Airday, 1st of Warmshade, 4433 (continued)
We find the party as we left them: minus Granuel, staring down a deep well, wondering about a creepy statue. They decide to spend some more fly charges and make their way down to the bottom.
The Overgod’s Court
The well empties through the ceiling of an immense chamber, its domed roof a full fifty feet over a black floor worn smooth by the passage of countless creatures. Alcoves in the north and south wall hold wretched statues of worm-like monsters coiled around pillars of skulls and bones. A single object occupies the room’s eastern half—a huge statue of a humanoid monster. The thirty-foot tall statue seems to be made of some strange black stone that looks almost like leather in some places. It has breasts, two arms, two tentacles, and two stumps where two more arms should be. One of its upper arms wields a big axe.
To everyone’s (by which I mean no one’s) surprise, the moment someone touches the floor, the statue comes to life. Anmor is relieved when he realizes the statue is actually an evil outsider, an avatar of the Triad of Sixes’ hypothetical overgod, instead of a construct. This means his dark knowledge will work on it. Still, with axe, claw, and tentacle, the overgod nearly makes mincemeat of Kullen before the party destroys it.
A search of the chamber reveals that one of the walls seems hollow. Finding no obvious way to open the wall, Chresin teleports the party past it. They find themselves in an airless vault. Ulm immediately turns ethereal to escape, while Kullen batters down the wall, providing air before anyone can suffocate (which takes forever in D&D anyway).
Inside the vault, the party finds four chests the size of steamer trunks, full of lots of excellent treasure. More significantly, they find a leather-bound ledger bearing no title. It appears to be nothing more than an out-of-date list of the vault’s contents, but detect magic reveals it to be something more. By dispelling the magic, the party finds that it is, in fact, a list of names and locations. They recognize some of the entries: Theldrick – Rastingdrung, Faceless One – Rastingdrung, and Ilthane – Lenap, Traitor’s Graves. These names, however, are crossed out.
Two other names they recognize are not crossed out: Loris Raknian and Kendra. Their locations, however, have been crossed out and replaced with question marks. The last recorded location of each is Tula. The party does not recognize the rest of the names, but given the association of those they do know with the Triad of Sixes, this information will likely be valuable in the future. It could be a tool to help find and defeat the Triad. Anmor uses a spell to copy the data.
Surmising from the recent information about Ilthane’s status that someone must update the ledger frequently, the party debates leaving behind some kind of calling card or trap. They ultimately decide against it.
Before departing the place, Anmor takes the time to magically translate and copy the avolakia runes on the walls of the deep well (The Well of Triptych Knowledge). They prove enlightening, at least to him (see the entry for Runes in the Well of Triptych Knowledge in the plot-related clues section of the wiki).
Waterday, 2nd of Warmshade, 4433
After returning to the Deluxury and resting (and leveling up to 15th level), the party begins preparations for tomorrow’s celebration. Specifically, after donning their fancy noble attire, they assume the guise of Granuel Starmane and his entourage and march out into the common room, making a spectacle of themselves. The proceed into the streets of Lenap, intentionally drawing a crowd, and march their way back to the Sinners’ Sanctum (the sickhouse underneath which last night’s activities took place).
Once there, Anmor announces to the crowd the party’s intentions: to honor Satrap Khouligan by healing the unfortunate wretches here in the sickhouse. He and Granuel then set about doing so. It turns out they have exactly enough spells and potions or whatever to cure everyone in the place. Furpotia, the crazy old woman who runs the Sinners’ Sanctum is at first suspicious, but grateful when she sees the results. She says she’s known for years now that her beloved Satrap would eventually send the help her charges so richly deserved. The party does nothing to disabuse her of the notion that the Satrap had anything to do with the healing. The party heads back to the Deluxury to further rest up for tomorrow’s celebration.
