Throne of Bloodstone

11 Klythorn 1364
Unseen Seen

Unseen rising

As I open my eyes, my vision is blurry. I feels as though my body is spinning. Soon it begins to slow and my vision begins to clear. As I lay on my back, I realize I am not breathing. I cant breath. I begin to panic, though soon realize, I feel fine. It is as though I have no need for air. I begin to focus on my surroundings or more or less, lack there of. It is dark. As I struggle to sit up I am baffled by the absence of earth or ground. It is a though I am suspended in… well “Nothing”. Yes, if there was one word it would be, nothing, in its purest form. I place my hand over my chest, then on my neck, I have no pulse. I am dead. I remember the fall. Yet no pain. I am empty as is my current environment. I begin to look around. And nothing. Nothing. NOTHing. NOTHING!!! There is a dark purple aura off in the distance. It seems miles always. I look myself over and dust my robes off. I look ahead and begin running. At first it feels as though I am not moving, I am only running in place. Then as soon as I began, I feel the air begin to rush by my face. I can feel the earth moving under me. I am running. The aura is moving closer. The ground begins to change, it is no longer a void, but now a large grassy field. Trees begin to appear in the distance. I am now passing them. The sky begins to change into a light blue. Clouds begin to appear. I feel air rush back into my lungs. I can breath. I begin to smell the season. Birds begin to chirp. The purple aura is beginning to fade as the world around me begins to take shape. I begin to slow my pace. The aura is now gone. I am standing in place I have been before. I know this place. I feel humbled and at peace here. It is strange. I don’t know why, but I feel as though I must wait. I sit down on the grass below me and begin. I close my eyes and attempt to enter a deep state of nothingness. And once again I am there…

It is dark. Nothing… And then, I see myself.; hovering a few feet off the ground. My legs are crossed. My hands rest firmly on my knees.

A voice is heard, echoing threw out the void The silence is broken, “Phoenix… Phoenix” I reply, “Yes” “My son, you have fallen in battle.” “Yes father, I have failed. My skill has fallen short…” “No my son. This is not a tragedy. This was needed for you to bloom. One can not progress until they fall. Once they fall, they either decide to stay down or get back up. The choice is yours…” “…” Phoenix is silent. “My son, great things lye ahead for you. Whether you see this or not, there is that path. You have been chosen for this task my son. No one else can do this. If you do not help, Demara will fall. This is what I see…“ (A brief Pause) “Though it is not set in stone. You have the free will to choose. Though let me remind you of your name… Phoenix. This name was given to the one who would restore good to the free people of Demara. The phoenix is the symbol for Fire and divinity. At the end of its life cycle, the phoenix shall burn fiercely and is reduced to ash, from which a younger, stronger, more fierce phoenix shall arise and reborn anew to live again. This is your destiny my son. One must remember, reality is a dismal dream of limitations, until one sees the light. And you have seen the light my son and the light would have you soar like the phoenix of your sacred visions; you must rise up from the ash and conquer yourself. For the true enemy lye’s within…”

A loud noise encompasses Unseen. It sounds as though the air is being sucked from the nothing.

“AWAKE MY SON, YOU MUST MAKE YOUR CHOICE!!!” I open my eyes. I am in the grassy field of before. I remember this place now.. I died here.

“AHHHHH!!!” A loud scream comes rushing in from the side. A blade comes shooting in towards my stomach. I move to the side and scan the field. I remember this. These are the last moments of my life.

(With out thinking any longer)

Phoenix begins the fight. He sees grosh off in the distance and dollan. There are three pail vampiric looking figures and a large scorpion. The fight begins to play out as before.

Before I know it, I am being lifted up into the sky. Dueling 100ft above the ground. Two figures circle me as I hold on to the back of ones cape. I bob and weave avoiding their blades. We are being lifted higher and higher. And then, it is over. I feel a cold shot of steel enter my body. I can feel the life begin to fade immediately… And then another shot in my lower back…. And a final through my chest. I am now held in the air by the three swords that penetrate my body. I begin to cough and bloods proceeds to run down my chin. My vision begins to blur and the light begins to fade…

As the three figures all pull their blades from my body, I fall.

… I can see myself falling, slowly away. Then a voice, “You must make the choice the my son, now is your time. CHOOSE!!!”

PHOENIX SCREAMS OUT “AHHHHHH”

The world begins to shake, trees begin to fall. Mountains begin to crumble. Time slows down. And then STOPS.

(Phoenix is now suspended in air, he has not hit the ground. His enemies are frozen above.)

HIS EYES OPEN. THEY ARE RED WITH FIRE.

Flames begin to shoot from his body in every direction. “AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”

A LARGE BLAST IS LET OUT FROM HIS BODY. And once again. Nothing.

(GASPING FOR AIR!!!) Phoenix jolts up. Sitting up in the church of Ilmater, his robes are soaking wet with sweat. He blinks wildly adjusting his eyes. He sees people standing around awestruck. He is breathing hard and scans the room looking for a friendly face…

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10 Klythorn 1364 At Blackstaff Tower

The dragon burst out of the Cynosure with a deafening roar. The pale moonlight made the beast look almost black, but the fain sheen of glossy green still shone through. Grosh grinned in eager anticipation. The dragon was larger than he had expected. Hefting his sword, he made ready to rush into battle, but paused when Unseen Phoenix drew his attention.

“Back there,” he said, nodding towards the front of a shop across the market square. Grosh turned and saw two drow, a male and a female, exiting. Unseen Phoenix nimbly ran down the street, towards the drow.

With a shrug, Grosh sheathed his sword and drew his bow, letting loose a quick volley at the dragon. The great beast twisted sinuously, easily dodging the hastily lobbed arrow and turned its attention to the half-orc. The half-orc was already running toward the drow, though, with Tomas right behind him. As Tomas passed the first building, he dove into the open window, taking cover.

