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Apr 13 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, April 6th, 2012

Gloomwrought

Back at House Treyvan, we soon realized that we would need to speed up our plan to incapacitate Ilikan.

After returning the crystal ball, and informing him of Krikus’ death (we left out the part where Ilikan murdered Krikus), Duvin told us that the Lightwell was located on the grounds of Fizbarn Mansion. He said that in the morning we should seek out Fizzet Fizbarn who would lead us to the well in the Fizbarn garden.

The next morning, as we were making preparations to leave, we discovered that Ilikan had stolen back the crystal ball. How a giant goliath managed to sneak about undetected in a house full of dwarves and other shorter creatures remains unknown; but he did.

We decided to knock him out now before he could do anything else that would get us in trouble. While Nalla distracted him, Voulge snuck up behind Ilikan and conked on the head with his warhammer. He called it his Rune of Slumber.

We then made great haste for Fizbarn Mansion, and just as Duvin had said, Fizzet Fizbarn was waiting to take us to the Lightwell. But just as we were about to step through the portal, a large contingent of Ebony Guard showed up to arrest us.

We were a man short, but by a stroke of good luck a stranger appeared through the portal. And when the Ebony Guard attacked him as well he had no choice but to fight on our side.

After we defeated the Ebony Guard, the stranger introduced himself as Drake. He said that he had come to Loudwater in search of his brother-in-law and that a wizard by the name of Curuvar had led him to the portal that brought him to us. As it turned out, his brother-in-law was Garnik; so we explained that we were Garnik’s friends and that he had died and been brought back by the Raven Queen as a Revenant.

Since we didn’t know of Garnik’s location, he wasn’t at House Treyvan upon our return from Azkiamor, Drake decided to team up with us in hopes of running into Garnik at some future date.

We were now ready to step through the Lightwell. But before we did so, Dirty Pig wanted to analyse the portal. He must have done something wrong though, because he was blasted off his feet by a large amount of arcane feedback. He got up, none the worse for wear, or so he assumed and stepped through the portal. {Dirty Pig’s player wanted to change him from a druid to a sorcerer. This is the cause.}

Loudwater

The rest of us followed him and we found ourselves back in our underground lair in Loudwater, with Curuvar waiting for us. Upon seeing the looks of confusion on our faces, he explained that the Lightwell would create a portal at an arcane waypoint closest to where the users wanted to go; in this case, the Font of Darkness in our lair.

Curuvar was obviously curious as to why Ilikan was unconscious, so we explained the whole situation with the Book of Vile Darkness. At the mere mention of the book, Curuvar flew into a rage and told us to get it far away from him. If someone of his power were to fall prey to The Book’s influence, the consequences would be dire. He also suggested that instead of locking Ilikan in the cage, we contain him in the stepping disk at the lair’s secret exit. With Ilikan in the cage, The Book would just be lying around somewhere in our lair and could still exercise its corrupting influence on us. But the stepping disk led to another plane. It would contain The Book’s corruption quite well.

Since the next step in our current mission was to search for the “Last Grasp of Shadowbane” which was possibly located at the Well of Dragons, we went to market to make preparations for our trip, and to sell the stuff we had acquired while in the Shadowfell. The Netherese artifacts we gave to Curuvar who paid quite well for them.

The next morning we would have to start looking for the sword known as The Last Grasp of Shadowbane. So while the rest of us turned in early, Eramus spent the night with Lady Moonfire.

The Well of Dragons – Getting There

The next morning, we awoke to find that envelopes had been left next to each of us. We would later learn that Eramus had also received one; it had been left on the night stand next to Lady Moonfire’s bed. How someone had managed to enter her mansion unnoticed, no one knew.

When we opened the envelopes we were overcome by a very powerful vision. We found ourselves, the whole team, in a glade, facing a priest of Sel√Ľne. He told us it was imperative that we make our way to the Well of Dragons as quickly as possible.

The Netherese were in negotiations with the Cult of the Dragon, the inhabitants of the Well. They were trying to purchase both the Last Grasp of Shadowbane and the artifact that was the key the rifts they had created between Toril and the Shadowfell.

He also told to us that the Well was located in the southern part of Netheril and that on our way there we would be met by a man named Tairen who would have more information for us.

The vision ended at this point and in the envelopes we found maps the Well that would allow us to enter into Netherese lands undetected. With all our preparations completed the day before, we left immediately.

The Well of Dragons – Infiltration

The journey to the Well was a long one, but thanks to Eramus, who had obtained mounts from Lady Moonfire, the trip had gone by faster than expected.

As we were nearing the location on the map marked as our destination a large dire-rat stepped out onto the road in front of us. In an instant it somehow transformed itself into a man of small stature. The creature, who introduced itself as our contact Tairen, was a were-rat. We followed him as he led us off the road and into the forest where we would have some privacy.

Here’s what we learned from Tairen:

  • The Cult of the Dragon lived inside the Well of Dragons, which was an extensive system of tunnels and chambers inside a nearby mountain
  • The Last Grasp of Shadowbane, and consequently the key to closing the rifts was located in the Chamber of Ascension
  • Tairen provided us with a crude map that would guide us from the Well’s entrance to the Chamber
  • The Netherese were in negotiations with the Cult, and had set up a large garrison outside the Well’s entrance to serve as their base of operations
  • There was no way to access the Well’s entrance without first going through the garrison
  • Also, the area surrounding the garrison is patrolled day and night
  • Attempting to gain entry into the garrison through means of force would be suicide. More subtle means would be required

We devised a plan that worked surprisingly well.

We waited until nightfall, and under the cover of darkness ambushed one of the roving patrols. Having then put on their uniforms, gaining access to the garrison was as simple as walking through the front door.

Once inside we were able to snoop around with relative ease. The Netherese were quite arrogant, and as a result of their belief that no one could penetrate their defences, internal security was quite lax. We obtained the schedule of the upcoming negotiation sessions as well as some negotiator robes. In between two of the negotiation sessions we were able to approach the entrance to the Well under the guise of being negotiators ourselves.

The entrance was an immense steel gate at the end of a crevasse in the side of the mountain. Its defences were formidable. There were many weapons emplacements, and there were quite a few dragons hiding among the rocky crags.

We were met at the gate by a pair of Cult guards who escorted us inside the Well. Fooling these guards was easy; but the moment we were brought before a higher ranking official of the cult, our ruse would be exposed and we would find ourselves fighting against an army of zealots.

Luckily for us, only a few minutes after being led inside, an alarm was sounded. Someone was attacking the main gates. Could it be that the Netherese had decided to cancel the negotiations and achieve their goals through force? It didn’t really matter. With all the cultists busy defending the entrance; we would have a small window of opportunity where we could move about unnoticed.

On our way to the Chamber of Ascension we had to pass through the Chamber of Souls. Unfortunately, after defeating the undead creatures guarding the chamber, we discovered that the way forward was blocked by a kind of arcane puzzle.

If we wanted to proceed any further, we would have to solve it.