Second Darkness

Once more with feeling

Realizing that their resources were extremely low, the group began a fighting retreat trying to make it back to the Goblin to rest.

Rested, the group heads back down into the smuggler’s caves. Taking a slight detour they find a small still pool with an old rotten treasure chest at it’s bottom. Ead dives in to collect the treasure, awaking it’s wight guardian.

After a short fight, the group is able to collect the treasure.

Continuing through the cave system, the party meets up with a familiar face. Bonespeaker and his two guards wait in one of the chambers, but he seemed to not have the will to fight to group unless he had to. Some quick talking and showing proof that the group were now the rightful (in the eyes of Riddleport) owners of the Goblin, Bonespeaker moved aside and let the group continue on.

Reaching the final chamber of the complex, the group sees several things. First, a massive curved stone carving protrudes from the floor, wall, and ceiling. The runes carved into the stone seem so familiar and after a few moments of study it becomes clear, the curved stone is part of the Riddleport Cyphergate.

The second thing noticeable is the striking elf hiding behind a table. Not because of the hand crossbow aimed at the group, but the fact that she has very dark skin and light hair. She is something that comes from fairy tales and legends, a Drow.

Finally, one of the Drow’s minions was a skeleton, but this skeleton stood out due to the clothing he wore and the hand that ended in a large key. Saul’s reanimated body fought to protect the Drow.

After a long fight, the group stood victorious over both Saul’s body (being beheaded by Kage) and Depora the drow (who was finished off by Malek as she was trapped by one of Arten’s tanglefoot bombs).

The group searches through the items near the fight, finding a small journal written by Depora. Flipping through the journal, the group finds detailed information the money Saul had been funneling to her (with notes of what the money was spent on). Most of the supplies were shipped to Devil’s Elbow, done at night by various sailors. The journal also lists the strange weather effects and other phenomena that occurred around Riddleport over the past few months. Everything, including “The Blot” are indicated in the journal as “side-effects” of a experiment occurring on Devil’s Elbow. The journal also mentions an “Armageddon” coming.

Leaving the chamber via a ladder hidden away in a corner, the group finds themselves in a small storage shed near one of the Cyphergate’s footings. As the group decides what to do with the new information, a strange light is seen in the sky. Quickly the light is discovered to be a falling star, but the star doesn’t burn up. The star falls quickly, trailing fire behind it before crashing into Devil’s Elbow. Shortly after, the waters of the Riddleport bay begin to recede before surging back as a tidal wave.

The group is quick to move, helping those they can as others get swept out to sea or attacked by confused aquatic creatures, suddenly on dry land.


:Rewards:
XP: 1340 xp

Loot:
Greatclub, +1 Leather Armor, +1 Rapier, Key stump (sued as improvised dagger or key for secret door in Golden Goblin), +1 Mithral Chainmail, Masterwork buckler, +1 Hand Crossbow, Masterwork Hand Crossbow Bayonet, 10 bolts

Potion of Barkskin, Ring of Feather Fall, Slippers of Spider Climb, Large Ruby worth 500 gp (2), Antique gold idol of Osirion cat-headed goddess worth 1500 gp, crystal wand of Dimension Swap, Platinum coffer worth 1200 gp, Black Onyx worth 100 gp, brass perfume vail (worth 5 gp) containing a strange-smelling, slightly unpleasant perfume, fine quality black boots (non magical but give +2 to stealth), adamantine chisel, key ring with keys for Golden Goblin

1000 gp

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Truth revealed

Searching through the belongings of the wererats, the group found a strange note written in Thieves’ Cant. once deciphered the note revealed that the “meeting” was a setup. There never were any of the other crime lords at the Boneyard. The group was sent there to be ambushed and killed, sent by Saul himself.

While reconciling with this new fact, the group is approached by the Elf that warned them of the ambush before it could be sprung, Kwava. Kwava tells the group that he is of the Ekujae tribe of the Mwangi Expanse and is a member in the Shin’Rakorath. His first mission for the group is to look into a renegade elf from the Mierani Forest that might have fled to Riddleport. Where the renegade might have recruited the aid of one of the cities crime lords.

