The party celebrated that night and as the sun set Halia approached the party with a grim face saying that she got word from the results of her vote of no confidence in Auctorius and although she should have had enough votes to unseat him, he has invoked his right of primis forti meaning the strong shall lead and essentially challenged her to a duel to the death for control of the Zhentarim tomorrow at noon in Neverwinter in front of all to see. She told the party she hates to ask for help after all they had done for her but she need a second to fight with her against him as she doesn’t feel like she could beat him in a straight up fight. She messaged sister Gaerelle but received no response and her crew would fight for her but she would be more confident if one of the party were beside her after seeing how strong they were. The party debated who would be best suited for the job and Norros volunteered as he felt like he wanted to prove himself. Halia seemed grateful for the assistance and seemed more at ease.
The party decided to head to Neverwinter that night and teleported there so they could get a good night sleep at Pookie’s potions and pillows. After reuniting with their old friend they instructed his employee Martha to make them pear pie in the morning. Norros came up with a plan to give Halia the edge tomorrow by attempting to invade Auctorius’s dreams. He pulled prim aside and cast a spell on him to send him into Auctorious’s dream and disturb his sleep. Prim chose his words carefully and attempted to scare him giving him a premonition that he would die tomorrow.
Morning came and Norros and Halia planned for the fight. She told him Auctorius will most likely use Psaro the Manslayer as that was his strongest bodyguard in the Zhentarim. The party remembered watching him crush devils as they escaped from the layer of hell in Luskan. The party pooled their resources and gave Halia and Norros a superior healing potion in case things went wrong during the fight and norros used the Ise rune to shield Halia in a mantle of ice. Everyone headed to the Thunderdome to see a packed house as word had spread through the city of the event coming up today.
Wes the Shield announced Halia and Norros who came out the cheer of the crowd. Auctorius came out of the other tunnel and called for Psaro to appear at his side but noone came. Infuriated he called forth Zuriel to his side and commanded him to “kill her”. The fight immediately began with zuriel sprinting and slashing at Halia shattering through her icy mantle and cutting into her. Norros and Auctoius both up globes of invulnerability which halted any but the highest level magic from penetrating through and injuring them. Zuriel continued his assault on Halia which she tried to fend him off the best she could but was losing ground and racking up cuts in various locations his claw was able to slip through.
Halia called out to Norros “get this asshole off of me” as she turned and ran firing magic missiles at Auctoius trying to break his concentration. Norros turned his attention towards Zuriel and blasted him back with a lightning bolt. Halia began losing a lot of blood and looked almost ready to pass out but she took the superior potion and her wounds began seal as she gained a second wind. Auctoius began showing them both with lightning mimicking Norros’s attacks while Zuriel once again pursued Halia slashing at her. But this time Halia was ready and Blasted him with a cone of cold freezing him Solid.
This opening gave Norros a chance to charge Auctoius and as He passed through his globe he ran and tackled him and sunk in a vampiric touch draining all of his life force killing him. As the crowd watched the conclusion of the match. Halia and Norros had emerged victorious.
Draven and prim quickly recognizing their old party member was unconscious and dying in the block of ice they rushed to him and draven build a bonfire to melt the ice and prim sang to him words of healing and air returned to his lungs moments before he would have expired. Rowan ran up to him and checked him. other than his physical wounds it seemed as if with Auctorious’s death he had his soul returned to him and he seemed to know where he was.
Halia gave a speech announcing her taking control of the Zhemtarim and how Auctorious’s days of warmongering were over and how she would do her best to return the Zhentarim to being a force for good and encourage prosperity for them and the sword coast. This brought forth loud cheers from the crowd. She turned to Norros and hugged him thanking him for his efforts and risking his life to help her that she wouldn’t forget it.
After the excitement of the day the party returned to Phandalin to rest and recover bringing Zuriel with them. He recovered in the magical hot spring shrinking in the process but after he was done he went up the party apologizing saying that he has to follow their orders as they were keeping one of his former companions hostage and said they would kill him unless he cooperated. Zuriel admitted that he had to steal the forge of spells and that Psaro the manslayer was the one who gave the order. They told him that the infernal Brazier was also taken and Zuriel said he wasn’t aware of that plot but he would bet that he was behind that one as well. Halia Promised Zuriel she would devote her resources to helping him get his old companion back with her new found power within the Zhentarim. She them went ff to celebrate with Kella, Jasper, and the weevil.
The party celebrated that night and when the morning came there was discussion on what happened to Sister Gaerelle that she wasn’t able to answer Halia’s request for help. Asking around town they knew she was pursuing the thieves of the forge of spells but hasn’t been seen since. The party attempted a sending, a scry, and a gate spell and none were successful in locating her. The party realized for all the time they knew her they never got her 1st name. Halia informed them that it was Isabella. Rowan couldn’t cast that spell again that day. The party planned to rest and try again the next day but they were called by King Heckaton telling the party that they had found Iymrith and that she was gathering power in the Anauroch desert and if they wanted a hope to stop her they needed to strike now. The Giant forces had gathered and needed to move out and they were called upon to ride with them. The party used their magic conchs and transported to Maelstrom where they reunited with the Giants they had encountered along their Journey. Heckaton, Zephoros, Harshnag, Lob, and 2 of Heckaton’s bodyguards Orlecto and Vaasha who were also Storm Giants.
The party mounted Roc’s the Giants had tamed and flew out to the Desert. Upon approaching they saw a massive thunderstorm brewing which prevented the roc’s from taking them in further and they dismounted and continued on foot. As they approached the Lair of Iymrith the Giants spotted 2 Dragons incoming and identified them as Anaxaster and Chezzaran the spawn of Iymrith who had come to stop them. Heckaton proclaimed there wasn’t enough time to let them slow them down. The commanded the party to move ahead and stop Iymrith that they would destroy her kin and catch up with them.
The party split and the Dragon’s descended down upon the giants blasting their lightning breath making scorch marks across the desert landscape. The storm giants weathered the blast while the others were injured by it. Chezzaran landed and began to attack heckaton but Lob squashed it to the ground with its weight and grappled it while Harshnag hacked him open with his axe. Anaxaster bit and clawed into lob throwing him off of his sibling to the ground unconscious, Vaasha ran up to lob to try to stabilize him while heckaton got his attention whipping him with the chains that bound him to the morkoth.
Orlecto threw a rock but it sailed over the head of Anaxster and hit Heckaton in the face. Orlecto apologized as he did so. Chezzaran tuned on heckaton and both Siblings stared biting and clawing at him. Heckaton pushed Chezzaran to the ground and Harshnag was able to finish him with a axe blow to the neck decapitating the dragon. Anaxaster tried to slam harshnag with his tail but was set upon by Vaasha’s greatsword cutting into the dragon. Anaxser tried to flee the battlefield but was hurt by harshnag Heckaton and Vaasha slicing at it. It looked like it was about to get away when Zephyros blasted it with a volley of magic missiles sending it careening out of the sky into a sand dune where it lay motionless.
The Giants breathed a sigh of relief as Orlecto ran up to heckaton and apologized again for hitting him with a rock and he began to dust his cloak off from behind before driving his sword through Heckaton’s torso Proclaiming his allegiance to Mirran saying she deserves the throne. Heckaton grasped at his chest and collapsed to the ground unconscious. The rest of the giants rushed to his aid before a coup de gras could be struck and they slew the betrayer. They quickly attempted to stabilize Heckaton and were successful but he appeared severely wounded. They looked up into the desert at the swirling lightning storm that the party was heading towards and attempted to steel themselves.