Session 07/25

Once back in downtown Wheloon, the group was hailed by Lord Sarp and Constal Tholl (captain of the guard). The group handed over the unconscious halfling wench for the purple dragon knights to deal with. There was to be a trial on the morrow concerning the actions of the conspirators and the false temple. The PCs were obligated to attend.

After receiving their reward they made their way back to the Wyvern Watch Inn. Although they'd just been through hell, they were still a little amped-up from the whole ordeal. So they spent a little time in the public room (Silas actually ended up sleeping there). They all cut quite an intrepid figure, but those in the tavern at that time of night (two bells) were either too tired or too drunk to notice them, despite Silas' efforts.

One man, however, did take notice; Jerik Ravensblade had been growing antsy as of late. His former adventuring group had meet an unfortunate end during a small incursion in Marsember. He was the only survivor, but what do you expect of a group composed mostly of sorcerers and one bard? Jherek had been looking for formidable allies since that unfortunate incident, and these rather boisterous and eccentric looking fellows might just fit the bill. He made his way over to their table for introductions. The one who did most of the talking (obviously another bard by his outfit) welcomed him to the table and soon they got down to brass tacks.

Silas, in the guise of a bard, tried to determine if this 'Jerik' fellow had what it took to keep pace with the group. By the look of the impressive weapon strapped to his back and the girth of his biceps there was little doubt, but he decided to put it to a vote. The rest of the group seemed tired (especially after a beer or two) and they groggily raised their hands in unison for 'yea'. So it was settled; Jerik was to be given entry to the as of yet unnamed adventuring group (after a short probationary period, of course).

Once fatigue hit them in full they decided to call it a night. As Helios was preparing to bed down in his room, he felt the sudden presence of someone else. Grabbing his wand he wheeled around and readied to loose bolts of force at… Maercus? Lowering his wand he asked what the Red Wizard wanted. Maercus assured him that all would be answered soon, but to retrieve his companions so that they all might hear. Once everyone was assembled Helios initiated the conversation with the denial of any allegations that they had harmed Nimmik. Maercus knew that much already, and reassured the PCs that his apprentice was alright and resting nearby in Saerloon. There had been a contingency on Nimmik to whisk him away should a fatal injury be about to befall him. Incidentally it took him to Khalia's side, whom was in Saerloon at the time. The ambassador, luckily, keeps clerics in her entourage, and Nimmik was tended-to. Another point of the conversation was the purpose and function of the karse stone. Maercus told the group that it was an overwhelmingly powerful item of disjunction, and that he hadn't determined all of its functions yet. He also informed the PCs that he had recently had to move his base of operations from Telflamm, for security reasons. The new location was privileged information at that point, however. The group asked for a bit of advice in dealing with the Sharrans, and Maercus' response was to simply always have a light source and the use of spells such as light of lunia would be infinitely helpful. With no other questions forthcoming, his image faded away followed by the semi-transparent arcane eye in the corner of the room. Helios ushered everyone out of his room so that he might finally get some sleep, it had been a long, long day.

Seventh of Eleint, 1374 DR

In the morning, at around six bells, a paige wearing a tabard with the symbol of Cormyr made his way into the Wyvern Watch. Immediately spotting the unconscious spell thief, he woke him and told him that he was expected at the Moothouse in 30 minutes. The paige went to each of the PCs rooms in turn and informed them of the same before leaving. Silas finally woke to a somewhat cognitive state 20 minutes after the paige had left and went to tell his friends that they should get going. Apparently they had all been informed because they were all ready to go. Silas decided to inform their "intern" that he should come with them to the Moothouse, and after some hasty morning ablutions, they were on their way.

The trial was rather long for those not accustomed to standing in a hot crowded room for two straight hours. The testimonies were straightforward and the defendant's lawyer (appointed by the city) was less that capable nor all that enthusiastic in his method. The body of the dead monk was discussed, as was the absence of the corpse of Lady Arthas and the monk that escaped. In the end it was unanimously decided that Shan Thar and Fembrys should be put to death. The halfling wench, who's name was since discovered to be 'Smile', was to be tried at a separate hearing for the murder of Tunaster Dranic, among other things.

