The next day, (Mirtuk 22) the visitors came. First they met with Craic of the Order of Blue Fire, who was looking for mercenaries to guard an expedition. A group of miners were hoping to clear out a mine in the former village of Deadsnows that was reportedly infested with plague-changed beasts, and they had commission the Order to be the muscle and expertise. Lacking ready hands, Craic made good on his offer of work, promising 10% of any found gold and all loot discovered.
Next came a huckerster of map salesman, who tried to convince the town heroes to buy a treasure map for the ruins of Ascore for 500gp. Garvenmov, nursing a hangover, used some brute bargaining and got a better price in exchange for not doling out any beatings. Meanwhile, Eredon starting feeling lousy, and the wound where he was bitten by Tysus seemed infected. Fearing some sort of Lycanthropic disease, the group prepared to take him to a clinic.
Last to visit was Olga the Fist, a dour-looking warrioress, the contact at the local freelance agency. She told them gruffly that there was a job they might be interested, and what with their recent fame she thought she’d drop by with it. The deal: 300gp to clear out a nearby cave complex that has been infested with Kobolds. It was formerly used by the Silverymoon Mage Association for its valuable fungal spell components, but the kobolds had recently become a pesky distraction for mushroom picking scholars. Possible bonus for delivery of said mushrooms.
The PCs set out to cure Eredon and discussed what their next plan of action would be. Craic’s caravan was planning to leave in 4 days; the kobold cave was about 2 days’ journey away. As Eredon was treated for his case of Moon Frenzy, they decided to buy horses and ask Craic to delay one day. He agreed, and with Eredon treated and on the mend, they went to dinner.
The bar that greeted them presented a strange scene.
As you go to sit at an empty table, heads turn and small cheer arises as you hear your own names called. Not everyone is smiling though. As you look around the room, you see three different groups of adventuring types mixed in with the merchants and travelers. The first has four members: a towering grey-skinned man whom you believe is a goliath, a hunched man in a cloak who picks at his food, a tiefling woman in a lowcut set of leather armor who is eyeing every man in the room, and a grinning human in plate with short cropped hair, who picks his teeth with a dagger. The goliath is crushing chicken bones in his teeth and the cloaked man is cursing him out while the third man laughs. The tiefling woman pays them no mind and continues eyeing the crowd.
The second is much quieter a blond woman in chainmail sits with a shield emblazoned with the symbol of Torm over her shoulder, next to her a gnome has spread out a multitude of tiny parts across the table and is assembling something. Opposite them sit a heavily bearded man clad in a long hooded brown cloak who arches his fingers meditatively and a slim man greying at the temples who is oiling a finely curved longsword while sucking on a long pipe.
The third is impossible to ignore: a man, at least you think you see a man, is wearing armor that appears to be made of burnished gold. It is so shiny it reflects the sunset coming in through the window and dazzles you. Behind him you seem to see a human woman in a shimmering purple dress and elaborate face paint, a halfling wearing an immensely foppish hat with a feather half as long as he is tall, and someone who appears to have a giant cat’s head. The cat head is putting food deep into the black cavity that is its mouth, while the halfling is fiddling with some sort of box. The woman is alternately preening, casting loving looks in the direction of the man in the armor, and scowling at the room. The man in the gold armor, is scowling at you, though it is hard to see through the glare. He may just have flamboyant eyebrows.
The man with the golden armor began to curse the Blades of Earlann out, saying that they had only become popular because they, Team Ultramax, hadn’t been around. The woman in the purple dress supported him, saying things like “That’s right honey! You tell them!” Meanwhile, the man with the armor carried on, getting more and more agitated. The halfling got his box working, and the bar was suddenly filled with the sound of “Eye of the Tiger”. Cat Head did elaborate poses in front of the armor guy, while the room boos the music. “Ugh, what a terrible crowd,” he says. “This city disgusts me… but Team Ultramax knows you still love us people!” Garvenmov hurled a tankard at Cat Head, who dodge nimbly in mid-gesticulation. The goliath at the other table said “Noisy. Can I squish?” The human opposite him replied, “Heh, you would Teeth! HaHA! No no, not now. Plenty of time for squishing.” Meanwhile the slim man tending to his sword looked up from his work to scowl at the disturbance, his comrade in the cloak said, “Now now, let these youngsters alone with their energy.”
At the same time, the gnome working on little parts flicked something in the way of the music box, causing it to stop working. The man in the armor thought it was done by the cloaked man next to the Goliath and he shouted: “You dare ignore me! You, who are nothing, pixie fart! Pah pah! I’ll show you all!” “You said it honey!” added his woman. “Oh gods, I just can’t work myself up for this without music. Come ON Musicman!” As the halfling struggled with the box, the tiefling woman came over to look at Eredon. Running her tongue over her teeth lasciviously, she said, “Why I could just break you in half, little Eladrin. You wouldn’t mind a little pain, would you?” Eredon did his best to seem equally kinky with a fire reference, but ended up sounding a little inexperienced. Meanwhile, the halfling couldn’t get the box working again, and before Garvenmov could wade through the crowd to start administering blows, Team Ultramax left the hall, saying “come my dears, away from these philistines!” The other group also stood up, the leader announcing, “come on, work to do.” He called to the tiefling, who was still eyeing Eredon. “Allandra are you at it again? Let’s go.” With that they departed.
As the party made their way back to the hotel, planning to suit up and head for the Kobold cave before bedding down for the night, they were suddenly set upon by a group of shadowy figures. The three were pale, and could dissolve into the shadows to move about unseen. One blinded those he attacked, the second danced through the crowd while whirling a long spiked chain, and the latter, a pale bald woman, emanated a chilling darkness and reduced the vision of those she struck. The group slew the party, and upon examining their corpses further, they suspected that they were Shadovar, agents of Netheril, and possibly connected to the mage who attacked them outside Tarnruth’s Tomb.