The party makes their way through the dungeon, trailing behind Hermi who decided to scout ahead. Hermi was able to find several keys and pocketed them. Before long, the group came to a half-orc guard who spotted Hermi. The battle that ensued was tedious because much of the group lacked weapons but the party prevailed in the end. Hermi continued exploring and found a locked door. He opened it with one of the keys and found most of the party’s stolen gear (except for Hermi’s magical dagger).
The party continued onward and Hermi was able to kill three cultists while they slept on the way out. They encountered another half-orc guard but this time they were prepared. He went down easily, though he was able to severely wound Koil in a desperate final attack. After patching himself up, the party continued upward, out of the secret dungeon and into the temple.
Once in the temple, Hermi decided to scout around some more. He came across a female priest that appeared to be praying to a statue. Hermi returned to the group and struck up a conversation with Valyrian and asked what the party should do about the priests. Valyrian reasoned that many priests are not part of the plot and are simply doing what they’re told. He asked the party to spare as many as possible. He also gave the party direction. To the west was the exit, and the east led deeper into the temple. The party decided to head east to exact revenge on those who imprisoned them.
The party came across several groups of mercenaries that gave their lives trying to stop the party from proceeding further. During the fight with several of the mercenaries, the newly appointed Archbishop emerged from his office, brandishing Hermi’s magical dagger. He was quickly dealt with by Guy. The party proceeded to finish off the mercenaries, though two priests were able to escape to the west during the fighting.
Valyrian interrupted the party momentarily to point out a secret wall in his old office. He presented Koil a pair of gloves that were able to heal with a touch. The party continued east and found a meeting going on between two figures. One was easily recognizable as Martin Preese, the man that had stolen the Crown of Carrikos and was supposed to be executed. The party moved in to attack but were stopped short by two heavily armored men that blocked the door. The two bodyguards proved to be skilled fighters and were able to severely wound Aldon and Koil and knocked Guy unconscious. The whole time the melee was going on, the casters on both sides were unleashing spells on the other. Once one of the bodyguards was dealt with, Hermi was able to squeeze in behind him and started attacking the two casters. Hermi was able to incapacitate Agrassi Muer but was having trouble dealing with Martin Preese. When Aldon finally finished off the second bodyguard, he moved in to help Hermi and was able to finish off the wizard.
With the other three men dead, Agrassi Muer began pleading for his life. At first he tried to withhold information but after some persuading from the party, he figured he’d have a better shot surviving any assassins sent by “them” than he would surviving the people now in front of him. He told as much as he could, revealing that he helped “them” come to power. He also told the party that “they” weren’t interested in ruling Arcanum, that the arrangement was temporary. When he told all he could, Hermi finished him off, not wanting to risk having to deal with this man again. Aarissa also found a letter in Martin Preese’s spellbook, though it was in some sort of cipher that made it impossible to read without some work.
With the east wing of the temple cleared, the party proceeded west. They came across two more mercenaries and were able to kill them quickly. They also found a female priest hiding among a few statues. The party tried asking her questions but she seemed too afraid of them after witnessing them kill the two mercenaries. The party decided to ignore the woman and proceeded onward. When they arrived at the exit, Valyrian cautioned that there are two town guards stationed at the exit and that he would be unable to proceed with them there. He hesitated to kill them but finally agreed. The party devised a plan to use Koil to bring them inside where the party would wait in ambush. It worked perfectly and the guards walked into the trap and were easily dealt with. With that, Valyrian suggested that the party head toward a small town called Emilstone and stay at an inn called The Ruby Tower. He would gather himself and meet them there shortly to discuss the next move.
Once at Emilstone, Aarissa began deciphering the letter. She found that the cult had intentions to head toward an old ruined keep where it was rumored a powerful artifact had recently been found by the Arkalian government. The letter suggested that the city’s mages were used to locate a certain item and that all divinations pointed toward the ruins. It also mentioned that all the mages involved were to be put to death so they couldn’t discuss what they were doing. The writer of the letter had apparently already sent a group to Arkalia to speak with the government. This group would pose as the heads of various Carrikos magic colleges seeking to examine the find.