Return of the Runelords

Bug Hunt
The City Outside of Time, Part 6

Lucia researches the sewers of Magnimar at the Founders’ Archives and identifies three locations that are missing from the city records. One is in Beacon’s Point near the Night Scales headquarters, one is in the Alabaster District near the Osprey Club, and one is in the Keystone District.

Udrexa talks with Siov Cassimel about his daughter Risa, who has gotten deep in the Norgerbor cult but who has doubts about the Forever Man. Udrexa arranges to contact Risa the next day.

Udrexa and Lucia meet up with Vivi at a fancy restaurant in the Naos District called the Wandering Squirrel. Lucia and Rita realize that a waitress there is suspicious and when they confront her it becomes clear she is a Red Mantis Assassin.

Udrexa beats her unconscious, but their victory is interrupted by a giant, insectile derghodaemon sent to kill them. It savages Udrexa before being destroyed. The creature’s chittering cries also do something to the dominated dhampir Jane, leaving her empty-headed and drooling. Lucia examines the creature’s body after the battle and concludes that someone sent it after them.

Under questioning, the Red Mantis Assassin Amronhe Dommor admits that she was the one who killed the Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras and that she was contracted to kill anyone who got too close to solving the mystery. She poisoned the drinks that were served at the Wandering Squirrel, leaving Audrahni afflicted with a slow-acting poison that mimics the appearance of a wasting disease.

Amronhe reveals that her contact was a man wearing a black cat mask at the exclusive Osprey Club. She got a one-time invite, and was planning on impersonating a club member in order to return. Vivi insists that the assassin be turned over to the City Watch for prosecution of the Lord-Mayor’s murder. Amronhe says that she has carried out her service to the Mantis God and is unafraid of execution.

Meanwhile, Vicky releases the Shadow Librarian Sule from the confines of Xanderghul’s refuge and treats her to her first meal.

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The Dead Speak!
The City Outside of Time, Part 5

After learning the spells she was seeking and helping the elf Kina connect with her cousin Sado, Lucia takes her mother back to Roderick’s Cove. While there she hears some curious news about Sorshen and teleports to Korvosa to check up on Vicky.

The wizard has been busy augmenting herself with ioun stone implants. Vicky confirms with Sorshen that the Runelord is able to be in two places at once, which she is doing to draw the attention of Runelord Alaznist.

Vicky shows Lucia the personal demiplane where she has been storing the gold that was transformed from lead via the Philosopher’s Stone. It is too heavy to transport, so she is storing it there.

Rita has a private commune with the nalfeshnee demon Thizgumen about the best way to turn Lucia into a demon. They decide to do it piece by piece, like the Ship of Tarsius, to make her into a work of art.

Vicky later goes to her demiplane to confer with her patron, the mysterious Heart of Winter. It wishes her to clam two black gemstones from Inkariax’s palace in the Shadow Plane.

Meanwhile, in Magnimar, Udrexa, Audrahni, Ghera, and Vivi go to question the Lord-Mayor’s corpse. They disrupt an attempt by a Night Scales agent to incinerate the body.

With Audrahni’s help, Udrexa questions the Lord-Mayor’s body. She gets six responses:

  • He was attacked from behind just after speaking with Ashlin, something agonizing that touched the back of his head.
  • He believes that the architect of the sewers, Staunton Vhane, might have built more than sewers.
  • He was interested in the Forever Man both to stop his manipulations of the city and discover the secret of his immortality.
  • He has an informant in the Night Scales. Udrexa should talk to Siov Cassimel about his daughter Risa.
  • He has money stashed around the city. One such stash is at the Fox’s Blades. Ask Tilli for the private cask.
  • He knew Ashlin was spying on him and used her to pass misinformation back to her employer, Zalel Moghadam.

Udrexa collects the stash from the Fox’s Blades, which has gear suitable for their companions. She then heads to the Friendly Merchant to talk to Siov. While there, Lucia teleports in. She gets caught up on what is taking place and then asks to inspect the abyssal residue that was left behind at the crime scene.

Lucia concludes that the power is the byproduct of an abyssal artifact used to extract and store the Lord-Mayor’s soul. An artifact that could only be made with an abyssal runestone like the one Udrexa gave the Night Scales.

Udrexa also realizes that the woman in the red insect armor was most likely a member of the notorious Red Mantis Assassins, who are said to have all sorts of tricks to ensure their targets stay dead.

