Khaliz slept for almost a full 24 hours. During this time, he was plagued by a dream, a vision sent from Gozreh. Khaliz was in midair, pulled from above and below by the god, massive hands surrounding him with fingers as large as houses. One phrase could be heard occasionally among the noise: Tear it down.
He awakens to find himself in the small lodgings provided to them by the Pathfinder Society. The party informs him of what went down. He looks down and sees the badge sewn onto his clothes as they tell him they are all members of the Society now. He expresses his skepticism, bordering on discontent. He doesn’t like the idea of having an organization on his back. He doesn’t know how many order’s he’ll be given, but his preference is little to none. He also finds a note from Hilarity in his pocket, apologizing for putting him to sleep and “leaving him out of the battle.” She states that she strengthened the entanglement spell on Khaliz’s Long Bow in atonement. This brings him some joy.
On the back of each of the five master prints of the A.A.H. flyer is a map. With the translations, it seems these are maps to other “dungeons” run by A.A.H.
Names and locations:
The Red Redoubt (Absalom)
Hall of the Ice King (Irrisen)
Absolutely Astounding Confounding Maze of Ultimate Mortal Despair (Razmiran)
The Tomb of Horrors (Cheliax)
The names strike the party as very ostentatious. Razabelle, delighted at the opportunity to make a return visit to her home village in Razmiran, wants to find the Maze. Khaliz flatly asks, “Why do I care about any of these places?” Deebo and Arbol sort of shrug their shoulders, down for whatever.
The party goes shopping
They are overwhelmed with options. Absalom’s merchant district is called The Coins and is several miles wide. Looking at the price of some of the better gear, they realize just how little coin they have to spend. Deebo finds some merchants who use sand as packing material for their wares, and fills his entire Portable Hole with sand.
As they’re shopping, they encounter the girl who warned them off of attacking the Ogrekin and saved them from an ambush by the Aspis Consortium. She is beside an older man who is running a large, sleekly designed booth for North Central Positronics. She introduces herself as Tara, and the older man as Philip. Both of them end their names with the phrase “the Displaced” and wear strange clothing.
During conversation, the following things are discovered:
1. Tara and Phillip work for NCP as “consultants” for the strange technology the company puts out. Philip prefers to double as the street sales agent as he’s “a man of the people”.
2. The Aspis Consortium has it out for the party, and Tara finds it surprising that they are out and about.
3. Trig Zushermorty, the CEO of NCP, signed up with Aspis for the powerful distribution network they run, but the company is entangled in a web of favors and contracts now and have little influence in anything happening on that side of the business. Zushermorty feels trapped, according to Tara.
4. Arbol inquires about the glass spheres he took from The Red Redoubt. Phillip states those are “record spheres” and they have moving pictures and sound instilled into them. The clear one is a final edit product, while the blue ones are raw footage from the recording devices. They can be played by any of the display devices Philip is selling, but he doesn’t have any display models and the players are very expensive. He invites them to visit NCP Headquarters in the Ivy District sometime. They can play the footage there.
Razabelle is approached by a short figure in a blue hooded cloak. It’s Yiddlepode, the “Sewer Dragon” Kobold. She admonishes them for missing the play at Cayden’s Hall back then, on the night they met. She also asks when the party is coming down to visit the tribe. Their impending visit is all anyone down there can talk about, according to her. She says the ambush they had prepared for was ruined since the Pathfinders had changed the entry location for the smuggling, but that Daddy Kibizax was planning another one.
She tells them to find Xarcious and he would lead them there. She was rushing down there to give everyone the heads up. The party has no intentions of betraying the Society, but they are lured by the possibility of finding out more about Mergmo, and also they have instructions to possibly strike a deal (non-monetary) bewteen the Society and the kobold tribe.
They Find Xarcious. He makes a few snide comments about the Pathfinder Society changing the location of their smuggling so soon after he told them about the Sewer Dragons’ plans. How mysterious…
Deebo grabs a handful of sand from his pocket at flings it at Xarcious.
“Pocket Sand! Take us to the kobolds.”
Xarcious glares at him and dusts himself off. He insists they go blindfolded.
The long trek is made deep into the sewers. The blindfolds are removed at a fork in the sewer tunnels. Xarcious is holding a knife. He tells them that he knows it was them that ratted out the ambush plans to the Pathfinder Society. He has contacts inside. He also knows they are now members.
“Pocket Sand! Quit fucking around.”
Xar points his knife at Deebo and threatens him. He demands that the party give him a cut of whatever deal they make with the Sewer Dragons. He demands at least 1000 gold. Deebo replies.
“Pocket Sand! No deal.”
Xarcious, now furious, says the deal is now the first 10K, and 50% of anything after that. “Also, stop throwing sand at me.”
Khaliz flat out tells him he’s not getting any money. Xar explodes and lunges with the knife, but Khaliz doesn’t suffer from anything but the slightest cut. The party proceeds to beat on him. Deebo upends his Portable Hole on Xarcious, dumping sand all over him.
Beaten and dismayed, Xarcious pleads for his life. The party demands he finish showing them the way to the Sewer Dragon lair. He does so.
They find a large break in the tunnel wall, and enter it to find what looks like a long forgotten and built-over segment of city street. Half of it has been covered by rock and a massive cave-in. The other side borders the exterior wall of an ancient opera house, according to the sign. Razabelle can tell the doors are trapped.
Deebo grabs Xarcious and tries to fling him into the doors repeatedly, failing each time and punishing Xarcious for “messing up my throws” with another splash of sand in his face. “You’re mine now. There’s gonna be so much pocket-sanding. Hot damn”
Xarcious gets up and barges into the doors, setting off the mono-filament trap and slicing himself into three pieces.
The door is now open.