Shades of Grey

Answers from deadmen

After accepting the charge from Prince Grey and thwarting the assassination attempt on Lord Charney the party was desperate for answers. They searched the surrounding area and found a group of slain humans that they identified as the missing members of the Redwatch that were slain by their attackers. Lord Charney was disgusted by the actions, he shared with the party that he knew he was resented for being new nobility but for them to attempt this was beyond the pale and he would take immediate actions to protect himself and discover who among the nobility was behind this. The sounds of combat had drawn more members of the guard and Lord Charney quickly explained the situation and the party was thanked for their actions. Some of the party were suspicious as to the loyalties of the guards but Lord Charney assured them these were loyal members of the Red Watch, and he asked the party to continue their investigations and report their finding back to him.

With no survivors among the assassins the party was forced to consult other methods to gather evidence, thanks to Sketchy they were able to interrogate the spirits of their attackers. They learned that the robed figure was a cleric and while his answers were elusive they learned that that his name was Floyd Clyde, that he was a servant of the Starchild, and that he had recently been in the caverns beneath the city. They learned from the spirit of one of the fighters was that he was a member of The Blades, a mercenary company based out of the Forge, and that he and his comrades were hired to kill Lord Charney and plant evidence on the body. Virage using less divine methods was able to discern several things from the forgeries, they were written with very expensive ink, an ink that was mostly used for spell casting. He also remarked that the author was left handed, has a thick heavyset build, and walks with a slight limp. The party needed somewhere to regroup and plan their next move, the party decided to travel to the Eagle’s Nest and hopefully make contact with Nessa for additional information.

As they were leaving for the Eagle’s Nest Sketchy saw an old comrade named Olivia, she was an elf a powerful druid. He quickly was able to convince her to join the group in their endeavors, Booka and Roth both muttered their dismay at another elf joining the party. Roth suggested that they consult the monks of the Smiling Horizon for any additional information on the starchild, he had taken the leaders holy symbol and hoped hte monks would be able to identify it. They arrived at the monastery and after a few minutes found a scholar who was able to offer some insight, the symbol was not of any well known god, but the scholar was able to offer some theories that it was not from a god but rather a powerful servant of something from the outer planes. Roth thanked the scholar and the group set off to contact Nessa.

They arrived at the Eagle’s Nest and were directed to Nessa’s table, she immeadiately recognized them from the council earlier in the morning and asked how she could aid them. The party explained that they had just thwarted an assassination attempt on Lord Charney and were hoping she could provide information. She grew visibly upset about he attempt on Lord Charney’s life, the city was still rebuilding after the coup and some idiots were causing problems again. The party asked for some place private to speak, and she nodded and lead them to one of the rooms located upstairs and uttered a phrase before opening the door. Sketch, Booka, and Roth immediately recognized several power enchantments preventing scrying and that would cause great harm to anyone entering the room without the pass phrase. She explained that The Blades were a rival mercenary group but mostly were active outside of the city and individual bands had a lot of freedom in choosing jobs, they are effective but unprincipled. She had no knowledge of the cult, but if the party were looking to explore the caves beneath the city they had two options. They could explore the cliffs in the Quay in hopes of finding an entrance, or they could contact Mukwan, a half orc ran the day to day operations at the Chartered Company and attempt to gain entrance through the Argent mine. If they were going that deep they should contact the Orecrusher dwarves They were welcome to use the room and gave them the pass phrase. It was part of her civic duty, and asked that the party keep her informed as to all that they discovered .

The party agreed that searching for a specific cave amongst all the others in the Quay was foolish at best, their only option was the Argent Mine and set off to the Chartered Company compound. They arrived to find a dwarf discussing business matters with a half orc, who the party quickly realized was Mukwan. They waited until the pair had finished their discussion before introducing themselves, as the dwarf was leaving the compound Booka asked him about conditions beneath the city. Once the dwarf was suspicious but after Booka explained they were mounting an expedition beneath city. He explained some of the conditions they would face and to be careful of cave ins. The rest of the party was talking with Mukwan and were able to receive permission to enter the Argent Mine and were given a partial map of the mine, all that Mukwan asked was that the fill in the map as they progressed. He warned them that the mine was not open and had been closed after a flood and that he was only recently gathering resources to reopen the mine.

Booka rejoined the party outside of the compound and shared what she had learned, the party agreed to set off for the mine in the morning after they had procured supplies. A short visit to the ever chaotic Odar’s and Roth had acquired a magical rope to aid in their descent should they need it. The group agreed to depart at first line for the mine and begin their descent, they returned to the Eagle’s Nest for a well deserved rest.

