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Chasing Mysteries

Seren’s Journal

We hadn’t settled down in our hiding places for very long, it seemed, before a drunken human came stumbling down the street. We watched him pass by, then, we saw three small shadows detach themselves from the walls behind him. The cloaked figures closed in as he lurched to a stop, noticed them, and merrily blessed the “little folk” in Tymora’s name. Unfortunately, the figures responded to the drunken cleric’s words by drawing daggers on him, at which point Soveliss and Roywyn shot two of them.

The creatures howled with pain, and their cloaks fell away to reveal furry snouts and long tails - wererats! Two of them leaped toward where ‘Wyn and Soveliss’ arrows came from, while the third jumped at the drunk. There were daggers waving and teeth flashing; I shot at the third wererat and caught sight of Flin sneaking around the edges of the fight to get in a good position to attack, and then the drunk collapsed in the middle of the street. Next, I was ducking away from a crossbolt - the wererats carried more than just daggers!

‘Wyn suddenly started to convulse - then changed into a large white wererat, herself! The other three turned to attack her, so I shot one, causing it to convulse and change shape. Flin attacked it next. At least ‘Wyn was fighting against the other wererats and not us, but I saw Soveliss get bitten and stabbed and wondered how many of us would need a trip to a temple, soon. I kept shooting the rats when I could, while the others were in the thick of it.

All three of the wererats suddenly disappeared into the shadows - and we realized that no one had kept an eye on the human when he began screaming. We caught sight of clawed hands as he was dragged into the shadows, and we all took off after! I flew up high and glowed as brightly as I could, illuminating two greenish humanoid figures running down an alley with the human cleric over one shoulder. The others caught up quickly, but were sickened by the smell of the things up close. The lizard-folk looked to be animated dead!

One of the undead stopped to fight, while the other ran off with his human captive. I followed, pulling out my holy symbol, but couldn’t fly fast enough to get ahead and cast a turning. Flin was following, too, and was able to keep up with it, so I followed as fast as I could until I caught up with Flin standing over an open sewer grate. Hoping that ‘Wyn and Soveliss were handling the other creature all right, we descended into the unknown.

Thirty feet below the city streets, and we were in a large tunnel. Hearing movement ahead, we ran, only to hear stone grinding - we ran faster, hoping to catch the thing before it lost itself in a maze of intersections. When we reached the area we thought the sound originated from, there was nothing to see - luckily, I spotted an irregularity in the wall, and Flin soon had it checked and open. The new passage was half the height of the first, but we were able to walk upright, so Flin wedged the secret door open, and I left my old holy symbol stuck in the wall stones, in case ‘Wyn and Soveliss made it this far.

We followed the new passage until it ended at a sewer, with a path extending to the left and the right. There was no sign of our quarry, so Flin turned left, I turned right, and activated my bird, telling it to go with Flin but fly to me if he ran into anything. Off to the right I went, pondering what to call the bird and watching for the lizard-person or his victim.

I ran out of tunnel to follow, first. My pathway above the sewer’s flow ended at an intersection of tunnels, and the pathways across the water showed no sign of anything wading over to reach them. I was looking at a ladder which led up to a grate, and listening to the sounds of music in the streets above, and had just decided to call the raven Archimedes, when I heard steps running up from behind. I readied an arrow and waited to see who was coming...

...the good news was that ‘Wyn and Soveliss had finished off their opponent and caught up with me. The bad news was that Archimedes was flying along just ahead of them! They asked me where Flin was, and I told them about sending him off with my bird. I told Archimedes his name, asked him to lead us to Flin, and we were off.


We followed Archimedes down the tunnel until it ended at a T, and the raven didn’t know where Flin had been taken. Soveliss found blood, though, and I was able to track it to the left. We followed the trail until it ended, and looked around. Although the pathway continued, a smaller side tunnel could be seen about seven feet above us. Soveliss pulled himself up for a look, and found claw marks on the rim, so Roywyn and I asked for a boost up. We could walk upright, but Soveliss had to crawl; the new tunnel was only about three feet high.

‘Wyn and I went ahead until we hit another T junction, and this time I found a trail to the right. We walked up the passage until we heard the sounds of tearing and the gnashing of teeth - then, we ran! The tunnel opened out into a round chamber with six exits radiating outward. In the chamber, one of the undead things was tearing at and eating from something lying on the ground. I charged in, sword held high! The thing stood up and turned toward us, biting at me. I swung my sword at it and missed, and it bit me again, paralyzing me where I stood!

‘Wyn, thank Shaundakul, shot it to death. She then went to the body, which did turn out to be Flin, and rummaged through his pack. She healed him with her wand, and he started moving - and screaming! Poor Flin. He then healed himself some more with his own wand, and I finally relaxed from my own paralysis and listened at all the exits. Several had chittering noises coming from them, but not moving toward us so I didn’t go in. ‘Wyn, on the other hand, heard a scream come from one, so we followed the sound.

