The most famous battlefield in which to earn a reputation as a veteran adventurer— and the best-known grave of heroes in Faerûn.
Elminster of Shadowdale
Throughout the winter, the Jade Blade continued their quest to find Otar, the orc of the High Forest who became the Green Regent of the Delimbiyr Vale and Mielikki's champion. They had followed him as far as Waterdeep, where they lost the trail. On one particularly frigid winter's night, our heroes were passing by the Yawning Portal when they heard a song that drew their attention.
"Otar, tattooed and real, jumped down the well; Down, down he went, to face dangers fell."
The Yawning Portal is a tavern built over a dry well that leads down to the halls of Undermountain, a vast dungeon complex below Waterdeep and said to be the most tempting target in all the North for adventurers seeking to prove themselves. The tavernkeep charges adventurers one gold piece to lower them from the tavern and another gold piece to lift them back up.
The adventurers recognized the singer as Jekris the Mad, a crazy derelict from Loudwater. He is touched—touched my madness; touched by the gods. You can take your pick which, and popular opinion is evenly divided. He warned the adventurers that Otar had been captured and taken to the Cyricist's lair called the Hold of the Dark Sun in Undermountain. He seemed eerily lucid and was eager to lead them down into the dungeon. The Jade Blade were desperate for any lead to Otar and agreed to pay the gold piece and take their chances down the well.
The warrens of Undermountain are vast, and exploring the seemingly endless halls would have taken months. Fortunately, Jekris guided the adventurers until they reached the first doomgate. The doomgates are one-way gates that riddle Undermountain. Jekris said that Otar was trapped beyond the doomgate and he could be found in the Cyricist's lair.
The Jade Blade passed through the doomgate and found themselves in an enormous cavern, where they quickly discovered a clutch of basilisks and gargoyles. Once they monsters were defeated, the adventurers discovered another doomgate that led deeper into Undermountain.
The second doomgate sent the Jade Blade to the lair of Nester, a faux-lich and former apprentice of Halaster, the creator of Undermountain. The first chamber of Nester's lair was guarded by fiendish orcs called tanarukks. Most of the tanarukks jumped to attack the invading heroes, while a few hung back to release a behir who had been tamed by Nester. The adventurers were triumphant even though the fiendish orcs were savage in their attacks and the behir breathed jets of lightning.
In the next room, the Jade Blade were beset by a flesh golem, as it shouted "Protect the Master” repeatedly. They hacked the construct to bits and found Nester himself beyond the third chamber. Nester had attempted to turn himself into a lich. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong. Although he was undead, he was not a lich. His body was slowly rotting away and his head had fallen off not too long before the adventurers encountered him. Both parts still functioned and he had propped his head on his desk while he researched how to limit the effects of the decay before he disintegrated completely.
When our heroes entered the room, he told them to leave as they would find nothing here but death. Instead of leaving, the Jade Blade said that they were looking for Cyricists. Nester was willing to show them how reach the cultists if adventurers made it worth his while. Many thousand gold pieces in magic items later, Nester attuned the doomgate to the Cyristists' hideout.
The Jade Blade arrived at the Hold of the Dark Sun, where they were challenge by Vevol, a cleric of Cyric, who was accompanied by gravehounds. She asked our heroes if they had come to pledge themselves to the one true faith and dedicate themselves to the service of the Dark Sun. When the Jade Blade answered that they intended nothing of the sort, Vevol sounded the alarm and set the gravehounds on the adventurers while she called upon the might of Cyric to smite them.
The adventurers slew her and her undead mastiffs and entered the Grand Hall of the Dark Sun which was through the doors behind Vevol. Skull and dark sun symbols of Cyric were everywhere. Otar, a large tattooed figure, was strapped to an altar on a balcony that overlooked the Grand Hall. Above him, a strange bone stand held a large green crystal that bathed Otar in a nauseating green light.
The arrival of the Jade Blade alerted Otar's captors and the light from the green crystal shifted and fell on our heroes. A deep, hissing voice said "Interlopers, turn back. I am taking what is rightfully mine, given to me by her who betrays. Cross me, and be my enemy. To be my enemy means death." The light then returned to Otar. Foul magic rolled over the prone Green Regent as the light began to leach his life away.
I suspect that the voice was that of the Guev'Ressunvee, and he was attempting to steal Otar's life through the ceremony. I do not know what would happen to the powers of the Green Regent if he succeeded.
The Jade Blade rushed to Otar's aid. The followers of the Dark Sun were led by Hevlal'Tulic, the Green King's son, who was a half-dragon sorcerer. He was too powerful and had too many allies with him to be defeated. Instead, the adventurers fought a running battle across the Grand Hall, up the balcony, and rescued Otar from the green light of the gem.
The journey back through the doomgates was quick and soon enough they were being pulled up the rope to the Yawning Portal. There, they were greeted by a woman in woodland garb who introduced herself as Jerythi Phalkon, a servant of Mielikki. She invited the Jade Blade to stay with her at her home while Otar healed. After their adventures in Undermountain, finding warm hospitality was a welcome change.