The party works crowd security for the launch event for the R.N.S. Coaltongue, and they identify and neutralize some dockers that wanted to protest the event.
After the crowd goes through the checkpoint, Thames Grimsley, a docker who is trying to organize a union, asks to speak to the party. He wants them to talk to Governor Roland Stanfield about taking pressure off the dockers so that Grimsley can keep them from rioting. In return, he points out another angry docker who slipped through their nets, and the party takes him down efficiently amidst cheering spectators. They fail to deliver Grimsley’s message, however.
As a reward for their superb handling of the dockers, they are allowed to attend the soiree on the Coaltongue’s maiden voyage, where they mingle with some of Risur’s rich and powerful people.
Duchess Ethelyn of Shale, the king’s sister, had earlier asked for a place to rest. When King Aodhan was about to make his speech, the party is asked to go and escort her to the main deck. When they arrive at her sleeping quarters, they see her dive out the window, and her handmaiden attacks.
The handmaiden, Sokana Rell, was leading a plot planned by the Duchess to blow up the ship and assassinate the king. The party needed to deal with her and her cohorts while attempting to prevent the ship from exploding. Ultimately they defeat the saboteurs, and Marie (using her fire resistance as a Tiefling) is able to shovel firegems out of the furnace quickly enough to save the ship.
The king thanks the party for their heroic actions, and delivers a speech where he announces his intention to seek peace with their old enemy, Danor.
A week passes since the events of 1.1, and the party learns that while rebel forces have joined the Duchess, a civil war has not broken out as expected. Instead, the Duchess attacked and captured Axis Island, a small island in the Yerasol Archipelago that Danor gained control of during the 4th Yerasol War.
The party meets with Lya Jierre, the Danoran Minister of Outsiders, who explains that this attack had created a politically sensitive situation. Many in Danor viewed this as an act of war and wanted retaliation, but this would cause many Risuri people to support the Duchess’ cause. So the plan is for some senior RHC constables (with the party providing backup) to infiltrate the island and open the sea gate, and the Risuri Navy will take back the island with its defenses broken, then hand control back to Danor.
The party sails out on the R.N.S. Impossible (the fastest ship in the Risuri Navy) and meets up with the rest of the navy and the senior constables. After finalizing the details, the alpha team sets out first under the cover of darkness, but tragedy strikes when a boulder crushes them on the sea floor, killing three and severely wounding the other. Responsibility falls to the party to carry out the mission in order to avert a war.
They enter a sea cave through an underwater tunnel, and are attacked by Nicolas Dupiers, a crazy mine foreman that uses several Golden Icons of various planes to control elemental forces. They defeat him, take the icons, and head out of the cave.
They trek across the mountains to the back of the island fort, but encounter some strange things, including a massive golem that leaks a black oily substance, and they are briefly transported to a strange wooded marsh, filled with croaking yellow frogs, where a blue sun sets in a purple sky.
Once they arrive at the fortress, they use Passwall to breach the outer wall, and head toward the lighthouse that houses the sea gate controls, alerting several guards to their presence along the way but slipping away before they could be caught. They arrive at the lighthouse, and take out the forces defending it, but not before an alarm was sounded. The sea gate creaks open, and the party uses Pyrotechnics to signal the fleet, but rebel forces are moving to assault them in the lighthouse…
The party had opened the sea gate and signaled the fleet, but the rebel forces were alerted and begin assaulting the lighthouse to try and close the sea gate. The party sets up barricades and traps, and hold off waves of enemies for 10 minutes, until the Risuri ships start pouring through. The military cleans up the rest of the forces on the sea wall, and easily takes the harbor with its defenses broken.
Half an hour later, while the party is being tended to by military druids and healers, they hear gunshots and screams of panic from one of the Risuri ships in the harbor, and seconds later the ship is engulfed in a ball of flame. They catch glimpses of (or hear reports from other witnesses) a monster with a sword of pure fire and a lion-faced shield who leaps to the docks, kills his way through loyalist forces, and then bounds over the outer wall and out of sight.
After another hour, the outer wall has been taken and the Risuri forces have found a makeshift brig housing Danoran prisoners. The party talks to Liutenant Hessar Marseine, the nominal leader of the prisoners, who offers information about the keep in exchange for allowing the prisoners to take up arms and fight the Duchess’ forces alongside Risur if they wish. The party reluctantly agrees, and Marseine informs them of an entrance to the sewer system in the outer fort, which they could use to get into the keep without needing to take the inner wall or navigate the hedge maze.
