Continuing with the meanwhiles, Edle finally meets up with Felix and they go around to talk to some craftsmen. It turns out that it’s a good job he’s there, as it turns out Lord Edle has a reputation as a debt-making fop, and while he has plenty of connections, a lot of those connections don’t actually trust he’ll be able to pay.
They make their way around to Rufus and Henry the Saw, who are carpenters, and arrange for doors, the second story and stairs, and some beds. They are given the address and told on arrival to speak to Bürger as he’s the project manager.
The two then go and meet Charlemagne and The Twins, who are stonemasons and who agree to provide partitions and a chimney for the kitchen. Again, they are given the address and told to speak to Bürger.
Next up, Edle takes them to Adamantine Anvil Inc, where they meet Ragnor and Gurni, blacksmiths, who agree to provide door hinges and a full set of kitchenware, including a large cauldron.
With their official shopping done, Felix and Edle go and look at potential underpants fabrics.
Meanwhile, Elo and Darrius have finished some of their faffing with the items from Alexis’ house and have decided to take the copper dragon scales over to the dwarven temple to see if there’s anything they can suggest to do with them.
At the same time, Merri is just leaving from her chat with the high priest, and as she’s passing a door, she overhears something odd. It sounds like the temple’s inquisitor, one Garl Grimebeard, and a few others talking about loading some special crates filled with empty bottles onto a wagon, and getting it some place very fast. He goes onto mention something about how there’s not enough toil in the dwarves lives here in the city, which doesn’t sound very like a Moradin worshiper. As she’s stood there, the inquisitor comes out and insinuates she’s standing around doing nothing, and asks if she can go and find his nieces as they’re not doing what they should be. She agrees, and heads into the temple bar, to ask around if anyone might know where they’re at.
At this point Elo and Darrius have arrived at the temple, but before they can go in, they spot some odd-looking and suspicious fellows loading something onto a wagon down the side of the church. Elo saunters over and asks if everything’s okay there, at which point they panic, and drive their wagon at her. She manages to dive out the way just in time, and hollers at Darius, who takes off in a sprint after them. She looks around and sees a milk cart, and jumps on, telling the owner its watch business, and she’ll return it. After some coaxing she gets the pony to get up to speed after the fleeing wagon, and scoops darius up on the way pass. They careen around a corner, and another after the fleeing wagon, sending milk pails flying and people scattering, and Elo shouts for the other wagon to stop. At this point though, there’s something wrong with the other ponies, and their driver seems to have lost control as they are quickly approaching the canal-side. Elo tells Darrius to get onto the other wagon, grab the two dwarves and fall off. Darrius flies forward and onto the other wagon, and while he only grabs one guy, it’s not too much matter, as the other one grabs him. They struggle, and one of the dwarves tries to push a bottle of something into his mouth, but he resists and with a heave the three of them tumble off the wagon as it tumbles into the water, the bottle flying and smashing to one side.
Elo pulls her own cart to a halt, just before it also enters the canal, and works to back the poor beast up. At the same time, Darius is picking himself and the dwarves up, so it isn’t until the cart horse is bucking and panicking that either of them notice anything wrong. The horse runs, as Elo finally notices a terrible smell, and a puddle that seems to be moving. Not just moving, either, but growing into a blob of rancid jelly taller than Elo. As it advances, she draws her sword and strikes it, then looks with confusion and mounting horror as the sword comes back missing its blade. She hollers for Darius, who fires a magical arrow of fire and the thing disintegrates.
Angry, she stalks over to where Darius and the dwarves are, to find that one of them has scarpered. They briefly note there is a small splash from the canalside – possibly he has gone into the sewers. But they make do with what they have, and after returning the cart and horse to it’s owner, they drag the dwarf off to the closest precinct, which just so happens to be Elo’s.
Meanwhile, Merri has a pint in her hand, and has been asking around about the female dwarves that the Inquisitor has asked her to find. She’s told not to bother, as they are almost certainly off on a job for the Inquisitor, and he’s just sending her on busy-work, indicating he wants to be rid of her. She then overhears some of her fellow priests talking about how two of the newest acolytes have been remanded in custody by the Inquisitor, supposedly for heresy. But one of the speakers opins, when Merri asks after it, that the Inquisitor may have gone off the deep end – there’s no way the two kids could have done anything to warrant the treatment they’re getting. She takes this under advisement, and goes back to her pint.
Back at the precinct, Elo is in the process of booking in the dwarf, who has given his name as Thingrim, when he asks if he can have a tot of brandy. He’s refused, but he somehow manages to get his hip flask loose and the top off, and out spills another one of those grey cubes of jelly. Wiser now, they react instantly. The dwarf tries to throw himself towards it, but somehow Elo pulls him back and thrusts him at a fellow officer, who is wisely pushed up against the wall and as out of the way as he can be. She borrows the officer’s sword while Darius sets the thing on fire again, and then with two quick slices they manage to dispatch it, with only slight pitting to the sword and the floor.
