Guardians of the Past

30th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff
The Undertomb

Rehs and Corthen finish searching the well chamber for treasure. Rehs discovers a letter to Anphrantul from Tirostar. It states that the Dark Druidess will soon be traveling near Darkhorn Castle and Anphrantul is to be ready to assist her. Corthen speaks to the two captives, Jute and Kirian. He asks them about the dead priests. Corthen learns they were Anphrantul and Oishannan.

Corthen asks the two bandits if any more of their comrades are still about. Jute says that three others fled out the escape tunnel after leaving the keep. He says that Oishannan became enraged at their cowardice and that he was unable to flee as well. Samira asks the prisoners where the shaft leads to. Neither man knows, but Kirian says that Anphrantul did not allow anyone near the loose flagstones. Asked about the Dark Druidess, Kirian tells the party that she is headed to the Great Grove.

Corthen turns the duo loose with warnings to them that if they take up banditry again, their lives with be forfeit. Jute and Kirian flee the room. The group descends down the shaft cut from solid rock. The air is chill, but the air is breathable. The shaft descends into a tomb lined with twenty eight coffins and an arched stone door. It is lit by magical amber light cast upon the ceiling. Erith’s handharp begins to play louder on its own in the tomb. The party cautiously inspects each stone coffin finding nothing more than a few bones, rusting bits of metal, dust, and a few moldering scraps of cloth.

Finding nothing of value in the tomb, Rehs moves forward to inspect the stone door. He finds that the door is locked and it is trapped. Rehs takes his time and he cuts a wire connected to the portal and then he picks the lock. Uldred opens the door; the sound of metal striking metal and the sound of breaking items falling reverberate in the chamber beyond.

As the group is focused on the door trap, a coffin near the shaft suddenly pivots and a weird looking man emerges from under the coffin. It is soon clear the man is not living; his features are twisted and his body is warped in undeath. Corthen quickly casts a web spell from his cloak. The elf plans to burn the webs, but before he can act the wight uses magic of his own and blasts a 20’ tunnel through the webs and knocks Ayremyr down. A spell battle erupts between the combatants with the heroes emerging victorious. Corthen recovers a metal rod from the wight which he believes to be a Netherese Blast Scepter.

The party enters the inner chamber. The handharp grows even louder inside the room. The tomb contains a raised dais and a stone coffin atop it. The lid is worked with a carving of an armored woman wearing a crown with light spilling out from within the stone box. After Rehs examines the sarcophagus, four members of the party lift the stone lid from the coffin. Immediately all magical light ceases from inside the coffin, the party’s magic lights, and the harp ceases playing.

The scared heroes light a torch. Gazing into the coffin Corthen and Rehs see dust and a black object 7 inches across. Picking up the half circle Corthen is wounded by electrical energy emanating from the object. The party members all try to touch the item with similar results before placing it into the portable hole.

The Guardians of the Past leave the undertomb and climb back up the shaft. As Corthen reaches the top of the shaft a figure darts from the room and runs down the hallway for the surface. The elf yells to the others that someone is fleeing and then he runs after the figure. Reaching the surface, he doesn’t find the runner, but he discovers a large leather tube lying in the ward between the keep and the wall. Corthen stops and waits for the others to catch up. Rehs examines the dropped item and declares it safe to handle. Corthen opens the end discovers a vellum map of Amn.

The party is insistent on finding out who the mysterious stranger is. They catch a glimpse of him in the far distance crossing a ridge. The heroes pursue. For hours the group follows after the figure. Eventually Samira begins scrying him using his map as a foci. The party closes in on him after a day long pusuit. As Tellazar and Corthen use the Dimension Door to come beside him, the cloaked man reaches to his belt and tosses his loosed coin purse into the air spilling coins across the ground. He yells, “Take it! I have nothing else, highwaymen!” Ayremyr moves with swords ready to strike the man with raised hands in surrender. The elf yells, “Who are you and why are you running?” The angry man tersely tells the seven figures that he had seen enough and he ran to get away from losing his life. He refuses to give his name or what he was doing at Blackhorn Castle. The hot-tempered elf threatens the man if he does not answer their questions.

