Sharn – City of Towers – The Undercity
As Norrin looked about him, from the journal to the surrounding sprawl of bodies and market “stalls” in these lower levels of the city, the slums even, the party had little clue where to go. Squee was off doing his own thing and the journal meant little to these newcomers … where to go next?
As each hour passed, Squee suddenly appear; “Come ‘ere, this gobbo has some mint pieces, let’s get something while we’re looking!?” Not getting anywhere quick, the party followed Squee and as he bartered with the marketer, who’s goods were scattered across a dingy blanket with pieces taken from the slums, Squee picked up a couple of small trinkets. As they got near to leaving, Squee asked about another doorway to the lower levels and specifically the entry valve.
Strangely enough, the marketer did know of its location, having lived all his years in the lower levels … “Information costs, my friends,” he stated, holding out his grimy paw, looking rather sheepish as the party pushed closer … “I’m just a poor merchant making a pittance … say a few silver pieces for directions?” The party pressed the goblin for more information before handing over any monies, to the point where they pressured him to lead them to the said entry valve, only then handing over the few coins. Opening the heavy doorway to the sewers, the party made their way down, approaching the rank smell of the cities sewers below ... “Let’s hope the forge ruins don’t stink as much!” Castus stated, with a scented cloth over his nose and mouth.
As the sewer waters came into sight, once again the inexperienced party where ambushed from behind, followed by others making an assault from the front! It was once again warforged warriors working for the Lord of the Blades! The party stood their ground, working better this time in supporting each other, deflecting crossbow bolts, and clashing sword against the warforged armour … the battle was quickly over!
As Norrin pulled out the journal again, it made a ref to a magically sealed door, and quickly finding it amongst the many alcoves in the sewers, Squee took the ring to unlock it, darting down another set of stairs to the Undercity ruins, and hopefully where the schema was. But, in his haste, Squee disappeared into the pitch blackness and moved to far ahead of the party when he was attacked by a ravenous swarm of insects! With no way to fight them with blade or bolt, Norrin had just lit his lantern whilst still holding his flask of oil, so tossing that towards the massive swarm in a blast of bright light and fire, sacred them away, whilst Squee disappeared up a wall!
As the massive blaze engulfed the bugs, the bright light from the flames lit the ruins, showing various old buildings, a broken statue and crumbling walls. “Best we spread out and see if we can find the room mentioned in the journal?” Krag, the dwarf, pushed on, examine the various walls and underground buildings. Perhaps not the smartest move with the blazing light, but as the party pushed forward, they attracted some of the locals … a couple of vicious rats! Both Squee and Norrin where bitten badly, but with the help of their fellow adventurers, soon dispatched the vermin.
Moving deeper into the ruins, an open doorway to what looked like a temple lead the party to find a sorcerer, bound and gagged! Saying little, he was showing signs of being poisoned, so Norrin gave up the only antidote potion the party had to help him recover from his plight. Groggy from his exploits, he could tell the party nothing, but offered to help if he could. Moving across to a larger building, the dwarf examined the building that was the forge described in the journal, which he confirmed. The stink and stains of a forge never waned, even as decades passed. Two large doors barred their way, and as they tried to force entry, Krag suggested trying the roof for the goblin to shimmy down the chimney to let them in?
Using a rope & grappling hook, Squee was on the roof in no time, where he discovered a large caved in section. Hanging over the side, he could see into forge, but there was no sign of life anywhere. Calling to the adventurers to climb up, he climbed down into the darkened room himself; only getting halfway down when the heavy clanking of two Iron Defenders caught his eye, their red-blazing eyes fixed firmly on the intruder, hurling themselves towards him with no hope of escape! As Squee closed his eyes and prayed to his forsaken god to welcome him, they stopped, for no reason at all!?
Why the guards stopped became apparent as Squee approached them … they bore the same mark on their foreheads as he wore on his finger! The ring had once more proved very valuable indeed. As the others arrived and where let into the building, they lit the place up to see what was left behind … very little of value, it would seem. A couple of plinths and an engraved floor panel sat near the main fireplace where the forge would have done its work. Examining the plinths, two keys where needed to open the floor panel. The party searched all the cabinets, chests and shelves for something that could fit, when Squee piped up, “Hey, look at these iron dogs, my ring fits into their forehead!” As he placed the ring, the first key rose from its template, and doing the same again to the other Iron Defender, they now had their keys!
However, unlocking each plinth didn’t work and a heavy clunk sounded ominous. Just then, Castus (or was it Krag!?) spoke … “Let’s try the keys at the same time!?” Doing so caused a sudden jolt in the floor as heavy cogs underneath could be heard working as the floor panel rose to reveal a hidden chest, heavily padlocked. The sorcerer noticed that it was magically sealed, and with the help of magic & steel, was soon smashed open. But, as Squee picked away, he suffered electrical shocks from the chest, eventually tipping it off the raised plinth, casting treasure across the floor, including the artefact … the party had found their real treasure!
Sharing out the goods, Krag recognised an ingot of steel with the Silver Flame properties. Handing it to Norrin, he advised that it could be forged into a mace or blade! Norrin thanked the dwarf greatly. “I shall have it forged into a blade and call it “Zenn-La” after my old master, the wisest and purest soul in these sinful lands, may he guide my hand!”
Having shared out the treasures, Norrin suggested looking at the broken statue in the far corner, but before they could approach, three shadowy figures appeared before them … “Leave the artefact and walk free flashings, or Sabre shall strike you down!” In the distance, the party could see another group of Warforged warriors, the leader protected in special armour … this wasn’t going to be a quick getaway back to the Broken Anvil!
Bolts and arrows flew back and forth as each side attacked. Sadly, Norrin being clad in heavy armour, joined the battle late as Krag took a heavy blow from Sabre, but as he fell back, Norrin blocked the next blow, suffering an even worse gash! As the battle raged, the henchman where dispatched with quickly and the other party members made good their attack on the leader as well, knocking him to the ground. As he breathed his last breath, a magical wisp flew from his chest and disappeared into the dark, most likely carrying a message back to Sabres’ master, letting him know he was dead. “We care not; let them know we have destroyed the best they can throw at us!” Krag shouted as the wisp flew away.
With the deed done, the party bound their wounds and headed back to the Broken Anvil, producing the artefact across the table to Lady Elandren. Passing the reward across the table, she thanked the party, asking for the journal and ring that had guided them on their journey. Norrin handed over the journal, asking if she could help find a blacksmith to forge Zenn-La? “Gladly, my friend, your deeds shall be remembered. Give me the ingot and I shall have my house do this for you for free as a reward to the success you and your friends had on this perilous journey … and the ring?” Both looked at Squee.
“The ring? Oh, sorry, I dropped it escaping from the dungeon.”
As Lady E and Norrin looked at each other they knew only too well he still held the ring, but getting it from a goblin would be like cutting off his arms. “I shall send some men down into the sewers to see if they can find it. Now we must part. I shall call on your services again, brave adventurers.”
As the party members broke up, each went their own way, some to the market to buy goods with their new wealth, others to pray for their good fortune and others to rest. They had fought well, the luck of gods on their side and survived many harsh encounters and as their experience grew, they knew what lay ahead would be much more dangerous and challenging than what went before them … could they work together to seek more glory and wealth!?