Saga of the Old City

Episode 115: The Bandit King

Gilgamesh and Zariastra find the building that they heard held the entrance to the Lower Town tunnels and proceed to explore. Navigation is simple and there are clear signs of use. They make their way towards the Arcanist’s estates and find a tunnel that been concealed. Beyond the opening is a stairway that leads to a stone trap door leading to a storage room. Although the room is still in use, the trap door itself has not been opened in a long time.

Acacia drags Taurion through streets to Ishkibal. Vharkus stops her half way there and provides an escort the rest of the way. Ishkibal is adamant about keeping Taurion and won’t let Acacia take him with her. In a fit of pique, Acacia fires at the minotaur and flees. She’s faster than the door guards and slips past the door and runs down the street as Vharkus calls out for her to be stopped. She climbs to roof and leaps onto a building successfully, then falls leaping to the next—continuing to run along ground. She escapes Ishkibal’s borders and returns to House Kamman.

Siduri arrives at House Kamman the next morning having heard of Acacia’s antics from the Daku family (Taurion/Goeban’s group, who are allied with Arzan, leader of she and Acacia’s faction). She tosses Acacia over her should and takes her back to Ishkibal.

Meanwhile, Gilgamesh visits House Daku to explain Goeban/Taurion and Acacia. The House wants Gilgamesh to retrieve Goeban and smooth things over with Ishkibal. In return, the bankers will make Gilgamesh’s family accounts available to him. Gilgamesh agrees and proceeds to Ishkibal’s.

Ishkibal and Vharkus are happy to see Siduri, but Acacia won’t answer Ishkibal’s questions, so they tie her to a chair. Siduri wakes Taurion just before Gilgamesh arrives and explains his situation. Gilgamesh arrives and Ishkibal tells him he wants Acacia to pay restitution to the families harmed by her kernig root operation (which Gilgamesh explains she will from the recovered money). Acacia and Taurion are placed in Gilgamesh’s custody, so he and Siduri depart with them. He drops Taurion off at House Daku and Siduri tells him about a mission Arzan is sending her on. She’s been asked to go to forest to see Hudool the Bandit King who claims to be in possession of ancient artefact he wishes to trade. Tools alchemy kit

Krivv has been given the mission by Sikar to investigate Arzan’s meeting with Hudool. In the meantime Zariastra has learned that Lavant has been searching House Diaga and found a concealed panel where missing tablets were stashed by Sejanus. These tablets contain ancient minotaur legends which they can now connect to the Demon King. The tablets say that as his bonds loosen, the earth will shake and the Demon King will be able to send dreams into minds open to his influence. Lavant wants Zariastra to find out more information.

Zariastra shares her information, and she and Siduri spend time doing researching in the temple archives. Siduri finds a notation about minotaurs hiding artefacts in sacred places where humans were unlikely to find them. These sacred places have been lost to history. While Zariastra continues her research, Siduri makes a trip to the Kimah estate. Ashala is unavailable at the moment, but Kitu tells her that the family does not want to actively support any faction. When Siduri asks about Hudool, Kitu warns her that the Bandit King is very dangerous and that she should not engage him in combat.

Gilgamesh takes Acacia and the Lhyra the cliff face to investigate the disappearence of his sister Lilith. Acacia checks the tracks and determines that two people (presumably Lilith and a companion) passed through here a week ago. The tracks go down the rocky stairs, but not into tunnel. The only plausible exit would be a boat on the river. Afterwards Gilgamesh and Acacia stop at Bleating Goat to make more inquiries about Shad. They find out that Bill is the b-named person Vharkus mentioned. Bill is not at the tavern, so they visit his apartment. He’s not there either. There is evidence of black powder in common areas and Acacia determines that the powder been there for days. Gilgamesh asks the neighbours about Bill and learns that Bill and Shad were seen drunkenly walking towards Empty Quarter. Gilgamesh uses their travels to assess his Gnoll captive. He determines that she genuinely respects him and acknowledges that he would kill her if she betrayed him. Her biggest motivation involves wanting to go back home.

