From the Journal of Evanora
Fredrick and I are heading back to Yandon’s warehouse and I can tell something or someone is watching but unfortunately, I just can’t recognise it. We arrive and the place looks deserted and I pull Fredrick over to a nearby food cart while I consider what to do. I create an origami figurine with the words ‘we are being watched’ written on the inside and ask Fredrick to throw it at the building. He does and unfortunately it lands on the porch and it looks like no one is there to see it or attempt to grab it. I decide to create a diversion instead and create some magical fireworks down the road. It causes a decent distraction and Fredrick and I take off down the side street and enter the backyard of the building. Knocking at the door, we hear Duzret on the other side ask ‘who is it?’ Who the bloody hell do you think it is…
Fredrick cuts off my response and says, let us in you ‘breed’. (A word I have noticed they call it each other to rile the other up). He opens it now a bit angry but my expression shows I am in no mood. I ask him if the others are back and he confirms yes.
We head in and I locate Yru and Ven in the front room. They confirm that this building is being watched and that we have to go.
I ask about Yandon, and Ven confirms he has been found alive and as I am about to ask more details, Fredrick calls us over to the front window where he points out that a large ‘dust cloud’ is coming this way….
Ven orders us upstairs to go through the sewer exit. We turn and make our way up and manage to squeeze Duzret through the ‘portal’. Just as I enter, we hear the front door downstairs break open. Ven comes last, closes it, and seals the door from this side. We head down and along the sewers until we reach a crossroad. We finally get a moment to talk and Ven explains about Yandon and how one of Waheed’s domo’s attacked him. He was the one who had the Green Book. I ask for confirmation that the book is not Waheed’s or Yandon’s and he says yes. I already suspected this but it was nice to have confirmation. Unfortunately, Ven caught my reaction and says ‘but you already knew that!’ Dammit I have to be careful around him. I explain that I have been offered a deal – but I wanted to make sure Yandon did not have orders that would change our mission. Ven says that he has not and that Yandon is only concerned with getting outside the city now.
I tell them that I have been offered a deal. If we allow the city attack to continue this person will hand over the ‘elusive man’ from the bazaar attack and that he has links that lead us back to Lemish and the opposing business man Vicben.
Ven seems surprised but I explain to them what I have worked out. The attack is a ruse. Oh sure there is going to be an attack and people will die but it is not going to be the destruction of the city. I tell them that Sanction has organized the attack and I believe it is because Sanction has offered them an alliance where Crafthaven will submit to Sanction in exchange for its protection. From what I can work out the first attack did not convince the merchants and so Sanction have planned this attack with more care. It’s at this that Fredrick (providing interesting political knowledge of the area) saying that many of the other city states would be upset if Crafthaven submitted to Sanction but they would probably let it slide if the bazaar and the trading continued as most of the nearby areas now depend on Crafthaven’s trade. I explain that I am not sure how the Lord from Lemish works but I do know that the Sanction officer here – a Lt Karnak, is tasked with making sure the foreign dignities are safe from harm during the attack.
I am about to tell them further but we suddenly hear a noise and a thief appears out of one of the passage. I approach and say ‘how can we help you?’ He looks shocked but I explain that we are ‘associates of Dingo’. He looks relieved and says he was sent to find us. It seems the building where the hooded creatures were hiding has exploded and the thieves are under attack by these creatures in the sewers. He reports that the families are making their way out to the docks. I motion understanding and tell him to proceed.
He heads off.
Making sure, he is out of earshot I explain that the plans have had to be accelerated due to my interference. They look at me weirdly and I explain that I was telling the information we had gathered to the Red Robe Wizard in charge and when I mentioned Captain Deathe, a Black Robe wizard who was in the room used a wand to kill the Red Robe. The black robe wizard was the one who made the deal with me and that he has accelerated the plans.
I tell them that we have to get our horses and find a place to wait out the attack and then I can contact the Wizard after the fight.
Ven and the others agree – Just as I predicted, they do not care about the city but Ven does seem interested in that man who is linked to the cultist.
