It is now Fall. Magnus is still away on his mission and Gyani is still dead. Uriondir and Gideon wile away their time honoring their fallen comrade and regaling the locals with stories of their deeds. The crowds have been thinning lately, as the stories are starting to get stale.
Uriondir and Gideon are, as usual, hoisting ale in the taproom of the Nentir Inn when in walks a shiny, regal paladin. He makes a bee-line for the Heroes of Winterhaven and identifies himself as Aidan. It turns out that not only has Aidan been searching for them in general, but also has a message for Magnus. Before they can get deep into Aidan’s background, Tobolar Quickfoot, the halfling apprentice of Nimozaran the Green, High Septarch of Fallcrest and leader of the Wizards’ Guild approaches them. His master desires their presence for a “matter of great import”. The party reluctantly agrees and Tobolar leads them to the Septarch’s tower.
Nimozaran is old, wrinkled, and easily distracted. He is in the middle of some magical research or other, but eventually gets around to what he wants them for: to retrieve a book another wizard borrowed and hasn’t bothered to return. He offers to teach two rituals and 500 gold pieces on the return of his book. He also gives a scroll with the Linked Portal ritual which is connected to the teleportation circle in the top of the Septarch’s tower. He then teleports the party, including Aidan, to Rayaleos’ tower.
It’s in the middle of a swamp. The water has reached the ground floor of the tower, and a large piece of wall is missing about thirty feet up. Our heroes enter the tower. Just inside the doorway they are attacked by three visejaw crocodiles. Aidan and Uriondir are grabbed, but Uriondir is able to Fey Step away to the stairs. A pitched battle follows, but our heroes are able to prevail. Afterwards, they find the remains of what must be some prior messengers, along with some gold, potions of healing, and Bracers of Defense.
Heading upstairs, they find a dark room full of spider webs. With Aidan’s shield and an everburning torch, they’re able to defeat the darkness, but they are attacked by a bloodweb spider swarm. To make matters worse, there is a trap in this room that cause razor-sharp blades to swing down from the ceiling in a random pattern. The spiders prove hard to kill, and Aidan must use all of his healing powers to keep himself alive. Eventually the spiders are vanquished. Nimbly avoiding the scythe blades, the party recovers more treasure, including a Diadem of Acuity.
Moving up to the third floor, our heroes are confronted by…nothing. There is a large hole in the wall to the outside, and they discover a chest with a good amount of money in it, but that’s all.
After a few minutes they head of to the fourth level of the tower. There are no more stairs up, but there are bookshelves and a body slumped over a desk. The book he is slumped over is the same one they were sent to retrieve. The body remains dead—eliciting no small relief considering how many undead our heroes have been fighting. A ritual book with some more rituals is found among the rotting tomes.
Recalling Nimozaran’s admonition to make sure there was enough room for the Portal, they head down to the larger third level. No sooner do they get there than a young black dragon flies in through the opening. She screams something in draconic and attacks.
It is a rough fight, and the dragon’s Cloud of Darkness makes things difficult, but all in all the party had a rougher time with the spider swarm. With the dragon vanquished, the party takes some trophies (scales, horn, teeth) and uses the scroll to teleport back to Nimozaran’s tower. Grateful to have his book back, he pays the party and sends them on their way.
Now, what is this message that Aidan has for Magnus?