Guardians of the Past

2nd of Elesias 1365 Year of the Sword

The party passes the night without being attacked by the dungeon’s denizens. They don armor and pull out blades and missile weapons before traveling west from their current location. Rehs clears a door and picks the lock before the warriors step forward to lead the party into danger. Corthen swings open the stone door and discovers a room empty except for a circular table of dark wood. Resting on it is a single skull.

As the Guardians of the Past approach the table, the skull speaks.“Well met, I do believe. Adventurers bold, are ye? I’m Muragh Brilstagg, Rod of Lathander. and who might ye be, if I may be so bold?” The party backs up, staring at the talking skull. Rehs lets loose a few curses and slips back away from the table.

Corthen and Samira step forward to speak to Muragh. Samira asks what he is. Muragh’s response is that he kindly greeted the party and introduced himself. Cautiously Corthen introduces himself and says that they are indeed adventurers. He asks the skull about why he is here. The skull informs the heroes that he was formerly a priest of Lathander the Morninglord in Waterdeep. He says that an evil wizard placed a curse upon him that forced his life essence to remain behind after death. Muragh says that he was killed some time ago in a nasty tavern brawl at the Bloody Bucket Tavern. He says that his corpse was tossed into an alley outside and when a member of the City Guard found his corpse he spoke to the man who promptly freaked out and severed his head from his rotting corpse and booted his head into the harbor.

Muragh says that he lay in the waters for some time until some local mermen netted him and took him to the surface and gave him over to a duty wizard of the City Watch, Thandalon Holmeir. The skull relates that the wizard probed him with magics and finally took him back to his spell library in the palace. He goes on to say he resided there for a year in Thandalon’s library until one night thieves broke into the room and he yelled for the guards. The thieves snatched Muragh and ran off. He says that when they took him out of the bindings and the sack they carried him in, they set him here in this underground room. He states they left after asking him dozens of questions regarding treasure and magic and they never have returned.

Corthen asks the Muragh how long has he been been in this room. The skull answers that he does not know since he has not seen the sun for a long time and has had no way to track the days. Erith asks him what year did he die. Muragh responds that it was the Year of Spilled Blood. The group realizes that he died fifty years ago. The party checks the room for secret passages and hidden treasures and finds none. Preparing to leave, the skull begs that they take him with them. He adds that he wants to leave this room and will offer his services to them if they take him out of the empty room. The group talks among themselves and decides that they will at least take him to the surface.

Leaving Muragh’s former room the party comes across a room filled with crates of food. The party looks over the food stores and decides to eat some of the choice finds and replenish their carried rations before leaving.

Traveling north and west the adventurers come to a group of doors. Rehs checks and and then opens a stone door. A large winged creature made of iron swoops down and tries to land on the thief. He manages to dodge the iron gargoyle. Corthen charges forward and attacks. His strike lands true and he cuts the creature in half killing it in the first moments of combat! Vilnullas finds a secret door and opens it to be hit with a smashing stone trap when he pulls the stone wall open.

The party engages a trio of trolls in another of the chambers. One troll is defeated quickly by the warriors of the party. The remaining trolls get a few blows in, but eventually they too are dispatched and burned by Corthen’s sword. Samira finds a leather bag inside a circle of bones on the floor. She opens it to discover treasure which includes a drinking cup that appears to have once belonged to a dwarf named Tolm Grandhammer. Uldred speaks up and tells the others that he wishes to take the cup as part of his share when the party sits down to divide it spoils. The party is a little worse for wear and decide to retreat to a safe room to make camp for the night.

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1st of Elesias 1365 Year of the Sword

The heroes return to Undermountain. Corthen wants to search the spider lair more thoroughly for secret doors or other hidden treasures. After going over the room, nothing new is found by the band. The party returns to the series of stone doors and begins a search of the chambers beyond.

In one room the the heroes find a room full of stacked and split firewood. Corthen is sure the wood is covering something much more valuable so he leads the effort to move the firewood out of the chamber. After several hours of work, the entire group has only earned sore backs and a few splinters for their work.

