Beacon

Tidal Wave!

The players follow Frederic’s directions to Norbin Lightkeeper’s hut. The “hut” turns out to be more of a cabin, albeit a shoddy one. The party sneaks up to the door, assumes defensive positions, and Willy peeks in through one of the windows. He sees beds with people sleeping in them. Soverick knocks on the door and nobody answers. He knocks again, and nobody answers. A third time, and he hears an irritated voice say “Frederic, it’s not Tuesday yet, go away”. The entire party begins knocking, and (to the party’s surprise) soon the door is opened by a very hung over Norbin Lightkeeper.

The party questions Norbin, and he is reluctant to say anything at first until they tell him the Beacon has fallen and that they believed him dead. The other people in the cabin awaken and the party is surprised to find 3 identical Norbins looking at them. It turns out that the Norbin that died when the Beacon fell was not the genuine article. Norbin had met a doppelganger who was waiting in ambush to kill him but was sick of killing people and wanted a quieter life. They began living and doing drugs together. The doppelganger invited his extended family to live in the cabin with them, and they all took turns posing as Norbin, getting paid for doing his work at the Temple of the Radiant Beacon while the rest lived the easy life getting high in the woods. It was Pete the doppelganger who died when the Beacon fell — not Norbin.

Norbin and the Dopples (sans Pete) accompany the party back to the Temple. The party does not have horses, but it turns out the Dopples can hop very quickly.

Upon arriving at the Temple, the party is stopped by Silverguard sentries. They do not know the party and will not let them pass until Cole asks the sentries to call for Baldwin the head monk to vouch for them. They enter and discover the Silverguard has set up a refugee camp and is doing everything from treating the injured to starting to rebuild structures to implementing security measures.

The party quickly takes Baldwin to a private area and starts to explain that the Silverguard might not be on the level. They are about to discuss the tar/flame effects of the silvered items when Dornan, the Silverguard captain, comes into the tent to greet them. They make uncomfortable small talk for a minute, and a Silverguard mage named Pyle briefly arrives to inform Dornan that the defensive barrier is in place and ready to be activated at his order. The party, noticing that both the temple sentries and Dornan have silvered weapons and armor with the same oil-foam producing enchantment, decides to trust Dornan and show him what they’ve discovered. They take a silver buckler shield from him, and trigger the foam.

Dornan is alarmed, to say the least. He explains that the defensive barrier puts out a weak magical field to defend against arrows, covers the majority of the area of the Temple, and will likely trigger the silvered weapons and kill many people. The party convinced Dornan to order everyone in the Temple (Silverguard, monks, and everyone else) to remove all their silvered armor and weapons and collect it into piles.

The sight of thick black smoke and the sound of war-drums is heard in the distance, and the party realizes that the Temple is soon going to be under attack. Sure enough, the sentries posted outside come running inside to warn everyone, and the Temple gates are closed. The angry cries of invading orcs can be heard outside, and a tremendous crash is heard as a battering ram assaults the temple gate.

The party sees Jenkins, another Silverguard mage, panicking and looking for Dornan to give the signal to activate the defensive barrier. Soon he can’t take it anymore and begins casting the activation spell. The order to disarm had not reached many soldiers yet. Kai manages to momentarily interrupt his spellcasting by throwing a stick at him, hitting him in the face. Soverick shortly thereafter tackles him to the ground and explains to him how many will die if he activates the barrier. Jenkins calms down.

Realizing the orcs are doing a full frontal assault on the gate, the party climbs the battlements and begins to throw silvered weapons and armor into the attacking 200-strong orc horde. They trigger the enchantment with a simple Prestidigitation spell, and suddenly the front of the Temple gate is a 10’ tall mass of oily black goo and writhing orc limbs. The orcs in the back start to climb over the mound, and Soverick and Cole strike with twin Thunderwave spells. This both ignites and violently shoves the behemoth, turning it into an incandescent tidal wave of burning death that crashes over all but the orc chieftain and his elite guard standing at the back of the horde. Kai nocks one of her silvered arrows and fires it at the chieftain as Cole zaps it with a small spark of lightning, causing the foam to trigger and knocking the chieftain off his feet just before he burns to a crisp.

When it’s all over, a 50-yard swath of land in front of the gates is left blackened and covered with orc skeletons. Some of the silvered weapons are salvageable (and no longer enchanted), and the party collects those.

Everyone decides whoever put these enchantments on these items must be found. The magic-users, both arcane and divine, of the Silverguard are questioned. One cleric in particular, Clarice Patricia, is considered a prime suspect due to Soverick’s dealings with her and noticing she had a silvered holy symbol. When they question her and ask to see her holy symbol, she produces a wooden holy symbol and starts to get confused and give vague answers about why she isn’t using her silvered one every night (when Soverick channeled the divine with his, it triggered so hers would too). The party presses further, and Clarice’s eyes and expression go blank and she brings her hands up and gently strokes a silver chain around her neck which immediately foams up around her head, suffocating her. The party manages to freeze it and break it off her before she dies, but she remained unconscious. When checking her vitals, the party notices she has a small marking on the back of her neck consisting of 3 black diamonds in a diamond formation (4 would comprise it but it’s missing one diamond).

The party asks Dornan to check everyone in the Silverguard for this marking (checking him first). Soverick goes to inspect the cart that Clarice’s holy symbol came from, and finds nothing more than the silvered weapons, armor, and holy symbols he’d seen there before. Soon after, 4 Silverguard warriors with the black diamond markins are brought for questioning. They do not act suspicious, nor do they seem to have any idea what is happening. They too are wearing silver chains around their necks, and when questioned their eyes go blank and they try to activate them as Clarice did but their hands are bound so they can’t. The party tries various methods to remove the chains, including both rogues trying to disable device, but the devices trigger and Soverick is called in to freeze and break the tar off again. Eventually, the party figures out they can put a “cone of shame” style device on the captives such that the foam won’t suffocate them, and they break the necklaces off. Now the party has 5 captives, all marked with the diamonds, all in a catatonic state.

Norbin comes by and says he’s taken a look at the wreckage of the Beacon and sees 2 primary problems. First, one of the lenses is scratched badly and needs replaced. This can probably be done in Dicewind Ale without much worry. Worse, though, is that the main crystal is broken, and even Norbin doesn’t know where to get a new one. He also recommends that they rebuild the tower, because it’s better if the beacon is up high and rotates around. Norbin is awesome.

The party starts weighing their options to try to find a means of obtaining and/or repairing these items. Frederic Zelman’s name comes up — as does Councilman Creshire from Daughterweep.

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