|09/18/2003||01/05/1374 DR - 01/13/1374 DR|
The party divided up the money and magic from the last adventure. They sold both of the masterwork short swords as well as the spellbook as none were of much use to the party. In total, each member received 550 gp from the division. The group then split up to take care of individual business within Silverymoon, many seeking places to buy magic with their newly acquired funds.
Daria received a dinner invitation from Dominique's brother, Tremayne, at Helmer's Wall where she was currently performing. The two had a quiet dinner together in which Tremayne casually mentioned that Dominique had be teleported to Cormyr on "family business" earlier that afternoon. He did not mention exactly what the business was, but he did say that he expected her to be gone for an extended period of time. As a curtsey, he had taken it upon himself to interview various arcane spellcasters as possible replacements for her, and already had a "short list" of candidates.
Thistle sought out wizards who could perform enchantments, and eventually found a loremaster named Felix at the Wizards Guild. Learning of Thistle's interest in enchanted items and his being an adventurer, he proposed a deal by which Thistle and his group would perform an information gathering mission for Felix.
Felix wanted the party to enter and return with information about a strange obelisk in the old North section of Silverymoon. It has stood in Silverymoon for at least four centuries, an oddity commonly ignored by most of the populous. He knows that it is hollow and obviously magical. He would like to know what is inside. To his knowledge, no one has ever entered the obelisk before.
In turn, Felix would arrange to have enchantments done for each member of Thistle's party up to 2,000 gp. This could be used as credit for an item worth up to 10,000 gp in value. Multiple items could be enchanted for an individual, but an upper limit of 3 was set as anything of lesser value should be readily available at any of the various magic shops around Silverymoon.
Thistle told Felix that he was interested in the job offer, but would have to consult with the rest of his group on the matter. He would get back to Felix with his answer one way or another.
Kartoffl received a summons to the High Palace for him and his adventuring group while worshipping at the dwarven shrine in town. It was from Fredegar, an advisor to Lady Alustriel. The meeting was to take place the next day in the mid-afternoon. The reason for the meeting was not mentioned, and Kartoffl did not recognize the name of the advisor.
The party got back together for dinner at Helmer's Wall to share information; all except Dominique were present. Daria informed the group as to what happened to Dominique, and it was agreed that they would have to find a new arcane spellcaster of some sort to replace her.
Kartoffl announced that they had received summons from an advisor to Lady Alustriel. Daria recognized Fredegar as a high-ranking and trusted advisor to Alustriel. Known in some circles by his nickname of Fret, he is also both dwarven and a bard.
Thistle told the group about the job offer from Felix. Daria recognized Felix as a well-respected loremaster and a high-ranking member of the Wizards Guild, hence his offer was probably legitimate. Although they were interested in the offer, they felt that needed to see what the summons as about before committing to the job. Thistle sent a message back to Felix telling him that they were still interested, and explained the delay due to summons from the High Palace.
The party went to the High Palace for their meeting with Fredegar. At the appointed time, Fredegar entered. He was a tidy-looking dwarf wearing flowing white robes. His beard was short and neatly trimmed.
Fredegar explained to the party that Lady Alustriel had taken an interest in the party, especially after some of their more recent missions, and had assigned him as a liaison to the group. He had also been informed that Dominique had been required to leave them, and had taken it upon himself to find a replacement.
Luckily, someone of fine upstanding character had come forward to assist in the task. That person already had a short list of candidates that consisted entirely of comely female spellcasters, and eventually chose one in particular. She was a foreigner from Calimshan by the name of Setara bint Naaman. Her father is supposedly a rich Calimshanite merchant/trader. Both Daria and Eltairin immediately recognized that they had recently traded in Setara's father's shop, Naaman's Magical Emporium. Fredegar agreed to set up a meeting at Helmer's Wall for dinner that evening.
