As it is written: “At Winter Solstice within the Year of the Scarlet Witch wise men shall gather to stand between Darkness and Light.”
21 Nightal, 1491 DR
Last Episode: Follow the White Stag
Zhang, Lou, and Thul traveled to the underground library known as the Hall of Mists. They were able to use the library to discover many things. First they uncovered the origin of the library itself. They discovered that The Hall of Mists is an ancient stronghold of the Ba’etith, an organization of sages and lorekeepers loyal to the god Savras. This organization was made up of a race of peaceful reptilian creatures that are now extinct but are the progenitor race that spawned existing races like yuan-ti, nagas, pterafolk, saurials, asabis, lizardfolk, troglodytes, tren, and others. They were called the Sarraukh.
Next they discovered that someone had recently been in the Hall of Mists before they arrived. Whomever it was had collected nineteen different books that all focused on the topic of the Shadowfell, In these books they found references that were marked dealing with a demon named MOBEX and a device called the GLOAMING GATE.
As it turns out, MOBEX was the true name of a Balor that fought against the Fey that once lived in High Forest. MOBEX was loyal to Lolth, the Queen of Spiders, and was a general for the forces of Drow that battled with the Fey. There is a detailed sketch of the “Dark Obelisk” that stands as a tribute to MOBEX. According to legend, a blood sacrifice made to the obelisk in Mobex’s name can open a gateway to the Shadowfell. There was also a note about a device called The Gloaming Gate that would provide a return portal to the Prime Material Plane.
They also researched legends of Alaundo’s skull. They discovered that it is literally the skull of the seer named Alaundo who originally recorded the Catalyst prophecy along with several others. Belief is that the skull can be used to summon up the ghost of the seer to ask him questions about his prophecies.
They also learned some more about the scepter that was given to Zhang. It’s name has changed throughout legends but it was first called “The Scepter of Savras.” Apparently the scepter contains the remaining essence of the god Savras. It can attune itself to the spirit of up to three people at a time and the staff functions differently for each individual who uses it. Experts claim that the scepter’s powers are reflected by what the possessor needs most at the time.
Lastly, Zhang did some research about the teleportation circle in the library. He was able to find a book that detailed information about how the Sarraukh used these circles to travel throughout Faerûn with ease. Most of the circles have been lost due to age, but Zhang did confirm that there were three different circles still functioning. These circles were located in: The Serpent Hills, Mirabar, and Surhk.
Lou also discovered a Bag of Holding containing several potions, a set of bracers, a staff, a dagger, scroll, and a small jar. Lou removed the staff and left the other things in the bag for the time being. He observed the staff and somehow intrinsically knew that it was a Staff of Fire. He believed that the staff imparted this knowledge to him magically. He knew that if he spent some time attuning to the staff that it would allow him to use additional powers.
SCENE TWO: AN UNEXPECTED GUEST
As they were studying in the Hall of Mists, they noticed that a second circle started to glow around the tree that was to the east of the central tree. This circle glowed a bright teal, and resembled the one that Zhang had discovered using the Scepter. Zhang reasoned that someone or something was teleporting into the Hall. The three monks sprung into action.
Thul and Lou stood ready for combat while Zhang used his talent for Wild Magic to tap into the raw energies flowing around him. Suddenly the words of a spell flowed into his mind and he knew that he could summon a Wall of Stone. He spoke the words, causing a box of stone to spring into existence around the tree. The top was contiguous but featured a gap.
They heard an electrical fizzling sound and saw a flash of blue-green light within the stone box. Right away they heard a male voice cursing angrily in Elvish. They could tell right away that the angry elf was speaking with a Gold Elf accent.
They spoke with the Elf, trying to discern what his purpose was and how he was able to teleport into the Hall. The Elf did not seem to be very cunning, and was blunt with his statements.
“Let me out of this damn box,” shouted the Elf. “I was here earlier with my friends and I came back to get my bag!”
All three monks were somewhat surprised to see a small bottle contaiing some kind of red liquid come flying out of the gap in the top of the stone box. Lou was the first to act, rushing forward and opening the Bag of Holding, using it to catch the bottle. He quickly closed the bag, and was surprised to feel an explosion within the bag. Glancing inside, he saw that the treasure within was ruined by the intense explosion.
The three monks continued to speak to the captured Elf, making sure he understood that the bomb he tossed had exploded within the Bag of Holding. The elf was enraged when they told him what happened with the Bag.
Thul and Zhang scaled the side of the stone box, peeking inside to see the Elf. They looked right down the wrong end of a crossbow. They jerked backwards, nearly being hit by the two bolts that the Elf fired at them.
“Let me go,” shouted the Elf. “You’ll pay for this!”
Within moments, they heard the sizzling electric sound that they had heard before. Peeking inside the box, Zhang confirmed that the Elf had teleported away.
SCENE THREE: THE TROLL WARRENS
Zhang suggested to Thul and Lou that they investigate the three different teleportation circles available to them. He chose to activate the one leading to the Serpent Hills first. These were a range of rocky hills in the Western Heartlands of Faerûn, bordered on the north, west, and south by the High Moor and on the north, east, and south by the Serpent’s Tail stream. At one time in the distant past, the Serpent Hills was a popular out-air trading area for many within the Western Heartlands. However, over time the trade routes changed and the popularity of the Serpent Hills faded. Now it is a dry, lifeless land inhabited only by reptilian beings, most of whom dwell in the vast caverns known as the Endless Caves.
Teleporting into the Serpent Hills, the monks discovered that they were in a large rocky plain. They found nothing of interest, so they decided to search the area. Lour used his psionic powers to use tremorsense. He was able to discover that there was a network of caves below them that had a large community of creatures living in them.
“I’m ready for a fight,” said Thul. “Let’s find a way into those caves.”
After about an hour of searching, they managed to find a small valley that had a cave that seemed to lead into the caverns below. Zhang and Thul walked in the front while Lou stayed to the shadows behind them. They followed the tunnels through a series of overpasses and underpasses, desending in the end to about 70 feet below the surface. There they found a pair of doors made of what seemed to be obsidian or volcanic glass. Standing near the doors they could smell something terrible that reminded them of body odor and garbage. The stench was dreadful to say the least.
Lou used his psionic abilities to peer through the doorway with tremorsense. He was able to determine that there were about ten different creatures on the other side of the door, all about the size of an Ogre.
Zhang pushed the doors open, and walked into the room followed by Thul. Lou remained in the hallway at first, and then sneaked into the room remaining invisible within the darkness of the chamber. They saw that this chamber was inhabited by ten Trolls. Piles of rubbish and trash was piled around the walls of the room. Thul glanced around, taking note that there was some treasure among the piles of trash. Greed glittered within his eyes.
The presence of the monks enraged the Trolls. This was their home and it was being invaded. One large Troll stood up, growling angrily. Another two slightly smaller Trolls rose up, as well, growling about dinner having finally arrived. They made threats in their guttural language about how they would devour the humans who had invaded their home.
… to be continued …
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