Part 4 - Adventures in Lagash
The Nephilim travelled nine days to the city of Lagash. They went to the city’s largest ziggurat and met with Kadathu, a Fire Nephilim. At first, he was uninterested in their requests that he leave the Sarmoung Brotherhood alone, and scoffed at their notion that the Brotherhood was no threat. It is not until Gorgessin suggested that he do it in return for some favor that Kadathu warms to the idea. He dismissed them and told them to return the next day to give him time to consider the matter.
They returned the next day and learned that Kadathu had two tasks for them. One task was to rescue Zukatee, the wife of a merchant named Balashee, who Kadathu did business with frequently. She had been captured by slavers and had been apparently sold to the royal court in Uma. They were to retrieve her and take her to her husband in Susa.
The other task involved recovering an artifact called the Mole Bore, which had fallen into the hands of the Order of the Black Star. His own investigations indicated that a merchant here in the city of Lagash was a fledgling apprentice in the Order and could perhaps point them in the right direction. If they completed these tasks, Kadathu promised to leave the Brotherhood alone for at least 200 years.
They decided to tackle the second task first and retrieve the Mole Bore. The merchant that Kadathu had told them about was named Erakota. They found him working in the market place and confronted him directly. He denied having any idea what they were talking about and they got nowhere with him.
However, Ninsumo stayed behind to watch Erakota and observed him speaking to a city guard. Ninsumo then tailed the guard to a house on the northern side of the city. Ka-Vision revealed someone inside who possessed orichalka. She also heard the guard informing the man within that Erakota had been harassed by some out-of-towners asking about the Black Star. The man told the guard to keep an eye out for them and keep him informed.
Ninsumo remained in the area over the course of the next day monitoring the house. However, as evening fell, she was attacked by the same guard from the day before. Ninsumo was no match for the guard and was killed. Danel, free of his Simulacra incarnated into the guard, who was named Aximod. But just as he was gaining his orientation, he was attacked from behind and knocked out. When Aximod awoke he was strapped to the floor of an underground chamber. A pentagram and other occult symbols were carved into his chest.
The others, realizing that he was in trouble the others raided the house. Gorgessin killed the sorcerer, while Demethis secured the orichalka weapons. They freed Aximod and made their escape. They also found clay tablets indicating that the Vizier was a member of the cult of Baalzog.
The next day they took the weapons to Kadathu. They asked him about the Vizier of Lagash. Kadathu said that he knew the Vizier personally, and that he was not a worshiper of Baalzog.
Aximod approached Erakota, who did not realize that Aximod was now the simulacrum of Danel. Erakota revealed that the sorcerer’s name was Arag. Aximod indicated that Arag’s home had been raided and that he was dead. Erakota indicated that he needed to leave town that evening but must first report what has happened to some others.
A short time later, Gorgessin confronted Erakota, and told him not to leave town or his life would be forfeit. Gorgessin then secretly followed Erakota who made his way to a small temple.
The others arrived, except for Aximod and they attempted to go in, but were denied entry when they tried to approach. Using Ka-Vision they were able to determine that roughly 24 people were inside along with an Earth Nephilim, apparently in a chamber below ground.
They returned in the evening and attacked and subdued the guards posted outside. They then snuck their way in and found a trap door leading to a chamber below. Inside this chamber, they found a man suspended upside down over a pentagram painted on the floor. He was bleeding, with his blood being slowly collected in a bowl at the center of the sigil. They tried to get to him but found that the pentagram would not allow them to pass.
Gorgessin then searched the temple. As he was exploring he was stabbed in the back by a priest. The dagger not only cut his flesh, but seared his soul as it was made of orichalka. Gorgessin was able to disarm the priest and dragged him back to the secret room. There he forced the priest to break the pentagram, allowing them to free the prisoner. Further searching the temple they found information indicating that a Nephilim living under the named Tahuma was targeting by their cult for assassination.
The man’s name was Erikesh, and he was wandering through the city when he was jumped and taken here. He said that the ritual that they had performed on him was meant to distill is Ka into a liquid form called an elixir. These elixirs could be used by sorcerers to fuel their elemental spells.
He said he also overheard the priest talking about how the Dragon and the Jackel were joining together to bring chaos to the world. They debated the meaning of this and decided that it may be reference to Tiamat and Baalzog. They recalled that there was a major temple to Tiamat in Larsa.
They prepared to leave the secret room but found that a dozen cultists had returned. So they remained hidden in the secret chamber.
Mean while, Aximod had gone back to Erakota to check in with him. Erakota told him of being threatened by the stranger and now was not leaving town. He instructed Aximod go to the Vizier in Nippur. He told him he would.
He then went to the temple and after communicating with the others through Ka-Vision, he learned of their predicament. He then waited for several of the cultists to leave. With only a few left, he created a distraction outside so that the others could sneak out. He then led the cultists on a chase, losing them in a market crowd.
Later, everyone reunited at a common house. They considered what to do next. They still needed to rescue the wife and retrieve the Mole Bore. But now they also wanted to warn the Nephilim targeted for assassination and investigate the temple of Tiamat. After some debate, they decided to travel to Ur to warn the Nephilim merchant.