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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Interlude: The Regent of Jhothûn
~ fifth-day, 25th of Nightal, The Year of Wild Magic, evening
miles above Toril


"He will allow us to use the portals as we will, and we may request our wishes through magical sendings."

   Hakam was filling in the details of their visit to Jhothûn to the others. Tavis and Kaedlaw had remained behind and the genie and Tavis were to discuss what the throne's revelation meant for the boy, for Hartsvale, for Jhothûn, and for all of giantkind.

   "My geas has been fulfilled, and our exile is over," said Leokas.

   "We await word from Tavis, as we may need to fly him home, but after that, we can go anywhere we would like," said Hakam. "The question is, where next?"

   "With this vessel," said Szordrin, "nothing prevents us from flying to the Rock of Bral and tracking down the Interlink Consortium. All our destinies are intertwined with that one rock. Only if we know where Samber has been in the past will we be able to know what he is truly up to. And where better to inquire than Bral?"

   "I agree that we should visit Bral eventually," said Leokas, "but I think that we need more information first."

   "I am inclined to agree with Leokas on this," said Solisar. "I admit that I know very little of the place."

   "Teshburl, then?" said Szordrin. "We can follow leads on Walker, who we know had dealings with Samber."

   "Or we could rendezvous with Jayce at Lantan," said Hakam, "since he seems to be making progress with his investigation into Samber's background. Plus, Ombert, The Daisy's captain may be able to use the stars to guide us all back to Samber's island so that we can return Ilthian to her family."

   "We also told Mythlos, Cassiera, and my mother that we would meet them again at Mythlos' keep in Tethyr," said Leokas.

   "This is perhaps lower priority," said Solisar, "but a visit to Evermeet would permit me speak with my grandmother about what I learned about Iyraclea while on the Great Glacier."

   "You intend to stay with us, then," asked Leokas, "now that you have the option of leaving?"

   "I am greatly intrigued by the matter of Samber," said Solisar, "perhaps more now than ever...."

   "And you, Belvin?" asked Hakam, "Has your jungle god given you more visions?"

   Belvin shrugged. "I shall decide where Kamil and I are to travel when I need to."

   "One thing that I have wanted to do since Thultanthar," said Hakam, "is return to Sseth and retrieve Allu's genie bottle. I warrant that we are prepared to speak with the efreeti now and question him about how he obtained Samber's omlar gem. I think that I shall send Sseth a message in the morning."

   "I am against the idea of going to Allu's palace," said Szordrin. "Both Allu and the blue dragon could potentially be there."

   "Fair enough. I agree that Walker is probably as good a source about Samber right now as is Allu," said Hakam.

   "I also wish to return to Silverymoon, before heading to Teshburl," said Szordrin. "We have many things to sell, and from your descriptions, it sounds like there is much we could purchase."

   "I agree," said Leokas. "We are out of provisions. We can probably ask the genie here for a day's food, but genie-created food lasts no longer than that. Our new vessel could also use some ballista bolts."

   "Some furnishings would also be appreciated," said Hakam.

   "...And some sailing implements," added Solisar.

   "Well, then there is the matter of what to wish for...," Hakam began.

   This second discussion took them nearly an hour, and they arrived at no full consensus, though they were leaning toward some way of protecting the spelljammer. Ultimately, they decided to sleep on the decision.

~~~~

Just after dawn of the next day, Hakam woke the others. "I sent a message to our brass dragon friend about meeting up with him sometime in the future to retrieve Allu's bottle. I had to waste two sending spells to get a response, but he rambled something off about 'skeletons swarming toward Allu's palace from... the Altar...' of the Air. At least I assume that he meant the Altar of the Air; he did not get all the words out."

   "That may change my vote," said Leokas. "We should visit with Sseth in person and learn more."

   "I agree," said Szordrin, "but we should still stop at Silverymoon and Teshburl on the way."

~~~~

Several hours later, each of them were scattered about the spelljammer, resting and waiting. Ilthian and Solisar were in Ilthian's room, writing out math problems to solve how long the spelljammer's magical bubble of air would last before they would need to return to the surface to replenish it.

   Suddenly, Belvin leapt to his feet from beside Kamil. He had spotted a cloud of vapor coming over the railing. "The Ice Queen!" he shouted to the others, and then he began chanting. An instant later, a column of fire appeared, striking the growing cloud at its center.

   The cloud took shape, as the others rushed over. No sooner had a thick hand formed from the gases then a ray of frost and ice shot forth from the fingers, covering Belvin's skin with white.

   Calm yourselves, they all heard in their heads. It was the qorrashi's voice. I have been sent by the Regent of Emperor Kaedlaw to summon you.

   Belvin wiped the frost from his face and shivered. He was very cold but otherwise not harmed. If the ice genie was injured, he did not show any sign of it.

   "How did you find us?" asked Leokas as Solisar arrived onto the deck to see what the commotion was about.

   I am no longer bound by oath not to leave the palace, said the Prince of Jhothûn. As a genie, I need not air for flight. I suspected that you would be somewhere up, and it is not difficult to spot a sailing craft in the heavens if you rise high enough.

   "I assume that by 'Regent' you mean Tavis?" asked Hakam.

   No, said the genie, I did not. Though the emperor's father may wish to speak with you as well. Do not keep the Regent waiting. If you join hands with mine, I can take you there immediately through the Astral Plane. However, I warn you that the touch of my skin is painful to most mere mortals such as yourselves.

   "Anachtyr, protect me from the elements," Hakam prayed. Then he said to the qorrashi, "I shall take your hand."

   Kytharrah rushed up excitedly and grabbed the genie's left hand. "Very cold!" he said, as the frost nipped his fingers, but he wore a toothy grin on his face. Hakam took the genie's right hand and grimaced at the cold, which was painful despite his prayer.

   I can carry several others through as well, if more of you wish to come. Simply join hands with your companions. Solisar joined with Hakam and Kytharrah, since he hoped to see more of such a historical site as Jhothûn, and Szordrin did as well.

   They all felt a strange and momentary sensation, then found themselves standing in the throne room of Jhothûn. There, leaning against one of the pillars, was Tavis, who was restringing his massive bow. Nearby, the throne of ice and stone was empty, but beside it was a larger obsidian throne of simpler design. Sitting upon it, was the misshapen form of Basil of Lyndusfarne.

   "Am du paart, Solisar of Evermeet!" said the old verbeeg.

   "Am du paart, Regent of Jhothûn!" the sun elf replied.

   "I trust that you have been well this last month or so?"

   "Ignoring the fact that I was stabbed to death by a lamia noble, yes."

   "Annam's juveler!" said Basil.

