Welcome to My Nightmare

Through the Door

Vronsky, Santhil and Rissis rested for some time in the narrow corridor, fearful of what may lie on the other side. They slept and ate in darkness, not wanting to waste a torch. After they had regained some of their strength, Vronsky lit a torch and approached the door. They drew their weapons and prepared themselves for what might lie beyond. Santhil checked it for traps and found their to be none. Rissis notched and arrow and took careful aim as Santhil threw the door open.

Beyond the threshold, they were greeted with utter darkness and a draining silence. Rissis scanned the area beyond, dimly illuminated by Vronsky’s torch. Across the room, a figure stirred in the torchlight. Santhil squinted his eyes and was able to make out the features of Dorn. The half-elf from Waterdeep was an old time friend of Santhil’s and the two exchanged confused smiles. Rissis notched an arrow, but Santhil push the bow down with his arm and warmly greeted his friend. Vronsky and Rissis walked into the hallway as Santhil and Dorn questioned each other. Dorn hinted that he was looking for something in the passages beneath the city, but that he had gotten lost and was now only looking for a way out. The party agreed to have Dorn join them so that they may escape the underground area.

Dorn said he had come through a door on the south side of the hallway and that he was busy picking a lock at the eastern end, but was unable to do so. Santhil crouched down and after several minutes clicked the door open. The door swung silently open revealing an inky passageway with a thick layer of dust. The four peered in and began to proceed. Suddenly, a cold breeze fell over the party and a dismal drone emanated from the end of the hallway. A wavering mist floated towards them with a faint light glowing from within its formless body. Rissis quickly notched an arrow and loosed it. The shaft sailed through the apparition and in continued forward. The party froze in terror as the drone became louder and louder and another glowing presence emerged from further down the passage. Stuck to where they stood, a dark fate awaited them…

Yet as the droning became louder and louder, Rissis was able to make out the flat sound of leather boots landing on the stone floor after a short fall. A stream of liquid could be heard as it splashed onto the ground followed by the shattering of a glass container. Far down the hallway, a bright blue flame erupted along the blade of a keen sword. A slender figure in black leapt towards the first ghost and effortlessly dispatched of it. The blade flashed and danced in the shadows and its eerie flame cut through the insubstantial evil and it dissipated into the air. The stranger speedily closed gap to the next one which was within arms reach of Rissis and deftly lashed out with the blade, parting the misty form into two, in one quick stride. The figure swept past Rissis without so much as a glance and proceeded down the hallway past the others.

Dropping In

Rissis and Santhil draw their weapons as they creep along the tiled floor of the kitchen. Dead plants sit in the windows, and dusty bird carvings adorn the walls. Piles of broken ceramics sit on the counters. As they make their way to the top of the steps, they exchange one last final glance. Rissis pushes open the door. It’s hinges break the silence with a loud creak. Cold air greets them and causes a sudden moment of surprise. Arrow notched, Rissis stares into the darkness, looking for movement. Santhil slowly descends, his half-elf ears listening for the slightest sound. The stairs are crooked and loud. Each step breaks the silence. Thunder booms outside, but its roar is muffled as they descend underground. Pale yellow bricks line the cellar. At the bottom of the steps, Rissis lights a single candle. Dim light reveals the room. Something stirs in the corner.

Rissis and Santhil wheel around, terrified of what they might find. Nothing. Only a scroll of parchment has been disturbed. Weapons in hand, they move to investigate. Santhil kneels down and reaches out to touch it. His hand is instantly frozen as an icy cold, darkness reaches out from a shadow. Searing pain shoots up his arm. Utter cold freezes his movement. The darkness materializes before him. Rissis looses and arrow hitting it square in the core, but the arrow sails through it, clattering on the yellow brick. Rissis grabs the collar of Santhil and drags him backwards. Santhil’s hand is numb as he fumbles for his mace. The darkness elongates itself and stands upright. A slight breeze from a grate in the floor blows wisps of inky shadow from it. Rissis looses another arrow, again, it shatters on the wall opposite. Santhil crawls around the being and makes for the stairs. The door at the top slams shut and as the darkness moves in front of the candle, it burns out.

Heavy breathing is all that can be heard as Santhil and Rissis panic in the completely darkened room. Suddenly lightning cracks outside and for several seconds, Rissis can see the outline of the creature drifting towards him, wisps outstretched. Santhil rips the grate from the floor and plunges in. Darkness again as the lightning subsides. Rissis can feel a coldness approaching and backs away. Once again, CRACK! Thunder booms outside and the room is lit again for a moment. The dark shape is inches away from Rissis as he ducks and rolls past, deftly maneuvering towards the grate. He looks back into the darkness once more before jumping down.

