A few rainy days after they last got together, the group was enjoying some minor fame from having aided the northern farms. Although, having been revealed as a changeling, Zephyr spent the interim time in a number of guises, and missed out on the repute associated with his ‘normal’ face.
The start of the day found Raven Mourner fast asleep, Poly bragging to some local gnomes, Thorial (and his new loyal canine companion) browsing the marketplace, and Zephyr heading to Mareshka’s Magic Shop to pick up some newly-enchanted armor.
Over in the marketplace, one merchant caught Thorial’s eye. This merchant was selling a magic amulet that would summon a giant bee to serve the wearer. Thorial was intrigued, but not willing to pay the asking price of 500 gold. Apparently the exchange drew some attention, as some of Poly’s fellow gnomes noticed and went to observe. Poly followed.
Meanwhile, Zephyr found out that his armor was supposed to be delivered to the shop earlier that morning by Mareshka’s delivery boy. He never showed, so an agitated Zephyr went to investigate. After checking with a blacksmith across town, the annoyed changeling went looking in the marketplace. There, Zephyr met up with Thorial, just as he purchased the ‘bee amulet’, and just as Poly arrived. Once together, the three of them continued to look for Mareshka’s delivery boy in another part of town.
Soon the trio came across a forlorn young man, sitting on the side of the road. An angry Zephyr discovered that this was in fact the delivery boy (his name was Olffrick ), and that he had just dropped his three deliveries down a nearby sewer drain after being startled by a rat. Luckily, Thorial spotted Zephyr’s armor stuck just inside the drain. As they were about to leave Olffrick to his troubles however, the boy pleaded with the trio to help him get back the other two items: one being an enchanted armband, and the other was a wooden phylactery. In hopes of garnering favor with the magic item shop, the trio agreed.
Olffrick led the group to a nearby access hatch to the sewers. Though the party tried to get him to accompany them, Olffrick begged to stay behind and wait at the sewer grate where he dropped the items. The trio agreed, and reluctantly headed into Serenity’s ancient sewer system.
Once in the ancient, carved tunnels, the trio headed in the rough direction of Olffrick ’s sewer grate. Luckily, the recent rains diluted the foulness of the tunnels, but the increased flow made Poly ask to be carried across the deeper waters.
After spotting some rats upstream of their location, the trio went to explore that area, hoping that they were the same rats that startled the delivery boy in the first place. As the trio approached, hundreds of rats crawled out of the muck and swarmed over them. Zephyr managed to shrug off the biting rodents, while Thorial and his dog thinned out the swarm with sword and fang. Poly scattered some of the rats with a whelm spell, but then they surged over the entire party. Most of the group avoided the dozens of tiny bites and claws, but Thorial’s dog succumbed to the rats and the diseases they carried. Finally, Zephyr scattered the remaining rats with a crusader’s strike.
Upstream further past the rats, the trio found the sewer grate with Olffrick waiting topside. In the muck beneath, Poly found the metal armband of reduction, but the wooden phylactery must have floated deeper into the sewers. The party traveled back through the rodent carnage, past their underground entry point, and followed the flow further down the main channel. Soon, a tunnel-wide obstruction came into view, consisting of broken furniture and wooden planks. Thorial’s dog, sensing something unnatural ahead, turned and fled towards the entry alcove.
After a few more steps, the trio saw it: a large, eyestalk-adorned, fleshy orb. Luckily, the creature had its ‘back’ to the party, as it was resting within the piled-up wreckage. The party determined it was a beholder, and tried to quietly sneak away without disturbing it. Unfortunately, they were not quiet enough, as the creature freed itself from the wreckage with a sickened lurch, and turned its central eye and toothy maw towards them.
The creature immediately slammed its mass into Thorial, who managed to resist the poisonous spores that covered it. After a few well-landed blows, the creature exploded in a burst of slime and foul-smelling gas. Luckily, Poly, Thorial and Zephyr all managed to resist the poisonous spores in the messy goo. A brief search of the dense rubble yielded an intact painting amidst lots of broken furniture. Unable to get through the impasse, the trio returned to the surface to find an alternate route into the lower sewers.
After regrouping with Olffrick , he led the party to another sewer entrance down an alley. As the four approached the entrance hatch, a humanoid-yet-shapeless creature approached them. Without warning, it moved in to attack, immediately shaking a fine dust off of its form. Some of the group (including Olffrick ) fled in unnatural fear. Thorial charged the creature, and Zephyr moved in to flank it. In retaliation the creature responded by shedding another cloud of fine dust, this time putting Thorial and Zephyr to sleep. Poly shot a crossbow bolt at Zephyr to wake him up, but the creature retaliated with another burst of dust. This time, Poly succumbed to the new dust, which induced a bout of uncontrolled violence. She fired her crossbow at Zephyr, but luckily it was never loaded with a new bolt. Poly used a rouse spell to awaken Thorial, and along with Zephyr, they struck down the creature. Now lifeless, the natural form of the creature was visible: emaciated limbs, thick chitin shell, and a shapeless bulge for a head.