   "My god returned my powers, and I called him back to the living," said Hakam.

   "Clearly, we have much to talk about, friends," said Basil, as if he knew all of them, though in reality he had only ever talked to Solisar before.

   They learned that Kaedlaw had already returned home to his mother, by the power of the wish. Tavis would be returning home soon in the same manner, but he had wanted to thank the members of the party and say goodbye before departing.

   Brianna and Tavis had spoken with the Prince of Jhothûn at great length, and it had been decided that Basil would reign as regent until Kaedlaw came of age. This would require a long time spent in near solitude for the verbeeg, but at the moment, the idea of exploring the four floors of the citadel excited him more than any concerns of loneliness. Besides, the powers of the genie could wish friends back and forth from Hartsvale three times a day if needed.

   As for Queen Brianna and Tavis, they had much to consider in regards to what to do with the fact that their son was the future ruler of not only the tiny kingdom of Hartsvale but perhaps of all the giant tribes of Faerûn! For now, they intended to wait and seek out advice from what giant and giant-kin allies they had. They suspected that most giants would not accept the news readily. At least they had many years for Kaedlaw to grow up.

   In regards to the portal, they had decided to leave the delusional orc druid on the Sea of Moving Ice and the ice devil Tosvin as portal guardians of Karffbadh and Gharreil, respectively. They would serve as first line of defense for the hidden citadel. Now that the qorrashi was no longer bound by oath to the palace, he could pass through the portals, or indeed go anywhere he needed, to also defend the secret. For the portal at Choshein, Brianna had sent Hrodmar, the frost giant guard of Earls Bridge, to serve as guardian. (Hrodmar was happy to give Kytharrah one last wrestling match.)

   The genie provided them with another luscious meal and also with temporary provisions that would last them on the journey to Silverymoon, where they planned to first stop to resupply.

   Solisar sat next to Basil while they ate and told him some of the details of his brief visit to the Fugue Plane. Then the conversation turned to what Basil had learned so far of Jhothûn.

   "Iseheim, I mean Jhothûn, contains no books that have survived the ages," said Basil, "but the genie here revealed to me that there are ancient crypts below. I expect to spend a good deal of my time there examining what friezes I may find. I believe that the base of little Kaedlaw's throne shows the handiwork of stone giants, and I would not be surprised to find more gifts of theirs from the earliest days of Ostoria in those crypts. The steinjotunen were the only true record-keepers of the Jotunbrud. Surely, you will want to stay and explore them with me?"

   "Believe me when I tell you that I would like nothing more," said Solisar. "What scholar of the Jotunbrud would not? However, I seem tied into something greater — or at the least, more urgent — taking place perhaps among the human gods. My companions have been exiled now many months, which has kept them from their true quest, and I am now a part of it. As they are at last free from exile, they are anxious to set out again. May I kindly request a postponement?"

   "Of course!" said Basil. "Remember, I am a verbeeg; what is mine is yours."

   "He means to say, 'What is yours is his,'" said Tavis.

   "Basil, I must warn you of something," said Solisar. "The guardian of the portal at Gharreil is an evil entity who serves a powerful priestess of the human goddess of winter. She is perhaps immortal, so great is her magic. I know not yet the full extent of her plans, but she lusts after the treasures hidden in this city. I do not know how her magics compare to those of the genie who now serves you, but be aware of the matter, and use caution."

   "I thank you for this," said Basil.

   After the dinner, they said goodbye to their friends. "Tell Leokas that I enjoyed the challenge of shooting archery with him and learning of the beasts of the High Forest," said Tavis to Hakam. "I shall remember him if ever I nock an arrow against a goblin."

   Tavis then gave Kytharrah a large bear hug, and lifted the minotaur off his feet. This surprised Kytharrah, but he snorted happily.

   "Keep following the guiding light," said the firbolg.
Session: 92nd Game Session - Wednesday, Jul 19 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Chapter 4 — Annam's Heir
~ fourth-day, 24th of Nightal, The Year of Wild Magic, morning
somewhere over the Silver Marches


There was a gentle knock on Ilthian's cabin door. She got up off her pile of blankets and opened it.

   "Good morning! It is time for your writing lesson."

   "Solisar! Hakam fixed you!" She jumped up and down with delight.

   "Yes, yes, he did," said Solisar, "though I feel weaker than I felt before."

   "Did he fix Kytharrah also?"