The tunnel sloped downward, and Flin now could hear someone crying, so we ran. ‘Wyn sang a magical song, and Soveliss followed up behind as fast as he could crawl. The tunnel soon opened out into another room, bigger, with eight passages outward. I stopped at the entrance, looking at four figures chained to posts in the middle of the floor. One was sobbing and shielding her eyes from my glow. When ‘Wyn whispered to them, the sobbing woman began screaming for help!

I stepped inside, glowing brightly, and circled the group while ‘Wyn checked their bonds, and Flin held a drawn bow on them. Soveliss finally crawled out of the tunnel and began to unlock the manacles, I saw that one of the humans was dead, and asked the others to tell us what had happened. Before they could answer, the dead man convulsed, and stood up as a ghast! The screaming began again, much louder! Soveliss had one man unlocked, who stumbled off up a random tunnel past ‘Wyn who was yelling at him to stop while shooting her crossbow.

Soveliss bravely continued to unlock the living humans, and the creature lunged at me. I hit it with my greatsword, and it clawed me. Again, I was paralyzed. The second human was running for a tunnel, ‘Wyn killed the ghast, and grabbed ahold of me while yelling at the humans to follow us. The two still in the room did so; the female telling us she wasn’t sure how many people were in the sewers, or how long they’d been there. We could hear something crawling toward the room, and headed back up the tunnel. Soveliss insisted on going last - not from his size, but because he says he’s immune to paralysis. How I envied him then!

Flin dragged me up the tunnel, while the human woman held up Soveliss and ‘Wyn until she threatened to put a bat in her hair. The other human was long gone ahead - but then we heard him scream! We raced for the room with six exits, only to find three more ghasts eating the remains of the man. Unparalyzed, I waved my holy symbol at them - with no effect. Flin grabbed several of my oil flasks and threw them, instead, and I could hear ‘Wyn singing from down the tunnel.

My second turning spell worked, and the ghasts fled even as Flin set one on fire. Finally, the rest of our party arrived, and we continued on our way out - we wanted to get one survivor out, at least! Soveliss did make sure that the dead human didn’t return by chopping off his head, first. Flin stayed behind while we escaped, using flasks of oil to block the path. When the rest of us reached the main tunnel, ‘Wyn and I turned back to get him. We were running down the tunnel when there was a terrific crash!

Dust and stone rained down from the walls and ceiling, I fell down and got right back up, wondering why I heard wood splintering. When we got back to the six-exit room, we found a huge tree trunk sideways, and a pair of halfling feet sticking out from underneath! The feet were wiggling and giggling - Flin had gauged his spell very carefully not to be crushed, and the ghasts were no more!

We each grabbed a foot and pulled Flin free, and I healed him some while I was at it. He was very pleased with himself! I was glad to catch up with Soveliss and the human woman on their way to the surface; we all ended up back in an alley, looking out onto a main street, and hearing the sound of music. It was barely midnight! We went looking for a temple, and some guards, talking to Miranda, the human woman, on the way.

We walked past a large and brightly lit building that seemed to be hosting a festival, and ran into a guard troop. They heard us out, and wanted us to fill out a report, but agreed to take us to a temple, first. They took us to a temple of Helm, whose clerics were willing to cure us of anything nasty we’d caught from the ghasts - for a lot of money - or watch us for a few days to be sure we were healthy. Ack! I had no interest in being caught inside for days, but the others agreed to it!

Miranda got sick, but the clerics did their best to heal her, and the rest of us talked over our adventures and filled out the report for the guards. I got tired of the place in a few hours and spent the rest of the time bouncing off the walls and ceiling... and yelling “I told you so” at ‘Wyn when she tried to leave and they wouldn’t let her. She acted surprised about it! I guess her bat was in need of “counseling” over some sin it had committed... and Flin was practicing being sick. Finally, after two days, they cleared us to leave. I must admit to being less than gracious in my thanks.

The city watch had read our report of the goings-on under the dock wards, and asked us to go back to find out why ghouls and ghasts were acting in an intelligent manner. They offered us 2000 gold pieces to find the source! ‘Wyn and Soveliss bargained for a 50 gp reward for every undead head we returned with, too. I asked about healing - as I have no desire to be stuck in the Temple of Helm for two days ever again. Finally, we headed back to the Dripping Dagger for real rest, and talk over how to proceed.

The Fest Hall night club had caught our eye before, being so close to the disappearances. When evening fell, we decided to start our search by getting in line for the festivities. It was a long line, and an entrance fee to get in! It was a large single story wooden building, and one big room inside. There was a raised central stage and benches all around it. Bards were performing onstage while folks sat and watched while eating and drinking, and there were lots of bouncers. We made our way to a table and settled in to observe.

Posted by Kate on November 14, 2006, 00:10 | Seren’s Journal