Guardians of the Past

11th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

Corthen takes his armor to the Halls of Hilmer to get the breastplate repaired. It was damaged the previous night by the poisoned blade of one of the assassins. Hilmer tells him that it will take 2 days for him to repair the damaged area.

Corthen shares with the rest of the party the medallion that Filiare slipped to him after the attack. The elven warrior tells the others that he believes that the attack was in retaliation for their foray against the ‘Water Temple’ in Undermountain. The group discusses that they need to be vigilant against this new threat, as well as keeping watch out for the Jester. Silvaris shares that he has already contacted the mercenary agents in the city in order to hire guards for the manor house.

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10th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

Erith talks to Vilnullas and Cortonas about the Hawkwinter Costume Ball to be held this evening. They tell Erith that they are not going to attend. The bard presses them on why they are going to turn down a ball with attractive ladies, good food, fine wine, and the possiblity of making new friends, some of them quite wealthy. Cortonas speaks up and informs Erith that Tellazar and Uldred are not going to go to the ball either. Erith informs them that Uldred is attending. He also tells the two adventurers that the jester may show up at the Hawkwinter Estate and the party needs everyone to help track him down and destroy him if they can.

The warrior and the rogue concede that they should help the others get the jester. Vilnullas speaks up and says that they do not have dates, costumes, or entertainment for the evening. Erith gives them direction to Rulglar’s Wardrobe and tells them to pick a festhall and pay a lady to attend the event with them. He tells them to ask the festhall owner if they may hire any of their entertainers for the evening as well.

Later in the evening, every member of the Circle of Valor except Tellazar dresses for the Costume Ball. He has left for the Watchful Order to transcribe spells into his spellbook. Corthen tells everyone to carry a dagger for protection. Everyone climbs into their respective carriages and leave Silvaris’ home.

After picking up their dates for the ball, the heroes arrive at the Hawkwinter Villa. Inside they meet Lord Eremoes Hawkwinter who is dressed as a hawk. He greets his guests and allows them to mingle among the other costumed guests. The guest provided entertainment is spread out through the house and the costumed heroes listen to the musicians, the dwarven singers, and jugglers. In one room Filiare of the Dripping Dagger Inn and Delborggan the Blade of the Riven Shield are displaying swordfighting.

Kyrin Hawkwinter dressed as a falconer finds the party and asks if they will accompany her for a few minutes. She leads them to study where her father waits. He offers each person a drink before asking them to tell him about themselves. Each member of the Circle of Valor present tells him where they are from and more about they skills as adventurers. Lord Hawkwinter presses them on why they are adventurers and why they have made their way to Waterdeep.

Each person talks about their goals and why they became an adventurer. Some share that they chose their profession to become wealthy, others say to become famous, and a few answer that enjoy the thrill and excitement of the life. Lord Hawkwinter then asks about Tellazar and why he did not come to the ball. Saedellas speaks up and explains that his magical studies keep him so busy that he could not get away for even one night.

Lord Hawkwinter frowns but says nothing more on the subject. Corthen and Erith look at each other and wince. Lord Hawkwinter shares that he is looking to hire a band of adventurers who have certain qualities. When asked, he reveals that he is looking a group of young heroes of good reputation who have ties to some of the major elven cultures. He explains further that his family raises specially bred warhorses and that he wishes to find agents to help him travel and sell his breed of horses to the elves of Evereska and the High Forest Kingdom of Earlann.

He gives them each an offer of gold and a horse for each person present who wishes to accept the offer. Uldred asks if Tellazar receives a horse too; Lord Hawkwinter says that the mage is not present so he cannot offer him one of his horses since they have not met. Lord Hawkwinter tells them he has made his offer and for them to let him know if they wish to accept the offer or not.

The party is reunited with their dates and they and the other guests are summoned to dinner. Everyone enjoys the food and many different wines that are served with each dinner course. Corthen nearly chokes during dinner when the noblewoman dressed as a nymph places her hand on his thigh. He turns a bright shade of red but manages not to make everyone else aware of what is going on.

After dinner, Lady Kyrin invites everyone to the ballroom and everyone begins dancing to the music. After eight dances, Lord Agundar’s young fiancée who is dressed as a queen annouces that she has declared a ’Queen’s Dodge’. She explains that the game requires the male guests to hide on the estate. She says that then the female guests seek out the males, and anyone who she finds she may proclaim her spoils and require him to accompany her for one or two dances.

The male party guests spread out looking for places to hide on the estate. Several of them hide in different chambers of the house while others slip outside to the gardens. Erith, Corthen, Silvaris, and the many of the others are found by ladies and tagged for a dance. Cortonas has the strange idea to climb into a large tree in the gardens to hide from the females seeking dancing partners. He believes himself quite hidden in his tree from the costumed ladies until he feels a tap upon his shoulder. He turns to see who is there and finds himself staring into the grinning skull face of the Dead Jester! He screams in terror to find himself alone with the unstable fool.

The Jester grabs a tree limb and begins to flee over the wall to get away from the thief. Cortonas tries to tackle the skeleton while in the tree, misses him, and falls 20’ to the ground below. Some time later he is found by Hawkwinter servants. Lord Hawkwinter summons Saedellas of Corellon to aid his friend. The priest says a prayer of healing and Cortonas awakes. When asked what happened, the thief tells Lord Hawkwinter that he was in the garden when he was attacked by a skeleton.

