Session 8 January 2023

Our story starts in the great library of Candlekeep. I’m searching for information on the Shadowdusk family for five days already. Mohan works here and distributes the books we apply for every day. The white mage, as everybody calls him, is here longer than me. I guess he is here for ten days or so. Then, the day before yesterday, a flamboyant guy also joined our table. I sleep in the House of Rest, and the place we’re studying is called the Firefly Cellar. 

Candlekeep map

Mohan enters the House of Rest with a big pile of books and calls people to the front to collect them. “Jaf’ar! I got books for you,” he says. He also sees me and gestures. I get up and ask if I can be of assistance. In the corner of my eye, a mage hand flies over and collects other books. It is the new guy; he doesn’t even talk to Mohan, he just grabs his books from a distance. “Jabari says: ‘Thank you!'” he says from across the room. “But what is this? Who is Zikran?”

“Zikran knows a lot about air elementals…” says the white mage tentatively. “You can call me High Wizard Jaf’ar Magnus, the White Mage. But High Wizard or White Mage will do,” he adds. 

“I need to go to the elemental plane!” says Jabari. 

“You can use spells to get there.” the White Mage replies. 

“No! It is to contact my ancestors!” Jabari passionately explains. 

“Hey… Calm down, you…” says Mohan, gesturing Jabari to be silent. “We have a chamber to contact your ancestors, but I reckon you’re not allowed back there.”

Jabari already moved on and is now shouting he needs a key to open his book. After a while, I hear a ‘click’ and Jabari shouting as he opened the book. He is praising himself over and over again. 

Then, from the corner of my eye, I see smoke coming from the book. I look closer and see a head (!) coming out of the book. 

“Where am I?!” says the head. 

“Oh! Big Djinni! The name is Jabari Djinni.” 

His name is quite long, and I’m not taking the effort of remembering it, because I can already predict he will repeat it a couple of times during the day. 

“Where am I?”

“Candlekeep, 1492 DR.”

“Where is Laffa?”

An avowed approaches when it hears the name ‘Laffa’. Apparently, it knows something. “I know it well. Two years ago, an adventuring party donated this book. The person who brought it was Laffa.”

“Why did he give the book? Was I given away?” asks the head with great dread.

“How did you open the book, Jabari?” asks the avowed .

“Turning it around, but mostly: using my exceptional magic!” Jabari exclaims with flair. 

“Who are there beside you, Jabari?” asks the head. 

I step forward and introduce myself. “Alastor Crossclaw, at your service. You can call me Cross.”

“You’re hairy.” is the only thing the head says to me.

“Can you get me out?” asks the head after all the introductions.

“Maybe you should offer him your hand, to pull him out,” I say sarcastically to Jabari.

He actually tries to do so, but the head only says: “What am I to do with your hands if mine are entrapped here? Zikran trapped me in this book! I want to be set free!”

“I could banish you to your own plane?” proposes Jabari.

“NO! NOT THE BOOK!” say the avowed and Mohan in unison. 

“Why are you trapped there?” asks Mohan.

“Zikran. I helped him but didn’t want to anymore in the end. I helped so much with the castle…”

Dispel magic could help…” says the White Mage. 

“Maybe we first need to know what is written inside the book?”

The White Mage and Jabari are reading. The White Mage is a Tortle, so you would expect him to be slow, but I can clearly see that he reads quickly and is annoyed by waiting for Jabari to turn the page every single time. The White Mage tells us that the book was used to trap a Djinni, and as we can see ‘It worked.”. 

Mohan is casting a ritual of some sort and we have to wait a while. Jabari tells us about a book he’s written: Whispers on the Wind: an Air Genasi Lovestory. Just before he can start – because he took enough time introducing the book to us with wild gestures and a lot of adjectives – Mohan is ready to perform his magic. Thank Selûne. I have little tolerance for beating around the bush and making your story prettier than it really is, so I’m happy Jabari shuts up.

We conclude we need Zikran to set the Djinni free. The Djinni head tells us Zikran has a lab somewhere near a coral reef at the coastline. It is a two days walk. “I WON’T WALK!” protests Jabari. I don’t give him any attention. 

I try to get back to my book, but the White Mage approaches. “Are you coming with us?” he asks. 

