…It is another day and as I woke in House Asticles to the powerful rays of the Athasian sun I felt alive again, fully rested and revitalised…
It was a long day yesterday, our mysterious hunter-Thri Kreen nearly met his end at the wicked end of a House Stel thug. They’d been tracking us since the altercation at House M’Ke and ended up pouncing on the group as we followed the Half-Elf Veil agent to the Asticles estate. Luckily for us the veil agent was able to heal him. Her abilities are like nothing I have seen before, and seem to be enhanced by a strange amulet she carries which at dinner she and Perseus seemed reluctant to talk about. They talked about ancient relics of worship from a eons ago, but I lost interest in such tales when I was a child. In this world the only things you can rely on are your wits and your axe, which reminds me I need to pick up a spare axe too as yesterday I shattered one on the skull of a Stel thug. A shame to waste such craftmanship on that Kank scum, but it was either him or me, and well, I won of course.
As we tracked closer to the manor we had another ambush, but this time from above, and none other than a small squadron of Aarakocra?! Flying high they were able to get the drop on some of us but they seemed only to be interested in Shalaya, the veil agent. As the wicked birds swooped and clawed and distracted us, the others tried to carry Shalyia away, kicking and screaming. Some well placed shots from the Templar and the Elf soon put a stop to that and with their advantage gone the rest of them went down fairly easy. It was unfortunate for them of course as it appeared from the bodies that they were but hapless pawns of the cult, and it seems had been sent to retrieve this girl. I expect they hadn’t counted on meeting such strong opposition!
At the Asticles manor we were greeted by a dwarf servant by the name of Deacon. Taken into the typically grand reception of a noble house we were offered a fine wine and moments later introduced to Perseus, son of Agis of Asticles. The wine was too fancy for my taste, but it seemed to have a remarkable aroma and effect that refreshed our weary bodies. Shalaya explained how we had helped her and we explained we’d been hired by M’Ke to find out about the recent attack on their warehouse. Believing (at least for now) that we were relatively safe and in the presence of someone we could trust we traded the knowledge we had so far gained. As we talked about our discoveries of the cult symbols and Yarnath Perseus confided that he believed the cult are looking for a temple hidden under Try which could help them to recover the parts of the crown of silt, which in turn would give them the power to control the dust kraken. It all sounds a bit far fetched, but there are enough people interested in this to make it worth all our whiles, even if at the end we just sell it to the highest bidder!
Perseus believed that a noble house has been helping the cult since their arrival in Tyr and that also they may have Abram at this moment. His agents and men had been tracking their movements in the city and narrowed down the two possible locations of the cultist’s lair. He then asked us to help him for a rather modest fee of 500gp plus the favour of the house to find out if it was Ur-Zola (matriarchal, based just outside city, iron mine interest) or Stigius (old house, thought abandoned but mansion now showing signs of life). We decided to target U-Zola first. Rather than leave right away we decided to indulge in the hospitality offered us at the Asticles house and bathed and drank our fill until it was time to retire. It has been a while since I have enjoyed such luxury, and something I feel like I could get used to on regularity.
And now to the task at hand as we woke and were greeted by the servants of Asticles manor who had already returned bearing fresh supplies and good quality weapons. We ate once more with Perseus who offered us his servant to take us to a secret tunnel exit out of Tyr which would take us as close as possible to the Ur-Zola mansion. Shalaya had also imbued some fruits and herbs with healing qualities which we gratefully took and so said our farewells and headed off.
Outside the mansion there was a small commotion of nobles who were debating the state of Tyr. As we negotiated the crowd the clumsy Elf fell over (he maintains he was pushed) into a fruit stand owned by the noble house of Minthur. Vernassi, arrogant snob that he is, protested that the Elf had offended his honour and ruined the days trade, demanding recompense. It was about to get ugly, but the Templar Abdiel proved his loyalty and authority by talking down the noble and promising the Elf would get a stern hiding and that Vernassi would be compensated through the appropriate channels… City bureaucracy is one thing I care little of, but in this instance words did more than any blade could, and so quickly we went on our way. Redgar the Psion maintains he saw a Mul disappear into the crowd after the elf was pushed, but of course it’s all too easy to blame the Mul.
The dwarf led onwards to the secret exit from the city, and although the way was tense through a section of under Tyr as we could hear screams of unknown horrors in the distance we made it through without incident and emerged in a field near the Ur-Zola compound. The place was guarded (12 men) and a few slaves tended the fields. Approaching the walls we had to silence some slaves, a pity, but necessary for us to remain undetected. Reaching the north side of the compound we spied a basement entrance and as our psion distracted the guards on the battlements with his powers we rushed one by one towards the entrance. No sooner had we entered we were confronted by a few guards in the basement, we silenced them quickly and now wait to see if more will follow…
Redgar seems to be complaining of feeling a slight pressure on his head, as if someone or something was trying to invade his mind. I think perhaps he has over exerted himself, but even so, I wonder what we have walked into…