Earthday, 3rd of Warmshade, 4433
As the next day dawns, our heroes the characters are wakened by a tremendous din. The peak of Satrap Khouligan’s “Twenty Years of Joy” celebration has been timed to coincide with the annual Midsummer Festival day (something that I just conveniently noticed in marking off the campaign progress; let’s pretend it was intentional). Trumpets sound across the city, every drum, horn, and bell in every place of worship call out (as instructed) to announce that the Day of Great Rejoicing has arrived. The streets throng with happy, smiling faces, the locals cheer and rejoice, babies are held aloft and patriotic songs about the divine mercy of the Satrap are sung at every corner.
The party bathes (I assume, except maybe for Kullen) and dresses in their finery. Two hours before sunset, an official banquet carriage arrives to bring them to the palace. The carriage is almost shocking in its decadence—a gold-plated vehicle of incredible size and garish ornateness. A group of four trolls serve as “horses” for this ostentatious monstrosity, each dressed in ill-fitting suits designed to call out their hideous countenances all the more. The carriage itself is driven by a lanky, wide-mouthed man with black robes and a tall black top hat. A sizeable crowd gathers and gawks as Granuel Starmane and his entourage board.
The carriage interior is incredibly sumptuous. The leather seats are padded with down and gold lanterns burn pleasantly-scented oil. A tray contains several crystal decanters of wine and silver salvers of sweet-meats. The driver never speaks, and once the PCs are aboard takes them directly to the palace.
When the party disembarks inside the palace courtyard, a servant informs them “The Satrap has no gladiatorial fights scheduled for today. Leave your weapons in the carriage.” After much arguing and complaining, the party eventually complies. Several of them spot one or two “Blessed Angels” perched on the palace walls, which makes them all the more nervous about leaving their weapons behind. The group is then led to the Vertiginous Terrace.
Gathering in the Vertiginous Terrace
Beyond the gates of Khouligan’s Palace is a steep rising path, flanked by polished skeletons in gibbets. The path winds up the rocky promontory upon which the palace and its grounds are constructed. Atop this height is the Vertiginous Terrace—a lawn that overlooks a 200-foot-drop into the Eel River. Other guests have already arrived, and they mill about in small groups, talking quietly.
Several of the guests carry wrapped gifts for the Satrap. Although the party didn’t realize this was expected, they choose not to do anything about it at the moment. Instead, they mingle with the other guests, drink, and make small talk. It appears most of the guests have already arrived (with the exception of a few who arrive later and are identified below, I’ve described the party guests in a single entry on the character list).
The party members immediately note that food and drink are being passed around by an odd assortment of servants: fat ladies, pinheads, men without legs, women without eyes, and all manner of deformity is on display. Examples include Afus, the Man with No Head (whose face in his chest), Madam Hog, the Pig Woman (whose face is more akin to a sow than a human), and Ekestra, the Half-Man (who walks on his hands as he has no lower body). Some of the freaks are familiar to Anmor and Kullen, who realize these servants came here from Rastingdrung. Professor Marat introduces himself, explaining that he’s responsible for bringing the servants here, then getting them hired into the service of the Satrap.
While waiting for things to get underway, the party mingles a bit. Loitering by the food and drink, Anmor makes friends with a dwarf named Hoff Ropehammer. Although Hoff seems gluttonous and possibly crazy, the two engage in a friendly drinking contest.
Ulm befriends the only other gnome there, a mustachioed fellow named Toris. Toris is the representative of some outlying gnome town (a town I didn’t bother to look up a name for, because it really doesn’t matter). He’s here to try and keep his town under the Satrap’s protection, but seems out of place and taken aback by the whole scene. He begins following Ulm around like a puppy.
Chresin attempts to strike up a conversation with Lord Malaven Kilraven, Captain of the west border watch. Kilraven is fairly reserved (i.e., suspicious) and only offered up a few bits of information. He has served under three generations of leaders of Lenap. He is currently tasked with pushing the Satrap’s rules westward. They have secured the lands for about 50 miles west of the city. Chresin senses that something is troubling Kilraven, but the captain does not elaborate. Chresin suggests that he might be able to influence the house of Starmane to provide assistance but, while is he polite, Kilraven does not pursue the offer.
