By Jamey Martin
Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor
No sooner had Hector finished his studies under the elderly Drexle, then he became embroiled in a plot on behalf of the Cult of Tiamat (see Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor). It involved the bitter rivals of the CoT, the Sembian cell of the Cult of the Dragon and their doings in Myth Drannor, and was quite eventful ...
Upon their return from Myth Drannor, Corwin began to win the, ahhh, yeah, "the band" even more acclaim amongst the Churches of Gond and Deneir by presenting them with a number of precious craft tools and tomes that they retrieved from Myth Drannor. He most certainly earned his friends no small amount of wealth in the process, and was himself awarded with invitations to a number of formal dinners and social functions held by the more affluent and well-positioned folk of Ordulin.
Soon after following a gate from the lands around Ordulin to the old elfin ruins, Hector, Bry'th, Glistra, and the cult warrior Azerond ran into Harmoth and Airovistus. They had been hired, along with Tyros and Corwin, to track down the son of a fat merchant, who had gone missing along with a number of other folk in recent weeks. Unfortunately, they were ambushed by a large CotD force soon after their arrival a day earlier, and both Tyros and Corwin were taken captive. Thus it was that Hector led his companions against one arm of the CotD's operation, and succeeded in both destroying it, and saving both Tyros and Corwin from imminent zombification at the hands of a CotD necromancer.
As the band continued to investigate the CotD's intentions in Myth Drannor, it next came to pass that Hector unearthed and began to read from the testament of a Lathanderite known as Jade, who had lived in Myth Drannor around the time of it's fall. He found himself deeply moved by the ideals expressed.
Finally, it came to pass that, during their climatic battle with forces of the CotD beneath Castle Cormanthor, Bry'th was slain and Hector knocked into a pool of radiance. The life was drained from him, and he found a terrible being of wickedness awaiting him, thence to drag his soul off to realm of the Elder Ones. The dead mage fled in absolute terror, but there was no where to run, no where to hide. As the insectoid fiend was about to claim it's prize however, a warm and glorious light shone down upon Hector's soul. The fiend recoiled in pain and terror as the divine might of Lathander himself reached down to bare the fallen mage up, renewing his life-force and saving him, at least for a time, from eternal damnation.
Thus did Hector come back to his senses. He found himself at the edge of the pool and soon saw that his companions, Tyros, Corwin, Harmoth, Airovistus, and Glistra, had been successful in their endeavour. They were preparing to flee with Bry'th corpse, and so the reborn mage promptly joined them. Thence they escaped, first the castle via an underground tunnel, and then from the ruin itself via another gate in a nearby mansion.
Making it back to Ordulin, the two groups went their separate ways, though on somewhat better terms than before ... grudgingly better.
Tyros took a good portion of his earnings and entered into a partnership with Barlow of the Six Candles Inn, while Harmoth expended his new found wealth in the pursuit of pleasure and indulgence. As for Airovistus, he continued living the simple lifestyle he was accustomed to, sitting on the majority of his coin and musing how he would one day return to his hometown of Hlip and buy his very own patch of land. He did however enjoy a night out with Corwin and Harmoth.
As for Hector, after a brief stop at his home, the mage returned to Drexle's abode for debriefing. He told virtually all there was to tell, and presented his mentor with the numerous treasures he had carried out of the elfin ruins. However, he said nothing of his experience within the pool of radiance or of the Testament of Jade, which he had stashed away in the study of his home.
When all was said and done, and Hector had be justly rewarded, with both coin and a powerful staff taken from the ruin (Rothillion's Staff), he told Drexle that, while he had greatly benefited from his service with the CoT, he now felt it was time to move on and leave the cult. And though the old man was somewhat surprised at this, he graciously permitted his apprentice his will under the condition that the lad agreed to tell no one of their association or deeds. Hector agreed, and thus took his leave.
For along while he wandered the streets of Ordulin. It had been too easy. And most certainly Glistra would inform Drexle of the tome if he did not know already. At length, Hector went to the Six Candles, sought out Tyros, and asked if he could hire him as a bodyguard. He was answered and sent on his way with mockery and sarcasm, mostly from Corwin.
