Date: 8/1-3/1479 DR
With much cajoling, the Outsiders agree to accompany the Githzerai from Akma’ad to the city of Sayre. There, they are greeted by a Noble Githyanki in the town, where he offers to pay for their stay at a local inn, and invites them to one of his coveted tea parties the next day.
After their battle on the rooftop of Akma’ad, Tokk’it used a series of taps to gain them access to the fortress. On their way down, they happened to pass by Tokk’it’s love-interest, Gallia, to whom he introduces the Outsiders. Once they know who she is, Searynox grabs her by the arm and roughly pulls her after them without a word of explanation. The female Githzerai tries to fight him, but she is no match for the dragonborn’s innate strength. Vylify searches her for weapons and she carries none, but she does have a small piece of pale green stained glass in a pocket that she refuses to say anything about. Elarinya realizes that it looks like the dark blue piece of stained glass that she found on Captain Iquel of the Sacrifice. Both give off magic and seem to be one-way communication devices. Even more damning evidence!
Once they are back on the main floor of the fortress, their guide leads them towards a large group where the survivors are gathering around an old-blind Githzerai elder named Most Exalted Odos, whom they recognize from the drawn portraits found on the airship. The surly old leader is exhausted, injured, and surprised to find that a motley assortment of races has come to their aid, unasked for. At first he is too busy trying to rally his people and ascertain the status of his comrades, but Elarinya respectfully insists that they need to speak to him. He sends more of his people off to gather more Intel, others to gather the dead, and then grudgingly turns his attention to the Outsiders. Tokk’it explains how he rushed off to gather the Heroes of the Rethild Vale to help when they were attacked. Odos feels that the young monk was being impulsive as always, but agrees that his actions helped save them. Damaia explains that while they were on the stolen airship, they found portraits of the Githzerai leaders drawn in Gallia’s own hand. Odos turns on the young female and demands to know why she would sell out her own people? The female only laughs and states that she won’t tell them anything. Damaia grabs her by the front of her robes and pulls her close to intimidate her, but that’s when she notices that her eyes are flat and there almost seems to be another person looking from behind her eyes. The Tiefling knows that she’d seen this same possession phenomenon in the Mountainroot Temple just outside of Overlook. The possessor cares nothing for the possessed because if they’re hurt, the possessor just goes on unharmed. The warlock shares this revelation with all involved. Vylify also points out that they have no love for the Githyanki, since they were the ones to bring down General Zithiruun.
The more they talk, the more Odos begins to warm to the group and realize that they really do only want to help. A scout reports back that the other two Githzerai leaders were found dead in their rooms and there are only about 50 survivors. Odos tells him to have everyone gather what supplies they can and to get some rest. On the morrow they will leave for the city of Sayre because he has a conference there that he must attend in a few days time, before they all return home. The runner is off and Gallia is given to another and told to bind her tightly and to have here watched closely! Odos then sits tiredly down on some wreckage to speak with the group before him. When asked about the attack, The githyanki attacked without warning, and they sent strike teams to the personal chambers of all the githzerai leaders, as if they knew exactlywho to attack and where they were staying. With Gallia, he now understands how. He was spared only because he stepped outside for a walk and heard the team of assassins in his room on his way back. He surprised the squad of three and defeated them single-handedly. One of the githyanki assassins in his room had a small device that could be held in her hand. She was speaking into this object when he surprised the assassins in his room. It was green and looked reflective. The two Elves realize that this sounds like the pieces of stained glass that they found and share this information with Odos.
When asked why they were here at Akma’ad, he explains that he and the other githzerai had planned this meeting to discuss whether or not to accept an invitation in Sayre to meet with a newly formed coalition of leaders from other regions of the world concerned with the extent of the githyanki invasion. Each comes from a homeland ravaged by the githyanki, and they’re all looking for aid and support from their regions. Attacks of this sort have been happening to githzerai enclaves and monasteries all over the mortal realm. Most have fled to a refuge in Sayre which is why he wants to take his people there now. Odos is concerned greatly about his people and their future. He worries that Sayre is only a temporary solution, and doesn’t know if there’s anyone he or the githzerai can trust other than themselves (present company excluded).
