Dorian, Quill, and Shan Val work hard setting up the ritual. From the very start, respecting the terrible power and evil of the crown, they form a double layer protective circle of salt and ash surrounding their workspace and the artifact itself. The first phase of the ritual includes covering the crown in a mold of clay and then carefully removing it. A long ceremony transforms the clay of the mold into an exact replica of the crown down to every detail of inscribing and ornamentation. The copy is inspected to ensure there are no flaws or errors in the replica. So far so good, everything seems to be going perfectly. Shan Val, Dorian, and Quill check and recheck ensuring that everything is in order as they begin the delicate procedure of transferring the souls from the original crown to the replica crown.
The work is long, hard and exacting. The many incantations and arcane gestures involved completely amaze Redbeard and Praxis. Shan Val’s overall direction begins to slowly get more and more sharp tongued and short. He becomes increasingly frustrated with Quill and Dorian’s pace and tells them to pick it up. Quill’s eyes begin to narrow and look resentfully at Shan Val. Dorian’s song of encouragement slowly begins to take on a darker tone. The patches under each man’s eyes slowly begin to darken as exhaustion begins to set in and the frustration mounts. The arguing becomes a bit longer and more intense. Redbeard and Praxis look at each other in worried disbelief. Each counsels calm but it only seems to make things worse.
Then it happens. Shan Val yells at Quill for skipping a passage in the incantation he is reading and Quill slams the book down on the floor in frustration. As the giant tome hits the floor hard, it creates a powerful burst of air that blows the salt and ashes askew. Dorian dives down to try and fix the circle but is too late, a rush of energy explodes from the crown into Quill. Quill’s eyes turn completely black. He kicks Dorian aside and grabs the original crown, placing it on his head. Quill’s face contorts in maniacal laughter. He screams in triumph, “The Power!!! It is Mine! “ Shan Val’s eyes go wide in fear as he says, “Quill, No Wait…” and then is silenced as a black bolt of necrotic energy hurtles out of the crown to smash into Shan Val and knock him down. Dorian struggles to his feet when Quill puts a hand on his forehead surrounding him in black energy. Dorian screams as he is drawn into the crown, his body fading away into black wisps of smoke.
Quill screams triumphantly raising his hands above his head to caress the crown with his hair blowing around his head in a violent tangle. Then suddenly all three of you bolt awake. The horrible nightmare is over but leaves Dorian, Quill, and Shan Val with very unsettling feelings of uncertainty and fear. The dream was so vivid, so real. Dorian remarks that he is left with the same feeling as when he was carrying the crown during the journey yet it is so much more intense now and even more terrible. After comparing notes it is discovered that each had exactly the same dream.
More concerned than ever, Dorian, Quill, and Shan Val work diligently to begin the soul transfer process. In an eerie and familiar way the three go through the ritual each trying hard to be overly patient and careful. At one point Quill knocks a ritual candle over by accident. It hangs in the air for a painfully long moment threatening to land on the floor and ruin the ritual when Dorian’s slender hand snakes out and catches it. Quill and Dorian look at each other for a moment and then slowly exhale as Dorian puts the candle back into position. It takes a long while and there are some unavoidably tense moments but the day seems successful. No one sleeps well that night. Again each is plagued with bad dreams one even more gruesome than the next. But each day passes without a misstep and without any discernible problems to the ritual.
Shan Val examines the replica crown staring at it with his eyes only inches away. “Well?” asks Dorian looking inquisitively. “Are they in there?” Shan Val nods after a time and says, “Most definitely. We have them in the replica. Now to restore their souls to mortal form… and make sure they do not go insane…” Quill interjects, “Yes, I think Spellhold has had its fill of insanity.”
The final procedure is to draw the souls out of the replica crown and sever the connection by destroying the replica thereby forcing those trapped from the demi-plane of shadow back to the prime material plane. Again it goes well with everyone playing their part until the final moment is reached. Shan Val completes an incantation and says, “Now!” and Dorian and Quill simultaneously hit the replica crown with a powerful pulse of sorcery meant to strip all its magic away. The crown shudders and then shatters, a black mist spilling out all over the floor. The mist begins to coalesce into 4 distinct humanoid forms.
