|Status||Explored January 918 TA|
|Campaign||The Old Kingdom Campaign|
This is the beginning of a six-adventure series centered around finding the pieces of Alfric's Amulet. The party will determine the order in which the adventures take place, and each will have implications on Wittenagemot (see Ginger Beddington's letter below for a list of the adventures).
Vince stares at the parchment. He walks to the window.
It is the last day of 917 TA, the Feast of Shadowfest, the Day Between Years. The moon is dark, and so are Vince's thoughts. The snow is deep outside as he looks out from the high tower. Below, the streets are filled with merrymakers - for it has been a decade of unparalleled prosperity. Long forgotten are the threats of the Old Kingdom, the yellow powder, blowing up the city.
Vince shakes his head and returns to his desk.
He shouldn't complain. The Eastern Reaches are still overrun with vampires and werewolves, although the Wolfshaunt has remained sealed. And yet the Ranger King can't quite clear his mind from the thought that tomorrow the treaty with the Old Kingdom ends. Rumors have been rampant - many gathered by Fuzzwort who seems to have taken to his role at the Consulate in Whitecliff. Some evil is brewing. Vince can smell it in the air.
A cork pops behind him.
Ah, Hylax has just sent one of his exploding bottles of bubbling wine. Terrible stuff, Vince thinks. He should probably tell the little gnome that someday. And, like clockwork, the party appears in the room - Hylax, Fuzzwort, U-Gene and Ernie. All dressed gaily for a night's celebration of drinking and storytelling. Is that a flower woven into U-Gene's beard? Vince's mood lightens. Surely nothing sinister could happen at midnight - now only minutes away.
Ignoring the others in the room, Ginger addresses her master:
"Master Fuzzwort, I have completed the final task to earn my status as an Assistant Librarian of Sarth. As per your instructions, I am permitted to present my report to you in the new year - which I believe is now upon us."
"You asked me to research the records in the Great Library pertaining to the early construction of the Overlord's Palace - specifically to find a means to avoid the need to wear the Guest's Collars. And like all seemingly impenetrable walls, there is a chink in the Overlord's protection. I give you Alfric's Amulet - or a drawing of it, at least."
Handing Fuzzwort a small sheath of parchment bound in green leather, Ginger offers the following summary:
"In the late fifth century of the First Age, when Alfric's Scepter was constructed to create fealty to the Overlord, a second item was created by the elven wizards. An amulet that would allow the wearer passage through the palace without the oath required by the Scepter. The amulet, called Alfric's Amulet, was said hold six stones which could be "charged" to provide unrestricted access to the palace for a period of time. Deemed too powerful, the amulet and stones were separated and hidden - all within the protective confines of the palace."
"Here's the trick, Master Fuzzwort. Look at the picture, what's wrong the descriptions? The old translations are slightly off. The amulet doesn't "hold" the six stones. The six stones are "interlaced" to make the amulet. All this time, scholars have been looking for a physical amulet - a setting if you will - into which the stones would fit - when all they needed were the stones themselves!"
"Retrieve the stones and assemble Alfric's Amulet to charge it, and access to the palace is yours! I humbly submit this report, Master Fuzzwort, and await your decision."
Ginger turns and leaves hardly glancing around.
Ginger is doing further research into the location of the six stones - of which she has a "rough draft" of the descriptions of the entrances from a translation.
If not detained or protected, Ginger will be found dead a few hours later in her room in Morgan's Tower.
Searching the room, the following parchment is found under the mattress of the bed. It is clearly in Ginger's handwriting. It is undated but looks to be freshly written - within the last few days.
by Ginger Beddington
The six stones are all in the Palace - or at least accessed via the Palace. It's something of a conundrum - collars are need to get into the Palace to recover a means to avoid needing collars to get into the Palace. I'll let Master Fuzzwort puzzle that one out.
- Roderick XIII's tomb - the Laboratory of Stone - holds one stone of Alfric's Amulet. It is located somewhere in the Mausoleum Room of the palace - behind a hidden nullstone.
- Another stone is curiously marked as being hidden in the "real" Highgate Crown behind the Coin Door - an obvious reference to the Overlord's Crown Jewel exhibit. This doesn't make too much sense since the Highgate Crown is currently worn by the Master of the Heptarchy in the Freelands.
- It is rumored that one of the stones was stolen by a courtesan of the Overlord - who mistook the piece as a valuable gemstone. My research shows that a woman matching the courtesan's description was processed in the Palace Prison. Being it was never recovered and is an indestructible artifact, the stone should be in the prison somewhere.
- A stone was said to have been installed as part of the Dwarven Hammerheim Hall exhibit. There is also a note that a stolen dwarven artifact of immense value is there, although all accounts of the room show nothing remarkable.
- My research tells of a stone that is "frozen" in time - hidden back in the First Age at the moment of the Old Kingdom's most glorious moment. This must refer to the Battle of Ars Magica - which is memorialized in the Tomb of the Fallen Host. It is supposedly the most haunted room in the palace but no reports of a shard have been reported here.
- The final stone is hidden behind/within the statue of a dragon. While there are a number of dragon statues and relics in the Palace, "the" dragon statue is the life-size Bahamut in the front Entrance Hall. I have found a number of recorded "disappearances" associated with this piece.
This should be good enough for an Associate's position at the Great Library. I know that Master Fuzzwort will ask for this information - and I know he will be pleased with my work. - GB