Arcane Session Transcript

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Re: Arcane Session Transcript

Post  Genisisect on Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:39 pm

The campaign intro... that I couldn'd find when I meant to use it....

Waterdeep, the city of splendour and intrigue. It was it was in an unimportant market square of that extraordinary city where you were waiting.

The contact who had summoned you here was more than mysterious, your sources were incapable of finding any information on him, though he seemed to know much about you. The letter you had been given was offering employment as an arcane investigator, and hinted that the contract was in some way connected to one of the mask lords of Waterdeep...

But there! A man with a blue feather in his cap, that's the sign. You approached the man and he asks in a stern voice "Stranger what news do you bring?" The code phrase, you purposefully answer "the library burns in Fareach" ( Fareach being some small town in the far north if the region and of no importance to the mission). He nods and leads you away from the market square.

The house to which he brings you is plain and unassuming. He leads you through the house up a flight of stairs to a corridor lined with for doors, directing you to one of them silently. You enter the room to find a rather bare bedding room with but a bed, cupboard, writing desk and empty book shelf, on the desk is a note which you immediately read. Some time later a spectral knock em minutes from the door, the sign to go to the living room to receive more details. Opening the door you behold the three other mages, who will be your fellow investigators and smirk...
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Session One - Greater Teleportation

Post  Tharivol Liadon on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:39 pm

Day 1


In the mid-afternoon, four figures enter a darkened room in a private residence in the city of Waterdeep. In the centre, a man in a black hooded cloak, is staring intently into the fireplace in the wall. The four greet each other; there is a Sun Elf Warlock, N'miir, with  golden skin and hair, dressed in elaborate robes with gold trim and red highlights. The Drow Necromancer, Kelaste'gos, silver-skinned, with a skull mask, a black hood, and dark clothing with red highlights, and armour. A human Beguiler, who introduces himself as Sullivan Westwind, with short but slightly shaggy grey hair, and grey comfortable clothing, with several pouches on his belt and bandolier. Finally, a human bard, silver-browed, known as Sandor Dragonsong. He has large grey, leathery dragonwings sprouting from his shoulders, and long black braided hair, streaked with silver. He is dressed in subdued purples, greys, blues and blacks, and wears a long grey cloak.

The four then turn to the man in the centre. The Necromancer reaches out his hand, but it passes straight through the figure - he is immaterial, clearly a Major Image spell. The figure turns and talks, revealing that he is taking measures of discretion. He won't reveal his name or origin either, only that he has need of some private investigators, and that they can call him The Employer. Westwind replies that he understands the need for discretion. The task at hand will be to recover a stolen artefact, which went missing three days ago. The figure reveals a magical projection of the object; it is a luminous dodecahedron about a foot in diameter. The ship carrying it, a personal cargo boat owned by The Employer, disappeared as it passed the centre of the port three days ago, just before the dawn. The servicemen sent to retrieve the item saw this happen, and The Employer agrees to send them straight to the investigators. He then directs them to small chest which has just appeared on a table, and reveals that inside is a Communication Pendant, which can be used to contact The Employer, but only when absolutely necessary.

An hour later, twelve men enter the house, dressed in armour, being led by an aged man who is clearly an experienced warrior. The group sits them down and asks for their first-hand account of the ship's disappearance. The leader tells them the ship approached the centre of the bay and then vanished in a flash of arcane light, and Sandor can tell that he is being earnest. He also draws a sketch of  the ship, so the group will be able to identify the ship on sight. They refuse to reveal anything about their employer or the terms of their services however, having been instructed not to.

The group of servicemen lead the investigators down to the docks to show them where they were. The men appear to have no idea about who could be behind the disappearance. Sandor, N'miir and Calastogos all fly out to the centre, while Westwind stays with the serviceman, who directs the investigators to approximately the location the ship vanished, after about half an hour. The day is calm, and the investigators determine that a very powerful object has been in the area recently. There is a powerful aura surrounding the area, of overwhelming magical strength. After this, Kelaste'gos tries to mount his invisible dragon, but fails horribly and falls into the bay. The dragon then tries and picks him up, tossing him in the air and then swooping beneath him, and Kelaste'gos falls and hurts himself on the dragon, but manages to stay on the dragon.

Westwind also detects a faint aura, the remains of a Greater Teleportation spell, and works out that it had a Touch range, with a high weight capacity, and could not carry living things. This means that the person casting the spell had to be in the water or on the boat itself, and that any crew would have fallen into the water. The group returns to shore, and asks how many crew there were, and finds that there were seven sailors, including the captain.
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Session Two - Into the Deep

Post  Tharivol Liadon on Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:11 pm

Day 1 Continued...

Westwind raises the point that the Touch spell could easily have been performed by a familiar, such as a bird or sea creature. Sandor asks the guard if there were any creatures around the ship when it disappeared, but he replies he didn't. Sandor also asks if there are any caves, ruins or shipwrecks under the bay, and Westwind pipes up, saying that there are a large number of caverns and sea caves, including the Umberlees Cache, inhabited by some sort of water deity,  a Sea Elf outpost and also a merfolk outpost, both serving the city. Underneath the mountain is the Undermountain, a terrible labyrinth leading to the Skullport, and underground cavern leading to the sea, the site of various dark arts and nefarious activities, also leading to the Underdark. We also ask the lead guard's name, and he says his name is Captain Inge Marquering. The ship was called Stigger.

We decide to walk around the docks and find the Harbourmaster, Olaf Madsen. We find him, and he greets Westwind warmly. He says there was a bit of trouble due to the disappearance. He finds the reports on his desk, and hands them to us. We copy the notes down - Dock 12 at 12:32, 7 crew aboard including the captain. We also ask how we would go about talking to the underwater folk, and he tells us we'd have to go there ourselves, the easiest way would be by using a potion or scroll. We decide we'd like a scroll, which means we must go to the Thayan Embassy, since we aren't members of the Order of the Tower. We ask the Captain where we'll be able to find him, and he says they normally reside with The Employer, but for our convenience, they will be able to be found at the Yawning Halls, an inn at the foot of the Mountain.

We head to the Embassy and enter. There are many Thays walking around, complete with tattooed scalps. Gos asks where we can find some scrolls of Magical Water Breathing. We are directed to a door down a corridor. Inside is a small shop with a shopkeeper, and some seats and shelves. N'miir asks for the scrolls, and after about twelve minutes of searching, he returns with four scrolls in hand, and says it will be 1500g total. One scroll can be cast on four people, for a total duration of 2 hours per caster level. This duration is split between those under the effect. We decide to send three down under the effect of one scroll, with Westwind staying above with his ring of communication. We buy all four anyway, for backups.

We return to the safehouse, deciding to do our underwater investigation in the daylight. It will still be dark underwater, but Gos and N'miir can see in the dark, and N'miir has a wand of Dark Vision.

