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  1. Zadania

Before the Laws of Gods and Men

Personal Mission


Session 1

- Tiffany was reunited with her brother, William Silverhand
- Tiffany knows that her brother recalls heading to the village of Nether’s End
- Tiffany’s research at the Silent Tower in Chult uncovered the following information:
- - No reference to an “Academy of Magic” could be found.
- - Tiffany recalls that she had not been far from Neverwinter when she situated herself after leaving the Academy of Magic
- - Neverwinter has become a nexus of fey influence since the Spellplague, and there are rumors that it may even be a place where there are portals to the Feywild
- - Among the fey that have made a home in Neverwinter Wood is a significant presence of darker fey, from those of the Winter Court, hags, quicklings, and more
- - The plane of the Feywild has properties consistent with the “dreamlike” quality Tiffany recalls the Academy of Magic has for her since leaving
- - It is possible that the Academy is at the borders between the material plane and the feywild at a site of a planar breach or major planar bleed

One day while in Hawthorne, Tiffany found her sleep troubled by thoughts of her past: of the village and its elders she had left behind, her friends and her brother, of the strange Academy of Magic and her friend Operana… The mysteries surrounding those events continued to haunt Tiffany, and it was with those thoughts in mind that she had gone to the guild hall, perhaps to find a mission or some opportunity to distract herself.

In the guild hall, to her surprise, she found her brother William Silverhand present! He seemed to be arguing with Sarah about finding a “Tiffany Silverhand,” and when Tiffany caught his attention, the two siblings reunited, with William grabbing and lifting Tiffany into a crushing hug. They decided to get something to eat and talk and exchange stories, heading over to Hawthorne University grounds with some food from the Guild Tavern in hand.

When they got there, Tiffany tried to figure out William knew about what had happened, but he confessed that when he had escaped, he didn’t see any of their friends either or Tiffany. He had spent some time situating himself in the world as he tried and failed to find Tiffany and the others, and he recalled that he had come out by a village called “Nether’s End” near Silverymoon.

As they talked, William revealed that he had worked as a mercenary for some time before becoming a member of the Knights of the Unicorn. He had been rescued by a knight of their number on a mission gone wrong and had joined up with the order ever since. Tiffany in return talked about some of her own experiences, including the mysterious Academy of Magic and her friend Operana. She had gone there after escaping from the village, and the Academy had been a strange enigmatic place, where students were told to never leave.

She recalled how her friend Operana and she had gotten into trouble and how Operana had told Tiffany to escape… but the moment Tiffany had left the campus grounds, all she had remembered was a blinding light and then nothing. She had ended up elsewhere, and all her memories of the Academy and even Operana had taken on a hazy quality, as if it had all just been a dream of hers, one that had lasted for a few years. But she was sure the Academy had been real, and her friend Operana also, who had been like a sister to her.

Tiffany had a difficult choice to make ahead of her. Did she wish to resolve the matter with her village and its Elders, considering she had left her parents behind and the fate of her other friends were uncertain? Or did she wish to try to find this strange Academy of Magic once more, and to reunite with her friend Operana. In the end, Tiffany decided that she and William would go to try to help Operana and find this strange Academy of Magic.

But where to start? Tiffany wasn’t entirely sure just where this mysterious Academy of Magic was. She would need to research into further clues surrounding what she recalled, but it was unlikely that the university library had the information she was looking for. She knew there were a number of other great libraries in the world: the Font of Knowledge in Waterdeep, Candlekeep of course, and others. However, she elected to make her way to the Silent Tower in Chult, after William off-handedly mentioned the continent.

The Silent Tower was a recent acquisition by the guild, the lich that had formerly resided there having been cleared out and the strange and wondrous properties of the tower having been discovered by the guild as well and also had a sizeable library within. It was bordered by Mompono Village, formerly inhabited by a tribe of humans and loxodon before a former Candlekeep sage turned lich had sacrificed them for his own ambitions. The guild had been working on converting the entire area into a new guild outpost in the region, located within the Valley of Dread.

Tiffany reached out a contact of hers, the platinum ranked adventurer Myriad, to arrange for transport to the Silent Tower. After meeting with Tiffany and William, Tiffany paid for transport and Myriad cast a gate directly to the first floor of the Silent Tower.

Tiffany and William walked through, William amazed at the display of incredibly powerful magic. Myriad asked if William would be willing to assist him with a future experiment in testing to see what would happen if he closed the gate while someone was midway through. William looked startled and concerned about the idea, and Tiffany declined Myriad’s offer on William’s behalf, even after Myriad offered a considerable sum of gold.

A pair of guards inside the first floor confronted Tiffany and William as this conversation happened, demanding to know why they were present. The Silent Tower wasn’t yet prepared to receive general traffic from the guild, as it was just yet in the early stages of being converted into a full guild outpost. Tiffany identified herself as a member of the guild, and also indicated that Myriad had brought her there.

The guards grumbled but allowed it to pass, and with that, Myriad closed the gate, leaving Tiffany and William to their own devices. The main guard, a blonde half-elven male, escorted the pair through a rapid tour of the Tower. Each area seemed to be a wide 40-foot radius circular room, each with a large floating, glowing crystal in the center. The guard took Tiffany and William through a rapid tour, through the Creation Room, the Infirmary, the Sanctum, and finally to the Library, each floor guarded by a set of guards.

In the Library, Tiffany saw a room filled with shelves containing thousands and thousands of tomes. In the center was a large desk, beside which was a large contraption that read “Crannaston’s Bibliomancer” by the desk, complete with buttons, dials, and levers. Behind the desk was a brown, owl-like kenku: Murmur, former librarian of the Dorvan Library. With the integration of the library with Hawthorne University, Murmur hadn’t a library to manage, but with the Silent Tower acquired by the guild, Murmur had found another library to call home.

Floating beside Murmur was a strange large crystalline humanoid that glowed with cosmic blue light that Murmur referred to as the “Librarian,” apparently the crystal in the room. Murmur saw and greeted Tiffany and William, explaining that he was attuned to the Tower though he hadn’t been expecting visitors so soon. The library hadn’t been prepared for general visits, but Murmur seemed enthused at the prospect of the first visitors to the Silent Tower’s library.

Tiffany explained that she was interesting into looking into material concerning magical academies and the planes. Murmur said that the library was well-stocked, and that the crystalline Librarian had magical properties designed to enhance learning and cast various information gathering spells.

Tiffany decided to spend some time at the Tower researching, finding some books of interest that could assist her, such as Garth of Suzail’s Ecology of the Planes and Khelben Arunsun’s The Wizard's Academies: Schools of Magical Learning. William was more enthused at the prospect of seeing dinosaurs than books, but quickly realized there wouldn’t be an opportunity to head out of Mompono Village to see the dinosaurs. Murmur handed William a magical book that produced small illusions of dinosaurs on each page, which kept William occupied for some time.

Between studying, Tiffany and William spent time outside the Tower. The outpost hadn’t been completed yet, so they had naught but tents to sleep in. Once William grew bored of the dinosaur book, he took to participating in the sparring the guards did, and Tiffany saw that William was a capable warrior. He seemed to prefer to fight with a halberd in a defensive stance, ready to strike out at the sign of an opening. He won a fair number of bouts, displaying his strength. Tiffany slyly claimed that she could be strong as well and lift William just as he had lifted her, and she caught him in the grasp of her telekinesis, her insight into the future allowing her to portent William’s inability to escape. William was incredulous and impressed at the prowess his sister possessed as she let him down.

Beyond that, the siblings passed the time by telling each other stories. William told Tiffany of the time he had dealt with a necromancer in Daggerford that had been kidnapping people to use for her dark rituals. It had been one of his first missions as a Knight of the Unicorn, and how he had just barely managed to survive the experience of subduing the necromancer and rescuing the surviving villagers that had been kidnapped. Tiffany in turn related her own experience, of the mission she’d undertaken to Quaevarr with other members of the guild, how she’d become the champion of Sephiroth the Cloud Giant, and how she had become the Grand Magician of Somehick Towne for a while.

As the days passed by, Tiffany finally finished poring through the books and came to some startling conclusions. While she had been unable to find any reference to an “Academy of Magic,” she did come to realize that she recalled being not far from Neverwinter in her first memories since escaping the strange place. From her research, she learned that the nearby Neverwinter Wood was wrought with fey influence, especially of the darker kind, and was said to have portals to the Feywild. The Feywild as a plane was also one whose nature was consistent with the dream-like quality Tiffany recalled of the Academy, as those leaving the Feywild often either lost their memories of it or their time there seemed to take on a hazy, dream-like quality in their minds. It was possible that the Academy had perhaps lied at the borders between the Material Plane and the Feywild, perhaps at the site of a planar breach or major planar bleed.

Though her research had uncovered what were potentially answers to some of the mysteries of Tiffany’s past, they raised still more questions. What truly was the nature of the Academy of Magic, just how deep did its ties to the Feywild run, and what had happened to Operana? Tiffany didn’t quite yet know, but she had a feeling that the answers lay somewhere in the depths of Neverwinter Wood…

Session 2

- Tiffany was designated by Murmur to be able to use the crystals' magic within the Silent Tower next time she visits
- Tiffany promised Murmur she'd help get assistance with making a TP circle at the Silent Tower
- Tiffany visited Port Nyanzaru with her brother
- Tiffany learned of the affair with the Soulmonger and the Death Curse, and that it had been destroyed
- Tiffany learned the names of the merchant princes and their specialties, and that Ekene-Afa and Wakanga O'tamu were on friendly terms with the guild, acting as sponsors and patrons of the guild. She knows that Jobal is not on the best terms with the guild, as he had once sold a guild member into slavery.
- Tiffany planned to attend services at the Temple of Savras in the afternoon
- Tiffany was considered a sister of Sune by those in the Temple of Sune in Port Nyanzaru, owing to her beauty and the color of her hair
- Tiffany learned of the dinosaur races and of the annual Na'buso's Haka (The Great King's War Dance), a relay race and of solo dinosaur races throughout the day
- Tiffany witnessed an execution in the Executioner's Run but couldn't bear to watch the rest of it
- Tiffany arranged for a meeting with Wakanga O'tamu in Goldenthrone to possibly pursue a sponsorship as a dinosaur racer for her brother

Session 3

- William Silverhand became the first and currently only member of the Maze Runners, a dinosaur racing team sponsored by Wakanga O’tamu. His bonded racing dinosaur is a young and prideful green triceratops known as “Ubtao’s Chosen.”
- In exchange for sponsoring William Silverhand, Tiffany Silverhand received a mission from Wakanga O’tamu that she promised to send word over to the guild for to handle: to locate the control amulet for a shield guardian known as “Vorn” and to bring both it and Vorn to O’tamu.
- William Silverhand tied for first place on his very first dinosaur race in Port Nyanzaru. He matched the race favorite, a young crowd-pleasing tyrannosaurus rex known as Big Honker, down to the last lap.

