27 Kythorn / 29 September
We take the discussion to the living room instead of downstairs.
The statue is a weapon, it can control up to six strands of the Weave. Giving it up for the two of us is unlikely unless it is virtually meaningless.
Assamir Kirin is the guardian of ancient magics; they hunt and destroy these things.
The Assama remain in one place, and Massoud was responsible for the Nitharis (statue).
We put Kirin in touch with the Kalimal Luminus, Roald in particular then leave for Moradin.
We talked to Eric first while checking our supplies. Roald shows up and asks what we want and how they can help us.
The Kalimal Luminus will take the statue to Mulhorand and give us something to contact them with.
Roald says he’ll have someone hiding in the wings if we need a ton of help.
There are seven statues, each have their own name. Most were destroyed but three remain. The others were destroyed during Karsis’ Folly. All of them were capable of different things. The legend says that there was a great darkness returning great magic to Netheril’s control.
The gemstones they hold are miniature mithils – tangles of threads of the weave.
Perhaps they are trying to use the Weave to cast a spell that is limited by the current Weave?
Shadow magic is typically used for evil purposes. Shadow mages are still around though “out of style.” Shadow magic is a branch of arcane magic.
Devan is part of an ancient multiworld organization bent on taking complete control. They are responsible for terrible things. A legend says that speaking the name of the organization is bad. Void stones (Devan’s moonstone amulet) can be used for evil, but are more commonly used for protection. Void mages are very powerful.
Astara appears to be alive! This is Stefan’s younger sister. Her haversack was found by Eric while he was scouting items for us to buy. No evidence of death on it. Raeyna, who is here and okay (thank goodness), casts a spell to check the wearer’s condition. She’s not dead but can’t be located. There is a secret room in the Cormyr palace that one can scry from or trace (a friend of Eric’s tells us this).
Raeyna will be the one around in case we need help.
We spend 100gp to resupply.
Off to the teleportation pad to near Moradin. It’s one and a half days to Moradin and the first day is uneventful. We pull off to the side of the road to camp. Lusi’s familiar finally shows up, she names him Sparky. He is a young lizard and shocks Severin on the butt. Scorpions attack in the night.
Into Moradin along the black road, Stefan and Severin enter first. It’s a large town with 4 inns, many taverns, resupply stores – homes are further out.
To Be Continued…
28 Kythorn / 8 October
We speak to a beggar girl/thief and she says that three of the four inns are okay. The best is The Copper Pot, they have a great cook. The Laughing Lion is upper class and will have fewer prying ears. The Screaming Dwarf has a lot of ale loosened lips.
We decide on the Copper Pot. It is an adobe building with skyholes, mage globes and ironwood table and chairs. It’s not very busy and is small compared to SilveryMoon standards. It’s clean with simple rooms and good stabling with a druid available should the horses need special care. It’s 1 gp/night for the stabling and 3gp/night/room.
Muri gets drunk on Halfling ale.
Stefan gives Muri a potion for the morning after. We run and spar with Severin then soak in hot and cold springs. Breakfast then around the city or to the beggar girl for information. On the way to see the girl, Lusi notices a few people that are looking for something, not necessarily us though. The girl tells us they are staying in the Emerald Inn but that seems above their means. There are six of them. They are agitated yet excited. They are looking for an Anasazi man escorting two young women whose descriptions bear a striking resemblance to Muri and Lusi. We need to stay away from the corner near the Laughing Lion – the beggar there isn’t very nice.
There are three young men on the corner of the Emerald Inn around our age joking around; they are the same nationality and age as Kieren. They taunted us and the guys but we managed to ignore them and check the place out. There’s too much magical security so we leave. The guys continue taunting us. An older man asks them if they’ve found the women that he’s looking for. The older man has a big nose and is bald with a dark scalp. The boys tell him no, they haven’t found the women yet.
We go back to the Copper Pot and dance and enjoy the evening.
We meet up with the older man and six boys outside of town… Gee there won’t be a trade after all… Imagine that.
We get into combat.
To Be Continued…
30 Kythorn / 12 October
Severin quickdraws his sword and kills his opponent in the same action.
Devan showed up and took the older man, Omari, off in the middle of combat! One of the goons survives and surrenders.
Carathas shows up tracking Devan.
Muri finds a small item glowing behind a tree and picks it up. She is shocked by lightning.
This is a lightning gem from the plane of Lightning that will zorch anyone that touches it. It must be collected since it is one of the gems for the Nitharis. It needs six stones and a soul gem to activate the statue.
The gem is inside Lusi’s money pouch in its own leather pouch. Raeyna gave Lusi a pair of insulated tongs and they’re in the backpack. Raeyna has a staff – it’s metal twisting upwards with a gem floating in the headpiece. She disintegrates the bodies of the five dead goons.
We go back to the Copper Pot.
We heal the rest of our injuries and get some breakfast then sell off items and get the gems identified.
To Be Continued…
1 Flamerule / 16 October 2010
Redistributed wealth to party. Off to the weaponsmith and armorer… Upgrade Muri’s swords and Lusi’s shuriken if possible.
Weaponsmith: Jabir; while considering swords a man (Devan) comes in the shop. Negotiation produces a deal: we’ll give him the Lightning gem if he will buy anything in the two shops for both of us. Severin’s going to be pissed… Muri gets two dragon forged swords. Lusi gets a dozen mithril shuriken (don’t rust or need to be sharpened, +1 dam), a light crossbow and 12 bolts (both masterwork).
