The Shackled City

And so the story begins....

Day one of the Shackled city adventure. Some brave adventurers have found themselves into this city located in a dormant volcano. What adventure opportunities will present themselves in the near future?

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Branos comes to Cauldron
Branos

So the day before yesterday I got to this place called Cauldron. It’s a strange place built on a dead vulcano. At least, I hope it’s dead because I don’t want to be around if it wakes up. The place is creepy enough as it is. First thing I hear from locals I talk to is that there are octopi beasts in crater lake! I’m not sure I’d want to live next to a lake with all kinds of beasts that come and plant eggs into your wife’s belly. These are some hardened folks I tell you that. Of course the first thing I was headed for was an inn to fill my belly. Turns out meat is way too expensive out here. The only affordable variety is chicken! I got the cook to make me something else for a reasonable price in the end, but I’m not entirely sure what I was eating. Guess I’ll have to do with chicken for now. When I set up an inn, it sure as hell won’t be selling chicken.

Since I was running out of cash I volunteered to patrol the streets for the evening. Ya I know, volunteered doesn’t get paid, but I volunteering at least gets you in the spotlight for possible future jobs.

Of course I wasn’t sent out patrolling alone. Together with two big guys and a dwarf I was sent to patrol the inner ring, Ash avenue, basically Cauldron is built around this lake in the middle of the crater and there are several lanes, or rings going round. So I was walking and talking with these guys, Ellanor, Malphax and the dwarf Salik (he’s pitchblack, I asked him why he didn’t bathe after he stopped mining, but he said it wouldn’t help, I guess he never tried), when suddenly we here screaming coming from an alley. My heart was pounding, thinking it’s them octopus monsters, but Malphax and Salik went charging right towards the alley! So I jogged after them, just in time to see three man pummeling this guy. So we got him up and brought him back to his church as he turned out to be a servant of St. Cuthbert. He was searching for some missing children from the orphanage. Jenya Kurikas, the leader of the church of St. Cuthbert, asked us to find the children. Well I remember when I was young and my nephew was taken away by goblins. It was terrible for the whole family. Now these kids don’t have much family, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about them. I’ll do everything I can to find them and bring them back to safety.

Sounds brave doesn’t it? Well, maybe I was a little rash promising myself that. After some investigation at the orphanage we went to the locksmith who made the locks, as there were no break in signs. Maybe someone stole a key from the locksmith? At Gelf’s, the locksmith was very nervous. He signalled to the back of his shop and we all felt something strange was going on. Was he being threatened from behind the curtain? Malphax and Salik suddenly charged forwards to the back of the shop, pushing Gelf aside. Then we all charged forwards and went looking about. Gelf started crying and telling us to stop. He claimed his rat familiar was taken by some invisible creatures, who’d kill him if he’d investigate them. Well we weren’t going to be stopped by that! These must be the guys who kidnapped the children! We decided to head into the secret passage that we found in the shop, even though Gelf told us not to. Well, with our backs towards him, he suddenly started casting spells, stunning all of us! We had no choice other than to put him down! We handed him over to the town guard, who were somewhat inquisitive of why we knocked out Gelf. Happily we were able to convince them after some talking. Now what we found down there, that’s a whole different story, and I’m not sure I’m cut out for this kind of life.

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Friday 26 March

Day 1: The group of players venture into the city of Cauldron, going into a well-priced inn: the Morkoth. Soon they find out the beef is overpriced, but all sorts of chicken dishes are well priced and even better edible.

Shortly after dinner, a group of guards walks into the pub requesting volunteer to patrol the rings of Cauldron to prevent more abductions. The group volunteers and are instructed to patrol Ash Lane, the street closest to the Lake. They are not to undertake hostile actions, but instead report all strange incidents to the town guards. The players grasp this opportunity to request a list of abductees in recent days in exchange for their services.

On their second revolution around the Lake, the group hears cries of a man in pain and at least two assailants. Quickly the group ventures forth, to find a priest of St Cuthbert – Ruphus Laro – Being beaten up by several thugs with their faces painted half black half white. They do this to make sure the church of St Cuthbert ceizes their attempts to find the missing children. The thugs retreat immediately when the party approaches.

Half the party decides to complete the patrol, as instructed, and the other half to guide the priest to his temple. The priest is glad he is saved and his superior – Jenya Urikas – invites the four of them over to stay the night at the temple. After the other two have finished their guard duties, they make their way towards the guard house for the list of abductions and further instructions. The two are thanked for their services, and they quickly join the other two members in the temple.

Day 2: The players are told of the abductions by the clerics of St Cuthbert at breakfast in the morning. The church is willing to provide a sizeable sum of money if they manage to find the missing children and bring them back to the church. In advance payment, the players receive a cure moderate Wounds potion each. They also hear of the riddle as gotten when activating the church’s relic.

The players start investigating the orphanage after hearing the riddle. They find nothing wrong with the locks and no secret doors. The Personnel seems legit, and the head mistress asks the party to go to Keygan Ghelve to have the locks replaced.

