The light of the dawn showed through the windows of the Amcathra estate, casting it’s pale light on the sleeping adventures. The battle of that evening had been grueling. The scattered remnants of the fallen shadow creatures were even now being cleared away from the wreckage of the now scarred Amcathra Library.
Jules sat quietly in his study, an untouched plate of food now cold and forgotten next to him as he poured over the contents of a well worn leather bound book. As he flipped through the pages making careful notations, he though back to the moments after the terrible battle in the Library.
He had known that there would be consequences to the rituals he had performed, but never had he expected them to be as dramatic or deadly as they had turned out to be. His careful work in the creation of the Grotmasjien had indeed paid off in terms of expanding his knowledge of the Weave and it’s dark sibling the Shadow Weave, but the effects of it’s use had never been as profound as those of these last weeks.
Sipping at the now cold tea in it’s finely engraved cup, Jules thought back to the conversation he had with his new acquaintances and wondered how he might yet come to understand the portents of his actions.
“My friends, I must apologize to you all. Though I had anticipated a reaction to my attempt to remove the binding ritual I had connected to you, never did I reckon upon so fierce a response. It seems that in my desire to understand the forces connecting you, I triggered something far more sinister.”
“You will of course be my guests as you recover from tonight’s adventures. Meanwhile, I will put my mind to the events of tonight in the hopes of coming up with some answers for you.” He walked to the untouched area of work benches and bookshelves to the back of the Library and grabbed a small book from the table top.
“My friends, though I am as yet uncertain as to why these events are occurring some theories do immediately present themselves. The question now becomes how do we winnow them down something approaching a clear idea of just what is happening.”
“What have we observed?” He said, holding his hand up before him, fingers displayed as if to count of points.
“One, my research into the nature of the weave has stumbled upon some as yet unknown agency manipulating the powers of the weave to a purpose. That purpose is also unknown to us.”
“Two, for whatever reason, these actions are somehow connected to you. The nature of that connection is unclear, but your presence here and it’s effect on the weave becomes clearer to me the more I examine it. Somehow, the weaves are ‘warping’ themselves around you. Why or how this is happening is a mystery to me, but I assure you, it is one I plan on devoting much study to.”
Three, someone, perhaps this Athola, seems determined to either capture or destroy you. My brief examination of the creature you left alive points towards demonic possession, though the nature of this possession is a mystery to me. The tell tale evidence of this possession is there, but something seems amiss.
Four, these attacks started after my summoning ritual. I had used the connection I had discovered as a Capa, an anchor, to ease the binding aspect of the summoning ritual. I can only surmise that this act somehow connected you to a powerful ritual directly manipulating the weaves, drawing attention to you all."
He walked and from behind the table, and stood again in front of the small group of weary adventurers.
“Given these events, and given this knowledge, I am left with many important questions to answer. These questions affect not only my own work, but it appears that somehow you four figure prominently in the mystery. At this moment, I can think of only one person in ‘recent’ history who has described anything even remotely similar to these events.” He said, showing the assembled group the book he had lifted from the table.
This is the Journal of Calavakos, the Chained Wizard, one of several such journals. At the time this was written he was known simply as Lord Calavakos, a High Wizard during the time of the Netheril Empire. This journal documents his research into Demonology, at least the early parts of it. His early observations seem strangely reminiscent of our ‘friends’ here he said, pointing to the bound unconscious form of the robbed creature captured during the fight.
This small clue does however provide us an opportunity. Calavakos was captured and imprisoned after an alliance of Eladrin from the Feywild stood against him and his summoned demon hordes in a great battle. He was captured and his army returned to the Bloodrift. As a punishment for his actions, he was imprisoned for eternity in a special prison built just for him, the Prison of Calavakos. I believe you can find this prison, enter it, and find Calavakos. I believe he would have the knowledge we seek to help us unlock this mystery.
I am proposing you undertake this journey, enter the Prison of Calavakos, and discover his secrets. I will provide you with tools to help you in this cause. Should you decide to undertake this effort, I will provide you with Calavakos’s Journal as well as use of two special items from my personal collection, a suit of chainmail armor once worn by Hezom himself, and a collection of useful ritual components, and scroll which contains a ritual that will get you out of the Prison safely."
“Varis, I am aware of your needs. Should you consider accompanying these people and lend them your skills I shall endeavor to find the answer to your questions for which you have sought me out.”
He made a gesture, and moments later servants entered the Library. Some began to clean the room while others approached the assembled adventures.
“First, I recommend that you all stay here. Rest and recover from your wounds. In the morning I will have left for you compensation in the amount of 350 golden sovereigns for each of you. It is the least I can do after the events of this day. Tomorrow we will meet and discuss what happens next. Of course, you are not obligated to heed my proposal. Should you so decide you may choose an alternative course of action and leave with my thanks and promise to look more closely at these events and how they are connected to you.”
“Now please, go with these member of my staff. They will show you to rooms for you to rest in. We will speak again in the morning after you have rested and eaten.”
The group had left to be shown their rooms, leaving Jules to begin noting the days events in his own journal. Even now, after having worked through the night recording his thoughts and plans for additional research, he sat wondering just what these strangers might do, and how they might as yet learn the fate that stood cloaked before them.