Date: 6/5/1479 DR
In Silverymoon, the group splits up and goes their own directions. Aria is contacted by Elminster and goes on a secret mission for him.
After lunch, as the others were asking Cid for directions to different locations around the city, Aria felt a familiar tugging at the back of her mind. She excused herself to a secluded waiting room outside the dining hall, and opened herself up to her master’s summons. As she did, Elminster’s familiar voice filled her head.
“Ah, there thou be lass. Art thou in ”/campaign/dream-seekers/wikis/silverymoon" class=“wiki-page-link”> Silverymoon?" Aria affirmed that she was and the old sage asked her if she could do him a favor and collect a bauble from the Lady’s College that he’d hidden there a couple hundred years previously, a diadem with ravens in silver filigree, with a blue sapphire in the middle. When asked what it was doing in the Lady’s College, Elminster did remind her that he had spent some time as a female (which got a raised eyebrow from the Bard, since this was a part of his history that she didn’t know) during the years the college was being founded. Aria agreed that she would do her best to attain the Raven Diadem that he was asking for. Her master thanked her and then his presence withdrew from her and she could tell that it had taken him more effort than usual to do that.
As Aria left the room, she caught Cid leaving and asked for directions to the Lady’s College. He directed her to the South Bank, and Aria set off. The college wasn’t hard to find, and she was greeted by a novice inside the doors at a desk. When Aria asked the young woman for a tour of the campus, the novice left to find the Dean of Admissions. She returned a short while later, followed by an elderly man, still full of energy, but with long eyebrows and mustaches that dangled from the sides of his face. The Novice introduced Aria to Master Vihuel, the Dean of Admissions for the college and then went back to the reception desk. The old mage welcomed the bard to the school and could sense right away that she had a decent magical affinity. The half-elf admitted that she was passing through the city and was considering the possibility of furthering her knowledge through studies once she finished current business. The Dean was delighted and offered to take her on a tour. While they wandered, he explained that the late Lady Alustriel had changed the then current system of master and apprentice which hadn’t been very effective in training new mages. In the year 821 DR, she had begun the programs which had now grown into the college as it was dedicated in 1371 DR. He prattled on and on about the library, the laboratories, the classrooms, the dormitories, etc. As he did, Aria was carefully scanned the corridors they passed and rooms they passed, searching for the diadem.
As they were passing through an older section of the halls, a sparkle from a large blue stone caught her eye, but then they were passing that branch in the halls before she could get a thorough look. Master Vihuel was just finishing his tour and asked Aria if there was anywhere she wanted to see in more detail? Since they had just passed close to the library, she asked if she could be allowed some time there. The old man led her back to the double doors and into a four-story room filled with books, papers, and folders. Aria thought she was in heaven as the Dean left her to explore. She spent a short while in between shelves of books, making sure that no one was watching her, before she snuck back out of the library and tried to find her way back through the labyrinthine halls to where she’d seen the blue stone.
With a little searching and backtracking, she was finally able to locate the hall with a statue wearing the Raven Diadem for which she was searching. Glancing around, she saw that the halls were empty, but she did not trust them to remain so for long. Pulling out the components, she cast the eye alarm ritual, setting 3 eyes to float invisibly down the hall to keep watch to warn her. Then, she turned her attention to the statue and concentrated on seeing with her mage sight. As she concentrated, she found the thinly woven threads of magic connected to the statue and wrapped around the diadem, which would shock the person setting off the magical trap and sounding the alarm. Digging in her pouch she found a piton spike and got an idea. Very carefully, she loosened the magical thread around the head-piece and slipped it out of the trapped magic. She then slipped the piton into it’s place, sticking it over the statues ear. When she was sure that it would hold and that no alarms had been set off, she stepped back and slid the diadem into a secret pocket in her pack.
Dismissing her ritual, she casually returned back to the library. Just for good measure, she sat down at a table and picked up a nearby book to pretend like she’d been reading. When she opened to a random page, though, the information on the page caught her eye. It spoke of Arc Tempes, who had belonged to an adventuring group called the Prowlers. Elpis, once a member of the group, also became their benefactress, as she became obsessed with forbidden magic. She sent the Prowlers on missions to learn more about it, but they soon began to question her motives. One by one she began to kill the Prowlers until only Arc was left. Together with Methrammar Aerasumé they were finally able to put an end to her mad obsession and after that Arc retired. Things were quiet for many years, but soon, someone began dabbling into information about the forbidden magic again. Arc came out of retirement and helped the Lord of Silverymoon to create the Silver Cloaks. He chose trustworthy companions from people that he’d met during his adventuring days and created five seals to surround and hide the forbidden magic. These seals were entrusted to the Cloaks and hidden across the realms so that no one else knew of them. The Cloaks then guarded the seals and renewed their magic, as the Spellplague had made magic unstable. Many years later, the Silver Cloaks were attacked and killed, so no one alive knows the location of the seals or the truth behind the forbidden magic they were protecting
Aria was thrown off to find a history book that spoke of the same group they had been asked to replace. She wondered if it was coincidence or fate? Shaking her head, she stood and asked a novice if they could find Master Vihuel for her? When they returned with the aged Dean, she thanked him for his tour and his time and said that she would return soon to take him up on his offer. The old man poured compliments on her as he led her back out of the college complex.
As she was returning to the High Palace across the Moon Bridge, she heard music from the House of the Harp and wandered in. She found that the main room of the bardic hall full of spectators cheering on a young bard who was just finishing a rousing rendition of the tale of Bill Telle. As soon as she entered, she heard the whispers around her start that the daughter of Alátriël Rhefeldt had just arrived. By the time the young man had struck the last chords, a chant was going up for her to take the small stage. She pulled out the sitar her cousin had made for her, and gracefully sat down on the stool there. She took a moment tune her instrument and then played a moving rendition of Tristam and Ishuld’s love story. Many were moved to tears, but she wasn’t done yet. She then picked up the pace with the enigmatic Stairway to Heaven and received great praise for it and calls for an encore. So she finished with the Dream Domain, a song she realized she understood better now due to her own dreams. After great applause, she thanked the audience for their kindness and stepped down for the next bard. She overheard people praising her skills, while others judged her for not being as good as her mother had been. Aria let both compliments and judgments roll off of her as she left the building and finally returned to the High Palace. It was late as she returned and she met Dredge sneaking out of the darkness. Without conversation they both returned to their rooms. In the quiet of her own room, she set up and performed the necessary ritual to send the diadem to Elminster, who seemed to desperately need it to help Simbul retain her sanity. Once the ritual was done, a sense of completion and gratitude settled over her. She quickly fell asleep on the down filled mattress.