More importantly for them, they finally located the sister of their patron, Lord Rupert Nubereg. Now that Comptess Nubereg (Etaine, she insists) is on-board, they could possibly get answers about who and why their fair village was attacked, and why these Orbs are so important.
The first order of business was to recover from the near-death experience fighting a horde of undead warforged can be.
The group set back to Nonce first. The small inn might take note of the group of six odd outsiders, but the need for stealth was reduced at this point.
Sha’Riven let it be known the troll gang had been eradicated, and the kobolds subdued. Another patron of the inn-the only other patron-stormed out immediately.
No more thought was given to the incident, and the group bedded down for the night, with Fossil keeping an unsleeping watch.
Fossil had changed somehow since his “communion” with the Brass Orb. For starters, he could now breath fire. And he could draw power from the animating magicks that created him to channel other invocations. While his companions slept, he tested the extent of his new abilities. He hoped Lady Etaine could help him understand them.
Next day the plan was decided, first the group would clandestinely return to Etaine’s residence in Denhagen, check in with her staff and collect her notes. Then back to Nubereg to investigate the temple of the White Orb further.
Hitting the Common Road, the group made a good pace on foot. But at the cusp of sundown, a heavily-armed band stopped them.
Etaine recognized them as soldiers in the employ of the Trade Company’s mercenary guard. They had tried strongarming her expedition and she believed they later set the troll gang on her.
The soldiers had a nervous menace about them. Unwilling to let them set the field, Aki charged, taking on a bestial form, slashing and tearing into them.
The soldiers were subdued after losing half their number. One of the survivors admitted the guard company was in league with the trolls, and their demise would reduce the company’s perceived value.
So before word could get out, the trading company set out to kill the witnesses. After taking out the Nubereg group, the hamlet of Nonce would be slaughtered with blamed pointed to the trolls, then finally the company would tout how dangerous the region was without them.
Etaine let the survivors go, with a warning that Nonce was now under the protection of a new power: the Knights of Nubereg.
She then made a mental note to have her brother knight the group or something…
Sneaking back in Denhagen was easier. The “Knights of Nubereg” donned the apparel of the guard company corpses (with a little prestidigitation to get rid of the blood), and marched right up to the gate that night.
Damien had the inspired idea to convince a gatekeeper that “their” guard company was in league with the local Dashers guild. He further guessed a dispirited night watchman would be wary of the biggest criminal gang in town.
The disguises were also a good idea, since the authorities now had posters offering rewards for Fossil and Aki (having escaped from the prison). The group split up again. Sir Henry and Sha’Riven went back to the Bahamut Temple to check in and remind the acolytes of how they let in a hired killer.
Aki & Fossil accompanied Etaine back to her estate to get her notes and to reassure her staff that she was not dead.
Her butler was glad to no longer have to perpetuate the lie of her wherabouts. The place had been ransacked three times in the past year. Once by the town watch, once by Damien and the rest of the group, and finally once more just two days ago by a mysterious group of green-clad soldiers.
Speak of the Devil and he’d appear, the very same group descended upon the house again.
But this time it was not a feeble house staff, but two battle-hardened adventurers and a pissed-off wizard to repel them.
“They have it! Report to Linin!” their leader commanded one of the attackers, and the rest engaged in battle.
The fight was brutal and swift, and then a frantic pursuit through the alley and rooftops of Denhagen ensued.
In the Temple of Bahamut, Sir Henry and Sha’Riven asked a few questions and found out that the town was in the middle of a gang war, and some acolytes of the temple were caught up in it. As a result, the doors were left unlocked long enough to allow the assassins that attacked the duo previously.
Using the spell allowing a cleric to Speak with Dead, the priests were able to find out the mole’s name. Hopefully further security breaches could be prevented.
More information was gathered. Two gangs, the Dashers and a new group recently arrived have been fighting over the varied illicit trades in Denhagen. the new group was flooding the town with counterfeit coins and are trying to take over the docks for smuggling, slaving etc. Meanwhile the Dashers tried to hold onto their extortion and drug trades, especially to outlying towns.
The new gang and the Dashers have openly clashed more than once, and the town watch was becoming more hard-pressed to keep order.
As much as Henry wanted to help, the more pressing matter of the orbs needed to be resolved first.
Damien had his own fish to fry, so to speak. He knew eventually he would have to answer for killing the assassins sent after Henry and Sha’Riven.
Seeking out the Dashers, he soon found Clive, a middle-ranking footpad in the guild.
While the Dashers were displeased with Damien’s “unsanctioned” killings, they were more upset by the lack of business in and out of Nubereg in the past month.
Since the bridge to Nubereg was destroyed, trafficking of narcotics to the salt mining gnomes was halted. Damien, being the chief merchant of these wares in the village had a responsibility to reestablish the trade. Once Damien got a route going back to Nubereg and all points after, then his transgressions could be properly addressed.
above the streets, Aki, Fossil and Etaine chased the last of the attackers before he could relay to whomever the group’s possession of the brass orb.
The rogue was more at home on the rooftops than adventurers, and slipped into the shadows. But then a cry cut short by a wet gurgle showed the group where to find him.
What remained of the last invader lay in a pool of his blood, and a black-clad woman made a very pointed effort to be seen before disappearing (literally) into the alleys.
Etaine, Aki and Fossil decided to finish their business at her residence, then headed to the church of Bahamut to rejoin the others.
Damien was finding his own way back when he was confronted by a mysterious woman in black.
She addressed him by name and let on her knowledge of all of his current doings and associations. The woman introduced herself as Charlen of Rhole. She offered Damien an opportunity to be rid of both Dasher obligations, and the troubles his recently acquired “antiquity” will soon bring.
Before he could answer, affirmative of negative, the woman vanished (literally). At his feet Damien saw a satchel filled with precious gems, easily enough to buy off any debt to the Dashers.
Being a wise fool, Damien instead of paying chose to pocket the gems himself. Not taking the money for its intended purpose (he reasoned) would negate his being bought.
All of the group regrouped (so to speak) at Nubereg House. Suddenly flush with coin, they were able to gain some how level magic to return them to Nubereg promptly.
As soon as the teleportation subsided, the “Knights of Nubereg” were again thrust into combat.
The town was under attack again…