Forgotten Realms: Cauldron
22nd of Kythorn (mid-morning):
By the grace of the Masked Lord I regained consciousness. Doing a quick scan of the area I noticed the skeletal knights had nothing of great value so I moved over with the rest of the group. We looted the bodies and there were a couple of chest so we opened them and got the contents. While that was going on Merlo’s dog started whining over by what appeared to be a wall but upon closer inspection turned out to be a cleverly hidden door. We could make out noises coming from below and with Randal the linguist in our group ( I wonder why he knows so many different languages he doesn’t look like the scholarly type but who am I to say) understood it to be someone urging on another. With the sound of pick against stone we knew we didn’t have a lot of time. This put us in a quandary, our spell casters where out of spells and most of us where low on health. The Masked Lord may have given me a little life back but I was far from being at the top of my game and from the looks of the others they were in the same boat. We knew if we went down there in the condition we were in it would not end well for us. Of course if we waited Zeron’s group would have the bones and it would not end well for us either. Luckily Alistair remembered that Sigur could help us out with at least some healing and if we were really lucky he would be able to rejuvenate some of their spells. Well we ran back to him and it must have taken all his life force to heal us and replenish the spell casters cuz after he was done he just kind of sank away into the waterfall. Well hopefully he served his God well and finally is getting the rest he deserves. We really didn’t have time to consider it cuz with the precious minutes we were wasting Zeron was getting closer to completing his goal.
We rushed back lined up with the heavy hitters in front and rushed down the stairs. When we got to the bottom someone shouted out to Zeron that we had arrived (again thanks to Randal’s translation). Tharag was the first to react since he was the first one in the line and the stairs were too crowded for any of us to move past each other, except maybe Alistair. I guess being small has its advantages some times. As Tharag moved forward Garguk appeared from behind one of the statues and stuck him in the back but that didn’t deter Tharag and he pushed forward into the fray toeing of with the hobgoblin Jeroog. Alistair was getting antsy and wormed his way around Randal and into the corner and was preparing to cast a spell. Randal seeing Garguk charged him slamming into him so hard that Garguk was knocked to the ground. Merlo moved over to engage Jeroog with Tharag and Roksharr and I, since we had silver arrows, engaged Garguk. Roksharr’s arrow pierced his leg and I seeing an opening in Garguk defenses blasted one right into his face. I think it might have actually improved his looks. You could tell by the look that was on the rest of his face that he wasn’t expecting the fight to go like that. He rolled to his feet and Randal was hot on his heels. Randal must have been getting antsy with thoughts of revenge on his mind cuz when he swung he was distracted enough that Garguk was able to block his attack. Alas it was to no avail cuz Roksharr followed up with another silver arrow blasting it right through his chest and out the other side with the remainder of his life force. I figured Randal might be a little disappointed cuz he didn’t get to land the killing blow but that’s what you get when you fuck off in battle.
Meanwhile on the other side of the crypt, there was a goblin standing near a hole in the ground and as soon as he saw us he tossed some chain down it and he soon followed. Zeron, Jeroog, and #3 where left and Alistair dropped some rocks on Zeron and #3. Tharag got a pretty bad hit from Jeroog and had to step back to drink a potion. We started closing the noose and Zeron could sense his impending demise so he told #3 to take the bones and get out. So #3 moved over and dropped down the hole that the goblin had used. Seeing an opportunity I figured if I could get in behind Jeroog I might be able to wiggle myself through the hole also. It would be a tight fit but if I could stop #3 from fleeing with the bones it would save us a lot of trouble trying to find him. So I tumbled over a crypt and made it into the hole. Unfortunately for me I only made it into the hole, not through it. I got down to about the waist and my belt pouches got hung up. Try as I might I just couldn’t wiggle free. I was just lucky that Jeroog had able bodied fighters in front of him otherwise I might not be writing this down. While I was stuck trying to get to #3, Alistair had lost his nerve or something cuz he went scurrying away from the battle and hid in the corner. I knew he would choke sooner or later. You got to expect it from someone of his stature. Tharag with all his talk was swing at everything but the guy in front of him. It almost looked like he was trying to weave a defense cuz Jeroog wasn’t able to hit him either. Zeron had summoned this weird worm looking creature and he must have just been there for our amusement cuz Randal knocked him down to the ground and the thing was soon dead. Tharag finally pulled his head out of his ass and decided that it might be a good thing to stick the pointy end of his sword into something other than just waving it around in the air, and Roksharr was keeping up a steady stream of arrows. We soon had Jeroog down and the only guy left was Zeron. Alistair, seeing that most of the bad guys were dead, decided to come out of hiding. Probably figured no one would miss him in the heat of battle but I saw him run off. Now that I think of it he might have been doing that all this time and I just never noticed. Gonna have to keep my eye on him from now on to see how he reacts to upcoming battles. If he thinks he can hide and then show back up throwing a few spells down range after everything is almost over he has got another thing coming. Well Zeron musta thought he stood a better chance getting through me and into the hole cuz he turned into this hideously huge viper and started coming towards me. Now I am not one to blanch at the sight of much but when you got a huge snake slithering towards you that looks like it could open its jaws and swallow you whole with minimal effort, that is a problem for me. Luckily the others in the group were able to finish him off before he made a meal out of me, but he did give me the motivation I needed to get through the hole.
