ATC - Politzania GL Gateway

Investigating Gateway

First, since we were so near Gateway anyway, we decided to check it out. We sent in three people, telepathically linked, to scout it out. Neville, Rastik, and Zaldiston all went in under the guise of cloth merchants, Rastik's real background. We found an inn, hired a half-orc guide named Juanita, and started scouting out closth merchants. We went to the high class area of town and spoke with a drow merchant. He asked for an hour to set up a display of his wares, so we toured "architecturally impressive buildings", a special interest of Zaldiston's. Juanita guided us through the government area and we saw the Temple of Hel, the Drow Palace, and many other impressive buildings, but none we could identify as the "Shadow Library". Back to the Drow's shop, Rastik started to bargain with him, he got angry and threw us out. Juanita then led us to Don's Shop, and we set up a deal for him to export through Baycastle and on to Politzania.

We went back to our inn for lunch. While there, a beautiful drow lady walked by, flanked by guards from the same military unit as the guards we killed from the silver caravan. Everyone gave her a wide berth while hiding stares. Neville, then the rest of us, decided to follow. She picked up a dwarven slave from the slave auction area, then left the city and went to a monastery (?) about 4 miles SSE of Gateway. A simple monastic complex was seen above ground, but the coaches went into a cave beneath it and we saw nothing of what that was.

DOH! We were talking about asking the Archbishop back in Koin about this Archbishop. Why don't we just ask the Archbishop in Koin about where this library is and how to best find the Shadow Gateway building? She probably even knows where that is! You don't get to be Archbishop without pretty much knowing everything going on in your city.

We ported back to Lonng in Koin and asked to see the Archbishop. She saw us and showed us a taste of the scope of her network and their attempt to fight the Shadow. We asked about the Shadow Gateway Building and the Shadow paladins. She didn't care too much about them, thinking that if she can regain the Eastern Empire for Hel, then she can sweep them up later. She confirmed what we heard before, that Hel's worship has been pretty much reestablished everywhere on this continent except in Gateway. She didn't know what the situation was in the rest of the Empire, but it sounded like the core of the Empire is now on this continent, with what's left of the islands still fairly well ravaged by Cometfall. She didn't know anything directly about the Shadow Gateway, but had some ideas. She thinks it's on the Astral Plane and can connect to both the Shadow and our plane as needed. It's probably also a singular thing, and would be very hard to replace, if it could at all. We then moved to the Shadow Paladins. She suggested talking to the dragons who actually met them. We pulled out Aurora's head, but the whole body must be present to Speak with Dead. The High Priestess agreed to use a Miracle to enable her to Speak with Aurora and to overcome her magic resistance. Of course, we'd have to pay her for the cost of the spell. Zaldiston's book "Shadow Portals" written by Vecna himself, from the Library was exactly what she wanted, so she did the spell, and we later took a blindfolded cleric to the Library so he could check it out. We learned more about the Shadow Paladins, and also spared a question about another treasure stash of hers.

We finally ported out to the ancient frozen ruins for two reasons. Aurora had a stash there (6000gp and a nice potion (Nice Roll Endo!!!)) but it's also where Aurora put up a signal to summon the shadow paladins. We found a torch of Green light and a grommet to hold it. We suspect that the Shadow Paladins either scry here, or that the ogres in the valley below would see the torch and would then somehow relay the information onward. We finished here, wondering how to lure the Shadow paladins somewhere.

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