Episode 101: El Zikrin, Part II
The creature – a Nashtahl – slammed Sirlius into the ground under powerful forelegs ended in stone-like fists. The party raced to his aid and chased the beast onto the rooftops, laying into it with staff and arrow, with magic and blade, before finally felling it in the dust in front of the Juus apothecary.
The immediate threat dealt with, Whisper quickly searched the stables from which the Nashtahl emerged, but found only a slaughter of terrestrial mounts; feed for the Nashtahl. Sirlius returned his attention to the apthecary and with Keen’s help quickly gained entrance. Inside, they found a well-stocked but mundane shop full of dried herbs, poultices, and trinkets. However, the back room, separated by an open door and a curtain of hanging shiny pepples, was full of huge mushroom stalks hanging from the ceiling – King’s Feet, a narcotic banned by most towns and cities in Eastriver. On the rear wall was a large banded trunk, closed by three locks.
Sirlius and Whisper pulled down one of the King’s Feet stalks and shoved its 4 foot length into Whisper’s Bag of Hoarding. As they were struggling with it, Whisper heard the approach of heavy footfalls, and an angry voice barking in Abyssal. They slid back into the storefront and quietly closed the door while the old ranger watched from the corner of the shop window. She observed a group of Abyssal soldiers, led by a horrid-mouthed captain astride another Nashtahl, pull up in front of the slain monster outside the store and at a command from the captain began to fan out and search the area. They retreated into the back room with their friends in an attempt to avoid detection.
Meanwhile, Keen had started picking the three locks on the large trunk. However, he had failed to check for traps on the centre lock, and took a face-full of powdered King’s Feet. The fast-acting narcotic effected him almost immediately, and he became both slightly giggly and very loud. As the rogue yelled happily about the state of the locks, he drew the attention of the soldiers outside the building. One began breaking down the front door; Sirlius cast darkness in the shop front while Whisper cast minor illusion to create a distracting noise outside the shop. It bought them a precious few seconds, but the soldiers returned and begin trying to break through the door to the back room. Magnus Ara, and Sirlius took up defensive positions and Yuna had Stella brace the door while Whisper attempted to find another way out of this small room. She realized there was some sort of secret door or mechanism in the wall behind the trunk, and tried to focus Keen in on picking the final lock.
The door splintered, and a soldier hacked at Magnus through the ruined wood; he and Ara responded in kind, and through a cramped exchange of clashes dispatched the soldier, but the noise drew the others to the scene. The captain, seemingly unfazed by the magical darkness filling the shop, rushed the door and attacked just as Keen popped the last lock on the trunk. Inside he found two well-crafted healing potions and a large crank lever. Whisper pulled it and the wall, with the trunk attached to it, slid away to reveal a bolt hole in the floor.
One by one the party squeezed their way down the hole, with Magnus and Ara fighting a rear-guard retreat. They succeeded in evading capture, but their means of escape was obvious, and a pursuit was sure to follow. The party squeezed their way through a narrow tunnel into the darkness…
Fantasy Skunk Rating: Stanky
Door Status: Surprisingly Sturdy
Horse Wrongness Levels: Increasing
RP Rating: Awesome!