Tooth and Nail
This adventure was told from the perspective of Coolridge Copperpot, who described the details to a sage in Malagra while playing dice in a wine bar, who recorded it for posterity.
On a cool fall evening, a bard named Golden Boy arrived at Coolridge’s house in Peckton to pass along word of a mission sent from his nephew Porkins that help was needed to retrieve a figurine from a wizard in Malagra. The heroes of Lakewood mistakenly sold this figure to the wizard without realizing that it contained an evil artifact known as the Red Fang.
Coolridge recruits his old adventuring friend, the halfling Wizard Cotton Cornpiper, who agrees to accompany him to Malagra. But, needing a ship, they proceed to the Shore Dinner Hall where Captain Bonnie and the Grudge are also present, looking for crew in order to score more dangerous (and thus higher paying) work so that she can pay off her debt to Loricone’s man, who loaned her money to fix her ship following the Rogue Wave incident.
After extensive haggling, the four sail to Malagra on the Sloop Jombi. After an uneventful two week voyage, they arrive in Malagra and check in at the local constablary (Porkins having provided his uncle with a badge and the name of the chief Inspector).
Meanwhile, a battle priest by the name of Don D’qen has arrived at the Inspectors office by invitation. As a member of the Order of the White Lion, the priest has been summoned to help deal with a potential cult that is rumored to be active in the city.
Coolridge informs Inspector Iago of his plans to meet with the wizard Aldo Novas and even attempts to bribe the Inspector, who is insulted but gives Coolridge information on the basis that the heroes of Lakewood helped him in the recent past, provided that they allow Don D’qen to tag along.
The group proceeds to Aldo Novas house but he is not home. Being magically protected, they are prevented from entering but manage to enter an adjoining house when an annoyed merchant pays the party to get him into the adjoining townhouse so that he can confront his missing business partner, Gresso.
There, it becomes apparent that someone has used Gresso’s apartment to gain access to Aldo Nova’s through the wall (and killed the Merchant in the process). The party investigates the wizard’s townhouse but it is empty except for a trapped box that releases poisonous snakes. The party recovers the missing Wizard’s spare spellbook and other clues, including a footprint of fused salt.
Next, the halflings pair off to get help for Cotton, who is poisoned by a snake, while the Don, the Captain and the Grudge wait in the wizard’s observatory until nightfall in search of clues.
The split party groups are each attacked by thugs but the halflings manage to subdue their attackers while the pirates and D’qen kill their assailants.
Inspector Iago arrives as the halfings interrogate their prisoner and learn that the thugs were paid by a handsome cultist named Delgato that frequents a bar under a butcher shop known as the Offal House. The Inspector warns the halflings that this is in a seedy part of town.
In the evening, Captain Bonnie notices that the night sky has a constellation called The Serpent at apex. The constellation matches markings on the Snake Box, and Don D’qen recognizes it as a symbol of the Cult of Tiamat.
The reunited group proceeds to the Offal House where they find and confront Delgato but are attached by every customer and the barkeep. The party manages to kill or incapacitate all of them (with the help of Iago who arrives mid-battle) except for Delgatos female elven monk bodyguard who runs away.
The party interrogates Delgato and tracks the cult to abandoned salt mines outside of town. They sail to a nearby lighthouse where Iago has horses waiting for them, and proceed over deserted hills past a lone farm where they reach the walls of the ‘abandoned’ mines and are attacked by cultist guards.
Gaining access to the tunnels, the party releases prisoners who claim that the lead cultist is taking direction from a ghostly force known as the Prince of Whispers. The party continues searching the tunnels and encounters salt mephits summoned by the Prince of Whispers and the cultist’s room with the remains of the figuring- missing the Red Fang.
The party finds abandoned mine carts and recklessly rides the carts, which ram into a closed off wall. Captain Bonnie and the Grudge burst through this wall landing in a water-filled cavern with an island where a ritual is performed.
The lead cultist, a brown skinned man with sharpened teeth and tattooed head, sacrifices prisoners with the Red Fang, which cause the eyes in the statue of 5 dragon heads circling the cavern to grow with each sacrifice.
The pirates save Aldo Novas as he is being rowed to the island. Missing their sixth sacrifice, the lead cultist tries to get his assistant to be the sacrifice, needing a powerful spellcaster for the role.
After a heated battle which includes fighting a Hydra that is summoned by the 5th sacrifice (and dispelled by Cotton) the lead cultist in desperate fervor, sacrifices himself to complete the ceremony.
At the completion of the ceremony, a ghostly body forms around the Red Fang to reveal the physical form of a mummified, dessicated body of Rahu, the Rakshasa, who has tricked the cult into completing the ceremony so he can take form and wield the Red Fang in his tiger-like maw.
Weakened and mission complete, Rahu turns into a gaseous vapour and escapes, leaving the party having defeated the cult and rescuing prisoners but ultimately unsuccessful in retrieving the Red Fang.
Back at Malagra, the party shares a cultist roster found in the tunnels with Iago, who thanks them profoundly for their efforts in breaking up the cult.