Ravens Bluff, The Living City

Seeds of Discontent
LC 3-71, War XI

After an announcement in the Trumpeter that among other mishaps of war, the famed knight and guard captain, Sir Warhawk Starsun, had been captured, the Midnight Menagerie was summoned by Lady Mayor Amber Lynn Theoden. Our task would be to rescue him and restore him to his rightful position as the Guard Captian of the Night Watch, as well as a leading light in the Knights of the Griffon and the Phoenix.

First information led us to believe that Sir Warhawk had been captured by a debased organisation, calling themselves the Order of the Black Phoenix, led by a fallen knight of the Phoenix and member of the faith of Lathander, Lord Nivek Sopel. Rumours have it that he has become a death knight, although he is thought to have been destroyed.

On our way to the Temple of Lathander for further information, we come across a great dragon attacking the citizens of Raven’s Bluff in the streets. After dispatching it, it is noted that it bears a medallion with an embossed citadel around it’s neck. In the Temple, we learn Sir Warhawk was kidnapped while performing guard duty, quite possibly by a dark brotherhood operating out of the “What Ales You” tavern in Crow’s End. The leaders of this group are a monk and a rogue, and they have been recruiting.

The tavern is a feral place, with oily light and people ranging from down-and-out to proper perverse. It’s a crowded place, and inevitably Omegasun finds himself flirted with by a wench called Trista. Although she was more attractive than one might have expected to find in a place like that, he declines her offers of hospitality with some effort. [We later learn this was a very good thing, as she was actually trying to enchant him, and use him against us had she succeeded.] We learn that the citadel on the dragon’s medallion is like the same as the mansion where Lord Nivek Sorel’s organisation has it’s hideout – a formerly grand place, not too far outside the city walls.

We set out in force to the mansion, although moving carefully. The place seems utterly deserted, although we encounter a mongrelman who claims to be the abandoned butler of Lord Nivek. We set him free and heal him, and learn that Sir Warhawk has likely been dragged to a sacrificial alter underneath the temple of Lathander, the tunnels to which start in this mansion.

The fight in the ritual rooms is fairly frenetic, since the cult is there in great force, but we prevail and free Sir Warhawk Starsun, who seems not much worse for the wear – much as one might expect of a Mystran knight of great experience and grace. We deliver him back to the city that sticks to the light, and decided to go find a more pleasant tavern to have an ale.

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The Orcslayer Scroll
LC 3-70 (War #10)

Players Present: Mok, Bela, Rowan
Players Absent: None
Players Missing: Talon

Our group is hired by Zarrack a cleric of Tempus, to guard the first Caravan leaving the city to the north in months. The war has shifted to the south of the city and while this is going on, some dignitaries and other people are slipping out while the getting is good. Additionally the clerics of Tempus advised of having found some lost information on a metal called Blood Metal that is damaging to demi humans and humanoids. The information was on a scroll from deep in Sarbreen, and as it turns out another group of adventurers found the scroll, and on their way back to the city were ambushed and it was taken. The scroll is believed to be on the caravan, however since the people are dignitaries and representatives of other nations, they can not be searched without just cause, so the group is there to protect them, and to see if they can find what happened to the item.

The dignitaries are as follows:

Porter Hillburrow, a halfling returning to Sembia, and sent to ask Sembia for aid in the war.

Mestaphanis, a wizard going to Waterdeep to meet with Khelben Arunsun and to seek aid for the city.

John and Estelle Pranulis, a family who lost their 3 daughters in the first week of the war, and they want to remove themselves from the pain of remembrance, returning to their homeland in Cormyr.

Atul, a minor prince of Calimshan, he has a couple of servants, and he wants to return home, he was trapped here on a tour of northern realms trying to strengthen ties when the war started.

Tishen Enterprises -

Josten Tishen – Elder Son
Selven Tishen – Younger Son
Tellack – Business Advisor.

They have several goods from their time in the city and they are returning back home to Amn to make a profit, and see if they can help the city in any way.

The first day – There is not much that happens other than the party makes some small talk to try to get the ball rolling on the Orcslayer Scroll. Well that would be a partial lie, the druid turns into a dinosaur and scares the horses causing a stampede and a broken wagon that needs repaired. In the evening it starts to rain and the group makes camp. The rain stops, and camp continues normally. Rowan notices that the wizard has a wig and a tattooed head underneath it, and the halfling sneaks back in while Mok was on watch, he went to smoke a pipe just out of range of the light of the camp, and to look at the stars, but was not as stealthy when he came back.

