Guardians of the Past

15th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword
Departure

In the morning, Saedellas, Silvaris, and Whitlowe depart Waterdeep for Silverymoon. The others say their goodbyes at the gates of the city. They discuss taking time to do weapon training and improving adventuring skills. The group agrees to start a training period in the morning.

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13th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

The heroes return to the Spires of the Morning, the Temple of Lathander several hours before dawn. The group presents remains of their friend, Whitlowe, who was killed the previous year during their early explorations into Undermountain.

Erith and the other members present the lesser priests of the temple with a number of large gemstones as a donation to gain the favor of Lathander. The group meets with High Radiance Ghentilara, the female Morninglord, the high priestess of Lathander’s temple in the City of Splendors. She performs the resurrection ceremony when the rays of the dawn sun rise above the horizon. In a blink of an eye, the gnomish warrior, Whitlowe, draws breath and is made whole again.

After gathering his wits, the Morninglord informs the gnome that he has returned to the physical world by the renewing touch of Lathander. The gnome sits up and is tearfully greeted by his friends who are happy to see him alive once more. There are hugs and much joy between close friends. After leaving the temple, the party returns to Silvaris’ residence. There Silvaris and Saedellas inform the gnome of their plans to return to their homes in Silverymoon. Whitlowe agrees to join them on the journey.

The gnome meets Nolia, Vilnullas, Uldred, and Rehs. Corthen tells the gnome of everything that has occurred since his fall in Halaster’s Halls. Afterwards, Silvaris pulls Corthen aside and asks him if he would like to purchase the manor house from him or not. The elf ponders the idea for awhile before accepting the rogue’s offer. They agree on the price and agree to transact the sale with Mirt and record the sale with the city.

Saedellas speaks to Tellazar and tells the wizard that he can make contact with Gorund Hardwand before Tellazar makes a trip to Silverymoon to return the staff. The priest of Corellon tells the mage that he will send word to him before he makes a journey all the way to Silverymoon trying to locate the other former pupil of Ildus. Tellazar thanks Saedellas for his help in the matter.

In a generous mood, Erith gives Whitlowe, Rehs, Vilnullas, and Nolia several large jacinth gemstones from his personal treasure. The bard tells each of them it is to aid them in paying for anything they desire. He says it is only fair to assist the members who are not wealthy as some in the group. The four adventurers thank him for his generosity.

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12th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

The heroes gather together at the Dripping Dagger to talk over some drinks. An upset Corthen has been mollified somewhat after he speaks to Mirt the Moneylender in the morning and finds out that his imposter never withdrew any of his wealth from Mirt. Corthen is puzzled as to why his imposter spent thousands of gold to furnish his house like a pleasure palace but did not try to steal his secured wealth.

The treasure hunter tells his friends that he is bothered by having someone masquerade about the city claiming to be him and having debauched his good name. He says that he isn’t sure if he can sleep comfortably in his own house now knowing that hundreds of Waterdhavians have used his house as a festhall. A surly Corthen shares that he may consider selling his home if he can find a buyer.

After the warrior has finished venting to the others, Saedellas and Silvaris inform the others that they have some news they wish to share with the group. Silvaris informs the party that he has received a letter from home and that his family needs his assistance with caring for his grandparents who have fallen ill. He tells the party that although he loves adventuring, he will be retiring from the life and returning to Silverymoon. Saedellas speaks up, he tells the stunned group that he also will be returning to Silverymoon with Silvaris. The elven priest offers the use of his home in the South Ward for Rehs or anyone else who wishes to live there.

The two retiring heroes inform the party that they are willing to trade or sell some of their magical adventuring gear to their friends if they are interested. The party members discuss the weapons and cloaks for a while before Erith speaks up. The bard says that since two of the founding members of the group are retiring and returning to Silverymoon that perhaps they could use another traveling companion. Everyone looks at Erith strangely before he elaborates. Erith says he believes it is past time to attempt a resurrection with Whitlowe. The bard pledges four black sapphires fom his personal fortune to make it so. The gathered group is moved by the bard’s suggestion and soon the others chime in and make offers to aid in the plan. The group agrees to find a holy temple in the city who will agree to perform the ceremony. The group leaves the Dripping Dagger and travels to several of the large temples before finding out that the Morninglord of Lathander is willing to perform the service for a proper donation to his temple. The party agrees to their requested donation and promise to return before dawn tomorrow with the gnome’s remains.

