Session 4: Strange Occurrences
As the party was infiltrating the estate of Samuel Etriri, one of the Aerie Council members of Duram, Basil Blackburn was scouring the city looking for additional information on the Darklings they encountered at the Merchant Prince's Estate. Finding no real new information, he returned to the Prince's to find him recovering, with Adviser Rhizzad caring for him. Rhizzad informed Basil where the rest of the party was located, and he went to find them. As he arrived, he found the Athanon and Nairb swapping places, to care for the three people found in the dungeon. From there, the group moved on to take out the group of drunken guards who were in the southern room, and then moved into the Alchemy lab they found. Nairb, wild shaped into a Steeder, and scared the small monkey familiar of William Etrari, which was sitting on the alchemy table, and it broke a vial that was on the table, disappearing into the next room.
Basil decided to try one of the concoctions that was just laying around in the lab, which proved to be caustic, though it didn't do much to him. They noticed a series of 8 glyphs written on small pads next to the sealed stone, as they pressed them, they glowed either blue or red, and selecting the correct series allowed them to enter the room which contained Etriri, in the middle of completing an incantation involving a blue fist sized sphere. As Etriri completed his incantations, the sphere , which he referred to as the Core of Sandor, cracked, and a small tremor occurred within the mountain. He then began to address the party, rather cordially, as an old man about to die, and explained to them what he was doing. The ageless queen of Pine March to the south, Anmara Loren, had tasked several of Pine Marches most powerful magic users with breaking multiple elven memory cores, and using the power released to open a rift between the prime material plane the shadowfell, to allow undead to pass freely, under the control of the queen. Etriri then layed down on the makeshift bed in the study, and passed away, having expended the last of his energy to break the core.
Hemingar then left to report their findings to the prince, before returning to find the rest of the party ready to depart through the cavern tunnel at the south of the estate, which led beneath the walls of the city and out into the thick Pine forest outside. There they picked up the trail of the princess, and tracked her and homeguard Talisen for nearly two days before losing the trail.
After taking a wrong path for a few hours into the forest again off the road, the party exited back the way they came, and discovered that while covered by the forest canopy, the rift they had been warned about by Etriri had indeed been opened.