Yanika’s head was resting in Emine’s lap, and the captain of the guards stroked her fingers gently through the red locks. The young girl looked up at Emine with a smile before continuing with the story she had been telling. “So we had two reasons to head into the Racks, the first being finding the plague doctor again, to help us with the Brand issue, and to deal with that undead creature Jed had hired us for. Or rather, he had asked Kayne to do it and Kayne had accepted without asking for payment.”. She chuckled softly and nuzzled her head against the hand. “For all that bluster he really is just a big softy looking out for everyone. Anyway, Jed led us to some abandoned building in the Racks, which used to be a tavern or something. The entire place looked trashed and in the middle of the floor there was this big hole, with a spiral staircase leading down into darkness. We followed it down and it ended at a chasm we had to jump across, into a room decorated as a shrine or a tomb or something.”. Yanika shivered slightly at the thought of all that had happened, including having to jump across the gap, a gap spanning a void, with no way to tell how far it would go down. Luckily everyone had succeeded, at that time anyway. “While we explored the place, we encountered the undead creature that had been plaguing the neighborhood, and it turned out to be a zombified beholder of all things! When it died, it dissipated into black fog and left behind a single silver coin. The weirdest thing too. It had the engraving of a tower on one side and the face of Mezana on the other.” At Emine’s unknowing look, Yanika smiled and explained. “Mezana is known as the Queen of Desperation, the ruler of the Shadowfell.” She swallowed hard and a tear ran down her cheek as she recounted what had happened next. “When we decided to go back, everyone made the jump over the gap, except for Kayne. And the only thing I could do was cast Feather Fall on him before he disappeared into the darkness!” She sobbed softly, at that moment having thought she had lost one of her new friends forever. Emine pulled her up more and wrapped an arm around her, holding her close.
“We decided to not abandon Kayne so jumped after him, and one of my worst fears became reality as it took more than one casting of Feather Fall to safely reach the bottom of the chasm. We did not find any trace of Kayne at the bottom though, no body, no blood or anything. Only a lot of unbooted tracks.”. She ran her fingers through her own long hair as she snuggled comfortably into Emine’s arms. Then picking up her wine to take a sip before continuing with her story. “We wandered around for a few hours to find any sign of Kayne, but the only thing we found was a small room with a sealed off doorway, and two men sleeping. We woke them up to question them, but they had not seen Kayne either. They did tell us that the tunnels were infested with grimlocks, and told us where we could find them. They also promised us to show us the exit to the tunnels, in return for us keeping their presence there quiet. Finding the grimlocks was not hard, but they too had not seen Kayne. So we decided to head back to the surface and get gear and aid in order to find him.” She chuckled softly and took another sip from her wine. The entire experience had been dreadful. First watching Kayne disappearing into the darkness, then not finding him, and having to abandon the search to get help, knowing he could be in there somewhere heavily wounded. But it had all turned out for the best. “To our big surprise, and joy, Kayne was waiting for us at Ace and Spade’s! Can you imagine that? He had been rescued by West of all things! He told us the story of how my Otyugh friend had dragged him out to the sewers, and how he apparently had found an axe and an amulet somewhere along the way. We checked both the items, and the amulet seems to be bound to Kayne’s true name somehow..”.
“Now with the undead menace vanquished and Kayne recovered, we decided to go back to the Racks, to inform Jed that the job had been done, and to go and look for the plague doctor. Now this Jed guy turned out to be more interesting than first thought. He told us that he had been hunting these kinds of creatures for a long time, but was getting too old for it, so he wanted Kayne to take over. He also told us that we could lock away the creatures by putting the silver coins in a magic box he had. And then he even pointed us to where the plague doctor used to live.” She grinned up at Emine and leaned in to steal a soft kiss before settling down in her arms again. “The place he pointed to was abandoned though, with the only interesting thing to be found being a personal journal by the doctor, which included some information on Brand. He concluded that Brand had been poisoned by the Black Maze, and had given him some treatment, which hadn’t worked very well, and had wanted to continue investigating and treating him, but Brand had refused. The moment he had been conscious again, he had left and the gang had threatened the doctor to leave the city. He didn’t want to do that though, so instead he moved to his ancestral house, somewhere in the city.”
She popped some of the leftover fruit into her mouth and chewed it down as she rested comfortably. The dates with Emine had been going well, and she enjoyed every moment she could spend with the woman. As it had already been late we decided to leave the next steps for the morning. And first on the list was talking to the doctor’s guild so see if they could help us. But all they could say that he had never been part of the guild and that they would like to find him too. He seems to be well educated though and they suspect he comes from the east somewhere. The most useful information they could give us was the name Elzen, the guy who gathers all the ingredients for the medication, knowing that our plague doctor would probably also buy his things from this Elzen. We went to the store and Elzen could confirm that our doctor did indeed buy from him and after some convincing, even provided us with an address to go to.