, decked out in the same ritualistic garb as the spell-casting one from the previous day’s ambush, and all around were a number of Smaller Lizard-men with spears. No time was wasted planning an ambush.

View
A Cry in the Dark

After defeating the underground lizard folk, as they sat and rested, Ihzendria heard a cry, a shallow, barely delivered cry for help, down the Left-most hallway. Of course, that hall lead down further into the depths.

With Ihzendria leading the way, the group shortly came upon, hiding behind a small support pillar, a ragged, pale man. His left leg looked to have been broken at one time, and he favored heavily his right behind the pillar. Ihzendria offered to aid him. Arkh, knowing something of basic first aid, helped out setting and holding the broken bones, which proved uneccesary as he passed out from the pain.

His leg fixed, and the cause of the disaperances figuered out, they made their way, with Arkh carying the ragged refugee, out back into the city. The sunlight on his face brought him to conciousness, he introduced himself as Devish and he insisted on getting a drink before any medical attention.
While At The Drunken Kilter he explained that he had been captured by the foul smelling creatures about 3 months ago. While At the Drunken Kilter Devish explained that he had been captured by the foul smelling creatures about 3 months ago. These creatures kept him and others in cages or pens, and every once in a while, small, hairless, grayskinned, beaky-nosed dwarves would come by and purchase a quantity of the captives. Devish was then escorted to the Temple of Nera to recover by Ihzy and Arkh.

Meanwhile, at Drunken Kilter the rest were talking about how to get ahold of Jamie to let them know that their work was finished. When Arkh returned, he mentioned his good freind Bren may be able to help them. He was across town at Roses, and whece they arrived, Beggi was trying to get over his inability to get meat, and having to server tuber stew infused with beef broth. After a quick talk, Bren sent someone out to let Jamie know they wished to speak to him. He showed up a bit later, and they moved the converstaion downstairs, to the private hall they had down there.

With the explination of what was going on, the Lizard-men stealing people, Jamie hired them one more time to go down there and see what more they can find, see if they cant stop this Menace from Underground. Jamie then left, fully confident in the ability of his new hired hands.

However, a Flesh Puppet showed up, sliding from the shadows. It asked, as the voice of the The Puppet Master for them to see if anyone from Back Alley was there as well. All agreed (even if only by their silence), and rested the evening, waiting for Siamto show up the next morning and lead them within the sewers.

Leland, always looking for a good time, spent most all his free time hitting on Rose, trying to seduce her.

View
Summoned Together
1/23/09

The Characters meet.

Arkh sits alone in a bar, the Drunken Kilter. The last few months have been boring. A nice change of pace. Today, however is different. Jamie, an old friend, shows up at the Drunken Kilter. Arkh and his friends had helped him out once or twice. Jamie asks a favor; his guild members have been disappearing in his underground tunnels. The pay will be fine, better, he says, if the cause of the disappearances is not only figured out but eliminated. Overhearing this, Leland Del Marvay, Halfling Captian of the Sea Gypsy, also offers his services, (after the brutish from of Arkh had left) for a bit of coin. Amused, Jamie takes him up on the offer.

Leland then went to find Arkh, and met him at a small tavern, The Silver Platter, staring at a noble’s house. Afterward they left for the Drunken Kilter together. Or, more correctly, at the same time.

Meanwhile, Numer, an Eladrin wizard surveying the destitution of all that he had set up in the heyday of Hilea, is called upon by a flesh puppet, this one an orb of flesh with one giant eye, 3 feet attached at the bottom of the orb, and a tiny slit for a mouth. It asked him to aid someone who may be able to help him at a later time. Doubtful, but (literally) with nothing to lose, he made his way, as requested, to see Jamie at the Drunken Kilter.

At the same time, Ihzendria, A priestess of Nera, goddess of water, was also placed on her spiritual fufillment quest. Tasked by a Deacon of the Church to set foot below the earth and figure out why some… mutual friends’ friends were disappearing, she also made her way to the [[Drunken Kilter.]]

Jamie met each in turn, gathering the group he had no idea who or what they were, merely that the word he had sent out produced results. He gave them the locations, and tasked his aid, Siam, to show them the places where the other Sewer Rats had disappeared.

After discovering a trap door leading underground, they steped beneath the earth, into dank, stench-filled tunnels. A party of pale blue Lizard-people attempted to ambush them from behind, coming through the sewers, but they were expected (the awful smell gave them away somewhat readily) and dealt with.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.