After escaping the dormitories, the party finally arrives at the roof of the Dormitory Tower. Here they engage in a climactic battle to determine the future of the Moonlight Priesthood and the region that depends on them.
When the party approaches the top of the staircase in the dormitories, read the following out loud:
As you rush toward the opening above you, you struggle to escape the disturbing memory of the Moonlight Priests standing without reaction even in the face of violent spell-fire. The central staircase leads you up into an empty dining area, much smaller than the sections below. But your eyes are glued to the opening further above. You can see the open sky, glowing with ethereal blue light.
You come at last onto the roof. In a circle around you stand many small, triangular turrets, the edge of the tower just beyond them. Beside some of those turrets are Moonlight Priests, standing perfectly still with their backs to you. The ethereal blue glow is caused by eight large lunar inscriptions on the ground. They perfectly mirror the arrangement you created in the first level of this tower. Each of them glows with wisps of pale blue light.
To the north is a sweeping staircase that leads up to a massive bridge. Beyond it you see the much larger main tower of the Citadel. The sky above it glows with a sickly orange light. You notice that distant tower only for a moment, your eyes drawn to the small entourage approaching you from the bridge. A tall, dark-skinned man wearing rich blue robes and carrying a staff adorned with a crescent moon leads a pair of Moonlight Priests at a steady walk. Atop his head sits a tall, jagged silver crown, adorned with bright orange gemstones.
Nerezza Moonstone Encounter
Nerezza Moonstone is accompanied by 2 Corrupted Moonlight Priests who will aid her in battle, or sacrifice themselves in any way she commands them to. The priests standing at the tower’s edge remain unresponsive as in the last section.
Nerezza will parlay with the party if they choose, but her mind has completely succumbed to the crown. She has only one goal now: continue the corruption of his priesthood until he can welcome Lilith Nightsong when she invades. Anyone who tries to stop this, or who takes interest in the crown, will invoke her wrath.
If the party tries to get around her onto the bridge, presses her about the orange light in the sky, or the crown on her head, she will treat that as a threat and attack. Otherwise, she remains cordial but strange. She might display signs of inconsistency or madness. All traces of her past warmth are gone.
If asked about his religion or Sel, she responds that he “Has found a new light, a brighter way forward. Her song has helped her see. She sings so sweetly.” (this is a reference to Lilith Nightsong who influences her through the crown).
Anyone who stands within the blue light of one of the 8 lunar inscriptions gains a magical effect while they remain within it: +2 to attack and damage rolls. When a creature enters the blue light for the first time, or starts its turn there, it must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d8 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The battle with Nerezza ends when she is killed, incapacitated, or the crown is removed from her head.
Tips for combat
The Moonlight Priests are aware of the burning effect of the lunar inscriptions. They will attempt to hold PCs within the burning blue light by casting Hold Person.
Nerezza will do whatever she can to keep her distance, and will react violently to anyone who attempts to remove her crown.
You can increase the drama by having Nerezza command one of her priests to perform a suicidal attack. For example, they might try to grapple someone near the edge of the tower and throw them both over the edge.
You can increase the difficulty by having 1 of the frozen Moonlight Priests join the fray.
After the Battle
The moment Nerezza dies, is incapacitated, or has the crown removed from her head, all hell breaks loose:
Nerezza screams louder and louder about the “DAMN SINGING ORANGE LIGHT!” and then falls into a comatose state from which she cannot be revived.
All of the priests standing on the tower’s precipice begin screaming about the orange light, and moving about in wildly unpredictable ways. 1d6 of them throw themselves from the tower. Others weep and claw at their hair. Others frantically move around as if trying to shake a demon off their backs.
Within 10 seconds, the chaos subsides. The priests who are still around you seem lucid, though very afraid. A few of them rush to Nerezza who remains comatose and unresponsive (unless the party killed her, in which case she is simply dead). Every priest gives the fallen crown a very wide berth.
One of the priests approaches the party, seemingly in more control of his fear: a half-elf named Joseph Gemleaf.
Players who search the rooftop may be rewarded with the following:
Nerezza's Moonlight Staff. Priests care only for the life of their beloved leader and make no objection to anyone taking his staff.
Crown of Psychic Dissonance. This powerful artifact is shunned by all the Priests. Learn more about it in the next section.
The Priest's Journal - Handout. If they players did not discover this in the previous section, you can have them find it on the body of one of the Moonlight Priests that accompanied Nerezza.