Recorded by scholars studying the life of Zuri.
Our heroes arose early on the morning of 18 Sorrow with quite an eventful day ahead of them.
Anzo had news: Choum had left a chit at the bar accounting for the party’s credit at House Shom, and it looked to be on the up and up. Anzo then informed Dazeel that he had been able to arrange a last-minute gig for her later that evening, which she gleefully accepted. Birel told the group that she had a few buyers in mind for the treasures they had found in the Place of Forgetting, and that she would be off to the the markets and emporia for the day to ensure top dragon for their wares.
The rest of the bar however, was swept up in the buzz and excitement regarding the morning’s execution. Three members of The True were to be held accountable for their crimes against Tyr and King Tithian. Bost was eager to attend and urged his remaining companions to accompany him to the event. Having little else to do, and intrigued by the spectacle, they agreed. The execution would be under strict guard, so they left their larger weapons (save for Zuri’s staff) in the custody of Birel and Dazeel. Surely they would have no need for them this day.
The three made their way to the gladiator’s arena and found room for themselves amongst the unruly crowd of the “sun seats”. The ceremony began. Wild cheers arose from the crowd as Tithian emerged onto the King’s viewing platform. With him were other Tyrian VIPs (including Neeva, Agis of Asticles, Sadira, and Strategos Gevello), and curiously, two Dray. Notably absent was the mul hero Rikus. Meanwhile, on the blood-stained grounds of the arena, three prisoners were brought out bound and under guard to a reception of jeers and stone-throwing. They did not appear to be having a good day. Suddenly, the magically amplified voice of a Templar was heard.
From the official record of the royal stenographer:
“House Dyan has been an important part of Tyr for centuries. So it grieved King Tithian greatly to discover that its scion, Senator Murter Dyan, had helped to found The True, an organization dedicated to effecting the return of the tyrant and dictator Kalak. Refusing to admit his crimes despite months of imprisonment and interrogation, Dyan’s pride and insolence poses a continuing danger to Tyr.”
He steps back and King Tithian speaks:
“Murter Dyan, for the crime of counter-revolutionary activities, I strip House Dyan of its estates. Furthermore I sentence you and your associates to death.”
The crowd explodes into roars and cheers as Tithian nods to an eladrin who has emerged from the shadows on the arena floor. He strides toward the captives (who hang their heads in defeat and exhaustion) and stops in front of them. Placing his hand at his temple for a moment, he suddenly drops it. As he does, fountains of blood and brains explode from the ears, noses, mouths, and eye sockets of the three captives. They sink to the ground as the crowd goes wild. After an appropriate time, King Tithian’s hornblowers again silence the crowd with a blast and he speaks:
“Citizens of Tyr, I have worked hard to ensure the safety of Tyr in the face of the forces threatening our new and free society. The danger of war with the other city-states of the Tablelands is ever-present, as is the threat of the Dragon—not to mention internal perils such as the True, who hope to return slavery and tyranny to Tyr. In the past weeks, I have stood firm in negotiations with the Dragon’s emissaries, and for the first time, the Dragon—and therefore the city-states of the Tablelands—accept the new Tyr as an equal to be respected. As Tyr is a city without slaves, we cannot be expected to pay the Dragon his levy this year. The emissaries of the Dragon agree with me, and therefore the Dragon will have to go without once again. The season of the Dragon will pass Tyr by peacefully.”
This news sent the crowd into an unbelievable frenzy. Cheers of joy and support for Tithian filled the air. Eventually the elation subsided, though, and the arena emptied out onto the streets of Tyr, where everyone appeared notably relieved and joyous. The group decided that their next action would be to contact the Crimson Legion and to pass along their intelligence regarding the Red Chord, and perhaps discover why Rikus was absent from the execution. Bost took them all to The Red Kank, a nearby broyhouse frequented by members of the Crimson Legion. There they happened to run into his friend and former gladiator (and current Legion member), Hojar. Zuri showed him the map they had discovered on Darok’s corpse, and they all agreed that Rikus and the others should be made aware of it immediately. Hojar quickly led them towards the noble district, and then to the abandoned mansion (former residence of the exiled Strategos Haamdan) that currently housed the headquarters of the Crimson Legion.
There they were introduced to Rikus, currently occupied in a meeting with his lieutenants, apparently discussing the Revolutionary Council’s decision to implant Dray among the Tyrian Guard. After introductions, Rikus dismissed his inner circle to meet privately with the three adventurers. The map shocked Rikus, who commissioned Bost and his allies to follow the trail of the Red Chord to Altaruk. As they were discussing Rikus’ distaste for his role in Tyrian politics, and his refusal to allow Dray into his ranks, a loud crash was heard. Suddenly three Grell appeared in the room. Rikus leapt to battle and crushed one of the grell before the others could process what was happening. Bost and Vilsis grabbed weapons hanging from the wall and began to engage the other two as Zuri sent balls of chaos energy flying from his staff onto the squishy exposed brains of the grell. Soon the room was clear of threats, but the sounds of battle continued to fill the halls of the mansion. Rikus ran towards the entrance and shouted back to the others to check the back door.
The group found an exit leading to the rear courtyard and stables. Awaiting them there was a terrifying sight: three more disgusting grell beasts encircling a dark mist. Above them, atop the rear wall, stood a mysterious hooded figure; on the ground, a black circle of dead earth extending from its vile form. Vilsis sprang out the door in a rage. “Foul defiler!”, he screamed as he drew his borrowed bow and sent a blast of arrows directly into the opening of the fiend’s hood. It cried out, clutching its face and abruptly vanished in a cloud of smoke, the strange mist departing with it. Without missing a beat, Vilsis turned and directed his rage toward the three remaining grell, volleying a barrage of swarming arrows down on them. Bost ran one of them down, wrestling the mass of tentacles and beaked brain, valiantly drawing the attacks of the other two. Zuri called down a storm of jagged ice shards, slowing their terrible advance. Finally, after some struggle, the final grell fell. The party sped around the front to check the state of the mansion’s entrance. There they found the remains of more grell amidst a handful of fallen gladiators. Bost spotted Hojar amongst the fallen and quickly ran to his aid assuming the worst. Hojar was not dead, however, just gravely wounded, and would have surely bled out if not for Bost’s quick action.
The battle had ended, and the party found Rikus inside the mansion attending to his partner Neeva as the other gladiators paced cautiously about the halls. Sekh, a seemingly disinterested half-elf, informed the group that this was not the first attempt on Rikus’ life, and that more assassination attempts were inevitable. Rikus offered the party lodging and protection for the night, which they accepted. (Word was sent to Dazeel and Birel to meet them at the mansion as soon as they were able in order to depart for Altaruk.)
Later that night, the party awoke to the sounds of combat and struggle. They sprang from their room armed and ready to face another onslaught of attackers, but all they saw was the night watchman shaking his head as he pointed to Rikus and Neeva’s chambers. Awkward.