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11th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

The party returns to the city of Waterdeep. Corthen rides straight to the Elfstone Tavern to see his girlfriend, Neereena Stormcrown. He tries speaking with the young elf woman but she claims to be too busy to talk to him. The elven warrior asks Yaereene if something is troubling the gold elf. The proprietress finally informs Corthen that Neereena knows all about the parties at his home and his escapades at the festhalls and at his residence in recent days have made him a household name in the city. She says that Neereena is hurt. She says that the young woman felt a special bond to him and she feels betrayed by his wild partying and bedding of so many ladies in the past weeks.

Corthen is shocked. He tells Lady Yaereene that he and his friends have been gone from the city for weeks and that he returned just today. He tells the owner of the tavern that Lord Hawkwinter and his friends can vouch for him. He tells her that the group was recently in Laughing Hollow and were guests of King Melandrach, the elven lord there. Yaereene tells Corthen that the stories in the city say that he has been hosting parties at his home in the Castle Ward and there must be some truth to the gossip.

Corthen rushes out of the tavern and back to his home. Upon entering his residence, he discovers several drunken humans of both sexes laying about the place. His house is decorated much like a festhall with sheer silk draperies, hundreds of plump pillows litter the floor and the house is decorated with numerous marble statues of nudes couples joined together in various acts. The elf is flabberghasted. Several more revelers enter the house as he is taking the scene in. One voluptuous woman greets Corthen with a kiss and tries to get him to go upstairs with her. The elven warrior is confused, the guests in his house seem to recognize him and know who he is, but he doesn’t know any of them.

Corthen travels to Silvaris’ home to speak to his friends. He tells them what has happened. The group returns to Corthen’s house and is shocked by its appearance. Before the party left the city, the moon elf had barely furnished the house with more than several pieces of furniture and a bed. Now it was covered with red silks and seductive artwork. Corthen decides to go to the local watchpost and report a crime. He speaks to the Watch Amar and informs him that he wishes to report somene has broken into his home and now people are having parties in his residence. The Amar scoffs at Corthen’s tale. The Amar says that the watch has been called to his house several times because of the loud noises at night and have personally warned him. He says that the next time he would be called before a Magister and fines would be levied.

An indignant Corthen proclaims his innocence and swears that he and his closest companions have been east of Daggerford in the service of Lord Hawkwinter. Silvaris goes and gets Lord Hawkwinter to vouch for Corthen. The two return a short time later, and Eremoes informs the City Watch that Corthen has not been hosting any parties in the Castle Ward. He says that Corthen has been serving him on his business selling horses. The Watch Amar is satisfied with the alibi, and agrees to send a patrol to Corthen’s home investigate the alleged break in and impersonation.

The Amar questions the partygoers present and sends them on their way when he is done. Corthen posts a notice upon his door after more guests show up later for another night of debauchery at his home. The notice informs guests to go home and that no more parties will be held at the house henceforth.

Erith, Nolia, and Tellazar stay the night with their upset friend. They help him keep an eye out for anyone trying to sneak into the house since it appears that somehwere in the city an imposter has been holding feasts and wild drunken masquerades and spending money all across the city.

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8th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

The adventurers arrive back at the Roosting Griffon Inn around midafternoon. A rider present at the inn is in the employ of Eremoes Hawkwinter. He states that Lord Hawkwinter is aware of the rescue of Kyrin and he is less than a day’s ride of the inn. The rider departs the inn to inform the noble that his daughter is safe and resting at the Roosting Griffon.

Reni Hild rents the heroes a number of rooms and her staff stays busy carrying heated bathwater for the group and serving them roasted fowl and keeping their mugs filled. After dark, Lord Hawkwinter arrives at the roadhouse. The Waterdhavian noble hugs and kisses him daughter before speaking to the gathered adventurers. He thanks them for rescuing Kyrin. Corthen informs him that they have returned with Baron Agwain as well. He tells Eremoes that it is clear that the nobleman from Secomber had been adversely affected by angry pixies prior to his arrival to the Roosting Griffon days ago. Corthen says that some type of pixie love dust caused the Baron to snatch his daughter and try and take her back to Secomber. Saedellas speaks up and tells Lord Hawkwinter that the party’s divination magics have confirmed the Baron’s tale and that he clearly feels badly for his actions and is here to submit himself to Lord Eremoes.

Nolia goes upstairs and retrieves the Baron from his room. The two nobles speak alone in a private dining room for some time before Eremoes returns to speak with the adventurers. Lord Hawkwinter informs them that he has spoken to Baron Agwain and he has apologized. He says that the Baron is free to go and will be traveling back to Secomber in the morning. Lord Hawkwinter informs the group that several days ago that he received word from a messenger from Earlann. The message stated that there was a death among the noble elves and that the Queen and the ruling council would be in mourning for months to come. Lord Hawkwinter tells the party he is sorry but the trip to the High Forest is canceled until he can get an appointment to meet with the Queen of Earlann again.