Kwava has been sneaking into Riddleport for months, listening to rumors and watching suspicious people. He has come to suspect Saul has allied with some mysterious benefactor, possibly the renegade elf, but unfortunately he has no proof.

During the time watching Saul, Kwava became familiar with the group. He followed Saul into the Boneyard and saw him meet with a wererat. Kwava then hid near the side of the ambush in hopes of helping the group and gaining their trust and aid.

Kwava has asked the group to look into Saul and see if they can find any evidence that he has been working with someone, and any ties he might have with the renegade elf.


Returning the Golden Goblin, the group found the casino locked up tight. A sign on the door, stating the closure was due to an illness. Not wanting to be kept from their residence, the group found a way in (thanks to Malek). Inside the Goblin was eerily quiet and still. That is until the group walked into a pair of thugs that had been watching the gaming area.

With that the fight was on. The pair of thugs were quickly joined by more on the main floor, as several of Riddleport’s thieves took to the the catwalks above, raining arrows down on the group. Even one of Saul’s personal bodyguards was seen on the catwalks, helping in the fight against the group.

After a long battle, the group managed to finish off all the thugs and thieves. As they were questioning one of the survivors, a door opened revealing Bojask. The half-orc blinked at the group (evidently he had been trying to hide) before attacking and running away to the basement.

Downstairs in the fighting area, the group found Bojask and the other of Saul’s personal bodyguards. The two fought the group until Bojask was downed, then the other surrendered saying that Saul had gone down below.

Looking down into the fighting pit, a hidden trap door was revealed (previously being hidden by the straw and hay). Heading down deeper, hoping to catch up to Saul and confront him, the group found themselves in the smuggler’s tunnels beneath Riddleport.

Fighting off a few of the denizens of the caves, including swamp baracudas, trogodytes, and darkland sentinels, the group realized that they were ill prepared to continue fighting, and prepared to make a fighting withdraw as the sound of more trogodytes could be heard echoing through the caves.


:Rewards:
XP: 1850 xp

Loot:
6 sets (leather armor, rapier, daggers (4), shortbow, thieves’ tools)
3 sets (chainmail, longsword)
Masterwork breastplate, masterwork longsword, shortbow, +1 chain shirt, masterwork battleaxe, masterwork handaxe, +1 light crossbow

Potion of Cure Light Wounds, vial of Blue whinnis poison, Deed to the Goblin, Financial records, Larur’s remains (with a signet ring worth 50g)

200 gp

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A trip to the Boneyard

After the wonderful romp through a crypt to secure Bonespeaker’s employment. The group escorts the strange goblin back to the casino, where Saul eagerly takes him and his two bodyguards up to Saul’s office to ‘finalize the terms of Bonespeaker’s employment.’

Before waving the party off, Saul tells them that the next part of his plan to hit back at the other crime bosses will come, but the group must wait and return tomorrow.

The next day, Saul lays out his plan. The failed raid has causes some good and bad fallout. The good is that the Goblin is on peoples minds and mouths even more now, it’s reputation has increased within the city.

The bad is that now Saul is worried that since the other crime bosses have had their reputation drug through the mud, it won’t be long until they hit the Goblin again. Only the next time it will probably be bigger. Luckily it will take them a bit to round up for goons to send at the Goblin.

That’s where the next part of Saul’s plan comes in. He’s received word from his contacts in the underground that there is going to be a meeting of the crime bosses caps tonight. The meeting is to finalize the details on a bigger assault on the Goblin. Saul wants the group to head to the meeting place, a place in the Boneyard know as the Spar, and see what they can find out. He notes that if they feel they’re up to it, feel free to thin the enemies’ ranks a bit more.

The party trudged their way through the muck and vile water of the Boneyard, using a map provided by Saul. Arriving near the Spar, a group of cloaked figures were seen, but something was wrong. None of them were moving.

