Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Session 2 July 2023

The next morning, the white mage gathers us for an important discussion. “I have Simu-Farryn and POES working tonight on a door with five locks for our portal. It’s a temporary measure to ensure that unauthorized individuals cannot pass through. If the city watch investigates the inn, they may discover the portal. We can choose to ignore it and proceed to the next floor, or we can return and disclose everything to the city watch.”

We decide that honesty is the best course of action and agree to both share the information with the city watch and visit the temple to cleanse ourselves of any lingering darkness. Afterward, we plan to continue exploring the dungeon.

In front of the portal, the white mage distributes five keys, one for each party member. We proceed to step through the portal, but as soon as we do, we hear a commanding voice shout, “Halt!” The guards accompanying Tindall cause us to startle as we enter Trolskull manor, and they refuse to share any details with us, insisting that we’ll have to wait until later to speak with her.

“Can we wait here?” I inquire, hoping to discuss the portal with Tindall.

“No,” the guards reply sternly. “This is a portal to Level 17, and we find it unsettling. We will make a note of your intentions, but we must ask you to leave the premises.”

Realizing our options are limited, I ask if we can find Tindall elsewhere. The guards inform us that she can be found at the station later in the day and assure us that they will notify her of our desire to speak with her.

“Where is the station located?” I inquire.

“In the middle of the market,” the guard replies.

With no other choice, we exit the building. Before leaving, I notice Farryn anxiously keeping an eye on the guards, likely worried that someone might attempt to rob his precious loot.

We make our way to the Temple of Lathander, and the ceremony has already concluded. I approach the priest, who turns out to be Brightspear, the same arrogant paladin from before. I explain to him our need for help to rid ourselves of Shar’s influence. He insists that he can assist us, but it will take him two tendays to do so.

Sigil of Lathander

Realizing that waiting for two tendays is too long, I propose that we offer our assistance to him in exchange for a faster cleansing. However, he proudly declares that he doesn’t require anything from us because he considers himself the greatest man alive.

The white mage suggests a bet or game to challenge his self-proclaimed greatness. He presents a small glass chest and sets a task for Brightspear. Within five minutes, he must read the message inside the box without breaking it. Intrigued, Brightspear agrees and examines the chest intently.

In a display of higher magic, Brightspear shrinks himself and casts a spell to enter the box. As he grows inside the box, the glass unexpectedly shatters. Surprised, he attributes it to the influence of Shar and begins to pray. The white mage remarks that he could have healed us as well, to which Brightspear responds by suggesting that the chest falling caused the failure.

Mohan interjects, pointing out that someone was observing us during the incident. Curious, I approach the person and strike up a conversation, offering to accompany her in prayer. However, she dismisses my offer and expresses annoyance at our earlier noise. 

The white mage joins my conversation and suggests that we should talk further. The person hesitates, and when asked where she thinks would be an appropriate place for the discussion, she glances at a nearby door. The white mage leads the way to the room, and the person reluctantly follows. I trail behind, eager to uncover their true intentions.

We step into a small altar room within the temple, a sacred space for private prayer. As we enter, the person we’ve been conversing with removes her cloak, her eyes gleaming with a captivating shade of blue, drawing our attention.

“My apologies,” she says, her voice calm yet determined. “I needed to intervene.”

Confusion fills my mind as I try to make sense of the situation. “Why? Who are you?” I inquired, eager to understand her motivations.

She looks at us with a gentle smile and begins to explain, “My name is Selena Brightspear. I am the sister of Valen.”

Surprise washes over us, realizing the connection she shares with the troubled Valen. “You intervened because of him? What’s happening?”

Nodding slightly, Selena continues, “Valen is going through a difficult time, and it is related to his past.”

Seeking further clarity, I ask, “Is there someone else who can help us with his situation?”

Selena’s expression turns solemn as she replies, “Not at this moment. Valen’s circumstances are unique. He lacks magical abilities, and I cannot reveal the truth to him.”