He lands with a splash into a large, slowly moving underground waterway. The rushing of water can be heard in every direction as storm drains overflow from the rain. After struggling to stand up, Rissis lights a torch. He is happy to see Santhil is alright, if a little shaken.

The pair stands in a large underground waterway. It’s rounded walls and ceiling are covered with years of moist decay. Small ducts lead off on either side, water rushing in. They stand nearly waist deep in the murky water. Fearing that they are still in danger, they decide to keep moving.

They begin to move north. Quietly they pass under the city of Darromar. Rissis and Santhil both occasionally glance over their shoulder, expecting to see the night terror closing in. But they are only greeted with the torchlight reflecting off the ripples they make as they walk. After several minutes of walking in the water, Santhil throws up his hand. A struggle of some sort can be heard up ahead. Before they can focus their attention on that though, a strange noise comes from behind. Growing louder and louder, shrill screeches and growling can be heard. They draw their weapons and prepare for the worst.

A large mob of small apelike creatures claws over itself and erupts into the waterway. The unruly mob assaults Rissis and Santhil. Using their hand weapons, they slay many, however the horde does not seem to let up. It instead grows thicker and thicker. They continue to defend themselves as they keep moving towards the sound of the original struggle.

Suddenly loud screaming is heard, followed by a splash. They are flanked on both sides and prepare to make a final stand.

The silhouette of the man appears at the end of the alley way. The creatures writhe at his feet, covered in Gespar’s blood.

Vronsky grips is greatsword tightly, preparing to hold his ground one last time. The ghouls slink forward, keeping low to the ground. The evil figure loads his giant crossbow once more and fires a bolt. Vronsky parries it into the wall, but a ghoul seizes the moment and leaps. It lashes out and claws at his face. Vronsky pulls his dagger and slashes its ribs open spilling black blood everywhere. The other ghouls move in for the kill. Vronsky rolls on the ground, a large metal plate digging into his back. He defends the ghouls and kicks the metal plate over. Using his last strength he rolls himself into the void, hoping for something better than his current situation.

A landing in water is better than it could have been. But the loud chatter of many creatures and fighting causes the sense of relief to fade. But he is renewed with energy when he hears the voices of his comrades, Santhil and Rissis amongst the fray.

Slowly fighting their way over to the splash, Santhil and Rissis realize that the guest is none other than Vronsky himself. Amongst the fight for their lives, a brief smile passes over all. But the odds have quickly become one-sided. Santhil and Rissis tell Vronsky that they will have to make a run for it. The trio slay the closest beasts and turn and run. They splash through the water, occasionally diving below.

They come to a large waterfall. Left with no option the trio swims over the edge. They fall for several seconds before crashing into the turbulent water at the bottom. Rissis’s torch goes out and they surface in darkness. They swim away from the roar, unsure of where they are going. They are in a small square chamber with no moving current. They can hear the roar of the creatures getting louder. Rissis shouts for everyone to dive as it is their only option.

The trio swims to the bottom of the pool and feeling in the darkness, they discover a small opening in the bottom serving as a drain. Rissis swims in blindly followed by Santhil and Vronsky. For several minutes they navigate the lightless tunnels under water. Finally emerging into a large open space, Rissis and the others swim as fast as they can towards what they hope will be a room with air in it.

Gasping as they break the surface, the trio emerge into a small rectangular room. Rissis swims to a nearby ledge and crawls out. He lights a torch and the others swim towards him. The party is completely winded and out of energy. Panting hardly, Santhil and Vronsky examine their surroundings. They are in a small, narrow room. At one end is the pool they emerged from. At the other sits a single brass door. Aside from their own heavy breathing, the room is utterly silent. They get the feeling they are still underground. Desperate for rest, the party wrings their clothes out and sleeps on the stone floor.

The stone is keenly cut and the structure does not resemble anything they saw in Darromar. They snack on what little food they have left and fall asleep. With not natural light, they have no idea what time it is…

A Dark and Stormy Night Part II

Vronsky and Gespar make their way outside to investigate their sightings. Standing in the street, peering up into the dark sides of the buildings, they find only rain and mist floating into the city. The pair agrees that it would be best to further search the surrounding area. They take a walk several blocks north, through winding alley ways to begin their search.

