Athnorelthon and Alex left the Temple of Boccob using Shadow Walk and Wind Walk, respectively. They brought Athnorelthon’s followers and his cohort Bill along with them. The group arrived in Norbond in the afternoon. In Norbond, Athnorelthon and Alex haggled with a local barkeep to house the large group of travelers. Athnorelthon then asked his followers to search for a local Ranger who might join their cause. After this, Alex and Athnorelthon headed up to the market. On the way, they ran into a pair of thieves who stole goods and gold from Ariand’s Armors, a local store. They killed one of them, knocked out the other, and subsequently returned the stolen goods to receive a reward. Athnorelthon and Alex then continued on to the market and did some shopping. At the end of the day, Alex used the Sending spell to tell the others in the party about the day’s events.
Laralan and Morak instantaneously traveled to the Forest of Solitude by means of Laralan’s Talisman of Transport Via Plants. The pair set their destination to Willowport, but they first decided to take a pit stop in Khuldas, which was on the way. In the village of Khuldas, Morak decided to have a private conversation with Reverend Andrew – the contents of the conversation have yet to be revealed. They swiftly moved on. As the pair ventured through the forest, they encountered a giant lizard. Laralan ascended into the air and rained plunging arrows on it, while Morak used his Ring of Invisibility to move himself into a tactical position and strike at the lizard’s underbelly. They easily dispatched the enormous lizard and continued to move on, getting rest when needed.
Aust and his ally, Belfalcon teleported to Eolas, a tranquil elven and wood-elven community that is nearby the Castle of Solace. The pair decided to split up: Belfalcon went to check out the Elves of the High Forest, an organization of local Rangers, Barbarians, and a few Druids who patrol the woods for anomalies. Aust went to the Karnguldur, an organization of Elven arcane spellcasters. Aust was formerly banished from the Karnguldur for mischief, so he used Disguise Self and assumed the appearance of a normal High Elf. At the entrance, he met the bouncer to the mage’s guild – his childhood rival, the Gray Elf Aviorn. For Aust to gain entry, he had to duel Aviorn in a special non-lethal magical combat arena that was located in the basement of the building. Essentially, Aust won the duel after he subjected Aviorn to a Contagion spell that blinded him; once Aviorn was blinded, it was easy for Aust to sneak around him and gain the upper hand with spells. Once the duel concluded, all spells in the basement were dismissed – including Aust’s Disguise Self. Aviorn was outraged, as Aust was banished and shouldn’t have come. The elders of the Karnguldur, however, decided to re-admit Aust into the group after seeing a superb duel. Aust then bought some scrolls of Sending, met up with Belfalcon, and prepared to head to the Castle of Solace. Belfalcon learned that a Wyvern was damaging the local forests and harassing travelers, but a human Cleric appeared and volunteered to eliminate the Wyvern.
Athnorelthon and Alex awoke in the local Inn. Athnorelthon interviewed the Ranger that his followers said was interested in joining the cause. To test the Ranger’s abilities, he asked the Ranger to track the largest creatures in the immediate area. The large group, following this man, left the bar and proceeded into a stretch of plains below Norbond. They followed large tracks that the Ranger identified as those of dinosaurs. Keeping a safe distance behind, the party identified two Tyrannosaurus Rex, drinking water by a pond in the field. Using the Deck of Illusions, Athnorelthon created an illusion of a Giant to attract the attention of the two dinosaurs. One dino charged at the illusion, the other (presumably its mate) charged at Athnorelthon’s cohort, Bill. Bill was almost swallowed by the second dino, but he resourcefully threw a bead from Athnorelthon’s Necklace of Fireballs down the throat of the dino, causing massive damage and allowing him to escape its grip. Alex used Divine Power to buff up before charging at the dinos, whacking away at their exposed flesh. On Athnorelthon’s signal, all of his followers charged the two dinos. Because of his inspiring command, those followers who hit dealt more damage then they thought they could originally. At the end of the battle, they lost one follower. Athnorelthon, however, told his followers that as soon as they reached the dwarven city of Fengar, this lost follower would return to them.
Using their methods of fast travel, the large group crossed the Northern Sea into Voron. They encountered a group of harpies, but warded them away safely. The party then rested.
