Joined by Larry, the Hobo Wizard of Shade, Balasar’s Avengers chased the shadowmage Nocturnus through the halls of his house, harrying him even as he passed through the walls to evade their attacks. The Avengers eventually finished off his spirit devourer minion and chased him to his bedroom, where his tricks finally ran out, and he fell on Althea’s recently recovered rapier.
As Nocturnus slowly began to fade away from his injuries, Althea demanded answers from him. She wanted to know why Shinlea was sent to her death in Loudwater, to which he replied that Shinlea’s death was only incidental. She was sent there to assassinate people who would one day pose a threat to his organization (which he never named), and Balasar was at the top of that list. Nocturnus had also seen the future, and saw that Shinlea would fail at killing Balasar, but would lure out his guardian, a more experienced adventurer who could also see into the future. This person had been a thorn in Nocturnus’s side for many years now, and had proven to be all but unkillable by him, so he devised a plan to be rid of him, possibly forever.
Nocturnus casted several rituals on Shinlea’s armor. A few of them, specifically, the Delayed Spell Trigger and Memory Dissolution rituals the party was able to find copies of in the shadowmage’s library. When the person wearing the armor was killed, it triggered the Memory Dissolution ritual, which wiped both her killer’s memory and Balasar’s. With the adventurer out of the way, Nocturnus felt that he was able to kill the Avengers at his leisure. This complacency eventually led to his downfall.
After Nocturnus faded away, the party gave their newfound ally, Larry, the house that they’d just cleared out. They looted many books from the library, books with monetary, historical, and magical value. Unfortunately for the Avengers, most of the books in the library were written in Netherese, the ancient language of the Netheril Empire. Larry revealed that he could speak and read Netherese, however, and began reading one of the books. He quickly found that some of the books were trapped when one of them blew up in his face. He just sighed and told Althea and Urgarr that at least he would have a place to stay while he conducted his research on ancient songscrolls, said to hold unimaginable power, which the bards of Netheril were famous for creating.
Before they left, the party counted its spoils: 1000 xp for Urgarr, Althea, Peony, Virgil, Blaze, and J’tal; coins and gems worth 4500 gp total (900 per person, except for Urgarr, who got the next item); a sharpshooter’s wand; and a ritual book with the speak with dead, Delayed Spell Trigger, and memory dissolution rituals, plus the books in Urgarr’s bag and the focus for a ritual that allows sight into the past and future, which none of the Avengers have come across yet.
The group then left Shade and made the return trek across the Anauroch desert to Llorkh, then a river trip to Loudwater.