The Veiled Blade

Part Twenty One

Coming Clean and Getting Down and Dirty

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The merchant begins to speak to them saying that he has been impressed with the work that the group has done for the Merchants’ Guild so far and that he now has an urgent job that needs to be done. Marius is about to continue but Fickenja halts him, she has considered the current situation and has decided to come clean; she tells the merchant that the Palace has employed them to steal some letters from his study. The merchant is visibly shocked to learn of this plot against him and manages to put two and two together and understands why Carla is suddenly employed within his kitchen – he has Herr Baudach fetch the Tilean mage to join the group. Weighing up the situation, the merchant’s thoughts are disturbed again by Fickenja who suggest that they produce fake letters to hand over to the Palace – Marius thinks this an excellent idea and informs her that he will get his wife to perform the task over the next few hours.

Marius then goes on to tell them the details of what he needs of them – he needs them to commit a burglary of the Rathaus, the town hall, and to retrieve a ledger from the Chancellor’s office. In return for doing this job he will grant them all expedited entry into the Merchants’ Guild – they will become probationary members upon completion, something that will afford them a modicum of protection from the powerful enemies they have already garnered. The group duly agrees and they are instructed to go with Karl who will kit them out and take them to where they need to go to conduct the job.

A short time later and they are in a coach on their way back to the Green Dragon where they receive a hemp bag of tools. A short time later their guide, Serge, turns up and they set off on another coach journey across town where they are deposited a short distance away from the town hall at 7pm. Serge points out a sewer grate that is the suggested route into the governmental building and he tells them to return to the tavern once the job has been complete; he then departs, leaving the group alone. The group go straight over to the sewer grate and start to prize it up, drawing a small crowd of passer buys who they fortunately manage to move along without any dramas. They make their way down with Cadrigar leading the way while Carla takes up the rear. Below ground they find themselves within a tight and decaying brickwork tunnel that makes them proceed in single file, a foot deep in effluent.

Cadrigar the elven pedlar thicks he has memorised the route to the rathaus, has forbidden the lighting of torches for fear of starting a fire, and the group relies on him and Durgar for their night vision to show the way, but in a manner of minutes he has led them down the wrong tunnel and they proceed several hundred of feet before the elven lead bumps into something sitting below the water line. The next thing he knows an Amoeba has risen from the filthy waters and launches a savage attack, swallowing Cadrigar, Jeffric and Heinrich as it proceeds back down the tunnel. Durgar flails and falls backwards, knocking himself out cold, also taking Fickenja down also while Carla is completely blind to what is going on, only hearing shouts and splashes in the absolute darkness.

Cadrigar, enveloped by the beast, begins to suffocate and slashes frantically with his sword, briefly managing to escape its embrace before being consumed again. Fickenja attempts to rise from the sewage and Carla, having learned that they are under attack, attempts to cast a cold spell but fails, expending the ingredient. Heinrich battles and briefly breaks free before being re-swallowed, dropping his sword. Carla tries to execute a flame spell but in the panic miscasts it also. Jeffric also fight free and attempts to flee back towards the rest of the group but the monster sucks him down once more. With all the group down and taking wounds, seriously in peril of dying, Carla retries casting the fire spell and manages to light a makeshift torch which she then thrusts into the amorphous monster, sending it fleeing.

The group pick themselves up, dust themselves down and trace their route back to where they began and restart their journey. Jeffric, who has suffered a lot of injuries in the attack, takes another swig of the Kussen Die Drachen, the last of it. Twenty minutes later an dthe y come to a brick wall that they believe leads into the Rathaus cellars. Using the tools they have been provided with, they smash teir way into a room with crates and barrels; the filthy hoes slither into the room and are confronted by a locked door. Cadrigar suffers serious doubts about whether they are in the right place but the majority of the group is certain that they are and they quieten him down. Carla attempts to open the door but fails and the group uses a hammer and chisel to break the door open; the group ventures outside and find themselves down a corridor lined with locked doors.

Progressing to the end of the corridor, in the dark, they find a flight of stairs and another locked door. Once more Carla attempts to showcase her skills and casts an Unlock spell which manages to open the door. They peer through the open doorway and the two members of the group blessed with night vision observe a moonlight drenched foyer and a grand flight of stair leading upwards – from the rich tapestries and fine ornaments it is clear that they are in the right place. Durgar and Heinrich opt to remain at the cellar doors and act as the rearguard while the rest of the group proceed up the stairs.

On their way up the Cadrigar’s big pointy ears pick up the distinct sound of a couple of men chatting nearby – these are presumably the nightwatchmen that they have been warned about. The group carefully and cautiously tiptoes upwards to the third floor where they are told the Chancellor’s offe is located. There are two locked doors on the landing and Cadrigar creeps over and listens carefully to both but hears nothing; he summons Carla over and she manages to cast another successful Unlock spell which permits them to enter a corridor. Looking around in the darkness, for it is 8.45pm, they spot another locked door to the left. Carla has used up nearly all of her magic and ingredients at this point and they have to rely on Jeffric to use a hammer and chisel to attempt to break the door open, which he fails to do. Cadrigar steps in and manages to successfully knock the handle off without alerting the guards downstairs.

The four group members find themselves in a plush office complete with large ornate oak desk and a large portrait, as expected. They approach carefully and explore the portrait and discover the hinges and swing it open to reveal a small safe, as they were instructed to find. They have a short debate about how to tackle the safe before they finally set about breaking the safe open with the hammer and chisel again. On the second attempt Cadrigar manages to pop the safe open and they find the ledger that is their target, upon which sits an odd-looking crystal. Carla and Jeffric both inspect the strange crystal, and both believe the object to be some sort of magical trap, but they are unable to determine the exact nature of the trap. The night wears on and time is running out, they must make a decision as to how to handle the unknown trap and obtain the object.

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