Showdown with Tal-Lorren

The party’s morale is boosted by the return of Tiagra. In the morning after the fight with zombies and assassins they decide to take the fight to Tal-Lorren. Pidmerion has regained his energy for spell casting and wounds have been healed and dressed as well as they can be. Together they head downstairs to the ground floor where the sense of magic and danger was at its strongest. The room is filled with packing cases and barrels. Again the sense of danger is at its peak here. They set about goading Tal-Lorren in a reversal of his tactics.

They are rather surprised when Tal-Lorren emerges from behind a stack of cases. He is much changed from their first meeting. He has lost weight and no longer has the swagger and arrogance of earlier. Also, he has a prosthesis where Tiagra amputated his arm earlier. Tal-Lorren raises this arm which is made of brass and has an opening at the end and points it at the party. There is a thin smile as he imbues it with power and flame gushes in the direction of the party. They scatter, diving for cover. When they gather themselves Tal-Lorren has moved his position and is ready to release another gout of flame. The friends draw weapons and charge their foe. As they move yet another assassin moves to attack and the invisibility that shielded him is lost. This attacker has a long evil looking dagger with a blade dulled by poison.

Tal-Lorren pours out another dose of flame towards the party but they are adepts at avoiding this form of attack and apart from minor singeing they are not unduly concerned by the flames. The assassin attacks Crannoch who turns to face this assailant breaking the strategy that has worked so well for them in the past. However, it is of no consequence as Tiagra leaps across the dividing distance and brings his two handed axe down in a terrifying cleaving motion. Tal-Lorren is astonished that his tactics have failed and tries to raise a parry but with his left hand he has nothing of the skill he once possessed with his right. The axe splits Tal-Lorren’s head from the crown to the jaw like a ripe melon. His life blood drains away and the party turn to the assassin with death in their eyes and hatred in their hearts. He immediately drops his weapon and begs for mercy declaring that his employer is dead and he bears them no malice. He also says that he will leave the country and they will never hear from him again. The party tie up the man named Tianen. They then open the passage to the altar room with the intention of finishing the assassin trapped in there. However, he is already dead. A brief examination reveals two puncture marks [similar to a snake bite?] on his arm.

The party return to Tianen who has not moved and question him at to the number of assassins. He tells them that with Tal-Lorren they numbered five. But that Tal-Lorren claimed he was a powerful wizard and would provide reinforcements and magical aid which he did. The party take a golden torc, a ring and the other leather bracer off Tal-Lorren’s body. They also acquire four vials of various poisons that Tiagra takes control of. Vestorius takes the ring and puts on the torc. They also recover the obsidian cylinder that they had previously found in the altar. Crannoch takes this and soaks it in Tal-Lorren’s blood. Suddenly, the cylinder takes on much more mass.  The party take Shynken to the altar room and Vestorius attempts to heal her leg which will leave her with a noticeable limp. The altar somehow augments Vestorius’ efforts and Shynken is fully restored.

The party are buoyed by the defeat of Tal-Lorren and spirits are high. They release Tianen on the understanding that they never see him again. He is grateful and disappears as fast as he can. The friends discuss what to do next. Meanwhile, Vestorius continues to distil apple brandy. After a brief search of the empty village he has five additional barrels of brandy together with an estimated production run of thirty barrels per season. Pidmerion cremates the bodies of the assailants and considers that they are now in possession of some very valuable assets if they can get to town and sell them. Crannoch looks for books on Athiss and how to study for the priesthood. After further discussion they decide to head to Sendat to realise some financial reward for all their efforts.

They take two of the boats and head down the lake towards Sendat. On arrival they head to various armourers and weapon smiths and sell their booty. Shyren and Shynken go back to their house and discover that it is unchanged and undamaged.  Later they meet in the Kingsmen’s Hotel to compare notes. While at the hotel they discuss selling the brandy to the proprietor, Hilas. He is delighted when they set up an exclusive offer of fifteen barrels a year and he promises to pay five hundred silver pieces a barrel without any hesitation. During the conversation he mentions that Tulem, the mayor’s secretary, will be very pleased but this raises little or no curiosity at the time. Everybody is satisfied and after purchasing a few household essentials the party leave Sendat and head back to the monastery.