Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter...

...but get your feet in.

After a considerable shopping spree, Calfalas gathered the group of Turlough’s Steel mercenaries together and briefed them on a job he’d like them to do.

Calfalas is a member of the Order of Olde Magicks, a group mainly sponsored by adherents of Oghma, but allowing membership from other faiths as well. Their mission is to discover and preserve magical and arcane knowledge. Some of their members are former followers of Mystra, for example.

In any case, Calfalas’ studies have turned up something interesting. Teleportation, such as the teleportals between Silverymoon and Waterdeep has been having issues. The portal was arranged so as to have a target slab that those using the teleportal would land on. But the targeting has appeared to be drifting. At first, people (and cargo) might land just a bit off center, or perhaps a few inches above the platform. Or an inch below the surface level, which created real problems. Some tried to avoid having their feet crushed by sitting on wagons or stilts, but they still had problems with the explosions that happened when two objects tried to occupy the same space at the same time.

Calfalas said that all such magics were made with the assumption that there was some interdimensional, or perhaps interplanar correspondence or matrix, that reliably correlated distances and directions in one dimension with the other. But that seems to have broken down. As best as he can tell the breakdown dates to The Cataclysm.

There was a side discussion of the murder of Mystra by The Mad God, who wasn’t mad until then. To Calfalas, while some of the gods and their followers might be opposed to one’s own aims, the gods as a whole formed a system, and each had a part to play in the operation of the universe. Allyson perked up at this and noted that Calfalas must be an Invoker, since she remembered her mother speaking of this philosophy. Her brother Alfred seemed a bit put out that she had caught this bit of knowledge where he hadn’t, as he thinks of himself as the “smart one”.

In any case, Calfalas reported he has found reference to an ancient site that seems to have some connection to these matters nearby. It’s odd though, he said, almost as though someone had edited the texts. He would find a list of sites, with names and exact locations, only one of them would omit both, but just have some oblique mention. Though there is no sign of editing in the manuscripts themselves, e.g., nothing crossed out or added.

However, Calfalas has devised a method of measuring the drift between dimensions. He proposes to proceed by correlating arcane measurements with mundane ones in an arcane ritual. The Order of Olde Magicks has agreed to fund him in an attempt to locate the site. He anticipates that he will need arcane assistance, as well as protection for a journey that will lead him to goodness knows where, will the group help him.

The group, consisting of Allyson, Alfred, Gnf, Max, Aprilane, and Lyra, quickly agreed. At first they thought to use the fairgrounds just outside of Waterdeep for the first reading. However, it turned out that a tournament in honor of the arrival of Prince Ugrun was due to start, and the grounds would be occupied.

At last the party settled on taking a reading in a posh district of town during an execution taking place in the morning. The reading went off fairly well, though Aprilane was less than convincing when she attempted to act as though on official business with her, “Nothing to see here, move along”. However, she did note that there were those watching the group from behind curtained windows or from around corners. Some even were wearing black with hoods. The bad news was that the reading unmistakably pointed down. They would need to enter the sewers and storm drains of Waterdeep.

While the party gathered supplies, Alfred went to see Harry Diggs of the Plumbers and Cellarers, whom Alfred had met at the party for Ugrun. Diggs told them a good place to enter the sewer complex, though he noted that nobody, not even he, knew of everything in the depths of the sewers and below.

Once within the sewers, progress was good until when, coming around a corner, they were accosted by four hobbits and two humans bent on larceny and likely murder. The halflings were perched in high side passages with poisoned hand crossbows, while the humans attacked berserkly. Or they would have, but something in Max’s stare and flaming red hair gave them pause. Alfred pulled one of the hobbits out of his perch with little more than a smirk and a sneering comment. Gnf jumped onto Max’s shoulders and fired a spell at another. And so they were defeated. It appears that they were members of a dockside gang of some sort, maybe thinking they could find easy pickings in the sewer.

A suitable site, a crossroads in the drain tunnels was found and Calfalas, Gnf and Lyra set up shop. Calfalas did the primary ritual, while Lyra used a measuring chain to do the mundane measurement. Gnf assisted with the ritual, but Alfred, who had assisted with the previous one, decided to stand watch. This proved prudent, as the party was attacked by a group of the now-familiar Black Hoods.

This time they came in a column with spellcasters in the rear. Max and Allyson charged the heavy fighters at the front, with Alfred and Aprilane backing them up. The Black Hoods concentrated on Allyson, who took serious damage, but steadied when she assumed her regenerating stance, and they slowly cut through the enemy.

Meanwhile Gnf, having seen the ritual before and familiar with its principles of operation, realized that he could cut short his own part and join in the battle. He left his Mage Hand in his spot holding the silvered rod for Calfalas to finish his arcane measurements. Gnf then unleashed his first-ever Fireball on the group of miscreants, wiping out most of the lackeys that were tasked with protecting the mages. Meanwhile Aprilane and Alfred finished off the mages, and Allyson and Max cut down the last of the heavy fighters. So, one lackey, seeing the new situation, ran for his life, and was successful.



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