Tiffany and William were able to make their way inside Goldenthrone, to meet the merchant prince Wakanga O’tamu. They found him in a suite inside Goldenthrone, flanked by several guards, and he invited Tiffany and William in to sit. A variety of beverages had been laid out, from tej to tea to hot chocolate. William had some of the tej, while Tiffany partook of the hot chocolate. Tiffany explained that she had come to request Wakanga O’tamu’s to sponsor her brother, William Silverhand, to become a dinosaur racer for the dinosaur races in Port Nyanzaru.

Wakanga O’tamu was intrigued by the offer, for while he had no team of racers himself, he had been interested in getting involved in the dinosaur racing circuit. After conversation with Tiffany and William, was willing to extend his sponsorship, to provide William with a dinosaur to race as well as the shelter and care needed to maintain it.

There were a few contractual conditions to the offer, such as a percentage of William’s winnings going to Wakanga O’tamu. In addition, O’tamu had a favor to inquire of Tiffany in exchange for the one he was willing to grant to her brother: he had learned of a shield guardian out in the jungles of Chult, a companion of a wizard whose journal he had recovered some time ago. The shield guardian, Vorn, had remained dormant there for some time, and there was no trace of the control amulet that O’tamu had been able to find. He requested that Tiffany arrange for a notice to be given to the guild to set up a mission to find the control amulet and bring it and the shield guardian to Wakanga O’tamu.

Tiffany accepted the offer, and the deal was struck. William became the first and currently only racer of the “Maze Runners,” with William’s chosen steed to be the triceratops known as “Ubtao’s Favorite.” She and her brother then left Goldenthrone to make their way to Tiryki Anchorage to see to Ubtao’s Favorite and register for the race, having received a signed and stamped writ from Wakanga O’tamu. They made their way to the dinosaur pens where William was about to see to Ubtao’s Favorite, taking the time to familiarize himself with the creature before preparing to race in the evening.

William was warned by the trainer outside that Ubtao’s Favorite was a prideful triceratops that could be a handful, and it could be dangerous if she didn’t take well to William’s presence. William was determined to see it through however, and after some encouraging words and a spell of skill empowerment from Tiffany, he made his way inside to see Ubtao’s Favorite, quickly getting to know the beast and surprisingly forming a fast bond with it. William was overcome with sheer uncomplicated joy as he took his first ride with Ubtao’s Favorite inside the pen, the first time he had ever ridden a dinosaur.

Tiffany and William then registered for the dinosaur race in the evening, with William electing to race in the lucrative but dangerous “unchained” race for the evening: an open event where any dinosaur could race in, as opposed to the more regulated two-legged and four-legged races. In the end, Tiffany found herself in the crowd cheering on her brother as he and Ubtao’s Favorite made their way to the starting line. He had changed into a racing uniform provided by Wakanga O’tamu’s people, with the logo of a maze on the back and symbols of various business owned by Wakanga O’tamu as advertising.
The competition was varied, ranging from experienced race favorites to other newcomers to the event. In the end, a small magical burst fired into the air and the race was on! William and Ubtao’s Favorite came on strong, riding with great rapidity as the racers began a circuit around the city of Port Nyanzaru. Close at hand was an allosaurus and a tyrannosaurus rex, both ridden by experienced riders, while a deinonychus kept close pace, his new racer panicking all the while as they kept up. Trailing far behind were a dimetrodon and an aging hadrosaurus.

As the race progressed, some of the dinosaurs bit at and attacked each other, with the tyrannosarus taking swipes at some of the passing dinosaurs. William used his skill as a cavalier to try to deflect as much of the attacks away from Ubtao’s Favorite as best as he could, his own natural talent and Tiffany’s skill empowerment allowing him to keep a steady pace throughout the race. The deinonychus was forced to retire, giving out as its inexperienced rider had kept it on an unsustainable pace. In the end, three dinosaurs were racing for the finish line: Ubtao’s Favorite, the triceratops ridden by William; Bonecruncher, a determined but ill-tempered allosaurus ridden by a veteran rider; and Big Honker, a young but crowd-pleasing tyrannosaurus rex ridden by an ace rider as well, seemingly a match for William’s skill.

As the final stretch approached, perhaps out of irritation from the constant attacks or desperation, William had Ubtao’s Favorite charge at Big Honker, knocking the tyrannosaurus over! This gave William enough time to begin to retake a competitive lead, but Big Honker was soon enough right on him, with Bonecruncher not far behind. In the end, both Ubtao’s Favorite and Big Honker crossed the finish line in a blur, with Bonecruncher lagging just behind. The tally was called and the end result was a tie between Ubtao’s Favorite and Big Honker!
William was surprised and met with adulation and celebration for a stand out performance in his first dinosaur race, splitting the first and second prize pots with the rider for Big Honker. He was overcome with joy and surprise for doing as well in the race as he had, even if it hadn't been a fully decisive victory. He met back up with Tiffany, eager to share his experience with his sister. The siblings celebrated, a happy memory both would likely hold dear for some time, though Tiffany knew that the time for celebration would soon be at an end, and it would not be long before they would begin to head to settle the matter of Operana. Whatever future lied in store for them, Tiffany had a feeling they were going headlong into a mystery that was likely to be as dangerous as it was enigmatic…

Session 4

- Tiffany sent word of the mission to recover the shield guardian Vorn and its control amulet on behalf to Wakanga O’tamu to both the guild outpost in Port Nyanzaru and back in Hawthorne.
- Tiffany acquired transport to Neverwinter via Theodore, a platinum ranked adventurer and druid of the Hawthorne Guild, whom she and her brother met at Thundering Lizard Inn in Chult.
- Tiffany met with her former professor Trinklin at Neverwinter Academy, learning of the Sharandar ruins and New Sharandar within Neverwinter Wood, the center of the efforts to restore the elven nation of Iliyanbruen in both the Material Plane and the Feywild.
- Tiffany made her way to the Sharandar Ruins and spoke with the eladrin Captain Curdailen, who directed her to Iliyasha Guidingstar, a representative of the Iliyanbruen elves. Upon speaking with Guidingstar, Tiffany learned that the only other organized group of fey within Neverwinter Wood consisting of the dark fey within.
- Tiffany learned of a group of powerful fomorians active in Neverwinter Wood and the associated portion of the Feywild, led by a King Malabog.
- Tiffany entered New Sharandar in the Feywild via a portal in the greak oak tree of the Sharandar ruins and with Commander Merrisara Winterwhite. After speaking with Winterwhite, she learned that there had been reports of people steadily disappearing in the forest over the last decade or so, and that she knew that the dark fey were led by a powerful coven of hags.
- Tiffany learned of Winterwhite’s theory that the Academy of Magic she sought may be tied to the dark fey and the coven of hags that led them, with the teachers possibly bound by pact to the dark fey, with the students potentially being cultivated and used by the dark fey and the hags to enhance their power.

After William’s inaugural dinosaur race and after he and Tiffany had celebrated, they set out the next day to return to the matter of finding Operana. Tiffany intended to make her way to Neverwinter Wood to follow up on her theory that the Academy of Magic may lie in a planar bleed with the Feywild somewhere within Neverwinter Wood. However, Tiffany did not possess any teleportation sigil sequences near Neverwinter Wood. She reached out to a friend of hers—Rex Underhand—and she learned of a contact of his that was present in Port Nyanzaru: the platinum ranked adventurer and druid of the Hawthorne Guild, Theodore.
Tiffany and William met Theodore at the Thundering Lizard Inn, the three enjoying a breakfast prepared by Sal’avi. Theodore was currently on a vacation in Port Nyanzaru, though he still was more than happy to assist Tiffany. Tiffany explained her need to go to Neverwinter Wood to investigate a personal matter. She, Theodore, and William talked at length before Theodore used a spell of transport via plants to transport Tiffany into the heart of Neverwinter, in the Protector’s Enclave and by the House of Knowledge. Tiffany thanked Theodore, and he cast a spell of wind walk on both Tiffany and William before departing back to Port Nyanzaru to return to his vacation. Tiffany decided to return to her alma mater Neverwinter Academy to seek advice regarding her theories on the Academy of Magic and what she had learned of the Feywild. She returned to the institution with William in tow and managed to track down of her old professors, the half-elf Professor Trinklin. Trinklin taught classes on knowledge of the planes, with an emphasis on the Outer Planes. He was pleasantly surprised to see Tiffany again, as she had been one of his best students, and he was curious to see how far she’d gone since graduating.
Tiffany and Trinklin spoke at length, with Trinklin pleased to see that Tiffany had taken his advice of continuing her studies with a noted magus with the Hawthorne Guild, and that in her time with the guild, she had expanded her capacities and knowledge by leaps and bounds. Tiffany explained her situation with the Academy of Magic and her theory of the planar bleed with the Feywild. Trinklin thought of what Tiffany said, and he said that her theory had a degree of plausibility to it, as the Feywild was known for having a particular dreamlike quality, and that those leaving the plane often either did not recall their time within the plane or that their memories had been hazy or indistinct. He mentioned that she would do best to speak with the elves and eladrin by the burgeoning settlement in Sharandar, where they sought to carve out a place for what remained of the elven state of Iliyanbruen, both in the Material Plane and the Feywild. He provided Tiffany with a map and wished her luck on her task, though he warned of the dangers of the forest and of the dark fey that lurked within. He also warned of dealings with fey in general, explaining that the trick with devils was watching what they did say, whereas with fey it was a matter of paying attention to what they didn’t say.

