Underworld Chronicle - Part 1

Midwinter City, January 1045TA - Beginnings.

On a dark winter's night, five young men gather at the Three Blades, an inn in the Shambles. A haunt of the Shadow Guild, the five are here to seek membership of the once great thieving organisation. They are met by a young Guild Thief named Rayyen. She is to be their mentor during the lengthy selection process. She tells them that they will have to undergo a series of tasks that are designed to test the limit of their abilities. She then takes them through a secret entrance into the boarding house next door to the inn. This is to be their home during the tests.

Midwinter City, January 1045TA– Grandma's Funeral.

The next morning Rayyen gives them their first task . "My grandmother has died," she says, "I want to give her a good send off - get me one of Venar's Votive Candles, a Shadizaran cremation urn and some Storm Rose incense." All of the items can be found in the Old City. They just have to find them and 'acquire' them.

After a brief chat, they decide to head off to the various shopping areas of the Old City. They discover that Venar is a chandler who sells special candles at the old cemetary. There is an alchemist in Beggartown who sells unusual chemical substances, including incense and that there are several importers of southern pottery in the Docklands.

They head off to the cemetary. Alex enters the shop and speaks to the owner, Venar. He is quickly able to discover where Venar keeps his Votive Candles and then leaves the shop. While travelling to Beggartown, they pass a pottery shop. They nip inside and chat to the owner who gives them the name of a shop in the Docklands who imports Shadizaran wares. They find the alchemist's shop in Beggartown and Ted goes in to talk to the shopkeeper and to get a good look at the place.

They then head off to the Docklands. Amrod enters the potter's shop and enquires about a funeral urn. The shopkeeper has one in stock, so Amrod Charms the shopkeeper, convincing him that he has left his money at home and he will return tomorrow with the cash. The shopkeeper agrees and Amrod leaves the shop with the urn. - Part 1 of the task is complete so they head back to the boarding house to plan their burglaries on the chandlers and alchemists shops.

That night they head off to the alchemist's shop. While Alex entertains the locals in the local Inn, Ted and Crow break into the shop, leaving Dog and Amrod on guard. While Crow steals items from the shelves in the shop, Ted picks the lock on the secure cupboards. Inside he finds the Storm Rose incense. With a selection of booty, the leave the shop and head off to the cemetary. Two out of three items collected, only one more to go.

Ted, Amrod and Alex break into the shop, but while they are trying to open a locked cabinet they disturb the shopkeeper. They manage to grab the candles and flee the scene of the crime. Ted finds himself in a local tavern and settles himself down for a drink and something to eat.

The shopkeeper alerts the local watch, who begin to search the area. The shopkeeper was unable to get a view of the burglars, but he did spot that one of them was short and slim – either a child or a Halfling. After searching the area and finding no leads, the Watch enter the tavern where Ted is eating. Deciding he fits the shopkeeper’s description they cart him off to the local station. After a few hours of questioning the watchman ‘confiscates’ his knife and his money and then lets him go.

They regroup back at the Three Daggers the next morning and go through their loot.

Midwinter City, January 1045TA– Dealing With the Smugglers.

Rayyen's second task involves the interception of some smuggled goods. A small group of smugglers have been smuggling goods into Guild territory and the party are being sent to deal with them, capture the leader and recover certain packages.

The smugglers are using a small riverside warehouse. That night the party go to investigate the warehouse. They find a single story building on the river front with a single watchman on guard. They search the warehouse but cannot find the packages Rayyen wants. They decide to interrogate the watchman.

Amrod uses a power to charm the watchman into thinking he is a member of the smuggling gang. At first all goes as planned and they discover information on the smugglers, but as the interrogation goes on the watchman becomes more suspicious and eventually he decides to speak to the leader of the smugglers.

The party get confused with what they are to do but when the watchman opens up a hidden trapdoor to the cellars below they decide they have to take action. After a fierce battle they manage to kill two smugglers and capture the leader before he can escape into the sewers. They search the cellars but cannot find any of the smuggler's merchandise.

Ted attempts to interrogate the leader to find the date of the next shipment. At first he resists but the application of a little pain soon changes his mind. They discover that the next shipment is due during the night. They settle down to wait.

In the early hours of the morning they hear the sounds of more smugglers and they lay in wait for their arrival. After a successful ambush, they search the smugglers to find the packages they need. They deliver the packages and the smuggler leader to Rayyen and arrange for the contents of the warehouse to be sold through the guild.

Midwinter City, January 1045TA– The Missing Courier.

Their third task is to find and rescue a missing guild courier. She was making deliveries to three guild fences but disappeared after the second delivery. The party retrace her path, but are unable to find any leads. While searching a nearby alley, they are approached by a local beggar. He tells them that he can help – in return for money.