   "Indeed, he is above deck now, standing at the railing. We are on our way back to the ice genie, and then we will be able to go wherever we want."

~~~~

"We cannot fly the spelljammer directly to Choshein," said Leokas emphatically. "I absolutely will not permit it. Whoever has been scrying on us will see that we have traveled there and know the location."

   The party were gathered below deck, as the ship sailed through the sky on its own wind power. Tavis and Kaedlaw were eating a second breakfast, and Kytharrah and Ilthian were practicing writing.

   "Not if we keep Ilthian in her room," said Belvin. "All the scrier will see is the wooden walls of the cabin."

   "As long as the scrier does not switch to scrying on one of us," said Solisar. "As of earlier, when I visited her, the scrier was still focused on her and not any of us."

   "It is a risk that we have to take," said Hakam.

   "No," said Leokas, "I cannot permit such risks, not while under the influence of this geas."

   "What do you suggest then? That we abandon the spelljammer somewhere in the desert, leave Ilthian behind on the vessel, and ride our camels to Choshein with Tavis and Kaedlaw?"

   "We are not going to abandon Ilthian," said Solisar.

   "It was not a serious suggestion," said Hakam. "I have a duty to see that she returns to her home."

   "I am more concerned about someone stealing our spelljammer, wherever we chose to leave it," said Szordrin. "The fact of the matter is that Ilthian cannot go anywhere near the portal to Jhothûn anymore, and we cannot leave her alone, so we are going to have to split up. We were nearly defeated by a small band of lamia when most of us were present; if they or another band of Shadovar or a blue dragon spot a sailing vessel in the desert, it will attract attention."

   "I agree," said Hakam, "but the spelljammer is less likely to be stolen at the entrance of the cave to Choshein than if we leave it over the desert and some of us travel on camel. Leokas, if Ilthian stays in her cabin, the scrier will not even know whether or not we have stopped."

   "A ship of this size can be spotted for miles, especially from the air," said Leokas. "We could avoid detection of our approach to Choshein on foot easily enough, but even if we are safe from the scrier, while some of us travel to Jhothûn, many hours may pass with the ship drawing attention to our location. As Szordrin said, there are indeed blue dragons in this desert. It is a miracle none have tried to take us out of their skies yet."

   "While some of you go to visit the ice genie, I can take this vessel into the heavens," said Belvin, "into the Sea of Night. Is not that where it was designed to sail?"

   "He is right," said Solisar. "From Szordrin's and my investigations, I am convinced that the magic force surrounding this craft will give us air to breath for the duration. No dragon can fly so high."

   "I can send Belvin a message to descend again and pick us up whenever the matter with the ice genie is resolved," said Hakam. "We will only need to have the ship anywhere near the entrance to Choshein for the brief time that it takes for those of us going to descend the rope to the ground. What say you, Leokas? Will the geas permit such a minor risk if ultimately it means that the emperor of Jhothûn has been found?"

   Leokas nodded.

   So this is what they did. For the rest of the day and into the night, first Leokas and then Szordrin piloted their flying vessel from the helm chair. Belvin remained at watch, scanning the skies for dragons or other dangers. They retraced the journey from Silverymoon up the river and to Fork Road and Ascore. By night, they flew over Ascore and Hlaungadath until they came to the edge of Anauroch's glacier. This they followed south-southeast until they came to a great corner in the wall of ice and began following it east-northeast. When daylight came, they were passing through a gap in a large north–south mountain range. From here, Leokas again took the helm, watching carefully with his extended senses the lay of the icy land as they headed north over the High Ice. When highsun came, they had at last arrived at the cave entrance to what was once a subterranean frost giant city.

   Leokas, Hakam, and Tavis and his son descended the rope to the ground, and the others waved them off as they entered the dark opening. Belvin then took the helm, as Solisar stood nearby.

   "Take us up," said Solisar.

   Belvin willed the ship to rise and continue rising. Solisar went quickly to the deck, where Kytharrah was standing at his usual spot on the railing. Szordrin was also present.

   "We are very high!" said the minotaur.

   "Yes," said Solisar, as indeed the ground grew farther and farther away, beginning to look less like land and more like a simple blur of white and yellow. "I have never been this high, and we are going much higher."

   "Why is the world bending?"

   "It is always round like a ball," answered the sun elf. "You only cannot tell because it is very big, and usually you are standing on it."

   "Is the sky getting darker?"

   "It is. We are entering the Sea of Night. We are flying into the always-nighttime where the stars live."

   "There they are! I see them!" The minotaur spun around pointing as the points of light became more and more visible as the blue sky faded away into the darkness of Realmspace. "I can still see the guiding light, even though it is night," said Kytharrah, pointing at the sun above them.

   "Ferry does not like this," said Szordrin. The camels seemed agitated as well.

   Belvin joined them on the deck. "High enough for you?"

   "I never knew that Toril would look so beautiful from up here," said Solisar. "Truly the Seldarine have blessed us to see such a sight."

~~~~


"One, two, three, step!"

   Leokas, Hakam, Tavis, and Kaedlaw found themselves under a gold-plated domed ceiling, painted with images of snowflakes and clouds. They were back in the Palace of the Emperors in Jhothûn.

   "Where are we, Papa?" asked Kaedlaw, who had had no experience of traveling through magical portals. "Where did the cave go?"

   "This may be our new summer home, Son," said Tavis. "Do you think that Mama will like it?" Tavis gazed around. "It is certainly more giant-sized than Castle Hartwick," he continued to no one in particular. "I will not have to worry about banging my head on things anymore."

   A cloud of bitter cold ascended from below until it was level with the wide, circular balcony on which the four visitors stood. The ice genie, the qorrashi, the last Prince of Jhothûn materialized before them.

   You have returned, my guardian. Have you completed your quest? Have you found the heir.

   "We believe that we have," answered Leokas.

   "We are certain that this young giant child has the blood of Annam's youngest son in his veins," said Hakam. "Whether the throne of ice and stone accepts him remains to be seen."

   [i]The blood of Arno and Julien?
Tavis cringed when he heard the genie's words in his head. Did I not explain to you that Ottar stood higher in the ordning than the ettin?

   "Yes," answered Hakam, "you did explain this, but you also told us of the prophesied last son of Annam, who had not yet been born, did you not? This boy here has the blood of both Arno and Julien and the prophesied final son. That final son was indeed born, far to the north in a little-known land of Hartsvale. The humans of that land called him Hartkiller, and his descendants still reign there to this day."

   "My wife," said Tavis, "the boy's mother, is a descendant of Hartkiller."

   "What manner of giant are you?" asked the Prince in Jotun.

   "I am a child of Othea and Ulutiu," said Tavis, bowing humbly. "I am a firbolg."

   The genie expressed confusion upon its frozen face. Does the boy have firbolg blood as well? No one with tainted blood could be the true heir.

   "The story is indeed complicated and unpredictable," said Hakam. "You will not believe it if you hear it first. Withhold your judgment; permit us let the boy sit upon the chair, and then we shall tell you strange plan that Annam has seemingly laid out. We also have learned the fate of Ottar, your liege."

   You discovered Ottar's fate?

   "He was betrayed and poisoned by Lanaxis," said Tavis. "I have seen his corpse with my own eyes."

   Lanaxis... did this?

   "We will tell everything," said Hakam. "May we go to the throne room? Our stories will matter not if the boy is not chosen."

   Come, said the genie. He floated down the large hall away from the portals, and they followed him. He led them to the end of the hall, where it intersected with a larger, window-filled one. They had come this way before, as it was the only way for non-flying creatures to descend to the lower levels of the palace. The qorrashi took them to the banquet hall where he had first told them of their quest. From there, they took a staircase and then another, down to the first floor of the palace. A short distance later, they entered a large rectangular chamber, supported by high narrow pillars.

   Here sat the "throne of ice and stone". It was large enough to seat a storm giant. The four feet of the throne were carved from rock and shaped like the skulls of white dragons. The rest of the chair looked to be carved from solid ice. The back of the chair appeared like thick icicles arranged side-by-side.

   Have the boy take a seat on the throne, said the Prince, but be ready to remove him should the chair reject him.

   "Go on, Kaedlaw," said Tavis. "Hop up in the chair."

   Kaedlaw went over to the throne. It was too large for him to be able to pull himself up onto it. Tavis came over and gave him a boost.

   As soon as his little — by giant standards — rump sat down on the square block of ice, the throne began to melt. Water pooled upon the floor, as the arm rests and icicle-back reduced in size. Within a few moments, the ice of the throne had shrunk down to fit Kaedlaw snugly, as if it had been carved to his size all along. Kaedlaw giggled. "The chair moves funny, Papa."

   "Is it cold?" asked Tavis.

   "No, just slippy."

   The genie floated over and circled the throne several times, examining it.