Armorsmith: Jenar; solinarium armor for Lusi (chainmail 8], worn under normal clothes, 7 total bonus], max dex 6, arcane fail 20%, armor check -2, 20 lbs weight, immune to fatigue and exhaustion, silver colored).
Lunch with the boys and Carathas… Kabobs for lunch; Lusi loves the mushrooms served with them! Carathas gave Lusi an extradimensional jar of fried mushrooms from Alor. We told Severin about the deal, he pretty much freaked out. He left to go work off his frustration; presumably with Derrick. We got our armor and weapons on.
Talking about plans Carathas reveals that Derrick and Ryselle are in the palace with Princess Yellena (they are Rivalla and Jared). Some golden age of prophecy… Destiny… This leaves the possibility of going to Cormyr without Stefan but with Severin.
Stefan gave us a Harper token and suggested that the Thieves Guild might also be of assistance. He also gave us a pendant for his sister Astara “from the Rose Garden.”
Ryselle takes Stefan with her and left a Provisions Box that will keep food fresh. Severin gives the Halflings in the Copper Pot a challenge: to fill the box. He gives them a gem and Ryselle’s recipe for Baklava.
Eric shows up and tells us that Astara was probably taken by slavers around the Dalelands (north of them) and east of Netheril; a kind of no-man’s land.
We get a book from Eric that has a person with 6 arms on it. Gave to Muri to hold. Eric stole from Lord Perrin Telford’s house. Scroll tube was also found there and he gave it to us.
Cormyrian Thieves Guild is fanatically loyal to the crown…
Off to dinner!!
To be continued…
1 Flamerule / 24 October
Sarah had a makeover… The persons doing the makeover got there just before the royal family was assassinated. Eric is going to get us a book from one of his hidey holes in Silverymoon – one of a kind book on artifacts. He’s demanded a really nice stolen item of our choice in exchange for it.
We’re going to east of Netheril to find Astara.
First we are looking at the scroll… Out to the practice ring to check this out (just in case). Muri checks for traps (take 20). Brass with two tube caps, nicely carved with an Eastern motif; there are tiny sigils on each cap, both different. Definitely magical. Muri tries to bypass them (disable device). Rolls a 1; sets off one of the traps, no save for Muri. Force damage of 20, Lusi failed her check. Second magical trap goes off but Muri makes her save and Lusi wasn’t in range. No more traps.
Inside… Sealed papyrus scroll. Seal of the Netherilese slavers ring. Map with mountainous area, lines that might be trails, some symbols on it that we’re unfamiliar with. Runic maybe, or code. Not in magical language or another written language. Muri is unable to use decipher script. Severin gives it a shot: rolled a 20! Yay!
Probably a set of coordinates and some words that may be passwords/phrases or words that mean only something to the organization.
The words are:
Survival skill by Muri says that this may be a location inside of the Anauroch.
This is in the correct area for Astara to have been in so we are off in the morning! According to the magical map Muri stole from Ardayth’s house, the papyrus map does correspond to the magical map.
We will deposit the tradebars (22) into the Mage’s Guild in the morning before we leave town.
The magical map of Faerun works like Google maps on the knowledge of our characters – can’t look for someone just by name or anything like that.
Lusi tries out the map and tries looking around the whole world (or what she knows of it), when looking at Thay the map turned red and printed Keep Out. A novice of the Red Wizards shows up quickly after that and politely requests that we not scry Thay again or they’ll have to kill us. Muri politely apologizes…
Rabin, the chef at The Copper Pot, thanks us for our custom and says the Baklava recipe was wonderful and will be on the menu tonight.
Mages Guild account set up, an amulet is given to us to ID us to the Guild. The larger towns will have our money available immediately; small towns or villages will take a few hours to get it. The Messenger’s Guild is also an acceptable intermediary. If we lose everything, we can go to a larger city’s Mage Guild and they’ll be able to verify our identity for access to our money. We deposit 22 trade bars; there is a 5% commission on moving money from the larger guilds.
Off into the morning light…
9 day trip:
Day 1 hot but uneventful 3 Flamerule
Day 2 little cooler but uneventful 4 Flamerule
Day 3 even cooler but uneventful 5 Flamerule
Day 4 fucking goddamn it’s hot, sandstorm (5 hours) 6 Flamerule
Day 5 7 Flamerule
Two armies in the way, desert nomads screaming insults at each other; accosted by 8 warriors in garb like the Magi of The Mummy – “You will come with us.” Jai’dal – no idea who they are.
Go with them… Wondering why Severin didn’t hear them sneak up on us.
We are taken down to the armies. One leader is female, the other is male. She is screaming about castration and such, he is yelling things like “whore.” Tomorrow at dawn will begin the battle.
We are allowed to lead the horses until we get to a large tent; the leader demands we leave them. Severin has to talk his horse down and tell him to go with the men. The leader demands we disarm…
Tamir is quite irritated at Severin’s refusal to disarm; his mistress sends Tamir out of the tent.
Rayid Samira is the mistress. She was dressed similarly to the warriors. No turban, but a heavy veil with a circlet. The garb is split for riding. All have a curved sword and dagger, some of the army is armed with bows. Dark skin, dark eyes, except Samira has bright green eyes.
Hassan is the leader of the other army.
Samira (green eyes for leadership) will allow us to go on our way as soon as possible. The stronghold of the slavers’ is said to be impossible to view with naked eyes unless they are pledged to the slavers themselves.
Kassima leads us to another tent to stay until we can leave. Muri is checking for the location of the horses so she knows where to call them to when we need to leave.
