Date: 6/11-18/1479 DR
|Gauntlets of Arcane Might||Zanne||4-Way Attack||Found on Dark One, belonged to Nomi|
Following what they’d learned in the Kingdom of Many-Arrows, the group flew towards the Cathedral/Library of Spirit Soaring. They were surprised to find Cadderly’s ward no longer protecting the grounds as they’d been led to believe. Warily, they entered and began searching out the structure. Magic indicated that they needed to head down into the creepy catacombs in search of Thrall and the shadows that trail him.
When the Silver Cloaks were finally able to take to the sky, they told Cid to head southeast to the cathedral/library of Spirit Soaring. He warned them that it would take about a week to get there and Fera reassured him that they had enough supplies. As well, she and Nitara worked out a way that the Warden could find herbs and supplies so that the Elven Shaman could begin brewing alchemical creations for them.
Along the way, the group asked the two historians what more they could tell them about Spirit Soaring and Cadderly Bonaduce. Aria and Zanne shared what else they knew. The group hoped that being forewarned would leave them forearmed.
The help pass the time, Dredge decided that the Seekers didn’t really know that much about each other, so he decided to start asking questions… which really began to freak the group out. Firstly, he approached Nyx asking her why she had left the Feywild? Nyx said that her mother had been too oppressive and she didn’t want to discuss it. Dredge prodded deeper, wondering how she’d never known that her mother was a Silver Cloak? Nyx wondered aloud if his parents had always told him everything? Nervous, Dredge left her alone.
Next he found Fera up on deck. He decided to ask her about her Tribe, about why she’d left. She explained that a strange infirmity was make the tribe side so 12 of them had been sent out to find a cure. When they had returned, the tribe had disappeared without a trace. He asked why she was staying with the group to which she replied that they were helping her reach her goals of finding her tribe. She then turned the tables on him and asked why he was with the group. Dredge lied and told her that he didn’t remember much from his past life. She called his bluff and asked him why he’d asked Nitara to join them on the ship if he didn’t remember her? How did he know that they could trust her. That left him a little flat-footed, but he quickly recovered stating that she had information on Jagannatha to help them out. Both of them realized that they might have communicated more by what they hadn’t said, and left it at that.
The 3rd person was Zanne, who had already been up drinking this morning, and was well into his cups when the Revenant found him below decks. Dredge dared to ask him what he knew about his family and what had brought him on this journey? Zanne hiccuped and reminded him that they’d all be taken captive together to the Black Palm’s Arena. Dredge then asked more about what his father did for a living? Zanne grew somber and told him his father was dead, so nothing. That set the Shaman back, but he asked what he’d done when he was alive? Zanne mumbled about him always being away from home, transporting… stuff. Dredge dug deeper by asking how his father met Fera’s sister and Nomi’s friend? Zanne shrugged, unsure. Dredge wondered why Zanne hadn’t claimed what he was bequeathed by his family since his grandfather was famous and his father had obviously been well off? Zanne muttered something about not being enough of a Genasi… and then passed out, ending the interview.
Aria was the next to last one he found, but she was hiding in her room, trying to avoid everyone and wouldn’t let him in. Dredge filled the room with a cloud of darkness forcing her out of the dark and into a conversation with him. Aria had been doing more research on Spirit Soaring and was annoyed at being interrupted. Before she could turn from him, he quickly asked her why she had left her family? She admitted that though her aunt and uncle cared for her, they didn’t much seem to care for her. When the Revenant asked about knowing about the Silver Cloaks, she admitted that she was too young to remember her parents beyond the songs that her mother had always sung to her. Dredge said that it was curious that she had apprenticed with one of the greatest mages ever known, did she keep in touch with him? She admitted that she did from time to time. Dredge seemed pleased with what he’d learned, and left the group alone.
Last was Cid, at the helm of the Ragnarok.
Cid took some time to teach the group how to fly the airship, just in case, but the only ones capable of driving were Dredge, Nyx, and Zanne.
