998 Dravago(May) 18
A usual day in Droaam
About an hour later in Droaam, the road was still empty. The PCs, in their slow going carriage, noticed a single silhouette walking towards them. The figure seemed off balanced, almost handicapped. Once in a good perception range they observed that the creature was human or at least human-like but deformed by most likely a terrible disease. It walked with the help of a staff. The appearance of the little man was horrifying. The PCs readied themselves in case this fellow was hostile but kept going in their vehicle. When the hunchback got near enough, he stood in front of the carriage and bowed to the PCs. He introduced himself as ‘’Petit-fils’’, an emissary sent by the Daughters of Sora Kell. He brought the message that the Daughters knew of their coming and that they were cordially invited to their palace in The Great Crag. The PCs were in shock and they tried to dismiss the leprous man but he rapidly told the PCs that the Daughters knew where the agents of the Twelve were. They then knew they had to go…no matter what. Getting clues to the whereabouts of their colleagues was a good enough reason to risk a meeting with the Hags that scare the children of the five nations. Petit-fils asked them if he could embark their carriage but the PCs refused, fearing they could get sick if they got too close of the creature and in case he wasn’t truly who he claimed to be. Petit-fils shapeshifted into a crow and climbed on top of the carriage even if the players refused his presence inside.
A couple of hours later the PCs encountered a welcoming party of orcs that were intimidating some monstrous farmers. A toadman was negotiating with the leader of the orcs while the other soldiers tried to change the banners of the province with theirs. Obviously the orcs were working under someone as the leader, named Grull, claimed this territory for the Maashak tribe. A troll was with Grull’s party and threatened the cow of the folks that were working in the rice fields around the community. The PCs stopped their freight on the road. The negotiations were taking too long and the PCs thought they were wasting their time. They then pushed on with their carriage and engaged a conversation with Grull. They asked if there was any problem if they just went on their way. Grull first refused but as soon as the PCs told him they were on their way to meet the Daughters of Sora Kell and that they were expecting them, he changed his mind. Right after, a group of goblins hidden in the rice fields and the rest of the farmers attacked the orcs. The monstrous peasants thought the Maashak and the PCs were allies and engaged them too. With the help of the PCs, the Maashak emerged victorious though not unscathed.
The Great Crag, a jewel in hell
Once they reached the Great Crag, the PCs were surprised with what the monsters of Droaam had accomplished with the leadership of the Hags. The city was built in a similar way like Sharn but on a much smaller scale. Petit-fils tried to guide them through the capital but Devent d’Velderan already knew how to get around in this urban environment. He worked at the enclave of the city for a couple of years and was still working there even before being invited to the Twelve. They made their way to the ground level of the city near the mountain in the center of the city. There they left Petit-fils responsible of their carriage and horse. Petit-fils answered them not to expect their mare back or at least not entirely. They had to leave it behind because the only way to get to the top of the mountain-like rock, on top of which was the palace, was to enter an underground level in order to gain access to a staircase leading to the summit. At least that was the initial plan, they entered the lower level but the party could not find any direction as to where to find this staircase because of the astonishing amount of monsters and other form of life. They were all there minding their own business, some were selling any kind of weird looking meat, bugs and other shocking meals. Others were selling poison, weapons, arms and armor. A couple of shops had a more permanent look though. The PCs chose to spend some time in there to investigate and maybe deal with the locals.
During this time, the PCs found a small apothecary shop at the end of a dark alley. They ventured toward the emporium hoping, that once inside, they’d find information on a potential cure for Baron Breven‘s disease. The pathway to the boutique, of both death and life, was filled with strings of metallic nubs in which was burning herbs. Once inside they found a shop filled with the strangest potions, elixirs, draughts and poisons but without any retailer to sell them. They looked around for a couple of minutes before they finally found the shopkeeper which was working in his aquarium. Seemingly the creature used a form a magic to shrink himself to a size that could fit in this fishbowl. The strange entrepreneur was a weird looking individual, even in Droaam. His face and skin was blueish, his eyes were shining with a yellow glint and his mouth was covered by nothing less than tentacles. He was one of the rare Illithid that walked the surface of Eberron. Most of his kind are living in much deeper caves. He presented himself as ’’Maanzetharid’’ the master apothecary and alchemist of the Great Crag. He claimed to be one of the best in his field of expertise in the whole world. The PCs bought from him a couple of supplies and left without asking for his help about Breven’s condition. They chose to go back, but as they got there the illithid was getting out of the shop. he tried to tell the PCs that he was now too busy but they convinced him to grant them another audience which turned pretty badly.
