Tyranny of Dragons, Session 12 – Chaotic Absent

Full disclosure:  Gaming and posting has taken a back seat over the last few months due to boring work issues.  The following recap is based off of the incomplete notes and recollections of the rest of the party, but mostly from a recap provided by our long-suffering and under-appreciated DM.  We will return to more in-depth reporting in Session 15.

When last we left our plucky heroes they had just defeated the obviously insane death wizard, Lucius Malvern, deep in the crypts below his stately but spider-infested manor.  Grim, the party archer, had located an ancient Summoning Stone and attempted to take it up for closer examination, but sentient artifact rejected his advances and instead sang a sweet siren song to the dark half-demon wizard Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh, long interested in arts he insisted are more gray than black, needed no siren song, and quickly snatched up the stone which promptly the poor wizard’s willpower.  Mordred, half-orc holy warrior, leaped to pull the stone from Gilgamesh’s grasp in a vain attempt to disrupt the stone’s sway over Gilgamesh.  Instead, the stone lashed out in a powerful arcane blast that knocked out not only Gilgamesh, but the elven fighter Yolo as well.
(Perhaps not coincidentally, the two characters knocked out by the stone were the two characters controlled by players not in attendance.)
The human cleric Aramis and paladin Mordred rushed to dump the stone into the extra-planar space of a Bag of Holding also found in the crypt.  The group then gathered up their dying comrades and fled the vile crypt dedicated to the worship of the demon Bhaal.  They fled to the sanctuary of Torm’s Holy Chapel where the group was able to rest heal their critical wounds.
Now that they had accomplished their major goals of acquiring the Summoning Stone, claiming the Tome of Bhaal, discovering the fate of the two Malvern brothers/wizards and the fate of the Dragonspear Militia scouts, and dealing with the sudden but inevitable betrayal of the dragon cult’s Capt. Alphonse and his men…the group decided to hot foot it back to their current employer, Captain Von Derffle, back in Dragonspear Castle.
They didn’t make it far.  Just outside the entrance to the crypt, they found yet another of Cult of the Dragon emissaries besieging Malvern Mansion.  This group was led by the Drow Blademaster, Aravan Foxtraveller.  Aravan and his cultist emissaries tried to relieve the party of the ancient Summoning Stone artifact, through threats at first, but not for long.  Moments into the bargaining process, a shadowy Priestess travelling with Aravan revealed herself to be none other than…Frulam Mondath!
Remember her?  The party had captured her way back in Greenest.
She had escaped the dungeons beneath Greenest Keep and returned to plague the party, as all good villains do.  Another epic battle ensued, one in which the impressive Karren went toe-to-toe with the Drow Blademaster and skewering him with the blade of his spear “Fury”.  Once Frulam and the new cultist emissaries were dispatched, the party made its way safely back to Dragonspear castle.
Note that the way to Dragonspear Castle was safe, but the castle itself?  Not so much.  Cultist reinforcements had arrived during the group’s little side trek, meaning that the death of Captain Alphonse didn’t buy the party as much security as they had hoped.  The new leader of the cult on this little journey north proved to be a Red Wizard of Thay, known as Azbarra Jos and he had a new Dragon Cultist commandeer at his side, Malak Rasheed.
With tensions still running high, the party, the cultists and the caravan left Dragonspear Castle and set out on the final leg of the journey to Waterdeep.  But of course there were still a few surprises on this last leg…First, the party was introduced to Jamna Gleamsilver, a gnome informant for the Zhentarim, who in turn apprised the party of a suspected poisoning attempt in the groups’ morning oatmeal, and then murdered a cultist guard in cold blood during an “information gathering” trip into the covered cultist’s wagons…this of course led to the party being accused of murder…luckily cooler heads prevailed and it was determined that the guard “fell” onto his own sword after a night of heavy drinking…seriously it could happen.
And with all that the group finally arrived in Waterdeep! The members of the party said their goodbyes to the caravaners at large, and…Grim and Jamna set off across the city to continue following the cultist’s treasure wagons.  Mordred and Karren set off to the Holy Church of Torm, while Yolo, Gilgamesh and Aramis went…shopping.  All with the promise of returning to meet Carlon Amofel back at his warehouse later that evening…