The black mist takes shape and becomes 4 male gold elves each wearing a beautiful gleaming set of elven chain mail, wonderfully detailed elven cloaks with intricate designs, and longswords at their sides. They eye you warily and look all about taking in their surroundings and surprisingly remaining very calm. Each of the four stretches and moves around as if waking up from a long slumber. One of them looks down at the crown and the ritual books scattered around, steps forward and bows. Quill and Praxis notice that his eyes never leave you and his body is tensed and ready to spring into action. He speaks in the common tongue, “It appears as though we owe you a debt of thanks, friends. The last thing I remember is a pulse of dark energy from that horrific crown. I do not recognize this place. Tell me, is this some new lair of Mordoch? Are we in Thay?”
Dorian glides forward and gracefully returns the sun elf’s bow. He replies in elven.
He uses diplomacy and employs his words of friendship: 34
“Fear us not sons of Corellon. You are not in Thay and not in Mordoch’s realm. Dorian Bladesinger and fellow Goldenhawks at your service. We are allies and found the crown while slaying trolls in the mountains north of Amn. We are currently on Amn by the coast. We have completed a long ritual to free you from the crown, yet only you appear to be the only ones to destroy it. We can aid and wish to destroy this evil forever. I will answer whatever questions I can, but please tell me, what year do you believe it be to determine how long you have been trapped inside?”
John, does Dorian recognize anything on the Sun Elves to determine from where they hail? Myth Drannor, Silvery Moon, Evereska, Seldarine Forest, Evermeet, etc?
History check of 26.
Everyone sees excitement in Dorian’s eyes at the sight of the Sun Elven Heroes.
Dorian recognizes the designs and patterns of the sun elf cloaks as being from the noble house Starym whose homeland is the fabled island of Evermeet far to the west in the Sea of Swords. You are correct that the Troll lair was in the Giant’s Run Mountains to the north of Amn, near to the small human mining town called Silvertown.
After Dorian steps forward and speaks, a noticeable calm washes over the elves. The lead elf points to Dorian’s shield and to your Goldenhawk banner and nods to the others “So you ride under the standard of Lady Vanamere and Lord Lethion? Their bravery against the hobgoblins of The Red Hand is legendary. May Goldenhawk Tower forever stand against the Goblins of the Witchlight Fens. Tell me Dorian are you sired from Vanamere and Lethion? Your power in The Art is clearly on display by freeing us from The Crown. A son of Vanamere would clearly be so gifted. Ah yes, I can smell the sea. Amn you say. The Sword Coast is far from Thay, that is for certain. As for the year, we were trapped in the Year of The Broken Arrow. I suppose much has happened since we were trapped in The Crown.”
You realize that The Year of the Broken Arrow was some 200 years ago before the Spellplague.
The sun elf smiles, “We are Ar’Tel’Quessir” (elven for ‘People of the Sun’ referring to gold elf or sun elf). “Two hundred years is but a small time for us. I know it is hard for you N’Tel’Quessir (‘Not of the people’ referring to non-elves) to understand. It is troubling to learn of the passing of Vanamere before her time. No doubt she died well and brought honor to the Noble House Evanara. Please forgive me, Dorian, I have not met many A’Tel’Quessir (‘almost people’ referring to half elves). I must apologize for assuming that you were the son of Vanamere. A coupling between Ar’TelQuessir and N’Tel’Quessir is a rare thing. And to see it produce as strong a bond as it did between Vanamere and Lethion is even more rare.” Quill notices a scowl crosses the face of one of the other elves and he gets the felling that the elf is trying to hide a strong feeling of disgust at the other sun elf’s words.
The lead sun elf turns to face the original Crown of Fallen Heroes still sitting on the floor in its protective circle. A steely resolve washes over the elf as he draws his blade. The blade ebbs and hums pulsing with magical power. It almost seems excited, anticipating what is to come. The elf narrows his eyes, “Yes. Let us finish this. Once and for all.”