Tiffany and William then set out, assuming cloud form via the wind walk Theodore had cast on them earlier. They made their way into the gloomy wood of Neverwinter Wood and they navigated towards Sharandar and assumed their normal forms directly outside the settlement. They saw appeared to be structures built into the trees themselves, as people milled about on patrol or busy at work. When they approached, they were stopped by elven and eladrin guards who wished to know of why they had come to Sharandar. Tiffany explained that she sought to learn more about the Feywild and after further discussion, she was allowed inside. She was introduced to the leader of the guard forces on the Material Plane side of Sharandar, Captain Curdailen, and she was told to speak with Iliyasha Guidingstar, representative of the Iliyanbruen elves, for further information. Tiffany and William made their way to Guidingstar’s office where they met with the elf.
Guidingstar greeted them, inquiring as to the purpose of their visit. Tiffany explained once more the situation with the Academy of Magic and her desire to locate it. Guidingstar seemed disturbed by Tiffany’s words, as she said that to her knowledge, no such academy was associated with Sharandar. However, as she explained, the only other organized group of fey within Neverwinter Wood were enclave of dark fey within the wood. They had frequently made attacks on Sharandar in the Material Plane and New Sharandar in the Feywild, with one of the most prominent forces among them being fomorians led by their king, Malabog.

This was troubling news for Tiffany, as it raised the possibility that the Academy of Magic was in truth associated with the dark fey of Neverwinter Wood. Guidingstar advised Tiffany to speak with Commander Merrisara Winterwhite, the leader of the settlement, presently in New Sharandar in the Feywild, for more information. She gave Tiffany a writ of passage, and Tiffany and William set off. They made their way to the massive oak tree in the center of Sharandar, where there was a great hole in the tree through which a forest on the other side could be seen, though one more vibrant and colorful. Tiffany presented the writ to the guards flanking the portal, and she and her brother were permitted entrance, entering the Feywild and into New Sharandar. On the other side, Tiffany could use a large and circular outpost amid a forest that seemed brighter and more vibrant than the forest they had walked out of.
They were confronted by a cluster of guards who relaxed when Tiffany presented the writ. She and William were escorted into a command post and taken upstairs to Merrisara Winterwhite’s office. As she and William made their way within, they met the eladrin knight, who heard out Tiffany’s tale told again.

As Tiffany concluded her recollection of the facts and her desire to find the Academy of Magic, Winterwhite opined that Guidingstar was on to something to believe the Academy of Magic may have to do with the dark fey of Neverwinter Wood. While there were a variety of dark fey present in the wood, both on the Material Plane and in the Feywild, among which were the fomorians and their king, they were in truth directed by a powerful coven of hags whose machinations had plagued Sharandar for well over a decade. She said that there had been incidents of disappearances over the last decade within the Wood and the regions around, and that she suspected it had been orchestrated by dark fey at the direction of the hag coven. Winterwhite put forward the view that the hags may well be using those who had been caught up within the Academy of Magic as essentially cattle to be cultivated and then utilized for their developed magical power, to be exploited or be sacrificed to enhance the power of the coven.
This possibility deeply disturbed Tiffany, who had some familiarity with the nature of hags and of their wicked and weird nature. She realized that of the students at the Academy of Magic, all that she’d known of had been at most in their late adolescence: ultimately still children. This implied that the teachers were in on the affair in some way, and Winterwhite stated that it was possible that the teachers may be bound in a pact to the dark fey and hags, either willingly or unwittingly.
With Winterwhite’s words echoing in her mind, Tiffany now began to grasp the scope of the situation she may be well be dealing with. Was she truly right that the Academy of Magic lay within the borders between the Material Plane and the Feywild? Was the case that the Academy in truth was nothing more than a place where its students were used as fodder to aid the dark fey and the hag coven that led them? Was Operana even still alive? Many questions remained before Tiffany, but one thing was clear: she was going to have to go into the fray of these dark fey to find the answers for herself. The only question was whether if she and her brother would make it through upright or if they too would be swallowed up by the darkness of Neverwinter Wood…
Session 5
- Tiffany learned of the Blighted Grove west of Sharandar where a contingent of dark fey had amassed a presence. Lysandra, an eladrin knight in service to New Sharandar, had seen a basin within the Blighted Grove during a scouting mission two tendays ago. Beside it was a tower that she could make out through mist, but the area seemed magically protected, as she was unable to find her way through to it.
- Tiffany learned of the eladrin warlock Zoramadria that had disappeared over ten years ago, though Merrisara Winterwhite suspected that she had turned traitor and was working with the dark fey against Sharandar.
- Tiffany learned that Zoramadria specialized in planar magic, and may be responsible for the nature of the Academy of Magic.
- Tiffany received an escort from Lysandra to make their way to the tower suspected to be the location of the Academy of Magic, receiving an escort by Lysandra, an eladrin knight of New Sharandar. It would take two days of travel at a normal pace, but could be reached within a day at a fast pace, though at risk of running across patrols of dark fey.
- Tiffany received a secondary task to find the eladrin knight Pelendethas Everstride, who had disappeared along with the rest of his scouting party a tenday ago during a scouting mission in the Blighted Grove
- Tiffany received a favor from Emrae Firesky, a priestess of Corellon within the Temple of Leaves of Sharandar, and received the benefit of a heroes’ feast, along with William and Lysandra, before they headed out together towards the Blighted Grove.
Tiffany continued to speak at length with Merrisara Winterwhite, seeking to learn more about Winterwhite’s suspicions. As they spoke at length, Tiffany asked just where these dark fey were amassed. Winterwhite replied that most of them were near Sharandar itself, in various enclaves around the forest. Among these was the Blighted Grove to the west, all manner of dark fey or other twisted creatures resided, most prominently redcaps and fomorians in service to King Malabog. Winterwhite spoke further of a recent scouting mission into the Blighted Grove had revealed a curious sight: a strange tower shrouded in mist, situated by a basin of water. However, the scout had found themselves unable to approach closer to the sight, magically foiled in some way. The scout had been Lysandra, an eladrin knight in service to New Sharandar. Tiffany recalled that there had been a tower outside the main campus of the Academy, where reportedly the headmistress and senior staff resided, but none other than they had ever been allowed to go there. Tiffany requested Winterwhite’s aid in finding this tower, possibly a concrete lead on the Academy of Magic. Winterwhite considered Tiffany and agreed, as it seemed Tiffany’s purposes ran counter to that of the dark fey, and in hence may prove beneficial to Sharandar. She told Tiffany to speak with Lysandra back on the Material Plane for further information, and that she would command Lysandra to provide escort to Tiffany through the wood to the Blighted Grove and to the tower.
However, she requested Tiffany to provide aid to New Sharandar by locating a missing scouting party that had disappeared a tenday ago. The group was led by the eladrin knight Pelendethas Everstride, and they had been investigating and collecting intelligence within the Blighted Grove. Tiffany accepted Winterwhite’s terms, and Winterwhite began to write an official writ declaring as such. Before Tiffany departed however, Winterwhite warned of the dangers of the Blighted Grove and of other fey in general. As she spoke, she filled the room with her presence, temporarily cowing Tiffany. The pressure in the room subsided, as Winterwhite grimly noted that Tiffany and William would need to steel their minds and will to avoid it being twisted by those of the dark fey. Winterwhite also spoke of one other possibility that had occurred to her. In the past, among the ranks of New Sharandar had been an eladrin warlock known as Zoramadria. Zoramadria had disappeared over a decade ago, thought to be dead, but Winterwhite suspected that she may actually be alive and having switched sides to join the dark fey. Zoramadria had been a powerful spellcaster and one who specialized in magic of the planes in particular: it was possible she might be responsible for the strange planar phenomena around the Academy of Magic or the strange effects on the Tower that had been seen. Mulling over this new information, Tiffany thanked Winterwhite and departed with William, heading back through the portal and back into the Material Plane into Sharandar.

Tiffany reached out to one of the guards to inquire where Lysandra was, and was told that she was out on duty at the time but that she’d be back by the eve. Tiffany elected to pass the time by visiting other locations within Sharandar, making her way to the Temple of Leaves, a temple to Corellon. Like much the rest of Sharandar, it was constructed up atop the trees, using leaves and wood for its construction. Tiffany made her way inside to pay her respects, as Corellon also was a god of magic. She spoke to the head priestess present, a sun elf known as Emrae Firesky. Firesky spoke pleasantly with Tiffany, curious as to her presence. Tiffany related the basics of her mission, and Firesky intimated that she had wished that Commander Winterwhite took direct action against the dark fey more often. As they spoke, Tiffany requested Firesky for aid before she and William would set out. Firesky found herself convinced by Tiffany’s words and promised to provide her, her brother, and those that came with her on her journey with a bountiful feast that would aid in granting one resiliency against the powers of fey magic upon the heart and will. Tiffany departed and headed to the Sharandar Tavern to relax and get refreshment and sustenance. She was served by a pair of colorful sprites known as Pax and Pox, as well as the eladrin bartender Alendra, and she gained some insight as to the day to day in Sharandar. The rest of the day passed until evening came, and Tiffany made her way outside to meet with Lysandra.

