Vicross & Sir Ly – Chapter Three

5th Day of the Claw of Winter (February): DAY ONE

The Sorcerer Finds The Hidden Quarters (20:00 pm):

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin, having climbed back to the floor of the cavern above, ponder the obviously magically hidden tracks, find that efforts were made to clear evidence of any traffic and then used their Magics to hide their movements within the cavern under the Old King’s Hill.

Vicross: “I believe that a ‘Detect Magic’ Spell will help us discover what may be going on here Sir Ly.”

Sir Ly: “As you wish.”

Vicross: “Oh I see…Very funny my Lord.”

Vicross Silverkin - Sorcerer
Vicross Silverkin – Sorcerer

Vicross the Sorcerer casts ‘Detect Magic’ and the he can now see magically hidden tracks, revealed to him through the use of the Spell.

Vicross: “Many different booted feet have passed through here as have a number of different creatures too. I can also see here what looks like the tracks of those Scrags from below the water.”

Vicross the Sorcerer moves onwards and follows the magical path left by the Spells effect. The Wizard can see a single path that begin by the entrance, then passed by the 3 openings to the water below and then splits into 3 paths that lead to the 3 smaller chambers at the North of the cavern and which are blocked by the rock-falls.

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly move closer to the entrances blocked by the rubble and Vicross the Sorcerer discovered that the piles of rock also radiated Magic, either a powerful ‘Illusion’ or specifically chosen Spell.

Vicross: “Sir Ly, the barrier is nothing but an Illusion, see past it.”

Sir Ly: “Yes, Wizard, I can see now that it is but a ruse and we nearly fell for it. Well done Wizard, Mirafir would be proud of you.”

Sir Ly lowers his voice.

Sir Ly: “Let’s pray to Saint Cuthbert that they all survive their journey.”

Dark Vicross then turned to Sir Ly.

Vicross: “Did I just FEEL….you spoke ill of Mirafir?”

Sir Ly: “No Vicross, I would never….”

Vicross: “Let us move on lest someone gets hurt.”

All 3 of the entrances are covered with the same concealment Spell, ‘Illusory wall’, and Vicross and Sir Ly chose Eastern entrance first. Vicross the Sorcerer checked the area with his Spell ‘Detect Magic’. Beyond they found a double cavern system, heading North one after the other, they could see that all the previous fixtures and fittings had been removed and the area cleared. Vicross the Sorcerer checked the area with his Spell ‘Detect Magic’ but can find nothing which emanates Magic.

Next Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin move onto check the middle Northern entrance. Once again, Sir Ly throws the Sling Bullet, which had ‘Continual Light’ Cast upon it, into the smaller Cavern before them. Here they find a single cavern which is full of thick Spiders Webs. Vicross checks the area with his Spell ‘Detect Magic’. There is nothing in this Cavern either that radiates Magic and so Vicross and Sir Ly decided to head back out and to investigate the final entrance on the Western side of the 3. Sir Ly retrieves the Sling Bullet and holds it up high in order to light the two Adventures way.

Sorcerer and Cleric Magic (20:30 pm):

The two Heroes reach the entrance and Sir Ly marches in, Sling Bullet with ‘Continual Light’ Cast upon it in hand, followed by Vicross the Sorcerer. Beyond was another set of double caverns, heading North one after the other, with the furthest one of the two wider than any of the others. It was at this point that several ‘Glyphs of Warding’ are activated by the intruders, not causing damage but activating other Spells cast into them. Vicross could only see 2 activate while Sir Ly, being in the middle of the chamber, saw the third one glowing.

The first effect of the 3 ‘Glyphs of Warding’ was the Spell ‘Glitterdust’ to be triggered. This caused a cloud of glittering Golden Particles to appear within a 20’ foot cubed area. The area was covered by the dust, which could not be removed and continued to sparkle until it fades after a turn or so.

Glyphs of Warding - Sorcerer
Glyphs of Warding

The second and third effects of the ‘Glyphs of Warding’ remained unknown. The Paladin Sir Ly braced for any potential attack from the North listening out for any danger from the last unchecked cavern, while the Sorcerer Vicross casts ‘Alter Self’, so he appeared as a lowly member of the Daggerford Militia and avoid being recognised if they were being ‘Scried’ upon. The Two Heroes stand still and listen out for threats.

Sir Ly: “Look out behind Wizard, I hear the sound of the foul scrabbling of 8 legs heading this way…..They are…”

Vicross: “Spiders!”

Sir Ly: “Ah, yes that’s right Spiders. Mirafir usually lets me, oh never mind you’re new.”

Sir Ly: “ATTACK….”

Vicross: “No wait I have a cunning plan, there are only 3 from what I can see and I will cast ‘Sleep’ upon them.”

Sir Ly; “Mirafir did the very same in Ravenloft Castle.”

Vicross Silverkin lowered his voice.

Vicross: “I know that empty tin-head, The Ravenloft Tales, Chapter Twenty – Sir Ly is Taken. In fact, it was when you were captured and Mirafir saved you.”

Vicross the Sorcerer turns to the task at hand and cast ‘Sleep’ on the 3 Giant Spiders that he can see entering the Western most caverns. Success, all 3 of the Giant Spider fall to the ground and the faint sound of rasping snores can be heard. Yet this was not the last Giant Spider that Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin would need to deal with. The sound of more Giant Spiders can be heard and Sir Ly advanced to block the narrow Southern entranceway and protect the Wizard, while Vicross prepared another of his Spells.

