Nightshade Brazier

The people of the Murmurwoods village noticed a party of adventurers going through their village straight to the Temple of the Sun. Gauldoth, an Acolyte of the Sun, noticed them and shared his thoughts with his fellow Acolyte, Esston: "Have you heard of these adventurers? I remember someone in Traveller's Rest mentioning that they were on a special mission for Bastian Loudrin, the head of the elven Merchants Guild!" "Hmm, really?" answered Esston. "I wouldn't count of someone of the likes of them. A Necromancer and Vampire, free to roam the streets of our village! We'll have trouble from them, mark my words!" "Why don't you like Necromancers, Esston?" asked Gauldoth. "Sure, they practise dark arts, but they aren't necessarily evil. For example, Archibald Ironfist isn't such a bad person – power hungry, yes, but not truly evil. And he learns dark magic just because it's a good subject for research." "Yet most of them are evil!" contradicted Esston. "The only hope for this party is the Priest of the Sun, Dyson. Since he's from this village and was on a special mission before, I guess they can get somewhere, yet I still highly doubt it."

Meanwhile the adventurers, Ilerelie the Dark Elf, Gethric Mercutura the Vampire, Nathaniel Roberts the Necromancer, Arius the Minotaur and Dyson Leyland the Priest of the Sun, entered the Temple of the Sun. From here, they went directly to the room of the leader of the Temple of the Sun, Oskar Tyre. Clerics of the Sun heard them discussing the matters of the new alliance, which could stop the cataclysms on Jadame. After Oskar Tyre explained that he can not form an alliance while he is at war, and suggested the adventurers to get the Undead Transformer for them, the adventurers went back to the hall and and briefly discussed the news they heard. Soon after they were about to leave, when Arius noticed something strange in one on the walls of the temple. Dyson explained that this was a button that opens the altar, adding that he never really had a chance to explore the rooms down there, and suggested doing that now. The rest of the party agreed, and they pushed the button. After that they observed the altar rise, and since the way down was quite long, the adventurers simply jumped down.

To their surprise, they fell into a pit! After a brief inspection of the immediate surroundings, the party stopped near the pedestal with the Nightshade Brazier, Temple's most important artifact, even if the Temple's clerics didn't really have a use for it. Then the adventurers started casting a lot of strange spells, seemingly without any reason – Regeneration, Preservation, Stone Skin, Air Shield, Heroism, Traveller's Boon... One of the Priests of the Sun asked Dyson about what purpose those spells would serve. "Oh, don't mind us, we just want to check how many spells we can have on us at the same time – you know, you have to practise somehow!" answered Dyson and cast Bless. Soon after that they turned around and were about to leave.

Just before going up, Nathaniel looked back and said "Oh, and one more thing..." He waved two of his fingers towards the Nightshade Brazier, and to the Priests' surprise, their treasure started to float towards Nathaniel! He quickly grabbed it, put it into his backpack and exclaimed "Let's go!" Priests of the Sun, shocked by the recent events, simply looked at the adventurers, while they went for the exit. "Come on, let's jump!" exclaimed Nathaniel as a magical force sent them flying up out of the treasure room. Soon after, however, they landed back there. "Drat! Let's try this again!" said Nathaniel. Then one of the Priests understood what they were doing and exclaimed "Thieves! Stop them!!!"

However, this time the jump was successful, and the adventurers ran towards the exit. Clerics at the top didn't really understand what was happening and let them slip through. They were very close to the exit, when a young Acolyte stopped them. "Stop! I won't let you escape, even if it costs me my life!" he exclaimed. "Let's try it then, shall we?" answered Gethric and stabbed the Acolyte. After a number of blows from other party members, the Acolyte was nearly unconscious. The last thing he heard was Gethric saying "This will be tasty!" and the sound of Life Drain...