There was something however that passed between Yru and Ven when we were discussing the book back at Yandon’s warehouse but they don’t seem eager to tell me…..
We decide to head back to the Happy Harpy and we get out of the nearby grate. Fredrick and Duzret go to get the horses from the stables while Ven watches. Yru asks what I wanted to do and I say I if it is not too much trouble I would like to find the Ergothian Man who was in room #6 as I have something of his. Ven and Yru both look at me and I explain that at the guardhouse, in one of sacks was his room’s contents and I would like to return it to him as I am not a thief and he has not wronged me. Ven looks at me strangely but I shrug it off.
Yru moves forward in the shadows to approach the door and I attempt to follow but I can tell this is not my forte. As he approaches, I take the moment to see if I can sense any magic around the building.
The Happy Harpy is infected with Cultist magic and opening myself up to it, I feel the feedback. I cannot help but scream in pain as I try to remove the attack from my mind. I can tell that something penetrated and went through my thoughts but to what information it gleamed, I am unsure.
Yru rushes over and I explain that the Cultists have infected the inn with their magic and its reaching a Crescendo – we have to get out.
Thankfully, Yru and Duzret come at that moment and we all get on our horses and ride away.
Now that I think about it, the area about the inn was strangely quiet. This attack is much more diabolical than I thought.
One thing I do sense is that the book ‘woke up’ when the feedback happened and it’s looking around. I reach out to try to quieten its presence but instead I get a ping within my head…..and the ping was linked with someone else… Ven….. I look at him and I can tell he knows or has something linked to the book now…..
Before I can ask him questions he leads us towards the docks and hopefully see if there is way we can escape into the nearby forests.
We are proceeding down to the dock when suddenly we notice a large line of people streaming from an open hatch from the sewers. It starts out as woman, children and the elderly. The Thieves’ families! They seem to be running from something so I stop at the intersection that we meet them at and wait to see what is following them.
I understand neutralising those that could be a threat but this is just plain murder/massacre.
The others stop and Ven realises what I am doing. He orders the other three to proceed down to the docks where we can see that the people are heading for the third ship (not Sanction or Rikus) in the harbour.
Finally, two thieves come out of the tunnel and one is gravely wounded. He yells out – that the creatures are just behind them. I tell them to make their way to the ship and I turn my horse and wait.
I can sense them before I see the creatures and taking the opportunity I tell them flatly, ‘I have an agreement with your Master from Sanction, leave these people be. Continue your mission’
Its a little time before they step out from the shadows and I can see (at least partial) them for the first time. There are 10x hooded creatures.
Definitely claws on their hands and feet, hooded to hide anything else. The leader has a staff while the others all have long swords.
The leader steps forward – ‘Greetings Mistress, we are new to this city; perhaps you can help us’.
Highly amusing that he thought I would buy some a bold face lie. I turn and notice that I cannot see Ven, but I can sense him somehow. He’s stealthed.
Deciding this is heading badly quite quickly I decide to exert my authority (also I was pissed off from the attack at the Inn).
‘Creature, you had best go back from where hence you came or you and your brethren will not survive’. (Intimidate – Witch Powers – Natural #20)
He is weary. They are discussing the situation quietly between them in a language I do not understand.
In the end its one of his off-siders who makes the first move – He uses his claws to rip open his robes, spreads wings (WINGS!!) draws his sword and says ‘We must get the book back’.
Now that I can see them, they are quite interesting. Definitely a reptile type creature and the ability to fly/hover… interesting.
Before they can launch at me I cast Sleep on them. I was hopefully to be able to make 2-3 incapacitated but instead eight of the ten fall asleep on the ground. Two of them at the back are only slowed.
Luckily, that is all Ven needed and suddenly a bolt comes out of the shadows to the right of me and hits the first Lizard Creature in the neck. It clutches hits neck and then suddenly turns to stone!
Did Ven get a new poison when I was not looking? – that was amazing!
I don’t give the other a chance to attack and manage to hypnotise him to attack one of his fallen companions. He turns, draws his sword and stabs him in the back.
Between Ven & I we manage to work methodically through and kill of each creature.
