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Episode Fifty-eight - Lost Heir

General Summary

The group headed down into the tunnels and down a vertical decent, afterward they climbed a wall and tied off a rope to ease the difficult 40 foot jaunt. Arion took back his rope at the top and the group spent the better part of a half an hour exploring a room they found. They saw a stone with chains upon it that would allow someone to be cuffed in. Atop it read: for the treasure within you must sacrifice one of your own. There was a small hole in the wall fit for a longsword and Varis had Thorum place his longsword into it and four magic portals appeared as well as six-sided bone dice upon the floor. A box also appeared, it had a button upon it and it read: treasure awaits if you don't die. Success is the opposite of the eye. Many will come but only leave bone. The message is clear if you want to roll home. But do not press your luck or be left alone. At that point the group, given Arion's protest for puzzles, decided to move on and made their way to a portcullis behind which they saw wererats.   Arion opened the gate, relying on his might over his mind as he often did, and cut the upper face off the first wererat as the rest of the group charged in. Varis's contraption flamed one of the beasts as Calaeriel breathed fire on the next. Aldrich slammed Giant Slayer into one wererat's knee before crashing its head into the axe planted there. Varis then froze the top of one wererat as his mechanical owl got in another's face and fluttered about. Calaeriel then stepped over the dead body before her and burned that rat to death with her flaming breath as their leader pulled a lever and a roaring could be heard overhead. The leader charged Arion confidently and Arion chopped parts from him skillfully off as Calaeriel burned yet another rat to death.   The thunderous groan grew louder and abruptly, dark water gushed from the pipe overhead and flooded the lair. The water plucked each body in the room up and sent them hurtling along through the sewers. The water carried the bodies into a set of natural tunnels, where they drained away into a large crevasse. Detritus from the wererat's lair scattered around, along with goods that looked to have been carried from elsewhere in the sewers. After a bruising journey through the sewer tunnels, the heroes came to a rest in a new complex. As the water around them disappeared, a couple of everburning braziers on the floor shuttered back to life. A sputtering wererat then rose up and regarded the heroes warily but did not flee or attack.   Numid, he had called himself, told them that the Lost Heir had warned of their arrival and they figured out with him that the Rats had been told a lie. The Dead Rats had been told that the heroes had attacked their gang unprovoked in a shop, painting the heroes as merciless villains. He then told them about nix, their guard leader and went on to talk about the Kraken Tunnels all around them. Numid informed them that the tunnels did not contain a kraken, nor did he believe in such things before one appeared.   A slight disturbance in the water was their only warning before thick black tentacles burst from the murky surface and tried to ensnare each of them. Aided by Numid, the party gave a valiant fight and lost Calaeriel as a tentacle wrapped around her and dashed her into mist. The kraken withdrew its tentacles and vanished beneath the murky water immediately as boots could be heard charging down a hallway further on. A large group of warriors approached in formation and a grim-faced man of about thirty winters stepped forward to face those before him. He had a scar across his face and looked very tired as Arion checked on approached to speak after a moment to assess.   "I am Arlon Bladeshaper, leader of the Sons of Alagondar. You did well with the kraken. You must be the heroes we’ve heard about, the ones who helped the Heir take down the dragon."   Arion informed firmly, "he helped us, he showed up at he last minute."   "Well, please come with me. You look as if you could use some rest and we have important matters to discuss."   They were taken through a complex network of tunnels until eventually the Champions of Destiny and their companions arrived at one of the rebel hideouts. The hideout contained weapons, armor, and other supplies. A couple dozen rebels were present when they arrived. Some of the rebels watched with curiosity, while others frowned. The characters were taken to a small room containing cots for sleeping. Arlon offered them food and drink, as well as some rags to clean off the filth of the sewers before Arlon excused himself temporarily. Varis took a few hours to prestidigitate and clean the party as well as heal Thorum's wounds.   As evening encroached by their guess, the door opened to admit Arlon Bladeshaper. "As I mentioned, my name is Arlon Bladeshaper and I’m the leader of the Sons of Alagondar. I suspect we both have questions for one another.”   After a few minor questions Arlon got to the heart of the matter, "My sources tell me that you’re searching for the Heir. A few days ago, I might have had you killed, fearing that you might be assassins. Now, things have changed, and I want to help you find him."   "At first, the Heir showed definite promise in the push against Neverember but his methods have grown increasingly dangerous. I became troubled when the Heir began inciting the rebels to attack the Enclave. The time might come when we must face Lord Neverember, but that time has not yet come. I have no desire to see the city’s innocents suffer as a result of our rash actions. Recently, the Heir has been advocating violent insurrection in the streets. I truly fear that the Heir’s position is untenable. As the heroes who defeated the dragon for the Heir, I believe you are the only ones who have a chance to talk some sense into him. I know I have no right to ask any favor of you but know that I seek only to serve the interests of Neverwinter. Will you do this? Will you try to convince the Heir to stop this madness before Never winter descends into all-out civil war?"   