After the long march from Tyr the caravan finally arrived at the city of Altaruk in the early morning. At the gates Kaldras was able to move quickly past the guards with a few well placed bribes and the caravan reached the Elven Market. With the heroes helping to unload the kanks, Kaldras and the elves made arrangements sell their cargo and pay the heroes.
When the elves emerged from the tents, Vinara was quick to notice that they were fingering their blades rather than their coin purses. Alerted to possible trouble, the group was not surprised when a number of elf snipers emerged from the surrounding tents along with several kank spitters. Combat ensued as the elves attempted to subdue the heroes. A decisive blow by Morg, which nearly separated Kaldras’s arm from his shoulder, demoralized the elves. Before the raging barbarian could finish off the elves, the city guards appeared, along with their captain, ordering a halt to the hostilities.
The Captain, a human named Tellemon, who wielded a steel blade, demanded an explanation for the disturbance. Unmoved by the heroes story of betrayal by Kaldras, but not totally trusting the elves, Tellemon ordered the matter to be settled in the arena. With that, the city guards took both the heroes and the elves into the holding pens.
Coins in the Coffer
Locked in cells of the arena barracks, the heroes received their instructions for the games. The two groups were to engage in non-lethal combat by taking large ceramic coins from the center of the arena to one of the large stone coffers at the edge. Each coin scored the team one point, the team with the most points at the end of allotted time wins the arena game and will be judged to have been been telling the truth about the altercation in the Elven Market.
During this preparation time Morg used his gift in the Way to eavesdrop on the elves and learn part of the strategy they intended to employ against the heroes. Without more delay the elves were lead out of the barracks, with the party following a few minutes behind.
The arena has been planted with razor-sharp brambleweed, making it dangerous to move across many parts of the arena floor. A gong sounded the beginning of the contest and both sides moved quickly to gather coins, intercepting the opposing team and stealing coins from the other teams coffer. During the first few minutes Vinara manages to disable a few of the elves using the brambleweed and Gwyn had deposited several coins. A twist in the contest occurred when two large spiders were set free in the arena and begin harassing both groups. Morg decides to distract a spider attacking Gwyn and provide her with more coins by hurling the coins from the center of the arena to the edge.
After the alloted time, the final gong sounded and the heroes were victorious, with a last minute coin swap and steal from Vinara. Disappointed at the loss of the potential slaves as well as the humiliation of being defeated in the arena, the Moonrunner elves paid their fines and skulked off. The heroes were greeted by Tellemon who congratulated them on the victory and complemented them on their use of original tactics. Before departing, he invited them to his villa for dinner that evening for a small social gathering.