Part 1: Introductions
Your first day in Quodeth may have finally perked up. Up until this point it has been a mess. Upon first arrival you believed the city could hold many opportunities for you. Unfortunately though, the King’s Birthday Festival has turned out to be an unfortunate day to arrive. Accommodation has by far been the biggest issue you have encountered.
The streets are teeming with people. The populations of the surrounding areas have come into the city to capitalise the commercial benefits of the celebrations that are taking place. This one day of the year the King gives major tax concessions to the people which sees them flocking to the city days before to take advantage of the extra trade and the extra coin. Being outlanders you didn’t realise that the population would swell to this level.
The first thing you noticed about Quodeth is the 40 foot high walls that surround the city. Most of the buildings in Quodeth are made of stone or brick and glass windows are mostly found in palaces. Most windows are covered in light lattices or thin oiled parchment. Quodeth is a city of two worlds. It contains both the massive palaces of the rich and The Sark with its slums of the poor. The colours of the city’s buildings changing as you travel through it. The streets below you are dry sand beneath your feet. But no matter where you go accommodation is still proving to be a challenge.
As you walked around the city you were assaulted by the smells in the streets. The heat bakes the effluent and garbage that is dumped onto the roadsides. You have to keep your wits about you during these dry summer days and have a mind about where you set your feet.
The sweltering heat baked off your head and your back as you made your way through the city. The people of Quodeth thronged the streets. They are known as the Quodethi and they mostly consist of the Kalay people. The Kalay are short to medium height and dark hair and eyes and skin of bronze or golden colour. At one point as you were travelling you passed a man taller, of obvious Atlantean descent. The crowd parted around him to allow him through. There is obviously still respect here for the descendents of the Atlanteans and what they did for the city is still remembered even though the nation ended three hundred years ago.
And so thing brings us to how you got to where you are right now: bedless and in the Fallen Gate Tavern in the Stonequay. You have been from Inn to Inn, Tavern to Tavern and boarding house to boarding house. Every place is full. No one could offer you a place to sleep. Some complained of already having people sleeping on their floors. Even private houses had their floors taken up by their relatives who had come to visit. This was ridiculous. Sleeping on the streets in this heat, with that smell? No there must be somewhere to stay. And then it was that a man approached you. He was a fairly average looking Kalay. Not particularly tall. Not particularly rich or poorly dressed - but reputable. He looked at you and said:
“My friend. Your most humble servant Abraba would has heard you are looking for a place to stay. Come to the Fallen Gate Tavern in the Stonequay as the bells chime nine tonight and I can offer you not only a place to stay, but a job and free passage from Quodeth if you so desire.”
At the time you thought it could be a good last resort. Now you are hoping that he was not trying to con you.
It is now quite late in the evening. You sit at a table in the Tavern and it is quite a lively establishment. There are many patrons littered around the rooms. Topless women attempting to ply their trade upon sailors. Flirting with them and sitting upon their knees. Other patrons lying prostrate upon cushions in the corners of the room where the black milk traders are selling their wares. A musician in the corner attempts to play a flute but spends a lot of his time dodging thrown food items. The fireplace is not alight as the patrons swealter in the heat of the night. Most of the light in this room comes from lamps that are sat on various tables and stools around the room. The place is still fairly dark though as they do not produce enough light to flood the room. The result is a rowdy dark room filled with people filling their baser desires and a few of you, sat around on cushions and benches waiting for the chime of the nine o’clock bells.
The layout of the large common room is open plan with pillars throughout it that . There are people sat on floors amoungst cushions while others sit at trestle tables in the center of the room. On your right as you enter is the bar and behind it is a door out to the kitchen which servers move back and forward through. On the opposite wall to the entrance is a door to the back rooms. Now and again a topless girl will lead a sailor back their to try to get him to part with his hard earned coin.