Our heroes’ banter with the other guests is interrupted by the announcement of a late arrival. This guest is introduced as Merchantmistress Mahuudril, apparently some kind of VIP in Lenap. She makes a spectacle as she arrives leading a fiendish-looking black horse whose feet don’t seem to touch the ground. This horse (and its magic horseshoes) are apparently her gift for the Satrap. The party still doesn’t seem concerned about not having a gift.
Because he cast True Seeing (or something like that), Anmor realizes that Mahuudril is, in fact, some kind of hideous worm monster (an Avolakia). He wisely chooses not to raise a stink about this and keeps it to himself for the time being (although at some point he alerts at least Ulm to the information).
The next VIP to be announced does not arrive from the courtyard like the other guests, but from the palace itself. Introduced simply as Hemriss, servant and advisor to the Satrap, the party is quickly informed by friendly guests that this woman is rumored to be Khouligan’s secret daughter by an erinyes devil. Hemriss is a strange combination of the beautiful and the grotesque, with a misaligned face and the stumps of broken wings protruding from her hunched back.
After a few more drinks, the guest of honor, Satrap Khouligan the Grief-Giver, arrives amid great fanfare, accompanied by his fool, a strange man of only two and a half feet tall, known as the Ominous Fabler (a spriggan). Flanked by his deformed servants, the Satrap stands quietly while his fool steps forth, clutching a mummified raven, and blows on a strange horn to attract everyone’s attention (a needless
move, since by this point everyone’s attention is already focused on the Satrap).
The Satrap’s Introduction
The Ominous Fabler clears his throat, and then speaks in a surprisingly strong and deep voice. “My lords, ladies, and other honored guests! Satrap Khouligan bids you welcome, and I trust you will enjoy the hospitality of his humble home!” The strange little man looks around, leers at some of the guests, then flaps his free arm and lifts the mummified raven up on his shoulder. Using the dead bird as a ventriloquist’s dummy, he chirps out in a raspy voice: “You may now present your gifts to honor the satrap!” and then steps back, giggling quietly as the other guests reach into folds in cloaks and pockets.
The gifts from other attendees include jewelry, bottles of rare wine, exotic caged animals, a fine gem by Toris, and in the case of Mahuudril, that fiendish horse. When the party’s turn to present gifts arrives, they try to explain how they healed the peasants at the Sinners’ Sanctum sickhouse in the Satrap’s honor. When Khouligan seems nonplussed by this as a “gift,” Anmor presents one of the empty adamantine vials the party acquired in Ilthane’s lair. The Satrap accepts this without comment, though he whispers something to the Ominous Fabler.
At this point, one VIP guest is notable in her absence: the Satrap’s chief advisor, Professora Lashonna Laggan (at least the party should have noticed this, if they didn’t, since she was the whole reason they attended this silly event). The Fabler announces that the Satrap has heard from Lashonna and regrets to inform the partygoers that business will be keeping her from the day’s events, but that she plans on arriving in time for the feast this evening. Immediately after the gift giving, servants appear with padded chairs for each guest and beg them to be seated.
The Harlequinade Mortificatio
The fool appears again and blows his strange horn. “My masters! We beg you to enjoy our little tale—‘tis a small thing I penned myself, a tale of menace, revenge, lust and death which I have called ‘The Harlequinade Mortificatio.’” The fool moves back, and as he does, the servants arrange a small stage with a backdrop of a town street at night. A wooden moon wafts over the scene, and suddenly a host of animated skeletons dressed as clowns march on stage.
