Fate conspired to have our heroes arrived in Baldur’s Gate at precisely the worst time: during the Founder’s Day celebrations. Pushing their way through the crowds with the assistant of the halfling butler, Chase Ginblossom, they sought out their patron, the hero of Baldur’s Gate, Duke Abdel Adrian. Eventually they tracked the Duke down to THE Gate itself, where a large podium was elected to support the speeches and musicians who would perform during the festivities.
In the meantime our heroes took in the sights: freeing exotic birds and learning more about one another and the city that would serve as their home while they were on retainer to the beloved Duke. The day was going quite well as Abdel took the stage to give the innaugural Founder’s Day speech…when all hell broke lose…
Assassin’s appeared from the rooftops, firing into the crowd and at Abdel. As if in a trance, the born leader and veteran of uncountable battles with mortal and otherworldly foes simply swayed indecisively, searching the crowd for some unseen presence.
Our heroes leapt into action, killing (or in the case of the peace-minded incapacitating) assassins firing from above, and concealed in the crowd below. Amidst the tumult civilians fled the scene, with an escaping lower city woman, and the daughter of a Patriar retainer being rescued during the melee, whilst a halfling sneak-thief used the tumult to loot a jeweler’s stall.
While the Watch attempted to subdue the snipers, the few Flaming Fist soldiers present were legally bound not to interfere and did little to aid our heroes until they were directly attacked.
Finally, a cowled man called Viekang emerged from the crowd and confronted Abdel as Nibengîl “Nibs” Orchalion and the ironclad paladin reached the Duke. Viekang, a fellow Bhaalspawn and thus, half-brother to the Duke exchanged words before crossing swords with the severely wounded hero. This villain was what the Duke was searching for amidst the crowd – a foe long thought dispatched. Despite feeling the bite of warforged steel and bolt, Viekang used his sorcery to evade death, and dealt the felling blow to Abdel.
No sooner had he slain the Duke – Viekang began a grotesque transformation that earped and destroyed his body, forcing him to become the Bhaalspawn Slayer, a creature of Bhaal’s legacy. Despite the beast’s lashing claws and gnashing, poison drenched fangs, our heroes succeeded in felling the monstrosity. A wave of blood mist erupted from the creature’s twisted body and signaled the end of the melee.
With the danger over and Abdel dead it was difficult to pick up the pieces. Hailed as heroes, the party was congratulated by the masses, and swiftly approached by the city’s most powerful and ambitious persons: Imbraylm Skoond arranged a meeting with his employer, the venerable statesman and holy man, Duke Torlin Silvershield. Likewise, the party was invited to hear an offer from Abdel’s second-in-command of the The Flaming Fist, the hard-bitten Ulder Ravengard. In disguise, the Guild agent Rilsa Rael warned the party of the other two would-be patrons and offered to meet them with alternate terms.
Agree to divide into teams of two, our heroes heard out each faction in turn and weighed their motivations, their dedication to the city, and their potential involvement in Abdel’s assassination.
Having met with each potential patron and conferring in the quiet of Abdel’s spartan Upper-City manse; a scheme was hatched. The heroes would offer to work for Ulder Ravenguard as undercover agents among the Guild, feeding the Fist information and foiling Guild operations from within. To preserve their cover (and retain the option to switch sides) they planned to act as triple-agents, feeding the Fist false or weak leads and moving their troops in ways favorable to Guild business. It was a dangerous game for a vice squad to play. And passing off the ruse meant paying their dues.
Before enacting the plan some research was done at Abdel’s mansion to get a clearer picture of the danger at hand. Clearly the reverberations of the Time of Troubles and the Bhaalspawn Incident were rocking Baldur’s Gate in the modern day, and causing Abdel to have doubts that he truly locked away Bhaal’s essence forever.
During the night, J’ah witnessed Alan meeting with one of his contacts, the Dragonborn paladin, Biri.
In the morning the plan was set in motion. Ulder Ravenguard agreed to the plot and our heroes were “arrested” in a lively (if somewhat staged) fracas. Carted through the streets and accused of being Guild agents, the adoration of the city would be short lived. Before being thrown into general lock-up in order to earn cred among incarcerated Guild members, our heroes took the liberty of interrogating the captured assassins. With spells, torture, and deception, they discovered that Viekang believed he could still achieve control of Bhaal’s essence by hunting down and killing Abdel Adrian. One of the assassin’s revealed that Viekang had premonitions that he would be “Bhaal’s Chosen” when “The Sundering” came to pass. This might explain the villain’s sudden change of heart and interest in striking down his long-lost half-brother. What all that truly means, is anyone’s guess.
Digging into “The Sundering” must wait for the time being. The scheme is to keep our heroes locked up for three days before “no evidence of Guild collusion” is discovered. Assuming they can survive hard time in the prison beneath the Flaming Fist headquarters…