The Book of Black
Buried deep within the halls of Candlekeep rests a book known as the Ninth Portents. Penned by the one true prophet Alaundo, the Ninth Portents is a chronology of the Realms’ final chapter. Printed upon its last page in neat runic lettering is a lone entry, thought to concern the very fate of all Faerun. In it Alaundo writes:
2163 DR – the Year of Saddened Magicians
When Nightal is almost at a close
There from the gate wall shall descend
A serpent to blow the Horn of Doom
At the graveyard Kingdom of Man
If the Star of Storms is its brightest
When the dulcet ballad is played
Soundest ground shall be torn asunder
The tapestry forever frayed
But if the Raging King has failed
To keep his five retainers true
Come ‘morrow, the blessed sun will rise
And no chaos shall ill ensue
- So sayeth the wise Alaundo
Memories of Silverymoon
Silverymoon, the sparkling Gem of the North: a bustling city of beautiful stone and overshadowing trees; capital of the Silver Marches, and most wealthy city of the North-West, save Waterdeep. The prevailing style of stonework is flowing curves, making the buildings seem more organically grown than erected; balconies and curving stairs sprawl everywhere. Along its streets tall blueleaf trees shade the flagstone sidewalks . From your master’s balcony, Silverymoon looks more akin to a grand series of gardens and forest glades than a stone city; and due to all the dominating plant-life, it reeks less than most human settlements a third its size.
A gentle breeze sweeps the streets of Silverymoon, ever so quite and peacful; a true wonder to behold, thanks to the sound-muting properties of the city’s grand mythal. This incredible magic also prevents Silverymoon from experiencing surprise rainfalls and the brutal freeze of winter. The folk of Silverymoon are known as Silvaren; they take time everyday to lift their harps, pipes, and voices to make beautiful music. Things of beauty here are more than just prized and admired; they are expected. Knowledge too is highly valued, persevered not just within the legendary Vault of Sages, but through the cities continual display of song and dance, and through public readings of ballads, poems and romantic fiction, all throughout the tenday.
While having spent most of your life within its majestic mythal, many marvels of Silverymoon still remain a mystery to you. Your master and mentor, Rivanis Greystone, has kept you under his strict tutelage for over 10 years now, beginning that fateful day you awoke to this world. From the moment he learned of your talents, Rivanis arranged you a home in his private Silverymoon estate. At the time you were quite dishoveled, yet beyond this you still were able to see something about this old man, something reminiscient of home; and left with little other choice, you accompanied Rivanis aboard his Halruaan Skyship ‘Prosper’. At first, soaring high above the Realms seemed all too familiar to you, only until that inevitable realization crept its way to your very seat of forethought: these lands below you were not of your time.
Many years past in Silverymoon, with most of the days spent confined to a desk, head buried in books brought to you by your dauntless master. With his ready access to Silverymoon’s Vault of the Sages, Rivanis helped you slowly begin to understand this world as your own. Strange as it may seems, peering from your study window, this world is now your home, and this world has forever moved on from what is once was.
Your native ability to read and write a dead language proved a great asset to your mentor, as did your already adept knowledge in the Art. However what seemed to be of greater interest to Rivanis was that of your heritage. The enclave you once called home isolated you from your extended family, who for the most part still dwelt in Low Netheril. The shadowy nature of your past seemed only to further entice your master’s curiosity; and so began Rivanis’ feverish search for the scattered genealogies of ancient Netheril.
The Mark of Rivanis
A few more years past, and already Rivanis had accumulated an impressive wealth of old lore. Your master’s success came mostly from his access to the Vault of Sages in Silverymoon; but also because of his skyship Prosper, which had led him on several bounitful ventures to Herald`s Holdfast and Candlekeep, and once even to the newly reclaimed Windsong Tower of fabled Myth Drannor. A few expeditions to Anauroch were also made, one of which Rivanis uncharacteristically invited you to participate. It was on this particular journey that you started to become suspicious of Rivanis and his quest for knowledge; it seems he has learned things, things he’d rather not divulge.
