A Piece of Blue Sky

The Streets of Absalom: Dire Duck?

Shenanigans

The party finds themselves surrounded by the unconscious bodies of all the Cayden’s Hall clerics, sans the blue and metal earrings that seemed to be controlling them. Razabelle holds a golden ring from what seemed to be an important cleric, and her suspicions are confirmed. On it, there is a small carving of a teleportation sigil like the one the party saw in the Red Redoubt. Khaliz lets the party know that there is a secret tunnel in the back room/Booze Chamber (now being raided by the temple guests and patrons).

Inside the tunnel is the top landing to a long abandoned spiral staircase leading down to a forgotten basement full of old drinkware and dusty tomes. On the far wall, there is a large crack in the stone which has been tiled over from the other side. Light pierces between two of the large tile plates. Peering through, Razabelle sees a large room, of which the wall she can see contains two deep alcoves. Around the nearest one is three Orcs, none of which look exceptionally strong. Their backs are facing her, and she can hear them talking orders from someone standing in the alcove, just out of sight. It sounds like the voice of an Elven woman speaking through a bag of rusty nails. The party recalls the intel they received in the Red Redoubt. That voice must be “The boss lady”. Khaliz, being from the isolated kingdom of Kyonin, knows that the voice comes from the mouth of a Drow.

There is a flash of light fro the alcove, and the Orcs disperse, one of them destroying the transportation sigil that the Drow used to escape. The party rushes in and beat the Orcs into submission, killing one in the process. They learn several things:

1. Their immediate superior is a powerful Orc named Captain Smash Smash.
2. Smash Smash and Mergmo both work for Ardath, the Drow woman.
3. The five different alcoves and their corresponding sigils all lead to dungeons outfitted much like the Red Redoubt was. The purpose is to bring humans and kill them, capturing the images on the viewing devices.
4. Khaliz, knowing something about Drow, is shocked that the Orcs seem to follow Ardath out of a sense of loyalty and honor, rather than fear. Drow are firmly in the Chaotic Evil corner of the moral landscape. They lead by cruel magic and brute strength, not by camaraderie.

Deebo, being half an Orc himself, asks that the party spare the lives of these wretched souls. He tells them to skip town, or else. He also takes a barrel of whiskey that is sitting there and puts it in his portable hole. Arbol takes a turkey leg.

Using the golden ring, the party steps into the corresponding teleportation sigil and finds themselves back in the Red Redoubt. It is being cleaned out and re-purposed by a large team of the Pathfinder Society, led by Ollystra Zadrian, a Paladin with the Pathfinder’s Silver Crusade faction of Lawful and Good members. The technology used in the dungeon was stolen at the docks from a shipment originating with North Central Positronics.

She thanks the party for the work they did and, despite being more than a bit abrasive with the ragtag uncouth heroes, asks them a favor. The distribution of the tech was handled by the Aspis Consortium. She asks that they head to the docks and find out who did what. The Aspis Consortium is notoriously underhanded. Maybe one of their members is getting paid on the side

After a full night’s rest in Deebo’s boat, a gift given to him a few years ago for some transport work done for NCP, they question some dockworkers about the smuggling. None of them are willing to rat anyone else out at first, the dockworkers being a tight-knit brotherhood. One approaches them, being willing to talk a bit for some coin. He tells them that any large scale smuggling would have to involve a dock worker called The Ogre-kin, a massive deformed half ogre.

Making their way to the main offices at the docks, the party counts themselves lucky it’s Sunday, as the docks are mostly empty. The Dockmaster’s offices are lightly guarded, but Arbol dispatches one by taking control of some heavy crane equipment, while Deebo makes such convincing and terrifying duck sounds, the other guards are sure that a Dire Duck (“is that even a real thing?”) has “gotten loose” and they run off to get help. The shipping containers around the offices, the party discovers, are full of monsters.

Inside, they encounter the Dockmaster, and Razabelle bluffs him into believing they come under orders from Lady Ardath. The Dockmaster removes his necklace of illusion and reveals himself as a male Drow named Vox. He asks if the noises he heard were the escaped animals.

“Yeah, totally. We need the keys to put them all back.”

Vox gives them the keys. They step outside and Khaliz and Razabelle talk to some of the beasts. They were all taken or were convinced to come. One massive humanoid wolf creature says he was shown “moving pictures of people dying” and was told he would get to eat all the people he wanted, as much as his heart desired. Razabelle uses her Gnome Magic (Prestidigitation) to make a clump of pebbles look like the keys and they scurry off.

They go to the tavern in the Puddles district that the dockworker told them they could find The Ogre-kin at. A foul den of cut-throats and low-lives called The Grog Pit, so called because of the 20 foot wide barrel set into the ground filled with the combined remainder’s of the city’s tavern drinks. Skunked beer, spoiled wine, and brackish mead all mixed into a dark brew that you could get a mug of for a mere copper.

On the stage is a one-man-band Goblin Bard with scars all over his face playing a lewd bluesy tune. In front of the Grog Pit itself is The Ogre-kin, drinking a massive tankard of grog and being cheered on by his fellow dockworkers. Deebo offers the whiskey barrel he acquired the day before to The Ogre-kin in exchange for some info on where he can get in on some under the table work, a sly attempt to get more info on the smuggling operations. The Ogre-Kin aggressively confronts Deebo, trying to rattle him. Eventually, he tells Deebo to meet him in front of the tavern in the morning, very early. He’ll have some work for him.

“Oh, and stay pretty,” says the monster, blowing Deebo a kiss.

Comments

Awesome. Just pure unfiltered awesome. All beware of the dire duck!

The Streets of Absalom: Dire Duck?
Ricardus

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