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Chapter 6: Tears of Evergold

10/08/2003 01/14/1374 DR

The High Mother then explained a problem that she had been dealing with, and asked the party for aid.  That morning, the shrine of Sune was robbed of a holy book and one of the clerics there was murdered.  The Temple of Selune has been lending aid to the shrine, and had raised the murdered cleric.

The city watch has been investigating, and her temple had assisted with healing and divination magic.   The watch had found a handkerchief with an embroidered letter "H" on it.  They had also arrested the culprits involved in the crime.  They had confessed, but it was clear that they were not working alone.

She had just communed with Selune and found that the "H" stood for Hadonia.  She had also gotten the location Nether Mountains,  presumably this is where Hadonia had gone.  Given that it is winter, she and the city watch agreed that an experienced adventuring party might be the best bet for recovering the tome, hence the reason for her broaching the subject with the party.

The party told her that they were interested in helping, but had to report back to the loremaster who had hired them.  The High Mother stated that this was not a problem as she had to meet with the City Watch once again, and might have more information when they return.  The party then left to report to Felix.

Felix greeted the party,and eagerly listened to their accounts of their exploration.  He was especially excited when they gave him the xill's written records as well as their own notes and maps of the obelisk's interior.  As they spoke, everyone could tell that he was already planning sending several research teams into the obelisk.

Felix stated that the party had more than earned their rewards, and asked if they had thought of what they wanted.  He restated that the party did not have to make their requests now, but could wait until they were ready.  Thistle reiterated that he wanted an amulet of health +2, and was able to pay the extra 2000 gp cost after the party divided up the treasure from the obelisk -- each party member got 630 gp in the division.  Eltairin requested slippers of spider climbing.  Kartoffl requested that the masterwork full plate armor that he had just gotten be enchanted to +1 and fortified.  Yassel asked for Heward's Handy Haversack, which Felix happened to have (fittingly) handy, and gave to it to Yassel immediately.

The party took the 3 magic items found in the obelisk to Setara's father's shop, Naaman's Magical Emporium, to have them identified.  Her father was not in town, but Setara bargained for several minutes with Najib, who runs the Silverymoon shop, for finally arrive at a fee of 150 gp per identification.  They left the ring, the heavy mace, and the large greataxe there, and returned to the Temple of Selune.

The party met once again with the High Mother who more fully explained the events of that day.  The Sunites had tried to locate object on the book, but could not find it within the city.  The High Mother mentioned that she would be trying to scry for the book and Hadonia, but did not believe she would have much success given the lack of information that she had on them. The party might have to go into the Nether Mountains, but she suggested that they might want to conduct their own investigation within Silverymoon first. The party quickly agreed to take on the job. As they would be working for the shrine of Sune, she stated that the party should talk to them about rewards.

When the party asked more details about the stolen tome, the High Mother brought in Anastasia, the cleric of Sune who had found the murdered Sunite, who turned out to be her twin sister.  The party spent a great deal of time trying to interview the well-endowed but empty-headed blonde Sunite.  She told them that the book was called "Tears of Evergold," and was written by Angelica Windshine, a Sunite traveler to Sune's home plane.  It is a smallish tome measuring about 2"x 11" x 6".  Anastasia was away at the time of attack, having breakfast with a gentleman companion.

When asked about a possible reward, Anastasia thought for a while (probably surprising the party that she could actually do this in the process), and then offered them her and her sister's sash as a reward. These sashes were, of course, for the party's "lovely ladies" (and are, presumably, magical).

Anastasia took the party to see her sister Daphine, who was recovering at the Temple.  Daphne was found reclining in bed, milking attention from everyone.  She told them about reading the tome this morning by one of the side altars when 4 thugs came in.  They had long daggers and short swords, and stabbed her mercilessly.  When asked what they looked like, all she talked about was the daggers and swords.  They could get little else out of her.

Anastasia then took the party to the shrine so that they could see the scene of the crime.  She showed the party the side altar and where her sister had fallen (directly in front of the altar).  She found the handkerchief at her sister's feet.  The party found plenty of blood still around but nothing else -- Anastasia told them that the watch had already searched the place thoroughly.

