…And Then Takes Sered to Meet Obanar…
…who sends them on a scouting mission.
Sered found a gem and two Potions of Vitality in the scout ship they had commandeered. They gave the Ring of Heroic Health they found on the admiral to Relvain.
While they were removing the ring from Kada’ne’s finger, he noticed the armor the admiral was wearing was also magickal. Because it was made of Feyhide, they decided to give it to Delis.
On the admiral’s flagship, they found a strange sash.
“Looks like it was designed to be tied around someone’s waist,” Nox told him.
As it lay in the blood and gore, it was strangely unstained. Sered tried his Arcana against the belt after Nox told him it was magickal, but all he could do was detect the magic. What it did and how to use it eluded him.
When they took it to Haryssus, the Astral Giant they had left in the library at the Singular Portal, he told them it was a Healer’s Sash.
“Beside its ability to resist bloodstains,” Haryssus told them, “it can help you share Healing Surges.”
“Like Comrades’ Succor?” he asked.
“Even better. The sash allows you to do it in the midst of battle. But only once a day.”
They decided to rest.
Nox Rhasgar found himself standing once more before Queen Ileosa on her throne in Korvosa.
He knew he was dreaming, but it seemed so real as he stood once more before the queen. Still dressed in mourning black, Ileosa Arabasti sat on her throne.
Next to the empty throne her husband once sat.
Andrea Ravn was there as well. She strode forward and offered the queen the broach they had found on Gaedran Lamm. She accepted it graciously.
“This broach was stolen from me some time ago. I had not expected to see it again, truth be told. And yet, here on my darkest day, you come before me with kindness. The return of this broach is much more than an honorable deed. It is inspiration. It is hope.
“I love Korvosa, ash my husband did before me.” Somehow the words did not ring true to Nox. Sure, the king loved Korvosa…. “His death has shocked the city as it has me, but I will not see my city torn apart. All Korvosa stands at the precipice of a disaster wrought by her citizens — these riots cannot continue. You have already done my heart a great service in returning this precious heirloom to me on this dark day, and you shall be rewarded. Yet perhaps you can serve your city more.”
Despite his misgivings about the sincerity of Ileosa’s protestations of love for the city — but not the “people” she blamed for the riots — Nox thought she did seem sincere in her desire to stop the riots.
“The Korvosan Guard is stretched thin, and it could certainly use the aid of heroes such as yourselves. If you so choose, have Sabina here see that you have an escort of guards when you leave here. They can see you safely to Citadel Volshyenek. I shall send word ahead to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft to let her know you are on your way.”
Sabina took them to the citadel and introduced them to Kroft who offered them a job running down some deserters. Nox surprised himself with his Streetwise skill when he found out the deserters were calling themselves the Cow Hammer Boys and operating out of an abandoned butcher shop called All the World’s Meats.
Apparently they were giving away meat to the poor.
“Not what you usually expect from deserters,” he thought.
But appearances are not always everything. An urchin called him over and told them they were running a side business selling services as thugs if you asked for the “Special Cuts.”
He went to the shop, asking for the “Special Cuts.” But negotiations went awry when he didn’t have anybody for them to beat up. They assumed they were being investigated and immediately attacked. Nox was hit by an arrow from behind, but quickly dispatched them with an Elemental Bolt, followed up with Elemental Escalation.
Upstairs Nox found Verik Vancaskerkin, the guardsman who had convinced the others to desert. He convinced Vancaskerkin to go peacefully — so the field marshal could question him — but he didn’t tell Nox who was financing the whole operation until the Dragonborn spotted a silver dagger on the desk. It was not a magickal dagger. His Arcana revealed it to be a Raktavarna Rakshasa, a creature capable of disguising itself as almost anything.
When the Rashasa realized it had been spotted, it turned back into its Rakshasa form and attacked. They beat it down, but Verik was devastated. He told Nox he had no idea the knife was a “snake spy” and said it was a gift from Meliya Arkona, the society lady who had been financing the free-food operation.
Obanar told The Skywalker how to use the Healer’s Sash. But that left Sered in a quandary: The sash would increase his group-healing skills — always the weakest part of a sacrificial-healer’s repertoire — but it would work just as well if someone else wore it.
The sash would also enable his allies to bring him back if he went down — but only if someone else wore it.
Then the Guardian of Argent told him about the problems he was facing: He was unable to finish the Sky-Metal items he was fashioning for the members of The Order of the Black Feather.
The Giants and Elementals assaulting Argent were stepping up their attacks. And all of his attention had to go to defending the city.
He suggested Sered and Nox could scout the Giant’s encampment to counterattack their position.
Sered found a trail leading from those attacking Argent toward a nearby hill. Following the trail, they rounded a corner and ran into a group of Hill Giant raiders on their way to the siege of the city.
Nox strode forward and told the Hill Giants they were on important business. The Bluff worked and the Giants let them past. The trail petered out after that and they had to look for signs of the Hill Giants’ passing. Nox found the signs pretty easily and that led them to the main encampment of the Giants and Elementals.
Sered examined the camp and found a compound further on…built into a cave in the hill. Concluding it was the headquarters for the siege, they prepared to assault it.
Two Ogres waited beside the path. A Hill Giant stood in front of the Giant-sized door. Neither of them knew what was inside. Nox told him a bluff would not work.
This was gonna take a fight to get inside.