January 10-20, 1051 HR
The morning of January 10, Her Holiness Lady Ishtuk summoned Aeschere and Whren to the Temple of Tiamat in Throdenoth. She asked them if they were still interested in learning about the whereabouts of Afa, priestess of Demogorgon and leader of a cult cell that the PCs have just recently broken up. It turns out that Afa, finding her position in Throdenoth seriously weakened, has decided to spend the winter in the company of Prince Hoondaarh, son of King Yed.
Prince Hoondaarh is a Dragon Prince, son of King Yed (Monarch of Blixt), brother of Duke Malifop (Duke of Yarag). He recently emerged as the sole male survivor from his clutch in the rites of combat 11 years earlier. Like some landless royalty in Blixt, Hoondaarh has attached himself to the military and has distinguished himself well in fighting on the western marches.
Ishtuk also explained that Hoondaarh has taken possession of an ancient ruined temple complex as his lair. This is an ancient temple that was once devoted to Demogorgon in ancient times (more than a millennium ago) when the land was ruled by a human kingdom that succumbed to the worship of this demon for some time.
Apparently many royals in Hoondaarh’s position often come to resent the political structure of the kingdom that confers elite status upon them while simultaneously excluding them from true power, land and armies. Some of these royals will even go so far as scheming to undermine the government of Blixt. Sadly this is the route taken by Hoondaarh.
Ishtuk has learned from her spies that Hoondaarh has been secretly working with and supporting the Cult of Demogorgon in the hopes of sowing widespread chaos across the land. Apparently, he hopes that in the ensuing political instability, he can seize power somehow or at the very least improve his station.
Ishtuk’s spies have informed her that Afa is spending the winter as a guest in Hoondaarh’s lair where she is plotting strategy. The PCs agreed to go and kill Afa and hopefully kill Hoondaarh in the process, Ishtuk offering to provide access into the lair with the secret password “Starry Night.”
Ishtuk also informed the PCs that a feared and renowned bounty hunter named Lum the Relentless has taken interest in them and knows that they are in Throdenoth. She advised them to leave the city as soon as possible.
On a side note, later that evening Whren returned to the temple for the nightly sermon and ceremony, the highlight of which was the burning of a captive elf.
The following day then, the PCs decided to finally make their assault on Lakjat’s domicile, making contact with Grushchow the Goblin and Zed Rigour, members of the local thieves’ guild, and securing information to allow them entry through the lower cellars. First however, Whren bluffed entry into Lakjat offices by posing as a prospective client who was interested in purchasing some draconic grafts. This provided the party with valuable reconnaissance.
Once inside, the PCs found a true house of horrors defended by fiendish magical traps and horrifying arcane constructs. The final battle, at the foot of Lakjat’s tower, was an epic one indeed. The frosty January night was illuminated by explosive bursts of flame and arcs of lightning as both sides squared off. Things appeared to be lost until Lakjat was finally felled by the crafty Whren, who got off a last minute shot with her wand of magic missiles.
The next day, the party decided to leave town despite Zook’s plea to Whren that she stay with him and join his troupe as a permanent member. And that was that. Tilo teleported the group to a spot about 85 miles north of Throdenoth, somewhere near the Saben Monastery. From there the group journeyed overland for about a week until they reached the southern reaches of the North Hills.
Somewhere in those hills awaits Prince Hoondaarh. Somewhere behind you lies the Lum the Relentless. Who knows what the future may hold.
2,813 for 9th level PCs
3,467 for the 8th level PC (Whren)