Sir Ly strikes first and hit his mark on one of the new enemy of 3 other Giant Spiders. The Spiders retaliated and Sir Ly was struck. Next, it was the turn of the Sorcerer who expended more Magical energy in casting ‘Magic Missile’ at 2 of the interlopers. Again the Paladin attacks with the momentum of his swing allowing for 2 deadly slashes this time. The first he deals with a massive blow doing much damage and the second hits an undamaged foe for more damage. The Giant Spiders return the favour and yet again the Paladin saves versus the ill effects of their poison, Saint Cuthbert is truly granting his favour on the Paladin this day.

Vicross: “Hold Paladin, I will cast ‘Sleep’ once more and that should deal with these last two.”

Sir Ly holds his swing, his straining thewes coiled and ready to engage. Vicross the Sorcerer unleashes his ‘Sleep’ Spell, however only one of the 2 creatures are effected by the Spell and Sir Ly is free to continue doing what he does best, ANOTHER HIT… he has not missed once as yet and the poison again has no effect on the warrior either.

Monster - Spider, Giant - Sorcerer
Monster – Spider, Giant

Sir Ly: “What’s the count Wizard, numbers and letters are not my area of expertise?”

Vicross: “2 Dead and 4 asleep. I think we should deal with them before we continue, we won’t want them waking-up at our rear. I think a ‘Lightning Bolt’ should deal with them all at once, though it will leave me no more Spells.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin made their way out to the main chamber, so as to be able to hit all the ‘Sleeping’ Giant Spiders with the one ‘Lightning Bolt’. Vicross tugs out a small amount of fur from his Cloaks Collar and then rubs said fur against his Amber Belt Buckle, while moving his other hand in an intercut dance and reciting some Magic Verse.

Vicross: “Bau-bill-ious”

2 of the reaming 4 Giant Spiders, are either quicker than the others or protected by the body of their siblings, avoid the full force of the ‘Lightning Bolt’ with one being very close to death and the other injured but still alive. The reaming 2 Giant Spiders take the full force of the ‘Lightning Bolt’ and are instantly killed. The last 2 Giant Spiders rush on towards Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin, with the Paladin once again moving in front of the Sorcerer with no Spells, intent of death. Why continue on the fight when their siblings had been destroyed?

Sir Ly battles his Giant Spider that had more vigour than then other one which slowly made its way towards Vicross. Again, the Paladin was first and accurate with the hand of Saint Cuthbert guiding his blows. Vicross was out of Spell but not toothless and he draws forth his ‘Ring of Spell Storing’ and unleashed 5 bolts of ‘Magic Missiles’ from it, cast into the ring by the Wizard that must have trained him while the A-Team were in Barovia. Both Giant Spiders are dispatched and there are no more sound to be heard in the cavern, except for Sir Ly’s heaving breathing.

Sir Ly: “A good workout Wizard, you conducted yourself adequately.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Pladin then move on and into the last cavern to search it. At the back of the cavern they find various crates and boxes containing Dried Meats, Blankets and other basic Humanoid comforts for either a long stay for a few Humanoids or a short stay for many. At either end of the cavern, just as before, were 2 naturally raised rocky areas that were being used as a sleeping area. Both were occupied with a Bed, Chest, Table and Chair with very few signs of habitation. However, signs of some use unlike all the other areas beneath the Old King’s Hill.

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin choose their respective sleeping section and began a thorough search. Sir Ly finds nothing and within the chest was only some spare clothing and no hidden compartments. Vicross also finds nothing of note but his chest was locked.

Vicross: “I have no more Spells to deal with this lock Sir Ly, I suggest your use your area of expertise on the aforementioned chest.”

Sir Ly: “You want me to smash it in you mean?”

Vicross: “Yes, that’s what I need you to do, I shall step back to make sure I am not hit by any flying splitters.”

Sir Ly: “Good Idea.”

Sir Ly takes a subtle approach, as suggested by Vicross the Sorcerer, and gently prods at the lock which soon became a jab and ended up with a thrust which set off the trap within the chest. A large cloud of Gas escaped from the front of the chest hissing and spitting as Sir Ly cried out.

Magic Item - Chest - Sorcerer
Magic Item – Chest

Sir Ly: “Vicross there Gas coming out of the crate I will be OK as long as I hold my breath and prevent the Gas from entering my lungggggggggggg.”

Vicross the Sorcerer waits for several minutes for the Sleeping Gas to evaporate before he moved over to check on the Paladin.

Sir Ly: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

Vicross the Sorcerer sits and waits, he just sits with his back to the wall watching over Sir Ly without moving, just waiting as he has had to do for so many days of his wrenched life. Until Mirafir that was, now life can be quite rewarding.

After an hour and twenty minutes or so, Sir Ly comes too and finds Vicross sitting, staring at him with a ‘Shield’ by his side.

Vicross: “I think it’s time we left this place and returned to Daggerford with our findings, as we are limited in our travel choices. Do you not agree Sir Ly?”

Sir Ly: “Yes, though you need not keep mentioning the Horse like that.”

The Wizard and Paladin Leave (22:45 pm):

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin make their way out of the Caverns under the Old King’s Hill and back to the surface where Laurel and Stan were hopefully still waiting for them with the Horses. Sir Ly, going first, began to open the trapdoor when he was stopped by Vicross the Sorcerer placing his hand on his are and placing his finger to his lips.

Vicross: “I hear someone gently humming a tune and it is neither Laurel nor Stan, least they have become a women. We will wait and see what will come to pass Paladin.”

