The party set out without delay to the address Zellara had given them. The location turned out to be an old fishery in Westdock, along the banks of the Jeggare River. They scouted the location for a bit and were in time to see a wagon depart the fishery, with two gruff laborers at the reins and a few tar-coated barrels in the back. Thinking that these men might be able to tell them more about Lamm’s activities, the heroes accosted them in the street. Sadly, Zoe Illaria’s charm failed to impress the working men and little intelligence was gathered.
The group then decided a direct assault was the best choice. Splitting the party in two, some prepared to enter through a pair of imposing double doors while the rest of the party snuck around to a back alley boardwalk to ensure none of Lamm’s thugs could escape. The first group made it through the doors with little problem, gaining the attention of a group of children hard at work shoveling half-rancid fish, seaweed and brine into filthy troughs. Vigo Drovenge called upon the children to bring their master, his imposing stature (and deadly longsword) adding some urgency to the request. While it appeared for a moment that the sullen urchin was going to comply, he turned at the last minute, a razor-sharp kukri in his hand. The party realized he was not a child, but actually a gnome overseer!
The evil little fey, known as Hookshanks Gruller, threatened the terrified orphans he would skin them alive if they didn’t fight off the interlopers. Looking fearful, they tightened their grip on their pitchforks and approached the heroes. A close battle ensued, with Vigo fighting a defensive action while Aria Tauranor leapt and rolled into the fray, doing her best to knock the pitchforks from the urchins’ hands. Her skill with the blade was apparent, as she quickly disarmed two of the orphans, who then scattered to the wind. Realizing he was outnumbered, Hookshanks threw open a door to another part of the fishery, calling for “Bloo” and for someone named Balko. Hookshanks turned back to the fray only in time to take a shocking blow from Vigo’s sword.
Hookshanks fled, only to be replaced by a snarling, heavily scarred cur, followed shortly thereafter by a sneering blond-haired man dressed in robes two decades out of date. The man, likely Gaedren Lamm’s lackey Yargin Balko, smiled cruelly as he pointed a wand at the party and spoke an arcane phrase…