On our way to New Sporigal, we were attacked by a small band of elves who were unresponsive to conversation. The reason became apparent from the note we retrieved from their corpses – a man with the signature E.D.L. had sent them to kill us. A pentagon shaped seal was on the letter, and in it the symbol of a hand held upright within a circle. It appeared that our movement was known to the enemy.
As the walls of New Sporigal slowly rose in height over the horizon, our pace quickened, anticipating rest and most of all some measure of security. It was the first time I’ve ever seen this city. The walls are six-sided, with a moat running all around it. As we passed under one of the huge gates, the Princess gave us directions to Prince Magtaroth’s abode.
The trip there took us past several bustling city marketplaces. Although such places are not new to me, this was the first time I’ve ever had any significant money of my own to spend. I was always shopping for someone else in the past, usually for the church. My eyes rested on the sign of a blacksmith. Perhaps it is time to get that suit of full plate I’ve always wanted. I also checked with a passerby for the location of the Temple of Pelor.
As we approached the center of the city, our eyes were drawn skyward to the ships floating above us. Flying ships! Impressive as they are, they look no different than a normal ship that sails the waters. One has to wonder at the imagination of the makers of these ships – if they were meant to take to the skies, they hardly needed to adhere to the shape and form or a normal sailing ship. We were later told that the ships kept major shipping lanes open between our nation of Silverhawk and the nations of Annuit and Forestglen.
We reached the Prince’s home and was greeted by Donar, the Captain of the Guard. We were quickly escorted to meet the Prince himself, who greeted us warmly and was absent-mindedly ignoring his own sister. Later he realized that his sister was standing right nearby and quickly gave her a hug. (OOC: DM focused too much on PCs lol) We recounted to him our adventures thus far. It appears that our villain is not a complete mystery to the prince.
The tattooed man we had encountered in the goblinoid lair is called Eldarrmirri – a known criminal who has been convicted for the crimes of kidnapping, arson, and the misuse of magic among others. The Prince is of the opinion that this man is an imposter, and not really a representative of the nation of Dol’guldur. The Prince has friends in Dol’guldur, and from his information, he doubts that they were responsible. Eldarrmirri is the last surviving member of the noble family of Gryphonheart, and was an orphan. This fact softened my view of him a little. A child, left alone in the world. Had circumstances been different, he might have ended up at my old orphanage and known familial love despite not having blood family.
Eldarrmirri is also a member of Artamous, a known criminal syndicate that operates around these parts. We showed the Prince the letter, and he confirms that our road attackers were commissioned from Artamous. Perhaps that is where we should start our search.
Before we began, I visited the Temple of Pelor to offer prayers. I managed to purchase a moderately powerful healing wand from one of the clergy who had a few to spare. I then followed my party mates around the city as they shopped. I purchased a suit of full plate from the blacksmith, and a magical heavy mace. I also purchased myself a light brown robe to cover the armor. Perhaps disguising how well armored I am would serve as an excellent surprise tactic when faced with the enemy.
Our party’s quiet dwarf wizard helped me pay some of the cost of my weapon. Perhaps constantly saving the party’s life have increased my worth in his eyes. Of all my party members, he appears to be the one most actively haggling with the shopkeepers, demanding lower prices, and meticulously going through every item available to ensure that he only received the best.
Later that night, we approached a seedier part of town as suggested by the Prince. The Murder Row proved to be a place that thrives most when the guiding light of Pelor is absent. I stepped warily in the alleys of this district, the clanking of my armor all too loud in my own ears. We were not very surprised when we were ambushed yet again. Considering that the Princess is not with us at that point in time, we can only assume that we have become assassination targets of our own. I smiled lightly at that thought. Let the darkness know well the wielders of light!
After a light battle, we overpower our would be assassins. I stood aside as Marcus and Elrion wrung information out of one of the kobold spellcasters that attacked us. Apparently, the secret sign of the Artamous is a flapping motion, followed by a diamond symbol, and then a clenched fist. How odd. We were also told of the Severed Finger, a tavern around these parts which serves as the entrance to the Artamous base.
As the others were debating what to do with the kobold, I gave it a solid whack on the head, ending it’s life. We had no way of making sure that the kobold did not escape, and it had shown no signs of remorse for goodness knows what foul deeds it has carried out within its lifetime. It is best if I sent him to rejoin his God, whichever it is that he may serve.
The kobold’s information proved to be true however. It gained us entry into the cellar of the Severed Finger. We managed to convince the barkeep that we were aspiring members who have learned the password from a sponsor within their organisation. Twisting the third bottle on the top row of the third wine rack in the cellar opened a secret passageway.
Our ruse quickly ended there however – the Artamous members within the base itself have been given our descriptions and recognized us as targets instantly. We fought our way past a myriad of Artamous members from every race – goblins, elves, dwarves, humans, kobolds, and even ogres, not without sustaining some serious injuries ourselves. I thankfully clutched the healing wand close to me and provided aid where it was needed.
The Artamous are quite well equipped, a fact with some of my companions noted with glee. I found it quite amusing however that two weapons we found in some of the room still had a price tag attached to it, with a clear description of their magical properties. (OOC: DM accidentally said, “You find a +1 rapier…”)
We also found several flat metal symbols located in some bird-sized cages in the complex. A maze in a circle in a triangle, and a tree in a triangle in a square. A letter attached to one of them admonished the holder not to lose the key in order to be able to access the Master’s chamber. Some ways into the Artamous base, we managed to extract the name of this ‘Master’ from another kobold – a spellcaster named Vilmar who kept a pet spider, and is preceded by three of his generals. When asked if the man was bald or tattooed, the kobold recognized our description as one ‘Eldy’ who is the “master’s good friend.”
Considering that both myself and the wizard were out of spells, the party decided to retreat and return once we have gained some rest. We should have taken a significant chunk out of this Artamous organisation. But whatever it is, we were now quite familiar with most of their base. I was tempted to kill this second kobold. However this one was cooperative and begged for his life. Mercy is a lesson I have learned the hard way. We tied him up and threw him into one of the pit traps instead. Let his friends find him. If he chooses to walk away, then he may keep his life. If we see him again in battle however, my mace would still be just as heavy…