She found Lysandra near the gates, an eladrin with golden-red hair the color of autumn. She provided Winterwhite’s writ to Lysandra and explained the situation to her. Lysandra then spoke of the time she had been in the Blighted Grove two tendays ago during a scouting mission. She had stumbled across the sight of the tower by the basin, shrouded by mist, but had been completely unable to approach any closer. Every time she did so, she would find herself elsewhere, either back where she started or somewhere else. Some kind of powerful working had been placed upon it to prevent one from simply walking to it. Tiffany also spoke to Lysandra regarding Zoramadria, and Lysandra said that it was a possibility that she was alive and had defected, and may explain some of the strange phenomena. Lysandra told Tiffany she could take her out towards the Blighted Grove the next morning, but she reiterated the danger of the location. It would take a two day journey to arrive there, though they could attempt to move at a faster pace to arrive within a day, though they risked being more easily detected. In the end, Tiffany and William spent the night getting a well deserved rest before waking the next morning to make final preparations. She, William, and Lysandra enjoyed a fortifying breakfast at the Temple of Leaves before the three set out of Sharandar and into the foreboding depths of Neverwinter Wood, making their way to a den of malice and evil, but also perhaps where the answers to long-held questions lay...
Session 6
Tiffany participated in a funeral rite to Corellon Larethian for the sake of a fallen eladrin.
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 7
- Tiffany and her companions were able to enter the region of the Blighted Grove. Approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes have passed since the beginning of the day.
- Tiffany has charmed and since acquired the aid of an owl from Neverwinter Wood via the animal friendship spell for the next 7 hours.
- Tiffany learned that the survivor of the eladrin scouting party led by Pelendethas Everstride were likely held at Fort Blightmourne, one of the main dark fey strongholds within the Blighted Grove
After exiting and recuperating from their run-in with an ettercap and its minions in its lair, Tiffany, her brother, and the eladrin knight of Sharandar, Lysandra, continued on in their journey in Neverwinter Wood. By now, they were making their way out of the Webwoods and towards the Blighted Grove itself, with the plants and trees seeming more twisted and withered as they advanced. Along the way, Tiffany spotted a brown-colored owl that she decided to charm using her ring of animal influence. The owl flew to Tiffany, and she politely asked if the owl would be willing to keep an eye out for herself and her companions. The beast agreed, and the three continued, with the owl scouting ahead for them. As they went further westward, the owl came flying back, hooting rapidly and flapping its wings—indicating danger ahead. As Lysandra took a look, she said that they were approaching the tree line bordering the Blighted Grove, and that the owl may have seen the various blights within it.
Making their way through the treeline would be a tricky matter: it was a dense area of trees, filled with all manner of twisted plant creatures. The group could elect to try to simply fight their way through; they could try to sneak through unseen; they could try to find an area not as heavily guarded and try to enact and ambush and use the opening to pass through to the other side; or they could try to find some way to simply bypass the area entirely, perhaps by flying over surreptitiously or some form of magic. However, simply attempting a brute force approach could be taxing, and might use a significant amount of resources before they would even make it through. As for stealth, while Lysandra excelled at stealth, and Tiffany could perhaps do a passable job at it, William would likely prove to be a liability on that front. And finally, while Tiffany did possess the magical prowess that could allow the group to simply bypass the tree line, some of the key spells she either did not have prepared or would use a considerable amount of magical power from her, and she intended to try to hang on to her reserves for the day. The group decided to attempt an ambush strategy: sneaking up into the Blighted Grove partway and searching for an area they could enact an ambush on to create an opening for themselves. They made their way into the treeline initially undetected, before orienting themselves in the right direction and spotting potential danger to avoid. They found a prime area to set an ambush and prepared themselves for it, sneaking up to an unsuspecting group of blights before they sprung the trap! In a flurry of motions of arrow shots, halberd strikes, and spellfire, the three felled the blights before them before rapidly proceeding past, shooting beyond the treeline and into the Blighted Grove itself.

The Blighted Grove was an area overgrown with twisted trees, filled with everpresent gloaming dim light, and the sense that there was always something watching. Now within the Blighted Grove, the group had additional options to consider. At Tiffany’s request, Lysandra found an area for them to talk within and plan further. Lysandra expressed her desire to search for Pelendethas Everstride first before seeing to the matter of the mysterious tower and the prospect of the Academy of Magic. Tiffany explained that there was a friend of hers she was seeking to rescue at the Academy of Magic. As Tiffany and Lysandra conversed, it became clear that Lysandra had been given orders both to assist Tiffany in the finding of the tower, but also to assist Tiffany with entering it and handling the threats within, as Lysandra’s other assignment had been to attempt to collect intelligence from within it. Tiffany asked if they did rescue Everstride, if he would be willing to aid them on their shared goals, and Lysandra said that he likely would be, as he was a skilled eladrin warrior. But where was Everstride and the members of his group? There was an entire region of forest to potentially cover, and only the three of them. They could attempt to go to a fey fort and try to recover intelligence from there: if Everstride or his group were still alive, then they likely were being held prisoner somewhere to extract intelligence from or even potentially to be turned. They could try to ambush a dark fey patrol and try to interrogate them for further information. They could also try to investigate the scene where Everstride had last reported in.

Tiffany considered attempting to scry on him, but Lysandra said that it had already been attempted and failed. She warned that the dark fey had protections against divination magic like that, which could have more severe consequences than the spell simply failing: it could rebound on the caster, and cause their position to be revealed instead! Tiffany decided it wasn’t worth the risk, and that traditional investigatory means would have to suffice. The group decided to search the area where Everstride had last reported in, and where his area of duty within the Blighted Grove at the time had been. Along the way, Tiffany offered a plan to potentially disguise herself and the others with an illusion: Lysandra thought it was a good idea, for while there were those among the dark fey that could see through any glamor, such beings were rare, and the group would likely not run into them unless things had gone well and truly wrong. As the group made it to the site, they found the remnants of a battle, with bones, bits of broken armor and weapons, and so forth strewn about. Tiffany and Lysandra spent some time going through the remnants, combining Lysandra expert tracking skills with Tiffany’s keen investigatory sense. In the end, they were able to determine that of the four eladrin scouts that had come to this area, they had been ambushed by a group consisting of creatures of all sizes, and that only one of the number of them had survived. As for where the survivor had been taken, it pointed into an area deeper into the Blighted Grove in a slight northerly direction.