Sir Ly: “And look, it has been snowing and continues to fall with big heavy flakes.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin both wait, listening for noise. They could both now hear the sound of what must have been Laurel and Stan snoring and the far-off noise of the horses too. Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly decide it was safe and exit the tunnel to find Deldrach Longarrow sitting by a small campfire while Laurel and Stan slept snoring away. Our Heroes-To-Be and Deldrach Longarrow catch-up, Sir Ly introduces Vicross Silverkin the Sorcerer, and they all discuss happening since they last spoke.

They speak of the complex under the Old King’s Hill, Runedardath and the animosity slowly returning between the Elves and the New Dwarven structure in Runedardath. Vicross the Sorcerer feeling vulnerable, and as it has just gone past midnight, decides to sleep while Sir Ly speaks with Deldrach Longarrow of the Harpers and other important news.

Without knowing, Deldrach Longarrow assesses the Paladin and his heart’s desire when Sir Ly brings up the subject of the ‘Song Paths of Illefarn’ and questions the Female Elf regarding the subject. At first Deldrach Longarrow avoids direct questions and lets Sir Ly tell the tale they have found.

Deldrach Longarrow: “You know so much and yet I feel you are not telling me everything.”

Sir Ly: “Oh, we also have these books that we found below the Old King’s Hill in and ancient Library Tomb.”

Sir Ly pulls out the water soaked books and shows them to Deldrach Longarrow.

Deldrach Longarrow: “May I offer my assistance Sir Ly?”

Sir Ly: “Please do, we would be forever in your debt Deldrach.”

Deldrach Longarrow: “That’s a nice Shiled you have there.”

Sir Ly: “Itsn’t it just, we found it in a locked chest in one of the side caverns below the Old Kings Hill.”

Magic Item - Shield, Bane
Magic Item – Shield, Bane

Deldrach Longarrow looks at both books and then begins a low hooting or a hummed ditty and with a hand gesture making an upwards movement with writhing fingers. The books slowly became bone dry. Sir Ly begins to read the book concerning the Harpers and Deldrach Longarrow looks through the book referencing the ‘Song Paths of Illefarn’. Deldrach Longarrow appearing to be checking the book rather than reading through it all, as if she already knew what to expect and was hunting for something specific. Then Deldrach Longarrow sat-up straight and began to reveal her knowledge of the ‘Song Paths of Illefarn’.

Sir Ly: “Wait before you begin Deldrach Longarrow, let me wake Vicross as he would want to hear and he has had over 4 hours sleep.”

Vicross the Sorcerer is woken, Laurel and Stan are sent to tend to the horses and hot tea was prepared and gratefully drank by all.

Deldrach Longarrow: “It all started many centuries ago when the land was still young and covered in forests and grasslands as far as the eye could see…..”

Sir Ly: “What is a Stanza by Saint Cuthbert’s beard, I do not understand very much of this I hope you are Wizard.”

Vicross: “I am Paladin and I notice that you call me Wizard when you need me to do something for you.”

Sir Ly: “Really, I did not notice. Habit I guess, I must say the same thing to the other one too.”

Vicross: “You mean Mirafir the all-powerful ‘Thaumaturge of Daggerford’ and you will need to…”

Deldrach Longarrow: “A series of lines grouped together in order to divide a poem Sir Ly, which is what Stanzas are. Can I please continue?”

Sir Ly: “Err, Yes please do.”


Part One: On Illefarn and Its Portals:

Thousands of years have passed since the fall of the great Elven kingdom of Illefarn which was located along the Northern Sword Coast between the Western Heartlands and the North. Little is known today of this once-mighty realm which was often called the Fallen Kingdom. Learned ones generally believe that Illefarn at its height equalled the best that Myth Drannor would later offer. Now, farmsteads and fields dot the rolling countryside where Illefarn’s forest realm once stood. The Misty Forest, Westwood, Ardeep Forest, and the like are remnants of the ancient coastal woodland that once stretched from the Kryptgarden Forest South to the Trollbark Forest. The populace of this Elven nation was a broad mix of Sun, Moon, and Wood Elves, with many Shield Dwarves besides. The nation’s core lay roughly between the mouths of the Dessarin and Delimbiyr Rivers, more the former than the latter. Illefarn carried on an extensive trade, by land and sea, with other Elven, Dwarven, and Human nations of its time.

Illefarn possessed numerous portals, Illefarn’s portals were nearly all teleportation devices joined to other places on Toril, not true gate spells leading to other worlds or planes.

One of the more esoteric uses of portals in Illefarn was for artistic purposes, particularly for what the Elves called ‘Song Paths’. Great works of poetry were written so that they could be sung for hours at a time, and portal networks were created that would be activated as each singer walked over certain large, flat, enchanted stones set in the ground. The singer would be transported from place to place in rhythm with the song, the scenery in keeping with its message and tone. Minor portal systems, independent of each other, were created linking numerous spots in Illefarn’s vast forest and the lands around it. Few song paths spread farther than this, and many were purposefully deactivated after a few decades of use. Those few portal systems reaching well beyond Illefarn were the province of the occasional Mage, Sage, or Priest who investigated the larger world around.

Illefarn fell in an uncharacteristic fashion for any kingdom of Faerûn: slowly. Its people left the realm steadily and secretly, under pressure from Barbaric Human tribes, vast floods of marauding Orcs and Goblins, and the aggressive, power-mad Wizards of Netheril.

