Episode 14 - Hello Bert
The Guardians of Golarion made their way to the docks, hoping to find a ship that was close to seaworthy. The only ship currently afloat was the Infernal Hunter, the Cheliax vessel that brought the Order of the Hunt to Riddleport. They bumped into the brothers Thexan and Arcaan, who had just recovered their personal items from the Infernal Hunter. They were heading to Magepoint so they could pay their respects to Fred, who had been buried there. Serena, the first mate of the Mighty Maiden, happened to be passing by with supplies for the ship. She told the Guardians that the Maiden had a hole punched in the hull, and the crew that had been repairing it stopped working about a week ago (at Clegg Zincher‘s request.) Arcaan confessed that he had a spell that he could memorize that would patch the hull, as long as the Maiden would take the Guardians to the Devil’s Elbow. After a brief negotiation, the terms were met. The Guardians picked up a few magic items and returned to the Gold Goblin. Hank was outside having a smoke and told the party that the creepy guy who posted the contract in the past is sitting inside. Bertox Xulous, a black-haired gnome with a chinstrap beard was sitting inside, looking amused as Kenoshi had a test of strength with a Large Humanoid Moose. Beyar and Ichol watched on, stunned. Bertox was aware that Lasdow was obsessed with Ardura. Bit of an age gap between them but he’d been obsessed with her for as long as Bert could remember. He had known Lasdow for a very long time, and not only admitted to being a member of the Twilight Empire, but that Lasdow sat on the Twilight Council. He mentioned the bounties. At first, Lasdow wanted Valarius captured so he could torture him. Bert wanted Sakali because he wanted to study his blood. Bertox knew about Algalon and the bloodline. Then, the bounty was just to keep the Guardians off-balance. This latest bounty was so that they would be incarcerated and Bertox would be able to talk to them without their weapons and such. More inclined to listen rather than stab. Also, to show that the Empire could reach them. They had so much gold, they could offer a bounty large enough to make dragons sit up and take notice. But circumstances had changed, and Lasdow’s focus was no longer on revenge. Bertox confessed that the Twilight Empire was not embracing Lasdow’s vision as far as Ardura went. Many felt it was a waste of resources to resurrect the drow once known as the Celestial Dragon. Lasdow was seen as a fool to many, but being a sitting member of the Council he was above reproach by most. He was seen as a fool, especially by Bertox. The gnome had been the one to present Lasdow with the ritual, and still, Lasdow managed to screw it up by using a half-elf sacrifice rather than a full elf. Bertox had been sent to deliver a message from Lasdow, which the gnome felt was far beneath him. He did as instructed, telling the Guardians of a vault or tomb that was on the island. It was old, apparently created back in the days when the Empress last walked Golarion. There was something in the vault that she needed – a crystal, from his understanding. Lasdow wanted them to retrieve the crystal. If they did, he would release Belidas unharmed. Also, the bounties would cease. Bertox suspected that she needed whatever was in the vault because she was not at her full strength. He suggested retrieving the crystal and using it as a bargaining chip before Lasdow got his hands on it. Lasdow’s arrogance and blind loyalty jeopardized the foundation of the Twilight Empire. While Bertox was curious to see what the Empress would do, given the opportunity, he was afraid his old friend had become lost in his obsession. He should count himself fortunate that Ardura’s husband was little more than dust. Shen’s Helmet – That was one of Lasdow’s artifacts. If the helmet was removed, things should revert back to the way they were. The boy should be himself again. Arcaan patched the Mighty Maiden and the ship took the Guardians to the Devil’s Elbow. Just offshore they found the wreckage of the Black Bunyip, the ship that belonged to Avery Slyeg, Riddleport’s most successful smuggler and black marketeer. A bright flash of light suddenly flashed at the peak of the island’s central tower, a sparkling blast of pyrotechnics that lasts for several seconds before expiring. Four men ran out onto the shore as the ship approached. Gravin Goldhammer and the other three were the only survivors from the thirteen that had been in the party mere days ago. They’d been attacked by monsters, fast and silent. The men that were bitten and killed came back from the dead and attacked the party. The flash of light was probably from the cyphermages that had gone to Witchlight. Gravin said it was probably a signal flare. He’d sent four men up that way but none returned. If the party was going that way, he’d reward them for every member of his party that they brought back alive. Once the dwarf’s party made their way to the ship, they froze in place. The rain also stopped. Rain droplets hung in mid-air. Shen hovered above them, telling the party to leave his island. They fought, brought him to his knees, and removed the helmet. Two large spikes in the front of the mask had gouged out his eyes. With the helmet off, the color started to return to Shen’s face and the young man started sobbing, calling himself a monster and begging for the group to kill him.
- Found a ride to the Devil's Elbow.
- Spoke with Bertox Xulous.
Character(s) interacted with
- The Twilight Empire was based on an ancient doomsday cult. Over time, the Empire turned its focus from ending the world to ruling it by working in the shadows, manipulating governments through spies and intimidation.