The Book of Sand

An Escape
of some kind

Elwin, Olim, Adodak, Anorak, Pip and Talomyr did not know each other before
ending up in the same cell block. After getting jailbroken by a morbid and
mysterious halfling they perhaps knew each other a little more than they’d
otherwise care to.

The mysterious benefactor left the party on their own, telling them she’d meet
them in the sewer below the prison. The party snuck around looking for their
requisitioned gear and found it in a nearby storeroom but not before accosting
and accidentally killing the human laborer asleep on the job atop some boxes.

Adodak had the bright idea to gag the laborer with a nearby potato. This didn’t
do much to calm his struggling, so Olim cast Remove Fear, emboldening the
laborer to face the escaped prisoners. This made him unwilling to share
information until Pip’s well-timed diplomacy check got him to admit there was a
sewer grate somewhere on the lower level. Back went in the potato and the party
argued about how to silence the laborer.

Elwin’s lullaby failed to put the man to sleep but did nearly lull the rest of
the party. Pip was getting ready to shove beer bottles through the potato and
force feed them to the laborer. Talomyr intervened to simply knock out the
laborer with his shield but hit a little too hard: the man died.

The party headed for the lower level and discovered a sobbing, crying elf
trapped in a lower cell. Sadly they chose to leave her instead of giving her
assistance.

Adodak confers with a rat to learn more about some sounds of suffering coming
from behind a closed heavy door. He’s not able to learn much other than that
there is plenty of “food” in there for the rat: some “warm” but most “cold”.

Pip cracked open a door to find a Flaming Fist interrogator “working” on a
suspect using a dagger. When pip failed to hit the interrogator with a Sleep
bolt Adodak took matters into his own relatively small gnomish hands and lobbed
a potion of fire directly at the antagonist, killing him and setting him
alight. Sadly this took the suspect out too and ignited a pile of finished
“suspects” in the corner.

The smell of burning flesh and the black corpsesmoke alerts the guard, whose
marshalling was faintly audible two floors up. The party began frantically
trying to move the burning bodies, noticing that the flow of blood in the room
all headed there (presumably to a sewer grate).

Pip had the bright idea of urinating on the fire to help put it out. This failed
miserably and he received rather intense burns.

Talomyr and the others began hauling corpses while Adodak threw a nearby bucket of blood
on the flames. Several suffered burns but managed to uncover the grate as the
guard reached the door and began bashing it. Olim opened the grate and got hit
by a dart trap; Pip lunged at the whole but critically failed his tumble check
resulting in a sickening crash into the sewer.

Olim summoned a badger as the guards bashed through the door and made his way
down.

The mysterious halfling reappeared in the sewer as promised with a Ghoul
assistant. She magically used a pile of corpses (that broke Pip’s fall) to seal
the grate and prevent the guards from getting down. She instructed the party to
head due south, take the first sewer exit, and go to the Blade and Stars inn.

The party smashed their way through a few zombies and made it to the Inn
only a little worse for wear.

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Graveyard Bumbling

The party faced the mysterious, cloaked Halfling at the Blade and Stars inn. She was hostile, threatening, and demanding in issuing her quest: that the 6 adventurers track down a mage named Curthwait and retrieve from him a book crucially needed by her “Lord.” Curthwait is powerful and his location is unknown; all the halfling knows is that he is heading west. The only lead is a Necromancer named Alaris who had recently written to Curthwait and resides yet somewhere in Baldur’s Gate. This task must be completed in order to repay the freedom given by the halfling and her ‘lord’ on pain of death. An old, tattered crow is given to the party as a chaperone (and, they suspect, spy).

The party decides to set out immediately and investigate one of the three major graveyards in Baldur’s Gate for signs of Alaris (for, where else would necromancers hang out?). They headed to the Seafarer’s graveyard deep in the Docks district. On the way they encountered and messily dispatched some ruffians. The lone survivor fled.

The party overheard two patrolling guards talking about the relative calm at this graveyard compared to the recent bizarre graverobbing scandal at the upper-class cemetary near Duchal Palace. They surmised the Pauper’s cemetary was next to be hit as they couldn’t afford as many guards as the docks district.

Olim managed to anger one of the patrolling guards with a mis-timed Obscuring Mist spell. the guard opened the gates to give chase and what proceeded was a series of mishaps and cursing. Thankfully, no one died.

Adodak’s raven familiar patrolled the area and reported that the surviving ruffian had gathered several members of his gang. They hunted the party and it was a slow and laborious journey back the to Blade and Stars (but combat was avoided).

By now it was nearly dawn and the party (thanks to Olim’s negotiation) managed to secure a private room at the Blade and Stars. The crow left and returned in the morning with some gold for the cash-strapped party (another gift from their “benefactor”).

After some detective work, primarily by Olim, the party resolved to head for the pauper’s graveyard.

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a night in the graveyard and shifting alliances

The party encountered Alaris the necromancer in the pauper’s graveyard in a bit of a pickle with a Morhg. Through an immense amount of luck Adodak was able to command undead the monster, taking it with the party as an additional member. he also charmed alaris who promptly invited the party to her abode.

there, the party met a mysterious party of masked and cloaked worshippers who had been employing alaris to try and get information from long dead members of their order. they too were hunting Crugator’s book and claimed it was worth untold riches; that they would share the wealth with the party if the party managed to reclaim the book. as the party accepted a deal to perform the hunt for this cult (instead of for the mysterious Halfling) the halfling’s crow erupted from elwin’s baggage and flew off into the sky.

the cultists recognize the bird as the familiar of Melluena, a rather evil and high ranking servant in the cult of Vecna.

the party negotiated an immediate departure with a map of crugator’s path from the cultists, who would lead the party to their hideout. as the crowd departed, the mysterious halfling blocked their path with a small band of zombies. the cultists tried to fight their way out, but to their surprise (and the dm’s surprise) the party sided with the halfling and promptly murdered alaris and helped take down the cultists.

melluena was highly pleased by the party’s actions (now seeing that what she thought of as betrayal as merely exceptional evil and opportunist), and began preparing to interrogate the seeming leader of the defeated cultists.

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