Across the city our heroes were engaged in battle. Nibengîl “Nibs” Orchalion pushed through a crowd to discover that a Patriar Duelist from the venerated House Eltan had been stopped from skewering a lamplad in a one-sided duel by none other than the iron man, Pelagornis Sandersi IV. While the folk hero J’ah Kreature tried to keep the peace, Pelagornis squared off, seizing the initiative and skewering his foe to the spine. “First Blood,” in this case, meant instant death – a fate no doubt reserved for the terrified lamplad. While most of the young patriar’s friends were content to abate their bloodlust and take their friend for burial, a duelist named Percival became incensed. Agitated by Nibbs, he challenged the artificer to a duel after he had been deftly disarmed of his rapier. Nibbs attempted to lure the man into a trap that would cost him the duel with minimal bodily harm, while Kreature did his best to prevent the duel entirely. Amidst confusion and tear-gas the scuffle was eventually defused. Kreature and Pelagornis took the opportunity to work the crowd, speaking out against the violence and chaos erupting in Baldur’s Gate, all while furthering the legend of J’ah Kreature. The speech painted Kreature as an almost messianic figure, and word soon spread that the party was using a multi-pointed iron star, a caltrop, as their iconic emblem.
Meanwhile, outside the secret sewer entrance to the basement of Imbraylm Skoond’s manor Seskergates, another struggle was taking place. Aldric Longbeard, Alan Whitcomb, and Tellus Casavir squared off against the an ambushing were-rat and his horde of squeaking vermin. Thinking quickly, Aldric put most of the squeaking horde to sleep as the others sprang into action, flanking the were-beast and cutting off its escape. Some fine blade work and no small amount of help from combat-lamplass Tilda Dunbeigh saw their foes destroyed. Beyond the secret door was a mysterious lab, staffed by two robed alchemists. The party agreed to hold off the investigation until they could bring their full strength to bear under cover of darkness.
Both parties reunited at the Calimshan Jewel Emporium to meet with their Guild handler, Rilsa Rael. She had assigned Nibbs to work on several firebombs for her as part of a plan to drive business into the Outer City, and take revenge on guilds and merchants that discriminated against its citizens. The plot was to set fires in Lower and Upper city establishments in order to force a need for goods from outside the city walls – a plan Nibbs would facilitate by making small firebombs designed to minimize lasting fires and collateral damage.
Despite assurances, our heroes knew that setting fire in a city as dense as Baldur’s Gate posed too much of a risk. They agreed to confer, and then get back to Rilsa with their decision: whether to participate in the arson plan that Nibbs was overseeing or not.
Our heroes reconvened in the evening at the tea and herbalist shop “The Silky Boy,” enjoying the relative privacy of the establishments upper deck patio seating. Despite his efforts to contain the Guild’s penchant for destruction, and his conviction that appearing to aid Rilsa would yield further intelligence on her activities, the party ultimately decided that this was the last straw. The timely arrival of a snooping Coran brought further news – someone had been ordering vast quantities of components necessary for smokepowder production. Coran further offered to aid the party in resolving the ongoing sanitation strike if they would bring him a token from the suspicious Imbraylm Skoond‘s mansion – namely his pillow. Having put in his advice, and making several verbal advances towards J’ah Kreature, the nobleman scoundrel took his leave.
Nibbs left to sabotage his fire bombs and thus, the arson plan, while the others sought out caches of smokepowder that they feared were being used in conjunction with the Guild’s arson plans. Ultimately, there was no immediate link found between the plots.
While reporting in to Rilsa, Nibbs was informed that the Guild used secret messages encoded in Baldur’s Mouth to arrange meetings – one that party would be conspicuously absent from. He made the long trek through the night shrouded city and down into the sewers to join the others outside the secret door to Seskergates, with Tilda lighting the party’s way.
Busting through the door, our heroes apprehended two smokepowder makers – alchemists who claimed they were hired to produce barrels of explosives and then hand them over to hired ruffians who haul them away in wheel-barrows. The alchemists acknowledged that they work for Skoond; though Nibbs found incriminating documents concealed among their personal effects that tie them to the Guild. Satisfied with the interrogation, both were knocked unconscious and left bound and gagged int he secret laboratory. The party then proceeded to creep up the stairs to a concealed passage in a wall above.
They found themselves in the dreary, barely lived in manor called Seskergates. It was clear that at least one guard was posted, so with the utmost caution, our heroes investigated the estate – finding a map of the High House of parliament concealed in a chair that Skoond must have acquired from the High House of Wonders. The map was marked with red X’s.
As the party was about to slip into a different section of the manor, Alan Whitcomb peered around the corner at just the wrong moment – in time to be spotted by an iron-shod golem-dog, whose red eyes, alive with magical intelligence, focused on him, as the construct let out a grating, metallic growl…
EXP: 155 Each
GP: J’ah Kreature gets 125gp as the winnings of the wager he placed on Pelagornis’ duel (waiting at the Blade and Stars inn).