Author note: in this chapter, I added an enchanted item from D&D 5th edition, which is not available in the game. *smiles and shrugs apologetically* What can I say? Edwin wanted a special gift.
On a side note, dear Ilmater, this site has been over-flooded with spam recently! When I saw the ‘total members’ number go up, at first I thought they were real people joining in, but it seems we got nothing more than a bunch of Godsdamned spammers. *sighs* Ah, well. As Gru said, life is full of disappointments.
When they reached the Coronet, the adventurers found Drizzt and his party waiting for them at a table in the corner closest to the door. As he saw them, the Drow ranger stood and smiled, "Ah, here you are! But...", he frowned and look them up and down, "You look awful. What happened?".
Edwin snorted, "The usual: we found ourselves in a fight against enemies we had no obligation whatsoever to wipe out of existence, all because our illustrious leader felt it was the right thing to do, that’s what happened (One of these days, this girl will be the death of me, I’m sure)", he grumbled, "And besides, I’m still waiting for my gift!", he added, turning towards the Painbearer.
"You’ll have it, I swear, but don’t you want to eat and rest first?", she replied with a heavy sigh, "Please". "Umpf. I admit that food and rest will be welcome". "Don’t worry, you know I keep my word. Just be patient, okay?". "All right, I will wait...For a while. Now let’s order our dinner".
They sat at the table closer to Drizzt’s party and while eating, Meg explained in detail to their new allies everything they needed to know about Bodhi and her minions and drew a map of her lair. The Drow ranger frowned, worried, "This Vampiress sounds like quite a dangerous foe. We have made good use of our time, though: we have more than twenty holy stakes and a flask of Holy Water we bought from the Temple on the roof of this inn".
"That’s good news", she said, relieved, "And we probably won’t be on our own in this fight: we’re going to contact the Order of the Radiant Heart, the Church of Helm, the Harpers and the Shadow Thieves for help. If even one of these organizations accepts to give us backup, it will make the battle easier".
His eyebrows rose with incredulity, "The Order of the Radiant Heart and the Shadow Thieves? Your alliances are quite...Wide and variegated, abbil", he noted. She shook her head with an amused smile, "Heh, I wouldn’t call them alliances, to be honest: we did some dirty work for both and now I hope they feel like they owe us, that’s all".
"Now that’s more like it", he nodded, chuckling, "You haven’t changed much from the child I met at Candlekeep more than ten years ago". "I...Thank you, Drizzt", she said quietly, He’s wrong: I have changed, I feel it. Hopefully Ilmater will allow me to die before turning into a monster. The two parties talked for a while longer, getting to know each other a bit, then Meg and her friends retired to their rooms for a long and fitful sleep.
After a much needed rest, Meg and Edwin went to the Promenade, while their companions split to contact their potential allies. "Ah, welcome back, dear customers!", Ribald smiled widely as he recognized them, "What can I sell you today?". "I’m looking for something magical and special for my friend here", she said, placing a hand on the Thayan’s arm with a warm smile, "He deserves a very nice reward for putting up with me despite everything".
The merchant massaged his chin thoughtfully, "Something special, you say? Well...", he shot a cautious look around and lowered his voice before continuing, "I have received a stock of, shall we say, ‘exotic’ wares last week. For fifty gold pieces, I can let you take a look at them...Off the record, of course. You understand, if the Cowled Ones happened to hear of it, I would be in trouble".
"I understand", she nodded and handed him the gold, "Show us what you have". Ribald pocketed the money and led them to a small room in the backshop, where he took some assorted artefacts which hummed softly with magic and lined them up on a long table, "Here are my beauties".
Edwin approached the table, his expression revealing nothing as he examined the various wands, amulets and rings, then his eyes suddenly lit up, "How much does this ring cost?", he asked, pointing to a platinum ring with delicate carvings on its surface and the Ilmatari saw his right hand twitch slightly, as if he was struggling to suppress the urge to grab it and put it on.
"This is the legendary Ring of Spell Turning, my lord", Ribald answered, smiling as he noticed his interest, "It costs two hundred fifty thousand gold pieces". Margaret Dawn arched an eyebrow, "Excuse me? Come now, Ribald, it’s not nice of you to try and rip us off so shamefully. I may not be a merchant, but I know a bad deal when I see one: the ring’s probably worth less than half of that".
The merchant’s lips curved in a cheeky grin, "Aye, you’ve got me there, lass. To be honest, I had originally intended to sell it for ninety-nine thousand golds, but seeing as your friend here was drooling all over it, I thought I’d give it a try". "I wasn’t drooling!", Edwin protested, his face scarlet with outrage, "I was merely admiring a fine piece of magical artwork, that’s all! (Insolent simian!)".
The Painbearer couldn’t help chuckling, "Anyway, Edwin, do you want it? Is this the gift you choose?". "I want this, yes". "The Ring of Spell Turning it is, then", she took her personal coin purse out and paid for the ring, while the Thayan slipped it on his left middle finger with a radiant smile.
"Are you satisfied with it?", she asked him, feeling a rush of warmth at seeing the way his eyes shone with happiness. "I am pleased with this gift, yes", he nodded and even after leaving the shop, he kept on stealing glances at his brand new ring, humming to himself and there was a spring in his step that she had never seen before.
