Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by jmecha »

Operation: Hard Shell Fish
Mirtul 9th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes

Operation: Hard Shell Fish

Objectives:
1)Collect as much Intelligence and resources as we can from the Shadowspires
2) Free Prisoners from the Shadow Spires and evacuate them through a Moon Door to Waterdeep.
3) Destroy Corrupted Brother Hronkil Elgredsson and his Forces
4) Cripple the production abilities of the Shadowspires
5) Escape Shadowdeep

Situation
Corrupted Brother Hronkil Elgredsson has stolen vital and sensitive intelligence form the House of Heroes that could be used against Waterdeep and all of Her allies, as well as using people captured from Waterdeep to build weapons and war supplies for Vanrak Moonstar's forces. This weapons facility is located where the analog of the Lathanderite Morning Spires exists in Shadowdeep. Heavy resistance is to be expected from Undead Legion Sentries, Sharran Priestess, Corrupted Monks formerly of the Sun Soul Order, Members of the Dark Brotherhood Monastic Order.

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Warning: Interior Map based on Waterdeep Sun Soul Monestary, the Shadow Spires may not match what is shown here.

The Plan
1) We will gather at the House of Heroes to receive Highsword Bloodhelm of Tempus's Blessing before marching to the Void Door located in the Northwest corner of Waterdeep. We will pass through the Void Door and travel South along the Western wall of Shadowdeep and then travel East to arrive at the Northwest corner of the Shadowspires.

2) Upon reaching the Northwest corner of the Shadowspires Rako Ca'tra will lead Sky Pony Warriors in a frontal assault against the walls and gates of the Shadowspire Compound, while the Rescue Team will discreetly enter the Secret Door located in the Northwestern area of the Courtyard. While the Assault Team works to keep a large number of enemy forces engaged, the Rescue Team will work to quickly recover or destroy stolen Intelligence and rescue as many prisoners as possible.

3) Both the Assault Team and the Rescue Team will escape through the Moon Door located on the Southern Wall of the Shadowspires Compound. Rope Ladders will be draped over the wall to allow prisoners an easy ascent to the top of the wall. If the desginated Moon Door is unavailable or inaccessible, the known Moon Doors in the area of operation have been marked on the map and an alternative exit may need to be selected.


Volunteers
Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot
Gray Hand Enforcer Aries Vexx
Gray Hand Enforcer Brujo
Gray Hand Enforcer Fylnn
Pawn Xandos Klaxxan
Rako Ca'tra
Sky Pony Warriors
Kelemvor Clergy Alain
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by jmecha »

Operation: Hard Shell Fish After Action Review
Mirtul 9th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes

With the blessings of the Great Guide granted to us through the Clerical administrations of Alain we marched through the Void Door in the Northwestern corner of Waterdeep and began our march South along the Western Wall of Shadowdeep. Despite several encounters with Legion Patrols we reached the Northwestern corner of the Shadowspires and awaited the Assualt Force to begin their attack.

With a bright bolt of lighting flying up into the dark sky above Shadowdeep and exploding in a brilliant display, what sounded like hundreds of wild feral voices began to scream with battle lust somewhere South East of our position. The signal had been given and Rako Ca'tra in command of the Sky Pony Warriors had begun their assualt upon the front gates of the Shadowspires. As the battle quickly grew heated our smaller Recovery and Rescue Force went over the Northwestern Wall of the Compound and silently entered through the Secret Door.

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Once inside we quickly realized the interior of the Nightsinger's Spires were not a mirror to the Spires of the Sun Soul Monastery of Waterdeep. We were forced to improvise and moved through the dark passages and large haunting chambers dispatching the Corrupted Monks and Black Guards now in-service to the Nightsinger as we encountered them. In short order we reached a set of stairs leading upwards towards a sizable door, from which we could clearly hear the battle being raged by Rako Ca'tra and the Sky Pony Warriors against Sharran Forces. In realization we had been working our way towards the main entrance and not deeper into the heart of the Nightsinger's Spires, we changed our course and quickly back tracked in an effort to explore alternative routes.

It was during this haste to insure we did not lose the advantage of the Assualt Force's distraction I had stepped upon a well concealed trap that teleported me into the bowels of the Spires locked within a small cell. As I heard jailers keys jingling outside the door I cloaked myself with invisablity in preparation to escape and rejoin the others.

