- the search for Carson continues at Gregor’s Brewery
- feathers are ruffled, the Watch is called, the companions leave empty handed
- the address provided by Enzo leads to a dilapidated building
- a secret passage in the basement provides entrance to an underground temple
- the companions summon an unspeakable evil
- a treasure room is searched, booty is found
- more secret passages lead to the heart of the temple
- Milos addresses the companion’s upon their arrival
With several options available to them, the companions decide it best to investigate Gregor’s Brewery next for clues relating to Carson’s disappearance. It is a short cab ride to the premise, located just inside the wall of the Old City. Entering the industrial building leads to an open reception area, massive kilns sit to either side of a large desk. Heat from the vats warms the room, providing a faintly aromatic smell that arrests the senses. Several laboratory work stations can be seen in the background.
An employee soon joins the group from the rear. He introduces himself as Derek, they are working on a large order that is required in a timely manner. Believing they are being asked, subtly, to leave, the companions advise that they are from The Honey Pot and would like to inspect the premise. Derek appears confused by the mention of The Honey Pot, he is not aware of any business with that group. He looks through a log book and, with a suspicious glance, asks again how he can assist the companions. Lando attempts to diffuse the situation diplomatically, advising that The Honey Pot is under new ownership, and perhaps that is why the orders are not recorded in the log book. The business is conducted through an employee by the name of Marcus. Derek calls to a second employee, Cayden, who joins the conversation. They confer and advise that they are unaware of any business with The Honey Pot. As Marcus is not here at present, and they are working on a large order that requires their attention, Derek suggests that companions come back tomorrow.
The companions are not pleased with the outcome of this situation, given that a life potentially hangs in the balance, and decide it best to push forward with their request to inspect the premise. Derek asks Cayden to take a look at Marcus’ workstation for any information relating to the order. Freight notes that Cayden, instead of heading to the workstations, leaves the premise through a door in the rear of the building. The group calls out Derek on his companion’s exit – he immediately becomes defensive and advises that he doesn’t want any trouble. The Watch will be here shortly and the group should leave.
Romica attempts to intimidate Derek, further escalating the situation. Understanding that time is of the essence, the companions leave Derek to his dithering and split up to investigate the cauldrons. There are two kilns with two cauldrons at each station. A chimney flanks each kiln, leading to the ceiling. Each member of the group inspects one cauldron. Nothing of note is found, and with whistles blaring in the distance, the companions swallow their pride and exit the building in an expedient manner. Before doing so, Romica picks up Derek by his scruff and promises hell to pay should he provide descriptions or any information that may lead back to The Honey Pot. The companions make a clean get away before the Watch arrives.
It’s a rare occurrence for the companions to call a visit to the brewery a fail. Spirits low, the group hops into a cab in hopes that the intersection that Enzo had mentioned will put them on Carson’s trail. The address leads to a derelict building in a shoddy neighbourhood in the older part of the Eastern District. The house appears uninhabited, the windows and doors boarded over. A quick investigation of the exterior allows the companions to detect foot traffic to and from the front door, as well as several tracks that lead to the a garbage bin around the side of the building. The bin houses food refuse from several days past. It appears that there has been activity here recently.
Interest piqued, the companions return to the front and use their chime of liberation to open the door. Stepping inside is like stepping into the past. The interior features furniture from a prior generation covered in linens. A layer of dust has settled across the room. Lando detects magic and senses a faint aura emanating from the other side of the building. Freight is able to identify tracks leading further inside. The companions follow the tracks to the kitchen and locate a trap door leading to the basement. The room is bare with the exception of 3 casks in the corner. The footprints lead to the casks and disappear.
Thinking it logical that the casks hide a secret door, the companions again use their chime of liberation. All three casks are tapped, two of them pouring out foul-smelling liquids assumed to be wine. Romica and Freight take matters into their own hands and tug mightily on the empty cask – it pulls free from the wall revealing a passage on the other side. Footsteps, faint in the distance, can be heard from outside followed by a flash of light. Lando detects magic and advises that he believes an incantation was completed just outside the wall. Nothing further is heard.
The companions forge ahead down the passageway. The tunnel appears to have been hastily dug, and is shored up with supports. It ends after about 40 feet with a ladder leading down. A short descent leads to another hallway, this one much different than the one above, with stone tiled floors and walls featuring craftsmanship by someone with an engineering background. A T-junction can be seen ahead, with doors leading east and west. The companions fall prey to a camouflaged pit trap as they travel towards the junction. Luckily, it inflicts more damage to pride than bodily harm.
At the junction, the companions decide it best to investigate the door to the west first. The large double-doors appear well used and swing open easily. The companions are greeted with a large octagonal chamber. The room is painted a deep black, with stars and constellations carefully arrayed on the ceiling. A large circular depression dominates the centre of the room. The far wall features a sturdy table with a gong, incense burners and a candelabra – all the equipment required to take part in a summoning ritual. The room radiates an evil aura offensive to the senses.
