19 Desnus 4709 – Evening
With little pieces scattered all over the crossing, there suddenly is a discussion. Elaith still wants to tear the blockade to pieces while Korvus and Siras want to continue. I do not really know what I want, except that I want to leave this hell hole. This means that the majority wins. We leave the dead goblins behind us and continue following the symbols of Iomedae that guide our path through these sewers. We found some chalk on one of the goblins so we hope that these foul little creatures have not set a false trail for us.
As we continue though, the sewers start becoming dirtier. Moulds and fungi start to appear as well as all kinds of vermin. It seems likely the Torbles do not come here. These small gelatinous creatures seem to be a kind of cleaners for the sewers as they secrete some kind of acid that dissolve all kinds of organic materials. A few minutes after we left the goblins behind us, we become aware of crying at a t-junction. The sound comes from a tunnel to our right while the symbol of Iomedae tells us to continue straight on. As far as we can tell the crying seems to come from grown male human.
I am too weak hearted to leave a crying man behind. Yes, it might be a trap, but that is all the more reason to turn right. Whether my allies join me out of compassion or curiosity I do not know, but in the end we decide to investigate. As I do not wear any armour and have some experience with sneaking around, I enter the tunnel first. In a bend I discover a thin rope hanging low over the floor going from one side to the other. Close to the ceiling the rope is connected to a flask with some kind of liquid. Clearly this is some kind of trap. I warn the others as we advance.
Around the curve, there is long straight tunnel but after twenty yards there is a metal grid fence blocking the way. In front of the fence we can see a few large wooden boxes and some materials scattered around and between them. In between the boxes we can see the crying man. We have no clue about the man’s intentions as he is seated in bent position. Using Detect Magic, Siras can see a magic ring and a scroll.
Suddenly the man gets up and casts a light spell and another spell. He yells at us that Sandor will not get his books back. It is clear that the man is terrified of this Sandor and he thinks that we are working for him. That we are there to retrieve the books. We try to convince him of our good intent but fail. In a last effort to show him that we are not here to harm him, I put down my bow and slowly proceed towards the man with my hands in the air. I am terrified but I step by step I move forward. I have covered half the distance when the man suddenly pulls a crossbow from behind a crate and shoots. I am too startled to react.
I feel an agonizing pain from my abdomen. I look down and see the bolt protruding from my belly. I am still surprisingly clear headed and notice that the man drops his crossbow. He seems startled that he has shot me. I run forward and jump onto one of the crates as the man stumbles backwards. Before I can reach him, the man is hit by a crossbow bolt from one of my allies as well as several magical missiles. Then I jump on top of the man. Partially to protect him from my allies, but mostly because I want to disable him with killing him. I get a fair grip on him but he is stronger than I expected and he manages to wrestle free. In that time, Siras has stormed towards us and knocks the man unconscious.
As I sit back and look at my belly, Siras ties the man’s hands together and Elaith strips him of his magical ring and scrolls. With the adrenaline gone, I really become aware of how much this hurts. When Siras is finished, he turns towards me. He says a short prayer. The arrow is pushed from my belly and the wound is magically healed. Out of gratitude I say: “Iomedae be blessed!”. Siras immediately starts to radiate from pride. I smile at him. This huge half-orc seems to have a smaller heart than I expected after having seen what he can do.
Still shocked about what happened a few minutes ago, I first collect my bow. When I return, I see that one of the crates is open and contains a pile of blankets. The others have in the meantime decided that they want to spend the ‘night’ here to recover their spells and magical powers. I do not object. I am too exhausted from what I have seen and done today. Using one of the blankets, I clean a part of one the sidewalks close to the fence, put a clean blanket on it and place the unconscious man on top of it.
While I was doing that, my allies were searching all the other stuff lying around over here. They found a few books including spell books. In one of them is written that it belongs to Pollido Ghival, so we presume that that is the name of our prisoner. The text was written in Draconic, the magic language. The dragons were the first inhabitants of this world, invented magic and started writing it down in their own language. To this day, most spells are written in Draconic.
As we plan to stay here for the night, I start distributing blankets to my friends and take one for myself. As the others have to sleep to regain their magical powers and spells, I take the first watch. That is the reason I give my friends. Secretly I am afraid of going to sleep. Of the nightmares that might await me if I close my eyes. I have seen and done so much today. For the first time in my life I killed a living being larger than a fly. To make matters worse, I killed a man and a woman I never knew. My thoughts keep me awake. A sun rod is burning brightly to keep me company. My allies just sleep peacefully. To my great surprise Korvus has settled in empty crate. He has to curl up but it fits.
Some time during the night, the man wakes up. He frees himself by burning himself and the ropes holding him. That wakes up my allies. There is a short combat and in the end it is Elaith who knocks the man unconscious again. As nobody knows how much time has passed, Siras offers to take over my watch. Somewhat reluctantly, I agree. I put down a blanket on one of the sidewalks in a corner between the wall and a crate. I pull another blanket over myself and curl up into a ball. To my great surprise, I fall asleep faster than I had anticipated and I am not troubled by nightmares.
I wake up to the sound of combat and yelling. Siras lies on the ground bleeding and Korvus is casting spells. It seems we are under attack by Torbles, four of them in total. Using some kinds of weird spell, Korvus kills two of them with his hair that suddenly grew longer. The remaining two start to flee. I shoot one of them and it explodes covering an area in acid. The acid reacts with the moulds and fungi. Some kind of toxic fume starts filling a part of the tunnel but is dissolves before it reaches us. The last Torble got away.
Korvus now tells Elaith and me that Pollido is dead. Torbles have killed him. Most likely the man, who was a wizard, tried to control the Torbles in effort to get free. All he wanted was for the Torbles to dissolve his ropes but in stead half his body is gone. When the fight with the Torbles began, Siras did something weird with his flail and knocked himself unconscious. Behind the metal grid fence there are dozens of Torbles.
20 Desnus 4709 – Morning
The next morning I wake up fully refreshed. I slept better than I had anticipated. While my allies start praying and studying, I meditate and practice few katas. When everyone is ready Pollido his pouches are searched in the hope that we might find some indication of where he lived. We find nothing of that kind. Some spell components are found and these all go to Elaith. There are also 26 gold pieces which we divide evenly among the four of us. Siras tells us that we must return this money to Pollido his family should we find them. I consent but hear nothing of that kind from Elaith or Korvus.