The new tent is quite luxurious; the other was reinforced to be a prison. There’s a large bathing tub in the tent also. Wow. Our tent is not far from Samira’s green tent in the middle of the encampment.
The guards are termed “Tabari” probably meaning guardian. Rayid means “chosen leader of the people.”
We have a bath; the water pitcher is unending and whatever temp we wanted. The bathtub increases the volume of the water exponentially. The water is clean when we’re done. Severin takes his bath and we take a peek at him while he’s bathing. The offer to scrub his back is declined. He fixes his armor/shirt by knitting the metal back together.
Kassima (blue eyes for magic) is supposed to bring someone that could explain what is going on later in the day.
Akiel – man in 60s or 70s, whipcord lean, very tan, pure white hair, bushy eyebrows, spectacles, same garb as the others. Scholar.
The Black Road is the tribal territory division between Najir lands and the Jai’dal. Adamir Hassan is the leader of the Najir.
The “bowl of fire/hell” is where the slavers’ compound lies. There is a path that goes to the Gateway of Evareska leading in. It is rumored that the city is in the vicinity of the tributary of Eversay called the Kusso. The only tributary that leads to the surface of the Anauroch. It cools the bowl and as long as they treat the desert well it will continue to provide water.
Watch out for crystal scorpions – small ones that look like they are made of crystal. Very valuable to the Mages Guild.
Fertility is celebrated each spring by lying with another person- children are thus assured. 18 years ago Samira and Hassan were chosen to be together (no tribal separations during this celebration). A child was conceived at the time, Saphira (purple eyes for representation of the gods), which was very rare for two leaders to do. She remained with the mother but spent the summers with the father. This summer she went to stay with her father and he gave her to the slavers.
We are going to outfit ourselves to be slaves and slaver (Severin)…
Samira and Hassan are going to help us out with customs and clothing. One month stay of battle by Samira.
Muri gets a massage from a “fucking gorgeous” man while Lusi just watches the massage and drools.
Tamir takes us to another tent set up ON the Black Road – neutral territory.
Hassan is inside; 6’6”, built, handsome, some scars on his face, powerful motion. Looks like he could twitch and break something (bigger than Severin), dominates the room.
Head of the slavers is a general and he is a sleaze bag; our status as virgins will help protect us because our value is increased tenfold.
The Lost Tribe was lost a thousand years ago; many were exterminated but the rest left. They were a tribe of assassins; they knew all of the secrets of the desert.
Two people will teach us; one for slaves and one for slavers. Slaves: Nazira (ex-slave) Slavers: Tamir
Nazira teaches me how to get out of the manacles. NEVER meet the eyes of anyone except another slave. A rod that causes excruciating pain with no damage; the stick is to be avoided.
We will start on the journey tomorrow! Major party is held to celebrate not killing each other tonight. We party hearty with them since the next month is unlikely to be party-worthy.
We receive many small trinkets, including clothes and simple jewelry, carved boxes and figurines. We are given by the leaders a necklace with a small crystal scorpion on a chain with opal and silver beads from Samira (she’ll tell us what it means for us if we succeed), and a ring of opal and silver threads (Hassan comments that these are the stones of the tribes: silver for the Najir and opal for the Jai-dal).
Six shuriken are given by different people, all are unique and have different engravings and are masterwork. We get a kukri each that is also masterwork. Muri gets a pair of small crystals that bond to her swords [one is a frost touch enhancement (Crystal of Energy Assault +1 cold dam, the other provides the quick draw ability (Crystal of Return)].
Bottle of perfume, Talis deck, hair ornaments, necklaces, bracelets, a bolt of amazing fabric (made from silk of a desert spider, plain natural color), a set of dyes with recipes for the silk (only ones that will color the silk, but will also color anything, magical or not), candles and such, desert tents (light and extremely durable), a pavilion tent for sandstorms (large enough for the horses and not much good for cold), traveling mess kit, trap for my pouch to stop thieves, holy symbol carved from green jade, a bell, a music box inlaid with onyx and silver and a base of ebony, a set of eight ceremonial candles.
Raeyna arrives to take Sparky with her to protect him. She also stores our stuff for us. Start practicing with the manacles.
Rest of day is uneventful.
First watch of night: slave comes running into camp; slavers in pursuit (one round of actions – yelled at Muri to wake up)
To Be Continued…
9 Flamerule / 25 October
Fight commences with 7 slavers, 6 peons and 1 leader. Leader reads a scroll and disappears from his position when Severin starts toward him.
Fortitude saves required when they hit us.
Sorcerer 1 (special friend of leader) breaks his wand and retributive strike of 46d4 goes off in a 30’ radius when Severin threatens him and demands his surrender.
The rest surrender when the dust settles.
The rogue twitches his hand when Muri wonders aloud how the Guild would know who killed them… Muri hits him for 20 pts of damage to him; he goes down with a cut throat.
The slave bludgeons rogue 2 to death in front of Lusi; I make no effort to stop it.
Muri is trying to get information from the last fighter alive; the slave girl throws a dagger and kills him before we can get information.
Slave girl is very beautiful; gold-blonde hair, silver eyes.
She drags off the guy she bludgeoned to death and strips his body after she eats and drinks some water.
Muri heads back to sleep; Lusi takes the equipment and money from the rest of the bodies (not armor, no room). List is in my notebook.
Lusi gets water for the slave girl to wash in, also a tent and bedroll for her to sleep in.
Slave girl discards her gold manacles; we pick it up for use in our scheme.
