Shattered Star Week 2.
Where we last left our heroes, was an abandoned dockside tavern which once went by the name of the Puffy Pelican. Having heard that there were rumours of a meeting at this desolate place. With the information that this could be related to the disappearances of locals in the poor parts of the city, this seemed like the most obvious place to further their investigation.
What was found however, was an ambush by Fenster the Blight, and a sheepish looking man in oversized green coloured clothing which looked like something found discarded in an alley rather than something fitted at a tailor.
some of the more pressing members of the group identified this man as Plutivarch, one of the locals in Underbridge. After some convincing, he admitted to starting the rumours about Nidalese slave trafficking, instead merely wanting to attract Pathfinders to his secret meeting place, the Puffy Pelican, in order to knock them out, and make the local Aaspis Consortium branch aware of their presence in exchange for some coin.
Sobbing, he explained that he never meant for anyone to get hurt, and he only asked for Fenster’s help because he thought it would be safe, yet now the urchin’s scruffy head was left to roll freely on the floor of the storeroom of the Pelican, after Torsten’s axe freed it from the rest of the Blight’s body.
Not wanting to cause any further casualties, but still knowing that they needed further information from this man, fearing that Fenster had died without letting loose all that he knew about the Tower Girls, there were threats of turning Plutivarch over to Sheila Heidmarch. At this point, Plutivarch had a miniature breakdown, and revealed an important secret, that he had hidden from his now deceased landlord.
An old warehouse, unused due to water damage from a storm that ravaged Magnimar the previous year, was one which according to Plutivarch, had recently become the home of a lady who fit the description the heroes put forth regarding Natalya. He said that he’d seen her come and go, and also that another lady with a whip and blonde hair regularly watched the place from a nearby rooftop. This was all our heroes needed, a hideout allegedly used by the very woman the party needed to find seemed too good to be true, but also a lead which could not be ignored. To make sure there was no funny business, Plutivarch was to lead the way – Arms tied.
The building which Plutivarch presented after a winding journey through the dockside, appeared as if it could cease being a building any minute now. The walls looked damp, and straining under the weight of the sagging tiled roof. It was a medium sized establishment, perhaps one that could hold the cargo of a small trading ship coming from the local ports around Varisia, at least when it was first constructed. The only signs of life around the decaying structure was a tall, dark skinned male, with two teeth jutting from his lower jaw, revealing the ethnicity of at least one of his parents. He was currently adding a stream of liquid to the side of the warehouse, and clearly yelling to someone inside, as there were long shadows peering out from the open door at the front. It wasn’t a lot of illumination coming from the warehouse, perhaps just a single lamp, but that was enough to know that this warehouse wasn’t as dead as it appeared from the outside.
Without pause, a smaller group of our heroes began to stealthily approach, and made their way to the door of the warehouse, once the half-orc had made his way back inside, closing the portal behind him. Quickly this turned into an altercation, as the group opened the door, only to be told that this was their house, and to “Sod off.” This must have hit a soft spot with at least one member of the group, as very quickly the two inside playing cards, and the two men coming around from the side of the warehouse quickly became either unconscious due to a timely sleep spell, or tied up.
It didn’t take long to realise that they didn’t have a lot of time, as the noise from the encounter must have awakened, or at least alerted anyone inside, which was especially important if Natalya was indeed the girl witnessed at this site. Through the side entrance the adventurers charged, to be faced with a site which made the outside of the warehouse look robust.
The floor of the chamber had completely collapsed into a pool of water some number of feet below. The earthen walls of the flooded room oozed with foul rivulets, and the smell was almost overwhelming. Two sewer pipes emerged from the side of the clay, giving meaning to the horrid smell. Looking up, what was a crawlspace on the second story of the warehouse had partially fallen in, revealing the wood attempting to hold up the tiles that kept the rain out of this place, not that it would help much. The only obvious ways to traverse the room were a rickety wooden plank over the filth, and a ladder up to the crawl space. This was all well and good, until half way across the plank, where Alwyn had begun to cross, an ambush of the worst sorts occured, from out of the sewer pipes camed dirtfaced green skined creatures, who emerged holding a large bag containing a large part of what made the room smell so terrible.
With a “Yipee!”, the creature who could only be a Goblin, let loose the bag of sewage, and with a thud, covered the alchemist in leeches, remains of rotten creatures, and excrement, sending him into a state of disgust.
- Goblin Ambush!
Swords were drawn, blood was spilled, and without much effort, the measly creatures lay in the pool of sewage. Maintaining a pace of action, Arial touched and channelled to keep spirits high, and wounds closed, as from the inside, it was obvious that there was light in the crawlspace on the second level. This is where she would be, if at all.
Climbing to the top of the ladder, and going through the crawlspace, it was apparent that someone had created a miniature fort up here, with food, and other such supplies, and when the final corner of the upper level was explored, the light revealed the face of a woman partially hidden by long brown hair.
“You’ll never take me, I take orders from no one!” she yelled, and fought with spell and sword for her life to get the party of 9 (and a dinosaur) out of her hideout. Another timely sleep spell, however, was the perfect end to that. With Natalya subdued, it was a race back to Heidmarch manor, as she had not spoken of a discovery, and all she had of interest on her was part of a copper blade, with a peculiar hemispherical hole in the side.
- Recovered blade
When the heroes returned to Heidmarch manor, they were presented with a very tired butler, who was not impressed, until he saw the subdued Varisian lady, after which he brought them inside, back to the room which the Paradox Box, and the Pugwumpi messed up.
Sheila soon entered the room, filling it with a regal presence, despite the time of night. When she saw the copper blade however, her tone changed from official, to one of suppressed excitement.
“What you have found, my friends, is nothing short of a miracle. Varisia has seen its share of miracles of late — the discovery of Xin-Shalast and the defeat of Runelord Karzoug, or Korvosa’s release from mad Ileosa’s rule come to mind—but this discovery will soon be remembered as an equal to those events. This is a powerful Thassilonian artifact, a fragment of horacalcum and a portion of the Shattered Star of Xin: to be precise, the Shard of Pride. I suspect that the shard’s current carrier already knows more about it than I do, in fact…”
she was refering to a powerful curse, which surrounds the shards. Even as one simply picks up the shard, they are filled with a feeling of strength, that they should be in a position of leadership.
Quickly, Sheila exited the room, and returned with a scarlet and blue gem, and placed it into the hemisphere tarnishing the surface of the horalcrum. This quickly created a light which brightened the room, before dimming to a calm glow. When the arcanely attuned members of the group felt the aura of the shard, they were presented with a vision of one of the pillars of the Irespan, out in the harbour in front of the docks.
Sheila quickly explained that this was the location of the second shard of the Sihedron, and that an expedition out to such a location must be planned immediately.
So, ancient Thassilonian artifacts, a curse of pride, where will the heroes of Shattered Star go next? Find out at week 3 of Shattered Star.