Defenders of Khelb

Rastaputka's Safe Haven - Stories time.

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The next few days are spent training. Rastaputka spends a lot of her time with the fighters type to help Baelfyre and Grimshaw train faster, while Juniper is shown a small silent cave to practice her martial routines. Joren returns to his books, Amitreene to her spells’ studies and Chiwyll follow the martial training provided by Rastaputka, uttering every morning his graces to its return, and sharing more of his childhood in Neverwinter with his biological mother.

Throughout the next days, the spring weather is mostly rainy. During their stay at Rastaputka’s home, they find out that Rastaputka plays the harp, and has played some tones a few times, that ends up sounding not very uplifting.. she is prone to dark moods, and usually steps into action when she realizes it, either training, or running a patrol in the area outside the village for a few hours.

As they are sharing more details about their future plans around the dinners, Joren asks more questions to Rastaputka about what happened when she had the sword and she indicates
“We followed the sword which was indicating a direction when we focused, and ended up fighting Yuan Tis in the Underdark, one of them had the crown and stepped through a portal, closing it behind him, and the Sword did not indicate directions after that… "

Asked where the portal was, and if she could draw a map back to it, she says
“Unfortunately I can’t do that.. I know it was in a city named Pedestal in the Underdark, and we followed the direction the sword pointed to and had done so for many days after we had recovered it…. This was 120 years ago or so… We fought with Kuo Toas in the streets, and then the sword led us to to a spire, a kind of tower built within a giant stalagmite, where we faced many dangers, and the Yuan Tis… After we left as the portal had closed, we were attacked by vampires spawn, and had to retreat. We had found an ally down there, Kopachov, a dwarven merchant, as we saved him from some Duergars that wanted to steal his wares . I remember he had a Leomund’s Mansion, and eventually he led us back to the surface as we would have been completely lost without a guide, once the sword stopped giving us directions.. We walked may be 5 days before surfacing, and we ended up in the Lurkwood, and found our way the next day to a village called Rivermoot.. I could try to draw a map from Rivermoot to the entrance, if you want, but I would not know how to map the Underdark…”

The next day, Joren is studying a different book, even pursuing his study late in the night. This book seems different from the one he was reading the days before, as it is not damaged. He lights a candle to do his readings. Late in the night, a panicked Chloe scares everyone as she started yelling “Fire! Fire!…” and coughing after smelling smoke from her room. Joren had to explain that the dense smoke this candle can pour out has properties to protect his precious books but is not dangerous to the house, the candle is one of the minor magic the scribes of Candlekeep routinely use.

Asked about his book, Joren shares that his book is called the “Star’s Walker prophecies” and explains that like all prophecies they must be unlocked, like a puzzle.

Grimshaw responds
“I’ll never understan’ ye bookish types. But ok, fer now
Is there anythin’ tha’ you wanna share wi’ us about wha’ happened in the tomb yesterday.
Ye did nae seem surprised to see the lights and the funnel. Had ye seen them afore?”

Then Joren says
“I did have a dream of the light, but was not expecting what happened d to happen. Khelb tomb called out to me…. Somehow, Iike the vision sent to Rastaputka, a warning of impeding doom which must be stopped. We have been chosen and brought together to stop whatever is coming.”

Then the discussion moves to the future plans of actions..

Days of training pass by one after the other, with no hitch. On the 4th of Tarsakh, Rastaputka went to the village to buy some stuff, and returns with a fairly good drawing of Joren on a piece of parchment, depicted in an aura of light funneled above his head, as if he was wearing a mystical crown. She mentions that, as expected, the tale in the village is all about what happened a workweek ago, and many believe Khelb has returned. More have asked her where he is… She said she did not know. She also visited the inn to refill her malt, and the innkeeper is really happy because all his rooms are booked from visitors from Silverymoon that seem to already have heard about the great news.

Grimshaw asks her
“Rastaputka, does Khelb or his chosen have a right to the sword?”
“I do not know… The spirit only talked to us once, and revealed the sword that was half-ensconced in a stone table, and Aerich was able to pull it out. The spirit demanded the retrieval of the stolen crown and staff on peril of disturbing the balance, and we realized a little bit later that if we focused, the sword would point a direction, so we just followed it…”
“So the blade was nae Khelb’s?”
“He gave it to us… for some reasons, the pillagers had not taken it, I do not know why… His spirit came out of his statue, I recall.
but the sword was in the stone table, and the three statues where around it…”
“So it may be right tha’ Khelb intends fer us to have tha’ blade now?
If tha’ were Khelb in the tomb, assumin’”
“What do you mean? You saw his statue, right?”
“Aye, but I’m nae so sure as Joren who was talkin’ and makin’ wi’ the lightshow.
call me “untrustin’” of the unseen"
“well, I remember what I saw that day… The spirit looked just like him and came out of his statue, and told us to take the sword and to retrieve the staff and the crown, after the pillagers had disappeared… I remember also there was a coin with a serpent eye that burned the hand of our dwarf that went to pick it up, greedy bastard …”
“Tha’ is nae even close ta what I was seein’”
“Bael knows the story well, I told him many times..”
“Hmm
Wha’ I’m gettin’ at is that mayhap, if we wait a few more days, fer the legend ta grow
for more folks in Silverymoon ta hear
if Joren were ta suddenly arrive in Silverymoon
and request the return o’ the sword as the chosen o’ Khelb
an’ with the backin’ of some o’ the folks
do ye think we might have a chance o’ gettin’ the blade?”
Rastaputka appears confused at the suggestion, and Grimshaw continues
“Sorry m’lady, mayhap I’m misunderstandin’ the situation”
“may be, but we should not try to get the sword back, I think”, responds Rastaputka

Then Joren intervenes
“I am not the person who would be wielding a sword by any means…. My guess is the sword would choose Chill or Beal seeing as it was given to Rastaputka at one point”
“Aye. perhaps the time is nae right ta get the blade”
“Oh, it was not given to me”, Rastaputka points out, “I went to got it back from some stinkin’ Duergars that had killed Aramilla.”
“ye know the situation better than me, m’lady”
“I mean, after the spirit, we recovered the sword twice by ourselves, once from a group of drows that traded it back with us, and then from the duergars stronghold…
but we should not try to get the sword back anymore now… I always told bael to stop thinking about that sword, he is just going to get into troubles…”

Amitreene chuckles and says
“But knowing Bael he will do anything to get it back”
Rastaputka agrees “yeah, knowing him, I think he tried already and that got him in troubles with the Captain of the Silver Knights that came looking for him last month…”
“Capitan? Hmm. What did you tell him?”
“Oh, I told him I did not know where he was, and had left here for a few years… the truth then.”

Baelfyre catches up to the conversation
“wait.. Mom, you just said that we shouldn’t go for the sword. I thought we had to get all 3 items in order to conquer the skeleton guy "
“Bael, dear, I always told you that trying to recover the sword was a bad idea, but you never listen…”
Baelfyre grumbles, looking confused, and the conversation ends up in conjunctures about what to do about the artifacts of the tomb.

A few days later, both Joren, Chiwyll and then Amitreene one day later finish their class training, and decide to continue a few days more to benefit from a full tenday of continuous training.

The next morning, Amitreene has changed her fine clothing she has been wearing so far for a leather armor and more common wool clothes. She still has a whip at her belt, wield her quarterstaff at all times, and keep her long bow, and quiver by the side of the house.

She started to show Satine how to use a long bow, and some noticed that the tips of her arrows are all silver coated, while Rastaputka also started to show Satine how to wield a rapier.

The group starts to get a good sense of Rastaputka’s routine, she is hunting and foraging a bit, bringing mushrooms that she cook in a very simple way, fried with some kind of spicing. She cut the meat in the wild, and bring back pieces little by little. She has meat that she smokes, in the smoker. She has a cold cellar at the back of the house, where she keeps her ale fresh, as well as other food she brings back from the general store. She has a few chicken so there are eggs and bacon from the wild boars she hunt from time to time.

As the group starts to ponder their next destination, Amitreene asks for a few extra days for her to master the spells found in Cuslan’s spellbook, now that she has access to more powerful spells. It is the morning of the 9th day of Tarsakh, and its is a rainy day with a light wind. Amitreene stays inside, both spell books open and copying and learning spells from Cuslan, while Joren retires to continue his studies.

Rastaputka goes out, and come back two hours later. She brings you 30 trail ration packaged food, and news from the town. The tales about the return of Khelb are spreading, and the innkeeper has made a deal with a neighbor to double the number of available rooms from 3 to 6. They are all still all filled, and more people come from Silverymoon to listen to the tale, some staying a few days others just doing the day trip. The guide and 3 of the 4 villagers all have dressed up with white robes, and have started selling the drawings of Joren, and it seems they recovered the flowers Joren has left at the feet of the statue of Khelb, dried them, and use them as artifacts. The young guide woman is making speeches at the entrance of the mausoleum, re-telling to all what it is she has seen, and the village has had to double the staff every day now at the mausoleum as there is a stream of visitors coming to visit the tomb.

“Many asked me again where Joren went, which I responded again I did not know. For the first time, some strangers tried to follow me, but I lost them through the caves before coming back…
There are a few visitors that are establishing a small camp outside of the palisades. They were trying to come up and do that in the cemetery, but the mayor did not let them. I have also heard tales that the Lord’s Alliance is raising a host to fight dragons in the West.. it seems like Candlekeep has been taken over by them, and the Lord’s Alliance has asked every city to send troops. Many believe that is where Khelb went.”

At the end of the day, Joren misses the diner, still plunged in his studies, while the others discuss the news and then go to bed.