As Sylvia attempted to approach closer, a shout was heard from another pile of wrecked ship parts. A warning shout of an ambush. Rising from the debris, 5 wererats attack the party, but also rising from hiding is an Elf that begins to help the party.

The battle goes slow, as both the water and the ship wreckage keeps the group from moving quickly, but the wererats seem to be in the same boat. Eventually the group manages to defeat all but one of the wererats, who managed to shift into his dire rat form and escape by hiding in the murky water.


:Rewards:
XP: 850 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor (2, very dirty), Masterwork Dagger (3), Masterwork Shortbow (2), Arrows (50), Tanglefoot Bag (2, smells like rotten meat), Thieves’ tools (2), Masterwork Longbow, Masterwork Rapier, Masterwork Breastplate

Potion Cure Light Wounds, Broach of Shielding (10 charges), Scroll of Magic Weapon, Scroll of Invisibility, Droje of Crystal Shard (CL 2, 28 charges), Power Stone of Psychic Bodyguard

687 gp

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Headhunting

So what would any good former crime lord do, after his current place of business has been viciously attacked and he’s been sought out to be killed? Finally fight back, and that’s what Saul has decided to do.

After the mess of the raid has been cleaned up, Saul calls the group to his office and the tension in the room is almost tangible. He looks the group over and explains that he sees now that the other bosses won’t let him try to start a new life, so it’s time to hit them back. Saul goes on to say he has a bigger plan in the works but needs a bit more time to set things up.

So the party is given the task of stealing a recruit from Zincher. Someone who Zincher wants to use in his coliseum fights, the Bonespeaker. Saul gives the party a time and place for a meeting that will be taking place between the Bonespeaker and some of Zincher’s men. The party is to get to the meeting and offer Bonespeaker a position with Saul.

Heading to the meeting place at the given time, the party finds themselves in a graveyard. Waiting near one of the crypts are two groups, one composed of goblins, the other of humans. Both groups stop their conversation as Kage, Malek, and Une approach.

Talking with Bonespeaker (one of the goblins), the group finds out that he did agree to work for Zincher, but has added a new condition to the agreement that Zincher’s men do not want to take. Bonespeaker wants some research notes from a mage of the Dias family that recently died and has been entombed in the nearby crypt. Whoever can get those notes will get his services.

The group agrees to find the research notes for Bonespeaker and heads into the crypt. Searching through the crypt, the party runs into not only some guardians, but also undead that had found their way into the crypt. The party clears out the crypt and finds the burial place of the mage and the research notes.

Giving the notes to Bonespeaker cements the deal and Bonespeaker gets ready to begin working for Saul. Unfortunately, Zincher’s men are not happy about that, since they will be blamed by Zincher for not bringing Bonespeaker back. So fearing their boss, the group attacks.

The fight is brutal, but the party prevails. Once the dust settles, Bonespeaker suggests heading back to meet with Saul and finalizing his work with him.


:Rewards:
XP: 1175 xp

:Items:
Longsword (3), Chainmail (3), Dagger (6), Masterwork Longbow (2), Masterwork Studded Leather Armor (2), Masterwork Arrow (10), Silver Arrow (4), Masterwork Dagger, Spider Silk Rope 25’ (2)

Bracers of Armor +1, Potion Cure Light Wounds (2), Potion of Invisibility, Oil of Magic Weapon, Potion of Pass without a Trace, Scroll of Lesser Restoration, Scroll of Flame of the Faithful, Scroll of Barkskin, Scroll of False Life

830 gp (includes all coins and gems that were found)

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Work begins and a RAID

With Saul’s approval and supervision, the Dwarves begin to do some work on the Octahedron building in some traps to make the events a bit more interesting. Saul also begins to work on some leads for more exotic types of fights to be held there.

Slyvia, Malek, and Kage all spends some time checking for anymore rumors about Larur’s disappearance. Unfortunately, any rumors that do come up can quickly be discounted as either false or as traps.