The Costume Ball ends and the guests begin leaving the estate. While traveling in their shared carriage along with their dates, Saedellas and Uldred come upon another carriage being attacked by a group of men dressed in black. They also see Filiare and Delborggan fighting back to back against the darkblades. Several more jump out of the carriage while a woman screams from inside.

Being at a disadvantage of not carrying swords, Saedellas uses his powers to charm one of the attackers in black turning him against his comrades. Nolia and Corthen show up in another carriage and jump out to aid their friends. When Corthen is seen, one of the attackers screams “There’s the one we want!”

With Filiare and Delborggan’s help the four heroes present either kill or run off the attackers, but not before Corthen is wounded and found to be poisoned by a dagger attack from the assassins. Filiare gives the elf warrior a potion and the poison is neutralized. Uldred learns that the dead man in the other carriage is Orlas Ghostraven. They recognize him and the woman from the costume ball. Orlas wore a knight’s costume similar to Corthen’s. The city watch arrives and questions everyone present for a long time before releasing them. Filiare slips Corthen a brass medallion with a trident on it and quietly lets him know that he took it off of one of the attackers during the fight. Corthen recognizes the symbol as the same trident shape carved into the giant gar that the party recently killed in Undermountain.

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9th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave (Part II)

Corthen Nightglade rouses from his reverie. He was reliving his vivid memories of when he was just 26 years and he and his playmates had found the injured faun. Corthen can hear shouting. It is not part of the past. It must be from the present then. He removes himself from the meditative state and returns his mind back into his body once again. The moon elf warrior is concerned, he grabs his swords and leaves his bedchamber to investigate. He finds Saedellas armed with a sword and daggers in the hall of the third floor of the manor house. The priest is looking at the staircase going down to the ground floor. The two of them join together and run down the spiral staircase trying to find out what has raised an alarm in the manor house.

Outside the kitchen, a nude Silvaris grabs a poker from the dining room fireplace before breaching the kitchen door with a yell. The bard, Erith, is sitting sprawled on the floor. Blood is pumping from his right forearm which is covered with blood and he is holding the edge of a cloth sack in his right hand. Erith grabs a towel lying nearby with his left hand and presses it to the nasty gash in his arm. He looks up at Silvaris and quips, “I am afraid Morningfeast will be delayed. Your little dead jester burglar was really keen on leaving when he ran by.” The two adventurers hear the door behind Silvaris open. It is Terleeza. She is brandishing the rogue’s longsword and is also completely nude as well.

Erith still sitting on the floor says, “Oh nice, more reinforcements. Well met, brave lady. I am Erith Talvera, Bard of Amphail and a friend of Silvaris. You no longer need the steel, my assailant is gone, fled out the servant’s entrance.”

Suddenly the swinging door to the kitchen bangs open with much force and Corthen and Saedellas armed with swords rush into the room. They stop suddenly as if hit by magic. They both look confused. Silvaris is standing nude near the doorway holding a fireplace poker. Behind him is a human woman with dark hair. She is brandishing a long sword and is also completely nude as well. The two elves slowly lower their blades and stare at the nude woman with a longsword. From the floor, Erith quips, “Well, I was really hoping Sune was answering my pleas. I just prayed for more of her garmentless lady servants to come to my aid. Too bad.”

Silvaris turns to the woman and says, “Get our clothes.” He then walks over to assist Erith up off the floor. “Damn, we must destroy that jester.” he says. The woman looks at Saedellas and Corthen, before moving past them and out the door.

Corthen speaks, "We must take care of this jester soon, or else I fear we will soon have the city guard after us for his crimes. What does everyone think? I don’t think there is time to deal with him before the costume ball, but I also do not want any innocents being murdered by him in the meantime.”

Saedellas says, “I believe we still have a day yet for the ball. We need to send this accursed jester back to the foul pit from whence it came.” Silvaris says, “I agree it was my mistake for bringing him out of the tomb and now we must destroy it. I must apologize to you all for this mistake; I swear it will not happen again. As soon as I get dressed we need to find this thing.”

Erith, holding a towel to his wound, sets down a cloth bag he has been clutching. He opens it. He reaches in and pulls out a horned iron ring, a gold ring, a pair of red boots, and an engraved invitation from inside the brown bag. He looks at the rest of you in amazement before cursing loudly. “By Bane’s blue balls! What is the tluining little bastard up to? Here is my ring, Tellazar’s ring, and your boots, Silvaris. And let’s see… this belongs to Cortonas. It’s his invite to the Hawkwinter Ball. Tymora smiled upon my prying this from his grubby little finger bones.”

“So now the little bastard has thievery on his mind as well!" exclaims Corthen. "We will surely be dealing with him posthaste, but I think we will have to wait until after the costume ball because there is not enough time to make the trip to Amphail,” says Corthen.
Silvaris speaks. “Yes I think you are right, but why would he steal? There has to be a reason. We need to really think about this. Maybe he was taking them to someone; maybe he is being controlled by someone or something. Either way he has to be stopped!”

Saedellas adds his thoughts. “He stole an invitation to the costume ball, I think that is very bad, he may be planning to do something there, after all, as a jester he would fit in and even being an undead jester would not set off many alarms to people there.” The door to the kitchen opens once more and Silvaris’ female friend enters, this time dressed. She walks over to him and hands him his clothing and his sword. “Here lover,” she cooes.

Erith speaks, “Saedellas, my friend, might you aid me in stopping my bleeding?” He picks up the gold ring and places it on his finger. “I agree. I wonder if he is being controlled or not and I think you make a valid point regarding the costume ball. I also think we should check on everyone in the house, we should check all of our possessions, and we should discuss this among the whole group, don’t you think so?”

