With the four armed baron sahuain defeated, the group swam through the whale gut sheathe into the chambe of holdin of the Stone Which Abides, which they later learned is the trapped essence of Anguileusis. A large group of Thayans arrived; the assistant Autarch of Conjuring, and two of his powerful unerlings… surrounding the group and levelling blades, wands, and staff at them after they had parted the membrane with the Eel key and removed the rest of the threat. Why dirty their hands?
“You are not of the strength to keep this; long has this race plagued our shores and ships; and so too do they even plague your people, Alexjo; they punish Mulhurond and Unther with much fervor in the Inner Sea. We will occupy this cavern complex only for a single day, and depart through the ocean. A Thayan War Galley is nearby; it is armed with two bombards. We will level the town of Angelburg if you do not comply. Do not test our desire to secure this sleeping sahuagin prince by any means neccessary. This acquisition may bring their ire, but what more could it cost? And certainly allowing this ally of their god Sekolah to awaken will do as legend and omens promise…unless we secure it, far inland. You may collect all else from the caves you have encountered thus far, we will touch nothing more than to take the statue.”
The Thayans divined that this Stone Which Abides statue holds some malevolent threat; but of course, they are not aware of the true danger they have brought back with them.
Upon return to the surface and peace restored, the Bonded Swords have little to pause…for the captain of the Green Hart will seek out Alexjo and the rest of the group to inform them of what transpired. A large contingent of sahuagin raiders had arrived; and was soon be upon the Potentiate. Krillick and Gardle led their respective groups against them, and enlisted Alexjo’s caravel as well as the Green Hart to drive them back out to sea; sinking and repelling the manta that was sent against them. Casualties were light. By the same token, the Potentiate will seek out Baron Romsh:
“You cannot leave our island, not until we raise a proper feast for you. The sahuagin threat has been eliminated! So Laurish says. I shall offer my island’s liege to you, and withdraw our obeisance to the Lord’s Alliance if you shall lend your powers, and that of your Bonded Sword’s…or yours…men at arms, to our immediate defense.”
Though Romsh declined, since he is not yet ready to break free of Duke Pwyll’s service, Ievos arranged for a contract by which a ship, caravel or galleon, would be built and staffed by sailors of Angelbur; siege weaponry, marines, weapon specialists would be provided by the group. The ship would be armed thus at the cost of the Bonded Swords, and commanded by Potentiate Rynnow on all accounts except its use by the group.
Not only this, but the morning after the victory feast and the end of the threat to Angelburg Island, a recently arrived diplomat, arriving by magical means, approaches Alexjo with a offer; her name is Cassandra Arunsun, a attractive and young, blonde and blue eyed woman in the robes bearing a High Herald sigil, and carrying a symbol of the centaurs of the High Forest:
“To Alexjo Quickstring, and the Bonded Swords,
In a letter written from Queen Zaranda of Tethyr, her faithful servant, the centaur Tymouth Eyesbright. I know of you by word of your deeds at the small town of Leilon, whereupon you visited my cousin Edrik where the Unicorn glade is, and said the heceuva disese was taken from you, and Romsh the half-orc, by Lurue herself.
Zaranda Star is to be queen of Tethyr reunited, a land torn by petty warlords and nobles lacking nobility. She must reunite these, her, lands. She needs your company, and the work of the Wanderers in Blue, to Survale Ford, as her Star Protective Services have driven the half-ogre who would have made himself a king there of his monstrous ilk.
Your tribe would be employed in auxiliary positions only, for 300gp a month, and they will have access to 500gp a month worth of equipment availed of our expedition’s acquisition officers and stewards. Please speak to your Uncle Talbano on this; it is well known that on the move, gypsies are par excellence entertainers, healers, and caravanners, and certainly can ply their trade for more compensation. In addition, tack and food will be provided wholly to them and out of our pocket.
For the Red and Blue we will pay 1200 gp per month to you to offset their costs of tack, food, and wages; profit to be yours, and greatly as we well know. Your company is reputedly not much in business…
Your clan and forces will be joining the Reclamation Army. Others are arriving; in six tendays a grand armada will set out against the winter storms to take the rebellious by surprise, and reinforce Star Protective Services. Report to Waterdeep, the warehouse 51 on the dock ward, on Thayer street, if it is you intend to sail on with us, to take place in these historic-making times.”
Days later, Lord Rath Basilayer (pg 51) makes contact with the Alexjo, appearing before him on his caravel.
Dressed in fine raiment of a multicolored desert style coat, a falchion at his side, as well as a shortened single-handed bec-de-corbin, and jambiyaa. He wears improved chainmail with lamellar painted plates.
His beard is a thin sharp mustachio and sharp goatee, a long scar runs from his brow to cheek. His face is lean and hawk-like, shrewd brown gaze studying you. His hair is salt and peppered brown. The weapons, armor, and his earrings, amulet, and rings are all magical; so too are his gloves. He is LN, a trainer and recruiter of mercenaries.
He speaks in a Calimshanii accented common; his parentage is known to be Tethyrian and Calimshaani.
“King Yusuf of Jhammar, current ruler of the city of Myratma (pg45), offers you double of the take that the usurper, ignoble Zaranda Starr can. And unlike the common born Zaranda, who cannot affirm her claim, Yusuf’s blood is known to the High Keeper of Colors (Siamorphe’s priest) in Calimshan, from which Yusuf has royal caliphate blood tie as well as to the Tethyrian bloodline.
If you know of my family, we have 1200 men at arms, and are raising three times more that. Myratma shall be the light against the darkness of uncivil war.
I know of your trouble with the Luskan pirate (turning towards Romsh), and what you seek. You may join in the glory of the war with us after you finish your business with them; your blade is becoming well known on the Sword Coast as you carve out a piece of the world for yourself. I know, as well Alexjo, how you have turned away from the minstrel ways to preach the teachings of Anhur; surely you seek a war to prove yourself to your superiors in the church? Or at least, to offset the red tabulations of your company, both in the Sword Coast and in the kingdom of Dunador…I will let you think on it. Should you wish to join us, I will be in the area for this evening only.”
With all of these considerations, Alexjo decided that he would move in favor of Zaranda Starr.
There was a surprise visit by the Harpers (5 cloaked forms; one a obvious druid, another a priest of Eldath, and another priest of Lathander; the other two seem bards; each shows their Harper pin as proof):
“The jewels of Neverwinter do not belong to you. I know it is that you have taken them in loot, but they are neccessary now that they are found to allow us to place spies in Hellgate Keep. A force there has knowledge that they are now possessed; and will move soon against you. For their value, we will offer 3 potions of healing, as well as: Alchemy jug, and the Girdle of lions.”
Had the Bonded Swords not turned them over…then the Harpers will take them anyway, peaceably but neccessarily. However, they complied and were given the reward due. Gallia studied the slimmest form first, which she believed to be a source of the telepathic discourse that was overheard; a potent psioness named Patricia Watkins (dual classed bard 5/ psion 7 AL CG).