Death Notice: The Rise of Thay

Making new Friends
The Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild meets new allies in both the Xanathar and a strange artifact.

17 Tarsakh 1479 DR

When they put the control crystal into the artifact, an apparition of Khelben Arunsun appears. They quickly realize that it is not, in fact, the old Blackstaff but some sort of psychic image of him. He introduces himself as Archon, the personification of the Blackstaff Memory Core, the crystalline structure that they acquired from the Blackstaff Tower.

After some awkward introductions, Archon informs the group that he is lacking in a majority of his relevant memories regarding the Blackstaff, her recent research, and other issues currently affecting Waterdeep. He suggests that they seek out additional crystalline memory cores to install into his crystal matrix. Archon suggests that they consider looking into the Xanathar. Orsino asks around and is able to establish a connection with people who claim they can put him in touch with the Xanathar.

25 Tarsakh 1479 DR

After a few days, Orsino receives a message at the Guild Hall. It is an address and a time, clearly a scheduled meeting with a Xanathar operative. The party heads there.

When they arrive, a band of orcs and goblins attacks them. They are able to deftly fight off the rogues. As they are cleaning their wounds, a mysterious drow appears, dragging a large sack behind him. He introduces himself as “K” and says he will be the party’s connection with the Xanathar. He states that he has brought them a gift: a Thayan agent that he was able to recover.

As K attempts to leave, Craig Arrowman looses an arrow in an attempt to stop him. K expresses some concern at this most inhospitable conduct. After some discussion, Orsino convinces Craig to let K go.

When they open the sack, they find a recently killed body of a strange fellow, covered in arcane tattoos. They search his corpse and find a number of interesting items, including a mysterious crystal that resembles Archon’s crystal structure. They drag the body back to the guild and put it into storage.

As Vincent the Mold Mage installs the crystal into Archon’s structure, he begins to remember additional facts about the Blackstaff’s research. He tells them that the Blackstaff was researching Thay and their possible incursion into Waterdeep. Unfortunately, other than peculiar details observed by the Blackstaff, he is unable to provide any more useful information than that.

Building a Coalition: The Shou

17 Kythorn 1479 DR

The adventurers awaken at the inn. When they head downstairs for breakfast, a mysterious fellow enters the room. He announces that he is there at the behest of the Blood of the Dragon and its Daimyo. He looks to Paetr and states that he is there to avenge the murder of the Ryujin. The warrior draws his sword and attacks.

After defeating the warrior, he tells them that his name is Mitsurugi Yoshikage and that he was sent to defeat Paetr in battle or, if not, bring him to his Daimyo. Although the rest of the party is somewhat confused, Paetr realizes that the Blood of the Dragon is one of the five gangs of Luskan and that they come from Kara-Tur, the homeland of his ninja master. They agree to go with Mitsurugi.

When they arrive at the Dragonblood’s hideout, they meet the Daimyo’s second in command. She informs them that Paetr is believed to be the perpetrator of a heinous crime: the murder of one of their greatest warriors, the Ryujin. After some discussion, Paetr convinces her that he did not kill his old master but instead awoke to find him dead. They quickly realize that the murder was caused by none other than Paetr’s “brother,” the Ryujin’s other student at the time.

Paetr explains that the party is there to capture an important prisoner from the Dead Rats. He asks for the Dragonblood’s help. They agree to help as long as Paetr agrees to avenge the death of his old master, the Ryujin. He agrees.

The party discusses a plan. After some discussion, they decide it would be best to seek additional allies in combatting the Dead Rats. After considering the many gangs of Luskan, it is agreed that the Dustclaws would be the best bet in an all-out attack on the Dead Rat’s mysterious warehouse.

Repairing the Artifact
The Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild attempts to locate Malvolio Guildenstern and repair the mysterious artifact acquired from Blackstaff Tower.

2 Tarsakh 1479 DR

1. After recovering the strange artifact from the Blackstaff Tower, the party determined that the Blackstaff, Vajra Safhar, has been kidnapped/captured by Orsino’s old Noble Academy school chum, Malvolio Guildenstern (who, as we learned a few sessions ago, seems to be a Vampire). Vincent the Mold Mage, official head mage of the Waterdeep Adventurer’s Guild, suggests that they try to find the missing control crystal from the strange artifact.

