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The Dead of Knight

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Darius sputters and spits, trying not to swallow the burning liquid, to no effect. He feels as if he swallowed some hot coals, and says to Kuirth, "Take it with us? I've half a mind to smash the bloody thing right now! It's full of acid or something. Whatever you do, don't take a tankardfull."


The ranger sees her wince, and attributes it to the contents of the keg. When she goes about stripping the bodies, he says "Go ahead and get what we might need, but do it quickly. I'll stand watch. We need to get out of here and see if anyone else has survived the Effluvium. Maybe we can find someone who knows more about our current condition."


Having said that, he goes into the main room to set a lookout. He stands over the body of their dwarven compatriot, Rothgar, and sees something that he definitely needs. Apologizing once again, he grabs the dwarf's warhammer and hangs it on his own belt.

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Since the contents of the keg are apparently not for healing, but for harming, Kurith decides against putting it in her healing flask, but she still thinks it may be useful.


As Darius stands watch, Kurith systematically loots the bodies. With her magic bag in tow (GM let me know if the thing is full yet), she starts with Eligos. His two rings go right into her trouser pockets. The wands, box and bracers go into the bag. She decides not to chance stuffing Quintilas' sword and daggers into the sack and puncturing it, and so she leaves the sword behind and replaces one of her regular daggers with the silver one. She dons the masterwork potion belt along with the three potions he was carrying. The other belt goes into the bag. She then dons his bandoleer, into which she places the old dagger which she had previously planned to leave behind. The other bandoleer, once she has removed any useful contents, goes into the bag.


"DARIUS! YA WANNA 'NOTHER CROSSBOW?", she shouts back to the ranger with a degree of sarcasm, knowing good and well that she may as well be asking a happily married man if he would like an ugly mistress who can neither cook nor clean.


Nevertheless, she begins organizing a pile of collected arrows and crossbow bolts on the table in the off-chance he or the blue lady might want them. as for herself, Kurith had given up long ago on the mastery of the archer's art. She broke entirely too many bowstrings and arrows.


Kurith moves on to Vargos. She puts three of the four potions into the remaining three pouches of the potion belt which she is wearing, and upon realizing she may find more, she digs the other potion belt back out of the bag and loads the fourh Healing potion into it. She places the ordinary potion belt on the table next to the stockpile of arrows and bolts as she continues her search. She takes Vargos' dagger and puts it into her new bandoleer.


Moving on to Toldin, the barmaid and the other patrons in the main hall, she finds little of anything useful except for money. She goes ahead and pockets the money, even though all signs indicate that once outside she will likely be able to take whatever she wants with impunity. She takes a quick look around the room for that golden owl of Toldin's but it does not make its presence readily known to her.


She searches the body of Thor Irongullet with particular interest and rather more invasively than she had searched the others. His belt-pouch full of money and gems goes into the sack along with his money belt. By now Kurith has decides that if she survives this bad turn of events, she and Darius and anybody else she cares to share her fortune with will never have to do a day's worth of dirty-work ever again. She thinks to herself how she will live in the North Wards with all the rest of the fair-skinned nobility and how they probably will not like having her kind on their streets but that's their problem..not hers..so they better learn to like it or else. Kurith bursts into seemingly spontaneous laughter as she loots and contemplates.




Kurith pockets both of Irongullet's rings. She unstraps his dagger from his short hairy leg and tries the strap to see if it fits her own leg. If it fits, she will keep it. If it does not, she will leave the strap and put the dagger in the bandoleer. Next, she strips the dwarf of all his clothing down to his undergarments, suspecting that he has more stuff hidden away, but finds nothing.


Kurith returns to the hidden room with her bag, wearing a new bandoleer and potion belt, and carrying an empty Olaf's bottle.


As she passes by the watchful Darius, she informs him of her plans.


"I'm gonna put that bad stuff in this bottle. Might need'ta poison somebody today. Also gonna see what's in that other keg an' box.".


She takes a step or two and then asks a question which had come into her mind almost out of the blue.


"What in hell's a staff of waterdeep?"

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upon hearing the mention of the Staff of Waterdepp, Tempest eys grow wide as she turns from what she was busy with.