The group is disappointed, but the tell Lord Hawkwinter the understand. They make plans to return to Waterdeep in the morning.

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6th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

The Circle of Valor gathers together with their dwarven hosts and say their goodbyes. After talking with the group, the party has convinced the newly crowned Thane Korin Ironaxe that the green elves of Laughing Hollow have no designs on the ancestral home of Clan Ironeater.

Korin pledges to meet with King Melandrach in the coming days to discuss matters of their two lands. Korin thanks the adventurers for their aid in freeing Illefarn Mountain of the evil that had taken root in the dwarf hold. He invites the party to return in the future for a visit. With simple fanfare, the party makes their exit from the tunnels of the mountain and return to the surface.

Having returned to the surface, the group returns to their base camp. The elves present thank the heroes for ending the poisoned water. They also inform the group that the King of Laughing Hollow wishes to speak to them before they depart. The group agrees to wait for King Melandrach.

At the camp, Baron Agwain apologizes to Kyrin Hawkwinter. He informs her that he had been under the influence of magic and he is sorry for putting her life into danger and for everything he put her through. He informs her that he will be submitting himself to her father for his crimes. The party members who had had originally made not so veiled threats against the noble when they first encountered him in Laughing Hollow feel low. Everyone can see the Baron is a different man and he is grieved by his actions while under the love charm.

Several hours later, the elven king arrives with a small honor guard. The noble thanks the adventurers for their success in ending the poisoning of the vale. Corthen informs the King that the party has vanquished both the orcs and the minions of the necromancer. He tells King Melandrach that the dwarves now control their halls and that their new king plans to meet with the elves of Laughing Hollow in the coming days. The green elf looks taken aback at the news of the dwarves. He informs the party that he was not aware that any dwarves had returned to the area. Erith explains that the dwarves have been very insecure about their precarious foothold and were afraid that anyone who knew of their existence might try and drive them out. The bard states that because they were honest with the dwarves and were able to aid them in ending the poisoned water and destroying the evil forces in their mountain, that their new Thane has had his eyes opened recently. He is learning that he can trust outsiders and not every non-dwarf wants their riches or their home.

King Melandrach and his people share a simple meal with the Circle of Valor before they say their goodbyes. The party along with the Baron and Kyrin mount their horses and ride west out of the vale.

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5th of Mirtil 1365 Year of the Sword

Tellazar has spent several days identifying the items the party has recovered while adventuring in Illefarn Under the Mountain. Corthen learns the longsword he recovered from the half-orc’s evil shrine is a flametongue sword. The elf claims the sword and the other items are awarded to others in the party.

Baron Agwain has a normal conversation with Nolia and informs the ranger that many days ago he had an encounter with a party of forest fairies in Laughing Hollow as he journeyed west to the Roosting Griffon Inn. The Baron claims that he angered the creatures and he remembers being struck with a small leaf full of powder. The Baron claims that he lost control of his impulses after the event and believes that he was enspelled or charmed with a love magic. He states that is why he took Kyrin from the inn during the night. Nolia shares the news with the others. The group discusses the matter. Tellazar asks Nolia if she detected any lies when the noble spoke to her. Nolia informs the adventuring party that her Ring of Truth did not detect any deception.

Erith shares with the others what he has learned from his bardic training as well as speaking to the dwarves. He says that Illefarn was a Kingdom of humans, dwarves, and elves that existed 1,000 years ago. The bard relates that each race had a king and that they worked together to aid one another. Erith says that eventually the Kingdom warred against the orcs and other evil races. After losing so many of their numbers, the remaining gold and moon elves left, sailing for Evermeet. The dwarves remained in their mountain, but decades later they fell to another orc horde and the halls here were lost for hundreds of years.

The party is ready to wage battle once again. They set out for the lair of the necromancer. The party enters the chamber with black painted walls and was lit with braziers. There is a large bed covered with furs, a desk, a wooden chest. The party searches the room and finds robes and clothing for both genders in the chest. Saedellas notices that something large and heavy used to be on the desk but is missing. Rehs brings up that Bryn, the apprentice, is a woman and perhaps the student has fled with any spelltomes from the room, since none are present. Tellazar groans at the prospect of the necromancer’s missing book not being found.

Nolia breaks down the door that Corthen spiked in haste days ago. A handful of skeletons lurch forward trying to attack the party. The group smashes the undead minions. The room beyond contains a pile of stony rubble in the middle of the floor and a gaping hole in the roof where the blue sky of the outside world can be seen. After the group searches the chamber and finds no hidden exits and nothing of value Silvaris throws a grappling line up and climbs. A few moments later he drops a wooden ladder down into the hole to allow the others to exit. The group finds themselves on the mountainside. A large tarp lies nearby, nearly the color of the surrounding stone. The group begins to surmise that they have found the entrance and exit used by Kelthas and his members. Since the ladder was removed from the sinkhole Rehs speculates that survivors may have fled the area all together, maybe with tomes and other loot of the evil group. Tellazar pales at the mention of losing the books, but Corthen looks just as ill as the mage.

