Five apparently unrelated enforcers for the authoritarian Mages College were summoned by the pseudodragon Wyrmrangr to the Mage’s Tower. This group included:
Rokero Bloodaxe, a fierce dwarven barbarian
Ulfgar Godsbeard, a heavily-armored dwarven cleric of Njal, the Scarred Warrior
Mikkwann, a witty gnomish illusionist
Rath Talaviir, a powerful female elven wizard
Ranulf Banathsson, a crafty human spellthief.
After some very brief introductions between members of the group, they were told the Archmage herself would see them.
The Archmage explained that these enforcers had been handpicked for a task that requires some discretion. A magical artifact of significant power was stolen from the Tower the previous night, and these five enforcers were tasked with recovering it and bringing those responsible to the Tower’s justice. This artifact was protected by magical means that were somehow disabled, and was described as posing no danger to enforcers (but perhaps some danger to its current owners). A couple of scouts apparently reported sighting two? average-looking humanoids. The archmage suggested starting the search in the Merchant Quarter, in case the thieves were attempting to fence the artifact quickly. After a quick visit to the Tower’s armory, the party set off.
The magic shop was the first to be investigated. The party questioned the owner about any unusual recent acquisitions. He said he crafted the majority of his stock himself, but he came off as a bit shady. However, the enforcers were able to use their status to intimidate him into showing them his stockroom. Nothing of import was found there, even after the party’s mages sensed for magical auras. The party left the shop and its displeased owner. Upon leaving, the voice of Wyrmrangr echoed in the party’s heads, warning them to be more discreet in their inquiries.
Rokero Bloodaxe, an avid collector of bones of all sorts, decided to seek out some more items for his collection. He set off for the local taxidermist, and, in the absence of any other strong leads, the rest of the party followed. This time, in order to comply with Wyrmrangr’s warning, only two enforcers entered the shop, while the rest made themselves look busy in the surrounding area. Rokero scavenged through animal remains outside the shop before entering. The proprietor greeted him kindly but did not have any bones besides those in the scrap heap Rokero had already searched. However, a few questions revealed that a pair of strange humanoids had apprached the owner very late the previous night wanting to quietly dispose of a body. He claimed he had immediately refused and they left. However, he did notice their skin seemed to have a bluish tinge to it. Rokero, still interested in acquiring more bones, asked the owner where he could find some, and was directed to a nearby butcher’s shop.
The party again accompanied Rokero on his quest. Once again, three of the party’s members occupied themselves outside, while Rokero and this time Ranulf Banathsson walked inside. The butcher explained that he did not sell any bones, only meat and an odd-looking stew whose origins he avoided explaining (“…pigs, more or less…”). Rokero bought some and drank it heartily, proclaiming it the best stew he’d ever had. Ranulf was more skeptical and thought the soup looked a bit off, and so Rokero drank his share as well. The butcher denied having any strange visitors in the night, and became angry with the pointed questions. The pair left the shop.
The band of enforcers, believing the butcher was not telling them something, decided to attempt a bluff. Mikkwann and Rath Talaviir, as two enforcers the butcher had not yet seen, walked in and tried the old ‘good health-inspector, bad health-inspector’ routine. The butcher, however, was having none of it, partly because the College had never done any sort of inspection before. The party left with their suspicions unconfirmed.
The next destination was the slave quarter. The party reasoned that slaves were often overlooked and stayed out of sight, meaning they were likely to have heard or seen something useful. Most slaves, however, were currently hard at work on Kaldjauppr’s outer walls. Mikkwann approached the foreman on duty and began a strange line of questioning which heavy-handedly approached the subject of recently missing slaves or unusual deaths. After the foreman became angry, Ranulf Banathsson approached to apologize for his colleague’s behavior and smooth things over. They learned that there in fact been one unusual death the previous night – a young, strong, and healthy slave had died suddenly while working on the Tower’s walls. The party set out for the Tower perimeter.
The party found a blood stain, which Rokero Bloodaxe was able to track as far as the Merchant Quarter. This seemed to be the blood of the murdered slave, whose corpse was likely brought to the taxidermist and then perhaps the butcher to be disposed of, in the absence of any body of water. The enforcer on guard duty at the Tower wall pointed the party towards the Thirsty Demon, a local tavern frequented by enforcers and the likely location of the enforcer who saw the slave die.
The party entered the Thirsty Demon and Rath Talaviir immediately recognized the enforcer witness as an old acquaintance. After some discussion and a bribe of 180gp, he agreed to lead the party to where he followed the two suspicious humanoids. This turned out to be a tiny, simply-built home. After a few minutes of discussion, Rokero Bloodaxe became tired of waiting and just kicked in the door. He was immediately met with two arrows to the chest, shot by two strange humanoids who had been standing within with bows drawn.
The rest of the party sprang into action, though the house was so small that only two people (Rokero and Ulfgar Godsbeard) were able to fit inside. During the fight, one of the humanoids unleashed a freezing blast of energy from his right eye. The party overcame the strange pair, though, and quickly looted their bodies. Both bore an odd tattoo of a few links of a chain.
Rath Talaviir’s keen elven senses detected a hidden trapdoor beneath the rug. The party opened it and discovered a 75-foot pit, with a ladder affixed to the side. Rokero started down, and soon noticed another humanoid standing at the bottom of the pit with a drawn bow. With no regard for personal safety, he dropped the remainder of the distance and hit the ground hard. He handily defeated the humanoid and the rest of the party climbed down the ladder. Rath Talaviir and Ranulf Banathsson both stumbled on the ladder and found themselves falling. However, some quick thinking allowed Rath to activate one of her magical crystals, which contained a spell that teleported the pair to the floor safely.
The party found themselves in a long corridor. Ranulf Banathsson moved quietly ahead, scouting the area. After a brief encounter with a single-shot arrow trap, which was disabled, the party happened upon a locked door in the side of the corridor. The party decided to send Ranulf in to investigate stealthily, and Mikkwann used his command of illusions to render him completely invisible. The invisible Ranulf was able to pick the lock and enter the room, which turned out to be a large armory. A sleeping bear, covered in heavy armor, seemed to be guarding it. Ranulf carefully approached the bear in an attempt to slit its throat, but was detected by the bear’s keen sense of smell, which woke the bear. The rest of the party sprang into action. A web spell and a grease spell both covered the floor in hazards, which tripped up both the bear and the enforcers. The bear fought fiercely, and its thick armor made it difficult to harm. However, after some intense melee combat, along with some magic and many distracting illusions (including Dracula with six arms), the bear finally fell.