While talking to Keygan the gnome, it became apparent that he was making arm gestures to the back room, separated by a curtain. Two members of the party anticipated these signs as a gesture of robbery in progress, but there was no assailant or robber to be found behind the curtain.

Keygan was clearly emotionally hurt, since he blamed the death of his rat familiar Starbrow on the PCs. After a thorough search of the house for a possible perpetrator no oddities were found. The party continued to pressure Keygan until he budged and told them a secret entrance into a sub terranean city long abandoned. When entering the secret city by name of Jzadirune, Keygan tried to hinder the PCs from going there in order to ssave his familiar which was being held hostage. All of the PCs succombed to Keygan’s color spray, but he wasn’t fast enough in tying the PCs up and tied the others up too quickly. The last PC untied quickly drew a sword and knocked Keygan unconscious before delivering him to the guards.

((The Party quickly proceeded to investigate the dungeon, but soon found a gruesome death by the hands of a sneaky skulk and a broken Stonecrusher))

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Monday March 29

Day 2: After the deliverance of Keygan to the town guards, the party proceeded to the dungeon. Descending down the stairs, X activated a trap, causing the floor to pivot, launching the poor fellow down a 20ft staircase. Luckily his armour broken the fall and left only minor cuts and bruises upon his body.

In the room he got launched in, a number of masks adorned the wall, each making a different kind of sound. For a second it seemed as though the laughter of one of the masks amplified, but no evidence to it was found. The doors in this dungeon are almost always locked, leaving no keyhole on the doors barring a single indentation in the form of a symbol. The Halfling deciphered the markings as depicting letters in the Dwarfish and Gnomish alphabet, but found no way to open them.

The following hallway resulted in more closed door and a nasty pit-trap where the unfortunate cleric found himself fall in. The party ventured forth through an illusory wall, into a room with a map of the underground city. The Cloistered Cleric quickly took out parchment and ensued in drawing the map onto his piece of paper.

Guided by the map, the party ventured forth into a room with flickering balls of light, who coursed the room in a seemingly random fashion. It is there that some gray skinned humanoids

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This dungeon is scaring the crap out of me
So we went into the secret passage…

We haven’t even entered a chamber or Malphax is being catapulted by some trap! This wasn’t going to be a simple investigation. We entered a room with all sorts of laughing masks on the wall, yes laughing masks. Apparantly this place was home to some gnomes and is called Zaridun or something like that. Well having walked around for some time, I can tell you, it’s scaring the crap out of me. It’s got all these hallways, doors we can’t open, monsters lurking around threatening to kill us that we can’t see…

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The Vanishing

We had to give up our exploration of the gnome complex due to an arcane curse, slowly whisping away our essence from the material plane. The passage out was guarded by highranking priests and mages, who took us to a tower outside the city of Couldron. There they generously cured our ailment, a curse called the Vanishing. It was this affliction which led to the original abandonment of the complex. most of the enchanted equipment we found down there had to be destroyed. The fraction of the complex we had not yet explored has been cleansed of the remaining cursebearing objects and wandering monsters.

Account by Malphax Waldegrave.

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The Malachite Hold

The next step is to venture inside Jzadirune again, and take a mechanical elevator down in hopes of finding the missing children. Right in the first room to explore we were pummeled unconscious by some obscure pillar construct. We were disarmed and thrown in a cell by our captors. All attempts at escape failed. We were sold as slaves to fight in an arena about half a day travelling through the Underdark away. After several days, we managed to cause an uproar in the cells beneath the arena. The proprietor escaped. We found several objects of value, allowing us to replace lost equipment. We just need to find our way back to the surface. Other survivors here include a centaur, a minotaur and a human woman that was used as concubine. The former two are unwilling to travel with us thanks to the very diplomatic behaviour of our moral compass. We will try to make our way back to the malachite hold, to see if the path to the surface is still open.

Account by Malphax Waldegrave.

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Lost in the Underdark

The Malachite Hold has been abandoned. The fiendish dwarf who sold us fled. All of the bastion has been deserted save for a human slave we freed from his chains. In the grand auction room we found a one way portal, but could only discern it went somewhere else on the material plane. Obviously we cannot risk ending up in a new stronghold without proper equipment and no way to retreat. The passage to the elevator up has been blocked, probably filled with concrete. We shall use this as a base of operations while searching for another way up. Perhaps if we catch an intelligent being we can get it to guide us in exchange for its life. As far as we know the kidnapped children are still in a fortress somewhere between the arena and the Malachite hold, but it is probably best to first find a way up.

Account by Malphax Waldegrave.

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Invisible Whispers

While exploring one of the tunnels leading away from the Malachite Hold, Branos started hearing voices in his head. Some investigation revealed an illusion aura moving away from the party, suggesting an invisible assailant. The whispers tell him of a way out. We decide to follow them for now, but be wary of an ambush. Branos leads us to a derelict temple. we venture inside to be attacked by grimlocks.

To be continued…

Account by Malphax Waldegrave.

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