Tears of the Raven Queen

Part: 4: The Rescue of Magistrate Plodmoor
or Jonas' Dismay

Valdaran is approached by 2 halflings. They work for the same man he works for and tell him the master is being attacked. They take him back to the mansion and he heads around to the back. He knocks – nothing happens – so he tries the door = unlocked and he enters. Crosses through the scullery and into the main room, where he sees arcane blast marks on several surfaces. He can see light through the door and down the stairs and he follows it. Meanwhile, the group (with the light) reaches the bottom of those stairs. The front-line can see a wight chanting over a body on an altar in the center of the room – the body is Plodmoor. The Halfling is the first to attack, using her sling to hit a ghoul not far from her, but she misses. The rest rush into the room and move to fighting positions. There is another ghoul and the wight casts a spell to raise skeletons a couple times during the ensuing battle (they rise from a pit that teems with old bones.) Valdaran reaches the bottom of the stairs and asks the closest person (Mia) who she is… “Fighting here” and “Focused on shooting!” are the only responses he gets, however. As soon as he realizes it is his employer trussed up on the altar, he joins the others in defeating the ghouls, skeletons and wight. It is a tough battle, but they do save Plodmoor, Valdaran cutting him free. Ay-una goes about cutting off heads and kicking them away from the bodies (which she loots), managing to kick the wight’s head down a pit that seems bottomless. According to Plodmoor, the wight turns out to be his dead brother, Albrecht. He tells us that the other passage from the room leads to the sewers. He tells the group that the people that attacked them had originally come to capture him (there were 5 of them total.) They were in the employ of Albrecht (wight) Plodmoor to abduct his brother. The group’s captive was part of the Plumers Guild. She’d been offered life and work for “them” or death. Even those who chose death ended up working for “them” as undead (zombies, ghouls, etc.) It wasn’t a guild matter. Also, there are probably more wights and undead in the sewers. The missing 5th member of the attacking group was looking for something, but the captive didn’t know what.

[All receive 825 XP plus loot: 100 gold, 50 gold worth of ritual components and The Staff of Ruin (the latter was given to the sorceress)] {killed 8 skeletons, 2 ghouls and a wight}

Mia remembers that when she snuck down the other corridors, she heard someone talking in what might have been an office. The group helps Plodmoor up the stairs and head to the office. Plodmoor looks about and says that it only looks like some books are missing. mia and Jonas find a secret panel, but cannot open it. Ay-una checks it for magic seals and eventually opens it. Inside there is a skull, a Tiefling skull with a strange symbol on it (like the one on the ceiling in the other room) and the words “Uktar Festival of the Moon” on the forehead. Dae’ Onel says he’s heard a rumor about this symbol, that it is used by a secret society know as / or something to do with a “AO”, which Sabine recognizes. “O” created the gods who created mortals (us.) Valdaran has the calling card of the Archmage, the group decides to take the skull to her.

Special: Valdaran the Just
A job is a job.

