- Cha’Ka the Thri-Kreen berserker and Vladimir Zarrenof the Githzerai Invoker awake in a jail cell next to a queer little Gnome Alchemist called Toox. All of their armor and weapons are missing and they have no idea where they are, or how they got there. The only item in the cell is a basin filled with a strange black liquid.
- Toox suffers from an elaborate form of paranoia, which he claims is the result of being forced to ingest the contents of the basin. Vlad convinces one of the two Hobgoblin guards to “bring an old man a glass of water”, the dim witted guards are lured into the jail cell and quickly dispatched. Vlad uses the glass to take a small sample of the black goo. Cha’Ka and Vlad next go in search of their equipment, which they find in a nearby closet.
- As they are dressing, they arouse the suspicion of another guard. An alarm is raised, and a full host of foul Horde villains arrive. After emerging victorious from that brutal fight, the new friends find themselves in a large chamber with several dozen man-sized vats. Each vat contains a figure immersed in a dark liquid. Unbeknownst to the heroes, the liquids are various compound mixtures of Atramentum and other known alchemist chemicals.
- The group decides to release the unlucky prisoners, and one by one, they begin to break the vats. Unfortunately, most of the prisoners are too far gone, and several have to be fought as threats. Midway through the release, a seemingly dormant portal on the far sight of the room activates and in steps the nefarious alchemist Nar’takna and several of his Orc lieutenants. A major battle ensues which is just barely won by the prisoners. The Journal of Nar’takna is discovered in a desk. Apparently the recently deceased bastard was experimenting with the mysterious black liquid on live subjects, particularly heroes… but why?
- After saving only a handful of prisoners (including an extremely disoriented Elven Ranger named Theri), the team activates and steps through the portal.
Mystery of the Atramentum (Part 1)
Out of the frying pan...