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Aug 01 2011

Chronicles of Netheril, July 23rd, 2011

Evereska – The Floating Gardens of Aerdrie Faenya

Once the ambush was in place, it didn’t take long for Irwana to show up. And as is usually the case with us, things didn’t go a planned. She saw through our ruse and knew that Dernan was an impostor. She also easily spotted Ash hidden away in a bush. But, in the moonlight, Ash could also clearly see her {surprise round for both} and he immediately realized that she was a vampire.

One thing going in our favour was that the rest of the team was well hidden behind the wall; Irwana had not seen them. So when her followers moved in to capture Dernan, the rest of the party came out from behind the wall and the situation turn into a full on engagement; a situation we were better prepared for than she was.

Irwana and her people weren’t especially difficult foes, but being fey, they had an abundance of abilities that made it difficult for us eliminate them rapidly. We did eventually defeat them all, and upon receiving the killing blow, Irwana disintegrated into a pile of ashes.

Dernan, who had made sure to stay well out of our way during the fight, returned to the group and surmised that Irwana must have been a Vampire Muse. It would explain Kiriolanis’ condition.

Evereska

At Dernan’s suggestion we headed to the nearest temple of Sune, where the priestess confirmed Dernan’s hypothesis and told us everything we needed to know in order to help Kiriolanis. A vampire muse used a ‘blood cauldron’ to create a link to her victim and steal its life force. The blood cauldron also acted like a lich’s phylactery. Therefore, as long as the blood cauldron remained intact the vampire muse would regenerate within thirty days. Consequently, killing Irwana was not sufficient; Kiriolanis’ condition would not improve until the blood cauldron was destroyed. To help us find the blood cauldron, the priestess gave us a special ritual scroll and we made haste to Kiriolanis’ home.

Dirty Pig performed the ritual and the connection between Kiriolanis and the blood cauldron became visible as a string of light motes. Like breadcrumbs we followed the lights all the way to a house in a district close to the Floating Gardens. The front door was locked, so rather than risk being seen trying to force it open, Ilikan quickly climbed up to the open window on the second floor and opened the front door from the inside.

We found the cauldron quite easily, it was lying out in the open, and smashed it to bits. A detailed examination of the house yielded so very interesting information. Based on the personal effects, memorabilia and curios scattered about the house, it was clear that a woman named Irwana had indeed lived here for quite some time and was in fact an important city official, just as Elwyn Adark had said. It was also clear that the vampiric influence was fairly recent, and that the vampire had worshipped Shar. But being transformed into a vampire doesn’t mean one immediately converts to the Church of Shar, especially if you’re an Eladrin from Evereska. It was more likely that the vampire was a Netherese spy that had killed and impersonated Irwana. This theory was confirmed when we found the vampires journal. It contained a plethora of notes and observations on Irwana’s routine and daily that would greatly help in impersonating her. There were also copies of a large number of classified official documents that would only have been accessible to a city official of Irwana’s rank or higher.

With the journal in hand, we returned to Kiriolanis’ home. His mother was overjoyed. The spell had been broken, he had eaten all the food we had left in his study, and such was his hunger that he had come down to the kitchen to eat a second meal. Voulge took the opportunity to cast a few healing effects on Kiriolanis. Once he had finished eating and everyone was caught up on the events, we all went to sleep.

The next morning Kiriolanis took the journal to the city’s officials and explained everything that had happened. They gave him items of great value {magic items} to give to us as a reward for exposing the existence of a Netherese plot and eliminating the spy.

While the rest of the party went shopping and made preparations to return to Loudwater, Kiriolanis took Voulge to see Zippergwick, an old acquaintance of his. A gnomish inventor and tinkerer, Zippergwick was able to adapt one of his old and discarded inventions into a warforged attached component. Zippergwick’s ”Shoulder Catapult” as he dubbed it was similar to the standard warforged shoulderbow component, except that rather than being retractable it was fixed in place and it shot out enchanted throwing hammers instead of standard crossbow bolts.

With the shopping and preparations done, we decided to leave for Loudwater right away, even though it was late afternoon because we had lost precious time and were anxious to get back on track.