Once Milo had his feet planted firmly under him on the ground the Hand of Destiny was able to make their way back to the Blackstaff Tower to report that Zeleforn was well again and would be back after a few days of rest. They arrived and were again shown into the meeting room for their debriefing. They waited for a few moments in the elegant opulence of the sitting room waiting for their new boss.
Vajra came through the doors a few moments later and asked about what they had found. They reported that Zeleforn had eaten some bad food but that Kariss had been able to heal him of the ailment. They also assured her that he would be good as new in a few days after he had rested and regained his strength. Vajra thanked them for checkin up on her old friend and asked if there was anything else that they needed. That was when Aleera stepped forward.
She knew it sounded bad but she asked to hold the staff, she wanted to confirm for herself that this was who she said she was. They had been tricked so many times by people who pretended to be someone other than they appeared. Vajra was reluctant but agreed in the end and handed over her staff. When Aleera closed her hand over it she expected to feel anything other than the numbing buzz of magic that ran through the staff but she saw nothing but mirrors when she looked into Vajra’s mind.
Seeing nothing that made her too suspicious and needing all of the help they could find, she spoke out. She told Vajra of the coming of the old gods. She explained all about the herald from Barovia and how it had been destroyed by the old gods. Aleera even showed her the vision she kept seeing, of everything on fire, ash raining from the sky and all around her the myriad dead including all of her friends. It always ended the same. Aleera was the last to die facing a hurtling ball of fire heading straight for her.
She always snapped out of it upon impact but it never lost it’s horror. She had to see her friends dying every time she looked into the future. Aleera told Vajra that if they didn’t prepare for war, everything they loved would die. She urged her to prepare the armies of Waterdeep and reinforce all protections for the city. To her credit, Vajra looked like she took things seriously. Then she explained her apprehension.
The widow of the former Blackstaff was made Open Lord in the interim following the Lord Nevermember’s flight from the city. Having the boon of time to gain wisdom Laeral Silverhand agreed to hold the title and council the young new Blackstaff as she came into her power. However, she had proved to be staunchly against Vajra from almost the moment of their meeting in person. The group agreed to speak to this Laeral Silverhand and hoped to breach the divide preventing the city from moving forward.
Vajra thanked them and they set off, out of the tower, towards their tavern. Kaladrax broke off from the group to go meet an old friend. He had sent word ahead of their arrival and had just recently received word back and his friend was in town. He was going to meet him at the Yawning Portal and would be back at the Spectre’s Respite for dinner. Aleera told him to be careful and asked if he wanted to take her sprite with him for protection. He declined but thanked her and then made his way towards the Yawning Portal.
When he got there he found his friend, Joldrass, sitting in a private booth on the second floor. Joldrass was already well into his second mug of ale when he arrived. So Kaladrax ordered some food for them and a drink for himself. They waited to speak about the important things until their food arrived but talked about the old days and Kaladrax asked about Joldrass’s latest adventure. Their food arrived and Kaladrax didn’t notice the bright pink hair that the waitress wore. He failed to see her discerning eye. Whether it was because they were in public or because he wasn’t alone, there was no action to be had at the Yawning Portal.
They began eating their food and Joldrass asked whether Kaladrax had been able to find the compass. Kaladrax shook his head no and asked the same question of Joldrass. He replied that that had been his latest expedition, to find the compass, but he had run into monsters that were too dangerous to face in the swamps of Chult and had to turn back. He also told Kaladrax that the compass was not the only item they needed. He also needed to find the right key to travel to where they wanted to go. Otherwise the compass was little more useful than pointing randomly on a map to try and travel to a specific place. You could end up in the completely opposite direction.
After having a hearty meal and drink with his friend, after discussing so many issues that needed answers, they made their goodbyes and while Joldrass headed upstairs to his room and another bottle of wine, Kaladrax made his way back to the Spectre’s Respite to meet the rest of his group and, hopefully, get a good night’s sleep. They were all finishing their own meals and when he arrived they headed up to the second floor where their new apartments were located. They set up their familiars to watch for dangers in the night and went to bed, feeling good about their accomplishments in the city.