The Temple of Mystra

A Mystran Mystery

A couple of weeks after they had dealt with the Zhentarim raiders,  Halesk asked them to meet him. He told them that an old friend of his a cleric of Mystra called Tunaster Dranik had sent word he was looking for adventurers to help him and requested they meet him at the Wyvern Watch Inn before the 23rd. The Party agreed to help and next morning, riding their newly liberated mounts they made their way south along the Moonsea Ride to the city of Wheloon in nearby Cormyr. The trip was uneventful and they arrived a day early spending the day shopping and exploring the busy port city. Booking in to the Wyvern Watch Inn they found it bustling, with good food, beer and comfortable beds.


Next day they met with Tunaster who told them of his suspicions about a newly created Temple of Mystra to the north of the city - a temple of which he, a cleric in good standing with the church, knew nothing about. He had gone to visit thee temple and had a really bad feeling about the place which was reinforced when the temple guards attacked him as he fled the area. He was going to report the matter to his superiors at the Tower of Mystery in Saerloon, but offered the Party a payment of 2000gp to investigate the temple, and cleanse it if they found wrongdoing! The Party agreed, and after Tunaster left, they decided to ride out to the temple and recce the site.

The temple, a few miles north of the city, was an imposing structure, built into the side of a hill and along the Wyvernflow river. A stone path led up the hill to the main temple entrance which consisted of a set of heavy oaken doors. To the left of the doors stood a large, stylistically simple statue of a woman. There was a smaller free standing stone building to the south, when a man sat on a stool whittling. Garan approached the man, presumably an off-duty guard and asked whether the temple was open to visitors. The guard responded by suggesting that they knock on the doors!

Assassins in the Night

Entering into the temple they found everything seemed innocuous enough. Two temple guards waved them through the door and into a wide open walled space open to the sky. The floor was tiled with obsidian slabs, in which star-shaped stone tiles were set, mimicking the night sky. Two large statues dominated the space, and four small altars to Mystra sat in each corner of the courtyard. A few worshippers milled about, and Erik noted a couple of guards on the walls watching the courtyard carefully for any sight of trouble. Assassins in the Night

While Eric and Calita wandered about eavesdropping on conversations, Garan asked to speak to a priest and met with one named  Shan Thar. Garan spun the priest some tale about a foreboding dream he had had about the temple to which the priest listened patiently them offered some vague commentary on the Mother of Magic and the nature of dreaming. Although there was nothing obviously wrong with what the priest was saying, Garan was left with a vaguely uncomfortable feeling. He accepted an invitation to services that evening, though declined the offer of joining the special "Mystra's Sacred Trust" three day retreat scheduled for next week for an offering of 25gp, to cover accommodations of course!

The Party returned for the services that night which were unremarkable, Shan Thar's sermon on the constellations accompanied by  illustrations from a sorcerer, Kevrin, who used his illusions to illustrate the star-shapes in the night sky, which the small crowd seemed to greatly appreciate.

They spent the next few days asking round town about the temple, visiting the Watch House and the Temple of Chauntea, but finding little of apparent suspicion. Their inquiries had obviously drawn notice however for on returning to the Wyvern Watch Inn, they found a not waiting for them inked in a shaky hand. "I can help you sneak into the temple, but they are watching for me. Come meet me an hour after sundown at 23 Impil Street, on the east side of the river."

Unfortunately the "meeting" proved to be a trap, but the Party managed to slay one of their assailants and drove the other off. In the slain man's satchel they found many gold coins and a note reading "Your payment for silencing the troublemakers." This assault convinced Erik of the temple's guilt and the outraged paladin was all for an immediate assault on the temple, however wiser heads prevailed as Garan and Calita advised a more stealthy approach.

Thus it was, that next afternoon, the Party scaled the southern side of the bluff the temple was built into and spent the evening peering down on the services in the courtyard from above. Once things quietened in the temple, they surreptitiously made their way down the bluff to the battlements. The tow guards were dealt with by the simple expedient of Erik bull-rushing them off the walls, then making sure they were bound and gagged before  using a potion of spider climb to ascend the walls and join his comrades. While Erik had been dealing with the guards, Garan had found the way down to the courtyard and he and Calita made their way stealthily across to the quarters on the far side.

As Erik arrived he knocked on the door calling out softly to those within. A disheveled Shan Thar opened the door clad in his night shirt. His smiling face vanished like a mask being torn away and was replaced with a visage of dark fury. Unaware that they had already been dealt with,  he shouted for the Guards he fell back casting a sound burst and battle was joined.  The noise woke the other occupant of the room, Kevrin who began firing magic missile spells, to little avail as the Party charged into the room blades swinging, swiftly felling both opponents!

The Inner Temple

Locking the bodies in the bedroom the Party swiftly moved towards the large double doors. Erik found they were unlocked and crashed though into the large chapel beyond, quickly followed by the others. The Party quickly disposed of the guards there, and searching the area found it, apart from some guard quarters to be largely set up for accommodation, presumably for any acolytes who had taken up advanced instruction in "Mystra's Sacred Trust", however somewhat surprisingly there were no acolytes present.

