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Table of Contents
An Offer You Shouldn’t Refuse
Noska leered at Akta, keeping his prosthetic crossbow leveled on her chest.
Noska: Heer be tha thang. Ahmaergo’s angar clouds ‘is judgement some of ta times. Me? Imma bit more foward tinking. Based on all he had ta say ‘bout ya, I tinks ya could do some real damage wit mah crew.
Voices reverberated down the staircase.
The Stone is Gone.He wont be happy.How’d he get away?
Noska shook his head and grunted.
Noska: Ya hear what I ‘ave ta work wit? You’d be mah right hand.
The duergar began to filter back into the taproom.
Noska: Ya sit on it eh? When yar ready. Meet meh en Mistshore.
Then, accompanied by a stream of obscenities, he followed the duergar out the front door of the inn.
It wasn’t long before Taman joined them, looking a bit harried. He explained how he had broken into Dhalakar’s room from the alley ledge, the men had broken down the door, and how he had escaped. He then showed the rest of the party the stone he had collected.
Taman: Do you think this is one of the eyes?Viigo: I don’t know. But I know someone who would.
In the Big Tent
It seemed impossible for their mood not to lift as they moved about the Luskan carnival. Music, laughter, and performances pulled their minds away from their encounter with Noska. Checking with a few of the workers they learned that Zardoz would be in the Big Top Tent, kicking off the night’s main performance.
With all the flair they had come to expect from the Luskan leaders, Zardoz welcomed the crowd. He wove stories for each performance. A pair of acrobats performed death-defying leaps from the platforms. A gnome with an angelic voice brought the crowd to teams. Lions performed trained stunts around the ring.
The night passed, each performance captivating the audience. As Zardoz wished them all a good evening and performed his farewell bow the crowd protested. They chanted and cheered for more. But Zardoz waved and bowed again before turning towards his exit.
Without a word, he guided them through the makeshift structure and into a large room that served as his changing space. Motioning to a table and a few chairs he pulled a bottle from a small bar against the back wall.
Then, pouring each a glass he looked them over.
Zardoz: It is good to see you all in one piece. I had heard there was trouble the other day up in your neck of the woods.
The party began to pepper him with questions.
- The nimblewright had been given instructions to recover an item. However, it appeared as if the instructions had been too general. While nimblewrights will do as instructed, if one does not provide enough details the construct could interpret things in unintentional ways.
- He also confirmed that the big man that had fled the explosion was Urstel Floxin, a high-ranking member of the Zhentarim.
When pressed about what he thought they should do next, he thought for a long moment. Then:
Zardoz: I would speak with the Gralhunds. Given your description of the construct, it does sound like the one I had sold them earlier in this span. They may not be very forthcoming, but you may learn something from their reaction.
The conversation then pivoted to the second round of the tournament. In all the chaos which had erupted due to the fireball, they had failed to prepare for the next day’s event.
Taman: Do you have any information on what we might be going up against?Zardoz: I do not. I haven’t felt the need to do much digging since we dropped out of the tournament.
This elicited a response from the party.
Zardoz: Why are we dropping out? Ha, well, honestly, our participation was never about the prize. It was all about poking Victoro a bit. Seeing what he would do. Plus, it granted me access to the boxes where I could get a good lay of the political landscape. But now, I have some more important things to turn my attention to.
They left after a few more rounds. Only then did they realize they had forgotten to ask about the stone with the white marking.
Champion’s Games Round 2
The morning came fast. Before heading to the arena they made a short stop at the Cassalanters. Willifort greeted them at the door and, to the party's surprise, handed them a sack of coin, their share of the winnings.
promptly escorted to the prep room beneath the arena. After almost an hour of waiting, allowing the stadium to fill, they heard the booming voice of the announcer.
Announcer: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the second round of the Champion's Games! You will recognize our first team as they wow'd us with their beat down of the banderhobbs. Please, stand and welcome team Cassalanter!
The gates rose, allowing bright sunlight to pool down the tunnel. The party, guarding their eyes against the sun, walked out to a deafening roar.
Announcer: Oh do we have excitement for you today! So many - oh wait?! What is that?
He pointed to the sky. Bright blue streaks arched over the stadium, crisscrossing to form a domed net of energy that separated the stands from the stadium floor.
Announcer: Let's start off with something unexpected! Something thrilling! Something out of fairy tales!
The gate opposite the party opened and two wyverns took flight from the darkness. Their draconic wings stretched as the pair immediately attempted an escape but a bright blast of lightning erupted as they hit the net. There was a horrific roar as they turned down towards the stadium floor.
Announcer: Best of luck to all our combatants!
He bellowed as he disappeared into a small doorway.
Leathery wings beat as the pair dove down at the party. They scattered, splitting into two groups. Another pass raked claws across Finzu. Without ranged weapons the party scrambled, doing their best to dodge the aerial assault.
Command on one of the wyverns as it made another attack. Shouting, "LAND", he watched as the creature's flight path altered and its powerful legs smashed into the ground.
Immediately, Akta and Taman set to work on the creature, dealing as much damage as possible. Finzu recovered and joined the attack. Attempting to avoid the second wyvern, they concentrated all their efforts on their grounded foe. Taking blow after blow, it succumbed, its heavy head landing in the dust.
Taman took the opportunity to tie a rope around the polearm he had grabbed from the staging area. He then planted the bladed side into the dead wyvern, twisted and secured it in its heavy body. Then he waited for his moment.
a number of passes, striking with claws, fangs, and stinger. Finally, Taman saw his opening and lobbed a lasso upward as the wyvern flew overhead. It caught on its neck, pulled tight, and held. The wyvern's head snapped downward with the force, causing its body to tumble over itself and crash to the ground.
With the beast grounded and constrained to a 50-foot radius, the party set to work. But the creature proved more of a challenge. Barbs speared Taman and Finzu while Viigo caught sharp claws with his chest. As the blood poured from the wounds in the creature's neck and torso it lashed out and lunged at a downed Taman.
As its maw closed in, Akta ran and, with all her effort, launched herself off the body of the downed wyvern. She flew threw the air and brought her demonic halberd down and through the head of the wyvern. The weapon skewered the beast and pinned it to the ground, not two feet from Taman's prone form.
To resounding cheers, they staggered back into the tunnel where the second team waited with wide eyes. They remained in the staging area until they felt their legs could support them once again. Stable, they made their way topside and towards the exit. The crowd surged all around them, a mess of people. But somehow Tashlyn seemed to materialize right in front of them.
Tashlyn: Come, we have much to discuss.
As she escorted the party to the Lion Gates she shared the new information her contacts had turned up. She had learned that the guards who had arrested Davil were not on duty that day. Furthermore, there was no record of Davil at the prison.
All three men had been removed from their post and were currently being detained at Castle Waterdeep for questioning.
Without much evidence, Tashlyn has a strong suspicion that the Black Network was involved. And she opined that it was likely an unknown number of City Guard were on their payroll.
Promising to return with more information, she vanished into the crowd, leaving them alone among the masses.