Lysandra paled as she saw the direction it pointed. As she explained to Tiffany, in that direction, the closest dark fey holding was Fort Blightmourne. Fort Blightmourne was no mere outpost or encampment: it was one of the main dark fey strongholds within the area, and where a significant number of dark fey amassed. If the survivor of Everstride’s mission was at Fort Blightmourne, that made the task before Tiffany and the group significantly more complicated. Just what Tiffany would decide to do next could well determine the course of the group’s fate within the Blighted Grove, and with it, the prospects for whether or not they could at last reach the Academy of Magic…
Session 8
- Tiffany elected to try to ambush a dark fey patrol to obtain more information regarding Fort Blightmourne before attempting to rescue the survivor of Pelendethas Everstride’s scouting party - Tiffany captured 4 redcaps, 2 quicklings, and Soveliss and Seriss, twin winter eladrin sisters in league with the dark fey of Neverwinter Wood
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 9
- Tiffany spoke with Fipple, a quickling associated with the dark fey, as well as the eladrin sisters Soveliss and Seriss.
- Tiffany learned, as reported by Fipple in conversation, the basic layout and troop assignments of Fort Blightmourne. She learned of the presence of multiple kinds of dark fey and other creatures present, including eladrin, trolls, fomorians, displacer beasts, meenlocks, darklings, and more. She learned of the presence of ballistae as well as of the commanders of the fort: a pair of eladrin Fipple called “Cinder” and “Sleet” respectively, and the use of passwords, and that “Cinder” and “Sleet” directly answered to the mysterious beings who led the dark fey.
- Fipple was unable to speak directly about matters, preferring to speak in hypotheticals involving another quickling named “Whimple,” and of “Fort Rug” instead of “Fort Blightmourne.” - Tiffany learned that Pelendethas Everstride was present in the jail in Fort Blightmourne, guarded by a fearsome fomorian known as the Jailer.
- Tiffany learned that Fipple, as well as Soveliss and Seriss, were bound by pact to a group of beings they refused to speak of, whom Tiffany surmised were the hags who led the dark fey in Neverwinter Wood.
- Tiffany agreed to help Fipple break out of his contract by finding the deal he had made and destroying it, in exchange for Fipple’s help in infiltrating Fort Blightmourne.
- Tiffany learned that Soveliss and Seriss used to be eladrin of New Sharandar before they had defected. Their sister, Seville, had disappeared during a mission gone wrong in Neverwinter Wood, and they had contracted with the beings that led the dark fey out of desperation to try to recover their sister.
- Tiffany managed to convince Soveliss and Seriss to provide their assistance in recovering Pelendethas Everstride in exchange for Tiffany’s assistance and utmost efforts in recovering their sister Seville. Tiffany agreed to do so, and the three formed a fey pact: that Tiffany would act to the utmost of her ability to try to find and recover Seville. If she were to prove unable to do so, that Tiffany would instead call upon the aid of the guild and ensure that it would act to its utmost ability and resources to try to find and recover Seville, even if Tiffany should have to hire out a mission herself. In exchange, Soveliss and Seriss would provide Tiffany with all of the assistance they could to help Tiffany successfully rescue Pelendethas Everstride.
- Tiffany learned that Soveliss and Seriss could not take direct action against their fellow dark fey, but they could provide information, advice, and other resources vital to succeed in the mission.
Session 10
- In discussing further with Soveliss and Seriss, Tiffany learned of the layout of Fort Blightmourne and the different structures present, as well the nature of the schedules and individuals present. She learned that the garrison was a two story structure with the jail beneath as a basement level, and that the building was larger on the inside than the outside, possibly an extradimensional space. Tiffany spent time strategizing a method of entry and approach.
- Tiffany, disguised as Seriss, along with Soveliss and Fipple made their way towards Fort Blightmourne and infiltrated the storage area, managing to steal several items. As they left the area, they were confronted by a pair of eladrin wondering why they had shown up early from their patrol.
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 11
- Tiffany and Soveliss were able to exit Fort Blightmourne without further issues.
- Tiffany learned of the individual passphrases needed to enter Fort Blightmourne
- Tiffany was able to disguise herself and Lysandra as Seriss and Soveliss, while William, under the effects of a potion of diminution, was disguised as a redcap all via a seeming spell. - Soveliss and Seriss were disguised as prisoners from New Sharandar.
- The party entered the outskirts of Fort Blightmourne and are preparing to enter the fort proper.
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 12
- Tiffany, Lysandra, William, Soveliss, Seriss, and Fipple entered Fort Blightmourne in disguise.
- The group was able to enter the garrison undetected, with Tiffany obtaining and managing to forge four writs to allow the group access to the jail
- Tiffany and Lysandra received a debriefing from the fort commanders, Cinder and Sleet
- The group is about to make their way down to the jail level
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 13
- Tiffany rescued Pelendethas
[Editor's Note: Expand on this section in the future]
Session 14
- Tiffany sent a message to Hawthorne and a message to Merrisara Winterwhite of New Sharandar, requesting a mission to be sent out to Fort Blightmourne to see to a contract present within the fort.
After escaping Fort Blightmourne, Tiffany and the others made their way to the safety of where they had set up camp before. While there, Tiffany tried to determine if there was a way she could help Fipple to be freed of the contract binding him. His contract was to last for a year and a day, but with each day Fipple spent in defiance of the contract, it would grow increasingly difficult for Fipple to survive it. Speaking with Fipple, Soveliss, and Seriss, Tiffany realized that there were likely only a few ways that the contract could be broken or ceased: 1) allowing the contract to expire by reaching its term of expiration 2) fulfilling the terms of the contract to bring it to a premature end 3) removing the obligating parties in the contract 4) destroying the physical instrument upon which the contract was bound or 5) the use of extremely powerful magic to sever the contract, such as the wish spell. In the end, Tiffany decided to use a loophole: with Soveliss and Seriss to act as Fipple’s superiors for the time being, that would give them some time to work out a more permanent solution. Tiffany sent messages to both Merrisara Wiinterwhite and Hawthorne for a mission to raid Fort Blightmourne and to find and destroy Fipple’s contract.
Tiffany and the others then rested for the night before beginning to head out towards the basin that Lysandra had indicated she had seen the Academy of Magic. Pelendethas Everstride joined the party, now recuperated from his wounds, and seeking to aid Tiffany in her task. The group spent the next seven hours trekking through the Blighted Grove, coming across all manner of strange and macabre sights, and forced to take detours at a few points. As they were closing in on the basin however, they were ambushed by a group of trees around that began to move of their own accord…
Session 15
Tiffany and the rest of her party were ambushed by a group of animate trees. Pelendethas and the eladrin twin sisters had been caught by the roots, caught by surprise. Two of them were heavily blighted, with twisted and gnarled roots that tried to grasp those around them, while four others were not as corrupted. However, thanks to William’s flaming halberd and a couple of precisely cast fireballs from Tiffany, the group prevailed against the corrupted and animate trees, setting part of the forest aflame. Tiffany and the others decided to press on, reasoning that they were in enemy territory and perhaps a forest fire here wasn’t as bad as it could be otherwise. Tiffany found herself pressing through the treeline and onto a hill overlooking a surprising vista: a waterfall from a canyon emptying into a large lake, surrounded by forest. The air was heavy with wet mist, and in the distance, Tiffany could see the silhouette of a gated complex, a multistory building and a cylindrical tower within. Tiffany realized that it must be the Academy of Magic that Lysandra had seen before. Tiffany and the others began to head down towards the forested section. As they passed through the trees, they emerged out onto the other side not by the lakeside, but back where they had started! It was as Lysandra had reported: it seemed that the magic within the area seemed to disrupt one’s ability to approach the Academy of Magic at all.
The party made a few more experimental attempts to approach the lake, trying to mark their path, but they found themselves back where they had been before. The markings also seemed to fade rapidly as they returned. Tiffany cast a spell of detect magic, detecting the presence of powerful abjuration, conjuration, and illusion magic in the air. She cast multiple spells of dispel magic, managing to attenuate the effects of the different magics in the air, but was unable to entirely eliminate them. The mist in the air did seem to become less dense after Tiffany cast her various spells. After a few false starts, she and the others made the foray into the forested section below, with Tiffany guiding those who were still caught by the illusion magic to walk along the right path. The party was able to make their way to the lakeside, where Tiffany erected a swan boat using a feather token of hers, and the group set sail across the waters.
By now, night had fallen, and it was getting difficult to see. As they were partly across the waters, they were assaulted as massive tentacles began to wrap itself around the hull of the ship: the Squid of Black Lake! It was a massive squid, seeking to tear the ship apart and lash out at the party. William was swallowed whole, and began fighting his way out of the creature, and several, including Tiffany, were thrown overboard. The creature proved completely impervious to mundane weaponry, but the party worked together to focus their energies and efforts upon the creature, and Tiffany at last slew it with a fireball cast above the boat to catch the squid before it could retreat. It sank beneath the depths, releasing William from its maw, now a blackened corpse.
Those thrown overboard managed to make their way back onto the vessel. The swan boat was damaged, but not destroyed, and the party continued their journey across the lake. They at last crossed over to the shore on the other side, seeing another forested section ahead of them just before the entrance into the Academy of Magic. At last, Tiffany was not far from her destination since beginning the journey since what had felt like so long ago…
Session 16
- Tiffany was able to navigate through the forest bordering the Academy of Magic and successfully enter the grounds of the Academy of Magic alongside the rest of her party.
- Tiffany encountered a tribe of centaurs living in the forest bordering the Academy of Magic and learned of a prophecy portenting her arrival and was granted safe passage through their territory. She spoke with Balter, the tribe’s chieftain, as well as Enzer, the tribe’s diviner.
- Tiffany was told by Enzer to heed the following words when the time came: “Fear the old blood.
- Tiffany was able to surmise that the magical protections on the region around the Academy of Magic included a displacement effect to send back those approaching the Academy, protections against teleportation magic, and a powerful illusion effect twisting the perceptions of those within it to view the Academy as a dilapidated ruin and for attempts to approach the Academy resulting in one’s traveling away from it instead. The illusion effect did not seem to extend to the grounds of the Academy itself however.
Having defeated the Squid of the Lake, Tiffany and the party ventured onto the shore before the forest bordering the Academy of Magic. By now, night had fallen and the day had worn long with the activities and challenges Tiffany and her allies had faced. They elected to take the time to find a place to rest down for the night, venturing into the border of the forest to do so. The party was able to rest for the night, a tiny hut from Tiffany granting them a bubble of safety from the horrors of the forest.
The next day, Tiffany made her preparations along with the others and the party continued to venture forward. Though the magic had seemed to partly abate, the illusion magic thick in the air still warped and twisted the perceptions of several within the party. It was only by having those affected close their eyes and essentially dragging them along via rope that the party was able to follow after Tiffany at all. From what she was able to gauge of the magic, the combination of powerful abjuration, conjuration, and illusion magic remained, though it was still attenuated due to her efforts.
During the party’s journey within the forest, they were ambushed by a group of corrupted plants. Those caught within the illusive sway of the forest’s magic found it difficult to keep track of reality, making them uncoordinated and disjointed in battle and caught flatfooted by the assault. All the same, a few corrupted blights were no match for a precisely placed fireball by Tiffany and the counterassault by the party, leaving the plants either burnt, shredded, or both in the aftermath.
Tiffany and the group pressed forward along the path they were walking until they came across a section of forest where thick strands of gossamer and webs were strung across from tree to tree. Recalling their last encounter with the lair of a monstrous spider, Tiffany and the others elected to take a detour, walking a circular path around and away from the area.
As their path began to turn back towards the Academy of Magic however, they were suddenly surrounded as thirteen figures revealed themselves from the brushes around. They wielded longbows and spears and assorted weaponry. However, what caught Tiffany’s eye was not the weapons they bore, but the creatures themselves. They had the torso of that of a man, but the lower body of a horse: centaurs! The lead centaur, taller and broader than the rest, stepped forward and demanded to know of the party’s reason for trespassing on their domain. He spoke in contemptuous Common, making his hostile intent clear. Tiffany spoke up, explaining that she and the others had come to see to a friend within the Academy of Magic that Tiffany had, and that she had once been a student there, being a diviner.
The lead centaur did not seem entirely convinced by his words, but before he spoke again, another centaur entered the conversation, speaking in the fey tongue. This centaur seemed garbed in strange, multicolored cloth studded with what seemed like glittering stars. The two centaurs began to speak in Sylvan.

Though Tiffany herself did not speak Sylvan, she had several among her group that did, and via translation she learned that the centaur’s leader and the tribe’s chieftain, the tall centaur who had spoken before, was known as Balter. The other centaur was known as Enzer. Enzer said that the presence of a Child of the Stars had been foretold. Balter did not seem convinced, but he turned back to Tiffany, asking her to tell the full truth this time. Tiffany took a breath and spoke again, telling of her long tale and journey, and her desire to recover her friend Operana and settle the mystery of the Academy of Magic.
She also said that she had foreseen this meeting in her dreams before, as she relayed the portent she had witnessed. Balter continued to be reticent, but grudgingly accepted Tiffany’s word, as Enzer spoke in her defense. Tiffany and her party were granted safe passage through the domain of the centaur’s tribe to approach the grounds of the Academy of Magic proper. Before departing, Tiffany asked Balter and Enzer what their stake in the Academy of Magic was. Balter replied that they had none, but if there were fewer outsiders and fewer of those cavorting with dark forces around, Balter would not complain. Beyond that, he simply desired no interference from those outside the tribe. Enzer explained that Tiffany’s arrival had been foretold by fate, as a Child of the Stars and one who could view the currents of fate as written in the heavens.

Tiffany inquired of Enzer if he had any particular direct role to play, but Enzer replied that his role was to watch the tides of fate, but not to sail its currents as Tiffany would. He did say that he was to be the one to give Tiffany a warning to heed for when the time came: “Fear the old blood.”
Tiffany felt a chill within her bones at Enzer’s words, but she did not know why. With that final ominous portent, Tiffany and her group departed, making their way towards the grounds of the Academy of Magic. She realized however that it would be difficult to proceed with nearly half her number still overcome with the illusion magic permeating the area. She decided to spend some time conducting some experiments and utilizing trial and error to learn more about the protective magics in the region.
She was able to ascertain that the illusion magic was of a particularly subtle and pernicious kind, reminding her of the spell phantasmal force. It seemed to twist the perceptions of those affected into believing they saw but a dilapidated ruin when gazing upon the Academy of Magic, and such that any attempts to approach the Academy of Magic would instead result in one moving away from it. Any inconsistencies would be rationalized away within the seemingly insuperable illusion. Tiffany considered her options, and with a flash of inspiration, she sought to shatter the illusion via reason and intellect, conjuring an illusion of her own of the true form of the Academy of Magic, and inviting those within the party to consider it and other facts she brought to the fore regarding their travel.

