When the Halfling leader arrived, she was followed by an entourage of Guild Enforcers. While she and Igan spoke in thieves’ cant, Ander watched the exchange from the sidelines. He discovered that the Guild may have had some hand in the riots that occurred, but to what extent wasn’t clear. When confronted by Ander regarding her role in the massacre, she claimed that her orders to her men were only to seed the crowd with passion, and see the march occurred, but she never intended for any citizens to get hurt. Her words seemed truthful, but also as if she wasn’t necessarily sharing the whole truth.
Stiletto pleaded with the Heroes to help her break into the Seatower of Balduraan to try and get weapons for the masses and perhaps free some prisoners as well. While the Heroes did their best to try and get Stiletto to forgo her fight against the powers that be, in order to fight the “true evil” of the Cult of Bhaal, she said she couldn’t divert her attention from the people who were dying right here and now. After making everyone but a few leave the room, she spoke more candidly, saying she would love to help more and is indeed searching for the Cult – but so far nothing has come of it. She is willing to fight the Cult, but she feels her immediate duty is fighting for the people of the city, who are dying left and right – by duels with patriars, lynching by the Flaming Fist, and now the tragic events of the day. She will arm the people and continue a search for the Cult, but her priority is the people. She also mentioned she tried to investigate the Cult’s chamber that they found with Layla, but the room and area was collapsed by stone, blocking investigation.
After the conversation, the Heroes are left with the task of organizing weapons retrieval and a prison break from the Seatower of Balduraan. First thing though was rescuing their goods from the Watch Tower in Upper City. Stiletto gave the Heroes five Enforcers to aid in these tasks.
They were led through the maze of the Undercellar to a place just outside the Watch Tower. A disguised Ander and Vogel were going to go try to retrieve the items with a little deception. Using magical disguises, the two dressed as a Flaming Fist dwarf and a Vigilar of the Watch. Trying to convince the four gate guards they were there to retrieve the prisoner’s items, as they “should have been included in the transfer”, did not go so well. Soon a magical suggestion or two convinced half of the guards to help, while the other half seemed highly doubtful. Never-the-less, a guard showed them inside to the evidence locker. Ignoring many tempting items, they were able to gather all of their items with the help of Ander’s bag of holding.
Unfortunately, they realized their deception had been discovered as they were to depart. Ander used a potion of invisibility to sneak out the front gate, after sending a large number of spear-wielding guards after an evil bucket of “doom”. Vogel used some basic prestidigitation and spider-climb to get the hell out of there.
While this all happened, Xin tried to come on to Manny, one of the Guild Enforcers, only to be rejected, as he said he was married.
With their things recovered, the group and Enforcers sought to rest before their next goal of the Temple of Gond. After Uruag’s first watch, she woke Vogel for her own watch. Uruag spoke earnestly to Vogel, saying that she felt it was time to leave for her. That she needed to personally get the help from her sisters at the monastery. Vogel expressed her concern, but let her go.
No more than thirty seconds later, there was the sound of a scream from outside their door – and when the elf witch turned to the door, it burst open with an ugly shirtless man leading three terrifying hellhounds on a chain. Soon, battle was engaged and the hellhounds were breathing fire and ripping the throats out of the Enforcers. The Heroes were all almost killed, Ander again falling to the ground, beside the five fallen Guild Enforcers. But, after a fierce battle, the Heroes won out, not without more than a few scorch marks and losing all but two of the Enforcers. Quickly, Vogel ran outside and saw the bloody, burnt, and mutilated form of Uruag Backbreaker dead on the ground.
Screaming out, soon the others ran to the same gruesome scene. Xin cried above Uruag, pulling her necklace from her – which inadvertently disconnected the half-orcs head from her body, which then rolled to Ander’s feet, staring directly up at him. It was disgusting. Uruag did seem to have the ashen eyeball of one of the hounds in her hand, but that was difficult to discern over her guts that were spilled out of her mid-section. Supe said a brief prayer over her body and gathered her bits and pieces in a backpack, hopefully for resurrection later, if possible.
Upon investigation, Ander discovered a scrap of cloth on the hounds-keepers’ person, which looked like a piece of Xins’ torn clothing. They discern that it must be from when Xin was previously captured.
After a rough night’s rest, the group leaves one of the Enforcers to look after his fallen brethren, while Manny would join the Heroes, leading them to Hall of Wonders/Temple of Gond – at which point Manny departs.
The heroes, arriving at the temple just as it opened saw the grandeur that was Hall of Wonders before them. A gigantic circular structure, with large columns, statues, engravings, and moving parts. They entered, only to see the museum inside of every kind of strange contraption they could imagine, from strange pumps to flying machines to things they could net attempt to identify. At the far end of the great hall, they saw a giant altar with stained glass depicting a craftsman at work. They sought out a priest, a pastor named Gauwill, telling him of their need to get the curse reversed from their afflicted friend, Xin.
Soon, they are brought to an infirmary to await a priest who can handle such things. It isn’t long before a team of acolytes hover around Xin, placing her on a rolling table, strapping her down, virtually naked and face down to the thing. Her scarred and tattooed back plain for everyone to see.
Heading to a circular viewing chamber, Vogel and Ander, as well as a score of onlookers sit thirty feet above the chamber, behind glass, looking down upon an altar. Xin is wheeled onto the altar, for everyone to see. Gauwill, Supe, and a small handful of acolytes are left with Xin.
Gauwill makes a proclamation, stating that the exorcism was about to begin – and to perform such a difficult task, was none other than head of the church of Gond, Duke Torlin Silvershield…
…Stepping into the chamber is a magnificently adorned Silvershield, with a large headdress, in fine red and gold linens. Looking directly to Xin, he says with a smile, “Let us begin.”
Begin what??? Find out, next time, in Baldur’s Gate!