Almost as an afterthought, Anastasia warned the party that males should not handle the tome.  Those that do, even if it were in a bag, would be struck feebleminded.  She did not know the specifics of the protection as the shrine currently did not have any male clerics.  They had male, lay worshippers, but none of them had ever gotten close to the tome.

After leaving the shrine, the group stopped off a Naaman's Magical Emporium to get the results on the identifies and pick up their items.  The ring turned out to be a +1 ring of protection; the mace, +1 heavy mace; and the large greataxe, +1 large greataxe.  They promptly sold both the mace and greataxe, and gave the ring to Daria.

Daria had remembered seeing a Sharessian cleric named Hadonia in Helmer's Wall while Daria was performing there, so the party decided to go there to see if they could find out anything about her.  They questioned the bartender, and got a description of Hadonia.  They learned that she had been in town for about a month and a half, stopping in irregularly.  The last time she was in was the night before the attack (last night).  They also got a short list of customers who had left with her; this included Dominique's brother, Tremayne.
10/16/2003 01/14/1374 DR - 01/15/1374 DR

The party continued their investigations around town.  Yassel talked with customers at Helmer's Wall about Hadonia and discovered that she mostly hung out at the Dancing Goat Tavern, a rowdier establishment by the docks near the Moonbridge.

Daria talked to Dominique's brother, Tremayne, about Hadonia while exchanging pleasantries with him.  He told Daria that he had met Hadonia soon after she had arrived in Silverymoon.  While he admitted to having availed himself of her charms on at least one occasion, he found her to be too obvious for his tastes - all of the romance and courtship that make a relationship truly worthwhile were lacking.

She frequented Helmer's Wall when she first came to town, but quickly moved on to the Dancing Goat Tavern where she spent most of her time. Helmer's Wall was far too slow for her tastes.  He had also heard that she had a room at the Wayward House, a few blocks away, although he has never been there.

He recalls that she had talked about establishing a shrine to Sharess at her villa in the Nether Mountains. She could not find anyone interested in going out there, so she eventually dropped the idea.

Thistle went to the City Watch Headquarters and informed them about what the party had discovered about the stolen book, in particular that it could not be safely touched by a male.  The watch agreed to requestion the prisoners, based on this new information and share whatever they uncovered with the party.

The party decided that they should go to the Dancing Goat Tavern next, so everyone, except Thistle who was still at City Watch Headquarters, went. They found the Dancing Goat to be a noisy, bawdy place where all sorts of riff-raff, including professional courtesans, mingled with labors, merchants, travelers, and adventurers.

Naturally, the party promptly split up and began questioning different customers.  Yassel approached the bartender who knew Hadonia as a regular patron.  She would arrive in the evening, and would leave with a worshipper, returning after a few hours only to leave with another.  Many times, she availed herself to one of the rooms he had available at the tavern.

Daria socialized with a group of sailors who provided the same information that Yassel had found.

Kartoffl found a group of dwarven merchants/travelers who had just arrived from Mithral Hall.  He had an enjoyable time with them, and learned some information.  One of the dwarves recalled seeing Hadonia several months ago while he was in Silverymoon on a previous trip.  She seemed to be interested in getting people interested in some shrine she was starting in the Nether Mountains.  They could not believe that she actually expected that anyone would go there with her.

In addition, Kartoffl also heard some interesting news/rumors from the region around Mithral Hall.  The dwarves told him that there were stories of increased activity from followers of Malar in the northern sections of the Moonwood, however they did not provide any solid information.

Kartoffl told them about rescuing a dwarven mine in the Nether Mountains, they were not surprised that drow would try something like that. They spoke of the invasion of drow from Menzoberranzan almost 15 years ago. Although the drow were badly beaten, they could have recovered enough in the past 15 years to be a threat once again.

The group then traveled to the Wayward Inn where Hadonia was supposed to have a room.  (By this point, Thistle had rejoined the group.)  Upon checking at the front desk, Yassel learned that she had checked out that morning, and had not left a forwarding address.  Her leaving had occurred about two hours before the murder and robbery at the Shrine of Sune.  He was also able to learn that her room was number 210, but was unable to gain access as the party did not have any documentation proving that they were working for the shrine and with the watch on the case.