"While we’re at it, I think we should go to the Temple of Ilmater nearby and buy some stakes and some flasks of Holy Water: they will come in handy against the Vampires", she said and Edwin nodded distractedly. "Yes, yes, whatever you say (Oooh, I can’t wait to show this ring to Mother, Sekhmet and my teacher! They will just love it!)".
At the Order Headquarters, Anomen was introduced in Prelate Wessalen’s study along with Minsc, Boo and Aerie and he was relieved to see the Prelate smiling as they entered the office. "Welcome, my lady and lords. Please, sit", Wessalen gestured to the comfortable armchairs in front of his desk, "To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?".
The young Helmite smiled back, "Thank you for your warm welcome, Prelate. We have come to ask for the Order’s assistance: a powerful Vampiress has made her lair in the Graveyard District and we seek to destroy her and her minions for good". "This undead you mentioned, is she the Bodhi I have heard rumors about? I thought she was dead".
"We tried to kill the bad Vampiress, but she escaped the righteous buttkicking she deserved in the madhouse, because she was afraid of our might!", Minsc exclaimed before his companions could speak and Anomen coughed sheepishly. "What my friend here means to say, is that we faced her in Spellhold, but she fled the fight and came back to her lair in the city to gather her forces once more", he clarified.
Wessalen suppressed a grin and nodded, "I understand and the Order will gladly give you all the support we can offer: I will gather a contingent of paladins and knights, led by sir Keldorn Firecam. Just let us know when and where you will attack that unholy creature and they will be there", he assured them.
Anomen let out a sigh of relief, silently sending a prayer of thanks to his God, "Thank you, Prelate. We will come to the Headquarters before going to face Bodhi", he stood and shook hands with the older man. Aerie bowed with a happy smile, "Thank you so much, sir, for your help!". "My pleasure, milady", the Prelate said, returning her bow.
Minsc, who had no need for formalities, clapped him on the back, nearly toppling him over, "You are a Force of Goodness indeed! Minsc and Boo thank you for sending the good knights to help us kick the evil Vampiress’ butt", he declared, then turned to his friends, "Come, let’s go tell little Meg the good news!".
Yoshimo, along with Solaufein and Imoen, entered the Shadows Thieves building with a bit of nervousness: even if the party had been on good terms with the guild before Spellhold, the Kozakuran was still worried that Renal Bloodscalp may have changed his mind about cancelling his debt.
As they moved towards the hidden door, a thief approached them. "Hey there, ye are friends of th’ young lass, Margaret Dawn, right?". The bounty hunter nodded, "We are and...". "Good, Linvail wanna see ye, so just take th’ stairs an’ go meet him". "We will at once, thank you", he sketched a small bow and led his friends upstairs, all the way to Aran’s study.
The Shadowmaster was pacing back and forth, but he relaxed as they were allowed into the room, "Ah, good, you’re here. But I don’t see your lovely leader: where is Margaret Dawn?". "She is busy at the moment, a matter of life and death", the Kozakuran said, "Still, she sends her regards and hopes you will forgive her absence, Shadowmaster".
"Uhm. Well, I understand. This lovely young lady must be the missing Imoen...And who is your cloaked friend here? I don’t recall meeting him before either", Linvail’s turquoise eyes narrowed with suspicion as he turned to Solaufein and the Drow took a step forward and bowed. "Greetings, my lord. My name is Solaufein and I have recently joined Meg’s group. I assure you that I have no ill intentions towards you, or your guild".
"Why are you hiding your face then?". "For my safety only, master Linvail: the people of the Surface hold little love for my race", the warrior answered, lowering his hood. Aran blinked, "A Drow? Quite unusual...And still, it does not surprise me: your party is the most strangely assorted group of people I’ve ever met. You only need a Gnome to complete the picture", he commented, amused, "Now, onto business: I called you here because I need your assistance.
Please, make yourself comfortable", he added, going to sit behind his desk. "We need your assistance as well, Shadowmaster and I think we have the same goal", the bounty hunter said, taking a seat, "We mean to destroy Bodhi". "So do I", Linvail smiled coldly, "That bitch has weakened my guild and slaughtered my men and I want her to pay for it. I suppose you wanted to ask for some backup in your fight?". "Yes".
"Among those who have survived the guild war, there are some of my best assassins. I will have them meet you outside the guildbase when you are ready to go. And this time, please make sure she doesn’t escape", he added, his eyes glittering dangerously, "I am getting tired of her keeping on respawning in my city".
"Worry not, she will die", Yoshimo assured him, a slight shudder passing through him as he recalled the Slayer and considered that Meg could decide to use its power against the Vampiress once more. He could only pray to Ilmater and to the Gods and Goddesses of his native land that it would not come to that.
Ring of Spell Turning: while wearing this enchanted ring, the wearer has advantage on Saving Throws against any spell that targets only them (not in an area of effect). In addition, if the wearer rolls a 20 for the save and the spell is 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on them and instead targets the caster, using the slot level, spell save DC, Attack bonus, and Spellcasting ability of the caster him/herself. It is numbered among the “Legendary Items”. Original price: 98280 gold pieces.
Edited by Nimloth, 05 November 2019 - 12:46 PM.