From there, they go to the Rat Piling to check on the monk Opal who Udrexa had left to watch over the empty coffins. The six coffins now contain six staked vampires and Opal is guarding a bound captive dhampir and her pet parrot.

The prisoner, Jane, reveals that the “Vampirates” are trying to corner the market in Thassilonian artifacts while demand is high. She insists that the vampire members of the crew only drink enough blood to survive and don’t kill anyone; her task for the crew is to keep an eye on them to make sure they behave.

Audrahni identifies Jane as a cleric of Besmara, the chaotic neutral goddess of pirates, but thinks that the dhampir is being duped by her “family.” Audrahni warns that vampires cannot restrain themselves in this manner, certainly not for long. Udrexa suspects that one of the artifact buyers is the Forever Man.

Vivi decides to question Jane’s parrot, Polly, and manages to get the location of the next auction out of her — Twilight Isle.

Lucia uses dominate person to compel Jane’s loyalty as the group decides they will bid in that auction when the time is right. The party prepares to take Jane to talk with Captain Sursha and Shira so they can locate Twilight Isle.

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The Game is Afoot
The City Outside of Time, Part 4

Udrexa and Emeq continue to investigate the death of the Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras with help from Vivi. They question witnesses including his paramour Ashlin (secretly spying on him), his bodyguard Angie, his chief of security Khonderian, and his assistant Valanni Krinst. They also find an abyssal powder at the crime scene.

While chatting with pigeons, Gwen gets a tip about the possible assassin, which Angie identifies as a woman in chitinous red insect armor. Emeq promises to keep Angie’s secret.

Meanwhile, Vicky works with Sorshen to collect information about the late Runelord Xiren and to find an alchemist to use the Philosopher’s Stone to turn lead into gold.

Udrexa also has Opal keep an eye on the vampire coffins in the Rat piling.

After concluding their questions at the manor, the investigators in Magnimar are left with several leads to follow up:

  • Question the Lord-Mayor’s body using the speak with dead spell
  • Research Staunton Vhane, the architect who built the sewers
  • Research the sample of the abyssal powder
  • Bring the chest to Ashlin and question her further
  • Infiltrate the masquerade parties at the Osprey Club
  • Search for the woman in the red chitinous armor
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Plots and Portents
The City Outside of Time, Part 3

Lucia meets with the witches of the Harrowed Society at Twilight Academy and gets her fortune read. She also tries to help the elf Kina catch the attention of her hopelessly oblivious cousin Sado. Rita secretly communes with powerful agents of the Redeemer Queen to seek answers about her own interest in turning Lucia into a demon.

Vicky consults with Sorshen in Korvosa, seeking more information about reaching Crystilan through the Shadow Plane. Sorshen has lost almost all memory of Belimarius, the Runelord of Envy, whose capital is locked away inside Crystilan’s time stasis. She suspects this is due to Alaznist’s meddling with the timeline using the Scepter of Ages.

Vicky offers to provide Sorshen with a simulacrum of Runelord Xiren, as a gift. Sorshen doesn’t say no.

Vicky also asks about the possibility of someone taking up Xanderghul’s title of Runelord of Pride, so that the Sword of Pride would stir from dormancy and could be used. Sorshen insists that such a path would only lead to the corrupt of the would-be Runelord and the Sword’s champion. Vicky suggests they find the Sword of Lust and make use of that instead, but Sorshen insists that her own Sword of Sin should be left where it is, somewhere safe and out of reach.

After seeing the Runelord, Vicky meets with her birth mother Lady Gia Amprei to catch up and to request her help in getting access to the research library in the Acadamae, Korvosa’s fabled wizard’s school. Vicky’s childhood friend Princess Ryah, a star alumnus of the school is able to get her inside.

Vicky is also considering leaving Elle behind in Korvosa, to help protect the city and to keep the simulacrum away from the greater dangers that await in the Shadow Plane and beyond. For additional insights on the realm of the kyton demagogue Inkariax, she consults with the Iomedaean High Priestess Laori Vaus. Laori explains that in order to access Inkariax’s palace of White Death’s Diadem, the party will have to acquire a pendant from on of his most powerful followers.

Meanwhile, in Magnimar, Udrexa and Ghera attempt to sneak into the mayor’s mansion, Defiant’s Garden, to find information about the mayor’s investigation into the Forever Man. They find evidence that a woman living in the house was spying on the mayor. They also stumble across someone trying to steal something from the mayor.