15 Tarsakh 1479 DR

2. The party went out investigating. Orsino and Shamash the Sorcerer set out to the Guildenstern “estate” while the rest of the group (DarkScale, Craig Arrowman, Tide Ripcurrent, and Captain Thorne) all headed to the Noble Academy party bars in north Waterdeep.

3. Orsino and Shamash discovered that somebody had been to the Guildenstern estate. Portraits and books were suspiciously destroyed.

4. The rest of the group arrived at St. Boddington’s House of Ale in north Waterdeep. DarkScale Wonderthon had a rousing yet surprisingly uninformative conversation with the bartender. Captain Thorne and Craig Arrowman noticed an academy student at the bar, sitting by himself, who looked as if he had been severely beaten by professionals.

5. Thorne and Craig approached the young fellow. He insisted that he didn’t take anything from anybody. On seeing Craig Arrowman, he grew very concerned. Tide RIpcurrent approached and offered him a soothing seaweed poultice. He eventually admitted that a pale, dark haired man had threatened him and beaten him, accusing him of stealing an important gem. The young man insisted that the young “forest boy,” potentially a member of Craig Arrowman’s Eastwood community, had actually stolen the relic.

6. Back at the Guildenstern estate, Orsino and Shamash found an old woman, hovering on death’s door, in bed upstairs. Shamash took her to the local clinic/shrine for health care while Orsino … sent a very public message to Malvolio. Tide Ripcurrnet arrives as Orsino lights the estate ablaze.

16 Tarsakh 1479 DR

7. The party proceeds into the Eastwood, towards Craig’s family home. As they approach the compound, they see a pack of skeletons and zombies, coming from the direction of the compound. They quietly proceed onward, avoiding another undead search party.

8. When they arrive, they find farmhouses ruined with the bodies of residents within. After sneaking by another undead patrol, Craig Arrowman and Orsino get to Craig’s family’s home. Outside, they find the bodies of undead minions and goblinoids. No human corpses can be seen.

9. As the rest of the group joins Craig and Orsino, a pack of Dire Owls attacks! Craig Arrowman is concerned.

10. They defeat the owls. Captain Thorne and Tide Ripcurrent realize that the goblinoids appear to have been defending the Craig family home. DarkScale realizes that the goblinoids all have the same religious bracelets as the orcs and goblins they met a month ago in Eastwood (the friendly ones).

11. Following a path through the Craig farm, they eventually come to a camp of orcs, goblins, and human survivors. Craig Arrowman is reunited with his family. They eventually find Craig Stealsyman, a younger and less reputable member of Clan Craig who admits to having taken a strange gem from a pale, dark-haired man. He gives it over to Craig Arrowman.

17 Tarsakh 1479 DR

12. They return the crystal to Waterdeep. Vincent the Mold Mage puts it into the large crystal artifact and… (!)

Finding the Source
The Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild attempts to trace the true party responsible for Thane Ulrich's kidnapping.

2 Tarsakh 1479 DR

1. Having rescued the mysterious Thane Ulrich from the clutches of Cultists of Asmodeus, the group determines that they will discover who is responsible by following the leads they discovered.

2. Orsino investigates the official ownership registration for the property where they discovered Thane. He goes to the Waterdeep Cheese Guild Office, the registered owners of the estate, hoping for answers. He quickly discovers little.

3. As the group continues to investigate, a group of thugs appears and threatens them. DarkScale Wonderthon, Tide Ripcurrent, Orsino Fortinbras III, and Captain Thorne fight them off. After brief interrogation, they determine that leaving no witnesses is better and exterminate the thugs.

4. Finding a clue from the interrogation of the thugs, the group heads to a nearby pub. They quickly learn that the thugs had been talking up a recent “job” they accomplished.

5. DarkScale talks big. Tide Ripcurrent makes friend with a local fisherman. After some investigation, they hear that the thugs had recently gotten into the Blackstaff Tower. Although not clever enough on their own, the Kurgan had told them that it was “ripe for the picking.”

