Dragons of Blackminster

City Watch 08 - The Priestess and the Portal

Seven Years of Bad Luck

Mulan and Gaston were still standing when the small magical turret was finally destroyed. Reluctantly, Sapphire the wizardess and her monkey familiar (Mr Flannigan) emerged from the shadows.

“By the sounds of her chanting, the drow priestess is on the verge of re-attuning the Portal Mirror – we have no time to lose”.

They pressed on into the next chamber, now plunged into darkness without Abraham’s light spell. Sapphire sent an Arcane Eye slightly ahead and spotted a great black spider hiding in an alcove, waiting to pounce.

Mulan, despite the lack of light, snuck forward and took a shot – it went wild and the spider pounced. The fangs sank into Mulan and poison gushed into her arm, sending her into spasms [GM: as the poison was “paralysing” rather than lethal, I allowed them to make 3 “death saves” looking for a 20 to snap out of it].

The Monkey and his Mistress blasted the spider with firebolts and in the light of the blasts, Gaston ran forward and hacked it to death.

Mulan pulled herself out of the grip of the poison, but was deathly pale [GM:1 hp].
They lit a torch and moved around the next bend – another small magical turret spat magic missiles. Firebolts (and Gaston who could still not be seen by the magical device due to the amulet of non-detection) smashed the turret.

They killed another giant spider and edged forward. In the final chamber the closing words of the ritual were being spoken. Sapphire ran in (under fire from a third turret) and used her Counterspell to cancel the last round of the ritual. The insane drow priestess stood by the mirror, the silent faces of the orcs on the other side (in the distant citadel of Shar Gazoth) were pressed to the glass, peering through.

It was a vicious fight with Sapphire having to repeatedly cancel the last line of the Ritual with counterspell, the monkey destroying the last turret and Gaston and Mulan constantly attacking the priestess.

She was tough, maddened by the counterspells, she attacked Sapphire with a poisoned scourge, taking her down. She hit Gaston too but somehow he stayed on his feet and hacked the priestess down. Then she stood again screaming “Death Ward – BITCHES!!” as the magic stopped her dying. Then, just before she could complete the spell, she was taken down for good.

It was over. They had stopped the Portal from being re-activated. The Mirror in Shar Gazoth remained locked to the mirror in the city and they could safely lock it back up.
Shaking blood from his eyes, Gaston raised his greataxe and, despite an agonised cry of “No-ooo!” from Mulan and uncomprehending gasps from Sapphire and the monkey, he smashed the mirror into pieces with one mighty blow.

[GM: I gave the player chance to pull his blow when Mulan shouted, but he decided to keep going. The mirror had 10 hp and he rolled maximum 12 with his attack]

All their efforts to re-capture the mirror and make it safe again, were undone in that moment.

Sapphire, the resident expert on the magical mirror told them that it would now take the Orcs of Shar Gazoth about one month to re-attune their Mirror to another one and soon they could be teleporting entire armies through the Portal Mirror. Nowhere in Jade would be safe!

  • * * * *

The party completed the adventure, gaining enough XP to reach 5th Level – the last section had been particularly deadly encounter level. Next they are to be sent on a “suicide” mission to try to penetrate the CITADEL of Shar Gazoth and destroy the Orc’s Portal Mirror before it can be re-focussed. This is like being sent into Mordor, to penetrate Sauron’s inner-sanctum, through armies of Orcs, Skeletons & Zombies all across the land, then into the Citadel, many levels of deeper and deeper danger – Orcs, Ogres, Trolls – all ruled by the undead anti-paladin Lord Stagmork, left hand of the Dark Goddess – Lillith. They have been given armour, horses, a boat to carry them across the great river and a potion of healing each. The hopes of the Kingdom ride with them.

This is an adventure I originally wrote more than 25 years ago! Thanks to Gaston, I get to update it to D&D 5E.


I have now added to the WIKI a page describing what you know about [[Shar Gazoth]] and what is contained in the three volumes of Agraven’s journals


I also added a Map to the Maps page showing the land to the east (Ustergard)


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