Day 2

In the morning, Westwind decides, after mulling over the thought in the night, that Sandor's theory that the bodies might have sunk to the bottom of the bay might actually have some merit, since they can't have been teleported and didn't reach the shore.

We leave the safehouse at about eight and head down to the docks. We work out that even if Westwind was directly above us in a boat, his ring of communication would not reach N'miir's underwater, due to the interference from the water. Westwind still decides to stay on shore. The other three fly out to the site of the ship's disappearance, and N'miir casts the scrolls on himself, Gos and Sandor. We decide to ride Gos' invisible dragon to the bottom, but it gets knocked around by the currents and takes a full hour to reach the bottom, but thankfully not getting lost.

N'miir taps Sandor on the head with his wand of Dark Vision, and then they all look around. Gos spots the seven corpses, and Sandor determines after about twenty minutes of examination that they are definitely the seven missing sailors. It will take us an hour to reach the nearest merfolk settlement, but we decide to gather the bodies to bring back to the surface. We fit five of them in Gos' Bag of Holding, and the other two in Sandor's Handy Haversack. The spell starts wearing off just a few minutes from the surface, and the group almost drowns. We contact Westwind, and tell him that we've brought the bodies back, and they have no visible wounds or cause of death.

We return to the shore, and head to the safehouse to examine the bodies further. The group casts Detect Magic on all the corpses when we get them out, laying them on the table. We identify one of them as the captain, and start with him (the only one with a shirt on). After about three hours, the group concludes there is a faint aura lies over the bodies, of the Necromancy school of magic, of reasonably high level, but the specifics can't be detected. Gos determines that it might be a good idea to actually search the bodies, and the group does so thoroughly, and finds that all they possess are their clothes, no weapons or items at all. It becomes clear that the bodies have been looted before the ship vanished. We decide to take the bodies to the Harbourmaster and allow him to undertake the due process. By this time it is about three in the afternoon. Westwind recalls various thieves and organisations that would have access to great arcane magic, the most likely would be the Agents of the Eye.

The investigators return to the safehouse, and clear out the smell by opening the windows and using Sandor's wings to waft the smell away, and also mopping up the floors a bit. The group then goes to sleep for the night, planning to visit Skullport in the morning. During the night, Gos is unable to prepare new spells as he has some terrible nightmares.

Day 3

The party awakes at about seven in the morning and leaves the safehouse to go to the Skullport. Venturing into Skullport via the Undermountain, we reach our destination safely. It is densely populated by vile creatures such as Drow, Orcs and Illithids. High above, near the cavern's ceilings, are five very large floating skulls, bright green and flaming, whirling around the top of the cave. There is very poor lighting. Gos goes off and brings back all three of his dragons.

We head down to the port proper, aiming to find the Stigger. After several hours, by the time we've searched half the port, we are approached by a gang of eleven unhappy looking people. Gos steps forwards with his dragons, revealing them all to the gang. He asks what they want, and they say that there is a bounty on his, and they're here to collect. They then rush at Gos, a mage casting a field of Anti-Magic with a 10ft radius around themselves. Four of the gang leave the field and fire magic missiles at Sandor, who is knocked backwards to the floor. Gos' dragons attack a mage each, and Gos himself attacks the fourth with a crossbow, shooting him in the head, killing him immediately. The Green Dragon kills one mage, and the others are slightly wounded by the Black and Red Dragons. Kelaste'Gos is then suddenly transformed into a small turtle. Westwind casts a Vertigo Field of a 20ft Radius around the Anti-Magic Field, to cause the mages, when they leave, to become sick. The Black Dragon kills another mage. Sandor suddenly feels the Mage's mind entering his, and taking control. Westwind notices this, tells N'miir, and then dispels the spell from Sandor. N'miir then heals Sandor slightly. The Red Dragon then kills the fourth mage. Another mage then casts Purge Invisibility. Sandor heals himself a bit more as another thug rushes forward and swings at him with his cudgel. Five more rush forward, and Sandor runs one of them through with his rapier, and is then knocked out with a quarterstaff by the Master Mage who cast the field. Suddenly, eight more Sullivans appear, cast my Westwind as a Greater Mirror Image spell. A thug steps forward and picks up the turtle lying on the ground in the field. The Green Dragon swoops in and picks up the Master Mage, lifting him from the ground high into the air. The Red Dragon picks up Sandor and lifts him up, and the Black Dragon collects the thug who picked up the turtle. Three of the remaining four start to run away. The Master Mage casts Lesser Teleport in the Green Dragon's claws after dispelling the field, and vanishes. Westwind shoots one of the thugs running away, and then N'miir blasts the other two with an Eldritch Blast. The Green Dragon, claws now empty, swoops back down and picks up the remaining thug, rooted to the spot in terror. Everyone in the air descends, and Westwind dispels the Baleful Polymorph enchantment on Gos, returning him to Drow form. N'miir revives and heals Sandor.

We decide to return to Waterdeep. Gos heals his dragons and leaves the Black and Red behind in the warehouse where he keeps them again. On the bodies, we find an assortment of weapons, leather armour, wizard robes, and 4000g. Sandor takes a basic light crossbow [2d6, 19-20/x2, 80ft, P, M, 50bolts]. We then manacle the two prisoners and head up to the surface.

After another two hours of travel, at about five in the afternoon, we reach the surface. About five minutes from home, the group is confronted by the City Watch, who ask what we are doing with the two manacled men. Gos explains that we were attacked by the two thugs while away from the city, and being P.I.'s, are bringing them in for questioning. The Watchmen allow us to continue, but request that we return the thugs to the watch when we're done with them. We reach the safehouse and sit the two prisoners down. One spits in Westwind's face when he begins interrogating them. Sandor approaches and asks their names: Drest (Cunobelinus) and Caomh (Fedlimid). N'miir, after making unhelpful remarks about killing the two thugs, leaves the room upon Sandor's polite request.

Sandor serves them some fruit and cheese, and asks if they aren't talking because they're going to be handed over to the Watch anyway, and implies that may not be the case... Drest replies that after being handed to the Watch, they'll serve no more than two months gaol-time and then be back on the streets, so being free is no incentive for them. Sandor then threatens to bring N'miir back inside, and after they do nothing but sneer back, Westwind opens the door and N'miir enters, looking very angry. With no response from the thugs, N'miir casts an Eldritch Blast towards them...

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Session Three - The Ruins of Skullport

Post  Tharivol Liadon on Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:16 am

Day 3 Continued...

The Blast narrowly misses both of their heads, hitting the wall behind them. N'miir threatens them, and they are visibly terrified, one whimpering pathetically. Gos asks who put the bounty on the group, and they reply that the mage is their boss, Thewman Svelra, who recently joined the group when the gang was under threat from rival gangs at the ports. He dealt with the rival gang and took over leadership. They were instructed to attack anyone who looks suspicious, hanging around the ports or the ruined area of Skullport. Their group works around the docks, and often meets in one of the taverns - the Grey Mamba. We ask if they know anything about the Stigger, the disappearing ship, and they reply that they saw it in Skullport, but it had since been scuttled. A group of cloaked men were unloading a crate of about 2ft3.

