Lord Hugo the Disinherited was dead, his body consumed in his hate for his father and what he perceived as wrongs against him. His friend the defrocked wizard Skall was dead. Sixteen conspirator mercenaries were dead. Twenty-nine of the City Guard were dead. Nearly half the Ducal Guard, many of the Duke’s advisors, and his wizard Magus Alix were dead. Of the surviving Ducal Guard, all but a few were part of the conspiracy and had fled or were captured. Six men remained to protect the citadel.
The Duke was gone. Consumed by the embodiment of Hugo’s hatred for him, which in the end claimed Hugo himself.
All for nothing.
The party learns of other petty acts of vengeance. Besides the brutal attack on the Bishop’s residence, Lia du Triel was attacked in her home in revenge for her husband’s role. She and her children barely escaped into the woods, her home burned to ash. Their whereabouts unknown.
Elemix’s servant Harold, who Margrave Roland had given a job, was murdered for his betrayal of Skall (at least that is what they believe).
Several other elder knights who were close friends of the Duke were found murdered. It was as if Hugo and Skall kicked off a frenzy of murder. At least two dozen other killings happened that night. Hundreds were injured. The city was scared and silent as death.
Word came to Uzec within a day, where Emmeline and the Seneschal worked to keep people calm. Lord Axiney gathered what troops he could and cordoned off the Ruins of Hate and searched in vain for the accomplice who gated in the Hobgoblin attackers and their Abyssal leader. But there was no sign of this person.
Attempts to raise Alix failed. The priests are baffled to understand why. Giselle was besides herself in grief – broken and angry. Wailing and filled with revenge, it took Typhon and multiple guards to retrain her from going to the dungeon and massacring the remaining conspirators. She then left with Typhon and the body for Alix’s tower where strangely they found Winter there…
Rivanon sent messages off cancelling Hugo’s declaration and spent her time taking control of the situation. She ordered Elemix to rest, then go north with her soldiers to protect Uzec and Emmeline. She gave him written orders for the Seneschal and letters for each of her four Wardens.
Word came via Emmeline’s dreams with Roland that Arles was saved by Roland. A couple men in each of their retinue turned out to be agents of Hugo – old friends and confidants from long ago. Arles lives, albeit barely. Roland is heavily injured by will survive. Roland is convinced they were trying to capture him, not kill him. Arles he could not say for certain.
Many questions remained.
Who was helping Hugo?
How did they know of the old Hate Temple?
What did they find there?
How could Hugo have put everything into place?
How long was he doing so?
Who in Derrien was part of the conspiracy?
Who in Uzec got to Harold?
What will become of the dozens of conspiratorial soldiers that fled from the city or went underground?
Why did Hugo and Skall help the party earlier that day?
Much of it made no sense. With Hugo apparently gone to dust and Skall dead, there was little to know…or was there?
And what dangers lurked in Azenkuul?