Forced to spend a night in Wroat while the House Orien caravan makes a switch of horses, the five spies from Droaam witness firsthand the racism of the so-called civilized races toward monsters, all directed at Hax and Keng, being the only two who don’t appear human. The hatred is especially strong coming from gnomes who cross paths with Hax. Nevertheless, the agents have several hours to kill before nightfall, so they plan to make the most out of it.
Tsukiyomi spends his time in the luxury boutiques surrounding the marketplace, keeping an eye out for items not found in Droaam, and ending up spending a good fraction of his money on Sarlonan jewelry.
Karri is weirded out by the cleanliness of the city and the apparent lack of poverty. Unable to figure out what happens to people who fall on hard times, she uses her silver tongue to foment rivalries between competing shops, sowing the seed of doubts in some merchants while bolstering the confidence of others.
The other three spend the late afternoon at Morgrave University, where they manage to speak with many students and faculty members, overall much more tolerant than the average citizen of Wroat. Cxaxukluth, Keng and Hax spend their time looking for information regarding ancient demons, dragonmarks, and mechanical engineering, respectively. To the kobold’s greatest sorrow, most of the engineering labs have been dismantled recently following the banning of House Cannith’s creation forges,
After a copious meal much tastier than grist, the group spends an uneventful night in a cheap but safe inn and rejoin the caravan for the last two days of travel toward the City of Towers.
Once in Sharn, the agents finally get to see crass misery in a mostly-human city. Beyond the inn district right after the gate, the area of Lower Dura was indeed nothing but slums and and shady warehouses. To make contact with Daask, though, they had to get ever lower, under the sewers, in the district known as Khyber’s Gate.
In order to fit with the local population made mostly of monsters and outcats, Cxaxukluth and Tsukiyomi took the shape of tieflings. Karri went for the appearance of a half-orc, but even that proved too civilized and noble for the depths’ goblin and minotaurs, who kept heckling and mocking the hag in disguise. Some cutpurses even tried to rob the group, but were caught in the act, and one of the pickpockets got his hand crushed by Tsukiyomi in return. Eventually, the agents arrived at the tavern named Shamukaar which was surrounded by heavily-armed gnolls. Inside, they were quickly ushered to a table and asked whether they wanted light or dark meat, and light or dark ale. A bit of each was brought , everything charred beyond recognition. Kemg left his seat to scout ahead and locate Cazha Bloodwing. The harpy joined the group and gave them a password to give to the butler at a mansion in Dragon Towers, a middle city district full of guildhalls. Monsters being unwelcome there, Cazha herself would not be joining them. As the group was about to leave, orc hunters came in with the carcass of giant, gray, four-legged bugs, which they brought straight to the tavern’s kitchen. Cazha revealed the kruthiks to be the source of white meat, the other being rat.
After taking a flying skycab to Dragon Towers, the agents headed to the given address: a nondescript stone mansion located behind the sculptors guild. They were greeted by a well-dressed hobgoblin and, after exchanging a few niceties including the secret password, they were welcomed inside and brought to a lavish lounge upstairs. Inside was the famous red-skinned oni woman Cavallah, a medusa, and a strange humanoid figure wrapped in layers and layers of black cloaks.
The agents quickly and directly showed the red elixir offered by the Daughters of Sora Kell, announcing how it could greatly boost arcane powers while being highly addictive. Cavallah hesitated and Cxaxukluth took out the stone eye provided by Sora Katra. A voice came out, but it was that of Sora Maenya, the general of Droaam’s armies. She praised what Droaam could do for Daask in exchange for unwavering loyalty. The medusa Harash whispered a few word in the oni’s ear, who quickly chose to accept the deal.