Having finished questioning the thugs, Sandor removes the memories of the questioning, and Westwind knocks out the two thugs. We then take them to the City Watch and fill out the necessary paperwork. The group discusses our next destination when we return home, and Westwind happens to know a lot about Skullport, and the ruined area. The ruins are the result of the catastrophe with the Weave, and are the remnants of the Netherilian civilisation from thousands of years ago. The group then sleeps for the night. Gos is plagued with more nightmares in the night, constantly haunted by the image of the artefact, and a feeling of fear. He is unable to prepare spells.

Day 4

We struggle to wake Gos from his meditation, and then head down to the Skullport again. We collect the dragons on the way, and reach the ruins of the Skullport, detecting the presence of the Mithlar, and a great flux of magic. As we enter, we come across three possible passages; one leading to a manor, one which was once a street, and one which appears to lead underground. Gos decides to send his Quasit to look in the manor house, carrying one of the communication rings. The signal fades in and out due to the flux, and the suddenly the group hears a loud yelp, and suddenly Gos can't feel anything from the Quasit.

We decide to enter the building, all turning invisible, leaving the dragons outside. We walk through a pitch-black corridor and come to a T-junction, at which the Quasit turned left. Gos and N'miir poke their heads around the corner. The corridors beyond. We take the left fork, and by the end of the corridor, magic stops working. The group becomes visible. After 15ft more, Gos becomes invisible again. The other three join him, and N'miir recasts his invisibility. Westwind and Sandor decide to remain behind, rather than waste more magic. We hear them walk away, until their footsteps fade away. To pass the time, Sandor performs a merry jig for a minute. The two keep their ears open but hear nothing. We  decide to return to the other side of the dead-magic field, but when they reach the point where the field began before, Sandor realises that the field is still going, and is longer than it was before. They stop in their tracks, and then Westwind feels a piercing pain in his mind, and collapses to the ground. Sandor stops and turns, and then feels around for his body, but then he feels a piercing pain in his mind, and he too falls unconscious.

Westwind wakes in a dark room, suspended by his arms from a wall, with only a small amount of light creeping in under a door. From this light, he can see the room is four-walled, the door is opposite him, and on the other two walls there are two other figures hanging on the wall. He can tell that he is cut off from magic, probably in another dead-zone, and can't sense his raven. He attempts to activate his light gloves, successfully illuminating the room. To his left is Sandor, unconscious and also suspended. To his right, is the Necromancer, also unconscious. He calls quietly to the other prisoners, but they don't respond. He hears a sliding sound, and a bar of light appears as someone peers inside, and then leaves again. Westwind struggles in his chains, but then a large group of people enter the room; thirteen hooded, human-sized figures and thirteen very tall and slender non-humans. One of the tall creatures unshackles him and throws him on the ground, casting a spell on him, which renders him paralysed. He is barely able to speak, but manages to utter "What's going on?". One of the hooded human-sized throws back his cloak, and N'miir says "Why, my friend, you are being initiated!".
"Into what?" replies Westwind.
"The Order, my friend."
One of the taller figures steps forward and explains grandly, "The Order of Shar's Mages!".
At this point in time, the Necromancer begins to stir.
"Is it going to hurt?" asks Westwind.
The tall figure grins slyly. He turns around, and three other figures step forward holding a black box each. They each open their box, revealing in order, a 1.5ft black rod, the artefact we have been looking for, and two interlocked dull metal rings, about 1/2ft in diameter each. The tall mage, N'miir, and a third, human mage move forward and collect the three items, and the box-bearers leave the boxes in the corner. The tall mage holds the artefact, N'miir holds the rings, and the third mage the rod. The box bearers leave the boxes stacked neatly in a corner.

Sandor begins to stir as well, and now Gos is fully awake, but unable to feel his familiar or dragons. The mages are now beginning some sort of ritual, standing in a triangle. Westwind can sense immense power in the room, but can't identify the spell they are casting. He can tell the three items possess great power, and can feel the spell invading his mind. He tries to resist, but all of the sudden every inch of his body is in unbearable pain, and he lies on the floor, unable to even scream. N'miir raises the interlocked rings, and turns their power against the mage wielding the artefact. Suddenly, around the room, the other twelve tall figures all shriek in pain and collapse to the ground, dead. The mage on the other side, with the rod, falls and clutches his head. The black rod shatters into a thousand tiny pieces. All but four of the humanoids fall as well, trying to claw out their own eyes. He is chained to the wall, but the block against his magic had been lifted. From the wall, he casts Phantasmal Killer at the lead mage, but fails.

N'miir feels a shattering as the lead mage breaks their connection. He then casts Baleful Polymorph from a scroll, but it fails to take effect, and the scroll burns up. One of the other mages casts Cone of Cold, hitting the whole group. Westwind, now mobile, avoids most of the damage by rolling out of the way, and then manages to stand up. He casts Distract Assailant from the wand in his buckler, and then casts Mass Whelm on two of the mages, who fall unconscious, and also the leader. Sandor, now fully awake, casts Knock on his chains and frees himself, as the lead mage leaps out of the room, clear of Westwind's spell, and then casts Meteor Swarm, heedless of the four mages still in the room...

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Session Three - Double Agent (N'Miir's Perspective)

Post  KnifeytheWanderer on Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:27 am

"Fine, remain here and be unproductive. Kelaste'gos, let us continue." With that, N'Miir and Kelaste'gos continued down the corridor, leaving both Westwind and Dragonsong behind. They move cautiously, well aware of the potential dangers hidden amongst the crumbling ruins. After walking for a short while, they come across a room, ten by fifteen feet.

"This is the room in which your incompetent Quasit fell silent," N'Miir stated, eyes narrowed. Kelaste'gos let out an unamused grunt, peering through the threshold into the room beyond. It was hewn from solid stone, completely and utterly featureless aside from two doors on either side of the room. The right was entirely caved in, and the left lay open, revealing a corridor beyond.

"Do you think there'll be traps?" Kelaste'gos asked. "Magical or otherwise?"

"Most likely, but I doubt we'll be able to locate them," N'Miir frowned. He disliked admitting weakness, but there was no choice in this situation. "I am not equipped for finding regular traps, and the magical auras in this area would cause large amounts of negative feedback if we attempted 'detect magic'."

"Ah, Jango, why'd you have to get lost in here?" Kelaste'gos muttered.

"Well, we won't find your stupid pet by standing here. Go on." N'Miir jabbed Kelaste'gos in the back. The Dread Necromancer shot him a foul look, before continuing into the room. N'Miir waited at the entrance, watching the other step carefully, eyes darting about behind the skull he wore.

And then he disappeared. N'Miir's face contorted in shock as he watched Kelaste'gos step into the centre of the room and vanish, falling through what he suspected was some sort of portal. He froze for a moment, blinking in mild shock.

