The Hand of Destiny reconvened at The Spectre’s Respite to check on their wounded friend. Zenriel was upstairs inside Kaladrax’s Magnificent Mansion, recovering from her ordeal at the hands of a Masked Lord. They brought food with them and drinks so she wouldn’t have to do much else. The mansion came down as the eight hour ticked. Everyone had stepped outside before, not wanting to be shoved out after the spell ended.
Zenriel had been lively and somewhat recovered within the mansion but once she was again within the confines of the city some of the illness seemed to come back. Her face visibly drooped as the weight of the Dragon Ward settled on her. Aleera, seeing this effect, decided to try out her own mansion. She had just learned the spell and wanted to show off as well as help their sick friend. Concentrating, she built the spell up and a shimmering door appeared again inside the closet of their rooms. Everyone was excited to see what it looked like and stepped inside at once.
They were greeted by the open night sky. Above was a ripe, full moon in all her resplendent, silver, glory. Aleera’s version of a cosy home was the caravan’s of her childhood. Around a cheery bonfire were a small circle of different wagons. Kaladrax’s wagon was all black with draconic features that culminated in a large black dragon head at the front. Kariss’s was similar but in all the platinum and deep blue of Bahamut. Milo’s wagon was a mix of woven wicker bottom and a canopy of deep hunter green. Hepolita’s was a war wagon with a canopy of bright red and spikes framing it. Aleera’s was the biggest with a shimmering purple canopy with glittering stars and moons over the dark wood carved with swirls and hidden musical notes.
Each person ran to their wagon and opened them up to find lush accommodations that matched the outer decorations. Ghostly Vistani men and women were walking around. Some were playing instruments as they danced around the flames for entertainment while others carried trays of food around, offering them to her guests. There was another more sparse wagon that Zenriel was offered. The accommodations were as lush as the others, Aleera just didn’t know Zenriel well enough to create a special wagon just for her. She laid down almost immediately and was about to fall asleep when she told them of the item she was searching for in Waterdeep.
She explained that she had come here in the company of five young dragons of each color of the chromatic scale. They were helping her find a way to reach Avernus and free her mistress, Tiamat. In order to do so they needed an axe that was forged in Avernus and would give them a tuning fork to be able to make the interdimensional jump to the hellish realm. When she had been captured she had lost track of her companions and was determined to find them and the axe. The group did not like her plan to free Tiamat, but Zenriel had helped them save Novos and had saved their lives on numerous occasions when she could have let them die. They owed her and would do what they needed to for her.
When Zenriel mentioned that the axe was in a Great Vault, the party immediately knew she spoke of the vault they were searching for. The Stone of Golorr they had found was purported to hold knowledge of the vault, including the key to open it. Kaladrax breathed in and out to calm his nerves and sat down in front of the bonfire to attune to the stone. After an hour of concentrating Kaladrax wiped his brow of sweat and announced that he had attuned to the stone. Then he fell silent as he began to communicate with the sly aboleth trapped within.
The Aboleth within the stone would not give his answers for free and demanded answer for answer. A battle of riddles and questions ensued until they reached a pinnacle. One riddle was left for Kaladrax to answer. If he answered correctly then his questions would be answered but, should he fail, one of their souls would be forfeit to the Aboleth. They would become its slave forever, converting into a subservient creature to the evil, water dwelling monster. The time ticked away in Kaladrax’s head as he thought about the answer. He was about to run out of time when it popped into his head with such clarity that he felt stupid for not having thought of the answer before.
To the Aboleth’s frustration he had succeeded and now payment was required in turn. Kaladrax asked about where the vault was located, how to get in and anything else they might need to know. The answers were strange. The vault was located under a statue among the dead. This obviously meant the City of the Dead but many statues were within the boundaries of that sector. The way to get in was even more strange. The group had to play an old dwarven song with bagpipes and make a great gem made in a ritual out of halfling blood and rubies. The song was called “My Beardy Face” and they needed to find someone to teach them how to sing it and play it on the bagpipes.
The Aboleth made one last attempt at tempting Kaladrax to give him more but Kaladrax cut off the connection and put the stone away from sight. They had a lot of preparation to do before they could venture into the vault and find what they were searching for. They explained this to Zenriel and she just thanked them for helping her and let herself fall into the sleep that her body desperately needed. The others made themselves comfortable for the night in their wonderful wagons surrounded by a dark but peaceful wood.