Without consulting with her agents, she told Cavallah that she could use them as her resources for a while as long as they were used in a smart way. Cavallah offered to take advantage of the newcomers’ fighting power to destroy as many members of the Boromar Clan, a rival criminal organization, and was immediately berated by Sora Maenya for her foolishness. The Boromar clan had more members than Daask, and the backing of many powerful organizations in Sharn. Attacking them frontally would only invite a deadly counterattack, in addition to a waste of her agents’ skills. Instead, the hag suggested to lace the Boromar Clan’s drugs with slow-acting poison to rob them of their customers over the upcoming months. Sora Maenya also reminded her crew to leave Cavallah her personal gift before signing out. Cxaxxukluth took out the three petrified teeth on a stone rod, and the oni’s face dropped. “If this is how you want to play, so be it. But if we’re to seal a new alliance, let’s see how hard you can celebrate. ”/characters/sagtooth" class=“wiki-content-link”>Sagtooth! Bring out the good stuff!"
The hobgoblin butler came back with a crate filled with bottles and vials. “Hearflow, dreamlily, Karrn whiskey. Pick your poisons, ladies and gentlemen.” Pushed by Cavallah and Harash, who led by example, the crew fished in the box to sample the different substances. Most went carefully and limited themselves to the alcohol, but Hax tried a sip of the clear heartflow. A power aphrodisiac, the drug combined with the kobold’s delusions of grandeur and motivated him to made awkward moves on the medusa. Sensing that she’d need to lower her standards to see things through, she too chugged a vial of heartflow and the two scaly humanoids eloped behind a curtain to a room filled with lifelike statues. Had Hax been in a more perceptive state, he would have notices that many of them were missing a finger or toe.
Cavallah was curious to see the potency of the new drug brought from Droaam, but requested one of his guests to take the first sip. Feeling that the deal wouldn’t stick without this, Karri drank the first sample vial and handed the other to the ogre mage. A second later, she felt the blood heat up in her veins and her spell-like abilities double in strength. Cxaxukluth sensed psionic energy coming from the dreamlily and had to try it. Oddly enough, it tasted like delicious, fresh brain fluid. In addition, the mind flayer felt all pain, physical and mental, go away, and a feeling of invincibility flow through him.
Using her enchantment powers, Cavallah goaded Karri into opening one of the kegs of the elixir now dubbed Dragon’s Blood and taking another gulp. The hag’s magic burned so hot that flames flared out of her fingers and her blood literally burned her from inside
Everyone got quite wasted as the evening went by and fell asleep in the lounge under the watchful eye of Ash, the cloaked figure who hadn’t taken anything but who, according to Cavallah and Harash, had so much poison in her that a little more wouldn’t make a difference anyway.
The next day, everyone was ready to act out on Sora Maenya’s plan and sabotage Clan Boromar’s dreamlily supplies. The location of the warehouse was given by Slagtooth and the agents went on to some scouting. The warehouse was set on the first level of the halfling district known as Little Plains, in Middle Menthis Plateau. Cxaxukluth noticed that city guards were paying way too much attention to the seemingly generic warehouse, but remembered that Clan Boromar was known to bribe underpaid staff everywhere in town. Hax spent the day setting up explosives in nearby buildings in case a diversion was needed later, and Keng placed a few scrying sensors around the area to better cover their upcoming mission.
Tsukiyomi and Karri took on new disguises and opted to visit the level just under the warehouse, which took them to Firelight, a redlight district in the Lower City. The buidling that happened to be directly under the Boromar warehouse was a massage parlor, which the pair chose to visit. At the entrance, the two were asked two questions: preferred gender for a masseur or masseuse, and preferred race. Tsukiyomi tried to corner the hiost by asking for a drow woman, but he simply agreed and asked him to wat for his turn. Karri requested the most beautiful worker, regardless of gender or race.
In his room, Tsukiyomi met up with a beautiful tattooed drow damsel, while Karri encountered a handsome eladrin man. Before, during, and after his massage, the oni searched the room for a way up that wouldn’t involved breaking through the stone ceiling. He found one in a rain gutter that took waste water from the upper levels to the sewers at sea level. Though way too narrow for anyone to climb, Tsukiyomi could take on a gaseous form and move inside with ease provided it isn’t full of water. Karri spent her massage talking with her therapist and making an ally willing to help at a later date out of him. Asking his name, he stuttered: “El… uh… drin. Eldrin the eladrin. That’ll do.”
