The Hand of Destiny was drinking at the bar when Aleera decided to go and apologize to Floon and Renard in regards to a previous altercation between them and Hepolita. She pushed a bag containing a thousand dragons and promised the pair a week of free drinks at the bar to show her contrition. They accepted, happy to have gold to spend and booze to drink. In reality, they had very little memory of what had happened that night and were happy to put it behind them.
Having mended at least one of the frayed relationships they had, Aleera kept meandering down the road. She was itching to do more than just sit around and drink. She wanted answers. Waterdeep was too closed off to offer their most delicious secrets but she could find one of her own. She clung to the side of a small building and closed her eyes, letting her psychic feelers stretch out over the city. She was searching for a potential Bounty. There were still three powers to collect and two had joined forces in one vessel. She wanted to finish her job and a small part of her knew that when she did, she would be able to leave and travel for as long as she wanted. A secret part of her yearned for that day.
There! In the distance, towards the Castle Ward was a faint trace of the Bounties she was searching for. She headed towards it without thought to call her friends. She wanted to be alone, in the darkness while she hunted her prey. The others only saw her as the friendly, fiery bard they traveled with. They did not see the dark path she traveled. The pacts she had made. Even before her contract with the Traveller she had walked the dark paths.
She walked until she reached the Castle Ward and her senses led her to an ornate estate. She easily flew over the high, pointed gates, making her way towards what she sensed. Aleera, not wanting to be spotted, changed her appearance and made herself invisible to continue moving around. She was careful not to touch the ground in case there were any guard spells that could detect movement and sound the alarm. The strange mansion seemed drab in the deepening twilight. Rain started to fall in a light but even shower. She clung to the outside walls as she rounded the home and came upon the place where the connection felt strongest. It was a study that she was looking into through the windows. There was no one else in sight as far as she could tell.
She used her magic to unlock the windows and pop inside. She did not find the person she was looking for in the dark study so she began rummaging around for information and found a few disturbing details. The first thing she found was an innocuous flyer for a grand ball. The theme was to be “Angels and Demons”. There would be free refreshments and anyone in the city was invited to come, rich or poor. The second thing she found raised the hairs on the back of her neck and painted the flyer in an entirely different light. It was a contract.
It was written in a strange ink and it took her a few minutes to realize that it was blood that inked the page. It detailed the recipients of various boons given by Asmodeus, King of the Nine Hells. A demon was bad enough but if the King of the Nine Hells was involved, then even worse carnage awaited. Demons only ever cared about one thing, getting more souls. There, near the bottom of the contract was the exact payment for all the received boons and the consequences of breaking the pact. Payment was to be the souls of one hundred people, hence the “party”, and a million gold. It seemed she had found the bandits that snuck into the vault and made off with the rest of the gold.
Before she could read much more she was interrupted by a sound on the stairs, someone was coming back. She grabbed the two important sheets of paper and exited through the window just as the door opened. She could feel the aberrant mind of what she sought and it strained to find out what and where she was. After a few minutes of quiet, Aleera gently let herself float to near the ground and made her way off the estate unseen. As she made her way back to her comrades she walked in a daze. Her mind went in circles trying to make sense of all she had found. It was only a few minutes after, that she raised her head in alarm and ran all the way back to the tavern.
She had to warn them, and had to tell everyone in the city. This was bad. If they didn’t stop this then hundreds would die maybe more before the party was through. Only one hundred souls had been promised but the contracted would want to make sure, and more dead would only help their cause. Her mind was also grappling with the last thing she had seen before being interrupted. Two days. They only had two days to stop this. Two days to stop a giant massacre that Waterdeep might not survive through.