Memories of Anauroch
A full tenday into your expedition with Rivanis, and much has been learnt by your master. Most of his time has been spent conversing with a local tribe of Bedine found roaming a southern Anauroch region known as the Sword. As you were unfamiliar with the Bedine’s native dialect, Rivanis instructed you to wait onboard Prosper, while he gathered what little information he could from these nomads.
Halruaan Skyship ‘Prosper’
From high up above, the Sword appeared to you as an endless sea of crescent-shaped dunes, rising and falling like waves in a sandstorm. By day, it was unbearably hot and windy, while at night it became cold and calm. You passed the hours away lost in the ship’s library, burying your head in a book about these desert nomads called the Bedine. You learn that there are literally hundreds of tribes of Bedine roaming Anauroch, some having never even heard of each other, let alone seen each other in the vastness of the desert. Within the last decade or so however, many of these tribes have begun to migrate westward, closer towards the edge of the Nether Mountains. Nestled atop one of its looming peaks, overlooking the north-western edge of Anauroch, the legendary Monastery of the Eternal Sun rises above like a beacon of light, glimmering on the horizon. This temple is revered by countless devout desert-worshipers. An imposing structure dedicated to the Keeper of Law, this monastery once stood long ago during the height of the Netherese Empire, but had fallen into ruin shortly after the Church of Amaunator was abandoned. You remember walking its timeless halls once as a child, but those memories are all but distant and fading.
Monastery of the Eternal Sun
Six days prior aboard the Prosper, you hovered above this pillared monastery; and to your surprise the temple had been rebuilt to its former glory. Lined up and down the mountain road you could see hundreds of tents sheltering scores of hard-traveled Bedine pilgrims, each awaiting their chance to bask in the glorious light of the Yellow God. To the Bedine, Amaunator never left, but rather took the form of a vengeful deity called At’ar the Merciless. Rivanis often remarked that this sudden surge of At’ar worshippers was directly related to the Shadovar’s return to Anauroch; this imparted onto you his stubborn wisdom that fear will forever swell the ranks of the church so long as the church can provide its people a formidable enough threat. For a few nights Rivanis gathered what he could from the Amaunator clergymen; during this time you were forbade entrance onto temple grounds; it is unclear whether this was at the discretion of the Church or your master. It was not long before Rivanis returned from the monastery eager and determined to press onward with the expedition; but to you, he still remained ambiguous toward his intent. Paying no heed to these obscurities, the skyship prepped for departure; Prosper soon caught wind, sailing you further into the depths of Anauroch.
3rd of Flamerule , 1380 DR – Year of the Blazing Hand
Many a restless night you have spent tossing and turning in your cabin quarters, unsure of what stirs you from your sleep; perhaps the heat of the desert has finally gotten to you.
You are now aboard the Prosper, and three long and lonely days have passed by as you float high above the desolate Stonelands, patiently awaiting the return of your master Rivanis. It was on the south-eastern fringe of Anauroch (where the desert sweeps in over the hills of the Stonelands north of Cormyr) that you and your master seemingly stumbled across what appears to be the ruins of an ancient Netherese enclave
Ruins of an ancient Netherese enclave
Eagerly and without word is how Rivanis descended down into its dark ruined depths; not long after his departure, it became abundantly clear to you that the plundering of this ruin was hardly by accident. As the days passed, you poured over the ship’s library; surprisingly, you were unable to locate any relevant information pertaining to this particular ruin. Confounded by the mysteries that loom below you, your fruitless endeavour in the ship’s library is suddenly disturbed by the sound of rapid pawing at the forecastle door. At first, it startles you, until the familiarity sets in and you realize that it is only Xavier.
Xavier is a flying cat, or as your master would insist you call it, a tressym. He has been Rivanis’ familiar for as long as you can remember, and the two are almost never seen apart. And as such, Xavier has never been known to return to the skyship without Rivanis, which makes the tressym’s desperate pawing at the door all the more foreboding. Opening the forecastle door, a gust of cold wind suddenly rushes into the library, flickering candlelight and scattering a few loose pieces of parchment across the room. Tonight, the desert night sky is a crystal clear and cloudless display, where whole galaxies of stars brilliantly shine, and the tears of Selune stretch lazily across the horizon.
