So the militia arrives and asks us a ton of questions. We were heroes like yesterday, today we’re burning down Chauntessa’s competition? Eek! No, no, no. We try to explain what really happened, which is of course when we notice Helion is nowhere to be found. Why does he always disappear at the worst possible times?
Our prisoners aren’t saying anything about their employer, so they get taken off to jail. The dirty dwarf gets taken to jail too because apparently he was beating up the bartender. The group asks me to speak on his behalf, but dirty dwarf says he won’t love Moradin, he’d rather go to jail. Fine by me. Every dwarf should love Moradin – how can you not love the One that FORGED YOUR SOUL? I don’t get it.
Errich attempts to speak for the dirty dwarf, but then the guard realizes that the bartender has disappeared. They agree to let the dirty dwarf stay with us and let us know the gatekeepers will have our descriptions so we better not try to leave town.
Fin follows the guards and helps them search the inn. They find some letters from Pherros to someone named JL about getting an interesting group for some experiments. US? For EXPERIMENTS? Ewww! Good thing we killed that guy! Oh guess what? His name was Pherros Three Fingers, which is kinda weird because he totally had all ten. Fingers. Yeah. I don’t get it either.
Fin finds a secret door in the cellar and marks it with a piece of chalk. Despite the fact that we’ve been helping the guards, they still don’t really trust us. Since the Manticore is the direct competition of the Slumbering Drake, people would probably start to spread the rumor that we were in cahoots with Chauntessa to bring down the Manticore. You know what I think? Chauntessa is too nice for evil cahooting.
We go back to the Slumbering Drake and fill Chauntessa in on the story. There are guards posted outside the inn to watch us, and at the crack of dawn, those same guards are banging on our doors to wake us up for a meeting.
The prisoners had talked, thankfully! They were hired to kidnap us by Pherros and the owner of the Manticore, Jasper Livex. JL! (Whoa!) Errich remembers that in the paperwork we found at the monastery some of the slaves were sold to somewhere other than the orcs. The guards checked out the secret door in the cellar and said it lead to the sewers. Fin asks the guards to hire us to check out the passageways, seeing as we just broke up another smuggling ring in the area. The guards agree and will pay us 150g each when we get back.
We venture into the basement of the Manticore and through the secret door into the sewers. I’m not sure what I like less – blood or sewage. Blech. We walk along the service corridor looking for a way that the smugglers could have gotten us out of town if they kidnapped us. Errich finds tracks going towards the center of town and towards the High Quarter. (One handy thing about being a dwarf? I can always tell what direction I’m going, even underground!) Fin shines his lantern at the wall, where there’s a door. He opens it up.
There’s a smaller hallway here that doesn’t look like it’s seen much use. It doesn’t seem like part of the sewer system. We draw our weapons and head in. The dirty dwarf lights a sunrod and wedges it into his belt. We keep heading east and are now under the town necropolis. There’s another door, which opens into a room that was dug into the dirt below the necropolis. The ground is covered in thick mud and there are two coffins that are almost falling into the room from the ceiling. A wooden door is on the other side. This room seems to have been dug pretty recently but it’s hard to tell in the mud if anybody has been here lately.
Two ochre jellies rise up from the mud. Ew! I sparkle one good! BEST. SPARKLE. EVER! Errich gets slimed by one and it smells like his skin is burning off. This place is the stinkiest place I’ve ever been, and if you’ve ever been to a dwarven public restroom, you can really appreciate what I’m saying here!!
Errich slashes one and it splits into two smaller jellies. There’s sloshing noises everywhere and then Errich is surrounded by jellies – oh wait! – now Fin is! Errich kills the jelly in the corner. I heal Errich and then land a totally AWESOME sparkle on the big jelly and then another totally awesome sparkle. The big jelly splits in two. Fin is struggling and is bleeding and oozing everywhere. Ew! I summon all of Moradin’s strength and hop up into the action, flanking the jelly in front of Fin and using my healing strike. I feel the life force drain from the jelly and into Fin as the jelly oozes into the floor. I heal Fin again and he’s looking much better. Errich can hear a woman crying quietly on the other side of the door.
My boots are all nasty and muddy. This is so nasty. Errich checks the door for traps, but is apparently not on his game, because when he picks the lock, we hear two clicks instead of one. Darts fly out of the door and hit the dirty dwarf. Just as we’re about to ask if he’s okay, he rubs his arm and shakes it off like nothing happened.
The other side of the door smells horrible – as if this place couldn’t smell worse!! There are two of those giant stone boxes where you put dead people in the middle of the room. (Shush, I can’t spell the word.) There are six naked people chained up to the wall. Most look dead, some of the bodies are twitching with the last remnants of life. It’s really sad. On the far end of the room is a ladder going up to a trapdoor.
The girl on the other side of the room is weeping softly. She looks awful. I run to her to see if I can heal her, but there’s nothing I can do. She needs rest before anything can heal her. Errich climbs on my shoulders and unties her and I catch her as she falls to the ground.
Fin wriggles out of his undershirt and we dress her in it.
“I’ll offer my loincloth,” says the dirty dwarf. “NO!!” Errich says.
The boys want to check the big stone boxes. “Look, but don’t touch!” I say. It’s not proper to disturb the dead! They slide the lid a bit but don’t recognize any family crests or other signs of which family owns the crypt.
Errich sneaks up the ladder and finds the trapdoor seems locked on the other side. The dirty dwarf climbs up and tries to bust it open. It’s not locked, but something heavy is on top. Something made of stone. We need more lifting power – my floating disk! I summon it and use it to lift on the trapdoor until it pushes whatever was in the way off and we see light. We’re in the necropolis in a ruined crypt that has been collapsed.
The girl is too weak to respond to anything. I carefully load her up on the disk and lift her through the hole and outside. It’s about midday and we see people walking in the graveyard who don’t seem to notice us.
Fin suggests that we bring the girl to the infirmary, but I want better help than that. Quality help that won’t turn on us. I want a temple. We go to the Sisters of Elyr – the Lady of the Healing Touch. Errich and I explain to the sisters about how we found the girl. One of the nuns gets a washcloth and cleans the girl’s face. “Oh my!” the sisters say, “We know who this is!”