Meanwhile, the drow darted forward and took up position by the well in the middle of the square. If they saw Shirley darting from shadow to shadow, they made no indication. Neither did they seem too concerned as the dragon leaped into the air and blew a massive gust of noxious gas.

The air rippled like a heat mirage as the gas billowed down, choking the adventurers. Eyes and noses burned and ran. Phoenix kept moving forward, with Grosh right behind him, both of them quickly making it out of the cloud of poisonous chloride gas. Shirley darted to safety and approached the male drow, but she had been spotted in the commotion of the deadly breath weapon and her element of surprise was lost.

Bellowing praise to Tempus, Grosh charged the female. She was manipulating something at the base of the well, and the water was starting to drain. Unseen Phoenix moved like the lightning strike of the great remorhaz, moving in and out of the battle with fluid, twisting grace. A heavy blow from Grosh’s sword felled the female, and a quick glance into the well showed the arrival of a huge water elemental.

The half-orc kept his fingers crossed that the elemental meant that Dolvaran had arrived. An angry shriek from the dragon seemed to confirm it. Now the fight was starting to get interesting …

=-==-

The party fights bitterly with the drow and the dragon. While the drow seem to be in hand, the dragon proves to be more of a problem. With Shirley down, but not out, the group is relieved to see the arrival of the Moonstars, Blackstaff’s network of agents within the city. The dragon is driven back, but manages to take the crown with it. Meanwhile, the adventurers are taken to Blackstaff for questioning, as Tomas was discovered to be a Cyricist, which cast some doubt on the trustworthiness of the group.

Vouched for by Blackstaff, the group was healed and transported to a waypoint along the dragon’s path, in hopes of being able to intercept the crown before it travels beyond their reach. In the ensuing battle, Grosh and Phoenix show a remarkable daring as Grosh threw Phoenix onto the back of the passing dragon, allowing him to break the harness that held the crown free.

Dolvaran, having suffered severe wounds in battle after having many of his spells dispelled by an imp, teleported away to safety, seeking aid. Arriving on the outskirts of Waterdeep, he meets Sir Gareth Corneil, paladin of Tyr, who is riding hard toward the city. Sir Gareth offers to bring the wounded Dolvaran to a healer, but Dolvaran refused, needing speed before efficiency, so that he could return to the battle as soon as possible, Sir Gareth heals the elf as well as he can, but deftly steals one of Dolvaran’s rings in the process.

At the same time, the crown is picked up by Beloq, a Malebranche devil. The battle heats up, and Grosh and Phoenix are forced to flee from the rampaging devil after an imp takes the crown and vanishes. Pausing only to pickup Menchie and a small green dragon, the two head towards safety. Unfortunately, they are confronted by a lich, who petrifies Phoenix and kills Menchie. She leaves after taking Necrolyte, the young dragon.

Outside Waterdeep, Dolvaran encounters Lucas, who has been pursuing Sir Gareth. Lucas heals Dolvaran some more, and the pair teleport back to the battle in time to see the green dragon Necrozyte disappear magically into a small tower. They follow, only to find the ruined remains of the dragon and the devil, along with the crown. Taking what treasure they can, they meet with Shirley, Grosh, and the petrified Phoenix and return to Blackstaff tower with the crown.

Pleased with their success, Khelben Blackstaff cures Phoenix and rewards the party, along with offering them positions among his network. After politely turning down the offer, the party promptly returns to investigate the site of the battle. They are surprised to find three elf-like figures and an incredibly huge scorpion golem searching for the magic that they had come to seek themselves. The adventures came off the worse of the encounter, and fled, with Phoenix having fallen after being struck down by three death spells.

Returning once again to Blackstaff tower, they are disheartened to learn that the crown they had recovered was a fake.

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10 Klythorn 1364 Darkness has Fallen

Unseen Phoenix (the silent), Grosh (the excited), and Shirl-E (the exuberant) all hurry after Tomas towards the Market Square. As they arrive, they can see the last few cart vendors closing down their wares and the mist that had been rolling in settling down to street level. A few hawkers attempt to sell a bag of warm chestnuts to the adventurers as they arrive but are quickly scared off by Grosh’s intense demeanor. Menace begins to hang in the air as even the government festhall, the Cynosure, is darkened and locked up tight. Shirl-E’s sharp ears strain to pick up the slightest hint of menace and the looming presence of Blackstaff Tower challenges all involved to be vigilant. “Trust me friends, they will soon emerge here, having slipped down the streets from Blackstaff Tower on their way out of the city. I would expect them to come from the Northwest. Hard to say though, with drow, they might use the rooftops for travel. Unlikely I would think, given the aerial surveillance in this city. Wouldn’t want to get nabbed by a griffon rider, eh?”

Meanwhile, at Summit Hall, Lucas struggles to defeat the well-armed Sir Gareth. Gareth calls for help from the other monks, and is able to summon several who are convinced that some foul spirit infested the great paladin and caused him to recklessly attack the Exchequer of the Holy Knights of Samular. After all, Gareth still wielded the Illuminator, a holy blade of the church. None, however, will intervene in the struggle and Gareth moves quickly off the roof of the Hall to avoid doing harm to Lucas. “I will not strike down such a great champion. Montasso, shall we not help our brother recover his senses? Perhaps if you were to put him in a meditation cell it would allow him to reorient himself.” Montasso, Lucas’s mentor considers the proposition and then quickly chants the necessary holy words to bring Lucas out of the open and into a cell of meditation deep in the Hall. Lucas finds himself transposed, alone in the dark with a thin shaft of light his only reference to the outside. He knows that Gareth is a concealed evil and that he must escape. He quickly arranges his escape from the cell (the door was unlocked) and begins, on foot, back towards Waterdeep, justice burning in his heart and the dust of Gareth’s horse guiding him forward. He knows he will not catch the horse, but he also knows there is only one place for Gareth to go: the Halls of Justice, where surely vengeance will be found. No one can deceive Tyr or his hands on Faerun!

