Sneaking back into Korvosa without being discovered by the Queen’s Grey Maidens was fairly easy. The heroes land themselves in the Grey District to look for their friends, and are quickly noticed and escorted into the catacombs below the Cathedral of Pharasma. Here they find out that many of their friends and even family are hiding here as part of the Korvosan resistance.
They are served some dinner while describing their troubles and triumphs in the Cinderlands and Hold of Belkzen. Cressidia then relates to the party what has been going on since they left. She then lets them know that she is close to revealing that Neolandus still lives, and helping lead an uprising against the monarchy, but that she still needs help from the PCs. She has a small list of things she wishes them to accomplish/information to ferret out before she feels the majority of the people will rise to their aid, including meeting with Toff Ornelos, the Headmaster of the Academae.
An invitation to meet with the Headmaster had made it into her hands through a series of others, intending to find the Heroes of Korvosa. The party decides to make their way in the morning to the Academae, and are ushered to him quickly. He tells the heroes that the Breaching Festival, to take place the following morning, has too long been without a winner, and that he hand-picked them to win it while he is still Headmaster. Of course, he doesn’t expect them to do it for free – the incentive for winning is quite lucrative.
Having agreed, the party stays the night within the grounds, and wakes early the following morning to participate. The few other contestants set out to find keys that will provide them each entry into the Hall of Wards, the destination of the contest. One fails miserably, but the other two make it inside shortly before the heroes find their own key lights. Once properly armed, the party enters the door to the Hall of Wards…..
After a slight disorientation, they find themselves on a hellish demiplane without a clue of what is going on. They begin exploring rooms only to discover that perhaps the Breaching Festival is some kind of sham, and contestants who make it into the Hall of Wards are transported and trapped here. The previous year’s only contestant is still alive and trapped in a library, having made a deal with a devil for terms of his release that he can’t seem to complete. One of the other contestants for this year was brutally murdered and the second to enter seems to have been tortured and broken.
We leave our heroes at a room with a handmaiden devil, who tested the party’s might before agreeing to help them should they help her destroy her current ‘master’, the devil who makes the contracts.