The man hesistates before giving his name, Volothamp Geddarm, and he says he was traveling to a village to the south. Corthen asks why he was at the castle. Volothamp states that he saw ravens gathering in the air above the ruined fortress and he grew curious as to what had occurred. He says that he saw the scattered dead stripped of armor and the ravens working on the corpses. Volothamp says he stumbled onto the dungeon beneath the hill and saw the other bodies stripped and that he ran when he saw someone climbing from the pit.

Corthen asks the man if he is sometimes known as Volo. The man nods and several of the heroes relax. Corthen explains to some in his party who have never heard the name Volo. He tells Rehs and Ayremyr that Volo is an author who writes books about locations and knowledge of the Realms. Corthen sheathes his longswords and picks up the coins and hands them back to the famous man.

Volo soon learns that the party are a group adventurers working against the Dark Druidess. Corthen reveals that most of the Guardians are Harpers. Volo shares some dark news. He tells the party that a battle took place at a sacred grove of Chauntea near Blackstone and that the Dark Druidess was victorious. He says that High King Tristan was led into a trap and fell in the battle. Volo says that he learned that the forces of the Dark Druidess were planning to gather near Dultann, so he came to Corvu and has been traveling for several days to learn more. The party saddened at the news of the High King, decide to make camp nearby and travel back to Dultann in the morning.

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29th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff
Darkhorn Castle

At midday, the party comes into view of Darkhorn Castle. It rises above the surrounding landscape on a stone rise. The lands around the stone edifice are high moor grasses and a few scattered shrubs and stunted trees. Ayremyr leads the party up to a mountain stream that runs swiftly down to the east. Tellazar spots a narrow stone slab footbridge that crosses the water.

The party crosses the bridge and trudges up the ridge to the crumbling castle. Several towers have collapsed and the group can see several breaches in the outer wall of the abandoned castle. The group reaches the open archway of the main gate of Darkhorn Castle. No sound can be heard but the whistling of wind through openings in the stone structures. Rehs cautiously approaches the gateway and examines the area for waiting traps and finds none.

Corthen leads the party into the ward of the desolate stronghold. He leads the group up towards the main keep, a ruined shell of stone. Suddenly a cry comes from above and the air is pierced by dozens of bolts! The party has walked into an ambush. Crossbowmen fire on the adventurers from nearby towers on the outer walls, from the ramparts of the wall, and from the top of the main keep. Several members are struck by bolts, the luckier heroes’ armor turn them aside.

Realizing that they must move or perish, the group reacts swiftly. Tellazar grabs ahold of Corthen and uses the Dimension Door magic of his robes to reappear atop a nearby tower. Erith, Rehs, and Ayremyr charge a set of stairs to the inner curtain wall to rush their attackers. Uldred growls and pulls his enchanted crossbow out to return fire from the ward. Samira wounded by several of the bolts, runs for the cover of the main keep and says a prayer to Mystra that no attackers await her just inside the breached opening.

Corthen and Tellazar attack the three human crossbowmen atop of the tower. Erith and the others reach the top of the curtain wall. Four men led by a large warrior in field plate armor rush out from a nearby tower and charge the heroes. The leader is wielding a broadsword and he tries grabbing Ayremyr and Erith with a dark gauntlet but he misses.

Uldred has used his crossbow of speed to strike several of the archers atop a wall. Samira has disappeared inside the ruins of the main keep. Tellazar and Corthen have dispatched the three archers atop the tower they jumped to from the mage’s cloak. Tellazar uses Feather Fall to drop down inside the tower. Once there he unleashes a Lightning Bolt to slay five archers atop of the west wall.

