The two cities ( Irongate and Olegtown) of Shaarhaven grow each day, but not all citizens are happy with how the religious faiths are conducting themselves. Tunaster Dranik, a self proclaimed priest of “Mystra” has come to the court of Prince Brylynn Obarskyr astonished at the happenings at a newly raised temple of Mystra. Tunaster states that he entered the temple, jubilant and eager to see fellow clergy in this new city. Only to barely escape with his life, he states that upon his asking to enter into the church that the occupants turned hostile and began to chase him and even fired arrows at him.
He wished the Prince to have the temple investigated, perhaps by the city watch (the Ironguard) or by The Steel Vanguard itself. However, the Prince realized that any undue raid of the temple would cause a stir amongst his people. He decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to allow the Temple to explain its actions. He sent Illyn and Durzo to deliver a summons to the Temple leader, Lady Arthras. They gladly accepted the responsibility and made their way to the Temple.
Upon arriving, the two heroes were met with a surprising amount of guards that surrounded the Temple. Being magic users themselves, they thought it funny that a Temple, especially one with a magic oriented deity, would have employed so many heavily armed guards to patrol a sacred place of worship. They entered the temple and was greeted by a very lively cleric named Shan Thar. The duo explained to Shan Thar that they had a summons requesting Lady Arthras’ presence in front of the council at high noon tomorrow. Shan Thar requested to see the document; however, Durzo and Illyn were very reluctant to hand it to anyone other than Lady Arthras. When this was mentioned to Shan Thar, he apologized and relayed that Lady Arthas was regrettably busy at the moment. Durzo was taken back at how nonchalantly the cleric acted in the presence of the king’s messengers. He then made it very clear that they would not leave until they were able to hand the summons to Lady Arthras herself. Shan Thar wished to oblige them and told them there would be one way to meet Lady Arthras. The two would have to pay 25 gold each and commit themselves to a 3 day ritual to learn the secrets of Mystra. Only then would they have the opportunity to meet Lady Arthras. Shocked by the cleric’s outlandish request the two repeated themselves once more to Shan Thar and made it clear they wished to see the Lady and had no intention of participating in any ritual. The gracious yet stubborn cleric did not waver on his request and told them there might be a possibility of catching the Lady at that evenings service.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Orrin Silverthorn had followed the drow and cleric to the temple and was doing reconnaissance of the surrounding area. He wandered for quite some time until he came to a small house that was on the temple residence. He fiddled with the door and began to hear movement on the other side. He rushed to hide around the corner of the house. As he peered back he saw the head of a guard lean out of the open door. It was obvious that the house was merely guard quarters. Orrin noticed durzo and illyn leaving the temple with frustrated looks on their faces. He thought it best to return with the two and hear about what had happened inside the temple.
The Prince was surprised when he heard the story that was relayed by Durzo and illyn, not so much at the temple’s demeanor, but more at the fact that the two did not have enough foresight just to leave the summons there and settle the disrespect at the future council meeting with Lady Arthas. He then sent a young messenger boy to settle the simple task that two seasoned heroes were unable to do, deliver the damn summons. Arahntu caught wind of what had happened at the earlier summons delivery and decided she would return with the duo to that evening’s temple service. Orrin Silverthorn tagged along out of curiosity. Upon arriving they saw a large gathering of magic users within the temple. They all were there to lay witness to that evening’s service. One exceptionally lively participant in the service was a small gnome by the name of Kevrin the Sorcerer. Kevrin preached heavily the goodness of the almighty Mystra. Shan Thar recognized Durzo and illyn as they entered. The boisterous cleric was very happy to see the two had returned with more people to witness the greatness of Mystra. He then inquired if they had thought over his earlier offer for the three day ritual. They once again refused and stated they were only there to see Lady Arthras. Shan Thar regrettably informed them that the Lady was leading the final ceremony within the inner sanctum for there most recent graduates of the ritual. She would be unable to meet them at this time. The group was immediately frustrated at the cleric. It seemed he enjoyed to do nothing more than play them games them. It was then that Orrin’s curiosity got the best of him, he requested to participate in the ritual. Shan Thar was very pleased and immediately had Orrin follow him to be begin. The group a little surprised by his decision decided to return to the council and let him go through the ritual in order to find out more.