The party returned to the Silver Watch Headquarters.  The watch had information from the requestioning of the prisoners:  They found out that the prisoners had met Hadonia (or at least a woman who matched the description of Hadonia) near the Moonbridge about a half hour before the crime.  They then walked to the Shrine together.  Hadonia stayed outside while they committed the murder, and then entered to take possession of the book.  She left heading toward Hunter's Gate.

They were hired the previous day from the Bright Blade Brandished Tavern for 30 gp.  Hadonia had come in, and discreetly inquired as to whether they were interested in employment.  Being down on their luck sailors who had not been able to find jobs this winter, they took her up on her offer.

Thistle asked the watch about receiving some sort of official papers stating that they were working with the watch.  The Sergeant of the Watch agreed, but said that he needed to get his captain's signature on their form, so he asked that the party return for them first thing in the morning.  The party then retired for the evening, agreeing to meet for breakfast.

In the morning, the group first went to Watch Headquarters where they received their requested papers.  They also requested that the watch check into possible motives for Hadonia's actions.

They then returned to the Wayward Inn, and presented their paperwork. They were escorted to Hadonia's room and allowed to search it at their leisure.  Eltairin found some forgotten cosmetics under the bed.  Yassel found a secret compartment in the closet that contained a small jewelry box. The secret compartment looked well used, but was still very well concealed.

The party then went to the Bright Blade Brandished Tavern where Hadonia had supposedly hired the thugs who committed the murder.  Yassel first talked with the bartender, then went over to talk to friends of the thugs who committed Daphne's murder.  He was noticeably antagonistic with the out-of-works sailors and the situation almost came to blows.  Fortunately (mostly likely for the sailors), Daria stepped in, and eased the tension that was building.  In all, the party gained information that corroborated the stories that the murderers had given the watch.

The group next went back to the Shrine of Sune.  They once again spoke with Anastasia, this time questioning her about Hadonia.  She told them that Hadonia had visited the shrine on more than one occasion several weeks ago. They were on good terms with her,and Anastasia could not see why Hadonia would want to harm her sister.  If she had asked, the clerics would have allowed her to see the tome that was stolen.

When the party asked more detailed information about the book, they were directed to the High Priestess of the shrine, Evandellina Trueheart.  She told the group that the tome could be used to gain access to Sune's home plane of Brightwater.  It also gave details gained from traveling on that plane.

The group then went back to Felix to ask him to translate portions of the xill's writing in the hope that it would provide more information on the crime.
10/23/2003 01/15/1374 DR - 01/20/1374 DR

Daria, Yassel, and Eltairin went to Rhyester's Matins (temple of Lathander) to talk with Daria's mother, Kalinda Alathair, a high priestess at the temple.  She had not heard of Hadonia, which did not surprise her as she does not keep track of wandering clerics.  She reassured the group that nothing was missing from her temple nor has she heard of anything being missing from an allied temple (except from Selune's temple which the party is already aware of).

When the trio mentioned their recent adventure and finding a cleric of Cyric inside of the obelisk, Kalinda was worried.  As clerics of that religion are generally up to no good, having one hiding out nearby made her suspicious. She stated that she would not be surprised to find another cleric of Cyric behind the murder and robbery at the Shrine of Sune.

Kartoffl and Yassel then went to the dwarven shrine to question the clerics there.  They also has not heard of anything missing around town. When Kartoffl mentioned rescuing the dwarven mines, the cleric went into a tirade about drow and how they could not be trusted.  Yassel, for his part, was unimpressed with the shrine, grumpy dwarven clerics, or the huge magic great hammer that hung behind the massive stone main altar.

The rest of the party returned to the Temple of Silver Stars (temple of Selune).  There, they spoke once again to the High Priestess.  She had completed scrying for Hadonia with the help of Daphne.  She reported that she could not locate Hadonia at all.  When asked how this could be she listed the following possible causes: she was dead, she was magically hidden, she resisted the scrying, or she never actually existed -- it was impossible to tell which reason was correct.

The High Priestess reported that she had contacted their sister temple in Waterdeep.  They told her that a cleric of Sharess matching Hadonia's description lived in Waterdeep until 6 months ago.  She had left for parts unknown at that time.

The party then discussed casting a locate object spell in Silverymoon to attempt to find Hadonia's holy symbol as she is known to be the only cleric of Sharess.  As the party did not have the spell prepared today and nobody at the temple had it prepared, the High Priestess volunteered to check neighboring temples to see if she could find a cleric to help.  While she searched, the party was treated to lunch at the temple.

