The zombie staggered and shambled up the stairs, easy to follow. Now that you knew what to look for, it was clear that the zombie was different in some key ways, most notably the spark of intelligence in its eyes.
Waiting for you at the bottom of the outdoor steps to the Bone Pavillion was Kazerabet, Angel of the Dark. Her eyes had a faint blue glow about them that suddenly ceased; when that happened, the zombie that had escorted you out collapsed to the ground, newly lifeless. Apparently, her latest attempt to come up with a way to penetrate the wards her now-dead husband had placed against her worked.
She was not alone. Several zombie ogres, 2 zombie beholders and over a dozen wights were at her side. The wights were not in a terrible state of decay, and were not armed. Speaking in a language you didn’t understand, but were now sure was ancient Noga, she gave the wights simple directives. They came forward with silk shawls and began wrapping them gently around the shoulders of the remaining caravan workers, of which there were now only 8. She gave the undead new directives and they began escorting them through the jungle, back to the Jade Palace.
She turned to you and explained that she would see the “poor souls” would be bathed, fed, then given quarters to rest in; her servants would see to their every comfort. Looking you over with an appraising eye, she then offered the same to you, pointing out that it was now a good 3 hours past midnight and that you must be exhausted. Her eyes lingered on Diliram appreciatively for a moment before settling upon Kal. They widened somewhat as she took in the reality that she was looking at Drinker of a Thousand Souls, the blade wielded by the eternal guardian of the Crocodile Princess. She smiled somewhat (gods, but she was beautiful) and mentioned that you all have much to discuss in the morning. For now, you must receive the greatest efforts of her hospitality, to rest and recover from what was surely a harrowing experience, confronting her husband. She further mentions how pleased she is that none of you died in the conflict, for, unlike herself, “Sumulael is never really done with his opponents; to fail in a confrontation with him is to serve him forever…I am quite thankful none of you have to do that.”
(The following assumes that you will respect the Bond of Salt and return with her to the Jade Palace to rest and recuperate. If this is not the case, please let me know asap)
Kazerabet’s hospitality is indeed generous. You each now have your own resting chamber, though they are all interconnected. Cool baths, warm incense, and fresh fruit platters await you all. Macabre undead masseuses make themselves available to treat any soreness left over from the combat. All in all, you are quite spoiled, and it is lovely. So much so, that you are disappointed when it breaks the next day, around noon (such was the slumber you were in) by a familiar scratching at the door.
It is Shalmaneser. He is there to know your plans about killing Kazerabet. He suggests doing it before the Bond of Salt is expired since she will not be expecting any hostilities whilst under its “protection.”…