While unsure of what they’d encounter, the group found their way to the floating mote of earth that carried the Moonstone Mask aloft off the western shore of the city. The bridge connecting the Moonstone Mask was heavily guarded but the guards allowed the party to pass without hassle.
Once inside they were escorted to a private room in the top level of the inn. There they found a long table with a stern Dagult Urthandar sitting on on end speaking to a rather rotund, richly clad individual. The chubby man was flanked by a pair of well armored guards and seemed to have a scoffing demeanor.
Several of the town guard milled about in one side of the large room, and on the other side, next to a great hearth, a group of rather rough characters, wearing primitive hides and furs, seemed to be engaged in watching some sort of wrestling match between two of their ilk.
Before they could greet Urthandar, a booming voice erupted from the rough characters. “Brother!” An impossibly large man stood, bounded on all fours toward the party in a strangely animalistic fashion, then tackled Korgul all in a single, fluid motion. After a second of surprise, he was recognized as Hargin of the Gray Wolf tribe that they had met in their travels in Neverwinter Wood. The large man towed Korgul in a headlock over to the hearth where a mug of ale was thrust into his hand.
The rest of the group approached Urthandar, who, at this point was standing and watching. He motioned for the group to come sit. They were introduced to the chubby man. His name was Ofeen, and he was a partner and proprietor of the famed Seven Suns Trading Company.
After a short time, several serving girls entered the room bearing platters of food and the various groups were seated around the table. Several conversations happen in which the following things are learned…
- Ofeen is a merchant who is considering investing in new Neverwinter. He is skeptical of Urthandar’s ability to stabilize the region enough for the Seven Suns Trading Company to see a profit.
- The Gray wolves are being courted by Urthandar to root out and crush the rebellion (presumably the cause that the party is currently working for). After some pressure from Korgul, they further revealed that Urthandar promised to help them with a problem they’ve been having with a rival barbarian tribe known as the Uthgardt. Their shamans have learned a magic that the Gray Wolves have not been able to deal with.
- Urthandar Wants to hire the party to join in his cause. And their first task is to enter the fabled Castle Never and retrieve the Crown of Neverwinter. He wants to make a grand specticle of their entry into the castle as a way to win the hearts and minds of the people. The party tacitly agreed to the proposition, wanting to feign loyalty to Urthandar.
As the dinner concludes Korgul spoke with the gray wolves once again to convince them not to act on Urthandar’s orders and that the party would try to help them with their problem. They agreed to hold their actions for some time.
After their meeting, the party discreetly contacted Madam Rosenne and informed her of what they’d discussed in the meeting. Rosenne decided to accelerate the meeting she had planned with the rest of the Gray Cloaks.
The next evening. the party joined Rosenne and her retinue and descended back into the sewers to go to the secret meeting place. They travelled for a long while and entered a strange labyrinthian passage which was navigated by their companions. Eventually they arrived at a strange amphitheater where around a hundred people had already congregated.
Rosenne immediately took to the stage which was surrounded by stone seats in tierd rows. She quieted the crowd and gave an impassioned speach. She talked of the mission of those gathered, the dangers of the would be ruler, Urthandar, and their right as citizens of Neverwinter to reclaim their city. She then motioned for Desmond to join her on the stage. She told of his right to succession and talked of his strength and capability as a leader.
With that, Desmond spoke for a few moments, but was interrupted by a rather large man sitting at the edge of the crowd. He challenged Desmond’s claims, saying that he was unfit, untested, and unknown. The two argued back and forth for several minutes but the newcomer would have none of it. He eventually threw down the gauntlet and challenged Desmond to a test of combat.
Desmond accepted and the two began a sparring match. The challenger, known as Tyros, was a formidable fighter and dished out some powerful hits but Desmond’s strong defense mitigated much of the harm. Several well timed attacks by Desmond sent Tyros reeling on several occasions. It was after one of these hits that Thunderstroke noticed a surge of devine magic coming from a bystander. It seemed as if the bystander was healing Tyros. Pixil warned the others and sprang into action. The others followed quickly.
When the bystander saw the group approaching he shouted in surprise and several other people standing near threw back their cloaks to reveal weapons at the ready. Soon the duel turned into an all out melee between the groups. Madam Rosenne moved to calm things but some of the assailants fired at her gravely wounding her.
The battle ended with Desmond and his companions victorious. Some of the assailants had surrendered along with Tyros. It was revealed that Tyros was a well known contender for the support of the Graycloaks and that he was a leader in a sub faction known as the Sons of Algondar. When questioned, the others were revealed to be mercenaries from Luskan payed by Tyros to disrupt the meeting. The crowd that remained was split between wanting Tyros executed for his transgressions and others that wanted him to be imprisoned or exiled. Interestingly, the crowd seemed to defer to Desmond’s judgement. He ruled that Tyros should be let go but placed under guard.
The group left after stabilizing the wounded Rosenne and returned to their home. The next days, they resolved, would be spent searching the Neverwinter Wood for the Uthgardt shaman. No matter what, however, wheels were now in motion that could not easily be stopped.