Shackels, Snakes & Spiders

Gratius arrives, many things meet their end

Gratius, a folk hero of great melancholies and gigantic mirth, arrived in Chanceway just as a heavy rain broke. A “barbarian” of the more wild lands of the Gathering, he was unaccustomed to city life, but as his legend spread around town he found commoners more welcome. One such welcoming face, a former wealthy merchant named Bertolo whom Gratius met at the Moon and Blade, asked him to help by getting back at the Green Flame who he was certain was behind a recent burglary at his home and shop that had left him destitute. He asked only for the return of his obsidian box, and would let the Gratius keep anything else of his they could recover, said to be quite a treasure.

At the next table over, Nix’s ears perked up at the mention of the Green Flame. Hungry for opportunities to impress Vanheim Grechiel, he was keeping his (pointy) ears down for news of Chanceway’s underworld. Before anyone could make a move, however, two Orc mercenaries burst in with a man in shackles and gagged. On a closer look, Nix spied that they shackles were actually pure gold bracers that seemed stuck together. Then, three Red Guard made an entrance and, as the mercenaries displayed their Guild Contract, the man made a run for it, colliding with Gratius and Nix and suddenly teleporting them to the rooftop.

The man made a run for it. When Nix tried to stop him he discovered that the shackle had transferred to his left arm and Gratius’ right – these two unlikley compatriots were now linked to one another!

Escaping as the Guard searched for them, they reached Ongrin’s hideout where they met with Gresby. Piecing together some clues, and after a visit to the Guild Hall to speak to a Dwarf there, the heroes established that the shackles belonged to Godrey san Montrose, who had given them to the Guild to use on a contract he had taken out on mage-cum-theif named Alecyne of Urthusia.

At his estate, Montrose explained that he had wanted Alecyne to rob a Dwarven temple of a special artifact, but when Alecyne failed to return, Montrose suspected a doublecross and put a bounty out. Montrose has one of his kept mages unlock the shackles and the heroes left.

Not wanting to get caught up in Montrose’s schemes, they decided instead to investigate the Green Flame and the matter of the obsidian box – Gratius for adventure and to help a downtrodden man, Nix to gain favor with Vanheim.

At a bar acting as a front for their operations, the two managed to clean out the entire place – some 10 bandits – in a few short seconds. Nix’s stealth and Gratius’ strength was a powerful combination, in deed. Upstairs, NIx had dispatched a bandit who was working on correspondence, much of it concerned with the actions of “snakes” and “spiders.” A quick search revealed an underground passage beneath the kitchen hearth which led down to a secret undercroft.

The two thieves found not a thieve’s treasure store, but instead a kind of temple full of books and a prayer room. They took out a Green Flame Lieutenant and travelled down a stone-hewn passageway that led to a chamber containing a golden brazer with a talking Green Flame atop it giving commands to two acolytes and the obsidian box. Gratius grabbed the box and the Flame was immediately sucked into it, screaming. All light went out and as the heroes fled, a giant spider emerged chasing them through the complex. Defeating the spider, Gratius smashed several supports, brining the undercroft down, the bar above it and several neighboring buildings, too.

Escaping, the heroes pondered just what a gang of thugs was doing worshiping an anthropomorphic Green Flame, what the box was, and just why a poor merchant might have such an object.



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