A giant anteater-headed boy looks over the Great Wall of China

Session One: By The Order

The patrons of The Blessed Heart inn were going about their individual business. The Tritonian bard, Aenelis, played her lyre on the stage to the left of the inn as people watched on. An Air Genasi, Cybille, was embroiled in a game of dice in one of the corners while Lesras the Firbolg hid away in another corner observing the drinkers and a lone half-elf veteran, Thuradin, skulked in yet another. The final member, Xaljin, a cleric of Oghma, stooped at the bar, deep in his cups.

The door burst open suddenly as, in a flurry of feathers, Locrian Fifth burst her way into The Blessed Heart, squawking that everybody needed to run because the Ducal guards were on their way to arrest all adventurers. Locrian continued through the inn, jumped behind the bar, and ran into the store room. As the other patrons of the inn panicked and attempted to escape through the door, the five remained to wait out the guards casually, alongside the inn’s owner, Tali Steadyhand, who desperately looked around for something he could use to defend himself.

Three guards entered the inn, announcing themselves and reiterating what Locrian had just told them. Cybille immediately questioned the validity of the writ but confirmed it’s authenticity upon further inspection. Cybille and Xaljin attempted to simultaneously bribe the guards at their insistence that the group hand themselves over causing the lead guard to attack, insulted at the attempt.

During the ensuing fight, Cybille was the target of the guards initial ire until Aenelis attempted to calm the Ducal guards. While the lead guard relaxed and tried to explain the situation further, his two compatriots succeeded in shaking off the effect. One of the guards was familiar with the spell and, knowing what she had attempted to do to him, flew into a rage. From that point on the guards start to gang up on Aenelis, jabbing her with their spears. Thuradin shot bolts towards the guards, helping to keep them back and Xaljin drunken tried holding the furious guard off with his spiritual axe but failed to hit repeatedly due to his inebriated state.

As more guards entered the inn, Lesras noticed that Tali had made a break into the store room as well and hadn’t came out. On a whim, he ran to the store room to find it empty. With a shout of slight desperation he pleaded with Tali in giant, knowing the goliath would understand him, to show him the way out of the room. Part of the wall opened with a click and Lesras dashed into the hidden room.

At that point everybody started to head towards the back as well as Cybille remembered that there was an entrance to the sewers hidden in the back of the store, a route commonly used by local thieves. As they ran, Xaljin finally hit his target, bisecting the furious guard straight down the middle and Thuradin shot one of the other guards through the head while finishing his drink.

The door in the store opened into a smaller room with nothing but a ladder down to the sewers, one by one the party made their way underground. Xaljin, seeing his opportunity, picked up one of the casks in the store to take with him for the journey. The roiling of the ale however caused it to slip out of his hands, shatter on the path below, and Xaljin followed straight after, landing awkwardly on his collarbone...his limp, drunken body preventing any significant injuries.

Lesras caught a glimpse of the innkeeper running to the left and managed to determine that direction led towards the center of the town but before he could announce this to people, Cybille told everybody to follow her in the other direction. She deftly lead them through the sewers, taking left and right turns and pointing out areas to avoid until the system split in front of her. To the left, a quicker route that could leave them temporarily exposed to guards overhead, and to the right a longer but safer route. Opting for safety over brevity Cybille lead them down the right path.

Even though this was the safer path she knew that you could never be too careful, informing the party to be as quiet as they could. All was going well...for a while. Cybille had become one with the shadows, knowing how the light behaved down here helped her conceal her presence; Lesras’s envy at Cybille’s movements got a hold of him temporarily - hoping that one day his monk training would allow him to move that efficiently - causing him to stop focusing on where he was looking. The ground wasn’t where he expected it to be suddenly as his foot slipped off of the path and the Firbolg fell face first into the sewage. His fur now matted with dirt, he let out a loud “FUCK” and Xaljin couldn’t help himself with laughter.

A few minutes later, a cough alarmed them from where they’d just came from and there stood two men. One was short and thin with long black hair, his outfit was pristine and well fitting. The other was a large, stocky man with a mess of stubble and short hair. The smaller of the two explained that they were the janitorial squad and it was their job to take care of the mess. They would learn that the larger of the two was named Captain Stolt.

Thuradin instantly ran to Stolt and attacked with his longsword. An attack that didn’t seem to bother Stolt, who retaliated leaving Thuradin close to unconsciousness. Attacks from the party didn’t seem to do a great deal to either men. Aenelis took a different approach, attempting to push the two back with a gust of wind but neither man was moved, unfortunately the weakened Thuradin was caught in the gust and fell to the floor. Fortunately, the two men were still distracted as they attempted to end his life; Thuradin clung to life narrowly.

Cybille started to whistle in an attempt to somehow get help as Lesras ran ahead out of sight, disguised himself as one of the guards from the inn, and tried to convince the two to stop attacking unaware that the janitorial squad were of much higher rank even if his performance has been convincing. As the situation became more dire, Cybille raced ahead to fetch help as the whistle didn’t appear to be having the effect she’d hoped for.

In a last ditch effort to help Thuradin, Aenelis willed a wall of sewer water to engulf the pair. This proved enough distraction for Thuradin to make his way out of their reach. Xaljin and Thuradin kept attacking the two as they made they retreated. Thankfully for the group, Cybille’s calls were headed and eight people dressed in black raced into the fray to help the party retreat through a hidden door further down the sewer. Of the eight, only three with half his face caved in but still alive...barely. Racing down the spiral staircase, Cybille loudly continued to whistle to signal danger and the party was rushed through a thick by two more people dressed in black.

The door was slammed behind them, they had arrived, but where were they?