A loud roar emerges from the Cynosure, and the large double doors are blasted down as a massive menace emerges. Grosh smiles as he finally recognizes an enemy, plain and true. A huge green dragon bursts from the building, flinging the body of a hapless clerk to the ground lifeless as it does so. With a whip of its tail, two vendors see their life’s work destroyed. “That has to be the diversion friends, the elves must be approaching!” yelled Tomas.

As battle approaches, and the threads draw together, Unseen Phoenix centers his spirit but wonders, where are the two mightiest champions of the Knights: Lucas and Dolvaren? Why at this moment of tremendous peril are these noble warriors absent?

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10 Klythorn 1364 at the Smiling Siren

Heavily laden with freshly filled potion bottles filled with the healing waters of Mystra’s fountain, Grosh and Shirl-E stroll into the Singing Siren, a noted festhall just down the Street of Silks from the House of Wonder. As tehy go, they notice that they pass by the Thayan Embassy, the Cynosure, the Font of Knowledge and the Halls of Justice. Truly Waterdeep is an amazing place. Even so, they are well contented, knowing that their friend Lucas will soon be restored to them and that their sorcerer companion, Dolvaren, is able to pursue his esoteric inquiries without being hampered by their curious desire for action and adventure.

As they arrive at the bar, Tomas comes up and pulls them aside, “So, did they tell you about their scheme to rob Blackstaff? I just heard about it myself, shocking really. Mystrites working with foreign elves to rob an artifact from the Tower of a Chosen of Mystra! Amazing what priests will do when they are convinced someone is trifling with heresy. I just knew that Myrkul’s Crown of Horns was inolved in that Melding. Once word came back that Sollust beat back an attack by unseen drow who had already robbed several other choice artifacts from all over Faerun, I just knew they would come looking for Myrkul’s Crown. My contacts tell me they are going to do it tonight, and that a dragon is going to stage a diversionary attack on the Tower to disguise their entrance. What are you going to do?”

Grosh looked at Tomas in surprise. “They’re going to steal from the Blackstaff?” he asked.

“Who, or what, is a Blackstaff?” Shirl-e asked.

“A powerful mage and a friend to the Wyrmbanes. Lucas has spoken of him to me before.” Then, something slightly horrible occurred to Grosh. “Hey, Tomas? These foreign elves? Is one of them a man and the other a woman? Did you get any kind of description of them?”

“I haven’t seen them myself, my contacts down in Skullport tell me that they paid the Dragonmage enough gold to float a navy and he allowed their dragon into the city. The diversionary attack is supposed to start once Selune is covered by the fog bank we have rolling in, around midnight or so. Apparently, the Blackstaff is busy with the Open Lord in some private meeting over at Castle Waterdeep to discuss the upcoming Shieldmeet. After the attack of Myrkul’s Legion this past winter, the Lords have been very paranoid; won’t even let us do our work up on Mt. Waterdeep. In any case, Blackstaff has been locked in private session with the Paladinson for the last several hours and Laeral is there too; the Tower is relatively unguarded right now. Once they heard that, these elves moved up their plan of attack to tonight, or so it seems since my contacts tell me that they hired about a half-dozen thugs to keep their escape route clear.”

Just as Tomas finishes his explanation, fog from the sea crests over Mt. Waterdeep in the West and begins to fill the low-lying streets of the Castle Ward. Shirl-E lets out a whistle that is almost a howl, and the hair on the back of Grosh’s neck begins to bristle with the anticipation of coming battle.

“Well, we can’t have a friend of Lucas getting robbed, eh?” Grosh asked, clearly getting eager for the fight. “Lets just hope that we don’t know these ‘foreign elves’ if we happen to run into them,” he added pointedly. “Tomas, I wanted to say that I’m sorry for being so short with you earlier. This is my first time out of Damara, and I was on edge. Thanks for letting us know about this business with the Blackstaff. You’d be doing us a world of good to show us where this escape route is, if you know. I think it’s best that we let the distraction do it’s work and come at them from their exit. With luck, we can get them while they’re so busy trying to be sneaky that it’ll be a surprise.”

Gear up, folks! Grosh is going to grab some healing potions out of Menchi’s bag, along with a potion of invisibilty. He’ll probably need it. Everything else he needs is with him.

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10 Klythorn 1364 at Summit Hall

The dead form of Lucas Wyrmbane was laid atop the rooftop shrine of Tyr at Summit Hall. Only the most important servants of the Maimed One were allowed here, at the spot where the Procession of Justice ended and Tyr ascended back to the heavens. Abbot Montasso began the invocation and Lucas could immediately feel his spirit ascending to the Celestial Court, where all paladins stand and are judged by their master. Sir Gareth Corneil also joined in the chant, adding his voice to the Eternal Chorus of just and right souls that served Tyr. In an instant they were gone, replaced by Celestial Court, where the Left Hand of Tyr, a Solar of inestimable grace, sat, viewing the life of Lucas in an instant. As he began to speak, his words rang like the strikes of a master smith on a fine sword.

“You Lucas have been envious of the wealthy and desirous of material things.”

“You Lucas have allowed lust to lead you into danger again and again, preferring women’s flesh to the righteousness of discipline.”

“You Lucas have placed the needs of your family and your Order above the needs of the people in whose defense you fight.”

“These sins have kept you from fulfilling your purpose, have kept you confused about your role in the endless procession of justice that Tyr commands.”

“In all this, you have not shown the judgment or the wisdom expected of a true justice-bringer. You have erred constantly and indulged these petty vanities to the detriment of the only cause that matters.”

“What do you offer your God and Master to warrant your admission into the Celestial Court?”

Lucas felt fear welling up inside him, fear that he might have disappointed his family, that his deeds might not have been sufficiently glorious to earn him his heart’s desire: an afterlife of glory with the greatest champions of the faith. For surely, Tyr’s court was always just even if the Verdict was not always favorable.