Below you, you see Xavier, who is about the size of an average housecat, but with a pair of feathered, leathery wings extending to a 3-foot wingspan. The tressym looks frantic with its paws clawing at the wood of the door, and the second the door slivers open wide enough for him to fit through, Xavier bolts into the cabin. With wings fully stretched, he then leaps into the air and glides toward the top of a nearby bookshelf. Xavier is now perched up above you, wings folded, and poised in such a noble and elegant manner, his puffy tail whipping back and forth excitedly. In the flickering candlelight you can now see Xavier’s owl-like face, which has lost all signs of anxiety and now appears calm and soothed. He begins to purr.
Tressyms have always been known to be highly intelligent creatures, and are even known to have their own language called tressymspeak, which is based on purrs and growls. But unsure of whether he is trying to communicate with you, or is just happy to be out of the wind, all you can find yourself doing now is sitting back down at your desk, and gazing long into Xavier’s golden, almond shaped eyes. The tressym’s purring soothes over you as it gradually becomes louder and more pronounced, and your dazed fixation does not wane until you are lulled into a long dreamless sleep.
You awake to complete and utter darkness and it feels like your whole body has been awkwardly folded into what you can only assume to be giant chest or locker. Oghma only knows how long you’ve been out. Aside from some aching muscles and a mild headache, you feel okay for the most part. The floor gently sways back and forth beneath you, and you can hear the faint sound of howling wind, as well as the oh-so-familiar creaks and groans of a skyship sailing through the air. If you had to hazard a guess, you’d say you’re still onboard the Prosper.
You now hear footsteps growing closer. The jingling sound of keys soon hovers above you, and a lock is being fumbled around with; then you hear a click and the lid of the chest creaks opens up. Dim light fills in around you as you look up and see the old face of Rivanis staring back. He offers you a hand from out of the chest (lined with lead), and from the flickering candle light you confirm that you are still onboard the Prosper, except now you are standing in the brig.
Looking upon his aged face, under great snowy brows you see worry, maybe even fear peering back at you with grey-coloured eyes. Rivanis is dressed in his usual black coloured robes, and holds what looks to be a large book wrapped in dusty white cloth. He begins an urgent speech to you in Halruaan.
“My most sincere apologies to you, Nexorin, for I had not the time for thorough explanation. Believe me when I say, your unconscious captivity was of dire necessity. You have been locked in this trunk for four days now, but rest assured, I saw to it that you were provided proper nourishment.”
High Above the Heartlands 7th of Flamerule , 1380 DR – Year of the Blazing Hand
“It is now the 7th day of Flamerule, and we make for Candlekeep, which should be no more than a day away from our present course.
You see, young Nex, our work in Anauroch had not gone unnoticed, and for some time I was sure we were being followed. Ships of shadow they were; first appearing on the night I returned from the ruined enclave. Like silent wraiths they loomed there, high above in the desert night sky. While invisible to me at first, the keen Xavier sensed their presence right away. Their reasons or intent I did not know, but I could only assume we had breached their territory. My initial fear was their potential discovery of you, or worse yet, that of your past. So I ordered Xavier to hide you in my trunk, hoping the precaution was enough to evade any intrusive and unwlecome divinations. Next I gathered what few artefacts I’d found from the ruin, and prepared the skyship for departure.
A few days past, and neither Xavier nor I could discern any skyships on our tail. But this did little to ease my guard, as I know of the Shadovar and their insidious ways. The nights were the worst you see; their dark eyes perversely fixated on Propser, scanning each deck high and low. Every item, book or scrap of lore that would’ve interested them, I sent back to our home in Silverymoon; and nigh exhausted every last teleport object scroll in my possession!
