The Old Reborn

Books nooks and crooks...
What's this????

20 Eleasias 1489 DR, Noon?

Finally! After being dragged through that death trap of a tomb and forge of Dorn’s Deep and being made to be their water boy with this infernal bucket, I can finally get to some real books.

I must say these hosts of ours, whatever they are up to, worshipping snakes or whatever, they most certainly know good comfort and style. I haven’t seen carpet this fine since the envoy from Calisham visited.

And these books, yes. So curious how random they seem. All varying topics, as assembled by a pure flippent. Especially all these works about the carnal pleasures. Hmmmm. Yes, especially those….

One such book I’m having trouble with refers to playing a some sort of instrument with 30 fingers. Where one would one find an extra 20 fingers? And what’s this about his dark skin…. was this written for drow???

Perhaps I’ll find some illustrated manuscripts… yes…. where were those….

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Betrayal
Stinking goblins...

16 Eleasias 1489 DR, Noon

Stinking goblins. We returned with their tasks completed and they immediately turned on us for some . Over 40 goblins filled the air with arrows down upon us. My companions apparently turned them away successfully as I was struck down with a poisonous strike from some unseen source. It was likely one of those damned stalking spiders from before.

Thankfully Monty and Heramp made sure to check me over before I was dragged off by those creatures. Everyone has been keeping a bit more of a distance from Holg though since then. Jet keeps saying something about black eels not being natural though it is likely more of his backwoods non-sense.

Oh, and by the way, if I ever survive this, I need to research that magic Jericho keeps using to feed us. It isn’t meant for those of us with more demanding palettes. Sure it may be fine for those forest folk and Lance, but damned if it lacks on flavor. Surely there is a better way to add something of flavor to the blasted things.

While we get to enjoy this “lunch” I get to write from an actual table!

Oghma has blessed me! The oaf Holg and others found a passageway in one of these tunnels and it has lead to some sort of dwarven storeroom. The fools Holg , Heramp , and Lance keep trying to get us killed by triggering the ancient traps but we’re managing to stumble through this passage alright.

Monty found a map of sorts and thinks this to be an ancient dwarven outpost, but she must be wrong as we surely can’t be that far north. The ground has been warm continually meaning we’ve been close to Mount Hotenow and Neverwinter.

Well, they are calling for me to come see something so I will have to continue this later.

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Death and I are Friends Now
I shall never sleep the same

13 Eleasias 1489 DR, Evening

Umberhulks. The works in the library do nothing justice to the horror and terror of encountering one. Though I suppose I should consider myself fortunate that I am of those who count themselves survivors. I do not recall the slaying of the beast, or even seeing it really. My companions bear the wounds of it certainly is proof enough for me, but how they were able to slay such a thing is remarkable. For being uncouth and unlikely to behold, they definitely do seem to have a great deal of power at their disposal.

Goblins. If it wasn’t for their recent displays in the passageways, I would have been feint by fear when we encountered the goblin stronghold. It really was marvelous in a way, finally being able to see the luminous fungi that is renown for lighting the Underdark. The goblins seemed friendly at first my fellow sister Monty Brian translated for us. It appeared that these goblins are much unlike their surface brethern and sought our aid in dealing with a spider threat. They even allowed us to rest in their compound!

Spiders. These I detest even more, having been nearly killed (yet again) by one that seemed to teleport and inject paralyzing venom into its victim. An excellent display of marksmen ship from our ranger and devastating blows from our two warriors, Heramp and Holg. We explored the passageways further with Jericho La Fey burning away remnants of webbing until we decided that rest was needed for the evening.

I do say, one can get used to dying. At least my notes are filling with the descriptions of the various things we’ve encountered. Spiders, beasts, new goblin societies, spiders that have been taught magic by some sorcerer, underground rivers, and all sorts of fauna and flora.

Still miss having a proper pillow and meal. I hope we can finish this nasty business and head home soon.

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WHAT HAVE I DONE!
Oh Oghma, send me your insight!

12 Eleasias 1489 DR, Noon

I write this as the hardness of this stone, that the others seem to find as comforting as a proper down pillow, refuses to grant me any slumber during our stop for rest. Not that I would want much sleep, considering that the last time I closed my eyes in this land of perpetual starless nights all of our goods were destroyed by a swarm of bizarre creatures that seemed to be of the very fire themselves. They were drawn to our campfire that had been keeping us warm, but I had just barely enough time to grab my pack with my writing tools in it.

I wasn’t able to save the food, and my tongue punishes me for it hourly. We are regressed to consuming the druid’s meager berries that he can conjure. It is enough to provide sustenance of course, but decidedly lacking in any means of flavor or texture.