[level up to 4th]
She does a really intricate form of TaiChi in the morning. She woke at the butt crack of dawn.
She’s seen Saphira for sure, she’s attracted the attention of the Vizier; more than one girl answers the description of Astara.
Strong, willful, beautiful, important women appeal to the Vizier; no need to be breakable since he’ll kill them or send them to someone that will appreciate his leftovers.
She calls her horse from nowhere; gorgeous silvery-gray. She’d like to move from here to somewhere she can change… Tight gray pants, black thigh high boots, form fitting tunic of light gray nicely embroidered. Her hair is pulled up on her head and she’s now armed with a dagger, bracers; in rear view there is a harness with two curved short sword length blades (more like sickles than scimitars), hand crossbow. She also has a bandolier with throwing daggers and spikes. Her name is Zandra.
Sandstorm in the afternoon.
Zandra cooks dinner for us. Has extradimensional saddlebags… She makes Thai food for us! Spicy, with peanut sauce, etc.
She offers to help with watches.
Night is uneventful.
Travel till lunch is uneventful. The city is underground, though it’s hard to tell that according to Zandra. Severin points out a mine symbol on the map and asks her what it is, she replies Tajezdad (tah-je-dahd).
This is one of the words on the map we were given by Eric. Khuzdul is jewel of the desert – a tributary of the Eversay. Merkirrul is the “path to nowhere” and she doesn’t know what that is, nor Rehzan. Vareska is the path in. Maybe directions with the password last (rezhan)?
Crystal scorpion is seen and killed before it attacks Zandra.
Rest of day is uneventful, as well as night.
Cooler today, though still sunny.
We get into the foothills of the mountains towards the end of the day when Severin gets nailed to the ground by a blue dragon claw. Lusi’s horse takes the bit in his teeth and takes off in the opposite direction. Sunset and Duskblaze are standing there; Duskblaze nonchalantly and Sunset scared but standing. Lusi’s horse eventually throws her and Muri whistles for her to stop; we get back to the party during the talk with the dragon. She (the dragon) eventually lets Severin go and she goes into human form. Long blonde hair to her waist, blue eyes, lips and nails. She’s in an evening gown, half-elven features.
She (Nediva) lets Severin get up. We all talk about the domain: the mine is not an entrance but probably simply a landmark. Many people come through her domain. She points out a mithril mine that is long abandoned that has ancient tunnels leading from it. We give her a 1000gp fire opal. Severin gives her a brooch the size of a shield made from sapphire; Zandra gives her a sapphire the size of her thumb tip.
The rest of the day is uneventful.
The night passes uneventfully as well.
Should reach the end of the trail she pointed out by mid-afternoon.
The track is faint and disappears by about mid-afternoon. We see the probable location in Severin’s spyglass.
To Be Continued
13 Flamerule / 30 October
The decision is made to go in as slaver and mercenary guards. Zandra changes masks; she wasn’t truly appearing as herself (she has a pair [at least] of ceramic masks with her). She is ethereally beautiful without the mask: from 18 Charisma to 22 Charisma.
We make our way to the site; the door is covered by a very strong illusion. It took three tries for Lusi to see through it, but Muri saw it immediately.
The tunnel is huge; large enough to lead a 6 horse team and wagon through.
We are in order: Muri, Zandra, Lusi and Severin with horses.
A large piece of stone in the wall is a different color; just barely but enough for Lusi to notice (natural 20). It is trapped; after multiple tries Muri manages to disarm the trap and open the door. It is pitch black on the other side. A light spell on a coin dimly lights the other side; turns out to be a parallel hallway. We enter the other hallway!
This hallway is smooth and squared off tunnels as opposed to the dragon-dug tunnels of before.
The walls are covered in runic symbols. Severin says he recognizes the writing though cannot remember where or understand what it means.
There’s a door in the wall, concealed, but not secret. Looks like a waiting room, lots of tapestries and books, floors covered in a gorgeous rug of Egyptian-type style.
Some of the symbols appear to be Mulhorandi in style.
There is a concealed door behind one of the curtains… There is a trap that Muri sets off. Seems to have no real effect; makes her woozy (fort save rolled total of 25) but she is fine. Door is locked (18 on open lock roll) but opens up for Muri’s awesome skills.
Dimly lit room with glass behind a long set of curtains, room is about 50 feet long with little tea tables and chairs.
There’s a city in the darkness… Lit up and huge. There’s a lot of darkness around it. The city is a few hundred yards from this room. There’s no light from a moon or stars, so might be actually underground or shielded somehow.
Muri opens the curtain the rest of the way after we douse the torch. Close the curtains and go back to the tunnels to continue on.
Muri spots another door in the wall. Sets off the trap (poison needle) with a roll of 14. Just woozy again… Unlocks the door with a 23. Inside: a small stone platform and a bridge leading into the darkness.
Debate goes on about going on the bridge toward the city or staying in the tunnels. We realize that these may not be the tunnels we wanted and so wonder if we should go back to the others or if we should stay in these.
We mark the tunnel outside the door to the bridge and continue on down the tunnel. Muri disarms the trap and tosses the needle in the corner; a small metal spider –looking thing comes along and takes the needle away. I drop a piece of thread but it doesn’t seem to notice it.
Muri tries to unlock the door and breaks her lockpicks twice… Two 1’s rolled.
The dropped pieces of the lockpicks are picked up by the spider. Lusi tries to stick her finger into the wall where it disappeared to. Nothing happens, she just pokes the wall.
Muri finally opens the lock.
The other side of the door is another bridge into the darkness.