Special: Valdaran the Just

Arrived in Waterdeep during the festival of Shieldmeet and has taken a room at the Dancing Cyclops. He has spent time finding libraries and searching them for information regarding some artifacts. While visiting one library, a Magistrate arrives and walks directly toward him. He rises and greets the man politely. The Magistrate wants his help. He explains that he hasn’t been in town long and that he came at the invitation of his brother, a previous Magistrate. Not ten days after he arrived, his brother died and left instructions that he should succeed him. The Magistrate has come to discover that his brother was into many things, much of it unsavory. He wants to hire Valdaran to help him get to the bottom of whatever it was his brother was doing. Valdaran respectfully asks this man his name… Magistrate Plodmoor. They agree to meet at the Magistrate’s mansion the following day after the mid-day meal. Valdaran goes in search of someone to get more intel on Plodmoor. As it IS Shieldmeet, he finds another Magistrate and asks her about him. She doesn’t like him; he is more interested in his own comforts than seeing to the city. She goes on to say that if he is anything like the brother he succeeded, he is a very bad man (interested in the “far realm”, into the occult = the darker side – Abyssal matters.) Valdaran asks how they would get rid of a Magistrate if need be and is told there are procedures… if there is proof. He thanks her and she suggests that he would do well to not ask around publicly about the affairs of the Magistrates, that it was good that he found her first, her name is Magistrate Stuna Fletcher. Next, he looked for a poster giving times and places that the Magistrates (and others) were giving speeches. He found where Magistrate Fletcher would be speaking and went to hear her. While she spoke, he asked those around him what they thought of her. While she expounded on the Sewer and Plumber’s Guild and their virtues, he hears that she is as good a Magistrate as anyone could expect. Later Valdaran checks the cemetery for the grave of Plodmoor’s brother. He finds it (a locked mausoleum.) He then goes back to the inn for a meal and sleep. Next day, Valdaran arrives at the Mansion as arranged and is met by a servant and Plodmoor himself. He leads Valdaran through a couple rooms and down some stairs, a long flight of stairs. There are glorods in sconces lighting the way down and all around the very large circular room at the bottom. There is just an alter in the center and two other doorways. The alter is crude, cut from the stone the room was cut from. Though the room is clean, the alter has brown and black stains on them, probably from blood and burnt sacrifices, and there is an indent in the center. There are a few areas on the walls that have where it looks like shackles once were attached. The two discuss this place (i.e. not hidden) and that some folk from the city have been nosing about to see whether Plodmoor will be continuing his brother’s practices. They also discuss prices for Valdaran’s services… 5 gold/day plus expenses and Plodmoor insures that he will not be bothered by the city Watch. Valdaran wants to know if this is an ‘official’ position, as from one of the Magistrates and is assured that it will be. He wants to know if he is the only one Plodmoor has hired for this job, and is told that he’s the only one being told about this. Valdaran aggress to work for Plodmoor. The Magistrate shows him the other two rooms, through the doors and down some stairs. One leads to a circular room full of pits, some filled with bones and the others empty… the appear very deep. The other opens up to the sewers! As Valdaran has heard about the monsters, etc in the sewers, he wants to know if there is any special protection. No, the doors are all normal wooden ones. They go back upstairs and Plodmoor gives him 5 gold and a list of names of the folk that seem interested in seeing whether Plodmoor is continuing his brother’s practices. One on the list is Lady Krisuvial Loreweaver, the Archmage of Waterdeep… she had been by 3-4 days past and was the most recent to inquire.

Magistrate's Welcome
We just came here to talk! (Part 3)

Part 3: Magistrate’s Welcome

Ay-una examines the runes drawn in gore on the floor of the tomb below the Temple of the Raven Queen and finds a magic she has never seen before. It is an Abyssal spell of blood magic. She makes note of it. The demolished skeletons were all tieflings

Janos goes up to look around outside the Temple. Ay-una and the others go back upstairs to search any rooms they didn’t see earlier. She finds the High Priest’s room. Besides a cot there are a table and a shelf with books and scrolls. They search the room and find the priest’s diary and a significant scroll.

  • Diary Entry of Interest: Met with the emissary from the Lich. A terrifying entity. Worst of all it was not at all concerned by coming to the Temple, and made the journey through the city unmolested. How could it have walked unchallenged? It told me they were coming, and that I should deliver the artifact into it’s care. I refused. I thought my life was forfeit as it flew into a rage. After overturning my bookshelf and table, it settled down. It told me then that it would be the end for the living, and it prayed that the others should be so merciful as the Lich.
  • On the Scroll: A ring of power was bestowed to Suluvia Paden, the Raven Winged. It is told that the ring is composed of two raven wings, meeting at the top and holding a blood-red ruby. It’s powers are siputed, but some say it is an incredible source of divine power. It was entombed with the Priestess, and protected by a divine ward. None but the chosen to the highest calling of the Raven Queen can wield it’s power, and only She herself will reveal it’s rightful wearer.

