Last week on the Tuesday game...
After a week spent pouring over the coded diary, the shape of the conspiracy eventually came to light. As it turned out, all three parties - the Blackwalls, the temple of Lloth, and the slaver gangs - were all involved in the murder of the First Master, but the mastermind turned out to be Sir Patrick Blackwall, who had been scheming against the First Master for several months now.
Although the arcane protections surrounding the Masters were great and numerous indeed, there was one way to kill one of them and push their souls - warded though they may be - through the Final Gate: through the ritual consignation of their soul to a god. To that end, the Blackwalls enlisted the aid of the Cult of the One-Eyed Dragon, the slaver gang more commonly known as "the Weird Ones", to subdue the First Master; and although the necromancer smote them with shadow and fire and living darkness, it was only a matter of time before they overran him.
As a Master of the Circle of Weejas, the First Master needed neither food nor water nor sleep nor shadow to survive. Deprived of them, however, it took the priestesses of Lloth three days - and the death of three of their number when they ventured too close to the edges of a curse tattooed into the fabric of his soul - to wear away the wards surrounding his body. With a knife crafted from the First Master's own femur, the head priestess sacrificed the necromancer to Lloth upon the temple's altar; and, bound once again for the first time in centuries to his corporeal form by word and and name and blood and bone, his soul was dragged kicking and screaming beyond the Final Gate and into the realm of Lloth.
Unfortunately, this knowledge was worthless to the party in and of itself. Without some key evidence to pin on the conspiracy, the diary was useless. At their wits' end, the party decided to go back to the temple of Lloth, hoping that they would either be able to find a way into the drow goddess' realm or some other evidence.
Right outside the temple, they found themselves stopped by a sleepy guard who, upon noticing their advance, quickly sobered up and attempted to apprehend them. They killed the drow guard right where he stood, in the middle of the street, and as they stood there covered in blood, a handful of terrified passersby managed to alert the guards.
The party quickly found themselves dragged before a silver-masked judge within the Courthouse, and they were given a choice: they had to either pay the wergild for the guard they had merciless slaughtered, or serve a prison sentence. The party chose the former, and the guard's mistress was summoned to receive their payment.
When the head priestess of Lloth realised exactly who had killed her door guard, she was beyond furious. Invoking an ancient legal right, she chose to forfeit the wergild in favour of blood and death. The party accepted, and the duel was set at the steps of the courthouse two midnights from now between the priestess
The appointed hour arrived, and a crowd had gathered around the arena to watch the bloodletting. The party had decided on Jandar and Chant representing them, while the priestess had chosen a strangely-familiar hooded figure: the same illithid that had so easily defeated Hagren the other time! This time, however, it was not about to hold back any punches.
A silver bell rang, and the fight to the death was on. Jandar tried to trap the creature with a cleverly-placed Entangle. In response, the creature Levitated and, in the same heartbeat, fearlessly rushed the sorcerer. There was nowhere for Chant to hide, and in the next couple of seconds the mindflayer grabbed the tiefling, lifted it off the ground, and proceeded to suck Chant's brains right out of his head. Jandar tried to wildshape into a bear, hoping that the animal's famed toughness could save it, but it was not enough: two tentacled attacks later, Jandar suffered the same fate as Chant and fell to the ground, mindless and dead.
Watching the victorious illithid feast upon the brains of his now-dead comrades, Hagren decided to give in to the King in Purple's ceaseless assault upon the walls of his mind. Whispering, "I submit", to the relentless voice inside his head, he felt a key turn within his soul, and as a secret door within his mind opened, he felt himself... change.
With a cry that was as much ecstasy as it was agony, Hagren's living body was reshaped before the horrified eyes of the people of Iskar. Against the unbound will of the King in Purple, the dwarf's body was like clay in the hands of a master sculptor. Flesh and bone alike melted and reformed, and where a stumpy dwarf once stood, a regal king now stood, crowned in light and shadow and iron.
As the scene exploded into chaos, Hagren - now fully the King in Purple in body, mind and soul - walked into the arena and, touching the corpses of Chant and Jandar, called them back to serve the reinstated Throne of Iskar as mindless wights. When He turned next to Qilin, she did not hesitate: the gnomish necromancer knelt before the deathless majesty of the King, pledging her eternal service and loyalty.
This left Kiara, cleric of Cimayi, oath-sworn to preserve life, for whom all undead was a mockery of the Green Mother's many gifts. For Kiara, the choice was clear: she could either give up everything that she and her faith stood for and live, or she could die as one of her goddess' favoured. She chose the second, and the King in Purple obliged her with a Finger of Death.