…The dust from the riots had settled momentarily and the guards had left, leaving us to ponder our next move. Just as we had resolved to return to House M’Ke and report on our progress we were stopped by a Templar, the famous Banther, Lord of the Games. Impressed by our martial prowess he offered us a job assisting in the search for and capture of the remaining escaped slaves running riot in the city. Seeing the unhappy looks upon many of our faces, and the urgency of our own agenda, our own Templar Abdiel declined for us all.
Rushing through the streets and back to our employers we briefed the House M’Ke Merchant, Helandrez, about what we had found: the slaughtered guards, the rifled papers, the cult symbol, the undead, the damaged ledger and the tunnel beneath the warehouse. Helandrez carefully checked his own copy of the ledger, finding the missing page contained little of interest (mostly standard trade goods), except for the presence of two passengers (which was against the rules of the house, meaning the caravan master would have taken a bribe). The first passenger was a old man called Abram Verath, the second a girl called Shalaya, both of Raam. The caravan master’s name was Innex Lauros. According to the records, the passengers disembarked before the caravan arrived in Tyr (presumably so they could slip in relatively unnoticed) so we resolved that the Caravan Master would be a good person to speak to next. However, as per our luck the Caravan Master is nowhere to be seen and hasn’t been seen for a couple of days. He is a known frequenter of the local bars and Inns in the area though, so if we’re lucky we might find him under a table, sleeping off a broy induced hangover, but that might just be too much to ask for.
Just as we learned all this we heard a commotion from the main entrance, a group of House Stel thugs burst in and accused Helandrez of spreading false rumours of their attack on the warehouse. Harsh words were exchanged between Helandrez, the Stel thug Gorek and then several of us at Gorek. They left while issuing the threat that they would return the next day to seek retribution for the insult unless there was tangible proof of who the real attackers were. The Stel’s seemed to be under the impression that M’Ke had faked the whole thing to try to smear their reputation. I know M’ke and this is not their handiwork, and I will be here when they return and I vow that if a fight is what he wants his blood will stain my axe and his entrails will be fed to the ravenous halfling! With time now striving against us we headed out towards the Golden Inix Inn on Caravan way to see if we could track down the caravan master.
We left House M’Ke and were once again stopped by a stranger in the shadows (what is it with all these shady characters we keep meeting?) who claimed to be called “The Man with Emerald Eyes” (which he did indeed posess) and an agent for House Vorden. He told us his house believed M’Ke to be in league with the Veiled Alliance and offered us money or favours in exchange for information. We agreed to meet him in Sculptors Square tomorrow night (some of us grudgingly, some of us for the money and others clearly recognising the benefits of House Vorden owing us a favour) opposite Karlen’s eye.
Arriving at the Golden Inix inn we entered, passing the sturdy Goliath guard and were met by the gentle female half-elf owner Milla who served us broy, water and wine (depending on our taste). She knows Innex, he was a regular but he hadn’t returned after last night, when he had been in and was looking troubled. She directed us to a drinking companion of his called Berin who said Innex had told him that he was being followed by several hooded men whom he had also seen hanging around his caravan only the other day after Innex had arrived in Tyr. We found out Innex lived in the Warrens and agreed to set off for the address. Before we left the Golden Inix we were approached by a shady-looking drunk, he said he was called Rowan and was a member of the Toothcutters Gang and he wanted us to convince Milla to sell him the inn, we declined as we’ve already dealt with enough scum this day and I would be more inclined to beat him senseless than help him.
Arriving in the Warrens we headed for Innex’s house, once there we found a Thri-Kreen called Chuck who claimed to be hunting this man too, looking for a bounty connected to Innex which, once he had described what he was after turned out to be the same two characters we were looking for too (These two have definitely made an impression in Tyr already). After some discussion with it (either due to language difficulties or because it’s not too bright) we agreed to work together to find him and the mysterious caravan passengers (or “hunt” as the Thri-Kreen said). The front door we noticed was branded with a cult symbol painted onto it but faded so that it was barely visible. Cautiously we looked inside and saw that it appeared to have been crudely searched or either that Innex was an extremely messy person. Then the Elf heard a moan from behind the closed door at the rear of the house. After our last experience with the warehouse we expected trouble, but beyond instead lay a slumped Innex; mumbling incoherently while scratching the image of the cult symbol on the table in front of him. He was delirious and needed the attention in one more skilled in the matters of recovery, so We wrapped him in a floor rug and returned to House M’Ke for assistance. Upon returning to the M’ke house the Halfling surprised us all by being more than capable as a healer and was able to bring M’ke back to semi consciousness. Innex rambled and ranted about the “Master of the Silt” who was “coming” but was otherwise insensible. As we sat watch over Innex, Abdiel travelled to the temple district and the great libraries there. Consulting ancient texts he learned of an old fable of a Dust Kraken, a powerful creature controlled by a Sorcerer through a magical crown who once terrorised the Silt sea hundreds of years ago. So great was the threat is presented to Tyr that the Dragon of Tyr intervened, the beast and Sorcerer were vanquished and the crown sundered into many parts, now lost and until now, forgotten. Abdiel returned and shared this with us.
Left without any further leads we decided to head back to the warehouse and tackle the tunnel. Before we had walked much further than a few yards a hooded half-elf stepped from the shadows and asked us in a very coded way if we would like to donate some money to the poor of Tyr. Perplexed, we wanted to continue on our way, but she was quite insistent, urging us to follow her. On Abdiels lead we cautiously followed behind, wary of ambush, but it was as we walked that she instead warned us we were being followed (a check revealed this to be true) and that she knew of a safe place where we could go. She led us through the alleyways to a house in a strange back alley. Not knowing if we were walking into a trap we continued, but something about her felt reassuringly truthful for once, and once inside she revealed herself as Shalaya, the daughter of Abram! It seems they are both members of the Veiled Alliance and that they had fled Raam because they had been opposing the Cult of Silt there and thought Tyr to be a relatively safe haven in comparison. They had not counted on the cult following them here as they believed they had no way to travel such a great distance, but obviously they have found a way which concerns her greatly. They have friends in the Asticles noble household here in Tyr and this is where she was headed now as her father and she were separated from each other between the city gates and the house an evening ago and he was now missing. She was not able to tell us who the men following us were however, other that they were thieves. It is Shalayas belief that the plight of herself and her father and the attacks on house M’ke are linked and she suggested that we ally forces for now as we both seem to want the same things and if we can track down her father she says he would surely be able to help sort the mess out with House Stel without bloodshed. She suggested that we might accompany her to the Asticles mansion and consult with the son of Agis of Asticles, Perseus, on helping to track down Abram, as she seemed to think he might know something of the activities of the cult in Tyr.
We thanked her and decided to resume our journey back to the warehouse, and rather than slink about the shadows like cowards we would confront our enemies head on if they dared. Almost immediately we had departed the safehouse a fight ensued with the thugs who had been trailing us. They revealed themselves to be under the employ of House Stel, and that this would be a “message” from them that our meddling in the business of the merchant houses was not appreciated. A desperate fight ensued, as we faced well trained opponents who fought a tough battle but ultimately fell to our combined efforts of blade, psionics and hails of arrows from the elf. Shalaya also proved herself a capable healer, helping us both during the fight and healing the injured afterwards.
Leaving the scene as quickly we gathered what useful supplies we could from the bodies and continued on our way, ever wary of who else might be out there in the city but emboldened by our success…
We stood there in the alley, the bodies of our murdered enemies around us, we gathered their weapons and valuables as rightful spoils of battle and decided what to do next.