"I can't believe this," he groaned. "Incompetent necromancer." N'Miir remained where he was, eyes trained on the centre of the room. With a sigh he began to concentrate, calling upon his powers. 'Let us see if I can detect anything.'

His efforts proved futile however, his attempts to concentrate thwarted by the sheer chaos of the area's magic. He flinched as he felt it backfire, cringing in pain. Taking a moment to shake it off, he turned. While he was undeniably curious about what the portal contained and where it had transported Kelaste'gos, it would be foolish to continue on without at least informing their lazy companions.

'I can't believe th-'

N'Miir felt a sudden, sharp pain in his skull. All thought and vision ceased as he tumbled to the floor, unconscious.

.......

N'miir stirred, his mind bleary and his thoughts muddled. He had no idea what day it was, or how much time had passed since Kelaste'gos had disappeared and he had succumbed to darkness. A part of him was embarrassed by this show of weakness, but it was quickly squashed as he focused on the situation at hand.

His magic felt far away, both the voices that frequently inhabited his head and the flow of power he felt within him distant and unattainable. There was great power in the room though, power N'Miir believed belonged to one or more magical artefacts. He could hear voices, owned by people -around twelve, he guessed- most likely aware of his presence, but his attempt to concentrate on their words bore little fruit. The snippets he did catch spoke of a man, meant to arrive, but beyond that he gathered nothing.

'Well there's no point simply lying here. I have no intention of being slaughtered like a helpless sheep.'

As subtly as he could, N'Miir attempted to sit. This quickly proved pointless, as a numb feeling overcame him, forcing him to lie against the ground. Frustrated, he opened his eyes. Hazy shapes appeared in his vision, many more than N'Miir had initially expected. There were twelve vaguely humanoid figures, as he had counted, but much taller silhouettes also stood around the room, silent and waiting.

'Curse it all to the Nine Hells.'


With that thought, a thirteenth figure entered the room. The chatter ceased immediately, the gathered people moving instead to surround N'Miir. Through his weary eyes, he saw the newly-arrived man approach a chest and retrieve an oddly-shaped purple object.

'The artefact!'

Apprehension growing within, N'Miir glanced at two of the other figures, both of which retrieved objects of their own. A dark rod, and a pair of dull silver rings, interlocked. They moved around him, the humans in front, the taller creatures behind, with the main three forming a triangle around him.

Then the ritual began, and N'Miir cringed. He felt something probe at his mind, something wholly different from the demons and dark thoughts that often occupied it. He knew how to repel them with ease, but this new force overwhelmed him completely, waving away all his attempts at resistance and pushing into his psyche. Peering up at the figures around him, he noted that the current focus was on the man wielding the purple artefact.

'This power...is from...that...'

His thoughts ceased however, as his body was suddenly pierced from all sides by an immense pain. N'Miir was familiar with hurt, especially of the emotional sort, but this physical pain was on another level entirely. His entire being felt as if it were being seared, completely and utterly destroyed and decimated. With what little awareness he could muster, he gathered that this hellish pain was caused by the wielder of the black rod.

'SUBMIT!'

Through the pain N'Miir felt a sudden jolt, as if something were attempting to command him. He felt it attempt to manipulate him, shape his mind and enslave it. Chain his distant powers to suit its needs and whims, and erase the being he was. It was if something was trying to alter his entire psyche into something it was not.

Trying and failing.

He felt a link between the continued attempts at subjugation and the silver rings, peering up at the one who wielded the interwoven circles. The attempts continued, but it felt wrong. All of it was wrong.

'You do not...subjugate...me. No one...enslaves...me.'

He doubted that he resisted the rings' magic through any sort of will power and inner strength, but a part of him not consumed by pain was amused by the fact that his foul warlock powers appeared to be, in some way, resistant to the magic of these items.

Then, suddenly, it ceased. He felt the probing and the pain disappear. He was dimly aware of the figures around him leaving, passing through the door as they left him lying on the ground. His body was impossibly numb, and haunted by the pain that had racked it.
He knew he had no choice but to fall back into darkness.

So he did.
.......

N'Miir awoke, mind foggy. Wearily he opened his eyes, glancing around the room. He was located in a cell, one that appeared vaguely familiar.

'The ritual room...they must not have moved me.'

The room itself was fairly uninteresting, most likely an underground cell, though the sight of food and water resting near the entrance of it did make up for its lack of decor. He had no idea how much time had passed, but he was famished, and his throat was dry. He crawled over to it, cringing with shame at his pathetic display, and took the food in hand. It was nothing special, but with a cautious sniff, he figured it wasn't poisoned.

'If it is, you'll find out.'

He ate quickly, barely even bothering to chew. He still felt weak, tired, but as he swallowed his food and drink, he felt some strength return to him. His limbs regained feeling and his mind cleared somewhat.

He felt his magic too, still locked away but closer. He felt as if he reached out, his fingers would almost touch it. It was frustrating, and reminded him of unpleasant things, things he wished to forget. Other children had loved to dangle things in front of him, like his nightly meal, the taller ones keeping it just out of his reach so they could watch him struggle and flail for it.

'But this is different,' he thought. 'And more dangerous. One false move and I'll be dead, or worse.'

The door opened. N'Miir looked up. A man entered the room, one he recalled from the ritual. He was impressive, tall, with an angular face and long dark hair, clearly well-kept. N'Miir could feel power roll off him in waves, and with a twinge of anger and envy, he noted that the man was undoubtedly stronger than himself.

He did not appear threatening however, no malice evident in his eyes. With a slight smile he looked down at N'Miir, still seated on the stone floor.

"N'Miir, my friend, how do you feel?" He asked. He spoke as if they were friends, and with a spark of inspiration N'Miir realised it was because that was exactly what he believed.

'He thinks we're...allies. Yet considering the ordeal they put me through, the only way to justify that is if they believe they've altered my psyche.' Pieced together with his experiences during the strange ritual, it seemed logical.

N'Miir forced a tired smile, glad that he was a somewhat competent actor. He had always preferred brutal honesty, unafraid of the impact his cruel words might have -or at least, he had moved beyond caring who he hurt, since his existence appeared to be only capable of harming others-, but he knew that if he slipped up now things could go horribly wrong.

'And not just for me, but for everyone. Curse it, I don't even know what happened to the others.' For a moment, N'Miir wondered why he even cared for those idiots. 'Don't you dare get attached to those disgusting fools, Arshil.'

Clearing his throat, he looked up at the other man.

"I am feeling much better, friend, but a certain weariness still hangs over me. I do not believe I am capable of proper movement at this time." N'Miir thanked Corellon that he did not have to fake said weariness. His body still felt numb, a faint ache echoing through his core.

"Ah, that is to be expected," the man responded. "The ritual does have such side effects, but they can be healed quite simply." He paused for a brief moment. "Your own initiation was quite odd, however, and I have no doubt some of this wearing is caused by that. Your powers seemed...resistant to the change we put upon them."

