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K’ehleyr’s Journal

Someone had mentioned getting a drink at the tavern, so we were walking over a skybridge, the evening rain warm and steady. To our surprise, there was a body on the bridge ahead, still freshly bleeding! I checked for a pulse, but the elderly human was already dead. Gib checked the man’s possessions, while Jak whistled long and loud for the town guard. Gib was showing us the man’s ID - provost of the university, professor of some ancient studies - when I became aware of someone climbing over the railing beside us. Whomever it was carried a battleaxe and charged at us, ignoring Jak’s shouts to stop and identify itself.

Gib got out of the way while I pulled out my sword - imagine, battle in the middle of the city! - and Jin waited for its charge, while Jak tried to trip it with her whip. “It” turned out to be a warforged, which attacked without a word. Jin and Gib tried to help me fight, while Jak made as much noise as posible between singing and whistling (she got plenty of attention from the locals trying to sleep, as windows shot up all around!). I swung at the thing, connecting over and over again, and dropped it at my feet just as the town guards finally arrived on the scene. To my surprise, a tiny winged thing detached itself from the warforged’s chest and flew off into the night, too fast for any of us to catch!

Next thing, of course, the town guard levelled their crossbows at us and demanded that we drop our weapons and explain the mess. Jak talked fast, handing over her ID, and then the dwarf in charge demanded all of our papers. All I had were my travelling papers, which upset them. What have I needed ID for before? Either one knew who I was, or I told them. Apparently, that’s not enough around here. I kept my mouth shut, however, and Jak vouched for me. When some of the locals came forward to confirm her story, the guards relaxed and even gave us two gold pieces each in thanks for our assistance. Two gold pieces, apparently, are also what I need for one of these “ID”s. I’ll get one in the morning, rather than worry my companions again.

Leaving the situation in the Watch’s capable hands, we headed on to the bar. Before we reached it, however, a cloaked figure emerged from the darkness and approached us! Jak again asked for ID, and it showed her a ring, which apparently was good enough for her. The unknown person asked us to meet at the Broken Anvil tavern at dawn, to learn more about the murder we’d so nearly witnessed. Personally, I’d think it’s the Watch’s business, but it may lead to interesting things...

At the bar, it turned out that Gib had rifled the professor’s pockets quite thoroughly. He’d also taken everything off the warforged that he could, and went through it all at the bar. He used the money he’d found to pay for our food and drinks, at least! The rest? An apple, a quill, ink, and paper, and a strange little book with a mithril-threaded symbol on the cover and blank pages that had a funny feel to them. Jak said there was magic on the book, and Jin suggested taking it to his brother in the morning. His brother teaches spellcasting and may be able to help... which turned into a discussion about what changelings “do”. Jin morphed into a copy of me and got the evil eye from the bartender while I laughed - too bad he can’t fight like me in that form, too!

Gib crashed at Jin’s place, while Jak was kind enough to put me up at her family compound. I really hadn’t thought about how large this city would be, and I was very relieved to find that there was stabling for my horse, Huerga. In the morning, we all met at the Broken Anvil. We were greeted by a halfling, who asked us what we needed? - “Breakfast!” We answered, and she led us to a table where a person was already seated. “Your guests have arrived”, she said, and we found ourselves seated with a very noble-looking human woman. Over drinks, she explained that she and the professor had been looking for a family heirloom of House Cannith. The professor thought he’d found it’s location, but now he was dead.

She hoped we’d take up the job of finding it, although it would be much harder without the book the professor had been carrying... so, after much glaring and kicking under the table, we got Gib to give up the book! Sure enough, when her ring got near the book, they both began to glow, and writing appeared on the pages. The food arrived, and we ate breakfast while she scanned the pages (and Gib sulked at us all). Finally, she told us what she’d learned: the heirloom, an adamantium plate the size of your hand in the shape of a seven-pointed star, is fifty-seven levels below one of the city’s great towers, in an ancient foundry. We’ll get a thousand gold pieces and the goodwill of the House if we can find it! She handed us a hundred gold and a map to start with, but kept the book, much to Gib’s dismay.