Another large set of double doors led through to what was seemingly a large private chapel where they disturbed a cleric at devotions watched over by another two guards, though these were  dressed differently than the guards in the outer temple. After a swift brutal combat, the Party prevailed, Erik noting that smite evil was particularly effective against the enemy cleric. After searching the area  Calita cast detect magic locating a source of enchantment magic within the altar where they located a secret compartment which contained a grapefruit sized crystal sphere with a dark inner heart where tiny points of light, like stars twinkled. Though he felt vaguely uneasy, picking the thing up, noting  as he did that it  gave him darkvision. Feeling this item may prove useful,  Eric wrapped it in a cloth and stowed it in his backpack.

The only exit from this room was a door barred on the other side. The Party pondered for a while how to pass this obstacle, but eventually Garan smashed through it using Erik's crowbar. Beyond, a set of stairs led down to to a large room where a flickering starry light clung to a statue of a woman, subtly different than the ones above. Around the statue was a rubble of broken statuary, burned scriptures and smashed holy vessels. This area was guarded by another two more inner temple guards, this time accompanied by a strange earth elemental, however the Party proved too strong and quickly overpowered them.

Nearby were some empty chambers, including one that somewhat unpleasantly contained a collection of stuffed and mounted severed heads as well as a journal ranting about  the atrocity of pretending to worship Mystra while the "true one" remains hidden, which Erik took as evidence. Garan found a library nearby which contained a large collection of books and tomes, all beginners tracts and essays concerning the goddess Mystra.

Through one of the doorways leading off from this area was a wide hall flanked by several doorways lit by torches in iron sconces, the south end of the hall contains a great black circular disc of darkness bordered by deep purple stone. The area was guarded by two more guards, and as the Party moved to engage them, the sounds of conflict drew a female cleric from a nearby room who announced her presence with a sound burst spell. Garan and Calita quickly disposed of the guards, while Erik charged the cleric, almost immediately getting into difficulty, especially after the cleric was joined by a strange looking purple serpent.  Calita used summon monster to bring a black bear to aid them, but even with this  support, Erik was wounded close to death before their opponents were finally slain.

Mystra's Sacred Trust

Searching the immediate area the Party recovered some more loot and also a treasure trove of incriminating evidence including papers and a fully-kitted out torture chamber, complete with three headless bodies of recent victims. Next the Party were confronted by the mysterious "black hole", bordered  by purple stone, that the displacer serpent had emerged from. After tossing a coin through first and hearing it clatter on the floor beyond, Erik was first to step through, finding himself immediately under attack by more displacer serpents. Galen and Calita quickly moved through to support him and although they at first proved difficult to hit, the serpents were eventually slain.

Obsidian AltarThe room they found themselves  in was dominated by two things - a curtain of darkness framed by two pillars and just beyond a heaped pile of humanoid skeletons partially obscuring an obsidian altar. The Party moved cautiously around the pillars noting the darkness radiated a chill aura. 

Examining the skeletons heaped around the altar revealed little, however Calita spotted a secret compartment which contained a magic chakram. Erik decided to try and destroy the curtain of darkness, but when he moved forward a burning torch in hand, found himself drawn through it collapsing in a heap on the other side. Calita immediately dashed forward with her wand of cure light wounds, almost certainly saving the paladin's life!

After recovering briefly the Party headed out through the only exit from this room which led, along passageway, to a dim cold chamber where a subterranean channel filled with water flowed out - presumably to the nearby river. A catamaran was moored there and they could see several cells on the far side. Several shadow guards,  and an otyugh guarded the area as well as a longspear wielding  fighter who proved a brief challenge before combined attacks by Erik and Galen finally put him down! 

The cells, which were unlocked, only contained a single prisoner who was sitting patiently and unresponsive apparently under the effect of a dominate spell. The main other thing of interest the Party found in this area was a hand drawn map to  somewhere called the "Lost Refuge". 

After some deliberation, the Party decided to gather up their evidence and report what they had discovered to the authorities, dropping the prisoner off at the Temple of Chauntea. The clerics there managed to remove the spell and the woman Veera, told them her tale. As a worshipper of Mystra, she had been intrigued by the idea of Mystra's Sacred Trust,  and along with eleven others underwent the three-day ritual. Three of the eleven had no spell-casting ability and after the ritual she did not see them again. the rest were taken downriver in the catamaran, she being left behind as there wasn't room. The eight who were taken included: Durgen, a male dwarf cleric of Moradin; Kareem, a male human paladin of Tyr; Smote, a male halfling sorcerer; Halish a male human cleric of Mystra; and Dava, Mendios and Zephan, all apprentice evokers.

The Purple Dragons were horrified by their report, an immediately despatched a squad to investigate. Once their report had been verified they were asked to meet with Lord Sarp Redbeard in Oldstone Hall and repeated the story to him. He also offered them 500gp apiece to follow up the mysterious map and rescue the missing people.