We have encountered a variety of caverns, some so vast we couldn’t even perceive its size. I thought the achieved vaults could seem forlorn and deep, but at least there you had the friendship of the papers. Here there is nothing but silence of stone and the stare of the darkness.

I miss my books.

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Grand Adventure Awaits!
Oghma has chosen me to be his scribe

11 Eleasias 1489 DR, 1pm

I, Caleb Finch, servant and acolyte of the House of Knowledge, Temple of Oghma, have been chosen to accompany the investigators of the recent assassinations here in Neverwinter. Abbot Dennis Amorth came to me this morning with the news that I would likely be accompanying the party that Sildar Winterhall had put together to pursue those responsible.

I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I was able to at least acquire my journal and enough pens and ink to document this adventure as their chief scribe. At last I’ll finally be going into the depths that my ancestors had delved and curated to great treasures. Having spent my entire life here on the surface in the service of this temple, it will be great to finally be out from these books and feel real stone under my feet.

Perhaps I could learn something from Monty Brian, she seems to be a very well accomplished servant of Oghma. Just think, to have read all the books in all the libraries in the world!

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So what happens if we mix these?
Poof, poof happens.

9 Eleasias 1489 DR, 11pm

After catching their breath and tending to some wounds, the group moves into the previous room that had the large snake statue. In addition to the two other doors to the room, Jericho La Fey was able to find a secret door behind the tapestry of the green dragon. The door opened to reveal a narrow unlit passageway. Jericho led the way until he stepped on trap that triggered some poison darts to shoot out. After that, Lance Lightning took point and tried to pick the path more carefully as the group followed in closely.

Eventually they came to the end of the passage with Lance pushing the door wide open. He apparently had gotten the drop on some Lizardfolk who were worshiping some sort of halfman-halfsnake statue. The rest of the group tumbled through the entrance way with Jericho hitting a trip wire and Ranthik casting a fearsome presence into the room, sending the all the Lizardfolk fleeing, except for the Shaman that cast a spell at the group. Clank Thunderstone seized the chance to topple the statue that was being worshiped. Monty Brian countered the spell the shaman cast and Heramp with Lance chased after the Lizardfolk quickly dispatching them.

The group explored the rom and surrounding passageways only to find several storage rooms and two doors that had elaborate locking mechanisms. Monty claimed they were similar in style as could be found in temples in the southern jungles. Eventually the group figured a way to open some of them and found themselves in a bizarre alchemy lab of some sort. Monty began searching through the book, discovering a very interesting tome. Some of the more eager members of the group began to quaff things to see what they did, while others started attempting to mimic some recipes they had seen once. With explosive results.

Connected to the lab was a private study and bed chamber. It appears to be that of Xavier who was in contact with the now decease Galad Wesster. There was not many other items to be found, except for a odd pair of bracelets which Jericho picked up and a purple ceremonial robe. There were some letters found that were connected to [Rezmir], who Xavier said could expect a shipment in several weeks. Also connected to this room was what turned out to be a treasure room filled with chests with primaryily copper and silver, 2000 pieces of each, with only 500 gold pieces. Monty Brian suggested that this is the collection of the donations that people had been giving the cult.

The group eventually found a passage heading down a long curved stairwell, that resulted into a dark cavern like area. Gone were the finery of the well built area before, but now there was dampness, heat, and darkness. The first small cavern had a wooden door, which Lance Lightning knocked on to see if there were any people on the other side. Upon no answer the walked in, only to be ambushed by several giant constrictor snakes from both rooms, as well as a snake-man that looked like the object being worshiped by the Lizard folk, one arm was a man’s, the other a snake. The group defeated them, but not before taking serious wounds, especially Jericho at the hands of the Snakeman. The snake arm had pumped a great deal of poison into him, and if not for the quick action of Monty, he may have died.

The group decided to push the bodies of the snakes up against the openings while they attempted to get a short rest.

(10 Eleasias 1489 DR, 12am)

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Gaze into my Eyes...
and become reborn!

9 Eleasias 1489 DR, 10pm

The party reconsidered going to see Sildar Winterhall, and instead, upon retrieving Clank Thunderstone’s harp, decided to split the party.

Clank thought that it was urgent to infiltrate the Cult as quickly as possible to see what was going on from the inside. So he gave his harp to Jericho La Fey for safe keeping, and went back into the slums. He encountered the same white robes in “Old Town” and convinced them of his sincerity. After being ushered through the dark door, he suddenly saw glowing green and red eyes that called out to him and he knew no more.

