OOC: This is exceptionally long because we got a major advancement. So, a TL;DR version is below the horizontal rule.
From the Journal of Perion De La Foret
During breakfast today I interrogated & euthanized a tortured prisoner, created a rift with the talon, furthered a war where both sides are going to lose, and discovered that not all paladins are a paragon of virtue and goodness. I think those first three all made things better. I learned a lot from that last one.
As our party was waking up, Torrin spotted a group of four coming our way- three dragonborn with a captured Tiefling in tow. He called to them, and discovered they were Talon agents, of the Silver company, and served under his half-brother, Gesh. Both sides quickly calmed, and we welcomed them, and Nicholas went to hunt & find us breakfast. Torrin handed over a signet ring he found digging through the corpses of the Gnoll victims; it belonged to Oberryn, a captain of The Talons, and wished it returned to his next of kin.
The talon agents, led by a dragonborn paladin named Viseryr, explained they had caught the Tiefling setting fires and with a flask of poison; and that they suspected them of burning the buildings & fields nearby. They had also seen Raiden flying back towards her cave, crossing their path. We swapped stories of our battles and journeys, and they explained that they had found the tiefling with a flask of poison and a torch, and were taking him to Kotham for torture, interrogation, and then execution.
They began kicking the tiefling, Kildrak & I were reminded of the tiefling we “interrogated” in Tyrnn, who exploded in a blast of literal hellfire and blood. When I warned them of imminent danger, they appeared unphased, insisting Bahamut would protect them. Kildrak related the theory that we might get more out of a Tiefling if he didn’t hate the interrogator and wasn’t looking forward to exploding in their faces, so we got to work.
We started out playing up the agony of the suicide bomb to intimidate the prisoner into peace, and then I offered him food, drink, and words of comfort. I embellished how much Raiden & the bone naga had told us, and Torrin terrified him with the ideas of what anguish would await him if he didn’t play along. He revealed the tiefling’s purpose there was just to cause mayhem, and confirmed the location of the tiefling pass through the Valthunes. The long term plan was to raise the Throne of Anguish was from beneath the Valthunes with the help of the Duergar, and use it to summon an army of devils. I tried to gauge his trust in the “higher powers” helping them out. I mused that the Tieflings are just distractions to keep the armies of Kotham busy while the throne is raised- claiming that the devils & dragons would have no use for the empire of Bael-Turath after the Throne of Anguish was raised. He seemed suspicious, but did not reject the information out of hand- even some of The Horn might wonder why Devils and Dragons haven’t helped them in the past 1000 years.
With all the information I wanted, and almost certainly everything of value the prisoner knew, it didn’t feel it was right or efficient to allow him to be tortured to death. So I asked my party& the Talon agents if there was anything more they wanted to know before I fed him his own poison. Their captain Viserys said there had to be a local base- and promising their captive of a quick death got a quick response. It was a mere ten miles Northwest of us, half a day’s march (or an hour and a half’s pony-ride). Nonetheless, when I actually handed the Tiefling his own poison, allowing him to end his life, the trio of Talon agents flew into a rage, mutilating the corpse and swearing revenge on our whole party. They were too intimidated by our numbers and prowess to challenge us, but swore to tell Gesh of our “treachery”, and started the (probably week-long) trek home, dragging a the mutilated corpse behind them and kicking it as they went. I wished them safe travels and our party then went north to scout and disrupt the tiefling base.
I hope his rank and duties have made Gesh more emotionally stable than these, but I frankly don’t expect them to make it back alive unless they abandon the corpse. And I guess we’re going to find out if dead Horn agents still explode.
Too long, didn’t read?
*found a signet ring of one of Torrin’s old comrades in the pile of corpses in the tower. He recognized the owner.
*Bumped into Talon patrol, with captured Tiefling. Gave them ring to take home.
*Found out they worked under Gesh, Torrin’s half brother & leader of the Silver Company of The Talon of Bahamut, (rather than or part of the regular Kotham Army?).
*Raiden the Red Dragon is heading back to her lair, instead of fleeing the realm.
*Kildrak, Torrin & I interrogated the Tiefling, doing mainly ideas, intimidation and diplomacy (respectively). Torrin has an insane bonus to intimidate.
*Tieflings are causing arson & poison here, but their main job is to cause mayhem until the Throne of Anguish is risen.
*Throne of Anguish is beneath Valthunes (Near the Tiefling Pass? Ask Nicholas), and being excavated by Duergar. It’ll be raised to surface and used to summon an army of devils (and demons?) to over-run The First Work. I was told it’s safest for me to return to my home plane.
*Tieflings have base very near us. No clearly visible water supply, but there is a clearly visible supply line & bridge for taking their supply carts over the river.
*Asked Talon agents if they has any additional information they wanted before I executed him. They handed me the poison, I asked for and got the info, and executed the Tiefling. They’re still pissed. Mutilated the body & threatened us, then started dragging it home (despite being probably a week north of Kotham if on foot).