"As seen through my eyes, and told through my words,

is this tale of the adventuring group called The Knights Of Silver."

Yasraena T'Sarran - Drow Harper of Silverymoon


Hellgate Keep II – The Return


Chapter One - The Sword of Ages

During the next week, we found out that one of the swords we had brought back was the legendary artifact called The Sword of Ages. How it wound up in Hellgate Keep, the goddess only knows. When Alustriel had told us of its unique powers, especially the power to locate certain gates throughout Toril, we had surmised that the Balor was going to use it to mount an invasion of his kind into Toril through Evermeet. When Alustriel entrusted the return of the sword to the Queen of Evermeet to me personally, I could hardly say no.

During the next several days, myself and the rest of the party availed ourselves of the comforts and advantages of being celebrities. Myself, I had a notion to learn some new spells, so I brought myself to the magic school to peruse their spell books. While I was there, I met a young human girl of about 25 years whose name was Karina. It turned out she was a mage of no small power (11th lvl) who taught at the school. It seems we had a mutual love for all things magical and a craving to learn about them. After talking for a few hours, and finding out I was THAT Drow, she offered to show me around the city in exchange for some stories on Drow life and their ways of magic. We had become fast friends during the next several days, as she took me to the best material and component shops, and I telling her of my early years in Ithilaughryn. I learned some very useful spells that week from her, as she did from me, including learning the spells for creating my Focal Stones.

I also was able to find out about my new animal friend, who it seems, has decided to adopt me as its new master. I’ve never had a pet, or more accurately in this case, a companion, before. This should prove to be interesting. I found out that Shalar is an Elven cat. Which means it is intelligent, can communicate and probably cast spells, or has some innate magical abilities. She sure is inquisitive. I hope the old adage doesn’t prove true in her case. I hope she’s knows what she’s getting into with me! Haha!

The last night of the week I sleep very restlessly as I have a very vivid nightmare. I am on a beautiful white sand beach. The sun is shining, the breeze blowing, the gulls crying overhead and the waves crashing. I walk along this beach for a few miles and see many elves sunning, swimming, and generally enjoying life only as elves can. I am reveling in the beauty and serenity of the place when I hear a tearing or ripping sound. I look in the direction that the sound is coming from and see a portal rip/tear into being. It doesn’t feel natural. It feels downright wrong, like the force that’s creating it is forcefully raping its way through to this place. As the sound grows louder and the portal is forming, I get the ominous feeling that something terrible is about to happen as I feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to hackle. I am scared to the point I can’t move as I look on in horror and see an Imp come through the portal. He walks a few paces and stops to laugh. Then a full blown Glabrezu demon comes through, then another, and another and another. This continues on until the entire beach is swarming with demons of every shape and size. Then, a Balor, the biggest and most evil of them shouts, “DEATH!!! DEATH TO ALL WHO OPPOSE US!!!!! Then they start tearing down the beach, slaughtering any one or thing that gets in their way. As this happens, the sun turns red and the water turns into blood. When one of them notices me, and starts coming towards me, I wake up in a cold sweat with a scream on the tip of my tongue. After I realize where I am and that it was only a dream, I shakily walk to the balcony to get some air. It’s just after dawn and the sights and sounds of the city coming to life calm me. As I look out across the city expanse, I catch a glimpse of the Lady Alustriel as she is standing on her own balcony. She is a beautiful and inspiring sight, with her long golden hair and white gown flowing in the morning breeze. This sight sets me to thinking about my past and how I came to be in this particular place and time. Funny how life can be at times. Who’d have thought that me, a Drow, would be welcome in such a place as this Silverymoon. And not only welcome, but honored. And to become a member of this group called the Harpers. The Lady must have seen something in me that not many people could. I begin to think that I may have just found a home here among the tall towers and beautiful people. My reverie is broken as the sound of pounding on my door comes to my ears.


Chapter Two - The Realization and The Banquet

“We gotta go back, we gotta go back!” was all that he said as he ran into the room.      

“What in the nine hells are you talking about, Malachi, “we have to go back”?!?!”