Ay-una takes these items and the group goes outside to fund Janos. Janos, meanwhile, has learned what the watchman (Drood, who died in the Temple) did and who saw him last before he died. It was assumed he heard something in the Temple and was seen to rush inside. He also asks about the building across the street, which is closed but could have been a business. A watchman tells him who is in charge and points toward the market area. The group finds the jail and meets with Watch Commander Manze inside. After Janos explains the facts the group has uncovered, Manze leads them into his office (and away from the crowd of citizens demanding he do something.) There he tells them that there isn’t much he can do, that there is a Magistrate who lives in the Sea Ward district (at 17 Street of Whispers). There have been rumors about him, that he has an interest in young girls… who never return from visiting his mansion. A relative of his passed away not long ago and named him as successor to his post. The group asks the identity of this Magistrate. The Commander says that the man is speaking out in the square right now. He escorts the group back outside and leaves them. They notice three people in the crowd are taking an interest in them; a human, an elf, and a tiefling… all males. The rest of the crowd is complaining to anyone who will listen. The group heads to the market area and locates the speaker’s stage. Janos immediately recognizes the man currently speaking as the man named Plodmoor, whom he has been seeking. He’s going on about the undead and the Lich residing so close to the city. When he is done, he and his aides climb into his waiting carriage and heads toward the Sea Ward. Someone else is on the stage now, the leader of the Sewer and Plumbing Guild, who is explaining about the scary stuff in the sewers. Everyone has heard stories about this Guild. Jonas wants to see this mansion at 17 Street of Whispers, but there is some discussion about going back to the Temple. It is decided that seeing what is going on with Plodmore is more important right now, and they head off after the Magistrate’s carriage. The three that took interest in them at the market area are tailing the group. The Street of Whispers only has about four estates on the block and they find #17 easily. It is not guarded and the trio tailing them have disappeared. Jonas rings the bell on the gate and someone from the house runs out to ask their business. Janos explains and the group is escorted to the house (which is VERY nice.) Once inside, Janos admires the art and furniture. Mia joins him. After a bit they wander into the next room and look about in there. They notice odd markings on the ceiling. Mia scouts down the halls leading right & left off this room, then returns and lets Jonas know what she heard (down the left hallway people in a room she supposes is an office). Dae’Onel steps into the room behind them and stands, ever watchful. Suddenly the doors ahead burst with a large ball of lightning that dazes Janos. Mia responds with her Twin Strike through the doorway. A fight ensues, with the rest of the group rushing forward and all but Mia and Ay-una moving through the doors onto the stairs beyond. Much fighting, spell throwing and healing is done, with a few encouraging shouts from the warlord. When the battle is over, all but one enemy (all servants of the mansion) are dead and many of the party are wounded. The hostage, Nun, tells them that the Magistrate told them to attack the group. Ay-una loots the servants. [Group gets 450 xp and loot: 20 gold, 3 sets of chainmail, 3 halbards, a quarterstaff and a wand.]

Tears of the Raven Queen
Part 1 & 2
Prelude – Ten Important Facts The major events in the world since 1374 DR (Dalereckoning):
  1. Roughly a hundred years have passed in the world since the previous edition of the campaign setting. The current year is 1479 DR, the year of the Ageless One.
  2. The Spellplague has drastically altered the cosmos. The Spellplague broke out in 1385 DR (the Year of Blue Fire), the result of unfettered wild magic on the death of the goddess Mystra. Whole countries are gone, especially in regions south of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Even familiar lands have become magical and fantastic in appearance. Islands of rock called earthmotes drift through the sky. Weird towers and spires of stone jut from the landscape. Spectacular chasms and waterfalls abound. All thinks were sustenance for the Spellplague’s insatiable hunger – it assailed and transformed flesh, stone, magic, space, and dimensional walls. Even the cosmos beyond Toril was affected. Some ancient realms returned that had been thought gone forever (such as the Feywild), and entire planets (such as the Abyss) shifted to a new cosmic structure.
  3. Portions of Abeir have fused with Toril. The Spellplague raged even beyond planar boundaries, and Toril’s long=lost twin world, cut off for tens of millennia, was also caught up in the maelstrom. Large parts of Faerun exchanged places with equivalent land masses on Abeir, bringing their populations with them.
  4. The number of gods has dropped markedly. During the last censure, even deities succumbed to divine and diabolical plots or to the chaos of the Spellplague. Of those now absent, many died, some left, and a few were revealed to be aspects of already extant gods. Others lost so much power that they became exarches, lesser divinities who serve the other gods.
  5. The Spellplague left its mark on creatures. Some effects of the Spellplague persist to this day, especially in the so-called Plaguelands where wild magic yet rages unrestrained. After exposure to the Plaguelands, some creatures exhibit physical marks called spellscars. These spellscarred individuals develop unique abilities, but are not without price. Victims of the original Spellplague were horribly changed, not simply scarred, their flesh warped in unimaginable ways. The abilities of the spellscarred, though unique, are never as monstrous and powerful as those of plaguechanged creatures. Luckily, such monsters are few, and of those, only a handful are free-willed, mobile threats.
  6. Huge Underdark collapses have changed the surface of Faerun. As the earth fell away, the level and position of the Sea of Fallen Stars shifted drastically. An enormous opening into the Underdark has formed south of the Chondalwood. In addition to this country sized hole in the earth, underground shifting has made the Underdark much more accessible to the surface world.
  7. Thay has become a terrible undead threat. The former land of the Red Wizards is now under the control of a single power mad regent: Szass Tam. He nearly succeeded in performing a ritual that would have made him an immortal being. Szass Tam failed, but in so doing he transformed Thay into a nightmare land of death. Now the regent is intent on expanding Thay’s borders so that he can attempt the ritual again.
  8. The ancient empire of Netheril has been restored. The Twelve Princes of Shade rule from their capital city, Shade Enclave, in a land newly reclaimed from the Anauroch Desert. Netheril is once again a major player and a threat to all the northern realms.
  9. Ancient elven lineages have returned to Faerun. With the reappearance of the Feywild, its natives have begun exploring the world again. These fey folk collectively call themselves eladrin, and many Faerunian elves have also adopted this name for their lineage, though they have not forgotten their traditional cultural distinctions and names. In casual speech, the word “elven” collectively refers to the two branches of this fey people: elves and eladrin.
  10. Most portals no longer work. The breaking of the Weave destroyed most of the portals that crisscrossed Toril, because it destroyed the hard-won knowledge of arcane casters. Although arcanists have relearned their craft since the Spellplague raged, most portals remain nonfunctional or dangerously malfunctioning, broken relics of a legendary past.