The next day, as the group discuss their plans gathered around the breakfast table, Baelfyre says to everyone
" Last night.. while I was trancing.. I had a vision.. it was glorious… You were all there… battle worn, yet proud. Fire dance on Amitreene ‘s fingers, sweat glistened on Juniper ’s toned belly and the blood of her enemies dripped from her clenched Fists, Chiwyll Montjoye glowed with holy light, Joren Binder was satisfied with the accomplishment that empowered us with more strength to head toward his goal, Grimshaw had a fun menacing grin as he fancied the mask he was going to make from our fallen foe… we were all in a circle around a dead black dragon, the stone tooth stood in the background…
So.. yeah.. I’m going to Newfort.. as a first step toward helping Khelb.. I mean.. Joren.."

Amitreene questions Baelfyre trance vision, then mentions that she needs two more days to copy all the spells from Cuslan’s book in her spell book.

Baelfyre, seeing that his “vision” does not seem to convince anyone, discuss with Grimshaw about going hunting in the mountains, over the cliffs, as Baelfyre knows a passage from the cavern up to the mountains beyond the corrie.

Everyone discuss again the news brought back from Rastaputka the day before when Jorem, who has taken a break from his studies, hears the news from Candlekeep and says

“What? Candlekeep has been taken over by dragons?!…
I must travel south to assist and get help in defending the library there. Chosen of Khelb… Silly fantasies… Now who is with me to assist Candlekeep?” and he begins to gather his things and packing.

Amitreene responds
" Joren, there is no library anymore. I forgot to tell about it. People were talking about it. The library was burnt. I’m sorry…"

FORGOT TO TELL ME!!”

“I’m sorry. I got back to the inn and we were all getting ready to leave.. and then we separated to draw the Zhentarims away… Yes. My fault. I should have been more attentive.”

WAIT, HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THIS??!!” Joren looks at her, furious…

“Umm.. since the last day we were in Everlund. After saving girls. We had so many things going on, that I forgot to share the rumors…”

WHAT THE FUCK!” yells Joren storming out of the house. “STAY AWAY FROM ME!” As he exits the house, the grounds tremors from a minor earthquake for a minute.

The horses in the clearing bolts out, running away from Joren and the tremors. A few run in circle until calmed down after being farther away… Others bloody themselves, unsuccessfully trying to force their way through the thorny thickets surrounding the clearing.

Grimshaw follows Joren saying
“Ami, ye did nothin’ wrong. Lads’ a wee bit god-touched at the moment, I’m thinkin’”

Then Baelfyre goes outside and yells after Joren
“I don’t care how pissed you are, if you yell at any of the ladies in our company again, I will draw steel.. and I’m completely serious!”

As Joren stubbornly continues to head out of the clearing, Grimshaw turns around and yells, “Keep outta sight, lad, lest ye get mugged by a mad horde o’ worshippers”"

Joren hesitates, and stops, sighing, then goes instead to the secluded cavern Juniper used for her training to pray.

Grimshaw returns to the house
“Joren is goin’ ta pray fer a bit an’ collect hisself. He apologizes fer any distress he might o’ caused. Said he’d be back in an hour or so. I reminded him ta’ keep outta sight. Lad’s takin’ the news terrible hard.
Ami, I know tha’ he were a bit “brusque” wi’ ye. But please dinnae burn him to a cinder when he comes back.
And Bael, put away tha’ new “toy”

It is still early morning… with a sullen mood over the house, Baelfyre and Grimshaw return to their preparation for the hunt, Amitreene to her spell copying. Rastaputka mentions that the hunters should take some furs, as the rain from last days was probably snow up there, pointing at the top of the corrie’s cliff 500 or 600’ above..

The two hunters leave, and use the caves and tunnels paths to get up on the plateau, to hunt in the mountain. The temperature up there is down to the low 30s and light snow is falling down. During the day, they are attacked by a Peryton, swooping silently on Baelfyre, and seriously wounding him. After a short but intense fight, the Peryton is dispatched mostly by Grimshaw’s, and Baelfyre is wounded. The two hunters take a short rest, and fail to find any further worthy quarry, then decide to return with the body of the strange bird, but no meat, before nightfall.

In the meantime, at the house, Juniper starts learning rudiment of elvish, while Chiwyll pursued his training with Rastaputka and Joren went back to study his books.

When the hunter returns with the dead birds, Rastaputka examines the wounds of Baelfyre, and the bird, whose antlers are all bloodied too..
“I guess it did gore Bael with it too.. Nasty birds, Perytons… If they kill you they rip out your heart and feed on them. This is part of the reproductive process, and they always fight to the death, especially for flesh of human or elves… We have had a few of them swooping over the foothills from time to time…”. Rastaputka looks at Grimshaw appreciatively, and at his blade in its scabbard.. “Nice blade you have there, Grimshaw… You probably saved my son’s life with it… These creatures are know for not taking much damage from regular weapons…”

Grimshaw replies “Thanks fer the ‘trainin’ I used several o’ the things ye showed me in the past ten-day. It’d have been a much closer thing had ye not”

Then Amitreene steps in “Okay, about this..creature…I know that some of their feathers, talons and antlers can be a good find and probably can be sold to a shop dealing with magical components…”

Hearing this, Grimshaw goes for the head, and cuts it off the body, while Rastaputka separates the talons and the feathers from the remains, which she disposes of.

Grimshaw finds an old rusty cauldron in Rastaputka’s basement, and set it up outside, build a fire, and boil water and undergo the grizzly process of removing all the flesh out of the Peryton’s severed head.

As the night falls, discussions are held to decide of the next course of actions. Grimshaw sums up the options
“As I seem ta’ recall it, we could go follow tha’ map that Barrus left us to Stone Tooth
or go ta Silverymoon ta try to get the sword
or follow th’ stuff tha’ Rastaputka drew fer us that may lead ta’ the Underdark
or go ta Candlekeep and see wha’ dragons are still there and wha’ has been done wi’ the place
or sneak back inta Everlund and deal wi’ Bolen an’ his troops
I think we should go follow Barrus
it seems a clear path an’ may get you some insight on yer vision”
Amitreene wants to go West to the shop from Cuslan’s contract, Juniper mentions heading West as she needs to go to Luskan, Joren sides with Grimshaw and would prefer to follow Barrus, Chiwyll remains silent while Baelfyre says
“Going to Stone Tooth might also lead to discovery of new writings on the walls of tombs… if our suspicions are correct about what Cuslan was doing there.
We are assuming Barrus went that way.. Unless we discover other information about him along the way, I suggest we head to Newfort, where the map he gave us begins..”
In the end, the group settles for going to the Stone Tooth, before everyone goes to bed for the night, planning an early start before dawn.

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Visiting Khelb's tomb - Joren's visitation

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The morning of the 30th day of Chess 1389DR, Rastaputka, Joren, Amitreene and Grimshaw leaves the sheltered house to go visit the cemetary and check out Barrus graffitis, and take the visit of the tomb, while the others remains at the house with the girls, training.

Rastaputka leads the small group to a perimeter of the wall of the cemetary, the wall is partially crumbled, and has been for a while… “This is where Barrus left the last graffitis, and I tracked him downhill, but lost his tracks a bit farther past the village…”

The graffitis are indeed recent.. A phrase is scribbled “Pain is the Balance”, and next to it is a strange symbol, like two interlocked squares with strange symbols at each of the squares corners.

After checking the scribing and the symbol, Rastaputka leads to the mausoleum standing at the center of the cemetery. She points out to a few tombstones on the way that Barrus has tagged too, but these tags have already been washed out the day before.

In the mausoleum, five villagers are hanging out there, guides and militia men. The mausoleum is made of stone, and seems to have been upgraded to also act as a fortification, with arrow slits high in its walls, and a double bar behind the heavy oak door that can be closed from inside.

Rastaputka introduces the small group as friends traveling here, and interested to take the visit of the tomb. The guide, a young woman, steps out and introduce herself.

She mentions “The visit will be a one hour tour, with the time to pay your respects to the hero. Flowers are available if you want to take some down with you. They are free.”

Rastaputka states, flatly “I can’t go back in there, I’ll be waiting for you here.”

Grimshaw has an hesitation, but Joren steps in and take a hand full of flowers, waiting for the others. Grimshaw is about to take some too, when Amitreene says

“I know what those symbols mean…”

Those symbols.. 4 of them are for seasons of the year.
The other four are Fire, water, earth and air.

There is a symbol in the middle, that I’ve never seen before though."

Even with this new information, Joren steps down the stairs leading underground, behind the door that that the guide had opened for them, waiting politely for them to follow her.

She take a torch for herself, and give one torch to each of them and starts the tour of the tomb, describing each room they come across to them, as they go deeper.

The lower mausoleum, with its lifelike limestone statue of a winged celestial being, one that inspired Khelb in his acts of selfless actions to save Silverymoon.

The private vault with a statue of white and black marble depicting an aged man, Khelb’s mentor and teacher, with a white beard and hair and a black robe, scribing on stone tablets, this area still maintained by four tiny constructs called clockwork menders.
Joren mentions “A blessing of Gond, I’m sure”, pointing at the menders.

The magically illuminated “beholder” puzzle room, taking its name for the beholder engraved on the door and its riddles. The guide activated the tiles in the room in the correct order to open a magically concealed ladder beneath the floor leading down.

The staircase leading further down under the earth to a natural endless chasm now spanned with a sturdy wooden bridge, with a strong air current flowing downward.

The broken chamber, where the pillagers entered the tomb from above, the excavation now completely sealed again.

The central hub, with ancient frescoes depicting a gold dragon defeating a red dragon, and the alabaster statues of a princess and a knight, the first one an ambassador of a far away kingdom, the second one Khelb’s lifelong friend.
The canal room with its rapidly flowing water, travertine statues depicting shield bearing soldiers saluting toward the water with their sword drawn. The guide mentioned that a water elemental used to guard this area, and the soldiers represent the army that Khelb mustered from the marches to help repeal the invaders.