"The Staff of Waterdeep is said to be a powerful items created by the wizard named Khelben Blackstaff. There are many rumors concerning it, some even claim its an artifact in its own right. But its true power is known only to Blackstaff himself, and maybe the ruker of the city and its lords. Why ask about such an item now?"

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When Kurith asks her question about 'another crossbow', Darius hollers back, "I would have to own a crossbow to want another one, but no, I do not care for a crossbow, Kurith, thank you."


He doesn't pay much attention to the rest, preferring to focus his energies in watching the door, hoping that his watch is not needed, but being vigilant nonetheless.

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Kurith is surprised when her question actually gets a response out of Tempest.


"I heard of it, but nobody ever sed what it looks like or does..only ev'rybody's been lookin' for it for a long time now. But ...... hell... you been here longer than me an' you know best."


Kurith sets the bag of holding on the table and digs through it until her fingers wrap around the object in question. She shows Tempest the golden cylinder and tries to explain.


"Ya remember that gold cup? When I picked it up, it turned into this. Dunno why neither. It ain't like I was the first ever to pick it up. But it looks like it's just a part of a staff or somethin'. How's the story go? Was the staff broke up an' hid all over Waterdeep? You'd know."


While Kurith awaits a reply, she leaves the golden cyilnder with Tempest and goes to have a look at what's in the other unopened crate.





DM go ahead and roll whatever is necessary here. I'd rather not second-guess at what saves if any are needed.

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Tempest acknowledged Kurith as she related the event of the golden tankards transformation, but she claims to know nothing more of the Staff of Waterdeep, or why Kurith would believe that this cylindrical gold piece would be part of that staff for she’s never heard of it being broken apart (seeing as Kurith is the only one to recall that portion of the dreamscape). As for the staff being hidden, she can only guess that it might be kept within the castles walls for the cities defense or in Blackstaff possession.


Kurith watches as Tempest digs a book out of her pack and buries her head in it. She shows no outward motion that would indicate that she even noticed that the half-orc was still in the room or that Kurith now looked over her shoulder. Kurith notes that this book is unlike the one Tempest was looking at earlier. This one looks quite old and of the size of what one might use as a journal. For a moment she thinks to inquire what could be so bloody interesting about a book at a time like this, then decides its best to stay on course of her own agenda since its likely the blue-gray skinned woman would simply ignore her anyways and she might feel inclined to use her trusty blackjack on the base of her skull just for good measure and a bit of personal satisfaction.


Moving over to the locked crate, Kurith pulls it out of the corner. She hadn’t recalled if there was any mention of danger with this particular crate and so she prepared to deal with the lock in her own way. If the crate were trapped like the other, then so be it. Kurith figured it would at least get Tempest attention and stop her wizardly behavior.


On good slashing from her mighty weapon easily breaks off the lock and a portion of the crate as well, fortunately there are no ill affects. A small sigh escapes from Kurith as it would have been interesting to see Tempest scrambling about with embers of fire caught upon her hair.


Kurith looks through the crate and finds only two more vials of healing, one marked Cure Light Wounds and the other [/i]Cure Moderate Wounds[/i]. Obviously, whatever more the crate held had already been removed as she didn’t find any evidence that her blow had destroyed anything within.


When Kurith turned around she found Tempest glaring in her direction.


“in the future, I would appreciate it, when you believe that I am unaware of what’s happening around me, and when you chose to risk your life, that I’m not otherwise preoccupied when you are placing my life in jeopardy as well.” Tempest says as she shuts the journal with a thud.


“I take it your curious as to what this journal contains since you were busy hovering over my shoulder, and if you could rea…” Tempest pauses apparently thinking over her line of thought and her last choice word. “well, anyways. This here journal once belonged to an Elf, if one could still call him that, named Jander Sunstar. It resided in the Hawlwinter’s estate library till yesterday morning where I liberated it for some light reading to pass the time away at the shop I manage for them. I only pursed through it briefly but I now only recalled that I did see mention of Strix’s name mentioned within its pages.”


“Hey Darius, come here!” Tempest calls out


“I’m sure he’ll be interested in hearing this as well” Tempest says to Kurith. Then after a few moments she proceeds to read the journal aloud whether Darius appears or not.


[story begins]

Where to begin. Should I start when I was born into darkness, as I call it.


