Loose Ends – Chapter Fifteen

3rd Day of the Claw of Winter: (February):

Returning to Daggerford with Dygath Hornspar:

Baron Agwain and Dygath Hornspar as still to arrive. Our Heroes are resting, still with the sound of battle still seemingly echoing in the long forgotten tragedy laden tomb of Athalantar. Thora Gird El, proud Dwarf warrioress and proxy leader of the Daggerford Renegades takes stock of what has come to pass and what paths may lay ahead.


Athalantar was (also known as the Realm of the Stag) whose capital, Hastarl, stood on the site of the settlement of Secomber and was a small human kingdom in the North.

The Unicorn Run River made its path through the middle of Athalantar, creating rich farmlands on its way to the Delimbiyr in the South where, the capital, Hastarl stood. The northern border of Athalantar was defined by the edge of the High Forest that was slowly expanded by diligent foresters over the years.

Athalantar’s capitol and only true city was Hastarl and though it was as crowed and filthy as any city on Faerûn, its residents were quite proud of it and firmly believed that it would one day be a pinnacle of human culture and learning.

The rule of the Magelords largely quashed that dream, and the destruction of the kingdom in 342 DR snuffed it out completely. Later, the town of Secomber, which was built over the ruins of Hastarl, became a base of operations for many modern adventurers in the Western Heartlands.


Founded in 183 DR by Uthgrael Aumar, the “Stag King”, Athalantar occupied the area just South of what is now the High Forest. The kingdom helped to unite the leaderless farming communities of the area and was well on its way to greatness until the Stag King died in 216 DR during a battle against an enormous horde of Orcs. The 7 princes of the realm fell to bickering over the throne, and their conflict soon escalated into outright warfare.

The eldest prince was Belaur Aumar and he took the throne in 218 DR with the help of powerful Wizards (later known as Magelords). But unlike his wise, politically astute farther, Belaur was a slow-witted dullard who was easily manipulated by his newfound “Friends”. The very mages whose power had secured him the throne quickly became the true rulers of Athalantar.

NPC - The Stag King
NPC – The Stag King

In 224 DR, it became apparent that these Wizards were the true power behind the throne and once all the other potential claimants to the throne had either been killed or driven from the lands only one other prince remained, the youngest, Elminster Aumar.

Eventually Undarl, a male Malaugrym Wizard who posed as one of the most powerful Magelords of Athalantar and was killed by Elminster Aumar, arrived in Athalantar with his Black Dragon Anglathammaroth and destroyed the village of Heldon along with Elminster Aumar’s parents. Unbeknownst to the Magelords Elminster Aumar had survived the destruction of Heldon and in 228 DR was hiding as an outlaw in the Horn Hills.

During 229 DR, Eladar “The Dark”, Elminster Aumar is disguise, was active in Hastarl. Also known as the “Sage of Shadowdale” and the “Old Mage”, Eladar was one of the most famous and powerful Wizards in all of Faerûn, as well as a fair Fighter and Thief.

By 240 DR, Elminster Aumar returned, now 28, to the capital whereupon he slew both Belaur Aumar and the Mage Royal Undarl (who turned out to be a Malaugrym in disguise). Elminster handed rulership over to the outlaw Helm Stoneblade and left on a journey for Cormanthor.

Unfortunately Athalantar was destroyed a century later in 342 DR by an Orc horde. However some of its inhabitants became the Tree Ghost Tribe whilst others settled in the area where Baldur’s Gate now resides.

From her backpack she un-wraps simple vittals…a cured leg of lamb, dense bread and a goat skin of dark ale.  Her methodical processing of this simple repast seems to spark ruminations opf a different nature.

Thora: “So Mirafir, whae didja mek o that wee herry eyeball!?”

Mirafir: “I theem to recall that a cweature known as an ‘Eyewing’ matches the dethcwiption, but thadly little more.“

Thora: “A wae aboot Kelthases scrying? Could he a used Vicross?”

Mirafir: “Pothibly and maybe a ‘Cwystal Ball’!”

Then, wiping her beard with a light coat of lamb fat, she turns to the Druid, Dwergrim, whose faculties have now returned to him.

Thora: “Druid, wae ken ye of them burds?”

Dwergrim Greenleaf: “Yes, indeed, I have gained the two remaining Raven’s friendship and they inform me that one of their kind has sped south to the settlement on the road.”