   "Stôllinn hefur validh." spoke the genie. Then he translated for them in their minds. The chair has chosen. So Ottar's dynasty is ended, and this unexpected child is both Annam and Ottar's heir. Then the genie floated low to the ground as if bowing low and swore fealty and service to Kaedlaw in the tongues of giants.
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Tags: Chronicle , GM , Journal , Recap , Summary
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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Chapter 4 — Atonement
~ fourth-day, 24th of Nightal, The Year of Wild Magic, moondark
Silverymoon


Leokas leading the way, the two hiked over well-packed snow along the western bank of the river, on what appeared to be a road used by farmers from the countryside. After an hour of walking, they came to the southern gates of the city. Between two towers in the stone wall, two guards stood before the doors, bearing lanterns. Their armor glistened in the moonlight.

   "Ho, what do we have here, Laethil?"

   "Travelers in the midst of night's heart?"

   "Must be adventurers! No one else walks about at this hour."

   "The one walks like an elf."

   "The other... does not."

   "Too short for an elf."

   "...Unless he is a drow. His skin color is darker."

   "Probably another one of those 'reformed' drow."

   "It seems to be the fad these days."

   "Are you going to mock us or ask us our business in the city?" Leokas asked, approaching the two guards. Hakam came up behind.

   "We meant no offense, brother elf," said the one in crisp Elven, and only then did Leokas notice that both of the men were elves. The guard continued, in Common. "It is near the end of our watch, and we would both much rather be at the Dancing Goat, quite honestly."

   "Unless you be orcs or goblinkin," said the other, "you are welcome in our city."

   (Leokas took more comfort in the fact that they opposed goblinkin than in their welcome.)

   "We are here on an urgent matter related to the Church of Anachtyr, whom I serve," said Hakam.

   "Mean you Tyr?" said the first guard. "This city is not known for its worship of the Triad."

   A look of frustration welled up on Hakam's face.

   "No, there is a temple to the Triad here," corrected the second guard. "Jornan worships there. It is between the House Invincible and Rhyester's Matins."

   "I am afraid that we do not know either of those places," said Leokas.

   "You stand at the Mulgate," said the guard, "one of the two gates to the southern bank. A wide road leads straight from here to the Moonbridge."

   "You cannot miss it," said the other guard.

   "It literally glows silver in the moonlight," said the second.

   "Yes, I know of it," said Leokas. "I hail from High Forest."

   "High Forest? Yet you have never visited the Gem of the North?"

   "I am not one for cities," said Leokas.

   "You may feel differently about Silverymoon," said the first guard.

   "In any case," continued the other, "cross the bridge. It will look insubstantial, because it is, but the magic will not fail you. I cross it multiple times per day. Once in Northbank, continue to follow the Moonway road. You will be in the older part of the city, so the roads are narrower, but do not veer from it. You will pass Brightbuckler Street, which has many shops, and then the road will intersect another one of about the same size after about 100 yards. This is the Ghostwalk. Take a right. In about 100 feet, you will reach a four-way intersection. One of the roads here is especially wide, because it used to be the site of the old wall of the city, follow it east to the large open space of the Market. Across the Market, you will see a massive fortress-looking building. That is the House Invincible, the temple to Helm. There should be an alley to the right of the temple. Three or four buildings down that alley, you should find the temples to the Triad. There are three separate buildings. They are not small; they simply lack the fame that some of the other temples in the city hold."

   "Most of us elves worship at Everdusk Hall," added the other guard.

   "I thank you for your assistance, sirs," said Hakam.

   "If you get lost, just make your way to any intersection. All the cistern covers in the city have a green arrow painted on them denoting north."

   "I am certain that we will manage," said Leokas.

   One of the guards turned to open the door. Then each guard took a bow and motioned for them to pass through. "Enjoy your visit, and may you find whatever it is you seek for or from your deity."

   Once they had passed through the doors, Hakam and Leokas felt more like they were taking a walk through a fancy garden than through a city. Some magic seemed to have kept the winter chill outside the gates, and the smell of flowers was in the air.

   "These are shadowtops," said Leokas, pointing at some tall trees, "and oaks, and duskwoods."

   "Shadowtops are those trees that grow in the Golden Grove in my city of Memnon, are they not?" asked Hakam.

   "Yes," said Leokas. His voice drifted off. He had bittersweet memories of that grove with the golden-leafed tree....

   They walked on leaf-shaped flagstone sidewalks along a cobblestone street. The way was lit by countless tiny lanterns, magically glowing with a color reminiscent of the Feywild. Leokas, with his elven eyes, was able to appreciate the beauty of the city more than Hakam, who could not make out as many details in the dim light, but Leokas took note of the many balconies and curving staircases. Every work of construction here seemed to have elegant curves to it, as if the buildings had grown, rather than were built, much like an elven settlement. Even though Silverymoon was primarily a human city, they clearly were trying to imitate elven art, and Leokas had to admit that they did so well.

   After about a tenth of a mile, they had passed through the entire width of the southern bank of the city and reached the famous Moonbridge. They could see its silver glow from beyond the buildings and trees before they could see the bridge itself. They first crossed between the two circular guard towers, where another pair of Knights in Silver nodded at them in greeting. Then the bridge was there before them, steeply ascending in a high arc over the dark river below. It sparkled like silver moonlight and was transparent. Ripples of energy visibly traversed its surface. It seemed to be about fifteen feet wide and a couple feet thick.

   "It is a magical drawbridge," Leokas explained.

   "Let us hope it does not recede while we are on it," said Hakam.

   There were no railings, so Hakam stuck to the center, as they walked on what felt to their steps like glass. Leokas walked near the edge, so that he could gaze down into the cold waters, which reflected the starlight, some 60 feet below at the highest point of the arc.

   They safely reached the other side and continued. As the gate guards had said, this northern bank was the older part of the city, and this was immediately obvious, yet it was equally as beautiful.

   After 50 feet, they began to hear a loud ruckus. It soon became apparent that the noise was coming from a tavern ahead. A sign swinging gently in the breeze portrayed a goat on his hind legs, dancing with a maiden.

   "This must be the Dancing Goat that the guard mentioned," noted Hakam, as they passed by.

   They saw a sign for Brightbuckler Street, which joined the street on which they were walking. Here was a strange stone building with a perfectly round door.

   "'The Shining Scroll,'" read Leokas. "Szordrin and Solisar might like to know about this place if ever we return here."

   Just beyond Brightbuckler, as the guards had said, they came to a street named the Ghostwalk and followed it east. This took them to a much larger road that ran east-to-west. The street sign read, "Old Wall." They followed it east. After a short walk, they came to a great open space, so long across that not even Leokas could see the end of it as he looked south. It was filled with empty stalls and tables for market shops and wares.

