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Mendenton: Part 7 - The Spoils of Success (IRC)

Alex is in Foline's arms, having being healed by Sabaten after almost dying. While his flesh rejoyces at her soft, warm touch, his mental energies are almost depleted by the strainous psychic activity of the recent hours

Dungeon Master: The passage leads into a cave which opens directly to the sea. The tide is out at present and there is little water in the cave, but there is an obvious high water mark which in places is 3' above the floor. Pulled up onto the sloping cave floor is a small boat -- perhaps large enough for eight men -- with oars, a step-down mast and a neatly furled sail. A rope tied to the bow has been weighed down by a large boulder which serves as an anchor. There is a small and hastily erected barricade of casks and crates near the small boat.

Balan goes to investigate the crates and the red robed guys body.

Alex "Foline... Gerom... I need to meditate a while to regain the energy needed for me to read these bastards' minds"

Gerom kicks the sailor again, "You've got some questions to answer!"

Dev'Mith is sitting on one of the casks, resting after his earlier near death experience. He hopes there will be no more fighting for quite some time.

Sabaten is taking a moment in prayer and remains by the passage entrance.

Foline looking at Alex. "You show me a bit of this ability later Alex," she smiles.

Alex sinks into the depths of his meditation.

Gurney drops behind the barricade and starts going through the clothes of the red robed man.

Balan speaks to the pale elf, "Who are you?" (in thennish)

Dev'Mith turns to Balan. "Who, me?" He asks, replying also in the Thennish tongue. "I'm called Dev`Mith, who are all of you people?"

Balan "Yeah.... You."

Foline looking around, to see what scene fits best for her interest. "Found anything on the man ??"

Gurney "Seems he was a priest of some sort." He holds aloft a small golden pendant with the symbol of a hand imprinted on it.

Foline curves face. "What is that suppose to mean ??"

Sabaten "A fallen priest of Hiteh. I had heard rumors of his fleeing in Mendenton's direction after his evil deeds caught up with him!"

Balan "What do you mean, Sabaten?"

Sabaten "He was a priest of the benevolant order of Hiteh. However in the dark of a night he was seen fleeing the murder scene of a friend and fellow priest of Lathidus."

Alex falls even deeper into himself...

Gurney pockets the holy symbol.

Balan turns to Gurney, "Hey! Leave something for me to pillage..."

Alex cannot hear or feal anything from around him due to the deep meditation

Balan speaks to Dev'Mith, "So you do speak Thennish." He grins at the pale elf. "What kinda elf-like creature are you?"

Dev'Mith "Could I have your names before I answer any more questions? I do appreciate the rescue, but you'll have to forgive me for being a bit hesitant, the first surface dwellers I met" He nods to the dead man in red robes at this. "knocked me out and tied me up."

Balan turns to the pale elf. "I'm Balan." He points at the female elf, "That's Foline and the meditating guy near her is Alex, he worships Men-Tal."

Dev'Mith "And him?" He makes an off-hand gesture to the priest.

Balan "Sabaten. We picked him up last time we were in town. Him and Alex don't get along well enough since Sabaten worships Lathidus."

Dev'Mith "Well, it is a pleasure to meet you all, I am sure, and once again my thanks for the rescue. I can't say I know what they planned to do with me."

Gerom has walked over to the crates, leaving the unconscious sailor on the ground, tied up.

Dungeon Master: All right, well you guys spend some time acqainting with each other. The crates contain more contraband... bolts of silk, more brandy, foodstuffs, and interestingly enough.... weapons. An hour passes as you go through the materials in the crates, Gerom hacking them apart. Among the weaponry are numerous crossbows, materials for the building of larger weapons. There is, for instance, the cup of a mangolan (a kind of a catapult). When stock has been taken of all the hide-outs inventory it seems you have found a large amount of food, building tools, weapons, illegal "greek" fire, and other contraband. The sailor that Gerom tied up lays unconscious in the middle of the cavern floor where all can see him. Gerom occasionally walks over to the man and kicks him when he refuses to speak.

Alex gets finishes his meditation. He turns to Foline "Foline... where is that sailor Gerom got tied up?"

Dev'Mith sits off to the side as the various stores are gone over and gone through, not feeling they have much of anything to do with him.

Alex notices that Foline is busy and walks towards the unconscious sailor, while attempting contact with his mind. "Damn... I cannot contact that bastard!" He leaves the sailor on the floor and walks over to the crates, looking for a war hammer.

Dungeon Master: There are no war hammers, but there are long swords, crossbows, and a variety of bladed skirmishing weapons.

Dev'Mith casts his detect magic spell to see if any of the goods are magical, wondering why it hadn't occurred to him earlier.

Gerom "Hmm. We should turn him to the authorities. I bet he knows something about those kids who dissapeared exploring the house."

Alex "There are so many weapons in here... enough for a small army." He searches the crates for anything more useful than weapons.

Balan "Well, what now? What are we going to do with all this... stuff."

Gerom "We can drink some of it.... heh heh...."

Dev'Mith "There is no magic on any of it, if that information is useful to any of you."

Alex "Well" pokes his head into a crate and then mores it out in disgust "We could use some of the ammonition in here.... sell or give to the authorities the rest of it."

Gerom "Well, who knows where it came from. Finders keepers I say."

