The Sacred Blades made their way to the ruins of Spellgard, desperate to find the ghostly seer and her gift of prophecy before it was corrupted forever by the Netherese. With the gift of foresight under their evil control Netheril could wreak untold havoc. The evil empire would not stop with simply destroyed the hated Zhentarim.
Among the ruins of Spellgard, distinguishing allies from enemies could be a difficult task. By day’s end the Blades would assault the ruins, force their way into an ancient catacomb and bring their own particular brand of diplomacy to the resident treasure-seekers.
Journey to Spellgard
With Llorkh safe from Zhentarim spies, the Blades once again prepared to travel to the Spellgard ruins. Time had already been wasted removing the Zhent influence. By now, Netherese arcanists could have taken control of the ruins. Or it could all have been a ruse by the Zhents, a lie to misdirect the Blades. They would soon find out.
As the Blades set out, Griegor parted ways. The warrior, once accused of siding with the Zhentarim, long-since proved his worth and value to the Blades. However his original reason for being in the Loudwater region was to find word of his long-lost sister. That quest had languished while Griegor chased various evildoers. Perhaps assisting the Blades was his way of making up for his affiliations back in Zelbross. Regardless, he departed Llorkh for parts unknown, on good terms with the Blades.
The remaining adventurers swiftly rode to Spellgard.
Monastery of the Precipice
Spellgard proved easy to locate, with a worn dirt path breaking off from the main Llork-Oreme road. Though few merchants stopped by the ruins, treasure-seekers and other profiteers often traveled back to Llorkh to sell their wares or resupply. After a few days’ travel the ruined walls came into view, dominated by a slender central stone tower. The tower itself seemed in perfect condition, brand-new in fact. No windows could be seen on the tower, though battlements crowned its top.
The ruins were vast, as if Spellgard were more a city or small town in it’s day. Rubble remains of buildings dotted the landscape. Few sections of wall were intact. At the end of the dirt path, a ramshackle structure sat at the base of a section of collapsed wall. The structure appeared built of the surrounding rubble. An old man stood outside, beckoning to the adventurers.
This must be the Monastery of the Precipice. The Blades had expected something grander.
The man introduced himself as Allendi, a priest of Oghma, god of knowledge. He invited them to stay at the Monastery for the duration of their visit, offering lodging and food for no charge. The Blades thankfully accepted, stabled their horses at the rear of the building and entered the Monastery.
It turned out to be more of an Inn, with a large common area and numerous sleeping rooms. Another monk, Sister Cherra, approached and introduced herself. She offered food and drink to the travelers and seemed curious of their reasons for entering the ruins. The Blades mostly ignored her, focused as they were on the quest to stop the Netherese. They had not come to this forsaken place to chat with the locals. Instead they headed off to sleep.
Sleep would not be peaceful for some. Rolan tossed and turned before awaking to find himself in a different place entirely. How had he returned to Luskan, back to his childhood home? It was the middle of the day and street hawkers could be heard outside. What magic was at work here? He stood and carefully searched for his companions.
Yarnon, too, awoke with a start. She had been transported to the forests of Cormyr, the land of her birth. It was still nighttime and a cold fog covered the land. She carefully searched for her friends, bow in hand. No doubt some evil magic was at work.
Awaking with the dawn, the Blades could not find two of their companions. The tiefling ranger, Yarnon, was missing, as was the bard Rolan. Their equipment was gone, though their horses remained.
Questioning Allendi, he revealed that the pair had left the monastery late that night on foot. He had not thought it strange, as travelers come and go as they please. Perhaps their friends left to investigate the ruins on their own. It was odd that they had not notified their companions. The Blades suspected charm magic or treachery.
Walking outside to search, they immediately noticed the Scepter Tower at the heart of the ruins. A faint blue light now emanated from the tower’s top, a beam of some magic pointing high into the sky. It had certainly not been doing that yesterday. Maybe it was related to their companions’ disappearance.
The Elven Ranger
The Blades began to question other travelers at the Monastery. Fibbit met Milli, a young hafling woman. She was eager to tell him of what she wanted to ask the ghostly prophet: the location of the largest unguarded treasure in the world. Then she would go claim it!
While Fibbit talked to the kindred spirit, the others spoke with an elven ranger who overheard their conversation about their lost companions. The man revealed himself as Raven, a follower of good, a man who sought to battle evil where he could. The Blades’ attention was instantly gained. Soon they found themselves joining forces. The ranger had been in Spellgard for several weeks and knew much about the locals. He gave them a run-down on the various factions.
