Suren and the human thug are taken away by Dakbu and his squad. Samara still doesn’t want to be the Guardian. She shows us the way to the power, Karaga and Galindan get stopped by Samara while traversing through Samara’s traps. Nox gets manages to fuck up fairly decently and gets pulled into some weird ass portal she can’t quite crawl out of on her own. After the dissapointing attempts of Lach’lann and Karaga, Iron Galindan snatches her robust figure out of there literally singlehandedly.
Karaga steps out of the palace to send some animal messengers. It’s a clear night with the moon out. She notices the entirely empty marketplace. She manages to send a pigeon to Elmo saying „You can’t run away forever. You know where to find us.“
After being joined by Lach’lann, she sends another messenger to Graknar and the orcs: „The one you seek is in Edryn. Seek us out there.“ When returning to the castle, they notice a heavily armoured dwarf in their vicinity. STAY TUNED
Kalmorr makes corrections to some letters, Galindan tries to figure out how to survive in these unsavoury circumstances and trods off to the kitchen to get some meat. Forgot what Nox did. Nashira talks to Samara but doesn’t glean too much important intel. SHe notifies the wizard of possible incoming orcs in the near future.
OUTISDE PLOT CONTINUES Meanwhile, the outside situation continues. His damaged armor is completed by a huge heavy hammer. He’s checking out the sky, the moon, the stars, and gets chatted up by Karaga and Lach’lann. They all spend some time pondering the beauty of the view and the meaning of life and why sunlight sensitivity isn’t an issue during the night. He reveals he’s Pholar, a paladin and a priest of Correlon charged with training the initiates in the Temple of Bahamut. He appreciates Lach’lann’s deity of choice and invities him to come to the Paladin Temple in the morning. Lach’lann remembers Marcus mentioned this particular dwarf on numerous occasions.
Karaga also manages to remember that Pholar was a defender in Faelin and part of the attack on Milvanos‘ Keep but missed the final attack on Faelin.
Galindan sleeps in the kitchen area after getting some meat and gets a ton of bacon after waking up.
Galindan dream: Only thing visible is water. Feels constricting, hard to catch a breath. Holding onto the rope on the ship, sounds of screaming from the crew members and Ricky going mental with fear. The large human captain is holding onto the ship’s wheel and sailing into the storm while laughing maniacally. Galindan rushes to the captain to stop him, and hears the captain whisper: „I will not stop ,even if it means we all die. But this storm will not be the end of us.“ Galindan grabs Ricky and jumps overboard into the water. As the wood elf’s cheeck is caressed, a female voice speaks: „THROUGH MADNESS AND DARKNESS LIGHT AND SERENITY WILL FIND ITS WAY. YOUR TIME HAS NOT YET COME.“
Karaga is late for breakfast and upon showing up visibly tired, she curiously touches Nashira’s hand and thanks her for the night, then thanks Nox for the morning. Lach’lann also shows up late smelling of lavender.
Saladin joins us for the breakfast having learned of the Power from Samara. Thanks to Galindan’s exquisite questions, we learn that:
1. the Guardian Power can only appear after a Guardian is killed.
2. Guardian wannabes must be deemed worthy by the power (or potentially by the spirit of the former guardian), by another guardian or prove their worth by succeeding in a trial in order to able to take up the power.
3. Each power has their own aspect, and does not adapt to wielder. This also means that non compatible wannabes cannot acquire the power.
4. This particular power’s aspect is undetermined, but seems to have s strong arcane bend.
We also talk to Saladin about setting up defenses for the attack and discuss what to do: moving people to the temple of Bahamut, defending the tunnels, creating a fake signal of the power far away from the actual location, and decide to leave many of the responsibilites to the city guard while the party splits up.
