Underworld Chronicle - Part 3

Midwinter City, February 17th-19th 1045TA - The Mutineers.

The party decide to hunt down Vingo Grinsun, leader of the mutineers on the ship Naymakh's Curse . Alex and Amrod, in their guise of Quimby and Daley, visit Heartwood Shipping to discuss the case with Arthur Heartwood, the current owner. They discover that the ship was transporting wine to Dunnach, one of the Dragon Kingdoms. Vingo led a mutiny against the captain, who was thrown over board with the rest of the officers. Unfortunately they survived and were picked up by a passing ship. Vingo has recently been seen in Midwinter and Heartwood wants his head.

Dog and Amrod head to the Docklands to search for clues to Vingo's location but are unable to get anywhere. They finally get a tip-off from a beggar who tells them that Vingo is hidden beneath an inn in the Docklands, inside territory controlled by the dockers.

They head off to scout out the location but Ted spots that they are being followed. They split up to escape their pursuers but they are eventually cornered by their unknown assailants and have to fight their way out. Believing that they have been set up by the beggar they return to their digs to plan their next step.

They decide to return under the cover of night and send Crow to investigate the cellar of the inn using his Gaseous Form spell. As they were told by the beggar, Crow finds Vingo lurking in the cellar. Crow informs the rest and they creep into the cellar via a barrel chute. Battle ensues ending with Vingo unconscious and bound. They sneak back out of the inn with Vingo's body and deliver it to Heartwood Shipping.

Midwinter City, February 25th & 26th 1045TA - Billings and the Blacksea Theatre.

The Shadow Guild have seconded the party into the employ of an old man named Walter Billings. He tells them that he has a number of jobs for them to do over the next few months. The first is a simple burglary. He wants them to break into the Blacksea Theatre in Norn Hill and steal a number of items from the theatre's museum.

Walter has asked them to steal:

  • A ruby encrusted dagger,
  • A red, silk dress worn by Emily Hawkwind,
  • A program signed by Yarroth Hammerwind.
  • Props from the production of The Fallen Prince.

Using some cunning illusions to mask their entry they break into to the Theatre late one night. They discover the theatre's museum and begin to search for the required items. Unfortunately their actions trigger the museums guardian – an animated, stuffed bear. They dispatch the bear, gather the booty and run.

Midwinter City, February 28th 1045TA - The Dwarven Tomb.

After finishing the Theatre, Billings informs the group of their next job. In Victory Park lies the tomb of the city's inhabitants, killed during the Horde siege of 999 TA . One in particular is a dwarf named Bolar Skarrad. He was born in the Stonelands but lived most of his life here in the city. Billings wants the party to find his tomb, enter it and return with Skarrad's Skull. Skarrad was buried with six of his bodyguards and they have been enchanted to defend his tomb. Their souls have been trapped within their armour and they have become living constructs.

Crow explores the tomb complex in gaseous form. He is assaulted by Skarrad's guards when he enters his tomb. He returns to the rest of the party at the local inn to tell them he has found Skarrad's resting place but they will need more muscle to get the skull.

They enter the tomb in force and locate Skarrad's tomb. They dispatch the guardians and get the skull. Unfortunately they discover that their passage out has been blocked by skeletons from the other tombs.

They try to beat a hasty retreat but are nearly overwhelmed by the horde of undead. They narrowly escape with their lives but they are unable to close the tomb gates behind them, allowing the skeletons free reign in the neighbourhood.

Midwinter City, March 4th-26th 1045TA - Three Little Books.

On returning the skull to Walter Billings, he tells them that they are to procure 3 books for him.

  • An Brae Al Shadath (The Mirror of Shadow) by Andre de Chesarath, 563 TA .
  • An Larawas (The Fallen) by Vala Ullastyri, c. 700 TA .
  • An Maen Affran (The Black Glass) by Lavi Bonovan, 678 TA .

These three books are all over three hundred years old and extremely rare. There are a number of book collectors and traders in the city who may have copies. The PCs just have to track them down.

Crow visits several book merchants in the city to see if they can buy the books. He discovers that a copy of An Brae Al Shadath was recently bought by a resident of Norn Hill , Jordan Courtney, and that someone else, a mage named Tarika Za'Faer, has been looking for An Larawas . The merchants all suggest that they will find a copy of An Maen Affran in the Mason's Guild.