Alex "So let's use what we could... sell the rest"

Balan "Shall we go back to town? We should let someone know we're still alive and of what was found here."

Sabaten nods. "Authorities should be told and this man should be imprisoned."

Alex "We should first finish our search of the caverns, and re-search that area in the cellar again for secrets... there must be something in there, judging from the scrap of paper Quinn found in that book. And what if more of these.... sailors will come into here? we need to check all the things we could to get a clearer picture of what this place is, not to be distrupted by some criminals who will remove the evidence."

Gerom "We take the evidence with us. It's ours anyhow."

Gurney "I should be returning to town. I'm really hungry and tired."

Foline "No real use for weapons..."

Alex "Of course, but I suppose that first we should fully search this place. Maybe the rest of you should return while I and Foline will search the place, ok? Foline, do you wish to come?" He smiles to Foline.

Foline "Yes Alex. Of course", smiles back.

Balan "I'd like a hot meal. We can sell the weapons, or keep them for replacements. Any of us could use a crossbow."

Alex "I could use the ammonition..."

Sabaten "I'll stay and make sure the evil has been cleansed from this place."

Foline "How do you do that ??"

Alex "Allright..." He turns to the entire group "I suggest that I, Foline and Sabaten will search the rest of this place and meet you at the inn later."

Gerom "Well I've no problem getting a hot meal and relaxing a bit. What of you, Gurney, can you play that instrument there?" He points at Gurney's mandolin.

Gurney "I think I'm pretty good with it. We'll meet you guys in town. Where are you staying?"

Gerom "We can talk about that on the way. Have fun, Alex - you should have those wounds looked at." He heads over to the tied up sailor and picks up a crossbow. "Get up!"

Alex "I know - but we will return very soon, trust me." smiles and motions to Sabaten, Foline and Balan to follow him into the unexplored section of the caverns.

Balan "I will stay here, with Alex."

Dungeon Master: The sailor slowly picks himself up and is prodded up the corridor by Gerom and Gurney.

Gerom "See you guys back at the inn... send someone if you need help carrying things, but I'd just use this boat there they have kindly provided! Heh!"

Dev'Mith "Um, excuse me? Could someone explain to me exactly what might be going on?" He asks, having tried to figure it out from the conversation, and failing.

Balan "Well, Gerom and Gurney are heading to town to recoup and turn in the captive. The rest of us are staying here to finish searching." He picks up a crossbow and some bolts.

Dev'Mith "No, I mean, what's all this about evidence, and exploring houses?"

Balan "Well, sometime back there were some kids who dissapeared up here in the house, murdered. The towns folks have always feared the house, saying it's haunted."

Alex "This place is full of secrets... the secrets of these 'sailors.'"

Balan "Of course, it seems pretty obvious to me that it isn't and never was. Like I've always said - there's no such thing as ghosts. And there was also the murdered body of... Sir Nossant's guardsman. Which we all ready took back to town."

Dev'Mith "What house?" He asks looking around.

Alex "Above these caverns, my friend..."

Balan "What do you mean what house? There's a house up above us here.... above these caverns."

Sabaten "How did you get here then, if not though the house above?"

Foline thinks he's confused.

Dev'Mith "I came from below... I know nothing of what is above these caverns."

Sabaten "Hmm, from below?"

Dev'Mith nods in reply to Sabaten.

Alex "You probably mean through the sea, right, Dev'Mith?"

Dev'Mith "No, no, no! I came from much deeper within the earth."

Sabaten Sabaten, "You have lived in the earth... for how long?"

Dev'Mith "All the years of my life."

Balan says to Dev`Mith, "You mean all your life? Wierd. Why live below ground? It's dark all the time down there isn't it?"

Dev'Mith turns to Balan. "It is the way of my people, and I see as well in the dark as you do in the light."

Balan "Gerom's right, we should load this stuff into the boat here to take into town once we are done here. Is there a bigger boat? There's more stuff here than that little boat can carry all alone in one trip."

Alex "A large ship, I suppose... Maybe a pirate vessel"

Balan "Seems likely... buying all these weapons in one place would look kinda suspicious...."

Foline says to Alex, "I don't think the weapons is much of a use. What can they already do with weapons?"

Alex "Unless you buy them illegally... or steal them. They could give them to more men and get a small army for themselves, Foline... and then go and rob people."

Foline "No, I mean for us Alex. What the weapons can help us in?"

Sabaten "Weapons are for killing. Perhaps there are more to their numbers than we saw here today."

Balan "Like bandits, only by sea... pirates I guess." He grins.

Alex "We could use the crossbow bolts ourselves... sell the rest for money, Foline..."

Sabaten nods. "Or return them to where they were stolen from if we could learn how."

Alex "And they've probaly bought them illegally. 'He who steals from a thief isn't guilty.'"

Sabaten "That is for the law to decide."

Alex "If it could be trusted... The guard could be bribed, after all..."

Foline "What is all the money for? I'm settled with what little I have here."

Balan "So are we going to look for more secrets or what? The day is passing by."

Alex motions to the rest to follow him to the unexplored part of the caves. "First lt's look into the part of the cavern that we havent seen yet."

Dev'Mith moves over to Balan, since he is the one who's talked to him most. "Tell me, Balan, am I included in 'we?'"

