The Whisperer in Darkness

Day 3: Droogham City

The highly anticipated crime-fighting sequel.

Norman kicks a pile of bones aside in tense anticipation. He is standing inside the drake chamber of the day before, and watching Ignatious open the door that leads deeper into the asylum. It is now late morning and there seem to be no signs that the battle of the day before has been noticed. Norman glances at Grimlock, sitting atop Komodo, and notices the intensity of the dragonborn’s one-eyed gaze. Norman looks at Wistark instead, apparently communicating with his djinni. The distinctive creak of an opening door rends the silence.

The next room is bigger than the first and is dominated by a huge stone statue on a platform at its centre. The room is otherwise empty, so the group fan out to look around. Ignatious and Norman bypass the platform and find two corridors leading to other rooms. Wistark and Grimlock close in on the statue. As Wistark tries to figure out its age and background, Grimlock eyes it suspiciously and blasts it with his most intimidating glare. It continues to be a statue.

On the floor at its base the Punishers pair find a body. A man who died with his arms wrapped around its right leg. Wistark checks the statue for signs of magic. Nothing. On the other side of the platform, Ignatious finds that there are signs pointing to each of the two corridors. Through the left corridor: Import/Export. Through the right corridor: Purgatory. Norman walks into the latter option, stepping over rubble that was once part of the corridor’s wall.

The knight’s last step is rewarded with a single, loud, clicking sound. As mechanical rumblings reverberate throughout the room, Norman sees the pressure plate activate beneath his left foot. The room falls quiet, leaving only the sound of gears and switches, coming from within the statue. It balls its hands into fists and, in stiff, jerking motions, takes a step towards Wistark and Grimlock.

Encounter: Medieval Megatron

The chamber is quiet again. Norman resumes his path through the corridor marked Purgatory and enters the door at its end. The room beyond is filled with cells. The dwarf hears someone sobbing, and walks carefully towards the muffled sounds. He discovers that one cell is in use – occupied by a terrified-looking man. He begs for help, and Norman frees him without hesitation. The man is the owner of a stall in the market. He spent a fortune buying a parrot from Eastern traders only to have it stolen during a Droog attack.

After spending the entire previous day searching the city for it, he found himself at this asylum, where he was knocked unconscious and awakened a prisoner. He never saw his captors and feared that they had left him to die. Hugging Norman in tearful gratitude, he promises as generous reward as he can afford. Norman leads him towards Arkham’s exit and meets Ignatious along the way. The warlord asks the stall merchant to pass word of their findings to Lt. Gordon in the city, and then leaves Norman to escort him outside.

Meanwhile, at the end of the left-hand corridor, Wistark and Grimlock have a look around the imports/exports room. It is filled with stacks of large, unlabelled crates. Wistark steps to the nearest and examines it. Seems safe enough. Turning to Grimlock, he asks the dragonborn to open one up. Grimlock smashes a crate with his greataxe. Red liquid spills onto the floor from the smashed crate, carrying broken glass from a bottle that previously contained it. The liquid is not wine, blood, potion or anything else that the pair can recognise.

Gravilla and Norman step past them to explore the room. Gravilla opens up another crate and finds more bottles. She rubs a bit of the red liquid into the crook of her arm to test for toxicity. Norman goes to the back of the room and finds a deep shaft. Next to it is a lever, presumably to call up a lift from its bottom. Throwing caution to the wind, he pulls it. The response is not a lift. Two men in Droog robes emerge from the hole, draw their weapons and attack.

Encounter: Inferno

Several robed Droog men are slain. Norman is separated from his comrades in the midst of a blazing fire and watches through the smoke as the two surviving enemies throw themselves down the lift shaft. He leaps down after them and finds himself in an underground tunnel. The room above him suddenly explodes, and its shockwave pursues him down the shaft and throws him forward. In a stroke of incredible luck, he is flung into one of the fleeing Droogs with enough force to knock him out. Norman ties him up, carries him to the end of the tunnel and finds himself beneath the docks of Sigrast Bay at the north end of the city.

He unties the unconscious prisoner to reclaim his rope, climbs up to street level then, suddenly reminded (by an inner voice or something) that the original mission was to capture a Droog, goes back down and gets the unfortunate thief. The single-minded dwarf then walks through the city with the Droog over his shoulder (drawing a large amount of attention) straight to the Capital Punishers secret base. He is greeted at the closed outer gate by Wistark, who is pleased to see him alive but also rather peeved to hear that his actions have drawn the watchful eyes of the city straight to this doorstep.

The pair lock the outer gate and take the oblivious Droog into the base, passing the other three Punishers on the way – all stone drunk. The pair blindfold the captive, tie him to a chair and leave him to wake up. The wizard explains to Norman that they had intended to search for him, but were unable to find any way to access the underground tunnels beneath the asylum. Having just blown up part of a large building, he decided it would be best to leave the scene before any witnesses appeared. Gravilla, Grimlock and Ignatious then purchased a large amount of ale at the goliath’s suggestion and spent the midday hours drinking themselves into their present, plastered state. A groggy Ignatious perks up as if to defend himself, but lolls backward and falls asleep instead. Grimlock and Gravilla stand nearby, laughing heartily as Komodo stumbles back and forth, clearly as drunk as they are.

The prisoner wakes up and is briefly interrogated by Wistark and Norman. It soon becomes clear that he would have to be tortured long and hard to provide any information. This is not something Wistark feels comfortable with, so he gets Norman to knock him back out and lock him up until he can be delivered to Lt. Gordon. Having beaten the urge to vomit, Grimlock and Gravilla have now joined Ignatious in sleep. Wistark walks along the perimeter wall to check the situation outside, and watches curious civilians pass by on their way to the massive plume of smoke rising from Arkham Asylum. It is certainly not quiet enough to carry an unconscious thief through the city. The pyromancer turns his back on his blazing creation and goes back indoors. Quiet will come when night falls.

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