Sun Day 2nd Sunfane yr 2534
Summary: Return to Salamonis, Capitavirate Knights, celebrities, meeting with the Governor, The Slavering Death, northern engagement party, the saga of the bear-woman
Arriving back at Salamonis early on the morning of the 2nd, the PCs climb down from their exhausted mounts and remove the spent magical horseshoes to find a large crowd gathered around the south gate. It appears that a quarantine is in place due to the plague which is currently gripping the city. As the PCs queue up for examination and entry to the city, Mikhail notices a separate crowd surrounding a group of tents away from the walls. The crowd look angry and are shouting at the tents, hurling rotten fruit and abuse. Above their heads, the flags of the Capitavirate can be seen flying from the tents. Wearing a frown, Mikhail investigates. He convinces the crowd to let him pass and speaks to the camp’s leader; Gaius Septimus Metellus who explains that he and his knights heard of the plight of Salamonis and have travelled from Tor Acarne to help with the plague and devil situations. Mikhail agrees to speak to the authorities in Salamonis and try to get them to allow the knights inside to help.
As he rejoins the queue, a guard calls out to the PCs indicating that they can skip the queue- their entry has been paid for already. Bemused, they head past the staring civilians and through the city gates where they are greeted by Carlos and his retainers. Carlos explains the situation in the city:
The PCs agree that solving the issue of The Slavering Death is the more pressing matter and decide to investigate that fully. Before they get a chance, they are mobbed by a crowd which has gathered on the inside of the south gate. People are recognising them and calls of ‘Griffons Revenge’, ‘Gryphon Avengers’, ‘Heroes’ can be heard echoing around. The PCs are approached by representatives of multiple organisations and businesses hoping to cash in on the PCs apparent new found celebrity status and they are offered discounts, sponsorship deals and invites to various parties and engagements in the city. Folkvar also receives a message from Helda Stolsdottir inviting him and his friends to a Northlander engagement party. The PCs also receive an invite from Governor Taiyend d’Tremmellin’s office which they decide to follow up immediately.
At the Palace, the PCs are greeted by Alexander Borghese, Taiyend’s secretary and seneschal and asked to take a seat. Before long they are joined by a number of Salamonis government/society alumni including Antonio Castillo, Darius Mandoran, Lord Irenicus Mancini, Dolrick Harrisson, Lord Venn Arneson and Sheriff Rufus Seabourne amongst others. After waiting over half an hour for Taiyend to arrive, the group convenes without him. They are all here to officially thank the PCs for their bravery and skill at liberating Lake Town and defeating the black dragon Aragatharos! As well as a cash reward, the PCs are granted stewardship over Castle Pechwe and bestowed the title of Laird! The castle is currently being renovated but they are encouraged to employ their own staff and visit regularly. As the meeting is concluded, the PCs mention their intent to enter the Golden Circuit to investigate the plague. Borghese signs a letter of marque allowing them to pass the blockade but warns them to be careful.
Leaving the palace, the PCs’ good mood is suddenly cut short as they remember their mission. They spend the rest of the day following up on sponsorship deals, trading loot and upgrading their equipment. Alhena, Folkvar and Mikhail sign up for premium bank accounts with Heredor & Sons Bank and receive powerful custom magic items as a bonus. Alhena also gets some personal heraldry designed at the Register of Heraldry, Insignia and Motifs. Finally the PCs decide to rent a townhouse as a base of operations. Deciding on the Dead Quarter, the PCs put down their bonds, move in and begin to decorate their rooms.
Later that afternoon, the PCs tool up and head to the Barracks district and approach the blockade marking the boundary between the Barracks and the plague-ridden Golden Circuit. Beyond the earthwork and wooden blockade, the tall buildings of the Circuit are visible over the heads of the armed soldiers. Flashing their letter of marque, the PCs are allowed through but warned that they won’t be coming back out if they look infected. The guards do mention a larger compound on the western barricade where a containment zone has been set up to protect survivors using ranged weapons from behind the barricade but they still won’t be allowed out until the quarantine is lifted. They are also told that a team of clerics and doctors accompanied by knights of the Wheel went into the district some hours ago in an attempt to treat the infected but haven’t been seen since. Inside the district, the streets are empty. The staccato sounds of screams punctuate the eerie silence and the smell of burning wafts along on the lonely thermals. Advancing down the street, the PCs realise they are near to Blum Hamfist’s old apartment and Rosi suggests calling in there to have a look around.
Inside Blum’s apartment, the group have an emotional moment as they witness the Dwarf’s belongings strewn about the place in his typical fashion but their reverie is soon disturbed by the arrival of a festering plague zombie which attacks them. Evidently the rumours of plague victims becoming the walking dead are true.. the undead creature is swiftly dispatched but not before getting its infected fluids all over Folkvar. More zombies start approaching, drawn to the sounds of combat and the smell of fresh meat. The PCs leave quickly, advancing further into their stricken home, searching for survivors and taking out zombies as they go. Their encounters are summarised below:
Dr. Lavergne will continue to work on the samples and will contact the PCs when he has more information. Hailed as heroes for rescuing so many civilians and killing so many zombies, the PCs are allowed out of the quarantine and thoroughly disinfected with magic and medicines before taking a well-earned break.
That night, the group head over to the Black Priest in the Dead Quarter to meet Helda, Folkvar’s girlfriend at the Northlander engagement party. Helda is initially shocked at Folkvar’s new scarred appearance but soon gets over it and the two spend most of the night together. At the party the PCs drink, fight and sing (three things the Northerners love most!) with some getting more drunk than others. Folkvar and Carlos do well at the wrestling matches which are friendly and fought over drink and honour while Alhena embarrases herself slightly with her drunken singing. Rosi impresses a man named Baldur who offers her a part on his performing troupe and Carlos manages to go home with an impressively ugly woman dubbed ‘The Bear Woman’ by the rest of the party. Mikhail meanwhile, spends the entire night in meditation and prayer at the Cathedral, achieving a peaceful mindset and steadying himself for the coming missions.
Moonday 3rd Sunfane yr 2534
The next morning is a messy scene. Mikhail manages to turf the Bear Woman out after cooking breakfast for the group. With groggy heads, the rest of the group get dressed just in time for an exhausted messenger to arrive with a hastily scrawled note from Dr. Lavergne:
“I have made a breakthrough on the cure. Hurry, there isn’t much time!”