For months, they had been subject to strange dreams. Each driven by a desire to understand these, they sought the knowledge of the fabled Magi Guild Library held within the Trade City Cambria. Arriving to find the city in a sorry state, two strangers: Arth-Mael and Bast, met outside the gates. Entering into one of the Refugee Districts, the adventurers could see that the rumored Northern War had taken it’s toll. Once renowned for being an open and inviting paradise, Cambria had become separated into Districts in an attempt to control the influx of those fleeing the war.
Stopped from entering the Guard District by a soldier, Bast and Arth-Mael were approached by the Guard-Captain, Leon Masonhedge. He informed them that a noble needed work done and doing so would open doors in the city for the two newcomers. Once they had agreed, he allowed them entry, directing them to Ceifeth Noerin. Finding the man and a few other nobles just outside the Knight’s Guild, they introduced themselves and asked what errand they could perform to continue into the city.
Immediately, Ceifeth’s attitude complicated the relationship, clearly a man who looked down on those beneath Noble status and non-humans. However, the Guard-Captain had denied his request for soldiers, and without any alternative, he explained what he needed done. Their target was Avaric, leader of the Thieves Guild. She was causing trouble within the city, and as was his duty, he needed her disposed of. He pointed out another man nearby he had detained within the district, a man with the bearing of a warrior, Aurun, who would accompany them.
Seeing no other way past the barriers within the city, the three set out to Shadow’s Glade, the well-known meeting place of Avaric and her thieves. Along the way they saw a crowd gathered around a beautiful woman who strummed her instrument in equally beautiful song. Dazzling the young men and women of Cambria, everyone within the Merchant Quarter was compelled to get a look of this siren. As the party moved to get a closer look, Arth-Mael pushed back several young men who were pawing at the woman’s feet, gaining her immediate attention.
She was Mira, a half-nymph bard, who traveled to Cambria also seeking the Magi Tower’s knowledge. Agreeing to accompany the others, they continued on their mission, eager to get it over with. Quickly making their way into the Thieves’ District, they arrived in Shadow’s Glade, a strange sight to behold: A grove of trees surrounding a well, here within the rotting city.
Atop the well sat an elf whose beauty nearly matched that of Mira’s, her long blond hair falling about her shoulders as she looked to the party, grinning. “I know why you have come. Come then, prove if you are worthy.” With that, a mist rose over the battlefield, obscuring the elf from the party’s view.
[Battle Music: “Rooftop Battles – Twisted Metal” Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ3sxWm_tro ]
As if on cue, archers swarmed the rooftops, firing down at the party, though they were no match for the quick Aurun and the indomitable Arth-Mael as they were quickly dispatched. Avaric herself moved swiftly into the fray, striking out with daggers and using spells granted to her by nature, her lion companion attacking as well. After a brief exchange, she raised her hand, declaring the battle over, and the party worthy of her time and effort. Questioned on why she seemed so cavalier that her men were slaughtered, she revealed they were not her’s, they were Ceifeth’s men, sent to ensure no ties led back to him.
She calmly explained that she was trying to help the city, and as such had come into direct conflict with Ceifeth’s goal. While she held sway enough to get them to the Magi Guild, she was curious enough of their mission to accompany them. They moved freely now, and made their way to the Magi Tower, where they were introduced to the Archmage, Mafeyrius. After explaining what they needed from him, he readily agreed, telling them such things had been mentioned in the journals of the legendary Armen. Taking them through the portal in to the Magi Vault, they spread out to find any clue, any sliver of knowledge as to why they were experiencing these strange dreams.
Bast immediately felt drawn to a room, but when he neared his sword cried out in agony. As he pressed on through the screams, they were suddenly silenced as he opened the door into the room. The only object of note was a sword, held atop a mantle in the center of the room. As he moved to grasp it, he could feel his very essence of life, his soul being drained into the sword. Having the sense to take his hand away, he left the room to join the others.
Mira found her interest drawn to a chest within the back treasury of the vault. Inside lay rusted armor, weapons an a shield. Atop the pile of worthless metal, sat a music box. When played it emitted a shriek that pierced the minds of the party. Stopping almost immediately, Mira returned the music box to the chest, leaving the treasury to rejoin the party.
After touching most of the weapons within the Vault and receiving several shocks for his effort, Arth-Mael moved from place to place before finding himself by the least likely of places: A bookshelf. Here a single, torn book called to him. He could not read it, but Mafeyrius cast a spell that translated it into a dialect of Elvish he and Mira could understand. It was a nonsensical fable of overcoming slavery and giving into vengeful desires, the only real bit of information it gave was a location: Tora’Lan.
Giving their thanks to the Archmage, Avaric and the party left the Magi Guild, looking for a tavern to stay the night before setting out on a caravan. It was here that Avaric explained Mafeyrius was not the true Archmage, he was a sit in for the real one, fighting on the War’s front in Tora’Lan. As she guided them to a tavern, she advised that they stay low and explained she would return with provisions for the journey in the morning.
Saying their goodbyes, the party settled in for the night…