The next day, while Dredge, Fera, and Nyx were up on the ship, they all noticed something in the distance, descend from the clouds, and then quickly duck back into them. They all gave each other astonished looks and then turned to Cid at the Helm. Nyx asked him how many other airships were known to exist on Faerun? Cid harumphed and proclaimed that besides this’a one, he’d thought them all destroyed when Halruaa had exploded during the advent of the Spellplague. The three of them gave each other meaninguful looks and then told Cid that they thought they’d just seen another airship about two days away to the east. Dredge wanted to give chase, but Fera reminded him that they were on a timetable to find Thrall. Cid and Nyx agreed with the female Warder, that they needed to follow this lead, before going on a wild grouse chase. This didn’t set well with the Shaman, who called to a bird flying by and asked it if it would follow the airship like theirs? The bird wondered what was in it for him, so the shaman said that he’d give him seed for life for his help. The bird chirped his accord and Dredge ran down to the pantry to find some seeds. He found Fera busy cooking dinner, and she asked him what he was up to? The man who didn’t need to eat asked her for seeds or any kind of bird food. She pointed to some berries, but then told him that if he took from their stores, she’d expect his help in replenishing it. Dredge agreed, and headed back up on deck. The lark was grateful for the berries and asked where the ship was headed? Dredge did his best to describe Spirit Soaring to the bird, who then took wing after the other airship.
The sun had not yet risen and the sky was dark as Cid woke the group to announce that they’d arrived at their destination. The new Silver Cloaks gathered up on deck, looking down upon the great cathedral of legend. Once a temple to the vanished god Deneir, this impressive cathedral of soaring towers, flying buttresses, and great windows had fallen into ruin. It had been known to house one of the largest libraries in Faerun, as well as a workshop for Gondsmen to test their gadgets and technical creations. There were signs that there had once been an area set aside as a garden, but it had long since run wild.
As they studied the structure closer, they noticed that the front lawn seemed to have been torn up, almost as if a run-away plow had gouged giant trenches leading up to the front doors. The courtyard leading into the foyer had been blackened with fire, and the front doors were ripped off as if some giant creature fought it’s way inside. The upper stories of the right wing had been crushed, as if a great flying beast crashed into the side of the building, raking and destroying the beautiful architecture. Some of the upper balconies on the 2nd story show fire damage as well, though the rest of the structure seemed sound and untouched by flames.
Before the sun could rise, the group watched for the strange phenomenon that Drizzt had spoken of, but the glowing ethereal blue light of Cadderly Bonaduce walking the perimeter of the grounds never appeared and the dawn around them was filled with the fading eerie sounds that seemed to belong more to the Shadow than to the Prime Material Plane. Being careful, Cid set down the Ragnarok in a defensible clearing about a mile away from the cathedral.
The group had a small hike back to their destination and as they drew nearer, the great gouges in the earth very much resembled furrows dug by dragon claws. The courtyard leading into the foyer had been blackened with fire, and the front doors were ripped off as if some giant creature fought it’s way inside. A few feet in front of the door, a giant jawbone lay half covered by dirt and moss. So the stories of the Ghost King had not been made up or exaggerated! The group used extreme caution as they climbed the stairs and entered the broken double doors. The inside of the foyer was charred from an intense fiery blast as well, all the way in, through the destroyed doorway on the opposite side of the entryway. The marble flooring had been cracked under giant footsteps. Immediately the group set up a defensive perimeter, watching not only the two doorways, but both halls leading off the foyer. Fearing for their safety, since danger could come from so many directions, Aria sat down to prepare her Eye of Alarm ritual. While she was doing that, Zanne began using his inner eye to search for power sources, such as Cadderly’s ward of protection. With the mages at work, the gnome decided to begin scouting around, starting with the chapel through the other double doors.
