On the morning of Lady Varia’s attempted announcement on becoming the Open Lord, the Kaloy, Saradoc, and OOGA traveled to Lord Bailey’s library again while Tobias went to the Spires of the Morning, the magnificent temple of Lathander in Waterdeep.
At the library, they informed Lord Bailey and Mel that the Zhentarim had destroyed all the books. Mel, however, suggested that some books could have “escaped” and might even be making their way home now. Kaloy gave Bailey another book, a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes about the sea, to restart the library. Bailey, astounded, took the book with great fascination. “I may have something for you,” he said. “Come back later.”
Of course, he could have meant three years from now. Or yesterday.
Breaking and entering
On the way back to Varia’s manor, Kaloy, Saradoc, and OOGA stopped at the home of Avarquis Quilt, the chancellor of education in Waterdeep. From a cursory glance through the windows, the estate was empty, and a slight layer of dust could be found. Unread correspondences at the front door indicated that Avaraquis had been gone since at least before the previous Open Lord was killed.
Breaking into the house through the second story window, they investigated inside to see what they could find. Their clues pointed toward Snowdown, an island in the Moonshae Isles, a short boat ride southwest of Waterdeep. Saradoc found clues about his relative, Tolman, apparently a servant in Avaraquis’ household.
They also found a note in a locked safe reading, “Can’t wait to see you again! So much to catch up on! -C”
The Spires of the Morning
Meanwhile, Tobias went to the Spires of the Morning, where the worshippers of Lathander gather. In the garden, he met a rambunctious child named Wendel who had skinned his knee playing alone in the garden. Tobias offered snacks and befriended the child in the brief moment they had together.
Dawnbringer Starret arrived. As a cleric of Lathander, he told Tobias that Wendel was an orphan the church was raising to be one of their own. He welcomed Tobias back to the temple anytime he felt he needed guidance.
“You have until sundown …”
Following the events of the previous session, with the Gith mage disappearing with the two Masked Lords, Rhosius arrived with an offer to the heroes. He could tell them exactly where the Gith had gone, but he wanted something else in return. He gave them until sundown to make their decision.
The party split momentarily, as Tobias went back to the Spires and Kaloy, Saradoc, and OOGA reconnected with Tyaene at Magister Cyvarian’s residence.
At the Spires, Tobias found that Dawnbringer Starret had helped the City Guard with the repelling of the undead in the City of the Dead. Tobias shared his doubts for his path with the cleric, but Starret advised him to remain on the path. Something was awry—the agents of powerful, evil gods were at play, and other gods like Lathander, Torm, and Tyr had remained silent. Perhaps Tobias is meant to be Lathander’s force for good in the world, even if the path may seem to lead him into strange and dark places.
Meanwhile, Tyaene informed the others that Magister Cyvarian was happy, safe, and drunk. And entertaining more and more thoughts about announcing himself as the Open Lord, because why not?
The party filled Tyaene in on what was going on, and mentioned Rhosius’ offer. Tyaene’s cool demeanor was suddenly shaken when she realized who they were talking about. Rhosius Vane was someone she had apparently killed years ago. He had killed a friend of hers, and he had also killed her husband.
She implored them not to take Rhosius’s offer, saying that maybe they could get help from Lord Bailey instead. After some debate, the party entertained the idea of chatting with Bailey to see what he might be able to do instead. They picked up Tobias along the way, and Tyaene said she would meet them later for the rescue effort—she needed to get something special.
With a little “help” from Lord Bailey …
Back at Bailey’s library, the heroes recruited the help of the mad wizard—though, he still needed time with whatever he was figuring out with the book Kaloy gave him. They returned to Castle Waterdeep, picking up Tyaene along the way.
Lord Bailey traced the Gith’s planar shift, but he needed time to do it—and time was running out as sundown approached. Kaloy and Saradoc meanwhile attempted to find out more about the mysterious Black Fire. Again, they saw glimpses of Black Fires elsewhere, though their locations remained obscured. However, they also glimpsed a fleet of ships moving across the Astral Sea, in a different plane of existence entirely. Finally, they glimpsed Abraham again, and he acknowledged their presence.
