The afternoon of 11 Erastus, 4708
Voice from Nowhere
With Ashla and Flint both afflicted with insanity following the battle in the throne room, the Crimson Blades consider their next steps. But their deliberations suffer an unsettling interruption.
A faint voice, coming vaguely from the ceiling, whispers “Save me… Game room…”
“There’s something over there, there’s something over there!” Ashla cries out, struggling with her bonds.
Laori checks the skulls on her person while her long elven ears twitch. “I think now I’m hearing voices.”
“I hear them, too,” Flint says reassuringly from where he’s tied to the horse.
“Flint, I love the sentiment, but that’s not really reassuring right now,” the elf priestess replies.
“Laori, if it makes you feel any better, I heard it, too,” Nox says.
“So, should we get these two fixed?” Zandu asks, gesturing at the two lunatics. “My family should have a cleric on hand who could probably heal them.”
A Visit With Cousin Unam
The party decides that the best thing they can do is have Zandu teleport the two headcases, lashed securely to Princess, to his family’s estate in Cheliax. Upon arriving, he requests his uncle Degius Loranth but discovers that the old Gorumite has left since his last visit. Instead, he is visited by his cousin Content Not Found: unam, a gaudily dressed cleric of the Lantern King.
“Well, Cousin Zandu, you’re a bit worse for the wear,” Unam says. “I see your choice of companions has… markedly improved.”
Flint gibbers at him.
“Right back at you,” Unam replies cheerily.
“We were trying to take over Castle Korvosa,” Zandu explains, “and we ran into a horned devil that cast an insanity-inducing spell on them, I was wondering if I could get it fixed?”
“Well, I’m certainly happy to assist you to the length that your pocketbook can stretch,” Unam tells him.
Zandu hands over the cash. “Can we get these two healed up?”
“Stand aside, stand aside,” Unam says. I’ll show you what someone who still has the Lantern King’s favor can do."
“Yes, yes,” Zandu says grudgingly.
After the cleric has removed the affliction from the two warriors, Zandu persuades him to open up the family’s stores for another round of trading and resupply. However, the party had already claimed the choicest spells from the Loranth archives during their last visit.
With Ashla and Flint on the mend, Zandu teleports everyone back to the throne room, arriving in the aftermath of yet another battle…
A Slimy Surprise
Meanwhile, the remainder of the party decides to assault the castle gatehouse, where Earth-Egan had sensed the presence of enemies. The adventurers take up positions outside the door, hoping to lure the enemy into into a trap. Kyra stealthily goes for the door, unlocks it and just before she opens it has a gut feeling that she should be a little softer with pushing it open. She does so, and it slowly creaks it open. As soon as the door creaks open, Nox unleashes a trio of arrows at the Gray Maiden that comes into view, two of which hit their mark.
Earth-Egan glides through the floor to attack, but notices that one of the Erinyes is dangling a clay vase over the door with her lasso, while several more vases are standing in the guardpost next to the murderholes to the level below. The druid decides to smash the vases instead, causing one to splatter its contents on one of the Grey Maidens. Instead of boiling oil like Egan had suspected, a greenish ooze comes out, which starts to devour the Maiden in an acidic fashion. Egan surmises this is a green slime, which instead of the oil will eat through organic matter and even metal.
The second erinyes grabs the remaining urn and flutters into the air, watching the area where Earth-Egan emerged from the wall. As Earth-Egan lashes out, the erinyes smashes the urn over his fist and the slime begins tearing into his stony skin.
A Game of Catch
One of the other vases is knocked into the air. The Maiden that Nox feathered earlier drops her weapons and catches the urn. She tosses the urn at Nox, then quickly closes the door, while her companion rushes to cut the green slime from the wounded Maiden. Nox is wounded by the slime, but the daylight gleaming from Vigil causes it to wilt. Arlynn charges the door and tries to force it down, but it is too sturdy for her to overpower.
Outside, Earth-Egan notices that his treant Treebeard and a group of Hellknights are attacking the castle. The treant is hurling boulders, one of which slams into the druid, while inside the gatehouse, one of erinyes is firing flaming arrows down at them. Egan hammers the fallen angel with his stony fists.
Arlynn, meanwhile, unleashes Serithtial on the guard room door, obliterating it and bowling over the Gray Maiden beyond. Kyra tosses two daggers at the remaining urn held aloft by the erinyes’ rope, but misses both times. Abandoning his bow, Nox moves up to take a swing at the dangling urn, spilling ooze over the remains of the wooden door, which it devours before shriveling under the glare of his sunblade. With the guardhouse entrance crowded, Irabeth goes to pick up Nox’s bow from where he dropped it.
Outside, the horned devil Mavrokeras appears to toss a fireball down at the Hellknights.
Finishing the Fight
Inside, the two erinyes retreat and begin casting spells—but Earth-Egan distracts one of them with a hard left hook. The other one teleports out of the room. The Gray Maidens attempt to sabotage the portcullis winch, while the prone figure rises and moves to retrieve her sword to face Arlynn. The paladin slams her into the wall and knocks her over.
“Stay down!” Arlynn commands.
Kyra slides into the room and tosses a dagger at the saboteur, wounding her. Nox then charges into the room, battering the she-devil to the floor with his shield. Egan smashes the Gray Maiden saboteur between his stony feet.
As Laori enters the room, Arlynn points at the prone Maiden. “Detain this one!”
Aww, I don’t have my chain," the elf priestess groans. “If only I had my chain.”
“You do have manacles,” the paladin offers helpfully.
