The party stared at the armored body upon the throne. The armored body stared back. The party stared some more. The armor did not flinch. The party fought the azers (dwarflike creatures that hail from the Elemental Plane of Fire) that had come up behind it. The armor stared back.
After being creeped out by the person in the armor, Remus worked up the courage to approach it. He reached out and grasped the helm…and pulled up. The helm resisted for a bit, and then it came loose…and the desiccated noggin of the Fire Lord fell out of it. The full plate armor was finally crafted, and proved to be very unique in design. Remus decided that it would protect him more than the studded leather that currently adorned him. After searching the throne the former Fire Lord sat upon, they started moving around the room to find the reason behind the heat they all felt. Kathra came upon a secret door, which opened to steps leading down.
In the circular room beyond, a hearth burned in the middle of the room, and beyond the hearth lay two chests. Kathra went to the one side, Remus and Griz to the other. The moment Remus began searching for traps upon the chest, one sprang to life behind him…a fire elemental! The party found the battle against the singular foe daunting – they were set alight once it hit them and found their weapons did not do much to it. Spells from Kathra and Sylthana did much to affect the creature, but it was Remus who dealt it the final blow. Within the chests they found two items: a ring with a garnet embedded in it that confers resistance to fire to the wearer, and a flaming longsword. Griz and Salazar got the items, respectively. Some minor cleanup and a return to the Osterhaus Inn prior to returning to Athkatla was in order.
Once back in Athkatla, the party descended into the Slums District, determined to meet Lia at the Copper Coronet. They were distracted by a large sphere that had come into being, obliterating some homes and merely interrupting others. Kathra, Griz, and Sylthana climbed up to investigate what appeared to be a door next to a roof of a house it fused with while Remus distracted the guards with gold. As Griz reached for the door, it pulsed and sent out a wave of cold energy, injuring two of them and knocking Kathra unconscious and off the building. Salazar managed to catch her and stabilize her from her wounds. A number of people in the slums managed to procure money from Salazar through all manners of grievances, some actual but most of them made up on the spot.
The party then moved into the Copper Coronet, and found it to be a spacious but ought-to-be-condemned dive. Merric moved to procure rooms for the party, which Kathra promptly took advantage of and crashed. Sylthana struck up a conversation with a charming half-elf, while the rest mingled while waiting for their friend Lia Spellsong to finish her set. Remus wandered over to the fighting pit, where he chatted with the dwarf Korgan Bloodaxe before accepting a fight in the pit.
He lost to Amalas the pit fighter, and Amalas added insult to injury by claiming “The Pit Fiend”‘s mask. Conversations with Lia’s husband Tory yielded the fact that Korgan was looking for adventurers (by this point the party had pissed him off), and that Anomen Delryn, an Athkatlian noble, was also here (the party soon pisssed him off: THANKS GRIZ). Tory felt that something was off with the place, and that was corroborated by Lia when they finally got to talk with her. She suggested the party try and get into the back of the Copper Coronet to see if her gut feeling was correct.
After resting for the night, Remus approached the bar owner, Lehtinen, about getting in on some of the entertainment in the back. Lehtinen did offer him his mask back for another 25 gold, but Remus declined. From there the party assembled and began its investigation: prostitution, drug smuggling and use, the fighting area (with monsters!), and finally some of the fighters: Slaves.
One of the slaves, Hendak, recognized Remus from their days fighting in Calimport together. One of the guards, name unknown and as far as I know useless, recognized the party from never, and at that point combat was joined.