5th – 6th of Cuth, 561 QC_
The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Maya Foxtail) returned from the blaze at Lankesh’s to rest and recuperate at their inn. They were there for less than an hour before Devereau came sneaking in, disguised as Finwick, and warning of imminent danger for the party. Shortly thereafter, the real Finwick Shortwick walked in, and chaos ensued. Dottari stormed the Inn looking for the arsonists, Devereau took an arrow to the stomach, and the party escaped out of the window, through the alley, and into a hidden supply cart. Before they knew it, the party was safely tucked away in The Pile, a nearly-abandoned casino boat docked just off of the Dragon’s Hoard.
That evening, the party sat down with Devereau and had a lovely dinner, finally getting the answers to some of the questions that had been bothering them. Apparently, the Cult of the Ebon Hand had made an appearance in Westcrown, and Devereau was worried. So, the party agreed to investigate the one place they thought they may be able to find more cultists, the Apananda Silk Mill.
Before traveling to the mill, the party got some revealing clues by speaking with the embalmed corpse of the real Lankesh. With those clues in mind, they found the mill and infiltrated it. Their sneaky surprise quickly turned into a pitched battle with a Garuda, a Dark Naga and a large number of what the party guessed to be cultists. The battle went back and forth a number of times, with powerful exchanges of magic destroying both people and property. Eventually, the party was able to get the upper hand, but not without both Adanna and Finwick nearly dying in the process.
In the end, they found themselves badly depleted in a burning silk mill. They were alive, but their investigations were burning down around them. Again.
We’re heading to Lankesh’s silk mill. It’s in Rego Cura, a district in Westcrown full of warehouses, slums, and seedy people. When we spoke with Lankesh’s corpse, he was able to eek out that the basement of his mill could provide some of the answers we have been searching for. Supposedly there is a book there, the Magnificent Thought, and a man named Ril Rador, both of which can lead us to the Blind Path and said key needed to open it.
It seems, though, as we get closer to closing one door, another opens. Deveroe came to rescue us today after an assassination attempt on our lives. He was hit by an arrow snared with a lethal fireball pearl as we fled the Inn window to his Casino boat in The Pile. It came not from the Dotari, the city guards storming the Inn, but from a lone assassin from a building above. The fireball came with a threatening note:
“The promise of death awaits you. Do not interfere. This is your only warning.”
Afterward Deveroe disclosed more about his past, as well as the meaning of the curious symbol my friends saw in their dreams. He admitted he spent some time in Radav Oldrenon, an empire on the Eastern edge of the continent. It was explained to me that Radav Oldrenon is outside the confederacy boundaries, 100 miles east of Riz, and ruled by an Empress known as She of Nightmares. It is a Pariah empire, dominated by believers in Veckna. No wonder it is disliked by others, for what righteous nation would condone worshiping the God of evil trickery, magic, and knowledge?
Deveroe admits he recognizes the symbol as belonging to the Cult of Veckna, also known as the Cult of the Ebon Destroyers. They use the symbol as a way of identifying each other, as spies and assassins of She of Nightmares. Deveroe says seeing this symbol usually implies you are close to death. He does not know why they would send this message to him, to us, or both, or why we are still alive after seeing it.
But now I know why he hid the symbol from Borgack in his office – Radav Oldrenon is very active in the slave trade, and Borgack is a former slave who Deveroe rescued and brought back to the Confederacy. So it seems Deveroe is a moral and trustworthy soul…
And yet still there remain mysteries clouding his character. For one, what did that message with the arrow mean? The assassin must have precise aim to hit one so experienced as Deveroe in the abdomen, and to make it a painful but not mortal wound. Which implies the assassin must have meant the message for Deveroe alone, warning him not to help us. And the message seems intimate in a way, like there may be some history between Deveroe and the Cult of Veckna? Deveroe himself admits he “spent time” in Radav Oldrenon, but is vague about why he was there and what he was doing…
And then there is what Horros saw. He claims Deveroe’s face, when struck by that arrow, became decrepit. For only a moment, illuminated by the simultaneous lightning strike, it appeared to Horros that Deveroe “may not be among the living.” Deveroe did not have a good answer for this when asked point blank. Mysterious indeed…