Prior to the journey of Zephus, Elsbeth and Kiba to the menacing mansion of Menrar the Malevolent, Iseri of Silverymoon passed a quiet evening in the Rusty Dragon tavern and inn, happily counting the contents of the group’s money purse with a feeling of supreme satisfaction. A feeling no doubt compounded by the fine bottle of wine she decided to reward herself with for a hard day’s calculations.
As the night came to a close, Iseri found herself joined in the now empty tavern by a mysterious new guest, tall and hulking in stature, hooded in a rich violet cloak covered in golden runes. Initially perturbed by the sight of this lone guest and un-nerved that the innkeeper seemed to pay him no mind, Iseri thought to avoid trouble, but was confronted directly before she could away to her bedchambers.
The mysterious patron revealed herself to be a female half orc by the name of Tevaga Bruschere, acolyte and messenger to the elven Archmage Heldalel Ahl Kazohr of Calimshan. It turned out that the energy heart gem recovered from the dungeon of Blackfang doubled as a totem the wizard had marked out in his youth along with other items scattered around the face of Toril to find potential candidates to teach the Art of the Weave. Iseri had been selected and now Tevaga had been sent to make an offer and bring the rogue before her master for an audience.
The elf was hesitant at first, her parents having both been mages and insufferably boring. There also seemed to be no prospect of gaining further wealth. But still, learning to become invisible could be a great boon to her treasure hunting career! Before setting out, Iseri decided to pack the collected wealth of the entire group in case of an emergency, leaving an IOU in the group’s empty wallets. Returning to the common room, Tevaga produced a scroll and vial of an unknown substance to teleport the two to the arranged meeting place. The force of this spell was so great that try as she may to stay conscious, Iseri blacked out.
The rogue awoke sometime later in a small oasis somewhere in the Calishite desert. From her small resting place she managed to make out a tower in the distance but decided against daytime travel, as a scorching, unforgiving sun sat high in the sky. Deciding to wait until nightfall, the rogue passed the time with some skinny dipping in a nearby pond to keep her cool while the sun blazed overhead.
At nightfall, Iseri began her trek, traveling approximately halfway to the tower before being waylaid by 2 large hunting cats who seemed to out out much farther than usual from their den in search of a meal. The fight was brutal, the male of the duo scoring many vicious blows and even managing at one point to bring the nimble thief down, though calm thinking and quick reflexes kept her from being a meal. Using some well placed caltrops to take the female out of the equation doubled with a mighty stroke from her shock rapier, the erudite elf cooked the alpha cat’s hide to a crunchy crisp while his female friend in feasting fled for finer pastures!
Arriving at the Tower of Ahl Kazohr, the rogue was informed that she was to undergo a trial of the wizard’s own making before meeting with him. Suspicious of tricks, but allured by the adventure of learning magic, the rogue entered the complex. Upon passing the entryway, Iseri was shocked to find that her purse had been magically lifted from her person by the wizard as an incentive to continue her journey (in addition to having the exit magically sealed behind her). Careful examination of the main hall revealed 2 things. One being the Archmage must be a blowhard of legendary proportions as the main hall contained three statues in the man’s likeness. Two being a series of secret passageways triggered by a device in the central and largest statue that led deeper into the tower. The left pass led to a long hallway that the rogue couldn’t see further down than was comfortable. The right hall though shorter in span, led to an altar guarded by a ferocious looking minotaur!!
Deciding to deal with the problem the was more visible, the ravishing rogue made a gutsy gamble to deal with the minotaur head on. Still this did not mean that Iseri abandoned all caution, staying within the archway into the minotaur’s chamber, she managed to ingratiate the guardian to her by providing it with a bottle of fine Rusty Dragon ale and a fast friendship was soon forged! Deciding to risk entry further into the room, Iseri’s keen ears heard a force wall hum into place beside her as the guardian presented her with a pre-written note that she must overcome him and gain possession of the object he was to guard. In a show of magnanimity, the buzzed bovine laid aside his ferocious double bladed axe in favor of a far less lethal instrument: a hard rubber flail. The test then began in earnest, with the elf scoring a magnificent thrust to the minotaur’s rear that left him surprised and in a considerable amount of pain! However the battle ended with a pulverizing blow from the guardian’s rubber flail and Iseri’s world again faded to black….
She awoke sometime later to the great relief of the guardian who had nursed her back to consciousness as best as he was able. Amidst trading an affectionate hug with the good natured brute, the rogue demonstrated a little sleight of hand that allowed her to replace the guardian’s object with his food dish! A final farewell brought Iseri to the opposing hallway which were found to be entirely plain (no tapestries in sight! What kind of hell was this!?) and devoid of traps. Opting for a simple course of action, Iseri took a middle road path which led to another door of force. Using her medallion as a key, the rogue was able to bypass it and was brought face to face with both Ahl Kazohr and Tevaaga and a fine breakfast as well as her earnings from previous adventures!!! Minus of course what she had purloined fromher friends of course!
Following a resplendent meal in the Archmage’s much more furnished study (complete with tapestries!) Iseri was again offered the chance to study and become an acolyte directly under the Calishite wizard. She accepted his hospitality and was rewarded with a fine set of silk robes. Following 2 weeks of rigorous training, Iseri and Tevaga were once again called before Heldalel. The first order of business was for the Archmage to offer his praises to Iseri for her quick mastery of the basic arts of magic, as well as to reward her with an Acolyte’s wand in the shape of her master’s staff (at perhaps an eighth of it’s size). The next order of business was to discuss to burgeoning mage’s next test, one that would ask her to travel to the exotic city of Calimport to infiltrate the insidious Cult of the Dragon!!