28 Reaping, 592 CY
The party decisively set out for Sigil, first stopping by Sasserine so they could borrow Daystar from Karamus to get through the portal they knew to led to the City of Doors. A few minutes of banter and a teleport spell later, they stood before the cave that served as the gateway to The Cage. Bransen held the rapier aloft and the cave entrance shimmered open, to reveal the rain-choked streets of the Lower Ward. Stepping through the portal, they once again set foot in the godless city at the center of the multiverse.
They set about searching for Kylie the Tout and found her slumming it in a dive bar in The Hive. She didn’t seem to remember them and she was disinclined to help them find Skullrot, about which she claimed ignorance. Losing patience with the tiefling, they set about seeking another tout. Half an hour later, they were meeting with a creature calling himself “Berker” who promised to seek out information on a portal to Carceri and any information about Skullrot he could find. They agreed to meet him in the Market Ward, and he suggested Chirper’s before anti-peak as the venue. They parted ways with the strange man and made their way to the popular inn.
Their drinks and meal were interrupted a couple of hours later as Berker flew threw the door to land heavily on Chirper’s floor. All eyes went to the entrance where a quartet of tieflings stalked into the tavern. The planetouched sneered at the other patrons before their eyes locked on the adventurers. Moments later, a jackal-headed arcanoloth with a crown of razorvine strode gracefully inside Chirper’s. Shemeshka the Marauder had come to collect her due. She invited them to join her and they readily complied, Jarvyk helping Berker into a chair and leaving the tout some gold for his trouble.
One Arcadian pony cab trip later, the adventurers sat in Fortune’s Wheel and heard the terms of the favor that the arcanoloth wanted from them. Nightstar was returned to the Silver Phoenixes despite Karamus’s absence, and then Shemeshka told them what she wanted. They were to travel to Carceri (where they were going anyway) to meet with a maralith name Byakala in a place called Harrowfell, which was located on Orthrys, the first layer of the prison plane. Once they found her, they were to remind the demon of the favor that she owed to the King of the Crosstrade. The arcanoloth also produced a perfectly mirrored orb that they were to deliver to the maralith. Additionally, Shemeshka provided them with the location of a portal to Orthrys and told them the key: a toy that was loved by an orphan child.
They walked out of Fortune’s Wheel and not knowing where to acquire such an item (although talks of finding an orphanage were briefly held), Bransen cast miracle. A filthy, child wearing a sack and clutching a teddy…something…came running around the corner of an alley and ran smack into Bransen. S/he apologized profusely and begged the adventurers not to hurt her. She even offered them “Mr. Squeakerhead” gesturing wildly with the multi-limbed doll. They accepted and sent the child on her way. Jarvyk insisted that they rest the night so as to be at their best potential before crossing over into Carceri. The others agreed and retired to an establishment where Bransen spent the night winning other beings’ money.
1 Goodmonth, 592 CY
Carceri was a bleak swamp drenched in hopelessness, paranoia, and contempt. It was as if such metaphors were made manifest, and even the adventurers were eyeing one another suspiciously. Ashton knew of two places on Orthrys where they might be able to find information about Skullrot, and since one of them was Harrowfell, they set that as their destination. Deg called upon his ability to unerringly find a location, and he began to lead them through the murky bog. Greyjek manifested both true seeing and touchsight, and his vigilance was rewarded when he noticed the gang of slaadi waiting in ambush.
He warned the others, who noticed the four hulking blue slaadi. Unfortunately, only Greyjek could see the invisible pair of greys and death slaadi farther back from the group. Vicious spells were exchanged as the blues charged forward to attack. Fer Lomarcan was almost killed outright, but he managed to endure the finger of death leveled at him by the leader of the slaadi. Still, it was largely a simple field exercise and the Silver Phoenixes were more than up to the task. Greyjek slew the last remaining grey as it tried to flee. Once the would-be ambushers were slain and the few injuries the adventurers had sustained were healed, Deg concentrated on the path once more and took the lead once more.