6th Desnus 4711. Starday
The party awoke after returning to their inn to sleep off the night’s battle. They decided to promptly return to the warehouse to more thoroughly search the building and see if any clues could be gathered. En route, they spotted printed handbills offering a sizable reward for the return of a daughter of a prominent professor of the Taldoran Royal College. They arrived to see five of the city’s constabulary milling about the warehouse doors. They hatched a plan to pay some of the street urchins in the Crownsgate district to draw the constables away so that the party could gain access to the building. Aoesyn paid about 15 children to run wild past the guards with the intent of drawing them into the adjoining warehouse. The plan worked and the players slipped into the building. As they reached the back of the warehouse, they were greeted with the familiar voices of Merrick and Lester, who were conducting an ‘investigation’ and not getting very far.
Alexia slyly cast a detect magic spell, and found a small, unadorned silver rod hidden behind the stove as a result. She determined how it worked, and the rod activated a hidden door in the back of the building, which led to a rapidly descending tunnel, that seemed to lead away from the city and under the city’s outer wall. Lester and Merrick decided to ‘deputize’ the players, and insisted on exploring the tunnel. As they all entered the tunnel, the secret door shut silently behind them.
The journey through the tunnel went along at a reasonable pace. After a few hundred yards, Merrick, who is generally oblivious, and Thud, who was busy expounding on the virtues of his diety, fell through a cunning trap in the floor. The fall damaged the intrepid explorers, but that was the least of their worries. The natural cavern that they had fallen into was a breeding ground for giant spiders. Makadu, Alexia, and Aoesyn each jumped into the pit to aid their allies. The battle was swift. Aoesyn was poisoned, and Thud was assaulted by a swarm of spiders who crawled into his armor. Alexia color sprayed the Thud, and knocked the swarm unconscious. Thud then proceeded to burn the disabled spiders. When the battle finished, the party negotiated their ascent from the pit with the help of Lester, who had remained above in the tunnel, watching the entire affair with bemused curiosity.
The tunnel ran for about a quarter mile, and terminated at a trap door directly above their heads. When they exited the tunnel, the found themselves in a seemingly abandoned barn. A wagon was parked inside, which was fitted with manacles – some sort of a prisoner transport. They exited the barn and were detected by a huge hyena who howled at their scent.
Six hulking, well armed, hyena-like humanoids and two armored hyenas came from both the farmhouse and the adjoining field to deal with the trespassers. This battle was particularly long, and highlighted by both Makadu and Thud attempting to strike their antagonists, missing them, and hurting each other, with Thud actually knocking his step-nephew unconscious. Aoesyn was tackled by a barely-alive, disemboweled enemy, who’s neck he eventually snapped. Alexia again used her color spray spell and eased the odds on the battlefield.
After the hard-fought battle, the team found about 15 human hostages inside the farmhouse. In addition to the captives, the party found a sizable cache of finely cut gems, and a bone pile behind the house. Amongst the bones and offal, they found the tattered remnants of clothing, including what seemed to be a finely crafted dress. A silver locket, with a small gemstone and engraved with the letter “M” was found as well. The captives told the players that a wagon had left the night before, which was bearing some children, possibly including the missing daughter with the reward on her head. They also told the party that they were convinced that their captors were dining on some of the weaker and more defiant captives. Wagon tracks leading north from the farmhouse were easily noticed, and the party decided to follow them to see if the daughter could be found. Merrick and Lester led the remaining captives back to the city, and there was much rejoicing by the party to be rid of them again.