Balan nods. To Dev'Mith, "Will you come along?"

Dev'Mith "I have nothing better to do, and I have always wondered what it is like on the surface."

Balan goes to the unexplored cavern.

Alex goes after Balan.

Dev'Mith supposes he follows Balan as well.

Foline goes along Alex and Balan.

Alex loads and readies his crossbow.... just in case there are more sailors around.

Dungeon Master: You travel back up the passage, moving up throught he earth, after arriving at the main passage you turnleft and then left again. You arrive at the unexplored cavern. Your lights show a natural cavern, roughly circular and 25-30' in diameter. There appears to be nothing of interest here. There is another passage leaving to the right side of this cavern.

Foline "There won't be more people there Alex."

Alex "How do you know, Foline? there could be many surprises in this place..."

Foline "It looked like all their... men were down there."

Alex moves towards the right passage.

Sabaten follows along, aside Balan.

Dungeon Master: The right passage is lit with a few torches, following along it you come to an unlit cavern where there is an exit at it's far side, presumibly returning to the main passage.

Alex lights a torch and searches the unlit cavern.

Dungeon Master: Your lights show a natural cavern, roughly circular and about 20-25' in diameter. There appears to be nothing of interest here.

Dev'Mith covers his eyes for a moment as the light is struck, pausing for a bit before removing his hand.

Sabaten "They knew we were coming. Recall the fleeing footsteps that were heard when we entered down into this pit of evil."

Alex decides that this place is probably an irrelevant natural cavern "let's get into that cellar to see what's that piece of paper said about 'beyond skeletons.'

Foline "I don't feel anything in this place."

Alex "So let's get to the cellar and re-search it... this time we have plenty of time..."

Foline "Mmm....", looks around.

Alex motions to the rest to follow him back into the cellar.

Balan follows Alex back to the cellar.

Dev'Mith goes for the first time to the cellar.

Sabaten follows as well, watching the pale elf now and then with curiosity.

Dungeon Master: You each walk up the slippery stairway to the secret passage stone wall which still rests open. Beyond you can see the quarters of the sailors. The illumination here is good since several lighted torches are held in shoulder-high brackets around the walls. This was obviously a cellar, but equally obviously it is now used for an entirely different purpose; your first impression is that it is the living quarters for about ten people. Ten single beds (crude affairs -- little more than thin mattresses on boards) stand with heads to the south wall, each with a small wooden locker at its foot. In the center of the flagged floor is a long wooden trestle table on which there is a variety of cheap metal cutlery and earthenware crockery together with a large jug about half full of a light brown liquid. There are a dozen wooden stools round the table. Against the north wall are two casks, one larger than the other and both broached. The larger one is nearly full of a clear liquid, the smaller one about half full of a light brown liquid. A metal dipper hangs on the outside of the rim of the larger cask. Next to the casks is a large wooden bin. Above it, hanging on hooks on the wall, are a large ham, a long string of sausages and a small side of meat. Next to the bin is what appears to be a crude, metal wood-fired stove standing in a fireplace. Above the stove, on a shelf, are some iron and earthenware cooking utensils, while next to it is a small pile of logs. Near the foot of the stairs are two small, unbroached casks; next to them is a bolt of cloth.

Alex "Foline... Dev'Mith.... could you help me to really search the Skeleton Room this time?" He points at the open door of the room that once containedthe skeletons

Balan "We've already searched it twice!"

Alex "But never fully... always only partially or briefly."

Dev'Mith glances from person to person, still not really knowing what's going on. He shrugs to himself and follows in silence, figuring someone will ask if they need him for something.

Balan rolls his eyes and follows to the door to the skeleton room.

Alex "This time we should search each wall fully."

Dungeon Master: Allright, you pass through the door on the far end of the room and enter to where the skeletons were laired, stepping over their broken bones from your previous fight with them. This room is dark. Light from the large room behind you spills faintly to show that the room is only about 12' across, but to your left there is only darkness. What little you can see is dingy and dirty.

Alex moves his torch to the dark left "All right... We should start from here." He carefully searches the left wall.

Foline say to Alex, "It doesn't seem too much of interest."

Balan trudges along. To Dev`Mith, "We've already searched here many times and found nothing. Maybe you'll be the miracle worker that finds something."

Dev'Mith "What is it we're looking for?" He asks Balan.

Alex "Secret doors.... hollow walls.... loose bricks..."

Balan "Secrets, moving walls and the like. We've found a few here and there so maybe there is one in here too."

Foline "How many of them can there be already Alex? Strange people these sailors."

Alex "I suppose that whoever built that house was fond of secret doors, Foline."

Balan "Quinn, you haven't met him nor ever will, found a peice of paper in a book that said, 'beyond the skeletons'. Well, this is beyond them, kind of." Balan doesn't help search, he just watches Alex waste his time.

Foline "Mmm..." Foline passes her hand along the wall, thinking, What can be here already?

Dev'Mith "Oh, alright, I'll take a look." He begins searching for signs of shifting portions of the walls and such, as best he can.

Alex "There is some...... draft of air comming from that wall over there," he points to the northeast corner of the east wall.

Foline goes near Alex. "Where?"

