In the first two sessions of this campaign, our characters were introduced into the city of Gate Pass.
Poison Apple Pub
Torrent informed them of an important task that needed to be performed first: acquiring a case of stolen Ragesian military information, then sneaking it out of town. Torrent also informed the party of a possible safe haven in Lyceum, in the southern part of the kingdom of Dressen.
Masked by the explosions of bombs setting off outside, Black Horse Mercenaries assaulted the pub, hoping to round up Resistance members or spellcasters to turn in for bounties. When the party proved they could defend themselves, the mercenaries turned tail and ran.
Acquiring the Case
Torrent led the party to a depository tower where she was supposed to meet the gnome Badger Rivereye. Instead, the party met Larion Prevarieth instead, a Shahalesti agent disguised as Rivereye in order to obtain the case for his nation. Rivereye was being held nearby, and had convinced Larion that the case was rigged to explode if it was forcibly opened without using the proper passphrase, which only resistance member Peppin knew.
When the party arrived, Larion mistakenly thought one of them must be Peppin and gave his disguise away. He attempted to flee while his bodyguards dealt with the party, and, after being captured once and interrogated, forsook the case and leaped off the fourth story, chugging down a potion on his way down. He apparently landed without injury and disappeared into the city.
Accompanying Larion was a lantern archon, a Celestial creature that later Diogenes would recognize as belonging to another of Gabal’s instructors, an Eladrin with obvious ties to Shahalesti.
Leaving the City
After acquiring the case, and after an imp-like devil sent from Inquisitor Guthwulf failed to steal away the case, the party was tasked with finding a way out of the city. Vic and Lahspar went with Torrent to a nearby Resistance holdout, a Temple of the Aqualine Heart, while Chaucer and Mel left for Gabal’s Wizard school to collect some of Chaucer’s things and report back to Diogenes. While the latter had some ideas for escaping the city, the party met back up to visit politician Erdan Menash to explore his connections to flee the city.
After indulging Erdan in some stories and complaints about the Gate Pass City Council, Erdan agreed to help the party, and also offered up some arms from his personal connection to equip the party. Erdan provided a means to leave the city, through joining a militia patrol and disappearing on the job.
While leaving the city, the party was accosted by Black Horse Mercenaries twice, once subtly while disguised as city militia and once outside the city in a canyon pass. The party had few difficulties in turning away both these encounters, and continued on toward the farming settlements outside the city on the way to the Fire Forest, which Torrent claims is the fastest way to get south without being followed.