They pay up and the beggar tells them that she was kidnapped by four thugs. The beggar followed them to their hideout in the Shambles area controlled by Theo's Tigers. The Tigers are based in a three story house, away from the main road.

Later that night they break in to the first floor of the house. They discover several dead bodies in the room they enter. Body parts and blood are splattered around the room. Out on the landing, they can hear dull moans coming from other rooms on that floor as well as from downstairs.

Ted and Alex head downstairs to open the front door, ready for their escape. After unlocking the door they head back upstairs, but Ted trips on the stairs and alerts whatever is waiting in the rooms.

Both on the first and ground floors, several men appear from rooms and attack the party members. They are covered in blood and gore as well as scratches, cuts and bruises. The men attack in a frenzy of claws and fists but the party are able to overcome them. They explore the rest of the building, coming across several more of the blood-covered thugs. There are dead bodies throughout the building, all having been torn apart.

They find the courier on the top floor, locked in a small cell. On the door to the cell are the words "Death to the Tigers", written in the Draconic tongue. Ted unlocks the door and inside is the missing thief. Taking the girl, they flee the house and high-tail it back to the Three Daggers.

Midwinter City, January 1045TA– A Stealthy Approach.

The party are gathered together again to hear their fourth task. In three days a cargo ship, Phaedra's Fancy, will arrive in Midwinter's harbour laden with olive oil, olives and coffee from the Free Ports. The Guild has bribed a harbour official to delay the ship in the harbour overnight. The party's job is to board the ship, find it's cargo manifest, take it to a Guild forger who will make a copy and then return the copy to the ship. All without getting caught.

The party retire to plan their infiltration. They come up with a plan that will hopefully make them some money as well as complete the task. They hire some fishermen with a large rowing boat who will transport the party to the ship, along with half-a-dozen whores and a large amount of alcohol. Their plan is to go to the ship and offer their services to the captain and then Ted will search the ship during the party.

After a successful dry-run the previous night they head off to Phaedra's Fancy in good spirits. The negotiation s begin well but go down hill quickly. The captain is well prepared to pay for the women and beer but one of his passengers, a young mage from Griffany, protests loudly. After an argument between the Captain, the mage and another passenger she finally retires to her cabin leaving the rest of the crew to have a good time.

Alex and Amrod board the ship with the ladies. Alex provides entertainment while Amrod distracts the two sailors on guard. Dog, Crow and Ted are in their own small boat ‘standing guard' over the operation.

When the coast is clear Dog and Crow row the boat across to the ship and Ted climbs aboard. He sneaks his way into the captains cabin and after a brief search finds the cargo manifest. He then successfully sneaks off the ship and the three head back to shore to visit the forger.

While they are away, several problems occur back on the ship. The captain takes one of the whores back to his cabin to enjoy her pleasures alone. While they are busy fornicating, the young mage – Francis Hall – takes offence at the noise they are making and begins to protest again – this time hammering at the captains door, demanding that he stops his carnal activities.

Amrod attempts to calm the young woman by taking her on deck away from the captain. They soon discover that they both have an interest in art and spend the next several hours talking about the various elven masters.

Ted, Crow and Dog return from the forger with the new cargo manifest. Ted boards the ship again and heads back to the captain's cabin. While Amrod successfully manages to keep Francis on deck, Ted sneaks his way into the captains cabin, returns the manifest to its original location and sneaks his way out.

The sailors eventually wear themselves out and the party fizzles out. As dawn breaks, Amrod and Alex recover the women, get the captains payment and return to shore and a well earned rest.

Midwinter City, January 1045TA– Clearing Out the Thieves.

Rayyen visits the party a few days later with details of their 5th task. This one is simple, a number of enemy thieves have been preying on Shadow Guild sewer traffic. The Guild has located their hideout and the party have to go there, kill the thieves and recover the trade-goods they have stolen.

After an initial suggestion that they should scout the area, they decide to just head off through the sewers and attack. They trek off through the sewers, following a simple map given to them by Rayyen. As they approach the thieves' hideout, Dogs falls into the sewer while trying to jump from one walkway to the other. He alerts two thieves on guard outside the hideout.

The thieves shoot of a volley of crossbow bolts, missing the party. Alex brings one down with a sling-stone, but the other escapes to rush back to the hideout. The party give chase, wading through the sewer muck to catch the escaping thief.

They eventually come across the side passage where the thief ran to. They wade through the muck to a door leading into a small brick built area. Ted and Dogs head through the door straight into an ambush set up by the other thieves.

Surviving the flurry of bolts, they attack the thieves and are soon joined by the rest of the party. Together they make quick work of the remaining thieves, only taking a few minor injuries in the process.

They search the area for the missing trade-goods and dispatch Alex and Amrod back to the Guild to get more muscle to move them. The rest of the party search the area for any personal effects and then return to the Three Blades to share out the spoils.

On to Part 2 of the Chronicle.

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