Monday, September 6, 2010

Beneath Modron

26th Halimath, midday

Having heeded the advice of the no-nonsense halfling harbourmaster Idris and fended off the solicitations of the bargefolk, the heroes make their way into town to spend a welcome night on shore, in an inn. In the streets, Delrak refuses to yield the road to a one-horned minotaur and his crew of goblinoid pirates and gets knocked aside for his efforts -- but a fight is avoided. At an intersection, the party witnesses a distraught, hysterical woman struggling with city guards; her daughter, she claims, has entered the sewers in search of a missing dog, but the guards deny the possibility and refuse the woman access to the sewers. The heroes intervene on her behalf, seconded by a monkish traveler, Ultan, whose insinuations convince the guards that the wisest course is to allow the party to see for themselves.

Underground, the party begins to explore the ancient ruins that lie beneath the streets of Modron -- remants of a long-forgotten city whose avenues and boulevards now serve as sewers for the waste of citizens above. They meet Kalam, leader of a gang of boys, who at first taunts them but agrees to lead them to the lair of a ogre who, they suspect, may be holding the child. Discovering a secret passage that leads to a ledge above the ogre's cave, the party determines that the ogre possesses the dog, but not the girl; the ogre, in turn, discovers that pesky strangers are invading his home.

Retreating from a confrontation with the ogre, the heroes have Kalam lead them to suspect no. 2: a band of goblins who have recently moved into the sewers. Perceiving the party's advance, the goblin chief Korlat marshals his troop to ambush the intruders but is drawn into a parley with the goblin-speaking dwarf. He admits to having the girl and insists on a large ransom for her safe return. Just as the negotiations appear to be at a standstill, Kalam arrives to warn of the ogre's approach. Slipping back into the secret passage, Pynetheolos and Tasis hide from the ogre and his pet wolf, while Derlak, Untal and Jarik warily expose themselves to the goblin archers in an effort to prove their trustworthiness. The goblins sent by Korlat to reconnoitre the passage used by the party run headlong into the irate advancing ogre and his beast; chaos ensues. Korlat orders an attack on the party, but Jarik's well-timed sleep spell fells all of the troops, while Korlat himself is blinded by Untal's light spell. Bashed to the ground by Derlak's shield, Korlat struggles to his feet and gets in a lucky blow against the dwarf before being slain by Jarik's arrow. Untal rushes to grab the girl as two panicked goblin survivors, a snarling wolf, and a berserking ogre tumble into the chamber, trailed cautiously by the cleric and thief who have emerged from hiding.

The party has found the girl... but will they make it out of the sewers alive?