The next day Lady Arthras appeared in front of the council to relay her side of the story. She was accompanied by a dark figure named Starweaver Fembrys and both appeared in full plate armor before the council. When asked about the initial complaint from the cleric of Mystra they had run off, the Lady merely jested about the old cleric’s spryness and disregarded what had happened. She proved to offer nothing in the way of information, she mostly listened to the Prince and gave brief and vague responses to his questions. The prince allowed them to leave, but told the Lady that he wished to visit the Temple on the day of last day of Orrin Silverthorn’s three day ritual. She responded stating that him and his council would be more than welcome to visit and she looked forward to their presence.
In the meantime, a distraught traveler entered Iron Gate requesting an audience with the Marshall Willow (…Texas Ranger). The traveler spoke of a giant that was wreaking havoc in the south east portion of Shaar Haven. When Willow had him point it out on the map, she noted that it was in an unexplored portion of their kingdom that was separated by a river that branched across the land. She understood that the giant would need attention, but she also caught wind of the recent events with the temple. The possible issue on their doorstep took presidence over the problem to the south east. Willow did, however, request additional guards be added to the only bridge that crossed the river leading to the south east. She wished to be informed if the giant moves any further north into the populated portion of Shaar Haven.
It came time for the group to go to the temple. This time they all gathered except for Myrine, who had further diplomatic gatherings with the bordering kingdoms. Rikimaru had returned from a mission and was happy to take her place in assisting the group. They group entered the temple and was instantly greeted by Shan Thar. He began to give a tour of the temple; however, the group began to realize that he was avoiding the door that lead further into the temple. The prince asked why they we’re not being shown what was behind the large double doors, to which the cleric responded that entrance into the inner sanctum would only be allowed to those who participate in the ritual. He then offered for the group to participate in the three day ritual to gain access.
The Steel Vanguard was instantly appalled by the gull of this temple to deny access to the kingdom’s councilman and furthermore give an outlandish ultimatum to the leaders who don’t have the time to deal with a three day ritual. Willow instantly took up hostility with the salesman in cleric garments. She had bigger fish to fry, namely a giant, and didn’t have time for the little mind games he was playing. She walked up to the double doors and prepared to open it with some newly acquired skills. The guards around her and the bowman in the upper balcony immediately took note of the sacrilege she was about to commit, but before another thought could enter their head the Prince reminded them any obstruction they commit on the investigation would be found as treason. Willow found a magical trap on the locked double doors and reached for her tools to disarm it. Only to realize that she had forgot to acquire the tools for her new skills. This only added to the little dryad’s frustration. She immediately grabbed out her rapier and jammed it into the lock. The edge of the rapier broke off in the lock and the trap went off. A fiery pillar engulfed the woodland fey and nearly burnt her to a crisp; however, the dryad had developed enough endurance to withstand such a heavy spell. The cleric of Mystra offered healing, but Willow refused his assistance. At that moment the ceremony inside finished and Orrin was to exit with the rest of the disciples. After a small struggle of opening the jammed door, Orrin exited appearing to be his normal self. The group was glad to have one of their own back and decided they had committed enough property damage for one day. They left the temple and decided to take care of the giant in the morning.
The next morning Orrin Silverthorn had disappeared. They could only surmise that he had returned to the temple during the night. They returned to the temple to look for their wayward friend. As they entered the temple they could feel a more ominous presence that had not been there before. Shan Thar stood there near the doors to the inner sanctum, this time there was no smile to be found on his face. His boisterous demeanor had left him after two days of harassment. He looked at the group and told them that in order to qualm their inquiries Lady Arthras has agreed to allow them entry into the inner sanctum. At that moment his facial features became veiled in darkness and the surrounding guards sprang in for a surprise attack. It was an ambush, one that was long overdue. Within the chaos the Steel Vanguard clashed with guards and followers alike. Amongst the frey was the giddy little gnome Kevrin who was know lost in a violent elemental rage. All enemies fell to the blades of the Vanguard and how sweet it was to destroy that nuisance of a cleric Shan Thar.
Willow disarmed and unlocked the double doors with her new tools. As she slowly pushed the door open, the group could only imagine what what ungodly horrors waited for them on the other side.