Realizing that stealth would not get us past the guards, we decided upon trickery. Tobin filled a section of the entry hall with darkness, and then used ghost sounds to create the illusion of a group of people splashing through the darkened area. This worked, as the guards went charging into the darkness. As most of the guards were searching for non-existent intruders, we entered the hall and engaged the few guards that remained on watch. In the process, Granan triggered a trap which caused a giant shark jaw suspended from the ceiling to swing down and close upon him. None the less, all but one of the guards was dispatched. Unfortunately, he was able to shout a warning before being killed.
As we proceeded into the temple depths, the sound of chanting became louder, as though a ritual were reaching its climax. The sounds of the incantations lead us into a room with a large pool and an altar. We could see a large animal swimming in the pool. At the altar stood a native, presumably the cleric, whose face had been magically altered to resemble that of a shark. He stood above another native, bound to the altar, preparing to plunge a ceremonial dagger deep into his chest. In an amazing display of archery, Tobin shot the dagger out of his hand, delaying the sacrifice. This gave Athadian and Granan time to engage the cleric. As Athadian and Granan kept the cleric occupied, Tobin released the captive. The cleric, realizing his eminent defeat, substituted himself for the sacrifice and threw himself into the pool. The water in the pool began to roil and froth, and then turned blood red. Several tremors shook the temple, as it began to sink back into the sea.
We rushed to the exit before the temple fully submerged and began to swim for shore. Just as we exited, we saw an enormous shark emerge from temple. This was no ordinary shark. It had rows of teeth which seemed to emerge from its mouth and cover the entire length of its body. Also, a dark liquid seemed to ooze from its form. Realizing that we would never make it to shore before that behemoth overtook us, we sought the safety of a nearby ship which had run aground on some rocks. We boarded the ship just as the shark reached it. Thinking ourselves safe, we were surprised when the shark began to attack and eat the ship! Luckily, Athadian and Granan found a functioning canon and were able to shoot the beast several times. While this didn’t kill it, it did wound it enough to drive it off.
We returned to the tribes with our rescued captive, who happened to be T’lal’s son. We told the elders what had occurred. Apparently, the rite we had witnessed was called Eputuses – The Rite of Transformation. It involved tattooing and starving both the victim and the priest. This ties the two together so that either the priest or the victim can be sacrificed to a sea creature, which then becomes a voracious, insatiable eating machine. Thus, we had proof now that The Devourer was returning and that his high priest, The Dalong, was active and organizing His followers. The elders were satisfied with our report, while unhappy with its contents. They rewarded us with 6000 gp worth of pearls, and some very detailed maps of the Savage Coast. Two locations were marked on the maps as remnants of the old empire, to which they give us some details. Apparently Mary Black has been asking questions about them. This is the same Mary Black who had put up wanted posters of us. They also inform us that there are rumors that The Witch Queen is gathering tribesman and creatures in preparation for an attack on Sentinel. As we left for Sentinel, we saw the tribes preparing for the upcoming war.
We returned to Sentinel to see the city in a state of chaos. The recent earthquake had destroyed many building, displacing lots of people. Certain groups had taken advantage of this, and kidnappings were on the rise. Athadian stepped up and organized a City Watch to prevent more kidnappings, while Granan used his abilities to heal the populace and retrofit buildings. Once a bit of order was returned, we set about to find Mary Black. Our only lead was that Gino Marchione, a pearl trader, may have information about her.
While we were deciding how to proceed, we were visited by Zalen, one of the priests who crossed over with us. The head of his order, Adrien Gamel, was still missing. Apparently, Adrien had been researching a place called “Gothmugomul”. It was the palace of the Day King, and was forced beneath the earth under Sentinel. Chaos cultists had been looking for it to retrieve a rib that was supposedly buried there. Zalen also told us that Aleria, the red-headed woman with the mantis tattoo, had visited him…and was with child (presumably Athtadian’s). Aleria was somehow mixed up in an assassination attempt on the empress. We were also visited by the Painted Man. He had finished some preliminary research on Athadian’s sword. It holds the sentience of Tyr, the dead god of justice.
In our pursuit of Gino, Granan was mugged, losing 1000 gp worth of pearls. We discover that it was just a local gang that runs the docks, so we set up an ambush, using Tobin as bait. Unfortunately, given the recent lawlessness , our trap caught a different group of thugs. We found out that they were collecting people and taking them to the basement of a crime family, the Minochs. We headed to the basement, where we found and released 4 captives. We also collected a ledger and a self cleaning chamber pot.
Giving up on recovering the lost pearls, we headed to Gino’s ship. As we approached it, we saw the muggers apparently casing the ship. They were planning to attack a man leaving the ship. We disrupt their plans, and recover 500 gp worth of our pearls, and 700 gp worth of new pearls. The man, Ivan Kaymere, runs the Cracked Coin, a money lending and storing establishment. One of the thugs had scribbled on his arm “Where’s my Angel”.
We returned to Gino’s boat, only to be informed that he wasn’t there. He had left last night to the Shy Mermaid, a brothel, and hadn’t returned. We went to the Shy Mermaid and discovered that Gino had been with 3 girls there last night. He had left with them to the Stormy Gables to bet on cock fights. We proceeded to the Stormy Gables, where we are approached by an old woman who summoned us into her apartment. While there, she attempted to drug us with incense. Athadian resists the effects, scares the crone off, and defeats her ½ orc accomplice. A search of the apartment uncovered Gino’s dagger and necklace.
We search the apartment building for the crone, to no avail. We did, however, find Wymont Tross, cousin to Katrina Tross, in a compromising position with a dwarven woman. After a while, we were able to pick up the crone’s trail, and followed it to another apartment building. We entered and found the woman in the kitchen of an apartment owned by Trench Skullsplitter. She told us that Gino left her place with her Halfling partner, Wellby, who could be found at the Boatswain’s Knot. We found Wellby, who informed us that Gino was dead, and that he had dropped his body off to be collected. This was a racket he had set up. He didn’t know who retrieved the bodies, but he signaled them from his apartment with lanterns. He told us where his apartment was and what the signals were.
6200 gp worth of pearls
Self-cleaning chamber pot
+1 spiked breat plate (1/2 orc)