The party rested in Cauldron for a few weeks after their recent exertions. They were able to take advantage of their new found fame after the mayor highlighted their success at the flood festival. Several people have recognised them in the street, and at least one young noble has bought them a round of drinks. But over the last week they have had the impression that someone, or “ones” has/have been following them.
Then a week ago the city experienced a very minor earth tremor, which has replaced the players as the latest gossip in town. No one was injured, but it was unprecedented in anyones memories, and there are several elves and dwarves who have been in Cauldron for some time.
The source of the tremor was discovered when the characters were approached in the street by an old acquaintance, Sir Dawain, who they last met in Loudwater. The party ignored his jibes. Even Gordian was unusually restrained despite being tripped up by Sir Dawain. It was discovered that Dawain and his adventuring friends, The Stormblades, had been down into the Malachite hold, discovered one of the tunnelling automatons and used it to collapse the tunnels to the Underdark “to protect Cauldron”. This happened at the exact time of the earth tremor some days ago !
The party have spent the rest of their days wandering Cauldron, learning more of the city and the evenings frequenting the various taverns, or in Liandra’s case reading books and studying her tomes of Arcana.
Soon after Dawain and The Stormblades left the party there was another rumbling and a section of the street collapsed. A Landshark tunneled up through the cobbles and started destroying the buildings around them. Lakesia, Balthazar’s new found “friend”, was trapped under the rubble but balthazar dashed to her rescue whilst the others attacked the monster. It seemed bent on property damage and only responded to the party when seriously provoked.
After killing the Landshark the party received three invitations, and are apparently becoming quite the celebrities.
The first was an approach from two Elves introduced as Fario and Fellion. They asked if the party would meet their mentor and Master: Meerthan Eliothlorn. The group did meet him in The Drowning Morkoth Inn. He asked if they would be prepared to join a loose knit organisation called The Striders of Fharlanghn. Cauldron recently came to the attention of the Striders after the series of kidnappings. However their investigations have revealed deeper machinations. There is talk of an evil organisation called the Cagewrights being present in Cauldron, and much more active than would be expected. The cagewrights have recruited several members of The Last Laugh (the secret thieves guild) to support them in whatever plans they are hatching. The Striders and Meertan do not know anything of these plans other than the Cagewrights specialise in summonings and contacting other planes. Meerthan did offer to help the party financially if ever they needed it.
The second invite was to the Mayor’s residence, where they were presented with an award for saving the city from the Landshark and the mayor offered to commission a magic item for each party member.
Finally the party were approached by a beautiful woman just as they were about to retire for the evening. She introduced herself as Celeste, and asked the group to join her the following evening for a “business dinner” at The Cusp of Sunrise, an establishment on Obsidian Avenue.
The next day Balthazar purchased some fine garments to impress Celeste with, whilst Odd rumaged in the bargain bin for a two gold piece frock. Outside the Cusp the party look up at the large domed building, then approach the front door….