Sunset Vale Saga

The End of the Beginning

Sunset Vale Saga #18

Our party started in the darkness of the strongroom of the Vault Of The Guardian. They had just witnessed what appeared to be a manifestation of the dead god Helm rip the eyes out of his last living priest, Valter Kenric.

Then an explosion.

Then darkness.

When Valter came around from his traumatic experience, the party saw that his eyes have been replaced by mechanical steel orbs. He guided them to the roof of the Hall Of The Guardian where they realize that the entire temple is no longer on Abeir-Toril, but has been transported to the clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus and were witnessing the now reborn god Helm rebuild his divine realm of Everwatch in all of its precise and orderly glory.

After the display of divine power, the temple and party were returned to Abeir-Toril. The party took a rest and identified all the magical weapons and items they were given from the Vault. They then made preparations to head to the ruined village of Qheldin’s Mask to help Varia destroy her evil soul-forged dagger by putting the ghost of the wizard Qheldin to rest.

Sand’orial teleported the party to the ruined village. It had been savagely destroyed by the gnolls over a year prior. The party found burned-out shells of homes and stables haunted by the silent and dark silhouettes of their owners. The party chose not to investigate further, lest they disturb these already restless spirits. Instead, they proceeded to the base of the long-ago toppled and ruined Tower of Qheldin.

At the base of the ruined tower, the party found an unlocked door in the floor. The trap on the door had already been sprung, but not reset. The door opened to an almost impossibly steep set of spiraling stairs downward. Through a winding stone passage, the party traveled until they came to the door of the Tomb of Qheldin. The stone door was locked, but again, the trap on it was already sprung and not reset.

Miri was able to easily pick the lock, and as the door swung open, there hovering near his own stone sarcophagus was the ghost of the wizard Qheldin. The silver fire that marked him as a Chosen of Mystra, Mother of All Magic, still glowed in his ethereal chest. His grotesque ghostly visage turned to gaze at the party who had intruded here. It approached the door. Sand’orial quickly used his Corestaff to create a one-way field of force at the threshold.

From the other side, Varia spoke to the Ghost of Qheldin, asking forgiveness for the intrusion and for aid in avenging the slaughter of his “daughters”; the descendants of the many female apprentices he took in centuries ago, and then their female apprentices, and their descendants and the female apprentices they took in, all through the generations. Their deaths, and the death of everything they had built, had taken its spiritual toll on the ghost.

Qheldin’s ghost reached through the the solid stone of the top of his sarcophagus and retrieved a golden scimitar. He continued his approach towards Varia and the party. Suddenly, he was stopped. The one-way wall of force Sand’orial created halted the advance of the ghost. But, it took only a split second for the wizard’s ghost to analyze the situation, understand the magic that stood opposed to him, and how to eliminate it. Unleash the sacred Silver Fire. At the very same second, Varia seeing the ghost unable to approach her, stepped into the threshold wherein stood the one-way wall of force. Immediately upon seeing this, Miri reached her hands to Varia’s shoulders to pull her back—

TOO LATE! The magical sacred Silver Fire poured into the wall of force, engulfing it and utterly disintegrating it. Varia and Miri were caught in the fire as the magical silver flames spread across both their bodies. Varia was badly hurt, but able to resist the most destructive effects of the fire. Miri was not so lucky, and took the full annihilating force of the Silver Fire. Immediately Miri’s form started to glow as little particles of her started to float away from her body, sparkle for an instant, then wink out of existence like tiny dying stars. She had mere moments before she was naught but dust.

Varia clutched the fading form of Miri and summoned magic from deep within her demonic blood to quicken the only healing spell she had thought to prepare. The quickening worked! The healing spell took hold in time and kept Miri alive. In less than a 2 seconds, Miri was subjected to holy energy, demonic power, and pure destructive eldritch might. Though alive, she was awash and suffused with magic. Then and there, something arcane awoke within Miri through this ordeal.

But there was little time to linger, as Qheldin’s ghost coalesced into a ball of Silver Fire and zoomed past the party to the surface, knocking most of them down in the process. Ziv and Neiri followed quickly behind the ball of magic while the remainder of the party trailed behind them. The spirit ball of silver fire led the party to a shrine to Mystra hidden in the treeline at the edge of the village. There it remained, feeding arcane energy to the shrines eight pillars. Without hesitation, Varia plunged her baleful dagger into the destructive sphere of Silver Fire, not only utterly destroying the soul-forged weapon, but also the hand she was using to hold it.

Whatever it takes, she said as she fell to her knees from the sheer trauma.

The Silver Fire being exhausted by this last act, the shrine itself sought more out and seized the still-glowing Miri and pulled her to the circular shrine floor. It started draining all of her energy, magical or otherwise, for the Weave of Magic. Then a dark and beautiful song came from the forest, and seemed to calm the shrine itself. The songstress was a drow woman, as dark and beautiful as the song she played. Miri stopped glowing and the shrine released her. Then a tall and dark form issued forth from the center of the shrine. The drow goddess Eilistraee was released from the Weave by the influx of magical energy, and the call of the drow woman’s darksong. The goddess reveled in her freedom and began to sing her song and bade Miri and the drow woman to dance without judgement with her. They danced as Sand’orial turned his disgusted eyes away from the spectacle.

When the dance was over, Eilistraee left the shrine and the party alone to consider all that transpired. At that point, Varia maimed but unbroken, swore herself to the Oath of the Mageward in the name of Tyr, the long dead god of justice before the party in the shrine of Mystra. Just then, a motherly divine voice in Varia mind whispered to her, I gave you this power since before your were born. Now use it!

Sand’orial rejoined the party and the drow woman introduced herself as Faeraeven. Her holy quest was to find her goddess, Eilistraee, who was lost in the Weave and discover a way to bring her back. She is eternally grateful for the party’s help in making this happen.

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