The Elves knew they could not reproduce quickly enough to replace their losses from a major war. Their beloved forest suffered from magically induced blight during several of the Crown Wars, and humans cut their trees for timber and firewood, while Orcs and Goblins burned the woodland just for the thrill of destruction. Nonetheless, the Elves could certainly control how they left the stage of history.

The Portal systems were always among the first Magical effects to be removed.

No grand, sudden battles signalled the kingdom’s fall, though the realm was only a shadow of its former self after the Fifth Crown War and was entirely gone before Netheril collapsed. The remains of Illefarn’s capital, the last great city of the realm, was taken over by barbarians less than a tenday after it was left empty, about 2,500 years ago. (The old capital is today the Human metropolis of Waterdeep, though Waterdeep’s origins are not widely known even to scholars.)

A majority of Illefarn’s Sun and Moon Elves went by ship to Evermeet during the long Crown Wars, where they had a profound influence on that island’s culture, religion, philosophy, and arts. Some Elves even say that Illefarn founded all that Evermeet would later become. Some Moon Elves migrated to Evereska, where they had much the same effect. Most Wood Elves fled south during the height of the Fifth Crown War or West to the Moonshaes. The Dwarves scattered, most heading north to found their own enclaves and join their brethren in battling the Orc hordes that poured forth in an endless tide.

One of Illefarn’s most famous song paths was not deactivated when the kingdom was abandoned. The Elven Noble in charge of disenchanting this song path could not bear to carry out his orders, and instead he simply took with him all available copies of the poetic work that activated the portal system so that no one but the elves would make use of the portals. He further separated all copies of the poem into smaller parts, so no whole version of it remained in existence, then scattered them across various elven libraries. This song path was called “Voices of the Lost” after the song that activated it, the song that the portal system was meant to showcase. It fell into disuse for millennia, completely forgotten, until now.

Part Two: “Voices of the Lost”

A brief description of the Elven work, “Voices of the Lost”, is necessary to understand how this particular portal system works. Written by a Master Bard late in Illefarn’s history, “Voices of the Lost” is uncomfortably prophetic, a characteristic typical of the finest of this nation’s artistic efforts.
In this song, a Human wanderer finds a broad, weathered stone in a field on which Elven runes can barely be seen. He reads of an Elven kingdom in a primeval forest that once rose where the stone lay, a kingdom of such grandeur that the wanderer is staggered and awed by the story.
That night, the wanderer falls asleep on the stone and has a Magic Dream in which he journeys into the distant past to speak with the Elves of this kingdom and tell them of their fate. The wanderer hopes to prevent the fall of this realm, but the Elves already know their fate and have elected not to stop it. The wanderer, amazed and frustrated, travels even further back in time, meeting Kings and Mages even at the kingdom’s founding over two hundred centuries earlier, but all of the Elves questioned have at least an inkling of what is to come, and they accept it without question.
By the song’s end, the wanderer realises that the Elves, rather than attempting to prevent the death of their civilization, elected instead to manage the life of their kingdom so that it reflected the best of their ideals at all times, even at its end. The Elves avoided the excesses in Magic and temperament that doomed other cultures before and after them, adhering to their better nature to the end and rejecting hatred and bitterness at the natural cycles of growth and death. At the kingdom’s end, its people scatter and plant the seeds for later kingdoms that will rise to even greater achievements, influencing history, civilization, and people on a gigantic scale. The wanderer awakens, a sad but wise man, and follows the example of the Elves of the unnamed kingdom in living his life well while also ensuring the world will be a better place long after he dies and his name is forgotten.

The song path created for this work was set up along what is now the Delimbiyr River. The network of portals was one-way and circular. Each portal was tied to a large circular block of polished marble about 9’ feet across. Runes in the Elven Tongue of Illefarn, (Considerably different from “modern” Elven), encircled each great disk. The Magic activating each portal was of a different sort than exists in present-day Faerûn, such that each stone would not register as Magical until a certain condition was met: a person standing or walking upon the stone, singing a particular set of stanzas, (A series of lines grouped together in order to divide a poem), in Seldruin (the ancient dead language of the Elves, especially of Elven High Magic) from “Voices of the Lost”.

The singer’s words and the notes sung would cause the stone to become increasingly magical, until the last few words of each group of stanzas were said. These were the trigger phrase to activate the Portal, and the singer would slowly dissolve from view, reappearing over the next Portal Stone in 1 minute (1 round’s) time. There, the singer would continue singing and the cycle would repeat. This system was typical of many Illefarn song paths.

The portal system for “Voices of the Lost” began in the capital of Illefarn, its broken remains now somewhere under the streets of Waterdeep. The first portal stone originally lay in a broad meadow from which no trace of the buildings of the city could be seen. (The surrounding forest screened the structures.) Here, the first stanzas of “Voices of the Lost” were sung by Elves wishing to take the song path. The wanderer’s discovery of the weathered stone was sung, and the song’s first part ends with the wanderer falling asleep on the stone at night, his magic dream beginning. The portal stone would activate at this point, shifting the singer to the next stone, which lay exactly where Daggerford is at present.

The creator of the “Voices of the Lost” Portal network used the River Delimbiyr as a metaphor for time. The spot where Daggerford stands now represented the unnamed Elven kingdom (Illefarn, of course) late in its history, the first stop of the wanderer in his dream. Further portal stones carried the singer upriver into the Nether Mountains, to the source stream of the Delimbiyr River, where the wanderer met the earliest rulers and Spellcasters of the kingdom. From here, the portal network took the singer to the mouth of the Delimbiyr on the Sword Coast, where the wanderer viewed the fall of the kingdom and began to understand the Elves’ ultimate philosophy and goals. The coastal portal then led back to the starting portal stone, where the wanderer awakened and set off on his new life. The entire cycle using the portals took about six hours on the average, counting periods of silence for reflection and rest.