We decide to take the bridge; tether my horse to Severin’s and then the chamber behind us lights up like daylight and blinds us momentarily.
The huge cavern is so large we can’t really see the other side; literally miles away.
The city is massively huge. Looks like it’s bigger than Silverymoon…
It’s probably the size of Waterdeep if not a little bigger.
There’s a huge pyramid in the center of the city. The bridge leads to the city, which is several hundred yards away.
There’s a crane with a stone suspended from it at the moment.
The city appears to be on top of a gigantic rock… Looks a lot like a floating city!
We’ll have to return for the horses… We’re going to use the crane as a landmark if there aren’t many more.
We cross the bridge…
On the way across, we get stuck in a cube of energy.
A troop makes their way toward us…
Four are lizardmen in armor, shields and shortswords.
There are three humans; one with robes with the eye of Pta on it. Another has a set of magerobes with Isis’ symbol on it. A man (probably the leader) has a chain vest on, pants, boots, bare arms except for bracers and a pectoral with Osiris’ symbol on it.
Something they say alarms Severin into saying “no, no.” The lizardmen attach some sort of magical cables and start dragging us off into the city.
The leader apparently asked what we were doing here and when Severin replied we were looking for another city they assumed we were slavers ourselves and had us seized.
The Mulhorandi generally send slavers into slavery.
The city is surrounded by a wall in the edge of the platform. The bridge leads to a large arch with a couple of guards there.
We get drug through the city; the city dwellers are throwing stuff at us, making obscene gestures and one spell getting thrown at us gets the attention of the leader who sternly reprimands the man.
We are taken to the pyramid. Before we go in, the mage casts clean cantrips on the cube. We go into the center of the pyramid where there is a large stone block; the cube is pushed into an indent and clicks into place before the block rises about 50’.
A skylight opens in the pyramid and the light is focused on us; the light shoots out from the cube in all four directions. The beams end on four platforms.
Four people walk onto the beams to stand next to the cube. All are dressed in Egyptian style clothing.
All are also wearing masks. They do have features; the women look like women and the men like men. The feeling is of age, wisdom and knowledge.
They ask what we’re doing there; Muri explains and they say we will be tested. It is different for everyone and will divine our true intentions.
They begin chanting and the four elements appear; they coalesce into greater elementals. We find ourselves alone in another place.
Tests of the body, mind, spirit and choice take place. 5 fortitude saves, 4 will saves, 4 luck checks, a choice between Astara and Muri. Lusi chooses Astara – she’s a child and Muri is not. The cage containing Muri drops into the abyss between the bridges.
The tests are passed, but the loss of Muri is real. The elementals grant one boon; Lusi asks for her back and it is granted.
Lusi reappears in the sandstone room and chooses the door with an emerald above it since there is no topaz or amber present.
We appear back on the “dragon platter” and the cube disappears.
We are welcomed to Amar’Etris, the sky city of the Mulhorandi, since we are not their enemies.
The four elementals go back to human form – the priestess of Isis tells us that it is not cruelty that they test us but the command of the gods.
We are to go to the Council to see if we may remain in the city.
Lusi has a green marking on the inside of her left wrist now and Muri a yellow symbol on her left wrist. Zandra appears quite upset that she has a marking on her wrist. Severin just shrugs about his.
We go to a large building, kind of like a state building, to an amphitheater kind of place that is almost entirely empty. There are four people at the bottom. One is a matronly woman in a gown with graying hair; she looks friendly. Two men, one with hair and one without. Men in the priesthood shave their heads but some others do too. Likely that the bald man is a priest since he has a holy symbol on. The other woman is in pants and tunic, slender and wiry, iron gray hair in a bob. The man with hair looks like a Roman Senator, friendly and charismatic looking. All have a badge with two symbols, one is unfamiliar, the other is a match for the symbols on our wrists.
Lusi asks about the marking on her wrist. They are quite surprised and tell us that we are chan’fou (blessed and chosen ones of the gods). The markings are only given by the gods and their avatars, the Order of Khefnu; Pta, Thoth, Isis and Ma’at. We have been gifted by the gods… The bald man and the warrior woman are totally shocked by the markings on our wrists when Lusi asks them what they are. The other two have great poker faces.
They speak of the markings and the gifting like the priests did.
The Mulhorandi here were unaware of the return of Netheril or the disappearance and expungement of the Shadese. They also did not know that three of the sky cities had returned and that there were new sky cities in place. There were rumors from other people from the surface that Netheril had returned. There is some question of whether the Netherilese will honor their agreement…
Namir shows us to guest quarters (a small stone cottage) and gets us food and water.
Some rumors were mentioned by the Master Archivist to Severin on the possible existence of other sky cities.
We rest and get ourselves back together.
To Be Continued
14 Flamerule / 1 November
The night passed uneventfully.
Ryselle has shown up to speak to Severin.
After shoving Muri out of bed just to do it, we go out to the living room. Muri listens in on their conversation while Lusi stretches and says short prayers.
We had a talk of the choices that Severin had to make: turn evil and his family will live or watch them all die. He was upset over the fact that the choice to become evil was not nearly as difficult as he had always thought it would be.
Ryselle left before the conversation began to talk to the elders of the city. Politely, we hope.
We all suit up for arms practice; Severin remarks that he can’t quite tell if Zandra is trying to kill him or if she is just really enthusiastic with her weapons.
Zandra is in the ring with a man when we arrive and she wins. Severin spars with her next; he’s better than she is.