However, there was one item I could not risk to the perils of teleport.” Rivanis unfolds a dusty white cloth revealing a large heavy tome, with covers carved of thick black obsidian. A dark ornamental clasp can be seen on its cover. Rivanis’ grey-coloured eyes now widen with fear.
“Within its pages, the very fate of man is written! And for over a thousand years, it has yet to be seen. There are few who can read it; and it is imperative we find one who will. To do so, we must bring the book to Candlekeep, so it can forever be written into the pages of history.”
Suddenly, the wind begins to fiercely howl, and a crackling boom of thunder rocks the entire skyship. The floorboards beneath you begin to sway more violently; heavy sheets of rain begin to batter the outsides of the hull.
A look of dismay spreads across your master’s face; he braces himself against a large and heavy crate. A flash of anger is heard in his voice: “Curse my luck! The skies proved fair not an hour ago! how can this be!?” Rivanis then looks at you in sudden dreadful realization. “Nexorin, come. We must have a look from the main deck.”
Doom and Peril Up High in the Skies above Faerun
Rivanis draws his hood up over his head, and buries the black book deep into the folds of his robe. Opening the hatch to the outer deck, the sounds of the storm become deafening. The thunder bellows low, vibrating the entire ship beneath you, while forks of lightning cut across the night sky like jagged arcs of white fire. The wind is now screaming chaos, scattering in every direction, battering the skyships’s sails and twisting her masts to and fro. The rain pelts you relentlessly, coming in heavy waves and from all sides. Looking towards the sterncastle of the ship, you see Xavier acting as helmsman. He paces back and forth from beneath a row umbrellas, growling orders to the dozen or so unseen sailors summoned by Rivanis earlier that day (Halruaan spell – Pavel’s Unseen Sailors). One of these unseen forces steers the wheel at the helm, guided by the orders of both Xavier and his master. Rivanis raises his fist to the heavens and shouts defiantly at the surrounding tempest. “Talos! Spare us your wrath at this dire time of need!”
A flash of lightning suddenly illuminates the ground, hundreds of feet below you; you can see a rolling forest of towering duskwood trees, stretching southward as far as the eye can see. Rivanis huddles close to you, and shouts into your ear, as to compete with the boom of the storm. “I fear we have crossed over the Wood of Sharp Teeth young Nex – it is a path I would’ve preferred not venturing, but it remains our most direct route to Candlekeep!” Suddenly another flash of light cracks down near the starboard side of the ship, and you see Rivanis gasp, pointing off to the distance. For but a moment, the storm illuminates the outline of a dark, shadowy airship on the horizon, advancing towards you from the northeast. It looks to be no more than a mile away from your present position.
Rivanis stands there a moment, motionless and in total shock from all that has transpired. He then shakes the blank look from his face. Amidst the pummelling wind and rain, Rivanis begins to pace feverishly back and forth along the main deck. You can practically see the thoughts turning frantically in his mind, and while only a full minute comes to pass, it seems more an eternity to you. Finally Rivanis motions for you to join him below deck; he then orders you to your quarters, and to pack up all your possessions as quickly as possible.
As soon as you return, Rivanis begins: “Nexorin, understand that I must remain onboard Prosper, as it is the only way I can ensure your escape. My face and my ship have already been marked by the Shadovar, so I am left with little other choice than to let them board. However, your identity I suspect remains unknown to them. I say this with confidence as I have not felt their eyes on me for more than a day now. I will teleport you far from this place, and close to Candlekeep, as I mean for you to bring them the Book of Black.” Rivanis produces to you from the drenched folds of his robe, the Book of Black, wrapped in dusty white cloth. “As you recall, there are few who can read it; but it is imperative we find one who will. And to do so, you must bring the book to Candlekeep. Only you, Nexorin, can do this for me. Loosing this book could prove catastrophic, and so the Shadovar must never learn of its existence. In fact, let no one learn of its existence, spare an old scribe from Candlekeep named Nestor. At the gates, inform the Gatewarden that you have business with an Avowed man named Nestor, and that the book you carry is meant for his eyes only. The Gatewarden will need only a short glimpse of its cover before granting you swift entry into the keep.”
