This session began with your arrival at the dragonborn city of Rayture after spending 12 days on a ship going at full speed. The captain had been told that your arrival needed to be as swift as possible, and the captain willingly damaged his boat to get you there on time. Things only got weirder as you set foot on ground and entered Rayture finding the streets practically empty and everyone’s nerves frayed. Dragonborn guards stopped you and demanded to know what your business was in the city, and before you could answer a young boy named Ray motioned you to silence behind the guards. You gave an answer that satiated the tension and followed the young boy to a man named Garev.
Garev revealed that a Tiefling lord named Ianben Glimmergaunt had taken over the city and was… looking for something. Some sort of ritual. He tells you the man you’re looking for, Garunthal, is in hiding. Apparently, Ianben wants to get his hands on him for some reason. Garev wont tell you. All he’ll tell you is that if you kill Ianben, the entire system he has going will crumble and Garev and his men can ensure a rout of the rest of the tieflings. He says Ianben is an idiot, and has no idea how or where to use his guards. He says that’s what Ianben hired him for, to place and schedual his guards. Garev is your man on the inside of the mansion and he tells you where and when each guard will be so you can make a plan to sneak in. All goes smoothly, and as you sneak up to the second floor balcony and attack the guard outside Ianben’s room, you notice something odd. There are more guards then there should be, and something is WRONG with the tieflings you’re fighting. They almost look like someone has poorly grafted parts of demons onto their already demonic bodies, and its giving them increadible defense against your weapons. After the guards shout, more surge up the stairs and move to cut you off. Eventually, you all gave up and they tied you onto rings set into the wood of another room.
Ianben eventually comes into the room and flaunts his superiority at you. He feels as though he’d won and he was taking pity on you all to at the very least let you know what you failed against. Somehow, he’d found the old Bael Turath ritual and had set it in motion. “24 hours from now, I will be more powerful, and you will be my perfect red herrings to take the blame for the demons let loose in town.” He gloats some more before leaving you all hanging from your bonds. Time passes, and the closer to daylight you get, the more the mutated tieflings watching you look more and more like regular tieflings. They don’t even know they’re being possessed at night, and once dawn breaks they’re once again the cowards they should have been from the beginning. You easily break your bonds and dispatch the guards in the room and its a matter of minutes to find and get your gear back. You suit up and slam your way through Ianben’s door to once and for all take care of the idiot.
Now, he may be an idiot, but he does know how to fight, especially with the help of the barbed devil accompanying him. Though, your tactics and wrestling moves prove to be too much for both of them and they both die. Not without loss though, as S’ssei falls to the devil’s spikes. You loot both of Ianben’s daggers and his journal. His journal has some interesting information. Ianben was supposed to find and return the ritual to his master, who he hates and despises. He was going to use it himself and return to his master to kill him. There’s also mention of a Crispin who may or may not be his master. With the venom used around his name, there’s a good chance he is. With this knowledge, you go in search of the ritual itself. If the month-long ritual was supposed to end the next morning, its got to be somewhere in the house still!
You manage to uncover it from the pillar it’s hiding in and twist the puzzle box its locked in. As soon as the tome is brought into sight, you can see smell and feel the increadibly evil aura it gives off. Its foul, greasy, evil and hungry but it locks away once you put it in your haversack. You spend the next day waiting and helping the revolt against the tieflings die down before you can manage to find Garev again, and he’ll take you to the temple to have your friend lizard raised, free of charge. Its the least they can do for who and what your group represents.
You pass through a barrier on your way into the temple, and it almost feels like your soul is… off. Like its not where its supposed to be. Still there, just… off. You meet Garunthal as he brings S’ssei back. He tells you that you only have 5 months from when you killed the dragon, and you’ve already wasted 2 weeks. The scatterbrained prophet tells you that you have to find 7 keys, that they’ll be attracted to intelligence and power, and that you need them to unlock Elhonna from her bonds before the Shadow Man can finish his work. In his words “…Bad things. Bad, bad things…” Garunthal hands you a key ring. Not only something to hold the keys once you get them, but it is keyed to three specific points around the world to make travel faster, quicker, and easier. But ONLY to those three places. With only 4 1/2 months left, faster and easier is required.
Getting off Uristrica will be a problem though, as all teleportation off the island has been forbidden without the permission from the king. So you make your way to the king’s castle in Mukel and seek an audience with him. An audience you get, but things are not what you expect. you stand almost across the room from him, shouting to hold conversation. And you notice he has a key. One of the seven keys you need are dangling from the ornate crown on his head, and he brushes all attempts to cajole the key from him aside in favor of ‘sending you off to see family’ as his addled brain concocts. And so you teleport off to go look into where Garunthal mentioned the first key should be.
You’re headed to the Underdark. Just make sure to watch your back…