Her gambit worked—mostly.. She managed to free Soveliss and William from the illusion’s grip, but Fipple and Peledethas remained woefully unconvinced. Tiffany decided to press on all the same, taking Pelendethas and Fipple along. As Tiffany and the group began to approach the border of the forest, she could begin to see a lightly obscuring mist prevalent in the area. It faintly shimmered with light every so often, growing thicker as they approached the forest’s edge. Tiffany realized it must be the manifestation of the displacement effect she had detected earlier. She spent some time studying the mist and determined that it had properties similar to that of an arcane gate, and that walking through it at the wrong time would likely displace the party elsewhere—quite possibly back where they had started!
Tiffany decided instead to cast a potent spell of dispel magic upon the mist. It failed to clear the mist entirely, as the mist seemed to surrounded the whole border of the forest. What it did do however was seem to clear away some of the shimmering light within the mist within a narrow opening no broader than three persons wide, as she had successfully suppressed the magic within an area of the mist. As narrow as the gap was compared to the totality of the mist, it was wide enough to allow Tiffany and her party passage through. They swiftly made their way within, and as they traveled forward over rolling hills, they came into view into the breathtaking sight of the Academy of Magic.
It seemed as a veritable castle or fortress in truth, complete with battlements, turrets, and spires. Beside it was a narrow, cylindrical tower. Pelendethas and Fipple also stared, for it seemed that the illusion magic did not extend to the grounds of the Academy itself. Tiffany had made it to the Academy of Magic at last. But how much had changed since her absence? Was Operana even still there? Tiffany knew that the only way to find out was to venture forward…

Session 17
Having made it onto the grounds of the Academy of Magic, Tiffany and her party began to survey the area around them. They had just exited the forest, the mists swirling about behind them. Ahead, the Academy of Magic lay in the distance, a veritable castle with spires, towers, and turrets that ascended skyward. Beside it was a tall, cylindrical tower whose height exceeded even that of the tallest tower of the Academy. It lay on the western side of the Academy of Magic.
Tiffany and the party were facing the eastern side of the Academy of Magic, walking across rolling hills of verdant green. They were able to make out roving patrols walking across the grounds, ranging from displacer beasts escorted by darklings to robed figures and even chimeras. The only other notable landmark they could make out was what appeared to be a large, ramshackle cottage or cabin, with a fenced off area containing all manner of mundane and magical creatures. Tiffany and the party snuck up towards the cabin, avoiding detection from the patrols. The cabin was of a haphazard design, and within the fence, Tiffany could make out creatures like chickens and cows, but also griffons and chimeras. The front door of the cabin was ajar, and resting on the porch was an old displacer beast, snoring heavily in a deep slumber. The cabin itself was massive, as large as a two story house.
Tiffany elected to scout the area out via her ring of x-ray vision, finding a single massive room. Within she saw an unlit fireplace, a large table around which chairs were gathered, a large and messy bed, a dresser, a wardrobe, cupboards, and other ordinary furnishings. She misty stepped instead, and after some hesitation, the rest of the party followed, sneaking through the front door. Tiffany investigated the area, rifling through large clothes in one of the dressers to find a crumpled and stained note. Tiffany located some vinegar and water to help begin restoring the note. In the meanwhile, she continued searching the area, finding mostly mundane items, though she did find a magical pitcher which acted to convert poison into wine. When the note was restored, Tiffany read the following:
Dirge, Some students have gone gallivanting into the forest past curfew. Be a dear and gather them up and bring them back before they too far.
Headmistress of the Academy of Magic
The note seemed to be old, something that this Dirge had stuffed in a pocket and had forgotten to throw away. Tiffany recalled that Dirge had been a giant and groundskeeper of the Academy of Magic and who at times also taught classes regarding the various magical creatures kept within the Academy Grounds. He had a reputation of putting himself in danger roughhousing with the various creatures, though he was hardy enough not to be too injured. Tiffany took the note but elected to leave the rest of Dirge’s possessions be. She left with the party to sneak towards the Academy of Magic.
She and the party managed to approach undetected towards the eastern side, where she was able to see an area where students seemed to be relaxing or studying beneath a grove of trees. Students seemed to wear dark robes, with a golden pin the shape of an octagon and the letters “A” and “M” visible: the symbol of the Academy of Magic. Tiffany and the party continued on towards the southern side of the Academy, where she encountered an area where plants seemed to be growing in a patch, as well as a large set of greenhouses. Tiffany recalled that the greenhouse was warded but typically abandoned during the night. Tiffany knew she needed time to prepare new spells to try to disguise herself and the party as students, and they needed a place to rest for the night.
Tiffany and the party stealthily moved all the way around towards the northern face of the Academy of Magic, avoiding the patrols as best as she and the party could. Towards the north lay the entrance into the Academy of Magic, with students entering and exiting through its massive doors. A path led away from the Academy towards the forest beyond, which Tiffany knew was in line with the lake to the north. Pillars flanked the path, topped with sculptures of various magical creatures.
From her new vantage point, Tiffany could also see what seemed to be an arena or colosseum of some kind on the northwestern side of the Academy of Magic. Tiffany now had an understanding of the lay of the land, but she was curious to learn more about the tower and the colosseum. She and the party began to sneak back around towards the greenhouse, to approach the tower unseen...
Session 18
Tiffany and the rest of the party were able to sneak back around towards the southern side of the Academy of Magic. She wished to get a closer look at the tower on the western side of the Academy of Magic, and so she elected to conceal herself with a spell of invisibility before walking forward on her own. As Tiffany approached the tower, she felt an intense urge to turn around and walk away, but she managed to shake off the feeling. From what she could see of the tower, it was enclosed by a high stone wall and wrought iron gate. It was a cylindrical structure whose total height exceeded that of the Academy of Magic. It appeared to have 5 levels, judging by the 5 windows spaced at regular intervals along the side of the tower. The tower was topped by a conical roof. A light mist seemed to cling on the grounds around the tower, emanating from within the tower. Tiffany lingered, trying to examine the tower further, before she felt that same urge again. It was nearly overwhelming, and she averted her gaze and began to dart away from the tower.
After some time passed, Tiffany was able to collect herself against as she recognized that the repulsive feeling had been magical in nature: it was clear that the tower was designed to keep people out. Tiffany recalled that the Headmistress Lash and senior staff were said to reside in the tower as their own private residence, and that students generally weren’t permitted inside.
Tiffany could see that the student dorms were present along the southwestern side of the Academy of Magic, judging by what she could see through the windows. Keeping her invisibility active, she and the party took a wide berth around the tower to then approach the colosseum. At this point in the day, it had given way to late afternoon. A large crowd was gathering around the outside of the colosseum and making their way within, with more students coming from the Academy entrance. It seemed that classes were done for the day, and that some kind of event was occurring within the colosseum. The rest of the party remained behind while Tiffany went forward to scout out the arena alone, so as to take advantage of her invisibility while it lasted. Tiffany tried to overhear what strains of conversations and rumors she could: apparently, a “magefair” was to commence soon, with the opening event being a “magefair” between a “Peku” and an “Adamus.” “Peku” was a veteran contender it seemed, but “Adamus” had swiftly been rising up the ranks recently.
Tiffany then made her way into the arena unbeknownst, using the students for cover to conceal her movement and the sounds of her footsteps. She took a seat along the benches present in circular rings around the arena. Down below lay a wide arena space. High above the other seats was a raised balcony, shrouded by a curtain. As students settled in, Tiffany took the time to try to study the uniforms of those present, trying to commit it to memory so as to try to replicate it for the purposes of a seeming spell later.
Eventually, a pair of figures came into view at the center of the arena. They appeared to be a pair of students, though dressed in what seemed like battle robes rather than the standard uniform. One was a young woman, with her opponent a cocky looking boy likely in his late adolescence. From what Tiffany could ascertain about the uniforms, besides the dark robes and the golden pin of the Academy of Magic’s symbol, each set of robes was also decorated with a series of stripes used to demarcate the school of magic that student specialized in. From what Tiffany could see of the two combatants down below and from what she recalled of the Academy of Magic and knew herself of the colors of magic, the woman was an illusionist, while the adolescent boy was an evoker. Tiffany recalled that “magefairs,” or essentially magic duels, were a commonplace occurrence at the Academy of Magic.
The arena was used for magefairs not only for the purposes of resolving disputes, but also as a form of sport, as students could advance up the circuit and the ranks. Battles were not only held as one on one contests between students, but she recalled there had been team events, as well as battles against captured or summoned monsters. There were measures in place to ensure truly lethal wounds could not be incurred, and healers remained close at hand on standby during matches.
As Tiffany contemplated this, it was then that the curtains along the balcony shifted aside. Several staff members were visible, but a pair of figures at the front caught Tiffany’s eye. One was a tiefling with purple skin, straight purple hair, and garbed in a light golden robe. She seemed to strike an imposing presence, carrying an authoritative air about her. Beside her was a waifish elven woman, dressed in what almost seemed blue evening gown, a plume of black feathers around her neck. The tiefling declared the match was to commence, as it seemed she was the Headmistress, and with that, the battle commenced. Peku and Adamus immediately began by casting defensive spells: the former using a spell of blur, while the latter immediately cast a fire shield upon himself.
They then began to trade spells back and forth with each other, with Peku attempting a hypnotic pattern that Adamus barely closed his eyes in time for, while he retaliated with a scorching ray that Peku deflected with a shield. Peku managed to disrupt Adamus’s offense with a precisely cast phantasmal force that left him dazed in place. She approached to deliver the finishing blow, but Adamus shook off the illusion before he struck back with a shocking grasp that found purchase, injuring Peku. Peku snarled before she conjured a shadow blade in a hand and slashed out at Adamus, almost bringing him to his knees. Adamus still had one trick remaining however: he took a look at Peku before he slashed at the air with his wand, conjuring several bolts of force to home in on Peku.
Peku’s eyes widened as she cast a shield to deflect the bolts, but Adamus interrupted her shield with a well timed counterspell of her own. The magic missiles crashed into Peku, and she crumpled into unconsciousness as Adamus stood as the victor. Healers came to tend to Peku and Adamus before the two departed, and Tiffany could see money changing hands between a number of the students. Throughout the match, Tiffany watched as Headmistress Lash and the elven woman beside her seemed to watch the match intently. The next match to be announced was a battle between Markus, a fifth-year student, and an earth elemental. Tiffany knew the time on her invisibility was limited, and she felt that she had seen enough. It seemed that the arena would occupy the attention of much of the school for quite some time. She departed from the arena and made her way back to the party to report what she had seen.
She and the party considered their options: they could try to wait the rest of the day out to allow Tiffany to change her prepared spells to have a better chance of infiltrating the Academy of Magic. However, the longer they lingered, the more likely it was they might be discovered. Alternatively, they could use the distraction posed by the arena as an opportunity to go into the school now. Arena matches were unlikely an event to happen every single day of the week: it was after all, a school. Thus, the window of opportunity was narrow, and one not likely to be repeated tomorrow. It still presented a chance to go into the school while the number of those present were low, to attempt to find school uniforms or other methods of disguising the party’s appearance.
Either way, whether Tiffany waited or went now to disguise the party and to infiltrate the school, Tiffany planned to go to the school’s library to try to find a secret passage that she and Operana had uncovered before being chased off last time. It was perhaps there that she would find the clues needed to recover her friend. Tiffany knew that the decision she made next would make a big impact on the outcome of her quest, but just what choice she would decide upon had yet to be seen...

