Journey to Fate’s doorstep: mission accomplished

The Drow’s Bane back at Catchbreeze settle down for a sweet night’s rest; Nong journey’s onto his boat and sails at least three hundred and one feet away from the party and everyone else in Waterdeep to sleep in peace. He brings with him, in a barrel, the barely conscious Lulach. During the evening, all four members: Mordrock, Naismith, Nong and Royce experience a vivid dream and Lulach falls unconscious unable to recover so close to the wand of Orcus.

The next day over breakfast they decide to contact Laerel Silverhand about completing the mission and ask for help in deciphering the map they found inside the infernal gift box cover. Mordrock restores Lulach once his body returns to Catchbreeze; the party decides to hide him in the cellar away from the staff to avoid problems with his appearance. When Lulach is conscious and fed, he confesses to the party the history of how he came to be.

Lulach explains how the hostile takeover of the Xanathar by a demon and his entourage occurred a few months back. This cult spent months gaining favor with the Xanathar before launching their successful coup attempt. He explains how after the Xanathar fell, the Xanathar lieutenants were forced to drink the demon’s blood until they lost their minds and became tainted individuals; the demon also gave Lulach pact power in order to bind Lulach to his will. The demon’s presence warped nature causing the lieutenants to grow additional appendages, eye stocks, in the case of Lulach, or other abnormalities. The demon “became” the Xanathar by squeezing into the Xanathar’s hide even though it was obvious the demon in his new skin, failed to imitate a beholder.

Now that Lulach is free of the demon’s addiction, he is also bereft of the demon’s pact power. Naismith decides to move Lulach to the basement study until he can figure out a plan for his brother; Naismith knows Lulach cannot go far in normal day light unscathed, with those eye stalks of his. He also does not trust his brother and locks the study behind him too.

The guards at the palace recognize the group and immediately call for Seneschal Talonfeather who appears within minutes. After a short wait, the Drow’s Bane meet with Laeral Silverhand in her private office. She is quite content to hear they completed their mission and she pays them the agreed to amount. She commends them on a job well done and how much this extends their reputation across the Lords of Waterdeep and Lords Alliance buying them time to disrupt the demonic cult incursion into Waterdeep.

As the party begins to discuss the map they discovered, Lady Silverhand’s mood shifts from contentment to concern. She calls for her assistant, Talestra, a high elf wizard, to examine the map. Talestra senses the infernal properties of the fabric the map is drawn on and frowns at the same time she feels Nong’s strange dark aura emanating all around him. Laeral sensing her wizard’s emotions, nods to her in confidence to continue. Talestra examines the map again and informs the party of the locations drawn on it – the City of Glass and the Citadel of 10,000 Pearls are located in the Elemental Plane of Water.

Royce and Naismith decide to do some shopping in preparation for their trip to the Elemental Plane of Water. They hit two of Kendall’s favorite Waterdhavian magic shops – “How do you Spell it?” and “Wizards of the Coast.” They purchase several things including a Heward’s Handy Haversack and Spice Pouch and commission a few items to assist with underwater breathing. When Royce gets ready to recall them back to Catchbreeze he suddenly stops, grabs Naismith’s shoulder to stabilize himself as he experiences emotions of fear while an image of his father in terror, flashes in his mind. Royce has not seen his father in years giving him pause to reflect on what he just felt and seen. He tries the recall spell again and another image flashes in his mind of his father and crew fighting off undead somewhere on a river.

A third time and Royce successfully recalls both he and Naismith back to Catchbreeze. Using the crystal ball they found in the Xanathar’s lair, Royce scries on his father. Royce sees his father’s ship filled with cargo on a river except the ship is damaged and overrun with undead. There are paladins and solders on shore fighting undead and helping the crew escape. Royce’s father is crawling towards a paladin, wounded and afraid.

Royce relays the images to the party and then sends a message to his father. He learns from his father the location where the undead are attacking – the River Chionthar by Fort Morninglord between Elturel and Baldur’s Gate; the undead are spewing out of Fort Morninglord attacking anything alive. Royce recalls this route is a common and profitable route for his father to transport supplies between Baldur’s Gate and Elturel and beyond. The last words Royce hears from his father’s message are, “I love you son.”

The party decides to support Royce in taking a trip to Fort Morninglord now and postponing their trip to the Elemental Plane of Water. With no Kendall around nor is Kendall responding to Royce’s messages, the party decides to ask Lady Silverhand for help with quick transportation. Lady Silverhand upon hearing the news, explains how twenty six years ago Fort Morninglord had a ruler and royal family that somehow became corrupted leading to everyone mysteriously disappearing from the location – guards, staff, children, everyone. Fort Morninglord has allegedly become haunted ever since this tragedy and the leaders of Elturel sent a group of solders and paladins to guard and protect the river next to it; this group calls themselves the Dawnwatchers and they have erected an outpost near Fort Morninglord called Omenhale.

Lady Silverhand elects Talestra and a few guards to teleport the Drow’s Bane immediately to Fort Morninglord. Talestra is very nervous and fails the first attempt to teleport the party but succeeds the second time as they vanish before Lady Silverhand’s eyes.

They appear next to Fort Morninglord within seconds. As they gather their bearings, swarms of undead and dead bodies litter the landscape. The party draws their weapons and prepares to attack.