Frimly: “That’s gotta be Gillian’s Hill!”


This hamlet stands on the east side of the Coast Way a half-day’s ride south of Daggerford and about as long a ride from Liam’s Hold. The community is named for a now-dead Half-Elven Ranger of great beauty. Gillian Cantilar dwelt here in a long-vanished house atop a wooded knoll overlooking the road. Today, Gillian’s Hill is a grass-girt mount topped by a covered fire cairn used as a signal beacon to warn Daggerford of approaching enemy army’s —from Dragonspear Castle or the Serpent Hills, presumably.

Location - Gillian's Hill
Location – Gillian’s Hill

Typical of a hundred or more small farming settlements in the Sword Coast region, Gillian’s Hill wouldn’t  even be mentioned in this guide except for a surprisingly good shop there and a fabled Dungeon that has both lured many Adventurers hither and slain many. The dungeon seems to be a truly ancient human Tomb— as old as Netheril, or older —where someone of Magical Power and Political Might was laid to rest. Just who was entombed here isn’t clear. The Tomb was pillaged long ago —from the Underdark beneath it!

The location now serves as a Spell-Guarded entry to the Realms Below. Unfortunately, those ancient and mighty Binding Spells originally set to stabilise and guard the Tomb make it an ideal lair for creatures of the Underdark.

About 20 winters ago, a band of Illithids used it as a base from which they stealthily stalked and raided passing caravan merchants, controlling the minds of unfortunate victims to make them lure many others to a mindless doom. A brave band of Adventurers defeated the mind flayers, but warned that the danger could well recur. It seems that an even Greater Evil has moved in.

A Harper note was found recently on the slopes of the hill that said only:

Beware Phaerimm!

Spread the warning!

The writer of the note presumably perished beneath the hill, as no further news has come to light as to its authorship or its subject.

From the surface, the Tomb in the Hill can only be entered by wandering about until one finds the precise location of one of several ‘Invisible Portals’ —snatch gates that whisk any person or object entering them into the heart of the hill. Egress is by the same method, although the exit spots inside the Tomb are apparently different sites than the entry or arrival locales, and hard to find.

Attempts to tunnel into the Hill uncover stone walls that emit bolts of Lightning when exposed to air— bolts that continue to lash out until earth is thrown onto them, and they’ are covered again! This ‘Magical Lightning’ can easily stab across the trade road, imperilling all passing traffic. Several Mages of power have tried and failed to remove the spells that cause this deadly effect.

What does Dygath Hornspar have to do with Gillian’s Hill and the shopkeeper called Torleth Mindulspeer?


Nobody truly believed that Torleth Mindulspeer survived solely on the income provided by his shop. Many suspected him to be an agent of the Zhentarim, the Red Wizards of Thay or even the Harpers or the Cult of the Dragon.

Some suspected a Gate existed inside his shop that leads to Westgate, Suzail, Waterdeep, Mirabar or perhaps all of those places, and Torleth Mindulspeer made money from people that used the gate.

It is now also believed that Dygath Hornspar works for Torleth Mindulspeer.

NPC - Torleth Mindulspee
NPC – Torleth Mindulspee

Dwergrim Greenleaf: “Ahem….while the other two birds were trained to fly to the ‘smelly settlement on the river’ most likely Daggerford and the other to the outskirts of Secomber. All would carry messages tied to their legs.”

Galan the Ranger, meanwhile busies himself looking for tracks in the area where Kelthas the Dread was seen to be with the Ancient Black Tome.

Galan: “I have found some humanoid tracks, possibly of the Dark Mage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was he. However, there is certainly evidence that the so called Eyewing was here. Also, this Sarcophagus containing the Magically preserved body of the Stag King, Uthgrael Aum, remains within and looks to be mostly undisturbed.

Mirafir: “We betht be careful of what we thay, Kelthas still hath hith ‘Scwying’ thpell wunning!”

Thora: “I just cannae figoor oot hoo he kent thet wie’d came here – could he hae cast a divination?”

Mirafir: “Thatth a stwong pothibility! Then he teathed uth about wecwuiting two new folk, though they are younglings!?”

Mirafir: “Who, or What, on earth could that be?”

Sigune: “Ve canst be zertain, but ve know zat zey were followers of Talos and his damnable vays off kaos. Zowing disorder ver ever zey go!”