There was a twenty foot drop and I landed nimbly on my feet alert for any dangers. It was all for naught. I had landed in a part of the Underdark on a road that lead off to the right and left into darkness. I couldn’t even hear anything. After waiting for a little while Alistair slid down a rope and Tharag opened the hole wider so the rest could get down. It appeared they had acquired some items that could only have been looted from the crypts. Those dirty motherfuckers!!! It is apparently all right for them to loot anything they want but I suggest it and they go on about how it is wrong. You just wait my time will come and they won’t get shit from me! By Mask I swear it! The funniest thing was Tharag, Merlo, Alistair, and Roksharr, the four bastards that whine the most out of us all were carrying items that they didn’t have when we entered the fight and I know the bastards we killed didn’t either. Well I will just bite my tongue and bide my time, eventually I will get mine and they can be damned if they got a problem with it.
Roksharr got down near the ground and was able to tell which ways our target had gone so we took off at a trot. It went straight for quite some time and there was still no sign of light. We came to a small tunnel that only Alistair could comfortably navigate but again Roksharr studied the ground and it appeared that is the way our target had gone so again we followed, all of us but Alistair on our hands and knees. It started to climb and we eventually found light at the end of the tunnel. It opened into a small cave that exited out below the walls of Cauldron. The ground was all volcanic rock and Roksharr couldn’t tell which way we should go so we just headed for the first gate into Cauldron. Hopefully our prey had gone there since he was obviously working for someone else. I figured since we found out they were part of the Last Laugh and the guild had its origins in this town it would be the best place to pick up the trail again, besides if we didn’t find anything then I could get paid the rest of what was owed me, take a shower, get laid and then continue on my way. When we arrived at the town gates we musta looked like hell. The guards there recognized us barely and after asking if the Halfling we were looking for had passed this way they informed us he had. We told them it was very important not to let him leave and taking it on our word alone they sent out runners locking down the city. Randal figured the best place to go looking for him would be the tavern he had stayed in so as a group we headed that way. He and I soon realized that with certain elements in our group it would probably be wise if I took them to report what was going on to the Captain of the Guard. We wouldn’t want to take the possibility of some of his hard earned contacts to get the wrong idea and then all that effort would be for naught. So I headed off with Tharag and Merlo towards the guards barracks.
When we arrived Tharag tried to take control of the situation but the captain gave him the cold shoulder listening instead to me. When are these people gonna learn that it takes skill and finesse to get what you want from others not brute force, which it seems is the only way Tharag knows how to operate. Big and dumb the Half-Orc way. Well I relayed all that had happened since our departure from Cauldron. It appeared that word had already reached him about locking down the city and although he did not like the idea he saw the wisdom behind it. We told him we would keep him up to date on anything else we found out and said we would get to the bottom of it soon. I just hope we can deliver on that last part. After that we headed back towards the Drunken Morkoth Inn to await word from Randal and the others.
We never made it. As we were heading back there came the sounds of battle and magic blasting. Great they couldn’t be quiet about anything I figured Randal would have had more sense than to wage war in the streets of town. Again we took off at a run heading towards the sounds of battle. We arrived just ahead of two contingents of guards and again Tharag tried his usual brute force technique of ordering men around. First let me just state that they are guards of a city that he isn’t even a taxpaying member of and second they have their own capable men in charge. Hell one of the patrols was headed up by none other than Sgt. Skyler; we know he knows what to do. They went ahead and did as Tharag said but only after Sgt. Skyler told them to. I noticed upon our arrival that #3 and the goblin that had escaped were dead. Randal and Roksharr were laid out on the ground under the effects of some kind of poison, that explains the lack of finesse. I could only assume that they had been ambushed and with Randal and Roksharr out of the way Alistair had nowhere to hide and just started blasting away with everything he had. Needless to say it got the job done. I entered the building they were laying in and immediately recognized it as a safe house. We did a thorough search of the area and found the bones and a coin denoting they were part of the Last Laugh Guild. When I exited the area it appeared everyone had decided to come see what was going on. There was the leader of the Church of Helm, The Captain of the Guard, and even the Lord Mayor had shown up. I informed the Priestess of Helm that they would probably want to question the corpse of #3 and flipped her the coin she looked at it nodded and flipped it back to me then laid out the body of #3 and started prepping it I guess for the spells she would need to cast. We informed the Captain of the Guard what had transpired and let him know that he could reopen the city. Then we headed back to our Inn for some much needed R&R.