There was a moral debate and an agreement to try and work with Neverwinter to stop the city's many problems before a war but it was eventually agreed that the party would have an audience with the Heir the next morning. The Lost Heir had asked the Sons to support him in an assault on the Protector’s Enclave and they did not intend to help him. Arlon admitted that without the aid of the Sons he feared that the Lost Heir would jeopardize his life, as well as the lives of others. Arlon then bid the party rest there for the night and come the morning, his guards would take them to the meeting place, where perhaps they could talk some sense in to the Lost Heir.   Arlon then took some questions, as he knew the group would have many. Arlon told them that he had met with the Lost Heir many times but never seen the man’s face. The Heir had made contact with the rebels a half-tenday prior and the Sons of Alagondar were swayed by his charisma and obvious claim on the throne. Recently, however, the Heir had become paranoid and erratic, advocating increasing violence and giving fewer audiences with his allies.   He told them, as they asked, that another, smaller contingent of rebels were the Greycloaks: a group of older Neverwinter loyalists who used more peaceable means. he told the party that they sought to infiltrate Lord Neverember’s staff and take over his infrastructure. He admitted that the groups disagree about how to liberate Neverwinter before Arlon took his leave but just then Calaeriel arrived.   Calaeriel had awoken in a wooden casket on a stone tablet. As Calaeriel opened the casket and sat up, Liset was there to offer her some information. Liset told Calaeriel that she wanted to leave that coffin, which she had put a door on and was below Calaeriel and filled with dirt at her death, under her protection to ensure Calaeriel's continued survival. She then offered Calaeriel six boxes of dirt that had been above her burial location and told Calaeriel her motivations. In essence, she told Calaeriel that she wanted to be the city's vampire to stop all others from taking over and there by be able to end the city's lycanthropic threat. She told her that the majority of her powers were being used to stop her corruption and that she wanted thralls to handle the city's problems.   Desperate to get back and rescue her friends, Calaeriel started their tenuous relationship and set out as Liset called after her, "now go darling and remember your teeth are showing!"   Calaeriel had made her way through the city as a bat and through the tunnels as mist before she met with her friends once more. Resting with them through the night, they were delivered to an eerie morning behind blindfolds. Fog rolled through the morning streets of Blacklake, carrying a palpable sense of dread. They'd come to the meeting spot, as Arlon instructed, yet there was no sign of the Heir. The rebel guards seemed on edge and they tried to leave but gave a start as an armored figure emerged on one of the rooftops nearby. His form was illuminated by a glowing mithral crown, the Lost Crown of Neverwinter.   "Fools and traitors, all of you," he declared, voice cracking with madness. "I had thought you might aid in my glorious ascension but now I see you’re all nothing more than Hounds of the Usurper. You will suffer for your treachery!"   The Heir tore off his gauntlet and vambrace and revealed a spellscar burning blue. He raised that arm toward the pair of rebels behind the party and incinerated them in blue fire. "Come my pets. Destroy them!" he called, as plague changed humanoids burst from the buildings around the heroes. Then, he turned and leaped off of the building and out of sight as Varis's owl followed above.   Arion ran in first and cut one monster down as he commanded Tokin to call lightening. Several of the Plaguechanged popped as Calaeriel killed the last one of them. As the last of the plague changed creature fell, the heroes realized that the Lost Heir had left a trail of azure flames in his wake. The path headed toward the Protector’s Enclave. Cries of terror and agony filled the air in the Heir’s wake. In that moment, all become clear: to save Neverwinter they had to stop the Lost Heir.   They followed the trail of azure fire, which cut a swath of chaos across Neverwinter. As they pursued the Heir, they saw that his magic had forcibly warped the surrounding people and animals into horrific Plaguechanged creatures. The Heir seemed to be doing it unconsciously, Varis informed, as the heir ran through the streets, pressing toward his goal: likely the Hall of Justice, where Lord Neverember was. The trail of azure fire leaded them then to the Winged Wyvern bridge, where they'd crossed into the Blacklake District. Beyond it they saw a horrific gelatinous creature oozing with blue slime. Inside it were the vague outlines of two humanoid forms and beside the creature was a dog that appeared to have also been warped by the Heir’s magic. The two Plaguechanged monsters fed on the body of a Mintarn mercenary as the heroes arrived but then they turn their attention toward the group.   As Varis and then Calaeriel fired off their magic, rolling the hound across the ground, Mintarn mercenaries charged in to the fray. Running behind the scene, blue flames sprouted across the Protector’s Enclave on the other side of the river as a form ran down the streets, blazing with blue fire. Plaguechanged swarmed around him, engaged in battle with Mintarn mercenaries. The Heir looked to be heading toward the Wall instead, where they group had previously stopped bandits from opening the gate.   Chaos filled the square outside the Neverwinter Wall. Groups of Plaguechanged poured through the gate, which had been opened just enough to let those from beyond the wall squeeze in. Other Plaguechanged pounded on the doors of nearby houses, apparently trying to reach the Neverwinter citizens inside. The bodies of several guards were sprawled on the street, their weapons slick with blood. There’s no sign of the Heir but his cohorts, upon seeing the heroes, turned to attack.   