Corthen uses his bow and picks off two archers atop of the main keep. Ayremyr, Erith, and Rehs slay two of the attackers including the leader. Erith kocks out three of the attackers with a Sleep spell. Uldred uses his helm to Fireball and eliminates the bowmen atop of the gatehouse. Uldred then moves up the stairs and says healing prayers on Rehs. The remaining crossbowmen flee from the roof of the main keep.

In the darkness of the interior of the main keep, Samira can hear shouts above her and soon she hears the sound of men running away inside the dark confines but she sees no one. Outside the party regroups, with Samira coming out last to rejoin the others. Uldred tends to her wounds before Corthen and Erith speak to his bound prisoners.

The three men are questioned. They tell the party they followed Gordeirn Mathchan, a bandit leader of Northern Gwynneth. The most helpful prisoner reveals that Gordeirn worshipped Cyric and he had the men attack the party to protect the Cyricists. Corthen offers freedom to the three men if they tell him where he can find these servants of Dark Sun. The prisoners tell the party that a stairwell behind the keep leads down into the catacombs and priests are quartered there.

Corthen keeps his promise and releases the men. He tells them should they continue to rob the honest Fflolk, he will track them down and give no quarter. The trio stumble out a wall breach and run across the open heath way from Darkhorn Castle as they can get. The Guardians of the Past locate the stairs down and descend into darkness.

The stairs lead into a large room with crates and wickerwork baskets stacked along one wall. Corthen investigates the containers, ever in pursuit of coins and brooches. He misses the signs of danger and trips a wire and most of the stack falls forward onto the elf. The rotting crates spill large stones out and Corthen is down and unmoving. The party pulls the warrior free of the trap and he comes around from unconsciousness.

The heroes move down a hall off of the entry chamber. Stone doors line the sides. Rehs checks each portal before Corthen opens doors to reveal room being used as a kitchen, a treasure room, and sleeping quarters. The next door opened by the elf reveals two Ettin skeletons that immediately attack the party. The party engages the undead and defeat the two of them.

Rehs moves down the hall to check the door at the end when he is hit by a soundless blast of energy. It knocks Corthen and Ayremyr over as well. Several party members are pretty sure it is a Netherese blast scepter. Samira takes Corthen, Rehs, Ayremyr, and Tellazar ethereal and they attack the men inside the room from behind once they return to solid form. They kill two bandits and two robed Cyricists and take two bandit prisoners. Rehs unspikes the door that connects to the outer hall. Erith aand Uldred enter the well chamber. Samira questions the surviving bandits and learn that three of their companions crawled out the escape tunnel. Erith’s handharp begins playing by itself when he enters the room. The harp plays louder in the northwest corner of the chamber. Uldred searches the area and finds loose flagstones that lift aside to reveal a dark shaft descending into solid rock.

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28th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

Having seen two riders the day before who rode into a forest as the party approached on foot, the group has been on guard all day. Corthen leads the group through the thick forest of their Shee encounter during the day. The group makes it through, and they continue on for the last few hours of remaining daylight before stopping and making a campfire and settling in for the night.

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26th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party departs Dultann again, this time bound for the haunted ruins of Darkhorn Castle.

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25th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

Erith has the enchanted mirror removed from the vaults of Mirt the Moneylender. He has it taken to Corthen Nightglade’s stone manse in the North Ward. Once it is set up, Erith scries an area close to the village of Dultann and he and Uldred and Rehs use the power of the mirror to step through the portal that is created. The trio close the gate and walk back to Dultann’s Beard to await the others.

The other four companions return to the village after dark. There they are reunited at the tavern. Erith shares that he has learned that the party faced a Shee at the Horns, a dangerous elven spirit who comes out during times of great upheaval in the islands. He also imparts that she was not killed, only driven away. They share some drinks and stay in Griffonmane’s barn once again for the night.

