D awn broke over the City of Splendors, signalling a new season of opportunity for the intrepid adventurers. After some much-needed rest during a rare Sword Coast cold snap, the party reconvened in the Monastery of the Sun, summoned by their longtime ally, Quilynn Dryadson.
Quilynn had spent much of her spare time while the group had been off adventuring seeking answers to their nagging questions. Why had their late companion Gyudd longed for the Melairkyn crown, and why did he pay the ultimate price when the party was attacked by Drow assassins? Through her research, Quilynn had discovered several curious truths behind the crown’s origin. As it turned out, the relic was not of Dwarven origin at all, but a centuries-old symbol of power of the Shoon Imperium, a prolific Faerunian empire of days long past. The crown had been acquired in a territory war between King Melair VI’s refugee nation and Amahl Shoon IV, the Mad King of the Imperium. Though the Melairkyn were eventually driven back by the Shoon, the dwarves managed to slay the Shoon’s leader, seizing his crown as a trophy of their small conquest. Determined to keep their retreat from scarring the Melairkyn legacy, King Melair convinced his people the crown was their ancestral claim. While the legacy of his empire soon crumbled under the constant Drow menace, his story stuck, entrenching the relic within his people’s lore through the generations.
After their briefing from Quilynn, the party then proceeded to Blackstaff Tower to inquire to the mages within on the mysterious objects they had acquired on their journeys. Meeting with Randulaith of Mirabar, a journeyman scholar of arcane devices, they learned scant details that shed light on the spear and book’s origins. The weapon, he explained, was well over 1000 years old, and imbued with dark magics linked with the domain of death. The tome, meanwhile, was an ancient script of necromantic arcanery, written in Kadari, a long-dead tongue of the Necromancer Kings of Sahu. While the mages worked dilligently to decode its cryptic words, they had so far observed the word “Sumulael” — or, “Harvester of Death,” as part of the book’s title: “Sumul Vohamanah,” or, loosely, “Reaper Codex.” The book also made frequent reference to “Kazerabet,” or “Angel of the Dark” in a tone suggesting the tome may be an instruction manual of a necromancer in training.
Their minds swelling with newly acquired knowledge, the adventurers were abruptly summoned to a meeting by their colleague Ellithral the Golden, via his typically cryptic and overly paranoid delivery methods. That night, they would find him in the Dock Ward, where he led them through Waterdeep’s network of catacombs to meet with his shadowy employer once more. Again shrouded in secrecy, the employer explained what had transpired while the party were occupied in Daggerford. Another Drow attack had taken place, this time outside Waterdeep’s walls, on the private estate of Elorfindar Floshin. While they subdued and restrained the manor’s many occupants, no casualties occured, and only a single item was stolen: a rare chalice from Floshin’s private museum. Ellithral’s employer petitioned the party to investigate the theft and locate the chalice, believing it to be an object of great import well beyond any historic bauble.
The group gathered their effects and set out once more on the Trade Way south of Waterdeep, toward Floshin Manor. After a two day’s journey and a brief exchange with local merchants, the party arrived at the estate, where they were invited in by Elorfindar Floshin. The elven steward of the old family estate presented a stoic, almost vacant demeanour as he led them through the mansion and invited them to dine with him. Over a strange dinner of blood red wine and raw meat, Aystra determined that all was not well in the manor, and that Floshin was under the charm of a nearby creature’s spell. While Vyurek kept him distracted with idle conversation Aystra attempted to dispell the charm and free Floshin of his mental prison. The spell snapped the elf out of his catatonic state, but sent him into shock as the party were suddenly confronted by his captor: Xedac, the vampire who had attacked them weeks earlier at the Runestone in the heart of Undermountain. After a heated battle with Xedac and her vampiric slaves, the party cut down the hematophagic foe, leaving them to explore the abandoned manor and solve the mystery of the missing chalice…