Here Be Dragons

The I.M. Force is on a Roll!
Convincing the Rationalists and Deists to ally

We make short work of the second guardian, and Lydia heals Wellby, who had been quite close to death. We are unable to see or locate Feldor who had become invisible, and Chini uses his magic to determine that Feldor has teleported away. We quickly escape the tower and return to the Helm and Cloak with the communication device. We now face a decision: with whom should we form an alliance, the Rationalists or the Deists?

Zasheir and Mialee both are waiting and we speak with each of them individually. We let them each examine the device and ask them each to explain how they would best be able to help us defeat the enemy and why they would be the best choice.

Mialee examines the device and tells us it is drawing energy from the earth and the ley lines that traverse this world. All magic, both natural and arcane, is linked to the ley lines. Lamentation is likely situated at a confluence of the ley lines used to power the device, which will help limit our search for him. As allies the Deists would start by finding Lamentation for us, through use of the device.

Zasheir tells us the Rationalists would start by seeking out the traitors on the council. He examines the device and tells us it is an exceptional piece of arcane engineering that is entangled with all the other devices. This device would help us identify who else holds devices and would help us identify the traitors who hold us back from turning the tables on the Cult.

Lydia expresses a strong desire for the Rationalists and the Deists to work together, and proposes that a representative from each group be present while the device is being examined. Zasheir and Mialee each express extreme reluctance. With great effort, Kurshk manages to convince Zasheir that it is in the best interest of the Rationalists and Deists to work together with us to destroy the cult and work out their own disagreements later. Flint likewise manages to persuade Mialee. Zasheir and Mialee agree to bring the proposal to their leaders, but promise nothing.

A messenger enters the tavern, and delivers a message from Lady Jasnah, who wishes to see us right away. He tells us that Sparklegem has returned. We go to meet them.

Lady Jasnah informs us the council is worried about the neighboring nation of Surria, which has been building up forces on the border and sending numerous spies that seem interested in our Cult troubles and our military preparedness. Jasnah proposes sending Wellby and Sparkle on an undercover mission to Surria to investigate and report back. Wellby and Sparkle agree, and we all decide to get some rest and talk more in the morning. We retire for the night.

Asleep in our beds, we once again find ourselves standing together in the City of Shadows. We hear loud screeches, and three black-stained red wyrmling dragons fly down and engage us in lengthy battle. At last an unknown Halfling joins us and helps us finish off the wyrmlings. His name is Jimmy, and he tells us the old man, “Goody Goody,” (whom we’ve discovered is Bahamut) has asked him to watch over us, and he mentions a Cally and a Mara, names unfamiliar to us. He tells us that he understands that there is a gnome traveling with us named Sparklegem, and that we better not let anything happen to her or he will gut us like fish.

Jimmy says we are only “kind of” here, which affords us a bit of cover.He thinks we may be able to check on Bahamut, who is still in the clutches of the dragon Indomitable, if we make sure we aren’t seen.

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In the Tower

After battling and destroying the Water Weirds, we enter a colorless, spherical room with a pedestal in the middle. Metallic claws, part of the pedestal, pierce a small golden disk, Lamentation’s communication device. Chinny uses his mage hand to easily remove the disk from the pedestal. Taking the disk with us, we turn and start to retrace our route.

We hear a voice approaching and Arjhan warns us that the Mage has returned. Arjhan and Kurshk re-enter the pool room. A graying, bearded man with glowing red robes, Feldor stands before us, flanked by two of his Shield Guardians. Feldor reveals that an alarm was triggered by our entrance, alerting him to return.

Feldor then offers to take Arjhan back as his apprentice, if he will but step aside and allow Feldor to destroy us.

Arjhan seems to consider this, but then flames spring from his fingertips, blasting into Feldor. From within the flames we hear a deep, mirthless laughter. There is a burst of light, and 2 armored creatures appear between Feldor and Arjhan, protecting their master.

We begin to fight, but Feldor goes invisible, and a blast of cold envelopes us from the mage’s hands…

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A Well Laid Plan

It is time to act, and we devise a scheme. We will wait until the dead of night. Then we will gather at the tower, where Flint will cast a Fog Cloud around the tower. Cid will cast a Giant Insect spell to transform 5 wasps into giants to carry each of us to the top of the Tower. After we successfully traverse the traps, find the secret door, and figure out and cast the secret spell, Lydia will disguise herself to look like Feldor, and Lydia and Chinicum will cast their invisibility illusions to make all of us except Lydia invisible. We will then encounter Feldor’s familiar, and Lydia will use her powers of Suggestion to make Feldor’s familiar help us get the transponder.

