After a good hefty spree of luxurious shopping in the best markets in Sambar, Pelius, Aibron Torromson and Baris the Black enter The Grey Rhombus, the legendary magic equipment store of Lantan. As one might expect on a Saturday afternoon, the store is full of men and gnomes browsing around the cramped front room, looking for the various items of their desires. Three salesmen are on duty behind the counter, all serving townsfolk and traders.
Suddenly, a loud roar of Darkspeech heralds a burst of divine magic as one of the customers casts Blasphemy and reveals himself as a Hezrou Demon assailing a store assistant. Most of the people in the front store die immediately, with only one store assistant, two strangers and the three remaining questors still alive. The remaining store assistant is paralysed, weakened and dazed and looks certain to be the victim of a savage coup de grace. The other two beings and a construct seem rigid, obviously dazed.
Baris springs into action but is hampered by the disgusting stench of the creature. However, Pelius loosens one of his potent Destruction spells and the creature disintegrates. In the chaos that follows, the survivors help move the dead bodies out of the shop while a small gnome official by the name of Captain Henry Hooknose bosses citizen helpers around with quasi-authoritarian fervour, using his two gnome and two human militia men to establish that he and his men are the law in this town.
While the Questors help out in the wake of the destruction, they find out that the shop assistant was being stalked by an evil magic user, who must have used the demon to try to find and destroy his enemy. Having had quite a scare, the man’s boss gives him the rest of the day off and he runs outside into the streets sobbing. (What a wimp!)
During the clearup, the Questors meet with three fellow adventurers – Talia Karmylis, Forge and Faren and decide to group together for the rest of the Quest, as, after discussion, it is discovered that they too have been having Divine Dreams and they are all three both keen and willing to go into unknown territory, braving great danger and seeking Divine Reward.
Human Duskblade Talia and Warforged Artificer Forge, who have been living in the town for a short while tell the party of the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration and a meeting is set for the following day with Talia’s friend and museum subrector, Gillian Weymouth; for the party learn that within this building lies the fabled “CLIP OF GOND”, the artifact that will enable the CHAINS OF GOND carried by Pelius.
Talia, Aibron and Pelius arrange the meeting with Gillian while Swashbuckling, beer guzzling rogue Baris, together with Forge and Faren, try to gain entrance to the mansion of Ahab Wrenchfree to inform the wealthy merchant of his cousin’s demise. The party feels it is important that Ahab is given the news of gnome bard Jezrab’s death in the Demonweb Pits and Baris is also keen for a bit of party gatecrashing. However, the house butler does not allow drunken guests, and even although a house guard is charmed by Faren, they are not given entrance and must make do with a later appointment.
After a somewhat rowdy night in the Sambar Inn, during which Faren the Bard performs an excellent audition and scores a cool wench for the night, to the disdain of Baris, who, partly due to excessive drinking, fails in his own attempt on both the wench and her sister, they all rest well and rise to a kingly feast. Not only a “kingly” feast but also a Heroes’ Feast, cast by the Warforged Artificer, Forge.
The meeting with Gillian Weymouth ellicits an invitation to a personal guided tour of the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration the following day, so after a delicious Lantan Tea, made in the fabled “Eternal and Wonderful Water Heating Machine of Gond”, the group head off for a spot of lunch before their appointment at the house of Ahab Wrenchfree.
On the way to lunch, the group pass a small gathering of children, human and gnome, playing together in harmony on a large grassy knoll. One of the adult supervisors smiles and waves at the party. “They seem like a nice group of people!”
Roiling smoke covers the knoll and from within can be heard the screams of children. Our heroes run to aid them but it is quite far away. Before they can reach the obscuring mist, they begin to see huge disruption inside as the screaming stops and the two adults run screaming past them. As the Questors enter, they soon find out that the smoke is a Stinking Cloud and Baris, casting True Seeing notices the huge red wing of a lizard.
The Questors do their best to approach but the invisible red dragon rises quickly into the air and breathes deadly fire onto Baris, Pelius, Forge and Forge’s Runic Guardian, Gojira, hurting Pelius and Forge and almost destroying the Runic Guardian in a single blast of dragonfire. Baris and Pelius make plans to pursue but soon realise that it is too late. A few seconds later, the dragon becomes visible and can be seen flying fast into the distance, two small children dangling in its rear talons.