Chapter 08: Horror Beneath The Streets

Ambyrmont 6th 1014

A New Day and a New Companion

After a hot bath at Sandford's and a comfortable night's rest at the Swan the companions spend the early part of the morning resting and shopping. Dohrum took the mumbling Durgin first to Elus (who is interested in what they found in the sewer) and then to the temple of Koryis. A priestess of the Golden Hand managed to restore Durgin's mind much to Johanna's joy. On their return they find Zan talking to an young elf. His name is Thanduil and he is hunting a beast and suspected that the creature that they caught in the sewers may possibly what he seeks. He wished that he could visit the stone in the sewers but is persuaded instead to join the visitors as they visit the yellow warehouse in the search for Aleanor Pathsteader.

The Yellow Warehouse

The companions, accompanied by Thanduil travel to the yellow warehouse. Outside they make a brief search before Arinna hammered on the main door and received no response. D'mond tried to pick the lock on a side door but received a spray of acid in the face for her troubles. As Dohrum ran to her aid they came under fire from snipers on the roof. Arinna barged the door open allow the rest to enter while Jedon and the healed D'mond to take pot shots at the poison using guards on the roof. Inside the badly lit space was partially filled with stacks of crates, some of which hid more guards who launched poisoned bolts at the party as the made slow progress through the interior.

Eventually and after sustaining much damage, and avoiding pit traps by the skin of their teeth they captured one of the guards. Thanduil had cunningly disguised himself as one of them and this allowed the companions to acquire some knowledge of the goings on in the warehouse. The day master, a woman named Janine, had been letting normal business slip; illegal business with a merchant called Blackarrow. The guard recognises Jedon as being the bosses son and is reluctant to tell more so the ranger resorts to threats. The guard reveals that they have been ordered to bring vagrants back to the warehouse. What happens to them he doesn't know. All he knows is that they had to keep a double watch on the warehouse and not shift any of the usual merchandise. Jedon 'persuades' the guard to take them to Janine but while they have been talking the prisoner has managed to free his hands and he dashes through a door. When the companions follow they find him dead with a crossbow blot through his head and another guard crouching behind a table. Chases and stand-offs through a maze of corridors and small rooms ensued until eventually D'mond killed him with a bolt of her own.

The companions continued to explore the rooms finding a bunk room, an unused dining room, a stinky latrine and a laundry. An invisible assailant attacked Jedon in an office; Chang threw wine and Thanduil ink over the attacker revealing enough to allow Jedon and the others to bring her down but not before Jedon had received a nasty slash to the neck. Bound and gagged the unconscious assailant could do nothing as the others explored the office and a cold store filled with large glass jars each containing a severed head. The assailant, Janine, head of this group of thieves, would only talk in threats, the most vehement directed towards Jedon thinking that his father, the powerful merchant, had sent him. Arinna slung the gagged gang leader over her shoulder as she and the others left the warehouse all considering how to get some information from the woman. Thanduil considered torture the best option and reluctantly the others suggested that the sewers would be the most suitable location for such work.

Some Dirty Work in the Sewers

Once in the sewers Janine continued to resist and insult in equal measure, "So which one are you; the legitimate but disowned heir or one of his by-blows? In any case I know who you work for and they will not condone your actions. They are too weak to withstand what is coming, you can kill me and you will have to, I will tell you nothing, Shuluth knows everything and his agents will track you down."

Thanduil and Zan used their magical abilities on Janine but to know effect, it seemed that some sort of magical defence was protecting her and before they could do anything more she bit down on a poisoned pellet concealed in her mouth and died.
Thanduil insisted on seeing the bodies and the glowing monolith for himself and to Dohrum's horror they found the body of the sage Elus amongst them. Dohrum was distraught that he had mentioned the monolith to the sage who had come down, alone and unprotected to study it. Thanduil noticed that the glowing markings on the monolith were similar to those on Janine's cheek but he could not decipher them. The mage touched the monolith and almost simultaneously Arinna heard something approaching along one of the tunnels. Something large, something large with lots of legs moving fast!