The party then begin a thorough examination of the items they have discovered within the dark hall and passageways of this most ancient of mausoleums.

Using the ocular enhancing lenses, Frimly stares long and hard at the regal Jewel Encrusted Crown and accompanying ancient artifacts. He surmises that they are of enormous value….but how best to realise this value, without his pious companions wasting the proceeds on frivolous donations to orphanages and the what-not!

Caught on the precipice of a whopping lie, the Thief remains curiously silent. A silence that is not lost on some of the party.

Mirafir then steps forward to inspect the items now carefully spread out upon the ground and uses his Magical powers, ‘Identify’ Spell to determine the potential and import of any perceived Magical items.

In particular those found within the ancient monarchs resting place:

Frimly: “How far do we think Dygath Hornspar and Baron Agwain are?

Mirafir: “I think we have enough time for me to look over these items before we need to deal with Dygath Hornspar.

There is an Amulet that glows with a modest aura that only the mage can decipher.

Mirafir: “Tis a ‘Gem of Inthight’!”

This item seemingly accumulates it’s ability the longer one continues wearing it.

Mirafir: “It theems that it has never been worn. It can only be used by one person and will increase their Intelligence and Wisdom permanently if the correct procedures are followed. It will then remain dormant and unusable for half a century at least.”

Gem of Insight:

This jewel appears to be a well-cut stone of not less than 5,000 gp value. If magic is detected for, the gem radiates a faint aura of the enchantment sort. If any character possesses the item, he will begin to feel its power after keeping the gem on his person for one week. At the end of two weeks, the individual will discover that he is able to understand things more easily, have better insight, memory, recall, etc. In fact, possession of the gem on a continuing basis (three or more months) raises the Intelligence and Wisdom of the character by one point each. If for any reason the gem is not kept beyond the three-month period, the additional Intelligence remains, but the additional Wisdom is lost. A gem of insight functions once every 50 years. If a character acquires a second gem, the second item has no effect.

Magic Items - Gem of Insight
Magic Items – Gem of Insight

A Red heavy bound book is thumbed through.

Mirafir: “Ah this is a Tome of Leadership and Influence. Which upon reading will Increases the reader’s charisma and will then dissipate forever?”

Tome of Clear Thought:

A work of this nature is indistinguishable from any normal book. Any single character who reads a tome of clear thought will be able to practice mental exercises that will increase his Intelligence by one point. Reading a work of this nature takes 48 hours’ time over six days, and immediately thereafter the book disappears. The reader must begin a program of concentration and mental discipline within one week of reading the tome. After a month of such exercise, Intelligence goes up. The knowledge gained from reading the work can never be recorded or articulated. Any further perusal of a tome of clear thought will be of no benefit to the character.

Magic Item - Tome of Clear Thought
Magic Item – Tome of Clear Thought

The boots worn by the Barbarian Cleric appear to be ‘Boots of varied tracks’. The tracks can be chosen between Halfling to Ogre and several other Animal tracks.

Boots of Varied Tracks:

The wearer of these ordinary-looking boots is able, on command, to alter the tracks he leaves. The footprints of the wearer can be made as small as those of a Halfling or as large as those of an ogre, bare or shod as desired.

In addition, each pair of these boots has four additional track-making capabilities. (There were 2 tables to roll from for animals, so we can roll these again)

Magic Items - Boots of Varied Tracks
Magic Items – Boots of Varied Tracks

The boots worn by Thief appear to be Elven made, and their remarkable softness give hint to their purpose. The ‘Boots of Elven Kind’ enabling their wearer to move silently at walking pace.

Boots of Elvenkind:

These soft boots enable the wearer to move without sound of footfall in virtually any surroundings. Thus the wearer can walk across a patch of dry leaves or over a creaky wooden floor and make only a whisper of noise—95% chance of silence in the worst of conditions, 100% in the best.

Magic Items - Boots of Elvenkind
Magic Items – Boots of Elvenkind

The Cleric’s Bone Necklace – ‘Upon uttering the command word each bone (5) provides the effects of the  ‘Invisibility to Undead’ Cleric Spell for up to 3 turns affecting the user and two other comrades.

