15 Flocktime, 592 CY
Bransen was granted a spell that would let him (and others) transform into the wind and travel very quickly, and so he, Greyjek, Ashton, and Kort made a trip to Sasserine to acquire a number of pearls so that Ashton could identify the multiple magic items acquired from the assassins’ bodies. Karamus and Jarvyk meanwhile spoke to Skylar Krewis about the attempt and at his suggestion, they turned the bodies over to the Guard so that they might discover who had sent them (courtesy of speak with dead). When the others returned from Sasserine, Ashton identified a number of the items, and a strict watch was set in the Silver Phoenix house against additional assault.
16 Flocktime, 592 CY
The following day, Jarvyk and Bransen went out seeking additional information about Maavu’s fate. They were unable to secure a meeting with Lord Vhalantru, but the clerk at city hall did assert that the merchant was being held by the MTA, who were investigating the possibility that the evidence against Maavu had been forged. Additionally, he was not allowed any visitors. Struck by inspiration, while standing outside the garrison, Bransen called upon a fate-given spell to locate Alek Tercival’s signet ring. It apparently rested in a room on the third floor of the structure, likely an office of some sort. He and Jarvyk discussed the implications of this revelation. Jarvyk and Bransen then went to speak with Jenya Urikas to request that she cast sending spells so that they might speak with Maavu via magic. She assured them that she was capable of such a feat and bid them return in the morning.
Ashton and Greyjek meanwhile went to the Bluecrater Academy to research possible ways to get to Sigil for Karamus, who had received a letter from the man holding his sister for ransom. They learned a great deal about the City of Doors, but not the specific key to access it from the portal from which Karamus had reached Oerth. The cansin spent his day selling the assassins’ gear to Skie’s Treasury for a pretty penny.
17 Flocktime, 592 CY
Via sending Maavu revealed that a forged letter (supposedly penned by him) and Alek Tercival’s signet ring had been found by the guards. He didn’t know who was framing him, but he thought maybe the Chisel might be able to help. The two Phoenixes left a donation in the collection box on their way out, and returned to the house to speak with the others.
Skylar Krewis paid the house a visit that afternoon to share what the spell had revealed. There wasn’t much to go on. The assassins had not been Cauldron natives, as had already been suspected, and they had indeed been hired by someone to kill the Silver Phoenixes. The employer was referred to only as the Veiled Lady, an appellation that only Jarvyk recognized as belonging to Wee Jas. Everyone was quite surprised by this revelation. Krewis excused himself and returned to work. The adventurers geared up and made their way toward the cathedral in order to seek some answers.
When they arrived, the doors were locked and there was no response from within to their knocking. They went to the dormitories around back where Ashton found a young man with whom he’d spoken before. The boy said that all the underpriests were forbidden from entering the cathedral during it’s renovations and that all the higher ups still dwelled within. He was sorry that he didn’t know more, but grateful for the coins Ashton handed him anyway. The dwarves struck out for the garrison to find Krewis while Bransen wandered off and the others stayed around the cathedral.
Greyjek shadowed the cansin while Ashton kept circling the structure. Karamus told the elan to wait across the street while he pulled his wand and rendered himself invisible. Moving across to the door, he found it untrapped but securely locked. He worked with his tools for a couple of minutes before he finally heard a satisfying click. He decided he wouldn’t crack the doors just yet, and rounded the corner before his cloaking spell wore off. Then he went to find Ashton and Greyjek and made for the garrison to find Jarvyk and Kort.
Meanwhile, the dwarves had been directed to the Drunken Morkoth to find Krewis, who was apparently off duty. Find him they did, and Jarvyk asked the young man what the Guard’s response to the assassination attempt would be. The sergeant sighed and said that there probably wouldn’t be a response, because of the generous donations that had been flowing to the government from the Church of Wee Jas lately. Pressures from on high would prevent the Guard from any real investigation. On the other hand, he asserted, since little of the money sent from the church had actually trickled down to finance the Guard, there was unlikely to be any sort of retaliation, should the Silver Phoenixes wish to exact retribution for the attempt. A knowing look passed between the two men, and they settled into their beers to talk awhile about less pressing matters.
As they were finishing their drinks, the others walked into the Morkoth and Karamus told the dwarves that the cathedral was now open. They all returned to the site about the time that Bransen wandered back from a map shop he had been idly perusing. Ashton asked why they were back when the doors were locked, and Karamus said that he’d seen someone walking into the cathedral. Tedryk’s Grace asked why the cansin hadn’t called out to the person to speak with them then, and Sage quizzically responded that it had not seen anything enter or leave, and had been standing across the street the entire time. Karamus reached out to open the doors, only to find them locked fast again.
Ashton sighed and, growing impatient, flexed his fey gift to dimension door just beyond the threshold. He found Calmus Vel, a pair of stone giants and a trio of heavily armed and armored half-orcs waiting within. The cleric sighed and said, “I’m sorry Ashton,” just before the giants began to attack. Karamus furiously set to picking the lock again, while Jarvyk and Kort protested, but readied their weapons, just in case. Greyjek simply followed Ashton’s lead and stepped through a door in reality to the other side of the cathedral entrance. Bransen waited for Karamus to finish and the four outside anxiously waited as they heard the sounds of combat and someone banging on the door from within.
The giants flung stones at the magus and the erudite while the half-orcs closed most of the distance of the 150 foot main chamber. Calmus Vel calmly cast a protective spell moments before Ashton attempted to render himself invisible. To his alarm, he noticed that he could still see himself. An invisibility purge effect seemed to be the reason! Karamus drew upon all of his skill and a measure of luck to successfully crack the lock a couple of seconds later. Kort threw open the door and upon seeing the threats within, charged the nearest giant. Jarvyk followed him within, likewise seeking giant flesh. Greyjek activated a protective power stored within one of his many tattoos and then drew closer to the same giant. Ashton cast fly and ascended to the beginning of the curved ceiling near the doors. Calmus Vel cast another spell to increase his capability to withstand physical attacks, and Bransen came inside and started uttering a prayer to help his allies and hinder his enemies. The half-orcs closed with the dwarves and slashed into them.
Karamus tumbled in and finding himself flanking one of the half-orcs, took advantage of the chance to stab him in the vitals. A vicious melee ensued between dwarves, cansin, half-orc and one of the giants. The other giant, meanwhile, continued to lob giant rocks at Ashton, who retaliated with spells to weaken the brute. Bransen healed many of the wounds the party had taken, and Greyjek, at personal risk took two strikes from the giant in order to assault the cleric with a vicious green ray that disintegrated the man where he stood, despite his protective spells.
After that, it was a mostly one-sided battle, and four of the five remaining foes were slain. The last enemy standing was the severely weakened stone giant, who begged quarter, claiming that he’d only been hired to protect the temple against intruders. He didn’t know much about the temple, because he hadn’t been told much more than the nature of the job, and Calmus Vel had been the one to pay him. He was allowed to leave, with the parting advice from Greyjek to “Go and make babies.” The giant stopped for a moment and then nodded thoughtfully, thanking the erudite for his wisdom, even in the face of opposition. He then departed while the group pulled the magical trinkets from the bodies (and pile of ash) and then stuffed them into the bag of holding.