Within moments the chamber was filled with a mass of rats. Thanduil, primed and ready thanks to Arinna's warning, hurled a fireball down the passage sending sewage and roasted rat in all directions including over the companions. To their horror a rat the size of a wolfhound with scabby red fur emerged from the passage. A furious battle ensued and by the end all were battered, bruised and covered in muck so a soak at Sandford's Bathhouse was the order of the day.

An Evening Gathering


The soak restored all the party and they felt as good as new. After a brief bite to eat they went their separate ways to shop or in the case of Thanduil and Dohrum to study King Orry's helm and axe. Jedon was late returning from his trip and so they left The Swan to see what Master Enoch had to say - after all it would be rude not to given all the fliers he had left around the town; including one on Janine's desk alongside a note that seemed to suggest that the watch was in the pay of the thieves' guild.

Quietshore Lane was crowded with townsfolk by the time the companions arrived and it took Arinna's bulk to get them to a position close to the front. Just before Enoch started to speak the half-orc spotted Jedon and Zan in the crowd much to everyone's relief. Master Enoch's speech was short and low on specifics but it did seem to get the rabble going and even seemed to influence Arinna and D'mond. So much so that the usually combative half-orc and elf agreed with each other - they should go and speak with Master Enoch as what he had to say was interesting. As Jedon and Zan approached Dohrum was spoken to in dwarven by a tall man wearing the garb of a Hospitilar of the Order of Solarios. He seemed to hint that his order was aware of their mission and that he knew what they were carrying. Before they could question him further he left to return to his order.

Another One Bites The Dust

Enoch's voice seemed to inflame tensions in the group and strangely Arinna and D'mond appeared to be as one on the matter, arguing against a violent attack on the speaker's tower. The Hospitaler knight, Victor, returned and joined the party as they approached Enoch's tower. Closer up they could see that the windows of the tower had been bricked up and the whole structure had a ruined, almost derelict appearance. That illusion that the building was unimportant was dispelled as the companions approached the door. A wizened face formed on the wood and a voice, dry and brittle as old bones spoke, "Master Enoch is not taking visitors at present. Please call again later." When Thanduil unlocked the door with a knock spell. A shimmer of purple light etched the outline of the door momentarily as it inched slightly open. Then the face appeared once more on the door and uttered the following chilling phrase, "Uninvited guests in Tower Enoch should expect brutal repulsion and, ultimately, death."

Inside the tower was finely furnished, a striking contrast to outside. As they moved stealthily down the entrance hall a pair of large statues animated and the dry voice spoke again, "Some people never take 'Go Away' for an answer. On your heads be it." The statues, carved from a fine grained black stone were tough opponents and while Thanduil and D'mond climbed the stairs to the upper levels the remaining companions were grateful for Arinna's axe, Victor's sword and Dohrum's hammer as they struggled to defeat their foes.

The lower levels of the tower, aside from the statues appeared to be devoid of life, in fact it seemed that nobody had lived there for some time. A few odd things were spotted, a patch of purple goo in a downstairs bedroom and the corpse of a young man stuffed in a wardrobe, his brain missing in an upstairs room. Aside from the statues Enoch seemed to have made little attempt to protect his abode, the only other danger coming from a poison gas trap in a corridor. Beyond this the companions found a room containing more statues, only partially constructed, and a barrel of onyx chips, similar to those that had been embedded in the two statues shattered on the ground floor. This room led to a mage's laboratory, strange arcane symbols had been written on the walls, in places they had been overwritten several times in a loose free flowing hand.

A door from the lab led into what appeared to be a comfortable sitting room. Seated in a well stuffed chair, illuminated in the golden glow of a gaudy lantern on a table sat Enoch.
Dohrum broke the spell, "We came to talk to you. We heard your speech before and are very keen to hear more about these true masters"

"Yes, we're here to talk. That balcony address was interesting, but left out all the details! Aren't you flattered that we came?" Chang added with a grin.

