Episode 01: Arrowhart's Magical Emporium

After rescuing Sarah and partaking freely of her father’s hospitality, the group parted ways to complete errands of their own.

Alexandrina returned to the Temple of Ioun to rest, recuperate and study for the trials ahead. Particularly, she was interested in several of the individuals that she had met and wished to learn more about their potential futures as spoken of in the scrolls. After months of research she decided that her guidance was needed by those foretold of and sought out her long time friends Isadore and Luthien to help her locate their one time party members. Both of whom had gone back to their respective lives, Isadore returned to his training under the watchful eye of Kord, while Luthien returned to the Academy to study the great tomes and to learn under those greater than himself more secrets of the realm he found himself in.

Alex, Luthien and Isadore met frequently during this time, meeting as had become customary in the Broken Lantern. They would often see the others, and would occasionally drink with them. On this particular evening, Razakel and Makalius were present, and the usual snide banter began before the first flagon of ale had been consumed. However, before devolving into an all out fight, the threats of violence were suddenly stopped by the arrival at the table of two hooded figures. By their appearance alone, they were clearly a Tiefling and an Eladrin. Approaching, the Tiefling (Joy Amnon) revealed her intentions to hire the group upon the recommendations from the bar manager. She informed the group that she owned the magic shop and had heard rumours of powerful magical items stored somewhere below the city, within the ancient catacombs that stretched far beneath the city.

Question followed question as each member of the group slowly came to the decision of whether to help this woman. All questions were answered in her own unique fashion, however any question regarding the magic stores location she refused to answer until the group formally agreed to her terms. For the services of the group, she initially offered a small sum of money, and after careful negotiation it was agreed that each member would receive two hundred gold pieces for their service in locating and returning any magic items to her.

With the decision to embark on another adventure together, the group was informed of the reason for the Eladrin that until then had stood silently beside Joy. He was Maglien Saintbane, and was the group’s solution to location of the magic store by way of his ability to get the group into the catacombs. Joy then informed the group that the entrance was through a tower watch, at this Luthien voiced his awareness of entrances to the catacombs in the Academy, however Maglien insisted that they travel to the tower. Everyone looked at each other nervously, and with final determination sculled whatever was left in their mugs. Possibly leaving the inn for the last time, as they all new that death was very much an option on the evenings menu.

***

The Tower was a huge stone structure, incorporated into the city’s wall system; it stood in stark relief against the dark starry night. The flickering of the torches along the roads and at the entrance granted little light to provide any insight for the humans in the group; the non-humans however, keenly saw all the details of the stonework as if it was daylight with their low-light vision. The guards, tired and cold were reluctant to allow the group entry. Razakael attempting to intimidate his way past the guards almost started a fight. The recalcitrant guards were then placated by Luthien, as he negotiated a way for the guards to allow them all entry, which proved successful with Luthien securing the key to the door.

Entering the tower, the group quickly descended the stairs, and a subsequent roughly cut rock passageway further down to a sealed door. Without hesitation and before Luthien could try the key, Maglien began to pick the lock on the door. The door was quickly unsealed and pushed open from its roughly hewn entryway. Behind the door was an impressive room, fifteen feet high with arched stone between each pillar. A quick perception check later an old man cowering in his rags was observed in the far corner, along with some plants quickly identified. The old man, seeming harmless enough, was questioned by Luthien. It soon became clear that Gregori, the rumoured mastermind of the evil perpetrating in and around Nerisbek, was in control of the catacombs and that a password would be required for any to pass by. None knew the password, and so the old man revealed his true form to be an Oni.

The beast towered above the group, several members rushed forth in earnest to attack this new threat. Most attacks simply bounced off, producing little to no effect on it. The oni summoned two zombie ogres to aid it in its attack, at which point Luthien used his ability to levitate to the height of the chamber. At this point however the Oni unleashed its poisonous breath which if inhaled would cause the individual to go to sleep magically. Luthien was the only member to be affected by this magic, and while his race did not need sleep, was nevertheless pushed into a magic induced slumber. The rest of the party focused their attentions, after attacking the ogres and oni to help wake Luthien and avert his fall. They were successful in the nick of time and Luthien proceeded to scorch his enemies and allies alike with fire from above.

Razakel took the brunt of the attacks from the undead creatures, and as he attempted to get some distance from the two zombie ogres more undead sprang from the walls behind him. With the feeling of death never more closer than at this point the group resolved to focus on the Oni, unleashing powerful attacks and magic spells upon it. The battle went on, and finally as the group slowly wore the Oni down, it roared in pain and attempted to put the group to sleep again, however with less success than previously. The group finally wounding the Oni critically, instead of fighting he fled in a cloud of vapor. Everyone cheered in relief that the enemy, while not dead, had at least been defeated and would not bother them in the here and now. The celebrations were short lived however, with the realization that four undead ogres were closing in

The ogres refused to fall, putting up much more of a fight than their physically rotting appearance would have suggested they would be able to. After a lengthy battle, with the discovery that the ogres once vanquished would return to life, the zombie ogres were finally defeated and their remains salted by the cleric to prevent their future resurrection.

***

After a short rest to recover their strength the group pressed onwards. Travelling further and further down until they reached a door marked as “ARROWHART'S MAGICAL EMPORIUM”. They had finally found that which they sought. However, before they entered all felt that a little discretion would not be out of place, and listening at the door they were rewarded with the sound of activity, goblin voices and the sound of movement from something large. Maglien once again proved his worth by picking the lock, and slowly opened the door revealing more than a dozen armoured hobgoblins, including one that appeared taller and more aggressive than the others. Additionally at the back of the dusty store there was a ‘dinosaur’ being used as a pack animal by its goblin handlers.

