Nilmul 20th, Year of Whispering Shadows – Midmorning
The party sets out to find the source of the scream they heard during the fight with the goblin. Of those who heard it, Kithrellana believes that the voice came from a human or elven throat – or one of the civilized races, in any case. Thuradin’s knowledge of echoes and stone leads the party into a new room.
Three doors stand here – west, north, and east. Bloodstains on the floor lead toward the northern door. The one to the west looks rusted and rarely used – checking it, you see what appears to be an abandoned storeroom, the dust thick upon the crates within it.
The large double-doors to the east are locked, and even elven dexterity fails to open them, though they do appear to have been used recently.
The sound of raucous goblin laughter comes from the north, and with their final preparations finished, Thuradin kicks in the door and the battle is on.
Battle between the goblins and their hobgoblin master is fast and furious, as the crossbow wielders duck into cages and beneath tables, and the hobgoblin wields burning pokers that sear flesh and dent armour. A couple goblins, injured and near death, manage to escape.
Pushing the blood-stained rack before the door, the party surveys their surroundings. The iron maiden’s bottom spikes are caked with old blood, and the rusted knives on the tables are wicked and sharp. The most interesting finding is a jar filled with a yellowish-green liquid, with a long, worm-like creature with tiny forelimbs within it. Making sure it is tightly sealed shut and wrapped protectively, the party takes it with them.
All that remains is to explore the cells. The first contains the corpse of a dead goblin, gory and with a large hole in its chest. The second contains nothing. But the third…
The third contains a man, dressed in the tattered remains of fine clothing. He is watching you very carefully as you approach. Strangely, his entire head is enclosed in a type of human bridle, stopping him from speaking, and his hands are shackled together. A quick examination shows his right eye swollen shut with bruising, his hands are broken, and there is a slight whiff of burned flesh.
Watching him closely, you unlock his head brace, and give the password. “Valonar shines bright.”
He swallows heavily, and when he speaks, his voice is hoarse from screaming. “Always nice to meet more dunderheads who need a god to fill their brains.”
When first asked his name, he chokes out “Malistar Wingstral” – however, more than a couple of the party gets an uneasy feeling from this, and Warren remembers that this is actually the name of the evil mage antagonist of Edward Quiverlance’s “The Dragon’s Daughter”.
Bluff called, he laughs and introduces himself as Daederus Ancharez, and a man who does dirty work for the Knights of the Hart on occasion. Kithrellana unshackles his arms – close examination of the shackles show that they are inscribed with a roc clutching a coin, the symbol of Arkcanus, and that inside are small golden runes.
The party returns to the storeroom to rest and recover, as your new companion refuses to return to town until his gear is safely back in his hands. Daederus stays awake, you hear him muttering into the night as you stand watch.