“Your Honor, I am truly not yet ready for the Verdict. My path was cut short, my work unfinished, and my friends still in jeopardy. I pray ask for a continuance of this hearing, that I might assemble more evidence and deliver more justice. I know that my burden is not met and humbly ask only for a chance to prove myself worthy.”

Just as the Solar was about to gavel the Paladin to silence, a gray eminence filled the room. A swirling fog appeared and a burly hand reached out for Lucas.

“If you would live, you must cut through the vanity of your past and become the heart of the blade of Tyr.”

“You must cast aside your attachment to material things and become steel.”

“You must live as a judge of the righteous and the wicked, attaching yourself only to truth and justice.”

“You must remember always the sacrifice of our God, the justice he showed the Beast and in so doing achieving true victory for us all.”

“Will you do these things? Will you be reborn as an expression of the Blade, justice incarnate?”

The Blade, as Lucas knew, was Tyr’s principal agent of vengeance, his sword given form, and a terrifying opponent of evil in the world. While the Left Hand judged the servants of Tyr, the Blade alone had the power to intervene and stay the Verdict for the sake of Tyr’s justice.

As the burly Solar drew Lucas into the cloud that concealed his face, a chorus began to chant in the Celestial Court:

Once we feared The Beast – when he followed us we ran, Ran very fast though we knew It was not right that The Beast should master Man; But what could we Flint-workers do? The Beast only grinned at our spears round his ears - Grinned at the hammers that we made; But now we will hunt him for the life with the Knife - And this is the Buyer of the Blade!

Room for his shadow on the grass – let it pass! To left and right – stand clear! This is the Buyer of the Blade – be afraid! This is the great God Tyr!

Tyr thought hard till he hammered out a plan, For he knew it was not right (And it is not right) that The Beast should master Man; So he went to the Children of the Night. He begged a Magic Knife of their make for our sake. When he begged for the Knife they said: ‘The price of the Knife you would buy is an eye!’ And that was the price he paid.

Tell it to the Barrows of the Dead – run ahead! Shout it so the Women’s Side can hear! This is the Buyer of the Blade – be afraid! This is the great God Tyr!

Our women and our little ones may walk on the Chalk, As far as we can see them and beyond. We shall not be anxious for our sheep when we keep Tally at the shearing-pond. We can eat with both our elbows on our knees, if we please, We can sleep after meals in the sun; For Shepherd-of-the-Twilight is dismayed at the Blade, Feet-in-the-Night have run! Dog-without-a-Master goes away (Hai, Tyr aie!), Devil-in-the-Dusk has run!

Then:

Room for his shadow on the grass – let it pass! To left and right – stand clear! This is the Buyer of the Blade – be afraid! This is the great God Tyr!

As the chant rose, so too did the light all around Lucas, blinding him until he couldn’t bear the brilliance. Every inch closer to the Blade brought Lucas’s eyes closer to burning. The Blade asked Lucas questions and every one brought forth a louder and louder ‘Aye’ from the half-elf’s throat:

“Make no mistake, faithful paladin: this is a war, and you are a weapon in that war. The sides are arrayed, and the battle-lines are clearly drawn. It is a war of good against evil, of light against darkness. Your duties in that war are clear, and your code of conduct is well delineated.”

“You must slay with no compunction creatures such as demons that are intrinsically allied with evil. Have no concern for their appearance or what they profess their intentions to be. Have no concern for their race, age, or gender. Certain creatures are our eternal and definite enemies and they must be destroyed if goodness is to win our ancient war.”

“You must never keep more than one suit of armor, four other objects of magic, one blade and two auxiliary weapons and you must not resort to any weapon that does not test the strength of your body against the strength of your enemies. While you may keep as many horses or mounts as necessary and while you may exercise dominion over such realms as Tyr may grant you, you must never possess more wealth than 1/4 of the the wealth of the closest church of Tyr; anything more must be donated immediately to the faithful. Victory will not come with wealth.”

“At least once every tenday you must sit as judge and arbiter of disputes for the people. You need not solicit matters to settle, the eye of Tyr will guide them to you.”

“You must not profane any vow or cause anyone to break a vow given voluntarily. Oathbreakers shall be your truest enemies.”

“You must not value any thing over the life of a good and righteous being.”

“Your lost hand will serve as a reminder of the vices you surrender this day. No longer will you crave wealth or prestige, no longer will you seek to exalt yourself while others struggle. From this day forward your life belongs to Tyr and your purpose is to be a Blade of His Justice. No Order will have you and while you may accept such titles or patents as may, by Tyr’s Grace, be extended to you, you have no other loyalty but to justice itself.”

“In all things, the greatest evil is the Deceiver, the Devil of Hell that seeks always to hide from the light of truth and the judgement of consequence. Whenever you find one disguising his actions, hiding his hand, or serving the fiends of Hell, there you shall find the righteous recipient of your blade.”

The light faded as the chorus ended and the charge concluded. Lucas opened his eyes after a time and saw the glowing figure of Sir Samular, greatest champion of Tyr, no that was Abbot Montasso, not Samular. He looked to his right and saw Renwick, brother to Samular and archmage, no wait that was Sir Gareth; and around Sir Gareth was the stench of evil, the dark presence of deception!

Lucas arose and knew immediately that the Illuminator blade, a holy relic of the Procession of Justice itself, was held captive by the evil deceiver Gareth. With a full cry, he leapt to his feet and invoked justice for the righteous blade against Gareth.

Lucas looks down at his gauntlet. The only real Tyrran weapon in his possession. He summons forth the holy powers of Tyr’s Retribution and feels a surge run down his arm. He lifts himself up and charges at Sir Gareth, fists cocked and ready for a flurry of righteous blows.

