Castle Whiterock — Chapter 0: Filth Beneath Cillamar, Part 2
- Emmeline Forthwrought, self-taught apprentice mage-turned-full wizard.
- Frevia Arden, nature adept, herbalist, and healer. Newly-minted druid.
- Imra Shadomantle, elven expert and disciplined rogue.
- Melanie Shadowmantle, fighter and adopted aristocrat daughter of house Shadowmantle.
Last time, our group of young adventurers discovered a conspiracy to spread disease trough the refugee camp in the slums of Cillamar. They had captured a wererat at a secluded fountain-idol of Narrimunâth, rat-god of disease. They tied the creature up, but when the color spray spell wore off, he tried to escape by shrinking down into dire rat form. The party was forced to subdue him properly and then left him for the town guard.
Having seen the grate the wererat had climbed up from, the group descended into the sewers to find his lair. Imra took the lead, using her keen elven sight to watch for traps. Not far down the tunnel, she managed to spot a trip wire. She couldn't tell what it might have unleashed, but she managed to disable the trap after a few moments' work.
Rather than wade through sewage, the group worked to navigate the narrow tunnels. While her companions climbed over slime-slick pipes, Melanie took a running leap to cross the river of filth. In a large chamber where several tunnels converged, they found their path blocked by a heavy iron grate. As Imra examined it, a pair of monstrous centipedes emerged from a pipe and a pile of refuse and attacked them. One managed to nip Melanie, but the young woman was able to shake off the vermin's poison.
The group easily dispatched the bugs and turned back to the grate. Imra and Melanie managed to lift it with a rusty squeal. Emmeline and Frevia slipped through, followed by Imra. The elf then barely managed to hold the grate up while Melanie slipped underneath. The ironwork came crashing down behind her.
Further down the tunnel, the party discovered a body floating in the sewage. Unfortunately, while they investigated, Emmeline heard someone casting a spell out of the light of their torch. As they discussed what to do next, a sling stone flew out of the darkness and struck Imra in the back of the head. Frevia cast light on it and threw it back down the tunnel, illuminating a chamber choked with refuse at the far end.
Emmeline and Melanie crossed over a footbridge toward where Emmeline heard the spellcaster. A trio of identical, filthy gnome women came around the corner. Emmeline cast a color spray on them, which had no effect, and then the women vomited up a disgusting brew onto the pair, which then burst into flame, scorching them both.
The battle was fierce, as the woman vomited burning bile again, and a magical rat-tail whip entangled Melanie for a time. Imra picked off the woman's mirror images with her short bow, and eventually Melanie cut her down after the whip disappeared. From the gnome's body, the group recovered a set of arm wraps (that counted as bracers of armor +1), a few magic sling stones, a pearl of power, and a masterwork sickle. They also caught her rat familiar as it squirmed from inside the folds of her rags.
A Week Later
Word of their good deeds stopping the disease cult had spread somewhat in the following week. Melanie received a note from Lady Chauntessa, owner of the Slumbering Drake inn, requesting the party meet her that evening to discuss a business opportunity.
When they arrive at the inn for the meeting, Lady Chauntessa greeted them and escorted them to a private room. She had wine and food brought in while they talked. Chauntessa, a solemn if hospitable woman, has an interest in preserving lost knowledge. She believes there are books and records in the ruins of Castle Whiterock from the site's long occupations by various groups. She has even heard rumors of a group of monks who have set up camp in the ruins to look for just such knowledge.
Chauntessa offers the party a payment of 25 gp or more for each volume they bring back from the ruins. Emmeline is particularly excited to search for books and records, and the rest of the party is up for the idea as well. They decide to set out for Castle Whiterock soon, after gathering necessary provisions.