The group climbs back down into the tunnels. They make their way to the lowest level and finish searching the cistern level. They find several rooms with the scattered remains of orcs and another with ogre bones and a few rusty blades. Another chamber reveals to be filled with barrels. Corthen breaks the seal on one barrel and tastes the liquid learning that the contents have turned to a vinegary tasting fluid.

The group finds a shaft that leads up. This level is occupied by the orcs. In a large chamber the group meets the large orc leader seated atop a dais. He is flanked by braziers made of human and dwarf skulls that produce a stinking smoke. Two ogres and a bodyguard of ten orc warriors guard the leader. The group fights the orcs, killing them in a bloody battle. The rogues take the wealth from his chest, while the mage divines the magic held by the dead.

Corthen leads the party through several passages until they encounter a troll guard. The warriors surround the 8’ tall menace. They slay the beast, and Corthen uses his flametongue to ensure the death is a lasting one. Uldred finds a secret door. In the room beyond is a shelf with three chalices, one of gold, copper, and silver. Corthen decides to tempt fate and snatches a chalice. Once he picks up the cup, the other two crumble to dust!

The party moves on, finding a chamber with a large population of goblins. Tellazar casts a Web spell snaring the goblins in the sticky strands. He then casts Produce Flame, putting them to death. Nolia finds a secret door nearby. The room beyond contains a shelf with treasure covering it. Vilnullas goes to remove the loot and a large stone slab drops from the ceiling smashing the warrior and pinning him to the floor. Using tools and magic the party is finally able to free the elf.

The group learns that they have cleared the halls of the remaining orcs, goblins, trolls, and ogres. They have succeeded in liberating Illefarn Mountain for Korin Ironaxe and his followers. The group returns and informs the new King of Illefarn. The dwarves are filled with joy at the news. Korin embraces his new friends and thanks them for their extremely valuable aid. He gives the group a chest full of gems and gold and gives them permission to take the mirror from the temple area for their help. The group spends the rest of the day drinking and celebrating with the dwarves.

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27th of Tarsakh 1365 Year of the Sword

Tellazar has recovered from his wounds from two days past. The party agrees to return to the Lair of Kelthas and destroy his undead and his evil minions. The party returns to stronghold, when they reach the top of the ramp, they are swarmed by a horde of skeletons. The necromancer has been busy! The Circle of Valor fight the swarm of orc, human, and dwarf skeletons. Once the fighting is finished Erith counts 24 skulls present that the party dispatched.

Rehs shows the party the stairs where he scouted and found the necromancer’s apprentice, Bryn on a level above their current level. Corthen suggests the group search the rooms of this level to eliminate any forces that could cut off their retreat first. The party moves through several chambers before encountering another band of skeletons. When the party engages them, the undead minions vanish. It turns out this group was an illusion to dissuade potential invaders. There is a set of stairs going up that Corthen thinks need to be checked out.

Silvaris and his new pupil Rehs scout the stairs and the area beyond before giving the all clear. The party moves up into a single 30′ × 30′ room. The room is furnished with a fine bed with nice linens and an attractive oak desk. Saedellas finds a letter in the desk. It is adressed to Trell. In the body the letter asks the new apprentice Trell to travel to Silverymoon and recover the staff of his former master. It is signed by Kelthas.

Corthen notices that Tellazar is flushed and seems disturbed. He tries to get a response from the young mage but he will not answer him. Tellazar screams and tears the letter from Saedellas’ hand and waves the page before his friends. He says “I know this bastard son of a whore! This tluining serpent murdered two people I cared for! Now I find he has joined this Kelthas and his nest of vermin! I’m going to kill the piece of naed, I swear by Mystra!”
Eventually Tellazar tells his friends that Trell killed his master, Ildus, and Tellazar’s love, Eriyim. Trell was another apprentice who grew so jealous of Tellazar’s skill in the magical arts that he was determined to destroy him, so he killed the two closest people to the mage that he could.

The group agrees to help Tellazar to defeat Kelthas and aid him in bringing Trell to justice as well. The group leaves Trell’s bedchamber. The group come up on an ogre that is unaware of their approach. Silvaris tries to sneak up and backstab the brute but his attack fails. Corthen and Nolia rush the ogre and they are able to bring down the humanoid.

