Dorin Battlehammer – Dwarf Guard (city watch)
Twylla – Elf Bard
Hiza – Human Traveller
Location: Deepwell/Sayas Umbril
Dorin and Twylla are friends, having met years before. They frequent the same bar, where Twylla sometimes sings and Dorin drinks. Hiza is a traveller, recently graduated from her studies in the Township of Iberal (an enclave of psions), that is staying with Twylla’s family.
Returning home from the bar one night the trio witnesses a pack of rats attacking pigeons. Successfully. Dorin is rather uninterested in it as they are just a bunch of rats. Twylla is disturbed by the scene and feels the need to intervene. There are several large rats and one small one. The characters quickly dispatch the rats, but discover that the bird is already dead. More interesting is the fact that the bird is not bleeding from any of its wounds.
Dorin and his partner Horl Junt notice an increasing number of rats are found roaming the cities. They bring this to the attention of Gern Metlund (Day Seargent of the Watch) and Hanstul Harm (Night Seargent of the Watch). Gern has them spend more time looking for the rats. Twylla and Hiza also spend their own time looking for the source of the rats. In time, they find passages into the sewers and undercity that the rats are using. Dorin convinces Gern that he and his companions should go into the abandoned areas of the ruined undercity to track the rats down. To get final permission to do so Dorin has an audience with Magnus Hillborn (Watch Captain), as Gern cannot grant passage himself. While waiting for Captain Hillborn, Dorin watches the guards who aspire to become Dwarven Defenders practice. Magnus grudgingly allows Dorin’s companions to accompany him and Horl into the restricted area of the undercity.
The majority of Deepwell is actually underground. Earthquakes have damaged much of Deepwell and made the underground passages unsafe. The earthquakes were so destructive that the town north of Deepwell, called Hightower, was completely abandoned. Due to historical strife with Duergar there is still a guardpost in Hightower to watch the underground passages, but the settlement is otherwise empty. Showing their authorization to the guards the company descends into the halls beneath the city. The halls are large with grand circular and sweeping stairways. Dwarven craftmanship is clearly evident. However, the rooms and hallways are interleaved with natural rock and caverns as if these formations were inserted into pre-existing structures. In one of the natural chambers they find water leaking from the ceiling and forming a pool in the center of the room. Hanging above the pool is a cage crusted with minerals. Within the cage appears to be the torso of a humanoid body. Human or elven. The pool bank looks slick and corpses are not on the list of items to be found, so they avoid the room. Shortly thereafter they enter the sewers.
The Deepwell sewers are large, like other dwarven works, and are easily traversed. They resemble canals with sidewalks on both sides. In the sewers the characters find a workroom with several cages. The cages contain dire rats and normal size rats. They decide to kill the rats. In killing the rats it is discovered that the normal size rats do not bleed. The smaller rats are discovered to be vampiric. Searching the room the party finds some correspondence, but nothing detailed enough to yield names.
On the way out, the party is confronted by an apprentice Dwarven Defender. The apprentice attacks them and Horl runs past the Defender and down the sewer halls. The party kills the apprentice, but is severely wounded. Dorin dumps the body into the sewer canal. They follow Horl. The trail leads back to the room with the pool. There Horl and a robed wizard attack the party along with some trained rats and an Eyeball Beholderkin. The battle quickly goes in favor of the party even though they are wounded. The rats dead, the wizard and beholderkin fleeing through a passage in the bottom of the pool, and Horl Junt fleeing towards the sewer exits. Horl never makes it away as Dorin wounds him to unconsciousness with an arrow.
Horl is captured, but the traitors in the Watch and Dwarven Defenders makes Dorin unwilling to report back to his superiors what exactly he knows. Dorin, Twylla, and Hiza exit the sewers with the captive Horl. Without another known route they have to pass Cromwell, the guard in Hightower. Horl is unconscious, so he cannot refute the party’s claim that their companion fell in combat and they are returning to Deepwell to get him healed.
The players keep Horl captive in the woods giving time for them to do more investigating before having to deal with the dwarven command. Eventually, Twylla, through her father Solinar, enlists the aid of a well known bard named Rufurio Artruce to watch and interrogate Horl.
In a few days Cromwell asks Reieya Doyasoleil (Elf, Cleric for the Dwarf Watch) about the health of Horl Junt. The fact that Horl made it out alive in Dorin’s company, but didn’t return to Deepwell becomes known to the Watch Captain, Magnus Hillborn.