Starday, 1 Sunsebb CY 595 (continued)
There remains one more room in the complex to investigate, which they have seen but not entered.
In this room there is a big spidery statue and three trophy cases. The party looks at everything, but forebears opening any of the cases for the time being. In the first case there is a preserved head of a black scaled dragon, a pair of faintly glowing green eyes slightly larger than a humans (enchanted with a persistent light spell), an odd black metal cage covered in thorns but with nothing inside (sitting on a large velvet pillow), a shiny +2 unholy adamantine dagger, and twitching chains covered in barbs (according to Riddle, likely chains removed from a chain devil, or a ‘kyton’). In the second case there are four books labeled “Unspeakable Tome”, a weathered and tarnished griffin figurine of wondrous power, six jars of which four contain eyeballs on long stalks (the others are empty), and another book behind the Unspeakable Tomes. In the third case they find a mini-pseudodragon statue, a stuffed doll of a pale-skinned and hairless humanoid that bears a striking resembles to the Vaati statues from the Whispering Cairn and to Riddle (it has been pierced with twenty long bone shard spokes), a thick black tome wrapped in chains, a magnificent magical red greatsword with a periapt of health draped over it. When Tyrrell opens one of the cases, the statue in the center of the room comes to life and attacks. When struck, it makes no noise in the actual world, but a hideaous screaming fills their heads. It attempts to confuse them, but the party is able to kill it quickly. Tyrrell takes the doll. It feels very good in his hands. He removes all the shards from it.
Riddle casts speak with dead on Zyrxog. Staring at Riddle with pure malevolence, the mind flayer reports that the Apostolic Scrolls are “a scholarly tome”, that Loris Raknian hired him to kill the party “presumably because he wants you dead”, that the doll Tyrrell picked up “pleases him”, and that there is “no danger whatsoever” of handling any of the items in his trophy room – but it’s obvious on that question that he is trying to lie to Riddle. Riddle, with the intent of destroying it in green slime, takes the unholy dagger from the trophy case. Of course it is cursed, and Riddle finds he cannot stow the weapon once it is in his hand. Then Tyrrell uses his wand of unseen servant to open the case and retrieve the unidentified book, which Riddle immediately opens and reads. It says, “This book contains no information,” and furthermore, attacks his memory and sense of self. Luckily, he saves against all drain and damage. Scar-Eater reports that this is all beyond him, extremely strong auras of enchantment, and the party decides to leave everything alone (except the doll which Tyrrell already has, the dagger which Riddle cannot let go of, and the book which they wrap in a up with the intent to send to Raknian with a note claiming it is an addendum to the Apostolic Scrolls).
The immediate order of business is to remove the cursed dagger from Riddle, hiring a priest of the temple of Pelor in the Golden District to do the deed. Though he offers to dispose of it for them, Riddle doesn’t trust him and takes the dagger back to the green slime to destroy it himself.
The party then turns their focus to the Champions Games. They learn that to enter the competition they need a manager, and there is only one licensed manager without a team of the twenty-four licenses that have been issued, and that is Ekaym Smallcask. He is staying at a very exclusive Inn called The Palace, in the temple district, with a young woman, a companion of some sort. During their information-gathering they also learn that the Ashborn have changed their line-up for the upcoming games — replacing Tirra Elundriel with three flesh golems.
The party spends the night at the Curtained Palace by the wharves.
Sunday, 2 Sunsebb CY 595
The party spends the day scrying on people in a public park, wearing masks over their heads, while Tyrrell and Archie scout.
Jane scrys on Raknian successfully. He is sitting in a well-appointed study with a window looking over the city. From the direction of the view, the party guesses this building is located adjacent to the Champions Arena, one of the few elevated places in town. Raknian is in conversation with a slightly younger man. “Report, how did it go?”
“The mission was a success,” his guest replies. “I do not believe we were observed by anyone. Got off clean, but I was concerned about the lack of protection on his estate. Someone of his power, I was concerned about the lack of difficulties.”
“Were we set up?” Raknian asks.
“I can’t say. I can say, we were successful, this seemed too easy.”
