Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tales of Braxus: Into the Hole Again

Recap from August 6, 2004

We met back up with Malik and decided that it was time we continue with our quest to find the body of Vestan Irsimul’s friend since he had, after all, paid us to complete that task.  We also decided that going after the green tree bandits for the reward could wait until we finished the work of our first employer.  So we geared up and headed across the bridge to Old Town with the Hudan mercenaries in a torrential downpour.  After we crossed the bridge we were approached by a familiar figure dressed in skins to protect him from the rainy weather.  It was Yorgi the Hyaalmar bard who led us to the Hovel before we went down the hole the first time.  He told us that Vestan Irsimul wanted to speak to us before we went back underground because of “recent developments”.  We had been gone for two days after all – a lot could have happened in that time especially because of all the loot we had been selling recently after returning from Old Town.  These “recent developments” could involve some form of competition.  Malik made the comment that some other group or groups could be trying to “muscle in on our action”.  He also told us that the tunnels were flooded from the recent rains and said that Master Irsimul “forbade us” from entering the ruins.

We also noticed that the whole time he was talking to us that he kept looking over his shoulder as if he suspected someone was watching him and us – this struck us as odd.  We also asked him why the lock on the hovel, which he gave us the key to, didn’t work and told him of being attacked by brigands who crashed through the bogus lock with ease.  His only reply to this implied accusation of complicity in the attack was “it’s a rough neighborhood”.  We told him we would meet Vestan at the usual Inn at the time of the evening meal and that we had to go to the hovel to “check on something”.  With our suspicions aroused about these unusual developments we decided we were going to go to the tunnel entrance and check it out to see if we could discover anything unusual.  Of course since Vestan forbid it only made us want to go even more.  We found that the rock covering the entrance had been closed and opened several times and that many people had passed through it in the last few days.  We went further in to discover that the tunnels were in fact not flooded and that whoever had engineered the complex in the past had designed it so that the water could drain out without flooding the upper room at least.

Malik dropped into the hole in the floor in the first room with the lantern.  When he hit the floor he noticed some kind of undead creature nearby so he put down the lantern, turned invisible and withdrew to the corner.  The creature smashed the lantern and started looking for him.  Meanwhile, above the hole, Hraal managed to get a torch lit and climbed into the hole followed by Master Ho and the Hudan warriors.  We quickly dispatched the ghoul or whatever it was and decided to explore a few of the other passages.

The first one led to a rubble-strewn room.  As Malik, Carl and Snurri entered they quickly became entangled in spider webs.  That’s when Malik noticed the giant spider in the corner of the ceiling.  The Hudan warriors that could see it threw their spears and Carl shot his bow at it peppering it with missile fire.  It attacked and managed to bite Carl and Snurri before we finally finished it off.  Fortunately, the stout Hudan warriors were aided by their great stamina and were not affected by the poison.  We gave Carl the antidote to help him because he was starting to look a little green.  In the webs of the room we found a bunch of copper coins, a gold plated hourglass and a finely crafted dwarven greataxe encrusted with runes.

We picked up the loot and moved on.  In the next passageway, several missiles struck Malik after he rounded a corner.  He came back to tell us that he was under attack from something that sounded like small dogs yipping.  Carl entered the hallway and was showered with missiles, a few of which struck him.  The rest of the group entered the hallway with a few of them entering an alcove with a door in it for cover.  After several exchanges of missile fire, Hraal and the Hudan warriors entered the room and slew the small dog like creatures.  While this was going on, the door in the alcove opened and poor Carl was hit with some kind of a magical projectile spell from the doorway – he staggered back into the hallway for cover barely managing to stay on his feet and the door closed back up.  Malik reached around the doorway in the alcove and kicked the door back open.  Right after he did this he narrowly avoided being chopped in half by a swinging axe trap, which came out of the walls at both sides of the alcove.

They called for reinforcements and the warriors, master Ho and Hraal entered the room to deal with the last of the small dog like creatures, one of which was obviously a spellcaster.  Hraal threw an axe at the spellcaster and missed.  The spellcaster cast his magical missile at Hraal and singed his eyebrows a little bit.  Hraal dropped his other axe and rearmed with the newly acquired greataxe.  He swung the mighty weapon and splattered the remains of the spellcasting creature all over the walls behind it – there was barely anything left.  The one remaining creature curled into a ball on the floor and began whimpering and salivating, obviously petrified.  Malik knocked it unconscious with his sap.

Master Ho cast detect magic on the remains of the spellcaster and noticed that a ring on one of the fingers of the badly mangled body was in fact magical.  He also noticed that the great axe, which Hraal carried, was magical as well.  Also in the room we found a finely ornamented chest, which alone would fetch a handsome price at the markets.  Inside the chest we found a couple of hundred gold pieces.  Since it was mid afternoon at this point we decided to return to the city with the loot and clean ourselves up before we were to meet with Vestan Irsimul to see what he had to say.  Rather than taking the bridge and attracting attention carrying all of this stuff back we decided to hire a boat to take us across the river back to the other side.

It could very well be that the “recent developments” were caused by the group returning from the underground with loot that was openly sold in the city.  This has probably aroused the interest of other “treasure hunters” who have entered the ruins in recent days.  The group decided that we would have to be more discreet both in returning to the city with treasure and with how it was sold off afterwards.  Hraal thought that we should attempt to disguise the loot and/or take a boat across the river to return to the city.  He also thought that Malik should attempt to dispose of any loot we acquired at a local fence since they are naturally more discreet about that sort of thing.  We might not get as much money for the treasure but we also wouldn’t fan the rumor mill of the city of vast riches to be had in the underground ruins in Old Town.  We also thought it was a good idea to attempt to gather information at the local taverns to try and discover what sort of rumors about the ruins, other treasure hunters and our group may be circulating in the city.  We thought that we could discover who some of our rivals were in this way.

At this point, Hraal was very suspicious of Vestan and Yorgi.  Yorgi led us to the hovel with the bogus lock and gave us the key and we were accosted that very night by thieves who could very well have been his accomplices.  Vestan on the other hand, was obviously covering something up from the beginning.  Now he is telling us that he “forbids us” from entering the ruins without his permission.  In addition, Yorgi’s or Vestan’s tale of the ruins being flooded was an obvious lie to keep us from going down there – there was no flood.  We will listen to what Vestan has to say but at this point Hraal has had about enough of his lies and deception and is tempted to give him his hundred gold pieces back and tell him that if we do find his friends body, not only will we loot it but we will let it rot in the dungeon where it lay.  So we prepared ourselves to meet our current and possibly former employer.

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