Zenthres 14, 1231
While relaxing in a tavern in the grand city of Ulbor, a number of characters were caught up in a raid by the Ulbor Town Guard. A group traveling together consisted of Baraz Gundu dwarven treasure hunter; Guntham, a dwarven engineer; Onan Silvertongue, violent black sheep of a wealthy dwarven family; Yakhi Hush, a skyva trouble-shooter assigned to keep track of Onan; Random, a trim little boggie festooned with knives; and Timothy of Gisselex, a hulking willing servant of Alorn. All of them allowed themselves to be loaded into the prison wagons except Timothy, who considered starting a fight in the tavern, but eventually acquiesced to being taken into custody.
They realized they were not actually captured by the town guard, but instead by guilders pretending to be town guard. They were taken to the Ulbor Guildhouse where the Guilder Council met. They were joined by a pair of Security guilders, Hirsch and Quinn.
The head of the Guilder Council of Ulbor, Lord Derbaen, personally briefed them on their secret mission. A criminal organization called the Bazaar started a fight club outside a small town, Rell. They were to go, and be seedy enough to fit in there, but trustworthy enough to return afterwards. (Random was especially delighted to be called “trustworthy.”) Several of those present realized their presence was probably the result of political wrangling between their superiors and the council, but were nonetheless delighted to have the opportunity to go on the adventure.
The fight club was supposed to be based around the main attraction of a massive werewolf, and led by a dwarf supported by brutes. They purchased silver-lined daggers from the guild, and Timothy bought a book on how to deal with werewolves (the only suggested cure was decapitation) then split into two groups to travel less conspicuously. The dwarf-centric group took a wagon, and the human group took a coach. Off to Rell!
On the way, they heard a number of rumors and met a number of individuals (and punched some of them, mainly some mouthy skyva teens who didn’t show Guntham the respect he required; to avoid a possibly ugly crowd reaction, they hired the teens as bodyguards for the rest of the trip.) Soon enough, they arrived in Rell, and headed for the Laughing Man Inn on the outskirts of town, built with money from the Bazaar and servicing the fight club in the old dwarfhall under the mountain. They asked enough questions to find out there was a cover charge, and what the password was, but not enough questions to get beat up by the vigilant local security.
The dwarves met up with a nervous dwarf who was there looking for an ancient dwarven treasure, and they figured they could keep an eye out for it as well. Timothy toured the town to see if there was anything they were missing, and struck up an expensive friendship with a Traveler, Timrian. Quinn and Hirsch got acquainted with a group of noblewomen and their guards.
The next evening they were off; the dwarven group rented a wagon to get out there in about 3 hours, and Quinn’s group rented a stagecoach to get out there in two. Soon enough, they were through the rain and into the underground carnival of the Rellik Arena.
The human group (Quinn, Hirsch, and Timothy) arrived first. They checked out the food, and the betting on the arena matches, and found the vast arena itself. Then they gravitated to the gambling chamber.
Random struck up a conversation with the boggies running the gambling chamber, and Timothy was dissuaded from checking out the back. Quinn, Hirsh, and Timothy bet in the games of chance and did alright.
The dwarves found the skyva disrespect of this ancient dwarfhall unpalatable, but bearable. They found the rest of the group, and they consulted on their next move.
Yakhi, Random, and Onan headed for the brothel. They talked to Lady Thinholt, the madame, who agreed that their top act would be perfect for Yakhi. Going through the chambers where the prostitutes were at work in tented areas, they found a free-standing tent against the walls where the finest prostitute present waited. They asked her for information, finding that Firehammer was the dwarf in charge, supported by three brutes who were now werewolves, and a few other details. They paid her for her silence, then slipped out of the desecrated dwarven temple that now oversaw the sweaty work of skyva whores.
They watched the first fight, noting Firehammer’s personal presence on the north balcony. Timothy and Guntham slipped away during the first match of the fight club; Quinn bet on the outcome, but those two used that time to go to the most trafficked area of the fight club (the people pouring into the arena managed by two guards) and attacked those two guards, staging a fight to draw their attention and brutally striking at them. As one guard resisted, the other showed up, but the intrepid duo murdered one and battered the other, then the willing servant of Alorn snarled at the patrons to keep moving and mind their own business.