Free Company of the Crescent: A no-name adventuring band lurking in the ruins.
Clewsoro’s Band: A treasure-seeking bunch little better than tomb robbers, led by a human known as Clewsoro. They had a camp in the ruins and rarely stopped by the Monastery.
Vannak’s Band: Vannak was a dragonborn from some distant land, and now maintains a military-style camp in the ruins. He is searching for the perfect mate, and believes the ghost can point him in the right direction.
Bleak: A kobold chieftain known to live under the ruins in some ancient sewer. Mostly harmless, but his kobolds are a persistant nuisance and steal anything not nailed down.
Netherese: A group of travelers passed through recently, led by some sort of wizard. The others had Netherese military uniforms. While close to the Empire, Spellgard was not part of their official territory and their prescence was unwelcome. It was not known where they went.
Raven told of numerous other individuals who stayed at the Monastery. While the Blades were still not very concerned with the intrigues of the locals, it seemed they needed to find out more from those inhabiting the ruins if they were to find their lost companions. The group planned to set out for the Scepter Tower, gain entrance and remove any Netherese threat.
Arriving at the tower’s base, they found it not so easy to enter. It was massive, far larger than their mountain stronghold back in Llorkh. A steep staircase rose 50 feet above the ground, meeting a huge set of double doors, putting the entrance itself on the second or third floor of the tower.
Fibbit went up to investigate the doors. He found no lock or obvious means of entry. It just wouldnt budge. The others noticed a dark shape moving on the battlements far above. It leaned over and fired a single arrow, striking Fibbit cleanly in the rear. He yelped and ran to cover. The warning was given: this tower is occupied. How anyone got inside, or who had fired the arrow, were mysteries.
Company of the Free Crescent
Next they tried to enter via the old sewers, guessing that a way must exist to enter the tower from below. The kobold lair was known to be in the sewers as well, so the Blades headed for their location.
They soon found an entrance to the sewers and headed below. The tunnels beneath seemed mostly intact and they followed the nearest one in the direction of the tower. After a brief walk the way forward was blocked by a poorly-crafted wooden door. Clearly made by a kobold or other unskilled hands.
Fibbit checked it for traps and found a dart rigged to fire…but it had been disabled. The Blades entered. On the other side the tunnels continued on, and soon they heard the sounds of battle in the distance. Rushing forward, they found a number of men battling kobolds. It was a bloody struggle and clearly the kobolds were putting up a fight. The Blades rushed in to assist the men, as clearly the kobolds were the evildoers here.
Their ranger companion identified the others: the Company of the Free Crescent, an adventuring band recently arrived at the ruins. He knew little about them. The kobolds were quickly defeated and the Company thanked the Blades for their aid. As the Company recovered from their wounds, they suggested the Blades continue on ahead. They should have no problem with mere kobolds.
The Blades charged the kobolds in the next area head-on. Tiny arrows peppered them from all sides as the creatures attacked from multiple angles. Sensing a moment of weakness, the Free Company took advantage and attacked the rear Blades. The kobolds, confused at the actions of the ‘big folk’, decided it was a great time to flee. Fighting off the weaker Free Company members, the Blades patched their wounds and prepared to continue down the tunnels.
With the kobolds driven off and ambush thwarted, the Blades continued down the ancient sewers. Fibbit spied a few men in a room further down the path; they seemed to be working on a device on the wall. The halfling moved up and introduced himself. The men were employees of Clewsoro, one of the treasure hunters in the ruins. Clewsoro was known as a profiteer and looter who combed the ruins for whatever he could sell, making frequent trips back to Llorkh to pawn his loot.
He didnt seem eager to have a chat with some random halfling in the sewers. His men were carefully working on a trapped and unexplored section of the ruins and he didnt want a claim-jumper taking his treasure. After some “helpful” advice by Fibbit on how deadly the trap was, his hired men abandoned him. Now alone, Clewsoro decided to leave and find some better help, though he clearly wasnt happy about the situation.
With their potential competition gone, the Blades disarmed the trap easily, re-trapping it in case anyone pursues them into the ruins. Beyond the trapped door was an entry way of sorts, decorated with skulls and ancient text along the walls. Another door led into a room that could only be an ancient burial chamber. The Blades entered carefully, wary of undead.