After the attack on the manor house and the rescue of Avalesca and Dawn, the party defers to Arthedain as to whether to rest for the night, or continue with the breach of Hollingard. Arthedain, beyond frustrated with the assault and overly determined after seeing his broken mother, decides to go forward that night. Taking the dragons and their riders about a mile outside of Tantalus, the party dismounts and treks the rest of the way on foot. Sim, who has kept a route into Hollingard greased and prepared for such an occasion, leads the way. Gelmyr, Faenthar, and Arthedain use the three hats of disguise in their inventory to appear as candle-lighters, Sim appears as a beggar, and Fox generally just melded with the shadows . . . or attempted to.
Once inside the central tower of Hollingard, they change their disguises to all appear as servants, and ascend up to the fourth floor without any trouble. However, two guardsmen confront them, and Faenthar sells that they are seeing another ally of Garralon’s (the undisguised Fox) to the proper quarters. The guards mention that ‘they’ have started the meeting already and they should hurry up to the conference. On the fourth floor, they see an eladrin noble emerge from his lodgings. Faenthar again distracts him as he tries to gather who this eladrin is. The eladrin seemed utterly revolted at being spoken to by servants, but Faenthar is able to deduce he is of the Winter Court, a member of the Bittershard family. They continue upward, and Faenthar sends Zaz into a meeting of multiple factions, all in some way patronized by Garralon, including Erasthena and more Bittershards. Erasthena refrains from speaking as an argument rages on as to who should assume the mantle of general after Khosrav’s elimination. Then Faenthar recalls Zaz suddenly, after noticing his mother detected somehow the invisible imp was in the room.
Again they continue up, and Arthedain takes a detour on the seventh floor to visit the royal chambers. Most remains unchanged, except that Arthedain’s room has been swept of its contents. On the flight of stairs leading to the Sun Room, a pair of Templars stand guard. Before anyone else can react, Arthedain recognizes them as honest men from his past and takes the hat of disguise off and steps to reveal his true self. The two begin to sound the alarm that the doppelganger (the lie that was planted by Garralon to avoid anyone assuming Arthedain was still alive if he was seen) had been sighted. But before they continued much further, Arthedain called upon the ducal ring to conjure an image of a white lion. Only Arronal Hollin had ever been known to do that, and with that they listened to what Arthedain had to say. Once they ascended the stairs and the companions used the key on the door to the Sun Room, the knights dropped to a knee and pled allegiance to their returned leader.
In the Sun Room (with Sim and the Templars stationed outside the door), Gelmyr and Faenthar find underneath a window seat a drawer with Hashgar’s journal inside. The page that was bookmarked told of Hashgar’s encounter with Hobb and was imbedded with names of places and things the party knew little of. When Arthedain continued to the opposite chamber, he triggered the Sun Room’s power and witnessed many flashes of the past before his eyes, including the night of Tal Neccar’s disappearance and Amarant being held captive and tortured in the dungeons below them. As it turned out, the Sun Room’s magic answered to any that can speak the command word to activate it, and therefore they found that their enemy would be able to use the room if they gained access.
After spending some time there, the party began to make their way back down to the ground floor, but on a few flights down their way was blocked by Erasthena and a group of eladrin warriors. Faenthar threw bolts of energy at his mother, but Gelmyr noticed that the damage was being transferred from her to the warriors that surrounded her. Erasthena demanded to know what they saw in the room, and suddenly a hidden assassin had a poisoned blade to Arthedain’s throat. A standoff ensued, with an invisible Gelmyr and his blade poised at Erasthena’s own neck. Fox had an arrow nocked in her bow, Faenthar simmered, and Sim flourished. Literally. Instead of allowing all unholy hell to erupt, as was their standard back before Arthedain assumed a mantle of responsibility, the new duke instead diffused a situation by telling the cold eladrin woman that he would never tell her anything in life without some negotiation, and that Cantor would protect his soul in death. After some talk, Faenthar and Erasthena both swore The Oath of the Eye on these conditions: Garralon and Amarant both would be delivered to Arthedain, alive, in exchange for exactly what the party had witnessed in the Sun Room, in a week’s time at the manor house.
The Ivory Rebels made their way out of the city the same way they entered, unscathed.
SESSION NOTES: Gelmyr (Aaron), Fox (Trenton), Sim (Dan), Faenthar (Mike), Arthedain (Josh); DM – Amy