After reporting back to General Sextus Zolfura, the strike force had a good amount of time to clean and heal up before getting sent out again. The General explained that while information on the Broodmother was important to get quickly from the Arkhosian front, a situation had arisen in Khaz Yeshwe that necessitated their expertise: the main ambassadorial party from the Capital to the Dwarven Territories had been abducted by the Yeshwean faction nicknamed “the Lizards”. Accompanying them was a fresh soldier of the Turathi army Samuel Strongbow, an up-and-coming Corporal and someone with local area knowledge.
After having arrived, the party secured lodging at the aptly named Musty Closet Inn and divided into two groups. The Tieflings and Samuel, as remnants of an invading and occupying force, were not particularly welcomed by many of the population and so went to search for evidence at the Embassy and talk to the local administrator. At the scene they discovered a letter written in dwarven explaining that the ambassadors had been taken captive (with plans to deliver them to the Arkhosians as war prisoners) so as to give the local Lizards more weight in future dealings with the Arkhosians. Further information gathering revealed that the bureaucracy is still a bureaucracy here and the only ones who are worth a damn are the administrative assistants.
The rest of the party searched about the less classy areas of town, seeking information in the underbelly of the city. Wolverine made much headway when seeking out work for the local growing Cult of Tiamat, a recently forbidden sect after the Turathi invasion and “liberation” because of its ties to the state church of Arkhosia. Wolverine took a guard job for them, and reported back with the rest of the group.
During the night the party’s rogue, Brenton, and Samuel scouted out the area and found a few good entrances other than the main door, namely two accessible windows that over looked the main space. Later that day Wolverine took the job and could see that at least some of the ambassadorial party were being held here, though there were ominous religious symbols about and a creepy locked stairwell. That night, it was decided, the group would strike.
With the useful reconnaissance of Brenton and Cpl. Strongbow, sniping took place from the outside windows while Wolverine, Gaius and Arete bust through the front door with Dritha providing cover fire. The entire warehouse was filled with dwarven cultists and their human lackeys, and they proved tough to push around. Unexpectedly the leader of this small pack of Tiamat worshipers was also there, channeling her Green Dragon Aspect and poisoning the skin and blood of those would dare defile his make-shift temple. Gaius, in an attempt to free his captured comrades and destroy the head of the heretical group, overreached and his blood was turned into a most foul poison by the Wyrmblood Magus. Eventually though, the fight was won.
In the cages on the main floor were two members of the ambassadorial party: Lucius Scipius Quintus, bard extraordinaire, as well as Sidus Akarot Sagax, astronomer and practitioner of the Darkest Arts. After being questioned, they indicate that the rest of the party was taken downstairs, into what they do not know. The Magus seemed to be the only one who would ever go down there, and in fact is the only one with a key. The Magus is not able to be resuscitated in a timely manner and time is pressing while being in the enemy’s stronghold in a bad part of town. The rest of the party decides to take his key and check what was in the cellar.
What is left down there shocks and horrifies even the stout and experienced of Bael Turath’s worst excesses. A laboratory shrine full of occult symbols of power, alchemical brews, and slowly pulsating symbols invoking Tiamat confronts the party. More shocking than that are the various animal experiments that all seem to have been mutated into part reptile in some form, everything from cats and rats to a small bear. Even worse are what remains of the emissaries, their horns filed off and their skin all a sickly pale and green hue. Most have begun to form scales around their eyes and on their arms, all have lost the ability to speak and are in obvious pain and distress like trapped and rabid dogs.
A cursory search shows tomes of terrible knowledge on how to make abominations of living creatures by infusing them with enchanted drake blood and twisting their souls with the draconic energies of Tiamat, Queen of Dragons. In addition to this, there is evidence of correspondence between various cells of Lizard resistance forces and Vrak Tiburkaern though the letters mention nothing about the experiments specifically, there has been planning and logistics done between the two groups. The Magus obviously had a hand in all of this, explaining his unique abilities as well.
Wolverine flies into a rage, destroying the alchemy equipment, smearing the arcane sigils and tossing beakers around while Brenton desperately tries to gather the important insurgency documents and the wicked grimerie. Arete in the meantime is putting all of the poor creatures out of their misery. She stops at what once used to be regal tiefling nobles and only hesitates for a second before plunging her sword between their ribs with a sad grunt. After the commotion has settled down Dritha takes out her holy book and invokes the power of the Astral Sea to perhaps cleanse this place of the unholy taint. the whole basement is then set on fire.
Samuel is still upstairs, trying to tend to Gaius and keeping watch. The Magus has his hands bound and burlap sack put over his head to prevent any spellcasting. As the rest of the party is finishing up downstairs, they hear Samuel calling hurriedly and rush into a skirmish as cultists arrive for worship. Though the Magus is taken hostage and the party fights valiantly, there are just too many unsavory types forming and no guard around to take advantage of. The group is forced to leave Gaius’ dead body at the scene as they are already burdened with the ambassadors and the Magus hostage.
Back in safety, Brenton hands over the arcane documents and political correspondence found to the General. Samuel also reveals something of significance: a small orange jewel that he found about Giaus’ neck that began to softly pulse with light after Gaius expired. The ambassadors are taken care of and Sidus goes back to Khaz Yeshwe with a large retinue to take charge of the Embassy and keep up relations with the dwarves. Lucius, however, decides to stay with the party and help any way he can, for as long as he can. Samuel, after proving himself has been given the okay to stay with the strike force and be part of their precision missions.
The General takes his new found trinkets and begins talks with his chief priests and arcanists about future plans.