The others agree that the entire group must meet. Saedellas says a prayer of healing to Corellon and heals the deep cut on Erith’s arm. The kitchen door opens once again and Nolia shuffles into the room. She rubs her eyes trying to wake up. “Hey… what’s going on?” she asks. The kitchen erupts into laughter at the drowsy ranger and her sleeping through the past half hour.

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9th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

Hileastas Longspear finds Saedellas sitting in the private room with the rest of the party shortly after the midnight hour. He leads a female gold elf into the room. She has black hair and golden eyes, and is dressed in a subdued green dress. Hileastas speaks, “Saedellas, may I do the honors of presenting Qualis Harrim?” She holds both hands out, palms up, and bows to Saedellas in elven greeting.
Saedellas stand and repeats her greeting. “Well met my lady. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am Saedallas Nightstar, Feywarden of Corellon. Please have a seat.” The young female elf takes a seat beside the elven priest.

Saedellas begins speaking. "I am still new to the city and have yet to meet many people,” he says. “ I was recently invited to a party and would need a date to accompany me. I would be most honored to escort you to the Hawkwinter Annual Costume Ball and hopefully we can get to know each other better. Might I pour you something to drink?”

Qualis smiles. She says, “I will have a moonwine, thank you.” She takes drink before continuing. “Feywarden Saedellas, I am a leather worker who makes decorative belts and sword scabbards. I have lived most of my life in Neverwinter. I came to Waterdeep only four years ago and I have never attended any such event. I am just a simple leather worker. I am afraid I know little of the costume balls that Waterdeep noble families hold. I would not wish to ruin your standing amongst such important people as the Hawkwinters and their guests.”

“Qualis, there is nothing simple or common in the creation of such treasures,” the priest replies. “It is a hobby of my own and Corellon smiles upon those who are true experts in their craft. As for the party itself, I will tell you that you will not be the only one attending such an affair for the first time,” Saedellas says. He gives her a warm smile. “Affairs of the courts have never been my calling.”
“If you are sure that you truly wish for me to accompany you to this costume ball, I will be honored to attend the fete as your escort. Perhaps…I could go as a dryad, since Hileastas says you will be a going as a tree shepherd of the forest,” Qualis answers.

Silvaris excuses himself, gets up from the table and walks back out to the taproom of the Elfstone Tavern. Silvaris Winterheart approaches the dark haired woman who was watching him earlier. She is sitting with a female moon elf and they are drinking moonwine. The human smiles and says in elven, “You owe me the gemstone, Olaie.” The moon elf slides a large green amethyst across the table to the woman. The dark-haired woman picks the stone up and drops it into her cleavage.

She pats a chair beside her and smiles at Silvaris in a seductive look. "It’s nice to meet with you, Silvaris of Silverymoon. I’ve been following your activity ever since you made your first descent into the well at the Yawning Portal. I am Terleeza and this is Olaie. We are members of the Huntresses.”

“Well met, ladies,” says Silvaris. “Terleeza, you flatter me that someone as lovely as you should take interest in me. May I buy a round for the table?” He motions for the server. Silvaris quizzes the ladies. “So you won the bet? That’s why she owed you the green gemstone right? Well shouldn’t I get a cut since it was most likely about me?” Everyone at the table laughs. “Oh, he is full of bravado, Terleeza. We are drinking moonwine,” says Olaie the female moon elf to the elven rogue now sitting across from her. Terleeza smiles a wicked smile, “Oh Silvaris, I bet you say that to all the pretty ladies you meet. My friend didn’t think you would come over and join us. I told her that my pillows attract many a man or elf.” She playfully squeezes her bosom before sliding closer to the thief. She places the gemstone in his palm. Terleeza says, “Consider it my gift to you.”

Silvaris looks at the gem in him hand and then asks “Well now, you have me at a disadvantage here. You know about me, but I know little of you. What say you tell me a little about yourself Terleeza?”

“Oh, you must be teasing?” Terleeza looks at Silvaris questioningly. “The Huntresses. You’ve never heard of us? A female adventuring band formed of elf-kind and humans? We are one of the most experienced group of delvers into Halaster’s Halls. We have entered Undermountain sixty-eight times in the past two years.” Terleeza takes a drink of her moonwine. “Olaie and I share unique skills, we are our groups eyes and ears and its most nimble members. So, are you impressed yet?”

Silvaris looks at Terleeza. He says, “I am sorry, but no, I have not heard of you. I have only been in Waterdeep a short time and my knowledge is still a bit limited. Tell me of your group.”

“You MUST get out more often!” Terleeza exclaims. “But, we can discuss our careers another time. I am more interested in having fun tonight. Are you fun, Silvaris?” she asks while winking at him.

The male rogue retorts. “Why, I’m more fun than you can stand. Why don’t we finish off these drinks and have a dance or two then head back to my place. Oh, and since you like fun so much, would you like to accompany me to the Hawkwinter ball? I shall be going as a wolf, my huntress.”

“Dancing? Terleeza asks. “If that is what you want, I’m afraid we’d need to go to a festhall. The Elfstone is a tavern. Now, I actually like your other idea better. Why don’t we get us something to drink, to take with us for the rest of the night? Now, if you are really fun as I think, I would be happy to join you at your Hawkwinter fete.”