Lach’lann goes to meet Pholar at the former Temple of Corellon, now the Temple of the Raven Queen to see the master paladin throwing out the “priests” and cursing them for their blasphemy. Lach’lann’s heart sings! Questioning acolytes are silenced by Pholar and Lach’lann and together they go to the Temple of Bahamut. Pholar offers him some wine and they get to talking. Lach’lann reveals to Pholar that Tychusar’s attack on Edryn is imminent. Pholar is surprised and they talk about the curse and how all paladins that attacked Milvanos’ Keep got cursed and died a horrible death, except for Pholar who also was there (I KNOW, RIGHT?). Lach’Lann asks Pholar if we can use the temple as a gathering place for citizens to defend them during the attack. Pholar agrees as he realizes the defensive strength of the structure. Lach’lann tries to find a priest of Corellon to bless his glaive, but Pholar tells him there’s no Corellon worshippers beside the 2 of them. Lach’lann’s like, they all dumb, but Pholar says they’re misguided and that Lach’lann needs to know people before judging them. He then takes Lach’lann to his own creation: an altar to Corellon inside the Bahamut temple. After spending some time in meditation, a young 17 yo girl in scale armor named Faith shows up to bring some disturbing news to Master Pholar – news of the attack. After a lot of thought, Lach’lann surmises that Pholar is an Oath of the Ancients Paladin. He also explains to the girl the path of paladins, and the difference in approaches different paladins take. And that it is important to think about what approach you want to take as it is binding and it’s a literal oath. So she needs to find out what her purpose is and choose her path accordingly and follow it, but also to realise she can feel free to ally with people of differing schools of thought or some that are not even paladins at all. Faith feels overwhelmed and is eager to learn more from Lach’lann. Pholar gathers the trainees to prepare them for battle. He asks Lach’lann what to do. Lach’lann says that they need to use the temple to protect the citizens and Pholar sends out the initiates out to gather people and asks Lach’lann for help in this. Some of the people they try to get into the temple offer to donate money to get separate rooms or better place while in the temple. He gives them a speech about how the temple is not a place of trade and how they will simply be in the temple with everyone else and no amount of money can change that. If they choose to stay in their homes then they are welcome to it. Faith takes some more notes. He tries to leverage any nobles he meets to provide their own guards to aid in the fight, but they all ask for a special room in the temple for themselves if they do what he wants. He can get 12 noble families providing 180 of their guards in a special noble room, but due to their spacial requirements this would leave about 500 people that could use that space without shelter. He decides to go with this plan as the guard reinforcements increase the chance of defending the city, whereas simply being able to shelter more people might mean their death anyways if the defenses do not hold up. Pholar agrees with his plan and wants to discuss something with him after dinner. Pholar takes Lach’lann away from the temple district near the city gates. He says that tomorrow might be a glorious story of heroism or of a horrible death. He appreciates Lach’lann’s help during the day and recognizes the hard decisions he had to make. Then he asks Lach’lann what he knows about Necrofire. Apparently it’s a power used to raise the bodies of the dead to burn the flesh of the living. It was found by Milvanos and used by his org. Through the years, Marcus and Pholar had been working on how to counter the power and he teaches Lach’lann a new move. V, S components and it uses some of the user’s life force. The verbal component is “Deluminate” and can be used as a reaction. This thing can be used to counter a spell using Necrofire. Furthermore, he teaches Lach’lann about letting people in that he may not agree with and to not write off people that disappoint him but guide them on the right path. He also asks Lach’lann to take Faith with him during the battle to teach her shit.
Before going to Galleo, Kalmorr talks to Nashira about the bounty on Benji’s head. He tells her there’s no other bounty on Nash or Kurrak. He also informs her that he will come clean if needed and blame Bannon, which might be problematic as Kalmorr has some of his things.
Kalmorr (disguised), Galindan and Nox (disguised as Mildred the Fixer) talk to Ricardo about the crate moving job. They learn Galleo has decided to keep them in the city for now due to all the trouble that has happened in the city as well as not having a group from the city escorting the crates. Ricardo informs them they need to gather more people, get through background checks and join some of their own men in the warehouse before heading out. They ask for the location of the warehouse and are now planning on sneaking in there.