“And one more thing Nexorin, before I leave you to your fate. My magic can only bring you so close to the keep, before you will have to travel some distance on foot. Do everything in your power to see this book get through those gates, and so may Mystra bestow you guidance, and Savras light your eye. Farewell my son!” With the Book of Black wrapped in cloth, and gripped firmly in your hands, Rivanis waves a commanding gesture over your head and utters a few arcane words. Suddenly the dimly lit corridor of lower main deck vanishes, and is replaced by a biting wind and gentle rain. You are now standing outside, amidst the top of a jagged cliff overlooking the shoreline, somewhere on the Sword Coast. All is well at first, until you notice that the dusty white cloth you hold in your hands is now empty. < Knowledge Arcane – Dimensional Anchor?>
The Sword Coast
It is a gloomy and moonless night, with a sky covered in overcast and a light rain blowing over the cliffs. Looking west, toward the ocean, you see the faint glow of ship-lanterns hugging the coastline. You count at least 5 ships sailing by, though at least one could pass as an island light house. The low rumble of thunder can be heard from a ways away; you see lightning crack the sky far above the distant sea.
Looking south toward the night horizon you see the flickering torch lights of a large citadel, built atop a crag overlooking the coast. There appears to be a suitable path running along the cliff-tops that leads to the base of this crag.
Facing north, this path leads down towards the shoreline. <spot> – You see what looks to be the wreckage of a sailboat, no larger than a caravel, washed up along the rocks. <perception> The dim flicker of torchlight glows from within the wreckage.
Looking east, you see a land of rolling hills and jagged rock outcroppings. Thickets of bush and vegetation dot the slopes of this rough terrain; the hillsides seem steep and sheer.
<perception> Looking eastward into the sky, you see what looks to be the faint flicker of lanterns, maybe a ship, floating high up above. Flashes of intense blue and white flicker away from on far; suddenly the craft begins to plummet from the air. Soon these lights disappear behind a horizon of rocky hills that are nigh-impassible.
Memories of the Wood (Tress Earthend)
South of the Chionthar river sprawls the Wood of Sharp Teeth: a dense forest dominated by large moisture-loving trees. Duskwood trees are the most common; they have a towering figure and protective presence. The other types of trees consist of swamp white oak, black willow and green ash. This is where you have lived for 59 years of your life; this is where you call home.
The Wood of Sharp Teeth
7th of Flamerule , 1380 DR – Year of the Blazing Hand
Last night, after taking a bath beneath sun rock falls, you were settling your self in for a long night of stargazing when a violent storm struck the forest like lightning out of a clear sky. Heavy sheets of rain poured down, bellows of thunder roared and lightning cracked the heavens above. Your vast understanding of weather patterns made you immediately suspicious of the storm. After a while, you began to figure it was Moonshine, up to his old tricks again. Almost a decade has passed since he last let his temper flare. The drunken bastard is a fellow druid of the Wood, who lives far away on a south-eastern edge of the forest. Older than you by about 25 years, Moonshine has never liked visitors; nor has he ever tolerated the insolence of trespassers, especially those who dare take flight over his grove. Moonshine, always the quick to anger, has had a habit of summoning lightning storms such as these to ward off further aerial traffic.
As the evening tempest raged ever on, you soon sought the shelter of Ka, the God Tree. On your way through a grassland clearing however, you noticed high above in the sky various lights dancing about. At first, you can only discern the one shape; a man-made galley with three masts sailing across the night sky. Moments later, you make out another ship, flying circles around the first. This one is a dark shadowy craft, which appears at the whim of a crack of lightning. Brilliant lights of blue, green and white begin trace the sky. A bolt of lightning suddenly erupts from a nearby cloud and strikes the flying galley, snapping the forecastle mast and setting a portion of it a flame. The broken mast topples in on itself, somehow managing to sap the skyhip of its ability to levitate. The galley begins an earthbound plummet westward, towards the meadow of Torgo. Moments later, another snap of lightning reveals that the shadow craft is nowhere to be seen.
