Want to start from the beginning of the journal? I’m keeping an organized page with all the journals I write along with any other related campaign materials I put up right here.
Well, the campaign continues, but the journal has stalled – I’ve fallen a couple sessions behind now and it’s looking daunting to catch up while also keeping up with the format I’ve been using for these posts.
Here’s my plan moving forward: For now, I’m scaling back how detailed these posts are and sticking to session synopses. I might return to the longer format when I’ve caught up and gotten into a consistent writing schedule again, depending on how this works out.
For the immediate post, let’s catch up with what the party has been up to these past few weeks!
Session Thirteen: Of Rats and Zombies
The party discussed their next moves in the city and how to proceed with this Onacona character over breakfast at the inn. Kaltog took the opportunity to present Sherlynx with her newly-enchanted yklwa (which he had finished the night before). Kana’ti admires the weapon and asks Kaltog if he could fashion something similar from a dragon’s tooth for him – Kaltog readily agrees to take on the project.
In the middle of this morning meal and discussion, the innkeeper brings a fruit-basket to the table for Kaltog, sent by Genny Crystal from the Edge Town Press. There’s a short note attached, prodding him to come talk to her about the Bull King story (“Looking forward to our collaboration!”).
After finishing up breakfast, the party goes their separate ways to take care of personal errands in the city.
Sherlynx spent the morning in the casino.
Dave wandered the city looking for a spa and walked into what even he could tell was a disreputable establishment, which he wisely decided to avoid.
Kaltog headed to the Tinker’s Guild to get a start on Kana’ti’s new weapon.
Kana’ti donned his Hat of Disguise and assumed the persona of “Kevin”, the unassuming human, hoping this would throw Onacona off his trail. Kevin’ti spent some time stocking up on essentials at the adventuring store and circling through alleys to make sure he wasn’t followed.
That afternoon, Sherlynx met with Xix’thath to accompany him on his patrol rounds with the Town Guard. She followed along as he kicked homeless out of alleyways they “shouldn’t be in” near the Merchant’s Guild, checked papers of vendors in the marketplace, and generally walked around looking for trouble. Eventually they found some down a side alley in the southern part of the city: they hear a scream, and as the two rush to see what is happening they find a zombie feasting on a freshly-dead woman. Sherlynx dispatched the zombie, and asked Xix’thath if he’d seen anything like this before. He responded that they’ve seen this from time to time over the past year or so, but nobody knows where the zombies are coming from and nobody has put money into looking into it (unimportant victims).
Sherlynx explained what she saw to the others when the party reconvened in the afternoon, and they all agreed to help her look into the matter. Kaltog remembers the fruit basket from Genny and suggests going to see her: perhaps they can trade the details of the Bull King story for her knowledge of the city?
At the Press, Genny comes out to greet the party almost immediately after they tell the receptionist they are here to see her. When they start asking questions about the undead, though, she tells them to keep their voices down and suggests moving the meeting to a more discrete location.
She leads the party to a secluded grove set off the path in the Gardens. There, she explains how she had pursued reports of disappearances related to undead sightings before but always been shut down by the leadership at the Press. They would tell her to focus on “real stories” and that “people don’t want to read that”. To make matters worse, no gang seems willing to move on the issue because it requires crossing jurisdictions and cooperating with rival gangs in the city. She leaves them with a lead: the last source she spoke to, a man named Amos Miller whose son, Derrick, disappeared near the Airship Docks. She gives the party his address near the Rat Market and tells them to be careful out there – it’s clear there are forces in the city working to cover this up and she doesn’t know why.
The party wasted no time, striking out directly for the Rat Market to seek out this lead. As they drew close to the place, they caught on that somebody was following them through the streets. Kaltog tuned his glasses to see invisibility and swept the area, spotting an invisible individual waiting for them further down the road. The party advance to meet the man, Kaltog watching with bemusement as the man gives himself a silent pep talk and strikes a dramatic pose before dropping the invisibility spell. Kaltog interrupts him before he can do his prepared introduction, and the man moodily informs the party that they have entered Red Heart Gang territory and should turn back. The party stands their ground, and with some successful persuasion and intimidation rolls manages to drive the thugs off.