Night falls, and we put our plan into action. We succeed in entering the tower from the roof according to plan. Then we enter a suspiciously arranged living room that we feel certain is booby-trapped. Chinicum sends his familiar, Urg, to land on an oddly placed rug, which immediately wraps itself around Urg and causes Urg to vanish. The rugs in the room jump up and begin to approach us, while several chests grow menacing fangs and rock their way towards us. A flesh golem appears with a groan and shambles towards us. We all fight valiantly, Kurshk cursing and raging throughout, and reduce our enemies to carcasses.

We reach Feldor’s study. Believing this to be the level where we can walk through a wall through an invisible door, Flint circles the room, dragging his hand along the wall. Feeling nothing but cold, hard stone, he pauses and notices a space under a desk that is pushed against the wall. Crawling under, he puts his hand against the wall and his hand goes right through. Having found the secret door, we crawl through and find ourselves in a room with two statues of human figures (one headless), a botanical painting of a plants (some in full bloom and some with leaf buds), and a lever next to the painting. Lydia tries pulling the lever, and nothing happens.

Bayor had given Lydia a tip that the spell we need has something to do with growth, so we tell each other what spells we have that might be germane. Cid’s Druidcraft cantrip has the power to instantly make a flower blossom, a seed pod open, or a leaf bud bloom, so he tries casting it on the painting and, sure enough, the buds bloom, causing the wall to drag away. Using Arjhan’s knowledge of Feldor’s appearance and manner, Lydia quickly disguises herself as Feldor and becomes authoritative, while the rest of us are rendered invisible. We enter the next room.

A small imp, presumably Feldor’s familiar, looks at Lydia suspiciously. Lydia “suggests” that she needs the communication device to take with her, but the imp becomes confused and balks when Lydia orders him to bring the device to her. Thinking quickly, Lydia pretends she was “testing” him, and sweeps past him authoritatively, with the rest of us invisibly following.

We descend stairs to yet a lower level, and enter a room with a large pool, three feet deep, with a narrow walkway around it leading to a door on the opposite end. Flint’s “Locate Object” spell determines that the communication device is through that door, and in our eagerness to reach it, we heedlessly begin to cross the room. Seven large Water Weirds suddenly rear up! We find ourselves unexpectedly entering battle, Lydia in full Feldor regalia while the rest of us are still invisible…

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Mission Impossible

A man named Zasheir greets us, stating he is a member of the Rationalists and speaks for them. If they decide to ally with us, their resources will be at our disposal. He explains that the Rationalists oppose the Cult because they seek the return of the Dragons, and that they are seeking to usurp the progressive leadership of the Baldur’s Gate Council. Zasheir is a cleric, despite his lack of belief in the Gods that supposedly give his powers.

He reveals that that there is a mage named Feldor living in the city, whom the Rationalists believe works for the Cult, and whose tower they believe served as the base for the previous day’s assault on the Council. Feldor is believed to have a communication device for talking with General Lamentation and Zasheir proposes that we infiltrate Feldor’s tower, retrieve the device, and deliver it to him while Feldor is away from the city. The Rationalists hope that the magic associated with the device will allow them to trace the origin of the messages to General Lamentation, and how the device works. In exchange for this mission, we will gain the help of the Rationalists in finding out who the traitors on the council are.

Arjhan emphasizes the difficulty of obtaining access to the tower, as there is no door, only an entrance on the roof of the tower. He suspects there are traps on the top level of the tower as well. He believes the device will be in the basement of the tower, with 3 levels of security around it: a secret door on the base level of the tower that he has deduced is there and a second level of security that will be something arcane requiring the casting of a spell at the correct location.

Zasheir adds that Feldor keeps his familiar as the final level of security, and that we will somehow need to convince the familiar to let us through.

He also tells us that Feldor still has an apprentice inside the city who may or may not be aware of Feldor’s affiliation with the Cult. Zasheir knows what tavern the apprentice frequents.

