The Darkbane Warders

Karazhan, Part I

Following a series of strange magical disruptions in the Mage’s Tower in Stormwind city the Warders found the Kirin Tor to be in a problematic situation: Their guardian Magi stationed to protect Karazhan had disappeared and the group they had sent in to search was long overdue. With the approval of the Kirin Tor the group made its way to Karazhan, where the remaining magi had created a ward around the entrance to contain unusual energies that were causing disruptions in the surrounding land. After discussing the situation briefly Archmage Hallister, the man in charge of the remaining Kirin Tor, the Warders headed into the cursed tower.

They were greeted at the door by Bertold, the spectral butler of Karazhan. The group questioned him about those who had passed recently and he told them that he had seen two group pass recently, the first group going off to the stables before heading up the tower. The group started their search in the stables based on Bertold’s words, but not before he suggested that they present themselves to the tower’s steward Moroes. Within the stables the party found a variety of spectral horses and their caretakers, and in the open pens three felsteeds who were unhappy to see them. After dispatching the steed their master, a spectral knight garbed in dark armor, sought vengeance for his prized mounts but was also dispatched by the group. With the threats in the stables cleared the group searched through the area, finding an unusual collection of broken wands, staves, books, and other magical implements crudely buried beneath the straw in a corner of the room. Unsure what to make of this discovery, the group returned to the main hall and headed deeper into the tower.

After scaling a large flight of stairs the Warders laid eyes on the grand fest hall, spectral dancers whirling about the dance floor while in a conjoining room many ghostly feast-goers were presided over by an undead man that could only be Moroes. The group decided to pass his attention for the moment to explore further, pressing on into guest halls. Within the guest rooms the party was waylaid by a number of succubi disguising themselves as ghostly courtesans, and though their trickery was frustrating the group took the upper hand and wiped them out. Past the succubi the group found a large wooden door with intricate reliefs and artwork carved upon it, and after politely knocking were met with angry suspicions from a booming female voice within. After cajoling the woman they were allowed entry and met the Maiden of Virtue, a towering woman who after closer inspection appeared to be made of stone rather than flesh, though such a thing would be easy to miss with a glance. The Maiden spoke of how Moroes delighted in the corruption of her halls, with taunts and horrible reminders of how those who were once in her care as the caretaker of the guest’s wing now lay in his grasp. She beseeched the party to slay him and grant her even a temporary relief from her torment, and in return she would explain how to use his key to gain access to the higher reaches of the tower.

The party agreed, having come to like the Maiden, and went immediately to confront Moroes. Upon entering the banquet hall the undead man entered into banter and combat with them, forcing the spirits of previous heroes to fight alongside him. Though the battle nearly claimed Seelie, the group persevered and claimed Moroes’ silver key. Bringing it back to the Maiden she instructed them to use it upon the doors to the west, which would lead them to the Opera Hall, and to seek Barnes the stage manager. He would be capable of letting them into the hallways they needed to follow. From there she told them they would encounter her ‘brother’, the keeper of the museum on the floors above. Before they left she invited them to rest in the small area she could keep protected from the dark magic of the hall, and recover their strength.

After resting the group made their way into the grand Opera Hall, where they skirted around the ghostly attendees to the backstage. There they were quickly accosted by one of the more cognizant ghosts of they’d met, Barnes the stage master. He bustled them onto the stage, telling them his help would come at the cost of a performance to appease his eager audience. The party was made to reenact the ‘Wizard of Oz’, with Mari as Dorothy, Seelie as the Scarecrow, Marius as the Tin Man, Malere as the Lion, Vasque as the Wizard, and Poreen as the Wicked Witch. After wandering about the magically changing scenery a bit they were thrust into an illusory battle versus a storm if giant flying apes to get the water needed to ‘kill’ Poreen’s rendition of the Witch. With the play completed Barnes showed the party to the servant’s wing, where they passed through to the grand staircase up to the higher level of the tower.

After climbing for many minutes the stairway opened up to a vast room of white marble and plush red carpets, within which they could see another towering figure as the Maiden but in the image of an elderly man bearing the robes of a wizard. He greeted them to the master’s museum and invited them to enjoy their time, and after a short conversation revealed that he was not allowed to let anyone pass without them completing the mental ‘games’ in the first wing of the museum. Not wanting to start a conflict with the Curator, the group moved from puzzle to puzzle and completed them with efficiency, and were rewarded with a key to the library. As they passed through the museum however they were stopped by the rasping cries of one of the displays, a grand red drake who implored them to free him. After hearing his plea it came to light that the only manner for him to be free would be for the Curator to be slain, so that the wards holding him to the tower would be released. At Seelie’s insistence the party went back to the Curator and asked him to release the dragon, but the Curator could not do such a thing without a replacement for the display. The group then convinced him that the dragon could be much more useful to the master of the tower if he was allowed to write his knowledge of the dragon flights out to add to the tower, and after some reluctant thought the Curator agreed. After being freed from his bonds however the dragon had other ideas, and with the Curator close he took the opportunity to swipe its head off and free himself. The dragon took his mortal form and introduced himself as ‘Delkanastrasz’, thanking the group for the opportunity to be free, but the party was particularly displeased with the turn of events and dismissed him despite his offer to provide them with assistance. Delkanastrasz took his leave, but left the party a warning that as he’d seen the others pass he’d sensed another dragon amongst them. With Delkanastrasz’s unhappily taken warning, the party passed swiftly through the museum halls to avoid any other still living displays and into the tower library.

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