Session 19

- Tiffany took a notice off the wall from within the Academy of Magic’s cloister, which seemed to be an advertisement for a used wand, but that Tiffany suspected contained a hidden message.

- Tiffany learned that the Lectio Magistralis, a monthly lecture, was scheduled to occur within the Academy of Magic’s Aula Magna the following evening. The main lecture was to be given by Headmistress Lash, providing a survey of the Outer Planes, with a focus on Hades in particular. It is expected that a majority of students and staff would be assembled there at the time.

After discussing the situation with the rest of the party, Tiffany cast invisibility on the party, leaving only Fipple visible. Fipple hit inside William’s backpack for the time being, while Tiffany and the rest of the party approached the eastern face of the Academy of Magic. A number of students could be seen present near a small enclosed area that seemed to serve as an outdoor social hub. Tiffany however was able to sneak up with the party to enter through the eastern doors unnoticed. Once Tiffany and the party were within, they began to explore the grounds of the Academy of Magic, searching for a place by which to acquire uniforms. Even with the magefair occurring at the Academy’s arena, there were still students present with the Academy at the time that Tiffany and the party had to avoid.
After a few false starts with a few locked doors, Tiffany and the party made their way to a centra hub within the Academy, where a number of announcements and notices were pinned to the walls around. Tiffany learned that student uniforms could be found both within the Sanatorium as well as within Student Accomodations. Tiffany and the party made their way southwest where they found the area corresponding to Student Accomodations: the dormitory area she had found out before. Eavesdropping on some students, she learned that uniforms could be found in a laundry area within the Student Accomodations section, and also that apparently a keycharm was needed to safely approach the tower on the western side of the Academy.
Tiffany was able to sneak forward towards the laundry area and liberate several uniforms for herself and her companions. After doing so, Tiffany and the group went back to the central hub to take a closer look at some of the various notices and announcements present. Tiffany found a couple of articles of interest. There was an announcement indicating that the monthly Lectio Magistralis was going to be given tomorrow, held within the Aula Magna. The main lecture would be given by Headmistress Lash, providing a survey of the Outer Planes, with a focus on Hades in particular. Attendance across the school was expected for the monthly lecture, which was scheduled to occur on tomorrow evening. In addition, Tiffany found a strange note that caught her attention. It appeared to be an advertisement for a used wand, but Tiffany had the feeling it contained some kind of hidden message somehow.
She took the notice before she and the party began to proceed towards where the library lay. She and the party snuck inside, searching for hidden entrances or secret areas. None could be found on investigation, but Tiffany wasn’t done within the Academy of Magic yet. There were a set of stairs leading up from the ground floor of the library, presenting another opportunity for further investigation…
Session 20
- Tiffany was able to recruit Aldric, a sixth-year student of the Academy of Magic that specialized in enchantment magic, and Operana’s former boyfriend. Aldric agreed to assist Tiffany in obtaining a keycharm from the basements.
- Tiffany learned that Operana reportedly had become Head Girl and was apprenticed to Headmistress Lash. Tiffany suspected some manner of foul play was involved.
- Tiffany learned that the prismatic wall spell was a 9th level spell capable of blinding those too close to it that. She learned that the yellow layer was imbued with lightning, and could only be overcome with an application of magical force. Some potential suggested means of doing so were the spells Bigby’s hand or disintegrate. She also learned the green layer was poisonous, and could be overcome with a spell like passwall or other spells that acted to open up portals.
- Tiffany learned that Professor Savesha taught conjuration at the Academy of Magic
Tiffany and the party, under the effects of the invisibility spell, ascended up the stairs from the library of Academy of Magic and up towards the second level of the Academy. The Academy still had students within, though most still yet were occupied at the magefairs going on at the arena. Tiffany explored the upper area with the party, finding it to be a circular area, the center of which was some kind of area labelled “Lecture Hall.” In various rooms surrounding the Lecture Hall were a variety of study areas, unmarked rooms that contained more of the library’s stock, lavatories, upper-year student accommodations to the east, a teacher’s lounge, and finally, an office to the south belonging to a “Professor Savesha.” Tiffany found mostly discarded notes and read through some of the books while investigating, learning about the prismatic wall spell in particular, but her invisibility was swiftly running out. Tiffany decided to change into the set of second-year divination robes she had taken, recasting invisibility on everyone else except her. She then began to wander the halls, pretending to be a student. She went to the student accommodations and had a brief conversation with some of the students outside before departing. As she was leaving however, she drew the suspicion of one of the upper year students.
He was able to determine that Tiffany was not in fact an upper year student. Tiffany confessed that it was true she was not, but she wove in a new deception by claiming to be a first-year student who had wanted to explore the area above. The student she spoke with smirked and began to try to extort Tiffany. When Tiffany realized what was happening, she claimed to need to get money from her dormitory, and the student offered to go with her. The party opined possibly disabling the student, but Tiffany said it wouldn’t be needed for now.
As Tiffany began to make her way down the stairs with the student in tow to go down back where she came, a somewhat familiar face was present in the library below. It was a man in his twenties, an upper year student with a uniform that marked him as a sixth-year student. He stopped Tiffany and the younger student with him, as he began to note that Tiffany had a relative who had come to the Academy. As the pair spoke, the young man grew suspicious and told Tiffany and the student with her to go upstairs.

Tiffany decided to go along, as they went into a study area upstairs. Immediately, the young man cast a spell upon the other student, swiftly modifying his memory so as not to recall what had happened, and sent him on his way. The young man then gazed upon Tiffany, claiming that she looked exactly like someone he used to know: Tiffany. As the young man continued to speak, Tiffany realized that the young man speaking to her was in fact Aldric, Operana’s former boyfriend. The pair had split amicably in the past.

Tiffany explained that she had come back to find Operana and also possibly to set right the things that were wrong in the Academy. Aldric swiftly noted that Operana wasn’t missing: she was now Head Girl, apprenticed to Headmistress Lash, and spent most of her time in the Tower. Time also flowed differently at the Academy of Magic compared to the world outside. Aldric seemed agitated by Tiffany’s presence.