"Thankfully they were not," N'Miir said, "though they still feel somewhat distant."

"Oh, my apologies." The man waved his hand over N'Miir's head, and N'Miir felt power flood back into him. All his magic had returned, no longer hampered by the other. "Is that better? It may feel different, but that is to be expected."

"It does feel...different," N'Miir lied. "But it is also good. It feels...as if some sort of veil has been lifted, and my powers are truly free to flourish."

"That is good, N'miir," the man grinned, holding out a hand. "Now, no doubt you are still feeling weak. I will take you to a healer." N'Miir accepted the other's hand, and allowed him to help him to his feet. He internally denied needing the assistance, despite the fact his legs were still slightly shaky. They did not give out beneath him however, and he managed to walk beside the other man, his 'friend'.

The two passed down several corridors, the mage talking with N'Miir as they headed toward the healer's quarters. N'Miir learnt that it had been a week since he had fallen unconscious in the ruins of Skullport. Beyond that, the man spoke of their group, the Order of Shar's Mages, and made other idle chatter. N'Miir heard all of it, but only kept what was necessary in his mind. Still, it would be somewhat strange if he did not respond with something.

"I must ask, friend, is it fair that you know my name and yet I do not know yours?" He asked. The other man looked thoughtful for a moment, before nodding slightly.

"Ah yes, as an ally of mine it would be fine to share my name with you," he said. "I am Malavar Aaltonen."

"Malavar. It is a good name." As he spoke, N'Miir and Malavar entered the healer's quarters.  The room itself is fairly plain, housing only a few beds, a shrine to the Goddess Shar, and other pieces of furniture and equipment designed for healing halls.

A healer approached N'Miir, setting to work immediately. Malavar stood to the side as they set themselves to the task of erasing N'Miir's weariness. Their magic was shocking for N'Miir. While he recognised it for what it was, he could still hardly believe he was able to detect it. It was drawn not from the Weave, but from the Shadowweave, magic that N'Miir knew he should not be able to see.

And yet he could.

'It would seem that I have been...affected in some way after all.'

The healer finished quickly, glancing over at Malavar. The man dismissed them with a wave of his hand, then walked back to N'Miir's side.

"There, you should feel better now," he said.

"Indeed, I feel revitalised," N'Miir responded. "It is as if I have been reborn. My magic is stronger, my body refreshed...it is a glorious sensation." It was also an exaggeration, as aside from feeling less tired and somewhat perturbed by his ability to detect shadow magic, he felt no obvious differences from the 'him' that had existed before the ritual.

"That is most pleasing to hear."

"I am glad of that, but..." he paused for a moment. Now was the time to ask questions, but he had to tread carefully. One false move and he could be imprisoned, attacked, forced through more subjugation rituals, or killed. "I have some questions, if you would be willing to answer."

Malavar simply nodded, his smile unwavering. N'Miir forced himself to smirk back, incapable of smiling. If it were possible, N'Miir had forgotten how to smile over the years. The smirk suited him though, a dark look that made him all the more intimidating.

"Before my initiation I was travelling with three other men. They were...odd, somewhat strange. Their skills were useful however, so I kept them around. No sense throwing aside a toy not yet broken after all." He paused for a moment. The knowledge that what he said was only a partially a lie unnerved him. The fact that a part of him actually cared about his three fellow investigators irked him to no end. "I was wondering what happened to them? Have they been initiated."

"Not yet, my friend," Malavar answered. "Though we have them in holding cells, we have yet to go forth with their initiation. You were a special case, as I mentioned, so we pushed your own initiation forward. We wanted to make sure your mind was properly subjugated, given the attention it needed, so that you would join us and our Order."

"Then I am fortunate, to be the first of my group to be given such attention," N'Miir bowed his head slightly. "Truly, I have never felt so powerful."

"Hmm." Malavar nodded, clearly pleased. N'Miir decided to gather more information, perhaps discern the Order's purpose and the location of his allies.

"I must also ask, friend, what you intend for me to do," he said. "Now that I have been initiated and granted such power, I must know what you would have me do for our order. What is expected of me?"

"A perfectly legitimate question, N'Miir," Malavar said. "We have great plans, all of us, and it would please us for you to take part in them. Our Order intends to launch an attack on the city of Waterdeep, to subjugate and enslave more mages and bring them under our control."

'They want to attack Waterdeep? Nine Hells... If they were to gain power over all the mages there, they'd destroy everything...and my livelihood. It would ruin it. All my plans, my work...tch.'

"Such a thing would bring me great joy, to subjugate other mages and secure our hold on Waterdeep," N'Miir said. "Truly, for other magic wielder's to not know the power of Shar, it is an outrage. One that we must correct. The fact that you would allow me to take part in such a crusade against these people, to take part in their enslavement, their enlightenment..." He trailed off, smirking cruelly.

"Your enthusiasm for our cause is a pleasure to see," Malavar commented. N'Miir gave a bow of his head, before frowning slightly.

"I must ask more of you though," he said. The question he planned to ask was risky, but it needed to be done. "My old...companions. Would you be willing to show me to them? I would bring me much pleasure to look upon their weakened forms before they finally embrace the night."

N'Miir's wished he could blast something as the other man sighed, shaking his head.

"I cannot allow this, N'Miir," he said, before giving him a levelled look. "However, I would offer you the chance to participate in their initiation. I believe you would be a welcome part of our ritual. We intend to subjugate the old one tonight, and I have no doubt that you would enjoy seeing his mind enslaved."

"I would indeed enjoy such a thing," N'Miir answered. "In fact, to be given the chance to subjugate him myself..." The man grinned at him. "It would please me greatly."

It actually disgusted him, somewhat. For all his talk, N'Miir had no desire to enslave anyone. It was the same with the thugs from earlier. He had no real urge to do anything aside from terrify them.

Still, if he was to save his allies then he would need to take part in their initiation, see if he could prevent their enslavement to the Order. And perhaps he could attempt a little subjugation of his own.

'But only a temporary one, before I slaughter you.' He thought, looking at the man before him. If he could get his hands on those silver rings, he could use their magic against his 'friend'. He was stronger than N'Miir, but perhaps he would not be so powerful with his mind overwhelmed.

"Well, if you are to take part in tonight's ritual you will need to rest," Malavar said, before turning away. "Come, N'Miir, I will take you to a place were you may trance in peace until nightfall."

"Thank you," N'Miir replied, following the other. No more words were shared between the two until they arrived at a fairly non-descript room. It contained a bed, desk, and other items of furniture that N'Miir would most likely have no use for.

"Rest well, friend."

"I shall, in preparation for tonight."

Malavar gave him a nod, before closing the door behind him. N'Miir's smirk dropped away instantly, replaced with his typical frown.

'It will be glorious indeed, when I turn your own artefacts against you.'

He sat down on the bed, letting out a small sigh.

'And I suppose rescuing those incompetent allies of mine will be worthwhile...if only so they'll all be in my debt, of course.'
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The End of an Investigation!! (Case Closed!)