“It’s not the same,” Laori says wistfully. “They don’t have spikes.”
The remaining erinyes attempts to to teleport again, but Earth-Egan and Nox silence her permanently.
“Lay down your weapons, NOW!” Nox bellows at the sole upright Gray Maiden.
“I’ll never answer to traitors and usurpers like you!” the warrior woman says, but there is a tremor in her voice.
“Then you shall join your Queen if you don’t surrender,” Nox replies. “Join your Queen in death.” he hastily adds.
“Loyalty shall get you nowhere this day,” Arlynn urges. “At least save your lives.”
The paladin’s words seem to get through to her. She looks from the adventurers to her prone companion to the army outside and finally tosses her bow to the floor. “You’re not going to get away with this.”
“I already have,” Nox says.
“If you think that, you’re fools,” she tells him. “Her Radiant Majesty has powers beyond your mortal ken.”
“Well, I’d like to see her try now that we’ve cut the bitch’s head off,” the fighter shrugs.
“You speak lies.”
Arlynn reveals the broken Crown of Fangs and says “You shall be treated fairly.”
They tie up the two Maidens and raise the portcullis, allowing the Hellknights access to the castle.
The Half-Claimed Throne
A company of Hellknights led by Mistress of Blades Maidrayne Vox marches into the throne room. At the center of the column is Lictor Severs DiVri, who sits down on a fold out chair beside the throne and begins directing his men to fortify that floor of the keep and begin searching through the records. They are soon joined in the throne room by Cressida Kroft and Neolandis Kalepopolis and a force of rebels, who infiltrated the castle through the secret door the party used.
The Lictor declares himself regent of the city, but Arlynn and Nox are able to persuade him to accept Neolandis as co-regent for the time being, which mollifies the rebels. The Crimson Blades get an update on the battle for the city, learning that loyalist Gray Maidens and other regime supporters continue to fight, but they have been pushed back to The Heights and sections of North Point near the Great Tower. The Great Houses have deployed their own guards to help the rebels, while the Ironsoots have organized many of the cities craftsmen. Unfortunately, there have also been some violent clashes between the Ironsoots and the House Arkona guards, which leads the party to recommend keeping the two of them far apart.
With the return of Zandu and the others, the Crimson Blades explain how they defeated a simulacrum of the queen. Zandu hands out some vials of the blood taken from it, for analysis. The party also warns that Togomor is still on the loose and perhaps the Queen as well. The rebels and the Hellknights agree to focus on fighting the loyalists in the city, while allowing the party to continue investigating the castle.
Togomor Round 2: Electric Bugaloo
The party, now gathered and restored, decided to tackle the royal bedroom where Zandu had had his premonition of danger. The Crimson Blades elect to approach from both the main door and the secret passage from Sabina’s chambers.
Nox forces his door open and enters the room, pushing a table aside as he readies himself for battle. Upon hearing Nox’s entry, Arlynn bashes down her door. At this point, an arc of lightning races out; striking adventurers in one group and then lances across the room to hit the other group. Irabeth leaps into the arc of the lightning, landing half on top of Kyra and shielding her from the electrical blast.
“Get of me, you big green oaf!” the halfling cries out. “What the hell are you trying to do?”
Irabeth climbs off of Kyra, and stumbles to her feet, avoiding the halfling’s gaze. All of the half-orc’s hair is standing on end from the electrical charge.
“Is… everybody all right?” the junior paladin asks.
“Not really,” Nox admits from the other side of the illusion.
“Is he visible?” Irabeth calls out.
Embarrassingly, She stumbles to her feet and calls out to Nox, “Is he visible?”
“No!” Nox angrily barks back, trying to steady himself since he had taken a solid hit from the lightning.
“That never stopped me before!” she replies as she marches into the room.
Fall of the Fat Man
Zandu enters the room with the lantern of revealing to unveil the Bloatmage Togomor, and gives enlarge person to Nox. Kyra moves into the illusory wall to toss daggers at the mage, but only manages to nick him. Earth-Egan takes this opportunity to emerge from the wall to grapple him. Ashla moves in and activates her winged boots to fly up and strike him with her longsword.
Suddenly, bearded devils materialize in the room. Earth-Egan notices these are merely illusions, which he relays to Zandu in Terran. Zandu calls out the illusion to everyone. Arlynn then rushes in and calls on her aura of justice to grant smite to everyone.
As she rushes in, the paladin shouts, “Your time is at an end, fiend! Iomedae’s wrath be upon you!”
At that she cuts Togomor’s head clean off. As the bulbous visage spirals away to plop onto the hard stone floor, a strange, peaceful smile can be seen on the bloated face.
The Devil You Know and the One You Don’t
As Togomor’s lifeless body hits the ground with a wet thud, a huge creature appears beyond Earth-Egan in the bedchamber portion of the room. The creature has the shape of an enormous slimy worm, with a fang-toothed maw at one end and three human-like heads at the other. Zandu realizes this was the danger he had sensed and recalls the card he chose during Zellara’s reading—The Liar.
The creature reaches out to into Nox’s mind and telepathically commands him in a melodious tone to drop his weapons and walk out of the Korvosa. His mind weary from the day’s skirmishes and attacks on his mind, Nox succumbs, and walks past the main entrance to the bedroom and out toward the main hall without a word.
Meanwhile, a second presence appears in the royal bed chamber: the horned devil Mavrokeras. Facing two powerful fiends with one of their strongest warriors having abandoned the field, the party braces for a fight.