The members of Blackwater Adventuring Company quickly took to finding Marianne Watson. Althea was able to at least point them in a decent direction: The Commons. This area on the northeastern end of town was where there was the most housing and density of residents. There they were quickly intercepted by a shaggy, dirty man offering them some “action”. He introduced himself as Thomas.
Prostitution is not illegal in Cenandira, but is frowned upon and rare. However, it did not seem Thomas had the intention to offer them just ladies of the night. He spoke of something more sinister, but would not offer explicit detail. It involved women, money, a place and a password; a mansion in the eastern outskirts was where they must speak the phrase, “the wolf howls at pale moonlight.”
This of course did not occur without Gel’Thul’s reliable hostility. Thomas was nearly nearly choked to death, but Kraiven extinguished the situation. It was a lead and that was exactly what they came here for. They would see to this mansion at midnight. The underworld it housed would at least be a source of more information.
Midnight approached and their walk brought them upon the home glowing between the trees. An older man guarded by two others greeted them overcautiously, but was swift to allow their entrance once the password were spoken. Inside was an unexpected situation. Hooded men stood along the walls as sweaty, fat aristocrats awaited something eagerly before a stage and podium. A gentleman (term used loosely) then took to the stage and kicked off the event “with a bang”.
Marianne was guided to the stage between stumbles, bound at the wrist and blindfolded. She was to be sold to the fattest wallet. The bidding started at five hundred gold, but the bids were quickly interrupted. The adventurers saw no point in blending in. They had seen enough.
The room filled with Johann’s ghostly voice and the others stormed around him. The perverted fat-cats quickly escaped and the hooded men took to action. They would not allow their plan to be ruined. Gel’thul took to intimidating the auctioneer into a stumbling unconsciousness and the fighting began.
Blades danced and Raziel’s lightning breath took down each man, one by one. Johann’s flame made easy work of them and he approached his wounded woman. She was safe, but not all was well. She cried that her mother and Linda were also kidnapped by an enemy she had never seen before. She begged for their help, but after she began to describe the creatures that handled them, the decision was made. Goblins.
Blackwater would not let this crime pass without justice. The auctioneer, now conscious and terrified, offered his assistance in return for his life. They agreed and he hurried them to a carriage pulled by two horses. He will bring them to the operation’s base and signal them out of the carriage when it was safe. The ride would only be about half an hour. It seemed genuine.
Snow began to dust the forest and the night only sounded of horse trots and turning wheels. The time passed slowly, but they finally came to a stop and heard him speak. The rap on the side of carriage signaled their safe passage, but they revealed themselves to a setup. A mess of goblins awaited their emergence within a cave’s walls. Their thirst was for blood, but it was their own that would quench them.
The fight flowed similarly to the previous, though each hero seemed to have a grand entrance from the carriage. More than half of them have seen and killed their fair share of goblins – this was nothing new. Lightning, flame, and blade brought the creatures to their demise, but goblin words were uttered that only Kraiven could understand. Taunts were all the damage the goblins could inflict. Speak of a “Frostbitten Tyrant” and the rise of the “Dark Lord” sputtered from their mouths, but it was a name that seemed to stop Johann in his tracks…
Wilhelm van Der Pol. His brother, a mage of cold influence. His name came from the mouths of goblins in reverence. Where did he fit? What business has he with these dark creatures and these vile crimes?
Fenix’s keen eye provided the only path left to follow. A door upon the cave’s floor lead downward…