Maglien and Razakel swore more than was necessary under their breath, while Luthien took action. Initially he attempted to throw a ‘dinosaur’ call to the back of the room, so as to distract the enemy and allow for an ambush. However this failed, and further backfired when all eyes turned on the adventurers. Luthien then summoning all of his arcane abilities was able to redeem himself as a massive burst of necrotic energy wiped out all but two of the hobgoblins and their leader. The attack caused the ‘dinosaur’ to become wild and it killed its handlers. Makalius and Luthien attempted to calm the beats, and Makalius being less of a ranger and more of an incompetent nature enthusiast caused the beast to become further enraged. It was Luthien who calmed the ‘dinosaur’ however before he could mount it, Makalius stole it from him. Cursing Makalius, Luthien launched back into the battle, which had not gone well in his absence. The cleric had become severely wounded, and was close to death herself as the last goblin fell to the groups collective might. Makalius, enjoying his stolen steed observed a dark figure approaching before it appeared to open a portal and leave.

With the enemy dealt with, the spoils of battle and the magic items were collected. The magic items were gather up and passed on to Isadore to take to Joy, while other more mundane items were kept, including a magic Pet Rock, which Luthien took and named Dat in reference to his hatred of Diz that they had taken into their service.

***

After taking a moment to gather themselves up, the adventurers continued down the tunnel in the hope of finding out what the goblins had been up to, and where they had been carting the magic items. Isadore however was sent back to the surface, the way the adventurers had come to take what magic items had been left on the dusty shelves. One item in particular held all their attention and laughter rippled through the group when it was discovered that they were in possession of a desk of healing.

The tunnel was wide, easily able to accommodate the ‘dinosaur’ as they moved cautiously forward. Suddenly a rumbling sound began, softly at first but quickly becoming deafening. The roof of the tunnel was beginning to crumble, possibly due to the ‘dinosaur’s’ presence. The sound startled the ‘dinosaur’ and it quickly bolted back the way it had come, almost knocking over or trampling several members of the group. A quick succession of cracking sounds followed as the tunnel roof collapsed. Everyone was able to dive out of the way in the nick of time, however they were presented with a new obstacle. The collapsed roof now blocked the path forward, with only a small gap in the rock face it looked far too perilous for all to travel through safely. It was decided, after much debate and argument, that everyone would place themselves at the mercy of Makalius by putting themselves inside his bag of holding. He (surprisingly) succeeded in traversing the intricate tunnels in the fallen stone and was very quickly greeted by the night sky and a new enemy.

Three Shadar-Kai and what appeared to be their pet panther were present in the clearing outside the tunnel. Makalius knowing that without his allies he would surely die was forced to pull Luthien out, conceding that in a battle his wizard skills served to defeat their enemies, even if his incompetence ultimately resulted in friendly ‘fire’ attacking his allies. Without a moment’s hesitation Luthien unleashed fire to rain upon the enemy before pulling the rest of the party from the bag of holding. The panther quickly entered the fray, while the Shadar-Kai stayed away from any melee attacks. Luthien recognized the arcane abilities of one of the Shadar-Kai, their female leader, and promptly identified her as a witch-woman. Luthien foolishly attempted conversation with the witch-woman but received a nasty attack for his troubles. The witch-woman, recognizing in Razakel his devotion to the Raven Queen ordered her fellows to leave him in peace. Razakel in turn leapt into the attack, ignoring any affinity they may have had.
With the rest of the group being tied down by the attacking panther, it was looking like the Shadar-Kai had the advantage. That was until a lone dwarf charged onto the scene attacking the Shadar-Kai and evening the odds. With the tables now turned the witch-woman cast a spell which produced a cloud of ice which caused anyone who stood within its area of effect to become frozen. She then promptly vanished, becoming invisible, with Luthien recognizing the signs of the magic she utilized. Luthien cast Bigby’s ice Hand and crushed one of the Shadar-Kai warriors in its icy grasp. Knowing that death would soon embrace him the Shadar-Kai warrior began to sing a song of battles and of death (although Luthien was the only one able to understand the songs words and meaning) all were touched by its beauty. With a final infernal spell Razakel sent the warrior to the Raven Queen.

With the two other Shadar-Kai vanquished, they all turned to focus on the panther, who had also been made invisible by the witch-woman. Luthien, weary of the fight sent the Ice Hand to deal with the panther and proceeded to crush the panther. Exhausted, and many within the group sporting wounds ranging from the minor to the major Alex had her hands full healing. Thoughts then turned to the dwarf whose timely arrival had tipped the battle and the group soon learned of an evil active in the woods and hills surrounding Nerisbeck.

***

Rested and rejuvenated the group travelled to the city, some with the intent of sleep, while others still felt the need to alert the guards and city watch of what the dwarf had told them. Meeting some guards, they were able to convince them to go back to the clearing where they were attacked. The guards, taking the incident seriously assured the group that they would indeed be investigating. Satisfied the remaining members of the group returned to Nerisbeck and visited Joy’s Magic Shop in order to ascertain if Isadore had been by. He had and she had payed him in full, so the group stopping to purchase a few items, such as bags of holding, returned to the Broken Lantern, where Joy had indicated he said he would wait for them. He was there and each member took possession of their share. Considerably richer in pocket and in mind, body and spirit they all turned in for the night.

End of Chapter

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