The play is performed in silence, apart from guests applauding as the skeletal clowns perform particularly ridiculous stunts, such as drinking wine. The entire play is a curious affair, and it soon becomes obvious that the whole plot recounts how each of the skeletons is acting out its own death, always by suspicious circumstances that aren’t quite accidents. The rest of the party barely manages to restrain Granuel from jumping up to destroy the skeletons, explaining that they need to take care of their business here, which is to make contact with Lashonna, before they get kicked out. They can always get rid of the offending undead later, perhaps after they’ve had a chance to scout out what other evils exist in this place.
During the play (which lasts for an hour), servants flutter about with wine and trays of lightly roasted almond biscuits of exquisite taste. At the play’s end, the curious actors bow and, though no one seems to enjoy the play, everyone (except Granuel) applauds. The Ominous Fabler appears, now dressed as a scarecrow on stilts and with a hare’s skull where his head should be. He leads guests across the grounds to the next event, singing a song about boiling sparrows as he goes.
p(comment)Shortly after the play, someone in the party casts detect magic and then examines the Satrap. I believe the party was attempting to determine if the Satrap was being manipulated, or if he was acting on his own accord. The spell showed that there was no compulsion type of magic on the Satrap. It did show that he wore various magic items but nothing out of the ordinary.
Eventually the guests arrive at the Balcony of Expectorance, a wide deck jutting from the cliffside about twenty feet down from the palace. The Balcony is sheltered from the wind and the view of the Lenap coastline along the Eel River is even more magnificent than that from the Vertiginous Terrace.
The Handsome Slaughter of Curious Avians
The fool trundles up onto the balcony railing, somehow managing to balance there on stilts as he addresses the guests. “And now, welcome to the Balcony of Expectorance, my friends, and the Handsome Slaughter of Curious Avians!” Two deformed servants march out, carrying between them a large rack of repeating crossbows. Another group of servants wheels out a number of cages filled with brightly colored red birds. “Please, select your weapon, and make ready to…” The Satrap cuts the Fabler off with a dismissive slap as he steps forward. The fool teeters, but manages to catch his balance and clambers down from the ledge as the Satrap selects a magnificent-looking crossbow and says, “I’m feeling particularly lucky today. If anyone can bring down more than me, I’ll give the lucky soul a thousand gold coins.”
Once everyone has selected their crossbow, the guests take turns as the Fabler releases ten of the bright red exotic birds into the air. Anmor identifies them as corollaxes, harmless animals that have the ability to generate color sprays. There is some debate among the party about whether they should put a stop to this, too, but cooler heads prevail.
On each guest’s turn, the corollaxes immediately scatter and begin flashing sprays of color as they wheel in the air. Each guest has three rounds to shoot and bring down as many of the corollaxes as he can before the birds escape around the sides of the cliffs. The Satrap goes first and manages to take down six; the other guests do their best (or in some cases, they obviously deliberately do worse than the Satrap), but none beat Khouligan. As the shoot progresses, servants pass roasted corollax glazed in honey and mulled spice wine amongst the guests.
Finally, it comes to the PCs’ turn. Granuel announces that his servant, Kullen, will be shooting for their entire group. Kullen beats Khouligan’s score pretty handily, then greedily collects the 1,000 gold piece prize. Khouligan seems pretty upset about this, but hands over the money.
After the slaughter of the curious avians, the fabler leads the party back into the house, through a maze of doors and halls, and eventually down into the extensive basements. He does so by walking on his hands the entire trip, finally leading the group into an underground miniature arena. The guests are directed to sit on the curved benches surrounding the sunken fighting pit (which contains two four-foot-square bird cages swathed in dark silks), while the Fabler explains the nature of the event.
B’Kruss pulls Kullen aside as they leave the Balcony of Expectorance.
*So you think you’ll get his attention like that, eh? Good luck!
Some Lively Sports and Baiting
The misshapen gnome retrieves a small oak box from a locked chest and opens it, withdrawing a pair of silver rings. “And now, we come to some lively sports and baiting, my friends! These rings are ensorcelled with magic such that those who wear it can direct the actions and movements of one who has been… specially prepared, as a receiver.” He hobbles over to the Satrap and hands one of the rings to him. “The Satrap would like to challenge one of you to an honest fight, utilizing what lives at the other end of these rings as proxies. Are there any of you brave enough to meet the Satrap’s champion on the field of battle?”
