The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)
Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan
Our session began on the 12th of Fireseek, 1151 I.C.
When we left our heroes, Kasumi had been paralyzed by a Gelatinous Slime, which was poised to engulf her. However, as the following round unfolded, Cortana trapped the slime with a Create Spiked Pit spell, while Zeshyn saved Kasumi from falling in on top of it. The slime was then slain by a Fireball.
When the group finally arrived at the juncture of roads where the Chapterhouse was known to have stood, their attempt to lift the manhole cover resulted in a cascade of dust pouring down into the sewer, choking Zeshyn & Kirigaya. Cortana finally used a Hydraulic Torrent to blast the cover free. Searching among the bits of stone nearby, they soon found a massive stone block guarding a stairway deeper into the earth.
After descending five sets of stairs leading downwards, the party encountered a djinn named Mahood, who told them that he guarded the entrance to the Hall of Challenges. After revealing that the gauntlet was not specific as to the number of participants, and also realizing that his contract to guard the entryway was technically long fulfilled, he departed. The portal leading to the first challenge was guarded by a scything blade trap, which Zeshyn found the hard way. Once beyond said portal, the first challenge consisted of combat, where the party faced an equal number of elk-headed warriors whose wounds regenerated. Eventually the party beat them into submission and used coup de grace to eliminate them.
The second challenge, behind a door guarded by lightning, proved to be a huge Cryosphinx, who faced with a far larger entourage than expected, informed the party that instead of just one riddle, they would face three to pass by his lair unmolested. His riddles consisted of the following:
What tastes better than it smells?
Answer: A tongue!
When you need me you throw me away. When you don’t need me you bring me back. What am I?
Answer: An anchor. (a hero point was spent for a hint on this question)
If you throw me out a window, you’ll leave a grieving wife. Bring me back, but through the door, and give someone a new life. What am I?
Answer: The letter N. (Remove the letter “n” from “window” and you get “widow.” Put the “n” in the word “door” and you get “donor.”) (a hero point was also spent for a hint on this question, but eventually the party just attacked the cryosphinx and slew it).
The next challenge was behind a portal trapped with cold, and consisted of a 1" high door set beneath a cupola where a strange, frigid black liquid slowly filled a silver bowl. After playing with the fluid for awhile, Kirigaya finally tried drinking some, and eventually shrank small enough to pass through the door, shortly followed by the rest of the group. In the chamber beyond the tiny door, they found the remains of the Society’s library, which had largely been destroyed by time and bookworms, though a scroll of Twilight Knife had survived, as had a copy of the Esoterica Ebonwand. The guardian of the book, Mehe, called out to Cortana telepathically, initially mistaking her for an eredar, but being positively delighted to learn she was in fact an uncorrupted draeni.
As had been arranged, the party then summoned Khelben, who took them to his tower on Toril. On learning that the book had an affinity for Cortana, he quickly ushered the group back to Tenser’s abode, officially banning Cortana from returning to his tower for so long as he held the Esoterica.
After further consultation with Tenser, it was determined that the only possible expert on the Society that Tenser was aware of would possibly be a mage by the name of Arcadar DeMaltos, the head of the Imperial College of the Arcane in Shatura, in the Sunelan Empire. It was also learned that the party as a whole, though Cortana more strongly, was now attuned somehow to the Esoterica books, such that the books themselves could not hide themselves from the party (though those who might be in possession of said books could do so if such were within their power).
As we ended for the evening, the group was preparing to be Teleported to Shatura, with a crystal that would permit them to be brought back to Tenser’s tower when they were finished there. It is the 14th of Fireseek, 1151 I.C.