Venture-Captain Hestia Themis once again called a group of Pathfinders to solve a rash of kidnappings in Cassomir, Taldor. The Pathfinders consist of Cristabelle (human witch), Elihu (human ranger), Phantem (human fighter), Moku-Pa (human barbarian), and Kyrat (human cleric). Venture-Captain Themis informs the Pathfinders that Swift Prison has been overrun by derros and that staff members and prisoners alike have been kidnapped and most likely brought to the Darklands. She orders the adventurers to help the Cassomir constabulary in investigating and beating back the derro threat, but also to examine the bell located in Swift Prison’s chapel and determine if it is an artifact called the Bell of Obedience. The Pathfinders depart immediately for the prison.
In her pocket, Cristabelle finds a note from her Osiriani contact. In it, Amenopheus wants her to bring a sample of a black rock called Lazurite. This same substance was found in the head of Dalirio Teppish and the Sapphire Sage wants to research it more. He also wants the head of a ghoul or a ghast for study. He will compare the head with Dalirio’s head and learn more about Dalirio’s transition.
The group heads on over to Swift Prison and, in the neighbourhood surrounding the prison, are set on by roving patrols of the Cult of Nature’s Cataclysm for a total of four druids and their dire rat companions. A battle ensues where Elihu slays two dire rats with his composite longbow whilst Phantem cleaves through three dire rats. The cult members cast an entangle spell, but most of the party is able to not let it affect them. Elihu the ranger is responsible for killing two Nature’s Cataclysm members and his wolf dispatched another dire rat. Moku-Pa killed a druid with his bastard sword and Phantem finishes off the last druid with an arrow.
The Pathfinders then enter the prison proper and are quickly able to locate the prison chapel. Sure enough, there is a large bell there, right where Venture-Captain Themis said it would be. Kyrat cast a detect magic on it and verified that it did indeed have magical properties. Phantem gives the bell a ring and the entire group feels the need to obey. The feeling passed fairly quickly, but it was enough time to prove that the bell was the artifact for which they were looking.
The group then searched the rest of the interior to see if they could help any survivors from the derro attack. They come upon a scene of a dead rust monster surrounded by the corpses of derros and prison staff. They search the upper floors first, but find nothing of interest, so they proceed downwards. Unfortunately, an earth elemental was left by the derros as a sort of trap and the huge elemental attacked the Pathfinders. It was extremely tough, but luckily, Phantem was being a hero and brought down the touch opponent. The group proceeded downstairs and triggered an arrow trap, but fortunately, no damage is done.
In a lower level called Stavian’s Fair, the Pathfinders found the crazed painter, an incarcerated member of the Cult of Nature’s Cataclysm, working on a mural this time. It was a picture of a bell being taken by a couple of snakes. He was obtuse as always when the group attempted to interrogate him, so they left him and continued on downwards towards Groetus’ grotto, the place where they hoped they would find more survivors. However, before they descended, they discovered a diary with a message on the last page:
They read the message and continued into the sewers.
Kyrat unfortunately fell into the sewer water during their sojourn and got afflicted with filth fever. He was able to fight on, though. They entered a chamber filled with sick and dying thief-takers from Swift Prison. The derros left a ghast barbarian behind to guard their getaway and it was he who sickened the thief takers. Elihu ends up taking it out with his greatsword and Cristabelle approaches it and cuts off its head with her dagger. She wraps it up in some old rags and sticks it in her backpack, determined to bring it to Amenopheus for further study. Kyrat, ever the healer, heals the thief-takers enough so they won’t die and they tell the adventurers where the derros went.
The Pathfinders follow the trail into the sewers beneath the prison into the Grotto of Groetus. On the way there, they notice signs of a battle with what looks like a mite rebellion against their derro overseers. There are bits of weapons and fey bodies (both derro and mite) littering the passageways. They also find another note from the prisoner:
In the grotto itself, the Pathfinders come a large group of derros. The derros are about to attack them, but then they are set upon by former mite slaves. A fierce battle takes place with the adventurers facing three wounded derros. They were able to defeat them due to their wounds and let the rest of the mites go free. They have successfully ended the derro threat and proceeded back to the prison proper where a member of the Cassomir constabulary present them with a letter from Kafar found on the front door.
It seems the Aspis Consortium has worked with the derros to engineer their devious plot whilst all the time planning to steal the Bell of Obedience artifact right out from under the noses of the Pathfinder Society. The mocking tone of the note made it all the worse. The government of Cassomir thanks the Pathfinder Society for their help in this incident. Cristabelle has given a sample of the Lazurite rock and the head of a ghast to the Osirion to give to Amenopheus.