Kaladrax woke up with a big grin after spending the night with Aleera but that joy soon faded when they left the safety of the magical mansion. Exiting through the hidden door in one of the closets, they came out to greet the day. It wasn’t until a short cry of anguish rang out that they ran into Kariss’s room and found her, frantic. She was lying in the white sheets of her bed, only now, they were tainted with bright splashes of blood. She flew out of the bed and cleaned herself up.
The group tried to check for injuries and wounds but found none. She was unharmed, the blood, not hers. She turned her frantic eyes to Aleera and implored her to cast her Modify Memory spell. One of the side effects of the spell was to allow the caster to review the last twenty four hours of the target’s memory before attempting to modify it. Aleera agreed and asked Kariss to calm down so she could cast. Placing her hands on Kariss’s head, she began to channel her magic. It poured into Kariss and opened her mind to scrutiny.
Memories rushed by of their previous day’s activities. Most of it were events they had all shared. Then came time for bed. She saw herself and Kaladrax leave for the closet entrance to the mansion and Kariss, settle down in her room after bidding good night to Milo and Hepolita. She made ready for bed and pulled the covers over herself. She snuffed out the candle on the simple wooden nightstand and darkness overtook the room. Kariss was about to enter deep sleep, and then it would be black for the rest of her sleep state, when there was a flash of purple light behind her eyelids.
There was no time to open her eyes, everything went dark after the flash and only a few words were heard. They were spoken in a guttural language whose very essence sounded discordant. It was spoken in Deep Speech. Funny enough, having spent a lot of time in Waterdeep, Aleera was fluent in Deep Speech. It helped to know what the enemies were saying when they popped out from the Underdark to attack. The guttural speech translated to, “Get her!” The memories were dark after that, only coming back when Kariss awoke and everything led to this moment.
Aleera pulled back and filled everyone else in, sharing the images with her telepathy. The party was spooked. Someone had come in and not disturbed a single thing, yet they had been able to do something to a powerful member of their team and leave with hardly a clue as to what had happened. This was not good. Aleera immediately cast her True Sight spell. She was worried that there might be more than met the eye hanging around the team. Her vision twinned as she saw both the prime material world and the ethereal plane transposed over each other.
The group went downstairs for the day hoping to use Aleera’s sight to pinpoint the possible culprit or culprits. They had sat down, ordered breakfast and started tucking in when Aleera noticed something about a man sitting at the bar. She knew this man. It was Mirt the Money Lender. He was a nice enough man, known across the city as a former successful adventurer turned patron for new adventuring parties seeking fame and glory. He was a good man. Not a single person in the city had anything bad to say about him. He was often seen at the Yawning Portal, drinking and reminiscing, with his old adventuring buddy Durnan.
Something was wrong with his head though. Aleera could see him on the Prime Material plane and he looked as he always did but when she saw him on the Ethereal plane she saw a second entity centered on where his brain was. The brain that was there now registered on the Ethereal plane, which meant that it was not his brain as it would only be seen on the Prime Material plane. It was a lot to take in but she notified the group around her and kept her eye on him. He didn’t seem to be doing anything wrong. Mirt was just sitting there, drinking alone at the bar. It wasn’t that he was looking to be alone. He was acting normally, just drinking without a companion.
After a few moments Aleera couldn’t take the weirdness anymore and went up to talk to him. She asked a few nonchalant questions and tried to hint without giving away too much that she knew something was wrong. He was as nice as ever but not forthcoming. Since there was no reason to confront him more, she let him go but she thought she saw a darkening in his eyes as he left the bar. Milo thought quickly before losing Mirt to the crowd of people out and about the city. He sent his animal companion, now a raven, to follow Mirt around town for a bit and let him know when something strange happened. The raven flew off after its quarry.
The Hand of Destiny also had to investigate the blood that had been on Kariss when she had woken up and so headed out into the city to find any clues. They walked and listened to the talk of the day from the citizens that went about their business. They walked and waited for clues or a call from the raven to warn them of Mirt’s movements. It was going to be a long day of investigation for the party.