My name is Jander Sunstar. I am a gold elf and was born in 394DR on the enchanted lsle of Evermet…” assume the rest is written as if one were listening to the tale of “Interview with the Vampire”, though be it in a journal/dairy format.



394DR: Jander Sunstar born on the isle of Evermeet.


494DR: Merrydale becomes Daggerdale during a vampiric infestation. (FRCS: 796DR the year of the Gray Mists, Merrydale becomes Daggerdale following vampiric infestation. Jander Sunstar relates this in Vampire of the Mists.)


594DR: Jander Sunstar becomes a vampire.


595DR: Jander Sunstar began traveling the Realms.


701DR: Jander slays his master, Cassiar (892DR Year of the Open Tome or Year of Howling Wind, The elven vampire Jander Sunstar destroys his vampiric master.); he visits his old companion, Lyria “the Lovely” in Waterdeep in hopes of a cure. Jander learns there is no cure for undeath.


1072DR: Jander Sunstar returns to the Waterdeep asylum and first encounters “Anna.”


1094DR - 1100DR: “Anna” dies, Jander Sunstar slays all the other inmates in the asylum ward; then enters Barovia.


The journal would end here but below is newer information which is written in a different handwriting that shows that someone has added to the journal and has taken to researching some of the finer details of Jander Sunstar life in there own words.


1232DR: The Year of the Weeping Wives

Jander Sunstar is delivered from his curse.


1375 DR Current game year


The timeline above is one I found from an online source. Though the items in italics may be actual information found in Forgotten Realm sources, according to the online source it conflicted with many other dates, but I’ve included it for completeness


Jander Sunstar

Class: Elven Fighter/Mage (Nosferatu) (other stat info isn't needed so I omitted it)


Locales Frequented:

The Orc’s Head Inn in Mistledale



Jander Sunstar was born on the enchanted isle of Evermeet to gold elf parents. Jander had grown to be a peculiar looking elf, he has golden skin and fair white hair. Many believe him to greatly resemble Corellon Larethian, he traveled to the human dominated areas of Faerun in search of adventure. He found more than he ever dreamed of. He became involved in a disaster that turned the community of Merrydale into Daggerdale. A pack of vampires descended on the unsuspecting dale, and Jander was ambushed and betrayed by a friend turned undead after the main battle. His rebirth as a vampire is the result of that attack. Jander suffered through 100 years of servitude to the evil vampire who created him and who was his master. Throughout this time however, despite his affliction, Jander remained true to himself and as good as possible, never surrendering his soul to the vile creature he’d become.


Finally, Jander gained his freedom by destroying his vampire master. Jander eventually settled near the city of Waterdeep, now free but completely alone. That is until, on a trip to Waterdeep to drink the blood of patients of a mental hospital outside the City of Splendors where he’d occasionally went to feed, he met and fell passionately in love with a human woman who introduces herself as Anna, an inmate herself at the insane asylum.


For about twenty years the immortal vampire visits Anna regularly, and Anna seems to be similarly ageless. Anna begins to become ill, and Jander, afraid of losing her, Jander tried to make her his vampiric mate. Anna refuses his offer and died in his arms. In her last moments of life, when Jander asks her what ruined her mind, she answers "Barovia." Stricken with despair, rage, and grief, Jander swore revenge on whomever or whatever had caused Anna’s madness. In his rage, Jander kills every last occupant of the asylum.


Jander’s vow, the dark powers of the Demiplane of Dread heard, and he was transported to the lands and dark realm of Ravenloft. This occurred in the year 1098DR. Once there, he has his fortune told by a Vistani gypsy before befriending Count Strahd Von Zarovich. The predictions made by the fortune-teller all prove to be true, sometimes in multiple ways. Soon Jander came in contact and forged an alliance with the land's most powerful inhabitant, Count Strahd Von Zarovich, himself a newly risen vampire. Jander being a several hundred year old outlander vampire and possibly one of the oldest vampires in Ravenloft, five hundred years old at the time he was pulled into Ravenloft.He is featured prominently in the first Ravenloft novel, Vampire of the Mists. began teaching the Count the finer points of being undead, he eventually learns that he is tutoring the man that drove his lost love insane!


