Inside the tavern the adventurers were greeted by their neighbors and saw that Lif had taken to serving drinks behind the bar.
The adventurers met other patrons, a high elf poet named Lyra, a pair of underage tieflings named Salrikis and Thesire that Thrask threw out of the tavern, and a halfling that was in a heated argument with Vincent Trench at the bar.
Companions, Old and New
Renaer Neverember appeared shortly after the adventurers met one another. After Azir and Viego showed Renaer his upstairs accommodations, Renaer celebrated his newfound freedom by rushing back into Marmaduke's and placing enough gold on the counter to cover drinks for the rest of the night.
Blackstaff TowerThe morning after the adventurers reveled with Renaer, Viego hurriedly gathered the adventurers and told them he had a quest from the Blackstaff, Vajra Safahr.When the adventurers arrived at Blackstaff Tower, many of them met Vajra Safahr for the first time. The Blackstaff explained that an "wrinkle" in the Weave — the source of magic that suffuses the universe — was detected around Waterdeep and she needed help understanding the nature of the anomaly.
Many of the adventurers were reluctant to agree until Vajra offered a monetary reward for their efforts. The Blackstaff gave Viego a ring that resonated at the same frequency as the wrinkle in the Weave as well as a deposit for his companions' efforts. The ring was revealed to be a Ring of Mind Shielding, it bore an engraving written in Alzhedo that read:
"Be where they are not."The Blackstaff explained that she and a fellow magic user, Corlin, could project the party's consciousness in a way that would allow them to exist in the present and the past at the same time. Neither the Blackstaff nor Corlin could give specific instructions as to what the adventurers were looking for, only that the resonance could be located in the ancient ring, around Waterdeep and in the year 130 DR in the ancient city of Shoonach.
After Vajra and Corlin prepared the spell, the sensation of slumber overtook the adventurers. As the adventurers opened their eyes they found themselves in a magnificent stone building.
The Palace of Shoon III
The adventurers had been transported to the year 130 DR at the Palace of Shoon III during a grand party featuring nobles from across the land. Though the party looked a fair bit more eccentric than other guests — even after Thrask magically disguised himself — they were not questioned by any guests or guards.
The Qysar's Throne Room
In the throne room the party witnessed the Qysar Shoon III with his harem of women. Several nobles were in attendance in the throne room and two human men introduced themselves to the adventurers. An old man wearing extravagant robes named Hilather and a finely dressed man named Malcar Gost.
Malcar promised he wouldn't forget the adventurers faces as he returned to the Qysar. Hilather showed an interest in the ring Viego received from the Blackstaff but needed to speak with Qysar before all else.
Exploring the Palace
Thrask sniffed out the kitchen of the palace where the adventurers met a loyal cook named Saama. The cook revealed some information about the Qysar as well as where the adventurers might go for some peace and quiet, the library or the gardens.
The adventurers entered the grand library of the palace where they had access to information on the Shoon Imperium as well as finding access to a secret door that led outside the palace walls. Tony was able to detect something magical in the library that led to the party uncovering a letter addressed to Amahl Shoon IV regarding a distraction and a "new Qysar."
Trouble in Shoonach
As soon as the party uncovered the letter, Viego felt an uneasiness from the ring he received from the Blackstaff. Hilather entered the library much to his and the adventurers' surprise.
The old man told the adventurers that he was a long-term guest invited by the Qysar to help the Shoon Imperium control demons from Calimshan.
Hilather once again questioned Viego about the ring and mentioned that he has seen the exact ring before. The other adventurers pressed the old man before something out of the party's control forced them to all move in random directions. Hilather frantically looked around at the scene and produced a spell that undid the effects that fell on the party.
Suspicious of the plot for a "new Qysar," the adventurers made their way to the throne room where they found the bloody, lifeless body of Qysar Shoon III. Shouts asking for guards and news of the Qysar's assassination echoed throughout the palace.