The next morning while getting ready to leave, a small group of ogres finds the group, but they are easily dispatched. As the group travels there is another group of ogres that attack. These are dispatched as well, except that an archer attacks from the other side killing Josten. A silver arrowhead is left behind, and the group remembers that that is a symbol of the person who attacked the original orcslayer scroll group. The party does not follow the tracks of the people that got away. They continue onward. Next they find a note that implicates the halfling with the thief that stole the original scroll. The group stops the caravan, and investigates, talks to him, and he denies all involvement, allowing his entire wagon to be searched with nothing unusual found.

Then the group continues hearing moaning from the high grasses, expecting an ambush they continue on and hand the caravan off to the Tantras guards that pick up the Caravan for the second half of the journey, everyone made it except for Josten.

OOC: There was a lair to find of the thief, and Tellack had Josten killed and had the Orcslayer scroll. Josten was killed because the younger son will be more manageable. The group being so small they felt they couldn’t go investigate things, and so things were missed, still the main goal of keeping the Caravan safe did happen.

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The Longest Night
LC 3-69 (War #9)

The usual suspects get hijacked to meet up at Castle Ironguard, where Belanor Femarel and Lord Blacktree explains there’s trouble at Sarbreenar (a village on the road south towards High Haspur, and Procampur beyond). From what is understood, the village is used as a marshalling point for enemy troups, with a supply depot in the neighbouring hills to support it. Our goals would be to disrupt this, look for a mage who has been keeping track of army movements with a Crystal Ball in Sarbreenar, and keep an eye out for former inhabitants of the village, now likely prisoners of the enemy.

This plan is … reinforced by some special training with the Church of Tempus, who put us through the works. After a tenday, we are all sore, mud-covered and down to the intelligence of your average bugbear, but we’re now officially proper special forces material by Tempite standards. Weaponmaster DaeMonde Vochette officially said so.

We gather to get dropped off by giant eagles (which is a nice touch – wouldn’t mind getting to know those a bit better). None of the shoddy magic items they’ve handed us malfunction, thank Mystra (although I suspect she’d have something to say about the mediocre workmanship!), and we air-drop in near the enemy encampment. Lots of ogres and some large tents, presumably containing the supplies. This is where our vaunted professionalism takes a step back, and the training we received from the Tempites comes in, since we supplement scouting with kicking the door in – loudly.

Suffice to say, it wasn’t smooth, but we made it. They had some invisible, flying support from ogre mages, who almost managed to take out Mok with twin Cones of Cold. I am eternally thankful that he’s not only mighty in his use of the Weave, but also as tough a wizard as one could wish for by your side.

Those two ogre mages manage to escape, my best efforts notwithstanding (it’s not easy to track in the sky, even if you’re flying and able to see invisible people), so we prepare to tackle Sarbreenar. Hopefully, there won’t be too much in the way of reinforcements there, after the amateuristic way we handled the supply depot. Seriously – next time, we don’t sink to the level of our opposition.

Sarbreenar was a nice little town. Was, mind you – right now, it has gaping holes in the walls even those ogres could slip through, and several ruined buildings. Always pains me to see the cost of war borne by those who never had a say in it’s execution.

Anyway, we scout about, find the building the enemy mage is likely in, and prepare a distracting attack while I go for him with fire in my eyes and stars in my hand. It proves somewhat futile, since he’d fled already, but we route them otherwise and look for our options. After a short deliberation, we settle upon trying to rescue the missing villagers, who are likely holed up in the mountains nearby. It’s tempting to go chase the wizard, but the chance of catching one that doesn’t want to be found is very small, and it would mean countenancing letting the victims of this war starve in the harsh weather.

The rescue operation goes fairly smooth, making good use of Teleport and some bags of holding to bring them initial supplies from Raven’s Bluff. In the end, they are too afraid to go back to life on the front lines, and we escort them to Procampur, where we provide for their initial wellbeing. We cannot protect them there eternally, but we can do our share to give them a chance to protect themselves. Goodness knows they never chose to be in this situation.

