Part 34: Interlude - The Story So Far
Once upon a time, in a little village south of Neverwinter, there was a little girl named Calliope. Calliope was an orphan - her parents had died long ago, in a terrible war - so she was raised by Daeghun, a hunter and woodsman. Together they made their home in the village of West Harbor.
Then, one night, disaster struck! The peaceful settlement of West Harbor was attacked by vicious raiders. Battle-hungry duergar and crazed bladelings tore the village to pieces in search of a powerful artifact. Only through the courage and strength of the village united were the raiders repelled.
Sadly, this came at a cost. Many had died, including Calliope's best friend. Barely a handful of homes still stood. It was on this dark and lonely night that Daeghun drew his foster daughter to one side and spoke to her.
Daeghun told Calliope of a silver shard he had found long ago, on the site of a great battle that took place right there in West Harbor. The shard was worthless, but radiated some small magic, and for safety's sake Daeghun had hidden the thing away in the swamp.
Certain that the shard was the artifact the raiders were seeking, Daeghun commanded his daughter to leave West Harbor and make for Neverwinter. There he would find Daeghun's half-brother, Duncan, who also possessed a silver shard. Together they could unravel the mystery of the attack on West Harbor - but Calliope had to leave that very night, alone.
And so she went.
On her journey to Neverwinter, Calliope made many friends: Khelgar Ironfist, the good-natured dwarven brawler; Neeshka the tiefling, a light-fingered thief with a penchant for mischief; and Elanee the elven druidess, protector of the wilds. Together they overcame many obstacles: bandits, lizardmen, the undead and more.
Arriving in Neverwinter, Calliope quickly sought out her uncle Duncan. In turn, Duncan took her to see the wizard Sand, the elven arcanist who had studied the shards so long ago. Sand discovered that the power of the shards had magnified over the years. Although he himself knew little that might help, Sand directed them to another who might know more: Aldanon the sage.
Unfortunately Neverwinter was in the grips of great internal strife. A murderer was loose in the district of Blacklake and the whole area had been sealed off. Meanwhile, the City Watch and the Shadow Thieves were battling it out for control of the City Docks. Calliope chose to throw her lot in with the Shadow Thieves, for she had always felt more at home in the darkness. With their help, she could sneak into Blacklake and see Aldanon without getting caught.
The Docks War had become a tangled web of alliance, betrayals and double-agents. Calliope was forced to fight many battles before her superiors would take her to see Aldanon.
By the time she was through, Calliope had travelled from the dirtiest slums in Neverwinter to the highest peaks of the Sword Mountains, and back again for good measure. Along the way she found more friends to aid her in her quest: Qara the fiery sorceress; Grobnar Gnomehands the itinerant tinkerer and songwriter; and Casavir the grim-faced paladin.
In Blacklake, Calliope finally found the answers she had been seeking. Aldanon revealed that the silver shards Calliope possessed were part of a githyanki silver sword, a powerful weapon and relic. The githyanki were insanely jealous of their silver swords, for they were marks of their Lich Queen's personal esteem, and they would stop at nothing to retrieve a mislaid silver sword. The githyanki had been the ones behind the attack on West Harbor.
However, Aldanon was most intrigued by the fact that the silver sword had been shattered. To Aldanon's knowledge, a silver sword could not be broken by any force at all. If Calliope wished to learn more about the shards, he told her, then she must seek out the home of Ammon Jerro, an eccentric scholar who had died long ago. Ammon had been an expert on the githyanki and the planes of existence when he was alive; undoubtedly his papers would hold the answers that Calliope sought.
The exact location of Ammon Jerro's Haven had been lost to time, but his surviving family might yet know of it. Looking up Jerro's family in the Neverwinter Archives, Calliope discovered that Ammon Jerro had but one descendant remaining: a farmer from Highcliff called Shandra Jerro.
Calliope raced to Highcliff, only to arrive too late: as suspected, the githyanki were also pursuing the Jerro bloodline, and they had kidnapped Shandra before Calliope could arrive.
With the aid of Bishop, a tracker and old friend of Duncan's, Calliope traced the githyanki back to their secret lair, deep in the foothills of Luskan.
Calliope fought her way through many githyanki, seeking to destroy the portal that allowed them to travel to Neverwinter from their otherworldly home. There, in the heart of their complex, Calliope challenged their leader, the mighty champion Zeeaire - only to be felled by a truly shocking revelation.
It was not just that a precious silver sword had been stolen from the githyanki; it was not just that the sword had been shattered into fragments and scattered across the land. No, it was much worse than that: the silver sword had shattered in the great battle of West Harbor, long ago, in a mighty confrontation with the malevolent King of Shadows.
There, in that battle, Calliope's parents had been killed - and a piece of the silver sword had buried itself inside the baby Calliope.
The sword had been corrupted, forever mixed with the essence of a human child, and it was for that crime that Calliope must be punished.
Calliope slew Zeeaire and rescued Shandra from captivity. With their portal destroyed, the githyanki fled Neverwinter, never to return. Calliope had avenged West Harbor and discovered the answers to some very important questions.
Still, a long journey awaited her. She had yet to find the location of Ammon Jerro's Haven - and once there, she had to find some way to rid herself of her condition... or make use of it.
But she had made many friends along the way, which was lucky...
...for she had a great many enemies yet to face as well.
Grobnar Gnomehands, age 143