“Couldn’t possibly be that cocky, could he?” Raknian wonders, and then asks about security for the Games and other projects. He tells the companion that it’s time to lay low. The party’s local knowledge tells them this companion is likely Captain Okoral, Raknian’s chief of security, but they can only guess who or what they might have been discussing.
Jane fails to scry the Faceless One, but does succeed in checking up on Illthain. They see the magnificent black dragon soaring gracefully and lazily through the murky night over Diamond Lake. They notice that she does not share some of the tell-tale characteristics of other black dragons, namely two forward-facing horns and two rear-facing horns, long aquiline bodies, and webbed patches between their toes. Rather, Illthain has a sort of crown of rear-facing horns, a stockier build covered in bone-shard spikes, and huge earth-raking talons. Everything about her associates her with a copper dragon, according to Scar-Eater, except the black scales (copper and black dragons even share the same kind of breath weapon). Knowing Illthain is a master alchemist, the guess that she might have changed her own appearance. If she is, in truth, a copper dragon, her size makes her an adult, and it would mean she can breathe a slowing gas, climb stone surfaces as with spider climb, and burrowing capability.
The party returns to their rooms to rest before their meeting with Eligos in the morning.
Moonday, 3 Sunsebb CY 595
There is a large crowd gathered around Eligos’ estate when they arrive, and there seems to be some kind of investigation taking place. Some quick questions of the crowd reveals that the owner of the estate appears to have been murdered the night before. A girl approaches Tyrrell and says, “Not finding what you expected to find here?”
“Excuse me?” Tyrrell replies. After a small bit of banter he feels a strong compulsion to be truthful, though it is not overpowering, and he definitely resists it. She pressures him to explain his business there, and threatens to go to the investigators if he does not tell her the truth, as he might be a person of interest.
“Did your plan here fail?” she presses. “Did you come to gloat?”
Tyrrell gives up and does his best intimidating. “I’m here to gloat, my plan failed, I’m looking for work. Now maybe I’ll tell the Watch about a person of interest who just appeared here in front of ME.”
She takes a step back. “Are you looking to make an enemy of me? You wish me to leave? Very well.” And with that mysterious bit of nonsense, she disappears. She bore no resemblance to Eligos, nor did she share his dialect.
Not sure if they can believe he’s dead, Jane attempts to scry Eligos, but the spell fails. Riddle casts a divination to figure out how to get the things we left from Eligos back without getting involved in the investigation. “One should move now, quickly and under stealth before it is all moved beyond your reach.” So the party loads Tyrrell up with every buff and utility spell that might help, and send him in.
Tyrrell gets into the second floor with finesse and disables every trap he comes across with ease. He returns to the party with all of our stuff and Eligos’ notes on it in under three minutes. Before leaving the area, Riddle casts audible whisper and says, in his best Eligos dialect, “Captain Okoral slew me, at the order of Loria Raknian, last night. Look to him for my killer.”
In his notes, Eligos indicates that the horns the party found in the real tomb might have belonged to a pit fiend named Kizarvidexus. Regarding the Cult of Kyuss, he notes that its numbers have traditionally been very small, with congregations often consisting of a single priest living a double life as an upstanding citizen. Recent evidence indicates that the Cult of the Ebon Triad may have been involved in the much older, smaller, Cult of Kyuss. There have been links between the deeds of both. There is a whole section listing thorough source material on the Age of Worms: Age of Eternal Ruin, prophecies recorded in the Book of Vile Darkness, the Necronomicon, Libris Mortis, and the Apostolic Scrolls. Oh, and Going Rogue.
Perhaps the most chilling notation regards the Spawn of Kyuss. Eligos suggests that though they are the most notorious, they may actually be the least dangerous of the undead associated with Kyuss. There are far more fecund creatures in the canon. In other words, Spawn of Kyuss appear to be the Red Shirts of the bunch.
One final divination before they retire for the evening tells them to look for Ekaym Smallcask “At ”/campaign/the-age-of-worms/wikis/the-palace" class=“wiki-page-link”> The Palace at a time of his choosing, brave face, bold front, power on display. Mend fences quickly with his ally, yet distaste for owner will serve you well."