Finally back to nerd nights without the interruption of travels and ordinary life, we gathered at the usual time and place! Praise Iowe! I furnished pizza and we all ate our fill – excepting Brokk of course who failed a saving throw and was lost in time and space.
We took up the Slack just past the end of that conversation. Our heroes gathered at the Host Tower of the Arcane Brotherhood. Over hot tea, wine, sliced meats and fresh cakes, they negotiated with Overwizard Blaskar Lauthorn for the participation of the Brotherhood in the Council of Waterdeep.
During the meeting, Tan Meng received a Sending from Leosin Erlanthar via Lady Haventree that Varram “The White” was seen near the small outpost of Boareskyr Bridge. Hasty plans were made for the group to find, intercept and capture the Wearer of the Purple.
There were a few matters to attend to before the group could depart The Host Tower and Luskan via Teleportation Circle to Baldur’s Gate. Reparations to the families and friends of the Frostskimmer were required. The group weathered the snowy streets down to the docks to meet with Shipmaster Kurth to pay their debt – about 8,000 gold. Kurth was polite if somewhat terse. He recognized that the debt had been paid to the letter and freed our heroes of their obligations.
Quickly back to the Host Tower and through the Teleportation Circle…to materialize in the upper chambers of a tower of Habakuk.
Terse words were once again exchanged, but perhaps a reckoning of a sort was achieved as the old wizard recognized the achievements of our heroes and mentioned that should they need, he could be of some assistance in the future, particularly with the use of this Teleportation Circle.
Our heroes passed out of the tower through an anonymous doorway near the Milk Maid Bakery and into the much warmer and far more crowded streets of Baldurs Gate. Quickly making their way to their rented accommodations and the home of their agent, Tom Haverford, all set in for a much needed long rest.
Valeria set out for a much needed bath, servant girls were sent for foods and clean clothing all around.
With clean armor and clothing, Valeriya set out for Wyrm’s Rock and Ulder Ravenguard of the Flaming Fist. Marshall Ravenguard was away at Waterdeep but Valeriya was able to meet up with Captain Cramwell. Valeriya calmly asked the Captain for a favor, please look after Hazirawn. ! Hazirawn immediately tried overcome Valeriya and the Terredon who happened to also be in attendance… Crackling with negative energy, the sword shrieked, “traitor!” Captain Cramwell reluctantly agreed.
Valeriya and Terredon hastily departed despite screaming vengeful protests of Hazirawn, “You’ll regret this…!”
All were making ready, packing food, cleaning and stowing gear when Terredon and Valeria returned to The Haverford Inn, now they made likewise.
Our heroes churned on transportation to Boareskyr Bridge since Luskan, but finally a plan emerged. All entered The Mirror of Life Trapping (one of the more exotic items from the hoard of Arauthator) except Terredon, who then wore the mirror in its great case and backpack and transformed into an eagle for the long flight. Within what seemed like seconds, all were emerging from the mirror on the outside of Boareskyre Bridge.
The decrepit settlement offered little comfort compared to Tom and staff – however, it wasn’t long before our heroes were on the trail of Varram. After a few pleasantries, Commander Forguard of a Paladins of Elturel contingent guarding the bridge remembered the dwarf from a couple of days back. And the stubby broad proprietess of Bolo’s Tentside Inn remembered Varram and company well. The dwarf had killed “one of the scaled folk” in an altercation at her inn. “He’s a hero, he is!”
Moments later, our band of adventurers was back inside the mirror and in owl form, Terredon was winging his way northward along the trail of Varram and company toward the Serpent Hills. Along the trail he spied a group of lizard folk settling down to a nice camp, and later a pair of giants. The giants were following the same trail the Terredon pursued.
A couple of hours later Terredon settled in to what looked like an abandoned settlement and released the party from the mirror. All began to explore, though wary of what might be lurking in the darkness.
There were three bedrolls near an ancient desiccated fountain – and blood everywhere. It looked as though corpses had been dragged beneath the fountain after a gruesome battle.