Strangely enough, both the drow and the eladrin spoke the tongue of Galifar with a clear Brelish accent, and sounded nothing like the singing language of the elves and eladrin or whatever the drows speak on Xen’drik.
The following night, the plan was set in motion. Cxaxukluth established a telepathic link between the five members of the crew and headed to Firelight with Tsukiyomi. When the coast was clear on the middle levels, the ogre mage changed into a gas cloud, which Cxaxukluth made invisible and inaudible with his psionic powers. The gaseous oni made his way inside the parlor and snuck into the drain of the shower in the room where he’d just been, finding that flying in this form was especially fast and easy compared to all the times he’d used the power before. He quickly made his way up the pipe and arrived in a small laboratory where drugs were being made. Through the tight holes of a metal grid, Tsukiyomi entered the main area of the warehouse. Dozens of crates were stacked everywhere and two homunculi stood immobile in the middle, ready to defend their wares. The oni went back to the lab and, searching for a few minutes, he found both the tag for the dreamlily crates and a ring attuned to the homunculi. Leaving the lab once again, he took his humanoid shape and began looking for the right crates to poison.
Meanwhile, a patrol of three city guards passed once again in front of the Boromar holdings. And while Tsukiyomi himself was completed silent, the opening and closing of crates was not. It was enough to activate the two homunculi and alert the guards. The first threat was momentarily stopped with the signet ring, but one of the guards was quickly searching for her keys to take a look at what was going on inside. This was the cue for Hax to trigger his bombs, setting fire to a nearby building and sending the guards running to investigate.
Tsukiyomi hastened the pace, spiking a second crate, but the effect of the ring ended and the mechanical guardians ran toward him on the attack. The oni had to fend off the blows while pouring poison inside a third crate, which was quickly becoming untenable. To make matters worse, he heard the sound of a broken window coming from the other end of the room.
Keng had heard the breaking glass too, as he was standing guard in the back alley. He’d spotted two halflings trying to break into the building. Fearing that they would spoil the plan, he quickly cast a sleep spell, stopping them in their tracks. In the meantime, Cxaxukluth had climbed back to the Little Plains was helping Keng dragging the unconscious halflings away. The illithid probed his captive’s mind and saw that he was a Boromar goon who saw the nearby flames and decided to investigate the family’s warehouse. However, this woke him up from his slumber. To shut him up, Cazaxukluth perforated his skull and slurped his delicious brains.
Realizing that they’d likely been duped, the three guards were already coming back. To make another diversion, Karri took the appearance of a young girl and pretended to be chased after by Hax. Crying for help from the evil kobold, she attracted the guards’ attention. Two drew their saps, intent on hitting Hax, while the third one was pulling out a pair of manacles. They were apparently less interested in stopping a crime, and more in finding a scapegoat on whom to place blame.
To get rid of the evidence of a dead halfling with clear marks of a mind flayer attack, Keng cast a strength-boosting spell on himself and through the cadaver over the railing sending him down to the lower levels of Sharn.
All of that was too much for Tsukiyomi. Even though the notes in the laboratory indicated that there was a fourth and final crate of dreamlily, he chose to get out and head toward the broken window. He’d taken a vial of the drug to give to Cxaxukluth as a present, but the mind flayer reluctantly chose to plant it on the sleeping halfling to make him look like a thief. He then focused on his psionic powers to get himself, Tsukiyomi, and Keng several blocks away. However, the power didn’t gather enough energy and failed to grab Tsukiyomi. The ogre mage then had to change back to his gaseous form and, as he was flying slower than the homunculi could walk, he had to provoke a pair of attacks and find another drain in the floor to flee downward.
As for Hax, he couldn’t break free of the guard holding him, but that’s when another kobold (who was none other than Eldrin in disguise), appeared a few meters away, claiming boldly that he and the rest of the kobold gang were here to finish the job. Deciding that they weren’t paid enough to face a dozen of more armed kobolds, the guards fled the scene as fast as they could, leaving Hax free to leave as well.