“Tyr’s sight gives true meaning to the evils of this world. And you sir, are no follower of the Maimed One.”

I strike his face with all of Tyr’s might behind me… (non-lethal damage if possible)

“Lord Montasso, the aura of Renwick hangs in Sir Gareth. Whatever evil spirit is at work here, in Tyr’s name, let us banish it!”

Gareth and Montasso both pause in shock as Lucas’s mailed fist slams into the face of the older Knight of Sammular.

“Lucas! What are you doing!” yells Montasso, who moves quickly to pull the revived half-elf away from Sir Gareth. His fellow monks quickly surge forward, grabbing an arm each and immobilizing the champion of Tyr. Sir Gareth Cormaeril, for his part, steps back and assumes a defensive posture to protect himself. “Has Renwick’s spirit infested this poor boy, Montasso?” inquired the senior knight.

“I don’t know, let us see. You should probably leave my friend, if you are right, we will need help. Bring the Knights from the Halls of Justice just in case,” replied Montasso.

Sir Gareth Cormaerildid not argue, he withdrew immediately and within a minute was mounted on his steed and speeding back towards Waterdeep. Lucas, for his part, strained and struggled yelling out threats about Sir Gareth while Montasso and the other monks of Summitt Hall struggled to bind the paladin to a board so that he could not hurt anyone else.

Montasso quickly casts a spell forcing Lucas into a dream-like state and a mumbling flow of words begin to emerge as he tells Montasso of his experience at the Hall of Grimjaws before his revivification.

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Late in the Evening of 10 Klythorn 1364

As night falls on Summit Hall outside Waterdeep….

Lucas’s body is brought to Wyrmbane Hall by Sir Gareth. Despite his objections, Montasso, Abbot of Summit Hall, insists on performing the resurrection on the roof of Summit Hall that night as there is an auspicious thunderstorm brewing. As the ceremony begins, your spirt is awakened in your corpse and emerges from your body, observing the chanting of Montasso. You realize, at long last, the secret of Summit Hall. You see the spirit of Samular Caradoon, Tyrran knight whose bravery and faith are unsurpassed in the lore of Grimjaws. The greatest paladin of Tyr’s presence hangs over Montasso, watching gravely the priest’s invocations of mercy and justice for your allies who need your strength. You recall the story of his victory under the leadership of Aeroth in the Second Troll War in 952. You also see something new, the spirit of his older brothery, Renwick Caradoon, a dark reflection of Samular standing opposed to Samular standing behind Sir Gareth.

Luas realizes that somehow, not only is the just guardian spirit of Samular present but also the spirit of Renwick. You further realize that the Tower upon which your corpse is lain is not merely the undisturbed holy of holies for the Holy Order of the Knights of Samular, it is also the prison of the dark spirit of Renwick. You realize now that Renwick was somehow key to Samular’s victories in the Troll War and that his power, to this day, lies undisturbed in Summit Hall. Just as your consciousness begins to coalesce around these facts, you notice the spirit of Renwick settling in on Gareth’s form, just as Samular is moving into Montasso.

A stern voice speaks to you, calling you to your duty, _“In returning to life, remember always the duty imposed by justice and justice delayed is never justice denied. Strike down those who are false friends of justice and show always fidelity to truth.” _

Your breath catches in your chest and you look up to see the white glowing light of Tyr around Montasso as his right hand pulls back from your chest. You then look over at Sir Gareth and realize a dark gray aura about him, your ability to detect evil having suddenly being convinced that Gareth is not as he seems. You know that he is armed with Illuminator, a holy sword of great power and ancient legacy, while you are still without Oathhammer. What will you do, champion of Tyr?

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10 Klythorn 1364
Fun in Waterdeep

You head into the bar and encounter a fairly standard sea tavern, full of sailors playing various dice games, drinking rum out of terra cotta cups, and paying no attention to you as you come in.  If you think of the bar in the Pirates of the Carribean, you have the scene.  A thin, pock-marked man in a black robe rises as you come in with the corpses of your comrades, a glint in his watery eyes barely visible in the dark confines of the bar, and motions you over to his corner of the bar.  “Welcome friends, my name is Tomas, and I can see that you have seen some black days.  Please sit down and let me see what I can do to help you.  Waterdeep can be an intimidating place for those from far away.  You have been, I think, in the Bloodstone Lands, and that is a place of great interest to me.  What can I get you?” Grosh paid the required taxes, but he wasn’t happy about it. There was a lot of glaring and mumbling under his breath about it. His first impression of life in the big city isn’t stellar. He orders a cheap ale from Tomas and asks where the Wyrmbane estate is located. Tomas replies, “I am no barmaid. You should order straight from the bar, they don’t have staff working the room at this hour. The Wyrmbane Estate eh? Know ye a Wyrmbane? Might this be one of their ilk? (gesturing to your two corpses) I had heard that there was some elf-diddling going on in their line. Interesting. I could see them raised back to life you know, not really so difficult. We would just have to go up to the top of Mt. Waterdeep, could probably hike up there by nightfall. You can tell me all about the Melding and your struggle against those foul forces of Lolth along the way. Terrible what happened in Phlan, just terrible.”

“We’re not looking to climb any mountains,” Grosh answers, eyeing the man uncertainly. “I asked if you know where Wyrmbane is. We’ve got business. If you don’t know, then don’t try wasting our time. If you do know, then out with it. It’d be a kindness to us and to Wyrmbane.”

“Never have I been in the Wyrmbane estate. I have heard that it is north of the Castle, near the Halls of Justice. Look, if you don’t want me help, fine. It looks like you needed someone with some skill overcoming death. But since you are insisting on finding that Wyrmbane place, why don’t you head up North and see what you can find. Good day,” he says as he gets up and heads over to the bar.

Grosh calls out his thanks to Tomas and gets his ale from the bar along with Shirley’s ale and soup.

