On the way to the library, the group stopped by the Arena to purchase tickets for the next performance. Kobort initially showed interest in competing; at least until he saw that the person selling tickets was a drow. After a little deliberation, the group purchased passes for everyone and continued. Reaching the Herald Library, Lady Arlinde paid the 4,000 gold piece fees for research into her legitimacy and spouted off 8 generations worth of her lineage, boring the rest of the group nearly to tears.
Arriving at the gate of the Mage’s College, which spans over six blocks in size, the pair decided to investigate the grounds to verify the report of a haunting. However, upon forcing the gate open and actually entering the estate, they discovered that some sort of ancient wards were still in place, draining a portion of their life energy as they intruded upon the grounds. Deciding enough was enough and that more research was needed, the pair headed for the tunnel to meet up with the rest of the group.
Once everyone was back together, the group made its way up through the dark tunnel to the land above. Once there they met the middle-aged elf Caeradwyn, and his host of steed friends. He greeted the elves with much delight, and invited the group into his home for tea. Gwendon was exceptionally rude to the elf, flaunting the death of child queen that he remembered fondly as a child in a manner that gave him no chance to do anything but accept it. Fortunately, he did not appear to allow it to affect him too greatly, or show any ill will towards the brash youth, and accepted the information with only a single tear in his eyes. Then he filled them in on the various factions that sought control of the city below. Afterwards, he sold the group trained mounts and invited them to return to see him anytime.
The group then returned to their inn and settled in for the night – save the newcomer who decided to rest with the Badger clan until he completely trusted the others. The next morning, the group decided that the most of them would head to the library while Gwendon and Ilea went to find a house for the group to live in. After a hearty breakfast, the Godhands left the inn and journeyed to the library. Gwendon and Ilea spent the better part of the day looking for a place that was empty and in relatively good condition, which they found near the abandoned mage college. They then hired some local help to clear the lot and the house for them to move in. This lasted the whole day, with the grounds still not clear by then end of the day.
Meanwhile, upon arriving at the library, the group found the librarian to be a woman in bad need of books. Those books that were property of the library were behind lock and key, with only members of the Library able to access them. Ironically, this system was for 147 books that had been stored on shelves that could hold thousands of books. To become a member, one must donate a book to the library. After many rounds of questions, Toll decided that in order to gain access to the library, he would have to write his own book. Off to find bookbinders they went, bidding the librarian adieu. Misha and Acelia left the group at this point to go and visit with Caeradwyn in the land above.
After purchasing a ledger from Drathden Bindings, they then asked around to find a cartographer to buy a map. At the one cartographer shop that the city had, they discovered a proprietor out of her mind. Apparently, all maps are an extremely valuable commodity and start at 500gp for a copy. Leaving with disgust, the group then began to search for a sage to investigate a mystery that Gallandro and Lusipher seemed to be hiding. After finding the names to all of the sages in the city, the group chose the House of Lore to take their business to, and headed off.
Upon arriving at the House of Lore, they discovered the proprietor to be a gray-skinned Half-Drow named Kyryalaesa. They commissioned her, at a rate of 45gp per day, to search into references of the deep six and the seven moons, hoping to shed some light on their mystery. Kobort toyed with the idea of having the sage investigate the Order of Brialyn, but could not get past the sage being half-drow. After paying for a few days in advance and tearing Toll away from one of the reference books that he had been reading while waiting, the group decided to check out the old keep of the former kings of Mythrazel. Off once more on the long trek the Godhands went.
The old keep, as it turns out is a massive structure of stone more like a cathedral than a keep, in that it is entirely roofed. The architecture was a combination of Dwarven and Elven engineering and apparently withstood the ravages of time. The entry door stands at over 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with a portcullis of steel and mithril bars, each 3 inches thick. The door itself is made of ironwood, with the seam cut along the grain to make the closed door seem like a single piece of wood. There were no visible windows on the front of the keep, although there were many arrow slits. The keep itself towered 75 feet at its lowest point, and 115 at it highest, with towers rising up to 150 feet at each of the four corners. The only other visible entrance was a balcony set high above the doors. Upon investigation of said balcony by an air walking Toll, he discovered that it also was made of ironwood cut so finely that he could not find how to open it. Seeing how the arrow slits were the only easy means of entry, Gallandro shrunk Kobort down to half his size and Toll lifted him up to one of the slits. However, upon stepping through the hole into the keep, Kobort became overwhelmed by a sense of anger towards him given off by a presence within the keep. Deciding that looking for a way to open the portcullis was a bad idea, Kobort hopped back out the slit and told the rest of the group what he discovered. The group decided to wait until they could bring Gwendon to have a look see at the door before going any further and headed back to the inn, since it was getting late anyway. Along the way, they got their first look at the Red Hoods – a large group of heavily armed and masked individuals – and decided that discretion is the better part of valor before heading on to the inn.
