Lots happened last time (arguably more than ever before), so in an effort to make this more readable I’ll skip most of the flowery language.
Stravos, Xanyon (mul guard/blacksmith), Krafke (eccentric skiff captain), and Darian were in Tyr to search for Darian’s father Leto. Last session they were in a bar at bad time and witnessed a rebel girl fleeing from the templars. All but Stravos were enslaved both because they didn’t identify the rebel, and more importantly because the templars need slaves to work on Kalak’s ziggurat.
Part 1: Escape
Xanyon, Krafe, and Darian awoke in the slave camp. Conditions were deadly in the camp—slaves were worked brutally and given insufficient food, water, and sleep. Because many slaves only lasted a week before succumbing to conditions, our “heroes” knew they needed to act quickly.
After having failed to enlarge an altercation between a half-dozen elves and a half-giant into a larger tumult, they knew they needed to act quickly before conditions took their toll. However, the work group they were assigned to provided scant opportunities: they could not scout the camp out, find suitable materials, or even talk amongst themselves. Was it possible to switch groups?
No, it turned out. When another group came up pick up the bamboo our heroes had been chopping, they attempted to blend into the new group. But neither the old nor the new overseer would have any of it. With guards approaching, it seemed the all-or-nothing escape moment had come.
Although carrying the materials of another group didn’t fool either overseer, at least it looked like normal activity to the guards. That enabled them to get close enough to the wall before the entire camp was alterted. Xanyon and Krafke easily climbed the wall of the camp and Darian levitated over.
Part 2: Reassembling the Party
Xanyon, Krafke, and Darian were out of the camp into the streets of Tyr but the general alarm had been sounded, and guards poured out of the gates to find escaped slaves.
Luckily, Krafke’s Skate ability persisted and enabled the three to zigzag through alleys at super-human speed. Getting lucky again, when they ducked into a building it was as it appeared: an empty residence. They quickly changed clothes (long-sleeve shirts) and grabbed a few items, hoping to blend into the Tyr cityfolk.
A mul, a dwarf, and a human trio would be easy recognized together so they split up and proceeded via different routes to the rendezvous site on the other side of down.
By bad luck, Xanyon and Krafke were interrogated by guards looking for the escaped slaves. Both wisely slowed their arms that they were slaves, but insisted that they were performing chores for their masters. After all, if you owned a slave, would you be outside at this time of day? The guards were satisfied and let them continue on. Darian luckily avoided the patrols.
Part 3: Mystic
While Xanyon, Krafke, and Darian were in the slave camps, Stravos continued his search on the outside. He had to lay low for a while (wanted signs with his picture were still up) but managed to check the slave pits again, unsuccessfully, for Darian’s father Leto. He then went back to the Mystic and paid him 6 more silver for his results on where Leto was.
The mystic informed Stravos that Leto was somewhere in Tyr. The mystic seemed quite pleased with himself, but Stravos was less impressed and intimidated him into provided more specific information. While Stravos waited for the results, Xanyon, Krafke, and Darian arrived at the mystic.
After a joyful reunion and a few hours wait, the mystic said that Leto was in the Trade/Artisan district of Tyr. However, some kind of “psychic shield” was protecting him and prevented the mystic from being any more specific.
Part 4: Artisan’s District
Our “heroes” did the usual canvassing of dwarven merchants, using the story that they were looking for a certain type of dwarven good, and had heard that a trader of house Orodin named “Darian” was around. (If Leto had been going around asking for Darian, they would probably hear about it.)
They eventually arrived at a two story compound called the Guild of the Hammer. Nothing seemed amiss at first: it looked like a traditional store and had an ordinary workshop in back. However, when the proprietor was asked about Orodin he seemed to be hiding something, and the building was covered in a psychic effect—presumably the psychic shield the mystic mentioned.
Part 5: The Guild of the Hammer
The first step was to stake out this guild. If strange things were going on there, presumably they would see more than a blacksmith and his apprentice go in or out. There was a bar whose window afforded a view of the compound, so Stravos, Xanyon, and Krafke went in and camped out at that table.
Their time at the bar at first passed uneventfully. The bar itself was almost empty, with only the bartender and a boy on duty and a thri-kreen the only other customer. The boy spilled drinks on the group but they thought nothing of it. Then Stravos and Darian started to pass out.
Was it just too much beer? Krafke, sensing an ambush, started to carry the other two out, but was attacked from behind by the bartender, while the waiter boy ran out. Stravos and Darian had recovered to some extent by now, and the three easily defeated the bartender.
Heavy questioning by Stravos revealed that the bartender sent his boy to get the templars and tended intended to sell the group back into slavery. The group wanted revenge, but also didn’t want trouble from the bartender and more importantly they still wanted to observe the Guild of the Hammer from his bar. So they made a deal: when the templars came the bartender blamed another group that had fleed, and the three heroes would not kill the bartender.
After a few more days in the bar, noone suspicious was observed going in or out of the guild. However the newly talkative bartender did mention that the Guild was probably a rebel stronghold and sometimes the people coming out of the building didn’t match the people going in.
Part 6: Infiltration of the Guild
Our heroes knew something was weird about this building, but just sitting and waiting was accomplishing nothing. So they sent the most expendable member of the party, Xanyon, undercover. He walked into the guild, showed he was an escaped slave, and claimed he wanted to do whatever it took to dethrone Kalak.
The proprietor played it straight: he didn’t immediately call the templars, but he did suggest Xanyon come back in a few days if he was ready to take an honest job. Despite hopes that this was some kind of euphemism, Xanyon arrived later only to be taught blacksmithing. In fact, he spent about a month working under a guildmember learning the craft. His attempts to subtly inquire about the rebels seemed fruitless.
Finally persistence paid off. A guildmember offered a rebel mission to Xanyon: He was to become re-enslaved and join the gladitorial ranks. There he was to impress a particular noble by killing a deadly beast called a Tembo. Once part of that noble’s stable, he was to pass a secret message. The guildmember needed one other to go with Xanyon, so he sent Xanyon off to ask his sympathetic friends.
Xanyon told all of this to Stravos, Krafke, and Darian who were waiting nearby. That night, the four also saw a rebel enter the compound, the girl who originally caused most of them to become enslaved! It was time for a confrontation.
The four burst into the guild to find the girl talking with the proprietor and a new man. Four men soon came to reinforce the rebels and violence seemed possible. However, Xanyon vouched for the group, and the rebel girl had to admit she owed her freedom to them. Darian, Stravos, and Krafke explained that they weren’t looking for the templars, they just wanted to find Darian’s father.
The rebels finally admitted they were connected to Leto. They said that if the group returned tomorrow night, they would be able to speak with Leto. Suspicious, our heroes departed to consider their next action.