Confident that Elaith and Jarath (Quill’s father) were the one’s in the vision and present in this location, the party kept the dagger and climbed down into the ruined tower. Curious about the book, Quill searched very carefully and managed to find a hidden chest that was cloaked in a “Conceal” ritual. After a few attempts Shan Val was able to use his arcana to open the chest which was wizard locked. Once opened, the chest appeared and revealed its contents – a brown leather bound book. A quick examination of the book revealed that it was “The Spell Journal of Arian Dane”. Dorian’s history skill revealed that Arian Dane was a powerful human wizard who was the head of the college of wizardry in Ormpetarr before the fall and Spellplague unleashed its ravages upon Ormpetarr.
It was decided that Quill would perch on top of the ruined wall on guard duty while everyone took an extended rest. During the extended rest Quill experimented with his magic and was able to harness his arcana skill to tamp down the effects of the spell plague. He in effect learned how to avoid the dangerous unpredictability of the spellplague effects and taught this method to Dorian and Shan Val. Now the three no longer need to roll percentile dice when using arcane powers… unless they want to risk a bad effect in hopes of a good one.
Shan Val read the Spell Journal of Arian Dane during the extended rest and tried to gain as much information as possible from the book. It was a nonmagical book and was a kind of diary written by Arian Dane. No one got much rest finding the Spellplague draining each individual’s fortitude defense and limiting the number of healing surges regained from resting. But Shan Val found the end of the book the most interesting. It describes how the human wizards of Ormpetarr unearthed a building buried under the city called “the emerald tower”. It was of an architecture foreign and unknown to them, but they suspected was built by the elves long ago. Inside the tower was a shrine to Sehanine Moonbow, the elven goddess of the moon and wife of Corellon Larethian. Also in the Emerald Tower was a creature in stasis – interred in the tower like a prisoner. This creature was known as “The Sharn” – a terribly powerful ancient creature of magic said to be the deadly enemy of the Phaerim in the long ago days of the Netherese and Cormanthyr empires. Arian Dane and his human wizards in Ormpetarr were wise enough to be very extremely cautious around the creature imprisoned in the Emerald Tower. They studied the wards that held it in stasis within and studied the shrine of Sehanine. This worked well for quite some time until the day that Mystra, the goddess of magic died. The resulting rift in magic at Mystra’s death either broke the spells imprisoning the Sharn or weekend them enough for him to escape. Either way The Sharn was freed from his prison, but this was unknown to the wizards of Ormpetarr until it was too late. One by one, The Sharn captured the wizards and used his fell magic to twist and corrupt them into hideous deformed snake creatures. Arian Dane discovered this after many were turned, so he gathered up what wizards remained and they launched an assault on the emerald tower. That was the last entry almost exactly correlating to the start of the Spellplague.
After mulling over what he had read, Shan Val suspects that The Sharn somehow profaned the shrine of Sehanine Moonbow and perhaps unleashed the Spellplague. Quill thinks that perhaps Elaith and his father, Jarath, had obtained Shalay Marel (The Silver Disk artifact of Sehanine) to try and cleanse the altar. Based on the maps and the notes in the spell journal, Shan Val has a pretty good idea where the emerald tower was located within the Ruins of Ormpetarr. It is no more than an hour or so journey from their present location in the ruined tower. However, using the magic map ritual with Elaith’s dagger, the party discovered Elaith’s position to be 45 miles to the northeast in the Chondalwood. Since Quill was very keen to find his father and it seemed to the group that the silver disc was key to whatever needed to happen in the Emerald Tower, they decided to venture out of the swamps of The Plaguewrought Land and into the Chondalwood in search of Baba Yaga, the witch of Chondalwood. And since Elaith seemed so adamant that the book not fall into the hands of the witch, the party decided to return it to the concealed chest and bury the chest in its original hiding spot at the bottom of the ruined tower.
Using a message ritual, the party sent word to The Goldenhawk crew of Tormtar Knights to fly the sky ship to a rendezvous point for extraction outside the plaguewrought lands. Dorian still was wary about bringing the ship anywhere close to the unpredictability of the spellplague. The group was picked up and got a proper rest en route to the location of Elaith using the magic map, deep in the Chondalwood. On the way, the party wanted to learn as much as possible about the powerful old hag they suspected they would face going after Elaith and Jarath. Shan Val used the “Consult Mystic Sages” ritual to find out that Baba Yaga was an ancient and powerful hag and powerful wizard. She used to be a peasant farmer that was fond of chickens. She now lives in a hut that walks on magical chicken legs. It can travel from place to place. The hut is much bigger on the inside than out and is said to span different planes of existence. Baba Yaga is said to have traveled all across Faerun, the outer planes, the Astral sea, even to other worlds. She has powerful magic and curses at her disposal and uses an enchanted mortar and pestle as a mount. She gets inside the mortar and pushes it along the ground with the pestle, sweeping her tracks away with a broom. Some say that the mortar can even be made to fly through the air. Baba Yaga has many slaves that defend her hut. Demons, devils, undead giants, hags, constructs, even half chicken half men creatures called Diaka that Baba Yaga made from the chickens from her original farm – all defend her home. Baba Yaga also has two foster human daughters – Elena and Natasha – that she took into her home long ago. Elena is known as “Elena the Fair” and is renowned for her beauty. Natasha now goes by the name “Iggwilv” and has left the hut to become one of the most powerful summoners in Faerun. She has bound many demons and devils to her will and tales say she is consort to the Demon Prince Graz’zt. Iggwilv’s infamous book Demonomicon is a tome of great legend.
Arriving as close as possible to the location using the magic map but unable to search the thick forest from the air, the party launched an away team that flew down to the forest floor to search for signs of Baba Yaga’s hut. Not long into the search, they came upon what must be it – Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut (see – 2 Dancing Hut Visual Aid.jpg).