Upon arriving, they filled Misha, Ilea, and Gwendon in on the events of the day (Acelia had apparently decided to stay up top for the night) before eventually turning in. Toll was the last to turn in, after finishing his Manual of Moradin. Some time later that night, Lusipher awoke to a noise in the hall. As he got up to investigate, Gwendon awoke to someone entering her room, and Kobort awoke to the crashing of glass as someone stabbed him in his sleep – saving his life. The awoken members of the Godhands faced combat in their skivvies against a group of eight Orc assassins, armed to the teeth and ready to kill. Kobort’s life was saved twice during the battle by a shadowy figure that could only be the Shadowbat that they were informed about by Caeradwyn, though he still fell near the end of the battle from too many wounds. Toll also fell unconscious for the first time since entering the valley, trying to aid the women in their room across the hall. In the end, the party emerged victorious over the orcs of the bleeding eye, and after healing those in need, demanded that the bodies be removed from their room. After such was done, they decided to wait for the guard since it was already near dawn.
After the attack and cleanup, no one but Lusipher went back to sleep. The rest waited until dawn when the guards showed up. At first, the guard that was questioning the group made veiled threats that if the attackers were citizens, the group would be in serious trouble. When the group started to protest, they caught the attention of Garl – the Half Ogre Captain of the Guard. The huge brute proved to be the groups’ salvation, as he quickly refuted the guards’ statement and ensured the group that no charges would be brought against them and then apologized for their rude introduction to the city of Mythrazel. He then left the group to their morning, dragging the guard with him.
During breakfast, the group decided that it was high time that they became citizens. Immediately after Toll finished his prayer and got a bite to eat, the group set out for the Town Hall in the Lord’s Ward. After a short backtracking by Gwen to check on a young boy who had entered the inn, the group continued on their way. While paying their 25gp fee to become a citizen, the group discovered that another “jeweler” had recently come to the city – a dwarf named Ralph who had a wooden token with a number on it – at the beginning of winter. Producing their own wooden shipboard tickets, the clerk verified that the tokens were the same as the one that Ralph had showed him. As it should happen, once the group left the Town Hall and headed for the Arena, who should they meet along the way? Why, Ralph of course. After a round of introductions, the group stabled their horses at the arena, and made their way to the mid-tier to get seats for the show to come
After a bout of kissing up to Lord Wintley, the Master of Ceremonies – a female drow elf named Malbogia – introduced the start of the battles.
Match 1: the Megaliths Cyclops vs. Minotaur. Though long beyond their pristine conditions, these two megaliths were still operable, and fought a valiant battle until the Minotaur was reduced to scrap.
Match 2: Bloody Mary vs. Shield Maiden. This was a match to unconsciousness, with Shield Maiden emerging victorious.
Match 3: Overlord vs. Diamond Cutter. With Overlord being the fan favorite, this match lasted a good while, but ended as expected, with Diamond Cutter submitting to the Overlord.
Match 4: Crusher vs. Prince. This brutally quick fight ended with the very gory destruction of Prince. The cleanup took a while before the next match began.
Match 5: Viper vs. Fraktur. Even though viper was the Fan Favorite in this match, Fraktur emerged victorious. Fortunately, Viper was able to elude any broken bones before his blood was spilt.
Match 6: Shadow vs. Light. In a bardic exposition of the eternal battle between darkness and light, this sorcerer dual captivated the audience with its massive theatrics. A definite crowd pleaser, though there were a few boos when Light finally emerged victorious.
Match 7: Willow vs. The Seductress. More of a mud wrestling exotic thriller, this match showed more than just the fighting prowess of the two women combatants.
Match 8: Nostrum vs. Gaelwind. As about forty guards were brought out to monitor this battle, the defender was brought out. Gaelwind turned out to be a pale blue-skinned winged elf that was not here by his own volition. The archer Nostrum tried many times to fill him full of arrows, but he kept flying up and eluding the deadly barrage, causing the arrows to fly into the crowd instead. This worked the crowd into a frenzy of support for Nostrum, who died anyway at the spear tip of the defiant Gaelwind.