We continue with the adventures of Iseri the Raven as she attempts the next leg of her mission to rescue the lost children of Calimport from the clutches of her old nemesis, the Scorpion! Clad in leathers befitting a mercenary and still having her disguise in place, the adventuress found it easy to move about the outpost, which seemed to be a shipping facility, without much disturbance from its regular occupants.
Exploration of the first hall brought some much needed opportunity for filthy lucre, as the elf was able to thoroughly swindle the Scorpion’s storehouse of contraband of its monetary wealth and gemstones. Of course, no roguish endeavors would be complete without a bit of pickpocketing and so Iseri handled that in usual splendid fashion, by ripping off the footlockers of some orcish guardsmen. Alas, this also came with the horrible revelation of what an orc prefers for bedtime wear, but a will of iron allowed the good thief to avoid giving away her presence when presented with an orc’s nethers!
Further investigation revealed that the outpost was not simply easy pickings! Traps had been placed in many of the inner halls and quick reflexes along with a trapsmith’s keen eye allowed Iseri to avoid being shocked or punctured with arrows. The lass was able to swiftly locate the location of five of the stolen children of Calimshan, but the Scorpion guarded this precious asset most heavily, two guards were assigned to each cell and a pair of mages were also in attendance! A straight fight would not be an option, but a rogue knows that with patience, another way will usually present itself!
Continuing her espionage, Iseri came to a pair of double doors emblazoned in rich gilding with the Scorpion’s personal emblem. Peeking inside, the elf found that no one appeared to be within and so took the opportunity to have a look around for herself! The office proved to be lavish and fortified to a level that bordered on paranoia! The rugs were dusted with Mindfire poison! A bookcase hurled fireballs! Even something as simple as a chair was rigged to drop any unawares into a deadly chamber of blades!! However, knowing her foe as she did, Iseri was not wholly taken by surprise, though the fireball trap did incinerate any valuables worth taking on one bookcase, careful investigation of the second allowed the rogue to purloin a small fortune in wealth from a hefty strongbox, likely draining the Scorpion’s personal account in this region. Well worth the twenty minutes it took to overcome the cunning lock placed on it! The man’s desk was also ripe for the taking, as it gave the adventuress a look into the Scorpion’s future plans, including a secret auction to be held tonight aboard a private freighter in Calimport! A fine pair of magnifying lenses were absconded with to be put to use for a future project along with some fine vellum and writing materials. And like any guest, Iseri was sure to leave a note for her host so that he would be aware of where his possessions had wound up! Such courtesy!
Fortune next presented itself in the form of Master Chef, Michael Chester. A massive troll with some considerable intelligence and the air of a gourmand. This hulking mass along with his huge fire elemental companion ‘Flamey’, supplied the gutsacks of the mercenary forces of the Scorpion with nourishing, if not exceptionally tasty fare. Iseri saw little in the kitchen to become excited over, but a strange belt with which Chester had girded himself caught her interest. It contained tools which would be of no use to any chef and its buckle had the letters ‘SOS’, which certainly didn’t spell out to Michael Chester in any language. Iseri was also able to find out that the belt had come to the troll after being taken from a ‘funny little man’ the guards had brought in some time ago. Through bribery, the rogue managed to convince Chester to part with his cookware in exchange for a Fire Opal gemstone, however the rogue could simply not bring herself to part with any of her hard earned treasure and attempted to coerce the troll to return his part of the trade. Not taking well to loosing 2 prizes and because he had wanted to cook the elf anyway, Chester and Flamey leaped into battle (more like Chester slid into Flamey and rolled around like a madman trying to put himself out after Iseri greased up the kitchen floors!) But even with the troll seared to medium nasty, his fiery compatriot proved a force to be reckoned with! The elemental scored a series of punish blows, though the Energy Heart gem kept burns to a minimum. Through use of her wand of Invisibility, her wits and a brutal fire and ice spell combination, Iseri delivered the 1-2 combo needed to put the kitchen staff out with the leftovers.
Continuing her search, Iseri managed to find the final room in the desert hold. A door of adamant surrounded by force magic guarded whatever was at the end of the hall, but Iseri’s tenure with Ydranos allowed her to remember that the crafter of such security was notoriously shoddy and over-priced. Some water from her canteen when applied to the control panel allowed the rogue to easily overcome security and left her standing face to face with a grizzled looking gnome sporting purple and grey hair. He introduced himself as one Sonar O’ Sullivan, a craftsgnome from Sembia who was kidnapped by agents of the Scorpion on his way to a tradeshow in Cormyr. The fiend had expected to coerce the gnome into building warmachines and other such devices, but the feisty gnome told him exactly where he could stick that hogwash! Sonar offered to lend his considerable talent as a craftsgnome to the aid of his rescuer if she was looking to escape, but that he would require his tools first. O’ Sullivan was ecstatic when Iseri was able to return his lost tool belt and a short trip back to the main storehouse saw the return of a burlap sack of ‘spare parts’ which also bore Sonar’s initials.
Within ten minutes, Sonar had crafted a small army of ‘Gnolems’ to wreck tiny vengeance upon the remaining inhabitants of the fortress!!! The children were quickly freed as their captors were subdued by the gnolems and even though the orcs from earlier hoped to provide reinforcement, they met their end at the hands of one of the electricity traps that Iseri had neglected to disarm (tee hee!)
The group worked quickly to escape and found their means in the form of a skiff that was anchored at a small dockside which would allow them to flee unnoticed around the coastline! A squad of rogue guards thought to deny them passage, but the Black Tentacles spell soon had them realizing they weren’t being paid nearly enough for so much aggravation!
And so this adventure came to a close! Iseri would take the children to Ydranos for safekeeping until the Scorpion was expelled from the region and Sonar, having nothing better to do, offered to take up the dashing damsel as his apprentice, to instruct her further in the art of Golem creation! A fine day’s work, but there was still the matter of the private auction taking place outside of town tonight…