031710 Game Night Recap:
Stepping through the portal in the keep, Astrid, Thon, Corwyn, Harlos, Dez, and Tripper all emerge in a small dry and featureless room. Dez groans and says “we’re in the Cogs under Sharn.” Astrid turns to inspect the way they came to ensure the portal wasn’t still active, and it was not. Not satisfied with this result, however, Tripper insisted they bury the room from the outside to ensure no one happens upon it, just in case. With the room secured, the party moves on through the vast dungeon, surprisingly empty, and relatively quiet. The bustle of activity remains subdued even through the sewers until they hit the Undersharn marketplace. They emerge from Undersharn on the lowest level of the Central Plateau, which is fortunate, as the company plan is to get their half devoured friend on the disk to a healer of Jorasco as quickly as possible.
Parting ways with Omega, Astrid cancels the disk and Tripper takes Dane and carries him to the nearest lift. Up one level they reach the Dragonmarked house district and find the Jorasco house of healing, noted by the House Crest emblazoned on the front of the otherwise clinically sterile and plain building.
At the entryway they are greeted by a Halfling dressed in typical business attire, but with a lab coat over top. He asks what they need and Tripper asks him for help aiding Dane. As he describes how they came about Dane, the Halfling inspects the man and his injuries, but only after Tripper offers to sign over his Kundarak bank account to pay for Dane’s recovery, does the Halfling agree to take Dane off their hands. He says there isn’t a lot they can do for him as his injuries are well beyond anything the house can do, but they have options they could consider (like warforged component replacements for his legs, as Tripper suggests).
Tripper then asks the Halfling, who says his name is “Guy,” if he can inspect Harlos and Dez. He says Jorasco healing is limited to that of the physical and that mental magics are best left to the Kalashtar or they could get the services of the Church of the Silver Flame in Flamekeep to inspect them for possession, but he looks them over for any physical signs anyway. After a short series of tests, he returns to say he can see no signs of injury and clears them to leave. While waiting on the inspection Tripper recalls Osh’s father being in Sharn and could possibly do a mental inspection on the two to give them all some peace of mind. Once they leave the Jorasco house and the faint mutterings of complaint from “Guy” about people “dumping their trash on his doorstep,” the party makes way for the Kalashtar district.
Arriving in the Kalashtar district of Sharn, it’s a distinct change of pace. The people there are much more reserved and subdued. The sounds and feel of the streets are calmer and zen-like. As it’s getting later in the day, the everbright lanterns are starting to be unshaded casting fantastic prisms on the streets and walls through the crystals that frequent the decorations. Colors of Gold and Purple are prevalent but the architecture of the structures is very plain and simple with only hints at the exotic origin of their residents. Tripper makes way to the nearest shop, an apothecary of sorts, to ask for directions to Dalserath. Inside an older Kalashtar whose hair is starting to gray is behind a table working on a ruby-colored crystal when they enter. He greets them warmly and Tripper inquires about Dal. The man is a bit hesitant and guarded at first, but Tripper manages to charm him into cooperation. Several streets in, they finally reach Dal’s home, a single-story dwelling and otherwise nondescript.
After knocking on the door and a short wait, a faint shuffling is heard and then a pulse from the door before is slowly slides open and a middle-aged man, bald and wearing nothing of note to set him apart except for a rose-colored crystal suspended from his neck. He is guarded when he addresses them and Tripper tries to explain why they’re there, but he’s not sure about the situation and seems to be hiding something. Once Tripper manages to reveal their working for Fergus, Dal excuses himself and goes back inside. Moments later the shuffle returns accompanied by boot steps and the door opens again to reveal Dal and a familiar face of Fergus standing behind him.
He peers out the door, looking around cautiously and asks if they were followed, then ushers them in quietly and quickly when they respond “no.” Tripper then fills Fergus in on all their happenings since they parted and Fergus fills in points here and there including the purpose of the Keeper’s Key and their imminent need to destroy it. He then reveals to them that Tripper’s keep has been under siege of late by Dughan’s army. And though Tome has managed to keep things at bay, their resources are thinning and they could use some aid. He also says he and Dal have been pursued by assassins and bounty hunters lately. They’ve been veiled by the Kalashtar and are relatively safe where they are for the time being, but Harlos and Dez should probably take refuge in Tripper’s Keep, agreeing with Tripper’s same suggestion.
Dal says he can use kesh to try and see what happened to Dez and Harlos, but it will require them to open their minds to him, which Harlos quickly and vehemently opposes. After some goading, though, he finally submits and Dal sees in both of them that they were at some point controlled by some entity, though it is no longer present. However, there is a residual matter that remains. It’s dormant and appears harmless but knowing anything more about it is beyond his ability.
Feeling everything there is pretty well in order, the group sets out to make way to Wroat to meet with Boranel, but Tripper wishes to make one stop on the way. Back in the Dragonmarked House district, they stop by the House Thuranni headquarters only to find it closed for the evening. However, a gathering at the pub next door draws them in and they find a cornucopia of Dragonmarked houses represented taking pleasure in the entertainment of said house.
Tripper asks the group if they prefer his statement he’s about to make to be over the top, or a step further and they say go for it, so he marches straight in and steps up onto the bar dropping a bag of coin and yells out for everyones’ attention. He then issues a challenge to anyone who comes into contact with a contract for Fergus will meet their end at his hands. After an uncomfortable pause, followed by a myriad of laughter particularly from the table housing a couple of Kundarak Dwarves and Deneith Humans , he then leaves with the rest of Omega en tow. A few Elven eyes follow him suspiciously out the door, but no one pursues.
Making way back to the lift, several of the party notice as they pass the Cannith structure, several shadowy figures skulking away in the alley beyond. Harlos realizes the person in the lead is none other than the Artificer who first accompanied them so many months ago. The group pursues. Seeing a dead Cannith guard at the back door, Tripper issues a challenge to the artificer, who now goes by the name The Artificer, to halt or die. He pushes the two Tharask Hunters accompanying him forward to fight and calls his Iron Defender to take Tripper down. He then starts flinging daggers (that return to him) at Tripper and unloading everything in his arsenal to take Tripper down. But when the first Hunter falls and the second flees, The Artificer decides to try and make a break for it by jumping behind Tripper, Thon, and Corwyn. As he rounded the alley corner, he’s met by a waiting Dez and Harlos. Seeing the familiar faces and knowing he’s trapped, he surrenders and calls the Defender down.
Refusing to talk, Tripper ushers The Artificer into the front door of the Cannith house and pushes him up against the desk as scribes and officials scuttle about in a panic over some disturbance in the house. Claiming the capture of the assailant, Tripper hands him over to the house guard and requests they bring Merrix down to tend to this personally. When Merrix arrives, he greets Tripper and thanks him and the party for assisting in finally executing the task given to him so long ago. He offers they stay the night in his estate, which they agree to, and he says he will meet up with them once he has tended to The Artificer.