After the party bid farewell to Dmitri, Avery turned to the grim task of getting answers. He grabbed one of the dead assassin and used the power of Calefa to compel the spirit of dead man to answer his questions.
“Where is your base of operation?”
The Temple of the Hooded Serpent in the City of the Crystal Flame
“What are its defenses?”
The temple is an fortress made from stone and crystal and is protected by an army of brethren.
“What was your next operation (target)?”
_We were to take the captives to the Citadel of Fulgrim and turn them over to General Zorn."
The party recognized that the temple was located in the city of Zahara and out of their reach. The Citadel of Fulgrim was a place they never heard of before, the same with General Zorn.
With the funeral for Dmitry and the servants completed the party decided to head to the Black Eagle Fortress, the Hastinov’s have a villa in the city that they could use until they could decide on their next steps.
The 100 Horse Tree
Damien had been spent the better part of a month traveling across the province of Traladar. Along the way he had gotten into a fair number of scrapes with people who were less than pleased with him shining the light of Ammonar on their dark activities. After a scuffle with the guards of a corrupt nobleman ended in bloodshed, he was forced to head west. The stories circulating around the taverns and caravans were that a great deal of trouble had taken place in the northwestern borderlands and a civil war had broken out in the former province of Cappadocia.
On his way towards the borderlands, Damien stopped off at the strangest tree he had ever seen. It was a massive chestnut tree whose boughs spread out so far a 20 wagon caravan could easily rest beneath its branches. Tied to the branches of the tree were hundreds and hundreds of trinkets. When the wind blew, the tree made a magical tinkling sound like a giant wind chime. Damien could see that travelers had made camp under many, many times. There was even a small shrine of the god Naurivus that someone had built.
Damien decided to stop and rest, the sun was soon to set and it was time for evening prayer. After setting up, Damien knelt down upon his old frayed prayer rug and faced west looking to the waning light of the setting sun. Damien prayed and asked for guidance.
What was the will of Ammonar? What did the fiery god of the sun wish of his most humble servant?
A stiff breeze caused the great tree to twinkle and chime filling the air with music. It was when he felt something hit him the head and fall to the ground next to him. Picking up the object, Damien could see it was a crudely hand carved bird, maybe a duck or a swan, that had been tied to the tree with white ribbon. A sign from Ammonar himself!
After a funny but tense exchange, Damien convinced the party he was harmless and would make a great addition to their party.
Black Eagle Fortress, Alpha District, Hastinov Villa
The party sets up shop in the Villa with the latest addition Damien. Vilhelmus bids his comrades adieu and leaves on his ship, his destiny now lay at sea. The rest of party spent the day going through all of the intelligence they gathered over the past several months.
They formulated a plan. They knew the Demon and his compatriots were looking for the lost dwarven vault. They needed to get their first and locate the secret weapons the dwarves had crafted. They would travel north deep in the Alan Tepes Mountains and raid the vault before the demon could. The party had an advantage, Oberron has made copies of all of the maps and the Demon only acquired the one that showed the general location of the vault. The party had another map that showed the location of the vault and in which valley.
Once the planning was done the group headed to a popular local watering hole called The Blue Cauldron located in the market ward, surrounded by shadowed alleys and active marketplaces. The street outside the tavern was filled with the scent of incense and exotic spices. The inn is a two-story timber and brick building, with several leaded glass windows and dwarf-wrought iron tables and chairs. A small dragon’s skull hangs over the hearth. Accommodations consist of a mezzanine with several wooden cots. The inn is unusually noisy, with a band of aggressive rakes chasing wenches.
The group quickly descended into drunken debauchery and much fun was had.
The next day, the party split up to gather the supplies they needed on the trip. Ivanova and Damien were jumped by a team of Imperial Talons looking to kill Ivanova. A fiery battle ensued that saw the killers defeated and a good portion of the market set a blaze. The party returned to the villa and made preparations to get out of the city.