Grunting a command for the imps to attack that damned cat, Duke Vanthampur rolled up her sleeves and prepared to attack.
They swept in quickly. The Duke cast eldritch blast focusing on Tharja. When she was attacked she gave back Hellish Rebuke doing even more damage. Tharja was knocked unconscious. The group easily took out the imps and then turned the Duke using non-lethal damage. Calmers asked her several times if she would yield. She ignored the calls as Nym and Calmers attempted to put shackles on her wrists and ankles. She was eventually held down and forced to answer their questions.
She told them the following:
She did not know where Thavius Kreeg was. She heard he was dead or in Hell or both. She did not have anything to do with Elturel’s fall to Hell. She did neither confirmed nor denied that she worshipped Zariel. She had been kneeling in front of an altar dedicated to Zariel. She did not know what the puzzle box entailed. She was disappointed but not surprised her son had not been able to open it. She never said where they had found the box. She did not flinch when they told her that one of her sons was dead and the other was captive. She just smiled at them. She said you are going to kill me, so go ahead and do it. Nym took out the hellfire longsword and was going to strike her down. Calmers said No! And put his shield between Nym and the Duke. I cannot in good conscience deliberately send someone to Hell. Nym them took out his shortsword did struck her down.
With her dying breath she said “See you in hell.”
They searched her and found two keys in her dress pocket. They could tell that each went to different locks. There was no indication as to what they went to. They still had about half of the basement to go through.
They thought she had been lying about everything she had told them. Fisk was certain that Kreeg was in the Vanthampur Villa. They told Fisk that there was area, possibly a 3rd floor that they had not checked. They decided to finish looking around the basement first and then check out the 3rd floor if they still had questions.
They went out the secret door to the south that they Duke had tried run out of. They were in the sewers not far from the prison. They went west and came to a crossroads. Fisk said that to the north was supposed to be resting and eating areas. Maybe another kitchen. To the south was the family vault. They felt that if Kreeg was anywhere in the basement he would be in the living quarters to the north. But they were right here at the vault so they should check it out first.
they see black foam on his lips and a small vial in his hand. Dying from the self-administered assassin’s blood-poison, Thavius only has the time to mutter: “Fools… There’s no sense fighting it…The Duke of Avernus will get her way. She always does…”
Meanwhile, the shield, who called himself the Hidden Lord, had contacted Calmers telepathically. He said that he was a celestial being and he vowed to help Calmers and his friends rescue Elturel but they would have to take the shield with them to the Nine Hells. The Hidden Lord also warns that a secret society is after the shield, and that it’s only a matter of time before its evil members find it. He claims that this secret society doesn’t want the shield’s powers to be used for good.
Calmers told his friends this. They were skeptical but Calmers was ready to head to Candlekeep to see what else they could find out about the puzzle box. Tharja agreed about the puzzle box but did not trust this “Hidden Lord”. Calmers said he did not trust Kreeg. Tharja then said we need to give Kreeg a burial. He may have done some really bad things but he was still a Hellrider. Reya agreed. They would put the body into the Bag of Holding and take it to the Temple of Gond where they had been staying and then head to Fisk’s apartment to pick up gear before heading to Candlekeep.
They stealth out of the basement and the out of the villa. They realized that they had left the Vanthampur brother tied to his bed. They figured someone would find him and they went on to the Temple.
They asked and were told that preparations could begin now for a cremation but it would take several hours. They decided to rest some and then do more shopping up at the Wide. They bought more healing potions and Calmers bought ingredients to work on his invention for portable sound. He would work on this invention during almost every rest stop or downtime.
They came back to the Temple and rested and they headed to the area set aside for Kreeg’s funeral. Reya resided and gave brief remarks about who is was and how he had treated her. Tharja spoke about how he took younger members of the Hellriders and trained them to be able to advance within the group.
They had a final prayer and then Kreeg was cremated with the remains being put into a blessed urn and then dipped into holy water.
They then headed to Fisk’s apartment.
Fisk told them to have a seat and he would bring out some of his favorite foods from Calimshan. They were just getting settle to eat when there was a loud knock on the front door. Before anyone could react, the door burst open. A dozen Flaming Fist soldiers clad in plate armor march in. From behind this wall of swords and steel steps an armored woman wearing a white cloak and graying hair.
“Are you the maniacs who’ve stirred up every nest of rats in this gods-forsaken city?”
They were not sure how to answer this but the woman took that as a yes.
“Good. You will be adequately compensated.”.
Reya recognized the woman. “You are Liara Portyr…”. Nym knew that Liara from his time in the Flaming Fist. She is high ranking member of the Flaming Fist. Reya said I had heard that you were still in Chult. Liara responded that is what the city’s government wanted people to think. I was summoned by my uncle, Duke Dillard Portyr one of the city’s last remaining governmental leaders. I have been brought to Baldur’s Gate to take command of the Flaming Fist in Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard’s absence. I arrived by teleport.
Liara then turned to Reya and told her that she was no longer wanted in Baldur’s Gate. She believes that the Hellriders are not to blame for the disappearance of Elturel and by association, Grand Duke Ulder. She will then ask Reya and the group for a report on what they have been doing since they have been in the city. She says: “I have seen the aftermath of your actions but do not know the particulars.”
They gave her a run down of all that had happened since before Eltural had fallen.
Liara was gratified to learn that the Vanthampurs are no longer her concern. If the characters report that one or more family members are still alive, Liara promises to hunt them down and punish them for their crimes. They tell her that Mortlock turned against his family and was instrumental in taking them down. She agrees not to punish him. She says that if any of you are in contact wit him, let him know he should leave the city out of fear of retribution from any remaining cultists loyal to his mother.
Liara hopes that Grand Duke Ulder is still alive. Hope is all she has.Liara strongly encourages them to pursue the quest to Candlekeep to learn more about the puzzle box and the shield. Her experiences in Chult have taught her to respect adventurers and their ability to get things done. She asks Fisk exactly who Sylvira was? He said she was an expert on the Nine Hells. She believes that Kreeg made a pact with a fiend of some kind and that he is somehow involved with Elturel’s disappearance. The group was still not sure about Fisk or the shield. Fisk said that he works for Sylvira and she had asked him to come to Baldur’s Gate after Elturel disappeared to see what he could uncover. He was her eyes and ears in the city. Probably only one set of many she had in Baldur’s Gate. Sylvira was an expert on puzzle boxes. She had even created one or two of her own that he knew of. Probably more. She would figure out about the box and the shield as well.
Liara called one of her guards to get the compensation. The group received:
500gp, 2 potions of healing each plus 10 +1 arrows, and 10 +1 crossbow bolts in two separate quivers.
Liara thanks them for doing their part to help Baldur’s Gate. Although she must focus her efforts on various threats to the city’s security, she will make it possible for the characters to leave Baldur’s Gate when they’re ready, going as far as to secure a riding horse or pony for each party member to expedite their journey to Candlekeep. They said that they had left their horses at the stable near the Basilisk Gate. She can also provide a mule-drawn cart laden with food, drink, and other supplies.
They agreed and she left them to have their meal and rest before starting the 5 day journey to Candlekeep.