Necklace of Invisibility to Undead:

A magical necklace of this sort appears to be a normal piece of non-valuable jewellery until it has ‘Detect  Magic’ cast on it. The necklace, from which hang a number of bones. These are detachable only by the wearer, who can easily pull one off and uttering a command word they and up to two other creatures are protected by a ‘Invisibility to Undead’ spell for the next 30 minutes. (The protection only lasts as long as the creatures do not attack.)

The hooded Thief’s Longbow is Elven made and of good quality- (+2). However the Elven Mage cannot help but wonder what poor Elf was slain to obtain these items.

On touching the Thief’s Short Sword, Mirafir recoils slightly.

Mirafir: “It ith purring, by Jove!”

It is known as The Quiet Strike.

Quietstrike Short Sword:

This finely wrought short sword is made of a dull black material, and its edges seem indistinct. The hilt inset with a jet gemstone.

Quietstrike is a +1 shadow strike short sword. A shadow strike weapon can reach through your own shadow to catch foes off guard. Once per day, you can activate the property to add 5 feet to the weapon’s reach for a single attack. The target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC for this attack.

Quietstrike can cast Silence another objects 1/day. The effect triggers when the sword’s wielder speaks the command word, “Quietstrike”.

Personality: Quietstrike has the personality of a hunting cat, finding fulfilment in the stalking of prey.

Magic Item - Quietstrike Short Sword
Magic Item – Quietstrike Short Sword

There are also 2 x ‘Potions of Extra-Healing’.

On closer examination, Mirafir is shocked to discover that the ‘Coin of the Cult of the Dragon’ found upon the Sea Hag is in fact cursed. Worse still it was most likely used to aid in scrying upon the reluctant and unknowing holder!

The Cult of the Dragon Coin (Cursed):

This is a solid coin depicting the symbol of the Cult of the Dragon. Each coin in a pair can start a conversation (as the 5th Level ‘Sending’ spell) to the bearer of the other coin. If the coin’s mate is not in a creature’s possession, no message is sent and the user knows the communication has failed. If either stone in the pair is destroyed, the mate becomes useless.

Magic Item - The Cult of the Dragon Coin
Magic Item – The Cult of the Dragon Coin

Curse: Once taken, the coin cannot be given away and will always return to the bearer. Only after a ‘Remove Curse’ spell is cast upon the individual possessing the coin will they be able to dispose of the item.

Frimly thinks to himself:

Frimly: “Lead lines box, maybe one of the Sarcophagus under the Castle once we return with Dygath Hornspar!”

So this is how Kelthas the Dread communicated with Mirafir within these dark tombs! Hell and darnation!

Finally, of the Cleric’s Gnarly staff, Mirafir is none the wiser as his Spell reached its limit of items and/or abilities.

What is stranger still is that when the Thief’s Invisibility finally comes to an end, Darkeyes the Hooded Thief also wears a mask underneath this, but stranger still yet another mask beneath that. Once divested off all his face coverings they recognize his facial traits and they are reminded of Jacko the Wiley…..the bandit that attacked them long ago on the caravan tour of duty!?

Frimly: “This must be a family member of the Bandit, Jacko the Wiley. A mystery that needs to be unravelled!”

They surmise then that The Worshipers of the God Talos have been seeking to destabilise Daggerford and the surrounding trade routes and allegiances; thus forcing the Duchy to seek aid from the Lord’s Alliance and leaving the region in financial difficulties. Dygath Hornspar is involved.

Thora: “But what part does Kelthas the Dreads arrogant boast of recruiting “Two New Recruits”, even though they’re younglings?”

With more mysteries to unravel the Renegades part company leaving Dwergrim Greenleaf and Eryn Lashir to look after the 2 ravens and use them as needs be, keeping in contact with them.

Vicross, who’s bowing, fawning and scraping to Mirafir seems to know no bounds, accompanies the party to retrieve their horses from Julkoun across the river via Barbarian encampment.

Late into evening they see torches and horses ahead of them…it is Baron Agwain Delantar, Dygath Hornspar and 4 knights. They had been expected to arrive and the last resting place of the Stag King,Uthgrael Aum.

Polite questioning of Dygath Hornspar by Sigune, reveals a man of taciturn and solitary nature

NPC - Dygath Hornspar
NPC – Dygath Hornspar

Using the opportunity presented by sharing a horse with Dygath Hornspar, Frimley picks his pouches but finds only coinage of Secomber, but nothing else of interest. The journey back to Daggerford is undertaken by a slow boat down the Eastern-running River Delimbiyr.

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