Signaled by a young boy along the road, Tkar, Noor, and Torinn were lead to the secret hideaway of Oloramas. There, sitting silently, faced drained of blood, yet living, was G’yest. Noor, in the full exuberance of her youth, pounced upon the recently dead man in a full embrace, thanking her goddess, Sehanine. “Sehanine”, G’yest mumbled, “that is who I expected, who I wanted to see on my death. But it wasn’t her, it was the raven. And then the raven became a woman, The Queen. She told me that I was to do her bidding in the mortal realm.”
“The Raven Queen”, Noor exclaimed in a shocked outcry, “why would she send you back? Doesn’t she seek the souls of the living?”
“No, she has other plans for me. She told me to seek her out in this world and deliver to her the souls of the wicked. I renounce Sehanine and all other gods.”
The party grew quiet in the midst of their friend’s unexpected conversion. What kind of zealot had their friend become – a dangerous cultist of death? Even G’yest could not say exactly, he knew little of his new found deity. After some discussion the group recalled the longstanding feud that the Raven Queen carried with the undead and their lords. While G’yest may have been transformed through death, his interests still aligned with those of his companions – they could only hope.
Upon the reintroduction of G’yest to the party, the discussion quickly turned tactical. The companions endured much horror to gather the Nightfern – it needed to be transported into Shorehold to be used for the resurrection of their comrade Girta. But, returning to the city would not be easy with the increased lookout for Fey and Dragonborn in and around the city. Entering the city together was out of the question, and alone was nearly as risky. Yet, Girta may have been the only remaining link to the traitor within the Bolt.
With the advisory of Oloramas the companions – save Tkar, who remained behind for a further discussion of the insurgent activities in Nabil – approached the city through the western market. Walking through the market with their eyes on the unbreachable city wall, they noticed a quiet entrance, used rarely by no more than a pair of well-dressed citizens at a time. As one of these apparent noblemen approached the entrance he would call out to a guard tower standing in front of, but apart from the gate. From the tower a bell would ring, signaling a guard from inside the gate to emerge, taking the man inside. Several other guards patrolled the area around the market.
The three companions decided upon a plan that would commence after dark, requiring guile and subterfuge. Noor, but a slight girl, took the afternoon to construct a manly façade to the amusement of her compatriots. As night approached, the three planned to fall upon a pair of guards who found themselves far from the guard tower. The best plan, of course, would be to tempt the guards into compromising their position even further. Noor, the temptress of the group (by default, that is), called out to the guards in their rounds, “Hey boys can you come over here, I seemed to have lost my… (giggle).”
The guards approached, and even in the dim light seemed to sense something amiss in the flirtations of the young girl. As their eyes became adjusted, the false mustache played strongly into their suspicions. “What is this then, aye? You’d betta’ get outta here.” Sensing the failure of her advances, Torinn appeared behind the guards, grabbed them by the collars and, with the full fury of his dragon soul, commanded them to silence. The guards collapsed into horrified submission – and not without soiling their breeches.
So far their plan had been successful. The two guards’ clothing and weapons were removed and placed upon G’yest and Noor. G’yest artfully bound the guards so tightly that only a master thief could ever hope to free himself. In full dress of the guard Noor and G’yest took Torinn as their supposed prisoner, and led him to the tower. Approaching the tower, G’yest called up, with conviction, “we found this drunken monster out in our rounds. He gave us chase, but we were able to subdue him. We seek to bring him to the cells.” The head guard descended the tower to inspect this new prisoner. After a convincing act of offensive insobriety by Torinn the guard called to his partner, who rang the bell, leading to the emergence of guards from inside the gate. These guards, like their brethren, were confounded by these unknown – and in one case, quite feminine – guards. After some convincing, the guards were convinced of the story, but attempted to take Torinn in on their own.
With no other recourse, but to fight, Torinn lashed out at the guards. Knowing that the charade was soon to be over, G’yest took his new found lust for life (that is, the lust to take others’ lives), and shot an arrow directly at the head guard, causing immense damage. A fight ensued, leaving three of the guards dead on the ground before the gate. Yet, one managed to escape and enter the city crying for reinforcements. The companions rushed in, but not without G’yest recognizing a strange, and potentially magical, garment draped over the head guard. Removing this cloak, G’yest and his friends dove into the city, and quickly sought to disappear amongst its people.
The three were able to make their way to the home of the ritual caster, Quoven, where Girta lay dead. The bounty of Nightfern that the companions possessed exceeded the wildest expectations of the caster. In his profound gratefulness Quoven gave the companions a potion of healing, each, and a powerful potion of vitality, which G’yest kept to ward off a premature return to his new goddess. To G’yest’s further surprise, the caster revealed a strong power in the cloak removed from the lead guard – seemingly, tailor-made for his benefit. Yes, the gods are good to those who do their bidding. While waiting for Girta to awaken, Torrin left to perform an unknown task in the city – drinking a face-changing potion that shifted his appearance from a mannish dragon, to a dragonnish man. After some time he returned holding a vicious-looking war axe, and an itch for a fight.
When Girta awoke they discussed the nature of the crime against the bolt. Girta was convinced that a man named Robin Goode was the most likely suspect. She had never trusted the man – the son of an adviser to the Duke of Huirg. Several years prior, Goode was dismissed by his father and Girta alleges he is now seeking a path to power through the Bolt. Perhaps this betrayal was his opportunity to return to the good graces of the royals? She told of a meeting place in the catacombs under the Temple of Avandra, in the merchant area of the city. Olaramas also spoke of this place. If Robin was anywhere, he would be found there. And if he was the traitor he required immediate, unmerciful judgment.
The companions traversed the city with great care and found the temple. Inside the temple a stairwell lead to the catacombs – dark and damp. With a glow stick lit from afar behind, G’yest lead his group through the catacombs until he espied a light from a room off to the side of the main corridor. With the stealth of a panther G’yest crept to the door, left slightly ajar, and witnessed a ritual of clear necromancy centered around a roting corpose elevated on a stone dais.
G’Yest snuck back and described the scene to his companions, at which point Torinn recognized elements of the ritual that called to mind the rituals of Vecna being carried out by the hag on the Lizard’s Claw. Calling his companions to back an attack, G’yest aimed his crossbow and bestowed a sudden death upon an unsuspecting cultist. Just as quickly, G’yest flew into the room and fell upon another minion with a slash of his sword, killing him instantly. When the others entered the room, only two cultists remained… until the body in the center of the room rose to attack. The clear leader of the cult attacked, dazing G’yest, and then retreated to a back chamber passing by a stinking pile of human remains. With a reckless fury, G’yest rushed to follow the leader, only to be wounded – nearly mortally – by a pile of undead remains lying at his feet as he passed. With little life to cling to G’yest was heartened by encouragement from Noor, and found himself able to heal and remove himself from danger. Once Torinn and Noor had dispatched with the remaining minion cultist and undead creature the three companions moved in to surround the evil cult leader. Again, G’yest was able to deliver the final blow in celebration of his new lord.