"What's this?" came a loud voice from the doorway. It was Bellow, the minotaur guard. He looked slowly around the room. "All dead?"
The adventurers started towards him and he turned and ran out of the room. "No kill me!" he shouted, running heavily down into the courtyard and through a door at the bottom. Mashpaw, a bugbear and the representative from the key smugglers in the harbor, looked up to see the adventurers running around the balcony.
"What's going on," asked Mashpaw. "What's all this?"
"Seems like the party's started," answered the guard who had been assigned to Mashpaw. He raised a longbow, then turned and shot Mashpaw point blank.
Benny the Hand, Quickfoot leader, came out of his room just in time to see Mashpaw get killed. The adventuring party ran past as Benny pulled his weapons.
"It's a trap!" Kal yelled. "The Syndicate is going to kill you!"
Benny turned to see his guard lunging at him with a longsword. His two henchmen quickly killed the guard, then the Syndicate dogs that were guarding them. Then Benny and his men followed the path the adventurers had taken, out of the courtyard and back to the alleyway.
Guards were running into the mansion from various doors along their path out of the mansion. Kal led the way down the narrow hallway towards the door where they had come in, but the gate was closed.
"We've got to find the lever that raises this gate!"
They wheeled around to see guards closing in on them, and they were trapped in a dead end. Malut, Faith and Twila charged into the fray and Rat shot his crossbow but there were just too many of them. Thysmac was out of spells and resorted to hitting the guards with his quarterstaff, blocking most of the blows and occasionally getting a good strike in. Korba the kobold was casting snowball storms and acid blasts at the attackers as fast as she could conjure them. Suddenly, the syndicate muscle started to fall faster than the team was killing them. Benny the Hand and his two men had flanked the guards from behind and together, they had killed them all.
"Let's get out of here," Benny said.
Rat raced around the corner on his metal dog, found two levers and threw them. More guards raced into the hallway from the courtyard but with the help of Korba and Benny's team, they were able to subue them quickly. A giant rat came around the corner as the gate was raised and Rat lifted his crossbow to take aim, but Kal stopped him.
"No! I think it's..."
The rat shifted into halfling shape. Madhand Mulvaney stood before them.
Is'kel cried out, "We thought you were dead, they showed us..."
"They showed you a giant sewer rat," Mulvaney said. "I feel bad that it got in the way, but those idiots thought they had me. No time to chitchat, there's at least a dozen more heavily-armed guards between us and the gate back into the Tenements proper. Hullo, Benny."
"Heya, Madhand," answered Benny.
"You succeeded, right? Darsin is dead?" They nodded.
They all used the blue flame shrine in the courtyard while Madhand explained the way out.
"The gate out won't open from this side, but the gate into the other courtyard will. From there, we can climb across the roofs until we reach the Tenements gate. They have lots of archers, but at least we'll be up there with them instead of getting picked off on the street."
With their health and spells restored, they headed into the adjoining courtyard and climbed the stack of crates and barrels there. As they climbed back over the roofs of the Syndicate courtyard, the attack began again. Archers seemed to be posted on every possible spot on the rooftops to guard the gate.
Thysmac's electric loop worked well to damage and stun their attackers while Is'kel fascinated the ones who could hear.
'Talon Darsin is dead!" shouted Madhand. "He's not in charge anymore, he's dead in his own meeting room!"
As the word spread through the guards, one of them shouted back, "You're lying!"
"I'm not, he's dead and gone," shouted back Madhand.
One by one, guards started to disappear into the shadows. The rain of arrows slowed down to a single arrow or two and the team quickly tracked down the remaining guards blocking the gate.
"You don't have to die!" shouted Madhand before he dropped down from the roof to the gate. "Talon Darsin is gone, you don't serve him anymore!"
No one else challenged them, and they walked through the gates with minimal injuries. Benny the Hand shook Madhand's hand and then slipped into the shadows. They didn't even see his compatriots leave.
Korba ran away as fast as she could once they were through the gate. They didn't have a chance to say anything to her.
When they reached the market gate, Madhand took his leave of them.
"You did excellent work tonight, I'll report it back to Amanatu," he promised.