Enoch stood up and paced around the room, not quite meeting the gaze of his guests, "Yes, yes I am sure but can't you see I'm busy, sermons to write. Did you not head the warnings? Death awaits you if you disturb my work!" Enoch continued speaking as he paced around the room. "Who are you? What do you want?"

Sensing that this was an illusion Dohrum covered the lantern with his cloak and urged the real Enoch to step into the open. Suddenly Dohrum's cloak fluttered up like a large bat from the lantern and flew through the open door into the night and once more the room was flooded with even brighter light from the lantern on the table.In through the open door from the balcony strode a more imposing version of the figure that had been talking to you, "So you saw through my little illusion, did you? Well I did warn you, several times. The city guard frowns upon those that break and enter the abodes of law abiding citizens. Now will you leave or will I have to make you? Or should I summon Captain Lucian and his squad of troopers?"

He snapped his fingers and the other 'Enoch' vanished.He turned to D'mond and Arinna before speaking in a civilised, yet hurt tone, "You at least I expect to go, you believed in me and trusted my word earlier. What has happened to change your minds now? Can't a man set wards upon his house to stop vagrants and vagabonds from entering and causing mischief? I heard the mess you made downstairs, those statues were expensive. It seems to me that I am left alone to Shine Bright before the Darkness while the whole world goes to rack and ruin." As he spoke, the lantern flared brighter than before and bathed the room in a warm, golden light that seemed to add power to his speech.

Tired of arguing Thanduil climbed a narrow stair, while Enoch cast a handful of yellowed knuckle-bones to the floor from which skeletons with glowing eyes arose, Chang leapt for Enoch but the mage vanished from Chang's grip to reappear in a loft where he had a tense conversation with Thanduil while the others tried to climb the stairs. Enoch broke off his conversation at intervals to cast spells of summoning to slow the others down while he tried to persuade the elf mage of the righteousness of his cause. When the others burst into the room the angry Enoch cast a powerful spell at Zan but Arinna dived in front of the ageing bard and was disintegrated. Shocked by this the others piled in and killed Enoch whose face showed the same flashes of blue tattoos under stress as Janine.

Gathering up Enoch's corpse for later investigation as well as the mage's books they made to escape but Jedon had noticed that the City Watch had arrived and had set torches to the ruined building that was tarting to burn. Dohrum cast a Bridge of Sound across to the roof of a nearby building allowing them to avoid detection. They made their way to the Temple of Solarios where Victor suggested the brothers there may be able to help.

The large temple of Solarios has a dedicated hospital wing and Brother Korhad, an ageing paladin, helped them with the storage of the body while a senior cleric Brother Parvale and Loremaster Zabel answered some of the companions questions. Brother Parvale suggested that they spent the night in the guest lodgings rather than risk travelling back to The Swan. Tired and emotional from the events of the day they accepted the offer of food and lodging.

Ambyrmont 7th 1014

A Return to the Sewers - Who Watches the Watch?

After a welcome breakfast it was decided that the companions would visit Captain Lucian of the watch. On the way to the guardhouse the came across a poster offering a reward for 'the traitors and arsonists D'mond Fourfeathers and Jedon Blackarrow'.

