Friday, March 24, 2017

Zhents 6 & 7: New Face of Insantiy

After the battle in Lake Village Havaok, Dylan, and Lucas take the beast of Malar heartsblood, the body of Ravenshadow, and Trebek’s head and return to Hawkehelm; but not before the Hunter Kascar hails the party and after some brief bartering 1,500 gold for Trebek’s head. The character’s later learn, through insight from Tiberius, that the ones looking for Trebek are necrophagists and are antithetical to the shadow entity Niss, who seems to be the origin of your character’s supernatural powers.

Later at Hawkehelm Havaok, Dylan, and Lucas encounter and debrief Rutledge and Sememmon along with two other property control individuals. Havaok handles his brother’s remains (cremation) and consoles Dorsha who at this time is slipping into madness. Meanwhile Lucas meets a monsignor and learns more about the Ministry’s pantheon worship and the high value they place on human life and the correlation on the value of the human soul. There are seven deities in the Ministry’s pantheon. The characters later visit Bridgeton several times to deliver the Heartsblood to Cambolton or to visit Glinda at the Copper Calf.

The characters also met with Ampherd who was plotting something sinister against his father and wanted to insure the character’s did not interfere but actually delay those who would interfere with whatever Ampherd had planned for his father’s nameday celebration. This prompted Havaok to meet with Rutledge again and inform him of the character’s past exploits- namely retrieving three peryton eggs. 

The next morning dorsha dies but not before she draws a single harrow card for everyone.
The new characters El Guapo and Tiberius were ordered by Rutledge to gather up Ravenshadow and Trebek’s belongings and bring them to property control. An accidental slip caused the Box of Niss to spill its supernatural contents.

A magical maelstrom encircled El Guapo and Tiberius granting them their heroic class, magical items, and insight into what Niss was, as well as the character’s who came before El Guapo and Tiberius, as well as knowledge of the necrophagists. Rutledge as well as a mysterious tengu watched all this in silence. Rutledge had a basic understanding of what he just witnessed saw this as an opportunity to reinforce Havaok’s group of Zhents. And to insure this he sent El Guapo and Tiberius to Blair Castle to get advanced information on the proving grounds for Havaok, Dylan, and Lucas who were surely participating.

 
At Castle Blair the characters El Guapo and Tiberius examine each obstacle and water pool, even watching as Arton, Braidwood, and Audry add an undead to each water pool including the addition of a Bane symbol to one of the obstacles (reroll of a skill check).

The rest of the afternoon was filled with preparing for the evening competition, the awards ceremony, and the Zhent general /Elazarin’s nameday dinner atop Hawkehelm Castle.

Later that night scores of zhent soldiers and agents lined the cobbled road into Blair Castle where torches and braziers lit the proving grounds under the night’s constellations. As Havaok was entering Audry slipped him a hide from undead potion.

Once inside the characters were brought to a staging area when eventually Dylan went into the proving ground first not lasting much past the fourth obstacle, next Lucas who skillfully finished the course. Then finally Havaok who also did not finish the obstacle course but would publicly challenge Braidwood in single combat and eventually win becoming the undisputed antipaladin. What followed next was two hours of celebration and camaraderie as the characters waited to see witch Zhentarim general would select them to join the cause for the Ministry.

It was not long when the character’s would learn that Guthbert Golthammer has selected them and that would mean a summer campaign in Daggerdale to defeat the usurpers and restore Daggerdale to Zhentarim control.

Later, atop Hawkehelm, it was the General’s dinner where the eight treasures were laid out each were guarded by armored undead. As the dinner progressed, Elazarin and the Magisters came out and eventually gifts were displayed before the Magister of Potions. There were several rounds of uncomfortable toasts to Elazarin preceded the opening of the last gift, Ampherd’s gift of preyton eggs.

But when the dribble glass spilled the potion of ageing on the eggs, they immediately hatched into young adult preytons surprising everyone. What happened next tested the sanity of everyone who was at that table as the surprise startled the thing that had taken on the guise of Elazarin for so long. Elazarin’s left eye became impossibly large and filled the center of its head, it’s right eye raised up on a tiny stalk of pink flesh to join three other grotesque eyes on fleshy stalks that hid under Elazarin’s white wig. The body of Elazarin fell to the table and then to the floor as fleshy tendrils under the now floating head released the headless corpse. As this occurred a tremendous boom and fireball erupted in the night sky as the meteorite seen in the sky collided with Faerun’s atmosphere and descended changing the mountainous landscape forever.

Combat erupted, the eye-orb thing escaped, and the preytons were killed by the characters. The rooftop is evacuated and this is where we will begin next game session.