Moving down the strata of neighborhoods in Sharn was easy. There were many patrols up above, and gate guards at each neighborhood. Lower and lower, there were less patrols, until the slums had only a barracks and some guards at the way down to the cogs. The party was warned that down there, there were no more patrols or guards, and that they were basically on their own.
Passing through Khyber’s Gate, the party finds the largest tavern of the area: Shamukaar. A combination slaughterhouse, butcher, restaurant, and tavern, the place is teeming with “monsters.” Ogres, gnolls, harpies, minotaurs, all are served a variety of questionable dishes by the goblin cooks. The smell and distinct taste in the air is sickening, but it is the best place to find information down here. They eventually are led to a cloaked figure in a corner booth, their hood up to cover their features.
“Yesss, the killerss of thosse humanss and elvesss, I know of them. You are looking for thosse of the aberrant mark, thosse that were almosst desstroyed. ‘Housse’ Tarkanan gathered the aberrant and mixed markss fifteen hundred yearss ago, in thiss very ccity. They were bessieged, and in their dessperation, Tarkanan and the Lady of Plague desstroyed the ccity and themsselves. But the aberrant markss ssurvive, and grow, down in the ssewerss…” The figure pauses as a goblin brings a plate out, some sizzling steak of something, which the informant begins slicing into small parts. Many snakes start poking out of the hood and swallowing chunks of meat.
Finding their way to a sewer entrance, the party begins their search for the aberrant killers. There are many groups and individuals desperate enough to make the sewers their home, but they are in obvious, well-traveled areas. Going down more disused, out-of-the-way tunnels, the party comes to a large cellpool intersection. Picking their way through, a giant mound of filth begins to shift, then slide as a large, tentacled mass emerges. An otyugh whips its spiny tentacles at the party, taking bites with its huge, filthy, diseased maw. They are able to defeat it, and move on to tunnels with no other access.
Spying ahead, the lizardman and Varele discover a small group of squat, malformed people. It was unclear whether they were human, orc, dwarf, or any other common race. But it was clear they had aberrant marks upon them. The mongrelfolk were at their relative ease, cooking, working, and were caught completely by surprise when the vampire and lizardfolk began their ambush. The rest of the party charged in to help clean up, taking one man alive for questioning. He revealed quite a bit.
The mongrelfolk, as they were called, were shunned by all, even the other sewer-dwellers, so they lived back here, with their otyugh between them and the rest of the world. They did have aberrant marks, a twisted curse of their mixed heritage, but they kept to themselves. The man did know what the party may be looking for, however. There were strangers here in the sewers, those that did not reside here, but shady figures that made their lair. He led them out to a particular branch in the maze of tunnels, saying that he saw them enter and leave from here, but never ventured any closer before.