In our first class, Archmage McKralis taught us the use of magical items. I’m disappointed to tell you it took me several tried to make my wand of summoning work.
In our second class, Professor Ignacious taught us about the various planes. I didn’t know there were more than the elements I’m familiar with, earth, air, fire, and water. We learned about mixed elemental planes, the energy planes, the Abyssal plane and the Infernal plane.
After that class we were summoned to the office of the head of the Argent Compact himself, Gorum Stonehewer. He told us of reports of roaming figures in a mysterious mist and strange sounds on the cliffs above a town named Riddleport. He wanted us to go investigate these disturbances. As the ship entered the port we passed under a Cypher Gate. No one seems to be able to read the runes on it. When we arrived in town we went to an Argent Compact tower maintained by stewards. They knew very little beyond the reports Gorum told us except that they’d seen lights up on the cliffs and that a few townsfolk had died in the mist.
Across from the Argent tower was an enormous globe of water, a Temple to the goddess Umberlee. A very intimidating structure.
That night we saw the mist enter town and heard sounds within. It was a small group of undead sailors. We decided to follow them. They walked up the streets to the Mayor’s house. Luckily the Mayor and his family were sleeping upstairs away from the undead in their home. One of them entered the Mayor’s office. He appeared to be looking through the papers on the desk so I quietly snuck in and looked over his shoulder. He didn’t seem to notice me, or he didn’t care I was there. He wore a symbol of the Mayor’s office around his neck. He began writing a message that talked about the Black Eschalon. We quietly woke the Mayor and brought him downstairs where he could peek into the office. I told him of the paper the undead had written. He said the Black Eschalon were an invasion fleet that tried to take over Riddleport in the name of Cormyr 2000 years ago but the fleet had been sunk. We decided to evacuate the Mayor and his family out the back of the house to keep them safe. The undead and the mist then retreated back down to the harbor and disappeared. The steward at the tower recalls a man named Yaros claiming it was all his fault one night while he was drunk in his cups at the local inn. We tried to find him and rescued him from several thugs. I was very pleased that my entangle spell worked wonderfully in our attempts to help him. We sobered him up back at the tower and he told us that one day about 2 months ago he had recovered a chest on the beach. Inside it was an old waterlogged book. It appeared to be a code book from the Cormyr Navy fleet held by spies from 2000 years ago. It held light signals to use to direct the navy force through the harbor into town. An underworld boss named Nessian had taken the book from Yaros and that’s about the time the mist had started appearing.
We needed to find Nessian but he seemed to have disappeared. We were told that a “fence” in town might be able to tell us where he might be. He had an enormous estate near the edge of town. While Whisper and I hid in some trees over looking the estate grounds, the other 3 went to the front gate and asked to see the Lord of the manor. He was referred to as Lord Torch, and after Sahir described him to me, it was an understandable name, he had been badly burned in a fire in his past. Sahir believes he may have once been a guest of his father’s house when his sister was taken. Lord Torch told them that he had 5 chests in another room that his men had been unable to open. If they could open 3 of them, he’d tell them what they wanted to know. They later described these chests to me. They were truly amazing and I wanted to describe them to you. The first was an iron chest with the face of a devil on it. The second was a box with three golden faces on it. The faces had different expressions of anger on them. The third box was made of ivory and had ivy carved all over it. The fourth box was a smooth stone chest with no locks visible but did have a magical aura. The fifth box had strange stylized writing on it and had 10 small holes. My friends managed to safely open 3 of them so Lord Torch honored his bargain and told them that Nessian was probably hiding in a place called “The Pyramid of the Dog”. We thought that since the mists had come from the harbor and we’d seen no structure that looked like a pyramid in town, that it was likely down near the harbor. As we headed in that direction we heard organ music coming from the Cathedral of Lathander. The mist appeared, in mid-day this time instead of night time. The organ sound seemed to distort as it neared the mist, I cast detect magic on the mist and could tell it had a necrotic aura. Along the way to the harbor, Oriana saw some street people drop some vials and slump to the ground. She thought they looked like the vials we had seen in the goblin camp so she picked them up and put them in her bag for Gorum to see later. The mist made it very difficult to see anything near the harbor so we went back toward the Cathedral to investigate the strange organ music. We discovered that members of the undead Black Eschalon were inside fighting the acolytes so we went to their rescue. As one managed to run for the door, he told us not to let the music stop. It made the fight a little more difficult but we managed to do it. After we had killed the undead, we ran outside. The mist was retreating and we saw a dwarf in the street killing the last undead that had run from us. Her name was Anya and we asked her to come with us. She was a very powerful fighter. We followed the undead’s tracks to the harbor into a swampy area where several old hulls of wrecked ships could be seen. We saw that the tracks went deeper into the swamp and we could just make out a structure that we presumed was the “pyramid of the dog”. We thought it best to have me work to the side of the group up onto one of the broken down hulls to cover them from above. To my surprise there was a tattooed “dog face” soldier up there. There actually turned out to be 2 of them up on deck and one on the deck of the hull across from me. They were scouts. One managed to raise an alarm before we could engage them. I managed to cast a fire ball into their midst that truly caused some concern on their part. We killed 2 of the 3 but the other ran off. We approached the structure and saw 4 undead soldiers at the base waiting for us. And a man we presumed was Nessian on top. Nessian dropped some sort of cask onto the ground behind his soldiers and it was lit with a fuse. In an effort to save my friends I cast “soften earth and stone” to try and sink the cask before it went off. It made an awful lot of mud and I didn’t even think what it might do to the building’s foundation. The structure was already barely standing on it’s own and when it started sliding into the mud, the whole thing came crashing down. Luckily my friends were able to get out from under it in time before it hit the ground. The undead weren’t so lucky. We found Nessian and when he attacked us we killed him. We searched his body and found the code book and a very nice breastplate that we gave to our new dwarf friend Anya. We took the book up to the Argent tower. They contacted the Academy to arrange our return. Oriana decided to burn the final page of the code book to prevent another undead fleet invasion. When we got back to the Academy, we brought the book to the “office of recovery and return” within the Argent Museum.
My first experience with the undead will stay with me a long time.