Leaving the Six Candles, the mage made his way to the Local Lathanderite temple known as the Dawn Tower, where he found one of the lesser clergyman of the Morninglord, and began to unleash the burdens on "his" soul. He was ultimately advised to return on the morrow, with this "Testament of Jade", when he could speak with a more radiant servant of the Lathander.
And so, making his way back home, Hector arrived to find the 3 CoT warriors tearing apart his study, in search of the Testament of Jade presumably, while Hashu and Jezebel sat bound and gagged in the corner. Using the might of Rothillion's Staff, Hector destroyed the warriors, but he did not go unscathed. Nor did he have time to free his loved ones before Glistra burst into the house at the head of a number of cult warriors. Feeling he had little hope of victory, Hector grabbed the Testament of Jade and used the might of the staff to escape into the night.
He fled, first, back to the Six Candles, where he received a cool send off, and then to a small inn on the other side of town. In the morning, he proceeded directly to the Dawn Tower, but was confronted on its steps by a messenger of the CoT. This woman told him that both Hashu and Jezebel were in the keeping of the cult and would die terrible deaths if he did not meet Drexle at noon atop the Bosom of Chauntea, a great double humped hill that stood a couple of miles south of the Hub. He was to bring the Testament of Jade, and an honest duel would be fought, with the winner claiming the spoils. The woman further advised him not to involve anyone else lest the lives of both the pup and the wench be forfeit.
Making the appointment, Hector mounted one hill only to find, not Drexle, but a younger, much more sinister looking man standing atop the ajoining hill. Within the cleavage sat Hashu and Glistra, bound and gagged. The man named himself as Gregorious, the favoured pupil of Drexle, and asked if he had brought the tome. When Hector revealed that he had, the duel began. At first things were in the favour of Gregorious, but this changed when Hector noted that his opponent was wearing the cloak and carrying the diviners rod of his first mentor from back in Wheloon. Gregorious boasted of how he had killed the Wheloonians mentor with his own Art just over a year ago, and how the same fate would soon befall the traitor. Hector responded by unleashing the fury of Rothillion's Staff and destroying Gregorious with surprising quickness.
No sooner had Gregorius fallen however, then Hector heard Hashu call out. The lad had escaped his bonds, and was racing to reach his master and warn him of a number of cult warriors that had appeared from nowhere. They were already half way up the hill when Hector noticed the lad. A moment later, an arrow took Hashu in the back and the lad fell dead. Calling on the power of the staff once more, Hector decimated the offending archer, and then again used it's powers to reach Jezebel and make his escape with her and the Testament of Jade.
Arriving back in Ordulin, Hector lost little time in gifting Jezebel with a good deal of wealth and sending her away from Ordulin, while he himself sought out the Dawn Tower. Once there, the Dawnpriest Drallus of Lathander met him. He presented the servant of Lathander with the Testament of Jade, and asked in turn that his friend, Hrek, be given new life ... as he well knew that such was in the powers of the Morninglord.
Dawnpriest Drallus passed the tome, the honest tale of it's recovery, and both the skull of Hrek and the request for resurrection along to the High Morninglord Ombital Duskroon, and then heard Hector's tale. In the end, a room was prepared and the wretched mage was granted asylum with the temple, where they would begin to work toward his redemption.
That eve it came to pass that a priestess of Lathander arrived at Hector's chamber. She was more beautiful, sultry even,, then anything Hector had ever seen, and to his surprise she began to loosen the neck of her garments and seduce him. As they kissed however, the young mage felt a chill fill, not only the room, but "his" very soul. He felt all the knowledge and secrets he had learned from the Nameless Fiend drain from him as though that three months of long hard study never had been. Mustering the strength, Hector pulled away to find that he had been in the embrace of the Nameless Fiend. The Fiend mocked Hector, mirthfully chiding him for his lack of loyalty, and warned that all breaches of contract must be punished in one way or another, none good or pleasing. Thus reminding him of his obligations, the Nameless Fiend departed.
Nevertheless, Hector undertook his studies of the Dawn Scriptures with gusto, and was soon joined by his old friend Hrek of Daggerdale. He spoke little of what went one for that year he lay dead, and perhaps he knew little enough, but whatever it was, Hrek was a changed man. No sooner had he learned the basic tenets of Lathanderism then he swore himself to the service of the Morninglord, and even began musing of returning home to Daggerdale one day soon, carrying with him Lathander's message of renewal.
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