Our players ventured off into the snow and trees to locate the war-band of Thunder-Teeth Orcs that had been presumably threatening the trading routes located around Mirabar.
After accepting the bounty to investigate Karthog Manyscar, the leader, they trampled through the foothills of the Crags and were setup upon by a patrol of Thunder-Teeth Orcs:
They are brought under guard after being stripped of weapons before the war-chief Karthog. Flanked by his bodyguards, Karthog sits with a primal looking Half-Orc, festooned with animal fetishes and thick dreads. Also accompanying the chief is another Half-Orc. This one appears wizened, with steel-gray hair pulled back into a long pony-tail, a set of thick-rimmed glasses peers over their edges and studies the party.
Since Karthog speaks not a word of Common, Valgash translates for the war chief. He explains that Thunder-teeth tribe and their neighbors in Longsaddle, Miribar and surrounding communities have been in a steady peace. Trade, work, and other activities have gone on without incident until approximately 2 months ago strange things began to occur. Many of the tribe began to get sick, and several died before Valgash derived from his own testing that their water supply was being poisoned. Lying in ambush, the Thunder-teeth awaited the perpetrators by one of their water sources and caught several humans and a dwarf who later turned out to be mercenaries hired out by one of Mirabar’s powerful trade companies, The Golden Hand (Thalorin’s Manymetals, and The Anvilfist Banner being the others).
The trade companies, as to be expected, handle the trade of precious metals and gems extracted from the extensive mines that lie near the town Miribar upon the river Mirar. The companies ship to buyers and traders in Luskan, where it is then shipped extensively up and down the Sword Coast.
The Thunder-teeth, not wishing to sour relations with Miribar, followed the advice of Valgash and released the mercs with a warning not to trifle upon tribal lands again. Nonetheless, the mercs posed as trading agents with the company they were hired by and fabricated a story to the Mirabar City Guard (which operates much like a small army under the direction of the Counsel of Sparkling Stones, the elected ruling assembly of Mirabar comprised of dwarves and humans) that they were abducted, interrogated, beaten, and to be killed if not for their “miraculous escape” and subsequently warning the assembly that the tribe was preparing to conduct raids to steal Mirabar’s mined trade goods.
Needless to say, relations deteriorated fast. Swayed by testimony, the city of Mirabar mustered troops to actively watch the mountain pass and the perimeter of the city. However, when questioning Orc traders and travelers upon the road clashes have erupted.
The basis for this is that the tribal lands of the Thunder-teeth have been discovered to contain some of the regions richest deposits of copper and iron. Quite simply, the mining corporations of Mirabar and their trade companies are attempting to drive the Orcs out so they may mine it.
Valgash is hopeful to avoid all out conflict. He sought the groups aide in bringing him into Mirabar to speak with a representative of the city’s Council Valgash knows.
Having successfully brought Valgash back to Lt Carnell under “arrest” and squared away with Celegal to take an alternate route, the group was granted access to move through the pass and settle with the magistrate/bounty clerk of Mirabar, a Half-Elf woman named Rilda Hoper.
Upon reception of Valgash so he may seek an audience with the Sparkling Stones Council, Rilda offered the party another option to earn some coin.
She bestows the bounty for the party to bring in Ealdwulf Maere, of The Whispermen, a notorious thieves guild seeking to branch into Mirabar and make connections with the trading companies that operate out of the town. Their presence currently is small. A recruitment team of Eadlwulf and his associates were sent ahead to pull in members from the rougher districts, extort protection coin from the poorer residents, bully and bribe town guards and essentially increase their presence and influence through all manner of illegal activities.
Rilda informs the party that in the Obsidian District of Mirabar, located by Granite Bridge (the west bridge) over the river Mirar, houses a tavern frequented by The Whispermen to catch rumors, make deals, and conduct their “business”.
The group make their way to The Beggar & Flail, a working class tavern on the riverfront. After dealing with singing halfings, drunken adventurers known as The Circle of the White Hound, they finally spy their quarry, and Chroma trails the Whispermen to see them entering the sewers of Mirabar.
Outside The Beggar & Flail:
She watches as the Whispermen go below street level upon a set of grimy stone steps, whereupon they open an equally grimy and rusting sewer door made of steel grating. As Chroma ponders her next move a Mirabar patrolman hails her. "Well met, I see you’re considering going beneath the city? (nodding at the sewer entrance) Be warned, the sewers are nicknamed “the Shadow Halls” for good reason. Many a unsavory character conducts their business within it’s maze. Helm watch over us, they let our work crews maintain and clean the place but even then, they only stay to the tunnels closest to the surface. Be cautious". With this word of warning he continues on with his rounds…
To be continued!