Following a gate discovered by Githyanki sailors on the Astral Sea, the company head through a portal to an unknown location known where a kingdom is being threatened by raiders -- the "Sea Reavers of the Shrouded Crags". They win the confidence of the raiders and are taken back to their base, but when they fight a set of undersea creatures and free the previous rulers of the kingdom, they realize that the raiders are in fact in the right, and decide to throw in their lot with them. They journey back to the kingdom's capital, and confront Gondra, the now-revealed-as-a usurper.
The usurper appeals movingly to the Heironeans to join him and preach a message of joint worship of the brothers Heironeus and Hextor. Medb is confused for a while and seems willing to listen, but the others are unmoved and commence an attack. The ururper responds in kind, using a powerful spiked flail that is imbued with Hextor's power. The party prevails, and the defeated foe's soul is claimed by Hextor personally. The grateful populance offer the party a gift of a gatekeel ship that can move between watery planes and/or the astral sea, but the group elects for a more disposable form of recompense and heads back to Sigil, having neutralized one supply point for the Hextorian attempt to build a base in the Astral Sea. They also have found a summoning device designed to lead other parties to a position in the Astral Sea (or, indeed, any other plane). The assumptions is that this device is used when the usurper brought materials into the Sea to allow the Astral Sea Hextorites to contact them.
Returning from their travels to an unknown location, Medb and Arrias start looking for a location to start up their apothecary business; preferably a good-sized location in the guild ward with rooms above for living in. They will also be spending time training and teaching Heironeans.
The two paladins have no problem acquiring a good agent, finding a location that is in a good neighborhood, yet close enough to the poorer areas so they can access the shop at need. They avoid a place that is termite-infested and Tarivol helps them decide on a place where portals appear quite often, with adventuring types often coming runnign through, with urgent needs for medicines. All works out well, until Medb notices the person selling them the place is very shifty ... but she decides not to pursue it. This turns out to be a mistake when agents for Tarvis No-Toes turn up and let them know that the person that sold them the location, Tannis the Red, is a known con man who has also conned Tarvis and is strongly disliked by a number of people. His usual plan is to run a con and escape through the Shadowlands to an unknown safepoint. The party head out to follow him ...
Meanwhile Tharivol heads to the library and enquires how to become a member. He starts on a career as a librarian security provider, taking courses and studying to move up in the library's rather complex hierarchy. He also allocates time to study wand-making, learning basic principles. He does a poor job of impressing the staff initially, but his obvious skills and ability to detect intruders allow him a chance at the main test. Secretely, the staff ask one of their other library guards, a drow enchanter, to pretend to break in and see if Tharivol can stop him. He easily spots the attempted entry (using a remote window-breaking construct) and with the help of the party, apprehends the drow. Next day he joins the party as they head out to the Shadowlands.
At the same time Levent commences on a quest to build a House for Wayard Succubbi, and starts looking both for likely locations and connections in the lower realms. In his spare time he teaches archery and stealthy arts as well as frequenting sporting events and a wide variety of entertainments.
Levent quickly finds a good location, but not a perfect one -- it needs a few expensive repairs to make it suitable for his line of business. He has more difficulty with his first few Succubi, finding an old friend from the Demonweb, Sehanna. However he cannot persuade her to join him unless he also frees her friend, Narcia, whose contract is owned by a very obnoxious demon called Agrathax. Levent visits him a couple of times, making a strong impression and intimidating Agrathax into thinking him an equal, leading to actual negotiation. The fee of 50,000 gold seems steep though, and Levent is wondering what to do when he gets a call to come help the paladins recover their stolen funds ...
Off to the Shadowlands they go, tracking Tannis, avoiding a large Shadow Dragon, and ffighting their way through a gate guarded by some Ambush Vines, a Pyramid of Pain and a couple of Crystal Constructs. They confront Tannis, who owns up to the crime and persuades the party that he's not so bad really. Levent makes a deal with him -- if he can run a scam on the demon and get the contract back, Levent will employ him. Tannis comes up with a complex scheme to fake a demon-infecting plague, gets the paladins to help as healers and convinces the demon that not only is the succubi dead, but that he must destroy any connection with her that he had. The contract is destroyed and much rejoicing ensues.