Well, Operation Ogre Grace was a grand success at the end of the day. I sure hope we learned something from it, since I can think of a Plan B to make things go a bit smoother next time.

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Renegades!
LC 3-68 (War#8)

Lord Chancellor Arvin Kothonos requests your presence to save some people from some renegades that are hold up in Goldspire. It was an old mining hole the dwarves tried to use it lately but with a purple wurm set up there and the yield for gold so low they left it. We were told that there is a back entrance but we will have to go into the underdark. We were given a few things to help us a mystra vile of oil incase we are blocked by magic, a map, and a bag of waterstars since the underdark likes gems more than gold.

We started toward the entrance to the underdark that is close to the gold spire mines. On the way we saw a burnt out farm house. We thought we saw someone by it, so we decided to take a look and we found a trap door. We found Kyree, Tyra, and Becca hiding there. Their father was killed by some people who looked somewhat like us. But we talked to them and they knew Sir Dresden and the kids wanted to ride his griffin. So we talked them into moving to Procamper and they said yes. So Mok teleported them there and made sure they were all set up.

We finally got to Rifs place, where we think we can find a guide to the mines. While we are looking for a guide Sir Dresden flirts with a female Drow named Mira and they set up a date. We then meet Brother Evan and he wants to sell us a sword and we buy it, but no one touches it and we put it in a magical sack. We finally find a guide his name is Dent and he is an undead person. Who will guide us if we get rid of his curse. He leads us to the mines and we remove his curse and he dies right there. So we enter the mines and we hear breathing then Mok sneaks up to go look and comes back with a goblin name Grink. We talk him into leading us to where the ugly people are and he helps us avoid some traps. Mok again sneaks up and finds the renegades and blows them all up. We find a door with some old dwarf runes all over it. We are about to use the vile of oil but Mok figures out the puzzle. We find the people we are supposed to save. Kellen Dirk – A half-orc swordsmith of great strength and some fighting skill, Anders Merton – Ostensibly a trader in spices from Sembia, Beryl Greenmoor – A half-elven wizard, and Ravian Gaunteler – A mercenary captain.

We get them back to Ravensbluff. We hire some of the people who we saved but the mercenary walks away and Beryl becomes Mok’s apprentice. Best of all Grink becomes our butler. We discovered that the sword we bought was cursed, containing the soul of a medusa, and had to destroy it.

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Housecleaning II-2
LC3-66-2

We pick back up after a week off, due to a sick DM

The group having slain the white dragon, they move through time once again. This time they are 55 years in the past where the first halflings came ashore and having survived some horrible storm, they decide to make a temple to Tymora and set up shop here. The groups job is to make sure that still happens.

When they appear they see a ship off in the water under a big storm. The ship is being tossed and turned and amazingly holds until a giant shell comes up underneath it. A dragon turtle has sank the ship. The halflings run (swim) for their lives and the group jumps into help them. Talon has a great day and scares the Dragon Turtle away. But this leaves the storm, no one quite realized the storm was alive, and was some elemental storm. The group eventually dissipates the storm and the halflings still choose to set up shop.

Next time shifts and the group finds themselves in the midst of the champion games. Lady Lauren Devillars is supposed to give her favor to Captain Charles Oliver O’kane, but she is supporting someone named Morganchild. Well through the groups help, they figure out that Devillars is under a spell, and they break the spell, and get her to return her favor to O’kane, finding out that Morganchild is a Rakshasa and is an ally of the Cult of the Dragon and does not belong in this time. Everything is right, and the group returns home. Time is fixed, but of this draws the Red wizard back to normal time as well.

A battle ensues with some summoned abyssal creatures and the red wizard, who does that thing that wizard’s do, and teleports away.

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Whistling in the Dark
Living City at War VII LC3-67

[Present: Ellie, Talon, Rowan, Sir Dresden, Bela. Joe was our Gm, due to illness from Andrew.]

Some people will believe anything. Worse yet, some people know this and abuse that faith. And then there’s the bastards that use the Art to force others to do their wiles. Damn if I won’t go for their juggular. Next time, though, I may need to make sure the backup’s in place before jumping into the frying pan.

Anyway, better start at the beginning.