Peering out from between to buildings, Vronsky and Gespar spot a welcoming sight. In the gloom of the rain and misty haze, two torches burn in front of a town guard building. They breathe a sigh of relief and begin to make their way to it.

Not sure where to begin, Santhil and Rissis make their way to the northernmost portion of the city, where the wealthy elite reside. As they cross side street to side street. They notice a mist creeping into the city. It thick and heavy and makes visibility difficult. The city is silent and abandoned. No one makes their presence known. Few houses are lit and the usual taverns have closed early for the night. Not wanting to deal with the hassle of traveling through the controlled gates to the norther portion of the city, Santhil and Rissis hop several fences.

The neighborhood they enter is vastly different from the rest of the city. The luxurious homes are all of classic Tethyrian architecture. The streets are beautifully cobblestoned and gas lamps line the streets. Small gardens dot the sidewalks and medians in the streets. Santhil notes that their are more buildings lit in this portion of the city. Looking to find an inn or a tavern still open, the pair begins to make their way eastward along a main street. They are thankful that the mist is not very strong in this area. Rissis and Santhil walk for a while before coming upon a well lit area down the street. From about five hundred feet, Rissis grabs Santhil, forcing him to stop. In the distance Rissis spots a pale looking creature crouched low to the ground in the middle of the street. Santhil and Rissis quickly duck into an alley way and wait several moments. Rissis peers his head around the corner. The creature still sits in the street, busy with something on the ground.

As if by a sixth sense, the creature jerks upright staring in the direction of Rissis, its pale eyes glowing through the downpour. Rissis quickly pulls himself back into the alleyway, hoping the creature did not spot him. Several tense moments pass and Rissis peers back around. The creature is gone, leaving only the remains of what it was stooped over lying in the street. Santhil and Rissis cautiously approach. Through the heavy rain and the dim light from the gas street lamps, they make out a crumpled figure in the street, blood draining away from it’s lifeless body. Rissis and Santhil throw furtive glances over their shoulders as they begin to investigate. The mans face and throat have been badly wounded. He lays in front of a luxurious townhouse. Rissis looks into the glass enclosed foyer and sees a trail of blood leading inside. Santhil draws the man’s cloak over dead body before following Rissis into the house. The glass door is ajar and Rissis gently pushes it open. Once inside, the ever present splashing of rain has turned into a loud hum as it lashes down on the glass foyer.

Santhil and Rissis proceed into the house. It is a dimly lit by candles on the walls and eerily quiet. The rain can just barely be heard splashing outside. Taking a moment to wring their clothes out, the pair then proceeds to investigate the main level of the building. They cautiously navigate through the house. They find several studies, several guest rooms, a dining hall and a large ballroom. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. They make their way to the rear of the house, towards the kitchen. Rissis tries the door to the kitchen but it is locked. As Santhil begins to pick the lock, Rissis hears low, raspy breathing from the other side. Santhil and Rissis carefully push open the door to find a bloodied and battered man laid out on the kitchen table, wrapped in bandages. To the left an open door to the alleyway swings in the wind. Rissis quickly rushes to it and peers into the rainy alleyway but does not see anything. Santhil draws the blinds and studies the dying man. He is too badly injured to save and his too incoherent to form words. Rissis and Santhill lock all the doors to this room, and leave. They return to the front of the house to ascend a staircase. Rissis notices a small trail of blood hidden by the red carpet leading up the staircase. They carefully follow it upstairs. It leads them to a master bed room. Opening the door, they find a blood soaked bed with medical equipment strewn about the room. Several low burning candles illuminate the room. The blood soaked bedding drips onto the floor. Rissis and Santhil search the room for further clues but come up empty handed. They return to the hallway and search the other rooms but find nothing out of the ordinary.

At the end of the hallway they find a single, narrow door. The floor beneath it is damp and the sound of rain can be heard from beyond it. The pair opens the door and finds a stair case that leads to a trap door. Water leaks in from the trap door. Rissis and Santhil ascend the stairs and push open the heavy latch. The howling wind and heavy rain greets them as they embark out into the storm again.