In another room Rehs discovers a 9′ × 9′ ornately framed painting hanging on the wall. The artwork appears to be enchanted as it has animated winking lights and soon the majority of the party stares at the art spellbound by its everchanging scene. Only Uldred, Erith, and Corthen have their senses, they begin to pull their friends away from the spellbinding painting when the ceiling drops down upon the party. The ceiling is actually a creature. It begins to crush the entire party trying to squeeze its victims to death.

The heroes fight back under the crushing bulk of the lurker above. Eventually Erith, Corthen, and the other members stab the creature to death before it is able kill any of the group. Uldred and Samira say plenty of healing prayers to cure the worst of the wounds from the attack. The party retreats to a nearby empty chamber and spike the door shut from the inside.

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Midsummer 1365 Year of the Sword

The party enjoys Midsummer in Waterdeep. Tellazar spends most of his day studying enchanted items and trying to learn their secret powers. Corthen and Vilnullas spend the evening at the Elfstone Tavern drinking while Uldred and Samira hold sacred ceremonies to Gorm and Mystra respectively. Erith performs at the Splendid Falcon while Rehs hangs out there having a few ales.

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30th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

The party leaves the fountain chamber and returns to the passages where they fought the ghasts the previous day. The heroes find a long hall with numerous doors along the east wall. Rehs checks each door for mechanical traps and to see if the doors are locked. He finds one portal is locked and is unable to move the locking triggers.

The party decides to bypass the stone doors and explore the bend in the passage below the portals. The group encounters a passage partially filled with dirty cobwebs. Corthen tries to set the assembled webs ablaze but the flames sputter pitifully and do not spread successfully. Undaunted, the elven warrior hacks a path open and enters the chamber beyond with his friends following closely behind.

Once in the room partially filled with webbing, the heroes are set upon by six large hungry arachnids and a hairy humanoid creature with long arms and red eyes who joins the spiders in their attack. Corthen, Erith, Vilnullas, and Uldred stand against the spiders with weapons, while Samira and Tellazar cast spells and Rehs hurls his deadly daggers. Losing the battle the hairy humanoid flees the battle. After dispatching the last of the spiders, Corthen and Vilnullas look for him. Discovering a series of secret storage niches in the south wall, the party opens several to find contain human skeletons and another holds the hiding spider ally. Corthen quickly attacks the fleeing creature and he is brought down by the group.

A search of the chamber leads to a uncovered well full of black water. Once again, it is Corthen who volunteers to delve into water. He dives down numerous times into the toxic water and pulls items out of the putrid water. He pulls rotting clothing, coins, rusting swords, a crystal sphere, boots, belts, and bits of armor. Tellazar gathers the assembled items and learns that one pair of boots, a pair of bracers, the crystal orb, and a short sword are all enchanted. Pleased with the haul and desire to learn the properties of the items, the group agrees to leave Undermountain for the city. They return to the well and bang upon the shields to signal their desire to leave the dungeon to Durnan.

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29th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

The heroes rested from a night of sleep in their comfortable beds and healing prayers from the night before return to the Yawning Portal for another descent into Undermountain. Upon leaving the entry well chamber the party travels briefly to the south, then east into passages yet to be explored.

They find a large room that has three alcoves off of the main chamber. A pile of stones in western alcove appears to be a cairn for some fallen adventurer. A headstone scratched with a crude symbol of a dragon has defaced by someone. Corthen, Rehs, and Uldred begin moving the cairn stones until Rehs realizes that he has green slime on his hand and lower arm. Acting quickly, Corthen uses his flametongue sword and torches the slime and the thief’s hand. Uldred says a healing prayer and Reh’s hand is restored.

Searching other hallways, the party is ambushed by a mixed party of goblins and hobgoblins from two directions. The heroes vanquish the goblinoids, looting a few coins from their corpses after the battle. Corthen opens a door to another room. The group can smell the salty tang of sea air in this dungeon room, but curiously, no exits or ventholes can be found after an exhaustive search. Samira finds a scrap of parchment that reads, “Hold the door, open the chest, and then search the walls.”

Corthen decides to check passages closer to the Drow Temple. The group encounters a black curtain of rippling darkness. Corthen carefully checks the dark area of magic to make sure it is safe to pass. The party then proceeds through and soon is descending a short flight of stairs down. Searching several rooms, the party finds evidence that at least one chamber has been used as a charnel house, a depository for dead bodies.

Another nearby room is empty except for a single human skull. A side chamber is occupied. Ghasts lurch out in an attempt to dine on Tellazar and the other members of the party. Swords and claws clash before the Guardians of the Past stand victorious but sorely wounded. The group attends to the worst of the wounds before making a trek to the “Fountain of Wisdom.” Here the party makes a camp for the night.

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28th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

Tellazar and Corthen are persistant that the group return to the foyer room and check the other set of doors that exited the room to the south, possibly away from the lich’s lair. The rest of the party agrees to the plan, since they have already defeated the lich’s frontline defenders. Rehs inspects the double doors and gives the all clear. Vilnullas opens the door, only for a brief flash of magical energy to illuminate the elven swordsman. He briefly collapses but regains his feet. Vilnullas learns that the magic of the trap has sapped some of his physical strength.

The party searches the chamber beyond and discovers it is empty except for six statues that rest upon pedastals set into wall alcoves. The six ancient statues stare silently from their perches. The man sized sculptures all wear robes long out of style and bear a wand in hand, except the last statue, he is dressed as a warrior in scale armor and holding a sword. Each statue has a name carved into the base. Ontidaar, Obatar, Onukos, Nimalon, Nokenatel, and Rothindar.

The party carefully studies the statues without touching them. Corthen asks the bard if he knows any of the names. Erith racks his brain for lore relating to any of the names. Eventually he recalls that the name Rothindar was a warrior hero from Neverwinter who lived over 300 winters ago. Rehs inspects the statues for traps or hidden compartments and finds none. When Corthen finally touches the warrior statue of Rothindar, the youthful warrior statue speaks. He asks the following riddle. “What is it that you can keep after giving it to someone else?”

The party first answers with “Hope”. Two Magic Missiles fly out from each wizard statue and strike different party members. The party tries again, and answers with “Love”. Once again magic strikes from the other statues. The group tosses out another half dozen of wrong answers, suffering each time from the missiles. Finally, Corthen guesses “Word”. The elf is surrounded by buzzing lights that soon disappear. The party battered by the magic of the room decides to return to the city and gain some rest. Corthen learns that the magic that buzzed about him seems to have boosted his personal charm and he enjoys this new-found charisma that seems to be making him several new friends in the Yawning Portal who wish to buy him drinks.

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27th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

The heroes reunite after Samira talks to the other members who had moved from Corthen’s house. She is able to convince Uldred and Tellazar that the whole situation was a misunderstanding. The group gears up and meets at Durnan’s inn.

Desiring to take down the huge chamber in Undermountain with a ballista tower, the party returns to area. Tellazar quickly enters with a displacement spell on his self into the cavernous room where his light source seems dimmed. The smell of cold stone is heavy in the air, and a curling mist rises from the cold flagstones at his feet. The chilled air cuts into his flesh, and his warm breath makes mists in the cold air. A constant grinding sound, as if two rough stones were slowly being rubbed together can be heard. A bolt flies out, and the mage quickly responds with a fireball at the 25’ tapered bronze plated tower.

The party enters to join the mage and is suprised and surrounded by undead skeletons that have risen from floor pits concealed below the heavy fog covering floor. Vilnullas, Erith, Rehs, and Corthen battle the enemies with blades, while Uldred, Samira, and Tellazar cast damaging spells. Arrows and several ballista bolts fly from across the room from the tower looming in the darkness.

