Our heroes bravely set off for Mesodrak’socar. They have a fairly uneventful trip for the first few days. On the third night, they have set up camp, and Aeyo and Aurus are on first watch, when Aurus inexplicably turns to mist and disappears. Aeyo gets immediately concerned and wakes up Dorian, and then the rest of the party.
Meanwhile, Aurus is being compelled by a beautiful female, and he follows her (while he is in mist form) to an ancient stone made dwarven keep. The rusted door opens as Aurus and this female approach. As soon as he enters the keep, the female disappears, and Aurus is approached by some humans in black leather. One of the humans presents himself as the leader, and in the course of conversation shares that this group of humans is seeking a vampire to make them immortal, as they are human followers of Orkus. Aurus is appalled at these depraved filthy humands, and refuses. He turns back to mist, and finds his way back to the group.
Once back with the party, Aurus shares that he was compelled to follow this woman spirit, and shares his conversation with these Orkus followers. The party is very alarmed that their vampire friend was so easily compelled, but ackwnoledge it could have been anyone who was compelled in such a manner.
Just as the group was about to resume their camp/sleep for the night, they hear a female ghostly cackling laugh. Unable to determine where, in the cavern they were camping in, it was coming from, they set up with their backs to each other. They are attacked by a Mad Wraith, which they are able to quickly take down (silly undead.. attacking a group with a Priest, Paladin, Invoker, and a Sword Mage.. so much for “intelligent undead”!).
The group packs up camp at ‘morning’, and finishes the final leg of their journey to Mesodrak’socar. They arrive at the guard-post at the bridge before the city (the ultimate security.. a massively wide and deep chasm must be crossed to get to the city). Dorian is the only member of the party who is fluent in Deepspeech, so he is the spokesman for the party. Since he is also the only person with any knowledge of Drow society, that is useful. DOrian and Aeyo are wearing the very affluent drow-made noble clothing they found at the Goblin keep, so Dorian has Aeyo approach the guards with him.
With some subtle palm greasing, Dorian gets the party a Merchant Writ, and secures the name of a reputable Inn (the Golden Grell), and the owner, a woman named Shel. Dorian is also able to learn the time and location for the slave auctions.
Once the party crosses the bridge, and enter an area filled with vendors and street hawkers. Finally the party comes to the actual city walls. Dorian displays the merchant writ, and bribes the guard with a generous offering of gold, to facilitate an immediate entry into the city, and verifies his directions to the Golden Grel. They enter the gates as the guards start bickering over the bribe Dorian gave the guard he was speaking to. As the party enters the city, Dorian warns the party to say or do NOTHING that imply, or harm, a spider, Lloth.. to just walk with their heads down and to be quiet, and Aurus is in mist form, just to avoid the kind of trouble that can often come when a Vampire visits a city that would happily enslave or harvest him for wizard components!
Our fearless heroes arrive at the Golden Grel, and Dorian negotiates private rooms at a substantial discount with Shel, as well as a private dining room for the party. Once the party is settled in, and wine/meal is ordered, Dorian goes back to Shel and speaks to her privately about special accommodations for Aurus. The consummate professional that she is, Shel does not blink an eye, and arranges for a coffin full of dirt to be taken to a room for Aurus.
After the party has their meal, Dorian once again goes to Shel and asks for a well regarded tailor/seamstress. The plan is, to take Sheera and get her attired in such a way that she can be the “Lady” of the party, with the males serving as her slaves, and Paela and Willow passing as her Captain and Handmaiden.
Shel offers an escort with her majordomo, taking Dorian and Sheera to the tailor. They quickly arrange for suitable attire, and after short negotiations, agree on a price. Dorian returns Sheera back to the Inn, and takes Paela and Willow out for attire as well. In addition to the purchase of clothing for both ladies, they also stop at a shop that specializes in leather armor that Willow could use and appreciate. She finds a very suitable and nice piece of black leather armor that will significantly enhance her career skills.
While Dorian is out with Paela and Willow, Brother Johnathan, Aeyo, and Sheera are enjoying some wine and conversation in the common room (there is an overheard conversation about some teleportation circles). Aurus is in his coffin resting, when he realizes he is.. BORED. BORED BORED BORED. He turns into mist, and goes sightseeing. While he is out and about, he comes across an armorer with an exquisite piece of glowing magic armor. Aurus quickly returns to the Inn, and announces to BJ, Aeyo, and Sheera what he has found. BJ agree’s to go to the armorer and finds out that the piece of armor Aurus saw, is selling for 22,000 gp. A bit pricey!
BJ returns to the Inn, and shares the cost of the armor with the group (Dorian, Paela, and Willow have returned by now), and while Aurus is exclaiming his disappointment about their lack of funds for such a purchase, an elegantly attired man approaches Aurus and introduces himself as Mr. Torsten.
Mr. Torsten is a spectator of the arena in Mesodrak’socar, as well as a regular participant in the betting. He offers to take Aurus to meet with Bruno, the pit manager for the fights, for a share of any profits. Aurus excitedly agree’s to meet with Bruno, and sets out immediately.
The party follows, and stay with Aurus while Mr. Torsten negotiates a fee with Bruno for Aurus (Dorian decided since he was not asked to help, he would not inject himself in the process, and decided as a kindness, not to tell Aurus how little he was fighting for… all of this conversation was in Deepspeech).
AUrus soon finds himself in the Arena, and is matched up against 4 were-rats. Unfortunatel Aurus was not as well rested as he thought he was, and these were-rats were starved and half mad with aggression, and the fight did not bode well for Aurus.
Feeling the need to offer some vindication, and seeing the opportunity to make some cash, the group quickly agree’s that the males would fight again the next day as a group (Aurus would need to ‘sleep off’ his death, but would be fine the next day). Dorian negotiates the fee with Bruno, and is able to get 170% of the initial offering as the final sum.
The next day, Aurus rises back to his state of undeath, and the party returns to the Arena for their fight. The ladies in the party sit in the stands, and the men enter the pit. They battle a Displacer beast. Each of the men does an incredible job in battle, Aurus hacking away with his sword, BJ blasting it with diving magic, Aeyo eviscerating it, and Dorian disabling it with magic and delivering the final blow as he (to the shock of the crowd and his friends) turns into a black panther and savagely rends the Displacer with a killing blow. The battle is fierce and brutal, but ultimately our heroes claim victory as heroes and showman, and are granted their winnings (17,000 gp).
Bruno anxiously offers the group the opportunity to fight another match the next day for an even greater prize. Dorian lets him know the group will discuss it, and let Bruno know the next day.
Next up.. the slave markets and stocking up for their new army back ‘home’ with the Goblins! Or.. more arena?