Rise and Fall of Arela

Session 21 Recap

First Time for Everything

Quint Strain’s elf “consultant” Eredris came to the pier to investigate the crate containing Aramil’s corpse.

He apparently tries to teleport onto boat, but misses. He asks for crate to be removed from the extradimensional space, then asks to have it moved off the boat. After performing some ritual and donning a pair of spectacles, he shows a path the crate took.

The group get Polycarp and Eredris to follow the trail invisibly. It winds around the city, jumping off and onto the different causeways until finally wending behind the Temple of Alion and its cemetery. The path leads to a large monument on a slab before disappearing underneath it. Polycarp tells Eredris that the trail ends here and to be free to return to his boss with the news, who promptly takes the offer and teleports away. Polycarp then sets up to have a stakeout, without results.

Polycarp returned to the ship, informing Vyktor about his discovery and waking up Artas Menethar to tell him he found nothing. After that he had a conversation with the dragon, learning that water elementals have been trying to drown people and had tried to drown him.

The next day was the day of the announcement. The party decided to split up to approach the event separately to avoid detection. Polycarp and Drael made their way to the bank as part of their plan. They saw the lackluster guard put in place as part of Quint’s plan and began making their way to the roof. On the fourth floor Polycarp noticed a wet spot on the floor, which further investigation revealed to be blood. Picking the lock revealed a storage closet containing a stripped body. They locked the door again, and sent an arrow to the members on the balcony.

Meanwhile, Ignomine and Vyktor met at the base of the Merchant’s Guild tower, heavily fortified with their own security and Shivar Guard. They met Alexandra, who despite her unpretentious appearance was clearly commanding respect from those around. Alexandra instructed Ignomine to stand on Snugga’s, leader of the Skullcrushers, left impersonating her Third. Vyktor was to be standing near Quint, appearing as one of his magical advisors. Ignomine provided Quint one of his bracelets as a means of providing healing, to which Quint acquiesced with a roll of his eyes. Snugga, meanwhile, yanked Ignomine to the side and made it clear that he was to do exactly what she said while he was supposed to be in her employ.

Polycarp, seeing his party mates, launched an arrow with a letter to the balcony. Unfortunately, he didn’t consider that there might be protections around the balcony, which was apparently the case; the arrow stopped in midair and shattered. A few glares from the guards nearby and Drael realized he could send a silent image informing them of their discovery.

Quint Strain stepped forward with the Jezebel impersonator to the cheers of the packed crowd. He began the announcement by making a nod towards the anticipation built up around his and Jezebel’s pending nuptials. The crowd roared its approval. “I am sorry I will have to disappoint you.” A hush fell over the crowd. “…Because I asked Templemaster ”/wikis/Farn/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Farn to marry us last night."

There was a moment of silence, and then the cheers erupted throughout the packed square. After a few moments Quint motioned for the crowd to quiet, which they finally did to a dull roar. “But that’s not the biggest announcement I had to make today. Some of you guess that my marriage to Jezebel might mean the re-establishment of a form of nobility for ”/wikis/shivar" class=“wiki-page-link”>Shivar.

This, however, is not necessary to establish my family’s nobility. Allow me to explain: As many of you know, I and my late wife survived the 30 year war and had my beloved daughter, Alexandra.

“What many of you do not know is that my wife, ”/wikis/Alyssa/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Alyssa, was a member of the McGovern family. Clearly she survived the night of blood all those years ago." There were gasps throughout the crowd as the swifter among them realized the implications of this information. “As you may realize, this means that Alexandra is already of Shivaran noble birth, and that I am by marriage.” The stupefied crowd were suddenly shaken into rapturous cheers, at least until Quint spoke again.

“But all of this means nothing without proof.” Templemaster Farn then stepped forward and spoke in his deep sonorous voice. “When Strain and Jezebel came to me to marry them last night, I at first refused. It was only when Strain presented this that I agreed to his request.” At this, Templemaster Farn then presented a dagger with a large green gem. “This is the sigil blade of the High Lord of Shivar. It will only glow for the blood of the noble family.” He gestured to Alexandra to approach and take the blade. As it passed into her grasp, the gem in the hilt lit up with a brilliant emerald light. As its light shone over the square, cheers and applause erupted with thunderous force.

“With this knowledge, I am pleased to announce High Lord Quint Strain.” He turned to the rest of the Templemasters, who all stepped forward in turn to recognize the new High Lord.

As soon as this bombshell was completed, the assassins began their attack. On the bank roof, one of the guards drew his bow and aimed at the balcony. Polycarp immediately drew his bow on him, but hesitated just long enough for him to get off his shot. On the balcony itself, Shugga’s second tensed up and started to move. Vyktor immediately sprang into action, but unsure of the orc’s motives launched a Grease spell to drop him to the floor. Down in the crowd, Artas detected a cloaked figure pushing his way through the crowd. As he pursued, the cloaked figure began pushing his way through the crowd. Unable to catch up, Artas roared a challenge and clearing the crowd between him and the suspect.

The shot from the guard snapped through the air, but instead of crashing into the barrier the shield of force split and fell with a shimmer. The arrow struck true, embedding itself into the new High Lord’s neck. At the same time, the glamer around the Jezebel impersonator fell, the miscellaneous wards and auras collapsed, and any spells prepared and cast refused to function. Quint collapsed in a pool of his own blood. Ignomine desperately asked Snugga if he could help, then leapt forward to Lay on Hands, staunching the bleeding. Vyktor meanwhile identified the arrow as having delivered an Antimagic Field – unfortunately now attached to Quint’s flesh.

Polycarp unloaded on the guard, now revealed to be the assassin. Five arrows pierced the figure in a blur of rapid shooting, and the disguised figure dashed off the side of the bank’s balcony. Artas tried to grab the fleeing character, but he managed to slip out of his grasp just as the other figure landed in front of him. “This is NOT how you said this would go!” he hissed. In response, the fake guard launched himself into the air. Drael meanwhile summoned a swarm of lantern archons to pursue the fleeing assassin.

Ignomine did what he could to heal Quint’s wounds, but was blindsided by the Second bull-rushing him off the balcony. Vyktor, shocked, urged Quint to move back into the building and dashed to the far corner of the balcony, away from the field emanating from him. He then launched a spell that summoned a field of black tentacles, grappling him in place.

The assassin that Artas was pursuing, seeing his immediate future, drew a potion. Artas tried to strike him down but he managed to down the potion, and disappeared. Thinking quickly, Artas menaced the invisible assassin, calling him out for his cowardice. The assassin, compelled by the taunt, tried to sneak attack Artas before he realized that it would purge his invisibility, negating his escape. Seeing no other option, he surrendered.

The sniper, pursued by the archons, began to zigzag through the city streets as he flew. Polycarp dashed off as fast as he could run, barely managing to keep him in view. Harried by the archons, the fleeing assassin was held back long enough for Polycarp to race ahead and set himself up for a shot. He drew a careful bead, then launched a strike that finally dropped the assassin for good.

With the assassins subdued and Quint taken to safety, it was time to clean up the mess. Inside the Merchant’s Guild Tower, a recovered Quint thanked his rescuers and made clear his plan to interrogate his assassins. Farn and the other Templemasters tended to the worst effects of the assassins’ weapons.

To be continued…

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