Well. I don’t quite know what to think of this town or its denizens. I cannot decide whether I like these duergar or if I want to shave their beards while they sleep.
Sorry. Not important.
What I forgot to mention last night was while we were eating, I noticed a small gnome with a white beard sitting quietly in a corner. Our eyes locked together for a moment and he gave me a rather suspicious smile and disappeared into the crowd. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that I knew him from somewhere but I had little time to think as some rowdy duergar started arguing over a betting game.
We looked around a bit more and saw they were arguing over a humanoid looking construct. Really wasn’t much to look at but I knew they were rather expensive. One duergar (who apparently owned the construct) pointed at another and claimed that he was cheating at the game. Knowing that should a fight erupt, the guards would be called and draw more attention than we would like, Amnon decided to go over to the contentious duergar and quell the hostilities. He wasn’t of much help until Xillow (bless her) went over and yelled in her rather brusk orcish voice:
“HEY! THAT’S MINE!”
Immediately the fighting ceased and the construct was now Xillow’s.
Honestly, if she didn’t have values, she would make a wonderful sword for hire.
As the duergar dispersed, the construct activated and, most surprisingly, seemed to be sentient. The construct called itself “Twowit” (Too-Wit) and seemed rather…batty. Despite it’s apparent instability of mind, we were all rather fascinated with it. Twowit claimed that it had magical capabilities but it spoke in unclear phrases insomuch that we could not comprehend most of the time what it was trying to say.
Amnon volunteered to take the construct into a room with him to study it more. I went outside with the intent to find a longbow when I saw a duergar merchant and a customer doing business with each other. Now normally there would be nothing unusual with this until I watched as the duergar disappear and continue speaking as if nothing had happened while the customer was slightly perplexed as to what was going on. He then dismissed this unnatural occurrence when the merchant reappeared. As I looked passed them, I saw the same thing happening to another merchant and customer. I watched carefully for a moment but discerned nothing other than their casual disappearance and reappearance. I took a mental note of it and continued to look for a merchant with a longbow.
Should’ve known that dwarves wouldn’t have longbows.
I ended up buying some arrows and went back to the inn to ponder on what I had seen. Why are the duergar acting so strange? Where did I know that gnome from?
Well, if anyone would be able to detect magic influences, it would be Amnon. I headed over to his room. After I knocked on his door, Twowit came to open the door with the door nob in his hand. Crazy metal man tore it right off. As I entered his room, I took a seat on the floor and spoke to Amnon of my concerns. He stated that he too noticed the strangeness going on but would keep a sharp eye out for anything that seemed arcane related. He then suddenly got a strange glint in his eye and asked me for a favor. I was a tad bit wary until he mentioned he would be willing to pay.
Who am I to turn down easy coin?
He then explained to me that this construct was very unique insomuch that it was unlike any other construct he had encountered. He explained that Twowit seemed to have an awareness of itself and the
world around it whereas most constructs are created for one task and will only focus on that task. He also told me that it claimed to have magical casting abilities which also is very unheard of. He asked if I would be a test subject for him. I agreed and he proceeded to tell me that I was to spar with Twowit.
As we walked outside of the inn and made our way over to a secluded place by the river, we noticed Kallista in the distance. I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing over there but she didn’t look very healthy.
Probably some sort of lady business that I shouldn’t concern myself with.
She joined us and prepared to watch myself and Twowit spar. Before our match began, Twowit extended it’s hand as a sign of honor. I took his hand which became a rather…agonizingly painful mistake. The construct sent electrical waves up my hand, surging into the rest of my body. With all my might, I tried to release my hand but it would not obey me so the electricity kept coming until the construct let go and sent me back onto the ground, twitching vigorously from that burst of energy.
I could feel quite a bit of my hair that was singed but I was too busy paying attention to how much that electricity hurt.
Trying to shake off the pain, I put my sword and our duel began. Whether it was the literal shock from the handshake or if Twowit is an incredibly skilled combatant, I am unsure. Most likely both. Either way, our sparring match didn’t last very long, ending with his foot on my chest.
Tired, sore, and pride a little injured, I headed back to the inn with Amnon and Kallista to get some rest. Amnon did pay me with the blood stone I gave him a while back.
The next morning, I was fast asleep until I heard Xillow charging in with a flagon full of ale, yelling, “GOOD MORNING!!!” I immediately jumped up, knowing it was a prank and yelling “HA!” in victory. Alas, I wasn’t fast enough in moving out of the way when she threw the ale upon me, soaking my face. I noticed behind her was everyone else, chuckling quite a bit.
