While Gideon and Feruch were busy escorting the remnants of the St. Gustav’s Squad of the Order of the Dawn from the old Clock Tower to St. Gustav’s Chapel, Ian and Maur searched Oldtown for the tools needed to safely remove the vats of Alchemist’s Fire from the tower. Having little luck in Oldtown, Ian and Maur soon made their way down to the Docks to procure the block and tackle Maur said he needed to safely lower the vats fro mthe top of the tower to the street below.
Meanwhile, Gideon, Feruch and the surviving members of the St. Gustav Squad (Ronas Toyne, Blane Merser, Brynnan Tallman, and Bel Henzzen) arrived at St. Gustav’s Chapel and were rapidly received by Brother Fabitor.
Gideon gave a full report to Brother Fabitor regarding how the party was able to locate the knights, as well as explaining that they had been imprisoned by the Surgeon in the Shadows. During this conversation, Blane Merser exhibited a moment of psychosis, screaming “It ate his brain!”, followed by incoherent ramblings. Ronas explained that when they had all been captured by the Ebon Hand, they, along with the party, had been carried into the dungeon beneath the Ennin Temple. After some time passed, the spells that held them in paralysis began to wear off, but by this time, each of them had been bound and gagged. A Several mercenary guards (similar to those seen in the Ennin Temple) stood about. Also in the room was a pair of human commoners, likewise bound.
According to Ronas, and later the other knights, each member of the party had appeared alert, even trying to break free and make for an escape. Before they were able, though, a group of priests (presumably) wearing red robes lined in white entered the chamber. Their faces were covered by the large hoods of their cloaks. One of the priests, who appeared the most dominate, approached the commoner seated beside Blane. Several thin tentacles descended from the shaded face of the creature, wrapping around the head of the man, entering his ears and nostrils. After a brief struggle, the man collapsed, blood trickling from his ears, eyes and nose.
Following this, one of the priests briefly spoke with the guards. Gideon, Feruch, Maur and Ian were then led away by the mysterious priests. The knights were left behind, eventually being traded to the Surgeon in the Shadows. They were later drugged and awoke in a cage in the Bell Tower.
This served to inform the party that they had not been unconscious for the past three weeks, as they had suspected, but instead had most likely been the victims of some type of memory alteration. But for what reason was their memory wiped, and what they had actually been doing during that time remains a mystery.
Gideon and Feruch, now fearing that a mind flayer may still be hiding somewhere in the Clock Tower, rushed back to warn Ian and Maur.
Fortunately, there was no mind flayer lurking in the Clock Tower. Ian and Maur managed to steal a block and tackle from the Docks, made their way back to the Clock Tower, where they linked up with Gideon and MaAur, who were wandering about the tower fearing Maur and Ian had already been kidnapped or worse.
With Feruch keeping an eye on the trapdoor into the Clock Tower’s cellar, Maur and Ian slowly lowered the vats, one at a time, to the streets below, where Ian waited patiently. After distracting some approaching guards, Maur slid down the rope to make his escape. Unfortunately, the rope snapped at the last moment, and if it hadn’t been for Gideon’s quick reflexes, the dwarf would have landed among the barrels, certainly breaking one and sending the entire block into an explosive doom.
With the party, their vats and the unlockable chest securely hidden among some bushes beside the abandoned clock tower, Gideon was contacted by Lord Zavere, who requested the party meet him at Castle Shard at dawn. The party agreed to, asking Lord Zavere to send a pair of wagons and a team to pick them up at Empress Square across the street from their location.
Soon, the party was meeting with Lord Zavere, the vats and chest now stored in a storage building behind Castle Shard, under guard by Castle Shard’s magics.
Seated with Lord Zavere was an elderly woman, her face obscured by a heavy veil. By her dress, it was apparent she was a noble.
Although he initially tried to keep her identity secret, Lord Zavere finally relented that the woman was Fransin, wife of Kurtlan, head of House Nagel. Zavere explained that Kurtlan had been falsely imprisoned on a charge of murder by the rival House Sadar over a year ago, and that Fransin had finally managed to gather a large enough bribe to secure his release. The party was needed to discreetly escort her to The Prison and pick up Kurtlan Nagel. Lord Zavere also mentioned that he had heard rumors there may be portions of The Undercity in the vicinity of the Prison which had never been delved.
Lord Zavere also updated the party that Lady Rill had remained unsuccessful in restoring Lord Abbercombe and that she was running out of options. He hinted that should Lady Rill prove unsuccessful in her efforts, he may require the parties assistance in this matter in the future.
Fransin Nagel addressed the group, explaining that her House was an old and noble family, who shared their wealth in aiding the poor of the city and not in accumulating power for the sake of power, like their enemies House Sadar and House Vladaam. She mentioned that her House had grown weak since Kurtlan was imprisoned, but was optimistic that with his return, eventually the honor of the family would be restored. House Nagel would owe a great debt to the party for this service.
Soon afterward, the party escorted Fransin to the Docks, where Lord Zavere had secured a boat. Rowing out to the Prison, the party were met by Odsen Rom and a handful of Prison Guards (notably an entirely separate command from the City Watch). Kurtlan Nagel, much distressed and worse for wear from his imprisonment, was handed over to the party without incident.
During this time, Ian asked Fransin Nagel if she knew Marcad Shever. Ian went on to explain that Marcad was his father, but he knew little to nothing about him. Fransin looked at Ian sadly, then mentioned that Marcad was the younger brother of the head of the House, Thollos, Shever. Marcad was also the only titled member of the house, other than Thollos. She explained he and his brother were almost total opposites, resulting in them having very opposing views on many issues regarding the House and the City – their arguments are infamous. While Thollos was a rather intelilgent and adept man skilled in the applications of technology, much like his father, Marcad shows no real talent, instead having spent much of his life with an ever growing list of mistresses and varied liasons. He tends to frequent brothels and gambling halls throughout the city and beyond.
Rowing back to the Docks, Ian noticed the light of the rising sun glinting off what appeared to be a broken window in the side of the cliffs, about fifteen feet above the waterline. This window was large enough to climb through, if one could climb up to it (a bit risky with the choppy waves of the bay). Since this window was a considerable distance away from The Prison entrance, the party suspects this may be an entrance to the area of the Undercity, Lord Zavere was referring to.
Exploring this area would have to be addressed at another time. After escorting the Lord and Lady Nagel to the shore, the party returned home for a much needed rest.