The hall of the Honored, a hall stretching over 100 feet celebrating adventurers that helped the hero. Onyx statues along the eastern wall represent different figures. A female human, holding aloft a staff tipped with a dragon’s head , Khelb’s wife. A dwarf cleric brandishing a symbol of Moradin, representing the neighboring allied dwarven kingdoms. The third and fourth are twin elves, one a female archer aiming a bow and the other a male warrior wielding a rapier and dagger, both displaying the special friendship Khelb had with the elves. The other statues depict human warriors, they hold halberds crossed over the exit door, and a small private room has a statue of an old woman holding an open book, one with a riddle that open access to her own private vault, identified as Khelb’s mother.

The inner vault with its ladder of iron rungs leading down to a wide hall carved in granite. On the outer walls a few granite statues of stone soldiers guard the entrances to their vaults, and a statue of a minotaur adorn one of the corner of the hall, the bestial enemy that fought Khelb one-on-one, and broke Khelb’s arm before being killed. Scenes of battles with evil humanoids are engraved all around the outer walls, clearly depicting familiar areas and mountain ranges from the Silver Marches. There is an oddly shaped inner room in the center of the hall. This room features a fountain, water flowing from the mouth of a granite statue of a dragon, water with minor magical refreshing powers, and in front of it a teleportation circle that allows to reach the tomb itself.

The guide stopped to scoop a drink of the refreshing water and drink it, which both Grimshaw and Amitreene declined to do. Joren drank, and stepped on the circle, where the guide was already on. The other two follow, Grimshaw hesitating until Joren encourages him. The guide utters a command word, transporting them to the destination circle.

The teleportation circle lands on a balcony overlooking the tomb’s chamber itself. The walls of the tomb in the chamber below are made of polished glass-stone. A basalt statue of Khelb stands in the middle of the lower part of the room. When walking down the stairs with a torch in hand, this light source brought in that room a marvelous and mesmerizing sight, playing from the reflections from its fire, all echoing within the walls as if the room was alive with millions of dancing flickers of light. Four sarcophagus are in a large vault cordoned off on the other side of the room, the final resting place of Khelb, his wife, his mentor, and lifelong friend, the one that deceived him in the end and that he selflessly pardoned with his last breath. Many recent tokens of commemorations lie at the feet of the statue, as well as in front of the cordoned area, showing the ongoing respect the local villagers pay to their hero.

The guide says “I will remain here so you can pay your respects”. return when you are ready and we will head out…"

Joren steps down the stairs, illuminating the walls with the multiple light reflection of his torch, place the flowers at the feet of Khelb’s statue and starts praying, while Grimshaw and Amitreene examine a magical scene played in an alcove below the balcony they cam from.

The magic painting depicts a spring day on a high, green hill overlooking Silverymoon, making it seem as if the sun reaches this room as well as the green slope.

People in fine clothes stand around the hill, and it is as if you are among them. Central in the scene is a tall, raven-haired man dressed in plate armor, standing next to a blond man and a red-haired woman, the blond man wearing an intricate crown with a small gem in its center.

Next, the image of the hill seen before fades away and appears again, now covered in brown grass, flames leaping into the sky off in the distance around the walls of the city. The dark-haired man in shining armor wields a black sword, battling howling goblinoids and baying wolves. Beside him fights the blond hero, the gem on his crown pulsing with light. The red-haired woman holds her ground between the two, her staff held aloft, casting fire at her foes from its dragon’s head.

Then the scene fades away and snow covers the hill, but bloodstains clash with the mud and frost. The blond man has fallen to one knee, his left arm hanging useless at his side. Bestial humanoids surround him as he caresses the cheek of the red-haired woman lying mortally wounded before him. Behind the golden-haired man stands the raven-haired knight, his armor stained with blood and his eyes wild with triumph, wrath, and greed. He holds Khelb’s crown aloft with one hand, and kills him with his blade.

As the hero falls next to his wife, he casts a final spell but the scene fades out, and the whole imagery starts repeating itself.

As they examine the room around them, Grimshaw getting closer to the sarcophagus cordoned off, they hear a gasp from the guide on the balcony above them. The guide is looking at Joren…

Grimsahw and Amitreene notice hundred of small flickering lights that seem to coalesce around Joren, more and more rapidly, and he seems to welcome their lights around him. He stands in awe, while Grimshaw start putting a hand to his blade, when the time seems to freeze around, and the millions of light create a swirling funnel around Joren, a voice booming.
[I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST]
[I AM THE ONE THAT CAN’T BE WHOLE]
[I AM THE WEARER OF EVERY SHAPE]
[I AM THE WALKER ON ALL PATHS]
[I AM THE GUIDE TO EVERY FATE]

Joren opens his arms to the lights, then there is a silent radiant shockwave from the funnel, and all the flickers of light that came out of the walls disappear in an instant, and Grimshaw finally puts his hand on his blade while the guide finishes her gasps and Amitreene finishes her step.

Grimshaw asks
“I take it that tha’ does nae happen all the time…
Joren, are you OK?”

Joren looks ok, but still a little dazed, Joren responds “No, it doesn’t. I had a vision. This place… It holds some power. I saw a skeletal figure, holding a Staff, ancient evil. We must destroy that abomination.”

The guide comes back to her senses, and from above she seems awed..
“That was so beautiful!”
I am not sure we can stay here, please come back up, we’d better return and tell them what happened…"

Grimshaw hurries over to Khelb, drops the flowers on the pile, kneels quickly and mutters “thankee for the lightshow” and backs quickly away, as "jorn returns to the balcony saying “That creature must be tied to the artifacts we seek… It must be destroyed. We must tell the others!”

They all step on the circle and the guide utters another word, returning them to the circle near the fountain. From there she hurries the pace but still has to shut off the torches on the walls she lit when entering each area.. Graffitis from Barrus can be obesrved in different random places, all the same, with the same sentence and the same graffitis, the two interlocked squares with the 9 symbols, all the same as the one he last drew on the wall outside….

Joren seems now much more self-assured, his presence more marked…
20mn later, the small group are back up at the mausoleum.

Rastaputka looks at Joren curiously “You don’t seem mad, but you seem different.. what happened?”
“Rastaputka I had a vision…. I think we have been tasked to find the demon face and defeat the evil behind it. An Ancient blue-eyed skeletal figure with a Staff must be defeated. It is related to Khelb somehow. We must find this creature and destroy it”

After a few explanations, as the guide tells her tale to the others, Rastaputka regroup everyone including the villagers, and says
“What happened here today must be kept for yourselves at least for the next few days. We do not know what it means yet, and I need to figure it out.

The five of you (talking to the villagers) will remain on duty here, I am going to talk to the mayor and your families, and I will bring you food and what you need for a prolonged stay.

Please promise on your life that you will not talk about this until I tell you its ok.."

They all look at each others and promise, then regroup around the guide as she describe what she has seen and points at Joren.

Rastaputka and the others head back to the house, and regroup with everyone a little than 2 hours after having left.

The day is spent sharing information, and training. Rastaputka goes to the village to prevent the night shift change at the mausoleum, invoking a lockdown because of tracks she has identified in the area.

The next morning, the group decides that there is no point keeping the mausoleum on lockdown, and Rastaputka give the “all clear” to the village.

The next few days are spent quietly, training and relaxing. The girls really seem to like the house and its surrounding.

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Zhentarims! - Travel to Khelb

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The night is spent camping at the lake, and by the morning, the group leaves the area, under the gazes of a pack of wild horses that came at dawn to drink from the quiet waters. The day is shaping to be a nice sunny spring day, and the group heads out deeper into the foothills of the Nether Mountains, as Baelfyre guides them to Khelb, his home village. This is where his mom can help the girls and shelter them discreetly. Grimshaw scouts around.

Trekking across the highlands, later that morning, the group stumbles after cresting a ridge upon a full tribe of Lizard folks heading East. They have two giant lizards dragging fully loaded land-sledges, and the tribe counts around 30 individuals, 1/3rd of those seemingly warriors, and a shaman. Their first reaction though is to show restraint, and the lizard warriors start backing up from them. A few words are exchanged in Draconic with Amitreene and Joren, and eventually the lizard men’s tribe disappear toward the East, and the rugged mountains.

Later, early afternoon, a lone hypogriff is spotted in the sky, seemingly interested by a possible half-elven snack, but Grimshaw regroups with the others, and Juniper opens the eversmoking bottle to cloud them from the predator, who chooses to fly away.

The remaining of the day goes by without incident, and the group reaches Khelb before nightfall. Following Baelfyre, they bypass the village through caves, some of them being used to cultivate mushrooms, and reach a small wood with dense thickets of vegetation. A small hidden path leads to a nice house built in a clearing, it’s back to the stone walls of the corrie’s cliffs.
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Waiting for them, as she seems to have been forewarned, stands Baelfyre’s mom, Rastaputka.

The reunion takes a surprising turn as during the introductions, she recognizes Chiwyll as her son, that she had had 20 years ago from a lover named Artus, Chiwyll’s father! Baelfyre is shaken by the news that Chiwyll is his half-brother (she calls him Chilae, short for Chilaeglorfinwyll, his elven name), and the evening is spent catching up and sharing information, around strong drinks, and a good dinner.

Later on, Rastaputka mentions that a dwarf visiting the tomb the day before their arrival seems to have caught a bout of madness, and left many graffitis all over the place, then disappeared without leaving much traces to follow. He had been there before, three months ago, and had already come up then shaken and possibly claustrophobic from the tomb. Eventualy, they find out that this was Barrus Oakenfoot, the dwarf that left them in Everlund. He seemed to have charmed a guide, who left him on his own for a little while, and then he came out of the tomb blabberin and looking like a mad dwarf, after having tagged multiple walls with strange symbols and a sentence repeated multiple times.. “Pain is the balance.”

As the conversations die down, and the two young girls get tired and put to bed, the group separates for the night, taking sleeping quarters within and outside of the house.

