Thieves and Dogs (99-11-16)



Grumli met two companions in Qeynos. Those bold souls were Fobbo and Terraeve. Alruna had gone with her husband Jicks unto the plains of Karana to venture into Paw and try to free Grizben. Meanwhile, Grumli stayed in Qeynos, though he longed to free his old gnomish friend himself. But duty demanded his presence in the human city. A Barbarian Rune Caster of Halas - a woman by the name of Branthara - had told Grumli and his companions of two stolen artifacts that could allow her to learn some valuable information about Barrett's plight.

Terraeve the Ranger
Grumli, Paladin of Brell
Fobbo the Borrower

The thief who had stolen the artifacts - a scoundrel by the name of Svennik - had fled toward Qeynos. So it was that Grumli and his two companions sought to find him there. It was near Crow's, a place of ill repute, surely frequented by the likes of Svennik, that they found young Caitlin, Barrett's sister.

Caitlin was reluctant to help them at first, but, realizing that these three warriors were her brother's best hope for freedom, she led them down into the sewers to a place only frequented by rogues - and worse.

As the heroes set foot in the dank, stinky aqueducts, strange sounds echoed against the brick walls. Soon, the hear the sounds of a whispered conversation, which sounds as if it is quite close... But those who utter the words are actually quite far. But sounds is carried easily through the misty sewer tunnels. (ooc: The /shout command was used to simulate the whispers carrying over a greater distance than the usual /say)

Here is what the 'conversation' sounded like from the bad guys' point of view.

Svennik shouts, 'You here something, Devian?'
Grumli shouts, 'Caitlin where are you?'
Devian shouts, 'Shhh - wait...'
Devian shouts, 'Someone coming...'
Svennik shouts, 'Vas dat... Footzteps?'
Devian shouts, 'Aye... A group.'
Svennik shouts, 'Who goes dere? Friend or fo?'
Devian looks about nervously.
Svennik shouts, 'I believe ve haf some introoders in ze premises, my good Devian.'
Devian hears things all around him.
Svennik snickers softly.
Devian shouts, 'Who is foolish enough to invade our home?'
Svennik shouts, 'Could it be... More client perhaps? I'd not vish to see their dog faces again.'
Caitlin shouts, 'Svennik, I have an offer to make you.'
Svennik shouts, 'And vat do you vish to buy, voman?'
Devian says, 'Buyer? What does she mean?'
Devian grins evilly at Svennik.
Svennik says, 'Surely it is a trap, my good Devian.'
Caitlin shouts, 'I have cold, hard currency for you.'
Devian says, 'Agreed. Not to worry - my dagger shall find them!'
Svennik nods.
Svennik shouts, 'Out of ze kindness of your heart?'

The bad guys

Caitlin shouts, 'Out of the pocket on my waist.'
Devian peers around the corner.
Svennik shouts, 'Very vell... Vat do you vish to buy, zen?'
Devian paces nervously.
Devian looks nervous.
Svennik sweats slightly as he frowns.
Caitlin shouts, 'I'll buy a song and the fresh winds if they are for sale.'
Devian shouts, 'You dare taunt us??'
Svennik shouts, '.... Vat?... Vat is zis riddle?'
Svennik shouts, 'Do you mock me, voman?'
Caitlin shouts, 'I mock nobody and everybody. What does it take to give you currency, a miracle?'
Devian distrusts the woman.
Svennik shouts, 'I am sorry, but I cannot supply ze goods you seek... I have no songs... Go seek a Bard.'
Svennik chuckles.
Caitlin shouts, 'I already know that my fellow um, merchants were not interested, but I am.'
Svennik shouts, '*echoes of a cold-hearted chuckle*'
Svennik shouts, '(pause) .... I do not know vat you are talking about!'
Terraeve shouts, '*soft echoes of a growl*'
Grumli shouts, '*echoes the sharpening of an axe*'
Caitlin shouts, 'Fine then. Go to your grave over what to you is worthless. Or you could sell them and live in comfort.'
Devian says, 'Maybe we should leave Svennik...'
Devian sweats profusely.
Svennik shouts, 'Vat?? You dare taunt me in zis place?? You'll soon find a dagger in your back, voman!!'
Caitlin shouts, 'You couldn't buy a dagger if I paid for it.'
Devian peers around the corner.
Svennik seems more nervous and angry now.
Devian seethes with anger.
Svennik shouts, 'Foolish child! I'll teach you and appropriate lesson.'
Caitlin shouts, 'Do you want to sell your trinkets or not?'
Svennik shouts, 'Ha! You'll never get your dirty hands on them! Because zey are into much dirtier hands already!'
Svennik shouts, '*echoes of an evil laughter*'
Devian grins evilly at Svennik.
Fobbo shouts, 'i know i can smell you from here'
Svennik shouts, 'Vat is zis voice?? I've heard if before?'
Devian shouts, 'You'll pay for that remark!'
Devian says, 'You know this person?'
Svennik says, 'yes... He is a ... reputable member of a friendly association.'
Terraeve shouts, '*a soft voice travels the passageways* If one must pay, I shall do so in her place. Give her what
she requests.'
Svennik says, 'From ze town of Rivervale.'
Devian laughs at Svennik.
Caitlin shouts, 'I would have paid you handsomely for those trinkets, but alas you pawned them off for nothing but a
few beads and a piece of string.'
Devian looks nervous.
Svennik shouts, 'I've traded enough vit dogs already! Begone... Or feel ze steel of my blade.'
Caitlin shouts, 'Dogs? Why would your mother want those silly trinkets?'
Devian growls in anger.

