November 17, 2012

Alturiak – 30 – 1479 D.R. – Main Page

Alturiak 30 (con’t)

[Shadowfell Realm]

Andraste uses the Hat of Disguise to appear as Lady Markelhay. A short time later keep guards arrive.

“M’lady, we’ve found no sign of intruders.” A guard says.

“You incompetent curs. The intruders made it to my chambers, you can see their remains on the floor where I incinerated them. Unfortunately they managed to kill Lord Vennick.” Andraste says as the Queen.

“Who will lead our armies?” Asks the guard.

“Get me the 2nd in command. Also, have someone clean up my room and dispose of the bodies.” She commands.

“Yes your majesty. And what of the prisoners?”

“I will speak with them.”

“You should have a larger contingent of guards,” the guard suggests tentatively, “three is not enough.”

“Fine, pick three more to accompany me and have them lead the way.” She assents.

The guards lead the way toward the dungeon but then Andraste has a thought. “Guards, head for the keep treasury, I must make sure the intruders didn’t pilfer anything.” The guards change course.

At the vault door Andraste is able to divine the key with her locksmith training and open the door. She tells the guards to stand guard outside and commands the rest of us to enter to help her take inventory of the room.

We search the room and each find an item of value. We pocket lots of gems. Nimrozan picks up a fine black robe an adorned in gold filigree and arcane symbols.

We head down to the dungeon.

There are 6 prisoners chained up in the dark. As Andraste approaches she hears a familiar voice of Dar Gremath. The crumpled form of Reithann. Suddenly Evon shoots divine wrath at the three real guards, killing them. Andraste removes her disguise and Dar Gremath’s eyes widen, “By the gods, Reithann, we’re saved.”

Andraste apologizes for the deception and unlocks the cells. After the chains are removed from everyone we tell them of the situation. We get them weapons and discuss our next steps.

Andraste dons the disguise again. She orders the cook staff to bring up a cast of ale to her room. She also tells a guard to go get the top 10 leutenants – she will be picking a new leader to replace the late Lord Vennick.

The rest of us line her chamber as 10 huge tar-devils enter the room. “Lieutenants, Lord Vennick failed and has died at the hands of intruders. One of you will be his replacement.” The tar-devils exchange knowing smiles.

“Whomever can come up with the most creative way to kill these prisoners shall be the new commander. But first, a toast.” The lieutenants drink up, and die.

We head for the treasury where Nimrozan has a portal open. Adrian takes off his disguise and heads through the portal. The rest of us start pitching loot through the portal. The rest of us step through the portal.

[Faerun – 6am]

Adrian emerges into the Moonhills, outside Fallcrest. The gold and other items start pouring through followed by the rest of the adventurers. An outriders spots the group and recognizes Adrian. He gives up his horse to Reithann. We decide to send Dar Gremath, Reithann, and the rangers to the secret catacomb entrance in the hills to the south – their release must be kept secret in order for us to find the High Priest of Orcus in Fallcrest. Our core group heads for town.

At the entrance Adrian gets a brief update. Lord Padraig and Valthrune have made it to the city along with about 500 refugees. No sign of the Bloodspear Orcs but the Winterhaven contingent is adamant they were following them closely.

We head to the Moonstone Keep. All of us are ushered into the study where Lord Markelhay, Lord Padraig, and Valthrune are waiting.

Adrian asks to talk Lord Markelhay alone. Adrian fills him in briefly about the Shadowfell, the army, and his wife who had to be killed. Lord Markelhay is obviously conflicted but stoically puts aside his personal turmoil and suggests they return to the group.

We fill everyone in on the proceedings in the Shadowfell. We also discuss ways to determine who the High Priest of Orcus is. On a whim, Elantris quietly approaches the door and opens it. A startled chamberlain is there and pulled into the room. After a berating it is decided he was nothing more than nosy but will still be punished.

Lord Markelhay takes the scrolls from the Shadowfell to research them.

Adrian summons Kaz to a tavern in the Lower Quays to discuss private matters. He comes alone finds Adrian and Elantris in a private room. After greetings Adrian tells Kaz about the draft coming. Elantris offers him a position in the army, a well paid position. The alternative is to be drafted or be branded a traitor and executed. Kaz agrees for him and his company of 50 men to be purchased for 25,000 gold.

