Knowing little of what to expect, the adventures associated with the Half-Moon Exploring Company, we boarded on a skiff and taken to the one of the floating cities of the Archmage, Cloud. Hosted by Javast, the second-in-command of the city, they were told little and explained that there was something of great importance they were needed for, with particular importance being given to Saerid Turquoise.
Once brought into the city, the group was taken to the Grand Palace which seemed to act as a place of not only administration but also learning as evidenced by the massive libraries as well as the numerous acolytes and attendants that seemed to roam through the halls. They were taken to a vast room which seemed to serve as a repository of books, scrolls, papers and items, all seemingly associated with the lost city of Darkveil. It soon became apparent as to why they were here as Darkveil seemed to again be at the forefront of people’s minds. It was here they were introduced to Lord Mayor Grayvon, the political and arcane administrator of Cloud who seemed cordial yet mysterious in his motives.
Grayvon immediately explained that he was aware of the quest the characters were on. Both Suriveth Varune and Glaedwin Longclef had been involved with this quest from the start and it seemed that Dracovel Kilvesh and Wolfram Delmanse were players, as well. The gathered papers, texts and documents were the culmination of centuries of research into the mysterious Darkveil, something the Archmage was interested in, as well. It seemed that the Archmage had reasons for wanting this city found as numerous prophecies were coming to fruition. Whether these were good omens or ill omens were not entirely clear. But it was evident that the Archmage wanted to be at the forefront of it. So through Grayvon, he was proposing that since the Half-Moon Exploring Company was already looking for it, perhaps they would be able to continue on, aided by the Archmage’s benevolent aid. However, there was a bit of a price. Further, since the Lich King as well as the Diabolist seemed to also be looking for the lost city, there was something of a time element involved.
As it turned out, Grayvon commented on the strange runes of energy that adorned Saerid’s body that he received during a surge of electricity. Grayvon mentioned that he believed this was yet another sign, beneficial to the discovery of Darkveil. The ceremony that he was suggesting was one that would give Saerid the ability to read and understand important clues. Specifically, there was discussion of the Dark Tapestry. Whereas the Dark Tapestry, an artifact associated with Darkveil, was theorized to be lost or not even a tapestry in a physical sense, Garyvon mentioned that he believed it was a real thing in the possession of Frockmeg, a dwarven leader in Forge. For the Dark Tapestry no doubt had many secrets to reveal. What followed was a discussion about the Alcarast, the sword Blackrazor as well as more esoteric concepts like the Caves of Chaos and places and things both possible and absurd. Further, Gravon mentioned Koldrag, who has been imprisoned by the Archmage several centuries ago for his role in the theft of the Shadow Prophecy, Book IV. Koldrag, an associate of the group and someone who Suriveth seemed smitten with (for an inexplicable reason) was also helping the group find Darkveil. It seemed agents of the Archmage had found Koldrag but not the book and whereas Grayvon seemed to have a dim view of Koldrag, he did agree to reunite Koldrag with the group.
But as to the matter of the ceremony, Grayvon mentioned that there was a traveling priest that had come to Cloud, someone who could assist with the ceremony, as this individual was also interested in finding out more about Darkveil. While Grayvon would summon this traveler, he needed Dracovel as there were matters they needed to discuss. Grayvon left the rest of the group to look at the materials while he mentioned that Cloud would be moving towards Anvil, somewhere that he suspected the heroes needed passage towards.
While Grayvon was away Saerid, Glaedwin, Suriveth and Wolfram began wading through the mountain of papers and research, realizing much of it was erroneous, foolish and downright wrong. When it seemed like hours had passed, Glaedwin had convinced Wolfram to explore the palace with him. Realizing the palace was massive – perhaps more so on the inside than it appeared on the outside – they did find numerous empty rooms but the most interesting discovery was a door in the basement covered in fantastic magical runes. Whereas they were not able to find any sign of Dracovel, they did discover that they were not prisoners in the palace as they thought they could have been.
Meanwhile when Suriveth looked through the various documents, she found a poem to ‘Little Leaf’ which was odd as it was a name that her grandfather had called her years ago. In the poem there was a mention of a ‘Jeweled Door,’ a name that had no real meaning for her but one she would commit to memory.
Upon Grayvon’s return, he had with him a new guest, someone he introduced as Tomorachian, the previously mentioned priest. It was revealed that Tomorachian (or ‘Tom’) was a priest in the Cult of Araponda, a faith dedicated to technology and change. Tom was friendly and amicable and explained he would like to aid them on the quest for Darkveil. Whereas he did not have a great deal of information to share, he did say he was dedicated and that his faith had sent him on the quest as they had been reading the signs and omens as well. When Grayvon was asked about Dracovel, he mentioned that Draco was no longer even on Cloud – which came to a surprise to Suriveth and Glaedwin who immediately suspected something was afoot. Grayvon assured them however, that Draco was on a special quest of his own, specific to the desires of the Archmage.
Tom suggested walking into the city and getting some fresh air as well as a drink, as the ceremony Saerid would go through would be an unpleasant one and perhaps a few drinks would be well received, especially as a way to get to know one another. When Tom mentioned that the place he found most accommodating in the flying city was a placed called the ‘Jeweled Door,’ Suriveth was immediately curious. While there, the group had a good time getting to know one another but more importantly, Suriveth found another clue from the Prince of Shadows.
Upon arriving back at the palace, the group was introduced to Koldrag, a seemingly gruff scholar who was immediately greeted passionately by Suriveth. Koldrag did reveal to the newcomers, Saerid and Tom that the form he was in was not his true form and that he was an ogre magi, which naturally raised some concerns. The fact that he was an enemy of the people of Anvil made Saerid even more concerned, quite understandably.
The ceremony was a dour affair as Grayvon and Tom cast an elaborate ritual that made Saerid’s tattoos and runes seemingly come alive with energy. The result was that Saerid would be able to read the Dark Tapestry and interpret some of its meaning. But for a month he would not be able to handle anything powered by Soul Gems as he would render them inert.
That night the group was shown to their suites in the palace where they needed some much needed recuperation and rest after the trials of the ceremony Saerid was put through. However, was Suriveth worked on some alchemical concoctions, the entire area exploded with an evil energy. The windows shattered and undead creatures swarmed through the walls, forming out of the very evil rocks that had crashed through the windows. This was clear work of the Lich King. He was evidently showing his bony hand by trying to stop them in his attacks. Whereas the battle was fierce, the heroes were triumphant in their efforts.
The following day, after dealing with the aftermath of the attacks, they were upon Anvil. Grayvon saw to it that the group was deposited on firm ground where they were intercepted by a dwarven patrol and marched a short distance to the gates of Forge.