Part Three: The Portal Stones of “Voices of the Lost”

  1. Waterdeep, Sword Coast (Aelinthaldaarnar)
  2. The Lucky Lady Tavern, Daggerford (Delimbiyr’ter’ael)
  3. The Delimbiyr – Hark Confluence (Alukerymiilor)
  4. The Shining Falls, Graypeak Mountains (Delimbiyr’alushtas)
  5. Abandoned Elven River Port, Eastern High Forest (Aerendelnar)
  6. The Talons, Nether Mountains (Aulannar)
  7. Lizard Marsh, Sword Coast (Faedrannor)

Part Four: Activating “Voices of the Lost”

Deldrach Longarrow announcement is that she has managed to piece together, from many sources, one of the great lost poetic works of Illefarn. The simplest translation she can make of the poem’s title, from its original Seldruin into Common, comes out as “Voices of the Lost.”

One of Illefarn’s most famous song paths was called “Voices of the Lost” after the song that activated it, the song that the portal system was meant to showcase. Created in -1517 DR, it was not deactivated when the kingdom was abandoned circa -1100 DR. The Illefarni noble in charge of disenchanting this song path could not bear to carry out his orders, and instead he simply took with him all available copies of the poetic work that activated the portal system so that no one but the elves would make use of the portals. He further separated all copies of the poem into smaller parts, so no whole version of it remained in existence, then scattered them across various Elven libraries. After his actions, the “Voices of the Lost” song path fell into disuse for centuries, all but forgotten.

Deldrach Longarrow: “……..and that is all I can tell you of one the last ‘Song Paths of Illefarn’.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin emember that Mirafir and Frimly’s last interactions with Lady Bronwyn, in her research quarters in the Duke Castle, and how they found she was researching the ‘Song Paths of Illefarn’ to pass the time as she was restricted to the Castle and it’s Grounds. Also, Sir Ly remembers how Frimly had swiped a page from her research, that was about to be taken away by Duke Pwyll “Greatshout” Daggerford” after Mirafir had told him of his sisters investigations, which Mirafir had previously ‘Detected Magic’ on the page and saw a Magical Script of some sort.

Deldrach Longarrow: “That was fortunate indeed. The King has always maintained that “all Men are not useless; some amuse and are not bound by fate”. And he often says so when the Thief, my mistake Rogue is mentioned.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin were then told that Deldrach Longarrow believes that the Daggerford Portal is in or close to the Town of Daggerford itself. Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin recall that it was Frimly and not Mirafir that recognised the Seldruin, the language of Elven High Magic which was written in the Hamarfae alphabet, and no other?

Vicross: “The Thief must have seen these writing somewhere, somewhere he frequented regularly. As he was able to know what they were but not where he had seen them and so not important enough to remember, just something his….professional mind stored.”

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin then read through the other book containing the information regarding the Harpers. Deldrach Longarrow explained how she and King Melandrach knew of the Harpers, but respected their work enough not to peak under their masks, but will to be willing to help when asked upon.


The Harpers:

The Harpers, or Those Who Harp, were a semi-secret organization dedicated to promoting good, preserving history (including art and music of old), and maintaining a balance between civilization and nature by keeping kingdoms small and the destruction of animal and plant life to a minimum. They considered the Elven empire of Myth Drannor shortly before its fall to be the pinnacle of civilized history and strove to recreate the world in that image.


Those who ‘Harp’ have disbanded several times, but after each time they eventually reformed one way or another.

The idea behind the Harpers was first conceived by several Myth Drannan Elven military leaders in collusion with a few trusted Human Rangers and Druids. The Mayge Dathlue Mistwinter agreed to lead such a group in the Year of Freedom’s Friends 324 DR, at the head of a council that also included a (relatively) young Elminster Aumar. They took for their symbol Mistwinter’s family crest, a silver harp between the horns of a crescent moon and met at twilight at secret locations in the Elven Court, earning them their moniker: the Harpers at Twilight.

However, the Harpers at Twilight dwindled in number over the next four centuries, victims of attrition at the hands of their enemies: Bandits, Slavers, Drow, Illithids, Orcs, and Evil Spellcasters attracted to Myth Drannor’s success.

The Weeping War decimated the remaining members of the group. By the end of the conflict, Dathlue was dead, as were all but about a dozen of the Harpers at Twilight.

First Reformation:

On the 27th of Flame-rule of 720 DR, at a druid grove in High Dale called the Dancing Place, a large congregation of Dryads arrived when dusk fell earlier than it should have, and a bright moon shone when no moon should have been visible. The Dryads bid the Druids make welcome the priests of many different gods who started to arrive before finally Elminster appeared to explain why they had all been called.

The Elves had called for the support of the priests assembled to help fight back against the faithful of Bane, Bhaal, Loviatar, Malar, and Myrkul, who were coming from the south and attacking the elves and performing abhorrent deeds. The priests argued but their deities, Corellon, Mielikki, Mystra, Oghma, Selûne, Silvanus, and Tymora, directly possessed them and spoke through them, voicing their support in person and extending their blessings to this effort. This night thusly became known as the Gathering of the Gods.