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24th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

While Tellazar, Samira, Ayremyr, and Corthen make a journey back to Dultann, Erith takes Rehs and Uldred’s bodies to the Temple of Tymora in Waterdeep. There he pays the priests of the Luck Goddess many gems to bring the two back from the dead.

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23rd of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff
The Horns

Two days out of Dultann the members of the Guardians of the Past arrive at the Horns, traveling through forest in the fog and rain. Ravens have been croaking in the forest of thick trees. The party searches the area look for secret compartments and writings upon the stone altar. Ayremyr chops a fallen tree off of the top of the grey stone altar. Corthen uses his wand of metal detection and searches for gold without success. He tries searching for steel; the wand points to the base of altar. Uldred, Ayremyr, Corthen and Rehs muscle the altar block from the base to find a niche underneath. In the 3’ deep pit Ayremyr recovers a longsword and a bone tube with two Raise Dead spells.

The heroes inspect the area around altar for other treasure and it turns to night when a translucent elf riding a spirit horse charges Samira, her lance misses, but she is trampled by the horse. The dead elf swings around to charge the others in the group when Tellazar casts a lightning bolt spell striking her. She releases a horrid sound which causes Uldred and Rehs to die in terror just from her scream. The survivors gather up their fallen comrades and pull back from the Horns and the dead elf before making a camp several miles away in this cursed forest. With such loss, the decision is made to place the dead in the portable hole and risk Erith taking them back to Waterdeep for Ressurection via his Helm of Teleportation.

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22nd of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The adventurers leave Dulith Griffonmane’s homestead and travel northwest in the morning. Passing the sheep grazing lands the heroes journey into wilder country of steep hillsides and broken bedrock with scattered pines. The party travels the entire day before making camp near a small brook. The night is peaceful in the wilderness.

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21st of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

With the peddler leading the party, the group travels west and north uphill most of the day. The countryside is rugged and wild with grasslands and scattered copses of trees. Towards evening, Dorgan leads them down a well used path into a rolling valley. Eventually as darkness falls their escort points to lanterns burning off in the distance.

The adventurers are tired and ready for some food. The tinker leads the party into the village. Passing several stone cottages surrounded by sheds and barns the curly haired man exalts. “At last! Dultann’s Beard! I am ready for a pint.” Dorgan passes into the noisy taproom filled with the scent of food and pipe smoke.

As soon as Ayremyr and Corthen step through the door the room grows quiet. Men with weathered faces look at the gathered heroes eyeing them with worried expressions. The tavernmaster steps forward and introduces himself as Paedrac Rollstone. He leads the group over to a table in the corner and asks if they are looking for a bite, a mug, or both.

Uldred speaks up and tells the tall human that they are seeking both food and drink and he places several gold coins down on the table for Paedrac. The tavernmaster calls over his plump daughter to bring these travelers some hot soup, bread, and roast lamb. He apologizes to Corthen for not carrying any wine. Corthen speaks and tells him that ale is fine.

After dinner, Rehs asks Paedrac’s daughter if the establishment has any available rooms to rent. The girl tells him that the Beard is a tavern and that there are no inns in the village. Dorgan comes over to the table with a broad-shouldered man and introduces the party to Dulith Griffonmane.

The silver haired man looks over the elves, dwarf, and humans and asks what brings them to Dultann. Corthen looks at the large man and informs him that the group left Waterdeep to aid the good people loyal to the High King. Several other locals turn and listen to the conversation. A fearful looking man steps forward and asks the party why anyone should trust any llewyrr and their outlander companions. Erith speaks up and informs the man that he is a bard studied in his craft from revered master bards in Silverymoon, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep. He goes on to tell the distrustful man that he and his companions rescued several Chauntean priests from captivity of evil priests in Aithe just days ago and were honored guests in the home of Lord Cauldyth of Aithe. This quiets the man named Tarm and he slinks away and returns to his seat.

