The party appraised the many bags of coins, gems and other items they had acquired in the Slave Pits, until Sturm Buckholtz regained consciousness. They then began the interrogation.
Maur, taking no time with idleness, nicked Sturm’s ear with his bastard sword before the questioning. Sturm, bound tightly and surrounded knew resistance was futile. He offered what he knew.
Sturm and Edralve, a female dark elf, were a part of the Outer Circle of the Ennin leadership. The Outer Circle numbered three, including them and a elven wizardress named Markessa. Markessa was over the operations at the Bottleworks, and Yara had been sent there two days ago, as Edralve had ordered.
The Ennin controlled a section of the Undercity accessed through the Bottleworks Factory. The owner of the factory, a man named Jaques could take them to the hidden entrance. The password was : Black Pegasus.
Edralve and Sturm had hatched a plan to locate the varied children of Mercad Shever. Once they were found, they were kidnapped and House Shever was informed. House Shever would then be required to pay a large sum of money to Sturm and Edralve or they would reveal, publicly, they had a child of Mercad’s. Naturally, So far, Thollos Shever, the head of the House, had complied by sending them large sums of gold to keep the family’s name clear as well as keeping his brother’s indiscretions secret.
At this point, Sturm eyed Ian at length, perhaps realizing that he was a child of Mercad, but Maur responded with a swift punch to his face, knocking him unconscious again.
The party then made their way back through the Undercity Tunnels, to the sewers near the Watchhouse in the temple district. Before leaving the tunnels, Sturm regained consciousness. Ian shoved a rag in his mouth, gagging so as not to scream for aid. Gideon continued with the questioning.
Sturm then explained that if the party intended to turn him over to the authorities, he would tell them everything he knew, provided that they turn him over directly to the Commissar, instead of the Watch. Upon their agreement, he continued:
Stalman Klim was a part of the Inner Circle of the Ennin. The Inner Circle, the true leaders of the Ennin, were a group known as the Pactlords of the Quaan. Very few people in Ptolus have ever heard of the Pactlords of the Quaan. This group formed in ancient times, as the main humanoid races began to populate the world. A few intelligent nonhumanoids saw this coming threat and resented the power of the newcomers. These creatures made a pact, long ago, to work together to destroy their common humanoid enemy. This pact is magically binding, which compels even the most chaotic members to keep it. They wear bone rings binding them to this pact.
Pactlords include individuals from many intelligent monstrous species: aboleths, lamias, manticores, medusas, and even dragons.
Stallman Klim was a mindflayer.
This revelation hit each member of the party with a sudden rush of memory. Each of them suddenly remembered standing in a tunnel, many others (slaves) around them digging, pushing the tunnel deeper into the earth. In their hands were pickaxes and shovels. A mindflayer dressed in red robes, lined in white, approached them, reading their thoughts, permeating their minds, learning their goals and purposes. He wrapped his tentacled mouth about their faces,
Gideon recommended that Uetha and Stavislav take Sturm to Dalenguard to hand him over to the Commissar. The party would allow the Knights of the Golden Cross to take all the credit for toppling the Slave Pits in the Temple District, in the hopes it would aid them in recruiting future members.
A growler carried them to Kaira Swanwing’s House, then dropped Ronas and Bel off at St. Gustav’s before finally carrying the party to their rent house. Still shaken by their experiences and the flood of memories, they got some much needed rest.
The next afternoon, the party awoke and went about their post-delving routine: Ian met with Vagger Nulus to fence the many gems they had found, (learning a few bits of information about the Bottleworks in the process:
The Bottleworks was the largest glass factory in the city, providing the majority of bottles, windows and mirrors used in the city. It was owned and operated by Jaques Queens, a glassblower of much renown. Jaques never seems to run short on apprentices, and has gained much success in his trade. A few years ago, he had commissioned The Inverted Pyramid to enchant a construct of molten glass to guard the factory at night.
Vagger didn’t have any reason to suspect Jaques was involved with the Ennin, but did mention that several people, including children had been reported missing in the area around the Bottleworks over the past few months. Vagger felt this was tied in with the Blue Gnolls that are occassionally spotted in that district, but is uncertain.
There is supposed to be a cave just south of the city walls that will take you to the Undercity. It is used by smugglers and if it could be located, may be a back way into the dungeons beneath the Bottleworks…or maybe not.
Upon Ian’s return, they made a deposit at Hammersong Vaults, then went to Delver’s Square to do some shopping. At Myraeth’s Oddities, Maur purchased a fine belt of giant strength and a new short bow. Myraeth also offered each of them a small silver coin engraved with a blue rune. He explained that if they needed any made-to-order magical items, they could place these coins under their pillow and would be contacted by an agent of the Dreaming Apothecary, who would craft for them any item they wished, for a reasonable fee. The party declined the coins, but Myraeth told him if they changed their minds, the coins were always available for the taking. Following this, the party split up. Ian and Maur continued shopping, while Gideon paid a visit to the Nagel Estate.
After a rude introduction from Yarek Nagel, Kurtlan’s uncle, Gideon was met by Fransin who brought him into the study to meet with Kurtlan. Following a brief discussion, Gideon presented his gift of a 5,000 gp gem to the House, mentioning that they would need this to move forward.
At first, Kurtlan refused, but Gideon convinced him to accept the gem. Kurtlan promised that he and the party would always be welcome guests of the House, giving him a letter of admittance to that effect. He further explained that House Nagel had aided so many over the years, but few were willing to come to their aid at this time. House Dallimothan seemed promising, but others, not so much.
As Gideon took his leave, he happened to overhear Kurtlan ask Fransin, “Now tell me more about Renn Sadar’s search for this Box of Shadows.”
Gideon then made his way to St. Gustav’s Chapel. Here, he met with Brother Fabitor and Ronas who explained Bel had been acting odd all morning. He was more aloof than usual and seemed to be rather forgetful of the varied rituals during services that morning. Ronas was concerned since it seemed Bel had been acting odd since they had returned from the Ennin Temple. Brother Fabitor had even seen fit to relieve Bel of his duties for the rest of the day, sending him away.
Gideon, having been suspicious of Bel since Ashton went missing, contacted Maur, Ian and Feruch by thoughtstone, asking them to join him at the Chapel. The rest of the party soon arrived, but after many long hours (well into the night) Bel had not returned. The party then considered abandoning this vigil and heading to the Bottleworks in the hopes of eventually finding Yara, tracking down Stallman Klim, or otherwise, putting a stop to the Ennin once and for all.