The thief is interrupted by Vivi, the special investigator looking into the mayor’s death. Udrexa knows Vivi, who was a friend of Belawara, and the two team up against the thief who is revealed to be a vampire. They track the vampire back to its coffin, hidden in the Rat piling of the Irespan—another ruin similar to the Cult of Yamasoth’s lair. Holding a stake to its heart, they interrogate it.

The vampire, dressed like a sailor, explains that he is a crew member of the Shadow, under Captain Sunshine Sue, who has been trying to get her hands on relics of Thassilon. There was a particular chalice said to be in the mayor’s collection that they wanted to get their hands on before the mayor’s possessions are dispersed to his heirs. The vampire also explains that Captain Sunshine is working with another woman, someone with who presented the Captain with a short sword. After that, the Shadow and her crew began acquiring these Thassilonian artifacts.

Udrexa feels like letting the vampire go, since he was so helpful. But Vivi is an officer of the law and insists he be arrested for breaking and entering. She drives a stake through his heart, which she is pretty sure will paralyze but not kill him. They then take him and his coffin to the City Watch. They leave behind six empty coffins in the Rat piling hideout.

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The Invisible Spider
The City Outside of Time, Part 2

Rita calls in a favor from Captain Sursha Antefalle, telling her to collect six finely crafted swords during her travels. This will repay the quasit for helping to hide Sursha’s tryst with her navigator, the former Captain Shira Harbuck several weeks ago.

Lucia delivers Vicky’s letters to Lady Sheila Heidmarch and learns more about Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras’ mysterious death. He fell from the upper balcony of his manor, Defiant’s Garden. His soul is not returning to his body despite attempts to raise him, which is strange. Sabriyya Kalmeralm is bringing in a third-party investigator to look into the case.

Lucia then goes to the creepy half-orc Ermunid to get her latest demonic implant — a tongue from a horned demon.

Gwen travels through Magnimar’s entertainment district, commanding plants to grow on the building facades. She is challenged by a private security guard, Gauward Rowe, but she convinces him that it will make the city a better place to live. She persuades him to help her greenify the area.

Meanwhile, Udrexa revives her grudge against the Forever Man, the mysterious individual rumored to control the Night Scales and other aspects of Magnimarian Society from a hiding place in the sewers. She goes to the Friendly Merchant Inn and Tavern to talk to the sketchy elven proprietor, Siov Cassimel. He warns her that it is dangerous to be asking questions about the Forever Man. The last person to look into him was he Lord-Mayor, so she might like to pick up where he left off.

Emeq leaves the Love Stool at the hotel and heads home to meet with his family. He is questioned by the halfling journalist Sanzir and learns that his father is under house arrest as a suspect in the death of the Lord-Mayor. Emeq catches up with his mother Arli first to get a general update on the family’s situation — in addition to the charges against his father, his brother Zalel is engaged.

Emeq then meets his father Melut and the family attorney, Fitzgerald Fiddledust of the gnomish law firm Fiddledust, Fickleshield, and Fluketwist. After determining that his father had no plans to kill the Lord-Mayor, just bribe him, Emeq convinces his father to lie low while he investigates the situation. They suspect that the Forever Man could have had a hand in both the murder of the Lord-Mayor and placing the blame on the Moghadam family.

Emeq also meets his brother’s fiancé, Faridah Muthiqin of the City of Brass, a beautiful ifrit woman. He learns that his brother is less than enthusiastic about the arranged marriage, however. Emeq asks Zalel to quietly look into the Forever Man as well, but be careful.

Lucia teleports to Roderic’s Cove to visit her mom Ilina. She learns that a lumber concern owned by Wilbon Thotal is trying to seize the property, relaying on a 20-year-old claim to the area. After trying to spook the lumber merchants, she has Rita steal their documents. Then she returns to Magnimar to ask Sondra to check them for forgeries. Sondra verifies that the documents are correct, but have a series of technical errors. With Sondra’s help, Lucia is able to retain her house and outmaneuver Wilbon.

After that, Lucia tries to teleport herself and her mom to the Twilight Academy to visit her cousin Sado. But she misses the mark, landing them a dozen miles away. She has to fly them the rest of the way on the back of giant eagles. They arrive outside the school grounds, on the outskirts of the town of Galduria.

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Give these Monstrous Humanoids a Furever Home
The City Outside of Time, Part 1

Toilday, 30 Pharast, 4744

The Black Cats take the rest of the afternoon off, resting in the magnificent mansion. Vicky writes up her notes for the Pathfinder society. Ghera feels strong enough in her powers to go to sleep without the keep watch spell.

