After collecting their rewards, our heroes returned to their lives in the Adventurers Guild. It wasn’t long before they were contacted by Olaavi again, who had spoken with an expert in Dhakaani Studies at Morgrave University named Gydd Nephret. A meeting was arranged with Gydd, and when the gnomish professor laid eyes on the purple-black Blade she grew excited at its historical value. Research revealed that it was part of a greater artifact known as the Arkantaash, or Ashen Crown. She asked the party for a few days more study, and promised to be in contact.
The adventurers returned to the Guild hall to find that they had been issued summons by the Kings Citadel, and were to travel to their headquarters in the Ambassador Towers of Middle Central Plateau immediately. They were met by Capt. Saj Kalaes, who informed the party that the Citadel was made aware of their activities in the Depths, and that they had unknowingly stumbled into an international incident.
A group of Darguuni goblins of the Kech Volaar, or Wordbearer, clan were seeking the blade in hopes of assembling the Ashen Crown. It was their belief that by obtaining as many relics of the ancient Dhakaani empire as possible, they would affirm that their clan was worthy to be next in succession for the throne of Darguun. It was the belief that such a scenario would be in the best interests of the Breland, which shares a border with the young hobgoblin nation. Capt. Kalaes informed our adventurers that the Crown of Breland would like them to make contact with the Wordbearer Strike Force, and offer their assistance in assembling the Ashen Crown. They had a changeling named Tikulti working on the inside of the group, and who would speak on their behalf to the leader of the Strike Force, a dirge singer named Yeraa.
Agreeing to help the Kings Citadel, the party was given tickets for passage aboard the Lyrandar airship Eminence in 3 days time. The Eminence would take them to the Brelish city of Ardev, where they would then travel by foot to the Six Kings monument in the Graywall mountains. This is where the Kech Volaar would be attempting to obtain the next piece of the Crown. The adventurers would offer to help the hobgoblins at this juncture, and where Tikulti would guarantee to arrange the “meeting”.
The next day, Gydd Nephret contacted the party with an offer from a third party to purchase the Blade. An elven woman named Dannae Ulyan, clad in a funerary mask in typical Aerenal fashion, and her skull-tattooed servant Jaenus, met with the PCs in Gydds apartment, and offered a princely sum of 3,000 gold for the weapon. The heroes declined, and Lady Ulyan was gracious in her disappointment.
While finishing preparations for the journey, our heroes were contacted again by Professor Nephret. The letter started with an apology, and a warning that Lady Dannae Ulyan may not be who she says she is, and may present some danger. It was the gnomes intent to leave Sharn immediately, and to provide the party with all of the information she had thus far gathered. The letter from Gydd also contained a key to a hidden wall safe, and stated that if something went wrong, her notes would be hidden there. When they arrived at Gydds’ apartment that night, they found that the place had been ransacked by undead, and Gydd was nowhere to be found. Defeating the creatures, the group obtained the professors’ notes.
These notes detailed the powers of the Ashen Crown, and also made two cryptic references: “Lady Dannae=Demise” and “Why Emerald Claw?”. Taking the notes, our heroes left the apartment and boarded The Eminence the next day.