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Week Twenty Four

April 30th, 1998
Avg. Rating: 3.25

SEGUE

Outside the South Gate of the city, at the charred remains of Baron Thorne's pavilion, Shieldbreakers worked to clear away the debris, while the grey-robed priests of the Cult of the Dragon simply watched. A carriage arrived from the city and deposited a single passenger, slight of build, with a wide streak of silver in the middle of his black hair. The man was greeted by a heavily armored dwarf, who referred to him as Kormallis. The dwarf informed Kormallis that Baron Thorne had been killed last night, by an unknown assassin and his accomplice. Kormallis ordered the dwarf to kill the chief of Thorne's bodyguards, which he did with great zeal, then proceeded to the pyre where Thorne's body (and head) had been laid.

Kormallis picked up the Baron's head, breathed deeply into its mouth, and whispered something into its ear. Thorne's eyes popped open, and a single name escaped from his dead lips..."Erik...Erik de Jennes". Kormallis then dropped the head on the ground and strode back to his black carriage.

EPISODE

Firecarn, Manayar 14th, Year of the Shield, Morning

The party spent the night in their quarters, in the castle's courtyard, uneventfully. In the morning Gino excitedly asked Kelly, then Erik, what had happened to them while they were gone, and sat enthralled as they recounted parts of the tale. Kelly and Talyth went to see Sivantri in his tower, catching him just as he was leaving to interrogate the Shieldbreaker prisoners the PCs brought back. The three of them stopped at the party's quarters, picked up everyone else, then all headed into the dungeons.

The group made it as far as the final door to the cells. The guard behind that door asked them to wait a moment, then Piergeiron himself emerged, locking the door behind him. He told the group that he had other plans for the prisoners right now, and that they would be able to question them "at some other time". Piergeiron led the group back outside to the courtyard.

Once out of the castle, Piergeiron told Sivantri to go around and check the castle's defenses again, invisibly. Sivantri reminded Piergeiron that he had just finished doing such a check a few hours previous, but Piergeiron wanted it done again. Sivantri bid goodbye to the party and disappeared back into the castle.

The group returned to the party's quarters, and Lord Piergeiron revealed that he was beginning to have doubts about Sivantri. Though Sivantri had done nothing overtly suspicious, he seemed to always be around, taking everything in, never letting Piergeiron out of his sight for more than an hour or two. Piergeiron cautioned the PCs to be careful, reminded them about the Council meeting on the 16th, then returned to the castle (after "changing" into Dandelus).

For the next two days the PCs pursued their own agendas: Gregory went to see Ygraine and her Lliran followers, at the abandoned tavern where they were staying, and told her that Lord Piergeiron wished to meet with her; Erik, with Piergeiron's approval, received new equipment from the castle's stores- studded leather armor, metal gloves, a metal choker, a bastard sword, and assorted adventuring supplies; Willow spent the time recuperating from her wounds, with some help from Breesa the elven healer; Tristan made up some new poisons, and returned to studying his books of philosophy; and Kelly continued to practice her spells (though she did take some time to talk with Erik, particularly about the events at Baron Thorne's pavilion).

Woodcarn, Manayar 16th, Year of the Shield, Morning

An hour or so before noon, the time the Council meeting began, the party left the castle and walked to Mother Tathlorn's House of Pleasure, as instructed by Piergeiron. Mother Tathlorn was a large woman, much larger than the door to her festhall, and also a bit paranoid, but when the party asked her for room #7 she immediately gave them the key and pointers to the room. Inside the room was a huge armoire; inside the armoire was a small keyhole, which Gregory unlocked with the iron key Piergeiron had given him. The back of the armoire swung open, revealing a long tunnel carved right into Mt. Waterdeep.

The party entered the tunnel, climbed up a long shaft, and soon found their way to a large pane of pink glass, a window which looked out over the castle's Council room. Though they could see and hear all those below them perfectly, no one inside the room seemed able to see them. The party settled in at the window and observed the entire two hour meeting. [See "Council Meeting Notes" for details]

The meeting concluded and Piergeiron, at the head of the table, gave the party a subtle signal to wait for him in the tunnel. While waiting they discussed what their next step should be: Kelly wanted to go to the City of the Dead, to perhaps discover there who or what was behind the city's troubles, and Gregory suggested the Plinth, the multi-faith temple in the city where more and more bloody sacrifices seemed to be occurring. Piergeiron soon arrived, discussed the Council meeting with the party, and then everyone went their separate ways again.

As the episode ended: Gregory and Talyth were carving some Umberlee holy symbols (there was some suspicion that Umberlee might be somehow involved in the city's problems); Kelly and Erik went shopping for some new clothing; Tristan was working on the coded parchments rescued from Xanathar's lair; and Willow was spending time with Sivantri, to learn a new spell, but also to keep an eye on him.

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There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever.
-- Thomas A. Edison