A few days pass, and the group is working at closing up the casino for the night. Most of the workers have gone home, leaving just the party and a few of the bouncers around as the cleanup crew. As the party helps clean up, a shadow moves in front of two of the window just before they explode and several bodies come rushing in through the openings.

The Goblin is under attack!

The first bodies through the newly opened windows are some typical thugs from around Riddleport, but the party can see better equipped and trained figures directing them and soon joining them in battle. Half-orcs decked in chainmail and large steel shields follow the thugs in through the windows and join them in combat.

Just as the party is beginning to get the upper hand with the initial group, one of the half-orcs whistles out into the courtyard and soon another group of thugs led by another half-orc arrives to continue the fight.

Dealing with the new threat, the party whittles the attacks down, but just as the last couple of opponents are left two scream are heard from near the kitchen. Two of the bouncers have been cut down by seemingly identical opponents. The two men wield strange blades composed of what appears to be pure energy and following them through the kitchen door is another half-orc, this one dressed in fairly plain clothing.

The two humans state that they are there simply to kill Saul, but since he wasn’t available Saul’s cap’s (the party) will have to do.

Another skirmish began, the half-orc and humans causing some damage to the party, but in the end the group managed to bring down one of the humans, utterly kill the half-orc, and run off the other human.

Now with the bodies cooling, the party decides….. they need a DRINK.


:Rewards:
XP: 900 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor (6), Shortsword (6), Leather Armor (2), Rapier (2), Dagger (8), Shortbow (5), Arrows (90), Thieves tools (2), Chainmail (3), Heavy Steel Shield (2), Longsword (3), Amulet of Natural Armor +1, masterwork chainshirt

Potion of Cure Light Wounds, Psi Tatoo of Natural Healing (6hp)

295 gp, 140 sp, Silver & Platinum Necklace (500gp), Tigereye (10 gp), Obsidian (8 gp), Lapis Lazuli (11 gp), Amber (90 gp), Agate (12 gp)

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Still searching

Larur is still missing and the group is tracking down any leads that they can come across. The group hears through the grapevine that someone has recently come into a sudden cashflow, but the details are sketchy. So while trying to decide whether or not to follow up on this lead the group checks in with Saul to try to get any extra information that they can.

Talking with Saul, leads the group have some doubts. Why would Saul send Larur with such a large amount of money with no bodyguards? Saul claims that he never expected the other crime bosses to go after Larur, but he has lived and did thrive in Riddleport for years. Other bits of the conversation with Saul have something “off” about them, like there is more to the story that Saul isn’t letting on.

After the conversation with Saul, the party decides to follow up on the only lead they have left. Doing a bit more talking to people, leads the group to a man that claims he can take the group right to the guy that rumor was about. Unfortunately this turns into a setup as the group is set upon by thugs. Unfortunately for the thugs, the group saw the setup coming and were ready for the battle.

During the fight, a sudden tidal surge crashed into the dock area where the party was fighting, damaging some of the dock, pulling people out into the water and leaving a rather upset Swamp Barracuda on the shore.


:Rewards:
XP: 300 xp

:Items:
Studded Leather Armor x 2 (Adjusted for the number of bodies you fished out of the water)
150 gp

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Larur is Missing

Things have been looking up for the Golden Goblin after the party manages to bring back the shipment of exotic liquors. More people have been coming in and the Goblin has managed to improve in popularity (gaining each character 20 gold a week for working at the Goblin). Though this prosperous time does lead to darker things.

One morning something is clearly wrong. Larur is not making his rounds and has not been seen by any of the employees. This is not in Larur’s usual routine, and Saul is soon confirming that Larur has gone missing.

It seems that Larur was given the task of making a payment to a local moneylender by the name of Lymas Smeed. Larur was given 500 gold as a payment on a loan that was taken out to help the get Goblin back on it’s feat with the Goblin being the collateral. No one has seen Larur since he set off to make the payment.

Saul has even gotten word that Larur’s house has been broken into and ransacked. He asks the group to head to Smeed’s house on Rat Street to see if they can find any clues on Larur’s whereabouts.

