- Greyvax returns from the Bloody Thirteenth to find that his father sold his baby sister’s soul to the devil back before she was even born, when he was a drunk. That same father then asks Grevax to take that same sister to a convent, as he’s repentant over what he’s done and thinks that maybe some religion might save her from his misdeeds. Greyvax, somewhat bewildered by how conspicuous his Hero’s Welcome is in its absence, figures that all of this is some kind of joke meant to play with him, so he plays along.
- Greyvax, Jin, and the Twins make their way to the nearby fortified port town of Ironmere, seat of the duchy and county of Blackmoor. It’s a bustling little burg, the finest port on its eponymous lake. The Ironmere itself is a bustling artery of trade, as most of the continent’s large rivers empty into it, providing access and egress to the interior of the continent (and passage through the otherwise Dwarf-controlled Midderlands)as well as abundant fisheries. Both industrialized and pristine by turns, the Ironmere is the heart of the Imperium’s trade in the Frontierlands.
- Once the companions have settled in for drinks in the taproom of the inn they’ll be staying at until their departure for Loudwater (en route to the convent at Thorn) on the morrow, they are approached by a Master Dirjack Sigata, who introduces himself as a silversmith of the Sigata Mercantile family. A thin, pale, anemic man with a damp handshake, he explains that his sons have been missing since the previous afternoon, and he is frantic to find them. Local constables will do nothing to help him, despite his obvious and rising panic, and so he offers the companions a pound of silver if they’ll help him. He would search for them himself, but his condition makes it impossible. The companions accept, on the condition that Kate be boarded at House Sigata overnight while Greyvax, Jonah, and Jin see to the missing lads. Sigata agrees, and the bargain is struck.
- Meanwhile, far to the south, a novice priest named Bheid has visions of hellfire and of a spreading, malevolent stain upon the face of the world. When he awakens, he is surprised to find a devil standing in his room, who claims to know Bheid’s father. As this is someone not even Bheid knows (he’s been raised in the monastery, the son of its launderess), he is surprised by this revelation. When the devil asks Bheid if he’d like to meet his father, the pious naif of course asserts that he does, and out of nowhere Bheid is transported into Hell, to the well-appointed sitting room (and presence) of a Duke of that particular plain. Along with the Duke are his two sons, by sobriquet “The Lover”, and “The Fighter”, who are the same tiefling devils we saw at Jonah and Kate’s birthday do, long those few posts ago.
- Bheid is offered the chance to join his paternal family. All he need do to gain wealth, dominion over the earth, and his soulmate is renounce the faith of Boldrei, Goddess of the City and Civilization.. his dearly-beloved divine patroness, by whose grace he has been known to perform miracle. He’s shown a vision of himself leading legions of red-mailed devil-knights, with his bride to be riding sidesaddle beside him. She has ginger-blonde hair and, he suspects, a penchant for Essence of Honey. Don’t ask him how he knows. He just does.
- Greyvax, Jin, and Jonah find their way to Shadowhaunt Mausoleum, a grim and desolate ruin on a high feature two miles from town. Finding evidence of recent passage, they follow the tracks inside and find that the Mausoleum contains the vandalized sarcophagi of the Kaius Kings, who drove the tieflings of Bael Turath from Blackmoor in ages past. While the line long ago came to dust, the desecrations of the sarcophagi appear fairly recent. While searching the room for possible clues as to the whereabouts of the missing children, Jin discovers the mechanism to unlock a secret door which leads to a labyrinthine series of caves beneath the mausoleum which reek of foul, necrotic magics. This, then, is likely why the devoted Kaians chose to rest their bones here; renowned priests and paladins of the sun-god, Pelor, under their guidance Blackmoor evolved from a shattered ruin on the frontier to a duchy worthy of its title, laying claim to all lands and waters within a one-hundred mile radius of its city centre. It is therefore completely in keeping that they would continue to serve their country past death by sealing this rift with the holiness of their presence, long after their spirits have flown to eternal reward.
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