The party had traversed the crowded streets of Ianthe and questioned the inhabitants of the Old City district for a long, hard day. Tullweim, Cuana, Dhak, and Xacksmith needed a tall mug of ale. The group traveled across the emptied streets through the dim light to the Bull & Bear inn. Once there, they looked around for any familiar faces but found only 6 of the Gate of Avenrakash’s guards who gambled with 2 mercenaries, and the wench who had attempted to lighten Tullweim’s purse the parties’ first night in Ianthe. The party took a table and gruffly ordered ale from the wench, listened for any mention of the group in the inn, and heard only low grumbles from a couple of the guards. Tullweim bought the gate guards’ table a round as well. Dhak approached the guards about Galbro and got a racist remark for his troubles. Dhak turned away with a sneer on his face and was about to walk back to his table when one soldier told Dhak he’d heard of Galbro’s network of thieves. Dhak turned at the soldiers’ words and was told to search a certain sewer in Ianthe’s slums for a secret entrance to the Zingaran’s lair. Dhak sensed the guards’ true intent was not to aid but to have the party tromp though the cities sewers and provide the guards with a joke to tell in future nights. Dhak spoke to his comrades, they finished their ale and left the inn in a resentful mood.
The adventurers returned to Baron Timeon’s palace and met with Enaro, who informed them of the low level of the troops’ morale. Cuana attempted to rouse the companies’ spirits but could not find the right words. Tullweim then promised the troops they would win through this difficult time with their lives and plenty of silver to take home to Nemedia. A loud cheer rose in response and Tullweim turned to see Timeon’s chamberlain fast approaching down a corridor. Vanemoth informed the party the Baron was not happy that half his slaves had fled in the night from the display of mummery and sorcery Dhak had shown. Tullweim shot Dhak an annoyed look and had the chamberlain lead him to the Baron. Baron Timeon spat vitriol and bile at the adventurers for the loss of his slaves and swore that the cost of each one would come out of the mercenaries’ pay. Tullweim was able to calm the Baron down with assurances that no such thing would again occur and Dhak intimidated the Baron, who let them be for the moment.
Afterwards, Cuana walked rounds with the troops while Dhak checked out Timeon’s floor for any intruders. Tullweim and Xacksmith were headed towards their rooms on the 4th floor of the palace which served as a barracks for the Crimson Wolves and discovered the door to Enaro’s room was open. They had just seen Enaro downstairs and decided to investigate. Xacksmith stealthily opened the door and saw 3 thieves had torn the room apart in search for something. Xacksmith leapt over the bed and blocked access to the balcony before he challenged the thieves. One of the thieves bull rushed Xacksmith, but the Hyrkanian was able to stab him and push him back. Another of the thieves rushed Xacksmith and sent him off the balcony 4 floors to the ground. The last thief moved out to the balcony and climbed up to the roof. Tullweim entered the room and brought his sword down on one of the thieves who cried out in pain. The third thief flanked the Aesir and sent a blade deep into a chink in the barbarian’s armor. Tullweim became enraged, his eyes grew large and his great sword dealt death to the thief on the balcony. Meanwhile, Xacksmith stood up and rushed to warn the Crimson Wolves on the ground floor. Cuana, Xacksmith, Enaro and several Crimson Wolves hastily made their way up to the 4th floor. Dhak heard the noise from the 5th floor and moved out to a balcony. His keen eyes were not hindered much by the dark night sky, and he was able to see a shingle on the roof that betrayed the thieves path of escape. The other thief attempted to flee from Tullweim, but the barbarian swung his sword and cleaved the thieves’ skull in two. Cuana, Xacksmith, and Enaro arrived to find Tullweim covered in the blood of his foes. Cuana tended to Tullweim’s wounds and Dhak gave small aid to Xacksmith. Afterwards, Enaro was questioned as to what the thieves sought. The captain searched through the room and found that the urn the adventurers had left in his care was gone! The party realized, the “crucible” the thieves sought had been under their noses the entire time.
They now knew what was at stake. Tullweim, Cuana, and Xacksmith attempted to track the thief, a difficult task on the hard city streets of Ianthe in the dim light. It took several attempts from the three experienced woodsmen, but they eventually picked up the trail. Meanwhile, Dhak attempted a more mystical approach to their quarry. The Stygian had 2 Crimson Wolves bring Timeon’s servants to his quarters one at a time and drained them to fuel his mystical energy. The mercenaries refused to bring any more servants to Dhak after the first 2 had left a trail of drool as they were carried back to their rooms despite the Stygians assurances that the damage would not be permanent. Dhak then went down the hall and got a couple more mercenaries to grab more of Timeon’s servants. Once he was filled with mystical energy Dhak scryed through a mirror & discovered the thief’s hideout in the slums. Dhak attempted to convince Taras to travel with him but the Zamorian refused to leave his post in watch over Baron Timeon. Dhak then convinced Enaro to escort him through Ianthe’s cutthroat filled alleys. On the way to the thief’s hideout Dhak and Enaro found the rest of the party who had completely lost the thief’s trail. Tullweim sent Enaro back to Timeon’s palace and the three mercenaries followed Dhak into Ianthe’s slums.