With the second aberrant creature felled, the trio was ready to make their way back into the sewers. Before they entered however, they were finally joined by Raven Mourner, who had slept through most of the day’s events. Parting ways with Olffrick (who was still shaken by the frightful creature), the quartet descended back into the sewers to find the other lost magic item.
Just after reaching the main sewer line, the party spotted a pile of coins partway down a side passage. As the four went to investigate, the passage erupted in a flurry of stabbing blades from the ceiling. Zephyr and Thorial dodged through the hallway to safety, while Poly began trying to disable the nearest batch of ceiling blades. Similarly, Raven Mourner prepared to destroy the nearest ceiling blade the next time it sliced into the hall. Though Zephyr and Thorial were unable to find any control mechanisms in their safe zone, Poly succeeded in disabling a small safe spot within the hall. Likewise, Raven Mourner cleaved the nearest blade from the ceiling (and in doing so, felt a wave of energy course through his blade). As Poly continued systematically disabling the passageway trap, Thorial and Zephyr started searching the end of the passageway… and were nearly ambushed by the thieves and thugs waiting there.
Between the stabbing blades, the thieves’ crossbows and the combatant thugs, the passageways were filled with chaos. Dodging through the remaining ceiling blades, Poly incapacitated two of the enemies with a sleep spell, and managed to charm another one. Raven Mourner, Thorial and Zephyr traded blows with the other combatants, each one felling a single enemy. Soon, only the charmed thief and a sleeping thug remained. Raven Mourner, not knowing his own strength, struck the sleeping figure to rouse him back to combat, but succeeded in killing him.
With the charmed rogue in tow, the group found a pair of hidden chambers. Inside was a small cache of stolen loot, but also another apparent thief… albeit an infirm and unconscious one. From their charmed companion, they learned that this was the leader of the thief gang, and had fallen ill from mishandling a vial of unusual poison. In a show of compassion, the party sacrificed one of their magic items to cure the poison in the pitiful figure. With a little newfound strength, the leader of the gang cautioned against the foul poison (both he and the charmed thief alluded to a compatriot of theirs that totally succumbed to the poison, and mentioned it was related to a barrier they constructed elsewhere in the sewers).
As the leader fell back into unconsciousness, the charm spell had worn off the other thief, who immediately attacked out of anger (and caught the group by surprise). His revenge was short-lived however, as he was quickly felled by the quartet. Deciding to come back for the gang leader and turn him in to the town guards, the group moved on.
Not much farther down the main sewage line, the group could begin to hear the sound of a waterfall (or ‘sewage-fall’) coming from ahead of them. The sound must have muffled the immediate surroundings, for the four were surprised by a large crocodile that emerged from the muck. The crocodile hit hard, and the quartet tried to move away while dealing damage to it. Poly thought she had gotten far enough away from the creature, only to be hit by its powerful tail. Raven Mourner landed a powerful blow, and the creature was quieted by a deadly strike from Zephyr. Wounded and hurting, the group moved on.
Soon, the group came to the source of the noise: the sewer line emptied into a cylindrical chamber below them, along with two other main sewer lines coming from different directions. Assuming that the phylactery had been washed into this chamber as well, the four descended. At the bottom, the chamber extended off to one side, and led eventually to another vertical cylindrical chamber. The four were in a central holding or processing area of some sort, for the sewage water flowed in from multiple areas, but did not have an obvious outflow. In the middle of the curved chamber, footholds in the wall led up to a small alcove with a door. Inside was a small room with a stone wall relief, a large lever on the floor, and some alchemical supplies. The relief appeared to be a diagram of the curved chamber, and certain ‘pegs’ seemed to be marking specific locations. When the group decided to pull the lever, parts of the diagram changed… apparently corresponding with the sewage that was draining away from the chamber. Thorial, Zephyr and Raven Mourner returned to the main chamber, while Poly waited by the mechanism. Apparently the ‘pegs’ in the relief marked floor drain locations, which the group began searching. However, soon after the sewer water was all drained, a number of large centipedes descended from the ceiling. Thorial and Raven Mourner began to deal with the insects in the main chamber, while Zephyr rejoined Poly in the control room to destroy the creatures there. Soon, more large insect-like creatures flew out of the dark recesses of the chamber, and engaged the party as well.
Poly hit one of the flying creatures with a color spray spell, while the creature fighting with Thorial and Raven Mourner turned invisible. Luckily, the two were able to strike its hidden form and smash it into a chitinous pulp. After some intense fighting on multiple levels of the chamber, all of the monstrous insects had been destroyed, and the group were doing their best to heal their wounds. Free of distractions, the group finally found the enchanted phylactery (along with a few gems) stuck in a clogged drain.
Leaving the sewers, the party turned the gang leader in to the town guard, and returned the magic items to Olffrick . After cleaning themselves up and selling their well-earned loot, the party was again approached by Olffrick , having been sacked from the magic shop. Zephyr agreed to take the “boy” on for a time as an assistant to the group.