A new-looking ladder lay against the cliff toward one larger tomb. As our heroes approached, two colossal statues turned their shattered visages and said, “Halt. You come before Diderius, ether walker and conduit of clairvoyance. Behold ye now his wondrous triumphs. Diderius extends wisdom, and Diderius offers knowledge. Which do you seek?” Valeriya and Terredon replied “knowledge” and the statues responded, “Diderius shall grant you what you seek, but only if you heed him and continue to show proper respect!”
All ascended the ladder. Great columns carved with images of other worlds and beings from nightmares and dreams stood aside the open doorway. In the first chamber, a series of cloaked statues stood before walls covered in gold, silver and precious stones. Most avoided the gaze of the cloaked statues, but a few looked deeply. Himo gazed longest and was transfixed for a moment, learning deeply of things he did not want to know.
In the next chamber, a mosaic of a Chimera came to life and breathed a sort of searing and scintillating flame. But the maces and blows of our companions hew it down. To the north, a doorway marked safe, a strange sort of well or pump room – with giant blood-colored and liver-textured mushrooms. Descending, a great trap of some kind released a giant animated skeletal boulder that rolled through the party doing grievous damage and seriously wounding several members. Tan Meng’s services were once again required and his resources grew lower still.
In the following chamber, a large room with many empty shelves, an apparition of an elderly lady appeared and began shelving etherial volumes. After some inquiry, the group ascertained that Ilda was once Diderius’ librarian who at one time was wrongly accused of thievery.
Ilda revealed that in the chambers beyond lies the great divination pool of Diderius, but its price grows ever higher and “the serpent ones” who now live beyond were building a great dwelling and consulting the pool far too often – likely sacrificing many souls to find the answers to their questions.
In the next chamber, a giant image of Diderius reclined on a great golden throne supported by billowing clouds above a great low alter. “Ye who seek Diderius’s insight must first furnish tribute, that Diderius might work his mighty magic. Lay such tribute at my feet or depart,” boomed the statue. Valeriya paid tribute and walked through, then Terredon. Raynard thought to walk through without paying. Quick as a flash the great figure rose and pounded Raynard with great fists. In the following seconds all found something of value to leave at the feet of the great figure.
Moving at the head of the group, down some stairs beyond the throne room, Valeria entered a room with a pair of great long tables. Seated at one of the tables were five cowled grim figures speaking a vile tongue. These were not men but some fell things of red skin and tentacle-like beards. Scarce two words were exchanged and Valeriya attacked!
The rest of our heroes came rushing in to join the fray. As one of the evil things fell to the onslaught, one beast called across the planes to bring another to join the killing. And from up the stairs to the left, an even greater beast with a fell voice from hell called out. The great boned thing strode down the stairs and gave a call for still more help – that went unheeded. But the beast alone was a horrible thing. It thrashed with its claws and stung with its black venomed tail and all about were pained and the walls and floor were splashed with blood.
Soon, Garr fell. In the next second, the bony beast went down and immediately, one of the other devils-from-beyond grabbed up Garr and made a run from the room – but Tan Meng called upon Chauntea to heal his comrades and those words and that power reached Garr and Garr rose from the clutches of the devil and ran back down the stairs with all speed. The beast came after but was cut down by fiery blasts from Raynard, deadly blows from Himo, and a few final lunges from Terredon in elk form.
It was a fearsome fight but soon the battle came to an end and all stood still. Deeply spent and greatly bloodied, our heroes were overcome by exhaustion.
We decided to call it a night. When we resume, we once again take up the trail of Varram. Where is he and is he still alive? Is he seeking the great divining pool spoken of by Ilda? What is his relationship with the serpent ones? Will he possess the White Crown? What mysteries lay in store as our adventurers journey deeper into the Tomb of Diderius?
In order of appearance….
Brother Micram – Pale, pudgy, thick lipped and bald headed arcane brotherhood contact appointed to Council of Waterdeep by Overwizard Blaskar
Shipmaster Kurth – A grizzled and worn veteran pirate, Kurth is one of the five shipmasters of Luskan, and community leader for the wharves where Captain Lerustah and the crew of the Frostskimmer called home.