Mysteries of Aereth

Episode 2 : The Man of Smoke

"Perhaps...we can come to some sort of...arrangement." ~ The Man of Smoke, Master over the Guild of Thieves

The gnome introduced himself as Lockhart. "Welcome to Punjar" he said " The Tarnished Jewel".  His ogre bodyguards were one Gnash and Krodd. He assured the 3 fugitives that no harm would come to them…yet.

Gnash and Krodd

Lockhart let the two Shifters and the Deva through a maze of sewer tunnels and into the Guild of Thieves. 

Soon, they sat before The Man of Smoke (The Smoke being the city's slum quarter they would soon find out they were in). They found that Lockhart was his right-hand man and a foppish spymaster called Shettrick, or "Black Shet", was his left. 

Through their conversation with the Guildmaster of Thieves, the party learned the following:

 

  • The Guild were in a near-war with the Beggars of Punjar. The beggars had began to encroach on the thieves domain with strongarm robbery, muggings, and outright murder for gold!
  • The Beggars were led by a self-named ruler they called the Beggar-King. Apparently, this "King" had delusions of god-hood and now acted on this madness…
  • The Beggar-King had been making alliances with several other faction in Punjar. The Slavers Guild, the smugglers and pirates known as the Brotherhood of the Dog…and a new faction in Punjar…Assassins only known as the Poisoned Shadows.
  • The previous Assassins Guild, led by a dwarf only known as "The Grandfather" had been wiped out to a man by the Poisoned Shadows over the last few months. The body of the Grandfather himself had been found by rogues in the sewers after an ambush by the Shadows. This has upset the Man of Smoke. The Grandfather was an old friend.
  • No other solid information had been discovered by the Thieves Guild on these new arrivals. They make no contact with the other guilds besides the Beggars and Slavers, both of which have all but declared war on the Thieves.
  • The Guildmaster's foppish spymaster, Black Shet, is currently investigating these mysterious Poisoned Shadows.
  • The Man of Smoke also knew something of the Green Man that the three had shared memories of and had found dead on their awakening. He would share that information if the three performed a small…favor.
  • Due to political and protocol reasons, The Guildmaster could not act directly against the Beggar-King unless an outright transgression was made directly against the Thieves Guild. So far, the beggars had skirted the line with minor infractions, but an all-out war was on the horizon. 
  • Wishing to avoid expending the resources and the losses this would cause, the Man of Smoke wishes for the three strangers to…take care of the situation. In return, he will give them all information he has concerning the Green Man.
  • The three accepted this bargain. The Master of Thieves assigned two of his people to accompany them into the slums and eliminate the Beggar-King.
  • To their surprise, one of them was the big Half-Orc who had chased them through half of the Smoke (slum quarter). The warrior's name was Dorn, a captain in the Guildmaster's street enforcers for over a year now. He was also the Man of Smoke's investigator into the Beggar's Guild activities.
  • Dorn was not happy with the assignment. Since the Man of Smoke could not have any ties to this…mission…the word would be whispered on the street that he had been stripped of his privileges and banished from the Guild. 
  • The other joining them was a cringing kobold rogue named Lisp who had freelanced one too many times for the Guild to tolerate. Lisp would earn his life and his freedom if he followed through with this job.

Dorn had a meeting with a beggar willing to spill some info for gold later that night. The party rested up and prepared to face the slums of Punjar at midnight.

Black Shet had slipped Greymalka a note under the pretense of asking her to go dancing with him sometime. The note read, "Don't Trust Lockhart"... 

Later, as they questioned the grubby beggar in the Dirty Fox Tavern, they found a good reason to take those words to heart.

After the beggar dropped dead from poison in mid-sentence, the party of five found themselves surrounded by the tavern patrons…Poisoned Shadow assassin's, monks, and mages in disguise!

They were joined by Gnash, one of Lockharts Ogre bodyguards. The monster had a particular beef with Fang, who was almost as tall as Gnash. With a battle cry of "Betrayal!!!", Dorn attacked…

The battle was brutal, but the party victorious. Dorn thought it best they continue on the mission and not report this. As much as he distrusted these three strangers ot Punjar, this incident spoke of a traitor within the Guild of Thieves.

He didn't know who to trust now…

To Be Continued

 

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