On the roof top, Santhil and Rissis walk over to the edge, spotting down into the street for any unwanted followers. They search the roof top for anything helpful but find nothing. As they are about to return into the trap door, Rissis notices a single wooden plank laid down from the roof of this building to the roof of the adjacent building. Rissis and Santhil cross the wobbly board and look around for an entrance into the neighboring building. After they are unable to find a roof entrance, Rissis returns to the plank and looks down along the building. A single window below the plank is slightly open. Rissis motions to Santhil and the two climb down, carefully opening the window and creeping inside.

Moonlight pours in through the window, illuminating the otherwise unlit room. The room is layered in a thick coat of dust and it does not look like anyone has disturbed it in some time. Parchment and volumes of text litter the floor and shelves. A large bed in the corner is piled high with paintings and other works of art. Three doors lead from this room. One to the northwest, one to the southwest, and one directly south. Rissis approaches the southwest door as Santhil studies the scattered texts. It is written in many different languages, dating from many different times. A general theme is evident among all the works: resurrection. The papers describe summoning rites, undead burial procedures, and other dark acts. The papers are so scattered that Santhil cannot piece very much together.

Rissis opens the southwest door to find a closet with moth ridden clothes. Several canes stand propped up in the corner and a large trunk sits in another corner. Rissis opens the trunk only to find musty old blankets. Santhil then cautiously opens the south door. This too, is another closet. Many luxurious coats and garment hang from the racks that adorn this closet. Several dried out pairs of leather shoes sit on the floor. Rissis pushes through the clothing hoping to find some clue. He pushes several coats aside and finds another door, hidden behind the garments. Picking the lock, he proceeds into a dark crawlspace. Lightind a torch Rissis, peers around. In the dim light Rissis is able to make out two bright eyes staring back at him from the darkness. The eyes sit perfectly still and do not blink. Rissis holds the torch out further to find that it is a bronze sculpture of a cat, two yellow citrines reflecting the torch light. Rissis approaches it and draws his dagger, prying the jewels from the bronze piece. Upon removing the second jewel the bronze sculpture cracks and emits a low hum. Santhil and Rissis stand silent for a moment waiting for another noise, but nothing happens. Rissis pockets the jewels and the two proceed to the northeast door.

Rissis gently pushes it open to find a short hallway littered with more artwork. Paintings and framed pieces are stacked carelessly. To the right a stairway leads down and further ahead another door stands shut. Santhil carefully peers down the dark stairway while Rissis examines the the shut door. He pushes it open and a cold draft greets him. A small window in the far corner of the room sits open. A large bed, a desk, and a tall dresser are the only pieces of furniture in this room. Scrolls and parchment lie strewn about the room. Books torn from shelves litter the area. Discarded items lay where they fell. The bed is unkempt and the desk is in disarray. Rissis quickly reads through several scripts that he can make out. They are the same as the ones found in the other room: undead rites, transmutation rituals, extraplanar travel. It would take much more time than they have to study all the texts, so Rissis joins Santhil as they descend the stairs.

The street level of the house is utterly dark, save for the light provided by lightning flashing outside. Rain lashes down on the windows creating a constant droning of sound. The house is quiet. And still. No sound can be heard. Rissis’s footsteps break the silence as he slowly walks about the first floor. Thunder booms outside, muffled by its distance. Small glass figurines silently observe the pair from behind glass cabinets. Dusty paintings hang on the wall. Santhil paces in the opposite direction.

He enters a small square room. It is a library. Books on shelves rise to the ceiling. Two windows side in adjacent walls. Lightning cracks outside and in the brief light Santhil makes out many small sculptures sitting on a shelf to the right. Many books lay on the floor and dust covers the room. A tiny closet opens to his right. He peers in, but is unable to make anything out in the complete darkness. He returns to the rooms where Rissis has been wandering.

The pair meet up in a large front room. A dining table is set with places however on one side, a large stack of books sits, stacked precariously. Rissis continues on. Three arm chairs sit in front of a large fireplace. Black suit stains the surrounding area, but the thick layer of dust suggests it has not been lit in some time. A small hexagonal table sits on the west wall with a dusty candelabra in the middle. Two other taller candelabras stand in the corners. In the other room, Santhil looks around for a place to sit. It has been sometime since he has rested.

He finds a small bench, flanked by two large glass cabinets. He peers out the glass, rain ruining any view. Just as he is sitting down, an audible thump is heard from below. He looks to his right where he sees a kitchen with a stairway leading down to the cellar. He is alarmed but is hesitant to call out to Rissis, fearful of what might hear him. He patiently waits for Rissis to return to the room before signaling him that something is in the house with them.