(The heroes then wandered the sewers in search of the thieves... And got a bit lost...)

Fobbo shouts, '*sniff sniff you smell something'
Svennik shouts, '*echoing whisper* Devian... Zey draw near...'
Devian shouts, 'Heh, I shall be ready...'
Grumli shouts, '(whisper) Prepare for you doom'
Devian crouches in the shadows.

(The heroes kept on wandering the corridors, searching in vain for the two bad guys... Svennik and his associate started wondering about the heroes' talent at sense heading...)

Svennik shouts, 'Ver are zos fools now? Zey seem to haf gotten lost!'
Caitlin shouts, 'Not so lost we can't smell vermin like you!'
Svennik shouts, 'Really? Show yourselves, zen!'
Svennik shouts, 'I tire of zis child's game.'

(More time passes as the heroes make little progress and go around in circles...)

Svennik shouts, '*voice is closer now* I see some light on the tunnel zere, Devian... Could it be zem?'
Devian says, 'Bah!'
Grumli shouts, '(whispering cursing echo) Where is this man?'

(After some more waiting around, the thieves start prowling the tunnels... And stumble into the four heroes.)

Svennik says, 'Zere zey are!! Ach, zere are too many for us!'
Svennik says, 'Run, my associate... Run!!'
Fobbo says, 'tehre'
Caitlin says, 'Here!'
Fobbo says, 'back child'

(Svennik and Devian dash at great speed through the catacombs, with the heroes on their heels... They split up, and the heroes follow the towering Svennik... The finally corner him on a narrow ledge over the dark sewer waters)

Caitlin says, 'About time.'
Fobbo says, 'damn'
Terraeve curses.
Grumli says, 'You will pay for this Human'
Caitlin says, 'Where are they.'
Fobbo says, 'tell you friend to come here'
Svennik says, 'You'll pay for zis!!!'
Caitlin says, 'What you have I need. Give me the chimes.'
Caitlin pushes Svennik.
Svennik snarls meanly at Caitlin.

(Devian arrives on the scene with his dagger drawn.)

Devian says, 'FOOLS!'
Caitlin looks angrily at the big brute.
Svennik shouts, 'You'll never haf zem! NEVER!!!'
Caitlin stomps her foot.
Svennik says, 'Run, Devian!'
Caitlin says, 'Get him I've got this coward.'

(As Fobbo runs after Devian into the darkness, Svennik and Caitlin both draw their blades. Caitlin, though she is not as skilled in the arts of combat as her companions, feels an obligation to face one of those who are responsible for her brother's plight)

You have challenged Caitlin to duel to the death!
Svennik draws his blade.
Caitlin has accepted your challenge to duel to the death!  Fight!
Svennik shouts, 'Prepare to die, foolish child !!!'
Grumli shouts, 'NO'
Svennik engages Caitlin in mortal combat.
Caitlin says, 'Come on!'
Grumli says, 'Hold on child'
Grumli begins to cast a spell.
Caitlin feels the favor of the gods upon them.
Grumli begins to cast a spell.
Caitlin looks courageous.