That evening, the group gathered to meet their new prospective member. Thistle and Tassel both spotted her trying to find them, and Thistle got up to greet her. She was human, of average height, well-proportioned, and very attractive. Her hair was black, extending down to her lower back. Her skin was pale olive in complexion, and her eyes were a deep brown. She wore stylish blue robes and a thin cloak which did not look well-suited for winters in the Silver Marches, but her boots seemed more than adequate. She carried a spear, and seemed to have neither a spellbook nor a spell component pouch.
The group invited her to sit down for dinner with them, and introduced themselves to her. They asked her about herself and her magic. Setara mentioned that magic came naturally to her, and was never something that she worked on. She did not bother with components as she rarely found them necessary. While Yassel annoyed her a bit, she seemed to get along with the rest of the group. They accepted her, at least temporarily, into the group.
The group then turned their attention back to Felix's offer, discussing it with Setara. They agreed speak with him in more detail on it, and would probably accept it. Thistle arranged for a meeting with Felix for the next morning.
At the meeting, the group asked for more information about the obelisk. Felix told them that the obelisk is currently unclaimed by anyone. The group would be able to keep anything they were able to salvage. He would want anything of historical, cultural, or scientific value but would not be interested in a magical longsword for instance. The party would need to document what was contained inside. If they were unable to remove something from the obelisk or thought that removing it might cause it damage, then informing him of its existence would be enough. He would want a layout of the obelisk, so that a team of researchers could study the place in greater detail after the party made its initial sweep.
The obelisk is located in a windy section of the city, but the winds around it have both a natural and a magical component. The magical component seems to fill in, so that there is almost always a wind around it. At this point, Felix began to launch into a long winded discussion on the elements, which Kartoffl (thankfully) diverted by a well-timed question.
In response to Kartoffl's question, Felix commented that there is nothing special about the site in particular (except that the obelisk stand there). Neither the site nor Silverymoon are known for being particularly windy. Silverymoon was originally founded on a place sacred from time immemorial to Mielikki and Lurue. The city does not even have a shrine to Shaundakul, the wind deity.
A major reason why no one has entered the obelisk in recent memory is the fact that it has no windows, and a single door only door only appears when the winds subside. The natural wind seems to be the prime controlling factor in the appearance of the door. The magical component attenuate the rate of appearances and length of time that the door is present. It also modulates the effects of wind busts in the spring and fall on the door's appearance. Typically, the door appears on an average of once every twelfth day during this time of year for an average duration of 2-3 minutes. In the spring and fall, it tends to appear more often, but its duration is much shorter. He had no information of the rate of appearance of the door inside the obelisk as no one, to his knowledge, has ever been inside it or at least ever returned and communicated said knowledge.
A mention of the possibility of a necromancer being present in the obelisk sent Felix on another lecture about Silverymoon's wards. This time, the party allowed him to speak for a while as this information was potentially useful. Spells whose effect that do not function within the city include those with: death descriptors, evil descriptors, teleportation descriptors, conjuration (summoning), and fire (evocation). The later 3 may be circumvented only by casters carrying a ward token. Several prevailing spells exist within the city (active at all times). These include: antipathy to all evil-aligned demons, devils, dragons, drow, duergar, giants, goblinoids, mind flayers, orcs, and trolls; detect scrying, invisibility purge, death ward, and protection from evil. Several others wards are also present in the city, but they are only accessible by Lady Alustriel and a select few others, so Felix did not go into any detail about them.
At this, Setara respectfully asked if she could obtain a token to use while she was inside the obelisk as she might need to cast fire spells. Felix agreed to allow her to use an Adrath Token, but she must return it promptly after completion of the mission. She must not use it to cast fire spells within the confines of the city, nor must she attempt to remove it from the city as it would crumble into useless powder. When asked if it could be used on the obelisk's grounds, he asked yes, but an inquiry by city and guild officials would then have to be held to ascertain that it had been used legitimately. Following the discussions, the group agreed to take the job, promising to return after they had completed their investigation.
The group then set about trying to find more information about the obelisk themselves. Daria, Yassel, and Eltairin went to the Vault of the Sages to search. (The rest of the party went to buy provisions for the mission.) After much searching, the group found a few references to the obelisk. A few texts mentioned the Ministry of the Winds, a group of four spellcasters who were supposed to have built to Obelisk. They were influential several hundred years ago. Eventually, they seemed to have just disappeared.
