Summary: The heroes meet the Moon Elves of Gray Forest, who are guardians of the ancient artifact, the Star Sextant. In hope of saving the elves from two evils returned from their past, the adventurers are dispatched on a quest to recover the fabled Sunset Quartz.
Takes place 9th of Ches (The Claw of Sunsets) through 5th of Mirtul (The Melting) in the year 1478DR (The Year of the Dark Circle)
The heroes emerged through the portal into an elemental realm where everything was made of ice. Some quick ritual spell casting by Childa temporarily shielded the party from the cold, but they needed to find some shelter quickly. To their surprise, over the next ridge they found a group of Moon Elf explorers and another portal. After some diplomacy, the Elves allowed the group to return with them through the portal.
The portal transported the heroes to the elven city of Gray Haven. Hidden in the depths of the Gray Forest of Impiltur, the city was founded many thousands of years ago by a group of Moon Elves that left their ancient home on a holy pilgrimage. Guided by the stars, they crossed the nearby Sea of Fallen Stars until they found the powerful artifact that they were searching for. The magical device, the Star Sextant, depending on the alignment of the stars had the power to open a magical portal to anywhere in the cosmos. The Elves built their city around the relic and dedicated their lives to its study and protection. When others began coveting the Sextant’s power, the Moon Elves used magic to make the world believe that their city had been destroyed and that the forest was haunted.
The party was brought before Patono, the head administrator of Gray Haven. The kindly, white and wild haired elf seemed more like an absent-minded scholar than a ruler. He explained that the city did not have any royal government but was instead dedicated to research and exploration. After trading stories with Patono, the group was surprised to learn that their old “squire” Rogan was also present in the city. Rogan, as it turned out, was at the center of two very great dangers to the Elves. Patono claimed it was “written in the stars” that the Elves’ and party’s paths had crossed. He believed that the heroes were destined to help save the city.
Thousands of years ago, before going into hiding, the Elves had built a floating citadel above their city. The Starlight Citadel’s design allowed it to act as a giant telescope – giving the city-dwellers below a better view the stars. The building included a miniature replica of the Star Sextant which allowed the citadel to control the device remotely. Long ago, when the city was besieged by enemies, in an act of cowardice, the elves in the citadel used the remote to open a gateway and flee. The entire citadel vanished into the portal and was not heard from again for thousands of years. Not long after the Spellplague hit, the Star Sextant was once again activated remotely and the Starlight Citadel returned. Apparently, the citadel had been teleported to the gloomy realm of the Shadowfell. Once there, it had been too far away to remotely re-activate the Sextant and return. During their time in the Shadowfell, the Elves had become deadly and sinister. They had become the race known as the Shadar-kai. The dimensional walls were weakened during the Spellplague, which finally allowed them to remotely activate the Start Sextant and open a portal home. The Shadar-kai sent down a royal entourage to treat with their long-lost kinsmen. Unimpressed with the Moon Elves (that they viewed as soft and weak), the Shadar-kai demanded their unconditional surrender. Rogan Senior, the Gray Haven captain of the guard, recognized that the Shadar-kai valued only treachery, and claimed to be the true king of the Elves. He depicted Patono as his decoy and challenged the Shadar-kai king to single combat. Amused, the Shadar-kai accepted. After a lengthy battle, both fighters lay mortally wounded. Before he died, the Shadar-kai king vowed to return his people to the Shadowfell and not to menace the Moon Elves again so long as the blood of Rogan’s family endured. A powerful ritual was placed on both the Star Sextant and Rogan’s infant son that enforced the agreement. The Sextant was then used to return the Citadel to the Shadowfell. Young Rogan was watched over by the Elves with the utmost protection as he was the sole heir to the bloodline.
A few years ago, a wounded and delusional human female was found by the Elves wandering around in the Gray Forest. Shortly thereafter, she transformed into the demon Iyetrayoo. The Elves fought the demon many times before deducing that the person who took the most pride from killing him would become cursed. That person would become obsessed with the demon and eventually transform into the next Iyetrayoo. The Elves recruited the archer Orpheus Quinn to help slay the demon because they were convinced that his cocky personality was guaranteed to make him the next host. After he killed the latest incarnation of the demon, they drugged Orpheus with a strong dose of a memory-erasing potion to make him forget the entire event. Unbeknownst to the Elves, when they returned Orpheus to civilization, Rogan had stowed away on their transport. Seemingly, Rogan had grown tired of his sheltered life. By the time the Elves realized what had happened, Orpheus and Rogan had moved on. The unlikely pair traveled together for awhile and eventually ended up at the Monastery of the Yellow Rose with the heroes. During Malrite’s ritual, Orpheus’ memories were returned along with the curse. This is what likely what disrupted the ritual. Not long after Rogan parted ways with the party in Yurley, he was found by an agent of the Moon Elves and returned to Gray Haven. However, by that time he had already killed Iyetrayoo and contracted the curse. Memory removal potions had proven ineffective on Rogan as a result of already having his mind erased once by Malrite’s ritual. Time was running out. As Rogan succumbed to the curse it heralded the return of both Iyetrayoo and the Starlight Citadel.