Muri and Severin spar the first time with Muri doing the attacking and Severin instructing her. During the rounds with Severin and Muri, Zandra remarks that Severin is taking it very easy on Muri. More comments lead Lusi to comment that Zandra’s weapons training must have been a lot less gentle than ours.
The second round is “for real.” She does manage to hit him once in the round. A third round is done with one weapon rather than two. She hits him more often with the one weapon, a lot more often.
We have a water fight, get cleaned up and get ready to go on out!
We have lunch then get to the bridge and the guide that will lead us to the slavers’ tunnels. He is in his 40s or 50s, pale skin, traveling clothes, light armor.
The horses are fine when we get to them.
We go to the door that we came into the tunnels; we go the opposite way that we went so that we go into more secretive tunnels that may have fewer slavers. There is a dead end when we stop. It is a secret door and the guide shows us the mechanism to open it. Muri checks it for traps; no traps but is locked.
She unlocks it easily.
The door opens into a junction; the traffic appears to have been heavier to the right.
We go left! The tracks appear to be older on the right and these are supposed to be secret tunnels.
We are jumped by something that oozes and is slimy with multiple mouths and eyes. Muri is grossed out and wants it dead, while Lusi and Zandra are grossed out and standing there.
The spit from its attack ignites and we make fortitude saves… Severin gets a face full of fiery saliva!
It’s absolutely disgusting after we kill it; no way are we going to go through a puddle of ooze with eyes and mouths all over the place so we don’t get any treasure it might have been carrying. 800 experience points.
We came across a skeleton with a pack and armor. Lusi grabbed its stuff since we have the horses with us.
Part of the skeleton is NOT a skeleton; I get grappled and slammed into the ground. It is a mimic!
No eyes and mouths in the mess, so Lusi gets the bits of treasure out of the slime before she cleans herself up. 600 experience points.
Small bag of gold coins (109) and 3 gems (aquamarine 200gp, colorless sapphire 1000gp, pearl 500 gp), a wand (magical), pouch with 4 vials (turns out to be alchemist’s fire), jar of salve (magical), and a really nice wooden box that has arcane symbols on it.
Travel a bit further and rest. We’re taking some time to examine the items. Lusi is quite interested the box… Zandra casts faerie fire on it so that Muri has enough light to take a look for traps – it’s trapped but not magically so. Muri tries to open the lock but she can’t. Lusi then blushingly remembers that she just learned to do the knock spell… There is a candle wrapped in a sheet of paper in it. Lusi can’t quite make it out, nor can Muri. After a comprehend language spell, it says “May the flame of Truth reveal all.” The candle is magical (detect magic), so are the salve and the wand. Severin and Zandra are also glowing… Severin is much more brightly glowing than Zandra.
To Be Continued
14 Flamerule / 6 November
The hours of rest go uneventfully… Lusi has first watch, Zandra second and Muri third watch. Severin, as usual, is backup for all of us since he takes a kind of Reverie.
Breakfast is good, more of the Halfling food!
Severin finally asks why we didn’t ask our Mom to help out on this quest; Lusi kind of evades the question and Severin asks whom he should talk to so he can find out if he’s allowed to know about why we are out and about; Lusi lets a little bit slip about being chased in the next year.
Muri finds a gem in the wall and Severin pulls it out even though neither Muri nor Lusi think it’s going to be really worth much.
2 zombies attack us; Severin and Zandra stay back until and unless we need them. Turning doesn’t work; so magic missiles become the order of the day.
pouch w/46 gp, 3 gems
pouch w/98 gp, 24 sp, potion
300 experience points
Zandra takes the pick and loops it on her pack.
Stopping for the evening after a few more hours of uneventful travel…
Lusi on first watch, Zandra on second, Muri on third watch. Muri’s watch: she hears a whooshing sound and a cry like a woman sobbing; Severin doesn’t hear anything. She hears the voice ask her for help by her name. Muri feels like the voice is coming from a little distance ahead of us. Severin casts a light spell on a coin and throws it down the hallway; nothing but more hallway appears. Muri tries to get the voice to tell her what she needs help with and how to help; the voice says she’s trapped and to follow the sound of her voice. This screams TRAP to us. But then again, maybe not? The voice knows Muri and Lusi’s names.
Zandra puts on yet another mask, this one plain silver. She says it protects her mind. There is a shadow of her face behind it but nothing truly visible.
We go off to spring the trap or possibly rescue someone. We follow the feeling down a smaller corridor and leave the animals behind.
Spot check number one: Lusi 8, Muri 22… Shadow with a glint of light on the wall. It’s a corridor only wide enough for one person to squeeze through sideways. Muri checks, reluctantly, for traps. 14 roll says no traps on it.
There is a small cavern with an archway with elaborate symbols on it and a bright white light coming through it. “When light is extinguished then eternal darkness will be reward.” Zandra translates it. There is some debate on whether this is something we’re really going to do… Muri decides to take a look at the archway at the very least.
Knowledge history or arcana, no way in hell did we roll high enough to get some information out of this. Severin looks at the archway as well – the Seven Sisters are mentioned. Mystra was banished to a mortal body along with the other gods in the Time of Troubles. She gave birth to seven girls – not necessarily at the same time, and they were the vessels of Mystra’s will and were given gifts relating to the Weave. They all disappeared after several hundred years. The last one to disappear was The Symbul, the Witch Queen of Aglarond.
There are seven stars in the archway and each has a different colored stone in it.