The sun elves are well trained in the ways of magic and help with the rest of the ritual. After interacting with them and watching them Quill and Dorian would guess that all 4 have studied both magic and swordplay extensively. Many hours later after reading from ancient ritual tomes and inscribing the correct sigils to complete the ritual, each of the four elves takes up positions surrounding the Crown. The first elf draws his blade and in elvish says, “With Fire…” and his sword is wreathed in orange flames. The next elf draws his blade and says in elvish, “With Air…” and his sword begins to crackle with lightning. The third elf draws his blade and says in elvish, “With Water…” and his sword begins dripping with green acid. The final elf raises his sword and says in elvish, “With Earth…” and his sword begins to quiver and hum releasing the tell tale snicker of a vorpal weapon. Each elf raises his sword high above their head and the lead elf yells in elvish, “In the Name of House Starym and Tel’ Arnor Arator we smite thee and end Mordoch’s evil for all time. Ele i’ nilindale’ en’ neh usin ent amarth, llie Andatehta en’ gurtha!”
As one the 4 blades swing down in a mighty arc to smash into the crown. There is a bright flash of light and a sharp crack as the crown is split into 4 pieces. Black smoke pours out of the broken Crown. In a violent few seconds, black shadowy shapes pour out of the broken Crown and dissipate into nothingness as the the wails and cries of the thousands of the crown’s victims scream out into the huge cavern of Banemaw’s lair. And then there is silence as the 4 pieces of the Crown crumble into black dust and fade away.
" Ar’Tel’Quessir, a weight has been lifted from me and I thank you. I have been carrying that accursed crown since we slew the troll king that wore it in the mountains. Since then it has plagued my dreams and I am happy to be rid of it’s evil presence.
Now, this realm was recently the lair of Banemaw, the fabled black dragon that took Bane’s heart from his body after the fight between Bane and Torm during the time of troubles. Since then he has been striving to bring Bane back with the help of Fzoul Chembryl. He created a process that was stealing the art from local wizards and distilling it into a magical essence to resurrect Bane. In a land where the art is illegal, we infiltrated the city, found the location of their secret prison, gained control of a skyship and proceeded to free and restore the wizards that were still alive. We slew many Banites and Cowled wizards, Banemaw and the heart of Bane itself. We dispatched Fzoul as well, but alas it was a clone. Banite scum. All bodies, as well as the scepter of the chosen tyrant have been dissolved in Banemaw’s acidic blood. Thanks to him, we cleansed this place of all evil. Magic will flourish in this realm unheaded and just rulers will come to the throne. Good is victorious this day.
But let me introduce to my comrades. This is Sir Praxis, knight Templar of Torm, Quill, Shan Val and this little father is Redbeard. Be careful, he is very dangerous over short distances.
And now, for some unpleasant news.
You say you hail from Evermeet and long to return home, but alas during the spellplague all portals and contact has vanished. No one really knows what happened to the elven isle. I will tell you more if I can and pledge my help in any way. But now let us sit together, sip Evereskan sweet wine, Shan Val’s favorite, and plot our next course."
At the introduction of Redbeard, Quill notices the same elf who seemed disgusted at the talk of half elves seems to be struggling mightily to contain himself after seeing a dwarf wearing an elven cloak and boots. He tries to put on a calm face but Quill’s passive insight betrays his true feelings of anger and disgust.
The gold elves listen closely to your story and nod in approval at many points seeming to approve the way you have handled yourselves. After your introductions, the lead elf who has been doing all the talking reciprocates. “Yes, where I my manners. Please let me introduce myself. I am Lord Zanros Starym. And this is Oloril Starym, Belmorn Starym, and Norkul Starym.” Quill notes that Norkul is the one who has been having half elf and dwarf problems.
Lord Zanros continues, “That is troubling news indeed regarding Evermeet. Tell me what is this Spellplague of which you speak?”
We can assume there is a lot of back and forth question and answer related to getting the Starym elves up to speed on what has happened these last 200 years. The more they learn about the Spellplague and the details surrounding Evermeet’s lack of contact, the more concerned they seem to get.
Lord Zanros takes Dorian up on his offer to travel with the party to Westgate via the Golden Hawk airship. Their plan is to travel on from Westgate to Myth Drannor. They cannot believe it has been restored. When last they walked the realms it was an evil, demon infested place. They wish to see it with their own eyes. They hope to get some answers regarding Evermeet in Myth Drannor once back amongst their own kind. They are also quite interested in the skyship. The magical flying ship intrigues them.