The party did not need to seek out employment to satisfy money needs, but they did feel inclined to go out and adventure for the sake of exploration and all the cool stuff they could end up with. With two clerics of Dwayna in the party, they turned toward the Church knowing there were plenty of things the Church wanted accomplished, but did not have the people to do so.
At this time, the party meets Jessica. She is one of the many Church staff known as Handlers. After meeting with Mordica and Vivian several times, they agree upon a rather straight forward task to be assigned to the group. The goal is a book, an index or catalog of all known items said to be holy to Dwayna. Jessica supplied the party with a basic history of the book and a general idea of where it was last spotted.
The book was at one point in trusted to the care of a well-to-do member of the Church who had proven reliable. The book had remained safe in the family’s keep for 3 generations. Then there was an attack on the keep and the keep was in jeopardy of falling into the hands of a rather unsavory lot. The only son, Prince Ijan, seeing the outcome clearly, grabbed the book and took off.
Ijan did not realize that as he was making his plans to escape with the book, the Church of Dwayna had sent reinforcements to safeguard the keep, family and book. The reinforcements broke though the enemy ranks right as Prince Ijan made good his escape. He had covered his tracks pretty well, except for one servant who had seen him slip into the under passages. The knights of the Church, not knowing if Prince Ijan acted by himself gave chase. The knights quickly caught up with Prince Ijan, but by this point Ijan was clearly slipping into madness (the cause not known).
A running battle was started soon after contact. Prince Ijan seemed to be inspired by some great power and was able to keep the book with him and the knights away. The battle ended up in a field containing many barrows. Prince Ijan was backed up onto the top of one. In a final attempt to save the book and himself he opened the book and called upon a power. The knights all thought it was Dwayna, but there are some that question this belief (very quietly).
There was a large lightning strike and when vision returned Prince Ijan and the book were gone. On top of the barrow, there was a large black spot, but no further sign of Prince Ijan or the book.
So – the party heads out and ends up arriving at the site of the final battle without any trouble. They began searching for signs of magic within the barrows. This was not quite as easy as originally thought due to something blocking the search on a couple of barrows. They did finally find one that had a large dirt spot on top and began investigating this one. Salmacis went up and cast Detect Magic directly in the center of the black spot. She vanished from view.
The rest of the party ran up the hill and tried to figure out what happened. They finally came to the conclusion to have Mordica, with a rope around his waste, duplicate Salmacis’ actions. This worked perfectly except the rope was severed and Mordica was also no longer visible. The rest of the party decided at this point to give it a try and the last caster, Vivian, cast Detect Magic in the center. The remainder of the party held onto to her and vanished with a pop.
Everyone came to in a very dark room. A coin with Continual Light was brought out, but it only gave a 30 foot diameter light. A torch was brought out next, but it only gave a 10 foot diameter light.
Looking around the room, they found themselves standing on a black piece of stone. The rest of the floor was much lighter in color. There were four doorways leading out of the square room. The room was surrounded by statues in different types of armor. Upon inspection, the armor belonged to members of the Church of Dwayna and in most cases the owner of the armor was still present (although very much dead).
The began exploring the various hallways, using chalk to mark where they had been. One hallway lead down with a long staircase. At the base of the stairs a room began which slowly opened up. At the far end of the room was a raised altar. Upon the altar was a large chair. Sitting in the chair was a well dressed gentleman.
As the party approached the gentleman he popped up and said “Welcome! How do you do?” He asked why they were walking around in the dark and said “Light”. The ceiling began to illuminate starting from where they entered the space. After several questions, they figured out this was Prince Ijan. He claimed to have the book, but did not seem to want to give it up.
After many meetings and retreats they finally came to the conclusion they needed to take the book by force. Mordica summoned several flame elementals and Vivian summoned several celestial dogs and then the party made their move.
Prince Ijan fought well and actually dropped Vivian before the party could finally stop him. He fought with a grand sword that was the envy of everyone in the room. It did turn out though that Prince Ijan was only an elaborate illusion, but the wounds suffered were real.
Vivian was revived and the party went about looking for the book and examining the sword. The sword was actually aware of the parties presence and warned them off. After two failed attempts to pick up the sword, the rest of the party decided to listen to the sword and went back to searching for the book. The book was found in a compartment under the chair.
Heading back out of the space and back toward town proved rather anti-climatic, but the party was still a little beat up.
They returned the book to the Church and went home to sleep for a day or three.