The Ashen Crown, the Lords of Madness, and the Queen of Death

Yeraa's Disappearance

The next day, the party (except for Bogs) meet with a confused bugbear under a lamppost. They quickly learn that the confused bugbear is just a confused bugbear and move on to the shady hobgoblin at the edge of the square. The shady hobgoblin asks what they want House Thuranni to arrange for them. The party floats a number of ideas- mostly involving musical performances for either Yeraa or House Lyrandar.

The shady hobgoblin decides he’s had enough of these clowns and tries to leave before the terrifying gnome that is Dex convinces him to stay at knife point.

The hobgoblin insists that he can’t arrange a meeting with the assassins, nobody gets to meet the assassins. His job is just to get job information from clients. He lets slip that there are seven assassins in town and that some of them are working on a Kech Volaar “Word Bearers” job.

Arasinya has her raven familiar follow him as he leaves.

The party begins investigating their other lead: the name ‘Ikar’, spoken by one of the elf assassins. They learn that Ikar’s salvage caravan had been in town as recently as yesterday and probably left town that morning, almost certainly heading for the Mournland.

The party returns to the airship and finds Bogs waiting for them. He had spent the night in Yeraa’s fortress and had been woken early that morning by a panicked guard, searching for Yeraa. Yeraa and, in fact, eight of the nightwatch guards, had vanished during the night.

The guard took Bogs to Yeraa’s quarters, not far from his own. There were some ominous bloodstains outside her door and inside the room, signs of a struggle- bed sheets on the floor, a shattered table, and more blood.

The guard directed his attention to a narrow staircase nestled in a cavity in the wall. “Secret passage. At first we had hoped that Yeraa had used it to escape. Maybe she tried. But now we think that’s how her assailants escaped. No sign of them in the passage. It goes underground and comes out in the town. We lose the trail after that, if you can call it a trail.”

Following the passage lead Bogs to a bookshop in town. The door out into the market square looked to have been forced open from the inside. After that, there didn’t seem to be much of trail to follow.

After Bogs tells them of all this, the party returns to the bookstore to investigate. Dex interrogates the shopkeeper, who tells her that the store is owned by the Wordbearers and that Yeraa’s secret passage was designed to be used as an escape route for Yeraa in emergencies. The store is locked but not guarded during the night. Furious at his failure to keep Yeraa safe, Dex leaps up onto the counter and levels the old goblin with a blow to the head.

Aurora finds a trail of necromantic magic and dried blood leading from the secret passage, through the bookstore, and out into the market square. Finally, the trail vanishes on the far side of the square amidst a smell of burning elemental engines. Bogs learns from the locals that Ikar’s caravan, which uses elemental engines, had been parked there just yesterday.

Arasinya and Sindarin choose to stay behind to try to track down the elf assassins. The rest of the party leaves on the airship to pursue Ikar’s caravan.

Arasinya and Sindarin follow the shady hobgoblin to a pub. Sindarin decides to wait outside while Arasinya, disguising herself as the elf assassin slain by Dex, enters and approaches the shady hobgoblin, who is already drinking heavily. Falling for her ruse, the hobgoblin tells her that he is meeting with the “Wordbearer” team tonight.

Later that night, a hobgoblin approaches Arasinya, touches her on the shoulder and tells her to follow, speaking in elvish. Outside, Arasinya meets up with four other hobgoblins, who all speak to her quietly in elvish. They inquire after how the Clan of Heroes job went and inform her that the Word Bearer job went perfectly, and add, with a laugh, that no one will be seeing Yeraa again.

The elves lead Arasinya to the stables. She waits for the elves to be distracted with mounting their horses before unleashing her lightning on them. Sindarin, running to her aid, helps fight them off. Arasinya knocks one elf unconscious and the other three, realizing the battle is turning against them, turn invisible and flee for their lives.

When the captured elf regains consciousness, Arasinya demands to know where Yeraa is. The elf refuses to answer. She cuts off one of his fingers. The elf mutters something in elvish and bursts into flame. Grabbing a bucket from the stable, Arasinya douses him in water. Sindarin keeps handing her buckets of water as the two of them keep the elf alive. Screaming in agony, their captive admits that they placed Yeraa in Ikar’s coffin before finally Arasinya cuts his throat and lets his body burn to ash.

Arasinya and Sindarin return to Yeraa’s fortress, intending to use the teleportation statue to get to the airship.

Meanwhile, the airship has arrived at the caravan. The party had decided to pose as customers. Dex and Bogs are having a chat with Ikar in his cabin while Aurora purchases books from a bugbear that smells like cheese. Tinker is loading a large, broken engine onto the airship with the help of the bugbear Mock. So far, no sign of Yeraa, but in the room behind Ikar’s cabin, lurks a steel coffin.

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