That night they locate Courtney's house and perform a successful burglary. They take the book to Billings . For the third book they visit the Shadow Guild and ask for their help. The guild has contacts within the Mason's Guild who supply them with updated plans of the sewers as well as maintenance schedules etc. The Shadow Guild borrows the book from the Mason's and the party set about getting it copied.

They then set about recovering the final book. They discover that Tarika Za'Faer is a mage with a tower in the Bazaar. After a bit of reconnaissance Amrod decide to try and meet Tarika and strike up a relationship. He follows her to a shop supplying scroll making materials where she buys some supplies. As she leaves the shop, Amrod bumps into her causing her to drop the components. Unfortunately his charm offensive fails and Tarika flies off the handle. Beating a hasty retreat he return to the rest of the party in failure.

They decide to steal the book instead. They wait for her to leave the tower and then break in. Unfortunately they have to deal with her guards and her apprentices. Leaving the guards tied up and the apprentices dead. They find the book in Tarika's substantial library and flee the crime scene.

They lie low for a few days and word reaches them that the watch are searching for the murderer of several guards and apprentices. Shortly after, the watch announces that they have apprehended the murderer and he has been executed. The party are puzzled by the turn of events and are unsure what to make of these events.

Tarika has noticed the book missing from her library and from the guard's description of their assailants she has worked out that Amrod was involved in the theft. She has fabricated a crime scene to convict an innocent man of the crime so she can delve into Amrod's actions. She sends a letter to Amrod asking for the money he owes for the ink and scrolls he damaged and she plans to blackmail him into betraying Billings .

Amrod meets with Tarika in secret. She tells him that she knows of the theft of the book and she wants to know why he stole it. Amrod refuses to tell her anything and leaves only to find another letter at his digs threatening him and his friends if he doesn't play ball.

He finally decides to tell the others what is going on. After much discussion they decide to go to Billings and tell what has happened. After a period of initial anger, Billings is intrigued by the identity of Tarika and her interest in the three books. He tells Amrod to meet with her again and that he is to lead her into a trap set by the rest of the party.

Amrod organises another meeting in the Chalice and Bracer. Amrod tells Tarika that he is working for a man named Walter Billings and that he will take her to him. She agrees to go with him but as they leave the inn she cast a suggestion spell on him and suggests that he lead her right to Billings . Amrod leads her right across the city to Billings , away from the party's carefully prepared trap.

When Amrod and Tarika don't appear as planned the party return to their digs. Amrod returns a few hours later after unknowingly led Tarika to Billings . While they are deciding what to do next they receive a note from a pot-boy at Billing's inn. The note tells them they are to meet with Mrs Billings at their earliest convenience.

Being fairly sure who ‘Mrs Billings' is they head of to The Greenwood to meet her. When they get their they speak to the tavern-keeper. He tells them that Billings has been taken ill with a brain fever and that his wife has come to look after him.

He takes them into the sitting room where Mr and Mrs Billings are resting. Mrs Billings is indeed Tarika Za'Faer. Billings is obviously under some form of spell that is making him act like a drooling idiot. Tarika tells them that she is now in charge of Billings project and they are to hand over the remaining two books to her.

Ted decides that he may be able to dispel the spell that is affecting Billings . He sidles over and tries to touch Billings without being seen. Tarika is, however, more astute then he thought and she spots his movements. All hell breaks loose in the room. Alex is able cast a Silence spell to stop Tarika's spellcasting while Ted, Amrod and Dog attack her.

Realising that her attack spells are useless, she casts a non-vocal Gaseous Form spell and tries to escape. Alex quickly drops the Silence and Crow blasts her with several Scorching Rays , killing her.

After making sure no one has heard the ruckus, they make plans on how to dispose of Tarika's body. Alex uses his illusion powers to masquerade as her and leave the inn, telling the inn-keeper that the other party members are going to look after ‘poor Walter'.

They work out that Walter has been Feebleminded . They need a high-ranking priest to remove the spell. They decide to try the Shadow Guild and are able to pay their resident priest of Raeth to remove the spell.

Over the next few days the party also hatch a plot to take over Tarika's residence by masquerading her and signing over the lease etc to the party. Within a week they are settled into Tarika's tower with Billings in tow.

On to Part 4 of the Chronicle.

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