After surviving the Verisiel attack on the tavern in Axis, the party was guided, with an unconscious Rattnab and another Verisiel attacker draped over their shoulders, to a safe location by Uzara, who needed to talk to Nimona about the Priestess.
Once safely ensconced in in Uzara’s small, dilapidated safe house, rage overcame Lythvard. He grabbed his former mentor – now would-be assassin – Rattnab and teleported them both to an unknown location.
They woke their Verisiel prisoner and Rawdon threatened physical violence if the prisoner did not tell them about the plot to assassinate the Emperor. Uzara and Nimona begged Rawdon not to resort to torture, and to their relief Rawdon found another avenue to the information he wanted. Rawdon used his affinity with the High Druid and nature to persuade the Verisiel prisoner to talk, who told the party that the assassination had indeed been postponed, but could not tell them much more than that. They released the prisoner unharmed.
Uzara explained that she had quite a few friends, people of the cloth, who had had enough of the Church of Light’s greedy ways. She entreated Nimona and her comrades to steal the Priestess’ body from the Cathedral in Santa Cora. Her friends had prepared a place for worshippers to visit and pay their respects to the Priestess, without having to pay a fortune. The party discussed the request ad, though concerned that such an action could spark a rift within the Church of Light – exactly the last thing the eroding Dragon Empire needed right now – they agreed to do the job.
On their way to another tavern to recovery from their battle injuries, they were hailed by Captain Worthington, who wanted to know how their investigation was progressing. Before they could answer, Syrion appeared and interceded, guiding them to an ally’s mansion. He explained that there were traitors within the Emperor’s military forces who were working with the Verisiels, which explains why he prevented them from talking to Captain Worthington.
Healed, the party travelled to Santa Cora via the Echo, and once there they cased the cathedral-within-the-Cathedral to figure out a way to steal the Priestess’ body. The Priestess was being displayed in a crowded cathedral, where tens of thousands of faithful were queuing up and paying a lot of money to pay their respects.
After the cathedral closed at sundown, the party used the Echo to access the cathedral, but when they arrived they found the Lich Prince Prazhek lowering the Priestess into a coffin, preparing to transport her out of Santa Cora. Prazhek expressed disappointment that Lythvard was not there, because he really wanted to destroy Lythvard also.
Prazhek summoned a dread spectre and a colony of wraith bats, and the two groups battled over the Priestess’ body. Prazhek proved to be a powerful foe, forcing the heroes to claw their way back to consciousness several times. Several times, Prazhek offered them the chance to retreat and leave the Priestess’ body to him, so that he could deliver her to his master, the Lich King. The party, however, remained resolute despite all looking lost. The ghosts of Emperors past appeared, transporting the Priestess’ body back to her flower-covered altar. This let the party know that powerful forces beyond their comprehension were treating this battle as a critical moment in history, which gave them the courage and inspiration to fight on. Eventually they destroyed Prazhek’s body, sending back to his phylactery, wherever that may be.
Wiping blood from their eyes and feeling the sting in their lungs subside as they got their breaths back, Rawdon and Vorax assessed the cathedral-cum-battlefield. Brave Nimona and Thybalt lay motionless on the ground, the blood of the four warriors mostly disguising the smooth white tiles of the cathedral floor. The Priestess’ body, however, lay safely atop her altar.