The Hand of the Drow Saga

Also see the cast of characters in the Hand of the Drow Saga and the Events of the Hand of the Drow Saga.

The Hand of the Drow Saga is a collection of tales collected by Cade Summersong that tell of an account of a small group of adventurers including the Archmage Ke'Vadar as they search for the Hand of Mortath. They must race against both a group of evil drow and a villainous vampire to find the clues to lead them to the artifact's location.

The facts of this saga are notoriously sketchy, especially pertaining to the earlier segments. Many of the details were collected through second and third hand sources. Cade Summersong has acknowledged this and has admitted to it "not being [his] best work".

The History of Mortath and the Necromancer Rendseur

Far back, before the time of elknor-the-wretched, Mortath the Evil was a drow wizard, away from his underground brethren. Mortath happened upon Fauk Rendseur the Necromancer and lived with him in his tower. Rendseur grew increasingly annoyed with Mortath and his antics unbefitting of Rendseur's dignity.

Mortath was searching for a way to bring about the glory of the drow and draw them to conquer the surface world. Rendseur made for him a concoction to bring the powers of shadow into his hand. Little did Mortath know that Rendseur deceived him and fed him a curse. This led to Mortath's powerful (but quick) retribution on the surface before he disappeared.

Rendseur retained the power that was fed to the foolish Mortath and over time became a lich of considerable power. The Hand was placed in a guarded grotto in a secret location and a map made to locate it should the need ever arise.

After some time, Rendseur knew his legacy needed an heir to guard his secrets, and so he sent a letter to Mortath's descendant in a mood of irony.

Ilphrin Obtains a Letter, Forms a Ka-tet and is Enslaved

In 1372, Ilphrin d'Noquar received a letter from Rendseur detailing his heritage and the responsibility he must take for his ancestor's folly. The letter, however, branded Ilphrin as an outcast and he ran from Abbuth quickly. The Abbuth nethermancers sent a servant - Kalmarra - to go retrieve him and the letter.

Ilphrin soon found himself in Abdin looking a for passage to Straft where the drow would surely not follow. He hired a band of helpers, Yandadric, Nny and the halfling Leroy Clubfoot.

While on Straft, the group happened upon a slave girl, Alaina. The night before, she was attacked by the vampire Ail and they agreed to help her to reach Deathkeep, the home of Rendseur.

They stop in a town just outside a murky swamp and find themselves in possession of a massive behir to pull their wagon through the mire. They traveled further through the Calypsix Mountains.

While in the mountains, a white dragon pressed down on them, but was defeated with the help of Felthepia the elf. She removed the head of the beast and allowed them to take freely from the dragon's horde.

The group met Fauk Rendseur the lich at Deathkeep where Felthepia revealed that she is the lich's servant. They obtained the lich's gift to Ilphrin, a map of several powerful artifacts scattered over Nora and other parts of adnas. However, the map is unlabeled and they must puzzle out which of the locations is the home of the Hand of Mortath. Alaina, with magical aid from Rendseur, gave birth to a daughter, Serenity. Alaina decided to leave the child in the care of Felthepia for the time being.

They continued onward but were taken prisoner by ophidians. The group was taken to a city where they were forced to take part in gladiator games. Ilphrin, sadly, died in one of the battles. However, one of the fighters, Stephania, who admired the group for their tenacity, easily made friends with them.

An escape was hatched thanks in part to a mischievous thief, Slaeyth, and they soon found themselves in the elven village, Gyswynog. The elves asked the group for their help in retrieving the sacred symbol of their village, which later revealed itself to be an adult Roc and its egg. The Roc was restored to the village and the group was rewarded with accolades.

After leaving the elven village, the group was approached by a mysterious woman, Sheila, whom decided to travel with them. When they reached the dwarven town, Kratnor, a balor demon attacked and slew many of the citizens. Alaina single-handedly defeated the monstrosity and earned the gratitude of the dwarves.

The Meeting of Neegan and Ke'Vadar and Azzel

The group returned to Abdin where giant crocodiles attacked the city and with the help of the Bladed Foot Monks, were able to put them down. One of the monks, Neegan, decided to join with the group.

The group encountered many allies during the next period of time. One such group was the Sisterhood of the Virgin Harp, a group of surface drow. Within a number of days, Neegan married the drow bardess Greyanna Kenafin.

It was at this time the young eladrin wizard Ke'Vadar was cursed to blindness and immortality by Shaydis. However, he soon received the services of Azzel as guardian angel. They both joined the group soon after.