After the trial, outside the Moothouse, Sarp and Tholl rewarded the group with 500gp each and an additional 300gp for the group to restock items. Sarp told them that this money was for them to continue their investigation and root-out all of the conspirators. Sharrans, Cyricists, whomever. Seek and destroy. The map they'd gotten from the temple pointed them toward the Vast Swamp. They would need to prepare for some seriously difficult travel, not to mention buying a whole new set of gear for Aenin. The rest of the day was spent selling the loot they'd taken from the temple and buying new, fancy gear (both magical and mundane).

Eighth of Eleint, 1374 DR

Another evening was spent shaking off the exhausting ordeal at the temple and early the next morning they headed out for the journey to the Vast Swamp. They purchased a horse for their new comrade and crossed Wyvernflow on the ferry. They reached the starting-point indicated on their map at around high-sun. Another five hours of travel brought them to the 'Unknown Shrine', the first marked stop.

As they crested the low hill they saw the outline of a ruined circular building in the waning dusk-light. A small campfire was blazing from within. Silas left the rest of the group to get a closer look. He climbed the crumbling outer wall with his slippers of spider climbing and spotted two figures huddled over the small campfire. They seemed rather despondent, and poked halfheartedly at the embers as a rabbit burned on the spit. Silas used his googles of arcane sight to spot any magic items they might be carrying and spotted quite a few. He also saw that the small fellow was a spell caster, and no novice. The spell thief returned to the group and relayed the information. They all approached the shrine, then. Trying not to appear threatening. The two within the shrine didn't even notice their arrival until they were right up behind them. After a startled moment, they introduced themselves as Noory Waywocket (a gnome) and Coobert Draftworth (a human). They were both finely dressed and well spoken. They had an odd way of finishing each others' sentences that the PCs found very annoying and suspicious. The group asked why they were so far from the main road by themselves and the duo explained that they were merchants on their way back from Sembia and that they'd stopped at their 'warehouse' just off the road, only to find it occupied by unsavory sorts. The group could tell that they weren't being 100% honset and after some light intimidation, the duo admitted that they were in fact smugglers and that the tomb, about half a days travel to the east, was their cache. They asked the PCs if they were headed that way and would be interested in clearing out the barrow of its current residents. After some haggling they agreed on 50% of the takings, to Noory and Coobert's dismay, but they were in no position to argue.

As they were finishing up their agreement their world was enveloped in icy hell. From above there came a massive cone of cold, hitting most of the group. The source of the cone instantly became visible, and the party gazed up at a blue ogre with horns, wielding a large greatsword. There was something different about this ogre mage, though (for they had battled one before); it was wrapped in bandages and looked quite dead, despite its movements. At the same moment a pair of bugbear zombies appeared behind Jherek and Xanfire. Caught unawares and still shaking off their icy wounds, the zombies had easy targets. Poor Xanfire fell to the ground, quite still. Two arrows streaked from the dark outside the shrine to hit Percival in the back and a very familiar poison began to course through his veins. A horrific baying came from outside the structure, and Jerik, very uncharacteristically, lost his nerve and began to flee in a panicked state.

The group gathered their wits and Silas drank a potion of cure light wounds from his potion belt and loosed a pair of arrows at one of the bugbear zombies. Another pair of arrows struck home on the unfortunate knight, but he withstood their toxin. Helios cast light of mercuria and prepared to loose the energy next round. An ogre zombie appeared behind the gnome and slammed his greatclub into his spine. Noory took the damage, barely staying on his feet. Aenin charged the orge zombie in an attempt to rescue the small mage. His good intentions went unfulfilled, however, and as he swung his blade at the undead ogre it slipped from his grip and flew behind him 25' to hit the wall beside Percival. With an oath, the warblade quickly drew his back-up longsword. Percival snatched Aenin's sword from the ground and assaulted one of the bugbear zombies, dropping it. Noory shook off the mighty blow of the ogre zombie and, through immense strength of will, made his way through the motions of a lightning bolt spell. The ogre dodged, however, and didn't take the full force of the bolt. He swung his club again, and this time the gnome ducked the skull-splitting strike. Coobert remained quite frozen with fear, gazing up at the undead ogre mage. The mummified ogre mage floated down next to the knight and attempted to cleave him. His sword deflected off of one of the pillars, though, and the knight avoided a potentially fatal hit.

