The Outsiders followed different leads to try and find out why the Lost Ones were attacking them. Together, they learned that Modra had hired the thieves to retrieve the Brass Key for him. Elder Stonefist introduced the group to the Ranger Reniss who had heard that Modra was often seen at the Happy Beggar. The next day the group went there and beneath the legitamate almshouse, dedicated to the god Amaunator, they found a hidden passageway leading deeper underground.
Elarinya yelled her challenge then she, Damaia, and Searinox charged the Lost Ones harassing Reggen, the Dwarven Inn Keeper of the Mountain’s Hearth’s Inn. They mopped the floors with the thieves, killing one and knocking the other unconscious. While the two women drug the unconscious one into a side alley to interrogate him, the Dragonborn and Regan wrapped up the other body for disposal. He then took off to drop it off in the Boneyard.
The Tiefling slapped their captive awake and then the Elf jabbed one scimitar into the ground near his ear, while the other was held close against his throat. They began questioning him about the Lost Ones, but the he couldn’t tell them anything. His arm tattoo exuded a faint magic that was tied to an oath he’d taken, as such his brain was unable to utter that information. So they began grilling him about who he reported to. “He informed them that he reported to Master ”/campaign/scales-of-war-campaign/wikis/lost-ones" class=“wiki-page-link”> Szagyn at an inn in the region of Blister. He told them that their group was simply a group of street roughs for hire, but they rarely got detailed info from their clients (for their own protection). He admitted that he’d heard of this Modra character but that no one had seen him since just before the Siege on Bordrin’s Watch, about 3 weeks ago. Word on the street was that he’s laying low, hiding after a deal went bad." At this point, Rinya noticed that their captive was growing pale and cold… they’d forgotten that he was bleeding to death. As he fell unconscious they did their best to stabilize him, and this of course is when Searinox returned, so he used his healing powers to bring him back. Just as they were about to further question him, the Ranger sensed something above them on the roof and she moved just as a quarrel zipped past her cheek, killing their informant.
After doing research at the main records building, Vylify returned to the House of Rest and was approached by Kalaban because he had a visitor waiting for him in the “Quiet Room.” The Eladrin entered, leaving his familiar outside as a sentry, to find a dark cloaked figure awaiting him. Once the magic curtain was drawn, the figure pulled back his hood to reveal that it was Elder Morgoff Stonefist, the eldest member of the Council of Elders. Elder Stonefist said that he’d heard of their search and wanted to assist, but he needed to be careful as well. Vylify shared the information their group had so far uncovered about the Dark Creeper, the Lost Ones, and their fear of arms entering the city. Elder Stonefist admitted that his group had the same fears, that they’d suspected internal aid in the recent Orc attacks and maybe in the kidnapping in Brindol as well, but they didn’t know where these arms were coming from. He wanted the group to find it and if Modra would lead them to it, then he’d offer what support he could. He told the Artificer that he had a contact who might be able to help them hunt down Modra. Her name was Reniss and she had a very personal reason to find the Dark Creeper. They agreed that Reniss should come to the House of Rest at sundown, when the rest of the party should be returning and then Elder Stonefist secretly left the inn.
Searinox boosted first Rinya and then Damaia up onto the roof above them and they set off chasing after the assassin. The dragonborn then went inside to see if Regan knew anything about a “Tom” that ran a tavern in Blister. The Dwarf woman was sorry to say that she avoided Blister and didn’t know many people there, since it was such a bad part of town. The cleric then left, praying for the Raven Queen’s guidance and found his feet taking him back to the House of Rest.
The two women were in hot pursuit of the assassin when Damaia hit a slippery patch and rolled off the roof. Without the Dragonborn to boost her, she struggled to climb back up. She gave up and did her best to give chase on the ground. The ranger was able to tail the killer, neither gaining nor losing ground with this fleetfoot. Suddenly, the thief dropped off the roof and out of view. Both adventurers skidded to a halt, scanning the crowd, but unable to see anyone, or anything out of the ordinary; this guy was good. The Warlock switched to mage sight and was shocked to see that so many of the bodies moving about the busy street were each marked with the Lost Ones magic tattoos. Realizing that their assassin had too many friends, and admitting that they were outnumbered, they gave up this lead and headed back to the inn. There they found Searinox picking on Vylify about getting a massage from Bruno, while dancing the mating dance of the Eladrin with Kalaban. The Artificer looked like he was about to cause great harm to his companion when the ladies joined them and ordered drinks and then food. The group all shared their information with each other, while Vylify jotted it all down and put it in a missive which he then secretly sent to Elder Stonefist. If nothing else, he figured that the Council could use the information about the tattoos to hunt down the Thieve’s Guid.