Currently: 5 dead. 1 Dazed (Poison weapons), 4 (Including Leader – Staff is pushed away – not magical), and the one who started the attack are left).
After attacking with his crossbow and blow-dart Ven moved forward and pulled this dagger, I have seen him use rarely. I can sense the magic from it and it seems to have an interested interaction with the lizard men.
I also had the interesting experience of stepping down and drawing one of the swords from the lizard men and stabbing the creature with its only sword. This time the sword was stuck inside the creature and it turned to stone.
Perhaps these creatures when they die they turn to stone, very interesting. I will have to warn the others as they could get their weapons stuck inside these creatures, and that could be deadly.
From the Journal of Ven
Yru puts the boots on and they fit perfectly. Hmmm gives the wearer an advantage to stealth… I should have kept them. I put on the dagger arm guards and slip the Mithril Chain Shirt underneath my leathers. The green pendant stays inside the velvet bag, also tucked inside my leathers. I then slip a dagger into each arm slot (the Mithril Dagger is in the right slot) while thinking we really need to get back to Evanora before she does something bad with the book! Yandon will look after Olaf and his family and I mention that if they should hear the bells start to ring on the seeker temple multiple times before 5.00pm, it will mean the shit has hit the fan and the attack has started early. Yru and I leave and return to the warehouse, taking the long way around, but we do believe that the warehouse is being watched. Yru does a search and finds clawed footprints in the dirt in the alleyway but we are also of the option that these Hooded Ones were invisible nearby. There is also a good chance that there are at least 3-6 of the Hooded Ones watching.
Inside the warehouse Duzret is eating food and says that he got it from a food vendor with a cart. It smells terrible and I ask him ‘did you go out the back way and go around?’ Duzret is sheepish and I realise that our cover is blown and that we will have to leave as soon as Evanora and Fredrick return. Yru comes back in and says the Evanora and Fredrick are coming down the street. They stop at another food vendor and Fredrick tries to throw a piece of paper through the wooden slates but fails (badly!).
• Evanora and Fredrick head around to back of warehouse. As Fredrick goes past the window he picks up paper he threw. Both of them also walk right past Yru who was hidden nearby.
• Duzret eventually lets them in the back door of the building after I say ‘let them in’; Duzret was staring straight at them and there was no recognition at all.
• Evanora and Fredrick think they were followed all the way from the Festival Grounds and I say ‘Yes you were’, then I reopen the door so Yru can come in.
• Yru confirms that there are Hooded Ones outside the building and are using invisibility to hide their location and numbers.
• Evanora explains that she has made an arrangement with a Black Robe Mage (for all or just her…) – if we do not interfere with the planned attack on the festival they will hand over the guy that was with the cultist that escaped down the sewer opening.
• I do not trust this Mage and I get the impression Evanora is not telling us ‘everything’ that was discussed…
• I notice that Evanora has a strange look on her face, or a strange feeling, that I think just might (I know it is!) pertain to the fact the ‘book’ can sense something that I might have on my person, linking me to it. It must be my ‘imbued mithril dagger’ (wink wink).
• Evanora knows more by is not saying a word, but we both know it is something that we will be discussed soon.
• Duzret has finished packing and we leave the upstairs area in a state that says it was searched, when Fredrick returns from the front area sayings there is a dust cloud coming moving across the street towards the front entrance – the Hooded Ones are attacking! I get everyone to leave out he back via the rear alleys and lead them along the thieves’ highway until we come to a location where we can get Duzret down into the sewers. This allows us to travel about much more freely than before.
• Once down we surprise a member of the Sleepers who says that the Hooded Ones are causing havoc and that Yandon’s warehouse has been attacked. No kidding
• I lead us via the sewers towards the Happy Harpy and then return to the streets above, make sure we are cleaned up and walk in to grab the horses.
• Things go from bad to worse; Fredrick and Duzret get the horses ready and as we prepare to leave, Yru and Evanora have a closer look at the inn – there is a strong presence of evil magic going on inside the inn, and it has an effect on both Yru and Evanora. We decide to high-tail it towards the docks just as the bell starts ringing on the Seeker temple, many many times. Seems all hell is breaking loose in the city.
