As the party gathered in the Lonesome Jug after their last sewer excursion, they encountered a curious gnome in the common room. Tall for a gnome, he was dressed in Halfling garb and smoking a pipe; though he wore no obvious weapons, he moved like a trained fighter. Introducing himself as Brundle, the gnome suggested a business partnership –trained in battle and subterfuge, Brundle felt that he would be of great help to the group. While Brundle was welcomed by Vash, Merrilynand Thistle, Caroland Kanedawere distracted.
Sequestered in his room, Kaneda was poring over a book of arcane teaching. With great concentration, the Illumian managed to create a magical spark, and just like that, the magical theories he had been trying to learn fell into place, and Kaneda claimed the mantle of wizard.
Carol, for her part was deeply distracted. With little to say to the rest of the party she began to drink heavily, even for her, seeking comfort in a drunken oblivion. Perhaps there was a deeper significance at work, but the Cleric was not telling anyone.
Shortly thereafter, a messenger showed up in guard livery. A watch house in Guardsreach needed some help. The party, minus the besotted Carol, arrived there to find Capt. Maler filling in for another Guard Captain. Apparently, a young man name Grent Hale had reported an incident at a nearby cemetery; when the captain and some of his men went to investigate, they didn’t come back. Maler wanted revenge for his colleague, so he hired the party and their new gnomish friend to look into it.
First, they went to question Grent, who nervously recounted what happened. He and a girl, Ariana, had snuck into the Elemric Family’s gated section of the cemetery to do what teenagers do, when they heard something in the dark. When they saw a dark shape rush at them, Ariana screamed and Grent ran away. He hid in the dark for about an hour, and when he crept back to investigate, Ariana was gone and he spotted a strange, small person lurking near the mausoleum. That’s when he went to get the guards.
The party went to the cemetery at night to investigate and the two rogues went in to scout it out while Vashara perched in a nearby tree to try and keep an eye on things. The two rogues moved in, but Kaneda, unused to working with another sneak kept too close to his ally and alerted a sentry, who moved closer to investigate. At closer glance, the little figure was revealed to be a goblin, and Brundle moved in to eliminate him. The gnome cloaked himself in a magical silence and cleaved the little beast in two with his greatsword. Seeing the scuffle, Vash picked off another sentry with her arrows, but the goblins inside the mausoleum were alerted regardless. As they moved towards the rogues, Thistle and Merrilyn hurried to join the fray and Brundle worked himself into a savage fury. The fight was brief and bloody and before long the goblins were dead and the party found a tunnel in the mausoleum, leading deep underground to some truly ancient ruins.
Brundle, his bloodlust still pounding, immediately began to climb down, while the rest took a more cautious approach. At the bottom of a long knotted rope Brundle descended on a very surprised goblin, which ran swiftly to the large warning gong near a pair of large bronze doors. Unfortunately for the gob, Brundle was still surrounded by a magical silence, and the alarm did not sound. When the rest of the party mad it to the bottom of the rope, a fatigued gnome was waiting for them over the shattered remains of both goblin and gong. With the large doors in front of them and a smaller door to the side, the party prepared to choose a route, but then Merrilyn’s keen eyes spotted an irregularity in the wall. The party blocked the small doo and elected to take the secret passage, which lead into a makeshift prison.
The party defeated the orcish guards and their krenshar beasts, captured the orc’s battle cleric and freed a few prisoners, including Ariana, a wounded city guardsman, and an old woman. The party helped them to the surface and then tried to interrogate the orc. He was not forthcoming and merely said that his master would help to lead the attack on the city above. Unable to get anything more, the party killed the orc and looked further. In a small chapel, the party found a crude iron statue to Gruumsh, in the aspect of Grul’ha the Hound of War. Two rubies sparkled in the statue’s eyes, so the mercenary gnome struck off the head and claimed the whole parcel.
Pressing on, the party discovered that the large bronze doors lead into a fortified gauntlet defended by bugbears and cruel traps. Fortunately, the secret door took them to their attackers’ flank, making the battle much easier. Deeper still the party found the orcs’ leader, a hobgoblin warmage and his guardian constructs attempting to bypass a large scorched door. After a short battle the mage lay slain and the party found his personal quarters in an adjoining room. They claimed his treasure, including a large store of gold in a leather valise, a few scrolls and gems.
Ignoring the dire warning given by the scorch marks on the floor and a handful of dead goblins, the party decided to brave the door. After dealing with several lethal traps, the party was able to recover an ancient treasure. The threat of this band eliminated the party returned to Maler, where they found Grent and Ariana reunited –with the young man trying desperately to apologize for leaving her. Maler thanked them again, paid them their reward and sent the party on their way.