Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (2)

    Apparently we are to aid the Tall Man in a quest of some sort.  He was given a small box by some local official, and all of Miyara's followers were given many instructions on its use.  Miyara is accompanying him, and therefore, of course, am I.  It is surely simple enough: perhaps the Tall Man is to be a courier.

    The mode of our departure did not bode well.  We were packed into a crude wagon and delivered to a back alley in the city, as if we were just so much produce for sale.  The wagoneer indicated a door, into which we were apparently to enter, and left us with a laugh.
    I was surprised that the Giant opened the door rather than break it down.  A stairway beyond led into darkness, and while the barbarians eagerly jostled for the right to lead, I simply took my position to shield Miyara from what may lie below.
    At the bottom was a door with a note on it.  The illiterate barbarians of course ignored it; I handed it to Miyara while the others just shoved the door open and pushed their way into the room beyond.  Apparently, though, the Elf can read -- he politely shared the note with Miyara, then told the others they had been premature and should come back out.
    The Giant knocked on the door and waited.  I waited too, expecting him to break it down at any moment.  Eventually his patience ran out and he opened it again.
    This time we all entered the room.  It had been the scene of some scuffle, with overturned furniture and other signs of a struggle.  I noted a lever on the wall near the door -- the denizens of this hole clearly had some low cunning and had contrived some trap or defense if it was to be disturbed.  Obviously they were not cunning enough, as it did not seem to have prevented the fight here.
    Further into the rat hole the scene was worse.  A gang war had been fought beyond, and bodies were left lying about with no respect.  Some had been tagged with a small card, no doubt an attempt to claim some kind of honor for the kill.  Our own group of barbarians checked the bodies for loot, but apparently found none.
    Some discussion followed this, which seemed to make them nervous.  We continued with more care.  By now it was becoming clear that only the Elf and I, and perhaps the White Fairy, could see in the dark, so I took a position nearer the front so I could warn Miyara if there was trouble.
    The passages led on.  A storeroom had been vandalized, boxes smashed, sacks of grain ripped open.  The other gang must have come here to look for something, but had not found it.  It was now clear that the Tall Man's quest was not so simple -- surely the item for which he had been sent was that which had precipitated the gang war.
    At this point a weak survivor tried to threaten us with a crossbow.  The White Fairy crushed his hand in response.  The barbarians roughly questioned the wounded man, then left him to die as we continued.  I hate their cruel ways.

    Further in we came across a larger room, with unharmed gangmen packing up to leave in a hurry.  They were loading goods on hand carts, and expected us to help.  Obviously I did no such thing.  It might have been a ruse on the part of the Giant, as he then questioned the overseer, and then after a short while we all continued down a passage to an office at the end -- if one could use the word office for a dank stone room under a stinking city.  This was presumably the front office for the gang leader.
    As usual with the barbarians, an argument ensued.  The Giant did most of the shouting for our group, and eventually gave in to impatience and went on through to the next room.  The official went with him, gesticulating ineffectually, and we all followed.
    A short entryway lead to the gang master's main room.  There had been an assassination here, and the gang leader had given up his head.  A blood trail lead through a set of bookshelves -- even the barbarians realized that this meant there had to be a hidden door.  We searched for a means to activate it, but before we could find one they started breaking down the bookshelves.  Indeed they broke through, revealing a passageway beyond into the sewers.  We continued to follow the trail of blood that had dripped from the leader's severed head.
    It seems I am forever being challenged by the disgusting aspects of this unclean city.  At least the sewers had a ledge that allowed the more nimble of us to move easily without touching the refuse in the trench.  The city above is unimaginably foul; what it rejects is indescribable.
    As if to add insult to injury, we were then attacked by rats...