Silvaris smiles broadly and stands offering his hand to the young woman. Terleeza says goodbye to Olaie and the two of them depart the Elfstone with a bottle of moonwine. They walk back to the North Ward arm in arm. Silvaris leads her to a large four story stone manor house and shows her inside. She asks, “Whose home is this, Silvaris? Are you sure you didn’t just lift a key from a drunken moneylender to impress me, hmm?” She laughs.

Silvaris gives Terleeza a tour of the lower floor before ending the tour on the second floor. He leads her inside the room; their passions soon overtake them. Terleeza responds to her companion’s touch. Soon, they are entwined, like plants in the forest. Terleeza is unrelenting and tireless. Night is approaching morning, but the sun has yet to rise.

The two lovers have drunk most of the moonwine. Silvaris finds himself in the midst of approaching bliss for either the fourth or fifth time, he is not sure which. Terleeza climbs atop her elven lover, bringing them near bliss yet again.

Silvaris turns him head for a moment and sees a dark figure out of the corner of his eye. Realizing they have been seen; the unknown intruder darts to the door and out of the room.

Silvaris curses and pushes Terleeza over to the other side of the bed and he jumps up in pursuit of the mysterious figure. He stumbles as his feet land on the floor, the moonwine sapping reflexes a bit more than expected. Silvaris manages to spin around and drive his shoulder into the wall to keep upright. The shoulder is sure to be bruised from that impact, but he quickly reflects it is better that than smacking his face on the stone floor.

Silvaris runs out naked from his sleeping chambers into the dark hall. As he looks down the hall in either direction, he sees someone slipping quickly down the spiral staircase to the ground floor. From the bedchamber Silvaris hears Terleeza ask, “Who is it? Do you need a weapon?”

Silvaris yells, “Yes a weapon!” He then charges off after the intruder. “Stop you!” he yells. Silvaris runs down the spiral staircase trying to catch the intruder in his manor house. He hears noise coming from the back of the house, so he heads towards the kitchen. He enters the lighted kitchen prepared to combat anyone who is there.

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8th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave (Part III)

After he finishes telling Yaereene and Pyrith of his adventures, Corthen points out that three of his companions have also joined him at the Elfstone Tavern. She looks as Corthen points to Nolia, Saedellas, and Silvaris in the crowds of the common room. Yaereene then asks, “Are all of your companions of our people? I am also surprised I have not heard of your exploits among our regular customers here. Not even Khelben Arunsun or his nephew has spoken of an elven adventuring band new to the city.”

Corthen replies, “No Lady Yaereene, there are other members of our party who are not of the people. My other friends are Tellazar of the Orbs; a crafty human mage, as well as Uldred; a priest of the dwarven people. Erith is a human warrior and songsmith. So, no, we are not an entirely elven band of adventurers. I have found the humans and the dwarf to be great companions and each skillful in battle. All the members of the Circle of Valor have earned my respect and friendship.” Corthen adds, “I would be very humbled if I knew that our name has reached the Blackstaff. I am not surprised that he is not familiar with us yet. Your mention of his nephew has me a little befuddled though. Who might his nephew be?” Yaereene excuses herself and tells Corthen she will return shortly.

As dusk settles into early night, the moon elven staff of the Elfstone Tavern begins opening rooftop shutters above the taproom. They climb the living trees of the tap room to do so. They nimbly climb up; open the shutters along the roof, allowing the tapestry of the night sky to unfold above. The elves of the taproom look up, enjoying a view of the heavens.

Silvaris has taken a table along the wall near the door. A server takes his order and quickly returns with a glass of moonwine. The rogue scans the room watching the crowd. The bearded man’s companion had gotten up and walked out of the tavern past Silvaris, when the staff opened the roof shutters to the night sky. The dark bearded man remains seated alone at the table. He seems engrossed in deep thought and unaware that the thief’s eyes watch him. Silvaris does notice that the dark haired woman at the back of the room seems to be eyeing him while she laughs and drinks with her companions.

Yaereene returns to the bar and fills several glasses before returning to speak with Corthen Nightglade. "Khelben’s nephew is a noble of the Thann family. Dannilo is his name,” she tells him. “He sometimes joins his uncle here for drinks and a stern lecturing. He did not join him tonight though; he is likely attending a feast in the North Ward, or taking in the sights at Mother Tathlorn’s Festhall.”

Corthen replies, “I see, Lady Yaereene. From what I have heard of the Blackstaff, I don’t believe I would like to be on the receiving end of a lecture from him. Milady, might I say that you have a lovely establishment here. Not since the last time I was under the Shadowtops of the Cormanthir Forest have I felt as at home as I do in your tavern. Yaereene, I would also like to add that I and my party have been invited to the Hawkwinters’ annual costume ball, and it would honor me deeply if you would see fit to accompany me to the costume ball, of course that is if you are not betrothed or involved with a very fortunate elf.”

Yaereene smiles. “You are very kind, Corthen. I thank you kindly for the honor to join you, but I should pass on the event. The Elfstone is very much of my life, and I cannot walk away for an entire evening without hours, nay days of planning. I know many young ladies who would be glad to be escorted to such an event. If you would like my assistance introducing you to a few, I would be glad to do so.” Corthen nods. “I would, my Lady,” he says. “Oh… did I understand you to say that Thann did not join Khelben tonight. Is Khelben present here now?”

