The heroes travelled to Bagalon, throne of the Khaja and seat of power for all of Zhûrasca. Initially, they were worried they would be easily spotted but as they arrived, they saw crowds flocking into the city. tomorrow would be coronation day, the day each year when the Khaja is required by tradition to take a meal with the people as they celebrate his reign. as a particularly popular khaja, Lak A’haagal’s coronation day celebration would be one of the most popular. With the teeming crowds as camouflage, the heroes moved into the city.
Gannon stopped at a tavern only to talk to a man who identified the dark mark the heroes were bearing – a Hunter’s Mark, the magical tracking device blood hunters use on their victims. Unable to dispel it, any hunter who saw the heroes would know they had the Mark. The law of the guild said that any man who killed a Blood Hunter must gain a mark. Fortunately, the laws also state that no hunter may take another’s kill, and since the heroes were not placed on that particular killer’s docket, he had to let them go. Before he left he mentioned that there was another, more powerful mark that hung over Gannon.
Gannon, Belkin and Scase made tracks to the pyreneum to meet with Lokar’s contact. There, they met a man named Kale, Dominus of the pyreneum in Bagalon, who said he did work for Lokar, but had no knowledge of the arrival of his agents. worried he attempted to contact Lokar only to learn that his plans had been discovered and misinterpreted – he was being held for high treason. The Writ of Heresy also called for all conspirators and helpers to be held with identical charges. Kale would of course let them go, since he to would be implicated, but with no support from the Magi, no scholarly aide from Ifram or Lokar and Blood Hunters hot on their heels, the heroes were in for trouble.
Resolved to finish their mission to collect the four artifacts (“brothers”) bound to serephon’s flesh, the heroes began trying to hatch a plan to get the chain from the Khaja. Kale informed them that it hung from a fox-fur cloak the Khaja’s favorite concubine wore. She would certainly be in attendance the next day when the Khaja took his meal with the people. They spent the night planning, only to be interrupted when Belkin saw Varus Gerrel being dragged off to prison. After asking around, it became clear that Varus and Alia had been brought to Bagalon to hang in celebration of the Khaja’s coronation day – in fact Alia had died the previous day on the gallows. tough on crime, Lak A’haagal wanted his people to see the notorious pirates hanged publicly. The heroes learned that Varus would be hanged the next morning.
Staging an elaborate rescue, the heroes used magic smoke and festus’ ability to disguise himself to grab varus and send the guards after a look-a-like. when they were safe back in the inn, Varus thanked them and then took his leave. “Time and again you’ve lead me down a road of blood, and time and again it has led to the hangman’s noose. I want no more of it, Gannon. There is a new darkness about you, darker than you know” he said.
The heroes set to their plan – Belkin would appear as himself, a former falchioneer, anxious to give the Khaja a gift – a magical display from his Magi servant, Festus. The gig went off without a hitch, Belkin and Festus arriving on the dais, convincing the Khaja and impressing the audience with Festus’ display. The only issue was that Willem Glint, former Earl of Fallen Oak was on site, apparently having fled to Zhûrasca and becoming quite close to the Khaja.
Meanwhile, Gannon and Kwuaaga blending it to the party at the merchant house behind the dais, waiting for the opportune time. When Belkin had everyone sufficiently distracted, Gannon snuck up and took the chain. No one saw, but Gannon was forced to hide under the dais until everyone cleared out and he could sneak off. Belkin returned to the room in the inn, only to find Scase tied up and two identical twins waiting at the table. they rose and a combat quickly began.
Belkin single handed slew two Blood Hunters – the supposedly unstoppable bounty hunters of the world. Gannon arrived soon after. The heroes gathered up their things and high-tailed it out of the city.
Festus is nearly totally insane, these days, babbling on and occasionally having fits where he is NOT himself.