The guardhouse is a sturdy stone built building near the north wall of the city. Thanduil cast a spell upon himself and became Fin a human merchant. He along with Chang and Victor approached the front door of the guardhouse as they were new to the town and less likely to be recognised than the others. Zan, D'mond, Dohrum and Jedon approached the side entrance and thanks to D'mond's skills with lock-picks managed to open the door and slip in to the guardhouse near the cells. Meanwhile Fin used magical means to persuade the guard on duty to take them to Lucian. At first Lucian appeared calm and listened to what Fin and the others had to say. But when tattoos were mentioned he flared up and attacked Fin, running him through with a sword although the mage was able to respond with a barrage of magic missiles. Meanwhile Dohrum had laid low the guard sent to investigate the side entrance and with the others managed to persuade the other guards to take them to Lucian. They arrived just after the fight had started and a furious argument was in process during which Lucian mistaking put his foot in it by mentioning 'purple tentacled creatures'. His second in command then attempted to relive him of duty and a vicious battle ensued between Lucian, blue tattoos flaring on his cheeks and the guard while Chang and Jedon had bundled in an attempt to bring Lucian down alive in order to question him.

Having knocked Lucian unconscious the companions, with the assistance of the guard who provided a donkey cart, took him back to the Hospitilars of Solarios. On the way however they encountered a pair of cloaked figures. In an uncanny stillness and silence they removed their capes and revealed that they were mind flayers dressed in some moist black leathery material. A strange combat ensued; D'mond and Zan were struck down by a mental blast but not before the elf called upon Ordana to aid them. A large air elemental battered at the illithids while the others tried means arcane, divine and martial to take them down. Chang, who had been steadily drinking before and during the fight caused an attempt by one of the creatures to control him to backfire and this allowed the others to dispatch him. The other illithid vanished in the confusion.

The remainder of the journey back to the temple was uneventful however when Lucian was examined it was found that his mind had been wiped clean as a babe's. However Thanduil had found a map on the dead illithid's body that indicated where 'the merchandise' was to be deposited. The companions decided to wait for Chang to recover from his alcohol consumption before venturing into the sewers once more to see what could be found by following the map. Meanwhile they companions split up to buy supplies and take the cart back to the guard station.

Suffer The Little Children

While the companions wait for Chang to recover from his 'exertions', Thanduil headed off to the market in search of spells and Jedon searches the streets for clues to the illithid's lair. Thanduil's search led him to Madam Monir, a gnomish woman who sold him several arcane scrolls. Jedon managed to find some spots of the strange purple fluid that seems to be the blood of the illithids. he tracked this through the streets to a grate in a cul-de-sac. He waited and watched a while but only encountered a group of young children playing 'seeker and prey'.
After all had returned to the temple they headed out once more, following Jedon's lead to the cul-de-sac. Here they were horrified to find the bodies of two of the children, their heads removed. A third child, in shock, was carried off by Dohrum to the boy's father.
Grim faced the companions re-entered the sewer.

Following a trail of blood the companions head into the sewers under Safeharbour once more. Finding a secret passage the descend into what appears to be natural caverns and passages beneath the sewers, ankle deep in a salty fluid. Suspecting this to be the lair of the illithids they explored carefully but were caught by surprise by a roper that almost eat Chang. Further chambers were occupied by illithid underlings and filled with sheets of their strange embossed writing and furniture seemingly grown from a strange fibrous fungus. At the heart of the spiralling set of tunnels they encounter Shuluth a tall illithid in black leathery robes and dark goggles. A long battle in which several attempts at brain removal were foiled at the last moment, aided by the powers of Ordana through the talisman around D'mond's neck, ensued before the illithid was finally despatched with burning oil and a flying kick from Chang.

Behind a translucent skin like membrane they find Aleanor, bound to the walls of the cave with more of the fibrous fungal substance. She is grateful for the rescue but reveals that she knows of merchants and street people being held as food and thrall in other chambers. More sinisterly she has on her hand a strange tattoo, a psionic seal, on her palm. At first she struggled to persuade the companions that the tattoo was benign, placed there by a being she named Strom.


A further exploration of the passages located the prisoners, held in cages suspended from the ceiling and guarded by grey skinned blind humanoids known as grimlocks. There was no chance of negotiation and force was the only method by which the prisoners could be released. This was safely achieved and the companions returned to the surface with the prisoners and a selection of treasure seemingly provided by those under the control of the illithids psionic tattoos.

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