Dolvaren ambles over to the bar to speak with Tomas, “Thomas wait, please come back and share a drink with us. Assuming he comes and joins us… Seeing the inside of the Wyrmbane estates interests you? Assuming your intentions are good, that should be easy to accomidate. As far as your offer of overcome death – we may still need that offer too. We would like to speak with the Wyrmbane’s before we seek out those services.

I myself have been gone for the last year and find myself unfamiar with Waterdeep. My friends are new here. Though it may be beneath you, we could use your service in helping us get around here. Once we speak with the Wyrmbanes, we will know better if we will need your more specialized skills in overcomming death.

While we wait for my friends to finish eating and dringking, you mentioned something about drow in Phlan, what can you tell me about that?” Your conversation with Tomas occurs at the bar. He is reluctant to head back over to the table at first, given the rough handling he received from Grosh, but joins you. “I was hoping you could tell me more about the desecration of the Watching in Phlan. We heard here that the temple defenders were completely overwhelmed by forces of the Dark Sun, the risen god Cyric. That many relics of the decayed faith of Tyr were taken and relocated elsewhere. Rumor had it that some of those objects ended up in Damara and that the new King Gareth was himself murdered by an assassin’s blade. All very dramatic, especially since it seemed that none of it involved the Zhents or Thayvians. Is that true? If so, it would explain what brought you here. This is the site, after all, where Cyric ascended to godhood and claimed the mantle of the Dead Three. Stupid Banites still seem to think that their god’s bastard son Xvim is able to step in and act as a real lord of tyranny and strife. Idiocy! Between that and those who seem to think that the plagues we have been experiencing lately are a sign of the gods testing their flocks, I am struck at how many foolish people there are right now. The Time of Troubles made many into desperate sheep.”

“In any case, getting around Waterdeep is easy enough. The city is divided into wards and the closer you are to Mt. Waterdeep and the North, the wealthier the neighborhood. What would you like to see first? I already told you, I don’t know where the Wyrmbanes live myself, but I am sure we can find out.” He then follows Dolvaren back over to the table. In the meantime, Unseen Phoenix remembers some details of Lucas’s life. This information was shared by Lucas to Unseen Phoenix during one of their late-night meditation sessions, a recollection that just comes back to Phoenix as you sit in the bar torn with ignorance:

Wyrmbane Keep is in the foothills of the Sumber Hills, Southeast of Red Larch in the shadow of Summit Hall. Summit Hall is the home of the Holy Order of the Knights of Samular, guardians of the Goldenfields north of Waterdeep. The lich Billy mentioned is the archlich Renwick, and the Wyrmbane Keep was one of the outlying strongpoints to his primary lair. Summit Hall was the main lair of the archlich Renwick. High Lord Abbot Mantasso of Summit Hall was Lucas’ mentor in the path of service to the maimed one, and he is still there. Summit Hall and Wyrmbane Keep are approximately 54 miles northeast of Waterdeep. The Knights of Samular can also be found in a wing of the Halls of Justice in Waterdeep, under command of Sir Gareth Cormaeril.

Sir Gareth is known to Tomas, and he mentions him when your chatter turns to discussions of the church of Tyr. If you want to meet him, Tomas knows that Sir Gareth can usually be found at Piergeron’s Palace during the Open Lord’s morning petition session. The session will start in 30 minutes in the open courtyard of the Palace.

Grosh announces, “Well, I suppose I should port our dear departed on my shoulder and we should go talk to Gareth. After all, he’s closer.”

Tomas smiles, and says, “Excellent, it has always been a goal of mine to see the Palace from the inside. Lets go.”

He leads you outside into the increasing bustle of the streets and moves off steadily to the North. Within a couple of miles, you can make out the spires of Castle Waterdeep, an imposing fortress on the Southeast side of the mountain. As you walk along, you pass by shops and taverns of every possible description and are amazed at the abundant wealth. Tomas comments as you walk, “The city hasn’t really recovered from the last plague bout. A lot of disappointment in the Watch and the clergy for not handling it quicker. Subdued everyone is, waiting for the other boot to fall.” A quick right turn at Castle Waterdeep and a second palace becomes visible about half a mile ahead. To the left you see it, Piergeron’s Palace, home to the Open Lord and the government of Waterdeep. Tomas falls in behind you and whispers, “Sir Gareth has a withered right arm. He will be off to the side during the audience. You should be able to pick him out easily. He is your standard upright paladin type, big mustache and droopy eyes.”

You come into the main courtyard and see about 150 guards immediately, with what look like monks wearing gray robes standing at about 50 yard intervals. A phalanx of heavily armored nobles are queued up, awaiting the chance for an audience with the middle aged man sitting on a raised platform with a high backed chair and the crest of Waterdeep inscribed on its back. Without anyone telling you, you know immediately that the seated man is Piergeron, Open Lord of Waterdeep and one of the most famed champions of Tyr in all of Faerun. After a quick scan, you identify a likely candidate for Tomas’s description and a quick nod from the black-robed man confirms your identification.

Dollan says, "come on," to the group. We walk up to Sir Gareth. When we get close enough to make eye contact. We pause until he motions it is OK to come forward the rest of the way. "I am not sure if this is the best time or place, but we are companions of Lucas Wyrmbane and would like to talk to you about a very grave matter concerning him."

Sir Gareth inclines his head and motions you over to a side alcove of the outer plaza. “I expected you. Lucas was always a determined adventurer and his life has often been interrupted with brief visits to Grimjaw’s Halls. His family would love to be present at the next expression of Tyr’s abiding desire for Lucas’s service. I suggest you go out of the city and head for Summit Hall. If you will accompany me, we can go now. Piergeiron tends to go on. He won’t notice my absence. Do you have horses?” He moves outside the palace and mounts a ebony stallion bedecked in noble livery. You all hurry at a trot on foot behind Gareth. He leads you to the northeast gate of the city, about four miles from the palace. He then looks back and inquires about how you will keep up as he will be riding faster outside the city. “About fifty miles, companions of Wyrmbane. Not what I would run on foot. My steed will be sped along by the gifts of magic, I assume you have a similar plan?” Gareth leans over in his saddle and says to Grosh, “My dear boy, please lay the good knight on my porter’s bier here (gesturing). That way, we can travel swiftly to Wyrmbane Keep and Summit Hall and tend to him. I am prohibited by vow from allowing the non-faithful into the sacred demesne of Summit Hall. Tomas here will see you along to your next destination and I am sure that Lucas will easily locate you when you are needed.”

