1. Parting Ways
Shortly after Lord Neverember extended his offer, the party bagen to discuss whether they should accept or not. At this time, Silamnriel the ranger let it be known she could no longer continue on this quest. Something distant echoed back to her homeland, and she could not resist its call. Similarly, Wil the wizard had also discovered a minor bit of personal business he had to attend to in short order.
And thus, the party was 3… For now…
2. The Moonstone Mask
Our heroes exit the carriage appointed to them, awestruck by the landscape of the Moonstone Mask. After taking in the view, the party makes their way into the main hall.
Music fills the room, and many different conversations create a dull buzz. The proprietor, an attractive woman with a penchant for revealing evening wear, approches the group. She explains that their arrival is expected, and their bill has already been taken care.
After some light dicussion, the party decided to make full use of their open tab. The dwarf naturally began sampling the local ales, stouts, lagers, and whatever alcoholic beverage he could find. The bard took to the stage, performing an inspiring melody on his lute. Meanwhile, the paladin was enjoying some private company behind closed curtains.
After awhile, an argument broke out between one of the locals and a member of Neverember’s guard about protection of the city, and Neverember’s true intentions. Seeing this as an oppurtunity for a little excitement, our dwarf, inspired by the alcohol coursing through him, gave the local a slight nudge towards the guard.
This minor action caused the guardsman to become enraged at the the local’s apparent display of disrespect. His fellow guards held back the man, while our bard defused the situation, disappointing as it may have been to the dwarf.
After everyone had said their peace and dispersed, our heroes retired to their seperate quarters, and rested for the night.
3. The Next Morning
Upon awakening, the dwarf found a man hiding in his room. No ordinary man though. A shade, pulsing in and out of this world. Surprised, and a little angry, the dwarf rousted himself from his bed, with the family jewels and scepter proudly displayed.
Dumbfounded by the audactity of the dwarf, the shade stumbled over his words. He explained that he had been sent by Lord Neverember and had a private message for the party. After hearing this, the dwarf dressed himself and roused the rest of our heroes.
The shade explained that there was an old mages’ tower near the edge of town, and inside was an item of great importance to Neverember. An artifact known as the Malleus Maleficarum. If the party should retrieve this item, they would be paid handsomely for their efforts. Neverember was also interested in any other armors and armor that may be found inside, and offered to pay for those as well.
After a bit of discussion, the heroes agreed they would retrieve this item. The shade then explained to them there were two ways to the tower. The heroes could trudge through orc-infested slums… Or he could have the wizard Delacha Anryn teleport them via a linked portal.
Lacking in manpower, the heroes decided that sneaking through the sewers may be their best option. And with that, the were transported.
4. The Sewers
Our heroes found themselves in a cylindrical room, with smooth hewn stone walls surrounding them, and a door leading to the East. After some brief inspection, our party made their way through the door. The hall they entered was similarly contrsucted, and they continued on their way forward.
After a short while, the adventurers came to an intersection. There was a doorway to the North, and more empty halls leading to the South and further East.
Letting his curiosity get the better of him, our dwarf began rummaging through a rubbish pile in hopes of finding some lost trinket or treasure. Instead what he found was a swarm of rats. Surprised by their sheer numbers, the dwarf fell back as he yelled to his fellow adventurers.
The heroes deftly cut down rat after rat, but their best efforts seemed ineffective at dealing with this writhing mass of critters.
After a time, two wererats joined the battle from the South, wielding short swords. The heroes decided that the dwarf and paladin would engage the wereats, while the bard found a way to deal with rat swarm.
The vile foes put up a fight to be remembered. Bloodying our deft adventurers. Eventually, the bard returned with a basket of hay, and a torch, whcih he used to set the rat swarm ablaze.
This small vixtory inspired our heroes, and they slayed the wererats without much further trouble.
After the battle, the party set the corpses on fire, and took a short rest to recover before continuing further South.
After a short walk, they discovered some sort of makeshift den. It appeared to be where the wererats were taking up residence. After rummaging through everything, the party decided it best to burn it all, lest the rats have a home ro return to.
Halls lead to the East and West from this hovel, and our party decided to move to the West. There they discovered a hidden room, where they could feel some kind of magic at work. There were two statues wearing magical cloaks, and a strange, circular altar in the middle of the room.
After investigating everything, the dwarf climbed up the statues and claimed the cloaks for his own. A brief inspection by the bard revealed they had minor protective properties, but not much more. The heroes distributed these and left the room.
After exiting the hidden room, the players made their way into a door led North. This opened to a small room with weapon racks on either side. They were well kept, but unremarkable. There was one blade among them that stood out. It had the initials ‘E.B’ engraved on it. Our paladin recognized this blade as belonging to Ernesto Balatast. The group decided it best to take them, in hopes of being rewarded by Neverember.
Yet another door opened to the North. The players entered, and discovered a much larger, and netter equipped wererat looking over a table of maps and notes. Looking up from the table, he introduced himself as Jandan, leader of the Dead Rats.
Their identites still unknown, the rat assumed them to be new recruits. The bard did the best he could to maintain the ruse. After awhile, his resolve broke and he called for attack!
The heroes attacked the rat, but he was swift and agile. He clawed their faces, and danced about the room. He dodged attacks with great precision. Our heroes kept their wits about them though, and slowly but surely began wearing the foul creature down.
Our dwarf decided he had had enough, and assumed his primal form of the Fearsome Ram, and charged Jandan, knocking him nearly across the room.
As the tides of battle were turning, Jandan released a Dire Rat! The creature went straight for the bard. The combined attacks of the rat and Jandan overcame the bard, and fell to the ground.
Seeing their comrade so near the death, the dwarf and the paladin rallied. The paladin called down righteous fury upon Jandan, and he and the dire rat were dispatched in short order.
The dwarf and paladin rushed to the bard, and stabilized his condition. After recuperating, the heroes examined the corpses of Jandan and the rat. The bard found a fine blade, which emitted a light hum. His arcane prowess was not great enough to discern anything further, but he figured it would be good to hold on to. The paladin also found a mysterious note addressed to Jandan on the table, signed only as ‘C’.
Once the heroes were sure they had gotten all they had come for, they torched the bodies and left the room. The heroes decided to hold up in the hidden room for the night, and recuperate, for they had just fought a mighty battle and barely escaped with their lives.