Just as Genny said, the party finds Amos in a small house just a couple blocks from the Rat Market. He was grateful to see someone still looking into his case, and gladly shared the details of his son’s disappearance with them. Amos explains how the gangs were unwilling to help, how the Red Heart Gang aggressively urged he let the matter go, and how he had spent the last of his savings hiring a group of dwarven adventurers that he never heard from again after. The party promised to find the truth about what happened to his son. Concerned that looking into the disappearance would put Amos at risk given what he said about the gangs, they also gave him some gold for supplies and had Kaltog install a new, magical lock on his door.
The next step was to walk the route Amos told them Derrick often walked near the Airship Docks (“He liked looking at the ships”). They made their way to the spot his body was found and searched meticulously, but the only notable feature they found nearby was a sewer access. Sherlynx dove into the polluted waters, followed hesitantly by the others (more sensibly using the ladder and staying on the service walkway), and they began to make their way down the dark passageway.
Session Fourteen: Underbelly
As the party advanced into the sewers, they began picking up on signs that others passed this way frequently. Kana’ti and Sherlynx scouted ahead as Kaltog and Dave advanced slowly by torchlight – this turned out to be a good plan, as they spotted a patrol of kobolds preparing the ambush them further down the tunnel. The party dealt with them easily, leaving one alive to take prisoner and hopefully shed some light on what was going on.
They questioned the kobold, who was resistant but easily convinced by threats of force. The kobold agreed to lead them to the hideout, which he called “the nest”. Kaltog searched the kobold for his spell focus and took it before tying his hands just in case the little guy got any ideas. He took them to a short branch off the main tunnel which seemed to have been a maintenance area. At the end of that short passage, the wall was clearly dug out to make a doorway into another room.
The party moved cautiously over the threshold, into a large chamber carved out of the stone that housed two huge pump-like mechanisms. Neither of them was currently running, but upon closer inspection they had both been shut off just recently. They pushed on to a short hallway with another door at the other end, which Sherlynx learned the hard way had a rather nasty trap on it.
The party attempted to force the kobold to open the door, hoping he would know to disarm it. He resisted their demands, and as he backed away from the party trying to surreptitiously raise his hands to his mouth Kaltog noticed a short length of copper wire gleaming in his palm – the kobold was trying to send a message to somebody, somewhere. Not willing to risk the threat, Kaltog killed the kobold with a catapulted crowbar.
After disarming the trap, the party next found themselves in a chamber with person-sized tanks lining the walls filled with an unknown substance. A man was moving from tank to tank, muttering to himself. As the party entered the room, another fellow that appeared to be there as a bodyguard called over to the muttering man that their company had arrived. The man said something about needing another minute, continuing his work. Sherlynx’s attempts to address him were similarly ineffective until she got tired of trying to get his attention and launched an eldritch blast into the tank he was working on.
Glass rained onto the floor, the man turned on his heel and screamed at the party that they were ruining his work. The party fought him and his bodyguard, and during the course of the battle a worm-infested zombie dwarf emerged from the broken tube to attack them as well.
Once the threat was dealt with, the party searched the room and found the belongings of the dwarves Amos had mentioned hiring piled in a corner of the room. Among them, they found a journal detailing what the dwarves discovered in their investigations. Unlike the party, they had gone first to investigate the connection with the Red Heart Gang. There, they met a “white-furred tabaxi” who was suspiciously helpful in directing them to the place they would find this sewer passage. The journal ended not long after that entry with a warning: “Don’t trust the white one”.
Forging ahead, the party moved through another short hallway to yet another carved stone room. This one was unpleasantly filled with corpses in varying states of decay, the overpowering smell of which was mixing in with and somehow overpowered by some other indescribably acrid scent. Kana’ti thought he could hear scratching in the walls, and warned the others that kobolds may be using secret passageways in much the same way they saw back at the lake shrine to move around them. Sherlynx looked ahead further to see the source of the indescribable smell; a nest of large eggs, covered in a blackish-greenish slime, set in the center of a huge natural cavern just through another hallway past the corpse-filled room.
The hallway to this cavern was narrower than the others in the facility so far, forcing the party to walk single file. When both Sherlynx and Kana’ti had advanced past the threshold of the hallway, the trap was sprung: there was a great groaning sound and a heavy iron gate fell to separate the party. Dave and Kaltog were trapped in the narrow hallway. A cry rang out as kobolds began to emerge from dark corners of the cavern, closing in on an isolated Kana’ti and Sherlynx.