Through a mirror, darkly
The un-ending patrol
Later that evening, everyone is gathered around in the apartments to catch a glimpse of the Ghost. As predicted, upon the witching-hour, the ghost appears amidst the tombstones. Calidore, brandishing the Signet Ring his father gave him, addresses the Ghost.
The Ghost reveals that he is indeed the Knight Sir Durein, founding Knight of the Black Rose. That secret order of knights sworn to protect the High King, and heirs to the High King’s Armor.
He tells you that his spirit is trapped in the Shadowfell and that the Witching Hour is the only time of freedom that he has. He has spent an eternity calling out to Heroes and Kin in this place, but none save you, Calidore, have responded to his call. His tomb is being used as a portal to the Shadowfell, the spiritual energy he possesses powers the gate for them.
He asks that you save him from this fate. To that end, he gives you the Gate’s Keyword – it is the only word he hears, “Ha’Kitnu” in hopes that it helps. As he does so, however, the image of his spirit shakes and weakens… “They enter the tooooomb… and begin the ritual… stop them! The way is open to you, Heir, save me… nooooooo…” and with that, his spirit disappears.
The party moves quickly into the tomb, noting its age and decrepit state. They move past three main burial areas and a collapsed corridor, before coming to a downward staircase. At the bottom, they can hear voices. They move quietly down the stairs (for certain measures of quietly) and once at the bottom, they can see the glow of a magic ritual. Na’Yumi can tell it is the ritual to open a portal to the Shadowfell. Quickly the party intercepts, only to be met with resistance from Hobgoblins and Shadar-Kai. The hobgoblins form up defensive positions, while the shad Shadar-Kai weave a dance of death amidst the party darting in and out of shadows.
Before the fight ends, however, the ritualist reveals himself. Anae recognizes him as David McCovney, one of her former classmates in the priesthood! He recognizes her too, and mocks her: “Anae!? HA! You fool of a girl! I’m already a verse ahead of you! I’ll complete BOTH our prophesies and gain the greater honor! HAHAHahahahaha!!!” he shakes the two scroll cases at her and he steps into the portal.
After finishing the last Hobgoblin, the party quickly follows David through the portal.
This isn’t Kansas… it’s not even strawberry fields…
The party reappears in a small bedroom – likely a guest room. There is a wall-length mirror on one side of the room, which they have just stepped through. The room is well-kept. Too well-kept. Everything is put away and in its place. The furnishings are old, very, very old. After a bit of exploring adjacent rooms, the party concludes that this building they’re in is none other than the Durein Estate!!
Looking out into the city, they see that indeed they are in Durein… but it is void, empty, and over-urbanized. They quickly add the situation up, and realize that the Knight must be kept in his tomb below this estate in the Shadowfell. They move to enter the tomb, but are quickly countered by a swamp of “Necromantic Seepage…” A truly vile substance, that will kill even a paragon-level character. Needless to say, they search for another way in.
Calidore remembers that when he was in the Library, there was a record of a sewage project being started in this area, and then stopped due to zombie infestation. Since it is likely that this over-urbanized pale copy of the real world has the completed copy of the sewer, they go in search of it.
As they get ready to leave the gates, they are confronted by a street full of dead bodies, which jerks Anae’s memory. As a healer, she knows what killed these men – she did. The bodies in the street are the bodies of Blacklake’s men who ambushed them earlier. Carefully, the party moves past them, until Na’Yumi sees one of the bodies twitch, and attacks it with magic!
The only response to her magic is that all the shutters and doors on the street slam close instantly.
That freaks the party out enough that they go running for the nearest sewer entrance. Only after they spend a few seconds in the dark of the sewer, does Na’Yumi cast her light spell. In the dim glow of the wizard’s staff, they try to make heads/tails of the map Calidore “brought” with him. They decide to go left.
As they travel down the sewers, they can see a small bit of light ahead. Wyk pokes his head around the corner and sees the lone Shadar-Kai from the previous engagement standing guard at an Iron-wrought door in the wall of the sewer. A darkness passes quickly over him, and he screams (which everyone hears) and as the darkness moves away, there is a thick red paste all over the door and walls of the sewer.
The darkness passes briefly back over the doorway, as if patrolling the area.
The party carefully moves forward… only to hear “Join us” in a harsh whisper behind them! They are in a fight against multiple shadow creatures! In the middle of the fight, Wyk moves back to get a better hiding spot, and is suddenly grabbed and pulled back into the darkness! He struggles and manages to get free, but not before taking massive damage.
Through good teamwork, the party is once again able to put the big beastie down… but not before Identifying it as one of Niawynne’s Guardians.
Tired, worn, and beat, one can only wonder what awaits the party behind the blood-stained Iron-wrought door in the sewers under the Shadowfell.