By the morning of Wednesday, February 10th, Year 6, a powerful band of adventurers has gathered to make haste to Slighe Domhainn to investigate what became of Dargos when Q heard him call for help during the attack on Citadel House Monday night (Rovert is finishing some studies and will follow on the 11th, making all haste):
- Rovert (TrS): Level 14 Human Necromancer
- Sidriss, Level 5 Black Dragon-Infused Lizardfolk Monk Henchman
- Drej, Level 5 Psuedodragon Familiar
- Elf-eater Skeleton
- Zengiff, Talking Rock
- Verdis (HuS): Level 12 Human Fighter
- Phineas, Talking Rock
- Conan (MiM): Level 9 Elf Vampire Magic-user (Fire/Wind/Death)
- Scar, Level 6 Hawk Familiar
- Osiris (CoB): Level 7 Elf Magic-user
- Stephen (EnS): Level 5 Human Thief
- Animus, Level 1 Hawk Companion
The main party arrives at the gates of Slighe Domhainn, the city where Dargos is mayor, in the late afternoon on the 12th (Friday), expecting Rovert to be only hours behind. They inquire of the guards there to know of Dargos’ well-being. The guards are largely clueless, but the party learns that the palace has been shut since an incident Monday night, probably an alchemical accident, and that the city’s guards have received orders by courier. The guards think the captain of the guard, found at the garrison, would know more.
The party decides to go straight to the palace and ask to see Dargos, Verdis making up a story about having knowledge of Dragon Empire activity in the area (an easy claim, having a Dragon Empire devout with him in the form of Sidriss). The guards are rude, and their Ensignal very rough. The party suspects they are Ar-a-mach who have taken command of the palace, but tells them they will be staying at Tancaire Uamhasach (Prodigal Tankard) anyway, if Dargos wishes to contact them.
They head to the inn, meeting Rovert on the way with the help of Drej’s telepathy. They take rooms there and allow the innkeeper to put them on Dargos’ tab. During the night, with Phineas and Zengiff on watch, smoke starts to curl into their rooms from the floor below. It has an acrid smell and a magical aura and though the party resists it, it knocks Scar out. While Stephen uses his double jump to go out the window, the others make their way downstairs to fight the fire in the kitchen, quickly learning it is an oil fire. When the smoke knocks out gnomes trying to help, including the innkeeper, Verdis carries them to safety, kicking the barred door open easily (with a 17 on 3d6).
Outside, Stephen gets an old gnome woman to use her fire department flare and gnomish firefighters soon arrive to finish the battle with the flames using alchemical expanding sand. While the fire department investigates the cause of the fire, Verdis tracks dog poop boot prints out of the Prodigal Tankard and up to the servant entrance to the palace.
Now sure that the Ar-a-mach have taken over the palace and attacked the inn they were staying in, they have Stephen pick the lock to the servant door and enter to find a guard who Verdis quickly dispatches. The servant quarters are unusually empty as they make their way to the kitchen, passing corridors Verdis recognizes as leading to the great hall.
In the kitchen, they hear snoring and peek in to see 4 gnome soldier sleeping among the counters. Rovert attempts to knock them all out with an incapacitating spell, but two start to wake. The party beats them in initiative and subdues them with hardly a sound. The kitchen is equipped with a device that seems designed to aerosolize the unknown liquid within.
They leave the device and take the servant stairs up the keep to Dargos’ chambers. At the top of the stairs, they bypass a locked door via teleport, sending Verdis, Rovert, and Conan through. They find Dargos’ chambers a mess with all drawers emptied and mattresses and pillows shredded. They inform Osiris and Stephen that it is safe to pass and Stephen cracks the complex lock to get into the room.
They decide to climb to the top floor of the palace tower. It holds Dargos’ observatory where an Ar-a-mach alchemist sleeps in the telescope chair. The alchemist’s pendant glows brightly at their presence and awakes him, but Verdis quickly strikes him down. After looting him, they descend the main stairs. They hear a pair of gnomes discussing why Fahthast would be descending at this hour. Despite the gnomes being aware of them, they again get the drop on them and quickly dispatch them before they can use any of their alchemy.
They pass through the dining room into the great hall. There, swarms of fireflies patrol the room. Rovert, running forward to cast death bursts on the swarms, learns that some are illusory and that those that aren’t deal significant damage by exploding on contact. Osiris hits him with a death burst, clearing most of the fire flies around him. Verdis also comes to his aide, using his Chime Ring to blow some of them away. Conan follows his lead, scattering them further with a wind spell. Meanwhile, Stephen has been investigating tracks on the wall and spots a wooden box hidden in the chandelier. He shoots it down and it shatters. The illusory fire flies vanish and the true ones fall harmless to the ground, where they gather them up.
Just as they finish gathering, the remaining gnome garrison attacks. Sidriss is on guard at the door and ambushes them as they come in, quickly joined by the rest of the party. Though they take some solid hits as the soldiers close, the party soon clears them out, proceeding to the dungeons where they free Dargos, his family, and his staff, all of whom were kept to produce disguise potions.
They join Dargos as he gets the palace back in order and assesses the damages over the course of Saturday. He is pleased to find that they failed to penetrate his treasury and pays the party 5 platinum in addition to everything they looted from the captured and fallen Ar-a-mach. He insists they join him for church on Sunday and on the 15th they head back toward the Vale. On their way back, an Ar-a-mach delegation meets them in Rathad Oidhche, thanking them for dealing with the radical movement within their faction.
This really was the last gasp of the radical Ar-a-mach trying to awaken Luath Draoidh. I’m sure some day there will be another effort to bring him back, but what Ar-a-mach still hoping to do it are now very few in number.