“Excuse me, master Ipswitch a parcel was left for you and your companions while you were out. They didn’t leave a name I’m afraid.”
The stout Dwarven woman hands you a thin box wrapped in dark linen cloth and tied with fine black cord. Unwrapping it you open the box to find a finely crafted wand wrapped in the molted skin of a serpent. It’s the wand Dafter stole from the Hellknight Signifiers before you crossed over into this land of eternal twilight…
Shaking his head in disbelief Kalib convinced the others they should probably check on Dafter’s whereabouts as he declined living in a decent neighborhood like Beacon Street and deigned to slum in the Darkflash District. Gathering equipment and the local hubbub on the Shadow Serpent Inn the group stuck out across Balefire’s center heading for the shadow plagued slums that bordered Nightcrawler Canyon.
No sooner than they crossed the Shadowalk than they noticed a tail. Two small rag covered humanoids slinked in, out, and between the squalid shanty town buildings trying to remain unnoticed to their quarry. Using the same advantage of the haphazard layout of the slums Kalib, Plek, and Cayden slipped behind shacks and lean-tos allowing Lazarus and Mreelana to draw the would be waylayers into an ambush. Lazarus stopped abruptly as the pair of dingy Dark folk stepped into the light forcing them to play their hands early. The two grungy thieves kept walking, feigning passing through only to sloppily attempt to nick Mreelana’s purse. His keen eyes peeled down a nocked arrow Plek let go a telling shot, followed by Caydens twin mace strikes as he bounded into the fray. Mreelana sizzled the interloper with ray of acid as Lazarus cheered them on! Kalib who had circled too far behind (slums are confusing places) charged in sinking his claws into the scorched Creeper causing it to explode in a burst of sickening light! Taken aback Plek reached for his eyes, squawking as shooting pain exploded in his visual cortex. The remaining Creeper tried to withdraw but Mreelana’s burst of arcane darts and Kalibs slicing claws caused a further explosion of sickly light.
Not far from the spot of their assault the PC’s come upon the Shadow Serpent, a small dive where camp followers and mule-skinners from the many caravans can stop for cheap swill. The place apparently served as a defacto headquarters for the haughty students of the Society of the Shadow Asp, a dark elven dueling school. Entering the bar they are approached by the proprietor a Lizard Folk who tells them that Dafter was dragged out of the place by four Dark Elves. Tracking their movement leads Cayden around back to a huge pile of garbage and a not so well hidden door watched over by some overly aggressive but soon dead dire rats.
The secret door opens up into a stair well leading down into a small shrine to a serpent faced demon. Another secret door in this shrine opens into the cisterns below the streets of Balefire. Stepping out into the chamber they find the slick walkways hold rings to thether gondolas meant to navigate the sewer. However a much more dangerous predator makes this cistern its home. Grumbling from the darkness a hulking mass of rubbery flesh calls out for Tribute. An immense otyugh calling itself Muck the Mighty tries to shake down the party for food in order to pass… (see next log for more on this scene)
After appeasing Muck (rather than fighting him) Cayden tracks the Dark elves to a ladder leading back up to the streets, but Plek’s sharp peepers spy yet another secret door leading straight into a marble lined arcade and ending in a plush drawing room inhabited by several Dark Elven dandies and a female who calls herself the First Coil. She chats aimably with Dafter and greets the group. Over offers of wine and some hors d’voeuvres she quickly but gently blackmails them into working for her Society. The group has received an invitation to a gala being held by the Court of the Raven Queen (Plek being a Tengu new to the city and unaffiliated with the court). The Coil asks the group to find a certain manual, a magic treatise on swordplay bound in snakeskin and bejeweled in amber. If they find it they merely need to slip a scroll into it’s pages. For this act they are offered the auspices of the Society and through it the Dark Elven Syndicate. In this the group reluctantly accepts, though the Dark Elven maestro’s tone is less than friendly.