We joined our heroes as they managed to peacefully resolve the situation with Charlie Fisher. Satisfied with the groups’ answer that the logs were with someone back in Barrowbeach, he and his posse headed for the Pompous Potter at Vanion‘s suggestion for some drinks. Torvak and Barty headed to the Crestguard University Library to check on Elizar, whom had found his office ransacked in the night! The ritual book had been stolen, but he theorized that with enough magical power they could still complete it, to find Mask’s true name. They considered using Torsten once they later found out he possessed magic, or Sly, or Marbo the Magnificent. They also needed essence of the fiend, which they remembered Vanion possessed, and a soul bag. Elizar informed them that soul bags are horrible evil bags stitched from flesh that hags use to carry souls.
Meanwhile, Levinia paid a visit to the Temple of Lathander, to check on the slaves and Dorificus. Finding the slaves well adjusted and feeling better, he learned that one of the slaves is almost ready to make the journey to his hometown of Brevin to see if he can’t find his family. The acolytes at the temple were thankful to have the extra hands around and thanked Levinia for her donation once more. Dorificus was no longer present at the temple, so she headed back up towards the market district to see the smithy.
Vanion and Torsten spent time at city hall gathering information on the guests who will be attending the gala. From Ellion they found out his older brother Tassarion, as well as the King of Volkarsis should be there. Also the Duke of Greymont, the Mayor of Bluedale, Branic Tarhaven (Leader of the Culinary Council of Crestguard) and the Volkarsian Ambassador, who has an embassy in town. Vanion was surprised to find the embassy was nothing more than a tiny shack with an image of the ambassador which spoke on a delay to him. Vanion inquired about entertainment preferences and the guests.
Everyone coincidentally met back up in the center of town, where they spoke about their need for a soul bag. They decided to go hunting for a hag the next day using Barty’s locating spell. A night of revelry was had at the Dire Bear Retreat. Torsten enjoyed some drink, and Vanion played a set. Karrl the night guard came to hear the set and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Dorificus also stopped by and asked for entertainer tips from Vanion. Vestidio chatted it up with Torvak, and seemed incredibly confused at the presence of Torsten. Levinia spent some time dancing to the music, and Vestidio and other patrons headed out for the night as it got later. Vanion made some good tips, and after unsuccessfully finding Valerie at her home, he slept in the eastern gate’s stables. The rest of the party slept at the inn. Levinia suffered from more night terrors that left her waking up feeling worse than before.
The group had some breakfast as Vanion rejoined, and they found Elizar waiting outside the retreat for them, dressed in his own special version of “adventuring gear”. Barty activated his spell, and it detected a hag about 200 feet underground, and 400 feet to the west, moving slowly west. They went to the alley next to the Dire Bear Retreat and Torsten removed a sewer cover. They climbed down, with both wizards falling on the slippery ladder, and headed down the dark sewer tunnels, lit by Elizar’s dancing lights. Partway through some of the group heard a “ploop” sound from behind them with a flash of light, but they continued onward. Eventually the sewer began to curve off to the left, but there was also a metal door. Torvak was able to pick the lock, and beyond it was a carved earthy staircase, leading down to the left, and up to right.
Sensing the hag still below, they went down the stairs, only to find the stairs split off into left and right. The left path seemed wetter, and they decided to go to the right, which eventually leveled out and the hall went on for 250 feet or so. The carved pathway led into an open cavern, which was lit by some kind of gash in the earth far far above the heroes. There was a seemingly bottomless valley below, covered only by a rickety wooden bridge. Tying a rope to himself and giving the end to the party, Torvak was able to cross safely. Unfortunately, Torvak didn’t notice glowing red light coming from the skull lair’s eyes. Two suits of armor with glowing red eyes leapt down from the skull’s eye sockets with a heavy thud, and withdrew their longswords! To be continued…