After weeks of travel to the country of Zilargo, our party was faced with a choice – to continue the pursuit of Lucan Stellos, or divert and travel to Darguun to begin another quest in the name of Lady Elyandra – their former patron. With their temporary pardons dependent on completing the quest to capture Lucan, and the substantial financial gains to be made in doing so, they finally decided to head South to Zilargo’s capital city – Trolanport.
When the party arrived, they were greeted by a city composed of a network of criss-crossing canals and flooded thoroughfares. With little to go on but a description of Lucan and his coach, and the word “Krell”, the party began their investigations in the city. After purchasing a map, the group tried to determine where the upper class hotels capable of housing a large coach and human guests were located. Sadly, the size and breadth of the city made this task challenging. Thaddeus used his interpersonal skills to determine that the word “Krell” might refer to one Neya ir’Krell – an Aundarian diplomat working at the Aundarian embassy. As fate would have it, there was to be a party at the embassy that very night.. Aust did his best to lead the party to the high quarter to begin their search of the hotels near “Embassy Row” but the party eventually found themselves at a dead end, unable to take their horses further in the desired direction without a ferry. It was at this point that a detour through a dark, narrow alley brought the party face to face with a group of sahuagin cutthroats, intent on murdering for profit.
The sahuagin had little expectation of the welcome that greeted them in the form of one lanced Thaddeus on his warhorse. He was able to charge the first attacker with his lance and impale him completely, killing him on contact. Oskar quickly slashed open the jugular of the second sahuagin, causing him to drop to the ground in a pool of blood. The fight was not over though, as 2 more sea raiders emerged from the waters of the canal. The party managed to kill a third before the final sahuagin leaped into the murky waters once more to escape. Aust, being unsatisfied with this conclusion, sent his orb of fire after it, only to see the orb extinguised in the canal.
Feeling the press of time, the party decided to split up – Thaddeus heading to a church of his order in an attempt to secure invitations to the party and the rest of the group working the upper part of the city for both forgery supplies and a victim from which to steal a party invitation. For his part, Kithry was able to steal a few pocketfuls of personal items, including a receipt for a local pawn shop, while Aust located paper and ink. Thaddeus found an unhelpful cleric at the temple of the Sovereign host unable to provide invites to the evening event, although he did confirm that some of the order’s clerics would be their for their own purposes.
When Aust and Kithry made their way to the pawn shop (with Oskar and Thaddeus), they were able to pawn off Kithry’s stolen golden locket for a minor magical item – Quaal’s feather token. More importantly, however, Thaddeus was able to use information gained on his way – that the party was indeed a masquerade – to do some preparations – namely, purchase masks and other costumery.
A quick survey of the hotels around the embassy revealed that the coach Lucan had been driving had been sold. A search of the inside revealed a secret compartment large enough to store a stolen sword, and containing some dark, musty smelling earth. It seemed the party’s only chance to seize Lucan now would be at the party – if they could just get tickets.
Time now out, the party went to the Aundairian Embassy to see the first party guests arriving at the large white marble building. The Embassy was well protected by a large wrought iron fence enclosing a fancy courtyard/garden with a guardhouse. The large double doors were guarded by two embassy guards, who were collecting tickets from arriving guests and dropping them into velvet lined baskets. It was then that Aust decided to cast an invisibility spell upon Kithry, so that he could sneak over to steal some tickets for the party. His mission was a success, and soon, the party found themselves at the gate being lectured on the appropriate dress and conduct for the party.
It seemed Oskar would be the first to have problems entering, as he was unwiling to part with his armour – leading to the loss of his invitation upon further permission of the ambassador upon the morrow. Oskar cursed the guard and swore he would introduced him to Oskar’s personal “ambassador” – his bastard sword – should he ever get the chance. Next was Aust, whose robes were judged unfit for a masquerade. Thaddeus was judge as acceptably attired, and allowed to check his weapons in at the guardhouse before entering through the large double doors. He entered to find an extravagant scene, a large milling of costumed guests consuming fine hors-d’oevres and wine in crystal goblets. Not seeing anyone who matched Lucan’s description, he bore his holy symbol outside of his robes to catch the attention of another cleric of Dol Dorn, Nantiken. The two conversed briefly, with Nantiken agreeing to point out Lucan should he happen to spot him in the crowd.
Aust and Kithry rested briefly in a back alley near the costume shop, allowing Aust to regain his spells, before returning to the party themselves. Nantiken at this point informed Thaddeus that Lucan was indeed present in a bird mask. Thaddeus saw 4 figures with a bird mask – 2 men and 2 women, but none of the men were blond. Still, figuring that Lucan was now separated from his magic weapon, Aust and Kithry conspired with Thaddeus inside the party to sneak to the guardhouse under the guise of invisibility to steal the magic sword before attending to Lucan inside himself. In the meantime, Thaddeus talked up a red-haired woman who had been dancing with a dark-haired man on the dance floor and found out that she was named Grilsha, and was the sister of the man she’d been dancing with. Thaddeus now highly suspected that man to be Lucan Stellos. The wizard made it as far as the guardhouse when a scream, and then a fight broke out on the dance floor of the Embassy, distracting nearly all of the guards outside and beginning a human stampede inside. Thaddeus was able to see a silhuoetted pair of sword fighters inside – a man he assumed was Lucan and a woman. He cast a light spell to provide additional illumination before witnessing the woman run through by the man in the eagle’s mask.
At the same time, Aust, who had heard the scream, rushed back to the embassy, pushing his way through the escaping crowds. Kithry was nowhere to be seen. Thaddeus was engaged in battle with the eagle-man and Oskar was close behind. Within the course of a few moments, the party had suffered some major blows, while the man they assumed was Lucan seemed relatively unaffected by their attacks. It seemed likely that this was a battle they were going to lose…