Elo and Darius haul Thingrim to an interrogation room, and try to get him to talk, but Elo isn’t very good at making him talk, so she decides to go find someone better qualified – her partner Derren. While she is gone though, Darius decides he’s going to try a new spell that popped into his head during the chase. He Dominates the dwarf, forcing him to say what exactly is going on, and learns that he and his uncle Garl are part of a clan called Grimebeard. The Grimebeard’s are tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, and so they decided to get their own back by making everyone hate the Fangthane dwarves. They were given a Black Pudding ooze by their master, and have been working in the sewers, trimming bits from it, putting it into bottles and feeding it to poor humans, saying it’s gifts of beer from the Church of Moradin.
As Elo comes back down with Officer Breakwood, they hear some strange whispering coming from the room, and when they come in Darrius sits back in his chair a little guiltily. The dwarf looks zoned out, sitting perfectly still and gives his name with no hesitation. Breakwood waves a hand in front of Thingrim’s face, and asks for a moment outside with Elo. They leave the room again, and Derren asks what the hell Darrius has done to their prisoner, but Elo doesn’t know. While they outside, Darius breaks the spell. They come back in, and Elo now asks to speak to Darrius outside, while Derren gets on with the interrogation where she can’t see.
Elo and Darius then have a heated discussion about what Dominate Person does, the use of the spell in general, and how it should not have been used in this specific case. It culminates in Darius saying he won’t now share what he learnt with her, and Elo saying that he’s done and to just go home.
Darius stalks off, angry, and predictably enough does not go home. Instead he uses what he learnt and goes down to the sewers. There he overhears confirmation of what Thingrim told him, including learning a bit about the master. He watches as a voice comes from some kind of strange, black, wobbly wall and bequeathes ‘gifts’ to the collection of Grimebeard dwarfs. One is turned into an Ooze master, and is tasked to take care of a problem – which Darius assumes to be either someone in, or the whole, group, or possibly High Priest Starhammer.
He also sees something especially disturbing – a gnome with a huge tumorous lump on his back being fed something that makes it bigger. At this atrocity Darius makes some kind of noise and his presence is detected, but he uses Spider Climb to get the hell out, and heads to the Church of Moradin.
Meanwhile, Elo and Officer Breakwood are learning what Darius learnt but through more traditional means. They also find out about the experiments Garl is performing, and the Grimebeard’s master – an entity named Decay, one of the Lords of the Void. At this Elo knows she’s in over her head, and tells Breakwood to take the dwarf to a cell, while she goes back to the Church to speak to Merri. With the involvement of dark Gods, this has gone from a criminal act against a church, to a full blown echumenical matter.
For extra haste, she mounts up on Aurianna, and as they land in front of the Church she sees Darius also running towards the building. She dismounts, and he yells at her that she can shout at him later, but they have bigger problems. They both burst into the building at the same time, but before they can say anything, they spot the inquisitor. He tells the guards to place them under arrest for heresy, just as Elo says she’s placing him under arrest for crimes against the city.
The doors are slammed behind them, and a shouting match ensues; Elo shouts at Aurianna who is still outside, to fetch Felix and then for Merri, Darius shouts that Garl is conspiring to kill a bunch of people, Garl is shouting to the guards to execute the two adventurers and the guards are confused. Then Merri and a spill of other priests come from the bar, and Elo tries to explain what they’ve discovered. The temple’s high priest comes in and demands to know what gives, all while the inquisitor is threatening to have everyone executed.
There is a sudden lull when Elo says they have a confessor, and Garl calls for a box to be brought revealing what seems to be Thingrim’s head. The high priest says he believes the adventurer’s over the Inquisitor, and tells the guards to arrest Garl, but the inquisitor says he can outrank the priest. The guards are still so confused and don’t really do anything. Garl threatens the high priest with excommunication at the least, and execution at the worst if he dares do this, but the priest pushes it, and suddenly Garl and the female dwarf with him turn into goo, and slip past the guards, past Elo and Darius, and through the slit where the two doors do not join properly.
There is a little bit of confusion as the head melts, before the doors are hauled back open, and they go into the Church’s vestibule to find a large melted hole in the floor leading down into the sewers beneath. They also find a confused and windswept Felix waiting for them. The adventurers descend into the tunnel, filling Merri and Felix in on what the hell is happening as they go.
They find themselves on a small ledge on the edge of the main ‘water’ way, ahead of them a platform that rises and seems to go back into another room. In front of the platform there is a massive cauldron. But the group do not pay it any mind for the moment, instead they are focused on the inquisitor who is cackling at a poor gnome. The inquisitor is saying that his experiment is about to come to fruition, and he does something to the gnome. The poor creatures bucks and sways and clutches at himself, as the huge growth on his back breaks and some kind of transformation takes place. Garl retreats, and down the stairs comes a golem made of clay.
They know they can’t hurt it with magic, so the sorcerers focus on Garl himself, with Felix Holding him, and Darius casting flame arrow so he burns alive. Merri hands Elo a spare warhammer, and the two of them try to go to town on the golem, with Auriana’s help. Merri, use to the action of a hammer, does all of the damage, while Elo does hardly anything to hurt it, but does try and take all of the heat. Felix sneaks up and examines the body of the inquisitor, trying to find what controls the golem. He finds nothing, but a list of names and a heap of trouble – two more of the grey oozes come out of the cauldron and follow after him as he notes their presence. He pegs it back to the main group, just as the golem lands a hit, knocks Elo unconscious, and Merri finally destroys it.