Recap August 16, 2019

They had a meal and and some of the group went to sleep with the intention in the morning to research more on the dragon cult, Severin, the Pasha and Calimport in general. Smuugle and Grundy went to find the Fighting Pits. It did not take long before Smuugle found them and he had signed up for a fight. He was given the rules by a shirtless human with makeshift stitches over his right eyebrow and a left black eye. It would be a fight to first blood (half HP). Smuugle came out swinging hard and never let up and it was not long before his opponent was defeated. He was healed up and then he and Grundy went to join the others.

While over dinner and over breakfast they heard the following tales and/or rumors

An iron golem has escaped from the tower of Saltesyas the Conjurer

The brigands of the March of the Broken Crown have been joined by a band of orcs and ogres

The Clockmakers Guild is looking for mercenaries

Some weeks ago, a Wearer of the Purple, that is, a high-ranking member of the Cult of the Dragon, was seen overseeing activities at an archaelogical dig in the rugged mountains north of the city. Some have said it was Yildiz herself, the protege of Severin Silrajin.

They added Yildiz onto their list of research.

Mason, Nameless and Stumbleduck were able to gain entrance at the Pasha’s library. They learned about desert/brown dragons. That the cult had not been seen in Calimport officially in year and that Yildiz was a known friends of Severin. He had been exiled years before and she had not been seen until the rumors of her reappearance the dig site several weeks ago.

Gilbee went to the Clockmakers Guild. They wanted to see credentials and know if Gilbee was alone or did he have companions. He said he had companions. They asked for him to bring his companions and all of their credentials and then they could talk.

Gilbee and Mason also bought desert gear. The group was planning to go to the archaeological site to see what they could find about Yildiz and what she might be looking for.

They all went to see the Clockmakers Guild but found out the job had been given to someone else. They decided to check out the dig site to see what they could find. They asked the bartender at the tavern/inn where they were staying about the dig site. He said it was abandoned as everything that was there to be taken was long gone. Folks still went thinking they would find more riches but they always come back empty handed. They thanked them and left.

With the magic carpet and others that could fly they made their way out to the ruins. It looked like it had not been disturbed but something did not look right to Stumbleduck. He determined that someone had tried to cover up that they had been there. He was able to find a path to an area away from the main site and he found a 10ft x 10ft hole. He looked in and saw that about 20ft down was a staircase going down to a passageway going north. Nameless used his Rope of Climbing to help everyone down into the hole. They followed the stairs and then the passageway for 100 to 120ft. All along the wall were images of someone going to be buried. Stumbleduck knew that this was an important person but he was not sure who he/she was. As they got closer to the main burial chamber, the images showed the various stages of mummification process. That was when Stumbleduck realized that this was Hiamshet the Good. They found the entrance way to the main chamber but there was a door blocking their way. It was not locked and did not seem to be trapped but it was very heavy. Mason had help from the two goliaths and they were able to open the door slowly. Stumbleduck concluded that some kind of magic was making the door difficult to open. Inside they found the room was empty. There was a indention in the floor where a large sarcophagus had once lain but there was no sign of it now. There were also places for canopic jars but they too were gone. Mason remembered that the original cult was all about raising dead dragons and turning them into undead dracoliches. They could be attempting to turn Hiamshet the Good into an undead of some kind as well. They needed to tell the Pasha what they had found.

They flew back towards town and saw a group of giant spiders that looked to be popping in and out of being visible. They decided not to bother with them and to head straight to the Palace. Luck would have it, the Pasha was holding court. In line with them was a woman dressed in armor bearing the symbol of the Pasha’s Magisters. They talked briefly but there was bit gossip. They reached the Pasha and told him what they had found about Yildiz and Hiamshet the Good. He was alarmed and called over his vizier so they could tell him what they had found. They were concerned and said that they would look further into this. The Pasha then apologized for not setting them up within his complex. He clapped his hands and several servants appeared. He told the group that they would have apartments in the Moon Court visitors section. They would each have a page that would bring them meals and give then information about the complex as well as let them know when the Pashas was holding court. They had mostly free range of the areas within the compound. Mason Nameless and Stumbleduck went back to the library. Gilbee went to his pocket dimension to write and then went to see the pool. Smuugle and Grundy went to the Open Kitchen to look for food and then they realized they could just ask their pages to bring them food at their apartments.

While the library, Mason saw Kelebek the priestess of Illmater come into the library and sit down at a table across from him. After awhile he noticed that she was every so often giving a sign that was used by the Emerald Enclave. He sent her a Message spells and she replied meet me in the Passages to the Concubines and Consorts in my chambers at 10:30 tonight. Come alone. He agreed and went back to his research. She left about an hour later. Later he told the group what she had said and while hesitant to let him go by himself (he almost convinced Nameless to go with him invisible) he went by himself. He was shown her room and when they were alone she said. Take this map. It will show you how to get to the Stairs That Speak. You will need to answer its questions to get into the basement area. There, you will find what you are looking for. Dragon cultists? he asked. She nodded. The map will be destroyed once you go through the archway into the first room after the stairs. Good luck.

They regrouped and after going over last minute adjustments, they teleported to the area just outside Kelebek’s room. Following the map they soon came to the great staircase.

The top of the stairwell is unguarded. In the archway above the door, emerging from the sculptured relief of a female figure, is a magic mouth, which animates and speaks with a feminine tone once a character approaches.

“Oh, thee supplicants. Whether thy station is high or low, none may pass except those that know the answer to my riddle. Failure is expected, so I hold it against thee not. But if you attempt to pass without solving my riddle, I shall raise an alarm that will awaken the grand vizier and all his guards and all his mages from their deepest sleep, and you will face his wrath, you woeful trespasser. Listen closely, for I shall not repeat myself to the one whom I address.

“Provide for me, if you think you can, the answers to this group of three.

I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? A candle.

What is as light as a feather, but even the world’s strongest man couldn’t hold it for more than a minute? His breath.

This thing all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers; gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal; slays king, ruins town, and beats high mountain down. Time

“Clearly you a being of great intellect and wisdom and I must relent. Pass through this doorway and the stairs below. Because you have proved yourself, I shall set the lanterns aflame to light your way.”

They continued:

At the bottom of the stairs is a large room with plaster walls, painted in a pattern of reds and yellows. Flanking the 20-foot-wide corridor that extends out from the room are statues of two combative genies, posed so it appears they are casting spells against each other across the hallway opening. Two pair of fire genasi in plate armor stand in front of the statues. One speaks: “Greetings. Welcome to the sanctum of Grand Vizier Karaca Sul. What is your business?”

We are here to have an audience with his excellency the Grand Vizier. The genasi that has spoken to the them first, looked at his tablet and said “Ah yes. You are expected. Walk this way.

The followed the genasi down the hallway passed a corridor going off to the right. Two more genasi fell in around them as they passed this corridor. They took the next left passed a closed door and stopped at a door at the end of the hallway. The lead genasi knocked on the door and said. Your excellency. Your guests have arrived.

The genasi urged the group forward and as they got closer to the door it opened and living chains reached out a grabbed half of the group causing them to be grappled and take slashing damage. The ones not grappled only took slashing damage. Several chain devils moved forward to try and capture those not caught in the chains as well as subdue the ones they already had grappled.

In the room’s southwest corner is a 10 ft by 10 ft empty holding cell made of steel bars.