Yaereene responds,“Yes, he is present. Would you like to meet him?” Corthen nods to her question. She smiles at Corthen before whispering, “Watch thy tongue and make no foolish remarks to him. I would not call him by any other name than Khelben, he does not like to be addressed as Blackstaff.” The regal moon elf steps out to the floor and approaches the bearded man alone in thought. She speaks to him quietly for a few moments, before he stands, picking up an ebony staff from beside his seat and follows his elven hostess.

A 6-foot-tall, well-muscled, bearded man with a receding hairline, black hair with silver streaks, including a prominent one through his beard, and a distinguished, imposing manner approaches the bar. He is dressed in nondescript robes and is holding his trademark black staff. “Corthen Nightglade of Elven Court, may I introduce you to Khelben Arunsun, Archmage of Waterdeep.” says Yaereene in formal elven. “A star shall shine on the hour of our meeting”, says the wizard in formal elven greeting. “Ever is thy sight a joy, ’Reene. Now I believe your invite included a glass of elverquisst, yes?”

Corthen greets Khelben Arunsun with a sweeping bow and says, "It is an honor and privilege to meet you Master Archmage. As Yaereene indicated I am Corthen Nightglade of the adventuring band The Circle of Valor. We are a young but fierce party exploring the black depths of the Underhalls. I indeed do hope that Sehanine herself does put forth a star to shine on our meeting here this beautiful Waterdhavian Eve. Might I also introduce you to some of my friends who are here tonight?” Lady Yaereene speaks, "Corthen, why don’t you gather your fine companions while I open a room for you all to talk in? Corthen scrambles over to the elven rogue. “Silvaris, come, come! It’s the Blackstaff! He’s here and wants to have a drink with us. Let me get Nolia and Saedellas.” Then the leader of the Circle of Valor hurries to Nolia’s table and as quickly to where Saedellas is sitting.

Yaereene, owner of the Elfstone Tavern, opens a closed door near the bar and escorts Khelben Blackstaff Arunsun and the elves of the Circle of Valor inside a private room bringing a decanter of elverquisst. A pretty gold elf serving girl brings a tray of glasses and departs the room. Khelben sits beside Yaereene leaving the rest of the group to take a chair at the finely carved table. Yaereene speaks, “I am pleased to meet you all. Corthen has shared with me stories of your exploits." She pours you each a glass of elverquisst before continuing.

“Khelben, these young souls have taken up adventuring in the halls beneath the city. They are known as the Circle of Valor. Have you heard of them?” The archmage finishes his drink and surveys the room before speaking. “Yes, I heard yesterday that an elven adventuring group was invited to the Hawkwinter party. I am sure that Eremoes is curious about these children of the forests and why they plumb the depths of the old tunnels below.”

Saedellas laughs. “We have a good purpose for doing so. We plumb the depths in search of a lost treasure that once belonged to a brave party known as the Sword Coast Company.” The elven priest of Corellon pauses and then continues with a smile, "Actually, I also like to think we do it to show the world that “fair” does not mean weak. I fear nothing with Corellon at my side. My companions, no more than that, my brothers and sister, including the humans and the dwarf, are proof to me that all of the races can join in true friendship and that there is much to be admired in all of them. We became a company by chance, but family through our deeds. I could not have chosen better companions had I tried."

The door opens once again, and platters of fruits, cheeses, and elven bread are brought in. Yaereene invites you all and any of your friends to dine here. Khelben stands, “I must decline, ’Reene. My lady awaits me yet.” He gently kisses her hand, and then he turns to the adventurers and says, "Be careful in your wanderings in the city, in Undermountain, and in the fine villas of the nobility. Each has its own dangers and can be an adventure in itself. May you walk unscathed and live free wherever you may go. Fare you well. "With a few arcane words, the wizard known to be one of the most powerful spellcasters in the realms vanishes by magic.

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8th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave (Part II)

Corthen strolls to the Street of Swords in the Castle Ward, where the Elfstone Tavern is located. He enters into the common room, a dimly lit room full of elves sitting at tables drinking wine from slender glasses. The air is cool and smells of the gentle tang of the forest. A lone elven harpist is playing a soft melody, but he is not singing.

Corthen asks a passing server if the owner is in. She replies in elven, “Yes, Yaereene is over there.” She points. Behind a polished bar Corthen sees her. The proprietress is directing staff and filling glasses for customers. Corthen approaches Yaereene and greets her in elvish with a friendly hello and introduces himself as Corthen Nightglade of Elven Court.

Yaereene is a tall slender female with silver eyes. She smiles at Corthen and in elvish says, “The stars shine bright in Arvandor. Welcome, Corthen Nightglade of Elven Court. I am Yaereene Ilbaereth, keeper of the tavern. May I introduce Pyrith?” A small blue green dragon, nay a faerie dragon who had been sitting on her left shoulder invisibly, now appears before him. “Grreetingsss, Corthennn,” Pyrith says in elven. He smiles then vanishes again. Corthen returns a warm greeting to the faerie dragon.

Yaereene places a slender elven glass of feywine before Corthen at the bar. “A small token for a new friend, Corthen. Tell me, what brings you to the City of Splendors, and the Elfstone?” Corthen tells Yaereene, “I am now residing in the City of Splendors because I am currently leading an adventuring party exploring the depths of the Underhalls.” He tells her of a few of the group’s exploits in Undermountain and tells her a little about the Circle of Valor and its members. Corthen asks her how long she has lived in Waterdeep and owned the Elfstone. She tells him that she has lived most of her life in Waterdeep.

Meanwhile, Saedellas has made his way to the Elfstone Tavern with Nolia and Silvaris. Inside the cool room are seated dozens of moon and gold elves, some half-elves, and a pair of human males. Among this group is their companion Corthen. He is standing at the bar speaking to a female moon elf.

