The house with the familiar symbol stood before them, high wrought iron fencing and an elegantly decorated garden between them and its lavish walls.
Crim, Velius, Blasphemy and Al’ev had decided to check the place out in the hopes of gleaning more information on what this particular group was up to. The heroes had clashed with the bearers of the symbol several times already, and it was high time they learned a bit more about what was going on.
Al’ev stepped forward and pulled the rope that was attached to the bell that sat at the door. A long series of bells began to ring around the courtyard, apparently the string was attached to more than just the one bell. The device did its job and, shortly after Crim scrambled over the wall in an attempt to hide in the bushes just inside, two burly halfling men with clubs on their belts came out to meet Blasphemy, Al’ev and Velius.
The short conversation yielded a little information. The family name associated with the symbol of the crossed daggers and the crate was Koshka. They specialized in weapons and armor trade and had for a very long time. It was also mentioned that the family was always looking to form new trade ties and Al’ev decided to leave an opening by stating that the Arbiter’s Guild might be willing to enter into an agreement.
It wasn’t exactly true, but as businessmen, these two and those they represented wouldn’t recognize the lie as they would be too busy jumping at an opportunity to make some more gold.
The four of them headed to the local Micky T’s where they were to meet up with the other group.
Meanwhile, Desira, Neo, Caramel, and Harry made their way to House Sparl. When they arrived, they found another estate, though this one was of a less grand stature than the house the other half of the group had stopped at. When the heroes rang the bell, no chorus of chimes met their ears, only the one bell. And even that one didn’t sound to be working entirely well. A few more rings managed to get the job done eventually, but when they were met by one of the inhabitants of the Sparl house, they were not sure what to make of him.
He was little more than a young adult. He appeared to be wearing the robes usually found on travelers or magic users. But like most other halflings the group had met, he seemed hyper and spoke quickly. It didn’t take long for the boy to recognize they people before him as capable individuals.
The boy, who’s name was Caj, decided to petition them for aid. His older sister had gotten herself into some trouble when snooping about a rival family’s property. The rival family turned out to be the same one that Al’ev’s group had stopped with and Harry pointed out that the group had run into this family before when the heroes had been “blown to the ethereal plane” on a previous adventure. When Caj looked unsure, Harry was quick to follow up by stating, “We got better.”
The boy eventually told them to return that night so that they could go and rescue his sister who was supposedly being held at a warehouse. The heroes agreed after the boy told them he could get them on a ship that would take the group to the Stribog home. There they hoped to find a cure for whatever was ailing Sindri.
They returned to Micky T’s to find three of the heroes around the very active bar. Crim had gone up to a room he had rented for the night. The group stayed in the Micky T’s for several hours, waiting for the sun to set so they could move forward with their agreement with Caj. The bar area continued to grow ever more busy due to the presence of a very popular elven bard. The few halflings that Al’ev managed to catch the attention of told him that it was the bard they all came to see.
Night finally fell on Basque and the heroes followed Harry to the Sparl house were they met with Caj and learned what his sister looked like. They then made for the docks where the warehouse his sister was being held in was located.
A quick surveillance of the building showed that there were several guards posted outside the front entrance. The heroes decided to go around to the back and found it under the much lighter guard of a single halfling.
Between Desira, Crim, and Vellius, they were able to knock the guard unconscious before he could raise the alarm. The heroes silently filed into the warehouse and found themselves surrounded by stacks of crates, most reaching thirty feet high.
Crim and Velius started scrambling up the boxes and scouting out the area. They noted a pair of catwalks running across the warehouse near the darkened ceiling. Velius stuck to the tops of the crates while Crim made his way up to the catwalks. So far they had managed to not be seen.
To speed things up, Al’ev began to fly about the warehouse while invisible, searching for the girl they were here to rescue. Caj too took flight and after a few seconds managed to locate his sister behind a heavy guard. But the young halfling was unable to go invisible and was spotted by a hidden guard on the catwalk. This guard wasted no time in slinging a bullet towards the flying halfling, solidly pelting the boy.
Seeing this, Crim decided the time for stealth was over and promptly executed a sleeping guard. This turned out to be a bad move as one of the workers near the rear entrance just happened to look up at the wrong time. This one called out in alarm and the heroes suddenly found that the situation had just plummeted. Knowing that the mission was already a failure the second the alarm had been raised, several took the opportunity to leave.
Caj heard the cry and abandoned all sense of caution. He rocketed to his sister, picking her up from the ground before any of the guards could do anything. He made it fifteen feet into the air before a ball of fire engulfed him and his sister, and singeing Al’ev, who had been seconds away from rescuing the girl from under the guard’s watch. Caj was unable to stay conscious and both haflings crashed to the floor. The warehouse was now full of ruckus as Neo clashed with several workers while barring the way to the rear entrance, hoping to keep open for his allies to escape.
Al’ev recovered from the fireball’s heat and saw the halflings on the ground. His choices limited, he decided to try and make a grab for them using speed and surprise. He succeeded in grabbing both halfings and retreating behind a stack of boxes, only to be promptly pursued by a highly skillful halfling who appeared to be the leader of the guards. But this leader was apparently too dumb to realize that someone invisible must be responsible for the floating unconscious bodies. He took a swing with his fist and despite Al’ev’s best efforts, still connected with Caj’s head. There was a sickening crunch, but Al’ev couldn’t take the time to check on the damage. He flew for the exit and managed to alert his allies on the way out, telling them to leave.
They all listened, though during the escape Velius lost his weapon to the boss’s disarming strike. It was the only evidence they had left behind of their rescue attempt.
When they had made it a decent way away from the warehouse, Desira checked on the unconscious halflings and found that both had perished due to their wounds.
Even with their best efforts, the mission had failed.
Al’ev looked up from the corpses he had liberated from the warehouse and begun searching for Crim. But the ninja was nowhere to be seen…