While Lord Bailey continued to try tracing the Gith’s path, Rhosius arrived in the Castle. He said his offer was still valid—he would tell the heroes exactly where the Gith mage had gone, but in exchange he wanted them to give him Tyaene. To sweeten the deal, he offered even more if they would kill Tyaene themselves.
It appeared that they seriously considered the option, much to Tyaene’s surprise.
In the end, however, they fought Rhosius together instead, finding him to be more than just a formidable foe—he was nigh indestructible. Their initial attacks did almost nothing, and when Kaloy tried to attack him with lightning, he absorbed it. Tyaene gave them some aid, offering a magical short sword to Saradoc and allowing Kaloy to borrow Varia’s own rapier.
Saradoc finally delivered the blow that knocked Rhosius down, keeping him alive but rendering him immobile. Kaloy attempted to gain more information by reading Rhosius’ thoughts. In his mind, she found more Rhosiuses, around the world. Pressing further, she discovered that the captive Masked Lords had been taken to a specific ship on the Astral Sea. Finally, another face came into view, one that they had not encountered before.
They interrogated Rhosius further, asking what his angle was. Rhosius stated that the god Cyric was coming to reclaim what was his, that Abraham’s mission was pointless because he was trying to please Bane, his father, who had rejected him in the first place.
Overwhelmed with anger, Tyaene tried to push past everyone to finally kill Rhosius. She trampled over Saradoc but Ooga caught her instead. Screaming and frothing from the mouth, “Murderer!” and accusing him of killing her husband, Tyaene couldn’t get break free to finish the job.
Kaloy, Saradoc, and Tobias debated whether they should attempt to keep Rhosius alive, if maybe keeping his head they would be able to gain more information later—he was a construct, after all. After much debate, they decided to kill him. Kaloy wanted Tyaene to deliver the final blow, but Tobias snapped the construct’s neck instead, to save Tyaene from having more blood on her hands.
Tyaene wept, finally relieved. Tobias offered her some comfort. Saradoc removed Rhosius’ head and found it completely dead. He threw it into the Black Fire, and a moment later, an eye stared out at them. Abraham spoke: “Thank for the offering. I’m looking forward to meeting you sometime. You’re proving to be very, very entertaining.”
Kaloy boasted that they were coming for him soon.
Lord Bailey finished his trace on the Gith’s path. The heroes all joined hands, ready to rescue the Masked Lords. As Bailey shifted them out of the Material Plane, he offered a final warning—“By the way, the spell won’t last—”
Adrift on the Astral Sea
The heroes arrived inside a boat on the Astral Sea, atop a table surrounded by Gith in the middle of dinner. Everyone looked at each other in surprise for a moment, before rushing into action. The heroes made quick work of them. While Saradoc disguised his face as a Gith and the others donned the cloaks of the Zhentarim, Tyaene used Varia’s sword to try to figure out where she and Rhys were being held.
Another pair of Gith came by to investigate the noise they just heard. Saradoc lied, and lied very, very well. Thinking nothing was wrong, the Gith turned and left the heroes to their own devices.
Rescue and Return
The heroes found the hold where the Masked Lords were being tortured, alone, by the same Gith mage that had kidnapped them. Saradoc attempted to trick the mage away from the hostages, but when he revealed his face, the Gith immediately knew something was up. Tobias teleported into the room and began the assault.
While Ooga entangled the mage helplessly, Tyaene and Saradoc peppered him with their swords and Kaloy destroyed his mind with her spell of dissonant whispers.
The heroes untied the Masked Lords. Varia revealed herself and Tyaene greeted her with a strong embrace. The other Masked Lord wasn’t moving. Tobias tried to use his healing wand on him but there was no effect.
Lord Bailey’s spell wore off and the heroes returned to Castle Waterdeep along with Tyaene, Varia, and the other Masked Lord. Varia confirmed it was Rhys, and that he had died of his injuries staying silent.