Ah, you’re back. Yes, I have another tale for you. This one concerns a plot to murder our very own High Lord of Loudwater. There is a saying that if you cut off the head that the body will die. And so it was that foes of Loudwater set a trap to kill Kalahar Twohands. As the bait, they used nothing less than his love for his son.
Daughter of Talanthe Truesilver
Year of Rogue Dragons
Shortly after the difficulties in my previous tale that I call Gray Hunt, Loudwater once again had need of heroic freeswords. Minions of the Hark had kidnapped Velvred Twohands, the five-year-old son of the High Lord of Loudwater. The Hark, a wererat bandit terrorizing the trade corridor between Loudwater and Secomber, has plagued our lands for some time, but he had never been this bold before. As I have since learned, the Hark was enticed to kidnap Velvred by a more sinister evil from the Underdark.
These mysterious employers wished to kill Kalahar, but they had little chance of doing so while he remained in his palace. Instead, the Hark kidnapped Kalahar’s son and took him deep into the crypts under High Lord’s Hall. There, some of the Hark’s minions and a powerful force of Underdark monstrosities waited until the high lord came down to rescue him.
Before we go further, you should know a few things about the tombs under High Lord’s Hall. The hall was originally constructed by the Rensha lords who used to rule Loudwater. The Rensha were a series of tyrants who hailed from Calimshan. They were not nice people. They were evil and twisted. When the Green Regent Galaer Skyflower slew them and became High Lord, the people of Loudwater considered it a liberation.
Two of the many legacies left behind by the Rensha are High Lord’s Hall and the crypts beneath them. The crypts are dangerous and sealed by the High Lords. The Hark’s minions came in through an Underdark entrance at the bottom of the crypts and broke the seal from below. Naturally, since they wanted Kalahar to follow them, they left an obvious trail.
Fortunately, High Lord Kalahar is not a rash man. Instead of strapping on a sword and charging into the unknown, he spoke to Prior Athosar, the high priest of the Houses of Morning. Athosar communed with Lathander and learned that if Kalahar entered the tomb he would almost certainly die. So instead, Kalahar drew upon the same freeswords who had so impressed Gauntlet Harazos Thelbrimm in stopping the orc raids the troubles in the Grey Highlands.
Kalahar quickly summoned the adventures and asked that they rescue his son. They readily agreed and within minutes of arriving at High Lord’s Hall they were led down to the crypts beneath. The path left by the minions of the Hark went through Lord Misbah’s tomb, a young Rensha lord who died early due to a riding accident.
Though the freeswords did not know it at the time, Lord Misbah was a diabolist. He consorted with fiends and even struck a bargain with a powerful devil – Baalzebul, an Archduke of Baator. His crypt was filled with traps and other dangers. Not long after they entered the crypt, the adventurers met the ghost of Lord Misbah, who was trapped there in an attempt to escape the deal he made with Baalzebul. Unfortunately, it left Misbah alone and confined to his crypt for a century.
In his conversation with the adventurers, Misbah claimed that his spirit was trapped in the tombs by a well-meaning priest. He begged the PCs to disrupt the priest’s remains so that he could leave the dark halls and move on to the next world. Not knowing Misbah’s duplicity, the freeswords agreed.
Approaching the priest’s resting place, the freeswords met an unexpected guardian – a lantern archon. The archon attacked the adventures without warning on the assumption that anything in the crypt was evil and a threat to the tomb he guarded. They were able to talk the overzealous celestial down and learned that it guarded the tomb of Nemal, a cleric of Lathander. Nemal helped Misbah foil Baalzebul’s plans to trap the Rensha lord’s soul in Baator.
Nemal’s tomb acted as a ward that prevented Misbah's spirit from being drawn into the Pits of Baator and tortured forever. The adventurers must have agreed with me for they pushed their way through the archon and disturbed the remains. With the ward gone, spectral devils entered the crypt and grabbed Misbah’s ghost. They pulled him down into the ground and off to Baator. The adventures told me that Misbah had a look of gleeful rapture as he went. I guess an eternity of torture is more interesting than a century of confinement. Diabolists are just strange people.
With Misbah’s ghost handled, the freeswords found a trap door that led even further down into the crypts under High Lord’s Hall. In this deeper level, they found the trap that the Hark had set for Kalahar. Horrible aberrations from the deepest places of Aber-Toril with squid-like heads waited for their chance to slay the High Lord. When he did not come they fled, probably assuming that a large force followed the heroes.
Even with the aberration threat gone, the adventurers faced a stiff challenge from the minions of the Hark – Kassuz, a wererat and dark cleric, a gang of kobolds, dire rats, and a worg. Without their Underdark allies the wererat and her foul companions quickly fell to the freeswords, who then found Velvred tied on a rocky outcropping but otherwise unharmed.
The freeswords returned to the surface victorious. High Lord Kalahar was ecstatic that his son was unharmed and granted all the adventurers membership in the Order of the Jade Blade, so named because of the special green-metal sword wielded by the high lords since Rensha times.