Editor’s Note: I missed the most recent game due to an RL activity. I know – what kind of D&D player am I? Anyway, here’s the quick version:
The sobbing ghost, it turns out, is not the Fae’Rath.
He is the brother of the Fae’Rath.
He is the betrayer of the Fae’Rath.
Lo those many millenia ago, the Fae’Rath’s brother was a shepherd. When the Fae’Rath found ‘what remained of the elven gods’ on a hill in Evermeet, those gods blessed the Fae’Rath and made him their standardbearer. With their divine blessing, he mustered the strength to rebel against the corrupt king, Muad Ter’thalas, and bring down the tyranny of his cooperation with the dragons of that time. The Fae’Rath locked Muad Ter’Thalas in the Dragon’s Tomb, in the Cormanthor, and when what we now call BOB, the true being who masquerades as Muad, appeared to the Fae’Rath’s brother, he asked that he make a deal: bring BOB the Fae’Rath.
And the brother of the Fae’Rath did so.
With that act of betrayal, the Fae’Rath’s brother doomed his own people. Once BOB had the Fae’Rath, the Fae’Rath became a tyrant as terrible as Muad Ter’thalas had ever been. He fathered child upon child – attempting to bring his race back into the world, we think – and eventually, when he was aged even by elven standards, he slew his own brother and passed his body off as his own, entombing it beneath Evermeet and moving on to take up other plans in other places.
The ghosts in this place know this, and that is why they scream at him and have screamed at him for dozens of thousands of years.
So why did he do it?
Because even when his brother was a great king and had restored the elven gods to their rightful place, he – the brother of the Fae’Rath – was still a lowly shephered, and he was jealous.
Rock did some tracking around the tomb and confirmed that the dust had gone undisturbed save for the set of tracks we have followed the whole way here – those of the elven prince even now on his way to Myth Drannor – and one other set that appear, standing, where the Fae’Rath’s brother now sits. BOB came to this place, drove away the other spirits, took the countenance of the Fae’Rath, and then used that face to assure the current prince that he was the reincarnation of the Fae’Rath and that his fate was to liberate Myth Drannor, then destroy the drow throughout the Underdark.
Good fat frickin’ luck with that, I guess.
When we’d heard it all, we turned and went back out, exploring the two remaining tombs – that of the children of the Fae’Rath, and that of his friends. The children’s tomb was a simple, spherical ossuary, the bones cast into the bottom in heaps so deep a man could drown in them. The children of the Fae’Rath – those attempts to return his race to this world, as I said – were twisted mutations. Some made it to late childhood, but most did not. Their bones said all we needed to know. What interested us most were the fae monsters that emerged from hiding to attack us once we were there. They were quickly vanquished, but they left a lingering question – were all the Fae’Rath’s children necessarily dead when they were entombed?
The other tomb – of his friends – was more traditional, with twelve sarcophagi arranged in a circle around the room. I opened my eyes to the magic, and saw that a modified Create Undead was active in the room. With a Mage Hand, I knocked on one of the sarcophagi while we stood a safe distance away, and immediately the lids all trembled, then flew off, and twelve rotting, ancient corpses flew across the room to combine into one… big thing. Again, we dispatched it with alacrity, but it was a foul beast. Some way for the Fae’Rath to honor his friends, eh? They’d spent millenia condemned to mindless entrapment.
On the way out we poked around a bit more in the rest of the complex. There is a room there filled with… well, thousands of the constructed, dwarven-appearing defenders we saw earlier that day and also at the Dragon Tomb. Badl threw a rock at one, knocking it slightly off-center, and it righted itself but otherwise didn’t engage us. It would appear that somewhere in that complex is a magical control which can cause that army of constructs to march forth. I hope the elves do not make use of it – we certainly didn’t find it, and didn’t tell them where we thought it might be.
We also found a dozen sets of adamantine forging tools. As a weaponsmith, I was very interested, but Gerhard would be most interested of all. We are going to try to arrange to send a set to him, somehow, and then keep the rest for ourselves. Should we ever need custom work done, they would be a prized bit of barter in return for the work.
Once outside, we reported back to the elven Queen regarding our find. She composed a letter to the prince, asked me to deliver it to the wizard-general who accompanies him, and then sealed it before we could read what it said. One Word of Recall later, we were back on our home continent and splitting into two teams. We checked in with our various contacts – the Cormyran army is ready to move, and “won’t let a war start without [them].” A horde of human barbarians have encamped around Phlan, saying they come at the request of Haktor to defend it. The army or Mulmaster is on the march to Thentia, still unaware that their plan to decapitate the city’s magical defense was foiled. As such, Rock and Badl split off to go assess the Hillsfarian threat, and Adric and I are off to Phlan to assure the mayor that the horde is friendly – assuming we find out the horde is friendly. I plan to name-drop Haktor and make sure they aren’t going to sack Phlan. Adric has suggested we might have time to march them to Thentia to assist in defending it. If we can eradicate the Mulmasterian army right away, all the better. In the meantime, I’ve got my fingers crossed there’s no requirement for weird-ass ritualized combat before the barbarians will even talk to me.
An interesting additional note: there’s a Red Wizard in Shadowdale asking about us. We think we might just show up and find out what he wants.
Badl and Rock, as the recon team, flew over the Hillsfarian encampment and were able to confirm that the Zhents had not arrived. Absent their assistance, Hillsfar’s leader has apparently decided to call on even more nefarious sources of assistance. They had carved an enormous pentagram into the ground in a field near their encampment, and apprentices were manning braziers at each point while the wizard himself was in the center doing an extended incantation. While Rock threw a thunderstone – nailing an apprentice in the head, knocking him unconscious and ending his participation in the chant – Badl swooped low over a brazier, in eagle form, and cast Create Water to drop twenty gallons right on it, extinguishing it utterly. The other apprentices screamed and ran over to try to set it aflame again, but to no avail, and as the chant began to fall apart, demonic… shapes began to emerge from the ground around the Hillsfarian leader, grasping at his robes and screaming in fury. He launched himself into the air, rained down a Comet Fall to destroy the demons – killing every one of his apprentices in the process – and then flit over to one of his generals to bellow, I need more acolytes!
Suffice to say, Badl and Rock rule.