At the top of the arch is violet (amethyst). Nothing happens when Lusi touches it. Spot checks – Lusi 22, Muri 23. There is a very light light tracery of lines on the ground that we couldn’t see until now. The lines a recognizable as a constellation diagram. We can see the Seven Sisters constellation. (a circle) There is writing underneath in the same language as the arch. The first part is the rhyme associated with the Seven Sisters.
The word seven is on all lines of the verse.
Comprehend languages doesn’t work, neither does read magic. Zandra can read a lot of it but not all.
Seven bright stars in the sky I see.
Seven for those who watch over me.
Seven be the smiles down they send.
Seven be the troubles swift they mend.
Seven elements to set them free.
Seven quests to enlighten thee.
Seven moments of death shall be. (Raeyna translates that one for us)
Zandra takes rubbings of the stars since they have symbols inside them. She also rubs the part containing the death rune.
Severin speculates that lightning, acid and cold may be the other three elements missing from the seven. They are usually the energy elements associated with the world.
Is it more beneficial to continue on to the slavers’ city at this time? My coin spins on its side instead of landing “heads” up or down when I ask Tymora the question.
The consensus, after talking for a bit, is to go through the portal. Severin identifies our magical items on the off chance that there is a rod of security amongst them. Since there isn’t, we’re asking Raeyna for assistance in obtaining a rod of security.
Severin sleeps a full eight hours.
She comes to see us and we owe her huge for making one for us.
She’s been studying the world’s history; information on the statues: the crystals for the statues are empowered by the elements, that there are eight here on Toril, the eighth is force.
When we enter the room, the amethyst lights up and has a rune inside it. We notice this time that our runes on the wrists match four of the runes. As Raeyna reaches down to touch part of the floor we notice that she has one on her wrist that matches the violet stone.
Debate ensues and she eventually decides that she’ll go through the portal. When she touches it, she freezes for a couple of minutes. Once she comes back to us, the portal clears. Raeyna says she is not really okay and Lusi assumes that Raeyna’s been through the choice.
There is a woman bound by orange ropes of energy in there, she is suspended in there and floating.
On closer inspection, she is beautiful and has gorgeous clothes. She appears to be Alustriel from Silverymoon. She’s got a favor on her belt with a symbol that matches that of Devan, the Void Mage trying to get the statue activated.
She says that he was not always the man we know.
The people that bound her are the same ones pursuing us.
The orange energy ropes are of acid; Lusi has a thought that seems almost too simple, but she tries it and it works!! A simple acid splash on each bond dissolves it.
This is definitely Alustriel; she asks if we need anything since we appear a bit ill-equipped for a grand adventure.
We talk some and part ways since she used her magic to create a Rod of Security for us. She simply dissolves into the Weave to go to the palace at Silverymoon. We leave the room and get the horses into the Rod and move on our way.
Alustriel pointed out a door that will take us more directly to the city before she leaves.
We head through the room to the door quickly so we can avoid the people that we know will be investigating the alarms we’re sure are there… Doesn’t work though.
Muri, Zandra, Lusi, Raeyna and Severin are in marching order to the door.
Human man in all black clothes greets Muri as the first through the concealed throughway; he says “Welcome to the party. Inelex, we have guests.” We hear footsteps coming toward us.
Muri draws her sword since he has his drawn.
We all get into the room to start the combat (Michelle apologizes in advance for the coming raping in combat).
Telon is a thief…
Severin takes out the tin can in three shots the first round.
Raeyna casts Time Stop and gets off five spells. She sheaths Muri, Zandra and Lusi in lightning (lightning shield, if anyone hits us in melee they will take 1d6 +25 pts of lightning damage), then a chain lightning spell goes off in the other room. She holds the last spell.
Elaine chugs a potion.
Balinor (armored up dude) comes stomping out looking kinda pissed and is after Severin first. He’s pissed since the first tin can was his brother.
Losseran pitches a spell at Raeyna: acid. Raeyna is in a world of hurt, but Severin is immune to acid. Lusi also gets hit with it.
Inelex hits all of us with a chain lightning.
Telon is dumb and hits Muri; he gets the backlash from the lightning shield.
Brother Justin hits Raeyna with a flamestrike that does no damage.
Zandra tumbles into combat with Brother Justin, kukris drawn. She does not hit.
Severin takes Balinor on; Balinor dies that round. Severin’s swords glint like something else besides steel, probably glassteel.
Raeyna casts a spell at Inelex, he counterspells it.
Zandra hits Brother Justin once in three tries. The third shot chinks off his armor.
A snake tries to bite and spit acid at Muri but fails.
Elaine casts Evard’s Black Tentacles on Muri, Raeyna and Lusi. Muri makes her check but Lusi and Raeyna fail. Lusi falls unconscious at -4 hp.
Losseran attacks Zandra and Severin with a cold spell; she dodges with no damage, he takes half damage.
Muri tries to get to Lusi but takes 6 points of damage from the tentacles and shoves a healing potion down her throat.
Inelex says “I believe I have seen enough.” He twists a ring and all but the bodies disappear.
Raeyna dispels the tentacles.
We move down the corridor a ways after healing Lusi and Muri; Zandra stalked off because of comments made during battle by Severin (since she was needling/being honest with Muri about her supposed shortcomings, Severin returned the favor during battle), Raeyna and Severin didn’t really think that the healing Lusi could offer would work well because of their draconic heritage.
After the move down the corridor, Raeyna sets up a magnificent mansion for security and we sleep.
To Be Continued…
17 Flamerule / 19 November
3000 xp received…
We rest for one full day to reacquire all of our hit points and spells.
