54. Ship of Fools

The party interrogated the bodyguard who survived the attack by the cambion and her minions. He quickly acquiesced and explained that he’d been hired by the Hhune family to retrieve the Shield of the Hidden Lord. After some discussion, the party decided not to investigate this link, for now, and to proceed with their plan to recover their ship and set otrut seaward to the location indicated by Sylvira.

Unfortunately, their ship – The Undead Quipper – had already been sold. They took the money and used it to buy passage from its new owner, a trader called Captain Lamar. He was suspicious of their journey plan and tried to charge them an extortionate rate, but Reya looked threateningly at him until he reduced the rate to something more-reasonable. Eventually, after stocking up on provisions and securing a shipboard job for the injured henchman they’d skewered, the party was ready to depart.

Darry, however, wasn’t to join them. He explained that he’d been thinking about it for some time and had decided that his part in their adventure must now diverge from that of Tunwéya, Hinnerk, Leofric and Reya. He planned to remain in Baldur’s Gate and do what he could to support the refugees (and continue to overthrow corrupt elites). The party enjoyed one final drink together and exchanged trinkets, then the remaining Levellers set out to sea.

Miles out, they discovered the tower they were aiming for… but it was aloft, supported on a magical floating island thirty feet above the waves. By a combination of pact magicks and Tunweya’s wildshape the party managed to get a rope up to the tower and ascend. Knocking on the door, they were invited in by a tiny otter in a cape: this was the wizard Traxigor, who they’d been sent to meet. He introduced them to Lulu, a miniscule golden-haired elephant-like beast with adorable tiny wings, a celestial creature with a tragic case of memory loss. Among her fragmented memories Lulu – who turns out to be a hollyphant – claims to recollect being alongside an angel in a mighty battle against the evil of the Hells, but suspects that she must have been on the losing side because she can’t remember anything about what happened next except that she must’ve been in Avernus because it was from there that Sylvira eventually plucked her from a portal. She hopes that if she returns to that Hellish plane she might recover some of her memories, and the Levellers agreed to take her along.

First, though, they needed to help Traxigor find a crucial item: a magical black iron tuning fork (F#), with which he could cast the plane shift spell and transport them to Avernus. The party searched his cluttered lab and eventually Tunwéya laid hands on the missing musical tool, allowing Traxigor to begin the incantation.

The room became smoky, then aflame, and everything turned dark. The party were at last on their way… to Hell.

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