Time was of the essence. Aeon would be executed the next morning, and the party had two ideas on how to free him from prison. The first was to wait until Aeon was being sent to the guillotine, create a grand diversion, and then free him from his cage. The second, a plan put forth by Aeros, was to use the underground entrance into the prison and sneak him out that way. After some debate, the party decided to go the subterfuge route. After all, if they failed in rescuing Aeon on his way to being executed, they would get no more chances. Dolvion wrote out a map to the caverns so that the party could traverse the underground caverns, while Dolvion kept watch at the inn. Montgomery was still at the spa, trying to forget his near death experience.
First, a diversion was in order. Korg procured some gunpowder he had kept from their adventures in Trebizond. Anlon fashioned a cart to carry the gun powder. Actually, Anlon spent most of the day working on his brand new chariot, which caused quite a stir among his fellow smithies at the metalworker’s guild. Korg needed a disguise, so he cast “alter self” and put on a big, fuzzy blonde wig. Korg lugged the cart full of explosives, oil, and gunpowder to the front of the prison, but not without being stopped by an orc guard. Korg laid on the charm, and the orc guard instantly fell in love with the way Korg screamed at Anlon, as if Anlon was his servant. The orc was smitten, right up until the point Korg pushed the gunpowder laden cart towards the prison, and threw a fiery twig screaming “Fire bolt!”, causing the cart to explode in a gout of flame, incinerating the hapless orc with it.
The local area started to catch on fire, and the diversion most certainly caught the attention of the town guard. Meanwhile, Daxis, Aeros, and Acedia went invisible and snuck into the western gate where the entrance to the underground caverns was. Daxis noticed that on the ground were weird piles of white powder that would stick to anyone walking through them. They deftly avoided the trap, and then moved towards the entrance the prison. There were two hobgoblin guards, both asleep, near the door. Acedia and Daxis had little problem getting through, but Aeros bumped one of the sleeping hobgoblins, spilling him over. The two dark folk began arguing bitterly over why one had knocked the other out of his chair. The party took the opportunity to move through the door into the prison. The second level of the prison had cells lining the wall, and several larger cells in the middle. There was a hobgoblin captain and his subordinates patrolling. It was not clear where Aeon was. After all, the party had never seen him before.
Korg and Anlon did not have the benefit of invisibility, so Korg pretended Anlon was his prisoner, by loosely binding his hands. The hobgoblin guards bought the ruse hook, line, and sinker, and let Korg and Anlon in. The two quickly caught up to the others, but not before fighting the hobgoblin guards. Korg and Anlon were busy discussing how much they should bet on whether or not Korg could take the hobgoblins out by himself. The hobgoblins kept trying to interject with their longswords, but Korg turned and simply bashed their skulls into one another so that he could concentrate on his conversation with Anlon.
The party decided that quiet and stealthy was not the way to go, so Anlon cast thaumaturgy on Korg to make his footsteps rumble like earthquakes and his voice to boom louder than normal. Korg opened the door into the second level of the prison and combat ensued. Acedia, still invisible, found the prison register and easily located Aeon, who was on level 3, cell #16. Daxis and Aeros moved downstairs, only to find that their invisibility blinked out. Level 3 was the area of the prison where the magic users were imprisoned, and a powerful anti magic field was erected to make sure there were no shenanigans. Fierce combat ensued. Acedia “suggested” to one of the guards that they unlock Aeon’s cell, which it did. Daxis freed several of the magic using prisoners, and Anlon did the same, blessing the prisoners, supplying them with weapons from the corpses of the dead guards, and sending them to the first floor. Korg valiantly managed to stave off the guards that came pouring in, no doubt being tipped off by the thaumaturgy spell that made Korg’s voice boom as if it were amplified by a megaphone. After Aeon was freed, Daxis handed him an invisibility potion, and Aeon was off.
The party managed to escape. The guards were busy with the sorceress upstairs who was pelting them with acid arrows and magic missiles, as well as the prisoners who were infused with the power of KhulDul. The party booked it back to the Bloody Raven. The north western part of the city was ablaze and there was chaos in the street, so making it back to the inn was not difficult, especially since Korg knew the streets well. Upon arriving back, the party decided to relax for a bit. They received word that Aeon was found nearly dead in the street, and that luckily Mathe had found him and brought him back the resistance underground. The resistance requested that the heroes meet immediately.
The party arrived at the resistance underground headquarters. Aeon was in bad shape, but stable, and Emil heartily shook Anlon’s hand, thanking him for everything the party had done. A woman’s voice rang out from the darkness. “Yes Anlon, thank you for leading me straight to the resistance.” The party turned and saw a woman with fiery red hair and a scantily fitting outfit standing at the entrance to the sewers. “I never figured that the resistance would walk up and shake my hand, but here we are.” Acedia recognized the woman as Mayvin, Eon’s paramour from the library. Mayvin smiled. “In one fell swoop I get to destroy the resistance. I have something special for you all, as I know just how all of you fight. After all….” Mayvin snapped a finger and transformed, into Thalzul, the second in command for G’ruumsh. “I watched you all fight in the crucible of fire. I will take this city once you are all dead. Your heads will please Lord Wrath!” Assassins literally melted in from the shadows, and combat ensued. Mayvin unleashed a pair of eldritch beams, one blue and the other white, while Daxis fended off the onslaught with eldritch blasts of his own. Daxis’ and Mayvin’s beams collided, crackling energy filling the room. The assassins were quick to poison and blind their adversaries. Acedia had special difficulty with one wearing a special metal helmet, and found that her mind powers had only so much effect.
Mayvin seemed to have two demeanors, one calm, cold, and collected; the other was wild and unpredictable. Mayvin made a low incantation, and waved her hand at Korg. Korg’s mind was besieged with feelings of rage, as if a being of pure, cold hatred reached straight into his brain. Korg, not in control of himself, turned on Anlon and beat the priest unconscious. The battle was difficult. Aeros fell as Mayvin unleashed Hellish Rebuke, bathing Aeros in painful red lightning. Just when the battle was looking grim, Korg managed to finish off Mayvin with several brutal attacks with his axe, while Acedia tortured her enemies with psychic powers. Bloodied and bruised, the heroes were victorious, and Mayvin’s corpse was consumed by magical red fire as she lay dying.
Aeon was eventually nursed back to health and the heroes stayed with the resistance. Once Aeon was up, he called for some paper and a quill. “During my research I found several books that I think hold the key to defeating the Lords of Sin and freeing Alterone once and for all. I did not want the books to fall into enemy hands, so I committed them to memory. So much of what we knew about the past was lost when the Dark Folk burned all of our ancient histories. Here, first I’ll begin by drawing a map of Arafel…” Aeon drew a map of the kingdom of Greed as it had been 500 years ago, before the dark occupation had ever happened. The most notable portion of the map was the great forests that once filled Greed, and something called the “Shrine of Tal Allustiel.” Anlon also pointed out that he thought he saw “Wawmar” which was the great city of the Dwarves that was lost during the Dark Occupation. Aeon also began to tell a story, one that took place around the same time the map was created. It was a story of a group of pilgrims that were heading to the province of Alterone (modern day Wrath), on a sacred journey to witness a great gift the Elves were bestowing upon the kingdom of Alterone….