It’s not worth it getting attacked by beholders and taken into a chasm by giant floating brain creatures for 20 gold pieces a week – Cirle Tormbringer
A disparate group of outsiders meets in the lamplit hold of the Beached Leviathan, staving off the midnight gloom with strong drink and tales of woe and vengeance. Then the cry of “murder” from the night. Two mercenary Carian guards tip back their spirits, and set off to investigate. Erevan, Cirle, and Osborn follow. Otis, reluctant to face danger without his good steel haubeck and mail, lurches up to his room to arm himself.
The guards are already scrambling down the dilapidated old docks to the strand at low tide. Erevan’s keen eyes make out a figure running away to clamber up the flotsam on the far side. As the guards pass a dark hole beneath the docks, a horrifying creature lurches out, grabbing each in a tentacle.
The party strikes the tentacled horror with a hail of spells and arrows. The creature bites off the head of one guard, and retreats into the sewer tunnel in pain and frustration, still clutching the other. Before it can escape, an acid arrow cast by Erevan slays the beast, and Otis, panting from his run from the inn, cleaves its twitching body with his great axes. The guard was already slain in the death throes.
On inspection, Osborn finds a crossbow bolt planted in the creature. Neither the guards nor the party were equipped with crossbows.
The following morning, Allyates, the captain of the Carian guards, pays a visit to the characters and asks keen questions about the person who ran away in the night. He then offers them paid jobs on the wall overlooking the chasm from which horrors routinely emerge to assail Neverwinter, which the characters accept.
Walking through the city, they pass the hulking ruin of Castle Neverwinter, guarded by a troop of Carians against the emergence of ghosts said to haunt the castle.
Before reporting for duty, Cirle wanted to visit the Hall of Justice, formerly a great temple to Torm. The temple is now a barracks housing many Carian mercenaries, and the seat of power of Lord Tiberius, an aristocrat from Waterdeep who took over administration of the Neverwinter eight years ago. After a long wait to gain admittance to the temple, Cirle met Nestor, a disheveled lay priest of Torm who was astonished to see a genuine holy knight of the God of Justice. A small quarter of the temple had been set aside for the worship of Torm, and Cirle made obeisance at the site, while Osborn pilfered a small offering.
When they reached the wall, the party saw the vast scope of the efforts to protect the city from the horrors of the chasm. Most of the guard towers were held by Carians, but some were held by local Neverwinter militia. It became clear that there is no love lost between the two groups. The party’s troop was commanded by Sgt. Ecto, afflicted with a weird green glow to an eye and an arm. He showed the characters the nearby House of Knowledge, that anchored one end of the wall.
Now occupied by ragged squatters, the ruined temple of Oghma was once home to a great storehouse of knowledge about Neverwinter. One of the squatters, a fair young man named Dergal, showed them the site. An apparent gateway to the library under the temple was protected by magic wards. However, careful inspection of the pillars in the vaulted chamber revealed arcane inscriptions. Erevan began copying the script for the ritual, but the party had to return to duty on the wall.
At dusk on the final night of their tour of duty, a crawling horde of giant centipedes poured over the wall, and in their wake a floating eye demon approached, blasting the defenders with spells, while in the distance several floating brain monsters trailed tentacles. In the desperate battle, Sgt. Ecto and several other guards were pulled off the wall by magic eye force, and passed to the brain horrors, which descended back into the chasm.
Eventually, the eye demon floated away in the night, and only the twitching carapaces of dozens of slain giant centipedes remained. In the aftermath, accusations of cowardice were hurled at the characters by the neighbouring guardpost of Neverwinter militia, led by a stout warrior named Ranulf.
Disheartened by this uneven battle, the characters collected their pay and made off immediately for the House of Knowledge. There they finished the transcription of the pillars, and effected a spell that opened the gates under the ruined temple. Though the halls were guarded with cunning lightning traps, the party made their way to the vast archives in the undervault. In one chamber, they startled an old robed man, and struck him down with axes and magic bolts before he could finish casting a spell. Cirle mystically healed the old man, one Lanjis, who it turned out was a priest of Oghma tasked as the caretaker of the sealed and abandoned library. However, he obstinately proved hostile to those who had only recently slain him, and accused them of being robbers. Having bound the old man, the party now considers how to proceed.