Alex "There must be something beyond that wall." He searches for a switch of some kind that could move that wall.

Foline "Hmm... " Foline searches for any sort of trick in the wall, where Alex showed her.

Alex continues to search the room for switches, mooving bricks etc...

Dev'Mith moves to the wall, and takes a different approach, trying to pinpoint, with his keen hearing, exactly where the draft is leaking in, perhaps to find a crack, or outline of a door.

Foline "I can't find anyhing here."

Alex "Search the other walls." He moves to the other wall and starts to search it carefully

Balan watches and eats some beef jerky.

Foline starts searching the other walls.

Dev'Mith "The draft comes from the ceiling and floor, but nowhere from the mid-portion. If there is any kind of secret opening here, there must be a trap door, and not in the wall itself. Though I'm hardly an expert on such things."

Foline looks at the ceiling. Whispers to herself, "Maybe up there."

Alex searches the floor for any secret doors. "The bricks in here a kind of loose." He tries to pull one of the bricks.

Dungeon Master: The bricks can be easily pulled up. Beneath the brick you pull up is hard packed and flat earth.

Alex removes more bricks from the floor.

Foline arches near Alex. "You found something?"

Alex "Foline.... please, help me to get these loose bricks out of there."

Dev'Mith moves in to where Alex is removing bricks, and looks to see if the wall goes all the way into the earth, or if there is a space.

Dungeon Master: After removing several bricks from the floor you find a hidden alcove in the floor. In the hole there is a handle with a cord of metal attached to it that dissapears into the earth below.

Alex tries to pull that handle.

Balan smacks Alex's hands away from the handle before he pulls it.

Dev'Mith backs away quickly in case of some kind of trap.

Alex "We must try it... meybe there is much behind it..."

Balan "Careful!"

Alex "You see, Balan? there is something in here, after all..."

Balan "Humph."

Alex "Please, balan, come and help..."

Foline near Alex. Holds his hand. "Good work Alex".

Balan carefully examines the lever. "Hmm. There's no way to tell if it a trap."

Alex "I'm going to pull it."

Balan "Fine, you pull it then." He backs away and out of the room.

Alex places his hand back on that lever and carefully pulls it

Foline is ready to anything might come.

Alex is determined to fully explore this place... even while risking his life.

Dungeon Master: Really? Well then! *grin* The handle and cord is hard to pull but as Alex pulls it there is a creaking of stone from the wall beyond, then.... suddenly and cunningly concealed a giant blade swings out and down from the ceiling, right towards Alex's head! Roll a save vs breath weapon Alex.

Foline jumps backwards.

Alex falls to the ground, just in time!

Dungeon Master: Alex just barely dodges out of the way before being brained by the blade which wickedly dissapears back into the opposite side of the ceiling and does not return. The stone wall continues to rumble and then spilts in two and opens away from you into a hidden and spider web filled chamber.

Balan "Wow!"

Dev'Mith "You have much luck with you, friend Alex."

Alex carefully examines the wall from which the sound came "God.... Balan, you were right.... I'm... Sorry...."

Foline "You are ok Alex. Lucky. Next time I will do things like that."

Alex "NO! Don't risk your pretty face, Foline!"

Balan "I warned you it could have been trapped!"

Sabaten "Lathidus has protected you."

Alex "Perheps, sabaten, or perheps just my luck..." He pokes into the spider web carefully with his short sword, ready for traps.

Foline "I don't want you get hurt again Alex! I don't want to almost lose you again!"

Dev'Mith takes a glance into the darkness of the web-filled chamber.

Dungeon Master: Through the new passage you can see, piled on the floor of this room, a clutter of old and broken glass and earthenware. There are three small copper pots amidst the debris and these appear to be intact. The rest of the room is hidden with webs, dust, and darkness.

Foline "Alex, did you hear me?"

Alex slowly enters the room, checking the floor in front of him with his short sword. I don't want you to risk yourself, Foline. i have my luck.... I don't know if your luck have been as good as mine."

Foline "Nothing to do with luck Alex. I will talk with you when we get back to the inn."

Alex "All right, my dear Foline"

Dev'Mith "Beware of spiders." He warns, stepping into the room, as well silently wishing the torch would go out.

Dungeon Master: As you enter the rest of the room, pushing cobwebs from your face with your sword, you can dimly view it's contents. A bench runs down the west wall of what was obviously a laboratory. On the bench are various jars of powders and liquids and several pieces of chemical apparatus, some stained in different colors as the liquids they contained dried up long ago. There is a table against the south wall, forming an i-shape with the bench. In the chair before the table sits a human figure with its back to you, apparently studying a book which is open on the table. The figure wears a robe, embroidered with a variety of mystic symbols, and a pointed hat. On the table is a candlestick, a tiny stump of unlit candle remaining in it, and a variety of other items which, even in the dim light, shine with the warmth of pure gold. One of these objects looks like a human skull. The room is about the same size as the previous one you pulled the cord from.

Alex carefully steps towards the table and slowly examines the sitting figure.

Dev'Mith pulls two daggers from his belt, just in case. He is wary of the figure, and of the webs.

Foline readies her staff.

Dungeon Master: The sitting figure makes no move, the cobwebs drift with the air that now stirs the room from your movements.

Balan cautiously follows behind.

