Sworday, 30 Brightsway 698
The heroes have a spacious but spartan area in the attic of the inn, some four stories above the ground. While unfinished, it is comfortable and food is brought up from the kitchens. Each person has their own bed, locker and small but private space.
Throughout much of this time, Thorn paces constantly but says little. He is obviously confused and seems angry, but refuses to talk. His conflict comes from the fact that with all the buildings and people he cannot sense the spirits. He is deeply troubled by the cruel slavery they encountered in the mine.
Shortly after settling in, Ophelia finds a mysterious message in her things. It invites her to a secret meeting late at night outside the cathedral of Corellon. She is to come alone, but to bring a small sample of the ore she helped liberate.
- When Ophelia arrives at the meeting site, a coach rolls up and the door opens. From inside the dark coach, her mentor beckons her to climb aboard. The coach takes off moments later.
- The mentor examines the ore and informs Ophelia that it is as he feared: bone iron. He explains that weapons formed of it have necromantic properties, or can cause necrotic damage. It can also be distilled into various poisons. These were the discoveries of the Subtle Prince.
- Two centuries ago, in the land of Qalia far to the south, there lived an assassin of such skill that he could infiltrate an armed camp of elite guards, pass through a secure cordon and murder not only the Caliph of that land, but all his retinue as well before leaving the camp as unnoticed as when he arrived. When he eventually died, his secrets were rumored to be buried with him.
- For the next stage of her training, Ophelia must discover the location of his tomb and recover what she can.
The next morning a small party arrives, requesting a meeting with the paladin Lux. In a draped-off booth, the leader reveals herself to be an exotic, dark-skinned woman with wealthy and colorful clothing. With her is a servant who bears a covered shield.
- The woman identifies herself as Lady Ashyra Shade-Blossom of Khal, and she has come with gifts and a commission. First, she uncovers the face of the heavy shield her man carries. On its face is painted three links of chain, the center one giving way. She presents it to Lux, naming him Chainbreaker for his valiant actions in freeing the slaves.
- She explains that her late husband, General Decius Gladium Sicerem, served the former Caliph of the city of Ahgram loyally for many years. Seven years ago they won a great battle against the Orc city of Martok, but the Caliph had been struck with a poisoned weapon. It was rumored that on his deathbed, the Caliph expressed his desire that his General rule Ahgram, rather than his cruel wastrel of a son.
- As the army returned to the city with the Caliph’s body in state, a party of guardsmen intercepted them and arrested General Decius for the murder of the old Caliph. He was captured and enslaved, and since then nothing was known of his fate.
- Lady Ashyra wishes to hire Lux to restore her husband’s good name by recovering something of his: his helmet or armor would be ideal. If she has proof of his death, she can petition to have their lands restored.
Later that afternoon a lay member of the Church of Corellon arrives and asks for an audience with Sister Cora. After making introductions, she presents the Priestess’ Seal, indicating that she is on official business. She requests Cora’s presence at the Cathedral at her earliest convenience, where she is to meet with the sacristan. She can say nothing more, other than to add that it is a matter of some urgency.
- The sacristan, Melina Loske, shows Cora to the sacristy. The door has been demolished, and the room beyond littered with a great deal of sand. She brings her to an ornate chest which has been crudely battered open, its contents missing. Sister Melina explains that an ancient book of holy poetry, Glade Whispers, had been secured there and is now missing. The reason this is troubling is that it contains as part of its text potent magical rituals.
- Sister Melina fears that the book has been stolen by a rival of the Cathedral, perhaps the temple to Corellon in the southern city of Khal in Qalia. She emphasizes the importance for discretion, but it is imperative that Glade Whispers be recovered.
The innkeepers have arranged for passage aboard the Sea Sprite, a Thestran barque, from the town of Blackport which lies two days south by road. But before they can leave the Citystate, the heroes must somehow be smuggled outside the city walls, as the manhunt for their capture is still ongoing.