Just as the group was finishing lunch, the High Priestess returned with a cleric of Oghma by the name of Josephus, who had prepared the spell.  They chose to have him cast the spell midway between the Dancing Goat Tavern and the Wayward Inn in the hopes of finding Hadonia's holy symbol in that neighborhood.

Josephus detected the symbol, and directed the party towards the Wayward Inn.  They continued in that direction until they found a nearby alley.  He then pointed downward about 15 yards away from a sewer grating.  The party thanked Josephus for his help and went into the sewers.

Down in the sewers, the party found a well-decomposed, badly-eaten body still wearing a holy symbol of Sharess.  They could tell nothing about the cause of death as there was too little that remained intact.  Eltairin noticed that personal effects were littered in the flowing water nearby, having originated from a pile upstream.  He noted that there was too much there for it to be carried on the person of the deceased individual.  The party collected up the body parts that they could find as well as any items they could salvage.

They carted the remains to the Temple of Silver Stars.  There, they turned them over to the High Priestess and her staff.  Since neither she nor her clerics had prepared that spell that day, she once again conducted a search to find a cleric willing to resurrect the remains.

In the meantime, the party went back to the city watch.  They provided them information on the body that found in the sewers; the watch, in turn, immediately sent a detachment down there to conduct an investigation of the site.

The watch told them that they had interviewed guards and travels through the Hunter's Gate the morning of the crimes.  Hadonia was seen leaving by the gate.  Those interviewed reported that she was traveling toward Sundabar Pass.  It was noted that those who saw her recalled seeing her within a few hundred yards of the gate.  Later travelers did not report seeing her.

They returned to the Temple of Silver Stars where they finally met Hadonia, resurrected by a cleric of Lathander.  Introducing simply as a group helping the Shrine of Sune with the murder/robbery investigation, Hadonia willingly spoke to the party. She told them that the last date that she remembered was two months ago.  She was traveling to the Dancing Goat in the early evening when she was approached by a potential worshipper.  They were returning to her room when she was attacked by three assailants wearing black in an alley near the inn.  They struck quickly and the wounds burned. Her suitor did not take part in attack, but she did notice a faint smile on his face just before she died.

The group continued to question Hadonia.  She provided them detailed directions to her villa in the Nether Mountains, claiming that it was only a day's walk from Khelb.  During the course of the conversation, Eltairin tell it slip that the party had been the ones to find her body and bring it for resurrection -- Hadonia was very grateful.  They left Hadonia in the care of the clerics of Selune who unfortunately were not too comfortable having someone of Hadonia's morals around.

The party decided to wait until the next day and travel to the villa as it seemed like the only lead that they had not followed up.  In the meantime, they supplied themselves for the trip, including shopping for mounts for Kartoffl and Setara.  Kartoffl was able to pick up his newly enchanted suit of armor from Felix.

The party left for Khelb on 16 Hammer, leaving Thistle and Kartoffl in town to wait for Thistle's item to be finished.  While waiting, Kartoffl finally received word from  about the shield that he had left with him; the excess profit was distributed to the original party members. Afterwards, they rode quickly to catch up with the rest of the party.

The journey to Khelb took 3 days given the winter weather, arriving on 19 Hammer.  Thistle and Kartoffl were able to catch up with the party by the time they reached Khelb.  The group spent the night in town, and then left for the villa. They left their mounts in town as the snow was too deep for them to die safely.  Fortunately, they had their snow shoes from their previous trip into the mountains.  Setara did not need any as her boots seemed to allow her to travel fine without them.

The party set out toward the villa on 20 Hammer, following Hadonia's directions. They quickly discovered that when Hadonia gave her estimate of time, she did not take into account the wintry conditions in the mountains.

After a few hours, they came to a spot that most of the party recognized as a potential avalanche site, based on their previous experience in the mountains.  They trekked to a spot above the site, and Kartoffl used his sound burst spell to set off the landslide.  Once it cleared, they continued on their way.

