After stocking up, Investigator Ned and his team headed over to the infamous Old Town, the home of Steel Forges’ seedy underground. The team was stopped by a thuggish Orc, but they managed to smooth-talk their way past him and his gang, with the help of some bribery.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before someone tried to rip the team off. A Dwarf thief attempted to pick Ezekiel’s pocket, but he was caught in the act. He slashed Ned across the face with a quickblade and ran off, giving his cohort just enough time to pick something off of Ned. Something very valuable, in fact: his Steel Forges Guard Firearm Certification.
The thieves escaped, but when they realized that the strange, unfamiliar Tiktaalik was in fact a city guard, they gathered a gang and attempted to fight back. Demonstrating the skill required to obtain a firearm certification, Ned shot the thief dead with a single bullet. A brutal battle ensued, using most of the team’s resources and energy. Through smart fighting and perseverance, the team came out on top. After recuperating from the fight, they looted some nearby hovels and collected some potions and money, along with a blunderbuss and a musket to add to Ned’s collection.
The team knew they had found the entrance to the Black Fangs hideout when they saw a large archway cut in the ravine wall leading far down. Like the vermin they were, the Black Fangs had no home to call their own, so they took over an ancient Dwarven underground fortress. The team descended slowly and cautiously, but the Fangs were ready and waiting.
A Fangs lieutenant and a crew of musketeers held the team at gunpoint and requested a deal: the Guards don’t bother the Fangs, the Fangs don’t bother the guards. Ned continued to buy time, when suddenly, negotiations were halted by the faint sound of gunfire from the hallway, followed by the appearance of two unusual canisters. In a flash of orange and yellow, the canisters exploded and the Fangs were engulfed in alchemist’s fire. A few more cracks of gunfire and they were down for good. None other than a small squad of Ned Kelly’s Rangers emerged from the dark hallway, donning their signature armor and uniforms. Calmly and professionally, they secured the room and checked in with their support. They agreed to split up, taking the northern half themselves, while the party checked over the already-cleared southern section.
Ned, Ezekiel, Schala, and Fannar searched through the complex system of passages. After a bit of wandering, they stumbled across a strange Dwarf digging through a barrel of Vartax in an old storage room. The Dwarf turned to look at the party, surprised and afraid. His hair was disheveled and his eyes were wild. Without a word, he appeared to reach towards Ned, and a bolt of purplish fire lept from his hand and struck Ned. The team quickly dispatched him and found nothing on him but a strange silver medallion, which depicted what looked like a mass of tentacles.
Before long, Fannar’s inherent Dwarven knowledge of masonry tipped him off to a hidden passage. The narrow hallway spiraled down and down, leading the party to – unusually and unexpectedly – a vast throne room, filled from wall to wall with priceless treasures and artifacts. At the far end of the room, the self-proclaimed “King of Thieves” and leader of the Black Fangs sat atop a golden throne, mockingly dressed in full court regalia.
He stood up from his thrown and approached the party with an air of confidence. However, the man coming towards them was clearly no man – he grew larger, hairier, and much, much more powerful before their very eyes. The werewolf bounded across crates of treasure and attacked the party. His strikes were powerful and his skin was tough. No weapon seemed to harm him. Desperate, Fannar reached into his spell component pouch and pulled out the only thing he knew would harm the lycanthrope: silver dust. The hulking man-beast choked and coughed as the cloud of powdered silver struck him in the face. Ned loaded his blunderbuss silver coins blasted him, peppering him with burning wounds. Another load of silver coins felled the former king.
Exhausted and nigh on death, the team rendezvoused with the Rangers and headed back to the constabulary. Once again, Timur was impressed with the results this new, irregular team was able to produce. Even Ned Kelly himself was there to meet with his Rangers. Albert, the squad commander, put in a recommendation for Investigator Ned.
Timur gave the team the next few days to rest and recover, while he and his guards began the work of cleaning up Old Town, collecting information from the Black Fangs HQ, and sorting through the massive collection of stolen treasures in the throne room.
A thorough investigation of Black Fangs records indicated the the Fangs did, in fact, know some valuable information about the assassinations, although they weren’t directly connected themselves. The most useful record was a journal kept by a Black Fang intelligence lieutenant. The assassination was performed by a highly skilled, highly dangerous assassin referred to as Doru the Shade. While no leads to either Doru or his contractor were found, it was confirmed that the Imperial crossbow was a plant, and the Empire itself had nothing to do with the assassination. The keeper of the journal noted that the assassination appeared to be politically motivated, though to what end, he was uncertain.
XP: 1200 each
Treasure: 2,500 gold each, split up from the treasure horde
Protection From Acid