We decide we need to discuss all we have learned among ourselves. On taking leave of us, Zasheir discretely passes a message to Lydia, who pockets it. The message hums with energy, demanding to be opened, and the group steps into a private room where Lydia reads it. it says that Zasheir suspects we will receive another offer from the Deists, but that the Rationalists’ offer of help only applies if we deliver the device to them.

As we head out of the room, the elven woman Mialee stops us, saying that she represents the Deists. She states that we could be very valuable allies and asks that if we successfully steal the device we deliver it to the Deists. She offers her services as a powerful Druid, as well as the help of the Deists.

We consider the idea of working together with both the Rationalists and the Deists and ask Mialee if that would be possible. She feels this would not be accepted by either organization, who would use the ending of the Cult for fundamentally different goals – the Rationalists want to rebuild the human institutions the Cult is attempting to destroy, but the Deists believe these institutions are as big a problem as the Cult, and that the balance the Gods provided has been lost.

We realize the two groups will not work together, and decide to obtain the device first as time is of the essence.

Mialee tells us that Feldor’s apprentice, Bayor, often frequents the Pig and Whistle at this time of day.

We thank Mialee, and travel separately to the Pig and Whistle, entering separately and noting Bayor sitting alone in a corner, in robes and mage’s attire.

Lydia approaches Bayor and begins a long flirtation with him, leading him to take her to Feldor’s tower and showing her how he enters the magical portal. He reveals a few hints that may help them in their quest to find the communication device: that there is a secret room, a secret wall, and a secret spell that has something to do with “growth.”

We return to the tavern, where Arjhan comments that we must somehow get to the top of the tower, traverse whatever traps are on the top floor, find the secret door, discover the secret password, and fool Feldor’s familiar.

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New Councilmembers, New Knights ...

As another assassin leaps out and fells another Councilmember, Jasnah yells, “Weapons out!” and battle ensues. The assassins have some powerful poisonous attacks, and manage to knock Flint and Yevelda out cold. Fortunately Wellby has joined the fight, and he and Lydia are kept busy healing allies. Arjhan joins the fight, and Althaea comes roaring in as a full werewolf. It takes all of us to defeat the vicious assassins, before the guards finally appear on the scene, too late to help.

Althaea the Werewolf barely manages to restrain herself from turning on us, and is distraught about being a werewolf. She fears she can never trust herself to see her beloved son again, and wishes to die. We convince her to live and fight with us in hopes of someday being healed, and she extracts a promise that we will kill her if she turns on us.

Jasnah is now a full Council member. She provides clerics to heal our wounds. For having saved her life and the lives of three of the other council members, Jasnah honors us by making us Knights and presenting Lydia with an extremely powerful magic rapier that has been in her family for generations. Jasnah tells Flint that she has honored his request and has agents looking for his family.

Jasnah explains that another new councilmember has been appointed, named Shaumar, who is almost certainly in league with the cult. She also suspects that at least one other council member is a conspirator, as the attack on the council was so well-informed.

Jasnah tells us all that she will let us take the initiative in figuring out where and how to strike at the cult. She allows us to discuss our course of action. Flint solicits input and receives the following suggestions:

• Yevelda suggests that we help return her to her rightful place as clan leader to obtain her clan as powerful allies.

• Althaea suggests that we seek information about Lamentation’s whereabouts.

• Arjhan suggests we have him arrange a meeting with a leading member of the Rationalists in Baldur’s Gate to enlist their help. (When asked to explain who they are, he tells us that the Rationalists believe that the disappearance of the Gods was the best thing to ever happen. The other organization, the Deists, believe that we are severely handicapped as a species as long as our Gods are gone.)

• Flint, barely concealing his suspicion that Arjhan has ulterior motives, reminds everyone about the dragon eggs that Arjhan still possesses, which are desperately sought by Sultana Pyre.

• Sparkle suggests that we set up diplomatic relations with the elves.

• Welby advises that we should look into which councilmembers are in league with the cult.

We discuss these ideas and decide that Yevelda and Althaea shall go investigate Yevelda’s clan to see where they are and where they stand. Sparkle will go investigate the elves. Wellby will stay with us while we meet with Arjhan’s Rationalist friend in order to gain more information, although we will not necessarily side with the Rationalists against the Deists.