Malachi then proceeded to remind me about the voices we had heard in the keep. Did we REALLY get rid of the evil? ALL the evil, as we had promised? We never did set off Alustriel’s orb. What about the voices? Who else was in on the corruption with the Balor? We had to go back and find out. But should we tell Alustriel? Hadn’t we better just leave and take care of this ourselves? As we were discussing this, another knock came at the door. It was a messenger from the royal palace with an invitation for me. He was delivering one to each of our party, so he might as well give Malachi his too. The invites were for a large banquet being held in OUR honor, this very night, for ridding the evil in the ruins of Hellgate Keep!

Great. Just great. How could we go to this celebration, without confirming our fears first? We decided that we had better discuss this with the rest of the party, so I got dressed and we rounded up the rest of our friends. When we had talked about this new revelation, we all decided that, yes, we indeed had to go back to the ruins and find out for sure if there was anything or anyone, left. But we must tell Alustriel before we go. That was not going to be easy for me. She had put her faith in our party, and more specifically, had put her faith in me, a Drow, to do what was right. For someone like me, who was used to NEVER being trusted, I felt I had let her down. I had proved that you should never trust a Drow. I had betrayed her trust. 

Before the banquet this evening, I had one thing to do. I had to make sure the Sword of Ages was going to be safe until our return, because I was surely NOT going to take it into the ruins of the keep again. I thought of my newfound friend in Karina and immediately went to find her at the school. When I informed her of our realization, she was more than willing to take the sword into her keeping, even though it probably meant putting herself in mortal danger to do so. When I asked her why she would be willing to put herself in such danger, she said, “It is my duty to do so. I’m surprised you would ask, for are we not of the same kind?” as she drew forth a small silver pendant in the shape of a harp. With that, I asked her to keep the sword, and to tell no one of it, until it was certain that we were not going to return. If we didn’t return within 7 days, she was to take the sword to Alustriel, and she could then decide what to do with it. I took for granted that no one else, besides our party and Karina, knew of this little exchange. But as the old saying goes…”The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Or, as it happened in our case, of Drow.

That evening came and we were picked up in a carriage to be brought to the royal palace. The banquet was more than anyone could have imagined. The food was immaculate and the most delicious I have ever tasted. The entertainment, myriad and was from as far off as Maztica (Malachi was rather enjoying the lap dance he received), thousands of miles to the south. The guests ranged from the common to the most influential of the surrounding area and beyond. I found out that evening just how important Alustriel and Silverymoon were to the Northlands. During the evening, we were presented with gifts to show the appreciation of the gathered for our efforts in the eradication of the evil in the ruins. It was especially hard for me to sit there and accept these gifts, fearing that our task was not finished. I received two doses of a very rare herb and a magical stone that allowed me to see in complete darkness as we see in daytime.

When the time came to finally say goodnight, we discreetly went to Alustriel and told her of our fears. The look she gave us, and me in particular, was one of utter disappointment and almost fear. She said to leave at first light and to finish what we had started. As we turned to leave, she called me back to her.

“The consequences of the incompletion of your quest could be disastrous, Yasraena. Not only to Silverymoon, but also to the greater part of the lands about it. I hope I have not erred in putting my faith in you to wear the symbol of those who Harp. Too often have your kind betrayed the trust that was given them.”

It was like a knife to my heart. But she was completely in her right to say it.

“You have not erred in your trust of me my lady, nor have I betrayed it.” I replied. “We have merely been overly confident in our abilities. I hope the consequences of which you speak do not come about, and I will try with every fiber of my being, to prevent them from doing so. You have given me the honor of wearing the symbol of the Harpers, and with my coming actions, I hope to finally earn the right to wear it. If only in your eyes, at least. “And with that, I turned and left to follow my friends to our rooms. We left early the next morning to return to the ruins of the keep. As we left the city, we had a feeling that it would be the last time any of us would ever see it.