After a very long period of time in Barovia and by the time their tale ended more than 25 years later, Jander hated the darklord of Barovia with all his heart. Jander had discovered that his love, Anna, was once known in Barovia as Tatyana, the lady love and wife of Strahd’s brother, Sergei. It is unclear whether it was Strahd envy or Tatyana beauty that drove the Count to murder his own brother Sergei and drive Tatyana to madness in his attempt to make the lovely woman his own. Tatyana hurled herself off a cliff and plunged into the Mists. While Strahd was paying for his crimes for eternity, Tatyana, or some fraction of her, came to the Faerun, though she had lost her mind in the process. There she was placed in the asylum where Jander later found her and came to care so deeply for her.


With the aid of two brave villagers, a local Cleric and a young Rogue, the trio banded together to put an end Strahd’s evil existence forever, Jander even offered Lathander his unlife in exchange for his blessings to complete the task. Their attempt had failed, both Strahd and Jander survived the confrontation, but both were sorely wounded. Believing himself to be dying, Jander asked his friends to help him watch the sun come up to see the face of Lathander one last time.


Rumors have reached certain Faerunian ears of late that Jander did indeed survive the sunrise of that fateful morning; he was saved from annihilation by the Mists. When the dark powers find a toy that they like, they do not let go of it that easily! Although Jander wanted to die in the rays of the sun, the Mists of Ravenloft snatched him away before he could be burned, determined to keep him alive in his tortured existence. You can find out more about Jander's current status in Children of the Night: Vampires. Jander is also updated to 3rd Edition in Champions of Darkness. When the Mists again parted, Jander found himself in the domain of Forlorn, his hatred of Strahd now spread to all vampires, whom he destroys at every opportunity.


I’ve learned that Strix’s is one of the first patients that Jander actually feed upon, but he never drained or killed his victims, for he desired not make any into vampires. From the information that I’ve gathered Jander has never created another vampire. So it was in Strix case, that she died and was reborn a vampire, a result of Jander’s recent feeding upon her. Fearing her master, as all fledgling vampires do, though I believe Jander remained unaware of her, Strix took advantage of the situation and quickly departed the insane asylum. Not even bothering to feed upon any of the other inmates so as not to leave any traces of herself. A little over two decades later when Jander was pulled into Ravenloft is when Strix’s felt free from Jander and then started coming into her own.


Strix’s atrocities are legendary. her vampire followers have wiped out whole villages, even the livestock. Strix’s is at least three centuries old, and more ruthless than any human despot.[/story ends]



Tempest shuts the journal and stores it away in her pack (unless someone cares to read it for themselves), feeling that she has nothing more of a contribution to make to their current situation, she awaits to hear what either of her companions have in mind.

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Deliberately ignoring Tempest's reprimand, Kurith takes both vials of potion into the main room and adds them to the spare potion belt which she had laid on the table a few mintues before. She re-enters the smaller room as Tempest is saying something about a journal, which Kurith presumes to mean the book which the lady had been reading for the past fifteen minutes.


"Uh-huh.", Kurith nods and for at least a few moments tries to pay attention to Tempest's recitation of the journal. She replaces the lid upon the crate and makes a chair of the crate. "Keep goin'", she adds, having already missed the first bit, of which she only retained the words 'golden elf' and 'daggerdale'. Based on her limited encounters with elven tales she suspects most of what she missed will be restated at least thrice more in the telling. She applies herself more earnestly to absorbing the rest of what Tempest is going to tell her.


Kurith set to organizing the incoming information in her mind as Tempest kept reading. Her limited training as an accomplice had taught her how to decide which parts must be remembered in their entirety, which parts she need only to recall a name, place or time, and which parts are nothing more than somebody talking to hear themselves talk or to appear as though they are in charge. Most importantly of all, Kurith had learned that being half-orc granted her a certain degree of ineptitude, making it far easier for her to meet the expectations of others and sometimes far exceed them.


"So this what it is", she prefaces her regurgitation of the most crucial parts of what she has been told as she had done countless times for the Captain. "There was Jander the elf, who got turned vampire in Daggerdale, but then he killded the one that turned him. Then he come to Waterdeep to do his bloodsuckin', only he don't turn none of 'em into bloodsuckers like him. He takes after some girl..errr.. Anna? ..and sucks her blood too. She dies, but she puts him up'ta killin' some count...Stard? He tries, but gets near killed..or whatever you call it when yer undead anyway. Anyway, this Strix girl was one o'the ones he drank from in Waterdeep. She's bad trouble... an' Jander's a vampire who likes killin' other vampires. ... Right?"