(And the battle rages on... The two rogues fight viciously with their knives... Blades flash left and right, and soon both fighters are covered with bloody slashes... At first the towering Svennik seems to have the advantage over the young woman... But Grumli soon invokes the powers of Brell to heal his friend, as he cannot help her with his axe or bow for fear of injuring her)

Grumli begins to cast a spell.
Caitlin feels better.
Svennik says, 'DIE !!'
Terraeve says, 'Be careful child!'
Svennik says, 'You haf betrayed us!'
Caitlin says, 'I'll send you to HELL!'
Svennik says, 'Never !!!!'
Grumli begins to cast a spell.
Caitlin feels better.
Caitlin says, 'Surrender dog!'
Svennik says, 'NEVER'
Caitlin says, 'Then die!'
Svennik says, 'Ach! You'll pay for zis!'
Svennik says, 'My associates... will..... get you......'
Fobbo has defeated Devian in a duel to the death!
Terraeve shouts, 'The fools.'

(As his ally gets defeated by Fobbo, farther away in the dark corridors, Svennik falls to the ground as Caitlin's dagger pierces him. Cailtin steps back, thinking she has vanquishes her enemy, but Svennik was only doing a feint, using this opportunity to dive in the dark waters. The heroes dive after him. As he is wounded, Svennik does not swim very fast, and as he rises on a nearby ledge in an attempt to flee, Caitlin and the others soon catch up with him)

Fobbo says, 'ohh damn'
Svennik pants.

(Caitlin finally pierces Svennik with one fatal blow to the heart)

Caitlin has defeated Svennik in a duel to the death!

And thus their foe had been defeated! Grumli bent over the corpse and found some strange items. A bottle of alcohol with strange markings on its label, as well as a purse filled with gold coins and coarse black hair. The heroes soon identified these items as a bottle of Black Burrow Stout, a brew made by the gnolls, and the hairs were obviously of gnollish origin. This, along with Branthara's omens and Svennik's allusion to "dog clients", lead the heroes to believe that Svennik had just sold the artifacts to the Black Burrow gnolls! Thus they started another journey - to Black Burrow this time!

Cailtin had been wounded in the battle, and mysteriously told the heroes that she would not be able to come with them in the gnoll lair. She hinted at some "enemies" she had in the hills. However, she told them to find the ranger Grast in Qeynos Hills, who would surely be able to lead them to the Shaman of Black Burrow - for surely he was the mastermind behind Svennik's operation.

As the heroes prepared to leave Qeynos, they had a pleasant surprise. A tall woman dressed leather and furs approached them. Grumli recognized immediately Branthara, the Rune Caster of Halas. He introduced her to his new friends, Fobbo and Terraeve, and told her about the events in Qeynos. Branthara nodded, and explained that she had come to their help, as the spirits had advised her that she would be more dearly needed by their side as a healer and councelor than even in Halas. So she endowed all the party with the Spirit of the Wolf for their long journey, and granted herself and Terraeve nightvision, for dusk had already fallen by the time they left the Qeynos Gates.

Branthara led the group through the hills to a little outpost near a lake. There, she met with some fisherman who introduced them to Grast, the Ranger of the Hills.

Grast heard the heroes' tale and accepted to help them. He confided that he was in truth a close friend of Barrett's, and that he was deeply worried about his disappearance. His features showed great sadness when Grumli told him in detail of Barrett's torment as he had seen it at Alruna's wedding. Grast vowed to help them as best he can for this quest - the fate of his best friend rested on this group of brave souls. And so they began their long walk to Black Burrow.

Following Grast's lead, the heroes ventured into the depths of the gnoll lair. They slew many lesser gnolls who sought to oppose them, and they proved more than apt to fight the dog-men... For they were all expert fighters, especially the rogue master Fobbo.

After a few fights, they managed to capture and interrogate one of their bruised foes. Terraeve translated between man and gnoll, for she alone among the companions spoke the creature's language.