They traveled to the thief’s hideout and Tullweim attempted to kick the door down but failed. Cuana stepped up and with his mighty thews knocked the door off its’ hinges. The scared thief held up his sword but knew he could not get through the 4 armed mercenaries who blocked the doorway and his only means of escape. When he stood down the mercenaries questioned the thief and he revealed that he and his fallen brethren did not take the urn. The adventurers demanded to know where Galbro was, but the thief didn’t know. He told them about the house on Wolves’ Row, where they were to leave the urn at midday the next day, if they’d found it. Cuana took a draught of the thief’s cheap liquor and Tullweim told the thief to leave Ianthe and never return or be put to the sword. Without hesitation the thief immediately stole away into the night.
When the adventurers returned to Timeon’s palace, Enaro informed them about 3 more mercenary desertions. Tullweim fixed Dhak with a heavy gaze but before he could speak Baron Timeon approached livid with rage. Quite drunk, the Baron screamed his displeasure about the accost of the few staff that remained. The baron was close to firing the mercenary company on the spot, but Tullweim was once again able to calm him down. After Baron Timeon left back to his chambers, Tullweim turned on Dhak and told the Stygian that he was now on his own. Should any further trouble be caused, Tullweim would not prevent any action Timeon took. That said, the group retired for the night and rested their troubled brows.
The next morning, as the party was prepared for the day, Vanemoth called them to breakfast with a begrudged manner. Timeon, Lady Julia and Torali were present in the dining hall. Timeon chided Vanemoth for his sub-standard meal and shot a rueful look at the mercenaries. He then asked for a progress report to which Tullweim related the information the group had gathered about Galbro and the house on Wolves’ Row that the party planned to visit at midday. Lady Julia urged caution and said Galbro was rumored to be a great necromancer and suggested they only go with a great force of their troops. Tullweim responded that he had faced many demons and unnatural foes in past adventures and was unconcerned about the Zingaran’s mummery.
Afterwards, the party traveled with 2 additional members of the Crimson Wolves to Ianthe’s market district, where they sought Urian the slaver. The slaver had previously been easy to find among his slaves, who he sold like cattle, on the auction block. But this day his stall was empty. When they inquired around the nearby shops they learned Urian had been murdered the day before, hung by his heels not far from his home with marks cut into his cheeks and forehead. With that avenue closed to them the party made its way to the house on Wolves’ Row. Just outside the market district the mercenaries were stopped by a tax collector with a group of the city watch who accompanied him. The collector demanded to see the mercenaries papers and asked for the taxes due. Cuana threatened the collector which set his guards on edge and the collector told Tullwiem to “silence his fool.” This insult boiled the Cimmerian’s blood and Cuana drove his blade deep into the royal collector’s gut. The guards drew their weapons and were about to arrest the angry barbarian when Tullweim kicked the bag of coins that had fallen from the tax collector’s person and convinced the soldiers to let Cuana go to keep their lives, take the coins and report that thieves killed him. That satisfied the guards as they apparently did not like the man anyhow and the party was sent on its way.
Halfway to the house on Wolves’ Row, Tullweim was wracked with pain. He tried to move forward but the pain was too great and he staggered along, knocked into patrons and carts before he hit the cobblestone and fell unconscious. The 2 Nemedian mercenaries who accompanied the party panicked at the sight and fled back to Timeon’s palace, fearful of whatever dark sorcery felled their leader. Xacksmith spotted a group of the city guard who fast approached, ready to arrest Tullweim as a drunk. When they arrived, Dhak successfully bluffed them, said he was Tullweim’s physician, and that the barbarian was ill. The members of the watch told the party to clear Tullweim off the street and to keep him away from Ianthe’s citizens. Cuana lifted Tullweim up and carried him on to their destination.
Tullweim was roused once the adventurers arrived at the house on Wolves’ Row. Xacksmith picked the lock to a door from an alley and once he entered he triggered a trap which caused bricks to fall on him, his quick reflexes led to only minor damage taken. Afterwards, the party moved carefully about the quiet house. The entire structure was thoroughly searched but in all the rooms except for one there was only dust that had laid undisturbed for months, if not years. They found a single room which had been recently swept clean. The only items of note in the room was a clean table and 2 stuffed hawks on a banister. Xacksmith’s keen eyes also found a secret door which led into a side alley. The party waited well past the noon hour, but nobody approached.
With no other leads, the adventurers decided to visit the late Urian’s house to see if anything could be learned. After an hour’s walk they stood before the slaver’s den. Guards with a seedy look surrounded the place and eyed the party suspiciously. Tullweim knocked on the massive oak door and a young girl, no more than fourteen opened it. The Nordheimer introduced himself and inquired as to the status of Urian’s slaves. The girl confessed that she did not know what would become of herself and the others that labored for so long under the slaver’s whip. Cuana mentioned Baron Timeon and his need for servants. The girl thought for a moment and said she would very much like to serve under a noble over another merchant who dealt in the sale of flesh. Tullweim asked about their quarry, the Zingaran, and the young girl did not recognize the name Galbro but replied, “There’s some funny doings at the Tovalis Mansion lately. It’s supposed to be empty but sometimes at night you can hear Zingaran music. Somebody’s holed up in there, you can be certain, but who it is, I don’t know.” The party exchanged looks among one another and bid the young girl better days ahead as they left the dead slaver’s home.