Morak and Laralan continued their journey through the forest. Using creative tactics (such as Air Walk, channeling the darkness spell into arrows and then sneaking around) they bypassed two encounters with Dire Wolves and two Green Dragons and sped their way to the town of Willowport. They entered Willowport by taking a back route that Morak knew (he used to live there, after all). Donning cloaks, they passed the town square. When a group of four guards moved too close to them, Laralan warded them away with a Greater Command spell, making them run. An old man on a bench then changed appearance, revealing himself to be Antnar Xunaste, the Drow Assassin whom Lady Varr sent after Shade.
The trio moved to a secluded location so Xunaste could explain the situation. Xunaste learned that Shade and Duran Shadowblade had set up shop in Willowport not long ago. The pair apparently befriended Leif Gundleson, a local minor noble who amassed a fortune that Morak (illegally) helped him acquire in the past. Gundleson’s manor was now crawling with Farun’s soldiers, and Gundleson had not been sighted in a few days since the pair moved in. Finally, Xunaste concluded, Shadowblade was seen leaving the premises with a large force of Farun’s soldiers about a night ago, and it was not certain as to when they would return. The trio devised a plan to break into Gundleson’s manor: Using Air Walk, the trio would scale the magically warded fence and move onto the roof of the manor. Morak then created a noisy distraction (using a well-placed arrow, rope, and cymbals) as Laralan and Xunaste slipped into the master bedroom adjacent to the third floor balcony. Morak then joined the trio as they stealthily scanned the third and second floors.
Upon descending to the second floor, they discerned that Shade was waiting for them in the Ballroom. Shade taunted them, and then sprung a trap that spewed acid on the party. Luckily, Laralan was quick enough (sensing a trap) to partially ward the party against acid before the trap sprung. Disappointed that the trap didn’t kill them, Shade said that “there’s no fight like an unfair fight” and called for the rest of the guards to aid him. Xunaste and Laralan held the stairs as waves of guards came rushing to the second floor. Morak ran into the ballroom as Shade jumped down to meet him from a chandelier. Morak turned invisible, and Shade readied for Morak to attack. Morak stabbed Shade in the lower hip, dealing a critical amount of damage. Shade retaliated, tripping Morak. He tried to hit him, but then howled in pain as he realized that Morak’s sneak attack had staggered him and slowed him down. Meanwhile, Xunaste used his Cloak of Arachnida to climb into a corner on the stairs so that he could surprise guards that arrived to fight Laralan. Calling upon the power of Ehlonna, Laralan became a fortress, negating most of the damage that any guards who hit him dealt.
After a long battle, the last of the guards were dispatched by Xunaste and Laralan. Laralan rushed into the ballroom to heal Morak and help him finish Shade. Though Shade was skilled in sensing Morak’s moves, Morak was even more skilled at bluffing. Morak pretended to go for Shade’s hips again – Shade anticipated this feint, but he thought that Morak’s real target would be his backside. Moving his body to anticipate this, Shade was vulnerable to Morak’s real target – his upper chest. With a well-dealt blow, Shade was finished. As Shade lay dying, he laughed, spewing blood, as he explained that he would still have his revenge on Morak and the party, as Duran and a contingent of Farun’s soldiers recently left for the border of the Theocracy of Jericho, where Nathan and the Eastern Veiled Alliance forces fled to.
“By now,” Shade cackled, “they’re probably dead. All of them.”
Xunaste, before parting ways, told Morak that he had great skills in the art of stealth. He invited Morak to become an Assassin. Xunaste told him to go the the flower shop in Norbond if he ever sought the path.
Laralan, using his Talisman, brought the pair to Ar’ginth, where they sought General Aramil of the Veiled Alliance. Aramil agreed to cast Soul Trap on Shade, so that he would no longer ever interfere in their grand quest. Laralan then used Sending to try and contact Nathan of the Eastern Veiled Alliance, but there was no response. Morak then asked if someone could be sent to protect his sister and his brother-in-law who lived north of the area; Aramil dispatched a powerful mage to bring them to Ar’ginth. Aramil also agreed to send the pair to Fengar, as he could scry Alex and study the location of the city. The two then rested, as Aramil needed to renew spells to do so.
Aust and Belfalcon learned, before departing Eolas, that the name of the Cleric was Serah. Based on the visual description of people who had seen her, Aust concluded that this was indeed Serah Kyssinder, the older sister of Jane Kyssinder, whose soul was now held by Aramil. The two continued on to the Castle of Solace, (a few hours journey) where they endured four trials: the Trial of the Mind, the Trial of Will, the Trial of Agility, and the Trial of the Body. These trials are very secret in nature, so they cannot be fully detailed.