As they approach, Vronsky and Gespar notice that the guard house is unattended. They find this odd, given the confusion that has taken place in the city. They exchange nervous glances and proceed. Two dim torch burns out in front of the building. They are mounted on a wall beneath an overhang, shielded from the heavy rain. As they get closer, their hearts sink.

A slain town guardsmen lays crumpled in the street. A stream of red flows from him. Gespar kneels down to find the cause of death. Vronsky stands guard over him, the rain making it impossible to see more than twenty feet in any direction. Suddenly Gespar jolts up. An icy hand claws at him from the shadow created by the dim torch. The two stand up back to back looking for their next attacker. They begin to retreat in the direction they came. As they walk on in terror, they both look back to see the figure of a man enter the light of the torch. He is wielding a deadly mace and a sinister looking crossbow. His dark chain mail glistens in the light and his darker robes shed the rain. A large shield rests on his back. Three gaunt humanoids cluster around his feet, hissing and snapping their teeth. They are the same creatures they saw earlier. The man continues to approach, raising his crossbow. The three ghouls leap forward and chase after Vronsky and Gespar. Gespar is overrun and is forced to fight with them in the street. The largest one leaps up and Gespar deftly dodges it, slicing its hands off. Just as he is about to parry the next attack, a piercing pain comes from his shoulder.

The massive crossbow bolt struck Gespar rendering his left arm useless. The dark cleric reloads his crossbow and slowly walks forward. Vronsky turns and tries to get the ghouls off of his best friend. A second bolt pierces Gespar. This time in his ribs. Several more ghouls creep from the alley ways and assault the pair. A third bolt buries itself into Gespar once more. Vronsky looks on in horror as the handless ghoul stumbles up and sinks it’s teeth into Gespar’s flesh, blood spurting out. Vronsky slashes several ghouls, desperate to save his friend. The evil man has thrown down his crossbow and brandishes the large mace.

Vronsky realizes the futility of the situation and with tear soaked eyes, turns and flees. He can hear the dying screams of Gespar as he is mutilated by the undead. Vronsky turns and runs into an alleyway. He stumbles and gets up, looking for an escape. There is none. He is trapped.

A Dark and Stormy Night

As Santhil and Rissis pushed open the door, they could already tell that something was wrong. A cold breeze greeted them and the sound of thunder could be heard. Santhil lit an oil lamp and surveyed the room: the beds had been torn up, their belongings lay scattered about, and the window was broken off its hinges, rain pouring in.

Rissis could hear some sort of scratching on the opposite side of the over turned bed. He drew his bow and took careful aim. As he crept over, a gaunt human leapt from bed and slashed at Rissis with its skeletal hand. Rissis let an arrow loose and it pierced the creature in the chest, black blood spurting from its wound. Santhil grabbed his mace and bludgeoned the creature over its head. The creature snarled and grabbed hold of Santhil. Just as it was about to sink its teeth into the half-elf’s flesh, Rissis slashed its head clean off with his blade. The limp body fell to the floor, a puddle of inky blood pooling.

Rissis and Santhil searched the rest of the room for anymore stowaways, but found none. They barred the window with the table and took stock of their belongings. Once they were calm enough, Santhil asked, “What was that?”, genuinely shaken. “I’m not sure,” Rissis guessed, “but I have heard stories of creatures in the Dalelands that descriptions match this… thing”.

They are interrupted as the innkeep slams open the door holding a wooden club and a bulls-eye lantern. “What’s the meaning of this?!” he demands. Rissis and Santhil explain that they do not know what is going on. The innkeep is not amused and demands that they leave immediately. Rissis and Santhil gather their belongings and walk out into the dark, stormy streets. They decide it would be best if they locate Vronsky and Gespar and set out to look for them.

Vronsky snaps awake as a loud boom of thunder crashes overhead. Looking around, he sees that Gespar is sound asleep. Vronsky pours himself a glass of water and walks over to the window. Sipping his drink he looks out and notices a pair of eyes glowing in the darkness. The eyes sit atop a building on the other side of the street. Vronsky stairs at the eyes for several moments and then turns to Gespar and back. The eyes still stair into the room. The rain and fog clouds Vronsky’s vision and he is unable to make out the rest of the creature that stairs at him. This worries Vronsky and he shakes Gespar awake. Point out the window, Vronsky shows Gespar the silent menace. Gespar grows worried and decides to take a shot at it with his bow. Vronsky pushes the window open and Gespar takes the shot. The arrow sails through the air and pierces the creature. Its vague shape reels in pain and crawls further into the shadows, out of sight. Gespar and Vronsky exchange nervous glances as Vronsky shuts the window. Just as he is shutting it however, he hears a noise from outside the window. It sounds like something is crawling around on the roof of the inn, claws dragging on the slate shingles. Gespar can now hear it as well from within the room. Gespar moves to another window and peers out. He can see a sickly looking humanoid scaling a gutter in the alleyway. Gespar motions to Vronsky and the pair decide to head out into the streets to investigate…

