I’ll admit it, I was worried about my employment prospects with the death of the king, may Pelor embrace him. Seems like old Bronzebeard still has a use for me, though. He called me up to his house on the hill for a meeting, along with some others. We all introduced ourselves in the antechamber, there was:
Anung un Rama- A tiefling warrior, seemed to have a good head for tactics, if a bit ruthless.
Rex- A dragonborn warrior-priest of Pelor. Seems capable, and his morality should balance the tiefling’s.
Alixre- A pretty little Deva. Stickier fingers than I would have thought, for her type, but I guess even theives are reincarnated.
And finally, me! Trysanto Guilleforte, Sorcerer-Adept and Séduceur all wrapped in one.
Old Dirk is looking for the scrolls that detail the late king’s genealogy, trying to find a true heir. I’m not sure that one actually exists, but who’d argue with two-thousand gold and no questions asked? Of course, there’s a reason he doesn’t want to know too much. The king’s cipher? Well, it just so happens that it lies in some light-forsaken basement in Pelor’s own cathedral. And let’s just say the old priests don’t exactly like opening their nether regions to the world, not even to Bronzebeard himself. Being that he didn’t want to know too much, we were all summarily dismissed, so we headed to an inn to wet our throats and plan the day’s activity.
We picked a place at random and bought ourselves rooms for the night. The innkeep warned us to keep clear of one of the other patrons. Black suit and bowler, half-orc bodyguards… I didn’t need to be told twice. We all sat down to discuss plans. The thing about Pelor’s temple here in Arcand is, well, being the Capitol and all the place is pretty much a hub for all the fuddy-duddy bishops and other highly-rank priests. They make nice, especially since the furore of their failed coup. Truth is, though, they pretty much obey their own rules when they can. Anung theorised that the temple would be no different to the rest of the city. That is, built upon layer of dusty layer of ruins. I left them all to their tunnel-talk and roamed the streets, see if I can scare out any useful tidbits of information. An old beggar bent my ear some about the temple, accusing them of heresy and other such conspiracies. Nevertheless I did get some useful information from him.
I returned to the inn to relate what I had learned. The guards all live in the districts surrounding the temple and congregate at one central guardhouse. Anung suggested firing some of the guards’ homes to create a distraction. Alixre was all too ready to go along, but Rex and I put a stop to that. I mean really, that kind of thing should be a last resort if considered at all. During our discussion one of the half-orcs came and accosted me, taking me to his employer, a certain ‘Mr Branson’. Somehow he knew that I had been poking around the city, and offered his protection from ‘certain eyes’. For a hefty sum, of course. Well, the others weren’t too impressed, and so sent me back with a counteroffer. I don’t know what came over me, but all my charm and bellicosity just vanished. Not only did I fail to negotiate with the man, but a clumsy bluff soured him into hostility. Seems that my blundering may have been fortuitous though, for it was just after we left that the civil guard arrived and poured into that very inn.
As night fell, we decided to impose upon the temple’s supposed goodwill to one of its own.There wre six guards on the gate, led by a tiefling sergeant. They seemed alert, would have been hard to sneak past. We asked for rooms for the night, and wonder of wonders they actually let us in. I say we, but we wouldn’t have gotten in so easily were it not for Rex’s affiliations and silver tongue. Pilgrim’s quarters were about what you’d expect. Pallets on the floor, dim lights, and not a mirror in sight. There was a sick man and some tiefling pilgrims. One of them was just a kid.
After some initial difficulties with timing the inner patrols and collecting Alixre from the women’s quarters, we found our way down to the cellar. Alixre managed to get the door to some sort of magical storeroom open. Thing was so bleedin’ cold it was hard to move. Now, somehow, even though we set the dragonborn on watch, that sneak of a tiefling kid managed to get past us all and lock himself in the storeroom. Made Rex right angry that did, and he put the fear on the boy. Not only did he tell us about a trapdoor leading to the sewers under the temple, he gave us the key as well.
After ensuring that the kid wouldn’t talk, through judicious display of Rex’s impressive array of teeth, we descended down through the trapdoor. About what you’d expect, dirt and stone, ending in a door. The door had some test of faith blather on it, but it turns out it wasn’t locked after all. No sooner had we got into the sewers proper than some shadowy form flooded us with effluent! Not only did the disgusting smell increase a thousandfold, but it quite ruined our shoes. Not to mention the acid eating away at our flesh. Suffice to say, we pursued immediately, trying to get out of the dangerous muck in the process. After a brief scuffle, and killing some oversized beetles that scuttled out to harass us, we had defeated the figure, some strange insectoid man. Continuing on, we found a a sort of hub, many doors leading off in all directions, some locker and a desk. Anrama searched the desk while the rest of us poked around. Seems like the priests of Pelor had been conducting some transactions involving Deep Speech. Not damning in itself, but it’s something to keep in mind. Alixre coaxed or broke all the locks. In one of the lockers was some sort of magical orb, but nothing else major, although I did swipe some of the worker’s coveralls. One can never have enough disguises. Ever.
After a brief conference, and finding that none of the doors seemed to be locked (these Pelorrites are superbly security conscious, are they not?), we decided to approach the library to find the cipher. Turns out security wasn’t quite as lax as I thought. We were poking around at a fork in the tunnel when we were caught by a squad of guards led by a ridiculously massive dragonborn. And of course we’d have the good fortune to be found by the resident bigot. Seems like he wasn’t too popular with his comrades, but he had the weight to throw around. He seemed about ready to kill Anung, but some more fast talking on Rex’s part ensured that he would merely be taken to the barracks of Rex’s order. Rex and I pressed on to the library, the goon squad having disbanded and the bigot taking Anung away. He should survive, he seems sturdy enough. Alixre didn’t catch up with us after hiding when the goons came, so I can only assume that she’s taking are of him.
We, Rex and I, that is, made it to the library without any further incident. Asking some archivist for advice, we were taken to a father Jack. An old, fat, belligerent priest, he seemed to think we were from one of the noble houses. Apparently they have been quite insistent upon getting their own hands upon the cipher. I tried some fast talk, but today just isn’t my day. He was on the verge of running us out when a dust-covered orderly ran out, panicking about how someone had broken into “you know… the thing”. Seemed like the best opportunity we’d get, so we immediately took charge of the situation, instructing the poor wretch to guide us to what presumably was the cipher. We passed through a panoply of stacks and storerooms, eventually coming to a wall that had been broken down in some manner.
A billowing cloud of dust blinded us both. By the time we had recovered, our erstwhile guard had disappeared with a grunt and a squelch. We found him later on, taking a nap atop a dagger. Something heavy and square had been dragged out. We followed the trail through various twists and turns, always going up. Eventually we found our quarry halfway down some dank alley, two men dragging a safe with ropes. Well, they had what we wanted, so I really let loose. I was positively chilling to behold, my powerful magic encasing one of the men in an icy tomb. The other frantically blew a whistle as we approached, tugging vainly at the safe before hopping atop it to kick out at Rex. No sooner had we caught up, however, than a carriage swooped in and swallowed up both man and safe. I quickly scorched one of the wheels, and Rex cut a large chunk out of one, but it sped off before we could do anything else, leaving behind not a trace nor trail to follow. We searched the corpse, finding three more daggers.
The others eventually caught up and were justifiably disappointed. We do have two leads, however. The daggers, and a crest.
Didn’t take the best notes this time around, so a lot of this came from my (incredibly imperfect) memory. Let me know of any errors and I’ll fix ‘em up. Also, Although I heard it, Trysanto doesn’t yet know what happened to Anung and Alixre when the party split. Have to hear it from them. -Skewed