Our heroes fought bravely against hordes of gremlins, but not before the tall gremlin started lowering the mogwai down to the boiling water. More and more monsters crawled out of a trashpile and throwing themselves at Christian. Redden continued to lay waste with cold iron arrows. Lance lopped off their heads. Christian held his ground and batted them away with his mace, pulverizing the creatures.
All the while, geisers of hot steam shot up through the grates surrounding the pool in an unpredictable pattern. Strangely enough, the gremlins seemed to show fear of the water and the spouts. Redden’s keen ears picked up a grinding sound from many directions getting closer.
Taking out the tall gremlin at the crank revealed it to a gremlin standing on another’s shoulders hidden by the pirate’s garb they wore. It’s death slump pushed the crank it was operating a quarter turn more, sending the mogwai even closer to the bubbling, steamy water below.
Lance procured a ten foot pole and started to pull the mogwai closer to rescue him while a troop of gremlins poured into the room and steadily moved forward. With some deft footwork, Lance easily hopped over the hot waters and pulled the mogwai closer to safety… but the chain was not long enough to reach the side. They had Tequila loosen the chain with the crank by pulling on it with rope. The slack allowed “Gizmo” to make it over the grate so that Redden could free him. Upon doing so, the creature recovered from its stunned status and began to sing for Redden who instantly felt as though he should protect this wonderful creature with his life. It didn’t change anything as Redden was already set on saving him. He then hit a stunned gremlin before it could wake up.
Between arrows impaling several gremlins and the bashing and slashing by Christian and Lance, the troop of Goblins surrounding them was defeated. The heroes debated and decided on activating a large switch on the floor which closed a large gate in the waters at the very center of the room and sent heat towards the edges.
Tequila confirmed that the waters radiated with a strong magic below the gate, and the group wondered if this magical spring could be the cause of heat in the city. The sewers were well crafted, and this chamber had magical traps on the doors to keep people out. However, it would seem that no one save for the gremlins had been here in some time. The many tracks laid around by the gremlins made it difficult to discern the activity of people.
They found some coin and a red and black dress belonging to the girls back at the Lusty Goblin. The “tall gremlin” dropped a masterwork rapier. They made plans to research this place and headed back that way they came. Once out, they were met by a guard whom they instructed to spread word with his associates about the gremlins’ defeat but to stay on guard in case of any survivors. They moved in through the back entrance, past some servants who gawkingly watched the dirty group of heroes walk past them towards Mistress Odetta’s chamber.
They found her drinking on a throne-like chair. She looked shocked by their appearance but happy to get good news about the infestation. She asked again that they continue to be discrete about this incident. They pried about the “Sunny” character who supposedly gifted the Mogwai to Greta. They used honeyed words and charm to reveal that Sunny was a tall and fair elf who comes and goes at his leisure. He had an affair with Odetta and plenty others much to her disapproval. Indeed, discussing the man made her so upset as to hop out of her seat and grab the magical sword on her mantle. She clumsily knocked over the Crystelle Ice Wine on the top shelf, breaking and spilling its contents all over the shimmering long sword. She swung it around with surprising grace and good form, despite the occasional slip from the drunken state she was in. As she swung, Lance approached smoothly and stopped her from swinging the sword using the Clortho eyes in the way the typically work on ladies. He talked her down and made her lower her weapon. She asked him if they were interested in looking further into it. She said she’d like it if Lance would be her champion and if he’d use her sword to kill Sunny when they met. He used his best bluff to make her happy without outright promising to kill anyone. He wondered if he’d eventually have to? The man was most definitely the father to their good friend Gwyn and to the nimble-bodied Gloria.
With this in mind, they had Odetta take them to speak to her daughter Greta. Greta was not forward like the other girls at the house. She conveyed a certain air of innocence and goodness as she prepared tea for the party. They asked her about her father and though she knew of his promiscuity she did not know of the existence of siblings in other cities. She had always wanted a sister and was now informed that she had two. Greta hoped the party would be kind to her father as she swore she was a good guy. It was indeed he who brought her the Mogwai to cheer her weeks ago. He also previously provided for her the exquisite tea set she was using to prepare the tea, and the magical sword from downstairs. Though excited by all this news, she spoke in calm tones and moved gingerly and with grace preparing tea as part of a ceremony. She explained that it was her gift and she was providing to them a unique boost that was both expensive and a much adored house speciality. It didn’t disappoint as they felt a sensation of dauntless courage stay with them for minutes.
Through sad goodbye Greta bid farewell to the adventurers and the precious mogwai. Elsewhere in the house, the party was promised a reward for helping return some clothes to the girls. They could collect it on their next visit, when they were clean. Odetta promised them a complimentary night at her establishment as further reward.
The party went on to Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders and banged on his door a few times. It seemed like he was asleep and opened the door only as they were about to give up on him. In his night gown and cap he looked frustrated and then ecstatic when presented with the mogwai. The mogwai traded a thankful glance with Redden who had taken him home.Waldorf asked that they please return again tomorrow after getting cleaned up and resting before coming into his shop for special merchandise.
Satisfied, the group headed back to the Red Raven Inn to get cleaned up and rest before the busy morning ahead. They found Garrett waiting for them and looking at them with newfound respect after hearing about their exploits up north from Loquar and Anatole. Garrett presented them with a letter from Campbell Williams, the senior ranking member of the Returners in Nikeah. He requested that the party accompany him to the Jarl’s Longhouse in the morning.