A harpist is playing a song Saedellas recognizes as “The Leaves of Augrathril”. A young human female with dark hair enters the door behind the trio. She glances at the elven priest for a moment, before joining an elven couple at a far table at the back of the room. Saedellas approaches the harpist and stand transfixed at a respectable distance until the song is finished.

Nolia walks further into the taproom, past several tables of male and female elves that are drinking to a broad table where three moon elf males and a half-elf are seated together. One of the moon elves turns to Nolia and speaks to her. “Fair be our meeting, for our hearts are light and our swords sheathed, we hold peace in our hands and its light guides us”, they say to her in a traditional elven greeting.

One of the moon elves then makes introductions. He looks toward the half-elf and says in elven, “This is Dolor Greentree, late of Silverymoon.” He places him left hand onto the shoulder of the elf beside him, “This is my younger brother, Irleas. The other beside him is my cousin, Rathil. I am Pelordan Silvercrown of Waterdeep. I know all who come to the Elfstone, but you are a new face amongst our people here. Would you care to join us?” Nolia greets the young elven men in elvish and introduces herself to the four elves as Nolia Fallas of the High Forest. With a friendly smile, she speaks elvish " Nice to meet all of you. I would be delighted to join you."

Nolia sits down and joins Dolor, Irleas, Rathil, and Pelordan at their table. Pelordan asks, “So, Nolia what can we get for you?” He motions, to a female server who comes to the table. “We are drinking evermead, but we would be happy to get you moonwine, nectar, or bluewine if you prefer.” Dolor speaks, “Nolia, we are glad to have your companionship. We were growing weary of listening to Pelordan go on and on about his sword skills. We would love to hear all about you!” The others laugh at Dolor’s joke regarding Pelordan. All of them seem nice and kind. They smile and wait to hear the half-elf ranger speak. Nolia says, “Well, I guess I’ll have moonwine.” Nolia tells them that she is an adventurer and some of the journeys she has had. She tells them of her first adventure in Tethyr and tells them of her adventures in Undermountain.

Silvaris stands near the door guards of the Elfstone tavern. Taking his time to survey the tavern, he listens as Corthen regales a regal moon elf with stories of the adventures in Undermountain. Silvaris watches as Nolia sits down with a group of male elves and as Saedellas stands near the harp player entranced by the music.

Silvaris watches the crowd looking for an attractive female that draws his interest. The rogue sees about a dozen attractive females among the crowd. He watches each one to learn more about them, when he notices a black-bearded human male sitting with a younger human male amongst all of the elves. He appears to be watching Silvaris, all the while conversing with his companion. The bearded man is not the only one watching the elven rogue though. Silvaris can see that a dark-haired human female drinking with an elven couple at a far table across the room keeps looking in his direction.

Saedellas waits until the harpist has finished playing before approaching him and introducing himself. “Hail, I am Saedellas Nightstar of Silverymoon. You do the song a great honor with your skill. If you have a moment, I would like to buy you a drink and perhaps pique your interest in a job.” The harpist smiles at the compliment and says, “Thank you, Saedellas. I am Hileastas Longspear once of Deepingdale, but I have called this city home for the past three seasons. I would be pleased to join with a servant of our Creator.” He motions to an empty table along the far wall and he sits down.

“Lord Eremoes and Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter have invited me to Hawkwinter Villa to attend the Annual Hawkwinter Costume Eveningfeast Ball. Being new to the area and delighted by your performance, I would like to hire you to accompany me and pay homage to the elven people with your prose and great skill,” Saedellas shares.

Hileastas says, "Ah, the Hawkwinter Ball. I have not played at their villa yet. I would be honored to work for such an event.” Saedellas asks, “Do you know of any more of our people who may be as talented as yourself? I would like to hire two or three other musicians to make sure we have some proper entertainment.” “If you like, I believe that several musicians I know would serve me as fine accompaniment on pipe and flute,” Hileastas replies. The elven priest says, "Ask your fellow musicians to come along, please. I will be happy to pay you all well for your time.”

A server comes to the table with filled glasses and places them before the two elves. The harpist smiles and says, “Moonwine, courtesy of Lady Yaereene.” Hileastas, raises his glass and gives a head bow to the elf speaking to Corthen. Saedellas give a nod and raise his glass to Yaereene as well. After a few sips of the elven moonwine Saedellas speaks again. “One other thing I could use your help with, I am embarrassed to say, is in finding a female companion. Since I have arrived in the City of Splendors, I have spent the largest portion of my time trudging through the ruins beneath the city.”

After taking a few sips, Hileastas sits his tall glass down. “If you are looking for an introduction to one of our people, I would be happy to oblige you, Saedellas of Corellon. Just let me know of any traits I should be aware of, before I stroll into Hanali’s domain and anger her.” “I would be grateful to be introduced," says Saedellas. “My tastes in women flow with the wind, although I do not care for the domineering type of female.”

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8th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave (Part I)

During the morning Saedellas and Uldred go shopping to buy some augury stones. They eventually make their way to the Old Xoblob Shop in the Dock Ward where they meet Dandalus “Fire Eye” Ruelle. Uldred asks the shopkeeper where he bought his stuffed beholder from. Dandalus tells the two priests that he didn’t buy Xoblob, he says that he defeated him singlehandedly in Tashluta. The priests purchase their augury stones and thank the storekeeper not completely sure if Dandalus is speaking the truth but not wishing to question a man who can tangle with an eye tyrant and come out on top.

