Where better to start than with the Lorenci brothers, Serai and Sercian? Hailing from faraway Dohrinthas, these two shoal elves came to Ptolus seeking their fortunes. They met up with Aliya Al-Mari on the road, and the three traveled to the city with hopes of money and magic. Outside the city, they met Sister Mara von Witten, a paladin named Feruch Balsura, a dwarven fighter with aspirations of wizardry named Maur, and the swordfighter Shurrin Delano. Sister Mara, Feruch, and Maur were traveling together from the capital, Tarsis, to look into an outbreak of something in Ptolus called “chaositech,” a new kind of chaos magic that the Church of Lothian—and thus the Empire—was none too keen on.

Once within Ptolus, they settled into an inn in Delver’s Square called the Ghostly Minstrel. Sercian left to look for some other elves, but Serai was happy to stay with Aliya and this new group of friends. Soon after their arrival, they stopped the attempted murder of a young woman named Phon Quarterman. This poor girl had no idea why anyone would attempt to kill her, but Sister Mara took Phon under her wing to watch out for her. The cleric was able to determine that—although even Phon did not yet realize it—the young woman was pregnant.

But there were bigger problems to solve. The group soon learned that the Prince of the Church had put a bounty on the rat men that lived in the sewers. Mara had it on good authority that these creatures were somehow connected with chaositech. Before they knew it, the lure of money, duty, and the desire just to do something fame-rewarding drove the group down into the sewers.

Wading around in the rain-filled Imperial-built sewers produced some odd encounters, but it wasn’t until they actually found their way down into the even older, original city sewers that it became clear how vast an area the rat men controlled. After numerous fights with dragon rifle-armed rat men, these adventurers found that the creatures had some rather disgusting human allies. These allies worshipped the “Rat God,” which was actually a front for something far more sinister: an entity known as Abhoth. The party members didn’t know much about Abhoth yet, but they soon would discover that he was actually one of the Galchutt, a group of mind-numbingly evil and unimaginably ancient beings that were “asleep”—for now.

Meanwhile, after getting to know his way around the seedier sections of Ptolus, Sercian visited the center of local elven culture: a place called Iridithil’s Home in the Emerald Hill neighborhood of Midtown. As he entered, assassins attacked him! Three other elves came to his defense: the sorcerer Vexander Sangreal, the monk Gaerioth Shadowhand, and an archer named Chanticleer Umanyar. When the assassins were defeated, the elven master of the place, Doraedian Mythord, tried to use a spell to peer into the mind of one of the would-be murderers. Not only did the attempt fail, but it triggered a demonsummoning!

Once they defeated the demon, Doraedian told the four elves the assassins were members of the Vai, a guild of murderers. One of them had a small magical globe that held the image of three people. Serai recognized them—they were Aliya, Shurrin, and his twin brother Serai. Clearly, the assassins had mistaken him for his brother.

The fight forged a tight friendship among the elves. Chanticleer joined the Order of the Bow as a trainee, but still pledged to help explore the areas under the city with the rest of them (Chanticleer hoped to one day find the Bow of Ahaar, a magical weapon said to be lost below Ptolus).

First things first, however. Following a lead, they tracked down a contact of the assassins and soon found themselves in way over their heads with a half-orc named Toridan Cran and his gang of cutthroats. They managed to learn that these gang members had some connection to a powerful priest named Helmut Itlestein.

About the same time, the other group learned that their troubled young friend Phon Quarterman was having an affair.

With a priest named Helmut Itlestein.

Next Time: The elves get trapped in the dungeons under Ptolus! And they give their group a name! The other group runs afoul of a chaositech golem! And they head into the dreaded Necropolis!