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In my absence Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot, and the Gray Hand Enforcers Aries Vexx and Brujo pressed forward to continue the mission in my absence. They knew time was of the essence and that denying Vanrak Moonstar the stolen records and freeing the prisoners was of utmost importance. Together the three of them continued to battle through the dark passages of the Nightsinger's Spires battling Legion Sentries, Corrupted Monks, Black Guards, as well as a fearsome Bone Golem.

When the door to my cell opened, it was none other then my Ward Danny Lu who held the keys in his hands. Uncertain of his loyalty I studied him for a moment before making my presence known. Danny Lu quickly explained he and the other Prawns have not been allowed to speak to eachother and they had all been given a re-education by the Sharrans. I returned to him the Banner of the Foehammer and together we quickly moved cell to cell to liberate the Prawns. Each of them was filled with doubt and uncertainty, but with the sight of Danny Lu holding the Foehammer's Sigil high, and sound of voice, each Prawn dug deep within themselves to find the mettle needed to carve a path free of the darkness.

Together once more we emerged from the depths of the holding cells to find Brother Hronkil Elgredsson wearing the Nightsinger's Colors and standing between us and our escape. I intended words with the Man, because he was a Man and should have been offered an opportunity to return to the Light of Lathander, though several of the Prawns who had suffered under his abuse moved to battle without hesitation and brutal efficiency. I shouted out that he should Return to the Light of Lathander as I moved to join the battle the Prawns had already encircled Hronkil with.

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What followed was a fight I may not have been able to win without all of my students united beside me. Together though we defeated Hronkil Elgredsson and may he have what the Lathanderites reference as "From Death, Life." Not far from his corpse I discard a prepared tome of misinformation in hopes that it maybe salvaged by Sharran Forces and it might for a time mislead their efforts.

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Upon reuniting with the rest of the Recovery and Rescue Team, we set out for Brother Hronkil Elgredsson's personal chambers to reclaim the records and documents that had been taken during the attack on the House of Heroes. Along our path we discovered a large vault and armory holding the vast amount of stolen wealth and artifacts stolen from the Sun Soul Monastery's own Treasury and Armory. Upon entering the Vault to reclaim the lost Treasures of the Church of Lathander we were set upon by no less and no more then a Shadow Dragon Wyrmling.

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It was only after this most harrowing battle against only the youngest of Shadow Dragons, we found Hronkil Elgredsson's personal chambers and those that defended it. In the wake of the battle we reclaimed our stolen documents and a large collection of the Enemy's missives and documents as well.
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Only then with our mission accomplished did we all retreat out through the secret door we had used to enter the compound to return to Waterdeep through accessing the nearby Moon Door where we reunited with Clergy of the Great Guide Alain, Rako Ca'tra and his Team of Sky Ponies. We learned that the Assault Force had suffered minimal casualties before escaping with a bountiful number of hard won war trophies, and together we all returned to the House of Heroes to celebrate our victory over the Forces of the Spires of the Nightsinger, the end of Brother Hronkil Elgredsson's corruption, the reclaiming of the Church of Lathander's effects, the House of Heroes War Records, and last but not least the return of the Prawns who had proved themselves capable Pawns.
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by Burt »

A missive written in scratched, awkward script is left on Pawn's desk at the House of Heroes - a crudely drawn sketch of a bald, fanged man in its corner.

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Jagoff.
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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For the desk of Pawn Xandos Klaxxan,

Young Master Thomas informed us of a halfling in Odolff's employ named Ascoft, a notorious Waterdhavian rogue and thug for hire.

We tracked down this would-be spy and, against my better Judgement, Selu and Master Valyar persuaded him to betray his former master and reveal his assignment.

With the assistance of mercenary arcanists, Ascoft has been surveilling the Moonstar Villa for some time. During this period Alathene Moonstar has not been identified as leaving the Villa through means either banal or magical. It is therefore assumed, and seemingly corroborated, that she yet remains within.

This Ascoft has offered to continue the surveillance operation for 2,000gp; or 1,500 with additional assistance in dealing with a group of brigands.

While such a lawless endeavour sits unwell with me, I defer to your strategic wisdom in such matters, and will engage with the halfling to continue if you so wish it. Financial assistance may be necessary.

Alain
Faithful Servant of the Lord of the Dead
Mirtul 29th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes

You and your team have done solid work Alain, do let them all know they are making a difference in this war for not only the people of Waterdeep, but for all of the region. While I understand your disposition towards dealing with the likes of this Ascoft, the Lady of the Lanceboard teaches us that in times of War we must make allies with the enemy of our enemy where we can and be prepared to compromise.

