Session 9 Summary
The heroes returned to the Seven-Pillared Hall and immediately stomped over to Gendar's Shop. They remembered that Gendar had told them to search for his lost scepter in the Chamber of Bone, where they would have likely died. After having found the scepter in the Horned Hold, Gendar seemed even more suspect. The heroes stormed into his shop and and told him they had returned from the Chamber of Bone with his scepter. Gage just barely noticed a hint of surprise and alarm
on Gendar's face.
Gendar played it off well, though, and thanked the heroes for their bravery and asked for the scepter back to complete the transaction between him, the heroes, and Bairwin way back in Winterhaven. But the heroes were angry and vindictive and weren't ready to hand it over just yet. Gage then told Gendar that they hada ctually found it in the Horned Hold and demanded to know why Gendar had sent them to the wrong place. Gendar repsonded that "his reasons were his own."
After some more questioning, the heroes decided to try to extort Gendar
for more money in order to hand over the scepter. Gendar threatened to get the Ordinators involved, and the heroes called his bluff. Gendar was in a tough position with the thuggish heroes and agreed to pay twice the original amount for the deal if the heroes returned the scepter to him, saying that "it wasn't worth nearly that much." The heroes now had a decision to make - either accept Gendar's corrupt money or walk away with the scepter and forfeit the deal.
After arguing amongst themselves, they decided to accept the money they had extorted from Gendar, and to further their own corrupt goals.
The Judge was fed up with all of the shady dealing and did not take part in the scene, instead stalking off to the Halfmoon Tavern. He told Rendil about their success, and Rendil was overjoyed to hear about the end of the slave trade. The rest of the heroes made it to the inn and were greeted by Charrak, the pitiful kobold. The heroes offered Charrak some coin to compose and perform a song selectively boasting about their deeds.
The heroes remembered the strange happenings with Terrlen Darkseeker, and asked Rendil if he had seen him anywhere. Rendil admitted that he hadn't seen Terrlen in several days
and wondered what was up. He suggested the heroes to speak to Orontur
, who worked for the Ordinators at the custom house. Along the way, the heroes ran into Surina, the insane dragonborn. She immediately accosted the party about the "fight against the gnolls." Damon lied and told her thay had slain multiple gnolls while in the Horned Hold and Surina was very pleased to hear the news.
After getting rid of Surina, the heroes entered the custom house and spoke with Orontur, who seemed to trust them a little more now. Orontur told the heroes that his boss, Paldemar
, hadn't been in contact for several weeks now, and that something was up.
He suspected that Paldemar had always been corrupt, but only now as he acting on it. He asked the heroes to investigate
Paldemar and to see what they could learn. If they discovered what was going on and stopped Paldemar, the city of the Seven-Pillared Hall would "fund their adventures." The heroes agreed and left. The heroes decided to check Terrlen's house to see what was up. They easily broke in, but upon searching, did not find anything. Later on, Charrak came back and handed the heroes a note, which read:
"Greetings. I am someone in a position of power within the Ordinators. I'd like to get out of this mess for good and I think I can help you find what you're looking for. Meet me at the the specified location in two hours."
Now, the heroes are no fools. It was obvious that this was a trap - the note didn't even have a signature. The heroes demanded to know who gave Charrak the note, but all he saw was a shadowy person "shorter than The Judge, but taller than Rufus." The heroes berated poor Charrak before letting him go. The party had no further leads, so they followed the note's instructions, except for one part. The heroes instead went to the meeting place an hour early, hoping to catch whoever it was off guard.
The heroes traveled to the spot and were immediately attacked, causing them much ire and frustration that their clever plan didn't work. The assailants were two tiefling casters, a bronze warder, and of all people, Harwin
. The heroes jumped at the chance to kill someone who had wronged them and engaged the enemies. Rufus used his flying strategy to fly up onto the ledges that the casters were on and attack one of them. The bronze warder, which the party realized was being controlled by one of the other people, rampaged into the hallway, knocking the heroes back into the bottleneck.
The casters were pretty useless however, and Gage was able to create his illusory treasure chest and detain them. He also used his "lightning pillar" spell on the bronze warder to great effect. Harwin transformed into a giant spider and attacked Rufus, but wasn't terribly effective. The main advantage for the enemies was that the bronze warder was able to effectively defend the casters from all attacks, absorbing part of the damage from every attack. However, the heroes were able to take everyone else down and focus on the warder, destroying it.
They left Harwin alive and questioned him. The heroes demanded to know who he was working for and threatened to kill him if he didn't talk. However, Harwin informed the heroes that he had been spying on them since they first entered Thunderspire Mountain and knew about their dark deeds. He went on to say that he went into this fight fully prepared to die and that death did not scare him. Clearly, the heroes needed to come up with something more extreme, so Rufus transformed into a crocodile and put Harwin's head in his mouth.
Harwin, being unfamiliar with the anatomy of crocodiles, did not know how to listen for the precise moment to move his head if Rufus decided to snap his jaws shut. This bizarre situation frightened Harwin enough to say that he was working for Paldemar as a mercenary
. He had no idea what Paldemar planned to do, though; he only got paid to spy on the heroes. The heroes, satisfied that they had gotten everything they could out of Harwin, brutally executed him, just like the ruthless butchers that they are. After looting, the heroes found three scrolls on one of the tieflings:
"I don't care how you do it, but deal with these adventurers. Take one of the bronze warders if you must. If they remain in the labyrinth, they could disrupt my plans. Once you've dealth with them, deliver their bodies to our gnoll friends, along with the enclosed scroll.
"To Maldrick Scarmaker, Exalted Chieftan of the Blackfangs and Chosen of Yeenoghu:
Paldemar offers you the corpses of these champions as a gift of ongoing friendship, that our arrangement might continue to be mutually beneficial. May you savor their blood.
Your friend and ally, Paldemar"
The third scroll was a map to some place called the Well of Demons
. The heroes returned to the Seven-Pillared Hall to ask around.
The heroes approached Orontur and showed him the note. He was pleased to see that the heroes had made progress so quickly, and asked them to investigate the Blackfang Gnolls
and their involvement with Paldemar. It was clear that the heroes needed to head to the Well of Demons next, but no one in town knew anything about it. The heroes then remembered Surina, and asked if she'd like to join in the fight against the Blackfang Gnolls. Surina was extremely adamant about helping and rushed home to get her equipment ready.
The heroes must now travel to the Well of Demons with Surina to discover more about Paldemar's dealings and kill some gnolls.