Hot on the trail of the missing carpenter and his wife, the adventurers followed their next lead to the Temple of Heironeous. Cheerful clerics and bustling acolytes bandied about the grand place of worship, preparing for the upcoming Feast of the Seven Lights. Here, they met Paragon Brookman, the head of the local temple and a close friend of both Yusef and Marika’s families.
Brookman shared their history together, suggesting that Marika might be located through a family heirloom. Her father, Arilos, had served for years as a bastion of the temple’s community, and had given each of his children a signet bearing the family sigil that could be used to locate them were they ever lost. Before the party departed for the Amcathra household to seek out the beacon, Brookman offered them a divine elixir to protect Marika’s newborn, should the rumours of his wicked origin somehow be true. In his efforts to retrieve the potion, a chain of slapstick mishaps played out, setting loose a furious pack of gremlins in the Temple’s workshop. As the mischievous beasts rained destruction upon the young acolytes’ workstations, the party fought them off, quickly gathering the elixir on their way to the Amcathra manor.
Upon their arrival at the nobles’ household, they found it mysteriously empty. Trying to find a way inside to locate the master of the house, they were met with a series of horrifying traps that tested their reflexes as much as their patience. Eventually they met Kelvin, the youngest member of the Amcathra family, who had snuck away from a family trip to Neverwinter and holed up in the household. Overhearing a pair of ne’er-do-wells wandering the neighbourhood and seeming like they meant to steal his family’s fortune, Kelvin set up a series of elaborate traps to thwart their efforts.
After clearing up the misunderstanding, Kelvin graciously lent the family’s sigil beacon to the party, recognizing how important it was to find his older sister. The adventurers shone the beacon at the spire atop the Temple of Heironeous, directing them to a scattered collection of farmhouses outside the city walls. They followed its beam and found the missing couple, but soon found that another party had pursued them to the stable as well.
In his mad paranoia, the mayor of Amphail had hired a trio of arcane assassins to ensure that Marika’s child did not bring the power of Hextor into the world. Unwilling to allow these aggressors to murder an innocent babe, the party boldly fought off the three attackers. No sooner had they defeated the foes than did Marika go into labour, revealing exactly what Mayor Herodotus had feared: the child had been touched by Hextor’s wicked power, entering the world a physically repulsive creature. The party swiftly anointed it with Brookman’s elixir, instantly transforming the newborn into his true self.
And that’s how the party saved Christmas. I mean — Midwinter.