After gathering the information on the fleet, the heroes had gone back to the Inn to get some sleep so they would be ready to set out the following day. But when the morning arrived, it was Fred and not the pleasant chirping of birds that woke them up.
In a panic, Fred explained that he and Coal had gone to check into some warehouses. As he explained this it was clear head was attempting to hide the fact that they had been trying to rob the places of their various items. The heroes were about to ask which jail Coal was being held in when Fred told them about the explosion.
Fearing the worst, the heroes immediately set out to find the half elf who had been following them around during their adventures in Tinkton. They arrived at the warehouse where Fred said Coal had gone. Smoke was rising from the inside and both Sindri and Al’ev sensed several types of magic surrounding the building.
Sindri entered from the building’s roof where Coal had entered the previous night while the others searched the surrounding area of the building. Sindri quickly located the center of the disaster amongst several destroyed crates and pockets of thick smoke.
At the center was little more than bone, ashes, and coals. This was clearly all that remained of Coal. Even his magically enhances weapons had been melted into little more than lumps of disfigured metal.
Meanwhile, T’lemya spotted something intangible near the wall of the warehouse. It was putting out a soft but steady hum. She called to the other heroes and Al’ev decided to inspect what she had found.
This is when the owner of the warehouse, a magician named “The Penguin”, made his move. Behind T’lemya a gnome materialized into existence and quickly cast a spell that picked the tiefling off her feet and threw her to the warehouse wall.
This caused that invisible wall, the source of humming she had experienced before calling the others over, to explode with a resounding boom as she passed through it, rebounded off the warehouse wall causing it to collapse, then passed through it again causing a second boom.
Combat was quick after this, the heroes clearly more than a match for this gnome who was protecting what remained of his warehouse. They stopped just short of killing him, explaining they were here for Coal, and not for the items inside. Neo then healed The Penguin and they was handed a magic rod for saving his life from T’lemya and the others.
On the way back to the Inn, Sindri explained what he had found and the heroes realized there was little they could do to bring Coal back to the plane of the living. Some of the adventurers seemed to care little about the man’s fate, while others spent the rest of the trip to the inn in silence.
Coming up to the room, they caught an elven man leaving the room. Araras, as the heroes found his name to be, claimed to be delivering an item to the winner of the Breaching Festival. Able to get little other information from him, the heroes stepped inside and saw Blasphemy with a small plantlike creature before him.
The alchemist had pulled the top of the plant creature’s head off, and much like one cleaning out the insides of a pumpkin for seeds, he did the same with some of the material inside this creature. He then put it in a vial, shook it a bit, and noticing he was being watched, he chucked it at the heroes in the doorway.
The heroes who had been the victim of some of his explosive vials in the past quickly dove back out into the hallway. The rest were too slow to react and the vial crashed to the ground quickly covering it and the heroes in a moss that, to those with injuries, felt very good.
They would learn that the creature was a Leshy and that its constantly regenerating insides could be used to treat injuries in a pinch. Blasphemy had been given a mighty tool that the heroes would no doubt be in desperate need of in the future.
That being said, they had a problem. Fred was no longer with them, and their plan to go after the fleet of war supply ships left them with two weeks of time.
They puzzled over what to do for a short time for they were needed in many areas. After a small debate, it was decided they would visit Varalon to take care of several issues there. Asking Sindri for a portal, they soon found themselves in a familiar place. Given Sindri’s character, it was no accident that they ended up in Fronties, the gentlebeings club run by Little John.
The heroes split up throughout the establishment, T’lemya quickly going to the back area, Neo to the bar, Sindri to find his favorite girl, and the rest moving back outside.
All took note of the sharp increase in security throughout the establishment.
T’lemya would soon learn the reason why. Between numerous reflexive slaps directed at Little John, she learned that another tiefling had fought its way to the back area of Fronties, killing several of John’s guards and nearly taking the underworld boss’s life as well. The tiefling claimed to be family of T’lemya and was looking for her.
John then explained about a cult of Asmodian demon worshipers who had been underground in Varalon for a very long time and how he had sent several men in to infiltrate and extract information from one of their locations.
T’lemya called several of the heroes back to where John was and explained they had a job to do, go after the one who had nearly killed Little John.
They set about creating a plan to drag out the tiefling assassin into a place where he would be at a disadvantage. Using Sindri’s habits of saying more than he should, they spread rumors that T’lemya had returned to Varalon, as it was clear it was her that the other tiefling was after.
After waiting nearly two days outside the walls of Varalon in an empty field, an arrow flew from behind the wall and landed near where the heroes stood waiting. Attached was a letter asking them how stupid they thought the tiefling assassin was. He told them where he could be found and that they would not be harmed in coming to see him.
Left with little choice beyond summoning the city guard to raid the place with them, Neo, T’lemya, Sindri, Harry and Al’ev entered the building described in the letter.
They quickly found as they descended into its depths that the place was well established. The guards they saw did not harm them, nor did they engage in conversation with the heroes readily beyond pointing them to where their leader, the tiefling assassin was.
After several rooms, some containing low level demons who also paid them no mind, they found themselves before the tiefling assassin who sat atop an elaborate chair that was poised much like a throne. The padding, some would notice, was caked in the blood of someone who had likely sat there previously.
Deciding to talk first after noting that the floor was covered in strange runes, the heroes found out that the assassin’s name was Teyo.
Teyo claimed that T’lemya belonged with the cult of Asmodian demon worshipers. He asked her if she had never heard their master’s voice speaking to her.
“They take. We give.” Teyo said, saying that this was the master. He explained a twisted vision of what this meant and, as T’lemya seemed to be stricken to the core by revelation after revelation, Al’ev engaged in a battle of words with Teyo.
A couple of things were gleaned from this conversation. T’lemya’s family had been somehow involved in the cult in the past. Teyo only recently became the leader of this cult. Teyo hoped to enslave all who walked on the surface. Teyo was not the most intelligent being they had come across.
The final point was reemphasized when Teyo drew his weapons and tried to activate a button that he had earlier said was what had turned the runes on the ground off.
The heroes had positioned themselves to be ready for this, however, and made quick enough work of Teyo that he never got the chance to hit the button. Quickly striping him of his valuable vest and daggers, the heroes then created a portal out of the building, knowing that going out the way they came would involve fighting their way out.
Before stepping through the portal, Al’ev looked to T’lemya knowing all that she saw here hurt.
“What would you like us to do?”
Al’ev simply nodded, then, looking around for something flamable his eyes settled on the wooden throne. He cast a levitation spell on it, set it on fire with spark, then flung it through the open door through which they had come. The resulting shouting and increase in smoke told him that it had worked. He stepped through the portal as did the remaining heroes.
Back outside, the heroes made their way back to Fronties to report in to Little John. John explained what he knew of T’lemya’s past. There she learned that her mother had been in charge of the cult at one point. It was to protect T’lemya that John had never said anything about it.
After getting all if it out of their systems, Neo and Al’ev were brought back into the room and it was explained that Neo had a bounty on his head for a crime he had never committed. The four of them put together an elaborate plan to fake Neo’s death and collect on the bounty using the services of a magician contact.
But that man would take time to get in contact with and so it was decided they would return when they had done so.
The heroes then gathered up and after another quick discussion over what to do next, decided there was still work to be done in the forests outside of the elven capital of Caori. It was there that a well respected royal guardsman had gone vigilante and had been killing numerous bandits and innocents alike. As far as the heroes knew the guardsman, Tarrant, was still running free in the forests of Quellion.
And they now had a little less than two weeks to catch up with the fleet of warships in the waters north of Basque…