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A Council in Danger

Flint and Althaea are treated for their wounds in The Lady’s House, where Chinny also waits. Lydia goes with Kurshk to check local taverns for Wellby and Arjhan, while Jasnah heads to the Council, accompanied by Cid, Sparklegem and Yevelda. Jasnah enters the council chambers alone; Yevelda waits for her, while Cid and Sparklegem return to the others.

Flint is treated by the cleric and recovers quickly from his wound. Althaea’s wound is far more grevious and the cleric says she will have to stay for an extended period. Flint states he is going to the Helm and Cloak, and the cleric tells him he will send word when Althaea is healed.

Kurshk, Cid, and Lydia go tavern hopping while Flint and Chinny head to the Helm and Cloak where they find Wellby in a drunken stupor. Arjhan is there as well. He reports he has been trying to get the Baldur’s Gate Council to act against the cult.

Our presence has not gone unnoticed, and a few patrons, quickly revealed to be cultusts, abruptly stand up from their meals and advance directly toward us, reaching into their clothing for weapons. Battle ensues and we manage to slay them, leaving one alive. He confesses that General Lamentation told them to keep us busy. Lydia slays him and we quickly head to the council chamber knowing Jasnah is in immediate danger. Yevelda is nowhere to be seen.

Standing outside the council chambers, Flint detects undead somewhere below us. We attempt to enter the council chamber but the guards have been instructed to keep everyone out. They tell us that an orc went into a nearby sewer grate.

Lydia makes herself invisible and pushes her way into the council chamber. She runs into a magical barrier and becomes visible. The guards throw her out.

We decide to follow Yevelda into the sewer. In a few steps we see the image of General Lamentation and some undead in conversation. Lamentation sees us. He instructs his followers to delay us and disappears. We engage them in battle and slay them. Yevelda thanks us for our help and tells us that we need to hurry as the council members are in danger. She saw some creatures go thru a grate to go up to the chamber, and points out the grate to us. Looking up, we see a room above the grate. Flint opens the grate with a huge clang and sees the corpses of a lot of dead guards. There is a small room ,15 guards dead of stab wounds, and stairs leading up.

We find ourselves in the council chamber with Jasnah and other council members. Flint warns them all that Lamentation is planning an attack. Jasnah vouches for our trustworthiness.

As we are attempting to explain to the council the danger they are in, an assassin drops down from behind a pillar right above Thazar-De and cuts his throat.

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A Narrow Escape from the Felbarren to Baldur's Gate

No sooner do we cross the bridge, than we encounter three adults and two children. Sylvie is surprised, as there had been no one here when she last passed. Chinicum’s wand, acquired from the Green Hag, immediately starts to vibrate. We are unable to detect magic, and ask the group how they came to be here. They say that they stumbled upon fey-crossings while picnicking, and were transported here. Unable to return, they made a living here.

They are eager for us to spend the night with them, and when we refuse, they insist we should at least stay for dinner. Flint detects an unfriendly ulterior motive, and we decide to leave immediately. Lydia uses her power of suggestion on the adult named Edward, causing him to think that he knows and trusts us and will assist us in leaving right away, never again to give us a second thought.

The other two adults abruptly morph into giant wolves, and the two children shriek and run, attaching themselves to Flint and Althaea. Althaea scoops up one child and backs away from the wolves, but unfortunately it was a ruse – the child turns into a wolf and bites Althaea on the neck, causing her to turn deathly pale and collapse to the ground. The other child, clinging to Flint’s leg, also turns into a wolf and bites him, causing him to feel woozy.

Fierce battle ensues. Cid becomes a ferocious bear, Kurshk rages, and Chinicum looses his familiar. Lydia viciously mocks with all her might. Flint discovers that his shortsword does no damage, and must resort to using his bow and arrow in melee range to disadvantage. We are careful not to harm Edward, who has remained in human form, so as to leave Lydia’s enchantment in effect.

When we succeed in killing three of the wolves, the fourth turns back into the female human, and Kurshk tells Edward to keep his wife in line. Edward explains she is not his wife and will do what she wants, so Kurshk justifiably kills her. A furious and woozy Flint and Kurshk demand that Edward fix the damage done to Flint and Althaea, who are now in the process of becoming werewolves. Edward says that a strong cleric might be able to reverse the damage.