The Elves had used magic to slow down Rogan’s aging, but it was wearing off. He was still changing into Iyetrayoo, albeit at a much slower rate. The Elves had learned of a legendary artifact, known as the Sunset Quartz, with the power to sustain any enchantment indefinitely. With it, they hoped to place Rogan in a state of permanent suspended animation and thus prevent both catastrophes. The Sunset Quartz was supposed to be in the possession of a noble in the far away genasi city of New Breen. Patono asked the group to travel to New Breen with Deauxnavius, the captain of the Moon Elf Star Rangers, and retrieve the crystal. Grateful for their earlier rescue from the elements, the heroes agreed to help the Elves.
Patono explained that the Star Sextant could not be used to transport the group to New Breen. The device gathered its power from solar energy during the day. At night, the Sextant could be configured to open a portal to nearly anywhere imaginable. However, the amount of energy required opening and sustaining a portal was dependent on both the destination and the current alignment of the stars. It would be nearly two months before the planets were aligned so that the Elves could create a portal to New Breen. Even then, they could afford keep the portal open only for a short length of time. Patono asked that the heroes take a ship to the city and arranged for a pickup time and location where they could find the portal back to Gray Haven. Before leaving on the journey, Tsol enlisted the elves to help research the location of the relics he needed on his quest for the Winding Way.
The Star Sextant
The party traveled east for several days into Lyrabar, the capital city of Impiltur. It did not take the party long to encounter the large thieving community that the city was famous for. Deauxnavius insisted he knew where he was going, got lost, and led the group into some back alleys. It was a perfect place for an ambush. Black-clad snipers wielding crossbows appeared on every nearby rooftop. One of them called out that they were there to get some payback from the player’s “old friend”, Svennie Four-fingers. Before the thieves could open fire, they were taken down by another group.
The mysterious allies of the party turned out to be a group known as the Broken One Monks. The party also learned that Draven was a member of the order, when one of the monks walked up and hugged him. The monk, a teenaged, dark-skinned girl named Ember, breathlessly asked Draven an assault of questions. “Why were you gone so long?” “Did you learn the Scissor Hands technique?” “Who are your new friends?” The girl also referred to Draven by the affectionate nickname “Boo-boo Kitty.” The heroes were introduced to the rest of the group and learned that several months ago Draven had left the order on his first solo mission to learn from the monks at the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. Draven’s memory appeared to be permanently erased, as even confronted with his past, he could remember nothing. The Broken One’s invited the group to stay the night at their monastery.
That night they learned more about the Broken One order. Membership was composed mostly of abandoned orphans. The group was dedicated to Ilmater, the god of compassion and mercy. The order was fairly common throughout Faerun. The members of the Lyrabar chapter were:
• Tonka: Male, shifter monk with a bunch of tattoos. Most prominent were his tattoos of a Lion on his chest and a falcon on his back. He insisted on giving Draven a magical Broken One Tattoo for completing his solo mission.
• Shinobi: Male, human monk who dressed in samurai armor and wielded a flaming sword. Shinobi showed Tsol some flaming weapon techniques he could use if he ever found the magical axe he was seeking.
• Donk: Male, dwarf monk who was solid muscle except for his beer-gut (which he tried to hide by wearing his sash up high). He and Urlog participated in an epic drinking contest. Neither claimed to remember who won the next morning.
• Haala: Male, githzerai monk and leader of the group. He was a master of several psychic disciplines. He and Alkorahil started a game of chess while the rest of the group was partying.
• Ember: Female, human monk. The bouncy teenager spent her time moving between the groups and trying to talk to everyone.
Another guest in attendance that night was Captain Aric Kern. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Cup, an association of Fighters and Paladins that also followed Ilmater. Draven explained all of the heroes’ recent history (much to the chagrin of Deauxnavius who insisted on keeping their mission a secret), and the Broken Ones wished them luck on their current quest.