Tears of the Raven Queen

Part 1: In the Temple

At the Inn of the Dancing Cyclops in Waterdeep (located at the southwestern corner of The High Road & The Street of the Tusks), three travelers are seated near one end of a long table. Jonas watched his friend Teae leave the Inn with her two new acquaintances, Oneldight and Sabine (who all have an appointment with the High Priest of the Raven Queen), and turned to ask Ay-una and Mia if they have ever heard of a gent named Plodmoor. Mia thinks, but says she has not that name ever. Ay-una tells him that it sounds really familiar and stares at the empty stage for a moment, thinking. “Yes, I remember now”, says she, “he was that new Magistrate at the dinner party we went to with Father. When I was introduced to him, he held onto my hand over long… to the point that Mother and I thought was unseemly.” Janos nods at this and comments, “That sounds like him. There was some talk about him in the village.” Their conversation was broken by the sound of the Watchmen’s bells ringing in the street outside. The three jump up and follow several others outside to see what’s up. They see the Watchmen running east toward the City of the Dead. Meanwhile, at the Temple of the Raven Queen, just as Teae, Oneldight and Sabine open the door they hear the Watchmen’s bell sounding first inside the temple and soon picked up by those outside. The three notice that all the lanterns are out inside the temple. Teae sees some shambling skeletons as she steps inside and shouts out a challenge! She is charged by one and dodges its attack. Two more close in on her and Sabine gets off a spell but misses the one she’d targeted. Oneldight moves into range as another skeleton joined the fray and Teae set off a Turn Undead spell killing four with one blast. The fight continues with Oneldight joining in and soon after the three travelers from the inn burst in and help. Eventually, 8 skeletons are lying in heaps about the foyer of the temple. Sabine finds a guard and gives him a last rites prayer. Ay-una pokes about the bones making sure the skulls are well separated from the spines and finds 10 gold pieces! [Group gets 325 xp each and splits up the gold]

Part 2: Below the Temple

Jonas, Teae, Oneldight, Sabine, Mia and Ay-una start to search the rest of the temple. Someone finds a pool of blood. Then they see a trail of blood from that pool to another, and then another. The crimson trail leads them closer and closer to the large statue of the Raven Queen. The group searches about the base of the statue for some kind of entrance as the trail has stopped suddenly right there. Mia sees that Oneldight is concentrating on one foot of the statue, which is of a different kind of stone. After a little manipulation, Mia figures out that that foot turns! When she moves it such, a door moves back into the statue base and opens to a set of stairs leading down. Jonas calls for light and leads the group to follow the trail of blood down. At the bottom of the stairs is a short hallway lined with sarcophagi and a trail of blood and entrails leading to a room at the far end. Following Jonas, the group moves quickly forward to the room and finds four more skeletons forming a circle about some runes on the floor that are wet and shiny looking. One of them is on fire. Sabine pulls off Turn undead and pins two of them to a wall, injuring a third! She is attacked by Blaze (yup, the guy on fire) using a HUGE fireball, now she is sort of burning. Jonas moves in, healing Sabine and hits Blaze and slips away from him. Slowly the others move into the tiny space and the fight is on! Both sides take damage, but the group has several healers and stay up and fighting. Eventually, there is nothing left but bones and bloody runes. The clerics look to the dead High Priest while the others check out the sarcophagus. It has been opened and the area where a right hand would be was disturbed, as if a ring were forcibly removed. Ay-una studies the circle and the runes and suggests it was for teleportation ritual. The clerics notice that the only part of the High Priest’s body that isn’t maimed and used for making the runes is the area around his pendant. They remove it and study it and discover it is a magic item. Ay-una makes sure skulls aren’t attached to spines any longer and comes up with another 20 gold! [Group gets 650 xp each and splits up the gold. The Feather of the Raven Queen, a +1 magic item and Holy Symbol is given to Sabine by unanimous agreement]


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