The party’s not-so-triumphant return from Belnesse found them back in the city of Chytri. After the visit from Kalithrax, it was generally agreed upon the group would go to Stygia, to find and collect the Soul-gems of Tresa the Fury.
However, the party then discovered that Von Crosia’s palace had been strangely closed to them and their possessions safely stored at one of the finest inns in town. Concerned about the implications and the rumors that a high-ranking dignitary will be visiting, they tried to force a meeting with VonCrosia. Unfortunately the outer gates remained closed while various functionaries came to speak with them. Finally, one of VonCrosia’s lead advisors came to the outer gate and spoke with the party. He said that VonCrosia was terribly busy and would not be able to see any of them for at least a week, but he’d be happy to schedule an audience. Several different angles were used, everything from announcing them as foreign dignitaries (which would take at least a month for VonCrosia to prepare) to voicing concern about his safety, well being, or even possible possession (Would a trusted representative like High Priest Stephanos satisfy them?). The party remained frustrated and unsatisfied, and even considered invading the palace directly to speak with VonCrosia.
Meanwhile, Midori used her stealth to sneak into the palace, to discover the truth. After successfully sneaking through most of the palace, she accidentally bumped into a guard – this led to a harrowing race through the palace, to get to VonCrosia before he was locked away while the palace guard was searched for invisible intruders. She made it into his office to find him penning a letter to Hadrach the Ever-King. According to the letter, VonCrosia is deep in the process of preparing for a visit from the Ever-King for peace talks. In addition, part of the letter confirmed they are working to make sure Griangi’s companions are excluded. Apparently to ensure violence doesn’t erupt. Midori then successfully escaped and reported back to the group.
As the group discussed their options regarding their next move, two things happened:
- A ship flying a dwarven military flag arrived in port and Mason, shocked, says it’s his wife’s unit.
- A massive Djinni appeared in front of Mason, a golden glowing halo around his head. The Djinni announced himself as Aura, Djinni King. He demanded that Mason choose to marry his daughter. He has 3 days to agree or “Suffer the wrath of the Djinn nation of Ventis!” He then vanished in a clap of thunder and bolt of lightning. Many local eyewitnesses assumed that it was a demon, and rumors spread that Griangi, Mason or Kia scared the demon away. The rest of the evening was spent by the group drowning their frustrations at the Blue Dancer, trying to decide their course of action.
The next day, the party gathered to discuss their next steps and as they did so, the skies darkened, thunder rumbled, forming a voice heard throughout the city… “TWO DAYS”. Many citizens were terrified. The party, leaving Mason to make his decision, formed a plan to spread the information that Hadrach is coming, invited by VonCrosia. They planned to gather as many as they can that are loyal to Griangi and his Companions, and head out of the city, take over a hidden base where the party had previously defeated hobgoblins and trolls. An estimated 5300 souls can be expected to go, of those, roughly half could be considered at least competent with a weapon. This number represents about a third of the population of Chytri. The message passed around was:
VonCrosia is making a deal with Hadrach the Ever-king, the lord who allowed his servants to subjugate, butcher, devour, imprison, and torture the people of Chytri. Lord Griangi, Lady Akiara, and Sir Mason and company are offering any persons who wish to join under them, the protection and citizenship in their new nation.
The party spread the message throughout the town, via Midori’s street urchins, Kia’s congregation, Edire, the mayor of Chytri, Captain Farinost, and other allies and followers. They have a meeting with High Priest Stephanos, and Tavirend the Merry happened to show up with his Crossroads Legion. Tavirend hinted that he has been hired by VonCrosia and intimated he could be hired away for a better price.