Chapter Three - The Bumpus

We remembered that we could only teleport to outside the area of the keep because of the magic dead zones surrounding it. From there it took us about a days march to reach the ruins. During our journey we encountered a faerie creature called a Satyr, who said his name was ‘The Bumpus’, and insisted that he entertain us with his flute playing and magical accompaniment. All he wanted in return for this was anything we could give him. “Even just a cup of ale would suffice,” he said. He seemed harmless enough to our eyes, so we agreed to sit and watch and to reward him at the end. He proceeded to play his flute and dance around while he conjured an illusion of faeries that flitted and flew about, to and fro to his music. The faeries began to act in a not so faerie-like manner, when during a very quiet part of his song, they started sneaking around and giggling, then stabbing each other in the back! This progressed into a full-scale bloodbath when the song rose to its frenzied conclusion with the faeries just slicing and dicing each other to ribbons. I thought for sure the keeps influence was at work here, but as it turned out, I was way off track. When Bumpus was done with his song and dance, he asked us to “please pay me now.”  Wilfbrim and I started to get our flasks of wine and ale out and pour him a cupful, when to our surprise, Fleabus and Malachi did just that! As they were just gushing about how great the performance was, clapping and whistling, etc, they took out their money and started to give it to him. Not just a few coins either, but every last scrap of wealth they had! There must have been a charm magic entwined into the music. Luckily, I was practically immune to such tricks, Wilfbrim and Nalfost must have seen through it, but those two obviously fell for it. We didn’t notice this until we started to hand the wine over to the little thief. I stopped and stared in utter disbelief, looked over at Wilfbrim with a smile on my face, and then burst out laughing. I finally contained myself when they had given him about half of their coinage.

“What are you doing? You’re giving him all your money you fools!”

“And he deserves it!” they said. “The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! A natural talent! Better than any I’ve seen” etc, etc.

I reluctantly stopped them from giving him any more of their hard earned gold, and told The Bumpus, if he knew what was good for him, “he’d better leave now before they regain their senses. You have no idea what a dwarf will do to somebody who has just stolen half his gold! Although, good trick! Here’s the wine I promised!” With that, he drank the wine and sped away. When the two finally regained their senses again, and was told what happened, Fleabus was just livid. If you’ve ever seen an angry dwarf… well… it’s not pretty. Malachi on the other hand, was almost admiring the little dung for his ingenuity. “Now why didn’t I ever think of that?” he kept saying to himself afterward. Moral of the story – If you’re ever walking in an unfamiliar forest, don’t stop to listen to the music of a flute-playing Satyr.


Chapter Four - The Keep (Again)

When we arrived at the keep, we decided that we should go quietly and cautiously, as we had done previously. One of the first things we discovered was a crypt that contained an undead king by the name of Gildamere. We were in the beginnings of a battle with this creature, when Wilfbrim tried to speak to it. It told us of the group of demons that had taken over the ruins and their plans to use the Sword of Ages to mount an invasion of their kind into the Realms. He told us that the demon we killed was the leader of the group, but there were more. At least 4 more that he knew of. One in particular, a Succubus by the name of Sarya, was now in command, and had brought him and his personal guard back to life, through her infernal demonic powers, to protect the entrance to their lair.

“But her powers over me are not as strong as she thinks! I have only been brought back and am not under her command. I will not knowingly help a creature of such evil and chaos. But alas! I cannot raise a hand to harm her or her kin, either. If I could only release myself and my servants from this spell, I’d show her the price for disturbing the king’s rest! But wait! You could help me! You could free me by killing the vile fiend! Please! I would give anything to be at peace again! Please! Take my sword and avenge me and my servants’ desecration! Kill Sarya, and have my eternal gratitude!” He then offered us his sword. Since I was the only one who could use a long sword, I took it with the oath that I would do my best to rid the world of Sarya and her kin. He thanked us, then he and his servants lowered themselves back into their tombs. We left them in peace.

Our next discovery was one of shock and total dismay, when we saw what was in the next room.  In the next room was Tiamat herself. Or so we thought at first. It turned out to be a pure Mithril statue of the dragon god, which had Illusion and fear enchantments on it. What a great guardian! No one would dare enter a room that occupied such a beast. Needless to say, we took the statue for later use. But the thing that shocked us even more was the scene we saw upon dispelling the illusion of Tiamat. The room contained 10 beds, 5 on each side of the room. Upon these beds were the dead bodies of the women we had seen on our last visit here. Only now their bellies were torn open, mutilated, with blood and entrails strewn everywhere; almost like whatever was inside ripped it's way out of them. What depraved evil could have caused such violence? As I seethed in absolute fury, I vowed to avenge these women’s deaths. To kill the ones responsible with the same remorseless violence that they had visited upon their victims. 

