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The Crimson Door, Pt. 4: Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

General Summary

Shroud Field Report #W6-5
Date of Report: Month 6, Week 2, Year 908
Location: Koulan Forests 
Report Author: Matt Harlow 
Anomalies Detected:
  • Several Tier-2 Fiends and Aberrations (NEUTRALIZED)
  • One Tier-4 Aberration (NEUTRALIZED)
  • One Cursed Magic Weapon (CONTAINED)
Our specially-assembled team of adventurers saved the city of Watchtower from total destruction despite little assistance from the town's local paladins. A local cult leader by the name of Aufiel sought to use several magic items like the Gauntlet of Helm and Sword of Abaddon to unleash a monstrous deity locked away in the basement of Watchtower's Temple of Helm. Our group was able to defeat Aufiel and disband his cult with zero casualties, averting an Elflands-level calamity from occurring.    Despite the resilience of our group in the face of danger, the city of Watchtowever experienced massive damage and casualties from spells performed by Aufiel. Former Shroud agent Zuula Kristani is also listed among the dead, but let the record show that she was a willing enabler of Aufiel's machinations. There were no enchantments forcing her to assist the celestial being, and when she refused to provide us with useful intelligence on Aufiel's plots she was executed by Agent Sonia Belmont. The entirety of Aufiel's cult was killed by the casting of a high-level spell, indicating that there no people still alive with whom Zuula may have shared Shroud secrets with.    Despite Aufiel's death and the disbandment of his cult, our party had unfinished business left in Watchtower ensuring that the Crimson Door remained sealed. Helm's Faithful proved quite unhelpful during this part of the mission, insisting that they maintain ownership of the Gauntlet of Helm despite an obvious inability to keep it safe from theft and abuse. I managed to hold onto the Sword of Abaddon and take it with me back to Shroud HQ, but I would strongly advise to assign a contingent of Shroud agents to Watchtower to keep an eye on the powerful relics stored here.    Ickthion, the cleric and leader of Helm's Faithful, proved hostile and verbally abused us as we tried to protect the city from a potential collapse of the Crimson Door. He reluctantly agreed to help us research the Crimson Door and determine what needed to be done to prevent a monstrous deity from breaking through. Ickthion confessed after casting 'Legend Lore' that the Crimson Door wasn't the only door beneath Helm's temple: a monstrous deity served as the true portal to the Far Realms behind the Crimson Door, a vestige of the Keeper at the Gate used to contain Abaddon.    This vital piece of information had apparently been forgotten by Helm's Faithful during its many years of defending the Door. This egregious oversight indicates that Helm's Faithful cannot be trusted to protect and defend Watchtower, let alone the rest of northern Liat. I strongly advise working with other groups in the region (e.g. The Knights of Yo-Na) on future assignments to ensure regional stability and more reliable support in combating interplanar foes.    After several trials, our team found a way to open the door and confront the monstrous deity lurking beyond. The fight was long and strenuous for many of our members (let the record show that Matt Harlow escaped the battle virtually unscathed), but after what felt like hours the aberration was defeated and Watchtower was saved from total destruction. A visit from the Man in Black was a satisfying reward for a week's hard work along with the knowledge that I would never have to spend another night in Watchtower.   Sonia offered to stay in the area to keep watch for monsters in the countryside and help rebuild Watchtower. Chamberlain returned back to Kanara with me to continue his lectures at Shroud HQ, and Lellia left our group somewhere near the Nestorian Mtns for a reason she left unexplained. After a debriefing with Medraad Le Fey I was assigned in creating an antimagic defense field around the Shroud's newest captive, a dragonborn sorcerer capable of immense destruction.    I would recommend the Shroud's scholars investigate the so-called 'Atropus Prophecy' for any records that can corroborate the veracity of this voice's claim. Perhaps some documents from the Ostry Apocalypse may verify these claims, but judging by the Man in Black's reaction this is a matter that should be taken with a degree of seriousness. The Shroud has been the greatest thing to happen to my life, and I never want to see it fall into decline like Helm's Faithful.

Rewards Granted

Character(s) interacted with

  • Zuula - a Shroud defector who had sided with the cult leader Aufiel in his efforts to open the Crimson Door. She was eliminated by Shroud agents when she unwilling to assist the party in averting Aufiel's plan
  • Ickthion - the cleric and leader of Helm's Faithful. He berated us for trying to defend the city and rescue magic items stolen by Aufiel, but he eventually provided information that led to the opening of the Crimson Door and the destruction of the monstrous deity that lay beyond. 
  • The Man in Black - The Shroud's patron deity, and the coolest person you'll ever meet
  • Atrophus - a monster deity interested in the total annihilation of the Material Plane, bad news judging by the Man in Black's reaction 
  • Medraad Le Fey - Leader of The Shroud who debriefed the party after their journey to Watchtower
Report Date
15 Nov 2020
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