The remaining Harpers at Twilight set about recruiting new members and expanding their influence, though they did so very slowly and lost around twenty new recruits to conflicts with their enemies. Over that time though, these new Harpers established an incredibly effective information network, and earned the respect of religious leaders by using that network to help their causes. In return, they were granted the use of fortified temples and monasteries wherein members could train and recuperate between missions.

It was during this period, known as the “Long Years” within the organization, that the Harpers erected the wards around Hellgate Keep and helped to kill Sammaster. The Harpers’ increasingly public actions also made them come into more frequent conflict with the Church of Bane and the nation of Thay. When the Harpers eradicated the Wearers of the Skull and thereby attracted the ire of the Church of Myrkul, who sent lyches after the Harpers, only to see each destroyed, Thay then raised armies to hunt them down and the remaining Harpers went underground in 1021 DR.

In the Year of the Watching Helm, 992 DR, the Harpers founded the Heralds of Fair-rûne to prevent the unscrupulous from blaming others for their misdeeds. The Heralds also used their power to provide Harpers with cover identities.
Second Reformation

After the loss of many members during the previous year, Elminster and Khelben Arunsun decided in 1022 DR that new recruits were needed and that the revitalized Harpers would be an “underground army of adventurers”. Recruits who met the pair’s standards took time to be found, but eventually Elminster happened upon the Wanderers of Espar, a band of a dozen bards, druids, and rangers led by Finder Wyvernspur and Ulzund Hawkshield in Cormyr. Through a series of manipulations, these adventurers were introduced to surviving Harper veterans and ended up successfully battling many of the Harper’s enemies.

The group continued to be quietly manipulated by Elminster and Khelben, who appointed certain members as “Master Harpers” and supplied them with harper pins while the sisters Dove and Storm Silverhand posed as traveling minstrels to attract new members with their music.

Over the next two centuries, the Harpers re-established their information network but were drawn into ever more public fights with evil churches, the Cult of the Dragon, Thay, and others. Casualties began to mount again and to avoid a repeat of history, Khelben and Elminster had all senior Harpers go into hiding. By this time, however, Finder Wyvernspur became corrupted and the Harpers sealed him in the Citadel of White Exile. In the Year of the Empty Scabbard, 1116 DR, seeing the Harpers no better than cultists of Bane, the Heralds decided that they could not be openly associated with the Harpers and split from them.

When junior members grew tired of the new, low-key direction the group was headed in and started getting themselves killed in foolish fights, Elminster gave them a direction—by starting the Harpstar Wars. Only around forty of the Harpers involved in the war survived it and when they returned, they found their organization had strayed in a completely different direction.

Corruption of the Harper King:

A Harper bard named Rundorl Moonsklan had convinced himself that Elminster, Khelben, and the Harpers they’d taken with them during the Harpstar Wars had gotten themselves killed fighting on other planes and that senior Harpers in hiding had actually permanently retired. His ambition, therefore, was to replace the organization’s leadership and reshape it to his own ends. He desired to be the power behind every throne in the North and happened to meet Szass Tam while planning on how to achieve this.

The two came to an agreement: Szass Tam would funnel Rundorl information on his rivals in Thay and Rundorl would gain prestige by concocting a story of a new spell capable of turning thousands into undead slaves with a single casting. The plan went perfectly, Rundorl led his fellows into battle against those whom he claimed had knowledge of “the spell of Undeath” and both he and Tam advanced in power.

Eventually, though, more Harpers were dying than Thayans and Rundorl led a reluctant retreat out of Thay. His exhausted men were being assassinated and reanimated as undead, however, and Rundorl rightly suspected that Tam had betrayed him. Rundorl appealed to another lich named Thavverdasz. He promised the Harpers’ services in return for his help defeating his reanimated comrades. Thavverdasz agreed, mockingly taking for himself the name “Harper King” after learning of Rundorl’s ambition. The undead were easily wrested from Tam’s control but Thavverdasz betrayed his other allies, the Cult of the Dragon.

It was this situation that the surviving Harpstar veterans returned to in 1222 DR. The Cult of the Dragon had raised an army and sent it against Thavverdasz’s Harpers while Szass Tam challenged the Harper King directly. Thavverdasz used a powerful magic item to defeat Tam, but Elminster surprised and assassinated the Harper King shortly thereafter.

Grimly, Storm and Dove set about replacing their massive losses while Khelben and the remaining veterans licked their wounds. Elminster was left to counter the rising star of the Zhentarim alone, beginning a long-standing feud with Manshoon. He pulled strings among the Wychlaran to keep the Thayans busy and turned the lair of the Harper King into a deathtrap to destroy the inevitable Cult of the Dragon reinforcements. Luckily, the Harper information network remained intact and largely ignorant of the organization’s recent corruption.

Third Reformation:

Storm Silverhand came to lead the so-called “eastern branch” of the Harpers. These senior members operated mostly in the lands east and north of the Dalelands and were based, unofficially, in Shadowdale. When Alustriel Silverhand rose to power in Silverymoon in 1235 DR, after three years of chaos since Sepur of Silverymoon abandoned the city, Alustriel and her followers were aided by her sister Storm’s Harpers against the orcs of the Black Horde and the Mayge Shallos Ethenfrost. In return for their help, Storm was allowed to build Moongleam Tower in Everlund.