   "That must be the temple of Helm there," said Hakam. "We are close."

   As instructed, they walked into a side alley on the right of this stone temple. This must have been a religious district, for they passed shrines to the Red Knight, Tempus, and Valkur on way before reaching the three-temple cluster of buildings dedicated to the Triad. "Anachtyr heads the Triad," said Hakam. "His temple will be the largest of these three."

   Hakam had assumed correctly. While not as impressive to eyes as the House of Justice in Memnon, this temple to Tyr was as elegantly constructed as the other buildings in the city but — Hakam observed — was far more balanced and symmetrical.

   "I shall wait there in that little garden park," said Leokas, pointing to the north.

   So Hakam boldly entered the great doors to the temple. Heavily armored guards at first held their swords out to stop him, but then pulled back to let him pass.

   "Pardon us, sir," said one of them. "We did not recognize you for one of our southern priests at first. It is not often that we are visited by members of the sect of Anachtyr."

   Hakam asked them if any of the head clerics were available.

   "Only the acolytes are about at this late hour," said one of the temple guards.

   "If the matter is urgent," said the other, "we can wake the High Lord Abbot."

   "It is urgent," said Hakam. "Please wake him."

   "Follow me, sir; I will lead you to a waiting room until he comes."

   After thirty minutes or so, a human man entered the room, clad richly in blue and violet robes, with a silver Tyrran holy symbol about his neck and a white sash as a belt. His left hand was covered in a white glove; his right in a black one.

   Hakam bowed. "Rafayam, sir, forgive me for waking you at this late hour."

   "Fret not," said the high priest. "I was already up, preparing for the dawn prayers. You are one of our southern brothers, I presume. Truly, you would not have come so far and at such an hour were the matter not urgent. I am High Lord Abbot Hornraven."

   "Hakam yn Hamdulah el Anachtyr. Indeed, the Just God had chosen me for a task, but his enemies have continually assailed us to set us back from completing our holy quest. My companions and I have been exiled by powerful magics far to the north, though our goal lies far to the south, greatly setting us back in this time-sensitive matter. In my zeal to return to the task assigned me by my god and yours, I sinned greatly, and Anachtyr has disciplined me by removing his blessing from me. This has caused harm to both myself and my companions, and yesterday, one of them was slain, because I did not have the power to prevent what I easily could have, had I not sinned.

   "In this tragedy, there was hope given us. The Even-Handed permitted that we should find suddenly a means of quick transportation. Thus, I have come here posthaste, to seek atonement for my deeds, that I may restore my companion to life, that we may at last complete the mission given us from Anachtyr. May his laws forever stand."

   "In your zeal, how exactly have you sinned?" asked the High Lord Abbot.

   "When fighting in self-defense against monsters of chaos and evil, I slew one who had not yet reached the age of accountability. It was wrong of me to judge such a being, when even in Anachtyr's eyes, she was innocent and not yet irredeemable."

   "Indeed, one must not forget that the Just God is a god of both justice and mercy. What did you do to reverse your error? Was the girl raised?"

   "Her body was burned with her family, for such is how her people see to the bodies of the dead."

   "That is unfortunate. What sort of 'monsters' were her people?"

   "She was born of a family of werewolves, who betrayed and ambushed us, after we had escorted them in safety."

   "Werewolves? In such a case, her death may ultimately have been a mercy, though such was not for you to have decided."

   "Yes, Lord Abbot. It is true."

   "Permit me time to seek guidance from our god. Spend this time in meditation and prayer yourself; then, join me in the sanctuary in half an hour. If Tyr permit it, I shall offer atonement for your sins there."

~~~~

Thirty minutes later, Hakam reverently entered the main sanctuary of the temple. The large chamber was lit with purple, blue, and white candles. At one end of the room was a judge's podium, which many pews faced. Behind the podium, against the back wall, was a massive statue of the Maimed God Tyr, with eyes gouged out and no right hand. His left hand rested on a longsword. In the front of the podium was a massive balance scale. Abbot Hornraven was standing by the balance. No one else was yet in the room, as morning prayers did not begin for another few hours still, for dawn came later in the winter in the North.

   "Come forward, you who bear the burden of guilt for your misdeeds and kneel before the Great Judge." The High Lord Abbot was now quoting from a liturgy. Hakam obeyed, coming forward and kneeling before the balance. The abbot was carrying a large vase. He approached the scale and filled each pan of it with an aromatic oil, taking care to add exactly the same amount to each pan. Then he prayed, "God of Justice, accept this offering as a fragrant smell. May it symbolize our prayers. May my prayers join those of this repentant follower in seeking thy forgiveness."

   In answer to this prayer, the pans supernaturally ignited into flame, and burned with a blue-violet glow upon the surface of the oil for the remainder of the ceremony.

   Then the abbot stepped up behind the podium and opened a large book of laws. "God of Justice, remind us of the justice that you have passed down to us, encoded in these laws that we strive always to follow."

   Hakam knew that every temple to Tyr maintained a massive book of laws. No two temples had the same law book, since the laws of every land and even town differed. What was important is that a law was established, not what those exact laws were.

   So it was that, when Abbot Hornraven spent the next hour methodically reading through laws of Silverymoon, Hakam was not as bored as the average soul might be. He had an opportunity to learn of the laws of this region of the north, finding then rather lax for his own tastes. He also noticed, however, that a focus of the abbot's readings regarded laws of parents and their children, inheritance, age of responsibility, and other such matters of age, as well as sections regarding sentences for crimes and what options a judge would have for administering justice and mercy.

   "Now, Hakam Anachtyr," said the abbot, when he had closed the book of laws, "confess your sin, how you have violated the spirit of these laws if not these laws themselves."

   "I confess to you, High Lord Abbot, and to Anachtyr, the Even-Handed, that I have sinned by passing judgment and sentence on one not culpable for her crimes. I have failed as the example and representative of justice that Anachtyr has called me to be."

   Hornraven stepped down from the podium and approached Hakam. "Do you repent of your misdeed? Do you solemnly vow to right your actions in whichever way that Tyr demands?"

   "I do."

   "Blind Overlord, be blind to the sins that this servant of thine has committed, for thou hast heard his words of repentance." The abbot then placed a hand upon Hakam's shoulder as he continued kneeling and bowing his head. Immediately, Hakam felt a surge of power return to him.

   "By the power granted me by Tyr, I atone you of your sin. You are restored into the service of the Maimed God. Rise again as a cleric of justice."

   Hakam stood, looking somewhat confused. "Is there no task to be given me?"

   "Tyr has revealed to me that the task that you have already been given is so great that no further act of propitiation is needed. I must say that I do not envy the quest that he has given you, as I feel that the matter has the attention of many gods both light and dark."