Alex looks at the figure's face, thinking that the poor lad was already dead for decades.

Dev'Mith mutters quietly to himself, something about there being too much light, moving over to the figure, interested in the book he was reading.

Foline sends her staff towards the head of the figure.

Dungeon Master: You move around the table and can see the dessicated and worm eaten skull of the occupant in the chair. Quite dead. The book lays open, strange and unfamiliar writing is visible throught the fine layer of dust that coats its open pages.

Alex moves back in terror "DEAD!"

Balan "Could be like those skeletons though... not quite dead.... careful!"

Alex searches the sitting corpse for any recognizable documents of items "This should be the alchemist in here, and it doesn't seem that he've poisoned himself... And no, Balan, if he was animated he would've attacked us when we've entered this room."

Dev'Mith carefully checks to see how well intact the book is, and if he can close it without destroying it. He pays the dead man no heed, figuring if it were going to attack it would have already done so.

Sabaten brings forth his holy symbol, "Light of Lathidus!" He speaks commandingly and suddenly the entire room is brilliantly lit with magical, pure light and not a shadow.

Dev'Mith "Aaah!" He cries at the sudden blast of light.

Foline covers her face.

Balan "Huh!"

Alex blinks as the darkness becomes light "Are you all right, Dev'Mith?"

Sabaten "Now we may see clearly in this dark den of evil!"

Dev'Mith blinks unseeing and is obviously in some pain. "I can't see!"

Balan "Wow, that's bright!"

Foline "Oh! What was that?"

Alex "Close your eyes and then open them very slowly, Dev`Mith... let your flesh adjust to the light."

Balan looks at Dev`Mith, "Are you going to be ok?"

Sabaten looks again at Dev`Mith and how he cringes from the light. "Hmmmmm..."

Dev'Mith slowly regains his vision after about a minute. "I'm all right. I've never seen such brightness!"

Alex slowly adjusts to the light and then searches the sitting corpse in order to confirm his theory that this was the long-dead alchemist.

Dungeon Master: The golden objects on the table are now revealed in the bright light to be golden shapings of different objects. One is shaped as a human skull, another as an apple, and most astonishingly, the third is a golden rose of perfect detail. A set of 5 small golden discs, weights probably, rest near at hand. The skeleton appears to grasp something small in it's left hand of bone and dried flesh.

Foline looks around, touches the glass with the liquid, assisting her staff.

Dev'Mith again begins to study the book, to see if it is in danger of it's pages crumbling away if disturbed.

Alex "We are safe, I suppose" He continues to search the corpse.

Foline "Nothing here explains really about Quinn's death Alex."

Alex "Not Quinn's death.... do you recall that the council told us about some crazy alchemist living here years ago? it should be him..."

Dev'Mith carefully closes the book, and places it in his pack, before looking around at the various alchemy instruments. Then he examines the objects of gold, looking to see if any of the shapes are familiar.

Alex "Anything of interest found on the dead body?"

Dev'Mith picks up the apple and rose, turning to the others. "What are these artifices of?" He asks quizzically.

Alex "I don't know... maybe some kind of spell components or something. You seem to be the one in here with understanding in magic."

Foline doesn't pay attention to the gold there.

Dev'Mith "No, the shapes, the shapes are unfamiliar to me. What are they?" He asks Alex.

Balan "Arti-what?" he asks, "Looks like he was a gold smith, they'll certainly fetch a good price if we sell them."

Alex "Parts of plants..."

Alex "The round one is a fruit, the other is a flower. Don't you have any vegetation underground? ony mushrooms?"

Foline "Nothing much of interest her Alex. This place is totally unnatural. I don't like this... alchemy."

Alex pulls an object carefully out of the dead man's hand.

Sabaten "What does one eat if not that provided for by the sunlight of Lathidus?"

Alex "Maybe the cause of this man's death, Foline... and much magic could be in here, Foline."

Dev'Mith "I have never seen things such as these... " He looks around to the group as a whole. "Would anyone mind if I kept these ... the 'fruit' and 'flower'?"

Alex "You could keep them, I think. The rest we could sell up there." He examins the ivory-colored, egg-shaped stone in increasing interest.

Foline approach Alex. Then lean her head on him. "I feel a bit tired."

Balan "Is there anything else?" He examines the tables more.

Alex "We will soon search this place, Foline, and then get back to the city." He picks up the rerst of the golden items from the table and searches the room for more items of interest.

Balan "This must be the alchemist who lived in this place, the one the townsfolk say was evil."

Dev'Mith puts the apple and rose away, carefully wrapping the latter in his winter blanket to keep it safe, since no one has objected to his keeping them.

Alex "That stone, Foline, it might be magical. Even the egg of something. It's a bit warm."

Balan "Warm, Alex?"

Alex "Yes... it could be magical or the egg of some mystical creature. We should show it to someone who knows about such things at the city."

Foline appraochs fast to the corpse. "Alex! Alex, there is something unusual here."

Alex "What, Foline?"

Sabaten "Truely the sun of our lord Lathidus gives wholesome life for all to eat and breath."

Balan "Uh... sure, Sabaten. What is it Foline?"

Dev'Mith finishes re-packing his backpack, and slings it back onto his shoulder, before looking around.

Foline "I feel something strange about this body!"