Khelben led the Harpers on the Sword Coast over the next century but sponsored the Harpstar veteran Cylyria Dragonbreast in her bid to become High Lady of Berdusk in 1321 DR, giving over leadership of his Harpers to her. Cylyria’s Order of the Silver Moon and Harp was much more regimented than the eastern branch, who functioned much like they always had since the Harper King was destroyed. This also freed up Khelben for other things, like rescuing Laeral Silverhand from the Crown of Horns in 1357 DR. The Harpers of Twilight Hall, as they were colloquially known, acted openly against the Zhentarim and Amnian interests and even came close to crippling the Rundeen, which brought open hostilities against Berdusk itself. The move also brought many volunteers who wanted to join the Harpers however, swelling their ranks with new members.

Time of Troubles & Harper Schism:

The Time of Troubles of 1358 DR caused many deaths in the Harpers but its aftermath saw the return of Finder Wyvernspur and his rise to godhood, as well as a massive disruption among the Zhentarim, which brought enough of a reprieve for the Harpers to replace their losses.

The Harpers were not safe from strife, however. In 1370 DR, investigators discovered evidence that implicated Khelben in the theft of an artifact, the Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings, which had then found its way into the hands of the Zhentarim. Khelben admitted to all of the charges against him, and he and Laeral both left the Harpers, as did Alustriel (who felt she could not commit to the Harpers as the leader of Luruar) and many of Khelben’s closest friends and allies, founding their own group: the Moonstars.

The government of Waterdeep refused to help the Harpers of Twilight Hall prosecute Khelben so they proceeded to ward Harper stores against Khelben and Laeral, while Khelben erected a ward that prevented any Harper from approaching Blackstaff Tower. Influenced by Bran Skorlsun, the Harpers of Twilight Hall went on a witch hunt to purge their ranks of perceived traitors while Storm’s eastern branch tried to carry on with their business regardless of events in the west.

Fourth Reformation:

The Harpers were overwhelmed by the Spellplague of 1385 DR and the ensuing chaos of the Wailing Years. Many died, others vanished, and those who survived were cut off from one another, so they focused solely on the perils that menaced their homes and neighbors.[9] While the original organization was divided and its members scattered across the continent, the hope of returning the Harpers to their former glory didn’t die.

One bastion of Harper strength remained, however: Moongleam Tower was run by Eaerlraun Shadowlyn, who tried to keep the Harper ideals alive and around 1419 DR refounded the group as the “Harpers of Luruar” to secretly counter the forces of Netheril. Following the example of the Harpers of Luruar, other Harper cells began to operate again throughout the Realms. Some of these groups were clearly new organizations that adopted the name and some of the ideals of the Harpers of old, while others were groups of Harpers that had survived the fall of the organization during the Spellplague but had gone underground and now returned to action, such as the “Harpers of Waterdeep” and the “Harpers of Cormyr and the Dales”, led by Storm Silverhand, which many felt were the spiritual successors of the original Harpers.

Several other groups who called themselves Harpers appeared in the following years. The “Harpers of Athkatla” worked against the Council of Five and other Amnian authorities, but although they claimed to share the ideals of the Harpers of old, they didn’t and merely claimed to to gain support. The “Harpers of Selgaunt” and the “Harpers of Ormpur” were also rebels who did not really cleave to Harper ideals.

These new Harpers brought with them enemies of their own, such as the Abolethic Sovereignty, Szass Tam’s Thay, the Zhentarim, and the Warlock Knights of Vaasa.

By 1475 DR, the “Harpers of Luruar” had managed the cripple the efforts of the Netherese in significant ways.[9] Unfortunately, Eaerlraun was killed by shadovar assassins and the Harpers were forced to act in complete secrecy to prevent the loss of more members.

In 1478 DR, the Harpers of Waterdeep were led by a Harper agent known as “the Fisher”, who was actually a double agent working for the Zhentarim to undermine Harper operations. Although Tam Zawad and other Harpers were able to bring the Fisher to justice, he had done great damge to the Harpers of Waterdeep. By 1486 DR, Zawad was still dealing with corrupt Harpers within his Harper cell.

The “Harpers of Neverwinter” also suffered a devastating blow in 1479 DR. One of their high-ranking members, Cymril, was helping the Sons of Alagondar to oppose the rule of Dagult Neverember. However, an ambush by Mintarn Mercenaries resulted in her death, and in the revelation that she was also working for Neverember. After her treachery was revealed, the reputation of the Harpers of Neverwinter was greatly damaged in the region, at least for a time.

In the time of Mystra’s Return, Storm Silverhand began to revitalize the Harper organization in Cormyr. She sought out people from all walks of life: smiths, merchants, leather workers, and even those who worked in brothels. Her revitalizing actions were known and tolerated by the War Wizards of Cormyr. The Harpers prevented the assassination of King’s Lord Lothan Durncaskyn who was sheltering Mirt’s lady, Rensharra Ironstave.

When the Cult of the Dragon tried to bring the goddess Tiamat to the Material Plane, circa 1487 DR, the Harpers were one of the many factions who rose up to oppose Tiamat’s attempt at freedom. Since then, the Harpers became an active organization across the Realms again.

Harpers could be of any age or profession, any sex or gender, and of any race. Humans, elves, and half-elves were most common among them, but a few gnomes, halflings, and dwarves, and even woodland folk like dryads and centaurs also joined. Most members were either rangers or bards, though wizards, rogues, fighters and clerics were also present. Priests could follow any faith; Azuth, Deneir, Eldath, Lliira, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Oghma, Selûne, Silvanus, Tymora, and the Seldarine. This caused no issues of faith, though there was some friction with upper ranks of clergy. Druids, particularly of the North, tended to their willing allies rather than members.

The Harpers were led by a council of High Harpers, who were responsible for most of the group’s long-term plans and goals. High Harpers were elected through the means of secret ballots among the other High Harpers, with the criteria being long-term service and extreme discretion in the implementation of their plans.

