Flames engulfed the Houes of Long Silences. Moments after their foes fled into the night, our heroes were left standing in the ancient temple as heat and smoke poured through its cathedral windows. The Ardeep Woods cried out, and the adventurers sprung into action in an attempt to extinguish the blaze.
With the aid of the Forest Giants, Vyurek conjured grand walls of ice to hold back the heat, while Aystra summoned an army of water elementals to fight the raging inferno. Their efforts together created enough opportunity to escape into the dawn, sparing the forest the wrath of the fire.
Upon their return to Floshin Manor, the adventurers met with Elorfindar Floshin, still recovering from his spell. He asked for the chalice’s return, but the party insisted he share its true history. With some reluctance, he revealed that the ancient artifact acts as a key to the portal network of the Ardeep Woods, hidden for centuries within the old temple. Those portals, like the ones throughout Undermountain, function via link to the Outer Planes. While travel is typically limited to a pair of portals’ direct links, their planar designs could open a backdoor to nefarious interlopers — in turn, allowing otherworldly foes to gain access to the material world, wreaking havoc and sowing chaos as they saw fit. Because of the danger inherent, Floshin insisted on his bloodline’s duty to protect the chalice and prevent such a catastrophe from taking place.
The party argued that the drow attack itself brought them dangerously close to such an outcome, convincing Master Floshin to accompany them on their return to Waterdeep, and to hand over the chalice so they could ensure its safe keeping. Upon their return to the City of Splendors, the old elf bid them farewell, and asked them to deliver a message to his old colleague, Firaq: “Be wary of Cassandra, for she knows not the power she wields.”
After recuperating at the Monastery of the Sun, the party rendezvoused with Ellithral to report the success on the mission his employer had assigned them. While Ellithral was eager to retrieve the chalice for his employer, the adventurers showed reluctance, insisting they needed time to consider how best to keep the item in safe hands. The elf’s candor suddenly changed. Now curt and indignant, Ellithral cautioned the party of his employer’s patience before excusing himself from the tavern, uncharacteristically leaving his four colleagues to settle the tab.
At last, the adventurers met with Quilynn back at the Monastery where she revealed more findings on her research into the strange objects they had recovered. In recent days, she had turned her attention to the medallion the party recovered months earlier in the tomb of Barrus Yeldoon, and which had allowed Aystra to control — and eventually overload and destroy — the magical Runestone in Undermountain. The insistence with which Yeldoon’s nephews refused to take back the heirloom, gifting it to the party through Ellithral, had always seemed odd. Delving into local history tomes, Quilynn discovered a striking resemblance to an amulet worn by the mad mage Hallaster in old portraits. Considering Barrus Yeldoon’s reputation in life as an unsavoury dungeon raider, she speculated that the amulet had come into his possession by illicit means. Knowing the paranoia that defined Hallaster’s arcane activities, she posited that the medallion may have instilled a curse upon Yeldoon, dooming him to his posthumous fate as a reanimated tomb guardian.
Stranger still, the brilliant red gem inlaid within the medallion could not be identified to any commonly known minerals. Quilynn recalled from the adventurers’ tales that the stone seemed to resonate with certain magical crystals in Undermountain, including the Runestone itself. From her research into the Crown Adamant, she had discovered another curious piece of historical trivia that offered an enigmatic coincidence. Alchemists of the Shoon Imperium were said to have experimented with the art of transmuting arcane energy into a physical form. While the art was abandoned as a “technological dead end” centuries prior, it remains an obscure form of alternative arcane energy channelling to this day.
The group parted ways with an exhausted Quilynn, leaving her to tend to her duties within the Monastery itself. While such a revelation presented the party with much to consider, they were now left with even more questions and riddles, and more colleagues to contact on their quest to uncover the truth behind these strange relics…