After capturing Bronc, the party chained the unconscious goliath and transported him back to Sly’s temporary residence. With the proof they had found on the caster they had defeated, they were ready to make their arrest of the Prince. Quickly, Sly led them to the Old Port where the Stockades of Uldany were to drop off their captive. Then, he told them to go make the arrest and he will go and fetch Justicar Fel.
When the party arrived at Justicar Pennyfinger’s estate, they were greeted and allowed into the building simply by stating they had business with the Prince. They were announced to Pennyfinger, who sat at a desk in a dark room lit only by the light of a single candle. She questioned the group, who were evasive about their true intentions. Eventually, the truth came out when they handed she figured out why they had arrived and asked to see the proof they needed to make their arrest.
She read it, then told them they were to sign a magical contract that would prevent them from mentioning her in their report in any associative way with Prince Nigel. In exchange, she would give them each a powerful magic weapon to take with them. The group talked it over, then ended up accepting the bribe. They each signed the contract and their lips were sealed on the topic. Pennyfinger then pointed out that the Prince was out on the terrace speaking to someone and quietly left the room.
The group snuck up on the two speakers and were able to ascertain that the Prince was, in fact, working for a powerful wizard named Dengaron, who wanted the Diamond Core in exchange for some service that was not spoken fully of. The Prince assured the messenger that although he didn’t know the location, an assassin of his would bring the eyes of the Mason to him that evening so a ritual could be performed to determine where he had hidden the stolen artifact. The other figure seemed to be pleased by this, but warned him not to fail again, stating that the Prince had already failed to kill the Mason by hiring that group of bandits that attacked the group on the way to Uldany and by failing to stop the party when they were all trapped in the Twin Dragon Inn.
The group interrupted the pair and announced their arrest. The Prince laughed and drew his sword. The other figure was made entirely out of shadow and disappeared, leaving behind 2 flaming skulls. The group fought valiantly and with effective teamwork, they brought the Prince to his knees. But the shadowy figure returned and stated that the Prince has failed to keep his end of the bargain and now his body belonged to Dengaron.
The body grew to a massive stature, the armor bursting off of him. Every bit of visible skin was covered in glittering runes all up and down his body, and his eyes took on a greenish-yellow glow. The room’s many stone pillars burst apart and stone golems came forth from the rubble to surround the group.
They all fought with great intensity and managed to beat the monstrous Prince into retreating, causing the few stone golems that Maddox had not yet destroyed to collapse. Justicars Fel and Pennyfinger congratulated the group and told them they had done well. Fel instructed Pennyfinger to use her extensive contacts to find out who Dengaron is. He also instructed the group to ask the Mason for more details, but encouraged them to rest first and do it the next morning.
The group went to the barracks for the 5th District, their new home. They were pleased to find that they each had their own room, and each room contained a bed, a table, and their weekly pay waiting for them. The next morning, they were awoken to attend the mandatory drills and exercises, then were released to do what they had been instructed to.
However, when they reached the stockades, they noticed the guards were missing and the door was ajar slightly. They carefully opened the door and stepped inside and were immediately overcome by the smell of rotting flesh—the two guards that they had seen the night before were dead at their feet and rotting as if they had been left here for weeks. Continuing on, they had to climb down a rope to reach the level where the cells were, then got a little turned around in the labyrinthian tunnels leading to the Mason’s cell.
When they finally managed to open the lock, they noticed that he was missing, but every other prisoner that was there before was still in its place. Yurik caught the feel of a light breeze which was not present down there before and Maddox noticed that some of the magic-repelling glyphs around the door had been slightly altered.
Leaving the cell, they found that a door pointed out to them before as to never be opened because monsters lived beyond it was open, the locks masterfully picked. They hurried inside and down a narrow tunnel to an open chamber with a pool or nasty, stagnant water in the middle. Piles of remains lay strewn about in here, but one body stood out—seemingly the missing soldier that had the rune necklace necessary to operate the lift so they could leave.
When they disturbed his body, he sprang back to life and attacked the group. The remains of the creatures around the room picked themselves up as best as they could and tried to attack the group as well. Yurik was bitten twice and began to feel sick before the Maddox was able to buy enough time for the relentless onslaught from Freya, Kirril, and Raze to wear the creature down and destroy him. Clutched in his hand was a small red orb, which Yurik took, along with the necklace that the rune of opening was on.
What sort of sorcery allowed the dead to return to life? Was such a power real? Where did this tunnel lead? Would Yurik survive? And where is the Mason?