They changed their clothes and had baths before getting some much needed rest. They found new clothes and clean armour outside of their doors in the morning. Heading downstairs they were presented with a complimentary continental breakfast and the company of Master Campbell Williams, he told the party they’d leave in 15 minutes so they best eat up and get some questions out of the way between bites. Loquar was nowhere to be found, having stepped out very early into the morning. Anatole would be looking into the sewer situation that the party had mentioned, seeing about getting a map from city officials or whatever else he could muster up in their assistance. He was more than happy to oblige as he said he hated politics.
He told them their mission was to accompany and protect him as visible members of the Returners. They would be armed, but should not draw any weapons unless there serious threats of violence. He claimed that Earl Ragnar would crush Jarl Albrook one on one, but wouldn’t put it past the Jarl to cheat. Williams hopes the conflict won’t come to killing in his city. He saw problems with the Jarl, but accepts that Earl Ragnar would not be suitable to run an economy. He hopes to make more time for peaceful resolution that will benefit all.
He walked the group down the main roads through the rich Uppsalla district and into the noble district of Walhalla where the Jarl’s Longhouse overlooked the lake. Through some gates and into a immaculately kept garden a crowd was forming. Nobles concerned with the well-being of the city or merely keeping up with the latest gossip were watching close. Guards were stationed everywhere around the house in an obvious attempt at dissuading Earl Rangnar from attacking the Jarl.
Earl Ragnar and some friends (including Sverri and Odd, whom the party rescued days before) were holding up steins of beer. They were armed with axes and had shields on their backs. The Earl taunted the Jarl about his various failures and inability to uphold the values of his people, and being the first of his family to have snow within the walls of the city since its inception.
The air was thick as the Jarl pleaded to Ragnar and the crowd to believe that it was always he and his family that kept the city safe and that any day the mists of Nifelheim would release monsters on the city. He wished that they could all understand his plight. The Earl gave his challenge to the Jarl on this momentous third meeting, as was the way of his people and the Jarl stuttered, unable to respond when from above a gravely voice exclaimed, “Jarl Albrook, you have failed this city!”
At the same time, many a guard cowled up with black hoods and raised their crossbows, pointing them at various targets on both sides of the conflict. “Holy Abadar, god of walls and ditches!” shouted Campbell Williams who was all too quick to point out how the Red Raven once saved his grandfather Aric and that the crowd should hear him out. He was quickly dismissed by the Red Raven who told him to “Can it.” because the rich man hadn’t taken refugees into his home.
The Red Raven pressed on the Jarl to reveal the truth about the city and what was going on. Albrook repeated his fears of the mists and pleading for them to see it his way before retreating into his house. As the Jarl and some guards moved, a few weapons were raised by Ragnar’s men and the cowled “unkindness” bandits started shooting bolts at some people who dropped in sleep rather than in injury. One of them missed and reached behind his back for another crossbow. Campbell sprung to action with a mad dash and swung down with his hand causing the crossbow to fire its bolt into the ground. “No,” he said. Seeing the attention this brought, he lowered his voice to speak to the man. Christian managed to overhear the final words of " – - fucking bolts!"
Christian asked about the sewers to which Campbell shouted to the Red Raven to ask the Jarl about the sewers. He didn’t budge and the party had to inform the Red Raven about the source of heat in the sewers and the southbound trail of gremlin tracks (and their own) from the manhole by the Lusty Goblin. He nodded in gratitude and did an impossible jump from the roof over the wall of the area. The unkindness disbanded, taking advantage of the distracted crowd, disappearing from the garden.
Earl Ragnar laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and upon recognizing the party asked about his son. He took to heart the party’s requests to not fight right now or maybe he had simply heard the screams and shrieks coming from the docks. Tequila was trying to tell the group that she felt it approach… but now, at the gate of the Jarl’s garden, some bird-like mistborn monsters flew out of the fog and start dive bombing and attacking people one even carrying a small child away.
Jarl Albrook could faintly be heard saying, “I told you they were coming!” Taking charge of the situation, Campbell Williams ordered the party to help people at the docks, as he would handle the Jarl and the crowd here, while the Raven followed up on the sewers. Campbell used some of his local sway to get some guards to help people by the water.
The party rushed to the docks and saw that the Fish Market was in an uproar with people running for their lives, trying to get into their homes or away from their homes in a panic. As the party rounded a corner they could see that the fog had moved in considerably, and from the mist’s edge a half-dozen or so serpentine heads from a gargantuan mistborn creature shrieked. A few heads spewed cold mists from their mouths, covering roofs and anywhere else they sprayed with frost. Other heads reached out and chomped down on brave guards and anyone too slow to get away. The monster’s gargantuan body was mostly obscured by the mists and only barely showed its imposing size. It’s chilling screams reverberated through the market streets. The party stood in awe, knowing they would somehow have to do something about this threat before more people could get hurt.
* Notably NPCs *
O’detta Walker- hates “Sunny” for his promiscuity and the bruising of her pride. Has gifted Lance her magical longsword so long as he “promised” to kill Sunny with it.
Greta- most definitely another sister to Gwyn. Has a magical way of making tea that imbues people with courage.
Anatole- looking into the sewers and magical spring situation below town at your request.
Campbell Williams- doing his best to avoid political and economical problems in the city and hired you to help prevent any killing of city officials.
Jarl Johan Albrook - Cowardly, but pleading for people to understand his plight in protecting the city.
Earl Ragnar Lothbrok- Functionally drunk in the morning, ready to kill the Jarl and try his best to remedy the problems of the big city.
Red Raven- gravel voiced, bearded spectacle. He and his “unkindness” held up the meeting between the Earl and Jarl. Able to leap tall walls in a single bound.