Returning to the Keep, they found that Butch Mardaw and their gold were conspicuously absent. Leorin revealed that he and his boys had received some sort of word of unrest in Capitar and had been recalled. Certain that they had been betrayed, the party decided to go straight to the Palace and request their payment.
Arriving on spectral eagles, the party made quite a scene in the main square of Capitar. Dismounting with a flourish, Baltric approached one of the city guards. He was greeted pleasantly and notified that the Queen had heard of their arrival and had granted them an immediate audience.
The party was admitted to the expansive throne room where the Queen and a small retinue of guards awaited them. She beamed at them and expressed her gratitude for all they had done for the kingdom in the recent weeks. She recounted what she had heard of their activities (clearly she was a fan!) She shared that many in the City of Capitar had begun referring to them as “The Lightbringers” and so she asked if she could refer to them collectively. Baltric expressed the group’s collective pleasure at such a title. She began to speak of their reward when a long stick appear at the base of her neck. She had been shot with an arrow. The precision of the shot and the silence of the attacker surprised all in the party. They observed a small hooded character in the shadows far above the floor of the throne room making a hasty exit. When they turned back to the Queen, she was already dead.
The Archbishop, who had been standing off to one side, rushed to the party and said there was nothing to be done about the Queen, but her son, the Prince, needed to get to safety. He asked if the Lightbringers could once again serve the Crown and protect the boy. Knowing he did not know whom to trust, Baltric surreptitiously took a lock of the Queen’s hair and stashed it safely in his coat of many pockets. Perhaps he could resurrect her at a later time!
Racing out of the Palace, the party found a civil war in full effect. It appeared that the Sea folk were battling the City guards. Clearly the Pirates were trying to effect a coup of some sort. After sneaking past several buildings, the party was in view of the royal stables. Arduin and Thom convinced a stable boy to assist them. He saddled and prepared several horses. Returning to the rest of the group, Arduin and Thom bade farewell to the Archbishop and committed themselves to protecting the boy Prince and his nanny, Fran McPhee.
They decided that the safest place for the Prince would be the Cave. Baltric revealed that he intended to resurrect the Queen. They rode for a short time, and as it was past the Prince’s bed time, they elected to make camp for the night. Despite their best efforts at concealment, they were confronted by strangers. “Aaarrrr, me hearties. I see we have some kidnappers here!” And with that, four pirates emerged from the forest threatening the party. Surrounding the Prince, the party ensured his safety. After dispatching the captain and one of the pirates, one of the pirates scurried up a tree and began begging for his life. Killing the other pirates, they brought the cowardly pirate Edbert out of the tree. They would let him live if he gave them the information they needed. He revealed that his captain, lying dead on the ground nearby, had been ordered to pursue those who had taken the Prince. He also knew that several parties were searching for them, but that most of them were not coming in this direction. That was all he knew. Thom searched the Captain’s pockets and found a parchment.
Please pursue the kidnappers of the Prince. Bring them to my ship, dead or alive
Captain Eglain Goldenboot.
The Lightbringers, elected to get a good night’s sleep before heading to the Cave. Arriving the next day, Baltric began his incantations to resurrect the Queen. Meanwhile, Thom and Arduin went to the Keep to gather some reinforcements from the town folk. They returned with food, supplies, and men and found that the Queen was alive and well. Upon awakening, she felt weak but was glad to be alive. She wanted the party to take her back to Capitar, fearing for her throne. She believed that the surest way to secure her throne was to actually be there in contact with her allies. The Lightbringers determined that this was not the best course of action and convinced here to stay where she was and they would bring to her whomever she required.