Alex "What do you feel?"

Alex readies his short sword.

Balan looks about.

Alex "Is it animated?"

Balan "Where?" He looks at the other paler elf to see what he is doing.

Foline "Wait... let me focus".

Alex "All right"

Dev'Mith looks back at Balan, and then to Foline and the corpse. He readies a couple daggers again.

Foline "I can't put my finger on it, but there is something here... very unusual. I can't say exactly what it is."

Balan "It'll be dark soon..."

Dev'Mith "Perhaps we should go?"

Alex "So let's get what we could get from this room and get out.... The place scares me a lot."

Dev'Mith puts the daggers away and heads to the opening of the room, standing in the opening to the last room.

Alex already has the 5 golden disks and the golden skull in his bag. The quickly looks for anything of interest in the room.

Balan "Let's load up as much as we can into the boats and take that to port. So we don't have to carry it so far."

Foline distracted from the strange feeling. Her gaze is stuck on the body and table.

Dev'Mith waits in the doorway for the rest of them.

Balan walks over to Dev`Mith. "Where are you staying tonight?"

Dev'Mith "I thought I was coming with you?" He asks Balan, wondering if perhaps he had misunderstood the earlier offer.

Alex quickly heads towards the underground cave, willing to avoid the strange, eerie feeling orf the dead room. "Foline.... come."

Balan "Um. I guess you could. We only have a couple of rooms. I guess you should say something to Alex if that's what you wanna do... I don't mind though."

Alex "You could stay in my and Foline's roon, Dev, I think it would be fine." He smiles to the strange Elf.

Balan nods his head to Alex and after looking at Dev`Mith a moment he follows along.

Dev'Mith nods and follows as well.

Foline gaze stuck on the same place it is now.

Sabaten "There is room in my temple to Lathidus as well. If you wish to stay there."

Balan "Foline... pay attention.... we're leaving now."

Alex "Foline, come.... have anything happened to you?"

Foline "Wh...what?"

Balan walks out and into the cellar proper.

Alex "Come, Foline! We're going!"

Foline "Sorry, I was distracted."

Balan "Come on Dev. Help me load some things into the boat back down in the caverns."

Alex "Come, please..."

Foline "Ok," she smiles.

Alex walks towards the cave entrance.

Foline goes with Alex.

Sabaten follows Dev`Mith.

Balan heads down to the caves and the boat.

Alex follows Balan.

Dungeon Master: You travel back through the slippery caves and to where the sea is running into the cavern. The tide has started to enter the cavern and laps gently at the base of the barricade of boxes, if not for the stone anchor, the boat would have floated away with the tide. Noting the tide marks on this rooms walls you see that it will eventually fill the room to three feet deep.

Dev'Mith "I suggest we load the boat quickly, it looks like the water should be comming in soon."

Balan "Just in time!" He wades out to bring the boat closer so it can be loaded.

Alex "Lets start loading the boxes to the boat... Does any of you know how to use a boat, anyway? I'd never seen the sea before my first trip to Tel-Akbar."

Foline "Neither did I."

Balan "It's just a row boat."

Dungeon Master: The waves roll up and against the crates.

Foline takes her hands and touches the water near the boat.

Balan starts loading the boat.

Alex "So we should load it... and try to row it...

Balan "Too bad Gerom isn't here to help... he's a strong one."

Dev`Mith starts to load things into the boat, though not being very strong, he is rather slow.

Alex helps Balan to load the crates to the boat... the more important ones.

Foline watches her own reflection in the water.

Dungeon Master: Once the silk, brandy and other things have been loaded, you carry the other crates to the back of the cavern where the tide can't get to them.

Balan "Hey Foline! Help out here."

Foline doesn't hear Balan.

Dungeon Master: An hour has passed as you load the heavy cargo iinto the boat and move the crates. The cave is now nearly a foot deep in water.

Alex "All right. Now we should move. Foline... let's climb into that boat."

Balan "Let's go."

Alex climbs into the bat and takes the seat near one oar.

Foline "All right. Where will it take us exactly?"

Alex "The port part of the city."

Balan climbs into the boat and helps Dev`Mith up if he needs it.

Dungeon Master: The sky has darkened outside and the stars are coming into view, it will be a pretty night. With effort you bring the crude anchor into the boat and slowly row it forth and into the south end of Mendenton's harbor. Meanwhile the sky darkens and a beautiful night sky of stars comes visible.

Foline "Wow!" She looks to the sky. Astonished as if it's the first time she watches the stars glimer.

Balan grins.

Alex rows slowly, and then takes a deep breath and watches the magnificent stars above.

Dev'Mith looks up at the stars, and frowns. "What is that?" He asks. "Some kind of phosphorescent moss on the cavern roof?"

Alex "No, Dev'Mith.... it's the stars.... high abouve us in the dark night sky."

Dev'Mith "Sky? Stars? Night? What are these?" He asks as he helps to row.

Foline looks at the other Elf and cocks her head to one side, whispering to herself "What does he know?"

Alex "We are in the open world.... aboue the ground. Sky is what you see above you, so far above.... stars are the spots in it.... shards of light in the sea of darkness. And on the ground, there isn't light all the time.... Night is when the sun sets."