“Nah, I’m fine, thanks. I don’t see you need my help any time soon.”

“Do you want a wish?” asks the Djinni head. “I have one for the group if you help me!”

“Yes. Yes, I’m in.” I quickly reply. With a wish, I can get my grandparents back to me, to safety. Eventually, after Jabari tried to gather more adventurers by annoyingly approaching almost everyone in the library, there are four of us walking outside into the courtyard: Mohan, the White Mage, Jabari, and myself.

Jabari knows where we’re going, and the White Mage even got us steeds to ride. Mine looks like a normal black horse, but when it’s moving, the manes and hooves leave a trail of a starry blue sky. Mohan decides to fly, but he’ll stay near us. During the ride, I decided to ride alongside the White Mage, and in front of Jabari. Luckily, we have the wind in our faces, so I don’t hear Jabari at all. 

“Why are you in Candlekeep, Cross.?” asks the White Mage.

“I’m searching for information about the Shadowdusk family,” I reply. I don’t make it a secret. The more people I tell my objective to, the more who can possibly help me.

“Oh, I know that family.” 

“REALLY?!” I say eagerly.

“The family is rich, lives in Undermountain (below Waterdeep), and they disappeared suddenly,” he explains. 

“I need to get to them.”

“You’re against them?”


“Okay, that is really nice to know. I got some business in Undermountain myself, so can we agree to go there together after this quest?” he asks. 

We agree and nod. 

At the end of the day, we’re already at the coastline, near some cliffs. We still have to travel for half a day, but we have to rest. We can sleep more safely in a tiny hut, but Jabari doesn’t seem to like it. Inside the hut, he tells us he has an option that includes beds. We grab hands and are sucked into an alternative place, within the hut. I’m playing on my lyre before going to bed. Just before I tuck myself in, Mohan directs our attention to the cliffs: he sees a couple of weird shadows. Those are Wyverns, he says; they’re territorial and hunt during the day, so tomorrow when we’ll leave this place, we need to be vigilant. I play some more on my lyre, and eventually, we all go to bed. 

The next morning, the Wyverns are gone, and after a quick check-in with the Djinni-head, we’re off again. 

After a couple of hours, we’re at the coral reef. We open the book again, and Djinni recognizes the environment. “You need to go there!” he says, his head pointing at a part of the cliff where a cavern seems to be. 

In order to get there, we need to wade through the water. Mohan can fly, and Jabari too. I cannot misty step that far, so I sit on the White Mages’s shell and paddle with my claws to get to the cave. When it gets less deep, I step off the shell. A couple of dead bodies lie in the water, and we move around them. It is sad to see that these half-elves drowned. Probably, they were surprised by the quick rise of the water during the change of tides. Around a corner, we see a bookcase and a door standing ajar. “Yes! Yes. In this room, behind the door, is where Zikran was!” says the Djinni-head. 

The pendant of the White Mage flies inside, but the White Mage quickly says, in a hushed voice: “A bronze dragon.” 

From the other side of the door, we hear: “WHO DISTURBS ME?”

We don’t respond.


“Treat it with respect.” says the White Mage before he steps into the room. All of us follow him, and I bow immediately when I see the dragon.

Young Bronze Dragon – Ashgarlith

“We are searching for Zikrans’ lab, oh great dragon,” says the White Mage. “The Djinni in this book wants to be set free, and that is why we’re looking for Zikran.” 

This sentence is followed by some introductions. The dragon’s name is Ashgarlith. 

“Where is Zikran?” asks the head again.

“Oh… You’re not very polite,” says Ashgarlith ominously.

“Apologies,” says Jabari. “he’s been stuck in this book for a very long time.”

“Who is Zikran?” asks the dragon.

“Well, before you took your residence here, he was the keeper of this lab.” 

Mohan is looking around, but as Ashgarlith notices, he growls: “MY STUFF!”, and Mohan immediately redirects his attention to the ground. 

“For 100 gold pieces, you can have a look around,” says Ashgarlith. 

“I’ll give you 5 platinum pieces!” says Jabari over-confidently. 

“No. 100 gold pieces.” the dragon is apparently not convinced. 

“Oh! Okay, 5 platinum pieces, and 50 gold pieces then!” 