The party ascends a flight of stairs to another level of the dungeon. At a door, Silvaris can hear a male giving a speech in common talking about destroying the invaders. The rogue informs the party. Corthen and many others believe it to be Kelthas. The heroes burst into the room and engage the enemy. One of the orcs shouts for Jorakul. The humans, orcs, and half-orcs fight back, but fall to the furious blades and arrows of the Circle of Valor.
The party searches the room, taking the wealth from the evil minions of the necromancer.

Behind the next door Vilnullas opens is Altar Room. There are gems and coins lying around the stone altar. There is blood upon its surface and there is longsword and a battleaxe as well. Uldred examines the altar and is positive that it is not a dwarven altar. Corthen cautiously pushes the weapons off of the bloodstained stone with his 10’ pole. Nothing happens. A detect magic reveals that both weapons are enchanted. Corthen picks up the sword and places into a scabbard at his belt.

The rogues move forward to scout the passage west. Rehs hears someone chanting in a strange tongue behind a door along the hall, so he retreats back to inform the party. Tellazar and Uldred plan an ambush in the hallway, although a minority suggest using a nearby chamber as an ambush site. The group extinguishes its lights and waits for the wizard and his minions to make a move. Minutes pass and nothing happens. The party begins to grow impatient waiting on each side of the doorway for someone to step out.

The necromancer outwits the heroes. He suddenly opens a door at the western end of the passageway behind Corthen, Uldred, Erith, and Nolia and blasts the adventurers with a blast of freezing ice from his staff. Everyone in the party is struck by the cold magic. Saedellas, Nolia, and Tellazar collapse. At this time the dark mage orders a clutch of skeletons into finish off the party. Uldred, Corthen, Vilnullas, Rehs, Silvaris and Baron Agwain fight for their lives. Erith pulls out his amulet and is able to turn the remaining undead. When it is clear the party will survive the undead attack, Kelthas prepares to cast a spell on the heroes. Corthen and Vilnullas manage to engage the wizard at the door and strike him down in melee before he has a chance to blast the party with his powerful magic. Corthen slams the door shut and spikes the door before any undead return. Uldred checks the three companions who are down and discovers they are dying, but not dead. The group binds their wounds while the dwarven Barakor of Gorm speaks healing prayers over them. The group is battered. Everyone is lucky to be alive and they know it. The party grabs the dead mage and the staff and retreat back to the dwarven hold of Korin Ironaxe.

The group is greeted with much admiration by the dwarves. The party can see that their dwarven allies have more respect for them having dispatched Kelthas the Dread without losing their lives. Kain, High Old One of Moradin offers to aid in the healing of the badly wounded party. The group gladly accepts the aid of Korin’s people. Tellazar tells the others that he will need the staff the wizard carried. He explains that it is the former property of Ildus, his master. Tellazar shares that he took the staff to a former pupil, Gorund Hardwand. He says that was his purpose in Silverymoon when he first met Silvaris and the rest of party at the Owl and Dagger Tavern last year. He states that Trell must have followed him to Silverymoon and took the staff from Gorund. Tellazar sighs and tells the others that he will need to return it once they return to Waterdeep. His friends agree to accompany him when the time comes. With that the party drifts off for much needed rest and pleasant dreams.

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25th of Tarsakh 1365 Year of the Sword

In the morning, Luthoric the Crusader of Tyr, informs the party that he is departing. He states that his two goals have been met. He has assisted in the rescue of Kyrin Hawkwinter and he had aided in ending the deadly stream of water poisoning crops, farm animals, and wildlife. He tries to find out if anyone wishes to convert to Tyr one last time before he leaves.

The remaining adventurers agree that they wish to take the fight to Kelthas and his forces. They speak to the dwarves who gives the party some basic directions to the different levels and which faction holds it. The heroes leave the dwarven enclave and travel through the cistern room. The party travels up a different ramp and explore the room at the top. There the party finds an old firepit and the cooked bones of a deer carcass. The exiting hallway is only 5’ wide. Uldred and Silvaris determine that the hall was once trapped with a moving wall but the trap failed and the wall froze in its current location.

Down another passage Vilnullas and Corthen trigger a pit trap that they both tumble into. The others assist the two wounded warriors from the stake lined pit. In another chamber Saedellas finds the rat-gnawed body of a dead orc. In a chamber next door they find a room being used by the orcs and goblins as a privy. The party goes back through the secret door to the room where they plan to ambush Kelthas’ forces. When the group reaches the room however, they find Darfin standing in the dark waiting for them. The human is dead! His throat has been slit and his clothing and armor are covered in his dried blood. He wears a sign tied around his neck that reads “You will die like this traitor!” The animated zombie that was Darfin tries to attack Vilnullas and the adventurers dispatch the shambling undead.

