Empire of Sand

The Poison Plot

You bid farewell to Parvel, leaving Oded there as his ward. You made your way back to Bollus' khanduq to get another audience with him in an attempt to gather more information. The guard at the gate informed you that Bollus was away at a meeting and did not know when he would return. Hitash commanded Buttles to fly through a window to investigate. The imp managed to fly through a window and found the door to Bollus' audience chamber open. Inside, he found a scribe working at his desk. Peering over his shoulder, Buttle's was able to read what the scribe was working on – a receipt for an order of wine.  The scribe packed away his inks and quills and took leave of the room, leaving Buttles an opportunity to rifle through some more of the paperwork. He found several other receipts, all for barrels and crates of wine. The payment for these shipments was all made out to one Sudeiman Rien. Tagrid mentions that he knows the man, having sailed on his vessel to Memnon. On the journey, Tagrid told, they were attacked by pirates; Tagrid was able to escape and get help from the navy, thereby likely saving Sudeiman's life.

After Hitash called Buttles back, you all decided to post a watch on Bollus' khanduq. Asad agreed to watch the house while the rest of you returned to your house in the Maker's Ward. You kept up a line of communication using your sending stones, and Asad reported that Bollus had yet to return home. The rest of you relaxed and took rest. Eventually Hitash nodded off and began to dream. In this dream, he found himself staring into two pupiless, blood-black eyes set in a pale face that had a terrifying, eldritch beauty about it. The scene shifted and he found himself looking down at a man with a severely burned arm on a ship. Next, he saw several men wheeling carts of crates on a dock. The scene shifted again and he was flying through a maze of dark, twisting tunnels and sewers. Then he stood on a dark balcony overlooking a room with several shadowy figures. Finally, the room filled with a choking green-grey fog and his ears rang with the sounds of coughing and death rattles – which finally woke him.

Drumph and Tagrid noticed Hitash wake with a start, sweat pouring down his face. In a moment of as yet unseen tenderness, Drumph comforted Hitash and asked him to describe the dream in detail. Hitash was convince that this was no ordinary dream, and that it was perhaps prophetic in nature. You decided to try to investigate further. Tagrid suggested that you should start the search at the docks district, with the hopes that he could find Sudeiman Rein and question him about the wine shipments you had learned about earlier. 

You made your way to the docks just after midnight. After some searching, Tagrid identified Sudieman's ship, a sleek, fast merchant vessel. The gangplank was down and you snuck on board, startling a sailor who was out having a smoke. Tagrid managed to calm the man down and persuaded him to go get captain Rein. A few moments later, Rein appeared on deck, wearing his night cap and rubbing sleep from his eyes. He greeted Tagrid warmly, though he was a bit confused as to why he was making a social call at such a late hour. When Tag mentioned the wine shipments, Sudeiman looked around suspiciously before ushering you into his quarters. 

Sudeiman was utterly put off by the line of questioning, baffled by the fact that you knew of his business dealings with Bollus.  When pressed, he finally admitted that he was no mere merchant – he was in fact a dealer in poisons. Sudeiman conceded that he owed Tagrid his life and agreed to provide your party information. He told you that the wine shipments were all cleverly disguised poison – a particular variety called othur. When heated, this normally inert liquid vaporizes and turns into a deadly inhaled poison. You pressed him for more information about how he delivered the poison to Bollus, but Sudeiman told you that the poison was left at a drop off location, not far from the docks in the Muzad. You were able to persuade him to lead you to the location. 

At this point you decided to call Asad to come and assist you in the search. Once he arrived, you set off following Sudeiman's directions. True to his word, you discovered tracks in the dust that appeared to come from a cart. You followed the tracks until the tunnel came to an end, opening into what appeared to be an underground portion of the city, complete with crumbling dwellings, alleys, and larger side streets. At this point you lost the trail, but Hitash had an overwhelming sense of deja vu, certain that he had seen this area in his dream. 

You followed as Hitash led you through the twisting streets, tunnels, and sewers of the Muzad. After about an hour, you came to a wide portion of the sewer. Driven by his sense of knowing, Hitash did not notice the pressure plate in the floor. He triggered it and a trap door opened beneath his feet, dropping him 20 feet into the pitch black, foul smelling water beneath. The trap door sprang back into place, leaving Tagrid and a confused Drumph above. 

Down in the pit, Hitash felt something brush his leg and, through Buttles, saw ripples on the surface of the water. The creature wrapped a tentacle around his leg and attempted to drag him under the surface. Above, Drumph attempted to smash open the trap door, to no avail. Tagrid managed to trigger the trapdoor without falling in, and Asad jammed a torch into the opening, preventing the door from closing once more. Drumph dropped into the pit and took a few swings at the creature while Tagrid lowered a rope. Drumph grabbed Hitash and pulled him up the rope to safety. Hitash blasted the creature from above until the surface of the water became still. 