Mid-afternoon, they heard a voice ahead of them calling out for help. Upon investigation, the group spotted 3 foul creatures with glowing red eyes.  They had the body and legs of a 9-foot long stag, the tufted tail of a lion, and a low-slung edge-shaped head like that of a giant badger. Thistle was able to identify these creatures as luecrotta, a particularly vicious predator hated in the Silver Marches.  At one time, Silverymoon had a bounty on these vile creatures.  A battle ensued with the party killing the predators.  Only Daria was seriously injured.  Unfortunately, her armor was torn up by the creature and rendered useless.
10/30/2003 01/20/1374 DR - 01/21/1374 DR

After tending to their injuries, the party walked for the rest of the day in the direction of  the villa.  Setara used Aasan, her hawk familiar, as a scout for the party.  From his observations, Setara was able to estimate that the group still had a day's walk left before they reached the villa.

Towards sunset as a light snow began falling, the party sought shelter. They found a sheltered area near the drop off where they could spend the night. Eltairin checked the weather, and was able to determine that the weather would not get much worse over the night.

The next morning before they continued on their journey, 21 Hammer, Kartoffl used a make whole spell to repair Daria's damaged armor. Unfortunately, he could not restore its enchantment.

Around mid-day, the party encountered Konrad, a cloud giant ranger who patrols the Nether Mountains.  He told them that their way to the villa was clear of predators and should be uneventful.  He knew that the villa had been inhabited for several months, but knew little else about it.  Konrad did warn the party to be on the lookout for a small white dragon who has been plaguing the region - he has not yet been able to locate the beast.

When told of the leucrotta attack on the party the previous day, he told them that bands of those foul creatures were getting more prevalent in the region.  When the group returns to Silverymoon, they should report the incident to Lady Alustriel and the officials in the city.

After a few hours, Setara sent Aasan out to scout around the villa.  It was a stone structure on the side of the rise with a single door visible. There were several tracks around the building but not venturing away from it.

When the party got closer, Yassel and Daria went ahead to get a better look.  Yassel noted the tracks around the villa and made sure that none of them led to a secret entrance.  He then checked the door finding that it was locked but not trapped.  He also noted that there was a discolored rectangular area above his eye level on the door.  Further inspection revealed nail holes indicating that something had been removed from the door.  Yassel unlocked the door but waited for the party to catch up before opening it.  He also listened and noted some irregular sounds beyond the door.

When the party caught up with the advance scouts, Yassel and Daria tried to no avail to open the door.  Thistle, however, was able to open it.  Beyond the door, the party saw a hallway with 7 doors, each with a continual flame stone imbedded in the wall above them.  In the hall, there were 3 foul-looking canines with glowing red eyes and breath that smelled of brimstone.  A battle ensued with the party defeating these hellish hounds.

The party then began searching each room as they got to it until they had checked what was behind every door.  The first room was a kitchen that was still being used.  The next was a dining room followed by a bathroom and a library.

Searching the library turned up two books.  One was a wizard's spellbook with the following spells inside: sleep, comprehend languages, shield, and mage armor.  The other was a non-magical book that Eltairin found entitled "The Invocations to Sharess," which could be best described as the Realms version of the Kama Sutra.  They left this book while they gave the spellbook to Thistle until they could determine the contents. After doing so, they returned it to the library.

The next room that the party searched looked like a guest bedroom.  It contained a comfortable double bed and a large chest.  When Yassel searched the bed, he found a potion that Kartoffl later identified as neutralize poison under one of the pillows, and a key hanging from a silk ribbon from one of the bedposts.  The key turned out to unlock the chest, which was empty.  The potion was given to Setara to hold.

The party then investigated a room that looked like the master bedroom. It contained a comfortable, fancy double bed, a writing desk, and a large  chest.  Yassel investigated the desk, finding a small statue that Daria recognized to be Sharess, some pens, blank sheets of paper, and ink.

When Yassel investigated the chest, he found a magical trap on it. Kartoffl used read magic to identify that its was a glyph that triggered a blindness spell.  Kartoffl then dispelled the glyph, and Yassel opened the chest. Inside the chest, he found some love letters, a sketch book of nudes, a pouch with coins of some type, and a potion that Setara identified as Elixir of Fire Breath.

The last room in the villa was nothing more than a linen closet.

The party then began searching for secret doors.  Both Thistle and Eltairin found the same secret door in the corner of the master bedroom. The party opened the door to find a non-attentive human guard whom they were able to defeat.

