025. Welcome to Cloudstone

 

Tully leads them through Tunnel Town, across the bridge, through the Jade Gate to the Citadel.  All the way they notice the roads lined with hundreds of clay soldiers.  Opting not to stay at an Inn, they head straight to the Golden Gate, which marks the entrance to the Royal Palace.  There they find a guard captain named Rolo.  He is friendly with Tully, and they convince him to give them audience with the king.  Rolo cannot do that, but he does offer them audience with Chancellor Guttorm Giltblade, master of coin and justice.

Juxmonochrome and Toggaf stay behind with the boy while the rest enter the palace.  They walk for 15 minutes, led by Rolo, through windy passages and finally find his office.  Guttorm is not happy to see them.  He asks what is so important that they need to see the king in time of war, but the party holds it close to the vest.  They leave exasperated, while Guttorm swears they will never see the King.  He implies that the King is delusional and that Guttorm should rule in his stead during the war, and they must march on Parthen!  The party (rightly so) gets a very bad vibe from him.  On their way back, Rolo asks Tully if the rumors of the heroes riding on a giant were true, and if this meant the prophecy of the prince of cloudstone returning in a time of war was true.  Tully confirms that this is true, and asks if this means they can get an audience with the King, without Guttorm’s knowledge.  Rolo agrees.

Rolo arranges a noon time audience with the King, when the Chancellor is busy.  They ascend the spiral staircase and enter the gilded halls of the King.  The king is announced as His Majesty, King Olnir Cloudstone, the White Beard, the Will of Stone, the Bear-Rider, and the 9th of his name.

They enter his formal receiving room and find the king, old and short and a blur of wrinkles and beard, eating greasily at some food, spitting and yelling at them to come forward.  He looks at the boy, and confirms it is him, and then asks the Party about their journey up the mountain.

“I saw you in my looking stone, I saw you take the boy from them and with your giant, you came to bring him to me.  I saw you slay the giants.  I know you are here to help.”

They tell the king that they brought the boy in Secret and that the Queen doesn’t necessarily know that they have the boy or are at Cloudstone.  They talk about the impending war, and the King assures them.  “The Queen is expecting word of my surrender.  She has amassed an army outside the gates.  She thinks she has won.  She wants my gold and this mountain.  When I surrender, she will come up and I will go down to sign the treaty.”

“this is wonderful that you are here, for I have already surrendered.  The queen will be on her way to Westgate, and she will be there in a week’s time.”

Confused, the party don’t know what to say, but the King makes up for it.

“What does that mean?  It means that the castle is without its queen, and without most of its guard.  And its army is preoccupied with holding the wall at westgate.  And I know a way into Parthen.  A secret way.  An old way.”

He tells them of a passage that leads to the Underdark and to Parthen.  A passage from the throne room opened up leading to the ancient highway.  It appeared when Ekrak neared the kingdom, and also, the cube above his throne started glowing.

They learn that the King is in possession of the Cube of Embra, and it is powering their city.

He tells them that time is of the essence, and at next dawn they should head down and march into Parthen and kill Kazzen and take the Cube of Estra and secure Parthen.  But, tonight, he assures them, is for feasting!

Map of Cloudstone