The next room we entered turned out to be a small cavern. There were stalactites and mites galore throughout it. As we were exploring it, an undead beholder rose up from behind a corner to attack us, but was not successful. As soon as Malachi saw the hellish thing, he yelled a warning to the rest of the party and I cast a Chromatic Orb spell. Eilistraee must have been with me that day, because the monsters magic resistance failed it, and my spell turned it to stone. It looked very much like the one we had slain the previous time here, as this one seemed to have the same eyestalks missing that Malachi had destroyed. After regaining ourselves, we proceeded to the farthest corner of the cavern to find a large, unlocked wooden door. When we opened it, we were presented with the leader of the evil group, Sarya. A Succubi of overwhelming beauty and evil. She was standing behind a shimmering wall of magical force, but could still be seen through it. On either side of her were two vile looking creatures. Both of which I had seen before in my previous adventures. The first looked like a disgusting cross between a spider and a Drow elf. A Drider. The second was man sized, with a purple head and tentacles in the middle of its slimy face. A mind flayer, or Ithillid. She was holding a familiar looking sword in one hand and the hair of a female captive, who was on her knees in front of her, with her head down so we could not see her face. The captive looked very pregnant. 

“So! You have finally come! You have been expected. You have now finally seen that your efforts to protect THIS have been in vain!” And she thrust the sword forward, revealing it for what it was. The Sword Of Ages!

“Your attempt to hide this from me is only outmatched in foolishness by the choice of person whom you entrusted it too! She could not prevent it from coming into my possession any more than you.” She then adds with a wicked chuckle,  “Although, her efforts have been more ‘rewarding’ than yours will be. Isn’t that right you little bitch?” With that she pulls the hair of the captive back to reveal it is none other than my friend, Karina! Her face is a rictus of pain and anguish as whatever is in her stomach starts to writhe and move. “She will be one of the carriers of a new generation of rulers in this pathetic plane. Even now, the child is growing inside her, and will soon join the ranks of the true rulers of Faerun! HAHAHAHAHA!”

I immediately try to teleport behind the wall to try and help Karina, Nalfost tries to cast a Lightning Bolt and Wilfbrim tries a Missile Volley, but the spells all fizzle out. She laughs again, “ HAHAHAHA!! You see! Your puny magics have no effect against the power of my kind!” She then turns to the Ithillid and says, “Take this monstrosity and report back to the matron mother that all is going according to plan. We will inform her of the completion in the next few days.” With that, the Ithillid and Drider vanish as they teleport out. 

She then turns back to us and says, “You fools! Our victory will be complete in only a few more hours, and there is NOTHING that you can do to stop us! MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” And with that she vanishes as she teleports away. We then hear her insane cackling back down toward the cavern and turn and run that way. When we reach the barracks, we find a red, shimmering, upright circle that looks like a magical gate of some sort; but it is wavering, fading in and out, like its power is waning. I immediately run towards and through it before it has dissipated with the hope that my companions follow me.


Chapter Five - The Battle of Everwood

When I step through to the place the gate leads to, I find myself on green grass at the foot of a large hill. I then see my companions step through, and after the last comes through the gate, it fades away. We decide to climb the hill and see what we can see from the top. When we get there, we see what Sarya was talking about. On the valley floor below us is the river that eventually runs through Silverymoon. Next to it are 3 large wagons with a huge cask on each. They were all dripping a greenish liquid from their seals. There is a small bridge that spans it as well. To the left of the wagons there is a large stone arch, easily 30-40 feet tall, with dozens of arcane symbols on it. In front of the arch are two large stone pillars with the same symbols. There is also a group of ruins directly to the right of them with various structures in varying degrees of decay. One of these structures, in the middle of the ruins, is an open temple-like building that seems to be fairly intact. In the back of this building are what appears to be the remains of an altar. In front of this altar stands Sarya and she seems to be animatedly talking to it. To her right, and kneeling is Karina. There are dozens of armed skeletons everywhere.