The party cautiously moves up the ramp to where Kelthas and his forces are known to be. At the top of the ramp the heroes are attacked by a clutch of skeletons. Once the bony attackers have engaged the party, several dwarven followers of the necromancer yell warning of intruders before joining the melee. During the battle Tellazar is struck and he falls unmoving to the floor. Uldred does a healing prayer over the unconcious mage which stirs him back to awareness. He is concious but weak and unable to fight or cast magic. The group decides to retreat back down the ramp.

Once the party withdraws, they discuss sending someone out to scout the necromancer’s lair. Rehs Wrenwater, the rescued toymaker volunteers to undertake the solo mission. Erith offers to cast Invisibility on his person to allow him to pass most creatures unmolested. Rehs slips back up the ramp to the level of the evil wizard. When the toymaker turned adventurer reports that he found a set of stairs leading up and he overheard ten human guards at a guard post talking to Bryn, an apprentice of Kelthas the Dread, Necromancer of the Dark Arts. He said that Bryn warned the humans to be watching for the elven mercenaries that the dwarves had brought into the dwarfhold. He says that he also learned of a half-orc priest named Jorakul.

The party decides to return to the dwarf enclave and let Tellazar rest since he nearly was killed in the battle earlier. Once there the party learns that Morri, a gnome in Korin’s service, has the ability to identify magical items. From his examination they learn that they have acquired a Cloak of Elvenkind, a Ring of Protection, and Gauntlets of Ogre Strength.

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24th of Tarsakh 1365 Year of the Sword

The group discusses what to do about Baron Agwain as he constantly acts like a lovesick teenager every time he is in the presence of Kyrin Hawkwinter. The party decides to take the Baron back into the mountain and ask the elves to guard Kyrin. Saedellas also casts a defensive prayer on her known as Sacred Guardian.

The adventurers return to the former dwarf complex to find a way to stop the poisonous water from pouring out of a crack and into the valley. Inside the group discovers a room with orc and human bodies scattered about it from a battle. The walls are covered with orcish writings and crude pictographs.

In a nearby chamber that is empty, Nolia does a search and discovers a secret door in the north wall. The ranger opens the hidden passage and finds a set of stairs leading down. The group crosses the bare room to a wooden door on the opposite wall. Silvaris listens at the door and signals that something is on the other side of the portal.

Vilnullas pulls the door open and the party moves into the room forming a defensive position. Across the large hall are two human warriors, a dwarf, a half-orc, and five orc skeletons guarding a ramp that exit up from the area. The humans move to pull out signal horns. The party demands the dwarf and his companions surrender. The half-orc and his companions refuse and a melee ensues. Saedellas casts Charm Person on one of the humans and the priest gets him to turn on his friends. The adventurers dispatch all of the other enemies, including the orcish skeletons.

Saedellas questions his charmed subject. His name is Darfin and he is a follower of Kelthas the Dread, a necromancer. The priest asks Darfin what he knows about the poisoned water. The charmed warrior informs the party that Kelthas used his necromantic magic to poison the dwarves. Corthen asks the man about what dwarves he is talking about. Darfin informs them that a small colony of dwarves has returned to the mountain trying to reclaim their ancestral home from the orcs. Tellazar asks him about the trolls and ogres. The man tells him that the orcs have used gold to retain the larger humanoids in their fight against the dwarves and Kelthas’ forces. Corthen comes up with a plan to send Darfin back to Kelthas with a message claiming that a band of humans and elves wishes to join his forces and that they will return to this chamber at Highsun.

Once the charmed man leaves the hall by means of the ramp, Corthen tells the others that his hope is that the party can either ambush the necromancer or any of his forces when they return to the chamber. The group agrees to return in the morning to prepare for Kelthas. The group travels to the south from the hall and finds a square-pillared hall with wall carvings of armored dwarves. The floor of the hall is covered with refuse and trash.

Traveling a side hall the party is caught off guard when a large reinforced cage falls from the ceiling and snares Corthen, Nolia, and Vilnullas. The party spends several hours trying to free the three members of the Circle of Valor. Eventually, a pair of bars are spread enough for the trio the slip through after removing their armor and gear.

After the party redresses, they return back to the hall where they recently battled the skeletons and the minions of Kelthas. Saedellas uses the Spear of Lochal to speak with the dead half-orc. Saedellas asks the dead half-orc where Kelthas poisoned the water and he is informed that it was done at the cistern. The priest asks where the cistern is located in relation to the hall. The half-orc’s soul tells him that the cistern chamber lies just beyond the western door. Saedellas asks him where Kelthas can usually be found. The reply is that the necromancer resides one level above if the party travels up the ramp.