A Trip to Darromar

Santhil, Rissis, Gespar, and Vronsky saddle up in the morning and point their horses northward towards the nation of Tethyr. They make final preparations for the trip; buying water, food, rope and horse feed. In the dim haze of the morning, the four set off across the Calim Desert. Once they leave the desert, they plan to continue northward until they hit the River Ith and follow it eastward until they come to the city of Darromar.

The trip through the desert is uneventful. The four adventurers travel during the late afternoon, all through the night and into the late morning. They rest during the hottest hours of the afternoon. Birds pass over head and hot sands blow across the dunes. far in the distance, caravans of marching figures can be seen. Rissis wonders how people could call such an inhospitable environment home. The Calim Desert is devoid of green flora that permeates the Dalelands.

On the third day the party left the desert and continued across the rolling plains towards the River Ith. Form atop a high hill, Gespar spotted the snaking river and the group continued down towards the banks. The horses lapped at the water while the party made plans to camp out. In the morning, the party set out at a blistering pace, being able to travel quickly now that they had escaped the heat of the desert and the shifting sands.

After another days ride, they we able to spot the distant city of Darromar far to the east. They road down into a valley and continued east. As they neared the city, they came upon an abandoned cart. The group took time to dismount and investigate. Several bandits leapt from the sides of the trail and made an attempt to subdue the party. After a small scuffle, the group had slain the bandits and decided it was best if they carry on. Much closer to the city, the group came upon two more horsemen dragging two elderly men behind their horses. The men on the horses looked similar to the bandits from before: cruel looking, middle aged men, wearing tattered cloaks and wielding worn long swords. The party slew the bandits and freed the men. Unfortunately it was too late. The men had been badly injured and death crept close to them. Before they passed, they lamented that they had been attacked by bandits further back and that more members of their traveling caravan had been kidnapped. With little they could do, the party continued into the city, cautious of more bandits.

The party entered the city and marveled at its grandeur. Situated on both banks, of the River Ith, the city is home to many wealthy noblemen and women. It is a stop for those traveling from the Lake of Steam region, to the southern tip of the Dragon Coast.

Upon entering the city, the four checked their horses into a stable and then went their separate ways, with a plan to meet up later. Santhil scouted out an inn. Rissis searched out an armorer and a bowyers workshop. Vronsky and Gespar went to look for a tavern to quench their thirst from the trail and the scuffle with the bandits.

Rissis makes his way to an armor shop owned by a female human. He inquires about a suit or armor and the woman takes measurements and says that it will be finished in several days. Rissis thanks her for her time and continues to stroll around Darromar.

Santhil checks into an inn owned by an older human. Gespar and Vronsky check into a separate inn on the other side of town. As Rissis returns to the inn Santhil reserved for them, he notices the sky beginning to darken. Rissis also overhears natives of the city talking about a coming storm. Rissis hurries back to the inn to find that Santhil has stepped out. Rissis unpacks his belongings as rain begins to fall outside.

Vronsky and Gespar return to their inn after several hours of frequenting the taverns. As they step outside, they are surprised to find that it is now pouring down rain. While inside the warm tavern, they did not notice the storm creep up. They walk through the downpour back to their room and begin to climb the stairs. As they near the top of the steps, they notice something strange: a small puddle of water seeps from the bottom of the door to their room. Gespar and Vronsky silently nod to each other as they draw their weapons. Vronsky throws open the door and Gespar leaps in. The room is silent however, save for the pitter-pat of rain that falls into the room through the open window. Vronsky lowers his guard and examines the window. It was not broken, merely left open, allowing water to collect on the floor. Neither Vronsky nor Gespar recall leaving the window open and find it odd. Vronsky peers out the window and notices a figure creeping around on the ground far below. Through the rain and darkness, he is unable to make it out except that it is humanoid. Gespar locks the window shut and the two try and get some sleep.