The rest of the party meanwhile, having promised Clank that they would check in on him by having Lau stop by tomorrow, thought they would follow up on Jericho La Fey’s hunch that Galad Wesster was the next target of the killings. Lance Lightning and Jericho scouted around the complex but weren’t able to see anything too out of the ordinary. Once night fell several hours later, they went climbing up the estate walls to look inside the rooms. Eventually they came to the office of Wesster and saw the body of a man on the floor. Sneaking into the room, they discovered Wesster dead (small puncture wounds on his neck, twisted face), as well as his butler (small wounds on the back of neck, twisted face).

Searching through the desk Jericho and Lance found various letters with a certain Xavier who was promising wealth and power in the coming new world order in exchange for his assistance with some matters. Also there was found business papers being written up to assume control of the trade route rights to Waterdeep that Katarina Tress had previously controlled.

Searching the room also resulted in the discovery of a safe hidden in the wall that was eventually opened to contain a single Vial of Purple Liquid. Uncorking it and smelling it gave off strong sense of lilacs. Jericho decided to pocket it until further investigation could tell what it was.

While they both were on the way out the front door to join the waiting party, Lance made a quick detour to the kitchen. In searching the kitchen and storage closet they discovered a hidden passage that went under the house and headed south under the Neverwinter River, straight towards the Slums. Monty Brian eventually noticed that after traveling on the dirt of a recent excavation, they soon found themselves among some stones that had been very old and not natural to this region. She posited that perhaps the person digging this tunnel knew of whatever this older structure was.

Eventually they group came to a door as the tunnel and its collapsed side rooms ended. They carefully entered the next room to discover a well let chamber with intricate snake mosaic on the floor, and a group of prisoners behind a barred wall, among whom was Clank. Clank had no recollection of how he had gotten there after they were able to break his seeming hypnosis. The group carefully avoided the snake tiles and ambushed a cook of some sort that was wearing purplish robes in the next room. They tried to interrogate him, getting a fair bit of information from his haughty personality, before finally killing him and dumping him into the stew he had been cooking.

One of the morsels of information that they gathered was that he claimed the yaun-ti were working for the Cult of the Dragon of whom he was a member and that indeed Galad was as well, though merely a tool they were using until he was no longer necessary.

Their actions eventually alerted the other adjoining room and a fierce fight erupted as several priests, acolytes, and warriors came from the worshipping room. One of the priests was able to be captured and taken in to the snake tile room to be interrogated while Jericho investigated the Shrine to Tiamat, Snake statute, and Tapestry to Green Dragons. He was able to find several holy symbols of Talona on the Snake State.

The interrogated priest was resilient to questioning and threats of falling onto the floor where the snake tiles were. When they released him onto the tiles the tiles instantly came alive and began devour him and attacking the group. They were able to retreat in time and seal the door. They then decided to try to search the sleeping quarters more thoroughly and catch a quick rest as it was getting late. (9 Eleasias 1489 DR, 10pm)

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The Game is Afoot
and lesson in accosting small boys in alleys...

9 Eleasias 1489 DR, Evening

The next morning found Lance Lightning stumbling into his room at 7 after carousing down at the docks in his personal celebration of finally returning to “real” civilization. Through the course of the night, the only real thing he remembers is that the group of sailors that he was drinking with kept talking about how the Depression is from a storm build up to the north and has simply spun out strong gusts of wind that can carry ships quickly south, laughing at all the ridiculous superstitious folk on land that think its some awful god coming to kill them.

Monty Brian had also burnt the late night oil searching through the stacks at the House of Knowledge, Temple of Oghma with the head Librarian. Upon discovering that the third book in the series was missing from the secure Deep Vault she relayed her small findings to her superiors in Candlekeep and then returned to Winterhall Family estate just as everyone else was meeting for breakfast.

Lau and Heramp were both absent as Heramp had gone out exploring on a morning run and Lau had gone down to the docks to try to connect with the criminal network in the city. He did not have much success except for accosting a smartass kid who told him if he wanted to know something he should talk to Two-Face at the Sail Ripper.

As they discussed plans for the day, Sildar arrived to find out the latest developments. He was just as surprised as his sister as to the source of the poison, as he had suspected Drow considering the presence in Phandalin and rumors from the North. At prompting of Jericho La Fey Sildar suggested they get in touch with Ander Cranston as he had taken command of the city’s guard in the absence of Lord Neverember and himself. Monty Brian didn’t let him leave, however, until she questioned his own intent and judgement citing his nonchalant acceptance of his sister’s activities with the dead. He instantly defended her, only saying that she does what she needs to and trusts her to do what is right and that is all, before storming off.

The encounter at Cranston Family estate was curious as the guards conveyed that the group had just missed him as he was going out hunting for the day and planned on returning that evening. Feeling urgency in their investigation Jericho La Fey along with Ranthik were able to find his tracks and head out in pursuit. It took them most of the day until they found his corpse, riddled with black arrows that Jericho believed to be Yuan-ti. They were able to take the body back that same night, trudging through the night to return before dawn.