To be more precise, he was getting out in order to get food. A form of hunting where the mind flayer charms through a psychic technique, a creature and lures it into his lairs only to rip open its skull in order to eat the brain. The PCs got in the way… but were now doomed to become his preys. The PCs were attacked mentally and most of the party were incapacitated. Caleb d’Jorasco guessed that the Daughters of Sora Kell had a way to scry on them because they knew of their coming in Droaam even if nobody knew of it. Knowing that he shouted and called for the helped of the Daughters. Sora Maenya appeared behind ’’Maanzetharid’’ and put her hand on his shoulder and forced him to submission on the ground. She shouted at he PCs: ‘’Get out now! I have to settle a thing or two with this lowly creature’’. The PCs ran away instantly.
The Daughters of Sora Kell
The party now had a single objective. Find the staircase to the palace. Which wasn’t hard to find at all. They already crossed once while they were shopping. There they met one of the royal guard, an ogre-magi, and he let them through. They climbed the steps and reached the top of the city, the Great Crag. Petit-fils was there and he guided them to the top of the highest tower where Sora Katra was awaiting the PCs and was eager to meet them. Once close to the door leading to Sora Katra‘s room, Petit-fils fled by a window as he transformed into raven. The PCs opened the door and saw the silhouette of a very fine looking woman behind a curtain. A shower of milky soap was raining on her body, the room was very large and very exotic, plates of food were ready for the arrival of the PCs. At the center of the apartment there was huge bath. Milky soapy falls were in the bath as the PCs noticed all the cushions lying around in the room. A weak but pleasant perfume reached the nostrils of the weary travelers. The tension dropped and they removed their equipment as soon as Sora Katra invited them to the bath. Soon after she joined them and Breyten d’Cannith was in awe in front of such a beautiful witch.
The PCs rested, talked of their travel and chit-chatted with the surprisingly beautiful hag. Sora Katra seduced Breyten and they had a moment in her private bedroom. After everyone had a good time, still in the bath, they talked about what was going with the Twelve’s agents in Droaam. She offered her help in exchange for a future service that could be claimed anytime. Sora Katra knew what happened to the dignitaries and where could the PCs investigate but to get that information they would have to make blood pact with the witch. The PCs agreed and participated in a dark ritual where the blood of hundred virgins was poured into the bath as the PCs cut their hands and chanted an simple but dreadful contract, binding them to one day serve the interest of the country of monsters.
Afterwards, the company asked Sora Katra who could help them about Breven‘s condition. The Hag referred her sister Sora Teraza to the PCs. They then navigated trough the corridors and stair of the castle to reach the summit of second highest tower. A couple of unnoticed gargoyles watched over the pilgrimage of the group through the building, making sure that they were not going somewhere they should not be. Devent first reached the door of Sora Teraza’s lair and as he led the way inside a very dark room, the party saw a multitude of items, ingredients, components of all sorts in jars. All these flasks were hanging by large ropes of flax damaged by the experience that goes on and on in this room. As the adventurers navigated through the hanging urns they spotted the thousand books and dusty tomes in the bookcases. Suddenly they heard a voice calling them. ‘’Knowledge of thy return. Materialize! Reach for me!’’ Sora Teraza expressed herself in a very weird way, almost enigmatic, but the PCs obliged and guided by her voice they found the Hag using her staff to unhook a flask. She grabbed the ingredients and dropped them inside a boiling cauldron emanating a strong odorant gas. ‘’Share the worries of this today or woe will befall on the tomorrow’’ asked Sora Teraza who was now using her staff to stir her concoction. The PCs opened up and asked her to help save the Baron’s life. She accepted but her too wanted something in exchange. She asked for Breven‘s first born in exchange for his life. The party was reluctant but accepted anyway, knowing that Breven’s knowledge was too precious too lose.