Dev'Mith "Oh you mean" He speaks the word his people have for the stars. "Then they are real!?" He looks around nervously, seeming to try to find a place to hide.

Alex "Yes, Dev`Mith. They are real. The sun is real, it will come up in a few hours and fill everything with light."

Sabaten "Even then the Lord of the Light sheds his favor upon us with the light of the moon and stars."

Balan just rows quietly.

Alex rows.... waiting for the boat to get to shore.

Dev'Mith has stopped rowing, now, and tries to find canvas, or a blanket, anything to keep the light of the stars from touching him.

Foline looks at what's happening. Her eyes seems to follow, but her mind is way off the reality. Whispers, "Stars...."

Alex "How exactly will we move the cargo to the inn AFTER we got onto the dock?"

Dungeon Master: After about an hour and a half of rowing, now it is completely dark, you bring your small boat to the docks of Mendenton's harbor. Seeing your torchlight and hearing your boat approach, the port warden and a small armed guard are heading down the docks towards you and you begin to bring your goods off board. The clumping of the guards boots on the docks near you and their torches illuminate the night. The guards look sternly at you in the night.

Alex climbs to the docks and walks towards the guards

Foline is still watching the sky.

Post Warden "Hail strangers, what is it you are bringing into town so late this night?"

Alex "Hello," he walks closer to them, "We have been exploring the hose of dodokilno... We have found this boat, and these crates in there, probably hidden there by the sailors who have attacked us in there."

Dev'Mith is still hidden beneath a canvas, not wanting the stars to see him.

Port Warden "Sailors? By what standard?" He looks over your large cargo. "There has been talk of smuggling operations further up the coast. I hope you haven't seen any smugglers." He says, perhaps a little suspiciously.

Alex "Probably pirates and smugglers... I suppose that one of our friends have brought one of these criminals to the authorities earlier today. They had no armor, but were armed with short swords and crossbows. A rogue priest was assisting them as well."

Port Warden "I've heard no report of smugglers brought to the guard. You wouldn't mind if my men searched your craft and goods?" He turns to the guards and waves them on to the small craft.

Dev'Mith peeks out from under the canvas hearing voices.

Balan "Hmm."

Alex "No need to." He opens one of the crates "These are weapon shipments brought into the caves below that abandoned house by these sailors."

Dungeon Master: The guards stand by and examine the crates that have been brought adock.

Foline stands up, and sees the guards. She walks slowly towards Alex.

Port Warden "There is an exise tax on all bulk goods brought into the city of Mendenton."

Alex "How much?"

Dev'Mith slips out from under the canvas and pulls his hood low, and his cloak tight around him as he steps onto the docks.

Foline "Alex?", she comes from behind.

Port Warden "Let me and my men examine your contents first. Go ahead and finish unloading."

Alex "All right," he gets back to unload the boat.

Dungeon Master: The guards a surprised by Dev'Mith's appearance.

Port Warden "A stowaway?"

Foline "Alex? What are they doing. I hope they don't want to take all the things you all got from the sailors' place."

Dev'Mith waves lightly to the warden before turning to Balan. "Please, take me to these rooms you said you have, I don't want to stay outside..."

Guard "Show yer face, short one." He grabs Dev'Mith by the shoulder.

Balan nods at Dev'Mith.

Dev'Mith is startled, and pulls off his cowl, though he obviously doesn't want to. He glances nervously up at the stars. "Wh.. what's going on?"

Balan "He's a friend of ours who we rescued from the smugglers. Leave him be."

Alex turns to the guard "He is one of our compainions. He represents no threat to anybody."

Guard2 "Looks plagued..." he mutters. The guards look at the strange elf a moment, but they cease to harass the pale elf.

Dev'Mith quickly pulls his hood back up, and down low over his features.

Alex continues to unload the cargo.

Balan "Don't worry about it Dev." He pulls his cloak up too since it is cold outside.

Dungeon Master: The guards examine the cargo as your bring to land the half dozen crates which you brought from the caverns.

Dev'Mith "Can we go now, Balan?" He asks again, casting further nervous glances up at the stars.

Foline waits in the shore.

Alex "Soon, Dev`Mith. Very soon."

Balan "Soon. I hope. It's cold out here."

Dungeon Master: When all has been unloaded the Port Warden informs you that a tax of 180 gold will need to be paid.

Balan "Uh. We don't have that much coin do we? Alex?"

Alex "How much gold do we have? I only have one copper piece." He turns to the guard with two of the golden disks in his hand "Could you accept this instead of part of the payment?"

Dev'Mith "Perhaps they could keep a portion of the goods until you've sold enough to pay the tax?" He asks Balan and Alex, wanting only to get out of there.

Balan "I have, maybe.... 20gp."

Port Warden "If you cannot pay the tax in coin then we must seize one fifth of your cargo."

Alex "That is worth as much as 180 gold pieces, anyway... you should take the tax." He points to the crates.

Sabaten "I carry no gold with me."

Dungeon Master: The guards take away one and a half of the crates contents that you brought with you and leave you be. The Port Warden writes you a writ for the goods so you cannot be retaxed. Then they leave you alone, taking with them the exise.

Balan "Well... time to get warm and find Gerom."

Alex puts the document into his bag.

Dev'Mith "Yes, please, let us go.." He looks upward again very nervous.