The lot of usual suspects (i.e., the Menagerie), minus Mighty Mok who was indisposed with the Guild, got called over to the Lord Chancellor’s office, where Lord Arvin Kothonos handed us a job seconded with the local Tempites. Seems a scouting party had come upon the plans to a magical catapult that could do some serious harm to the city walls, and we’d have only a few days to stop it from reaching operational parameters. Off we go, tromping to the Temple District, where the Tempites had their headquarters this time around. No, I don’t get it, either, how they keep moving it around.

On our way to the Tempite HQ we ran into a rabble rouser, trying to convince the local population that the war was still going on, solely because the Tempites weren’t suicidal enough to fight without the rest of us by their sides. Couldn’t make it up, but a fair few of the poor schmucks actually lapped it up, as a cat to cream. Aren’t they supposed to actually understand sensible tactics as a mandate of their God? We take a look at some leaflefts, argue a bit with the people, and get the crowd dispersed. That seemed too easy, and it was.

Next station, the Temple. We get our briefing at will be leaving in the early morning. We will stay with the company there, and some of that nonsense in the market square has spilled over among the various acolytes. Not a whole we can do, since we’re guests. We retire for the night.

In the morn, we set off for the estimated location of that contraption. It’s going to take a few days’ travel to get there, so we make good speed on our horses. A few hours outside of Raven’s Bluff, we run into the Prelate Julio of the Tempite HQ with a full crew of brand new acolytes. Blistering idiots had set out overnight to seek glory and redemption. They are with Tempus now, presumably, but I think he’ll have some words to say to them about abandoning your post during a war. Still, Stirges are a nasty way to go, even if it didn’t take us all that long to get rid of them.

We work our way around some random battle we didn’t need to get entangled in and make camp before the final push to the catapult’s location. Rockcrusher (Rowan’s tame megafauna) woke the lot of us up at night because there was a strange noise at night. Good thing, too, since we had someone launching Greek Fire on our location, by the barrel. That wasn’t a lot of fun, even if I saves on waxing, I figure.

Anyway, I’m the first out of the fire, and run smack into a group of invisible or hidden thugs, who try and do to me what I tend to prefer to do to them, first. Fair’s fair, they gave it the old college try, but they were’t all that good. They have this well planned, though, and a small squad of mages start to take pot shots us, pinning us down as we deal with the swarming vermin. This is where things get ugly, since we notice an actual priest of Cyric in the background, trying to zap us into unlife with the black arts. Fuck that, and I tell him so. That was, in hindsight, perhaps not my smartest quip, and a chaos knight comes over to knock me straight into the turf, teethering on the edge of consciousness. I manage to get off an Invisibility spell, thanks be to Mystra, but the bastard takes a wild stab at where he thinks I am and smacks me straight into darkness.

Well, it’s good to have friends, tried and true, and Ellie by this point is laying down the glorious heals as she is wont to. Gods, I love her dedication to the Arts. Her ways aren’t mine, but I owe her my life and I don’t forget stuff like that. I come to, still shrouded by my spell, and take a moment to patch myself up a bit before laying into the black knight with the Fires at Midnight. Get a good hit in, but the bulk of the fight’s being handled by then by Rowan, Sir Dresden and Talon Frostbreath (our newest recruit, and a pretty damn impressive draconic sorceror). it wasn’t a fight I shone in, but there’s days you just need to accept that the team is what matters, and I am grateful for mine. We mop up, and prepare to prioceed with the actual job at hand.

This is where I get my once-a-day smart idea, and I check around for stray magic. Damn if the pamphlets we found in the city weren’t enchanted. Bloody Church of Cyric was undermining us from the inside, and they got close to getting the job done, too. Still cost us Prelate Julio and some recruits, but it could have been so much worse. Also explains how they managed to find our camp and land the sticky stuff right on our noggins.

Well, all’s well that ends well. We stopped the worst of it and the Bluff is safe for another week or so. Hell if I won’t play Catch! with the next Cyrikite, though.

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Housecleaning II
lc-3-66

players present: Dresden, Bella, Mok, Ellie, Talon

Cerephane had a 50% off sale but we are broke and could not par take in it.