I ponder her words, contemplating the challenges faced by Valen. “Perhaps he needs a reality check to accept his situation,” I suggest, hoping for a simple solution.

Selena’s gaze holds a hint of sadness. “It’s not that straightforward, unfortunately. Valen’s struggles run much deeper.”

Selena pauses, reflecting. “I’m uncertain. The lich stripped Valen of his intelligence, causing him to lose himself within the depths of Undermountain.”

Sympathy tugs at my heart as I consider Valen’s plight. “That’s a difficult situation. Do you have any advice for us? And If the lich is defeated, will it help him?”

With a resolute expression, Selena replies, “Show no mercy in your quest to rid the world of evil. Our family’s motto is ‘We don’t fear darkness.'”

Grateful for her guidance, I express my appreciation. “Thank you for sharing that with us. We will do our best to help. By the way, have you heard of Shadowdusk?”

Selena’s eyes widen slightly, and a flicker of recognition crosses her face. “Yes, I’m familiar with them. Why do you ask?”

A sense of hope rises within me as I explain, “I believe they may hold a potential solution for someone we seek. It’s important to find them.”

Selena considers my words, her thoughts intertwining with the weight of her own concerns. “I understand. Your path seems intertwined with theirs. I wish you success.”

As we step outside, Mohan comes into view, his presence signaling that he has finished speaking with the inspector. Farryn is still hidden away in his rope trick, providing him a safe haven. They both share what transpired during their conversation, emphasizing the inspector’s interest in Farryn and her guarded demeanor.

We gather together and enter Farryn’s rope trick, finding solace within its magical sanctuary. We pass around drinks, allowing ourselves a moment of relaxation and respite. While we are restricted from venturing beyond Waterdeep, we can still explore the depths of the dungeon beneath the city. We share crucial information about the lich, Ezat, ensuring everyone knows the looming threat.

Before we leave the tavern, the white mage expresses a desire to acquire some spell scrolls. Farryn, on the other hand, wishes to return to Undermountain. Mohan remains outside, his thoughts wandering in the quiet moments. I decide to accompany the white mage in his search for spell scrolls.

We navigate through the bustling market, engaging in negotiations and seeking out the elusive spell scroll of contingency. Unfortunately, it proves to be elusive, with exorbitant prices attached to the few scrolls available. Undeterred, we locate an alternative source, but the cost of 7000 gold is beyond our means. The white mage suggests the option of copying the spell, ensuring its integrity while keeping the expenses manageable. The name of the vendor is Ivarr, and The White Mage and he agree to correspond via letters when new spellscrolls are found and for sale. 

After the spellscroll is copied – within 15 minutes, we go back to Mohan and Farryn in Undermountain. There are no guards near Trollskull Manor, which is odd: it would be completely guarded. We can just walk in! 

Just before we walk in, I notice some half-alive, and one dead plant in front of the manor. Someone planted them there. “Did you see Farryn and Mohan anywhere?” asks the White Mage.

“Well, no… Should I?”

“Yeah, because they don’t have all the keys.”

We walk in, and see Farryn busy breaking one of the locks in front of the portal. 

“Oh hey, guys! I couldn’t get to Smokey by the way. He didn’t respond at all to my sending stone message.” 

It is very weird Smokey is still gone and even doesn’t respond according to Farryn. We go to level 17, to our base, and close the portal, hoping that no evil dark magic will leak to our mansion. 

We leave the portal behind and make our way toward Level 19 of the dungeon. Our plan is to descend to Level 18 and traverse through Itsy Gluck’s domain. Curiosity arises within us as we ponder the nature of oozes and what lies in store for us in this part of the dungeon.

The white mage, with his vast knowledge and understanding of magical creatures, takes the opportunity to enlighten us about oozes. His words flow like a slow-moving stream, detailing the various types of oozes that inhabit these depths. He explains how most oozes possess acidic properties, using their corrosive power to dissolve their prey. These creatures are simple in nature, only they devour everything in their way. Great. Let’s go.

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