Curse of the Crimson Throne

Denied!

Legacy of Blood, Part 10

After developing a plan of action, the Crimson Blades observe the arrival of a wagon bearing a gold sarcophagus. Escorting the wagon is a squad of Korvosan Guards, accompanied by Cressida. With them, a troop of Hellknights also enters the Acadamae.

Nox and Arlynn descend to greet the reinforcements. Cressida explains that she escorted Bishop Keppira d’Bear and the relics of St. Alika. Nox and Arlynn tell her about the shield over the Acadamae and their plan to evacuate civilians.

The Lictor of the Hellknights interjects with a different suggestion: that they mount an attack on Castle Korvosa and try to kill as many devils as possible while the fiends are spread out. He says that the headless body of a pit fiend was seen falling from the second floor of the castle, so there is some resistance inside they could link up with. Nox speculates that it might be Ileosa and her guards.

Cressida insists that they need to focus on evacuating citizens. She reminds the Lictor that this is not a battle for armies to win. Arlynn and Nox concur, insisting that they will confront Lorthact directly. The Lictor grudgingly agrees to help guard the evacuation. Arlynn suggests that her Sworn Swords could partner with his mounted cavalry to serve as a hit and run force in the city.

Cressida and Nox have a brief reunion and wish each other luck.

Arlynn spies Chammady arriving, accompanying the orphans. The young paladin explains that she figured they should evacuate the orphanage first. Arlynn praises her work and sends her off to rescue others. Irabeth uses the rod of splendor to create food and lodging for refugees.

Someone calls Arlynn’s name and she finds herself approached by the Farima family. Keris is irked that Arlynn left her to protect the family from devils all by herself, but it’s more sisterly ribbing than true frustration.

Lord Alek Farima, however, tells Arlynn that he reached out to his contacts in the Bekyar Nation to see if the Master of Whips had kept his promise. He learned that thousands of slaves were freed, but only after being marched to the frontier and expelled into the wilderness with only vague instructions to head north for Sargava.

Arlynn is furious at this revelation, but felt she had no choice but to work with the Master in order to find the Book of Golgothus. Alek warns her that he treacherous, and rumored not be human. Keris is eager to kill him. Arlynn promises that once Lorthact is dealt with, she will have words with the Master of Whips.

Arlynn and Nox rejoin the others in time for Bishop Keppira to present them with the relics. She explains that the relics can be carried individually, or united together in the sarcophagus for greater effect. The adventurers decide to carry the relics individually.

After Ashla picks up her relic, she glimpses a dark haired girl in the doorway. Ashla follows the girl through the building, finally arriving at an empty office. The girl, a slip of a thing no more than 12 years old, is staring out a northward-facing window. But instead of looking out onto the campus quad, the surrounding lands are devoid of buildings and Endrin Isle can be seen across the straights. The isle, significantly less built up than it should be, appears to be on fire.

The girl, St. Alika, tells her that the passing of souls damned to Hell is still recorded by Pharasma. The being who claims to be Immortal Lord is beyond divination, but the actual Volshyenek Ornelos left this world for the next two hundred years ago.

Ashla brings this information back to the party, who speculate that it must be a fiend, possibly Lorthact’s lieutenant Vorbitor, posing as the Immortal Lord.

Arlynn sends Laori to help rescue people, telling her that this may be a test of faith for the Inheritor.

Amprei offers to teleport the party to Ornelos Manor. The adventurers decide to arrive outside the main entrance. The portcullis rises up of its own accord to welcome them into the manor courtyard. Following Amprei’s direction, they head into the main building.

Inside, they find moving paintings and a creepy chessboard. Ashla examines the tracks in the great hall. A talking stag head mounted over the fireplace informs them that Volshyenek is out and about and that the adults are acting strangely. He says that the children are being held nearby. Volshyenek and Maketh, meanwhile, headed into the Solar.

The party decides to rescue the children first. The Ornelos kids are being guarded by four bearded devils. Egan shields them from the devils while the others swiftly dispatch the fiends. A disgusted Amprei is then sent back to the Acadamae with the children.

The party then goes into the solar. Scouting ahead, Egan finds Maketh and Seska. The tiefling is trying to convince her to join him and begins casting some spell from the Book of Golgothus. Egan interrupts the tiefling’s ritual , knocking the book from his hands. The party takes him hostage.

They seize the book, and the building starts to fall apart around them. Egan senses that it is lifting off the ground. Despite the manor’s best effort to swallow them, they manage to escape onto the Shingles. The tempest swirling over Castle Korvosa blasts them with lightning, but they are able to retreat to the Acadamae.

Flint splits off to look for his friends and family. Valeria and the others have made it to the Acadamae, but Damon is missing. Sheira is confident that he is all right, since “he’s the luckiest man in the world.” Flint has Timmet scry him and they discover Damon managed to blunder into a vault while looking for the bathroom and managed to avoid being transported with the rest of the city.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party meets up with Ornelos and Amprei to read the Book of Golgothus. They learn about Lorthact’s strengths and abilities, but more importantly discover his true name Vashtarhan, which can be used to gain a measure of protection from him.

They decide to attack the flying manor, where they could destroy the Immortal Lord or confront Lorthact himself. They agree that the Hellknights should launch a diversionary attack on the Castle to support the resistance there. Valeria volunteers to join the castle assault, as do Flint’s other friends.

Amprei offers to teleport the party back to the manor. First, though, she takes Nox aside and asks to join his regime should they survive. Nox agrees that there will be a place for her.

After the Crimson Blades arrive on the manor’s battlements, the entire manor warps around them until they are deposited in a gallery, with portraits of members of the Ornelos family.

They are soon joined by the Immortal Lord and six other Ornelos wizards. After some banter, they attack. Arlynn is attacked by an invisible Mistress Kayltanya. Flint realizes the Immortal Lord is an illusion. Amprei scans the room and finds that Lorthact is there, invisible.

Lorthact drops the act and casts a spell to weaken their magic items. With the exiled infernal duke now exposed, Remmy rises into the air and is possessed by the erinyes general Azeret. The fallen angel manages to counteract Lorthact’s spells, giving the party some breathing room.

Flint discerns that Lorthact is protected by a force field. The dominated Ornelos_ mages summon an enormous pyrohydra, while the paintings begin casting magic.

Arlynn battles with Kayltanya, while Irabeth dispels Lorthact’s force field. Flint takes out four of the five paintings, leaving only the portrait of Flint. A thicket of razor weed divides the room. Egan transforms into a huge white dragon and battles the pyrohydra.

Nox closes in to confront Lorthact. The fiend proves to be a slippery foe, turning into smoke to escape the fighter’s onslaught.

Kayltanya, using the razorweed as cover, attacks Irabeth, nearly killing her. Azeret keeps the junior paladin alive while Arlynn dispatches the Red Mantis commander.

Amprei casts mass hold person to disable most of the Ornelos mages, while Ashla knocks out the remainder.

Lorthact flits about the chamber, casting spells and lashing out with a clawed hand to fray the minds of his opponents.

The battle between Dragon-Egan and the pyrohydra is brought to an end by Ashla, who brings down the hydra. Lorthact dispels Egan’s dragon shape.

Arlynn, Azeret, Ashla, and Irabeth close in on Lorthact, but he manages to slip past them in smoke form, eyes blazing with fury.

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