Previously, the heroes concluded their investigation of the queen’s quarters and went to the Circle of Magi in order to investigate the khazra head and talk to Callum the Diviner who told them more about the political ramifications of the queen’s illness and why it was so important to find a cure.
James gained more information on the ghost orchid from Ecgbrith the herbalist while also going out of his way to inform some of the people he knew in the city about a possible outbreak, all the while drinking more and more in order to deal with the mounting pressure.
Lady Annabella Waxley and the lady commander Miranda Ravensbourne came to speak to the heroes in order to convince them to find their way into the Kingsport carceratum to bring the rebel lords incarcerated there to safety; something the heroes decided to discuss further the following day.
Emrys introduced Quentin to lord Andrew Selkirk, a troubadour who taught at the College of Bards in Kingsport who had heard rumours of Fleur, the legendary sword belonging to Ser Estienne and came to perform in order to elicit the wielder of the blade to come out and have a conversation with him.
Ninth Day, First Ride, Autumn Red, 1262
(Silvermoon is waning. Bloodmoon is waning. Darkmoon is waning.)
When the heroes woke up they found that the weather has improved as compared to the previous couple of days. Astrid was awake and was raising the fire in the hearth while James continued to sleep. Luca got up and washed himself and continued to page through his mysterious tome while Quentin arranged for food to be brought up to the room.
When everyone had eaten their fill, Quentin woke up James who quickly grabbed some of the remainders and stuffed it into his mouth. Luca asked him if he wanted to freshen up before going out to meet lady Annabella and the lady commander, but he felt no such inclination.
When the heroes departed the Careless Wanderer and headed to the cathedral of the Platinum Father they made sure to stop to see if any news had been posted on the notice board on Steward Square. Nothing new had presented itself and the heroes decided to observe the busy square.
After a short wait a coach with two black horses came riding up the square stopping in front of the cathedral. Lady commander Miranda exited the coach and mentioned for the heroes to come up. Astrid, carrying a great sword decided to stay outside while the rest climbed aboard to speak to lady Annabella inside. The lady commander went inside the cathedral to pay her respects.
Lady Annabella reiterated her desire for the heroes to go into the carceratum and liberate the two rebel lords from their predicament so that they may be imprisoned elsewhere and their safety guaranteed. James wanted his reward to be a writ of passage so that he may take refuge on palace grounds if the need ever arose. Lady Annabella was willing to do so, but said that the writ was only as valuable as the person who signed it; it would depend entirely on her station on the time of James’ use whether it be worth anything at all.
Quentin was keen on getting some diplomatic help to gain access to the queen and her diplomats. Lady Annabella was not too keen on a blind promise like that, but begrudgingly agreed to it, but promised Quentin that if she was made a fool in the process he would regret it.
Surprisingly, Luca wanted to be granted an honourary title, or honourary degree from the Circle of Magi. He preferred the degree, but would settle for a title. Lady Annabella said that she couldn’t guarantee the degree, but would likely be able to get him the title he was after.
Astrid only cared for one thing; a suitable contribution to the fund she was building in order to purchase her ship. Emrys, who had stayed very quiet during the entire exchange didn’t dare to ask for payment, as lady Annabella claimed he was still indebted to her.
The queen’s handmaid asked for the heroes to leave an empty letter addressed to her to be left with Lauryn at the Wanderer; she would know how to get the letter to the handmaid and it would set in motion the necessary steps for someone to take custody of the two rebel lords when the heroes emerged from the carceratum with them.
Luca, who had exited the coach, decided to enter the cathedral and found the lady commander in one of the pews, kneeling in devotion to the Platinum Father. He was taking in all of the details of the impressive building, the nave, the choir, the transcept, the main chapel, and the two minor chapels, as well as the countless shrines to saints and angels. He was reminded of the fact that the last time he had seen his patron was when they retreated into the cathedral after sharing their name with Luca, and he was left wondering what it all meant.
While the other spoke to the handmaid, James went to quickly inspect the carceratum; a short and stocky tower standing on Steward Square right next to the Magisterium. He noticed that most of the crownsguard were more heavily armed and that inside the tower there was a barricade which was erected around a staircase leading down into the dungeon.
Lady commander Miranda could provide the heroes with a quick, charcoal sketch on a piece of parchment of the inside of the carceratum, giving the heroes a good sense of the inside and its dimensions. Concluding their conversation with the two noble women the heroes retreated back to the Careless Wanderer to get ready.
Luca conjured up the spell which would allow him to travel a short distance instantaneously and absorbed it into Blackstar. He had recently developed the spell from the foundation of the Ritual of Returning which he learned in Atilesceon’s tower, and it might prove useful in escaping the carceratum.
Everyone handed their weapons to James, who hid them in his mysterious bag of thievery which he, in turn, gave to Luca. The young warlock cast an illusion on himself that disguised him slightly; making his clothing and equipment look plain and forgetful, while he himself took on a slightly more bulky and sturdy appearance.
It was midway through the afternoon when the heroes presented themselves to the crownsguard at the carceratum, claiming that they were responding to the notice they had found calling on people to help quell the uprising. Soon after, they were talking to warden Valgard, an old, slimy little man who offered them one gold crown per ear they retrieved from the carceratum, obviously not caring one bit for the prisoners left in his care.
The heroes were directed to the staircase leading down into the dungeons, made their way past the heavily armed crownsguard and climbed over several barricades which had been thrown up to keep the prisoners from storming out. The dark dungeons under the streets of Kingsport awaited them.