Ashgarlith approaches Jabari and comes dangerously close, but then he smiles: “Deal.”

The Djinni-head needs to identify some books, so the White Mage and Jabari are both grabbing books from different bookcases and piles. The White Mage shares something about an elemental air cannon, and the head responds: “The cannon was the thing he was busy building. It shoots air!”

He continues that Laffa was threatened by Zikran and fled the castle. The location of the castle is in the Cloud Peaks. 

“It is time for you guys to go now,” Ashgarlith says after ten minutes or so. 

Outside the cave, Jabari says he can use a teleportation circle to go to Nashkel, a city near the Cloud Peaks. We accept the offer, and Jabari starts his conjurations. 

In Nashkel, it is quite busy. We teleported to the center of the city, and I see a couple of street performers dancing and entertaining people passing by. I feel an urge to join in, because I am first and foremost, a bard. I earned my first money by performing on the streets of my village. I leave the party for a second and gather some people in the town square. I play on my lyre, and dance for a couple of minutes. After my performance, I use my charm to get some money for my tiny show. In total, I raise six silver pieces, and 8 copper pieces. Not bad. 

When I return to the party, they’ve made a plan to get to the Cloud Peaks. Jabari will take the form of a giant bird, so he can fly us up there, but Mohan takes one for the team. We all go to the alternative place inside the ring of Jabari, and Mohan flies to the castle. During the flight, the White Mage says: “We need to be aware that Zikran has some sort of cannon, and he might want to shoot us.” 

With that unsettling thought, I grab my morningstar a bit tighter, because I am fully aware that we are in a pickle if we – and with ‘we’ I mean: Mohan – get shot mid-flight. 

Luckily, all is well, and we arrive at the cloud castle. It is HUGE. I can see icicles have formed between Mohans’ wings, and he looks like he’s suffering from hypothermia. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do. We didn’t bring any clothing to protect ourselves from the cold, and my magic isn’t strong enough to take away his condition. We walk towards the castle to find shelter. It looks like a big tower, but the second floor has deteriorated. 

Inside the castle, we find a lot of Cloud Giant Ghosts. We’re pretty stealthy, but the ghosts just leave us be, even when they’ve already seen us. We ask a ghost that is writing a letter what’s going on, but it doesn’t respond. Apparently, it is a love letter, that has disappearing words as they’re written. It’s a bit sad, really. 

Cloud Giant Ghost

We came in through the roof because we can only see stairs leading down. We descend and feel the temperature increase a bit. To warm us even more, Mohan creates a sphere, full of blue fire. We see more Cloud Giant ghosts, working in the kitchen, and a couple that is playing a card game. 

Another floor down, we make sure the pendant is scouting the area. It activates two chrystals – the chrystals burst open and turn into Water Elementals. This is going to be a fight. Six Ice Mephits appear behind us, making sure we cannot run upstairs anymore. We’re trapped on the stairs. 

I slam a Water Elemental with my morningstar, but it doesn’t have the effect it normally has. The Mephits do some damage, but nothing compares to the Water Elemental engulfing me. I cannot breathe and try to get out. Luckily, it takes me a couple of seconds to step out of the water and gasp for air. Also, I’m soaking wet. I don’t like that, my fur will probably smell musty when it’s drying, and that’s not a pleasant experience. I ROAR from the cold getting to my skin. The Water Elementals now try to get away from me, which makes it easier to smack one of them and move after them before they get to Mohan, Jabari, and the White Mage. I utter my words of radiance: “BY MOON AND STARS!” I’m so occupied with one of the two Elementals, that I don’t see the other coming in hot. I’m bloodied from that attack, and I have to catch my breath. 

The pendant then shoots lightning across the room, hitting all the enemies. One Water Elemental spats against the wall and loses form, and some Ice Mephits explode as well. Mohan flies over a Mephit with a summersault and hits it as well. It looks very dexterous! I use my smite twice to deal with the last Elemental, but Jabari takes the final hit. 

When all enemies are gone, we heal ourselves. I use my powers to give myself some extra strength to continue if more enemies should come, but luckily, they don’t.

Until… we hear a high-pitched singing voice, filled with evil laughter: “OHHHH ADVENTURERS!” 

No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *