" Itto! Run!"
Rayne, atop the airborne Wolf, pleads with the Half-Orc to sheathe his sword and flee from the group of brain-eating Mindflayers slowly moving in for the kill. Itto, the fearless Paladin (literally, they don’t feel fear), stands his ground, preparing for battle. Moonstalker, Itto’s mount, is still above-ground with the rest of Team Trust, telepathically relaying the events and acting as a sort of living short-wave radio to the Underdark below.
As the group all attempt to convince Itto to fly away, the one of the Mindflayers latches its tentacles onto his head, attempting to suck out his brain in one movement. Itto is able to shake off the monstrosity, but others are closing in. Rayne yells to him that they have greater evils to face, and if Itto should fall now, he cannot help avenge the dystopian future in which they now find themselves. Appearing to come to his senses, Itto begins to use his winged boots to fly, but is alarmed to find that the Mindflayers are capable of levitation as well, as give pursuit. He fends some off, but they begin to swarm him.
Suddenly, a volley of fire-burst arrows Raynes down (get it?) from above, and the Mindflayers hiss and retreat. Itto looks up and gives a thankful nod to Rayne, and the two escape the Underdark with their brains (mostly) intact.
On the surface, the rest of Team Trust has prepared for the teleportation trip to Draken’s Point, as they wedding is fast approaching and they wish to be in attendance, for reasons which seem clear only to Slink. Reunited again, the group attempts to teleport inside the city, but are only able to get to the outskirts, having been prevented entry due to an anti-magic field surrounding the city walls.
They find themselves in an encampment outside, a sort of line up to the main gates, with merchants and travelers waiting to get into the city for the wedding of Rhegar and Isara. Upon speaking to a few of the people in line, they learn the following information:
- Draken’s Point is a neutral haven open to all races, where the Racial Council meets regularly to discuss matters of the land
- The city is ruled over by Baron Baxter Highcastle, supported by his various Lords, who each watch over a region of the city
- Since the time-jump, Draken’s Point has been split into two regions: HiTown, where the Baron and the rich reside, and LoTown, where the poor and sick are kept. A wall divides the two regions, and travel between the two is all but impossible
- Despite being a bustling city, crime and corruption are rampant, and information is the currency of the land (meaning that bribery and extortion are the means for progress)
- The most powerful crime syndicate is the Red Knives Thieves’ Guild, Slink’s former comrades
- Both Hi and LoTowns have their own arenas, fighting pits where death battles take place for the entertainment of the populace
Attempting to gain early access to the city, Team Trust learns to seek the aid of the rogue Nornerous Light-Touch. They bribe a guard at the gates to introduce them to the man, and the guard directs them to a sewer hole at the walls of the city. Upon approaching the grate, they hear a whispering voice coming from an invisible presence, who introduces himself as Nornerous, and agrees to let them into the city in exchange for gold, which Slink reluctantly parts with. The rogue opens the grate and points Team Trust in the right direction.
Sloshing their way through the sewers, the team is chased down by a group of decrepit undead creatures riding giant crocodiles. Despite Itto’s best attempt at diplomacy, the creatures advance, and Team Trust, rather than face conflict, flees behind a locked door, which they put all their weight against as Slink and Quinn figure out a strange lever puzzle to open the next door. They do so just as the crocodile-mounted undead burst through, giving Team Trust barely enough time to clamor up the ladder out of the sewers and into LoTown. It would DEFINITELY be the last time they spent an extended period in the sewers! Right?!
Popping up in LoTown, our heroes notice hordes of homeless Mongrelfolk warming themselves over burning rubbish bins. The air doesn’t smell much better than it did down below, and the streets are littered with…litter. But it’s late, and the group wants only to rest after their trying day. They head to a bar, where Slink and Itto shake down a man to find the location of Slink’s closest ally: the former Red Knife-turned-royal chef Torblud Tusken. In the process, they out themselves as the last paladin and a former Red Knife, and everyone in the bar flees in terror. But the shake-down is successful, and Slink learns that Torblud is head chef in the Hall of Pantheon, home to the Duke.
Heading upstairs to an inn for the night, the group finally gets a moment to rest…or so they think. As they begin to rest their eyes, the doors to their individual rooms fly open and a group of darkly-clad rogues enter, all carrying small red-colored knives…