Krivv asks around about arena fighters and learns that since the fall of the city the arena has been closed. Most of the fighters have joined Ishkibal’s cause, but some have been hired by Arzan. Krivv spends the day walking around and talking to the fighters in an effort to recruit the, but everyone declines (Arzan’s maintain that his side will win and that “dead men can’t pay”, while Ishkibal’s faction want the rights and freedom he’s promising.

The party gathers and follows the trail marked by Hudool’s. They come to clearing in the wood where a Red Lion soldier stands. He calls out to Gilgamesh, “You killed Taran and I will have my revenge.” In a diplomatic turn, Gilgamesh orates him into submission and sends he and his four compansions back to Urkesh to serve as guards for the hostel.

The meeting with is in another clearing where the party is confronted by 30 bandits. Hudool’s terms are simple: he wants an unqualified pardon so that he can return to Urkesh. There will be no negotiation. Gilgamesh tries to convince some of the guards to deflect (and is declined) and Hudool won’t let Siduri validate the authenticity of tablets before she returns to Arzan to present the offer (saying he has other offers if his terms are refused). He also offers Krivv a job, but the dragonborn declines.

Back in the city Arzan agrees to grant pardon because he wants the tablets and that Hudool might turn the balance in his favour; Krivv reports this to Sikar, who wants him to make a counter offer with a pardon if Hudool gives tablets to Krivv instead of Siduri.

Since the second meeting won’t be for a few days, Krivv, Gilgamesh and Acacia follow up on Shad’s disappearence. They discover that he wandered into an empty building after abandoning Bill on the streets. Acacia finds vomit and footprints leading towards the basement. Gilgamesh and Krivv find an imprint of a body that has been dragged to wall. Acacia figures out how to open the well-maintained secret door that leads to an area of tunnels have been turned into cell. Gilgamesh finds another exit and gets hit by a poisoned dart, though he shakes off the effects of the poison easily. The door opens into more well-maintained tunnels; they find a big stone door with a depression to release. This door opens to a circular chamber with three more doors and a House Kimah sigil on the floor. They randomly select the right tunnel and hear water; another door reveals another branching room plus a well. Acacia sees a set of spying eyes in the wall and they continue to explore until House servants approach and escort them to Ashala and Siduri. As it turns out, Shad owes the Kimah family 10,000 gold and will be imprisoned by them until the sum is paid; Krivv suggests that Acacia shoots Shad and get it over with. Although she is not allowed to see her uncle, Siduri checks on his condition and suggests he needs nothing more than a bath. Gilgamesh assesses Ashala and discovers she is most concerned with her family being in charge of the underworld and to maintain the profits of her ventures. With the agreement with House Kamman already made (Acacia assigned responsibility to pay for Shad), the group departs.

Gilgamesh continues his search for Lilith and finds a fisherman who saw Lilith and an affluent handsome man heading north up river – no one knows who the man is. Checking in with Lavant, he finds that none of the Arcanists experiments with the kernig root powder have yielded any useful results.

Returning to the woods and Hudool, they accept his terms and he returns to Urkesh with them. Siduri gets tablets which are definitely part of the ritual fragment found in the Temple of Hammurabi. Hudool explains he found them in the Tigris swamp. He also shares that his men saw Lilith and a man headed north. He also saw Foostus who’s been tracking the Behemoth which is apparently a huge triceratops-like creature.

Checking in with the Daku family, they learn that Taurion is lucid and confessed that Sejanus taught how to make powder, but he remembers nothing of the events of the last several months. Gilgamesh is able to confirm that royal servants saw a man with Lillith for the last 2-3 months in the palace, but their descriptions of him are all varied and they can’t remember his name. He also sends work to the lizardfolk to send him word of any news related to the either the ritual fragment or the keys. Zariastra has Kara moved to Gilgamesh’s fortress in Low Town.

The party then heads north to track Lilith, taking a boat upriver. Acacia and Krivv locate the trail and Acacia is able to track them north and discover an ambush up ahead. The party makes short work of the wolves, Gith soldiers, and Gauth Beholder guarind a bridge of a Tigris stream. Taking a short rest, the move forward.

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