Previously, the heroes spent the better part of the afternoon engaging with Réonan at the Circle of Magi where the enigmatic head archmage was interrogated about the vault they suspected was under Kingsport. They confirmed that Réonan was the vault’s keeper and had summoned Xarrombus from the far realm to act as the vault’s guardian. They also confirmed that Réonan was indeed a celestial whose name at one time was Zerachiel.
Fourth Day, First Ride, Autumn Twilight, 1262
(Silvermoon is waxing, Bloodmoon is waning, Darkmoon is waning)
When the heroes returned to the Careless Wanderer the tavern was full of fishermen who were making merry. The heroes had a things to discuss and felt they would not be afforded the privacy they needed and so retreated to the stables room that Emrys had rented for himself.
Most of the conversation was around eyes, glass eyes and eye patches. Having liberated Jeanne and Vydia from the hands of the Steady Hand thugs, they both had damaged eyes due to the slug that had found its way into their eye socket. The day master also had a glass eye and the suspicion was that this could have been caused by those strange slugs as well.
Quentin was reminded that he had taken a strange eye from Kalauranthalasis’ lair, which had been identified as a strange magical artifact called the Eye of the Pirate King. He wondered whether it might belong to the day master, but quickly dismissed the idea; the butcher had light brown eyes with flecks of green, which did not match the artifact. But another thought crossed the young knight’s mind; eyes usually come in pairs and perhaps there was a twin that was in the possession of the butcher; he, more than most, would have reason to keep a magical eye handy.
The question came back around to what the heroes would do next, and Luca reiterated that he wanted to liberate Hamish from the aberrant lords. James explained that it was likely that Hamish had been brought to the night master’s headquarters, which could be found in the ancient waterways underneath Ravensbourne. Moreover, James believed it likely that the headquarters were the entrance to the Newport vault.
The heroes discussed the possibility of scouting the ancient waterways underneath Ravensbourne but felt there was limited opportunity for them to do so safely. This prompted Luca to dedicate some time to performing the ritual summoning of a familiar; he had found a scroll amongst the treasure in the Wyrmblood ziggurat but had been thwarted in his attempts to perform the ritual. He finally saw an opportunity to do so, having secured the relevant components only recently. The familiar might be able to assist in scouting.
James decided that he wanted to write a letter to lord Marcus explaining everything that the heroes had learned since they had spoken to him and the rest of the Sheridans last. He also felt that the heroes were deserving of a good meal and so he went out to find ingredients. Luca retreated to his modest chambers to prepare and perform the ritual while Quentin spent some time skimming the book of Celtician lineages. He concluded that he would likely have to spend more time in order for him to learn anything useful about the ancient noble houses of Beauclair.
James was able to secure the ingredients that he was looking for, despite breaking curfew in order to do so. It was testament to James’ familiarity with the city and his resourcefulness that he managed to scrounge the quality ingredients together for the modest amount of coin he did.
When James returned he noticed a knight and her retinue of henchmen ride up to the Careless Wanderer in the icy, pouring rain. The knight was wearing the elaborately decorated armour of the Order of the Lance, but before James could determine why the unusual party had arrived at the Wanderer he headed inside and spoke to Ramsey in the kitchen, instructing him to make a grand feast with the ingredients he had found. Ramsey was impressed and delighted that he could finally cook a proper meal again and forget about the curfew’s impact on the quality of his cooking. It was probably the first time that James had seen the surly man smile.
When James had emerged from the kitchen, he found the knight standing in front of the tavern room, flanked on either side by her henchmen, declaring the following:
“Grimnir Bouldertoe of the Iron Foothills, I have come on the order of Lord Aberforth of House Dunkeswell, Earl of Hungerford, Viscount of Monk Bridge, Protector of Northern Ashenvale and sworn Banner to House Grey. He demands that you fulfil your oath of service to him and return the rockplate catfish.”
Evidently, the knight was Dame Morena, sworn sword of house Dunkeswell and barontesse of Hittersleigh was there to demand that Grimnir, one of the dwarven fishermen, return into the service of lord Aberforth. Apparently the dwarf and his team had switched to lord Peregrine’s team during the fishing competition and the threat of losing the competition was enough for lord Aberforth to send an armed retinue to adjudicate the matter. As Ser Liam of the Cloakwoods, sworn sword to house Blackwell, stood between Dame Morena and the frightened dwarf, James could no longer conceal his scorn.
Several comments, none of them designed to deescalate the situation, tumbled from James’ mouth and before he knew it swords were drawn and blood started flowing. James tumbled out of the way of danger and exited through one of the windows and into the alleyway along the Wanderer, but not without sustaining a couple of wounds.
Luca, who had heard the ruckus during his preparation of the conjuration ritual, had come downstairs and confronted Dame Morena. He managed to leverage his newfound title as Baronet of Evenshade Hall into a parley and appealed to her better nature and the honour of lord Aberforth to make sure that the dwarves were treated fairly.
When Dame Morena had left, not without James inflicting some wounds of his own on her henchmen, Luca turned his attention to Ser Liam and tended to his wounds. When James returned he was treated as well, and not for the first time did the heroes see a noticeable change in Luca. His powers, while still devastating, also had the capacity to heal, to sooth and to nurture.
A familiar face popped up when dinner was served and the heroes sat down for their meal; Wynn, the blue-skinned, white-haired Quickling had found his way into the bread basket where he was gleefully munching away at the lovely sourdough that Ramsay had prepared.
James finally prepared the letter to lord Marcus and turned to Wojciech, the Silesian stable master of the Wanderer. It was not the first time Wojciech had run errands between Kingsport and Lynnecombe and he happily took up the charge. James paid him handsomely and made sure he had enough coin to bring some friends for protection. The Silesian would deliver the letter if the heroes had not returned three days after their departure the following day.
After dinner James visited Luca in his chambers just as the conjuration ritual was finishing and laid witness to the summoning. An arcane circle had been drawn on the floor of the room with charcoal and the remainder was ground up and mixed with incense and used to draw the symbols of power within the circle. Once the powder was lit and burned, the fragrant smoke concentrated itself in torrent in the centre of the circle. It looked as if it was solidifying more and more until the shape hardened into a chrysalis of pale green.
Once the smoke had completely cleared the chrysalis began to stir gently. Luca took it into his hands and slowly watched as it began to crack like an egg, and from inside a blue-skinned wyrmling with wings like those of a colourful butterfly unfurled itself, looking up at Luca with innocent eyes.
When Luca came downstairs to join at the dinner table Wynn spotted the wyrmling and exclaimed “A servant of the summer court!!” before erratically racing off with blinding speed.