Westlaws 2.0 - The Devouring

Westlaws Update 1.9

"Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance. "

The PCs return to the Slaveport Inn, “The Dark Man”, to move their things into the Serpent Hold, and discover that the Mysterious Slave Lord has visited there, taking the corpse of Markessa with him, and leaving a message of vengeance with their drugged-out prisoner. They turn her over to the Dawn Rocks, and hurry through the deep caves to their Goblin Hold, hoping it will save a day or two to take a direct route to their lair. Hiring Shorn, their Hill Giant “friend” to haul themselves and their stuff across the Roaring Chasm, they sneak back into their lair through the deep passages, and dumping much treasure there, travel to Sentinel.

Sentinel is in an uproar. There was a drow raid on the castle undergarth, that did indeed make-off with Passara and several other people from the castle and town. They also slew the castle cleric and a visiting paladin that was in her chambers at the time. It was unknown how they managed to get into the castle, but they left a strange sigil; believed to be the soldiers’ brooch of an Unknown Drow House.

Unable to acquire some of the resources they need to investigate this further, they visit the Nolomite Shrine in Sentinel, and discover something odd… the caretaker smells deeply of the fishy smell they’ve encountered elsewhere as servants of the serpent’s cult. The PCs proceed to sack the shrine, finding them engaged in various nefarious deeds, and an odd tunnel leading off under the city. They contact the Marshal, whom they’ve met through the previous “wererat incident”, and he gets the authority of the Thane to investigate this matter, while he posts guards in the shrine.

Resting for the night, the PCs get authority to search the tunnels, and find it leads to the Nolomite “Dawning Glory Hostel” across the street. It becomes apparent that many of the small traders and tinkers and pilgrims that have been disappearing were likely taken by the Serpent Cultists who have corrupted the Nolomite Shrine. In addition to many quarters underground for visiting slavers and their guards, they find a large “planning” room and a library of various minor books; and a tunnel that goes deeper into the Underdark.

This tunnel leads for many hours travel, going deeper and deeper, having been hewn crudely but shored like a mine shaft, eventually opening into a large “fort” similar in style and decoration to Slaveport, hinting at its origins. The site is protected by numerous “bad” dwarves and another “shadow fey”, who escapes back up the tunnel into Sentinel. They also slay a small, but powerful, lizard shaman, who carries a note offering much gold to the dwarves for “…more surface children…”. In addition to a collection of mundane supplies and some gold, they capture a number of small children kept as slaves (though some die in the fight). Lastly, a strange stone disc limned in silvery runes is recovered from the supply chamber, later identified as being a “travel stone” to some unknown destination, taking one person on a one-way trip, once per day…

The PCs return to the surface, and turn the children over to the orphanarium at North Gate Townhouse. They report to the Marshal, and turn over their prisoner, the lead dwarf Zark, to his care. Brommik takes the Deva to Cragrapid Keep to warn the knights there of what is going on, while Illuria and the Goliath search the library found in the Hostel for clues, though they only find a large ritual book of Nolom, abandoned there. Brommik and company manage to travel to Cragrapid without incident, and it becomes apparent in their discussions that there are many, many tunnels under all of the Westlaws, even under Cragrapid Keep.

Several days later, the PCs gather together and decide to explore where the tunnel leading from the abandoned fort leads, returning to the dwarven outpost they’ve just discovered. A short days travel down the tunnels, they encounter a war band of ogres from the Viper’s Crown slaver faction, and engage in a tough little fight with the warhulk and his cronies. Resting there, they travel another day’s journey further down the tunnel to discover another access to Slaveport; this one is only two-three days trip from the town above…

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Robling

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