Return of Hadrach

Betrayals and Bastards

26-Novui; "Wait... we're in Chytri?!" -Thrandir

Shakaari awakened from her negotiations only to find all her allies were dead. She sent Keets to rouse the healers while she calmed the frazzled nerves of Expey, Petrosa, and Narhini, only to receive a severe rebuke from the cat. When the high priest of Palenon, the only healer present with the power to raise the dead, finally arrived, he refused to help the dead champions on the grounds that the Grand Duke might choke on a grape seed or something while watching the liberation of Chytri from a distance and might be inconvenienced by his sudden demise. Realizing that Rothgar was not among the dead and remembering that he was an infamous assassin, the young wizard took some of his personal items and used them to cast a Scrying spell. The spell led her to the Necromantic Tower in Chytri, but could not penetrate its walls.

Meanwhile, in a place beyond life and death, the souls of our recently deceased heroes were greeted by Nalal, a heretofore unknown planar entity. The being informed them that it would be returning them to their bodies, but that they may each ask it two questions first. The heroes asked their questions, received their answers, and were returned to the Prime Material Plane.

When Griangi awoke, the first thing he did was note that his Bag of Holding was missing. This made the gnome angry. Very angry. His newly resurrected companions rushed into his room to see what was the matter. Much lamentation, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments occurred as they attempted to determine who could have taken the bag. Finally, Shakaari entered the room and placed the blame on Rothgar, who was missing and also a known criminal. She informed the group of his location and a vigorous argument ensued as to what they should do next. Finally, Shakaari managed to break through the fray and reveal to them some even more startling news —

After the rest of the party’s dream-selves had been dispatched by Hadrach, the wizard parlayed with the demigod’s lawyer, and managed to get the infernal solicitor to raise her brother, Thrandir, from the grave with the promise that she would consider signing a contract that would bind her soul to Hell for all eternity in exchange for three wishes. The devil brought Thran back from the grave as specified, but Wizard Voco rejected the contract, bringing threats of hellish retribution. The mage had discovered earlier that he brother, upon his return to the plane of the living, was immediately captured and imprisoned in the tower. With the promise of being reunited with a beloved ally, the party determined to assault the tower directly, rescue Thran and make Rothgar pay for his craven betrayal.

Halfway between the fortress and the city, they are stopped by a courier who delivers a message from Rothgar, explaining that he’d been forced to deliver the bag but had left its contents at a rebel safehouse for them to retrieve, and requesting they rescue him. The party arrives at the safehouse and finds this to be the truth. Collecting the horn and shard, Griangi decides to entrust artifacts to Shakaari, who accepts the horn, but says that since she’s managed to piss off the hosts of Hell, it may not be a good thing to have all the party’s eggs in her basket. Griangi agrees and the party makes it way to the tower. Marigold takes to the air, douses the adjacent barracks in oil, and tosses down a vial of Alchemist’s Fire, dispatching most of the guards easily. She then levitates her allies up a sheer cliff, allowing them to walk right in through the front door. In the foyer they meet token resistance — a troll, a cleric, and a couple of guards. The troll becomes the focus of their attacks, and is burned down fairly quickly; the guards fall even easier, but the cleric fleets before a conjured swarm of spiders has a chance to make a meal of him.

The party goes up the stairs and discovers a teleportation circle. As Shakaari is examining it, Juniper asks, “Hey, you can teleport, right?” Upon Shakaari’s confused confirmation, Juniper shoves her into the circle, sending the young wizard hurting through space to a destination far away. Griangi charged after Shakaari. The two discover they are in a city far away, which they are able to determine is, in fact, a city in the so-called “ Old World” of Draiman history.

Our heroes continued to ascend the tower, eventually coming to an eerily similar experimentation room lined with cells. The group immediately sets to examining the cells — they find the lord mayor of Chytri and some of his entourage; a vampire troll named Blacktusk, who is encouraged to flee; some kind of undead halfling; numerous corpses dead from a variety of causes including mysterious diseases; their ally, Rothgar; and, finally, their long lost friend Thrandir, newly risen from the grave and covered only in foul, viscous black slime. After a brief reunion and a thorough cleaning by Keets, the half-elf is dressed and equips himself lightly and our heroes continue up the stairs. When finally they reach the top, the voice of the necromancer, Reynard, asks them a simple question:

“Brave adventurers – the Heroes of Chytri. Welcome to my abode. Tell me, given the chance to leave now with your lives, would you take it?”

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