Galindan doffs the armor before being intercepted by a patron from the Sneezy Elephant remembering Galindan’s pigeon burning incident. As they come closer the party meets a red robed young human named Tobias ordering people around and telling them where to move crates and all that. Kalmorr introduces himself as Minzin Tenzor and asks for a job, which doesn’t work so he mentiones the specific job we came here for. We learn their trade caravans have been interrupted by numerous attacks from a large pack of wolves and the US party. They agree to work for the org for 5g/day.
They carry some crates into the warehouse where they notice a huge amount of cannons, cannonballs and black powder. Looking around, they see about 8 guards and another 20 workers in the warehouse. They concoct a plan of knocking out Tobias and Kalmorr disguising as him, but Tobias has left by the time they decide so Kalmorr just turns into Tobias anyways. He orders all the workers to start bringing all the shit into the castle as apparently our gracious lord has bought it all from Galleo.
So the crates get moved to the castle, but the first cargo arriving is a bunch of gnome-sized bath robes and lingerie, jewelry, ointments and gods know what else. Saladin, upon seeing this and talking to Kalmorr, he scathes him for stealing the cargo and to ask for approval from Galleo first as he’s still a citizen of the city and can now sue us. Kalmorr sends the workers back and tells them to only bring the weapons into the palace.
While this is going on, Tobias shows up to cause trouble. He tries to interrogate Kalmorr disguised as him, but cannot manage to persuade the con man or the nearby warehouse workers. So he decides to run back to Galleo to let him know of this. Unfortunately for him, Nox manages to charm him and drag him through the streets of Edryn. Due to 7 random gnomes and Galindan following her, she could not comfortably dispose of Tobias. As this troupe walks around the city, they pass by Martha and Harold’s house. Martha, of course, instantly recognizes Nox as the person that keeps charming her, but cannot do much about it before getting charmed again. Nox, Tobias, Galindan and the 7 gnomes enter the old couple’s house and have a pleasant tea party. The 2 wood elves leave the house with Tobias, knock him out and carry his body into the tunnels and leave him in Dakbu’s custody.
Karaga and Nashira found their way into the tunnels to meet Dakbu and Suren. They see Dakbu making plans over the map of the city tunnels. He’s surprised to see the pair again. Karaga checks on Suren, he is alive but seems a bit stressed out. They talk to Dakbu about what to do. They learn Monach is a sellsword currently working for Tychusar, problem is when he left Corvus Corone he took 80% of the force with him and is currently hiring more in Menethar. They inform Dakbu about Graknar and his merry band and ask him to send a scout to meet the orcs if they do come and get them into the city, but Dakbu can’t spare the people. He also shows them all the tunnels under the city and which they plan on blocking. Karaga asks Dakbu if he understands what’s going on in the tunnels, he heard it’s a monster, or a lair of an old mage, but he hasn’t seen anything himself. She also asks Suren where the weapons are, and he says it’s in Galleo’s warehouse. He planned to move them south, where he’s setting up an expedition to get something from the southern seas, and he’s building a ship for it. But FWIW Galleo doesn’t work for Tychusar or Monach, he only works for himself and is hard to get him to be an ally to anyone but his wallet. Nashira asks where Suren would go had he succeeded in the recon mission. He says between the icy plateau and Edryn and would report to a wyvern wizard named Ruhin who oversaw this thing. Suren also knows the camp had only one wyvern wizard in Ruhin, and about 60 fighters such as goblins, drow, ex-crows, mercenaries and such. The tieflings go to the city gates to see quite a commotion as Graknar and his merry band show up. The citizens and guards are scared and do not want to allow the orcs into the city as our tiefling pair are vouching for them rather unsuccessfully. Nashira then manages to telepathically convince Graknar to back off from the city as she plans on bringing them inn through one of the tunnels. The orcs were ready for a fight so do not quite agree with the decision, until Graknar silences them and they all follow Nashira. Graknar talks to Karaga about the respect she has gained in their community and to not fuck it up. They meet with Dakbu who quickly inspect the situation and tells the orcs that Karaga’s the chieftain and he’s part of her clan.