Jin then asked about who owns anything else we might find while hunting around in the depths, and the Lady reassured us that all the family wants is the seven-pointed star. She did warn us that someone called the Lord of Blades also wants the heirloom, and probably sent the warforged we’d encountered. We thanked her for the warning and headed off to get supplies for our trip. Several days’ rations, weapons permits, and ID for me - they even painted an image of me on it! Finally, we followed the map into the depths of the city.

I was glad to be well-cloaked, I won’t deny it! Jak, too, wrapped herself up well. As we descended, the place got darker, drearier, and smellier. The people became more ragged, and garbage was everywhere. It took a moment for me to realize that some goblins were actually selling the stuff to others! The map led us to a cavernous room, and ended at something called “E213”. When we looked around, we saw nothing... so Gib, a goblin himself, worked his way through the crowd to ask a goblin garbage seller what or where E213 might be found. Unfortunately, Jin was not far behind...

The crazy changeling didn’t give Gib a chance to do things quietly; he held up a gold piece - gold! - and demanded that the goblin tell him where to find E213 and he’d get the gold, but if he didn’t, he’d get a sword! Instantly, he was surrounded by the goblin’s friends, daggers drawn. Gib ran away without looking back, and Jak and I turned and walked away as fast as we dared as well. Jin kept right on chattering, even got a doorway pointed out as the place to find E213, threw his gold to the goblin and started walking. Jak and I kept going the other way, listening to the crowd in case someone mentioned anything useful. No one did, but Jin noticed that he’d lost the rest of us. Naturally, he tried to draw us into his suicidal grasp, calling our names out loud and running after us both! We acted like we didn’t know him but he would not take the hint - not even after I grabbed him by the throat and bounced him against a wall.

I suddenly understand why people don’t like or trust changelings. This Jin must want to die.

While Jin was blathering on about how we take life too seriously, Gib reappeared and distracted me from contemplating whether the Watch would care if I offed the changeling in these regions. Gib said he’d been watching the doorway and had arranged things so that we could safely descend, despite Jin. He also said there were two more changeling shifters who had entered the doorway before us, so we were prepared for trouble as we walked through the entry and stepped down a staircase.

The sound of falling water was deafeningly loud, but it did little to dispel the stench of the sewers. Gib waved at us to wait at the bottom while he snuck around the corner to check the place out. He soon returned and waved us on, then had us stop a second time. This time, he looked up and threw a dagger at a shape above us, which dropped down and attacked us with a rapier! I managed to work my way through the others and attack it, but it tumbled away and Gib and I followed it into another room. The first creature turned out to be a warforged, which Gib killed (another small winged thing detached from its chest and flew away), but the two shapeshifters we’d been warned of now approached and attacked.

I ended up fighting them both for a moment - when, suddenly, a valve opened in the room and water smashed into the shifters, knocking them down. Jin managed to kill one, I killed the other, and I sat down to catch my breath while Gib looted the bodies. I got a second dagger out of it, at least. We moved on, carefully checking the various passages and rooms for the mysterious E213. Finally, we saw a blue glow... and found a large door, with the same ancient symbol as the journal glowing on it! Gib looked it over, musing out loud that we should have the journal or the signet ring to match the symbol, then tried to open it. He set off some kind of trap!

Three acid orbs struck us, ouch! Then, Gib and Jin got into an argument about how to open the door. Gib tried again, while Jak and I backed around a corner. Sure enough, it went off again, this time injuring Jin enough to drop him to the floor, barely breathing. Jak tried to read the runes, but came to the same conclusion as Gib - we need to head back up to the Broken Anvil and ask for something with the symbol on it. We could use a little healing, as well. After all, I’m not about to kill Jin when he’s unable to defend himself properly...

Posted by Kate on September 8, 2005, 21:14 | K’ehleyr’s Journal