Graveyard World

Espis Chapter 8: The Highhaven Spellforge

With Gundren rescued, the party makes their way back to Old Owl Well. When they return to the camp, Kharl is finally able to deliver his letter, which Gundren tells him to read to the group…


Gundren,

Last night I felt Old Rhob die, finally consumed by the maelstrom. The world does not mourn him – he has been gone for too long, and few remember him.

The seals we put in place to prevent this have been cracked, one by one, despite what I know to be your best efforts. I have felt the eyes of a diviner upon me, and I fear that it will only be a matter of time before some agent or another comes for me.

The plan is not working.

I know that you have always considered me rash, and impatient, and I respect that your long life gives you greater perspective. But here, at the end of my days, and with knives waiting for me in the night, I call you to action, before it is too late.

Kaz and Urzoth are gone. I am old and frail before my time. We have no heirs fit to carry on our duty. I fear that which we seek to contain has weakened us, has leeched our power from us, our bloodlines, our totems and our gods. We need to accept that this corruption is unique – it cannot be contained, and we must act to destroy it.

This will be our last correspondence. I will see this letter delivered, and then I intend to buy you some time by doing something drastic. I’m sure you wouldn’t approve.

Give my love to Lillin,

Kharl


The next morning, a pair of elvish knights, a paladin and cleric of Tymora, arrive at Old Owl Well, greeting them and asking them for directions to Agatha. Though Kharl is suspicious, the party leads the paladin to Agatha, and successfully extracts the location of Bojangles spellbook from the banshee – mislabeled, within the library at Highhaven. Having completed their mission, the knights offer to return Gundren to Phandalin, allowing the party to make their way directly to the Spellforge, now that they have the map.

Gundren reveals that he had simply sought out the Spellforge to find a tome that he believed would help him, and he was completely surprised by the Black Spider and the ferocity of his attacks. He tells the party that there must be something else within the Spellforge, something that is worth spending enormous quantities of resources on obtaining.

Parting ways, the party makes their way to the Spellforge, finding the caved in entrance after a couple of days of traveling overland. Entering the forge via a hidden fissure that had been created by earthquakes, the party sneaks their way through the old mining tunnels that criss-cross the outer edge of the old settlement, guided by Kharl’s magic and hidden by Urllex’s, until they find themselves on the other side of the caved in entrance.

Lorna clears the way forward, killing ghouls from the shadows, and they find that the undead hiding in the entrance of the cave have fled further into the complex, shying away from light shafts to the outside that Dakarai had cleared earlier.

Avoiding the main cavern of the complex, the party takes a detour into a fungus filled cavern, which Dakarai and Urllex determine to be poisonous. Varyk teleports Lorna and Urllexin across, while Dakarai carefully climbs across the ceiling, using his earth attunement to find footholds in the rock. Blessing and warding himself, Kharl simply runs through the spores, managing to completely avoid the poison.

On the other side of the cavern, the party finds themselves in a beautiful, crystal studded cave that gives the illusion of the night sky, within which stands two structures. Entering the first one, the party angers a powerful wraith, and though they defeat it, it almost kills Kharl, and Dakarai is forced to bring the roof down on the wraith to scatter it, burying any treasure that may have lain within.

Moving on to the second structure, Dakarai attempts to stealthily approach the front door, but he is detected by some kind of psychic presence residing inside, which warns him against entering the spellforge…

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