I am authorizing you two thousand waterhavian dragons from the House of Heroes Temple Treasury to invest in putting this Ascoft and his associates eyes and ears in our service. I though leave to you the choice to decide to exchange favors with this Ascoft and working to deal with the "brigands." I caution only you use wisdom in making your choice for there could be advantages far beyond the saving of five hundred coins worth of expense by working with Ascoft in this manner, or a price paid that could not be measured in material wealth for getting involved in working for and with such nefarious organizations and men.

In closing I want to express to you that while I have no doubt the cost of gold invested in this matter is a investment worth risking, the House of Heroes Treasury is not some unlimited pool of resources to be continually drawn from without consequence. Moving forward it would be a valuable contribution towards the collective war effort if you and your team could determine a means in which your expenses maybe covered without drawing upon the Temple Treasury.

Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by jmecha »

*A brief note left under Pawn's door at the House of Heroes*
Pawn Xandos Klaxxan,
A man named Tiberius has been dispatched to the city from the Citadel of Strategic Militancy by the devout of your Patron, the Red Knight. I have introduced him to the perils of Waterdeep and he seems of able body and keen mind. He is eager to make your acquaintance and, given he has proven himself capable, I have offered him an introduction at the House of Heroes at your convenience. It is my belief that this Tiberius may prove a staunch ally in the Shadow War.
Alain
Faithful Servant of the Lord of the Dead
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Mirtul 30th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Faithful Servant of the Lord of the Dead Alain,

Know that your due diligence and initiative is commendable, although I am but a humble Pawn. I ask you consider the potential politically ramifications of those representatives sent by the Citadel of Strategic Militancy being required to face a series of challenges and tests before being allowed an audience with myself who holds no title or rank beyond the mostly lowly station of Pawn. Do let this Tiberius know that I Pawn Xandos Klaxxan welcome him to the House of Heroes and the City of Waterdeep and I am prepared to be of service.

Pawn Xandos Klaxxan
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Loose Ends
Kythorn 2nd, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes

Agent Cesa Brul's Death
We now know that Agent Cesa Brul was investigating the Vampire Odoloff who served as a member of Vanrak Moonstar's network of agents inside Waterdeep, up until the Cleric Alain of the Great Guide and his team slew the Vampire. What we do not know is if the rumors of the Gray Company. Confirming if this Gray Company exists would be valuable information, as well as learning their loyalties if any.

R.R and the Monster Pit
Someone knew in advance the Lathanderites would use the House of Heroes to aid in the delivery of curatives from Kappiyan Flurmastyr's to the Lathanderite Compound, and they were prepared to sabotage our efforts with efficiency. Who are they and how did they know what they knew?
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by jmecha »

Collectors
Kythorn 4th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes

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Wizard Whitehorn,

It is my understanding you have successfully gleamed some insights into the truth of the Collectors. It was reccomended to me that I speak with you regarding these insights on account Cornelius Tauber did not believe he could accurately share through his own words what was learned. According to intelligence intercepted from the Nightsinger's Spires, I currently suspect the Collectors are being controlled by an Arcanist working from a Tower somewhere within Shadowdeep. If you can provide a report of your findings, I will see them shared with our allies against the forces of darkness.

Pawn Xandos Klaxxan


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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

Post by epetrow »

A Guardgoyle known by some as Jeeves, the servant of Wyk Whitehorn arrives at the Hall of Heroes bearing a sealed envelope with "Pawn Klaxxon" written on the outside. Jeeves will show the envelope to anyone in the Hall but withdraws it and shakes his head pointing to the name if any try to take it from him. He willingly hands it to Xandos, nods his head and flies away towards the south.

Pawn Klaxxon,
Thank you for you missive and I wholeheartily agree that the sharing of information with all allies is key to our success. In the spirit of full disclosure, I would caution that the "truth" is more suposition based on observation, intercepted missives and the application of magical theory. That said, Loremaster Soosh and I feel that the Collector's manifestations in Waterdeep are illusionary projections from Shadowdeep. We also believe that this "contraption" mentioned in the intercepted message is stored in a tower in Shadowdeep where the Collector resides. The actual location remains a mystery however.

The masters of the Guild have made finding this tower and eliminating the "contraption" our most urgent goal. There are two paths we are exploring.
The first is to magically summon and contain a denizen from the shadow plane and interogate them as to the location and defenses of the Collector's tower.

The second, if the first should prove fruitless, is to see if the location of the projector can be traced from the projection of the Collector either via true sight or the other magical means. There are many unknowns at this point but I will keep you appraised of our progress as you will no doubt reciprocate.

