Shattered Shield

Of Temples and Catacombs: P3

 

Tristan accompanied Veni Jarrison to the Merchant's and Trader's Union in the Old City. There, city officials read Ren O' the Star's will (Ren was the former master of the Union until he met an "unfortunate" end at the hands of his creditors aloud. The officials inspected each piece and levied the appropriate taxes. Any part that was not in the will was sold at auction to pay for Ren's old debts.

 

"Veni Jarrison, in representation of the Church of Pelor, please step forward!" said the tax official.

 

Veni and Tristan approach the dais. Workers brought out a small chest. Inside a dark skull, made of onyx, gleamed in the late afternoon. They took it back to the temple. A careful examination of the item revealed that it was a foundational relic of Iuz, which, according to a letter they found inside the chest, Ren won in a card game, but suspected it to be an evil artifact and wanted his old friend Garth (former  prelate of the chapel of Pelor) to destroy.

Gregor gave it a good whack with his mace, but the skull did not yield. "Better take it to St. Cuthbert's cathedral; they will know what to do." They took it to the cathedral. The surprised priests of the Cudgel took possession of the skull to find a way to destroy it. Later that night, as Tristan prayed on the altar before going to bed, the doors of the chapel burst open. A pack of zombies, lead by a cloaked figure with a skull-topped staff charged the knight.

"Give us what is ours and we will grant you a swift death knight!" said the intruder. Fighting erupted in the main chapel while a pair of thieves attempted to sneak into the darkened but encountered Gregor and Veni on their way to assist Tristan. The thieves retreated as they were discovered.

The clerics joined the battle against the attackers, destroying the zombies and driving away the humans controlling them.

The next day Balder stopped by the chapel. "You need any help?" he asked at the sight of the broken front doors.

"Sure, hold this," Gregor said.

"So what happened?"

Gregor told him of the attack during the night and of the onyx skull. Balder remembered a similar relic during his adventures in Admundfort. "Aye, some foul priest of Iuz used a thing like that to summon a dark fog that swallowed the city whole! Did ye manage to break it?"

"No, we left in with the Clerics of St. Cuthbert. Hopefully they will now how to undue it."

At that moment, a messenger arrived with a letter for Gregor.

Aespertas had made breakthrough. The heroes hurried to his home. "Welcome back gentlemen. I've unraveled the mysteries of the tome of time, or at least this copy of it. As I suspected, Algernon found a way to peak into the flow of time itself! And with that power he was able to see events in the past and the future. I estimate that he was able to see approximately one-hundred and fifty years in each direction, for want of a better term."

"But what about the dangers of trying to predict the future?" Gregor asked.

"Ah, yes. You see, this little book works in a peculiar way. Those capable of reading it can read about the past with perfect recollection, from their time backwards, however the future reveals itself slowly as they read the book and their actions match those on the pages, which they will as it is the likely outcome of said actions. The second layer of protection is, well trickier. For you see each copy is about a particular individual, one of Algernon's old companions. Only they, and by extension, their descendants can read the book and understand what is in it. And this particular document was written for Anvary Marhauss, a Paladin who accompanied Algernon in his quest to defeat the Tyrant of Vecna a hundred or so years ago."

"And how does that help us find the Horn of Algernon?" Gregor asked.

 "Well, if this is a perfect record of the life of one of Algernon's companions then it should tell us what he knew of the Horn and where to find it. Or at least give us clues to its location."

            With those words, the group set out to contact The Potter, who gave them the book and claimed to be the last descendant of the family Marhauss. They met him at his place later that night. The Potter perused the book. "Gods, I could have stopped it, I had this all along but…" he muttered to himself as he read it. He lifted his gaze from the pages. "I will tell you what I read, but I must know why do you want the information."

"We seek a powerful artifact, known as the Horn of Algernon. We plan to use the Horn to liberate the Shieldlands and drive back the forces of Iuz," Gregor said.

"Tis' true that I do not count the Old One as a friend and despite of what I am today, I am still a patriot. Very well, according to this book my father guarded the remnants of the old Tower of Algernon. It says here that he gave the Horn's mouthpiece to one Duarte. I know not where this Duarte is, but the book also mentions an old family friend by the name of Walpole. That last I heard of him, he served as a Castellan to the Lady of Maraven, in the land Dyvers, if anyone knows where mouthpiece is, it would be him. May Norebo luck illuminate your path."

With those words the party prepared to journey to the Dyvers, the City of Sails.

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