After escaping Sargon City only weeks ago, the heroes found themselves thinking about how they could get back in. The Minotaur empire’s capital city was under siege by grey dwarves from the underdark and the city was locked tight.
The former slave, Thrall, always protective of his secrets, subtly guided his companions to a hidden cave that led to the back wall of a contact of his, another hoarder of secrets, the surly Minotaur cheesemonger named Alakso.
The old bull told the heroes that they had come at a terrible time. Not only was the city under siege by a foul army of mad dwarves, but certain prophecies also predicted that these were the days that the city would be visited by Terius, a Minotaur of legend from before the birth of the Empire. It was said that the vengeful Minotaur of old would bathe the city in blood to remind them of their past sins.
But the companions did not come to Sargon for old ghost stories. They had work to do and asked Alakso for information. His lips loosed by some of the adventurers’ gold, Alakso spoke of the whereabouts of the coveted moonstones, the gladiator named Carter who had insights into the Minotaurs’ plans for invading Akari, and the powerful Minotaur seer named Tome.
But it was the cheesemonger’s final bit of information that proved most surprising. One of Rimar Domine’s Butchers was a trader in the employ of Sargon. But Alakso did not have a name.
Knowing the layout of the city the companions decided to collect the gladiator first, before tackling the moonstones and the seer. But first, they paid a visit to the Eastern Market, a notorious black market of sorts where buyers and sellers did business in all types of goods, many of which Sargon authorities would find most appalling.
Thrall sought sheets and chains in the market to aide his plan in making the story of Terius come frighteningly alive in the streets of Sargon. But their shopping excursion was interrupted by human cutthroats who mistaked the companions for easy victims. A few damaged shops and an exploded melon cart later, the heroes stood unchallenged and Thrall had the items he sought. The group then set off for the arena.
With the help of a few clever distractions, the heroes were able to bypass the guards to the holding pens of the gladiators. They found Carter and were prepared to free the man, but he stopped them saying that he had a fight in just a few minutes and that if he didn’t show the whole city would be looking for him. Carter assured them that he would be victorious and they could leave after. But little did he know that this time would be different.
Not only would the gladiator be up against two powerful drow elf warriors and a hideous ettercap, but his sword was cursed with brittleness and would break upon its first blow. The heroes learned of this deception, killed Carter’s Minotaur escorts and gave him a weapon worthy of such a battle. They then blessed the man and Harvek the bard sang a song to inspire him. What happened next was perhaps the most inspiring and lethal combat that the arena had ever seen. With perfectly timed whirls, parry’s, and slashes, Carter carved up his adversaries receiving hardly so much as a scratch. Even the gladiator was surprised and the arena erupted in cheers.
Once back in the holding pen, the heroes freed all of the gladiators and overwhelmed the small Minotaur security force. In the chaos of the scrambling escaped fighters, the heroes took Carter and hid in one of Thrall’s safehouses. There the gladiator told his story.
Apparently the humans had been telling the story of Felix and Skarus wrong for all these years. These were not slaves that had escaped. They were humans filled with rage for being left behind and ignored by their homeland and they sought revenge against Akari. They allied with the Minotaurs and posing as escaped slaves were welcomed back to Akari. But while there they would weaken that Kingdom by forming a criminal network known as the Sinking Sun. And they would lead that organization under the names of Uly Breen and Yellowspine.
After the gladiator’s story the heroes rested, for that night they would have to sneak into House Azu to find the moonstones.