So, let’s set the stage.
We have in our group: Olli, a taivaan elf bard, played by Daniel; Lluwellyn, an occulite barbarian, played by Pete; Sargok, a graxx cleric, played by Austin; Sigmund the Slim, a shadow elf rogue, played by Gene; Malek, a Kameshi warlock, played by Michael; Krrk’thir, a skitterax ranger, played by Ian; and Almak, a Kameshi sorcerer, played by Coleman.
About half the group is ex-military; the exceptions are Olli, who’s simply a wandering entertainer who specializes in the theremin; Sigmund, who’s been chased from city to city due to his thieving ways; Malek, a street urchin who’s made a pact with a mysterious lord who lives in the depths of the ocean; and Coleman, who’s a low-ranking officer in the Infinites.
Our adventurers – who have no common past – just all happen to be in the same place in the Caravan Quarter of the Bazaar at the beginning of our story.
While milling about, looking at the wares, they hear the cries of a nobleman – at least, a well-dressed man who’s clearly not used to physical labor – offering to pay 250 gp to anyone who can return his holy symbol of Umberstronx. As the players join the crowd idly listening to the details of where he lost his prized symbol, some of the players notice a handful of Kameshi children cutting people’s purses.
Krrk’thir raises a cry, and one of the children darts off. Checking his belongings, Krrk’thir realizes he’s among the victims, and gives chase – quickly capturing the little thief. Unfortunately, his bag isn’t among that child’s spoils. He forces the child to help him return as many of the purses as he can find, and then gives the rest to an unhelpful band of Infinite guards.
Meanwhile, Olli trips the other child as he’s trying to escape, and Almak threatens the imp, terrifying the rascal. The thief spills what he knows – he’s one of three boys who live in the Temple Quarter, Bazaar’s city proper, and that anyone still missing their bags was likely targeted by their leader. Sargok comforts the child, gives him some bread and sends him on his way.
After sorting out the ill-gotten loot, Malek is still missing his gold. Most of the group agrees to look for the rapscallions’ lair, with Sargok returning to the temple of Klaeh’mak and Almak returning to the Infinite base.
The group does some exploring in the Temple Quarter; as they scour the neighborhood, they’re mistaken for officers investigating the disappearance of two merchants. After clearing that up, they discover that the children are a well-known nuisance near the temple of Klaeh’mak – coincidentally, in the same area that the missing merchants were last scene after they’d had a row.
Meanwhile, Sargok hears from Klaeh’mak during his prayers – the god has detected something foul in the city, but can’t pinpoint it. Concerned that some evil force is hiding from his sight, he directs Sargok to investigate it; coincidentally, the god’s directions cause Sargok to link up with the rest of the adventurers (sans Almak!) at a sewer grate that’s obviously been recently moved.
Almak, for his part, ignores some petty corruption – the same group of layabout Infinite guards is splitting up the booty that Krrk’thir turned in earlier – and is told about a disturbance in Temple Quarter: A group of armed men were slipping into a storm drain near Klaeh’mak’s temple. Bored by his paperwork, he quickly sets off.
That armed group, meanwhile, is exploring an alcove above the storm run-off areas proper. It’s clearly been used by someone as a bunk – three small, disheveled beds are in one corner. Olli ransacks the beds and finds some petty change; he scares something while doing so, and it quickly skitters away.
More interesting, however, is the recently broken-down wall nearby. The group explores it, finding it to be an ancient graxx crypt – one that predates the Iron Age by some time, and perhaps even older than the Golden Age. The bodies wear bronze arm and armament, indicating that they’re from a lost age. Further in, the group finds another shocking discovery: The body of a merchant. He’s had his throat slit, and he’s been painted in some kind of ash or gray pigment; Malek recognizes the paint as an Adramalech rite, following the merchant’s meridians. It’s likely part of some foul, life-and-death magic tied to the evil god.
About this time, Almak arrives, discovering the grate after speaking to the same sources the party had. He creeps into the vault, and then uses his magic to send a whispered message to the party to stop. They start, and turn to find him – but any conflict is deflated by the seriousness of the body. Almak strides deeper into the crypt; as he moves, he hears the sounds of skittering animals, and then feels something dropping to the ground around him.
To their horror, the group realizes they’re surrounded by dismembered hands! The crawling monstrosities began slashing and slamming into the group, who quickly move to smash and hack at the grotesqueries. In a moment of either panic or carelessness, Olli blasts the narrow crypt with Thunder Wave, dispatching many of the creatures but also harming his fellow travelers in the process. However, despite this setback, the party is able to destroy their numerous foes.