The adventuring group dispatches the undead mob that had suprised them. The party moves against the bronze plated tower. As several members close in, they see three sets of aged bronze doors covered with frost piercing the East Wall. Each door is shaped like a very large skull. Rehs tries to sneak around behind the tower. When he comes close to one set of doors a voice booms from the skull face. “Turn back, the lair of the Black Sorcerer lies ahead, nothing but death awaits.”

Tellazar uses his ring to teleport to the top of the tower and finds a band of ghouls manning the tower’s ballista. They move to attack and he uses his staff to blast them with a Fireball.

Corthen flies up to the tower to aid Tellazar while other Rehs and Erith climb the metal plated structure. A bloody eyeball appears from out of a skull door mouth. It flits about nearing party members and causing all the magic upon Tellazar’s person to glow with a sickly yellow radiance. Several party members swat at the disembodied flying eye, before it begins spitting out a series of Magic Missiles at those trying to destroy it.

The party realizing that they seem to have found another entrance into Blagazul the Black’s lair, decide to not mess with the skull doors. The party retreats from “Blagazul’s Foyer” as Corthen names it and make a camp back at the “Fountain of Thoughfulness” for eight hours to regain spells and healing.

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26th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

Corthen and Erith conclude their deal with Teramith for a shared partnership with her for the Splendid Falcon Theater and Dance Hall. The elf sends a message to his five friends who moved out of his house and into Saedellas’ residence. He invites them to the Splendid Falcon for drinks and tells them he wants to talk to them and try to apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday.

Only Samira comes to have a drink with Corthen. He is hurt that his other friends even refuse to join him for a drink. They sit and discuss his what his intentions were. Samira states that she understands but she says that while she is not desitute, she cannot afford to purchase a home within the city so she has opted to stay with the others until she can afford to buy a simple house in the Castle Ward, Trades Ward, or the South Ward. Corthen asks Erith and Samira to join him on a tavern tour of the area. He says that he feels like exploring parts of the city he never sees while spending so many days in the dark passages of Undermountain.

The trio leave the dance hall and make their way to the Blue Jack. They meet Immithar the Glove, the joking, fast-moving proprietor. Samira learns that the tavern is named for Immithar’s old blue leather armor that he wore during his adventuring days.

Leaving the Blue Jack, Corthen leads the group to the Red Eyed Owl. The bartender hails Corthen from across the room. He asks, “Corthen, are you drinking zzar tonight?” The elf looks at his friends confused. He approaches the barman and asks him if they have met before. The red-haired barkeep, Balarg “Two-Fists” tells the elven warrior he should stop hitting his head on all the headboards of his conquests. Corthen tells Balarg he has never met him and he has never been in his bar before tonight. The beefy bar owner looks the elf in the eye and smiles. He says, “I owe you plenty for the night with Sheene, so if we never met before… I’ll keep the watch off your back with whatever story you need, my friend.”

Corthen drinks the glass of zzar without pause and realizes that Balarg and Sheene must be part of the puzzle that is related to his imposter, the “Fake Corthen”. The elf warrior tries to find out from “Two Fists” what he can about Sheene. The bar owner says that he thinks she works at the Gentle Pussycat Festhall in the South Ward. He says that Corthen introduced Balarg and paid Sheene to spend a night with him because he was partying at the Red Owl several months ago with a large group of gorgeous women and several rich looking men.

Corthen grabs his friends and asks them to accompany him to the Gentle Pussycat. Erith and Samira join his on his trek across the darkening city streets of Waterdeep. The Gentle Pussycat Festhall, located on the High Road’s eastern side, two doors up from Coach Street. The four story festhall was busy with many new travelers, since it is so close to the South Gate. The trio was soon met by Mother Yanna, a middle-aged woman of some beauty. She offers them a free drink and offers to have a coinlass join them if they desire company. Corthen tells Mother Yanna that he would like a glass of wine and the company of Sheene. The festhall madam offers Corthen the company of Chanya or Fern, two of her other girls since Sheene is not available. Corthen is adamant that he wants to meet with Sheene and that he will wait. Erith is smitten with Chanya, so he leaves with the lusty blonde.