~~~~

Hakam stepped out into the dawn light with joy. He had just shared in the morning prayers with the other worshipers of Tyr, and now he knew that his prayers for powers were heard and answered. He walked down the alley in Silverymoon with a new sense of purpose, as acolytes of various faiths were coming and going from their various temples or shrines.

   "What penance were you given?" Leokas asked when Hakam met him in the nearby park.

   "Nothing, save to follow Anachtyr's righteous path."

   "To stop Samber?"

   "Yes, to stop Samber."
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Lhynard
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De Exilio
Chapter 4 — Change of Plans
Hakam stumbled into the helm room to join the others. Belvin was standing naked over the serpentine form of what was once Nulara, hacking away at the thick, twitching tail. Everyone was splattered with black blood.

   "She does not have her head, my friend," said Leokas in Elvish. "Cease. She is dead."

   "What in Anachtyr's name happened?" asked Hakam. Then he saw the minotaur's bulky form on the ground and Solisar's red-stained form slumped over in the chair. He rushed over to the sun elf.

   "You are too late," said Leokas. "He is dead as well."

   "Even were he 'on time', what could he do without his powers," remarked Szordrin.

   "The minotaur?" Ignoring the comment, the cleric moved to Kytharrah and stooped down to check on him. "I see no wounds," he reported.

   "She felled him with her fey touch," said Szordrin. "She touched me also, but I resisted her." The tiefling stooped down, ignoring the woozy feeling he actually felt, and began collecting lamia blood in a vial after drinking its healing contents.

   "He is still breathing," said Hakam, in reference to the minotaur. "He seems to be sound asleep." Indeed, Kytharrah had a large amount of drool draining from his mouth, and he periodically twitched.

   "Perhaps he is trapped in dreams, as happened to Jayce's companion," Leokas said.

   Hakam shook the beast. Kytharrah made a strange sound that they had never heard before, a sort of half-snort, half-lowing moan. In any case, it did not sound pleasant, and he did not wake up.

   "I will ask Thard Harr to grant him the wisdom of the owl tomorrow morning, which should wake him," said Belvin. "For now, we shall just have to drag him over to the wall to get him out of the way."

   "More importantly," Hakam replied, "I should point out that we should not have trusted this fiend." He pointed at Nulara's severed and impaled head.

   "Regrets and accusations do not bring back the dead," said Belvin, moving to Solisar and lifting his limp body off the chair. "Thard Harr, however, can. I shall reincarnate Solisar tomorrow as well."

   "No," said Hakam. "We still have time to raise him. Can any one else besides Solisar fly this magic vessel? We can take it to the nearest city with a temple of Anachtyr, and I will gain my powers back. Then I will bring Solisar back to us."

   "I am certain that Tavis will be understanding if we have to take a detour," said Leokas.

   "Will the magic of your geas allow it though?" asked Hakam.

   "I am not abandoning my duty to guard Jhothûn," the wood elf replied. "With this vessel, we will arrive at the portal more quickly than otherwise, even if we stop in Silverymoon, which is the nearest city of which I know."

   Belvin carefully laid the sun elf's corpse next to the minotaur.

   "What makes you so sure that your god will give you your powers back?" Szordrin asked Hakam. "Has he not ignored all your prayers to do so until now?"

   "The matter must be dealt with in a place holy to Anachtyr and presided over by one of his priests," Hakam replied. "We have discussed this!"

   "It still seems presumptuous to me," said Szordrin.

   "Look, the next thing we need to do is get back to the others," said Leokas.

   "The next thing I need to do is get my camel and gear," said Belvin, who was still unclothed. He stepped out onto the deck.

   "I agree that we should return to Tavis quickly," said Hakam, "but if we can fly there, we may as well." He ripped some cloth from Nulara's clothing and used some water to clean Solisar's blood from the helm chair. Satisfied, he sat down on it and leaned his head back. Nothing happened.

   "Let me try," said Szordrin. "Perhaps it requires someone more sensitive to the Weave." The chair did not react to Szordrin sitting in it either.

   "We have not fallen from the sky," noted Hakam. "It seems whatever power Solisar gave the vessel remains in it, at least for the time being."

~~~~

While Leokas and Szordrin remained on the deck of the floating but stationary vessel, scanning the desert ruins for any further sign of lamias, Hakam and Belvin returned to Tavis.

   The firbolg saw them from a distance and immediately sensed that something was wrong. He came over to them with his lengthy strides. "What happened?"

   "We were deceived by Nulara," said Hakam. "She is defeated, but two of us have fallen. Solisar is dead, and the minotaur is in a perpetual, nightmare-filled sleep."

   "She was a lamia noble," added Belvin.

   "This journey grows more dangerous by the day," said Tavis, "and I feel guilt that had I been there, these two good people might have been saved. Curse my promise to Brianna!"

   "The quest must continue," said Hakam, "but there is still hope, for Anachtyr has blessed us with the discovery of a spelljammer, a magical flying vessel. If we fly to a nearby city with a temple to Anychtyr, I believe that I can have my powers restored and can raise Solisar and restore Kytharrah. With the spelljammer, it is likely that we can arrive at the portal more quickly than had we continued directly from here on foot."

   Ilthian reached them and asked where the others were.

   "We found a boat that can fly," repeated Hakam somberly, "but we fought an unexpected battle with evil monsters, and Solisar and the minotuar fell."

   "Fell?" she asked. "Why can they not get back up again?"

   "They are dead," said Belvin, "like what happened to Cassiera."

   Ilthian gasped and covered her mouth in shock. By now she understood death much better than she did when they had first met her.

   "Who will teach me how to write?" she asked, distraught. "Hakam cannot fix them, since his god is mad at him!"

   "Only Solisar is dead," said Hakam. "The minotaur is only sleeping. I will fix them both. We just need to visit a city first."

   "His name is Kytharrah!" she said, her voice tinged with an anger that Hakam had never heard from Ilthian before. "Solisar named him." She turned away from the others. She did not appear to be crying, but she sounded like she might.

   "I agree that we should travel to the nearest city to seek atonement from your god and try to bring our friends back," said Tavis. "We should not tarry. Lead me to this flying vessel. Come, Kaedlaw."

~~~~

Ilthian had stood aloof and distraught after seeing the bodies of Solisar and Kytharrah. They had since been moved into one of the cabins of the ship. Nulara's body and head had been tossed from the ship, burned, and covered with stones.