In the early hours of the morning, as the fireplace of the main living room still shed a small amount of light from the last pieces of wood still burning slowly, everyone hear a commotion where Joren is sleeping. He is trashing around in his sleep, and try to yell but only strangled gasps comes out of his mouth. His feet quick a cabinet, spilling its content on the floor in a massive crash that resonate throughout the house. Those that were sleeping in the same room wake up abruptly and see him gasp for air, eyes revulsed, until he falls limp on the ground and wakes up, his breath suddenly normal again, sweat covering his face and his body.

As everyone regrouped around him, making sure he is ok (which he is), they remember the nightmare Barrus had at the White Winged Griffon Inn in Yartar. Then Rastaputka volunteers that Joren had come to her later in the evening and told her he has been in the tomb one month before, something she already knew. Asked more about the Tomb Rastaputka summarizes the story of the hero buried in the tomb, Khelb.

“Many centuries ago, Silverymoon was attacked by a horde of orcs, goblinoids and other bestial humanoids. Khelb and his wife helped save the city, he defeated one of the minotaurs leading the horde in a combat and the horde dispersed. But his wife was mortally wounded. He was then betrayed by his best friend. Khelb and his wife have been buried here, under that mausoleum for centuries, and forgotten, until 120 years ago, where pillagers came in and raided the tomb, stealing artefacts from it. This when the tomb was rediscovered, and this is when the protection that was blessing the village ended.”

Joren, recovered from his nightmare, then tell his own story
“For now let’s keep what I’m about to tell you to our group……
As you know, I have studied at Candlekeep for many years. I was entrusted with several tomes which made reference to what are known at the “Star Walker Prophecies” which I’m still in the process of attempting to decode…….

They mention this region as well make reference to a Staff, Sword and Crown to “maintain the balance”. I believe these are the same artifacts as the ones Khelb and his friends used in 657DR…..

I did take the guided tour of the tomb just prior to meeting with all of you. I was hoping it would have helped connect some dots for me, yet it just led to more questions…."

After making direct eye contact to everyone in the party, and a nod at Rastaputka, he continues "I think we all may have been brought together for a reason, too many coincidences have happen the last few weeks.

The last account of the staff, crown and sword was at Khelb’s final battle with his wife and his friend, as they battled protecting the area now called Silverymoon. His friend, in the end, betrayed Khelb and his wife and he was the last person seen with all three items."

Following these revelations, Rastaputka steps in.

“Joren, Khelb’s friend was not the last person to have seen some of the items.”

All the gazes in the room turn to her.

“I was one of the wielder of the sword.. the spirit of Khelb handed it to one of my friend, back then in 1372DR, and later on I ended up being its wielder for a while.. We know where the sword is..”

While Grimshaw takes a closer look at Baelfyre’s sword, she continues

“The sword pointed to the crown, and me and my friends followed it’s lead.. We went in the Underdark, but were captured by Quaggoths and then sold as slaves to Drows… We managed to escape and recover the sword… It’s first wielder, Aerich, was not with us anymore, and we met someone who became its new wielder, Aramilla…

Then we teleported in a place called 7 pillars, and followed the sword’s lead again until Aramilla died and I became the sword’s wielder… We went deeper and deeper into the underdark, facing many dangers, until we reached a city named Pedestal. This is where I saw for the first time the signs of the spellplague that was about to be unleashed on the world. Tthis was in 1372DR.

We ended up fighting Yuan Tis, and one of them had the crown, but disappeared through a portal while the others where keeping us at bay.

From then, many weeks had passed since the Tomb was violated, and we made our way back to the surface. The sword was not leading us anymore.

I returned here and to Silverymoon, and handed the sword over to Taern Hornblade, as I was questioned about what happened here. He is the wielder of the sword now. I used to call it Mirthuvial but it seems like Tarn renamed it Hornblade. He became the Leader of Silverymoon a short time after, and as far as I know has been its wielder ever since.

I then pledged my life to protect Khelb here, and when Tulrun came a few years later to help rebuild the damaged tomb and get rid of its magical traps, he said we should build a museum here to remind people of the sacrifices made by Khelb."

Making a pause, Rastaputka takes upon one of a more somber mood…

“I know something really bad is going to happen… I have had these visions from time to time, still to this day. Bael knows about those as they have haunted me since my return.. I failed to protect Khelb’s artefacts, and I see this green demonic face with horns and a gaping mouth.. and it keeps coming and coming at me before I snap out of my trance.

I have learned to live with these visions over time, and I know my Fate is here."

Shocked by this information, Joren responds

“That’s… That’s what I saw in my dream too.”

Then Baelfyre steps in and share

“I want to return Mirthuvial back to Khelb, and hopefully to our family as sword bearers again.

I met you all on my way to Waterdeep so I can get more experiences… so that I can retrieve the sword, as Taern Hornblade isn’t likely to want to let it go.

It seems that his ‘personal success’ is related to his possession of the sword.. and I think its a bit… ummm. unjust.. So.. there we are.. Now it appears we all need the sword recovered and united with the other two items which we have zero idea where to look."

Grimshaw suggests to bring a plea to Taern, which both Rastaputka and Baelfyre react strongly against. he then says

“Well, maybe the graffiti in the tomb might point us to where we need ta go
I dunno much about Silverymoon, nor the politics..”

To this, Rastaputka responds

“Barrus wrote the same sentence in various places “Pain is the Balance”, and strange symbols I could not make any sense of.

I already told Joren, as he was asking about those, and we can go by day."

The group then separates again to continue their long rest, and finish the night.

In the morning, as the plans are made, everyone wants to continue their class training, but Joren mentions
“I have learned what I needed to know from the tour already last month. I want to explore the tomb, not just visit it again.”

Rastaputka let him know
“Joren, there are part of the tomb that have been sealed off because the protections built in could not be removed, and can be dangerous. Tulrun built the teleportation circles to bypass those dangerous places, and allow folks here to pay their respects to their hero with no risks of harm…”

As Amitreene and Grimshaw express interests to both the graffitis and the tomb itself, Joren concludes

“well if you really want to go check the tomb out, I will go with you, just to take the tour and see the graffiti. No more then a couples hours, so we can all train today.”

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Beregond's Estates

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After checking in at the Golden Eel inn, the inn Chiwyll used as his home base in Everlund during the past winter (after he sold his father’s estate there), the group meets Grimshaw, working the evening shift at the inn as bartender. He is a young half elf with a strong foreign accent that Chiwyll befriended a few months back while carousing around.

The group discuss the situation and their choices, and after Grimshaw finishes his shift, he joins them for a few late drinks, while Grimshaw informs Chiwyll that Danaria, one of the younger sister owning a tavern on the other side of the town has been looking for him after he left at the beginning of the month. It becomes clear that Chiwyll had an affair with her this past winter.

Later in the night, after everyone has had a chance to dust off with hot baths, rent rooms, have diner and a few drinks (all paid by Chiwyll), Chiwyll and Grimshaw head over to that tavern to see if they can gather more information about the regent and the estate of the merchant, while the remaining members of the group decide to scout the estate at night to see if they can message Chloe and scout the place with Nevermore.

They find out that Chloe is now in the same room as Satine, both prisoners in that room, and Satine has been badly mistreated and raped. Communicating with Amitreene thanks to the message cantrip, they open the window of their room to allow Nevermore to do a cure wound spell on Satine, and also tell them that they are working on a plan to get them out the next day. The raven scouts around the estate, revealing that men-at-arms/mercenaries types have taking over the upper floor, being transformed in barracks, while the room where Satine and Chloe are held has a balcony overlooking the back of the house. In the rotunda, two guards seem to loosely stand watch, with a 360 degrees view over the estate and its roof. Another guard watches the balcony itself, from inside the upper hall on the second floor.

in the meantime, Chiwyll and Grimshaw are gathering information at Myrklin’s Sorrow tavern and the Stag at Bay, and find out that Bolen, the current regent, seemed to have been a mercenary looking to work specifically for Cuslan Beregond last year. They also learn that Cuslan has hired mercenaries every years for the past few years, and started to get a bad rep as none of the mercenary hired by him were ever seen again (except Bolen).

Regrouping for a few late drink, the group discuss and devise a plan of action for the next night, and them head out to bed after such a long day.

The next day, everyone work on their class training except for Grimshaw and Amitreene. Grimshaw rally his contacts in town to organize a mob support for their planned action tonight, while Amitreene heads out again near the estate to communicate with Chloe, making sure all is ok with them. Re-assured that at least Chloe and Satine are fed and still in their room, Amitreene sees two mercenaries entering the estate after showing something to those inside. The local contacts of Grimshaw have started watching the estate too, and report the same thing plus the fact that four servants (including the butler) seem to check in at the estate around 9am.

The day goes by, and the heavy cloud cover that was leading to the short sporadic bursts of heavy rains that have plagued the last ten-days in the area have started to lift. The sun re-appears again for hours at a time. The characters enjoy the comfort of the Golden Eel inn, and the care with which its innkeeper, the gnome Pallabar Fapplestamp, adresses its customers’ needs. The inn has a dummy practice room, as well as private booths for eating or drinking on top of the fancily decorated large common room and the well stocked bar. The mattresses are very clean and soft, beds have silk sheets, and each room has modern amenities like piss pots that empty themselves from the bottom when you pull a lever. This inn definitely matches what Chiwyll had said, and more.

After Grimshaw and Amitreene come back from their daily errand, they all regroup around diner and light drinks before going out again around 2am. The darkvision scrolls taken from Leejen are used on Juniper and Joren, while two friends of Grimshaw join the group with a lantern and non-descript outfits. Joren casts a ritual invocation of an unseen servant, and two 50’ ropes are being carried along.

The group minus Chiwyll, Grimshaw and his two acolytes approach the outer wall of the estate, located on a top of a small cliff overlooking the Rauvin river. The others are waiting down the hill for the raven to let them know when to start their distractions.

Baelfye and Amitreene, and Joren and Juniper, each looking like two couples, casually out for a late stroll after having fun in the local taverns, make sure that the street is clear. But Amitreene and Juniper both notice men standing in the shadows on the other side of the street from the estate. Unsure about what is going on, they decide to continue on, casually strolling by the main gate, and noticing lights still on in the mansion as well as two guards watching them from the rotunda on the top of the roof.

