The Four Winds

Tearing of the Weave

The party, well half of them at least, examine the temple of Mystra and soon find that all is not as it seems. After some investigation (and a incident in a public shower that several members vowed never to speak of again) the party learns the temple is a fake and actually a temple dedicated to Shar. Using a minor artifact called the Starry Gnosis the priest try to hypnotize the party into becoming docile slaves. It seems the temple is interested in any supplicants they can get, especially those with magical aptitude.

The Four Winds overthrow the compulsion and clean out the false temple, including the hidden dungeon underneath it. They learn that the hypnotized slaves are going to to someplace called The Last Refuge, which lies somewhere in the Vast Swamp. Luckily they have a map. They also learn that the god Bane is somehow involved.

The party reunites after the temple incident and heads to the swamp. They meet a tribe of lizardman called the Sharptooth tribe and learn about quite a number of their people and other tribes missing. They even joined forces with their natural enemies, the Blackscale and Poison Dusk tribes to try and survive. Any lizardman, regardless of tribe that gets caught by the followers of Shar turns into some kind of magic draining undead called the Shadowscales. While talking to the temporary chieftain they are attacked by the shadowscales and a floating Grell.

The four winds take on the undead lizards while Sunny tries his luck at riding a Grell. In the end they win the battle and are shown the way to the Last Refuge. They are asked to look for their lost shaman and chieftain Gathen.

They explore the Last Refuge and meet a couple of shadowdemons, possessed mages, crazed Half dragon daughter of Dyspair, and even a evil shadow druid. Despite all obstacles, and Bane getting so lost he wandered into another plane of existence, the Four Winds over come all obstacles and free the prisoners. Gathen however decides that his worth will never be restored until he has personally killed Dyspair. So he joins up.

The party travels through the portal (Bane for the second time) and now fight there way through the Vast Swamp from the Shadow Planes perspective. A good rendition is done by Sunny Underhill in the Shadow Swamp Recap basically it ends with the Four Winds traveling through a portal to a different area of the Shadow Plane.

The different area turned out to be several floating islands miles in above the ground. Actually the group was just assuming the ground was there since none could see it. They were not there for long when Dyspair herself showed up, looking a bit different from last time. She had covered herself with glowing black (yes black can glow) runes. She promptly caught Talon, who tried to fly away in a little black dragon form and put one of her runes on him by carving it into his chest with her talon. Then she surprisingly dropped Talon back among the group and flew away. Why Dyspair was letting them go so easy was a little mysterious, but the group didnt argue.

The group had to fight there way through each one of the islands and it quickly became apparently what the rune did. After every battle ended, the rune would flash and Talon would lose all memory of what just happened. He couldnt remember a thing about the fight (he couldn’t get xp) so he couldnt learn from the experience.

Polk and Gathen leading, the lizardman proved why he was the chieftain and survived almost all the way up to the fight with Dyspair, dieing to a powerful Demon right before the final showdown. Along the way the group meet a mind flayer that apparently Zena had meet before. A alternate version of the fight is written in the Alternate Universe Recap. But it ended wiht Shaalabhak free falling down into the mist with two tentacles cut from his face and frostburn searing the left side.

But Dyspair was another matter altogether. The group found three prisoners captured and put in cages that were powering some sort of device. One of the prisoners was Elvetria Shadowstep. Shadowy images of the prisoners came out and fought the Four Winds and Shiney learned how bad it was to be stabbed by a experienced spellthief. The group did note that Dyspair fought from a distance and used hampering spells, not harming ones.

Talindra tried to save her mentor but Bane put his hammer through the shadowy image. This released the shadows hold on her and Elvetria regained control of her body once again. She smiled as winked at Talindra and willed herself to die, as only elves can do.

With Elvetrias life essence no longer available to power the machine, it starts to fail and the islands start to fall. However it is Dyspair who has the last laugh. Apparently with Bane killing Elvetrias shadow, he unknowingly completed another ritual that would allow Dyspair to enter the Fane of Shadows. A mysterious place full of dark power. It seemed that Dyspair and Shar had a backup plan. Either the ritual would succeed and they would tear a hole in the Weave above the Vast Swamp and allow shadow magic to rule. Or they would fail and Dyspair could enter the Fane of Shadows to become a goddess by Shars side.

The Four Winds would need to find a way to enter the Fane of Shadows themselves and stop her once and for all. But first they needed not to day on the Shadow Plane. Once the ritual was broken however, Mystra could send an avatar to the group and protect them, which is exactly what she did. Neither Shar nor Dyspair had counted on the group receiving divine intervention.

Upon placing the group safe and sound back on the Prime Material Plane, just a few days outside of Selgaunt in Sembia. She has a talk with all the Four Winds individually. All this is covered in the Story Section In addition she takes Talindra under her wing and allows her to complete her wizard training basically in a time bubble. Every year for her was a second to the party, so it seemed to only take he sixteen seconds although Talindra had lived through every day of the sixteen year time gap.

The reason Mystra dropped them off outside of Selgaunt is she had made a barain with Bane to help him by protecting his people and getting his vengeance. The Iron Throne headquarters was in Selgaunt and Bane knew they had a date with his hammer.

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