Dahkath's Council of Thieves
Thodin Almek Journal Entry 1
17th day of Arodus, 4709 AR
Twas a strange day indeed when I was approached by Janiven, a young female human who seemed something of an idealist. She asked me several questions – blunt questions – about what I had seen and felt in the City of Westcrown, my home off and on for more than a century. She alluded to the fact that something was terribly wrong with Westcrown, and that I might meet those of similar persuasion.
Either she is a young idealist with no idea how dangerous such talk is, or an expertly planted agent of Thrune, seeking to expose those who do not conform to the worship of Asmodeus.
Either way, I suspected a trap – and immediately set out to inspect the address she provided – Vizio's Tavern. It seemed a run down building, with little to recommend it. Local rumor had it that a half-elf male and a human female – no doubt Janiven – purchased it some time ago, but have yet to complete refurbishing the interior. amd Vizio's Tavern remains closed.
I left, and managed my shop for a time, but the distraction of the coming meeting weighed on my mind, and I left early. Oddly, I was not the first to arrive. I followed a burly human male into the establishment, and could not help but notice the symbol of Asmodeus that he wore about his neck. I immediately became cautious, but as I had yet seen and done nothing wrong, I suspected at worst I would be "interrogated" again, and probably released. Another Human female – name Jezzie – was already here, and Marius and I joined her.
The Brightgaze name was one somewhat known in Westcrown – there was a fairly outrageous murder at a carnival where a man known as Brightgaze was cut down – or burned to death – depending on which account you tended to believe more. A quick question of Jezzie confirmed that she was indeed of the same clan, and came seeking what she called justice, but what she described as vengeance. She wasn't willing to hear any advice either – I cautioned against pursuing vengeance, and she denied that was her aim. Hopefully I am mistaken, but I fear for her.
Marius represents a different sort altogether. I had the distinct impression that he had little idea what the point of having laws were, merely that the laws were to be enforced to the fullest and harshest extent of the law – always, without exception. I wonder what Janiven sees in him – his sword arm certainly looks strong enough to serve.
Janiven was there, and saw to our needs, providing mediocre food and above average – if unspectacular – ale. Not a good sign for the future patrons of Vizio's Tavern if this was representative of the fare she and her half-elf planned to serve.
After some time, some of the "workmen" finished up whatever they were doing – for it surely had little or nothing to do with what would be required to open a tavern – and Janiven joined us. She explained why she had brought us together. She told of her dreams for a free Westcrown, and of a Westcrown "free from the thrice-damned house of Thrune!". Those treasonous words were more than enough to consign all of us to the hangman's noose should we be caught – heady words indeed!
Her distraction became more and more pronounced as time passed, and I inquired as to her distress. Apparently she expected her companion the half-elf (name Arel or Ariel or somesuch) to be here as well – but he was running late. I immediately looked towards the setting sun, and realized that he had ample time before sundown to make it indoors, but Janiven was clearly distressed.
Shortly afterwards a young human child came running up, pounding on the door frantically. Janiven let him in and promptly barred the door behind him. The lad – a boy named Morosino – claimed that Janiven's half-elf friend Arel was apprehended by the Hellknights – and that they were on their way.
Typical – the boy led them right to us, no doubt.
Janiven immediately toppled some furniture before the door, and then urged us to come with her, leading towards a back exit. The clatter of heavily armored people approaching added haste to our cause, at which point Janiven, instead of leading us out the back door, threw open a trap door and urged us down. The stench left little doubt where we were going.
Once in the sewers of Westcrown (which are remarkably clean and well kept – for sewers), Janiven quickly showed us the marks leading to their secret holdout, and then promptly created a distraction in order to lead the pursuing Hellknights away, relying on her greater knowledge of the sewer system and how to navigate it and its hazards to keep her safe with the Hellknights in pursuit.
Our ordeal thus began when we took a wrong turn, and against my judgement we turned back – walking directly into a patrol of Hellknight trainees. Vicious, mean-tempered, and at odds with one another as much as they were with us – essentially brutes and thugs given the patina of legitimacy by House Thrune. They immediately attacked us, and we were forced to kill them in self defense. Despite my many encounters with Hellknights over the years, I never cease to be unpleasantly surprised by them.
On entering a part of the sewer that seemed to collect refuse, we were attacked by a group of some sort of sewer monster – I was leading since I could see farther than the torchlight's glow reached for human eyes, and was quickly overwhelmed by the little monstrosities, and awoke to Jezzie pouring a potion down my throat.
Next, we were assaulted by goblins – a scout appeared and shot at us, then led a group of the vicious little things back to attack us. We slew the filthy beasts and dumped their remains into the water.
As to my companions, I was entirely correct as to the strength of Marius' sword arm – he is skilled in the use of the bastard sword, and showed no hesitation when fighting the Hellknight trainees. Jezzie uses some form of magic I have not seen before, seeming to confuse and befuddle our foes instead of more direct means of arcane assault.
Our travails continued with the discovery of some magic alcove containing a gigantic monster covered with hideous tentacles and jagged teeth; if I am to be in these sewers again (Iomedae protect me from such a fate, but insurrection against house Thrune makes it highly likely I will be back here again), it would behoove me to learn something of the beasts that dwell here; a serious oversight of my education to date.
Strangely, we next encountered some undead humans – odd in that they seemed to be sitting in a room with perfectly serviceable chairs and a table. They quickly assaulted Marius, and knocked him senseless and gravely wounded me. Jezzie was unfortunately unable to harm the abominations – her ability to confuse and instill fear has little effect on mindless undead. After casting almost all of my magic, I begin to grow concerned over our ability to escape these sewers…