The Harpers operated mainly in north Faerûn, along the Sword Coast, the Western Heartlands, and the Dalelands. The group itself was extremely decentralized and the nearest thing they had to a base of operations was Twilight Hall in Berdusk. An often-employed means of achieving their goals was assisting adventurers who were on quests that would further Harper interests.

In the 15th century DR, the Harpers became active across all of Faerûn.


Due to the influence of the Moonstars, the Harpers had a relatively small amount of influence within the City of Splendors around 1372 DR. They had roughly 120 members at any time within the city’s walls.


Many gods supported the organization of the Harpers: the churches of Azuth, Deneir, Eldath, Lliira, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Oghma, Selûne, Shaundakul, Shiallia, Silvanus, Tymora and the entire Seldarine all contributed clerics to become members of the Harpers and many of these also lent divine aid to the members of the group on a regular basis. This could cause tensions between individual clerics of different faiths but never between deities or between the society as a whole and deities.

Powerful individuals supported the Harpers, but equally powerful forces opposed them. Among these were the likes of the Dark Dagger, the malaugrym, the Rundeen, the Eldreth Veluuthra, the Twisted Rune, the Knights of the Shield, the Iron Throne, the Cult of the Dragon, the Red Wizards of Thay, the Zhentarim, and many of the churches of dark gods, in particular the revived church of Bane. The Harpers also opposed any who would forge an empire through conquest or use the Weave without thought to the consequences.

Harper Code:

Harpers work against villainy and wickedness wherever they find it, but they work ever mindful of the consequences of what they do.

All beings should walk free of fear, with the right to live their lives as they wish.
The rule of law aids peace and fosters freedom, so long as the laws are just and those who enforce them lenient and understanding.

No extreme is good. For freedom to flourish, all must be in balance: the powers of realms, the reaches of the cities and the wilderlands into each other, and the influence of one being over another.

Whatever it takes, a Harper will do. Pride never rules the deeds of a true Harper.
Freedom is a multiversal right, though Harpers can spare themselves less freedom than those they work to protect when the need presents itself.

Harpers police their own. A Harper who hears the call of personal power can no longer hear the sweet song of the harp. A Harper who seizes power, and holds it above all else, is a traitor to the harp. Traitors must die for freedom to live.

Without a past, no being can appreciate what they have, and where they may be going.

“What it is to be a Harper…”

“Right, then, good Lady Shandril, I shall try to tell thee something of what it is to be a Harper.

A Harper holds peaceful sharing of the lands above all other goals.

By sharing, we mean all the races living in and under the land, where each prefers to live, trading together where desire and need stir them to, and respecting each other’s holds and ways—without the daily bloodletting that all too often holds sway in the Realms today.

True, we must fight, it seems often enough to keep our swords and our tempers both sharp enough. Yet, know ye; all of us fight when we must, or die. Moreover, ye only hear of blades drawn and death and spells hurled, and never know of the many, many times that a quiet word or a skillful deal has turned enemies aside from each other, forced a way clear where none was before, or distracted foes from the eager task of tearing each other’s throats out. That is the true Harper way: subtle and quiet, behind the shouting. Trust and wisdom, and outfoxing others is what we deal in.”

Mirt the Moneylender explaining the Harper’s purpose to Shandril Shessair.

Sir Ly: “There are no real hard and fast clues as to who the Harpers are now, as these are old tomes, but we have a few locations and the typical profile of a Harper.”

Vicross: “Yes, I can see they speak of leaders, such as Elminster Aumar; the Sage of Shadowdale, and of Pins that they wear. I am guessing we have spoken to a Harper or at least someone working for them.”

Sir Ly: “If Kelthas and the ‘Cult of the Dragon’ are abroad then the Harpers will be too I expect.

6th Day of the Claw of Winter (February): DAY TWO

Back to Daggerford For The Sorcerer & Paladin (07:30 am):

Early the next morning Laurel, Stan Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly ride slowly back to Daggerford, with Deldrach Longarrow having leant Sir Ly her own Horse Called Idór or The Land in Elven. They all head back to the barracks with Sir Ly having to put in a requisition form for a new horse.

Vicross: “You may wish to buy your own horse, not sure what you may get now that horse flesh is so scarce along the Sword Coast.”

Now back in Daggerford, Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin make their way back to Mirafir’s Mothers House and were debriefed by Father Tobias, who in turn tell the B-Team of his mission to Torleth’s Treasures underground crypts and Portal to the Underdark under Gillian’s Hill.

Vicross the Sorcerer and Sir Ly the Paladin sleep until noon allowing Vicross the Sorcerer to recover his Magical Strength, Sir Ly to be ‘Healed’ by Father Tobias and this allowed them both some well-earned rest.

Sir Hector Ly’s Dream:

Sir Ly has a dream in which he struggles through a hilly landscape, a blustery wind blowing wet snow in his face and great bare trees reach out as if beseeching him for help. The most troubling part of the dream are the hoof beats, as the Sir Ly struggled through the icy scene, he hears the sound of hoof beats growing louder and louder until they were suddenly right behind him. In the dream he turned and looked but behind him was neither an animal nor its tracks, just the endless unbroken line of his own heavy boot prints in the snow. At that point Sir Ly wakes.

Monster - Venger & Nightmare
Monster – Venger & Nightmare

Sir Ly the Paladin tells Vicross the Sorcererand Father Tobias the Cleric of his dream.

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