Once in Shadom, the group decided to split up for a few days researching and looking for leads.
Regred went into the Magic quarter looking for fellow Sorcerers to meet, he didn’t find any, but did catch a glimpse of the duchess and her strange adviser. He met a friendly sorcerer on the second day who was on his way out of town, and on the third received a message from him that the army of Shadom was conscripting Sorcerers and recommended he leave town quickly.
Ogio went into the western quarter looking for information about his sword and dreams. He met a Seeress there who told him to follow his dreams and to try to free the Duchess from her dreams as well.; He went looking for the duchess on the second day and helped Ryan and Zubrod study the keep on the third.
Bellamin spent the first day researching Devils and Prophecies, but was stopped at a strange road block in the middle of the city. He then consulted with the Temple of Edrahil on devils in the area. On the third day, he returned to the temple with Wikket for a meeting with the Head Abbot.
Sandolin went looking for a rogue guild in the city and only found a wink and a nod (knowhatamean, saynomore, saynomore); on the second day, he bought some info on the city itself, finding that the entire city worked like one big guild, all paying a portion of their profits to the Duchess. He also caught a view of her and her advisers’ scraggly burning beard.; on the third day, Sandolin relaxed a bit.
Ryan went looking for smiths to swap stories with, and found an Elf that was happy to talk, and for a bit of gold, told her about the preparations for War and the massive drive for weapons and armor. On the second day, she went looking for the shipping methods, looking for an easy way to disrupt it; and on the third, helped Ogio and Zubrod study the keep for a way in.
Zubrod spent the first day relaxing and played ball kicking with some kids in the inn district. On the second day, he walked around the keep looking for possible ways in and spent the third day planning with Ogio and Ryan how they might get into the keep.
Wikket spent the first day browsing for scrolls and witnessed an interesting bidding war for a scroll of Greater Planar Binding; on the second day he visited the local Temple of Edrahil about any prophecies and returned on the third day with Bellamin to meet with the Head Abbot.
From the Head Abbot of Edrahil’s temple, Bellamin and Wikket learned that the Gates at each point of the city, as well as one below the keep served to shield Shadom from any kind of Extraplanar incursion, it also kept unwanted creatures from out of the city. Though he was skeptical of the information that the two presented about the duchess’ adviser. He was also able to provide an scroll that showed what he thought might be the prophecy that the group had heard rumors of. Copying it down, Wikket and Bellamin mused over it’s full meaning and thanked the Abbot for his assistance.
Able to see no other way to speak to the duchess, the group decided to set up and ‘ambush’ for the duchess as she left the keep in the morning. Ogio planned to call out to her, about the dreams the seeress told him she was having.
Setting up early in the morning, the group watched as the guards opened the main gates to let the Duchess and her bodyguard out into the city. Ogio moved first, calling out for her attention, The Duchess appeared visibly shaken and held her head. Her adviser placed an hand on her and spoke softly to her, this seemed to allow her to regain some composure. Ogio continued shouting to her, about the dreams he was told she was having and that if he would be allowed to speak it could end the nightmares. As guards moved to restrain Ogio, the group could see the effect the Ogio’s words were aving on her. Her adviser called to the bodyguard to move them back into the keep while the deep hood of his cloak fell back from his face.
The group could clearly see the face of the devil, he appeared to be just like the one that had attacked them on the plains outside Edril. Seeing as this may be the only chance they get, Zubrod struck first, firing a pair of shots into the creature. The group followed suit, moving to engage it as it shouted out to the bodyguards to kill the group.
The bodyguards appeared confused and did not move to engage these unknown assailants, instead looking to their duchess for direction. As more arrows hit the devil as well as some magical attacks. The thing reached out to the duchess, ordering her to give a command. Though she seemed to be fighting the commands at first, she eventually ordered her bodyguard to defend her and her adviser from the attackers. Ryan charged into the middle of them, through spear-point and sword-cut, to engage the devil directly. Ogio followed suit as well as the rest of the group focusing on the adviser and trying to minimize attacks to the bodyguards.
In the middle of the group, Ryan was taking a beating as well as Ogio, after several deep hits, Ogio fell to a slash from behind. As Wikket, Regred and Bellamin rained spells on the creature, Ryan made a final desperate strike and cut deep into the devil. With a mighty scream of pain, it fell to the ground, defeated. The bodyguards shouted with surprise and the duchess collapsed into a heap at her feet. Later descriptions of the Adviser labeled him as a very attractive Elven man, that suddenly became the monstrous form upon death.
Quickly the group was pulled into the Keep with the Duchess and the body. While they waited for the Abbot of Edril’s temple to arrive, Wikket tended to the unconscious Duchess. The Abbot appeared chagrined by the unnatural body he saw upon arrival. After tending to the Duchess, he had a group of other priests visit the warding arch that was under the keep to find it broken and desecrated. In an audience with an emaciated Duchess, she had information found in the adviser’s office brought in. She described her own experience as a walking nightmare since she had met the charming elven man. Using the notes, the group was able to reconstruct a build up of massive proportions, where the Generals of Edril thought they were facing 2 moderately sized armies, in truth there were 10 1000-man sections, 3 more reinforcing the 2 that the group knew of, 2 more heading towards Keadle, and 3 encamped on the eastern side of the North river, near the Lizardman kingdom.
Even worse news, the commanders were people that the duchess did not recognize. Information from the keep Guardsmen indicated they were individuals that had recently come to power in the city but had all quietly slipped out of the city in the past several days. Notcing the names, Bellamin recognized some syllables from the language of devils, He theorized that these individuals could actually be devils as the adviser was.
While the Duchess could not spare anyone to go to the armies and disband them, she requested the group to do so. She would give them Writs ordering control of the army to the group, and as reward for saving her, and also as payment to do this, she gave each member a sealed writ for 10,000 Gold worth of items from any merchant in the city. Thus the group departed the keep, to prepare for their next goal: The disbandment of a 10,000 strong army and the dispatch of their Devilish Commanders…