Post  KnifeytheWanderer on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:34 pm

Fiery spheres fell from above in a mad array of heat and flame. N'Miir's face contorted as he spun to the side, dodging the majority of the attack. One of the meteors singed him, but he ignored it with ease. His powers protected him, reduced the damage of all things but foul cold iron,  and the sparks that touched him did little more than irritate.

"Is that really your best Mala-" N'Miir never finished his sentence, as there was a sudden explosion. The room was filled with red as blood and gore splattered the walls, decorating his form with all manner of burning innards.

His pupils shrunk in horror, and he spun around. Westwind stood relatively unharmed, having nimbly removed himself from harm's way. Kelaste'gos hung unconscious, but still in one piece.

But Dragonsong...

N'Miir's face twisted in shock, staring at where his companion had hung. Only just freed and lacking any luck, Dragonsong had faced the full force of the Meteor Swarm. His body, or what was left of it, now covered the room.

'Corellon no...'
N'Miir's mind went blank. These idiots, incompetent worthless idiots, had found a place in the shrivelled, decayed remains of his heart and all of them, including Dragonsong, had put up with his wretched self. They were the closest things he'd had to friends in many years and now...

'Is this not always the way, little Miir?'
One of his demons spoke, whispering to him. 'You are a monster. Monsters kill everything they touch, and everything that touches them. You sunder your enemies, and strike fear into all...but if one were to be your ally, the only life for them exists after death.'

'Shut your mouth scum,' N'Miir thought, turning his head to face Malavar once more. 'I will bring him back, I will not lose another. Now, I will give you want you want.'

'And what do we want N'Miir?' Their voices sung in his head. N'Miir's face lit up with a sick glee, blood dripping down his cheeks. His eyes seemed to glow, the green in them shifting to a deep red as he smirked at Malavar.

'WE WANT HIS LIFE,' he roared in his head. Eldritch energies swirled around him, demonic laughter in his head as his sanity dipped away. Replacing it was the desire to rend and destroy, to see the remains on the wall covered by his enemy's blood.

"Malavar Aaltonen!" He boomed, his voice echoed by the blood-curdling shrieks of his demons. "For my mind which you wished to subjugate, and the blood that stains these walls, I claim your life. Corellon damn you, Shar reject you, and the Nine Hells rejoice at your coming and the torment they will deliver unto you!"

He held both his hands before him, one gripping his sceptre and the other covered in eldritch flames. Corrupt purple energy glowed before him, and the sheer force of his power sent his hair and clothes whipping around him. Both shadows and light danced across his face, teeth bared in a grin.

"I am the Shade of the Sun, N'Miir Arshil!" He locked eyes with Malavar. "And all those who know me perish and burn!"

His hair flared and his cloak billowed as he fired his eldritch blast. Horror descended upon Malavar's face as he realised that there was no escape from this attack, no way to run or hide. N'Miir watched it and smiled, vengeful and terrifying.

"Goodbye, my 'friend'."

Malavar was unable to scream as the blast connected and his body was split into hundreds of gory pieces. His blood coated the walls of the corridor just beyond the room and spilt across the threshold, and his remains steamed with excess heat. N'Miir stood and watched it all, calming as his enemy now lay dead.

For a moment he remained still, listening only to the sounds of Westwind scurrying about. No doubt the man was seeing to Kelaste'gos, still bound and chained to the wall. He heard the necromancer groan and turned to see his assumptions were correct, then glanced over the rest of the room.

"Westwind, loot the remains and collect as many of Dragonsong's possessions as possible," N'Miir said, reaching down to pick up chunk of flesh. "I'll collect the artefacts and...Dragonsong."

Westwind nodded, and the two proceeded with their tasks. N'Miir gathered up as many pieces of his fallen companion as possible, dropping the sticky remains into his haversack. No doubt his many scrolls and wands were now covered in foul gore, but he found he did not mind. He planned to make Dragonsong pay the cleaning bill once he was resurrected, or simply have the man cleanse the bag himself.

'He will be resurrected. I will not fail this time.'

N'Miir closed his eyes against the onslaught of memories, damning words spoken, crushing his hopes and decimating his dreams.

'I am sorry friend, but this man cannot be resurrected. His soul his bound and trapped by others, I doubt there is anyone that can save him.'

'There must be someone. Tell me where I can find them! Tell me, damn you! Tell me!!'


He shook his head and scowled, eyes turning away from the disgusting red in the room to look upon the three artefacts. While the black rod lay shattered, the other two were still relatively intact. He picked up the black rod and the purple object and slid them into his haversack, pausing only over the rings.

He could still feel the power within them, ebbing and flowing in great waves. His fingers twitched and he recalled how it felt to wield them, to have such impressive magic obey him. To turn it against his enemies and watch them scream.

'Take them for yourself.'

'No.'

'TAKE THEM.'

'You obey me, not the other way around. If I decide to hand these over none of you will complain or I'll make you wish you were Malavar Aaltonen.'


He allowed the rings to join their mystical companions as he placed them in his bag and stood. He looked to his allies. Kelaste'gos watched him warily while Westwind peered out the door, past the pieces of Malavar Aaltonen and into the darkness beyond.

"We need to move," Westwind announced. "But I'll speak to our Contact first. At the very least he should be aware of what's happened here.

"Agreed," N'Miir said. He turned his attention away as Westwind retrieved the amulet of communication from a pool of blood and proceeded to inform their employer of what had occurred, or at the very least tell him they had found his artefact.

'Half-Elf?'


N'Miir did not flinch, instead glancing down at the ring of communication that still decorated his right hand. He raised an eyebrow at it.

"Jango?" He asked. Kelaste'gos's head shot up and the necromancer quickly approached him. N'Miir rolled his eyes.

'Yes, this is Jango. And a rather bizarre pigeon...'

"I would assume that is Westwind's familiar," N'Miir replied. "Where are you two located?"

'Outside the ruins of Skullport, with Master's Pets.'

"Your familiars are outside with the dragons," N'Miir announced. "Now, if you're both done here I'd like to move on. My bag is full of our recently deceased team mate and I'd like to resurrect him."

"You want to resurrect Dragonsong?" Kelaste'gos gave him an incredulous look. N'Miir sneered at him, not dignifying his question with a response. He understood the necromancer's confusion, of course. N'Miir had done little to indicate he cared about the bard, mostly because N'Miir couldn't afford to be close to anyone.

But he'd damn himself before he let an ally remain dead.

Furrowing his brows he called upon his powers and turned invisible. As an afterthought he raised himself above the ground, to limit the amount of sound his movements would make. Both Westwind and Kelaste'gos quickly did the same, Westwind casting Greater Invisibility on himself and Kelaste'gos slipping his ring of invisibility onto his finger. Neither could fly, however, and so were forced to be careful with their movements.

