The party gathered together at the Sellspell – Zidar the Fine’s Magic Emporium, however, Cortez mouthed off in elvish about wanting to kill the Justicar – of course, Zidar understood and asked the party to leave. While Cortez went to an alchemist shop, the ladies – Raz, Akiara, Juniper and Delini, all went to wander the town. Griangi and Conrad went to the temple of Palenon and paid 250gp to cast a Sending to Draima. The message went through successfully and the response was a recommendation to return to Draima immediately.
Unfortunately for the party, apparently a group of 4 women – 2 human and two elf, and several of them well-armed – is enough to fill the locals with fear, especially when Juniper starts asking blunt questions about Justicars and sorcerers. Juniper, true to form, then challenged the fleeing locals – who fled to local guards, who then arrested the women and whisked them away to a dungeon under the keep.
After their individual tasks, Cortez, Griangi, Conrad and Elvira were all “collected” by Draiman guards, forced to surrender their weapons (and combat creatures) at the keep and marched across the courtyard into the Wizard’s tower. There, they met Kopf, Syndic of Fraviano, a balding, overweight man with two Consuls at his elbow and the Lord Mayor. Kopf did most of the talking and it became apparent he was quite afraid of the Justicar and the power he holds. He had sent two Golden Birds to Draima and had yet to hear back. Cortez offered to kill the Justicar and Kopf seemed only vaguely willing to entertain the idea, as long as it was not traced back to him, but also warned that the Justicar was a terribly powerful man and not to be crossed. The subject then turned when Conrad spoke of the destruction of Westfel. The Syndic practically panicked, insisting the party immediately go to Draima, without delay, despite half the party was unaccounted for. He seemed to be afraid that the whole of Draima and Fraviano were now exposed to the threat of the Broken Spear Plains now that the Thirios Bridge lay open. He also suggested that they could carry a message directly to Draima about the happenings in Fraviano.
Griangi, Conrad, Cortez and Elvira left the Syndic and decided that they weren’t going to leave the city without the rest of the party. They then proceeded to ask around if anyone had seen the ladies. They very promptly ran into one of the city guards who had arrested the ladies, and noted they were in the dungeon awaiting questioning by the Justicar. Cortez decided to confront Justicar Hefurn who was reportedly taking his dinner up in the Keep. Griangi suggested they just break the women out without facing the Justicar, but apparently Cortez’ blood was up and insisted on going to Justicar Hefurn, suggesting that Griangi should go use his badge to try and get the women released while the Justicar is being confronted.
Meanwhile in the prison, the ladies were subjected to terrible conditions – stone walls, iron bars, lack of drainage or plumbing, offal and rotting bits of flesh… The prison cells in their block each had people, in various states of abuse and trauma. Some raged, others whimpered, but all seemed to be suffering. Juniper decided she had enough and set about to escape with her hidden lockpicks and dagger.
Cortez, Conrad and Juniper burst in on the Justicar, dining with 3 of his Magistrates, two men and a woman. Some angry words were said, but it wasn’t long at all before Cortez leapt across the table, throwing the Justicar’s hot soup in his face, briefly blinding him. In the ensuing melee, it quickly became apparent the three of them, armed only with spiked gauntlets, and an angry druid were hardly a match for three Rogues with magical short swords and a fairly high level, angry Justicar. Cortez was surrounded and hacked at brutally, Elvira turned into a bear and immediately began fighting, laying into the remarkably dexterous female rogue. Conrad waded in as well, Holding one rogue and casting healing spells. It was only about six short rounds before Cortez, bloody and near dead, grabbed the Justicar and physically threw him out the window, down 5 stories to the courtyard below. One of the two rogues apparently decided what is good for the goose is good for the gander, tackled Cortez and took both of them out the window right behind the Justicar. Cortez crashed to the ground, battered and unconscious. Conrad, desperate to help his friend, leapt out the window as well, with a prayer on his lips and a glint of mayhem in his eye. He aimed his considerable bulk at the Justicar, and amazingly, crashed into him, knocking him to the ground again and doing a huge amount of damage to both himself and the Justicar.
Sadly, it was not enough.
Elvira transformed into an eagle in time to watch as Justicar Hefurn stood, gathered his sword, and ran it through Cortez, releasing his soul to the care of the gods. Conrad stood, and prepared to battle Justicar Hefurn, all the while yelling at Elvira to escape. Elvira cast Entangle, capturing the Rogue in the courtyard who had just quaffed a healing potion, but the Justicar escaped the grasping tendrils. He cast a healing spell on himself and ordered Conrad to surrender. A tense moment passed, and finally Elvira fled, and Conrad surrendered himself to their custody.
Inside the prison, Akiara was able to distract the guard with her screams of horror at the conditions of cells while Juniper unlocked her cell, crept up behind the guard and murdered him, splattering Akiara with his blood. The rest of the escape attempt released 10 other prisoners, and discovered a regime of horror and torture. Breaking out of the cell block and into the central guard room found Juniper using a scroll of Burning Hands and burning down two more guards. Akiara also started a smoky fire down the hall and when the outer door was opened, Akiara, Juniper, Raz and Delini found themselves face to face with Griangi and several shocked looking guards. “The place is on fire!” screamed Akiara, and the guards leapt to action – two running back down the corridor for help, while the other two pushed past the group to extinguish the flames.
Juniper led the group out of the keep and Elvira joined the companions, remaining in her eagle form. A tense and brief few moments passed while Griangi translated the Elvira-eagle’s statements that Cortez was dead and Conrad captured. As the sun set on Fraviano, we left the party debating their choices – escape the city across one of the bridges and spend the night among the farms and rural lands nearby, or seek refuge somewhere in the city, as Juniper mentioned she may be able to find assistance for the party with the Bloody Hand Cartel, a criminal organization found throughout the Draiman Combine. A vote was called and (correct me if I’m wrong) the results stood at:
Raz and Akiara: Leave the city. Spend the night in as safe a place as can be found. Determine what action to take about Conrad once rested.
Elvira and Juniper: Stay in the city. Make plans to rescue Conrad at the earliest convenience.
Delini was not given a vote, but she voiced her opinion anyway: move on immediately to Draima.
The party now looks at Griangi to make the final decision.