The company decided to go through with attempting to purchase slaves. That evening they were met by an agent from House Lanto at a local tavern. Following him through several back alleys, they arrived at a merchant’s shop. Led down into a cellar they passed through a concealed door and entered Under Tyr , the labyrinth-like catacombs that lie beneath the city. After a short jaunt of several twists and turns, they came to a rectangular chamber that held a number of bound, blindfolded women flanked by several guards.
Feigning a haggling conversation, the party got into position and struck, slaying all of the merchant guards save one. An intense argument broke out as the group struggled with the situation they were in. The lone guard pleaded for mercy and would help get them safe passage to the surface. He was not only from a group that worked for House Lanto, but also from House Tsalaxa. The guard stated that if they let him go, he was content to just part ways. Surely if all the slavers never returned from this exchange, both houses would be after the group. Additionally, they would likely have to kill the merchant of the shop where they entered the catacombs, another body left in their wake. To the disgust of some of the party members, they all finally agreed to the guard’s terms.
Freeing the women, they made their way back to the cellar of the merchant. Enroute a figure slipped out of an overhead tunnel opening and viciously stabbed the remaining guard to death. The diminutive figure stepped forward and embraced Dekra. She was an old friend and one of her stone crafter guildmates, Fen Rocktunnel. The fellow dwarf was one of the surviving members from Kalak’s Night of Blood, a horrible event where King Kalak had nearly two thirds of the city craftsmen killed in a single night. Their only crime was being the talented tradesmen that had worked on the mysterious ziggurat after its completion.
Since that night, Fen has been exploring Under Tyr. She is convinced that there is a secret entrance to the ziggurat and an answer to its purpose. During the year she was exploring, she had discovered gangs from the Warrens working with House Lanto (with the apparent assistance of House Tsalaxa) to smuggle abducted citizens out of the city to be sold as slaves. Fen was convinced that killing the captive guard was fitting justice for perpetuating the banned practice. She offered another route to the surface and would help them get the women to safety.
The group decided the best course of action was to go directly to the city templars. Talking with the district garrison captain, he required that most of the women along with the party make sworn statements. Late into the evening they all recited the high notes of their discovery of slavers by rescuing Jeila, running into the Toecutter gang, and finally meeting representatives from House Lanto. The possible connection of House Tslaxa was especially troubling. This was a merchant house for a city-state. The templar captain demanded the company stay within Tyr. This had to be brought up to the noble senate and likely they would all have to give testimony while the noble council decided an appropriate response to dispense justice to the houses involved with this slavery ring.
Early in the morning and dead on their feet, Fen offered them a safe place to rest. She expressed her concerns for Dekra’s safety. Surely these powerful merchant houses would not take this sitting down and likely seek a permanent means to silence all of them. She implored Dekra to join her efforts. With enough coin and several workhands, she was certain she could excavate into the lower ziggurat. She was convinced it held something, as it was rumored King Tithian had all but abandoned any responsibility, spending most of his time within the odd structure.
The company decided their course of action was clear. Leave the city that day and try to make their way to the hidden cache of treasure. With enough coin they could return and likely be able to better reinforce their position with men at arms and bought influence. Further, the coin would help with aiding Fen’s efforts to investigate the ziggurat further. Late in the afternoon, riding newly bought crodlu, the group slipped away from Tyr and tagged along with a few merchants making their way south.