The next morning, the group journeyed to the Obelisk.
01/05 - return to Silverymoon
01/09 - Daria's dinner with Tremayne
01/10 - group dinner at Helmar's Wall
01/11 - meeting with Fredregar, and later, with Setara
01/12 - meeting with Felix
01/13 - go to the Obelisk.
The party arrived at the obelisk, a featureless structure of mottled gray and brown granite standing about 2 stories tall and measuring some 40 feet at its base. They did not discover any doors or windows with a thorough search of the obelisk. With little else to do, the party waited 4 hours until the winds shifted, revealing a door on the west side.
Thistle, Eltairin, and Kartoffl then attempted to open the door with little success. It was not until their third attempt that they managed to push the stone block door through the opening.
Beyond the door, they saw a square chamber with 20 foot sides. The walls were covered with intricate carvings of unknown origin. The floor was smooth while the ceiling was lost in the darkness.
The party investigated the carvings but could find out little. Daria and Setara recognized it to be a part of an ancient pictogram system that melded magical knowledge and philosophy to record historical events. However, no one was able to decipher them.
While waiting for the rest of the party to investigate the room, Eltairin noticed that he was standing on a hidden trapdoor. He quickly stepped off of it, and told the party what he had found.
Kartoffl noticed that some of the carvings were cut deep enough to climb the walls. When he told this to the party, Yassel decided to do just that, while carrying a rope with him. He noticed a 1 1/2-foot square hole in the ceiling near the wall he was climbing. He secured a grappling hook for safety then looked into the hole.
Beyond the hole, Yassel saw a strange room. The walls of the room were transparent, allowing him to view Silverymoon. Light from outside illuminated the room, although none of it passed through the hole itself.
A strange creature with ruby-red scales, a mandibled head, and four arms sat in an elevated chair in the center of the room, writing on a piece of parchment. It wore a loose yellow cloak and kept two short swords close at hand. Hundreds, if not thousands of sheets of parchment lie scattered about the floor around the creature.
Yassel, deciding to be friendly, called out to the creature. Unfortunately, the creature had not noticed Yassel until that point and was startled by his greeting. Taking exception to this, the creature took his short swords, dropped down from the chair, and proceeded to attack Yassel. Yassel jumped down, using the rope to help break his fall. Once down, he told the party about his assailant.
Suddenly, the creature began to appear on the room with the party. A battle ensured with the creature finally being defeated. Yassel then climbed back up into the room, and took all of the parchment, ink, and pens that he could find.
After Yassel returned, the party opened up the trapdoor that Eltairin had found. A spiral staircase lead downward. The party walked down the stairs, descending into a mostly round room almost 30 feet across. The walls, floor, and domed ceiling have been painted sky-blue and white, like a cloud-filled sky. However, now -- surely many decades after this handiwork completed -- the paint looked faded and chipped. The room was lit by continual flame stones, built into the walls, as were all of the other rooms in the obelisk.
They opened the only door in the room to find an oddly-shaped hall that was filled the large, fluidly-carved alcoves. The walls are all covered in a strange mixture of abstract carvings and a myriad of tiny images. The carvings were the same as they saw in the first chamber; these were equally indecipherable.
They opened the next door to find a hallway filled with powerful winds. There were 10 small alcoves, each of which hiding a shambling humanoid form that towers at least 8 feet high. These creatures began to lurched out of the recesses and into the windy hall, brittle flesh barely hanging onto ancient bone. A lengthy battle followed with the party finally defeating the ogre zombies.
The party slowly advanced into the windy room. Yassel had a great deal of trouble in the room as the wind knocked him over and he couldn't seem to get up. After much effort, the party advanced to the only door leading out of the room, and opened the door.