Returning by another way at the bottom of the hill where Grimshaw and Chiwyll are waiting, Grimshaw inform them that those guys hiding are likely part of the crew he worked all day to gather in case they need some more help. Reassured, the group heads back up and this time enter the brushes near the outer wall of the estate where they hid last night to communicate with Chloe and check on the girls. Amitreene start using her message cantrip to coordinate the action, while Joren uses his unseen servant to attach a rope above the wall, and use the raven to scout the estate again. Juniper and Baelfyre stealthily climb over the outer wall and enter the perimeter up to the closest corner of the house. Joren commands his unseen servant to attach the second rope on the top of the roof, and then send his raven to trigger Grimshaw and Chiwyll’s distraction while Baelfyre easily climbs up on the roof, his cloak of elvenkind shimmering patterns obscuring him from the casual watch of the guards in the rotunda, despite a light cloud cover and a waxing gibbous moon.

As they are heading uphill, Grimshaw empties a bottle of strong liquor over chiwyll and the two others men, all of them faking drunkedness and loudly singing, to call attention to themselves in the middle of the cobblestone street. When they arrive near the main gate of the estate, they use their fake drunkedness to approach it, and with a swift sleight of hand Grimshaw unlocks it and push the gate inside, entering the compound and yelling about a money debt that Bolen owes him. As the distraction takes hold, Juniper and Baelfyre move along the border of the house toward the back to reach the balcony where the girls’ room is. Joren’s raven spot the guard in the hall leaving his spot to check the front door, while two other men-at-arms come out from the main door to confront the drunkards.

Baelfyre had taken the rope he used to climb with him, and attach it so that Juniper can climb to the balcony. They both acrobatically and silently get to the balcony, while the kids open their window, prompted by Amitreene. Helped by a Guidance spell granted via Joren’s raven, Satine manages to climb down on her own, while Juniper carries Chloe on her back. Baelfyre misses the rope in his haste to go down, and fall flat on the ground, but quickly catches up to Juniper. Joren moves the other rope farther on the wall, to help them climb back over the wall.

In the meantime, the drunkard scene is playing out and the two guards at the front door are confused a bit. Attempting to push their way in the main door, Grimshaw misses a step and ends up being pushed back, while a mastiff starts barking at the commotion from the side. In the meantime Chiwyll nearly pushes the other man inside and grapples him. Alarmed by a deception that now seem to have run its course, weapons are drawn while Grimshaw yell “Rochambeau”, a signal that calls upon his friends hidden on the other side of the street. At the same time he attempts to slide a big piece of fresh meat he had borrowed from the inn into the breaches of the man facing him, but fails to do so.
The man takes a swing at Grimshaw drawing blood, while Chiwyll back up from the door, sword drawn. A dozen men converge in the compound from outside, leading the mercenaries to retreat and close the main door of the mansion behind them, while obviousy alarm is being raised inside.

In the meantime, Juniper uses her ki to easily jump on the top of the wall and from there, run over the narrow edge carrying Chloe, then jumps down on the other side of the outer wlall, where Joren has been directing his raven and unseen servant from. Baelfyre, a little bit slower and helping Satine, joins them two rounds later, while all the guards attention stay focused at the front door. There Grimshaw organizes a prudent retreat, shield drawn, as arrows from the rotunda starts flying around, and mercenaries start taking position behind the windows of the first floor. Amitreene adds to the deception by calling upon Chiwyll and throwing an orb of fire at the gate, melting some of it and adding to the confusion.

With everyone out safely, and their extraction maneuver done with one minute of time, and with the mercenaries locked up in defense in the compound, they quickly and safely retreat and disperse and return to the Golden Eel with the two girls, now freed.

The group decides there to take a long rest until mid-day on the 28th of Ches. In the morning, Amitreene skips out around 9am, having mostly rested the day before as she did not train. Around noon, as Grimshaw checks on his sources before heading back to the Golden Eel, he learns a few thing that worries him and bring the news to the group as they are starting their lunch:
“_Have ye heard of the [whispers] Black Network…the Zhentarim?
Apparently, tha dead man and his friends….they are part of that group. I dinnae much about them, but a lot of me friends are actin’ all wierd-like. Distancin’ themselves. An I heard tell that there have been folks askin’ around this mornin’ about a gang of folk roughly matchin’ our description. They asked about a young noble with the symbol of the morninglord, probably accompanied by two elves, a human gal scantily clad, another lad and an a strikingly handsome half elf with an sophisticated accent. I dinnae if my old “friends” have given up anythin’ about us, but I have a real bad feelin’ about this.
Also, all of the servants were fired this mornin. One of me good mates talked to ‘em and it looks like they got a priestly type just arrived. Wearing a symbol of a black hand with thumb and fingers touchin’, if that makes any point to you
He also said that it seems tha’ they’ve upped security at the place a good bit. Lotsa archers on the roof now, and they may be cuttin’ back the hedges.
I’ve already told me mom to vacate and lay low fer a bit. But we need to get scarce._"

A lunch goes by, Amitreene is nowhere to be seen. They check her room and her bow is still there. The group decides to rent a suite on the third floor of the inn rather than stay in separate rooms, and they quickly goes up there to hunker down. The inn is still quiet. Grimshaw decides to take his shift at the bar at 2pm, hoping to see Amitreene as soon as she comes back as well as any unusual characters. He also instructs the staff at the inn to be quiet about him and his friends, with the blessings of the innkeepr Pallabar Fapplestamp.

As usual, the earliest revelers come in, between 2 and 3pm, ordering their food and light drinks, taking up tables. Shortly before 4pm, as more customers start coming in, two men immediately attract Grimshaw’s attention. They are obviously not nobles, sporting worn leather armor and short sword at their hip. One of them he recognizes immediately. He is the guy that Chiwyll grappled at the front door of the estate early this morning.

They seem to do a quick look around at all the tables, then head to an open table for two at the corner of the room, closest to the entrance, sit there then wave to the closest waitress. For now, their attention seem to be focused on the patrons and making themselves the less conspicuous as possible.

Grimshaw discretely heads to the kitchen, and inform Pallabar, who agrees to take his shift behind the bar, asking only that he does not bring any trouble to the inn or its patrons. Grimshaw sends a waitress to the suite with refreshments and a message about the presence of the two men in the common room.

Amitreene still not being back, they ponder a few options, and then shortly before 5pm, Amitreene enters into the kitchen, following Pallabar. She has been out all day, and returns to learn about the situation, quickly ushered in the backroom by the innkeeper. Grimshaw and Amitreene, using the staff services access, heads up to the Suite. meanwhile, in the common room, the two men have started paying drinks to some of the noble there, and at least one of those seemed to have indicated the bar. A waitress confirms they are talking to the patrons, looking for more information about Grimshaw, as both Grimshaw and Chiwyll have been carousing last winter with some of them.

Grimshaw proposes a plan to lose their tail and provide false clues to the two men. The group acquiesces and preparations are made, including cutting the hair of Satine and dressing her up as a young boy, making Juniper wear local wool cloths rather than the rather foreign looking clothes she has been wearing so far, and Chiwyll hide his holy symbol and leave behind the shield with the sigil of his father’s noble house. Chloe will be hiding in Baelfyre backpack that Juniper is going to carry, a plan she practices with a lot of glee.

Then Grimshaw heads out of the suite, shortly followed by Amitreene. They are going to lead one or both of the men looking for them across the city and plant false leads, while the remaining of the group will leave as soon as both men have left the inn. 15mn or so after Grimshaw and Amitreene left the inn, a waitress inform them that the last man has left the inn.

The remaining of the group get the horses, and leave the inn, heading toward the Silverymoon. They pass the gate shortly before sunset, and the guard there inform them about a sighting of a cloud castle the day before, West from Everlund, in the direction of the Evermor. They are getting everyone in for the night, and the council has ordered to close the gates for the night. The group heads out, paying attention if they are followed or not, but they do not seem to be. A few minutes after leaving Everlund, as night falls, Baelfyre guide them to the rendez-vous point convened with Grimshaw, a local lake up in the hills used by the Everlund locals to swim.

In the meantime, Grimshaw and Amitreene leaving the inn spot one of the men starting to follow them, and they lead him across the town, first toward the caravan grounds in the South West of the city, then across the town again, various shop, until they hit the Bent Bow shop, the last stop to lose their tail, if still after them, and change directions. Despite a short discussion with Grimsahw’s wood elven cousin, a bowyer at that shop, the distraction seems to have worked, as they both reach the Silverymoon gate after nightfall, a few minutes before the soldiers close it for the night. Grimshaw leads Amitreene to the rendez-vous point, where they take extra precautions to approach the small campfire that the remaining of the group has set up waiting for them to arrive.

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The Happy Hall of Fortuitous Happenings

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As the group discusses the possible questions to ask the merchant’s dead body, Barrus mentions that he would like to ask if the Stone Tooth is a location. Questioned about the pointedness of this specific question, he reveals to the group that he used to be a guide between Sundabar and the dwarven Citadels around the Rauvin Mountains in the North East part of the Silver Marches, and spent some time after the Darkening traveling with his mentor in that area, and they came up a remote valley deep in orcish territory with a peak that looked like a stone tooth. His mentor mentioned that this peak was called the Stone Tooth and he had heard it was a landmark for an old dwarven Kingdom in the area, of which Barrus had never heard anything about before.