On the plus side, the ale tasted pretty good.
We left the inn and said our farewells to Hemeth, who told us that we should make for Blindenstone. There, he said, we would be able to make our way back to the surface world. We began making our way to the Shattered Spire where the duergar, the one we saved the previous day, wanted us to meet him. We got lost along the way but not before seeing more strange things happen to the duergar. Amnon and I saw another duergar disappear and reappear while Kallista talked to a mad duergar who spoke of a brother who was definitely not there. I moved to the front to speak to Lycyra privately in Elvish. While she and I discussed the strange events happening here in Gracklstugh, I detected Twowit trying to get closer to eavesdrop. I gave him a look and he drew back away so we could continue our conversation.
I have a strange feeling that the construct can understand other languages besides Common tongue…
We finally found our way to the Shattered Spire which turned out to be a tavern of sorts. We walked in and found the duergar there waiting for us. We sat down at his table and joined him as we asked what he wanted to talk to us about. Turns out, he too noticed the strange happenings in his town and was a bit concerned about it. When we tried asking him why he was attacked in the market, he didn’t answer and instead changed the subject to asking us if we wanted to do a job for him. He explained briefly that he wanted us to transport a bag of gemstones to a gnome named Kazook Pickshine in a part of the town called Ledoogar’s Furrow.
While we were having this conversation, a couple of duergar started getting into it. One of them eventually was thrown onto our table. We decided to make our way outside where we wouldn’t draw attention to ourselves.
I’m beginning to hate this town.
We agreed to do the job and gathered our troope together. Sarith suggested that some of our group should stay behind so we wouldn’t attract so much attention. Being in the irritable mood that I was in, thanks to the hand shocking and the ale in the face, I sort of snapped at Sarith and said something along the lines of “Obviously.” He looked at me and warned me that even though we were cell mates before, I was to not underestimate his power. I responded by getting close and said to him, “Do not underestimate my influence.” Realizing that I let my temper get the best of me, I started heading off in the general direction that Topsy pointing to.
We eventually made our way to the gateway to the Furrow, with two duergar guards standing watch. Ugh. The guards reminded us that we were not to go anywhere else except for the Darklight District. Amnon tried reasoning with the guards and they just wouldn’t have it. We made our way over to a nearby alley and decided that we would somehow disguise ourselves to get in. Kallista was the first to disguise herself as a duergar and made her way in. I was impressed. I sent Topsy and Turvey in to wait for us and they didn’t have a problem getting in. The tricky part was the rest of us. I was about to break out my disguise kit when Amnon told Twowit to transform himself into a duergar guard to lead Amnon in as a prisoner. The one flaw with that was the guards had seen Amnon just a moment before but I was interested in seeing what would happen. As they approached the gate, they were very suspicious but they let them in with one slight problem:
The rest of us were prisoners as well. Again.
Another guard accompanied Twowit and started talking to it and Kallista. Because they had some difficulty getting the ridiculous dwarvish accent down, the guard noticed and became increasingly more suspicious. The guard’s suspicion fully aroused, she started making her way to get more guards until Amnon commanded her to halt, to which she did. Twowit, Kallista, and Xillow all attempted to knock her out but for some strange reason, they all failed to do so and began to draw more attention to themselves.
I decided to back out into the shadows with Topsy and Turvey to see how it would all unfold.
I was not disappointed.
Realizing their cover was blown, they all started making a run for the gate, dodging guards and citizens alike. Twowit was excellent at the whole duck and weave thing. Xillow, Amnon, and Kallista…well…I had to hold in my laughter watching them trying to duck and weave. Topsy, Turvey, and I nearly lost it when Xillow tripped and fell flat on her face, and in the process, tripped Kallista as well.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, I must admit I felt like this was a sort of poetic justice for the rude morning awakening I had earlier.
Amnon eventually got into the flow of things and dodged the guards pretty easily until he noticed Xillow and Kallista were captured. I didn’t hear what his plan was with Twowit but once Twowit transformed into a large duergar captain, I had a pretty good idea where he was going with it. They were pretty convincing in telling the guards to release them and to go back to their posts. Once the guards went back to their posts and the citizens went away, our group moved into a nearby abandoned alleyway and I followed close behind with the two gnomes, the three of us snickering as we went.
I can only imagine the laughter once people hear of this story.
May luck be kinder to us.