Dungeon Master: You find some porters near the docks to help you transfer your goods to the hotel for a few silvers. Balan pays them for their work. And before long you have arrived at the Inn of the Feathered Serpent. Gerom is enjoying a drink by the fire downstairs.

Alex "Come, Foline.... you said you wished to talk with me."

Foline goes to Alex. "What was the hustle about? They wanted money or something?"

Alex "Yes... they want part of our money as tax... damn beurocrats."

Balan tells Gerom about everything that happened and keeps near Dev'Mith who seems a little out of place here.

Dev'Mith relaxes very visibly once they get inside. He pulls his cowl from his face again, and has a slight smile about him, glad for Balan's company.

Alex "Hello, Gerom." He shows him the golden skull and the five golden plates to the Dwarf, "We got some things that might sell well." He smiles widely.

Gerom listens to you guys, "Sounds like there will be enough bounty left to relax for a while before work need be searched for again." It's obvious the dwarf has been enjoying his drink, and before you have finished telling him everything that was found and brought back his head has nodded into his chest and he snores, asleep by the fire.

Foline takes Alex by the arm, gently. "Come to the room."

Alex goes with Foline to their joint room.

Balan "Hmm, maybe you should get a seperate room from those two." He speaks to Dev'Mith, "They can be kinda strange sometimes, a little doe-eyed." He gets up and talks to the innkeeper about getting another room.

Innkeep "There is a spare room available tonight. That will be two silvers."

Balan pays for the extra room.

Balan "Dev, You and I can share a room tonight."

Dev'Mith "Thank you, friend Balan." He says with a smile.

Sabaten turns to you all, "I must return to my temple, but I will be in touch with you. Do not hesitate to visit me there if needs be sooner. Lathidus bless you all." He takes his leave.

Balan speaks to Dev'Mith, "What's with you hiding under the canvas... I'm surprised the guards didn't think we were trying to smuggle you into town."

Dev'Mith "I did not want to be judged by the eyes from above."

Balan "Huh? I don't get it."

Dev'Mith "The 'stars', they are said to be the eyes of the condemned, set there to pass judgement over... over those who leave the homelands."

Balan "Oh..." Not really getting it.

Dungeon Master: Your night passes by peacefully. Each of your rooms comfortable after a long day at battle and adventure. Your dreams, each, are peaceful. With the morning comes the rising of the sun and a brilliantly lit day awakens you though the windows of your rooms. Each, of you, having slept well, awaken from your rest and reconvene in the parlor downstairs to discuss what is to be done. As you break your fast the innkeep comes to your table with a note in hand.

Dev'Mith awakes early, closing the shutters of the room and studying his spellbook to re-memorize his spells in low light levels before comming down. He avoids the windows once he is downstairs.

Innkeep "A page brought this to me this morning sirs. It is for you all." He hands it to Alex.

Alex takes the letter, "Thank you," and reads it aloud.

Dungeon Master: It is from Mulkazer D'lemon, of the city councel. The messege reads,

"Word has reached our ears that your party recovered last night a large share of smuggled contraband. While you are welcome to keep these goods as your own as you have already payed taxes on it, we, the council, are interested to hear of your findings at the House of Dodokilno and the thievery you discovered there. Please conviene with us this afternoon after the midday hour."

Balan "Hmm... maybe some reward is in order..." He grins broadly.

Alex "All right... it seems that the council wishes to hear from us, which means... I could inspect the truth in the words of that captain on the council."

Foline "So they want to see what we got. It's not their propery Alex."

Balan "Isn't Mulkazer that captain?"

Dev'Mith "I think the goods would count.... What is afternoon?"

Alex "In a few hours after the stars set and the sun rises.... when the Sun reaches the sky's middle."

Dev'Mith "We must go out into the sun?" He seems shocked ant possibly even terror striken.

Balan "Uh, yeah, why not?"

Dev'Mith "Will not the soul stealer find us?" He asks Balan, his eyes wide.

Balan "Huh? Soulstealer-who?"

Alex "Soul stealer? No one steals the soul of those who walks under the sun. Souls cannot be stolen. They are bound with your flesh."

Dev'Mith "The sun, is it not the eye of the Soulstealer? He who would take the souls of all who live, and devour them in fire, with his endless appetite?"

Balan "Ah... heh heh.... I hope not!"

Alex "No.... I've lived all my life under the sun and the stars, and my soul is well in it's deep place beneath the splendid flesh."

Foline whispers to Alex. "Alex, he's a bit sttrange, Are you sure he's ok?"

Dev'Mith frowns, and looks with uncertainty out at the sunlight peeking through the windows.

Alex whispers to Foline "He grew up and lived his entire life underground. I don't know about his race, but maybe he's of an underground race."

Dungeon Master: The noise of the city awakening reaches your ears from within the Inn.

Foline "Hmmm," she looks at Dev'Mith.

Dev'Mith "I... I will stay here... It... I can't see very far, it's too bright out... And maybe the soulstealer only steals the souls of the Drakher?"

Balan "Don't you think the city council will want to meet Dev'Mith?"

Alex "It will not steal your soul. It cannot. it's just a huge ball of fire far high in the sky."

Foline thinks, Why would the city want to see a frightened Elf?