6. The group heads to the Blackstaff Tower. Finding the door open, they enter. A large statue of a Black Dragon comes to life and attacks them. DarkScale Wonderthon is grievously injured by the creature’s acidic breath.

7. After fighting off the draconic guardian, the group makes it to the top of the tower. There, a strange apparition of Khelben Arunsun appears. It informs them that the Blackstaff has been kidnapped.

8. Determining that the apparition is coming from a large crystalline artifact, they seek the advice of a wizard from the guild. Vincent the Mold Mage arrives and begins researching the artifact.

9. Vincent is able to generate a phantasmal image of a pale, black haired man capturing the Blackstaff. Orsino recognizes it as his old academy nemesis, Malvolio Guildenstern. They take the large crystalline apparatus back with them to the guild hall.

Searching for an Old Hero
The Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild goes in search of a Hero of an earlier time.

1 Tarsakh 1479 DR

1. After returning from Neverwinter, the team of adventurers discover that they must seek out an old associate of Lord Neverember. A brave hero from an earlier day, his name is Thane Ulrich.

Off to Luskan
The Heroes of Neverwinter head to Luskan, uncertain of what they will find.

11 Kythorn, 1479 DR

1. The party decides to take a ship to Luskan from Neverwinter. Although very few ships actually go to Luskan, they are able to find a ship and crew brave enough to do the task. Masquerading as sailors, Ieuan the Devout, Akakios, Riseld Rumbletum, Paetr, and Len-Jes set sail. Ellesmere stays behind to further study the magical nature of the mysterious artifact that summoned forth the undead hordes.

2. Paetr, uncomfortable with returning to the city of his youth, finds an alchemist who prepares a mystical cream that will hide him from direct perception. The alchemist promises that people will be unable to directly perceive and identify him without him drawing attention to himself.

13 Kythorn, 1479 DR

3. The group sets sail for the City of Vice.

… (to be continued)

Disarming the Amplifier
The Heroes of Neverwinter must defend Ellesmere as she deactivates the necrotic amplifier.

11 Kythorn, 1479 DR

1. The party fights off horrible, undead minions as Ellesmere attempts to disarm the necrotic amplifier.

2. Len-Jes, Master of Trade for Lord Neverember, comes on the scene and brings her magical prowess to bare on the undead threat.

3. Wave after wave of undead minions continue to converge upon the amplifier. Ellesmere continues to work, attempting to disarm the device. Riseld attempts to aid her in her progress.

4. After several waves of fearsome undead creatures are defeated, Ellesmere is able to finally disarm the strange device. The rest of the undead horde seem to lose all control and drop where they stand.

5. Lord Neverember and Thane Ulrich arrive, covered in zombie remnants. Nagda the Half-Orc is with them.

12 Kythorn, 1479 DR

6. Neverember informs the party that a serious threat is looming on the horizon. He informs them of several possible options to build an alliance of forces to stand up against the undead Thayan threat. Ieuan the Devout and the rest of the group discuss other possible options as they plan their next move to held defend Neverwinter from an undead assault.

A Simple Delivery
The Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild goes to deliver a secret missive to Lord Neverember in Neverwinter.

25 Ches, 1479 DR

1. A mysterious figure from the East arrives at the Guild. He has seemingly powerful mental powers that allow him to communicate without speaking. He seeks admission to the Guild.

2. Lord Gottfried, head of the Waterdeep Adventurer’s Guild, gives Thorne a sealed scroll case, telling him to deliver it to Lord Neverember. He also directs that Captain Thorne take Scottus, the strange mentalist, with him.

26 Ches, 1479 DR

3. After some debate, Orsino, Thorne, Craig, and Shamash decide to head to Neverwinter by ship instead of by land. Craig and Thorne hire themselves off as deck hands while the other two, along with Scottus, book passage. The ship leaves early in the morning bound for Neverwinter.

3.1. Craig quickly discovers that he does not deal well with oceanic transport and spends the first day mostly sick. Thorne, on the other hand, quickly discovers that he does not know a great deal about being a deck hand or sailing.