With the group’s agreement, this is the first question asked, and the dead body answer “yes” to that question.
The next question the group asks is “Where is the dark lake with the Black death?” to which the response is “under the Stone Tooth”
The last question is then “What did you need more of?” to which the response is “Durggedin’s weapons”

As the ritual ends with the last question, Ceylian offers hospitality to the group, mentioning that it is a tradition for temples of Tymora to offer hospitality to adventurers groups for up to 9 days for free. He thanks the group again for the insights they have shared, and mention that he will keep them informed the next morning after the priests check on the people that got raised here in the past years.
As the priests complete a preservation ritual on Cuslan’s body, the adventurers are taken to a sparsely furnished suite of rooms all arranged around a common room with table and chairs, located in another part of the Temple’s basement. Barrus decides to head out for the night, visibly feeling uncomfortable in the temple’s surroundings.

Amitreene decides to go to one of the local tavern and gather some information about the strange occurence that happened three days ago, as they were about to head out with Cuslan. Baelfyre decides to tag along. Everyone they talk to that evening remembers it vividly, the sense of dread felt and the goosebumps and all… After an hour they decide to head back to rest.

In the meantime, Joren casts an identify on the brass bottle they have recovered from Cuslan’s coach, and find out it is an eversmoking bottle, a magical item that Juniper claims.

The next morning, on the 20th of Ches 1489DR, the group ponders their next move and decide to head out to Everlund after turning Leejen Roykins to the local authorities.

Chiwyll, Baelfyre and Juniper head out to the castle on the western shores of the river where the Shields of Yartar are garrisoned, bringing their prisoner with them. A captain of the local guards meet them, and they explain their presence in the caravan that was attacked east of the city a few days ago. Their confusing explanations seem to puzzle the Captain, who mentions his forces have investigated the scene of the attack for the past days and asks why the characters did not report the attack earlier if they survived it.

Not fully convinced by the characters’ role in this episode, he then decides to interrogate the prisoner, which once ungagged immediately claim that he has been attacked by the adventurers, and they stole his stuff.
Baelfyre retorts that he saw him kill a sergeant leading the caravan’s guards, and then flee in the woods in the middle of the assault.
Leejen claims it is a lie, he just fled because the caravan was being overunned, and did not kill anyone.
Chiwyll and Juniper realize that the only witness to the alleged murder is Baelfyre, and it is now a shouting contest between Leejen and Baelfyre.
Asking if there is any proof of the ranger’s alleged evil deeds, the adventurers must confess that there is only Baelfyre’s testimony.

The Captain then asks them to stay in town for a few days, while he takes custody of the ranger.

After concerting together back in the Temple of Tymora, with Barrus back from his night out (he still has some leaves tucked in one of his boot), they all decide to spend a few days in town and start do their trainings.
Juniper isolates herself to practice her martial routines in a very quiet location of the temple, Baelfyre hires a master at arms to practice his sword moves, while Chywill does his own weapon practice against a training dummy in one of the training rooms of the temple.
Barrus heads out of town again for the day to do his own training in the wild, Joren focuses on his books’ study while Amitreene focus on her own spellbook.

Later that day, the High Priest pay them all a visit and inform them that they have talked to a few of the people that have been raised in the past years in this temple, and all of them show some symptoms of the same disease that both Cuslan and Karina have shown, albeit not as advanced. He shares that none of the people they met had been killed by dragons before being raised. Their best theory now is that both Cuslan and Karina both seem to have a very frail constitution, and that the disease may have progressed faster with them that it is progressing for others.
Lastly, he mentions that all the people they came across started feeling the first symptoms around the end of the last month, only a couple of ten-days ago.

The next day, with no news from the Captain yet, the group decides to keep training. When the Captain finally shows up in the middle of the afternoon, he informs them that they have tracked the orcs, hobgoblins and goblins footprints from the attack’s location to a nearby cove from a small branch of the river, and found large crude boats used by the attackers to cross. The humanoids must have come from the southern hills to set up their ambush. Asking the characters if they have obtained any proof about their allegation against Leejen, the group stands by their story, mentioning Varus of the Crushing Wave as the ring leader of the attack, while Barrus explains how he got whispered messages from him, after he summoned his elemental to protect the last surviving members of the caravan. Varus had asked him as a “brother of the Mighty Earth” to hand him over the merchant, which Barrus refused. They then let the captain know they have to go to Everlund and plans to come back within the next ten-day, and possibly bring proof of Leejen’s involvment in the plot.

Finishing their training for the day, the group then regroup the following morning, riding to Everlund with Cuslan’s body and Chloe. At the location of the attack, a patrol of the Shields of Yartar is still clearing the remnant of the wagons and carts, and putting the remaining goods still there in carts. The Sergeant inform them they found and killed a few scattered humanoid stragglers, but the group decides to continue on their way eastward. The weather is bad with short episodes of storms and pouring rains, making the journey uncomfortable. They meet a small group of men having a camp fire by the side of the road and continue on. They camp alongside the road, and head out the next day to reach Calling Horns by end of day, where they arrive before a medium sized caravan coming from Yartar, after declining the offer of the caravan master to escort them up to Everlund.

After a night there, they head out toward Olostin’s Hold, their next stop, and during the day, they come across a group of boars grazing by the road and taking mud baths. They decide to add bacon to their regimen of fruit, berries and small games that Barrus have been providing so far. A short fight occurs, where Juniper is wounded by one charging boar, but eventually all boars are dispatched, one of them taken for roasting later and the five others left on the side of the road for the incoming caravan to find. This night, they feast on the boar and go to sleep, when in the early hours of the morning Amitreene hear commotion happening south of their camping ground. She wakes everyone up, and they decide to investigate, Barrus keeping Chloe at the camp site. After a few minutes in the darkness, they come upon a fight between a small goblin hunting party and two boars by a small pond. The party attacks, dancing lights are cast to provide light for Juniper and Joren, and the goblins are quickly dispatched. They all have a tribal symbol of a thorn crown entwined around a short sword. The group finishes the night without completing their long rest and head east again at first light.

By the day, still under persistent rain and short burst of stormy weather, they get closer and closer from the Evermoor. In the middle of the afternoon, a buzzing sound coming from the North get their attention, and they see a small cloud of flying creatures, each one the size of a bird heading in their direction. Juniper perceives the creature as flying moles, and Baelfyre sends the group to gallop to attempt to avoid the dozen of more creatures buzzing in their direction, flying low above the ground. Chywill loses control of his horse who separates from the group and start dashing unbriddled southward in the surrounding hills. The flying critters pursue the main group up the road, when Juniper opens her eversmoking bottle creating a thick cloud of smoke behind them. The flying swarm then lose interest in the pursuit, and buzzes off. The group reconnects with Chiwyll who has fallen from his uncontrolled horse, and finally locate the horse a little bit farther.

They resume their journey toward Olostin’s Hold, which they reach later in the afternoon, informing a patrol from the local militia of the presence of the flying critters a few miles west from them, and learning from them that they were probably stirges, blood sucking pests that love sucking the blood out of any horse, or human unlucky to be in their path.

The last day of travel from Olostin’s Hold to Everlund happens without further incidents, and by the end of this 26th day of Ches 1489DR they enter the walls of the free city of Everlund. They try to find the location of Beregond’s Estate with the help of 6 years old Chloe with little luck until one of the adventurer suggest to find a shop she really likes, and she mention the candy store behind the big tower. From there, she can lead them to the fancy mansion that was called home by Cuslan, Beregond’s Estate in Everlund.

They go straight to the front door, and knock to deliver Chloe back to her family. A butler opens up and soon goes to fetch Bolen Sulmaster, the regent of the estate. The group informs him about the contract, the death of the merchant and the return of Chloe. As he is reading through the contract, some in the group seem to perceive a quickly hidden burst of anger, and the regent agrees to complete his part of the contract after checking that the body is indeed Cuslan’s. Amitreene asks if they can meet Satine, to which he responds that she is resting at the moment, and is not available. He will be glad to introduce them to her in one or two days if they want. The regent informs them that the merchant left earlier than he planned to Waterdeep to do a big donation to the temple of Waukeen there in the hope of finding a cure to his disease, after exhausting all the healers and clerics here in town. Despite his cold politedness, he seems eager to see the adventurers on their way, and sign the contract once the adventurers agree to release Chloe, Cuslan’s body as well as his signet ring, into his custody.

As they leave the mansion, their quest completed and a signed contract of ownership for a weapon store in Waterdeep, Joren asks his raven to peak around all the windows of the second floor of the mansion, and the adventurers then easily find a comfortable inn, the Golden Eel, thanks to Chiwyll’s familiarity with the city.

After the group settles, take their first hot baths after these nearly two ten-days on the road, and enjoy the comfort that this inn provides (all matching what Chiwyll mentioned it would be), they regroup for the diner together and discuss the next steps. Barus is missing though.

As they dine, the raven returns to Joren, and he learns that a teenager girl is indeed resting in one of the bedrooms in the second floor, but she looks bruised and battered.

After the diner, as Barus is still nowhere to be seen, the group looks for him, thinking that may be he fell asleep, but his bedroom is empty, untouched. As the adventurers regroup in the main room, and discuss Barus strange behavior in Yartar, and tonight’s disappearance, a tavern hand brings a sealed letter.

“Hi, Your dwarven friend said that I should give you this letter if I see you looking for him. Seems like that is what you are doing, right?”

The letter contains a well drawn map showing the location of the Stone Tooth peak, as well as the following message.

“Friends, if you stay in the region, it is possible that our paths will cross again, but I have to walk my own path for now.

I have left you a map to reach the remote valley in the Rauvin Mountains where the Stone Tooth I know of is located, in case you decide to search for it.

Please take good care of my horse.

Well met and safe travels!

Barus."

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Onward from Yartar

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On the morning of the 17th of Ches 1489DR, Joren heads down to “Esklindrar’s Maps, Books, & Folios” shop while Baelfyre and Juniper go buy some weapons at “Hasklar’s Arms & Armor” shop. Cuslan, with Chloe and the remaining of the group heads out to the Western Caravan Grounds.

Cuslan fails to find a coach for sale, and no caravans are heading West that day. He directs some workers to make a few rapid improvements to the group’s cart, hire a driver, and asks Barrus to be his Longstrider for the trip.