The group agrees and proceeds to Smeed’s home. Arriving there, they soon find some evidence in the form of bloody and slashed up cloak, a cloak they recognize as Larur’s. Trying to talk to Smeed is a difficult task, since he recognizes the group as Saul’s Caps and accuses the group of trying to intimidate him into forgetting the loan against Saul, but the group does get enough Smeed to say that no one was scheduled to make a payment.

Talking things over amongst themselves, the group decides to head to Larur’s place to see if any evidence can be found there. Upon arriving they find that Saul’s info was true, the house has been broken into and looted, and a pair of drunks have taken up residence. Talking with the drunks reveal that they arrived “sometime in the night” and found the place open and looted. Upon more investigations, the group finds that Larur never made it home the previous night, but they do come across the dead to the house within a hidden drawer.

Returning to Smeed’s home, Sylvia and Kage manage to talk to Smeed a bit more, but don’t get much more info. Only that Smeed was never informed about any payment being made and no one from the Goblin ever stopped by with a payment.

The group decides to stop for a quick drink and discuss their next course of action. After some deliberation it’s decided at some of the group will check around town for any word on anyone coming into a windfall of money (the lost 500 gold payment), while the rest head back to the Goblin to ask Saul if anyone knew about the plan to make the payment.

Stepping out of the bar the group runs into a tiefling who seems to know them, or at least heard of them. Introducing himself as Volrath, he proceeds to tell the group that he has heard some good tails of the group and wanted to see them for himself. Unfortunately about this time others are also looking for the party.

Coming through the morning crowd, a rough-looking orc pushes a familiar man to the ground who proceeds to spot the party and identifies them. Fik looks to be pretty beat up as the orc ignores him and proceeds to taunt the party as he walks closer, the rest of his group following behind. The orc, Arkus, seems to be a leader of the slaving group that had captured Larur’s clanmates, even Straw is back.

A battle ensues and the group prevails, leaving Arkus dead in the street and Straw without her head. Gathering up a few items quickly, the party leaves before the Genderarms arrive.


:Rewards:
XP: 400 xp

Items:
Masterwork Chain Shirt, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Masterwork Scimitar, Shortsword (2), Dart (5)

Scroll of Shield (2), LIquid Ice (2), Potion of Cure Light Wounds, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds, Potion of Bull’s Strength

200 gp

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Wine Delivery

One morning, Larur calls the group into his office with a request from Saul himself. It seems that an order of exotic liquor has finally arrived at the docks. The order was supposed to have been delivered for the Cheat the Devil tournament, but due to storm delays has just now arrived.

Saul is worried that news has already gotten out that the shipment is being held at the docks, and is sure that any of the crime lords or even the Overlord himself would have no problem taking the shipment. So he is asking the group to head down to the docks and safely bring the liquor back. Saul seems to be worried enough, that he has even hired a new member to help with the task, Uneinnehmbare Mondstein, a massive oread fighter.

After a quick conversation with Uneinnehmbare, the group heads down to the docks. Unfortunately they find that Saul’s suspicions were true and one of the crime lords already has men there loading up the cargo led by Braddikar Faje.

After a few coarse words between the two groups, weapons were drawn and blood was shed. Though the party came out on top, saving the cargo.


:Rewards:
XP: 400 xp

Items:
Masterwork Longsword, Banded Mail, +1 Large Steel Shield, Cloak of Resistance +1
Masterwork Rapier, Masterwork Longbow
2 x (Studded leather armor, shortsword)
Leather armor, rapier, dagger x 4, shortbow with 10 arrows

Potion of cure moderate wounds, Scroll of glitterdust, Scroll of invisibility, Scroll of magic weapon, Scrolls of mirror image (2), Scroll of obscuring mist, Scroll of protection from evil, Scroll of scorching ray, Wand of Mage armor (20 charges)
Spellbook [ cantrips, Magic Missle, Shield, Shocking Grasp, Adjuring Step, Enlarge Person, Burning Hands, Gravity Bow, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray, False Life, Create Pit]

125 gp

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Dwarven Reward & New Employee

Once the group cleaned up Straw’s slaving crew, the dwarves were free to go. Returning to Larur with the good news the next day, Larur let the party know that the he had pulled some strings with the dwarves at the Gas Forges and with the help of the recently freed workers had worked out a reward for the group.