Wealday, 31 Pharast, 4744

The following day, the adventurers re-convene with the ex-Peacock Spirit Cultists, who reveal that the Mother of Oblivion in the lake no longer recognizes them as allies now that their “god” is dead. As a result, it is too dangerous to leave the temple via the causeway.

At Udrexa’s insistence, the party seeks out the lake monster. It shrugs off Gwen and Vicky’s spells, but Udrexa beats it to death with her fists.

The Black Cats then seek out the monstrous humanoids they defeated earlier. The medusas, wereboars, and hobgoblins are all at the Cloister of Cerulean Languor, in some kind of stand off. The adventurers offer to teleport them out of the valley as well.

Udrexa persuades the Karrigan Patch and the wereboars to come with her to the Monastery of the Scarlet Sun in Magnimar. Vicky convinces the medusas to go to Korvosa and seek employment at the Winking Medusa tavern. The hobgoblins just want Lucia to drop them off with a contact of theirs in Kaer Maga, a half-orc named Olzihm Kith.

Lucia teleports the hobgoblins to Olzihm’s location in a seedy tavern called the Greedy Hunter. She learns that Olzihm is also a witch, and agrees to trade him a high level spell in exchange for information on where she can find more powerful witches to learn from.

Olzihm tells her about Old Megus, a witch who lives outside of Sandpoint. He’s also heard about a coven of witches who consort with hags in the Mushfens. And he has heard that there are a group of witches at the Twilight Academy in Galduria, which interests Lucia because her cousin Sado is studying there.

Olzihm is impressed by the little halfling woman. The two flirt and get to know each other better while Rita teaches his cat familiar Thistle a spell, a process that takes seven hours.

Meanwhile, Ghera teleports Udrexa and the wereboars to the Dockway district of Magnimar. She’s still unused to the process and comes through a little nauseous. Udrexa brings them to the monastery, where she finds Headmistress Belawara tending to the fire garden. The contract devil welcomes the wereboars to the monastery and has another monk, Opal, arrange for their lodging.

Udrexa also introduces Ghera as her girlfriend and Belawara welcomes her as well with good cheer. She does privately ask Udrexa about long term plans with Ghera, as she worries the tiefling could get her heart broken by the sailor. But Udrexa is convinced she and Ghera are a match.

After hearing of Udrexa’s exploits, including developing her tail technique, Belawara challenges her to a sparring match. Udrexa starts the fight with an aggressive flying kick attack, but Belawara stands her ground and starts pressing Udrexa backwards until finally knocking her out of the ring with a blow from her own tail. Belawara is impressed with Udrexa’s progress, while the tiefling recognizes she has much left to learn. The match draws the attention of several other monks, including Naari and Opal.

Vicky teleports the medusas to the alley behind the Winking Medusa. After disguising their head snakes, she takes them inside. Having already tipped off the proprietor Shaula, she introduces the sisterhood to their fellow medusa. Shaula promises to find positions for them at her establishment or with some of her other contacts.

Vicky suggests that the medusas could also try to join Ecclesia’s Order of knights and asks if Shaula could arrange a meeting. She says that the last time she saw one of the lamia knights, Malakah, was several months ago and the lamia was asking for information about Lea’s whereabouts. Vicky makes a mental note to follow up on that.

Rather than hang around, Vicky bids her farewells and returns to the temple to meet up with the others. She recalls that Ghera’s teleportation magic is more limited and that she won’t be able to make the return trip until the next day. And Lucia is nowhere to be found.

Vicky spends the rest of the day ferrying the ex-Peacock Spirit Cultists around Varisia. Afterwards, Vicky recreates the magnificent mansion with a more dour décor. She retreats to her room to sulk.

When Lucia returns hours later, a little drunk from her time at the tavern with Olzihm, she is met by Elle. The simulacrum warns her of Vicky’s foul mood. Since Vicky didn’t bother to create a room for Lucia, Elle lends the halfling her own room.

Oathday, 1 Pharast, 4744

The party reunites that morning to decide their next moves. Udrexa and Lucia have business in Magnimar, as well as sales to make, while Vicky intends to go to Korvosa for her own errands. She also intends to help research a way for the Shadow Librarian, Sule, to leave the temple safely.

Each with their own tasks, the party splits up.

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Shadows on the Wall
Temple of the Peacock Spirit, Part 17

The Black Cats execute the defeated Runelord Xanderghul. They discover his plans to combat Runelord Alaznist’s distortions of history. He had found a back door into Crystilan, the City Outside of Time and the only place unaffected by her temporal manipulations.

