Olarune 20, 998 YK, Midwinter
The drakes might have made quick work of Bird, if not for the quick reflexes and keen ears of Quercia, as well as the sudden interference of an unknown spellcaster nhiding in one of the town house’s closets. As the battle wore on, two new enemies joined the fray: Pavel, an incorrigible Half-Orc archer, and Diego, an irascible Shifter beast trainer who was seemingly in control of the guard drakes. Apparently both mercenaries possessed more sense than loyalty, because when Bird offered them an opportunity to surrender peacefully they did so, but only after telling them everything they knew about their employer and the machine upstairs – very little, in either case.
The woman in the closet turned out to be an Eladrin wizard named Freya. As far as she was able to tell, her captor had been using her inherent connection to the Feywild as a kind of power source for whatever device was held upstairs. Quercia checked both of the bedrooms on the first floor, finding in the process 2 Healing Potions, a Syberis Shard of the Mage, and a sheaf of papers, one of which was in some kind of indecipherable script but featured the symbol of House Tarkannan at the top, one of which was a list of relatively innocuous household wares, and the last of which was empty.
Elias, fearing that the thrumming from the machine upstairs was nearing a climax, decided to climb up the townhouse’s chimney and perform some reconnaissance. He made his way to a second story window, risking the hundreds-foot fall down to the bottom of Sharn’s towers, and overheard a Dolgaunt threatening an unenthusiastic servant and, immediately after, attacking. Elias swung through the window and did his best to save the Changeling in the grips of the monster. His companions immediately ran upstairs to assist him, quickly disabling the monster and making fast work of the Khyber Generator that had almost entered an unstoppable cascade. Something about disabling the machine undermined the town house’s moorings to the tower, however, but as it began ominously rumbling a finely appointed sky carriage piloted by Bren ir’Gadden. The heroes leaped through the window to the safety of his ship, and with its last breath the Dolgaunt howled, “THE EYE HAS OPENED!”
The fight wasn’t over though. As they rose up from the lower levels of the Menthis Plateau, the side of the ship was bombarded by magic. Aric Blacktree, bearing a body-wide (and toxic looking) Aberrant Dragonmark careened toward them on a Soarsled, howling that they had interfered with his ascension twice and that he would ensure it would never happen again. Quercia cut him short and gave the lie to his boasts when she jumped onto his soarsled and pushed him off, sending him falling nearly a mile down into the depts of the Dura district.
Bren dropped the heroes off at a skydock in Upper Menthis and quickly disappeared in the ensuing bru ha ha as the waiting Sharn City Watchmen enveloped them. A few of the heroes were dubious at first, having been on various less satisfying sides of the law, but a Watch sergeant ensured them that they were heroes, that their work was appreciated, and that if they would accompany him to the garrison in Middle Menthis they would be debriefed and rewarded. The heroes did so, and ended up waiting in a spartan room for nearly two hours, after which they were visited by not the sergeant from before but a Warforged calling himself Agent and a Half-Orc named Skull, both claiming to be members of the King’s Citadel, an elite investigative organization with jurisdiction over the whole city. The heroes were told that their work was appreciated, but that recent events required that they be taken into custody – mostly protective, but it was suggested that they had not been ruled out as suspects. The events in question were as follows:
1: Bren ir’Gadden’s apartments had been broken into and a bloody struggle had ensued between 2 and 3 hours before. No body had been found. The heroes last saw Bren in perfect health less than 2 hours before.
2: Aric Blacktree’s body had disappeared from the spot where it landed, and the bodies of five city guards had been found in the vicinity – all with their skulls broken open and their brains missing.