Tiffany processed the information, as she declared that either this “Operana” was a fake or Operana’s will had been subverted somehow. Aldric wasn’t convinced, but he pointed out that Tiffany didn’t have much chance without the keycharm to enter the Tower either way. Tiffany replied that she didn’t intend to go in alone, which made Aldric suspicious. He cast a spell of see invisibility upon himself, while also countering Tiffany’s counterspell with his own, as he could see the forms of Lysandra and Pelendethas within the room. Aldric demanded to know whom they were, and when it was revealed that they were soldiers from New Sharandar, Aldric began to grow increasingly agitated. He cast a privacy charm upon the room as he began to pace back and forth, considering the situation, and increasingly regretting becoming involved. Aldric revealed that all manner of terrible things happened in the Academy of Magic, and that graduates from the Academy were never heard from again. He seemed aware of the true and dark nature of the Academy, claiming much of it was either concealed away beneath the school or whatever happened in the Tower.
Aldric seemed to fear for his life, but Tiffany reassured him while also asking him to assist her. She made an impassioned speech about Operana and the wrongs at the school. Aldric stirred at her words, but he disagreed, saying that it would be a fruitless endeavor.
Tiffany countered that staying at the Academy of Magic as Aldric had seemed to describe it was a death sentence in its own right, and he had nothing to lose. Aldric considered Tiffany’s words, but he replied that either way, he didn’t think just the three of them would be sufficient to accomplish what they wanted to. Tiffany grinned, mentally gesturing for the other members of the party to come through the door. Aldric’s eyes bugged out as he saw the rest of the party enter, and Tiffany declared if the entire assortment would be sufficient numbers in his eyes. Aldric continued to hold out, saying that while Tiffany had numbers on her side, she wasn’t thinking like a wizard: numbers and brute force alone wouldn’t be sufficient to overcome the challenge before her. A wizard’s knowhow and cleverness would be needed. Tiffany pointed out that that was precisely where Aldric came in, to provide that very resource. She also noted that the party had proven capable over the challenges they had faced, and she felt confident they could keep Aldric safe.
Aldric was torn on what he wanted to do before he finally gave an anguished acquiescence, agreeing to assist Tiffany though he outwardly remained gloomy and melancholy. The pair discussed what their next move should be. Tiffany determined that if they needed a keycharm, they’d have to make their way down beneath the school. Just what awaited them beneath was unknown, but Tiffany planned to soon find out…
Session 21
- Tiffany studied the circle of stones in the basement of the Academy of Magic, coming to an understanding of the prismatic spray and prismatic wall spells, both in terms of how they function and how to counter them. 
- It is currently 9 hours and 55 minutes past highsunfest at the Academy of Magic.
With Aldric now having joined Tiffany and the others, the pair swiftly began to work out a plan of action. Tiffany showed Aldric the mysterious note she had found. Aldric was able to determine that there was indeed something strange about it, but he said he’d need to prepare a spell of true seeing in order to see the actual message upon it. Tiffany considered spending time to learn the spell, but she decided instead to make her way towards the basement, with Aldric at the lead.
They headed out of the study room, with the rest of the group following behind invisibly. Aldric told Tiffany to walk as though they didn’t know each other and weren’t walking together, and the pair made their way back down to the first level of the library. From there, Aldric, Tiffany, and the others went down the hallway and past the central cloister to the doors to the Aula Magna.
Aldric informed Tiffany that there were minor defensive wards in the area. Nothing lethal or too serious: the place was still nominally a school after all. Working together, Aldric was able to magically detect spells of alarm and arcane lock, while Lysandra unlocked the doors, and Tiffany dispelled any alarms. They made their way into the Aula Magna, a long chamber supported by several pillars, and rows of benches laid out. At the far end was a lectern atop a raised platform, and behind which were a pair of doors.
The group approached one of the doors Aldric directed them to. After clearing its defenses, the group opened the door and found a long stairway heading down. They descended into darkness, before finding themselves looking at a long corridor ahead. Unlit iron torch sconces lay on either side. As Aldric explained, this was the path to the Circle of Stones, where mage trials were frequently held. Aldric had never been beyond the designated area, but he had heard all manner of rumors ranging from the fantastical to the disturbing. As they moved forward, they found a dark gray curtain of foggy mist: the borders of a private sanctum spell.
As the group pressed forward, they found themselves in a wide chamber with more areas bordered by foggy mist. In the center were seven standing stones, each nearly twelve feet tall, and engraved all over with arcane runes. The group spent some time searching the area, with Tiffany electing to use a spell of comprehend languages to decipher each pillar. As she swiftly came to learn, each pillar described a different type of magic, and in its sum, Tiffany began to put the pieces together. She had come to then learn the specifics of the prismatic spray and prismatic wall spells, two of the most powerful spells known to exist.
Filing that discovery away, the group, now visible, decided to take the eastern pathway, moving through the mist. They found themselves in a narrow corridor that widened out into a chamber that extended into darkness ahead. Before them however were a trio of utterly monstrous creatures, each an amalgamation of different creatures: that of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. They were chimeras!
The creatures took notice of the party and roared, beginning to make their way forward to rip apart those within reach. Pelendethas and Lysandra nimbly darted into the fray, while Soveless and Seriss initially hung back, taking shots with their bows, and Tiffany took the initiative with a precisely cast fireball that encompassed the group. However, a pair of chimeras managed to breathe flame on several in the party to devastating effect, though Aldric avoided the worst of it with a spell of absorb elements.
The party rallied, with Soveliss and Seriss now moving into the fray. Fipple wanted to participate, but he realized he could very well easily die given the nature of the fight. William held the line, his halberd striking out at chimeras within reach. Pelendethas and Lysandra worked together, their bodies almost a blur as they darted around and teleported around the battlefield, and cutting or stabbing at the chimeras with their blades. Tiffany had taken to using the edge of the private sanctum for concealment, moving in and out through the barrier before letting out spellfire.
Aldric meanwhile decided to use his skills as an enchanter, as he hypnotized one of the chimeras, reducing it to a stupor. William stepped up a moment later, laying into it with a flurry of devastating strikes before it was finished off. The eladrin took care of the remaining chimeras with the party’s help, and in the end, the party had triumphed over the threat. But now a new pathway leading into darkness beyond lay ahead of them. If this encounter had proven anything, the defenses they would now face would be of the considerably less pleasant kind…
Part 22
- Tiffany was able to obtain a set of keycharms as she had been searching for. She gains a point of Fate, and with the point of Fate she had expended, her current total Artha count is 3 points of Fate and 3 points of Persona.
- Tiffany discovered that a red dragon named Kintrek was kept beneath the Academy of Magic under the care of Professor Molvidius, kept along the path west of the Circle of Stones.
- Tiffany learned the path north of the Circle of Stones led to Professor Albith’s office.
- Tiffany did not explore the tunnel east of the Circle of Stones.
- Tiffany departed the Academy of Magic with Aldric to rest by the border of the forest, taking a long rest in preparation for the next day. She added the true seeing spell to her spellbook.
- Tiffany recovered the iron golem’s sword for William to use. The weapon proved difficult to wield effectively for a creature lacking the same size and stature as the golem.
- Tiffany discovered a tuning fork to the Material Plane and a tuning fork to the Feywild within a storage area in the basement level of the Academy of Magic, among other stored spell components. 
With the battle with the chimeras now completed, Tiffany and the others contemplated the tunnel ahead. Tiffany elected to instead explore the other pathways as opposed to proceeding straight down the tunnel into the darkness ahead. Tiffany returned to the Circle of Stones with the party and decided to take the northern exit, through the barrier of the private sanctum. She found another corridor like the path they had entered through. It took a turn to the west, with a set of stairs ascending upwards. Tiffany conferred with Aldric, who determined that the stairs led to the office of Professor Albith, who specialized in potions.
The group decided to leave that path be and returned to the Circle of Stones. From there, they continued along the western pathway, where they found another corridor whose end terminated at the edge of a private sanctum. As they moved past it, they found themselves in a wide chamber, with an ornate door to the south. However, what dominated the center of the area was a massive iron construct, wielding an enormous sword: it was one of Professor Gobollik’s iron golems!
Pelendethas reacted first, as he shouted for the others to scatter. He dashed forward with the longsword William had given him, cutting at the golem. However, his sword strikes bounced off of its thick armor. Aldric saw the sight and he began to shout a warning, but too late as William also charged into the fray. His flaming halberd cut into the golem, but he watched with surprise as the flames were absorbed into the golem’s steely exterior, reversing some of the very injuries he had inflicted! It was clear that fire would not only be ineffective against the golem, but would be actively detrimental.
Soveliss and Seriss elected to take shots at a distance, while Lysandra darted through the barrier to slip away unseen to then come back to fire a precise shot at the golem’s joints and weak points. However, the golem proved remarkably hardy, as blows deflected off of its body or otherwise failed to truly sink in. The golem stepped forward and opened its mouth, unleashing a devastating blast of noxious gas that caught Tiffany in its wake.
Aldric and Tiffany exchanged a glance, both knowing that their offensive options in the current situation was limited. Aldric’s enchantment magic would be of no use against the golem, and Tiffany’s main offensive spells would only help to heal the golem. Instead, Tiffany and Aldric were forced to use different tactics on the fly. Tiffany bravely stepped forward to catch the golem with a shocking grasp, while Aldric used Tiffany’s gambit as an opening for him to dart in and distract the golem, forcing it switch attention back onto him. In the meanwhile, the rest of the party wailed away at it, slowly and steadily.
By now, William had discarded his flaming halberd in favor of his javelin, as he stabbed at the golem and kept it from advancing towards his allies. Eventually, with the party’s combined efforts, the golem began to falter until at last William destroyed it with a flurry of javelin strikes that sent it clattering to disjointed pieces on the ground.

In the wake of the battle’s aftermath, William curiously picked up the golem’s massive sword. It was impractical for use for a creature not the same size as the golem, but William elected to keep ahold of it regardless. With the guardian now out of the way, the party considered the door before them. Aldric confirmed it was warded before he worked to undo the wards that had been inlaid upon the door. Lysandra unlocked it a moment later, and the party proceeded south through the door.
They found a corridor leading into an octagonal room filled with a variety of bookshelves. Hot air could be felt blowing from further towards the south, the heat intensifying the further south the party approached. They found a pair of connected chambers filled with tomes and books dedicated to all manner of magical creatures. Upon a central table were a bundle of scrolls, one of which detailed the life cycle and development of a red dragon dubbed “Kintrek.” Apparently, one of the professors had a dragon right beneath the Academy of Magic!
The party proceeded further south cautiously, fighting another corridor that branched west and east. Towards the east lay a closed door, while another path lay west, where a putrid stench and odor could be detected wafting towards the party. Lysandra scouted the western area, finding a chamber filled with barrels of rotting bodies, and a piled of burnt, unidentifiable corpses in the center. Towards the east was a sealed door, with what appeared to be an antimagic field effect present around it. As the party investigated the western area, Tiffany detected an illusory wall, behind which lay a lever.

Tiffany used her ring of x-ray vision to ascertain that the lever was tied to a mechanism connected to the eastern door. Pulling the lever did indeed unseal the door to the east, and from the south the party heard a snort of someone being briefly alerted to the noise, before the party heard heavy snoring once more. The party stealthily approached the eastern door, opening it to find a chamber filled with several chests. The antimagic field made it impossible to use magic within the area, but Lysandra swiftly determined that while all the chests were locked, only one was trapped. Lysandra spent time unlocking and untrapping the chests before the party took the spoils, consisting of a variety of presumably magical items, spell components (including tuning forks to the Material Plane and the Feywild!), gold, as well as a set of keycharms in the form of literal keys!
Tiffany it seemed had found what she had been after. The time when students and staff would be returning to the Academy of Magic was quickly approaching, and the party elected to start making their way out of the basement. Tiffany contemplated checking out Kintrek’s chamber, or Albith’s office, or the eastern tunnel, but she knew they had limited time and she did not want to risk the success the party had accomplished. She and Aldric collectively turned the party invisible as they began their exfiltration of the Academy of Magic.
After a discussion, Aldric reluctantly agreed to go with Tiffany tomorrow to check out the tower. He elected to leave the Academy to rest with the party, making a brief stop at his dormitory to give his roommate an excuse about having a “date.” Aldric then rejoined Tiffany and the party as they exited the Academy and made their way towards the border of the forest.
Before resting, Aldric and Tiffany exchanged spellbooks, each copying spells from the other to prepare their arsenal for the next day. Their minds now brimming with newfound knowledge, the pair and the rest of the party laid down to rest. It would not be long before they would go to explore what lay within the tower and perhaps at last find a way to find out just what had happened to Operana after all…

Stworzone przez Luolang 2 lata temu. Ostatnio zmienione przez Kath Caly 1 miesiąc temu