Once our group has taken in the scene and evaluated the situation, we hastily discuss our battle plans. Unfortunately, we all seem to have a different approach to taking these monsters out. We rally back and forth ideas for about 10 minutes when Nalfost says, “I’ve had enough talk. It’s time for action”, and begins to cast a spell. I take notice of this and realize he is beginning to cast a summons spell that will call forth a being from the lower planes; I believe to be a devil.

“What in the nine hells do you think you’re doing?!?” I yell at him as I shove him to the ground to disrupt his spell.

“Trying to win this battle you stupid bitch!” he yells back as he gets up.

“By summoning a devil?!?! Are you mad?!?” I yell back. “I’ll have none of that! You summon something like that and you’re no better than those we fight!”

“I would’ve had complete control over it! No one tells me what I can and can’t do, Yasraena. Just watch out. You never know what ‘accidents’ might happen to those who think they’re better than others.”

“Nalfost, if you summon that thing and it gets away from you, it could cost us what we’ve come to protect, not to mention our own lives. I WILL NOT allow that to happen. Summon it, and your life is forfeit!” as I put my hands on my weapon hilts.  

“Fine! If you want to play ‘holier than thou’ while the damn demons get away with what they’re planning, that’s your affair. I’ll not stand by and be ordered around like some novice spellcaster!” That seemed to be it for Nalfost. He then cast a fly spell and left.  “We’re better off without him”, I say. “He’s no better than those fiends down there.” Fleabus comes over and says, “I hope you know what you’re doing Yasraena.”

The rest of us then decided we would try to take them out one by one, with each of us trying for a specific target. Wilfbrim and Fleabus were going for the wagons and the barrels. Malachi and myself were going to try to rescue Karina and create a diversion in the process. Things couldn’t have looked more hopeless for us. 

Malachi and I had gotten just about even with the temple when we caught a glimpse of Sarya and Karina in front of the altar and we finally see what she has been talking to. There appears to be a large scrying portal right above the altar. The portal is glowing an evil red-ish green. In that portal is the face of Balor looking back and talking animatedly. She continues to talk to the evil thing in the portal and then slowly nods her head, as if in complying with a command. She then pulls Karina forward and onto the altar, so that she is lying on her back. I get a very bad feeling, but continue to watch. Sarya then pulls a wicked looking black, curved, serrated blade out from a sheath at her side. She holds it up to the now not glowing, but blazing portal. To the face in that portal. And, with a savage scream, plunges it into Karina’s vagina and begins to cut and slice upward until she reaches the breastbone. What Sarya pulls out of Karina’s now mutilated body and hold up to the face in the portal, is not human. It is not natural. It is a cambion. A half demon, half human monster. I will hear Karina’s fading screams for the rest of my life.

After that all hell breaks loose. We end up fighting with Sarya, and her cambion and full brothers: Xhal, a cambion mage of some sort, possibly a necromancer; Tolg, a full demon; and Knumice a full Balor, like the first one we encountered in the keep. I ended up killing Tolg, with Malachi lending a hand in the form of tossing his tools at the demon in the hopes it would foil his Stoneskin spell, Wilfbrim and Fleabus were busy with the wagons and unbeknownst to me, Nalfost had returned and was doing his part to hinder our foes. During the melee, Sarya cast something I have never seen before. They were globes of some sort that, when thrown, would grow and explode on impact with a force greater than that of a high level fireball or similar spell. She had cast them at both pillars right after she had activated them. She and Knumice went through, but one of the pillars was destroyed. This in effect caused the gate to start acting the same way it did at the keep. I shouted to the rest of the party,  “NOW!!! Through the gate, before it disappears!!!” and ran directly at the gate and then through it, very much like I had done at the keep. I was followed by all five of my companions, just as the gate closed. We had made it… just.

But WHERE we had just made it to, was somewhere none of us had anticipated.


