Part 1Terulai’s scepter sprung to his hand from the band around his waist but the reflex of the adventurers was quicker. As flails, hammers, daggers, orbs, crossbows, swords, and fists drew themselves up a vicious fight broke out in the court of the king. Terulai instantly activated a force field that blasted several of the adventurers away from him, then he began conjuring a massive fireball to blast those around him, particularly the king. Just as the king was consumed in fire, Belkas pulled the king’s body behind the throne to give them cover and protect the life of the king. The heroes fought valiantly, even as Terulai teleported around the room. The Shadow Caller attempted to help his master, but the heroes made quick work of him burying him in the spikes of flails and the blow of hammers. Terulai was unable to use all of his abilities in such a confined area, and the heroes truly controlled the battle. Terulai was knocked to the ground several times and had difficulty keeping the weapons off of him. At one point he recovered to a ledge across the room, just as Dekran was helping escort the king out to protect him. Terulai blasted a ball of fire towards the king hoping to kill him, but Dekran shielded him with his body saving the king’s life.
The heroes were merciless in finishing Terulai even as he cried out, “Whether by me, or those after me, the purposes of the Shadow Callers will be fulfilled.” He then collapsed, dead. It was a shock to all that such a close ally and willing friend had betrayed them all and the king. King Rostvani felt responsible himself for believing such a deceitful and treacherous man. He was taken to be tended to by nurses.
As the bodies were being cleared out by the guards Sokuyo inspected Terulai’s body and found a ritual book that he would later discuss with Trel. Dekran and Sokuyo headed to Terulai’s study at the guild and after some searching found a secret room containing hundreds of pounds of the drug Crystal Venom. There they also found a red version of the drug. After some more digging, they learned this drug was crafted with stones from Garadun as well as one of the stones from the tiefling skull of Sandek Kiroset that gave it its reddish hue. Inside the chamber were also the layouts of the drug distribution, the prominent dealers, and the routes for stealing the stones of Garadun. With this information, the two heroes returned to the castle.
Meanwhile, Therin and Nobby headed to Stonewall Prison to interrogate the man in solitary confinement who was rumored to be rambling about a tiefling skull. They were taken deep within the prison, built beneath Royal Hill. A dark, dank hallway led to a stone chambered room at the far end. Inside was a man in rags, hovelled in the corner, weeping into his hands and rocking back and forth. The guards let the two enter and gave them some privacy after some bribery. Nobby began questioning the man intensely about the whereabouts of the heart, even breaking one of his pinky’s in the process to get the information he needed.
The man was clearly insane, or troubled by the aftereffects of the skull. He continued rocking and babbling inane sentences. But after some time Nobby gathered that the man had give the skull to some traveling elves that had departed for the Port of Feliwyth and then on to the Feywild. He was convinced they didn’t know what the relic was. As Nobby was threatening the man again, a power overcame the man. Both of his eyeballs popped bloodily in Nobby’s face, and then his skin began flaying itself, painfully ending the man’s life. Obviously some darker power was at work.. Nobby spoke under his breath,
“I’m glad I didn’t keep the heart.”
Trel and Mel returned to Carlisle’s place to have a drink. Trel was recovering from the intense high that the Crystal Venom had given him when he took it during the fight with Terulai. After loosing himself in the castle grounds and being convinced everyone was a Shadow Caller, Mel helped return him to sanity and calm down at Carlisle’s. The other 4 returned soon thereafter. A plan was soon devised to infiltrate the drug house that evening and stop the production immediately.
The weather was a bit blustery as they traveled several blocks to the northern district where the mansion was located. The party inside was still raging, and many indecent women were seen walking in front of the windows. Sokuyo, Trel, and Therin circled around to the back property of the manor. Dekran and Mel took hidden positions on either side of the doorway in case anyone came out, and Nobby set a lethal trap in front of the closed doorway.
In the rear of the house two guards stood by the backdoor. Just previous to their plan Sokuyo confronted Trel about his drug usage and made him hand over the red drugs he had stolen from the bag earlier. Trel, after reluctantly handing the drugs to Sokuyo, then placed a thought in the mind of the one of them that he heard a sound inside so he went inside the doorway while the other waited outside apprehensively. Sokuyo then called to the man from behind the wall.
“Hey, hey, we need your help!” Sokuyo called to him. The man startled drew his dagger and looked towards the dark outer wall.
“Who goes there?!”
“Come help us. We have some of the Crystal Venom and the guards are on the street. Come help us out!”
“What maureth does the griffon fly south?” The man questioned, to verify their identity. Sokuyo realizing they were in a bind tossed a blue crystal over the wall to prove they had the drug. Recovering the drug, the Caller told them he would meet them around the front of the house to let them in. After he went inside Therin sprang up over the wall and blasted a massive wave of fire towards the mansion. It exploded in to the back of the house, setting the mansion alight. They three then began to run around towards the front.
Nobby, Dekran, and Mel knew it was go time as the light flashed from behind and smoke began rising. A moment later the front door opened as the Shadow Caller stepped out. Nobby’s trap sprang from cover and the spikes on the end of the spring impaled the man directly in the chest. The party goers screamed from inside, and his companion stuck his head out of the doorway only to be smashed by Mel’s large warhammer, crushing his skull. The naked people terrified for their lives ended their ‘events’ and began running towards the back of the mansion unaware of the fire. Some of the bare-skinned men tried to push out the front doorway where Dekran began hacking them down with his flail. Sokuyo was extremely angered at the slaughter of the unequipped people dying, unable to defend themselves, and no definitive proof that they were Shadow Callers. He got in Dekran’s face and threatened him. Dekran growled and agreed to not kill the women jumping from the top floor, but no more than that.
Nobby, Sokuyo, and Therin rushed inside just as the back doors swung open to reveal Shadow Callers pouring out and flames engulfing the back of the house. Smoke filled the mansion as a bloody battle ensued. Trel waited patiently in the corner as he took another dose of Crystal Venom to amplify his abilities. Laughing hysterically he began tormenting the minds of the Callers around him. Dekran in one ferocious breath, froze several undressed people as they fled from the mansion, killing them as their momentum shattered their frozen bodies into a thousand pieces.
Outside the house the upper windows blasted out and down jumped horrific amalgamations that had been present in the broken monastery while the Callers were killing Nobby’s family. The amalgamations began fighting Dekran and Mel, but they countered well with their weapons. They were flanking and being flanked. It didn’t take long before all the enemies were dispatched, and only one woman remained alive. Nobby stole gold serving dishes while the battle was ending, and then forced the woman to surrender. She was handed over to the guard as they arrived.
Belkas mentioned to Dekran it was wise of him to get the king to sign the pardon before they wreaked this havoc so they couldn’t be accountable. He also reported they had made several arrests already according to the information that the heroes had found in Terulai’s study. Battle worn, and with the house still burning to the ground, the heroes retired for the evening. The drug problem had been thwarted. And the war within the walls of the city had been quelled as the Shadow Caller regime would now rapidly fall apart. They had other worries on the horizon, the War of Expansion, the hearts of Tharizdun, but for this night they had earned a rest.
(Continued in Episode 27)