After the Vrashnik, Istvan and Myn leave for Westcrown, Karthiel declares no time like the present for stealing whatever note the Queen keeps in her immediate possession. The rest agree that with General Draco and the thousand swordarms he promised, they should be able to help lift the siege of Westcrown.
They approach the home of the Castle Steward Jeremus. They had previously blackmailed the Magister into providing access to the castle. He had commanded Jeremus to aid in their plight.
“Hello gentlemen, how can I help you this evening?” asked Jeremus.
“We heard you would be expecting us, " replied Logan.
“Oh… Very well, come inside.”
They discuss plans, and ask of Queen Abrogail’s habits. Jeremus offers to state that they are part of the royal Navy and that they had captured one pirate named Lothell that the Queen has placed a large bounty on. He will ask for the Queen’s presence, as she requested to be updated immediately with regards to any information on this pirate. They had sought a jeweler to craft a duplicate of Lothell’s signet ring. Ginnevra sought out the black market and purchased a vial of Tears of Death. This should render the Queen unconscious for one minute while they snatch the note from her body.
The next morning they meet Jeremus outside of the castle, ready and anxious. He leads them into the castle, up into a room on the second floor used to greet foreign emissaries and other nobles. They pass by 4 Hellknights who stand guard outside of the room. Jeremus shows them which book to pull on the bookshelf in the corner to open a secret passage to the dungeons. They position themselves close to the chair the they believe the Queen will sit in, apply the poison to the ring and set the ring in front of the end chair. Jeremus leaves to fetch the Queen.
Shortly after, the Queen and a matronly woman enters and formalities are exchanged.
“So, Captain… Tell me what about Lothell. What news do you bring me?”
“We have killed him, your majesty. There is his signet ring,” replies Logan.
“Ah.. I would have thought his signet ring would have been of higher quality, but that’s his mark alright. It displeases me that he was the Magister’s nephew but once a traitor, always a traitor I believe. So, my fine Captain, what may I do for you and your men as a reward?”
“Well, we could use more funding. And ships. You see there is much good we could be doing but I’m afraid we’re understaffed and ill equipped.”
The matronly woman takes note and steps forward, saying," Dear Captain. I understand you’re underfunded just by the look of you. We can certainly afford more uniforms for members of the Royal Navy, such as yourself. But you must understand Queen Abrogail has been very generous with the coffers especially since Lothell had began causing trouble among the merchant ships. She has poured more money into ships and men this year than the last 3 combined."
“Well you see madam, we just mean that…”
“What was your name again Captain?” retorted the matronly woman.
“Captain…. Gregor,” replied Logan.
“Well Captain. I’ve been to nearly every christening of the Royal Navy, and every Captain’s advancement ceremony for the last 5 years, and I never remember promoting an elf such as yourself to such a position,” the stern woman inquires.
Logan begins to worry that the ruse is up. How can he explain an elven Naval Captain of Cheliax. Certainly he’d be noteable since most Captains are human.
At that moment, the Queen slumps forward, her head striking the table with a thud. The matronly woman’s nostrils flare as her eyes turn red as fire. Her clothes shred as she grows 3 feet, what appeared to be legs becoming metallic tentacles that she walks upon. There is no mistaking her now, she is a Maiden of Miscarriage, or Handmaiden, devils with a cruel lower half that ensnare opponents and trap them in a womb of sharp metal tentacles that writhe and shred. She yells out," Guards!".
As the battle, begins, she entraps Ginnevra in her womb of blades. The Hellknights rush in shortly after Logan steals the pouch from the Queen’s side. Eventually Ginnevra escapes as both her and Karthiel strike at the tentacles binding her. Ebenezeer casts the Handmaiden back to hell, as the party kills the 4 Hellknights. Just as they are about to proceed down the secret passage, two more Hellknights rush into the room and strike. One deals a mighty blow to Logan, cutting down his back, exposing a 2 foot section of spine. His body drops, lifeless. After defeating the Hellknights, the party heads to the dungeons via the secret passage, Karthiel’s disciple Ilthyas carrying Logan’s body.
Ilthyas reaches the bottom much faster, and begins to survey the dark room. It appears that there is a large pentagram on the floor, encompassing almost the entire room. In the center is a bed with a solid stone slab, but crimson silk sheets on top. Then she spots 6 bodies laying around the room. All appear to be clergy of the Church of Asmodeous. But something seems a miss. As more of the party comes down the stairs they begin inspecting them closer. Karthiel determines them to be Bodaks, humanoids that witness an atrocity or unnatural act and are then killed. One member stumbles and makes a noise loud enough for the bodaks to awake. After destroying them, they decide to check for the note they were sent to obtain. They read it:
_By the lawful power and eminence of Asmodeous,
Let the following contract beknownst to all Devils and associated planar spirits. Majestrix Abrogail II, House of Thrune, Queen of Cheliax, and leader of the transitional infernal kingdom, shall be protected from all harm and treachery by the faithful followers of Asmodeous. Power and support shall be granted to obtain and maintain the Kingdom of Cheliax and encourage its growth until her half-infernal son will become King, with General Gorthoklek as reagent until he becomes of age. Majestrix Abrogail will have all courtesies and privileges extended unto her as she will reign as one of Asmodeous’ many Queens of Hell when her son ascends the throne. Until the ascendency, her reign and will are epitome of all Devil’s actions in the mortal realm. By accepting such support, Her future Infernal Matriarch, accepts Asmodeus as her Soul Husband, and will lay with him until she bears his child.
So let it be written, So shall it be,
By the Justice, Order, and Power of Asmodeous.
Shocked, the party manages to avoid all but one fight on their way out of the castle.
The party hopes that General Draco will now aid them. But what to make of the contract is still undecipherable.