You carefully scouted down the rest of the passageway, using Asad's ten foot pole to check for traps. The passageway split, one way leading up a set of stairs and the other down. You chose to go down. Peeking around the corner, you saw a set of heavy iron doors. Drumph knocked on the door and when it opened he saw two yellow, reptilian eyes staring back at him. The figured shouted something over its shoulder and a gutteral language before stepping into the corridor and pulling the door shut behind it. The green scaled humanoid took a few swings at  Drumph. Asad managed to bash it between the legs with the ten foot pole; unnoticed by any of you, a second figured had creeped up behind the group. The man shot Tagrid in the back with a crossbow.  Drumph quickly managed to eviscerate the lizardfolk man and the rest of you handled the man with the crossbow. 

After several failed attempts to break down the doors or pick the lock, you decided to try your luck upstairs. Buttles scouted ahead and saw that there was a balcony that looked over a large room. Inside, Buttles could see two more lizardfolk standing in front of the door with raised clubs. On one side of the room stood two large, metalic holding basins and a network of pipes running from them and through holes in the ceiling. A huge metal construct with a glowing blue gem in the center of its chest stood pouring the contents of a barrel into one of the tanks. A tall wooden scaffold stood in front of the tanks.

You formed a quick plan: Tagrid would go in invisible and try to open the door, while Hitash waited above on the balcony and Drumph and Asad made their way back to the door. Tagrid was able to slide down one of the columns and into the room without being noticed. He saw that there was one other in this room – a man dressed in fine leather armor, armed with a crossbow and short sword. Tagrid crept towards the door and was able to slip by the lizardfolk. Meanwhile, Hitash assumed the appearance of the crossbow wielding man you had killed. He got the attention of the enemies and feigned being strangled by some invisible force. The roguish looking man ordered one of the lizardfolk to go sort out the situation. 

As soon as the lizardfolk opened the door, he was greeted by Drumph's axe to his face. Tagrid broke his invisibility to cast as spell on the rogue. The man collapsed to the ground in a fit of horrible, uncontrollable laughter. Drumph and Asad rushed in and, with Hitash's help from above, were able to quickly dispatch the two lizardfolk before turning their attention on the man rolling on the ground laughing. The large construct lumbered over to protect its master. It swung at you with its huge iron fists, dealing some damage. Asad managed to severely wound the rogue, but not enough to kill him. The rogue sprung up and, with unnatural speed, leapt to the top of the scaffolding and, rather than firing his crossbow, instead pulled out pan flute and began to play.

Tagrid made a quick decision to try to aim for the gem in the center of the construct's chest, assuming that it was the arcane source that was powering it. After a few well placed strikes, the gem shattered and the construct slumped forward and froze in place. Drumph and Asad swung away at the wooden scaffolding, easily destroying it and sending the rogue tumbling through the air. The rogue sprang up and ran for the door, just as a swarm of angry rats began pouring in the door. Asad gave chase and cleaved through one of the man's legs, rendering him unconscious and near death. Meanwhile, Drumph and Tagrid hacked away at the rodents, Drumph hollering about his one good nut the whole time.

After stabilizing the man, you drug him back into the room to be questioned. On his person you found a pair of enchanted boots, the wooden pipes, a crossbow and short sword, a ring of poison resistance, and a unique dagger, along with a good quantity of coin and a note. The note, written in the now familiar handwriting, seemed to mention you and also gave details for the poison plot. The attack was to be carried out that very evening during the council meeting that Bollus had asked you to attend. You also further inspected the construct. Asad mentioned that constructs similar to these were used by noble houses in Calimport as guards, though this one seemed to be of a black market variety. Hitash was fairly certain that the construct could potentially be repaired with a new enchantment.

Asad then proceeded to wake up the wounded man. He seemed reluctant to talk, until Tagrid and Hitash hit him with a combination of Friends and Suggestion spells. The man then became relatively amiable and introduced himself as Merric. He told you how the poison system functioned and who the target was, and also implicated Bollus as the one who was paying him. That was all you were able to get out of him before he slipped back into unconsciousness.  

As you debated what to do next, Hitash sent Buttles to scout out the rest of the tunnels near this building. He found that one of the tunnels led to a storm grate. Peeking through the bars, he could see a large, white stone building that you assumed was the council chambers. You decided to take both Merric and the construct back to your house and you began to make your way there.

XP

The creature in the pit: 200 xp

3 Lizardfolk: 300

Crossbow guy: 100

Construct (disabled, but not destroyed): 200

Merric (brought to 0hp, still alive): 1800

Swarm of Rats: 100

RP: 500

Total: 3200/4 = 800 each which puts everyone at 4062.

Loot

1,000 gp

Boots of Striding and Springing (Asad)

Pipes of the Sewers (Tagrid)

Dagger of Venom (Tagrid)

Ring of Poison Resistance 

8 foot tall iron construct, disabled 

 

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