Kythorn 06 continued
After 90 minutes of rest, Clara, Viola and Carric came face to face with a patrol of City Watch and City Guard working together, and they asked to take Clara to meet the Open Lord for urgent business. Still badly damaged, Carric hopped out the window before anyone tried to engage him. Fortunately, these guards didn’t seem overly threatening, and Clara and Viola went along. Everything seemed to be fine until another guard rode up and rerouted them.
Then they saw the mess outside the Thayan Embassy. The Open Lord rode up in his ceremonially imposing splendor and asked LaLa what was going on.
She told him of a plot at the Thayan Embassy, that there’s a plan to blow up the city somehow. So Wisetide strode up to the Embassy and went toe-to-toe with Rath Modar, the Ambassador of Thay. Modar tossed a body off his roof, a Red Wizard he claimed was killed on his embassy soil in an unprovoked attack. Lord Wisetide questioned Xavi, Larealra and friends about the events, and while the troop was insistent that they were being led into danger by Modar, they also had to concede that they struck the first blow. Modar claimed the guard was just reacting defensively after sudden commotion and a charging band of warriors, while Xavi and LaLa argued that he was taking a combat pose and meant to keep them trapped.
Wisetide demanded a search of the Embassy, but Modar said that would be an act of war. He countered that these miscreants should be rounded up and put on trial for murder. With what felt like half the city looking on, Wisetide agreed to the imprisonment pending investigation, but warned Modar that there would be more investigation into the Wizards, as well. Modar did not seem particularly concerned.
Then Wisetide hauled his retinue off to the Market Square Tavern, and held an impromptu Lordly Session of Lordliness and set his sights on Clara and Viola. He accused them of killing a band of Eldritch Knights and stealing city gold. Clara spun a yarn as best she could, but when Wisetide called forth a witness, it turned out to be one of the Eldritch Knights. He’d been resurrected, and he had some very unpleasant things to say about Clara, Viola, Ges and the absent Carric. Wisetide went on to say that he heard from Clara’s uncle Garlan that she was unhinged and dangerous, and that he had further corroborating testimony that she was the financial sponsor of the city’s disruptions at the hands of the supposed Common Alliance. Clara strenuously denied this.
In a rare fit of rage, Wisetide flipped over his table and demanded everyone be rounded up and taken away from him at once — Xavi’s group, Clara’s group, whoever. Cade Thorngage stepped forward to assume responsibility for the group, but Commander Quinn Podesta of Harborwatch, she of the dragonhilt sword and the head of the dock-area strikebreaking efforts, said the prisoners should be hers as it was her men who were (temporarily) killed. Wisetide yelled for her to take them all and she did. As the Open Lord went off to speak with Larealra furter, the band was marched to the Harborwatch cells in the Dock Ward and locked up in the basement.
With the locks warded, our heroes seemed stuck. Well, all except for Valravn, who simply misted out of the cell and left the group with even fewr options… at least until the mess officers who left them food in the early evening seemingly forgot to re-ward the locks. A couple quick lockpicks had them free, but when they made a stealthy check up the stairs, they saw Commander Podesta and her four Eldritch Knights waiting for them in combat pose. This was a trap.
At the same time, being trapped in a prison by people who want you dead doesn’t leave a lot of options. You could fight now, or fight later, and so Clara, Viola, Ges and Xavi charged into the fight.
Podesta was equipped with not one but two powerful weapons: her dragonhilt sword dealt extra acid damage with every hit, and in her off hand she held a Wand of Paralysis. It does what you think it does.
Ges and Viola made a break for their weapons stash across the room while Clara and Xavi engaged the five foes. Blows were exchanged, but Podesta was able to paralyze Xavi and eventally batter him nearly to death with acid orbs conjured and tossed by the Knights.
After grabbing weapons, Ges and Viola went to try and unlock the door, but they were also frozen by the Wand, and things looked bleak.