As Joren, Baelfyre and Juniper are heading to the Western Caravan ground after their short errands, a sudden silence befell the town, conversations stop suddenly and simultaneously across the town, and people look puzzed at each others for a few seconds of eery silence, before horses starts to bolt, dog barking and birds taking flight from the roofs of the town, and the sounds of the city resume while the horse handlers retake control of the horses that have bolted in panic.

Without further due, and with the cart readied with a makeshift bed, comfortable fur blankets and a canopy, the party takes the road West toward Triboar, Juniper now carrying a spear, and Baelfyre sporting on his hip two short swords, one of them a new fancy masterwork weapon. The area West of Yartar is more tamed than the eastern side. Cultivated fields, grazing animals, and scattered farms can be seen up to the river North, as well as in the Dessarin hills, south of the road. A patrol of Shields of Yartar trot past them during the day, tasked to making sure the road is safe ahead.

The next night and day on the road pass without incidents, and the company get within 15 miles of Triboar when they stop for the night. in the middle of the night, the elves keeping watch see a bright orange glow a few miles South in the hills, but a quick survey around the camp does not show any close danger, and the watch resume as the glow fades away over the next hours.

Then, as the first ray of light from the dawn peek above the horizon, a commotion occurs in the cart where Cuslan and Chloe sleep, and a frightened shriek from Chloe wakes everyone up. The characters rush to the cart, where they see Cuslan in death throes, violently trashing around, clutching for his face, eyes revulsed in horror. He yells "Why is this happening? .. I die again… the stone tooth… I need more… the black death in the lake… oh no.. no, no… not this ’ and dies within a few seconds in an anguished agonizing shriek. Amitreene quickly grabs Chloe, crying, from the cart and hold her tight, masking her face away from the horrible scene. Meanwhile, Cuslan’s body decays rapidly and stabilizes to where it now look like he died many months ago, with the corresponding smell quickly filling up the cart.

Barrus, Jorren and Juniper jump on the cart, trying to help the unfortunate merchant, but his life has slept away. Investigating what could have happened, Joren, with the help of Barrus, conclude that somehow he died from the old acid scar he had received in the past, and realizes that the nature of his wound had probably killed him once, when he received it. He may have been raised from the dead in the past, and somehow lost the benefit of this raising, something that, if true and not mere speculations, would be unheard of.

In any case, the merchant is now beyond help, and Baelfyre points out that having his contract is a good thing.

Joren does a ceremony to recommend the body and the soul of Cuslan to the gods, and the group then wrap up his body with the canopy, blankets and bags available in the cart.

They leave the cart and the two draft horses to the driver, still heading to Triboar, while they decide to return to Yartar, with their riding horses and Chloe, to fullfill the merchant’s contract.

As some smell of smoke drifts through the camp from a southern wind, the elves that were on watch, Baelfyre and Amitreene, casually mention the orange glow seen during the night to the group. Juniper, using Cuslan’s spyglass, takes a closer look south and sees thin plumes of smokes rising up from somewhere in the hills, south of the road, a few miles away. Joren sends Nevermore, his raven, in that direction to investigate further, but the group decides to head back toward Yartar to reach it before nightfall.

Two hours later, as Joren summons his raven back to investigate what he has seen in the southern hills, the company trotting eastward come upon a lone man walking the road westward. Baelfyre recognizes him as Cuslan’s bodyguard that killed the sergeant during the caravan ambush and disappeared in the woods in the middle of the battle. The man seems to recognize the group at the same time, and darts away from the road, hiding from view. After the surprise round, where Baelfyre quickly moves his horse forward to intercept the fleeing figure, the group try to pinpoint him where he hid. As they get too close, he casts a spell and then dart out South. He is quickly followed by the company still mostly all mounted. Amitreene hurl spells at him, while Juniper lands a few solid blows. As everyone tries to keep pace with the chase, the man casts another spells, viciously slashing Juniper, before running farther South, easily escaping any attacks of opportunities. Finally Joren casts a second Command spell at him, and the man falls asleep allowing everyone to catch up and tie him.

Taking their prisoner off the road, the company decides to charm him, using Barrus’s magic. The second attempt works, and as the man named Leejen Roykins finds himself freed in such friendly company, he informs them that he is following them under order of his employer, one Varus (of the Crushing Wave, Barrus mentions). He tells them that Varus is very unhappy that they prevented him to take the merchant after the ambush. As the man has a stone of sending to contact Varus, and is expected to report to him, the company asks him to report that the merchant is dead and that the company is heading to Waterdeep. Varus’s response is to keep following Chiwyll wherever he goes, as the secret of the merchant is now gone, and vengeance will be served (in more colorful and injure-laced terms). The “befriended” ranger has given as much information as he could, when Baelfyre slits his throat from behind. Losing blood, the man’s body fall on the ground, dying.

Stunned by this action, some in the group react as Baelfyre tries to finish the ranger. Chiwyll applies his healing hands to heal the man at the very last second to save his life, while Juniper attempts unsuccessfully to restrain Baelfyre.

Baelfyre steps back, expressing his surprise about some wanting to keep the man alive, as he clearly murdered a sergeant and was working with the ambushers. Hot words are exchanged, but cooler heads prevail, and decision is taken to keep the man alive.

After Joren has more time to talk to his raven familiar, he learns that the raven has seen a village devastated by fire, with a group of kobolds encircling a small partially destroyed keep, where the remaining villagers have taken refuge.

The company decides to keep heading back to Yartar, taking the prisoner with them. They reach the city at nightfall, and are investigated by a sergeant of the watch, who informs them that they should camp on the eastern caravan ground if they plan to keep the dead body with them for the night. Joren makes a quick stop at the market place to obtain a few gems in order to later cast some identify on the magical items that have obtained from Cuslan’s and the ranger’s equipment. While standing in front it, the company decides to take the body to the Temple of Tymora to see if they can preserve it better.

Welcomed by the acolytes first, and then a priest that mistakenly assume they want to raise a friend’s body, the conversation leads to a meet with the High Priest of Tymora in Yartar, named Ceylian.

Joren and Chiwyll explain the strange occurrences of the morning, also mentioning the disease that afflicted Cuslan, and when informed of the hypothesis formed by Joren and Barrus, he tells them that for a few workweeks now, raise dead spells have stopped functioning, and they do not know why.

Intrigued, and visibly very concerned, the High Priest agrees to charge no fees to cast a Speak with Dead on Cuslan’s body and preserve it for the group if they allow his clergymen to ask two questions out of the five. The company agrees, and the priests take the body of Cuslan to be prepared for the spell, while the High Priest leads the group to the hospital room, where a middle aged woman is sleeping. He tells them that she has been brought here by her friends 10 days ago, and she has been suffering for a few ten-days from a disease that the priests so far have not managed to either identify or cure. They also tried restoration or curse removal spells without any effects.

As the group approaches the sleeping woman, it becomes clear that her external symptoms seem very alike those that Cuslan had, minus the acid scarring. As a few of the adventurers express their wish to talk to her, the High priest offers to establish some degree of privacy around her first. He has himself one question for her.

Under Baelfyre’s watch, Leejen is locked in a small cell-like room with a stone bed and a grated door, a few others of these rooms lining the eastern wall of the hospital, while a few priests utter magical words, setting up four spheres of silence around the woman’s bed, keeping an area around it clear of the spell’s effects.

The High priest invite the rest of the group to join him by her bedside, the effect of the silenced zone shutting down the other sounds of the temple. With the nature of her disease unknown, they had already isolated her from the other few people lying in other beds.

Baelfyre stays outside of the privacy zone, next to Leejen’s cell, keeping an eye on both him and everything in the large open stone hall. Once the incantations are completed, the other priests resume their regular tasks, while Ceylian wakes up the woman.

“Hi Karina, these adventurers have a few questions for you, as they may help better understand the disease you are afflicted with. Before we start though, I do have one question for you: Have you ever been raised from the dead?”’
“yes, I was raised once during the Darkening”, she replies “why do you ask?”
“How long ago was it?” Ceylian asks without responding
“It was 5 years ago or so, during the fall of Nesme… We were participating to the defense of the walls against the orcs when the white dragon swooped in and froze me to my death with his breath. My companions managed to raise me after they were able to flee the city with their lives.”

At the invitation of the High Priest, Amitreene speak first, asking how she became infected.
Karina responds “I am not sure. I started feeling tired around the end of the last month, then everyday feeling more and more tired, overwhelmed with exhaustion. I came here at my friend’s suggestion, after we tried everything in term of healing ourselves.”
Amitreene then asks “Was there something strange at the period when you got infected? Contacting with someone? Visiting new places? Did you notice anything?”

“Not especially, no. I am living here in Yartar, studying the weave, and I have not traveled this past winter. I stay in touch with my close friends regularly, and used to go out from time to time. The priests told me that what I have does not seem to be contagious. The only thing that happened around 3 workweeks ago is that I started to have a hard time to focus enough to be able to cast my spells. I can still do my cantrips, but I can’t cast more powerful spells anymore, as I am too exhausted. I sleep a lot these days…”

Joren asks Karina if any of her friend has also been raised from the dead. She says that none of them has, as far as she knows, but her group split up after the Nesme battles 5 years ago, so she does not know what happened to some of them after.

She then asks “Do you believe I suffer from this because I have been raised?”
The High Priest steps in and says in his most reassuring voice “This is just an hypothesis we are investigating, nothing more. If I may ask, when you realized you could not cast your spells, how did it manifest?”
“I did not lose the spells, I still know them. It is just that at the beginning I started having a harder and harder time concentrating, and ten days ago any efforts I was trying to concentrate failed.”
Amitreene steps in again, and politely asks “What is your specialty as a wizard?”
“I am an evoker, dear.”

With no more questions for Karina, The High Priest leads the group to the other side of the hospital hall, and talks again.
“Thanks again for sharing this information with us. The coincidences with her situations and what you told me of Cuslan is troubling, and we are going to look into it more.”

