025. A Feast Fit for a King

 

They sit down to a feast, the whole party, the boy, the King, The Chancellor, and Grandmaster Sigvar Shatterspear, the head of the Cloudstone armies.  They sit at a long table and eat a formal meal.  Guttorm is talking to the boy and eyeing the servers that are pouring soup.  Toggaf tries to put a server to sleep, and succeeds.  The King thinks it is a riot and starts laughing, while other servers hurry to clean it up.  The main course is served, and Guttorm is still chatting up the prince.  Finally, when Dessert is served, Guttorm urges the prince to have some.  Everyone except Toggaf takes a bite of the dessert, and the desert puts the King, the Grandmaster, The Boy, and D’Understanding to sleep.  At the instant the boy falls asleep, the Chancellor attempts to lunge over the table at the boy, weilding a knife.  Monicrunk is able to leap onto the table and grapple with the Chancellor, disarming him.  Toggaf throws a plate to wake the king and attempts to put the chancellor to sleep, but fails.  The king wakes up and realizes what is happening, and starts calling guards in.  Meanwhile, Juxmonochrome, Barlo, and Monicrunk are exchanging blows at the Chancellor, one of them almost breaking his knee.

Finally the guards rush in and take the Chancellor away in Chains.  The Grandmaster wakes up to see what is going on, and at first assumes it was the Humans’ doing.  But the King assures him that he knew the Chancellor was going to make a move, and knew that he was safe with Team Triple Toss at the table.  The Chancellor will be locked up in a hole for 28 days until his trial, which he will be tried for the murder of the King’s 8 sons and the attempted murder of his 9th.

The King urges them to his study, where he shows them to his Seeing Glass.  It has a magical view of all of the cradle.  Toggaf looks inside and sees the armies of Parthen marching north, and he sees the decaying Sacred Woods, but this time there is a Large, Black Figure laying in the middle of it, with dozens of worshippers praying at it.  Further east, he sees Triple Toss Tower, exposed but seemingly unharmed.

King Cloudstone confesses that he watched the party ascend the mountain and trusts that they are there as part of the prophecy.  

The Party also learns that the Cube of Embra is seated above the king’s throne, though it is used to keep the halls warm and power some of the mechanisms within the cities.

The party knows they must head to Parthen via the Underdark, and rescue Corvus and the Cube of Estra, but they do some investigating first.  That night, the party explores Cloudstone a bit.  Monikrunc finds a couple of like-minded Monks who teach her basic grappling, and tell her of their master who is seeking Enlightenment on Mt. Amethyst.  Barlo worships at the temple and learns more about the Dwarf gods, who are analogous to the Elemental Gods he knows about.

They don't konw what awaits them down below, but they feel prepared to venture into the Underdark...