We were summoned buy Lorian to fix 4 points in time. Ellminster has given us rules to follow and mice in a cage that will open the portals in time for us. We must fix the Forming of the Clan of Brightsword, Peace between Clan Brightsword and the Elves of Highbank Forest, Wreckage of the Windfinder and the Champion Games. Also as we travel through time we must get four tokens to put on the mice to get from place and time as needed.They are pennant from the dwarven chief of Clan Gemsplitter, the quill used to sign the peace accord, Sand where the first survivor reached the beach, and a link from O’Kane’s chainmail or if he is not wearing chain mail then a thread from the favor given him by Lady DeVillars. Scroll found near the ritual engraving in Lady Caroline’s home, read with a read magic spell.

So Lorian opened the first portal to the forming of the clan. When we set foot though the portal we were meet with a shadow dragon. We fought with him for a long time and Dresden died in the battle. After some time of battle the dragon left the fight and Ellie prayed to the gods and used her powerful staff to resurrect Dresden. We finally found the dwarves and they where breaking camp and complaining about the Clan Waraxe not staying and fighting. Rowan told Hundrel that it was not right to help fight with his dwarven brother. So Hundrel chanllenged Rowan to a duel. Rowan won “although he almost died” Mok gave Hundrel’s sword to the chief of Gemsplitter and in turn he formed clan brightsword. he also gave us a pennant. So we placed it on a mouse and off we went to the next point in time.

When we stepped through we were met by a band of elves who told us to follow them to the Peace accord. Once there, a few elves went off to find a some missing elves. The peace accord should go off with out a problem both sides want it to happen, but to make sure it does, Bella had the leaders share in some salt making them friendly towards each other. The first copy was signed and then it hit the fan. An elf appeared behind the leader of brightsword and drove her sword through him then screamed at us to follow the plan.Then elves and dwarves started to fight everywhere. 7 elves came at us and we defended ourselves. In the midst of the fight a white dragon appeared. Mok went off and screamed “NO MORE DRAGONS” and he unleashed his fury on the dragon.In the middle of the fight the elves attacking us turn in to manscorpions. We won the fight but were unable to save the clan leader of brightsword.The elves and dwarves finally listened to us about it being a set up and still signed the peace accord. We got the Quill and are ready to go to the next point in time.

We were also given information the a Red wizerd of Thay and Cult Of The Dragons are working together to undo these points in time.

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Elemental Speaking: Fire's Eye
Fire Mage LC3-65

Player’s Present: Ellie, Dresden, Rowan, Bela, Mok, Talon
Player’s Absent: none

Today our intrepid group of adventurers learns about a city watch barracks being attacked by some type of fire attack. A couple of the group decide to go see what is going on, on their own, when they eventually get hired to do just what they are doing, investigating. The hiring comes from Lord Tordon Sureblade, and Chief Constable Sunriver.

The group begins by talking to a few witnesses and someone that came forward, a friend of the fire mage that performed the attack. Isadora is a friend of Jerendella FIreblade, but when she found out she was going to be taking illegal action against the city, she came forward to tell the city what she knows. Jerendella is from a group that has demanded that the city pass over all laws and governing of elemental magic to them, as they best know how to handle it. Obviously the city has said no, and the group and the city are at odds.

Evidence leads to the town of Mossbridges where Jerendella is to have made haste. The group sets out and there are some things set up to prevent them along the way, there is a magical barrier over the bridge that will not let people pass until they tell a rhyme, which slows the group down until they capitulate. Finally arriving in Mossbridges they go to the only Inn, The Blushing Gynosphinx. The group goes in, produces their writ that they are working for the city, and are told that Jerendella booked room number 3. But when they go up to room number 3, it is empty. Here from a housekeeper they find out that as soon as the room was occupied it was done, and she cleaned it, and threw some papers in the trash. The group recovers the trash, and finds a puzzle leading them back to Tym’s Supple Leather shop back in Raven’s Bluff.

The group heads back, performs their instructions and gets their next clue. This leads them to a library, where they find a book, with a puzzle, which leads them to their next clue. Eventually they figure out that Jerendella has been giving clues the whole time, and they are led back where they started, in the bottom of the building of the watch barracks that had been burned down.

The group fights Jerendella, perhaps the wrong word, Dresden turns over what Jerendella was looking for and she disappears, leaving behind the crux of the problem, a dead Justice Rupert T Hangman, that got a case wrong a long long time ago in another city for which Jerendella was upset. Hangman is dead, and for some reason can not be brought back, in addition to Jerendella getting away due to the group handing her what she wanted.