But then the cavalry arrived! Instead of abandoning them, Val had gone off to get Cade Thorngage and alert him to the trap he had overheard Podesta setting with her men. Thorngage brought a few of his most trusted soldiers (including the Knight Carric had charmed and Endrik Tarim, Viola’s best friend from their childhood together in Phlanderhead, I mean Phanderbend). The Knights formed a wall and tried to hold their ground on the orders of Podesta, who escaped out the back behind their cover. In the end, two of the Eldritch Knights also escaped while two others were taken into custody.
The group then searched Podesta’s office. In her desk, they found a roster of soldiers and their work shifts. It was clear the Knights were often placed on overnight duty and thus had more freedom to get up to shenanigans. Behind the desk, the gang found a pin, a fang pin, that Cade Thorngage said was often used to mark ranks on the Cult of the Dragon. That cinched it: Quinn Podesta was likely in the Cult. There were also two booby-trapped drawers.
Disarming one trap, the group found a scroll similar to the Draezir scroll from Garlan’s. This one has the Draconic phrase “Svant Cha-Sid” and a different pattern design inside a circle. The phrase means something loosely akin to “reach for the sky” and everyone agreed it was likely another portal stone command.
Val then cleared everyone out and opened the other drawer, which sprayed poison. Eyes and mouth closed, Val grabbed a box and got out of there. When she was able to look inside, Val finds a Ring of Fire Resistance with a dragon head etched finely onto the garnet stone.
Taking the two Knights to Blackstaff Tower, Clara noticed you were being watched but Cade advised that you keep moving. You did. Inside the tower, down a flight of winding stairs, was a rotunda of cells, each with magical barriers under Larealra’s control. To trick your prisoners, Val put on the disguise of Quinn Podesta while LaLa read one’s mind. From that, she learned that the Knights and Podesta are in the Cult of the Dragon, that the Cult has been repurposed somehow and now is dedicated to the worship of Tiamat, and she saw the path to the crypt in the City of the Dead to which the Knight dropped off the red dragon egg. Cade promises to work on the evac plan for the city whikle LaLa works on contacting the metallic dragons for help. Our heroes were off to the crypts.
As you approached the crypt used by the Cult, Clara spotted two Cultists making their way to the crypt. The team encircled and defeated them, scaring one with the fate of being fed to the zombies so she would cough up the passwords to enter. You then stole their outfits and two members made their way into the crypts. There, they spotted the two stones with the patterns you have seen on your Draezir and Svant Cha-Sid scrolls.
To get the rest of the group inside, you used a shambling zombie. Tossing him into the crypt, he drew out the two guards in the doorway, who you then subdued and claimed their cult outfits. Viola hid near the tomb while Xavi and Ges took the place as the door guards. That left Clara and Val to head down to the main pit.
There, a half-elf woman who read from a large leatherbound volume called the meeting to order.
She lined up all the Cult members and had them step onto the Svant Cha-Sid stone and whisper the word. Watching people vanish one by one, not knowing where they were going, was a little scary, but both Val and Clara said the words. And when they were, they were whisked somewhere far away. TO a flying ice castle in the sky somewhere in the far north, to be (a little more) precise.
There, Talis ran the group through the plan:
- Retrieve the white egg from inside the ice castle
- Place the egg in the center of the crypt while the other groups do the same with their eggs.
- Allow the Red Wizards to take control of the crypt’s main room
- Defend them with their lives as they complete their ritual
- Take the portal stone back to the castle at the end of their ritual
The half-elf said that another of the egg protectors has a runthrough for their group tomorrow night, and then on the 8th, all of their dreams will come true. The Dragonwaste will be born and a new dawn will begin.
The half-elf then dismissed the Cultists. As everyone left, she made her way back to the Svant Cha-Sid stone, but with just your group left, you used that opportunity to attack. She proved quite a handful — her plague of locusts spell and Wand of Winter were difficult threats to handle. But Xavi made his way up to her side in disguise, and while his first few blows didn’t even dent her armor, neither was she able to freeze him with her Wand. That stalemate was eventually broken by Xavi, who delivered the final blow and sent her into unconsciousness.
Clara claimed her +1 scale mail, someone else took the Wand of WInter (who, I don’t recall), and someone else has her book, The Glory of Tiamat, which describes in rich detail what Tiamat’s return will do to the realm. In short:
With that, the group went back to the Blackstaff Tower to regroup…