While their dinner was being served Vylify noticed a Half-Elf in leathers, a forest cloak, carrying a magical bow, with a perpetual scowl, scanning the room. Recognizing the description of Reniss that Elder Stonefist had given him, he waved the Ranger over. She verified that they were the Outsiders Group before sitting down. After the group had described why they were searching for Modra, the Ranger explained that her sister was Jen of the Farstriders. Just before she’d been killed she’d used the Sending Stones that each of them possessd (Rinya remembered seeing a stone next to the warlock’s body, but hadn’t thought much of it) to tell her sister the name “Modra.” So Reniss wanted to find the Creeper for revenge. She’d met another Dark One in town, almost dead, and for some bad beer she’d been able to learn that Modra hadn’t been seen for a while, but he was known frequent a place in Tradetown known as the Happy Beggar. Damaia admitted that they’d seen a lot of signs pointing to him being seen in Tradetown so the stories were coming together. Kalaban enlightened the group by telling them that the Happy Beggar was an almshouse run by two Paladins of Amaunator, and then gave them directions. The group decided to rest the night and then set out in the morning.
The dingy little one story building was easy to find, sandwiched between two warehouses. While the rest went inside to inspect things, the Dragonborn talked to an honest man loading lumber into a cart and found that all of the surrounding warehouses were known to be legitimate warehouses (of course). Inside the Happy Beggar was a simple, open room with tables and chairs during the day, but kept clean enough to double as a sleeping room at night. Prashant and Ausma were both very honest paladins running this place to help the poor. They were leading the group in prayers while volunteers were serving food (porridge) and tea to everyone. The group spread out around the room, Damaia pretending to need to use the restroom and almost walking into their host’s small bedroom. Vylify sent his familiar to sneak downstairs where the kitchen, larder, and a locked door were. Curiosity led him to pick the lock, but it only led to a hallway ending in rubble like it had collapsed long ago. The automaton returned upstairs to the Artificer.
During all of this, a hunched little old man sat in a rickety chair in the corner watching the group. When he could catch Rinya’s eye, he motioned them over. He recognized that they were adventurers, because he’d been one in his youth as well, and he wondered why there were in a place like this. Reniss cut to the chase and told him they were hunting a Dark Creeper named Modra. He giggled pleasantly and told them that he knew the very one. He’d seen him meeting with a white-skinned witch about a month ago, and he’d chased them off because they looked so shady. Dubiously, the group asked if they knew anymore about this Creeper, but he didn’t. He wished them luck, and as he took Rinya’s arm to help him stand so he could go stretch his legs, he told her that “if they ever met this Dark One that they should kill him quickly before he returned the favor.” For a moment, the twinkling in his eye almost reminded her of someone, but she couldn’t put a finger on it and then his eyes grew rheumy again.
The old man toddled out of the room as the Cleric joined the group and was brought up to date on everything. Prashant approached them to appeal to the holy man to offer a few hours of service helping them prepare and serve food to the poor? Searinox declinded, stating that they were on pressing business (while sitting around a poor house), but then came straight out and asked how long the tunnel down below had been collapsed (something no one, not even the volunteer staff knew). Suspicious of the group, he explained that it had always been like that since they’d started renting it 3 years ago. It was dangerous so they kept the door locked. Once again he pleaded with them for help, and finally Reniss agreed to help, just so they could be allowed downstairs to look around freely. Gratefully the Paladin thanked them. As the rest of the group went downstairs, Vylify slipped out the front door at the mention of the word work.
Downstairs the kitchen was simple and Searinox and Reniss started working to cook food, while Rinya slipped some spices in for seasoning (just to make it palatable) and then she and Damaia went over to further check out the passage. The passage was exaclty what it seemed, but it was almost too convincing. The Ranger bumped into the rubble and found that it was set up to be an optical illusion until you stepped to the side and noticed the passage through the rubble, with a stone slab at the back which swiveled at her touch. Searinox was determined that they should tell the Paladins about their mission, but the rest of the group was dubious about being that honest. Searinox called Prashant downstairs anyway and told him about the passage and the Dark One, but made it sound like he was accusing him of harboring such an evil being in his cellar. The proprietor grew very angry and told the group to finish what they were doing and to leave, truly offended. Reniss pushed between them, pretending to need room to deliver food and the Paladin returned upstairs ahead of her. She told the group that she’d cover for them, but that she wanted Modra’s head. They asked if she could send Vylify down, so she stormed upstairs and then glided around the room, serving food and drinks. Unobtrusively she made her way towards the door and then in a sailors voice, she yelled at Vylify to get back in there, before returning to serving like nothing had happened. While Searinox set up an unseen servant to continue to make food, the rest of the group was thankful that they were leaving the socially inept Half-Elf behind.
When the Artificer joined them, they entered the passage and began following it into the darkness. A little ways in, Rinya, who was leading the way, noticed that the passage was dropping down steeply. Before she could utter a word of warning, the three behind her slipped on the loose gravel and started sliding down it. The Elf skipped out of the way and rode the armored Dragonborn to the bottom where most of the group ended up in a jumble of limbs and gear amongst the rubble. The torch that Rinya held aloft could barely illuminate the huge chamber covered in stalactites and stalagmites. The light couldn’t fully reach the ceiling or the far side of the room….