With the defeat of the Herald of the Worm, the city relaxes and joyously celebrates the Winter Solstice as the heroes who slew the Beast King are paraded in triumph. The city games are held in the Great Hippodrome under new management as sinister rumors spread concerning certain criminal acts of its former master, Syphax.
As Akbar, Samedi, and Rom are engaged in other affairs, Samara, Sir Wu, and Kaasib continue their investigations while dealing with personal matters.
An intermediary from House Usufru passed word along to Sir Wu on an offer by the Saurians to accommodate him and a settlement of humans at the oasis that would allow both sides to dwell in peace. Although the initial offer was refused, Sir Wu said he would visit the oasis to inspect with Saurian escort and make a counteroffer. Eventually when this happened, the Saurian representative, Sethnik, and Wu agreed on most matters while they allowed Wu to construct a small motte-and-bailey castle. However, negotiations were not successful. The Saurians desired assurances that Sir Wu and his line would continue to live in peace. Their suggestion of a political marriage between his heir and a child from the Naqada family, whome they trusted, was refused. Sir Wu refused to give any counter offer simply stating that they had his word the peace would be kept, and that they must be satisfied with that. Now feeling betrayed that they had allowed a fort to be built without concluding a mutually satisfactory agreement, Sethnik simply said he would report this to King Sekourah in Sabkha who would send a reply to the Overlord.
The Magi of Usamagoras sent word to the Cyclops Tower that they wished to see Samara the Staff of Enchantment he possessed, and offered they would information Samara would find useful. A meeting was arranged at the fountain in the outer court of the Tower. One Magi appeared who examined the staff. He showed Samara the sigils which marked the Staff as being the handiwork of the Magi and explained this had been stolen. He told Samara for its return he offered a reward of magic scrolls and information on the previous owner which he thought would be useful to Samara. Samara refused saying the reward was not enough, and implying the Magi would only lose the Staff again. This angered the Magi and the two descended into mutual insults before the Magi teleported away. Samara has since locked the staff away in the Cyclops Tower to prevent the Magi from attempting to take it.
Kasib found one of his followers who had reached Aten’s house. He had entered the city near death and infected with a terrible disease. While one of the Paladins removed the disease, Kasib’s man passed away anyway uttering horrified sobs that all was lost. Kasib visited the Abbey only to see the isolated stronghold intact, but with all his followers there slain along with any animals inside the abbey. No marks were found on them, indicating terrible magic had been used. The records of the Abbey themselves were burned or taken away, but most of the equipment and livestock outside the Abbey had been untouched. Kasib returned with the others who burned the bodies and then removed what they could to a second stronghold they built near the Lightning Stones.
Afterwards, they heard news that Tempus had resigned all his commisions on the Council of Inquisition and the Sable Brotherhood. He was now a mere monk, not the Grand Prior. The group visited him where he told him he knew he would soon pass this plane and needed to arrange a transition to new personnel. He had one final thing for the group, which was the old records of the trial of the Company of the Phoenix by the Calusari in the Third Dynasty. It had lain forgotten for some time. Tempus said no one knew he had removed it and it would not be missed for some time. He told them to put it to good use before returning it to the archives.
The archives revealed much information which Nadeem used to locate the old location of the Company’s Red Keep. The Red Keep had lonh been demolished and poor tenements established. There they discovered a secret lair hidden underneath a hospice. The lair contained blasphemous and hideous religious texts of a race of humanoid worms that worshipped the Conqueror Worm. They entered it and discovered the ghost of Tariq, who had been murdered by cruelly trapping him in chains and rope inside a barrel where he was trapped when the Red Keep was demolished. The party helped put him to rest and discovered another secret passage guarded by a chain golem. There they discovered a secret pit chamber to the gods of the underworld. While exploring it, they encountered the Nightshade that had been unleased since the Night of Dark Terror. Not possessing the power to defeat the monster, the party fled.
If any player wants to add comments or their own interpretation of events, just post another Adventure Log.
When the next game commences, the PCs will hear sad news. The Sable Brotherhood have announced that after 101 years of service to the blessed memory of St Herusa and to the people of Velos, the grand monk Tempus has left the mortal world to dwell in the Pure Lands. The sable banner of the Brethren fly at half mast, and Vizer Simeon has reported the Overlord has declared a state of mourning for the city. The cremated remains of Tempus will be interred in the Blessed Shrine of St Herusa himself, a rare honor even among the top officials of the Brethren. As cremation must occur within 24 hours, those wishing to pay their respects may do so at a brief public vigil where the body will be displayed.
Before that, I’ll quickly run each of the players who missed this game session as what they did in the previous four weeks.