With the Yahn-ti heart and listing of regents in hand, the group left the Great Graveyard and Beggar’s Nest District for the City Core. While the others searched the shops and stands for supplies and upgrades, the mage doubled back and headed for the Beggar’s Nest District Temple of Tyr. Inside the door, he found Marcus’ brother. He informed the brother that Marcus had fallen to the Zombie horde; presenting the staff and journal as proof. He traded both for recompense coin before detouring to the tavern next door.
At the tavern, he found a ranking District Guard and informed him that the zombie infestation was over; the necromancers that had caused this atrocity had been dispatched single-handedly by his superior magical talents. Relieved by the news, he too gave the mage reward for his services.
Regrouping in the City Core, the group decided to deliver the Heart of the Yahn-ti to Lady Arabeth (receiving a small reward), before deciding where to search next. According to reports, Blacklake District hadn’t had any notable problems, though the same could not be said for the Docks or Peninsula districts; the Peninsula being flooded with a prison uprising, and the Docks being overtaken by pirates and thieves. The group decided after deliberation to take on the Docks.
Entering the Docks district, they learned from the Captain at the gate that though once one in the same, the Sewer Rats (the Guild Thieves) and the Blood Sailors (the pirates) had in the last days started attacking each other in a block war. The Blood Sailors’ base was the Sea Ghost [docked at port], and the Sewer Rats called the Seedy Tavern their home.
The group made a bee-line for the Seedy Tavern. Though the thieves outside were leery, with bribery, they allowed the group entry. As the adventurers entered, half the group rushed in screaming for the regent. Natalia calmly walked in, stepped around the group (as if she didn’t know them), and asked for a drink. With the situation more calm by now, the dwarf cleric approached, asking likewise for several drinks.
Natalia asked if the bar tender (Duncan) had heard of any strange animals in the district. Duncan directed her to the auctioneer in the corner of the room. She walked up to the auctioneer and asked about his wares and what he was selling. At ease with her calm convincing nature, he told her of being hired (at a very nice rate) to auction off the cure for the Wailing Death. Surprisingly, Callik; leader of the Sewer Rats who had approached him about selling the regent was running days late.
The group decided to search the remainder of the Seedy Tavern to find some kind of lead to where the regent could be. They asked to see the rooms, and Duncan agreed to allow them a look at the rooms before they decided on whether to stay the night. Through the door to the back of the inn, they found stairs leading up to the second floor and a guard standing in front of a door at the other end of the hall.
They approached the guard, asking to enter. With a quick bribe, the cook who was standing guard gladly walked away, letting them enter. They went through the door, down the steps, and into a small central room with two additional doors. Behind one door came only the whistling of air. Behind the other, screaming voices could be heard.
They followed the voices and found their way to a small room where three Sewer Rats had captured a Blood Sailor. Though convinced that the adventurers had simply wandered into the room by accident, the Sewer Rats soon grew impatient and attacked.
After a short battle, the group had won. The Blood Sailor introduced herself as Dara’nei; second in command of the Blood Sailors (second in power and skill only to Captain Vengaul). Dara’nei and Natalia exchanged information about what was going on (events of the recent past and where Vengaul, Callik, and the strange regent could be found – the sewer entrance at the northwest corner of the district). When asked about what kind of creature it was that they had, Dara’nei told them that all she could see was what appeared like the end of a lizard tail through the slits in the crate. The group surmised that the regent was a cocatrice.
The dwarf quickly searched the room next door [a storage room] and found a bag of gold behind a loose stone in the wall, hoarding it all for himself (claiming dwarves covet gold more than any other race or species – .. even dragons? – Just let a dragon try to take me gold! – Good thing there isn’t a shiny stone between you or there would be a fierce war on the spot…). The group exited through the side tunnel, surfacing behind the Seedy Tavern at the northeast corner of the district.
They traversed the district. Using Dara’nei’s locket as the key, they gained entrance to the sewers. Down the ramp and at the back of the room, they found an old gondolier barely holding himself up with his long oar. They asked if anyone had passed by there recently and the old man told them yes; that one of the recent groups had a heavy crate with them. They asked to be taken downstream and the gondolier accepted. Everyone packed into the boat; the dwarf sitting on the Halfling bard on the way down.
Several minutes and one sick dwarf later, the group arrived at a small wooden dock. The dwarf leapt out and kissed the floor of the cobblestone tunnel as the others crawled out of the boat. The group followed the tunnel (making the sounds of musical backdraft [whistling of the flute with the wind, and strings stretching and loosening with every step] with the Halfling still stuck to his back side.
At the door at the end of the hall, the adventurers quietly opened it, seeing a large room with a steel-barred gate [fence] dividing it. Callik and four of his men occupied the adventurers’ half of the room. They casually and silently closed the door and waited ten more minutes. When they tried again, the groups were still on either sides of the wall of steel bars arguing; Callik yelling for the old man to let them sell the regent for as much as they could make, and Vengaul responding back that Callik had no style.
Natalia snuck into the large room. Unnoticed, she snuck to the door that connected the two halves of the room [with a hallway between] only to find it locked. Sneaking right in front of them, Natalia grabbed onto the steel bars, and using her amazing Berserker strength, began to pry the bars apart.
With a gap large enough for a small Halfling to fit through, Vengaul gave up the ruse [after watching Natalia’s efforts from the group’s arrival], and said “Well, it looks like we have company.”
Callik and his men looked 20 degrees to his right and screamed “WOW! HOW DID YOU GET THERE!”
Surprised at their presence, Callik and his men drew their weapons and hesitated. The dwarf performed a strange magic trick by pulling the Halfling out of his.. well, enough of that.. and tried to throw the bard to Natalia; missing and instead striking Callik with the ally. And so the fight was on…
The dragonborn in the group drew her longbow and fired at Callik. Natalia grabbed up the Halfling and threw him through the hole in the fence. The druid transformed into a bat and followed the Halfling through the opening. Natalia and the others on the thieves’ side of the room then proceeded to combat the attackers. One of Vengaul’s men put his hand on the halfling’s head and continued watching the spectacle, even as the Halfling broke away and ran for the connecting hallway.
Instead of attacking Callik and the thieves, the mage cast a powerful AOE spell on Vengaul and his men. Though damaged, they seemed relatively unphased and continued enjoying the spectacle. The druid spotted the crate in the nearby corner and flew to it. Peering through the gap in the planks he spotted a pair of eyes glaring back at her. The druid flew back for fear of being petrified.
With one more AOE spell on Vengaul, his men, and the druid, the druid fell unconscious back into her elven form on the floor, almost hitting the Blood Sailor to Vengaul’s right. Though almost bloodied, the Blood Sailors still maintained their composure and watched as Callik and the last of his men were dealt with.
As the last of Callik’s men fell, Vengaul called to the adventurers; beckoning them to his side of the room. The dwarf healed the druid and the group approached the Blood Sailors. When asked by the druid what it would take to get the cocatrice, Vengaul responded “If you’re working under Lady Arabeth, you can just take it. I was hoping old Nash [Lord Nasher Alagondar; Lord of Neverwinter] would come down here himself so we could reminisce on the old days when we sailed together as shipmates, though I guess things are too difficult now for him. We found it dead; hanging out of the mouth of what used to be a dog. The cocatrice and dog are in that crate in the corner. Take it and tell Nash to keep better track of his stuff. Farewell.”
Vengaul, his third, and his fourth in command departed through a tunnel exit at the far end and disappeared. The group walked up to the crate; opening it, they found the staring eyes of a petrified dog with the cocatrice hanging by its tail out of its mouth. The dwarf pulled the cocatrice out of its mouth and put it in his pack…