On their way back from Varancyn, the heroes were accosted by Saraiha, barring their way with a pair of Green Dragon Wyrmlings. She ranted, accused Damien of being a thief, said she had been meant to be the protege of Athenais, and demanded the Nightshade Staff. The heroes stood firm, however, and between Damien’s displays of magical power and Maghnus’s unveiled threats, she, “Kitten,” and “Balor” retreated into the woods.
Not long after that, the group came across Pieter, an Avenger from a monastery of Erathis. His single-minded devotion to the task of “pushing back the darkness” endeared him to Maghnus and Darsin, though his insistence that there was no right side in the war between Allandria and Arktfar soured Prince Donovan Xavier to him. The party folded him into their ranks as they made the trip back to Hallowdwell.
There, Donovan and The Ambassadora Mariana Ellebran were welcomed into the city amid great fanfare, and the prince promised a great celebration in her and the heroes’ honor. It seemed, however, that while the party was away, the castle walls had come under direct attack by undead forces—a stealthy, hit-and-fade strike that seemed too swift and coordinated for a truly mindless horde. The group went their separate ways for a short time, reporting in to Sir Mattheus Ironstone, spending time with Julius “Crusher” Bonchev, etc.
The next morning, Donovan’s promise came true, as each of them had an invitation to attend a banquet in the castle’s great hall that evening. In the meantime, Damien finally managed to achieve a breakthrough with the Nightshade Flute, unlocking a far deeper potential for combating the Deathwind plague.
The banquet was a rousing affair, with almost all of the party’s Hallowdwell friends in attendance. The prince toasted the Elven ambassadora and the party, and called for a dance! The ball was disrupted by the antics of Deftblade, and the prince and the ambassadora stepped outside… only to meet with disaster. Thankfully, Damien was there to raise the alarm when a doppelganger assassin or kidnapper attempted to drag the Prince away by posing as Mariana and drugging him with a sleep draught! The heroes arrived on the scene in a brutal night melee with the doppelganger, several bandit accomplices, and a wizard shouting necromantic curses and praise of the Deathwind.
What vile subterfuge is this? The kidnapper escaped into the night, but when we meet our heroes again, they will give chase!