"Molash's Black Heart" - November 16th, 2002
Grotten returned to us with two arms after talking with Gungkrot in another room. Grotten has with him a wanted poster from Cornwalsh...for the party, 1,000 GP. We all laugh, and joke about turning each other in for money. It seems that the kidnapping pulled off by people pretending to be several members of the Finders had gotten the Council of Cornwalsh extremely angry. Grotten explains that a potion from Kit restored his arm...quite a nice gift!
Jazmin reads from a scroll, and we are teleported to Zukazon. We make our way to the Gnomish palace, under a huge domed stalagmite. There are all sorts of gnolls and deep gnomes wandering about, as well as some durros...and other underground races. Life seems to be returning to normal here...at least beginning to anyway. By the front gate to the palace...there is a huge parade grounds, and on the grounds is a tunnelling machine with spiked wheels and a big screw on the front of it. It is being repaired.
As a party, we are led into the front hall of the gnomish palace, and then into a waiting room with chairs. Jazmin tells a gnoll shaman something quietly, and the gnoll leaves. We are told by Jazmin to have a seat...and wait. "Molash will see you as soon as he is available." The Paladin, Ruahdin, warned us that Jazmin is very quick...and that he had seen her escape from a rockslide that no one should have been able to avoid.
The party discussed who would do all the talking, once we met with Molash. We decided that Ruahdin would talk, but Damon promised to step in if he began to disagree with what the paladin was saying.
MEETING WITH MOLASH
We entered the huge throne room with the crystal of power in the center of the room. The three hooded flesh golums stood near the stabilizing rods for the crystal. Molash, in his all-concealing full black plate armor was up on a large alter, with servants on either side of him. Molash was rather decent with us...and polite, offering each of us what he clearly felt was our wildest dreams. He offered Colin the chance to be king of the Azure Kingdom...he offered Damon the chance to rule over the free-city of Cornwalsh...and he offered everyone something. All the party had to do in return was allow Molash to rule over us. Molash wanted to bring order and the iron rule of law over the Azure Kingdom, both above ground, and below.
Molash sweetened the deal, by offering to help us clear the Azure Kingdom of its devil infestation. He claimed to have shaman that could bind and banish the devils, and armies that would fight tooth and nail to clear the Kingdom for their new leader and master. All we owed him for this favor, was to respect him and allow him to rule as Emperor.
The party asked for Molash to reveal his face, and he would not. Jeremiah cast a true-seeing spell, and found that Molash was putting off an aura that represented a neutral alinment. Due to the black plate, and full helmet and facemask, Jeremiah discovered little else. The party questioned Molash's motives and methods, and Molash justified and rationalized everything he had done, and everything he had planned to do. Molash suggested that just as he had taken on this dark and evil image in order to take over the Underdark, he would take on the image of a powerful and just king for ruling over his above ground empire. Molash also made comparisons between his goals, and what Emperor Jestak of the Feron-Jacobe Empire had achieved.
Damon asked that Molash return Zella to us as a sign of good faith, while we considered his offer. Molash agreed, and sent one of his followers to retrieve Zella for us. Immediately, Zella and Oren moved off to the side to talk and catch up on how she had been treated. Molash said that Zella had been given to him by someone wanting to pay tribute to Molash...and that he would of course let her go with the party, and be free. We then asked about the girl from Cornwalsh that had been kidnapped. Molash said that she had also been given to him in tribute, and that he had not planned the kidnapping. All of the party members rolled their eyes at this, but kept quiet. Molash agreed to return her to us as well.
After both women had been returned to us, we asked for time to step into a side chamber and discuss our reaction to his offer as a group. Molash happily agreed, adding that each party member could decide individually, for he would negotiate an agreement with any one individual of the party. We stepped into a side chamber and discussed the offer Molash had given. It was the majorities decision, that this deal we had been offered would go bad in the end, and that we couldn't trust Molash. But we also agreed that we shouldn't give that as our answer. After a brief discussion of whether Javair was the rightful king of the Azure Kingdom or not, we agreed to tell Molash we needed more time.
Returning to the throneroom, we told Molash we would return with our answer very soon, but that we needed more time. Molash agreed, and pointed out that we could each decide individually, if we wanted to. He advised us to return to speak with him about it at any time. It was then that Oren returned to the room, having disappeared for awhile from the group. Oren made some jokes about scoring with Zella...and the girl from Cornwalsh, at the same time...but most party members took this to be Oren's usual bragging...and odd behavior.
Whispering to each other about the implications of our meeting with Molash, the Finders headed back to the surface of Kempin....
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