With Frulam’s hideout now known, the heroes made their way through the busy streets of Scornubel to confront the priestess. Death was in Jarrus Stormrider’s eyes and his mood was as black as his cloak. As they entered the square they found their timing to be poor. Frulam, seeing the now famous Chef Boyarde across the square, gathered her guards about her and took flight through the streets. If the heroes wanted to stop her before she met with the Red Wizard Emissary, they were going to have to catch her first!
With a healthy head start of 500 feet, Frulam and her guards led the heroes on a long chase. Though many obstacles impeded their progress, it was Jarrus’ feats of superb marksmanship that ultimately slowed the priestess’ flight. He whispered the sacred words of the wild to his first arrow and let fly an unbelievable shot of at least 300’. The arrow found it’s mark in the leg of Frulam and burst forth with terrible nettles, piercing her flesh and binding her legs. She lost much ground to the heroes before she resume her flight, and it was only a matter of time before Pan-Thor and Ossendar Osterius closed the gap. Desperately casting her domination spells at any hero in reach, Frulam couldn’t quite gain any distance. Ossendar ran himself ragged with incredible speed, closing the gap quickly! A final arrow in the back from Jarrus brought the cowardly priestess down. With their employer now defeated, the guards gave up and scattered into the city.
The heroes bound and gagged the unconscious Frulam and brought her to the nearest inn for interrogation. Once she regained consciousness, Frulam (with some persuasive assistance from Rowen Evenwood) sang like a bird. She revealed that with her failure at the hatchery she was likely now marked for death by the cult. Her only option now was to sell out her former cohorts, the red wizards Azbara Joz and his mentor Rath Modar. She contacted the leaders of the Red Wizards of Thay and arranged a meeting to reveal the cult’s movements and plans as best she could in exchange for transportation to Thay and a ‘safe’ harbor. She asks the heroes, “Who are you people?” and they respond in unison “We are the Spice of Life!” She then tells the heroes of the assigned meeting place with the Emissary at the Wailing Wench tavern. Ossendar, exhausted from his efforts in the chase takes this time to rest and keep watch over their prisoner.
The Spices decided to attempt a bold ruse. With their purple cultist robes from the hatchery, they disguised Rowan as Frulam to attempt to learn what they could from the Emissary, possibly even offering to hunt down the errant wizards Azbara and Rath themselves for a prize. A grim scene greeted them at The Wailing Wench. The bodies of patrons were strewn about the place and the back room glowed with cold blue menace. They may have underestimated the evil of the Red Wizards! Steeling their will, the Spices enter the back room and found a red robed and tattooed human man and a ghastly bodyguard. Behind them, a glowing circle of runes on the ground pulsated with arcane energy. The wizard greeted the Spices coldly, but was otherwise convinced by Rowan that she was indeed Frulam. After a brief exchange, the wizard harshly ordered Rowan to enter the portal for her payment. Rowan hesitated, but moved toward the portal slowly. Her confident outward appearance hid the sheer terror building inside her. At the edge of the portal circle she stopped, sweat now beading on her brown. The terror now evident, the Wizard deduced he had been duped!
Pan-Thor leaped to Rowan’s aid and began slashing at the Wight, though his teeth seemed to do little real damage. Uttering the words of the spell Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Rowan then attempted to neutralize the wizard. The Emissary laughed, but only at her pathetic attempt at spellcraft as his Counterspell easily negated Rowan’s efforts. With a sneer and a cruel laugh he disappeared from view. Now the Wight looked to the dead bar patrons and said in a voice that chilled the heart, “Rise!” and four of the deceased staggered to their feet and attacked with cold, lifeless limbs. Overcoming his horror, Cain Sundersword invoked the blessings of Lethander on his allies and Rowan gather her spite and cast Bane on several zombies. Chef waded into the fray, wielding Lawbringer with incredible skill as he hewed one of the Zombies in two. The Wight struck out at Rowan, diminishing her life-force little by little. From about the room the Emissary cackled, letting fly barrage after barrage of magic missiles, whittling down the Spices. As the zombies began to fall to pieces and the Wight’s defenses buckled, a cruel laugh from the Emissary heralded a fiery blast as the Thayan let loose a powerful fireball on his undead thralls and his enemies. The arcane flames incinerated the zombies and overcame Cain and Chef. With glee the Wight’s longsword slashed at Rowan, rendering her unconscious as well. Jarrus alone stood now against the invisible wizard and his Wight, but he took a moment to administer a health potion to Rowan, getting the bard back into the fight before the Wizard could finish them all off. With words and blessings of healing Rowan then healed herself and Cain. Cain in turn with healing hands brought Chef back from near death. Seeing his defeat at hand the Emissary howled, “The Red Wizards of Thay will not forget this! We will bring ruin to the enemies of Szass Tam where-ever they hide!” and with a flash of arcane magic the portal activated and whisked the wizard back to Thay. The wight was quickly slain without the aid of the Emissary and the Spices took a moment to survey the scene and recover.
The Wight wore a Cloak of Protection, which luck gave to Jarrus for his many heroic deeds. After a quick swig of the finest spirits the Wailing Wench had to offer, the Spices returned to Ossendar and Frulam to plan their next move. Leosin Erlanthar waits for their report on the hatchery in the Green Dragon Inn of Elterel, a 2 day cruise west by river skiff on the Chionthar River.