- On the journey back to the city of Rahtram, Sapphira casts restoration on the myterious rescued prisoner. He is refreshed and renewed, and introduces himself as a Paladin named Ansirus. He explains to the party that he has been captive of the emperor of Thatrem for more years than he can now recall. He was in Karadahan and discovered a buried palace with his companions. Inside a cavern they discovered what once was an ocean port for the palace, half of a ship sunken beneath. An extravagant chamber near the docks led to decorated doors complexly locked. The information they gathered led to a lost ship that held a great treasure that had been held by the Kingdom of Karadahan for centuries. They discovered where the ship was lost, and found half a hull wedged amongst tall rock spires on the coastline… the other half of the ship sunken in the cavern docks. Aboard they find the undead captain in his quarters, and after a battle which theyh found victory, the captain explained that he was cursed for failing to return the relic to his king. The ship was lost in a storm, half was recovered in hopes to retrieve the relic, but he held it in the half he had been cursed to occupy for years. He gave a golden wing talisman to Ansirus, stating it is half the relic and also the key to open the door in the extravagant palace chamber. Upon its return to the palace, he says he will be free of his curse and thanks Ansirus. Upon their return to the palace buried beneath the dunes, the talisman opens the doors, leading to a hallway filled with murals depicting battles won over the centuries, each with the Karadahan king of the time holding a scarab talisman over his head. The talisman seemed to protect the Karadaheen armies from flying scarabs that ravages their foes. Every army fell to the swarm of flesh eating scarabs, and every time the Karadaheen stood in victory, protected. At the end of the hall the other half of the relic, the body of a diamond scarab, was secured to the wall. Ansirus united the two pieces, and his adventuring party witnessed first hand its power. To shorten the story, Ansirus explained that Thaotrese agents were also seeking the relic in Karadahan. They had found the temple and confronted Ansirus. They fought to find the relic, then once it was in Ansirus’ control, the Thaotrese captain tricked Ansirus to surrender himself and his companions to speak with their emperor. They failed to mention the emperor was still across the ocean and they would be taken to him as prisoners. While his companions died tried to escape at sea, Ansirus remained in the hold of the ship, not rising to fight with them due to his depression of defeat. Ever since he united the pieces of the talisman, it seemed irreversibly linked to him. So he was kept prisoner of Thaotrem, and taken along with the relic to every battle as they waged war against the Kingdom of Karadahan, wiping every remnant of their existence from their land. Ansirus and the relic were being transported back to the emperor’s palace in Thaotrem when the duergar ambushed their caravan.
- Upon return to Rahtram most of the prisoners shower the adventurers with thanks and part their own ways. But a pair of the rescued prisoners were always quiet and whispering together, always keeping their distance from Ansirus and never giving extra courtesy to the adventuring party. In Rhatram, once inside the gates they left the group without even the smallest gesture of gratitude. Ansirus stated he wished to meet with them again in the future and expressed great gratitude, but must leave to track the two prisoners that rudely walked away. He explained that they were agents of the Thaotrese emperor.
- Hillfort loans Landen money (60gp) so he may provide a small portion of what is owed to Gerard for his mercenary services.
- Rhinn develops a plan to return home… one where he and Landen could travel in comfort. Rhinn and Landen argue about relic, if they should recover it now while they’re on the continent. Rhinn states he had only requested guild help for rescue, not to recover the relic. He still considered it his personal undertaking and didn’t want Landen trying to swipe it from him. They eventually come to an agreement, and Landen tells Rhinn he’s okay with returning to the guild outshining him. Disgruntled, Rhinn states his intentions to return to Thaotrem after a respite on Gemstone Isle to seek out recovering the relic from the fortress.
- The adventurers drink around the taverns in the city… on Rhinn’s coin. Although he recently escaped from a duergar fortress with nothing, he managed to pick enough coin as they tavern hopped to pay for the night. The next morning, Rhinn comes to the group and says he’s found a ship to voyage home. He’s dressed as a noble, even with a signet ring… a fact he enjoys jabbing at Landen with. “You don’t have a signet ring?” Rhinn says as he observes Landen’s noble outfit. “Who outshines who?” Rhinn explains his plan for ship travel: Landen and he posing as nobles, offering to pay for their voyage with the physical labor of their servants… represented as the rest of the adventuring party. Everyone is opposed, especially Durgyn. Rhinn begins to compromise, reassigning everyone different roles. They head to the ship, Rhinn unsure how his plan will work now that he had no manual labor to offer. Somehow, they still manage to find welcome from the ship’s captain, Rhinn even being offered the captain’s quarters.
