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Now that the Banewarrens had been completely cleared out… well, okay, the little part we could access was cleared anyway, but it was time to get back to the surface and recuperate.
Kalerecent asked us to accompany him to St. Gustav’s Chapel to see Brother Thisk. As we approached, it was obvious something was going on there, with people running into the building. We were almost there when Happy Jack and Villam the Pretty spotted us and hustled over with bad news.
Someone had taken Tolliver the Fast. Again.
The inside of the chapel was torn up. Whoever had taken him, there’d been quite a fight there. Brother Thisk fought back as best he could, but he’d have probably died if someone hadn’t found him lying inside and brought him back from death’s door.
As another Lothianite cleric tended to his wounds, Thisk explained that the attackers had kept their faces hidden beneath nondescript travel robes, and they’d been there to specifically snatch the boy. Thisk also said that a friend of his, a delver bard named Lavis Fallomire, had used a locate object spell to find Tolly’s leather jacket, then had impulsively gone in search of them by herself. She’d not been heard from since.
While investigating the scene, Mosquilius Kito found a spatter of blood and quietly pocketed a sample for later use…
St. Valien’s is the biggest and most opulent building in the entire Temple District. Adventurers are generally not allowed to attend services there, but since we had official Church business we were allowed in. We didn’t go into the main sanctuary, but into a meeting room with a bunch of Lothianites.
Brother Heth (who runs St. Thessina’s Chapel in Rivergate) requested that they go back in and use a legend lore spell scroll on the Sealed Door, to try and gain more information about the magics that are keeping the Banes locked away. (The others seemed a bit surprised by this.)
We agreed to go investigate, and after we left we decided to go deal with the more immediate problem (Tolliver the Fast) now, since we probably have a few days before those monstrous types try again on that Sealed Door.
So now it was time to start sleuthin’. Before leaving St. Valien’s, Mosquilius Kito requested a few minutes to use a holy water font to scry the blood sample he’d found. (If he hadn’t had two Lothianite paladins and a priest, it wouldn’t have been allowed!) He successfully located the subject, who turned out to be a guy in nondescript robes, but he had that Crimson Coil spiral tattooed on top of his shaved head. He and another brown-robed person (we couldn’t see their face) were talking to someone or something that was completely obscured. We could see where someone should be standing, but we could neither see nor hear that person in any way. Just before the scrying image cut out, they heard a name: Kinion Luth. With a bit more digging from Yona Note, we discovered this Luth person was much better known as the Surgeon in the Shadows.
No one knows where Luth came from or how he learned his trade, but he’s the person who creates and surgically grafts Chaositech on anyone willing to pay his price. (And rumor has it he’ll also work on the unwilling!) He’s extremely careful, highly intelligent, and has connections with every single illegal and criminal organization in the entire city. Getting on his bad side could have… consequences.
Yona Note, Mosquilius Kito, and Thorzin Oakwood went on a hunt for someone – anyone – who’d been a “patient” of the Surgeon. Their search led them deep into the Warrens, where they talked to a strung-out junkie named Rudge. His legs had been removed and replaced with Chaositech, but it had apparently malfunctioned and the man was now forced to hobble around as best he could on broken legs.
Yona Note gave him ten gold thrones to tell her everything he knew about the Surgeon in the Shadows, an exorbitant amount for someone like this. Rudge didn’t hold back. He said the Surgeon kept himself completely covered with a mask and horrible metal claw hands, but had no idea where the Surgeon’s hidden lair could be. They’d blindfolded him when he went for his surgery.
We knew the Surgeon had to be in Oldtown somewhere, but there are a LOT of schools there. We tried to get lucky with our own locate object spell cast by Aendir Meliamne, but struck out three times. Thankfully, Chesh Briarthorn had also taken the spell and her final casting was the one that succeeded. An abandoned storeroom behind Allam’s School of Thought was the pinpoint location of Tolly’s leather jacket.
We surrounded the place. Yona Note checked the two entrances and found traps on the inner doors of both. She set off the lightning trap when she tried to disarm it, but had a far easier time with the acid spray trap on the back door.
Yona Note was the first to encounter anything, and oh boy did she find somebody fun!
This guy was waiting for her to open the secret door, and as soon as she did he attacked with all six arms!
There was a brief but fierce fight between the two squishiest party members and this nasty Chaositech-covered guardian. Mosquilius Kito got sliced up pretty bad, but was still standing over its corpse when the dust settled.
The timing was pretty much perfect, as all four party members entered the main lab at the same time and found young Tolliver the Fast strapped down to an operating table! And standing in this unsettling laboratory was another Chaositech-enhanced guardian, a woman with a massive blade for an arm.
She put up a pretty good fight, but was no match for the Punnishers.
Nethwen Nagel got poor Tolliver the Fast unstrapped and off the table while Thorzin Oakwood and Aendir Meliamne went looking for those responsible. Yona Note had just realized no one had actually yet seen their faces, and if they left now they might be able to get away without any repercussions or retaliation…
But nobody mentioned that to the fighty-types. Aendir Meliamne found himself face to face with a masked dwarf, while Thorzin Oakwood was suddenly standing in front of the Surgeon in the Shadows himself!!
Meanwhile, the dwarf shouted something similar at Aendir Meliamne and chucked a gas-filled Chaositech bomb at the paladin’s feet. Noxious gases filled the area, forcing all who came in contact with it to start puking and choking on the awful stuff.
The dwarf made a beeline for the exit, throwing several more gas bombs to incapacitate the rest of the Punnishers before throwing in an explosive firebomb as he left the building! The fire spread very quickly, and the Punnishers had to exit in a hurry. On her way out, Chesh Briarthorn checked the one remaining unopened door just in case… and found the bound-and-gagged missing bard!
Sadly, the masked dwarf did get away in the confusion, but we did rescue Tolliver the Fast. When questioned about why he’d been taken (yet) again, Tolly explained that the cultists had come after him as payback for the party’s attack on the Brothers of Venom‘s secret meeting. The cult handed the boy over to the Surgeon to turn him into a mindless drone servant (like the two they’d already dispatched)! The delvers were very interested in finding someplace where Tolliver the Fast would be safe from the cults; Chesh Briarthorn and Mosquilius Kito looked at each other at the same time and said simply, Mother Barrow. The halfling matron of the Tenpin Children’s Home took all three urchins in without question. The boys looked doubtful though…
End of Session.
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