• Travel towards the docks is fairly easy as most people are preparing for the festival or have been warned to stay indoors. Very close to our destination we come across a large group of people rushing out from a side alley. Bringing up the rear of this group are a number of wounded Sleepers agents; more is quickly explained as Yru rides forward and offers to lead the way. The Hooded Ones are chasing them and there has been much combat below the streets!
• Yru leads the Sleeper’s family members towards a ship on the dock while Duzret and Fredrick assist and Evanora and I stop and look down the alley they all appeared from to see an open grate with many raised voices coming from below it.
• I dismount and lead my horse just past the entrance to the alley and move into the shadows, watching as the Hooded Ones appear and gather around their leader (carrying a staff) in the alley and starts to talk to Evanora. There are 10 of these creatures in total.
I can feel the connection between the Green Pendant and the booking growing all the time, but keep my expression neutral as now it not the time for that conversation. Because of the ‘link’ I can see a glow the book and I also have a premonition of the Hooded Ones talking and then they step up out of the Sewers. There are 10 of these individuals and all of them are robed like the others I have seen. I can also confirm that they all have clawed feet so they are indeed Hooded Ones. The leader of the group is carrying a staff and says in common (guttural and snakish sounding voice):-
• ‘Greetings Mistress; We are but humble travellers trying to get out of the city.’ What a load of crap.
I am also 100% certain this is the same sounding language \ voice I heard earlier from the cultist that died! It seems Evanora has an agreement with these creatures, via the Black-Robed Mage and a Lt Karnak. Something else she forgot to mention!
Evanora responds with ‘Do not mess with me bitches’ and she has effects coming from here body. Galladrel moment!!!
I pick up that she has some kind of hidden power and these little dudes are uncertain now on how to react to what she has said and done. I listen to see what they are saying and it is in an unknown language (Draconic but I do not know that).
While Evanora and I deal with this threat, Yru and the others are attacked. Duzret yells and warning to Yru telling him to duck but I cannot see exactly what is happening. Might have been an archer, but whoever the archer was, it seems to be a coordinated attack on whomever the first individual was that reached the dock with the Sleeper’s ship. Duzret yells again warning everyone that there are at least a score of hobgoblins with war bows on one of the buildings. I turn and look up and can see the archer’s fire once more into the old men, women and children. I also count around 30 of the hobgoblins on the building.
Looking back down the alley I can see that the Hooded Ones are having a discussion with the leader trying to calm his associates down. But this does not go well and a few of them pull off their robes and prepare for battle, it is what is under their robes that is the most shocking – the Hooded Ones are reptilian creatures!! Like miniature Dragons! The leader of this new group also yells we must retrieve the book and leaps into the air on Wings! That is new and Does everyone want this damn book?
Evanora casts sleep as the main guy continues to wavering. Eight of the Ten Hooded Ones fall – most excellent. Evanora also looked ‘strange’ after the spell had been cast; she had a bit more of a glow again… Hmmm very interesting.
I aim with my hand crossbow and hit one of the two still standing reptiles in the throat – as it dies it turns to stone!! Was it my poison that did that; if so ‘Damn I am good!’ Evanora looks at the last one standing and it suddenly it attacks one of the unconscious reptiles on the ground, hitting it. The battle continues – I use a blowgun and hit the other one that was still awake, then the one on the ground also attacks it causing the last one standing to also turn to stone. We also notice that the longsword it struck with is stuck in the Stone Body! Hmmm maybe it was not me being awesome? Nah I am always awesome.
Back on the dock Yru, Duzret and Fredrick continue to deal with the hobgoblin archers and trying to save the families. I turn back to the alley and hit the reptile on the group that has its sword caught but the bolt bounces off (very strange). Evanora throws a dagger at the air and that is it her actions over with again, while I more through two more of the sleeping bodies with the Mithril Dagger. It really wanted to drain something else from the body I did not let it. Evanora steps down and takes a longsword and stabs one of the unconscious ones and it dies turning to stone.
I kill another and move to the next one.