The party gets into the cistern room, after Silvaris picks the locked door. The chamber is huge with a high ceiling. The cistern pit is 60’ in diameter and 8’ deep with a huge stone pillar rising from the cistern and connecting up to the roof above. A large crack runs through the room, it 3’ wide and at least 12’ deep. The crack runs right through the cistern; green water runs out of the fountain heads around the pillar. The sickly green water flows down into the cistern pool and down into the crevasse. It is clear that the party has reached the source of the bad water killing trees, crops, and wildlife in Laughing Hollow and everywhere downriver.

Examining the pillar the party can see signs that an arched bridge once existed that reached from the floor up to a stone balcony 20’ up above the floor. Silvaris tells the others that he will throw a grappling line up and will climb up and he will need them to secure the other end. The rogue gets a line up and begins climbing the rope up. As he is shimmying up the line two stone gargoyles launch themselves off the balcony and attack him. Baron Agwain and Luthoric are left holding the other end of the rope while the adventurers try hit the gargoyles with spells and missiles. Erith casts several Magic Missiles, Tellazar throws Chromatic Orbs, and others pull bows. Despite learning that the gargoyles are immune to normal weapons, the group finally manages to slay the two flying creatures.

Gargoyles

Once Silvaris reaches the balcony, he secures the rope and checks the areas above for traps before giving the all clear. Luthoric pulls out his own rope and tosses one end into the poisonous green water to see the result. Nothing happens. Corthen, Uldred, Nolia, and Erith take turns climbing the rope up to join Silvaris. There the thief has opened a door into the pillar. Inside is a small room with four large switches, one on each wall. The north switch is down, the others are in the up position. Nolia notices some booted prints in the dust that were recently left here. There is a bronze door off of this small switch room. Silvaris examines the door and says that he can hear a grinding sound from the other side. Corthen opens the door. On the other side is 10’ square room with a large 8’ wide and 6’ high bronze framed box. There are two lids on the top of the box. There is also a large empty glass jar with a label. Erith reads and tells the others that it says Necrotic Slime. Corthen examines the lids and discovers that they both contain green water and moving metal parts that seem to be pumping the water out into the cistern pool below from the fountains that spray from the pillar.

The rest of the party has remained on the main floor keeping watch for orcs or Kelthas minions, except for Luthoric. He has knelt down of the floor and seems to be in deep prayer to his patron god. In the pillar, the others have returned to the switch room. They agree that they must go ahead and try the switches to see if they can stop the flow. Silvaris pulls the eastern switch down and nothing seems to change. He pulls the southern switch down and Uldred informs him that the grinding sounds from the bronze box have changed. Silvaris moves the western switch down and the learn from Nolia on the ledge that the water has stopped flowing from the pillar fountains. Finally, the rogue moves the northern switch up and they find out that fresh pure water is flowing from the fountains.

The group is excited and happy about being able to stop the poisonous water. The two groups decide to wait in place for a while to see if Kelthas the Dread sends a force to try and regain control of the cistern fountain. While the groups wait, Luthoric tries to proselytize Baron Agwain into worshipping Tyr and ask for mercy for his recent crimes. After two hours, the group decides to move on.

Corthen finds a secret door off of the cistern room. Behind the door is a shaft with carved handholds that rises up into darkness. The party carefully climbs up the shaft which goes up 140’ to small room above. There are no exits from this chamber. Rehs finds a hidden catch in the wall and a secret door opens. The group passes through the opened passage and are suddenly beset by a stone statue of an armored dwarf. The animated statue strikes Nolia, she is affected by the strike and seems to be under a Slow spell. Fighting the stone guardian, some of the heroes learn that even some of their enchanted weapons are useless in fighting it. Vilnullas engages the stone dwarf with the Flame of the North. He strikes it several times. Along with a few other attacks from the heroes that manage to connect, the dwarf statue finally breaks and topples to the floor.

Saedellas finds a secret door in the chamber during a search of the room. The cell beyond has another shaft descending down to another level. The group decides to finish searching the passages of this level before exploring the new shaft. The group moves down a short hall and finds three stone doors. Behind the first door the party finds a weapons rack and a suit of dwarven plate. Tellazar casts a detect magic in the room and several weapons, the armor, a helm, and a pair of gauntlets all radiate magical energy.

The party finds a chest, cloak, and a crown in the neighboring room. Inside the chest Silvaris finds a fine suit of dwarven bronze plate armor with numerous gems worked into the suit. Uldred tells the others that the suit also bears runes that read “Thane of Illefarn Mountain”. Saedellas does a casting and informs the group that the cloak, crown, and king’s armor are all magical.

