15. Fight Club

Tunwéya, Og, Darry and Xanthe slowly awoke and found themselves in a prison cell. The cell was dark but beyond its iron bars they could see two figures illuminated by torchlight. One was an expensively attired female halfling. The other a female human dressed in a plain robe. The human’s arms were stretched out before her and the scroll she seemed to be looking at was disintegrating into ashes. The halfling offered the four of them the opportunity to earn some money fighting in her arena. She explained that the patrons were getting bored seeing beasts fighting each other and she also had to put on an impressive show as there was a VIP in the audience tonight. She promised they would be paid of they win or lose and she would provide magical healing to them if needed.

The party were disorientated and confused. They asked the halfling some questions, discovering they were underneath a tavern called the Fool and Flagon in the city of Baldur’s Gate. The halfling had been paid to “store” the adventurers until someone came for them. They agreed to fight and were given a roster of six monsters to choose to fight individually. The roster included an Ape, a Cockatrice, a Centaur, a Giant Scorpion, a Giant Toad and a Hell Hound.

First up was Darry versus the Giant Scorpion. The Scorpion was bigger than he expected with the length of its body spanned ten feet and its tail held eight feet high. At first the crowd laughed seeing Darry dwarfed by the Scorpion but the fight was close. Both of them traded blows until Darry leapt up on top of it, grabbed the stinger that was aiming for him and managed to bury the stinger and his shortsword into the beast. The crowd went wild and applauded the entertaining fight.

Next was Ogodrok who has chosen to fight a Giant Toad. Again describing the beast as giant had been a bit of an understatement as the beast looked like it could swallow Og whole. Og however was undeterred and swung his greataxe as the Toad opened its giant mouth. The axe lacerated the creature from the inside and as Og pulled it back, half of the Toad’s face came away. It remained motionless in a heap on the ground. The crowd clapped while some of them went pale a the gruesome sight.

Og joined Darry in the a gallery to watch the next fight. Darry sought out a bookmaker and put 100gp on Tunwéya to win the next fight at 4/1. At that moment Leofric and Hinnerk entered the gallery from the tavern, both wearing identical copper badges. They found Darry and Og and asked where the others were. Og pointed to the arena floor as a nervous looking Tunwéya was standing there watching two guards struggling to bring and Ape into the fighting pit. The iron collar that restrained the Ape snapped and one of the guards ran back to the preparation area. The other guard was attacked by the Ape and Tunwéya watched in horror as the guard’s arms were ripped clean off its body. The crowd cheered and Tunwéya gulped as the Ape charged at him. He fired some spells at it while he attempted to dodge and weave with the Ape only landing one thumping blow. Darry shouted encouragement which seemed to help Tunwéya focus. He set the Ape’s fur alight and then beast-shaped into an Ape himself. As the Ape was momentarily confused, Tunwéya landed an uppercut and knocked the Ape clean out. The crowd erupted with cheering as Tunwéya, still in Ape form, was allowed up to the gallery, collecting his winnings on the way.

The bookie Darry had placed a bet with tried to leave but was forced to pay up. At this point Darry starting taking bets on Xanthe to lose to the Cockatrice and took a 200gp bet which was just about his limit. Then Leofric flashed his copper badge and went past a guard towards the VIP balcony. He cast suggestion on the VIP making him want to bet all the coin he had on Xanthe to lose. The VIP approached Darry and handed him what seemed like modest purse until he realised it was filled with 100 platinum pieces. When asked Darry gave his name as Martin.

The next fight began as Xanthe easily avoided the cockatrice’s bites. She launched two volleys of magic missile at it which resulted in the faint smell of fried chicken in hanging in the air. The VIP left the arena while the rest of the group asked Leofric and Hinnerk what the hells was going on. They suggested they move to somewhere quieter and led the group to the Elfsong Tavern. They explained that they had managed to secure their friends release and had come to the Fool and Flagon to collect them. Two months has passed since they had last seen each other and Hinnerk and Leofric had based themselves in Baldur’s Gate for most of that time.

The Elfsong Tavern is famous for the benign spirit that haunts the building and occasionally sings songs of a long lost lover. That night it sung a song about a place called Elturel. Hinnerk and Leofric explained that refugees has been recently arriving from Elturel due to some sort of calamity that had befallen the city. Concerned for the the refugees, Leofric arranged for the innkeep to gather provisions from their suppliers for him to take to the refugees in the morning.

The party retired for the night and in the morning took a cart full of food and drink to the Basilisk Gate. On route they were stopped by a commander in the Flaming Fist (the mercenary company Hinnerk and Leofric seemed to have joined). Commander Zodge told them not to bother with the refugees and investigate a lead on recent murders in the city. Something happened in the city of Elturel while the ruler of Baldur’s Gate, Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard, was there. He is now missing and tensions are running high in Baldur’s Gate without him. The activity of the Cult of the Dead Three had intensified since the unrest caused by the refugees and Zodge wants the cult dealt with. He refused to let them past until Darry cast Charm Person on Zodge, causing him to reluctantly let them through but not before slapping a copper badge on Darry claiming to have deputised him. He asked the party to report back once they were finished with the refugees.

Outside the gate, the shanty town of the outer city was chaotic with a few hundred refugees either trying to put together makeshift shelters or get into the city. The party gave out provisions and gathered the following rumours:

  • Elturel has fallen and there is a crater where it once stood. There are different explanations as to what caused this and many refugees simply don’t know. Most reports agree the Companion (a huge white orb of radiant energy that protects the city) suddenly turned black and crackled with bluish-white lightning immediately before Elturel disappeared.
  • The refugees are all citizens of Elturel who were outside of the city walls when the calamity happened.
  • Some people claim to have seen the leader of Elturel, High Overseer Thavius Kreig, in disguise amongst the refugees.

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