1st Floor Map
The wide double doors leading into this room had been torn off their hinges and lay just inside the room. Soaring columns raised a shadowed roof high above. The walls of the chapel holds ledges lined with statues, blackened and begrimed, faces seeming to leer in the darkness. Throughout the structure, no supporting arch or door is without decoration, no door or wall is absent of runes, and no empty space is unfilled with sculpture. This is also called the Audience Hall, a windowless room with a balcony 25 feet above the entry, a raised dais in the north, with small anterooms off to the sides. The whole room is scorched and burned with part of the balcony and roof fallen in. A large hole had been punched in the floor as if by a giant foot. Curiosity drew the rogue closer to inspect the hole just as the swordmage muttered to the others that the heart of the darkness was below them. Nyx’s scream drew everyone’s attention, except for the bard, deep in concentration. As she’d leaned over the hold, a bevy of shadowhunter bats had flown out at her, knocking her back on her butt. Zanne asked his wolf familiar to guard Aria, while the rest of the group rushed to Nyx’s aid, Fera riding Mystwalker. The four of them fought the bats flying around the room, with some annoyance since they wouldn’t sit still. At one point, Dredge was so annoyed, that his eyes flared with purplish-blue fire beneath the blindfold, and as he walked across the room, he left behind flaming blue footprints. Then, floating gently into the air, a wave of blue-fire force drew their enemies closer, before washing them in fiery death. This did not go unnoticed by his companions. Once the last of the barb-tailed scavengers had fallen Dredge strode to the edge of the hole in the floor, hoping to use his darkvision to see into the recesses of the basement. Fera dared to ask him what that new power had been? When Dredge decided to play coy, she pushed, wondering when he was going to tell them that he was Spellplagued? Dredge just laughed and asked when was Zanne going to tell them that his sword, Calibourne, was Spellplagued? This all came as a huge shock to the swordmage, who had never suspected, but more so the feeling of betrayal because being around a plague victim could spread the Spellplague. The shaman just shrugged and leaned over the hole as if this conversation were of no consequence to him. Zanne stalked over and put all of his disdain for the man into his kick, knocking the Revenant into the hole. Dredge tried to catch himself with his powers of levitation, but he’d lost his sense of up and down and failed. While Zanne stormed off to keep Aria from finishing her ritual, Fera tied off a rope to one of the nearby fallen columns. Aria decided to set up her unfinished ritual in the depths of the cathedral instead.
Walls of the Catacombs
It was a 12 foot drop to the dark room below. The walls of this square room are of a strange off-white color, almost brownish yellow. Upon closer inspection, they found that the walls were made up of human bones stacked upon one another creating a macabre wall of bones, with skulls leering out at them. Knowing Cadderly’s history of undead problems, this set up in the catacombs made sense. Down here, at these crossroads, Aria decided to finish her ritual and set up invisible eyes to watch out for them. Heading north and then west, the group followed the halls.
Even though they snuck up to the next room, they could see that the few dark ones inside were on high alert for some reason (not surprising since they had no idea what else was lurking down in this darkness, enough dark for any creature of the Shadowfell. As they neared, the group was attacked by some shooters attached to the roof with ropes and pitons. Nyx snuck in invisibly while the rest charged in. It wasn’t long before they’d made short work of those in the room. Oddly enough, in the pack of one of the Bolters, they’d found some gauntlets which had belonged to their old friend Nomi.
Hall of Torture
The group left by the western-most door and as the group approached this long, wide hallway they are suddenly assailed with the putrid stench of death and decay, much stronger here than anywhere else in the catacombs. As soon as light fell on this room, the group discovered a macabre and gory sight.
In the southern half of the room, hanging chained to the wall, were the tortured bodies of two humanoids. Closer inspection revealed them to be a male and a female, their hands joined in death, inseparable due to rigor mortis. Beyond the blood splattered walls, and numerous cuts and burns all over their bloated bodies, it was fairly safe to assume that these were the remains of Koye and Nomi. Someone had been very thorough and sanguine in their torture techniques.
Upon closer inspection of the west wall, near the torture victims, it looked like a portal had been opened there to leave the scene. Also, on the floor, in the dried blood, were three sets of footprints. One of a regular sized humanoid, one of a larger humanoid, and strange prints of a large catlike animal. There were no items, weapons or armor left on the bodies. They seemed to have been dead 14-15 days, which coincided with the vision that the group had had two weeks prior.