PCs: Toad, Queen of Spades, Xeal
Ring of NPC: Urisk, Ms Terspungecake
Sunday-Monday, 4th-5th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess
With Quarth laid low by the party’s combined might, it seemed like nothing could stop them. They had the adoration of the crowd and the rewards of their win, choosing the Boots of Haste from the magic item rewards as well as receiving a not insignificant sum of gold. While the group as a whole treated the boots as insignificant, Xeal took the boots for his own (they were, after all, very nice dragonskin boots).
Quarth came over to give them his grudging congratulations (except to QoS, to whom he only gave a suspicious glance). Edgar came up to Urisk to present him a heavy purse of gold, and the Sisters Superior came to congratulate the group on their win. QoS mentioned in passing that she had sold her previous armour and had been unable to attain a suitable replacement; Dawn immediately offered to equip her with a spare chain shirt from the Daughters’ barracks.
As the group set off through the city they were met by cheers from those who had been in the crowds, or even those who had only heard of the fight’s result. Gossip in the city was now predominantly regarding who would win the tourney, though there were still whispers of the damage to the city in Espoir. The more watchful members of the group also spotted Quarth following them, doing his best (which was not very good) to stay out of sight. They chose not to confront him, deciding that they would keep their do-gooder image for as long as they could.
With only the final round left before them, the group spent some time discussing what they would do once the Tourney was over. QoS found one of Emmett’s trademark messages giving them a gentle reminder that Solomon needed to be dealt with, though it didn’t seem to indicate any particular urgency. Upon further testing the piece of paper the message was on was actually found to be a form of two-way communication, and kept for later use.
QoS brought up the possibility of corrupting Dawn to gain some brownie points with Norgorber, but the notion was voted down by the rest of the party, who were reasonably certain that they couldn’t achieve that as well as their primary objective. After some time spent planning the group decided that the best way they could handle things post-Tourney was to accept entry to the Hall of Judgement, receive their magic rewards from the vaults of the Red Judges, then leave Toad’s imp to assassinate Solomon while he sleeps. So far the group is uncertain how they will leave the city, though a messenger from Oleg let them know he was willing to take them back across to the mainland for 1000gp each.
Toad and Xeal both spent the evening of the 4th attempting to find activation phrases for their magic items, Toad working on the metamagic rod and Xeal working on his ring. Both were successful in eliminating a large number of common phrases as potential activation words, but still had a long way to go before they could unlock the items’ magic. (One success out of seven required spellcraft checks)
With their plans ready, the group slept easy, knowing that no evidence could yet link them to the abduction of the children. The group were met in the morning by one of the children that had been left in the care of Norgorber, now supernaturally aged and wearing the garb of a capable warrior. He identified himself as the child that Xeal spared, and swore his allegiance to Xeal. Xeal was a little nonplussed by this but gladly accepted his new minion, dubbing him Alan Notsteve.
Eventually the party departed the Red Parrot for the last combat of the Tourney. The audience erupted in cheers as they stepped onto the parade ground, ready to support the Upstanding Citizens against the former favourites of the competition. The Red Judges faced off against them, crimson armour shining in the brilliant sun.
After a short speech from Solomon and with the formalities out of the way, the fight was soon underway! The Red Judges put up a tough fight, with the group having difficulty penetrating the enemy’s defenses. The fight soon went in the group’s favour, however, with superior positioning and tactics winning the day (as well as strategic use of pits).
Not everything went to plan, though, as one of the more canny Judges saw through QoS’s disguise and discovered her evil nature. QoS fled as soon as she realised she had been compromised, with the others covering for her. The Red Judges quickly rushed in to cover up the events from the puzzled crowds, and a contingent of Judges led by Solomon began to lead the group to Jugement, promising answers as soon as they had reached the inner circle of the city.
With the promise of powerful treasure and items (not to mention their objectives) so close within reach, will the party be able to continue hiding behind their carefully maintained lies?