After arriving in Neverwinter, the group set off to find Elphira. Before they could be reunited with their cleric companion, they noticed a peculiar sight: a triton making his way through the city, carrying all of his possessions on his body. Moreover, the triton had observed Coursia adopt her lupine form as she exited the inn. Introductions were made and not long after meeting Tehem, Vallos had devised a way to utilize their new comrade in a scheme to reach Duke…
Given the oddity of Tehem’s appearance in Neverwinter, Vallos thought to pass the aquatic man off as an emissary from an underwater civilization: the Citadel of Ten-Thousand Pearls. Nell and Elphie, who located the group outside of the inn, used magic to pass themselves off as tritons, while Vallos adopted a human guise to pose as a translator. Coursia remained in her wolf form, passing herself off as Vallos’ animal companion.
Together, the group approached the keep and petitioned the guards to let them speak with the man in charge. They were led to a chamber where Duke—himself posing as Lord Coursia Moonfrost—invited them to sup with him. The party found the man unarmed, but resisted the urge to attack him while so many of his guards were stationed in the chamber. Still, Coursia found it curious that their former companion now stank faintly of brimstone.
While Vallos asked the apparent noble about opening naval trade routes—with the tritons protecting merchant ships from the pirates who plague the Sword Coast North—Nell slipped away and, using a spell of Spider Climb, stole her way into Duke’s bedchambers. Here, Nell noticed a dummy of Vallos, save that the face was painted black. The dummy had been stabbed multiple times, and an ornate dagger was still buried in it. She also spotted Duke’s sword hanging on the wall. Nell took the liberty of removing the sword from the wall and throwing it out the window before returning to the table.
Meanwhile, Vallos mentioned the Divine Chords and billed it to the Duke as a tale of retribution. “I should like to hear it,” Duke said. “Retribution is very much a theme for my own life. I did not have the greatest of upbringings. My only hope is to make this world a greater place than I found it—a retribution against the rules and society that seemed so insistent on usurping my chance for happiness.” As Vallos searched for sincerity in the man’s words, the Duke offered to let them all staff in his home for the night. They party accepted and Nell, through a combination of her warlock abilities, soon gathered everyone in Vallos’ room to plan their next move…
Mapping out the floor, she sent the party to kick in the door while she came through the window. Before they moved on the man, Vallos warned Tehem that things were about to get heated, and that the man may want to part ways with them. With a shrug, Tehem left the keep, leaving the others to move on the Duke. However, as Nell watched from outside the window, she noticed the Duke’s sword once more on the wall. Before she could puzzle over this, Elphie and Coursia both tried to break the door down—only to draw the Duke’s attention.
The Duke opened the door and took in the sight of the group in their actual forms. He invited them in as Nell crashed through the window. Calmly, he asked what had brought them there. When Coursia insisted it was his using their names, the Duke asked if she had an issue with him doing good work in their name. “I have united unincorporated townships into a federation of sorts, and even reined in the goblin tribes who claim the countryside. Deaths are down, while trade is up. Furthermore, everyone is benefiting from a free exchange of ideas and innovation. This is what you take offense to?”
Coursia insisted that the Duke’s theft of Christina’s items was hardly philanthropic. The Duke begrudgingly concurred. “But while she uses these trinkets for her own selfish gain, I’m using them to the benefit of the people. Would you rather I let this region fall back into chaos simply so one woman can know the fame she so desperately craves?”
Tired of listening to the Duke, Nell attempted to strike him with a hexbolt, only for the blast of energy to miss him. Disappointed that a civil discourse appeared to descend into violence, the Duke reached for a sword that did not hang on his hip, only to draw it from a non-existent scabbard. The Duke was an eldritch knight who could summon his sword from anywhere.
Still, he attempted to keep things from descending into violence. He revealed that he had acquired a magical item in the hopes his path would cross theirs again. “It’s for Coursia,” he said, offering her a Driftglobe, “to make up for her glaring weakness.” Duke activated the daylight effect of the orb, only to active one other magical item on him: the Cape of the Mountebank allowed him to teleport away, leaving only a puff of noxious smoke in his wake.
Fearing that the full weight Neverwinter’s guard would soon be upon them, Vallos changed his appearance to mirror the Duke’s and hastily took what he could in their flight from the keep. As they ran, Nell telepathically called out to Tehem, believing that his martial prowess would be useful should escape become necessary. Soon, the party was fleeing the keep and rushing straight for Zephyros, whom the band of adventurers convinced to aid in their flight from Neverwinter.
Entering his floating home, the group bid Zephyros to fly in the opposite direction from their base of operations—not wishing to lead the Duke to their new home, for fear of retribution. Instead, they headed east towards Flint Rock, then south over the Dessarin Valley. With the intention to take a long path that would circle them back around to Phandalin, they made a stop in Goldenfields. That night, as the group stayed at the inn, the Northfurrow’s End, the town came under attack by giants. The party—as well as several denizens of Goldenfields—moved to defend the temple-farm from attack.
Oren Yohilvy and Lifferlas partnered up to stop a hill giant, while Shalvus Matholio, Zi Liang, Miros Xelbrin, and Naxene Drathkala brought down a trio of ogres. Zephyros himself defeated a band of thirty goblins, while the party ran into a hill giant and together managed to fell it.
- Each member of the party gained 1,400 XP for the night.
- Coursia obtained a Driftglobe from Duke.