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Connor
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The Arrival: Legacy
Session 35: Galas and Gaslighting
The session opened with the F.I.A ensnared in a perilous position. Thane Illamin, Raha al-Kharii, Phanalan, Teoshi al-Surai, and two dozen Janavian nobles had inadvertently triggered a trap in Teoshi’s basement during the Crystal Ball on the eve of the new year, trapping them inside as the room filled with poisonous gas! The rest of the F.I.A would need to quickly find a way to save their allies before they succumbed to the toxic fumes!

Surviving this trap would require both guile and cunning. Almost immediately after the trap sprung, the Janavian nobles began to clutch their throats and gasp for whatever breathable air was left in the chamber. They pressed their bodies against the door, pounding on the stone as they began to lose consciousness. Thane’s use of a misty step spell to get closer to the exit alerted Phanalan that the blacksmith that he had been speaking to before things went sideways had inherent magical potential. Unbeknownst that it was actually Thane in disguise, Phanalan began to launch spells at Thane instead of trying to find a way to escape! Teoshi announced to the choking crowd that the trap had sprung because the manor’s security systems had been triggered, and that she was going to the back of the chamber to activate something that would help them. She ran out of the range of Phanalan’s dancing lights and into the darkness.

Meanwhile, the rest of the F.I.A attempted to enter the basement. Two magically-sealed doors stood in their way: one directly behind the false bookcase on the main level of the estate, and another on the basement level. Wykeera, sharp as ever, cast stone shape twice on the walls adjacent to the magic doors to bypass them entirely! She entered the deadly chamber with Zari and Hagar following close behind. Soon after entering, the Zeharian stonework began to magically knit itself shut, trapping most of the F.I.A in the basement once again. Midzaynov, who had missed her opportunity to enter the chamber before the stonework had shut itself, teleported inside with the assistance of Ghara’s dimension door spell. Reunited, the F.I.A was ready to tackle the situation head-on.

Wykeera cast a daylight spell to completely illuminate the darkened chamber. Zari discovered Teoshi’s unmoving form near the back of the chamber and ran to her. Teoshi’s arm was inside of a hole in the wall; Zari removed Teoshi’s arm, reached her own arm into the hole, and discovered a hidden lever! Pulling it, hidden vents in the basement’s walls suddenly opened, providing an exit for the gas that had accumulated in the chamber. Meanwhile, Midzaynov used her time to inspect the statue in the center of the chamber. She determined that while it probably was not directly related to the trap, there was evidence that another statue once stood in its place.

After disabling the magical locks that held the door of the basement shut with the help of Nurata’s bardic inspiration from the other side of the door, most of the room’s inhabitants had fallen unconscious from the onslaught of poison gas. The gas shifted in type during the encounter, challenging the party’s physical and mental attributes alike. Eventually, only Hagar and Ghara were left standing after a dramatic showdown with Phanalan ended with the sorcerer unconscious. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Hagar finally pulled the door to the chamber open with his brute strength alone! Yalban guards rushed into the room and began to rescue the survivors.

In the trap’s aftermath, Teoshi’s body was discovered. Wykeera determined that Teoshi had succumbed to her own poison gas. Upon discovering this, Sisava became inconsolable; she began lashing out at the guards, Phanalan, and the F.I.A. Zari cast a calm emotions spell to try to mollify her - strangely, it had no effect. Midzaynov used the last charge of her headband of thoughts to read Sisava’s mind, and learned that her inner monologue in that moment was not based in emotion in the slightest. Through crocodile tears, she asked the crowd if her mother’s fate would befall all who attempted to free their slaves in the city. On the sidelines of the spectacle, Hagar word-vomited at Ghara in an awkward attempt at normal human conversation. Ghara was curious, tipsy, and looking for a way to get Hagar to stop talking. She quickly kissed Hagar, and walked into the cool night air.

Phanalan was promptly arrested and brought to Qadira Prison for temporary holding. He was followed by Bernadette, Voriombor, and the F.I.A. Midzaynov turned invisible to eavesdrop on Bernadette and Vorimbor, who were whispering to each other in the prison’s atrium. Midi learned from the pair that Phanalan’s symptoms of madness were not new, and had apparently been getting worse as of late. Thane and Midi (invisibly) followed Phanalan to his holding cell. The pair learned that the cell was warded by an antimagic field, and that Phanalan himself was not sure if he had perpetuated the crimes that he had been accused of.

The F.I.A was torn about what to do next. Wykeera wanted to leave for the feywild immediately, while Thane and the others wanted to tackle the trial of the sphinx. Hagar was strongly considering staying in Yalba for the time being to watch over the city while it recovered. Wykeera spoke with Lyndra, who told her that it would be a difficult task to reach the Queen of Air and Darkness, and that journey itself was part of the trial that the queen had in mind for her. Atka demonstrated to Thane that she had apparently learned the scorching ray spell by almost ruining a perfectly good breakfast that she was in the process of cooking.

The session closed as the party walked northward through the city to seek the counsel of the royal family, unsure of their next course of action...
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