Adventure: Shadows of the Last War
Session: 2006-12-02
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Antinua
Status: Wizard 3

After securing those items, we prepared to depart with all possible haste, as there was no telling what mischief Failin was accomplishing, or that he had even waited for us. Additionally, the dire wolf agreed to depart with us, and wished to take her pack with her. While Xame and Mike hauled them up, Anson and I decided that were should speak with our driver, and assure him that we were still among the living.

However, we did not find Failin. Instead, we found a number of skeletons, a necromancer, a cleric, and a large number of guards wearing the emblem of the Emerald Claw. Although the vampire from before was nowhere to be seen by mundane means, it was he who spoke. In essence, he demanded the schema and threatened our lives. I insisted that most of our comrades had perished, and that we had failed to find the schema. The necromancer chose to examine us for magical auras; fortunately, Mike had the schemas and the disk, and so she found nothing.

Being of the opinion that continuing negotiations would not have positive results, I dashed back into Whitehearth. Anson did the same. The vampire responded by saying something much like, “Don’t bother, we have all the entrances guarded. They’ll have to come out eventually.” This was not reassuring.

We gathered our group together to plan a method of escape. Fighting our way out was clearly foolhardy. However, there was still some debate over methods. I had enough skill to make three persons invisible, and Xame indicated that he had means for traveling very quickly if need be. Anson suggested that we could simply leave through the opening that the fire elemental had used. I pointed out that the Emerald Claw claimed to have all entrances guarded, and Mike stated that they were unlikely to have missed seeing the fire elemental departing.

Our ultimate plan of action was this: first, Anson would employ his magic to lift him up through the ceiling in the heated chamber. He was rewarded for his efforts by an arrow in the side. Thus, we executed the rest of our plan. I created a mist before the entrance we had used, to obscure our movements. I then cast invisibility on myself, Mike and Anson. While we left both quickly and quietly, the wolves and their dire leader ran out into the mist. Xame, carrying one schema, dashed out, waving that schema aloft as a diversion. We hoped to be able to avoid detection, regroup, and leave the Mournland without further incident.

Xame, true to his character, dashed out as planned. He was either too far away to notice or too intent upon his own escape to help us when we ran into trouble.

Though the wolves held their own, the guards and skeletons they attacked killed a number of them. As for the rest of us, we would have managed our escape; however, we soon found Failin next to the land cart, unconscious. Furthermore, an invisible opponent who could see all of us attacked Mike, who was now carrying one schema and the disk. This attacker was the vampire we met before, and also apparently both Raidith and a changling. I cast a spell against Raidith which failed to stop him. Mike was severely injured, and so did what he could; that is, he threw the schema away from himself. The vampire/Raidith ran, took the schema, jumped onto a horse, and rode. Anson immediately mounted on a horse himself. Watching that druid ride would have been amusing, save for the circumstances.

In the meantime, a pair of men arrived to aid us. I had met neither before; however, it was clear from the actions of the first that he is a paladin. The other is affiliated with dragons, judging by his ability to breath fire. The paladin was able to lay his hands upon Failin and heal him, despite being in the Mournland. Failin willingly drove the cart away from the area, after Raidith.

I find it interesting that cure fails in the Mournland, while the skills of the paladin still function. Perhaps it is a more direct channeling of divine power than cure, and therefore can pierce through the effects of the Mournland.

The paladin introduced himself as Valith; the dragon-like one, as Malik. They had known Raidith as Garrow, and were tracking him down for other crimes.

Anson entangled Raidith, and Malik was able to finish him. We retrieved the schema, as well as a few magic items of interest, from his remains. I am puzzled, however, by the fact that he did not attempt to control any of us, as had been his favorite tactic in Sharn. He might have been able to escape had he done so. Perhaps losing his coronet reduced his abilities.

Why were Raidith and the Emerald Claw so interested in the schemas? The Lord of Blades’ interest is simple to see, but what is the connection between the Emerald Claw and a creation pattern? Perhaps they were looking to weaken House Cannith, but that again leaves the question of why. What do you think of all this?

By then, we had had enough of the Mournland, and left with all possible haste. Our driver was no less eager to leave than the rest of us. When we met Elaydren, she was pleased to have both schemas and the adamantine disk, and did pay us well for having found them. Thankfully, she also agreed to notify the families of Tui and Alain. We could not bring back Tui’s remains, and, due to the impediments to our departure from Whitehearth, could only take a few of Alain’s ashes.

That leaves another mystery, however; we did attempt to move Alain’s body, but needed to take off his armor to do so. When we did, we noticed that he bore a dragonmark of House Deneith. Clearly, he had used his abilities to shield Elaydren from the warforged when she originally gave us her instructions. I wonder why he did not mention his relation to that house. Then again, need I ask when I do much the same? He did not wish for us to know, and I will respect that.

I also wonder about this Malik. Apparently, he is from Argonnessen. He can breathe fire like a dragon and wield wands like a mage. He says he is searching for information about a Dragon Prophesy, and is very interested in dragonmarks.

Also, I must add that I did find a decent Audarian wine to use when I identified the few magic items that we recovered. I will probably use the Brelish wine next time. The Audarian vintage reminded me too strongly of home.

Please reassure Uthen that I have not been neglecting my studies. Let me know what is passing in Fairhaven, and take care.

Your sister,

Antinua

Player’s Notes

That is one thing I’ve been wondering (now that I think about it) — why didn’t Raidith/Garrow/vampire/whatever use his psionic abilities to control one of the party? It would have definitely improved his chances of escaping. In fact, he could have just dominated Mike and had him hand over the schema without needing to fight him. Even if leaving behind the coronet removed his abilities, he couldn’t have needed that much effort to replace it. Hm… maybe this is another one of those “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” sorts of things.

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