Last Time: Maiara put the party in contact with a goblin called Knish who managed to get them involved in a biannual gladiator match between Lord Cyniscus and Darius in the hope they might be able to negotiate the release of Kel’tahn. They were shocked when their opponents turned out to include the dread pirate Eliah Stormbrace and his paramour Tyranny.
This Time: After successfully trouncing Cyniscus’ fighters in a battle that involved young Conri making her second and third kills (Tyranny and a cruel gnoll that had made Conri’s life a living hell), the party found that they had won themselves enough fame and prestige that Darius wanted to thank them personally.
Urkan was literally gobsmacked by Darius’ female orc bodyguard Snak and has stayed with her to ‘court’ her.
Darius provided them with gifts from his personal armory and an unclaimed boon that anyone can claim by telling him that Israna of Moonleth sent them. He informed them that he had been approached by Tyranny who tried to wheedle some muscle out of him, promising him the “Favor of the Lord of the Ninth”.
Lord Cyniscus took Kel’tahn off his hands for some reason and wanted to give the party their winnings in person.
Hurrying along to Lord Cyniscus’ palace, they were ushered into his throne room by K’leah just in time for him to demonstrate the full power of Asmodeus’ Grasp, which he operated by donning a helm very similar to the Helm of Seven Deaths that Israna had acquired.
After his casual use of the lives of two slaves in order to blast a nearby quarry bare of life he offered the party a deal, he wanted someone to venture into Varsa Baalim to fetch what is obviously the Second Sword of Tyr. After some negotiation the deal was struck in exchange for Vyazia‘s freedom, use of his shipwrights and Maiara’s memories. Israna ran her mouth a bit and therefore they didn’t get an opportunity to talk to Helbrek Hiddenbrew, who had been pulled off of the slave auction block several days ago.
The prize purse for the gladiator match was 10,000sp, he provided them with a Bag of Holding to carry it in (finally) and a scabbard for Israna to transport the sword in.
Upon arriving back at Maiara’s house they discovered that it was on fire, surrounded by Imps that had obviously set the blaze and already partially collapsed. While rushing heroically into the blaze they were set upon by a powerful band of Chain Devils, at the beck and Call of Stormbrace and Tyranny leading to their capture.
The Twist: Rend was left conscious, still collared and chained, but suitable for Stormbrace to talk to. Additionally, Tyranny is very dead, so the party has assumed that it was in fact Askavan in disguise.
The Best Part: The interaction with Darius, in which the party got presents and Snak was flirting with Urkan.