The River of Life
Dwahain, Marimas, and Merek have been on cleaning duty as punishment for their earlier behavior, under the supervisor of VASA’s caretaker, Cletus Steven Charles Jenkins V. He leaves them with instructions to dump their mop buckets down the sewer drain in the cellar when their duties are complete.
Dwahain and Marimas arrive at the same time to empty their buckets only to discover that the lock on the grate has been broken. The grate stands open, and Merek’s cleaning supplies lie scattered and broken around the room as if a struggle ensued.
Marimas immediately goes to find help, however the impulsive Dwahain just leaps down the grate into the sewers without a second thought. He completely misses the fact that there was a ladder and falling six meters, knocking himself out cold and spraining his ankle.
Meanwhile Marimas finds Mastermage Alonsus Wetherby, who decides that this is a perfect opportunity for some of his young students to prove they are ready to advance in their studies and become apprentices. He asks Marimas to gather some of his friends and meet him and Cletus Steven Charles Jenkins V in the cellar.
The young halfling struggles to recruit anyone, but eventually Arthur, Woggugat, Rae’thu, Farranak, and Shariekk come with him. However Marimas rejects Valleen’s offer of help, still upset with her that she dragged him into conflict with the bullies, while she kept her nose clean. Her and Idril decide to tag along anyways.
In the cellar Wetherby instructs them to work together and keep one another safe as they search for Merek, and if at any point things get to difficult to simply remove their amulets. Without their amulets they will be teleported out of the sewers back to a secured room at the Volanthian Customs office
Once down in the sewer they find an unconscious Dwahain, who they bandage and heal before splitting into two groups. Valleen takes one group upstream, with Idril, Woggie, and Rae’thu, while Marimas takes the other group downstream, with Arthur, Dwahain, Farranak, and Shariekk.
Both groups are forced to content with packs of giant sewer rats, resulting in everyone becoming infected with Gutter Filth
The upstream group eventually makes their way to a large chamber where an overhead pipe drained into the channel, creating the flow of sewage they have been following up the channel. Here they find a large pile of garbage surrounded by foul smelling candles, as well as a hole in the wall, which appears to have been excavated through the brickwork from the outside into the sewers.
As they approach to investigate a Kobold miner challenges them, worried that they had come to steal his candles. Rather than fighting them, Woggugat diffuses the situation by juggling pieces of sewer rat (harvest from the previous encounter). Feeling less threatened, the Kobolds then explain that “nasty tattooed humans” have invaded their new homeland and attempted to lay claim to the “River of Life” (the Kobold’s name for the magic tainted stream of sewage flowing down the passageway).
Knowing these invaders to be Slavers, Rae’thu takes off his sock and offers it as a “candle holder”, a peace offering to cement a temporary alliance to purge the Slavers from the Kobolds new homeland. The Kobolds are impressed and together they travel down stream to find the other group, hoping to assist them in dealing with the Slavers.
Meanwhile, the second group stumbles upon a small slaver encampment in the sewers, where Merek is being held (bound, gagged and unconscious) in a wooden cage. The Slavers all have magical hour glasses floating over their heads, meaning someone from within Volanthia is assisting them so that they can temporarily be inside the city limits without being teleported away.
The young spell casters are able to ambush the Slavers, however drained from their previous encounters, they soon found that victory was far from assured. Luckily the first group arrives with their new Kobold allies and helps turn the tables and defeat the Slavers. The Slaver are then brought back to VASA to be turned over to the authorities.
The Kobolds thank the young students for their assistance in securing their new homeland, but insisted that no further trespasses on the River of Life will be tolerated (with the exception of Woggugat who is always welcome).
The students return with Merek and are praised by Mastermage Alonsus Wetherby for their efforts. After receiving their full reports of the events he officially begins the paperwork to see them granted the rank of apprentice (or equivalent for non Mages and Wizards).