Sildar was greatly troubled upon hearing the news as he had admired the change the young man had taken to leading his life and assuming his family’s tradition of service to the Gauntlet. Monty suggested they visit Galad Wesster as he seemed to be one of the most outspoken against the now deceased and in a position to gain the most.

Upon visiting his estate the group was instantly struck that Galad’s reputation held up to the rumors. When they finally got to see him, Lance Lightning sold him so time shares in blustery speed that was quickly brought to a halt upon being interrogated about the recent deaths by a massive black bear and an angry dwarf woman. He maintained his innocence in the matter, pushing the blame onto a new cult that had been working in the slums. Heramp and Ranthik searched the posh room discovering that there was a great deal of illusions in the room to make him seem much more important than he seemed.

The group then headed to the Slums but not before Heramp being distracted by a Gnomish Magical Trinket Shop ran by Blusterwick. There was a bit of run around inside the shop before Blusterwick ran the others out having been discovered to pick pocketing several of their items into his inventory. Upon reaching the slums they discovered the acolytes of the Worshipers of New Life.

They seemed authentic in their belief and desire to aid to the downtrodden. Julius was named the progenitor of their enlightenment and could be found in the interior of the Slums. Monty Brian went to the temple to investigate their claims while Heramp and Lau lead the way into the slums eventually finding the center of the Worshipers of New Life activity in “Old Town”. They seemed to be very authentic and attempted to convert several of the group to no success. Clank Thunderstone attempted to buy his way into the cult with a generous donation but at the risk of losing his favorite instrument he declined. Ranthik did notice however that when they went into the old fallen tower that there was indeed others inside it not dressed like the other acolytes. When questioned about this, and attempting to access the door, the cultists rebuffed the players and redirected them to conversations about conversion, denying any claims of hiding something.

Monty Brian in her investigation discovered the new Tyr Paladin in Neverwinter, Lord Allen Brunswick, decidedly didn’t trust the cultists as their sense of justice was not according to proper practice. He didn’t seem to concerned however, as he was more focused on rebuilding the destroyed temple and keeping a lookout for Cult of the Dragon members.

They decided to return to SIldar to report these new findings and discuss their plans for the night after a solid dinner at Winterhall Family estate.

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The Wrath of a Librarian
WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT ISN'T THERE!

Monty Brian had came to the House of Knowledge, Temple of Oghma late that first night, eager to search for the information that had started her on her journey.

Scribe Dennis Amorth, the Head Librarian greeted her at the door to the temple as he kept a cot to nearby so that he would always be ready to aid those who sought knowledge. After introductions were made, Monty related the purpose of her visit. According to Scribe Amorth, such tomes would be in the Deep Vault, a massive underground complex kept dry by extensive enchantments. As he showed her to the chamber door he mentioned that it had been some time since he had to open it last. After the proper wards had been lifted, Monty entered and began her search.

It took much longer than expected as apparently multiple systems of organization were simultaneously being used as competing schools of scholarship and methodology succeeded the chair of Head Librarian.

After several hours Monty finally found the collection of tomes. She pulled the two from the shelf and took them back to the door so as to log them as being removed so she could study them in the examination rooms above. When writing out the books Amorth mused in passing that she didn’t want all three? He explained that there were three books to the series and she had only grabbed the first two. Showing the previous recipient of those books was 150 years ago and listed them as three and as being returned.

Upon returning to the location with Dennis, it soon became apparent that there were only two left in the casing that obviously was made for three, and no reference in that 150 years of anyone ever looking them up.

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Rumors on the Street #1
1d8, What do you hear at the tavern?
  1. The Depression is the Storm God coming to slay those who refuse to offer sacrifice to him by bleeding out a fish they caught at sea.
  2. The Cult of the Dragon are wanting to bring back the dragons from being imprisoned. They have left their evil ways of undeath and now seek freedom.
  3. The Worshipers of New Life are a group servicing the slums of Neverwinter and providing aid to the sick. Their influence is so great that some people go out as missionaries preaching. “Shake off the slumber of your old self” they pray “awaken to new life”.
  4. The Cult of the Dragon is avoiding the city because Lord Sildar and Ander Cranston are too fearsome.
  5. The Lady Silvia was seen talking to Maria Greenspray at night. Maria was upset and ran away.
  6. The Depression is from a storm build up to the north and has simply spun out strong gusts of wind that can carry ships quickly south.
  7. Katarina Tress was killed by a Drow assassin for going back on a deal her family made.
  8. Galad Wesster has a secret lover he meets at the Moonstone Mask.
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