Chapter Six - The Abyss and Khazule's Lair

We stepped through into a place that just felt wrong. Everything about the place was just wrong. Not natural, like something out of a dream. That’s what the Abyss feels like. At least, this particular layer of the Abyss felt like that. The sight we see stretches before us like a mini-wasteland. We are on what appears to be a gigantic piece of rock floating in a void, like an island. The ‘sky’ and everything surrounding us was made up of this nothingness. Not blackness or darkness… nothingness. The ground is a gray stone of some sort, very cracked in places with streams of roiling blood running through it. There are bones of every sort floating in them as they flow past. There are two, 30’ square pits directly to the right and left of us with metal spikes jutting upwards out of them. The spikes have heads on them. There is a large, pentacle shaped stone step with a skull looking upwards. The skull is made of some type of metal. Completely surrounding us is a 10’ wall that appears to meld into the floor. There is a great distance between us and the end of this “rock” Within this distance there are six carved stone pillars jutting from the surface, all pointing inwards to form a wide arch.  They almost look like rib bones. These “ribs” are about 70 feet high. At the very end of this rock, from where we’re standing, we see two huge pillars of some sort. They look like they’re made of various parts of various beings; mouths, eyes, feet, arms, legs, etc. They look as if they’re writhing in agony. From each of these pillars tops emerges an arc of lightning. Wreathed in the middle of this arc, was the Sword of Ages. When we finally think to look behind us, we see an exact copy of the arch from Everwood, with its magic swirl of red just disappearing. When it’s completely gone, all we see behind it is the nothingness that surrounds our little island.

“Where the hell ARE we?” I hear Malachi say.

“Not quite, but you’re close.” I reply. “We are on the Abyss my friends. Can’t you feel it? Just the wrongness… the evil of the place?”

“Aye. I felt it the second I stepped through the infernal arch.” says Fleabus.  

After we adjusted to our surroundings, we decided to go forward, toward the pillars… and the sword. Myself, Nalfost, and Wilfbrim all cast fly spells on ourselves and Fleabus. Malachi decided he would stay on foot. We all headed up the step to the wall that was in front of us, and when we reached the top we see what we couldn’t from below. The top of the wall was a rim of a large square area, about 500’x500’. Within this area are various pools, all of which form a circular shape. It reminded me of an arena or coliseum. There are eight large pools on the outside and 4 small pools on the inside of this ‘circle’. They are placed so that there is at least a 10’-15’ area between them. As we draw closer to the edge of the rim, we see that they too are filled with roiling blood. The air is thick with the smell of it. Directly in the middle of these pools is a small, perfect pentagram. What we see beyond this ‘arena’ are the six stone pillars, and where the middle pillars were, there were large holes with white fumes coming out of them. Beyond these was a huge pentagram shaped stone base that had 3 large circular pools on it, all with the same white fumes coming out. On the direct front of this base were the pillars of flesh and the sword.

       After we had taken all of this in, we had started to move once again when we hear a very familiar laugh. When we look forward to see Sarya, hovering above the opposite side of the arena.

“So! You have actually dared to follow me! Arrogant fools! You will learn the cost of crossing my master!” and with that we see a large throne made of the bones of every race imaginable appear directly in front of the flesh pillars. Sitting in that throne is “The Chancellor”. He looks directly at us and motions with his hand to Sarya, “You have done well Sarya, to bring these to me.”

He then points his finger at us and says, “You are the ones who have tried to disrupt my beautiful plans from the beginning. It was you who killed my servant in the keep and took the sword, and it was you who disrupted me at Everwood. But all your efforts were for naught! Even now, I am using the sword to complete my gate, and when it’s finished, all the Realms will be mine to use as I will!  MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a pity you won’t be around to see it.“ With that he snaps his fingers and two Succubi appear, one right after the other in the pentagram in the middle of the arena.