Magic items are identified and given out to appropriate parties.
Through the door we get to another enormous cavern but this one is well lit. The city is much less finished but has a low wall around the city with gates where the bridges are. This city has a much more Arabian feel to it rather than the Egyptian feel of the last one.
We have discussions about how to enter the city: Raeyna and Severin very heated since she was going to try to enter as a slave, the three of us more quietly. Zandra and we come up with a plan: Lusi will go in as a higher ranking noblewoman (Lady Rose Killian) with a matron in waiting whom Muri will play. Zandra lends her a mask to be Matron Ruth, who is a middle aged woman. Zandra changes masks and forms – she’s a guy with oriental features under a battle-scarred grizzled mercenary. Father sold me into slavery – Lord Jacob Killian, a merchant lord that was too deep into gambling and forced to sell off his daughter or lose the business. He has two other daughters so the choice was easy. He did pay the protection fee for her so her virginity will stay intact and she will not be physically harmed unless she tries to escape.
Raeyna will be watching as an invisible falcon.
Off into the city we go! (Yuck)
Radburn (Severin) gets us into the city; with a lot of mouthy comments the guard lets us in after Zandra threatens to beat him up…
We get to the first building and are greeted by a big fat greasy man who assesses Lusi and lets us into the tower.
We take the lift up and enter a hallway with eunuchs on each side every 10 feet. There are 10 of them for the 50 foot long hallway. They are in small alcoves with very short kilts on and short swords with bracers. At the end of the hallway the majordomo accepts our story and after tilting a staff with a crystal on top towards Lusi that flashes white lets us in. The room is huge, with many women and cushions all around. The Vizier is lounging the cushions; he’s in his twenties or thirties, curly black hair, kilt and vest are highly embroidered.
Lusi is placed at his left foot so she listens to the conversation; nothing is said about Astara in her hearing though. Saphira is at his right foot and drugged to the eyeballs. We sit for about three hours and he is petting Lusi as they talk; she’s trying not to stiffen up every time he touches her.
A man in turban and robes with the symbol of Cyric slams open the doors of the throne room and struts inside.
The vizier calls him Shatan. Shatan is wondering when he is going to get what they arranged for. The vizier says that getting him what he asked for is harder than he thinks and the priest replies that same back. There is a stare-off… The priest is amused by the lack of the vizier’s success in finding two young women… Talking about the girls not being recognized if they sat at his feet. The conversation goes on to talk about the other girl being sold into slavery by the ones that rescued her. The vizier clears the room and we are locked in a luxurious room… Lusi and Muri realize that the priest saw through the disguises so they have to get out now. The priest is having the girl transferred to the temple since he doesn’t trust the vizier. Muri checks the room for “bugs” and doesn’t find any, so we are discussing what to do next which is to get the hell out before our spell of non-detection wears off. She gets the non magical lock with no problem, but the magical trap gives her a bit of trouble.
Severin opens the lock after Muri gets the trap. We go to the next room and get to another woman’s room to find out where Astara is hidden; she tells us she’s in the vizier’s secret room. Lusi does a hold person on one guard outside the doors and Severin kills the other. Muri catches the dead guard before he clatters down to the ground. Muri checks the door for traps, none are there. Zandra shows back up right then. She’s found a secret door. Muri gets the keys off the guard and the vizier’s in there banging Saphira. Zandra takes the opportunity to kill him. She uses a hand crossbow and darts him three times. Muri is checking for the door. She finds it easily. Lusi doses Saphira with a neutralize poison potion. Zandra is busy stringing up the body and mutilating it horribly.
Saphira goes through the vizier’s stuff for clothes and her necklace.
Muri keeps trying to get the lock. We get the keys off the body and get into the room.
Astara is in there and still has her signet ring on.
We run out of the room into the secret door and get moving. Saphira wants to get her stuff, so Zandra will get us there. We can’t go out of the palace without getting the collars off so the women don’t get killed.
Zandra takes Saphira off to get her things and we go to find the majordomo and see if he has the four tiny keys to unlock and disarm the collars.
We find the majordomo and violently persuade him to help us out.
We get to the treasury, take care of the guards, and get the doors open. Severin has a pair of swords on the majordomo, Lusi is watching the hallway and Astara and Muri takes a couple of pieces of the treasure for Eric and gets the keys. They are inside a coronet’s gems. Fortitude save required to stay conscious from pain while using the coronet. Muri uses it to get the collar off of Astara; she’s conscious but in extreme pain and Lusi takes the coronet from her.
We let the majordomo go and get to Zandra and Saphira in the secret hallways.
Lusi unlocks Saphira’s collar. Severin goes back for the other collar and comes back with a case and the collar. We GTFO after signaling Raeyna; she sets off a lightning storm in a cloud on the ground to distract the guards.
We travel nine days back to the clans…
We deliver Saphira back to her parents and clans… They had lookouts two days away so they were waiting en masse for us. Tearful reunion; they are in our debt. Samira tells us that the crystal scorpion necklace means we are members of her family now. The rings are tokens of friendship from Samira and Najir. The jewelry will be recognized by any of the desert clans and will offer us some protection from all but the most lawless.
They have a huge party!!
Raeyna takes Astara back to Stefan’s location; we are left to take the long way back.
A day or two later…
Camping after a day of riding, we’re relaxing: Severin is whittling, Zandra painting.
An arrow with a note on it and a big black symbol drives into the sand. Akkadians surround us, all in black. We pack up and go with them; we have information they require.
We follow them into the darkness…
To Be Continued…