Elantris returns to the wall of the Moonstone Keep and uses his magical voice to speak to the entire city. He announces the draft and that all able bodied people must sign up by nightfall.

Evon goes to see Grundelmar. Without telling him too much he informs him of a High Priest of Orcus somewhere in the city and the need to find this person. He suggests a diving rod of some sort may be fashioned to detect shadow magic. It will take about a day to prepare and he takes a gem from the Shadowrealm to be the centerpiece.

Adrian tracks down Andraste and Nimrozan and convinces them to go to the Septarch’s Tower. Nimrozan opens the outer door with some coaxing. Inside are 7 passages leading off but Nimrozan cautions that there are many traps. Each door has an animated mouths and each door must be opened.

Adrian tracks down Elantris and Evon and brings them to the tower to help as well.

Andraste goes to the first door which suddenly speaks. “Greetings, do you wish to open me? If so, you must answer this riddle: Up and down they go but never move.” Andraste answers, “Stairs” and the door opens. Beyond is nothing, just starts as if the heavens above were laid out before.

Andraste goes to the second door. “Greetings, to open me you must answer my riddle: A precious gift this, yet it has no end or beginning and in the middle, nothing.” “A ring,” she says and the door opens. Beyond is once again nothing.

The third door says, “Greetings, another riddle is yours to divine: Power enough to smash ships and crush roofs yet it still must fear the sun.” “Ice,” and the door opens. Empty spaces greets us.

The forth door says, “This riddle you must solve: It can pierce the best armor and make the swords crumble with a rub but it’s best efforts cannot hurt a club.” “Rust,” the door opens to nothing.

The fifth door says, “A riddle for you: Though easy to spot when allowed to plume it is hard to see when held in a room.” “Smoke,” and the door opens to nothing.

The sixth door says, “This riddle will decide your fate: Be you ever so quick with vision keen by your eyes we are never seen unless by chance it should come to pass you see our reflection in a looking glass.” “Ears.” Instead of opening 2 doors slam close.

We return to the forth door which gives a new riddle: “The chill of its death you may soon mourn but though it dies it cannot be born.” “Fire,” and the door re-opens.

Door five has another riddle as well: “The light one breaks but never falls, his brother falls but never breaks. What are we?” “Day and night” – the door opens.

We get back to the sixth door asks another question: “An untiring servant it is carrying loads across muddy earth but once thing can not be forced is a return to the place of it’s birth.” “River,” the door opens onto nothing.

The final door asks its question: “We love it more than life, we fear it more than death, the wealthy want for it and the poor have it in plenty.” “Nothing,” the door opens but behind all doors the empty space disappears and is replaced by a sweeping staircase.

At the top of the stairs we reach a landing. Beyond seems to be a kitchen and dining area with the stairs continuing upward in spiral. Andraste finds a trap here as well but manages to disable the mechanical part of it. Nimrozan is coaxed into dismantling the magical portion of the trap.

“This is where the best bacon can be made,” Nimrozan blurts out. We explore the kitchens. Finding nothing interesting we continue up the stairs to the next landing which also has a trap but they are disarmed. Living quarters branch off this landing, enough for at least a dozen wizards to stay comfortably.

On the third landing another trap is dismantled. Beyond lies a great library. Nimrozan reminisces, “Ah yes, many hours spent here reading tomes. But let us continue up.”

On the fourth and final landing is the pinnacle of the tower complete with windows looking out over Fallcrest. Unlike the other floors, this area seems to fit within the tower and feels “normal”. A large telescope protrudes through the roof pointed at the heavens. A large apparatus with movable lenses sits to one side. The “oculus”, as Nimrozan calls it, stands about 5 feet tall and is probably 3 feet in diameter. The several lenses move in all directions. He looks upon it fondly.

Evon suggests that the oculus could be used to examine the Dethyk scroll that has eluded deciphering. Nimrozan places the scroll in the oculus and maneuvers the lens so that reflected images pass through and are projected into the air. As he moves the lenses further the runes start to separate. Nimrozan recognizes an ancient language but it is still encrypted in a mundane fashion. Andraste records the writing on in a small scribe book for later examination. Evon returns the original scroll to his pack.

