The Rime of Infinite Winter: Session 15 — The Ties That Bind

SESSION FIFTEEN
“THE TIES THAT BIND”

The man held firm by the Aasimar’s magic railed against his captors, claiming to be law enforcement from Waterdeep. While Kari and Peron guarded their position, Nod knocked the captive unconscious and Nammosi released their prisoner from her earthen grasp. Laid out on the floor, Nammosi removed the man’s poisoned daggers and Elrian searched his body for clues, finding a Waterdeep badge in his breast pocket.

Nod drug him to a nearby chair where Nammosi bound the prisoner with rope. Then Peron retied the knots to secure him. Then Kari did the same. When the man came too, he slipped out his bounds and leapt out the window, with the party giving chase.

Nod attempted to grapple him off his horse, but was flung aside, forcing Nammosi to once again use her earthen grasp to ensnare him. Another round of rope tying commenced, and the party began to interrogate their prisoner, eventually learning he was in fact a mercenary in the employ of Manshoon, the overlord of an unscrupulous shadow syndicate known as The Zhentarim.

He revealed his name to be Antwon Taelhauser and his mission was to recover a stolen artifact, believed to be in the possession of Dillon Barthan, proprietor of Barthan’s Provisions and, unknown to most, one of the most powerful fences in Vispania.

Meanwhile Nod noticed a trail in the snow leading from an open window in Nilsa’s Forcastinations to the pig pen behind Barthan’s. Nod found Nilsa herself, unconscious and bleeding out, hiding under a bed of straw. The Tabaxi healed her and she immediately asked about her wife, Gilda. They had been tortured by Taelhauser…

Peron and Kari took Taelhauser into Barathan’s while the rest followed Nilsa into her shop. It had been ransacked and there was blood everywhere. Elrian found Gilda’s corpse tossed into a hole in the floorboards. He gently lifted her out and laid her to rest on the bed in backroom.

Distraught, Nilsa raged. She raced toward Barathan’s with vengeance on her mind. Taelhauser was trying to convince Peron and Kari to join him in his enterprise, offering them the full reward for the artifact in exchange for his freedom. They weren’t having it. Then Nilsa burst in to the room, with Nod close behind, and Taelhauser sought to use the distraction to his advantage. Slipping once more out of his bonds, he lunged for the witch, intending to take her hostage and make his escape, but Peron was quick with his blade, piercing the mercenary’s throat and leaving him dead on the floor.

Gathering together, they decided to find the artifact Taelhauser was so deadset on procuring. Descending the basement stair, the door’s lock proved too difficult for Nammosi or Elrian to pick, so Peron and Kari broke the door down revealing a candlelit room, with the missing artifact in the center, surrounded by arcane parchments and ancient tomes.

Elrian examined the stone, covered in a mysterious language and esoteric symbols. Unable to decipher the words, the symbol was one he had stumbled across before, in long forgotten lore — The Black Spire, an ancient fraternity of magicians who followed the Left-Hand Path.

Seeing the stone was but a portion of a larger work, itself being assembled from five separate pieces, the band opted to quickly gather all the materials and the stones and store them in Kari’s Haversack, but not before Peron, at Nammosi’s suggestion, made a rubbing of the stone’s contents and secreted them away in his pack.

Before leaving for the Lionshield Coster, Kari gathered the dead and the adventurers, with Nilsa, held a solemn service for Gilda and Barathan in the lot behind the buildings. Kari and Peron later disposed of the two rogues in the pig pen, carrying off their clothing to be discarded elsewhere. Nod gave Nilsa a coin purse of fifty gold pieces and all wished her well.

Eager to get back on the road for Cold Harbor and the adventures that lied ahead, they met up with Raben in the courtyard outside the mercantile. He had their gear and merchandise loaded onto a caravan, provided by a new client who has offered to pay them handsomely for delivering the painted wagon to Rimegarde in Cold Harbor.

Opting to travel the Trade Way, rather than the Coast Road, the wagon called the Highwayman’s Lute trudged out through the snow and ice, bound northeast through the Fanghorn Mountains, then northwest through Kettlebree, near Peron’s homeland of Daranthain…

the adventure continues

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