The adventuring group set off from Tangled Trees for Daggerfalls. Cyrien elected to stay behind to spend some more time with Lianna. A few days later he paid for a teleport to Daggerfalls, arriving a day before the rest of the group.
By night just one day after leaving Tangled Trees, the group was awoken by Nuzool, only to see the beautiful spirit of the wizard ‘Hidistrin’ standing on the edge of the camp – this spirit they knew was a guise of the evil shade Gothyl.
The undead wizard was rather friendly, saying the group had been very hard to find of late and inquiring as to their recent whereabouts and adventures. The adventurers were far less friendly and very tight-lipped. Gothyl took note of the magical weapon Hawke now carried – Vindicator. Gothyl mentioned that she knew Elminster wanted her dead and accused him of being a senile, manipulative old fool. She said she’d be in contact with the group again soon before departing into the forest.
The group travelled via Ashabenford to return ‘The Tome of Infernal Lore’ to Captain Harkan of the Mistledale Guard, who Obsidian also informed that Renack Fellblade (Cyrien’s evil brother) was responsible for the murder of the wizard Malrien Redfen. Renack would be meeting with Cyrien in Daggerfalls in five days time. The Captain dispatched letters (via Obsidian) to both Cyrien and Lord Randal Morn.
Obsidian had a strange dream while camped one night on the return journey. He saw a large chamber with a domed roof – everything was cast in black and white and completely without colour. The floor of the room was a fantastically detailed mosaic. At the center was an iron disc inscribed with strange, detailed arcane symbols. His vision shifted beneath the portal, within was a small camber housing a bejewelled black urn. His vision shifted back to the chamber above, there hung a glowing platemail fist – the symbol of Torm his god. The fist slammed downwards, smashing the iron portal and the urn with in an explosion of magical force of destruction! With that, Obsidian awoke to find it was dawn.
The remainder of the journey home to Daggerfalls was uneventful.
On arrival, Thorgrimm was informed that his uncle Grimjaw had been murdered and his cave-home sacked. He met with Randal Morn and Dulwar (who was leading the investigation) and told of what they’d discovered so far. Tracks of three dwarves in metal-shod boots and one human were found outside the cave. A fight had taken place within, Grimjaw had put up quite a struggled, despite his great age, and had been stabbed to death. Still, he’d managed to wound at least one of his attackers. Also, strangely, nothing had been stolen from the cave. Thorgrimm told Randal of the map his uncle had entrusted to his protection. This map showed a secret entrance to the ancient dwarven stronghold and mine of Tethymar and depicted a magical key needed to open the way and which would also gain access to the Royal Treasury within. Grimjaw had been given the map by the last King of Tethymar who he’d served for decades.
The consensus was that the map must have been the motivation behind Grimjaw’s murder. Randal gave his guarantee that he would see the murderer’s brought to justice. Thorgrimm added “Not if I find them first!”
Hawke was also summoned before Lord Randal Morn for a ‘please explain’. The cleric Andes he’d sent to infiltrate the Temple of Haydren Lord of Loss had been discovered and brought before Randal. He’d admitted he was there to gather information on the mysterious new religion under Hawke’s instructions. Hawke explained his reasoning behind the infiltration attempt, saying that the new religion was disturbing but also admitting he had no real evidence against them. Randal warned of the dangers of such spying and that tension between religions was the last thing the Dales needed. Randal decided he wished to try hosting a meeting between the leaders of each religions in an attempt to smooth things over. Hawke agreed to the meeting that would be held after he returned from the quest to destroy Gothyl.
Letters were delivered to Cyrien and Randal from Captain Harkan of the Mistledale Guard by Obsidian, informing both of the need to bring the murderer Renack Fellblade to justice. Cyrien met with Randal to discuss his brother. He condemned him and explained that he wished to meet with him to try and learn more about the evil religious group dedicated to Shar that he appeared to be allied with. Randal was supportive of the plan but expressed concerns about the threat Renack posed to the people of Dagger Dale. Cyrien requested that he send a spy to come keep an eye on Renack during the meeting. Randal decided to send Dulwar to keep an eye on things.
