The Freeport Chronicles

The Fourth Relic

The companions gain entry to the Hope District crypts

Continuing his conversation with Brother Tef Villa, Lando inquires into his relationship with the Underground Resistance. Tef relates that repressive regimes are likely to foment resistance. The church serves the best interest of the people, which does not necessarily align with those in power. Sensing that Tef may have the ability to assist in contacting the Resistance, Lando presents the ornate dagger given to him by Warden Hercluf. The Brother seems surprised that the gnome would have such an item, and motions for him to put it away. He relays that the Resistance operates in a cell format, with no knowledge of other cells in case operatives are captured. As such, he advises not to show the dagger to anyone else lest Lando give away Hercluf’s identity to the wrong person. Tef advises that his duty is first and foremost to the church, although he is aware of the Resistance and their work. If Lando has the need, Tef could arrange a chat with a local agent.

Their discussion turns next to the catacombs, where Lando confides that his companions are presently exploring and unable to gain entry to the areas beneath the Charity or Hope Districts. Tef has visited the catacombs under the Hope District on various occasions, gaining entry using the amulet he presently sports around his neck. One of his colleagues, Brother Quinn, also has an amulet, although he has not been heard of for some time. At odds with Father Lodmar, Quinn left the order to pursue more direct avenues of assisting the Resistance, primarily attempting to acquire evidence of the experimentation rumoured to be ongoing in laboratories under the Iron Tower. He has not been heard from since. Given little value to Tef, he graciously offers the amulet to Lando for his use.

With the amulet and one piece of the relic acquired, Lando makes plans to head to the Temple of Gorum to inquire into the missing relic piece. Before leaving, plans are made to have dinner with Tef and Briggs later this evening. On the way to the Temple of Gorum, Lando and Maydrane make a slight detour. Creating a makeshift construction zone, Lando cordons off a small area where the bullette’s underground rampage neared the topside street. Maydrane opens a small hole with her hooves so that the gnome is able to pass the amulet to Anton underground.

With the amulet in their possession, the companions are able to gain entry to the catacombs under the Hope District. The crypts are arranged in a honeycomb fashion, with each cell adjoining several others, the format notably different from what was encountered in other areas. The open architecture features pillars instead of walls that serve to separate the cells into distinct rooms. Each room features a small pile of earth with an urn or bones laid humbly atop. Most contain a small box that presumably hold any personal mementos that the subject wished to take with them into the afterlife.

The group carefully traverses the burial grounds, following the eastern wall deeper into the catacombs. Anton signals for a halt after hearing a barely audible sound. The halfling scouts ahead and locates the source, a crouching figure attempting to hide. The scruffy individual is surprised when hailed by Anton, given he was invisible, but quickly turns amicable. He is introduced as Quinn, a former member of the Church of Imodae. He has been hiding in the catacombs for many months, eating fungus and other things to survive. He originally came down to the crypts to learn more about alleged experiments being conducted on prisoners, but has been scarred beyond measure by what he has seen. Quinn confirms that she is indeed performing terrible experiments on inmates, invoking dark rituals using the power of the shard. After almost being captured himself, he was forced away from the crypts under the Charity District, where Palomina’s laboratories are located. He has been hiding in fear in these catacombs ever since hoping to avoid notice from the guards that patrol the underground.

The companions decide it best to bring him up-to-speed on what has occurred topside, as well as the vision regarding Everstand’s fall. Interests aligned, Quinn agrees to assist the group in any way that he can. Regarding this segment of the underground, he advises that the group should investigate the ancestral crypts of the Gauntwood family, where the hope stone plinths are located. He warns that guards sometimes patrol that part of the catacomb, although he is unsure of how they gain entry. The companions thank him for the information.

With the afternoon sun high above, Lando and Maydrane make their way to the Temple of Gorum. The impressive stone structure includes much inlaid iron, giving the subtle appearance of a massive suit of armor. Walking through large iron doors into the temple, Lando and Maydrane are struck by a strong presence that instills a warlike fervor. The inside of the temple is decorated in various accouterments that have seen many fields of battle; battered suits of armour, siege weapons, well used swords, bloody maces etc. Chained high above the altar, Lando spies the top half of the fourth relic; made from the same material as the cradle, the contraption has a swivelling arm that reminds one of a telescope.

Although Ilidia Vassum, the Head Priest, is unavailable, the duo gains audience with a senior parishioner. Playing the role of an art historian, Lando is able to strike a deal for the “industrial art work”, which is of no use to the Temple. Maydrane carries the surprisingly heavy piece from the temple while Lando does his best to deftly avoid the blessings of the priesthood. Happy with their progress, the two giddily return to the Better Business Bureau to reunite the two relic segments.

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