In the following days Levent's House is finished, Arrias finds a tutor to improve his apothacory skills, a somewhat dangerously experimental halfling called Parras Anthrol, and survivies some new concoctions. Medb hires staff for the shop, deciding on a quiet well-spoken human called Fantath. Arrias, Medb and Levent note that the Astral Sea Signaling Device has unusual engravings on it that are beautiful and seem associated with its purpose. Research finds that such is typical of the work of Karrakmarrkarrak the Artist. Some more checking discovers that Karrakmarrkarrak was contracted to create and ward the Hextorite base in the Astral Sea. He can cause people to be unable to speak of him (as if their mouths were stiched over); he uses paint and music to work his magic rituals. After he built the base, he disappeared into the feywild, no-one is sure where. He knows several secrets of the Hextorites and would be a very valuable capture.
The last person to talk to Karrakmarrkarrak. Davis "Finder" Affrasor did not seem to be able to remember anything about him, but will not deny that he saw him. The party realize he is under the influence of a Memory Seal spell, which will need to be broken with the Remove Affliction ritual, which the Abbott casts very poorly, but at least effectively. Then he can tell that Karrakmarrkarrak wanted him to find a magical glassblower and he provided the name of a halfling: Sallow Twice-Twice. Sallow is also memory sealed, but on release, states that he made a glass coffin and key for Karrakmarrkarrak, also sold him some vials, a display case and other items.
Tharivol finds an entry in the library records: "Donated, by Gratham Bladesure, a fictional account of a journey made by some friends of his, called The Glass Coffin, this day, 11 Hammer, 1488 DR, The Year of Dwarvenkind Reborn. This date is 10 years in the future, and when Tharivol corrects the date to be 'unknown', in a few minutes it returns to the same entry. The item was borrowed by a "young eladrin girl named Jelendra", with 3,000gp deposit for this book, The History of the Wild Hunt, Forest Survival, Fey Magic & Fey Woods, as well as a standard book on ritual summonings. Rumors have it that some Jelendra was hanging out with some dark Fey and after some legwork, a thicket dryad lich lets you know the village in the fey that Jelandra comes from. The party decide to work on this mystery and head out to the Feywild. After many adventures (see sidebar) they recover the girl and drag her back to her parents, and recover the book (The Glass Coffin) she borrowed, which seems to refer to Karrakmarrkarrak's doings -- in the past for the players, in the future for the characters.
1 Glabrezu (Lvl 23 Elite Brute; p54)
Huge elemental demon (XP 10200)
1 Marilith (Lvl 24 Elite Skirmisher; p57)
Large elemental demon (XP 12100)
5 Earth Titan (Lvl 16 Elite Brute; p124)
Huge elemental giant (XP 2800)
1 Storm Giant (Lvl 24 Controller; p122)
Large elemental giant (XP 6050)
Elder Shadow Drake (Lvl 24 Solo Lurker)
Huge Shadow Dragon (XP 30250)
This was adapted from the D&D Dungeon Delve Summer's End by by Bill Slavicsek. Jelandra was younger, duped by fey hags and more silly than vengenful. She had the book, the Glass Coffin in her possession. She thought it was a fun romantic read. That's all.
There was once a little tailor, a good and unremarkable man, who happened to be journeying through a forest in the great fey, in search of work perhaps, for in those days men travelled great distances to make a meagre living, and the services of a fine craftsman, like our hero, were less in demand than cheap and cobbling hasty work that fitted ill and lasted only briefly. He believed he should come across someone who should want his skills - he was an incurable optimist, and imagined a fortunate meeting around every corner, though how that should come about was hard to see, as he advanced farther and farther into the dark, dense trees, where even the moonlight was split into dull little needles of bluish light on the moss, not enough to see by. But he did come upon the little house that was waiting for him, in a clearing in the depths, and was cheered by the lines of yellow light he could see between and under the shutters. He knocked boldly on the door of this house, and there was a rustling, and creaking, and the door opened a tiny crack, and there stood a little tiefling, with a face as grey as morning ashes, and a long woolly beard the same colour.