Each party member can have the dwarves forge an item for them at cost (as if the player is crafting it themselves). The item can be masterwork.

The next week of the Goblin went by without any major problems. Though during that time, a Half-elf approached Malek in need of help. Samaritha Beldusk explained how she had come to Riddleport in hopes of becoming a full-fledged Cyphermage. Unfortunately, no Cyphermages were accepting apprentices at the time. Now the money Samaritha put away for her apprenticeship is running out and she is need of a job. She came to the Golden Goblin in hopes of finding a job as a waitress.

After talking with some of the group and Larur, it is decided that Samaritha would be a good addition to the Goblin and would start right away. Saul has even allowed her to stay within the Goblin, with a slightly reduced wage.

Since Samaritha has started working at the Goblin, she has seemed to infuse the place with a new energy. Her upbeat personality is almost infectious to the customers and seems to be helping business along.

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First week and a personal request

A week has pasted since the group has agreed to work with Saul to try and make the Golden Goblin a success. During that time, everyone has done their part in helping to make that dream come true and as the first week closes, Saul calls everyone into his office to give them all the good news… The Goblin is turning a profit!

With this news, Saul thanks the group for their hard work and gives them their cut of the profits (5 extra gp).

Once the meeting with Saul is done, the party is stopped by Larur, the Floor master of casino. He asks the party if he could have a private word with them at his flat later that night to discuss something.

Once the group finishes their work at the Goblin, they head over to Larur’s flat to see what he has to discuss. Larur explains that it has come to his attention that several fellow dwarves from the Gas Forges did not show up for their duties that day, an occurrence that is troubling. Looking into the situation, Larur has heard rumors of a group of dwarves last being seen heading into a Rotgut District tavern called “The Castaway”. This is where he needs the party’s assistance. He asks, as a person favor, if the group would check out this tavern and see if they can find any evidence of his fellow dwarves.

Agreeing to the request, the party heads down to the Rotgut District and quickly finds the small tavern. Inside the rundown tavern, the group chats up some patron until the wrong question leads to the patrons attacking. After a short fight, the thugs are down and the bartender Fik fills the group in on everything. The tavern is a front for a shanghai trade, people are brought in, attacked, and dragged down into the tunnels below the tavern before being hauled off to a waiting ship.

Continuing through a secret door, the group descends into the smuggler tunnels that run under Riddleport. Within the tunnels, the group finds and raids a small alchemical lab before continuing along and encountering a duo of strange blob-like creatures.

In a large, expanded cavern of the tunnels, the group runs into the leader of this group. A half-orc woman named Straw. After a brief fight, Straw and her remaining thugs are defeated and the party finds the group of missing dwarves. Once freed the dwarves thank the group and give their word to return the favor.


:REWARDS:
XP: 450 xp

:Items:
5 x (Studded Leather armor, short sword, sap), long spear, Masterwork Light X-bow with 20 regular bolts, Masterwork Light Wooden Shield, Masterwork Breastplate, Masterwork Scimitar, Javelin x 4, sap

Wand of Cure Light Wounds (44 charges), Potion of Cure Light Wounds x 3, Potion of Enlarge Person, Potion of Bull Strength

2 weapon blanch – silver, 3 Alchemist fire, 3 vials of Acid, 1 Fuse Grenade, 2 Vials of Small Centipede Poison, Alchemist Formula Book (Cure Light, Ant Haul, Shield, Expeditious Retreat, Endure Elements, Detect Secret Doors)

352 gp, Onyx gem (50 gp), 3 pearl (10 gp), Gold Necklace (100 gp)

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