Climbing down into the depths of the Undercellar in Lower City, Baldur’s Gate, our Heroes were on their way to being smuggled into Upper City. The Undercellar here was far less foul than the sewers were previously. Here, it seemed that the route was comprised more of literal cellars and abandoned storage rooms, rather than sewage pipes and stink. Ander also seemed to be acting a little twitchy and on edge.
Following Stiletto’s instructions for some time, the group comes across a long open corridor filled with thieves and the people buying from them – a full-bore black market. It wasn’t long before the group was scouring the market for goods of a magical nature – rare as they are; they found several options between them.
Ander, the Halfling, was able to secure a brand new arcane sword; the ranger, Xin, found an interesting acidic sheath for her sword; Uruag bumped chests with another female half-orc, sealing a deal for slippers made of arcane spider silk. Vogel met another new mage friend, named Devlin, who seemed quite powerful indeed. Through him, she attained a new scroll and a purple-hued pearl of arcane power. Ander also helped “acquire” a magic ring for the sultry she-elf.
It was Supe who found his soul mate in the caverns of the Undercellar. Another gnome tinkerer named, Wallen, was working on some fascinating new inventions. The two of them chatted for several long minutes about the reasons to use a sprocket instead of a flange. They helped each other make some adjustments to a new dinglehopper Wallen was working on – they did it hand in hand. In the end, they had to part ways, but not before the gnome of Gond purchased a farseerer and a new invention of a günkraussbø, which was somewhere between a pistol and a crossbow.
After a brief rest, they got to know their new tools, and count up the few pieces of gold they had left.
It was time to get to the tavern, have a drink, and meet their contact. When they arrived at the converted storage room that served as a tavern, they saw it was filled with nasty characters – including full-blooded orcs. They waited to be served and overheard a few disturbing nuggets about life above-ground, while they have been on the move. Apparently a large section of Lower District was burned to the ground the previous evening – the latest in a series of fire that have broken out. It also sounded like the government officials have decreed Upper City be closed to non-patriars and residents at fifteen bells, which is a full three hours earlier than usual.
The bar maid, an exotic Amnish woman named Niobi, confidently strode to the Heroes table, without prompting. She requested they follow her to the back room. On the way there, a foul-mouthed orc ‘disrespected’ her, and suddenly found a blade in his back and the light flee from his eyes.
In the back office, the Heroes met, “The Fetcher”, a large man, with exotic fashion tastes, and a walrus mustache. He is an information broker and smuggler for the Guild, and knew of the groups approach before they arrived. He tried to get whatever information he could from the group, but found them tight-lipped. He gave them instructions as to where to meet their ‘coyote’, and that their transport was gratis, per Stiletto’s instruction.
They were on their way, and found in their guide in a remote section of tunnel – it was none other than Laraelra Thundreth, or Captain Layla of the Low Lantern. She has been working for The Fetcher since her place was closed down. She explained that secrecy was the large man’s trade, and they would have to be blind-folded.
Following Layla, via rope and voice, was direct and surprisingly easy going for the most part. That is, until a sudden flapping of leathery wings startled the group, and sent Xin and Layla (and the light source) tumbling backwards down a large sewer tube into a river of shit and filth. Fighting against unseen foes, wandering light sources, poisonous claws, and gravity, the Heroes were in a tough spot.
Uruag pursued her friends down the tunnel walls to the river below. She saw her enemies now, leathery winged demons named Quasits. Their poisonous talons caught the half-orc off-guard and she too fell into the soupy filth below. With a thud, Xin, Layla, and Uruag, each found themselves in iron cages that fell from the ceiling, separating them and trapping them in the river.
While Supe, Vogel, and Ander worked on a repelling line down to their friends, their friends were in a tougher spot. Hidden doors opened on either side of the caged tunnel, and men in black robes attacked the trapped adventurers. Layla fought back, but was struggling. Uruag, with her silk slippers, gained good ground and held her attackers back. But, the ranger was overwhelmed and taken by the magical attackers.
The monk of the Hidden Hand swung through the secret door and took down one of her attackers, seeing the rest of them fleeing through another door with her hot-headed friend. Soon, the rest of the party used their combined strength to, after several failed attempts, lift the iron portcullis so that they could all pursue.
Without their tracker, it was not such an easy task, but the bloody trail was clear to Vogel and Ander. Heading through the filth-covered sewers, they were delving deep into the underground. They finally came to a locked door with a code written in Abyssal – which proved no problem for the elf, after she recalled that she had wand of ‘knock’ in which to open just about any lock.
Standing sentinel before them were a dozen or more robed skeletons. They stood at a narrow hallway that extended outward in a circular fashion. Quickly, the heroes struck at the bony guards, taking them down easily.
It was then that they noticed the sound of screaming and chanting from the next room. They peers through a severely narrow viewing slit to a large circular chamber on the other side of the wall. What they saw made them angry, fearful, and lust for avenging.
Similar to the one they saw previous, but larger, there was a circular stone platform, hanging by large chains above a dark pit. This time, seven hooded men, with faces of bone and fiery eyes, chanted – singing praise to the deceased Lord of Murder, Bhaal. They surround five stone slabs that five nude, prone, prisoners laid on, awaiting their deaths. One, a dwarf, had already been flayed alive, with blood still pouring from his body, his skin pinned back on the slab. Their obsidian daggers currently slice the skin from a familiar young Halfling woman, Darria Griot – whom they sold their roc egg to. The Cultists chant divinely to keep the woman alive, as her skin was being peeled from her arm. Next in line was the seemingly unconscious Xinixelica.
At the center of the platform was the leader of the chants, a man with a large skeletal serpent surrounding his feet, and tear drop flames encircling his skull. It was at him that the group of onlookers took aim with their bows and magic, through the narrow viewing slit. As one, they all fired upon the unsuspecting cult leader. Hitting him directly, he collapsed in a heap beneath the volley of bolts, natural and arcane.
All eyes shifted to the gallery above – their flaming eyes flaring. Death comes to all. It’s go time.