Corthen asks Samira to go with him when he meets with Sheene. He tells her that she may be part of the plot to impersonate him, so she may be dangerous and he may need backup. Samira reluctantly agrees to pretend to be involved in the elf’s intended coupling session. Eventually Sheene comes into the the waiting parlor where she greets Corthen with a kiss and some very personal caressing. The elf manages to stick to his story and asks Sheene if he and Samira may join him upstairs. The pleasure lass gives him a wicked smile and gives him a price which he pays her. Once upstairs Corthen tries to question the brunette woman about their past meetings and how they first met. Sheene tells Samira and Corthen that she first met him at the Blind Minotaur several months ago. Corthen finally tries to explain that the man she met was not him, but an imposter. He pays her additional gold to report to him any additional sightings of the “Fake Corthen” or with any news she may learn of the imposter with promise of hundreds in gold for her help. Sheene promises to aid Corthen if she learns more.

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25th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

Corthen speaks to Uldred, Rehs, Samira, Tellazar, and Vilnullas. He tells them that he feels it would not be a bad idea for each of them to find lodgings of their own since each of them is a successful and rich adventurer in their own right. The elf says that they can afford to rent places of their own or even purchase their own fine homes in whatever ward in the city suits them.

The news does not go over well with the five. They pack up their possessions and decide to become houseguests at Saedellas’ home in the South Ward. The absent owner had offered use of his residence to his friends before he left for Silverymoon, so the five adventurers decide to move into his house. Corthen shakes his head at this turn of events. He had hoped to encourage his friends into setting down roots of their own and to become citizens of their adopted city. Their reaction was just the opposite of his intentions. They have left his house as guests just to become houseguests of the departed Feywarden.

Corthen visits with Erith. He shares the news of the others moving out. He tells the bard that he is interested in using some of his great wealth in building or buying a business where he can go and relax while listening to music and having a drink or two. Erith agrees to join him in his search. The two friends wander the Castle Ward for hours checking out local establishments. Corthen likes the Splendid Falcon Theater and Dance Hall. It is located on the Street of Bells, Castle Ward, east-front four doors north of the Pampered Traveler Inn. The elf warrior speaks to the owner of the Splendid Falcon, Teramith Blaylittle. He tries to purchase the business from the woman, but she tells him that she is not interested in selling the theater.

Corthen wants the Splendid Falcon and offers Teramith a small fortune. The business woman finally agrees to a price for a partnership between herself, Erith, and Corthen. The elf is excited to close the deal. He and Erith promise to return in the morning with payment and have all the documents signed. Teramith agrees to continue to run the day to day operations as part of the business deal.

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24th of Flamerule 1365 Year of the Sword

The party returns to the Yawning Portal after Tellazar spends the previous day casting Identify spells on the enchanted treasure that has been gathered in the last few weeks. Erith pays for passage down the well into Undermountain.

The party explores tunnels near the well that they have never traveled to. In the halls north of the well room the party finds a long wide hall full of beautiful life-like statues of male and female human warriors. Someone has taken the time to chisel off the names of each statue’s base. The party ignores the statues and searches the walls for secret doors but they find none. A large pair of stone doors at the east end of the hall have “Turn back!” written on them in charcoal.

Rehs checks the entryway for traps, so he gives Corthen the all clear. The elven warrior manages to open the large doors. The area beyond is a cavernous chamber indeed! The inside of the doors radiate a blue nimbus that illuminates the party quite well. The floor beyond is blanketed in a thick mist that obscures the floor. Vilnullas says that he can make a tower-like structure more than 80’ away. Suddenly a loud crack is heard and Uldred is struck by a ballista bolt! Corthen and Vilnullas scramble to close the doors. Once they are closed, Samira checks the dwarf. He is alive. He was stunned by the bolt and knocked from his feet. The dwarf is bloody and bruised and will require about a day’s rest the priestess of Mystra says. The party helps the dwarf back to the well and out of Undermountain.

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