Midnight Promenade- Jacob “sold” his ‘golden ticket’ to dance with Lady Astasia to Etien Aubrecht for a ‘favor to be named later” actually the next day he said.
The party agreed to help Brother Tyran the next day by travelling with him to the isle of Ielmiran ( Guardian in high elven) on the Gray Gull to help the Order of the Paragon Rose( sect of Vanshar-worshipping monks who believe in seeking self perfection) with some deciphering of runes and ancient elven writings.
Next day Etien’s surprise comes to fruition as the Redhurst Acadamy of the Arcane shows up on the doorstep of Winecrest with much fanfair and magical showmanship. The group is invited to the evening’s special performance of “Daerlian and the Dracolich” at the theater in the masive campus of Redhurst and are given a free two night’s lodging at the Acadmey’s Ram’s Head Inn. But unfortunately, they must be leaving to help the good brother Tyran. Along the way, they find a disheveled and quite pungent Sam standing dazed in front of a local tavern.
Clea, kethra’s daughter, insists on joining the ACADEMY and Kethra couldn’t really say no ,but she warned Etien to take care of her daughter “or else”. He agreed to give her the protection afforded to all students ,but first would be the cost of the entrance exam and of course passing it. The former was no problem…in a week’s time Clea would find out the latter.
Trip on the Gray Gull interesting of course. Jacob and Damryn saved a sailor named Rolff who offered them his family’s “good luck” charm in thanks. It turned out to be indeed magical ,but what effects were not known.
About 6-7 hours out from the island on the 2nd day, a lone row boat and single sailor was brought aboard. It was Brother Herod who was apparently sick enough of the ways of the Order to make his way out onto the open seas to find a merchant vessel. However, Brother Tyran was quite taken aback by his fellow monk’s sudden change of heart( he had been a devout follower under an oath of silence for the last 3 years). Anyway, after he presented the Gray Gull’s captain with a diamond the size of his palm with a stylized purple E in it’s center in high elven script, suspicions started to mount. He wanted the captain to turn the ship around and take him back to the nearest port( Winecrest). The captain had a hard time saying no, so the Damryn and Nimbles made it easy on him. The little sorcerer charmed the captain into handing him the gem and took off for the hold. Herod gave chase and grabbed the sorcerer offering to send him overboard if he did not return to him the gem. Then the paladin stepped in to protect his ally and an argument ensued which ended when Herod’s rage got to a point that his voice actually changed and his eyes turned black. He appeared to be possessed and was more than willing to kill the knight and his companions. A quick ,but difficult fight ensued with the inevitable death of Brother Herod( and susbseuent slow decaying and disintigration of his body) and the escape of the possessing entity in small tornado of black smoke hurtling back towards Ielmiran. This led to great fear in the younger monk and of course the group suspected quite a different reception at the isle than they had first counted on…they were on high alert.
Once on the island the group aided an apparent fey creature called a Selchie after she had a particularly nasty encounter with a gaff hook from one of the Gray Gull sailors who dropped them off. The creature was first in the form of a beautiful woman ,but when the group returned to her a sealskin cloak, she took to the water transforming into a beautiful seal and returned moments later with a leather thonged necklace bearing a roughly cut purple stone with a stylized W in it’s center…again in high elven…Sam was indeed intrigued….this isle’s earlier inhabitants could be ancient indeed.
Once on the island itself it became apparent things might be worse than anticipated. A growing storm of lightning and black clouds gathered over the ruins and threatened to engulf the whole sky surrounding the island. The group fought off some white eyed monks who moved like zombies at first ,but retained their martial training. A few of the group noticed a shadowy figure watching them from a distant statue called the Crying Lady ,but concerned with the well being of the monks and urged on by Brother Tyran , the group decided to push on to the Abbey to see what had become of Tyran’s other cloistered friends rather than explore the other mysteries of the island.
At the Abbey all outer rooms were dark and the entrance was open to the night air. Coming into the waiting room of Abbott Ezran’s office, the group encountered more white-eyed monks who fought them to their deaths. Finding a secret door, Sam motioned to the group ,but before they opened it they heard sound coming from the Abbott’s office. They entered carefully only to come face to face with the frightened Abbott Ezran and his right hand man who apparentlty had been held prisoner by their white-eyed brethren. Though at first ready to defend themselves, they calmed down and were quite happy to see their heroes led by their dear Brother Tyran. After proper introductions, the good Abbott told the group that Brother Herod had entered the Abbey with some sort of demonic aid and began to possess and/or destroy each monk. He and his friend had resisted ,but they could not defeat so many of these other worldly beings. Herod’s( or the possessing creature’s)goal seemed to be to destroy the Trifold Gate. It apparently was purported to be a true “portal” to the Celestial Realm of Vanshar and his Seraphim. This gate would be the only way that the god’s minions could come to the monk’s aid. In fact, if the last gate were opened by a devout follower of Vanshar while whispering a prayer of Salvation then it would free the Seraphim to come to their aid. The Ezran asked for the group’s aid and begged those of faith to help in defeating the possessed monks downstairs. If their faith held and luck was on their side, the Abbott thought perhaps the final “lock/gem” could be removed and hope for salvation restored.
The group tightened their belts and steeled their nerves for an assault on the Trifold Gate. The Abbott warned them that the rest of the brethren were down there and they were not of their own faculties. Furthermore, there were disembodied spirit mists( black smoke) and black-eyed monks waiting to stop them as well. If Herod were to return and destroy the gate, then all would be lost. They needed to hurry and open the last gate before it could be permanently destroyed. They opened the secret door and headed down into the darkness…..