Ka, the God Tree
Back home inside the God Tree, safely nestled amongst your piles of books, maps and shelves of half-melted candles, you fall fast asleep . Outside the storm rages on, but makes little difference to you for the inside of Ka is as warm and dry as a house. A few hours come to pass, and suddenly you are risen out of your sleep by a haunting melody of the pan pipes. You`d recognize his fluttering rhythms anywhere; these are the pipes of Torgo the Satyr. Years has it been since he last visited you at your home, and so you assume the business must be urgent. You invite Torgo into your tree-home, as to escape the rain that continues to pour over the Wood.
Torgo the Satyr, Guardian of the Crossroads
In the soft flicker of candle-light Torgo appears as a 5 and a half foot tall man, with the horns of a ram and the legs of a goat. His horns and hooves are jet black, and his face has been severely ravaged by time, more so than is common of kin. Torgo was quite handsome in his youth, and took many Dryads home with him to his cave in the central woods. His hair back then was a flowing chestnut brown, but now has turned yellow and curly with age. You have known Torgo for as long as you can remember, and in that time he has always carried the title Guardian of the Crossroads. Many fey who frequent his Crossroads are obliged stay a while, and are usually delighted to hear his pipes. And as such, much of his time is spent in hedonistic binges that last days at a time. It is well known in the Wood that Torgo frolics about his meadow, drunk with song and dance and almost always in the company of a dryad and nymph.
Torgo takes a seat at your small table, and pulls of out a bottle of exotic berry wine, apparently all the way from Aglarond. Pouring himself then you a drink, a sudden flash of lightning lights up the night sky. “Moonshine up to his old tricks again, I see! I trust you were around to enjoy the fireworks earlier tonight, courtesy of your human friends upstairs. Quite a lot you humans are, twirling about in your sky-boats, fancying yourselves dragons no less!” Torgo often jests about the folly of man, but in such a way that it can only be construed as light-hearted and forgiving, a trait you are well used to by now.
The satyr downs his wine, and then pours himself another round. “One of those sky-boats from on up seems to have to taken a fall, and as fortune would have it, it has crashed deep into the heart of my meadow. Many voices were silenced by its most unwelcome arrival, and many trees were left charred, broken and lifeless. The forest wounds will heal themselves given time of course, but there is a graver concern I have dwelt on…which brings me to why I`m here.”
“As you know, Tress Earthend, the fey consider my meadow sacred ground, and as Guardian of the Crossroads, I am bound by the Court to protect its secrets. And for near a century, I have done so by keeping the spoiling claw of civilization at bay. I mean for the world of man to never discover these roads I protect; but now a heap of broken planks, tattered sails and frayed rope rests in the heart of my most sacred domain. You must see Tress, this troubles me deeply, for their fireworks must’ve been seen for miles and miles around. Such reckless display of arcane power has always called out to the hearts of Men. Greed can lure them deep into realms where they are not welcome. The fey have seen this all before.”
“And now this crashed sky-boat has given man every reason to stumble upon our Woods, poking their greedy little noses about, searching for lost treasures of the fallen. As Guardian of the Crossroads I must protest, and in doing so, I have prepared you a quest. Upon its acceptance and completion, you will earn the Courts eternal gratitude.”
A Quest Beyond the Wood, by Order of the Seelie Court (Tress Earthend)
“You must infiltrate the world of man, and bring to me an agent of knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps a priest of Oghma or Denier, but never Gond: I cannot tolerate a Gondsman’s insolence, especially here, amongst our trees. But a priest of Oghma or Denier will suffice; such men are known to dwell south of here, within the library fortress of Candlekeep. This agent will wish to catalogue the incident, record its happening, and bring what artefacts he can back to the keep. A man such as this I can reason with, as I have bargained with their kind before. You will offer him guidance to the Woods, and upon your arrival, you are to bring him safely to me. From there I will take him on a tour of my meadow, as to insure this man discovers the secrets only I intend to divulge. Of what he learns here, news will travel fast among his people; the grapevines of rumour and gossip spread quickly, especially from the halls of Candlekeep; news will spread across the Sword Coast like wildfire, quashing curiosities of countless other men determined to walk these woods. And these other men are of a lot we can do without.