It is at this moment a man enters through the mesh of beads that cover the doorway wearing a gold pendant, colourful bright cloth clothing and an eye patch. He is quite broad and is around 5”6’. He goes to the man behind the bar and says something quick and direct to him. The bartender turns to one of his servers who heads out the back entrance and a minute later a sailor and his conquest for the night come stumbling out of the room. The man following them and ushering them out.
The man disappears to the back room and then the man who approached you earlier in the day appears from the hallway and ushers each one of you inside.
You enter a corridor and are walked to a door on the right hand side at the end of it. The back room is dimly lit by a lamp in the corner. Cushions cover the floor near one of the walls. The room is 15 feet by 15 feet and the man with the eye patch stands near a closed door on the other side of the room.
As the last of you enters the room the man who invited you here follows you and you hear him locking the door. The man with the patch turns to the door behind him and opens it. A group shabbily dressed men begin to file into the room. One of them turns to the man who just locked the door behind you.
“This lot seems well armed!”
“You asked for a challenge so I brought you one. They should bring a pretty profit don’t you think?”
There are 10 men in black, 7 of them wield clubs, the other three have poles with ropes attached to them in hoops. The begin to move in and attack.
The fight is fast and fierce. To most people’s surprise three of the attackers spontaneously fall to the ground fast asleep. Arcandur looks as puzzled as everyone else and shrugs his shoulders. His head is then encircled by a rope which he quickly cuts free. He aims his crossbow at one of the heads of the sleeping men and pulls the trigger. Brains explode around the quarrel.
Instantly one man is impaled upon the blade of The Fish. His rapier striking him straight into his heart. The fish then stabs a second in the eye and then a third through the eye socket and into his skull. He drops to the ground unmoving. The Fish wipes his rapier on the tabard of Jorta and Lord Cyril attacks.
Jorta pulls out a massive two handed axe and wades into the fray slashing at one man across the chest. She then pulls a throwing axe from her belt and throws it at the man who lost an eye to The Fish imbedding it in his chest. The force knocks him from his feet and he lays on the ground bleeding out.
Alena draws her short swords and begins to wreak havoc in the line of men. Stabbing them with successive short sword strikes.
Manalesi fires blowdarts fast and thick. One man takes a blow dart through his cheek and an arrow to his chest from Mahin. Eventually killed by a second arrow to the chest. A second man falls to Mahin’s arrows and a third is struck by a dart from Manalesi.
Is is then that the slaver captain moves into the fray drawing his sword. He begins to slash and Manalesi fires back at him striking him in the pelvis with a dart. Then he suddenly starts hysterically laughing and drops to the floor uncontrollably.
The agent who lured you into this trap pulls out a crossbow and begins to fire it.
Mahin is caught in a snare but Alena flies into the fray not only dispatching the man but amputating the arm holding the restraining polearm.
Quickly the party overwhelms the remainder of the thugs. Jorta kills the last one with a Javelin through the chest and the agent manages to open the door the party came through and escape towards the common room of the inn.
Alena follows and unleashes her bow. Firing an arrow into the common room hitting a commoner. Mahin follows and unleashes her bow, firing an arrow into the common room and smashing a jug of ale. Finally Arcandur steps into the hallway, lowers his crossbow and shoots the man in the back of the skull exploding his brains across the common room.
The barkeep is upset but is quickly bought off and the party carries the remaining unconscious men out of the tavern and into a back alley. After some time they manage to revive the men, urinate on them, beat them and get out of them some information. One of the men is released after Arcandur convinces him he should leave the city. The other man reveals that they had been doing work for the man in the Tower of the Black Flames. He had been hiring people to grab people off the streets for him. He does not know for sure but suspects that they are being used for slavery. Hence he wanted strong outsiders who would not be missed.
The party convinces the man to take them to the Tower. He leads them away and they release him, but not before Alena The Huntress can put an arrow in his back as he runs away.
Mahin examines the door to the tower. Bends in front of the lock and with a click opens the door into the tower…