A door off of the secret room led to a long corridor, which contained 4 more hellish hounds.  After another battle, the party defeated these creatures.

They then investigated a close-by door rather than going down to the end of the corridor.  The room they found at first looked like a shrine to Sharess.  The walls were painted with lurid scenes that would make a professional streetwalker blush.  A lone, black metal altar stood at the far end of the room.  The party was about to leave when Eltairin noticed that something about the room was wrong.  Daria studied the altar from a distance and identified it as being dedicated to Cyric instead of Sharess.

Yassel entered the room, and felt that he had set something magical off. Setara cast detect magic and found that one of Yassel's potions, previously a potion of spider climbing, had been disenchanted.  She also noticed that the entire room glowed as magical.  Yassel, for his part, reacted by throwing his spent potion at the altar (and hitting it) before he exited the room.

Kartoffl and Daria studied the room again and determined that the room must have been unhallowed.  Yassel then threw a vial of holy water at the altar.  The vial struck it, causing it to sizzle and melt some of the metal revealing a bit of stone underneath.  Just before the party abandoned this room, discussing the need for more experienced clerics to remove the unhallow, Eltairin and Thistle both spotted a secret door on the wall behind the altar.
11/06/2003 01/21/1374 DR - 01/22/1374 DR

The party had a discussion about the unhallowed chapel and the secret door behind it.  In the end, they decided not to enter them and perhaps bring back help to deal with it.  They moved down the hall to the door at the far end of the corridor.

They opened the door, and spotted a medium-sized white dragon with glowing red eyes glaring at them.  Yassel entered the room shortly before the dragon used its breathe weapon for the first time.  A long battle ensued. In the end, the dragon was killed, but several party members were badly hurt.

Rather than proceeding further, the group decided to rest for the remainder of the day and the night.  After healing themselves, they barricaded the other door of the dragon's room, so that nothing could enter from that direction.  Fortunately, they were not disturbed.

The following morning, 22 Hammer, the party finally opened the door leading out of the dragon room.  There was a lone guard in the hallway beyond, who immediately charged the group.  After a short battle, he was defeated.

The group took a few moments to check out the rest of the corridor. Eltairin found a secret door that the rest of the group had passed by, but the party decided not to open that immediately.  Instead they turned their attention to the first normal door that they came across.  Yassel listened at the door and heard noises beyond, but the group did not open up the door.

While they were still at that door, it was opened by another guard. This time he was not alone, as there was a female wizard-type standing behind him.  A long battle ensued.  The spellcaster put a pool of grease on the floor of the hallway, making maneuvering out there difficult for the party.

After about 3 rounds of combat, the other door in that room opened, and another Hadonia stepped through.  This one, however, was not pleased to see the party.  She immediately cast a foul, blackish cloud that injured most of the party, and sickened a few unlucky members of the group.

Kartoffl tried to silence both spellcasters with a well-placed spell, but that only lasted a short time.  The arcane caster retreated into the room from whence Hadonia had come, and dispelled the silence.   Hadonia then cast flame strike on the party, killing Kartoffl and severely injuring most of the party.

Most of the party retreated from the room.  Thistle, however, stayed to continue fighting the cleric.  (The guard had previously been killed, and the arcane caster stayed hidden in the other room.)  With help from Setara, he managed to kill the cleric.  After she died, her disguise was fully broken, and she now appeared as she really was: a cleric of Cyric.

The rest of the party returned, and they charged into the other room; the sorceress was not in that room.  Thistle quickly found a secret door. Opening it, he found the sorceress inside a hidden treasure room, injured having had to fight off several mutant rats that were in the room.  She immediately surrendered.

The party questioned the sorceress, and she talked, knowing that the party was very angry over what had happened to Kartoffl.  The fake Hadonia, whose real name was Helga, had arranged Hadonia's death and impersonated her for several months in Silverymoon.  After the theft at the shrine, she was teleported back to the villa by another wizard.

The group in the villa was led by two wizards: a human female who was from the Arcane Brotherhood and a human male who knew a great deal about portals.  The female sorceress claimed that she was only there to help make magic items to be sold cheaply.

