Jarom had the information the team needed, and provided food, too. What a strange place this was: a obviously new town, built to provide for the needs and diversions of an army suddenly assembled, made up of people from across the known world and also of races rarely seen in Aynemere.
The slavery was also something none of them were accustomed to – nor comfortable with. Linfors knew that, someone, he needed to do something. But the mission came first, and maybe the mission would enable him to reach this personal goal.
They walked around the town, surveying it, getting an idea as to its size and layout, and detected a tail while doing so – no big deal; no harm done.
The walk to the Queen’s palace/residence/base of operations was uneventful. They passed several small groups of travelers seemingly returning from their destination.
Arriving, they found the scorched, blighted land, the massive stone upwelling of a keep, and saw the massive army encamped. They entered the dark passage, descended, saw 3 of their number get shocked repeatedly until Linfors saw the key to the riddle in the spelling. They passed, descended some more, and found the Queen on her pillows with her thugs.
Yeah, she was pretty hot. Pretty ferociously mega-hot-erific, actually. The addition of the two half-orc eunuchs…that they could have done without, but creepy midnight army-of-doom queens have their idiosyncrasies, right?
They talked, they negotiated – sort of – and then Osweald thought it would be a good idea to risk getting all of them beaten down by some of the queen’s goons.
The fights were actually short, due to several lucky shots by the team, and the queen’s ‘champions’ fell quickly. Their credibility confirmed, the queen accepted them into her service, impressed by the promise of over 1000 dark dwarf warriors rallying to her banner.
The team had a secret, however…one with a time suspense. Their polymorph potions were going to wear off in under 2 hours…maybe even considerably less…and they needed to get going. They bid their farewells, made plans to bring their bogus army to her service, and took off with as much dignity and speed as they could combine.
How would they get past the guards at the tunnel entrance? What would they do on the road if they were called out? How much time has elapsed since they’d entered the keep – they had experience with going into creepy places and coming out with a disconnect with time in the outside world…