Stay true to your course and have faith we shall overcome this most recent threat to the people of our city.

Warm Regards,
Wyk Whitehorn
Master of the Adventurer's Guild
Seeker of the Font of Knowledge
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"Bring out your dead!"
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Kythorn 8th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper

Masters of the Adventurer's Guild,

Legion records suggest there were Fourteen pieces of Resonator that was their responsablity to protect and see delievered to Vanrak's Enemies.

Missives intercepted from the enemy suggest that if only one of the Fourteen pieces were denied from us it would be a boon towards the success of Vanrak Moonstar's forces.

Intelligence indicates that the Fourteen pieces of Resonator have been gathered despite the Enemy efforts to deny them from us. I believe that together they may reveal their true value and prove a boon to our war efforts and a bane to the forces of darkness.

I am inviting you to bring the piece in possession of the Adventurer's Guild to a gathering of all Fourteen pieces so we may together learn their true value. I suggest we make this effort some place where any violent interference will not easily put civilians at undue risk. The House of Heroes has proven defensible in the past and I invite you there, though if you would preffer to assemble the collection within the Adventurer's Guild I will support your choice.

I will be reaching out to the House of Wonders so they may send a representative of the Church of Mystra to this gathering to bear witness and offer their expert opinion.

Pawn Xandos Klaxxan of the House of Heroes
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Fourteen Stones
Kythorn 10th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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The fourteen Crystals were gathered within the House of Heroes, and what appeared to be a representative of the Lords of Waterdeep and a full patrol of Waterhavian Defenders arrived and demanded we surrender the stones. I passed the stones to Vaylar to assemble while I tried to prevent the threat of imminent violence from bearing fruit. I failed, as did the Illusions which the Shade Mercenaries were using to disguise themselves. The fighting that followed was brutal, and only served to distract us as the Shadow Wrymling made it's way to us.

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It was not until this battle was won that Valyar truly turned his focus to the stones, and a great statue arose from the center of the Lanceboard projecting from it the demands of Vanrak Moonstar. We were called naive children, ignorant of what we possessed. It demanded the stones by right, and all the while Vaylar worked to assemble them upon the Altar of the Red Knight, undeterred. No sooner had the great statue conceded we had won a small battle this day and it retreated from our presence, then Vaylar confessed he was unable to determine how or if the stones even fit together.

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It was then I moved to the altar to try and make sense of what the stones may form together, or to learn my efforts and rearranging fourteen draw crystals was no more insightful or productive then Valyar's efforts. All the while the Lanceboard cracked open and Bone Golems crawled out of the floor. Thankfully the Dwarf Kharak, Hand Vexx, and the Elf Vaylar were capable of defeating them while I allowed myself to be invested in fruitless labors with the stones.

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In the end the gathering of the stones provided no more insight then we had previously, though now it is apparent that Vanrak Moonstar is very well aware we have them and is actively pursuing efforts to take them from us. Last and not least the Temple's Constructs were all violently dismantled during the assualt, and the Lanceboard marble has been shattered.
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Shadows of Ourselves
Kythorn 12th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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For far to long have the rogue shadows of Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot and myself roamed free from ourselves. In an effort to either reunite with our shadows or destroy them, we set out for the Shadowdeep House of Heroes. Using the Void Door in the Northwestern corner of Waterdeep, we traveled South along the exterior wall combating hordes of Shadows, Shadow Mastiffs, and some Legion Forces to eventually arrive at our destination.

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Upon entering the basement of the Shadowdeep Temple, we were set upon by what appeared do be large slithering beings of bone that moved like giant serpants that had oversized human skulls. Together the Inquisitor Guardian and I fought side by side until the waves of undead laid shattered upon the floor around us, and the Inquisitor Guardian's Shadow made his presence known to us.

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I remained silent as the pair discussed their differences. The Shadow had fled to Shadowdeep to escape the burden of life reminding it of all the Horrors it had experienced in war, and the Inquisitor Guardian's words reminded it of their shared Oaths, convincing it to once more return to duty as part of him. My own Shadow them greeted us with mocking applause and condescending sarcasm. I learned that had come to Shadowdeep to pursue matters of vanity, to become reknown as a great tactician amoungst the Shadows and the leader of forces through out Shadowdeep. I reminded it of the truths of how the Lady of the Lanceboard was raised to divinity and why, and how any pursuit in service to the Lady of Loss was in truth a cowardly and ultimately foolish form of forfeit. My appeal to it's sense of logic convinced it to once more return to where it belonged.