The male wizard had re-opened an old portal using the instructions in the Tears of Evergold.  They were using it to travel to Brightwater where they were getting materials.  Currently, both wizards were on that plane with 4 guards.

The sorceress gave detailed information about the rest of the villa. The secret door supposedly led to secret escape way out of the villa.  The tome was kept inside the prison area.  The portal was in a room beyond the magic item laboratory.  The laboratory was beyond the barracks,which was guarded by an ettin skeleton.

Daria went into the prison, finding the Tears of Evergold, just as the sorceress had told them.  She also found two prisoners who were to be sacrificed shortly.  One of them was a paladin of Tyr who had come to the villa because of the strange things that were happening there.  The paladin was armed by the party, and set to guard the sorceress and take care of the other rescued prisoner and Kartoffl's remains.

The party entered the barracks and defeated the ettin skeleton.  They then entered the laboratory.  There, they found a gallon of water that Setara could only describe as "funny."  There was also a circlet and a potion in the lab.  After collecting up the useful material, they destroyed the lab.  The party next entered the portal room, but could do little with it, so they left it and barricaded the door to that room.

The party next explored behind a locked door that the sorceress had claimed that they had never opened.  Yassel easily opened the locked door, and disabled the trap just beyond it.  Behind it was a small pool of water that detected as magical.  Daria drank some of it, and was slightly healed. She then took a sample in a clean vial.  They reset the trap, and relocked the door.
11/12/2003 01/22/1374 DR - Midwinter

The party investigated behind the secret door.  It was just as the sorceress had described: a short straight corridor leading to outside of the villa.  They found no tracks around the entrance indicating that the way had not been used at all.  They went a short distance away, and found a safe location to spend the night.

They went back inside, and returned to the chapel.  Yassel removed all of his magical possessions, keeping his masterwork items with him, and entered.  He made his way over to the secret door, being careful to stay far away from the altar.

He did manage to get a good look at the altar, however.  It was covered with jet black metal.  In each corner, a shackle was driven into it.  A narrow channel was cut into the sides; another channel led over the edge to a drain built into the floor.  From the dried blood on the altar, it was clear that it had been used for sacrifices.

Yassel opened the secret door to find a small room.  Empty shackles were attached to the walls.  A few clerical robes from Cyric's religion and a couple of robes from Sharess' were found near the door.  Nearby, Yassel also found a black, masterwork dagger with two small gems in the hilt.  Gathering up the robes and dagger, he returned to the party.

Setara suggested that they did not want to leave the cleric's body behind, as those who were beyond the portal could collect it, and have her raised.  So, they stripped the body, and brought it outside.  They then chopped it up,and scattered the remains over the edge of the drop-off.

The party then retired to the spot that they had picked out to spend the night.  During second watch, Eltairin heard gleeful voices, speaking Common, in the distance.  When Yassel went to investigate, he found a large pack of leucrotta feasting on the remains.  In the morning, nothing of the body could be found, not even blood spots.

The group prepared Kartoffl's body for transport.  They froze it in the snow overnight, so that it was solid and would be well-preserved.  Thistle fashioned a make-shift sled to cart the body back.

This day, 23 Hammer, brought a stiff, cold wind to the western slopes of the Nether Mountains.  the party made their way back to the trail they had followed on the way up.  Thankfully, they did not encounter anything along their travels.  They camped in about the same spot as they had on that trip.

On the following day, 24 Hammer, they made it back to Khelb, and were able to stay at the inn.  The next morning, they started out towards Silverymoon, arriving on 28 Hammer.

The group immediately went to the High Palace to arrange a meeting with Fredegar.  They were given an appointment for that evening at sundown.

Daria and Setara went over to the Shrine of Sune to return the tome. When they arrived, they were quickly shown in to see Evandellina Trueheart, the shrine's high priestess.  Daria recounted the entire story to her, which caused her to send Daphne immediately to inform the Spellguard about what had happened.  Daria and Setara then presented Evandellina with the tome and the gallon of "funny water."

Evandellina had the tome quickly taken away and placed in a secure location.  She then brought the water into a back room where they made holy water out of it.  Since the water was from Sune's home plane, it made an incredibly sweet smelling perfumed holy water.  Both Daria and Setara felt blessed by the goddess, and carried her good graces for the next day.