What followed was one of the longest and most harrowing fights of all our lives. Fleabus and Nalfost fight the Succubi, Malachi tries to keep Sarya busy and eventually gets a near fatal shot on her, causing her to go hide to regenerate. I keep trying to get in The Chancellor’s face, but he keeps teleporting away every time I get close. Wilfbrim is fighting a summoned creature, a crab or lobster of some sort, which he eventually beats. This drives the Balor nuts and he teleports directly behind Wilfbrim and grabs him by surprise. He then takes flight and begins hovering over one of the spiked pits ready to drop him at any second. Here, Malachi dons his magical mask and takes the appearance of Sarya. He then goes to Khazule and says, “He’s mine. I want him for some fun before I kill him myself.” Khazule then hands Wilfbrim over to Malachi. As The Balor grabbed Wilfbrim, I realized I couldn’t do anything without the chance of hurting Wilfbrim, so in frustration I cast an augmented Firestorm spell at the left flesh pillar, in hopes to destroy it and grab the sword. Nalfost sees me and does the same to the right pillar. After a minute or two, my firestorm spell has inflicted major damage to the pillar. The Chancellor, when he sees this happening, screams in utter hatred and teleports, with Sarya right by his side, directly in front of me and draws this ungodly huge flaming sword, with his eyes telling me his sole purpose is slicing me to bits. Finally! My chance to take revenge on these evil things for all they have done! As we get ready to fight, the lightning arc that was holding the sword begins to fizzle out and the left pillar begins to collapse from the fire damage. As this happens The Chancellor screams “NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and explodes in giant ball of fire, light and energy. I reflect as I’m caught in the conflagration “I may die, but at least those two are dead, and Faerun is saved.”

I remember waking up and seeing Malachi bending over me.

“I thought you were dead, Yasraena.”

“I sure feel like it. What happened? The last I remember was the demon exploding…… The Sword! Where’s the Sword?!?! ”

“It’s fine. Right over there. Yeah, He blew up all right. I can’t believe there was anything left of you, let alone you surviving it. I guess your goddess, what’s her name, Eilistraee, was looking out for you.”

As I got up, I saw what the outcome of the explosion had been. There was a circle of destruction in a 300’ in radius. EVERYTHING in that area was either utterly destroyed or damaged in some way. There was no sign of the Balor or of Sarya. Almost everyone in the party took damage from it. I was lucky enough to have myself and equipment survive, with only a little damage. Praise the goddess! Thank you Eilistraee for your protection!


Chapter Seven - The Sword Returns

After we have healed a little, and looted what we could off the bodies of the demons, (which was, surprisingly, a lot) we decide to try and leave this place. I take the sword into my possession and we head towards the arch. As we near the arch, the sword begins to glow and the arch begins it’s swirling again, only this time, the color is blue, not red. We all step into the arch and instead of instantly stepping through to somewhere; we step into a ‘river’ of flowing energy. We see ‘currents’ of energy flowing before us, as we’re swept into the currents with me and the sword leading the way. During this journey, the sword shows me a ‘curtain’ of many colors and tells me in my mind that if I wish, I can go home.

“Home?” I ask.

“To Greyhawk, if you desire.” It answers. “Just go through the orange curtain and you will be home.” 

I think about it for a second and told it no. “I have nothing to go home to. All my friends there are dead. There’s really nothing for me there. Besides, I have a quest to fulfill, and I’m now a member of The Harpers. My responsibilities and home are on Faerun now.” 

After about 10 minutes of riding these currents, we are carried to another curtain that the sword tells us is the portal to the place we wish to go. As we go through the portal we step onto a beautiful white sand beach with trees and crashing waves on the shore. After we get oriented, I get an overwhelming sense of deja vu. Then I suddenly recognize the beach we are on as the one from my dream back in Silverymoon. This must be Evermeet! As I am revealing this to the rest of the party, Nalfost says that he must leave, and immediately. He seems very nervous; even anxious. I don’t think that he should leave, but, to each his own. He teleports away and that is the last any of us have seen of him.

Malachi suggests that I use his magical cloak to hide my features, and I reluctantly agree. I use it to look like a normal female high elf. And just in time it seems as right after I don the cloak, a large group of elves, all armed to the teeth, burst onto the beach and demand who we are and what our business is here on the sacred isle.

“We have come to return this to the queen.” I say, holding up the Sword of Ages.

They all gasp in amazement and tell us to relinquish our weapons to them. Since they outnumbered us almost 4 to one, we had no choice but to comply. They then took us to the capital city and to an audience with the Queen and her court. She was surprised to see our party, and even more surprised when she saw what we had in our possession.

“This is a historic occasion my friends.” She said. “It has been a long time since humans or dwarves set foot on this isle.”