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Stop the Pack Train
War #6 LC3-64

Players Present: Dresden, Bela, Mok, Rowan, Ellie, Frandor
Players Absent: None

Today our heroes get invited to go to the Acting Lord Mayor’s office. Upon arrival, as expected with a war on, the Mayor is busy. We also find out that a new Mayor has been elected. Lady Amber Lynn Theoden. Well with her busy, we meet a man named Gilhaven, a clerk who gives us a map and information about taking off to the Inn of the Wandering Bear to stop a caravan from bringing Greek Fire into the city. The Mayor won’t be available for some time, so with a good map and all the information, the party sets off.

Three days away they say the journey shall take, on horseback. So we camp for the first night, and we meet a dryad. The party lets her camp with them, and they find out she has a son in Raven’s Bluff in the Wizard’s Guild. He’s not fey enough to be considered anything but human who he decided to make magic his life. They want his name unknown so that he is not ridiculed in any way.

A couple more days out and they find the Inn. There is a bard and 2 others that are staying there. The bard is Erithitel and travels, and sings songs. Does not have any special information. The Merchant is named Quith and he deals in silver, and cloths, mostly silk. The other man is with him, who was wronged in Sembia, and doesn’t talk much. Quith also venerated Ilmater and is taking the time to try to help the other man heal from his mental wounds. Quith did spot this other caravan out of the road, but as he is only, just collecting money owed to him, he avoided the other caravan. There was also some Red Wizard of Thay with a letter of introduction from Belanor but what his purpose is no one is sure. He left the day before to look for this caravan.

Overnight to the group is attacked (Well the Inn, specifically the stables) by a pack of werewolves. Several party members are bitten, much to the chastisement of Mok, and we find out through Augury that Dresden is infected and has 3 days before turning into an evil werewolf. Mok Teleports him back and uses a favor from the Temple of Selune to get him cured. They port back and set off looking for this caravan.

There is a minor encounter with a Land Shark and other than the initial pounce, the party puts it down rather quickly. Then they meet a Satyr who swaps information with the group. This leads the group to the caravan, whom the party insists that they must search, causing a disturbance between the caravan and the group. The group decides that they have the right to search the caravan, and the caravan master lodges a formal protest. No greek fire is found, and the only thing of note is the dead bodies of caravan guards who there was signs of a battle with orcs.

The group decides to escort the caravan back since there are no other caravans in the area. Finally, in what must have been a trap, a group of bandits appear with crossbows and the like, and want the caravan for themselves. They must have wanted the money to finance something and the group fights back with fireballs and flamestrikes decimating half the enemy before they can get in range.

The caravan is escorted safely to the city, with goods that are specifically earmarked for Lord Blacktree. Somewhere the lines of communication got lost, or there is still a mole in the city. The party is thanked for another job well done.

OOC: The red wizard might come into play soon. And this was an adventure to see if the party treated people properly, when no one was looking, which they were expected to do so.

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Ascension Continued
LC3-63-2

Players Present : Rowan, Mok, Ellie, Dresden, Bela Frandor
Players Absent: None

So the Efreeti lord teleports the group within 50 feet of the Armor of Bane The group appears outside the south gate. The city is under attack and the gates are broken. The city defenders are being pushed back by a couple of lightning giants, a Blue Dragon, and Thunderhips as well as a platoon of Bugbears and Lizardmen.

The front lightning giant is wounded pretty badly, and the city was trying to hold, but it went poorly. The group starts attacking from behind, taking down a lot of the bugbears and lizardmen. But the giants and Thunderhips and his ride are doing a lot of damage. Finally the group takes down one lightning giant, and Mok was invisible flies at Thunderhips knocking him off of the dragon. Falling down to the ground, they now have a target they can attack. Yet most can not, he has a spell which does not allow people to approach him. After much ranged fighting, the group kills thunderhips. The jewel is pressed to the armor, and it s destroyed. Magic can flow about the city again, people can teleport. Although the south gate is still detroyed and the south gate has become a magic dead area, and the cloud of dust that went up, fell upon almost all in the city, and now magic items can not be crafted by those in the city. An avatar of Mystra appeared for maybe all of 5 seconds, thanked the party for destroying that abomination of magic, and went on her way.

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