Stashing the fallen in the privy tents, Timothy could now pretend to be a Bazaar guard (having taken the identifying headband.)
Meanwhile, in the arena, one of the brutes who was in charge of the operation fought four signed up participants, killing them all and healing with some strange power. Timothy bluffed past the guards on the north balcony as the fighting concluded, going down to the barracks, and into a back area where he saw the victorious brute who snarled at him to get out of there. He did, and headed to the other side of the arena, with Guntham, to check out the drug den. Quinn gleefully collected her winnings from her winning bet on the fight.
Time passed, and the group struggled to decide how best to proceed. Guntham made an improvised explosive device out of his powder horn, his undershirt, and some scored silver coins (for any werewolves they’d encounter.) They saw an elven wizard, Famous, who the prostitute had told them was a very important person (and to them, worth 1,000 sina!) making the rounds.
Eventually, they waited until the end of the next fight, which was slaves being mauled to death by a pack of wolves. Firehammer came out, to oversee, as he had last time. This time, Timothy and Hirsch were disguised as guards, and followed Firehammer down the stairs after the match. Guntham and Random swiftly knifed the door guards and followed, the rest of the party on their heels; as Baraz spiked the door shut, Firehammer realized something was wrong as they passed through the barracks.
Yakhi snapped into action attacking a guard who was awake, and Random flung a knife into Firehammer himself—but the furious dwarf charged him and laid him out with a single blow of his fantastic axe. As Firehammer’s guards reacted, Hirsch and Timothy swiftly slew them. Quinn began the grim business of murdering guards as they stirred in their sleep, as the rest of the party pounced into the fray.
Firehammer resisted, even after Onan disarmed him. Repeated blows eventually knocked him unconscious, but still alive enough to claim the bounty if they got out in one piece. They stripped him of his gear, putting it on themselves (it was nice stuff!) and they proceeded into the brute area.
Sure enough, they confronted a brute, and Guntham drove him back as the others got his bomb and lit it; an expert toss by Random landed the bomb at the werewolf brute’s feet, and as it exploded a single sliver of silver shot up under his jaw into his brain, killing him instantly.
As frustrated guards hammered on the iron doors behind them that were spiked shut, they swiftly explored a meeting room, meeting more guards and a door into the arena; the guards went down in a spray of blood, the door was hammered shut directly thereafter. As Baraz examined a door that suggested they “Keep Out or Die” a werewolf in a nice silk robe complained about the noise until Random hucked a dagger into his torso. Angry, he swelled to a monstrous furry size, and Timothy led the charge where he and Hirsch slew the thing in a burst of violence, impressing the rest of their group. True to his reading, Timothy cured the werewolf by chopping the head from the corpse.
Baraz got past the poison on the doorknob, the backwards lock, and the caltrops on the carpet. Timothy’s detection of magic lit up a couple trunks, and Baraz avoided the enchantment on the locks by removing the hinges. They stole Famous’s spellbook, four wound sealers (and a vial of poison disguised as a wound sealer!) and a magic ring, as well as still more coin.
Following the corridor back into darkness, they found the sealed off mine entry, with a dwarf rune that said “Regret” on it. However, an unholy rune modified it, in Timothy’s sight, to “Regret Nothing” and that was unsettling. They also realized there was a chamber above this room, a hole in the five meter high ceiling.
They felt the sands running through the hourglass by now, with the guards still distracted by trying to get in to them but unlikely to remain so forever. After Timothy hurled some insults up into the stinking undead-energy laden hole above, they retreated. Firehammer’s beard was tucked behind cloth, he was wrapped in a cloak, they supported him as though he was drunk. The skyva put on their guard headbands, and they bluffed their way out.
Upon reaching the exit, a werewolf brute stopped them—impatient, Timothy smote him, hewing him down in a single remarkable blow, the power of his god fueling the violence of his arm. The rest of the group engaged and slew the rest of the door guards; the guards in the next chamber waved them through, and the surface guards had no idea there was a problem.
Timothy brashly commanded the guards to load the barrel with all the entry fees onto the coach, which they commandeered, and they raced away, all the way to the Security guildhouse in Rell, where they got paid and received their praises for a job well done.
Special thanks go to Simon, who designed the Rellik Arena that I adapted, statted up, and ran.
And special thanks to Mark, who handled loot distribution.