Returning to the wet streets of Seaquen, the heroes did some investigation and enjoyed some downtime.
The druid purchased a tome of rituals from Sidoneth who was very friendly and helpful.
The Bard snooped around and managed to find the mysterious Nelebekus at the Royale (he also tried out the “Best Joke Ever” on the bartender, which floored him, but he was unable to eavesdrop on the half-elf.
The group returned to the Royale the next day and the barbarian challenged for supremacy in the arena. He managed to slay the orcish champion in single combat, earning a bronze cup and two large pigs for his troubles.
Drunkenly driving a cart back to town they were ambushed in the driving rain. Ragesian archers, Inquisitor Damius the Warduke, and a lurking assassin devil attempted to end the threat, but underestimated the strength of the Brotherhood, even when drunk. The Inquisitor escaped in a burst of fire. The Shadow Devil did not, getting ripped to shreds within a cloud of darkness. Hours judged that the Inquisitor could not have teleported far and resolved to follow up on the villains mention of a ‘fiery tomb’.
Finally, the Brotherhood of Aquiline Mercy were invited to the Seaquen War Council, thanks to the recommendations of Katrina Dio Genera.
The council was full of dignitaries: magistrates, wizards, ambassadors and professors. The Brotherhood took their seats in the audience gallery, a small cove, for this was not a public forum. Headmaster Simeon began the proceedings with a short soliloquy:
“Ladies and gentlemen, you’ll pardon me if I’m brief. Our enemies are many, and we know their eyes are constantly watching. We don’t have much time for this meeting, so, even though I encourage each and every one of us to have our time to speak, I need to ask that we not get too bogged down in discussions of minutiae and other small things. “We have a great task ahead of us, and it is a task that we do not do simply to protect ourselves, but to save the lives of all our families, brother, and sisters. The new emperor of Ragesia, Leska, who proudly calls herself the Supreme Inquisitor, has set her armies to conquer all our nations. Everyone is in danger, from lowliest warrior to mightiest mage. I have vowed as my duty that I will fight against this Scourge from Ragesia, but I don’t know much about how to run a war. What I do know, though, is that we all have knowledge and skills that will be valuable in his fight. I hope that you will trust me to lead this fight against tyranny, and I will trust you to give me your best wisdom and aid so that we may be victorious. Our goal is to stop the Scourge, to drive back the armies of the Ragesian Empire, to dethrone Leska, and to ensure our families and homelands are safe. Now, I hope you all have some idea how to do that. My ears are open.”
Magistrate Messi then stood to recite the litany of problems the city was facing due to refugees, overcrowding, and dwindling goods.
Commander Xavious gave a grave but encouraging report on the state of the militia, suggesting that perhaps the refugees could become the basis of a liberation army. Others scoffed at this.
The Ambassador of Dassen declared that his king, Steppengard had not yet decided whether or not he would pursue a truce with Ragesia. This obviously worried the masters of the Lyceum for a neutral Dassen could conceivably allow a Ragesian army passage through to attack Seaquen.
Sindaire Ambassador Cranston Snord, a withered old man, insisted that his nation’s people wanted to resist Ragesia, but the politicians could not pledge their support to Seaquen and risk drawing Leska’s ire. He suggested that if Seaquen could defeat Ragesia in a notable battle, it might be enough to make a difference. As for the Torch of the Burning Sky, Cranston Snord was confident he knew where it was; just impossible to reach.
“The evening that the Old Dragon — Coaltongue — was slain,” he says, “a storm of fire opened up in the heavens over the late emperor’s castle, a place called Korstull. It’s a canyon in a broad field. Now everything there is dead, burned by months of searing rain. Sometimes the dead wander out of the storm. I don’t know how anyone could have gotten into that firestorm to retrieve the Torch, nor do I know how you would expect to either.”
Professor Sidoneth reported on the naval readyness of the harbor, admitting that the Shahalesti fleet was imminent but still undeclared.
Then the Ambassador of Ostalin spoke:
“The inestimable Khagan Onamdammin, generous monarch of Ostalin, deeply regrets that his neighbors might be endangered by the Ragesian armies, but is willing to lend his elite, fierce armies if his neighbors are reasonable. Ragesia intends to conquer your entire nation. Would it not be reasonable to trade us one- third of your land, so that you may keep the rest from the greedy, cruel Ragesians?”
At this, the council seemed poised for fierce debate. Just then a guard burst through the door to announce that unexpected visitors had flown into the courtyard and approached the chamber. Moments later a guard of Shahalesti knights entered, escorting the Princess Shalosha the Silver Princess, daughter of the Elven Emperor. All the Shahalesti are dressed in silver armor and blue cloaks, and stand tall and bright with straight blond hair and straight swords at their hips. Their leader is a pristinely beautiful eladrin woman whose eyes shine like sun on the bluest sea.
“I apologize for this sudden intrusion, but I bring a message of great importance to this castle,” said the lovely lady. She then spoke with the cadence of a memorized text:
“I come with an offer of safety and salvation for your city, and those who shelter here. As you know, Shahalesti is the shining jewel of civilization, and now the armies of Ragesia
attack us. For every loss we suffer, the progress of all nations suffers. We are the only power strong enough to drive back the fires of Ragesia, but even for our greatness, victory is
not assured. “My father, Lord Shaaladel, knows that some of the nations whose ambassadors stand in this very hall would like to see Shahalesti fall, for they don’t realize that in so doing they are wishing for their own doom. Even the most trustworthy here can admit that it is difficult to have faith in the leaders of other nations when the most they can do is send a few diplomats to the banner of Seaquen. Shahalesti sends a fleet. Seventeen of our ships sail now to this peninsula, surrounding it from all directions to protect it from hostilities. By this we show our devotion to the fight, and — so my father believes — we prove that it is our nation who should lead that fight. “We invite you to join with us in the war against Ragesia. Many potential allies have found their way to your city, and so we have come here to meet them. However, we will not risk betrayal on any scale, nor would it be wise for you to risk it. So we ask that you hand over control of Seaquen to the Shahalesti fleet, so that we may
begin checking the purity of your allies’ spirit. Admiral Telshanth will serve as provisional governor of Seaquen—”
The council broke up in pandemonium of course, the Princess left after promising to give the town some days for deliberation.
Professor Sidoneth did not participate in the post debate bluster and left the council. Blackwolf and Driemz followed him to his house but he was nowhere to be found. Entering the house, they found a precarious seacliff trail that lead around the point to the Sea Temple of Dagon.
Meanwhile, Hours hit the books, ransacking the the library stacks of the Lyceum for hints of where the Tomb of the Pyromancer lay.
Then the hurricane hit! Towers and trees fell, people were blown away, and but Blackwolf walked nonchalantly through gale winds. It seemed that the Brothers’ exposure to the Tidereaver Tears gave them some protection for the elements! They were the only hope of Seaquen and entire harbor! Perhaps the Elven fleet was in danger, if they were not in fact behind this suspicious weather
The druid had been consulting ancient maps and scrolls to discover the drowned Tomb of the Pyromancer and when the storm hit was able to aim towards its eye.
The party entered the prison and fought a horde of Burning Bones skeletons. They then found a shaft of pure force that offered some entry below the water’s surface. A hot draft blew forth…