Return of Hadrach

In the Cold Cold Night

27-Novui through 7-Grunni

“So now you’d better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.”
— Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song”

The Champions of Yerth remained in Chytri for a month after its liberation, recuperating and, in some cases, acclimating to new their new forms. It should also be noted that, during this period of rest, Rothgar, the party’s legendary bowman, decided it would make his life less complicated if he just went ahead and sold his soul to the forces of Hell in exchange for the “loyal service” of Mexis, an imp who had, until that moment, been harassing him. We’ll get to how that is working out for him later.

With Thrandir and Keets packed off to the Grand Duke of Tesra’s palace, our heroes prepare to journey north, in search of Etult’s Earth, a substance that will allow them to reunite the shards of Hadrach’s shattered Lodestone. The preparations for this arduous journey into the frozen reaches of Yerth’s upper latitudes are made much simpler by the arrival of Kalithrax, the watcher beneath Draima, who, responding to Shakaari’s request for assistance, offers to teleport the group to the region himself.

Kalithrax reveals himself to be in possession of the Journal of Doral, a Draiman wizard who once traveled the world in order to compile detailed descriptions of various signification locales for the purposes of creating a network of teleportation circles. Using this information, the “wizard” transports the heroes to the far north, depositing them in the famous Adamant Temple at the city of Kalach. Upon their arrival, they are greeted by the Speaker for the Brothers of Silence, who maintain the site. They speak briefly and are escorted out. Our heroes then encountered the Kalachian Royal Guard, who inform them they are to be dinner guests of the king. Our heroes discover that the meager cold weather clothing they brought with them is not adequate, and the guards order slaves to bring them blankets and cloaks.

The party is provided rooms to rest and freshen up in. A slave is provided to each of the guests, with varying reactions. Rothgar dispatches his infernal servant to loot the palace for magic items while Marigold and Jinora take baths; Shakaari refuses a bath on ethical grounds, but later relents. Griangi, stricken with “teleportation sickness”, passes out his bed for the evening. Kia and her friend Ezra are escorted out to play in the snow. Shakaari dispatches her new familiar, the pseudodragon called Robespierre, to investigate a shuttered Draiman tower. Jinora tries to go check on her steed, Dorian, but is informed that she cannot move about the palace without an escort. While she is out there, she encounters Prince Savilley, the site of her distracting him from his sparring. He invites her to spar with him, the results of which were inconclusive.

Finding that her room is equipped with a massive silver mirror, Shakaari decides, with Marigold backing her, to scry on Hadrach using the Horn, but all she is able to see is images of the damned being tortured in Hell. Frustrated by both this and the results of Robespierre’s reconnaissance, the young wizard decides to investigate the tower personally, teleporting Marigold and herself out into the cold courtyard before realizing that she was still clad in only a bathrobe. The two are immediately confronted by Jinora, Prince Savilley, and a cadre of Palace Guards, who order the women to return to their rooms; after a bit of protest, the ladies agree.

Mexis returns to Rothgar, bearing, not magic items, but a sack of very valuable jewels which it appears he pried off of the crown jewels. Rothgar immediately decides to frame the slaves, sending Mexis out to plant evidence. Upon the ladies’ return, Rothgar revealed his servant’s folly; his allies demand all the jewels be returned to the vault and Rothgar acquiesces — the imp, however, is unable to recover one of the jewels.

The party attends dinner with the King, His Majesty Gennady Kozlov. While the monarch is, at first, congenial and friendly, he quickly reveals that he is aware of the thefts, and demands the hand of the thief, his chief suspect being Shakaari due to her teleportation abilities. Rothgar maintains his innocence, and, finally, Jinora takes responsibility for the crime, and is immediately taken away to have her hand cut-off. When the cavalier and their host returns, the king declares that the party may stay in the city long enough to gather supplies for their journey, but once they have left, they may never return, upon penalty of death. Shakaari declares that should she ever set foot in this city again, it will be to burn the place to the ground. The King is unmoved by this display of wizardly bravado.

The party rents rooms at the Squinting Coin and prepares for their next move.

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