Winter’s chill gripped the sewers beneath M’ziir, and the party could see their breath puffing from their mouths as they chased Divinter Red Hands through the winding maze of tunnels, pipes, and fetid water. The former gladiator had fled the scene of the raid, but not before Sardis spotted him and Pendred called for his companions to pursue.
Fortunately, the raid itself had come off flawlessly. The joint effort of the Graubergh hacholu, the Shepherds, the City Watch, the Shade, and a handfull of aprentices from the Mage’s College had paid off. The last straggling vestiges of M’ziir’s Thieve’s Guild had been caught utterly by surprise, and their leader, Ralaban the Gray, had been killed in the initial assault. It seemed likely that the M’ziir chapter of the Guild was finished, if they could only stop Divinter from escaping.
It wasn’t easy. Divinter was fast, and had spent ore time in the sewers under the City than all of the party together, and the son-of-a-troll was fast. Still, Sardis and, somewhat surprisingly, Kalyx, were able to keep up with him, while the rest of the party followed, seeking shortcuts where they could, lead by Ink’s eidetic memory.
Sardis and Kalyx caught up to Devinter just as he dropped out of sight into a great midden pit set below the sewer’s walkways in a large side room. As they advanced towards where his light disappeared into the pit, a strange, alluring purple light appeared above the pit, tugging at Kalyx’s mind invitingly…
And, as the rest of the party approached the room, a great, bloated, tumorous mound of flesh rose from the midden, belching rank odor from it’s toothy barn-door of a mouth, and lashing about it with massive twenty-foot tentacles. An otyugh grown huge and mutated by the strange powers behind the Ix’iil.
For a few seconds things looked grim. The otyugh’s tentacles plucked heroes out of the air mid-leap, and it’s diseased maw nearly devoured Pendred in a single bite. Meanwhile, the Red Hands, clearly allied with (if not truly in control of) the monster skirted the edges of the fight demonstrating how he’d earned his appellation.
But the heroes won out.. Some definitely not at all accidental magical teleportation by Kalyx disoriented their foes and Ink rendered the monstrous otyugh impotent through illusion. T Without his foul pet as support, Divinter went down with relative ease.
Once the battle was ended, Pendred set his followers to guard Divinter before healing him so that he could be questioned.
Divinter was much more willing to talk than anyone expected. At least, he claimed to be when he thought he might be set free in return. Once Pendred clarified that the bargain was for his life only, not his freedom, the Guild Enforcer became somewhat tighter lipped, refusing to reveal information that, he claimed, would render his captivity or death equally horrible. It was clear that he feared his masters more than he feared the end of life.
Still, after some discussion, the party did learn some things before Pendred summarily executed the Red Hands by the simple expedient of decapitation.
Among the more worthwhile bits of information—deemed truthful by Ink, whose face took on a decidedly creepy appearance as he judged Divinter’s honesty through some ritual—was the following:
- The locations of the Thieves’ Guild headquarters in each of the other six Cities of Mokiir.
- Confirmation that the powers behind the Ix’iil seek power and control over the people of Mokiir
- Suspicious dodging around the issue of the Blood King and his background and goals
- A warning to beware of Akra, reminding the party of how often the black dragonborn had been touched by the tentacles of the Ix’iil.
- The church of Subher is closely connected to the church of Tulvar, and is helping keep the followers of Khalipanofax from gaining a foothold in Mokiir. And the Thieves’ Guild and Ix’iil are fine with that. Nobody likes the Jade Queen.
After his death the party looted Divinter’s body, finding some magical handwraps, some valuables, an interesting magic ring and, to their great dismay, one of the seven Cursed Daggers of Ix’iil that they had learned about when they’d slain The Hand at Wetstone a year-and-a-half previously. Ink, Pendred, and Sardis all clearly remembered that Amanda had delivered The Hand’s dagger to the druids of Aven for safekeeping. They also remembered how upset the druids had been at being given the task, though they had not declined. Nobody could tell for certain whether this was the same or a different dagger, but Ink suspected ze could find out given time to perform the appropriate ritual.
The only other thing of note in the otyugh’s chamber, clearly a latrine midden for some structure far above, was a tiefling corpse floating slowly downstream towards the lake. A little investigation revealed a pair of magical gloves, and the identity of the deceased. He had been Avel’Emaz Az’Dazuur. Before he’d died, Divinter freely admitted that he’d brought Avel’Emaz, son of a minor noble house, to the otyugh to be disposed of after the young tiefling had been disrespectful to the Guild. It was, Divinter said, an object lesson.
It was unclear if, after Divinter was killed, the party would immediately return to the site of the raid, or linger in the otyugh’s chamber to let Ink conduct macabre rituals on the dead and the dagger.
The word in the streets and taverns is…
- The Kaz’Kazzar wears a glowing ruby diadem on his brow that allows him to influence the minds of those around him.
- The Kaz’Kazzar will arrive in M’ziir soon to prepare for the negotiations to begin at the new year.
- The wizards of M’ziir’s Mages’ College are recruiting M’ziiran youth to the service of the eladrin
- High Mage Tallis Edratha has secret and terrible connections to the cursed city of Old Cormorell.
- The Thieve’s Guilds throughout M’ziir have been infiltrated by a dark menace from the Shadowfell and seek to control all of Mokiir.
- Akra, the Shade’s deadliest enforcer, is secretly an agent of the Thieve’s Guild working to undermine the security of M’ziir and the Pale Quarter
- The Blood King Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil is secretly a worshiper of Subher, god of assassins and thieves.
- The Blood King Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil is secretly a worshiper of a dark menace from the shadowfell seeking to rule and control Mokiir
- The Church of Tulvar is a front for the Cult of Subher
- The nobles of the Duzuur bloodline are secretly connected to the Thieves’ Guild.
- Divinter Red Hands, former gladiator and slave, was killed in a raid by the Shepherds and Shade against the M’ziiran Thieves’ Guild
- The Blood King is able to see, hear, and even appear anywhere in Mokiir at will. He knows when anyone speaks his name.
- The cult of the dead god Khalipanofax is seeking to find a foothold in Mokiir.
- The towns and farms around D’kath are being harried by wyverns much more than is usual for this time of year.
- The Grauberg orcs have wiped out the goblinoids in the hills outside M’ziir.
- The cursed ruin of Fort Pendred has been reclaimed by the Pale Magistrate, who is rebuilding it in honor of his strange southern gods.
- The Shade employs a powerful wizard who can see your lies and the stains on your soul, passing judgment on any who run afoul of the Shade’s justice.
- The touch of the Shadowfell on the dreams of the godless is growing stronger. Night terrors have turned murderous and things grow worse as Nemidahl approaches.
- The leader of the Shade, Danae, is a dragon in disguise.
- There will be no truce with Darakor, and Mokiir will find itself at war with all the other nations of the west.
- Beaten, the Kaz’Kazzar will bend a knee to Ren’Raatha of Darakor, who will be the new Kaz’Kazzar.
- The Astrologer’s Guild has been abolished by the Guild Counsel at the insistence of the Shepherds
- Giants plague the hills and mountains around Arkassin.