The heroes wended their way through the cramped, dank, pitch black tunnel, which descended beneath West Hill, on which the Reality Wrinkle was located, then up Silver Hill to the Alamarid Palace, where the tunnel became a stone spiral staircase hidden within the palace walls. It emerged behind a bookcase in Lord Tynaron’s study, now barren of books and most everything else. The only other exit from the study opened onto the large meeting hall where the Sarthel Council of Lords normally gathered. At the moment, despite the late hour, the hall was full of Duke Meitor’s soldiers, unarmored but still with swords strapped to their waists. While duty-bound to follow Meitor’s orders, they were still hotly debating whether to confront the hated Iron Circle. The duke, as had been the case for the previous few weeks, was away at the Temple of the Golden Flame, the local center of Pelor worship.
The soldiers and their one-eyed commander, Captain Revince, first viewed the interlopers with suspicion, but eventually agreed to help free the duke from the temple if evidence of his capture could be produced. Tirah suggested the captain check the dungeons below the Champions Arena for the dead “mind worms” they left there. However, entering the arena without permission would violate the law and, therefore, the soldiers’ oath to the duke. Cyress, having arrived with a handful of Black Knives to back up his friends, offered to send some of the Knives to do the breaking and entering dirty work and bring the worms to the captain. Unfortunately, they were unable to locate any remaining worms underneath the arena.
Captain Revince told the adventurers that some of his men would be near the Temple of the Golden Flame with concealed weapons, should anything happen to threaten the duke. Should they be able to show evidence of his mind control, Tirah, Cyress, and the others would have their support. Under the watchful eyes of Meitor’s soldiers, then, they snuck into the temple early in the morning.
It was immediately apparent that the temple had been compromised. The temple’s main doors were barricaded with wood, and the large column of sunlight, which one dominated the central chamber, had been replaced with a column of hellish green flame. Hell hounds lounged in the servant’s quarters. On the upper floor were Duke Meitor and Hierarch Nagal, entangled in her bed and controlled by soulrider devils, the “mind worms.” Not far away Lord Tynaron was having a conversation with the devil Malthagoras. The duke’s rescuers managed to extract the soulriders and get him and Nagal out of the bedroom window to relative safety before being discovered and confronted by the temple’s new head priest and his pet hell hounds. Once battle began, they were joined by Tynaron, Malthagoras, and a flying imp. Tynaron had alerted Duke Avrul to the intrusion and before long, his fellow tiefling appeared at the head of a phalanx of Iron Circle soldiers. Fortunately, Captain Revince and his hidden House Meitor guards had by this time realized that their liege was fighting against the tieflings and hurled themselves into the fray, throwing back the cloaks that concealed their longswords and eagle-crested breastplates and crying “for Duke Meitor!” House Meitor and the Iron Circle crashed into each other in front of the temple in a cacophony of clanging metal.
XP (Brandis, Cyress, Elkantar, Frug, Thistle, Tirah): 500
Next session: 10/06/2013