Santhil walks in to find Rissis laying on his bed, whittling a piece of wood. Santhil sets his belongings down and the two prepare to go out for a late supper. They don their cloaks and head out into the now thundering rain storm. They settle on a quiet tavern and order some local food. After supper, the pair returns to their inn. They are startled when they find the front door is locked. They slam on the door. After several moments, the innkeep answers and tells them to go away. They say that they have a room in the inn and demand entrance. Reluctantly the man opens the door. He nervously looks them up and down and tells them to go to their room at once and lock the door. Rissis and Santhil find this odd and climb the stairs to their room…

Contracts from Red House
Humble Beginnings

The Adventure Begins…

On a sun-drenched afternoon in Calimport, an elf, far from his home, saunters into a thieves guild. He is escorted into a back room through a narrow passage way. Richly colored shawls hang over the passageway and provide shade from the sun coming in through the roofless structure. The elf is thankful to be out of the heat. As he makes his way down the corridor, the smell of thick incense surrounds him. He comes upon an archway with many strings of beads hanging down. He pushes the beads to one side and peers in. He sees four figures sitting around a large, round wooden table.

Sitting at the table to his left is a half-elf, smoking a pipe with a turban wrapped neatly round his head. The smoking half-elf does not look up at the newcomer. Across the table, another much younger elf and a similarly aged human look on at the new arrival. And at the far end of the table, an older human squints and motions him to sit. " Rissis I presume," the man offers.

Rissis nods and takes a seat, setting his belongings and weapons on the floor beside him.

“Ok then,” the man begins, “We are all here now.”

Several terse introductions are made. The young elf introduces himself as Gespar, a local thief. Gespar introduces the human to his left as Vronsky, his good friend and and ally. The half-elf takes a break from his pipe and quietly adds, “Kelmer”. The older human introduces himself as Turk, the leader of Calimport’s branch of the Red House Guild.

Turk hands out some documents to the group and allows them to look them over. “Its gonna be a quick and easy one.”

The party reads through the notes. They are to gain entrance to a nobleman’s manor and steal six pieces of artwork. Turk explains that the nobleman is a Zhent sympathizer and has been hiding behind his public office while accepting the lucrative offers from the criminal organization. Turk also explains that the artwork originally belonged to Red House, so the party is more or less “recovering” it.

With all the necessary info, and a little spending money provided by Red House, the party sets out to gather information and plan a course of action.

The party checks into a local inn several blocks south of the nobleman’s residence and begins to do some research. They find out that the nobleman lives on a gated property that has sentries that patrol the grounds. With several more successful Gather Information checks, he group also found out that a local tavern in the area had a cellar that lead to the sewer system of Calimport, which they believe could be used to get to their destination. They decided to enter the tavern and keep a low profile while finding information out. Santhil and Rissis gained easy entry and eventually slipped down into the wine cellar. There they found a trap door in the floor. This was proof enough, so the pair slipped back upstairs and returned to their inn. They decided to do more research the following day, but for the time being, retired to bed.

The next morning, Santhil put on his finest city council outfit and forged a note to allow the librarian to see the cities records.

“State your business!” the clerk at the library demanded. Santhil presented the forged document and proceeded to the back. There he found old city records and drawings. He scanned through them and discovered that there was indeed a small tunnel that connected the tavern’s wine cellar to the nobleman’s estate. Santhil made a quick copy of the document and returned to the party with the news.

Santhil, Vronsky, Gespar and Rissis looked over the map and hatched a plan: Vronsky would enter the tavern and order several rounds of drinks. Santhil and Rissis would quietly slip into the cellar and traverse through the tunnel and gain entry to the estate. Santhil and Rissis would then let Gespar and Vronsky in and proceed from there. The plan was made and executed.

Vronsky strolled in and ordered several pints of the strongest ale. He drank them quite quickly and became belligerent. Ordering more drinks and now shouting at the barmaids, Vronsky had created a large scene. Santhil and Rissis snuck past the ensuing chaos and into the cellar. They quietly picked the lock and went into the trap door. The air was cool and damp. The pair quietly crept through the tunnel while Vronsky continued to cause a disturbance upstairs.

Vronsky by this time had leapt behind the counter and was fighting the bar keep and other patrons. The entire place erupted into a brawl. A stout dwarf through a large human into the fire and many people broke their glass mugs filled with beer over the man’s head in an attempt to save him. Several chairs were broken over peoples backs and glass now littered the floor. The entire bar was a swarm of fighting and brutality. The barmaid hid behind the counter and the barkeep ran into the streets looking for help. Vronsky took this time to throw some gold coins behind the counter, paying his tab, and leave for the night.

