After Aelar and Visani vanished it was moderate chaos in the castle. King Neverember fainted from summoning the power of the crown to protect his subjects from the spell plague fire that burst through the room. Upon consulting with Artemis it was determined that this is a magical coma. The spell could be broken, but no one knows how, so for now people will have to wait to see if Neverember can recover on his own. This amount of drain on Neverember when using the crown’s power made Atalast believe that his claim of being an heir is false or his blood is very diluted. These claims were backed by the fact his papers supporting the claim are forged.
Everyone but Derdrin traveled to Mordai’s to retrieve the Scepter that Vice and Leaf recovered from the Dread Ring. Upon arriving at the vault, which requires Artemis’ blood to open, it appeared that Mordai had been robbed. Artemis was accused of being a thief and he vanished through a dimensional door. Frustrated and angry, the adventurers returned to the manor Mordai had gifted them to meet with Coralee.
Coralee was not pleased to hear that the Scepter had gone missing and Vice was in no mood to listen to her complaints. Her sudden interest in the Scepter after going missing for two years to deal with problems in Waterdeep was not acceptable reasoning for the angry dragonborn. Coralee gave the crew a three day deadline to find the Scepter or her master would come for them. Vice and Leaf believed she was bluffing, telling her they aren’t afraid of her threat and showed her the door. Mari was confused as to why Vice was angry, but Peiter explained it as the dragonborn’s natural state of being.
The following day the adventurers picked up Mordai and, after a brief shopping trip so he wouldn’t sparkle in the streets, went to find information about the missing artifacts. They first checked Artemis’ tower where they found a large stockpile of residuum that Mordai claimed as his. Nothing else incriminating was found in the tower. The adventurers then hit the streets. Leaf did not have any luck finding anyone that matched Artemis’ description in the streets and Vice had little luck with Les Gen, who said she’s be on watch for him. Vice had one final thought that pointed the adventurers to Pallas. Pallas was more helpful, saying that his river cartel would be how any contraband would get in and out of the city. He let it slip that the Scepter was a cultist artifact, but the group played it off as a joke and Mari was none the wiser.
Having burned through all of the leads they could think of the adventurers went to Atalast to help him investigate the “artificial” Spell Plague that created the chasm. They gathered materials and went into the sewers to collect samples of the spell plagued creatures there. While in the sewers they were accosted by young Nothic Mindwarps, a Displacer Cube, and Black Puddings. It was worrying to find a Displacer Cube since they must be artificially created by feeding a Gelatinous Cube Displacer Beasts.
After defeating the Black Puddings Artemis was found crying in a hole. He was pulled from the hole and questioned. He was trying to find the group to help him clear his name, but the group was not going to help him without more information. After coercion, intimidation, and bribes, Artemis told the group what he knew.
Artemis was a slave to the Veil family for his entire life. He also wore the brand of Asmodeus for as long as he could remember, but he swore he was not a worshipper of the demon lord (devil… not demon!!! Lord of the Nine Hells). This gave the Asmadi the ability to command him, mainly Coralee. This led to him performing actions that he could see himself performing, but could do nothing to stop. This included opening a portal for the Thay to enter Neverwinter, and Coralee having him cut himself. He suggested that Leaf would be able to find the Scepter by giving in to the power of the Ashen Rod that he carries since it is the core of the Scepter. Jindo was also pulled out during this conversation, calling Artemis a worm, a slave to anyone who gave commands, and he should not be listened to. Artemis suggested that Coralee was instrumental to Jindo’s transformation.
The group took this new information and sent a message to Atalast to meet them at their manor. He will hopefully have more information on the Dreugar and the Scepter.