They set off in the morning after procuring mounts, and Booka procured a bag of live chickens, they arrived at the mine after a few hours of travel. The descent was easy and they followed the main tunnel until it split off into two paths, one that descended deeper underground and the other that ended at a cave in. Booka deduced that the cave in was recent and the rest of the party heard something coming from behind the collapse. Roth was able to shape the stone to create an exit from the chamber and three disheveled humans emerged. While most of the party were suspicious about their presence in the mine, they identified themselves as employees of Mukwan and had been hired to map out the mine. The trio now only wanted to leave, Sketchy negotiated for their map and used it to fill in the missing sections of the groups map before returning it to the trio. Who swiftly departed for the surface.

The party followed the other tunnel and it descended deeper and they became aware of a strong stench permeating the air, that was becoming stronger the further they descended, until by the time the tunnel opened into a larger chamber the stench was nauseous. The tunnel opened up into a large chamber that was mostly taken up by a large pool, the stench of the room was overpowering and while several members of the party were disgusted by the stench Booka was not irritated in the least and continued trudging along with her bag of chickens and as she neared the waters edge a large shape rose from the fetid water. It resembled some type of large frog but its size dwarfed the party and with a deafening croak from the creature battle was joined. The party pooled their knowledge and identified it as a Froghemoth

The battle turned against the party as they were facing a variety of the beasts attacks, Booka was grappled by its tongue and swallowed hole. The rest of the party were shocked by such a turn of events and redoubled their efforts to kill the creature to save their friend. Their aid was not needed as Booka cut her way out of the beasts stomach…only to fall into the depths of the pool. Even with a gaping wound the beast was not done, Virage attempted to kill the beast but his every move was seen by the beast. Roth was content to keep slashing away at while Sketch and this fairy familiar attacked the beast with ray spells. Olivia turned into a large snake and dealt the deathblow to the beast, as it sank back into the pool Booka emerged.

She had lost her bag of chickens somewhere in the muck and was heartbroken by their loss, she consoled herself with a something she had found in the pool. A large covered in thick muck. She was convinced it was a staff of fire, and after a quick consultation by the rest of the party she was proven correct. The party pooled their knowledge and realized this beasts constantly regurgitated whatever it ate and that was the source of the foul stench, the party shuddered at the implications…except for Roth and Booka who commented that they had been through worse. The party healed their wounds and found that another tunnel exited the chamber and descended further underground. They party pressed on, convinced that they were heading in the right direction to discover the source of the earthquakes.

Their journey continued uneventfully for some time until the tunnel opened into a large cavern. They continued onward coming to a another tunnel but this one had glass walls with gears behind the glass. The party was unsure of what they were as they had never seen anything like it before. The tunnel ended at a door that had a console of some sort next to it. Virage saved the party from harm by finding a glyph of warding, Sketch was unsuccessful at dispelling, but Booka was able to remove the glyph allowing Virage to open the door. As the party entered through the door a robed figure demanded to know who they were! After a swift failure at diplomacy by the party battle was joined as the robed figure let loose a blast of chain lightening striking most of the party severely, then he vanished.

The party charge forward, Booka and Virage were in the lead trying to detect the mage, Olivia turned into a giant ape and tried to climb the walls to find a better vantage point, while Sketch and Roth stayed near the door. The mage stayed invisible casting spells to harm the party, Virage was temporarily dominated but was able to shake it off before killing the druid. Olivia discovered a thick wooden door and while it was open she opened it the druid way with a warp wood spell. As it twisted into a new shape and fell apart Booka charged into the room to find a cozy living quarter with several book shelves.

Just as Booka was entering the room a cloud of noxious fumes appeared in the hallway and several party members identified it as a cloud kill spell. Only Booka escaped the effects of the cloud but while the party was hurt none were killed…then Roth and Sketch heard the sound of breaking glass. The gears that were suspended in the glass hallway were actually inactive clockwork soldiers. Roth immediately cast spiritual weapon to stall them, and Sketch followed it up with a flame strike…but there were to many. They quickly alerted the rest of the party, and Olivia created a wall of thorns to slow their advance into the area where the party was. Just as the wall appeared a fireball slammed into the party. The mage did not take kindly to invaders. Sketch was rightly upset at being struck with so many spells and cast stone shape to create another wall behind the now burning wall of thorns. They finally caught sight of the mage only to watch him teleport away, cursing in rage with the mage escaping the party searched the living quarters for any clues. Virage found a strong box with a small amount of wealth and a ring of mind shielding, the coinage was divided amongst the party while he claimed the ring. With the party safe from the clockwork soldiers the party decided to rest for a short time before advancing further.

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