The last room is mostly empty. There is a pool of clear water that dominates the room. A shelf contains a pair of gauntlets and a helm. Corthen decides to investigate the pool. He removes his gear and dons the gloves and helm and takes his sword as he dives into the water. The treasure hunter discovers the pool is fed from below and he dives down deep. The helm gives him the ability to breathe underwater and he swims far down until he realizes this cavern full of water exits down into the pumps that feed the cistern. Corthen returns to his friends and informs them of his discovery.

Once the warrior has redressed in his armor, the party takes the second shaft down to another room about 100’ below. The group enters a room that has been untouched for some time. Layers of dust cover the floor. Six gold and platinum statuettes of dwarven deities stand along the east wall. On a ledge above them are piles of precious medallions, sceptres, and pendants. A large glass mirror as tall as a man stands in the corner along with a digging shovel and a smooth stone the size of two fists. Uldred examines the stone and finds a holy symbol of Moradin Soulforger, Father of Dwarves, lightly worked into dark stone. The group agrees to not disturb the room since it contains religious items. They agree that should they find the dwarf colony they can show them the room.

The group searches the room for secret doors. During the search, Rehs is captured in a large cage similar to one that had ensnared his friends during the morning. While trying to free Rehs from the trap, Silvaris trips another trap next to the cage and he narrowly avoids falling into the stake lined 10’ deep pit. Corthen bends the bars on the cage and the toymaker from High Dale is free. Nolia detects a door hidden in the stonework and gets the door to pivot open. The group moves into the next chamber. The room’s vaulted ceiling is 30’ high and the room stretches out 40′ × 70′. The walls are covered with paintings and carvings of dwarves. Uldred looks about and informs the group that they are in a temple to Moradin. The dwarven priest of Gorm tells the others that the altar is missing, but some of the intentional damage done to the paintings and carvings has recently been restored.

Suddenly seven armored dwarves rush into the temple with axes and hammers shouting battle cries. The adventurers realize they are about to be attacked and they actually drop swords and bows they are holding. Uldred speaks to the hostile dwarves and tells them that everyone present are friendly to their cause. He shows them his holy symbol and tells them that he and his friends have been killing orcs and the minions of the necromancer for the last few days. Vilnullas slowly pulls out the medallion given to him by Dervin Stonecarver.

One of the dwarves ask him where he found the medallion. Vilnullas explains that it was given to him by Dervin Stonecarver after he rescued the dwarf and his two sons from a collapsed building on the night the earthquake hit Waterdeep. The dwarves lower their weapons and relax. The eldest dwarf introduces himself as Kain, High Old One of Moradin. Everyone introduces themselves. Corthen and Uldred show the dwarves of the hidden room off of the temple. The dwarves are suprised that all of the gold items are still present. Corthen divulges that there are some other relics that the party found on a small hidden level that the adventurers wish to present to the dwarves. He shows Kain the crown and the Thane’s armor. He tells of all the other items recovered. Kain and the other dwarves are excited and pick up the crown and armor. The dwarven priest informs the group that they are to come with the dwarves now.

The dwarves escort the heroes down two flights of long steep steps into a room. The group discovers that the dwarves do something to the wall near the stairs and inform the party that it is safe to cross the room. Silvaris whispers to the others that it must be a safety to disarm traps hidden in the room. The party is taken through several passages before being led into a room where several armored dwarves sit. Kain walks over and talks to a noble looking dwarf. They talk for several minutes before the priest has the armor and crown brough over to the seated dwarf. The seated dwarf seems shocked by the items. Once he breaks his gaze from the crown he stares at the party of humans, elves, and a dwarf standing cross the chamber.

The noble dwarf springs up from his stone chair and walks straight to the party. He introduces himself. “I am Korin Ironaxe, son of Cerdwin Ironaxe. May I welcome you to the halls of my ancestors, Illefarn Under the Mountain.” He then shakes hands with the adventurers in dwarven fashion, grasping their forearm firmly and shaking. Korin explains that he led an expedition of dwarves and gnomes to Illefarn Mountain three years ago to reclaim the halls from the orcs. He says that the necromancer showed up roughly a year ago and began to fight both the orcs and the dwarves. Korin thanks the party for recovering the crown and armor of his ancestor, Thane Devin. The dwarves looks over several other items the party picked up and inform them they may keep those items. Korin also informs the group they may expect a just reward once he is able to reclaim the halls from his enemies. The party offers to aid the dwarves against the other factions. The dwarves are pleased and accept their offer of aid. The dwarves suggest that the party rest for a night in a nearby chamber since it is late and the group looks weary. The party thanks the dwarves and go to sleep for the night.

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