The masquerade ball held by Sternbrig Gibbs is looming a few days away and the group takes time to prepare.
Whiskers and Cambraeia Zelphaer traverse down into the depths of UnterGarten to harvest poisons from the exotic lifeforms that live below. Trinso Havenspear and Orbaz Felbayne make a trip to the Missionary District to procure a set of holy symbols for personal use, only to be arrested by the authorities for suspicious activity.
After a meeting with Dwark MacLoahir to get him up to speed on the current happenings, the party attends the ball…
Ionia is presented, accompanied by Orbaz with Trinso attending as an escort. She quickly attaches herself alongside Octoravious as the courtier indulges in the pleasures of the evening. This allows Orbaz to step away and investigate the library which is currently off limits.
Meanwhile, Whiskers is introduced as a foreign dignitary with Cambraeia disguised as his secretary. Disengaging from the festivities to explore the gardens, they make short work of the hedge maze and break into a tool shed. This exposes an alternate route into the manor through what seems to be a laboratory of some sort. It was filled with living test subjects submerged in huge vats of blue liquid. They appeared to be from harsh lifestyles.
As the elf and the mousling were deep in the underworks of the manor, the party upstairs raged on. Guests were engaging in varying levels of depravity as Ionia coaxed Octoravius to introduce her to more of the prestigious guests. Trinso kept overwatch, noting the odd markings that made up the dance floor. At that moment Orbaz was meandering through the library, feeling more comfortable than he has felt since arriving in Mist Heart. He noticed an impromptu workstation set up for Caltarthien, with informational text on the local government and military set aside in particular.
He also finds what appears to be familiar text in the library’s copy of ‘The Ransom of Zarek’ by Marobal Sul in the form of a numbered code, though the meaning and origination elude him. Tearing the pages from the book, he stashes it away and waits. Trinso soon joins him, with Ionia following closely after with the courtier looking quite inebriated. Ionia dispatches Octoravious and takes some time to impersonate the partygoer.
While Orbaz and Trinso probe into Sternbrig Gibbs’s hidden office, Ionia returns to the revelry and accompanies him and his retinue as they ascend to the viewing. By now Whiskers and Cambraeia had made it further along the underworks, with an interesting tome on macabre runeworking and pocketfuls of expensive looking curios in tow. They continue on and find Orbaz and Trinso milling about behind a false shelf. United again, they lay in wait at the trap door leading up to the viewing platform of the observatory.
Ionia ascends with the rest of the viewing party comprised of Sternbrig Gibbs, the court magus Reshavark Outozarch, the elven historian Caltarthien and the gnomish technician Strotzenbru Flotski Gibbs. Trying desperately to communicate to Sternbrig, Ionia gains the attention of Outozarch. He blasts her with dark energy, chaining a burning crown upon her brow. Ionia falls in line beside him.
The rest of the party witnesses the ritual as the telescopic machinery reflects the light of the moon onto a large occult symbol. They watch as a female in the group gashes her hand with a blade, spilling the wound onto the altar.
Seeing his opportunity, Whiskers then leaps from his vantage point on the catwalk, landing swiftly on the altar before Sternbrig Gibbs and drives his rapier through his girthy neck and out the back of his head. In the chaos that follows, the heroes destroy several nightmarish creatures and slay Outozarch, who turns out to be a powerful warlock agent.
At this point he elf, who merely spectates the battle, seems to dissapparate when the group turns to her, leaving them alone with the dumbfounded gnome. They distribute loot while Whiskers leaves his assassins mark knifed onto the corpse of Briggs. On the corpse of Mr. Reshavark Outozarch the party finds: a Set of +1 Glamoured armor (given to Iona). A bag of holding (given to Whiskers). A small Dark stone Owl statue engraved with the word “ceilear” (givnen to Orbaz). potions, scrolls and valuables plundered from the manor. Also on the scene Trinso Havenspear retrieves a leather bound grimoire
They resist the churning chaos of the revelry below and escape into the night, noticing that the blood red moon is still full in the sky, as if time stopped having an effect on it.