Azzel, seeking to gain more skill as a thief, sought out the tutelage of Jesse Blackblade of the Red Rose. However, the initiation quest to gain Jesse's trust stripped Azzel of his celestial gifts. Jesse, however, did as was promised and gave Azzel the needed lessons. However, in further payment, Azzel agreed to one favor in the future owed to Jesse.

Delving Dragon Mountain

The Tournament of Kings and Epsilon's Castle

The group decided to join the Alexandrian Tournament of Kings. Several events were easily won by each member. Ke'Vadar met with Stephania who gave him an iron flask with an abjuration seal as a gift. However, after the tournament, Sheila parted with the group for mysterious reasons, stating she would return soon. Alaina, who had become lovers with the girl, was heartbroken. Nny, also leaves the group, joining the Noran military.

In seeking to gain access to the lower reaches of Castle Alexandria, the group decided to take as an apprentice the Lord Mayor's son Artemis. The sour attitude of the boy was a hard student for all the travelers to deal with.

As the group entered a cave to the north riddled with lightning, they met the young sorcerer Ramuh Nouh. He aided them retrieve the artifact within, the Lightning God Sword. The sword was placed back on its cradle and Ramuh returned to his travels.

The Sisterhood of the Harp met with a horrible tragedy and were defeated by Kalmarra and her group of drow seeking Ilphrin's map. Ke'Vadar met Kalmarra in battle and defeated her using the Orb of Fire, killing himself in the blast. Kalmarra, however survived and snuck back towards Abbuth.

Ke'Vadar himself is resurrected several days later and met the kamik paladin, Arwar. They quickly became good friends.

The group gathered together a large coalition of strong hearted people in Alexandria and lead an expedition to Abbuth and set it to flame. During this time, a messenger approached Azzel with a favor from Jesse to appear in court in two weeks time and give an alibi on his behalf.

The Battle of Alexandria takes place and the group watches as Vatharond tries to take the city but are routed by the Dragoon Knights and the Noran Alliance.

Once the exploration of Epsilon's Castle was finished with the group obtained the Deck of Many Things. They moved south to find another artifact, with Azzel ignoring his favor to Jesse.

When in Calori, they met Gerhardt Rotwing the inventor and make quick friends. Days later, Azzel was assassinated by masters hired by Jesse in revenge for the broken favor. Azzel, however was quickly restored to life by the celestial powers.

A group of drow, lead by Kalmarra, attacked Calori in order to face the travelers. The Battle of Calorian Shadows occurred.

Breaking the Curse of Kira's Grove

Daemon the Princess of Time

After several trial and errors, the travelers tracked down the location of the Hand of Mortath in Moro. A place called Bloodsun Rock was the tomb carrying the artifact. The group went inside and met the guardian, Dei. She offered to care-take the young Artemis while they were down in the dungeons. They agreed and delved deep inside.

Once they discovered the vault containing the item, Ail appeared, aided by vastania-darkheart. Together, they overpowered the group and though Vastania protested to kill them, Ail instead placed them inside a temporal stasis.

The stasis was broken thirty-five years later by a spell placed there by a aged Ramuh. A programmed image of Ramuh explained to them that while they were in stasis Daemon, the demon of Time, has risen to control all of Nora. Her black will is done by a mysterious Black Knight riding atop a vile black unicorn. The only known way in is the old general of her armies - Ail, the vampire.

Together, the contacted Ail who willingly lead them through tunnels beneath the land crawling with the demon-queen's undead. Ail took them inside Master Clock and found the Black Knight kneeling in front of her throne and saw it was Artemis! Azzel slew Artemis with one arrow and battled Daemon.

Although she was strong, they kept her battling while Ail took her from behind and allowed Azzel and Ke'Vadar to deal the death blows. The resulting explosion destroyed Daemon, causing a space/time tear. Ail, though, was mortally wounded and held onto his unlife long enough to stabilize the tear into a time portal and warn the travelers to not allow himself in the past to release Daemon.

The Hand of Mortath

Arwar decided to stay behind in the future and the group went through the portal and sought out Ail once in their normal time. He was in the middle of dealing with a goriostro, whom after speaking with the travelers, he agreed not to bargain with. The goriostro was furious and rampaged, but was brought down by the travelers. Ail, was gone.

The Hand of Mortath was returned to Rendseur and Artemis remained with Ke'Vadar. Yandadric took up a life as a priest in Temple. Alaina decided to retire in Deathkeep and raise her daughter while studying the ways of the elementals. Neegan drew a card from the Deck of Many Things and became imprisoned beneath the crimson-towers. Ke'Vadar and Azzel went on to take part in the Council of Nine Saga. Neegan later became the focus for the saga of Neegan's Quest.

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