The barbarian places the paladin’s stiff and cold corpse onto the golden bier being carried by two strong men, both pleased to carry the body of an honored warrior to the Halls of Grimjaws. Tomas nods to Sir Gareth as the paladin moves off down the road, followed by the litter-bearers. Tomas then looks back at Dolvaren, Grosh, and Unseen Phoenix and asks, “So, what are you looking for in Waterdeep to help you with the Melding?”

As the gates of Waterdeep close behind Gareth’s departing form, the slightest tingle of impending adventure occurs to Phoenix, and a gleam sparkles in Dolvaren’s elven eyes.

A small gnome notices your party at the gatehouse and sees Grosh holding Ireni’s dead body. “O, my dear, such a shame. Garl Glittergold will never stand for such a thing, after all, this one is older even than we fair folk.” She touches Ireni’s body with her right hand and a blue glow spreads over her form. Ireni coughs once and then slides off of Grosh’s shoulder. “I feel so much better, thank you dear mother,” she replies, handing the old woman her ring. “Such a gift as I can offer, please take. I owe you my life.” Mystra’s temple is a three mile hike away. You cover the ground without incident and are now standing in the lobby of the House of Mystery. Tomas will not enter the house and, in fact, once he realizes that is your destination, he leaves, without a word disappearing into a shadowy bar. You will enter Mystra’s house alone. Silverymoon is one short teleport away. Grosh says to Shirley, “Well, it looks as if the mage is off to do something eldritch. What say we go find us a shop to get some potions and then maybe hunt down a giant-slayer and bend his ear? Unseen Phoenix, you’re welcome to come along or tend to your own wants, as you see fit.” Grosh eyes the Temple of Mystra askance.? He harrumphs.? “I dunno,” he says.? “Gods are one thing, and magic’s another, but putting them together?? Seems iffy.”? He shrugs and throws a companionable arm around Shirley’s shoulder.? “Let’s get this done and then we can go find Kagain.? What do you say to that?? Woof?”

Ireni comes up behind Grosh and says, “O come now, mighty warrior, what could you have to fear from such a beautiful place?” With that, she dances forward into the courtyard, and the joy in her movment brings a smile to all your eyes. She is greeted warmly and quickly disappears inside, her natural magical nature coming forward and the sparkling lights all around Mystra’s temple, married with ghost sounds of chimes, make the entire location seem more of a respite than you expected.

“I am Keeper of the Secrets of the House of Wonder, how may we weave your destiny into the tapestry of Mystra today?” inquired a purple-robed old man with a slight hint of whimsy in his voice.

Shirley interjects, “yes we are interested in finding out about potions-if you have any and how to make them and who was that woman who just went in ahead of us?” The Keeper replies, “”My dear child, potions are an excellent example of our Lady’s care for us, a way for her to put the Weave into solid form so that we might share the wonder of magic with those whose minds are not capable fo seeing and feeling the Weave directly. If you wish to learn the Art, you can learn here. Training only takes six years. As for the woman who preceded you, well, that is a fine question but it was one I was going to ask you since she came to us with you.” “That’s Ireni,” Grosh says. “I’m Grosh Silversmith, and my little friend here is Shirley. I think she was asking if you knew anything about Ireni. I won her in single combat from the Jarl of the Frost Giants in Damara. She’s a really old elf who’s been trapped in some kind of stasis thingy for a few thousand years. Anyway, we’re looking to buy some cure potions and Shirley wanted some invisibility potions. How much are they going for? Oh, and what do you know about laying spirits to rest? We’ve got the skeleton of a halfling that’s become a ghost, and we wanted to do something about it.” “To ease the burden of the dead, you should see their remains addressed according to the dictates of their faith; barring that, you should simply leave the dead to their own affairs and seek not to disturb them. Your decision to remove the remains across Faerun will surely cause some misfortune as the spirit will no longer know where to find the body. You should be rid of the remains as soon as possible, lest the spirit find you and become vengeful. We will tend the remains for you. As for potions of healing, yes we can help with those. It is a shame that so many adventurers seek only to tap the Weave for the ability to knit together bones and sinew rather than souls and mysteries. Still, Mystra herself came to us from that path so who am I to question the wisdom of the Weave. For more commercial activity, you should go to Halaster’s Heirs, the main emporium for items coming out of the Undermountain.

As for Ireni, I cannot say I know anything about her. She has a different manner about her than the elves we routinely see here. The elves we encounter usually have a manner much more like your friend over there, (gesturing to Dolvaren)” he says as he moves you towards a fountain whose water flows up into a basin shaped like a mushroom cap. “For every 50 dragons or a harbor moon you place into the box, the fountain’s waters will become a potion capable of curing most injuries will be dispensed from the top of this basin. You will need vessels to carry away the potions, of course, but you may fill as many vessels as you like. Each vessel will only deliver the magic of one potion. Your ability to use this basin will persist until midnight once you make a contribution of 4 harbor moons to the church. Good day and good luck, servants of mystery.” With that, the Seeker headed off inside after Ireni, humming a tune that none of you recognized but all felt familiar.

Grosh heads off to obtain bottles at the local tavern. In about an hour, he returns with 50 bottles, tied around his neck and shoulders, all clinking together and making very clear where and when the large barbarian is moving. The Knights notice, however, that the sun is now beginning to settle into the Trackless Sea to the West and they must soon consider what to do in the dark of night in the City of Splendors.

