The party makes it into the city of Gathela. Their first night is an adventurous one, as they learn of the dangers that spill from the Cauldron and into the city.
The party approaches Gathela with the Cauldron to their left, descending into the mist and the horizon. In front of them, is the high arch opening of the Gathela North Gate, one of three main gates that allow passage through Gathela's impenetrable, tower walls. It's staffed by around thirty soldiers and guards who are stopping and interrogating each and every entering and exiting party. Loads are checked and sacks are opened.
Orryn, Andrazdel, and Hardy aren't fitting into their new bodies. And worse, Hardy doesn't know Elven and Andrazel doesn't know Dwarven. They're awkward, and when they reach the threshold of Gathela they blunder around for an explanation for their purpose in the city. Hardy is finally able to come up with a suitable explanation and they are waved inside.
Gathela is the Dwarven capital. It's architecture and integrity of design fulfill the grand Dwarven vision of the city as a testimony to their permanent glory. Buildings and streets are constructed from perfectly hewn stone. The party wanders around in awe. The only imperfection in the seamless beauty are the plates of thick metal that are hung next to open windows, like overwrought storm shutters. They're thick and the party wonders what kind of storm would necessitate their heft.
Eventually Edwyn decides that it's time to find a place to stay and eat and takes then down a broad boulevard to an Inn.
The party settles into their separate rooms. It's a big building, three floors. It's clearly designed for travelers with money, perhaps overpriced, but the party has plenty of money. Most of the party settles into the second story. Half have windows that look out into the street.
The party hears the first sirens as they're preparing to sleep. At first, the wails are far in the interior of the city. Then, locally. They look out into the city.
People are securing metal plates to windows and doors. Beldroth heads downstairs to ask the inn-keeper what's going on. He gets the answer that a raid is coming. The inn-keeper says that every few weeks they get attacked by horrible flying creatures. They try to grab and steal what they can and leave before they can be targeted and shot. Locking things down keeps them away. He regretfully adds that it didn't used to be this way. Life has gotten worse over the last ten years.
The shutters are secured. Everyone waits.
In the room next to Hardy, he here's a scrape of metal and then a loud crash on the street outside. It sounds like steel hitting stone. Then, in a room next to Hardy a flush of air, movement, yelling, and sudden silence. Hardy rises, gears-up, and alerts the others. Together as a group, they pound on the door.
They push the door inwards. Inside are three Cambions. The window behind them is open. A dwarf is dead upon the floor. The trunk of his belongings is open. The party moves first to engage.
The intense melee rips the room apart. The bed and furnishings are destroyed. But so are the Cambions.
The party gathers up the dead, braces the open window with wood, and drags the bodies downstairs. There, they meet with the frightened shift keeper who tells the party they have to wait until morning, but at first dawn they should go to the police to give a debrief. The party leaves the bodies with the keeper and head back upstairs to pack and sleep.
At dawn the party heads to the police station based upon the directions of the inn-keeper. There's a large front room, full of administrators and police and citizens asking and pleading and reporting. The party, randomly picking an authority based on dress, introduces themselves and reports the incident. The Dwarf is impressed, and the conversation draws a crowd, including a young noble.
The Dwarf asks two police to head to the location of the inn to check and asks the party to weight. He then turns to attend to other business.
In the lull, the noble steps up an introduces himself. His name is Ukhlar. He says that his is grateful for the party's service to the city and invites the party to his home. His invitation doesn't quite sit with the party, he's a little too eager and his complement doesn't seem authentic, but they say yes. They need allies, connections, and friends in this town.