The party saw a corridor going away from
them with an opening on the left. On the right, they saw two doors
and a corridor. At the far end of the hall, there was nothing but
|10/02/2003||01/13/1374 DR - 01/14/1374 DR|
As Yassel looked into the corridor, a minotaur entered it heading toward the party. The party backed off into the first hall to battle it. They battled it at the door to the windy chamber, and were greatly surprised when an invisible mage appeared after casting a lightning bolt at the party. He disappeared in the next round, and escaped down the corridor after the minotaur died.
The party spent a little time healing up, and then cautiously advanced into the corridor. Yassel advanced ahead, and spied around the corner of the opening. He saw a female cleric and an unidentifiable "wolf-like" creature waiting in the room. He noted the holy symbol of the cleric, which both Eltairin and Kartoffl later identified as belonging to Cyric. He returned to the party and told them what he had seen.
The party attacked, and another long battle ensued. The wolf-like creature appeared behind the party via a dimension door, forcing Eltairin and Setara to battle it. The mage reappeared after casting another lightning bolt at the party. Eventually, each of the three were killed, but the party was badly hurt and practically out of spells.
The party searched all of the bodies, and Daria cast detect magic. They found the following magic: a ring, a potion of CLW, another as yet unidentified potion, a heavy mace, a large great axe (from the minotaur), 3 arcane scrolls (see invisibility, fly, and gust of wind). They also found a suit of masterwork full plate armor (which they gave to Kartoffl), a heavy steel shield, a shortbow with 10 arrows (arrows given to Eltairin), and a key (from the mage). Daria also noticed that a locked door in the room had a spot of abjuration magic on it, but could not identify it further.
The party searched more of the lower level
of the obelisk, finding four single bedrooms, a caved-in room, and a passage
into the sewers. All that seems ahead of them is a single locked
door in the room where the battle with the cleric was fought. Not
wanting to risk further danger, the party rested overnight in the corridor
where they first spotted the minotaur.
After a night's sleep in the obelisk, the party got up and went back to the door. They examined it both physically and magically. Eltairin cast detect magic, and noticed that the aura coming from a specific location on the door was faint. Kartoffl recalled that glyphs of warding are abjuration in nature, and since there was a cleric nearby, that was a good bet. Yassel, for his part, could not find any traps on the door at all. Kartoffl then cast a dispel magic on the door, successfully removing the glyph.
Yassel unlocked the door with the key, and opened it. Beyond, he saw a small, rough-hewn cave with coins and other valuable-looking items in piles on the floor.
The party entered to catalog what they had found. The coins amounted to 600 cp, 900 sp, and 1200 gp. There were 6 gems that Yassel appraised at 300 gp, 300 gp, 175gp, 90 gp, 50 gp, and 10 gp. There was also a dark blue vase (appraised at 50 gp), a broken ebony figurine of a bird that Setara mended (appraised at 300 gp), two vials of holy water, a divine scroll of wind wall, 3 smokesticks, and a masterwork heavy flail.
The item that captivated the party was an ornate, blue, smooth-headed, heavy mace, inlaid with numerous small pearls. Even though it was not magical, they knew that it was extremely valuable. Daria recognized the mace as the Scepter of the Clouds, an important relic kept within the vaults of the Temple of Selune. The group realized immediately that this should be returned to the temple as soon as possible. Daria wrapped it up in silk and stored it away in her backpack for safe keeping.
After some discussion, the party decided to walk down the sewers for a while to see where they came out. They only had to walk about 10 yards before they found a metal ladder built into the wall, leading up to a cover above. Yassel climbed up, and found that he was a few blocks away from Helmer's Wall. He returned to the group, and they re-entered the obelisk's underground area.
The party then made a thorough search of the obelisk to make sure that they had not missed anything. Finding that they had completely explored the obelisk, they headed to the upper level and left the obelisk. Turning around after leaving, they found the entrance to the obelisk missing, even though the stone block that they had pushed in was still in the first chamber.
The party headed directly to the Temple of Selune to return the mace. They were shown in, and explained how they had found the Scepter in the obelisk. The High Mother thanked the party for recovering it. It had been stolen several weeks before, but they had not made it public. After locking it away once again, she gave the party 1200 gp as a reward.
© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2003.