Cid casts a spell, Pass Without Trace, and we are able to cross back over the bridge and avoid the ravening tigers as we make our way as quickly as possible to Baldur’s Gate. But barring the entrance is a closed door standing in the middle of a barren patch of dirt, with the words “The password is Elvish” written on it. Another riddle! With the tigers now almost upon us, Lydia evokes Leomond’s Tiny Hut where we are able to hide safely until Kurshk finally figures out the riddle.

Baldur’s Gate now spreads before us. Jasnah uses her influence to gain us all entry, and we witness a multitude of people, merchants and philosophical debaters. Jasnah delivers us to The Lady’s House, and states that the clerics can attend to Flint and to Althaea, who is now completely unconscious.

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Riddle Riddle on the Wall

We continue to battle the elementals and the Green Hag. The elementals eventually flee, leaving us battling the Hag. Once we slay her, we realize the airship is sinking. Flint rushes to the engine room and finds a couple of orbs that have no more energy. Flint has seen this before in some schematics he studied during his education. the two orbs are “lift crystals” typically powered by elementals. If an alternate power source is supplied he might be able to slow the airship’s descent.

Chinny brings the armor to Flint, with the gem still embedded. Flint tries to use it to power the orb by touching them, and the airship’s descent gradually slows. Then the orb shatters and whispering is briefly heard. The ship crash lands, but at a low enough velocity that we all survive!

The passengers have evacuated the ship, planning to walk back to Tyrisis, and the pilot tells us that we are a day’s journey back to Tyrisis.

Flint finds a wand clenched in the Green Hag’s hand, and after some examination Chinny decides to keep it, even though he does not yet know its capabilties.

Jasnah approaches the group, stating she believes the Baldur’s Gate council is in great danger, and that she and Romero were specifically targeted. She believes those in line for seats on the council are being targeted. She asks to hire the group as bodyguards, to protect her as she travels to warn the council as quickly as possible.

Chinny bargains hard for gold and a magic item, and Flint requests her help in finding his family and his fiance, and also to get the Council to take the threat the group knows about seriously. A deal is struck, as Jasnah is taking the attempt on her life very seriously.

Jasnah suggests the group go to the town of Riverside. She knows the Duchess there, who has a house mage on staff who can portal the group to Baldur’s Gate.

Sylvie chimes in, stating she knows an even faster way to Baldur’s Gate thru the Felbarren, however Jasnah feels it is very dangerous. It is decided however to take this route.

We journey to the felbarren coming across a small Elvish hut made of wood and straw. Sylvie announces that this is the portal, made by the fey, “tricksy, magical creatures”. We suspect whatever is required to activate the portal will not be straightforward.

We decide to enter the hut.

Inside the hut is a fireplace with a few logs and an active fire. You can see a plaque on the wall with some writing on it. There is a small wooden chair beside a table. Upon the table is a quill pen and some ink, a wooden key, and a piece of paper. A small cot is nestled in the corner, with a pillow and small blanket neatly set over it. There is a small wooden chest beside the bed: it does not appear to have a keyhole.

On the plaque it says: The key is here in plainest sight,
No lock to either left or right.
To see the fey is what you yearn:
The key as real as the lock it turns.

Flint opens the chest. Inside the chest we find a dagger and a pair of leather boots.

Cid tries drawing a lock on the piece of paper, but no mark appears. He tries the chest, and the plaque, but again no mark. We try many ways to use the key with no luck.

Cid throws the key in the fire, and we feel a bit of shaking and the windows go dark. We open the door

We emerge from the hut to find ourselves in a barren wasteland. Small pockets of dead grass emerge from the endless dirt, providing the only immediate feature. Off in the distance we see a mountain, and a sprawling city situated upon it. Dark clouds circle around the mountain, giving it a truly ominous appearance.

Sylvie leads us on a course parallel to the mountain explaining that her Grandma knew the Fey. The summer Queen got sick and died, making the Spring Princess very sad. She was friends with her great grandma Sylvie. Then the fey started disappearing, and the Spring Princess did as well. Then the gods and then the other immortals, gnomes, eladrin, and dragons. If sylvie didn’t have some halfling blood, she would be gone as well.

She says that the city on the mountain showed up in the midst of all the disappearances. Sylvie has tried to get there, but no mater how far you travel or in what direction, it’s always the same distance on the horizon.