The party chartered a trip to New Breen on a ship named the Hangman’s Joke. Several uneventful weeks passed. Bahardim spent his time using some magical sending stones to talk to Childa who had remained behind to study with the Elves. Others spent their time learning some maritime skills while Alkorahil spent his time sunning himself on the deck with his shield. While passing by Pirate Isle, the ship was attacked. The captain of the pirate ship was none other than Mertrigan the Mad. The player’s ship tried to outrun the pirates, but in the becalmed wind, Mertrigan’s steam-powered ship caught up with them. The entire party ended up getting knocked overboard during the fight. Alkorahil was mortally wounded. All looked like it might be lost, when suddenly Mertrigan’s ship exploded because he forgot that he had set the boilers to overload. The heroes clung to the floating wreckage for several days until they were rescued by sea elves from the nearby underwater city of Myth Nantar.
The party was taken to the city and went to a temple to have a ‘Raise Dead’ spell cast on Alkorahil. The priest informed them that Alkorahil’s soul rested elsewhere and he could not cast the ritual. Carnivak’s Black Bag asked Urlog to scalp Alkorahil’s corpse and place his hair in the bag. Urlog became upset by the request and requested that the priest exorcise the spirit from the bag. The bag retaliated by releasing a flesh golem to attack Urlog and then disappeared. After the fight was over, Alkorahil’s body was interned in the underwater tombs beneath the city. Meanwhile, in order to secure a new ship and crew, Deauxnavius was forced to barter away all of the magic items he had been given to trade for the Sunset Quartz. The party set off for New Breen in their new ship, the Fuchuan.
Upon arriving at New Breen, the party found someone waiting at the docks for them who claimed to be Alkorahil. The man calling himself Alkorahil claimed that after his death, his spirit dutifully reported to the House of Knowledge to record everything he had learned. Upon reading this report, Oghma, the god of knowledge, was deeply disturbed for he, a font of learning, had never heard of the entity known as Malrite. Oghma sent Alkorahil’s spirit back in a new body to investigate. Alkorahil woke in his new body with the holy symbol, Oghma’s Scroll of Binding, around his neck. He had already done some legwork while waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. The noble who held the Sunset Quartz was named Duke Sandibar. New Breen’s political power was divided up between the earth genasi and the water genasi. Duke Sandibar was lord of the earth genasi (by marriage). On the surface, he appeared to be a benevolent ruler, but underneath, his actions revealed him to be a despot. Any who opposed his wishes were taken to secret slave mines underneath his palace that were run by his Stone Tyrant Cult allies. In addition, Sandibar was muscling in on the rule of the New Breen water genasi. Lycanthropic wereshark pirates commanded by their captain, Sawjaw, were raiding the water genasi at Sandibar’s command. Also, he had allied himself with a mysterious medusa. She had recently ambushed a meeting of the water genasi resistance. Her petrifying gaze caused the water genasi to transform into an earth manifestation. Sandibar used the Sunset Quartz to make the earth manifestation permanent and then transported the victims to his slave mines. A human Wizardess named Sharma used her illusion magic to conceal Sandibar’s nefarious activities. The final member of the evil cabal was Mantis, Sandibar’s life-long Thri-kreen bodyguard. Negotiating with Sandibar or trying to attack the earth genasi palace directly was extremely dangerous. Fortunately, Alkorahil had uncovered another option. The water genasi knew of a secret hatch that was only above water when the tides were right. The hatch led to the sewers beneath the palace.
The heroes swam out to the hatch. There they ran into by Sawjaw and his wereshark allies. After defeating the weresharks, the party entered the sewers. They ran into some sewer-cleaning monsters and Tsol got his axe disintegrated by Rust Monsters (again). The sewers eventually ran into the slave-mines and ultimately connected to the palace. After passing through several more traps and illusions, the party found Sandibar’s hidden sanctum. Shortly thereafter, Duke Sandibar and his bodyguards arrived from the palace above. As soon as he touched the earth, Sandibar transformed into a large rock creature and his golden scepter changed into a large hammer (The Golden Perfection). A hard-fought battle ensued and the heroes narrowly won.
After the fight, the group noticed that Deauxnavius was missing. They found a secret passage behind a silk-shrouded screen. They followed the trail through another room and along the way deduced that Sharma the illusionist was also the medusa. They emerged into a cavern filled with hundreds of petrified victims of the medusa. Up ahead, they saw Deauxnavius had managed to get in front of the medusa. In order to bar her escape, he heroically entwined himself around the gated exit to the cavern and allowed the medusa petrify him. With nowhere to run, she turned to face the party and they managed to defeat her.
Afterwards, the party found the Sunset Quartz and released the enchantments that it had previously been sustaining. With Sharma’s illusions undone and her victims freed, the truths of Sandibar’s schemes were exposed shortly thereafter. The party was heralded as great heroes by the entire city. Deauxnavius was unpetrified. The adventurers were housed in the finest accommodations until the appointed time for the Elves to open the portal arrived. The heroes huddled around the agreed upon rendezvous point anxiously awaiting the portal to open. And nothing happened…