This enormous chamber is roughly circular with a high ceiling. A huge granite block is suspended near the ceiling in the center of the room, carved into the rough shape of what looks like a giant foot. Runes scribed into the north and south walls of the chamber create the outline image of a bare footprint.
Scattered about the room are hundreds of rotting severed feet from countless types of humanoids. All the feet are bare. Despite the horrid wounds that severed the feet, you see no blood anywhere.
With a strong history check, the group remembers hearing of this weird scenario: A murderer in Waterdeep has been killing people, taking their feet, and placing them on an altar hidden in the city as a sacrifice to That-Which-Endures. Any feet placed on the altar teleport to this room.
Noticing the runes, two of party go over to inspect them more closely and end up turning them off with high Arcana/Religion checks. Turning both off actually disables the giant foot from attacking them from above. Once they reach the center of the room however, 10 of the feet activate and begin attacking the group. Even though their stomp attack is rather brutal, they are easy to hit with only 2 hit points a piece and the group makes quick work of them.
Continuing on they reach this room: The tunnel opens into a round room. Dirty brown water — sewage, judging by the smell — streams from pipes in the ceiling into a massive cesspool at the center of the room. A ten-foot-wide walkway skirts the pool, leading to a passageway on the other side.
A high history check reveals the story: This bizarre cesspool was the experiment of an ambitious Masked Lord of Waterdeep from decades ago. After locating a gate to a demiplane of filth, the Masked Lord attempted to build a sewer system that could empty the city’s waste into that plane. It worked well, and plans were made to expand the sewer system beyond the prototype. But then creatures native to the plane of filth came through the gate in the wrong direction. After hiring mercenaries to drive the creatures back, the city rulers abandoned the plan, and the gate was sealed.
As they enter the room, several of them notice ripples on the surface of the water and make a run for the exit. A tentacle appears and tries to grab one of the adventurers but misses and they escape out the other side.
A small, brass-colored dragon thrashes madly at the far end of the cavern, trapped beneath two large boulders that block a northern tunnel. Two dark creatures resembling flying squids dart just out of the little dragon’s reach, harassing it. Another northern tunnel is also blocked with rubble. Only a tunnel to the east stands clear of debris.
Gaarz calls out to the dragon in Draconic and receives a plea for help from the creature. The group wades into the fight and Gaarz is knocked unconscious by the Darkmantles.
The Darkmantles were hoping for an easy meal from the trapped dragon, but are quickly eliminated by the crew. Once safe, and the boulders moved off her, she reveals her name is Dabshabah. Dabshabah is less than a year old, and she shares the story of how a green dragon attacked her and her siblings, driving her away from her mother’s territory and down the Sword Coast. She can also confirm that she saw an armed and armored female human — Sergeant Ava Teeshe — pass through this chamber and head east some hours ago. Dabshabah kept silent, fearing the human would slay her.
Thankful for their help, she agrees to continue on with the adventurers through the rest of caverns.This crumbling chamber is dominated by an altar against the far wall, above which hangs some kind of construct gearwork mechanism ending in a massive maul. The wall to the left of the altar has fallen in to spread rubble across the floor. On the floor near the altar is a golden device resembling an orrery housing. The device is battered and falling apart, revealing exposed gears and spokes, and with its exterior pieces and plating scattered across the floor. Splayed on the ground next to the device is the corpse of a dwarf.
This crumbling chamber is dominated by an altar against the far wall, above which hangs some kind of construct gearwork mechanism ending in a massive maul. The wall to the left of the altar has fallen in to spread rubble across the floor. On the floor near the altar is a golden device resembling an orrery housing. The device is battered and falling apart, revealing exposed gears and spokes, and with its exterior pieces and plating scattered across the floor. Splayed on the ground next to the device is the corpse of a dwarf.
In the southwest corner of the room stands a muscular female human dressed in the livery of the Waterdeep City Watch. Her eyes are closed, and she breathes deeply as though resting.
Moving stealthily and perceptively, they look around a bit and decide anything placed on the alter is destroyed by the contraption above it as a “sacrifice” to the alter. It seems the broken thing on the floor had been placed on the alter and the blow that should have completely destroyed it instead caused the magical explosion that caused this whole mess.
The group also determines that the Sergeant is under a magical possession or charm as she doesn’t seem to react to their presence at all. Gaarz asks Dabshabah to use her Sleep Breath to put her to sleep so they can try dragging her out of the room. The effect lasts for 1 minute and once it passes a very confused Sergeant wakes up and asks what the heck is going on. She doesn’t remember what happened to her after entering the tunnels with Constable Boot, and is keen to accompany the characters back out.
Waterdeep is protected by a magical ward that keeps dragons from entering the city. The ward doesn’t reach this far below ground, so Dabshabah is safe here. Once rested up some more, she’ll return through the underwater tunnels to her mother’s territory.
Returning to the surface the group finds Captain Truff is waiting for them alone, and is pleased to see them. She’s even more pleased that the characters rescued Sergeant Teeshe. Truff asks the characters to sign an affidavit confirming that they’ve completely investigated and cleared the passages beyond the fissure.
Having seen Caerhan’s fate for himself, Gorkoh gives the group the spell scroll of Fog Cloud and the 2 remaining Potions of Healing as a thanks and heads off on his own.
Returning to the headquarters of Acquisitions Incorporated they meet up with Omin Dran to turn in the completed contract. Omin responds:
“I’ve been told about the misunderstanding regarding your identities. I can’t say much for your relative inexperience and lack of skill. But it looks as though you’ve got enough moxie to cover for that. And a willingness to do what it takes to get ahead. Those are traits we hold in high regard here at Acquisitions Incorporated.”
Omin pulls a map from a satchel and places it on the conference room’s oak table. “You know the town of Saltmarsh? A few months back, we awarded a group a franchise there. We received word that they were taking control of some ruined estate for their headquarters, and everything seemed to be going well. Only they missed this month’s franchise payment, and their secretarian isn’t answering any calls.”
Omin snaps his fingers, and a paper, a pen, and an ink pot leap from his satchel. “This note gives you the right to travel to Saltmarsh and investigate the franchise there on my behalf. If you find the franchise in poor standing or otherwise in distress, I want a full report. And depending on how badly the last group botched things, I might look to you to take over. A failed franchise makes the whole company look bad. I’m sure you understand.”
Omin then levels a hard stare. “I want you to appreciate what an incredible opportunity this is for you. You’re skipping countless steps in the normal franchise process. No internships. No tests. It’s unheard of. But I believe in you.”
So ends the Acquisitions Incorporated chapter of our campaign. All characters are now level 2 and we’ll meet again in Saltmarsh!