The next morning was heralded by a messenger from the Council of the city to please attend a meeting later that day around noon. The letter contained an apology for the short notice and assurances that this would not be happening under normal circumstances. They had a quick breakfast before getting ready for the meeting. Hepolita had spent the morning sitting at the bar on a stool getting stupid drunk.
They were all dispersing to get ready for the council meeting when Hepolita pounded her hand on the table, startling everyone. They turned to look at her but before they could speak she beat them to it. She started by telling them of her vision in the woods the night before. She had been having dreams of a still pond in the middle of a forest and the full moon shining down on her. The ground had been awash with bright white flowers spreading out from the pond. She had spoken to her goddess Selune and she had told her to trust her new friends. She had awoken in the middle of the woods outside of King’s Crest holding a blade in each hand. One was black with white streaks cracking through the obsidian. The other was marble white with black obsidian streaking through it.
She had made her way back into the city and headed to the very seat she was on now. Her true story now unfolded. A mercenary guild had hired her to spy on Milo and eventually kill him. She had signed a vague contract that essentially enslaved her until she completed her goal and part of the contract allowed for use of her services in other matters until her bounty was satisfied. She was stuck. Her experiences with us had formed a bond between them and she didn’t want to betray their trust any more. She apologised and asked if there was anything she could do to prove herself.
The group was stunned. Aleera was the first to speak up saying that they had all done questionable things and had been forgiven by the party for them. They agreed and vowed to help Hepolita find a way out of her contract. They asked if she knew what they wanted to know about Milo. She told them that they were searching for the way he could teleport from one place to another without leaving a trace. They wanted access to that power. The party was left to wonder how they would solve this one.
They made their way to the Government District to the Council of Siness meeting chambers. When they arrived the guards led them through a few corridors to a large rough hewn stone opening. On the arch above was inscribed in elvish, calling this a sacred and neutral space to meet. The other council members were waiting there at a great stone table. There were elvish runes inscribed all around the edge of the table. Each member had at least one hand placed on top of the table to activate the truth spell on each user.
The group sat down and the meeting began. They spoke about the increasing number of dead or infected, the dwindling supplies and possible solutions. They announced that the Golden Fist, the primary security of the city, had absconded with much of the treasury earlier in the week. The city was almost defenseless and bankrupt now. Fafnir, Kaladrax’s father and member of the council spoke about the blight that had spread on his land after a meteor had crashed there. They had hired a druid and while he had managed to contain the blight on the land but there was no way to cure it as far as he knew.
That was when Urstil spoke up. She was the head mistress of the Whistler University of Wizardry and a long time council member. She let them know about a panacea that was purported to be able to remove magical diseases and curses. It would require three ingredients found in different places on the island: holy healing water, ash from the deepest fires of Drakenforge, and moss from the Elder Haven Forrest. The Hand of Destiny was asked to gather those ingredients and bring the panacea back to the city. They accepted.
After the council was over the members dispersed and the party went back to the tavern to get ready for the Ball and head out the following morning. The ladies all got ready together in somber silence. Each was thinking about their role in the survival of the city. Without this panacea the city would be dead soon. They mustered all the cheer they could and headed to the Ball with the gentlemen.
The grounds of the estate were aglow with magical lights. The paths were lined with fragrant arrays of flowers and the food was decadent, abundant, and open to all. Hepolita was wearing the new dress that outshined all others no matter what and the other ladies were making it even better by dolling out in their best. Kaladrax’s jaw dropped when he saw Aleera and Kariss and Hepolita made quite an opening. The night went well for the most part. Many from the Lower District showed up and had a good meal and some entertainment.
There was some speculation from the higher nobles in the upper and royal district about the lack of supplies and the possible diminished wine crop from the estate. They thought this event was a last ditch effort to recapture the Fafnir family fortune. Towards the end of the night Kaladrax gave Aleera a poem he had written for her and they went back to the tavern holding hands and winding their way down the road.
The rest of the party had left a few hours ago to take Gigi home after she tripped and almost upended the entire dessert table. Kaladrax took one last look at his childhood home and caught a glimpse of his parents. They were slowly dancing in the glow of the lights. Glaurunda’s head rested on Fafnir’s shoulder and their eyes were closed. They made a beautiful picture, the black dragonborn and his white dragonborn wife. Two opposites but one whole.