The adventurers befriend and name the Shadow Librarian, Sule. They also vanquish the angry Peacock Spirit Cultists, but spare most of them. They convince the surviving leader, Turan, to have the cultists throughout Varisia stand down.

Ghera warns the party that during her shopping trip to Magnimar, she learned that Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras has died under mysterious circumstances.

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Pride's Heart
Temple of the Peacock Spirit, Part 16

The Black Cats infiltrate Runelord Xanderghul’s inner sanctum and face down the immortal wizard in a terrible battle.

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Big Trouble in the Temple Vault
Temple of the Peacock Spirit, Part 15

The Black Cats fight giants in the Vault of Crimson Longing below the Temple of the Peacock Spirit. Udrexa grows as a person. A shrine is disabled and a hidden back door is discovered.

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The Three Headed Woman
Temple of the Peacock Spirit, Part 14

Sunday, 28 Pharast, 4744

After the party recovers from their fight with the asuras, Udrexa and Rita scout ahead. They discover a torture chamber with a number of ill-used racks. Picking the magical locks of the doors, they also discover and plunder a storage room as well as workshop room for repairing torture devices.

After coming across a door that Udrexa couldn’t unlock, the party circles back around to a room they had bypassed. They discover that it is a chamber with a poor of acid in the floor and a peacock shrine in a glass case. While the party draws back, Lucia raises another group of ghouls to pull the feathers from it. One of the ghouls was destroyed by a gout of acid, and the removal of the ward appears to affect the dungeon itself somehow.

Returning to the unopened door, Udrexa continues to have trouble opening it. Lucia and Vicky realize that the magic of the door could be tricked into letting them through. Vicky casts infernal healing on herself as part of the deception and manages to unlock it.

Immediately waiting for her on the other side is a three-headed, six-armed woman who has been waiting for the door to open. The creature slices into the wizard, easily piercing her defenses.

As a killing blow drives towards Vicky, the Steward of Time intervenes. Looking older than the last time the party had seen her, in middle-age, she catches the blow with her enormous hourglass. This produces the crack that they witnessed the first time they saw her. The Steward tells Vicky that this was not her time, for the Steward still awaits her in Stethelos. The Steward then fades from view.

The three-headed woman pirouettes over Vicky and Udrexa to attack the tiefling monk. She also attempts to cast spiritual weapon to finish off Vicky, but the wizard uses her exploiter powers to counter the spell. Vicky then uses her dimensional slide to retreat back to Elle.

An adhukait asura joins the fray, flanking Udrexa with the three-headed woman. In the ensuing battle, the three-headed woman carves into the tiefling monk. Udrexa calls upon Pharasma’s blessing to deflect a killing blow. Lucia brings the monk back to full health with a heal spell delivered by Rita. Ghera casts haste on Udrexa, Emeq, Lucia, Rita and herself. Emeq charges into battle. Elle heals Vicky, who dispels several magic spells on the three-headed woman. Sondra tosses a dagger at the creature, who catches it in one hand.

After taking some hits, the three-headed woman retreats into an adjacent room. Emeq presses the attack, unleashing a hasted series of jabs before finishing her with a thrust through two of her throats. Udrexa obliterates the adhukait asura.

The party loots the remains and obtains the key to Hobbin’s cell. The party releases the avoral, who is incredibly grateful. He tells them the secret that had kept him imprisoned for 10,000 years. In his investigations of the cult, he came to believe that the Peacock Spirit and Runelord Xanderghul are one and the same.

Nestara insists that this is impossible, that the Peacock Spirit predates Xanderghul by ages, but Hobbin says that no word of the entity existed before the Runelord “discovered” it. As for why Hobbin was left alive, he can only speculate, but while he was a prisoner with a shattered mind who could find him or believe him? Lucia persuades Nestara that when they confront Xanderghul, it will verify one way or another the truth of these claims.

The party then inspects the remaining two rooms in the dungeon. One contains a collection of transcripts of interrogations the asuras conducted on behalf of the Peacock Spirit Cult thousands of years ago.

The next room appears to have been the office for the three-headed woman, Dhanishti. It includes a corner with what appears to be a vivisection table. The party takes three books from the bookshelf above the fireplace. Emeq relaxes on a comfortable sofa with the Love Stool, while Udrexa finds treasure stowed in the desk. This includes a robe of powerlessness which had been used on Hobbin. They realize it will take a combined remove curse and heal to cure him of its effects.