The trio moved through the Order's headquarters, eyes darting about as they attempted to find their way to the surface. They managed to avoid all manner of disasters as they escaped, remaining unnoticed as they snuck out the exit and dashed beyond the ruins of Skullport. There both Kelaste'gos and Westwind reunited with their wayward companions. N'Miir shifted uncomfortably. The longer Dragonsong's remains lay within his bag, the more anxious he got.

Of course he had no intention of letting either of his companions know this. He was still N'Miir Arshil, and he had a reputation of heartlessness to keep up.

He also had little desire to expose himself to others. Even if he considered these men allies, there was a level of trust required for him to be vulnerable before them, and considering how damaged he was, he doubted that trust would be obtained anytime soon.

"We should move," he announced after some time. "We're still too close to the ruins for my liking, and besides, this is Skullport. We're carrying three valuable items in Skullport.' His meaning was obvious, and both his companions understood immediately.

Thus, after a quick stop to deposit two of Kelaste'gos's dragons, and place the ring of invisibility upon the third, they made their way out of Skullport. N'Miir was glad to leave the place and its horrendous stink behind him. They traversed the streets of Waterdeep with great speed until finally arriving at their current home.

They slowed their approach as they noticed the large number of figures standing outside the house. A hooded figure stood with an escort of guards, including those that had been meant to receive the purple artefact from the Stigger. N'Miir regarded them warily. He knew it was their Contact, but that didn't mean caution wasn't necessary.

'That's definitely another Major Image,'
he thought, frowning. The magical energies were the same as before, when the hooded figure had manifested within their current home. 'It seems I'm not the only one playing this game cautiously.'

His bag seemed suddenly heavier, images of blood-stained walls and gory chunks of flesh filling his mind.

'This is a game in which people die, and I've already had to deal with one false friend.'
He narrowed his eyes at the hooded figure. 'Who's to say you won't betray us...?'

"N'Miir," Westwind's voice interrupted his thoughts. The older man's eyes were sharp, yet strangely comforting. "I won't say your paranoia is unwarranted, but it may do you some good to rein it in. You look like you're going to kill someone."

"You look like you have killed someone," Kelaste'gos muttered.

"That may be because I have indeed killed someone, quite recently in fact," N'Miir said. He understood their point however. He made little effort to disguise his obvious distrust and anger, and he was covered in blood. His companions were too, and he had no doubt that if they had not made the majority of their journey in invisibility- Westwind had cast Invisibility on Kelaste'gos once the other had passed his ring along to Trogdor- they would have been pulled aside by the Watch.

"Greetings, Investigators," the Contact said, as they stopped before him. "Mr Westwind has informed me that you have obtained the artefact."

"Yes, we have obtained the item you sought," Westwind nodded. "It was in the possession of an underground organisation known as the Order of Shar's Mages." As he spoke, N'Miir opened his haversack. The smell of flesh and blood wafted out, and he pursed his lips. Glad for the haversack's ability to bring the item one desired to the top of the bag, he retrieved the purple artefact and held it out.

"They had two other items as well," Westwind continued. N'Miir twitched slightly. "A black rod and two rings of dull silver, interlocked. They appeared to be using them in some sort of bizarre initiation ritual. I assume it was meant to wipe and subjugate an initiate's mind, replacing it's original purpose with one that suited the Order."

"That is correct," N'Miir stated. "From the information I gathered, it is clear the ritual is meant to enslave the mind of mages, as well as connect their magic to the Shadowweave. It may interest you to know they intended to turn this power against Waterdeep. They had planned to attack the city and use the artefacts to enthrall its mages. The invited me to join in but..." N'Miir smirked, "I had other plans."

"Hm, I will have to send my men to look into this Order," the Contact murmured, signalling for one of the guards to come forth and take the purple artefact. "If you be willing to part with them, it would please me greatly to take possession of the other two objects. I can keep them housed where they will do no harm."

"Perhaps, but..." N'Miir pulled his hand back as the guard reached for the purple artefact. "It would please me greatly if you would remove your hood. I understand you're only an illusion, and perhaps even a disguised one at that, but I would ask you entertain my request."

The Contact was silent for a moment, before nodding.

"I can indeed entertain your request, Mr Arshil." With that he threw back his hood. Westwind let out a reverent gasp, before bowing his head in respect. Kelaste'gos whistled, clearly impressed. N'Miir himself was quite surprised to find one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep before them. Even if he were an impersonator, to pretend to be a Lord when one was not was punishable by death and a person required a certain level of foolishness or power that N'Miir had to concede was impressive.

"It may also comfort you to know my intentions for this artefact," the Lord gave a slight wave of his hand to draw their attention to the purple object. "It has multiple uses, including channeling magics and acting a conduit for them, among other things. I hope to use it to finally rid Skullport of those infuriating skulls and perhaps rebuild the place as something other than a hiding place for villanous scum."

"A most noble pursuit," Westwind said. Kelaste'gos frowned slightly, and N'Miir assumed he was worried about his undead beasts losing their current home.

"Well, it will be most impressive if you prove capable of the task," N'Miir smirked, allowing the guard to finally take hold of the purple artefact. Then he reached back into his haversack and drew forth the shattered pieces of the black rod and the silver rings. He allowed the broken rod to be taken without question, but as one of the guards reached forth for the rings he pulled back.

There was a sudden tension in the air as N'Miir clung to them. The demons in his head chittered, encouraging him to keep the rings for himself. His own selfish desires bubbled up. He'd fought for these rings, risked his life for them, felt their power in his hands. They reacted so delightfully to him, and they held such mysterious magic. N'Miir wanted to study them, master them.

'No.' He silenced his thoughts with a simple command, holding out his hand once again and letting the guard take hold of the rings. They were placed in a secure box, along with the other two artefacts.

"Your rewards have been placed within your current 'home', in which you are welcome to stay for the time being," their employer said. "I thank you for your assistance with this matter, and believe the riches you shall find within appropriate compensation for your efforts."

"Thank you, my Lord," Westwind gave a polite bow. Kelaste'gos merely nodded. Both of them glanced toward N'Miir, who moved to stand a little closer to their contact.

"You have rewarded us, but I must ask one more thing of you, before we part," he said. "If you know of a person capable of ressurection, I would ask for you to direct us to them." The man before them paused, a thoughtful if sombre silence descending.

"I had wondered where the fourth member of your company had gone," he murmured finally. "I assume it would not be a stretch to say that it is not only your enemies' blood that covers you and your allies?"

"It would be the truth," N'Miir frowned. "But what has occurred matters little. The fact is that I have collected enough of his remains for a simple ressurection. He was bright in spirit, if not mind, and would no doubt like to be returned to life in ways more savoury than anything Kelaste'gos could provide."

Kelaste'gos gave N'Miir a pointed look, but said no more. If the half-elf wanted to make inappropriate jokes about the his profession, Kelaste'gos didn't care enough to stop him.