In the late afternoon, Uldred walks through the busy streets of the Trades Ward and locates Felzoun’s Folly tavern. The tavern’s signpost depicts a dwarf holding a battleaxe precariously balanced on a rolling keg. A set of stone steps leads down to a broad scarred oaken door. Uldred descends the stairs and hears frivolity from the outside of the door. It sounds as if a group of dwarves are lustily singing a drinking song.

Upon opening the door, the strong odor of ale wafts out from the dimly lit room beyond. Uldred can see nearly two dozen dwarves seated at tables all around the room. He also sees several gnomes and one human there as well. A tall dwarf with a long black braided beard wearing an apron steps forward. In dwarven he says, “Welcome, son of Moradin. May your clan axes be always sharp.” The dwarf clasps Uldred’s right forearm in traditional dwarven greeting and continues. “I am Felzoun Darkiron, and you are welcome in my establishment.”
Uldred replies, "Well met Felzoun, I am Uldred Watchever of the Nether Mountains, Barakor of Gorm.”

Uldred finds a table and takes a seat. Felzoun offers to bring him a snack plate of fried deepmoss and a jack of good dwarven ale. While eating, the Barakor of Gorm looks around to see if he can find anyone that would be a suitable date or entertainers. He mentions to Felzoun that he is looking for a few entertainers and asks if Felzoun knows of any. His reply, “I know some musicians. Why do you ask?”

Uldred says, “I am attending the Hawkwinter costume ball and I am looking for some entertainers to take with me. I figured there would be no finer entertainment than fine dwarven song."

Felzoun strokes his beard for a moment, deep in thought. “Hrrmmph, I’m a orc if those nobles serve anything close a real ale at their fancy dinner party. Not my choice. I’d rather spend a night teaching a goblin how to count,” Felzoun laughs. “If ya are looking for entertainers, some of the lads here might be willing to serve ya singing some fine ballads. Ya might need to offer them a trade for their service. If ya want I’ll ask if any want to help ya, and ya can come back here and buy them some drinks the night following.”

The dwarves continue singing another round of ‘The Shields of High Shanatar’ as Uldred sits enjoying his meal. He scans the room of dwarves looking to see any female dwarves. There are a total of five lady dwarves. Two of them are older and appear to be mated to their companions. Three others are younger and are possibly available. "Also, I am in need of a date, what of those 3 fine ladies?” He motions to the three ladies and ask if they are spoken for.

Felzoun looks to the three dwarven ladies. He squints for a moment. "The blonde is Ranckura Hardlock, locksmith of Clan Rockfist. She is not betrothed yet. The one wearing a brown cloak is Embra, a caravan guard from Citadel Adbar. The other pretty lass surrounded by the lonely group of dwarf-males and the empty drinking jacks is Teshura Strongshield, daughter of Tholm “Stormaxe” Strongshield. She is chip of the same stone as Stormaxe, I tell ya. She can outdrink and outfight any of those souls."

“I think each lass could be a fine escort for ya. It comes down to your desire, Uldred. I’d be much pleased to introduce ya to one, if ya like.”

“Hmmmm…. I think if ale is what they want, I can work something out,” Uldred replies. “I need to talk to them first of course. But to more important matters, I think this Embra looks to be more my style. Maybe you could introduce us. Her being a guard is perfect for me. I will handle the entertainment after the escort.”

Felzoun leads over to where Embra is seated. He says, “Pardon, Embra. May we have a bit of your time? I would like to make an introduction. This is Uldred Watchever of the Nether Mountains, Barakor of Gorm.” Embra stands and clasps the dwarf’s forearm in the traditional greeting. She offers Uldred a seat at her table before sitting again. Felzoun walks back to his bar leaving Uldred alone with Embra. She looks to him and asks, “Barakor, how may I serve Gorm today?”

Uldred asks, “Would you like a drink or something to eat while we talk? Embra replies, “My thanks Uldred, but I am fine.” “I hear you are in the protecting business yourself, tell me how a fine looking lady such as yourself became a guard. It is a very respectable profession in my opinion,” the dwarven priest responds.

Embra says, "Yes, I am employed as a caravan guard by the High Road Trading Coster. I do pay my respects to Gorm, if you are wondering, as well as Clangeddin when I can find a shrine when I am traveling. I am just not sure why you have come to me, will you be so kind as to get down to the copper coins. Are you here to court me?” she asks.

Uldred looks at the pretty dwarven lady sheepishly. “Well, to get to the point. I have been invited to the annual Hawkwinter costume ball and I was wondering if you would do me the honor of accompanying me as my date,” he asks.

Embra looks you over for a moment before asking, “Why me, Uldred of Gorm? I am not ahh… schooled in the refined customs of humans. I know weapons and armor, and how to make a tasty stew on the trail, and how to treat battle wounds. I am a simple warrior. I have no grandiose thoughts that I am a long lost princess from Tethyamar. I feel I will fit in at your noble party about as well as a lump of coal in a jewelry box.” She continues, “If this is important to you Barakor, I will accompany you… if it is still your wish.”

Uldred smiles. “It is for those exact reasons that I chose you,” he says. “I was looking for someone that I could have something in common with while I was there. You see, I am part of an adventuring party named the Circle of Valor and I think they would be disappointed if I did not go. I was merely looking for some companionship while I was attending this spit and polish event. I do not wish to make you feel uncomfortable, so if you do not wish to go, I will not try to convince you,” Uldred says. “I will honor and respect your wishes. However, either way I would be grateful if we could spend the rest of this evening here in this tavern discussing our adventures and accomplishments. Come, let us eat, drink, and be merry. If you don’t mind though, I have a little other business to take care of here before any of them leave.”