Elantris gets the tracing of the map to the Tyela Neuma out and asks it be examined in the oculus as well. Nimrozan places it in the oculus and recognizes it – it’s a crude map of the cosmos but yet it is more. Moving lenses around the reflected image he points out various constellations. The markings represent various places on the planet. He shows how the map works its way in towards the Nentir Vale where it points to the artifact residing.

We decide that is enough for the day. Nimrozan says the oculus can also help with the defense of the city but cautions against any demonstration of its power until absolutely necessary. Nimrozan plans to stay at the tower and keeps the map for further study. He also offers us use of the tower’s living quarters. We agree to have food delivered as well as a few servants to help around the tower.

We leave Nimrozan to his musings and head down to the living quarters to talk. Elantris and Adrian catch Evon and Adraste up on the deal with Kaz. He also states that so far no one from the Gravelstokes compound has signed up as required by the draft, not surprising.

We head back to Moonstone Keep for dinner and to update them of what we learned in the Septarch’s Tower. After dinner we head towards the Gravelstokes compound. We meet with Kaz one last time to give him payment and finalize the plan. Kaz will take the loyalist guards, along with a contingent of his mercenaries, out the King’s Gate on a covert mission. Outside he will kill the loyalist guards.

Evon, being uncomfortable with this plan heads back to the House of the Sun for the night. Andraste is going to visit the Gravelstokes’ “garden” while the patrol is going on.

Elantris and Adrian leave the city early after laying plans to ensure the scouts are not around during the action. A short while later they hear Kaz’s voice giving commands. Suddenly Kaz and the mercenaries turn on the unsuspecting loyalist guards and start killing them. Elantris and Adrian shout battle cries and join in. The dozen or so guards are massacred in short order.

The final payment is arranged for the following morning. Everyone heads back into the city, though Elantris and Adrian arrange to re-enter at a different time than Kaz’s men to avoid suspicion.

Everyone gets a good night’s rest.

Ches 1st

Adrian has a message the next morning – the rangers came upon a bunch of dead mercenaries, possible from the Gravelstokes compound. He then heads towards the Septarch’s Tower.

Andraste wakes up to the smell of amazing bacon. She dresses and heads for the kitchen. Nimrozan is there showing the cook how to make the bacon just so.

Elantris goes to pay Lord Kamroth a visit. A servant answers the door and says Lord Kamroth left the previous morning to check out some estate, along with three of his servants. After questioning Elantris shows her the key from the dead servant and convinces her take him to the private study it opens. He puts the key in the door and opens it carefully, awaiting a trap.

What comes out is not intrinsically dangerous but instead a noxious odor. Inside is the flayed body of a young boy whom the distraught chamberlain identifies as the stable boy. Blood writing is made on the wall. “Go immediately to the House of the Sun and tell Grundelmar it’s urgent he come here now,” Elantris tells the chamberlain. She hurries off.

Ritualistic symbols adorn the floor, possibly even a symbol of Orcus. Elantris goes upstairs and outside to find a guard. He instructs the guard to find out if and when Lord Kamroth left the city. He also requests them to find Adrian and ask him to come to Lord Kamroth’s house.

A guard arrives at the Septarch’s Tower and tells Adrian the request. He also reports about Lord Kamroth’s exit of the city. He left the city by the Five Arch Bridge. Thermina made the decision to let him and his men through. Adrian and Andstarte head out towards Lord Kamroth’s.

Grundelmar and Evon arrive at Lord Kamroth’s. Grundelmar is disgusted by the sight. Evon steps into the room. The floor is slick with blood. Books line some shelves. As Evon is surveying the room Andraste and Adrian arrive to see the mess.

Andraste attempts to read the message on the wall. She dons her special glasses and reads: “It is time. Let us begin at once, come now.”

A book on the pedestal has several pages ripped out but it’s a dark magic book titled Rituals of Summoning. After a thorough search of the room we leave the cleansing to Grundelmar.

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November 17, 2012

Forgotten Realms: The Fate of Tyela Neuma uberwiz