Dulith asks Erith if he might play or sing for the taproom. The bard pulls out his harp and takes a seat near the middle of the room. He performs several jaunty songs and the spirits of the tavern rise. Corthen puts down a handful of coins on the bar and tells Paedrac that drinks are on him for the whole taproom. Soon the party has made several new friends besides Dulith. Storn and Anarsk join the heroes for more drinks at their table.

Rehs and Corthen ask the men what places might be of interest to the party since they wish to explore and fight any local evils. Storn tells them that dark robed men who serve “The One We Never Name” are rumored to travel the land spreading death and chaos. Dulith notes that Dultann is too remote to be of value to evil men in service to the Dark Druidess. He says that the party may wish to visit the haunted ruins of Darkhorn Castle, visit the unholy altar known as The Horns, or investigate the old watchtower to the south. The group absorbs the directions to each place from the locals. When Tellazar mentions setting up camp outside of the village for the night, Dulith Griffonmane tells them that they may stay in his barn where it is warm and dry. The party rouses Ayremyr from his ale soaked reverie and they sleep amongst the fragrant hay of Dulith’s barn.

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20th of Kythorn 1366 Year of the Staff

The party has been on board the Catahara for three days. Captain Muham has been nothing but charming to the adventurers. He has given up trying to speak to Samira. She has no use for Calishite men due to her horrible childhood.

During the previous evening, after speaking to one of his lookouts, Muham turned his ship sharply to starboard and noted that a trailing vessel followed suit. Now at dawn, lookouts report that the Catahara is being trailed by three vessels.

Corthen and Tellazar approach the Calishite Captain and ask him what is going on. He tells the duo that he suspects pirates and he is trying to outrun their ships. Knowing they are approaching their destination, the elven warrior asks Muham how this impacts their dropoff. The Calishite tells them that he is willing to give them one skiff and he will race off again as soon as their small boat is in the water. Tellazar promises to assist the ship with some his magic.

Three hours later, the Catahara a mile from the coast of Gwynneth rounds a point and drops a skiff into the waters. The heroes jump aboard the rowboat. Tellazar casts a Mist Magic spell that begins to spread across the surface of the water. The merchant vessel pulls away and engages full sails. The heroes pull hard on the oars and before they have landed they see three ships further out to sea moving past their location and after the Calishite vessel.

Erith, Ayremyr, and Uldred pull the small boat up onto the pebble beach. Samira keeps an eye out for returning ships in case the three ships were actually seeking out the party. She has Call Lightning ready to recite should she need it.

The party moves inland after hiding the rowboat above the high tide mark in some scraggly shrubs and thorns. The party marches inland and up the steep coast of the region. Rehs finds a trail that weaves its way up to rugged terrain. Above them Corthen spots a stone cottage. He decides to approach the simple home by himself and knocks on the door. An ancient voice yells, “Go away!” Corthen tries again and tells the resident he is trying to find Dultann. The elderly woman once again yells, “Llewyrr, go away! I’ll not fall for your tricks!” Realizing he is not going to learn anything he walks away to rejoin the others.

The group continues inland seeking some sort of village to get their bearing but find only wild, rugged highlands. As dark settles, the party makes camp and begins to cook an evening meal. As they begin to dig in, a voice calls out from the darkness. “Well met, travelers! Might I come forward in peace and share some of my food in exchange for a spot near your fire?” Corthen tells the man to come forth so that they might see him. A middle-aged human with curly hair comes forward with his hands out, palms visible. He states, “My name is Dorgan the Tinker. I am traveling and I come with peace in my heart.” The group introduces themselves and Dorgan is happy to share his fresh sausages and hen eggs with the group. Samira asks the tinker where he is headed and he informs her he is bound for Dultann and Corvu after that.

Corthen asks Dorgan if he will lead them to Dultann as that is where they are heading. The man agrees to help. The conversation later turns to his wares which he shows them his pewterware. Most of the party purchase a single set of his work for when they are in the wilds. The party sets watches and nothing disturbs the party during the night.

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