   "Do not worry, Ilthian," said Szordrin, once the two groups had rejoined on the floating ship. "I can teach you how to read and write."

   "Thank you," said Ilthian to Szordrin, "but I do not want to learn new words right now."

   "Let her be," whispered Hakam.

   The remaining adventurers were in the room where the battle had happened. Szordrin had just finished examining the desk that was also in the room with the magic chair. Its surface was covered in circular grooves around a large embedded yellow marble. Other marbles of various shapes and sizes filled the circular grooves, but no amount of pushing would move the marbles by hand. They seemed affixed in place by some magic.

   Belvin was busy, crouched on the floor, trying to use magic to warp the floor boards in such a way as to make washing them of blood easier. Next to him, Hakam was showing Tavis, who had to shrink his form to fit in the space, the magic chair. It still did not respond to anyone else sitting in it.

   "Ilthian, can you try to sit in the chair and see what happens?" asked Leokas gently.

   She tried, but there was no response for her either.

   "May I try, too, Papa?" asked Kaedlaw. Likewise, the chair ignored the half-giant child.

   "We may be able to fly it somehow tomorrow," said Hakam. "If not, we shall have no choice but to abandon this ship and continue on to the genie on foot."

   "We shall have to sleep on the ground tonight," said Leokas. "If the power from Solisar that is keeping this ship afloat fails in the middle of the night...."

   "We would risk more lamias finding us," said Hakam, "but I do not see another option. I agree."

   "I do not have a rope trick prepared today," said Szordrin. "I was counting on Solisar for that. We will be more vulnerable on the ground even than usual."

