Mar 23 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, March 17th, 2012

Gloomwrought – House Treyvan

We had survived the collapse of the tower, so in the confusion that ensued we hurried back to House Treyvan with Garnik. Although we were all still alive, Illikan and Nalla had been seriously wounded and would require several days of rest to mend their wounds.

Once things had calmed down, Garnik was able to tell us what was going on.

From the DM’s notes:

He discovered that the Shades of Netheril have coerced a number of the Ebony Guard of Gloomwrought into working for them; convincing them that they are still serving the Raven Queen. But they are in fact performing deeds for Shar who is secretly (without the Raven Queen’s or Kelemvor’s knowledge) under her guise.

Through this and other means, the netherese are putting a foothold into controlling Gloomwrought.

They have recently located the ruins of a long forgotten enclave within the Shadowfell. Its name has been lost to time, but word is that this much smaller enclave had also transported into the Shadowfell along with the city of Shade during Netheril’s fall; but its Mythallar was not potent enough with Shadow Weave magic to sustain it aloft, thus it fell. An item of great power is said to be located within the ruins. Garnik discerned the location of the ruined enclave when he was apprehended by the ebony guard, who were being led by his wife’s killer at the time. This is the recommended next destination for our group as this item could be dangerous in the hands of the Netherese, or any other faction that are rumored to be looking for it.

He also discovered that a number of rifts to the shadowfell were created. One such rift is the one linking the ruined city of Zelbross to the Shadow Dragon’s cemetery lair (hence why House Treyvan placed wards around it, to contain the dragon to that area). The Netherese are creating these to make their way to Faerun undetected. He is not certain of all the other locations of these rifts, but he believes the Ogre King, who is aiding the Netherese with this, has one in his domain, Kazak’Tul. These rifts can also only be destroyed with the use of a magic key that is said to be located with The Last Grasp of Shadowbane; the artifact that Dernan is seeking. Garnik suggests the heroes find it after seeking the ruins of the enclave within the shadowfell.

To get back to Faerun, there is a portal within the Lightwell in Gloomwrought which will take them directly to Loudwater, where Dernan is waiting with Lady Moonfire and Curuvar.

After Garnik had finished with his story, Duvin had some of the House servants begin preparations for our expedition to the ruined enclave. And before we could turn in for the night he informed us that he would have one last mission for us to accomplish on the House’s behalf.

Here is a rundown of the next steps/quests to be accomplished.

  • Go to the ruined enclave and retrieve the item of power
  • Perform a final mission for House Treyvan
  • Use the portal in Gloomwrought’s Lightwell to return to Loudwater
  • Find Dernan and help him find the “Last Grasp of Shadowbane”
    • The key to close the Netherese portal should be with the artifact
  • Return to Zelbross and use the portal to travel to the cemetery in the Shadowfell
  • Close the portal and most likely deal with the dragon in the cemetery
  • Travel to the Ogre King’s lair in Kazak’Tul to close that portal as well
  • If possible, kill the Ogre King once and for all, as well
  • Return to Curuvar in Loudwater, he may know the location of the Dark Key

The Shadowfell – Ruined Netherese Enclave

The next morning, Duvin arranged passage across the skins for us, and from there we made the long trip to the ruined enclave on foot.

Once we reached the ruined enclave, it didn’t take long for trouble to find us. We stumbled upon a group of creatures searching through the rubble. There was a large minotaur, a pack of guard beasts and what appeared to be a shadowy demon. After sending his troops to keep us occupied, the demon continued his search for the item of power.

When he found the item, the demon tapped into its power and then joined the fight. Although we were missing two team members our excellent teamwork allowed us to win the day.

Once the dust had settled, we were able to take a closer look at the object. It was a large book that could best be described as a grimoire with a decidedly evil and sinister appearance.

It was in fact the Book of Vile Darkness, an artifact of great power and even greater evil. During the trip back to House Treyvan, the book tried multiple times to convince the party members to open it and use its power. However, we could all sense the evil emanating from it and decided that it should not be used.

Gloomwrought – House Treyvan

Upon our return to House Treyvan, Duvin explained what our final mission for the House would be.

The mission was basically a search and retrieve expedition; albeit a complicated one. Krikus, a Duergar of the House, had recently purchased an ornate and very expensive crystal ball from Harskel’s Emporium. After purchasing the crystal ball, using a large sum of the House’s money, Krikus had disappeared from Gloomwrought. Rumours around town suggest that he may have gone to the Mine of Azkiamor.

Duvin wants us to go to the mines and find out what is going on and bring back the crystal ball. We should do our best to bring Krikus back alive as well, if possible. But if necessary, we can kill him.

After all this, we got ourselves a good meal and then settled in for the night.

The following information was learned after the fact.

During the night Illikan awoke. The Book of Vile Darkness was sending him dreams in his sleep. Very quietly he snuck out of his room and retrieved the book from Voulge’s bag.

The next day, after the rest of the team had left for Azkiamor, Illikan made up an excuse to be left alone, and while no one was looking he locked himself in a supply room and opened the book.

Provided by Illikan’s player:

As Illikan is reading the book, the book is aware that he is worthy of some small exhibition of its power. It shows Illikan a ritual and writes that if he performs this ritual he will be rewarded with an item of great power that will destroy his foes. Illikan agrees and performs the ritual. The book writes in its pages for him to draw a rune on the floor and to lay his executioner’s axe on the rune along with the book. He recited the words written in the book and his axe was enveloped in a gloomy light. When the ritual is complete he picks up his axe and believes that he can feel the new power in it. He doesn’t realise that it’s not power that he is feeling but more of a change in is alignment. Because he performed the ritual he is moving closer to becoming evil. Now the book as attached itself the hilt of his axe which now looks darker in appearance.

The Shadowfell – To the Mine of Azkiamor

The next morning when we were ready to leave for Azkiamor Duvin arranged for transportation to the edge of the northern swamp where the mine is located. We would have to find the mine on our own. {skill challenge}

This swamp was as unpleasant as all the others we’d been through, but by this point we were so used to them that being in the Shadowfell didn’t seem to make things harder than usual.

During the slog through the swamp, we came across an old woman in a small rowboat who offered to give us a lift to our destination. We could tell right away that it was a bog hag (her disguise wasn’t very good) so we politely declined her offer and continued on our way.

Maybe we should have accepted her offer because we ended up getting lost and traveling in circles for a few hours. When we eventually got back on the right track, we realized that the bog hag had been going towards the mine.

Then again, based on what came next, we had indeed made the right choice.

As we reached the general area of the mine entrance we saw a large number of small boats and canoes; and in each and every one of them, dead bog hags. Further on there was a horde of undead creatures and the towering figures of Illikan and Nalla.

It would seem that while trying to catch up with us, they had also come across a bog hag; but unlike us, they must have accepted the hag’s offer. The undead creatures’ interference was probably the only reason they were still alive.

But they wouldn’t be for long if we didn’t help them.

When Voulge was able to get a good look at Illikan, he immediately noticed that his axe had changed. He saw that what appeared to be the Book of Vile Darkness was now attached to Illikan’s axe. He was curious about what this meant, but also about why he hadn’t noticed that the book was missing until now.