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

Tomb of Lurtaan

In the city of Greywall, beneath the market square, the party explores a sunken temple to the Sovereign Host and the tomb of Lurtaan hidden beneath it. Soon after entering the temple, Dex begins acting strangely. As it is later revealed, Belashyrra had contacted her through the creation she wore, the Coat of Eyes. As they descend, the party glimpses the desiccated corpses of dolgaunts, hobgoblins horribly transformed into eye-less tentacle horrors by Belashyyra, the Lord of Eyes. In truth, these corpses were undead, but telepathically ordered by Dex to hide or play dead. As they travel lower, Dex is warned by Belashyrra that not all may be right on the surface.

Contacting Tikulti, the party discovers that the sending stone they left with him is now in the hands of Graeb Shanks, the head of the Sharn branch of a criminal organization called the Daask. The ultimate head of the Daask is Shank’s mother, Khukri, who runs the entire organization out of Greywall. Graeb Shanks harbours a grudge against Maltassar Bogs, who stole a precious statue from the minotaur’s collection. Shanks informs the party that he was tipped off that Maltassar Bogs was in town and running a stall at the night market. He initially seems to believe that Tikulti is Maltassar Bogs, having determined that Tikulti, like Bogs, is a changeling with a magical tattoo. A reasonable mistake of identity, given the circumstances.

Shanks announces his intent to move a stone across the shaft leading down to the buried temple and then to execute Tikulti in the middle of the night market square. In order to save the life of Tikulti and the party, Bogs is forced to admit that he is the real Bogs. Shanks issues an ultimatum: come up and fight Shanks in a duel to the death, or stay down there forever.

In spite of the ultimatum, Dex convinces the party to continue and acquire Lurtaan’s cord. Using the coat of eyes, she commands the undead dolgaunts- deathguants if you will- to ascend and form a perimeter around the shaft, but not to harm the changeling.

The deathguants force the Shank into retreat. By the time the party surfaces, the night market is in chaos, the deathgaunts are happily munching on a few (hopefully not so innocent) victims, and Tikulti has made his way safely back to the ship. Fleeing from the city guard, the party reaches the airship and, inspite of Yeraa and Arasinya’s reservations, Dex brings the deathgaunts on board, keeping them for the time being in a fire-proofed cargo hold.

Yeraa orders Arasinya to fly the Second Wind to Sharn, “… please”, before retiring with her band below deck. Leaving the city of Greywall, the party is followed by another airship- an old fashioned airship with a black hull and large, blood red sails. Deciding to flee, Arasinya performs two rituals: a ritual that enhances the speed and strength of her vessel, and a second ritual to blow the wind against the pursuing ship. Arasinya successfully summons a storm and their pursuers are forced to draw in their sails, falling behind.

Unfortunately, the enemy vessel is captained by a blue dragon, a creature of pride, arrogance, lightning, and storms, and it desires no treasure more than the chance to place the Ashen Crown upon his ladyship’s head.

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