Joren steps in “We need to investigate about any other people that have been raised in the past five years. Do you know of anyone else that may have been raised here?”

The High Priest ponders a moment, and then say "Yes, there are some people in Yartar that have been raised within this time frame, some of them we can check on. I will send some priests out first thing in the morning to check on them. "

He then stops for a moment, eyes losing focus for a few seconds, then whispers something back. “My priests tell me the body of Cuslan is ready for the questioning. We can keep your prisoner in this cell if you are ok with that, and we can head over there if you are ready for your questions.”

A dash-and bow from Baelfyre within the silence bubble, puzzle everyone as the group leaves the hospital hall and heads downstairs, in a lower level of the temple using long stairs and corridors lit by candles.

The group is brought in a large bare stone room, with only one small doorway, and in the middle of it the body of Cuslan lying on a stone table. A few priests are chanting in low voices around the body. Candelabras are lighting the room, as no windows or openings are visible.

As Amitreene brings Baelfyre up-to-date about the conversation with Karina, they also start to ponder about the three questions they are going to ask, when Amitreene turns to the High priest: “will we hear the questions you will ask the merchant?”

The High Priests responds to Amitreene: “We have already asked the two questions we needed to ask.”
Baelfyre then interjects: “Would you care to share what you learned? Perhaps it will help us to help you.”

One of the priests in the room whispers something at the High Priest ear. Ceylian looks the adventurers grimly. “Our first question was to make sure you told us the truth about this man’s death this morning, and his answer confirmed you told us the truth.
Our second question was about the fate of his soul, as we asked if he saw the City of Judgment before his soul departed from his body, to which he responded No”

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Heading West

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On the 4th of Ches 1489DR, the first caravan of the year leaves Silverymoon after a very long winter, heading westward.

In different capacities, the player’s characters are travelling with the caravan. Baelfyre, Amitreene and Joren all travel in a fancy first-class stage coach, while the dwarf Barrus practices with the Longstriders, helping the caravan get a faster pace.
Captain Melnick and a detachment of Knights in Silver escort the caravan.

The caravan stops at Everlund on the 6th of Ches, and gather there more wagons, a fancy private coach, some carts and a few more travelers, including Juniper and Chiwyll.

Two days later, the caravan arrives at Olostin’s Hold and stop there for the night.

The next stretch of the Evermoor Way is a 4 day trip to Calling Horns, where the caravan stop for the night on the 12th of Ches. Despite a few sightings of trolls, herds of Rothe, and other caravans, the progress is steady.

While the Knights in Silver return to Silverymoon, the caravan heads next to Yartar, leaving the Evermoors behind. Progress remains steady despite a heat wave. A trio of hippogriffs’ riders from Hawk’s Nest decide to spend the night on the caravan’s camping grounds for one night.

On the 16th of Ches, some people spot something unusual in the skies one mile behind the caravan. Unsure of the exact nature of the sightings (some mention some kind of earth mote, others believe the sightings are just mirages because of the heat wave..), the Caravan Master decides to try to reach Yartar and keep going instead of camping a last night out on the road.

At dusk, 15 miles still out from Yartar, the caravan is suddenly assaulted by a large group of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins, and quickly overrun. As the guards are falling under the assailants swords, lightning bolts disperse the carts and horses, burning some of them. Chaos and pandemonium ensues, and the battle rages on, until the players’ characters are the last ones standing and about to die. The dwarf Barrus then saves the day by summoning an earth elemental, allowing them to finish off the remaining assailants. During the ambush Baelfyre witnessed one of Cusland’s guards kill the Sergeant of the caravan’s guards and flee into the nearby woods.

Still, some unseen attackers are hiding in the woods, and request for the heroes to surrender the merchant, whose fancy luxury coach has not been damaged. As no-one has seen this merchant before, Barrus uses his elemental to open the coach, bringing him out. The merchant Cuslan Beregond is obviously ill, and has his six year old daughter, Chloe, with him.

After some discussions, the characters, still under the protection of the earth elemental, decide to make a run for Yartar with the merchant and his daughter, after he promises them to give them a large payment if they escort him to Waterdeep, where he wants to go to be healed. Cutting the elemental lose on the woods where the remaining assailants are, the characters make their escape in a cart and a few horses, transporting the merchant and his daughter and reach Yartar two hours later, long after nightfall.

They look for an inn not too shabby but not too obvious either, and end up in a modest neighborhood, at the White-Winged Griffon inn, where they book rooms and stables for the rest of the night, hoping for a much needed long rest.

After settling in, the party negotiates with Cuslan. He offers them 151 Platinum pieces as an initial payment for their help. He is planning to sell his shop in Waterdeep, and place Chloe in a private education facility there for her to grow up educated, and agrees to give the group 1/2 of the sale as thanks for escorting both of them to Waterdeep. In the event of his death along the way, the company is to escort Chloe back to Everlund and given to the care of Bolen Sulmaster, the regent of his estate, to be together with her older sister Satine. The party agrees and a Contract with Cuslan Beregond is signed.

Everyone takes a long rest, and the only incident during the night is a minor commotion in Barrus’s room, as he fells from his bed in the clutches of a nightmare.

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The Second Sundering
A brief summary of the last years in the North

In 1482DR, Bhaal, the long-dead god of murder, was reborn in Baldur’s Gate amid chaos and bloodshed. The return of Bhaal and his apparent reclamation of the domain of murder from Cyric led some scholars to believe that the rules by which all deities must abide were in flux, and this event marked for them the beginning of the Second Sundering (see an History of the Realms for more details about the First Sundering).

Strange calamities began to occur throughout Faerun, and conflicts broke out in many regions of the continent. Events like earthquake, floods, drought re-shaped some of the lands, undoing the changes brought upon by the Spellplague but also ending its wider effects. Pockets of wild magic manifestations are still fairly common across Faerun, amid the turmoils and upheavals brought up by these calamities.

In the North, between 1484DR and 1485DR the orcs of Many Arrows descended as a horde upon the land in great numbers, pillaging and massacring, while the region was under the effect of roiling clouds of smoke or some other foul substance that turned daylight into something less than moonlight and hid the stars entirely, called The Darkening . The Silver Marches were the most affected, with Sundabar being all but destroyed, and Silverymoon and the Dwarven Citadel being besieged by orcs and drows alike.

When the Orc horde cheiftain Hartusk is killed in battle by a Dwarven lord, the horde’s multiple tribes splinter off, relieving the besieged cities and citadels. Despite the retreat of the Orcs, the fall of Sundabar precipitated the fall of the League of the Silver Marches, as the dwarves retreated to the Underdark and to their citadels, blaming their former allies, especially Silverymoon and Everlund, for not helping defend Sundabar.

In the Western part of the North, the Hosttower of the Arcane rose again in Luskan, along with the Arcane Brotherhood, while in Waterdeep and Neverwinter, efforts were made to clear these cities of century-old rubbles and neglect, while ships claiming to come from Evermeet, Lantan and Nimbral sailed into ports of the Sword Coast.

In the Eastern parts of the North, the long-subjugated Bedine people rebelled against the Netherese, as their masters waged a war against the southern kingdom of Cormyr, with the help of their puppet kingdom of Sembia. Netheril attacked Myth Drannor by flying the City of Shade above it. In a struggle for control of its mythal, the flying capital of Netheril was brought crashing down on Myth Drannor, resulting in the cataclysmic destruction of both. Forced to retreat, the last remnants of the Netherese forces waged battle with the bedines for the control of Memory Spire, and the battle awakened a hive of phaerimms, whose draining magic made Anauroch a desert again.

Across the North the last two winters lasted longer than any winter on records. The solstices and equinoxes have somehow drifted. Later seasons follow suit, with each starting and ending later than expected. Prayers to the gods for knowledge and mercy seem to go unacknowledged.

The year now is 1489DR.

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Faerûn
An introduction to Faerûn, The Forgotten Realms

From the bitter, windswept steppes of the Endless Waste to the storm-lashed cliffs of the Sword Coast stretches a wide, wild land of shining kingdoms and primal wilderness, Faerûn is only one continent of the world known as Toril. Other lands lie in distant corners of the world, but Faerun is the center of it all, the crossroads and crux upon which all else turns. Dozens of nations, hundreds of citystates, and countless tribes, villages, and settlements dot its expanse.

The continent of Faerûn is a landmass of approximately nine and a half million square miles, located mainly in the northern hemisphere of the world of Toril. Sub-arctic extremes chill its northern reaches, where ice sheets like the Great Glacier dominate the landscape in blinding white. To the south are the equatorial jungles of Chult and the tropical coasts of Halruaa. It’s bordered on the west by the Trackless Sea and on the east by the Endless Wastes and the Hordelands that separate it from Kara-Tur.

Faerûn is an open land full of kingdoms and empires, large and small, and scattered city-states and villages struggling to make their way in a landscape that can be unforgiving wilderness one mile and cosmopolitan city the next.

Countless millions of humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, and other sentient beings call Faerûn home. It is a land of magic and intrigue, cruel violence and divine compassion, where gods have ascended and died, and millennia of warfare and conquests have shaped dozens of unique cultures.

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A Haunting dream...
It seemed so real, and yet...

During a trip at sea, Rastaputka, Peter and another friend get stranded on a remote island while their ship undergoes needed repairs.

During the first nights spent at the local inn, they learn that every night, one or two locals recently started to disappear each night. The adventurers investigate and find out that they are walking themselves into the sea during their sleep to later re-appear as wretched sea-zombies…

Investigating the island and it’s surroundings, a tomb entrance is discovered on a remote newly formed island, and it could possibly be the source of the new curse on this island.

The adventurers enters what look like an old tomb, with many traps and dangers. Rastaputka dies after being pushed by a companion in a deadly pool

She wakes up…

It was just a nightmare… But it all seemed so real…

And this devil’s face on the wall… haunting… taunting… gaping…
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