Dahkath's Council of Thieves
Thodin Almek Journal Entry 3
18th day of Arodus, 4709 AR
After freeing Areal, we split up (lest we arouse suspicion) and made our way back to Westcrown to return the horses that we borrowed from Gorvio’s uncle, a horse trader named Jacovo. By all accounts, Jacovo is a decent fellow, and the as the horses were essentially ridden out and back for an hour without any undue wear on them, we should be able to prevent any hardship to him.
Alas, this was not to be.
A well dressed Human was at the horse trader, berating Jacovo – loudly and in great detail regarding faults that – unless this man were a close personal friend of Jacovo – he could not possibly know. As we approached, the Human turned his ire upon us, deriding us for our faults, for stealing the horses he required, and sundry other insults. I’ve seen his type before – unhappy unless flattered shamelessly.
Alas, Jezzie immediately took offense, and I was forced to intervene to prevent this trivial incident from involving the dottari. The man – though calling him such is overly generous – identified himself as Thesing Umbero Ulvauno, a local celebrity of some small renown in the opera circuit. I complimented him, tried to pass off our use of the horses as an effort to make them seem more fitting for his performance, and generally acted impressed. He seemed a little mollified, and left without calling the dottari – which is a success. Jacovo seemed particularly grateful that the incident had passed him by.
Upon returning to the Shrine of Aroden, headquarters of the Children of Westcrown, we met with Areal. He seems a decent enough sort, and is a follower of Iomedae, though he does not know Raiel. I should, perhaps, introduce them that we may coordinate our efforts.
Areal and Janiven suggested that we lay low for a time, as the HellKnights are undoubtedly angered over the escape of the prisoners and the cowardly performance of their Armingers. It appears that the dottari regard this as a Hellknight concern – it happened outside their control – and the poor relationship the dottari have with the Hellknights makes it unlikely that there will be any effort on their part to track down the fugitive Areal or his rebellious followers.
With the Children of Westcrown curtailing their activities until the tension over Areal’s escape has abated, it is time for us to seek out quests of our own. Remembering the ordeal through the sewers, I suggested investigating Jan Candor to determine what the Imps were after, as well as looking into the numerous goblins infesting the place – they must be coming from somewhere, and tracking them down and exterminating them seems a wise course of action. Lastly, hunting the beasts that plague the night is always rewarding, both from an activity that helps clear the streets of Westcrown, and financially – Bluehood is the leader of the Westcrown Shadow Hunters, and rewards those who slay a beast with funds. A suspicious part of me believes this is just a ploy by house Thrune to have all the potential do-gooders killed off by the beasts before they can amass any particular power of their own, but I am eager to test myself and directly combat the darkness. Most were against returning to the sewers for any reason, but a consensus was reached around investigating Jan Candor and learning what we could about him, and slaying shadow beasts for the reward.
Our initial investigation was confusing and unrewarding. Jan Candor seems a decent – if suspicious – individual with a small business that specializes in unremarkable weapons. In fact, there is little to differentiate him from the host of similar merchants in Westcrown. When we warned him of the danger, he dismissed us as crazy – which is entirely possible, but unlikely. We decided instead to watch his place of business.
19th day of Arodus, 4709 AR
Nothing of interest happened on my watch, but in the morning the Finder told us of strange lights coming from Jan’s shop. We returned to his place of business and asked him about it, and he became extremely defensive. His point of view is understandable, if warped by the nature of Cheliax – apparently nobody helps anyone without some ulterior motive anymore. In looking through his shop, it became clear that his inventory was reduced or somehow altered. That is a subtle effect, and would eventually drive him out of business, but why?
More confusingly, traces of powerful magic were found against one wall. For those traces to linger means the magic involved is quite powerful – but why bring magic of that power to bear without simply destroying Jan Candor outright?
Regardless, I spent the day minding my shop, conducting some business, and then gathered with my companions again for a trip into the night – it was time to hunt down and slay a shadow beast. I confess that this activity has caused me some great excitement – my hope is that I will show myself to be a useful tool of Iomedae.
Of course, the shop of Jan Candor bore watching as well – we circled it essentially all night. At first, we discovered a filthy swarm of rats that pounced on Finder – we cleared them off and banished the vermin handily. I wonder if Jezzie and Finder are feeling the effects of filth fever yet – they surely will need complete rest soon to recover.
As the hours passed, it proved surprisingly difficult to locate a shadow beast. How unexpected, and yet how typical. We bumped into a patrol of dottari, who extorted a bribe, as is customary. We could easily have avoided them if we were not carrying light sources of our own – perhaps I should convince the rest of my companions to invest in goggles that will grant them darkvision.
Eventually, we were set upon by one of the shadow beasts – and in the brief fight, Jezzie was gravely wounded. We dispatched the beast, and it’s foul ether began boiling away as we watched – so not a material plane creature, but some extraplanar monstrosity. Based on its substance, something from one of the Abyssal layers, the Infernal layers, or possibly the plane of shadow. Regardless, we dumped it’s corpse near the Leroung Estate, and in theory we will receive a reward for this action.
After more time passes – and thank goodness I am a Dwarf, and can deal with the hardship of long hours of darkness with little sleep – we noticed strange lights from within Jan Candor’s shop. I averted my gaze while Finder checked to see if the door was unlocked. A polite fiction – nobody in Westcrown leaves their door unlocked at night anymore. Once open, we entered.
A swirling portal on one wall, and Jan was taking his mediocre merchandise and throwing it into the portal. Bizarre does not begin to cover this situation – why bother at all? My guess is that the location of Jan’s business is important, not the business itself (or Jan, apparently). We tried to stop Jan from throwing his merchandise through the portal, but were attacked by an imp that appeared from nowhere. Jezzie and Finder were both stung by the foul devil, and Marius was able to dispatch it handily, while I tried to restrain Jan.
Once the imp was slain, it immediately vanished back to the hells – and the magical compulsion on Jan ended. I immediately asked if he was injured, but I sense that he is about to summon the dottari… undoubtedly because we have apparently broken into his shop at night and assaulted him. He obviously would have no memories of his compulsion, since otherwise he would have been aware of the previous night’s incident. Let us hope that we can have a discussion with him. May Iomedae guide me in this!