Elder Odos versus the Assassin Brann’ot
Since it is too far back to Overlook on foot, the group agrees to travel to Sayre with the survivors. The city is about 20 miles away. The next morning they set out, with the wounded riding in what wagons could be salvaged. It’s a slow trek through rough country. At night, the Outsiders share watch duty with the githzerai, but instead of staying in tents, they use their portal to sleep in their comfy beds back in Fortress Graystone. That first night, while Rinya is on watch, she hears a slight noise just seconds before a giant Githyanki assassin phases through the ground at her feet and attacks her, stabbing her in the chest. With the first sound of battle, blind Odos rushes out to help Rinya fight off and kill the assassin. Through their tattoo of shared vengeance, the other Outsiders wake with a strange feeling, but blow it off and go back to sleep. Vylify does send Obi off to see what is happening back at the githzerai camp, but things are calm again by the time he gets there.
Damaia is cranky when she doesn’t get her beauty sleep!
The next morning the elf can’t help but give her comrades the stink eye for not being there to help here, but the rest of the trip is uneventful. It is the afternoon of the second day before the city of Sayre comes into view as it sits in a particularly beautiful valley. The company has to make their way around the north-side, up a series of switchbacks to reach the main gate. While they are standing in line to enter the city, they are approached by a human servant who asks if they are the Heroes of the Rethild Vale? Once again, the group is taken aback that their reputation has spread so far and wide. When they reluctantly agree that they are, the servant tells them that his master, Lord Telicanthus would like to speak with them. Searynox stays with the githzerai, while the rest of the group follows the servant over to a darkdoored wooden carriage with remarkable stained glass windows. After knocking on the door, a tall-spindly man steps out of the carriage and the group is shocked that it’s a githyanki. The servant introduces the Heroes. Lord Telicanthus has a warm, quick smile and eyes that make it clear he’s very interested in whomever is speaking. He wears very fashionable, expensive clothing and has no githyanki jewelry or weaponry whatsoever. His handshake is firm, his voice is clear, and he has only the faintest trace of an accent when he speaks. He tells the group that he’s heard of their exploits in the west and if they’re staying in the city, it would truly be his pleasure to put them up in one of the finest inns in town, The River Jewel, to be treated as his guests of honor. He also asks if they would you do him the honor of coming to tea tomorrow? All the elite in the city, from the mayor on down, would doubtlessly be honored to meet you. You’ll be the toast of the town. Tomorrow, at my estate—I’ll have my servant, Pennel, leave details for you in the morning, and I’ll send a carriage. Still shocked, the group hesitantly agrees and Lord Telicanthus climbs back into his carriage and sends Pennel off in to the city to make the arrangements.
Meanwhile, the githzerai are being turned away at the gates, the guards mentioning that they don’t want any more of their kind of trouble in the city. Searynox intervenes on their behalf and is able the get the group through the gates and across the bridge into the city. There, the rest of the group catches up with him. Everyone else wants to tour this artistic, monument-filled city, but Searynox just says that he wants to accompany the group to their destination. The group splits up.
It takes a while, but Searynox, Odos, and the rest of the githzerai make their way down to the Plaza of Vision in the Riverdown section. It’s an isolated and dark plaza surrounded by abandoned and rotting warehouses. A corroding statue of a skyward-staring wizard stands in an empty fountain in the middle of the square. It isn’t uncommon to find a beggar or two loitering here. Odos is appalled that the githzerai aren’t living somewhere better. Riverdown is extremely poor, and Odos feels that this area is beneath the dignity of the githzerai. He is fuming by the time they arrive, particularly when he sees that the building used by the githzerai is an old warehouse painted with flaking, peeling red paint. His people’s guards let them into the warehouse and they are met with voices raised in argument. There are thirty-five githzerai currently inside the makeshift “Low Sanctuary,” an open warehouse that has been divided into sleeping, meeting, and eating sections. The structure is rough and dilapidated, but clean and organized. Its well-lit interior is a nice counterpoint to the slums outside. Two gith are arguing inside: One is Aziff, who urges patience and caution, the other is Gal’ott, who is young and angry, he wants to take the fight to the streets, organizing what amounts to a githzerai gang. While Odos steps forward to get more information, Searynox notices an old friend off the side, Amyria, the deva who was once trapped in a sword. She had heard that the Heroes were in town and she is hoping that they can help her convince Odos to join her Coalition to save the world of Faerun from oncoming war. Searynox says that can’t speak for all of them, but tells Amyria that they’re staying at the River Jewel and to visit them all later that night.
The rest of the group slowly makes their way around town, digging up information about Lord Telicanthus. They learn that he’s one of the social elite, a glass-maker artisan who throws extravagant parties and is known for his afternoon tea. He wants nothing to do with either githyanki or githzerai, he just wants to be a successful businessman, enjoying the best that life has to offer. No one has caught even a hint of him doing anything shady, but the common folk just generally dislike having another noble in the city.