Wizards will bring with them fire, recklessly threatening to set ablaze our duskwood brethren; merchants will bring with them gold and greed, building roads over our land just to fill their coffers with more coin. And to prevent this perverse encroachment of territory, I have chosen you, Tress, to act as an emissary on our behalf. You will approach the World of Man through means of one my Crossroads; but it will not be active for much longer, so we must now hurry! Grab what you supplies you will need old friend, and then follow me!”
Torgo begins a high-speed frolic toward his meadows to the west. While the storm has not let up, the path you take rests below thick canopy, sheltering you from most of the wind, and at least half the rain. At first you find it nigh impossible to keep up with the satyr, galloping high and low throughout the glades of your grove. But you know your land well; dodging every tree and stone, your long and powerful strides manage to keep up with Torgo’s pace, if only for a while. The storm has lessened considerably now, turning into a gentle rain and mild wind. The lightning has disappeared, but you can still hear the faint bellows of thunder to the west. Many hours of travel have passed, and your old bones begin ache in agony. Twisting and turning throughout the forest labyrinth, you take many of Torgo’s self-proclaimed shortcuts. The comforting duskwood trees of your forest-home have now disappeared. You have now entered the wildflower groves of Satyr’s Meadow.
At first, you think you’ve lost Torgo, as he is no where to be seen along this forest clearing. Suddenly you are startled, as you hear the fluttering melodies of Torgo’s pan-pipes from behind you. “Come now Tress, no time for rest! For the deeds of man we must now protest!” Torgo breaks out into a hardy laugh, and then downs a swig of wine straight from the bottle. He then offers you a drink.
He is now motioning for you to join him in an evening frolic. The wind has eased its fury, while the rain’s caress has become gentle and warm. “What a perfect evening it is, for some last-minute song and dance, wouldn’t you say?” Torgo hands you another swig of his berry wine <con> <perform>
Between the two of you, laughter and song fill the air. Torgo plays his pan-pipes and dances around, being drunk and merry, expecting nothing less of you, his old friend, to do the same. And as the night goes on your dance moves get better. Reminiscing of old tales is then exchanged, and much more wine ends up being drunk. For some reason, you are unsure of how much time has lapsed, and at one point you find it odd, how in the middle of such an urgent mission for the fey, you have found time to be so merry and festive with your satyr friend. Such thoughts soon dissipate, however, when Torgo issues you a sudden challenge; to scale a nearby cliff of rocks, known to you as Reldacap Cliffs. “I can assure you Tress, it is a Crossroads of the Fey; I have guarded its secrets for more than a century now.”
Not far from the meadow, you come to Reldacap Cliffs. It is a sheer face of moss-covered rock, stretching 40 feet up and jutting out of the forest at slight angle; it overlooks a gentle stream. About 20 feet up, you see what could be a cave; it appears as a narrow crevice hewn into the stone, and looks to be barely wide enough for a man to slip through
“Climbing up these rocks and through that cave will bring you to the rocky cliffs of Sword Coast, hundreds of miles away. From there you must walk south, towards the library fortress of Candlekeep. After you’ve recruited an agent who is willing to help, you must bring them up north, along the Coast Way, just past the Friendly Arm Inn; and there, to the east, you will see the Wood of the Sharp Teeth; the tops of our duskwood trees should prove to you a familiar and welcome sight.”
“Remember this Tress Earthend; the Crossroads you walk belong to the fey; it would be most unwise to show a stranger of the forest realm. You have been warned my friend, and with that I bid thee farewell. The Court will be with you in your journeys I assure, and may Silvanus guide your mind and ready your heart for the perils that wait ahead.”