One day, late in the month of Uktal, Balasar summoned Hanzo to his study. Hanzo appeared, descending from the ceiling to answer the mighty warlord’s call. Balasar handed Hanzo a sealed letter, and told him that this was a mission request from one Drodareth Gor, an elderly elven woman living in Myth Dranor. In order to get the avengers to their destination in a timely manner, Balasar has called in a favor from the new masters of Highrock Hold: an airship ride from Loudwater to Myth Dranor. The airship captain, a dwarf by the name Doggle Rockbottom, is looking to establish trade relations between the hold and some of the wealthy cities in the Western Stars alliance, and needed to go to Myth Dranor anyway. So, Balasar told Hanzo to pick some comrades to travel with him and leave as soon as their preparations were made. Before leaving, Hanzo requested a loan from the guild’s coffers, which Balasar granted him, at a 10% interest rate (see here). The party, for now consisting of Hanzo and Ella, left aboard the airship.
After five days of travel, covering over 800 miles, the airship Skymountain arrived outside the elven city of Myth Dranor. They were greeted by a throng of elves and eladrin, eager to see the new flying machine. Ella and Hanzo greeted the elves, and began searching the city for some lodgings and supplies. Hanzo used the guild loan to purchase a Moran’s Eye +3, and he and Ella performed some rituals to transfer the enchantment to a smaller glass eye and preserve Hanzo’s removed eye, which Balasar required as collateral for the loan. Ella then sought out a room at the Black Unicorn Inn, and paid the innkeeper the fee. Hanzo, who had not a coin to his name after purchasing the eye, tried to bum lodgings off of Ella, who refused. He then stated that he would just sleep on the roof of the inn later that night. With things settled, the two went to see Drodareth.
The two adventurers were ushered in by a young elf and were greeted by Drodareth in her sitting room, where she was taking her afternoon tea. She invited the pair to partake of the refreshments, and they did, enjoying some tea and pastries. Drodareth then explained their mission: They were to find her niece, Alexia, who had been kidnapped by unknown agents, along with several other elves throughout the city. Drodareth hired a human detective named Alwin to investigate the disappearances, and he concluded that the kidnapped elves had been taken to Demon Manor, a mansion located at the end of a half-mile of twisting trails northwest of the city. Alwin refused to enter the manor, because although he thinks that the elves are just being superstitious when it comes to the manor being inhabited by demons, he has heard the wailing of something unnatural coming from the manor. Better safe than sorry, he figures.
Hanzo and Althea decided to scout around the town for information regarding the manor, as well as the manor itself, and found the following (with associated skill checks):
- (Arcana): The entire manor is riddled with portal energy. Where these portals are located, as well as their destinations, is unknown. The house itself is also partially within the Shadowfell.
- (Dungeoneering): The manor is 3 stories high, and at least 2, possibly 3 stories deep.
- (Streetwise): The manor is avoided by most of the cityfolk because of its haunted reputation. It is also known as a place so dreadful that sunlight refuses to go near it.
During the course of their investigation, Hanzo and Ella managed to climb into a broken third-story window. Here, in the dark corridors of the house, they made a discovery: Any light left unattended within the manor will be promptly extinguished. Attended light sources will remain lit, however. This made both adventurers extremely cautious, and Ella suggested waiting for the rest of the party to wake up and climb out of the Bodybag of Holding, but Hanzo insisted that they press on. And so they did.
A short distance from the window the pair climbed through, down a dark corridor, Hanzo encountered the shade of an elf. The elf did not seem to be able to see or interact with him, yet it was burned by the touch of Hanzo’s shadow-ninja’s fire sword. Though fearful at first, the elf eventually revealed that he was kidnapped from the city a few days ago and brought here, and that he had been trying to escape through the portals throughout the house, to no avail. He said that it looked like the portals only worked for living creatures or demons, and since he was unable to pass through them, he figured that he was dead. Hanzo’s arcane senses told him that the elf was not dead yet, just stuck in the Shadowfell, but he did not reveal this. Just then, everyone in the corridor and on the windowsill heard a scream from around the corner. This sent the elf into a fright, and he fled, past the shadow-ninja and into the darkness.
From around the corner, four mournful-looking shades and a demon of whispering winds approached. Hanzo parleyed with the demon, who simply told him that he would soon be seeing his master, who had been present at the betrayal of the Iga clan, many years ago. The shades and the demon then attacked Ella and Hanzo.
The pair made quick work of the shades, but the demon proved to be much more powerful. Its attacks consisted of cold breezes that relaxed the muscles and ravaged the mind, leaving their victims weak or slow, or both. Once afflicted, the demon had another trick up its sleeve: a wind that would severely weaken its victim, and eventually put that victim to sleep. The demon was also insubstantial, which made the adventurer’s attacks much less effective. Still, between Ella’s biting attacks and Hanzo’s summons, the demon was eventually dispatched, leaving the pair free to continue exploring the manor.
We will continue this storyline after we wrap up Kiss of the Moon, La’Quel’s story.