Stumbling out into the street, Vronsky made his way to the gate of the estate where Gespar was also waiting for Santhil and Rissis to let them in. Vronsky was too drunk to account for the time it would take for the underground duo to reach their destination, and simply accosted the gate and demanded that the guards let him in. The guards scoffed at him and told him to move along. Vronsky continued to heckle the guards and more showed up. Vronsky challenged them all to a fight and said he would take on all ten. Gespar hid in a bush and waited for his opportunity.

Far below, Santhil and Rissis crept along in the long, narrow tunnel. They eventually made their way to a vertical shaft that ascended nearly forty feet to an iron cover. They popped the lid off and emerged into a green house. It was now nearly 11 o’clock at night and they had the advantage of the darkness. Santhil and Rissis looked out the glass windows and saw several guards patrolling the grounds. Santhil made some noise and was able to lure one of the guards over to the greenhouse. The guard entered warily and made his way to the back. Santhil dove from a tree in an attempt to knock him unconscious in one fell swoop, but failed miserably. The guard called out, alerting others, but it was too late for him. Santhil clubbed him and quickly removed the guards uniform. He threw the unconscious man down the hole they had emerged from and waited for more guards to arrive. Several minutes later, two more guards came in, investigating the scream. Rissis watched from a tree as Santhil offered them drinks of sand liquor. The guards happily obliged and began to drink. Santhil drank a little as well, but most of the potent alcohol went into the two guards. The began to blackout, and Santhil helped them find a nice bed by throwing them down the hold.

Just as they were about to leave the greenhouse, several more guards ran up to them from the northeast. They were out of breath and apparently too shook up to notice that Rissis was not a guard, “Help! An intruder at the north gate has set the fence on fire!” The guards ran off and Santhl and Rissis waited several moments before following.

They came upon a scene of large billows of think white smoke swirling in the wind. Many guards lay strewn about the place. The gate was wide open and a figure emerged. “Where the hell have you been?” Vronsky demanded, “I just threw my last smokestick at that guy”. Quickly realizing that they had all gained entry, one way or another, Rissis advised the group to get back into hiding and gain entrance to the estate’s large building.

Gespar, Rissis, Santhil and a now more sober Vronsky ran across the green lawn and came to the southwest entrance to the building. They climb up a garden trellis into a second story window and find themselves in a luxuriously furnished guest bed room. The party takes a quick stock of their surroundings and carefully make their way out into the hallway. They make a plan to figure out where the artwork is and meet back here to go from there. After listening in on several of the servants’s idle talk, they discover that the estate had received several packages and they were being held on the second floor on the northwest side of the building. They make their way there and gain entry into the room.

They were startled to see that they were not the only group after the works of art. A cloaked figure was already in the room and had throw most of the artwork out the window as they made their attempt to leave. Rissis dove for the cloaked figure, but they were too quick and hastily slipped a ring of invisibility on. All Rissis could do was watch as footprints made their way across the dew covered grass on the lawn below the window. The group had been beaten to the target and were frustrated that they had no information about a rival thief. Angrily they left the property through the tunnel. They emerged into the basement of the tavern once again, and quickly moved past the suspicious staff. They returned to their inn for the night and made plans to visit Gamu in the morning.

In the early twilight, the Santhil, Rissis, Vronsky and Gespar made their way through the winding streets and bazaars of Calimport to the Red House guild building. They strutted past the guards and into Gamu’s office. Rissis demanded an answer for the unsuccessful sortie. Gamu apologized, saying that he was not certain that there was going to be an third party involved and thus, did not want to complicate things further. “Unfortunately… He surfaced…” Gamu said under his breath. Not wanting to upset the loyal guild members, Gamu let them keep the money they had been fronted and offered another job to the party: They were to negotiate the sale of a “right-to-claim”. Gamu explained that Red House currently had gained rights to a sunken ship off the coast of Chult. Although the job would be quite lucrative, Red House did not have anyone available to complete the mission and Gamu thought it would yield greater results to sell the “claim” to a rival thieves guild. The party accepted the mission and again, received money to travel up north to Darromar where the rival guild was located. They purchased four fine Calimshani horses and prepared for the overland journey north.


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