Resolving to discover whether the Princess Zamarrid was in fact alive or dead – and to liberate her from her gilded cage in the Queen’s Palace if she was alive – the party set out for the Ebregoi countryside.
On reaching the sprawling estate of the Queen’s Palace, it was discovered that parties unknown had crudely fortified the ornamental walls and gates, and that the facility was under active guard. Closer looks revealed these guards to be Corvono foreigners clad in Ebregoi military uniforms – almost certainly mercenaries.
Infiltrating the grounds using their god-damned magic closet that I can’t be angry about because I gave it to them, the party made its way through luxurious rooms buried under inches of dust and disuse until they reached the uppermost suite of the palace. Lolth killed the two highly-trained guards while like absentmindedly checking her texts or something, and the party gained silent entrance.
There they found the Princess, alive and healthy but apparently having lived her life inside this one room for the past decade. She enthusiastically agreed to an escape plan, and was whisked away to the Caravan through the magic closet that totally has side effects that you don’t know about yet so there.
On the way out of the palace, the party decided to torch the place because nothing says “fuck the man” like burning down national treasures. Also something about making enough noise that the Prince couldn’t sweep it under the rug.
Back at the Caravan, Zamarrid told her story: of having been coerced into becoming the Prince’s child bride, of his sequestering her in the Queen’s Palace at age seven and locking her further and further inside its confines as her growing mind began to question the narratives he fed her, and finally of his abandoning her – she hadn’t seen him or spoken with him in nearly seven years. She was shaken but well-spoken, having clearly learned most of her worldview from the volumes of folk tales afforded her in her prison suite. A habit of actively talking to herself was explained away as a game she’d play in order to keep her language skills sharp, since nobody had spoken to her except the Prince for most of her adult life, and even him only once or twice a year.
In tow was the Ebregoi noble who had hosted the party, who was horrified and mortified to learn every detail of Zamarrid’s imprisonment and exploitation. While the party and the noble began to explore various options for deposing the Prince, Zamarrid insisted on only one priority: annulment of her marriage – this despite assurances from all that the Prince would not likely obey the resulting breach in the rites of succession and would not recuse himself from the throne.
Zamarrid remained steadfast: the only acceptable next step would be the annulment of her marriage, performed in response to the proof that the party could offer that Prince Asad had in fact murdered her Father the Sultan.