"Well you are fortunate. I do indeed know a person who could perform such a resurrection. Here." The masked lord summoned a glowing orb. "Follow this. It will lead you to them. They will require payment, of course, but Sandor Dragonsong's portion of the reward should easily cover that."

"...Thank you," the words felt strange in N'Miir's mouth. It was not often he used them. He was a man who felt little gratitude and showed even less, for his own reasons. "Now, I shall take my leave. I would have Dragonsong resurrected sooner rather than later." He paused for a moment. "And then I shall set him to the task of cleaning my haversack."

"Then I shall leave you to it," the lord nodded. "I thank you all once again for your services, you have truly aided Waterdeep. If the need arises, I know I have some competent investigators to call upon."

"I would be honoured to assist you again, my Lord," Westwind said.

"Likewise, though I may call upon a favour or three in return," Kelaste'gos murmured, looking skyward. No doubt he was eager to gain permits for his undead beasts. Or at the very least, a few more rings of invisibility.

"I may provide my services," N'Miir murmured, with a dark smirk. "So long as I am rewarded handsomely for them."

"Very well." The Lord gestured to his guards. They collected the boxes and began to move away. "If the time comes, I shall see you again, Arcane Investigators. If not, then I wish you success in your future endeavours."

With that, he disappeared, the Major Image flickering out of existence as the last of his men left the area. Once they were gone, N'Miir wasted no time in calling upon the small orb of light. The bauble glowed brightly as it hovered, guiding N'Miir and his fellows to the resurrectionist.

The trip was quick, and the cleric in charge of resurrections was unoccupied when they arrived. They took the trio aside to a separate room and waved their hand toward the altar in the centre of the room. N'Miir understood their desire, and opened his bag, collecting all of Dragonsong's remains and placing atop the altar's surface. Then he turned to the cleric once more.

"Your payment is located at our current base of operations. It is a sizeable amount of money, and thus we have not brought it with us. However," he summoned his own small orb, golden light dancing across its surface, "this orb can guide some of your people there, and you may retrieve the money at your leisure. If you're concerned about this being some sort of trap, feel free to have one of my companions here accompany you."

"And why can't you guide them yourself?" Kelaste'gos asked, crossing his arms.

"I have other places to be. You," N'Miir looked over at Westwind, "inform Dragonsong that as soon as he's able he has an appointment with some cleaning supplies and my haversack. I'm leaving."

With that, N'Miir was gone. He had done his part, seen to the resurrection of his ally. Now he sought his solitude, and the task of dealing with the unpleasant memories that the act of resurrection often brought up within him.

'At least you have succeeded this time, little Miir.'

He smirked weakly in response to his demons, then chuckled.

'Now, I need a bath. A very good, very long bath. And if anyone tries to stop me having one I'm going blast them straight into the Abyss.'


....

"Pompous ass," Kelaste'gos muttered, as the cleric sent some of their fellow workers to follow N'Miir's orb and retrieve their payment. Westwind shook his head.

"While I can't say I disagree entirely with your statement, there's certainly more to him than that." He gave a slight smile. "But no matter. Our friend Sandor is returning to us. Smile a little, Gos. Relish the moment."

Kelaste'gos snorted, though he smiled none the less. The two waited patiently at the edge of the room as the cleric set to work, rebuilding Sandor Dragonsong. The task did not take long despite the fact a substantial amount of the man was missing, and soon a rather dizzy, but alive and well Sandor sat on the altar where only remains had been before.

"W-what in Faerun?" Sandor mumbled, rubbing his head. He absentmindedly took the robe the cleric offered him, slipping it over his head and poking his arms through the sleeves. "I remember being...oh Gods, I was-!"

"All is well Sandor," Westwind said, his voice calm and soothing. He moved to stand before the bard, placing his hands carefully on his shoulders. "Rest easy friend. You are here and you are whole, and the one who sent you to your demise has met with his own."

"I was dead!" Sandor gasped, then frowned. "And it hurt!"

"I should think so. You were blown to pieces," Kelaste'gos said. Sandor's face twisted in disgust.

"Then that blood all over you that's...that's..." Sandor gaped in horror and Kelaste'gos couldn't stop himself from laughing. Westwind shook his head at the both of them.

"It's alright to be shaken, but you must remember that you are safe now," he said, speaking over Kelaste'gos as the necromancer's laughter turned into inappropriate guffaws. Sandor shuddered, but overall he seemed in good health. Dying could greatly affect a person, but the bard had a strong spirit, and Westwind doubted that even death could dampen such a thing forever.

"I- thank you," Sandor bowed his head. "For resurrecting me I mean."

"Think nothing of it, we had always intended to do so," Westwind smiled. "Though N'Miir seemed most eager to have it done quickly."

"N'Miir?" Sandor pulled a face. "Can't say I expected that from him."

"It is the truth. He was also the one who decimated your attacker, though in that case I do believe there were some personal feelings involved as well."

"Huh, well...would you two mind bathing?" Sandor frowned. "It's very hard to talk to you while you're standing around covered in my blood."

"Doesn't it just send chills down your spine," Kelaste'gos chuckled. Sandor gave him a foul look, and the necromancer held his hands up in surrender. "Fine, fine. Ugh. Baths, they wash away the lovely scent of undeath..."

"Which is kind of what I'm hoping for," Sandor said, pushing himself up off the altar. Westwind stood beside him, prepared to catch him in case he fell. Sandor remained on his feet however, walking carefully over to where Kelaste'gos waited. "Now let's go. You need to wash and I need some clothes. And possibly a few weeks to come to terms with the fact I died."

"You could write a song about it," Kelaste'gos snorted. "Ye olde Bard, Sir Dragonsong~ Got himself blown up, but not for long!" Sandor glowered at him. Westwind cleared his throat.

"There is something you should know, Sandor my friend," Westwind began. Sandor groaned loudly. "We've spent a sizeable portion of your reward on your resurrection."

"Oh, that's fine," Sandor managed a laugh, "I like to consider my life worth the cost!"

"And..."

"And?"

"N'Miir demands you clean his haversack as payment for covering it in blood."

"Wait, what!?" Sandor exclaimed. Kelaste'gos started laughing again. "That's completely unfair, I didn't ask for him to dirty his bag for me."

"Well you tell him that, my friend," Westwind sighed. "You tell N'Miir, the one who destroyed the man that blew you to pieces, that you don't want to clean his haversack. I am certain that will go over very well."

"Gods, do I not deserve a break?" Sandor massaged the bridge of his nose. Kelaste'gos grinned.

"Don't go dying on the next job, and maybe you'll get one."

"The next job?" Dragonsong asked. Kelaste'gos nodded.

"Ai, we shall be the Arcane Investigators. Three of the most competent detectives in Waterdeep, and a Bard!"

"Oh go and die Gos."

"I plan to, my bardic friend, just very slowly."

Westwind shook his head at the two of them, though he smiled, and the three men returned to their home, in which the fourth of their number waited.

And all was well.

(Hopefully.)
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KnifeytheWanderer

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