The party returned to Graywall after receiving a letter and a request from The Arcane Order asking Markl to return and find out what has happened to Derek. He received a small box from the Order as well.
Upon reaching Graywall they meet Sauriv again. He tells them if they need information to find a man named Des. When asking for directions to Des’s favorite haunt, The Blood Club, they run into a goblin. Mordrog licks his face and tells him he tastes like fish. The goblin is freaked out, gives them their directions, and then leaves. They venture far back into the darker parts of Graywall and see the bar nestled between two larger buildings.
Upon entering, they see 2 men drinking at the far table, a skeleton drinking water, Frank the Troll, and a man relaxing in the far corner, keeping to himself.
Redin’k approaches the man and asks if he is Des.
“That depends on who wants to know.”
“We heard that you’re the person to talk to about Derek.”
The man frowned. “Definitely not Des.” He took a swig of his drink.
Redin’k tried again. “We received a letter asking us to find out what happened to him.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He shook his head and continued staring at his drink.
Mordrog approached. “Rustle up any fillies lately?” He grinned toothily behind his armor helm.
“What?” He asked, raising his eyebrows and giving him a disapproving smirk.
“It means to forcefully insert yourself into an unwilling woman.” Mordrog animated the statement with hand gestures.
The man raised his eyebrows, digging out a coin and slapping it on the table. “Wow.” He pushed his seat back and got up, leaving the bar. “No.”
“What did I say?” Mordrog frowned.
Markl shook his head.
“I thought he was a cowboy.”
Mordrog approached the bar and took a seat.
“Do you have any fish?”
The troll nodded and went into the back, eventually returning with a large, alien-looking fish. Its skin was smooth, instead of scaly, and it had five eyes perched on the top of its strange face. Its fins were ribbed and spiked.
“Yes!” Mordrog said excitedly, reaching for the fish.
“5 silver.” The troll said again, keeping the fish just out of his reach.
Redin’k walked up to the counter and handed the bartender his coin.
Frank handed Mordrog the fish.
“YES.” He said. He began to pull out the creatures large teeth and stick them into the counter as the bartender watched, fascinated. After pulling out the teeth, he bit into it, taking just a few large bites to finish the whole thing. Once it was finished, he used the large fangs of the fish to pick his teeth.
Mordrog left the bar and pondered what to do while the others talked. He grew bored quickly and took a seat next to the skeleton. They exchanged friendly conversation and shared a plate of food and then they had a friendly arm wrestling match. Much to everyone’s surprise, the skeletons won. There was a little speculation on whether or not Mordrog had thrown the match, but with as upset as he was, it didn’t seem plausible. He grew steadily more upset and left the table, heading moodily back up to the bar.
Markl was leaning up against the counter speaking with Frank.
“Do you know that man that just left?”
“That depends,” said Frank. He scratched the counter thoughtfully.
Markl set a copper piece on the counter. Frank shot him a look and walked away. His information was worth more than copper.
Trying to get the bartenders attention once again, he began setting more coins on the counter.
Frank purposely ignored him and headed over to talk to Mordrog.
“I saw Bo beat ya in a wrestlin match.” He laughed.
“You want to arm wrestle?”
“Sure!” He smiled and slammed his thick arm on the bar, extending his hand towards Mordrog.
Mordrog easily won the match. Frank laughed and tossed him another fish.
“You’re pretty good. Still wonderin how ol’ Bo beat you though. Name yer prize, boy.” He grinned toothily. Mordrog thought a moment.
“Who was that man that just left?” He said beginning to eat his next fish.
“Oh, that guy? That’s Des. He hangs around here from time to time. Nice guy. Doesn’t say much though.”
“Thank you.” He hastily chomped down the rest of his fish and left, standing with the rest of his group.
“I guess we should go look for him…” Redin’k said slowly.
The group slowly moved outside to see Des leaning against the building.
Markl approached him. “I wish to speak with you about a private matter.”
Des eyed him and shook his head, sighing. “Are you going to buy me a drink?”
Markl nodded. They went back in, taking the same small table towards the back and Markl ordered two ales.
After Des had taken a few drinks, he set his small box on the table.
“I’m with the Order. They’re looking for a man named Derek. We heard that you might be able to help us.”
Des leaned back in his chair and took another swallow.
“What a mess this has been. Fine. I’ll help you. But I don’t do anything for free.”
“How much?” Markl nodded.
Markl’s eyes widened slowly and he thought for a moment. He reached into his pocket and drew out ten platinum, stacking them and sliding them across the table.
Des took them and slid them into his pocket.
“The Derek I met was a rogue hired by the Arcane Order.”
“Not a cleric?” Markl asked, slightly taken back.
Des shook his head. “He was disguised as a cleric of the Silver Flame. He had found me in town and had been looking for the Cult of the Dragon Below. I told him to meet me at nightfall the same day and he never showed up.”
Markl’s brow furrowed.“Did he tell you anything else?”
Only that he knew the Cult was using dragonshards to collect sacrifices.
Markl pulled the purple dragon shard out of his cloak.
“Like this one?” He said, setting it gently on the table.
“Yes.” Des eyed it warily. “They had a plan to use the sacrifices to undo the Silver Flame. Derek told me that he had discovered one of the Nine in ”/campaign/56112/wikis/graywall" class=“wiki-page-link”>Graywall and had come to investigate." He shook his head. “Not a surprise how he ended up… sending a single man to take on a Daelkyr.”
Markl shook his head. “Do you know where we could find his body? We’ve been sent to collect it.”
Des frowned. “I know where you can find the Cult.”
Markl sat quiet a moment. “Okay. We’re going to rest tonight. Meet us here tomorrow? And we’ll follow you?”
Des nodded and finished his drink. He set a silver on the table and left.
It was morning when they met next, and Des pounded on the cart in front of the bar. Markl showed his head, sleepily. “I have to prepare my spells.”
“You’ve slept late. The Cult meets in two hours. We need to leave now. Prepare your spells on the way.”
Markl nodded grudgingly and stepped back into the cart.
“You’re forgetting something, wizard.” Des pounded on the cart again.
Markl showed his face again, annoyance on it now.
“My daily fee.” Des raised his eyebrow and looked at him expectantly.
“It’s daily now?” He asked incredulously. “A hundred gold?”
“You’re asking me to take you to the most powerful cult in Khorvaire, a cult aiding a Daelkyr, and you’re bitching about a 100 gold? I should make it a thousand.” He said angrily.
Markl grumbled and passed him 10 platinum. Des dropped it into his pocket and waited for the others to ready themselves.
They finally proceeded across town and stopped half an hour later and a large abandoned building. It was made of thin rickety wood and had no windows. It looked like no one had been inside in ages.
“This is the place. They’ll be here within the hour.”