Vicky puts her foot down and insists that the Black Lions rest before proceeding deeper into the dungeon. She excitedly shows off her new spell, mage’s magnificent mansion. She calls forth a shimmering door and takes them inside.

A beautiful foyer with red carpet leads to a central lounge area decorated like a winter lodge, with furs on the floor and a 20 ft. high vaulted ceiling. A coffee table large enough to seat the party sits in the middle of the chamber, in features an ice bucket depression where several bottles of wine are chilling. Candelabras and a massive skylight provide illumination, as do the windows which gaze out onto a snowy landscape. Ghostly servants appear to take any loads off the Black Lions to take to their rooms.

The first room on the right belongs to Udrexa and Ghera. Like the other chambers, it is outfitted based on what Vicky assumes her friends would enjoy. Udrexa’s room is a fully functional gym with a monk aesthetic and Minkaian flourishes such as floor pillows and futons. It also features a large, fully stocked liquor cabinet and a ton of drug paraphernalia.

The second room is for Emeq and the other members of the Love Stool. Its decor is a mixture of Magnimarian and Efreeti. An enormous bed takes up much of the room, and there is a huge ceiling-mounted mirror directly above it. The rest of the ceiling has star-themed decoration in keeping with Audrahni’s patron’s iconography. Many other mirrors are mounted on the walls around the room to help Emeq admire himself and his companions. And in a corner of the room is a fully-stiocked writing desk and comfortable chair for Sondra.

The third room has its name scratched out in this timeline.

The fourth room is for Lucia. It is modeled on a cozier version of her hut, with everything sized for a halfling. It includes a kitchenette for making teas and stews. On one side of the room is a projection of the full moon, with enough space to perform any rituals. There is also a doctor’s exam area, for the halfling to practice her healer’s craft.

Each private room has a small attached bathroom. But there is also a staircase in the common area leading down to the lower level. Smaller guest rooms are down theres, as well as a Minkaian-style public bath.

Vicky, Elle, Hobbin, Udrexa, and Ghera headed down to the bath to relax and get a massage from ghost servants.

Meanwhile, Lucia arranges a conversation between Emeq and Nestara. After some small talk, the ifrit questions Nestara about the cult’s involvement in Magnimar. She is aware of the cell led by Hira Doss, and that the cult is recruiting ambitious members of the nobility with promises of helping them achieve their goals. Emeq asks if one could walk away from the cult. Nestara hems and haws before acknowledging that any apostates would face reprisals. There are no backsies in the Peacock Spirit Cult.

Later that evening, Lucia notices that Rita is in a good mood, preening over her new appearance and eager to show off the use of her hands. Lucia asks her if this is her original form. Rita explains that no, she was something much more powerful, but she is pleased to be a demon once again. Now she can pay obeisance to Nocticula under the old way, just as Lucia pays homage under the new way.

In the Love Stool’s room, Sondra takes advantage of the writing desk to scribble down the day’s notes. Emeq, meanwhile, gives Audrahni a massage. He asks her for her thoughts on what the fallout would be for his family if Xanderghul is the Peacock Spirit and is slain. Audrahni expects it will throw the cult into chaos, and is hopeful that his family would avoid reprisals.

Emeq is worried that losing the cult’s backing could undo decades of political work by his family, which his brother might recover from but his father probably would not. Audrahni is not an expert on politics, but she assures Emeq she would be at his side if he needs to go back to help his family in Magnimar. He’s grateful to hear that.

When the rest of the party has gone to bed, Elle asks Vicky where their room is. Vicky points up to the skylight. They fly through the illusory window to the hidden room above. Vicky expresses anxiety about facing off against a god. Elle objects to that — Xanderghul is no god, just a powerful being like demons and celestials that could also grant spells but can still be killed. Vicky is heartened by that, but wonders if Sorshen and Alaznist have that same power. She hopes to eventually surpass them, but needs to know what she is up against.

Moonday, 29 Pharast, 4744

That morning, Emeq wakes early. He lets Sondra sleep and Audrahni trance a little longer and steps outside with a cup of coffee to enjoy the snowfall. He discovered that the exterior of the mansion extends only a few feet before it ends in an illusory wall. Nonetheless, he enjoys the illusion.

Once the party is up, they enjoy a nice breakfast and some tears to wine. The ghost servants provide everyone their clean laundry, with the scents they requested. Refreshed and ready, they exit the mansion and descend down the spiral staircase down to the next level of the dungeon.

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