ASFTD: Session V Report in Ulskandar | World Anvil

ASFTD: Session V

A Shadow from the Deep

General Summary

As the Agent of Baron Theobald Hohensten lashed out at Thorwald, he demanded that the Dwarf hand over the injured prisoner and that he wouldn’t be given another chance to comply. Rather than immediately handing over the man, or throwing himself into combat, Thorwald leveraged the information that he had learned from the man along with the wounds on his back, to claim that he was working for Linde Frankesen to return her men to Kleinhaupt. Taken aback by Thorwald’s response, the Agent, who was clearly worried about Linde Frankesen learning too much information, suggested that they should adjourn to the upper floor of the barracks to have a more private conversation. Not seeing an easier way out of his situation, Thorwald began to move, accompanied by Konrad and the injured prisoner and escorted by the two agents towards the top floor of the barracks. Before they had reached the stairs, however, Elijah and Rain barrelled up to the first floor of the barracks, clearly expecting the worst to have happened to their companion. Seeing that the situation had not deteriorated as badly as they supposed, Elijah acted quickly to enquire of the Agents where they were taking his colleague. With Thorwald chiming in to confirm that all three of them worked for Linde Frankesen, Elijah and Rain were likewise invited up to the top floor of the barracks, by the Agent who was clearly becoming increasingly worried by the leaking of information into the wider world.   Outside of Ormur's mining compound Flintwick was moving to try and regain control of the Agent’s horses that had been released to cause a distraction by Elijah minutes before. As the two other Baronial Agents attempted to capture the horses further into the village, Flintwick confronted one that had veered off along compound’s the palisade wall and after some swift manoeuvring was able to grab hold of the animals reins, and mount it whilst keeping the animal calm enough that it didn’t attempt to bolt again. Emerging onto the main street, Flintwick was greeted by the two Agents riding and leading the other horses. They thanked Flintwick for his help securing the animals and fell into conversation with him as they made their way back up to the compound. When asked what had brought him to Ormur, Flintwick likewise fell back on the idea that he was here at the behest of Linde Frankesen, who he claimed to be working for, and that he was investigating the tale of a man who had turned up injured in the bottom of the mine that they believed had worked as a caravan guard for Linde. As the conversation progressed and Flintwick’s questions of the Agents became more and more bold, the Agents suggested with a hint of forcefulness that Flintwick should come with them, lest he become too free with the information he had learned.   Within a matter of minutes, the party, Konrad, the injured man and the four Baronial Agents were inside the room where Thorwald had first encountered and healed the injured man’s foreboding wounds. There, the Agent who was clearly taking the lead over his fellows introduced himself as Valentin and began to question the party as to why they were pursuing their line of inquiry in Ormur. In a surprising show of unity, the party informed Valentin that they all worked for Linde Frankesen, and that they had been sent by her to investigate the disappearance of one of her merchant caravans that was overdue its arrival at Kleinhaupt. They went on to specify that they had picked up the trail of the merchant caravan near Turm Castle and followed it all the way to the northern mountains of the Barony, before following the trail into the Underdark, where it eventually emerged into Ormur’s mine workings. Having heard all this, Valentin, who had clearly believed their story began to talk about how it would be a great advantage for Linde Frankesen to be seen to be helping the Baron, even if the party acted without her explicit orders…. Valentin then went on to strike a deal with the party, telling them that the Baron was aware of the activities that the Shadow Elves had been conducting in the Barony of Hohensten, and wanted to find out what they wanted to stop targeting him and his people. As they clearly knew so much already, Valentin half asked, half coerced them into agreeing to return to the Underdark, picking up the trail where they had believed it to have run cold in the mine to track down the Shadow Elves and make contact with them. Seeing the proposal as the best way to get out of their immediate situation unharmed, the party agreed, though they were held for the rest of the night on the top floor of the barracks.   Early the next morning, the party were escorted back to the mine workings by Valentin and the Baronial Agents, leaving behind Konrad and the injured man to an uncertain fate. As they made their way back down to the lowest level of the mine they realised that the workers had all been moved to the surface in a hurry, leaving their belongings and equipment where they had been working, so that the party could be brought into the mine without being seen, or without being able to communicate with them. At the mine’s lowest level, the party were left by Valentin, who reminded them that if he got wind that they had tarried before coming to Kleinhaupt to inform him of what had gone on, he would not be so prone to negotiations as he had been up until then. Left alone in the mine, the party began trying to pick up the trail they had previously thought to have been lost. Perhaps the most perplexed of the group was Rain, whose natural knowledge and recollection of places he’d been and directions was so good that it tended to push other information out of his brain, and yet he couldn’t find the tunnel that they had entered the mine workings through. It had, apparently vanished. Thorwald, suspecting that something arcane might be the root cause, called upon the powers of Gwenhyfryd-y-Gwaedlyd, and using the boost to his senses that the ritual gave him began to search for magical concealments placed upon the tunnel they had travelled through, and any additional passages. Sure enough, not only did this reveal the concealed entrance to the tunnel that they had passed through previously, but also a new tunnel. As the party passed through the magical concealment they could see stretching out before them a tunnel leading deeper down into the Underdark, and the same tracks of the Shadow Elf slaving party and their slaves that they had followed to Ormur in the first place.   Travelling once again for hours through the dark, winding tunnels far below the surface of the world, the party eventually began to hear the noise of running water which turned out to be an icy cold river that carved its way through an immense cavern, before plunging down further into the Underdark. On entering the cavern, Elijah became aware of the sound of something eating, by the sound of it. Creeping closer to the source of the noise Elijah could see three humanoid figures that were bent over what looked like some humanoid corpses. However, before he was able to come any closer the creatures became aware of his presence and moved to attack the party. As the closest party member to the Ghouls, Elijah took the brunt of their attack, but with Flintwick, Thorwald and Rain moving in to support him they were able to come out the other side alive. With the Ghouls dead, they investigated the corpses that the creatures had been feasting on, and found two almost unrecognisable humanoids, once presumably slaves, and the body of a Shadow Elf, who looked as if they had been killed not by the Ghouls, but by one of the slaves choking them with their manacles.   Continuing onward in the dark, the party passed into another large cave, which even though the subterranean river did not flow through it was incredibly damp. Innumerable stalagmites and stalactites were sprouting from the walls and floors of the cave, and over the centuries they had been forming many had created thick pillars of minerals dotted throughout the cave. At the very end of the cave, the party spotted the light of a campfire, and approaching it cautiously, though not nearly as stealthily as they would have liked, they came across a large party of Dwarves, formed in a battle line and clearly expecting trouble. After a few tense moments, it became clear that these Dwarves were themselves from the surface, and did not want any trouble. Indeed, their leader, named Bjorn invited the party to join them whilst they rested. Bjorn informed the party that he and his men had been sent from the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm by their master, a certain Svaein Hakinsson, whose emblem they all bore on their shields and armour (see side bar). Hakinsson had sent them down to the Underdark to acquire slaves to serve in the Thrall slave class in Kjörnsholm, from the infamous Kin of Sabratha, a Shadow Elf kinship group who were one of the main drivers behind the slave trade in Turoza. Judging the Kin of Sabratha to be the people they had been instructed to make contact with, the party Thorwald informed Bjorn that they too were looking to buy slaves, and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to accompany Bjorn and his well-armed party to the slave market where they hoped some of their questions would be answered.
Report Date
25 Oct 2018
Primary Location
Secondary Location

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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