The party had traversed the Misty Downs with the dragon’s hoard and now the rescued Alder King’s daughter Synovel in tow. Along the way, Zolar and Miri parted ways, and the elf Giliana (Kirito’s former adventuring partner) returned to her people, giving the PCs the case of elven heart wine she unearthed in Dragon Mountain, suggestingn they share it with the royal family. Later, once their NPC henchman “torch guy” (Kirnwedigan) brought a bottle of heart wine to share with some ruffians camping on the other side of a river, the PCs would discover the wine was poisoned with Belbol d’Elgeth (“gift of death” in drow), a drowish poison which caused the ruffians and “torch guy” to die from hemorraghing. Had Giliana been hoping to assassinate the King or was it simply another example of cursed/trapped treasure from the dragon’s hoard? Either way, the PCs buried the rest of the poisoned heart wine in an unconventional way, then returned to the King’s keep at Tir Uldeir.
While searching the ruffian’s camp, the PCs ran into a wandering Druid named Killian (Tom’s PC) who was investigating how the Wild Hunt was disturbing the natural order. After mistaking each other for bandits, several beard and wild shape jokes, and the general ribbing that adventurers enjoy, the party consented to have Killian join them, though there would be lingering distrust. Killian seemed particularly interested in Synovel, the Alder King’s Daughter.
They found the gatehouse under repair after the dragon attack they thwarted two weeks ago, and many humans were giving Synovel unwelcome stares. As first order of business, the PCs found Baldoun & Baldourum Dwarven Bank where they stashed the dragon’s hoard in a vault and contracted a gnomish artificer named Dunderbund to cast a massive remove curse ritual on all the treasure (which would take 3 days).
The PCs wanted to audience with the King and put in word with his Seneschal Hubrecht who poshily suggested they take a bath first. Having overheard the party discussing the catoblepas, also called the Questing Beast, the Seneschal offered that he heard the village of Pondswallow had its water supply tainted in a manner consistent with what little is known of the catoblepas. Tristan was actively pursuing the geas the Vistani witch had placed upon him to retrieve the heart of a catoblepas for her (part of the deal to break the curse on Miri). The King would meet with them later that night, and they were relived to hear he wasn’t dead from their breaking the dream gems in Dragon Mountain.
At the baths the PCs were approached by a wood elven messenger of the Alder King who called himself Eolais, who had been sent to retrieve the Alder King’s daughter, whose hand had been promised in marriage to the Lord of the Wild Hunt. Eolais seemed like a non-traditional sort of elf but he was bound to serve the Alder King and those of the Elder Blood, including Synovel. He also revealed that Synovel possessed the rare ability to open portals to other planes. Raphael traded information with Eolais, revealing what little the party knew of Synovel, in exchange for Eolais revealing that Giliana (Kirito’s former adventuring companion) had been replaced by a drow agent. That would explain the poisoned heart wine! And how she survived Dragon Mountain! After some negotiation, the PCs decided they would not turn Synovel over to the Alder King. Eolais cautioned them that he had bought 3 days reprieve from the Wild Hunt, but after that they would begin seeking the girl again. He also implied that if anything threatened Synovel (such as the Wild Hunt), he would be compelled to intervene to protect her. The party knew which inn Eolais was staying at, and vice versa.
Though Eolais came off as a smarmy conceited jerk (aka “politician”), Synovel warned the PCs that he was good with a bow, sometimes was accompanied by an elven Mage, and had dealings with the “Huntsworn” (elves who left the Alder King’s court to join the Wild Hunt). They suspected it was only a matter of time before Eolais tried something to convince them to capitulate, but it wouldn’t be direct conflict… that wasn’t the elf’s style.
Having bathed and donned their court clothes (or whatever passed for those), the PCs went to audience with King Arslein…