As the party is about to leave the prison, they hear shouts that “the fire monster is coming”. He pulls out a white orb, and a section of the wall becomes a day-lit jungle landscape, similar to the fluctuations the party experienced elsewhere on the island. With the wall missing, the monster charges through toward the keep, and the party gives chase.
The party heads through the inner wall before the effect fades, and they see a hedge maze in the distance with sections of it on fire as the fire monster leaps across the tops of the hedges. They encounter an angry fey named Gillie Dhu who is attempting to put out the fires, and attacks the party assuming that they are allied with the fire monster. The party disposes of him easily, managing to keep him from escaping to his hedge maze where he would have the advantage.
The party heads into the keep, and encounters a weakened Asrabey Varal, eladrin ambassador from the Unseen Court, who was the warrior that fought his way through both armies earlier. He had just finished defeating the Duchess in battle, and was preparing to execute her, when the party intervened. Normally, a warrior of Asrabey’s prowess would be too much for the group, but his battles had taken their toll, and the party is able to bring him down.
They also encounter Nathan Jierre, nephew of Lya, hiding in the observatory, and find out that he had casually given information to the Duchess that she used to execute her attack on the island. He didn’t know at the time that she would do such a thing, but regardless he knows that he would be viewed as a traitor, and asks for safe passage to Risur. The party denies his request, and turns him over to the Danorans along with the island when Lya shows up that evening. Asrabey is sent back to Risur in chains and is later released because of his diplomatic immunity, but the incident further strains the relationship between Risur and the Unseen Court.
The adventure begins when the party is called into Stover Delft’s office, and he sends them out to a crime scene at the Danoran Consulate where a woman has impaled herself on the fence and died. There they meet with Security Chief Julian LeBrix who describes what happened: Nilasa Hume (the victim) was attempting some valuables from the consulate, including a Faberge egg, when LeBrix caught her. She ran, LeBrix shot her, then she flew out the window, LeBrix shot her again, and she fell and impaled herself on the fence below.
The party decides to take a look around themselves, and find many clues, some of which contradict LeBrix’s statement.
Nilasa had glass wounds on her arms, two fence punctures in her abdomen, and gunshot wounds to her back left thigh and shoulder. They inspect the gunshot wounds and find that they were inflicted after she was impaled on the fence.
She also had traces of an unusual wound on her scalp that was caused by necrotic energy, and was healed after her death.
She had a bail certificate on her person from the Parity Lake Police Station, which revealed that she was recently picked up on a contraband raid, and her bail was paid by Heward Sechim.
She had an empty vial in her top, and the party examines it to learn that it was an Elixir of Invisibility, which is illegal without the proper permits.
Magical scrutiny reveals the recent use of flight magic, but that she personally didn’t wield any magical ability, indicating that she had used a magic item that was now missing.
The party checks upstairs where Nilasa was attacked, and they find a rug covering a bloodstain. The blood spatter appears to be from a slashing weapon, not a gunshot.
They talk to Braden, who works at the consulate and was Nilasa’s boyfriend, but he doesn’t seem to know very much. He mentions that Nilasa brought chocolates for the staff, and the party discovers that the chocolates were laced with fey pepper. The box had an inkstamp mark with the icon and name of the Thinking Man’s Tavern.
They talk to a few eyewitnesses outside who provide accounts of the incident. The first corroborates the evidence that the party has already found: Nilasa was covering her face when she jumped, and she was shot after landing on the fence. The second saw someone up in the window that looked completely black, with something shiny like a gun, and a moment later he had vanished. The third saw that a man with a goatee went up to Nilasa when she was on the fence, then she gave him a bundle of papers and whispered something, and he took the pendant before running away.
They talk to the secretary, Tia Jedeau, who can identify the man that took the bundle of documents from Nilasa as Wolfgang von Recklinghausen, and shares his case file which includes his temporary address and Flint contacts.
She also knows that Consular duNadria had a guest this morning in the basement meeting room, and that he had a Risuri accent, but no one can recall what he looks like. There’s no record of who the guest was, but she says that this is not uncommon as the consular’s business is often above the staff members’ security clearance.
Talking further with LeBrix, it becomes clear that he is hiding something, especially since his story seems to be a complete fabrication. They get the sense, however, that he is following orders he doesn’t agree with and might be willing to talk elsewhere.