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After scrubbing the basement shrine with Holy Water, we briefly saw the Symbol of the Red Knight clearly before it faded, and the sound of heavy hooves was heard above us. Together the Inquisitor Guardian and I moved to Temple above where a mounted Death Knight awaited the pair of us. Without a word exchanged the three of us engaged in a fierce battle, and afterwards only the living remained upright. A prayer was said to the Foe Hammer and His Altar washed over with the explosive positive energy of a Holy Hand Grenade. Only then did the Inquisitor Guardian and I, reunited with our shadows and whole once more, return to Waterdeep.
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Failure to Deliver
Kythorn 17th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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In an effort to reach Commander Amaurri's Command Center atop Mount Shadowdeep to deliever a missive from Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot, Great Hand Enforcer Aries Vexx and I entered the Void Door North of the Thayan Enclave. We found the immediate vicinity of our destination safe, but that the nearby streets were heavily patrolled by Legion Forces. We traveled South to the Shadowdeep analog for the Thayan Enclave of Waterdeep and found it to be a walled off compound that appeared to be filled with a very thick fog and lacking any visable structures.

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Together we moved West to the Shadowdeep Analog of Lord Piergeiron Castle in search of a means of ascending Mount Shadowdeep to approach Commander Amaurri's Command Center. While we failed to find a means of advance, and the letter remains undelivered, we have tested the Void Door and found it a safe means of accessing Shadowdeep, and discovered the location of two more Moon Doors.
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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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OPERATION: Hand Delivered
Kythorn 24th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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In an effort to establish a line of communication between Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot and Commander Amaurri, Grey Hand Enforcer Aries Vexx and I once more made an effort to reach the Legion Command atop Mount Shadowdeep. The route we took was not a direct route, and this was an effort to avoid the large number of Sharran Priestesses we had encountered near Castle Shadowdeep in the past. Dispite our efforts we still encountered sizeable Legion Patrols marked with Red X's and had two different encounters with Sharran Priestesses marked with Purple X's. The first of which was nearly fatal for myself as a pack of Shadow Mastiffs managed to keep me on the ground while Grey Hand Enforcer Aries Vexx was forced to contend with the Priestess in single combat. The second encounter with a Priestess was far more favorable for the pair of us.

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Our route also allowed us to pass through sections of the Shadowdeep Dock Ward that we had not previously explored and the addition of the Moon Doors and the Safe Haven discovered have been added to the maps in circulation amongst allies. Despite our previous encounters it was important we not bring the full force of the Legion army stationed atop Mount Shadowdeep down upon us. As we approached Mount Shadowdeep from the Southern slopes we managed to avoid large Legion Patrols by leaping across a deep ravine that most defense strategists would likely consider an impossible terrain feature for any attacker to cross without the aid of magics or flight. Those sentries we could not avoid or pass without catching the attention of, we moved to quickly dispatch before moving swiftly along cloaking ourselves with invisibility and using the rocky terrain to keep ourselves concealed. Eventually we managed to see the Inquisitor Guardian's letter delivered and escaped through the Moon Door atop Mount Shadowdeep.

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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Bottled Protection
Kythorn 29th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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Today Anovallis Starmane, a young woman who describes herself as a faithful of Mystra and twice blessed with both gifts of the Divine and Arcane, and who prefers to be simply called Nova, has presented to me a Potion that may Dimensionally Anchor those who imbibe it. While she was unwilling to share the ingredients needed to create such a potion until after it has been tested, she did provide me a sample to field test. Depending upon the rarity of the ingredients needed, while it is unlikely we will be able to protect the entire population of Waterdeep from the predations of the Collectors, we may soon have a means available of protecting strategic personal from being Collected.

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Re: Shadow War Strategic Studies

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Response from the Darkness
Flamerule 7th, 1401 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Sheltered Viper
Scribed by Pawn Xandos Klaxxan

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Commander Amaurri of Vanrak Moonstar's Undead Legion, and former Paladin of Helm, has replied to the letter Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot wrote him. They are to meet alone in the analog of the Adventurer's Quarter within Shadowdeep.

This matter represents both a horrid risk as well as the potential for the greatest of reward. The opportunity to guide a man back to the forces of light and from the corrupting influences of the Nightsinger, or to die trying. I know of no one more qualified nor steadfast then Inquisitor Guardian Hans Copperpot of the One True Vision to attempt such an undertaking, and shoulder the burden of failure and sacrifice should it come to that.

It is with sincere admiration for his devotion that I have seen him off, and with the deepest of concerns that I await his return.

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