None of the other guests immediately rise to the occasion, so Anmor (I’m pretty sure) decides to try his hand. When he puts on the ring, he is struck by an odd sensation but manages to resist being overwhelmed with the disorienting feeling of seeing, feeling, and hearing through the body of … whatever it is he’s supposed to control. The Fabler pulls a silk cord and releases a dozen kittens, puppies, and other cute animals into the arena.
The Fabler raises his voice over the rest of the crowd and announces “If you can create more ornaments than the Satrap, and if you can survive his champion’s wrath, you’ll win a most fabulous prize indeed!” With that, he pulls a second cord and cages in the pit below open, allowing two cockatrices within to escape into the arena. It turns out the object of the games is to control one’s cockatrice and petrify more cute animals than the other cockatrice. Once all of the animals are petrified, the two cockatrices are to fight one another for the win.
During the fight, dishes of eggs are served—boiled ones of unusual size, eggs scrambled with fine meats, and even a strange cocktail of egg mixed with rum. It is a close battle (because both sides use the cockatrice’s statistics), but Anmor’s dice are better, so he pulls out the win (Anmor had 4 throphies to the Satrap’s 3, but the Satrap’s champion wins). Nonetheless, Khouligan graciously hands over his prize: a golden egg of great size (valued at 1,000 gp).
After the cockatrice fight, the Fabler leads the guests back upstairs and out into a long, narrow garden on the north side of the palace. By this time, twilight has fallen, and the garden has been lit by numerous differently-colored continual flames cast inside skulls hanging from delicate silver and golden chains. Here, a curious game has been prepared. A mound of differently colored human skulls has been arranged at one end of the garden, and the Fabler takes pains to ensure the guests are arranged in a semicircle around this mound of skulls.
Bowling the Devious Heads
“And now, my beautiful friends, we come to the final game of the evening. I present to my wondrous Satrap an unfortunate criminal named Jack,” announces the Fabler, as he hands the Satrap a human skull that has been painted black. “And to the rest of you, I present these delicate treasures!” The Fabler indicates the stack of differently colored skulls. “The Satrap shall throw Jack to the far end of the garden, and the rest of you shall toss a chap of your own. The thrower who comes the closest to Jack shall be declared the winner!”
Khouligan makes his throw, and Jack lands near the far end of the garden, about 50 feet away from the party-goers. Each guest selects one of the colored skulls from the pile and then makes a throw to try to come as close to the skull as possible. During the sport, servants pass around gingerbread men without heads. All of the PCs participate in this game. Chresin does very well, but is edged out by Mahuudril. Kullen then beats her and it looks like he’s going to take the prize until a halfling woman, Miszen Mitchwillow, throws a leaner against the black skull for the win. She collects the prize, a necklace with a small silver skull with ruby eyes.
The evening grows late as the game ends, and the sun sinks behind the horizon. At this point, the rowdy hobgoblin B’kruss (who Kullen had encountered last session while playing drinksmash) becomes frustrated at being outdone in all these contests. He decides to pick on the biggest guy in the yard and challenges Kullen to a duel right in front of Khouligan. Although his comrades advise him that he can refuse the challenge honorably since it’s somewhat unseemly to fight at a party, Kullen accepts. Amused, the Satrap orders the Fabler to bring his guests to one of the gardens he uses for dueling.
The Fabler announces that the rules of the duel are up to Kullen (as the challenged) to decide. Since he doesn’t have his Adamantine Greataxe of Stuff with him, Kullen chooses a wrestling match. B’kruss makes some braggy noises about how great hobgoblins are at grappling, but is soundly thrashed by the barbarian. There is some polite applause.