Escaping the Palace
The party retreated to the library where they encountered a man named Artor Morlin who bared a striking resemblance to the Baron of Blood that the adventurers had met before in Waterdeep. Before leaving the library, Artor told the adventurers that trouble was brewing in the halls of the palace and suggested they left before they were swept up in something bad.
The adventurers were intent on uncovering how Hilather and the ring were connected. As the party searched for Hilather they were apprehended by the guards and the dead Qysar's brother, Amahl Shoon IV. The Qysar's guards gathered the guests in the gardens of the palace and intended to kill everyone if the culprit of the Qysar's assassination did not come forth.
The adventurers created several diversions that allowed them to slip away from the guards. Tony cast the jump spell on himself to leap out of the reach of the guards. Viego used his Step of the Wind to dash around the gardens and grabbed Hilather along the way. Deckard attempted to distract the guards as he broke into a sprint towards the library. Azir was able to scale a tree up to the surrounding walls and drop a rope for Chomp and Thrask to climb with.
Once back inside the palace Viego once again pressed Hilather for information about the ring. Anger consumed Hilather as he pointed at Viego, unleashing a spell of powerful necrotic energy that rotted and withered Deocar's form into a black husk. Tony managed to leap towards the scene and pull the Ring of Mind Shielding off of Viego's corpse before escaping a deadly fireball that Hilather cast inside the palace.
Deckard and Tony regrouped before reuniting with Azir, Chomp and Thrask outside of the palace walls. As the adventurers looked to remove themselves from the scene, Hilather appeared out of thin air. Deckard explained to the spellcaster that they had travelled through time to investigate a ring which had apparently confirmed a suspicion Hilather had.
A familiar heavy sensation fell upon the adventurers, the same sensation they felt before they were sent back in time. As the party began to fall into slumber they heard Hilather shout at them before they felt a jolt that almost pulled them out of slumber.
Back in Waterdeep
The party regained consciousness to the familiar smell of ocean air. The landmark of Mount Waterdeep stood to the south of the adventurers, though nothing but farmland stretched out from around them even though they should have been in the Sea Ward.
The smell of flames started to pollute the air around the adventurers before they witnessed a wall of flames steadily approaching hundreds of feet of palisade walls to the north of what should have been Waterdeep. A group of three were nearby the adventurers; a heavily armored man bearing a jagged, lightning bolt styled spear, a young human man no older than twenty casting a spell and a man that looked exactly like Malcar Gost from the Palace of Shoon III.
The human man casting the spell exclaimed as he completed a ritual that forced the mass of flames from spreading any further.
- Azir the human swashbuckler
- Chomp the shifter druid of the moon
- Deckard the half-elf champion
- Thrask the lizardfolk gloomstalker
- Tony the warforged artificer armorer
- Viego the human kensei of the open hand
- Ahgairon, a human magic user the party witnessed in the older Waterdeep.
- Artor Morlin, a mercenary working for the Shoon Imperium.
- Avi, the male water genasi armorsmith of Steam and Steel.
- Corlin, an elf magic user who works with Vajra Safahr.
- Embric, the male fire genasi weaponsmith of Steam and Steel.
- Hilather, a human magic user who was hired by the Shoon Imperium to control demons.
- Lapis, a high elf poet who visited Marmaduke's.
- Malcar Gost, a human present in the throne room of the Palace of Shoon III who was also in the fields outside the older Waterdeep.
- Saama, the head chef at the Palace of Shoon III.
- Salrikis, a male underage tiefling who was drinking at Marmaduke's.
- Talisolvanar "Tally" Fellbranch, the male half-elf owner of the woodworking shop The Bent Nail.
- Thesire, a female underage tiefling who was drinking at Marmaduke's.
- Vajra Safahr, a human and the Blackstaff of Waterdeep.
- Vincent Trench, the male human private investigator on Trollskull Alley who operates out of his office, The Tiger's Eye.
- Viego had his body withered to decay after Hilather cast a spell of necrotic magic on him.