The companions enter the room and investigate the table. There are several books, one of which outlines the steps necessary to summon an unspeakable creature from the abyss. Unsated curiosity overtaking common sense, the companions follow the outlined steps in sequence – burning incense, lighting the appropriate candles, and striking the gong. The incense produces a euphoric feeling – the stars seem to twinkle a little brighter as a supremely evil and ancient presence enters the room. Black tentacles snake out from the depression to accost the companions, resulting in extreme mental anguish to all present via images of horror and unspeakable acts for an indeterminate period of time. After what feels like an eternity, the tentacles withdraw through the depression, but not before the damage is done. The companions are, across the group, impacted negatively by the experience, no more so than Magus Mike, who remains in a catatonic state, continuously tormented by the evil nightmares.
As is the case after prior unspeakably evil events, the companions attempt to walk it off. They return to the T-junction to investigate the door opposite. It leads to a treasury chamber, several chests with elaborate inlaid serpent figures can be seen scattered across the room framed by rich velvety purple curtains. The chests are not unguarded, as the companions enter the room a group of undead creatures rise from the floor to protect the treasure.
The companions attempt to fight their way through the mindless creatures. The effort proves fruitful, primarily due to the efforts of the cleric Freight and the martial prowess of Romica and Magus Mike. During the conflict, the companions note the sound of a group closing in on their location. To slow their pace, Lando creates a surprise for the approaching creatures with a grease spell conveniently located just ahead of the pit trap. The companions close the door and wait for the group to encounter the trap.
The sound of confusion and surprised agony alerts the companions that the approaching group has encountered the greasy trap. The door is opened to reveal several serpent folk attempting to regain their feet, a handful of their colleagues impaled on the spikes of the pit trap. The companions charge and quickly dispatch the disarrayed group. In its dying breath, one of serpent folk mentions the taint of the dark lord on Magus Mike. Searching the bodies yields masterwork daggers. Further, it is noted that the serpent folk wear the clothing of tradesmen, clerks/scribes, labourers etc. as if they had just left work. It is surmised that these serpent folk represent sleeper agents within the general population – the companions will have to keep their eyes open and take great care in their interactions with others as there are likely more agents around Freeport.
With time on their hands, the companions return to the treasury room for an in-depth search. There are five treasure chests in total around the room, most providing a cache of gold and gems, in addition to a heavy shield with arrow deflection abilities, a potion of cure light wounds, and a clay tablet of similar appearance as the one that summoned the accuser demon. Lando picks up the tablet to investigate it further – a shimmer of dark energy is followed by a chalky feeling that travels up the arms. The table disintegrates in the gnome’s hands and is replaced a book of the same design as those found on the table in the summoning room. Lando browses the contents and advises that it is a detailed history of the cult, with information about the unspeakable one, an evil god whose worship is prohibited in most nations.
Detecting magic reveals two additional points of interest in the room, one that turns out to be a magical short spear that was hidden behind a curtain, the second leads to the discovery of a secret door. The companions decide it best to see where the door leads – it opens to a passage that stretches into the distance. After several minutes of walking, the companions find themselves in a large natural cave that evokes a primitive feel, there is no exit in sight. There are bones and other scraps littered around the floor, a dark pool of unknown depth in one corner. Investigating the water’s edge reveals that there has been some traffic to and from the pool, but one touch of the dirty water deters any further interest in where it leads.
Romica points out an irregularity in the wall of the cave that leads to another hidden door. The passage curves around the cave and ends in a wooden door. The door is opened to reveal blazing torchlight and a large hall. Many pillars, adorned with giant snake creatures coiled around them, hold up a ceiling far above the companion’s heads. An altar of black basalt can be seen at the far end of the hall on a raised platform, a strange yellow symbol in view on the front of the altar – it appears to be a child’s scrawl, a big circle with a squiggly slash through the middle. Several statues of a tentacled horror can also be seen on the dais. Two robed figures lurk behind the statues framing a small man in plate mail. Their attention is trained on the opposite side of the room, crossbows at the ready as if awaiting the entrance of opposition.
The companions use their chime of silence as well as the cover of the pillars to sneak up quietly on the robed figures. The pillars stop about 25 feet from the raised platform – stepping out from the darkness provided by the pillars alerts the small man on the platform, who slowly turns to address the group. He removes his hood to reveal the face of Milos, a broad smile on his lips. “It is so nice to see you again. Let me offer my congratulations – you are the first outsiders to ever set foot in the heart of the temple of the unspeakable one. It is quite the achievement, but it also means your doom. I hope you understand.” The robed figures raise their crossbows and take aim at the companions.