After the duel, the peal of an unseen gong sounds the call for dinner—the feast is ready! The Fabler leads the guests back into the palace and thence to the Great Banqueting Hall.
The Great Banqueting Hall
A massive, cylindrical chamber rises through the heart of Khouligan’s Palace. A tremendous round table of polished mahogany dominates the room, the walls of which are decked with portraits and landscapes of great quality. A large number of these feature the Satrap himself, although the enigmatic Lashonna, a silver-haired, pale, remarkably beautiful woman, dominates one prominently placed portrait near Khouligan’s place at the table. A vast stained glass dome depicting what appear to be angels at play arches gracefully above, its perimeter decorated by a ring of severed heads mounted on iron spikes some twenty feet above the polished marble floor.
The PCs discern that the “angels” in the window are, in fact, erinyes devils, and their “play” is anything but something one would normally associate with angels. Also, the mounted heads are no mere mortal decapitates—Granuel detects they have been animated. Once again, its all the party can do to keep him from bringing an end to the festivities.
The Fabler bids the guests to be seated. Each setting bears a name on a card and a dazzling array of cutlery, including ten different spoons. Some party members sit at the table. Others, playing the role of Granuel’s servants, rather than guests, decline. At this point (I’m pretty sure), Ulm turns invisible and wanders off to do his own thing. Anmor finds himself seated between the disguised worm creature Mahuudril and his buddy Hoff Ropehammer.
One chair, the one directly opposite Satrap Khouligan, remains curiously vacant—at least until a few moments after everyone has seated. At this point, one of the deformed servants announces the arrival of the final guest, Professor Lashonna Laggan. As Lashonna enters the Great Banqueting Hall, everyone rises from their seats. The woman is dazzlingly beautiful, with alabaster skin and long silver hair set back with a tiara of black diamonds. Everyone in the rooms feels her gaze settling upon them. Lashonna greets Khouligan with a nod but says nothing, and gracefully takes her seat at the opposite end of the table from the Satrap.
First Course: The Feast of Worms
Satrap Khouligan the Grief-Giver stands and silence falls upon the banquet hall. “My dear friends,“ he begins, and as he does, the decapitated heads above echo the word “friends” in a ghoulish tone. “I bid you enjoy this feast, eat and drink your fill in my humble abode.” He claps his hands once. An instant later the great doors to the kitchen swing open and a trio of manticores enter to the ghoulish hoorahs of the heads. Yet these are no wild monsters—the fire is gone from their eyes, and their wings have been cruelly severed. Even the once ferocious barbs of their long tails have been surgically removed. Each manticore carries great platters on its back, and a host of distorted servants trail behind them, eager to begin serving food.
Granuel is upset by the undead talking heads, but manages to keep his cool for now. Each guest is given a small covered silver goblet—the PCs notice flickers of disgust and trepidation flashing on the faces of other guests. When all have been served, the Fabler stands and tells the guests of a proud Lenap tradition. One of the founders of Lenap was a desperate pilgrim who washed up on the harbor shore. He had not eaten for many weeks, and he fell upon the moors to die. As he did he saw a worm emerge from the ground, and he realized the worm was a gift from the gods that he should live—and so he devoured it. In Lenap, therefore, it has always been the tradition to start a feast with such a celabration of thanks. The Fabler bids that the guests now do the same.
Inside the silver goblet writhes a fat, greasy worm, its glistening flesh a nasty shade of green. Because they’ve seen Worms of the Outer Darkness before, the party members can tell immediately that this grub, while similar in appearance, is not one of these vermin. Anmor further identifies his worm as a relatively harmless green scrubgrub. Still, he’s suspicious, and questions Hoff about the Fabler’s story. Hoff says the tale is true as far as he knows; he’s had to eat worms before. So Anmor and the other PCs (at least the ones who sat down, I think) suck down their worms. The worms are surprisingly tasty, and (to everyone’s surprise) bring no ill effect once consumed.
