After arriving in the bustling trade hub of Guildscore, cousins Roy Engelbrecht and Lucricia Redquill say goodbye to their travelling companions after a few days of hard rest. Jimmy SIlksheets, a gnome bard of great infamy, was apprehended after a series of utter embarrassments caught the dangerous attention of the bards guild, and the city’s favorite bounty hunter Talon. Gili and his loyal servant departed to return east after a harrowing missive told of public executions in the dwarven capitol. Finally, returning to the wilds she called home, the mysterious Half-elf druid simply vanished from the stifling confines of the city.
Down to two and still bound by a cursed armband ‘gifted’ to him by the mysterious bandaged merchant M’laak, Roy earns his room and board writing fantastic tales of his former companions, the exaggerated history of his people, and unflattering erotica of Mr. Silksheets and his other cousin Jacob Redquill. It is during one such sales day that Roy’s bangle turns him, rather suddenly, into a woman, prompting his encounter with Talon and being directed by a passing Dwarf to the Emerald Rose, a high class brothel in the heart of the city’s Residential Quarter, home to the most affluent and wealthy families in the area. The sudden gender-swapping also draws the attention of the Dragonborn bounty hunter known simply as Talon. Seeing an opportunity for some premium entertainment, she joins the cousins on the humble search for new clothes.
At the south gate, the arrival of a tall, pale stranger causes a stir among the city militia, a rare thing in such a diverse town. Towering over his fellow travelers, an air of arrogance about him and with the clear bearing of an Outsider, Khataan Eassa, an Elven spell caster from the borderlands of the cursed Rhengaard Wastes, demands entry to the city. He comes seeking whatever knowledge can be learned and, with some luck, leads into the whereabouts of the illithid tyrants who slaughtered his family and neighbors. After some debate and guesswork, the guards allow him in, pointing him towards the Emerald rose to find the information he seeks.
It is here, at the luxurious bordello that our adventurers first meet the travelling monk and all around ladies lady, Amberlee. Brought together by mutual curiosity and a shared need for archaic knowledge. This wayward band sets off to the ramshackle house and impromptu curio museum of “Baron” Dudaad MacGuffan, a deranged dwarf with a knack for collection unusual trinkets and artifacts. Here the party finds no answers, and more questions, the name “M’laak” sending the addled dwarf into a traumatic coma of chaotic memories. But our heroes do not leave empty handed, ‘borrowing’ several books and a few other odds and ends from the collection, and deciding to follow a new lead regarding the disappearance of one of MacGuffan’s friends, a young lord from the noble House Sildara.
As they travel the streets from Castle MacGuffan to House SIldara, Talon tells the group of the strange circumstances around the vanishing. She tells them that a month before, amid several other disappearances, the youngest child of the house, Lord Hector SIldara vanished from his home. His older sisters, Morrigan and Elizabeth used every resource at their disposal but found nothing. Recently, at Elizabeth’s insistence, the search was halted, everyone believing the boy dead and gone by now. Sure enough, this was the scene that awaited them at the manor house. Morrigan brought to tears by the willingess of the strangers to help renew the search, and Elizabeth unconvinced that Hector still lived, hesitantly allowing the party to investigate.
In the boy’s bedroom, scratches and ash were found under the heavy bed, traces of some strange alchemy and more. With the aid of one of the ‘borrowed’ books, the heroes found the first suspect of the case. A race of Ratmen thought to be nothing more than myth, the Vile Skaven. Wasting no time and not willing to let another night pass where the boy could be put at harm, the party traveled quickly into the Guildscore sewers.
Plodding through sludge and filth, guided by the markings of the thieves guild, known by the Rogueish Roy, the party stumbled into the Skaven den, an ancient and vast cistern under the city filled with ramshackle huts and piles of refuse, bones and collected trinkets. Amongst it all, by some miracle was Hector Sildara, caged and weak, but alive. Then the Ratmen came.
Quickly freeing the boy, the party fled as the swarm of Skaven clanrats flooded into the cistern, a wave of teeth and vile hatred. Vials of alchemical fire were thrown, slowing the tide but not stopping it’s rush. An old drainage gate in a side passage of the sewers proved their escape. requiring the magic of Khataan and a commandeered cargo crane to rip the grate free. Leaving the slathering ratmen below, the heroes returned to the surface, the warehouse guards sent for aid but only Lady Morrigan arrived to see the safe return of her brother. Suspecting foul play. Roy, Amberlee and Talon set off to find Lady Elizabeth, while Khataan and Lucricia remained behind to see to the overjoyed siblings.
What Roy, Talon and Amberlee discovered was that Lady Elizabeth had been involved in her brothers dissapearance. Acting as an agent so some being known as the Rat King. When confronted, the Lady sent her personal guard to kill the trio, leaving the House guard shocked and confused. The fight was brief however, and the three were victorious drawing a confession from the woman after dispatching her thugs.
Back in the warehosue district, the excitement of the day was beginning to calm, the first rays of dawn peeking over the horizon and young Hector reunited with his loving sister Morrigan. It was not to last, as the Skaven swarm demanded blood. A cluster of clanrats scurrying from the hole in the warehouse to kill the intruders who had stolen their hostage. With the guards at their backs and the prayers of Lady Morrigan bolstering their spirits, Khataan and Lucricia stood firm to meet their foes. Their confidence waned only slightly as the hulking, unnatural monstrosity of a Rat Ogre pulled itself onto the surface, snarling in rage. Brave Khataan, determined to put an end to the beast charged in, Lucricia’s arrows flying past him as he rushed to engage the gigantic rat beast. The battle was hard, the thick bulk of the creature absorbing blow after blow, nearly killing the elf. But as the sun began to rise over the horizon, the monstrosity fell dead at their feet.
Exhausted and knowing here was still a swarm below the city, the heroes were brought back to House Sildara to tend their wounds, rest, and prepare to speak with the All Guilds Council later that day regarding the Skaven threat.