Branthara kneels down near the dying gnoll ....
Branthara shakes the gnoll... And it opens its eyes...
Branthara tells the group, 'Terraeve... Asks him where the artifacts are!'
Branthara tells the group, 'I do not speak his language.'
Branthara turns the dying gnolls' head near Terraeve.
Terraeve says, in an unknown tongue, 'eve k iit valg bxaarvye. dhore tqjihsvts bvufht by your shrhau?'
Terraeve tells the group, 'Speak you vile creature. Where are the artifacts bought you your shaman?'
Branthara shakes the gnll and it speaks. "The.. the white ones attack... us... Commander Naxx dies... They... they kill many of us...."
Terraeve ponders upon this.
Branthara shakes the gnoll again. It speaks some more. "They come from far away... From... Karana.... Near fortress in mountain... They kill brother of me and take what he has... Us run... And bring other thing to Shaman of Black Burrow."
Branthara listens as Terraeve translates.

Branthara tells the group, 'Does this mean that the gnolls from Karana have one of the two artifacts?'
Terraeve says, in an unknown tongue, 'roul imn mind .'
Terraeve 's face hardens.
Branthara tells the group, 'What did you ask of it?'
Terraeve tells the group, 'I simply said "Your own kind..." I must feel somewhat sorry for the creature. If raised correctly, they can be kind.'
Branthara shakes the gnoll again.
Branthara nods at Terraeve.
Branthara tells the group, 'Again, you speak wisely, friend.'
Branthara raises the gnoll's head. The gnoll looks on the verge of dying. Its last words are "Us bring back only one thing to Shaman... He Very... Angry.... You never... Get... Shaman......... ahhhhh....."
Branthara puts the gnoll back on the ground, as its stare has become glazed with death.
Terraeve nods at Branthara.
Branthara lowers her head and mourns the loss of the dead.
Terraeve sighs softly.
Branthara tells the group, 'My friends, I fear the plot thickens.'
Fobbo says, 'its gnoll Bran it doesnt deserve that '
Branthara tells the group, 'These gnolls have but one of the two artifacts in the possession.'
Branthara nods at Fobbo.
Grast wipes his axe off one the corpse's rags.
Branthara tells the group, 'Perhaps you are right. '
Branthara tells the group, 'Grumli, we just learned something terrible from a dying gnoll.'
Grumli tells the group, 'what?'
Grumli tells the group, 'Arrrghhh?' [OOC: I did not notice you had written this while we were playing, Grumli, very funny! :-D]
Branthara tells the group, 'The Black Burrow gnolls who were sent to buy the artifacts from Svennik were ambushed on their way back from Qeynos.'
Branthara tells the group, 'Ambushed by... Other gnolls !'
Fobbo says, 'the Reavers?'
Branthara tells the group, 'it seems that after a bloody fight, the other gnolls left with one of our two artifacts.'
Grumli tells the group, 'Other gnolls? Hehe They are killing themselves then? Good thing!'
Branthara nods at Fobbo.
Branthara tells the group, 'Fobbo is right... I fear this was the work of the gnoll Reavers of the plains of Karana.'
Grumli tells the group, 'Oh '
Fobbo says, 'i know them well tough gnolls they are'
Terraeve says, 'Aye, that they are.'
Branthara tells the group, 'The gnoll said they came from a "fortress in the mountains"... This must be High Pass Hold.'
Grumli tells the group, 'True I fought sopme gnolls there'
Branthara tells the group, 'So these gnoll Reavers now have one of the artifacts.'
Grast tells the group, 'Let us continue then, these halls make me uneasy.'
Branthara tells the group, 'We must get it back! But first, we must corner the shaman of Black Burrow to get the first artifact!'
Grumli tells the group, 'And the other one is here?'
Branthara nods at Grast.
Branthara tells the group, 'Very well.'
Branthara nods at Grumli.
Branthara tells the group, 'Indeed, it is.'
Branthara tells the group, 'Shall we go?'
Grumli tells the group, 'My axe and I are ready'
Grast tells the group, 'Aye.'
Branthara tells the group, 'Lead us to the shaman, Grast.'