Calaeriel ran in and Thunderstepped up to the wall devastating the horde before her group cut back the horde long enough for Tokin to breath fire. Calaeriel cranked the gate shut on some of the monsters as the team finished off the rest of the horde. Varis had been bitten on left shoulder and was nursing it as townsfolk emerged from one of the nearby buildings.   "Thank the gods you came along. That spellscarred woman wearing the crown came charging through here and opened the gate. She changed some of the guards into those horrible creatures. The others died protecting us."   It was then that the grim general Sabine jogged up, accompanied by half a dozen Mintarn mercenaries. She spotted the group and hurried over. "The whole city has gone mad," she said. "We suspected the Heir was delusional, but we never expected this."   She paused and looks around at the bodies of Plaguechanged strewn about. "We’re already indebted to you, but I beg your assistance a little longer. That trail there, the one of blue flames, my reports tell me that leads to the Heir. Can you follow it and deal with this false Heir? I don’t have the soldiers to deal with him and keep protecting the city’s citizens..."   "No offense General but we're already on it, we gotta' go." Arion interrupted hurriedly.   "They're already on it," she started with a chuckle, "thank the gods for that group."   The heroes entered the square where they first met the Lost Heir. She stood before the statue of the great white dragon they'd fought on that fateful day. A crowd of Neverwinter citizens had gathered and were staring at the sight in the square’s center. The Heir and the dragon statue were enclosed in a dome of azure fire. Up close, the party recognized the Heir. It was Seldra, Dagult's own spy. She had removed her helmet and was wearing the Crown of Neverwinter upon her head. The crown gleamed brightly, its blue light mingled with inky shadows. She breathed heavily, as though she could barely keep her feet. Her spellscar glowed fiercely and her eyes blazed with blue fire. She paid no attention to the heroes and seemed instead intent on the statue.   They assaulted the dome and finally the barrier of fire and force protecting Seldra began to waver. Her work done, she turned her attention to Arion. "You’re such fools," she insulted, her voice teetering on madness. "I tried to help you, to make you see, but no. You lack the vision, just like those rebel dogs."   Behind Seldra, the dragon statue had begun to stir. Slowly, stone was flaking away as the enchantment binding it weakened. It looked as though they had only minutes before the beast was free.   "If this is what must be done to save Neverwinter," Seldrea swore, "then so be it."   As Arion hit the barrier a final time, Seldra’s spellscar ignited in blue flames and her eyes blazed fiercely. She cast out a hand, convalesced the remaining portions of dome down, and conjured it into several small humanoids composed entirely of blue flame.   "I won’t be stopped. I will save Neverwinter!" she cried.   The battle with the blue flame creatures was fierce and the heroes quickly came to fear the fire as it tore into them. The citizens finally ran away when Seldra shouted in pain as Varis heated her armor metal but she absorbed one of the creatures and was emboldened once more. The battle seemed to find no end when Aldrich was engulfed in flame and fell in pain but hope then came. Arion charged Seldra and hit her hard with four massive strikes that gave tremendous cracks as they impacted her armor. The four blows destroyed the back of her armor and she fell to her knees as Thorum rose from the fountain in the center of the square, beside Calaeriel, and threw a handaxe. The handle of the axe struck Seldra in the back once more and sent her violently to the ground.   Seldra finally collapsed on the ground, sending the smoldering crown rolling from her head. The blue flame around her spellscar subsided and her eyes returned to normal. Bruised and bloody, she looked up at Tokin ahead and then around at the burning buildings of the Protector’s Enclave.   "My gods, what have I done?" she plead.   She struggled up to her knees, helpless on the ground as Arion ran to wake Aldrich who'd passed out under his immense pain. Varis's owl then came to heal Aldrich as the group, aside from Tokin and Thorum, begged Calaeriel not to touch the crown on the ground. As she made several attempts, Varis snatched it up with the Mage Hand spell and held the Crown of Neverwinter in that ethereal shimmering hand of force as a silence fell upon the square.

Rewards Granted

8367xp

Missions/Quests Completed

Sidequest Forever War in Neverwinter Continued, Subquest Lost Heir Continued, Encounter Dead Rat Hole Completed, Encounter Grasp of the Kraken Completed, Encounter Hounds of the Usurper Completed

Notes

Notable Party Damage:

  • Aldrich has a scrape on the right arm of his armor from a javelin. He has claw marks across the left breast of his armor from a manticore. He has a horrible burn scar on the left side of his neck in front of the ear from a azure fire elemental summoned by Seldra Tylmarande.
    Noted Effects: Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
  • Arion came from Arda with a scar that won't seem to heal. He has several faint scuffs on his shield from the tail of a horned devil. He also has a small hole from from an arrow on his forward facing, left pauldron. He has three puncture marks on his right bracer from the teeth of a drake.
    Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Head). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
  • Calaeriel's clothes are tattered from a near complete bite from a manticore, it has holes for several teeth but has all three rows of tear, on her left side just at her lower ribcage.
    Noted Effects: None
  • Varis has a bite mark from a warped Plaguechanged monster on his left shoulder.
    Noted Effects: None
Report Date
25 Nov 2020
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