   "We will rest close to each other with our weapons ready, and keep a close watch" said Tavis, "some distance from the craft, in case it falls from the sky. I see little else for us to do."

~~~~

Dawn came to the ruins of Hlaungadath, and they each thanked their patron gods that it had done so without further incident. The vessel still floated in the sky, and they had neither seen nor heard any sign of lamias.

   Belvin greeted the sun with a strange frantic dance in a circle.

   "What was that for, my friend," Leokas asked.

   "Since Solisar is dead," said the wild elf, "we cannot know any longer who is watching us. I wanted to know where Samber was relative to us."

   "And?"

   "He is southwest of us. I can only tell you the direction."

   "That is what we would expect if he were still a prisoner of the mummy priestess," said Hakam. "Where is Szordrin?"

   "He climbed back onto the ship," said Leokas.

   Indeed, Szordrin had wasted no time in reading a scroll for a spell that would reveal to him the mysteries of the chair's magic. Among other details, this is what he learned.

   The chair drained whoever sat in it of all magical power for a full day, even temporarily wiping the mind of a wizard of memorized spells, and formed a bond with him or her. The helmsman's senses would be expanded to become one with the ship. For the next twenty-four hours, the vessel would generate its own lift, its own gravity, (if no stronger gravity source was present,) and an invisible ellipsoid wall of force that would trap a bubble of air around the craft. During this time, if the helmsman remained seated in the chair, he or she could provide momentum to the ship, and pilot it by force of will. After eight hours, a new helmsman could sit in the chair and form a bond with it, replacing the previous helmsman. Anyone with magical power of any sort could pilot the spelljammer; however, those with more skill with the Weave or greater blessing from the gods could do so with more skill and effect.

   It was also revealed to Szordrin that the ship contained a large plate of star metal embedded in one of the lower decks. This plate was the center of the bubble of air and gravity that the ship produced.

   Szordrin shared this information with the others, and they discussed who should try to pilot it first.

   "I should sit in it first," said Hakam. "With my powers still stripped, it is likely that I shall fail, but if I succeed, none of the rest of you will have to sacrifice your magics."

   As predicted, the chair did not respond to Hakam sitting in it at all.

   "I can pilot it later," said Belvin, "but I need some of my magic for other tasks this morning."

   "What other tasks?" someone asked.

   "We need to wake the minotaur sooner rather than later," said Belvin. "I am sure his bladder is much larger than Oma's was. Also, I intend to repair the foremast, and he will be helpful in that."

   "The pearl that I purchased from Hartwick," said Leokas, "I suspect that it will restore to me the powers of the daily prayer that Solonor permits me, if the chair strips them. It makes sense that I should pilot the vessel."

   "You are the weakest among us in magical prowess," said Szordrin. "You will have the least control."

   "What need have we of control?" said Leokas. "We are not maneuvering in a sea battle; we are simply flying in a straight line to a city, are we not? And I am best among all of us, save Tavis, at following the lay of the land."

   They all agreed to this plan.

   "To which city are we going?" asked Belvin.

   "Tavis and I think that Silverymoon, the city to which Mythlos, Cassiera, and my mother were first heading, is our best and fastest option," said Leokas.

   "It is said to be one of the largest cities of the North," said Hakam. "It will certainly have a temple to Anachtyr."

   "Then let us hurry and go there," said Leokas. He moved to the chair and sat down in it. As he pressed his head back, he felt like his whole body was immersed in warm water, and it felt like his senses were somehow exploding. He cried out, as if in pain.

   "Pull him off!" said Hakam.

   "No, I am unhurt," said Leokas. "It was just overwhelming. I think I understand what I am feeling now."

   What he was feeling was every exposed surface of wood on the vessel as if it were his own skin, in addition to seeing from all angles at once everything within the "bubble" projected around the star metal at the center of the ship.

   "Can you move it?" asked Hakam.

   "I am not sure how," said Leokas.

   "Recall how you walked on air on the Great Glacier," said Szordrin, "from Hakam's magic. Perhaps it is similar."

   The ship jerked forward, nearly knocking everyone over.

   "Yes, I can do this," said Leokas.

   "Not yet!" said Belvin. "Kamil is still on the surface."

   "I shall go ask Tavis if he can carry the camels on his shoulders up the rope," said Hakam.

   The firbolg had no problem doing so. The large animals were then leashed securely to the upper deck. Meanwhile, Belvin went to the cabin where they had placed Solisar and Kytharrah's bodies. Ilthian was there besides Kytharrah, stroking his fur and speaking to him, though the minotaur made no response besides occasional pained lowing. "Move away," said Belvin, "and I will wake him." Ilthian obeyed, and Belvin chanted a prayer over the beast.

   Kytharrah jumped up with a start, smacking his head into the ceiling, cracking it, and getting his horns stuck. "No! I was good," he shouted pitifully, flailing his arms in an attempt to escape the debris that had endlessly crushed him in his dreams.

   "You are safe, big brother!" said Ilthian. "You are not trapped."

   Kytharrah stopped thrashing and dislodged his horns from the ceiling with his paws. He seemed confused still, but his relief was palpable.

   "You were only dreaming," said Belvin. Then he turned to Ilthian. "Keep an eye on him; he will only be awake for nine hours, and then he will fall suddenly into a deep sleep again. Make sure that he does not fall off the ship or crush someone when that happens."

   "I am never sleeping again!" declared the minotaur.

   "Nine hours is a long time from now," Ilthain replied to Belvin.

   "I am telling you now in advance."

   Ilthian nodded.

   With Kytharrah and Tavis holding the cracked main mast in place, Belvin used Thard Harr's magic to repair and seal it. When he finished, it seemed as good as new.

   Before they "sailed", Szordrin tested out what would happen to his magic rope trick if cast while upon the deck of the ship. When Leokas moved the vessel forward, the rope continued to hang in the same spot in the sky. Once the ship had moved entirely out from under the rope, it suddenly fell to the ground.

   "Well, that is unfortunate," said Szordrin.

   The spelljammer was equipped with a small deck catapult and two small ballistae, all magically preserved and in good condition. Each ballista was loaded with a single large bolt, but there were no stones for the catapult. They sent Kytharrah out to grab a collection of large rubble to use with it, if they somehow were attacked from the sky. He took his job very seriously, and returned with several well-rounded stones that fit the catapult nicely.

   Once the mast was repaired, the camels and gear loaded, and the catapult stones set in place, Tavis and Kytharrah heaved up the anchor. Leokas sat back in the helm chair, and the preserved ancient sails billowed out, blown by Leokas' will to move the ship forward. Leokas' desire to move forward caused these magic winds to blow perfectly parrallel to the length of the ship, but the sails were not positioned properly to drive the ship forward. Instead, the spelljammer drifted through the sky more to the northeast. Since none of them except Solisar, who was of course unavailable, knew how to sail, it took them about an hour to get the ship moving in the direction that they wanted. Ultimately, Leokas started willing the ship to go in a direction slightly offset from the one he truly wanted, as if aiming an arrow in strong wind. At last they were off, hoping to reach Silverymoon before a day had passed.

   The voyage took a little more than 21 hours of constant sailing. Tavis estimated that they were traversing over the surface of Faerûn at about 17 miles every hour. When Leokas tired of controlling the winds that moved the ship, Szordrin replaced him so that the wood elf could rest. Belvin had spent much of the journey scanning the sky for dragons or other fell monsters with his magically enhanced vision. The skies, however, remained clear throughout the day. Kytharrah stood at the deck railing, enjoying the thrill of flying again, the wind blowing his fur about. It had been some time now since he had flown in a net carried by veserabs. Ilthian, true to her word, kept watching Kytharrah carefully, telling him constantly not to stand so closely to the edge because he might get sleepy again. He would listen to her and back off, only to seemingly forget and be back at the railing again.

   Closer to the end of the day, she was able to convince the minotaur to come study with her. Szordrin had offered to continue her reading and writing lessons. Thus, thankfully, when Belvin's wisdom-granting spell wore off and he passed out again, Kytharrah was not at the railing. After an instant of protest, his body crumbled to the ground with a thud.

   It was now just before dark. Tavis dragged Kytharrah's massive form below deck, and Ilthian retired to what would have been the captain's quarters, which Tavis insisted that she have to herself. Szordrin rested in his hammock, strung between a mast and a support beam below deck. The others had their usual bedrolls.

   They had retraced their path back to Ascore, flying due west. It was not hard at all to find the ruined dwarven city along the cliffs at the end of Anauroch. What stood out the most was the massive black dome of darkness from whatever it was the Shadovar were doing below.

   From Ascore, they had followed the road back to the Fork as best they could and then followed Fork Road from the sky west through Old Delzoun into Sundabar Vale. This took them between two mountain ranges, the Rauvin Mountains to the north and the snowcapped Nether Mountains to the south. They were in lands where none of them had ever been before, but between Leokas and Tavis, they were able to guess where they might be, and Fork Road grew wider and easier to follow from the air the longer they continued westward.

   Fourteen hours into their voyage, they flew over the citadel of Sundabar. Once a dwarven fortress, Tavis told them, much like Citadel Adbar farther northeast, Sundabar was now a human and dwarven city. Even at night, they could make out the double walls with the large moat between them. They stopped briefly overhead, deciding what route to take from here. By moonlight, Belvin could make out a road below continuing west from the fortress-city, but Szordrin could not see it, and he would be the one piloting the ship from here to Silverymoon. Instead, they decided to follow what they believed to be the River Rauvin. It seemed to start a short distance south of Sundabar from the intersection of two smaller rivers, and it flowed through a hilly pass in the Nether Mountains. Tavis and Leokas both were certain that Silverymoon was on the Rauvin; neither was certain that this river south of Sundabar was the Rauvin, but at least Szordrin could make it out from the sky.

   As Szordrin piloted their spelljammer, they passed over some violent rapids and a dimly lit town before following the ever-widening river as it snaked through the snowy hills of the mountain pass. On the other side, it turned and flowed more westerly, passing several towns and villages on a flat, snow-covered valley south of the Nether Mountains and north of a massive, seemingly endless woodland to the south, that must have been the High Forest, Leokas' old home.

   After four hours at the helm, Szordrin stopped the flying craft, as they came over a city on the river. He slowly lowered them to get a closer look.

   "While larger than any city I have ever seen," said Tavis, "I do not think it is Silverymoon. Silverymoon is supposed to have a famous silver-arched bridge, of which I see no sign here, and it lies west of the Nether Mountains. See, we still have not fully rounded them."

   Leokas, having just come out of trance, joined the discussion. "It must be Everlund," he said, "the closest human city to the northern borders of my forest. My mother and the others will likely pass through it on the way to the High Forest, but I doubt that they have even reached Silverymoon by foot yet. We should continue down the river; see, it curves sharply to the north here. It is 50 miles to Silverymoon from Everlund, I am told. We shall reach Silverymoon before night's heart ends."

   Three hours later, they indeed approached an even larger city, built on both sides of the river and sparkling in the light of the moon. Szordrin lowered the spelljammer until it came to float in the wide, icy river some three miles south and upstream from the city. He moved the ship as close to shore as carefully as he could, hoping they would be hidden by tree cover from any late-night travelers that might pass on the shore. In the cold of winter and the middle of the night, they did not expect anyone to be about. They woke Tavis, and he dropped the anchor.

   The plan was for only Hakam to enter the city with Leokas as his escort. Temples tended to be open all night long; if they could find a temple to Tyr, Hakam was certain a priest could also be found.
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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