- Upon their voyage, Landen snoops through the cargo holds. He finds various goods, souvenir weapons in the style of the desert continent, and then a fine set of blades contained in a felt lined, custom case to display them. The most attention grabbing in the set is a pair of elven curved blades. The next morning at breakfast Landen comes clean with the captain and presents to barter for the blades. At first the captian is upset that he was snooping through the cargo hold, but Landen eases his attitude and the captain warms to the idea. The captain offers, “Once we arrive in Shiny Cove, if you agree to deliver a package to another ship’s cargo hold discreetly, you may trade the swords in place of yours. I don’t need the money, but this would be a great service to me.” Landen agrees and obtains his new blades, replacing them in the case with his scimitars.
- When they arrive in Shiny Cove, the adventurers disembark the ship. Before Landen leaves, the captain hands him a package. “Deliver this to the hold of the Mighty Gull without anyone knowing. If you fail me, I will know.” As Landen takes the package, the captain looks at him with stern eyes, “you will not fail our agreement.” Meanwhile, Gvados stands by to receive a large crate being offloaded by the ship’s crew for him personally. He arranged for it’s transport in Rhatram, and with its arrival in Shiny Cove his companions learn of its existence. Gvados opens it and out steps a massive lion, instantly appearing loyal and connected to Gvados. The shape shifter ruffles the great animal’s fur and says to the adventuring party, “my god has provided me a faithful companion in thanks for the burned offering I provided to him at the duergar fortress.” Unbeknownst to them, he was speaking of Largo.
- Sapphira, remorseful for being away for so long, immediately visits the temple of Heroneous. A cleric recognizes her and speaks with her for a while. When Sapphira explains that she’s been away, the cleric updates her on Bindonford’s current state. It is currently the main crisis in all of Corumur. Durgyn visits the minotaur smithy, Gronan, he hired to forge him a new set of armor and also learns of Brindonford. Brindonford is occupied by a demonic force, all the while the baron strangely assuring the people of the town all is as it should be, being placed into rightful order. A warrant was issued for the arrest of High Priest Forgrim of Pelor and Sun’s Champion Marith, as well as all acolytes who have served in the temple. Many of the worshipers were slain, but Forgrim and Marith managed to escape the city. A pillar of fire shoots into the sky from what was once the temple’s glass dome. An army built from the major cities of Corumur is formed outside Brindonford’s wall, but unable to mount a successful attack. Word that somehow makes it out from the inside of the city walls keeps getting worse, and just recently the occupying forces’ numbers grew large enough that they mounted an offensive attack on the Corumur force, scattering them back from Brindonford’s walls.
- Landen and Rhinn depart on a midnight boat to Gemstone Isle by the usual means, posting a signal paper bearing a black starling to pier 7. Both are welcomed warmly. Landen is offered a small chest from Shadrach holding a reward for the entire party. Also, Landen is informed by his mentor that he has increased his standing in the guild and is now welcomed by the Night Starling as a full fledged member of the guild. Landen visits the guildhall’s fence now that he is a member, and the fence congratulates him, offering a discount on his first purchase. Landen buys a potion of silence for what he must do later in the night… The fence also informs Landen that all members have a safe holding box in the guild hall, kept secured in the fence’s storeroom.
- Landen takes one of the boats from Gemstone Isle and returns to the Shiny Cove docks. He ties up his boat somewhere inconspicuous and located the Might Gull amongst the ships at pier. He drinks the potion of silence and stealthily makes his way aboard. Landen delivers the package to the ship’s cargo hold without anyone’s notice and returns to Gemstone Isle to stay the night in a guestroom.
- The next morning Landen returns to Shiny Cove and finds his companions at their usual inn: The Tankard and Gull. Landen provides them each with their reward gold from his guild. He then shares a pint with Gerard and pays him in full for his services: being the greatest blade for hire he could have found, to cross an ocean by dangerous and magical means for a personal quest of his. Gerard expresses thanks and says he enjoyed his time. The mercenary reveals to the thief, who he know considers a good friend, a little bit more about himself. He explains that now he has saved a decent amount of gold and will head to Savon’s Reach. He’s from a kingdom east of the mountain region and was once a great knight. Although Gerard reveals much, he is still vague. He was greatly wronged by a powerful man and ousted from his own kingdom, by his own king whom he honored and served. He was now going to return home in an attempt to make things right. Gerard tells Landen that he would love to battle with him once more, and if the thief ever traveled east of the mountains, seek out Lord Calmbert and the banner bearing a griffin over three diamonds.
Speaker in Dreams
The Return Home
An uneventful voyage home is relief for the party