Beneath the city proper, in the dark recesses rarely of concern to those denizens above it, unfinished business was being attended by the things that go bump within the aforementioned gloom. The Undercity, it seemed, found itself with an old guest upon its front step, though this time around it seemed they had far different intentions and circumstances than the last time they'd visisted. There would be no warm greetings (though, to be fair, there never were), nor tidings of welcome and hospitality. No, this was business, and like most, it was at risk of takeover, a potentially violent one at that. However, violence wasn't the intended course of action, but it was most certainly on the table if necessary. It began casually, perhaps almost comically, as the large, meticulously carved and cut stone slab that served as the secret front entrance (and entrance that, clearly, wasn't much of a secret to those upon its doorsteps), which slowly pressed upon as it had many times before to allow access in and out. Those near the entrance were more confused at first perhaps than alarmed at the sight of their new visitor, the criminal elements that did business here beneath the city were certainly no stranger to all manner of ill contents and ne'er-do-wells, they were a rixtle a dozen in Drache. But, this visitor didn't have a face, nor limbs, nor anything that would mark it as even vaguely humanoid, instead it was more of an amorphous shadow in these dimly lit underdwellings. The Black Pudding stood far more than head and shoulders above an average man, not to mention it was equally as wide, which made little difference since it literally squeezed its gelatinous form through the much smaller opening with ease as it lurched and swayed with each forward slide. Perhaps if it were simply this sight, there wouldn't be much cause for alarm, a stray monster from the sewers, albeit a large one, stumbling into already occupied territory in search of sustenance, surely with some measure of concerted effort it could be either slain or at the very least, driven back off into the damp depths of the tunnels from whence it crept forth. Those same thoughts likely came to mind to those that first witnessed it, but it was a thought process that was soon betrayed by simple assumptions, and that assumption that it was alone. And then the second Black Pudding squeezed its way within the entrance to join the first, and then a third, and then a forth. By the time the fifth had shambled and lurched its way within, the stone slab had been forced open enough for a better glimpse through the increasingly busy entrance, the shapes and shadows eluding to movement in the tunnels that fed into it beyond, the entirety of which almost seemed itself alive, like a trough nearly overflowing with water, the entrance was now just a trickle of droplets that were spilling over from it. Those with a measure of sense needed little more reason to promptly retreat further into the Undercity proper itself, though calling it a city in any real context was very much an overexaggerated use of the term. Most people, when faced with potentially certain death, especially at the hands of a much larger and well armed force, are keen to remove themselves from the situation, while others, however, required some measure of encouragement. It seemed some of that encouragement would be necessary as several figures decided against fleeing and took up defensive positions, perhaps hoping to waylay and run off these uninvited guests.
Whatever fear or hesitation, however brief and shortly lived, that was showcased by these creatures of meat and flesh standing in their path were not reflected by the gelatinous shadows they faced. The braver, or more foolish as it were amongst them, greeted their opponents with the flash of polished steel as blades and their ilk glimmered in the gloomy darkness of the Undercity's entrance, only to find no resistance upon their purchase. Like cutting through water, large hunks of inky black ooze were lopped off from their overbearing masses with ease, and soon the reality sunk in that it had just created no less intimidating opponents, but instead, more of them as these smaller blobs continued their advance. A smart one amongst their numbers realized such mundane efforts would be poorly resolved, as evident by the tiny red flame that sparked to life, churning and doubling in size with each fleeting moment that passed as it was fueled by the magic wielders command. In response the, as of previously, almost lackadaisical push of this horde came to life. One of those large black liquid shadows lurched forth towards them at a swift and seemingly uncharacteristic clip, its massive form slamming into the flame wielding denizen with enough force that an uncomfortable crunch of bone and flesh resounded off the walls, along with the sounds of their body's rough tumbling and slide across the stone groundwork as their spell was silenced with good old fashioned violence. Dead? Perhaps not, but they certainly wouldn't be getting up under their own volition any time soon. Whatever bravery or foolishness amongst the humanoids that attempted to bar their path soon drained from them as freely as the blood drained from their increasingly pale countenances, and almost all of them had an abrupt change of mind that matched one anothers: Screw this. The crumpled heap of the magic user was grabbed ahold of by a pair of their comrades in arms and hastily dragged away further into the Undercity, in particular towards the other smaller exits that had been created in its tenure, several of which were already busy with the clamour of those that had long since resigned themselves to the prospect of fleeing.