The adventurers managed to escape with only minor bruises, and found themselves near the village of Murmurwoods. The people of the village, including Esston and Gauldoth, heard the voices coming from the temple and understood what was happening. At first, the adventurers thought they could take the village guardsmen out. However, after a few arrow shots, it was rather obvious they would not succeed – enemies were surrounding them, and the odds were overwhelming. So Ilerelie exclaimed "Run for the hills!" and the party started to move south. They were fast due to the Haste spell they cast earlier, so none of the enemies managed to follow them, except for Esston. He was about to give up as well, but then the adventurers reached the hills. "Oh no, they're too steep to climb! They'll catch up!" exclaimed Arius. Esston noticed that and used it for his advantage – he started throwing fire bolts at them. One hit Nathaniel and he went unconscious. Dyson, however, used the pause to heal Nathaniel. Esston shot another bolt at them, but it missed. Then Nathaniel thought up a plan: "Come on! Hold on tight! Let's use Jump again!" The Jump spell saved them from more injuries – the fire bolt hit the ground where they were standing just a minute ago. A few more magical Jumps and Esston lost the enemies from his sight.

The hills now became a disadvantage to Esston – he didn't know Jump, so he could only climb them slowly. When he was near the rock behind which the adventurers disappeared, he heard something. "Excellent! We have enough time! Let's do it!" said Nathaniel. Esston knew he didn't have much time – who knows what these wicked people could think of? But he was just too far away! Soon after that, a bright blue light appeared just on the other side of the rock. Esston watched hopelessly as the light expanded, started swirling and soon after disappeared. Once he reached the rock, he saw no trace of the adventurers anywhere.

A few seconds later, the Necromancers of Shadowspire saw a similar light appearing near the central fountain. A portal opened, and five adventurers warped through it. They seemed to be in a hurry, however. They ran through the Necromancer guards and peasants straight towards the Necromancers Guild of Shadowspire. After some navigating, they reached the tall fortress and entered through the main gates. Here they ran towards the stairs, only to find them very crowded. "Move it or lose it!" exclaimed Nathaniel. After the party squeezed through the Dark Path Journeymen, they continued to run through the long corridors of the Guild. After two sets of stairs leading down, they finally reached the elevator and pressed the button. Now they could only wait.

Nathaniel was about to exclaim "Can't this thing go any faster!" when the elevator reached the top. The adventurers rushed into the throne room. Sandro saw what they brought to the guild, took the Nightshade Brazier and went on the roof of the tower. He dipped his staff into the sulphurous brazier, and green light started to emanate from the brazier. The sky immediately turned black, and the Vampires in their Crypt, realising that their most hated enemy, sun, was isolated from them, woke up from their deep sleep.

After the Brazier was activated, Sandro returned it to its creator, Thant, and ordered him to continue the reign against the Temple of the Light. Once everything was settled, the Lich went back to talk to the adventurers. He expressed his thanks and agreed to enter the alliance with the Dark Elves as well as go to the Council in Ravenshore.

Back in the village of Murmurwoods, Gauldoth and Esston started a conversation about the Nightshade Brazier. "What was the use of that item, anyway? I haven't seen our men using it anywhere, so why was it so important?" asked Gauldoth. "That item was in the temple for security! We wanted to protect it from any possible theft after all of our attempts to destroy it failed! The new Temple of the Sun was an obvious choice, no unauthorised people were allowed to go in! And now we get this! Why have we all been so blind! That double-crossing Dyson Layland! He was changed during his mission in Shadowspire, and now he serves the Darkness! Why couldn't we realise that before! And how did they manage to get Alvar's support?!" "We can't change what has already happened, Esston. Calm down," said Gauldoth. "But tell me more about the Nightshade Brazier. What will happen now, once – and if – the Necromancers of Shadowspire get it?" "Then, my friend, we'll get to meet an unstoppable army of Vampires, Vampire Minions and the dreaded Elder Vampires, accompanied by hordes of undead! The Brazier enables its user to control the weather, calling all dark clouds to wherever the artifact is. Think of it as a portable Cover of Darkness from Deyja towns. And since most of our most powerful spells, such as Prayer, Prismatic Light and Sunray, work only when the sun is visible, we'll have a very hard time pushing the Necromantic army back!"

It didn't take too long for Thant to mobilise his army and move on into the Murmurwoods. There the army of Necromancers, utilising their Nightshade Brazier, managed to shatter the walls of the Temple of the Sun. They also turned the whole population of the village of Murmurwoods into zombies and skeletons by using their Undead Transformer. The last defenders of the village were Esston and Gauldoth. Although they stood strong, Esston perished in a fight against several Skeleton Archers, while Gauldoth fell in a duel, his last memory being the bite of a Vampire.