“You there stop what you are doing in the name of the Duke.” The command came from a tall individual, wise in years with no sarcasm; he was a man of results which is why he brought two score along with him. While the heroes where dispensing with the cultists the sun had set on Bouvaldia.
“Oh shit.” Syrendross said below his voice trying to hide his face from the lantern light several of the mounted men had mounted on poles.
“What is all this then?” Dolgrin said with a snort weary and bloody from battle.
“Ah Hillshade, where you can always find an officer of the law when you need one,” Dramen said in response to Syrendross’ lament, looking guiltily at the three dead orcs and one human but mostly at the sets of armor.
Rydin stepped up at this time next to the paladin in an attempt to salvage this dour first impression. “Men of the Duke, I know how this must look to you good…” tapering his speech.
“Zaid Aclair, Inquisitor for the Duke and I am placing you all under arrest.” The Inquisitor announced. “Captain seize them.”
Without a word, the Captain looked to his Lieutenant who selected a dozen guards.
“Now wait a damn minute,” Kyras started to protest as guards began to dismount following the orders of the Inquisitor.
“Kyras do not,” Syrendross said taking the druid by the sleeve of his earthen brown robe.
“There. You see, Captain they can be reasonable.” Zaid said with a sly grin drawing out his weapon. “Or perhaps you would respond to an alternative form of persuasion.”
Our session begins midday with our arrival back to Hillshade with another prisoner, this one an escaped fugitive, a most dangerous master summoner. Zhor Iendothe, the gnome River Baron, parlays entry into Castle Keirken, but we are rebuffed by the beautiful and regal wife of the Bailiff, a half-elf Abriana Arcool. She is clean and precious. She regrets that her husband cannot meet in person but us busy with security.
Syrendross asks for a place to recover from our long night of tracking criminals, however due to the pending wedding between Count Keirken and Ardinia Delaway any available space is spoken for. She does however indicate an area of ruins, and with a little work, may uncover a suitable resting place (or grave if one was of a conspiratorial mind).
During this distraction, as the Baron receded into the castle courtyard with Okala, some of our company notice several individuals busy in the courtyard some of who are not of the Count’s men. A large metal palace-wagon, secret service, or perhaps a siege weapon was parked in the yard bearing proud symbols of the Duke of Bouvaldia. The Duke was expected at the wedding!
Before our leave Dramen emphasizes the danger of the new prisoner, to which Abriana reassures us by explaining in detail how severely Okala will be punished for any transgressions- to Okala's face, with a smile. At this instance Dolgrin senses a bit of evil in the woman. However, she comments, that the Inquisitor has arrived and will deal with the summoner. We are owed a debt and will meet with Zhor in the morning at Gretcho’s: Hillshade’s bakery and restaurant.
A short time later Rydin and Denosia set out looking for the afore mentioned ruins. Seeing individuals along the way our company of virtuous justice seekers find the ruins are actually three separate ruins from three separate eras of history- each build or expanded upon the next and upon fertile ground. (one a temple of Orcus?)
After some clever tracking we see that the main two story structure that dominates the area has been in use; and some searching a trap door that leads to a well-used ladder, and a worked tunnel to a cavernous underground river/lake. Along the way we find caskets sealed along the passage bearing symbols, some with drow iconography that indicates underdark associations.
After a few minutes along the underdark strand Syrendross hears a turbulent splashing sound from around a large stone mound. As this occurs Dolgrin and Lapis find within a hollowed out waxy column a sanctuary dedicated to Orcus that was worthy of destruction.
Dramen cloaks Syrendross invisible and then casts fly allowing the drow to investigate the noise. Around the bend Syrendross finds another deep earth shoreline as well as a dozen sinister individuals disembarking; a few orcs, an unidentified Hillshade man and a woman bearing Orcus symbology, as well as other that were being shown how to operate a unknown metal device.
Syrendross reports his findings and it was decided to lie in wait for the cultists. After a half hour of waiting to ambush the cultists, Syrendross sees the first of them pausing to dawn armor- armor later identified as belonging to the Duke’s house guards. Combat ensues.
When the smoke clears we defeated four out of the five, with one (DFO half-orc) escaping with a potion of gaseous form. After taking inventory (distributed/or destroyed) we begin the arduous task of bringing the bodies and the incriminating Duke’s armor and weapons back to the ruined structure. When we arrive we find ourselves surrounded by forty to fifty guards and are introduced to Zaid Aclair the Duke’s Inquisitor as we are taken into custody.