And so the party made their way deeper and deeper into the gnoll's lair, following Grast's lead... And deeper they went, hacking their way through the gnoll resistance... Gnoll bodies littered the ground where they had walked. The wounds the warriors sustained were quickly healed by Branthara the Shaman...


But soon a chilling wind blew through the corridors... A cold wind that seem to freeze the very hearts of the bold heroes... They turned as an agonizing moan filled their ears... And they beheld...


Branthara says, 'What is this sorcery?'
Grast tells the group, 'Barrett!'
Branthara tells the group, 'The red-bearded man !'
Branthara says, 'YOU !'
Branthara points at Barrett.
Branthara says, 'The man from the visions!!!'
Terraeve catches her breath.
Barrett says, 'Help me.'
Branthara says, 'HE IS THE ONE WE SEEK'
Barrett says, 'Please help me.'
Barrett says, 'The key to the cage, The release of the spirit, '
Branthara says, 'What are you doing here?? It... it cannot be !'
Branthara gasps at Barrett in astonishment.
Barrett bleeds quietly.

Barrett cries.
Branthara cringes away from Barrett.
Barrett says, 'Help me.'
Iuvil says, 'please my friend tell us how to help you!'
Terraeve falls to her knees.
Barrett says, 'Demon trickery.'
Branthara tries to grab Barrett's robe.
Barrett says, 'Riddle'
Branthara 's fingers pass right through him.
Grumli says, 'This is some more rubbish nonesense'
Branthara blinks in disbelief.
Branthara step back in horror.
Terraeve says, 'Hush, Grumli!'
Grumli grumbles.
Branthara says, 'What trickery?'
Branthara says, 'NO!'
Barrett fades away.
Branthara says, 'NO!!!!!!!'
Branthara tries to jump for Barrett but grabs only thin air.
Terraeve gasps in astonishment.
Branthara says, 'This was the man from my visions!'
Branthara points at Grumli.
Branthara says, 'Grumli, was he the one who appeared at your friend's wedding?'
Grumli says, 'He is that man who appered in fron of Alruna'
You gasp at Grumli in astonishment.
Branthara says, 'Then it is indeed true!'
Grumli says, 'This man is bringing alot of people into trouble'
Branthara says, 'Remember his words! The riddle!'
Branthara nods sadly.
Branthara looks at Grast to see how he is handling this.
Grumli tries to remember.
Grast looks away to hide his tears.
Branthara looks worried.
Grumli says, 'There was something about a key and a cage'
Branthara nods.
Branthara says, 'But... I do not understand.'
Terraeve says, 'The key to the cage, The release of the spirit...'
Iuvil cries openly unable to hide his grief.
Grumli says, 'THAT's IT!'
Branthara nods at Terraeve.
Branthara says, 'But... What is this?'
Terraeve comforts Iuvil.
Branthara says, 'We must find out more... We must receive the visions from the artifacts.'
Grast tells the group, 'I apologize, friends. But I must leave. Good hunting to you all, and please try to keep safe.'
Grumli tells the group, 'Ok see you soon'
Branthara says, 'This is unfortunate... Farewell, Grast.'
Iuvil says, 'thank you gentle terraeve'
Terraeve tells the group, 'Thank you for your help, grast.'
Terraeve bows before Grast.
Grast tells the group, 'May whatever road you travel always lead you to home at its end'
Branthara says, 'He is very troubled by this vision, surely.'

The companions were shocked by Barrett's ghostly appearance. More than ever, now, they felt it was their duty to help the unfortunate Barrett. To free him from his torment! And so they fought the gnolls with renewed ardor... Finally they cornered their leaders, and found on his remains a pouch containing the Incense of Visions! The heroes had at last found one of the first two artifacts of the Shamans of Halas!

Branthara thanked them warmly for their help. The companions rejoiced as they left the lair of the evil gnolls. The ate and drank and sang many songs that night at the Inn in the Qeynos Hills... The mood was merry, for even though they knew of Barrett's plight, they also knew that they had taken a huge step in the right direction that day.

Finally, they bid each other good night, so that they may leave early on the morrow.  Their destination was quite far... In the eastern plains of Karana.

Do not miss the next exciting episode of Barrett's Mystery as the companions strive to get the Chimes of Voices back from the treacherous gnolls!

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