Starday, 1 Sunsebb CY 595 (continued)
The party sees Sergeant Jessup Gandling and collects their money. They go shopping.
At 3:00 pm the party returns to Tarquin at the Crooked House. He is staring at a glass of whiskey, but not drinking, and waiting for the Watch to deliver his reparations. Pikoh has been hired and seems happy there, though his cooking is, perhaps predictably, terrible. Tarquin asks us to encourage the Watch to partonize the Crooked House – unless they expect free drinks. He knows a bit about Crusty Patton and the Cold Forge, but nothing that helps the party’s investigation into Zyrxog. Riddle leaves three bags of diamond dust for Tarquin, and catches Tyrrell as he tries to steal one back.
The party proceeds to the Low District where they find the Cold Forge. During their relatively brief conversation, the foul-mouthed Patton fires one of his apprentices (whom Scar-Eater sends to the Crooked House for a job cooking), Riddle reveals a new talent for learning things about people by shaking their hand, and Tyrrell buys a cold iron dagger. Patton insists that Tyrrell name the dagger before leaving, but rechristens it “Brrrrrraggit” when he doesn’t like the name Tyrrell chooses (“The Snicker”).
The party moves around the back into the alley. Archie finds a grate about halfway down the block from directly behind the Cold Forge with a small patch of garbage that has recently been shifted around. He also finds a set of split-toed boot prints with faint traces of what they think is beggar’s gold around them, and footprints belonging to drow. Archie follows the trail of beggar’s gold into the sewers and down a couple of levels, past an offshoot with a pool and opening into a natural cavern where the footprints lead. Tyrrell finds no traps, and Riddle spies into the cavern with clairvoyance. The chamber has a 20 foot ceiling and glows faintly with purple light from patches of fungus on the walls. The floor is completely coated in swathes of bright yellow fungus. Four enormous 5-foot-tall mushrooms for a circle. When he describes these mushrooms, others recognized them as shriekers. The whole room is naturally rigged to alert the entire complex that they have entered the cavern. Riddle casts silence into the far corner of the room, and he and Archie kill all four shriekers with ranged attacks within a mere twelve seconds.
Archie and Tyrrell move ahead to scout and encounter three drow lying in wait to ambush them. A quick battle ensues. Again, Riddle and Archie take out all three of them with ranged attacks before they have time to do anything more than throw a single vial of alchemist’s fire that misses Archie completely.
The bodies are looted and the two scouts move forward again. This time, three minutes go by and they have not returned. Long Fist uses protection from evil on Riddle, who moves forward to see into the rooms ahead. He finds Archie and Tyrrell curled up on the ground taking to a large, black, inky serpent creature. Riddle switches so that he can listen into the room but not see and hears Tyrrell explaining, “No…no, we’re here to kill it.” Riddle dimension doors Long Fist, Scar-Eater, and himself into the room while Jane shifts into Fury and bounds through the corridors on foot. They attack the naga in force, with Archie sadly attempting to grapple one of his own away from the naga, though Long Fist manages to get to Tyrrell with the wand in time so that Tyrrell can move into a flanking position with Bast and decapitate the naga in the second round.
Riddle checks the next chamber with clairvoyance. It is vast, 40-feet-high with a shelf 20 feet above the hole. There is a cage of livestock and a doored-off area. Three pairs of drow silently spar with each others, lorded over by a female drow in resplendent breastplate bearing the image of a spider.