If there had been a strong central figure or force to control and put forth a concerted effort to defense, perhaps this steady flow of gelatinous fiends and their advance into the territory could be curtailed. Unfortunately, there were so many small factions within the Undercity that their constant infighting and maneuvering against one another worked against their favour in these regards, but, what else could one expect from cut throats, thieves and brigands only interested in mostly themselves and their wares. Bloodshed and death seemed almost inevitable as it was slowly but surely over run by the ever growing outpour of the Black Pudding numbers, but strangely (far too strange to be coincidence, surely) they seemed practically unconcerned with these easy meals, instead moving through and almost herding the fleeing bodies towards those exits rather than chasing them down and engulfing them. Some of their numbers had decided to hunker down in the security of the buildings that lined the outer walls of the underground space, but such safety was short lived, some were makeshift while others of sturdy stone construction, but they all shared one fatal flaw: They weren't designed airtight nor watertight. The Black Puddings pressed themselves against and engulfed portions of the buildings facades, squeezing and oozing themselves in through the smallest cracks as they spilled over into their interiors. Perhaps by sheer luck and happenstance (or simply by design), they never invaded in a way that cut off the ability of those within to escape, and even went so far as to leave openings in their ranks and numbers for exactly that, using the fact they would inevitably over run and engulf their residences to shepard and flush them out as a whole.
If these monsters had come with the intention of slaughtering, it would have been a task accomplished with ease, but it seemed unnecessary at this point as the denizens spilled out of the underground through those smaller exits with an extreme amount of vigor, scattering their numbers to the winds, or to the sewer gas was a more apt turn of phrase. Soon all that noise and ruckus, the fear and fright, much like its former denizens, disappeared into the darkness and the Undercity became eerily quiet. Save for the echoing footfalls of leather upon stone, the last remaining humanoid within the den of criminals and smugglers left to casually stroll through the vast horde of gelatinous horrors. A simple leper, by appearance, old garments and formly white bandages bedraggled by the elements and the sewers, as poor and destitute as one would expect from such a person. The sole 'survivor' seemed overly unconcerned with the predicament they found themselves in, surrounded and beset on on sides by monsters, though that was only because those things paled in comparison when it came to the label of 'monster'. The Black Puddings moved aside, for once almost showcasing that element that seperated them from their prey: Fear. But, alas, such entities weren't capable of those emotional qualities, instead it was the instinctual knowledge of whom the greater threat was, there was no room for argument for the self titled King of Oozes after all, and by the way the amorphous monstrosities moved and acted at his very whim seemed to support the accuracy of that title in question.
Uzzo had long since lost any reason to abide by the contract he had with the elder lich concerning the Undercity, after all, the contract itself had been revoked by non-complicity, though not on his end. In other words, he was the begrieved party, and now it came time to take the due he'd been promised. However, he had absolutely no interest in the criminal context this place could serve, the money he could earn by taking over the reigns of these poorly organized cut throats was a drop in the bucket to what his coffers already availed him. He had no reason to sit by idly and allow these denizens of the underground to utilize the space for their ill gotten gains simply as a matter of course, though it wasn't just that principle that had brought him here. He was ill content with the smuggling routes that fed into this den, a matter of city security as far as he was concerned, while stolen and illegal goods, slaves and the like, not to mention opium could be brought in while circumventing customs and taxation, that was only a small portion of his issue. This place could easily be turned into a staging ground by foreign parties, those who had less than pleasant plans and designs for the city, its government and denizens at large. If anyone was going to hold such a precarious position it should by all accounts be the one entrusted with the defense and security of the south as a whole, it wasn't a matter of permission, but rather, one of duty in that respect.
And so, the King of Oozes, donned in the appearance of the leper, began issuing orders for his gelatinous legion to secure every entrance and exit in and out of the Undercity now that every living inhabitant had been flushed out. His first course of action was the seal every passage with livestone oozes, which appeared as large unhewn boulders of stone when concealing themselves, and could even harden themselves into a consistency on par with their appearance, which were used to blockade and seal off the smaller entrances aside from the main stone slab entrance. In particular, special care was given to the smuggling route that had been dug and fed out to the water front, a concealed passage that served to move those stolen and illegal goods in question beyond the prying eyes of the law, he certainly wouldn't be allowing it to be utilized by anyone or anything deemed unsavoury against his intentions. The interior of the main entrance itself was filled in every dimension, from floor to ceiling and wall to wall by a single massive gelatinous cube, which slid itself into postion and essentially acted like a cork in a bottle. Sure, he'd arrived with nothing but Black Puddings, but perhaps far more fearsome of an ability than commanding these manner of monsters, as disturbing as that was, it was his ability to summon them from thin air, literally reaching through extradimensional veils and dragging them into this reality from their places of origin, which meant he was never at a shortage of vassals upon his command. Whatever criminal elements he'd disrupted and forced out would soon find other havens, such as the Void Market beneath the Red Latern District, a far more suitable and far less concerning institute of crime and debauchery as far as he saw it, the Undercity, however, was his, woe be to any that thought to change that detail, welcome as they were to try their hand at it.
Drache is the present-day capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth and lies at the mouth of the River Darian, surrounded by the city docks all along the waterfront. Click here for information on the various suburbs and areas of Drache. You can also click here to view a sketched map of the city.
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