The high priestess rewarded the party for returning the Tears of Evergold and turning over the water to the shrine.  She gave each of the women a sash that she promised would both protect them and make them more appealing to others.  She also provided the group with 2 potions of Cure Serious Wounds.

Evandellina asked if anyone in the party was still hurt.  It was then that Daria mentioned that Kartoffl had been killed.  The high priestess asked where the body had been brought.  When she heard that the rest of the had brought it the Temple of Helm, she promptly contacted them to have it brought to the Temple of Selune to be raised.  When Daria asked about fees for the spell, Evandellina told her that the Shrine would cover the expenses.  After all, it was the least they could do, given what the group had done for them.

While Setara and Daria were at the Shrine of Sune, the rest of the party arrived at the Temple of Helm with Kartoffl's body.  The clerics had brought the body in, and had started the long, slow process of thawing out the frozen Kartoffl so that he could be raised.  They had just finished the thawing when Evandellina's message was received.  Kartoffl was packed up, and carted over to the Temple of Selune where Daria and Setara met them.

At the Temple of Selune, Kartoffl was brought into the same back room as the remains of Hadonia had been brought.  There, Kartoffl was raised and healed.  Unfortunately, his beard remained cindged and uneven, a fate worse than death for a dwarf!

Shortly after Kartoffl's return, 2 members of the Spellguard arrived at the temple.  Daria told the story of their trip to the villa once again. The wizards told them that they would have to organize a mission to the villa, and they would need the party to accompany them.  They were to meet at the Spellguard Headquarters at dawn, and they would leave from there.

The party then spent the time remaining before their meeting with Fredegar to identify and split up the magic items that had found.  Daria and Setara kept their Sunite Sashes.  Daria permitted her +1 ring of protection to be distributed to another member of the party as long as she received some compensation for it.  The following items were divided up: +2 ring of protection, +2 heavy steel shield, potion of eagle's splendor, +1 longsword, circlet of persuasion, periapt of wisdom +2, and bead of force.  The circlet was to be shared by party members who needed it at the time.  The +1 breastplate was sold.

At sunset, the party met with Fredegar, dwarven sage and advisor to Lady Alustriel.  They informed him about what had happened at the villa.  He took careful notes, especially the incidents concerning the portal, clerics of Cyric, and the possible involvement of the Arcane Brotherhood.  He promised to inform Lady Alustriel as soon as possible.

The next morning, 29 Hammer, they met with the Spellguard wizards at their headquarters.  One of the wizards was not there, but was replaced by Dominique's older brother, Roderick, who was assigned to accompany the group.  Two clerics, one from the Temple of Helm and one from the Temple of Selune, were there.  The party  recognized the  Selunite to be the second highest ranking cleric at the temple, and assumed the Helmite had similar ranking.  They were also accompanied by 6 Knights in Silver.  Daria recognized several of them, and realized that this was an elite group, experienced in commando tactics.

After everyone arrived, the wizards teleported the group to Khelb. They then immediately set out for the villa, following the party's direction there.  They arrived at the villa on Midwinter.

The group went immediately to the portal room.  They found the door to the room untouched, but the party could tell that the villa had been searched carefully.  The only thing that they could find missing was the wizard's spellbook that they had left behind.  The Spellguard wizards analyzed the portal, and cast seal gate on it, rendering it useless.

The group then went to the chapel room.  The clerics each cast dispel magics on the room, followed by a hallow spell on it.  They dissolved the black metal, removed the shackles, and reconsecrated the altar.

Finally, they went to the pool room, carefully avoiding the trap.  They studied the pool, and declared it to be a enchanted healing pool.  They told the party that if someone drank from the pool it would heal 1 point of damage once.  If the water was put into a potion vial that had contained a healing potion, the water would duplicate that potion.  A filled vial that had not contained a healing potion, clean or otherwise, would become a potion of cure light wounds given a few hours.  The potion production/duplication was limited to 3 potions per person. The party immediately duplicated 3 potions per person, including the potions of cure serious wounds that they had received from the Shrine of Sune.  The group reset the trap, and locked the door before leaving the area of the pool room.

After they had finished with the villa, the Spellguard wizards teleported everyone back to the Spellguard Headquarters back in Silverymoon.

Next chapter.

© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2003.setstats