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The 8th Day of Klythorn, 1364

Dolvaren has decided that he has had enough of all the money grubbing merchants of Heliogabalus.  In a fit of irritation, he gathers together the corpses of the fallen and, intending to see if he can lengthen his range a bit, creates a circle enclosing the party made of bloodstone bars (13).  (The darn things have lost so much value they might as well be a fence to rope you all in)  He then casts teleport, believing it will get him to the western Moonsea.  Instead, you reappear on the docks in Waterdeep, just as the sun rises on the 8th day of Klythorn.  The bustle on the dock pauses momentarily, and one of the City Watch approaches to inquire about your arrival and collect the necessary entrance tax of 5 gp/person, with another 10 gp surcharge for the weapons license.  You pay the fee, grumbling about the incessant taxation but now find yourself in Waterdeep, city of Splendors. 

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20th day of Mirtal

The twentieth day of Mirtal sees the adventurers enjoying the spoils of victory in the fields of northern Damara. They have annihilated the largest part of Chief Nosnra’s army and likely prevented the destruction of Baron Hobart who is besieging the ruins of Hillsafar Hall. They have also encountered a mysterious female spellcaster whose body disintegrated into a swarm of rats but whose spells were unlike any the party had ever seen before.  The party still acts primarily as Knights of Damara since its leaders remain Lucas Wyrmbane and Dolan, both knighted by the hand of King Gareth dragonsbane. They travel together as one group, adventurers all: o Unseen Phoenix, a human monk of the Order of St. Sollars (Yellow Rose Order), disciple to Brother Righteous Fire of the Sun o Grosh, half-orc barbarian from Bloodstone Village, whose mother orc has been treated poorly. o Evelyn Valaterez, human aristocrat of Damara. o Lucas Wyrmbane, Rider of Lohan and servant of Tyr, served by his mount Petyr and his squire Sri Esteban. o Orric, human cleric of Neheod and itinerant friar former arctic dwarf. o Dolan, elven sorcerer from Silverymoon and devoted servant of Mystra. o Shirl-E, mysterious human thief found encased in ice in the Great Glacier. None yet know how he came to be there nor what he seeks from affiliation with the Knights. o Falco, Priest of Bahamut seeking admission to the Starfall Knights (NPC). The party is also aided by Loviath Algorthas, court mage to Damara’s court. Ol Turmey, duergar necromancer also has a soft spot in his heart for the party as they provided him with a great white dragon corpse to animate into a zombie so he could relocate his wares to to Goliad, Loviath has relocated to Windless, and the party found a new partner in the ‘Rhyming Rimmer’, Emirkol the Chaotic’s thouroughly insane partner.  The icy keep the party has used as a base of operations remains a secure base of operations. Lucas has committed 100 bars of bloodstone to acquire supplies for ballistae and a more permanent wooden outpost and his followers are currently off to purchase those supplies.  In the meantime, the Knights struck a powerful blow against the enemies of the Baron of Bloodstone. In a lightning assault, they annihilated Chief Nosnra’s hill giants and most of the bandit army of Screed. While an assassin escaped and Screed was able to withdraw through a secret tunnel, the forces of Damaran justice are likely more secure in their siege of Hillsafar Hall now that there will be no relief column of hill giants coming.  Eclavdra, the hidden mistress of Asperix, has the Loom of Mystra and has gone to meet King Snurre of the Fire Giants. They also know that the Jarl is aware of their presence but unsure of their plans.  Jarl Grugnir continues to mass his forces in the Great Glacier.  Shirl-E awakened from his sleep last night with a nightmare of a horrid tentacled inhuman figure consuming the brain of his sister and moving towards him. In his dream, an invisible cheetah helped him escape his bonds and led him towards a hidden passage away concealed in a pile of filth and bones covered by a swarm of giant rats with hands. The cheetah whispered in his mind for him to return and bring the sunset back. In a cold sweat, he awakened to find hidden in his shirt pocket a small stone amulet hanging from a leather chord. The stone had upon it an etching of this:  Bloodstone Bars are worth 25 gp/bar

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15th day of Mirtal, 1364

The fifteenth day of Mirtal sees the adventurers exploring the Jarl’s rift. They have enslaved the imp Asperix, servant of Eclavdra. They delivered Asperix to Loviath and have penetrated the Jarl’s first layer of defenses. After re-tooling in Heliogabalus and learning that Ol Turmey has taken his duergar necromancy show up to Goliad, Loviath has relocated to Windless, and the party found a new partner in the ‘Rhyming Rimmer’, Emirkol’s thouroughly insane partner. Retooled and reequipped, the party considers their next move. A cleric of Bahamut has joined the party, agreeing to serve in exchange for the chance to win the glory necessary to become a Starfall Knight.  The icy keep the party has used as a base of operations has had visitors. Yesterday, the Bandit Army under Screed, passed through to the South with a new contingent of Hill Giants, formerly under Nosnra’s command. Screed’s forces didn’t attack the keep but Lucas’s followers did keep a discreet surveillance going and captured one of the skirmisher orcs leading the army through the pass down into Damara. They learned that Screed has allied himself with Galvanore and that he has been given the Hill Giants as reinforcement from the Fire Giant King Snurre. The army intends to take up position encircling Baron Hobart’s forces which are besieging Hillsafar Hall.  They know that Eclavdra, the hidden mistress of Asperix, has the Loom of Mystra and has gone to meet King Snurre of the Fire Giants. They also know that the Jarl is aware of their presence but unsure of their plans. Bloodstone has been stripped of forces so that Baron Hobart can take on Galvanore at Hillsafar Hall. The Kingdom awaits breathlessly word of some success against the evil forces gathering all around; salvation still seems terrifically far away for the beleaguered people of Damara

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