Journey to Fate’s doorstep: the wait begins

The Drow’s Bane check into the Laughing Seahorse inn, a beautiful building in the touristy Tides district that came highly recommended by their guide, Suggi. The interior is a combination of sea-foam green, coral and dark blue. Across from reception is an open lounge in front of a bar and stage; few patrons glance up to see the newcomers enter the establishment.

“Who’s next?” commands a voice in Common behind reception. The party approaches and sees smiling back at them, a plump older sea elf with red hair and prominent make-up next to a petite merfolk who stands ready to assist. “Welcome, welcome to the Laughing Seahorse inn, where we take pride in making you feel comfortable and at home!” pronounces the sea elf at full voice. “My name is Urtya Ney, and I’m the proud owner of this establishment and my assistant here, Meena Tills, will gladly show you around. How may I help you this evening?” smiles Urtya.

Urtya checks the party in for two nights and Meena escorts them to their rooms. On the way toward their rooms, Royce sees sitting at the bar, the same triton who previously greeted him on the street. The party decides to grab a drink and relax a bit in the lounge while Royce takes the opportunity to head to the bar. “Excuse me, my name is Royce and I noticed you on the street earlier today,” says Royce. The triton turns toward Royce and gracefully smiles before responding, “nice to you meet you Royce. Talina Tanglestrand. Yes I do remember catching your eye earlier today,” she says giving him a quick wink of her eye. “Please sit and join me for a drink Royce,” as she signals for him to pull up a seat. Royce notices the shell-sequined dress Talina wears is shiny and beautiful, which outlines her body and reveals one of her long sexy legs; a very different outfit than what she was wearing earlier today.

Their conversation is light and playful and after a second drink, Royce begins to share more with Talina. He explains to her about the Drow’s Bane journey to this plane, the wand and eventually shows her the map. For some reason, Talina gives off an energy of trust and compassion to Royce, making it easier for him to share. She takes an interest in the map and also frowns when she hears about their guide in three days. Without missing a beat she responds, “Yes, Crazy Oman is someone to watch your back around. I would not trust him with anything. Hopefully he may get you to the answer you seek…but beware of the cost.” Royce nods and smiles back at her, thinking to himself, he never mentioned the name of the guide, yet she knew exactly who he was referring to.

Talina excuses herself, stands up and walks over to the stage where a few musicians are getting ready for another show. She moves to center stage behind the magical device that projects voices and waits. A beat later the lights in the lounge lower and the band begins a smooth torch song melody. Talina begins to sing and everyone in the lounge just stops and turns to listen to her beautiful voice. Naismith smiles and gives her a small clap recognizing this lady has talent!

Talina does not stay long after her set. On her way out, she walks up to Royce and his two friends. After introductions, Talina says to them, “best of luck on your adventure; may it reveal to you what you have been looking for.” She then looks at Royce, gives him a smile and a wink, and makes her way toward the door. Naismith and Mordrock both glance over at Royce and grin.

The next day when Mordrock and Nong return from their nightly camp out in the Ethereal plane, Nong is intent on finding out more about the whispers he heard in the Shark Tooth. Later in the day, the party returns to the Shark Tooth to inquire from Xuldroath, how to find an entrance into the Freezer district. Several coins later, the Drow’s Bane exit the tavern en route to a concealed entrance not too far away.

The Freezer district is an underground illegal black market, composed of a catacomb of tunnels carved out of the ice foundation underneath the City of Glass; a reminder to Royce, Naismith and Nong how similar this environment feels, to the tunnels of the Underdark. Royce’s Locate Creature spell identifies a close proximity of fiends. They pursue the lead walking briskly through tunnel after cold tunnel to come into a larger cavern opening. Ahead of them they see two figures in robes carrying a large case. Nong moves first to the two figures; as he approaches they turn around. In abyssal they say to him, “Nong Sung Roc, why do you bother your brethren? We are on assignment from the master. Go play somewhere else!” Nong responds with a scowl but does not pursue them further. He turns around and moves back toward the party. “Those are not the two I’m looking for. They are not priests of Grazz’t. Royce let’s keep moving to find others,” as Nong brushes past the group and keeps moving in the opposite direction. Royce, Naismith and Mordrock stare at each other in confusion before following Nong.

Royce detects a few fiends in the opposite direction. They turn a corner and come upon two individuals who appear as drow, both carrying similar cases. Nong approaches them, “What do you have in those crates?” The two turn and look at him and then the party. They shake their heads and continue walking. Nong moves to block them and says, “I said what do you have in those crates?!” as he aggressively turns the wand in his hand. “None of your business orc! Leave us alone!” screams one of the drow. Royce notices the insignia on their robes is the insignia of Grazz’t. This time Nong does not stand down but escalates the tension further resulting in a fight. Nong is quick to perform a Quivering Palm on one of them and then maliciously snaps his fingers after the drow refuses to acquiesce. Upon seeing the first drow instantly drop dead, the second drow drops his case, casts a spell and vanishes.

Mordrock examines the case and realizes its contents are captured souls; each case containing about fifty souls. He is immediately disgusted by this revelation and moves to free them. The others surprised by this discovery, agree and help Mordrock. Nong does not take part in freeing the souls; he just shrugs. Naismith begins to look around and remembers the description of how to get to the BlackBrine Sisters poison shop. He urges the party to follow him further into the Freezer. Twenty minutes later he successfully arrives at a small make-do shop and recognizes Brenna within it.

Brenna shows Naismith vials of Assassin’s poison, Oil of Taggit, Drow poison and Wyvern poison. All vials are extremely expensive compared to what Naismith is used to paying on the Material plane. However, he does purchase a few vials knowing it may come in handy against Crazy Oman. The party returns to the Freezer entrance, exits and does their best to sneak out onto the alley behind the Shark Tooth tavern. Fortunately, no Knights of Glass patrol passes by at the same time.