Chapter 7: But Why Me?
As the banquet was delayed a few days due to unforeseen circumstances, the party dawdled until the time came. Jack Skycaller, upon entering Port Hiss, soon befriended Esdeath and Mephisto, and caught on to the grand scheme, joining in. However that night, while he slept in an inn room, he awoke suddenly. Sleepy, he looked around and to his befuddlement, there floated a despondent-looking apparition looking out the window, lit by the moonlight. The small, bald human, dressed in simple robes, only beckoned him. As Jack got up, the ghost disappeared. He then looked in the direction the ghost was, and saw the vast forest near Port Hiss. Then, he continued his sleep, one hand on his sword.
The next day, Jack consulted Mephisto and Esdeath, and the trio decided to explore the forest. After getting quite lost, they happened upon a large rock formation at which point Esdeath sensed the presence of the apparition once more. The ghost looked forlornly at the group, and pointed from Jack, to a small opening in the formation, before fading away. The trio decided to climb down the seemingly deep cavity, and followed through its network of tunnels, guided by Jack who could only describe his intuition as a gut feeling.
Eventually the party entered a somewhat large clearing in the caves littered with rocks and stalagmites, which was immediately lit up by magical torches that surrounded its perimeter. In the center of it all, stood a pedestal and armor stand, upon which was a gleaming silver armor, through which the ghost appeared, beckoned to Jack, and disappeared. As the group gingerly approached it, one of the boulders stood. Small, black beady eyes stared at the group as it contemplated what to do. The animated boulder simple stood and watched as the group deduced it was a Galeb Duhr, likely created to protect the armor. Jack approached closer and the Galeb Duhr finally attacked. An intense battle ensued, where the trio hacked and slashed and whittled away at the earth elemental, as it animated more boulders and slammed into them, over and over. Finally, it crumbled and the group breathed a sigh of relief.
The group decided that Jack would be the one to take the then identified Silver Dragon Scale Mail, and having rested, returned to Port Hiss, still quite baffled as to what the true aim of the spirit was, and why it chose Jack.
Chapter 8: Flawless Execution
The fated day of the banquet arrived and the party, now joined by Jack Skycaller and a sudden ally Quissent, headed to the castle, lead by Captain Orrinhatch. The castle was lit by the preparations being made, as servants and guards went in every direction. Finally the hour came, and all were seated under the night sky as the event commenced.
The lord entered with great procession, though he occasionally glanced back at his general (now Orrinhatch’s dragon) cautiously. He took his seat at the main table, with Orrinhatch to his left. The party began to much merriment. Jack and Mephisto stole the attention of the crowd with their melodious entertainment. Esdeath approached the lord, who had the minister next to him get up for. Together, with Esdeath pouring wine for, and Orrinhatch filling lies into, the lord came to believe the General was truly planning a coup, and that all the guards were in on it. With careful words, Mephisto convinced the drunken ruler further that the food was poisoned by his ministers. Now in a grand panic, the lord ordered Orrinhatch to deal with them. Orrinhatch nodded, and a silver orb flew from him into the sky, polymorphing into a giant Silver Dragon. All present, in awe and surprise at the sight of it, could not respond until half the guards were already killed by the creature’s breathe. The rest tried to escape to no avail, as they were easily killed in moments as well. The ministers were executed, tied to poles and frozen, preserved on top of the Keep’s towers, as a symbol of fear to traitors. Throughout this, Jack continued playing, changing his rhythm and tempo with flair, to match the horrific events.
The now hysterically drunk king, applauded the party for their actions. He was lead to the top of a tower, then killed and thrown off of. That night, while the party proceeded, Orrinhatch’s army of Orcs invaded the town, causing all to remain indoors.
The next day, the town’s people were herded in front of the main tower, where they saw their lord (a polymorphed dragon) declare his incompetence and mistake of having his army and ministers killed, and then jump, committing suicide. The crowd, shocked and on the precipice of panic, then listened onto a disguised Mephisto, who spoke of Orrinhatch, his great armies, his promises of a better time and was then able to bring the crowd in Orrinhatch’s favor, cemented by a show of their prosperity to come in the form of hundreds of gold coins being showered onto the crowd. Then, the new lord (a vampire sent by the Pyromaniac), Alexander Dumas, was introduced, to much fanfare.
And thus Port Hiss came under Orrinhatch’s control.
To be continued….