Randal also informed the group that a half-elven ranger named Maralana had arrived in Daggerfalls. She was also on the hunt for the shade Gothyl and was keen to join the group to see the shade destroyed.
The adventuring group met that night for drinks at the Twelve Barrels. It was now day nineteen after the group had left for Myth Drannor in search of Vindicator. The party met with the ranger Maralana, who told of how Gothyl has assassinated her master and that she now sought revenge.
Later that evening Elminster entered the tavern. It was a day before their scheduled meeting, but apparently the Old Sage had been keeping an eye out in case of an early return by the party. The group only had time to give a brief run down on their adventures in Myth Drannor. Elminster was genuinely amazed to see the two pieces of adamantine armour that Obsidian wore, saying that they were pieces of an extraordinarily powerful artefact known as ‘The Arm of Valour’. Forged by five arch-mages, it had been worn by Fflar, the last commander of Myth Drannor and thought lost during the fall of the city. He warned that an artefact of such magnitude was something arch-mages would kill for, kings would wage war to obtain and even the gods would keep an eye on.
Elminster took the jewelled skull artefact from the group (the item Ghada sought from the dragon’s lair) explaining it was a ‘Skull of Orcus’ – one of a set of three which, if combined could open a temporary gate to the Abyss. Elminster said he would destroy the evil artefact.
Elminster stepped out to try scrying on Gothyl’s apprentice. Returning, he said there was no time to waste. Synd was alone in a tavern on the Plane of Shadow and vulnerable. The adventurer’s must capture him and discover the location of Gothyl’s hiding place. Elminster gave the group a single magical stone, which would allow them to Plane Shift back to the Prime Material Plane once their quest was over.
Finally it was time to hunt Gothyl down to her lair and confront her.
Elminster cast a mighty spell, Plane Shifting the group to the Plane of Shadow, just outside a small town named Shadowglen. Within, they found Synd drinking in a tavern inhabited by a strange race of shadow fey people.
Thorgrimm and Obsidian seized the wizard and dragged him outside before he could do much more then protest and curse. Taking him to a tree just outside of town, the adventurers interrogated the wizard. At first, he was rather uncooperative, but after some pummelling a deal was struck (his life and freedom for Gothyl’s current location and plans), Synd talked.
He said Gothyl’s bolthole was an ancient temple named ‘The Atrium of Shadows’, just a few miles to the south of the town in a valley in the hills. She was holed up there doing extensive research. Synd claimed Gothyl sought to be mortal again and hated her undead form. He also explained that her Phylactery had been stolen from her and sealed in a chamber beneath the Atrium itself, a large room with a domed roof – the same room which Obsidian had seen in his dream-vision a few days earlier. She knew that her Phylactery was her greatest weakness and so was desperately trying to open the chamber but had thus far been unable to do so.
The group let Synd go after stealing his gear and set out south for the Atrium. After a few hours walk they came across the valley Synd had spoke of. Within stood a tall, imposing gothic-style temple of black stone. The ground around the building was cracked and lifeless. Ravens circled above the valley as the group approached the structure and ascended the steps, weapons at the ready. Entering the archway entry, the group spotted and disarmed a chamber of blades trap, which if triggered, would have filled the corridor with whirling blades.
Before they’d even passed through the entry hall, the party was ambushed by a team of eight Wriaths, which attacked through the walls to either side of the group. The undead were vanquished with only minor injury to the group.
Beyond the corridor, the group entered a large octagonal chamber with a mosaic floor. It was extremely dark within as only a little light filtered in through the tall, dark gothic windows. Flocks of dozens of ravens roosted in the rafters overhead. A corridor led south, deeper into the Atrium and two others to east and west wings.
The group prepared to move out and explore the ancient temple of shadows further.