Yevelda announces that we are being followed, and we turn and see three figures approaching from behind, just at the limit of our vision over the barren wasteland. Flint realizes that they are dangerous predators. Sylvie thinks there is a ruined village where we can take refuge.

Bipedal tigers with swords and arrows approach. We attack and battle them, defeating them. Four legged tigers are heard approaching in the distance, and we quickly make our way to the village. As soon as we cross the bridge into the village, the tigers turn back in search of easier prey.

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Zombie Summoner Revealed
Battling Elementals

On the upper deck we find zombies and wights. Realizing Jasnah and Romero are in imminent peril, we decide Althaea should rush over and guard Jasnah. Fierce battle ensues, in which Romero is unfortunately killed. Jasnah kicks his weapon to Kurshk, who will now possess a magic flail. One by one the wights and zombies are defeated.

After the battle, Sparkle finds a gem attached to the armor of a dead wight. She tries to take it but it hurts her and she leaves it alone. Chinicum is intrigued by this gem but is also unable to take it off the armor.

Jasnah is quite shaken by the battle and the death of Romero, and Lydia soothes her. Yvelda reappears from below, where she had led the other passengers. Jandar is nervously wringing his hands, and explains that he is nervous because undead walk his ship. We go below to speak to the hapless Albert, the Tiefling Amnon and the other passengers, then return to the upper deck to confront Jandar.

At Flint’s threat to place a watch on him every second, Jandar the Halfling summons one of the elementals that power the airship! A pillar of fire erupts. The halfing turns into a green-skinned hag and cries “Destroy them, Sizzle! Purge them by the will of the Cult of the Dragon!

Sparkle immediately rushes to protect Jasnah as the elemental Sizzle moves around the deck, lighting some of us on fire. Flint summons a fog cloud to douse the flames, and battle ensues! All damage from our attacks against the hag is diverted to Sizzle, who is also damaged by direct attacks. When Sizzle is beginning to be affected, the Green Hag replaces it with Blaize, the second elemental. But we battle on, and are able to cause enough damage to Blaize that the Green Hag summon Sizzle again.

With both elementals on the upper deck and no elementals powering the airship, the ship suddenly goes silent. With no engines humming, the airship begins to sink. The Green Hag attempts to light each of us on fire … !

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Aboard the Airship

We travel uneventfully to Tyrisis, where we have dinner at the Pig and Whistle and celebrate the birthday of our culture’s mythical god, the mysterious “DM”, with a delicious cake. We then board the airship to go to Baldur’s Gate. Highbrow passengers linger on the top decks, while economy seating is below. Flint and Lydia wander around together.

An hour into our journey undead suddenly come raging up from belowdecks, long tongues extended, looking for targets, running towards the passengers. We attack them, successfully distracting them from the passengers, who one by one run screaming belowdecks. Only one passenger is killed; the others survive. We slay all of the undead, and the passengers emerge safely from belowdecks.

We head belowdecks to see if there are any more undead lurking out of sight.

The first thing we hear is a squeak, followed by a halfling rolling out from under a table. It is Jandar, chief arcane engineer of the airship. Jandar keeps Sizzle and Blaize, the elementals powering the airship, happy and functional.

He tells us that Albert, a detective, may be able to help us. Albert appears to be quite a dandy, but points out helpfully that there is a Tiefling in the cabin across from his, who may be well versed in the necromantic arts. Albert knocks on the cabin door, which is opened by the Tiefling, whose name is Amnon. He appears vaguely suspicious to us, with unexplained ash under his bed and a disheveled appearance. We leave Kurshk and Chinny to guard him.

We investigate another passenger, a noble and self-inflated fop named Romero, Master of Astoria House, and first in line for the Baldur’s Gate council. He suggests we speak with Jasnah, and we head to her cabin.

Jasnah offers to help us and reports that a ruby was stolen from her belongings in the cargo hold, which may have something to do with the summoning of the undead. We descend to the hold where a pink haired gnome named Sylvie appears. She confesses that she is the thief and hands over the missing ruby at which point we hear screaming from above.

We race upstairs and encounter Yvelda who is leading the passengers below. She tersely reports “Undead. Upper deck.” They are heading toward Romero and Jasnah. We prepare to engage in battle!

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