Kurith, who had been under the impression that Strix was a man's name, waits for Tempest to confirm or reject her synopsis. Meanwhile, she rises from her chair and begins making an effort to unstack the kegs so that she can better examine the mysterious bottom keg.

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Darius abandons his watch, now that all are in the secret room, and listens to the tale of Jander Sunstar in silence. When it is finished, there is a cold lump in the pit of his stomach, and he hates himself for a moment, because he actually feels a bit...sorry for a vampire.


Kurith relates the tale again in her own words, and the ranger corrects her. "No, Kurith, Jander never bit Anna, er, Tatyana. She wouldn't let him. It sounds as if she had had enough of vampires by then."


A puzzled look comes to his face, then, as he thinks about a part of the story that seems to be missing. "What the @#!& is a Ravenloft?" he asks.

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“From what rumors I’ve heard of it" Tempest begins to say "I personal believe it to be a myth as many others do. Its suppose to be a dark realm of sorts where evil is drawn into. Some claim it’s an un-escapable place, once your there your stuck there till the end of your days. Now my reasoning is if that were true we wouldn’t be hearing rumors of past adventures having spent some time there, now would we? Of course none have ever return with any real proof that it really exist either. If it really is another realm then its possible some powerful mages may yet still be able to view or communicate between realms. Its rumored that long ago, traveling between different realms was as easy as going from one room to another, but whatever happened that sealed the many realms from one another is beyond me and only the gods would know what happened, that’s if there’s any truth to that rumor.”

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you move the other crates aside to give yourself more working room. Even then, having to working in a crouched position its rather difficult. Darius being the gentleman that he is, with a smile and a "m'Lady, let me give you a hand" the job of removing the top keg is accomplished much faster. You place it upon the table to keep it out of the way.


The bottom keg barrel is surround by a cradle of sorts that allows for the kegs to be stacked so. To search it thoroughly it'll also have to be removed, though the front and sides are now accessible.

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Kurith looks for a moment at how the kegs are stacked and decides it best to completely unstack everything, and perhaps to move everything away from the wall. While part of her believes there is something out of the ordinary inside the bottom keg, she has not ruled out the chance of something being hidden behind it or beneath it.


Then she remembers something important, or at least she hopes it will be of some use.


"Hey Darius, go look in the potion belt out there.", she says, pointing to the door that leads from the secret room to the private banquet room. "Might be somethin' you can use there."

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"Hunnnh," Darius grunts as he helps move things about. "Another world, you say? That might not be as much nonsense as you think, Tempest," he says, placing a box on the floor. "Ol' Crazy Larry would sometimes speak of just such things as if he had been there. I believed him too, or, at least I believed that he believed he had been there, if you catch my meaning. Ravenloft, though, I've never heard of it. Doesn't sound like a place I'd like to visit either, what with it being full of evil and all......"


The ranger's thought dies a way as another takes its place. "Well, that's not too far off from where we're at now, is it?" After this last, dreadful comment, he nods his head at Kurith and goes out of the room again to search the potion belt she has indicated. "We really should get the hell out of here," he says as he passes her.

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"Uh-huh me too... soon as I'm done with this keg.", Kurith replies. "My back an my knees hurts from squattin'"


She then resumes with the search of the kegs, which will become more violent the longer her quarry eludes her.

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Resuming her inspection of the keg barrel when Darius heads off, Kurith finds that while this barrel isn’t pristine looking as the other, it is quite sturdy and very well constructed. Its outward appearance is merely a diversion to make one believe it’s a simple barrel. Kurith’s scrutiny finds her looking at the barrels nozzle once more. Then she’s sees what’s been right in front of her eyes in plain sight. A small lever/part from the keg tap is missing, a key of sorts, some would call it. Not something someone would normally notice unless they have some experience working in a tavern.


Back in the main tavern room, Darius finds that Kurith has indeed gathered a rather good quantity of healing draughts in her diligent pursuit of alleviating the bodies about of their unused essentials.

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