Embra gives the other dwarf a smile. “Uldred, I would be happy to go. My greatest fear was that I would disappoint you. You have put those fears of to rest. Please take care of whatever business you need to; I shall sit here waiting your return.”

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7th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

The heroes return to the water chamber where the giant gar once lived. Corthen had wanted to search the chamber closer for other hidden passages. When the party reaches the inky water they find that someone has carved a trident shape into corpse of the fish lying halfway out of the water. The group believes that whomever uses the chamber for ceremonies has returned and is not pleased to find their ‘pet’ slain. Corthen searches for more hidden doors or waiting magic, but nothing else is found. A falling trap wall crashes down behind the group as they leave the hallways around the fish chamber. Silvaris believes the wall fell due to a pressure plate in the floor.

The adventurers go through a shimmering curtain of blackness and realize that they have already been in the hallways west of the magical curtain. The group agrees to leave Undermountain to investigate the whereabouts of the crazy undead jester. Vilnullas and Corthen slowly lead the party back to the entry well chamber and the group arrives there without incident. Upon leaving the Underhalls Corthen pays Durnan the fees for using the well and he buys a round of elven wine at the Yawning Portal for everyone present.

When the heroes get home, there is a package of notes on the door addressed to the Circle of Valor. Inside are personally engraved invitations to each member of the party. Erith reads his invite aloud for the members of the party who cannot read common.

“Lord Eremoes and his daughter Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter have cordially invited you to Hawkwinter Villa to attend the Annual Hawkwinter Costume Eveningfeast Ball on the 10th of Elient. You are required by the rules of social etiquette to wear a costume, come with one escort, and to bring no less than two and no more than six entertainers. The event begins at dusk. Carriages may enter and exit by the main entrance. Please RSVP – Gerella Hustrell, Secretary of Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter”

Erith says, “I plan on going. We should contact this Gerella and let her know if we plan on going. We should proceed to finding ladies or lords to escort to the Hawkwinter Ball, if we are going. Then we should get our costumes. Does anyone disagree?”
Nolia says, “I want to go as a shepherdess.”
Silvaris says, “I would like to go as a wolf I want to hire 6 dancers. I will try to find and elf or human lady to go with me. My date can decide on her own.”
Corthen says, “I would be interested attending and my date and I going as a pirate and pirate lass. I think I will try to hire some sword swallowers and jugglers.”

Saedallas responds, “I plan to attend dressed as a treant. I will try to find an elven lady as my escort if possible, if not, I will try and find a human lady as an escort. I believe I can plan to hire 4 Elven musicians and write a ballad of the heroism displayed by the elves at the fall of Myth Drannor versus unspeakable odds.”
Uldred says, “I am not sure really. I was thinking maybe my date and I could go as gargoyles. I would like to find 6 dwarven musicians that would be interested in going as my entertainment. I would like to try and find where the dwarves hang out and try to find me a classy dwarven date, if such a thing actually exists.”

Erith smiles at that joke and notices that Tellazar has not spoken of attending the costume ball and had quietly left the room. Later the bard pulls Corthen aside and asks him if Tellazar has spoken of attending the party. Corthen pauses and informs Erith that the mage told him he would not attend such an event. The bard frowns and remains silent for several minutes. When the young musician speaks again he tells his friend that events such as these are more than just a dinner and dancing, such events allow up and coming adventuring parties to meet with powerful and influential powerbrokers of the city. Erith says that if the adventuring party were to make friends with such people they may gain powerful allies and patrons that need services of brave men of good character. It would help their cause if all of them are present, especially their most powerful member. Corthen nods his head in agreement and tells Erith he will try to persuade the mage to change his mind.

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6th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

Nolia, Saedellas, and Cortonas on the 3rd watch of the night hears the magic mouth on the door to the room say, “The door is sealed. Do not approach unless you wish to provoke a being of great power.” The watch quickly and quietly as possible wakes up the others. The heroes grab weapons and prepare for a fight.

Tellazar opens the door and the party prepares to strike at whatever lies on the other side of the door. Instead of a horde of undead, the Circle of Valor stands face to face with an armed party of short demihumans. Cautiously Corthen hails the mixed party of halflings and a gnome telling them that they are adventurers and they are armed only to defend themselves. A female halfling speaks for the other group and she informs Corthen that they are adventurers and wish to parley.

Weapons are lowered and the two parties exchange names. There are six of them and they call themselves the Steadfast Order of Shortfellow Swashbucklers. They are led by a female halfling named Lyratha Talltankard and her husband Bungobar Talltankard, another halfling. Carthax Nayusiyim, a gnome male, is the only non-halfling in their party. The other 3 are Dimvel Stoutkeg, a warrior, Osco who appears to be a thief and a female named Tanath Moonharness. The groups exchange information about the areas they have each come from. The information is helpful to the heroes as it allows them to orient themselves and know where they are in relation to the way out of Undermountain. The Swashbucklers decide they will press on down another passage and they say their goodbyes.

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5th of Elient 1364 Year of the Wave

The heroes remain in the skeletal rat chamber for another day. The group waits as Tellazar spends the day casting identify spells on the longsword that was found in the waters occupied by the giant gar.

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