“We are honored to be here, your highness.” I said. “We have come from a quest that the Lady Alustriel of Silverymoon herself set us upon. To return this sword to your hands” as I draw the sword, kneel, and present the Sword of Ages to her. “And if all is true of its powers, may it never leave them again.” She is visibly touched by this act from us, almost coming to tears.

Regaining her composure, she says “I thank each of you for your efforts in this. Not only has the Sword of Ages returned to us, but by the hands of humans and dwarves as well as elves. May this be the beginning of renewed friendships between us and your noble races“.

I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to show her my true self, and be damned with the consequences! “I mean no disrespect, but I hope your highness means what she says and these are not just words to be forgotten when we have departed this isle” I said. 

“I do speak the truth my good elf. Although we have had our differences with humans and dwarves in the past, what you have done has shown me them in a different light. I welcome you and your companions here with honor and gratitude. You will always be welcome here.” She replied with all sincerity.

“I am happy to hear you say that, your highness. More happy than you could possibly imagine, because……” I say as I remove the mask, drop my hands down, palms upward, and reveal my true heritage.

The entire room gasps (including my friends) and erupts into a frenzy of movement as they immediately draw their weapons, begin spellcasting and start to advance on me with a look of sheer hatred in their eyes as my friends start to yell “No Don’t!! She’s friendly!” I remain still.

The queen cries “Stop where you are!! She is not to be harmed!”

“But your highness! She’s a Drow!……”

“She is not to be harmed I say!! Stop now!! ” The guards reluctantly back off, but do not drop their weapons. She then looks directly at me and says, “Please explain yourself, Drow. Your presence here is a surprise, but your actions and demeanor are even more so. You are not like your people.”     

“I am Yasraena T’Sarran of Silverymoon and the Harpers.” I say as I reveal my silver harp pin, “and I have been given the task of returning the Sword of Ages to you from the high Lady of Silverymoon herself. Please forgive my deception, your highness. I had no wish to deceive you or your people. However, being what I am, I had no wish to be killed on sight either. I hope you will forgive me for this, and that your words of a few seconds ago still apply to me now that you know what I truly am and what I serve.”

“The words still apply to you and your friends. It is true that I am grateful to you for returning that which has been lost for so long. But, I’m afraid that if I let a Drow run loose on my isle, however good of heart she may be, I may have to deal with a problem even I could not solve. Please Yasraena, while you are here, continue to wear the mask that you have. MY people are not as forgiving as I am when it comes to your kin.”

I reluctantly agree to this. What could I do? Refuse? I guess a Drow on Evermeet is just not acceptable yet. Maybe some day.

Our stay in Evermeet was restful, if uneventful, up ‘till the big ceremony. It was then that the queen introduced us to the city as the ones who returned the Sword of Ages. The party was even bigger than the one Alustriel threw for us. Fleabus and Wilfbrim were the celebrities of the day as there hadn’t been a human or dwarf on the isle in as long as most could remember. At the end of the party, The Queen herself placed the sword back into the hands of Correlon Larethian’s statue in the court of the queen, then performed a magical ritual on us and bestowed upon each of us the blessing of Correlon. (One level of experience)

When the time came for us to go, the queen came to us and said, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and relief for your selfless actions. Because of you, Evermeet and Faerun are safe once again. I apologize again to you Yasraena, for your unfortunate, but necessary disguise while you stayed here. May the next time you visit us be as who you truly are. A servant of good and justice in the name of the Harpers. Farewell!” With that she then teleported us back to right outside Silverymoon’s main gate.

          When we appeared outside the Hunter’s Gate, it was shut, as we expected. As we approach the gate, the window opens and we’re confronted by the guard, who won’t let us pass at first.

“The city doesn’t want any more strangers.” He says as closes the shutter. 

“We’re not strangers to this city, we are returned form a quest that the Lady her self gave us. We wish to speak with her immediately. I am Wilfbrim, with my friends, Malachi, Yasraena and Fleabus. We are well known here.” Wilfbrim says through the gate.

          We hear from behind the gate, ”Fleabus? Yasraena? Wilfbrim? Not them who went to…” the gate opens…


Continued in..


Hellgate Keep III - The Aftermath