After the first course, the Satrap commands the Fabler to tell a tale. The Fabler clears his throat, stands upon his chair, and tells an amusing story about a dryad whose tree is unknowingly transplanted into a bitter noble’s garden, and of the delightfully ironic fate she devises for the man. When the tale is done, the Fabler bows and takes his seat, at which point the Satrap opens the floor to any other guests who may have a tale to tell. No one volunteers.
While the storytelling goes on, Anmor begins a rather creepy flirtation with Mahuudril the disguised worm-monster. Although at first vaguely receptive to the dwarf’s advances, Mahuudril soon becomes suspicious. She feigns illness and excuses herself from the banquet. Invisible Ulm follows her and discovers that, as soon as she’s out of sight, she teleports away. Ulm immediately suspects that she’s going to come back with an ambush and heads back to the carriage to gather the party’s weapons.
Second Course: Four and Twenty Blackbirds
For the second course, a single domesticated manticore enters. It carries an enormous pie on a silver dish of great size strapped to its back. Pastry beaks of birds cover the pie, and as everyone watches, the crust is opened and 24 blackbirds emerge, flying around the room in terror.
Anmor recognizes that the flying blackbirds are a programmed illusion, but the birds baked into the pie are not. The blackbird pie has a delicately sugared and almond crust that tastes surprisingly good. As the pie is served, the servants bring in huge tureens of vegetables, along with plentiful supplies of a locally produced spiced white wine called Lenap Lumassina, This wine is particularly potent.
After the second course is complete, the Satrap asks the Fabler for a song. The spriggan bows and stands on his chair again and proceeds to perform a catchy little tune on his pan pipes. And again, after his performance, Khouligan asks if anyone else at the table has a song to share. No one does.
In the palace courtyard, Ulm has reached the party’s carriage. However, he notices one of the “blessed angels” looking right at him, even though he’s invisible. So he adds some kind of fog or mist spell and, under cover of that, retrieves the party’s weapons from the carriage and scurries back into the palace, where the third course is about to be served.
Third Course: Tojbasarrirge
The Fabler announces the third course as a concoction of the Satrap’s own—delectable tojbasarrirge for all! He explains that tojbasarrirge involves an entire tojanida, stuffed with numerous basilisk steaks, which are in turn stuffed with arrowhawk breasts, which are finally in turn stuffed with an entire boned stirge with three olives impaled on its proboscis. The tojbasarrirge is brought out on a huge platter slung between two manticores, upon which rests a great tojanida shell, halved and filled with a descending mass of meat.
As this dish is being served (never to be eaten), Ulm arrives and begins slipping the party their weapons under the table, putting each of them more on edge than they already were. At some point, Anmor’s true seeing had told him that Lashonna was not a grey elf, but in truth some kind of undead silver dragon! He hadn’t bothered to alert anyone to this, but now Granuel’s dislike of this place gets the best of him and he begins detecting undead. When he realizes that Lashonna has the most powerful undead aura he’s ever detected, he cannot help but act.
Granuel shoots a searing light spell (I think, or something else that hurts undead) at Lashonna. This causes her some discomfort, but she seems more amused than injured, so Granuel does it again. When she starts to seem maybe a little annoyed, Satrap Khouligan rises from his seat to demand an explanation for Granuel’s strange actions (I think I must have decided that the spell was not obviously an attack to someone who’s not a spellcaster). In response, Kullen (and maybe also Chresin and Anmor, I don’t remember) jumps on the table, flaming greataxe in hand, to defend Granuel.
The whole banquet hall erupts in chaos. Most of the guests leap from their seats and flee for the exits. The more militant guests rush to defend the Satrap, who calls for his guards. A couple of Blessed Angels come flying in. The party decides discretion is the better part of valor and flees the banquet hall, covered by Ulm’s mist and fog spells. Chresin uses Regroup and Dimension Hop spells to extricate the party. The party eventually makes their way back to the half-finished mansion near the Traitors’ Graves.