I forgot to mention last time we found out about that business of the nobles being killed back in chapter one.

Turned out that they were playing “hot potato” with one of the shards. It was being passed from one to another, with the bad guys being one step behind.

The fourth and last noble, Tavorick, had it now. We went to his place to provide protection, along with some soldiers. We arrived just as Tavorick was dismissing an entertainer from the Moonstone Mask.

In a short time, naturally, all hell broke loose. Imps and succubi invaded the ground floor. We went down to help out. Then trouble developed upstairs, where Tavorick was, protected by a couple of guards.

We got there too late. Tavorick was dying, but he lasted long enough to tell us that he didn’t have the shard. He’d passed it on to the entertainer, who was actually one of the Nine.

The whole thing was a diversion to draw out the main plotter, but, no surprise, it hadn’t worked. Thanks so much, Lord Nasher.

So we started for the Mask, but just at the door out, we found a demon and a few more friends waiting for us. It was a toughish fight, but not so bad as I expected.

Of course, we arrived at the Mask too late. The woman was dead, and Black Garius had the shard. He left a couple of big – but not so mean – hellhounds behind and vanished.

We gave Nasher the bad news, and – no rest for the weary – he sends us out to Crossroads Keep. Some extra-special warriors were there waiting for us. We stormed in, but the enemy managed to seal the front door. So we had to go through the escape tunnel to get in, take out the mages, and let in the others.

The tunnel was only a minor annoyance, being home to a few stink beetles, stag beetles and what not. We got into the keep with no trouble, right into the room where they’d been holding Aldanon. We sent him on his way back to Neverwinter.

So next we disposed of the mages at the front door, letting in our friends outide, and quickly made our way to the room where Black Garius was in the middle of some unholy ritual. The four actually doing the enchanting couldn’t be touched, but there were others to kill.

When the last of those went down, the four enchanters began losing it, dropped dead one by one, followed by Garius himself. Disappointing. After all the trouble he’d caused me, I wanted the pleasure of gutting him myself.

We were done here, so once again we reported to the castle, where we learned they had a prisoner. From Aldanon’s conversation, I figured she had to be a Githzerai, sworn enemies of the Githyanki, though they both derive from the same stock.

Sure enough, that’s what she was, and offered to join me and help out. So now I have her (she’s a cleric) and Shandra, along with Khelgar and Qara. Everyone, by now, is level 13. If I’m going to finish at L20, there must be quite a lot left to do.