3.2. Scottus casts an alarm over the ship which will alert him if any strangers come aboard the vessel.

27 Ches, 1479 DR

4. The Chief Boatswain’s Mate realizes that Thorne is unfamiliar with seafaring. He pulls him aside early in the morning and spends the day showing him the ropes of sailing.

4.1. Craig’s condition finally stabilizes and he also learns a thing about line handling and seamanship.

30 Ches, 1479 DR

5. Early in the morning, Scottus’ alarm activates. He awakens the rest of the group and proceeds topside to investigate. A mysterious stranger stands on the deck, no sailors to be seen. He blows a strange whistle and ghosts materialize on the deck and attack. The stranger disappears.

5.1. After a rigorous battle, the adventurers defeat the ghosts. Captain Marcus, master of the ship, has a search conducted and determines that one of the hands they hired in Waterdeep has gone missing.

6. Late in the evening, the ship arrives at Neverwinter. When they prepare to go ashore, Orsino sees a stranger from his past, a nobleman named Malvolio Guildenstern. Malvolio informs Orsino that he needs the scroll tube.

7. After brief discussion, Scottus attacks Malvolio with his mental powers. The group gets into a desperate battle with Malvolio and a group of undead monstrosities. They are able to defeat them, but not without some trouble.

8. They quickly head to the Hall of Justice to speak to Neverember. Neverember reads the message and looks concerned. He quickly writes a response, seals it back into the tube, and gives it to Thorne. He also hands over one of his rings, indicating that they should give both to Lord Gottfried.

9. After some protest by Scottus and the rest of the group, Lord Neverember explains that he will provide them access to a teleportation ring. They are immediately returned to an abandoned building in Waterdeep not far from the Adventurer’s Guild.

10. When they return to Gottfried, he explains that things have gotten grim. It appears that some of the Lords of Waterdeep are being influenced by forces acting against Waterdeep’s interests. Specifically, Gottfried and Neverember suspect the manipulation comes from Thay and the forces of the Lich King.

The Party's the Thing...
The Heroes of Neverwinter are invited to a party in their honor when things go suspiciously wrong.

9 Kythorn, 1479 DR

1. After defeating Seldra and turning her over to Neverember’s guards, the heroes of Neverwinter get invited to a party in their honor.

2. Paetr throws a party at a nearby pub, hoping to secure more information about the mysterious Reaver of Luskan. Unfortunately, all he hears are the same strange rumors.

10 Kythorn, 1479 DR

3. Ieuan goes to the local temple of Selûne and speaks to his friend Brother Santiago, the local Priest of Selûne. A package arrives at the temple for Ieuan; inside is the holy relic, the Tear of Selûne, a blade bathed in moonlight.

4. Ellesmere goes and visits with Seldra in her cell beneath the Hall of Justice.

11 Kythorn, 1479 DR

5. The group goes to a party in their honor at the Hall of Justice. They meet a number of interesting characters.

6. General Sabine arrives with Mordai Vell, the mysterious yet charismatic tiefling merchant. Akakios recognizes him as a prominent leader of the mysterious Cult of Asmodeus. Akakios hides.

7. Mordai gets into a conversation with Riseld, asking him about his adventures in combatting the Heir of Neverwinter. Riseld is enthralled with the charismatic leader.

8. Len-Jes and Ellesmere get to know each other a little better. As they do, a mass of zombies smash through into the banquet hall and attack.

9. As most of the party goers flee, Lord Neverember and his advisor, Thane Ulrich, take up weapons and fight off the zombies. Len-Jes and Nagda join them along with a group of warriors wearing the crest of Waterdeep on their tunics. Neverember tells Ellesmere to find out what is causing the attack and stop it.

10. The group runs out to the back of the Hall of Justice, where a statue was being erected in their honor. The statue has cracked, revealing a large necrotic amplifier. The amplifier, a magical device used to embolden necrotic energy, is surrounded by a pack of ghosts. Ieuan leads the charge against the monsters.

11. The party defeats the ghosts. Ellesmere goes to investigate the mysterious device.


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