More sniper shots zipped in, one glanced off of Aenin's armor and another struck Norry in the gut. The small mage dropped. Silas slipped through the shadows to a better vantage point. He tried to spot the archer that was picking them off. He could vaguely see the outlines of a tree in the distance, which would be the most likely spot for the bastard. Without any sight enhancements he would be unable to see anything useful, so he cast ebon eyes. Sure enough, the archer was there in the tree. The spell thief drew another arrow and prepared to fire next round. Aenin stepped between the two undead ogres and attempted a Steel Wind Strike, Beshaba was still over his shoulder, unfortunately, and he unintentionally threw his longsword from his grip. Rapidly running out of backup weapons, the warblade drew his wakizashi. Percival finished off the second bugbear zombie and maneuvered closer to the undead ogre mage. The ogre zombie took a swing at Aenin, but the pillars foiled it's strike. Jerik sped through the combat and out of the ruined structure. As he got about 20' from the outer wall, the darkness to his right reached out and bit his calf. Powerful jaws pulled him to the ground, and the mercenary could just make out a canine-like form attacking him. Helios loosed his light of mercuria at the undead ogre mage, barely slipping through its spell resistance and dealing massive damage. Coobert, snapping to his senses, drew a potion from his belt and poured it down his fallen comrade's throat. The ogre zombie took the opening to swing at the merchant/smuggler, but one of the many pillars in the structure deflected the blow. Noory awoke, hurt and prone, but very much alive.


Aenin took on more arrow fire, but managed to dodge or deflect them. Silas took his shot at the archer and struck true. However, he left himself very much exposed. The sound of chanting came from off to the right of the spell thief and he spotted a man in dark mithral fullplate, 30' away, reading from a scroll. Silas didn't have time to question what spell it was as another ogre zombie appeared right in front of him, swinging a massive greatclub. The blow struck home and the spell thief felt a few ribs crack. The other ogre swung at Aenin, but he dodged the blow. The warblade felt like he was trying to fell a giant with a toothpick as he swung his wakizashi at the undead ogre. He finally struck true and the zombie took a little more damage. Percival took a mighty swing at the mummified ogre mage and severed one of it's arms. The undead ogre withdrew, leaving it's withered limb behind. Jerik stood, dodging another bite as he did so. Feeling a lot less frightened, he moved to take up position back in the shrine. Helios fired a lesser orb of acid at the wounded ogre zombie, felling it, as Coobert helped his gnome companion to his feet.

Silas was on the receiving end of missile fire this time and one of the arrows struck true. He withstood the poison, luckily, and slipped back into the protective darkness. The spell thief positioned himself near the knight and warned him of the additional spell caster outside, as he fired a shot at the newly arrived ogre zombie. The remaining ogre zombie attempted to strike at Helios, but it glanced off of his wards. Aenin and Percival ganged-up on the unfortunate ogre, nearly felling it. Jerik feinted as he ducked between two pillars and drew his greatsword in one fluid motion. He sliced downward in the only space in which the nearly invisible dog could be, and struck true. His second slice caught the shadow mastiff in the throat, and his sword boomed with a massive sound. The mastiff flew across the chamber in two pieces to slump against the wall. Helios healed the wounded knight, trying to stay out of the ogre zombie's reach. Noory and Coobert stood, frozen by indecision; fight or flee?

The fighters dropped the ogre zombie, at last, and the group took up defensive positions. After a few tense seconds, it seemed that it was over. The spell thief and the merc turned on the pair of merchants demanding what information they had about the attackers. Incredulity fueled the wounded little mage and the human smuggler as they vehemently denied any involvement. Noory made his way over to the fallen druid to check his vitals. He looked up at the group and sadly shook his head. The spell thief still suspected the smugglers and wouldn't drop his interrogation. So the two clandestine merchants mounted up and left, telling the group that they could have the tomb and all that was in it. Percival looked at the fallen elf and decided it would be best to cremate him. After gathering their horses and a great deal of firewood, they put the elven druid to rest. They somberly set about preparing to camp; deciding wether or not a watch would actually benefit them…

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